Page:Yule Logs.djvu/170

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154
THE BADGE OF THE FOURTH FOOT

his dead victim. He may have starved; he may have been suffocated by the smoke from the burning building above him that night when Hawley's dragoons set fire to the castle. However it was, he never left this place." The colonel moved aside, allowing the light to shine upon the dull red, mildewed cloth of a soldier's coat that covered the crouching figure of a man long dead. "That is what remains of Alan Leslie," he added grimly. He handed the lantern to Colin, bidding the lad hold it aloft. He knelt down. "When a soldier disgraces his regiment," he continued, "we usually remove the facings from his uniform. This man was not worthy to wear the uniform of so honoured a regiment as the Fourth Foot."

"I think," remarked Colin, "that, rebel though he was, Neil Leslie was by far the better man."

"I am sure of it, my boy," returned Colonel Ossington.