"I sha'n't want it," Frank said decidedly. "You know I mean to go into the army, and with the interest of my own money I shall have as much as I shall possibly want, and if I had more it would only bother me, and do me harm in my profession. With you it is just the other way. You are the head of the family, and as Father's son ought to take a good place. You could buy an estate and settle down on it, and what with its management, and with horses and hunting and shooting, you would be just in your element."
"I will give you a letter before I enlist, Jim; and I will get you, when you are exchanged, to go down with it yourself to Weymouth, and tell them what became of me, and why I went into the French army. Don't let them think that I turned traitor. I would shoot myself rather than run the risk of having to fight Englishmen. But when it is a choice between fighting Russians and going out of my mind, I prefer shouldering a French musket. I will write the letter to-day. There is no saying when they may next call for volunteers; for, as you know, those who step forward are taken away at once, so as to prevent their being persuaded by the others into drawing back."
The same day that the post brought Frank the news of his commission, it brought a letter from Colonel Wilson saying that he was at present in town, and giving him a warm invitation to come up and stay with him for a week, while he procured his necessary outfit. A fortnight later Frank arrived in town and drove to Buckingham Street, where Colonel Wilson was lodging. He received Frank very kindly, and when the lad would have renewed the thanks he had expressed in the letter he had written on receiving the news of his having obtained his commission, the Colonel said:
The Frenchman's thoughts were not dissimilar to his own. "He is a brave gar?on," he said to himself, "and makes the best of things. He is a fine-looking fellow, too, and will be a big man in another year or two. It is a misfortune that we have got to take him and shut him up in prison. Why did he mix himself up in this affair of Markham? That is the way with boys. Instead of being grateful to the man that had killed his enemy, he must needs run after him as if he had done him an injury. Well, it can't be helped now; but, at least, I will make him as comfortable as I can as long as he is on board the lugger."
"They are all right," Frank said. "I was using them this afternoon, and cleaned them when I came back."
After the meal was over, Frank gave the details of the examination, the narrative being very frequently stopped by exclamations and questions on the part of Mrs. Troutbeck.
"Thank you," Julian said earnestly. "It may not come for a long time, but it will be something for me to know that some day or other my name will be cleared of this horrible accusation; but I would rather have gone and faced it out now."
"It must be great fun," he said one day. "I must say I should like to take part in running a cargo, for once."
"Well, then, very likely we shall see you out there before long, Wyatt," Captain Lister said. "Of course, it is a compliment to the regiment, but I daresay you feel it as a nuisance at present."