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[104] abroad and left no room for thought of country. She insisted on our going in to see. We had not time. The poor old man was both sympathetic and indignant as he heard her recital. He could not say much—he had run out in the bushes at the approach of the soldiers. But he ventured at one very exasperating point in her tale of woe to quietly put in, looking significantly towards us: ‘If I had been here——.’ He was not permitted to say what he would have done. ‘Yes,’ broke in the old lady, ‘if you had been here your * * * * .’ We leave this unfinished. But her very original and even startling speech stampeded us, and her daughter also.

Our safest way now lay around the base of a great wooded hill. Opening a pair of bars we entered these pathless woods and picked our way along, groping in the darkness. It was an hour when we emerged at last, breathing free again as we came out on a little field with another house lighted up. It was a long hour of most painstaking progress, and tangle-bushes and brush and stumbling with led horses. Hitching once more, we removed our jingling spurs, and approached stealthily for directions to the road, when lo! we enter the very same house we had left an hour before! We noticed the divided door again as we approached, but so completely were we turned round it did not dawn on us until we actually saw their faces—they were still up. It was too bad—the night was going —we must have encircled that hill.

At another place we were detained by your narrator going to sleep on his post. We were approaching an important cross-road, where we would very likely run against a picket, just west of Custer's camp. It was in the woods. Holding my comrade's horse as I sat on my own, he went forward to investigate. I fell asleep after the day's experiences, being but a youth. He returning and feeling about in the thick darkness, ‘for an age,’ he said, he could not find me nor the horses. Finally, in some interval of my slumbers, I did hear his whispered calls, and we set forward once more.

Further on, leaving our horses in the woods, we walked across fields to the homestead of a well-known citizen north of Timberville.

Do you see that pile of straw six feet high piled against the big barn doors? That is a tell-tale. Then here is a Yankee horse in the stall below. That means a guard in the house to protect private property. A few minutes later we are told by a fair inmate of that house, whom we contrived to awake without awakening that guard,


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