Notes Of A War Correspondent By Richard Harding Davis







































 - 

It is not pleasant to think what that shock must have been.  The man
had steeled himself to receive a - Page 7
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It Is Not Pleasant To Think What That Shock Must Have Been.

The man had steeled himself to receive a volley of bullets.

He believed that in the next instant he would be in another world; he had heard the command given, had heard the click of the Mausers as the locks caught - and then, at that supreme moment, a human hand had been laid upon his shoulder and a voice spoke in his ear.

You would expect that any man, snatched back to life in such a fashion would start and tremble at the reprieve, or would break down altogether, but this boy turned his head steadily, and followed with his eyes the direction of the officer's sword, then nodded gravely, and, with his shoulders squared, took up the new position, straightened his back, and once more held himself erect.

As an exhibition of self-control this should surely rank above feats of heroism performed in battle, where there are thousands of comrades to give inspiration. This man was alone, in sight of the hills he knew, with only enemies about him, with no source to draw on for strength but that which lay within himself.

The officer of the firing squad, mortified by his blunder, hastily whipped up his sword, the men once more levelled their rifles, the sword rose, dropped, and the men fired. At the report the Cuban's head snapped back almost between his shoulders, but his body fell slowly, as though some one had pushed him gently forward from behind and he had stumbled.

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