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    Software name: appdown
    Software type: Microsoft Framwork

    size: 28MB


    Software instructions

      "Glad to see you with Sergeant's stripes on," said the Major, shaking hands with him. "I congratulate you on your promotion. You deserved it, I know."

      THE self-sufficient, self-reliant Shorty had never before had anything to so completely daze him. "Ackchelly a letter from Maria Klegg. Writ of her own free will and accord. And she wants to hear from me," he murmured, reading the letter over and over again, and scanning the envelope as if by intensity of gaze he would wring more from the mute white paper. The thought was overpowering that it had come directly from her soft hand; that she had written his name upon it; that her lips had touched the stamp upon it. He tenderly folded up the letter and replaced it in the envelope. His thoughts were too tumultuous for him to sit still. He would walk and calm himself. He wrapped the piece of Maria's dress around the letter, rose and started off. He had gone but a few steps when it seemed to him that he had not caught the full meaning of some of the words in the letter. He sought a secluded place where he could sit down, unseen by any eyes, and read the letter all over again several times. Then came the disturbing thought of how he was to care for and protect the precious missive? He could not bear to part with it for a single minute, and yet he did not want to carry the sacred thing around exposed to the dirt and moil of daily camp-life and the danger of loss. He thought long and earnestly, and at last went down to a large sutler's store, and purchased the finest morocco wallet from his stock. Even this did not seem a sufficiently rich casket for such a gem, and he bought a large red silk bandana, in which he carefully wrapped letter, dress fragment and wallet, and put them in the pocket of his flannel shirt, next his breast. Next came the momentous duty of writing an answer to the letter. Yesterday he was burning with a desire to make an opportunity to write. Now the opportunity was at hand, the object of his desires had actually asked him to write her, and the completeness of the opportunity unnerved him.

      Naomi often came over to Odiam, driving in her father's gig. Reuben disliked her visits, for they meant Harry's abandonment of spade and rake for the weightier matters of love. Reuben, moiling more desperately than ever, would sometimes catch a glimpse of her coloured gown through the bushes of some coppice, or skirting a hedge beside Harry's corduroy. He himself spoke to her seldom. He could not help being conscious of her milky sweetness, the soft droop of her figure under its muslins, her voice full of the music of stock-doves. But he disliked her, partly because she was taking Harry from Odiam, partly because he was jealous of Harry. It ought to be he who was to make a wealthy marriage, not his brother. He chafed to think what Naomi's money might do for the farm if only he had control of it."Probably it was Corpril Elliott's good management," suggested Gid Mackall, whose hero-worship of Shorty grew apace. "I tell you there aint a trick o' soldierin' that he aint up to."

      "Well, what is it?"

      "Well, you didn't do any better than we did with Early's men at Gulp's Hill, if we do wear paper collars," returned the other proudly. "After we got through with Johnston's Division you couldn't see the ground in front for the dead and wounded. And none of your men got up on Lookout Mountain any quicker'n we did. Paper collars and red stars showed you the way right along."

      Shorty tried to disprove the charge as to the subject of his thoughts by falling to furiously and with such precipitation that he spilt his coffee, upset the molasses-jug, and then collapsed in dismay at his clumsiness.


      "Why not?"


      "Is that you, Brother Welch? I thought at first it was a soldier. I motioned you when the trouble first begun to follow me through the underground passage. There was enough others there to make the fight, and it'd never do for us to be taken by the Lincolnites. We're too valuable to the cause just now, and, then, if the Lincolnites get hold of me they'll certainly make me a martyr. Come right over this way. We kin strike a path near here that'll take us right out."


      "You're a liar," said Shorty hotly. "You didn't git out o' the regiment because it stole niggers. That's only a pretend. The rear is full o' fellers like you who pretend to be sore on the nigger question, as an excuse for not going to the front. You sneaked out o' every fight the regiment went into. You got out of the regiment because it was too fond of doin' its duty."