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The Cornet of Horse
A Tale of Marlborough's Wars

written by "Henty, G. A. (George Alfred), 1832-1902"
...s orders, sent to the fortress of Bergen op Zoom. But, to Rupert's surprise and uneasiness, no attempt was made to carry out the second part of the instruction contained in the dispatch. The day passed quietly, and at night the party were very merry round a campfire. At eight o'clock next morning a horseman rode into camp with the news that the French were attacking the rear, and that the army was cut off from the Scheldt! The Earl of Marlborough's prevision had proved correct. The French marshals had determined to take advantage of their central position, and to crush one of their enemy's columns. On the evening of the 29th, Marshal Villeroi detached Marshal Boufflers with thirty companies of grenadiers and thirty squadrons of horse. These marching all night reached Antwerp at daybreak without interruption, and uniting with the force under the Marquis Bedmar, issued out 30,000 strong to attack Obdam. Sending off detached columns, who moved round, and--unseen by the Dutch, who acted with as great carelessness as if their foes had been 500 miles away--he took possession of the roads on the dykes leading not only to Fort Lille on the Scheldt, but to Bergen op Zoom, and fell suddenly upon the Dutch army on all sides. Scarcely had the messenger ridden into Eckeron, when a tremendous roar of musketry broke out in all quarters, and the desperate position into which the supineness of their general had suffered them to fall, was apparent to all. In a few minutes the confusion was terrible. Rupert and Hugh hastily saddled their horses, and had just mounted when General Obdam with twenty troopers rode past at full gallop. "Where can he be going?" Rupert said. "He is not riding towards either of the points attacked." "It seems to me that he is bolting, Master Rupert, just flying by some road the French have not yet occupied." "Impossible!" Rupert said. But it was so, and the next day the runaway general himself brought the news of his defeat to the League, announcing that he h...

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