The Algona Republican from Algona, Iowa on October 16, 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 16, 1895
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Page 6
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fflft IIRAGE. the noise of skirmishers came oods on the front and left, oil the right had grown to roportions. The guns were 'ithout an instant's pause for Seemed that the cannon had all parts and were engaged ihdoufj wrangle. It became iftossiblc to make a sentence Mong the men in the rifle again flew like birds, they were now, for the most * ing creatures who flapped drearily near to the ground Bed to rise on any wings of de men's faces grew doleful interpreting of many omens, hesitation and uncertainty on bf those high in place, and reality, came to their ears. Stories Were borne in to their minds .ny proofs. This din of muse right, growing like a rc- ie of sound, expressed and id the army's plight. gray mists had been total,ed by the sunrays, the reg- imarching in a spread colas retiring carefully through The disordered, hurrying enemy could sometimes be through the groves and They were yelling, shrill t. ,h's friend had a geograph- concerning a stream, and permission to go for some [mediately canteens were on him. "Fill mine, will g me some, too." "And e departed, ladened. The with his friend. Upon , they looked over their own i,saw mixed masses slowly regular form. The sun- twinkling points of the To the rear there was a distant roadway as it a slope. It was crowded ,ting infantry. From all the in forest arose the smoke and the battle. The air was al- Well, I'll be derned. Charge? What fer? What at? Wilson, you're iyin'." "1 hope to die," said the youth, pitching his tones to the key of angry remonstrance. "Sure as shoot* ing, I tell yen." "CIIABGE? CHARGE?*' And his friend spoke in reinforcement. " Not by a blame sight, he ain't lyin'. We heard >, occupied by a blaring, kjyhere they stood, shells were |ng and hooting. Occasional izzed in the air and spanged Wounded men and |fwere slinking- through i an aisle of the grove, his companion saw a il and his staff almost founded man who was [hands and knees. The edjstrongly at his charger's SEpoan.7 mcuth and guided it Brous horseiranship past the itter scranbled in wild feuiing hasts. I-ILi strength evi- hini as h3 reached a place Cue c:f his arms suddenly Sefi, zt:r3 ac fell, sliding over lis back. I-T-j /.-ay stretched out, .i£ gently. foment later, '.lie t.;ai'.U, creaking ide was directly in front of the jldiers. Another officer, riding je skillful abarivf.on of a cowboy, ill his hcrse tc a position directly ,he fror.eral. The two unno- , soldiers made a little show |n,but they lingered in the de•hear the conversation. Per- thong-lit, some great inner |things would be said, icral, who the boys knew as land fir of the division, looked >r and spoke coolly, as if he 2isin-g bis clothes. "The Iprmin' over there for another ;be said. "It'll be directed ftntL-rside.an' I'm afraid they'll there unless we work jcr to stop them." I began to talk rapidly and in He frequently illustrated a pointing finger. The jtrymen could hear nothing he asked: "What troops ?are?" jeer who rode like a cowboy Ifor an instant. "Well," .he tad to order in tho Twelfth to f Seventy-sixth an 1 I haven't f any, Troops are scarce with !there's th"ii» Three Hundred th, They fight', like a lot of |rs. I can spare them best of ;th and his friend exchanged astonishment. ral spoke- sharply. "Get 'cm in.. I'll watch developments and send you word when to |m, It'll happen in five rain- 'other officer tossod his fingers ,'onp and, v/hcoli'ip; his horse, ivay, t"° general called out to aber voice; "I don't believe iyouv mule drivers will got >r shouted something in re- ailed, faces, I.!H! youth and his ned back to the line, "jehod, the young'Heu* jiiuuided the. company, ' and, swelled with f—Wiis;o.j»r-:ho\y long 'git yifater, Jin us he saw their Urge with great talcs. charge,' 1 cried, the inning with bis nesvs. the ^eutenant. 'Gawd.." Qm' his wen,t » boastful 'cm talkm'." They caught sight of two mounted figures a short distance from them. One was the colonel of the regiment and the other was the officer who had received orders from the commander of the division. They were gesticulating at each other. The youth, pointing at them, interpreted the soene. The men settled back, then, in reposeful attitudes with airs of having accepted the matter. And they nmsed upon it, with a hundred varieties of expression. It was an engrossing thing to think about. Many tightened their belts carefully and hitched at their trousers. A moment later, the officers began to bustle among the men, pushing them into a more compact mass and into a better alignment. They chased those that straggled and fumed at a few men who seemed to show by their attitudes that they had decided to remain at that spot. Presently the regiment seemed to draw itself up and heave a deep breath. None of the men's faces were mirrors of large thoughts. The soldiers wern bended and stooped like springers before a signal. Many pairs of glinting eyes peered from the grimy faces toward the curtains of the deeper woods. They seemed to be engaged in deep calculation of time and distance. They were surrounded by the noises of the monstrous altercation between the two armies. The world was fully interested in other matters. Apparently, the regimont had its small affair to itself. The youth, turning, shot a quick, inquiring glance at his friend. It was as if he had been stunned. The latter returned to him t,hc same manner of look. They were the only ones who possessed an inner knowledge. "Mule- drivers—^don't believe many will get back." It was an ironical secret. Still, they saw no hesitation in each other's faces and they nodded a mute and un- protesting assent when a shaggy man near them said in a meek voice: "We'll git swallered." CHAPTER XIV. The youth stared at-the land in front of him. Its foliages now seemed to veil powers and horrors. He was unaware of the machinery of orders that started the charge, although from the corners of his eyes he saw an officer, vrho lock-id liki a boy a horseback, come gralloping, waving his hat. Suddenly he felt a straining and heaving among the men. The line fell slowly forward like a toppling wall and, with a convulsive gasp that was intended fcr a cheer, the regiment began its journey. The youth was pushed a. T id jostled for a moment before he understood the movement at all, but directly ha lunged ahead and begun to run. He fixed his eye upon a distant and prominent clump of trees where he had conchided the enemy were to be met, and he ran toward it as toward ft goal. He had believed throughout that it was a mere question of getting over an unpleasant matter as quickly as possible, and he ran desperately as if pursued for a murder. Hie face was drawn hard and tight with the stress of his endeavor. His eyes were fixed in a lurid glare. And' with his soiled and disordered dress, his red and hiflamed features surmounted by the dingy rag with its spot of blood, his wildly- swinging rirle and banging accoutrements, he looked to be an insane soldier. As the regiment swung from its position out into a cleared space, the woods and thickets before it awakened. "Mellow flames Inaped toward it from many directions. The forest made a tremendous objection. The line lurched straight for a moment. Then the right wing swung forward; it in turn was surpassed by the left. Afterward the center careered to the front until the regiment was a wedge-shaped mass; but an instant later the opposition of the bushes, trees and uneven places on the ground split the command and scattered it into detached clusters. The youth, light-footed, was unconsciously in advance. His eye« still kept note of the clump of trees. From all places near it the clannish yell of tho enemy could bo board. The little ftames of rifles leaped from it. The song o'f the bullets was in tho air and shells snarled from the sky. One tumbled directly into tho middle of a hurrying group and explo,r|ocl in crimson fury. There was an justa/nt's spectacle of ft ptiaij, almost over it, throw up his hands to shield his eyes. Other men, punchiul by bviUflts at a battery were plain to them and the opposing infantry's lines were defined by the gray walls and fringes of smoke. It seemed to the youth that hfe saw everything, teach blade of the green grass was bold and clear. He thought he Was aware of every change in the thin, transparent vapor that floated idly in sheets. The brown or gtay trunks of the trees showed each rortgh- ness of their surfaces. And the men oi the regiment, with their starting eyes and sweating faces, running madly or falling, as if thrown headldng, to queer, heaped -up corpses, all were comprehended. His mind took a mechanical but firm impression, so that afterward everything was pictured and explained to him, save why he himself \vas thero. iJut there was a frenzy made from his fnrioiis rush. The men t pitching forward insanely, had burst into chceir- ings, mob-like and barbaric, bv.t ttmed ill strange keys that ctra arouse the dullard and the stole". It made a mad enthusiasm that, it seeriitrSV WttttM be incapable of checking its-jlf before granite and brass. There was- the delirium that encounters despair 1 trud death, and is heedless aiid blln4 : to' the odds. It is a temporary but sublime absence of selfishness. And because it was of this order Was the reason,. p°i* haps, why tho youth wondered',, afterward, what reasons he could have 1 liad for being there. Presently the straining pace' ate> tip the energies of the men. As. iif' t:y agreement the leaders began to-slacken their speed. The volleys directed against them had had a seem ing-wind- like effect. The regiment snoitcd' aiiijl blew. Among sonic stolid trees.it. fc# g?n to falter and hesitate. The- nron, staring intently, began to wart for some of the distant walls of smoke to move and disclose to them the scene. Since much of their strength and' their breath had vanished, they returned to caution. They were become men again. The youth had a vague belief that he had run miles and ho thought,, in a way, that he was now in some new and unknown land. The moment the regiment ceased its advance tho protesting splutterof musketry became a steadied roar:. Long and accurate fringes of smoke- spread out. From the top of a small bill came level belchings of yellow flame- that caused an inhuman whistling- in tho air. The men, halted, had opportunity to see some of their comrades dropping with moans and shrieks.. A few lay under foot, still or wailing.-.. And now for an instant the mem stood, their rifles slack in their hands,, arti watched the rejnoient dwindle. They appeared dazed and stupid. This, spectacle seemed to paralyze them,. to> overcome them with a fatal fascination. They stared wooden ly at the- sights, and, lowering their eyes, looked from face to face. It was a strange- pause and a strange silence. Then above the son-nils of the oiitside commotion arose tile roar of the lieutenant. Ho strode suddenly forth, his infantile features black with rage. "Come on, yeh fools," he bellowed. li Come on. Yeh can't stay here. Yeh must come on." He said more, but isuch of it could not be understood. He started rapidly forward witn his head turned toward the men. "Come he was shouting. The men stared ALtltWA IdWA, WJMMSM? , in grotesque agonies. T'iu reyiraont left a cohproat 1 rail of bodies. They had passed into a clearer atmosphere. There was a« oil'oct Uko tho now Bpmo appearance oi men working * in dou on, with blank ar.d yokel-like eyes at him. He was obliged to halt and retrace his steps. Ho stood then with his back to the enemy and delivered gigantic curses into the faces of the men. His body vibrated from the weight and force of his imprecations. And he could string oaths with the facility of a. maiden who strings beads. The friend of the youth aroused. Lurching suddenly forward and dropping to his knees, he fired an angry shot at the persistent woods. This action awakened the men. They Irad- dled no more like sheep. They seemed suddenly to bethink them of their weapons and at once commenced firing. Belabored by their officers they began to move forward. The regiment, involved like a cart in mud and muddle, started unevenly with many jolts and jerks. The men stopped now every few paces to flre and load, and in this manner moved slowly on from trees to trees. The flaming 1 opposition in their front grew with their advance until it seemed that all forward ways were barred by the thin leaping tongues and oif to the right an ominous demonstration covild sometimes be dimly discerned. The smoke, lately generated, was in confusing clouds that made it difficult for the regiment to proceed with intelligence, As he passed through each curling mass, the youth wondered what would confront him on the further side. The command went painfully forward until an open space interposed between them and tha lurid lines, Here, crouching and cowering behind some trees, the men clung with desperation as if threatened by a wave. They looked wild-eyed, and amazed at this furious disturbance they had stirred, In the storm, there was an ironical expression of their importance. The faces of the men, too, showed a lack of a certain feeling of responsibility for being there, It Was as if they had been drinking, It was the dominant animal failing to remenv ber in the supreme moments, the force* ful causes of various superficial ties. The whole affair seemed preheusible to inany of them, As they halted thus, the lieutenant again began to bellow profanely. Regardless of the vindictive threats of the bullets, he went about coaxing, bo> rating and bodamning. His lips, that were habitually in a soft and child-like curve, now writhed into unholy contovr tious, He swore by ail possible deities- Qnce, he grabbed the youth by the arm- "Come on, yeh lunk-head," ho roared. "Come on. We'll all git kilU4 if we stay here. We've only got t' gP across that lot, An' then—'" Tho remainder of his Ulea disappeared in a blue ha?0 of The youth stretchy "Crass there?" "' jest 'cross lh» lot. stay here," Screamed the 'He poked his face close to the and waved his bandaged hand. "Coma on." Presently he grappled with liln* as if for a wrestling bout. If, was as if he planned to drag the youth by the- ear on to the assault. The private felt a sudden unspeakable indignation against his officer, He Wrenched fiercely and shook him. off. "Come on yerself, then," he yelled.. There was a bitter challenge in his, voice. They galloped together dowtt tbe- regimental front. The friend scrambled after theni; Iti front of the colors the three men began to bawl:. "Come on! Come on!" They danced and gyrated like tor tiired savages. The flag, obedient to these appeals, bended its glittering form and swept toward them. The toen wavered in indecision for a moment and then with a long, Wailful cry, the dilapidated regi* inetit surged forward and began its new journey, Over the field went the scurrying mass. It was a handful of men splat* tercd into the faces of the enemy. Toward it instantly sprang the yellow tongues. A vast quantity of the blue smoke hung before them. A mighty banging made ears valueless. The youth ran like a madman to reach the woods before a bullet could discover him. He ducked his head low like a football player. In his haste his eyes almost closed and the scene was a wild blur. Pulsating saliva stood at the corners of his mouth. Within him, as he hurled himself forward, was born a love, a despairing fondness for this flag which was near him. It was a creation of beauty and invulnerability. It was a goddess, rndiant, that bended its form with an Imperious gesture to him. It was a woman, red and white, hating and loving, that called him with the voice of his liopcs. Because no harm could come to it, he endowed it with power. He kept near as if it could be a saver of lives, and an imploring 1 cry went from his mind. In tho mad scramble he was aware that the color sergeant flinched suddenly as if struck by a bludgeon. He faltered and then became motionless, save for his quivering knees. Then he made a spring and a clutchi at the pole. At the same instant his friend grabbed it from,the other side*.They jerked: afe it, stout and fin- riou«, but the- color sergeant was dead and! the corp-se; would not relinquish its trust- For a moment there was a grim encounter; The- dead ma, n_ swinging- \viithi bended; baek seemed! to- be ob>* stinately tug- WBENCHED THE Fi^A.o ging in ludicrous. rnoM THE DEAD MAJT. an & awful ways, for the possession of the flag^ It was past in an instant of time> They wrenched the flag furiously from the dead man, and as they turned again the corpse swayed! forward with bowed head. One arm swung high and the curved hand fell with heavy protest en the friend's, unheeding shoulder. CHAPTER XV. When the two youths turned -with tho flag they saw that much cf the regiment had crumbled away and the dejected remnamt was going slowly back. The men, having hurled themselves in projectile fashion, had pres> ently expended their forces. They slowly retreated with their faces still toward the sputtering woods and their hot rifles still replying to the din. Several officers were giving orders, their voices keyed to screams. "Where in hell yeh goin'?" the lieutenant was asking in a sarcastic howl. And a red-bearded officer, whose voice of triple brass could plainly be heard, was commanding! "Shoot into "em! Shoot into 'em! curse their souls!" There was a melee of speeches in which the men were, ordered to do c6nflicting and impossible things, The youth and his friend had a small scuffle over the flag, "Give it t' me." "No—let mo keep it." Each felt satis- fled with the other's possession of it, but each felt bound to declare, by-an offer to carry the emblem, his willingness to further risk himself. The youth roughly pushed his friend away. The regiment fell back to the stolid trees. There it halted for a moment to blaze at some dark forms that had begun to steal upon its track. Presently jt resumed its march again, curving among the tree trunks, By the time the depleted regiment had again reached the first open space they w«?re receiving a fast and merciless fire, There seemed to be mobs ail about them, The greater part of the men, discouraged, their spirits worn by the turmoil, acted as if stunned. They accepted the pelting of the bullets with bowed and weary heads. Jt 'was of no purpose to strive against walls. Jt was of no use to 'batter themselves against granite, And from this consciousness that they had attempted to conquer an unconquerable thing there seemed to arise a feeling that they had been be* trayed. They glowered with bent brows, but dangerously, upon some of the officers, more particularly upon the redTbearded one with the voice of triple brass, Jjowover, the rear of the regiment >vas fringed with men who. continued to shoot irritably at the advancing foe§. They seemed resolved, to m,ake every trouble. The youthful lieutenant was s the last man, j» the disordered. His forgotten back was toward the enemy. He had, been frJwtin, arm. Jthung straight a»tl rigi& casionally be it and be to &,« pa.ttv f tie WVlfci* feet. He kep't watchful eyes rearward. A sco'M of mortification and rage wSS upon his face. He had thought of a fine revenge upon the officer Who had referred to- him and to f£a fellows as mnle drivers, But he saw that it could hotconm to pass. ills dreains had collapsed when the rattle drivers, dwindling rapidly, had Wavered and hesitated oh the little efeariug 1 and then had recoiled. And trow the' retreat of the mule drivefs was a- tear eh of shame to him. A dag-geff-pointed gaze from Without Ms blackened face was held toward the enemy,, but his greater hatred was riveted ttpoQ the taan who, not knoW- iat? hijn> had called hiin a mule driver. Witeii lie knew that he and his conv fades hM failed to do anything in successful ways that tnight bring the little pangs of a kind of fetnorse Upon the officer, the youth allowed the rage of the baffled to possess him. This cold officer irtpott a monument Who dropped epithets ranConcefnedly down, Would be fine* as, a dead in an, he thought. So gricVottS did he think it that lie could never possess the secret right to taunt truly la answer. He hadplctttred red letters of curious revenge. "We are mule drivers, are Wej"' Audi now he Was compelled to throw them away. He presently Wrapped his heart in the cloak of his pride and kept the flag erect. Ile'harahgtied his fellows, push* ing against their chests with his free hand. To>those he knew well, he made frantic appeals, beseeching them by name. Between him and the lieutenant, scolding and near to losing his mind withi rage, there was felt a subtle fellowship.' and equality. They supported each, other in all manner of hoarse, howling- protests. But the- regiment was a razichirie run down. The two men babbled at a forceless thing. The soldiers who had heart to/ go> slowly were continually shaken iix their resolves by a knowledge that; comrades were slipping with speed back to the lines. It was difficult to think of reputation when others were thi'nkiing- of skins. Wounded men were Heft* crying, on this black journey. TJU-O'smoke-fringes and flames blustered! always. The youth, peering once through a. srwlden rift in a cloud, saw a browm mass, of troops interwoven and magnified! until they appeared to be thousands* A fierce-hued flag flashed before Ms, vision. Immediately, as if the uplifting of the smofce ; had been prearranged, the discovered! troops burst into a rasping yell and a hundred flames jetted toward! the retreating band. A rolling, gray cloud again interposed as the regiment doggedly replied. The youth Icadl to depend again upon his misused ears which were trembling and buzzing from the melee of musketry and yells. The way seemed eternal. In the- clouded haze, men became panic-stricken with the thought that the regiment had lost its path and was proceeding in a perilous direction. Ouc& the men who headed the wild procession turned and came pushing back against their comrades screaming that, they were being fired upon from points which they had considered to be- toward their own troops. A soldier-wlto heretofore had been ambitious to make tho regiment into a wise little- band! that would proceed calmly amid! the huge-appearing difficulties, suddenly sank down and buried his face' tm Ms, arms with an air of bowing to ». doom. From another, a shrill lamentation rang out filled with profane allusions, to a general. Men ran hither and; thither seeking with their eyes roadsof escape. With serene regularity as if controlled by a schedule, bullets buffed! into men. The youth walked stolidly into the midst of the mob and, with his flag in his hands, took a stand as if ho expected an attempt to push him to the ground. He unconsciously assumed 'the attitude of the eolor-bearer in the fight of the preceding day. He passed Over his brow a hand that trembled. His breath did not come freely. He was choking during this small wait for the crisis, His friend came to htm, "Well, Flem, I guess this is good-by-John," "Oh, shut vip, you dammned fool," replied the youth and he would not look at the other. The officers labored like politicians to beat the mass into a proper circle to face the menaces. The ground was uneven and torn. The men curled into depressions and fitted themselves snugly behind whatever would frustrate a bullet. The youth noted with, vague .surprise that the lieutenant was standing mutely with his legs far apart and his sword held in the manner of a cane. The youth wondered what had happened to his vocal organs that he no more cursed, There was something curious in this little intent pause of the lieutenant. He was like a babe which having wept its fill, raises its eyes and fixes upon a distant toy, He was engrossed in this contemplation and the soft under-lip quivered from self-whispered words, Some lazy and ignorant smoke curled slowly, The men hiding from the bullets, waited anxiously for them to lift and. disclose the plight of the regi» ment, The silent ranks were suddenly thr'Hed, by tho eager voice of the youthful lieutenant bawling put; "Hero they pome, fright onto us, V Gawd." His further words were lost in a roar of wicked thupder from the mew's rifles, Tho youth's eyes had instantly turned in the direction indicated by the awakened and agitated a.ad, he Uad seen the'hazo of Ai^filosing a body of Boldioi's pf WH* enemy, They wprt «* pear'th^t h« oQul4 se? tl^eir features, Tl^v-fi vya^ a of faces., Also he p.erceive4 witl* dUs am.azejnpni< that their W?if o i >m £ were rattier gay in. affect, bjsipg Mfi&t Ki' a y ' • wiflj - Ifetttenanfc had thettuatd; tlieir movement had been, in* terru-pted! by the- volley frOnl tfce t>lfte< regimenit. F«om the moment's glirftpse, it Was derived that they had been tffi* aware-ofV t&fr protimity of their dark- suited! fbeS,. ofv Bed mistaken the direction. Almost instantly, they Were shut utterly, fioitt the jrotith*s sight by the smoke from: the efiorgetic rifles of his companions. He strained hiis vision- to learn thn accotn-ptisnment of; tho but the 1 smoke hung before him-. The two-bodies oi troops exchanged bloWs ihitRfi'mardieif-of a pair of boX- drs. Tile-fast, angry firings went back and for.tlii The- men in blue were intent Willis the despaifof their- cirettm* stances,.ahd'. they Seizett tipofr the fe- venge to'lVo'lladiat close tarrgei Tttcif* thunder- swelled! lloftdl antt valiant* Their ourvihg.' front., .fefrfotled with flashes and! the pia/Be resounded with the clangor.- off their: ramrods. The youth duckedl antl 1 dodged for a time* and • achieved! &>. few unsatisfactory views of the.- enr.my; There- appeared to be many of. tlieini,. and! they were replying swiftly; They' seemed moving toward the blile regiment, step by stej> 1-te seated himself glaomrly oni the ground witlii Kis< flag; toctoefia Ms knees. As he notfedl tlirv Vicious*, teotf-like- temper of his- comrades he- had m sWeet thought: that if the- enemy was about to swallbw.-UlB'regimental broom as a large prisoner- it. could, at least have the consolation: off gofeg: d'oWn with bristles .fbr,w.ardl But tho blbwsof the- antagonist began to grow.-more-weak. Fewer bullets ripped the- air.; and final%y when the men slackened! to> learn* of the %ht, they coultl! see'only; dark, floating smoke., Tiha' regiment l!ay still and! gazed. Presently.- some chance' whim; came to the-pestering blur and it began to coil! heavily; away. The- men saw a ground: vacant of flgh-tera.. It would have'been-, an-, empty stage if it were not for/ai few corpses, that lay thrown and! twisted! into fantastic shapes upom the 1 sward'. At sight of this tableau: many of the men in blue sprang fromi behind their covers and made an ungainly- dance of jjoy. Their eyes burned! and', a. hoarse cheer of elation broke-f*om> their- dry lips. It had begum toi seem to them that events were- trying- toi prove that they were impotent.. Fate had evidently endeavored! to- .demonstrate th~at the men^cqujia.!. ? not fight well When on, the verge-'oi' submission; to these opinions the- small duel had showed them that tlic> proportions were not impos- sibles, ami! by; iit they tad revenged thcmseliros; insponi their misgivings and upom the- f bos.. Th«'i!mpetus,(Df enthusiasm was theirs agai'm. They gazed! about them with looks; of npMfted pride, feeling new trust, i'm the- grim always-confident weu.pon-a iiu. their hands. And they were: nteni. * " CHAPTER XVL wtly they knew that no firing threatened them. All ways seemed once- more • opened to them. The dusty r bBtte- lines of their friends were disclosed! a short distance away. In the distance there were many colossal noises, feat in all this part of the field there was, a sudden stillness. They perceived that they were free. The depleted band drew a long breath of relip.f and gathered itself into a bunch to complete its trip. In this last length of journey, the men began to show strange emotions. They hurried with nervous fear. Some who hoA been dark and unfaltering in the grimest moments now could not conceal an anxiety that made"' them frantic. It was, perhaps, that they dreaded to be killed in insignificant ways after the time for proper military deaths had passed. Or, perhaps, they thought it would be too ironical to get killed at the portals of safety. With backward looks of perturbation they hastened. As they approached their own lines, there was some sarcasm exhibited on the part of a gutmt and bronzed regiment that lay resting in the shade of trees. Questions were wafted to them. "Where th' hell yeh been?" "What yeh comin 1 back fer?" "Why didn't yeh stay there?" "Was it warm out there, sonny?" "Coin 1 home now, boys?" One shouted in taunting mimicry : '•Oh, mother, come cjaickan' look at th' soldiers!" There was no reply from the bruised and battered regiment save that one man made broadcast challenges to fist-fights and the red«bearded officer walked rather near and glared in great swashbuckler style at a tall captain in the other regiment, But the lieutenant suppressed the n>an who wished to fist-fight, and the tall captain, flushing at the little fanfare of the red-bearded one, was obliged to look intently at some trees, The youth's tender flesh was deeply stung by these remarks, From un^er his creased, brows, he glowered with hate at the mockers. He meditated on a few revenges, still, many. inth§ regiment hung their heads in criminal fashion, so that it came to pass that th$ men trudged with sudden heaviness aj if they bore upon their bended, sljoul* ders tho coffin of tUeir honor, Awrt tfee youthful lieutenant resojieeting Wfltf self, began to, wutter §pftly in blacjj curses, , Tfcey turned, when they arpiye^ »t their old position, tp regard, th9 grown^ prer which they liad ebarg^d., • The, youth, in this copteinpia$pB, e'roitten, \yith a large -. He discovered tUat the s, a§ compared wjtb tlio of hi* BftiRfl, were iWldrJtUen.lou.fe The st^lisJ trpes, in\io.b JWK| tftke.o plftROj t^fiftert Wy (wr, T&9 tatti toh UPW reflated, he saw tv h&vg. . He wondered, flt the nu,m,b£F pfmg and, eyents tb??t fc fcucij }jtt]e spaces, it was, fsja

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