Are there, I wonder, any brigands left in the mountains?"
The brigands scattered at the signal, not in confusion, but in what was evidently a kind of guerrilla discipline.
Darkness was deepening under the mountain walls, and it was not easy to discern much of the progress of the struggle, save that tall men were pushing their horses' muzzles through a clinging crowd of brigands, who seemed more inclined to harass and hustle the invaders than to kill them.
Almost as he spoke the hedges were broken all along the ridge by a rush of the escaping brigands. They dived into bushes and thick grass like defeated men pursued; and the great cocked hats of the mounted gendarmerie were seen passing along above the broken hedge.
The brigand captain took the large paper from the attendant brigand and, glancing over it, continued: "My other intentions are clearly set forth in this public document, which I will hand round in a moment; and which after that will be posted on a tree by every village in the valley, and every cross-road in the hills.
He had held back in a hang-dog style when his son and Muscari had made a bold movement to break out of the brigand trap.
He seems to me much more inexplicable as a brigand even than he was as a courier."
I should have thought the brigand was plain enough."
At the same moment, and long before the vibration had touched the less-experienced English ears, Montano the brigand ran up the bank above them and stood in the broken hedge, steadying himself against a tree and peering down the road.
Muscari meanwhile, without waiting for support, had crested the bank up to the road, and struck the brigand king heavily on the shoulder, causing him to stagger and swing round.
I am no more a genuine brigand than I am a genuine courier.