时间：<2020-06-03 01:14:28 作者：SHseo研究中心zP6 浏览量：9777
I SHE WANTED TO LAUGH
"Lieutenant, I--I wish I knew the whole of it."Day widened into its first perfection as we moved down the highroad toward a near fork whose right was to lead Harry and his solemn cortége southward, while the left should be our eastward course. Camille and I rode horseback, side by side, with no one near enough to smile at my sentimental laudations of the morning's splendors, or at her for repaying my eloquence with looks so full of tender worship, personal acceptance and self-bestowal, that to tell of them here would make as poor a show as to lift a sea-flower out of the sea; they call for piccolo notes and I am no musician.Our dear friends were too well aware of the untold trouble to say a word about his coming back, but Miss Harper's parting injunction to me was to write them.
"And why do you think she wants to do this?" asked Harry.But I was not needed; while I slept, who should come back and do my work in my stead but Ned Ferry. When I awoke it was with a bound of alarm to see clear day. The command was breaking camp. I rushed out of the tent with canteen, soap and comb, and ran into the arms of the mess-cook. We were alone. "Oh, yass, seh," he laughed as he poured the water into my hands, "th'ee days' rairtion. Seh? Lawd! dey done drawed and cook' befo' de fus' streak o' light. But you all right; here yo' habbersack, full up. Oh, I done fed yo' hoss. Here yo' jacket an' cap; and here yo' saddle an' bridle--Oh, you welcome; I dess tryin' to git shet of 'em so's I kin strak de tent."
XLVII HE'S DEAD.--IS SHE ALIVE?
"Oh, that's all right, I was only asking a friendly question.""She would be incredible," I said for him, and he accepted the clause by a gesture, and after a meditative pause went on with her history. The subject of our conversation had first met Oliver, it seemed, when by reason of some daring performance in the military field--near Milliken's Bend, in the previous autumn--he was the hero of the moment. Even so it was strange enough that he should capture her; one would as soon look to see Vicksburg fall; but the world was upside down, everything was happening as if in a tornado, and he cast his net of lies; lies of his own, and lies of two or three match-making friends who chose to believe, at no cost to themselves, that war, with one puff of its breath, had cleansed him of his vices and that marriage would complete the happy change. This was in Natchez, Ferry went on to say. Most fortunately for the bride one of the bridegroom's wedding gifts was a certain young slave girl; before the wedding was an hour past--before the orange-blossoms were out of the bride's hair--this slave maid had told her what he was, "And you know what that is."
"Ah, no, no, not without this! the ring, the ring! But with it, yes! This is the crowning proof! my ring to him! Oh, see my name inside it, Camille; this little signet is Heaven's own testimony and acquittal! Look, Richard, look at it now, for no living soul, no light of day, shall ever see it again--""He is not hunting her; yet, should he find her, I have the fear he would do his duty as a soldier, anyhow. No, he was looking, I think, for Ferry's scouts."Now the lightning seems nearer. Hark, that was thunder; soft, but real. At last the air moves; there is a breeze, and the girls come out on the gallants' arms to drink it in. As they lift their brows and sigh their comfort the lightning grows brighter, the thunder comes more promptly and louder, and the maidens flinch and half scream, yet linger for one more draft of the blessed coolness. Suddenly an inverted tree of blinding light branches down the sky, and the thunder crashes in one's very ears; the couples recoil into a group at the door, the lightning again fills heaven and earth, it shows the bending trees far afield, and the thunders peal at each other as if here were all Vicksburg and Port Hudson, with Porter and Farragut going by. So for a space; then the wind drops to a zephyr, and though the sky still blazes and crashes, and flames and roars, the house purrs with content under the sweet strokings of the rain.
Ferry's thanks came eagerly. "Well, anyhow, old boy," he added, "in such a case to back down is braver than to fight; but to apologize to the devil--that is not hard; on the contrary, to keep from apologizing to the devil--ah! I wish I could always do that!--I wonder where is Dick Smith."XXVII SOME FALL, SOME PLUNGE
"Yes, of course; mercy--and comfort--and every sort of unarmed aid--to rebels."He smiled, chirped the horses up and resumed his chat. I heard him praise my horse and compare him not unfavorably with his own which he had lost that morning'. He and a few picked men had been surprised in a farmhouse at breakfast. They had made a leap and a dash, he said, but one horse and rider falling dead, his horse, unhurt, had tumbled over them, and here was his rider.It was only then that I observed that Charlotte was armed. But the fact made her seem only the more a true woman, since I knew that only for her honor or his life would she ever take deadly aim. Her weapon was the slender revolver she had carried ever since the day which had made her Charlotte Oliver, the thing without which she never could have reached this hour of blissful extremity.
"I don't know why you should," she said.