We see him in his moments of vexation and discomfiture; dissembling pain and anger under the stress of the French alliance, galled by Cathcart's disobedience, by the loss of the Light Brigade, by Lord Panmure's insulting, querulous, unfounded blame.
Thus the war which England and France declared at the end of March against Russia was one which they were left to pursue, with the help of Turkey, alone. Lord John Russell urged that it should be short and sharp, and with characteristic promptitude sketched out, with Lord Panmure's help, a plan of campaign.
The little party started in the course of the forenoon on a showery day. Arrived at the Loch, the Queen walked up the side to Alt-na- Dearg, a "burn" and fall, then rode up the ravine hung with birch and mountain-ash, and walked again along the top of the steep hills to points which command a view of Lord Panmure's country, "Mount Keen and the Ogilvie Hills."
His favourite nephew, Captain Dowbiggin, was at the front, and to one of his telegrams to the Commander-in- Chief the Minister had taken occasion to append the following carefully qualified sentence 'I recommend Dowbiggin to your notice, should you have a vacancy, and if he is fit'. Unfortunately, in those early days, it was left to the discretion of the telegraphist to compress the messages which passed through his hands; so that the result was that Lord Panmure's delicate appeal reached its destination in the laconic form of 'Look after Dowb'. The Headquarters Staff were at first extremely puzzled; they were at last extremely amused.