"They are not going to do anything, Aunt. He has been acquitted. Only he did not come home with me because there are a lot of sailors waiting outside to cheer him, and the magistrates did not want a row over him, nor did Julian either. I have just run home to tell you that it is all right, and now I am going back for him. I expect by the time I get there they will all have gone, and we may be home in a quarter of an hour, so I think, Aunt, the best thing you can do is to get tea ready, for I don't expect he has had much to eat there, or any appetite to eat it."
However, as the breakfast was being eaten, Captain Lister answered all questions.
There are few campaigns that, either in point of the immense scale upon which it was undertaken, the completeness of its failure, or the enormous loss of life entailed, appeal to the imagination in so great a degree as that of Napoleon against Russia. Fortunately, we have in the narratives of Sir Robert Wilson, British commissioner with the Russian army, and of Count Segur, who was upon Napoleon's staff, minute descriptions of the events as seen by eye-witnesses, and besides these the campaign has been treated fully by various military writers. I have as usual avoided going into details of horrors and of acts of cruelty and ferocity on both sides, surpassing anything in modern warfare, and have given a mere outline of the operations, with a full account of the stern fight at Smolensk and the terrible struggle at Borodino. I would warn those of my readers who may turn to any of the military works for a further history of the campaign, that the spelling of Russian places and names varies so greatly in the accounts of different writers, that sometimes it is difficult to believe that the same person or town is meant, and even in the narratives by Sir Robert Wilson, and by Lord Cathcart, our ambassador at St. Petersburg, who was in constant communication with him, scarcely a name will be found similarly spelt. I mention this, as otherwise much confusion might be caused by those who may compare my story with some of these recognized authorities, or follow the incidents of the campaign upon maps of Russia.
"I don't think much about them one way or the other," Julian said as he came up. "We have not a great deal further to go to Moscow, and the sooner we get there the better. Then we shall have the satisfaction of seeing some people."
"What were you doing on board?" another sailor asked. "Did you have to leave England in a hurry?"
Frank was a good deal surprised at first to see how much more difficult it was to hit a mark, even at the distance of twelve paces, than he imagined that it would be. Woodall would not allow him to take aim.