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      He touched Dara: their fronts touched. That alone was more than Cadnan had ever imagined yet it was not enough. Still there was more he was called on to do: he did not think about it, or know of it until it was done. He moved against Dara, as she against him: he was not himself. He was more and less, he was only the front of his body and he was Great Root Tree, he was all trees, all worlds...."When I lived in Chicago," broke in the Major, in a conversational tone, apparently forgetful that he had called upon the Lieutenant to speak, but fixing a very piercing blue eye upon him, "I used to mix up a good deal with the boys who hung around a saloon kept by a ward politician, an unscrupulous, noisy, driving fellow namedBut excuse me. Lieutenant, I forgot for the moment that I had called upon you to speak."

      "That looks like the camp o' the 200th Injianny over there," said Si, pointing to the right, after scanning the mountain-side. "See all them red shirts hangin' out to dry? That's Co. A; they run to red flannel shirts like a nigger barber to striped pants."

      "Well, I for one am goin' through, and I'm goin' to take Pete and Sandy with me," said Shorty, in a loud, confident tone, to brace up the others. "I've always gone through every one o' them things I've struck yit, and this ain't no worse'n the others. But we ought to jump 'em at once, while they're shiverin' over the shelling' we give 'em. They must be shakin' up there yit like a dog on a January mornin'. Why don't we start, I wonder?"

      At Odiam Rose shook off her seriousness. Supper was ready, and undaunted by the huge meal she had already eaten, she sat down to it with a hearty appetite. Her step-children stared at her curiouslyRose had a gust of affection for them. Poor things!their lives had been so crude and dull and innocent. She must give them a little brightness now, soften the yoke of Reuben's tyrannythat girl Caro, for instance, she must[Pg 259] give her some pretty clothes and show her how to arrange her hair becomingly.


      "A wasp-waisted West Pointer, raw from school; thinks he's learned all there's to know about war out of a book on triggernometry. Has no more feelin' for a private soljer than I have for a mule. Calls 'em 'my men,' roared Jerry.


      "The Government must pay big wages to the men it hires to do its cooking," philosophized Harry Joslyn, "same as it does to its lawyers and Congressmen and Generals. No common men could cook grub that way. Mebbe it took the cooks away from the Astor House and Delmonico's."TO REST, refit after the sharp fighting and marching, and to wait for the slightly wounded and other convalescents to come up, the brigade went into camp on the banks of the Oostenaula River, near Calhoun, Ga., and about 20 miles south of Dalton, which had been the objective at the opening of the campaign.


      The passage through the crowded, busy railroad yard was bewildering, toilsome, exciting and dangerous. The space between the tracks was scarcely more than wide enough for one man to pass, and the trains on either side would be moving in different directions. On the tracks that the boys crossed trains were going ahead or backing in entire regardlessness of them, and with many profane yells from the trainmen for them to get out of the way and keep out. Si only kept his direction by occasionally glancing over his shoulder and setting his face to walk in the direction away from Pulpit Rock, which juts out from the extremity of Lookout Mountain.As the year climbed up again into spring, a tender pity for Bessie mingled with Robert's love. It was not the pity which begets love, but the sweeter kind which is begotten of it. Robert forgot all about his own hard life, the monotonous ruthless grind of work, the absence of all softness, homeliness, or sympathy, the denial of all gaiety and sport. He thought only of Bessie's troubles, and would have given the world to lighten[Pg 144] them. He longed to give her some little treat, or a present. But he had no money. For the first time he inwardly rebelled against the system which kept him penniless. None of the boys had any money, except Pete on Fair daysnot even Albert, for the Rye Advertiser did not pay its poets. For the first time Robert saw this as unjust.