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"I ought to have known better than to come at all," he told Brewster, as they stood beside their horses; "it is always like this."
In America Lord Amherst took the chief command, with Wolfe as his second; Abercrombie being despatched to reduce the French forts on Lakes George and Champlain, and thus open the way into Canada. On the 2nd of June the British fleet, commanded by Admiral Boscawen, and carrying Lord Amherst and twelve thousand men, anchored before Louisburg, the capital of Cape Breton. The French had six thousand men, soldiers and marines, and five ships of the line were drawn up in the harbour. The landing was therefore effected with difficulty; but Wolfe, who led the way in person, showed such spirit and activity, and the Admiral and General, unlike the usual conduct on such occasions, acted together with such unanimity and zeal, that the French were compelled, towards the end of July, to capitulate, and the soldiers of the garrison were sent to England, prisoners of war. The whole island of Cape Breton submitted to the conquerors, and the island of St. John was also reduced by Colonel Lord Rollo. St. John's was afterwards named Prince Edward's Island, in compliment to the royal family.
His arm pointed."Hire to him!" exclaimed Taylor, "what for?"
The consternation of the city may be imagined. The inhabitants, who had, at first, treated the rumour of the Young Pretender's landing with ridicule, now passed to the extreme of terror. On Sunday night the Highlanders lay between Linlithgow and the city, and on Monday morning Charles sent forward a detachment, which, on coming in sight of the pickets, discharged their pistols. The dragoon pickets did not wait to return the fire, but rode off towards Coltbridge, nearer to Edinburgh, where Gardiner lay with the main body of horse. No sooner, however, did this commander perceive the advancing Highlanders, than he also gave the order to retreat, and the order was so well obeyed, that from a foot's-pace the march quickened into a trot and presently into a gallop, and the inhabitants of Edinburgh saw the whole force going helter-skelter towards Leith, where they drew bit. The valiant troops mounted again, and galloped to Preston, six miles farther, some of them, it was said, not stopping till they reached Dunbar. This "Canter of Coltbridge," as it was called in derision, left the city at the mercy of the Highlanders, except for about six or seven hundred men mustered from the City Guard, the volunteer corps, and some armed gentlemen from Dalkeith and Musselburgh, who took post at the gates.
Just for a moment it hesitated, then started with the bronco spring, jumping the dead mules, shying from right to left and back again, and going out through the gates at a run. Cairness held on with his knees as he had learned to do when he had played at stock-rider around Katawa and Glen Lomond in the days of his boyhood, as he had done since with the recruits at hurdle drill, or when he had chased a fleet heifer across the prairie and had had no time to saddle. He could keep his seat, no fear concerning that, but it was all he could do. The pony was not to be stopped. He had only what was left of the halter shank by way of a bridle, and it was none at all. A Mexican knife bit would hardly have availed.