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The Young Buglers   By: (1832-1902)

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by G.A. Henty


To my Young Readers.

I remember that, as a boy, I regarded any attempt to mix instruction with amusement as being as objectionable a practice as the administration of powder in jam; but I think that this feeling arose from the fact that in those days books contained a very small share of amusement and a very large share of instruction. I have endeavored to avoid this, and I hope that the accounts of battles and sieges, illustrated as they are by maps, will be found as interesting as the lighter parts of the story. As in my tale, " The Young Franc Tireurs ," I gave the outline of the Franco German war, so I have now endeavored to give the salient features of the great Peninsular struggle. The military facts, with the names of generals and regiments, the dates and places, are all strictly accurate, and any one who has read with care the story of "The Young Buglers" could pass an examination as to the leading events of the Peninsular war.

Yours truly,



CHAPTER I. A Coaching Adventure

CHAPTER II. The Young Pickles


CHAPTER IV. A Tough Customer

CHAPTER V. Overboard

CHAPTER VI. Portugal

CHAPTER VII. The Passage of the Douro Talavera

CHAPTER VIII. A Pause in Operations

CHAPTER IX. "With the Guerillas"


CHAPTER XI. The Fight on the Coa

CHAPTER XII. Busaco and Torres Vedras


CHAPTER XIV. Invalided Home

CHAPTER XV. Ciudad Rodrigo and Badajos

CHAPTER XVI. Salamanca

CHAPTER XVII. Caught in a Trap



CHAPTER XX. Toulouse




Had any of the boys in the lower forms of Eton in the year 1808, been asked who were the most popular boys of their own age, they would have been almost sure to have answered, without the slightest hesitation, Tom and Peter Scudamore, and yet it is probable that no two boys were more often in disgrace. It was not that they were idle, upon the contrary, both were fairly up in their respective forms, but they were constantly getting into mischief of one sort or another; yet even with the masters they were favorites, there was never anything low, disgraceful, or ungentlemanly in their escapades, and they could be trusted never to attempt to screen themselves from the consequences by prevarication, much less by lying. If the masters heard that a party of youngsters had been seen far out of bounds, they were pretty sure that the Scudamores were among them; a farmer came in from a distance to complain that his favorite tree had been stripped of its apples for in those days apples were looked upon by boys as fair objects of sport, if the head master's favorite white poodle appeared dyed a deep blue, if Mr. Jones, the most unpopular master in the school, upon coming out of his door trod upon a quantity of tallow smeared all over the doorstep, and was laid up for a week in consequence, there was generally a strong suspicion that Tom and Peter Scudamore were concerned in the matter. One of their tricks actually came to the ears of the Provost himself, and caused quite a sensation in the place, but in this case, fortunately for them, they escaped undetected.

One fine summer afternoon they were out on the water with two or three other boys of their own age, when a barge was seen ahead at some short distance from the shore. She was apparently floating down with the stream, and the fact that a horse was proceeding along the towing path a little way ahead was not noticed, as the rope was slack and was trailing under water. The boys, therefore, as they were rowing against stream, steered their boat to pass inside of her. Just as they came abreast of the horse a man on the barge suddenly shouted to the rider of the horse to go on... Continue reading book >>

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