In every camp the cheering men were making bonfires of the furnishings of their Winter camps. Chairs, benches, tables, checker-boards, cupboards, what-nots, etc., which had cost them considerable pains to procure, and upon which they had lavished no little mechanical skill, and sometimes artistic ornamentation, were ruthlessly thrown to feed the joyful fires which blazed in each camp which had been lucky enough to receive orders. The bands were playing, to emphasize and give utterance to the rejoicings of the men.He was none too soon, for there were getting to be thousands of very hungry men in Chattanooga who remembered the axiom about the early bird catching the worm, and thought the best time for "snatching" something was in the dark just before reveille. If they could find nothing better, and too often they did not, they would rob the mules of their scanty rations of corn, and soon a mule's feed-box had to be as carefully guarded as the commissary tent of the Headquarters mess."Sometimes one and sometimes the other," responded Si, absently. "Keep quiet, Pete."
"CORPORAL Klegg, you will go on duty to-night with the camp guard!" said the Orderly of Co. Q one evening, as the 200th Ind. filed off into a piece of woods to bivouac for the night, two or three days after Si had been promoted.And he raised his foot threateningly."'Tain't in me to blame 'em. What is 't the Bible says about 'Let him who is without sin cast the first stone?' Certainly I'm not the man to be heavin' dornicks just now."
"Go slow with him, girls," whispered the Deacon to his daughters, after they were seated at the table. "He's a mighty good boy, but he ain't used to girls.""I want you to all act like soldiers, now," continued Si, "and be a credit to the company and the rijiment. We're goin' to be all by ourselves, and everybody's eyes 'll be on us."
"Pap" said Si, by way of introduction, "this is Shorty, my pardner, and the best pardner a feller ever had, and the best soldier in the Army of the Cumberland."ANNABEL came in just as the reading of the letter was finished and her arrival caused a commotion in the family, as it always did, which momentarily distracted attention from the missive and Shorty's absence. She and the mother and daughters had to exchange kisses and news about the health of both families. Then she had to give a filial kiss to the Deacon, who had already begun to assume paternal airs toward her, and finally she got around to Si. Neither of them had yet got to the point of "kissing before folks," and had to be content with furtive squeezing of hands. Si's heart was aching to have Annabel read Capt. McGillicuddy's letter, yet such was his shame-faced modesty that not for the world would he have alluded to it before the family. If he had been alone with her, he might have slipped the letter unopened into her hand, with a shy request for her to read it, but so sternly was the Deacon and his family set against anything like "vainglory" and "self-praise" that he could not bring himself to mention that such a letter had been received. At last, when full particulars had been given about the spread of measles and whooping-cough, who was to preach and who to be baptized at the coming quarterly meeting, Maria's active mind turned to things nearer Si's heart, and she said:
"That's bully," answered Shorty, much mollified. "Say, I've got an idee. D'you see that white thing over there? That's a wagon. The mules 've been taken away, and it's been standing there for an hour. I've seen the Lieutenants and the Orderly-Sergeant sneak back there, and I know what they're up to. They're goin' to sleep in the wagon. Of course, they're officers, and got the first pick. But we kin92 lay down under it, and get out of the rain. Be sides, it looks as if the ground was drier up there than it is down here."
awl about boys. Thair like colts鈥攏eed to be well-brokeShorty very obediently took his place on the seat of the two-horse wagon employed by the Pioneers for their jobs.
"Yes, we'll give you something to eat," said Shorty. "I think there's some of our chicken left. You'll find that good.""What'll you do if you have him and the grasshoppers the same year, Pap?" inquired Si.
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"That is all right," said the stranger, with an air of satisfaction. "The 200th Indianny is a very good regiment. I saw them whip John Morgan's cavalry at Green River. Clumsy farmer boys, but shoot like born devils."Si turned the wagon off, and had gone but a few hundred yards, when he and Shorty saw a house at a little distance, which seemed to promise to furnish something eatable. He and Shorty jumped off and cut across the fields toward it, telling the Deacon they would rejoin him before he reached the picket-line, a mile or so ahead.
"Or I might send it anonymously to the Baptist Board o' Missions," continued the Deacon."Yes, and I'll give you the canteen now and the money after we find the boys."详情
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