The Mad King

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 77

in the mean time?"

"We shall be with the major's squadron, and when you see us emerging
from the grove, you will know that we have taken Peter's guns and
that everything is over except the shouting."

"You are not going to accompany the charge!" cried the old prince.

"We are going to lead it," and the pseudo-king of Lutha wheeled his
mount as though to indicate that the time for talking was past.

With a signal to the major commanding the squadron of Royal Horse,
he moved eastward into the wood. Prince Ludwig hesitated a moment as
though to question further the wisdom of the move, but finally with
a shake of his head he trotted off in the direction of the fort.

Five minutes later the enemy were delighted to note that the fire
upon their concealed battery had suddenly ceased.

Then Peter saw a force of foot-soldiers deploy from the city and
advance slowly in line of skirmishers down the slope to meet his own
firing line.

Immediately he did what Barney had expected that he would--turned
the fire of his artillery toward the southwest, directly away from
the point from which the American and the crack squadron were
advancing.

So it came that the cavalrymen crept through the woods upon the rear
of the guns, unseen; the noise of their advance was drowned by the
detonation of the cannon.

The first that the artillerymen knew of the enemy in their rear was
a shout of warning from one of the powder-men at a caisson, who had
caught a glimpse of the grim line advancing through the trees at his
rear.

Instantly an effort was made to wheel several of the pieces about
and train them upon the advancing horsemen; but even had there been
time, a shout that rose from several of Peter's artillerymen as the
Royal Horse broke into full view would doubtless have prevented the
maneuver, for at sight of the tall, bearded, young man who galloped
in front of the now charging cavalrymen there rose a shout of "The
king! The king!"

With the force of an avalanche the Royal Horse rode through those
two batteries of field artillery; and in the thick of the fight that
followed rode the American, a smile upon his face, for in his ears
rang the wild shouts of his troopers: "For the king! For the king!"

In the moment that the enemy made their first determined stand a
bullet brought down the great bay upon which Barney rode. A dozen of
Peter's men rushed forward to seize the man stumbling to his feet.
As many more of

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