The din of battle was prodigious, for the rattle of musketry was echoed and re-echoed from the rocks. The progress of the skirmishers could only be noted by the light smoke rising through the foliage and by the shouts of the soldiers, which were echoed by the still louder ones of the French, gathered strongly on the hill above them. As the British made their way up, Laborde, who was still anxiously looking for the expected coming of Loison, withdrew a portion of his troops from the left and strengthened his right, in order to hold on as long as possible on the side from which aid was expected. The ardour of the British to get to close quarters favoured this movement.
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