"C茅cile." He was going on to declare himself no more fit for her than for the presidency of the Confederate States, which was perfectly true; but I sprang up, caught him (on my well side) by one good hand, and had begun my enthusiastic congratulations, when Charlotte appeared and we swerved against the rail to let her pass upstairs. In some way as she went by it was made plain to us that she had said no. "Good-night," ventured both of us, timorously.
"Yes, Captain." As I wiped the brow again I heard the tread of two horses down in front of the house; they were Gholson's, and Ned Ferry's for Charlotte. "Captain, may I go and bring her--tell her what you say, and bring her?"He shook his head bitterly. "Oh, well, then, of course I know. How am I to help you to help him; help him to do what?"
As we mounted I asked whither we were bound. "Tangipahoa," he said; "then by railroad to Brookhaven, and then out to Squire Wall's.""Yes," I responded, "--and his breath.""Cruel to you?" I took her hand from my arm and held it.
I obliqued as if bound for the headquarters fire where we had seen the singers, the lightning branched over the black sky like tree-roots, the thunder crashed and pounded again, the wind stopped in mid-career, and the rain came straight down in sheets. "Halt!" yelled the horseman. He lifted his blade, but I darted aside and doubled, and as he whirled around after me, another rider, meeting him and reining in at such close quarters that the mud flew over all three of us, lifted his hand and said--"In the smokehouse," cried Miss Harper from her knees beside the prostrate Federal officer; "go bring them!--Richard, Charlotte is calling you!"The staff-officer cut away its cornhusk wrapping and read aloud the owner's name on the hilt. The General laid the mighty weapon across his palm and sternly shut his lips. "How did you get through the enemy's pickets with this?"
I'll bear the toil, endure the pain, Supported by thy word.""Then throwing away your life won't save hers! Do you surren'--?"
"Ah, you! No, I'll tell you." She spoke prudently; I had to bow my ear so close that it tingled: "Dolls!"I gave him no pledge but a look."Ah, you! No, I'll tell you." She spoke prudently; I had to bow my ear so close that it tingled: "Dolls!"
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"And yet you never take a lady's name for granted?"I asked if it was Oliver who shot him, and she nodded. "It was down at the front door; the Squire said he'd shoot him if he shot Charlotte, and Charlotte declared she'd shoot him if he shot the Squire, and all at once he shot at her and struck him."
"Wh'--who is that?" responded a musical voice. "Why, is that Mr. Smith?" as if I were the last person in the world one should have expected to see there. The like of those moments I had never known. I saw her eyes note the perfect fit of my uniform, though neither of us mentioned it. I tried to tell her that Lieutenant Durand was Ned Ferry and that I was now one of his scouts, but she had already heard both facts, and would not tell me what her father had said about me, it was so good. Standing at the veranda's edge a trifle above me, with her cheek against one of the posts and her gaze on her slipper, she asked if I was glad I was going with Ned Ferry, and I had no more sense than to say I was; but she would neither say she was glad nor tell why she was not.I remember vividly yet the high purpose and girlish propitiation that rang together in her voice. Kendall dashed after her while I went against a wet bough that all but threw me; but before he could reach her she flew up the steps, crying "Hold my horse!"详情
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