It was then that Menelek XIV became uneasy. For fifty years his armies had conquered wherever they had marched. At first he had led them in person, lately his presence within a hundred miles of the battle line had been sufficient for large engagements--for minor ones only the knowledge that they were fighting for the glory of their sovereign was necessary to win victories.
One morning, New Gondar was awakened by the booming of cannon. It was the first intimation that the townspeople had received that the enemy was forcing the imperial troops back upon the city. Dust covered couriers galloped in from the front. Fresh troops hastened from the city, and about noon Menelek rode out surrounded by his staff. sex toys for adults
For three days thereafter we could hear the cannonading and the spitting of the small arms, for the battle line was scarce two leagues from New Gondar. The city was filled with wounded. Just outside, soldiers were engaged in throwing up earthworks. It was evident to the least enlightened that Menelek expected further reverses.
And then the imperial troops fell back upon these new defenses, or, rather, they were forced back by the enemy. Shells commenced to fall within the city. Menelek returned and took up his headquarters in the stone building that was called the palace. That night came a lull in the hostilities--a truce had been arranged.
Colonel Belik summoned me about seven o'clock to dress him for a function at the palace. In the midst of death and defeat the emperor was about to give a great banquet to his officers. I was to accompany my master and wait upon him-- I, Jefferson Turck, lieutenant in the Pan-American navy!
In the privacy of the colonel's quarters I had become accustomed to my menial duties, lightened as they were by the natural kindliness of my master, but the thought of appearing in public as a common slave revolted every fine instinct within me. Yet there was nothing for it but to obey.