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Our artillerymen were now halted to await and take charge of three brass guns said to be on their way down from Pinhel under an escort of Portuguese militia; and, taking leave of them, I was handed over to a company of the 23rd Regiment hurrying in from one of the outlying hamlets near Celorico with whom I reached on the 7th of January the squalid village of Boden, in and around which the 52nd lay in face of the doomed fortress across the river.
A very strong force was left to guard the frontier of Portugal from an invasion by Marmont; 50,000 men, of whom 20,000 were Portuguese, being scattered along the line and guarding all the passes the Minho regiment being ordered to take post, again, at Pinhel. Terence left Ciudad with reluctance.
Aveyros is a small settlement, containing only fourteen or fifteen houses besides the church; but it is the place of residence of the authorities of a large district the priest, Juiz de Paz, the subdelegado of police, and the Captain of the Trabalhadores. The district includes Pinhel, which we passed about twenty miles lower down on the left bank of the river.
On arrival at Pinhel after three days' marching, he reported himself to General Crawford. The general himself was absent but, from the head of his staff, he received an order on the quartermaster's department. Tents for his men were at once given him, and a spot pointed out for their encampment.
After halting for a couple of days, Terence marched to Castel Rodrigo and then, learning that the main body of the regiment was at Pinhel, marched there and joined them; his arrival causing great rejoicing among his men, for it had been supposed that he and the half battalion had been captured, at the fall of Almeida.
More than half of those who originally joined have fallen and, no doubt, the poor fellows think that they have done more than their share towards defending their country." By very short marches, the convoy made its way to the frontier. The British convalescents remained at Guarda, the Portuguese marched for Pinhel, and the carts with the wounded officers continued their journey to Lisbon.
As soon as we arrive at Pinhel, I will get a strong box made to hold the two cases, and hand them over to the paymaster there, to be sent down to Lisbon by the next convoy. He sent home all the money that I did not want to keep by me, when we were at Pinhel last."
He would sample that wine at Tavora; and he would bear some of it away that his brother officers at Pinhel might sample it. He would buy it. Oh yes! There should be no plundering, no irregularity, no disregard of general orders. He would buy the wine and pay for it but himself he would fix the price, and see that the monks of Tavora made no profit out of their defenders.
A short distance beyond Itapuama we found ourselves opposite to the village of Pinhel, which is perched, like Boim, on high ground, on the western side of the river. The stream is here from six to seven miles wide. A line of low islets extends in front of Pinhel, and a little further to the south is a larger island, called Capitari, which lies nearly in the middle of the river. June 23rd.
"Your father has just called to ask if I am going on writing all night; and it is quite time to close, that it may go with his own letter, which a boy is waiting to carry on horseback to the post office, four miles away; so goodbye. "Your very affectionate cousin, Mary." The next two months passed quietly at Pinhel.