Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Noticing the enthusiasm and the demonstrations made in connection with the embarkation for the Crimea, and the interest shown by the public during the contest, Colonel Molloy observed that when they returned to Dover at the end of the Peninsular war, after so many years of fighting and glorious victories, nobody took any particular notice of them.

Major Smith of the Rifles, who was aide-de-camp to Picton, told Molloy at two o'clock on the day before Quatre Bras-i.e. on June 15—that matters had not gone on very well in front, and that they would move on that night. This shows that the information of the French advance from Charleroi on that day was known at Brussels and measures taken to meet it before that hour.

When the battle of Waterloo was being opened by the attack

Hougoumont on the right, the Rifles were in the centre of the position and their officers were standing in front of their men watching its progress. Sir James Kempt rode up and said, ' Now, gentlemen, here you are, as usual, congregated together talking. An officer named Stillwell, already mentioned, said, 'Oh, yes, Sir James; we were just observing that there appeared to be a slight difference of opinion down yonder,' pointing to the fighting at Hougoumont.

During the course of the battle the Duke threw himself into the square formed by the 2nd Battalion Rifles, calling out as he did so, 'Look out, Rifles, or, by God! you'll be cut to pieces !'

During the battle Lieutenant Molloy came across a couple of dragoons who had taken a French officer prisoner, and were going to 'stick' him. The officer cried to him for mercy, and the dragoons said the French had treated our people in the same way. However, he ordered them to march the officer to the rear. The officer took a bundle of letters from his pocket, and threw them away. They were love-letters from a girl in Paris to

her Alphonse.

There was a story that when Lord Uxbridge's leg was broken by a shot he was carried to the rear, and passed the Duke of Wellington, to whom he said, in the language of the period, 'Lost my leg, by G - !' to which the Duke replied, 'Have you, by G-!' and that these were the only words which passed between the two heroes during the battle.

The French were very ready to be offensive to our officers in Paris after Waterloo. One day an Irish officer came into a restaurant, where there were officers of all nations, and ordered

a beefsteak and potatoes. The waiter conveyed the order, mimicking the officer in a ridiculous voice, ‘Un biftek et pommes de terre pour un officier anglais.' The Irishman, a man of great strength, took the waiter outside, and held him over the balcons, and said he would drop him into the street. The waiter screamed. The French drew their swords—so did the Prussians; and there was a likelihood of a general scrimmage. But it got quieted down somehow.

The Duke had, no doubt, great difficulty in meeting all the demands made on him by officers who had served under him for his support in their applications. Colonel Fitzmaurice was put on half-pay on the reduction of the 3rd Battalion Rifle Brigade at the end of the war. On applying to the Duke to be restored to full pay, he told him to send him a memorial every month until he got a reply. Eventually he was put into the corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms on full pay, over the heads of many others.

It is probable that the habits of years on active service in command had made the Duke somewhat arbitrary. His family at all events seem to have thought so, as was shown in a recent number of this Magazine. His son and successor did not get on at all well with his father, who no doubt looked on him as too much of a trifler, a character which the Duke himself bore in early life, though he threw it off as soon as he got into a position of responsibility. The second Duke's feelings were thus expressed to Sir P. Macdougall: My father,' he said, ' was an atrocious tyrant, and as he grew older he grew worse.'

The following anecdote does not refer to the war, but is worthy of note as showing the almost fatherly care and attention the Duke bestowed on Her Majesty in her younger days. When Colonel Molloy, on his return to England in 1851, called at Apsley House, he saw the Duke, who was very civil, and asked where he had been, if he made a fortune, &c. After some conversation, the Duke's coachman came in and said he had been along the road, and I think it is quite safe for her to go.' Colonel Molloy learned, no doubt from Greville, the Duke's private secretary, that this referred to the road from Buckingham Palace to Paddington having been remade, and as the Queen was coming up from Windsor, the Duke, unknown to Her Majesty

, had sent one of his carriages to drive along it, and so practically to make sure it was safe and comfortable.

EDMUND F. DU CANE.

LAUGHING ASPEN.

I have been put in possession of the following letters by Miss Kathleen Trumble, of Willow Terrace, N.W., a young friend of mine to whom they were addressed, and I venture to submit them to the public as an interesting illustration of what education can do for one of the so-called 'savages.

"Laughing Aspen,' or Jummy-baha, as she is picturesquely called in her native language, is daughter of Wampum Mittens, a chief of the Chuckachuck Indians of North America. Her father, a rather eccentric man, was seized a few years ago with a passion for civilisation, and resolved to give his daughter a European education. Laughing Aspen was therefore entrusted to the care of Madame Brissot, a French lady who has an excellent boarding-school at Brighton, and it was there that Miss Trumble became her friend. Unfortunately Wampum Mittens, owing to some dispute with a whisky-trader in Oklahoma, altered his views of civilisation about a year ago, suddenly recalled his daughter, who was making splendid progress with her French, and compelled her to resume the habits of Indian life. How she rescued herself from her position her own letters will show. One cannot, of course, entirely approve the means to which she had recourse ; but some allowance must be made for the impulsiveness of the child of nature. The worst that can be said of her is that she has adopted the ideals of our civilisation without wholly assimilating the rules which guide us in the pursuit of them. Besides, she has been severely punished by fortune for whatever wrong she may have done.

I.

Chuckachuck Reservation, U.S. : May 1897. DEAREST KATHLEEN,- It is only six months since you and I were at school together, and yet it seems ages. How often I think of Madame Brissot and the old schoolroom with its benches, and those interminable lessons that I could never attend to! And Helen Postlethwaite, who used to pull my hair because I was a 'Red Indian.' But, alas ! quelle différence! You have

come out,' and I suppose I have come out' too: but you are dancing in London, and I am waiting to become a squaw. Yes, it's all settled ; though nobody has come up to Pa's price yet, for Pa insists on five cows and ever so many skins. Since Pa got disgusted with civilisation he has got sterner than ever. He has made me give up all my delicious frocks; he apparently thinks I shall never go off' if I don't dress like other girls. Fanes wearing nothing but a horrid blanket, and, what is worse, the same blanket every day! Yesterday Pa gave a sort of déjeuner à la fourchette outside the wigwam to my suitors, three of them. I had to squat down on the ground, with that horrid blanket all over me, while the prétendus sat round. Pa has traded all my jewellery away, except that bangle young Sparks gave me. I am to have that put through my nose next full moon.

How I wished I had it on! There I sat, oh, so bored ! for I am not allowed to speak a word before my admirers, if you please! It isn't convenant among the Chuckachucks. When they lighted their great horrid' calumets' (they smoked all over me, I assure you, without ever asking my permission), all the responsibility for the conversation fell on Pa, for Uncle Big Fish, who used to be so amusing, has taken to drink : we generally do at about fifty. Red Moose is my most formidable suitor; he is chief of the Polecats, very fat, beats his squaws, and lays down the law wherever he goes. He got very much annoyed with Maple Sugar. Did I ever tell you about Maple Sugar? He and I used to play together before I came over, but of course we are grown up now. Maple Sugar is slender and most noble in appearance, with a delightfully triste expression about the eyes. My other suitor is Grouse Cock; a little absurd thing, very silly and very dressy, very like that Mr. Tomkins we used to laugh at so when I stayed with you in St. John's Wood. He paints his face in the most extraordinary patterns, is tattooed all over the legs, and actually wore flamingo feathers in his hair when he went to see the President's wife drive by-he is so vain. Red Moose and Maple Sugar fell out about the best way to dress yams. Red Moose was all for boiling, Maple Sugar put his money on grilling, Red Moose said he was not going to be contradicted by a papoose who had not a scalp to show for himself. 'Yours truly,' as your amusing brother used to say, had her own ideas on the subject, but alas ! il fallait se taire.

Then they got talking about politics. There is a vacancy in

the medicine-men; the appointment is in Pa’s hands, and Red Moose is very hot on getting the place for a nephew of his. The young man came and pushed a roasted sucking-pig under Pa’s door the other night. You have no idea of the jobbery that goes on, my dear, about these appointments. As for English politics, these people know nothing at all. Just fancy! I tried to explain the Irish question to Pa the other day, and he said he thought it might be settled by the Irish Nationalists being kept in 'reservations,' like we are !

Pa has been closeted half the morning with Red Moose, to see if they can come to terms. Personally, I don't care a bit whose

squaw Of course Red Moose is the biggest 'catch.' Yet, at the same time, Maple Sugar is so much more fin de siècle than the others—but how I run on! No more at present.

I am.

Yours ever,

LAUGHING ASPEN.

II.

Hotel O'Flanagan, Jersey City, U.S.: July 1897. MY DEAREST KATHLEEN, — It is just ages since I wrote you, and I have such a lot to say! Quite a tas de choses ! When I wrote last Pa was still in negotiation about me with Red Moose. Well, they arranged it quite to their own satisfaction. Red Moose did the handsome thing in skins, Pa said · Done,' and I found myself doomed to squawdom at last. For the next week I had to receive the attentions of my elderly fiancé, and pretend to like them. But oh, the ennui of it! I saw nothing before me but an endless vista of squawdom and boredom. Well, since I came back 'home' Maple Sugar had paid me a good deal of attention, and I had long suspected that he was more than a little épris. But I must confess that I was surprised one evening, as I sat alone by the fire outside baking some hedgehogs, to hear his voice cooing in my ear-oh, all sorts of delicious things! How I wish I had you here for a great big gossip! Well, I was coy, but not relentless. Then followed the most delicious week : furtive hand-squeezes through the side of the wigwam, and stolen interviews up in an oak-tree close by. And all this time that horrid old Red Moose continued his visits ; I had such an envie de rire at him.

Well, at last the Month of Fasting came on. But as you've probably never heard of that before, il faut expliquer. Then you

« ZurückWeiter »