Affair of Outposts
Author: Bierce, Ambrose
Genre: Short Story
At the door of a tent in the Russian Camp a sergeant is receiving from his commanding officer, orders to proceed on a scouting expedition. A military plan is given him which he carefully secretes on his person. Taking with him a party of picked men, whose horses are brought on by orderlies, he rides away on his perilous errand. The Japanese are seen in the distance advancing and firing in volleys at intervals, their fire being returned by the Russians in the foreground, until the ranks of the latter are sadly thinned. A charge having been made by the Japanese, the Russian officer gives up his sword. His flag is lowered and the Japanese flag raised in its place, the film concluding by the marching off of the prisoners. From one of the ridges of a mountain pass, a Japanese officer is scanning the country. With him is a large body of soldiers, some of whom he posts along the ridge in ambush, while the others are sent back to the main body to inform them of the approach of the Russian scouts. The view changes to the defile, along which the Cossack party is riding. Halting his men at the mouth of the pass, the sergeant goes forward to reconnoiter. Presently he is seen galloping back to warn his men. He orders them to dismount and seek cover, but they receive a hot fire from the distant Japs, while down, unaware of those in ambush near them. Several of the scouts are shot down, two only surviving, who gallop away with their horses to alarm the camp. The Japs leave their ambush and come down to search the wounded. Soon their officer finds on the body of the sergeant the plan entrusted to him by his officer. Calling his men together, they prepare to make a raid on the camp of the Russian outposts. The horses are brought into camp by the surviving scouts, one of whom is badly wounded and has to be helped into the tent of the officer. The other gives the alarm, and the horse being led to the rear, the men are extended in line to receive the attack of the Japanese.
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