The Drums of War
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We come across our hero, Captain Rawson, deep inside the war-ravaged borders of Europe, as he fights alongside the brave and resolute Earl of Marlborough in defeating the, self-proclaimed, ‘invincible’ French army. Yet victory is short lived, blunted by the dissenting voices of the Dutch, who secretly seek to wrestle the power and life from Rawson’s compatriot, Marlborough.
In these hostile and insecure times, Captain Rawson is called on to succeed in his biggest, most daring mission to date: the rescue of a celebrated tapestry-maker turned spy from inside the fortified Bastille – the pride of a despotic France. Now alone behind enemy-lines, the undaunted Rawson must apply all his guile and wit in his rescuing of the renowned prisoner and his beautiful daughter, Amalia – a delicate girl to whom Rawson’s friendship soon blossoms into something more.
However, unbeknownst to Rawson the French and Dutch have already combined to plot both the assassination of Marlborough and the reclaiming of his power. This time Europe is beginning to close in on him, and it will take all of his self-sacrifice, skill and sincerity to once again rescue the war and the army’s pride from out of the clutches of the betrayers.
Sergeant Welbeck was right in the thick of it. All that we did was to beat the drums.' 'I'd rather listen to you,' said Hillier. 'I want to know what it's like to be in a battle.' 'Tomorrow, Tom — I'm tired.' 'All right, but answer me this before you doze off. Is it true that Captain Rawson is no longer in camp? I heard a rumour that he was seen riding off days ago in civilian clothes.' 'I heard the same thing.' 'Where was he going?' 'He wants to take on the French fucking army all on his
that were never committed in the first place. It's upsetting to watch,' said Welbeck. 'Can't the army find the major something more useful to do than hounding a harmless drummer?' 'It's going to find him something very soon.' 'What's that?' 'Fighting a battle,' replied Daniel. "That's the one thing Major Cracknell can do with any distinction. When he's fulfilling his duties against the Frenchies, he won't have time to bother Tom Hillier.' Welbeck was cynical. "There's no earthly hope of a
Dobbs had given up trying to understand his friend, still less hoping to talk him out of his prolonged misery. Even Hillier's uncle, Sergeant Welbeck, had failed to do that. The drummer was beyond help. Dobbs didn't have to nudge his friend again. Someone rode up on a horse and turned the animal so that its flank knocked Hillier sideways, making him struggle to retain his balance. Looking down from the saddle was Major Cracknell. 'Watch where you're going, you numbskull,' he barked. 'I'm
advancing Danish cavalry that swept quickly through them. The Swiss took to their heels in panic and most of the Bavarians joined in the retreat. There was now a serious threat to the French on their right wing. Meanwhile, Marlborough was also probing on the other flank. Under the command of General Lord Orkney, a redoubtable Scot, the massed British battalions were dispatched in the direction of Offus, near which the enemy command post had been set up. Villeroi's judgement had failed him.
the hilt. When darkness came, he lay on the ground under a cloak to snatch some sleep. It was not until the next day that the true scale of his triumph was known. He was at his headquarters with Cadogan and Cardonnel when Daniel Rawson brought in the details. He gave the document to Marlborough. 'Have they finished counting the numbers?' he said. 'Not quite, Your Grace,' replied Daniel, 'but I understand that you'll have a fairly accurate idea of them from that list.' Marlborough read it out.