Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/232

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198
SAWDUST AND SPANGLES

enemy we paused for roll-call and found that three of our men were dead. This put the spirit of fight into every man in the company, and there was almost an eagerness to have another encounter.

Proceeding cautiously on our way, we came to a stream spanned by an old-fashioned bridge. The first chariot being a very heavy one, the bridge was carried down, throwing the wagon, horses, driver and men into the water twenty feet below. Soon firing was again heard, and two more horses fell. This proved my suspicion that the beams had been cut for the porpose of wrecking us and of trapping us where we could have been slaughtered. The next shots brought several of my brave men to the ground—dead in their tracks! The enemy, being in ambush, had us at great disadvantage; but my men were so thoroughly aroused and so fearless that we soon drove our assailants back. This last plucky onslaught won the day for us, although at sad cost.

After a delay of several hours, during which we repaired the bridge, we were again able to proceed on our way. Hardly were we fairly started when a new difficulty was encountered in the form of big trees felled across the roadway. This work had been cleverly done by