Chapter XVI. In the Passes
 

On the following day the French cavalry, with a division of infantry, took up their position beyond the town, so as to cut off the retreat of the garrison, who were then summoned to surrender. No reply was made, but for the next twenty-four hours the defenders, although in no way attacked, kept up a random fire from the guns on the walls, and with musketry, to which no reply whatever was made by the French.

On the following day, the whole army having now come up, the town was again summoned, and at once surrendered, when Soult, who did not wish to be hampered with a mob of prisoners, contemptuously allowed them to depart to their homes.

After bringing up his sick from Chaves, and discovering that the passes through the mountains were unoccupied, and that the Portuguese army was at Braga, Soult, on the 14th, began to move in that direction, both for the purpose of crushing Friere and getting into communication with Tuy, and being joined by his artillery from there. As soon as this movement was seen from the hill where Terence's regiments had been for three days resting, preparations were made for marching, and with haversacks well filled with bread and meat, the troops started in good spirits. Terence procured the services of a peasant well acquainted with the mountains, and was led by paths used by shepherds across the hills, and after a twelve hours' toilsome journey came down into the defiles that the French were following. There he learned from peasants, that, with the exception of a small scouting party two days before, there were no signs of any hostile force.

The men were at once set to work to destroy a bridge across a torrent at the mouth of a defile. It was built of stone, but was old and in bad repair, and the men had little difficulty in prising the stones of the side walls from their places, and throwing them down into the stream. Another party made a hole over the key of an arch. A barrel of powder was placed here, and a train having been laid, was covered up by a pile of rocks. A third party formed a barricade six feet high, across the end of the bridge, and also two breastworks, each fifty yards away on either side, so as to flank the approaches to the other end and the bridge. The troops were extended along the hillsides, one battalion on each side of the defile, under the shelter of the rocks and brush.

While these preparations were being made, the horses were taken up to the top of the hills by some paths known to the peasants of a little village near the mouth of the defile, the women and children following them. Terence and Herrara had a consultation, and then the former called Bull and Macwitty to him.

"Now," he said, "you understand that while we will defend this defile as long as we can, we will run no risk of a defeat that might end in a rout. We shall inflict heavy loss upon them before they can repair the bridge, and can certainly force their cavalry to remain quiet until they bring up their infantry. Colonel Herrara, you, with one company of the second battalion, will hold the village, and we shall sweep the column advancing along the bottom of the defile with a fire from each flank, while they will also be exposed to your fire in front. When they succeed in making their way up to within charging distance you will evacuate the village and join Macwitty on the hill.

"They must attack us there on both sides, for no troops could march through until the hillsides are cleared. It is probable that they may do this before they attempt to attack the village, but in any case you must keep up a steady fire until they get within fifty yards of you, then retire up the hill, but leave a party to keep them in check until the rest have gained the crest and formed up in good order. By the time you do this they will have driven in your rear-guard. The French will be breathless with their exertions when they reach you. Wait till a considerable number have gained the crest, then, before they have time to form, pour a heavy volley into them and charge, and then sweep them with your fire until they reach the bottom. The next time they will no doubt attack in much greater force; in that case we will move quietly off without waiting for them, and will reunite at the village of Romar, five miles in the rear. If we find, as we near it, that the French are in possession, we will halt, and I will send orders to the second regiment as to what is to be done. If the force is not too great we will attack them at night."

"How will you know where we shall be, sir?" Macwitty said.

"I have arranged with Colonel Herrara that when you halt you shall light two fires a short distance from each other. I will reply by lighting one, and the fires are then to be extinguished."

This being arranged, Terence went down and applied a match to the train, and then retired at a run. Three minutes later there was a heavy explosion, rocks flew high in the air, and when the smoke cleared away, a cheer from the hillside told that the explosion had been successful. Terence returned to the bridge; a considerable portion of the arch had been blown away, and putting fifty men to work, the gap was soon carried across the road and widened, so that there was a chasm twelve feet across. The parties who were to man the breastworks were now posted. Terence himself took the command here. The defenders consisted of a company of Bull's battalion.

Half an hour later a deep sound was heard, and as it grew louder the head of a column of cavalry was seen approaching. The whole of the force on the hillsides were hidden behind rocks or brushwood; not a head was shown above the breastworks. The cavalry, however, halted, and an officer with four men rode forward. When within fifty yards of the bridge a volley of twenty muskets flashed out from the work behind it. The officer and three men fell, the other galloped back to the main body. He had seen nothing beyond the fact that there was a breastwork across the road, and Franceschi, thinking that he had but a small force of peasants in front of him, ordered a squadron to charge, and clear the obstacle.

As before, they were allowed to approach to within fifty yards of the bridge, when from the breastwork in front, and the two side redoubts a storm of musketry was poured into them. The effect was terrible; the head of the squadron was swept away, but a few men charged forward until close to the break in the bridge. Most of these fell, but a few galloped back, and the remains of the squadron then trotted off in good order.

No further movement took place for an hour, and then a body of infantry, some two thousand strong, appeared. As they passed the cavalry, the first two companies were thrown out in skirmishing order, and were soon swarming down towards the stream. The banks of this, although very steep, were not impassable by infantry, and the defenders of the two side redoubts spread themselves out along the bank, and, as the skirmishers approached, opened fire.

For a time the rattle of firearms was incessant. When the main body of French infantry had, as their commander thought, ascertained the strength of the defenders, they advanced in solid order until near the bridge, and then wheeled off on either flank and advanced with loud shouts. A horn was sounded, and from the hillsides near a scattering fire of musketry opened at once. The French, however, pushed forward without a pause. Terence's horn sounded again, the men fell back from the bank, and the whole company ran at full speed across the narrow valley, and took their place with their comrades on the hillside.

The French crossed the stream under a heavy fire, and, dividing into two portions, prepared to assault both hills simultaneously. The combat was obstinate, the French suffered heavily, but pushed their way up unflinchingly. The Portuguese, encouraged by the shouts of their officers, held their ground obstinately, retreating only at the sound of their horns, and renewing the combat a short distance higher up. Being sheltered by the rocks behind which they lay, their loss was but trifling in comparison to that of the French, who were forced to expose themselves as they advanced, and whose numbers dwindled so rapidly that when half-way up they were on both sides brought to a stand-still, and then, taking shelter behind the rocks, they maintained the contest on more equal terms.

But by this time a column of 4,000 men was marching down to the stream, and, dividing like the first, climbed the hills. The Portuguese now fell back more rapidly, their fire slackened, and the French, with loud shouts, pressed up the hill. Presently the resistance ceased altogether, and, firing as they advanced at the flying figures, of whom they caught an occasional glimpse, the French pressed forward as rapidly as the nature of the ground would permit, cheering loudly. At last they reached the top of the hill, and the leaders paused in doubt as they saw before them some eleven or twelve hundred men drawn up in line four deep at a distance of fifty yards. Every moment added to the number of the French, and as they arrived their officers tried to form them into order. When their numbers about equalled those of the Portuguese, two heavy volleys were poured into them, and then, with loud shouts, the Portuguese rushed at them with levelled bayonets.

The charge was irresistible. The French were hurled over the crest and went down the hill, carrying confusion and dismay among those climbing up. The Portuguese pressed them hotly, giving them no time to rally, and forcing them down to the bottom of the hill without a check. Then at the signal they fell back to the post that they had held at the beginning of the fight. The success was equal on both hillsides, and the regiments cheered each other's victory with shouts which rose high above the roar of musketry. With their usual discipline, the French speedily rallied, in spite of the heavy fire that from both sides swept their ranks, and they prepared, when joined by another regiment which was approaching at the double to their assistance, to renew the assault.

Terence saw that, this time, the odds would be too great to withstand. His horn sounded the retreat, and the Portuguese turned to make their way up the hill just as a French battery opened fire. Sheltered among the rocks, the infantry below were unconscious of the movement, for on either side a company had been left to continue their fire until the main body gained the top of the hill, when they too were summoned by the horns to fall back. The wounded had been all taken up the hill, and were laid in blankets and carried off by their comrades. As the two regiments marched away from the crest of the defile the soldiers were in the highest spirits. They had repulsed with heavy loss a French force of three times their own strength, and they greeted Terence and Bull, as they rode together along the column, with enthusiastic cheers.

The wounded, which in the first battalion numbered forty-three, were despatched with a party a hundred strong to a village four miles away among the mountains, and the regiment marched on until it reached the point agreed upon.

Two men were sent forward to reconnoitre the village, and returned with the report that it had already been occupied by a very strong force of French cavalry. Half an hour later two wreaths of smoke rose on the opposite hill. Sticks had been gathered in readiness, and the answering signal was at once made. Two minutes later the smoke ceased to rise on either side. Terence now received the reports of the captains of the six companies, and found that fifteen men had been killed, and that his strength was thus reduced by fifty-eight. The men were now told that they could lie down, the companies keeping together so as to be ready for instant action.

Trifling wounds, of which there were some two or three and twenty, were then attended to and bandaged. Some of these were quite serious enough to have warranted the men falling out, but the delight and pride they felt at their success had been so great that they had refused to be taken off with their disabled comrades. Terence made a round of the troops and addressed a few words to each company, praising their conduct, and thanking them for the readiness and quickness with which they had obeyed his orders.

"You see, my lads," he said, "what can be done by discipline. Had it not been for the steady drill you have had ever since we marched, we could not have hoped to oppose the French, and I should not have ventured to have done so. Now, you see, you have proved that you are as brave as the enemy, and not only have you beaten them with heavy loss, but the effect of this fight will be to render them more cautious in future and slower in their movements, and the news of the blow you have struck will inspirit your countrymen everywhere."

Having nothing else to do until after darkness fell, Terence, after finishing his round, sat down and added an account of the fight to the report he had written up at their last halting-place. This was written in duplicate, one copy being intended for General Cradock, and the other for the Portuguese authorities at Oporto. Outposts had been thrown out towards the village as soon as they halted, and after opening their haversacks, eating a meal, and quenching their thirst at a little rivulet that ran down to the village, the men lay down to sleep, tired with their long night's march and the excitement of the battle.

Terence was no exception to the general rule, for although he had had his horse, yet for the greater part of the distance he had marched on foot, as the ruggedness of the ground traversed had in most places been too great to travel in safety on horseback in the dark. When night fell all were on their feet again, refreshed by a long sleep. Two men were now sent down to reconnoitre the village again. They reported that it was still occupied by the cavalry. The infantry, as they could see by the fires along the road, had bivouacked there, and one regiment at least had passed through the village and had occupied the road ahead.

Terence had already written out his instructions to Herrara in triplicate, and three men were despatched with these. They were warned to be extremely careful, for the men who had first been sent, had reported that the French had posted sentries out on their flanks. One of the messengers was to make a long detour to cross the road half a mile ahead of the French, and then to make his way along on the opposite hillside to the spot where Herrara was posted. The other two were to make their way as best they could through the village. The pieces of paper they carried were rolled up into little balls, and they were ordered that, if noticed and an alarm given, these were at once to be swallowed.

Soon after ten o'clock the regiment formed up. Terence had given detailed orders to the captain of each company. These were instructed to call up their men twenty at a time, and to explain their orders to them, so that every man should know exactly what to do. No sound had been heard in the village, and Terence felt sure that Herrara must have received his orders, and at a quarter past ten he with one company moved slowly down towards the village; Bull, with the main body of the force, marching westward along the hills. Six men had volunteered for the service of silencing the French outposts, and these, leaving their muskets behind, stole forward in advance of the company, which halted at some little distance from the French centre.

In a quarter of an hour they returned. Eight French sentries had been surprised and killed, the Portuguese crawling up to them until near enough to spring upon and stab them without the slightest alarm being given. The company now moved silently forward again until within a hundred yards of the village, when they halted until the church clock struck eleven. Then they rushed down into the village. As they entered it shots were fired, and an outcry rose from the other side, showing that Herrara had managed matters as well as they had. The surprise was complete; the street was full of horses, while the soldiers had taken shelter in the houses. A scene of the wildest confusion ensued. The horses were shot, for it was most important to cripple this most formidable arm of the French service, and the men were attacked as they poured out of the houses.

Bull, with a hundred men, made his way straight to the upper end of the village and repelled the desperate attempts of a squadron of horse that were posted beyond it in readiness for action, to break through to the assistance of their comrades, while Terence and Herrara, each with a hundred men, held the road at the lower end of the village to check an infantry attack there. It was not long before it was delivered. The French infantry, disciplined veterans, accustomed to surprises, had sprung to their feet when the first shot was fired, and forming instantly into column, came on at a run, led by their officers. Terence, with fifty men, four deep, barred the way across the road; the rest of his men were stationed along the high ground flanking it on one side, while Herrara with his hundred flanked the opposite side.

As the French came on the Portuguese on the high ground remained silent and unnoticed, but when a flash of fire ran across the road and a deadly volley was poured in upon the enemy, those on the flanks at once opened fire. For a moment the column paused in surprise, and then opened fire at their unseen assailants, whose fire was causing such gaps in the ranks. The colonel and several other officers who had been at its head had fallen; in the din no orders could be heard, and for some minutes the head of the column wasted away under the rain of bullets. Then a general officer dashed up, and another body of Frenchmen came along at a run. Terence's horn rang out loudly; the signal was repeated in the village, the fire instantly ceased, and when the French column rushed into the place not a foe was to be seen, but the street was choked up by dead horses and men.

These reinforcements did not pause, but making their way over the obstacles pressed on to where a roar of fire in front showed how hotly the advance-guard was engaged. Here the surprise had been rather less complete. Some of the outposts had given the alarm, and the French were on their feet before, after pouring terrible volleys into them, a thousand men fell upon them on either side. Great numbers of the French fell under the fire, and the long line was broken up into sections by the impetuous rush of the Portuguese. Nevertheless, the French soldiers hung together, and the combat raged desperately until the head of the relieving column came up. Then, as suddenly as before, the attack ceased. Not a gun was fired, and, as if by magic, their assailants stole away into the darkness, while the French opened a random fire after them.

An hour later the two Portuguese regiments united on the road two miles in advance of the village. Their loss had been eighty-four killed and a hundred and fifty wounded, of which seventy were serious cases. These were, as before, sent off to be cared for in the mountain villages. The French loss, as Terence afterward heard, had been very heavy; three hundred of the cavalry had been killed, and upwards of four hundred infantry. Great was the enthusiasm when the two regiments met, and after a short halt marched away together into the hills and encamped in a wood two miles from the road.

"What next, Generalissimo?" Herrara, whose left arm had been broken by a bullet, asked.

"I think that we have done enough for the present," Terence said. "We will leave it to the rest of the army to do a little fighting now. We have lost, in killed and wounded, some two hundred men, and I don't wish to see the whole force dwindle away. I propose that we do not go near Braga. I have no idea of putting myself under the command of Friere; I have seen enough of him already. So we will travel by by-roads till we get near Oporto, then we will find out how matters stand there. My own idea is that when the French army approaches, the Junta's courage will ooze out of its finger ends, and that the 50,000 peasants, which it calls an army, will bolt at the first attack of the French. So, as I don't mean to be trapped there, we will rest on our laurels until we see how matters go."

It was well for the corps that Terence abstained from joining the army at Braga. As the French entered the pass of Benda Nova, the peasants rushed furiously down upon them. Many broke into the French columns, and fighting desperately, were slain. The survivors made their way up the hillside, and then making a detour, fell upon the rear of the column, killed fifty stragglers and plundered the baggage. This spontaneous action of the peasants was the only attempt made to bar the advance of the French, and Friere permitted them to pass through defile after defile without firing a shot. His conduct aroused the fury of his troops, and the feeling was fanned by agents of the bishop, who had now become jealous of him, and his men rushing upon him dragged him from a house in which he had taken refuge, and slew him--a fit end to the career of a man who had proved himself as unpatriotic as he was incapable.

On the 18th Soult arrived near Braga, and the Portuguese, who were now commanded by Eben, a German officer in the British service, drew up to meet him. The French began their advance on the 20th, and half an hour later the Portuguese army was a mob of fugitives. The vanquished army lost 4,000 men and all their guns, 400 only being taken prisoners; the rest dispersed in all directions, carrying tales of the invincibility of the French. Had it not been for the stout resistance offered by 3,000 men, placed on a position in the rear commanding the road, which checked the pursuit of the cavalry and enabled the fugitives to make off, scarce a man of the Portuguese would have escaped to tell the tale.

Terence had approached Oporto, and encamped in a large wood, when the fugitives brought him news of the crushing defeat that they had suffered. The soldiers were so furious when they heard of the disgraceful rout, that Terence and Herrara had difficulty in preventing them from killing the fugitives. The result strengthened his position. The troops on arriving at their present camping-place were eager to be led into Oporto. Terence and Herrara had talked the matter over several times, and agreed that such a step might be fatal. Standing, as this town did, on the north side of the river, the only means of leaving it was the bridge of boats, and if anything happened to this all retreat would be cut off.

The defeat at Braga at once confirmed their opinion that the army of peasants that the bishop had gathered round Oporto would be able to make but little resistance to the French attack.

"It would be terrible," Herrara said; "50,000 fugitives, and a great portion of the inhabitants of the town, all struggling to cross the bridge, with the French cavalry pressing on their rear, and the French artillery playing upon them. It is not to be thought of."

The troops, however, had been full of confidence in the valour of their countrymen, and from their own success against the French believed that the army at Braga would certainly defeat Soult, and there had been some dissatisfaction that they had not been permitted to take part in the victory. The news brought by the fugitives at once dissipated the hopes that they had entertained. They saw that their commander had acted wisely in refusing to join the army there, and their feeling of contempt for the undisciplined ordenancas and peasants equalled the confidence they had before reposed in them. Terence ordered the two regiments to form into a hollow square and addressed them.

"Soldiers," he said, "I know that it was a disappointment to you that I did not take you to Braga. Had I done so, not one of you would have escaped, for when the rest fled like a flock of sheep you could not alone have withstood the attack of the whole French army. I know that you wish to enter Oporto. I have withstood that wish, and now you must see that I was right in doing so. The peasants gathered in its defence are even less disciplined than those at Braga, and Soult will, after two or three minutes' fighting, capture the place. Were you there you could not prevent such a result. You might hold the spot at which you were stationed, but if the French broke in at any other point you would be surrounded and killed to a man. What use would that be to Portugal? You can do more good by living and fighting another day.

"Even if you should fall back with the other fugitives, what chance of safety would there be? You know that there is but one bridge of boats across the river, and that will soon be blocked by a panic-stricken crowd, and your chance of crossing would be slight indeed. The men who fought at Braga, those men who will fight before Oporto, are no more cowards than you are, and had they gained as much discipline as you have, I would march down with you at once and join in the defence. But a mob cannot withstand disciplined troops. When the Portuguese have learned to be soldiers, they may fight with a hope of success; until then it is taking them to slaughter to set them in line of battle against the French. Soult may be here in twenty-four hours, therefore I propose to march you down to the river above Oporto. We are sure to find boats there, and we will cross at once to the other side and encamp near the suburb at the south end of the bridge, and when the fugitives pour over we will take our station there, cover their retreat, and prevent the French from crossing in pursuit."

A murmur of satisfaction broke from the soldiers and swelled into a shout. Soon after evening fell the corps marched from the wood, and two hours later came down on the bank of the Douro. As Terence anticipated, there were plenty of fishermen's boats hauled up, and the regiments passed over by companies. By three in the morning all were across, and by five they encamped in a wood beyond the steep hill rising behind the Villa Nova suburb, on the left bank of the river. As soon as he had seen the soldiers settled Terence borrowed the clothes of one of the men, and putting these on instead of his uniform, he sent for Bull and Macwitty, and the two soldiers soon arrived. They looked in astonishment at their officer.

"I am going into the town," he said, "partly to judge for myself of the state of things there, and partly on a little private business of my own. It is possible that I may get into trouble. I hope that I shall not do so, but it is as well to be prepared for any emergency that might happen. If, then, I do not return, you are to look to Colonel Herrara for orders. When the French enter Oporto, which I am certain they will do as soon as they attack it, you may gather your men at this end of the bridge, cover the retreat, and repulse all efforts of the French to cross. As soon as those attempts have ceased, you will march with the two regiments for Coimbra, and report yourselves to the officer commanding there. Here are my despatches to the general, in which I have done full justice to your bravery and your conduct. Here is also a note to the officer commanding at Coimbra. I have spoken to him about your conduct, and have asked him to allow you to continue with the Portuguese until an order is received from Sir John Cradock. I have given Colonel Herrara a duplicate of my despatches and official orders, in case you should be killed."

"Cannot we go with you, sir?" Bull asked.

"I don't think so, Bull. Dress as you might, you could hardly be taken for anything but an Englishman. Your walk and your complexion, to say nothing of your hair, would betray you both at once. The first person who happened to address you would discover that you were not natives, and the chances are he would denounce you, and that you would be torn to pieces before you could offer any explanation. Now, I think that I can pass readily enough. The wind and rough weather have brought me to nearly the right colour, and I know how to speak Portuguese well enough to ask any question without exciting suspicion."

"But why not take two of the men with you?" Macwitty said. "They could do any talking that was necessary; and should anyone suggest that you are not a native, they could declare that you were a comrade from their own village."

Bull strongly approved of the suggestion, and Terence, though in some respects he would rather have been alone, at last agreed to it.

"They may as well take their arms; not for use, but to give them the appearance of two men from the camp who had come down to make purchases in the city."

Daylight was just breaking as the three crossed the bridge of boats into the town, and passed through it up the hill to the great camp that had been established there. It covered a large extent of ground, and contained tents sufficient for the whole of the 50,000 men assembled. A short distance away was the line of intrenchments on which the peasants had been for some weeks engaged. They consisted of forts crowning a succession of rounded hills, and connected by earthen ramparts, loopholed houses, ditches, and an abattis of felled trees. No less than two hundred guns were in place on the forts. It was a position that two thousand good troops should have been able to hold against an army.

"It is a strong position," Terence said to the two men with him.

"Yes, the French can never pass that," one of them said, exultingly.

"That we shall see. They ought not to, certainly, but whether they will or not is another matter."

They wandered about for a couple of hours. Once one of the Portuguese joined a group of peasants, and learned from them something of the state of things in the town, representing that they had but just arrived.

"You are lucky. You will see how we shall destroy the French army. Our guns will sweep them away. Every man in the town is full of confidence, and the traitors are all trembling in their houses. When the news of the business at Braga came yesterday, and we learned the treachery of our generals, the people rose, dragged fifteen suspected men of rank from the prison and killed them. There is not a day that some of these traitors are not rooted out."

"That is well," the other said; "it is traitors that have brought us to this pass."

"You will see how we shall fight when the French come. The bishop himself has promised to come out in his robes to give us his blessing, and to call down the wrath of heaven on the French infidels."

After having finished his survey of the line, Terence returned to the city, and following the instructions that he had received as to the situation of the convent at Santa Maria, he was not long in finding it. It was a massive building; the windows of the two lower stories were closely barred. He could not see any way of opening communications with his cousin, or of devising any way of escape. He, however, thought that it might possibly be managed if he could send in a rope to her and a pulley, with means of fixing it; in that way he could lower her to the ground. But all this would be very difficult to manage, even if he had ample time at his disposal, and in the present circumstances it was altogether impossible. He stared at the house for a long time in silence, but no idea came to him, and it was with a feeling of hopelessness that he recrossed the bridge and rejoined the troops.

"I am glad to see you back, sir," Bull said, heartily. "I have been in a funk all this morning that something might happen to you."

"It has all gone off quietly. I will now tell you and Macwitty what my business here is. I may need your help, and it is a matter in which none of the Portuguese would dare to offer me any assistance."

"I think they would do maist anything for you, sir," Mac-witty said. "They have that confidence in you, they would go through fire and water if you were to lead them."

"They would do almost anything but what I want done now. I have a cousin, a young lady, who is an heiress to a large fortune. Her father is dead, and her mother, a wealthy land-owner, has had her shut up in a convent, where they are trying to force her, against her will, to become a nun. She is kept a prisoner, on bread and water, until she consents to sign a paper surrendering all her rights. Now, what I want to do is to get her out. It cannot be done by force; that is out of the question. It is a strong building, and even if the men would consent to attack a convent, which they would not do, all the town would be up, and we should have the whole populace on us. So that force is out of the question. Now, the French are sure to take the place. When they do, there will be an awful scene. They will be furious at the resistance they have met with, and at the losses that they have suffered. They will be maddened, and reasonably, by the frightful tortures inflicted upon prisoners who have fallen into the hands of the Portuguese, and you may be sure that for some time no quarter will be given. The soldiers will be let loose upon the city, and there will be no more respect for a convent than a dwelling-house. You may imagine how frightfully anxious I am. If it had not been for the French I would have let the matter stand until our army entered Oporto, but as it is, I must try and do something; and, as far as I can see, the only chance will be in the frightful confusion that will take place when the French enter the town."

"We will stand by you, Mr. O'Connor, you may be sure. You have only got to tell us what to do, and you may trust us to do it."

Macwitty, who was a man of few words, nodded. "Mr. O'Connor knows that," he said.

"Thank you both," Terence said, heartily. "I must think out my plan, and when I have decided upon it I will let you know."