Page:Yule Logs.djvu/125

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109
"A FRENCHMAN'S GRATITUDE"

With the exception of this slender party, Macleod's division was destroyed, not a man escaping. The gallant Macleod fell, as became him, claymore in hand, in the midst of his Highlanders, who, with the devotion of clansmen for their chief, threw themselves in the way of certain destruction in their vain attempts to save him.

While this terrible scene was taking place we were not molested by the enemy; but, the other divisions destroyed, they now combined their forces against us. The Albanian infantry commenced the attack by lining the sand ridges and pouring a furious fusillade upon the square, the horsemen keeping out of range, ready to sweep down upon us when the right moment arrived. The Albanians were expert marksmen, and their fire proved very disastrous to us. Vogelsang, Holroyd, and Cantillon were amongst the first wounded, the latter severely, and many of our men fell to rise no more. We replied with the six-pounders, as well as with musketry; but the Albanians being scattered and well covered, our fire was not very effective. To add to our misfortunes, the sun was now beating down upon us with full force, and we had little water to quench our burning thirst; officers and men were pretty nigh worn out, and we all felt that, unless General Stewart came to our aid, the end must come quickly.

At length, when more than one-third of our number were killed or wounded, there was a cessation of the firing, followed by great commotion amongst the enemy's cavalry. We jumped to the conclusion that, at last, Stewart must have arrived, and our drooping spirits revived. Alas! we were speedily undeceived; for as the smoke cleared away, there appeared in sight a large body of Arab horsemen, advancing in loose, but not disorderly array. That the new-comers were foes, not friends, we could not doubt, for as they advanced across the plain the Turkish host welcomed them with a mighty shout and waving of flags.

Though faint from loss of blood, Major Vogelsang still