By Allan Mallinson
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Additional resources for A Close Run Thing volume 1
Shortening the rein and completing his circle, he looked about angrily for the man who had nearly ridden him down. Anger then turned to astonishment as he recognized him to be one of Slade’s aides-de-camp, and he wondered what in heaven’s name he was doing on this flank. Then two staff dragoons galloped on to the ridge as Hervey’s own men caught him up. But his own anger was nothing to that which he was about to face. ’ bellowed the ADC as he bore down from the opposite direction, having himself circled right, though nothing like as tightly as Hervey and his mare had managed.
There, at Sahagun, he had deftly manoeuvred his own squadron while Black Jack, in action for the first time, had fiddle-faddled at the head of his brigade and almost let the French slip – and all this in front of Uxbridge too (who had never troubled to conceal his poor opinion of his subordinate). Edmonds’s mere proximity ever afterwards could excite Slade’s resentment, and that his subsequent advance to major had been by field promotion rather than by purchase (a manner of advancement that Slade had more than once in his hearing derided as fit only for officers from the ranks) had done nothing to assuage the general’s envy and detestation.
Ah, Heroys, with orders for the night perhaps,’ began the major, with more than a trace of irony. ’ But he gave the BM no time for reply, thoroughly warming to his opportunity: ‘Let me guess. A brigade steeplechase perhaps? Or a foxhunt? Maybe even a levee, or a masque – yes, I have it, a masque! Now, which might it be? Comus, perhaps; that would seem apt: “What chance, good Lady, hath bereft you thus? ”’ ‘Very droll, Edmonds. ’ replied the brigade major with a resigned smile: he had long years of acquaintance with Edmonds’s vituperation.
A Close Run Thing volume 1 by Allan Mallinson