And so affairs went on. He thought at times her color quickened a little when he approached suddenly; he fancied that he occasionally surprised a half-wistful, half-mirthful glance, but was not sure. He knew that she was as well aware of his intentions and wishes as if he had proclaimed them through a speaking-trumpet. His only assured ground of comfort was that neither Mr. Merriweather nor Mr. Hackley had yet won the coveted prize, though they evidently were receiving far greater opportunities to push their suit than he had been favored with.
"I must, Helen."
"You must not get angry now, I can tell you. That would never do at all. I FORBID it."
"But, Helen, I am more than that: I am your friend."
"Yes, and everything. We don't foresee the bright days any more than the dark ones. I did not dream of this in Virginia."
His wife was weeping in her private tent, and I saw that for the first time in my acquaintance with him he was downcast. He was one of the bravest of men, yet now a foreboding of evil oppressed him. The result justified it, for he was captured during the raid, and never fully rallied after the war from the physical depression caused by his captivity. He told me that on the morrow General Kilpatrick would lead four thousand picked cavalry men in a raid on Richmond, having as its special object the release of our prisoners. I rode to the headquarters of the general, who confirmed the tidings, adding, "You need not go. Non-combatants are not expected to go."
Thanksgiving phiz I have seen today. 'Count your marcies.'"
"Well," rejoined Mr. Alford, who was of rather a social turn and felt the isolation of his life, "why not be my guest for a time? I'll take the risk if you will remain incog., and keep aloof from the men."