Faithful At His Post
( Originally Published 1902 )
DURING the siege of Gibraltar, a German soldier, who was in the British service, had been wounded in the hand, and when the governor, General Elliot, who was on a tour of inspection, approached him, he did not present arms, as it was his duty to do. The general, noticing the omission, said, " Don't you know me, sentinel ? How is it that you neglect your duty ?" The soldier replied, " I know you well, general, and my duty also ; but within the last few minutes two of the fingers of my right hand have been shot off, and I am unable to hold my musket." " Why don't you go and have them bound up? " " Because, in Germany a man is forbidden to quit his post until he is relieved by another." The general, hastily dismounting, said : " Now, my friend, give me your musket and I will relieve you. Go and have your wounds dressed."
The soldier obeyed, and left the general standing at his post. The new. of the man's bravery reached England, and though his injury unfitted him for active campaigns, he was retained in the service, and promoted.
The respect which the ruler and the subject had for the discipline of the camp, the fidelity of the soldier to his duty, and the kindness and humility, which led the general to take the place of the private soldier, are all admirable qualities, and are needed in the soldiers of the Cross, from the highest officer to the humblest member.