Short Stories, 1893, Vol. 12
Excerpt from Short Stories, 1893, Vol. 12: A Magazine of Select Fiction Anxious and sympathetic glances were cast toward the cen tral figure of the group, who was leaning forward in the saddle with drooping head. Indeed, the swordless officer in red culottes and gray redingote seemed to be in physical pain, for he often clutched convulsively the pommel of his saddle with both his hands. His face was olive-hued and haggard, the long, black mustache hung droopingly from sunken cheeks, and the lustreless eye seemed absorbed in the pallid ferns by the road-side, and in the rank, brown woods, seed burdened, and bending low. When addressed, he responded only by a weary, absent shaking of the head, and looked vaguely into the distance which continued in Iightless gray between mountain and forest. Thus they had ridden for hours, up and down steep paths, in silence. Suddenly the road turned. Reddish-gray boulders con fronted the horsemen, and on a long mountain-ridge rose grave and grim a mighty fortress, nearly overshadowing a little town which, like a timid dove, nestled at the giant's feet, in the valley. Smoke lazily curled from quaint old houses, and lost itself in the falling mist. We are on neutral ground, said, with respectful gesture, one of the officers to a tall, aged comrade in blue. A sound, not unlike a sigh of relief, proceeded from the downcast figure. On a rocky platform of the wood-crowned heights the party halted, apparently impressed with the grand scenery before them. Summit joined summit, mist-veiled and lofty, cheir cling that little Eden of the Belgian land, Bouillon, which lay before them in the solemn quiet of the autumn evening. Obeying a gesture of the stately old officer the riders dis mounted and made hasty preparations for the comfort of their gloomy companion, whom they helped out of the saddle - a courtesy which he accepted with a grateful look, declining, however, any further attentions. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.