It was the end of the Empire. France had fallen, The Army of Boneparte had been so soundly beaten and the battlefield of Waterloo was in the hands of that Sepoy General Wellington and his Prussian allies. The words of Napoleon to his Aide before both men ran to escape from the oncoming Prussian troop pouring on to the end results of a raging battle. The 72 year old leader ready to eat the French had been held up in the forests fighting Marshal Salte and his French troops.
It was true summer in the month of June 18th of the year 1815 Rain had caused a mighty deluge below the feet of so many troops. For the few who had survived the death fields now fled down rain wet mud of the battlefield across the Belgium county lanes away from the smell of smoking guns, The twisted bodies screaming, deformed soldiers laying like so much carnage strewn across the rolling landscape of Waterloo. The worse battle ever recorded for loss of an army entire. France had failed and her army now destroyed. It was as much as one man could cope with. His tattered uniform his badges given him by the Emperor proudly pinned to his swelled chest. Now all hope had passed and the rain continued relentless and unforgiving.
The British charge at Waterloo.
Anton Lacron was of the French Imperial Guard Chasseur a Cheval whilst his injured comrade was one of Bonepartes Horse Hussars. They had only the hope to cross the fields and reach the border with France with no real idea of the vast distance on foot they slogged onward in silence .Head down battering off the wind and rains under blood soaked shell torn helmets that once was seen as the victors army all over raped Europe.
It was late in the next days afternoon when they reached doggedly the lake and ruined lodge at Chaloise estates. Deserted now by the passages of time, the two men arrived at the open door and moved swiftly within the darkened interior. it was dank and hollow sounding ,their voices looming back to them. No dumb as dogs they slowly advanced in their need for shelter.
Once inside they wrapped the uniforms tight buttoned around them and with loaded arms slept soundly for some hours out of the rain and weather. It was in the break of morning, the sun beaming through the wooden window shutters the broken glass panes,that Anton awoke. He rose stiffly and pulled back the old painted shutters to see the sun as big as an balloon and as bright as an orange shine in to light up the space into shadows of old furniture and portraits of rich nobles between the pure gold light on the warming sunshine. Dancing shadowy light across the floor.Tracery of power long gone.
He shouted his friend who was up and in much pain. The Cavalry trooper was unable to travel and both men carried hunger in their bellies that growled for food as that of a wounded dog.
It was soon decided to rest up and Anton to hunt and bring back bandages and meat. For Charles had too much blood from his shoulder which had in the night warmly soaked the blue majestic tunic red/ black. Anton picked up the rifle with its fitted bayonet and slipped carefully into the undergrowth of gardens once the pride of Louis 14th Minister and master of the Sword Marcel De Valios. He with his family and servants had loved the place that the King had offered and so led his life in service and retired to his gardens. At the loss at battle his King was captured by the victorious English armies and Duke de Valos had died in that field defending his King.
French lines at Waterloo. Reenactment for movie Waterloo. 1960s
Before long his luck and skill with weapons saw Anton shoot a fine deer Hind and he sat in the long grass skinning her. In bandages he cut with the razor sharp bayonet into long strips . By binding the cut meat in the skin hanging it on his back so heavily he managed by slow steps to return to his associate.
He dressed the wounds and used the soft skin to stem the flow of blood. By smashing down the shutters a fire was now secured. The meat sizzling on a make shift spit the two men relaxed a shadow fell over them. There as large as life a swords man pointed his rapier at Anton then slowly vaporized before his dazzled eyes. For all that night he kept the fire a aglow but in the wake of morning he saw his friends dead lifeless body next to him. The fire ashes glowing and a Rapier at his throat cut off his breathing .. he looked but into the dazzling sunshine that now loomed over the sill and saw his killer in blue silks just before the vision melted back into the woodworks of his once fine house. Coughing the blood chocked by the flow he closed his heavy eye lids and died in the effort to live.
French Imperial Guard, Waterloo 1815. Left dead to almost a man. Last action near end of battle, Napoleon had escaped the field. The French would not surrender faced the British cannons and still refused . Some 100 men died instantly as the last roar of the guns brought the end of the battle.
It was 12 days later that a simple woodman found the bodies of two French soldiers and having gone through the pockets for all he could find, buried them in the back field and told no one, as the Belgium hated the French and besides they had been beaten and no longer a treat.
In his pocket he shuck out a fine gold pocket watch and six coins. It had been a profitable morning and the man went on his way unaware he was been watched by long dead eyes. A cold stir that chilled him even so. From that day to this the lodge remains much as it was the day long ago. But Oh! a cold clear eye observes all events .Valois family will not go near the ruins of the once stately lodge of Chaloise lake. If you have sense; nor will you.
Thank you for reading this story hope you like it.
Yours sir K
Copyright Kevin Parr Bt December 20th 2019