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      "I'll do anything. Mister," blubbered Hackberry. "I'll marry her this minnit. Say the words, 'Squire."That night, after the battle had ceased, Si and Shorty were seated on a rail by the Nashville pike munching rations which they had luckily found in a thrown-away haversack. They were allowed no fires, they had no blankets nor overcoats, and it was bitter cold.

      "Then you'll lose yor bClinker, yo' pigheaded, likker-guzzling', ornery, no-account sand-hill crane," she said, viciously coming down on his chest with207 her full weight and sticking the point of hei nail against his eye. "I wouldn't marry yo' if ye wuz the last nubbin' in the Lord A'mighty's crib, and thar'd never be another crap o' men. Ye'll never git no chance to make me yer slave, and beat me and starve me t' death as yo' did Nance Brill. I ain't gwine t' fool with yer pervarsity nary a minnit longer. Say this instant whether yo'll do as I say with a freewill and good heart, or out goes yer peeper." "I promise," groaned Jeff.208

      "Shorty," he said, as he came up to "I've struck it this time. Over to that house there's the purtiest gal I ever see."

      He reached the Pike, at last, just as he was sinking with fatigue. The dreary rain had set in again, and he had determined to give the thing up, and sit down, and wait for morning. He saw a feeble glimmer of light at a distance, and decided to make one more effort to reach it, and inquire for his regiment.

      Si did as suggested.

      "Seems to me we're git'n over the ground party lively to-day," replied Shorty, who was in a grumbling mood. "Wonder if the Gin'ral thinks we're bosses! I'm a little short o' wind, and these pesky gunboats are scrapin' the bark off'n my feet; but I'll keep up or bust."


      The old Kentuckian declared that he was a "union man," and that he would demand of the Government full revenge for this outrage. It was noticed that there were no young men around as there should be according to the economy of nature, to preserve the balance of sex in so large a family. The officer in command asked him where all his sons were.Pen tore off her sun-bonnet and rolling it up with the strings out handed it over. She sat on the man's right arm, when Don was obliged to release it. Somehow Don managed to force the twisted roll of cotton between his teeth, and with Pen's aid, passed the strings under his head and tied the gag with the knots in front. Sepulchral groans issued from beneath it.


      "I thought you hated a thief," Si started to say; but real comrades soon learn, like husband and wife, that it is not necessary to say everything that rises to their lips. Besides, the frying-pan was a beauty, and just what they wanted."It's all very well for you to snort and laugh, Si Klegg," persisted Shorty. "You don't know her. I sneered at her, too, at first, but when I was left alone with her she seemed to mesmerize me. I found myself talkin' about marryin' her before I knowed196 it, and the next thing I was on the p'int o' actually marryin' her. I believe that if she'd got me to walk a half-mile further with her she'd a run me up agin a Justice o' the Peace and married me in spite of all that I could do. I'd much ruther have my head blowed off than married to that old catamount.


      "As soon as I could make myself talk, I answered them in German, unt told them who I was. Then they couldn't do enough for me. They helped me back to where they could get an ambulance, in which they sent me to Headquarters, for I was top weak to ride or walk a step. I handed my yellow envelope to General Curtis, got a dram of whisky to keep me up while I answered his questions, unt then went to67 sleep, unt slept through the whole battle of Pea Ridge.How different they looked from what they did the evening before, when the two partners encountered them in the depths of the cedar brake. Then they seemed like fierce giants, capable of terrible things, such as would make the heart quail. Now, powerless of harm, and awed by the presence of multitudes of armed men in blue filling the country in every direction that they looked, they appeared very commonplace, ignorant, rough men, long-haired, staring-eyed, and poorly-clad in coarse, butternut-dyed homespun, frayed and tattered.