时间：<2020-07-14 17:20:24 作者：kq鬼姐姐1rC 浏览量：9777
The hater of whys turned upon her sister: "Nan, what's the matter?... Oh, now, yes, there is. What made you start when Miranda mentioned--Yes, you did. You're excited, you know you are. When we came in from the garden you and Flora were both--"
As they were driving homeward across Canal Street, she noted, out beyond the Free Market, a steamboat softly picking its way in to the levee. Some coal-barges were there, she remembered, lading with pitch-pine and destined as fire-ships, by that naval lieutenant of the despatch-boat whom we know, against the Federal fleet lying at the head of the passes.They saw his ship and her small consort sweep undestroyed over the dead-line, the Brooklyn follow with hers, the Mobile gunboats rake the four with a fire they could not return, and behind them Fort Morgan and the other ships rend and shatter each other, shroud the air with smoke and thresh the waters white with shot and shell, shrapnel, canister and grape. And then they saw their own Tennessee ignore the monitors and charge the Hartford. But they beheld, too, the Hartford's better speed avoid the fearful blow and press on up the channel and the bay, though torn and bleeding from her foe's broadside, while her own futilely glanced or rebounded from his impenetrable mail.
"Even if it must be forged?" twittered the dame.THE END.
XXVIII THE CUP OF TANTALUS"Doesn't the boat appear to you to tremble more than ever?" was the sole response.
"No, bring her out," he said to a slave woman who bore Anna in her arms, "out to the air!" But the burden slipped free and with a cleared mind stood facing him."Charlie has two ribs broken, but is doing well," ran a page of the diary; "so well that Flora and Madame--who bears fatigue wonderfully--let Captain Irby take them, in the evening, to see the illumination. For the thunderstorm, which sent us whirling home at midday, was followed by a clear evening sky and an air just not too cool to be fragrant.In Mobile the exiles had learned the true whereabouts of the brigade, and of a battery then called Bartleson's as often as Kincaid's by a public which had half forgotten the seemingly well-established fact of Hilary's death. Therein was no new shock. The new shock had come when, as the three waited for telegrams, they stood before a vast ironclad still on the ways but offering splendid protection from Farragut's wooden terrors if only it could be completed, yet on which work had ceased for lack of funds though a greater part of the needed amount, already put up, lay idle solely because it could not be dragged up to a total that would justify its outlay.
Her captain moved to the pilot-house. Miranda and the junior officers left Hilary with Anna. "Did you say 'the day,'" she softly asked, "or 'the bay'?""Yes," he replied, "we shall certainly engage the enemy's ships to-morrow, and you ladies must--"
I loves to sympathize wid de ladies!The girl interrupted with a knowing touch: "You realize there's something else, don't you?"
"Oh, but you went too far!"
"Oh! how? How hope to do so in all yonder chaos? And how! oh, how! could an army--in full retreat--leaving women and wounded soldiers to the mercy of a ravening foe--compel them to remain in the city it was itself evacuating?" A sweet and melodious dignity was in all the questions, but eyes shone, brows arched, lips hung apart and bonnet-feathers and hat-feathers, capes and flounces, seemed to ruffle wider, with consternation and hurt esteem.But this: "Connie thinks he 'inclines' to me. Ho! all he's ever said has been for his far-away friend. I wish he would incline, or else go ten times as far away! Only not to the war--God forbid! Ah, me, how I long for his inclining! And while I long he laughs, and the more he laughs the more I long, for I never, never so doted on any one's laugh. Oh, shame! to love before--"
Finally artillery again! every man in it loved by some one--or dozen--in these glad throngs. Clap! call! wave! Oh, gallant sight! These do not enter Royal Street. They keep Canal, obliquing to that side of the way farthest from the balconies--"It isn't hard!" cried Flora; so radiantly that passing strangers brightened back, "I love it!"