By the Pope of Rome, friend Tummas, that was a day! Had you seen how the Mounseers looked when four-and-twenty rampaging he-devils, sword and pistol, cut and thrust, pell-mell came tumbling into the redoubt! Why, sir, we left in three minutes as many artillerymen's heads as there were cannon-balls. It was, "Ah sacre!" "D you, take that!" "O mon Dieu!" "Run him through!"
Here he dismounted, and stopped beside the farthest of the four unlimbered cannon. Before the guns an artillery sentry was pacing up and down; he stood at attention when the officer arrived, but at a sign resumed his measured, monotonous pacing. Behind the guns were their limbers and still farther back picket ropes and artillerymen's bonfires.
Standing at the edge of the highest point of Oke Tor, with his back to the distant guns, he had crowned the artillerymen's target, himself invisible. At that moment firing began, and the first shell, suddenly shrieking scarcely twenty yards above his head, had caused Hicks to start and turn abruptly.
We could distinctly hear the clash of the mounted artillerymen's sabres against their horses' flanks as they rode to the rear, their burnished accoutrements glancing at every sparkle of the musketry.