The men of First Regiment massed on the parade-ground. While they stood At Ease, their plastic-sleeved rifles and packs growing heavier by the minute, their safety-suits staler, four of the five Service Companies marched out from the Syphon to join them. The women were suited in yellow plastic, giving rise to the gags about fool's gold. The four golden companies took up position at the center of the Regiment.
McCray had never felt anything like it in his life. It was a situation without even a close analogue. He had had a woman in his arms, he had been part of a family, he had shared the youthful sense of exploration that comes in small, eager groups: These were the comparisons that came to his mind. This was so much more than any of these things. He and the alien—he and, he began to perceive, a number of aliens—were almost inextricably mingled. Yet they were separate, as one strand of colored thread in a ball of yarn is looped and knotted and intertwined with every other strand, although it retains its own integrity. He was in and among many minds, and outside them all. McCray thought: This is how a god must feel.
"They must have landed long ago," she quavered. "Can't we go back to the starting-place? It must be nearer."
"Have no fear," Retief said, smiling graciously. "He who comes as a guest enjoys perfect safety."
She in her turn was acting the hypocrite. In
waited with more or less anxiety to discover what their fate was to be. When nothing happened, and seconds passed, with the shore line drawing constantly closer, they began to breathe more freely.
"Mr. Carew," said the captain, sternly, "I hope I impressed upon you yesterday the necessity for absolute personal neatness in your attire. The punishment I gave you, however, I have concluded to partially remit. After to-day, you may go ashore when you can get leave."
Folks far and near then came to tell Mr. Lin-coln that they were glad of the good news.
Macfarren's position during this colloquy was awkward in the extreme. He had been blest in always seeing women in their gracious and lovable aspect, and now with these two ladies, each a queen in her own realm, facing each other, crimson and defiant, himself responsible for their meeting, the situation was anything but agreeable to his fastidious nature. But it need scarcely be said that his sympathies were all with Marian. Unconsciously she had been the aggressor; but how un
“That reminds me of Sam Watkins,” said a gentleman present. “The same Sam that wrote that inimitable book on the war called “Company H”—the best book I ever read on the war, for it came nearer to painting it in its true, horrible colors than any of them. Sam tells the story as he went through it, from the standpoint of a common soldier, and the motto of his volume seems to have been General Sherman’s laconic remark that “War is hell.” If the young idiots ever get up a notion to fight again, Sam Watkins’ ‘Company H’ will do more to stop them than anything I know of. Anyway, just before the Battle of Shiloh Sam found himself mounted on the stubbornest mule that ever went to war. He would charge Grant’s whole army when the bugle sounded retreat, and would proceed to fall precipitately back when there wasn’t an enemy in a hundred miles. On the first day at Shiloh, when Johnston’s army was rushing over everything before night, and Buell came, Sam’s mule suddenly decided to retreat—and retreat he did, much to Sam’s mortification and disgust. As he went back full tilt he ran over a gun with four horses attached and before he recovered from the shock of the collision to know which way his rear end was, Sam tied a rope to his neck and the other end of the rope to the caisson’s axle, and having mounted again he got the artilleryman to literally haul his muleship into battle. The fight was nearly over when they finally got to the front, and, General Johnston being killed, Beauregard had ordered a cessation of hostilities till morning. But it suddenly dawned on Sam’s mule that he was expected to charge, and no sooner was he released than he straightened his neck, and before his rider could dismount, straightened his tail, brayed once and charged Grant’s whole army, penned up on the banks of the Tennessee River, and madder than a gored bull in a fence corner. Sam’s captain didn’t understand the mule’s maneuvers, and as he went by shouted to his men:
Captain Greaves only shrugged his shoulders and urged the pony along.详情 ➢
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