Page:Yule Logs.djvu/106

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90
"A FRENCHMAN'S GRATITUDE"

ences with their beys, and if we see them at all it will be as enemies, not allies. Let us rejoin the men; it is time we were moving."

Leaving Cantillon, with half the company, under a clump of date-trees, Holroyd led the way to the sandhills, where he posted our men to the best advantage—a sergeant, corporal, and four files being stationed as an outpost on a slight eminence a little to our right front. Having taken up our position, we anxiously waited events, keeping a very sharp look-out.


CHAPTER IV

AN ALARM—NOT FRIENDS, BUT FOES—AN UNHEEDED REPORT—AN ANXIOUS NIGHT

Shortly after midnight the corporal hurried in from the outpost to report that a djerm (large boat), crowded with men, had been observed dropping down the river.

"Did you see this djerm yourself, Corporal Jones?" asked Holroyd, jumping to his feet.

"Plain as I sees your honour," was the corporal's reply. "We all see it, sir; for the moon's so bright that it's just as clear as day. Sergeant Finnigan says as how he thinks it's them Mammyluks as there's been such talk about."

"The deuce he does!" exclaimed Holroyd. "Whereabouts is this djerm? On our side of the river?"

"Yes, your honour; 'twas nigh that chapel-looking place on the river bank."

"Chapel-looking place! You mean the mosque, I suppose," said Holroyd, smiling. "Come, Tom, we'll go and see for ourselves. Take charge until I return, Sergeant Bullen, and be well on the alert."

We hastened to the outpost, where we found Sergeant