Page:Taras Bulba. A Tale of the Cossacks. 1916.djvu/186

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the plain, with the intention of re-forming at its other extremity. But the little Colonel signalled to four fresh companies close to the gate, and they rained down grape-shot on the kazák throng; but very few men were hit: their shot took effect on the kazák oxen, who were gazing wildly at the battle. The frightened oxen bellowed, turned on the camps, smashed the wagons, and trampled many persons under foot. But Taras, emerging from ambush at the moment, with his troops, rushed forward with a yell to intercept them. He headed off the entire infuriated herd which, startled by his yell, swooped down upon the Polish regiments, overthrew the cavalry, and crushed and dispersed them all.

"O, thank you, oxen!" cried the Zaporozhtzi: "you served us on the march, and now you have served us in war." And they attacked the foe with renewed vigour. They slew many of the enemy. Many distinguished themselves,—Metelitza, Shilo, both of the Pisarenkos, Vovtuzenko, and not a few others. The Lyakhs perceived that matters were going ill, flung away their banners, and shouted for the city gates to be opened. Creaking, the iron-bound gates opened and received the weary and dust-covered riders, flocking in like sheep into the fold. Many of the Zaporozhtzi started to pursue them ; but Ostap stopped