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“So long! It is scarcely fifteen min- morning drill, the preparation and hearty utes since I left you.”
discussion of breakfast, leave not many “ No longer ? It seemed an age.” idle moments to our soldiers ; and it may
“ It always seems long to one wait- be doubted if any service of the camp is ing."
more agreeable, or more faithfully per“ But did you find him there?” formed. « Of course!” was the curt reply. The exquisite aroma of the pure
“ Old “ But I see gray streaks in the east. It Java” provided by the paternal governwill soon be daylight, and we have need ment, and which had never undergone the to hasten.”
process of thorough distillation before it They reached the point whence they came into the hands of the army, as most had emerged from the field into the high- of that we civilians procure has done, way, when, drawing bridle and looking pervaded the whole camp. A gentle back, they saw in the distance a slender exhilaration, such as the odor of the Ara, figure gliding across the space before the bian berry is wont to produce, enlivened cabin, and mounting a horse which had the spirits of each little group of soldiers, been concealed under a tree, gallop rapid- even before the delicious beverage had ly away and disappear in the timber. touched their lips. Forgetting the car
A sigh, apparently of much relief, es- nage and the Herculean toils of the past, caped Ashby, and with a quick, energetic and the threatening conflicts of the favoice, he gave the order “ Forward ? we ture, they gave themselves up, like unmust reach camp before the tattoo ! burdened children, to the enjoyments of
The horses sprung forward at a swifter the present. Hard-tack and bacon were gallop, and in less time than it had re- devoured with a relish that toil and outquired to make the outward ride, the door life could alone impart, and the adventurers regained the coppice, where, merry jest and the good-natured repartee tying their horses, they left them as they leaped from lip to lip with unflagging had found them, and walked rapidly tow- zest. Thank God for these careless, joy
ous interludes in the hard life of our They were challenged by the same sen- brave soldiers ! tinel they had encountered before, who, In a tent not far away from the headin the now increasing light, though his quarters of the commander-in-chief, a eye glanced only carelessly over the fig- little group of young officers sat loungure of Haines, sought earnestly to obtain ing after their ample breakfast, enjoying a distinct view of the countenance of the inevitable pipe. As the graceful Ashby. But his broad hat was slouched wreaths of smoke floated away from their low over his brows, and the muffler cov- lips, they leisurely discussed the different ering the lower part of his face well topics of the day brought to them by the pulled up, rendering his features impossi- last mails, and now and then indulging ble to be distinguished. But with a look in a little good-natured bantering of one of growing wonder, the sentinel contin- another. Two of these, Major Bateman ued to gaze after the receding figures, un- and Captain Carleton, are already known til they were lost in the distance among to us. The former did not present quite the tents, when he gave a long, low whis- his usual bright and active appearance. tle, ending with an emphatic
Major, by your looks I should cer« Well! who next?”
tainly think you had lain awake all night, The tattoo was sounding as the adven- thinking of the fair lady whose face I
ard the camp.
you carry your jokes a short brown curls, as fine and glossy as little further than is becoming or agree- silk, which turned to gold as the morning able. But under the circumstances, I wind lifted them against the sunbeams.
The soft slouch hat, which was crushed “Oh, I beg pardon, major! I don't down over his brows, was not sufficient to in the least desire to take advantage of hide the uncommon beauty of his counany reputation for buffoonery I may have tenance. acquired, to put improper questions ; but “We captured this tall fellow, major," really, now, any unprejudiced judge would said the leader of the party, as he gave pronounce you guilty, from your anxious an account of his scout ; " but it wasn't unlooks at this moment. Isn't it so, boys ?” til after we had had considerable of a said he, roguishly appealing to his com- scrimmage, and had dropped a few of the rades. " Why, he looks as fagged as if rascals. There was about twenty of he had ridden all night with the guerril. them; and none of them would have got las at his heels. And by the way, one of away if our horses hadn't been so worn the picket-guard reports having seen two and jaded, while theirs were fresh and men skulking out of camp last night on strong. I'll give the rascals the credit foot. Perhaps you may know something of riding grand good horses and keeping about it, major."
them well." The annoyance of the major evidently “ Did your party all escape unhurt?” was reaching a point where Carleton might “ All but one, major. Poor Corporal learn that the liberty he was taking with Jones was knocked off his horse by the his superior officer was not to be pardoned butt-end of this fellow's rifle, and I heard on the score even of its being “only his skull crack like a pumpkin-shell. I Carleton, and he's privileged, you know!” clutched the fellow from behind, but too but just at this moment, a squad of men late to save poor Jones. Poor fellow ! advancing attracted the attention of the We buried him under an oak-tree in the group, and the matter was forgotten. woods, in just such a spot as I would like
It was a little scouting party, who had to sleep in myself, if I have to make my just ridden in from a long and fatiguing last bed out here in this wild guerrilla night-scout, bringing with them a couple country!” of prisoners. One of these was a sullen, “You did well, sergeant; but who is low-browed fellow, – just such an one as this boy? where did you find him? He's we are in the habit of imagining the not a guerrilla, surely!” guerrillas to be. In fact, he did belong “ No, sir; and I think he is under to that execrable class of Southern raid- some obligations to us for capturing him. ers. He was habited in a soiled and rag- He doesn't belong to that kind of cattle ged suit of the “ butternut ” cloth of the at all. He had been captured by the rascountry, and with equipments of assorted cals only an hour or less before. At any qualities, wherein raw bull's-hide belt and rate, that is the story this fellow tells me. straps contrasted strangely with their I couldn't make much out of the boy himpure English pistols and a capital Minie self. He doesn't seem to speak much rifle. Fierce black eyes scowled from English ; but whether he is French, or under a rusty slouch hat, and long black Spanish, or what not, is more than I beard hung down over the old bed-quilt
, know.” one shouldon which answered the "Ah" said the maior. turning to the
look, at these questions, while his eyes idently troubled and disturbed; and do roamed over the group before him, as if wonder, poor fellow! He ought not to seeking aid.
be detained a moment longer, unless sus“ He don't understand me,” said the ma- picious circumstances should be developed jor; “I'll try and put my question more to make it seem necessary. Fall back, plainly.” And going nearer to the boy, men! Make way for the captain and his he raised his voice as if speaking to a prisoner!” deaf person. “Sprechen sie Deutch ?” The soldiers fell back, and Carleton, he shouted. “Kann'st du nicht mir sagen accompanied by the boy, took his way warum sie sich finden aussen am Macht ?” towards the headquarters of the
An expression of suppressed mirth fit-mander-in-chief. ted for an instant over the boy's face; but Entering his tent, he saluted this high instantly assuming his former puzzled officer, and at once announced his busilook, as if trying to master the meaning ness. of his interlocutor's garbled German, “A prisoner, sir, a French boy, who
“ Monsieur,” said he at last, “ je ne speaks no English, and we cannot examcomprends pas que vous me speak. Je ine him. By order of Major Bateman, I ne sais pas dis langage dat you call En- have brought him to you." glis."
“ A French prisoner ? Indeed!” said “He is out of my line, altogether," the general, as Carleton stepped aside, said the major, ruefully. “He seems to permitting the boy, who stood with downbe saying that he does not comprehend cast eyes, to become visible. A flash of the English langage, as he strangely mis- intelligence darted like lightning over the pronounces the word. It is very strange, face of the commander, as his eyes fell in these days of public schools, that he upon the boy; but as instantly assuming can't pronounce English better. I have a look of cold inquiry, he looked steadily a boy not three years old can do it. Who in the young officer's face, as he asked, is there speaks French? Captain Carle- “ Where was he taken ? and who is he? ton, will you try your hand at it a lit. Do you know anything of him?" tle?"
No, sir. He was captured by one of The boy started at the name; and as our scouts this morning. They came his eye glanced upon the captain, who upon a nest of guerrillas, with whom emerged from the group of young officers they had a hot skirmish, losing one man, who surrounded him, a keen, vivid blush killed by one of their number, whom they for a moment crimsoned his face, and as succeeded in taking prisoner. The rest, instantly receding, left it perfectly color- having fresh horses, escaped. This boy, less.
according to the other prisoner, had but “I am sorry to say that I do not un- just been captured by them. But how it derstand French sufficiently to hold con- all came about, and why he happened to versation,” said Carleton, gazing at the be out so early in the morning, his ignoboy, while an indefinable feeling came rance of our language has prevented our over him that he saw that agitated face learning. I should almost as soon have not now for the first time. But where expected to see a girl brought in prisoner, he could have seen it before, he could not as such a delicate boy as he." in the least degree conjecture, and there “ And you say he is French ?” was now no time to study the matter. “Oh, undoubtedly, sir.
He speaks “I think,” said he, after another mo- nothing else.” ment, “ that the general may perhaps be “Very well! I think I know enough able to examine him."
of that language to examine him. But “Very like — very like!” said the the boy seems depressed and timid; and major, with a bustling air. “You will if you please, I would prefer to examine take him to the general's headquarters, if him without witnesses. You will give you please. The boy has been delicately orders, as you pass out, that I be not innurtured, you can see that; and he is ev- terrupted.”
“Do you say
With a respectful salute, Carleton im- and read it with great attention, going mediately left the tent, acquainting the over a part of it twice. Then looking sentinel, who was pacing up and down in the boy full in the face, front, with the general's orders, — that no “How did you obtain possession of one should enter while he was examining this ?” he inquired. “ How can I be the prisoner.
sure that it is authentic, or only a hoax ? "Well, Jean, how has this misfortune The information it contains is indeed of happened ?” said the general, after the great importance, if it may be relied on. tent curtain had dropped behind the retir. I wish to know more about it.” ing officer.
“Can you contrive to tell “Of how I obtained possession of the me in English," – a bright smile lighted document, I must be permitted to remain up his face as he said this, — "or will it silent,” replied the boy, a bright flush be necessary for our conversation to be passing over his handsome face. “ That carried on in French ?”
it is authentic, there cannot be the least “I think I can manage English tolera- doubt. This I can state confirmatory of it, bly well, sir," replied the boy, in a low, - that during last night the rebels turned gentle voice, and with a quiet smile. several thousands of horses and mules
“ You have shown great adroitness in outside of their lines to take care of escaping the inquisitorial examination you themselves.” would have been obliged to submit to
this from personal knowl. from a great many persons, had you spok- edge, or from mere rumor ?” en English. But how did you manage “From personal knowledge. I have with the guerrillas ? "
been within a hundred yards of their "Oh, I talked French to them, sir, and lines this morning, and I saw immense quite confounded them with my foreign "herds of horses and mules filling their tongue! I think they would have turned hollow stomachs with the forage they me loose after robbing me of my horse, everywhere found. If you doubt,” said and perhaps my coat and hat,” replied the boy, with a dignified air, “ you have the boy, with a rising blush.
but to send a force and capture them, for " It is well, at all events, that you they are fast eating their way a long dishave fallen into my hands. There is tance from the intrenchments." something though to be done yet, to “I do not doubt your word, my lad," evade the sharp eyes and prying curiosity said the general, kindly; " but I shall of my army."
nevertheless, as you suggest, capture as “ Perhaps so, sir; but as I cannot un- many of them as possible. With our exderstand or speak English, I think I shall cellent forage, they will soon become a have little difficulty."
valuable addition to our force of animal “ It is well! it is well!” said the gen- power. And now how shall I reward you eral, with another well-pleased smile. for your fearless energy and devotion to “ But how did you happen to fall into the your country? Do you need money?" hands of the guerrillas? You surely had The boy drew himself up to his full time to reach your home before actual height, his face assuming a grand and nodaylight.”
ble expression, and his sweet voice becom“I had done so, sir; but important ing deep and full with emotion, as he reinformation, of which I accidentally ob- plied, tained possession, led me to hazard every “ Reward, sir! and have you imagined
“What is it, my brave boy ?” said the the appointed time and place. And now general, his eyes misting with unwonted beware of being again taken prisoner.” emotion.
I shall always use every precaution, “The time may come when obloquy you may be assured, sir; and it will soon may fall upon my name, and the finger of be more necessary. General Pemberton scorn be pointed at • The Spy!' when my has ordered all the residents within three own hopes and those of others near and miles of Vicksburg to move into the dear to me may be blasted by what I am city.” doing now. May I then call upon you to “ Indeed! I fear your services in this say how and for what end I risk all that department are nearly over, then !” is dear to a" - He paused suddenly, a “I trust not, sir. My inventive genius deep blush mantling cheek and brow. has stood me in stead often before. I
“You are a sensitive boy! No true have faith to believe that it will herepatriot but will honor your name and after.” deeds; and you will yet see the day when “ It remains to be seen! It remains to your services to your country will be ev- be seen! I know you will compass diffierywhere spoken of in terms of honor." culties no one else could ; but this is a “ It is not for this I work."
difficulty that seems to me insurmount“I know it, my boy; no one feels it able.” better than I; and I love and honor you “ Never fear, sir," said the boy, cheerdeeply that it is so. And I would do ily, as he involuntarily held out his slensomething for you now - something, at der hand. The general took it, and with least, to render your movements more a warm pressure, led him toward the safe to yourself and to the cause. Can entrance of the tent. you suggest nothing ?”
Good-by, my brave boy, and God “Yes, sir; you can give me a letter of bless you ! And lifting the curtain, he protection.”
commanded an orderly to summon a guard, The general hesitated. “I fear it with the horse of the prisoner he had just would defeat its object. Should it be examined. seen by friend or foe, it would inevitably A guard of a half-dozen men, comlead to a detection of your services, and manded by a lieutenant, and leading the render them hereafter impossible. You handsome horse belonging to the prisoner, must feel that your usefulness depends on were immediately at hand. your being wholly unsuspected!'
"I find this boy,” said he, addressing “I do, sir ; but it may one day be to the lieutenant, " harmless and innocent of me more than life. Yet believe me, only all evil designs, besides being so far unthe most extreme emergency should ever acquainted with the English language as lead me to make use of it."
to render it extremely difficult for him to “But if the enemy should discover it do any mischief, even if he were so dison your person ? "
posed. You will therefore restore his “They would believe, as I should per horse, conduct him beyond the lines, and suade them, that obtaining it was a ruse set him at liberty.” on my part to deceive and work against “ Bon jour, mon garcon,” said he, turnyou.'
ing kindly to the boy, and motioning him