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THE UNIVERSITY OF 

NORTH CAROLINA 

LIBRARY 




THE WILMER COLLECTION 

OF CIVIL WAR NOVELS 

PRESENTED BY 

RICHARD H. WILMER, JR. 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2010 with funding from 

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 



http://www.archive.org/details/legionariesOOclar 



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The Legionaries 




EVERY WORD THEY SPOKE, THOUGH THEIR VOICES WERE AT 
FIRST LOW, CAME TO MY EARS DISTINCTLY', page 184. 



The Legionaries 



BY 
HENRY SCOTT CLARK /a 4U t n 

Al-F CoX 



A STORY OF 
THE GREAT RAID 



Illustrated 



INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA 

THE BOWEN-MERR1LL COMPANY 

PUBLISHERS 



Copyright 1899 

THE BOWEN-MERRILL COMPANY 

All Rights Reserved 



Rraunworth, Munn & Barber. 

Printers and Binders, 

Brooklyn, N. Y. 



" * * * sons of the selfsame race 
And blood of the selfsame clan, 
Let us speak with each other, face to face, 
And answer as man to man, 

And loyally love and trust each other as none but 
free men can." 



(ix) 

602769 



Contents 



What of Virginia i 

II 

The Monster War 15 

III 
The Placard on the Post 30 

IV 
Give Me Road, Sirs 46 

V 
The Third One at Mandrell's 63 

VI 
With Face Toward the South 83 

VII 
Captain Burkley's Gentlemen 92 

VIII 
With the Great Raider 106 

IX 

On Brandenburg Heights 124 

(xi) 



xii Contents 

x 

Her Brother's Accuser 145 

XI 

The Shooting of Bellray 157 

XII 

The Garb of a Rebel 176 

XIII 
The End of the Horse-Buyer 199 

XIV 
Through the Tunnels 218 

XV 
A Discredited Spy 233 

XVI 
The Duel in the Cave 248 

XVII 
Word by the Refugee 263 

XVIII 
And Some Day— 279 

XIX 
The Coming of the Provost 294 

XX 

The Ride of the Three Thousand 302 



Contents xiii 

XXI 
The Help of a Strong Man 313 

XXII 
Corporal Neffitt 326 

XXIII 
A Message from the General 340 

XXIV 
Friends on the Wall 357 

XXV 
The Escape 369 

XXVI 
The Return of Reason 377 



The Legionaries 



The Legionaries 

CHAPTER I 

WHAT OF VIRGINIA 

At middle life my father found himself a poor 
man — a poor country gentleman. It is not such 
a great misfortune to be a poor city gentleman, 
for the latter is only one of many of all sorts and 
conditions. He may easily lose himself in the 
multitude, or, if he dislike obscurity, he may 
conceal from the public gaze the slenderness of 
his purse and affect an appearance not justified by 
his fortune. But in the country one's goings in 
and comings out, if in any sense or degree out of 
the common way, are likely to attract attention 
and provoke comment of the kind one least de- 
sires. 

In the Virginia county in which my father 
was born and had spent nearly all his life, he was 
surrounded by old and well-to-do families with 
whom and their ancestors he and his ancestors had 

(0 



2 The Legionaries 

mingled for many generations. They knew the 
extent of his estate to the acre, and could compute 
his income with more than tolerable accuracy. If 
he was compelled to part with a portion of the 
one or suffered a diminution of the other they 
were certain to know it, and likewise the particular 
nature of the adversity that moved to the sacrifice. 

So, at least, my father found it when a mis- 
taken confidence in others led to his financial 
undoing. Usually such a blow as the loss of for- 
tune is more stunning when it is received than at 
any time afterward, but in his case it was not 
that way. Not until he began to feel how surely 
the loss of money carried with it deprivation, in 
some measure, of other things that he valued 
more highly than money did he fully understand 
the extent of the disaster that had overtaken him. 
Being a proud man and perhaps supersensi- 
tive, he was cut to the heart when the realization 
came that he could no longer hold up his head 
with the highest. True, he had not lost all. A 
remnant of his once very considerable estate was 
left, but it was not sufficient to maintain his es- 
tablishment on terms of equality with the best. 
Our family continued to be held in regard, for it 
was — let me say it — eminently respectable, but 
in my father's view our very respectability only 
served to aggravate the evils of our condition. 

If we had been content to live as many do, and 
to drift along from day to day, not caring for the 



What of Virginia 3 

morrow, overlooking slights and forgetting past 
things, it would have been easier for us. Prob- 
ably I should not say us, for I was not much at 
home during those last melancholy days in Vir- 
ginia, being in the military school at West Point, 
where the government was doing what it could to 
fit me for a soldier. I did not know all that was 
going on nor all that my father felt, but his letters 
to me betrayed a very uncheerful spirit. His dis- 
satisfaction, indeed, constantly augmented, and 
he became possessed of a fancy that there was a 
lack of the old courteous attention from those 
about him. Finally a letter came telling me that 
he had accepted an appointment to office in 
Washington — this was in the early days of Presi- 
dent Buchanan's administration — and that he and 
my mother would presently proceed to the Capi- 
tal, which they very soon did. 

The appointment was accepted as an honorable 
means of getting away from the old scenes, upon 
which such a different face had been put by his 
changed condition, and, while fairly lucrative, 
proved irksome. It was not long until he was 
ready to relinquish it. Could he have re- 
sumed his old place he would gladly have re- 
turned to Virginia. As that could not be, he was 
looking around, he wrote me. For one situated 
as he was the South then afforded few opportuni- 
ties for financial recuperation, even if there were 



4 The Legionaries 

ambition to try; this ambition he had not, hav- 
ing lost his spirit and being none too strong. 

The storm which a few years later broke with 
such fury was brewing. Its mutterings could be 
heard by any man who would open his ears and 
listen. It was despite this fact and not because 
of it that he took a very unexpected step, in 
which no doubt he was encouraged by my mother 
who, in addition to her most lovable qualities, 
was possessed of a strong will and great self- 
reliance. This was no less than a removal, with 
all his belongings, to Indiana. However influ- 
ential my mother may have been in inducing this, 
at the time, extraordinary change of residence, she 
was not wholly responsible for it. Roger Bell- 
ray had much to do with it, but I have since 
come to believe that my mother, with her wom- 
an's intuition, along with unusual foresight, had 
prescience of the terrible events that were to hap- 
pen in Virginia and desired to get far away from 
the soil that was so soon to be drenched with 
blood. 

A bachelor, a man of affairs, a gentleman 
farmer and still young — such and more was 
Roger Bellray. Having means and leisure, as 
well as natural inclination, he had given a good 
deal of attention to politics — not, however, as an 
office-seeker or office-holder, for he valued too 
highly the freedom and independence of private 
citizenship to exchange them for the cares of 



What of Virginia 5 

place. He had spent some winters in Washington 
as a looker-on, interested in the workings of the 
complicated government machinery. He met and 
greatly impressed my discouraged father by his 
vigorous and magnetic personality. Their ac- 
quaintance ripened into a sudden and lasting 
friendship. 

To him my father confided his determination 
to retire to some quiet country place where he 
could busy himself with small affairs without dis- 
turbance. As it happened, the estate adjoining 
Bellray's was then on the market at a price well 
within the means still at my father's command. 
In the spring he went West, and rinding the place 
satisfactory, or at least as nearly satisfactory as 
any could be that did not equal that which he had 
been forced to relinquish, he bought it. I was 
advised of this contemplated purchase, but while 
it seemed to me a poor business, there was no 
occasion for me to set up my opinion in oppo- 
sition to it. 

The few years, as it befell, that yet re- 
mained to him were passed in peace, if not in 
contentment. More by the thrifty management 
of my mother, acting under the advice of Bellray, 
than by any business skill of his own, his new 
possessions yielded returns sufficient to maintain 
a respectable establishment without trenching 
upon the fund which had been set aside to send 



6 The Legionaries 

me abroad after my graduation, as every male 
Trenham had been sent for a hundred years. 

Having a taste for martial things, I was, 
through the influence of the American minister, 
which we were yet able to invoke, admitted as a 
student in a French military institute, and for two 
years devoted myself assiduously to the task of 
receiving instruction. I was rather a serious- 
minded young man and eschewed most of the 
follies to which many of those about me were ad- 
dicted. While in the main my stay in the insti- 
tute was not unpleasant, I was, as a foreigner, 
who was there merely by the grace of the French 
government, subjected to many annoyances. 

At first I was tolerated as a semi-barbarian 
and curiosity, but when it was found that I was 
disposed to insist upon respectful treatment, al- 
though I did so as mildly as the circumstances 
would allow, I met with some difficulty at the 
hands of a few of the most violently inclined 
young Frenchmen. The result was that I was 
forced into an encounter with a smart yet reckless 
fellow who was put forward as the champion of 
those who had determined to make me win my 
spurs. 

Swordsmanship was taught there, as in all 
high class institutions of the kind, and many of 
the students had acquired a degree of expertness 
that would have been creditable even in those 
long-gone times when skill at fencing was the first 



What of Virginia 7 

requirement of a gentleman. Fortunately for me 
— not only then but later — I knew something of 
the art. I had set out early to acquire some 
knowledge of the uses of the weapon and be- 
came greatly interested in the pursuit. The fenc- 
ing master asserted that I had a quickness of eye 
and a steadiness of nerve without which the 
sword was as useless as a walking stick. Thus 
encouraged, and finding that the exercise was 
invigorating and healthful, I continued it with 
great spirit, not unmixed with a little pride. 

So when I was given to understand by my 
friends in the institute that my peace, and my 
standing in the eyes of my fellows, demanded 
that I should not ignore the challenge of the fiery 
Venault, I accepted it. Although not really a 
bad fellow at heart, Venault had a good many 
traits of the bully and had terrorized half the 
school into submission to his domination. Not a 
few of them desired to see him humiliated ; and 
while they did not believe in my ability to accom- 
plish his overthrow, they were willing enough that 
I should try. 

Their ideas of America were dim and uncer- 
tain. In the minds of most of them it was 
merely a far-away land which their own country 
had been principally instrumental in wresting 
from the hated English, a land where men ac- 
quired wealth by some species of magic and re- 
turned to civilized countries to enjoy it, I di(jl 



8 The Legionaries 

what I could to give them a more favorable un- 
derstanding, but I fear that I really accomplished 
little before my trouble with Paul Venault, and 
not greatly more afterward. 

The morning came for our meeting. Dueling 
was, of course, prohibited, but under the guise of 
a fencing bout, in which, if a wound was received, 
it was proclaimed to be an accident, it was never- 
theless carried on in very genuine fashion. My 
opponent appeared on the ground fresh and con- 
fident, his young mustachios daintily waxed and 
twisted, and his handsome eyes lively with the 
excitement of the occasion. A fine specimen of 
the dashing, volatile Latin was Paul Venault. In 
size and strength we were a fair match. He was 
nearly, if not quite, six feet in height, sinewy, 
active and alert. What a swordsman he would 
have made had it not been for his hot head and 
his proneness always to hold an opponent too 
cheaply ! 

We stripped for the encounter and took our 
positions. Venault smiled at first somewhat dis- 
dainfully, but at the onset he replaced the smile 
with a fierce look which was meant to overawe 
me, as I have no doubt it had overawed others. 
Fortunately for me, I very well realized that it was 
not fierce looks that won battles of this sort, but 
good, steady sword-play. Much to the surprise 
of all and to the deep humiliation of my opponent, 
the contest went in my favor more easily than I 



What of Virginia 9 

had believed it would, and Venault was retired 
with a wound in his arm. 

He had the manliness to congratulate me on 
my victory, but the heartiness of the acknowledg- 
ment was marred by his professed belief that the 
thrust which had disabled him was directed by 
chance. If this afforded him consolation I was 
not the one to deprive him of it, though I knew 
the contrary to be the fact. After this I got 
along fairly well and received from none more con- 
siderate treatment than from Venault. 

I have written of this experience in no spirit of 
vaunting, but because Paul came once again into 
my life on a very different field, and also because 
it is the easiest way to explain how I was able to 
bear myself with credit in a more serious encoun- 
ter under most unusual circumstances. 

Only meager information came to me as to what 
was happening at home. My father had written 
of the great contest for the presidency then going 
on with a heat and virulence of faction never be- 
fore known, and gave it as his opinion that Lin- 
coln's success meant the attempted secession from 
the Union of the southern states and then war be- 
tween the sections. My ideas as to the causes of 
the trouble were, I fancy, at that time hazy and 
inaccurate. For two years I had been abroad, 
giving more heed to present concerns than to 
thoughts of future strife between my countrymen. 

In a general way I knew that there had been 



io The Legionaries 

bitter sectional contention at home in which the 
question of slavery was in some way involved — 
for there had been trouble at West Point between 
the northern and southern lads — but I had not 
dreamed that the conditions were so acute as my 
father's letters indicated. As a southerner born 
my sympathies were with the South, so quick are 
we to believe that our own people must be right 
and everybody else wrong. I eagerly awaited 
further intelligence, which had to come by the 
slow process of the mails carried by the not too 
rapid steamers which then traversed the Atlantic. 

Late in December a letter reached me, written 
by my mother, conveying the serious tidings 
that my father's health, which long had been del- 
icate, had taken a sudden turn for the worse and 
she had grave fears for his life. She urged me 
to return home immediately, and enclosed money 
for my journey. A line added at the bottom of 
the last page, as if an afterthought, told me that 
Lincoln had been elected to the presidency. 
Only the bare fact was stated, without comment, 
and thus I had no confirmation or otherwise of 
my father's misgivings ; but she took little inter- 
est in politics at best, and was thinking then, no 
doubt, only of her husband's state. 

Settling my few affairs as fast as possible, I set 
out for Paris to get my passports. From the 
papers there, which usually devoted but little at- 
tention to the affairs of America, I learned that a 



What of Virginia 1 1 

crisis was thought to be approaching in the United 
States which threatened the integrity of the re- 
public. This, if well founded, would be good 
news to Louis Napoleon, to whom republics, since 
the time of his own treachery to France, were a 
constantly menacing nightmare. A January voy- 
age across the Atlantic was not what I would 
have chosen, but there was no alternative. The 
tone of my mother's letter convinced me that 
there should be no avoidable delay. It was a ter- 
rible journey through gales, driving rains, sleet 
and snow, but it was accomplished at last. 

On arriving in New York, I found, during my 
few hours of necessary detention, that everybody 
was in a state of feverish excitement. All around 
could be heard the shouts of the newspaper ven- 
ders, crying that another state had seceded from 
the Union. This, I soon learned, was Georgia, 
the fifth to take that momentous and, as it proved, 
almost fatal step. There were plenty about to 
enlighten me as to what had been done, as well as 
to what was being done. Without doubt the 
country was on the verge of war. National prop- 
erty in all the seceding states had been seized, 
including arsenals and forts and the navy-yard at 
Pensacola. The authorities at Washington were 
bitterly assailed for not putting forth a strong 
hand and suppressing the insurrection in its in- 
cipiency, and were wildly accused of being in 
league with treason. 



12 The Legionaries 

"What of Virginia?" I asked later of a by- 
stander at the railway station. 

"Virginia is still true, but she is expected to 
go the way of the others," he answered, gloom- 
ily. "You are of the North, I suppose?" 

"I am a Virginian," said I, proudly, and added, 
"but just returned from France." 

He looked about him apprehensively, and 
then, coming a little nearer, so as not to be over- 
heard, he said: "You are safer than I, yet, for 
I am a South Carolinian, and my state has led 
the procession out of the Union," saying which 
he walked quickly away from me and was lost to 
my view in the crowd. 

Safer ! So it had already become a question of 
personal danger. I had told him that I was a 
Virginian, which was the truth, yet my home was 
in Indiana. The anomalous position in which I 
was placed had barely occurred to me before, but 
it struck me now with full force. Beyond any 
question at all Indiana would standby the Union. 
My father had expatriated himself from Virginia, 
but had I? Except the short period of three 
months that I had spent with my parents just 
prior to going abroad I had never been in the 
state to which they had removed. I was worried 
and perplexed. If war came I ought to bear a 
part. Otherwise, why had I been educated in 
soldier craft? 

Two days of continuous travel were required to 



What of Virginia 1-3 

make the trip from New York to the old capital 
town of Corydon, a few miles outside of which, 
to the northward, lay my father's new posses- 
sions. My route took me through a country in- 
tensely hostile to the South. The critical condi- 
tion of the republic was almost the sole topic of 
conversation among my constantly changing fel- 
low-passengers. A few argued in favor of letting 
the southern states go, declaring that it would 
be a good riddance, but by far the greater num- 
ber held that the Union should be preserved at 
all hazards. Into these arguments I did not ob- 
trude, and I noticed that there were others who, 
like myself, did not deem it expedient to put for- 
ward their opinions, and, who, when now and then 
appealed to, remained steadily non-committal. 

It must not be understood that these things, 
absorbing as they were, engrossed all of my 
thoughts. I was deeply concerned about my 
father, always kind and generous, who had 
poured out upon me, as the only child, a full 
measure of affection. I had been absent a long 
time, and how should I find him? And my lov- 
ing mother, who had laid everything at my feet 
since that day, now twenty-two years gone, when 
I first came helpless into her arms, how was she? 

There came into my mind, too, a vision of an- 
other — a spirited little maid of glorious prom- 
ise — Kate, Roger Bellray's young sister. She 
must be nearly eighteen by now, and if the flower 



14 The Legionaries 

was as beautiful as the bud — ah ! I was young ; 
how should I find Kate Bellray? 

Finally I reached the end of my travel by rail 
at Jeffersonville, from which point I took stage for 
Corydon, something more than twenty miles 
away, arriving there late in the afternoon of a day 
of clear sky and sharp north wind. Hastily par- 
taking of a little refreshment, I entered the con- 
veyance that I had ordered to carry me over the 
few miles yet separating me from my father's 
house, leaving my baggage to follow on the mor- 
row. Darkness had set in by the time we drew 
rein in front of the wide porch of southern fash- 
ion, from which my mother waved h£r Jiand^ in 
farewell on that September day when I sjgr0G on 
the journey from which I was now returning. 
How should I find them? The rooms Were^Fght 
down stairs. Jumping out I discharged (pe cfjwer, 
hastened toward the house, up the steps and gave 
the old-fashioned bell a pull that coujd^have been 
heard from garret to cellar. Tifl€ door <was 
opened presently by the well-;remembered 
servant Martha, a slave in Virginia, but hei 
yet who clung to my family closer than 
were still bond. 

"Marse John!" she exclaimed, throwing 
her hands as if I were an apparition, --..• 

And then the good soul began to cry and bth^ed 
her face in her gingham apron. I understoo^djvery 
well from this that my father was dead. 







CHAPTER II 

THE MONSTER WAR 

My father's death, of which I was not wholly 
unprepared to hear, had occurred two weeks be- 
fore my arrival. It was a great shock to me and 
an overwhelming grief to my mother, but my 
presence went far to comfort her. She now 
leaned upon me in all things, and sought advice 
which I was poorly prepared to give. But I 
went to work diligently to acquire a knowledge 
of ogr affairs and found them to be in good con- 
dition ; and yet how our present position contrast- 
ed with that from which we had been deposed ! — 
a bare three hundred acres as against as many 
thousands, a modest, but roomy and comfort- 
able house as against the imposing mansion 
within the walls of which generations of Tren- 
hams had been born, and where they had laughed, 
and wept, and lived, and died. Where happy 
slaves in that still recent time gave willing serv- 
ice, now four or five paid servants did all the 
work of house and farm. Father had never be- 
come reconciled to the change, but mother, pos- 
sessing a more elastic temperament and a cheer- 
(15) 



1 6 The Legionaries 

fulness of disposition not easily shaken, accepted 
it without a murmur. Only on his account and 
mine was she ever known to express a regret, 
and this, being buoyant and hopeful, I labored to 
dispel so far as it concerned myself. 

We were a litttle removed from direct commu- 
nication with the world, but by means of the 
Louisville newspapers were kept tolerably in- 
formed as to what was going on. The new pres- 
ident was inaugurated in March. His address 
on that occasion, while intended to be pacific, 
was unsatisfactory to the South and was looked 
upon by the leading secessionists as menacing. 
Representatives of the seceding states met and 
agreed upon a plan of confederation. Both sides 
began to arm, and those conservative people 
in both sections — there were many of them — 
who had hoped for peace, lost heart. And well 
they might, as things went from bad to worse 
with each passing day. At last, about the mid- 
dle of April, came that direful news from Charles- 
ton harbor, that open defiance of the national 
government which constituted an act of war. It 
was so accepted everywhere, and preparations 
for that miserable, unhappy family conflict, so 
long dreaded, and now, thank God, so long past 
and forgiven, were redoubled. 

I had but slight acquaintance in our locality, 
and aside from occasional trips to Corydon, now 
and then extended to Louisville, I stayed mostly at 



The Monster War 17 

home, doing what I could to mitigate my mother's 
sorrow, and to aid in the management of her affairs. 
Roger Bellray, who had gone to Washington, as 
was his custom, and on to New England, as he told 
me, to visit his sister who was there in school, came 
home a few weeks after the inauguration. Until 
then I had not seen him since my return. He 
was gloomy and cast down, and told me then 
that all efforts toward compromising the issue 
between the sections had come to naught. He 
blamed the hot-heads north and south for the 
threatened disruption of the Union, which he de- 
plored as a calamity, but which, he insisted, 
there was no constitutional power to prevent. 
The secession of the southern states he held to 
be a great political blunder, but to restrain them 
by force of arms would be a crime. In his view 
each of the states of the Union was sovereign, 
and was as free to withdraw its consent to a con- 
tinuation of the compact into which it had en- 
tered as it had been in the first instance to give it. 

"We are going to the devil," he said finally, 
"and when the crash comes, as it will come, every 
man must look out for himself." 

The constitutional phases of the question did 
not interest me, and so I did not allow myself to 
be troubled by them. What I saw was that that 
portion of the country with which my family so 
long had been identified was arraying itself against 
2 — Legionaries. 



1 8 The Legionaries 

that other portion which my father, mild man as 
he was, always asserted had been guilty of un- 
just encroachments. Virginia did not join the 
Confederacy at once, but did so in May, and not 
long afterward the people of the South looked 
over the border toward the people of the North, 
and the faces of both were as flint. Presently 
they clashed and struck fire. Gods! beneath the 
flint there was blood and it ran red and fast. 

My graduation from the academy at West Point 
entitled me to a lieutenant's commission, but this 
I had resigned in order to continue my studies 
abroad, and was thus free to take such course 
as I saw fit. Many officers of southern birth had 
already sent in their resignations from the army 
and hurried back to their states to accept com- 
mands in the forces of the new Confederacy. No 
doubt I should have followed their example had 
not my previous action made such a step unneces- 
sary ; but I was glad then, and am now, that I was 
not put to such a choice. 

What should I do ? I had grown up with my 
full share of prejudices against the North, which 
my four years at West Point had not removed. 
The northern and southern youths were, as I 
have said, at arm's length during the last half of 
my stay at the academy, and quarrels led in sev- 
eral instances to personal collisions, in which 
each contestant was given satisfactory proof of 
the metal of his opponent. In all affairs of this 



The Monster War 19 

kind that came under my observation, I enacted 
the ungrateful and always difficult role of peace- 
maker whenever possible. In one unfortunate 
instance I not only had my trouble for my pains, 
but later was compelled to defend myself against 
a classmate from Georgia, who imagined that I 
had offended him. But for the most part I sided 
with my fellow-southerners in the imperfect argu- 
ments by which the cadets sought with feeble suc- 
cess to convince each other of error. 

My stay abroad had done much to nationalize 
my feelings, and heaven knows that had it not 
been for that ill-starred and deplorable division, 
the iniquity of which I did not see until long 
afterward, I should have returned to America 
with an intensified love of my native land. But 
in my youthful eyes then Virginia was my native 
land more surely than the wide republic of united 
commonwealths, and the new home of my pa- 
rents was scarcely better than alien territory. In- 
deed, as I viewed it, it was alien in truth from 
the moment Virginia adopted the ordinance of 
separation, and cast her fortunes with the other 
seceding states. Try as I would, and did, for 
my mother's sake, to think otherwise, I could not 
rise above the feeling that I was merely a so- 
journer in Indiana, with no tie to bind me there 
save that of filial duty to a loved one so newly 
and sorely bereft. 

As the war progressed, I became more and 



20 The Legionaries 

more restless, and with the unreckoning ardor of 
youth longed to throw myself into the conflict. 
To remove one obstacle I tried to persuade my 
mother to dispose of the farm and go to Rich- 
mond- — the chosen capital of the new Confederacy 
— where she had relatives, but she steadfastly 
answered that she would stay where she was, 
near the grave of my father, and that when her 
time came, in God's providence, she would be 
buried there by his side. No words could meet 
that simple argument, and I attempted none 
nor did I yet have the heart to leave her in her 
loneliness. She clung to me now as all that re- 
mained to her, and felt — though she did not say it 
in words — that I should not ask her to make so 
great a sacrifice. 

To her, war was merely a many-headed mon- 
ster, with tremendous capabilities for death and 
heart-break. Was there ever a woman, unless, 
indeed, she were carried beyond herself by some 
overwhelming zeal or frenzy, who, without hesi- 
tation, gave up a son to battle? If there were 
ever such it was not my mother. She begged and 
implored me to wait — wait. I know that she hoped 
and tried to make herself believe that the war would 
be brought to a speedy end, as millions of others 
did ; but it grew and spread and became increas- 
ingly more bitter and implacable. It was soon 
evident that it was to be a struggle to the very 
death, and that the end would only come when 



The Monster War 21 

the resources of one or the other of the contest- 
ants were exhausted. 

One evening, late in July, I rode over to Bell- 
ray's house, scarcely more than a mile away, 
which gleamed large and white in a grove of 
maple and elm trees. As I approached I heard 
a girl's voice singing a new northern song. Look- 
ing about me I saw the singer, simply dressed in 
some white material, coming along the orchard 
path toward the house. Her face was partly con- 
cealed by a wide-brimmed "sundown" of straw, 
held in place by pale blue ribbons tied beneath 
her chin. Seeing me, the song was suddenly 
suspended, but the girl came on. I secured my 
horse at the gate and went up the walk. A turn 
in the path had thrown the house between us for 
a moment and I stopped and waited for her to re- 
appear, for this must be Kate Bellray whose 
home-coming had been expected for some days. 
Presently she turned the corner of the building. 
It was she, only the promising child had come 
to be a woman. I essayed to speak. 

"Miss Bellray, I believe?" was the best I could 
do. And how weak it sounded, as if there were 
the least question in my mind as to who she was ' 

"Have I changed so much that you are in 
doubt?" she asked, smiling. "Or had you for- 
gotten me?" 

"You have changed, certainly, and just as cer- 



22 The Legionaries 

tainly I had not forgotten you. A victim rarely 
forgets the one who put him on the rack." 

"Is it because of that that you remember me ? ' ' 
she said, the old mischievous sparkle in her eyes. 
"I must have been worse than I thought." 

"The memory has been a pleasant one," I re- 
turned, "so pleasant that time and distance have 
not effaced it." 

And so we began very much as we had left off 
three years before, but she soon became serious 
enough, as, seated in the shade of the wide porch, 
we talked of many things. Fresh-faced and 
clear-eyed, with the curving beauty of girlhood 
just rounding into womanliness, she made the 
most attractive picture I had ever seen. In fig- 
ure she was neither short nor tall, and as grace- 
ful in every movement as the willow when bend- 
ing to the kiss of the south wind. Her mouth 
showed a line of firmness without obstinacy that 
gave a key to her character. Never have I seen 
eyes like hers, at once so full of intelligence and 
so expressive of her emotions. Whether in mirth, 
anger or sadness — and I have seen her in each 
state — the beholder must perforce yield to their 
spell, for her very soul seemed to look out upon 
him. I am not skilled in the art of describ- 
ing physical perfections, but did I possess it in 
superlative degree I could lavish it all, without 
degrading it, upon Kate Bellray as she then was. 
She had temper, and was given to moods — what 



The Monster War 23 

man or woman is not ? — and I have felt them all, 
and sometimes writhed under them, but I never- 
theless aver — but why should I aver anything? So 
partial a witness might be doubted. 

Roger, who had gone to Cory don, came back 
while I was still there, bringing word of the first 
battle at Manassas, in which the Union forces 
were not only defeated, but had fled in panic back 
upon Washington, which city was believed to be 
in danger of capture. I had a feeling of exulta- 
tion over the fact that the invading army had 
been driven from Virginia, which must uncon- 
sciously have shown in my face. 

"This news pleases you, sir," said Miss Bell- 
ray disconcertingly. 

Somewhat taken aback, I hardly knew what 
answer to make, so direct and unexpected was 
the attack. "One naturally sides with his kith 
and kin," I returned haltingly, with a feeling 
that my face had grown suddenly red. 

"One should not do so unless sure that they 
are right, and it can never be right to make war 
upon one's country," she exclaimed, with fine 
emphasis. 

"It depends on the point of view," said I. 

"Don't argue with her, John," said Roger, 
laughing. "She is as contentious as ever; in 
fact, a regular firebrand, and wholly incorrigible." 

"Mr. Trenham was educated for a soldier, and 
he certainly will not run away from a girl's argu- 



24 The Legionaries 

ments," she retorted, but in such plain good 
humor that it carried no sting. 

"He would rather face a battery no doubt; at 
least I should. A girl's argument is like her hair 
— she arranges it to suit herself, and not always 
in proper fashion," her brother returned, helping 
me out of what seemed to him an awkward situa- 
tion, but which, indeed, I did not find unpleasant, 
as I watched the girl's animated face. 

"But, Sir Roger de Coverley, you forget that 
I have studied logic as well as hair dressing." 

"Come, Kate, drop the de Coverley, as I did long 
ago; and also drop logic. Don't you know that 
it has been said over and over again that there is 
nothing quite so unwomanly as logic?" 

"Is it so?" she cried, tossing her head in mock 
seriousness. "Then allow me to ask a question ; 
that, at least, is one thing that women will not be 
denied : Was the loss very great in this miserable 
battle?" 

"The number of killed and wounded on both 
sides is large, and, as for the missing — well, the 
whole Union army is missing," Roger answered 
soberly. 

"Terrible!" she exclaimed. Then looking at 
her brother keenly she added: "You seem dis- 
posed to make light of the misfortune of your 
country." 

The thrust was sharp, but he was prepared 
to parry it. " Perhaps it is not a misfortune, 



The Monster War 25 

my sister. This disaster may teach lessons much 
more valuable than would have been the win- 
ning of the victory. And, at any rate, it will be 
safe to wager that every raw lad who tried to 
out-foot his comrades to Washington will, when 
put to another test, die in his tracks before he runs 
again. That is human nature, and he will never 
be on good terms with himself until he has been 
given another trial at his enemy." 

She looked at him gratefully, her ruffled feel- 
ings being smoothed by his diplomacy. The 
conversation was soon turned into a less danger- 
ous channel. 

Kate was an ardent patriot. She had been for 
more than three years at school in a city that had 
been a hotbed of Abolition sentiment. The south 
had there been pilloried in the public eye for a 
generation and more, and she had been deeply im- 
pressed with what she believed to be the sinful 
transgressions of the southern people. There was 
nothing personal or individual in her antipathy, 
for she had thought well of my father, and looked 
upon my mother with open affection. During 
her vacations, which she spent at home, she had 
been much at our house, I was told, and bright- 
ened it with her young and cheerful presence. It 
was there that I first met her, a rosy maiden of 
fifteen joyous years, somewhat given to romping. 

At the beginning she had been a little shy of 
me, but on a better acquaintance this feeling van- 



26 The Legionaries 

ished and she indulged in the delightful pastime 
of vexing me in every way that a quick wit could 
suggest. I had sense enough to see the utter lack 
of malice in her behavior, and soon came to have 
a thorough enjoyment of her most elaborate 
schemes of torture. She had come into my mind 
very often in the three years that had elapsed since, 
not seriously, however, but as an interesting recol- 
lection. For, be it understood, I then held my- 
self to be a man and she a mere slip of a girl, des- 
tined, no doubt, to grow into a lovely woman. In 
a physical way, certainly, this destiny was fulfilled 
in even larger degree than I had imagined, and as 
to her other attributes there never had been room 
for the least question. The old inclination to 
place thorns in my pathway, knowing that I 
would stumble upon them and furnish her amuse- 
ment in extricating myself, was held in check, 
but not entirely subdued. Now and then it was 
given liberty during the next year, in which we 
were much together. 

Her intense Unionism — which I was not in- 
clined to regard as serious in a woman — and my 
anomalous and wholly unsatisfactory position 
gave her opportunities of which, in the main, I 
will say to her credit, she availed herself sparingly. 
Being naturally kind of heart, she very soon 
learned that here was the vulnerable point through 
which my feelings could be most sorely harassed. 
But even toward this tender spot she would at 



The Monster War 27 

times, when I had been so unfortunate as to irri- 
tate her by some reference to the South, direct 
her sharpest javelins, and I, helpless to pluck 
them out, would smother the pain they caused 
me as best I could. 

Sometimes for days I would avoid her, so 
keenly did I feel the humiliation of my position 
of inaction in the great struggle now going on 
almost at our doors, about which she frequently 
rallied me. But as the needle responds to the 
magnet without reasoning why, so would I turn 
again toward this fair star of the north who at- 
tracted me so powerfully. I think she clearly 
understood on these occasions that in keeping 
away from her I was not moved by childish 
pique. Had she thought otherwise she could 
not, with her qualities, have treated me with 
the respect, and a something bordering on con- 
trition, that she took no pains to conceal when 
we would again come together. For this I was 
grateful, and for a time we would get along 
smoothly enough, laughing off the old trouble 
and vowing to avoid further offense. 

What made my lot the harder to endure was 
the knowledge that very many of the best young 
men in the county had gone to the war. By far 
the greater number, of course, went into the na- 
tional army, but it was more than suspected that 
some, for one reason or another, had slipped 
quietly across the Ohio river to join the Confed- 



28 The Legionaries 

erate forces. Roger Bellray himself told me of 
instances of this kind, and no man was better in- 
formed than he as to what was going on in our 
locality. The loss to the North in this manner 
was, it was clearly apparent, fully made up by the 
accessions to its strength which came from the 
South. Nothing can more effectively illustrate 
the lack of unanimity of sentiment in both sec- 
tions, unless it be those numerous and fully ac- 
credited instances of persecution and door-to- 
door warfare for opinion's sake, which raged 
then and later in many states on both sides of the 
Ohio. 

Among those who had joined the national army 
was young Philip Deverny, a member of an in- 
fluential family living not far beyond the Bell- 
ray place. He had recently been at home suffer- 
ing from a disabling wound received in the battle 
at Shiloh, and wore the uniform of a lieutenant of 
cavalry. I saw him last at Bellray's one evening 
just before he departed to rejoin his regiment, 
then at Corinth. Self-contained and handsome, 
with the prestige of a soldier who had been in 
battle, I felt that in his presence I was over- 
shadowed. And yet nothing could have been 
more considerate and circumspect than his con- 
duct; it was exemplary, and in all respects 
above reproach. We talked about our differing 
views, but we did it as gentlemen, and at parting 
he expressed the hope that one day we might 



The Monster War 29 

meet in the field, though not in personal strife; 
a hope that I gladly seconded, but which nearly- 
failed of realization. 

For some time afterward Kate treated me with 
a reserve and curtness of manner which, while 
largely unconscious and not intended to offend, 
wounded me deeply. I could not but attribute 
it to the contrast that she must have drawn in her 
mind, to my very great disadvantage, between 
myself and the lieutenant. I had no cause to be 
jealous of him — even if I were disposed to en- 
tertain so base a feeling — for Kate herself had 
told me that he had long paid court to Betty 
West, her one intimate girl friend. So far as 
that matter is concerned, nothing had passed 
between Kate and me that gave me a claim upon 
her to the exclusion of any one else, and I made 
no pretense of asserting any. 

But she must know why I, educated for a mil- 
itary career, apparently dawdled at home while 
others hastened to the front where courageous 
men fought and died for what they believed to be 
the right. If she did not know I could not tell 
her. I could not put forward my lonely mother 
and her appeals to me to tarry yet awhile, to 
shield me from the criticism that my non-action 
seemed to merit. 



CHAPTER III 

THE PLACARD ON THE POST 

One day a small party of us were returning 
from a visit to the great Wyandotte cavern. 
While living only a few miles away, I had never 
before seen its many wonders, and for my benefit 
Roger Bellray and his sister had arranged the 
expedition. Bellray, with my mother and Mrs. 
Willing, an elderly aunt, who for years had 
looked after his household, went in a carriage, 
but Kate and I had preferred to go on horseback. 

It was while returning homeward from this ex- 
cursion that I suffered the sharpest vexation 
of spirit at her hands, followed by the swiftest 
amends. We rode in advance of the others, and 
being able to make better speed, even without 
haste, we soon left them out of sight. She had 
behaved well throughout the day, but now an 
unlucky reference of mine to some caverns of the 
South opened up the old difficulty. 

"They are, of course, vastly superior to the 
Wyandotte," she said, with a sudden change of 
manner. 

"I had not said so," I returned, propitiatingly. 
(30) 



The Placard on the Post 31 

"I never saw them, but am told that they are 
quite fine." 

"Certainly they are; they must be," she ex- 
claimed, tossing her head scornfully. "As the 
South surpasses us in everything else, it natur- 
ally excels in caves." 

Putting whip to her horse, she galloped furi- 
ously ahead, as if determined to get as far as 
possible away from my unfortunate South, and 
from myself, its no less luckless son. How she 
tried my patience ! But I was resolved to keep 
my temper. She presently slowed her pace, and 
allowed me to come up with her. I waited for 
her to speak, but she remained silent. 

She did not look at me at once, but leaning 
forward she stroked with one small gloved hand 
the arched neck of her thoroughbred Kentuckian. 
Her back was to the low-lying September sun, 
which tangled its rays of fire with the golden 
brown tints of her hair. I could not see her face, 
but the cheek toward me was aflame. After a 
little time she turned her head, and I saw that 
the threatened storm had not completely passed 
over. 

"It seems to me a little strange, Mr. Trenham, 
that you should remain in such a commonplace 
country as this after having experienced the de- 
lights of your southern paradise," she said 
steadily. 

This was too much. "God knows that I have 



32 The Legionaries 

been ready to leave it for many long months, not 
because it is commonplace, but because it is not 
mine," I broke out with some bitterness, forget- 
ting, in the face of this new provocation, my good 
resolution. 

"What restrains you?" she asked, with har- 
rowing coolness. "Other men have gone who 
would have liked to stay." 

"You know very well what has kept me," said 
I, in a voice that sounded hard and unnatural to 
my own ears. "I wonder that you can ask such 
a question." 

She looked a little alarmed, and some of the 
color left her face. I was exasperated and hurt, 
and restrained my anger with difficulty. I fancy 
that she saw the wound she had inflicted, and that 
it was deep. She changed about completely. 

"I have again offended you," she said, with 
an air of contrition, "and, while I have many pre- 
vious transgressions against your good nature to 
reproach myself for, I must now admit renewed 
guilt, and ask your pardon." 

"To be offended I must feel," I returned, my 
inward wrath not wholly appeased; "and to feel 
I must be made of blood and bone, tissue and 
nerves like other men. Does it just now occur to 
you, Kate, that I am not wood or iron, or baker's 
dough?" 

"Don't be foolish, John," she said, looking 
straight down the road. It was the first time 



The Placard on the Post 33 

she had called me by this name since she had 
come home, and I was at once disarmed. She 
turned her face to mine and continued : "I have 
no disposition, really and truly, as you ought to 
know, to hurt you in any way, and I am sorry 
for having done so. Indeed, I must confess my 
surprise that you have all along taken my poor 
opinions so seriously. Nobody else does, except 
Betty West. When I talk at home about the war 
and such things Aunt Sarah is inclined to go to 
sleep and Roger busies himself with something, 
smiles and says 'yes' and 'no' without any rele- 
vancy whatever. No doubt I have imposed on 
you, and you have borne it all like a gentleman — 
a real southern gentleman, too — and there are 
such, I know, for you and your father have 
proved it. But I have liked you for it, even 
when I must have seemed to you most unfeeling, 
if not actually barbarous." 

"So," said I, wholly mollified, "you and Betty 
West agree?" 

"Perfectly. And she is a sensible girl, too. Of 
course she is only a girl, but may not a girl know 
something?" 

"Yes; something, certainly." To the word 
"something" I gave a decided emphasis, for I 
did not know to what extent the wisdom of Betty 
West might be appealed to. 

"She doesn't know everything, as the men do," 
3 — Legionaries. 



34 The Legionaries 

she retorted with equally definite meaning, al- 
ways ready for battle, "but what she does know 
she knows as well as any one." 

This statement of the proposition was so con- 
clusive and irrefutable as to leave no ground for 
argument "Both of you think that I should 
pattern after Philip Deverny, I suppose." 

Kate started a little and made haste to answer. 
"No, John; I have not talked to her about you 
— that is, not in connection with the war." A 
tell-tale blush, which I was quick to see, deepened 
the color of her cheeks. "Lieutenant Deverny 
has made a good soldier, but you are capable of 
making a better one. Betty thinks of him, and 
weeps for him and prays for him. Had the need 
been, she would have urged him to go, and if 
necessary she would beg him to stay to the end. 
And yet she would give her heart's blood to have 
him with her again. She looks to see his name 
in every list of killed in battle, yet she glories in 
his danger, for she knows that he is fighting for 
his country." 

"It is proper for Betty to think and feel these 
things respecting Deverny since he is acting in a 
way that pleases her. But suppose he had gone 
out to fight against the North?" 

"Oh, that would have made a very different 
case," she responded quickly. "If he had done 
that she would detest him." 



The Placard on the Post 35 

"Well, suppose I should conclude to do it; 
how would you regard me?" 

I realized as soon as I had uttered the words 
that I had put to her an unfair question. She 
flushed and began to flick in confusion at some 
thistledown that had lodged on her riding skirt. 
I made haste to relieve her. 

"Don't you see my position here?" I asked. 

"I have seen that you were troubled," she 
said, evading a direct answer. "You have shown 
your feelings plainly." 

"I am troubled, ' ' I exclaimed, all the misery of 
my position rushing upon me; "I have fretted 
until my brain has burned and my heart has be- 
come at times as dry as a puff-ball. I have 
waited, hesitating, chafing until almost beside 
myself. Were it a mere question of saving the 
Union I would fight for its integrity, and fight to 
extend its borders if the chance offered. But this 
is a mere fanatics' war, a sort of new crusade 
waged against my Christian kin of the South. 
The northern men have already made a charnel- 
house of my native state. Its soil has been red- 
dened with the blood of my relatives, poured out 
at their very doorsteps. You must imagine, for I 
can not tell you, how much I have suffered and 
endured, how many wakeful nights and bitter days 
I have passed while struggling between loyalty to 
the old flag and duty to the people among whom 
I was born." 



36 The Legionaries 

She turned her eyes now full upon me, and in 
her face I read an encouraging sympathy. But 
she did not speak, and I, determined to make as 
good a defense for myself as I could, went on: 

"Ah, Kate, if my poor father had been content 
after the break in his fortunes to remain in Vir- 
ginia my course would have been easier to choose. 
But such was his pride that he could not endure 
his fallen state in the company of those who had 
known him in prosperity. So he came here, lived 
a few quiet years and died, thank God, before 
this unhappy conflict began. But he foresaw it, 
and his heart remained true to the Old Dominion. 
Notwithstanding that his dust is mingled with 
the soil of your country, I would, in my selfish- 
ness, for the pain it has caused me, curse the 
day when he came to the North if it were not — 
I may as well say it — if it were not for you." 

"John, John," she cried impulsively. "You 
say this, when I have added so much to your 
burden, and perhaps may add still more, for I am 
very unruly. ' ' She nervously fingered the handle 
of her riding whip. 

"Yes; if you had done many times as much, 
I would still say it," I declared. "You could 
not understand all of the difficulties of my situa- 
tion, and so you have blamed me for not espous- 
ing the cause of the North. But do you not 
know that many who are native here are not 



The Placard on the Post 37 

even now clear as to the course that they should 
pursue ?" 

"It is true," she returned slowly, a shadow 
upon her fair face. "And how presumptuous 
you must think me for putting my girl's opinions 
against yours and that of my own brother. But 
Roger talks about the constitution, and reasons 
and doubts; you argue and hold back; while I, 
being a woman, feel and believe that I know. 
That is a woman's way and privilege, but being 
a woman, I must perforce stay at home and 
dream of things I would do if I could, or which, 
at least, I think I would do. Roger greatly pro- 
vokes me, though he is the best of brothers." 

I could easily understand how Roger's conduct 
affected her, for at this time his relations with 
neighboring ultra Unionists were far from being 
amicable. He was suspected of being disloyal, 
and I, on two occasions, had gone with him to 
the house of Colonel Mandrell, in Louisville, who 
was known to have favored the secession of Ken- 
tucky. The making of this statement involves no 
violation of confidence, as will be seen. 

What transpired between them the first time I 
do not know, for shortly after our arrival they 
withdrew to the Colonel's library for private con- 
verse while I was engaged socially with Mrs. 
Mandrell and her daughters. Before our depart- 
ure I was called into the library, and there re- 
ceived most extraordinary proof of the old gen- 



38 The Legionaries 

tleman's favor. For this, later, I was thankful, 
as it enabled me to extricate myself from a very 
disagreeable situation. As to the second occa- 
sion, that also will appear. 

"Pardon me, Kate," said I, seeing that in my 
eagerness to excuse myself I had made a mistake. 
"I had no intention to drag your brother into 
our little discussion. He is an honorable man; 
his views, whatever they are, are conscientious 
and he is entitled to maintain them. I merely 
referred to a class. As for Roger and me, it 
has been hard for us both, much harder than you 
can guess. Your New England schooling has 
made it difficult for you to bear with us patiently, 
I fear." 

I accompanied this statement with a smile 
which I meant to be conciliatory, but which she 
perversely misconstrued. "You laugh at me, 
sir," she said with spirit, lifting her head defi- 
antly. 

"Oh, it is not so bad as that," I hastened to 
say. "But the air of Massachusetts, so long 
breathed by the Phillipses and the Garrisons and 
other fomenters of sectional ill will is not the at- 
mosphere in which tolerance and charity ripen." 

This only made the matter worse, and con- 
vinced me that I was a poor diplomat. There 
had been times when I had purposely aroused 
her, so keenly did I enjoy the flashing of her fine 
eyes when the subject under discussion was not 



The Placard on the Post 39 

too tender. But the present occasion did not 
warrant such questionable indulgence. To her 
the men named by me were little short of dem- 
igods. 

"Do not concern yourself as to how it happens 
that I think as I do," said she, with nettled tem- 
per. "I surely have proved to you that I have 
convictions, whatever their source. You may 
laugh at them, if you please, and at my boast as 
to what I should do if I were a man. But I know, 
Mr. Trenham, that your 'Christian kin of the 
South,' as you call them, are seeking to tear 
down the best government in the world in order 
that they may continue to hold their fellow-creat- 
ures in bondage, and that to this end they have 
driven the country into a terrible war. If I were 
a man," she cried, "I would openly take one side 
or the other. I would take to the field and fight 
my enemy face to face, and not ally myself with 
traitors at home, and fight from ambush." 

My face burned hot at the thought that she 
could consider me capable of such perfidious ac- 
tion as her last words implied, but by an effort I 
answered her calmly. 

"I do not know why you should speak to me 
of joining traitors at home and fighting from am- 
bush. Nor can I believe that you want to wound 
me beyond recovery. I take my full measure of 
blame for all that you have said and implied. 
Now let us drop this unhappy and profitless topic. 



40 The Legionaries 

Between us it is like a knife that cuts in the hand- 
ling, whether we will or no. If we pursue it 
further it may leave scars that we can never en- 
tirely conceal from each other. Besides, we are 
nearly home." 

Always ready for truce as she was for battle, 
she became suddenly pacific. "You are right, 
John; sometimes you can be right, can't you?" 
— this with a glance of the eye that set my heart 
thumping. "I am a silly goose, and you are a 
great big, wise, good-natured man. Otherwise 
how could you suffer my many impertinences, for 
such they must have appeared to you, although 
they were actually not so intended. There, now, 
I am good again; but I really must say -things 
at times." 

"So I have learned," said I, laughing, "and 
you know how to say them, too." 

She laughed also, a merry, ringing laugh, as 
if she were glad of the chance. We had been pro- 
ceeding slowly, and had come by now to the 
arched entrance of the maple-shaded lane leading 
from the highway to her brother's house, which 
from the top of the knoll looked upon the sur- 
rounding country with an air of confident pros- 
perity. There was no gate, only two wide 
planked posts surmounted by the segment of a 
circle with a large letter B in the center. Nailed 
to one of the posts was a fresh, flaring placard, 
which I could read very well without dismounting. 



The Placard on the Post 41 

"What have we here?" I said, drawing rein to 
inspect the placard. 

The first line, in bold type, caught my eyes 
and held them to the paper, as well it might. It 
ran thus: "A Military Order." Then came 
the following: 

"In order to repel invasion and insure the pub- 
lic safety, it is hereby ordered, that all able-bodied 
white male citizens, between the ages of eighteen 
and forty-five, who reside in the counties border- 
ing on the Ohio river, in this State, immediately 
upon receiving notice of this order shall meet at 
their respective places of holding elections in their 
respective townships, towns or wards, and form 
themselves into companies for military duty. The 
members of said companies will immediately arm 
and equip themselves with such arms and equip- 
ments as they can procure, and will prepare them- 
selves, by discipline and drill, for active service 
with the least possible delay. All persons liable 
to do military duty, as above provided, will be 
held to a strict observance of these orders, and the 
colonel or other officer of the Legion who may be 
in command in each of said border counties is 
charged with their faithful execution." 

The order was signed by the governor, as com- 
mander-in-chief. It contained some other mat- 
ters of detail, but the provisions which I have 
quoted were the ones that concerned me. 

"What does it mean ?" asked Kate, doubt- 
fully. She had looked it over, but did not seem 
to have fully grasped its import. 

"Very much," said I, with a great sense of 



42 The Legionaries 

personal relief. "To me it means freedom and 
absence; it is the cast of the die. I can not obey 
this order. To do so would be a wicked stulti- 
fication of my opinions and conscience. But it 
makes me free and determines my course, and for 
that I am thankful." 

"And Roger ?" she asked, beginning to see. 

"He will find a way," I answered, yet I knew 
that to him this order, if I understood his opin- 
ions and character, meant annoyances and possi- 
ble persecution. 

My answer did not seem to satisfy her, and for 
a little time as we walked our horses toward the 
house she was silent. Presently she asked: "Is 
there such great necessity for this extraordinary 
command ? One would think from reading it 
that the rebels were at our doors redhanded." 

"The governor must believe that an emergency 
exists," I responded. "And perhaps he is right. 
A Confederate army has started toward the 
North. It is in Kentucky, and it is said that 
Louisville is to be taken. From that city Indi- 
ana is just across the river. Who knows what 
may happen?" 

"Oh, the traitors !" she exclaimed, raising a 
clenched hand aloft 

"Pardon me," said I deprecatingly ; "traitors 
if they lose their cause. If they win, they will 
not be so recorded. Historians judge of such 
things by the result. " 



The Placard on the Post 43 

"Win or lose, they are traitors just the same. 
A crime is no less a crime because it is success- 
fully perpetrated," she rejoined firmly. 

"And I ?" 

"And you; you are yet innocent, and I only 
accuse the guilty," she returned sadly. 

Here we came to the gate, from which ran a 
graveled walk to the house. Dismounting, I 
reached up my hands and assisted her to alight. 
I did not mean to delay my departure, and would 
take my leave of her at once. But it was more 
difficult than I had thought when contemplating 
the probability that now faced me as fact. 

The war had lasted more than a year, and dur- 
ing all that time I had been living in the border- 
land of hell and paradise. The dearest creatures 
on earth to me were here. For their sakes I 
would make any sacrifice short of my honor. I 
had honestly tried to convince myself that I 
should help to uphold the flag and the govern- 
ment under which I was born, but in the opinion 
of my people that government had become a 
tyranny, and its flag an emblem of oppression. 
They were arrayed against it, struggling for 
what they believed to be right; and, right or 
wrong, their fortune must be mine. It was a 
time of blood and passion and unreason. It was 
hard to see and think clearly, and if I erred it 
was not strange. 

"Kate," said I, "very soon, I fear, I shall be 



44 The Legionaries 

equally guilty in your eyes with those others. I 
can not stay here longer. For my honor's sake 
it would have been better to do before this order 
what must now be done in the face of it. It looks 
too much like holding back until forced to 
make a choice of armies in which to fight, and 
that were things otherwise I would not go at all. 
But my mother and you and Roger will know the 
truth, and I care nothing about what others may 
think. No man knows what will be the end, or 
when it will come, but I must play a part in this 
great tragedy. What fortune or fate has in store 
for me, and for us all, time will tell. I will not 
see you again, as I shall leave to-night or to-mor- 
row morning at the latest. Good-bye." 

I took her unresisting hand and looking into 
her face saw that she was deeply moved by some 
emotion. When she spoke her voice trembled and 
was very low and soft. 

"I am glad, and sorry, too; glad that at last 
you have settled a question that has vexed you so 
greatly, and sorry that you have settled it wrongly. 
Overlook my vanity in assuming that I am right 
and you wrong, for Roger said truly when he 
told you that I was incorrigible," she added, at- 
tempting a smile, but it was a poor counterfeit of 
the natural one that had so many times in my 
presence glorified her countenance and warmed 
me with its sunshine. "Wherever you are, God 
be with you . Good-bye . ' ; 



The Placard on the Post 45 

She turned from me, but not before I had seen 
that her eyes were suffused with tears. Mount- 
ing my horse I rode away. Looking back as I 
turned into the highway I saw her standing by 
the gate, and a white handerchief fluttered from 
her upraised hand. A truce, indeed. 

A little further along I passed Roger, but did 
not stop. Turning again presently, I saw that he 
was apparently reading the placard on the post. 
Then came a sweeping motion of his arm, and he 
cut it down with his carriage whip. 



CHAPTER IV 

GIVE ME ROAD, SIRS 

As I made my way home I felt elated and al- 
most happy, but as one from whose limbs shack- 
les had just been removed, leaving them galled 
and sore from long chafing. No doubt as to my 
mother's consent to my going now troubled me. 
She could see as clearly as I that there was no 
other manly course open to me. But the only 
anxiety that disquieted me concerned her. How 
would she be treated by the extreme loyalists 
when it became known that her son had at last 
cast his fortunes with the people of the South 
whom they held to be rebels and traitors? That 
seemed to me to be a serious question ; yet as 
she was a woman of tact and lived quietly, giving 
offense to none, she would probably suffer no 
serious molestation. 

Besides, she would have the protection of Roger 
Bellray, if she should at any time be threatened. 
He had given me to understand that if ever I 
should make up my mind to leave I could do so 
without fearing in the least for her welfare. So 
strong and masterful was his personality, and so 
(46) 



Give Me Road, Sirs 47 

numerous and powerful were his friends, that the 
most rabid would hesitate before provoking an 
open breach with him. 

These considerations reassured me, and I en- 
tered my mother's house with all doubts and 
anxieties dissipated. I found her in her room, 
where she had gone to rest from the day's fatigue 
before coming down to the evening meal which 
she had ordered to wait my return. I had always 
been very proud of my mother, who retained so 
much of the good looks of her younger days. 
She had never cared much for society, and so 
was not greatly disturbed by her present isolation 
from the old familiar scenes and places. 

Latterly the bright young faces of Kate Bellray 
and Betty West had appeared often in our house, 
greatly relieving its somberness, if, in truth, that 
quietness which had rested within its walls since 
father's death can properly be called somber. 
The liveliness of their spirits greatly revived her 
own, and I felt that I could trust them to continue 
their ministrations. Indeed, my absence, I felt 
sure, would serve to encourage one of these girls 
to increase the frequency of her visits. 

The war was a topic that my mother avoided in 
my presence as much as possible, hardly ever 
broaching it herself, and tactfully getting away from 
it when I brought it up, as I did very often. Not 
that she lacked interest in it — for I knew that it 
must be otherwise ; her seeming indifference was 



48 The Legionaries 

on my account. While meaning to be dutiful 
and affectionate, as I felt that I was in all re- 
spects, I was assertive and impetuous, and in- 
clined to rebel against the restraints that de- 
tained me from the activities of the field. 

Of course I did not put it that way before her, 
or rave and tear my hair and accuse her of self- 
ishness or a lack of regard for my feelings. Very 
far from it; but she understood, and aimed only 
at drawing me away as much as she could from 
the evident cause of my distress. I think, after 
she became convinced that the war was to be pro- 
longed, she never really believed that she could 
do more than postpone the day of our separation. 

And now, when I told her how matters stood, 
she did not make my lot harder by giving way to 
tears and protestation. On the contrary, after 
the first shock had spent its force, she affected a 
cheerfulness that I knew she did not feel, and at 
once set about the task of arranging the few neces- 
sary belongings that I would take with me. 

That night, while in my room making prepara- 
tions for my departure, there came a knock at the 
door. Supposing it to be Peter come to take 
orders as to getting my horse ready I called out 
that he should come in, not suspending my work 
or looking around. The latch clicked, a step 
sounded on the carpeted floor, and then a hand 
slapped me on the back. Annoyed, I turned 



Give Me Road, Sirs 49 

about to rebuke the familiarity, when I saw that 
the visitor was Roger Bellray. 

"I beg your pardon, Mr. Bellray; I thought 
it was Peter," I said in excuse of my apparent 
incivility. 

"It is for me to apologize for intruding upon 
your privacy," he said; "but I thought we 
could talk while you worked, and I could not let 
you go away without seeing you." 

He took a seat by the open window that 
looked out toward the road, and I explained to 
him that I was glad he had come as I intended to 
be on my way at midnight. 

"Your resolution is somewhat suddenly taken, 
is it not ?" he asked. 

"The balance tipped against me and I have no 
honorable alternative," I answered, yet in a mo- 
ment regretting that I expressed it that way, for 
his face colored with offense. 

"You refer to the order commanding all able- 
bodied men to join the Legion," he said curtly, 
and with something like a sneer. 

"The same that I saw you strike from your 
post," I returned. 

"That was my legal privilege, the post being 
my property and situated on my ground. I will 
teach even the legionaries that I still control 
what is my own, and that my consent to its use 
must still be sought." 
4 — Legionaries. 



50 The Legionaries 

"Of course, "said I, smiling in spite of my- 
self, for his manner was earnest to the point of 
intensity, "you took no exceptions to the placard 
itself ?" 

"I have no right to do so," he answered, 
fairly. "It gives notice of an order that is 
proper for the governor to issue, and one which 
should be obeyed by all who feel that they can 
conscientiously obey it. When one acts within 
his rights, be he a private citizen or public offi- 
cial, I have no quarrel with him. No man shall 
ever accuse me of denying to another what I claim 
for myself." 

I had missed my point. There was no room 
to doubt his sincerity, and as I looked into his 
steady blue eyes, I saw behind them a resolute 
and daring spirit, which would defy the world if 
need be, and ask neither favor nor odds. 

"But, damn them, they can't use my posts 
without asking my permission," he continued 
hotly, and then he added, as if quickly repenting 
of his outburst: "Don't mind me, Trenham ; I 
am an impatient man, at the best, and just now 
I am entirely upset. Everything is going wrong 
about here. Like a man walking on ice, I can't 
tell when my feet will slip from under me." 

"Lucky you'll be if there is nothing tied to 
your neck when they do slip," said I, encourag- 
ingly. 

He looked at me, half smiling. "You think 



Give Me Road, Sirs 51 

I stand a chance to be hanged, do you? Well, 
don't worry about that; the rope is not made 
that will hang Roger Bellray," he said, without 
a quiver. 

"Possibly not; but they are making ropes 
every day, and some of these stay-at-homes are 
itching to use them." 

"Look here, my lad, what's the matter with 
you? Why do you talk so grewsomely? Are 
you scared?" 

"Why should I be afraid?" I answered. "I 
will presently be well out of this if there is no bad 
luck lying in wait for me. And as to you, my 
friend, for heaven's sake be careful. I am not 
old enough or experienced enough to give you 
advice, but somehow I have felt for some time, 
and now more strongly than ever, that dangers 
here are increasing." 

"Tush! You have heard the barking of a lot 
of coon hounds who only fill the air with their 
yelping. And then, what do I care for danger?" 
he cried. "It only gives relish to life, which is 
dull and commonplace without it. You prefer 
the field as I did at your age, but now I would 
rather be a conspirator, quietly contriving with 
others to uphold a principle or defend a right, 
with the halter as the penalty for failure. It gives 
to your actions a keener zest, and sharpens every 
waking hour, aye, and most of your sleeping ones, 
with the possibility of discovery before you are 



52 The Legionaries 

ready to act. You can not be certain of friend 
or foe, and the man on whom you most rely may 
be the first to betray you." 

"Indeed," said I, "it is a game not at all to 
my liking." 

" Compared with it," he rejoined, "yourshoot- 
ing and carving is but a vulgar sport. Mind you, 
I do not say that I am a conspirator; I do not 
hold myself to be such, but people give different 
names to the same thing. One who marks out a 
course for himself counter to that pursued by the 
majority, as I have, must proceed cautiously to 
avoid conflict, and very often he is driven to do 
in secret what he would much prefer to do openly 
and above board." 

"And hence," said I, "the institution of the 
knightly Order of the Acorn." 

"Which you refused to join, even after I had 
explained its purposes. I do not blame you for 
that. Every man must act according to his 
view." He sighed a little disappointedly. 

"Whatever may be your purposes, your organ- 
ization, when it is known, will be held treasona- 
ble. I remember who is governor here, and I 
do not care to put my head in this lion's mouth. 
He may do no roaring, but he will strike. Besides, 
you and these others and myself are on a differ- 
ent footing altogether. You belong here and I 
can not feel that I do, and so refuse to mix in 
your local disagreements. As I understand it, 



Give Me Road, Sirs 53 

you do not favor the war from any standpoint, 
while I, upon the issue as I see it, am with the 
South and can't help it. I am going to join Mor- 
gan, if I can reach him, and he will give me at 
least plenty of exercise." 

"Yes, and plenty of fighting, too, and luck be 
with you; I knew him in Mexico, then a young 
dare-devil of a lieutenant of cavalry," said he, 
warmly. "As for me and my friends, we mean 
to look out for ourselves and aid those who, in 
these terrible times, will need aid such as we 
hope to give, that's all. We are just as much 
entitled to our opinions as anybody else, and the 
fact that, without hope of glory, we hazard 
everything, life and home and honor, in defense 
of these opinions should be a sufficient guaranty 
of their sincerity." 

He stopped for a minute while he lighted a 
cigar ; then he went on : 

"This is a fanatics' war, as you have often de- 
clared to me, but the fanatics are not all in the 
North — not by a long shot. In common with 
thousands of others, I had hoped a conflict would 
be averted, but the fools in the North and the 
fools in the South dug the pit and expect us, who 
had no hand in the digging, to throw ourselves 
into it so that they can ride over us to glory. 
Fourteen years ago, when a boy of twenty-two, I 
carried a musket into the City of Mexico. One of 
Santa Anna's bullets is still in my body. And 



54 The Legionaries 

here," he said, raising the long mustache that 
drooped over his left cheek, hiding a short, rag- 
ged scar, "is where a Mexican bayonet enlarged 
my mouth. I don't speak of these things to ex- 
onerate myself from a suspicion of cowardice, but 
merely to show that a man may be willing to fight 
a foreign enemy, yet remain a non-combatant in 
a strife between his own countrymen. At any rate, 
I shall be responsible for my own conduct ; what- 
ever risks I take are my risks, and whatever end I 
may come to is my end. In all the wide world 
there is only one person who will long care what 
may happen to me, and that is my sister. You 
know howl love that girl, John. Since the death 
of our mother, ten years ago, I have guarded her 
as the very apple of my eye. She was but eight 
then, and while I suppose she is a woman now, 
she is still a child to me." 

While speaking of Kate his voice softened, and 
both words and manner indicated profound affec- 
tion and solicitude. 

"She is thoroughly loyal to the government, 
and if she were of our sex I verily believe there 
would be no keeping her out of the army. At 
times she makes it rather uncomfortable for me." 

He paused for a moment, and then continued, 
reflectively: "I wonder how she will act when 
she comes to know the whole truth about me? 
That is what worries me, John. The only thing 
that makes me hesitate to pursue the course I 



Give Me Road, Sirs 55 

have chosen is the fear of her reproaches. When 
I think about that it almost makes a coward of 
me." 

"And what will she think of me?" I asked, 
making a pretense of unconcern by taking up and 
examining one of the pistols that I had laid 
upon the table. But I could not as easily disguise 
my feelings, and was conscious that my voice 
carried a tone of uneasiness. As he did not make 
immediate answer I lifted my eyes and found him 
looking at me intently. Then I could not wait 
for him to speak. 

"Mr. Bellray," said I, with shaking voice, and 
not as connectedly, I fear, as I here set down 
my words, "since I may not see you again — and, 
at best, will not see you soon — it is just as well 
that I tell you how matters stand with me. I love 
Kate; I have never told her so, and now may 
never have an opportunity to tell her, but I love 
her with all my heart. If the time ever comes 
when I can say this to her she will doubtless 
spurn me as unworthy. She will readily forgive 
you, her brother, but not another, I fear. No 
one knows better than I how she feels, and that 
has prevented me from telling her what I have 
just told you. If I survive, it may be that she 
will not be too hard on me; if I do not — well, 
tell her how I tried to persuade myself to do as 
she wanted me to do." 

I turned away my face to hide its burning, af- 



56 The Legionaries 

fecting some excuse, for I was young and not 
practiced in such avowals. 

"You know that I have always thought well of 
you, John," he said. "If I did not think so now 
I would be quick enough to tell you. You say 
you have never spoken to Kate, but I can easily 
guess how she feels toward you. And I very 
much mistake her spirit if it does not happen that 
she will think in the end vastly more of you for 
following your convictions than she would if you 
should for any reason, least of all to satisfy her, 
act the part of a sneak and hypocrite by believing 
one thing and doing another." 

I took his hand, and, pressing it fervently, 
thanked him for what he had said, for it had 
done me good. He looked at his watch and rose 
to go. 

"Now, my boy, since you have determined to 
leave so summarily I must not detain you, as you 
will have to make your farewells to your mother. 
As to her — and it is one reason why I came to- 
night — her safety shall be my responsibility. 
Honestly, however, I believe that you need fear 
nothing on her account. There are plenty of fel- 
lows about here who would get after you or me, 
but they are not likely to war with a woman. I 
think I am justified in putting that to their credit 
in advance." 

I followed him out of the house, and saw him 
mount his horse and ride away in the moonlight, 



Give Me Road, Sirs 57 

alert and confident. He was the sort of man who 
would flinch from no danger, if, through the 
peril, lay the road to an object which he was bent 
on accomplishing. 

His courage fed on antagonism, and the more 
he was opposed the more aggressive he became. 
An opinion entertained at first in a casual way 
became, if combated, a settled conviction which 
he would thenceforth maintain at all hazards so 
long as it was made the subject of dispute. 

Stern and uncompromising as to those things 
in which he believed, he was yet tolerant of the 
rights of others, and had acquired a wide influ- 
ence in all the surrounding country, which, while 
it afforded him a sort of protection, was also 
destined to be the cause of his undoing. 

Returning into the house, I finished my prepa- 
rations, aided by my mother, who, dear woman, 
acted most nobly. And when at last Peter 
brought around my horse, a splendid animal of 
great speed and endurance, which I depended 
upon to carry me into the Confederate lines, and 
to serve me afterward, she smiled as she kissed 
me, as if she could conceal from me the knowl- 
edge that her poor heart was on the point of 
breaking. 

But it was not in her nature to part from me 
thus. She overestimated her strength of will, 
and at the last minute broke down and wept 
and clung to me as if she would not give me up. 



58 The Legionaries 

After a time she controlled her feelings and bade 
me good-bye with composure, but the picture of 
her distress was in my mind for many a day. 

My calculation was, by easy traveling, to reach 
Louisville early on the following morning, my 
further progress to be guided by circumstances, 
and by such information as I could there procure 
from Colonel Mandrell. I apprehended no dan- 
ger in making the twenty-five miles that lay be- 
tween my mother's house and the Kentucky me- 
tropolis. 

Yet I did not forget that the whole country 
was aroused over the reported proximity of the 
Confederate army. Many of the country peo- 
ple believed that it was even then besieging 
Louisville, while still others, equally ill-informed 
but more fearful, had it that that city had al- 
ready fallen before the rebel assault, and that In- 
diana was to be immediately invaded and laid 
waste. Such rumors as these were already cur- 
rent, and the governor's order assembling the le- 
gionaries, and commanding all of military age to 
prepare for active duty in repelling invasion would 
add fuel to the fire of unrest and alarm that was 
consuming all the borderland. 

By traveling at night I might be saved the an- 
noyance of many awkward questions, even if I 
should subject myself to suspicion from such as I 
might, by chance, pass or overtake on the road. 
But these I reckoned would be few, since the 



Give Me Road, Sirs 59 

country was not yet regularly patrolled as it was 
very soon afterward. No doubt, however, as to 
my ability to satisfy all inquiries and disarm the 
over-curious possessed me. 

I exulted in my new freedom, and as I rode 
along, expanding my chest with the sweet night 
air, the spirit of adventure rose within me, and I 
felt equal to any fate. Excepting my pistols, I was 
unarmed, for I did not yet desire to assume too 
much of a war-like appearance, my purpose be- 
ing to make my way as quietly as possible, as 
any citizen might do whose mission was peaceful. 

I had covered the first few miles of my 
journey without any kind of interruption, and 
was congratulating myself on the good fortune 
that this fact seemed to augur, when, far down 
the road ahead of me, I heard badly-attuned 
voices of men raised in song. At first I could 
not tell whether the singers were going from or 
coming toward me, but very soon I knew that 
they were approaching. Now and then one 
would withdraw his attention from the chorus 
long enough to shout long and loud, without any 
other apparent object than that of testing the 
power of his lungs. Presently they came close 
enough for me to make out the words of the 
composition. 

"We'll hang Jeff Davis on a sour apple tree," 



60 The Legionaries 

ran the line of the chorus, which was three times 
repeated; then came the roaring final line, 

"As we go marching on." 

After this there was a brief period of loud talk- 
ing, a little more shouting, and then the singing 
of the following improvisation, to the same tune: 

"We're going down to Louisville to meet old Gen- 
eral Bragg, 

And in the fight, if he wants one, you'll see none of 
us lag, 

And we'll drive him back to Tennessee, behind his 
dirty flag, 

As we go marching on." 

We approached each other rapidly, but so in- 
terested were they in their singing and shouting that 
they did not observe me until I had started to turn 
aside to give them the road. There were three 
of them, roystering young farmers returning home 
from drill with the legionaries, I conjectured, and 
half intoxicated. Seeing me they checked their 
horses, and one of them called out tipsily in his 
newly acquired military phrase : 

' * Halt ! Who goes there ? ' ' 

"A friend," said I, falling into his humor. 

"Why," said another of the three, "damned if 
it ain't the young Virginny fellow, boys, who 
lives over there by Roger Bellray, the butternut; 
the one that I was telling you about." 



Give Me Road, Sirs 61 

"Mebbe you can trade horses with him, Spel- 
ker," said the first speaker, laughing good na- 
turedly. 

They blocked the road, and as I was anxious 
to proceed and did not like the voice of the one 
called Spelker, who was much older in appear- 
ance than his two companions, I determined to 
make the interview a short one. 

"Give me road, gentlemen, and allow me to 
pass," I said. 

But Spelker was not through yet. I recog- 
nized in him a horse buyer who was said to prac- 
tice swindling operations at the expense of the 
government, and he appeared bent on extending 
his acquaintance. 

"I believe you are running off to join the se- 
cesh," he said, riding his horse up to mine 
menacingly. 

"I am pursuing my way peacefully," I an- 
swered, though my temper was rising at his inso- 
lence, "and desire to be allowed to proceed." 

"Well, there's no hurry, I guess; I want to 
ask you a few questions first, and then mebbe we 
will let you go on, and mebbe we won't." 

Reaching out his hand he caught hold of my 
bridle rein. I restrained an impulse to strike the 
fellow, and asked: "By what authority do you 
question me?" 

"Just because I want to; that's authority 
enough for me." 



62 The Legionaries 

"But it is not for me," said I, by this time 
having, without attracting his attention, possessed 
myself of one of my pistols, "and I decline to be 
questioned. Take your hand from my rein, sir." 

"My young rooster, I'll have to clip your comb 
for you," he cried, raising the butt of his heavy 
riding whip threateningly. 

Before it could descend I leaned quickly out 
and struck him full on the side of the head with 
the heavy pistol, at the same instant driving home 
my spurs. My horse sprung forward, and as I 
raced along I heard the curses of Spelker, which 
were answered by the derisive laughter of his 
companions, from which I judged that they were 
not sorry for his discomfiture. 




I STRUCK. HIM FULL ON THE SIDE OF THE HEAD WITH 
THE HEAVY PISTOL." page 62. 



CHAPTER V 

THE THIRD ONE AT MANDRELL'S 

Without further incident I reached about 
daybreak the town of New Albany, a few miles 
down the river from Louisville. Here the heights 
were ominous with heavy cannon, which frowned 
over the fords and lowlands from hastily con- 
structed fortifications, and told of the prepara- 
tions that were being made to receive the in- 
vader and hurl him back if he should attempt 
to cross the river. Many citizens were already 
stirring, but little attention was bestowed upon 
me. In response to an inquiry for news, I was 
told that the rebel general, Bragg, was expected 
before Louisville at any hour, as he had, my in- 
formant understood, the evening before sent for- 
ward a message demanding the surrender of that 
city. 

Following the road leading eastward, parallel 
with the north bank of the Ohio but separated 
from it by some hundreds of yards, I saw, as I 
went along, groups of armed men here and there 
gazing anxiously southward. Scattered among 
them and occupying positions of vantage for 
(63) 



64 The Legionaries 

sight-seeing were early-risen residents of the 
locality, who, if less warlike in appearance than 
the others, were no less concerned. 

I could see them excitedly talking and gestic- 
ulating and pointing frequently across the broad 
river that lay between them and the yet unseen 
rebel host, its bosom alive with every kind of 
craft capable of carrying guns. But it was in 
front of them, and not behind, that the danger 
lay, so I passed on and reached the Louisville 
ferry without molestation or question. Hav- 
ing marked out my course, I proceeded boldly, 
with no hesitation or visible timidity, though I 
confess to a feeling of disquietude. 

When the boat had tied up on the Kentucky 
side an officer with two or three men came aboard 
before any were allowed to land. The passengers 
were not many, consisting principally of garden- 
ers and hucksters bringing provisions into the 
beleagured city who were vouched for by the 
ferryman as regular patrons. I observed that the 
officer performed his duty somewhat perfunctorily 
as though it were a useless formality, and felt re- 
lieved. My turn to be questioned came, the 
officer first demanding to know my name. 

"John Trenham, sir," said I, looking him in 
the face. There was a sudden, almost imper- 
ceptible contracting of his eyelids, but no other 
change in his features. 



The Third One at Mandrell's 65 

"From where do you come, Mr. Trenham?" 
he next asked, placidly. 

"From my mother's home, near Corydon." If 
I had said that I came from the moon his coun- 
tenance would, I am certain, have given no sign 
of surprise. 

"Why are you coming to Louisville?" 

"To right, sir," I said, "if I get a chance," 
meaning to satisfy and yet deceive my interrog- 
ator by telling him the simple truth. In both 
of these respects I felt that I had succeeded, for 
he told me without further ado that I could go on 
my way, which I lost no time in doing. 

Once within the city I found that even at this 
early hour great activity and excitement pre- 
vailed in the streets and public places. It seemed 
that all of the inhabitants had been abroad for 
hours, if indeed they had sought their beds at all 
during the previous night. The shops and stores 
were closed and shuttered, and business of all 
kinds was suspended. Upon every face there 
was a look of expectancy, and many hot eyes 
showed dread as of an impending calamity. 

At places where there was open ground, squads 
of men in citizens' clothes were marching and 
maneuvering at the command of drill-masters, 
who were in most instances in uniform, while 
standing about watching them, silent and lower- 
ing, were still other citizens. 
5 — Legionaries. 



66 The Legionaries 

Between the drillers and the on-lookers there 
was, I knew, a wide and bitter difference of opin- 
ion, and but for the restraining presence of the sol- 
diery with which the city was filled they would 
willingly have flown at each other's throats. For 
this was a border metropolis which embraced 
within its walls a population sharply divided be- 
tween loyalists and disunionists, but now it was 
in control of the national authorities who were 
preparing to hold it against the threatened at- 
tack of the Confederate general. 

I sought a hotel, and stabling my horse near by, 
determined to spend the day quietly, and did so, 
for the most part staying in my room and getting 
sleep and rest that might stand me well. Not 
knowing how matters might be with him, I made 
no effort throughout the day to communicate with 
Colonel Mandrell, who, be it understood, was not 
now a military officer as his title might imply. 

He had commanded a regiment with distinc- 
tion in the last war. Now he was not only out of 
favor with the national government but was be- 
lieved, with reason, to hold intimate relations 
with the secessionists. So far no act justifying 
his arrest had been traced to him, and he had 
gone in and out unhampered and defiant. I 
deemed it wise, however, to take no unnecessary 
chances, and did not set out for his house until 
well after darkness had fallen. 

A walk of a half a mile or thereabout carried 



The Third One at Mandrell's 67 

me beyond the blocks of business houses and into 
a residence district, upon which the needs of trade 
had not then encroached. Turning into the street 
upon which the Mandrell residence was situated, 
I quickened my steps and soon reached an iron 
gate opening upon the lawn surrounding a large 
brick mansion of old fashion, standing well back 
from the street. Lifting the latch I went in, and, 
observing nothing unusual, strode confidently up 
to the door and rang the bell loudly. 

I was not kept waiting long, for the reverbera- 
tions of the bell had not died away when the door 
was opened and a young man of attractive visage, 
standing within the glare of the hall lamp, bade 
me enter. This surprised me not a little, as I had 
expected to see the face of a negro servant of the 
house, but I accepted the invitation and entered. 
Following the young man into the parlor, I asked 
if I could see Colonel Mandrell. 

"I fear not," he responded, smiling pleasantly. 
"Colonel Mandrell has felt, let us say, obliged, 
temporarily to depart from his comfortable 
house." Here he waved his hand about as if di- 
recting my attention to the luxurious appoint- 
ments of the room. 

"Indeed," said I, still more surprised; "you 
are a friend of the family, I suppose?" 

"Well, not exactly so ; to tell the truth — and 
no good can come from deceiving you — I have no 



68 The Legionaries 

acquaintance with the Colonel's family, which I 
understand to be a very estimable one." 

"Then, pray, sir, may I ask in what capacity I 
am to address you in making my further inquir- 
ies?" said I, feeling nettled, and yet conscious 
that no cause for offense had been given. 

"In the capacity, I should say," he returned, 
still smiling, "of an unwelcome guest who, in 
pursuance of orders, has been compelled to intrude 
himself into a house upon which he has no claims 
to hospitality." 

I must have looked the amazement I felt upon 
hearing this confession, smoothly made and ac- 
companied by a bow as graceful as that of a 
dancing master. 

"This is most extraordinary, sir," I exclaimed, 
"and as a friend of Colonel Mandrell, as well as 
of his wife and daughters, I must demand of you 
an explanation of this very unusual state of af- 
fairs." 

The young man was not in the least ruffled or 
abashed by my vehemence, and politely asked me 
to be seated, for I had so far remained standing. 

"I can not accept courtesies from you," I 
said, impatiently, "which should come from 
those who rightfully belong here. Perhaps you 
can tell me whether any member of Colonel Man- 
drell's family is in the house?" 

"Believe me, sir," he made answer, "I sin- 
cerely regret to tell you that neither Mrs. Man- 



The Third One at Mandrell's 69 

drell nor either of the Misses Mandrell — for I 
understand there are two — is present to greet 
you. In their absence I must do the best I can, 
and what I lack in grace and cordiality I shall en- 
deavor to make up in other qualities which will 
doubtless commend me to my superiors." 

"Then," I said, with a feeling of danger which, 
though vague at first, was rapidly taking definite 
form, "in the absence of the persons whom I 
came to see there is nothing for me to do but to 
take my departure." 

I turned as if to go, with the almost certain 
knowledge that I should not be allowed to do so. 
To test the situation I took a step across the floor 
in the direction of the door. 

"You will pardon me, sir," said the unbidden 
guest in the same pleasant tones that he had used 
from the beginning of the interview, "but a duty 
which I owe to those who are taking an interest 
in Colonel Mandrell's friends while he is away re- 
quires me to detain you." 

It was clear to me that I was a prisoner in the 
house in which I had expected to be welcomed in 
quite different fashion. 

"You mean to say that I am now under ar- 
rest," I returned quietly enough but in a voice 
hard and grating with the anger I was trying to 
repress. "You have first driven out, or possibly 
imprisoned, the owner of this house and his fam- 



70 The Legionaries 

ily, and then hidden yourself here to entrap his 
visitors." 

"I did not say that you were under arrest," he 
protested, deprecatingly ; "what I said, was, that 
my duty required me to detain you. Possibly 
you can satisfy Captain Bracken that your deten- 
tion is unjust; if so, it will give me great pleas- 
ure to show you to the door and bid you good- 
night." 

"And where may I find this Captain Bracken?" 
I asked, curiosity now keeping company with my 
fears, for though I had not seen the Captain, I 
had heard much about him from Roger Bellray. 

"If you will do me the honor to follow me," 
said he, with unshaken imperturbability, "I will 
take you to him at once. There is no disposi- 
tion to delay you longer than may be necessary." 

He walked out of the room into the hall, where 
I saw that, as I had suspected, the door was 
guarded by a man with a musket, who was no 
doubt there when I entered, but concealed from 
my view by the heavy curtain of the vestibule 
window. My guide led me down the corridor to 
a room that I distinctly remembered as having 
been Colonel Mandrell's library. 

The door was opened, and I went in in ad- 
vance of my conductor. The only change that I 
noticed in the room was in the occupant. In the 
place of the tall form and iron-gray head of the 
owner of the house there was a sun-browned 



The Third One at Mandrell's 71 

man of medium size, with a stubby, dark mus- 
tache. He was possibly forty years old and had 
more the appearance and manner of a sergeant of 
police than of a military man. This man was 
sitting in an easy chair by a table and seemed 
to be enjoying his comfortable surroundings. As 
I was ushered into his presence he looked up 
keenly. 

"The third one, McGrane," he said, inspect- 
ing me but addressing his subordinate. "They 
are coming early, and quite regularly, too. Thank 
you, lieutenant; you need not stay. Now, sir," 
speaking to me, "you may be seated, if you 
wish." 

"I prefer to stand until I know the nature of 
the business you have with me," I answered, 
shortly. 

"As you please, of course," he returned, "but 
I rather like to sit down when I get a chance, and 
that's not often in these days." He eyed me 
closely and then added : "I don't believe I have 
seen you recently, Mr. Trenham." 

"And I, although you have my name, have no 
recollection of ever having seen you at all until 
now," I said, annoyed by his manner, "and my 
pleasure in meeting you is one that I should will- 
ingly have foregone." 

"Which proves how little we are appreciated 
by those upon whom we bestow even our choicest 
attentions," he rejoined, smiling grimly, 



7 2 The Legionaries 

Although both Lieutenant McGrane and Cap- 
tain Bracken had so far treated me with great 
civility, my position was becoming more and 
more unbearable. 

"Captain Bracken," I demanded somewhat 
warmly, putting on a bold front, "I desire to be 
informed why I, a friend of Colonel Mandrell, am 
thus detained in his house by strangers?" 

"I think it is very likely because you are a 
friend of the Colonel," he answered. "You 
may or may not know that he has suddenly left 
his house — I should judge from your conduct 
that you did not know until told by Lieutenant 
McGrane — but such appears to be the fact. As 
to the cause of his leaving, why, you may possi- 
bly have a suspicion." 

As I was in a fair way at last to be enlight- 
ened I maintained silence, and he went on: 

"Where he is now I do not know, but should 
like to. He probably has not left the city, for 
that would be a very difficult thing for him to do ; 
and if I or any of my men lay hands on him his 
stay here will be — well, at least indefinite. 
Now, sir, what have you to say for yourself ?" 

His manner changed abruptly, and I knew he 
had come to the point at last. 

"Of what am I accused ?" I asked. "Until I 
know that, I can say nothing." 

"That is a proper question for you to ask, 
and perhaps you could also answer it easier 



The Third One at Mandrell's 73 

than I. But let me state the charge this way: 
As Colonel Mandrell's friend by your own ad- 
mission you visit his house on the evening ap- 
pointed for the gathering of a few friends of the 
Confederacy, their purpose being to devise ways 
and means to assist General Bragg in getting into 
the city. Such a meeting, you will acknowl- 
edge, could not be overlooked by those who arc 
interested in keeping General Bragg out." 

"I know nothing of this gathering," said I, 
truthfully. "I arrived in Louisville this day, and 
have not seen Colonel Mandrell since — ' ' 

"Since the night of the 14th day of August," 
he said, interrupting me; "that being a Sun- 
day night when many good people were at 
church. But our friend had quite a good con- 
gregation of his own, eh ? Among this congre- 
gation, as you will doubtless remember, were 
representatives from at least two societies, one of 
them called the Corps de Belgiquc, or some such 
nonsense, and the other that somewhat more ex- 
tensive and not less pestiferous organization with 
which your friend — for so I take him to be — 
Roger Bellray, is unfortunately supposed to be 
too actively connected. You see that I am open- 
ing my mind to you in a most unofficial way. 

"Well ?" said I, as he paused. 

"Is that all the defense you desire to make ?" 
he questioned. 

"In all that you have said there is yet no ac- 



74 The Legionaries 

cusation against me of violating any law," I re- 
sponded, "and I demand that I be allowed to 
depart." 

"You are exceedingly hard to satisfy, my 
young friend, and are either very innocent or 
very deep; hang me if I know which, to be 
honest with you," he said, showing some per- 
plexity. "But it is my duty to send you to 
headquarters on a charge of conspiring against 
the government. That will suffice to detain you, 
for you can see how impossible it is, Mr. Tren- 
ham, that you should be released to-night. Be 
pleased to remain where you are while I call 
McGrane. The windows ? Yes, since you ob- 
serve them, I may say that they are guarded. 
Your life will be in less peril, for the present, by 
staying where you are." 

He went out, closing the door behind him 
and locking it. Then something happened that 
he plainly did not expect. I stood in my 
tracks until satisfied that he had gone away from 
the door; then, losing not an instant of time, 
I stepped softly to the side of the room where 
several cases filled with books occupied all of the 
wall save a space of three or four inches that for 
some reason had been left between them. 

Stopping before the second case, counting from 
the left hand wall, I thrust one hand between it 
and the next case on the right and found a groove 
into which I inserted my ringers. Pulling stoutly, 



The Third One at Mandrell's 75 

the case moved outward at that side until there 
was room enough forme to get behind it. There 
I found a door opening into a space within as I 
had been advised. Opening the door, I hurried 
through and pulled the bookcase into its former 
position, taking pains to adjust a stout hook by 
which the case would be held securely in place 
against the wall. 

I was now in Stygian blackness, standing, as I 
knew, in a small closet built between the walls. 
From this closet led a narrow flight of steps stop- 
ping in a little passage at the bottom which had 
originally afforded an entrance to the cellar. But 
more than that, it gave access to another sub- 
surface passage made of thick timbers in the long 
gone days when the pioneers resorted to secret 
devices in order to escape, in a last extremity, 
the torch and the tomahawk of the Indian. 

A frontier blockhouse once stood on this spot, 
and from beneath it had run this road to possible 
liberty and life. Here Colonel Mandrell's father, 
when he came to erect the present house, had 
found it, and here he had allowed it to remain 
through respect for the hardy settlers who had 
made it, and gratitude for a service it had ren- 
dered. For it was a matter of family history that 
by this means his own mother, among others, had 
found safety while howling savages danced around 
the burning building overhead. 

But while the elder Mandrell suffered the un- 



76 The Legionaries 

derground way to remain he did not leave it en- 
tirely undisturbed. It pleased his somewhat ec- 
centric fancy to connect it with that part of the 
new house most frequented by himself — the 
library, — where were his books, and the cellar, 
where was his choice store of liquors, and also 
with the substantial stable that he had erected 
upon his premises for the accommodation of the 
fine horses which, next to his family, his books 
and his liquors, gave him his chief delight. I 
did not know how much it had been used, but 
this I did know, that the cellar entrance had been 
bricked up and effectually concealed, as had also 
the entrance to the lower part of the stable. 

Being thus secure for the time, and hidden 
from observation, I determined to await the re* 
turn to the room of my would-be captors, with 
the view of possibly acquiring information that 
might be of use to me. 

The man called Captain Bracken was an officer 
in the national secret service with a wide repu- 
tation. It was known that he was keen and re- 
lentless in the discharge of his duties, but it was 
also said of him that he need be feared only 
by the guilty. And while I was not yet, at least, 
one of that class — my guilt so far being limited 
to a purpose to join the enemies of the govern- 
ment under which he was working — I did not 
want to have my plans interrupted by submitting 
to a detention that might be prolonged. 



The Third One at Mandrell's 77 

How much he really knew of me I did not care ; 
that he knew less than he professed was beyond 
question. On the Sunday night to which he had 
referred I had visited Colonel Mandrell, but I 
had done so at the request of Bellray without ex- 
pectation of meeting any person other than the 
Colonel and his family. And what is more, I 
had no knowledge of designs which might not 
be honorably entertained in time of war by men 
whose convictions were opposed to one of the 
parties to the contest, even though that party be 
the Washington government. 

A charge of conspiracy against that govern- 
ment was one, however, that I did not desire to 
face. It was a charge now frequently made, as I 
had heard, and many men were being held in 
prison to answer it, with still larger numbers in 
this department under the surveillance of Captain 
Bracken and his agents. It would at least serve 
to deprive me of my liberty for a time, and 
might do more. As I was not a resident of the 
city, but had come into it when the military, and 
not the civil, law was in force, and had at once 
under cover of darkness visited a known enemy 
of the North who was no doubt in friendly com- 
munication with the invading army, my position 
would be compromising, if not serious. 

Several minutes elapsed before anybody came 
into the room I had just left. Then I heard 
the voices of Bracken and McGrane lifted in ex- 



78 The Legionaries 

clamations of surprise upon making the discovery 
of my absence, both speaking at once, which ren- 
dered it difficult for me to understand their pre- 
cise words. A moment of bewildered silence 
followed, during which, I suppose, they were al- 
ternately looking at each other, and taking a sur- 
vey of the room after the manner of human kind. 
Then came the voice of McGrane, as suave and 
care-free as if the most pleasing thing in the world 
had happened. 

"Ah, Captain, our wingless bird has flown, 
sure enough — and such an interesting bird." 

"And to think, McGrane, that he came to 
fight if he got a chance — isn't that what Tapper 
reported this morning? We meant to deprive 
him of the chance, but perhaps it will come to 
him yet. Now, where did he get out ? Look 
sharp ! ' ' 

I heard them walking about moving articles of 
furniture and otherwise making search for the 
place of my egress. Presently they stopped near 
my hiding place. 

"McGrane," said the Captain, "he didn't 
leave by the windows, for the guard is without and 
they are still fastened on the inside. Nor did he 
go through these walls, which appear to be solid 
enough; besides, we don't have houses now- 
adays with hidden staircases, secret passages, 
doors opening in impossible places on touching 
concealed springs, and ah that folcjerol. Old 



The Third One at Mandrell's 79 

Mandrell is the kind of a duck who would like to 
fool us that way, but bosh ! You and I, Mc- 
Grane, know a thing or two. This young man 
went out through the door, to which doubtless he 
has a duplicate key, and is yet somewhere in the 
house. Have it searched. And he really wanted 
a chance to fight; well, he looks as if he could 
do it, and acted so, too." 

"Too bad to spoil his chance, Captain, isn't 
it ?" McGrane said, as he left the room. 

It was now time for me to act, as I could ac- 
complish nothing more by staying longer. 

Going noiselessly down the steps, trusting 
more to feeling than knowledge, I carefully made 
my way along the passage until I came to the 
brick wall at its end. Here, on the left, reach- 
ing out my hands, I found a stout wooden door, 
which I succeeded in opening without any diffi- 
culty, for it was not locked, and seemed to serve the 
single purpose of shutting off from the house the 
drafts and damps of the outer passage into which 
it opened. Before closing the door I paused and 
listened. Sounds from above came to me muffled 
and indistinct, but they were not of a character 
to tell me anything more. 

Without waiting longer I went into the outer 
passage and . groped along between the damp 
wooden walls some fifty paces or more to a point 
where it turned abruptly to the right. A little 
further on I stumbled upon a stairway leading 



8.o The Legionaries 

upward. I now knew that I was near the end of 
my underground journey. 

A few steps upward brought me into contact 
with what proved to be a trap-door which I judged 
to be on a level with the ground's surface. It was 
fastened on its under side, thus showing that the 
secret way was last arranged for use from the 
house alone. To loosen the door was but the work 
of a moment, and pushing it aside I went cau- 
tiously through. 

Although I had never before attempted to 
thread this hidden pathway I had been told by 
Colonel Mandrell, when he made me acquainted 
with its existence, that it could be followed with- 
out fear to the end. So, feeling about me from 
where I stood, my hands fell upon a ladder which 
I at once climbed until again stopped by plank- 
ing overhead. Here was a second trap-door 
which, like the other, was also fastened on the 
underside. 

I tried the heavy bolt, but it did not yield 
readily. Exerting more strength it finally gave 
way, and lifting the door a little there came an 
inrush of fresh air laden with the grateful odor of 
hay. It was like incense to my nostrils after 
breathing the foul atmosphere through which I 
had been journeying. Through a window at the 
side of a spacious loft near me the moonlight 
streamed in and enabled me to get a tolerable 



The Third One at Mandrell's 81 

view of my surroundings, and see that there was 
nothing to cause alarm. 

Holding the trap-door only partly lifted, I 
listened, and, hearing no sound save that made 
by a horse crunching hay somewhere below, I 
raised it and stepped out into the loft. For a 
few moments I stood looking about me. The 
opening by which I had entered was in one cor- 
ner, and all around was scattered loose hay, the 
great bulk of the feed being a little removed. 

Stooping to close the trap I saw something 
shining near the top of the ladder, which a closer 
inspection showed to be the hilt of a scab- 
barded sword hanging on the wall of the secret 
chamber ; near by was a pair of holstered pis- 
tols. Of these I lost no time in possessing myself, 
for my own weapons I had left in my room at the 
hotel and I had no intention of returning there 
to claim them. Then replacing the door and 
spreading the hay as it had probably been before 
I disturbed it so as to leave no trace of my forth- 
coming, I made ready to go below. But I first 
assured myself as well as I could that the stable 
was not watched, which being done I descended 
to the ground floor. 

I looked around for the horse that I had heard, 
having no fancy for walking and still less dis- 
position to take the risk of seizure involved in re- 
covering my own animal, though I regretted to 
6— Legionaries. 



82 The Legionaries 

abandon him, for I had taught him to know me 
and come at my call wherever he might be. The 
horse which I was determined to take in place of 
it was the only one remaining in the stalls, and 
seemed to me, as nearly as I could form an opin- 
ion of it in the shadows of the stable, to be a fine 
one. Without a moment's hesitation, but quietly, 
I equipped it with saddle and bridle, and, again 
satisfying myself that the way was clear, led it out 
into the alley. 



CHAPTER VI 

WITH FACE TOWARD THE SOUTH 

I DID not mount at once, but taking the horse 
by the bit I led it some distance along the nar- 
row alley, being careful to keep on the side where 
the shadows of the buildings would most protect 
me from observation. When I had in this way 
removed myself so far that there was no longer 
immediate danger to be feared from those who 
had made so free with Mandrell's house, and 
who had so nearly succeeded in playing a sorry 
joke upon me, I stopped and inspected a bundle 
that was attached to the saddle. It proved to 
be a long weather coat. This I shook out and 
put on, considering myself fortunate in the dis- 
covery, for it concealed the arms of which I had 
so summarily possessed myself, and enabled me 
to retain the appearance of a civilian traveler, 
which I was not yet prepared to throw aside. 

Up to this time my adventure had not turned 
out badly, save in the matter of the information 
of which I was deprived, and which I had intended 
to be the guide of my further movements. I was 
left to my own resources, which, perforce, were 
(83) 



84 The Legionaries 

not reassuring. In all this city, filled to over- 
flowing with citizens and soldiers, I did not know 
where to put my hand this night upon a friend. 
The one thing that stood out clear in my mind 
was that I must leave without delay and try 
to reach the invading army, which was some- 
where to the southward but how close nobody 
seemed to know. 

It was not the kind of a night that I would have 
preferred for my undertaking, but my necessities 
left me no choice. And, as luck attends upon 
audacity as often as it favors the carefully laid 
plans of the timorous, I felt that my chances for 
escaping from the city were worth putting to the 
test if boldness accompanied the trial. 

Once in the saddle and astride the fine horse so 
providentially supplied, a disposition to dare took 
control of me and drove out all wavering. As I 
rode along, seeking out the quiet streets yet 
avoiding any appearance of stealth, and pursuing 
a direction tending toward the southwesterly 
part of the city, I saw and heard on all sides evi- 
dences of strain. The hour was yet early — 
probably not more than ten o'clock. The popu- 
lace, uncertain as to what was in store, was all 
astir, and filled with excitement. 

All day long troops for the defense of the city 
had poured in from the north ; these were all new 
levies — mostly raw and ill-equipped militia and 
legionaries, the latter not uniformed and variously 



With Face Toward the South 85 

armed. Upon these untried men must the com- 
mandant depend to assist his meager garrison in 
holding the expected assailants in check until the 
disciplined soldiers of Buell, then on Bragg's 
heels, should come to the rescue. 

From my window at the hotel I had seen many 
of the new arrivals as they straggled down the 
street, making a brave pretense at form but show- 
ing their woeful lack of training, and in my heart 
I pitied them if it was to be their fate to meet 
Bragg's old and experienced campaigners. They 
reminded me of nothing so much as the inhabi- 
tants of a village suddenly called from their beds 
in the middle of the night by alarm bells to sub- 
due a threatening conflagration — startled, fever- 
ish from excitement, and not knowing what to 
do, but brave and resolute when the way was 
once found. 

There would, it was plain, be little sleep that 
night in this city. Horsemen passed me going in 
one direction or another at furious speed, as 
though upon missions that would admit of no 
delay. A murmur of general unrest everywhere 
filled the air and mingled with more specific 
sounds that fell upon my ears. 

Groups of men and women and clinging chil- 
dren were gathered about the doors of houses, 
neighbor could be heard calling to neighbor, and 
from here and there came angry voices and sounds 



86 The Legionaries 

of quarrels whose overheard phrases showed the 
cause of contention to be political. 

I neared the outskirts of the city without inter- 
ruption, and coming to a street leading southward 
between rows of straggling houses toward the 
open country that could not be far distant, I 
turned into it, urging my willing horse to a faster 
pace. I had barely done so when a thick cloud 
obscured the moon and darkened the way before 
me, but I pressed on. 

Presently the cloud lifted and disclosed abridge 
directly before me, and into the added light of a 
street lamp near its entrance walked a sentry 
with gun held awkwardly in hand. He called 
out a challenge, in obedience to which I brought 
my horse to such a sudden stand — not being yet 
familiar with his qualities — that he reared dan- 
gerously as the bit cut into his tender mouth. 

With amazement not unmixed with chagrin, I 
discovered in the sentry no less a personage than 
the legionary, Spelker, who had been so quick to 
recognize me the night before. To meet him 
again so soon and under such circumstances was 
an ill fortune of which I had not dreamed. His 
uniform consisted of an infantry cap and belt, 
which, along with his gun and cartridge box, con- 
stituted the extent of his military accoutrement. 

I fancied that he felt ill at ease in his unusual 
situation, and that he would be happier were he 
well out of it and back at his horse-buying. My 



With Face Toward the South 87 

hat was down far over my face, and as I wore now 
the long weather coat and was riding a gray horse, 
whereas my own was a bay, I think he did not at 
once suspect my identity. 

"What do you want?" I demanded of him 
sternly. 

He stepped back a pace, manifesting a nervous- 
ness which, as his ringer was upon the trigger of 
a cocked musket, was somewhat disconcerting. 
When I spoke he seemed to prick up his ears as 
if in recognition of my voice. As he did not im- 
mediately answer my question and I felt that it 
would be better for him to believe that I was not 
affecting a disguise, I rode up against the very 
point of his bayonet and throwing back my hat 
renewed my demand with confident front. 

"So it's you, is it ?" he asked, less heroic- 
ally than he had accosted me on the highway 
with a courage then stiffened by liquor and the 
presence of his fellows, but yet with a dogged 
obstinacy that boded me no good. "It goes 
against the grain to let you pass at all, my buck, 
but if you have the word I suppose I'll have to. 
Give the countersign." 

As far as my knowledge went the countersign 
might be alpha or omega, or anything between, 
but I could not waste much time in parley, though 
it would best suit my purpose to make the con- 
trary appear. 

"Easy, my friend, easy," said I, intent upon 



88 The Legionaries 

beguiling him into lowering the point of his gun. 
"There is plenty of time. I think you treated 
me shabbily last night, and in very unneighborly 
spirit. Had you ever thought that one who sus- 
pects quickly may himself be suspected ?" 

"Well, you've got nothing to complain of, 
It's me that's got a very pretty bump, and not 
your head that's cracked," he responded, drop- 
ping his musket butt down, that he might have 
a free hand to rub his contusion. I saw my op- 
portunity, which had come much quicker than 
I had reason to hope. 

"I am sorry," said I, as sympathetically as I 
could, "that I am compelled to make it a pair," 
and thereupon flashed my sword quickly above 
his head and let it descend flat upon the thick top 
of his cap. 

He staggered and fell to the ground, dropping 
his gun as he did so, and I lost no time in con- 
tinuing on my way. No sound came from 
Spelker and if his wits returned in five minutes 
he would do well ; more serious injury he was not 
likely to suffer. 

A little beyond the bridge, at the side of the 
street — which here was not more than a country 
road — I had, while talking with Spelker, observed 
a camp fire about which men were gathered ; how 
many I could not tell. They were no doubt de- 
tailed to watch the bridge. Reasoning that as I 
had passed the sentry they would conclude that I 



With Face Toward the South 89 

was entitled to go on, I went ahead at a smart 
gallop and was not stopped. 

Not being at all certain as to my course, but 
realizing the dangers of that locality, I made 
haste to leave it and turned into the first intersect- 
ing road leading westward. Such houses as were 
here were mere shanties, and far between, and I 
knew that in truth I was at the city's limits. Fur- 
thermore, I knew that mounted patrols guarded 
every highway for miles around. 

Fires at picket and vidette posts showed dully 
before me and to the right and to the left. It 
would have been difficult even for one with a per- 
fect understanding of the country to get through 
the encircling line without detection, but for me, 
of necessity going at a venture, how much less 
my chance. Yet I must take it, and fortune soon 
favored me. 

The night suddenly became intensely dark from 
quickly risen and threatening clouds which gave 
promise of a storm. I prayed that the promise 
might be speedily fulfilled, and drawing aside into 
a common covered with trees I stopped and 
waited. A roll of thunder in the southwest con- 
firmed my hopes. The wind arose and began 
shaking down upon me the dead leaves in a 
shower and whirling them about. A cloud of 
dust picked up from the dry highway swept over 
me, filling my eyes and nostrils and grating in my 
teeth. Soon the rain came, first in timid, uncer- 



go The Legionaries 

tain waves which pattered musically upon the 
baked leaves, and then in a steady, driving down- 
pour. 

Regaining the road I now put spurs to my 
horse and keeping far within the circle of lights 
neared a road running again southward, as I 
could see in the vivid flashes of the lightning. In 
the same way I saw a mounted sentry cross it. 
He was going in the direction opposite to the one 
I wished to take, with his head pulled down into 
the collar of his coat and the rim of his rain- 
soaked hat beaten down upon his cheeks, giving 
him a woe-begone and far from vigilant appear- 
ance. Reaching the cross-road before the sol- 
dier turned back upon his beat I turned into 
it. The way was seemingly a mere dirt road, 
but little traveled, I judged, already sloppy with 
water, and not regarded as of much importance 
— a fact which might benefit me. 

A fire that I had at first seen, apparently di- 
rectly in my path, disappeared under the torrents 
of rain, and I faced only blackness, pierced at 
long intervals by the lightning. The noise made 
by the elements, while deadening the sounds of 
my approach also made it impossible for me to 
hear, but I knew that I must be near where the 
light had been. 

Just then my horse swerved slightly to the left, 
and the sound made by his rapid feet as they 
struck the ground showed that he was upon the 



With Face Toward the South 91 

hard smooth surface of a macadamized highway. 
The wind was directly in my face and now swept 
to my ears the voices of men in my front and 
carried behind me the sounds of my own move- 
ments. Believing that I could, unless my pres- 
ence was revealed by the lightning, now flash- 
ing less frequently, come abreast of the men 
without warning, I urged my horse into a run, 
determined to take the chances of the way before 
me, and like a shot sped past the point where 
I conceived the danger to lie. Through the rush- 
ing wind that filled my ears with a roar, came 
faintly a smothered cry of alarm, a quick and futile 
command to halt, several shots, and then shouts 
growing fainter. Checking my horse after awhile 
I listened but detected no sounds of pursuit. 



CHAPTER VII 

CAPTAIN BURKLEY'S GENTLEMEN 

By grace of a rare good fortune, little short of 
accidental, I now found myself in the open coun- 
try outside of the Federal picket lines. There 
was only one thing to do and that was to go on, 
whatsoever might befall, and go on I did. The 
storm passed over and the sky cleared rapidly. 
The moon, circling high and bright in the heavens, 
made objects plain before me save here and there 
where the turnpike was shadowed by trees or en- 
croaching hills. Not knowing the exact location 
of Bragg's forces I expected every moment to come 
upon his outer picket line, for I had no other idea 
than that he had control of all the approaches to 
the city. So I was not surprised when, rounding 
the base of a hill skirted by the turnpike, I came 
suddenly face to face with a party of mounted 
men who brought me to a stand with levelled 
carbines. One of them, riding out a little in front 
of the others, accosted me: 

"Which way, comrade?" 

"To General Bragg's army," I returned, be- 
lieving these to be a part of the investing force. 
(92) 



Captain Burkley's Gentlemen 93 

"And where are you from?" 

"Louisville," said I. 

"Well," said he, "you won't be likely to reach 
old Bragg to-night. He's flunked and turned 
tail for Bardstown. If you are a fighting man 
steer clear of Bragg." 

The information that General Bragg had turned 
back came as a great surprise to me, and there 
was so much of anger and disappointment, as 
well as positive disrespect toward the Confederate 
commander, in the speaker's tones that for a mo- 
ment the fear assailed me that I had stumbled 
upon a Federal scouting party and had been too 
free in declaring myself. But this suspicion I 
could hardly credit, as the leader and all of the 
men that I could see wore the color of the Con- 
federacy. 

"And are you not Confederate soldiers?" I 
asked, to relieve my suspense. 

"Oh, we are Johnny Rebs right enough. But 
we are disgusted, that's all. My hundred men 
can't take Louisville, much as we should like to, 
so we are going south, too. Just been taking a 
little rest. If you like you can ride with me at 
the head of the column. Come on." 

Getting me in front of him he turned his horse 
and ordered the men in the road, consisting of a 
half dozen or more, to proceed in advance of us; 
then gave a command that brought from the 
shadow of the trees on both sides of the road the 



94 The Legionaries 

remainder of his company, whom I had not be- 
fore observed. 

Soon we were going southward at a good 
swinging trot, the leader doing me the honor to 
ride at my side. It developed that his purpose 
was to have further conversation with me, and he 
asked my name and put many other questions, 
excusing himself on the ground that he must set- 
tle in his own mind what to do with me — whether 
to carry me along as a prisoner or to let me fol- 
low my own will. He protested that the latter 
course would suit him better, as he did not care 
to bother with prisoners. I think that without 
being too free about myself I succeeded, at least 
partially, in satisfying him of my good faith, if 
not in removing all question as to my character. 

He was a talkative man and had a deep-seated 
grievance against General Bragg, at which he had 
already hinted, and which, with some other things, 
he exploited in detail at intervals as we went 
along. It fell out that the company under his 
command was an independent one, or a "free 
troop." 

Aside from some voluntary contributions from 
friends of the South in Louisville, it furnished its 
own equipment and subsistence, except where — 
as was not infrequently the case, I conjectured — 
they found it convenient to levy tribute. He in- 
sisted that they were neither freebooters nor guer- 
rillas, but that under orders from the constituted 



Captain Burkley's Gentlemen 95 

authorities they undertook the accomplishment of 
enterprises believed to be helpful to the South. 
A species of moss-trooper they might be, he ad- 
mitted with a laugh, but claimed that they denied 
themselves the usual pleasures of brigandage 
while submitting to more than its customary ex- 
actions and hazards. 

"And yet," he said, angrily, "the Unionist 
commander of this district ordered that we should 
be shot if caught, and not held as prisoners. If 
General Bragg had been quick enough and bold 
enough he could have driven this vaunting tyrant 
into the river along with all his rag-tag and bob- 
tail, and have taught him a lesson in shooting that 
he would have remembered." 

Thus he went on, alternately railing at the 
Unionist district commander and abusing the 
Confederate general, bestowing expletives in both 
directions with an admirable impartiality. Now 
and again recurring to his own followers, he 
spoke of them with pride and called them his 
gentlemen. He seemed delighted to dwell upon 
the sacrifices that they were making without 
compensation or hope of reward other than such 
trifles as incidentally fell to their lot when they 
had the good luck to cut off a convoy, or were 
driven by stress of fortune to negotiate loans from 
the most accessible friend or foe. 

I could only dimly make out what manner of 
man he was in appearance, but otherwise could 



96 The Legionaries 

form a tolerable estimate of his qualities, and this, 
aside from the conviction that he was, perhaps, 
too free of tongue, was not unfavorable 

Two or three hours before daybreak we came 
up with the scouts, no doubt at a prearranged 
rendezvous. A halt was called, pickets thrown 
out and sentries posted, and the men, including 
the leader himself, were quickly scattered about 
on the ground sound asleep, except one sta- 
tioned not far away who was probably detailed 
to keep his eyes on me. At any rate, he very 
faithfully did so during the remainder of the 
night as I can attest, for sleep resolutely refused 
to visit me. 

The camp was not astir until the sun was nearly 
an hour high, and thirty minutes later we were 
again ready for the saddle. I could now see the 
character of the company I was keeping. The 
leader, who had shared his breakfast with me, 
was not greatly my senior, and was of prepossess- 
ing appearance, with fair hair, a face much tanned 
by sun and weather, and blue eyes that looked 
determined but not ungentle. A well propor- 
tioned man he was, too, and made a fine figure 
on horseback. 

His followers did not all impress me as having 
an unquestioned claim to the honorable title that 
their commander had given them. But if bold- 
ness of bearing, a rollicking humor and a pro- 
ficiency in the use of oaths, to which I may add, 



Captain Burkley's Gentlemen 97 

from subsequent observation, good horsemanship 
and dare-devil spirit, completed the definition of 
the term, then they were gentlemen, every one. 

They gave little heed to me. Most of them 
seemed not to notice my presence at all. A few 
of them looked me over casually but maintained 
a strict and respectful silence as to their impres- 
sions. My horse, however, appeared to meet 
with the unqualified approval of all, judging from 
the looks that were directed toward him and not 
from what was said, and he, for his part, acted as 
if he were very well satisfied with the company 
he was in. 

I had intentionally deferred making inquiries as 
to the purposes of the captain with respect to my- 
self until by some means I could make sure of my 
standing, or until he voluntarily revealed them to 
me. For the time I was contented that I was 
making some headway with my own plans, which, 
I felt assured, were in a fair way to be ultimately 
realized. 

Just as we were on the point of taking up our 
march — only waiting for the return of two men 
who had been sent scouting in our rear — three 
horsemen came into view on the crest of the hill 
behind us. Two of them were the scouts but the 
other's identity was not disclosed until they drew 
near, and then, to my great relief and gratifica- 
tion, I recognized Colonel Mandrell, weary and 
7 — Legionaries. 



98 The Legionaries 

mud-spattered, and showing other signs of a hard 
night's journey. As he came up the captain stood 
out to meet him and friendly greetings were ex- 
changed, proving a previous acquaintance. 

"Burkley, I am mighty glad to see you for I 
have had a regular Tarn O'Shanter ride this past 
night. Have you a flask handy ? Thanks — ex- 
cuse me a moment. There, my boy, that will 
chase some of the stiffness out of my joints." 

Here he looked about him, and his eyes fell 
upon me, comfortably astride one of his favorite 
horses. 

"Why, Trenham, how are you ? How in the 
world did you get here ?" 

"Somewhat after your own fashion, I should 
think," I returned, "and I desire to acknowledge 
the debt I owe to your horse, which I was com- 
pelled to appropriate." 

At the suggestion of Colonel Mandrell, who 
dismounted and stretched himself at his ease on 
the grass in the warm sunshine, Captain Burkley 
delayed his departure for an hour, during which 
time explanations were made to him by my friend 
that brought an offer of any assistance that he 
might be able to render. 

Not only did the captain show marked re- 
spect for the new arrival, but every member of 
the company seemed to understand that he was a 
person of importance whose wishes as to their 
movements were equal to commands. Indeed, 



Captain Burkley's Gentlemen 99 

from the moment when Colonel Mandrell had ap- 
peared among us Burkley had addressed him 
more as a superior officer than as a chance guest, 
and the men gave evidence of similar regard. 

At this I wondered a little, but attributed it to 
nothing more than simple recognition of his high 
standing as a known and daring friend of the 
Confederacy. When after a while we were on the 
Bardstown road and riding in the rear of the col- 
umn, as he had arranged it, he opened a con- 
versation with me that increased my wonder. 
First, he had told of his escape from Louisville, 
which, having received a friendly warning of his 
contemplated arrest, he had accomplished with 
difficulty after some hours of concealment in the 
city. After I had told him about my own ad- 
venture I spoke of my desire to join Morgan's 
cavalry. At this he exclaimed : 

"Why did you not tell me of your purpose 
long ago? Perhaps I could have done something 
for you." He looked at me for a moment and 
then added, reflectively: "And perhaps I can 
yet. I suppose you would be satisfied with any- 
thing from trooper up to major-general?" 

"Anything," I made answer. 

"Well, now, this is serious. Morgan wants 
men, as I happen to know, and recruiting is being 
done for him even now in Kentucky. With your 
training you ought to have a captaincy to begin 



ioo The Legionaries 

with, but that you are not likely to get unless you 
can take your own company into his camp." 

"Which is impossible," said I, "and so I must 
be satisfied to go into the ranks." 

"I don't know that it is impossible," he re- 
sponded, speaking slowly as if he were turning 
something over in his mind. "What do you 
think of those fellows?' ' — nodding his head toward 
the men in front of us, who sat in their saddles 
with a negligent ease that bespoke their horse- 
manship. 

"They look like good material," said I, not at 
all comprehending his meaning, "and it is a pity 
they are not in a more regular service." 

"I have no doubt that they have served a pur- 
pose in their chosen field — in truth, my informa- 
tion enables me to assert positively that they 
have — but I believe that they can now be dis- 
pensed with in that line." 

He stopped and again seemed to reflect. After 
awhile he went on: "Burkley has been a good 
bushwhacker and has in him the making of a 
good officer. He is loyal and faithful, but a little 
too eager and impatient and a trifle reckless. I 
have heard a good deal about his company, which 
has been given a variety of unpleasant names, 
and know that the Federals have been especially 
anxious to lay violent hands on its commander." 
He laughed a little in a grim sort of way, adding: 
"But Burkley has always eluded them most 



Captain Burkley's Gentlemen 101 

cleverly. What's the matter with your horse, 
Trenham?" 

That was what I did not know. Since we had 
started he had been pulling at his bit and giving 
me trouble to hold him in check. 

"Perhaps, Colonel, as he is not really mine, 
but yours, you can answer your question better 
than I," said I. 

He gave me a keen look and responded : 
"Have you tried him at the head of the col- 
umn?" 

"That is where I rode last night, and, since 
you mention it, I remember that he gave me no 
trouble at all." 

"Have you ever considered the strength of 
habit in both man and beast?" he asked. "We 
easily, almost unconsciously, fall into the place 
to which we have accustomed ourselves, and if by 
chance or design we are crowded into another 
we are instantly ready for rebellion ; the same 
thing may be true of horses. But I was talking 
of Burkley. For some time he has been fairly 
aching to join the artillery service. I think he 
told me that once, before the war, he belonged to 
a battery which, when hostilities broke out, went 
almost unanimously over to the Unionists. If his 
ambition still leads him in that direction, per- 
haps, as I said, something can be done for you. 
Those men there will be happy to join Morgan's 



102 The Legionaries 

force, and, with Burkley provided for more to his 
taste elsewhere, they will need a new captain." 

I was greatly moved by this manifest evidence 
of his good will and his desire to help me in 
a way agreeable to my feelings, but far in ex- 
cess of my expectations, which had not been ex- 
treme. At first I was much perplexed to deter- 
mine how he might bring about the result which 
he had suggested, but little by little light broke 
in upon my understanding and I saw the truth as 
clearly as if he had himself explicitly narrated it. 

The troop was his, maintained and used hereto- 
fore for his own purposes, or purposes for which 
he stood sponsor, and he was its real head and 
leader at such times as he chose to be so. He 
was a strong and vigorous man of adventurous 
spirit — one who delighted in mixing action with 
craft, and who, for powerful reasons, did not care 
to be publicly identified with the band of irregu- 
lars ostensibly led by Larkin Burkley. 

Now, by some shifting of plans, he found it 
convenient to sever his own connection with the 
company and let it engage in other service. 
Whether he had thought of the matter prior to his 
meeting with me this day was not material, but I 
was certain that after it had once entered his 
mind he would work it out for my advantage 
and accommodation if possible, and with him I 
felt that it would be possible. 

A little before noon we reached Bardstown, 



Captain Burkley's Gentlemen 103 

near which place General Bragg's army of forty 
thousand men was temporarily encamped, and 
stopped on suitable ground somewhat removed 
from that occupied by the others. 

Not far from us several batteries of field artil- 
lery were stationed. They at once caught and 
held the eyes of Burkley and set him talking at a 
great rate, showing that his old enthusiasm had in 
no degree abated. Through the small field glass 
which he carried at his side he looked the grim 
monsters over, praising here, criticising there, and 
withholding judgment elsewhere. He even began 
to speak in more friendly spirit of the Confeder- 
ate commander. While in this temper Colonel 
Mandrell took him apart and held a conversation 
with him, the purport of which I could only guess. 
Afterward the two men rode away together, 
leaving me, as the colonel told me privately, to 
get on the best terms I could with the men. 

As it happened, no better time for the realiza- 
tion of Burkley's ambition could have been seized 
upon, as General Bragg, by the surrender to him 
of the Union forces at Munfordsville a few days 
before, had come into possession of a quantity of 
cannon, and his chief of artillery was even then 
engaged in forming new batteries. 

The next day Burkley announced to the troop 
his appointment as lieutenant of artillery. He 
was popular with the men, and that they regretted 
his proposed departure from among them was 



104 The Legionaries 

shown by their sober faces. When he had fin- 
ished, Colonel Mandrell addressed them and told 
them that the old days were over, but that a more 
glorious career awaited them in the service of 
the South if they availed themselves of their op- 
portunities. 

I will not attempt to set down all he said, 
least of all will I dwell upon the overpraise that 
he bestowed upon me in urging upon them my 
fitness to be their captain. But so adroitly did 
he appeal to them — not forgetting to state that I 
had not pushed myself forward, and that he alone 
was responsible for the proposal — that when he 
called for an expression of their opinions, I was 
assured of their support and favor. I immedi- 
ately went about the task of making arrangements 
to carry the new scheme into execution, and to 
that end called into consultation with me all who 
had acted in the capacity of subordinate officers 
in the troop. These men I found to be happy at 
the prospect of engaging in a more satisfactory 
service than that which had previously occupied 
their time, and they exhibited a willingness to 
aid me that drove from my mind every lingering 
doubt as to my welcome among them. 

I have thus written of these things, not because 
they are in themselves interesting or important, 
but to show how it happened that I acquired rank 
so quickly without first winning it by hard service. 
But that I earned it afterward, in following the 



Captain Burkley's Gentlemen 105 

standard of the man to whose fortunes I was pres- 
ently to be attached during the most brilliant 
period of his career, and near to the time of its 
unfortunate close, will be admitted, I think, by 
all of those whose dangers I shared in those wild 
days. 



CHAPTER VIII 

WITH THE GREAT RAIDER 

The camp at Bardstown was maintained for 
several days, and leaving the matter to the man- 
agement of Colonel Mandrell, I had the satisfac- 
tion of seeing my company duly enrolled and ac- 
cepted into the regular service and assigned to 
the command of General Morgan. Its members 
would not have been content to be placed else- 
where, and their enthusiasm and delight knew no 
bounds when they learned that our project had 
been successfully accomplished and that they 
would be soon riding up and down with the great 
cavalier at their head. 

Then there were days of delay and impatience, 
followed at last by a movement to Harrodsburg, 
where came our future leader to whose fortunes 
we were thenceforth committed. I carried to 
him a personal letter from the man to whom I 
already owed so great a debt, and it was the 
circumstance of presenting it that brought me first 
into the presence of this bold partisan chieftain of 
whom I had heard so much. 

He was at this time probably thirty-five years 
(106) 



With the Great Raider 107 

old, and there was that about him which at once 
marked him as a man of distinction. A soldierly 
presence, in truth, with his six feet of strength and 
grace still unmarred by the hardships to which he 
was constantly exposed. His eyes, of a grayish 
blue, were lively with intelligence and purpose; 
his features handsome, and his address as pleas- 
ing as his manners were gentle and consid- 
erate. But above all else there was about him 
that air of self-reliance, determination and utter 
fearlessness that characterized his career as a sol- 
dier and made him renowned above his fellows 
for a boldness and daring that, in one less capa- 
ble, would have approached foolhardiness. This 
is saying much, for the time which brought forth 
his activities produced many resolute leaders, 
North and South, whose deeds have made their 
names justly conspicuous in the history of their 
country. Often had my youthful blood been 
aroused by reading of the glamorous achieve- 
ments of the first Richard and other heroes of 
chivalry, but the man I was henceforth to follow 
was as stout of heart as any of these, though his 
accomplishments are less famed. 

The semi-independence of Morgan's command 
and the opportunities which it afforded for advent- 
urous service attracted to him the daring from 
all walks of life, and in his ranks the educated 
sons of the high and wealthy rode stirrup to stir- 
rup with the illiterate and lowly. 



108 The Legionaries 

That all those who flocked to his standard were 
impelled thereto by patriotism I do not believe. 
Many were no doubt moved by a love of adven- 
ture and a reckless desire to gratify it; but this I 
do affirm, that however it chanced that a man 
found himself under the authority of this courage- 
ous leader, he was held in fealty by a love of the 
man himself. For he won men's hearts with sin- 
gular ease, and at his word they would fight and 
dare and die, more, I believe, for him than for the 
cause which he represented. 

He received me at his headquarters in a most 
kindly manner that at once put me at my ease. 
I looked to see him worn by the tremendous strain 
of a recently finished campaign in which in a lit- 
tle over twenty days he had, to the amazement of 
the whole country, successfully covered more 
than a thousand perilous miles, everywhere beset 
by his enemies. But of this there was no indica- 
tion, and his freshness and elasticity of bearing 
gave proof of his wonderful powers of endurance. 
This man, always eager and resourceful, even to 
the pitiful end, never ceased to be a marvel to me. 

After he had inquired concerning Colonel Man- 
drell he questioned me a little about myself and my 
men, but assured me — tapping the letter with his 
finger — that he had no misgivings about either 
since reading that. The interview was not pro- 
longed, as a summons came while I was present 
calling him into council w|th_ General Bragg, but 



With the Great Raider 109 

as I left he promised that he would in person 
speedily inspect my troop. This he did the next 
day, and from that time forth there was not a man 
among them all who was not willing to follow him 
to the ends of the earth. 

Scant time for rest was ever allowed this sleep- 
less warrior, and he was soon in the field again, 
my gallant gentlemen bearing him company. 
How well they rode, and how well they fought, 
and how bravely many of them died before that 
last headlong raid northward, need not be told. 

Summer was in full tide again, when, with 
three thousand horsemen and a battery of six 
guns, our faces were turned toward the Ohio. 
There were many conjectures as to our destination 
and object, but aside from the General himself, 
none knew and none questioned. Here and 
there as we progressed small forces of the enemy 
fell upon our flanks or snapped at our heels. 
These were brushed aside or driven back. On 
every side indications grew that the Federals, 
aware of our movement, and knowing the in- 
trepid character of our General, were hastening 
the concentration of a sufficient force to bar his 
way and thwart his purpose. 

Whatever the nature of his mission, it soon be- 
came evident that he was resolved to elude his 
foes when he could, and only fight them when 
they got in his way. And this was often enough, 
God knows, as not a day passed in which the 



no The Legionaries 

charge was not sounded that sent some of his 
men full drive against obstinate Federal guns, and 
stretched many of our brave fellows on the 
ground not to rise again; among these last was 
the General's own young brother, a lad loved 
by all. Nor did I escape my share of the fight- 
ing, for it had long since come to be known that 
the once irregulars never stood back where any 
dared go forward. 

One day my company was detached from the 
main command with instructions to feel the coun • 
try to the east of our route and rejoin the column 
the next day at Bardstown, which was for the 
second time to be conspicuous in my itinerary. 
After nightfall we had, on information obtained 
from a friendly citizen, surprised and captured 
the Federal Colonel Crespy at the moment when 
he was enjoying a much relished dinner at the 
house of a Unionist situated on the outskirts of 
a town in which his regiment of cavalry had been 
halted for the night. 

His escort, which he had left on guard about 
the premises, had unfortunately escaped into the 
town, thus making it necessary for us to hasten 
from the locality unless we cared to measure our 
strength against vastly superior numbers. Guided 
by the same citizen we had ridden far into the 
night, bearing gradually toward the place of the 
morrow's rendezvous. It lacked only a few hours 
of daylight when I considered it safe to stop and 



With the Great Raider 1 1 1 

dispose my weary but uncomplaining troopers for 
a little rest. As for myself, I had barely touched 
the ground before I was sound asleep. 

My next conscious sensation was one of being 
shaken violently, and the shaking, as I have al- 
ways since believed, was supplemented by a kick, 
still more potential in opening my heavy eyes. 
Aroused and startled, and not a little ruffled by 
the latter indignity — though I quieted my feel- 
ings by thinking that it was not intended as 
such, but born of the fancied urgency of the sit- 
uation — I jumped to my feet, thoroughly awake, 
to find that every man was up and standing to 
horse in the early morning sun ready to take my 
commands. Before me stood Neffitt, the corpo- 
ral of the guard, a good soldier, but a wild fellow 
with little reverence for rank save in his obedi- 
ence to orders. He saluted, but I detected a 
mischievous twinkle in his eyes which confirmed 
my suspicion as to his manner of getting me up. 

"What's the trouble?" I demanded sharply, 
showing my disapproval. 

"The enemy, coming over the hill," he said, 
saluting again, this time more seriously and point- 
ing toward the east. 

Looking that way I saw a group of bluecoated 
horsemen coming down the decline Without a 
doubt they were the advance guard of Crespy's 
cavalry, now close on our heels. My men occu- 
pied an elevated position in an open wood a little 



1 1 2 The Legionaries 

off the road, but near the edge of the wood there 
was enough underbrush to make it unlikely that 
we had been yet observed. The hill was nearly 
a mile away, and between us stretched level 
ground only broken on the south of the road by 
a long ridge. 

I determined to wait and make sure as to the 
numbers of the Federals Colonel Crespy him- 
self stood near, outwardly calm and unmoved, 
but in his eyes there was unmistakable trace of 
inward excitement. The moment was an anxious 
one, not less for him than for us all. At close 
quarters my men, numbering less than one hun- 
dred, would have small chance against my pris- 
oner's whole regiment of eight hundred which I 
believed to be coming upon me. 

I was resolved not to risk the hazards of a com- 
bat if my surmises as to the strength of my op- 
ponents proved to be correct. Of this fact I was 
not long in doubt, for presently the head of a col- 
umn appeared on the hill top, and I was on the 
point of ordering my men into the road for a race 
when my eyes fell upon a sight that caused me to 
withhold the command. 

About one-third of the distance between my 
position and the Federals was a road, which, 
coming from the north, crossed the other at right 
angles and disappeared into a small wooded val- 
ley two or three hundred yards or so beyond. 
The elevation constituting the eastern slope of 



With the Great Raider 1 1 3 

the little valley extended farther toward the cross- 
ing of the roads than did the western, thus allow- 
ing us to see persons traveling the valley road 
northward before they became visible to our 
enemy. 

Emerging upon this road were horsemen in 
gray clothes going at a smart trot. My glass 
showed them to belong to Morgan's command, 
but how many of them I could not yet tell, as 
the General had a habit of dividing his force in 
sweeping through the enemy's country and reunit- 
ing it at points agreed upon, always being in per- 
sonal command of the column with which he 
rode. 

Before I could possibly have given warning to 
my comrades of the near presence of the Feder- 
als, the advance guards of the forces were face to 
face. Unslinging their carbines they fired and 
fell back, while the main column of Federals 
broke into a gallop, and at the same time file 
upon file of gray coats came charging up from 
the southward. 

Without waiting to see more, I detached two 
men to guard Colonel Crespy, whose cheeks were 
now aflush with feeling, and placing myself at the 
head of my eager men shouted a command that 
took us into the highway and started us flying 
forward. 

The Confederate leader was, I saw with keen 
8 — Legionaries. 



ii4 The Legionaries 

satisfaction, Morgan himself, and he appeared to 
take in the situation in which he was placed at a 
glance. A quick maneuvering of his force showed 
that he was preparing for a struggle ; and it was 
the kind of a fight that he liked, in the open, 
with plenty of room for men and horses. 

The Federals, on their part, did not wait to see 
whether the enemy fronting them consisted of a 
few or many, -but came onward with great dash 
and courage, deploying a column to the right and 
to the left with incredible rapidity and skill. It 
seemed to me at the moment — though I had little 
time to study the strategical qualities of the field 
— that the lay of the ground was favorable to the 
Confederates, and so it should have been, seeing 
that our General's following was made up of only 
four or five troops and was not much better than a 
scouting party. The elevation to the east, 
which extended well out toward the highway, 
protected them in a measure against attack on the 
flank, I thought, thus giving them an opportunity 
to strike the enemy's center to greater advan- 
tage, with little to fear from a counter side blow. 

That was the way it looked to me, but the Gen- 
eral took no chances. Deploying his whole force 
quickly well back in the field beyond the angle of 
the roads, he arranged it so that he could get 
headway from whatever direction he was likely to 
be assailed. It was well that he did, for pres- 
ently, almost abreast of their comrades on the 



With the Great Raider 1 1 5 

low ground and in the highway, there came a 
rush of horse over the brow of the ridge. The 
roads were only unimproved ways worn by travel 
across the unfenced ground, and furnished no ob- 
struction to the movements of the cavalry. 

It was my intention to take care of that part of 
the enemy — which did not greatly outnumber my 
command — to the north of the main road and 
prevent them from falling upon the General's 
flank. To that end I swerved to the left, straight- 
ened out in column of eights, then dashed at 
speed toward the noses of their horses. 

Before reaching them I took a glance at the 
other part of the field and saw that every shod 
hoof was in motion and beating the earth in uni- 
son with its fellows to the right and to the left, 
before and behind. The General was a good 
hundred yards ahead of me, and almost upon 
the foe who had been compelled to turn slightly 
to face him. A hundred feet — fifty! God! how 
my blood tingled and how my muscles drew un- 
der the double strain — often as similar scenes 
had spread before my eyes — until I felt that I 
was being fairly pulled from my saddle. And 
then the combatants crashed into each other's 
very teeth. 

I caught a glimpse of rearing horses and flash- 
ing sabers, and heard the rattle of revolver shots 
and the shouts of the fighters. It was only a 
glimpse, for in a moment I was myself striking 



n6 The Legionaries 

out lustily, and about me was a confusion of blue 
and gray coats, a struggling mass of speaking 
and dumb animals, a clashing of metal, and 
hoarse words of defiance. 

Just as I began to feel that I was safely through 
our adversary's line, my horse stumbled beneath 
me and went down in spite of my efforts to get 
it to its feet, and over and around me flashed the 
trampling heels of my followers' horses as they 
thundered by with rattling scabbards and clanking 
harness. It was one of the fortunes of war and 
I expected to be crushed where I lay, but they 
passed by leaving me untouched. 

I had risen to my feet when a bearded young 
Federal officer, wearing the straps of a lieutenant, 
who had been unhorsed in the charge, came run- 
ning up and with drawn sword demanded my sur- 
render. My own blade was still in my hand, and 
presenting it I demanded that he himself should 
yield. Instantly we were fighting as though the 
issue of the battle depended upon the strength of 
our arms. Presently my opponent, who had ex- 
hibited a skill not anticipated by me, called out 
my name in a loud tone of surprise and withheld 
his hand. Taking it that he desired to yield, al- 
though he was far from being overcome, and be- 
ing surprised that he knew me, I also withheld 
my hand. 

Before either had time to speak a horseman 
dashed up and aimed a blow at the officer with 



With the Great Raider 1 1 7 



t 



his saber. I thrust out my sword just in time to 
turn the weapon aside, and looking up saw that 
it was my unceremonious corporal. Without wait- 
ing to hear the rebuke that was rolling hot from 
my lips, he jumped down, and, with a salute, 
exclaimed : 

"They are forming for the return charge; take 
my horse, sir," and then the rascal, pushing the 
rein into my hand, scampered off after a loose 
animal that was standing, bewildered and snort- 
ing, a little distance away. 

"Thank you, Captain Trenham. My beard 
has grown, but your old friend, Paul Venault, sa- 
lutes you." 

With that he started after the corporal, for the 
horse was no doubt his. My astonishment was 
so great that I could not utter a word, nor indeed 
did I have time, for, as the corporal had said, 
my men had checked up a couple of hundred 
yards further on and had already faced about. 

Spurring toward them I looked to see how our 
comrades were faring south of the road, and saw 
the tall form of the General at the head of his 
column ready for another blow. And while I 
watched, that column started back, compact and 
steady, and like a human wedge it drove itself 
into and through the line of the enemy. At the 
very front, as the keen edge of the wedge, rode 
the General himself as it plunged into the moving 



1 1 8 The Legionaries 

mass of blue and cleft its way where resistance 
seemed the most determined. 

On rejoining my men I looked back to see 
what my late opponents were doing, and observed 
that they seemed to be in doubt as to their further 
course. While they wavered it occurred to me to 
get into the greater fight where I thought I saw 
a chance to achieve a more conclusive result. 
Scarce a hundred yards lay between my present 
position and the main body of the enemy, now 
already in confusion, and I had it in mind to fol- 
low my General. But this we were not allowed to 
do, for our opponents suddenly started toward us 
like mad. 

So, giving the command, we set out to meet 
them in a final struggle for the mastery. Gath- 
ering quick speed, with sabers gripped firmly and 
feet well stirruped for the shock, we went ham- 
mering back over the green turf. Cheers broke 
from the throats of Burkley's gentlemen as we 
struck the foe, hesitated, then grappled for an in- 
stant, while the morning sun glinted from rising 
and falling blades. 

A participant sees few things clearly in a charge 
of cavalry against cavalry. It means action, mo- 
tion, set jaws, flaming eyes, the curses of the 
reckless, and uproar indescribable. So it was in 
this fierce onset, now so stubbornly resisted. A 
glancing blow upon the shoulder nearly unseated 
me once, but the charge wore itself out at last and 



With the Great Raider 1 1 9 



the contestants tore themselves apart piecemeal 
and roared onward like a rock-broken torrent. 

Many riderless horses galloped about the field, 
confused, and with heads held high in frightened 
liberty. A noble bay which went neighing by 
near me bore such a striking resemblance to 
the animal I had been compelled to abandon at 
Louisville that I shouted its name, whereat it 
stopped suddenly as if in doubt. Again I called 
and it came bounding to my side and followed 
me along. Its superior trappings showed that it 
had been ridden by an officer. Turning in my 
saddle I saw that the Federals were withdrawing, 
for the time seemingly demoralized, and I won- 
dered if the result would have been different had 
the gallant Crespy been at their head, and thought 
of the pain in his soldier heart as he watched the 
fight going against them. 

But this was not all that I saw. Across the field 
on foot came my corporal bearing along with him 
as a prisoner the luckless Venault, who was limping 
dreadfully and looked chagrined and dispirited. I 
learned afterward that in running after the cor- 
poral he had become entangled with his scabbard 
and fallen, wrenching his knee and breaking his 
sword He had then become the easy victim of 
his foe, who thenceforward devoted his time to 
bringing him into our lines. 

Venault's misfortune upset him sadly, and 
the humiliation of it seemed to grind him more 



120 The Legionaries 

than his injury, though the agony caused by the 
wrenched ligaments must have been very great. 
He had been in the Federal army almost a year, 
he told me. His restless spirit craved excite- 
ment, and, as his own country was at peace, he 
had followed the example of the Count of Paris 
and come* to America. Enlisting the good offices 
of the French minister, he got a commission after 
a time, and had seen a good deal of hard service. 

"Well done, Captain Trenham," called out 
the General, as I neared the spot where he was 
resting his panting horses. "That finished them, 
I think, but I believe we had better not tie our- 
selves here." 

Praise from the General was always generous 
when deserved, and strengthened the attachment 
of his followers. But it was never recklessly be- 
stowed, and there was honest striving for his ap- 
proval It was not the first time that good for- 
tune had brought me to his attention and elicited 
commendation. Our good services had been 
pledged in advance and we had felt obliged on 
every occasion to do our best, which, I may as- 
sert, we would have done had no pledge been 
given. 

After a few minutes our march was resumed on 
the westward road, and we picked up my two men 
and Colonel Crespy on the way. An hour's travel 
brought us to the Bardstown turnpike, and about 
eleven o'clock we appeared before that town to 



With the Great Raider 121 



/ 



find that a small force there was hotly resisting 
the entrance of our comrades who had arrived on 
the evening before. The General was informed 
of the situation; how the Federals, consisting, as 
we afterward learned, of a single troop, stationed 
in a building commanding the principal street, had 
held off a portion of his command for the better 
part of a day, were still unconquered and stub- 
bornly refused to surrender. Then it was that, 
for the first and last time, I saw our leader furious 
with anger and impatience. 

"Great God! sir," he exclaimed to the senior 
officer, who had all forenoon worried over the 
problem of how to dislodge the foe without yet 
being able to solve it, "do you mean to spend the 
summer here? We shall have all the Unionists in 
the Kentucky department about our ears at this 
rate. Get your guns in position, send another 
flag and then if they do not surrender shell them 
out. It is well enough to be brave, but they 
need not be fools." 

After that the affair came to an end as quickly 
as could be desired even by the General himself, 
for when the little band of defenders saw that can- 
non were trained upon their improvised fortress at 
a range that would tear the building to pieces and 
them along with it they laid down their arms and 
came out. The General, his wrath appeased, 
complimented their courage and let them go upon 
their paroles, releasing at the same time and in 



122 The Legionaries 

the same way Colonel Crespy and my friend Paul. 
I never saw the latter afterward, but in that dread- 
ful war between his own country and Prussia a 
few years later he was a colonel of hussars, and 
was killed while leading a charge at Gravelotte. 

We had enough to bother us without carrying 
along a lot of prisoners to hamper our move- 
ments. Our scouts were constantly bringing in 
reports of the tremendous activities of the Fed- 
erals, whom Morgan was doing all in his power 
to mislead. For that purpose he had heretofore 
divided his force, and for that purpose, also, he 
had, through his private operator, tapped the tel- 
egraph wires in secluded places, and intercepted 
the enemy's messages, thus learning many of the 
things that were being proposed and done to cir- 
cumvent him. And there are grave reasons for 
doubting the authenticity as well as the accuracy 
of answers to some of these messages that were 
sent flying back to the Unionist headquarters. 

There may be those who do not admit the 
justness of strategy such as this. But in the mat- 
ter of military diplomacy I have always observed 
that the principal thing is to win, and that one 
who is determined to follow strictly moral and 
straightforward lines in all relations has no busi- 
ness at the head of an army situated as ours was. 

Not a man among us doubted the ability of 
our General to extricate himself from the difficul- 
ties that were being thrown around him. The 



With the Great Raider 1 23 

word had been given, as we all knew, that his 
command should be pursued to the last ditch and 
destroyed. But he had hitherto avoided so many 
traps and fought his way through so much oppo- 
sition that his men had come to believe in his 
invincibility, and were eager to follow him any- 
where. That he believed thus strongly in him- 
self I will not affirm, but I do declare the fact 
— for fact it is — that he was undaunted to the 
end. 



CHAPTER IX 

ON BRANDENBURG HEIGHTS 

On the morning of the second day after this, 
the date being the 8th of July, 1863, the Gener- 
al's combined force reached the small town of 
Brandenburg, situated on the Kentucky shore of 
the Ohio river. 

We had been without knowledge as to our des- 
tination, our duty being only to follow and obey. 
It was rumored among the men — who sometimes 
guessed closely to the truth — and believed by 
some of the officers, that General Morgan had set 
out to accomplish at Louisville a part of what 
General Bragg had failed to do in the previous 
year. There was talk that the city was poorly 
garrisoned, which, if true, was no doubt because 
it was not thought that any Confederate com- 
mander would be so audacious as to undertake its 
seizure. To do so, it would be necessary to 
traverse more than two hundred miles of country 
then in possession of the Unionists. 

But if that had really been our General's object 

— as I am now certain that it was not, whatever his 

orders may have been from his superiors — he had 

at least temporarily abandoned it, for we had 

( I2 4) 



On Brandenburg Heights 125 

borne off to the westward, and were now more 
than two score miles below that city. There were 
not wanting among the officers some who be- 
lieved that he was following a plan of his own. 
Just what it was had caused a great deal of con- 
jecture, since the original surmises had to be dis- 
carded. 

All knew that the armies of Bragg and Buck- 
ner were dangerously beset by the Federal forces, 
which were gradually tightening the lines about 
them, and that unless these lines could be loos- 
ened by some astounding diversion they were 
Likely to be speedily overwhelmed. If that were 
actually the General's purpose, it had been suc- 
cessful thus far, as important bodies of soldiery 
had been withdrawn from other affairs and set 
upon our track. 

We had ridden like the wind for two weeks, 
every day of which we had been compelled either 
to dodge or fight as best suited the mood of our 
commander, for he could be as discreet as any 
when he chose, and also as rash as any. I have 
said before that he eluded the enemy when he 
could, but it must not be understood that he ever 
relinquished a path that he seriously desired to 
pursue without a contest for the right of way. 

And now Brandenburg, with the Ohio river in 
a fog at our feet! Are we to turn back or goon? 
If to go on, what is there for us beyond the fog? 

We are to cross, so the order has been given. 



126 The Legionaries 

To that end the troops of Captains Taylor and 
Merriwether had been sent pellmell in advance of 
us the day previous to look after ferriage. By 
good fortune two large steamboats had fallen 
easily into their hands and these were now at the 
wharf ready to carry us over. 

We had been in the saddle since midnight, with 
only a few hours' rest before, but these were iron 
men and they showed little sign of weariness. 
They laughed and seemed happy. Most of them 
were young and full of the fire and daring of 
youth, fit followers for such a leader. No enter- 
prise to which he could put his hand would be 
too desperate to suit them, and the more reckless 
it seemed that much more was it likely to stir 
their enthusiasm and entice them onward. They 
asked only to know his will. 

As they looked down from the heights to the 
river and across it toward the Indiana border, 
now faintly visible through the slowly lifting fog, 
they were filled with an almost childish joy and 
eagerness. In truth it was a fair and rich field, 
unswept by war. No hostile army had trod its 
soil or disturbed the tranquillity of its inhabitants. 

The General, sitting his horse a little way off, 
did not appear to be less sanguine and eager than 
his men. What thoughts were in his mind as he 
looked at that inviting shore line through the dis- 
solving mist? Did he think of easy conquest or 
of the amazing sensation that he was about to 



On Brandenburg Heights 127 

cause? A smile rested upon his strong, sun- 
bronzed face as he watched his men making ready 
for a journey that was destined to try their very 
souls. While he paused thus, now and then ex- 
changing words with Colonel Duke, a shrewd 
officer for whom he had the highest regard, and 
who just now did not seem to be in a very good 
humor, a man walked up and saluted. 

"Why, it is Captain Hines," exclaimed Duke. 

"So it is," said the General, "and I am glad 
to see you, Captain. Where is your company?" 

"Here," said the officer — though at that mo- 
ment he looked little like one — striking himself 
on the breast, a grim smile playing about his res- 
olute mouth. 

"But your men, sir," persisted the General. 

"There," returned the captain, pointing to- 
ward the river and then at the green shore be- 
yond. "Some of them were captured and some 
of them were drowned, like the brave fellows they 
were, in trying to get out of that hornet's nest. 
I report for duty, General. My experience over 
there has not been to my liking, but I am ready 
to go back." 

The commander's face clouded. "It will do 
no good to complain of the loss of so many good 
men, even though they are needed badly," he 
said, with a motion of his hand as if he were 
throwing the whole matter aside, "but I do not 
understand how you happened to be there." 



128 The Legionaries 

"I was given permission to operate north oi 
the Cumberland, General. ' ' 

"So you were; but heavens, man, did you 
construe your orders to authorize you to invade 
a hostile state with your single troop? The next 
time I send a corporal out with a squad I shall 
expect to hear of him marching on to Washing- 
ton with a demand for its surrender in his mouth 
ready framed. But never mind, Hines; you are 
a man after my own heart, and gave them a merry 
dance, I'll be bound."' 

"Indeed I did, sir, and they gave me a merrier. 
I thought I might be able to stir up the copper- 
heads, but the legionaries allowed me no time for 
any such diplomatic diversion." 

They moved away presently, the General and 
Colonel Duke going down to the landing while 
Captain Hines started off to look up the quarter- 
master to whom he was directed to report his need 
of equipment. The latter stopped long enough 
by my side to give me a shake of the hand and 
to hear my hearty expression of satisfaction at his 
personal safety, then went on, waving his hand 
right and left in salutation and exchanging greet- 
ings with his comrades. 

For this man was as chivalrous a soul as ever 
bestrode a horse, and the ill-success of his bit of 
knight-errantry was not counted against him when 
it became known how gallantly he had borne 
himself. With the enemy in overwhelming num- 



On Brandenburg Heights 129 

bers pressing upon him he had taken to the wa- 
ter, and with a remnant of his company had suc- 
ceeded in reaching an island. Beyond this the 
channel was swift and deep and was patrolled by 
a gunboat that inflicted great damage. Yet he 
boldly plunged in, and with two men out of the 
sixty who had followed him got safely to the 
more friendly southern shore, where be became 
separated from the others and by mere chance was 
enabled to rejoin our forces at the moment of our 
embarkation for the scene of his disaster. 

Probably I alone of all the adventurous band 
about me — so eager to reach the coveted land 
and so careless of the consequences of a project so 
daring — looked with dismay and regret upon the 
prospect that confronted us. I drew a little apart 
from the others while awaiting orders, but did 
not dismount, and gazed northward with a heavy 
heart. Less than a score of miles away, over the 
green hills, I saw, in my fancy, a little valley in 
which were two houses that held those who were 
dearest to me in life — my mother, and that other 
one, who, though neither kith nor kin, still filled 
my soul. 

It was months since I had last looked upon that 
peaceful scene — months of danger, of foray and bat- 
tle, of victory and defeat, of wild charges and pre- 
cipitate retreats. I had become, to all outward 
seeming, much as the other men, reveling in peril 
9 — Legionaries. 



130 The Legionaries 

and dare-devil divertisement, yet often in the 
thick of conflict staying my uplifted sword as 
there would flash before my mental vision the fair 
face and appealing eyes of her who, I felt sure, de- 
sired my welfare but prayed for the defeat of my 
cause. Not that I shirked my duty as I had under- 
taken to perform it — God forbid that my manhood 
should be open to a suspicion so recreant ! — but at 
such times, in spite of myself, my will would fail 
and my muscles lose their tension. And even 
now I would have turned back these invaders had 
the power been mine and breasted them against 
the thousands thundering behind us. But I could 
neither do that nor withdraw myself from partici' 
pation in the raid. 

So much for a sentiment which I am not ashamed 
to avow, and if it be considered evidence of weak- 
ness, then I was weak. I am not criticising any 
one, General Morgan least of all. This was war 
and he was a soldier, and none more gallant ever 
lived, to my mind. The Northland was not more 
sacred than the not less fair fields of the South. 
And this man, called marauder, guerrilla and 
bandit by the hasty and inconsiderate, after all 
pursued his ill-starred way with a moderation that 
gave the lie to his accusers and marked him a 
knightly cavalier. 

While I remained thus, burdened with my re- 
flections, a man, who, judging from his dress, 
was neither officer nor private, came toward me 



On Brandenburg Heights 131 

on foot. He was in appearance near thirty years 
of age, fair and little weather-stained, in the 
latter respect contrasting strongly with the rough 
riders through whom he had made his way. He 
was of good figure and handsome features, but 
bore a countenance unmistakably sinister in its 
expression. A certain sort of courage seemed to 
shine from his light blue eyes, yet there was 
something unsteady and shifting in the manner of 
his gaze that seemed to give warning of insincer- 
ity, if not of downright treachery. I did not par- 
ticularly note these things at the time, for I barely 
observed him until he spoke. 

"Well, Captain Trenham, what do you think 
of the prospect?" he said familiarly, a disagreea- 
ble smile curling his lips. 

I turned my head and looked at him fairly ; 
looked, but did not answer at once, for I could 
not recognize in my questioner an acquaintance, 
or in truth one that I had seen before. When I 
did speak, it was to say sharply — for the manner 
of his interruption nettled me : 

"You have my name, sir, but I have not 
yours." 

"A name is of little consequence these days, 
and sits lightly on many men," he returned, un- 
ruffled. "I am not always particular as to my 
own, but since you suggest it, I give the name of 
Dallas Vawter, which, as it happens, is the one 
that my parents gave to me." 



132 The Legionaries 

"And why is my opinion important to you, 
Mr. Vawter? Why don't you question the Gen- 
eral as to what he thinks?" I asked with scant 
courtesy. I felt an instinctive dislike of this 
stranger, who, for some cause, had picked me out 
as a target for his tongue. 

"You are abrupt, Mr. Captain, but I do not 
mind answering your query if you are not dis- 
posed to answer mine," Vawter said with a sneer. 
"As you formerly lived in the neighborhood of 
Corydon, which place no doubt you will presently 
see, I thought that you might be peculiarly inter- 
ested." 

"You seem to have put yourself out to learn 
my history, sir," I responded, my curiosity 
awakening in spite of me, for I had entered the 
service of the South as from Virginia, and so far as 
I was aware not a man, from the General down, 
knew that I had ever resided elsewhere. 

"Not at all, I assure you, Captain," he said 
with an irritating half laugh intended to discom- 
fort me, for he was quick enough to see that he 
had made an impression and meant to strengthen 
it. "I have recently been a resident of that 
delightful locality and heard somewhat of one 
John Trenham who went off to join the rebels. 
So keen was he to show his prowess that he en- 
gaged a party of the legionaries on the highway 
before he had fairly warmed his saddle. Oh, it 
was no trouble to hear of you if one were inclined 



Op. Brandenburg Heights 133 

to listen. You will be received with befitting 
hospitality if by chance they learn that you are 
with General Morgan. If you were a stranger like 
these others you would fare better, I think." 

"If you are a resident of Corydon, how does 
it come that you are here?" I inquired suspi- 
ciously, overlooking his offensive tone. 

"I might retort by putting the same interroga- 
tory to you, but I will not. A residence is like 
a name — it may be changed as one's convenience 
or necessities demands. Your General has done 
me the honor to accept my services in a capacity 
that may be useful to him in the first stages of 
his expedition. I joined you at Garnettsville last 
night. I am a man of peace, you understand," 
he went on with a leer, "but I do not object to 
doing a little thing like this for my friends. I am 
a Kentuckian, like most of these sturdy fellows 
about us, but not given to turmoil, so I moved 
across the river. It is more quiet over there." 

"To be plain about it," said I, bluntly, "it is 
your trade to betray and not to fight." 

His face reddened and he flashed upward an 
ugly look. "That is putting the case rather 
baldly, sir," he cried, with heat, moving a step or 
two further away; "but you yourself have heard 
that all is fair in love and war, and I now desire 
a slight taste of the latter since I have so lately 
succeeded in the other field ; and I pledge you my 



134 The Legionaries 

word that the fair Kate Bellray is well worth the 
winning, rank Unionist though she is." 

With one bound of my horse I was by his side, 
and leaning over the saddle horn I seized him by 
the collar. 

"Scoundrel!" said I, fiercely, not accustomed 
to being played with, and believing that the man 
was lying in his teeth. "Speak that lady's name 
again in my presence and I will wring your slan- 
derous neck," and I flung him from me with 
such violence that he was sent rolling upon the 
ground. 

He got up white with passion. "Oho! I was 
not mistaken in guessing which way the wind 
blows with you," he cried, glaring at me wick- 
edly. "May the devil be a saint if I don't make 
you pay dearly for this pleasantry of yours, Mas- 
ter Trenham ! ' ' 

And then muttering to himself in his fury he 
turned and walked toward the river, brushing the 
dust from his clothes and feeling of his bruised 
neck as he went. No time was allowed me to 
entertain disquieting thoughts concerning this 
man who had taken such pains to hunt me out and 
make himself obnoxious — getting the worst of 
the transaction, however, as I viewed it. A seri- 
ous present business now claimed my attention. 

"Boom!" The fog had already cleared away 
and on the far side of the river — here more 
than half a mile wide — rose a great puff of white 



On' Brandenburg Heights 135 

smoke. It was the challenge of the legionaries. 
Instantly afterward the men on one of the steam- 
ers began to disembark hurriedly. A solid shot 
had carried away part of the vessel's smokestack. 

"Boom!" There was another puff of smoke 
on the Indiana shore, and another shot caused a 
hasty evacuation of the wharf. A third and a 
fourth followed, and the cavalry then on the river 
front fell further back, laughing and chattering 
among themselves with an abandon that showed 
how little they recked of danger. 

Presently from the Brandenburg heights there 
was a flash and a roar, as our guns answered the 
seemingly solitary but audacious cannon oppo- 
site. Another discharge, and then the little force 
of rural artillerymen who had sought to sweep 
back the tide of invasion was seen to withdraw 
quickly into the interior, whereupon the com- 
mander of the battery turned his attention to a 
company of legionaries that had been posted 
along the bank to resist our passage, and soon 
sent them flying after their artillery. 

The way now being open, a part of the troops, 
leaving their horses behind, were sent across the 
river to prevent further interruptions from the 
shore. 

But we were not to be allowed to effect a pass- 
age until a new and greater difficulty was over- 
come. Hardly had the detachment accomplished 
a landing when a Federal gunboat, came rapidly 



136 The Legionaries 

down the river and began firing with all its might 
and main, first at the enemy on one side and then 
at the force on the other. The guns on the heights 
answered shot for shot. The duel continued for 
an hour, when the boat withdrew from the una- 
vailing combat and steamed away again as quickly 
as it had come. 

The work of crossing was resumed with all haste, 
but before it was finished the gunboat reappeared 
with two transports loaded with troops and 
mounting guns. Again there was much fruitless 
cannonading and again did the foe depart, leav- 
ing us to our devices. The transferring of all the 
remaining men and horses was carried on without 
further hindrance. 

By six o'clock in the evening the last man and 
the last gun had left the Kentucky shore, and the 
vessels that had so well served our purpose were 
destroyed in order that they might not perform a 
like duty for the army that was pursuing us with 
grim and unflagging determination, as our Gen- 
eral very well knew. 

Marching a few miles inland, orders were given 
to encamp for the night. On all sides the fright- 
ened inhabitants had fled from their homes, tak- 
ing refuge in such places of concealment as they 
could find as if they held us to be common cut- 
throats ; and indeed I have no doubt that many 
of them did honestly so hold us, seeing that 
the character of these valorous men had been 



On Brandenburg Heights 137 

grossly misunderstood and defamed. That there 
were appropriations of private property for which 
our General was unable to make adequate recom- 
pense, I can not deny; but it will now be admit- 
ted, even by those who were then his opposers, 
that, having the power to do so much, the fact 
that he did so little that was unjustified by the 
rules of war, proves that he essayed to limit his 
purveyors as far as he was able to the necessities 
of his command. 

The war-beaten districts to which we had been 
accustomed were desert wastes compared with 
the untouched country into which we had now 
come, and the abundance surrounding them, 
added to the knowledge that they were in the 
enemy's country, sufficed to persuade many of our 
thoughtless fellows to regard looting for suste- 
nance as a virtue. Thus it happened that unde- 
fended household stores fell as easy and much- 
relished spoils into their hands ; thence speedily 
into their not over-filled stomachs. 

It was yet early in the night — probably an hour 
after darkness had fallen — when an orderly from 
headquarters brought to me a message command- 
ing my presence before the General. I went at 
once and found him alone, busy with a map that 
was spread out before him. As I entered he 
looked up, then, seeing who it was, said without 
any preliminaries : 



138 The Legionaries 

"Captain Trenham, I am told that you are fa- 
miliar with this country." 

"Not familiar with it, sir, but somewhat ac- 
quainted with it," I responded, knowing well the 
source of his information. 

"How does it happen that you have not your- 
self told me of the fact of your former residence 
here?" he asked, but not unkindly. 

"I leave you to judge if my silence has affected 
my qualities as a soldier," said I. "Not until 
this morning did I certainly know you were com- 
ing here, and since then I have had no conven- 
ient opportunity, though I should have told you 
this night in any event." 

'I know your worth and appreciate your serv- 
ices, Captain Trenham, but it is possible that you 
might have given me information that would have 
aided my plans had I known. However, it is 
time enough. I have been told by one Vaw- 
ter— " 

"Pardon me, sir, but the man is plainly a ras- 
cal," said I, unable to restrain my tongue, which 
ordinarily was discreet enough. 

The General laughed. "No doubt he is all 
that and more ; but he tells me that you have a 
much better knowledge of this country than he 
has and that is why I have sent for you. Tre- 
mendous efforts will be made to capture or kill us 
— and at all hazards to prevent my command 
from recrossing the Ohio. The dice are thrown; 



Oil Brandenburg Heights 139 

we are in the enemy's country, with no hope of 
support from the South, and must depend upon our 
own resources. And I say to you, Captain, that 
I am resolved to give them a lively chase. We 
can scatter the legionaries and homeguards like so 
much chaff, but we will have more than these un- 
tasseled cornstalks to contend with before many 
days have gone by. Therefore I must know all I 
can, and shall look to you for such information 
respecting my situation as you can give." 

"Such as an honorable soldier may give, who, 
by the fortunes of war, finds himself treading as 
an enemy the soil in which his father is buried, is 
at your service, General," said I, feeling safe in 
making the statement, for I did not believe that 
he would ask more of me than this. 

"I think I understand you," he said quickly, 
smiling, for my language must have sounded to 
him a trifle grandiloquent "I shall not expect 
you to be either guide or spy in your own baili- 
wick, as Colonel Duke would say in his lawyer's 
flummery. What I want to know is not which 
road to take but whether we have any friends 
among the inhabitants." 

"I believe that there are many who, if not 
friends, are at least not enemies, but I have no 
recent knowledge of them, and, I fear, can not 
much enlighten you," I returned, with a suspi- 
cion that he knew a great deal more of the matter 
than I. 



140 The Legionaries 

"I h?ve been told," the General resumed, after 
a moment of silence, "that there is a certain or- 
ganization widespread throughout this State whose 
members are friendly to the South. It has been 
said — and even promised by some in authority, or 
at least claiming authority in the organization — 
that these men would rally to the assistance of 
any considerable Confederate force that should 
cross the Ohio. Now, my force is not large, but 
it is respectable and capable of giving an account 
of itself. Its presence here is unexpected by these 
people and is actually due to a plan which, if long 
premeditated, was somewhat suddenly resolved 
upon. So, perhaps we shall not find them ready. 
Hines, of course, did not know that I was coming 
here, and besides, he claims that he was kept so 
busy with his military somersaults which finally 
landed him in the river that he had time for noth- 
ing else." 

Then I thought of Roger Bellray and of things 
he had talked about. Beyond that I knew little 
and could only give the result of the inferences that 
I had drawn. 

"Doubtless there is an organization," I said, 
"but I do not believe triat its members will aid 
you actively, if at all. Possibly there are some 
among them who sympathize with our cause, 
and these might be disposed, if the necessity 
should come and the opportunity offer, to help 
us get out of this country. We can not hope for 



On Brandenburg Heights 141 

aid beyond that. These malcontents, as I have 
heard, are mostly men who look upon the war 
as fratricidal and unjustified. Outside of a few 
of the leaders in the movement they are content 
to be let alone by both sides. If they fight at all 
it will be against us rather than with us. And, if 
you will pardon me, I fear the effect upon them 
if they are given cause to consider us free- 
booters." 

"You are free of speech, Captain," returned 
the General, laughing; "but you have been a 
bold soldier and we will not quarrel over trifles, 
for in war this thing of which you speak is a trifle. 
We have many times in a pinch enforced assist- 
ance from our friends, and there is no reason 
why we should not compel it from our enemies, 
who seem, by the way, to be bountifully supplied. 
Three thousand hungry cavalrymen in a strange 
country, with no provision train following, are 
not expected to observe strictly the distinction 
between mine and thine, as Colonel Duke ob- 
served a while ago. Now, as to these other peo- 
ple — these knights of something or other — it is 
really no great matter after all, as I have not de- 
pended upon them in the least. I shall consider 
what you have said, and may consult you further. 
Good-night." 

Thus dismissing me and the subject he turned 
again to his map, pulling at his heavy mustache. 
Accustomed to trust to his own resources, with 



142 The Legionaries 

unshaken confidence in his troopers and in his 
own ability to overcome or evade any obstacle, his 
face was as serene as if he had at his back an army 
of a hundred thousand instead of a mere hand- 
ful. He knew the metal of his men and laughed 
at the storm his presence would provoke. That 
storm, alas, rose quickly and was more violent 
than this bold spirit dreamed it would be. 

I was not quite ready to take my leave, how- 
ever, as I had a request to prefer. So, in a few 
words, I told him about my mother and how it . 
came that she was there, and asked permission to 
leave the camp for a few hours to visit her. He 
was tracing a line on the map with a pencil and 
did not, apparently, give heed to what I was say- 
ing until he had made a heavy cross on the paper. 
Then he looked up quickly and said : 

' ' So your mother lives hereabouts ? Well , God 
forbid that I should prevent your seeing her. How 
far is it?" 

"A distance of ten or twelve miles." 

"Look out for the legionary fellows and don't 
scare them off; we shall want some amusement 
to-morrow," he said, jocularly. 

Then taking up a piece of paper he wrote and 
signed a leave of absence until four o'clock in the 
morning. After receiving this writing from his 
hand another matter that had been painfully in 
my mind at times during the day recurred to me. 
I hesitated to mention it, but making a supreme 



On Brandenburg Heights 143 

effort it at last came out, while I felt my face grow 
hot and flushed with my embarrassment. 

"General, you know whether or not I have 
ever shirked any duty or danger since I have 
been a member of your command?" 

"What now, Captain," the great raider ex- 
claimed, in wonder. "I bear willing witness that 
you have been a true soldier and have even ex- 
ceeded the high anticipations of our friend Man- 
drell." 

"Place me in the rear of the column to-mor- 
row. Let the hands of others who are wholly 
strangers to these people be lifted against them. 
I bear them no grudge ; many of them have be- 
friended those who are dear to me, and my heart 
fails me here." 

" I respect your feelings," the General re- 
sponded, considerately, "and it shall be as you 
wish. Furthermore, I will guarantee special pro- 
tection to any for whom you may desire it. But 
I do not intend to fight these citizens unless they 
make me." 

With this he bade me good night again, and I 
returned to my quarters to make ready for my 
journey. How different was this home coming 
from that other one ! Then I came alone and 
openly; now I returned with a hostile army and 
must slip into my mother's presence past watch- 
ful foes like a thief in the night. Again I was 
asking myself how should I find her — and that 



144 The Legionaries 

other one. I had not written nor had they, but 
once or twice we had heard indirectly of each 
other. A strangely uncomfortable feeling pos- 
sessed me. Surely, as I had told the General, my 
heart was failing me in this unusual situation. 



CHAPTER X 

HER BROTHER'S ACCUSER 

OTHER things had happened on the fateful July 
day that witnessed our crossing of the Ohio. At 
noonday the wide, two-storied house of Roger 
Bellray held the attention of a small company of 
mounted men just then approaching the foot of 
the lane leading to the house. 

To the dust-soiled travelers who fixed their hot 
eyes upon it as its white surface shimmered 
through the trees, it must have looked cool and 
inviting. For so well was it shaded by the sur- 
rounding maples and elms that the broiling sun 
could only reach it momentarily here and there 
as the leaves shifted in the light breeze. Arriv- 
ing at the entrance to the lane, a man riding in 
advance of the others, and who appeared to be 
the leader of the party which consisted of about 
a score of men, checked his horse. This move- 
ment seemed to be taken by his companions as a 
signal to do likewise, and the cavalcade came to 
a stop. 

"If I am not mistaken, this is the place," said 

io — Legionaries. (145/ 



146 The Legionaries 

the leader, directing his remark to no particular 
person, as if certain of his ground. Several of 
the men, assuming that an answer was expected, 
either in affirmation or denial, spoke up at once, 
and assured him that he was right. 

"He is the rankest copperhead in the whole 
country," asserted one, "and absolutely refuses 
to fight for the government." 

"Well, you haven't done much fighting your- 
self, Spelker," said a strong-faced man, appar- 
ently of middle age. "I know Roger Eellray as 
well as any of you and better than most, and I 
haven't any use for a copperhead, either, any 
more than the rest of you, but even Beelzebub is 
entitled to his due. Joe Barth's farm — you know 
Joe was killed at Stone River — lies over there a 
matter of a mile or so. When he enlisted more 
than a year ago he left nobody to look after things 
at home but his wife and three small children, the 
oldest a girl of fourteen There were plenty of 
Union folks all around them, but who was it that 
cut their wheat, and gathered their corn, and dug 
their potatoes, and such like, without letting it 
cost them a cent? Why, Roger Bellray's hired 
hands. And who sowed their wheat and planted 
their corn for this year's crop, and who cut the 
wheat last week? Why, Roger Bellray's men." 

There was a touch of resentment and indigna- 
tion in the speaker's tones that turned all eyes 
upon him — except those of the leader, who was 



Her Brother's Accuser 147 

giving no attention to the talk — and some of them 
were not of friendly look. This was notably so 
with Spelker, who was quick to perceive the 
covert but unmistakable reflection on his own 
fighting qualities. He was a much younger man 
than the other and, unlike most of his compan- 
ions, did not have the appearance of a man who 
followed rural pursuits. 

"I know something of Roger Bellray, too," 
he said, hotly, "and if he had his just deserts he 
would be strung up as a warning to others of his 
kind." 

"He hasn't interfered with your business of 
selling undersized mules to the government, has 
he?" asked the older man, adding relevantly: 
"I should think a man in your business would 
want the war to go on as long as possible." 

"Dry up, men," the leader broke in sharply, 
with unmilitary phrase, lifting his eyes from mem- 
oranda that he had been scanning, and noting the 
growing ill-humor of the disputants. "All of you 
but Markle, Breezner and Thompson ride into 
the shade over there and rest your horses." 

With the three men named he then turned into 
the lane and galloped toward the house, soon 
reaching the gate which separated the lane from 
the grounds surrounding the buildings. One of 
the men opened it without dismounting, and, 
with little regard for the graveled path, all rode 
their horses up to the broad veranda that ran 



148 The Legionaries 

along the front of the residence and around its 
southern exposure. 

Here the leader leaped to the ground and 
started to mount the steps. As he did so a girl 
came through the open door. It was Kate Bell- 
ray. She had been watching the horsemen for 
some time ; had seen them stop in the road and 
point toward the house, and had waited the 
coming of the four who now faced her. Her 
eyes were steady and fearless, but they showed 
traces of anxiety as she surveyed her unceremo- 
nious visitors. 

On her appearance the leader stopped upon the 
porch steps, from which position he now ad- 
dressed her, without taking the pains to lift his 
hat. 

"This is Roger Bellray's place, is it not?" 

"It is," said the girl tersely. 

"My name is Bracken — Captain Bracken," 
said the man, now removing his hat as if in his 
own honor, and bowing stiffly, "and I desire an 
interview with Mr. Bellray." 

"I am sorry that you must be disappointed, 
sir, but unfortunately my brother is not at home, " 
said Kate, her uneasiness deepening. 

"Will it avail me anything to ask where he is, 
and when he is expected to return?" asked the 
visitor with growing politeness. 

"He rode away this morning and left no word 
when he would come back. If you desire to 



Her Brother's Accuser 149 

leave any message for him I will deliver it," she 
returned. 

"Thank you," said he, "but it is entirely a 
personal matter. You are certain are you, Miss 
Bellray, that your brother has left the house?" 

His words and manner both expressed suspi- 
cion of her truthfulness and doubt as to the accu- 
racy of the information she had given. Raising 
her eyes and looking toward the highway she 
saw the other members of his party standing by 
their horses under the trees. She was filled with 
alarm, but kept her self-possession, and the soft 
lines of her mouth showed a trifle more of firm- 
ness. 

"You are the first man, Captain Bracken, if 
that be your name and your title, who has ever 
dared to question my word," she said with dig- 
nity. "While I do not know your mission or 
purpose, you are at liberty to enter the house and 
satisfy yourself. My brother does not hide from 
any man." 

For a few moments the visitor was silent, as if 
uncertain about the way he should act. Then he 
said : 

"I beg your pardon, Miss Bellray, if I have 
unintentionally offended you. I see clearly that 
my words were unwarranted. And, after all, the 
matter is of small consequence' ' — here he coughed 
a little in an affected way that did not escape her 
— "only a little information which I was told he 



150 The Legionaries 

could give me better than any other. We can 
get along, I suppose, by inquiring elsewhere — 
possibly at the next house. May I trouble you 
to tell me who lives there?" 

He pointed through the trees to a large gray 
house with tall red chimneys, a mile away, which, 
with its substantial outbuildings, occupied a slight 
elevation in the midst of a wide sweep of fine 
grounds. Next to the Bellray place it was the 
most conspicuous one in the neighborhood, and 
belonged to my mother. 

"That place belongs to Mrs. Trenham," Kate 
said. "I am ignorant of the character of the in- 
formation you are seeking, but perhaps I can give 
it as well as she or my brother." 

"Mrs. Trenham, did you say, Miss?" the Cap- 
tain inquired keenly, apparently heedless of what 
else she had said. "Possibly she has a son?" 

Kate felt that she had inadvertently given tes- 
timony that this man regarded as valuable, but she 
answered calmly : 

"She has a son somewhere." 

"Who is not at home?" said the inquisitor. 

"Not only that, but he has not been there for 
many months." 

"Oh!" The exclamation showed disappoint- 
ment of a hope that had been suddenly aroused. 
Then he added with a smile that to her quick wits 
needed no interpretation: "He is in the army, 
of course, fighting for his country — -no doubt a 



Her Brother's Accuser 151 

fine young man. Thank you for your trouble, 
Miss Bellray. Good-day." 

He went quickly down the steps, climbed into 
his saddle and the quartet trotted their horses out 
of the yard, leaving the gate open as they went, 
and cantered down the lane. Kate walked to the 
gate and closed it, then stood there until Captain 
Bracken and his companions had joined the men 
in the highway, and until they all started away 
together. Nor did she leave her post until the 
cloud of dust following the riders rose far beyond 
the entrance to my mother's farm and showed 
that her late questioner had not stopped there. 
Then with a deep sigh she went back to the ve- 
randa and sat down. 

"Oh, will it never end?" she said, half aloud. 
"Was there ever another situated as I am? Oh, 
Roger; oh, John." 

She buried her face in her hands, pressing it 
tightly, as if she would hide from herself some 
frightful spectacle or a no less shocking truth. 
She did not wish to think just then ; her thoughts 
of late had kept her awake at night and weighed 
heavily upon her spirits by day. As she sat there, 
feeling that tears were near, but resolved that she 
would not shed them, an elderly woman, wear- 
ing a frilled white cap on her gray hair, and a 
large white handkerchief, folded crosswise, pinned 
loosely about her throat, came and stood in the 



152 The Legionaries 

doorway. Her eyes fell upon the bent figure of 
the girl. 

"What is the trouble, my dear?" she asked 
anxiously, going forward and stroking affection- 
ately the wavy hair and smoothing it away from 
the rounded neck, throbbing with the hot young 
blood that coursed through it. 

Reaching up and taking in her own the hand 
that rested so lovingly on her head, Kate sprang 
to her feet 

"Aunt Sarah," she exclaimed, fiercely, "they 
are going to arrest Roger." 

"They — who? And why should he be ar- 
rested?" asked the aunt, in trembling alarm, her 
face paling. 

"Some awful men; I don't know who they 
are, only one of them said his name was Captain 
Bracken. He didn't say he was going to arrest 
him, but I know it, I feel it." She shuddered, 
as if stricken with a chill. 

For a little time the elder woman was dumb. 
She had not seen what had taken place, and 
could not understand the cause of this startling 
outburst. Her lips moved as if she were trying 
to frame words into speech, but it was a full 
minute before she could do so. 

"Why should they want to arrest Roger, 
Kate?" she said at last, repeating her former 
question. "What has he done that is unlawful? 



Her Brother's Accuser 153 

I think you have been frightened into nervous- 
ness, my dear." 

"Oh, don't you know? Can't you guess? It 
is because they think he belongs to a terrible se- 
cret society that means to help the rebels, and is 
a traitor and renegade." 

"Hush, child, hush," said her aunt in a 
hoarse, excited whisper, looking about her ap- 
prehensively. "It is impossible." 

"I wish it were, but it is not; it is true." 

"Girl," cried the old lady, moving away a lit- 
tle distance, and speaking in a terrible voice, not 
loud, but tense with strong feeling, "you forget 
yourself when you thus accuse your brother ; you 
don't know what you say." 

Kate shook her head mournfully. "But he 
is," she said firmly, her face pale with suppressed 
emotion. "I have tried not to believe it, to dis- 
guise it, to call it by another name, but it is of 
no use. And yet I will die for him, if by doing 
so I can save him from the shame of it." 

She led her aunt to a chair and forced her into 
it, for she was trembling and weak. Then Kate 
knelt by her side and became the comforter. 
With a sudden revulsion of feeling she said pa- 
thetically : 

"Do not think of the awful things I said, aunty. 
Let us keep our hearts strong. Whatever he is 
we will fight for him, won't we?" Her voice was 
child-like and pleading. 



154 The Legionaries 

"There, there, my dear," returned the aunt, 
soothingly, looking down into the troubled eyes 
that were turned toward her's, blind with gather- 
ing tears. "It can not be as bad as you think. 
You have misunderstood and have been fright- 
ened. Roger is a brave, true man. He went to 
war to fight the Mexicans. I have heard it told 
how daring he was — always at the place where 
there was the most danger, always the first of his 
company in every charge. You know he en- 
listed in Mississippi while there visiting your poor 
mother's brother, and there is a letter in the house 
written by his colonel — " 

"Yes, aunty; I know," Kate broke out, "but 
that colonel is now the arch traitor of them all, 
and that letter should be destroyed." 

"Do not forget that the writer was then fight- 
ing for his country, my dear." 

"No; nor that he is now trying to rend it 
asunder," said Kate, with undiminished spirit. 

Aunt Sarah was silent She was as patriotic 
as her niece, but age had cooled her blood. 
After an interval she spoke again : 

"At all events, my child, remember that Roger 
Bellray is the kindest and gentlest of men. He 
has been both father and brother to you and as 
good as a son to me, a woman to whom children 
have been denied. He has his own reasons for 
anything that he may do, and we must give him 



Her Brother's Accuser 155 

credit for honesty and courage, wherever his 
opinions may lead him. Other people have their 
troubles in these terrible times as well as we. 
There is Mrs. Trenham, poor lady, whose boy is 
in the rebel army." 

A flush spread over Kate's face as she respond- 
ed: "Yes, Aunt Sarah, but he was born in the 
South and his father and all of his people were 
southerners. These things make a great differ- 
ence, and I admire him because he has gone out 
to fight, though he is wrong, oh, so wrong." 

She confessed it all to me afterward ; at first lit- 
tle by little, with much of the old playful per- 
versity, then in detail and connectedly, withhold- 
ing nothing. 

"Oh, my dear," said Aunt Sarah, placing her 
hand on the fair head resting face downward on 
the chair arm, "you admire him for reasons be- 
yond that — reasons that come from your heart, if 
such a thing can be. I saw how it was before he 
went away, and — forgive me, child — I heard you 
crying your poor eyes out that night in your 
room when you knew he was going. And when 
the war is over, my dear — " 

"Oh, when the war is over — " 

"And peace has come and everything is for- 
given and forgotten, there will be happiness for 
you and for us all. Let us pray that never again 
in this land will a strife come that will divide 



i 56 The Legionaries 

families and bring the heartaches that this has 
brought. Be patient, my dear, and strong, and 
whatever happens to your brother be true to him 
as he has been true to you." 

They rose and went into the house. 



CHAPTER XI 

THE SHOOTING OF BELLRAY 

It was late that afternoon when Roger Bellray 
came home. To the anxious eyes of his sister, 
who had awaited his coming in great suspense, 
he seemed singularly gloomy and preoccupied. 
He greeted her with accustomed affection and 
then went to his working room at a corner of the 
house, where he shut himself in and remained 
until summoned to the evening meal. 

Having eaten sparingly, as if without appe- 
tite, he again repaired to his room, and, as had 
lately been his habit, turned the bolt behind 
him. For weeks he had carried the key to the 
one door in his pocket, and had forbidden en- 
trance in his absence. At table he had been 
mostly silent; and when to inquiries or state- 
ments addressed to him he would either make 
no response, or else answer with an irrelevance 
that showed overwhelming abstraction, attempts 
at conversation ceased altogether. 

Kate found no opportunity to speak to him of 
Captain Bracken's visit, although she was burn- 
ing with eagerness to do so. She was filled with 
(i57) 



158 The Legionaries 

a dread which approached terror, and had an 
intuitive conviction that he was threatened with 
some great danger. Much of the talk of the 
country concerning her brother had reached her. 
The sentiment was divided, some speaking for 
him and others bitterly denouncing him. Among 
the former class were those who shared his polit- 
ical opinions, and they were considerable in num- 
ber. Many of these, however, did not approve 
of conduct of which she had heard only vague 
hints, but which his enemies summed up in the 
one word — treason ; the majority desiring peace 
for themselves, did not see fit to be too assertive 
in behalf of another. 

Their timid, half-hearted apologies were taken 
as proof of all that was charged, and did far more 
harm than good. In his own conversations with 
her he had frankly admitted enough to con- 
firm a great deal of the suspicion directed against 
him. His many long and unexplained ab- 
sences, meetings behind a locked door sometimes 
with his friends, often with strangers, together 
with recent mysterious night rides from which he 
would not return oftentimes till daybreak, in her 
mind could not be reconciled with good citizenship. 

What did they mean? These and other things 
filled her with foreboding and apprehension and 
caused her to believe that he was engaged in 
some secret undertaking or conspiracy. The 
latter word forced itself into her unwilling mind, 



The Shooting of Bellray 159 

and called up visions of all that was sinister, hid- 
eous and repellent. 

Was the storm that he had provoked now ready 
to break about his misguided but undaunted head? 
Kate hesitated long before disturbing him, and 
consulted with her aunt about the matter. The 
latter agreed with her as to the importance of ac- 
quainting him with what had taken place, al- 
though she still affected, with poor success, to 
treat the incident lightly. When Kate had once 
made up her mind she acted promptly. 

Going to the door behind which Roger sat she 
rapped smartly upon its oaken panelling. In a 
moment she heard the bolt slip back, the door 
was opened an inch or two, and behind the crack 
appeared her brother's face. There was some- 
thing so furtive and unnatural in the eyes that 
met hers that she involuntarily recoiled. The 
curtains had been drawn though it was yet day- 
light, and the room was in semi-darkness. 

"What is it, Kate?" he asked. His voice had 
in it a quality that she had heard before on only 
one occasion, and that was when he had started 
out to find and chastise a drunken boor who had 
insulted her on the highway ; it was cold and 
steely, like the clink of a sword. 

"Roger, I must speak with you," she said, her 
face now close to his own. 

"Put it off until to-morrow, dear; I am very 



160 The Legionaries 

busy," he returned more softly, making a mo- 
tion as if to close the door. 

"But I can not, Roger," she persisted appeal- 
ingly, quickly thrusting her hand in the aperture 
that he might not shut her out. "I must speak 
to you to-night — now ; your own safety is con- 
cerned, my brother. Even in an hour it may be 
too late." 

Her words and manner plainly made an im- 
pression upon him and convinced him that it was 
not an ordinary communication that she wanted 
to make. He looked at her intently for a moment, 
then turned his head and seemed to survey the 
room. Facing her again he said hastily: 

"Wait a moment and you may come in here." 

He closed and fastened the door, and while she 
stood waiting for it to be opened again she heard 
him moving about, and sounds that seemed to 
indicate that he was putting the contents of the 
room in order. Presently he came and admitted 
her. 

"Now, what is it that troubles you?" he said 
quickly. "Don't mind my manner, little girl," 
he added, instantly conscious that the abrupt, 
almost savage inquiry had startled her. "I have 
much on my mind to-night." 

Much on his mind ! She knew it without the 
telling and had come to add still more, but only 
to save him from a worse fate. 

"Roger, you are in danger of arrest," she said. 



The Shooting of Bellray 1 6 1 

"Oh, is that all you have to tell me?" he ex- 
claimed, with a dry laugh. "My arrest has been 
many times threatened, but I will not be intimi- 
dated and have so warned them. They will not 
dare do it." 

He had seated himself at a narrow table occu- 
pying the center of the room, and had placed a 
chair for her near his own. 

"This is different, brother; they have been 
here to-day looking for you." 

"Who?" The word was uttered contemptu- 
ously. 

"Several mounted men — strangers — headed 
by one who called himself Captain Bracken." 

"Captain Bracken ! ' ' Roger rose to his feet, all 
indifference gone, and his eyes blazing through 
the shadows that were rapidly gathering. One 
of the curtains fluttering at an open window at- 
tracted his attention, and he walked quickly across 
the room and pulled down and fastened the sash, 
a service that he likewise performed at the sole 
remaining window, though the room was already 
hot and close. Then he came back and resumed 
his seat. 

"How many men did he have?" he asked. 

All traces of his sudden excitement had gone 

save the fire that smouldered in his eyes, and the 

question was asked in a matter of fact way, as if 

he took little interest in the occurrence but 

ii — Legionaries. 



1 62 The Legionaries 

merely desired to gratify an idle curiosity. Kate 
was not deceived, however; she knew that he 
regarded the information as of vital importance. 

"Three were with him at the house and I 
counted fifteen more in the road. The three 
looked as if they might be military men of some 
sort, but most of the others, I think, were home- 
guards; some of them appeared to be farmers. 
I thought I recognized the government horse- 
buyer, Spelker. 

"Kate, you are right, I am in danger," Roger 
said gently, but with a certain tenseness that 
deepened her alarm. "If this Bracken contem- 
plates my arrest — as he no doubt does — he will 
leave no stone unturned to accomplish it. He 
is a persistent and implacable man-hunter who 
takes his orders and pursues them unremittingly 
and to the letter. I find no fault with him for 
that; he is only doing his duty. My quarrel is 
with those who have set the hounds on my track, 
and I shall not give them the satisfaction they 
seek if I can help it. Because my opinions have 
differed from theirs they have annoyed and 
threatened me, and now, it seems, have deter- 
mined to run me down. Military law has taken 
the place of the civil law, and trials by court- 
martial have been substituted for trials by jury 
even in this state, where the courts are open and 
the civil authorities capable of fulfilling their 
functions. If I am taken by the minions of the 



The Shooting of Bellray 163 

provost I have no assurance of a fair hearing, nor 
even of a trial itself. Constitutional government 
in this country is at an end and partisan hate and 
drum-head injustice are running riot to the dis- 
traction of the people." 

He spoke at first with calmness and self-re- 
straint, but as he proceeded his sister perceived 
a growing rancor. She had heard him talk some- 
what in this strain before, but not in the same man- 
ner. Every word dropped from his lips white- 
hot, like sparks from the anvil under the hammer 
of the smith, and she trembled as she thought of 
what might happen if those whom he considered 
his enemies should now come suddenly upon him. 
He had indulged her antagonistic views as child- 
ish and harmless, while she, in her patriotic in- 
nocence, had considered him affected by a mania 
peculiar to troublous times and intensified by a 
narrow intolerance on the part of some of his 
neighbors. But there was something so deadly 
in his manner now that she was dumb. 

"These friends of yours, my sister," he contin- 
ued, not unkindly yet with a faint touch of irony, 
"purpose to ruin me and possibly to have my life. 
I do not intend to allow the one nor to yield the 
other. Listen: Within two hours I could have 
enough men here to rid the country of Captain 
Bracken and his force ; within six hours I could 
have an army. That sounds like bragging, you 
think, but it is not so. General Morgan crossed 



164 The Legionaries 

the river to-day at Brandenburg with three thou- 
sand cavalry." 

It was so dark in the room that he could not 
see how this statement affected Kate, but she felt 
her face grow cold as the blood left it, then hot 
and flushed as it came back again — partly, as 
she admitted in recounting these facts, because a 
certain captain of horse, if alive, was with Gen- 
eral Morgan, but more on account of the impu- 
dence of the fearless raider himself. She had 
heard much of his remarkable exploits, but did 
not believe that he would dare attempt to ride the 
highways of the North as he had those of the 
South, clanking defiance to his foes. 

Roger without pausing went on: "I knew 
this rebel chieftain in Mexico, as I have told you. 
We were in the hospital together. If I should say 
the word he would make quick work of my ene- 
mies. He would ride them down as grass under 
his horse's feet." 

"But you will not say it, will you, Roger? 
You will find some other way." Her voice had 
come to her again, and once started she continued 
vehemently: "This dreadful man should be 
driven back into the river and John Trenham with 
him." 

"They are hard men to drive; they have been 
in the habit of driving others. As to asking help 
from General Morgan, I shall not do so if I can 
avoid it. Only in the last extremity could I 



The Shooting of Bellray 1 65 

think of so wild a thing. I am sorry he has come 
here and hope he will speedily depart, for his 
coming only intensifies local prejudice and adds 
to the difficulties of men like myself." 

There was a ring of genuine regret in his tones, 
and something else that she could not define but 
that made her heart ache. He arose and walked 
up and down the floor, his head bent forward, 
his hands opening and closing nervously. Pres- 
ently he resumed his seat. 

"Kate," he said, "this is my house and I have 
a right to stay here and a right to defend it. In 
the eyes of the law I swear that I have committed 
no crime, but there is no longer any law. To 
disagree with the opinions held by the majority 
has now become the greatest offense, and no pun- 
ishment, however atrocious or malignant, is too 
severe to be meted out to the culprit. But I 
shall not run or hide; instead, I will stay here 
and defy them all, and fight them if they push 
me to it — yes, fight them, by God!" He lifted 
his clenched hand high above his head in a gest- 
ure of profound anger and determination. 

"Roger, think of what you say and of what 
you would do — the consequences, the ruin of it. 
Think of yourself and — me." 

"You?" He paused and his arm fell nerve- 
less on the table. "Heaven forgive me, child, 
for I had only myself in mind. You — our dead 
mother's last born." 



1 66 The Legionaries 

He uttered the final words slowly, huskily, and 
there was something strangely like a half-sup- 
pressed sob following them. 

"No, no; don't think of me," she cried, 
brokenly, deeply affected by his emotion. "I was 
selfish to say it. You must act as you believe 
right ; only avoid a conflict, for the odds against 
you are so many." 

"I don't care for the odds, and would not if 
they were still greater," he said, again getting 
up. Taking her hands in his own he raised her 
to her feet. "What I see now, is, that if the 
calamity of which I spoke should come, you 
would suffer more than I. There will be a day 
of reckoning, but it need not be this day or to- 
morrow. For your sake — for the sake of your 
peace of mind and happiness — I am going to do 
a thing that I would do for no one else on earth. 
I will leave home for a time and possibly the 
storm will pass over. If I stay here I must 
either submit to be deprived of my liberty and 
subjected to indignity and insult, or make of this 
house a fortress and maintain it by force of arms. 
This I had thought of doing, had even planned to 
do as against your guerrilla homeguards, but I 
have no purpose to array myself against the 
power of the United States government, and it is 
that power which this Bracken represents. They 
call me a traitor. Pah!" 

He released her hands and going to the end of 






The Shooting of Bellray 167 

the room where there was a mantel above a wide 
fire-place struck a match and lighted a lamp. 
Then, stooping, he threw aside a corner of the 
heavy drugget that covered the floor and in a 
moment had made a narrow opening through the 
planking. She watched him in amazement. 

"Come here, Kate," he called, and she went 
to his side. "Do you think I am prepared to 
make a defense?" he asked, holding the lamp so 
that its light shone into the cavity. 

The opening into which she looked with start- 
led eyes — the presence of which she had not before 
even suspected — was of unknown dimensions, but 
what she could see of it was heaped with rifles 
and revolvers. One glance at the deadly store, 
then she drew back, her face pale and quivering. 
Roger, quickly making things as they were, 
placed the lamp upon the mantel and turned 
toward his sister, who had not for a second re- 
moved her gaze from his face after lifting it from 
the hurried inspection of the concealed vault. 

"I can trust you, Kate," he said, not attempt- 
ing to avoid her eyes, in which he read pity as 
well as condemnation. "I had not intended to 
tell you about this, but it is best that you should 
know. As for me, it will be the worse if these 
things are discovered here, for they will be evi- 
dence against me. If the house is searched and 
they are found, tell the truth; do not try to 
shield me. There is no time for me to have them 



1 68 The Legionaries 

removed now, but I will speak to Sutton about 
it, and he can dispose of them if they give him 
time enough." 

Sutton was his farm manager, and while he 
was quiet and close of mouth, Kate suspected 
that his opinions were the same as her brother's, 
for he was in the latter's confidence and was de- 
voted to him. 

"Oh, Roger, I did not guess that it had come 
to this," she said, her voice strained and husky, 
as if she were on the point of giving way to tears. 

The reproach that her words implied seemed to 
touch him keenly. A momentary resentment 
flashed across his face but instantly died out, and 
the only answer he made was to say gently : 

"You do not know all, little girl. Someday 
I may tell you what I have been compelled to 
submit to and why these arms are here. Now 
don't say anything more; you can not under- 
stand, but until you do, keep your heart open to 
me, for you are all I have. Send Sutton to me 
here — he must be about the house — and tell 
Williams to saddle my horse at once and take 
him to the back lane and wait for me. Good- 
bye, child. Do not fret about me. Everything 
is in order except that" — pointing at the floor — 
"for I have foreseen some such emergency as this 
and planned against it. There — good-bye; now 
go to Sutton and Williams." 

While he was speaking he was walking toward 



The Shooting of Bellray 169 

the door, one arm around her shoulders, and 
when he reached it he kissed her affectionately 
and let her pass out. 

As soon as she was out of the room Kate has- 
tened to execute her brother's commands, for any 
further delay might endanger his safety. Having 
done this she went out upon the porch and sat 
down, a self-appointed sentinel. 

The sun had long since vanished behind the 
low western hills, above which hung the moon in 
its first quarter, and twilight was deepening into 
darkness. The air was sweet and balmy and the 
peacefulness of earth and sky made her troubles 
seem all the greater by contrast. The fire-flies 
flashed their yellow lights here and there through 
the shrubbery, and far up in the sky, sounded the 
cry of the whippoorwill as it circled through the 
dusk. From distant pasture fields came the faint, 
occasional tinkle of sheep bells and the lowing of 
cattle. A boy was whistling vigorously in the 
barn-lot, his evening tasks accomplished, and she 
noticed that the tune which had struck his fancy 
was that of a new patriotic song. 

But presently there came to her ears through 
the night another sound, dull, thumping and om- 
inous. It came from somewhere far down the 
highway, and was made by the galloping feet of 
many horses. There was no mistaking th<J: sound 
— Captain Bracken was coming back, as she had 
known he would. What troubled her was that 



170 The Legionaries 

the noise seemed to be divided and to come 
from different places in the road, as if the ap- 
proaching horsemen were separated. Almost as 
soon as she realized this fact she dimly saw sev- 
eral rapidly-moving shadows at the mouth of the 
lane, reaching which they appeared to change 
form and to become stationary. But it was not 
so ; they were turning into the lane and were 
coming toward her. 

All doubt removed, she ran into the house and 
to her brother's door upon which she beat fran- 
tically with her hands, calling out that he should 
make haste. But there was no answer to her 
blows or cries. She grasped the knob and shook 
it violently. To her great astonishment the door 
opened and she fell upon the threshold. Getting 
to her feet, she entered the room, only to find it 
empty and dark. Roger had gone. 

A great load seemed to be lifted from her. In- 
stantly she became calm and prepared herself to 
meet the unwelcome visitors, who could now be 
heard at the gate. By the time she had reached 
the hall heavy steps sounded on the porch, then 
loud knocking on the casing of the open door. 
A servant entered the hall in response to the 
knocking, but Kate walked before her toward the 
man who was standing impatiently just within 
the entrance; it was Captain Bracken. He 
greeted her civilly and inquired abruptly for her 
brother. 



The Shooting of Bellray 1 7 1 

"Mr. Bellray is not at home," she answered, 
quietly. 

"Look here, my young lady," said the officer 
incisively, "you must tell me where he is or I 
shall be obliged to take it upon myself to find 
out." 

"What do you want with him?" she asked, 
with the wish to gain time, for she felt that every 
minute might be valuable to Roger. 

"I want nothing with him; I want him," he 
said with a grim but poor attempt at humor. ' ' He 
will understand my business quick enough if he is 
as smart as they say he is, and, mind you, I have 
no time to waste. One of my men that I left in 
the neighborhood for that purpose saw him re- 
turn home this afternoon, and knows that he had 
not left this house up to thirty minutes ago. 
Excuse me, Miss Bellray, but he can not escape; 
my men are everywhere about the place, and ev- 
ery road, lane and by-way is watched." 

Without further parley he called from the door 
and three men came to him — the same who had 
been with him on his previous appearance. 

"Search the house, and be quick about it," he 
commanded, and they scattered in obedience. 

"Pardon the liberty I am taking, Miss Bellray. 
My duty requires of me many unpleasant serv- 
ices," the captain explained, apologetically. 

Kate, who had seated herself, made no re- 
sponse, but listened composedly to the noise made 



172 The Legionaries 

by the searchers, as they, having possessed them- 
selves with lights, went through the house from 
room to room. By the time they had returned 
to their leader to report their search fruitless, the 
hall was filled with the members of the household, 
gaping and staring, and in a high state of excite- 
ment and alarm, which the calm face of the 
young mistress tended greatly to allay. 

"You see, sir," she said satirically, address- 
ing the officer, "that you would have saved your- 
self much unnecessary trouble if you had been dis- 
posed to believe me. But I felt assured that you 
would not, though you merely desired a little in- 
formation from my brother which you believed 
he could give better than any other." 

While she spoke lightly she was apprehensive 
over Captain Bracken's statement that all the 
ways leading from the place were watched, and 
feared that Roger's escape was impossible. The 
captain, on his part, was in very bad humor over 
his defeat, and with mutterings of anger, in which 
could be heard half-suppressed oaths, hurriedly 
left the house with his men, Kate following as far 
as the porch. 

They were in the act of mounting their horses 
when the dull sound of shots, fired irregularly 
and seemingly far away, disturbed the quiet of the 
night. Jumping into their saddles, with an ex- 
clamation that froze the blood in the veins of 
Kate and others of the household who had trooped 



The Shooting of Bellray 1 73 

out upon the porch after her in their anxiety, the 
men dashed down the lane as if eager to have a 
hand in the hunt. 

"They are after him!" That was what they 
had said. 

Checking all attempts at talking, Kate, every 
sense strained and acute, ran down to the gate at 
the end of the graveled path and stood there 
filled with terror. After the first shots the silence 
had been broken for a time only by the rapid 
thumping of the fleeing horses' feet on the hard 
ground. But now came another shot, and another, 
and yet a third much clearer than the others had 
been, showing that those who had fired them were 
moving toward the house. And this time, too, 
they sounded across the fields and were accom- 
panied by the hoarse cries of men. Not a moan 
escaped the lips of the girl, but her teeth were 
tightly clenched and her hands gripped each other 
wildly in the agony of her emotion. 

The noises came nearer — the shouting, the curs- 
ing, the intermittent shooting ; then the patter of 
running feet coming from the direction of the 
orchard to her left. Suddenly a man leaped the 
fence separating the orchard from the yard and 
came running toward the house, bareheaded, his 
clothes torn and disarranged and with a smoking 
revolver in his hand ; it was Roger. He had 
nearly reached the place where she stood, when 
another shot rang out sharply and he pitched 



174 The Legionaries 

wildly forward and fell face downward almost at 
her feet. 

Kate ran forward and endeavored to help him 
to rise, but no answering movement rewarded her 
effort, and as she released the motionless form her 
hands were wet with his life's blood. Just then 
the pursuers dashed into the yard, breathless and 
panting, and foremost among them was Spelker, 
the horse-buyer. He stooped and turned the 
body over roughly, as if it were the carcass of a 
wild beast. 

"A mighty good riddance," exclaimed he, 
with heartless brutality, "and I think I am en- 
titled to the credit for it. " 

"Did you kill my brother?" cried Kate, break- 
ing away from her aunt and the others who had 
come about her, and moving quickly toward the 
speaker. Her eyes blazed through the deathly 
pallor of her face, and she looked the very em- 
bodiment of vengeance. 

Spelker drew back, but assumed a defiant air: 
"I wasn't talking to you, Miss, but since you 
ask the question I'll say I think I did. We had 
orders to ketch him." 

"It is murder — murder, and you will pay for 
his life; remember it, you worse than monster!" 
she cried, in a voice that made his soul shrink. 

As she was led away from the terrible scene, 
Captain Bracken pushed his way into the crowd, 
throwing men aside, right and left. When he 



The Shooting of Bellray 1 75 

saw what had been done he was furious, de- 
manded to know who had committed the deed, 
and swore that his orders had been exceeded. 
Spelker slunk into the background, and when 
the men went away it was remarked that he was 
shunned by many of his companions and walked 
by himself to the place where those who were 
dismounted had left their horses. One man lin- 
gered a little behind, and stooping quickly took 
one of the lifeless hands reverently in his, pressed 
it tenderly, and then hastened on after the oth- 
ers. It was the elderly man who had spoken in 
Roger's favor at the entrance to the lane. Even 
among his enemies he had friends. 



CHAPTER XII 

THE GARB OF A REBEL 

The news that Roger Bellray, "the butternut, ' ' 
had been shot traveled slowly that night in the 
district where the violence had been committed. 
Many who heard the firing knew that Morgan's 
raiders had come into the county that day and 
attributed it to marauding bands from his force 
seeking to terrorize the inhabitants. Thus believ- 
ing, and considering that they had no business 
abroad while these reckless men were about, they 
took counsel of their fears and shut themselves up 
in their homes, there to stay until daylight, but 
not to sleep. 

My mother, however, not far from whose house 
the first shots had been fired, knew better. The 
Bellray land extended to within a few hundred 
yards of her residence, and what was known as 
the back lane furnished a more private and con- 
venient communication between the two places 
than the public road. 

One of her servants, a negro, returning that 
evening from Corydon at nightfall, had been over- 
taken by a party of mounted men and questioned 
(176) 



The Garb of a Rebel 177 

by one as to the existence of any private means 
of access to the Bellray premises. Before he could 
answer, another of the party, in whom he recog- 
nized a horse-buyer who had tried in vain to 
persuade my mother to part with some of her 
stock, spoke up and said that he knew of the 
back lane, adding that it ought to be watched as 
"he" would most likely try to escape by it. 

The negro remembered this man particularly 
because of his former insolent bearing. He had 
gone so far as to accuse my mother of saving her 
animals for the use of the rebels when they should 
come, and had otherwise caused her to be sub- 
jected to petty annoyances. The servant, there- 
fore, hastened to tell her of these mysterious 
things, and they certainly lost nothing of their 
strangeness in the recital. 

From this my mother surmised that something 
seriously affecting her neighbor was afoot. Not 
long after, she heard the firing and shouting, 
which noises rapidly receded toward Bellray 's. 
After an interval came the final shot, smothered 
by the distance, and then silence, which was 
broken later by the clatter of many hoofs gallop- 
ing in the direction of the town. These unex- 
plained and extraordinary things were so dis- 
quieting that she became highly nervous and 
agitated, starting at harmless noises and half far- 
ing an attack upon her own home. 
12 — Legionaries. 



178 The Legionaries 

So great had been the effect of these neighbor- 
hood events upon the servant that the wonderful 
and terrifying news of the rebel invasion, which 
was being talked of in the town to the exclusion 
of every other topic, and which had brought out 
and armed the inhabitants for resistance, was for 
the time driven from his mind, and was not com- 
municated by him to my mother along with the 
fresher happening. When the information did 
reach her it came from the kitchen, where the 
black bearer of ill tidings had told it to Martha, 
the cook, under the stimulating effects of his be- 
lated supper, and she related it to the mistress of 
the establishment. 

The impression it made upon her was pro- 
found and for a while she was nearly overwhelmed 
by this additional shock. For the news brought 
with it both hope and dread — hope that she 
might be permitted to see her son, and dread 
of the consequences of the bold step that my 
commander had taken. But in the end the hope 
overbore all other considerations, and by it her 
spirits were rallied. She believed that I would 
come to her if it were possible — it might be that 
night — and so resolved to remain awake and wait. 

For a time she made an effort to read, but 
could not; she tried to engage her mind at some 
light sewing with which she was wont to beguile 
herself, but threw it aside. Again and again she 



The Garb of a Rebel 179 

went to her open window, looked out into the 
night and listened. 

It was at the window, about an hour before 
midnight, that I saw her. The light in her room 
threw her figure into bold relief. I had already 
dismounted and tied my horse and was at the 
gate, where I paused a moment to make sure of 
my surroundings. Then I hurried toward the 
house and placed myself beneath her window. 

"Mother," said I. She gasped with joy and 
leaned out. 

"Is it you, my boy?" she called down to me, 
tremulously. 

"Yes, mother; it is John." 

In a moment, almost, she was downstairs at 
the door, and had opened it and thrown her- 
self into my arms. And when she had got me 
into the house she sat by my chair, stroking my 
brown cheeks and smoothing my hair as in the 
days of my childhood. A son returning to his 
mother from the wars is like one coming back 
from the grave, and for a time she can do no 
more than look at him and hear his voice and 
lavish upon him those little loving attentions 
which only a mother can bestow. 

So it was now; but presently she bethought 
herself and ordered that supper be prepared for 
me. When it was ready and I was at the t^ble I 
asked her about the Bellrays. In the joy of hav- 
ing me with her again she had forgotten all else, 



180 The Legionaries 

but my question brought forth a recital of the 
startling happenings of the early evening. She 
told me, also, of other things concerning these 
friends. 

"I must know what that shooting means, 
mother," I said, greatly troubled and guessing 
the truth. "I will ride over there at once." 

Without doing that much I could not have re- 
turned to camp satisfied While finishing the 
meal, which I did hastily after that, I asked many 
questions and learned that Roger Bellray was in 
very bad repute with those people of the county 
who favored a vigorous prosecution of the war 
against the seceding states, and who held that any 
belief which did not rise to the full height of their 
own was treasonable. 

He was also suspected — not without reason, as 
I knew — of holding relations of some sort with 
friends of the Confederacy, and of giving infor- 
mation and rendering other assistance to the gov- 
ernment of the Secessionists. As to the latter 
suspicion, I did not believe it justified. But 
Bellray was a daring man of deep feeling and 
many extreme views, and capable of doing or un- 
dertaking to do the thing that was most vio- 
lently opposed by others, even though it did not 
commend itself wholly to his judgment. 

I did not know, therefore, how far local antag- 
onism and proscription had driven him, nor to 
what perverse conduct he had been provoked. 



The Garb of a Rebel 1 8 1 

But this I did know, then and afterward, that he 
refused to open his mind in recognition of the 
spirit of the times. He believed that he might 
still assert his independence as a man, and that 
the right to think and talk as he pleased should 
not be denied to him any more than to those 
whose views upon public questions differed from 
his own. His trouble lay in failing to realize 
that traits of character which may be given full 
sway with impunity in time of peace are, in time 
of civil war, dangerous possessions in a locality 
where the people maintain a conflicting and un- 
friendly sentiment. 

To my great relief I found that my mother had 
lived quietly and without notable disturbance. 
True, she felt that she had been socially isolated 
and discountenanced since it became known that 
I had "joined the rebels." But it had also come 
to her in a roundabout way that the people had 
not expected me to do anything else, considering 
my southern birth and connection. 

She had remained mostly at home, seeing few 
visitors, and had maintained intimate relations 
with none excepting the Bellray household, which 
was, as everybody knew, divided in opinion upon 
the questions of the day, though still united in 
the love and confidence that had distinguished 
the family life. How it would be with her from 
this time on if it became generally known that I 
was an officer under the great raider I hardly 



1 82 The Legionaries 

dared to think. And yet I felt that she would 
remain free from serious annoyance unless, by 
some unlucky deed, the populace should be 
aroused to a resentment so violent that it would 
injure the innocent if the guilty were not at 
hand. 

It was long past midnight when I rode away 
from my mother's gate. A few minutes brought 
me to the familiar path called the back lane, 
which ran between the fields to the Bellray house. 
Save the steady thumping of my horse's feet on 
the dry turf few sounds broke the stillness of the 
night. The rasping song of the katydid, and here 
and there the heavy breathing of a cow by the 
roadside, the distant bark of a dog, the fluttering 
of a bird awakened from its nap in the hedge — 
these I heard, and nothing besides. 

Many times before I had ridden through these 
fields, so fragrant this night with the breath of 
clover, but how different the circumstances, how 
widely different my thoughts ! How was it now 
with Roger Bellray? Why were armed men seek- 
ing an obscure way to his house? And what was 
the cause and the result of the commotion of 
which my mother had told? 

Quickening my speed, I soon reached the 
well-remembered bars separating the lane from the 
driveway that ran from there along the edge of 
the peach orchard and toward the side of the house 
where there was a small garden gate ; this opened 



The Garb of a Rebel 1 83 

into a shaded walk winding to the front of the 
house. Securing my horse at the bars I hurried 
forward. It seemed years instead of months since 
I had been there, so full of events had my recent 
life been crowded. 

When the house came into view amidst the slum- 
bering trees I saw that a bright light was burning 
in the upper room that Roger had formerly occu- 
pied ; lights glowing also from the living rooms 
showed that the household was astir. I went 
through the little gateway, which I found open, 
and moved up the walk through the deep 
shadows. 

The evidences of wakefulness at this hour did 
not in themselves alarm me, for there would be 
little sleep that night wherever the news of the 
coming of the raiders penetrated, so wild and in- 
accurate were the opinions held concerning my 
gallant General and his men. But these signs of 
unrest added to the other things of which I had 
heard intensified the fear that already oppressed 
me. 

I had just reached the black shade of a gigantic 
syringa standing a little way from the house when 
two persons, a man and a woman, came through 
the open door and walked to the edge of the 
porch, where they stood in the flood of light 
pouring through the doorway and windows. 
Within the hall was Mrs. Willing, who stood ir- 



184 The Legionaries 

resolute for a moment and then turned and as- 
cended the stairs. 

The man was Dallas Vawter, the woman, 
Kate Bellray. It was with difficulty that I re- 
strained an ejaculation of angry surprise. Had 
this man after all told me the truth at Branden- 
burg? I would have moved away, but to do so 
was impossible without revealing my presence, 
and this was the last thing I desired to do while 
Vawter remained. I was within ten feet of them, 
and every word they spoke, though their voices 
were at first low, came to my ears distinctly. 
Vawter was the first to speak, and from his words 
it was plain that they had as yet held little con- 
versation. 

"I could not rest without coming to offer my 
sympathy, Miss Bellray," he said, with well sim- 
ulated feeling. "It was reported in town that 
your brother was killed, and I am gratified to 
learn that the scoundrels failed. " 

"Yes, thank God, they failed," she returned, 
fervently. "And you are very kind to trouble 
yourself so much about our poor affairs, when 
you must be needed so badly elsewhere this 
wretched night." 

"A wretched night, indeed, rilled with dangers 
and alarms ; but you ought to know that I would 
do anything in the world for you." He moved 
a little nearer to her, and reaching out endeav- 
ored to take her hand. She drew back from 



The Garb of a Rebel 1 85 

him, but he went on: "Kate, I love you; you 
must already have known it." 

"Please do not speak of such a thing, Mr. 
Vawter," she exclaimed, moving away as he ad- 
vanced. "I did not suspect you of thinking that 
way about me ; I supposed you came here only 
to see my brother." 

Vawter's manner changed quickly. 

"Indeed," he returned, with a sneer that re- 
vealed to her the nature of the man more clearly 
than any words. "But I will speak of it, if it is 
the very last thing I ever do. You made me be- 
lieve that my presence here was agreeable to you, 
and I really thought that I had made a deep im- 
pression upon your innocent heart. As for your 
fool of a brother — " 

"Stop, sir!" cried Kate in a voice that it did 
me good to hear. "I thought you were a gen- 
tleman and treated you civilly. I am sorry now 
that I did so, and hope you will take yourself 
away and not again offend us. Since you so sadly 
misconstrue your reception here it is necessary to 
speak plainly." 

"You are quite tragic, upon my soul you are," 
Vawter said, with a laugh hard and malicious. 
"How would you treat me if I were one John 
Trenham, the bold moss-trooper who, with the 
raider Morgan's other bandits and red-hands, 
will come to cut all our throats to-morrow?" 

At this my anger rose afresh, and before I could 



1 86 The Legionaries 

recollect myself I had slipped my sword from its 
scabbard, though without serious thought as to 
what I should do with it. Kate was facing the place 
where I stood, but Vawter's back was toward me. 
In my excitement I had momentarily brought my 
face into the light, and in that moment her eyes 
met mine. She turned as pale as death and put 
her hand on the porch railing as if for support, 
but retained her presence of mind. 

"Ah! That touches you, does it?" Vawter 
added, seeing her emotion and supposing that it 
was caused by his last remarks. 

"Go!" said Kate, straightening herself and 
pointing toward the gate. 

"Oh, you order me away as though I were a 
contraband nigger. I will go, of course, but let 
me first tell you — " 

"Go, go, as you value your life," she said 
again, for she saw the gleaming of a naked sword 
blade through the syringa leaves. 

He moved slowly toward the steps. "I don't 
appreciate the force of your threat, Miss Bellray, 
since that copperhead brother of yours has suffi- 
cient reason for keeping to his bed." 

He paused, and removing his hat, bowed 
low with mock civility. "I was just going to say 
when you interrupted me, that Captain Trenham 
will doubtless dangle from a limb in the court- 
house yard at Corydon before another twelve 



The Garb of a Rebel 187 

hours have passed. Take that for a night-cap, 
my imperious lady." 

Kate fell back as from a blow, and clutched 
one of the supporting pillars where she stood 
with wide eyes and heaving breast, while Vaw- 
ter, having delivered himself of his cowardly 
speech, went deliberately down the steps. Reach- 
ing the bottom, he half turned about as if to say 
more, and his eyes fell upon me. I had stepped 
out into the light from the darkness that had 
concealed me, for I could endure his insolence to 
this unprotected girl no longer. 

"Hound!" said I, forgetting myself and strik- 
ing him smartly across the face with my open 
hand, "so I must chastise you twice within the 
hours of a day. Now do as Miss Bellray bade 
you — begone ! ' ' 

He took a step backward, looking at me wick- 
edly. 

"'Hound,' and 'begone,' is it, Captain Tren- 
ham? Those are words used with dogs, but do 
not forget that dogs can bite." 

Then without another word, but with a malig- 
nant scowl on his face, he went down the walk. 
When he reached the shadows he stopped and 
half drew from his pocket a pistol, but, reconsid- 
ering, went on. 

When Vawter had gone away I put him en- 
tirely out of my mind and turned toward Kate, 
who gave me her hand when I got to her at the 



1 88 The Legionaries 

door where she was now standing. The welcome 
she gave me was not formal, for the unusual 
circumstances of our meeting forbade that, but 
there was a constraint of manner that made me 
uncomfortable. And when we went into the 
house, as we did immediately, neither of us 
seemed to know precisely what to say to the 
other. 

I held my broad cavalry hat in my hand and 
was conscious of feeling awkward and out of place. 
Kate appeared to be a little in fear of me, and in 
spite of herself moved a step or two further away 
when, in the full light of the room, her eyes rested 
on my gray, travel-stained uniform — the unmis- 
takable badge of a rebel in arms. As I saw this 
action I could not help smiling, and said, for 
want of something better : 

"I am not dangerous, Kate, nor did I garb 
myself to offend you ; my visit to you to-night 
was not long considered." 

Realizing what she had done she came up to 
me and again held out her hand, looking now 
only into my face. 

"Forgive me," she said, simply; "you are the 
first real rebel that I have seen, and I was trying 
hard to persuade myself to be frightened, which 
was very ridiculous in me, of course, seeing that it 
is only you. But you know what I have always 
thought." 

"I have never for a moment forgotten it, but 



The Garb of a Rebel 189 

we will not let that trouble us now," said I, de- 
siring to get away from this old, dangerous ground. 
"Tell me about Roger." 

"Then you have heard about it?" 

"Only that something very strange had taken 
place. I came to see my mother and found her 
uneasy and disturbed about your family on ac- 
count of things that she had heard over this way. 
She herself will see you in the morning. What 
has happened?" 

She briefly, and with some agitation as the 
events of the past hours were recalled, narrated 
the story that I have already outlined. 

"They thought he was dead, and so did we all 
until he was carried into the house. Then it was 
discovered that he was breathing, and he soon re- 
turned to consciousness but showed traces of de- 
lirium. We sent for Dr. White who found that 
the bullet that struck him in the head had made 
only a glancing wound. He has two other inju- 
ries but they also, thank'God, are superficial. He 
is sleeping now. Dr. White thinks he may be 
able to travel, but says that he should remain at 
home, which under the circumstances is impossi- 
ble. Information that he is alive will get abroad 
and his enemies will finish the work they have 
begun if he does not go away. Oh, it is all so 
dreadful, so dreadful!" 

She went to the window and looked out into 



190 The Legionaries 

the darkness through the blurring tears that filled 
her eyes. I went over and stood beside her, my 
heart swelling with a great pity and tenderness — 
aye, and much more than that. For a little 
time we were both silent, then she turned her 
face toward mine, hastily wiping away the tears. 

"What shall I do?" she asked chokingly. "I 
have no one to advise me. Roger is utterly with- 
out friends here who would aid him excepting 
those who hold views like his own, and I will 
never call upon them — never ! ' ' 

"I am only a rebel, Kate, with a leave of ab- 
sence from my command that will expire in two 
hours, but I will help you if I can. Roger must 
not stay here; if he is able let him go with me." 

"Oh, no, no!" she exclaimed. "He must 
not do that — he never, I am sure, thought of go- 
ing so far. It is enough that — " She stopped 
suddenly, confused and disconcerted. 

"It is enough that I am a rebel," said I, fin- 
ishing her sentence. "I am glad to hear you 
say that, for it shows that you have thought of 
me, even though you have done it reproachfully. 
But I did not mean that he should link himself 
to the precarious fortunes of the Confederate sol- 
diery, as I have done. Show me the way and 
we will go and talk with him about it. We need 
disturb him only a moment." 

No definite plan whereby I could aid her 
brother had occurred to me; but an idea that he 



The Garb of a Rebel 191 

might be carried along with our forces as an os- 
tensible prisoner or something of the kind had 
partially formed itself in my mind. Beyond that 
I could see no way just then, and the scheme was 
so poor and weak that I did not mention it to 
Kate, hoping that after consulting with Roger 
some better arrangement might be suggested. 

In the matter of taking and giving blows I 
could bear my share, but to get this man away 
from the reach of his enemies without compro- 
mising him still more in their sight required a 
delicate strategy in which I felt that I would be 
little better than a blunderer. And yet if the sit- 
uation was as bad as his sister believed it to be he 
must be taken away, whatever might befall. 

We went up the stairs, Kate's arm through 
mine, her hand resting confidingly on the traitor- 
ous cloth of which my sleeve was made. At the 
head of the stairs we met Mrs. Willing, who, on 
seeing me, started back with an exclamation of 
fright, as if I had been some horrible specter. 

"It is only Captain Trenham, Aunt Sarah," 
said Kate, reassuringly. 

"And I thank heaven that it is only you, Mr. 
Trenham," she returned, her face lighting up in 
recognition. "Whatever else you may be you 
are our friend — that we know — and we are in 
great fear and distress." Then she turned to 
Kate. "Oh, my poor, poor child, how tired 
you look." 



192 The Legionaries 

After a word or two she passed on down the 
stairs, and we entered Roger's room, where we 
found him reclining on a couch, fully dressed 
but looking pale and inert. He had had no warn- 
ing of my presence in the house, but showed 
no surprise on seeing me. As I entered, he got 
upon his feet from instinctive courtesy, and came 
forward to meet me, moving unsteadily. In the 
middle of the room he reeled as from dizziness 
or weakness, and would have fallen had I not hur- 
ried to his support and led him back to the couch. 

"I am all right, John," he said, smiling va- 
cantly. "I rose too quickly and it made my 
head swim a little, that's all. I think I fell from 
my horse coming from town, didn't I, Kate? 
He must have shied at something. I heard in the 
town that Lincoln had been elected. If that is 
true it will make a lot of trouble, John — maybe 
bring war. Douglas should have been chosen." 

I turned from Roger and looked at Kate. A 
deep pallor was on her face and the hand that lay 
in her lap trembled. This was not delirium; it 
was different from the vagaries of fever and had 
root in a deeper cause. I remembered hearing 
it told how, coming from the town where he had 
gone to learn the result of the last presidential 
election, he had received an injury that was sup- 
posed to have been caused by a fall from his horse, 
and was brought home senseless. He had speed- 
ily recovered, however, and his sister, then at 



The Garb of a Rebel 1 93 

school, was not sent for. But now he was living in 
that period again, and all subsequent things, as it 
turned out, were to him as if they had never been. 

"They need not have sent for you, Kate; it is 
nothing at all serious — why, child, how you have 
grown ! You are almost a woman now — strange 
that I didn't notice it before — and you look so 
much like our mother. Well, now that you are 
here you can stay until after the holidays. And, 
John, I hadn't heard that you had come home. 
You look strong and rugged — French living has 
agreed with you, boy, but if that is the kind of 
uniform they dressed you in over there they have 
poor taste ; there is nothing to equal American 
blue. I have not seen your father since I was 
hurt; how is he?" 

My father, who was ill at the time of Roger's 
former injury, had been dead for nearly three 
years, but I could not bring myself to say so. 
Before I could formulate a satisfactory answer he 
went on: 

"The election will sorely disappoint him. He 
favored Breckinridge, you know. The people 
ought to have chosen Douglas — a man in no 
sense a radical — and he would have found a way 
to avert the trouble that is threatening us. Par- 
don me, but I feel tired and think I can sleep a 
little. Ride over to-morrow. Good-night " 

He lay back wearily on his pillow, closed his 
13 — Legionaries. 



194 The Legionaries 

eyes and seemed to be oblivious of his surround- 
ings. But in a moment he roused and spoke his 
sister's name. She bent over him, putting her 
hand on his troubled head. 

"I find that I am very weak; have I been ill 
long?" 

Kate hesitated about her answer and looked at 
me. I nodded my head affirmatively, thinking 
that he might be comforted. 

"Yes, my brother; you have been ill a long 
time," she said. 

"I thought it must be so," he returned faintly. 

And thus we left him, as completely separated 
from recent events as if the shot fired by the 
horse-buyer had taken fatal effect. Only time 
could tell how long the affliction would last, but 
while it endured he was safe from the troubles 
that had beset him. No need to think now of 
removing him or of devising other schemes for 
his safety, and while it grieved me much to see 
him so, I felt relieved of a disagreeble and deli- 
cate responsibility. 

As we went down, the tall clock in the angle 
of the stairs marked the quarter before three. 
The short night was nearly at an end, and I had 
a good twelve miles to ride. I should have gone 
at once, but could not do so without stopping to 
speak to Kate some words of encouragement 
about her brother. 

Then Vawter came again into my mind and I 



The Garb of a Rebel 195 

inquired as to his relations with Roger, learning 
that he had been frequently at the house, some- 
times coming with Roger's friends and some- 
times alone. Kate said that her brother had 
latterly spoken of the man as if suspicious of him. 
Beyond this she knew nothing of him or his 
purposes and I did not enlighten her as to the 
little that I knew. For it was little to be sure, 
yet sufficient, taken with what she had told me, 
to satisfy me that he had in some way been in- 
volved in Roger's misfortune. 

On her part, Kate steadily refrained from ask- 
ing questions concerning myself. I was alive and 
well — that she could see — and if she were inter- 
ested in anything else that had happened to me 
since I had last seen her she did not indicate it by 
words. But her manner, I thought, told as much 
as language could. 

In the presence of the night's increasing ter- 
rors she now saw only individuals and effects; 
principles and causes were put out of sight, if not 
forgotten. Her spirit was not broken, only de- 
pressed. She seemed not to think whether my coat 
was gray or blue, nor to care whether it was em- 
blematic of the cause of the North or of the 
South. 

Mrs. Willing, after a little time, had gone and 
left us together. She had said that I was a friend, 
whatever else I might be. And when she had 
taken herself away I confessed to the one who re- 



196 The Legionaries 

mained how it was with me — how much more 
than a friend I would be to her if she would let 
me. Her distress, her appeal to me for aid, her 
manifest disposition to overlook, at least for the 
time, my part in the invasion (for she had not yet 
once referred to it) all conspired to drive me on 
to a declaration of my feelings. 

Then it was that she seemed to awaken as if 
from a benumbing dream. Her figure straight- 
ened, her face flushed and her eyes were alight 
with the old fire. I felt my heart sink like lead 
in my bosom before she had uttered a word, and 
I inwardly cursed the haste that had seemingly 
ruined my hope. 

"Sir, in my troubles I had forgotten who you 
were and thought of you only as one in whom 
I might trust. Now I remember that you came 
as an enemy, with an army about you, to trample 
upon us and drive us from our homes under the lead 
of your desperate chief. Return to him and tell 
him that we are defenseless, and pray him to finish 
his work of fire and blood quickly. Oh ! why did 
you bring him here? Why didn't you take him 
elsewhere?" 

"In God's name, stop, Kate," said I, wounded 
to the heart. "If I could laugh now, I would 
laugh at your questions. / bring my General 
here or take him elsewhere? He goes where he 
pleases, and I am only a humble follower of as 
brave and knightly a soldier as ever drew sword. 



The Garb of a Rebel 197 

He makes war only upon those who oppose him 
with arms, and he comes here with as good a 
right as that which sends your Sheridan and his 
men through the southern country." 

"Perhaps it is so; I understand little about 
such things, and this general of yours is held in 
terror, justly or unjustly. I do not want to hurt 
you, for you have always been good and kind to 
me. But I am so miserable and unhappy. I 
have borne so much." She took a tottering step 
toward me. "Oh, John, had you come under 
any other circumstances I might have talked dif- 
ferently. When you come again — " 

" — If I ever do," I interrupted, bitterly, feel- 
ing that I did not care if I should never come 
again. 

'What do you mean by that?" she asked, 
gaspingly, her eyes wide and staring. 

"My life is full of perils and they will now 
thicken about me. Our way lies through our 
enemies' country and we can have no support 
from our friends. Overwhelming numbers will 
be thrown against us, but we shall not flinch nor 
turn back. Pardon me, Kate, for opening my 
heart to you ; the things that I told you have 
burdened me long. I couldn't help it. But 
I realize now, when it is too late, that I made a 
mistake, and it only remains for me to leave." I 
said a word of farewell and turned to go. 

"Wait, John," she cried; "you must not go 



198 The Legionaries 

without knowing. I can not deceive you longer — 
I am not strong enough. Oh, don't you see that 
I love you, my dear, and that my heart, which 
has followed you longingly all these awful months, 
is breaking for you now?" 

In a moment she was in my arms, and though 
I were a thousand times a rebel it would, she 
presently admitted, have been the same. 



CHAPTER XIII 

THE END OF THE HORSE-BUYER 

For a time, in my happiness, I forgot every- 
thing else, and small wonder it was. But the 
flight of the clock's hands around the dial plate 
did not cease, and time, which had stood still 
while the favored Joshua fought a battle, did not 
wait upon my love-making. I was startled at 
last by hearing the hour of four strike, and by 
observing that dawn had come. I had over- 
stayed my leave and would be held remiss in my 
duty, but I did not doubt that I could make sat- 
isfactory excuses to the General. With quickly 
spoken words of farewell I took my departure. 

As upon the preceding morning a heavy fog 
hung over the face of the earth, and the hour being 
early it was almost impenetrable to the sight. 
Objects a hundred feet away were hidden as ef- 
fectually as if they did not exist. It was a good 
half hour before sunrise, and the fog would last 
sometime after that. Without a knowledge of 
the country the task before me would be both 
difficult and dangerous. But, knowing the direc- 
tions well and having a fair acquaintance with the 
(199) 



200 The Legionaries 

roads, I had little to fear unless I encountered the 
enemy's scouts or belated companies of legion- 
aries hastening to repel the invader. As an ex- 
tra precaution I made a wide detour to the west- 
ward, riding along at a hard gallop. 

Voices coming through the mist at intervals on 
both sides of the road, where I judged houses to 
be, proved that the populace was awake. Now 
and then I would hear the rumble of wheels and the 
hammering of horses' feet and would presently 
come upon a wagon carrying a family fleeing 
from the path of the raider. Past these I would 
dash at speed, and, if hailed, make no response. 

Nearly half of my journey had been accom- 
plished when the increased light showed that the 
sun was rising. Objects were discernible at a 
greater distance, and it became clear that the 
mist would be rapidly evaporated. I pushed 
ahead with accelerated speed, the horse — a fresh 
one that I had obtained from my mother's stable 
— responding with spirit to every unaccustomed 
touch of my heavy war spurs. 

So far, my course had been taken along a route 
which subjected me to slight chance of interrup- 
tion. And after a while, believing that I was 
beyond any possible outposts of the legionaries, 
who had been reported to us the night before as 
concentrating at Corydon, I cut boldly across 
toward the Mauckport road by which I knew it 
was the General's purpose to move upon the town. 



The End of the Horse-Buyer 201 

A brisk ride of a quarter of an hour brought 
me to this road, and I turned south. The Con- 
federate advance, if it had maintained its posi- 
tion, was less than four miles away. The light 
in the east had changed from a grayish white to a 
golden yellow, and the tops of the trees were 
gleaming in the sun's rays. A thin veil of mist 
still clung sullenly to the ground, as if determined 
to oppose to the last the batteries of its powerful 
enemy. 

I had pursued the Mauckport road a mile or 
more when several horsemen broke suddenly from 
concealment behind some willows at the roadside, 
and barred my progress. I was moving at a 
gait that carried me into the midst of the party 
before I could check and turn my horse, or draw 
a weapon to defend myself. One of the men 
seized my bridle rein near the bit and clung on, 
while the others presented their pistols and com- 
manded me to yield. Resistance was folly un- 
less I was tired of living — and I had more cause 
for wanting to live now than ever before — so 
I submitted with the best grace possible, which 
was poor enough. I was at once deprived of my 
pistols, but my sword was not taken from me. 

At the first onset I had recognized Vawter as 
one of my captors, and the face of the man who 
seemed to be the leader among them had a fa- 
miliar look. Like a flash it came to me that this 
was the man of Colonel Mandrell's house — he of 



202 The Legionaries 

the stubby mustache and the manner of a sergeant 
of police — the renowned Captain Bracken himself. 
That there was no mistake about it was proved 
when he presently addressed me. 

"I am glad to see you again, Captain Trenham 
— for I understand that you have achieved such a 
distinction since our last meeting," said he, in 
high good humor. 

"I can not say as much of you, sir," I re- 
torted savagely. 

Bracken laughed. "You are excused, under 
the circumstances, from returning the compli- 
ment," he said. "A considerable indebtedness 
is owing to this gentleman" — indicating Vawter — 
"for your company this morning, Captain, though 
the debt should be reduced by half because of the 
devil of a wait we have had, expecting every min- 
ute to have some of your fellows down upon us. 
It will take many a mile out of this to make me 
feel right and drive the chills from my back." 

What was intended for a tantalizing smile dis- 
figured Vawter' s face as he looked at me. 

' 'The captain no doubt found excellent enter- 
tainment where he was," he said with an insinu- 
ating smirk that made my blood boil ; but I said 
nothing, feeling that I could not trust myself to 
make a rejoinder. 

Bracken gave the word to move on, and the 
party started toward the south, two men besides 
the leader and Vawter, riding in front, and two 



The End of the Horse-Buyer 203 

more, completing the number, bringing up the 
rear. In a short time we reached a road run- 
ning to the right, and into it we turned, except- 
ing Vawtcr, who went straight ahead as if his 
part of the work had been accomplished. We 
had traveled the westerly road several minutes at 
a rapid pace when it seemed to occur to Bracken 
to hold further conversation with me ; he dropped 
back and thudded along by my side, checking the 
pace in order that he might talk more at his ease. 

"I really don 't know that there is anything 
against you, Captain, other than being a rebel," 
he began. "When you fell into my hands at 
Louisville — the time you gave me the slip, you 
remember — you had entered a trap that was not 
baited for you, and I detained you, or rather it 
was my purpose to detain you, on suspicion. 
And now, as I do not want to return empty- 
handed and can't very well take along a dead 
man, I jumped at the chance that fellow gave me 
to get you. It was a slim chance, though, for 
you might have taken some other road." 

I had already condemned myself for not taking 
another road, but I cast the subject from my mind 
as vain punishment. What struck me sharply 
was the other's belief that Roger Bellray was 
really dead, and I wondered what purpose Vaw- 
ter could have in withholding the truth. Let ft be 
what it might, I put that one thing to his credit. 

"Why do you take me?" I asked. 



204 The Legionaries 

"It is always in order to capture the enemy, 
especially when he is one of Morgan's men, who 
make no end of trouble and are as slippery as 
eels," Bracken answered, easily. "Besides, I 
have never forgotten how you fooled me that 
other time, and I don't quite understand yet how 
you did it. You no doubt think I should have 
let you take your chances with the legionaries 
and that I have gone out of my line of service, 
but I am glad to have something to show for two 
days of hellishly disagreeable work." 

"But I will certainly be exchanged soon, at 
any rate; is it not so?" 

"No, I think not; you see our folks got so 
many rebs when Pemberton surrendered Vicks- 
burg and when Lee got licked at Gettysburg that 
the government will be compelled to suspend 
the cartel providing for exchanges. Quite likely 
you'll not get out till the war is over." 

This was very gloomy news, but if a military 
prison was to be my fate I must of necessity bear 
it. Yet my mind, which had already been busy 
with thoughts of escape, must be kept wide awake 
to any opportunity that might offer to such end. 
I determined that for the present it would be best 
to appear to accept my misfortune in good spirit. 

"That is a hard situation for an active man to 
face," I said, "but if it comes to me I will try to 
endure it. By the way, how does it come that 
you let Vawter go back to General Morgan?" 



The End of the Horse-Buyer 205 

"Vawter? His name is Vawter, is it? Well, 
he maybe useful to the General," and he laughed. 

"Or to his Unionist employers," I added, to 
which observation the other made no reply save 
by a shrug of his muscular shoulders. Seeing 
that he was disinclined to continue the subject I 
let it drop without further comment. 

Up to this time I had given no particular atten- 
tion to any of the party excepting the two princi- 
pals. I had seen enough of the two men in front 
to know that they were entire strangers to mc, 
and I now turned to look at the remaining two, 
trailing a hundred feet or more behind. One of 
them was unknown, but I was astonished to see 
that the other was the horse-buyer, whose feat- 
ures I had overlooked in the excitement attend- 
ing my capture. Without intimating that I rec- 
ognized the man, I asked Captain Bracken, who 
seemed inclined to be talkative in non-essentials : 

"Who is the man behind, to the left?" 

Bracken glanced backward. "That is a great 
coward and blunderer," he answered, a frown 
settling on his face. "His name is Spilker, or 
some such thing as that." 

"Why do you say he is a coward and blun- 
derer?" 

' ' Because there are times when it is actually a 
pleasure to speak the truth. That fellow diso- 
beyed my orders and killed the man I wanted to 
arrest. Now he's afraid to stay and face, the 



206 The Legionaries 

music; swears the man's friends will hunt him 
out and kill him. And I have no doubt they 
would, but it would be small loss." 

He spoke coolly and with an entire lack of feel- 
ing, beyond disappointment at his failure to get 
the man. 

"Does he belong to your party?" 

"Him? Not much; he belonged to a small 
company of what he called independent home- 
guards who mostly deserted him after he killed 
the man, and I believe wouldn't have much to do 
with him before. I am merely giving him a 
chance to get out of the country." 

"Who was the man that was killed?" I asked, 
for his blunt way of answering my questions in- 
terested me. 

The captain evidently believed that he had 
said enough, for instead of making any response 
he put spurs to his horse and resumed his place 
in front. When a half hour afterward the dis- 
tant report of a cannon was heard over Corydon 
way he turned in his saddle and shouted back 
at me: 

"Your friends are beginning operations early 
this morning." 

"So it seems," said I. For the first time that 
sound saddened me, and struck upon my ears 
more as a knell than as a gage of battle. 

An hour's ride from the Mauckport road brought 
our party to the Qhj.Q river somewhat to the norths 



The End of the Horse-Buyer 207 

of the village of New Amsterdam. At this point 
the great water-course runs to the north for a 
distance of several miles, then strikes off to the 
northwest, passing the river town of Leavenworth, 
and shortly beyond that makes a sharp bend and 
abruptly turns back upon itself, flowing southeast- 
ward many miles before it resumes its general 
course toward the mighty Mississippi. 

Thus a sharp Kentucky peninsula, in shape like 
a gigantic thumb, was created by the boundary 
makers and sandwiched between two Indiana 
shore lines. Half way between the two towns 
mentioned, on the northern side, was an obscure 
and little used landing, where steamboats, pass- 
ing up or down the river, would stop for passen- 
gers or freight only on being signaled to do so. 
For some reason Captain Bracken preferred this 
landing to the more public stopping places, and 
our small cavalcade headed northward, following 
the stream as closely as was possible. 

Whether the news of the invasion had frightened 
the inhabitants of the region away, or whether 
other causes kept them out of sight, could not 
be told. But certain it is that the few houses 
which we passed showed no signs of human oc- 
cupancy. Here and there a dog had run out and 
barked at our heels, but his master's presence 
was not disclosed. Domestic fowls cackled and 
quacked about the door-yards, and cows, un- 
milked and discontented, were heard mooing at 



208 The Legionaries 

pasture bars, but neither housewife nor milkmaid 
nor barefoot urchin came into view. 

I noted the difference between this condition 
and that which existed in the country further 
north as I passed through it earlier in the morn- 
ing. These people had surely fled the day before 
and had not yet returned, while the voices heard 
through the matin fog were, as I had already 
concluded, of those actually deserting or making 
early and hurried preparations to desert their 
homes before the onward march of my General. 

But these things occupied less of my thoughts 
than did plans for escaping from my captors, 
chances to do which had so far seemed slim and 
discouraging. Bracken's statement about the 
suspension of exchanges filled me with dismay. 
It meant confinement, possibly, as he had said, 
until the close of the war, even if I should be 
compelled to face no more serious charge than 
that of being a soldier of the enemy. Except 
for this disheartening prospect, and a feeling of 
chagrin that I had stumbled so readily into the 
net that Vawter had spread for me, I was not 
sorry to be relieved from any participation in the 
morning's work, of which that thunder of the 
cannon had given warning. 

Our progress was made slow by the rough nat- 
ure of the country we were traversing, but by 
eight o'clock we had reached a bluff overlooking 
the landing. Here we drew rein and scanned the 



The End of the Horse-Buyer 209 

river. No boats were plying its waters in the 
immediate vicinity, but the smoke of steamers was 
distinctly visible toward Leavenworth. Whether 
they were going down or coming up the stream 
was for a time doubtful. 

Presently, however, we made out that a white- 
hulled little vessel was coming fussily our way, 
with much churning of the water and a display of 
smoke out of all proportion to the size of the 
craft. Captain Bracken brought forth from some- 
where a small glass and after leveling it on the 
boat appeared to be greatly pleased with the re- 
sult of his inspection. 

"We are in luck; that is a Louisville packet, 
and it seems to be in a nasty hurry, too," he said, 
lowering the glass. "Now, how do we get down 
to that accursed landing?" 

He looked about him for the road and discov- 
ered it winding down from the heights more than 
half a mile away. Its distance put him in some- 
thing of a temper. 

"Damnation! If we go that way we'll miss 
the boat. Here, Spiker," he called out to the 
fugitive. "You ought to know this place, and are 
interested in getting away from it. How can we 
get down without going the road?" 

"My name is not Spiker," said the horse- 
buyer, with a flash of spirit. 

"Who cares what it is? Catch that boat for us 
14 — Legionaries. 



210 The Legionaries 

and I'll willingly call you Napoleon Bonaparte or 
anything you choose." 

"I've never tried it," said Spelker, sullenly, 
"but I know a place where I think it can be 
done," and he started off, the rest of us follow- 
ing. 

Soon he stopped at a point almost opposite 
the coveted landing — coveted by the others, not 
by me — where there was a break in the limestone 
bluff constituting a steep, irregular ravine, through 
which, in wet seasons, surface water no doubt 
found its way to the river. Judging from signs, 
a considerable torrent more than once had rushed 
and roared between these jagged walls, but at 
this time the gorge was perfectly dry. It seem- 
ingly was no great undertaking for men on foot 
to attempt a descent here, but it was not so with 
horses, being for a part of the way uneven and 
in places almost precipitous. 

A third of the way down the stone walls fell 
away, and a little further on was what appeared 
to be a rumpled bank of earth evidently caused by 
washings from the high ground. At that point the 
occasional torrent was turned to the right by this 
obstruction, running in a narrow channel between 
overhanging ledges of rock on one side and the 
dangerous-looking bank of clay on the other. 
What was beyond that I could not see. I have 
been thus particular in description because of the 
extraordinary thing that happened to me there. 



The End of the Horse-Buyer 2 1 1 

"Here we are," said Spelker. "Once through 
that cut down there and it will be smooth enough . ' ' 

Bracken surveyed the ground dubiously, but he 
was in a hurry and apparently resolved to risk 
breaking all of our necks and those of the horses 
as well rather than to miss the packet. Ordering 
everybody to dismount, he put all the animals 
except Spelker 's in charge of two of the men 
and started them down the gorge ; Spelker was 
expected to look after his own horse. 

"You are next, Mr. Spiker, and Captain Tren- 
ham will follow you," said Bracken, who with 
one of his men, was to come behind. 

In that order the start was made. The men 
with the horses had almost reached the turn 
when we began our descent, and soon disap- 
peared. On getting to the turn I saw them mak- 
ing good progress ahead of us where the channel 
seemed to end on a gently sloping plateau. 
Captain Bracken and the others were stumbling 
along as much as thirty feet behind me. 

Spelker and I had made the turn, I close upon 
his heels, and gone some yards, when suddenly 
his horse, which he was leading by the bit, gave 
a snort of fright and with a bound broke away 
from him. Instantly the earth seemed to open 
under his feet, and he went downward and out of 
sight. I had no time to take a step backward or 
even to utter a cry before I also went down. 
Then came a crushing, thunderous noise above, 



212 The Legionaries 

The fall was not to a great depth, and was dead- 
ened by the earth that had given way under me. 

On striking, I felt a shower of earth and gravel 
falling upon and around me, and then had a mo- 
mentary sensation of trying to balance my body 
and failing. I rolled to one side, and over and 
over down a smooth incline for a distance that 
seemed unending until I reached another level 
that enabled me to stop my uncomfortable flight. 
A rattling noise as of pebbles bounding along a 
hard surface had accompanied me to the bottom, 
and they still came down as I rose to my feet, 
bruised, half-stunned, but not seriously injured. 

I was in pitch blackness, and could only tell 
the direction from which I had come by the occa- 
sional falling of the pebbles, and by hearing far 
above the awful creeping and sifting sound of set- 
tling earth. Feeling my way cautiously to the 
foot of the incline I looked upward, but no ray of 
light greeted my eyes. I stepped upon some- 
thing soft, and putting my hand down found that 
it was a hat, still warm from the head of the 
wearer. I put it on. 

Where was Spelker? I spoke the man's name 
but there was no answer save the echo of my 
own voice, which repeated and reiterated the 
name from hollow, immeasurable distances. Sit- 
ting down on the stony floor I rested for a little 
time, and then on my hands and knees began to 
ascend the incline. The work was slow and ex- 



The End of the Horse-Buyer 213 

hausting. In places where water had seeped 
through from above the stones were slimy with 
the drip, and afforded no hold either for hand or 
foot. Many times I slipped back a part of the 
way, but finding a drier spot would go on again. 

At last I reached a ledge barely wide enough 
to give me comfortable sitting room. Drawing 
myself up on this that I might recover the breath 
which my labors had well-nigh deprived me of, I 
realized that it was here where I had first fallen. 
But now, save where I sat, the place was heaped 
with earth and rock. Getting carefully to my feet 
and feeling about me, I found that the opening 
had been closed by the falling of great masses of 
limestone, crowded and wedged tightly together, 
with every crack and crevice filled with soil and 
sand. 

Through that terrible pile no sound from the 
outer world could penetrate. What folly to try 
the strength of my voice against that entombing 
heap! I judged that a part of the wall of the 
gorge had been loosened by the washing storms of 
centuries, and upon the yielding of the cavern's 
mouth had tumbled down its countless tons to 
hide the secret over which it had so long stood 
guard. 

I again seated myself on the ledge to consider 
my situation. And then I remembered that before 
leaving my mother's house, she had, along with 
other small articles, provided me with a box of 



214 The Legionaries 

matches, which I had put in my coat pocket. I 
began a search for these, suddenly fearful that 
I had lost them, but they were still secure. 
Lighting one I looked around as far as its blaze 
enabled me. Nothing that I had not previously 
discovered was revealed — but hold ! Just as it 
flickered out something flashed a little further 
along the ledge. 

Moving toward the spot, I struck another 
match, and there, in the circle of light made by 
its small flame, lay a large, muscular human 
hand, with a gaudy ring on one of its stiffening 
fingers. Tons of stone and earth concealed the 
arm and body to which that hand belonged, but 
I knew that it was Spelker's. 

A shudder passed through me, and I became 
faint and dizzy. What had saved my life? Spel- 
ker had fallen first, and in the natural order of 
things it seemed that I, and not the other, would 
have been crushed under that mighty weight. 
Only the providence which had thrown me over 
the ledge and sent me rolling down the incline in 
the very nick of time had saved me from the 
horrible fate that had overtaken the horse-buyer. 

I had seen many men killed and maimed in 
battle, but that was in the open air, with the sky 
above and the fever of conflict rioting in my veins, 
and with life and motion as well as death every- 
where about. Here I was alone, in darkness as 
absolute and stillness as complete as that of the 



The End of the Horse-Buyer 215 

grave, and shut off from everything human save 
that ghastly hand, which seemed to reach out to 
me for help that I could not give. 

What wonder then, that, strong as I was, and 
brave as I held myself to be, for a little time I 
was like one undone. But at last I pulled myself 
together and set to work to determine the extent 
of my difficulties. It was not worth while to make 
further investigation where I was. If there was 
another way by which I could regain the outer 
world, it must be found before death or madness 
robbed me of the power of trying. 

Feeling around, my hand came into contact 
with a large tuft of dry grass that had fallen from 
the surface. Applying a match to this, a light 
was made that revealed a slightly arching roof 
eight or ten feet above my head and extending 
out over the blackness below. The incline I 
judged to be as much as twenty feet wide, with 
natural stone walls on each side. 

What surprised me greatly, at the same time 
giving me a feeling of hope, was to see, next to 
the wall on my right, a regular flight of steps 
leading downward, and apparently cut into the 
solid rock. Moving nearer, my astonishment was 
increased, for this could be no accidental stair- 
way. It was designed by human brains and 
worked out by human hands. But when were 
these brains active and when had these hands 
chiseled and wrought? Everything served to 



216 The Legionaries 

show that it must have been ages upon ages be- 
fore. 

The steps were worn as if by the long-contin- 
ued passage of feet through unnumbered centu- 
ries, and the wall, at the height of four or five feet 
from each step, was smooth, as if here human 
hands had been put to steady the descent of those 
who had made use of the regions below. Either 
the stairway had been used moderately for thou- 
sands of years, or else mighty and unremittent 
hosts for a lesser period had gone down this stony 
way and up again. 

I had barely time to observe these things — 
which I did in a small fraction of the time taken 
to relate them — when the grass burned out to 
the last root and left me again in the darkness. 
Following the steps downward, counting them as 
I went, and steadying myself against the wall, I at 
last reached the level bottom where I had stood 
before. There were eighty-six steps, each of 
them apparently nearly a foot high, but the de- 
clination was so gradual as to make my descent 
comparatively easy. 

What was now before me? What lay beyond 
this silent pall that covered me? I struck a 
match and held it out at arm's length when I 
had reached what, to the touch of my feet, ap- 
peared to be the end of the flight. The wall 
against which I stood terminated a few feet 
further on, but, except that and the smooth 



The End of the Horse-Buyer 217 

ground extending about me, the feeble rays dis- 
closed nothing. If I could not find a substantial 
light I might as well stay where I was and let 
that be the end of it. What had the former oc- 
cupants used? In the hope that they might have 
left behind something that would serve me, I 
moved to the edge of the wall and lighted another 
match, holding it toward the floor. 

To my inexpressible joy I saw a heap of 
twisted canes a yard or so beyond the angle of 
the wall, and near by were some bunches which 
were partly burned at one end, showing the use 
to which they had been put. Picking up one of 
these I soon had a brilliant blaze that illumined 
the cavern for many yards in all directions. The 
first thing I did was to examine my treasure, 
which just then was greater to me than tons of 
gold. 

Each torch was about three feet long, and the 
sticks of cane of which it was composed were so 
wrapped and twisted together as to best fit them 
for the purpose for which they were designed. I 
observed that the torch in my hand, while giving 
a fine light, was consumed very slowly. I had 
never seen this species of cane, which was 
strongly resinous, and concluded that, like those 
who had brought it here, it was extinct in the 
locality, or, what was more likely, that it had 
been transported from another, and probably far 
distant place. 



CHAPTER XIV 

THROUGH THE TUNNELS 

With a torch in each hand and another one 
lighted and left propped against the wall near the 
stairway, I started to explore my immediate sur- 
roundings. The floor on which I trod was hard 
and smooth; the roof was at least seventy feet 
above me, and the chamber itself, almost circular 
in form, was more than one hundred yards in 
diameter. The air was cool and pure. 

So vast were the proportions of the room that, 
if it had been under the hills of Granada, it might, 
according to Moorish legend, have held Boabdil 
and his sleeping host. And what of those other 
mighty throngs who had rilled it with life and 
sound? From whence had they come and whither 
had they departed? What scenes had these som- 
ber and voiceless walls witnessed, what sounds 
had broken upon thio eternal and earless rock? 
To what tongue had the encrystalled dome given 
echo? 

In what seemed to be the exact center of the 
chamber stood an immense earthenware cauldron, 
or bowl, at least ten feet high and twelve across at 
(218) 



Through the Tunnels 219 

the top and flat on the floor. On the side toward 
the entrance was a series of stone steps reaching 
to within three feet of its rim. Going up the 
steps I found that it was covered with a lid that 
fitted tightly into the wide, grooved inner edge 
of its rim. The lid was rounded and elevated 
in the middle. What was within this tremen- 
dous utensil? What secret was here held and 
guarded? Unmindful for the moment that I was 
apparently entombed in a more colossal recepta- 
cle, of somewhat similar but vastly more durable 
structure, I forgot my peril and became eager 
to see what had been here so carefully hidden. 

An inspection of the lid disclosed a series of 
rings running around it, beginning a foot from 
the edge and maintaining that distance apart to 
the top. Looking closely at these marks, I saw 
that the covering of the bowl was not made in 
one piece, as had at first seemed to be the fact, 
but in many circular pieces, fitting snugly into 
each other and set in cement that crumbled un- 
der the blade of my pocket knife. The piece 
capping the center of the lid was about two feet 
in diameter, and if it should be removed the in- 
side of the vessel would be at the mercy of my 
eyes. 

Drawing myself up, I crawled on my hands 
and knees to the rounded, knob-like apex, which 
gave me leverage. Laying aside my torches, I 
took hold of the knob with both hands, and ex- 



220 The Legionaries 

erting all of my strength succeeded in raising it a 
little. Resting a few minutes, I tried again and 
this time lifted the center piece from the groove 
in which it was set, and moved it aside. 

For a while I lacked the courage to look into 
the blackness below, but not long did I hesitate. 
Taking up the torches, I leaned over and thrust 
one of them through the opening and there held 
it. The whole of the interior was lighted up and 
a low, involuntary ejaculation of amazement es- 
caped me as the golden mass, heaped almost to 
my hand, glittered in the flickering torch -light. 

Withdrawing the torch, I thrust in my hand 
and pulled it out full of the perfect, shelled 
grains of maize, as fresh apparently as when first 
stored in that secure granary. Here, no doubt, 
was kept the seed corn of that far-back people 
who had frequented this mighty chamber. About 
it they had held their harvest festivals and dances. 
With what shouts and laughter had each hus- 
bandman climbed to the top and poured in or 
taken out his allotted share in harvest and seed 
time ! Or if this conjecture be not admitted, 
was it here, in this natural temple, that, driven 
to some sudden migration, they had deposited 
and secured this grain with the hope of some day 
returning to reclaim it and take up again their 
agricultural pursuits? What language did they 
speak, of what appearance were they in form and 
face, after what pattern was their dress fashioned? 



Through the Tunnels 221 

It does not matter ; they were of peaceful and 
simple pursuits, and reckoned these yellow grains 
as more precious than gold. Whence did they 
go on that last journey? What transpired to de- 
tain them? Whither did they finally vanish? 

Though it involved some expenditure of 
strength, of which I might have need before I 
was freed from my extraordinary imprisonment — 
if, indeed, I should be so fortunate as to attain 
that result — I replaced the section of the lid that 
I had removed. A great respect for the strange 
people whose treasure this had been possessed 
me, and it seemed to me that a neglect to do this 
simple thing would have been a species of sac- 
rilege. 

Regaining the floor of the cavern I looked at 
my watch and found that it was past ten o'clock. 
I took the precaution to wind the time-piece be- 
fore putting it back into my pocket, though day 
and night were the same here, and the hours 
ticked off by it were frivolous things compared 
with the thousands of years marked by the great 
urn beside me. 

Determined to waste no more time, I began to 
make a diligent search of the walls for an open- 
ing. I knew enough about caves in such for- 
mations as were here shown to think that this 
immense chamber was probably connected with 
others, though it was inconceivable that I should 
find another so vast. The only known entrance 



222 The Legionaries 

to the now celebrated Wyandotte cave, then but 
little explored but since shown to be of wonderful 
extent and beauty, was seven miles away. If 
there should be connection between the two I 
might be able to make my way out, even if no 
other opening should be found. 

Beginning at the stairway, I followed the wall 
without result until I came to a point almost op- 
posite, where there was a break in the limestone 
several feet wide. From here a passage led. 
Without stopping then to investigate its character, 
I went on until the circumference of the room was 
completed and discovered no other. Then select- 
ing from the heap of torches as many as I could 
conveniently carry, I made them into a bundle 
and tied them with one of my suspenders. Thus 
equipped, I started on a pilgrimage the end of 
which could not even be guessed. 

Crossing the cavern floor, past the great lidded 
bowl, I found the passage on the other side and 
plunged into it. Its floor was smooth and hard 
like that of the great chamber, and, like it, bore 
testimony to the wear and pressure of human 
feet. For a distance that I judged to be a fur- 
long or more it ran straight and true, but widened 
a little. Here it opened into another chamber 
almost as large as the one I had quitted. 

It was empty, save that in the center there 
stood what appeared to be an altar made of 
blocks of stone. Ashes were upon its top, and to- 



Through the Tunnels 223 

ward the margins were pieces of wood, with char- 
red ends. What kind of rites were here observed? 
Were human beings sacrificed here to propitiate 
some unknown god? Were captured enemies 
slain here to celebrate a victory or to avenge a 
wrong? Was it here that the transgressor was 
brought to expiate his sins in the flame? Or was 
this merely a place to which the innocent dead 
were brought for sacred incremation? Raking in 
the ashes with one of the sticks, I discovered 
nothing that would throw any light on these in- 
quiries. At the side of this chamber, at the 
mouth of what seemed to be a passage-way, but 
which proved to be a small, natural chamber, 
was a quantity of wood. Some distance from 
this was another small chamber, a trifle larger 
than the first, which might have been a retiring 
room for the priests. 

Only a few minutes were devoted by me to 
these things ; a few more spent in examining 
the walls of the main chamber showed that there 
were two passages close together running from 
it. Choosing the larger one at a hazard, I pur- 
sued my way. This passage wound in and out, 
and in places was a mere tortuous path, scarcely 
large enough to give walking room. 

For an hour I stumbled through it, and at last, 
tired and covered with a cold perspiration, came 
out into an immense arcade of great height and 
unknown length. A roaring sound, somewhat 



224 The Legionaries 

resembling continuous thunder subdued by dis- 
tance, greeted my ears. 

As I went along I saw the bed of an ancient 
water-course, its bottom covered with fine yellow 
sand. The worn surfaces of its sides showed that 
at one time a considerable stream had flowed be- 
tween them, but they were now entirely dry. 
The sight reminded me that I was thirsty and I 
pushed on, following the bank. The roaring 
sound increased as I advanced. In that subter- 
ranean depth the noise, rapidly becoming more 
distinctly thunderous, was less terrifying than the 
awful stillness through which I had thus far jour- 
neyed. 

I had probably walked almost a mile along the 
margin of the vanished river when something 
white and high flashed in the rays of my torch. 
It was water tumbling over a ledge fifty feet above 
where I stood. Going as near as I dared I saw 
that the stream fell into a seething pit far below, 
where it bubbled and foamed and hissed before 
disappearing into still lower depths. 

The falling water had seemingly broken through 
its original bed and found here a new and sub- 
cavernous channel. With some difficulty and 
danger I got into a position where I could reach 
the edge of the pouring torrent. Removing my 
hat I held it out to catch some of the water, but 
as it came before my eyes it dropped from my 
relaxing fingers into the hammering flood beneath. 



Through the Tunnels 225 

The hat was not mine; it was the dead horse- 
buyer's. I drew back for a moment to steady 
myself, but quickly recovering from the shock, I 
laid my torch on the rock, and, making a cup of 
my two hands, drank my fill of the cold water. 

Then I did something extraordinary. I had 
for hours felt a desire to speak, but that echo, 
which, when I had called Spelker, sent the lat- 
ter's name back to me with horrible iteration, 
had restrained all succeeding impulses to use my 
voice. Now, however, the thunder of this water- 
fall in my ears, I opened my mouth and shouted 
and sang. Not a word of it all did I hear, but 
that made no difference; if I had hea^d, I would 
not have sung or shouted. 

Greatly refreshed, and with a sense of relief in- 
conceivable to one in any other situation, I moved 
away from the fall and turned my attention to 
my further progress, which might end in freedom 
or in a still more obscure tomb in far distant re- 
cesses. I did not suffer myself to think of the 
latter alternative, but in spite of my will that re- 
sult forced itself into my mind from time to time 
as the more probable. My only hope was that I 
had so far followed unexplored portions of the 
Wyandotte cave, and that I should be able to find 
the mouth of the latter or possibly some hitherto 
undiscovered exit. It was not possible to do more 
than conjecture as to the direction in which I had 
15 — Legionaries. 



226 The Legionaries 

traveled. At the start I felt faintly assured that I 
was going northward, but after leaving the place 
of the altar I had completely abandoned even 
that uncertain consolation. 

Looking about me, I saw that the arcade ended 
abruptly against the high masses of stone over 
which the stream dashed into the abyss. My 
eyes finally fell on what appeared to be a mere 
cleft in the rock in the angle of the two walls. 
For a time I hesitated whether to venture into it 
or to go back and search for some other opening, 
many of which might have been passed without 
observation while following the dry water-course. 

Casting doubt aside I stepped into the cleft. 
At the point of entrance it was hardly three feet 
wide, and its rough walls seemed to crowd me and 
throw me from one to the other in a grim game 
of battledore, myself as the human shuttlecock. 
I had felt the same sensation in other places and 
was now a little used to it; nevertheless, I was 
disturbed when the fissure began to narrow. Pres- 
ently I came to a place where, standing still to 
test its width, my shoulders touched both walls. 
From here on I was forced to move sideways, 
dragging my bunch of torches behind me, and 
progress was slow and infinitely tiring. I had 
not eaten nor slept — for how long I did not dare 
to think — and had passed through experiences 
which would have been trying enough to a man 
fresh and unwearied. 



Through the Tunnels 227 

And what wonder is it that I felt my strength 
leaving me and that something between terror and 
despair possessed me? I could not sit down and 
rest ; if I should lie down in this terrible place I 
might never rise ; if I should go back I might 
not find another passage save that by which I had 
entered the great arcade. I must go on while it 
were possible. After a while the passage again 
ended abruptly against the solid rock. Moving 
back a little way, 1 threw my light up and down the 
face of the obstruction and found that it did not ex- 
tend entirely to the ground. At the bottom the 
passage continued its way but was reduced in 
height to three feet. 

Lifting the bundle of unused torches over my 
head, I brought it in front and kicked it with my 
foot into the opening; then throwing myself at 
full length on the bottom, I poked my light into 
the hole and dragged my body after it. I pro- 
ceeded thus probably twenty feet, when, upon 
pushing the bundle ahead of me, it suddenly left 
my hand and fell from sight, making a loud, hol- 
low, clattering noise as it came in contact with 
some obstruction below. 

The character of the noise indicated that 
another chamber had been reached, and my feel- 
ings underwent a sudden and agreeable revulsion. 
Quickly drawing myself to the verge over which 
the torches fell, a sight greeted my eyes that for 
a while made me doubt rny senses. I was look- 



228 The Legionaries 

ing into what seemed to be thickly falling snow. 
The air was filled with glittering flakes, and if the 
time had been in winter instead of in the hot 
month of July, I would have believed that I had 
at last reached the outer world, and would have 
shouted for joy. 

But what was this ghostly stuff that came down 
from an unknown firmament, filling the gloom 
with its grace and beauty? Pulling one of the 
sticks of cane out of my torch I dropped it, all 
aflame, below me. It lit up the ground, which 
was not more than six feet distant, and I followed 
it with my body. I felt that I could breathe 
again, for here at least was room, and I sat down 
on the bundle to rest. 

The spectral snow was still falling, but in les- 
sened quantity, and putting out my hand I gath- 
ered some of the flakes in my palm. They were 
only crystals of the sulphate of magnesia, which 
the concussion of the air produced by the falling 
canes had shaken from the drifts with which the 
ceiling of the chamber was covered. The room, 
I discovered, when, having rested a few minutes, 
I had explored it, was not more than a hundred 
feet long by fifty or sixty wide, but it was of 
wonderful beauty. It was a veritable crystalline 
garden, and the cave flowers, in clusters, in gar- 
lands and rosettes, with which it was so lavishly 
adorned, gleamed and flashed on every hand. 

A wide, arched avenue led from this chamber 



Through the Tunnels 229 

into another two or three furlongs away, more 
irregular in outline but larger and more lofty. Its 
dome was supported by massive columns. Mag- 
nificent stalactites hung from its ceiling and draped 
its walls with fantastic tapestry. This chamber 
was only one of many of varying shapes and pro- 
portions which, within the ensuing hours, passed 
in review before my wearied but observant eyes. 
Enormous stalactites, like great cones of ice, 
made resplendent the vaulted roofs ; gigantic 
stalagmites stood about, like cyclopean sentinels, 
all adrip ; efflorescent crystals and pillars of ala- 
baster flashed across my vision until I was sur- 
feited even with their surpassing beauty. 

During this portion of my journey I found lit- 
tle difficulty in threading the passages that opened 
out before me. They were so numerous that my 
only trouble was in choosing between them, and 
this I did, of necessity, at a venture, trusting to 
providence to guide my aching feet. 

At last I came to a room of considerable size 
from which led a solitary passage. I had fol- 
lowed this for a distance that I judged to be a 
quarter of a mile, when I observed that it was 
tending downward. The fall at first was slight, 
but it gradually became more and more slop- 
ing as I advanced. After awhile I got to a point 
where the fissure — for such it seemed to be — sud- 
denly widened. 

Before I could scrutinize my surroundings my 



230 The Legionaries 

feet slipped from under me and I slid down a 
smooth incline, fetching up against a dry wall 
at the bottom. No harm was done by the un- 
premeditated coasting, but I was alarmed on 
noticing that the fissure ended there. At one 
side there was a well-like opening above me; 
with that exception there was no exit save that 
by which I had come. Reasoning that as the 
other chambers through which I had passed were 
seemingly on the same level the shaft might lead 
to another, I examined its walls and determined 
that it was possible to climb them. The hole was 
less than a yard in diameter and numerous pro- 
jecting stones furnished tolerable footholds. 

Stringing my bundle of torches — now consid- 
erably reduced in size — on my back, I began the 
ascent. I made even better headway than I had 
at first thought possible, for the shaft soon be- 
came spiral, thus lessening the danger in falling if 
I should lose my hold. To a man fresh and vig- 
orous from rest and refreshment the work would 
have been laborious ; to me it was a struggle. To- 
ward what proved to be the end, the shaft again 
became vertical and narrowed to a mere crack 
where the stones had been wrenched asunder in 
some mighty convulsion. I had to cast about for 
openings large enough to admit my body, and 
picked my way through spear-like points that 
tore my clothes and flesh. 

All things must end, and this painful experi 



Through the Tunnels 231 

ence was no exception to the rule. After many 
minutes of alternate climbing, creeping and rest- 
ing, I got to a place where there were no more 
stony teeth to pierce me and no walls within 
the reach of my hands. Throwing myself over 
the brink of this terrible crevice, I lay panting 
and exhausted on the cool floor of a room so 
small that, from where I lay, the whole of it was 
lighted by the single torch in my hand. It was, in 
truth, but the mere widening of a passage, along 
the arching roof of which, ten feet above my 
head, ran a continuation of the fissure through 
which I had just passed. 

For a long time I rested thus, and then, pur- 
suing my way and making many turnings in 
and out, and up and down, and at last crawling 
through a hole barely large enough to allow me 
to proceed, I presently emerged into a part of 
the cavern where the dome-like roof lifted up, and 
up, to a height far beyond the reach of the rays of 
the fresh torch that I brought into use. 

But what was this mountainous mass piercing 
the blackness above me? I began to shake as 
with a fit of the ague, and tremblingly, and with 
a haste born of a sudden great hope, I detached 
and lighted another torch from my bundle and 
held the two aloft in my unsteady hands. 

"Thank God!" I cried aloud. 

It was the first time I had spoken since I sat 
beside the falling river. A subterranean moun- 



232 The Legionaries 

tain towered above to a height of nearly one hun- 
dred and fifty feet, and yet I knew that the dome 
of this immense chamber was still fifty feet above 
that. I was in a known part of the great cavern 
at last, and stood beside the solemn walls of the 
"Cathedral," where I had stood on a former oc- 
casion. Whereas I had begun my underground 
pilgrimage seven miles in a straight line to the 
south of the entrance to this stupendous tunnel, I 
was now more than a mile to the north of it. But 
what an immeasurably greater distance had I trav- 
eled ! From here onward I knew the way, and 
could follow it at my leisure. 

The great strain that my situation had put 
upon me relaxed, and I felt the weakness that my 
exertions and the lack of food and sleep had pro- 
duced. Putting my hand in my pocket for my 
watch to ascertain the time, I found that it was 
gone. Ah, well, that was a trifle now. I would 
rest a little and then go on. Seeking a spot near 
the cavern wall, I lay down and slept. 



CHAPTER XV 

A DISCREDITED SPY 

I WAS awakened by something striking me 
sharply on the face, and sat up, startled and alert. 
The light had burned out and I was in total dark- 
ness. A great whirring sound rilled the impene- 
trable gloom, and, as I listened, the near flutter of 
wings and little fanning puffs of air told of the 
zig-zag flight of the cave bats. I felt that I had 
slept an hour, but it might have been much more 
or less than that. So accustomed had I become 
to irregular hours since being in the field that a 
little sleep sufficed to refresh me. Excepting an 
uncomfortable hunger, and a stiffness caused by 
my bruises, I felt that I was none the worse for 
my extraordinary adventures. 

While preparing to light a fresh torch, my at- 
tention was attracted by a perpendicular streak 
of light that suddenly flashed upon the side of 
the great underground mountain. Once there, 
it remained stationary, save for a faintly vibrating 
motion observable at its edges. I watched it for 
several minutes, and then saw it rapidly widen 
and disappear in a general glow that filled the 
(233) 



234 The Legionaries 

part of the cavern on that side of the mountain 
with a misty yellow light. 

Turning my head, I saw through the mist, at a 
height of twenty feet or more up the cavern's 
wall, a powerful lantern, which was at once the 
cause and the center of the display. The lantern 
was held in a man's hand, and the man, standing 
in a crevice in the wall which was barely wide 
enough to give him room, was talking with some- 
body behind him. 

They were too far away for me to understand 
what was said ; but presently a ladder was pushed 
through edgewise and lowered to the ground, and 
the man with the lantern came down. He then 
turned the light upon the ladder, and a second 
man descended ; then another followed and three 
stood on the floor. Not one of them had spoken 
since the ladder was lowered. But these were 
clearly not all who were expected, for the light 
still rested on the ladder and the three men 
were looking upward toward the opening. There 
seemed to be a commotion up there and angry 
voices, in the midst of which could be distin- 
guished another voice lifted up apparently in ap- 
peal. 

Finally a man was pushed out and began to 
back down the rungs of the ladder; a rope was 
around his neck and the rope reached up to the 
hands of a stalwart fellow standing in the mouth 
of the crevice, who was paying it out as the other 



A Discredited Spy 235 

descended. When the latter reached the ground 
the rope was thrown to one of the three who stood 
ready to receive it. 

Other men bearing lanterns then came down — 
how many I did not know, my eyes being upon 
the prisoner. That he was a prisoner had been 
already shown ; but the binding of his hands be- 
hind his back, which two of the men now pro- 
ceeded to do, removed any possible doubt. When 
all had descended, the party moved to the other 
side of the cavern behind the mountain. I fol- 
lowed and secured a position where, without be- 
ing myself in danger of discovery, I could both 
see and hear what was going on. 

The prisoner was seated on a fallen stalactite 
near the wall, partly in the shadow, but soon one 
of the lights was shifted so that its rays fell upon 
his face. I started on seeing the pale counte- 
nance of Dallas Vawter as he looked in a dull 
and hopeless way about him, first at one man 
and then at another, as if trying to read the fate 
in store for him. Two of the men had drawn a 
little apart from the others and were holding a 
whispered conversation. 

All of the men whose faces I could see were 
unknown to me, but the two leaders I afterward 
knew to be Griswold and Wysart, who, with the oth- 
ers now about them, were members of one of the 
numerous companies that the exigencies of their 
border location had brought together for defense. 



236 The Legionaries 

against marauding bands of outside foes ; also, as it 
appeared, for protection against any possible up- 
rising at home, rumors of which had been widely 
circulated. Where had they found Vavvter and 
why had they brought him here? The conversa- 
tion between the two men was not prolonged and 
presently they went back to the group around 
the prisoner. The latter was the first to speak. 

"Oak-oun," he said, and repeated it twice 
in a sort of refrain, as if bewailing an unhappy 
lot, while his eyes were busy searching the coun- 
tenances before him. 

The men stared at him contemptuously as at 
a whimpering coward, all except one, who, 
standing farthest back and unobserved by his 
companions, suddenly placed one hand on his 
breast and lifted the other straight in the air, 
as quickly lowering it, at the same time giving a 
warning motion of his head. That some sort of 
understanding was thereby established between 
the two I did not doubt. Vawter's manner at 
once seemed to change. 

"I hope you have agreed on something pleas- 
ant," he said, addressing Griswold in a tone of 
now sneering bravado. "Make an end of it; you 
have brought me to this pit of hell, now do your 
devil's work and do it quickly. I have begged 
all I shall." 

"We have plenty of time," Griswold returned, 
in a voice as grim and cold as th? rock about 



A Discredited Spy 237 

him. "We are not sure that we may not give 
you a chance after all. I don't promise it, and 
do not say what kind ; it depends on you." 

"Perhaps," said Vawter, with a grimace, "you 
will allow me a choice between strangulation and 
a broken neck." 

Griswold looked at him for a moment before 
answering. "It is not exactly that; it is a choice 
between certain death and a chance to live." 

"Well, go on; I am listening." 

"You have been in this country north of the 
river for two months — just hanging around with 
no business that we could see. A good many 
times you've gone to Roger Bellray's house, 
and Sumber's and Fisher's and others of their 
kind. From your conduct we thought you were 
a government agent gathering proofs against sus- 
pects. While some of us didn't believe in that 
way of trapping a man, we likewise did not see 
fit to meddle with the government's business. To- 
day you were seen among Morgan's men as bold 
as brass and as insolent as any swashbuckling 
thief among his three thousand." 

As Vawter listened, his face took on a variety 
of expressions — surprise, amusement, hope, the 
first mentioned being given emphasis by a lifting 
of the head, a half-open mouth and a questioning 
look in his eyes. If he were acting he did it very 
well. 



238 The Legionaries 

"What are you driving at?" he asked impa- 
tiently, as the other stopped. 

"Just this; instead of being a Unionist agent 
you are a rebel spy," said Griswold. 

"And who in Satan's name are you, and these 
— these gentlemen?" asked the prisoner. 

"We're Unionists, and we've got mighty tired 
of Kentucky spies, horse-thieves and guerrillas." 

"Unionists!" exclaimed Vawter ; then, assum- 
ing an appearance of indignation, he continued: 
"You are a pretty pack of patriots, indeed; you 
act more like babies or fools. Of course I was 
with Morgan's men to-day, but before I was with 
them I was with Captain Bracken — a man who 
knows what he is up to, doesn't he? This is a fine 
turn you have given me. Untie my hands." 

"Not so fast," said Griswold, but looking 
doubtful, while the men about him began to talk 
among themselves in an unsettled way. "If you 
are not a rebel spy, what are you?" 

"I am what you first thought me — a govern- 
ment agent ; none other in fact than one of Cap- 
tain Bracken's secret service men," Vawter said 
triumphantly, and then added, as he caught the 
eyes of the one who had given the signal looking 
at him suspiciously, "oak-oun, oak-oun." This 
might mean much or little, but to my ears his 
voice had in it a ring of appeal as he uttered the 
word. 



A Discredited Spy 239 

Griswold, as well as some of the rest, was 
clearly wavering, but he asked another question : 

"If you are what you claim to be why didn't 
you say so before instead of resisting us and beg- 
ging us not to kill you?" 

"I might say that I thought it prudent not to 
reveal my true character unless it became neces- 
sary at the last minute to save my life. But to 
tell the truth I was not certain until just now that 
you were not Knights of the Acorn. I've been 
pretty thick with some of them, and I was afraid 
I had been seen reporting to Captain Bracken." 

"So you took us for copperheads?" said Gris- 
wold in an offended tone. 

"Yes, and you thought I was a spy, guerrilla 
and horse-thief. I think I have most cause for 
offense," Vawter answered, laughing. "Here, 
take off this cursed rope and I'll forgive your 
blundering — though I'll confess you have given 
my nerves a shock — and if I can tell you anything 
that you want to know, consistently with my or- 
ders, I am at your service. Come, untie me." 

The man was either playing a bold game, for 
which Griswold had given him an opening, or 
else he was in earnest. I believed that he was at 
least partly telling the truth. 

Griswold turned to the man with whom he had 
spoken aside. 

"What do you think, Wysart?" 

"I think we'd better do now what we'd 'a' 



240 The Legionaries 

done in the beginning if we hadn't been so sure 
of our game, and that's search the man, ' ' answered 
Wysart. 

Vawter's countenance fell and in spite of him- 
self he turned pale again, a fact that the men were 
quick to observe. 

Wysart thrust his hands in the prisoner's pock- 
ets and in a little while brought forth a piece of 
paper, like a leaf torn from a small memorandum 
book; holding it in the light of the lanterns, he 
looked it over and then read aloud to his expec- 
tant companions a pass, signed by my General, al- 
lowing the bearer to pass his lines, in or out, and 
bearing date of the night before. 

Then turning to Vawter, Wysart said: "Here 
is proof that you were in General Morgan's con- 
fidence ; now show us your credentials from Cap- 
tain Bracken." 

"You fools!" cried Vawter, again making a 
pretense of being very furious. "Do you sup- 
pose I would have dared to show myself in the 
raiders' camp with anything in my possession 
showing my true character? General Morgan 
would have had me hanged by the roadside in no 
time. That writing proves nothing more than I 
have already admitted — nothing more than you 
knew before I admitted anything." 

Without saying anything in return, Wysart 
renewed his search of the prisoner's person with 
greater care but with no result. As he stepped 



A Discredited Spy 241 

back his eyes seemed to rest on the peculiar metal 
buttons on Vawter's coat. In a moment he had 
taken a knife from his pocket and removing the 
lower button began twisting at it with the ringers 
of his two hands. 

"Ah! What's this?" he suddenly exclaimed. 
"Seems to me I've heard of this trick before, and 
it's a right cute one, too." 

The others crowded around so that I could not 
see, but presently I heard Wysart's voice read- 
ing: 

"Headquarters, April 15, 1863. 

"The bearer is entitled to confidence. 

"Bragg, Maj. Gen." 

"Do you still say that you are in the United 
States secret service?" asked Griswold, when this 
damning confirmation of his guilt was read. 

Vawter felt that the tide was against him, but 
he said, stoutly: "I do. I got the coat I am 
wearing in the raiders' camp last night. I never 
saw it before, never saw or heard of that paper 
until you found it and read it. My name is not 
in it; it belongs to somebody else. I did not 
know that there was anything peculiar about 
these buttons. For aught that I know there may 
be a message of some sort in every one of them. 
You will not believe me, of course, and I don't 
expect you to. Do what you are going to do and 
be quick about it." 

16 - Legionaries. 



242 The Legionaries 



Saying this much he leaned back against the 
rough cavern wall and looked at them defiantly. 

"It's a waste of time to argue the matter fur- 
ther," said Griswold, soberly. "We have made 
no mistake ; you are all that we suspected and a 
good deal more, no doubt. It looks very much 
as if you are a traitor to both sides and that is 
being about as 'ornery' as a man can get. Yet, in 
the face of it all, we are disposed to seek informa- 
tion of you on the condition already named. Do 
you agree." 

"May it please you, gentlemen, there is noth- 
ing else for me to do," said Vawter. "The sit- 
uation is your making, and as between the certain 
death that is promised on the one hand and a 
chance to live that is not promised on the other, 
I prefer the latter. Now, good sirs, if you have 
made an end of your preliminaries, come to the 
point." 

"Very well," said Griswold, quickly. "We 
want to know about the arms found this afternoon 
at Bellray's." 

Vawter did not speak for a minute or two and 
seemed to be considering. Seeing his hesitation, 
Griswold again spoke: "You do not belong in 
this country, and are a stranger to our quarrels. 
The people who live hereabout are our neighbors, 
and though we do not look at some things alike, 
we do not want to suspect any man wrongfully 
nor to do any man an injury unless he deserves it 



A Discredited Spy 243 

But we mean to protect ourselves and to stand up 
for what we believe to be right. If you don't 
know, say so ; if you do know, if you speak at 
all, in heaven's name speak the truth." 

"I know all about it," Vawter answered at 
last. "And mind you, not as a conspirator, but 
in pursuance of my duty as an agent of the gov- 
ernment." 

He stopped again and seemed for a moment to 
fix his gaze upon the man in the background, 
who appeared to be very uneasy about some- 
thing, then he went on : ' 'When Morgan went into 
camp after crossing the river I was there. I had 
attached myself to him as a guide, under instruc- 
tions. That night Captain John Trenham — some 
of you may know him — superintended the con- 
veyance of the arms to Bellray's house. They 
were supplied by the rebel government. I know 
this because I followed him there and came near 
getting murdered for my pains. The arms were 
to be used in equipping a lot of Knights of the 
Acorn for war — an uprising to assist the invasion. 
The wounding of Bellray in the attempt to arrest 
him no doubt scared the conspirators and frus- 
trated their immediate plans." 

1 'Who are the men who were to use the arms ? ' ' 

"That I don't know. Bellray was almost as 
suspicious of me as you are. It was because I 
couldn't learn who were conspiring with him that 
I communicated some days ago to the proper au- 



244 The Legionaries 

thorities my belief that it was necessary to arrest 
Bellray — who is the leader of them all — and in 
that way scare the others. At that time I did not 
know how near it was to the hour when they were 
to begin cutting your precious throats. It seems 
that I would have fared better if I had kept still 
and let them go ahead, since you are alive to do 
to me what they were preparing to do to you . ' ' 

"Is that all you know about it?" asked Gris- 
wold, mildly. 

"That's all — except as to the girl," answered 
Vawter, feeling that he had at last made an im- 
pression and hoping to strengthen it. 

"What girl?" 

"Why, none other than that sister of Bellray's, 
of course. She's in communication with the 
enemy." 

"Is she a spy?" 

"Call it what you will; she is in communica- 
tion with the enemy. I don't apply the word 
'spy' because it doesn't sound well, as I have 
learned to-night," Vawter replied. 

"It's impossible," said Griswold. 

'I don't believe it," said Wysart. 

Some of the other men spoke to like effect and 
the prisoner saw that he had overstepped himself. 

The two leaders again went aside and talked 
between themselves for several minutes, while I, 
who had heard Vawter's unblushing lies with con- 
stantly rising anger, could scarce restrain myself 



A Discredited Spy 245 

from leaving my concealment and throttling the 
rascal where he sat. Mechanically I gripped the 
handle of my sword until my fingers ached with 
the pain of it. When the two men came back 
into the circle of lights, Griswold, as before, was 
the first to speak. 

"Men," he said, "Wysart and I don't take 
any stock in what this fellow says. You know 
that it was rumored that John Trenham was with 
the raiders, and he was watched for, but nobody 
saw him — " 

"I forgot to say," broke in Vawter, "that I 
assisted Captain Bracken in capturing Trenham 
at five o'clock this morning, while he was on his 
way from Bellray's to rejoin his troop, and he is 
no doubt safe in Louisville long before this." 

"This man is talking for his life," said Wysart. 
"I myself saw him to-day fire at a loyal citizen 
who refused to surrender his property at the com- 
mand of one of the raiders. But Griswold thinks, 
and so do I, that it is better to give him a chance 
to save his worthless life on the condition that he 
promises, if he gets out, to leave the country. 
What do you say?" 

The men all said that they were satisfied, and 
Griswold turned to Vawter and said : 

"There are three openings from this place. 
One of them you can't reach for it is the one we 
came through; that is the short way out. 
Another is a small opening; that doesn't lead 



246 The Legionaries 

out at all. The last is a large passage, and by 
following it carefully for a mile or so you will get 
outside. If you choose to stay here long enough 
somebody may come this way and lead you out. 
Untie him, Wilson." 

Vawter, when his hands were released, got to 
his feet. The others, leaving him, went to the 
ladder and began to mount it, each man carrying 
his lantern. 

"Are you going to leave me without a light?" 
shouted the miserable man, hurrying behind 
them. 

They made him no answer. 

"How do you expect me to get out of this 
hell-hole in the dark?" he screamed after them 
as they continued to climb upward. 

Wysart stopped half-way up the ladder, all the 
others having preceded him, and looking down, 
said: 

"That is the chance we give you, and it is 
much better than the other thing." 

"At least leave me a pistol," the wretch 
begged. 

"We think you had better not have a pistol, 
but there is a sword up there that belonged to one 
of the rebel officers. Do you know how to han- 
dle it? If you don't it will serve as a tolerable 
walking stick." 

"I do; better than anything else," he said 
eagerly, all his bravado gone. 



A Discredited Spy 247 

"Well, we don't. I'll drop it down to you." 

So saying, Wysart mounted to the opening and 
the ladder was drawn up. Then holding his light 
before him so that its rays shone on the upturned, 
anxious face of the forsaken man, he leaned out 
and let fall the scabbarded weapon into Vawter's 
outstretched hands. 

"Now good-bye, you knave. If you get out, 
as I think you will, leave the country. Your 
skin won't be worth a muskrat's pelt another time, 
depend on it." 

Flinging down this message, Wysart disap- 
peared from the opening, leaving the great "ca- 
thedral" in darkness. It seemed to me that 
just before he departed a strange sound fell from 
his lips very like that which had been uttered by 
Vawter, but it was likely in mockery of what he 
believed to be the other's cowardice, for he 
laughed rather boisterously immediately after- 
ward. 



CHAPTER XVI 

THE DUEL IN THE CAVE 

WHEN Vawter realized that he was actually 
abandoned to his fate, he filled the mighty cham- 
ber with curses, which he directed against all 
who were concerned in bringing upon him his 
present trouble. After a time he ceased his im- 
potent oaths, and I heard him begin to grope 
cautiously about in search of the outlet of which 
he had been told. The fellow's character was such 
as to justify an honest man in withholding sym- 
pathy, and I, who was consumed by a righteous 
wrath, was in a humor to adopt an extreme 
course. Had it not been for my own experience 
within the past twenty-four hours I might have 
left him to his own resources. 

As I sat, however, listening to the shuffling 
steps, and the stumbling, halting progress of 
Vawter my heart smote me, and I resolved to 
offer myself as guide. And then, when we were 
outside, face to face and on an equal footing — 
then what? I grasped the handle of my sword, 
and my breath came and went through my gritted 
teeth. Judging from the faintness of the sounds 
(248) 



The Duel in the Cave 249 

now made by Vawter, he had found his way to 
the opposite side of the mountain. Lighting one 
of my torches, I followed. The rays from the 
flaming canes reached a long distance ahead, and 
before I had proceeded far there was an excla- 
mation, the noise of rapid steps, and Vawter's 
voice broke out, before he came into my view, 
saying : 

"And so you were just trying my nerves, were 
you, or are you coming back to finish the job? 
But whatever you've come for — "and then, 
turning the mountain's jutting base, he stood 
within a few feet of one of the last persons he 
could have expected to see in that place. 

"Captain Trenham ! " he cried, springing back 
a step. He had flung away the scabbard and 
held the naked sword in his hand. 

"I am glad you recognize me," said I calmly. 

Vawter stood irresolute for several moments, 
his face working under the influence of the warring 
emotions of fear, hatred and relief, but of all these 
that of hatred was the strongest. 

"I don't wonder that you had your doubts on 
that score," he said at last, recovering from his 
surprise. "If you had a mirror handy you could 
appreciate the humor of your question. You do 
not much resemble the well-groomed officer who 
last night struck me in the face in the presence of 
his mistress." 

"Whether I do or not, I distinctly remember 



250 The Legionaries 

the circumstance and am willing to give you 
satisfaction," I returned as quietly as I could 
under his goading. "But first, as you are not 
familiar with this place, I offer you the benefit of 
my light and my knowledge. The trying posi- 
tion in which your friends left you appeals to me." 

"Thanks," he said with a snarl. "Save your 
sympathy for those who will accept it. I want 
neither it nor your aid." 

"As you will," I replied, half making ready to 
go my way. "I felt it my humane duty to make 
the offer but I can not compel you to accept it. 
The passages are difficult but not absolutely im- 
passable even in the darkness." 

"Rather than put myself under any kind of ob- 
ligation to you I will rot where I am, for I have 
sworn to myself to kill you soon or late." 

His manner suddenly became threatening, for 
my appearance, I judged, told him that I was 
weakened by something that had befallen me. 
Or did he, coward-like, take my conduct as a 
sign of fear, and look upon the offer of help as 
being made in an effort to propitiate a dreaded 
enemy? 

"You can kill me as well outside as here," 
said I, controlling myself by a great effort and 
speaking without heat, "and have a much better 
chance for your own safety." 

"What is to prevent me from running you 
through where you stand, and by the aid of your 



The Duel in the Cave 251 

excellent torch — then mine by the right of con- 
quest — finding my own way?" 

"This," I retorted, striking the hilt of my 
sword. 

"Bah," he cried, a scornful smile curling his 
mouth. "You cavalrymen know only how to 
hack and hew. The cracking of a head from a 
safe seat on a horse's back is not the gentlemanly 
way, and it is not mine. I warn you that in the 
use of the sword I am your master." 

"I am glad to know that you are skillful." 

"Why should you be glad? Really, sir, you 
are something of a humorist." 

"Because I should not fight you if you were 
not," said I, answering his question and ignoring 
his fling. 

"Oh!" contemptuously. "You take high 
ground, my captain ; or do you offer that as a 
fair specimen of your wit?" 

"There is such a thing as conscience — the in- 
formation seems to surprise you — and it has cre- 
ated in me an insurmountable prejudice against 
doing a murder, for that it would be to kill a 
man who is not able to defend himself." 

"You make a good plea for yourself , but I am 
not always — particularly now, in your case — 
troubled by such a flimsy scruple. A man must 
be prepared to look out for himself; if you are not 
it is not my fault." 

"Do not misunderstand me," said I, with 



252 The Legionaries 

strained seriousness, but feeling my temper rise 
under his taunts. "I possess some skill myself. 
Whether it is equal to that of which you boast I 
do not know, but it is considerable. I am not 
bragging of it — only putting you in possession of 
the fact before you assail me." 

"You are kind, indeed," he said jeeringly, 
"but your assertion of excellence amuses rather 
than frightens me. The only really serious con- 
cern of my life has been to master this weapon — 
a sort of fad, you know. And, by the way, this 
sword fits nicely to my hand and seems to be of 
good metal." 

Saying which, he stepped back a pace and 
made several graceful passes and lunges at an 
imaginary foe to test the blade and incidentally 
to impress me with his proficiency in its use. 

"Come," I said, impatiently; "if you will not 
accept my guidance, I will leave with you my 
last extra torch. With it you can follow me and 
I will wait for you on the outside." 

"Pardon me, but since thinking the matter 
over, I prefer to settle our differences here. The 
light might be better, but the room is ample, and 
the temperature delightful. It is, I assure you, 
too hot for our work in the outer air. Besides, 
you might not see fit to wait for me, or we might 
be disturbed. When I leave this place I choose 
to leave it as quietly as possible. Nobody will 
know where you are, and my suit for the hand of 



The Duel in the Cave 253 

the fair Kate may again prosper — aye, it will 
prosper." 

"Stop!" I exclaimed at this. "You will pro- 
voke me too far and I shall forget my good pur- 
pose." But he went on unheedingly, as if deter- 
mined to affront me beyond endurance : 

"She acted very well the other night — for it 
was acting — when she saw that you were watch- 
ing, and concluded that the presence of so fierce a 
warrior as- the renowned Captain Trenham might 
endanger my safety. She was wrong there, of 
course, but your interruption prevented what 
would otherwise have been a very tender parting. 
We will adjust all our affairs here and now." 

"You lying knave," cried I, hoarse with sup- 
pressed fury. "If nothing else will do you, so 
be it," and drawing the sword, which more than 
once I had been on the point of abandoning as 
cumbersome, I unbuckled my belt and threw the 
scabbard aside. 

Then taking up the last extra torch of canes I 
lighted it in the blaze of the other and both were 
stuck into cracks in the stone wall, thus brightly 
illuminating a space on the cavern's floor having 
a diameter more than sufficient for our purpose. 
These preparations were made without a word 
being spoken by either. When they were com- 
pleted, Vawter, who had watched me all the 
while, as I could see from the corner of my eye 
— for I did not in the least trust him — coolly re- 



254 The Legionaries 

moved his hat and coat and put them out of the 
way. I did likewise with my coat, having no hat. 

Then we faced each other in the center of the 
lighted circle, no mortal eye upon us, no human 
presence to stay our hands. Vawter's lips curled 
insolently as he toyed with his weapon, and yet 
as he looked into my eyes and noted my earnest- 
ness I felt that his confidence failed him a little. 
For a moment only did we gaze at each other, 
and then throwing himself into position, Vawter 
cried out: 

"Come on, Mr. Cavalryman; begin your hack- 
ing." 

Instantly our blades flashed and rang as they 
met. For a few seconds they ground together 
while each looked into the other's eyes for the 
sign of attack. Presently the sudden increase 
of pressure against my sword warned me of a 
thrust, which followed instantly, but which I easily 
parried. After that Vawter made feints, lunges 
and thrusts with great rapidity and skill, but I, 
being content to let him exhaust himself, met 
them all with an art which I was vain enough to 
believe was not inferior to his own. And then, 
too, I felt that the binding of his arms at the 
wrists, from which he was not long freed, was at 
least not to my disadvantage, for without a well- 
conditioned wrist the highest art may prove of no 
avail against even a clumsy but bold opponent. 

A man ready in defense should be no less ex- 



The Duel in the Cave 255 

pert in onset, and as I had so far been successful 
in the first, I hoped, for its moral effect, that 
Vawter might believe that I would be equally effi- 
cient in the latter. A lack of confidence in one's 
self is worse than overfaith, and since it may be 
produced as well by discovering an enemy's 
strength as by knowledge of one's own weakness, 
I put forth my powers as far as I could without 
wasting my strength, for I found that I was deal- 
ing with no mean antagonist. 

When, after the lapse of several minutes, Vaw- 
ter had tried every stroke and trick in which he 
was practiced without breaking through my 
guard, I fancied that he was beginning to be less 
hopeful of a favorable outcome. Seeming to real- 
ize this himself, with a desperation begotten by 
the too evident failure of his boasted prowess, he 
fell upon me for a while with renewed vigor, ply- 
ing his blade in drive and thrust, but still he did 
not reach. Then, as he rested for a moment, 
the weapons sliding against each other with a 
metallic purring sound, I felt that the time had 
come for me to abandon the defensive attitude 
that I had thus far maintained. 

"Guard yourself, sir," cried I. 

"Look to your own skin," he flung back. 

For a few seconds more the purring continued, 
then came a harsher grind of steel, accompanied 
by a clicking sound as if the hotly throbbing 
blood of both shook the weapons with every 



256 The Legionaries 

heart-beat. Vawter, in despairing rage, at- 
tempted a villainous foul, but knowing his treach- 
erous character I foresaw the blow, and evaded it. 

Immediately, in pursuance of my warning, I 
became the aggressor, and slipped my blade from 
one side to the other of my opponent's sword, 
executing frequent short thrusts and feints with 
an adeptness that seemed to nettle him, and play- 
ing over and under his guard in a way calcu- 
lated to show him that I was particular where I 
should touch. My chief purpose, of course, was 
not that, but was to uncover his parades. 

As in attack, now in defense Vawter put forth 
his utmost skill, exhibiting both a natural and 
trained dexterity of a high order, and skillfully 
foiling many of my attempted disengagements ; 
but I kept my arm moving rapidly in the manner 
that I had been taught by the best master in 
France, and soon saw in his face signs of distress 
beneath the scowl that he had worn all along. 
He at last fell to defending himself mechanically, 
and appeared to be waiting for the thrust that 
should settle the contest. 

I did not seek his life, for twice had my point 
found an opening and slightly pricked his body, 
and once, going over his guard, had flashed be- 
neath his frightened eyes to his very throat and 
then leaped back again, leaving him shaking and 
ghastly. But a quick realization of my forbear- 
ance bolstered his spirit and restored strength to 



The Duel in the Cave 257 

his arm, and for a little time he worked with des- 
peration. That he would kill me if he could I was 
well satisfied, while I did not desire more than his 
disablement. 

I set about to end the combat. Twice I made 
a serious effort to touch him and failed, whereat 
he spat out vicious taunts to further disconcert 
me, which almost made me regret that I had not 
run him through. Warned by a growing faintness 
that my long fast was telling upon me, and dread- 
ing lestVawter should see my plight, I summoned 
to my aid all of my reserve strength and, with 
set mouth and stern gaze, began pushing my ad- 
versary, having a dim, half-bewildered conscious- 
ness that the end was near. 

For an instant there was light play of the 
swords, then once more and for the last time a 
tense grating of steel, then the gleam of a 
straight blade. With an exclamation of pain 
Vawter staggered backward, his weapon falling 
from his relaxed hand to the cavern floor with a 
loud, resonant clang. His sword arm hung by 
his side, and blood stained his white sleeve and 
dripped from his fingers. 

"I am at your mercy, sir," he said, reeling, 
his face very white. 

Casting my weapon aside, I threw my arm 
about my defeated adversary, and supporting him 
to a seat at the base of the mountain, set to 
17 — Legionaries. 



258 The Legionaries 

work to ascertain the character of the wound. A 
look sufficed to show that my sword had pierced 
the arm through and through a few inches above 
the elbow, missing the bone. 

"The injury is not serious, Mr. Vawter," I 
said when the examination was finished. 

"For which I thank you; you could just as 
easily have found my heart." 

"I never intended to take your life; what I did 
was to prevent you from taking mine." 

"You are a magnanimous foe, for I would have 
killed you if I could, as I told you. And I really 
thought I could, but you surprised me." 

I made no response to this frank avowal, and 
proceeded to bind up the wound as best I could 
with strips torn from the injured man's shirt. 
Completing this task, I then conducted him to a 
near-by spring of which I had knowledge and re- 
freshed him with a drink of the cold water ; then 
removed from both as far as possible the red signs 
of the conflict. This done, I said: 

"I renew my offer to act as your guide from 
this place. It is impossible that you should 
again refuse, for you will presently require the at- 
tention of a surgeon." 

A look of gratitude came into the man's face 
and for the time obscured its evil lines. 

"You are the master," he said; "command 
and I obey. And, Captain, let me say that I feel 
that you have done me good by the wholesome 



The Duel in the Cave 259 

lessons that you have impressed upon me within 
the past half hour. It may not last, for I have 
been too long leading a wicked and irresolute life 
to change all at once. But just now I feel a new 
kind of impulse and sensations to which hereto- 
fore I have been a stranger. I say it may not last, 
and to-morrow I may be just as eager to cut your 
throat as I was thirty minutes ago, and follow 
just as recklessly as in the past the straight road 
to hell. Somehow I hope these new feelings will 
last. Will you take my hand?" 

I grasped the extended hand and pressed it 
warmly, though it was not, I will confess, with- 
out some thought of the sick devil's resolution to 
become a monk. 

"It is the left one, but that isn't my fault, you 
know," he said, smiling weakly. 

"The other will soon be sound enough," said 
I, and then continued : "There is no reason why 
you shouldn't be what you hope; for your own 
sake try. As for me I bear you no malice." It 
should not be said that I withheld from a peni- 
tent enemy the support of my encouragement. 

"I have done you grave injuries." 

"I know." 

"I have falsely accused you to your old neigh- 
bors of doing a dastardly thing." 

"I heard it all." 

"And I lied about her'* 



260 The Legionaries 

"I heard that, too, and — once I thought I 
would kill you for it." 

"I almost wish you had ; my life is worthless." 

"We will not discuss these things now," I re- 
turned. "We must be off." 

Without further words the start was made. As 
we went along he told me how, leaving my General's 
column late in the afternoon, he turned back, pur- 
suing a course far to the westward of that followed 
in the morning and intending to reach Leaven- 
worth. He did not feel that it would be safe for 
him to show himself openly to any of the inhabi- 
tants about Corydon, for fear that they had mis- 
understood him and his part in the day's adven- 
tures. Saying which, he laughed mockingly, 
muttering, "the fools, the idiots," and other un- 
complimentary terms from which I concluded 
that the leopard could not change all of his spots 
at once. 

About nine o'clock he had been set upon by a 
party of horsemen who, recognizing him, had 
carried him off into the woods a little distance 
where they held a council of war, as he phrased it, 
in which he heard the words "spy" and "arms" 
and "Bellray's." One or two of the men had, 
he thought, proposed to hang him at once without 
the benefit of clergy. But after a little time they 
had taken him to a hole in the ground where lan- 
terns were produced, and from thence to the place 
where they had left him. 



The Duel in the Cave 261 

"I prefer to forget what took place there," he 
said a little mournfully. 

Then he brightened again. "For awhile they 
had me going, and my nerves were a little shaky. 
But after a time it occurred to me that I had an 
arrow which I had not shot, and so I sang a short 
ditty that seemed to meet with the approbation 
of at least one of the knaves, for he indicated that 
I had a friend at court. How he happened to 
be in that company — but then I am sometimes in 
queer company myself." 

An hour's easy progress brought us into the 
open air which seemed as good and sweet to me 
as the breath of paradise after my long immure- 
ment, and a prayer of thankfulness for God's 
mercy rose in my heart as I turned my eyes upon 
the star-studded sky. Extinguishing my torch, 
we went a little aside and sat down to rest be- 
fore parting, each to go his way, Vawter toward 
Leavenworth, a few miles distant, and I — where? 

Presently we heard voices, and soon two men, 
one of them bearing a lantern, emerged from the 
entrance that we had left a few minutes before. 
Reaching the outside, the one with the light 
raised it to put it out, in the act disclosing the 
faces of the two men. 

"It is my friend," whispered Vawter, "and — 
hell's fire — " 

"AndWysart," I added. 

It was indeed the man who had given the sign 



262 The Legionaries 

from the background in response to Vawter's pe- 
culiar refrain, and one of the leaders, who, while 
able, no doubt, and willing to answer also was 
not in a position to do so with safety. They did 
not tarry, but made off, and I heard them as they 
went assuring each other that they had at least 
done their duty. When they were well out of 
sight and hearing, my companion, after re-assert- 
ing that he was no longer my enemy, also left 
me, his face so white and drawn with the pain of 
his wound that I observed it even in the feeble 
light afforded by the stars, and pitied the rascal, 
for such he had been and was likely to continue. 
He had told me nothing further than I have re- 
lated, but it was plain enough that he andWysart 
and the other, though strangers, were bound by 
some sort of tie, of which they could make dem- 
onstration. The two men had, after leaving their 
companions, returned to give him aid, so artfully 
had he thrown in the magic word while pro- 
nouncing himself the servant of their enemy. He 
was in truth a very accomplished knave, 



CHAPTER XVII 

WORD BY THE REFUGEE 

BEING again on top of the ground and not 
knowing what better to do just then, I set out for 
my mother's house, intending to remain there if 
I could until an opportunity offered to get out of 
the country. There was no reasonable hope of 
being able to rejoin my command, which would be 
forced to sweep ahead like a thunder cloud before 
the breath of the storm behind it. Once at my 
mother's, I could lie quietly by, and undercover 
of the following night reach the Ohio and trust 
to luck to find some means of recrossing into 
Kentucky. 

With these thoughts in my mind I went along 
until I had covered most of the distance to be 
traversed, thinking little of my physical state; 
but now I began to feel faint and weak from the 
lack of food and the reaction from the strain under 
which I had labored for so many heart-breaking 
hours. My feet were heavy as lead, and my 
limbs moved sluggishly and with difficulty. Com- 
ing to a large boulder by the side of the road I 
sat down upon the ground to rest, my back against; 
(263) 



264 The Legionaries 

the rock. My mother's home was not far away, 
and if I did not misjudge the hour I still had am- 
ple time to reach it before daylight. Nothing 
was further from my intention than to allow my- 
self to fall asleep, yet such a misadventure over- 
took me. 

I was awakened by hearing my name called. It 
was broad daylight, and many horsemen stood in 
the road a few feet away, all of them wearing the 
garb of my General's soldiers. What had hap- 
pened to stop them here? Had they thus early 
been defeated and scattered? 

"In God's name, Trenham, what's the matter 
with you?" called out a familiar voice, none other 
than that of Captain Sivad, who had been de- 
tached from the main column before we crossed 
the river, and had not rejoined us at the time 
that event took place. 

He had, it subsequently transpired, himself 
crossed at Twelve Mile Island, with two troops, 
which had been reduced to less than fifty men, the 
number now with him. I did not wonder at his 
consternation on beholding me, ragged, bare- 
headed, and w@e-begone as I certainly looked. 
On my part, while my satisfaction was great on 
seeing him and his men, I felt a sense of mortifi- 
cation at my plight, though there was no need, 
considering what had led to it. 

"There is enough the matter with me, Sivad," 
I answered, referring to his exclamatory question. 



Word by the Refugee 265 

"But the thing I need most urgently is some 
breakfast, as I have eaten nothing for thirty 
hours." 

Whatever misfortunes these men had suffered, 
the want of food was not one, and without more 
ado my needs in this respect were quickly sup- 
plied. While I was eating, I recounted enough 
of my experiences to explain my present situa- 
tion. Captain Sivad, on his part, having ac- 
quired it from the inhabitants, had more recent 
information than I as to the General's move- 
ments, and confided to me his purpose to get out 
of the country before he was completely de- 
stroyed. 

It would be the wildest folly, he proclaimed, 
to attempt to follow the main body of our fellows. 
In this respect we were of one mind, for nothing 
was clearer than the fact that we could not now 
hope to be of any service to our chief, and that 
an attempt to render any, as the situation now 
showed itself, would lead to nothing more or less 
than our own annihilation. 

Sivad told me also that he had heard that 
a large force of mounted Federal soldiers had 
crossed the river the evening before in pursuit of 
the General, and that he thought he would lie by 
for a day until the enemy was out of the neigh- 
borhood. As it was, he had traveled most of the 
night, without a guide and hap-hazard. To this 
he was put by much harrying and because of 



266 The Legionaries 

his belief that his position and strength were 
known, and that the legionaries were concentrating 
to attack him in such numbers as to leave him 
small chance to save the poor remnant of his 
command. 

A deep wood lay to the south of the road, and 
into that we made our way for probably half a 
mile until we came to a narrow grassy valley be- 
tween two fair-sized hills. Near the middle of 
the valley ran a little stream of clear water. It 
seemed to be an ideal place for our purpose, as 
the forest was dense and extensive in all direc- 
tions. 

Being myself without a horse, I had waited at 
the side of the road until all of the men were 
well into the wood and then started to follow on 
foot. I had not gone far and was still within the 
view of persons who might, by chance, pass along 
the road, when I heard the clatter of hoofs. I 
dropped instinctively to the ground before turn- 
ing my eyes in the direction of the sounds. When 
I did look, I saw two women on horseback in the 
act of checking their horses while they turned 
their faces toward where I lay. 

To my amazement they proved to be Kate 
Bellray and Betty West. I knew that they had 
long been accustomed to early morning rides, but 
I was greatly surprised to see them at this time in 
view of the unsettled condition of the country. 
Just now as they gazed in my direction, if not at 



Word by the Refugee 267 

me — for I felt that I could not be seen where I 
lay — I fancied that they looked startled. From 
this it was easy to judge that they had either seen 
me or some of the cavalrymen straggling further 
on through the trees. 

Had I been alone I might have revealed my- 
self and hailed them, disreputable as my appear- 
ance was, but as matters were no such thought en- 
tered my mind. They did not stop, but only slowed 
their pace, and this but briefly, for in a mo- 
ment they turned squarely about and putting 
whip to their animals went rapidly back in the 
direction from which they came. This action 
was sufficient to confirm my already well-founded 
conjecture that we had been observed. But there 
was no help for it, nor did it greatly increase my 
apprehension. I said nothing about it to Sivad, 
for I could conceive of no way in which the little 
that the girls had seen was likely to prove harm- 
ful to us. 

During the day the horses grazed contentedly 
upon the grass bordering both sides of the stream, 
and the men, lying about in the shade of the 
trees, secured the sleep of which they, like my- 
self, greatly stood in need. Not all day, however, 
were they thus idle. Sivad, about noon, sent 
three men back to the road, with instruction to 
bring in some passer-by from whom information 
might be obtained. Two hours later they reap- 
peared, one of them leading a horse upon which 



268 The Legionaries 

sat a boy of sixteen or thereabout, while the other 
two walked behind. He was at once taken before 
Captain Sivad for questioning, appearing to be 
very cool and self-possessed, and exhibiting no 
trace of fear. 

"Well, my boy, what is your name?" asked 
the officer, not unkindly. 

"It's Sam Hollen — I don't mind tellin' you as 
a name won't ha'm nobody." 

"Do you live around here?" 

"Yes, suh; I wo'k at Mistah Bellray's — been 
theah since last wintah." 

"You don't talk like a Hoosier." 

"I ain't suh, I'm f'om Geo'gy," said the boy, 
looking Sivad calmly in the face. "And I ain't 
a rebel, like you'ns." 

"Oh, I see; you are a refugee," answered the 
officer smiling. "Well, it's no matter; have you 
seen any Union soldiers to-day?" 

"Hain't seen nothin' else, much, but I've been 
lookin' mostly fo' a rebel. 'Spect you kin tell me 
wheah he is. I don' know — mebby it's you" — 
the latter doubtfully — "no, it's not you, ceh- 
tainly not you. You ain't Cap'n Trenham, ah 
you?" 

"I am Captain Trenham," said I stepping for- 
ward eagerly. "What do you want with me?" 

The boy looked me over critically. "It's a 
little mo' like it, but not what I expected f'om 



Word by the Refugee 269 

what she said. Is theah mo' than one Cap'n 
Trenham?" 

There was now a laugh at my expense and 
Sivad wanted to know what I had been up to, 
being ignorant, like the others, that I had friends 
here. I knew that the lad had come from Kate, 
but for what purpose? She had recognized me, 
that was clear, but being with Betty had, for 
some reason, kept the knowledge to herself. 

"There is only one Captain Trenham, and I 
am he," said I quickly. "Speak; what is it?" 

He slowly put his hand in his trousers' pocket. 
"I've got something fo' you — if I hain't lost it. 
No, heah it is." 

There was a crackling of paper in his pocket as 
his fingers clutched something, and he drew out a 
small envelope, crumpled and sweat-stained, and 
passed it to me. There was no address of any 
kind on the outside. I broke the seal and took 
out the enclosure, a half sheet of dainty letter 
paper. This is what I read, evidently written in 
haste and trepidation : 

"I saw you this morning; I can't be mistaken. 
B — did not see you but she saw the others. I 
did not see them. Union soldiers going by all 
morning. B — gave information. I tried to pre- 
vent her; we quarreled and she called me a rebel. 
Oh ! Oh ! Oh ! They will send a large force, no 
doubt, for B — says there were hundreds. Save 
yourself and do it quickly if this reaches you, as 



270 The Legionaries 

I pray it may. I am doing something terrible, 
but it is for you, not the others." 

That was all, no signature, no names, but 
Kate's distressed face looked out from every 
word. After reading I took out a match and set- 
ting fire to the message watched it until it was 
consumed, then ground the blackened remnant to 
dust between my palms. Until now I had re- 
mained silent, while Sivad and the men about 
watched me curiously. 

"Let the boy go," said I at last, absently, 
turning to those who had brought him. 

Sivad looked at me, flushing a little. "You 
forget, Captain Trenham, that I command here," 
he said, with some irritation. 

"Pardon me," I returned, thus recalled to my- 
self. 

I took him apart from the others and acquaint- 
ed him with the character of the information that 
had come to me, and his soldier spirit was aroused. 

"We will take the road. I have already lost 
two-thirds of the brave fellows who crossed the 
river with me and can do little with the handful 
that is left, but that little shall be done." 

Being a careful officer, Captain Sivad upon 
going into camp had posted guards, and these 
he gave orders to call in, except those in the 
direction of the highway, who could be taken up 
as we marched out of the wood. The fact that 
no alarm had come from them assured; ' us that 



Word by the Refugee 271 

there had been delay in sending an expedition 
against us, but that we should meet our opposers 
somewhere neither Sivad nor I had the least 
doubt. The boy who had brought the message, 
on being further questioned by me while the 
men were bringing up their horses, said that he 
had left Bellray's about eleven o'clock, but 
guessed that he would have started sooner had he 
not been gone since early morning on another 
errand. 

"Miss Katewus 'most crazy when I got home, 
no otha men folks about and Mistah Rogah 
wo'se than nobody. He was wo'ked up that 
bad theah's no tellin', seein' the soljah's way off 
theah, and declarin' the wah wus begun at last. 
He's cehtainly crazy now, shuah nuff ; don't know 
any mo' wheah I came f'om, when it's only last 
wintah I run away f'om Geo'gy to keep f'om bein' 
'scripted some day, and aftah wanderin' 'round 
freezin' and sta'vin' 'most to death, he found me 
in New Albany, and tuk me home with 'im. He's 
not very strong Union, but said I had no call 
to fight fo' the rebels ef I didn't b'lieve they 
wus right. He gimme money to bring mothah 
no'th, fo' we weah very po', but I hain't had no 
chance yet. Fathah, he's daid — shot one night 
last summah, by some of you'ns, I guess, jes' 
like we'uns shot Mistah Bellray. We ah all a 
good deal alike, no'th an' south; wheah the 



272 The Legionaries 

most is, they want to make the res' think jes' 
like 'em." 

He wiped a tear from his eye when he alluded 
to his family, and then proceeded to deliver the 
subsequent opinion of human kind with philo- 
sophical composure. He had got off the horse 
and stood holding it by the bridle. Just now 
came an order to take saddles and he turned and 
looked at me questioningly. 

"Somebody he ah ain't got no hoss," he said. 

"How do you know that?" I asked, starting 
guiltily at his words. 

"I don' know much, but I ken see an' count, 
an' I've counted the hosses an' theah's fo'ty- 
seven, an' then I counted you'ns an' theah's 
fo'ty-eight. She said if Captain Trenham ain't 
got no hoss fo' him to tek Prince. He's huh 
own an' theah ain't none bettah. Ef it's you, 
suh, that's afoot tek Prince, else I wouldn't dah 
go back." 

I felt my face grow red with embarrassment as 
I realized that her quick eyes and keen intuition 
had correctly interpreted my unfortunate state, of 
which I was myself painfully conscious. Several 
of the men during the day had offered to surren- 
der their mounts to me, and insisted when I re- 
fused, but I could not bring myself to accept such 
a sacrifice. 

A cavalryman without a horse flounders as 
badly as a fish on land and is almost as helpless. 



Word by the Refugee 273 

They had then proposed to go out and "borrow" 
one from some near-by farmer, but this I would 
not allow ; nor would Sivad consent if I were will- 
ing to pursue so summary a method, for to put it 
on no higher ground our position was desperately 
precarious and required us to shun observation as 
far as possible. So it happened that they had to 
be content with providing me with a hat, an extra 
one that I could make answer being found some- 
where among their furnishings. 

And now, if I did not accept the fine animal 
at my hand, I must abandon my sorely pressed 
comrades. While I was hesitating the captain 
came up, already mounted, and with him one of 
the men, a young fellow with fair hair, who, as 
I had previously noticed, carried one arm in a 
sling from a recent wound. It seemed to be a 
severe injury, for his manner was feverish and 
he appeared to be in a bad way generally. He 
had been lying down all day, taking little ac- 
count of anything going on about him. 

"Smith says he can't go any further," said 
Sivad; "swears that he will tumble at the first 
gallop, and wants to lie right down here in the 
woods and stay." 

"That's right; I'm done fo' fo' a time, and 
the's no denyin' it," said Smith, as he tottered 
off a little way, and stretched himself out on the 
grass in the shade of a tree. 
18 — Legionaries. 



274 The Legionaries 

Captain Sivad looked at the boy, whose eyes, 
with a strange light in them, had followed the 
man on the ground. "Here, you runaway from 
Georgia, will you take care of this man and get 
him some place where he can have a doctor?" 

"Yes, suh, I will, an' I ought to; it's my 
brothah, Smith Hollen, the only rebel in the 
family," replied the boy, with trembling voice. 

He then walked quickly to the side of the sick 
man, and kneeling down called his name. The 
other looked up, a flash of recognition in his eyes. 

"Hello, little Bub; ain't you a long way f'om 
home?" Then reaching up his sound arm he put 
it across the boy's shoulders, and the latter be- 
gan to cry. Stout-hearted lads they were, both 
of them, but human. 

I went over and laid my hand on the younger's 
head and he lifted his face: "Tell her that I 
thank her," I said. 

"Yes, suh; cehtainly." 

Thus we left them and the horse Prince, I rid- 
ing the extra animal that had been ridden by the 
refugee's brother. We had not proceeded more 
than half the distance to the road when we heard 
some shots, and presently one of the pickets came 
tearing through the timber which on this side 
was open enough to admit of fair passage to horse- 
men. By reason of a slight rise in the ground 
the road was not yet in view and we could not 
see the cause of his haste, nor did we need. He 



Word by the Refugee 275. 

approached and reported to the captain the pres- 
ence of a troop of Federal cavalry and some un- 
mounted legionaries. The latter were entering 
the wood while the cavalry remained in the road. 

"That's not as bad as it might be," said Sivad 
to me. I was riding with him at the head of his 
men. 

We went flying forward and soon reached the 
summit of the rise. The legionaries who were 
scattered about in our front at once opened a fe- 
verish fire, which did us no damage as we swept 
along in open order. A sound of firing coming 
from the direction of the camp we had left told 
that the foot soldiers were also marching upon us 
through the wood. Our voluntary departure had 
deprived them of the satisfaction of driving us. 

The legionaries before us, not knowing our 
strength and probably believing it to be much 
greater than it was, after firing another ineffect- 
ual round apparently in increased excitement, 
broke from cover and ran pell-mell toward the 
road, our fellows hammering after them like mad, 
jumping logs, dodging low-hanging limbs and 
performing other feats made necessary by the 
character of the ground. 

Near the road there was less obstruction and 
we were able to draw together and assume a more 
regular and efficient formation. But after all, the 
approaching contest could be little better than a 
scampering, happy-go-lucky affair on our side, 



276 The Legionaries 

with the chances wofully against us. For we 
now saw, instead of the single troop standing 
grimly off to the eastward, ready to pounce upon 
us as soon as we should clear the wood, another 
group of horsemen on our left which had hitherto 
been concealed from us by a row of wild cherry 
trees. The legionaries, now seeing our feeble 
numbers and emboldened thereby, stopped and 
renewed their fire from behind the bank of a ra- 
vine on our right. 

Captain Sivad, riding at my bridle, looked 
flushed and anxious. The two troops of Federal 
cavalry remained motionless in their respective 
positions, thus holding the road in both directions 
with a force superior to our own. 

"Ah!" cried Sivad, and then he shouted an 
order to halt that brought us to a stand just at 
the margin of the road. "They think they have 
us." 

The firing had ceased and two officers cantered 
toward us from the eastern troop, one of them 
bearing a flag of truce. Sivad and I rode out to 
meet them and they saluted us with great re- 
spect. After asking who was in command one 
of the officers, a lieutenant, as his well-worn uni- 
form proved, demanded our surrender, asserting 
that we were hopelessly beset. 

Without a moment's hesitation or wavering, 
Sivad refused, bluntly but courteously, declaring 
that he still had fifty stout men, and that, though 







R W 



Word by the Refugee 277 

the way was blocked, he would take his chances on 
cutting a path for himself. The interview ended 
there, and again saluting respectfully, as though 
we were not at once to begin cutting each other's 
throats, both parties wheeled about and returned 
to the head of their respective forces. 

Waiting only long enough for the Federal offi- 
cers to rejoin their troop and report the futility of 
their errand we swung into the highway, but instead 
of going to the eastward, we went west, straight 
toward the bunch of blue-trousered troopers that 
rilled the road to its edges. They got under 
way with a shout and came on, much more eager 
for the fray, but not more determined than we, 
who had been put to a choice of evils and had 
taken the most manly and also the most hazard- 
ous and hopeless one. Before there was time to 
calculate our chances with the foe before us, we 
struck with great clash and outcry, our fresher 
horses giving us an impetus that sent us far into 
their ranks; but these ranks were deep and as 
lusty as our own. 

The animal I was riding, being spirited but too 
light for the work he was put to, was at the onset 
struck squarely on the shoulder by a powerful 
charger whose gleaming white teeth showed 
viciously at my saddle horn. The blow, by rea- 
son of superior weight hurled my mount toward 
the edge of the line, partly turning him about and 



278 The Legionaries 

directly in front of an officer whose sword was 
lifted to strike me. 

The officer was Philip Deverny, and he uttered 
my name as he turned his weapon aside. Just 
then came a flash and a report seemingly at my 
very face, a shock and a sting, and I pitched 
headlong from my horse. The animal, evidently 
a new acquisition and unused to battle, with no 
hand now at his rein, dashed to one side snorting 
with fear, and dragged me after him, my shoulders 
on the ground and one foot fast in the stirrup. 
How far I was drawn along I can not tell, for pres- 
ently I received a tremendous thump on the head 
and knew no more. 



CHAPTER XVIII 



AND SOME DAY 



About nine o'clock in the morning of the sec- 
ond day after the events last related, two men 
rode at a leisurely pace out of the county town 
of Corydon. One was a deputy of the district 
provost; the other was Griswold. 

"And so," said the latter, when they had got 
well beyond the town, "proceedings against Bell- 
ray have been suspended." 

"Yes," answered the deputy, a youngish man 
of good presence. "What else could be done? 
The doctors declare that he is now 11011 compos 
mentis — which means, in plain English, that his 
mind is not right — and they furthermore declare 
that he will never be any better until his skull is 
repaired by some one who understands that sort 
of carpentry. It seems that he was hurt three or 
four years ago, and their theory is that that bul- 
let of Spelker's traveled over the ground covered 
by the former injury, and set his mental clock 
back to that time, completely wiping out every- 
thing that has happened since." 
(279) 



280 The Legionaries 

"It may be," said Griswold, thoughtfully, 
"that the old hurt explains his recent conduct." 

The other laughed. "I don't remember that 
all these other people had a knock on the head, 
but it is possible. It would at least be a charita- 
ble thing to believe." 

"What has become of Spelker?" asked Gris- 
wold, after a while. 

"Why, man, haven't I told you?" was the 
counter-query. "It was all simple enough; a 
mountain fell on him, or something like that." 

"What is the joke? I don't understand it." 

"It is no joke at all; at any rate it was not to 
Spelker, nor would it be to you or me if the same 
thing should happen to us," said the deputy se- 
riously. "He thought he had killed Roger Bell- 
ray — indeed, he boasted of it that night in Cory- 
don — and Bellray, whatever may be said of him, 
has many friends. Within an hour or two after 
making his boast he got word in some way — and 
it must have come to him very straight — that he 
had been marked by the brethren of the acorn for 
slaughter. Now Spelker, as we all know, was 
more discreet than valorous where his personal 
safety was concerned. So he put himself under 
Captain Bracken's protection and started to leave 
the country for a time. That very night Brack- 
en's party with Spelker and another" — he paused 
for a moment, looking at his companion; "well, 
I may as well tell you — it can do no harm now as 



And Some Day — 281 

his cake is dough here anyway — and another, by 
name Vawter, a useful rascal if you don't trust 
him too far, left town together, Vawter to rejoin 
his latest employer, then uncomfortably near, and 
Bracken and the others to take boat somewhere 
along the river for Louisville. Early in the morn- 
ing they picked up Captain John Trenham, who 
had taken the night to visit his mother, and car- 
ried him along as prisoner of war. All this, re- 
member, came to me last night in a report from 
Bracken. Well, separating from Vawter, the 
captain pushed toward the river and came upon 
it near Kinkle's Landing. He saw a packet com- 
ing up, and as the road down was too far away, 
he, under Spelker's leadership, undertook to 
make a short cut through a break in the bluffs. 
All that Bracken knows is that from the side of the 
ravine hundreds of tons of limestone and earth 
tumbled down on the two unfortunate men, and — 
there they are. That is what became of Spelker, 
and likewise of poor Trenham. I don't care 
much for the horse-trader, for he was constantly 
swindling the government that he professed to 
love and was an arrant coward to boot. As for 
Trenham, we have one enemy the less." 

"It was merited and quick retribution in his 
case, too," asserted Griswold, solemnly. 
"Howso? And why retribution?" 
"Because it was he that took the arms to Bell- 
ray's. It was for that purpose he was out that 



282 The Legionaries 

night instead of to pay a visit to his mother," 
exclaimed Griswold, bitterly. "It was to arm 
the people that you call 'brethren of the acorn' 
to stab us in the back while we faced the raiders. ' ' 

"Since you speak of that matter," returned 
the deputy, facing the other with a suggestive 
smile, "I remember that I also have a letter from 
Vawter, received yesterday morning at the hands 
of a reliable messenger, in which he reports a 
narrow escape from a band of desperate char- 
acters to whom he attributes some patriotism 
but more fear for their own skins. He says these 
people carried him off to some underground place, 
mistaking him — and not altogether without rea- 
son, it must be admitted — for a rebel spy work- 
ing in cahoots with the men of the acorn, and 
there forced from him, as the price of his life, a 
confession as to how the arms came to be at Bell- 
ray's. He says he told these men that Captain 
Trenham had them conveyed there, and told 
them a lot of other stuff, all of which he asserts 
positively to be untrue, and writes that he hastens 
to tell me, as the responsible man hereabout, so 
that no mischief will result from his unwilling 
fairy tale." 

"Is that all he says?" asked Griswold, red- 
dening. 

"Practically all." 

"Does he not say where these — these desper- 



And Some Day — 283 

ate people took him and what they did with him 
after he confessed?" 

"No, the letter is very short, which he ex- 
plains by saying that he had to write left-handed, 
as he had that same night, after his inquisitors 
left him, fallen and seriously injured his right 
arm." 

"I don't wonder that he did," said Griswold, 
abstractedly. 

"What's that?" asked the deputy. 

"I don't wonder that he wrote a short letter if 
he had to do it left-handed. It's a difficult thing 
for a right-handed man to do," responded the 
other, escaping from his blunder. 

If Vawter had seen fit to hold his tongue — for 
he must have heard his name and Wysart's at least 
— he, Griswold, would do likewise, for the dep- 
uty provost was a trifle jealous of his powers, and 
might not countenance independent action, espe- 
cially when it was directed against one of the gov- 
ernment's information gatherers. 

They continued their journey in silence, save 
for a remark now and then on matters not con- 
nected with this story, until they had traveled 
several miles. Then Griswold, pointing to a large 
house with red chimneys standing far back from 
the road, said : 

"I wonder if the widow knows?" 

"How could she know?" answered the pro- 
vost. "After I have withdrawn the guard from 



284 The Legionaries 

Bellray's I shall make it my painful duty to stop 
and tell her — or I will let you do it." 

"Excuse me from that service," said the other, 
throwing up his hand protestingly. "Give me a 
command to meet a man and I will obey; but 
this is a responsibility that I would evade, even 
though the family belongs to the secesh." 

Coming a mile further on, to the lane running 
from the public highway to Roger Bellray's house 
they turned their horses into it. As they neared 
the house they saw two persons, a man and 
a woman, on the shaded veranda. The man was 
sitting in a rocking chair, a white bandage about 
his head ; the woman was seated on the outer 
edge of the floor, her feet resting on the wide 
wooden steps. These two persons watched them 
as they approached, and were plainly holding a 
conversation about them. When they reached 
the gate only the provost's deputy dismounted. 
The girl — for it was Kate — rose to receive him as 
he went up the walk. Roger made an effort to 
do likewise, but she put out her hand and re- 
strained him. 

"I am well enough to receive my guests," he 
said, a little peevishly and yet mildly, more as if 
he were stating a fact than protesting. 

"Yes, Roger," she returned gently, "but they 
know you have been ill, and will take your sitting 
as no discourtesy." 



And Some Day — 285 

The deputy came up to them while she was 
speaking, and understood. 

"Keep your seat, Mr. Bellray," he said, after 
bowing to Kate. "I trust you are improving, 
sir." 

"Thank you; I am very much better, Mr. — , 
Mr. — , pardon me," he stammered weakly ; "my 
memory has become very treacherous, it seems, 
and your name escapes me." 

"Lancross, Francis Lancross." 

"Yes, certainly; you are the friend of our 
guest, Mr. Shaw — a very entertaining man, that 
Mr. Shaw, though he did talk very absurdly at 
first about many impossible things, and" — laugh- 
ing — "I did him the injustice to think that some- 
thing was the matter with his head. That didn't 
last long, however, and he explained that he was 
a great joker. Like myself he voted for Doug- 
las, but he doesn't think there'll be any serious 
trouble; I hope he is right, though I don't un- 
derstand why so many soldiers were going by 
the other day — something very unusual — never 
heard of the like before. The outlook is very 
bad. But pardon me again; you may not take 
such an interest in politics as I do, and my sister, 
who is an excellent nurse for one so young, tells 
me that I should put it all out of my head until I 
am completely recovered." 

"It is always better to take the advice of one's 
doctor and nurse — particularly that of the nurse," 



286 The Legionaries 

said Lancross, good-naturedly. "But we men 
make poor patients, Mr. Bellray; we are too 
much inclined to have our own way, and it's not 
always the best way, either." Then he added: 
"If you will excuse me, sir, I should like a word 
with Miss Bellray." With that he turned toward 
Kate and the two went into the house. 

Now the deputy provost was only an official 
sojourner at Corydon, to which place he had been 
sent to investigate the temper of some of the in- 
habitants of that region with respect to proposed 
war measures. Rumors had been widely circu- 
lated that in many parts of the state there was to 
be organized resistance to conscriptions, and there 
had been many sporadic outbreaks already. Not 
only that, but it was also reported that dissatisfied 
persons were preparing to give armed aid at the 
first opportunity to the forces of the Confederate 
government. 

It was known that secret political societies — 
always to be condemned in a free country — had 
been numerously established in many of the loyal 
states, with purposes and aims so obscure to the 
uninitiated as to arouse a suspicion which finally 
ended in resentment and bitter opposition. The 
leaders in these societies asserted their lawful 
character, and protested that their object was 
merely to conserve the principles of constitutional 
government during a period of great excitement; 
that they stood between the rebellious destruc- 



And Some Day — 287 

tionists on the one hand and the loose construc- 
tionists on the other; and that, while they de- 
nounced and gave no aid to the first, they 
reserved the right to criticise any disregard of 
the constitution by the latter. 

It is no doubt true that the great majority of 
those who made up the membership of these as- 
sociations in the middle northern states were hon- 
est and patriotic according to their view of the 
times. But that there were selfish, reckless and 
scheming men among them, as well as others so 
naturally fond of excitements and intrigues as to 
care little for results and give light consideration 
to means, is beyond question. 

It was not apparent then, however, and has never 
been clearly shown since that these societies were 
in fact treasonable. That there was here and 
there a man among them who was disloyal, and 
who held intercourse with the enemies of the gov- 
ernment, is no doubt true. The population in 
many parts of southern Indiana was made up 
largely of families and the descendents of fami- 
lies who had emigrated from the seceding states, 
where generations of their forefathers had lived 
and died, and where they still had numerous kin- 
folk. The memories and traditions of the south- 
land were still fresh, and gave rise to sentiments 
that hampered them in choosing their course in 
the great conflict between the sections. 

It is not, therefore, strange that men who would 



288 The Legionaries 

have been the fierce partisans of their government 
in a war with a foreign power now held back, 
and in their uncertainty of purpose knew not 
where to turn. This was one class from which 
the ill-advised secret societies were recruited. It 
was to this class that Roger Bellray belonged. 

These societies were of course known to the 
government, which at first gave them little atten- 
tion. But as time went on and feeling grew into 
a veritable fever of passion, when men disputed 
with each other without toleration, when personal 
quarrels became neighborhood feuds and these in 
turn presaged a nightmare of anarchy, the author- 
ities sent agents abroad under instructions to act 
as occasion demanded. 

Bellray was, as I have already endeavored to 
make clear, a man who spoke with great freedom 
and fearlessness, and though no honest man 
could be found who would depose to any overt 
act of his that could be tortured into treasonable 
conduct, there were many to denounce his ex- 
pressed sentiments. It was soon clearly estab- 
lished that he, with others, frequently met in 
secret, but for what purpose could only be con- 
jectured. That they were well informed as to 
each other and did not desire the association of 
outsiders was settled by the failure of shrewd se- 
cret agents to gain their confidence and obtain 
access to their meetings; in some localities, how- 
ever, these agents met with better success, as Vaw- 



And Some Day — 289 

ter had somewhere become a member of the gen- 
eral order. Of these men Bellray was the un- 
questioned leader — his the guiding and directing 
mind. 

When it became apparent to the provost's dep- 
uty that an invasion was imminent, he caused steps 
to be taken for the arrest and detention of Bell- 
ray as a precautionary measure, governing him- 
self by the saying that where there is smoke there 
must be fire. Captain Bracken's bungling had 
given him great concern, for the death of so pow- 
erful a man, with so numerous a following as he 
was known to possess, under such circumstances 
might provoke a great commotion and increase a 
bitterness that good policy should strive to allay 
rather than to crush. When it came to him early 
the next morning that Bellray was not dead, but 
only wounded, the Confederate cavalry was en- 
gaged with the legionaries at the town's gates. 
Later in the day, when the invaders, after captur- 
ing, had left the town and swept on to the north, 
he went to Bellray's house and, learning the situ- 
ation, left a single guard until he could get word 
as to his further course from his superiors. 

It was immediately after Lancross went away 
that Griswold, Wysart and some others rode up, 
they having followed for some time, at a safe dis- 
tance, the track of the raiders. The former had 
received from some anonymous source informa- 
19 — Legionaries. 



290 The Legionaries 

tion that under the floor, at the corner of the house 
where Bellray's workroom was, fire-arms would 
be found. The identity of the betrayer was never 
disclosed, but when these facts became known to 
me my thoughts reverted to what Roger had said 
on the night of my departure for the South, to the 
effect that those in whom one most confided 
might be the first to prove false. 

A search revealed that the person who directed 
this treacherous blow at the man who had already 
paid such a heavy penalty for his mistaken con- 
duct was not writing at random, although Wysart 
and one or two others, when the matter was first 
laid before them, pooh-poohed and declared that 
it was preposterous to think that a man of Bell- 
ray's sense and standing would do such a thing. 

When the discovery was made, Roger, who had 
followed the men — for he would go about — was 
more genuinely astounded than any other, and 
laughed to think that he should have such a treas- 
ure without knowing it, while Kate looked on, 
pale, tearful and silent. Wysart, it was noticed, 
talked a great deal, and as the party rode off 
was more violent in his denunciation than any of 
his companions. I fancied, when I heard about 
it, that possibly he had a thought of himself. 

It was not until the next morning that the mat- 
ter was reported to Lancross, but he did not see 
fit to change his plans as to Bellray, though he 
decided to redouble his vigilance in general. And 



And Some Day — 291 

now he had come to say that he had received 
instructions directing him until further orders to 
do nothing more in Roger's case. It was about 
this that he desired to talk with Kate. 

"I am glad to say," he began, when they were 
beyond the hearing of Roger, "that proceedings 
against your brother have been suspended and I 
have come to withdraw the guard." 

"I can not tell you how happy it makes me to 
hear it," Kate said, overjoyed, and with tears 
springing to her eyes. Then she added, sorrow- 
fully: "But what worse thing could the govern- 
ment do than it has already done? It has robbed 
him of his mind, and almost made a rebel of me. ' ' 

"The shooting was very unfortunate, and none 
the less so because done against positive orders," 
returned Lancross. "But the man who boasted of 
the deed has dearly paid for it." 

"How?" she asked, quickly. 

"With his life," was the answer. 

"If he has been executed so soon," she said, 
dropping her eyes, "then you tried him by court- 
martial — or did you give him a trial? Oh, I am 
sorry you did not wait, for he did not, after all, 
kill my brother." 

"He was not tried by any human court or 
power; he was killed by accident," explained 
the deputy. 

"Poor man ! ' ' said Kate. 

A few minutes later she stood by her brother's 



292 The Legionaries 

chair watching the departure of the deputy and 
Griswold, now accompanied by the guard, Shaw. 
She gave a sigh of relief; at last she could speak 
and act freely, for though the surveillance had 
been nominal, it was nevertheless irritating. 
Roger began to talk to her and she answered 
him absently; her gaze was upon the three 
horsemen galloping along the highway. In a 
little while she cried out in a startled voice : 

"Oh, they are going there!" 

"Going where?" asked Roger, who had 
ceased to think about the men. 

"To Trenham's," she answered, her voice 
shaking. 

"Well, why shouldn't they? They are gentle- 
men, I am sure, and it may be that they have 
business with Mr. Trenham," he said, alluding to 
my deceased father. 

"I pray God that they have not," she returned 
forgetfully, thinking of me. 

"Why, how strangely you talk, my dear child," 
said Roger, looking at her in amazement and still 
speaking from that past in which he now lived. 
"One would think from what you say that some- 
thing terrible might happen." 

"And so it may, oh, so it may," she cried, 
still in the moving present. 

"Kate, what could happen? Your manner 
disturbs me," Roger said, reaching out and tak- 
ing her hand, which was trembling. 



And Some Day — 293 

She came to herself with a start and looked 
concernedly at her brother, attempting to smile 
but failing. 

"What did I say? I fear that my nerves are 
not as strong as I have believed." 

"You said something terrible might happen at 
Trenham's." 

"Oh, Roger, you must not tell — remember you 
mustnot tell — but young Mr. Trenham is at home, 
desperately hurt, and visitors might annoy him ; ' ' 
then, kneeling by his side, she leaned her head 
upon the chair arm and broke into tears. 

"There, there; don't cry. He is strong and 
will come along all right. He is a fine lad and 
some day — " he stopped. 

"And some day?" she repeated questioningly, 
to draw him on, but he remained silent, the whole 
matter having seemingly passed from his mind. 



CHAPTER XIX 

THE COMING OF THE PROVOST 

For a strong-willed, self-reliant girl Kate had 
greatly given way to fear when she saw the deputy 
provost and his companions going toward my 
mother's house, where I had found myself on re- 
gaining my senses the morning before. But 
heaven knows that there had been occurrences 
enough in the past four days to unsettle nerves 
even stronger than hers. What with the shoot- 
ing of her brother, the boisterous passing of my 
General's men, the eager pursuit by the Union 
soldiery, the damning discovery of Roger's guilty 
store, together with the general confusion and 
disorder, it was not strange that she should have 
been moved more than others by the doubt, dis- 
trust and alarm that racked the community. And 
now to all these things had been added my own 
then unexplained misfortune. 

Her situation was so singular, so entirely dif- 
ferent from that of any other person, as to be 
well-nigh unbearable. Her pride had been 
touched but her heart bled; and with it all, mak- 
ing her lot harder to endure, was the realization of 
her own weakness, and her belief that she must be 
(294) 



The Coming of the Provost 295 

dependent upon the mercy of those for whom she 
had so often and so resolutely contended. 

To high natures the dominant impulse is to 
demand ; to such it is torture to entreat, and if 
the supplication must be addressed to friends the 
sharpness of the pain is increased by an added 
humiliation, more keen, I think, than comes from 
submission to an over-strong and successful enemy 
whom we have opposed to the extent of our 
powers. 

She was in a frame of mind to imagine the 
happening of direful things, as indeed she might, 
considering the inflamed condition of the people. 
Our bold riders had gone like a tornado through 
the county, levying quick tribute as they went. 
With enemies springing up as thick as leaves 
about them, and knowing that relentless pursuers 
were at their heels, they did not parley about 
terms but helped themselves. The condition 
was one of the General's own making and he 
might have foreseen the desperate straits to which 
he was afterward driven. But confidence in his 
men and in himself, and faith in the fortune that 
had never before forsaken him led him on. 

His undertaking was not inspired by vainglory ; 
it was not a mere desperate attempt to win renown 
for himself. Of that I am satisfied . He unselfishly 
sought to loosen the bands that were strangling 
his chief in the South, to give him an opportu- 
nity to breathe, a greater freedom and a chance 



296 The Legionaries 

to save the great army committed to him. In a 
measure he succeeded, but at such a pitiful cost 
to himself. Nearly a hundred thousand men 
were called to arms to oppose him, and a large 
part of these were sent into the field. His strug- 
gle to save his command, as will be seen, was 
heroic, but it ended in tragedy. 

Military ethics — if there be such a thing — nat- 
urally could find small place in his plans during 
the wild ride he had entered upon through the 
very heart of a hostile country. It was not 
equitable that his men should ask only their own 
consent in trading their wearied horses for fresh 
ones as they went along, but I reflect that his 
Unionist pursuers did likewise. Nor can many 
other acts charged and treasured against them be 
justified by any known moral principle. 

And yet there is a code, recognized in all 
times, under the tenets of which they stand ex- 
cused — the code of military necessity. I do 
not include under this term the appropriation of 
skates in July, of birds in cages and of bolts of 
red calico, isolated instances of which are recorded 
against these troopers, who seemed eager in the 
first stages of their march to make a jest of their 
danger. 

What I do hold is that my General had abun- 
dant precedent for the gravest acts which can 
justly be laid at his door as commander by those 
who suffered at his hands. And I ask of them, in 



The Coming of the Provost 297 

that good spirit which has since come to smooth 
away the wrinkles of that time of strife and wipe 
out the bitterness then aroused, to consider the 
smoking waste along the Shenandoah as more 
than compensation for their losses. 

But standing in the very presence of the inva- 
sion, with the thud of hoofs, the rattle of sabers 
and the boom of cannon yet fresh in their ears, 
and the earth still damp and yellow over the 
graves of valiant defenders, the great mass of the 
people in the county where I lay might have little 
inclination to search for precedents, whether such 
be usual or otherwise. 

It was fear of them that filled Kate — fear, not 
of Lancross, who represented authority, but of 
Griswold, who stood for the right of the people to 
act for themselves, independent of authority. Was 
it not one of the latter class who had attempted to 
slay her brother? 

Thus she reasoned, not knowing that Griswold, 
with natural moderation, had already done much 
to temper the feeling against her poor, bewil- 
dered brother; not knowing further, as she could 
not, indeed, that he would afterward perform the 
same service for myself, whose escape from death 
was by such a narrow margin that I take to myself 
no credit for living at all. 

When I pitched from my horse during the fight 
in the road the frightened animal had dashed into 
the woods. Young Sam Hollen, returning in 



298 The Legionaries 

the night with civilian apparel with which to 
clothe his wounded brother before taking him to 
Sutton's house, who had agreed to harbor him 
only on that condition, had heard a groan. In- 
vestigation disclosed my body tightly wedged be- 
tween the forks of a large log, a position which 
had no doubt been instrumental in my escape 
from capture as well as from the entangling stir- 
rup, which, with a part of the broken strap, was 
lying at my feet. 

From there, during the night, with help brought 
by the refugee, I was conveyed to my mother's 
house, where I was found to have not only a dan- 
gerous shot wound in the side, but a broken arm 
and so many contusions and scratches that it was 
not thought profitable to take account of them. 

Captain Sivad, with the larger part of his small 
force, had got away, but many remained, and of 
these some were beyond mortal aid, as were like- 
wise some of their opponents. Heaven pity us 
for those days ! A young Union officer had 
scrutinized every face carefully, the lad said to 
me when I was able to hear his story, and 
seemed surprised and yet relieved when one for 
whom he was apparently looking was not found. 
That, thought I, was Philip Deverny. 

The provost's deputy, feeling it to be his hu- 
mane, if not official, duty to acquaint my mother 
with what he supposed to be the fact of her son's 
death, went straight to her door in pursuance of 



The Coming of the Provost 299 

his melancholy mission, and inquiring for her, 
was shown in and seated until she could be called. 
She was not long in coming, and there was that 
in her face which showed that she was in deep 
trouble, causing Lancross to think that possibly 
she had already heard what he had come to say. 
He was unknown to her and introduced himself. 

"Madam," he said, "I am Francis Lancross, 
deputy provost for this district." 

She bowed and was silent, her hand upon her 
heart, which began a painful beating when he re- 
vealed his official character. 

"I have come to speak to you about your son, 
and my duty is a most unhappy one," he con- 
tinued. 

"Oh, sir," she cried at this, "you certainly 
do not mean to disturb him ; he can not be 
moved yet." 

"I do not understand," said the deputy, 
greatly puzzled. "I — I have nothing to do with 
removing him ; that is a matter for you to de- 
termine. I did not .know that you had heard. 
Pardon me for adding to your distress. My sole 
purpose was to perform a painful service." 

"Nor do I understand," said my mother, her 
face showing a deeper perplexity, but determined 
to solve the riddle, the relating of which to me 
afterward caused an amusement that, I am sure, 
did not do my wounds any good. "We are 
clearly at cross-purposes. You speak with great 



300 The Legionaries 

kindness, sir, and I thank you for that. But 
what would you tell me about my son?" 

"Only of his death, of which sad fact you seem 
to be already informed," replied the deputy, ris- 
ing. "My intrusion was well meant, madam, 
and that must be my excuse for troubling you." 

"Stay," she said, with a detaining gesture, as 
he was about to go. "My son is dangerously in- 
jured but not dead, and he exacted a promise 
from me this morning that if one in authority 
should come he was to be told of it. I did not 
think it wise, but you know that a mother's heart 
and a son's head are not always in accord." 

Saying nothing, for his amazement was so pro- 
found that he could formulate no fitting speech, 
and with a strong doubt of Bracken's trustworth- 
iness, he waited while my mother, excusing her- 
self, came up the stairs to notify me of his pres- 
ence. At my request, and only staying long 
enough to tell me the nature of his mission, she 
returned below and showed the visitor up. 

"I am told that you are Mr. Lancross, the 
deputy provost," I said, as he took a seat near 
my bedside, looking very concerned and serious, 
as if half disposed to take me for some strange 
kind of ghost. 

"I am that person," he answered, as if his 
own identity, at least, was not doubtful; "and I 
suppose that you are Captain Trenham, lately 



The Coming of the Provost 301 

with the rebel general who has turned us upside 
down around here?" 

"The same, and I am glad to see you; the 
more so because I am told that you do not visit 
us officially. " 

"The meeting is very unexpected on my part," 
returned the deputy. "Until a few minutes ago 
I had reason to believe that I would never have 
the pleasure of looking upon your face. Captain 
Bracken's report was very unfavorable, indeed." 

In spite of my many pains I was forced to 
smile. Bandaged and plastered, and unsightly as 
I knew myself to be, his pleasure at seeing me 
then could not have been great, and so I told 
him, in jest, which set him to laughing and put 
us both more at our ease. A bit of humor is often 
very useful by way of laying a foundation for se- 
rious things, and I had a trouble that I much de- 
sired to get rid of. It was about my person. I 
could neither get away nor hope to remain long 
undiscovered, and so I surrendered to him then 
and there and asked that he arrange for my pa- 
role. This he agreed to do, and afterward for- 
mally executed the agreement. It was the best 
I could do, not what I wished. But it took a 
great load off the mind of my mother, who for 
two days had trembled and turned pale every 
time she heard the grind of a wheel or the step of 
a horse's foot, and for that much, at least, I was 
thankful. 



CHAPTER XX 

THE RIDE OF THE THREE THOUSAND. 

My active career as a soldier was at an end, as 
time proved, but it chanced that I was to play a 
part — small though it was — in the closing act of 
the ill-starred enterprise by which so many were 
undone. Of that I shall speak; but before I do 
so I must tell how it fared with those from whom I 
had been separated by the treachery of Vawter. 

So far as concerned that locality where my 
mother lived I had been willing enough to remain 
more an on-looker than to be a participant in 
events. But once beyond it I can truthfully as- 
sert that I would have taken my place with my 
fellows without any qualms of conscience, and 
with no motive for action other than the com- 
mands of my General. As it is, it almost seems 
to me — so keen was my interest — that I galloped 
with them along the roads by which they made 
their desperate progress, and that I participated 
in the misfortunes by which they were at last 
overwhelmed. 

The advance felt its way toward Corydon that 
first morning in Indiana, and well in front were 
(302) 



The Ride of the Three Thousand 303 

my own men, contrary to what I had planned for 
them. But of that they were ignorant. A few 
hundred legionaries, with a courage far greater 
than their strength, sought to check this audacious 
rebel host. From their rude, hastily constructed 
breastworks they sent forth a very gallant fire. 
But it was snuffed out like a match in a tempest, 
and the men who pulled the triggers were first 
enveloped in the cloud of gray, then disarmed 
and cast aside. This was the first obstacle since 
the invasion was accomplished. And how soon it 
came! Though failing to do more, it did cause 
a little delay, and delay in such a situation is 
everything. Even then the thousands of blue- 
garbed pursuers were at Brandenburg. 

Onward ! Through the town clattered the 
rebel hoofs and rumbled the rebel cannon, and 
the great game of "fox and geese" was under 
way. What a fluttering of wings there was, what 
consternation, and yet what a determination arose 
to run this gray fox to earth ! 

The next morning, Salem, fifty miles inland, 
and two hundred removed from any hope of help ! 
Already thousands had hurried to arms and other 
thousands were concentrating for hasty equip- 
ment. Behind, the roads shook with the tread 
of the cavalry that had followed from the South. 
Against this one, a dozen generals were laying 
plans, organizing and transporting forces. Half- 
frantic telegrams were passing over the hot wires 



304 The Legionaries 

between Louisville, Indianapolis and Cincinnati, 
and countless lesser places. Alarm bells were 
ringing in every town and village and hamlet. 

The enemy must be cornered. But the gray 
fox knew how to turn and to wind in and out, 
never losing his direction. And he also knew 
how to show his teeth. Reports of his move- 
ments conflicted and put him first here and then 
there, and the bewildered foes knew not where 
to strike. They made ready at many places and 
moved according to their information. Coun- 
try people and townsmen along the invader's 
track were in a state of alarm bordering on panic. 
Not accustomed to beholding any considerable 
body of soldiers, and none that were hostile, they 
vastly overrated the numbers of my General's 
men. Besides, they were expecting to have 
their throats cut, and an expectation of this 
character is not conducive to a calm judgment of 
things and events. 

On and on, under the blazing summer sun, 
with little sleep and little rest ! As by magic, the 
whole population knew that three thousand horse- 
men were running a race — the most astounding 
race in history — with death or captivity the pen- 
alty for losing; a race with the telegraph and 
steam cars, and the unnumbered foes that growled 
about them and behind them and forced them 
on. And far ahead other hosts were gathering 



The Ride of the Three Thousand 305 

to harry them and to drive them this way and 
that. 

The atmosphere was charged with excitement 
and fear, and danger lurked everywhere. Un- 
harvested wheat stood over-ripe and neglected in 
the fields. Husbandmen had suddenly become 
soldiers, and in masses were being rushed here 
and there along the invader's track. Never did 
pioneers work with such desperate energy clear- 
ing the primeval forests as did men now work to 
block with felled trees the roads that they had 
taken such pains to make. The sound of the 
ax, the crash of falling trees, mingled with the 
shouts of men, the clatter of shod hoofs and the 
crack of guns. Far aloft spread the smoke of 
burning bridges, destroyed by the General to 
hinder his enemies. 

The fox must be hemmed in. But not yet 
was it to be. He did not fear the legionaries or 
raw recruits, numberless as they were. It was 
the foe behind, and those other well-trained sol- 
diers hastening up from the war region and rising 
like a cloud far in his front, for whom he was on 
the lookout. The broad river was on his right 
hand, and it was now alive with armed craft ready 
to pounce upon him if he should attempt to re- 
cross. On his left, for hundreds of miles to the 
northward, was a country filled with enemies de- 
siring his destruction. In opposition to these con- 
ditions was the fertile brain and daring spirit of 



306 The Legionaries 

one man and the strong arms of his faithful fol- 
lowers. 

North Vernon, Versailles and Sunman Station! 
It was now Monday morning, and four days since 
the river was crossed — days of hard riding and 
strategy, with scant time for rest. The beginning 
of a new week; what would the end of it be? The 
air was filled now with murmurings of rapidly 
concentrating foes pouring forward from the mid- 
dle North in excited streams like the rising tides 
of the sea. The alarm bells had aroused the 
people. From shop and store and field, from 
office and counting room, they came, eager, un- 
tried, and with nerves tremulous with tension. 

What way would the fox turn? He did not turn. 
Straight ahead he rode, passing the Indiana bor- 
der and thundering upon the highways of Ohio. 
And now ninety miles in a day and a night he 
went, while on his right two Unionist forces, each 
in the darkness believing the other to be the in- 
vader, fell into furious conflict and drenched the 
soil they were there to defend with their own 
blood. 

On and on he swept, brushing aside one foe and 
eluding another, defying the telegraph, the steam 
cars, the dozen generals, the swarming thousands 
— night and day, day and night. His men were of 
iron, but iron will break when eaten by rust, 
and into these men was eating the rust of tre- 
mendous exertion without rest. There was no 



The Ride of the Three Thousand 307 

time for recuperation, no time to replace the vi- 
tality that was being constantly expended. 

A few of the weaker dropped from their sad- 
dles and were picked up from the wayside by pur- 
suers, some of whom were now treading on their 
very heels. At halts others fell into the slumber 
of exhaustion from which their officers could 
arouse them with difficulty. But once in the sad- 
dle again, they pressed on with mocking laughter 
for their foes and hearts beating high with cour- 
age. Their chief was in the van, and what he 
could endure they would endure, and where he 
led they would follow as long as they could keep 
their leaden feet in the stirrups. 

On, for six days more, through storm and shine 
they rode. It was the first day of a new week, 
Sunday. They had drawn toward the river Ohio, 
now in unseasonable flood, a yellow, rushing, 
foaming barrier between them and the more friend- 
ly Kentucky. It seemed that God was against 
them. Here was Buffington Island where the 
General had thought to cross, but here also his 
enemies lay in wait to thwart him, to drive him 
back. And here they fought, these wearied men 
— these men almost dead in their saddles — with 
these others, fought and died. On again, but 
there were hundreds of their fellows who could not 
follow. 

Only twelve hundred were left of the three 
thousand. But the foe followed, that foe which 



308 The Legionaries 

crossed at Brandenburg, as determined and hardy as 
the quarry he was pursuing. And other opposers 
poured forth from every town and village and 
middle-west army post, on foot and horseback 
and railway train. They patrolled the highways; 
they watched from hill and tree top ; and they 
waited in wood and field the coming of the pre- 
sumptuous rebel. 

A great roar filled the midsummer air, grow- 
ing louder day by day. The earth shook under 
the tramp of new legions. All business was sus- 
pended. Nothing was thought of but the raider 
who for weeks had eluded and baffled his enemies 
in three states, and turned upon himself the eyes 
of millions. For his splendid courage he was 
lauded ; for his blindness he was condemned. He 
was foredoomed to failure and disaster, but he 
was winning the future admiration of the world, 
and the present respect of those who were strain- 
ing every nerve and muscle and brain cell to 
bring about his overthrow. But not yet was it 
accomplished. 

The same day, twenty miles above Buffington 
Island he came again to the margin of the broad 
river. Here he resolved to breast its sweeping 
flood. Orders were given and the men rode in 
as they would ride upon the green sward or upon 
the dusty road, reckless of risk and danger. 
Those in advance were far out toward the south- 
ern shore when the gunboats of the Federals 



The Ride of the Three Thousand 309 

suddenly appeared. The General himself was in 
midstream, his powerful horse swimming gal- 
lantly. Looking back, he saw that it was impos- 
sible for the rest of his command to effect a pas- 
sage of the stream in the teeth of the enemy's fire 
that was now being directed against them, against 
him and those about him, against those others 
now nearing the green soil of Kentucky. He 
guided his horse around and went back in the 
hail of shot, to remain with the remnant of his 
command to the end. 

Only eight hundred were now left to him of the 
three thousand, and these eight hundred pressed 
on again. The sun went down but still they 
pressed on, through the twilight and into the 
night to a point off Blennerhasset's Island, where 
three score years before Aaron Burr unfolded to 
the English scholar his plans for a southwestern 
empire. 

Not so quiet as then were these somber shores. 
Coming from all directions, even from the south 
where lay the river, its bosom shimmering under 
the lights of the armed patrols, were the pursu- 
ing hunters, who now believed that the object of 
the chase was surrounded and without chance of 
escape. They moved in and shut off all means 
of egress, save on one side where an abrupt moun- 
tain barred the way like a mighty wall which no 
man, they thought, would dare attempt to scale. 
One man did dare and eight hundred followed, in 



o 



10 The Legionaries 



single file, in the darkness. Up and up, stum- 
bling, falling; up and up, winding around, and 
then down and down and away, while the foe 
awaited the coming of the dawn to finish the 
work of destruction. 

On again, toward the east, rode these men so 
desperately tired and so desperately beset. For 
six days more they moved, sometimes thrown to 
the right or to the left, sometimes hurled back, 
hampered, harrassed, but forward toward the 
east. A cloud of dust marked their march and 
revealed their presence, and other clouds of dust 
rose to mark the paths of the hunters. 

It is incredible that men can endure what these 
men suffered. They were in the saddle twenty- 
one hours out of each twenty-four. From day to 
day they were killed or captured, singly or in 
groups. Everywhere they were met by fresh 
companies of legionaries which swarmed and 
buzzed about them, and often darted upon the 
flanks or upon the rear and stung. The uproar 
and confusion increased; the shouts of men, the 
trampling of hoofs, the rattle of equipment, and 
the guns and sabers of the on-rushing thousands 
flashed and gleamed in the blistering sun. 

But the grim man in gray rode on. Until he was 
overthrown there would be no rest for pursuers 
or pursued. What mattered it that his force had 
been bitten and torn until only a weary fragment 
remained? It was the leader who was important, 



The Ride of the Three Thousand 31 1 

not his followers — this bold chieftain who so often 
had ridden far and wide unchecked. And just now 
the President of the United States, the great Lin- 
coln, was making anxious inquiries as to his where- 
abouts. 

Another Sunday dawned, the 26th of July. Far 
in eastern Ohio rode three hundred men — three 
hundred of the three thousand, and many of these, 
feverish almost to delirium from wounds received 
in fierce fights on previous days, reeled in their 
saddles as they went. They were two miles be- 
yond the village of Gavers, the General at the front 
of his scant column. 

What meant that hurtling cloud of dust ahead? 
And what meant that yellow cloud behind and 
that other rising over the Highlandtown road? 
Nearer and nearer approached these signs of the 
enemy. The scant column came to a halt, and, 
as it did so, across the fields dashed the Unionist 
cavalry. From every direction, it seemed, they 
streamed toward these hunted men in such num- 
bers that it was folly to resist. 

The gray fox was cornered at last in the open, 
but he had led a long chase. He surrendered to a 
man believed by him to be a captain of militia, 
and made quick terms for parole. These terms 
the Union general would not allow, whereupon 
Morgan demanded that he be put upon the field 
again where he was, and avowed that he would 
fight them to the end. But this was the end ; the 



312 The Legionaries 

race had been run. Beneath his horse's feet five 
hundred heart-breaking miles had sped. The 
telegraph, the steam cars, the dozen generals, the 
swarming thousands, had won, and for the losers 
who lived there was only the prison. 

Was anything accomplished by them save their 
own destruction? I will answer, yes; the victory 
six weeks later by Bragg' s Confederate army in 
the great battle of Chickamauga, when the two 
forces there engaged lost more than thirty thou- 
sand men. 



CHAPTER XXI 

THE HELP OF A STRONG MAN 

It was these things that were happening, these 
and so many more, while I was complaining of 
my own poor ills. Even to my ears, secluded as I 
was , from time to time came word of the bitter prog- 
ress of my comrades. But for many days reports 
were so meager and unsatisfactory that I could not 
make head or tail of them. When the end came, 
however, and the news was flashed from city to 
town, and thence to hamlet and farmstead, that 
the bold and far-famed raider was a prisoner in 
Ohio, the middle North sent forth a shout of re- 
joicing that I could understand, but in which I 
could not join. 

Far and near the heavens were alight with the 
bonfires of victory, and cannon and anvil thun- 
dered and crashed in very joy over my General's 
capture. I did not blame them — these people of 
the North — as I am sure he did not. We are all 
disposed to make the most of our successes, and 
when the war spirit is on us we are likely to give 
extravagant expression to our feelings. But I think 
I might have been spared the experience — though 
(313) 



314 The Legionaries 

I was in a manner responsible for it — to which I 
was subjected for being one of the invaders. 
During the progress of the raid my short connec- 
tion with it had apparently been overlooked. 
Now I was to be suddenly remembered and 
made disagreeably conspicuous at a time when, 
had I been allowed to make a choice, I would 
have remained in the retirement to which my 
misadventures had consigned me. 

Less than two miles away, at the crossing of 
the roads, stood, in one angle, a school-house and 
in another a blacksmith shop. No other build- 
ings were near except the house of the smith, yet 
it was the favorite meeting place for the country 
folk round about. Here it was that they heard 
political speeches, and here it was, also, that they 
gathered to consult together about the state of the 
war and to celebrate victories achieved by the 
Union arms. 

At the celebrations the smith's anvils were used 
as a substitute for cannon in noise-making, and 
these I heard one night as I sat, still bandaged 
and sore, on my mother's porch. My broken 
arm was useless and would so remain for many a 
day, but the wound in my side had healed so 
rapidly that I felt no further danger from it. The 
night being very warm and dry, I had determined 
to stay up as late as I dared rather than endure 
the confinement of my room. 

The distant explosions under the anvils boomed 



The Help of a Strong Man 315 

out now and then, showing that much powder 
was being burned. Between them, and less dis- 
tinctly, came sounds of cheering. To me these 
noises aroused melancholy reflections, as may 
well be believed, but along with them came a 
feeling of relief that the strain was over, and a 
satisfaction in knowing that my one arm would 
have availed nothing at last. 

Presently the sound of wheels coming furiously 
up the lane took my attention. A carriage stopped 
at the gate and some one sprang out and ran to- 
ward the house. It was Kate Bellray. 

"Is Roger here?" she asked without ceremony, 
pausing at the steps. It was not light enough 
where she stood to see her face clearly, but her 
voice showed great agitation. 

"No," said I, wondering, as I got to my feet 
and went forward, "nor has he been to-day." 

For a moment she stood hesitating, as if unde- 
cided what to do, while I, knowing that Bell- 
ray never went forth now unless accompanied by 
some one from his household, began to feel deep 
concern. 

"John, what can it mean?" asked his sister, 
plainly showing increased distress. "I came 
home from the Wests' a little while ago, and 
found Roger gone. Aunt had seen him walking 
toward the road with another man just before 
dark, but thought nothing of that, as he often 
goes that far, and, besides, she thought the man 



31 6 The Legionaries 

might be Sutton. A few minutes later she saw 
him clambering into some sort of a conveyance, 
which then drove rapidly away. He went off 
with no one from our place, we learned, and as 
he seldom wants to go anywhere but here, I 
thought — oh, I don't know what to think. Where 
do you imagine he can have gone? Think for 
me, John. He is no more fit to be abroad than 
a child." 

I was in as much doubt as she, and was about 
to tell her so, and yet beg her not to feel any 
alarm, when, through the silence that had ensued, 
came the booming of the anvils. 

"Can he be there?" she said, suddenly. "I can 
think of no other place. But if he is somebody 
took him, and he will not understand it at all. I 
will go there." With this, she started off. 

"Wait," I exclaimed; "who is out there in 
the carriage?" 

"The young refugee, Sam Hollen." 

"I will go with you," I said. 

"You must not do anything of the kind," she 
returned firmly. "You are not strong yet, and 
those people are not your friends. They are re- 
joicing over the downfall of your General." 

"Nevertheless if you go, so shall I. No harm 
will befall me." 

Without further ado, I took my hat from the 
chair on which I had flung it and walked down 
the path, giving no further heed to her contin- 



The Help of a Strong Man 317 

ued and almost vehement remonstrances. Once 
through the gate, she ran forward and sprang 
into the vehicle. 

"Quick, Sam; drive on," she cried. 

But the refugee, not understanding her purpose 
to outwit me, and being deliberate at best in his 
mental processes, delayed long enough for me to 
reach and enter the carriage. Then he started 
down the lane, having previously turned about. 
Kate had not yet yielded, however, for as we 
neared the road she leaned forward and spoke to 
the boy. 

"Drive home; you can then return with Cap- 
tain Trenham," she said, in despair over my ob- 
stinacy, and still bent on having her way. 

"Miss Bellray has forgotten," I put in, affect- 
ing a laugh, which, however, I did with an effort. 
"We go first to the celebration for Mr. Bellray 
and then home." 

The boy looked over his shoulder at his mis- 
tress. She said nothing, and taking her silence 
for acquiescence in my amendment he turned the 
horses' heads in that direction. In the road he 
whipped up smartly and we made very good 
speed. A quarter of an hour brought us within 
plain view of the illumination. People were mov- 
ing about in the glare, men and women, and dart- 
ing in and out among them were the smaller 
forms of children. Less frequently came the ex- 



31 8 The Legionaries 

plosions of powder and when we had drawn nearer 
they ceased altogether. 

The people seemed to be crowding toward one 
side of the road, save the children who still played 
about the flaming heap which was not allowed to 
die out for the want of feeding. The rude plat- 
form from which the orators were accustomed to 
address their listeners in fair weather was sur- 
rounded by a hundred or more persons when we 
came upon the scene and stopped a little way off. 
A man whom I did not recognize was speaking 
from the platform, upon which were seated several 
other men. An exclamation of surprise from my 
companion drew my eyes to her face, which was 
pale and quivering with anger. 

"Look!" said she; "there is Roger — on the 
platform. They have brought him here to ridi- 
cule him." 

Before I could even attempt to restrain her 
she had jumped from the vehicle and was push- 
ing her way through the crowd. I then heard 
Roger's name pronounced by the speaker, who 
retired and Roger moved slowly toward 'the front 
of the platform, where he stood silent for a mo- 
ment. I got out and walked nearer, smothering 
with indignation at the cruel joke, for it could be 
nothing else, of which the poor man was being 
made a butt. Kate was lost in the crowd some- 
where, no doubt fighting her way to the plat- 
form, and I, powerless to help her, stood in my 



The Help of a Strong Man 319 

place mortified beyond anything that ever hap- 
pened to me. 

"My friends," it was Bellray's voice, "I am 
told that you are ratifying your great victory. I 
don't know just why I should be here, as I voted 
for Mr. Douglas, but if Mr. Lincoln can prevent 
the coming of war, I shall be satisfied." Here 
some of the men laughed, the one who had in- 
troduced him the loudest of all ; but the speaker 
went on: "Just now, however, I am one of the 
defeated." More laughter came from a few, 
mingled with groans, and shouts of "copper- 
head" and "butternut," but of these words he 
did not seem to know the significance, and contin- 
ued : ' 'We fought you as hard as we could — ' ' 

At this point there came a great uproar from 
the crowd, with cries of "hang the traitor and be 
done with him." Just at that moment Kate 
climbed upon the platform and stood beside her 
brother, her face as white as the dead. Bellray, 
amazed at the strange reception accorded him, 
and flushing with anger, did not see her until she 
laid her hand on his arm. At the unwonted spec- 
tacle the people had become still, and to their 
credit I will say that I believe the jest was the 
work of a few who, in this monstrous fashion, 
sought to humiliate their old enemy. Flashing 
a look of scorn and defiance at those below her, 
she turned to her brother and said, gently: 

"Come, Roger; we will go home." 



o 



20 The Legionaries 



"Not until I have told these ruffians what I 
think of them," he shouted hoarsely. "They 
called me a traitor — didn't you hear? — called 
your brother a traitor and want to hang him." 

A voice was saying something in my ear, but 
so strongly did what was before my eyes hold 
my attention that I did not realize it until I felt 
my shoulder gripped warningly. Looking around 
I saw that it was Griswold. 

"Listen, man; go back to your conveyance. 
I will get Bellray there in a moment. You were 
crazy to have come, and wouldn't be here, I 
suppose, if it were not for the fools who brought 
him. There are wild fellows here. Go; don't 
make it too hard for me." 

I was unarmed, but had it been otherwise, I 
was at least sensible enough to know that Gris- 
wold's advice was good. Turning my eyes again 
upon the platform I saw that it was deserted, 
and the crowd surging this way and that, the 
women prudently flying to the outskirts and then 
across the road, calling their children as they 
went or dragging them along if they could get 
them in hand. 

Lowering looks were already being thrown to- 
ward me as I moved slowly in the direction of the 
carriage, and I heard the words "rebel" and 
"raider"muttered in tones anything but pleasant 
or reassuring. Many men carried revolvers in 
their hands as if expecting an outbreak, and the 



The Help of a Strong Man 32 1 

weapons glistened ominously in the firelight. Some 
of the fellows eyed each other suspiciously. In 
one group I saw Wysart talking to the man who 
had signaled to Vawter in the cave. Truly they 
were not all of one mind, or, if so, they were not 
well enough acquainted to know. 

That one untoward act would precipitate vio- 
lence was beyond doubt. This act cool heads 
were at work to prevent and none more strenu- 
ously or discreetly than Griswold, who was pick- 
ing his way through the crowd with Roger, 
Kate following closely. Griswold was laughing 
and calling out jestingly to one and another. His 
assumed good humor and nonchalance seemed to 
have a mollifying effect, for some covertly slipped 
their weapons into their pockets. Behind him, 
however, jostled a large number of men with still 
scowling visages. 

I stood by the carriage until they came up and 
then, waiting until Roger and his sister had en- 
tered, I climbed into the seat with the refugee 
driver, who was entirely collected and impertur- 
bable. 

"Good-night, Bellray, and all of you," said 
Griswold, cheerily, "and now, my lad, away you 

go- 

As we swung round into the road two or three 

men ran out and caught the horses, bringing 

them suddenly upon their haunches. The boy 

21 — Legionaries. 



322 The Legionaries 

seemed to arouse suddenly and lifted his whip, 
and at the same moment several other men rushed 
snarling up to the side of the carriage. Before I 
knew what they were about I was pulled violently 
from my seat just as the whip descended upon 
the frightened horses, which, finding their heads 
now free, and the way clear before them, sprang 
snorting forward. 

Still feeble and crippled from my former inju- 
ries, I could make but a sorry defense against the 
assault. But the little that I could do I did. 
Wrenching my sound arm free, I seized one of 
my assailants by his hairy throat, and gave it 
such a squeeze that he pulled and tore at my 
wrist while gurgling with fear and suffocation. 

In my fury I held on, knowing that I was be- 
ing struck at from all sides, and conscious that 
some wretch was crying wildly for the others to 
give him a chance to shoot me. The powerful 
form of Griswold was forcing itself toward me, as 
I could see by the swaying of the jammed mass 
of men in front, and he presently got to my 
side. Shouldering my would-be executioners out 
of his way as if they had been so many sacks of 
straw, he raised his two hands ; one he held out 
warningly, and in the other was a large revolver. 

"I will kill the man who strikes the next 
blow," he said, in a voice as hard as flint. "Cap- 
tain, let go of that man." 

Unconsciously I had retained my desperate 



The Help of a Strong Man 323 

clutch upon the fellow's neck and he was purple 
in the face from the effects of the strangling. I 
released him at once, being myself half blind 
from the blood that was running from a wound in 
my scalp. Evidently no one was prepared to 
defy the stern man who held his weapon so 
steadily, for, as if by common consent, they 
crowded backward, leaving a cleared space about 
us. All save the one that I had held, and he 
merely stood stroking his throat and gasping. 
Then for the first time I recognized in this man 
the one who had persuaded Roger to speak. 

"Serves you just right, Durring; if anything, 
you don't get what you deserve," said Griswold, 
rebukingly. "If you hadn't been idiot enough 
to bring Bellray here Trenham wouldn't have 
come. He came with Miss Bellray to take her 
brother away and not in foolish defiance of you 
fellows. And listen, all of you; he is going home 
without another scratch, and myself and my men 
— do you understand? — are going to see that he 
is let alone as long as he behaves himself. It 
shan't be said that any decent man need fear lo 
live in Harrison county — not if Dave Griswold 
can prevent it. Now clear out, you there in the 
road; we are going that way." 

Thoroughly cowed by this forceful man, whom 
it was clear they all knew and either respected or 
feared — possibly both — they made room for us to 
pass. A hundred yards down the road the Bell- 



324 The Legionaries 

ray carriage had been stopped. As we ap- 
proached, Kate, who was already upon the 
ground in a frenzy of apprehension and anger, 
ran forward to meet us, with exclamations of de- 
light and relief at my safety, but not forgetting 
in the least to thank my companion for his part 
in the night's dangers. Roger leaned weakly out 
of the vehicle. 

"It's all most extraordinary, Griswold ; I don't 
understand it," he said. "To treat me like that 
when I attended their meeting to ratify Mr. Lin- 
coln's election merely through courtesy. You 
and I have never agreed, Dave, but you at least 
have always been a gentleman." 

"That's all right, Roger; I'll fix these fellows. 
Just leave them to me," Griswold responded as 
he turned and walked rapidly back in the direc- 
tion of the now diminishing light of the great bon- 
fire. 

Mounting to my place with the boy we rolled 
away, going in silence for some minutes save for 
occasional feeble growls from Bellray, who seemed 
able to understand that he had been treated with 
great disrespect and fretted under it. When we 
had covered a mile in this manner I felt a touch 
on my shoulder from behind. Looking back I 
saw Kate bending toward me. 

"You see now that I was right, sir," she said, 
softly. 

"Right or wrong, I am glad I went," I 



The Help of a Strong Man 325 

answered. "And as good luck would have it, I 
throttled the rascal who was the cause of our 
going." 

"Then I forgive you." 

She spoke these four words so decisively as to 
leave no room for doubting the depth of her re- 
sentment against those who had perpetrated the 
outrage. Any personal humiliation that she 
might feel on account of the occurrence she 
could overlook. But the indignity put upon her 
brother, through whose clouded mind pride still 
struggled for expression, was an affront too 
deadly to be easily forgotten. And in very truth 
it was many a long day before she did forget. 



CHAPTER XXII 

CORPORAL NEFFITT 

HEARING nothing further from the extremists 
who, at my first public appearance, had under- 
taken to visit punishment upon me, I concluded 
that Griswold was able to keep his word. At 
least I saw no further signs of violence, though 
there were mutterings from the more radical ones. 
For many days after the affair at the cross-roads 
I was compelled to keep to my bed, for what with 
the excitement and the rough handling my wounds 
suffered an aggravation that well-nigh proved se- 
rious. On this account and for reasons of pru- 
dence, it was some weeks before I ventured to ex- 
ercise that freedom of movement which should 
never be denied to a peaceable man. And such 
I now was, God knows, whether I would or not, 
and such, it seemed, I was likely to continue so far 
as military operations were concerned. 

I would probably have remained in this unsat- 
isfactory state for a much longer period had it not 
been for an event that befell me on the Corydon 
road and turned my thoughts elsewhere. The 
time was evening. The sun had already dropped 
(326) 



Corporal Neffitt 327 

so low that the September dusk was beginning to 
settle over the earth. We were driving from the 
town — Kate Bellray and I — which I had that day 
seen for the first time since my return, and whither 
we had gone upon some errand of hers. Upon 
nearing the entrance to my mother's place the 
gaunt figure of a man, in tattered civilian clothes, 
arose from the ground at the margin of the high- 
way. Walking into the middle of the road ahead 
of us, he stopped and stood awaiting our ap- 
proach. He did not move either to the right or 
left, even when we were almost upon him, but 
seemed determined to bar our way. A slouch 
hat was pulled far down over his forehead, and 
beneath its limp brim, in a tangle of unkempt hair 
and whiskers, lurked two steady eyes. 

Having no wish to run him down, though be- 
ing far from satisfied as to his purpose, I reined 
up quickly, and sharply commanded him to get 
out of the way. Instead of doing so he raised 
his hand deprecatingly, and stepping a little out 
on the side on which I was riding looked me 
keenly in the face. There was a quick change in 
the glow of his eyes, but what it betokened was 
not at once apparent. It struck me that some- 
where I had seen the man before, but in the busi- 
ness in which I had been engaged I had seen many 
faces. And some of them, though appearing 
momentarily amid the clash of arms, are in my 
memory yet, and more than one with the hot 



328 The Legionaries 

blood streaming down. Had this man been 
friend or foe? Or was he merely a wayside va- 
grant bold enough to attempt a robbery? 

"Move aside," I repeated impatiently, as he 
had not yet cleared the road. "Or if there is 
anything you want, speak out." I added the 
latter words more softly, for it occurred to me 
that the man looked in need, and all my anger 
vanished when I observed that one ragged sleeve 
hung empty and flapping by his side. 

"Beg pardon, Captain, but I wanted to make 
sure it was you," he said, in tones hollow and 
weak, as he came toward me. "A little while 
ago I asked a feller goin' by if he know'd of any- 
body named Trenham livin' about here, and he 
told me to go to hell, as if you was there or ought 
to be, and I felt a little cheered up. You don't 
look like you'd had a' easy time yourself and the 
boys must be mistakened." 

"What boys, and how mistaken?" I asked in 
amazement, tempered, however, by a dawning 
suspicion of a part of the truth. 

"W'y, your boys — once know'd as Burkley's. 
A feller told us the day we crossed — " he paused 
as at a disagreeable recollection, and drew his 
begrimed hand over his eyes — "that your folks 
lived round here som'ers and not in Virginny at 
all. And when you didn't show up next day, 
some of them new fellers — ' ' 

He stopped in confusion, now looking at Kate 



Corporal Neffitt 329 

for the first time and instantly taking off his hat, 
as though feeling that he had been guilty of grave 
disrespect in keeping it on so long. When he 
did this, I recognized the unruly corporal who 
had captured poor Venault. 

"Neffitt!" I exclaimed, reaching out to take 
his hand, and glad to see this rapscallion, who, 
with his many faults, had been one of the bravest 
of my men. 

Greatly to my surprise he drew back, rolling 
his excuse for a hat awkwardly around his long 
forefinger. 

"Corporal," said I, "what is the matter? Why 
will you not take my hand?" 

"I'm a fool to let it stick in my craw, but it 
ain't fair to take no man's hand, meanin' to say 
a thing like I'm goin' to say. But I can't tell 
you about it in front of the lady — it ain't in my 
heart to hurt you mor'n I can help. And when 
I've told you, instead of offerin' to shake hands, 
you'll set the dogs on me." 

"In heaven's name, man, what is all this 
about? Can't you see that what you have already 
said, if unexplained, is worse than anything you 
have in your mind to tell me?" 

"I guess you're right," he said after a little 
hesitation. "The boys thought — some of them 
new recruits, mind — when they heard that, that 
mebbe you'd — " here he took a step backward, 



33° The Legionaries 

watching me closely the while — ' 'that mebbe 
you'd bolted to the Yanks." 

This was so much worse than anything I had 
expected to hear, a suspicion so foul and besmirch- 
ing and so wounding to the honor of a soldier, 
that I, hardly able to believe my ears, could only 
sit and stare vacantly at Neffitt as if numbed by a 
sudden paralysis. When I turned from him at 
last and looked at Kate I beheld her gazing at the 
corporal with flaming cheeks and dilated eyes, 
before which the poor fellow seemed to shrink 
and shrivel pitifully. 

"Shame upon you!" she cried indignantly. 

"'Twan't me, miss," he said hastily. "I 
never really believed it myself. And as I couldn't 
soldier no more" — he flirted his sleeve with the 
stump of his lost arm by way of emphasis — "and 
don't want to nohow since the General's took, I 
thought if I'd good luck in findin' him I'd tell the 
Captain how it was and get his word for it that 
'twan't so. And I hope, Captain, that you won't 
be too hard on them new men — for most of 'em 
has been killed — and that feller who said your 
family lived here said next day that he'd saw you 
with the Unionists." 

"Neffitt, that man was a scoundrel and a spy, 
and this is merely a piece of his villainy," I said. 
"But nevertheless it is not the sort of thing one 
likes to hear." 

I bade him sit down at the mouth of the lane 



Corporal Neffitt 331 

and wait for me. When I had driven Kate home 
and returned to the place where I had told him 
to remain, he was sitting on a mounting block in 
the gathering darkness in an attitude of great de- 
jection and weariness. He got up and I took him 
into the vacant seat beside me. Little was said 
until we reached the house, and then I observed 
how greatly changed the poor fellow was. The old 
dare-devil, irreverent spirit appeared to have been 
crushed out of him, at least for the time. It had 
gone with his arm, the loss of which, I noticed 
afterward, filled him with deep humiliation, to 
which the calamity that had befallen his General 
added a keener sting. 

After he had eaten and rested he was some- 
what more cheerful, but save in a general way I 
held no conversation with him that night. I was 
not then in a humor to deal patiently with the 
bearer of such a tale as he had told. Neffitt had 
often come under my observation, and while rude 
and reckless, his blunt nature made him at times 
even offensively truthful. Therefore I did not 
doubt the story in the least, but was humiliated 
to think that such an inference, so sullying to my 
honor, should be drawn and believed against me. 

Vawter ! He was the man who had crossed 
the river with us, and he it was who had seen me 
with the Unionists, a prisoner, it is true, but of 
that he had not told them in his devilish purpose 
to repay me for the blow that I had struck that 



332 The Legionaries 

night at Bellray's. Had I known of this on the 
occasion when he forced me to fight him in the 
cavern, I believe I should certainly have put an 
end to his career. 

It was the next day that I learned all that the 
corporal knew, not only as to the story about 
myself — by which I was now resolved not to be 
troubled — but as to my General and his men. He 
appeared clad in a suit of my own clothes, and 
with a countenance remarkably improved by a 
razor and shears that black Peter had wielded. 
He looked a little shame-faced and uneasy, as if 
carrying a burden of which he wanted to be 
relieved. 

"Captain," he said, attempting a salute with 
the hand that was not there, and smiling ruefully 
at his mistake, " — I forget sometimes that it's 
gone — I oughtn't to 'a' said it before her, though, 
bless her pretty face, I don't know who she is or 
how much you'd care. 'Twan't right, nohow, 
and I wan't bound to obey your orders then. " 

"Never mind that, Neffitt; she knows how it 
is," I responded, seeing that he was really dis- 
tressed about the matter. 

"Well, she's spunky, and stood up for you 
strong," he said, meditatively stroking his bony 
chin, still red from the vigorous scraping admin- 
istered by Peter. 

"And there's another thing I've never felt just 
rightabout it," he added, looking at me curiously, 



Corporal Neffitt 333 

some of the old mischievous sparkle in his sunken 
eyes. 

"Out with it." 

"I kicked you onc't," he confessed, repent- 
antly. 

I laughed. "So I have ever since suspected. 
But that is no great matter either, now, only I 
hope nobody saw you." 

"Nobody did; if they had I wouldn't 'a' done 
it." Then he continued in explanation: "I al- 
wus wanted to kick an officer ; not that I had any- 
thing agin 'em, but just for the satisfaction of 
knowin' I'd done it. They'd told us and told 
us, time and agin, that any feller that struck his 
officer would be took out and shot, and the more 
I thought about it the more I know'd I just had 
to do it — only with me it was to kick and not 
strike. At last I got where I must kick an offi- 
cer or get out of the service, either by desertin' 
or bein' killed, and I didn't want either one of 
them things to happen. Don't believe I could 'a' 
fought any more if it hadn't been for that chance 
you give me. Afterwards I just turned to and 
seemed like two men." 

The war-worn rascal stopped and laughed se- 
pulchrally, as though the memory of the kick he 
administered to me afforded him even yet a mel- 
ancholy sort of satisfaction. 

"Beg pardon, Captain, but it did me a power- 
ful sight of good, Over and over I says to my- 



334 The Legionaries 

self, 'Neffitt, my boy, you're all right; you've 
kicked an officer and settled the question of equal- 
ity. Now keep your eyes open to do that officer 
a favor.' And I've done it. You know what hap- 
pened that day when you and that foreign fel- 
ler was a havin' it all by yourselves. And before 
we'd got out of Indiany I knocked the daylights 
out of two of the boys who said they thought you 
did it. That was just after the General happened 
to speak to me one night and I ups and asks him 
if he'd heard from you. He said he hadn't and 
know'd you must 'a' been took by them there 
cornstalks. And I tells him what the feller said 
and that some of the boys said mebbe it was so. 
Then you ought 'a' seen the General and heard 
him. He took me by the collar like he was 
goin' to shut off my wind for onc't and all. 

" 'Do you believe it?' he says, fierce as a pain- 
ter. 

" 'No,' says I, 'but I'd like to know for sure.' 

" 'If I thought you did,' says he, T'dtwistyour 
fool neck like a chicken's. If you ever get a 
chance tell your captain that I said so.' " 

How my heart rose at that and swelled with 
pride and gratitude at this added proof of the 
confidence of my unfortunate chief. 

"Tvva'n't much time we had to think about 
anything except savin' our skins, after that. At 
Buffington I got shot, and was nabbed with a lot 
more and was took up there to, Jndianapolis. 



Corporal Neffitt 335 

My arm wa'n't doin' well so they put me in the 
hospital and cut it off, and that ended mc. I was 
sick and weak but purtended to be a powerful 
sight wuss than I was, and I'm ashamed for de- 
ceivin' the good women who nursed me as care- 
fully as if I'd been a Unionist instead of a rip- 
snortin' Confed, and never none too good at 
that. After awhile, one night, I give 'em all the 
slip somehow, and got out of town. The fust 
feller I stumbled acrost at daylight was out feedin' 
hogs. I was nearly dead, as I'd gone all night 
like a house afire. He wanted to know where I 
was goin', and I told him just for a little walk 
over to one of the neighbors. 

" 'Your neighbors is down south,' he says, 
suddent like, 'and you're a run-away rebel.' 

"With that I 'most dropped in my tracks. 
But after lookin' at me a little bit he says: 'You 
ain't any good to nobody but yourself and never 
can get in the army agin, so what's the use?' 

"And then he told me that our folks had a son 
of his in prison at Andersonville, and he would do 
for me what he'd want anybody do for him if he 
got out. So he slapped me in a haystack and 
brought me some victuals and told me to keep 
quiet and go to sleep till he come back. He 
didn't come back till nearly dark, then he had 
some more victuals. And he give me them old 
clothes — only they was a little better then— -and 



336 The Legionaries 

a little money, and told me to hustle as if the 
devil was after me. 

" 'If they ever get you in Camp Morton prison 
you won't get out till the war's over unless it's 
on a board.' 

" 'And that's what I don't want,' I says. 

" 'Then for God's sake, man, use your "r's" 
— talk like a white man and not so much like a 
damned nigger or yo'll get ketched up for a reb. 
Anybody can tell you're a Johnny.' 

"That's all he know'd, of course, for it's the 
niggers that talks like us — and anyway I'm only 
from Kentucky and ain't bad that way. That 
night on the road and next day in the woods — just 
to obleege that feller, for I didn't need do it at all 
— I said over and over every word I could think of 
with an 'r' in it and tried it northern style, and 
have been doin' it ever since until now I can 
'most turn in for a Yank. But there's a pile of 
them words ! My tongue aches yet ; I think it 
must be twisted a little." 

He stopped and put his fingers in his mouth, 
feeling about in quest of proof that he had not 
irretrievably damaged the vocal appendage, with- 
out the free use of which he would have been a 
most unhappy man. Having satisfied himself in 
this respect, I verily believe he would have talked 
all day had I not thereafter confined him by 
questions to the subjects upon which I partic- 



Corporal Neffitt 337 

ularly desired to be informed. As to what hap- 
pened after the affair at Buffington, he knew 
nothing, of course, save by common report, but 
before that it was ride, ride, ride, in general 
very much as I have already told it. In matters 
of detail and personal incident, he was able, from 
his experience, to illustrate the blinding, benumb- 
ing hardships of the struggle in a manner beyond 
my power to reproduce, even were it my desire 
to do so more fully than I have. 

"And now," said Neffitt, determinedly, at the 
end, "since I've found you, and settled the ques- 
tion that troubled them new fellers, and told you 
what the General said, I'm goin' to start back." 

"Back where?" I asked, uncertain as to his 
meaning. 

"W'y, to help the General, where else? Mebbe 
'twon't be no use, but leastways I'll try. Can't 
tell what I can do till I get where the prison is." 

"It is more than two hundred miles away," 
said I 

"I know that, but I'll get there. On my way 
down here I've been practicin' on bein' a 
one-armed Union soldier from old Kentuck — 
there's many of 'em down there, you know — 
so's if I made slips with them r's and such 
'twouldn't make no difference. I've got it all 
safe and sound up here," and he tapped his head 
with his fingers. 

22 — Legionaries. 



338 The Legionaries 

"We will go together," said I, with sudden 
resolution. 

"Cuss that feller who told them things. Cap- 
tain, just give me another chance to take your 
hand." 

His face beamed with joy, and he gripped the 
hand I held out to him as if bent upon making 
amends for an unjust suspicion. 

I was rapidly getting strong again in limb and 
body, and idleness had begun to irk me. The 
old longing for action, which I could not gratify 
in the direction that accorded most with my de- 
sires, turned my thoughts swiftly toward my luck- 
less chief, whom I would aid if possible. Left 
in prison he would fret his soul out — this man 
of action and deeds. As well cage the eagle 
and expect it to thrive and learn to like its cap- 
tivity as to tame his restless spirit within confin- 
ing walls. 

When once this design had entered my mind, 
I greatly wished that I possessed Roger Bell- 
ray's old keenness in contriving. But after all, 
my services and Neffitt's might not be needed; 
others might already have under way schemes to 
the same end far more effective than any that I 
could conceive — being slow witted in such things, 
as I have said. The opportunity for adventure, 
however, and more than all else, the wish to aid 
the man who had so strongly bound himself to 
me, aroused my sluggish faculties and presently I 



Corporal Neffitt 339 

found myself burning with enthusiasm and eager 
to be off to Ohio, while, much to my wonder, a 
dozen nebulous plans began to jostle each other 
in my mind. 



CHAPTER XXIII 

A MESSAGE FROM THE GENERAL 

Notwithstanding our eagerness to start on 
our self-imposed mission we were forced to endure 
delay, the chief cause of which was the necessity 
for allowing Neffitt time to recover his strength 
more fully. Rough and uneducated as he was, he 
possessed a readiness of wit and a fertility of re- 
source that I would greatly depend upon in any 
undertaking in which I might engage. It was 
ten days or such a matter before I decided that 
he was fit to depart, though he was anxious to 
do so much sooner than that. Then, after pro- 
viding him with money sufficient for his journey, 
I saw him set out, for upon reflection I had de- 
termined that it was not best that we should 
travel in company as I had at first suggested. 

Two days later, having made excuses for my 
departure and indefinite absence, I rode away 
again toward Jeffersonville. It was in the night, 
as that other ride to the same town more than 
a year before had been, for now I had as lit- 
tle desire to be spied upon as then. Arriving 
in the vicinity of the town early in the morning, 
(34o) 



A Message from the General 341 

I stabled my horse at the house of a man I had 
met at Bellray's, and upon whom I knew I could 
depend, leaving it to be recovered by Peter. The 
two or three miles yet intervening I made on 
foot. 

That night I reached Cincinnati, and the next 
night was in Columbus, without other incident 
than such as falls to the lot of the ordinary trav- 
eler. Seeking out quiet lodgings I slept soundly, 
making up in great measure for the enforced 
wakefulness of the two previous days. Being a 
total stranger in Columbus, and thus having no 
expectation of being recognized, I made no pre- 
tense at disguise. The most that I had done in 
this respect was to provide myself with apparel 
that might make me pass as a young tradesman 
or a well-garbed mechanic. 

When I had breakfasted the next morning I at 
once started out to fix the location of the prison, 
which I knew to be somewhere upon the border 
of the city. I had seen nothing of Neffitt, which 
fact disturbed me a little as he had been told of 
my route and had promised, providing he met 
with no misadventure, to keep a careful watch for 
my appearance. This I considered necessary, 
seeing that we were both without knowledge of 
the town and might, in the absence of such pre- 
caution, have some difficulty in meeting save after 
exasperating delay. 

I had gone but a block or two when, chancing 



342 The Legionaries 

to look across the street, I saw a maimed veteran 
in a well-worn Federal uniform trudging along 
abreast of me, and now and again turning his eyes 
in my direction as if keeping me in view. It was 
Neffitt. At the next corner he made a motion 
indicating that I should follow him down the in- 
tersecting street, which I did. He shambled on, 
I trailing behind, until the outskirts of the city 
were reached and the grim stone prison which 
held our General loomed up before us within its 
strong, high walls. As he now seemed to be walk- 
ing purposely slower I soon overhauled him, but 
not until he had turned aside so as to put an ob- 
struction between us and the lookouts on the yet 
distant walls. 

"Well?" said I, questioningly. 

"I've made a start; I've hired that house out 
there for my family." He pointed toward a lit- 
tle house some two hundred yards away to the 
right, which seemed sadly in need of repairs. 

"Your family?" 

"It hain't come yet, and won't — for I hain't 
got none — but that's what I got it for; leastways 
that's what I told the feller I hired it from. It's 
clost to the place. I'm goin' to put in a stove 
and a bed and then get acquainted with some of 
them guards, somehow." 

It was plain that the corporal had been going 
ahead with his old-time impulsiveness, and while 
I felt that he was probably the more capable of 



A Message from the General 343 

the two in the execution of some parts of the 
business in hand, I feared that in his hurry to get 
on he might be indiscreet. He evidently guessed 
what was in my mind, for he made haste to as- 
sure me that he was acting with the utmost cau- 
tion. 

"We've got to know how they are in there, 
and what's goin' on," he added. "Without that 
we can't move a finger to help 'em, and mebbe 
not then. I'm bound to get inside, though, 
somehow. I know where you're stayin', and I 
won't see you agin till I've got something to 
tell. Leave this part of it to me, if you please." 

He was so earnest, and spoke with such a 
thorough understanding of the situation that I 
could do nothing less than accede to this arrange- 
ment. Unless we could work in harmony with 
the imprisoned General we might as well not work 
at all. So, agreeing to Neffitt's proposal and 
leaving him to his own devices, I went back to the 
city. 

Day after day passed until a week had gone by 
with no tidings fromNefntt. At last, fearing that 
some misfortune had befallen him, and realizing 
that without at least a pretense of an occupation 
suspicion might be attracted to myself, at a ven- 
ture I answered an advertisement for agents. It 
turned out that the advertiser wanted solicitors to 
take subscriptions for a new war history. I was 
on the point of declining this, to me, distasteful 



344 The Legionaries 

service, but before I had committed myself there 
came a providential illumination. 

Truly I was dull of wit and memory. For 
while my chief desire was to get word with the 
General, I had not thought of a method by which 
he had once received an important communi- 
cation from within the Union lines that en- 
abled him to accomplish one of his most daring 
exploits. It came from a woman who, notwith- 
standing her sex, was known to fame as Lieuten- 
ant Rawley, and who did, in fact, bear a commis- 
sion as an officer for some time in the command 
of General Forrest. Shrewd, of keen intelligence 
and forceful character, she was long a purveyor 
of information useful to the South. The inter- 
mediary in the instance to which I refer was only 
a small, harmless book. At the time it came 
into the General's hands I was acting temporarily 
as his adjutant. After scrutinizing the volume 
for a few minutes, he passed it to me with the 
look in his face that I always saw there when he 
contemplated one of the bold strokes for which 
he was renowned. 

"Well, sir," said he, "what do you make of 
that?" 

"A nice little book," I answered turning the 
leaves ; ' 'but it will probably be awhile before you 
get time to read it." 

"Read it!" he cried, laughing; "I have read 
it within these five minutes, and a very pretty 



A Message from the General 345 

story it is, too. But let me tell you that the 
name of the author of what I have read is not 
that on the title page." 

An hour later we were in the saddle and carry- 
ing a sharp wind in our teeth, so great was our 
hurry. He had left the book in my possession 
and I placed it in my pocket. Some days later, 
after we had accomplished the duty that the se- 
cret intelligence had put before us, I returned it 
to him, having in the meantime studied it with 
great care, and discovered nothing of the "pretty 
story" of which the General had spoken. When, 
however, he gave me the key to the mystery, it 
was a mystery no longer, but as simple a matter 
as one would care to know. In very truth its 
simplicity was its safeguard, for it hardly ap- 
proached the dignity of a cipher. 

And here now I had stumbled upon an oppor- 
tunity that gave much promise. It at least 
aroused a hope that I might bring about the very 
thing without which, as Neffitt said, we could 
not move a finger to aid those within the formid- 
able walls upon which we were at the time gaz- 
ing. I succeeded without difficulty in engaging 
myself to the advertiser. Not knowing then how 
closely the officials guarded their important pris- 
oner from even the view of outsiders, I thought 
that by prosecuting my new avocation skillfully 
I might perhaps be allowed conversation with 
General Morgan himself. But I did not intend 



346 The Legionaries 

to show myself at the prison until I had estab- 
lished a sort of footing in the business by secur- 
ing a respectable list of subscribers in the city. 

For two days I invaded offices, shops and 
public buildings, and tramped up and down the 
streets and avenues from house to house with a 
veritable fire of energy, achieving a success be- 
yond anything that I would have believed pos- 
sible. I had even obtained the name of the gov- 
ernor of Ohio himself — that man who had done 
so much to aid in the ruin that had come upon 
my comrades. Under other circumstances it 
would not have been possible to do these things ; 
but in pursuance of my purpose then I would 
allow nothing to stand in my way, submitting to 
rebuffs, and even to insults for which it would 
have been a pleasure to administer heavy chas- 
tisement, but at last emerging triumphantly with 
the signatures of the offenders. 

On the night of the second day I sat in my 
room, tired but gloating as over a battle won. 
The next day, fortified with the evidence of pre- 
vious industry, I would boldly invade the prison 
and with lip and tongue fight my way to the Gen- 
eral. I had come to understand, as never before, 
that the man who swings a sword is not more a 
hero after he has overthrown his enemy than 
many who engage in the conflicts of peace. Pres- 
ently I became aware that some one had stopped 
at my door. Not waiting for a knock to be 



A Message from the General 347 

sounded I went forward and opened it. My late 
corporal stepped quickly within. Closing the 
door I turned toward him, delight and anger war- 
ring for expression, for the failure to hear from 
him had greatly provoked me. 

"Well, sir, you have given me a pretty wait," 
said I. "I had almost concluded that you had 
been caught and hung." 

"Very far from it," he answered, pulling a 
chair into the center of the room, seating him- 
self upon it and by a gesture indicating that I 
should do likewise with another. "Now," he 
continued, "I've not seen the General, and didn't 
get to talk to him. It took me till to-day to find 
out that I couldn't. They're all-fired skeery of 
him and them officers of his'n that are with him. 
Won't even let 'em look out of a winder." 

The corporal was greatly cast down, but not 
discouraged by his partial failure. It was grad- 
ually disclosed that he had learned some things 
that might be of benefit to us in the making of 
further effort. The General and his fellow-offi- 
cers were confined in the wing of the prison called 
the East Hall, and occupied cells in that side of it 
facing the town. During the day they were al- 
lowed to exercise in the corridor upon which 
their cells opened. Surrounding the buildings 
was a thick wall, twenty- five feet high, upon 
which at intervals were the small shelter houses 
for the outside guards, who, armed with guns, 



348 The Legionaries 

were expected to prevent the scaling of the walls 
at all hours. 

Some of these guards, when off duty, fre- 
quented a public house not far removed from the 
prison. Of this house Neffitt had become a reg- 
ular patron, carefully studying the habits of the 
men. In respect to any over-indulgence in drink, 
he confessed sadly that, with two exceptions, they 
were above reproach. With these two he was 
taking pains to become especially friendly, but 
with what particular object in view he did not 
say and I did not inquire. Indeed, as he after- 
ward admitted, this course was taken at a ven- 
ture, in the absence of definite information from 
within the walls as to what would be expected 
of us. 

As things befell, I am forced to concede that 
without this foresight an event that set the coun- 
try by the ears might have had a very different 
termination. When the corporal left it was with 
a promise to report to me on the following night, 
for I told him I might have something to say to 
him, though not then confiding to him the nature 
of my purposes. 

It might be that I should fail even more in- 
gloriously than Nefntt in my intended attempt to 
get speech with the General. This did not now 
trouble me so much since there remained the 
other method of communication upon which I set 
great store. Taking up the volume that I had 



A Message from the General 349 

been using in my business of the past two days I 
went to work to prepare my message. The book 
contained a table of contents showing more than 
thirty chapters, designated by numeral letters. 
Choosing the nineteenth chapter, I made a small 
dot with my pencil a little below and midway be- 
tween the last two numerals, thus indicating that 
the ninth chapter had been selected as the one in 
which the message could be found. Turning then 
to the figure 2, marking the second page of the 
book, I put a short dash above it, indicating that 
the second and each succeeding alternate line, 
counting from the top of the page, might be 
looked to as furnishing the letters and words 
composing the message. A dot beneath, and 
another some spaces to the left of the figure com- 
pleted its ornamentation. These designated the 
second letter preceding the one having the mark 
beneath it as the letter to which attention was to 
be given in spelling out the words. A short dash 
to the right of the figure 3, marking the third 
page, indicated that the message would begin on 
the third page of the chosen chapter, and a cir- 
cular mark resembling a small letter "o" beneath 
the figure 3 , allowed the use of the third preced- 
ing word entire. Let it be understood that the 
location of these little marks, all of which were 
made lightly, meant a great deal, and that I 
might have arrived at the same result by putting 
them in very different places. 



350 The Legionaries 

Being done with this, I found the ninth chap- 
ter and on its third page began to make faint but 
discernible marks below the proper letters and 
words in the designated lines. I had previ- 
ously fixed in my mind the communication that 
I desired to make, and having marked the last 
letter, I then, in like manner, appended my own 
name. Then I read it all over to see that I had 
made no mistakes. To me it was perfectly legi- 
ble, and there was no doubt that it would be as 
clear to the General, if it should ever get to him. 
' ' Two friends outside — what can we do?" 

In the selection and arrangement of these sim- 
ple words I had given my brain a serious cudg- 
eling. It was necessary that the message should 
be short in order to be quickly read, that it 
should be composed of letters most frequently 
used, so that it would run freely, and that it 
should acquaint the receiver with our presence 
without compromising him with our outside 
efforts if any unfriendly eye should see and de- 
cipher the meaning of my marks. A discovery 
of my purpose would not only take me out of the 
game, but would probably be fatal to any plan 
of escape that the General might have in contem- 
plation or already on foot. 

I was not versed in cryptography — to which, 
indeed, as I have said, this simple system bore 
little resemblance — and hence was sadly lacking 
in confidence in my poor penciling. But as I 



A Message from the General 351 

only intended to use it — if I could — in the event 
that my attempt to reach my chief personally 
failed, I determined that I could do nothing less 
than take such risk as there was. Another mat- 
ter that troubled me greatly was the fear that, 
even if my book should reach him, he would 
have no opportunity to prepare a return message. 
If, as was most reasonable to believe, his inspec- 
tion of the volume should be under the eyes of 
an official, he would not dare put pencil, if he 
should possess one, to its pages. And yet there 
were few things that he would not dare where a 
point was to be gained. But as to all this I 
would see in proper time. 

In the afternoon of the next day I set out for 
the prison and succeeded in being admitted to the 
presence of the warden. It was with much diffi- 
culty that I could get him to give me a hearing 
for my work. He would certainly have turned me 
out with little ceremony had not his attention been 
opportunely called to the signature of the digni- 
tary under whose appointment he held his office. 
For, be it understood, the prison in his charge 
was a state and not a national institution, and in 
it were held hundreds of malefactors who had 
been convicted in courts of justice of all sorts of 
crimes against the laws. 

Though my General and his officers were con- 
fined in a wing of the prison separated from the 
parts occupied by the convicts, I felt then and al- 



352 The Legionaries 

ways have felt since, that the fact of their incar- 
ceration there at all was a needless and unworthy 
humiliation of proud men, whose valorous deeds 
entitled them to better treatment from their foes. 
Not, however, until I stood within the portals 
that had been so often opened and shut to allow 
the incoming and the outgoing of thieves, mur- 
derers and the like, did I feel in full measure the 
keenness of the shame that had been put upon 
them. How much I should have liked then to 
pour out upon the head of the blameless warden 
the indignation that rose to my throat, God only 
knows. But instead of doing that I was forced to 
smother my real feelings and assume an entirely 
different state of mind and heart. 

In deference to the signature of the governor 
the warden listened to what I had to say, but at 
the end curtly refused to add his own name to 
my list and presently turned me over to the mer- 
cies of one of the sub-wardens, a kindly-disposed 
elderly man, who speedily succumbed to my ar- 
guments. And then, after using all the powers 
of ingratiation that I could bring to my aid, I 
asked to be allowed to show my work to the rebel 
officers, who must be, I asserted, peculiarly in- 
terested. That I was told could not be permit- 
ted, and the manner of the refusal left no doubt 
of its finality. 

Fearing the effect of persistence in my desire 
to see the General personally, I begged the sub- 



A Message from the General 353 

warden to take the book up, together with my 
list and submit it to the General, explaining that I 
should like to obtain the autograph of so famous 
a rebel. After a brief consultation with the war- 
den, followed by a close inspection of the list and 
a careful shaking and leafing of the book to see 
that no message or other objectionable thing was 
concealed in either, the sub-warden made off. 
He was gone a long time and I was encouraged 
to believe that my ruse might be successful. 
Nearly an hour passed before he returned. 

"The General says he will take one if he is 
still here when you deliver them, but that he 
won't sign your list," said the sub-warden. "He 
says he hopes to be exchanged soon — which he 
won't be, of course — and that your book anyway, 
as far as he can see, is only a one-sided affair, 
giving the North more than its due and lying 
about the South. He'd really like to have it, 
though, as a curiosity, he says. He and Colonel 
Duke looked it over quite awhile." 

"The impudent rebel," cried I, affecting to 
be extremely indignant, but really vastly pleased 
to know that my leader's spirit was in no wise 
curbed by his misfortunes. "But I'm resolved 
that he shall have it, and I ask that when I bring 
it you give me permission to force it down his 
traitorous throat." 

At this brave speech the sub-warden looked at 
23 — Legionaries. 



354 The Legionaries 

me pityingly — or was it contemptuously? Which- 
ever it was, I felt that it was born of respect for 
my chief, and by that was comforted. But he 
was not content with turning me off with a look. 

"And Colonel Duke said that, if I pleased, I 
might tell the dapper little book-peddler — he 
missed it there in your size, and it's a shame you 
haven't got grit enough to be a soldier — that if 
the warden is willing, he requests the pleasure of 
having you kicked out, with his compliments." 
The sub-warden laughed, as if this were a pleasant 
bit of humor. 

"The devil he did," said I. "Suppose you 
bring him down here and let him do it himself." 

"Oh, don't take it so much to heart," the of- 
ficial hastened to say, relentingly. "He saw 
something in the book about the Vicksburg sur- 
render that made him angry, something about 
Pemberton napping within the city while Grant 
was running tunnels from the outside to blow up 
his fortifications. The Colonel said he knew 
Pemberton was the kind of man who would do 
everything he could do from the inside to save 
himself, even if he did finally march out on a na- 
tional holiday. But he did say, as a matter of 
fact, that if it had not been for the breach made 
in the fortifications by Grant's mines, Vicksburg 
would not have changed commanders so soon." 

I do not know how much more the loquacious 
sub-warden would have said had not a growl from 



A Message from the General 355 

his chief shut him up abruptly. As it was, it 
occurred to me that during his absence he had 
been furnished with a verbal entertainment that 
was very likely not purposeless, and that the 
greater part of it had come from Colonel Duke 
was still more evident. Taking myself off in an ap- 
parently bad humor which I made a visible effort 
to conceal — beginning, by that time, to be a little 
vain of my performance — I hastened into the city 
and went at once to my room to learn if my mes- 
sage had borne fruit. 

Turning to the table of contents I scrutinized 
the chapter headings, but saw no marks save 
those that my own pencil had put there. With 
a heart sinking with disappointment I was about 
to lay the volume aside when the thought flashed 
into my mind that possibly the General had not 
chosen to alter the cipher and that an answering 
communication might be found immediately fol- 
lowing my own. And so it proved. 

On the page following that on which I had put 
my last mark the paper showed signs of having 
been pricked by a pin. No casual eye would 
have noticed these signs, perhaps, but to me they 
were as clear as my own, though, as it seemed, 
made furtively if not in haste. In a little while I 
had spelled out these words: "At work — danger 
on wall op. E. Hall — ready near thanks day — 
watch change commandants." That was all, but 
how much it seemed to me then. As I read the 



356 The Legionaries 

message the prisoners had plans of their own 
under way in which I might be able to bear a 
part. Ready near Thanksgiving day ! I re- 
membered that the Northern President, weeks 
before, had issued a proclamation setting apart the 
last Thursday in November as a day for national 
thanksgiving. It was clear that some plan of 
the prisoners was expected to mature then. But 
what was this about a change of commandants? 
What they feared was evidently a close inspection 
of the prison, and discovery of their plot, such as 
would likely follow the incoming of a new mili- 
tary commandant. A rumor that the present 
officer would be superseded I had already heard, 
but until then it had made no impression on me. 
In the light of it now I read the General's mes- 
sage, and saw that Colonel Duke's words concern- 
ing the change of commanders at Vicksburg, 
which the sub-warden had repeated to me — as 
the former, no doubt, believed he would do — 
were not meaningless. 



CHAPTER XXIV 

FRIENDS ON THE WALL 

Could I have seen how my imprisoned fellow- 
officers were toiling at that moment for the liber- 
ation of their beloved leader, and could I have 
known how they had been toiling for weeks and 
would toil for weeks yet to come, my concern 
would have been even greater than it was. For 
it was a precarious undertaking, with many 
chances of discovery and failure as against a 
mere pitiful hope. Its successful execution, in 
the face of the disheartening obstacles that met 
them on every hand, would be little less than the 
accomplishment of a miracle. But these men of 
the free air were accustomed to obstacles and to 
overcoming them as well. 

With no prospect of release from confinement 
in a regular way, they set about to find some other. 
Tramping the narrow corridor by day or lying in 
their pinching cells by night, they thought of 
many plans. It was the resolute Hines who dis- 
pelled the chaos of doubt. One day, engaging 
in conversation with old Hevay, a sub-warden of 
long service, he offered a casual remark as to the 
(357) 



358 The Legionaries 

seeming architectural and sanitary perfection of the 
prison, calling attention to the unusual dryness of 
the floors of the ground cells, one of which he 
occupied. If Hevay had a hobby it was that very 
thing, as Hines well knew. Straightway he told 
of the existence of an air chamber extending the 
length of the bottom tier of cells. 

Carefully concealing his interest in this impor- 
tant revelation, Hines lost little time in testing its 
accuracy. With knives secretly obtained from 
the table on which their meals were served, he 
began to dig and pry in the hard floor. Little 
by little he made progress, and finally, after in- 
credible labor and pains, penetrated eighteen 
inches of cement and brick to the space beneath 
of which the sub-warden had spoken. The debris 
was surreptitiously carried out in pocket hand- 
kerchiefs, and mingled with the ashes in the 
large corridor stove or else concealed in his own 
bed and in the beds of his fellows, who gave him 
such assistance as they could. 

Once in the air chamber there was ample room 
for work. A tunnel was begun and pushed 
through the three-foot stone wall of the cell house, 
then under the corridor floor, then through the 
wall of the inclosing structure to the prison 
yard, but not opened to the air until the time 
came for departure. It was the work of weeks 
of the most wearing labor, weeks of patience, cau- 
tion, constant vigilance, of pouring sweat and 



Friends on the Wall 359 

pounding hearts. It was guarded by keen eyes 
and alert ears, and shared by many eager hands 
— the hands of men desiring liberty for another 
more than they desired it for themselves, and who 
would be content if that one should escape and 
they remain. To the aid of the knives — of such 
little avail against blocks of stone — was providen- 
tially brought a single other tool, a broken 
spade skillfully procured, and the light of can- 
dles which they had been permitted to buy and 
had carefully hoarded. 

I did not know of these things until later. The 
battle for liberty was in progress, but what form 
it was taking could only be conjectured. That it 
was a stupendous conflict waged against solid 
stone, from a darksome hole in the ground, with 
such sorry weapons of offense, I did not dream. 
Hence I say, that had I known the truth my con- 
cern over the outcome of their struggles would 
not have been lessened. As it was, time passed 
slowly enough. 

From evening to evening Neffitt came to re- 
port his progress. He was still working on the 
guards, he told me, and was getting on close 
terms with the two who had an over-fondness for 
liquor, asserting that they might prove useful. I 
think that the possible help he expected them 
to render was more of a negative than a positive 
sort, as he did not hint that they were lacking 
in either honesty or loyalty. But I did not then 



360 The Legionaries 

seek enlightenment, and really hoped that our 
own ends might be achieved without involving 
any innocent person in trouble. He expressed 
no surprise on learning that I had fared no bet- 
ter than himself in my effort to speak with the 
General. The faithful rogue rather seemed to 
be pleased than otherwise, not because I had 
failed but because he had not been discredited. 
When, however, I proceeded to tell him of the 
message received, his delight was sincere and un- 
bounded. 

"They must be workin' a tunnel," he said 
with conviction, "and hope to get over that wall 
somehow. By all the smoky ghosts of hell I can 
help 'em there." 

Much impressed by the enthusiasm displayed 
in the utterance of this original oath, I asked him 
in what manner he proposed to be of assistance. 

"My two friends is on that wall. They lets 
down a string, I ties on a bottle or two and they 
celebrates the day, that is if it's Thanksgivin'. 
But they'll do it most any time for that matter, 
as I've already helped 'em that way onc't. Hope 
it'll be a nasty bad night, though." 

"Is there any place from which we could run a 
tunnel from the outside so as to get under that 
wall?" I asked, having in my mind Colonel 
Duke's statement to the sub-warden about the 
counter-mines of Grant and Pemberton at Vicks- 
burg. 



Friends on the Wall 361 

"No, there ain't, and it's too risky. They 
comes over that wall and not through it or under 
it. If you can reach the General agin, for God's 
sake tell him to make it Thanksgivin'. It'll be 
easier to get them fellers to put on lots of steam 
that night." 

He left me a little later, taking an additional 
supply of money, having confessed to me that he 
was down to his last copper. We were both elated 
over the certainty that we were at last making 
definite headway. On the next day and still the 
next I continued my canvassing desultorily from 
motives of caution. After that I took no more 
orders — not being at all content with the unheroic 
character of my employment — and from that time 
only awaited the arrival of my books in order that 
I might have further excuse for visiting the prison. 
For these I had to send to Philadelphia. 

Three weeks passed, and a vexatious delay in 
the coming of the books rilled me with despair. 
The change in commandants was about to be 
accomplished, and the day of national thanks- 
giving was only two days off, when, to my joy, 
a heavy box was set down at my lodgings di- 
rected to John Clark, that being my own name 
in truth, though not all of it. 

Being now armed with the authority of my 
calling I lost no time in making my way to 
the prison, carrying with me three or four of the 
books. In the one intended for General Morgan 



362 The Legionaries 

was a message informing him of the threatened 
danger and telling him that on the night of the 
ensuing holiday he need not fear the wall. This 
I did on the assurance of Neffitt that he would 
not fail in the execution of his design. I had 
come to rely greatly on the corporal's ability in 
his chosen field, and beyond those latent doubts 
that always exist until a hazardous undertaking 
has been accomplished, I felt no misgiving. 

It was in the afternoon and the sky was over- 
cast by gray, smudgy clouds, through which 
filtered occasional flakes of snow that came hes- 
itatingly down as if loath to reach the earth. The 
air was chill enough to justify me in turning up 
the collar of my overcoat and in taking strides 
that carried me quickly to my destination. A 
guard at the gate let me in, after consulting a 
higher official in pursuance of his duty. Only 
the sub-warden, with whom my business had 
been conducted when there before, and a clerk, 
occupied the office. The absence of the warden 
was a hopeful sign. When the sub-warden had 
accepted and paid for his own volume, I remind- 
ed him of the promise of General Morgan, made 
to himself, to take the book if not previously ex- 
changed, and asked if he were still a prisoner. 

"Yes, he is here," said the official, "and here 
he is likely to stay. He is too hard a man to 
catch to be turned loose in a hurry. Do you 
know that man has cost the government millions 



Friends on the Wall 363 

upon millions of dollars? Well, it's a fact, and 
it's a good deal easier and cheaper to feed him 
here than to have to run him down again." 

"That's right," I assented. "Give him time 
to read a little of the recent history of his coun- 
try. It will do him good." 

"He'd much rather be making it than reading 
it. But I haven't time to bother with your book 
now. Leave it here and I will see about it. Come 
back to-morrow." 

"Well, there's one for that bloodthirsty col- 
onel; maybe he will take it. If they've got any 
money I might as well have some of it as any- 
body else." 

The sub-warden threw the books on the desk 
at which sat the clerk, and repeated the state- 
ment that I should return on the next day, which 
closed the interview. Grievously disappointed 
at this additional delay, but not daring to be too 
urgent I left the prison. I had not proceeded 
far on my road until I overtook a man who had 
been walking leisurely ahead of me as if he too 
had just left the prison, but if such was the case 
he had escaped my observation. As I was in the 
act of passing him he spoke, and his voice made 
me start with apprehension, for it was the voice 
of the spy, Vawter. 

"So it is you that I find here, Captain Tren- 
ham," he said. "Now go a little slower while I 
pick up a bit ; walk behind me — they can see us 



364 The Legionaries 

yet from the walls if they look, and I don't want 
them to know that I'm talking to you." 

Saying this, he quickened his steps and went 
before me, while I, gathering my wits, wondered 
what he was about. 

"Give it up, Captain," he continued without 
looking around. "I don't want to make trouble 
for you, but I am here in the interest of the gov- 
ernment to look for stray Morgan men. I re- 
lieved another agent only yesterday, and here you 
stumble upon me — the last one of the lot that I 
hoped to see. You have got something going, 
and if you don't give it up and leave this very 
night it will be my business to find out what it 
is, much as I dislike to do it." 

He spoke deliberately, his head half turned 
that his words might the better fall back to me 
over his shoulder. It was already beginning to 
grow dark both from the hour and the thickening 
clouds, but darker still at this moment were my 
thoughts. Not for an instant, however, did I 
harbor any notion of abandoning my purpose. 
Presently, being out of view of the prison, he 
stopped and turned around. I had not yet spoken. 

"Well, what do you say? Shall we have 
peace or war? Strange as it seems to me, I re- 
member that I owe you something and am willing 
to do you a good turn." 

"I will talk it over with you," said I, at this, 
"but we can not do it here. /.There's a place 



Friends on the Wall 365 

a little way off where we can come to terms. 
It's the house of a crippled friend, who is not 
likely to be at home. Do you agree?" 

He looked at me suspiciously. "How many 
more of your friends will be there?'' he asked. 

"Not a soul." 

He finally assented, though not without hesita- 
tion, and felt about his person as if to make sure 
that his weapons were in place. As for myself I 
was wholly unarmed. I went straight to the little 
house that Neffitt had hired for his own use. It 
was dark and there was no external sign of occu- 
pancy, nor was my knock on the door answered. 
Trying the door it yielded and I went in, followed 
by Vawter. Striking a match, I found and lighted 
an oil lamp that was standing on a table at the 
side of the room ; upon the table also was a loose 
coil of small cotton rope. Scattered about were 
two or three wooden chairs. To satisfy my 
companion that, save for us, the house was 
empty, I took up the lamp and together we went 
into the remaining rooms. In one was a cheap 
bed ; in the other a small stove ; nothing more in 
either. Returning then to the first room I set 
down the lamp. In the meantime my mind had 
been working busily. 

"Mr. Vawter," said I, "you mean well, no 
doubt, and I thank you, but I shall stay." 

He had seated himself in one of the chairs with 
one elbow resting on the table, the hand of his 



366 The Legionaries 

other arm — the right one — in his overcoat pocket. 
At my words he moved uneasily and his face har- 
dened into the old, wicked sneer. 

"Then I must take you," he returned sharply, 
"and I'll do it before any other person comes. 
I think you mean to trap me and I'm a fool not 
to see it. Don't resist or I'll kill you. I gave 
you a chance and we are quits." 

With that he whipped a revolver out of his 
pocket and leveled it upon me, but not less quick 
was I. Springing upon him I seized his wrist 
before he could use the weapon, but he was active 
and strong, and then began a fierce struggle for 
the mastery. My foot became entangled in the 
chair and I fell to the floor, taking my antagonist 
with me. Making a desperate effort I succeeded 
in pinning him down under the very edge of the 
table, the arm holding the revolver outstretched 
and still in my grasp and the other held close to his 
side by my knees. With my free hand I reached 
up for the rope and got a coil of it under his 
head, then below his shoulders and drew it tight. 
Once more, a little further down, and save for the 
weapon he was at my mercy. Gradually work- 
ing my fingers outward until they fell upon the 
pistol I tore it from his hand and flung it to the 
far side of the room. A minute more and he was 
helpless ; then I bound him securely and propped 
him against the wall. Up to this time not a 
word had been uttered by either of us, nor did 



Friends on the Wall 367 

either have much breath now ; but Vawter was 
the first to break the silence. 

"You win again," he panted, "and do it fairly 
again, too. What are you going to do with 
me?" 

"Keep you close for a few days; nothing 
more if you give me your word not to connect 
me with this business. For myself I do not 
care, but there are others to be considered." 

"Another, you mean, eh, Captain?" 

"Have it that way if you please; what do you 
say?" 

He looked at me a little while before replying, 
and seemed to be considering my proposition. 
At last he spoke: "I agree, and will stick to it, 
though five months ago I would have been drawn 
and quartered first. But I've got over that." 

At this point we were interrupted by the en- 
trance of Neffitt, who looked profoundly aston- 
ished at the unexpected scene. For a moment 
his eyes rested upon Vawter, then he turned to 
me. 

' 'That's the feller, Captain, that crossed with us 
at Brandenburg — the one that said them things." 

"Never mind that now, Neffitt," I cautioned. 
"It's all past and gone, and we have other things 
to think of. Can you keep this man here a few 
days? He must not be harmed — not in the least, 
you understand; just kept close and secure. 

Neffitt consented, reluctantly I thought, for he 



368 The Legionaries 

was the kind of man who cherished a favor or a 
grudge with equal intensity, and here before him 
was one who had played a scoundrel's part, to 
the injury and distress of many people. After sat- 
isfying myself that proper arrangements had been 
made as to the disposition of our enforced guest, 
I returned to my own lodgings. 



CHAPTER XXV 

THE ESCAPE 

THE next day when I called at the prison in 
obedience to the sub-warden's command it was 
with some doubt as to whether I would be suf- 
fered to depart, for I was not prepared to place 
entire dependence on Vawter's word. But it 
was not long until I was reassured. The officials, 
so the sub-warden told me, had hesitated about 
allowing the prisoners to have my books, but on 
examining them had finally concluded that there 
was no good reason for denying them the privilege 
if they chose to exercise it. 

As a result only one of the books was returned 
to me, Colonel Duke angrily refusing, upon re- 
newed inspection, to have anything to do with the 
one designed for him. This did not surprise me ; on 
the other hand I should have been greatly discon- 
certed if it had been retained, and even hastened 
away for fear that at the last moment some other 
person about the place might offer to take it. 

Once more in my room and secure from ob- 
servation, I turned again to the chapter headings 
in the table of contents. There was no mark or 
24 — Legionaries. (3^9) 



370 The Legionaries 

sign until I came to Chapter XV, and here to the 
right of the numeral V was a puncture made with 
the point of a pin. Turning further I saw a sim- 
ilar puncture to the right of and another above 
the figure I marking the first page of the book. 
On the next page, to the right of the figure 2, was 
a short horizontal scratch. Above the figure 3 on 
the following page was a like scratch. The mes- 
sage was therefore in the fifth chapter, beginning 
on the third line of the second page, counting 
from the top, and continuing on each succeeding 
third line until finished. The letters composing 
the words of the communication, as shown by 
the position of the marks at figure 1 , were those 
next following the ones above which the indi- 
cating mark would be found. With great eager- 
ness I spelled out the seven words constituting 
the message which told me that on Thanksgiving 
night an effort for freedom would be made and 
urged that attention be given to the wall. 

The morrow was the day of prayer and feast. 
It dawned gray and dull and threatening, and 
Neffitt's hope that the night might be a bad one 
was likely to be fulfilled. His two convivial 
friends were still doing wall duty, and he had, at 
their solicitation, he said, grudgingly promised to 
put it in their way to show an appreciative ob- 
servance of the occasion. 

To me that short day was seemingly the long- 
est on the calendar, but darkness came at last and 



The Escape 371 

with it a cold, steady rain that drove everybody 
indoors except such as were compelled to brave 
the weather. Near nine o'clock I set out for 
Neffitt's house and reached it to find him absent 
and the door fastened. Getting under the shelter 
of the sorry little porch built over the front door, 
I stood in the darkness and waited. In a few 
minutes Neffitt came and admitted me. When 
a light was made I saw that his not over-thick 
clothes were soaked and dripping, and that he 
was wet to the skin. His face was blue and 
pinched with the chill air and rain. 

"A little of that will do you good," said I, 
pointing to a large bottle of whisky on the table. 

"I'd like it well enough," he responded, look- 
ing at the bottle longingly. "But that's for them 
two friends of mine. They just h'isted one a bit 
ago. And besides we wanter keep a clear head — 
it's their noggins that's to get muddled; besides 
they paid for the whisky — likewise for them things 
to eat in that basket. I swore I wouldn't spend 
another cent for 'em — never can tell when a feller 
is goin' to get 'spicious. They gets together at 
midnight and has a supper in honor of the day." 

With a complete willingness that on this night 
they should eat and drink to their heart's con- 
tent, and recognizing Nemtt's good sense in re- 
fusing the liquor, I looked about me for Vawter, 
and found him in the middle room lying on the 
corporal's bed, to which he was securely strapped. 



37 2 The Legionaries 

A neatly contrived gag, used by Neffitt only 
when he left the house, he explained, was in the 
man's mouth, and guaranteed silence. The spy 
had slept in the bed both nights since he had 
been deprived of his liberty, while his keeper 
had self-denyingly lain upon the hard, bare floor. 
I say lain, for I doubt if he allowed himself to 
sleep. When the gag was removed, Vawter 
offered no complaints as to his treatment, and 
only wanted to know how long his detention was 
to continue. He was greatly gratified to learn 
that it would be speedily at an end. 

Eleven o'clock in the black shadows of the 
outer wall. Surely the drenching, wind-driven 
rain falling from thick clouds adapted the night 
to the purposes of those within that gloomy pile 
of stone. I had taken a position directly oppo- 
site the East Hall, and flattening my back against 
the cold wall, which afforded me some protec- 
tion, waited. Neffitt had gone toward the shel- 
ter house on the wall to the left, creeping along 
like a shadow, with the basket containing the 
midnight feast swinging from his one hand. 

It was horrible weather, and yet I rejoiced in 
it and even wished it were far worse. There 
was no way to judge as to the time; I could only 
listen and wait. It might be minutes or it might 
be hours that I must stay here, but stay I would. 
A noise on the top of the wall at last ! Some- 
one was walking up there, but cautiously, and 



The Escape 373 

carrying a lantern. It was the guard on the right 
going to join his comrade on the left in his noct- 
urnal negligence of duty. It was strange that they 
had not suspected Neffitt, and there, in the pour- 
ing rain, I gave thought to the corporal's eminent 
qualities as a strategist, and thought also of the 
failure of Bellray. 

After what seemed a very long time there was 
another noise on the wall to my right, a dull 
clanking sound as of metal striking upon stone, 
quickly followed by a scratching of the inner sur- 
face of the wall from the top downward as if 
something had slipped over the coping, striking 
the surface as it descended. A distant bell was 
striking midnight. Neffitt moved up to me out of 
the blackness. 

"They're comin'," he said at my ear in an 
eager, tremulous whisper. 

"Who?" I whispered back fiercely, thinking of 
the guards and that he had failed. 

"The General — listen ! They're try in' to grap- 
ple the coping." 

Again came the clanking noise, but this time 
it was not followed by the sound of something 
falling. Instead, there came a faint, upward touch- 
ing of the inside of the wall as if now something 
was ascending. Then there was a slight scrap- 
ing on the top. Six times was this repeated, 
then something like a rope dropped down, strik- 
ing me as it fell, for I had changed my position 



374 The Legionaries 

It was made of coverings from the prison beds, 
knotted together, and up there at the other end, 
grappling the top of the wall, was the iron bar 
with which the fire had been stirred in the corri- 
dor stove, now bent into a hook. 

Looking upward, I saw between my eyes and 
the gray of the sky a darker object like a man's 
head protruding over the coping. Through my 
hands I spoke my name, and instantly a man 
came sliding down the rope. It was Captain 
Hines. Hardly was he on the ground before 
another stood beside him. This was the General 
himself. 

"Come," said I; "Neffitt will look after the 
others." 

"So the other one is your corporal, is it? 
Brave soul," said the General. 

Without saying more he sought about until he 
got the corporal's one poor hand in both of his 
own in a thankful grasp that repaid the poor 
fellow for all his toil. Then away, while the oth- 
ers in silence were reaching the ground. Straight 
we went to the railroad station, and boldly Hines, 
the ever daring, procured tickets from the sleepy 
agent as though he were the most innocent of 
travelers, while the General and I stood alone 
outside in the shelter of the widely projecting 
eaves of the roof, I listening to expressions of his 
gratitude of which my feeble efforts were wholly 
unworthy. 



The Escape 375 

Thank God that a train was due in a few min- 
utes, and thank God that it came and started 
when it was due to start ! When we had entered 
the lighted car I saw that both men were bleached 
by the four months of imprisonment — four months 
to the very day. They wore citizens' clothes and 
now bore little resemblance to the bronzed men 
in gray who had so desperately ridden the north- 
ern highways under the July sun. On the train 
was a Federal officer in uniform, with whom Gen- 
eral Morgan engaged in conversation by tender- 
ing the use of his flask just as the train passed 
near the walls of the prison which he had so re- 
cently left. 

"That," said the officer as he accepted the 
offered refreshment, "is the hotel at which Mor- 
gan stops, I believe." 

"Yes," responded the General, taking the re- 
turned flask and holding it before him, "and will 
stop it is to be hoped. He has given us his fair 
share of trouble, and he will not be released. I 
will drink to him: 'May he ever be as closely 
kept as he is now.' " 

And so all went pleasantly. 

In due time we came to a suburb of Cincinnati. 
The rain had ceased. Captain Hines rose and 
reached for the bell cord, giving it a warning jerk. 
The train slowed down in obedience to the unof- 
ficial signal and we quickly got off, we three, and 
hastened toward the river, the wide Ohio, that 



376 The Legionaries 

had suffered us to cross its bosom only that we 
might be overwhelmed beyond. We reached it in 
the first feeble light of the morning, and found a 
stout lad already upon its margin bailing over- 
night rain out of a staunch little skiff. A liberal 
reward induced him to accept two passengers for 
the Kentucky side; then hand clasps and "God 
bless you's" and they were swept out into the 
mist. I stood there and watched them as they 
went. Where now were the patrolling war-boats? 
Where the swarming foes, the dozen generals? 
And where, alas, the three thousand? I stood 
and watched with strained eyes until they disap- 
peared in the fog that turned the opposite shore 
into a dim gray line. Good-bye, brave, indom- 
itable soul ; and farewell ! 



CHAPTER XXVI 

THE RETURN OF REASON 

PROCEEDING into the city I breakfasted and 
upon again going into the street heard newsboys 
crying aloud about the escape of Morgan, and 
there was great excitement and commotion. How 
many were there in that more than one hundred 
thousand who rejoiced with me? Not many, 
surely. I rested quietly during the day and that 
evening took boat down the river, again a stranger 
among strangers. 

Early the next morning, on awakening and look- 
ing out, I saw that we were tied up at Louisville, 
where we had been since midnight. On the 
wharf was the man Tapper who, more than a 
year before, had so artfully concealed his recog- 
nition of my name as that of a possible conspira- 
tor, and so dutifully and immediately reported me 
to his chief. I did not appear on deck until the 
boat was again in midstream. 

At nine o'clock we were opposite Brandenburg 

but did not mean to stop. There were the heights 

from which our cannon had thundered so defiantly ; 

over there was the Indiana shore on which we had 

(377) 



378 The Legionaries 

landed, and far beyond, past the now gray hills, 
the little valley to which my troubled thoughts 
had turned. 

After a little while there came into view, slum- 
bering on the margin of the river, the signal land- 
ing that Captain Bracken had been so anxious to 
reach in time for the packet. And far up was the 
break in the bluff where the horse-buyer had 
come to his end and I almost to mine, and where, 
down beneath the roots of the leafless trees, was 
the vast chamber with the reminding evidence of 
a lost race. 

Presently came Leavenworth, and then the 
drive overland, bearing north of east, in a hired 
conveyance that jolted and shook, up hill and 
down, through the wet, clinging clay of the road. 
Over there was the entrance to the great cavern 
where I had parted from the wounded spy. And 
here, as the sun dropped low, was the road by 
the side of which I went to sleep in weariness, 
there was the very rock against which I leaned, 
and here was where Captain Sivad's men fought 
the Federals. Further along was the cross-roads 
where the neighborhood Unionists had rejoiced 
over my General's downfall and humiliated poor 
Bellray. 

I could not tell why I had chosen the route by 
which I had returned, and which called forth 
so many disagreeable recollections. But it was 
ended at last and I was at home, stiff, sore and 



The Return of Reason 379 

mud-splashed, but rejoicing in the knowledge that 
one undertaking had prospered if many* had 
failed. What mattered it now by what way I 
had come since it brought me to the dear, pa- 
tient mother and to that other one waiting over 
there beyond? 

The next morning I walked over to Bellray's. 
In the few weeks of my absence he had greatly 
changed for the worse. He was more distrait 
and moody, and his movements, once so active 
and determined, were now dull and heavy and his 
mental powers much diminished. The symptoms 
portended collapse and gave great anxiety to 
Kate and the few friends who were yet openly 
faithful. Dr. White urged that he be taken to a 
specialist for an operation, and named an eminent 
surgeon in New York, in which city he had re- 
ceived a part of his own education. This step 
had already been agreed upon before my arrival, 
and thither in December he was taken, accom- 
panied by the doctor and Kate. 

Word came to me in time, in a joyful note from 
the latter, that science had triumphed and that 
Roger's mind was restored. This letter was fol- 
lowed by another written a few days afterward, 
in which she said Roger had spoken to her of his 
purpose to return to Indiana as soon as he was 
strong enough to be released from the hospital, 
and hinted at vengeance against his enemies. 
She was alone with him in the great city, Dr. 



380 The Legionaries 

White having returned home, and she was doing 
her bes't to dissuade him. She had confided to 
the surgeon something of his history and sur- 
roundings, and he had recommended a trip 
abroad in order that Roger might be removed 
from excitements until at least he was able to 
bear them. About the middle of March she 
wrote in great distress : 

"Roger will leave the hospital in a week, and 
is determined to 'go back and fight it out,' he 
says. On this subject he becomes very violent, 
though as gentle as a child toward me always. 
The surgeon commands the trip, but Roger says 
that he does not need it, and that he has other 
things to do. Whatever these other things are, 
he must not do them. Oh, if you were only 
here! He would listen to you. Can't you come 
and help me save him from the desperate under- 
takings on which I know he is resolved? He 
grows more and more furious every day, and ve- 
hemently denounces so many people. He does 
not seem like the same man that he used to be. 
If he goes back there will be a tragedy which 
will engulf him and add to the misery of us all. 
Can you come speedily?" 

This appeal decided me. The terms of my 
parole bound me not to take up arms again until 
exchanged, and the suspension of the cartel left 
little hope of that. I regretted this less since the 
destruction of my General's forces, but my indif- 
ference I now admitted to myself, was largely be- 
cause of my mother's open opposition , a,nd Kate's 



The Return of Reason 381 

unexpressed but well understood wishes. And 
then, being removed from the scene of the struggle, 
I saw the hopelessness of it, and knew that its con- 
tinuance only meant a prolongation of misery and 
blood-letting and an increase of bitterness. The 
result was certain ; the fabric of the Confederacy 
was raveling and fast becoming ragged. Its re- 
sources were not adequate to the demand for re- 
pairs. The North seemed as yet barely scathed, 
and had men and means and credit to meet any 
emergency that might arise. 

All these things were clear to me at last. Only 
a little more hammering and a little closer draw- 
ing of the lines of blue and then the inevitable 
crash. If I were there it would only be one more 
beneath the wreck. It was long indeed before I 
could bring myself to these views and make up 
my mind that I was no longer to be a participant 
in the battles still being bravely waged by my 
people. Alas! What sacrifices they made and 
what sufferings they endured to continue the 
struggle for a separation that would have wrought, 
as I now believe, the ruin of our country. 

The day after receiving Kate's last letter I 
started for New York. It would not do at all 
to allow Roger Bellray to return to Indiana if 
it could be prevented, and on my own part 
a sense of alienation that I could not overcome 
made me restless. Therefore I welcomed the 
opportunity as furnishing an excuse for my de- 



382 The Legionaries 

parture. My mother, prudent woman that she 
was, had kept her matters so well in hand that 
there was n*o present difficulty about means. And 
so I had planned with her that if things went ac- 
cording to my mind she should join me later in 
New York, or wherever else I might determine to 
take up a temporary residence. To this arrange- 
ment she readily agreed when she clearly under- 
stood its purpose, and had considered that I would 
thereby be the sooner reconciled to my enforced 
retirement from the service. 

I reached the metropolis the day before the 
time appointed for Roger to leave the hospital. 
Kate was living in the family of the surgeon who 
had undertaken her brother's cure. There I 
found her that evening, well, indeed, and more 
beautiful in my eyes than she had ever been — 
which is saying much — but torn by anxieties. I 
had not written of my coming, knowing that a 
letter would travel no faster than I, nor had I used 
the telegraph. So until she saw me she had no 
knowledge that I was on my way to join her. 
She rushed into my arms with a surprised cry, 
and between smiles and tears asserted that she 
had been on the verge of despair. 

"If you had not come Roger would certainly 
have started home to-morrow," she said tremb- 
lingly, after awhile. "We must not let him go; 
he is now so extreme and bitter. He will gather 
his friends and will stop at nothing short of vio- 



The Return of Reason ?,8 



O^^J 



lence, for he considers that his last rights as a cit- 
izen have been taken away." 

I gave her -such comforting words as came to 
me, but seriously doubted my ability to change 
her brother's resolution, and yet I must try. 
When I had left her and returned to my hotel I 
remained long awake thinking about the best way 
to reach him. No ordinary arguments or appeals 
would answer, for he was a very obdurate man 
and felt that he had been deeply wronged. At 
last I went to sleep believing that I had found a 
pleasant solution of the problem. 

Early the next morning, in company with Kate, 
I went to see Roger. He was in his room at the 
hospital and had his belongings packed ready to 
leave. When we entered he was reading a news- 
paper but threw it aside and got up to receive us, 
expressing agreeable surprise at seeing me. He 
looked strong and his eyes were clear and keen 
as of old — keener, in truth, as though a fresh fire 
flamed in their depths. Almost at once he began 
to make eager inquiries as to the situation in 
Indiana. As I did not wish him to become 
aroused until I had spoken of the matter that 
was on my mind, I led him away from the scene 
of his grievances and back to ourselves. 

"Mr. Bellray," I began, "I want to say some- 
thing about myself — ourselves ; something I have 
come a thousand miles to say. A part of it you 
already know." 



384 The Legionaries 

"Kate has told me all about you, John. At 
any rate she has told me a good deal. You had 
a pretty tough time of it, didn't you?" 

"Did she tell you all?" I asked, looking from 
him to Kate, who flushed at the emphasis I placed 
on the last word. 

' 'Not — not everything, John, ' ' she said quietly, 
as she smoothed out her gloves on her knee. 

"It is as I suspected — she has omitted the most 
important thing. She has promised to marry me. 
And look here ; we intend to go abroad on our 
wedding journey and you are going with us." 

Kate opened wide her eyes at the unfolding of 
a plan about which she had not been consulted. 
Though taken by surprise she was quick enough 
to see my purpose and to second it by a look of 
affectionate entreaty. Roger's face clouded and 
he was about to speak, but I went on : 

"No use growling, Bellray; we've got it all 
arranged. If you go back to Indiana in your 
present frame of mind you will be killed. That 
probability will not keep you away, of course, but 
you will be likely to kill somebody else first, and 
you don't want to do that, I know. They are 
bitter about finding the arms in your house and 
only let you off because of your cracked head. 
Now that it's sound again some of them will try 
to give it another thump. It's no use; the game 
is not worth the playing. I will send for my 
mother and we will make a little family party and 



The Return of Reason 385 

see the world. This thing will soon be ended over 
here and we can come back and settle down. Now, 
honestly, isn't this the best thing to do? They 
will not let me fight any more and you — you — ' ' 

I stumbled here, not knowing how he would 
take from me what was on my tongue. 

"Speak it out, John; and Iwont; that's what 
you were about to say. No harm in the truth." 

"Well, then, and you won't, so what is there 
for us to do ? Certainly we ought not to go back 
there and amuse ourselves quarreling and fighting 
with our neighbors." 

"The sum of it all is," he said with twinkling 
eyes that dulled the sting of his words, "you 
think I will be better off gallivanting about the 
world with a pair of young fools on a honey- 
moon. Well, I will think about it." 

And then he began to talk of something else, 
and presently we all went down and Roger set 
about taking his leave of those in the institution 
whose friendship he had acquired during his stay. 
At last when we had entered the carriage that was 
waiting for us and were being whirled away he 
turned to his sister and said : 

"Kate, it looks like running away, but I think 
we had better obey the Captain." 



THE END 



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