Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Fall out, Flashy

The army of Abyssinia was at rest, thousands of men loafing and talking and brewing their billies like anu other soldiers, save that these were black, and instead of shirt-sleeves and dangling galluses there were white shamas and tight leggings, and as well as the piled firearms there were stands of spears and racks of sickle bladed swords. They looked well, as the Gallas had done, and perhaps as soon as tomorrow they would go out to face the finest army in the world under one of the great captains. And how many come well to bed-time? And how many King’s Own and Dukes and Baluch, for that matter? Fall out, Flashy, thinks I, this ain’t your party; lie low, keep quiet, and above all, stay alive.

Flashman on the March, pp.198-99, Harper Collins, paperback edition 2005.

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