Page:Boissonnas, Un Vaincu, English, 1875.djvu/34

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spot, with the horses, for exactly 15 minutes. “If I haven′t reappeared within that time,” he added, “I will have been killed.” Go then, and report to General Scott ; and, throwing him his bridle, he disappeared into the dark entry of the house. The 15 minutes lapsed, and the Captain did not return. He had climbed the stairs to the floor corresponding to the smoke without meeting a soul ; but arriving there, he found himself in a big room, in the midst of frightened women who were swearing in Mexican that they had seen nobody. That nobody, besides themselves, lived in the house. With great difficulty, the Captain untangled himself, and thrusting open a door, in front of which the women happened to huddle together, he entered a den of bandits, armed to the teeth. Alone, in the middle of a dozen men, with his usual intrepid calm, he obliged them all to show their guns. Two of them had just been fired. Without hesitation, and making use of the authority his tall height and his natural resolute bearing gave him, he took hold of the two owners and obliged them to follow him, without any of their comrades daring to defend them. The women were a more serious obstacle to clear. In spite of them, he managed to bring his prisoners downstairs and found in the street, poor Jim, who, still on horseback and his eyes on the watch, was conscious it marked five minutes more than the time allocated, but could not bring himself to lose all hope of seeing his master again.

The Mexicans were court-marshaled, but Robert Lee had not