The Autobiography of Sergeant William Lawrence a Hero of the Peninsular and Waterloo Campaigns
Excerpt: ...for the change back again. Until it occurred, however, I had to change my abode, and live with four privates of the same seventh company in a private house, the landlady of which kept as nice a pig in her sty as I had ever seen in the Peninsula. Close by our quarters was the officers' mess-room, the sergeant of which had offered our landlady sixteen dollars for her pig; but the old woman would not take less than eighteen; so instead of giving that he offered the four men billeted with me the sixteen dollars to steal it for him, in return for the old lady's craftiness, as he had offered quite the fair value. The deed was done that very night, the pig being conveyed out of sight to the mess room; and in the morning, when the old lady had as usual warmed the pig's breakfast, she found to her surprise the sty empty. She soon made a terrible noise over the affair, and immediately suspected the man who had offered to buy it; which soon got to his ears, and (p. 127) obliged him to make away with it for a time, for fear of being searched; so he got some of the men to heave it over a wall at the back of the mess-room. The four men who had stolen it soon got scent of this, and wishing to serve the sergeant out for his meanness, and likewise have some of the pig, they went, unbeknown of course to him, and cut off about a quarter of it, which they appropriated to our own use, and brought back to be cooked in the old woman's house; so that the sergeant had better have given the two more dollars, and come by the whole pig honestly after all. Some difficulty was experienced by my fellow-lodgers in cooking their portion, as the landlady had generally before got their food ready; but this was at length accomplished in our own private room, with a kettle that we had borrowed from the old lady herself. I likewise had a taste of the poor woman's missing pig, which we found to be very good and acceptable. Fortunately, she never suspected us at all, but often talked to...
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