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Chapter 8"Sergeant, didn't I do well?" asked Abel Waite, in the tone that he would have inquired of his teacher about a recitation. "I done just as you told me. I kep' my eye on the tall feller in front, who was wavin' his gun and yellin' at the rest to come on. I aimed just below his belt, an' he went down just like I've seen a beef when pap shot him."
"That begins to look like something," said he, wiping the sweat from his forehead. "But who is J. O. S.? Nobody o' them initials in this neighbor hood. Nor E. C. Bower. Deacon Klegg can't know any of 'em. Then, how's the hospital badly wounded Bower? What's that about his socks? I'll have to try it over again as soon as No. 7, freight, gets by."It was now daylight, but a dense fog prevented seeing more than a few feet.
"My CaptainCapt. McGillicuddy, Maria," said Si, reddening at Maria's indifference to and ignorance of military titles."Makes me feel like a new man, Pap," he said faintly. "Feels better than anything I ever knowed. Do the same to Shorty, Pap."
The Deacon's first thought was for Si, and he bestirred himself to do what he thought his wife, who was renowned as a nurse, would do were she there.The boys were in a buzz of delight at getting the guns they had so longed for, and Si's first duty was to end an exuberant bayonet fencing match between Gid and Harry which was imitated all along the line.
BOOK No. 6 PREFACE.After he had gloated over Sergeant Ramsey, Shorty got his men into the road ready to start. Si placed himself in front of the squad and deliberately loaded his musket in their sight. Shorty took his place in the rear, and gave out:
"We don't have to go over that brush, then?" said Alf Russell, with an expression of deep relief. "I'm so glad. Great Jerusalem, how my wound begins to ache again. You fellows oughtn't to laugh at my wound. You don't know how it hurts to have all those delicate nerves torn up."