Project Gutenberg's Real Soldiers of Fortune, by Richard Harding Davis

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been changed, and that General Wright Schumburg, who now is in command,

orders "all officers not otherwise commissioned to join Colonel

MacIver's 'Corps of Officers.'"
The _Lilian_ ran out of coal, and to obtain firewood put in at Cedar

Keys. For two weeks the patriots cut wood and drilled upon the beach,

when they were captured by a British gun-boat and taken to Nassau.

There they were set at liberty, but their arms, boat, and stores were

In a sailing vessel MacIver finally reached Cuba, and under Goicouria,

who had made a successful landing, saw some "help yourself" fighting.

Goicouria's force was finally scattered, and MacIver escaped from the

Spanish soldiery only by putting to sea in an open boat, in which he

endeavored to make Jamaica.
On the third day out he was picked up by a steamer and again landed at

Nassau, from which place he returned to New York.

At that time in this city there was a very interesting man named

Thaddeus P. Mott, who had been an officer in our army and later

had entered the service of Ismail Pasha. By the Khedive he had

been appointed a general of division and had received permission to

reorganize the Egyptian army.
His object in coming to New York was to engage officers for that

service. He came at an opportune moment. At that time the city was

filled with men who, in the Rebellion, on one side or the other, had

held command, and many of these, unfitted by four years of soldiering

for any other calling, readily accepted the commissions which Mott had

authority to offer. New York was not large enough to keep MacIver and

Mott long apart, and they soon came to an understanding. The agreement

drawn up between them is a curious document. It is written in a neat

hand on sheets of foolscap tied together like a Commencement-day

address, with blue ribbon. In it MacIver agrees to serve as colonel of

cavalry in the service of the Khedive. With a few legal phrases omitted,

the document reads as follows:

"Agreement entered into this 24th day of March, 1870, between the

Government of his Royal Highness and the Khedive of Egypt, represented

by General Thaddeus P. Mott of the first part, and H. R. H. MacIver of

New York City.

"The party of the second part, being desirous of entering into the

service of party of the first part, in the military capacity of a

colonel of cavalry, promises to serve and obey party of the first part

faithfully and truly in his military capacity during the space of five

years from this date; that the party of the second part waives all

claims of protection usually afforded to Americans by consular and

diplomatic agents of the United States, and expressly obligates himself

to be subject to the orders of the party of the first part, and to make,

wage, and vigorously prosecute war against any and all the enemies of

party of the first part; that the party of the second part will not

under any event be governed, controlled by, or submit to, any order,

law, mandate, or proclamation issued by the Government of the United

States of America, forbidding party of the second part to serve party

of the first part to make war according to any of the provisions herein

contained, _it being, however, distinctly understood_ that nothing

herein contained shall be construed as obligating party of the second

part to bear arms or wage war against the United States of America.
"Party of the first part promises to furnish party of the second part

with horses, rations, and pay him for his services the same salary now

paid to colonels of cavalry in United States army, and will furnish him

quarters suitable to his rank in army. Also promises, in the case of

illness caused by climate, that said party may resign his office and

shall receive his expenses to America and two months' pay; that he

receives one-fifth of his regular pay during his active service,

together with all expenses of every nature attending such enterprise."

It also stipulates as to what sums shall be paid his family or children

in case of his death.

To this MacIver signs this oath:
"In the presence of the ever-living God, I swear that I will in all

things honestly, faithfully, and truly keep, observe, and perform the

obligations and promises above enumerated, and endeavor to conform to

the wishes and desires of the Government of his Royal Highness, the

Khedive of Egypt, in all things connected with the furtherance of his

prosperity, and the maintenance of his throne."

On arriving at Cairo, MacIver was appointed inspector-general of

cavalry, and furnished with a uniform, of which this is a description:

"It consisted of a blue tunic with gold spangles, embroidered in gold

up the sleeves and front, neat-fitting red trousers, and high

patent-leather boots, while the inevitable fez completed the gay


The climate of Cairo did not agree with MacIver, and, in spite of

his "gay costume," after six months he left the Egyptian service. His

honorable discharge was signed by Stone Bey, who, in the favor of the

Khedive, had supplanted General Mott.

It is a curious fact that, in spite of his ill health, immediately after

leaving Cairo, MacIver was sufficiently recovered to at once plunge into

the Franco-Prussian War. At the battle of Orleans, while on the staff

of General Chanzy, he was wounded. In this war his rank was that of a

colonel of cavalry of the auxiliary army.
His next venture was in the Carlist uprising of 1873, when he formed a

Carlist League, and on several occasions acted as bearer of important

messages from the "King," as Don Carlos was called, to the sympathizers

with his cause in France and England.

MacIver was promised, if he carried out successfully a certain mission

upon which he was sent, and if Don Carlos became king, that he would be

made a marquis. As Don Carlos is still a pretender, MacIver is still a

general. Although in disposing of his sword MacIver never allowed his

personal predilections to weigh with him, he always treated himself to a

hearty dislike of the Turks, and we next find him fighting against them

in Herzegovina with the Montenegrins. And when the Servians declared

war against the same people, MacIver returned to London to organize a

cavalry brigade to fight with the Servian army.
Of this brigade and of the rapid rise of MacIver to highest rank and

honors in Servia, the scrap-book is most eloquent. The cavalry brigade

was to be called the Knights of the Red Cross.
In a letter to the editor of the _Hour_, the general himself speaks of

it in the following terms:

"It may be interesting to many of your readers to learn that a select

corps of gentlemen is at present in course of organization under

the above title with the mission of proceeding to the Levant to

take measures in case of emergency for the defense of the Christian

population, and more especially of British subjects who are to a great

extent unprovided with adequate means of protection from the religious

furies of the Mussulmans. The lives of Christian women and children are

in hourly peril from fanatical hordes. The Knights will be carefully

chosen and kept within strict military control, and will be under

command of a practical soldier with large experience of the Eastern

countries. Templars and all other crusaders are invited to give aid and


Apparently MacIver was not successful in enlisting many Knights, for

a war correspondent at the capital of Servia, waiting for the war to

begin, writes as follows:
"A Scotch soldier of fortune, Henry MacIver, a colonel by rank, has

arrived at Belgrade with a small contingent of military adventurers.

Five weeks ago I met him in Fleet Street, London, and had some talk

about his 'expedition.' He had received a commission from the Prince of

Servia to organize and command an independent cavalry brigade, and he

then was busily enrolling his volunteers into a body styled 'The Knights

of the Red Cross.' I am afraid some of his bold crusaders have earned

more distinction for their attacks on Fleet Street bars than they are

likely to earn on Servian battle-fields, but then I must not anticipate


Another paper tells that at the end of the first week of his service as

a Servian officer, MacIver had enlisted ninety men, but that they were

scattered about the town, many without shelter and rations:
"He assembled his men on the Rialto, and in spite of official

expostulation, the men were marched up to the Minister's four

abreast--and they marched fairly well, making a good show. The War

Minister was taken by storm, and at once granted everything. It has

raised the English colonel's popularity with his men to fever heat."
This from the _Times_, London:
"Our Belgrade correspondent telegraphs last night:
"'There is here at present a gentleman named MacIver. He came from

England to offer himself and his sword to the Servians. The Servian

Minister of War gave him a colonel's commission. This morning I saw him

drilling about one hundred and fifty remarkably fine-looking fellows,

all clad in a good serviceable cavalry uniform, and he has horses."'
Later we find that:
"Colonel MacIver's Legion of Cavalry, organizing here, now numbers over

two hundred men."

And again:
"Prince Nica, a Roumanian cousin of the Princess Natalie of Servia, has

joined Colonel MacIver's cavalry corps."

Later, in the _Court Journal_, October 28, 1876, we read:
"Colonel MacIver, who a few years ago was very well known in military

circles in Dublin, now is making his mark with the Servian army. In

the war against the Turks, he commands about one thousand Russo-Servian


He was next to receive the following honors:
"Colonel MacIver has been appointed commander of the cavalry of the

Servian armies on the Morava and Timok, and has received the Cross of

the Takovo Order from General Tchemaieff for gallant conduct in the

field, and the gold medal for valor."

Later we learn from the _Daily News_:
"Mr. Lewis Farley, Secretary of the 'League in Aid of Christians of

Turkey,' has received the following letter, dated Belgrade, October 10,

"'DEAR SIR: In reference to the embroidered banner so kindly worked by

an English lady and forwarded by the League to Colonel MacIver, I have

great pleasure in conveying to you the following particulars. On Sunday

morning, the flag having been previously consecrated by the archbishop,

was conducted by a guard of honor to the palace, and Colonel MacIver,

in the presence of Prince Milan and a numerous suite, in the name and

on behalf of yourself and the fair donor, delivered it into the hands

of the Princess Natalie. The gallant Colonel wore upon this occasion his

full uniform as brigade commander and chief of cavalry of the Servian

army, and bore upon his breast the 'Gold Cross of Takovo' which he

received after the battles of the 28th and 30th of September, in

recognition of the heroism and bravery he displayed upon these eventful

days. The beauty of the decoration was enhanced by the circumstances

of its bestowal, for on the evening of the battle of the 30th, General

Tchernaieff approached Colonel MacIver, and, unclasping the cross from

his own breast, placed it upon that of the Colonel.

"'(Signed.) HUGH JACKSON,
"'_Member of Council of the League_."
In Servia and in the Servian army MacIver reached what as yet is the

highest point of his career, and of his life the happiest period.

He was _general de brigade_, which is not what we know as a brigade

general, but is one who commands a division, a major-general. He was a

great favorite both at the palace and with the people, the pay was good,

fighting plentiful, and Belgrade gay and amusing. Of all the places

he has visited and the countries he has served, it is of this Balkan

kingdom that the general seems to speak most fondly and with the

greatest feeling. Of Queen Natalie he was and is a most loyal and

chivalric admirer, and was ever ready, when he found any one who did

not as greatly respect the lady, to offer him the choice of swords or

pistols. Even for Milan he finds an extenuating word.

After Servia the general raised more foreign legions, planned further

expeditions; in Central America reorganized the small armies of the

small republics, served as United States Consul, and offered his sword

to President McKinley for use against Spain. But with Servia the most

active portion of the life of the general ceased, and the rest has been

a repetition of what went before. At present his time is divided between

New York and Virginia, where he has been offered an executive position

in the approaching Jamestown Exposition. Both North and South he has

many friends, many admirers. But his life is, and, from the nature of

his profession, must always be, a lonely one.

While other men remain planted in one spot, gathering about them a home,

sons and daughters, an income for old age, MacIver is a rolling stone,

a piece of floating sea-weed; as the present King of England called him

fondly, "that vagabond soldier."

To a man who has lived in the saddle and upon transports, "neighbor"

conveys nothing, and even "comrade" too often means one who is no longer

With the exception of the United States, of which he now is a

naturalized citizen, the general has fought for nearly every country in

the world, but if any of those for which he lost his health and blood,

and for which he risked his life, remembers him, it makes no sign. And

the general is too proud to ask to be remembered. To-day there is no

more interesting figure than this man who in years is still young enough

to lead an army corps, and who, for forty years, has been selling his

sword and risking his life for presidents, pretenders, charlatans, and

He finds some mighty changes: Cuba, which he fought to free, is free;

men of the South, with whom for four years he fought shoulder to

shoulder, are now wearing the blue; the empire of Mexico, for which he

fought, is a republic; the empire of France, for which he fought, is a

republic; the empire of Brazil, for which he fought is a republic; the

dynasty in Servia, to which he owes his greatest honors, has been wiped

out by murder. From none of the eighteen countries he has served has he

a pension, berth, or billet, and at sixty he finds himself at home in

every land, but with a home in none.
Still he has his sword, his blanket, and in the event of war, to obtain

a commission he has only to open his tin boxes and show the commissions

already won. Indeed, any day, in a new uniform, and under the Nineteenth

Flag, the general may again be winning fresh victories and honors.

And so, this brief sketch of him is left unfinished. We will mark

it--_To be continued_.

THIS is an attempt to tell the story of Baron Harden-Hickey, the Man Who

Made Himself King, the man who was born after his time.

If the reader, knowing something of the strange career of Harden-Hickey,

wonders why one writes of him appreciatively rather than in amusement,

he is asked not to judge Harden-Hickey as one judges a contemporary.
Harden-Hickey, in our day, was as incongruous a figure as was the

American at the Court of King Arthur; he was as unhappily out of the

picture as would be Cyrano de Bergerac on the floor of the Board

of Trade. Judged, as at the time he was judged, by writers of comic

paragraphs, by presidents of railroads, by amateur "statesmen" at

Washington, Harden-Hickey was a joke. To the vacant mind of the village

idiot, Rip Van Winkle returning to Falling Water also was a joke. The

people of our day had not the time to understand Harden-Hickey; they

thought him a charlatan, half a dangerous adventurer and half a fool;

and Harden-Hickey certainly did not under stand them. His last words,

addressed to his wife, showed this. They were: "I would rather die a

gentleman than live a blackguard like your father."

As a matter of fact, his father-in-law, although living under the

disadvantage of being a Standard Oil magnate, neither was, nor is, a

blackguard, and his son-in-law had been treated by him generously

and with patience. But for the duellist and soldier of fortune it was

impossible to sympathize with a man who took no greater risk in life

than to ride on one of his own railroads, and of the views the two men

held of each other, that of John H. Flagler was probably the fairer and

the more kindly.

Harden-Hickey was one of the most picturesque, gallant, and pathetic

adventurers of our day; but Flagler also deserves our sympathy.

For an unimaginative and hard-working Standard Oil king to have a

D'Artagnan thrust upon him as a son-in-law must be trying.

James A. Harden-Hickey, James the First of Trinidad, Baron of the

Holy Roman Empire, was born on December 8, 1854. As to the date all

historians agree; as to where the important event took place they

differ. That he was born in France his friends are positive, but at the

time of his death in El Paso the San Francisco papers claimed him as a

native of California. All agree that his ancestors were Catholics and

Royalists who left Ireland with the Stuarts when they sought refuge in

France. The version which seems to be the most probable is that he was

born in San Francisco, where as one of the early settlers, his father,

E. C. Hickey, was well known, and that early in his life, in order to

educate him, the mother took him to Europe.
There he was educated at the Jesuit College at Namur, then at Leipsic,

and later entered the Military College of St. Cyr.

James the First was one of those boys who never had the misfortune to

grow up. To the moment of his death, in all he planned you can trace the

effects of his early teachings and environment; the influences of the

great Church that nursed him, and of the city of Paris, in which he

lived. Under the Second Empire, Paris was at her maddest, baddest, and

best. To-day under the republic, without a court, with a society kept in

funds by the self-expatriated wives and daughters of our business men,

she lacks the reasons for which Baron Haussmann bedecked her and made

her beautiful. The good Loubet, the worthy Fallieres, except that they

furnish the cartoonist with subjects for ridicule, do not add to the

gayety of Paris. But when Harden-Hickey was a boy, Paris was never so

carelessly gay, so brilliant, never so overcharged with life, color, and

In those days "the Emperor sat in his box that night," and in the box

opposite sat Cora Pearl; veterans of the campaign of Italy, of Mexico,

from the desert fights of Algiers, sipped sugar and water in front of

Tortoni's, the Cafe Durand, the Cafe Riche; the sidewalks rang with

their sabres, the boulevards were filled with the colors of the gorgeous

uniforms; all night of each night the Place Vendome shone with the

carriage lamps of the visiting pashas from Egypt, of nabobs from

India, of _rastaquoueres_ from the sister empire of Brazil; the state

carriages, with the outriders and postilions in the green and gold of

the Empress, swept through the Champs Elysees, and at the Bal Bulier,

and at Mabile the students and "grisettes" introduced the cancan. The

men of those days were Hugo, Thiers, Dumas, Daudet, Alfred de Musset;

the magnificent blackguard, the Duc de Morny, and the great, simple

Canrobert, the captain of barricades, who became a marshal of France.

Over all was the mushroom Emperor, his anterooms crowded with the

titled charlatans of Europe, his court radiant with countesses created

overnight. And it was the Emperor, with his love of theatrical display,

of gorgeous ceremonies; with his restless reaching after military glory,

the weary, cynical adventurer, that the boy at St. Cyr took as his

Royalist as was Harden-Hickey by birth and tradition, and Royalist as

he always remained, it was the court at the Tuileries that filled his

imagination. The Bourbons, whom he served, hoped some day for a court;

at the Tuileries there was a court, glittering before his physical eyes.

The Bourbons were pleasant old gentlemen, who later willingly supported

him, and for whom always he was equally willing to fight, either with

his sword or his pen. But to the last, in his mind, he carried pictures

of the Second Empire as he, as a boy, had known it.
Can you not imagine the future James the First, barelegged, in a

black-belted smock, halting with his nurse, or his priest, to gaze up in

awestruck delight at the great, red-breeched Zouaves lounging on guard

at the Tuileries?

"When I grow up," said little James to himself, not knowing that he

never would grow up, "I shall have Zouaves for _my_ palace guard."

And twenty years later, when he laid down the laws for his little

kingdom, you find that the officers of his court must wear the mustache,

"_a la_ Louis Napoleon," and that the Zouave uniform will be worn by the

Palace Guards.

In 1883, while he still was at the War College, his father died, and

when he graduated, which he did with honors, he found himself his own

master. His assets were a small income, a perfect knowledge of the

French language, and the reputation of being one of the most expert

swordsman in Paris. He chose not to enter the army, and instead became

a journalist, novelist, duellist, an _habitue_ of the Latin Quarter and

the boulevards.
As a novelist the titles of his books suggest their quality. Among

them are: "Un Amour Vendeen," "Lettres d'un Yankee," "Un Amour dans

le Monde," "Memoires d'un Gommeux," "Merveilleuses Aventures de

Nabuchodonosor, Nosebreaker."

Of the Catholic Church he wrote seriously, apparently with deep

conviction, with high enthusiasm. In her service as a defender of the

faith he issued essays, pamphlets, "broadsides." The opponents of the

Church in Paris he attacked relentlessly.

As a reward for his championship he received the title of baron.
In 1878, while only twenty-four, he married the Countess de Saint-Pery,

by whom he had two children, a boy and a girl, and three years later

he started _Triboulet_. It was this paper that made him famous to "all


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