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      The proposition appeared reasonable. She took the bridle of her horse in her arm, and together they walked out through the guard-line. The sentries gave Shorty a deep, knowing wink as he passed. He went the more willingly, as he was anxious to find out more about the woman, and the operations of the gang with which she was connected. She had already said enough to explain several mysterious things of recent occurrence. Night came down and as her ungainliness was not thrust upon him as it was in the broad glare of day, he felt less difficulty in professing a deep attachment for her. He even took her hand. On her part she grew more open and communicative at every step, and Shorty had no difficulty in understanding that there was gathered around her a gang that was practicing about everything detrimental to the army. They were by turns spies, robbers, murderers, whisky189 smugglers, horse-thieves, and anything else that promised a benefit to themselves. Ostensibly they were rebels, but this did not prevent their preying upon the rebels when occasion offered. Some were deserters from the rebel army, some were evading the conscript laws, two or three were deserters from our army.When the hour was up the Captain of the company came around to see how the boys were getting along. The upshot of it was that poor Si was immediately organized into an "awkward squad" all by himself, and drilled an extra hour.

      "Shut up," he commanded. "You've no business talkin'; I told you when you come in you weren't allowed to say nothin'." their bodies.

      "Well done, my brave fellow!" said the Colonel.

      Around its grand array, a half mile away, lay the somber, portentous line of brown-clad men. Beyond them rose the steeples and roofs of the sleepy old town of Murfreesboro', with crowds of men and women occupying every point of vantage, to witness the renewal of the awful battle.111

      While the discussion was going on Si had been studying the appearance of the prisoners. In spite of their being enemies his heart was touched by their comfortless condition. Not one of them had an overcoat or blanket. The Sergeant and a couple of others had over their shoulders pieces of the State House carpet, which had been cut up into lengths and sewed together for blankets. Another had what had once been a gaudy calico counterpane, with the pat tern "Rose of Sharon" wrought out in flaming colors. It was now a sadly-bedraggled substitute for a blanket. The others had webs of jeans sewed to gether."Here's just the thing," he said. "I always was fond of rice, and I know the boys will be delighted with it for a change. I know I can cook it; for all that you've got to do is to put it in a pot with water and boil it till it is done. I've seen mother do that lots o' times.

      Laughter and badinage had long since ceased. Flat on their backs, gazing up at the stars through the pine and hemlock boughs, the boys lay quietly smoking while the "tenore robusto" assisted by the "basso profundo" and hundreds of others sang "Willie, We Have Missed You," "Just Before the Battle, Mother," "Brave Boys Are They," and the "Vacant Chair."


      "Si, don't ask me impossibilities. But I want you to take every cent o' this money and keep it. Don't you ever give me more'n at a time, under any consideration. Don't you do it, if I git down on my knees and ask for it. Lord, how nigh I come to losin' that o' your father's."



      How much of each of the emotions of jealousy, disappointment, hurt vanity, and rebel antagonism went into the howl that Mr. Jeff Hackberry set up at this announcement will never be known. He made a rush with clenched fists at Shorty.