already the rope around his neck; he choked; when he spoke his voice sounded like the death-rattle.
An instant of horror-struck silence; a gasp or two as if the words were trying to force their way against some obstacle in his throat; then the sound came.
His tones were not loud, impassioned, energetic, not even animated.
A sick terror seemed to have frozen him; when he spoke it was in a sort of moan.
I didn't know, he muttered in low, husky tones.
I never meant-when I went over to Maryland--to fight against the South.
They made me; I had nothing to eat — I told them I was a Southerner-and so help me God I never fired a shot.
I was with the wagons.
Oh! General, spare me; I never-
There the voice died out; and as pale as a corpse, trembling in every limb — a spectacle of helpless terror which no words can describe, the boy awaited his doom.
Stuart had listened in silence, his gaze riveted upon the speaker; his hand grasping his heavy beard; motionless amid the shell