The Congo Rovers by Harry Collingwood

The Congo Rovers by Harry Collingwood

Author:Harry Collingwood [Collingwood, Harry]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Fiction, Historical, Religion, Spirituality
ISBN: 9781514738351
Google: iBpwDwAAQBAJ
Amazon: B003VS086Y
Publisher: Fili-Quarian Classics
Published: 2010-07-11T23:00:00+00:00


* * *

Chapter Thirteen.

An Eventful Night.

What did it mean? Who were they, and what could they possibly want? I could see them clearly enough to distinguish that they wore the garments of civilisation; but they did not belong to the house: Don Manuel had only two men in his service; whereas, so far as I could distinguish in the uncertain light, there were five men in the group before me. Then, too, their actions were suspicious, their movements were stealthy, and it looked very much as though they were dogging the footsteps of the couple ahead of them for no good purpose. I did not at all like the aspect of affairs, so quietly disencumbering myself of the telescope, which I deposited on the ground, I grasped my gun, and, stepping into the pathway, shouted warningly to the second lieutenant:

“Look out, Mr Smellie, you are being followed!” Immediately there was a shout, in Spanish, of “Come on, men, give it him!” and the group made a dash at Smellie and his companion. Then followed an exclamation of surprise and anger in Smellie’s well-known voice, a single stifled scream from Doña Antonia, and a most unmistakable affray. With a shout I dashed up the path, and in another minute or less plunged into the thick of the mêlée. Smellie was beset by three of the ruffians, who were slashing viciously at him with long ugly-looking knives, and he was maintaining a gallant defence with the aid of a stout stick, the assistance of which he had not up to then been wholly able to discard in walking. I saw that if he was to be saved from a serious, perhaps even a fatal, stab, prompt action was necessary, so without waiting for further developments I cocked my gun, and, making a lunge with it at the man who seemed to be Smellie’s most formidable antagonist, pulled the trigger just as the muzzle struck his side, and poured the contents of the barrel into his body. At such very close quarters the charge of shot took effect like a bullet, and the fellow staggered backwards and fell to the ground with an oath and an agonised exclamation in Spanish of:

“Help, my men, help; I am shot!”

The remaining two who had been attacking Smellie turned at this to assist their wounded companion; and the second lieutenant and I thereupon dashed down the path after the other two, who were hurrying off the scene with all speed, carrying Doña Antonia bodily away with them. A dozen bounds or so and we were up with them. With an inarticulate cry of rage Smellie sprang upon the man nearest him and brought his stick down upon the fellow’s head with such tremendous force that the stout cudgel shivered to pieces in his hand, whilst the recipient of the blow dropped prone without a groan or cry of any kind upon the pathway. The other meanwhile had dropped his share of their joint burden and seemed inclined



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