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A Horrible Incident of War.

"I had just sold my commission a 8 lieutenant m the British army when the Franco-Prussian war opened," said an Englishman a few days ago to some friends at the bar of the Hofl'man House. "I had still some pretty strong hankerings after an active military career, j>nd, as I had been disappointed 'm die business project that had induced me to relinquish the hope of seeing further service with the red coats, I joined the Foreign Legion of the French army, and m the following half-year any craving I mujht have had fojr fighting was amply gratified. I had I many adventures, some of them startling enough, but one, to which no personal danger w;is attached, stands out at times with unpleasant distinctness m my memory. " A few weeks before the French hopes' of final success were buried at Sedan, a portion of my corps was detached to engage a party of Prussians that had been harassing some villages near Metz. We found the enemy readily enough, but they had been strongly reinforced, and, though we drove them back after several hours of Very hard fightimg, we suffered severely. Night had fallen before the firing ceased, and I was sent with an order to an 1 officer on a distant part of the field. The : moral was shining as I returned, and I was walking my horse, as the animal was very tired, when I reined him m quickly, because a feeble voice called to me. ' Sir,' it said, m very good English, ' I recognise you as an officer of the Foreign Legion. You are an Englishman, I think. Will you do me a very great favour, and a lasfc favour ?' "I dismounted and found a young French officer lying at my feet. His sword and pistols were gone, and he was desperately wounded. His eyes were almost closed, the death damp lay cold and heavy on his forehead, and little specks of ioam and blood were on his lips. One bullet had passed completely through his body, ;and. he was gashed and perforated m half-a-dozen other places. ' " ' What can Ido for you ?' I asked. "'lam suffering horribly,'he gasped, " and I may live for an hour yet. Will you have the kindness to blow out my brains and end my agony V "I looked very closely at the poor fellow. I know something about gunshot wounds, and it was as clear to me as is the sun at noon that he had no earthly chance of living until the dawn. " ' I cannot take your life,' I said, ' but if you desire it I will lend you my pistol and turn my head.away.' " ' Thank you,' he muttered, gratefully; ' that will do just as well, I have still enough strength left to pull the trigger. You will find a flask of eau de vie and a bundle of cigars m the pocket of my cloak. They are yours, mon ami. Take them, I entreat you. Adieu !' "'Silently I handed him the weapon and turned away. A sharp report rang out. When I looked again at the Frenchman he had ceased to suffer. I took the pistol from his hand and rode away quickly. " I have been condemned for the part I played m this tragedy, but I have never blamed myself."-—" New York Sun."

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18900917.2.7

Bibliographic details

A Horrible Incident of War., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2520, 17 September 1890

Word Count
558

A Horrible Incident of War. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2520, 17 September 1890

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