r disappointment by indulging, as much as was compatible with the performance of duty, in rides, drives, shooting, and social visiting at The Bower.
So I resumed my field-sports with very great success, except in respect of the turkeys, often accompanied by Brien, who was an excellent shot.
I had now also the satisfaction of greeting on his return to headquarters my very dear friend and comrade, Major Norman Fitzhugh, who had been captured, it will be recollected, near Verdiersville in August, and had spent several weeks in a Northern prison.
There was much for us to talk over in the rapid vicissitudes which had been brought about by the progress of the war during our separation.
Fitzhugh had been pretty roughly handled at the beginning of his captivity, and the private soldiers of the enemy that took him-provoked, probably, by his proud bearing-had illtreated him in the extreme; but he soon met officers whom he had known before the war in the regular army, and afterwards fared
ng the rest of the day and the night beneath Mr T.‘s hospitable roof, I rode off towards Orange just as the first cheerful beams of the morning sun were darting through the fresh green masses of the gigantic chestnuts and beeches which hemmed round the plantation, happy in the consciousness that the fine animal curvetting under me with such elastic steps was my own. As, en route, I had to pass by the little village of Verdiersville, where, it will be remembered, I had such a narrow escape in August ‘62, I stopped to pay my respects to the kind lady who had so courageously assisted me in my retreat.
I had never failed to do so whenever chance brought me to the neighbourhood, and always found myself received with the most cordial welcome.
On this occasion, however, I was not destined to meet the same kind of reception; for, instead of the cheerful greeting to which I had been accustomed, the old lady, as soon as she caught sight of me, turned suddenly pale, and, with a loud shriek, fle
eces of clothing which the bullet had carried along with it. I was frequently attacked with fits of suffocation, which sometimes came upon me while walking in the street, and were so violent that I had to be carried home in a state of insensibility resembling death.
At last my doctor, who had but little hope of my recovery, recommended me to try the effects of country air; and having received pressing invitations from my friends at Dundee, in Hanover County, I went there towards the end of August.
The very day after my arrival, my attacks, accompanied by severe fever, became so violent that I was prostrated on a sick-bed for two long months, every day of which my kind friends expected would be my last.
The natural strength of my constitution, however, carried me through all these trials; and about the middle of October I was allowed to leave my room, but reduced to a skeleton, having lost ninety pounds in weight, and so weak I had to be carried about in a chair.
On the first day I