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      "You want to learn," Marvor said. "Then learn what they know."It was hard that just at the outset of his enterprise, fresh obstacles should be thrown in his way. He saw that it was practically impossible for him to go on working as he did; already he was paying for it in stiff muscles, loss of appetite, fitful sleep, and drugged wakings. Also he was growing irritable and frayed as to temper. If he went on much longer doing the work of three menhe had always done the work of twohe would end by breaking up completely, and then what would become of Odiam? He would have to engage outside help, and that would mean quite ten shillings a weekten shillings a week, two pounds a month, twenty-six pounds a year, the figures were like blisters in his head during the long restless nights. They throbbed and throbbed through his dreams. He would have to spend twenty-six pounds a year, just when he was saving so desperately to buy more land and fatten what he already had. And in addition he would have to pay for Harry's keep. Not only must he engage a man to do his work, but he would have to support in absolute idleness Harry himself. He was quite unfit for farm work, he would be nothing but an expense and an incubus.

      "It'd be murder to shoot him now. Gi' me your gun, Pete. Run down the road there apiece, and hit him or his horse with a stone and wake him up."

      "Holy smoke! bigger men than youlots biggerhave squared up their accounts that way. Didn't all the Captains in the rijiment, and the Quartermaster and Commissary, and, for what I know, the Chaplain and the Colonel, git clean bills o' health after the battle o' Stone River, by reportin' everything that they couldn't find 'lost in action?'"

      He had tried to talk to Marvor about the truths, of course. Marvor, though, had been obstinately indifferent. Nothing made any impression on his hardened, stubborn mind. And now he was gone.Another step.


      "We must march slower. Si," said Shorty, glancing ruefully back, "or we'll lose every blamed one o' them boys. They're too green yit."


      His looks would be only slightly marred. It was the optic nerve which had been destroyed, and so far there was nothing ugly in the eyes themselves, except their vacant rolling. The eyelashes and eyebrows had been burnt off, but they were growing again, and a scar on his cheek and another on his forehead were not likely to show much in a few weeks' time. But all the life, the light, the soul had gone out of his faceit was like a house which had been gutted, with walls and roof still standing, yet with its essential quality gone from it, a ruin.The Lieutenant unbuckled his saber, dropped it to the ground, and ran forward to the cannon. Two or three men rose slowly from the ground, upon which they had been prostrated, and joined the Lieutenant in running the gun back to its place, and reloading it.


      He was now leaning heavily on Caro as he walked, and too shy, and perhaps reluctant, to ask him to lift his arm, she naively suggested that they should sit down and rest. Dansay was delightedshe was not the timid little bird he had thought, and directly they had sunk into the heather he seized her in his arms, and began kissing her violently on neck and lips.She had been a foolshe had brooded over a little trivial incident till it had assumed unwarranted proportions and frightened her. Nothing whatever had happened to her and Handshutthey had shared a joke,[Pg 288] that was all. She did not love him, she loved her husband, and she was a fool to have thought anything else. Love was not a drama or a tragedy, but a game and a lark, or at times a comfortable emotion towards one's lawful husband, who was the best and finest man in the world.