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[12] and mean was she, that a placard was nailed on her gate with the inscription: ‘No soldiers fed or housed here.’

The best foragers and pirooters of the brigade met their match in this old woman, and returned defeated from the field, and at last she was left in undisturbed possession of her place and no hungry soldiers ever were fed at her table.

When this animated picture and figure of famine stalked in her yard, the old lady was prepared for hostilities immediately.

The sad faced defender of the soil, asked in a humble way:

‘Please marm, lend me your iron pot?’

‘Man, I haven't no iron pot for you!’

‘Please marm, I wont hurt it.’

‘You don't s'pose I am agwine to lend you my pot to carry it to camp, do you? I would never see it again. Go over there where Mrs. Hanger lives, she will lend hers to you.’

‘Marm I will bring your pot back, hope I may die if I don't. I wont take it out of the yard and will kindle the fire here.’

‘What do you want with it?’ said the old lady.

‘I want to bile some stone soup,’ answered the soldier, looking plaintively at the questioner.

Stone soup! What's stone soup?’ and the old lady's curiosity began to rise. ‘How do you make it, and what for?’

‘Marm,’ replied the sad faced infantryman, ‘ever since the war began, the rations have become scarcer and scarcer, until they have stopped entirely, and we uns have to live on stone soup to keep from starving.’

Stone soup, how do you make it?’

‘Please marm you get a pot with some water, and I will show you. We biles the stone.’

The ancient dame trotted off, full of wonder and inquisitiveness to get the article, and by the time she returned the soldier had kindled a fire, and settling the kettle on the pile, waited for the water to boil, taking a rock about the size of his head, he washed it clean and put it in the pot, and then he said to the old woman who was peering in the pot:

‘Marm, please get me a small piece of bacon, about the size of your hand, to gin the soup a relish.’

The old lady again toddled off and got it for him. Another five minutes passed by.

‘Is it done?’ inquired the woman.

‘It's most done; but please marm give me a half a head of cabbage ’


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