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They remain silent. The Retreat continues in the snow without, now m the form of a file of ox-carts, followed by a mixed rabble of English and Spanish, and mules and muleteers hired by English officers to carry their baggage. The muleteers, looking about and seeing that the French dragoons have been there, cut the bands which hold on the heavy packs, and scamper off with their mules.
A VOICE (behind)
The Commander-in-Chief is determined to maintain discipline, and they must suffer. No more pillaging here. It is the worst case of brutality and plunder that we have had in this wretched time!
Enter an English captain of hussars, a lieutenant, a guard of about a dozen, and three men as prisoners.
If they choose to draw lots, only one need be made an example of. But they must be quick about it. The advance-guard of the enemy is not far behind.
The three prisoners appear to draw lots, and the one on whom the lot falls is blindfolded. Exeunt the hussars behind a wall, with carbines. A volley is heard and something falls. The wretches in the cellar shudder.
Tis the same for us but for this heap of straw. Ah—my doxy is the only one of us who is safe and soured ! (He kisses the dead woman.)
Retreat continues. A train of six-horse baggage-waggons lumbers past, a mounted sergeant alongside. Among the baggage lie wounded soldiers and sick women.
SERGEANT OF THE WAGGON-TRAIN
If so be they are dead, ye may as well drop 'em over the tail-board. Tis no use straining the horses unnecessary.