时间：<2020-05-27 01:23:56 作者：hr天龙寻宝wm8 浏览量：9777
As the Callenders came in again from the veranda, their theme was Flora. "Yet who," asked Constance, "ever heard her utter a moral sentiment?"The ladies laughed again, but now Kincaid found them a distraction. Following his glance cityward they espied a broad dust-cloud floating off toward the river. He turned to Anna and softly cried, "Here come your guns, trying to beat the train!"
"Ah-h! because, as usual--"
"Bah!" retorted the staggering boy, pushed out among them and with profane mutterings stood agaze.
If I could love thee less!"
Never had she seen such a look in his face as that with which he confronted her. Grief, consternation, discovery and wrath were all as one save that only the discovery and wrath meant her. She saw how for two days and nights he had been putting this and that and this and that and this and that together until he had guessed her out. Sternly in his eyes she perceived contumely withholding itself, yet even while she felt the done-for cry heave through her bosom, and the floor fail like a sinking deck, she clung to her stage part, babbled impromptu lines."Nothing," she said, and smiled. "I only feared there wasn't time."A coy tap sounds on her door and she glides to it. "Who--who?" But in spite of her it opens to the bearer of a lamp, her sister Constance.
"Been coming these two days--pure presentiment!"
Hilary's smile grew: "Why--thank you again! That will make it more comfortable for them. Good-night."Then tidings, sure enough! glad tidings! Mandeville and Maxime safe in camp again and back to duty, whole, hale and in the saddle. Their letters came by the wasted yellow hands of two or three of the home-coming wounded, scores of whom were arriving by every south-bound train. From the aide-de-camp and the color-bearer came the first whole story of how Kincaid, with his picked volunteers, barely a gun detachment, and with Mandeville, who had brought the General's consent, had stolen noiselessly over the water-soaked leaves of a thickety oak wood in the earliest glimmer of a rainy dawn and drawn off the abandoned gun by hand to its waiting horses; also how, when threatened by a hostile patrol, Hilary, Mandeville, Maxime and Charlie had hurried back on foot into the wood and hotly checked the pursuit long enough for their fellows to mount the team, lay a shoulder to every miry wheel and flounder away with the prize. But beyond that keen moment when the four, after their one volley from ambush, had sprung this way and that shouting absurd orders to make-believe men, cheering and firing from behind trees, and (cut off from their horses) had made for a gully and swamp, the two returned ones could tell nothing of the two unreturned except that neither of them, dead or alive, was anywhere on the ground of the fight or flight as they knew it. For days, inside the enemy's advancing lines, they had prowled in ravines and lain in blackberry patches and sassafras fence-rows, fed and helped on of nights by the beggared yet still warm-hearted farm people and getting through at last, but with never a trace of Kincaid or Charlie, though after their own perilous search they had inquired, inquired, inquired.
For as though in reply, approaching from behind the house as if already the producer had nearly made its circuit, there sounded close under the balustrade the walking of a horse. God grant no other ear had noted it! Now just beneath the window it ceased. Hilary Kincaid! She could not see, but as sure as sight she knew. Her warrior, her knight, her emperor now at last, utterly and forever, she his, he hers, yet the last moment of opportunity flitting by and she here helpless to speak the one word of surrender and possession. Again she shrank and trembled. Something had dropped in at the window. There it lay, small and dark, on the floor. She snatched it up. Its scant tie of ribbon, her touch told her, was a bit of the one she had that other time thrown down to him, and the thing it tied and that looked so black in the dusk was a red, red rose.About a green spot crowning one of the low fortified hills on a northern edge of Mobile sat Bartleson, Mandeville, Irby, Villeneuve and two or three lieutenants, on ammunition-boxes, fire-logs and the sod, giving their whole minds to the retention of Anna and Miranda Callender, who sat on camp-stools. The absent Constance was down in the town, just then bestowing favors not possible for any one else to offer so acceptably to a certain duplicate and very self-centered Steve aged eighty days--sh-sh-sh!
("Yes," the infantry captain said, "with Memphis we should lose the largest factory of cartridges in the Confederacy.")"No such thing! Say, Fred, I'll tell you what Miss Anna's smile is like. It's as if you were trying--say in a telescope--for a focus, and at last all at once it comes and--there's your star!"With a merry madness find I endless pleasure--