Excerpt: ...on either side of him to be able to use their swords. For a short time the defenders of the coach maintained their position, the number of their assailants giving them but slight advantage, as they were unable to utilize their force. Ronald ran the first man who attacked him through the body, and laid open the face of the next with a ...
Excerpt: ...on either side of him to be able to use their swords. For a short time the defenders of the coach maintained their position, the number of their assailants giving them but slight advantage, as they were unable to utilize their force. Ronald ran the first man who attacked him through the body, and laid open the face of the next with a sweeping blow from left to right. The men they had hired fought stoutly; but they were being pressed together as the assailants urged forward their horses, when suddenly a volley of firearms was heard. Several of the assailants fell dead, and with a loud shout a number of men rushed out from the wood and fell upon them in rear. The assailants turned to fly, and it was now the turn of the defenders of the coach to attack, which they did furiously. In two or three minutes all was over. Five or six only of the assailants cut their way through the footmen who had attacked them in rear, while twelve lay dead or dying on the ground. Ronald's first impulse was to ride up to the carriage to assure his mother of his safety, his next to leap off his horse and grasp the hand of the chief of the robbers. "You have kept your promise nobly," he said, "and arrived at the very nick of time. They were beginning to press us hotly; and though I fancy we should have rendered an account of a good many more, we must have been beaten in the end." "I was farther behind than I intended to be," the man said; "but we were obliged to keep in hiding some little distance behind them. There were four parties of them. We kept them in sight all yesterday, and last night they assembled a mile or two away. I had men watching them all night, and this morning we followed them here, and saw them take up their position on both sides of the road. We crept up as closely as we dared without being observed, but you had for a couple of minutes to bear the brunt of it alone." "I thank you most heartily," Ronald said. "My mother will thank you herself." So saying, ...
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