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      AMERICAN BILL OF CREDIT (1775).I wonder how much weve caught up on them, Larry said.

      They laid Landor upon the ground, in the same patch of shade he had glanced at in coming by not five [Pg 281]minutes before. His glazed eyes stared back at the sky. There was nothing to be done for him. But Cairness was alive. They washed the blood from his face with water out of the canteens, and bound his head with a wet handkerchief. And presently he came back to consciousness and saw Landor stretched there, with the bluing hole in his brow, and the quiet there is no mistaking on his sternly weary face. And he turned back his head and lay as ashy and almost as still as the dead man, with a look on his own face more terrible than that of any death.

      But there was no night alarm, and at daybreak it began to be apparent to the troops that they had been led directly away from all chance of one. They made[Pg 121] fires, ate their breakfast, resaddled, and took their way back to the settlements, doubling on their own trail. They came upon signs of a yet larger band, and it was more probable than ever that the valley had been in danger.

      GEORGE II. AT DETTINGEN, 1743.These motions were defeated, and Lord North, on the 21st of June, moved for the introduction of a Bill to double the militia and raise volunteer corps. The proposal to double the militia was rejected, that to raise volunteer corps accepted. To man the Navy a Bill was brought in to suspend for six months all exemptions from impressment into the Royal Navy. The measure was passed through two stages before rising, and carried the next morning, and sent up to the Lords. There it met with strong opposition, and did not receive the Royal Assent till the last day of the Session. This was the 3rd of July, and was followed, on the 9th, by a Royal Proclamation ordering all horses and provisions, in case of invasion, to be driven into the interior. The batteries of Plymouth were manned, and a boom was drawn across the harbour at Portsmouth. A large camp of militia was established at Cox Heath, in front of Maidstone, and, in truth, this demonstration of a patriotic spirit was very popular.


      When the House met again, Pitt moved for leave to bring in his Bill for the better government and management of the affairs of the East India Company. He was aware, he said, how certain men would triumph when he informed them that he had based his intended measures on the resolutions of the proprietors of India stock. He was so miserably irresolute, he said, as not to venture on a Bill founded on violence and disfranchisement. He was so weak as to pay respect to chartered rights; and he had not disdained, in proposing a new system of government, to consult those who had the greatest interest in the matter, as well as the most experience in it. These were all hard hits at Fox and his party. In his Bill he went on the principle of placing the commerce of India chiefly under the control of the Company itself; but the civil and military government, he admitted, required some other control than that of the Company, yet even this, in his opinion, ought to be established in accordance with the convictions of the Company. In truth, it was a Bill rather calculated to win the good will of the East India Company than to reform the abuses of that body and to protect the interests of the natives. Fox, with as much truth as personal feeling, designated the Bill as the wisdom of an individual opposed to the collective wisdom of the Commons of England.


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      Landor had almost decided that he had made an ungenerous mistake, when Ellton came over with one light spring and, touching him on the shoulder, pointed to the window of the commissary office. A thick, dark blanket had evidently been hung within, but the faintest red flicker showed through a tiny hole.