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[606] and that they would have him shot by ten o'clock the next morning. I saw the winks and glances that were interchanged between them. Every one gave a different name to the officers. The brute remained unpunished, as I saw him on the following morning, as insolent and as profane as he had been on the preceding day.

As yet, no punishment had fallen on the brutal hyena, and I strove to nurse my bruised body and heal my wounds, and forget the insults and injuries of the past. A few weeks after this I was sent for to perform a parochial duty at Mars Bluff, some twenty miles distant. Arriving at Florence in the vicinity, I was met by a crowd of young men connected with the militia. They were excited to the highest pitch of rage, and thirsted for revenge. They believed that among the prisoners that had just arrived on the railroad-car, on their way to Sumter, were the very men who committed such horrible outrages in the neighborhood. Many of their houses had been laid in ashes. They had been robbed of every means of support. Their horses had .been seized; their cattle and hogs bayoneted; their mothers and sisters had been insulted, and robbed of their watches, ear and wedding rings. Some of their parents had been murdered in cold blood. The aged pastor, to whose voice they had so often listened, had been kicked and knocked down by repeated blows; and his hoary head had been dragged about in the sand. They entreated me to examine the prisoners and see whether I could identify the men that had inflicted such barbarities on me. I told them I would do so, provided they would remain where they were and not follow me. The prisoners saw me at a distance, held down their guilty heads, and trembled like aspen-leaves. All cruel men are cowards. One of my arms was still in a sling. With the other I raised some of their hats. They all begged for mercy. I said to them, ‘The other day you were tigers—you are sheep now.’ But a hideous object soon arrested my attention. There sat my brutal enemy—the vulgar, swaggering lieutenant, who had ridden up to the steps of the house, insulted the ladies, and beaten me most unmercifully. I approached him slowly, and, in a whisper asked him: ‘Do you know me, sir?—the old man whose pockets you first searched, to see whether he might not have a penknife to defend himself, and then kicked and knocked down with your fist and heavy scabbard?’ He presented the picture of an arrant coward, and in a trembling voice implored me to have mercy: ‘Don't let me be shot; have pity! Old man, beg for me! I won't do it again! For God's sake, save me! O God, help me!’ ‘Did you not tell my daughter there was no God? Why call on him now?’ ‘Oh, I have changed my mind; I believe in a God now.’ I turned and saw the impatient, flushed, and indignant crowd approaching. ‘What are they going to do with me?’ said he. ‘Do you hear that sound—click, click?’ ‘Yes,’ said he, ‘they are cocking their pistols.’ ‘True,’ said I; ‘and if I raise a finger you will have a dozen bullets through your brain.’ ‘Then I will go to hell; don't let them kill me. O Lord, have mercy!’ ‘Speak low,’ said I, ‘and don't open your lips.’ The men advanced. Already one had pulled me by the coat. ‘Show us the men.’ I gave no clew by which the guilty could be identified. I walked slowly through the car, sprang into the waiting carriage, and drove off.

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