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The next morning he called rather testily to the hired man, who was starting up the lane with an axe, "Hiram, I've got other work for you. Don't cut a stick in that wood-lot unless I tell you."

I'd allow any such foolishness?"

"I understand, Helen. We can go on as we have begun. You have lost, as I have not, for I have never possessed. You will be the greater sufferer; and it will be my dear privilege to cheer and sustain you in such ways as are possible to a simple friend."

"DEAR FATHERYou know I ain't much given to fine feelings or fine words. Poor Sam beat me all holler in such things; but I want you and all the folks in Alton to know that you've got a regular soldier at home. Of course we were all glad to see Bart Martine; and we expected to have a good-natured laugh at his expense when the shells began to fly. Soldiers laugh, as they eat, every chance they get, 'cause they remember it may be the last one. Well, we knew Bart didn't know any more about war than a chicken, and we expected to see him get very nervous and limp off to the rear on the double quick. He didn't scare worth a cent. When a shell screeched over our heads, he just waited till the dinged noise was out of our ears and then went on with his questions about poor Cap and Sam and the others from our town. We were supporting a battery, and most of us lying down. He sat there with us a good hour, telling about the folks at home, and how you were all following us with your thoughts and prayers, and how you all mourned with those who lost friends, and were looking after the children of the killed and wounded. Fact is, before we knew it we were all on our feet cheering for Alton and the folks at home and the little lame man, who was just as good a soldier as any of us. I tell you he heartened up the boys, what's left of us. I'm sorry to hear he's so sick. If he should die, bury him with a soldier's honors. JAMES WETHERBY."

His manhood was now too deeply wounded for further endurance even from her, for he suddenly straightened himself, and throwing his rifle over his shoulder, said sternly, "I'm not a coward. I never hung back from fear, but to keep mother from charity, so I could fight or die as God wills. You may laugh at the man who never gave you anything but love, if you will, but you shall never laugh at my deeds. Call that boasting or not as you please," and he turned on his heel to depart.

"Look yere," cried Nichol; "don' yer call me crazy or I'll light on yer so yer won't fergit it."