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THE FALL OF QUEBEC   95

A few moments later the headland was rounded, and the sheltered little bay now known as Wolfe's Cove reached. Quickly as the boats discharged their human freight, each man passed across the sandy beach, and on hands and knees, holding to bushes, vines, roots of trees, breathlessly and in silence began to make the ascent as best he could. Barricades there were near the top, but these were not formidable and could easily be set aside. In a short time the glimmer of coming dawn could be distinguished through the dense foliage at the top, and so silently had they come that the dash of the first up to seize the sentry, half-sleepily leaning on his musket, was the first intimation he had received of the event. Wholly surprised, the occupants of the tents were soon overpowered, and a few musket shots apprised the waiting troops of the successful ascent, whereupon a general rush from below took place, and in the grey dawn the plateau was soon alive with men. The Plains of Abraham had been reached—but could the field be kept ? There was but one possibility —victory. The alternative meant annihilation.

Meanwhile the camp at Beauport had been apprised that something was wrong by the batteries on the summit, and soon men were pour-


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