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      "Now, don't make no great shakes out o' me, Miss Maria," he pleaded. "I didn't do nothin' partickler, I tell you. I was only along o' Si when he snatched that rebel flag, and I got a little crack on the head, which wouldn't 've amounted to nothin', if I hadn't ketched the fever at Chattanoogy. I'm a'most well, and only come back home to please the Surgeon, who was tired seein' me around."

      "Capt. McGillicuddy?" said the Lieutenant. "Why, he's the junior Captain in the regiment."

      "Going back to the army?" inquired the man, with his mouth full of chicken, and by way of opening up the conversation.

      "Say, Mister," said a very feeble voice at his elbow, "can't you give me a cupful o' that? It smells so good. It smells like home. I smelled it away over there in the tent, and it seemed to me that if I could get some of it I'd certainly get well, though they all say they think there's no hope for me. I crawled out of the tent and come while the nurse was asleep and wasn't watching. They won't let me get upon my feet when they're watching me, but I fooled them this time."

      INTERIOR OF THE JERUSALEM CHAMBER, WESTMINSTER ABBEY.LIEUT. Bowersox, Si, Shorty and the recruits left the woods and entered a large clearing, in the midst of which was a log cabin, with a few rude outbuildings. Over it flew the yellow flag of the hospital service, and beyond could be seen the parked trains and other evidences of the line-of-battle.


      "I think they're just splendid," said Si, enthusiastically. "They'll fill in the holes o' the old rigimint in great shape. They're as tough as little wildcats; they'll obey orders and go wherever you send 'em, and four out o' every five o' them kin knock over a crow at a hundred yards with a squirrel rifle. But, Shorty," he added with a sudden assumption of paternal dignity, "me and you's got to be fathers to them. We've got a great responsibility for them. We must do the very best we kin by 'em."


      "Jack," he said, going up and running his hand in and out underneath the girths. He spoke almost too low to be heard, and the men who were nearest rode a few feet away. "Jack, will you do something for me? Will youthat isthere is a fellow named McDonald up at the Mescalero Agency. He's got a little four-year-old girl he's taking care of." He hurried along, looking away from Landor's puzzled face. "She's the daughter of a half-breed Mescalero woman, who was[Pg 5] killed by the Mexicans. If I don't come out of all this, will you get her? Tell McDonald I told you to. I'm her father."GEORGE III.


      WHEN the boys came to breakfast the next morning, they found Maria with the hollyhock effulgence of garb of the day before changed to the usual prim simplicity of her housedress. This meant admiration striking Shorty still dumber. He was in that state of mind when every change in the young woman's appearance seemed a marvelous transformation and made her more captivating than before. He had thought her queenly dazzling in her highly-colored "go-to-meeting" plumage of the day before. She was now simply overpowering in her plain, close-fitting calico, that outlined her superb bust and curves, with her hair combed smoothly back from her bright, animated face. Shorty devoured her with his eyesthat is, when she was not looking in his direction. He would rather watch her than eat his breakfast, but when her glance turned toward him he would drop his eyes to his plate. This became plain to everybody, even Maria, but did not prevent her beginning to tease.She drew herself up and grasped her loaded quirt more firmly. There are some natures to which flight from a thing feared is physically impossible. They must not only face danger, they must go up to it. It is a trait, like any other. Felipa took two steps toward him.