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      It seemed to Si that the maximum of discomfort had been reached. He had experienced one thing after another during the few weeks since he left home, and he thought each in turn was worse than the last, and about as bad as it could be. But Si learned a good deal more before he graduated. All through the long, dreary day the soldiers plodded on. There was little comfort to be derived from the "rest," for the ground was soaked with water.

      When they came up to the entrance there indeed stood the owner of Abraham Lincoln, holding his horse, and by him stood the Lieutenant-Colonel of the 200th Ind., a big, burly man, who had been a drover and an influential politician before he got his commission, and had a high reputation at home as a rough-and-tumble fighter. He had not added to his bellicose fame since entering the field, because for some mysterious reason he had been absent every time the regiment went into a fight, or was likely to. Consequently he was all the more blustering and domineering in camp, in spite of the frequent repressions he got from the modest, quiet little Colonel."You must certainly have a few pairs of homeknit socks and some changes of underclothes," said his tearfully-solicitous mother. "They won't weigh much, and they'll in all likelihood save you a spell of sickness."

      It appeared that Rosenbaum had been making a report of his recent doings, to which Bolivar listened with a touch of disdain mingled with suspicion.

      "I'll wait for you," said Si, looking at the cap on his gun. A loud cheer was heard from far to the right, and Co. Q was seen coming forward on a rush, with the rebels in front running back to the river bank. Several were seen to be overtaken and forced to surrender.Showing the Old Man a Trick 183

      "Well, the butter and the honey may be spiled," said Si, "but the other things are all right. My, ain't this a nice shirt. And them socks. Shorty, did you ever see such socks. Ever so much obliged to you, Pap, for these boots. Old Hank Sommers's make. He's the best shoemaker in the State of Injianny. No Quartermaster's cowhide about them. And"

      "Well, if any o' you think you kin do better'n I kin, take 'em up. There they are," said he. "You go over 'em, Tom Welch. I must look around a little."By the time Si had been in the service a year there was less zeal in the enforcement of orders of this kind, and Si had become a very skillful and successful forager. He had still been unable to reach with his bayonet the body of a single one of his misguided fellow citizens, but he had stabbed a great many pigs and sheep. In fact, Si found his bayonet a most useful auxiliary in his predatory operations. He could not well have gotten along without it.


      "Well," said Shorty, philosophically, "for folks that like that sort o' fightin,' that's the sort o' fightin' they like. I'm different. I don't. When I fight it's for something that I've got an interest in."


      The effect was somewhat depressing upon the ardor with which otherwise they would have pursued the panting pig and the fluttering fowl, and reveled in the orchards and potato-fields. A few irrepressible fellows managed to get a choice meal now and thenjust enough to show that the 200th Ind. was not without latent talent in this direction, which only needed a little encouragement to become fruitful of results.


      "Now go ahead with the wedding ceremony," ordered Si.