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   Chapter 11 AS JOSEPH WAS A-WALKING

The Long Roll By Mary Johnston Characters: 29816

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:04


At eleven that night by the Frederick clocks an orderly found an Englishman, a Prussian, a New Yorker, and a man from somewhere west of the Mississippi playing poker. "General Banks would like to speak to Captain Marchmont for a moment, sir."

The aide laid down his cards, and adjusted his plumage before a long mirror. "Lieber Gott!" said Major Hertz, "I wish our general would go sleep and leafe us play the game."

Captain Marchmont, proceeding to a handsomely furnished apartment, knocked, entered, saluted, and was greeted by a general in a disturbed frame of mind. "Look here, captain, you rode from Williamsport with that fellow of Kelly's. Did you notice anything out of the usual?"

The aide deliberated. "He had a splendid horse, sir. And the man himself seemed rather a mettled personage. If that's out of the usual, I noticed that."

"Oh, of course he's all right!" said the general. "Kelly's letter is perfectly bona fide, and so I make no doubt are McNeill's passport and paper of instructions. I gave the letter back or I'd show you the signatures. It's only that I got to thinking, awhile ago, after he'd gone." He took a turn across the roses upon the carpet. "A man that's been in politics knows there are so many dodges. Our spies say that General Jackson is very acute. I got to thinking-" He came back to the red-covered table. "Did you talk of the military situation coming along?"

"Very little, sir."

"He wasn't inquisitive? Didn't criticise, or draw you on to talk-didn't ask about my troops and my movements?"

"He did not, sir."

The general sighed. "It's all right, of course. You see, he seemed an intelligent man, and we got to talking. I wrote my answer to General Kelly. He has it now, is to start to Romney with it at dawn. Then I asked some questions, and we got to talking. It's all straight, of course, but on looking back I find that I said some things. He seemed an intelligent man, and in his general's confidence. Well, I dismissed him at last, and he saluted and went off to get some rest before starting. And then, somehow, I got to thinking. I have never been South, and all these places are only names to me, but-" He unrolled upon the table a map of large dimensions. "Look here a moment, captain! This is a map the department furnishes us. It's black, you see, for the utterly disloyal sections, shaded for the doubtful, and white where there are Unionists. All Virginia's black except this northwest section, and that's largely shaded."

"What," asked Marchmont, "is this long black patch in the midst of the shading?"

"That's the valley of the South Branch of the Potomac-see, it's marked! Now, this man's from that locality."

"H-m! Dark as Erebus, apparently, along the South Branch!"

"Just so." General Banks paced again the roses. "Pshaw! It's all right. I never saw a straighter looking fellow. I just thought I would ask you the nature of his talk along the road-"

"It was hardly of military matters, sir. But if you wish to detain him-"

"General Kelly must have my letter. I'm not to move, and it's important that he should know it."

"Why not question him again?"

The general came back to the big chair beside the table. "I have no doubt he's as honest as I am." He looked at the clock. "After midnight!-and I've been reviewing troops all day. Do you think it's worth while, captain?"

"In war very little things are worth while, sir."

"But you were with him all afternoon, and he seemed perfectly all right-"

"Yes, sir, I liked him very well." He pulled at his long yellow moustache. "There was only one little circumstance.... If you are doubtful, sir-The papers, of course, might be forged."

The late Governor of Massachusetts rested irresolute. "Except that he was born in Virginia there isn't a reason for suspecting him. And it's our policy to conciliate all this shaded corner up here." The clock struck the half-hour. General Banks looked longingly toward his bedroom. "I've been through the mill to-day. It's pretty hard on a man, this working over time.-Where's he lodging?"

"McNeill, sir? He said he would find quarters with some connection or other-a Catholic priest-"

"A Catholic-There again!" The general looked perturbed. Rising, he took from a desk two or three pages of blue official paper, covered with writing. "I got that from Washington to-day, from the Secret Service Department. Read it."

Captain Marchmont read: "'Distrust without exception the Catholic priests in Frederick City. There is reason to believe that the Catholics throughout Maryland are Secessionists. Distrust all Maryland, in fact. The Jesuits have a house at Frederick City. They are suspected of furnishing information. Keep them under such surveillance as your judgment shall indicate.'-Humph!"

General Banks sighed, poured out something from a decanter, and drank it. "I guess, captain, you had better go and bring that man from the South Branch back here. Take a few men and do it quietly. He seems a gentleman, and there may be absolutely nothing wrong. Tell him I've something to add to General Kelly's letter. Here's a list of the priests in Frederick. Father Tierney seems the most looked up to, and I gave him a subscription yesterday for his orphan asylum."

Half an hour later Marchmont and two men found themselves before a small, square stone house, standing apart from its neighbours in a small, square yard. From without the moonbeams flooded it, from within came no pinpoint of light. It was past the middle of the night, and almost all the town lay still and dark. Marchmont lifted the brass knocker and let it fall. The sound, deep and reverberant, should have reached every ear within, however inattentive. He waited, but there came no answering footfall. He knocked again-no light nor sound; again-only interstellar quiet. He shook the door. "Go around to the back, Roberts, and see if you can get in." Roberts departed. Marchmont picked up some pieces of gravel from the path and threw them against the window panes, to no effect. Roberts came back. "That's an awful heavy door, sir, heavier than this. And the windows are high up."

"Very good," said the captain. "This one looks stronger than it really is. Stand back, you two."

He put his shoulder to the door-"Wait a minute, sir! Somebody's lit a candle upstairs."

The candle passed leisurely from window to window, was lost for a minute, and then, through a small fan-light above the door, was observed descending the stairs. A bolt creaked, then another. The door opened, and Father Tierney, hastily gowned and blinking, stood before the invaders. He shaded his candle with his hand, and the light struck back, showing a strong and rosy and likable face. "Faith!" he said, "an' I thought I was after hearin' a noise. Good-evenin', gentlemen-or rather good-morning, for it must be toward cockcrow. What-"

"It's not so late as that," interrupted Marchmont. "I wish I had your recipe for sleeping, father. It would be invaluable when a man didn't want to be waked up. However, my business is not with you, but-"

"Holy powers!" said Father Tierney, "did ye not know that I live here by myself? Father Lavalle is at the other end of town, and Father O'Hara lives by the Noviciate. Sure, and any one could have told you-"

"Father Lavalle and Father O'Hara," said the aide, "are nothing to the question. You have a guest with you-"

Father Tierney looked enlightened. "Oh! Av coorse! There's always business on hand between soldiers. Was it Lieutenant McNeill you'll be looking after?"

Marchmont nodded. "There are some instructions that General Banks neglected to give him. It is late, but the general wishes to get it all straight before he sleeps. I am sorry to disturb Lieutenant McNeill, for he must be fatigued. But orders are orders, you know-"

"Av coorse, av coorse!" agreed Father Tierney. "'A man having authority,' 'I say unto this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh-'"

"So, father, if you'll be good enough to explain to Lieutenant McNeill-or if you'll tell me which is his room-"

The light of the candle showed a faint trouble in Father Tierney's face. "Sure, it's too bad! Do you think, my son, the matter is of importance? 'T would be after being just a little left-over of directions?"

"Perhaps," said Marchmont. "But orders are orders, father, and I must awaken Lieutenant McNeill. Indeed, it's hard to think that he's asleep-"

"He isn't aslape."

"Then will you be so good as to tell him-"

"Indeed, and I wish I could do that same thing, my son, but it isn't in nature-"

General Banks's aide made a gesture of impatience. "I can't dawdle here any longer! Either you or I, father." He pushed into the hall. "Where is his room?"

"Holy Virgin!" exclaimed Father Tierney. "It's vexed he'll be when he learns that the general wasn't done with him! There's the room, captain darlint, but-"

Marchmont's eyes followed the pointing of the candlestick. "There!" he exclaimed. The door was immediately upon the left, not five feet from the portal he had lately belaboured. "Then 't was against his window that I flung the gravel!"

With an oath he crossed the hall and struck his hand against the panel indicated. No answer. He knocked again with peremptoriness, then tried the door. It was unlocked, and opened quietly to his touch. All beyond was silent and dark. "Father Tierney, I'll thank you for that candle!" The priest gave it, and the aide held it up, displaying a chill and vacant chamber, furnished with monastic spareness. There was a narrow couch that had been slept in. Marchmont crossed the bare floor, bent, and felt the bedclothing. "Quite cold. You've been gone some time, my friend. H-m! things look rather black for you!"

Father Tierney spoke from the middle of the room. "It's sorry the lieutenant will be! Sure, and he thought he had the general's last word! 'Slape until you wake, my son,' says I. 'Judy will give us breakfast at eight.' 'No, no, father,' says he. 'General Kelly is wearying for this letter from General Banks. If I get it through prompt it will be remembered for me,' he says. ''T will be a point toward promotion,' he says. 'My horse has had a couple of hours' rest, and he's a Trojan beside,' he says. 'I'll sleep an hour myself, and then I'll be taking the road back to Romney. Ashby's over on the other side,' he says, 'and the sooner I get Ashby off my mind, the better pleased I'll be,' he says. And thereupon he slept for an hour-"

Marchmont still regarded the bed. "I'll be damned if I know, my friend, whether you're blue or grey! How long has he been gone?"

Father Tierney pondered the question. "By the seven holy candles, my son, I was that deep asleep when you knocked that I don't rightly know the time of night! Maybe he has been gone an hour, maybe more-"

"And how did he know the countersign?"

"Faith, and I understood that the general himself gave him the word-"

"H-m!" said Marchmont, and tugged at his moustache. He stood in silence for a moment, then turned sharply. "Blue or grey, which? I'll be damned if I don't find out! Your horse may be a Trojan, my friend, but by this time he's a tired Trojan! Roberts!"

"Yes, sir."

"You two go at once to headquarters' stables. Saddle my horse-not the black I rode yesterday-the fresh one, Caliph. Get your own horses. Double-quick now! Ten minutes is all I give you."

The men departed. Marchmont stalked out of the chamber and to the open front door. Father Tierney, repossessed of the candle, followed him. "Sure, and the night's amazing chill! By good luck, I've a fine old bottle or two-one of the brigadiers, that's a good son of the church, having sent me a present. Whist, captain! a little glass to cheer the heart av ye-"

"I'll not stop now, father," said the aide dryly. "Perhaps, upon my return to Frederick I may call upon you."

"Do so, do so, my son," said Father Tierney. "And ye're going to overtake the lieutenant with the general's last words?-Faith, and while I think of it-he let drop that he'd be after not going by the pike. The old road by the forge, that goes south, and then turns. It's a dirt road, and easier on his horse, the poor crathur-"

"Thanks. I'll try the pike," said Marchmont, from the doorstep. "Bah! it's turning cold! Had you noticed, father, what exceedingly thin ice you have around this house?"

"By all the powers, my son!" answered Father Tierney. "The moonlight's desaving you! That isn't water-that's firm ground. Look out for the flagstaff at the gate, and presint my respects to the general. Sure, 't was a fine donation for the orphans he donated!"

It was two o'clock of a moonlight night when Captain Marchmont and his troopers took the road to Williamsport. They passed through the silent camp, gave the word to the last sentry, and emerged upon the quiet countryside. "Was a courier before them?" "Yes, sir-a man on a great bay horse. Said he had important dispatches."

The moon-flooded road, hard beneath the hoofs of the horses, stretched south and west, unmarked by any moving creature. Marchmont rode in advance. His horse was strong and fresh; clear of the pickets, he put him to the gallop. An hour went by. Nothing but the cold, still moonshine, the sound of hoofs upon the metalled road, and now and then, in some wayside house, the stealthy lifting of a sash, as man or woman looked forth upon the riders. At a tollgate the aide drew rein, leaned from his saddle, and struck against the door with a pistol butt. A man opened a window. "Has a courier passed, going to Williamsport?"

"Yes, sir. A man on a great bay horse. Three quarters of an hour ago."

"Was he riding fast?"

"Yes. Riding fast."

Marchmont galloped on, his two troopers behind him. Their steeds were good, but not so good as was his. He left them some way behind. The night grew old. The moon, which had risen late, was high in the heavens. The Englishman traversed a shadowy wood, then went by silvered fields. A cabin door creaked; an old negro put out a cautious head. "Has a courier passed, going to Williamsport?"

"Yaas, sah. Er big man on er big bay. 'Bout half er hour ergo, sah."

Marchmont galloped on. He looked back over his shoulder-his men were a mile in the rear. "And when I come up with you, my friend, what then? On the whole I don't think I'll ask you to turn with me. We'll go on to Williamsport, and there we'll hold the court of inquiry."

He touched his horse with the spur. The miles of road ran past, the air, eager and cold, pressed sharply; there came a feeling of the morning. He was now upon a level stretch of road, before him, a mile away, a long, bare hill. He crossed a bridge, hollowly sounding through the night, and neared the hill. His vision was a trained one, exercised by war in many lands. There was a dark obj

ect on the road before him; it grew in size, but it grew very slowly; it, too, was moving. "You've a tired horse, though, lieutenant!" said the aide. "Strain as you may, I'll catch you up!" His own horse devoured the ground, steadily galloping by the frosty fields, through the air of earliest dawn. Suddenly, before him, the courier from Kelly halted. Mounted against a faint light in the southwestern sky, he stood upon the hilltop and waited for the horseman from Frederick. The latter took at a gallop the remainder of the level road, but at the foot of the hill changed to a trot. Above him, the waiting horseman grew life-size. He waited, very quietly, Marchmont observed, sitting, turned in his saddle, against the sky of dawn. "Damned if I know if you're truly blue or grey!" thought the aide. "Did you stop to disarm suspicion, because you saw you'd be overtaken-"

Another minute and the two were in speaking distance; another, and they were together on the hilltop. "Good-morning!" said McNeill. "What haste to Williamsport?" He bent forward in the light that was just strong enough to see by. "Why-It is yesterday's comrade! Good-morning, Captain Marchmont!"

"We must have started," said Marchmont, "somewhere near the same hour. I have a communication from General Banks for the commander at Williamsport."

If the other raised his brows over the aide's acting courier twice in twenty-four hours, the action did not appear in the yet uncertain light. Apparently McNeill took the statement easily, upon its face value. "In that case," he said with amicableness, "I shall have the pleasure of your company a little longer. We must be about six miles out, I should think."

"About that distance," agreed the other. "And as at this unearthly hour I certainly cannot see the colonel, and as your horse is evidently spent, why go the rest of the way at a gallop?"

"It was my idea," said McNeill, "to pass the river early. If I can gain the big woods before the day is old, so much the better. Dandy is tired, it is true, but he has a certain staying quality. However, we will go more slowly now."

They put themselves in motion. "Two men are behind us," remarked the man from Romney.

"Yes. There they come through the fields. Two troopers who are riding with me-Regulars. They'll accommodate their pace to ours."

"Very good," said the other with serenity, and the two rode on, Marchmont's men a little way behind. By now the stars had faded, the moon looked wan, there was a faint rose in the east. Far in a vale to the left a cock crew, and was answered from across a stream. To the south, visible between and above the fringing trees, a ribbon of mist proclaimed the river. The two men rode, not in silence, but still not with yesterday's freedom of speech. There was, however, no quietude that the chill ebb of the hour and the weariness of overwork might not account for. They spoke of this and that briefly, but amicably. "Will you report at headquarters?" asked Marchmont, "before attempting the Virginia shore?"

"I do not yet know. There is no occasion, as I have all instructions from General Banks. I wish to make no unnecessary delay."

"Have you the countersign?"

"Yes."

"Will you cross by the ferry?"

"I hardly think so. Ashby may be watching that and the ford below. There is a place farther up the river that I may try."

"That is, after you pass through Williamsport?"

"Yes, a mile or two beyond."

The light increased. Gold clouds barred the east, the cocks crew, and crows came cawing from the woods to the vast, brown cornfields. The road now ran at no great distance from the canal and the river. First came the canal, mirroring between trodden banks the red east, then the towpath, a cornfield, a fringe of sycamore, oak, and willow, then the Potomac veiled with mist. They were drawing near to Williamsport. The day's travel had begun. They met or overtook workers upon the road, sutlers' carts, ordnance wagons, a squad of artillerymen conducting a gun, a country doctor in an old buggy, two boys driving calves yoked together. The road made a curve to the north, like a sickle. On the inland side it ran beneath a bluff; on the other a rail fence rimmed a twelve-foot embankment dropping to a streamlet and a wide field where the corn stood in shocks. Here, at a cross-roads debouching from the north into the pike, they encountered a company of infantry.

Marchmont checked his horse. "I'm not sure, but I think I know the officer. Be so good as to await me a moment, lieutenant."

He rode up to the captain in blue, and the two talked in low voices. The infantrymen broke lines a little, leaned on their rifles, and discussed arrangements for breakfast. Among them were a number of tall men, lean and sinewy, with a sweep of line and unconstraint of gesture that smacked of hunters' ways and mountain exercise. The two troopers from Frederick City came up. The place of the cross-roads showed animated and blue. The sun pushed its golden ball above the hilltops, and all the rifle barrels gleamed in the light. Marchmont and the new-met captain approached the courier from Kelly, sitting his horse in the middle of the road. "Lieutenant McNeill," said the aide with quietness, "there seemed, at Frederick, some irregularity in your papers. Doubtless everything can be explained, and your delay in reaching Romney will be slight. It is my duty to conduct you to Williamsport headquarters, and to report the matter to the colonel commanding. I regret the interruption-not a long continued one, I trust-to our pleasant relations."

McNeill had made a movement of surprise, and his brows had come together. It was but for an instant, then he smiled, and smiled with his eyes. "If such are your orders, sir, neither you nor I can help the matter. To headquarters, of course-the sooner the better! I can have no possible objection."

He touched his horse and advanced a little farther into the road. All the blue soldiers were about him. A sergeant-major, brought for the moment opposite him, uttered an exclamation. "You know this officer, Miller?" called the captain of infantry.

Miller saluted. "No, sir. But I was in the ferry-boat when he crossed yesterday. We talked a little. 'You've got a Southern voice,' says I, and he says, 'Yes. I was born in the valley of the South Branch.' 'You'll find company here,' says I, 'for we've got some northwestern Virginians-'"

"By jingo!" cried the captain, "that's true! There's a squad of them here." He raised his voice. "Men from northwest Virginia, advance!"

A detachment swung forward, lean men and tall, stamped as hunters, eighteenth-century frontiersmen projected to the middle of the nineteenth. "Do any of you men know the South Branch of the Potomac?"

Three voices made themselves heard. "Know it like a book."-"Don't know it like a book-know it like I know my gun and dawg."-"Don't know any good of it-they-uns air all rebels down that-a-way!"

"Especially," said a fourth voice, "the McNeills."

The courier from Kelly glanced at him sharply. "And what have you got, my man, against the McNeills?"

"I've got something," stated the mountaineer doggedly. "Something ever since afore the Mexican War. Root and branch, I've got something against them. When I heard, over there in Grant, that they was hell-bent for the Confederacy, I just went, hell-bent, for the other side. Root and branch, I know them, and root and branch they're damned rebels-"

"Do you know," demanded the captain, "this one? This is Lieutenant McNeill."

The man looked, General Kelly's courier facing him squarely. There was a silence upon the road to Williamsport. The mountaineer spat. "He may be a lieutenant, but he ain't a McNeill. Not from the South Branch valley, he ain't."

"He says he is."

"Do you think, my friend," asked the man in question, and he looked amused, "that you really know all the McNeills, or their party? The valley of the South Branch is long and wide, and the families are large. One McNeill has simply escaped your observation."

"There ain't," said the man, with grimness, "a damned one of them that has escaped my observation, and there ain't one of them that ain't a damned rebel. They're with Ashby now, and those of them that ain't with Ashby are with Jackson. And you may be Abraham Lincoln or General Banks, but you ain't a McNeill!"

The ranks opened and there emerged a stout German musician. "Herr Captain! I was in Winchester before I ran away and joined der Union. Herr Captain, I haf seen this man. I haf seen him in der grey uniform, with der gold sword and der sash. And, lieber Gott, dot horse is known! Dot horse is der horse of Captain Richard Cleave. Dot horse is named Dundee."

"'Dundee-'" exclaimed Marchmont. "That's the circumstance. You started to say 'Dundee.'"

He gave an abrupt laugh. "On the whole, I like you even better than I did-but it's a question now for a drumhead and a provost guard. I'm sorry-"

The other's hand had been resting upon his horse's neck. Suddenly there was a motion of his knee, a pressure of this hand, a curious sound, half speech, half cry, addressed to the bay beneath him. Dundee backed, gathered himself together, arose in air, cleared the rail fence, overpassed the embankment and the rivulet beneath, touched the frosted earth of the cornfield, and was away like an arrow toward the misty white river. Out of the tumult upon the road rang a shot. Marchmont, the smoking pistol still in hand, urged his horse to the leap, touched in turn the field below, and at top speed followed the bay. He shouted to the troopers behind him; their horses made some difficulty, but in another moment they, too, were in pursuit. Rifles flashed from the road, but the bay had reached a copse that gave a moment's shelter. Horse and rider emerged unhurt from the friendly walls of cedar and locust. "Forward, sharpshooters!" cried the infantry captain. A lieutenant and half a dozen men made all haste across the fence, down the low bluff, and over the field. As they ran one fired, then another, but the fleeing horse kept on, the rider close to the neck, in their sight, beyond the water, the Virginia shore. The bay moved as though he knew not fatigue, but only a friend's dire need. The stock told; many a race had been won by his forefathers. What his rider's hand and voice conveyed cannot be precisely known, but that which was effected was an access of love, courage, and understanding of the end desired. He moved with every power drawn to the point in hand. Marchmont, only a few lengths behind, fired again. The ball went through Cleave's sleeve, grazing his arm and Dundee's shoulder. The two shot on, Marchmont behind, then the two mounted men, then the sharpshooters, running afoot. From the road the remainder of the company watched with immemorial, white-heat interest the immemorial incident. "He's wounded-the bay's wounded, too! They'll get him at the canal!-Thar's a bridge around the bend, but he don't know it!-Climb atop the fence; ye can see better-"

The canal, deep between willowy banks, a moat to be overpassed without drawbridge, lay ahead of the foremost horse and rider. A moment and the two burst through the screen of willows, another, and from the high, bare bank they had leaped into the narrow, deep, and sluggish stream. "That horse's wounded-he's sinking! No, by God, he ain't! Whar's the captain from Frederick! Thar he is-thar he is!" Marchmont vanished into the belt of willows. The two troopers had swerved; they knew of the bridge beyond the turn. Dundee swam the canal. The bank before him, up to the towpath, was of loose earth and stone, steep and difficult. He climbed it like a cat-o'-mountain. As he reached the towpath Marchmont appeared before the willows. His horse, a powerful sorrel, took the water unhesitatingly, but the opposite bank made trouble. It was but a short delay; while the soldiers on the road held their breath he was up and away, across the wide field between canal and river. The troopers, too, had thundered across the bridge. The sharpshooters were behind them, blue moving points between the shocked corn. The field was wide, rough, and furrowed, bordered on its southern side by a line of sycamores, leafless and tall, a lacework of white branches against the now brilliant sky. Beyond the sycamores lay the wide river, beyond the river lay Virginia. Dundee, red of eye and nostril, foam streaked and quivering, raced on, his rider talking to him as to a lover. But the bay was sore tired, and the sorrel gained. Marchmont sent his voice before him. "Surrender! You'll never reach the other side!"

"I'll try mighty hard," answered Cleave between his teeth. He caressed his horse, he made their two hearts one, he talked to him, he crooned an air the stallion knew,-

Then fling ope your gates, and let me go free,

For it's up with the bonnets of Bonnie Dundee!

Superbly the bay answered. But the sorrel, too, was a thoroughbred, fresh when he left Frederick. Stride by stride he gained. Cleave crashed into the belt of sycamores. Before him was the Potomac, cold, wide, mist-veiled. He heard Marchmont break into the wood and turned. The aide's arm was raised, and a shaft of red sunlight struck the barrel of his pistol. Before his finger could move Cleave fired.

The sorrel, pierced through the shoulder, swerved violently, reared, and plunged, all but unseating his rider. Marchmont's ball passed harmlessly between the branches of trees. The bay and his master sprang from the low bank into the flood. So veiled was it by the heavy mist that, six strokes from shore, all outlines grew indistinct.

The two troopers reached the shore. "Where is he, sir?-Out there?" They emptied their pistols-it was firing into a cloud. The sharpshooters arrived. Skilful and grim, they raised their rifles, scanned the expanse of woolly white before them, and fired at what, now here, now there, they conceived might be a moving object. The mist lay close to the river, like a pall. They fired and fired again. Other infantrymen, arriving, talked excitedly. "Thar!-No, thar! That's him, downs-tream! Fire!-Darn it! 'T was a piece of drift." Across the river, tall against the south, wreathed and linked by lianas of grape, showed, far withdrawn and shadowy, the trees of the Virginia shore. The rifles continued to blaze, but the mist held, and there came no answering scream of horse or cry of man. Marchmont spoke at last, curtly. "That's enough! He's either hit and drowned, or he has reached home. I wish we were on the same side."

One of the troopers uttered an exclamation. "Hear that, sir! He's across! Damned if he isn't halloaing to tell us so!"

Faintly, from the southern shore, came a voice. It was raised in a line of song,-

"As Joseph was a-walking,

He heard the angels sing"-

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