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      He went back to where Si was disarming and searching Tingle. The prisoner had a United States musket, cartridge-box, canteen, and a new haversack, all of which excited Shorty's ire.237

      "Mustn't do that," objected Si. "Put angwintum on you and get wet, and you'll be salivated. You ought to know that."

      He acknowledged in an overbearing way the greetings of the others, and called out imperiously:The sharp call of the Sergeant on duty outside to "Turn out the Guard for the General," the clatter of muskets, as he was obeyed, the sudden stiffening up of the men lounging about the entrance into the position of the soldier, and their respectful salutes as the General limped in, conveyed to Lieut.-Col. Billings intelligence as to his visitor, and his whole demeanor changed to one of obsequious welcome.

      Si and Shorty looked startled, and exchanged significant glances. "Needn't 've told it was him," said Shorty. "I could smell his breath even this far. Hullo, Groundhog," he continued in loud tones. "Come on up. Git out, Watch! Lay down, Tige! Begone, Bones! Come on up, Groundhog. What's the news?"

      In the crowded depot at Nashville they had an other panic, but the Provost-Guard kept a gangway clear as soon as it was discovered that they were on duty."All right; we'll give you warning before we shoot," coincided Si.


      Wheat is lookin surprisinly well, though I found sum bare plasis in the north field. I think we'll have a fair crop ov apples and peaches. Your colt is growin up the purtiest thing that ever went on four legs, & jumped an eight-rail fence. My hogs wintered in good shape, & pork is risin. They have the measles over on the Crick, & school's broke up. Bill Scripp's out agin for Sheriff, & I spose I'le have 2 turn 2 agin & beat him. Singler, that he'll never know when he's got enuff."Indeed you won't," said the Surgeon decisively. "You'll go straight home, and stay there until you are well. You won't be fit for duty for at least a month yet, if then. If you went out into camp now you would have a relapse, and be dead inside of a week. The country between here and Chattanooga is dotted with the graves of men who have been sent back to the front too soon."


      The Deacon could not stand the appeal of those great, plaintive eyes and that wasted form."I tell you we're genuine, true-blue union soldiers from Injianny, belong to Rosecrans's army, and are down here to drive the rebels out o' the country. There, you kin see our flag comin' up the mountain."