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spent the night in Chichester, “ In London I took the and was waiting for a train to plans and notes to my chief, Portsmouth. I opened the and received some money. The window-my train was already German book on your English beginning to move
Army I kept as a souvenir. “Herr Von Neglein !' Then I journeyed back to
Oh, it was very funnee how Hastings to get my bag at the he started !
hotel, and for a few days' holi“ ' Here is your bag !' I day, to take off my boots and cried ; ‘I want him no further.' socks and wash my feet in Yes !
There was another “ And I threw it towards day's excursion to Boulogne, him. Ah, yes! I knew that and again I took him, this time now he would not dare to for pleasure.
for pleasure. Again I visited follow me-to have me ar- the Casino. Also, again I lost rested by the police. For we all my money. But I had were both playing the same this time left enough at the game, and it does not do to call hotel to pay my bill and to in the police when you are play- purchase tickets to return home. ing the game of a secret agent. Splendid !"
IV. HOW THE CAPTAIN DEALT WITH A COWARD.
Captain Ivan Koravitch, "How did I get them! Some
? late of the Imperial Russian of them in the war with Japan Army, had been showing his - I was in many battles—some friends some of his treasures of them-ah, but they are and souvenirs, rummaging them nothing! You see a soldier out from the metal - bound with a big row of medals on strong-box in his room. One of his breast, and at once you his friends had taken up a case exclaim, This is a very brave and opened it. The contents man.' But it does not follow. were ten or a dozen medals. Pouf ! Not long ago I met at But when the captain turned a military dinner one of your and saw them, he stretched own officers with-oh-many out his hand. ' Please !” he medals. But he had scarcely said, as he took the case and seen a fight. He was attaché closed it. But curiosity had in the war to several armies been aroused.
of the Allies, and some of his He sat down and lighted, medals were given for that with a fine gesture, the inevit- reason by the different Powers. able little brown cigarette, brown cigarette, Yes I have told you before
? shrugged his shoulders half I am a coward. I never fight apologetically, and began- without thinking about some
" Those medals ? Oh yes, thing else to keep my mind off, they are mine." And he spoke because I am afraid always if in a modestly careless tone. I think about the battle. They
chose to give me medals, but necks. Speeches were made, they do not show I am very but one could not hear them brave—though I fought, as I because of the popping of the tell you, in many battles. corks. Very soon there was What would you ? A soldier to be another kind of pophas to fight. If he runs away ping - from the guns in the he knows he will be shot by forts on the hills behind the his own officers.
What can town. he do s But it does not always
“ It was on that very day mean he is a brave man- that I first became acquainted though they give him medals with Peter Mikhailovitch Vavifor doing what he cannot help loff. He had only arrived at doing. Splendid !
Port Arthur a few days before. The war with Japan ? Ah, Vaviloff was a veterinary suryes! It is long ago now, but geon with, of course, an offit puts into my mind a leetle cer's rank in the Army. He story about medals. I will was a leetle rather fat man, tell you. Yes"
with a big bass voice, and, like He smoked for a few min- other leetle fat men whom I utes in silence, his eyes bright have sometimes met, he talked and sparkling, and then went big with his big voice. He on
talked most about those things was thinking for the which no one could contradict, moment, my friends, of the the things he had done in the days just before the Japanese past, and the things he would War, when my regiment was do in the future. .
And, like quartered at Port Arthur- his voice, they were all big which was then in our hands. things. We could not see that That was what you English the things he was doing in the call a 'gay time.' The town present were at all big things, was bright with the colours of except that he could eat and our officers' uniforms-one saw drink much. Splendid ! them in every droski,-green,
He drank much chammagenta, red facings, and the pagne that day. I also had long grey overcoats. They a glass or two. Yes ? And were not your drab uniforms then we began talking of the of warfare to-day. Sometimes war that we thought would we had big fêtes. I remember one day break out between -it was in the autumn of 1902 Russia and Japan. And he -when the general and his spoke very big. staff were leaving for Petrograd, "'I hope there will be plenty and we gave him—what is it ? of fighting,' he said. -yes-a 'send-off. All down
"Ah, yes, my friend,' I the streets were long tables, replied ; there will be plenty covered with white cloths, bear- of fighting when we go to ing refreshments - hundreds war with Japan. But you ? and hundreds of bottles of You are not a combatant. You champagne with their golden give the horses pills and medi
cine when they are sick. You Ah, courage is born in a do not fight.'
man. One cannot acquire it.' With one hand he twisted “True,' I answered, and his moustache. With the other fighting is an art and has to he grasped the belt of his be learnt. And one learns to sword. And he looked very take precautions so as to fight fierce. So !”
again to-morrow and the next And Captain Ivan Kora- day also. Splendid ! vitch assumed a truculent ex- 6. Bah!' he cried, as he pression, that brought the little tossed down his champagne veterinary surgeon vividly into and filled another glass. You the mental picture.
will see-when the time comes. Ah, but also I am a I tell you I wish to fight very soldier !’ he cried, and puffed much. out his chest. 'I exercise my “'I suppose you may get profession at the proper time; the opportunity, perhaps, bebut I never forget I am an fore very long,' I said. And I officer of the Imperial Army. was right. The war broke out And I wish to have my oppor- before even some of us expected tunity of fighting for the Little it. Alas! we leetle knew as
. Father when there is a battle.' sat drinking champagne
«'You are a brave man,' that day in Port Arthur what and I bowed to him as I raised was to be the fate of that great my glass. He did not see I fortress. It does not do to was laughing at him inside boast — especially before my cheeks. And he was very much pleased.
is Of course I shall do my “Much time had passed since duty,' he said, and waved his the first Russian soldier killed hand. “You also, my friend. in the war was buried just north You are a brave man. Yes ?? of Ping-Yang-you may see
“‘Me ? Ah, no. I am not his grave to-day. My regiat all brave. I am a coward.' ment from the first had not
“ He looked at me, and remained in Port Arthur, but raised his eyebrows in surprise. had seen much service in open
“' But you will fight ? 'he battles farther north in the asked. ' Surely you would not peninsular. Once or twice I run away??
had come across Peter Mikhai“Oh, yes,' I replied. 'I lovitch Vaviloff, for he was will fight-because it will not attached to the same brigade do to run away. But, alas ! as myself, though not of the I cannot boast of my courage. same regiment. He belonged You, of course, have much to the field artillery. You may courage. I envy you !'
not know that often in the “He did not know I was- Russian Army the veterinary eh-pulling at his foot. Is not officer was the Mess President that what you call it ? And of his regiment. Also it haphe said
pened frequently that he lent
money to the officers when you do what I say I will charge their pay was in arrears, or,
you no interest.' for other reasons, they had Already there had been a need of it.
battle, and Vaviloff had found “I had a friend, a Captain some horses who were very ill Vasilievitch, in the artillery, two
two or three miles behind. and he told me some very But it would seem by the defunnee stories about Vaviloff. spatch written by the colonel He said Vaviloff was always that he was putting bandages asking the colonel to tell him on the hind-legs of those horses when there was going to be while the Japanese were sticksome fighting, because he ing bayonets into their front wanted to take part in it; but parts. Splendid ! whenever the regiment went Alas ! this same battle of into action Vaviloff was sure which I speak ended in disto have some very sick horses aster, and our army was obliged to attend very far in the rear ; to retreat. Now, to make so that they laughed much at matters plain, I will show you his boasts of what he was going the position. Behold!” to do and did not do.
With the aid of various “He also told me some- objects lying on
the table, thing else that made me much Captain Ivan Koravitch proamusement. The colonel had ceeded to mark out an imaginbeen hard down-eh-I thank ary battlefield. you, yes-hard up, and had This book was a line of asked Vaviloff to lend him low hills towards which our some money. And Vaviloff
army was retreating. This had said to him
knife-see, I place him on the "'I will lend you two hun- left-was a river which gave dred roubles, my colonel, if some protection to our left there is a condition made to flank. In front, so, on a level which you agree.'
plain, the main Japanese army And what is that I asked advancing. Now, see on our the colonel.
right flank, a leetle in advance It is that when next of the line to which we were there is a battle and afterwards retreating, this inkstand shows you write despatches that you you a bigger hill-a very im
— make mention of me!!
portant position, which we “The colonel, he put his should entrench and upon which finger to the side of his nose- we should mount some guns,
He laughed very much, all of which would take a leetle and then he said
time. Two miles, or perhaps "You let me have those more, in front of this hill I two hundred roubles, my friend. place this cigarette. It is an And then I will see what I outpost of defence. Between can do. Yes! But you must it and the hill the ground rose not charge me interest.'
and fell, so that one could not • Very well, my colonel. If see very far back from the
outpost. And it was here. But he was obliged to be where I have laid the cigarette there. Captain Vasilievitch had --that I was stationed.
two horses in one of his gun The outpost consisted of teams that demanded the atthree companies of my regi- tention of a veterinary surgeon. ment, and what I suppose you One of them had been struck would call half a battery of in the shoulder by a splinter Field Artillery-two guns. The of shrapnel, and had bled artillery was commanded by much, and the other had remy friend, Captain Vasilie- ceived a kick from his fellow. vitch, but the senior officer It was very important that in command was of the rank Captain Vasilievitch should preof one of your majors, an officer serve his horses, as they would of my own regiment, named be required later on in our Kasatsky. We had taken up retirement.
the the position in the early morn- guns would fall into the hands ing, and our orders were to of the enemy. hold it at all hazards until So Vaviloff had been sent three o'clock in the afternoon. for, and had ridden to us on This was to give time for the his very fine horse--he always hill in our rear to be pre- arranged to have a good horse, pared.
-and had attended to his You must remember that work. He was in very good I am speaking of the days spirits, and was not at all before aeroplanes, and we de- afraid, because we had told pended on balloons and our him there was not likely to cavalry scouts for information be any fighting with us for of the movements of the enemy. some hours. And, of course, From the reports which had we thought that was true. come in it appeared that our Also I suppose he knew he outpost was well beyond his had his horse and could gallop left wing, and any attack might away if there was any danger, be expected to arrive across the We made for ourselves a meal, level plain on our left front. and we had among us a bottle On our right front was a range of vodka. So Vaviloff joined of very low hills, but we did us, and talked very big about not expect an attack from that what he would do if the enemy quarter. Part of the strategy attacked us. of our retreat had been to “'You will, perhaps, have outflank the enemy by holding an opportunity if you wait the hill I have mentioned. It long enough,' said Kasatsky, was one of the keys of the winking with his eye at me new position we were taking and Vasilievitch. up.
expeot a little fighting any Now it happened that Vavi- time after midday.' loff was with us at this outpost, “Vaviloff looked
at his Not because he thought there watch. would be fighting-oh, no! ''I cannot stay longer than