The Snare

The Snare

4.7 8
by Rafael Sabatini
     
 

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But had Mr. Bearsley been at home the dragoons could have received no warmer welcome

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Thank you for checking out this book by Theophania Publishing. We appreciate your business and look forward to serving you soon. We have thousands of titles available, and we invite you to search for us by name, contact us via our website, or download our most recent catalogues.

But had Mr. Bearsley been at home the dragoons could have received no warmer welcome than that which was extended to them by Fernando Souza. Greeting the lieutenant in intelligible English, he implored him, in the florid manner of the Peninsula, to count the house and all within it his own property, and to command whatever he might desire.

The troopers found accommodation in the kitchen and in the spacious hall, where great fires of pine logs were piled up for their comfort; and for the remainder of the day they abode there in various states of nakedness, relieved by blankets and straw capotes, what time the house was filled with the steam and stench of their drying garments. Rations had been short of late on the Agueda, and, in addition, their weary ride through the rain had made the men sharp-set. Abundance of food was placed before them by the solicitude of Fernando Souza, and they feasted, as they had not feasted for many months, upon roast kid, boiled rice and golden maize bread, washed down by a copious supply of a rough and not too heady wine that the discreet and discriminating steward judged appropriate to their palates and capable of supporting some abuse.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781517711139
Publisher:
CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date:
10/08/2015
Pages:
236
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.50(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

The Affair at Tavora

It is established beyond doubt that Mr. Butler was drunk at the time. This rests upon the evidence of Sergeant Flanagan and the troopers who accompanied him, and it rests upon Mr. Butler's own word, as we shall see. And let me add here and now that however wild and irresponsible a rascal he may have been, yet by his own lights he was a man of honour, incapable of falsehood, even though it were calculated to save his skin. I do not deny that Sir Thomas Picton has described him as a "thieving blackguard." But I am sure that this was merely the downright, rather extravagant manner, of censure peculiar to that distinguished general, and that those who have taken the expression at its purely literal value have been lacking at once in charity and in knowledge of the caustic, uncompromising terms of speech of General Picton whom Lord Wellington, you will remember, called a rough, foulmouthed devil.

In further extenuation it may truthfully be urged that the whole hideous and odious affair was the result of a misapprehension; although I cannot go so far as one of Lieutenant Butler's apologists and accept the view that he was the victim of a deliberate plot on the part of his too-genial host at Regoa. That is a misconception easily explained. This host's name happened to be Souza, and the apologist in question has very rashly leapt at the conclusion that he was a member of that notoriously intriguing family, of which the chief members were the Principal Souza, of the Council of Regency at Lisbon, and the Chevalier Souza, Portuguese minister to the Court of St. James's. Unacquainted with Portugal, our apologist was evidently in ignorance of the factthat the name of Souza is almost as common in that country as the name of Smith in this. He may also have been misled by the fact that Principal Souza did not neglect to make the utmost capital out of the affair, thereby increasing the difficulties with which Lord Wellington was already contending as a result of incompetence and deliberate malice on the part both of the ministry at home and of the administration in Lisbon.

Indeed, but for these factors it is unlikely that the affair could ever have taken place at all. If there had been more energy on the part of Mr. Perceval and the members of the Cabinet, if there had been less bad faith and self-seeking on the part of the Opposition, Lord Wellington's campaign would not have been starved as it was; and if there had been less bad faith and self-seeking of an even more stupid and flagrant kind on the part of the Portuguese Council of Regency, the British Expeditionary Force would not have been left without the stipulated supplies and otherwise hindered at every step.

Lord Wellington might have experienced the mental agony of Sir John Moore under similar circumstances fifteen months earlier. That he did suffer, and was to suffer yet more, his correspondence shows. But his iron will prevented that suffering from disturbing the equanimity of his mind. The Council of Regency, in its concern to court popularity with the aristocracy of Portugal, might balk his measures by its deliberate supineness; echoes might reach him of the voices at St. Stephen's that loudly dubbed his dispositions rash, presumptuous and silly; catch-halfpenny journalists at home and men of the stamp of Lord Grey might exploit their abysmal military ignorance in reckless criticism and censure of his operations; he knew what a passionate storm of anger and denunciation had arisen from the Opposition when he had been raised to the peerage some months earlier, after the glorious victory of Talavera, and how, that victory notwithstanding, it had been proclaimed that his conduct of the campaign was so incompetent as to deserve, not reward, but punishment; and he was aware of the growing unpopularity of the war in England, knew that the Government--ignorant of what he was so laboriously preparing--was chafing at his inactivity of the past few months, so that a member of the Cabinet wrote to him exasperatedly, incredibly and fatuously--"for God's sake do something--anything so that blood be spilt."

A heart less stout might have been broken, a genius less mighty stifled in this evil tangle of stupidity, incompetence and malignity that sprang up and flourished about him can every hand. A man less single-minded must have succumbed to exasperation, thrown up his command and taken ship for home, inviting some of his innumerable critics to take his place at the head of the troops, and give free rein to the military genius that inspired their critical dissertations. Wellington, however, has been rightly termed of iron, and never did he show himself more of iron than in those trying days of 1810.

Meet the Author

Rafael Sabatini (29 April 1875 - 13 February 1950) was an Italian/English writer of novels of romance and adventure.
By the 1940s, illness forced the writer to slow his prolific method of composition. However, he did write several additional works even during that time. He died on 13 February 1950 in Switzerland. He is buried at Adelboden, Switzerland. On his headstone his wife had written, "He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad", the first line of Scaramouche.

He is best known for his worldwide best-sellers:

The Sea Hawk (1915), a tale of the Spanish Armada and the pirates of the Barbary Coast;
Scaramouche (1921), a tale of the French Revolution in which a fugitive hides out in a commedia dell'arte troupe and later becomes a fencing master (Sabatini wrote a sequel ten years later);
Captain Blood (1922), in which the title character is admiral of a fleet of pirate ships (Sabatini also wrote two sequels comprising short stories); and
Bellarion the Fortunate (1926), about a cunning young man who finds himself immersed in the politics of fifteenth-century Italy.

Several of his novels were adapted into films during the silent era, and the first three of these books were made into notable films in the sound era, in 1940, 1952, and 1935 respectively. His third novel was made into a famous "lost" film, Bardelys the Magnificent, directed in 1926 by King Vidor with John Gilbert in the lead, and long viewable only in a fragment excerpted in Vidor's silent comedy Show People. A few intact reels have recently been discovered in Europe. The fully restored version premiered on TCM on 11 January 2010.

Two silent adaptations of Sabatini novels which do survive intact are Rex Ingram's Scaramouche (1923) starring Ramón Novarro, and The Sea Hawk (1924) directed by Frank Lloyd and starring Milton Sills. The 1940 film of the same name, with Errol Flynn, is not a remake - but a wholly new story which just used the title. A 1924 silent version of Captain Blood, starring J. Warren Kerrigan, is partly lost, surviving only in an incomplete copy in the Library of Congress. The Black Swan was filmed in 1942 starring Tyrone Power and Maureen O'Hara.

In all, Sabatini produced thirty-one novels, eight short story collections, six non-fiction books, numerous uncollected short stories, and a play.

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The Snare 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Keeps fuqing u and cu.ms in u
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hi. I dont want sx but lm bored. Anyone wanna chat? :))
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He clung to the vines above, watching, waiting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Njf
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