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[436]

“ Yes, doctor, it's me they call the Horse Marine, sure enough.”

“But why do they call you so?” I asked, as I replaced the dressings.

The man had got a sabre-slash across the head-not a dangerous one-and was in my ward of the MacFinnegan Hospital at the time.

“Why, you see, sir, I served a good while in the marines before this war broke out; and so, when I 'listed into the land service, the boys soon found out I'd been a sea-soldier, and dubbed me The Horse Marine at once.”

“And what made you choose the cavalry, Spaddon?”

“Why, you see, sir, when I was a sea-soldier, I had a ship to carry me. ‘And so,’ says I, ‘if I go into the land service, I will have a horse to carry me, and that's a ship I can steer myself;’ for I was a jockey before I was a marine.”

“ But why not re-enter the marines?”

“Ah, it was the bounty, doctor! The sea-soldiers didn't get any bounty then; nor the sailors neither, for that matter-more's the shame. And though I was not to say very poor, yet money was not amiss, nor the horse neither, to tell you the truth, for another reason. For between you and I, sir, I didn't go into the service again out of what you call pure patriotism altogether, nor for the love of fighting, though I have not shirked the last, if I say it myself, neither.”

“ I should think not, Spaddon, from appearances; but,” continued I, liking the man, of whom I had known something previously, and having a little spare time at the moment-“what did you enlist for, then?”

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