"My joints feel like I think an old wagon does after it's gone about a year without greasing," he remarked to Shorty, who had a good fire going; "but I think that after I get about a quart o' hot coffee, inside of me, with a few pounds o' pork and crackers, I'll be nearly as good as new again. My, how good that grub does smell! An' did you ever see such a nice fire?"In the evening one of the boys took Si's blanket to him, thinking he would want it to sleep in.
"Should think you were," mused the Colonel, hefting the lightened vessel. "Bugler, sound the assembly and let's get back to camp.""Can't say that I did," responded Mr. Klegg rather indifferently. "There was lots of gas-lamps burning, and I was rather taken with them, so that I didn't notice the moon or stars. Besides, as I told you before, I turned in purty airly, for I was tired with my ride from Looyville, and I wanted to git in good shape for the trip to-day.""What, burn all that good money up?" said Shorty with a whistle. "You don't live in an insane asylum when you're at home, do you?"
He was interrupted by a volley, apparently from every gun on the roofs of the cars. Then a chorus of shrill, treble, boyish yells, and next instant another volley. The two sprang to the door and looked out. Not a sign of a rebel anywhere. Si went up one side of the car, Shorty the other. They ran along the tops of the cars, storming at the boys, kicking them and bumping their heads against the boards to make them stop. When they succeeded Si sternly ordered every one of them to leave the roofs and come down into the cars. When he had gathered them there he demanded:"Fix鈥擝ay'net!" yelled the ragged veterans.
"Si Klegg, of the 200th Ind., and Shorty, his Partner," were born years ago in the brain of John McElroy, Editor of THE NATIONAL TRIBUNE.
CHAPTER I. THE DEACON PROVIDES
Shorty appreciated very properly the dignity and responsibilities of his two stripes. He was going to be the model Corporal of the regiment, and give all the rest a copy which they could follow to advantage. Of all the Corporals he had ever known, Si Klegg had come nearest his ideas as to what a Corporal should be, but even Si had his limitations. He would show him some improvements. So shorty bent his mind upon the performance of everything pertaining to the Corporalcy with promptness and zeal. He even set to studying the Regulations and Tactics鈥攁t least those paragraphs relating to Corporals and their duties鈥攚here heretofore he had despised "book-soldiering," and relied on quick observation and "horse sense" to teach him all that was worth knowing. But his stay in the Deacon's home showed him that they esteemed "book-knowledge" even in common things as of much value, and he began to have a new respect for that source of instruction."O, go along with you," said Shorty scornfully. "Don't worry about us and Mr. Bolivar. I'd stack Si Klegg up against any man that ever wore gray, in any sort of a scrimmage he could put up, and I'm a better man than Si. You just favor us with a meeting with Mr. Bolivar, and then git out o' the way. If it wasn't for dividing up fair with my partner here I'd go out by myself and tackle Mr. Bolivar. You carry out your share of the plan, and don't worry about us."
"Great country, Pap," said Si suggestively.CHAPTER IX. SI TAKES HIS BOYS FOR A LITTLE MARCH INTO THE COUNTRY.
"Sure you haint got no whisky down in the bottom o' that basket?" said Si, pushing the pies about a little, to get a better look."Shut up and go on," they would reply to every proposition. "We ain't that kind of soldiers. Our duty's to take you to Headquarters, and to Headquarters you are going.""Well, I declare to goodness," gasped the Deacon. "How could they've found her out so soon?"
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And he reached over and tried to squeeze his wife's hand, but she repulsed it.
Shorty swallowed two or three spoonfuls more, and then gasped:详情
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