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HOME > Classical Novels > The Little Match Man > CHAPTER XIV FIAM OVERLOOKS THE BATTLE
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I don’t know how he managed it, but he understood the man?uvres of war better than I. You see, Hajis are unusually intelligent. Often I couldn’t make out what was going on. I could see soldiers running, firing, apparently turning back, cavalry galloping, and could hear the roar of cannon on all sides, yet I couldn’t tell how the battle was going. But he explained everything to me.

“Look there at that hill. Do you see they are attacking? Look to the left; that is an assault. There are ten thousand men. Bravo, advance!” He would get wildly enthusiastic, running here and there and shouting orders in his squeaky little voice, screaming encouragement, reproof, praise and blame. You ought to have heard him calling: “Re?nforcements to the right! Place two batteries behind that hill! Forward with the reserves! Smash their entrenchments!” He seemed to think himself the general.


I often relied entirely on him for information. I put my hat, with him on it, on the branch of a tree or on top of a cane and went tranquilly to sleep near my horse browsing in the grass. When I awoke I called:

“Fiam, who is winning?”

“If you are awake,” he answered, “we will go and send a telegram to your journal.”

Then I would put him in the hat band, mount my horse and gallop away to the nearest military telegraph station.

We had many curious expressions. He could never understand firearms. The discharge of muskets he called little thunder, and that of cannon big thunder. He thought that men really hurled thunderbolts. When I tried to explain to him about guns and cannon he would respond:

“All right! All right! But the fact is that these machines which work with tha............
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