The order was then given to charge; and when the two brigades broke into a gallop and thundered down the slope, they raised so thick a cloud of dust that all we could see of the enemy was the glitter of their bayonets and the flash of their musket-fire.
Then without warning they came upon ambuscades of great numbers "so strangely painted, grimed and disguised, shouting, yelling and crying, as we rather supposed them so many divils." Smith, in midstream, ordered musket-fire, and the balls went grazing over the water, and the terrible sound echoed through the woods. The savages threw down their bows and arrows and made signs of friendliness.
Broglio, who had never been in musket-fire at all, but had merely barked on Wangenheim all morning, instead of biting, covered the retreat, and withdrew into Minden. And we are a beaten Army, thanks to Lord George, not an annihilated one. "And what is this one hears from Gohfeld in the evening?
This was evident because the spatter of musket-fire ceased. Soon the fugitives heard Blackbeard's harsh voice damning all hands. That thick skull of his had not been cracked by the impact of the solid cheese and he had been released from his brimstone inferno. The ghosts rested on their oars. They could watch the glimmering canvas of the brig and see what her procedure might be.
Even the bravest of the brave, Highland or Lowland, might draw back from the thought of trying to cross that marsh, of meeting the moat-like ditch under Cope's musket-fire. Sunset came amid perturbation, a sense of check, impending disaster. Ian Rullock, acting for the moment as aide-de-camp, had spent the day on horseback.
When the spear-men broke before the terrible musket-fire, the mass of the despairing on-lookers choked the ways of escape. In their mad panic hundreds of the flying Waikatos were forced headlong over a cliff by the rush of their fellow-fugitives.
Delusive love drove away with a credulous maiden, under an English heaven, on a coach and four, from a windy hill-top, to a crash below, and a stunned recovery in the street of small shops, mud, rain, gloom, language like musket-fire and the wailing wounded. No regrets, her father had said; they unman the heart we want for to-morrow.
From the balcony at the window a fine view was obtained across the country. A heavy musket-fire was still maintained along the river-side, and there was a continuous roll of musketry at Courbevoie, where, as one of the National Guard had told them, a battalion which occupied the barracks there had been cut off by the advance of the troops.
He stepped out in front of his men, dressed, as were all his chiefs, while the rest of his people were naked. He attacked the Spaniards who did not yield; nor was the battle prolonged, for their musket-fire convinced the natives that they commanded the thunder and lightning.
In fact, it was not long before we heard the sound of artillery and musket-fire. Marshal Oudinot, although taken by surprise by this unexpected attack, extricated himself quite well from the tight spot in which he had landed himself.