force might have been captured through her plans.
And at any rate, I should much rather obey her orders than those of some generals whom I have known; for she at least meant no harm, and would lead one into no mischief.
However, at last the danger, such as it was, would be all over, and the ladies would be induced to go peacefully to bed again; and Annie would retreat with them to her ignoble cradle, very much disappointed, and looking vainly back at the more martial scene below.
The next morning she would seem to have forgotten all about it, and would spill her bread and milk by the fire as if nothing had happened.
I suppose we hardly knew, at the time, how large a part of the sunshine of our daily lives was contributed by dear little Annie.
Yet, when I now look back on that pleasant Southern home, she seems as essential a part of it as the mocking-birds or the magnolias, and I cannot convince myself that in returning to it I should not find her there.
But Annie went back, with the spring, to her Northern birthplace, and then passed away from this earth before her little feet had fairly learned to tread its paths; and when I meet her next it must be in some world where there is triumph without armies, and where innocence is trained in scenes of peace.
I know, however, that her little life, short as it seemed, was a blessing to us all, giving a perpetual image of serenity and sweetness, recalling the lovely atmosphere of far-off homes, and holding us by unsuspected ties to whatsoever things were pure.