but at the same time inquiring my way to Athens, as if I intended to go there. As I passed the burning wagons again, I told the citizens standing around, that if they did not leave instanter, I would shoot the last one of them, and they scattered like blackbirds. About ten miles farther down the road, I heard the deep, sonorous tones of a preacher, belaboring a sinful congregation. He was evidently a devout believer in a terrible and endless punishment for the wicked, for he was holding out to his audience the fearful picture of a lost sinner in hell; making a comparison between his condition and that of Dives, who, he asserted, was once in a similar state of sinfulness while on earth, and who eventually brought up in hell, and from whence he expressed a strong desire to visit Abraham in his new abode; adding that the wishes of the unfortunate Dives could not be complied with for some geographical cause --something in the topography of the country — a gulf in the way, I believe. Over this subject he grew eloquent, and had probably got about to his “thirdly,” and the congregation were almost breathless with attention, when it occurred to me that there might be soldiers in the church, and I had better look after them ; otherwise they might give me some trouble. Riding up to the door, I made my horse enter about half way, so that I could see every man in the house. As his feet struck the floor of the church, with a loud, banging sound, the people were astonished to see a soldier, under arms, riding boldly in among them. Turning to the preacher, I inquired if there were any southern soldiers in the house. The clergyman was standing with his hand raised, as he was about to enforce some point he bad made, being the
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