Poor Fanny Flower has become a prisoner of the French. She is locked upstairs in an abandoned cabin, and is fending off the advances of the lecherous Hugo de Nigot, who Lieutenant Clouzeau has, perhaps unwisely, left in charge of her guards.
But hope is at hand! The intrepid Lieutenant Quintin Kennedy is attempting her rescue, ably assisted by Captain Murray and the doughty highlanders of the 42nd Foot. Will the handsome Quinton save the day and come up trumps by grabbing Fanny? Or will Fanny succumb to the Gallic (and rather garlic) charms of young Hugo de Nigot? Read on . . .
Germans of the 60th Foot will ferry Lieutenants Kennedy and Mill with men of the 42nd and 44th Foot to the cabin, landing the rescuers at dawn.
The guards stand ready, stoically ignoring the sound of de Nigot’s increasingly desperate ejaculations coming from upstairs.
Alarmed by de Nigot’s inflamed passions, Fanny climbs from an upstairs window and leaps to the ground, landing in an ungainly heap but unhurt and honour intact!
Getting to her feet, Fanny hitches up her skirts and runs for it! De Nigot hauls up his breeches, dashes downstairs, and leads his men in pursuit. The sight of the French on the river bank alarms the canoeists so that they decline to land. Fanny, however is showing an impressive turn of speed and heads for the sound of the bagpipes that herald Captain Murray’s arrival.
De Nigot, frenzied at the thought of Clouzeau’s wrath (and possibly by the sight of Fanny’s ankles as she runs) rushes in pursuit followed by his men. Unfortunately, Igor has failed to button his flies and, just as he catches up to the flagging Fanny, his breeches fall down, he tumbles and he is trampled by his men! Luckily for him, one of his quicker-thinking soldiers grabs Fanny’s skirt and she is recaptured. De Nigot recovers his dignity, carefully buttons his flies and wonders if he can regain the house before Clouzeau discovers anything has gone amiss.
Kennedy has persuaded the German canoeists to land him downstream, near to where Murray has deployed his men into a rather imposing line.
Clouzeau has also arrived and is feeling rather outnumbered by the highlanders, who are just out of musket range. A force of Huron is slipping through the woods ready to aid their allies.
Enseigne Maudit’s skirmishers and some Huron snipe at the 42nd, who advance in two groups under their officers. A couple of men fall to the crackle of musketry, but the highlanders advance at a fair pace and Clouzeau begins to worry about his line of retreat being cut off. Kennedy covers Murray’s exposed flank with his handful of 44th light infantry.
De Nigot regains the cabin and sternly admonishes his men not to mention the escape attempt or the sordid state of his breeches. Upstairs, Fanny eyes the window again . . .
The Huron and French skirmishers continue their rather ineffectual sniping. Kennedy leads his men into the woods but they are surprised by the Huron Hawhendagerha and his braves who kill over half Kennedy’s small band with some close-range shooting.
Murray is equal to the situation and crisp orders see part of his line break off to deal with Hawhendagerha and Lieutenant Mill’s platoon surging forward to hammer Maudit’s skirmishers with close volleys, leaving Maudit himself stunned by a musket ball that grazed his temple. With Lieutenant Clouzeau unwilling to close to musket range against more than twice his numbers of highlanders and the skirmishers shaken, things look grim for the French.
Only De Nigot is laughing on the French side now.
With a yell, the lowlander Lieutenant Mill leads his men in a wild charge through the woods. The dazed Maudit has recovered enough to instruct his few remaining men to prove discretion the better part of valour; they, reluctant to leave their staggering officer, only just stay ahead of the screeching highlanders.
Lieutenant Clouzeau brings his men into musket range and prepares them to give a controlled volley.
Meanwhile Hawhendagerha’s little band are being whittled down as they fall back through the woods. For the second time in as many weeks, Hawhendagerha is wounded. The mighty chief bears many scars.
Lieutenant Kennedy adds to the pressure, directing the fire of his two remaining picked men.
At close range now, Murray and Mill hammer Clouzeau’s men. The Frenchmen may be handier with their muskets but simply don’t have the numbers to compete with the controlled volleys of the Scots.
The last of Hawhendagerha’s warriors falls and the chief himself is knocked out when a ball creases his scalp. Another scar . . .
Murray’s men are taking casualties from the Huron in the wood but stolidly keep firing.
The Rev. Dr. Ferguson can be seen in his wig and black coat, well to the fore, tending the wounded.
At this point, with his forces in increasing disarray and morale beginning to plummet, Clouzeau decides to withdraw. This leaves De Nigot in a quandary: he has the spirited Fanny at his mercy (and has the scratches and bruises to prove it) but his men are bolting from the house and the wail of the pipes is increasingly close. With a cry borne of frustrated lust and fury, he abandons Fanny and makes haste for safety, leaving her to be swept of her feet not by the dashing Kennedy but by the sober Murray who is first on the scene.
Fanny is freed and the brute Huron chief Hawhendagerha captured! A triumph for the British.
Details of the French and Huron force can be found here.
Details of the British are here.