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datatime: 2022-11-27 16:04:36 Author:fVJNDCnZ

'Yes.' Sharpe's shoulder hurt like the devil. 'Where's the boy?'

'You want to go?'

'What day is it?'

'Amen to that, sir.' Harper had infinitely more patience.

Sharpe felt ashamed. This was Harper's religion. 'I'm sorry.'

'Sweet Jesus.' Harper stood up, 'Are you all right, sir?'

'Yes, sir.'

Harper looked over the ramparts, at the drifting smoke. 'Just four shots. That's good shooting.' There was a reluctant respect in his voice.

'You don't sound hopeful, my friend?'

The Irishman grinned. 'Wouldn't worry, sir. It doesn't offend me and if it offends Him then He's plenty of opportunity to punish you.'

Lossow stood up, wiped blood from his hands. 'We must get out of here!'

Christ, thought Sharpe, Christ and a thousand deaths. Damn the bloody French, damn the bloody gunner, and he might as well have stayed in the warm bed with his arms round the girl. Footsteps sounded in the doorway and he swivelled anxiously, but it was only a squad of bare-headed Portuguese soldiers, muskets slung, who dipped their fingers in the holy water and clattered up the aisle to the priest and his service.

Christ, thought Sharpe, Christ and a thousand deaths. Damn the bloody French, damn the bloody gunner, and he might as well have stayed in the warm bed with his arms round the girl. Footsteps sounded in the doorway and he swivelled anxiously, but it was only a squad of bare-headed Portuguese soldiers, muskets slung, who dipped their fingers in the holy water and clattered up the aisle to the priest and his service.

Lossow stood up, wiped blood from his hands. 'We must get out of here!'

Harper kicked the fallen beam. 'Perhaps they can rig another telegraph, sir?'

Christ, thought Sharpe, Christ and a thousand deaths. Damn the bloody French, damn the bloody gunner, and he might as well have stayed in the warm bed with his arms round the girl. Footsteps sounded in the doorway and he swivelled anxiously, but it was only a squad of bare-headed Portuguese soldiers, muskets slung, who dipped their fingers in the holy water and clattered up the aisle to the priest and his service.

Lossow stood up, wiped blood from his hands. 'We must get out of here!'

'Amen to that, sir.' Harper had infinitely more patience.

Harper kicked the fallen beam. 'Perhaps they can rig another telegraph, sir?'

The Irishman grinned. 'Wouldn't worry, sir. It doesn't offend me and if it offends Him then He's plenty of opportunity to punish you.'

Harper kicked the fallen beam. 'Perhaps they can rig another telegraph, sir?'

Sharpe turned to him. 'We must persuade Cox to let us out.'

'It'll wait.'

'Sunday, sir.'

Sharpe shrugged. 'And who works it? Maybe, I don't know.' He glanced at the battery, its embrasure plugged, and he knew that the French gunners would be celebrating. They deserved it. He doubted if the gun would fire again, not today; the iron barrels had a limited life and the gun had achieved its purpose. 'Come on. Let's see Cox.'

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