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[89] thought it was the thumping of his own heart. Fortunately Ratcliffe was at home, and came hurriedly to the door, without stopping to dress. The two conversed in a low tone for some time, when Ratcliffe was heard to exclaim, “I'll be if you do!” and instantly started down toward the gate. Coming up to the prisoner, and throwing one arm around his neck, while he took his hand in his; he said to him-

“Great God! Harry, how fortunate that I am at home!”

After they had talked awhile together, Harris came up again, and called Ratcliffe to one side, where they had another protracted conversation, in a low, whispering tone. While they were thus engaged, a large owl on a tree near by began hooting, and was speedily answered by another some distance up the road. The three men mounted their horses at once and galloped to the road, shouting at the top of their voices-

Captain, we're surrounded! This is a trap. Don't you hear the signals?”

The captain stepped to the road, listened a moment, and then, with a volley of oaths, ordered them back for a “pack of---fools, to be scared at an owl.” Still quaking with fear, which did not entirely leave them until they were fairly away from the place, they resumed their places, the owls hooting lustily all the while.

Harris and Ratcliffe continued their conversation for a few minutes, when the former came towards Newcomer with a pistol and some papers in each hand, saying, as he gave them to him:

I release you and restore your property on the word of Quartermaster Ratcliffe. He assures me that you are

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J. W. Ratcliffe (5)
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