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At the Point of the Sword   By:

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[Frontispiece: "In a short time they had bound our arms tightly with strips of hide."]

[Transcriber's note: frontispiece missing from book.]

At the Point of the Sword

A Story for Boys

By

HERBERT HAYENS

Author of "Ye Mariners of England," "Under the Lone Star," "For the Colours," "A Captain of Irregulars," "In the Grip of the Spaniard," &c., &c.

THOMAS NELSON & SONS, LTD.

LONDON, EDINBURGH, AND NEW YORK

1903

CONTENTS.

I. A BIRTHDAY EVE II. AN EXCITING VOYAGE III. THE END OF THE "AGUILA" IV. THE SILVER KEY V. IN THE HIDDEN VALLEY VI. WE LEAVE THE HIDDEN VALLEY VII. WHOM THE GODS LOVE DIE YOUNG VIII. A FRIENDLY OPPONENT IX. A GLEAM OF HOPE X. A STORMY INTERVIEW XI. A NARROW ESCAPE XII. A STERN PURSUIT XIII. HOME AGAIN XIV. FRIEND OR FOE? XV. WE CATCH A TARTAR XVI. GLORIOUS NEWS XVII. DUTY FIRST XVIII. DARK DAYS XIX. FALSE PLAY, OR NOT? XX. "SAVE HIM, JUAN, SAVE HIM!" XXI. ROUGH JUSTICE XXII. THE "SILVER KEY" AGAIN XXIII. AN OPEN AIR PRISON XXIV. A DANGEROUS JOURNEY XXV. BACK TO DUTY XXVI. THE HUSSARS OF JUNIN XXVII. A DISASTROUS RETREAT XXVIII. THE BATTLE OF THE GENERALS XXIX. HOME AGAIN

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

"IN A SHORT TIME THEY HAD BOUND OUR ARMS TIGHTLY WITH STRIPS OF HIDE" . . . . . . Frontispiece

"'HELP, HELP!' I EXCLAIMED FAINTLY; BUT HE HEARD ME, AND I KNEW I WAS SAVED."

"PUSHING OFF HIS SANDY BED CLOTHES AT OUR APPROACH, HE STRUGGLED TO HIS FEET."

"'SAVE HIM, JUAN, SAVE HIM!'"

"HE GLANCED CONTEMPTUOUSLY AT THE GIGANTIC SORILLO."

"'A SOLDIER FROM AYACUCHO! HERE IS ONE OF OUR BRAVE DELIVERERS!'"

AT THE POINT OF THE SWORD.

CHAPTER I.

A BIRTHDAY EVE.

In spite of my English name Jack Crawford and my English blood, I have never set foot on that famous little island in the North Sea, and now it is quite unlikely that I ever shall do so.

I was born in Peru, on the outskirts of beautiful Lima, where, until the year 1819, on the very eve of my fourteenth birthday, the days of my childhood were passed.

I expect you know that in ancient days Peru was called the "Land of the Sun," because the sun was worshipped by the natives. Their great city was Cuzco, built, it is said, in 1043 A.D., by Manco Capac, the first of the Incas, or Emperors of Peru.

The natives believed Manco to be a child of the sun; but I have heard an old story that his father was a shipwrecked Englishman, who married the daughter of a Peruvian chief. I do not think this tale correct, but it is full of interest.

Most of the Incas ruled very wisely, and the remains of palaces, temples, and aqueducts show that the people were highly civilized; but in 1534 the Spaniards, under Pizarro, invaded the country, and swept away the glorious empire of the Incas.

After that Peru became a part of Spanish America, and Pizarro founded the city of Lima, which he made the capital.

My father, who settled in the country when quite a young man, married a Peruvian lady of wealthy and influential family. The estate near Lima formed part of her marriage portion, and a beautiful place it was, with a fine park, and a lake which served me both for boating and bathing. I had several friends, chiefly Spaniards, but two English boys, whose fathers were merchants in Callao, often visited me, and many a pleasant game we had together.

At this time Peru was a Spanish colony, but some people, among whom was my father, wanted to make it an independent country, having its own ruler. Being still a boy, I did not hear much of these things, though, from certain talk, I understood that the country was in a most unsettled state, and that the Spanish governor had thrown many good men into prison for urging the people to free themselves.

One evening, in March 1819, I was busy in my workshop painting a small boat... Continue reading book >>




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