The soldiers, with the cannon in the center, were drawn up just on the outside of the town, and, under order of the officers, many of them seized torches and lighted tepee and wigwam. The dry corn in the fields and everything else that would burn was set on fire. What would not burn was trampled to a pulp beneath the feet of men and horses.
A few attempted to take refuge in the Holy House itself, and after these followed some Romans bearing torches in their hands. Miriam, watching terrified from the roof of the Gate Nicanor, saw them go, the torches floating on the dusky air like points of wind-tossed fire.
All of these, with the exception of the small one on the sea-face, were necessarily in absolute darkness, and in all were brackets for torches, similar to those in the principal chamber. Bertie counted them, and found that, including those first met with, they numbered one hundred and twenty-three. "How much do you think they weigh apiece?" he asked Harry when the tour was finished.
For the last mile he had had three torches burning in front, so that he should not overlook the signs he had made on the trees. "There it is, sergeant," he said, at last, "two slashes; the other one is on the left, fifty yards on." They turned off when they came to this. "Here we are, all right, Pertab!" Lisle said, as they came to the tree. "Allah be praised!" the man said, faintly.
Wood was plentiful, pine torches easily procured in such a locality, and soon the hall was bright with the firelight and vocal with the sound of voices in melody. So the hours sped on until it was quite dark. It was a very still night, but the clouds were thick, and there were no stars abroad. At length they had burned all the wood which had been brought in.
We received an almost immediate answer from a short distance to the left. Not over two hundred yards in that direction we met our camp men bearing torches, and so were escorted in triumph after a sixteen-hour day. Six months after I had reached home, one of these thorns worked its way out of the calf of my leg.
He laughed as he thought what a help she would be in keeping all comers away, for she seemed to shed a white dim light from her drenched skin, and her loud breathing might easily be taken for groans. He scrambled down the face of the cliff. Fortunately, the wind blew in from the sea, and in safety he reached a large cave, brilliant with the light of many torches.
Jean and Suzanne, the refugees, stood in the white porch to receive them, holding the lanterns that were their marriage torches. The old woman held her light low down, lighting the flagstone of the threshold. The old man lifted his high, showing the lintel of the door. It was so low that Nicholas had to stoop to go in. In the morning they read the date cut in the wall above the porch: 1665.
When several minutes, and then an hour, were past, without hearing any thing, she began to be uneasy, and commanded her women to look for him. They searched all about without finding him; and, night coming, she ordered them to search again with torches, which they did, but to as little purpose.
Life thus carried on is no longer tolerable, and it is at length time that I should do something! No more generosity, no more energy! The master has succeeded, the pupil is starved forever. Mordioux! I will not resist. Come, you men," continued he, entering the ante-chamber, "why are you all looking at me so? Extinguish these torches and return to your posts. Ah! you were guarding me?