"Then we searched farther. Turning over a mound of newly-fallen snow, we found the bodies of the coachman and the nurse. We searched for hours, but could not find that of the child; but as to her fate we had no doubt. She might have run away into the forest, or she might have been devoured by wolves. That she was dead was certain. I left four of the men there. They were to establish themselves in the nearest village, and to continue the search day by day, and to remain there, if necessary, till the spring came and the snow disappeared. I returned here ten days ago with the news that all hope was at an end, and that Stephanie was lost to us for ever. Now, sir, will you tell me how it was that you saved her? You were doubtless with the French army, though how you came to be there is almost as great a puzzle as how Stephanie was saved."
It was the excitement of the adventure, however, rather than the pay, and the satisfaction derived from outwitting the revenue men, that was the main attraction to the fishermen. Julian took no share in the work. He went dressed in the rough clothes he wore on the fishing excursions at night, and heartily enjoyed the animated bustle of the scene, as scores of men carrying kegs or bales on their backs, made their way up some narrow ravine, silently laid down their loads beside the carts and pack-horses, and then started back again for another trip. He occasionally lent a hand to lash the kegs on either side of the horses, or to lift a bale into the cart. No one ever asked any question; it was assumed that he was there with one of the carts, and he recognized the wisdom of Bill's advice the first time he went out.
When Frank had finished, Colonel Chambers said: "This is a very awkward thing about your brother's disappearance. While giving him the fullest credit for his courage in following a desperate man armed with a rifle, it was certainly a rash undertaking, and I fear that he may have come to harm."
There are few campaigns that, either in point of the immense scale upon which it was undertaken, the completeness of its failure, or the enormous loss of life entailed, appeal to the imagination in so great a degree as that of Napoleon against Russia. Fortunately, we have in the narratives of Sir Robert Wilson, British commissioner with the Russian army, and of Count Segur, who was upon Napoleon's staff, minute descriptions of the events as seen by eye-witnesses, and besides these the campaign has been treated fully by various military writers. I have as usual avoided going into details of horrors and of acts of cruelty and ferocity on both sides, surpassing anything in modern warfare, and have given a mere outline of the operations, with a full account of the stern fight at Smolensk and the terrible struggle at Borodino. I would warn those of my readers who may turn to any of the military works for a further history of the campaign, that the spelling of Russian places and names varies so greatly in the accounts of different writers, that sometimes it is difficult to believe that the same person or town is meant, and even in the narratives by Sir Robert Wilson, and by Lord Cathcart, our ambassador at St. Petersburg, who was in constant communication with him, scarcely a name will be found similarly spelt. I mention this, as otherwise much confusion might be caused by those who may compare my story with some of these recognized authorities, or follow the incidents of the campaign upon maps of Russia.
After crossing the bridge they made their way to the headquarters of General Doctorow, and were at once shown in. The Russian saluted: "The commander-in-chief sends his compliments to you, general, and wishes to know how things are going on, and whether you need reinforcements. He desires that you should send messengers every ten minutes acquainting him with the progress of affairs."
The wind was but light, and keeping a smart look-out for British cruisers, and lowering their sails down once or twice when a suspicious sail was seen in the distance, they approached the rocky shore some two miles east of the entrance to the bay at ten o'clock on the second evening after starting. A lantern was raised twice above the bulwark, kept there for an instant, and then lowered.