By Allan Mallinson
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Additional info for A Close Run Thing volume 1
Hervey could scarce believe it. But, supports or no, it would still be David and Goliath if the guns came into action before they could close with them. He hesitated not another second and took the patrol in a brisk hand-gallop towards Armstrong. As they broached the ridge he held them up and edged forward with just his covering-corporal to where Serjeant Armstrong was crouching in the saddle to observe over the bracken. ‘They’ve halted, sir, just this minute,’ said the Serjeant in his melodious Tyneside.
He has been most generous in giving me advice and encouragement. I must acknowledge perhaps my greatest debt, however, to Paula Levey (Mrs Piers Fletcher) – soldier’s daughter, soldier’s sister, and wife of a former soldier, who, as editor of the early manuscript, knew exactly what was what, and never flinched from telling me. A CLOSE RUN THING ‘Oh! pity the condition of man, gracious God! and save us from such a system of malevolence, in which all our old and venerated prejudices are to be done away, and by which we are taught to consider war as the natural state of man, and peace but as a dangerous and difficult extremity.
Paris was the cornerstone of Bonaparte’s edifice; there was little purpose, therefore, in trifling with outworks. Edmonds began to wonder whether anyone had any notion of strategy other than fighting the enemy wherever and whenever he stood, as if every last French musketeer must be slaughtered, or put into a prison hulk, before victory might be claimed. Was there no campaigning art? Were they to continue breaking windows with guineas? Edmonds knew his history and despaired that the commander-in-chief seemed not to share his perception of the wars of antiquity, of Caesar and Hannibal.
A Close Run Thing volume 1 by Allan Mallinson