The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 69
Many are aware that French soldiers are far away above ours in looking after number one when on a campaign, and things must be scarce indeed if they cannot only procure enough for their own use, but turn in some honest coins by selling to others. If in the vicinity of English troops they look upon them as solid cash, as they are easily caught. The following proof will amply show this. The victim is still in the flesh within the bounds of the Provincial District of Wellington.
One day a French soldier called at the hut of the Grenadier Company of the Die Hards in the Crimea, with what he called a rabbit. Everything that could have told the tale was carefully taken off, and the animal was just ready for the cook. The price asked and obtained was 3s. 6d., and the man went off rejoicing. The next day he came around crying "meeow," "meeow." It then dawned upon those who had feasted that they had eaten a cat, and such was the case. It was useless offering any more rabbits in that quarter. Frequently' they would come round collecting all the spare biscuits, to even the sweepings of the huts, take it away, grind it up, make it into bread, and come next day and sell a loaf page 42 for perhaps 2s. or 2s. 6d. Meet a French soldier in the Crimea and you could bet a thousand to one that you could purchase from him a tot of cognac.