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[471] Then in a tone of abrupt harshness, he added, ‘Open these trunks!’ indicating one by a kick of his foot.

I felt the better policy was to obey. So, taking out my keys, and drawing up a chair, I deliberately sat down, unlocked the trunk, and began taking out one little dainty after another, shaking each carefully. ‘You can perceive,’ I said, inviting scrutiny of each bit of ribbon and lace, ‘that there is no mounted cavalryman or loaded cannon in here.’

He turned off with a horrid oath, and drawing an immense navy revolver from his boot—there was one in each Hessian-top—he presented it to my head.

‘Be in a hurry!’ was his order, evidently warming to his work.

I was just excited enough to be utterly reckless of consequences. ‘I am not used to such commands,’ I said, and therewith folded my hands.

He advanced to the other trunk, and was about to break it open when I left off my dignity and came forward with the keys. The first object that met his eye—well trained in such service—was a tiny morocco purse. ‘Ha! what's that?’

I took it up and unclasped it tenderly. There lay one poor little silver sixpence, my only remaining bit of specie, which I had kept ‘for luck.’ There also nestled a miniature Confederate flag that had been wont to adorn my toilette as a breast-knot in happier days, and was endeared by a thousand sweet memories.

‘This is all the money I have in the world,’ I said, holding up the sixpence, ‘but you can have it if you wish.’

He threw it aside with an impatient gesture and another oath and walked off. Before I was aware of his intention, he had locked the door. I rose and walked toward it. ‘Come,’ I said, ‘and I will show you the trunks in the other room, as there is nothing here, you see, in the way of arms.’

But he had stationed himself in front of the door, his back toward it. For a moment, nay, a long minute—centuries it seemed to me—we stood thus. There he was, a stalwart blonde of perhaps twenty-three or four, over six feet in height; his breath hot with the peach brandy they had unearthed on this raid; his eyes blood-shot, a reckless demon looking out of their grey-green depths, ready for any atrocity. I measured him from cap to boots, then fixed my eyes steadily on his, not fearful in the least, calm to petrifaction almost, only as I pressed my left hand against my side I felt there a strange, wild fluttering, as of an imprisoned bird. With the other I slowly


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