The Algona Republican from Algona, Iowa on October 9, 1895 · Page 6
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The Algona Republican from Algona, Iowa · Page 6

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Algona, Iowa
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Wednesday, October 9, 1895
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•CHAPTER VIII. recs bc. rs "n,n softly to Sing a twilight. The burnished sun til slanted bronae rays struck st. There was a lull in the f insects r.s if they had bowed :fiks and worn making a de- 1 pause. Tliero was silence the chanted chorus of the The youth still lamented. "Oh, Jim —oh, Jim—oh. Jim." "Ych know," said the tall soldier, "1 was out there." lie made a careful gesture. "An', Lord, what a circus. And, b' jiminy, I get Shot—T got shc-t. Yes. b' jiminy—I pot shot." He reiterated this fact in a bewildered way as h.- n, upon this stillness, there sud- broke a tremendous clangor of ds. A crimson roar came from the lice. 'he youth stopped. He was trans- by this terrific medley of all es. It was as if worlds were being led. There was the rippling sound iiisketry and the creaking crash of ::rtillery. mind flow in all directions, -.ecivcd the two armies to be at each :>rr panther-ifishion.' He '. • ;i time. Then lie began to run in .- direction of ilv: battle. He saw ;:t it was an iro-.ihvil thing for him to mnnhifj thus tr>v.-;iivl that which had b:5cn fit nue'.i pams to avoid. 1-J.yit lie said, in SYil.'Shuica, to himself tlir.f. if the earth nrA 11100:1 \\-erc about t'.v olas'h, many persons would doubtless fti".ir\ to got upon roofs to \vitnessthe eoUi.-viori. AH lie ran, he botv.Mr.o awm-o that the fere.nl li.ad stopped its music, as if al Ir^a^ceotr.ung crpa'olo of hearing the foreign sounds. T!;.o triv.vi luiahcd am 1 atood jnotionlcsv,. Kver;/thing scoinei to ibe listening to the crackle arid Matter and car-.shs:Jnii;r thunder. The uterus periled over the at ill earth. S't suddenly cccr.rivd to the youth tin sit the fight ir. which lie had been, was, after all, but perfunctory pop- plug. In the hens-ing :vf tht.-i present *ila* lie was doubtful if ha hud ticcn r;;.-.nl battle-scenes. This uproar explained a .celestial battle; it was tumbling'hordes u-struggle in tlic air. I'ic -went rapidly on. He wlslio;! to ocane'to the edge of tho forest that he nilsfht peer out. /\s.'ke hastened, there jessed through bis Tiiiud pictures of stupendous conflicts. His accuuiulnted thoughts upon stscli subjects were used to form scenes. The noise was as the voice of an eloquent being, describing. Sometimes the brambles formed chains and tried to hold him back. , confronting him, stretched out arms and forbade him to pass, its previous hostility this newrc- sli.roiico of the forest filled him with a bitterness. It seemed that nature not be quite ready to kill him. lie obstinately took roundabout 13 s and presently he was where he sec long gray walls of vapor, here-lay battle lines. The voices of •cannon shook him. The musketry S't Tided in long irregular surges that pVjed havoc with his curs. He stood rir,lent for a moiTiont. His eyes had .iwe-struck expression. He gawked the direction of the fight. ,V "scntlv he proceeded a^ain on his vvnrd way. The 'otittlo was like the . (iii?/j ('f nn ir.iraonso and terrible i iso to him. -Its complexities and <_rs, .-its grim processes, fascinated ! Lie must go close and see it pro- i,.^ corpse?. Zip came finally to a road from which he-could see in the- distance dark and agitated bodies of troops, smoke- fringed. In the lane was a bloodstained crowd streaming to the rear, T3u>- wounded men were cursing, groaning and wailing. In the air, always, was a. mighty swell of sound tltait it seemed could sway the earth. With the courageous words of the ar- tilSery and the spiteful sentences of the nmsUetry were mingle;! red cheers. And firma this region of noises came the Steady current of the maimed. One of the wounded men had a shoe- fill of blood. He hopped like a schoolboy in a game. He was laughing hysterically. One was'swearing that he had been H&P* in Uic arm through the command- jzsjy general's 'mismanagement of the knother had the gray seal of death already upon his face. His lips were ewrled in hard lines find his teeth were cinched. His hands wero bloody from he had pressed them upon his Ho seemed to be aw'amng-; 1894.1 barrels. lie C5'ecl the story-teller with unspeakable wonder. His mouth was a-gap in yokel fashion. The sergeant taking note of this gave pause to his elaborate history while he administered a sardonic comment. "Be careful, honey, you'll be catching flies," he said. The tattered man shrank back abash cc 1 .» After a time he began tc sidle near to the youth and in a diffident way tried to make him a friend. His voice was gentle as a girl's voice and his eyes were pleading. The youth saw with surprise that the soldier had two wounds, one. in the head, bound with a blood-soaked rag and the other in the arm, making that member dangle like a broken bough After they had walked together for some time, the tattered man mustered sufficient courage to speak. "Was pretty pood fight, wasn't it?" he timidly said. The youth, deep in thought, fylanccd up at the bloody and grim figure with its lamb like eyes. ."What?" '"Was pretty good fight, wasn't it?" "Yes," said the youth, shortly. lie quickened his pace. But the other hobbled industriously after him. "War, pretty good fight, wasn't it?" he persisted, in a small voice. And then he achieved the fortitude to continue: "Dcrn me, if I ever see fellers fight so. Laws, how they did fight. I knew the boys would lick when they once got square at it. The boys ain't had no fair chance up to now, but, this time, they showed what they was. I knew it would turn out this way. Von can't lick them boys. No sir. They're fighters, they be." He breather! a deep breath of humble admiration. His homely ftit-o was suffused with a light of love for tho army which was to him all thing:.; beautiful and powerful. After a time, he turned to the youth. "Where yon hit. old boy?" he asked in :i. brotherly tor.e. The ycr.th felt intitant panic at this rp-.ostion, althou^'i lit first its full import «vas not bcrne in upon him. "What?" he asked. ••Where you hit?" repeated the tat- ter-.vl man. ••\V]iy?" be~an the youth. "I—I— that is—why- I—" He turned away suddenly and slid through the crowd. II is brow was heavily flushed, and his fingers wero pic'k- i:i;7 nervously at one of his buttons. Lie bended his head and fastened his eyes studiously ur-on the button as if it were a little problem. The tattered man looked after him in astonishment. CHAPTER IX The youth fell back in the procession until the tattered soldier was not in sight. Then he started to walk on with others. But he was amid wounds. The mob of men was bleeding. Because of the tattered soldier's question, he now felt that his shame could be viewed. He was continually casting side-long glances to see if the men were contemplating the letters of guilt he felt burned into his brow. At times he regarded the wounded soldiers in an envious way. Ho conceived persons with torn bodies to be peculiarly happy. He wished that he, too, had a wound—a little red badge of W ouKd. Ho seemed to be awSffinB-tho moment when ho should pitch head* ' Tho spectral soldier was at his side l:l:e a stalking reproach. The man's cyea were still fixed in a stare into the unknown. His gray, appalling face hud attracted attention in the crowd, and men, slowing to his dreary pace, were walking with him. Thoy were discussing his plight, questioning him and giving him advice. In a dogged way he repelled them, signing to them to go on and leave him alone. Tho shadows of h is face were deepening and his tight lips seemed holding in check the moan of great despair. There could be seen a certain stiffness in the movements of his body, as if lie were taking infinite care not to arouse if he did not know how it came about. The youth put forth anxious arms tc assist him. but the tall soldier went. ffrmlv on as if propelled. Since the youth's arrival as a guardian for his friend, the other wounded men had ceased to display much interest. They occupied themselves again in dragging their tragedies toward the rear. Suddenly, as the two friends marched on, the tall f-oldier seemed to be overcome by a terror. His face turned to a semblance of gray paste. He clutched the youth's arm and looked all about himi as if dreading to be overheard. Then he began to speak in a shaking whisper: "I toll yeh what I'm 'fraid of, Flem —I'll tell yeh what I'm 'fraid of. I'm 'fraid I'll fall down—an' then yeh know —them damned artillery wagons—they like as not '11 run over me. That's what I'm 'fraid of." The youth cried out to him hysterically: "I'll take care of yen, Jim. I'll take'care of yeh. 1 swear to Gawd I will." "Sure—will yen, Flem?" the tall soldier bcsceched. "Yes, yes, I tell yeh—I'll take care of yeh, Jim," protested the youth, tie could not speak accurately because of the gulping in his throat. But the tall soldier continued to plead in a lowly way. He now hung babe-like to the youth's arm. His oycn rolled in the wildness of his terror. "I was allusa good friend t' yeh, wa'nt I. Flem? I've allus been a -pretty good icller, aint I? An' it aint much t' ask. is it? Jest t' pull me along outer th' road? I'd do it fer you, wouldn't I. Flem?" He paused in piteous anxiety to await his friend's reply. The youth had reached an anguish where the sobs scorched him. He strove to express his loyalty, but he could only make fantastic gestures. However, the tall soldier seemed suddenly to forget all those fears, lie became again the grim, stalking specter of a soldier. He went stonily forward. The youth wished his friend to lean upon him, but tho other always shoo!: his head and strangely protested: "Xo —no—leave me be—leave me be—" His look was fixed again upon the unknown. He moved with mysterious purpose. And all of the youth's olrers he brushed aside. "No—no—leave ir.e be—lefive me be—" The youth had to follow. Presently the latter heard a voice talking softly near his shouldor. Turvi- iD s:\w that it belonged to the tcroil soldier. "Yo'tl better take'im r>, th' road, pardncr. There's a ,'try co::iin' ho) i by whoop down th' road an' he'll git runned over. He's a goner anyhow i:i about five minutes— yeh kin see that. Ye'd better take 'im outa th' road. Where th' blazes does he git his stren'th from?" ••Lord knows." cried the you th. He was shaking his hands helplessly. Me ran forward, presently, and grasped the tall soldier by the arm. ".Jim, Jim." he coaxed, "come with me." The tall soldier weakly tried to wrench himself free. "Huh," he said, vacantly. He stared at the youth for a moment. At last he spoke as if dimly comprehending: "Oh, inteh th' fields? Oh." He started blindly through the grass. The j'outh turned once to look at the lashing riders and bouncing guns of the battery. He was startled from his view by a shrill outcry from tho tattered man. "Gawd, He's rurmia'." Turning his head swiftly, the youth saw his friend running in a staggering and stumbling way toward a little clump of bushes. His heart seemed to wrench itself almost free from his body at this sight. He made a noise of pain. He and the tattered man began a pursuit. There was a singular race. When he overtook the tall soldier, he began to plead with all the words he cculd find. "Jim—Jim—what are you doing—what makes you do this way— you'll hurt yourself." The same purpose was in the tall soldier's face. He protested in a dulled way, keeping his eyes fastened on the mystic place of his intentions. "No, no—don't tech me—leave me be—leave me be." The youth, aghast and filled with wonder at the tall soldier, began qua- veringly to question him. "Where yeh goin', Jim? What you thinking about? Where you going? Tell me, won't you, Jim?" Tho tall soldier faced about as in-.t. tat- ov.t b-.:.t 10530-, He stalked like the specter of a , his eyes burning with the power .jvsitare into the unknown. '"'"•There were some who proceeded sullenly, full of anger at their wounds gkjad're.a.dy to turn upon anything as an obscure civu«c. youth joined the crowd and itfj it. wful m •-•• ..-—.... -_—_-„~ was kickingaifd tamoling furiously to be free. This spectacle of gradual strangulation made the yoxith writhe, and once, as his friend rolled his eyes, he saw something in them that made him sink wailing to the ground. He raised his voice in a last Supreme call: "Jim! Jim! Jim!" The tall soldier opened his lips and Spoke, tie made a gesture. "Leave me be—don't tech me—leave me be—" There was another silence, while he waited. Suddenly his form stiffened and straightened. Then it was shaken by a prolonged -ague. He stared into space. To the two watchers there was a curious and profound dignity in the firm lines of his awful face. •tie was invaded by a creeping strange ness that slowly enveloped him. For a moment the tremor of his legs caused him to dance a sort of hideous hornpipe, tlis arms beat wildly about his head in expression of imp-like enthusiasm. His tall figure stretched itself to its full height. There wasa slight rending sound. Then it began to swing forward, slow and straight, in the manner of a falling tree. A swift muscular contortion made the left shoulder strike the ground first. The body seemed to bounce a little way from the earth. "God," said the tattered soldier. The youth had watched spell-bound, this ceremony at the place of meeting. II is face had been twisted into an expression of every agony he had imagined for his friend. Me now sprang to his feet and, going closer, gazed upon the paste-like face. The mouth was open and the tooth showed in a laugh. As tho (lap of the bine jacket fel. away from the body lie could see that the side looked as if it had been chewed by wolves. The youth turned, with sudden, livid rage, toward the battlefield. He shook his fist. He seemed about to deliver a phillipic. , "Hell—" The red sun was pasted in the sky like a fierce wafer. ' The tattered man stood musing. "Well, he was reg'lar jim-dandy for nerve, wan't he," said he finally in a little awe-struck voice. A reg'lar jim- dandy." He thoughtfully poked one of the docile hands with his foot. "I wonner where he got 'is stren'th from? I never seen a man do like that, before. It was a funny thing. Well, ho was a reg'lar jim-dandy." The youth desired to screech- out his grief. ' He was stabbed. But his tongue lay dead in the tomb of his mouth. Ho threw himself again upon the ground and began to brood. The tattered man stood musing. "Look a here, pardner," he said, after a time. He regarded the corpse as he spoke. "He's up an' gone, aint 'e, an' we might as well begin t' look out fer ol' number one." The youth, awakened by the tattered soldier's tone, looked quickly up. He saw that he, was swinging uncertainly on his legs and that his face had turned to a shade of blue. "Good Lord," he cried, in fear, "you ain't going to—not you too." The tattered man waved his hand. "Nary die," he said. "All I want is some pea-soup an' a good bed. Some pea-soup," he repeated dreamfullj-. The youth arose from the ground. "I wonder where he came from. I left him over there!" He pointed. "And now I find 'im here. And he was coming' from over there, too." He indicated a new direction. They both turned toward the body as if to interrogate it. . "Well." at length spoke the tattered man, "there ain't no use in our stay in' hero an' tryin' t' ask him anything." The youth nodded an assent, wearily. They both turned to gaze for a moment at the corpse. The youth murmured something. "Well, he was a jim-dandy, wan't 'e?" said the tattered man as if in response. They turned their backs upon it and started away. For a time, they stole softly, treading with their toes. It remained laughing there in the grass, "I'm commencin 1 t' feel pretty bad," said the tattered man suddenly breaking one of his little silences. "I'm commencin' t' feel pretty damn bad." The youth groaned. "Oh, Lord." .Was he to be the witness of another encounter? !>ut his companion waved his hand reassuringly "Oh, I'm not goin't'die yit," As they plodded on the tattered soi- dter continued to talk. "Besides, if I died. I wouldn't die th' way that feller otie, w'fts beginnisg to net dumb and ftnimal-like. His thoughts seemed to be floundering about in his hoatl. "Now—now—look—here you—now. I won't have this—this here won't do. Where—where yeh goin'?" The youth pointed vaguely "Over there," he replied. "Well, now, look-a-liere—no\v," said the tattered man, rambling on in idiot fashion. His head was hanging forward and his w o r d s w ere slurred. "This thing won't do, now. Ych wnnta go trompin' off with a bad hurt. It ain't right- how—it ain't. Yeh wanta leave me take keer of HE COULD liEAn Tinsel. It ain't TAtTKREtl JtAUBMSAT- right—it am t. ING. In reply the youth climbed a fence and started away. He could hear the tattered man bleating plaintively. Once he faced about angrily. "What?" "Look-a-here, now—now—it ain't—" The youth went on. Turning at a distance he saw the tattered man wan* dcring about helplessly in the fields. the man screamed: "fret go me! Let go me." H5s face was livid and his oyes were rolling uncontrolled. He was heaving and panting. He still grasped his fine, perhaps having forgotten to release his hold upon it, He tugged frantically and the youth being compelled to lean forward was dragged several paces. "Let go me! Let go me." "Why—why—" stuttered the youth. "Well, then—" bawled the man in a lurid rage. He adroitly find fiercely swung his rifie. It crushed upon the youth's head. The man ran on. The youth's fingers had turned to paste upon the other's arm. The energy was smitten from his muscles. He saw the flaming wings of lightning flash before his vision. There was a deafening rumble of thunder Within his head. Suddenly his legs seemed to die. He sank withering to the CHAPTER X. He became aware that the furnace- roar of the battle was growing louder. Great brown clouds had floated to the still heights of air before him. The noise, too, was approaching. The woods filtered men and the fields became dotted. As he rounded a hillock he perceived that, the roadway was now a crying mass of wagons, teams and men. From the heaving tangle issued exhortations, commands, imprecations. Fear was sweeping it all along. The cracking .whips bit and horses plunged and tugged. The white-topped wagons strained and stumbled in their exertions like fat sheep. Presently the calm head of a forward- going column of infantry appeared in the road. It came swiftly on. Avoiding the obstructions gave it the sinuous movement of a serpent. The men at the head butted mules with their musket stocks. They prodded teamsters, indifferent to all howls. The men forced their way through parts of the dense mass by strength. The blunt head of the column pushed. The raving teamsters swore many strange oaths. As the youth looked at the regiments, the black weight of his woe returned to him. He felt that he was regarding a procession of chosen beings. The separation %vas as great to him as if they had marched with weapons of flame and banners of sunlight. He could never be like them. He could have wept in his longings. He discovered that he had a scorching thirst. His face was so dry and grimy that he thought he could feel his skin crackle. Each bone of his body had an ache in it and seemingly threatened to break with each moment. His feet were like two sores. Also, his body was calling for food. It was more powerful than a direct hunger. There ivas a dull, weight-like feeling in his stomach, and when he tried to walk Ills "head swayed and he tottered. He aould not see with distinctness. Small patches of crimson mist floated before liis vision. Whiles he had been tossed by many emotions he had not been aware of ailments. Now they beset him and made clamor. A certain moth-like quality within him kept him in the vicinity of. the battles. He had a great desire to see, and to get news. He wished to know who was winning. The column that had butted stoutly at the obstacles in the roadway was Barely out of. the youth's sight before he saw dark waves of men come sweeping out of the woods and down through' the fields. He knew at once that the steel fibers had been washed from their hearts. They were bursting from their coats and their equipments as from entanglements. They charged down upon him like terrified buffaloes. Behind them blue smoke curled and clouded above the tree-tops and through the thickets he could sometimes see a distant pink glare. The voices of the cannon were clamoring in interminable chorus. The youth was horror-stricken, lie stared in agony and amazement. The fight was lost. The dragons were coming with invincible strides. The army, helpless in the matted thickets, and blinded by the overhanging night, was going to be swallowed. War, the red animal, war, the blood- swollen god, would have bloated fill- Within him. something bade to cry IT eiu-suiop tri'ort THE YOUTJl'8 tlEAt). ground. He tried to arise. In his efforts against the numbing pain lie was like a man wrestling with a creature of the air. There was a sinister struggle. Sometimes, hb would achieve a position half erect, battle with thc_ air for a moment, and then fall again, grabbing at the grass. His face was of a clammy pallor. Deep groans were wrenched from him. The the he torn bodies machinery w marched ^prewe winch tho oen had been entangled. Orderlies and couriers occasionally itae through the throng in ««* ' load : wSWatterina- wounded men right and 531 ffSkffiiaf? on, followed by howis. The koltvn&oly ""^ WUH eon tmna \* aVy-. the mongers find by Inviting butteries that giurj uncl'-thuinpiajj down them, tho olScdrs ahoutmsf ordors to clear the way. ere was a tattered mnn There was , blood and powder stain from hair shoes, who trudged quietly tvt the side, lie was listening with and much humility to the deseripticme 0 | a boarded ser- Ws loan features wore an cx- flj »wo and •admiration. We » Ustouop in » country store told iwwmstho sugar the passions of his wounds As be went on he seemed always looking for a place, like one who goes to choose a grave. Something in the gesture of the man as he waved the bloody and pitying soldiers away made the youth start as if bitten. He yelled in horror, Tottering forward, he laid a quivering hand upon the man's arm. As the latter slowly turned his wax-like features toward him the youth screamed: "Gawd! Jim Ccnklin!" The tall soldier made n little commonplace smile. "Hello, Flem!" he said. The youth swayed on his leg.-* and glared strangely. I k« stuttered and stammered. "Oh, Jim-oh, Jim—-oh, Jim," The tall soldier held out his {•• o r y h a n d. There was a curious red ni:d blnclt combination of new blood find eld blood upon it. " W here yeh been, Flem?" ''"? ashed. He con- tin lie d in a run' J thought maybe vor There's beeu !;iv I was worry- deal." JIM UN!" notorious voice you got !;•.".•!'. thunder to p \.j vc.'i pbi-.-.i it v. <: it pon relentless pursuers. In his oyes there was a great appeal. "Leave me be, can't yeh? Leave me be fer a roip- nit." ' ' The youth recoiled. "Why, Jim," he said, in a dazed way, "what's the matter with you?" The tall soldier turned and, lurching dangerously, went on. The youth and the tattered soldier followed, sneaking as if whipped, feeling unable to face the stricken man if he should again confront them- They began to have thoughts of a solemn ceremony. There was something rite-like in these movements of the doomed soldier. And there was a resemblance in him to a devotee of a mad religion, blood-sucking, muscle-wrenching, bone.'-crushing. They could not understand; they wore awed and afraid. They hung iback, lest he have at command a dreadful weapon. At last, they saw him stop and stand motionless. 'Hastening lip, they per* coived that his face wore an expression telling that ho had at last found the place for winch he had struggled. His spare figure was erect; his bloody luindh were quietly at his sides. He \vas> waiting with patience for something that he had come to meet. He was at the rendezvous. They paused, and stood expectant- There wa,s ti silence. Finally t>he chest of the doomed soldier began to heave with a strained motion. It increased in violence it was as if an pninjal was within did. That was th' funniest thing. I'd jest Hop down, I would, I never seen a feller die th' way that feller did." Then he made a calm announcement; "There's two of 'em, little ones, but they're beginnin' to have fun with me now, I don't believe I kin walk much furder." They went slowly on in sijence, "Yeh look pretty peeked yerself," said tho tattered man, at last. "I bet yeh've got a worser one than yeh think, Where is it located?" 13\it he continued to harangue vaguely without waiting for a reply, The youth had been wriggling since the other had begun to speak of wounds, He now gave a cry of exasperation and made a, furious motion with his hand, "Oh, don't bother we," ho said, "Now, don't bother me, 1 ' he repeated, with desperate menace"Well, Lord knows j don't wanta bother anybody," said the tattered man. There was a Uttlo accent of despair in his voice as he replied. "Lord knows I've gpta 'nough m' own t' 'tend to." Tho youth, who had been holding a. bitter debate with himself and casting glances of hftte and contempt at the tattered man, here spolje i© a hard voice. l( Goo4'hy," he sai<J< The tattered map looked at him in gaping ' an^genvmt, "Why—wh£ partner, wheye yeh. gain'?" h.§ m to ypuih.. JoQ|je4 at 1 t 8,9, tOO; ' out. He had the impulse to make a rallying speech, to sing a battle hymn but he could only get his .tongue to call into the air; 'Why—why—what- what's th' matter?" Soon he was in the midst of them, They were leaping and scampering all about him. Their blanched faces shone in the dusk, The yonth turned from one to another' of them as they gaUoped along. His incoherent questions were lost. They were heedless of his appeals. They did not seem to see him, They sometimes gabbled, insanely. One huge man was asking of the sky: "Say, where de plank road? Where de planli road?" It was as if he Iw4 lost $, cluUi He wept in his pain and disrapy. Presently, men were running hjthpr and thither in all ways. The artillery booming, forward, rearward, and on the flanks made jvimbje of ideas of direction, landmarks had vanished into the gathered gloom.- The youth began to imagine that ho had gotten into Uio center of the tremendous quarro} and ho cowld perceive po way out of i,t. from the mouths of tho fleeing men came a, thousand wild questions, but uo one made answers. The youth sifter rushing abpvitand throwing Jntej'r4)gfttions &t the less panels of retreating inf clutched ft may by the arm. swung around, ~ CHAPTER XL At last, with a twisting movement, he got upon his hands and knees and from thence, like ft babe trying to walk, to his feet. Pressing his hands to his temples, ho went lurching over the grass. Ho fought an intense battle with his body. His dulled senses wished him to swoon and he opposed them stubbornly, his mind portraying unknown dangers and mutilations if he should fall upon the field. He went in- tall- soldier fashion. He imagined secluded spots where he could fall and be unmolested. To reach one, he strove against the tide of his pain. Once, ho put his hand to the top of his head and timidly touched the wound. The scratching pain of the contact made him draw a long breath through his clenched teeth. His fingers were dabbled with blood. He regarded them with a fixed stare. Around him, he could hear the grumble of jolted cannon as tho scurrying horses were lashed toward tho front. Once, a young officer on a be- splashcd charger nearly ran him down. Ho turned and watched the mass of guns, men and horses sweeping in a wide curve toward a gap in a fence. The officer was making excited motions with a gauntleted hand. The guns followed the teams with an air of unwillingness, of being dragged by the heels. Some officers of the scattered infan--i., try were cursing and railing like fishwives. Their scolding voices could be heard abo.ve the din. Into the unspeakable jumble in the roadway, rode a squadron of cavalry. The faded yellow of their facings shone bravely. There was amighty altercation. The artillery were assembling as if for a conference. The blue haze of evening w r as upon the fields. The lines of forest were long purple shadows. One cloud lay along the western sky partly srnothe-r- ing the red. As the youth le^t the scene behind him, he heard the guns suddenly roar out. He imagined them' shaking in black rage. They belched and roared t like brass devils aruarding a gate. The soft air was filled with the tremendous remonstrance. With it came the shattering peal of opposing infantry. Turning to look behind him, he could see, sheets of orange light illumine the shadowy distance. There were subtle and sudden lightnings in the far air, At times he thought he could see heaving masses of men. *' He hurried on in.tho dusk. The day had faded until he could barely distinguish places for his feet. Tho purple darkness was filled with men who lectured and jabbered, Sometimes he could see them gesticulating against the somber sky. There seemed to be a great ruck of men and munitions spread about in the forests and in the fields. The little, narrow road way now lay lifeless. There were overturned wagons like sun*dried bowlders. The bed of the former torrent was choked with the bodies of horses and splintered, parts of wvr machines. It had oome to pass that his wound pained him but little, Be was afraid to move rapidly, however, for a dread of disturbing it. He held his head very still and took many precautions against stumbling. Be was filled with ansiety, and his face was pinched and drawn in anticipation of. the pain of any sudden mistake of his, feet in th§ gioom, Bis thoughts, as he walked, Used intently upon his hurt, There was a cool, liquid feeling about it and h,§ imagined blood, moving slowly dow» under his hair, tiis head seemed, s^ypl» len to a sige that ma4e him thwH his. to be inadequate, > * pew silence of W§ wound, madg WQrrim.ent, The Jjttle, jng voices of pain, that had called from his scalp, were, ho though^ •. nito in their expression of danger, them,* be bel)eys?4 he could. pUgM- , liut when • they ominously silent, he be,wme and imagined t9r-rjbj§ fingers yU\to,hed, jnta his jjrain. \]$ held 4?on^inu.Pus f^rgjj}»eBt^ Af J^l, whether he shoul4 Us 4owg ' " atfsptue neaj 1 spot, or- force until Ue reached a. ceriain often trie$ to, dismiss the question, huj 1 hjs body p,ors.Jsi;ed. < * B

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