By Peter Stamm
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Extra info for Agnes
Now came the word—ﬁre! and ere the sound had died away the roar of musketry took its place, mingled with the cries of the wounded and dying soldiers. It was truly a heart-rending scene! Shriek upon shriek arose from the unfortunate—some crying for help, for mercy, and some for death, to relieve them from their pains. The next instant all was confusion and uproar, and ere ﬁve minutes had elapsed from the ﬁrst order to ﬁre, I, who shuddered at the ﬁrst groan, could look on death with perfect indifference.
When I recovered my senses it was night. At ﬁrst I could not recall to my mind how I came, or even where I was. But by degrees it broke upon my mind. Then it was with sickening horror, as, partly raising myself, I gazed around, and by the light of the moon discovered the ghastly countenances of my companions in battle. Feeling a dizziness and a curious sensation in my head, I reached up my hand and drew it back wet with clotted blood. So then, thought I, I am wounded—perhaps mortally—and am left here to perish, without even one on whom I can call for assistance.
The enemy, we soon learned, were already on their way, and but a few hours could elapse ere a tale must be told of weal or woe. We marched to a plain not far distant from St. Antonio, where we did not arrive until about ten o’clock, owing to some unavoidable delay. Here we were ordered to halt and prepare for action, for the enemy were already in sight— at the farther end of the plain their bright armor glittering in the sun, as on they came, with martial tread, to the sound of the rolling drum.
Agnes by Peter Stamm