Not one was missing, and we had only fifty men killed and a hundred and fifty wounded in this most gallant exploit. Some of the most damaged ships were sent home, while we returned to the coast of Spain, where we found the Spaniards eager to make peace in order to avoid future disasters.
This hindered them from doing him any kindness, which they would otherwise perhaps have done in consideration of his gallant behaviour against the enemy.
The brig, a remarkably fast sailing vessel, was commanded by Samuel C. Reid, a young and gallant sailor, who displayed much courage, activity, and skill in harassing the enemies of his country on the high seas, and had been successful in capturing many valuable British ships.
For some ten stirring and formative years the Mounted Police had been riding their gallant steeds over the virgin sod of the untracked prairie before the iron horses, crossing the Red River, hit the steel trail for the mountains and the Western Sea.
But he came to a better understanding of the subject the next day, when a letter from Lilian Ashford was placed in his hands. It was actually addressed to "Lieutenant Thomas Somers." She had read of his gallant conduct and of his promotion on the battle field in the newspapers.
"What am I?" asked Minnie, with an arch smile, as she passed her fingers through the clustering masses of her beautiful hair. "An angel, beyond all doubt," said the gallant captain, with a burst of sincerity which caused Minnie to blush and then to laugh. "You're incorrigible, captain, and you are so stupid that it's of no use trying to teach you."
Five times that gallant regiment charged the battery, and when the smoke of battle cleared away the sun shone down upon a piteous sight blood dyeing the green of that sodded escarp blood in great clots upon the rocks and stumps of the rugged hill below blood poured plenteously upon the dusty road, making it horrible with purple mire blood staining the bridge and gathering in little pools upon the planks, and dripping slowly down through the cracks between them into the sluggish stream, where it floated with the water in great red clouds, toward which creatures dwelling in slimy depths below came up lazily, but when they tasted it became furious and fought among themselves like demons blood drying in hideous networks and arabesques upon the railing of the bridge blood upon the fences, blood upon the trembling leaves of the bushes by the wayside blood everywhere!
Then followed the researches of Van der Decken, Thornton, and others; and last of all the grand discovery of the main source of the Nile, which every Englishman must feel an honest pride in knowing was accomplished by our gallant countrymen, Speke and Grant.
From the replies and the way they acted during the whole time, I am of opinion that every man of this detachment would have boldly stood his ground if the Indians had made any resistance." A good testimony this from a keen leader of gallant men.
Just a little behind Jackson rode one of his most trusted aides, Harry Kenton, a mere youth in years, but already a veteran in service. Not far away was the gallant young Sherburne at the head of his troop of cavalry, and in the first brigade was the regiment of the Invincibles led by Colonel Leonidas Talbot and Lieutenant Colonel Hector St. Hilaire.