The cheerless night drew on. No fires were allowed, and the men huddled together on the wet ground, to get what comfort they could from the warmth of each other's bodies."Ye imp o' the divil鈥攜e unblest scab of an odmahoun. Oi'll brake ivery bone av yer body for goin' around by noights in thim wake-duds, scaring daysint folks out av their siven sinses."
He hurried back to his covert, and then shpped unseen down to where he had selected for his ambush. The old man drove the buckboard around to the front of the house, and the negresses, obeying the shrill orders of the old woman, brought out pones of smoking cornbread, and buckets, tin pans and crocks containing the meat, potatoes, turnips and other food, and loaded them on to the buckboard. The fragrance of the food reached the Deacon's nostrils, and made his mouth water and fond anticipations rise as to the good it would do the boys.The next morning they unrolled their booty and gloated over it. It would make a perfect roof, and they felt it repaid all their toils. Upon measurement they found it much larger each way than their log pen.
"Confound them snips of Aids," said he angrily, as he wiped the mud off. "Put on more airs than if they was old Gen. Scott himself. Always pretend to be in such a powerful hurry. Everybody must hustle out of their way. I think that fool jest did that on purpose.""I alluz thought," said the Sergeant, "that you Yankees wuz not half so bad ez I believed that yo'uns wuz. Yo'uns is white men, if yo'uns do want to take away our niggers."
"Well, you just keep off en my toes with them rockgrinders o' your'n," Harry retorted.
They found the house a blaze of light, shining kindly from the moment it came in sight, and there was a welcome in Towser's bark which touched Si's heart.It Burst With a Loud 'bang.' 145
"Some new recruit's," said Si, as they examined the inside. "Looks like the one I packed from Injianny. What's this? I declare if it ain't a pair o' new shoes, and about my size; and some socks. I tell you, Shorty, I'm in luck."While their coffee was boiling Si and Shorty broke off a few cedar branches to lay under them, and keep out the mud. The rain still drizzled, cold, searching and depressing, but they were too utterly tired to do anything more than spread their over coats on the branches, lay their blankets and ponchos over, and crawl in between.
The negro brought in the supper, and the men ate it sitting by the fire.
"Indeed you're not," said the Deacon, putting his thumb on the hammer."My goodness, my heart sunk worse than ever before when I heard the door shut behind me. There were 30 or 40 others in the bull-pen. They were all lying around鈥攄ull, stupid, sullen, silent, unt hopeless. They hardly paid any attention to me. I sat down on a log, unt my heart seemed to sink clear out of me. For the first time in my life I couldn't see the slightest ray of hope. Through the cracks in the bull-pen I could see the fresh graves of the men who had already been shot, unt while I looked I saw a squad of niggers come out unt begin digging the graves of those who were to be shot to-morrow. I could see rebel soldiers unt officers passing by, stop unt look a moment at the graves, shrug their261 shoulders, unt go on. It froze my blood to think that tomorrow they would be looking at my grave that way. After a while a man came in unt gave each one of us a piece of cornbread unt meat. The others ate theirs greedily, but I could not touch it. Night came on, unt still I sat there. Suddenly the door opened, unt the Adjutant-General came in with a man about my size and dressed something like me. As he passed he caught hold of my arm in a sort of way that made me understand to get up unt follow behind him, I did so at once without saying a word. I walked behind him around the bull-pen until we came back to the door, when the guard presented arms, unt he walked out, with me still behind him, leaving the other man inside. After we had gone a little way he stopped unt whispered to me:One day he found the Herd-Boss in camp, and poured forth his troubles to him. The Herd-Boss sympathized deeply with him, and cudgeled his brains for a way to help.
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"Great Jehosephat," murmured Shorty. "They seem to be all here.""Teamster had got hold of a letter to his girl," explained the Sergeant, "and was reading it to these whelps."
"The woods is full o' rebel cavalry comin' acrost the crick," gasped Jim, as he rammed down his cartridge. "There, you kin see 'em for yourself."详情
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