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The distance is too great to permit spectators to observe it, the ships scatter, seek different elevations, or in other ways fail to keep that close formation which makes of the hundred-yard dash such a blood-stimulating incident.
But in spite of Bute's incapacity the expeditions planned by Pitt were uniformly successful. The British fleets were everywhere busy attacking the Spanish colonies, and cutting off the Spanish ships at sea. A fleet had been dispatched, under Admiral Rodney, at the latter end of the last year, against Martinique, carrying nearly twelve thousand men, commanded by General Monckton. They landed on the 7th of January at Cas de Navires, besieged and took Port Royal, the capital, St. Pierre, and, finally, the whole island. This was followed by the surrender of St. Vincent, Grenada, and St. Lucia, so that the English were now masters of the whole of the Caribbees. A portion of this squadron, under Sir James Douglas, then proceeded to join an expedition, which sailed from Portsmouth on the 5th of March; the fleet commanded by Admiral Sir George Pococke, and the army by the Earl of Albemarle. The squadron arrived before Havana on the 4th of JuneKing George's birthdayand effected a landing without much difficulty.It gave cause for reflection; but an officer was obviously at liberty to talk to whomsoever he might choose around his own premises, at any hour of the day or night. So the officer of the day went on, treading quietly. But he had something to think about now that kept off drowsiness for the rest of the rounds. Brewster's fondness for the society of dubious civilians was certainly unfortunate. And the conjunction of the aspiring beef contractor and the commissary officer was also unfortunate, not to say curious. Because of this. The beef contract was about to expire, and the commandant had advertised for bids. A number of ranchers had already turned their papers in. Furnishing the government's soldiers with meat is never an empty honor.
It is one thing to be sacrificed to a cause, even if it is only by filling up the ditch that others may cross to victory; it is quite another to be sacrificed in a cause, to die unavailingly without profit or glory of any kind, to be even an obstacle thrown across the way. And that was the end which looked Cabot in the face. He stood and considered his horse where it lay in the white dust, with its bloodshot eyes turned up to a sky that burned like a great blue flame. Its tongue, all black and swollen, hung out upon the sand, its flanks were sunken, and its forelegs limp."Don't attempt to lie to me," said the General wrathfully, "or I'll forget myself sufficiently to tear the straps from your disgraced shoulders. I have compared these with other specimens of your handwriting, until I have no doubt. I have sent for you not to hear your defense, or to listen to any words from you. I want you to merely sit down there and sign this resignation, and then get out of my office as quickly as you can. I don't want to breathe the same air with you. I ought to courtmartial you, and set you to hard work on the fortifications, but I hate the scandal. I have already telegraphed to Army Headquarters to accept your resignation by wire, and I shall send it by telegraph.
"What do you want to know for?" asked the woman, at length.Still more inglorious were the proceedings of our fleet on the coasts of the Spanish-American colonies. Sir Chaloner Ogle joined Vernon in Jamaica on the 9th of January, 1741, and no time was to be lost, for the wet season set in at the end of April, which, besides the deluges of rain, is attended by a most unhealthy state of the climate. Vernon, however, did not move till towards the end of the month, and then, instead of directing his course towards the Havannah, which lay to the leeward, and could have been reached in three days, he beat up against the wind to Hispaniola, in order to watch the motions of the French fleet under D'Antin. It was the 15th of February before he learned distinctly that the French had sailed for Europe in great distress for men and provisions. Now was the time to make his way to Cuba; but, instead of that, he called a council of warthe resource of a weak commander,which was followed by its almost invariable result, a contrariety of advice. It was at length concluded that, as Admiral Torres had now sailed for the Havannah, and thus closed the opportunity for its attack, the fleet should take in wood and water at Hispaniola, and make for the continent of New Spain. On the 4th of March the fleet came to anchor in Playa Grande, to the windward of Carthagena.
"I have never especially liked you," Cairness decided, for his part, "and I can't say that you improve upon acquaintance, you know. You wrote those articles about Landor, and that's one I owe you."She gave a dry little sob of unutterable glad relief and tried to raise her voice and call to him, the call they used for one another when they rode about the ranch. But the sound was only a weak, low wail.
"Yes," answered Forbes, "she was very much admired." He looked a little unhappy. But his mind was evidently made up, and he went on doggedly: "Look here, Morely, old chap, I am going to tell you what I think, and you may do as you jolly well please about it afterwardkick me off the ranch, if you like. But I can see these things with a clearer eye than yours, because I am not in love, and you are, dreadfully so, you know, not to say infatuated. I came near to being once upon a time, and with your wife, too. I thought her the most beautiful woman I had ever known, and I do yet. I thought, too, that she was a good deal unhappier with Landor than she herself realized; in which I was perfectly right. It's plainer than ever, by contrast. Of course I understand that she is part Indian, though I've only known it recently. And it's because I've seen a good deal of your Apaches of late that I appreciate the injustice you are doing her and Cairness Junior, keeping them here. She is far and away too good for all this," he swept the scene comprehensively with his pipe. "She'd be a sensation, even in London. Do you see what I mean, or are you too vexed to see anything?"