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The Colonel of the Red Huzzars   By: (1869-)

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First Page:

THE COLONEL OF THE RED HUZZARS

by

JOHN REED SCOTT

With Illustrations by Clarence F. Underwood

[Frontispiece: "You are a soldier an American officer?" she said, suddenly.]

Grosset & Dunlap Publishers, New York Copyright 1905 by John Reed Scott Copyright 1906 by J. B. Lippincott Co. Published June, 1906

TO MY WIFE

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

I. A PICTURE AND A WAGER II. CONCERNING ANCESTORS III. IN DORNLITZ AGAIN IV. THE SALUTE OF A COUSIN V. THE SALUTE OR A FRIEND VI. THE SIXTH DANCE VII. AN EARLY MORNING RIDE VIII. THE LAWS OF THE DALBERGS IX. THE DECISION X. THE COLONEL OF THE RED HUZZARS XI. THE FATALITY OF MOONLIGHT XII. LEARNING MY TRADE XIII. IN THE ROYAL BOX XIV. THE WOMAN IN BLACK XV. HER WORD AND HER CERTIFICATE XVI. THE PRINCESS ROYAL SITS AS JUDGE XVII. PITCH AND TOSS XVIII. ANOTHER ACT IN THE PLAY XIX. MY COUSIN, THE DUKE XX. A TRICK OF FENCE XXI. THE BAL MASQUE XXII. BLACK KNAVE AND WHITE XXIII. AT THE INN OF THE TWISTED PINES XXIV. THE END OF THE PLAY

ILLUSTRATIONS

"You are a soldier an American officer?" she said, suddenly. . . . . . Frontispiece

Then, as he unbent, his eyes rested on me for the first time.

Our swords fell to talking in the garden of the masked ball.

THE COLONEL OF THE RED HUZZARS

I

A PICTURE AND A WAGER

It was raining heavily and I fastened my overcoat to the neck as I came down the steps of the Government Building. Pushing through the crowds and clanging electric cars, at the Smithfield Street corner, I turned toward Penn Avenue and the Club, whose home is in a big, old fashioned, grey stone building sole remnant of aristocracy in that section where, once, naught else had been.

For three years I had been the engineer officer in charge of the Pittsburgh Harbor, and "the navigable rivers thereunto belonging" as my friend, the District Judge, across the hall, would say and my relief was due next week. Nor was I sorry. I was tired of dams and bridges and jobs, of levels and blue prints and mathematics. I wanted my sword and pistols a horse between my legs the smell of gunpowder in the air. I craved action something more stirring than dirty banks and filthy water and coal barges bound for Southern markets.

Five years ago my detail would have been the envy of half the Corps. But times were changed. The Spanish War had done more than give straps to a lot of civilians with pulls; it had eradicated the dry rot from the Army. The officer with the soft berth was no longer deemed lucky; promotion passed him by and seized upon his fellow in the field. I had missed the war in China and the fighting in the Philippines and, as a consequence, had seen juniors lifted over me. Yet, possibly, I had small cause to grumble; for my own gold leaves had dropped upon me in Cuba, to the disadvantage of many who were my elders, and, doubtless, my betters as well. I had applied for active service, but evidently it had not met with approval, for my original orders to report to the Chief of Engineers were still unchanged.

The half dozen "regulars," lounging on the big leather chairs before the fireplace in the Club reception room, waiting for the dinner hour, gave me the usual familiar yet half indifferent greeting, as I took my place among them and lit a cigar.

"Mighty sorry we're to lose you, Major," said Marmont. "Dinner won't seem quite right with your chair vacant."

"I'll come back occasionally to fill it," I answered. "Meanwhile there are cards awaiting all of you at the Metropolitan or the Army and Navy."

"Then you don't look for an early assignment to the White Elephant across the Pacific?" inquired Courtney.

"Good Lord!" exclaimed Hastings, "did you apply for the Philippines?"

"What ails them?" I asked.

"Everything particularly Chaffee's notion that white uniforms don't suit the climate?"

I shrugged my shoulders... Continue reading book >>




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