With Fire and Sword: An Historical Novel of Poland and Russia

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Little Brown & Company, 1899 - Cossacks - 779 pages
 

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A good adventure yarn about a period of history I knew little about. Great battles.

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Page 721 - ... few easily avoided. Now heavier rain began to fall, pattering on the bushes and drowning the noise of his steps. Pan Longin then gave freedom to his long legs, and walked like a giant, trampling the bushes; every step was like five of a common man, — the wagons every moment farther, the oak grove every moment nearer and salvation every moment nearer. Here are the oaks. Night beneath them is as black as under the ground; but that is better. A gentle breeze sprang up; the oaks murmured lightly,...
Page 721 - ... nearer. Here are the oaks. Night beneath them is as black as under the ground; but that is better. A gentle breeze sprang up; the oaks murmured lightly, — you would have said they were muttering a prayer : " O great God, good God, guard this knight, for he is thy servant, and a faithful son of the land on which we have grown up for thy glory ! " About seven miles and a half divided Pan Longin from the Polish camp. Sweat poured from his forehead, for the air was sultry, as if gathering for a...
Page 723 - At the sight of the bows, and of the arrows poured out at the feet of his enemies from their quivers, Pan Longin saw that the moment of death was at hand, and he began the litany to the Most Holy Lady. It became still. The crowds restrained their breath, waiting for what would happen. The first arrow whistled, as Pan Longin was saying, "Mother of the Redeemer!
Page 717 - After a certain time he found himself on that battle-field where on the first day of the storm the prince's cavalry had defeated the Cossacks and janissaries. The road here was more even, — fewer pits, ditches, shelters, and no corpses; for those who had fallen in the earlier struggles had been buried by the Cossacks. It was also somewhat clearer, for the ground was not covered with various obstacles. The land inclined gradually toward the north. But Pan Longin turned immediately to the flank,...
Page 713 - Pan Longin hastened to the castle; the others returned to the ramparts. Skshetuski and Volodyovski were silent, but Zagloba said : — " Something holds me by the throat. I did not think to be sorrowful, but that is the worthiest man in the world. If any one contradicts me, I'll give it to him in the face. O my God, my God! I thought the castellan of Belsk would restrain the prince, but he beat the drums still more. The hangman brought that heretic! 'History,
Page 720 - ... should stand close to another. There had to be intervals in the rows, and considerable ones. Such intervals were necessary for communication, for an open road, for necessary travel. He determined to look for such a passage, and with that object approached still nearer to the wagons. The gleam of fires burning here and there might betray him; but on the other hand they were useful, for without them he could see neither the wagons nor the road between them. After a quarter of an hour he found a...
Page 723 - The blood from his temples was flowing into his eyes; he saw as through a mist the field and the Tartars; he heard no longer the whistle of the arrows. He felt that he was weakening, that his legs were bending under him; his head dropped on his breast. At last he fell on his knees. Then he said with a half -groan, "Queen of the Angels — " These words were his last on earth.

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