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[382] which she became spitefully indignant. But Oliver was as happy as a lark, and for the time almost forgot his injuries.

Soon he had several sick soldiers added to his list of boarders; and in due time a sheep, and another young porker, and a second hive of bees, were gathered under the roof of his “hotel;” and furthermore, not a cock remained to proclaim when the morning dawned. By this time her ladyship thought she could “see it,” and sent for Oliver, who, as promptly as the nature of his injuries would permit, reported at the door.

“See here, young man,” said she, “I perceive that it would be cheaper for me to board you in my house-and, if you will accept, you can have board and a room free.”

“Thank you, madam, thank you,” replied Oliver, removing his cap and bowing politely; “but I prefer boarding at a first-class Yankee hotel to stopping at any secession house in Virginia at the same price. You will therefore be so kind as to excuse me for declining your generous offer, as it comes too late!” And back he hobbled to the barn-and actually remained there two weeks-taking in and boarding every sick soldier that came along; making frequent “requisitions” upon her for supplies.

Her ladyship was mightily pleased when Oliver's Yankee hotel was discontinued; but it taught her a valuable lesson, and Yankee soldiers never thereafter applied to her in vain for food and shelter. They always got what they wanted, she evidently not relishing the Yankee hotel system.

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Reuben W. Oliver (4)
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