With Moore At Corunna by G. A. Henty
Chapter XIX. Confirmed in Command
Terence, after lunch was over, first related to the officers all that he knew of the siege of Oporto, explaining why he did not choose to sacrifice the men under him by joining the undisciplined rabble in the intrenchments, but determined to keep the head of the bridge. They listened with breathless interest to his narrative of the attack and capture of Oporto.
"But how was it that that fifty-gun battery did not knock the bridge to pieces when the French tried to cross?"
"That is more than I can say, Colonel. I should fancy that they were so terrified at the utter rout on the other side, which they could see well enough, for they had a view right over the town to the intrenchments, that they simply fired wildly. I don't believe a single ball hit the bridge, though, of course, they ought to have sunk a dozen boats in a couple of minutes. My men could have held it for days, though they were suffering somewhat from the fire of two of the French field batteries; but I found that no steps whatever had been taken to remove the boats from the other side. There were great numbers of them all along the bank, and the enemy could have crossed a mile higher up, at the spot where I took my men over, and so fallen on our rear, therefore I withdrew to save them from being cut up or captured uselessly."
"Now tell us about those troops of yours, O'Connor."
Terence gave a somewhat detailed account of the manner in which he took the command and of the subsequent operations, being desirous of doing justice to Herrara and his troopers, and to his own two orderlies. There was much laughter among the officers at his assumption of command, and at the subsequent steps he took to form his mob of men into an orderly body; but interest took the place of amusement as he told how they had prevented the French from crossing at the mouth of the Minho, and caused Soult to take the circuitous and difficult route by Orense. His subsequent defence of the defile and the night attack upon the French, surprised them much, and when he brought his story to a conclusion there were warm expressions of approval among his hearers.
"I must congratulate you most heartily, Mr. O'Connor," the colonel said. "What seemed at first a very wild and hare-brained enterprise, if you don't mind my saying so, certainly turned out a singular success. It would have seemed almost impossible that you, a young ensign, should be able to exercise any authority over a great body of mere peasants, who have everywhere shown themselves utterly insubordinate and useless under their native officers. It is nothing short of astonishing; and it is most gratifying to find that the Portuguese should, under an English officer, develop fighting powers far beyond anything with which they have been hitherto credited. What are you going to do now?"
"I was intending to send my despatches on to Sir John Cradock, and wait here for orders."
"I think that you had better take your despatches on yourself, Mr. O' Connor. I do not suppose that they are anything like so full as the story you have told us, which, I am sure, would be of as much interest to the general as it has been to us."
"I will do so, sir, and will start this evening. My horse had three days' rest at Villa Nova, and is quite fit to travel."
"You must be feeling terribly anxious about your cousin," the officer who had first told him about her remarked; "there is no saying what may have happened in Oporto after it was stormed."
"I should indeed be, if she were there," Terence replied; "but I am happy to say that she is at present in Coimbra, having travelled with us under the charge of some Portuguese ladies, friends of Herrara."
"You don't mean to say that you persuaded the bishop to let her out of the convent?"
"Scarcely," Terence laughed, "though the bishop did unwittingly aid me."
"I congratulate you on getting her out," the colonel said.
"Travers was telling us the day after you left what a curious coincidence it was that the nun who threw him out a letter should turn out to be a cousin of yours. Will you tell us how you managed it?"
"I don't mind telling it, sir, if all here will promise not to repeat it. The Bishop of Oporto is a somewhat formidable person, and were he to lodge a complaint against me he might get me into serious trouble, and is perfectly capable of having me stabbed some dark night in the streets of Lisbon; therefore, I think it would be as well to omit any details of the share he played in the matter. Without that the story is simple enough. Having got a boat with two men in it at the end of the street in which stood the convent, I went there in the dress of an ecclesiastic, just as the French burst into the town. The bishop had fled on the night before to the Serra Convent on the other side of the river, and I was able to produce an authority from him which satisfied the lady superior that I was the bearer of his order for her and the nuns to make for the bridge, and to cross the river at once.
"Of course, I accompanied them. The crowd was great and they naturally got separated. In the confusion my orderlies managed to get my cousin out of the crowd, and took her straight to the boat. As soon as I saw that they had gone, I persuaded the lady superior to take the rest of the nuns back to the convent at once, as the bridge was by this time broken, and the French had made their appearance. She got the nuns together and made off with them as fast as they could run, and after seeing that they were all nearly back to their convent without any signs of the French being near, I joined the others in the boat, and we rowed across the river. It was a simple business altogether, though at first it seemed very hopeless."
"Especially to get the authority of the bishop," the colonel said, with a smile.
"That certainly seemed the most hopeless part of the business," Terence replied; "but happily I was able to manage it somehow."
"Well, you certainly have had a most remarkable series of adventures, Mr. O'Connor. Now we will go and inspect your corps. Of course they will be rationed while they are here, and will be under my general orders until I hear from Cradock."
"Quite so, Colonel; I am sure they will be proud of being inspected by you. Of course, they are unable to do any complicated manoeuvres, but those they do know they know pretty thoroughly, and can do them in a rough and ready way that for actual work is, I think, just as good as a parade-ground performance. I will go on ahead, sir, and form them up."
"I would rather, if you don't mind, that they should have no warning," the colonel said; "we will just go down quietly, and see how quickly they can turn out."
"Very well, sir."
All there expressed their wish to go, and as all were provided with horses or ponies of some kind, in ten minutes they rode off in a body. His officers had been very busy all the time that Terence had been away, serving out the uniforms and seeing that they were properly put on. The work was just over, and the men were sauntering about round their tents when the party arrived. Herrara came up and saluted. He was known to the colonel, as he had dined with Terence at the mess on their way through.
After a few words, Terence said to Herrara:
"Have the assembly blown, and let the men fall in."
Herrara walked back to the tents, and a moment later a horn blew. It had an uncouth sound, and bore no resemblance to the ordinary call, but it was promptly obeyed. The men snatched their muskets from the piles in front of the tents, and in a wonderfully short time the whole were formed up in their ranks, stiff and immovable.
"Excellently done!" the colonel said; "no British regiment could have fallen in more smartly."
Accompanied by Terence, and followed by the rest of the officers, he rode along the line. The evening before Terence had impressed upon the captains of companies the necessity for having the rifles perfectly clean, as they were about to join a British camp, so that the pieces were all in perfect order. When the inspection was over the mounted group drew off a little.
"The troops will form up in columns of companies," Terence said, and Bull and Macwitty, who were at the head of their respective regiments, gave the orders. The movements were well executed. The men, proud of their uniform, and on their mettle at being inspected by British officers, did their best, and that best left little to be desired. After marching past, they formed into company squares to resist cavalry, then retired by alternate companies, and then formed into line.
"Excellently done!" said the colonel. "Indeed, I can hardly believe it possible that a party of peasants have in a month's time been formed into a body of good soldiers. I should like the officers to come up."
"Call the officers."
There was an officers' call, and this now sounded, and the twelve captains with their two majors rode to the front and saluted. "Mr. Herrara," the colonel said, "I have seen with surprise and the greatest satisfaction the movements of the men under you; they do you the greatest credit, and I shall have pleasure in sending in a most favourable report to the general, the result of my inspection of the regiments. I hear from Mr. O'Connor that your men have shown themselves capable of holding their own against the French, and I can say that I should feel perfectly confident in going into action with my regiment supported by such brave and capable troops. Would that instead of 2,000 we had 100,000 Portuguese troops equally to be trusted, we should very speedily turn the French out of Portugal and drive them from the Peninsula."
The officers bowed and rode off. The troops had not learned the salute, and when the horn sounded they were at once dismissed drill.
"Well, Mr. O'Connor, I must congratulate you most heartily on what you have done. If nothing else, you have added to our army a couple of strong regiments of capable soldiers. If I had not seen it myself I should have thought it impossible that over 2,000 men could be converted into soldiers in so short a time, and that without experienced non-commissioned officers to work them up."
Returning to Coimbra with the colonel, Terence rode to the house where Herrara's friends had taken rooms, and told them that he was going to leave them. Don Jose at once wrote several letters of introduction to influential friends at Lisbon, telling them that he and his daughters had escaped from the sack of Oporto, and asking them to show every kindness to the officer, to whom they chiefly owed their safety.
Terence meanwhile returned to camp, arranged with Herrara and the two majors that everything was to go on as usual during his absence, urging them to work hard at their drill, and to impress upon the men the necessity, now that they were in uniform, of carrying themselves as soldiers, and doing credit to their corps.
Five days later he arrived at Lisbon, taking with him a report from the commandant of his inspection of the corps.
"I had begun to be afraid that you had been killed or taken prisoner, Mr. O'Connor," Sir John Cradock said, as Terence presented himself, "or that you must have fallen back with Romana into Spain. He seems to have behaved very badly, for, as I hear, although he had 10,000 men with him, half of them regular troops, he retired without a shot being fired--except by two regiments who were mauled by the French cavalry--and left Silveira in the lurch."
"I was on other business, General, and I fear that you will think that I exceeded my orders; but I hope that you will consider that the result has justified my doing so. Will you kindly first run your eye over this report by the officer commanding at Coimbra?"
Sir John Cradock read the report with a puzzled expression of face, then he said: "But what regiments are these that Colonel Wilberforce speaks of in such high terms? Were they part of Romana's force? He speaks of them as a corps under your command, and as being 2,300 strong."
"They were not Romana's men, sir, but a body of ordenancas, of whom, as my report will inform you, I came by a combination of circumstances to take the command, appointing Lieutenant Herrara, who commanded my escort, colonel, my two orderlies as majors, and the Portuguese troopers of my escort as captains of companies. We have been several times engaged with the French, and I cannot speak too highly of the behaviour of officers and men."
Sir John Cradock burst into a laugh. "You certainly are a cool hand, Mr. O'Connor. Assuredly I did not contemplate when I sent you off that you would return as colonel of two regiments."
"Nor did I, sir. But, you see, you gave me general instructions to concert measures with Romana for the defence of the frontier. I saw at once that Romana was hopeless, and was therefore myself driven to take these measures. As Oporto has fallen I cannot say they were successful, but at least I may say that we gave Oporto fourteen days' extra time to prepare her defence, and if she did not take advantage of the time it was not my fault."
The look of amusement on the general's face turned to one of interest.
"How did you do that, sir?"
"My corps prevented Soult from crossing at the mouth of the Minho, General, killing some two hundred of his men and driving his boats back across the river. When the French general saw that he could not cross in face of such opposition, he was obliged to march his army round by Orense and down by the passes, which ought to have been successfully defended by the Portuguese."
"That was good service, indeed, Mr. O'Connor. I received despatches from our agents at Oporto, saying that Soult's landing had been repulsed by armed peasants."
"My men were little more than armed peasants then, sir, though they had had a few days' hard drill; still, a British officer would scarcely have called them soldiers."
"Well, I think that Wilberforce's report shows that they have a right to that title now. Take a seat, Mr. O' Connor, and a newspaper--there are some that arrived two days ago--while I look over your report."
Terence had written in much greater detail than is usual in official reports, as he wished the general to see how well the men and their officers had behaved. It was twenty minutes before the general finished it.
"A very remarkable report, Mr. O'Connor; very remarkable. You must dine with me this evening. I have many questions to ask you about it, and also about the storming of Oporto, of which we have, as yet, received no details, although a messenger from the bishop brought us the news some days ago. He seems to have made a terrible mess of it."
"He ought to be hung, sir!" Terence said, indignantly. "After getting all those unfortunate peasants together he sneaked off and hid himself in a convent on the other side of the river, on the very night before the French attacked."
"Unfortunately, Mr. O'Connor, we cannot give all men their deserts, or we should want all the rope on board the ships in the harbour for the purpose. The bishop is a firebrand of the most dangerous kind; and I suppose we shall have him here in a day or two, for he said in his letter that he was on his way. There is one comfort: he will be too busy in quarrelling with the authorities to have any time to spend on his quarrels with us. Then I shall see you in an hour's time. Please ask Captain Nelson to come in here; I have some notes for him to write."
Terence bowed and retired.
"What a nuisance!" Captain Nelson said. "I was wanting to hear all that you had been doing."
"I am to dine with the general," Terence said. "Perhaps I shall meet you there."
Captain Nelson found that he was wanted to write notes of invitation to such of the officers who were still at Lisbon as had dined there when Terence was last the general's guest; and as the general's invitations overrode all other engagements, most of them were present when Terence returned.
"Mr. O'Connor has another story for you, gentlemen," the general said, when the cloth was removed and the wine put upon the table. "I am not sure whether I am right in calling him Mr. O' Connor, for he has been performing the duties of a colonel, commanding two regiments in the Portuguese service. I will preface his story by reading the report of Colonel Wilberforce, commanding at Coimbra, of the state of efficiency of his command."
There was a look of surprise at the general's remarks, and that surprise was greatly heightened on the reading of Colonel Wilberforce's report.
"Now, Mr. O'Connor," the general said, when he had finished, "I am sure that we shall all be obliged by your giving us a detailed statement of the manner in which you raised those regiments, and of the operations that you undertook with them; and the more details you give us the better, for it is well that we should understand how the Portuguese can be best handled. I may say at once that, personally, we are greatly indebted to you for having proved that, when even partially disciplined and well led, they are capable of doing very good service, a fact of which, I own, I have been hitherto very doubtful."
Smiles were exchanged among the auditors when Terence described the manner in which he came to command the body of undisciplined ordenancas. When he spoke of the state in which he found Romana's army, and the reason for his determination to keep his column intact, they listened more attentively, and exchanged looks of surprise when he described his rapid march to the mouth of the Minho, and the repulse of Soult's attempt to cross from Tuy. He then described how he had joined Silveira, and the mutiny of that general's troops. Still more surprise was manifested when he related the action in the defile and the bravery with which his troops had behaved, and the manner in which they had been handled by the troopers that he had appointed as their officers. The night attack on the cavalry and infantry of the head of Soult's column was equally well received. His reasons for not joining the army at Braga, and of keeping aloof from the mob of peasants at Oporto were as much approved as was the holding of the bridge for a while, and his reasons for withdrawing.
"Well, gentlemen," the general said, when Terence had finished, "I think you will allow that my aide-de-camp, Mr. O'Connor, has given a good account of himself, and that if he went outside my orders, his doing so has been most amply justified."
"It has, indeed, General," one of the senior officers said, warmly. "I can answer for myself, that I should have been proud to have been able to tell such a story."
A murmur of approval ran round the table.
"It is difficult to say whether Mr. O'Connor's readiness to accept responsibility, or the manner in which, in the short space of a month, he turned a mob of peasants into regular soldiers, or the quickness with which he marched to the spot threatened by Soult, and so compelled him to entirely change the plan of his campaign, or his conduct in the defence of the defile, and in his night attack, are most remarkable."
"I should wish to say, General, that in telling this story I have been chiefly anxious to do justice to the hearty co-operation of Lieutenant Herrara, and the services rendered by my own two orderlies and his troopers. By myself, I could have done absolutely nothing. Their work was hard and incessant, and the drill and discipline of the troops was wholly due to them."
"I understand, Mr. O'Connor; it is quite right for you to say so, and I thoroughly recognize that they must have done good service; but it is to the man that plans, organizes, and infuses his own spirit into those under his command, that everything is due. Now, Mr. O'Connor, I think I will ask you to leave us for a few minutes; the case is rather an exceptional one, and I shall be glad to chat the matter over with the officers present. Well, gentlemen, what do you think that we are to do with Mr. O'Connor?" he went on, with a smile, as the door closed behind Terence.
"My experience affords me no guide, General," another of the senior officers said. "It is simply amazing that a lad of seventeen--I suppose he is not much over that--should have conceived and carried out such a plan. It sounds like a piece of old knight-errantry. Clive did as much, but Clive was some years older when he first became a thorn in the side of the French. What is your opinion, sir?"
"He is already a lieutenant," the general said. "I sent home a strong recommendation that he should be promoted, when he was last here, and received an intimation three days ago that he had been gazetted lieutenant and transferred to my staff. This time I shall simply, send home a copy of the report he has furnished me with, and that of Colonel Wilberforce, and say that I leave the reports to speak for themselves, but that in my opinion it is a case altogether exceptional. That is all I can do now. The question of course is, whether he shall return to staff service again, or shall continue in command of the corps with which he has done so much. If he does the latter he must have local rank, otherwise he would be liable to be overruled by any Portuguese officer of superior rank. I think that the best way would be to send a copy of the reports to Lord Beresford, saying that my opinion is very strong that Lieutenant O'Connor should be allowed to retain an independent command of the corps that he has raised and disciplined; and that I will either myself bestow local rank upon him, and treat the corps as forming a part of the British army, like that of Trant, or that he should give him local rank as its colonel, in which case he would operate still independently, but in connection with Beresford's own force."
"I should almost think that the first step would be best, General, if I might say so. In the first place, Beresford will have any number of irregular parties operating with him, while such a corps would be invaluable to us. They are capable of taking long marches, they know the mountains and forests, and would keep us supplied with news, while they harassed the enemy. As an officer on your staff, O'Connor would have a much greater power among the Portuguese population than he would have on his own account in their own army, and he would be very much less likely to be interfered with by the leaders of other parties and corps."
"Perhaps that would be the best way, Colonel. I will send the reports to Beresford, and say that I have appointed Lieutenant O'Connor to remain in command of this corps, which I shall attach to my own command; and saying that I shall be obliged if he will have a commission made out for him, giving him the local rank of colonel in the Portuguese army. Beresford is himself a gallant soldier, and will appreciate, as you do, the work that O'Connor has done; and as he knows nothing of the lad's age he will comply, as a matter of course, with my request. I shall, in writing home, strongly recommend his two cavalrymen for commissions. As to Herrara, I shall ask Beresford to give him the rank of lieutenant-colonel. I shall suggest to Beresford that his troopers should all receive commissions in his army. They have all earned them, which is more than I can say of any other Portuguese soldiers, so far as I have heard."
Terence was then called in again.
"In the first place, I have a pleasant piece of news to give you, Mr. O' Connor, namely, that I have received from home an official letter, that on my recommendation you have been gazetted to the rank of lieutenant and transferred to my staff; in the second place, I have decided, that while still retaining you on my staff, you will be continued in your present command; I shall obtain for you a commission as colonel in the Portuguese service, but your corps will form part of my command, and act with the British army. I shall request Lord Beresford to appoint Mr. Herrara to the rank of lieutenant-colonel, and shall recommend that commissions be given to his troopers. The two orderlies, of whose services you spoke so highly, I shall recommend for commissions in our army, and shall request Lord Beresford to give them local rank as majors."
Terence coloured with pleasure and confusion.
"I am greatly obliged to you, General," he said; "but I do not at all feel that the services that I have tried to perform----"
"That is for me to judge," the general said, kindly. "All the officers here quite agree with me, that those services have been very marked and exceptional and are at one with me as to how they should be recognized. Moreover, in obtaining for you the rank of colonel in the Portuguese army, I am not only recognizing those services, but am adding to the power that you will have of rendering further services to the army. Although attached to our forces, you will receive your colonel's commission from Lord Beresford, who is now the general appointed by the Portuguese government to command their army."
It was now late, and the party rose. All of them shook hands warmly with Terence, who retired with his friend Captain Nelson. The latter told him before they went in to dinner that he had had a bed put up for him in his own room.
"Well, Colonel O'Connor," Nelson laughed, "you must allow me to be the first to salute you as my superior officer."
"It is absurd altogether," Terence said, almost ruefully. "Still, Captain Nelson, though I may hold a superior rank in the Portuguese army, that goes for very little. I have seen enough of Portuguese officers to know that even their own soldiers have not got any respect for them, and in our own army I am only a lieutenant."
"That is so, lad; however, there was never promotion more deserved. And as you hung, or rather left to be hung, a Portuguese colonel, it is only right that you should supply the deficiency."
"I hope I shall not have to wear a Portuguese uniform," Terence said, earnestly.
"I should think not, O'Connor, but I will ask the general in the morning. Of course, you will not wear your present uniform, because you are now gazetted into the staff and out of your own regiment. Now we will smoke a quiet cigar before we turn in. Have you any other story to tell me that you have not already related?"
"Well, yes, I have one, but it is only of a personal interest;" and he then gave an account of his discovery of his cousin in the convent at Oporto, and how he had managed to rescue her, ending by saying: "I have told you the story, Nelson, so that if by any unexpected accident it is found out that she is an escaped nun, and her friends appeal to the general for protection, you may be aware of the circumstances, and help."
"Certainly I will do so," Captain Nelson said, warmly. "You certainly have a wonderful head for devising plans."
"I began it early," Terence laughed. "I was always in mischief before I got my commission, and I suppose that helps me; but you see I had wonderful luck."
"I don't say anything against your luck; but good luck is of no use unless a fellow knows how to take advantage of it, and that is just what you have done. I suppose that you will stay here for a day or two."
"My horse wants a couple of days' rest, and I have my uniform to get. I suppose I can get one made in a couple of days, whether it is a Portuguese or an English one."
"Yes, I dare say you will be able to manage that."
The next morning, to his great satisfaction, Terence learned that the general said he had better wear staff uniform, and he accordingly went with Captain Nelson and was measured.
"Your Portuguese seems to have improved amazingly in the two months you have been away," the latter said, as they came out from the shop; "you seem to jabber away quite fluently."
"I have been talking nothing else, and Herrara has acted as my instructor, so I get on very fairly now."
At this moment a carriage drove past them.
"That is the Bishop of Oporto," said Terence; "I suppose he has just arrived."
"It is a good thing that he does not know you as well as you know him," Captain Nelson said, dryly; "if he did, your adventures would be likely to be cut short by a knife between your shoulders some dark night."
"He does not know me at all," Terence laughed; "the advantages are all on my side in the present case."
"It is an advantage," Captain Nelson laughed. "When I think that you have raised your hand against that venerable but somewhat truculent prelate, I shudder at your boldness. I only caught a glimpse of him as he passed, but I could see that he looks rather scared."
"Perhaps he hasn't recovered yet from the fright I gave him," laughed Terence; "I have seen and heard enough of his doings, and paid him a very small instalment of the debt due to him."
The uniforms were promised for the next evening, and Terence felt when he put them on that they were a considerable improvement upon his late one, stained and discoloured as it was by wet, mud, and travel. After paying a visit to the general to say good-bye, Terence mounted and started for Coimbra.
Upon his arrival there four days later he at once reported himself to the commandant.
"I received a copy of the general order of last Tuesday," the latter said, "and congratulate you warmly on being confirmed in your rank. I thought that it would be so, for one could not reckon that, had another taken your place, your corps would have maintained its present state of efficiency."
"You are very good to say so, Colonel, but any British officer appointed to command it would do as well or better than I should."
"I don't think that he would in any way; but certainly he would not be followed with the same confidence by his men as they would follow you, and with troops like these everything depends upon their confidence in their commander."
"The corps is now attached to our army, Colonel; you were good enough to order them to be rationed before, but I have now an order from the general for them to draw pay and rations the same as the British troops."
"That is all right," the colonel said, examining the document; "I will take a copy of it, but as it is a general order you must keep the original yourself. I see that you have now adopted the uniform of the staff. It is certainly a great improvement upon that of an infantry officer, and appearances go for a good deal among these Portuguese. I see, by the way, that you have got your step in our army."
"Yes, Colonel, the general was good enough to recommend me. Of course I am glad in one way, but I am sorry that it has put me out of the regiment that I have been brought up with. But, of course, it was necessary, for I could not have gone over other men's heads in it."
"No, when a man gets special promotion it is always into another regiment for that reason. You will be glad to hear that your men have been behaving extremely well in your absence, and that I have not heard of a single case of drunkenness or misconduct among them. I have been down there several times, and always found them hard at work drilling; they seem to me to improve every time I see them."
On leaving the colonel's quarters Terence rode to his cousin's. Mary rose with an exclamation of surprise as he entered.
"What a handsome uniform, Terence! How is it that you have changed it?"
"I am now regularly on the general's staff, Mary, and this is the uniform."
"You look very well in it," she said; "don't you think so, Lorenza?"
"I do, indeed," her friend agreed; "it does make a difference."
"Well, to begin with, it is clean and new," Terence laughed; "and though the other was not old, it had seen its best days. But I have more news, Mary; you have now to address your cousin as colonel."
Mary clapped her hands, and Don Jose and his family uttered exclamations of pleasure.
"It is quite right," Mary said; "it is ridiculous that Senor Herrara should be colonel and you only Mr. O'Connor."
"It does not matter much about a name," he said. "I commanded before and I shall do so now, but I have got Portuguese rank."
"Why did not they make you an English colonel?" Mary asked, rather indignantly.
Terence laughed. "I shall be lucky if I get that in another twenty years, Mary. I am a lieutenant now--I have got the step since you saw me last--but I am to rank as a colonel in the Portuguese army as long as I command this corps, which I am glad to say is now to form a part of the British army. Herrara is to have the rank of lieutenant-colonel. Bull and Macwitty will, I hope, get their commissions as ensigns in the British army, with local rank of majors. The general will recommend that Herrara's troopers all get commissions in the Portuguese army."
"Ah, well! I am pleased that your services are appreciated, Terence. We are very glad that you have come back, Lorenza especially so, as, now you have returned, she thinks she will see more of Senor Herrara."
"The bishop is in Lisbon, Mary."
"That is not such good news, Terence. I will be very careful to keep out of his way."
"Do," he said. "I have spoken to Captain Nelson, one of the general's staff, about you, and if by any chance you should be recognized as an escaped nun, I hope that Don Jose will go to him at once and ask him to obtain the general's protection for you, which will, I am sure, be given. Your father was an Irishman. You are a British subject, and have a right to protection. You won't forget the name, Don Jose--Captain Nelson?"
"I will write it down at once," the Portuguese said, "but as Donna Mary will pass under the name of Dillon, and her dress has so changed her appearance, I do not think that there is the smallest fear of her being recognized. Indeed, no one could know her except the bishop himself."
"You may be sure that I shall not go out much in Lisbon," Mary said, "and if I do I will keep my promise to be always closely veiled."