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    Software name: appdown
    Software type: Microsoft Framwork

    size: 132MB


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      "Deacon," persisted Mr. Bennett, "you saw a great deal o' the army. You didn't see the wickedness down there that these Copperheads 's chargin', did you? You only found men wicked that'd be wicked any place, and really good men jest as good there as at home?"

      "They say that when a man starts down the path of sin and crime the road seems greased for his swift progress. The other day I begun with petty larceny and chicken stealin'. To-day it's bin highway robbery, premeditated murder, horse stealin', grand larceny, and tellin' a deliberate lie. What'll I be doin' this time next week? I must git that old man's horse and buckboard back to him somehow, and pay him for his vittles. But how'm I goin' to do it? The army's terribly demoralizin'. I must git Si back home soon, or I won't be fit to associate with anybody outside the penitentiary. How kin I ever go to the communion table agin?""Save me, my good man. I can't swim a stroke."

      Shorty made a violent effort, and summoned enough strength to reach over and touch the Englishman's foot."All right," Dodd said. "I'm here, aren't I? You've convinced mestop the propaganda."

      He was soon sleeping as soundly as only a thoroughly-tired man can, and would have slept no one knows how long, had not Shorty succeeded in waking him towards morning, after a shaking which exhausted the latter's strength.The rest shuddered and grew pale at this horrible prospect.

      The Lieutenant seemed to have recovered his sternness, and his expression showed a determination to wreak exemplary punishment on the man who had so grievously offended one of his class.All the same, "dreary" was the word for it. (An image of Dr. Haenlingen's frozen face floated into his mind. He pushed it away. It was morning. It was time for work.)

      For the first time in his life, Shorty restrained the merciless jeer that would come to his lips at any exhibition of weakness by those around him. The thought of Maria softened him and made him more sympathetic. He had promised her to be a second father to little Pete. He saw that the poor boy was being frightened as he had never been before by the malicious fun of the veterans in pouring into his ears stories of the awful character of the rebel cavalry. Shorty sucked the ink off his pen, put his hand soothingly on Pete, and said in a paternally comforting way:


      "My boy, don't let them blowhards back there stuff you with sich nonsense about the rebel cavalry. They won't git near enough you to hit you with a sword half a mile long. They're like yaller dogstheir bark's the wust thing about 'em. I'll look out for you. You'll stay right by me, all the time, and you won't git hurt. You go back there to my blankits and crawl into 'em and go to sleep. I'll be there as soon's I finish this letter, Forgit all about the rebel cavalry, and go to sleep. Ter-morrer you'll see every mother's son o' them rebels breakin' their hoss' necks to git out o' range o' our Springfields."


      Nothing more was needed for the crowd that had followed up the squad, anticipating a raid. Bottles, demijohns and kegs were smashed, the cigars and tobacco snatched up, and the place thoroughly wrecked in a few minutes."Corporal Klegg," said the Captain, coming down the line, and giving a frequent furtive scratch at himself, "Shorty can't possibly go with us to-day. I'm awfully sorry, but there is no use talking about it. You must stay behind and take care of him, and take care of these sore-footed men who will be unable to keep up. The Colonel orders you to command the whole outfit. You keep them together, keep up as well as you can, and if you see any place that you can be useful, go in. I know and the Colonel knows that you can be trusted to do that."


      The removal of the soil and grime of the march and battle had a remarkably vivifying effect upon Si. New life seemed to pulse through his veins and brightness return to his eyes.