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Between the lines: a story of the war online

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the island fortification ander whose guns is already
moored the big black transport that is to carry the
swarm of prisoners " back to Dixie." Aboard the
boat with them are numerous people, men and women,

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who are mainly silent and apparently distrustful of
one another. They are friends or relatives, hoping
for a word or two with the Southerners before they
go. As the gang-plank is thrown out, a young officer
springs briskly aboard, followed by two or three non-
commissioned officers and men. The guard at the
sally-port is paraded under arms. A number of pas-
sengers press forward and attempt to go ashore, but
are promptly checked. None may land who are un-
provided with passes from the general commanding in
the city. There has been no time to think of such a
thing, and Lucy, in despair, turns her brimming eyes
to her aunt. " Oh, what can we do?" she asks. Mrs.
Alexander appeals to the officer. He is courteous,
but iirm. The orders are imperative. But at this
instant there appears upon the scene a tall, distin-
guished-looking man, somewhat elderly, but with alert
movements and observant eyes. "Mrs. Alexander?
— ^Miss Armistead ?" he inquires, lifting his hat as he
bows with courtly grace. " They hardly dared expect
you until the noon boat, but I came out to see, and
was assured the instant my eyes fell on this young
lady's face. Take my arm, Mrs. Alexander. Captain
Cutting, will you escort Miss Armistead ?"

And so they are led ashore past sentries, who salute
in silence instead of opposing glittering arms. A
moment's walk brings them to the quarters of the com-
manding officer, and there another sentry " presents " .
to the officer of the day, and a corporal reports that
" the gentleman is in the colonel's parlor." Wonder-
ingly, Lucy ascends the wooden stairs. Who may

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" the J " be ? she asks herself as the party enters. Op-
posite the doorway to the bright army parlor Mr.
Paulding pauses with Mrs. Alexander at his side, and
smilingly beckons Lucy to lead. She does so^ silently,
and stands just inside the portals, looking around in
surprise and disappointment. No Henry there to wel-
come her ! Beyond, there is another room, a library
and a study combined, and its door is open. Stepping
lightly thither, Lucy Armistead pauses in astonish-
ment. Yonder stands Henry, oblivious of her pres-
ence, and by his side, gazing up into his eyes, clinging
to his arm, encircled by the other, is the explanation
of hi3 oblivion — ^a beautiful, dark-eyed, dark-haired
girl. Even in her stupefaction. Miss Armistead can-
not but notice how admirably she is dressed, and,
womanlike, feels herself at disadvantage; but in the
next instant the absorbed pair have suddenly looked
up and seen her.

'^ Lulie I" cries the captain, as he springs forward
and clasps her in his arms. Then, with pride and
mirth and gladness mingling in his heart, he raises
her tearful face, kisses tenderly the moistened eyes.
" Come!" he says, laughing in delight, holding her with
his left arm and stretching forth the other hand for
the tall stranger standing there with such a happy
blush upon her face. " Come I It's high time you
knew each other, you sisters that are to be, despite the
fact we are Bebs to the very marrow. Lucy, this is
my promised wife, Kate Paulding."

She comes forward smilingly, and bends with glis-
tening eyes and mantling cheeks to greet the girl who

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still hovers there wonderingly, encircled by Henry's
arm. There is an instant only of silence and hesita-
tion on Lucy's part; then her voice obeys her.

"Oh, forgive me I" she cries. "I — ^I'm so glad;
but — ^I thought — all along— Why, Henry 1 You told
me so yourself !"

And Kate Paulding's lips are pressed to her wet
cheek before she answers, laughing low amid her

" That was all my fault. A school-girl romance,
all my own, and long since forgotten."

Mine Bun, that bloodless contest wherein for the
last time Lee's science prevailed over the Army of
the Potomac, is over and done with. The nation has
dismally resigned itself to the inevitable winter of
masterly inactivity in the Bast, but looks hopefully to
the generals rising, fight after fight, to eminence in
the West. Thither enterprising young soldiers are
eagerly turning. Thither Colonel Frank Kearny has
determined to make his way, and is once again ih
Washington seeking service in the distant field. Lucy
Armistead listens with bated breath and wildly flut-
tering heart to her aunt's cool announcement of her
casual meeting with him near Willard's, his kind in-
quiries after her, and his regrets that he would prob-
ably be unable to see her, as he expected to start for
Chattanooga on the morrow. But cool as is Mrs.
Alexander's manner, her eyes are observant as ever,
and that evening he comes.

How he looks, what he says, what she replies — these

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are matters that for ten minutes or more Lucy Armis-
tead knows nothing of. She is seated there in the arm-
chair, listening to the grave, courteous tones in which
he is telling Mrs. Alexander of some friends of hers in
the cavalry corps. For a quarter of an hour she herself
hardly speaks a word. Then Mrs. Alexander rises.

" I know your time is precious, colonel, and so I will
go and write the letter at once. You are sure it won't
be a trouble to you ? No doubt the mails would even-
tually carry it to Cousin Harry."

" But I shall see the captain in less than four days.
Don't fear to burden me. Make it as long as you
like." And in another moment she is gone. Lucy
glances timidly, tremblingly, up at the tall, stalwart
soldier who opens the door for the departing lady.
Then the room seems to whirl as he slowly returns and
stands there by the mantel. He will not speak, and
at last she has to.

" I am so glad you came — to see us, colonel. There
would have been no way to tell you how I thanked
you," she begins.

But he raises his hand, interposing.

" There was no need," he answers, gently. " What
have I done compared with what you and yours have
done and suffered on my account ?— though you lost
no opportunity. Miss Armistead," he adds, with rather
a dreary smile, " to assure me it was all on Henry's
account. Have you heard from him at all?"

" Not since his return; that is, not directly." And
now she is tingling all over. How can she speak of
Kate Paulding ?

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"Through my Cousin Kate?" he unhesitatingly
asks. " That reminds me. We can congratulate each
other on being in future second cousins-in-law, can
we not ? I am really delighted with that engagement,
though they tell me it is not to be spoken of until the
war is over — rather an indefinite time. By the way —
now may I see the letter Henry wrote to insure my
welcome at the homestead ? How the conceit is taken
out of one as he advances in years ! Henry demands
my safety and nursing and concealment solely, I find,
on account of my fair cousin, with whom he was in
love, and who, with the rathlessness of her sex, exacted
the promise from him that if ever I fell into his hands
he would do his best to save me. Being an Armis-
tead, he had to keep his word. Then you nurse and
guard me — all on Henry's account ; and I — ah, well !
Fve paid for it heavily. Once I was absurd enough
to hope it might have been a little on my own account.
There — forgive me — I mean no reproach. I vowed
not to speak of it. I even meant — not to see you;
but your aunt sent an urgent message; she wished
to see me. Let me have Henry's letter to read every
now and then ; it will cure this malady better than any-
thing else perhaps."

But she has bowed her head and will make no an-
swer. He comes a step or two towards her, wondering
at her silence. Still she sits there bending forward
now, her face hidden in her trembling hands.

"You need not hesitate, Lucy," he continues, gen-
tly. " She has written me the whole story — how she
once fancied it was Cousin Frank she adored, and all

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that school-gM nonsense. It was all over with when
a fellow like your Henry appeared as a lover, and I
don't wonder. And so twice, it seems, am I forestalled
by these incomparable Virginia wooers. I surrender
my boy sweetheart to an Armistead. I yield the love,
the queen, the wife of my heart and soul and strength —
you, oh, my darling, to Scott Falconer."

She springs to her feet now, her eyes dilating, her
little hands clasping tightly as she gazes full into his
quivering face.

" Scott Falconer I Colonel Kearny, what can you
mean ? Scott Falconer ! The man — the Virginian —
who gave his parole and has fled to Europe to avoid
further service — that cowardP^

" They told me so — his own brother — you yourself
— ^just after I saw you with him. If he is not *that
other ' who stood between us, in God's name who is it ?"

She cannot answer — she cannot speak. Her eyes
are drooping again, her bosom heaving, her heart
bounding. Oh, why cannot he see — ^why does not he
understand ? Suddenly there is a rustle of skirts in
the upper hall — ^Aunt Annie's brisk and cheery voice.
The letter is written and she is returning. It is now
or never, and Lucy knows it. He springs to her side
as the steps of the lady of the house, distinct and de-
liberate, are heard at the head of the stairs.

"Lucy, tell me," he implores.

And then quickly she turns, though even now her
sweet eyes are hidden ; quickly her hand flutters into
his throbbing palm, almost breathlessly she murmurs
the longed-for answer.

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"No man on earth."

What eccentric creatures some women are I Half-
way down the stairs Mrs. Alexander discovers she
has forgotten a postscript, and tarns abont to write it.
There is a blessed quarter of an hour in which to re-
cover from the semi-dazed condition in which the oc-
cupants of the parlor find themselves. A little later
they are standing at the mantel, and she is looking
shyly up into his glowing, soldierly face, a great joy
illumining her violet eyes.

"And it was Wayne Falconer whose sabre did that
— a Virginia sabre ?"

" A Virginia sabre, indeed ! You must thank your
own neighbors for spoiling what good looks I had,
Lucy," he replies, laughingly.

She is silent a moment, still looking up at the red
scar on his cheek.

" I was thinking of a story I once read. A soldier
who went to his king and begged his permission to
challenge a brother officer who had struck him in the
face. Nothing else, he said, would wash out the stain
upon his honor or heal the smart. Did you ever hear
it, or how the king made amends for the injury ?"

"I do not remember it," he answers.

She hesitates a moment, the color deepening in her
face. Her hands are clasped together but she raises
and rests them timidly on his breast. Then looking
up in his eyes she whispers,

" Bend down, just a little."

He does so, inclining his ear for the expected words.

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Suddenly she rises on tiptoe, her arms are quickly
thrown about his neck, his bronzed cheek is drawn
still nearer, and then her soft lips rest upon the sabre's


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A Story. By Captain Chables King. Illustrated by
R. F. ZooBAUM. pp. iv., 196. Post 8vo, Cloth, Extra,
$1 00.

( Captain King writes with spirit and grace and power of human
emotion. **A War-Time Wooing" is without doubt the most in-
tense and thrilling of these stories which Captain King has written.
'^Boston Evening Traveller.

A capital military story. . . . All Captain King's stories are full
of spirit, and with the true ring about them.— JV. Y, Times.

A breezy, pleasing tale, told with the vivacity and charm which
signally distinguish Captain King's pen.— JV. Y. Press.

The story throughout is one sure to interest a wide circle of read-
ers. Captain King has scored a success. — Epodi, N. T .

All Captain King's war tales are good, and the last, *' A War-Time
Wooing," is the most skilfully written of them all. . . . The author's
war-time scenes are drawn with accuracy, and minuteness of detail
which will delight soldiers.— JV. Y. Herald.

The real interest and value come of its spirited and faithful de-
scriptions of military character and conduct, which make both bet-
ter known and felt— Boston Globe.

To be commended for its freshness of design, its easy and agree-
able literary style, and its generally healthful tone.— Newark Daily

The story will be read with interest by those who like military
novels, for it shows a familiarity with camp life and all that apper-
tains to perilous adventures on the field of battle. — Saturday Even-
ing Gazette, Boston.

* Captain King is a delightful story-teller, and this combination of
love and war will prove one of the most attractive books of the se^
son. — Washington Post.

Published by HARPER & BROTHERS, New Y^R^-

49* IIabpbb & Bkotubbs will tend the above work by maU, postage pi4><^^<^t ^ o^V
part of the United States or Canada^ on receipt of tluprP^

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By Lew. Wallace. New Edition, pp. 552. 16mo,
Cloth, $1 50.

Aoytbiog so startling, iievr, and distinctive as the leading feature of
this romance does not often appear in works of fiction. . . . Some of Mr.
Wallace^s writing is remarkable for its pathetic eloquence. The scenes
described in the New Testament are rewritten with the power and skill of
an accomplished master of style. — N, Y, Times.

Its real basis is a description of the life of the Jews and Romans at the
beginning of the Chjdstian era, and this is both forcible and brilliant. . . .
We are carried through a surprising variety of scenes ; we witness a sea-
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From the opening of the volume to the very close the reader's interest
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A9* The dhue toork sent by mail, postage prepaid, to any part qf the United StaU9
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By Lew. Wallace, Author of " Ben-Hur," &c. 14 Full-
page Engravings on Plate Paper. 4to, Ornamental
Leather Covers, $3 60. {In a Box.)

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could write but the author of '* Ben-Hur." It is the boy Christ who
figures in these pages, none oih^i.^PMloMphia Press.

A most interesting and pleasant book for old and young alike, and
will be a permanent companion to " Ben-Hur." — Lutheran Observer,

A magnificent book. . . . The subject is treated in that reverent
yet familiar narrative style which has made General Wallace so well
known and liked, and the illustrations are worthy of the peculiar
grandeur of the subject The whole forms a work of art which is
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— 8t, Louis BepuUic.

The style of the work is simple and graceful, the spirit of it is
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What history, art, and travel may contribute to help clear and
vivid portraiture and description is familiar to the author, and he
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— Boston Olohe,

A real spirit of reverence pervades the narrative, and extends from
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Published by HARPER <fe BROTHERS, New York.

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Mr. Blackmore always writes like a scholar and a gentleman.— ilfAenceum,

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ened everywhere with great humor; the qaaint, dry tnms of thought remind
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and their dramatic power is as exceptional as their moral purity.— CArii^iian

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Online LibraryCharles KingBetween the lines: a story of the war → online text (page 20 of 20)