"It is as you say, Mr. Wyatt. The lighter footprints obliterate those of the heavier boots in several places. What can be the meaning of this, and what can the second man have been doing in the wood?"
"Your mother has borne it better than I expected, Stephanie," he said. "I have been able to break the news to her sooner than I expected. Come with me; be very quiet and do not talk much. She will be well content to have you lying quietly in her arms." So saying, he lifted her and carried her off, saying to Julian, "I will return and have the pleasure of a talk with you after I have left Stephanie with her mother."
The morning after the reading of Ney's order of the day commending the regiment, an order from Napoleon himself was read at the head of the regiment, Ney taking his place by the side of the newly promoted colonel. The Emperor said that he had received the report of Marshal Ney of the conduct and bearing of the Grenadiers of the Rhone, together with a copy of his order of the day, and that this was fully endorsed by the Emperor, who felt that the spirit they were showing was even more creditable to them than the valour that they had so often exhibited in battle, and that he desired personally to thank them. The marshal had also brought before his notice the conduct of Sergeant Wyatt of that regiment, who had, he was informed, been the moving spirit in the change that he so much commended, and, as a mark of his approbation, he had requested the marshal himself, as his representative, to affix to his breast the ribbon of the cross of the Legion of Honour.
All this time Julian was standing behind her, musket in hand, determined to sell his life dearly. The peasants stood irresolute; they conferred together; then one of them advanced, and took off his fur cap and bowed to the child.