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[468] homeward. The war-steeds, two well-fed but somewhat superannuated animals, were brought round, heavily-laden knapsacks were donned, and we saw them set off with some sentiment and a few tears. Gallant young fellows as they were! not knowing if they would ever be allowed to reach home, or, indeed, if that home still existed, as it lay in Sherman's path. Later on we knew they found only a few charred ruins of what was once a well-known mansion of almost palatial size and splendor in the Longtown neighborhood of Fairfield District.

That afternoon we three girls walked down to the creek's edge and formally buried our silver cups, some jewelry and a watch or two. It was a difficult ceremony, and would have even been solemn and impressive, but for the fact that we had scarcely got out of sight before one suggested that we might forget the precise site of the interment. Forthwith we returned, pushed aside the old stump (left as a monument) and, gathering our few but inestimately precious chattels, went back to the house to devise some more original, and, therefore, safer method of preservation. None suggested itself, however, and we were reduced to the old, yet apparently reliable strategem of hiding them about our persons. Packages of cherished letters, pictures and lace were sewed in the hems of skirts, and I fashioned what seemed a very ‘Maid of Saragossa’ arrangement, by which the wide folds of a dress concealed an Italian stiletto. This exquisite little weapon had belonged to my father when a medical student with Dr. Dickson in Charleston, and had attached to it a strap of chamois leather with a very suggestive button-hole. I used to look at the mother-of-pearl handle, the fine steel, two-edged blade embossed with military emblems, and very sharp, and then at this button-hole, and wonder ‘What for?’ During the war, and especially towards the end, this question had come to haunt me. I wondered if it could do anything, and I lived to prove it—almost!

For several days I wore my dagger, and then losing interest in the tragic accoutrement, as the danger seemed delayed, I laid it on the dressing-table with watch, jewelry, etc. Thus one may sleep on the very crest of Vesuvius.

A few days after, about three o'clock in the afternoon, I was sitting quietly in my room reading; there came a tap at the door, and a girlish face appeared.

‘The Yankees are coming, Miss C.,’ she said.

Was ever aplomb carried further?

‘At last!’ 'Twas my rejoinder, imitating her in a fair degree.


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