"Come up, by all means. There is really nothing to tell you."
Thinking it over, an idea suddenly occurred to him. When sailing along the coast with Bill, the latter had one day pointed out to him a hole in the cliff some twenty feet above high-water mark. "Do you see that hole, Mr. Julian?"
"It won't be for want of trying if I don't," Frank replied.
"It was not exactly for taking things easy, but for keeping up the men's spirits. Discipline was getting terribly relaxed, and they were losing their military bearing altogether. A lot of us non-commissioned officers were talking round a fire, and I suggested that we should start marching songs again as we used to do on our way through Germany. It would cheer the men up, get them to march in military order and time, and shorten the road. Ney and some of his staff happened to be within hearing, and he praised the idea much more than it deserved. However, the men took it up, and the effect was excellent. Other regiments followed our example, and there can be no doubt that, for a time, it did have a good effect. Ney reported the business to Napoleon, who issued an order praising the Grenadiers of the Rhone for the example they had set the army, bestowing the Legion of Honour on me, and ordering that henceforth marching songs should be sung throughout the army. However, singing was dropped at Smolensk. After leaving there we were reduced to such a handful that we had not the heart to sing, but it did its work, for I believe that the improvement effected by the singing in the morale of Ney's troops had at least something to do with our being able to keep together, and to lessen the fatigues of those terrible marches.
She was indeed changed. A rosy flush had taken the place of the bluish-gray tint on her cheeks; her eyes were bright, and she looked round at the strange scene with a face devoid of all fear.
A village council was held on the receipt of this letter, and the proposal that she should be sent by the bishop was unanimously negatived. It seemed to the villagers that in such a case the glory of restoring Stephanie to her parents, and the reward that would naturally accrue from it, would not fall to them; but, at the same time, no alternative method occurred to them. Finally, after much consultation, Stephanie was asked to interpret the bishop's letter to Julian, and when she had done so she was told to add: "They think, Julian, that if they send us to the bishop papa will not know that it was they who found me and took care of me."
"Why, have you not heard? Faulkner, the magistrate, has been shot."