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A score of shots were fired in obedience, but Si, making his voice ring above the noise, called out:CHAPTER XV. KEYED UP FOR ACTION
"None in the world," answered the Deacon, surprised at the unexpected turn of events. "I'll be only too glad. I was gittin' very scared about my pass."The mother heard the scream and the words, and hurried into the room.
"I'm not goin' to believe," said one good old brother, who was an exhorter in the Methodist Church, "that the army is sich a pitfall, sich a snare to the feet o' the unwary as many try to make out. There's no need of any man or boy who goes to serve his country and his God, fallin' from grace and servin' the devil. Don't you think so, too. Deacon? There's no reason why he shouldn't be jest as good a man there as he is at home. Don't you think so, too. Deacon Klegg?"
No sooner, therefore, had the Parliament closed and the king set out to Hanover, than Ministers sent off William Stanhope to Madrid to procure a treaty of peace without any mention of Gibraltar. On arriving at Madrid he found that the Court had removed to Seville, in Andalusia. This had been done by the influence of the queen, in order to draw Philip from the Council of Castile, which was doing all it could to prevail on him again to abdicate. Stanhope followed the Court to Seville, and laboured with such effect that he obtained the signing of a treaty of defensive alliance between England, Spain, and France, to which Holland afterwards acceded (November 9, 1729). By this treaty Spain revoked all the privileges granted to Austria by the treaties of Vienna, and re-established the British trade with her American colonies on its former footing, restored all captures, and made compensation for losses. The Assiento was confirmed to the South Sea Company. Commissioners were appointed to adjust all claims of Spaniards for ships taken in 1718, and to settle the limits of the American trade. The succession of Don Carlos to Parma and Tuscany was recognised, with the right to garrison the ports of Leghorn, Porto Ferrajo, Parma, and Placentia with six thousand Spanish troops. Not a word was said of Gibraltara silence amounting to a renunciation of its demand by Spain; and that Philip regarded it as such was evidenced by his beginning to construct the strong lines of San Roque, and thus to cut off all communication with the obnoxious fortress by land.
He blamed himself for his neglect, and resolved to write at once, to tell her where he was, what had happened to him, and that he was going to try to visit her before returning to the field. But difficult as writing had always been, it was incomparably more so now. He found that where he thought of Jerusha once, he was thinking of Maria a hundred times. Not that he would admit to himself there was any likeness in his thoughts about the two girls. He did not recognize that there was anything sentimental in those about Maria. She was simply some infinitely bright, superior sort of a being, whose voice was sweeter than a bird's, and whose presence seemed to brighten the room. He found himself uncomfortable when she was out of sight. The company of Si or his father was not as all-sufficient and interesting as it used to be. When Maria went out of the room they became strangely dull and almost tiresome, unless they talked of her.