time had usually some means of enforcing his views and it was best not to discuss them), which we did, and having cleared the yard lay down for rest.
The water ran down my back in such a stream, however, that I protested against any such baptism by pouring, and with Dr. Feild
moved on. Going some hundred yards or so, I suppose, in what direction we had no idea now, for we had lost our reckoning, and the darkness was worse than Cimmerian, it could be felt, we fell over a new mound of earth and another, which seemed to be new made graves, and in the end proved to be so, and gathering ourselves up for fresh adventures, came upon a small house, the door of which was open, we judged, by its being a little darker just in that place than any other, and I said to the Doctor
, ‘here at least we can find shelter.’
It was a weird looking concern, but I said, ‘let us go in.’
But Doctor Feild
drew back and remarked, ‘that is a dangerous looking place.’
I said: ‘That from you
, beats all. You are the gamest boy and man (for I had been his school-mate and seen him tried), that I ever saw, and now for you to talk about being afraid borders rather on the ludicrous; besides, what have you got to lose but your life?
As we stepped into the door, there came to my nose that ineffable smell of gore, two or three days old, which but too many of us learned to recognize in our four years experience of war, and taking a match-box out of my pocket, I struck a light.
Sure enough, we were in a field hospital.
There was the bloody floor, the bloody clothes and rags that had been cut off from the poor fellows who had been operated on, and even a book of anatomy, from which some young surgeon had doubtless been refreshing himself during the process of mutilation, and straw upon which the wounded had lain and the table and broken chairs, &c. Well, we were at home, at least, and our right there, there was none to dispute, as we thought.
There was a large open fire-place in the room, and with the straw and broken furniture we soon had a blazing fire, and lay down before it to warm and dry. We were soon asleep, of course, how long I do not know, but I was awakened by the biggest wasp nest falling down upon me I ever saw. I suppose the room had been uninhabited, and the wasps had built in the chimney.
We were not long in getting up and out, but we returned to the combat, and managed to destroy our new enemies, and to take possession of our old quarters, where we slept soundly until morning.
Leaving our house as soon as it was daylight, we made a breakfast on some hard tack, which