as the rap of a typewriter. “Inspector Whiteleaf, of
"At six. The king himself commissioned me"
"Where stood our army at that time?" said the fourth courier.
"They stood before the hollow ground, and the Russians had withdrawn to the intrenchments of Zudenberg; we had taken a hundred and twenty cannon, and many of our soldiers were wandering about the battle- field looking at the batteries they had taken." [Footnote: Bodman.]
"Yes," said the fourth courier, sadly, "that was at six, but at seven we were in full flight. Loudon had risen from the ground, and the frightened, conquered Russians had recovered themselves. You left at six, I at eight; I have ridden more rapidly than you. Unhappily, I am right, the battle is lost!"
"The battle is lost!" howled the people; "the king is also lost! Woe! woe!"
At this moment the royal equipages were seen making their way slowly through the crowd, and the advance guard were praying the people to open a way for the travelling carriages to reach the castle. These words excited new alarm. "We are lost! Let us fly, let us fly! The court, the queen, and the princesses flee--let us save ourselves! The Russians will come to Berlin--they will annihilate us. We are deserted and lost, lost!--no one knows where our king is!"
As if driven by madness, the crowds rushed against each other, like the sea when it divides, and in billowy streams pours itself out here and there; and the cry of anguish which now rang out from the castle square, found its echo in every street and every house.
The cannon were silenced, the discharges of musketry had ceased. On the great plain of Kunersdorf, where, a few hours before, a bloody battle had been raging, all was quiet. Could this be called repose? How cruel was the tranquillity which rested now upon this fearful battle-field!