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Михаил (19.04.2017 - 06:11:11)
книге:  Петля и камень на зелёной траве

Потрясающая книга. Не понравится только нацистам.

Антихрист666 (18.04.2017 - 21:05:58)
книге:  Дом чудовищ (Подвал)

Классное чтиво!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ладно, теперь поспешили вы... (18.04.2017 - 20:50:34)
книге:  Физики шутят

"Не для сайта!" – это не имя. Я пытался завершить нашу затянувшуюся неудачную переписку, оставшуюся за окном сайта, а вы вын... >>

Роман (18.04.2017 - 18:12:26)
книге:  Если хочешь быть богатым и счастливым не ходи в школу?

Прочитал все его книги! Великий человек, кардинально изменил мою жизнь.

АНДРЕЙ (18.04.2017 - 16:42:55)
книге:  Технология власти

ПОЛЕЗНАЯ КНИГА. Жаль, что мало в России тех, кто прочитал...

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К ней можно только прблизиться,
её нельзя утверждать,
она лишь издали видиться,
её нельзя отогнать,
она где-то рядом кружиться...,
как сложно её поймать
- это, конечно, Истина,
но нам её не узнать.

23.08.10 - 16:36
Наталья Городецкая nata62

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Sharpes Havoc   ::   Корнуэлл Бернард

Страница: 2 из 95
” Hogan was a stocky, middle-aged Irishman, a Royal Engineer, with a shrewd face, a soft brogue, graying hair and a charitable disposition. „Because she’s a bloody halfwit, that’s why,” he finished.

„This Vila Real de whatever,” Sharpe said, „is it far? Why don’t we just fetch her?”

„Which is precisely what I’ve told the mother you will do, Richard. You will go to Vila Real de Zedes, you will find the wretched girl and you will get her across the river. We’ll wait for you in Vila Nova and if the damned French capture Vila Nova then we’ll wait for you in Coimbra.” He paused as he penciled these instructions on a scrap of paper. „And if the Frogs take Coimbra we’ll wait for you in Lisbon, and if the bastards take Lisbon we’ll be pissing our breeches in London and you’ll be God knows where. Don’t fall in love with her,” he went on, handing Sharpe the piece of paper, „don’t get the silly girl pregnant, don’t give her the thrashing she bloody well deserves and don’t, for the love of Christ, lose her, and don’t lose Colonel Christopher either. Am I plain?”

„Colonel Christopher is coming with us?” Sharpe asked, appalled.

„Didn’t I just tell you that?” Hogan inquired innocently, then turned as a clatter of hooves announced the appearance of the widow Savage’s traveling coach from the stable yard at the rear of the house. The coach was heaped with baggage and there was even some furniture and two rolled carpets lashed onto the rear rack where a coachman, precariously poised between a half-dozen gilded chairs, was leading Hogan’s black mare by the reins. The Captain took the horse and used the coach’s mounting step to hoist himself into the saddle. „You’ll be back with us in a couple of days,” he assured Sharpe. „Say six, seven hours to Vila Real de Zedes? The same back to the ferry at Barca d’Avintas and then a quiet stroll home. You know where Barca d’Avintas is?”

„No, sir.”

„That way.” Hogan pointed eastward. „Four country miles.” He pushed his right boot into its stirrup, then lifted his body to flick out the tails of his blue coat. „With luck you may even rejoin us tomorrow night.”

„What I don’t understand… “ Sharpe began, then paused because the front door of the house had been thrown open and Mrs. Savage, widow and mother of the missing daughter, came into the sunlight. She was a good-looking woman in her forties: dark-haired, tall and slender with a pale face and high arched eyebrows. She hurried down the steps as a cannonball rumbled overhead and then there was a smattering of musket fire alarmingly close, so close that Sharpe climbed the porch steps to stare at the crest of the hill where the Braga road disappeared between a large tavern and a handsome church. A Portuguese six-pounder gun had just deployed by the church and was now firing at the invisible enemy. The bishop’s forces had dug new redoubts on the crest and patched the old medieval wall with hastily erected palisades and earthworks, but the sight of the small gun firing from its makeshift position in the center of the road suggested that those defenses were crumbling fast.

Mrs. Savage sobbed that her baby daughter was lost, then Captain Hogan managed to persuade the widow into the carriage. Two servants laden with bags stuffed with clothes followed their mistress into the vehicle. „You will find Kate?” Mrs. Savage pushed open the door and inquired of Captain Hogan.

„The precious darling will be with you very soon,” Hogan said reassuringly. „Mister Sharpe will see to that,” he added, then used his foot to close the coach door on Mrs. Savage, who was the widow of one of the many British wine merchants who lived and worked in the city of Oporto. She was rich, Sharpe presumed, certainly rich enough to own a fine carriage and the lavish House Beautiful, but she was also foolish for she should have left the city two or three days before, but she had stayed because she had evidently believed the bishop’s assurance that he could repel Marshal Soult’s army. Colonel Christopher, who had once lodged m the strangely named House Beautiful, had appealed to the British forces south of the river to send men to escort Mrs. Savage safely away and Captain Hogan had been the closest officer and Sharpe, with his riflemen, had been protecting Hogan while the engineer mapped northern Portugal, and so Sharpe had come north across the Douro with twenty-four of his men to escort Mrs. Savage and any other threatened British inhabitants of Oporto to safety. Which should have been a simple enough task, except that at dawn the widow Savage had discovered that her daughter had fled from the house.

„What I don’t understand,” Sharpe persevered, „is why she ran away.”

„She’s probably in love,” Hogan explained airily. „Nineteen-year-old girls of respectable families are dangerously susceptible to love because of all the novels they read. See you in two days, Richard, or maybe even tomorrow? Just wait for Colonel Christopher, he’ll be with you directly, and listen.” He bent down from the saddle and lowered his voice so that no one but Sharpe could hear him. „Keep a close eye on the Colonel, Richard. I worry about him, I do.”

„You should worry about me, sir.”

„I do that too, Richard, I do indeed,” Hogan said, then straightened up, waved farewell and spurred his horse after Mrs. Savage’s carriage which had swung out of the front gate and joined the stream of fugitives going toward the Douro.

The sound of the carriage wheels faded. The sun came from behind a cloud just as a French cannonball struck a tree on the hill’s crest and exploded a cloud of reddish blossoms which drifted above the city’s steep slope. Daniel Hagman stared at the airborne blossoms. „Looks like a wedding,” he said and then, glancing up as a musket ball ricocheted off a roof tile, brought a pair of scissors from his pocket. „Finish your hair, sir?”

„Why not, Dan,” Sharpe said. He sat on the porch steps and took off his shako.

Sergeant Harper checked that the sentinels were watching the north. A troop of Portuguese cavalry had appeared on the crest where the single cannon was firing bravely. A rattle of musketry proved that some infantry was still fighting, but more and more troops were retreating past the house and Sharpe knew it could only be a matter of minutes before the city’s defenses collapsed entirely. Hagman began slicing away at Sharpe’s hair. „You don’t like it over the ears, ain’t that right?”

„I like it short, Dan.”

„Short like a good sermon, sir,” Hagman said. „Now keep still, sir, just keep still.


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