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Title: Whip and Spur
Author: Waring, George E. (George Edwin), 1833-1898
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Whip and Spur" ***

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    WHIP AND SPUR

    BY

    COL. GEORGE E. WARING, JR.


    NEW YORK
    DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY
    MCMIV


    COPYRIGHT, 1897
    BY DOUBLEDAY & McCLURE CO.



CONTENTS.


                                      PAGE

    VIX                                  7

    RUBY                                34

    WETTSTEIN                           67

    CAMPAIGNING WITH MAX                93

    HOW I GOT MY OVERCOAT              138

    TWO SCOUTS                         162

    IN THE GLOAMING                    186

    FOX-HUNTING IN ENGLAND             201



WHIP AND SPUR.

VIX.


When the work on the Central Park had fairly commenced, in the spring
of 1858, I found--or I fancied--that proper attention to my scattered
duties made it necessary that I should have a saddle-horse.

How easily, by the way, the arguments that convince us of these
pleasant necessities find their way to the understanding!

Yet, how to subsist a horse after buying one, and how to buy? The
memory of a well-bred and keen-eyed gray, dating back to the earliest
days of my boyhood, and forming the chief feature of my recollection
of play-time for years; an idle propensity, not a whit dulled yet, to
linger over Leech's long-necked hunters, and Herring's field scenes;
an almost superstitious faith in the different analyses of the bones
of the racer and of the cart-horse; a firm belief in Frank Forester's
teachings of the value of "blood,"--all these conspired to narrow
my range of selection, and, unfortunately, to confine it to a very
expensive class of horses.

Unfortunately, again, the commissioners of the Park had extremely
inconvenient ideas of economy, and evidently did not consider, in
fixing their schedule of salaries, how much more satisfactory our
positions would have been with more generous emolument.

How a man with only a Park salary, and with a family to support, could
set up a saddle-horse,--and not ride to the dogs,--was a question that
exercised not a little of my engineering talent for weeks; and many an
odd corner of plans and estimates was figured over with calculations of
the cost of forage and shoeing.

Stable-room was plenty and free in the condemned buildings of the
former occupants, and a little "over-time" of one of the men would
suffice for the grooming.

I finally concluded that, by giving up cigars, and devoting my energies
to the pipe in their stead, I could save enough to pay for my horse's
keep; and so, the ways and means having been, in this somewhat vague
manner, provided, the next step was to buy a horse. To tell of the days
passed at auction sales in the hope (never there realized) of finding
goodness and cheapness combined,--of the stationery wasted in answering
advertisements based on every conceivable form of false pretence; to
describe the numberless broken-kneed, broken-winded, and broken-down
brutes that came under inspection,--would be tedious and disheartening.

Good horses there were, of course, though very few good saddle-horses
(America is not productive in this direction),--and the possible
animals were held at impossible prices.

Those who rode over the new Park lands usually rode anything
but good saddle-horses. Fast trotters, stout ponies, tolerable
carriage-horses, capital cart-horses, there were in plenty. But
the clean-cut, thin-crested, bright-eyed, fine-eared, steel-limbed
saddle-horse, the saddle-horse _par excellence_,--may I say the only
saddle-horse?--rarely came under observation; and when, by exception,
such a one did appear, he was usually so ridden that his light was
sadly dimmed. It was hard to recognize an elastic step under such an
unelastic seat.

Finally, in the days of my despair, a kind saddler,--kept to his daily
awl by a too keen eye for sport, and still, I believe, a victim to
his propensity for laying his money on the horse that ought to win
but don't,--hearing of my ambition (to him the most laudable of all
ambitions), came to put me on the long-sought path.

He knew a mare, or he had known one, that would exactly suit me. She
was in a bad way now, and a good deal run down, but he always thought
she "had it in her," and that some gentleman ought to keep her for the
saddle,--"which, in my mind, sir, she be the finest bit of 'orse-flesh
that was hever imported, sir." That was enough. "Imported" decided my
case, and I listened eagerly to the enthusiastic story,--a story to
which this man's life was bound with threads of hard-earned silver, and
not less by a real honest love for a fine animal. He had never been
much given to saving, but he was a good workman, and the little he had
saved had been blown away in the dust that clouded his favorite at the
tail of the race.

Still, he attached himself to her person, and followed her in her
disgrace. "She weren't quite quick enough for the turf, sir, but she be
a good 'un for a gentleman's 'ack."

He had watched her for years, and scraped acquaintance with her
different owners as fast as she had changed them, and finally, when she
was far gone with pneumonia, he had accepted her as a gift, and, by
careful nursing, had cured her. Then, for a time, he rode her himself,
and his eye brightened as he told of her leaps and her stride. Of
course he rode her to the races, and--one luckless day--when he had
lost everything, and his passion had got the better of his prudence, he
staked the mare herself on a perfectly sure thing in two-mile-heats.
Like most of the sure things of life, this venture went to the bad,
and the mare was lost,--lost to a Bull's Head dealer in single driving
horses. "I see her in his stable ahfter that, sir; and, forbieten
she were twelve year old, sir, and 'ad 'ad a 'ard life of it, she
were the youngest and likeliest of the lot,--you'd swore she were a
three-year-old, sir."

If that dealer had had a soul above trotting-wagons, my story would
never have been written; but all was fish that came to his net, and
this thoroughbred racer, this beautiful creature who had never worn
harness in her life, must be shown to a purchaser who was seeking
something to drive. She was always quick to decide, and her actions
followed close on the heels of her thought. She did not complicate
matters by waiting for the gentleman to get into the wagon, but then
and there--on the instant--kicked it to kindlings. This ended the
story. She had been shown at a high figure, and was subsequently sold
for a song,--he could tell me no more. She had passed to the lower
sphere of equine life and usefulness,--he _had_ heard of a fish-wagon,
but he knew nothing about it. What he did know was, that the dealer was
a dreadful jockey, and that it would never do to ask him. Now, here was
something to live for,--a sort of princess in disgrace, whom it would
be an honor to rescue, and my horse-hunting acquired a new interest.

By easy stages, I cultivated the friendship of the youth who, in
those days, did the morning's sweeping-out at the Bull's Head Hotel.
He had grown up in the alluring shades of the horse-market, and his
daily communion from childhood had been with that "noble animal." To
him horses were the individuals of the world,--men their necessary
attendants, and of only attendant importance. Of course he knew of this
black she-devil; and he thought that "a hoss that could trot like she
could on the halter" must be crazy not to go in harness.

However, he thought she had got her deserts now, for he had seen her,
only a few weeks before, "a draggin' clams for a feller in the Tenth
Avener." Here was a clew at last,--clams and the Tenth Avenue. For
several days the scent grew cold. The people of the Licensed Vender
part of this street seemed to have little interest in their neighbors'
horses; but I found one man, an Irish grocer, who had been bred a
stable-boy to the Marquis of Waterford, and who did know of a "poor old
screw of a black mare" that had a good head, and might be the one I was
looking for; but, if she was, he thought I might as well give it up,
for she was all broken down, and would never be good for anything again.

Taking the address, I went to a stable-yard, in what was then the very
edge of the town, and here I found a knowing young man, who devoted his
time to peddling clams and potatoes between New York and Sing Sing.
Clams up, and potatoes down,--twice every week,--distance thirty miles;
road hilly; and that was the wagon he did it with,--a heavy wagon with
a heavy arched top, and room for a heavy load, and only shafts for a
single horse. In reply to my question, he said he changed horses pretty
often, because the work broke them down; but he had a mare now that
had been at it for three months, and he thought she would last some
time longer. "She's pretty thin, but you ought to see her trot with
that wagon." With an air of idle curiosity, I asked to see her,--I had
gone shabbily dressed, not to excite suspicion; for men of the class I
had to treat with are usually sharp horse-traders,--and this fellow,
clam-pedler though he was, showed an enthusiastic alacrity in taking
me to her stall. She had won even his dull heart, and he spoke of her
gently, as he made the most of her good points, and glossed over her
wretched condition.

Poor Vixen (that had been her name in her better days, and it was to
be her name again), she had found it hard kicking against the pricks!
Clam-carts are stronger than trotting-wagons, and even her efforts had
been vain. She had succumbed to dire necessity, and earned her ignoble
oats with dogged fidelity. She had a little warm corner in her driver's
affections,--as she always had in the affections of all who came to
know her well,--but her lot was a very hard one. Worn to a skeleton,
with sore galls wherever the harness had pressed her, her pasterns
bruised by clumsy shoes, her silky coat burned brown by the sun, and
her neck curved upward, it would have needed more than my knowledge of
anatomy to see anything good in her but for her wonderful head. This
was the perfection of a horse's head,--small, bony, and of perfect
shape, with keen, deer-like eyes, and thin, active ears; it told the
whole story of her virtues, and showed no trace of her sufferings. Her
royal blood shone out from her face, and kept it beautiful.

My mind was made up, and Vixen must be mine at any cost. Still, it
was important to me to buy as cheaply as I could,--and desirable,
above all, not to be jockeyed in a horse-trade; so it required some
diplomacy (an account of which would not be edifying here) to bring the
transaction to its successful close. The pendulum which swung between
offer and demand finally rested at seventy-five dollars.

She was brought to me at the Park on a bright moonlight evening in
June, and we were called out to see her. I think she knew that her
harness days were over, and she danced off to her new quarters as gay
as a colt in training. That night my wakefulness would have done credit
to a boy of sixteen; and I was up with the dawn, and bound for a ride;
but when I examined poor Vix again in her stable, it seemed almost
cruel to think of using her at all for a month. She was so thin, so
worn, so bruised, that I determined to give her a long rest and good
care,--only I must try her once, just to get a leg over her for five
minutes, and then she should come back and be cared for until really
well. It was a weak thing to do, and I confess it with all needful
humiliation, but I mounted her at once; and, although I had been a
rider all my days, this was the first time I had ever really ridden.
For the first time in my life I felt as though I had four whalebone
legs of my own, worked by steel muscles in accordance with my will, but
without even a conscious effort of will.

That that anatomy of a horse should so easily, so playfully, handle
my heavy weight was a mystery, and is a mystery still. She carried me
in the same high, long-reaching, elastic trot that we sometimes see a
young horse strike when first turned into a field. A low fence was near
by, and I turned her toward it. She cleared it with a bound that sent
all my blood thrilling through my veins, and trotted on again as though
nothing had occurred. The five minutes' turn was taken with so much
ease, with such evident delight, that I made it a virtue to indulge her
with a longer course and a longer stride. We went to the far corners of
the Park, and tried all our paces; all were marvellous for the power so
easily exerted and the evident power in reserve.

Yes, Frank Forester was right, blood horses are made of finer stuff
than others. My intention of giving the poor old mare a month's rest
was never carried out, because each return to her old recreation--it
was never work--made it more evident that the simple change in her
life was all she needed; and, although in constant use from the first,
she soon put on the flesh and form of a sound horse. Her minor bruises
were obliterated, and her more grievous ones grew into permanent
scars,--blemishes, but only skin deep; for every fibre of every muscle,
and every tendon and bone in her whole body, was as strong and supple
as spring steel.

The Park afforded good leaping in those days. Some of the fences
were still standing around the abandoned gardens, and new ditches
and old brooks were plenty. Vixen gave me lessons in fencing which a
few years later, in time of graver need, stood me in good stead. She
weighed less than four times the weight that she carried; yet she
cleared a four-foot fence with apparent ease, and once, in a moment
of excitement, she carried me over a brook, with a clear leap of
twenty-six feet, measured from the taking-off to the landing.

Her feats of endurance were equal to her feats of strength. I once
rode her from Yorkville to Rye (twenty-one miles) in an hour and
forty-five minutes, including a rest of twenty minutes at Pelham
Bridge, and I frequently rode twenty-five miles out in the morning and
back in the afternoon. When put to her work, her steady road gallop
(mostly on the grassy sides) was fifteen miles an hour.

Of course these were extreme cases; but she never showed fatigue
from them, and she did good service nearly every day, winter and
summer, from her twelfth to her fifteenth year, keeping always in good
condition, though thin as a racer, and looking like a colt at the end
of the time. Horsemen never guessed her age at more than half of what
it actually was.

Beyond the average of even the most intelligent horses, she showed
some almost human traits. Above all was she fond of children, and would
quiet down from her wildest moods to allow a child to be carried on the
pommel. When engaged in this serious duty, it was difficult to excite
her, or to urge her out of a slow and measured pace, although usually
ready for any extravagance. Not the least marked of her peculiarities
was her inordinate vanity. On a country road, or among the workmen of
the Park, she was as staid and business-like as a parson's cob; but
let a carriage or a party of visitors come in sight, and she would
give herself the prancing airs of a circus horse, seeming to watch
as eagerly for some sign of approval, and to be made as happy by it,
as though she only lived to be admired. Many a time have I heard the
exclamation, "What a beautiful horse!" and Vix seemed to hear it too,
and to appreciate it quite as keenly as I did. A trip down the Fifth
Avenue in the afternoon was an immense excitement to her, and she was
more fatigued by it than by a twenty-mile gallop. However slowly she
travelled, it was always with the high springing action of a fast trot,
or with that long-stepping, sidelong action that the French call _á
deux pistes_; few people allowed her to pass without admiring notice.

Her most satisfactory trait was her fondness for her master; she
was as good company as a dog,--better, perhaps, because she seemed
more really a part of one's self; and she was quick to respond to my
changing moods. I have sometimes, when unable to sleep, got up in the
night and saddled for a ride, usually ending in a long walk home, with
the bridle over my arm, and the old mare's kind face close beside my
own, in something akin to human sympathy; she had a way of sighing,
when things were especially sad, that made her very comforting to have
about. So we went on for three years, always together, and always very
much to each other. We had our little unhappy episodes, when she was
pettish and I was harsh,--sometimes her feminine freaks were the cause,
sometimes my masculine blundering,--but we always made it up, and were
soon good friends again, and, on the whole, we were both better for
the friendship. I am sure that I was, and some of my more grateful
recollections are connected with this dumb companion.

The spring of 1861 opened a new life for both of us,--a sad and a short
one for poor Vix.

I never knew just how much influence she had in getting my commission,
but, judging by the manner of the other field officers of the regiment,
she was evidently regarded as the better half of the new acquisition.
The pomp and circumstance of glorious war suited her temper exactly,
and it was ludicrous to see her satisfaction in first wearing her
gorgeous red-bordered shabrack; for a time she carried her head on one
side to see it. She conceived a new affection for me from the moment
when she saw me bedecked with the dazzling bloom that preceded the
serious fruitage of the early New York volunteer organizations.

At last the thrilling day came. Broadway was alive from end to end
with flags and white cambric and sad faces. Another thousand were
going to the war. With Swiss bugle-march and chanted Marseillaise, we
made our solemn way through the grave and anxious throng. To us it was
naturally a day of sore trial; but with brilliant, happy Vixen it was
far different; she was leaving no friends behind, was going to meet no
unknown peril. She was showing her royal, stylish beauty to an admiring
crowd, and she acted as though she took to her own especial behoof
every cheer that rang from Union Square to Cortlandt Street. It was the
glorious day of her life, and, as we dismounted at the Jersey ferry,
she was trembling still with the delightful excitement.

At Washington we were encamped east of the Capitol, and for a month
were busy in getting settled in the new harness. Mr. Lincoln used to
drive out sometimes to our evening drill, and he always had a pleasant
word--as he always had for every one, and as every one had for her--for
my charming thoroughbred, who had made herself perfectly at home with
the troops, and enjoyed every display of the marvellous raiment of the
regiment.

On the 4th of July we crossed the Potomac and went below Alexandria,
where we lay in idle preparation for the coming disaster. On the 16th
we marched, in Blenker's brigade of Miles's division, and we passed the
night in a hay-field, with a confusion of horses' feed and riders' bed,
that brought Vix and me very closely together. On the 18th we reached
the valley this side of Centreville, while the skirmish of Blackburn's
Ford was going on,--a skirmish now, but a battle then. For three nights
and two days we lay in the bushes, waiting for rations and orders.
On Sunday morning McDowell's army moved out;--we all know the rest.
Miles's thirteen thousand fresh troops lay within sight and sound of
the lost battle-field,--he drunk and unable, even if not unwilling, to
take them to the rescue,--and all we did was, late in the evening, to
turn back a few troopers of the Black Horse Cavalry, the moral effect
of whose unseen terrors was driving our herds, panting, back to the
Potomac. Late in the night we turned our backs on our idle field, and
brought up the rear of the sad retreat. Our regiment was the last to
move out, and Vix and I were with the rear-guard. Wet, cold, tired,
hungry, unpursued, we crept slowly through the scattered _débris_ of
the broken-up camp equipage, and dismally crossed the Long Bridge in a
pitiless rain, as Monday's evening was closing in. O, the dreadful days
that followed, when a dozen resolute men might have taken Washington,
and have driven the army across the Chesapeake, when everything was
filled with gloom and rain and grave uncertainty!

Again the old mare came to my aid. My regiment was not a pleasant one
to be with, for its excellent material did not redeem its very bad
commander, and I longed for service with the cavalry. Frémont was going
to St. Louis, and his chief of staff was looking for cavalry officers.
He had long known Vixen, and was kind enough to tell me that he wanted
_her_ for the new organization, and (as I was her necessary appendage),
he procured my transfer, and we set out for the West. It was not
especially flattering to me to be taken on these grounds; but it was
flattering to Vixen, and that was quite as pleasant.

Arrived at St. Louis, we set about the organization of the
enthusiastic thousands who rushed to serve under Frémont. Whatever
there was of ostentatious display, Vixen and I took part in, but this
was not much. Once we turned out in great state to receive Prince
Plon-Plon, but that was in the night, and he didn't come after all.
Once again there was a review of all the troops, and that _was_
magnificent. This was all. There was no coach and four, nor anything
else but downright hard work from early morning till late bedtime, from
Sunday morning till Saturday night. For six weeks, while my regiment of
German horsemen was fitting up and drilling at the Abbey Race-track,
I rode a cart-horse, and kept the mare in training for the hard work
ahead.

At last we were off, going up the Missouri, sticking in its mud,
poling over its shoals, and being bored generally. At Jefferson
City Vixen made her last appearance in ladies' society, as by the
twilight fires of the General's camp she went through her graceful
paces before Mrs. Frémont and her daughter. I pass over the eventful
pursuit of Price's army, because the subject of my story played only
a passive part in it. At Springfield I tried her nerve by jumping her
over the dead horses on brave Zagonyi's bloody field; and, although
distastefully, she did my bidding without flinching, when she found it
must be done. The camp-life at Springfield was full of excitement and
earnestness; Price, with his army, was near at hand (or we believed
that he was, which was essentially the same). Our work in the cavalry
was very active, and Vix had hard service on insufficient food,--she
seemed to be sustained by sheer nervous strength.

At last the order to advance was given, and we were to move out at
daybreak; then came a countermanding order; and then, late in the
evening, Frémont's farewell. He had been relieved. There was genuine
and universal grief. Good or bad, competent or incompetent,--this is
not the place to argue that,--he was the life and the soul of his
army, and it was cruelly wronged in his removal. Spiritless and full
of disappointment, we again turned back from our aim;--then would have
been Price's opportunity.

It was the loveliest Indian-summer weather, and the wonderful opal
atmosphere of the Ozark Mountains was redolent with the freshness of a
second spring. As had always been my habit in dreamy or unhappy moods,
I rode my poor tired mare for companionship's sake,--I ought not to
have done it,--I would give much not to have done it, for I never rode
her again. The march was long, and the noonday sun was oppressive. She
who had never faltered before grew nervous and shaky now, and once,
after fording the Pomme-de-Terre in deep water, she behaved wildly; but
when I talked to her, called her a good girl, and combed her silken
mane with my fingers, she came back to her old way, and went on nicely.
Still she perspired unnaturally, and I felt uneasy about her when I
dismounted and gave her rein to Rudolf, my orderly.

Late in the night, when the moon was in mid-heaven, he came to my
tent, and told me that something was the matter with Vixen. My adjutant
and I hastened out, and there we beheld her in the agony of a brain
fever. She was the most painfully magnificent animal I ever saw.
Crouched on the ground, with her forelegs stretched out and wide apart,
she was swaying to and fro, with hard and stertorous breath,--every
vein swollen and throbbing in the moonlight. De Grandèle, our quiet
veterinary surgeon, had been called while it was yet time to apply the
lancet. As the hot stream spurted from her neck she grew easier; her
eye recovered its gentleness, and she laid her head against my breast
with the old sigh, and seemed to know and to return all my love for
her. I sat with her until the first gray of dawn, when she had grown
quite calm, and then I left her with De Grandèle and Rudolf while
I went to my duties. We must march at five o'clock, and poor Vixen
could not be moved. The thought of leaving her was very bitter, but
I feared it must be done, and I asked De Grandèle how he could best
end her sufferings,--or was there still some hope? He shook his head
mournfully, like a kind-hearted doctor as he was, and said that he
feared not; but still, as I was so fond of her, if I would leave him
six men, he would do his best to bring her on, and, if he could not, he
would not leave her alive. I have had few harder duties than to march
that morning. Four days after, De Grandèle sent a message to me at our
station near Rolla, that he was coming on nicely, and hoped to be in
at nightfall. "Vixen seems to be better and stronger." At nightfall
they came, the poor old creature stepping slowly and timidly over the
rough road, all the old fire and force gone out of her, and with only a
feeble whinny as she saw me walking to meet her. We built for her the
best quarters we could under the mountain-side, and spread her a soft
bed of leaves. There was now hope that she would recover sufficiently
to be sent to St. Louis to be nursed.

That night, an infernal brute of a troop horse that had already killed
Ludlow's charger, led by some fiendish spirit, broke into Vixen's
enclosure, and with one kick laid open her hock joint.

In vain they told me that she was incurable. I could not let her die
now, when she was just restored to me; and I forced from De Grandèle
the confession that she _might_ be slung up and so bound that the wound
would heal, although the joint must be stiff. She could never carry me
again, but she could be my pet; and I would send her home, and make her
happy for many a long year yet. We moved camp two miles, to the edge
of the town, and she followed, painfully and slowly, the injured limb
dragging behind her; I could not give her up. She was picketed near my
tent, and for some days grew no worse.

Finally, one lovely Sunday morning, I found her sitting on her haunches
like a dog, patient and gentle, and wondering at her pain. She remained
in this position all day, refusing food. I stroked her velvet crest,
and coaxed her with sugar. She rubbed her nose against my arm, and was
evidently thankful for my caresses, but she showed no disposition to
rise. The adjutant led me into my tent as he would have led me from the
bedside of a dying friend. I turned to look back at poor Vixen, and she
gave me a little neigh of farewell.

They told me then, and they told it very tenderly, that there was no
possibility that she could get well in camp, and that they wanted me
to give her over to them. The adjutant sat by me, and talked of the
old days when I had had her at home, and when he had known her well.
We brought back all of her pleasant ways, and agreed that her trouble
ought to be ended.

As we talked, a single shot was fired, and all was over. The setting
sun was shining through the bare November branches, and lay warm in
my open tent-front. The band, which had been brought out for the only
funeral ceremony, breathed softly Kreutzer's touching "Die Kapelle,"
and the sun went down on one of the very sad days of my life.

The next morning I carved deeply in the bark of a great oak-tree, at
the side of the Pacific Railroad, beneath which they had buried my
lovely mare, a simple VIX; and some day I shall go to scrape the moss
from the inscription.



RUBY.


I was a colonel commanding a regiment of German cavalrymen in South
Missouri, and must have a horse; it was desirable to be conspicuously
well mounted, and so it must be a showy horse; being a heavy weight and
a rough rider, it must be a good horse. With less rank, I might have
been compelled to take a very ordinary mount and be content: my vanity
would not have availed me, and my rough riding must have ceased.

But I was chief ruler of the little world that lay encamped on the
beautiful banks of the Roubie d'Eaux; and probably life was easier to
all under me when I was satisfied and happy. I am not conscious of
having been mean and crabbed, or of favoring those who favored me to
the disadvantage of those who did not. I cannot recall an instance of
taking a bribe, even in the form of a pleasant smile. It was probably
easier, in the long run, to be fair than to be unfair, and therefore
the laziest private ever ordered on extra duty could not lay his hand
on his heart and say he thinks it was done because he was not diligent
in foraging for turkeys and hens for my private mess. I had very early
in life been impressed with the consciousness that the way of the
transgressor is not easy; and as I wanted my way to be easy, I fell
into the way of not transgressing.

This may not have been a very worthy motive to actuate the conduct of
a military commander; but perhaps it was as good as the average in our
Department of the Southwest, where, if the truth must be told, virtue
did not have it all its own way,--we were different from troops farther
east; and although it made me sometimes wince to have my conduct
ascribed to a noble uprightness of purpose, and showed that it would
really have been more honest not to have been quite so good, yet one
should perhaps be satisfied with having carried out one's intention of
treating every man in the command, officer or soldier, as nearly as he
should be treated as the interests of the public service, the good of
the individual himself, and one's own personal convenience would allow.

Therefore, I say, I am not conscious of having favored those who
favored me, to the disadvantage of those who did not; neither do I
think that (at this stage of our acquaintance) the Grafs and Barons
and simple Mister Vons, of whom the command was so largely composed,
entertained the hope of personal benefit when they laid their
kindnesses at my accustomed feet, and tried to smooth my way of life.

The headquarters' mess was generally well supplied,--and no questions
asked. My relations with most of the command were kindly, and it
apparently came to be understood--for German cavalrymen are not without
intelligence--that the happiness of the individual members of the
regiment depended rather on the happiness of its colonel than on any
direct bids for his favor. Be this as it may, I am not conscious of
having received such direct appeals, and I am entirely conscious of the
fullest measure of happiness that my circumstances would allow; not an
ecstasy of delight,--far from that,--but a comfortable sense of such
well-fed, well-paid, well-encamped, and pleasantly occupied virtue as
had left nothing undone that my subordinates could be made to do, and
did nothing that my conditions rendered difficult. My own good-humor
was equalled by that of the regiment at large, and the beetling sides
of the Ozark valleys nowhere sheltered a happier campful of jolly good
fellows than the Vierte Missouri Cavalry.

We lay on the marvellous Roubie d'Eaux, at its source; no such
babbling brook as trickles from the hillside springs of New England,
but a roaring torrent, breaking at once from a fathomless vent in the
mountain. The processes of formation with these South Missouri rivers
are all hidden from sight, but, far away in the topmost caves of the
Ozark hills, the little streamlets trickle, and unite for a larger and
ever larger flow, gorging at last the huge caverns of the limestone
rock and bursting upon the world a full-grown river. Within our camp
this wonderful spring broke forth, and close at hand was a large
grist-mill that it drove. We were a self-sustaining community,--in
this, that we foraged our own corn and ground our own meal. With
similar industry we provided ourselves with fish, flesh, and fowl.

The trees were bare with the November frosts, but the Indian summer had
come, and, day after day, it bathed every twig and spray with its amber
breath, warming all nature to a second life, and floating the remoter
hills far away into a hazy dreamland.

But personally, notwithstanding all this, I was not content: I was
practically a dismounted cavalryman. Indeed, it would even have been
a pity to see a colonel of infantry riding such brutes as fell to my
lot, for good weight-carriers were rare in that section. I had paid a
very high price for a young thoroughbred stallion (afterwards, happily,
sold for a large advance), only to find him a year too young for his
work, and the regiment had been scoured in vain for an available mount.
I would have gone any reasonable length, even in injustice, to secure
such an animal as was needed. It was not easy to make up one's mind to
order a soldier to give up a horse he was fond of, and some soldier had
an especial fondness for all but the worthless brutes. My reluctance to
do this was perhaps not lessened by the fact that it was forbidden for
officers to ride United States horses. It finally became evident that
the chances were very small of ever finding a suitable animal, and I
even went out, on one shooting excursion, mounted on a mule.

Up to this time the regiment had been all that could be asked, but
now it seemed to contain a thousand ill-tempered, sore-headed men.
The whole camp was awry. Some of the officers intimated that this was
all the fault of the adjutant; that the orders from headquarters had
lately been unusually harsh. This officer, when remonstrated with,
insisted that he had only transmitted the exact orders given him, and I
knew that my own action had always been reasonable,--on principle so.
Sometimes one almost wished himself back in civil life, away from such
constant annoyances.

We had in the regiment one Captain Graf von Gluckmansklegge, who was
in many respects the most accomplished and skilful officer of us all.
His life had been passed in the profession, and he had only left his
position of major in a Bavarian Uhlan regiment to draw his sabre in
defence of "die Freiheit," in America, as senior captain of the Fourth
Missouri Cavalry. He was an officer of Asboth's selection, and had
many of that veteran's qualities. Tall, thin, of elegant figure, as
perfect a horseman as good natural advantages and good training could
make, and near-sighted, as a German cavalry officer must be, he was
as natty a fellow as ever wore an eye-glass and a blond mustache. He
was, at the same time, a man of keen worldly shrewdness and of quick
judgment,--qualities which, in his case, may have been sharpened by
long practice at those games of chance with which it has not been
unusual for European officers to preface their coming to draw their
sabres in defence of "die Freiheit" in America.

With Gluckmansklegge I had always been on friendly terms. Among the
many lessons of his life he had learned none more thoroughly than
the best way to treat his commanding officer; and there was in his
manner an air of friendly deference and of cordial submission to rank,
accompanied by a degree of personal dignity, that elevated the colonel
rather than lowered the captain,--a manner that probably makes its way
with a newly fledged officer more surely than any other form of appeal
to his vanity. One sometimes saw a brand-new second-lieutenant made
happier than a king by this same touch of skill from an old soldier
in his company, whom he knew to be far his superior in all matters of
service. To be quite frank, if I have an element of snobbishness in my
own organization, it has been more nurtured into life by the military
deference of better soldiers than myself under my command than by all
other influences combined; thus modified do the best of us become in
the presence of unmerited praise.

One evening Gluckmansklegge came to my tent door: "Escoose, Col-o-nel,
may I come?" And then, flinging out his eye-glass with a toss of the
head, he went on, with his imperfect English, to tell me he had just
learned from his lieutenant that I could find no horse to suit me;
that he had a good one strong enough for my weight, and, he thought,
even good enough for my needs. He had bought him in St. Louis from the
quartermaster, and would I oblige him by trying him? He was quite at my
service, at the government price, for he, being lighter, could easily
replace him. Did I remember his horse,--his "Fuchs"? "He is good, nice,
strong horse, an he yoomp!--yei!!"

I did remember his horse, and I had seen him "yoomp." It had long
been a subject of regret to think that such an animal should be in
the regiment, yet not on my own picket-line. It was well known that
great prices had been offered for him, only to make Gluckmansklegge
fling his eye-glass loose, and grin in derision. "Fuchs is--how you
call?--'heelty,' an gesund; wenn you like, your Ike will go to my
company to bring him." I did like, and I had no scruples against
buying him for one hundred and twenty-five dollars. Ike, a handsome
contraband, went early the next morning with a halter for the Fuchs,
and I was up bright and betimes to try him.

I had only seen the horse before under the saddle, perfectly equipped,
perfectly bitted, and perfectly ridden, an almost ideal charger. There
was a great firebrand scar on the flat of each shoulder, where he had
been fired for a cough,--so said Gluckmansklegge;--others intimated
that this effaced a U. S. brand; but, except this, not a sign of a
blemish. In form, action, style, color (chestnut), and training he
was unexceptionably good, and might well excite the envy of all good
horsemen who saw him _under the saddle_. Knowing him so well, I went
rather eagerly to the picket-line to refresh myself with the added
sensation that the actual ownership of such a horse must give.

There stood the new purchase,--a picture of the most abject misery;
his hind legs drawn under him; the immense muscles of his hips lying
flabby, like a cart-horse's; his head hanging to the level of his
knees, and his under-lip drooping; his eyes half shut, and his long
ears falling out sidewise like a sleepy mule's. I had bought him for a
safe price, and he would probably do to carry Ike and the saddle-bags;
but I felt as far as ever from a mount for myself, and went back to my
tent wiser and no happier than before.

Presently Ike appeared with the coffee, and asked how I liked the new
horse.

"Not at all."

"Don't ye? well now, I reckon he's a consid'able of a hoss."

I sent him to look at him again, and he came back with a very
thoughtful air,--evidently he had been impressed. At last he said,
"Well now, Colonel, I don't reckon you bought that hoss to look at him
on the picket-line, did ye?"

"No, Ike, or he should be sold out very cheap; but he is not the
_kind_ of horse I supposed he was; he ought to work in a mule-team."

"Well now, Colonel, mebbe he is; but you can't never tell nothin' about
a hoss till you get him between ye; and I reckon he's a consid'able of
a hoss, I reckon he is."

Ike was wise, in his way, and his way was a very horsy one,--so my
hopes revived a little; and when Gluckmansklegge came up on a capital
little beast he had been handling (secretly to replace the Fuchs),
I had the new venture saddled and brought round. He came blundering
along, head and ears and tail down, and stood like a leathern horse
for me to mount, Gluckmansklegge dropping his eye-glass and grinning.
It was as well to find out first as last whether he had anything in
him or not, and I gathered up the curb-rein, which brought his head
into superb position and settled him well back upon his haunches; but,
as the movement had been made with dignity, I gave him both heels,
firmly,--when we went sailing!--how high I don't know, probably not
fifteen feet, but it seemed that, and covering a good stretch to the
front. It was the most enormous lift I had ever had, and (after an
appreciable time in the air), when he landed square on all four feet,
it was to strike a spanking, even trot, the bit playing loose in his
mouth, his head swaying easily with his step, and his tail flying. I
had never been more amazed in my life than by the wonderful grace and
agility of this splendid brute. As he trotted along with his high,
strong, and perfectly cadenced step, he showed in the swing of his head
all the satisfaction of an athlete turning, conscious, lightly away
from the footlights, after his especial _tour de force_.

As Gluckmansklegge rode up, he said, "Well, Col-o-nel, how you like?
Nice pretty strong horse, what?"

And then, his English failing him, he fell, through an attempt at
French, into German, in which his tongue was far more ready than my
ear. Still it was easy to gather enough to understand some of the
processes by which the animal's natural qualifications for his work had
been developed into such unusual accomplishments; and then he glided
into the complimentary assertion that no one but the colonel of his
regiment could ever have hoped to buy him at any price,--and of course
he did not consider it a sale. His original outlay, which he could
not afford to lose, had been reimbursed; but the true value of the
horse, his education, he was only too glad to give me. And then, the
pleasure of seeing his colonel suitably mounted, and the satisfaction
of seeing the horse properly ridden, really threw the obligation on
his side. Then, with his inimitable _naïveté_, he not only expressed,
but demonstrated, in every look and gesture, more delight in watching
our movements than he had felt in his own riding. "Praise a horseman
for his horsemanship, and he will ride to the Devil." Gluckmansklegge
(I did not suspect him of a desire for promotion) pointed to a strong
rail-fence near by, and suggested that the combination of man and
horse for that sort of thing was unusual. Whether it was a banter or
a compliment, it would have been impossible for any man who properly
esteemed himself and his riding to stop to consider. Turned toward the
fence, the Fuchs, checking his speed, seemed to creep toward it, as a
cat would, making it very uncertain what he proposed; but as he came
nearer to it, that willingness to leap that an accustomed rider will
always recognize communicated itself to me, and, with perfect judgment,
but with a force and spirit I had never hoped to meet in a horse of
this world, he carried me over the enormous height, and landed like a
deer, among the stumps and brush on the other side, and trotted gayly
away, athlete-like again, happier and prouder than ever horse was
before.

Sitting that evening at my tent door, opposite the spring, bragging,
as the custom is, over the new purchase, it occurred to me that that
stream of water and that bit of horse-flesh had some qualities alike;
so I christened the latter "Roubie d'Eaux," which was soon translated
and shortened to "Ruby,"--a name henceforth familiar throughout the
regiment.

To become my property was the only thing needed to make him perfect,
for Ike was born in a racing stud in Kentucky, and had practised all
the arts of the craft, up to the time when, being both jockey and "the
stakes" in a race he rode, he was lost to a Missouri gentleman of
fortune, and became a body-servant. He was once confidential:--

"Well, now, Colonel, you see, this is how it was: I hadn't nothin'
ag'in my master,--he was a right nice man; but then, you see, he
drinked, and I didn't know what might become of me some time. Then,
you see, I knowed this man was stiddy, an' he'd jess done bought a
yallar gal I kinder had a notion for, an' so,--don't ye see why?--well,
the hoss could have won the _race_ fast enough, but then, you see, my
master,--well, he was a drinkin' kind of a man, an' I thought I might
as well fix it. I knowed I was up for stakes, an' that's how I come to
Missouri; I ain't no Missouri man _born_, but that's how it was."

He had become a good body-servant without forgetting his stable
training, and his horses bore testimony to his skill and fidelity.
After going through the routine of a well-regulated stable, he gave
each horse a half-hour's stroking with the flat of his hands, brisk and
invigorating; and the result was a more blooming condition and more
vigorous health than is often seen in horses on a campaign. The best
substitute that could be secured for a stable was a very heavy canvas
blanket, covering the horse from his ears to his tail and down to his
knees, water-proof and wind-proof. It was a standing entertainment with
the less dignified members of the mess to invite attention to Ruby
as he stood moping under this hideous housing. Certainly I never saw
him thus without thinking that his time had at last come, and that he
surely would never again be able to carry me creditably. Yet, as Ike's
devotion continued, he grew better and better, commanding daily more of
the respect and admiration of all who knew him, and attaching himself
to me more and more as we learned each other's ways.

One never loves but one horse entirely, and so Ruby never quite filled
Vixen's place; but as a serviceable friend, he was all that could be
desired. The unsupplied want of my life, that had made me restless
and discontented, was now satisfied, and my duties became easy, and
my pastimes (the principal times of South Missouri warfare) entirely
agreeable.

It was no slight addition to these sources of contentment to feel that
the command had at last awakened to a sense of its dereliction, and
was fast reforming its ways. I had hardly owned Ruby for a fortnight
before the old cheerfulness and alacrity returned to the regiment, and
by the time we broke up our camp on the Roubie d'Eaux and went over to
Lebanon for the shooting season, the entire organization was in a most
satisfactory condition.

Our life in Lebanon was an episode of the war that we shall not
soon forget. To the best of my knowledge and belief, after Price had
retreated from Pea Ridge, the only organized forces of armed Rebels
to be found north of the White River were local bands of jay-hawkers,
whose rebellion was mainly directed against the laws of property,
and the actuating motive of whose military movements was "nags." The
stealing of horses, with the consequent application of Lynch law, was
all that the native male population had to keep them out of mischief,
for weeks and weeks together. There was just enough of this sort of
armed lawlessness to furnish us with a semblance of duty; not enough
seriously to interrupt our more regular avocations.

Lebanon is on the high table-land of the Ozarks, in the heart of a
country flowing with prairie-hens and wild turkeys, and bountifully
productive of the more humdrum necessaries of life. Thanks to the
fleeing of Rebel families, we found comfortable quarters without too
severely oppressing those who had remained. What with moving the
court-house away from the public square, leaving the space free for a
parade, and substituting a garrison flag-staff for the town pump, we
kept our men from rusting; and when, after a time, we had established
a comfortable post-hospital and a commodious military prison, Lebanon
was as complete and well-ordered a station as could be found in
South Missouri. I had the questionable honor and the unquestionable
comfort of holding its command from the end of January to the end of
April,--three dreamy months, that seem now to have been passed in a
shooting-lodge, under favorable auspices.

As a legacy of the "Hundred Days," when the "Fourth Missouri" was the
"Frémont Hussars," we had an able-bodied and extremely well-selected
regimental band, that soothed our over-tasked senses when we came in
from our work in the fields, gathering where our enemies had sown, and
(under the suspended game-laws of the State) shooting grouse and quail
in the early spring.

Naturally, most of my official duties were such as could be performed
by an extremely well-regulated adjutant; and I usually passed his busy
half-hour (in private) with Ruby. There had been an impetuosity about
the horse at the outset which it was desirable to quell, and I rode him
regularly in a nicely fenced kitchen-garden, where, after he learned
that fences are not always intended for leaping-bars, he fell slowly
into the routine of the training-school, and easily acquired a perfect
self-command and _aplomb_ that enabled him, under all circumstances, to
await his rider's instructions.

I wish that less account had been made, in the writings of those
whose horse-stories have preceded mine, of the specified feats of
their animals. The _rôle_ of a horse's performances is necessarily
limited, and it is probably impossible for a well-constituted mind to
recite the simple story of his deeds without seeming to draw largely
on the imagination. Consequently, an unexaggerated account of what
Ruby actually did (and I cannot bring my mind to an embellishment of
the truth) would hardly interest a public whose fancy has been thus
pampered and spoiled. But for this, these pages could be filled with
instances of his strength and agility that would almost tax belief.
Suffice it to say that while, like most good high leapers, he would
cover but a moderate breadth of water, he would get over anything
reasonable in the shape of a fence that could be found about the town.

I was a heavy weight,--riding nearly two hundred pounds,--and
necessarily rode with judgment. If there was a low place in a fence,
we never chose a high one; but, at the same time, if there were no
low places, we took the best we could find. Ruby seemed to know that
the two of us were solid enough to break through any ordinary pile of
rails, and what we could not jump over we jumped _at_. More than once
did he carry away the top rail of a snake fence with his knees, and
land fair and square on the other side; but it was a very high leap
that made this necessary.

He would jump on to the porch of the quartermaster's office (approached
from the ground by four steps), and then jump over the hand-rail and
land on the ground below again, almost wagging his tail with delight at
the feat.

His ear was quicker than mine for the peeping of quail and for the
drumming of grouse, and, in the absence of a good dog, there is no
doubt that my pot (for which alone I have been said to hunt) was better
filled by reason of his intelligence in the field, and because he would
allow one to shoot from the saddle. The birds never mistook me for a
sportsman until I was quite in among them, blazing away.

In coming home from the prairie, we generally rode round by the way of
a certain sunken garden that stood a couple of feet below the level
of the road. A five-foot picket-fence that stood at the roadside had
fallen over toward the garden, so that its top was hardly four feet
higher than the road. This made the most satisfactory leap we ever
took,--the long, sailing descent, and the safe landing on sandy loam,
satisfied so completely one's prudent love of danger.

I think I missed this leap more than anything at Lebanon when, finally,
we set out for Arkansas.

We made our first considerable halt early in May, at Batesville,
on the White River,--a lovely, rose-grown village, carrying, in the
neatly kept home of its New England secessionists, evidence that
they remembered their native land, where, in their day, before the
age of railroads, the "village" flourished in all its freshness and
simplicity. It had now acquired the picturesque dilapidation, in the
manner of fences and gates and defective window-panes, that marked
the Southern domicile during the war. Ruby had strained himself quite
seriously during the march, and had been left to come on slowly with
the quartermaster's train. This left me quite free for the social life,
such as it was, to which we--the only available men that had been seen
there since Price gathered his forces at Springfield--were welcomed
with a reserved cordiality. Our facilities for forming a correct
opinion of society were not especially good, but I fancied I should
have passed my time to as good advantage in the saddle.

We soon left for an active expedition in the direction of Little Rock,
of which it is only necessary to say, here, that it lasted about a
month, and brought the writer acquainted with some very unsatisfactory
horses,--a fact which heightened his pleasure, on striking the White
River bottom again, at finding that Ruby had been brought over the
ferry to meet him. Tired as I was, I took a glorious brisk trot through
the Canebrake Road, with a couple of leaps over fallen trees, that
revived the old emotions and made a man of me again.

While we lay at Batesville we were unusually active in the matter of
drill and reorganization; and this, with our engagements in the town,
kept us too busy for much recreation; but Ludlow and I managed to work
in a daily swim in the White River, with old saddles on our horses,
and scant clothing on our persons. Talk of aquatic sports! there is
no royal bath without a plucky horse to assist; and a swim across
the swift current at Batesville, with a horse like Ruby snorting and
straining at every stroke, belittled even the leaping at Lebanon.

From Batesville we commenced our memorable march to join the fleet
that had just passed Memphis, following down the left bank of the river
to Augusta, and then striking across the cotton country to Helena,--a
march on which we enjoyed the rarest picturesqueness of plantation
life, and suffered enough from heat and hunger and thirst, and
stifling, golden dust to more than pay for it.

Helena was a pestiferous swamp, worth more than an active campaign to
our enemies, filling our hospitals, and furrowing the levee bank with
graves. It was too hot for much drilling, and we kept our better horses
in order by daybreak races. With the local fever feeling its way into
my veins, I was too listless to care much for any diversion; but Ike
came to me one evening to say that he "reckoned" Ruby was as good a
horse as anybody had in the "camps," and he might as well take a hand
in the games. I told him I had no objection to his being run, if he
could find a suitable boy, but that both he and I were too heavy for
race-riding.

"I don't weigh only about a hundred and a half," said the ambitious man.

"Well, suppose you don't, that is ten pounds too much."

"I reckon a man can ride ten pound lighter 'n he is if he knows how
to ride; anyhow, if Rube can't skin anything around here, I don't know
nothin' about horses."

"Ike, did you ever run that horse?"

"Well, Colonel, now you ask me, I did jest give Dwight's darkey a
little brush once."

Conquering my indignation and my scruples, I went over, just for the
honor of the establishment, and made up a race for the next day.

I have seen crack race-horses in my time, but I never saw more
artistic riding nor more capital running than that summer morning on
the River Road at Helena, just as the sun began to gild the muddy
Mississippi. The satisfaction of this conquest, and the activity with
which new engagements were offered by ambitious lieutenants, who little
knew the stuff my man and horse were made of, kept off my fever for
some weeks; but I steadily declined all opportunity of racing with
horses outside of our command, for I had been reared in a school of
Puritan severity, and had never quite overcome my convictions against
the public turf. A corporal of an "Injeanny rege_ment_" took occasion
to crow lustily--so I heard--because "one of them French coveys" was
afraid to run him a quarter for five dollars. It appeared that a
cleanly European was always supposed by this gentry to be French; and
in the army at large I was better known by the company I kept than by
my New England characteristics.

Naturally, Ike thought that, while Ruby was engaged in this more
legitimate occupation, he ought not to be ridden for mere pleasure;
and it was only when a visitor was to be entertained, or when I went
out on plea of duty, that I could steal an opportunity to leap him;
but he took one fence that fairly did him credit. It was a snake fence
measuring four feet and two inches, with a deep ditch on each side cut
close to the projecting angles of the rails. Ruby carried me over the
first ditch into the angle between the rails, then over the fence into
the narrow space on the other side, and then over the second ditch into
the field. It was the most perfect combination of skill, strength, and
judgment that was possible to horse-flesh; and I think Gluckmansklegge,
who was with me and had suggested the venture, despaired of ever
getting his promotion by any fair means, when we rejoined him by the
return leap and rode safely to camp.

Unhappily, even entire satisfaction with one's horse is powerless to
ward off such malaria as that of the camp at Helena, and in due time I
fell ill with the fever. The horse was turned over to the care of the
quartermaster, and Ike and I came wearily home on sick-leave.

Late in the autumn we returned to St. Louis, where one of the German
officers told me that the regiment had joined Davidson's army at "Pilot
K-nopp"; and after the Hun, our new adjutant, arrived from the East, we
set out for headquarters, and took command of the cavalry brigade of
Davidson's army.

From November until January we were tossed about from post to post,
wearing out our horses, wearying our men, and accomplishing absolutely
nothing of value beyond the destruction of an enormous amount of
the rough forage, which would otherwise have been used to feed
"nags,"--stolen or to be stolen,--and would have thus tended to foster
the prevailing vice of the region.

At last we settled down in a pleasant camp at Thomasville,--a good
twelve miles away from Davidson,--and were at rest; it was only those
near him who suffered from his fitful caprices, and he was now encamped
with the infantry.

Pleasant as we found it with our little duty and much sport, I can
never look back to Thomasville without sorrow. To say that I had
acquired a tenderness for Ruby would not be strictly just; but I felt
for him all the respect and admiration and fondness that is possible
short of love. Vix had been my heroine, and my only one; but Ruby was
my hero, and I depended on him for my duty and my pleasure more than I
knew. With his full measure of intelligence he had learned exactly his
_rôle_, and he was always eager, whenever occasion offered, to show the
world what a remarkably fine horse I had,--being himself conscious, not
only of his unusual virtues, but, no less, of the praise they elicited.

One sunny Southern day, toward the end of January, Davidson had ridden
over, with his following, to dine with us; and as we were sitting
before our mess-tent, mellow with after-dinner talk of our guns and
our dogs and our horses, the General was good enough to remember that
he had seen me riding a chestnut that he thought much too finely bred
for field work: had I been able to keep him? Then Ruby was discussed,
and all his successes were recalled, first by one friend and then by
another, until Davidson needed ocular proof of our truthfulness.

Ike had taken the hint, and brought Ruby round in due time,--glistening
like gold in the slanting rays of the setting sun, but blundering along
with his head down and ears drooping in his old, dismal way.

"O no, I don't mean that horse," said Davidson; "I mean a very
high-strung horse I have seen you ride on the march."

"Very well, General, that is the animal; he keeps his strings loose
when he is not at his work."

"No, I have seen you riding a far better horse than that; I am too old
a cavalryman to be caught by such chaff."

To the great glee of the Hun, whose faith in Ruby was unbounded,
Davidson's whole staff turned the laugh on me for trying to deceive the
General just because he had been dining.

I mounted, and started off with one of Ruby's enormous lifts, that
brought the whole company to their feet. It was the supreme moment with
him. Full of consciousness, as though he knew the opportunity would
never come again, and quivering in anticipation of his triumph, he was
yet true to his training, and held himself subject to my least impulse.

We had lain in our camp for more than a week, and there was not a
vestige left of the recently substantial fences,--only the suggestive
and conspicuous gateways that stood to mark the march of our armies
from the Chesapeake to the Indian Nation. But Ruby built fences in his
imagination higher than any he had ever faced, and cleared them without
a scratch, landing close as though the Helena ditch were still to be
taken.

It would take long to tell all he did and how perfectly he did it; he
went back at last to his canvas blanket, loaded with adulation, and as
happy as it is given a horse to be.

In his leaping he had started a shoe, and Ike took him in the morning
to the smith (who had taken possession of an actual forge), to have it
reset. A moment later, the Hun cried, "My God, Colonel, look at Ruby!"

Hobbling along with one hind foot drawn up with pain, he was making
his last mournful march, and we laid him that day to rest,--as true a
friend and as faithful a fellow as ever wore a chestnut coat.

He had reared in the shop, parted his halter, and fallen under a
bench, breaking his thigh far up above the stifle.



WETTSTEIN.


It is a pleasant thing to be a colonel of cavalry in active
field-service. There are circumstances of authority and responsibility
that fan the latent spark of barbarism which, however dull, glows in
all our breasts, and which generations of republican civilization
have been powerless to quench. We may not have confessed it even
to ourselves; but on looking back to the years of the war, we
must recognize many things that patted our vanity greatly on the
back,--things so different from all the dull routine of equality
and fraternity of home, that those four years seem to belong to a
dreamland, over which the haze of the life before them and of the
life after them draws a misty veil. Equality and Fraternity! a pretty
sentiment, yes, and full of sensible and kindly regard for all mankind,
and full of hope for the men who are to come after us; but Superiority
and Fraternity! who shall tell all the secret emotions this implies? To
be the head of the brotherhood, with the unremitted clank of a guard's
empty scabbard trailing before one's tent-door day and night; with the
standard of the regiment proclaiming the house of chief authority;
with the respectful salute of all passers, and the natural obedience
of all members of the command; with the shade of deference that even
comrades show to superior rank; and with that just sufficient check
upon coarseness during the jovial bouts of the headquarters' mess,
making them not less genial, but void of all offence,--living in this
atmosphere, one almost feels the breath of feudal days coming modified
through the long tempestuous ages to touch his cheek, whispering to him
that the savage instinct of the sires has not been, and never will be,
quite civilized out of the sons. And then the thousand men, and the
yearly million that they cost, while they fill the cup of the colonel's
responsibility (sometimes to overflowing), and give him many heavy
trials,--they are his own men; their usefulness is almost of his own
creation, and their renown is his highest glory.

I may not depict the feelings of others; but I find in the recollection
of my own service--as succeeding years dull its details and cast the
nimbus of distance about it--the source of emotions which differ widely
from those to which our modern life has schooled us.

One of the colonel's constant attendants is the chief bugler, or,
as he is called in hussar Dutch, the "Stabstrompaytr"; mine was the
prince of Trompaytrs, and his name was Wettstein. He was a Swiss, whose
native language was a mixture of guttural French and mincing German.
English was an impossible field to him. He had learned to say "yes" and
"matches"; but not one other of our words could he ever lay his tongue
to, except the universal "damn." But for his bugle and his little gray
mare, I should never have had occasion to know his worth. Music filled
every pore of his Alpine soul, and his wonderful Swiss "Retreat" must
ring to this day in the memory of every man of the regiment whose
thoughts turn again to the romantic campaign of South Missouri. What
with other buglers was a matter of routine training was with him an
inspiration. All knew well enough the meaning of the commands that
the company trumpets stammered or blared forth; but when they rang
from Wettstein's horn, they carried with them a _vim_ and energy that
secured their prompt execution; and his note in the wild Ozark Hills
would mark the headquarters of the "Vierte Missouri" for miles around.
From a hill-top, half a mile in advance of the marching command, I
have turned the regiment into its camping-ground and dismounted it in
perfect order by the melodious telegraphy of Wettstein's brazen lips
alone.

That other chief attribute of his, Klitschka, his little beast,
stayed longer with me than his bugle did, and is hardly less identified
with the varied reminiscences of my army life. I bought her, as a
prize, with the original mount of the regiment, in Frémont's time,
and was mildly informed by that officer that I must be careful how
I accepted many such animals from the contractor, though a few for
the smaller men might answer. Asboth, Frémont's chief of staff, with
a scornful rolling up of his cataract of a mustache, and a shrug of
his broad, thin shoulders, said, "Whyfor you buy such horses? What
your bugler ride, it is not a horse, it is a cat." His remark was not
intended as a question, and it ended the conversation. Months after
that, he eagerly begged for the nine-lived Klitschka for one of his
orderlies; being refused him, she remained good to the end. She was an
animal that defied every rule by which casual observers test the merit
of a horse; but analytically considered she was nearly perfect. Better
legs, a better body, and a better head, it is rare to see, than she
had. But she lacked the arched neck and the proud step that she needed
all the more because of her small size. By no means showy in figure
or in action, it took a second look to see her perfect fitness for
her work. Her color was iron-gray, and no iron could be tougher than
she was; while her full, prominent eye and ample brain-room, and her
quick paper-thin ear, told of courage and intelligence that made her
invaluable throughout four years of hard and often dangerous service.
Like many other ill-favored little people, she was very lovable, and
Wettstein loved her like a woman. He would never hesitate to relax
those strict rules of conduct by which German cavalrymen are supposed
to govern themselves, if it was a question of stealing forage for
Klitschka; and he was (amiable fellow!) never so happy as when, from a
scanty supply in the country, he had taken enough oat-sheaves to bed
her in and almost cover her up, while other horses of the command must
go hungry; and was never so shaken in his regard for me as when I made
him give up all but double rations for her.

Double rations she often earned, for Wettstein was a heavy youth,
with a constitutional passion for baggage out of all proportion to
his means of transportation. Mounted for the march, he was an odd
sight. Little Klitschka's back, with his immense rolls of blankets and
clothing before and behind, looked like a dromedary's. Planted between
the humps, straight as a gun-barrel, the brightest of bugles suspended
across his back by its tasselled yellow braid, slashed like a harlequin
over the breast, his arms chevroned with gorgeous gold,--Wettstein,
with his cap-front turned up so as to let the sun fall full on his
frank blue eyes and his resolute blond mustache, was the very picture
of a cavalry bugler in active campaign.

Smoking, gabbling, singing, rollicking, from morning until night,
and still on until morning again if need be, he never lost spirit nor
temper. He seemed to absorb sunshine enough during the day to keep
every one bright around him all night. When at last his bugle had been
stilled forever, we long missed the cheer of his indomitable gayety;
wearying service became more irksome than while his bubbling mirth had
tempered its dulness; and even little Klitschka, although she remained
an example of steady pluck, had never so potent an influence as while
he had put his own unfailing mettle into her heels. After she was
bequeathed to me, she was always most useful, but never so gay and
frisky as while she carried her own devoted groom. No day was too long
for her and no road too heavy; her brisk trot knew no failing, but she
refused ever again to form the personal attachment that had sealed her
and Wettstein to each other.

The two of them together, like the fabled Centaur, made the complete
creature. He with the hardened frame and bright nature of his Alpine
race, and she with her veins full of the mustang blood of the Rocky
Mountains, were fitted to each other as almost never were horse and
rider before. Their performances were astonishing. In addition to a
constant attendance on his commander (who, riding without baggage,
and of no heavier person than Wettstein himself, sometimes fagged out
three good horses between one morning and the next), the Trompaytr
yet volunteered for all sorts of extra service,--carried messages
over miles of bad road to the general's camp, gave riding-lessons and
music-lessons to the company buglers, and then--fear of the guard-house
and fear of capture always unheeded--he never missed an opportunity for
the most hazardous and most laborious foraging.

He was a thorough soldier,--always "for duty," always cleanly, always
handsome and cheery, and heedlessly brave. If detected in a fault
(and he was, as I have hinted, an incorrigible forager), he took
his punishment like a man, and stole milk for himself or fodder for
Klitschka at the next convenient (or inconvenient) opportunity, with an
imperturbability that no punishment could reach.

Once, when supplies were short, he sent me, from the guard-house where
he had been confined for getting them, a dozen bundles of corn-blades
for my horses; not as a bribe, but because he would not allow the
incidents of discipline to disturb our friendly relations; and in the
matter of fodder in scarce times he held me as a helpless pensioner,
dependent on his bounty. When in arrest by my order, his "Pon chour,
Herr Oberist," was as cordial and happy as when he strolled free past
my tent. Altogether, I never saw his like before or since. The good
fortune to get such a bugle, such a soldier, and such a mount combined,
comes but once in the lifetime of the luckiest officer. It was only
his uncouth tongue that kept him from being pilfered from me by every
general who had the power to "detail" him to his own headquarters.

So universal, by the way, was this petty vice of commanding officers,
that one was never safe until he adopted the plan, in selecting a
staff officer, of securing his promise to resign from the service,
point-blank, if ordered to other duty, and more than one offended
general has been made indignant by this policy. With Wettstein, I felt
perfectly easy, for the average capacity of brigadier-generals stopped
far short of the analysis of his dual jargon. Several tried him for
a day, but they found that his comprehension was no better than his
speech, and that his manifest ability was a sealed book to them. He
always came home by nightfall with a chuckle, and "Le général versteht
mich nicht. Je blase 'marrrsch' für 'halt.'"

So it was that, for a couple of years, this trusty fellow trotted at
my heels through rain and shine, by day and by night, with his face
full of glee, and his well-filled canteen at the service of our little
staff. Mud and mire, ditches and fences, were all one to him and
Klitschka; and in Vix's day they followed her lead over many a spot
that the others had to take by flank movement.

Our work in Missouri was but little more than the work of subsistence.
We were a part of an army too large for any Rebel force in that region
to attack, and too unwieldy to pursue guerillas with much effect. But
now and then we made a little scout that varied our otherwise dull
lives; and at such times Wettstein always attached himself to the most
dangerous patrolling party, and Klitschka was usually the first to
bring back news of the trifling encounters.

At last, in February, 1863, when we had lain for a month in delicious
idleness in the heart of a rich country, literally flowing with
poultry and corn-fodder, I, being then in command of a division of
cavalry, received an order from Davidson to select six hundred of the
best-mounted of my men, and to attack Marmaduke, who was recruiting,
ninety miles away, at Batesville on the White River in Arkansas. His
main body, three thousand five hundred strong, lay in the "Oil-Trough
Bottom," on the other side of the river. A brigade of Western infantry
was to march as far as Salem (thirty miles), and to support us if
necessary; though we afterward found that at the only moment when
we might have had grave occasion to depend on them, they were, with
an inconsistency that was not the least attribute of our commanding
officer, withdrawn without notice to us.

We were to go in light marching order, carrying only the necessary
clothing, and rations of salt and coffee. Wettstein's ideas of
lightness differing from mine, I had to use some authority to rid poor
Klitschka of saucepans, extra boots, and such trash; and after all,
the rascal had, under the plea of a cold, requiring extra blankets,
smuggled a neatly sewn sausage of corn, weighing some fifteen pounds,
into one of his rolls. Eager men, too, whose horses were out of trim,
had to be discarded, and the whole detail to be thoroughly overhauled.
But the jovial anticipation of seeing Batesville once more--a New
England village planted on a charming hillside in Arkansas, where we
had sojourned with Curtis the summer before, and where we all had the
pleasant acquaintance that even an enemy makes in a town from which
the native men have long been gone, and only the women remain--made
the work of preparation go smoothly, and long before dawn Wettstein's
bugle summoned the details from the several camps. There was a ringing
joyousness in his call, that spoke of the cosey, roaring fire of a
certain Batesville kitchen to which his bright face and his well-filled
haversack had long ago made him welcome, and prospective feasting gave
an added trill to his blast.

The little detachments trotted gayly into line, officers were assigned
for special duty, temporary divisions were told off, and a working
organization was soon completed. Before the sun was up, such a Ra,
t't'ta, t't'ta, _t't'ta_! as South Missouri had never heard before,
broke the line by twos from the right, and we were off for a promising
trip. Marmaduke we knew of old, and personal cowardice would have
deterred no one from joining our party, for he could be reached from
our stronger army only by a complete surprise; and in a country where
every woman and child (white, I mean) was his friend and our enemy, a
surprise, over ninety miles of bad roads, seemed out of the question.
Indeed, before we had made a half of the distance, one of his flying
scouts told a negro woman by the roadside, as he checked his run to
water his horse, "There's a hell's-mint o' Yanks a comin' over the
mountain, and I must git to Marmyjuke"; and to Marmaduke he "got," half
a day ahead of us, only to be laughed at for a coward who had been
frightened by a foraging-party.

The second night brought us to Evening Shade, a little village where
one Captain Smith was raising a company. They had all gone, hours ahead
of us, but had left their supplies and their fires behind them, and
these, with the aid of a grist-mill (for which an Illinois regiment
furnished a miller), gave us a bountiful supper. At daybreak we set out
for our last day's march, still supposing that Marmaduke's men would
put the river between themselves and us before night, but confident
of comfortable quarters at Batesville. A few miles out, we began to
pick up Rebel stragglers, and Wettstein soon came rattling through the
woods, from a house to which he had been allowed to go for milk, with
the story of a sick officer lodged there. Following his lead with a
surgeon and a small escort, I found the captain of the Evening Shade
company lying in a raging fever, with which he had found it impossible
to ride, and nearly dead with terror lest we should hang him at once.
His really beautiful young wife, who had gone to enliven his recruiting
labors, was in tears over his impending fate. While we were talking
with him concerning his parole, she bribed Wettstein with a royal pair
of Mexican spurs to save his life, evidently thinking from his display
of finery that he was a major-general at the very least. The kind
fellow buckled the spurs on my heels, and they evidently gave me new
consequence in his eyes as we rode on our way.

Presently we struck a party of about twenty-five, under a Captain
Mosby, who had been making a circuit after conscripts and had had no
news of us. After a running fight, during which there occurred some
casualties on the other side, we captured the survivors of the party
and sent them to the rear.

From midday on, we heard rumors of a sally in strong force from
Batesville, and were compelled to move cautiously,--straggling parties
of Rebel scouts serving to give credibility to the story. At sunset
we were within six miles of the town; and, halting in the deep snow
of a large farm-yard, I sent a picked party of thirty, under Rosa, to
secure the ferry, if possible,--Wettstein and Klitschka accompanying to
bring back word of the result. After two anxious hours, he came into
camp with a note from Rosa: "Marmaduke is over the river and has the
ferry-boat with him; three of his men killed. Wettstein did bravely."
The poor fellow had a bad cut on his arm and was in pain, but not a
moment would he give himself until brave little Klitschka, smothered in
bright straw, was filling herself from the smuggled bag of corn. Then
he came to the surgeon and had his wounded arm duly dressed. Although
evidently suffering and weak from loss of blood, he gave us a cheering
account of Rosa's fight, and dwelt fondly on the supper he had bespoken
for us at good Mrs. ----'s house, where we had quartered in the summer.
At nine o'clock, after Klitschka had fed and the patrols had come in,
we set out on our march. It was still snowing hard, and even the dead
men that marked Rosa's recent ride were fast being shrouded in purest
white. One of them Wettstein pointed out as the man with whom he had
crossed sabres, and he asked permission to stay with the party detailed
to bury him, for he had been a "braff homme." With his tender sympathy
for friend or foe, he was a truer mourner than a dead soldier often
gets from the ranks of his enemy. Even this sad ride came to an end, as
all things must, and at the edge of the town soldierly Rosa stood, to
report that the pickets were posted and our quarters ready. Giving him
a fresh detail to relieve his pickets, and asking his company at our
midnight supper, we pushed on to our chosen house. Here we found all
in order, save that the young lady of the family had so hastily put on
the jacket bearing the U. S. buttons of her last summer's conquests,
that she failed quite to conceal the C. S. buttons on a prettier one
under it. She and her mother scolded us for driving the Rebel beaux
from town, when there was to have been a grand farewell ball only the
next night; but they seemed in no wise impressed with regret for the
friends who had been killed and wounded in the chase. It turned out
that Marmaduke had grown tired of reports that we were marching on him
in force, and would not believe it now until his own men rode into
town at nightfall with the marks of Rosa's sabres on their heads. The
place had been filled with the officers of his command, and he with
them, come for their parting flirtations before the ball. They were to
march to Little Rock, and their men were nearly all collected in the
"Bottom," over the river. On this sudden proof of the attack, they made
a stampede for the flat-boat of the rope-ferry, and nearly sunk it by
over-crowding, the hindmost men cutting the rope and swimming their
horses across the wintry torrent.

We had full possession of the town, and were little disturbed by
the dropping shots from the Rebel side. We visited on our unfaithful
friends such punishment as enforced hospitality could compass, and,
on the whole, we hadn't a bad "time." The morning after our arrival
we levied such contributions of supplies as were necessary for our
return march, and, in order that the return might not look like a
retreat, we loaded two wagons with hogsheads of sugar (which would be
welcome in Davidson's commissariat), and made every arrangement for the
establishment of the camping of the whole army in the country back of
the town; for our force was so small that, with our tired horses, it
would have been imprudent to turn our backs to Marmaduke's little army,
if he supposed us to be alone.

Keeping the town well picketed and making much show of laying out an
encampment, we started the teams and the main body of the command at
nightfall, holding back a hundred men for a cover until a later hour.

During the evening the Rebels on the south side of the river became
suspiciously quiet, and there was, apparently, some new movement on
foot. The only possible chance for an attack was by Magnus's ferry,
ten miles below, where the boat was so small and the river so wide
that not more than twenty horses could be crossed in an hour, and our
sharpshooters were sufficient to prevent the removal of the Batesville
boat to that point. Still it was important to know what was going on,
and especially important to prevent even a scouting-party of the enemy
from harassing the rear of our tired column by the shorter road from
Magnus's to Evening Shade; and I started at nine o'clock (when the moon
rose), with twenty men, to go round that way, directing the remainder
of the rear-guard to follow the main body at midnight.

The ride to Magnus's was without other adventure than bad roads and
almost impassable bayous always entail, and in a few hours we reached
the plantation, where I had a former ally in an old negro who had done
us good service during Curtis's campaign. He said that the Rebels had
left the Bottom, and were going to Little Rock, but, as a precaution
he took a canoe and crossed over to the house of another negro on the
south bank, and returned with a confirmation of his opinion. As it
was very important to know whether the only enemy of Davidson's army
had really withdrawn from his front, and, as this might be definitely
learned through the assistance of an old scout who lived in the edge of
the Bottom, it seemed best to cross the river to give him instructions
for his work.

I took Ruby, my best horse. He was a sure reliance under all
circumstances, and he and I knew each other perfectly. We were at home
in every foot-path in the country, having had many a summer's swim in
this very river; and now, accompanied only by Wettstein and Klitschka,
I went on to the ferry-boat. It was what is known as a "swing" ferry. A
stout rope is stretched between trees on the opposite shores, and the
boat is attached to a couple of pulleys arranged to traverse the length
of this rope. The attaching cords--one at each end of the up-stream
side of the boat--are long enough to allow it to swing some rods down
the stream; by shortening one of the ropes and lengthening the other,
the boat is placed at an angle with the swift current, which propels it
toward one shore or the other, the pulleys keeping pace in their course
on the main rope.

The main rope was rough from long use, and often the pulleys would
halt in their course, until the pull of the advancing boat dragged them
free. Then the rickety craft, shivering from end to end, would make a
rapid shoot, until another defective place in the rope brought her to
again. At each vibration, the horses nearly lost their feet, and the
surging stream almost sent its muddy water over the gunwale. It was a
long and anxious trip,--the rotten guy-rope hardly serving to hold us
to our course. At last we reached the shore and rode on to Craikill's
house in the Bottom. He had been "conscripted," and forced to go with
the army, so his wife told us, and she had seen him march with the rest
on the Fairview Road for Little Rock. The last bird had flown, and we
could safely march back at our leisure.

Wettstein filled his pipe, emptied his haversack for the benefit of
Craikill's hungry children, and, cheery as ever, followed me to the
ferry. On the way over he had been as still as a mouse, for he was too
old a soldier to give an enemy any sign of our approach. But, as we
set out on the return trip, in the cold moonlight, he sang the "Ranz
des Vaches," fondled his little mare, and, unmindful of his wounded
arm, gave way to the flow of spirits that the past few days' duty had
checked. I never knew him more gay and delightful; and, as we stood
leaning on our saddles and chatting together, I congratulated myself
upon the possession of such a perpetual sunbeam.

We were barely half-way across, when, suddenly, coming out of the
darkness, riding half hidden in the boiling, whirling tide, a huge
floating tree struck the boat with a thud that parted the rotten
guy-rope, and carried us floating down the stream. For a moment there
seemed no danger, but a branch of the tree had caught the corner of the
boat, and the pulleys had become entangled in the rope. When this had
been drawn to its full length, and the tree felt the strain, the boat
dipped to the current, filled, and sank under our feet. I called to
Wettstein to take Klitschka by the tail, but it was too late; he had
grasped the saddle with the desperation of a drowning man, and made
her fairly helpless. The boat soon passed from under us, and, relieved
of our weight, came to the surface at our side; but, bringing the rope
against poor Wettstein's wounded arm, it tore loose his hold, and soon
went down again in the eddy, and Klitschka was free.

"Adieu, Herr Oberist; tenez Klitschka pour vous! Adieu!" And that
happy, honest face sank almost within reach of me. The weight of his
arms prevented his rising again, and only an angry eddy, glistening in
the moonlight, marked his turbid grave.

Ruby, snorting, and struggling hard with the current, pulled me safely
to the shore, and little Klitschka followed as well as her loaded
saddle would permit. For the moment, with my own life and the lives of
two tried companions to care for, I thought of nothing else; but as I
sat drying at Magnus's roaring hearth the direst desolation overwhelmed
me. Very far from home,--far even from the home-like surroundings of
my own camp,--I had clung to this devoted fellow as a part of myself.
He was a proven friend; with him I never lacked the sympathy that, in
the army at least, is born of constant companionship, and he filled a
place in my life that dearer friends at home might not find. He was the
one comrade whose heart, I was sure, was filled only with unquestioning
love for me. Henceforth I must look for support to companions who saw
me as I was, who knew my faults and my weaknesses, and whose kind
regard was tempered with criticism. The one love that was blind, that
took me for better or for worse, had been, in an instant, torn from my
life, and I was more sad than I can tell.

But Duty knows no sentiment. A saddened party, we mounted, to join the
main command; and, as we rode on through the rest of that desolate
night, no word passed to tell the gloom that each man felt.

The petty distinctions of earthly rank were swallowed up in a feeling
of true brotherhood, and Wettstein--promoted now--rode at our head as a
worthy leader, showing the way to a faithful performance of all duty,
and a kindly and cheerful bearing of all life's burdens; and, through
the long and trying campaigns that followed, more than one of us was
the better soldier for the lesson his soldierly life had taught.



CAMPAIGNING WITH MAX.


Union City was not a city at all; it was hardly a village, and
"Disunion" would have been its fairer designation. It lay in the woods
at the crossing of two railroads, one pointing toward Mobile and one
toward Memphis, but neither leading anywhere. There was a tradition
that trains had once been run upon each, but many bridges had had to be
rebuilt to make the short line to Columbus passable, and the rest was
ruin; for Forrest had been there with his cavalry.

The land was just so much raised above the broad swamp of Northwestern
Tennessee that whiskey with men to drink it, and a Methodist Church
South with people to attend it, were possible. With these meagre
facilities for life, and the vague inducement of a railroad-crossing.
Union City had struggled into an amphibious subsistence; but it had
never thriven, and its corner-lots had but feebly responded to the
hopes of its projectors.

For many a mile around, the forests and swamps were well-nigh
impenetrable, and the occasional clearings were but desolate oases
in the waste of marsh and fallen timber. The roads were wood-trails
leading nowhere in particular, and all marked a region of the most
scanty and unfulfilled promise.

General Asboth, seeing (by the map) that it commanded two lines of
railroad, sent us to occupy this strategic point, and we gradually
accumulated to the number of twenty-five hundred cavalry and four
thousand infantry, drawing our regular supplies from Columbus;
and occupying our time with a happy round of drills, inspections,
horse-races, cock-fights, and poker. It was not an elevating existence,
but it was charmingly idle, and we passed the serene and lovely autumn
of 1863 in a military dreamland, where nothing ever came to disturb
our quiet, or to mar our repose with the realities of war. We built
ourselves houses, we shot game for our tables, we made egg-nog for our
evenings, and we were happy. The charm of camp-life--with just enough
of occupation and responsibility, and with enough improvement in the
troops for a reward--made even this wilderness enjoyable. I had the
advantage of seniority and command, and the physical comforts that
naturally gravitate toward a commanding officer did not fail me.

My house, built with the mouse-colored logs of a Rebel block-house,
covered with the roof of the post-office, and floored and ceiled with
the smoke-mellowed lining of the Methodist church, was broad and low
and snug. Its windows, also taken from the sanctuary in question, were
set on their sides, and gave to each of the two rooms wide, low-browed
outlooks into the woods and over the drill-ground, that would have made
worse quarters agreeable. The bricks of an abandoned domestic fireside
built a spacious fireplace across an angle of each of the rooms, and
the clay of the locality plastered all our chinks "to keep the wind
away." I have seen more pretentious houses and more costly, but never
one in which three chosen spirits--I had, in a happy moment, selected
Voisin and the Hun for my staff--got more that is worth the getting
out of the simple and virtuous life of a cavalry headquarters. We were
at peace with all the world (Forrest was in Mississippi), our pay
was regular, our rations were ample,--and Asboth had been ordered to
Pensacola.

Old A. J., his successor,--every inch a soldier, and a good fellow
to the very core,--used sometimes to roll up his camp mattress and
run down from Columbus for an inspection. Those are marked days in
our memories. He was a lynx in the field, and wry buttoning roused
him to articulate wrath; but he unbuckled his sabre at the door, and
brought only geniality within,--a mellow geniality that warmed to the
influences of our modest hospitality, and lasted far into the night;
and then, when the simple and inoffensive game was over, and its scores
were settled, the dear old boy--usually with a smile of conquest
wandering through his gray beard--would unroll his bundle before the
fire and sleep like a baby until reveille. Happy, happy days,--and
still happier nights!

Naturally, in such a life as we led at Union City, our horses formed
a very important element in our occupation and in our amusements. Soon
after our arrival at Columbus,--an event which had taken place a few
months before,--a spanking mare that I had bought to replace Ruby had
gone hopelessly lame, and it became again important to all who were
concerned in my peace of mind, that a satisfactory substitute should be
found for her. I had still in my stable a little thoroughbred (Guy),
who, though excellent in all respects, was a trifle under my weight,
and not at all up to the rough riding that was a necessary part of our
army life. He could go anywhere, could jump any practicable barrier,
was fleet and sound, and in all respects admirable, but he was made for
a lighter weight than mine, and, except for show and parade riding,
must mainly be used to carry Ike and the saddle-bags, or to mount a
friend when a friend favored me.

In a second search, in which most of the officers of the regiment
took a lively interest, there was found, in Frank Moore's Battalion
of the Second Illinois Cavalry, a tall, gaunt, lean, haggard,
thoroughbred-looking beast, which had been captured from Merryweather's
men in Western Tennessee. He was not a handsome horse, nor was he to
the ordinary eye in any respect promising; but a trial showed that he
had that peculiar whalebone character, and wiry, nervous action, which
come only with blood, and without which no horse is really fit for the
saddle. The chances were very much against him. He did not possess the
first element of beauty, save in a clean-cut head, a prominent eye,
a quick ear, a thin neck, sloping shoulders, high withers, and the
brilliant activity that no abuse had been able to conquer. He was held
in abeyance until a careful examination of the two thousand horses at
the post showed that, even as he stood, he had no equal there for my
purposes. Since he had come into the army he had been in the possession
of a private soldier, who had done much scouting duty, and he had been
initiated (successfully) into the scrub-racing which Illinois soldiers
much affected. The serious amount of one hundred and forty dollars was
hazarded in the venture, and he was transferred to our stable. That
increment of value which always follows the purchase of a new horse
came rapidly in his case, and it needed only a few gallops on the
breezy bluffs beyond Fort Halleck, to install him as prime favorite
among the headquarters' mess.

He was deemed worthy of the noble name of Max, and under Ike's careful
grooming he returned daily toward the blooming condition that only
Second Illinois abuse had been able to subdue. In an early race with
the Hun we were ingloriously beaten; but the Hun rode a marvellous
little blood mare, blooming with hundreds of bushels of oats, and with
two years of careful handling. Max, though beaten, was not discouraged,
and seemed to say that with time and good treatment he would be ready
for a more successful trial.

During his period of tutelage, and while he was kept from all excessive
exertion, he was inducted into the mysteries of the art, to him quite
new, of jumping timber. Columbus had been occupied by Rebel and Union
soldiers since the outbreak of the war, and its fences, far and wide,
had all disappeared; but nowhere in the world was there a greater
variety nor a more ample stock of fallen trees, whose huge boles made
capital leaping-bars; and over these, almost daily, for some months,
beginning with the smaller ones and going gradually to the largest
we could find, Max learned to carry a heavy weight with a power and
precision that even Ruby could not have excelled.

During all this time, ample feed, good shelter, regular exercise, and
a couple of hours of Ike's hand-rubbing daily, worked an uninterrupted
improvement in limb and wind and sinews and coat, until, by the time we
were ordered to Union City, Max had become the pride of the camp. He
was over sixteen hands high, of a solid dark bay color, glistening like
polished mahogany, and active and spirited as a horse in training for
the Derby.

At Union City the headquarters' horses were stabled under a capital
shed, close at hand, and all that master's eye and servant's labor
could accomplish for their care and improvement was lavished upon them;
so that, during our long months' stay, we were among the best-mounted
men in the Western army. Our pleasure-riding and our work lay through
swampy wood-roads, over obstructions of every sort, and across the
occasional grass farms, with their neglected rail-fences. The weather
was almost uninterruptedly fine, our few visiting neighbors were miles
away from us, the shooting was good, and the enjoyment we got from
our vagabond life in camp was well supplemented by the royal rides we
almost daily took.

Naturally, in a camp full of idle men given largely to sport, the
elevating entertainment of horse-racing played a prominent part. Both
Max and Guy were conspicuous by their successes until, long before the
close of our leisurely career, but only after they had hung my walls
with spurs and whips and other trophies of their successful competition
with all comers, both were ruled out by the impossible odds they were
obliged to give. The actual military service required was only enough
to convince me that Max was a beast of endless bottom and endurance,
and that, accidents apart, he would need no help in any work he might
be called on to perform. For the rest of the war, with much duty of
untold severity, I habitually rode no other horse for light work or for
hard, for long rides or for short ones, on the march or on parade; and
with all my sentiment for his charming predecessors, I had to confess
that his equal as a campaigner had never come under my leg. He would
walk like a cart-horse at the head of a marching column, would step
like a lord in passing in review, would prance down the main street of
a town as though vain of all applause, would leap any fence or ditch or
fallen timber to which he might be put, would fly as though shot from
a gun in passing along the line; and when, whether early or late, he
was taken to his stable, would eat like a hungry colt and sleep like a
tired plough-horse. In all weathers and under all circumstances he was
steady, honest, intelligent, and ready for every duty. I had ridden
before, at home and in the army, horses ideally good; I have ridden
since, over the hunting country of Warwickshire and Northamptonshire,
horses that were counted of the best, but never, before or since, have
I mounted such a magnificent piece of perfectly trained and perfectly
capable horse-flesh.

On one occasion, at Union City, word was brought in that a flag of
truce from Faulkner had arrived at our picket line, and I rode out
for a parley over a trifling matter of an exchange of prisoners.
The officer in charge of the flag, with the company escorting him,
had originally come from our neighborhood and had belonged to
Merryweather's "band." As Max trotted up to their bivouac, he was
greeted with cries of recognition, and a lieutenant of the company was
kind enough to warn me that I had shown them a stronger inducement
than they had hitherto had to make an attack on our position; for,
since Frank Moore had captured the horse I rode, they had determined
to regain him at any risk. Happily, this laudable wish was never
fulfilled, and Max remained, in spite of the devices they may have laid
for his recapture.

During the five months of our stay at this post, we made some hard
scouts in a hard country, and we held a good part of West Tennessee
under strict surveillance, but the most memorable feature of all our
scouting was generally the welcome dismounting under the wide eaves of
our own house; not, I hope, that we had grown effeminate, but a week's
tramp through the woods of West Tennessee offers little that memory
can cherish, and prepares one for a sensation on the near approach of
comfort.

But five months of such life is enough, and I was not sorry when the
order came that I must go for a soldier again.

Sherman was about to advance eastward from Vicksburg, destroy the
lines of railroad by which Forrest received supplies from the fertile
prairie region of Northern Mississippi, and strike the Rebellion in
the pit of its stomach. A. J. was to take all my infantry down the
river, and the cavalry was to move to Colliersville, on the line of the
Memphis and Charleston Railroad, and join a considerable cavalry force
gathering there under Sooy Smith and Grierson; thence we were to move
southeasterly through Mississippi, to engage Forrest's forces and to
meet Sherman's army at the crossing of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad at
Meridian.

We lay in camp more than a week, ready to move, but awaiting orders.
The country (a very wet one) was frozen hard and covered with snow.
Our order to march and the thaw came together, on the 22d of January.
We were to cross the Obion River (and bottom) at Sharp's Ferry,
twenty-three miles southwest of our camp. The command consisted of the
Fourth Missouri (with a battery), Second New Jersey, Seventh Indiana,
Nineteenth Pennsylvania, and Frank Moore's Battalion of the Second
Illinois; in all about twenty-five hundred well-mounted men present for
duty. The roads were deep with mud and slush, and every creek was "out
of its banks" with the thaw. We reached the ferry only at nightfall of
the 23d, over roads that had hourly grown deeper and more difficult.
Two regiments had crossed, through floating ice (eight horses at a
trip), by a rope-ferry, and at nine o'clock in the evening, under a
full moon and a summer temperature, I crossed with staff and escort.
The river was already so swollen that we landed in two feet of water,
and still it was rising.

Our camp was fixed five miles away on the upland. The first mile was
only wet and nasty, and the trail not hard to follow. Then we came to
the "back slough," thirty feet wide, four feet deep, and still covered
with four inches of ice. Those who had gone before had broken a track
through this, and swept the fragments of ice forward until near the
shore they were packed in for a width of ten feet or more, and to the
full depth of the water. I can make no stronger statement than that we
all got through safely, only wet to the skin. How it was done I do not
pretend to know. Some went in one way and some in another. All I can
assert is that my stalwart old Max, when he found himself standing,
belly deep, in broken ice, settled quietly on his haunches and took my
two hundred pounds with one spring on to dry land four feet higher than
his starting-point, and twelve feet away,--but then, Max always was
a marvel. Guy, who carried Ike, scrambled over the top of the broken
ice as only he or a cat could do. The others fared variously. All were
drenched, and some were hurt, but all got to the shore at last. Then
came the hour-long tug to get my ambulance through with its store of
tent-hold goods and we started for our remaining four miles. The trail,
even of cavalry, is not easily followed by moonlight when covered
with half a foot of water, and we lost our way; reaching camp, after
fourteen miles of hard travel, at four o'clock in the morning.

The river was still rising rapidly, and word was brought that Kargé,
with more than half the brigade, would have to make a détour of fifty
miles and cross the Three Forks of the Obion far to the eastward,
joining us some days later, near Jackson. So we idled on, marching a
few miles each day, camping early, cooking the fat of the land for our
evening meal, cultivating the questionable friendship of the Rebel
population by forced contributions of subsistence, and leading, on the
whole, a peaceful, unlaborious, and charming picnic life. Finally,
taking Kargé again under our wing, we pushed on, resolutely and
rapidly, over flooded swamps, across deep, rapid rivers, and through
hostile towns, to our rendezvous; whence, under the command of two
generals, and as part of an army of eight thousand well-mounted cavalry
and light artillery, and all in light marching order, we started for
our more serious work.

The chief in command was a young and handsome, but slightly nervous
individual, who eschewed the vanities of uniform, and had about himself
and his horse no evidence of his military character that could not be
unbuckled and dropped with his sword-belt in case of impending capture.
He was vacillating in his orders, and a little anxious in his demeanor,
but he had shown himself cool and clear-headed under fire, and seemed
resolutely bent on the destruction of the last vestige of Forrest's
troublesome army. It would be tedious to tell all the adventures of
our forward expedition; how we marched in three columns over different
roads, each for himself, and with only a vague notion where and how
we should meet, and how we should support each other. As it afterward
proved, the details of the order of march had been given to the
commanders of the other brigades, while I had been forgotten; so that
the whole advance was vexed with cross-purposes and with the evidences
of a hidden misunderstanding. The _contretemps_ that thus came about
were annoying, and, in one instance, came near being serious: as we
were going into camp at Prairie Station, my advance reported having
come in sight of the camp-fires of the enemy; a skirmish-line was sent
forward, and only on the eve of engaging did they discover that we were
approaching Hepburn's Brigade, of our column, which had reached the
same point by another road.

The first days of our march in Mississippi were through Tippah County,
as rough, hopeless, God-forsaken a country as was ever seen outside
of Southern Missouri. Its hills were steep, its mud was deep, its
houses and farms were poor, its facilities for the subsistence of a
protecting army like ours were of the most meagre description, and
its streams delayed us long with their torrents of bottomless muddy
water, fast swelling from the thaw that had unlocked the snow of all
the deep-buried hills and morasses of their upper waters. We built
ferry-boats and swamped them, built bridges and broke them, and slowly
and painfully, horse by horse, transferred the command across the nasty
riverbeds. Tippah Creek detained us and kept us hard at work all day
and all night, and we reached the Tallahatchee at New Albany barely in
time to ford our last man across before it rose to an impassable depth.
And then for two days we pressed forward, in company with the whole
column, through the rough, rocky, and wooded country, reaching Okolona
only at nightfall.

Here we struck the marvellous prairie region of Northeastern
Mississippi, literally a land flowing with milk and honey. An
interminable, fertile, rolling prairie lay before us in every
direction. The stern rule of the Confederacy had compelled the planters
to offset every small field of cotton with a wide area of corn, until
the region had become known as the granary of the Southern army.
Not only must every land-owner devote his broadest fields to the
cultivation of the much-needed cereal, but one tenth of all his crop
must be stacked for public use in cribs at the side of the railroad.

It was an important incident of our mission to destroy everything
which directly or indirectly could afford subsistence to the Rebel
forces; and during the two days following our arrival at Okolona, while
we marched as far south as West Point, the sky was red with the flames
of burning corn and cotton. On a single plantation, our flanking party
burned thirty-seven hundred bushels of tithe corn, which was cribbed
near the railroad; no sooner was its light seen at the plantation
houses than hundreds of negroes, who swarmed from their quarters to
join our column, fired the rail-built cribs in which the remaining
nine-tenths of the crop was stored. Driven wild with the infection,
they set the torch to mansion house, stables, cotton-gin, and quarters,
until the whole village-like settlement was blazing in an unchecked
conflagration. To see such wealth, and the accumulated products of such
vast labor, swept from the face of the earth, gave to the aspect of war
a saddening reality, which was in strong contrast to the peaceful and
harmless life our brigade had thus far led. In all this prairie region
there is no waste land, and the evidences of wealth and fertility
lay before us in all directions. As we marched, the negroes came _en
masse_ from every plantation to join our column, leaving only fire and
absolute destruction behind them. It was estimated that during these
two days' march two thousand slaves and one thousand mules were added
to our train.

The incidents of all this desolation were often sickening and
heart-rending; delicate women and children, whom the morning had found
in peace and plenty, and glowing with pride in the valor of Southern
arms and the certainty of an early independence for their beloved
half-country, found themselves, before nightfall, homeless, penniless,
and alone, in the midst of a desolate land.

Captain Frank Moore, the Cossack of our brigade, went at night to
an outlying plantation, of which the showy mansion-house stood on a
gentle acclivity in the edge of a fine grove. Here lived alone with an
only daughter, a beautiful girl, a man who had been conspicuous in his
aid to the Rebellion, and whose arrest had been ordered. The squadron
drew up in front of the house and summoned its owner to come forth. He
came, armed, sullen, stolid, and determined, but obviously unnerved by
the force confronting him. Behind him followed his daughter, dressed
in white, and with her long light hair falling over her shoulders. The
sight of the hated "Yanks" crazed her with rage, and before her father
could reply to the question with which he had been accosted, she called
to him wildly, "Don't speak to the villains! Shoot! shoot them down,
shoot them down!" wringing her hands, and screaming with rage. The
excitement was too much for his judgment, and he fired wildly on the
troops. He was riddled through and through with bullets; and as Moore
turned away, he left that fine house blazing in the black night, and
lighting up the figure of the crazy girl as she wandered, desolate and
beautiful, to and fro before her burning home, unheeded by the negroes
who ran with their hastily made bundles to join the band of their
deliverers. Moore's description of this scene in the simple language
that it was his unpretending way to use, gave the most vivid picture we
had seen of the unmitigated horror and badness of war.

As an instrument of destruction in the enemy's country, our raid had
thus far been more successful than we could have anticipated; but we
had come for even more serious business than this, and there were
already indications that its main purpose would be a failure. Our
commander had evidently no stomach for a close approach to the enemy,
and his injunctions at Colliersville that we were to try always to
"Fight at close quarters!" "Go at them as soon as possible with the
sabre!" and other valorous ejaculations, were in singular contrast to
the impressions he evinced as the prospect of an actual engagement drew
near.

Forrest was in our front with about our own number of cavalry, but
without artillery, of which we had twenty good pieces. The open country
offered good fighting ground, and gave to our better drilled and more
completely organized forces a decided advantage, even without our
great odds in artillery. There lay before us a fair opportunity for
dispersing the most successful body of cavalry in the Rebel service;
and, could we effect a junction with Sherman, we should enable him
to divide the Confederacy from Vicksburg to Atlanta. One of the most
brilliant and damaging campaigns of the war seemed ready to open. Its
key lay in our successful engagement, on a fair field, with an inferior
force. Yet all of us who were in a position to know the spirit with
which we were commanded were conscious of a gradual oozing out at the
finger-ends of the determination to make a successful fight; and it
was a sad night for us all when, at West Point, with our skirmish-line
steadily engaging the Rebel outposts, an order came that we were to
fall back before daybreak toward Okolona.

The brigade commanders and their staffs had had severe duty in the
scattered work of destruction, and even Max, tough though he was, had
been almost overworked with constant galloping to and fro, and with the
frequent countermarching our varying orders had required. Still he was
better than his comrades, and many a man was anxious for his mount,
should our retreat be pressed.

Early in the morning we were on our way toward the rear,--about
eight thousand cavalry, ten sections of artillery, two thousand
pack-mules, and an unnumbered cloud of fugitive slaves mounted on
their masters' mules, often two or three on each, and clustering
under our shadow as their only means of escape to the happy land of
freedom. In an organized advance, all of this vast hanging on could be
kept at the rear and in good order; but on a retreat the instinct of
self-preservation always attacks first the non-combatant element, and
during all the days that followed, we found our way constantly blocked
with these throngs of panic-stricken people.

No sooner had we turned tail than Forrest saw his time had come, and
he pressed us sorely all day and until nightfall, and tried hard to
gain our flanks. A hundred times we might have turned and given him
successful battle, but, at every suggestion of this, we received from
our general, who was well in advance of the retiring column, the order
to push forward and give our rear a free road for retreat. Midnight
found us again in the vicinity of Okolona, and the next daybreak showed
the enemy's long column filing out of the woods and stretching well on
toward our right flank.

Even the plains of Texas could offer no field better suited for a
cavalry engagement, and it was with satisfaction that we received, at
five o'clock in the morning, an order to prepare at once for a fight;
but our men were barely mounted and in line when an order came to turn
our backs upon this open field, and to retreat with all expedition
toward Memphis.

When we left Okolona we left hope behind, for our road struck at once
into a wooded, hilly country, full of by-ways and cross-roads known to
the enemy and unknown to us, and we well knew that this movement would
double Forrest's power and divide our own. Then, for a long day, tired
and hungry from the hard work and constant movement we had just gone
through, and with our horses half-fed and overworked, we pushed on, our
rear often attacked and sometimes broken, our mule-train and negroes
thrown into frequent confusion, one of our brigades demoralized and put
to flight, and the enemy still pressing our rear and reaching for our
flanks. At last, towards night, it became evident that a stand must be
made or all would be entirely lost, and at Ivy Farm, near Pontotoc, we
found a broad, open hill-top, with large fields, high fences, and stout
log-houses, which offered an opportunity. By this time the command
was too widely separated, and some of it too much disorganized, for
the concentration of even a whole brigade, but a part of Hepburn's
and a part of my own were disentangled from the corral of fugitives
and brought into line. Both of our generals were upon the field, and
to our surprise both seemed brave and resolute; and this not with the
resolution of despair, for the actual immediate necessity of fighting
often steadies nerves which are easily shaken by the anticipation
of danger. Brave they were, but not always of the same mind, and
conflicting orders continued to add to our embarrassment and insecurity.

It is not worth while to detail all the incidents of the opening of
the short engagement; it was ended by the only legitimate cavalry
charge made by the "Vierte Missouri" during the whole of its four
years' history.

We had withdrawn from the line where we had been fighting on foot, had
mounted, formed, and drawn sabre; the road about one hundred yards in
front of us was swarming with Rebels, who crept along the fence-lines
and in the edge of the bordering woods, and kept up a steady rain of
fire well over our heads, where we heard that _pfwit_--_pfwit_--_pfwit_
of flying bullets which, happily, has no relative in the whole chorus
of sounds, and which is heard above all the din of battle, and is felt
through every remotest nerve.

At the command "Forward," excitement ran down the line, and there was
a disposition for an immediate rush. But "Steady--right dress--trot!"
in a measured tone, taken up in turn by the company officers, brought
back all the effect of our three years' discipline of the drill-ground.
Later, "Steady--gallop--right dress!" accelerated the speed without
disturbing the alignment, and then, at last, "Charge!" and with a
universal yelling and brandishing of sabres we went forward like the
wind. I then felt how mad a venture we had undertaken, for before us
was the enemy, it is true, but the enemy behind a high and stout,
staked and ridered rail-fence. As we drew very near this, still under
heavy fire, which now at the short range was telling, the command
became conscious that the six-foot fence would withstand our shock,
and it wavered. I turned to my bugler to sound the recall, when I saw
him out of the corner of my eye, his white horse rearing literally
to his full height and falling backward with a crash that must have
killed the poor boy at once. The recall was not needed: the regiment
had turned and was running. The officers, being the best mounted
and generally the lightest weights, soon reached the front, and
"Steady--right dress--trot! Steady--right dress--trot!" was repeated
along the line, until the drill-ground precision was regained, and then
"By fours--right about--wheel!" and we stood facing the enemy again,
ready for another advance. Max had been struck by a grazing bullet and
had been plunging heavily, but the wound was not serious and he was
soon quieted. We now saw that our charge, futile though it seemed,
had done its work. The advance of the enemy was checked; the sight of
troops that could retire and re-form for a new attack seemed to have a
stunning effect upon them. Practically the engagement was ended.

Subsequently, one of Forrest's staff officers told the Hun that the
size of the division which had charged was variously estimated at from
five to ten thousand, but that he had been accustomed to such things
and knew that we were not more than two thousand. In fact, we were less
than six hundred. Forrest's report of the battle of Pontotoc states
that the engagement was ended "by a cavalry charge of the enemy, which
was repulsed."

There was still some sharp scrimmaging, and we had to make two or
three more squadron and company charges to drive away small attacks
upon our retreating guns; but the battle, as a battle, was over, and
Forrest's whole advance had been stopped and ended by six hundred
Fourth Missouri Dutchmen, galloping, yelling, and swinging their
sabres at several thousand men well secured behind a rail-fence. I had
before, in drill-ground charges, seen old soldiers and experienced
officers jump down and run away from a fence on which they were sitting
to watch the advance of charging cavalry which they knew must wheel
before coming within five rods of them; but I had never supposed that
hot-blooded soldiers, in the full excitement of a successful attack,
could be unnerved and turned by the roar and thundering oncoming of a
regiment that could by no possibility reach them. Our first setting out
had driven back a thin skirmish-line which had to cross the fence under
high speed; this, doubtless, aided in the _débâcle_; the charge had
stunned them, but it was the rally that stopped the pursuit.

The rest of our march was without interesting incident all the way to
Memphis, but it was almost incessant, day and night; without incident,
that is, that it is worth while to tell here, but our days and nights
upon the road were filled with annoyance and disgust, and with a store
of unhappy and ludicrous memories that will last the lifetime of all
who knew them.

One day, at New Albany, Max and I were feeding and sleeping in
the door of an old mill while the command was slowly crossing the
antiquated bridge over the Tallahatchie, when I was awakened by
Grierson's riding up in great alarm, calling upon me "for God's sake"
to use the ford as well as the bridge, for Hepburn was being cut to
pieces in the rear, and I must give him the full road for his retreat.
I had always been a respectful subordinate, but none of us were then
in the best temper; I did not believe a word of it, and I frankly
told him so. Even old Max pricked up his ears and snorted as if in
derision. Almost as we were talking, there came an aid from Hepburn
saying that he had found a good supply of forage and would be glad to
go into camp for the night. But there was no camp to be thought of for
that tired crew; the bogey of incessant pursuit loomed up portentously
close upon our rear-guard, and sent its shadow deep into the bowels
of our commander, who was miles away in the advance, and who would
allow us only the fewest possible hours in the very dead of night for
hasty cooking and scant repose. We were a worn and weary lot as we
finally went into camp at the rear of the town; worn and weary, sadly
demoralized, and almost dismounted. I had lost fifteen hundred good
horses, and my men, who had been eager and ready for a successful
campaign, were broken in spirit and sadly weakened in discipline.

All who had been compelled to bear the brunt of the hard work now
needed for themselves and their horses absolute rest for days; but
being called into the city the morning after our arrival, my eyes were
greeted with the spectacle of General Sooy Smith, no longer ill, and
with no trace of shame or annoyance on his face. He had shed his modest
and prudent attire, and shone out with all the brass radiance of a
full-fledged major-general. From this time until the Fourth Missouri
cavalry was mustered out of service, our headquarters were in the
immediate neighborhood of Memphis, and our life was much more active
than it had been at Union City.

Not very much is to be said for Max during this time, except in
connection with the Sturgis expedition, beyond the fact that we lay
long in the immediate vicinity of the race-course, which we repaired
and used faithfully, and, so far as he was concerned, with eminent
success. The more frequent necessity for duty, the great labor of
remounting, reorganizing, and redrilling the command, united with
the greater publicity of our position to lay some restraint on our
mode of life, and to make our conduct more circumspect. Still we
were not miserable, and the neighborhood of a large town has, to a
well-regulated headquarters' mess, its compensations as well as its
drawbacks.

Sturgis's expedition to Guntown and back--especially back--has passed
into history, and its unwritten memories will always remain with those
who took part in it.

Guntown is far away in Northeastern Mississippi. It is not laid down on
the map of the country, but it lies just across the Tishamingo Creek,
and it consists mainly of two plantation houses and a school-house.
Our stay there was not long, and we were too much occupied to study
the locality minutely, but it is my impression that the most important
incident in its history was connected with our visit.

We were a force of about nine thousand infantry, cavalry, and
artillery,--some black and some white, some good and some bad,--sent
out by Sherman as a tub to the Forrest whale; a diversion to keep this
commander from joining Hood in Northern Georgia; though I doubt if
even General Sherman in his moments of wildest enthusiasm anticipated
just the issue that followed. Our march out was not rapid, and it was
well ordered. We were allowed to take our train, and old John Ellard's
four stupendous mules drew our headquarters' wagon, well laden with
the comforts we had accumulated during a long service, including a
brand-new, well-furnished, and abundantly stored camp-chest that had
just arrived from St. Louis. So far as the comforts of a home for five
youngsters can be stored in one mule-wagon, we were well supplied for
a campaign of any length; and judging from the mess-tables to which we
were invited, others of the command were no less well provided. In due
time we reached the town of Ripley, a rather pretty New-England-looking
village, but, like all Southern towns at that time, entirely devoid of
men and overflowing with women of the most venomous and spiteful sort,
who did all in their power to add to the interest of the Sunday evening
we passed in their company.

We had some light skirmishing on our arrival, but whoever it was that
attacked us withdrew and left us in undisturbed possession of the
comfortable rooms and fireplaces of the town. Our next day's march
brought us to a large open plantation on a commanding hill, whence our
evening scouting-parties soon found the enemy posted in some force and
apparently disposed for an engagement.

It seemed always Forrest's plan to select his own fighting-ground, and
the plan of our commanders to gratify him. Sturgis committed the usual
folly of trying to hold every inch he had gained, and of forming his
line of battle on the head of the column and under fire.

We breakfasted at three in the morning, and marched at half past
four. My command had the advance. The enemy allowed himself to be
easily driven until half past eight, when he made some show of
resistance. At this time the last of our regiments could hardly have
left the camping-ground, and probably a judicious retreat would have
drawn Forrest's whole force back to the open country we had left.
But "retreat" was not yet written on our banners (of that day), and
orders came from our general to support the advance-guard, form line
of battle, and hold our position. So far as the cavalry brigade was
concerned this was easily done, and we got into good line near the
edge of a wood without difficulty. Here, for four mortal hours, or
until half past twelve, we carried on a tolerably equal warfare, both
sides blazing away at each other with little effect across the six
hundred yards of cleared valley that lay between two skirts of wood.
So far as the endurance of our troops was concerned, this engagement
could have been kept up until nightfall, though our ranks were slowly
thinning. Several desperate charges were made on our position, and were
repulsed with considerable loss to both sides. Pending the arrival
of the infantry it would have been folly for us to attempt a further
advance, but had we been properly supported, or, better, had we at once
fallen back upon our support, we might have given, as the _post bellum_
reports of Forrest's officers show, a better ending to the day's work.
It was only at half past twelve, when our ammunition was reduced to
five rounds per man, and when our battery had fired its last shot, that
the infantry began to arrive, and then they came a regiment at a time,
or only so fast as the Forrest mill could grind them up in detail.

They had taken our place, and we had withdrawn to their rear, where
we were joined by one after another of the defeated or exhausted
infantry regiments. Little by little the enemy pressed upon us,
gaining rod after rod of our position, until finally our last arriving
troops, a splendid colored regiment, reached the field of battle at
double-quick, breathless and beaten by their own speed, barely in time
to check the assault until we could cross the creek and move toward
the rear. The retreat was but fairly begun when we came upon our train
of two hundred wagons piled pell-mell in a small field and blocked in
beyond the possibility of removal. With sad eyes we saw John Ellard
cut his traces and leave all that was dear to us--tents, camp-chest,
poker-table, and all that we cherished--to inevitable capture. The
train was _our_ tub to the whale; and while Forrest's men were sacking
our treasures, and refilling the caissons of all our batteries, which
they had captured, we had time to form for the retreat, more or less
orderly according as we had come early or late off the field. The
demoralizing roar of our own guns, and the howling over our heads of
our own shells, together with the sharp rattle of musketry in our rear,
hastened and saddened the ignominious flight of the head of our column,
though, for some reason, the enemy's advance upon us was slow.

All that long night we marched on, without food and without rest. At
early dawn we reached Ripley, where we paused for breath. Max had been
ridden almost uninterruptedly for twenty-four hours, and for four hours
had done the constant hard work that the supervision of a long line in
active engagement had made necessary; and he was glad to be unsaddled
and turned for fifteen minutes into a scantily grown paddock, where he
rolled and nibbled and refreshed himself as much as ordinary horses do
with a whole night's rest. The ambulances with our groaning wounded
men came pouring into the village, and to our surprise, those women,
who had so recently given only evidence of a horrified hatred, pressed
round to offer every aid that lay in their power, and to comfort our
suffering men as only kind-hearted women can.

With the increasing daylight the pursuit was reopened with vigor, and
on we went, and ever on, marching all that day, our rear-guard being
constantly engaged, and hundreds of our men being captured, thousands
more scattering into the woods. My lieutenant-colonel, Von Helmrich,
who had been for twenty-eight years a cavalry officer in Germany, and
who, after thirteen months in Libby Prison, had overtaken us as we were
leaving Memphis, was recaptured and carried back to Richmond,--to die
of a good dinner on his second release, ten months later. At nightfall,
the pursuit growing weak, we halted to collect together our stragglers,
but not to rest, and after a short half-hour pushed on again; and all
that interminable night, and until half past ten the next morning,
when we reached Colliersville and the railroad, reinforcements, and
supplies, we marched, marched, marched, without rest, without sleep,
and without food. The cavalrymen were mainly dismounted and driving
their tired jades before them, only Max and a few others carrying their
riders to the very end, and coming in with a whinny of content to the
familiar stables and back-yards of the little town.

Most other officers whose service had been as constant as mine had had
extra horses to ride for relief; but I had never yet found march too
long for Max's wiry sinews, and trusted to him alone. He had now been
ridden almost absolutely without intermission, and much of the time
at a gallop or a rapid trot, for fifty-four hours. I had had for my
own support the excitement and then the anxious despair of responsible
service, and Ike had filled his haversack with hard-bread from John
Ellard's abandoned wagon; an occasional nibble at this, and unlimited
pipes of tobacco, had fortified me in my endurance of the work; but Max
had had in the whole time not the half of what he would have made light
of for a single meal. I have known and have written about brilliant
feats of other horses, but as I look over the whole range of all the
best animals I have seen, I bow with respect to the wonderful courage,
endurance, and fidelity of this superbly useful brute.

There is an elasticity in youth and health, trained and hardened by
years of active field-service, which asserts itself under the most
depressing circumstances. Even this shameful and horrible defeat and
flight had their ludicrous incidents, which we were permitted to
appreciate. Thus, for instance, during a lull in the engagement at
Guntown, I had seated myself in a rush-bottomed chair under the lee of
a broad tree-trunk; a prudent pig, suspecting danger, had taken shelter
between the legs of the chair, leaving, however, his rear unprotected.
Random bullets have an odd way of finding weak places, and it was due
to one of these that I was unseated, with an accompaniment of squeal,
by the rapid and articulate flight of my companion.

During our last night's march, my brigade having the advance, and I
being at its rear, Grierson ordered me to prevent the pushing ahead
of the stragglers of the other brigades, who were to be recognized,
he reminded me, by their wearing hats (mine wore caps). The order
was peremptory, and was to be enforced even at the cost of cutting
the offenders down. Grierson's adjutant was at my side; we were all
sleeping more or less of the time, but constantly some hatted straggler
was detected pushing toward the front, and ordered back,--the adjutant
being especially sharp-eyed in detecting the mutilated sugar-loaves
through the gloom. Finally, close to my right and pushing slowly to
the front, in a long-strided walk, came a gray horse with a hatted
rider,--an india-rubber poncho covering his uniform. I ordered
him back; the adjutant, eager for the enforcement of the order,
remonstrated at the man's disobedience; I ordered again, but without
result; the adjutant ejaculated, "Damn him, cut him down!" I drew my
sabre and laid its flat in one long, stinging welt across that black
poncho: "----! who are you hitting?" Then we both remembered that
Grierson too wore a hat; and I tender him here my public acknowledgment
of a good-nature so great that an evening reunion in Memphis over a
dozen of wine won his generous silence.

One might go on with interminable gossip over incidents of camp and
field for which at this late day only scant interest is felt; but
nothing that I could say more would probably aid my purpose, which has
been simply by a trifling sketch to recall the jollity, the comfort,
the suffering, and the misery of campaign life, and to show how in the
field more than anywhere else one learns to cherish and to depend upon
a faithful and honest and willing comrade like my royal old Max.



HOW I GOT MY OVERCOAT.

(CIRCUMSTANTIALLY TRUE.)


The war was not quite over, but my regiment was old enough to have
grown too small for a colonel, and I sat, the dismalest of all men,
a "mustered-out" officer, sated with such good things as a suddenly
arrested income had allowed me, over an after-dinner table in a little
room at the Athenæum Club. My coffee was gone to its dregs; the closing
day was shutting down gloomily in such a weary rain as only a New York
back-yard ever knows; and I was wondering what was to become of a man
whom four years of cavalry service had estranged from every good and
useful thing in life. The only career that then seemed worth running
was run out for me; and, worst of all, my pay had been finally stopped.

The world was before me for a choice, but I had no choice. The only
thing I could do was to command mounted troops, and commanders of
mounted troops were not in demand. Ages ago I had known how to do other
things, but the knowledge had gone from me, and was not to be recalled
so long as I had enough money left with which to be unhappy in idle
foreboding. I had not laid down my life in the war, but during its
wonderful four years I had laid down, so completely, the ways of life
of a sober and industrious citizen, and had soaked my whole nature so
full of the subtile ether of idleness and vagabondism, that it seemed
as easy and as natural to become the Aladdin I might have dreamed
myself to be as the delver I had really been. With a heavy heart, then,
and a full stomach, I sat in a half-disconsolate, half-reminiscent,
not wholly unhappy mood, relapsing with post-prandial ease into that
befogged intellectual condition in which even the drizzle against the
window-panes can confuse itself with the patter on a tent roof; and
the charm of the old wanderings came over me again, filling my table
with the old comrades, even elevating my cigar to a brier-wood, and
recalling such fellowship as only tent-life ever knows.

Such dreaming is always interrupted, else it would never end; mine was
disturbed by a small card on a small salver, held meekly across the
table by the meekest of waiters.

The card bore the name "Adolf zu Dohna-Schlodien," and a count's
coronet,--a count's coronet and "zu" (a touch above "von")! I
remembered to have seen a letter from my adjutant to the Prussian
Consul in Philadelphia, asking him to obtain information about a
handsome young musical "Graf zu" something, who was creating a
sensation in St. Louis society, and the "zu" seemed to indicate this as
the party in question; he had spoken of him as having defective front
teeth, which seemed to be pointing to the "color and distinguishing
marks," known in Herd Book pedigrees, and human passports,--a means of
identification I resolved to make use of; for my experience with the
German nobility in America had been rather wide than remunerative.

The "Herr zu" had waited in the hall, and was standing under the full
light of the lamp. He was very tall, very slight, and very young,
apparently not more than twenty, modestly dressed, and quiet in his
manner. He was not strikingly handsome, though very well looking. His
hands were the most perfect I ever saw, and the ungloved one showed
careful attention. There was no defect noticeable in his front teeth.
He bowed slightly and handed me a letter. It was from Voisin, my former
adjutant, but it was not exactly a letter of introduction. At least,
it was less cordial than Voisin's letters of introduction were wont to
be. Yet it was kind. Without commending the Count as a bosom friend, he
still said he was much interested in him, had reason to believe in him,
was sorry for him, had given him material aid, and was very desirous
that he should pull through some pecuniary troubles, which he could do
only by enlisting in the Regular Army, and receiving his bounty. From
this he would give me money to release his baggage, which was valuable,
from some inconveniences that were then attending it in St. Louis.
Would I get him enlisted? He said he would enlist, and would prefer to
be known under the name Adolph Danforth. The gentleman himself took
early occasion to express this preference.

I debated a little what to do. He was not introduced as a friend, only
as a person in need of help; yet Voisin believed in him, and he had
asked a service that he would not have asked for an unworthy man. I
engaged him in conversation and got him to smile. It was a very frank
smile, but it displayed a singular defect far up on the front teeth.
This decided me. He was the same Graf zu whose position had been asked
of the Prussian Consul, and I knew he had learned that the Graf zu
Dohna-Schlodien, an officer in the Gardecorps Kürassier, was of the
highest nobility and of a family of great wealth. There was evidently
no technical reason why the poor fellow should not be received
cordially and well treated. So we went back to the smoking-room, and
with fresh coffee and cigars opened an acquaintance which resulted not
altogether uneventfully.

He was not obtrusive. His story was not forced upon me; but as I
already had its thread, I was able to draw it from him in a natural
way, and he told it very frankly, though halting a little at its more
important turnings, as if wondering how its development would strike
me. There was just enough of hesitancy over a harrowing tale to throw
on myself the responsibility of learning it.

He had been brought up by the tenderest of mothers at the castle of
Schlodien (I think in Silesia), had early joined the Cuirassiers of the
Body Guard, had fought a fatal duel in which he had been the aggressor,
and had been condemned to the Fortress of Spandau. Only his mother's
great influence (exercised without the knowledge of his stern and much
older father, who was then on his distant estates) had secured for him
an opportunity to escape. He had come directly to America, and had
remained near Boston until he received intimation (again the result
of his mother's influence with Baron Gerolt, the Prussian Minister at
Washington) that his return under the Extradition Treaty was being
urged at the solicitation of the family of his fallen antagonist. He
had then taken refuge in a remote town in South Missouri, where he
amused himself with shooting. His mother had written to him but once,
and had not been able to send him money. He had at last returned to
St. Louis, where he had contracted some small debts which Voisin and
another kind friend had assumed. To reimburse them and to gain more
perfect seclusion, he had resolved to enlist in the Regular Army. It
was a sad conclusion of his career, but as an honorable man (and a
pursued one) he had no choice but to accept it.

It was the old story,--_noblesse oblige_. There was but one way out
of a sad affair, and--like a very Graf zu--this stripling, who had been
born and bred to a better fate, faced the penalty of his misfortune
without flinching. I tried infinite suggestions, but nothing else
offered the immediate money which alone could relieve him of debt and
restore him his wardrobe and the portraits of his mother and sister,
which with a few well-worn letters, were all he had to cheer him in his
exile. We sat till far into the night and until my kindest sympathies
were fully aroused by the utter and almost childlike simplicity and
frankness with which the poor boy told of his sorrows. I had been
taught by a very ample experience to look with much caution on German
counts and barons,--an experience that, if it was worth what it had
cost, I could not prize too highly; but here was an entirely new type,
a combination of the gentlest breeding with an unsophistication that
argued more of a mother's care than of garrison influences, and an
utter absence of the devil-may-care manner that army life in Germany
had hitherto seemed to give. With the improvidence of one who had
never known the lack of money, he had lodged himself at the Everett
House; and as I left him at its door, I resolved to lose no time in
getting him enlisted and stopping an expense that would only add to
his troubles. The next day I saw the official who had charge of the
making up of the city's quota, and easily arranged for the examination
of my candidate. Dohna begged me to secure his admission to a command
whose officers would be able to appreciate his difficult position, and
a weary time I had of it. At last it was all arranged; he had passed,
with much shock to his sensibilities, the surgeon's examination, and
had been enrolled in a company of Regular Infantry, whose captain
(then serving on the general staff of the department) had acquired a
sympathy for him not less than my own. His bounty (over seven hundred
dollars) he put into my hands, and he went with me to Adams's Express
office, where we sent more than half the sum to St. Louis,--the full
amount of his indebtedness. One specified trunk was to be sent to the
Everett House, and the rest of his luggage--which Voisin had described
as valuable--to me. I received by an early mail the receipt of the St.
Louis express-office for it, and found it most convenient to let it lie
for the present, addressed to me personally, at the office in New York.
It would be useless to Dohna in the army, and I was to take care of it
for him.

The captain of the company in which he was enlisted secured him a
furlough for ten days, and, to show his gratitude, he invited us both
to dine with him at the Everett. We sat down at seven, and we sat long.
The best that either cellar or kitchen afforded was spread before us in
wasteful profusion, and our host, temperate in his sipping, but eating
with the appetite of youth, seemed only to regret the limit of our
capacity. As we walked across the square, filled and with the kindest
emotions, we planned means for so occupying the remaining days of the
furlough as to allow but little opportunity for money-spending. His
company was at Fort Trumbull, and after he joined he would be safe.

The next day being Saturday, I took him to my father's house in the
country, where his unfortunate story was already known, and where as
much real interest was felt in him as the good people of Connecticut
ever accord to a duellist. He had a friend living farther out on the
New Haven road, and he took an early train to see her (this was a new
feature), returning to me in the evening. I met him at the depot. He
wore the superb uniform overcoat of the Gardecorps Kürassier, long,
flowing, and rich, with a broad, scarlet-lined fur collar. It was
caught across the throat with a scarlet snood, and hung loosely from
the shoulders. It made his six feet two really becoming. At home he
was easy but very quiet, saying little but saying it very well, and
he won as much confidence as the stain on his moral character would
allow. Like most of his class, he knew and cared absolutely nothing
for what interests the New England mind, and he would early have
palled on our taste but for his music. His performance was skilful; he
played difficult music, and he played it very well, but without vanity
or apparent consciousness. When not occupied in this way, and when
not addressed, he neither spoke nor read, apparently he did not even
think, but relapsed into a sad and somewhat vacant reticence. But for
our knowledge of his misfortunes, he would have been uninteresting.
On Sunday he gave me a new confidence. His friend up the road was
an Everett House acquaintance, made when he first came from Boston.
She was an angel! She knew his sad story, and she had given him her
Puritan heart. In the trying days to come I was to be the link that
should bind them in their correspondence. She must not know of his
degraded position, and all letters were to pass under cover to me. Even
_noblesse_ did not hide the tears that this prospect of long separation
wrung from him, and he poured out his grief with most touching
unrestraint. This was the one sorrow of his life that even his trained
equanimity could not conquer. It made me still more respect his simple,
honest nature and his unfeigned grief. I was doubly sorry that this
last trial of separated love should be added to his cup of bitterness.
In our long Sunday talk he told me of his home, and showed me the
singularly beautiful photographs of his mother and sister, and--quite
incidentally--one of himself in the full uniform of his regiment,
bearing on its back the imprint of a Berlin photographer. He evinced a
natural curiosity about the mode of our garrison life, and I prepared
him as gently as I could for a decided change from his former customs.
It was, of course, depressing to him, but he bore the prospect like
a man, and gave it no importance as compared with his more essential
downfall. He had seen enough of our troops to be especially uneasy at
the prospect of an ill-fitting uniform. In the matter of linen he was
well provided, but he was really unhappy over the thought of adapting
his long and easy figure to a clothing-contractor's idea of proportion.
So it was arranged that he should go to my tailor and be suitably clad,
according to regulation of course, but also according to measure. He
proposed, too, to leave his overcoat for some repairs and to be cared
for while he should have no use for it. I gave the tailor assurances of
prompt payment.

One fine morning Dohna came to my room in his new rig and bade me a
brave good-by. He was off for Fort Trumbull. I felt an almost parental
sorrow over his going, and had much misgiving as to his ability to
face his ill-bred soldier comrades. There came soon after a letter
to say that he was well treated personally, only the rations were so
horrible; pork and salt beef and beans and molasses. He could not eat
such things, and he was growing faint for want of food. I had seen such
dainty appetites cured too often to have any fear on this score, and
only replied in general terms of encouragement, and asked for frequent
letters. These came. There were no incidents of his life that were not
described almost with wonder, for a noble officer of the Gardecorps of
the king of Prussia knows really nothing of the ways of life of the
men he is supposed to command. Often there were thick letters for the
_fiancée_, and answers to these (also thick) had often to be forwarded.
I felt the enthusiastic glow natural to one who carries alone the
tender secrets of younger lovers, and was not altogether unhappy under
the subjective romance of my mediation.

Sometimes there were touching tales of trouble. Once he had been
detailed to the "police" squad, and had to clean spittoons and do other
menial work. This was a touch of reality that fairly opened his eyes to
his abasement, and he wrote much more sadly than ever before, making
me sad, too, to think how powerless I was to help him in any way. A
few days later he sent a wail of real agony. While he had been out on
drill, some scoundrel had broken into his satchel and had stolen all
his papers,--his letters from his mother, her photograph, and those
of his sister and his sweetheart, and all the bundle of affectionate
epistles over which he had pored again and again in his desolation. The
loss was absolutely heart-breaking and irreparable, and he had passed
hours sitting on the rocks at the shore, pouring bitter tears into the
Thames. This was a blow to me too. I knew that Dohna was of a simple
mind, and utterly without resources within himself; but he was also of
a simple heart, and one could only grieve over this last blow as over
the sorrows of a helpless little child. However, I wrote all I could
to encourage him, and was gratified, though a little surprised, to see
how soon he became cheerful again, and how earnestly he seemed to have
set about the work of becoming a really good soldier. After a time the
captain of his company--still in New York and maintaining a lively
interest in the poor fellow's case--procured an order for him to go to
Annapolis to be examined for promotion. He was already a sergeant, and
a pretty good one. He stopped in New York a few days on his way through
for some refitting,--again at my tailor's. On his way back he stopped
again to tell of his failure. I was delicate about questioning him too
closely, but I learned enough to suppose that different ideas as to
practical education are entertained by a board of army examiners and by
a fond young mother in the remote castle of Schlodien; but I encouraged
him to believe that a little more study would enable him to pass the
second examination that had been promised him, and he rejoined his
company.

In the general mustering-out Voisin had been set free and had joined
me in New York, and had, naturally, participated in all my interest in
the quondam Count. He gradually, as an adjutant should, assumed the
correspondence, which was voluminous, and by the time we were informed
that Dohna was detailed for recruiting duty in the city, neither he
nor I was glad to know it. Something more than a feeling of regretful
sympathy is necessary to the enjoyment of frequent companionship,
and we both felt that the fact of having credit with a tailor was a
dangerous element in the possible future combinations. However, Dohna's
arrival at our room followed close upon the announcement of the order.
He was still simple in his way and of modest deportment, but he seemed
to have accepted his new life almost too entirely, and he had come to
look not very much out of place among his comrades. Their quarters
were in a basement in Chambers Street, back of the City Hall, where we
occasionally dropped in to see him. After a while he was always out
when we called, and once when I stopped to give him a foreign letter,
sent to my care, I was told that he had not been there for a week, but
one of the men volunteered to find him. He came that night to the club
for his letter, in civilian's dress, and appeared much as he did when
I first saw him, except that he had two beautiful false teeth, in the
place of the defective ones. I gave him his letter, a long one from
Berlin, from his father. He showed Voisin the postscript, in which it
was stated that a box containing a breech-loading shot-gun, a dozen
shirts, and a draft for five hundred thalers would be forwarded by the
Hamburg line to my care. On the strength of this he hoped it would not
inconvenience us to advance him a couple of hundred dollars. It was
thus far inconvenient that we were obliged to decline, which gave him
no offence, and he invited us to dine with him the following day at the
Everett House.

At this point, in view of the extreme youth and inexperience of our
friend, we took occasion to read him a short homily on the value of
economy, and to urge him immediately to leave the Everett, return to
his barracks in Chambers Street, and as he valued his future peace
of mind to avoid running in debt; mildly hinting that, if found in
the public streets without his uniform, he would be very likely to
get himself into trouble. He begged that we would not expose him, and
promised to return that very night. Then for some time we lost sight
of him; his captain said that, so far as he knew, he was attentive
to his duty with the recruiting squad, and he certainly kept out of
our way. The box from Germany did not arrive. No more letters came,
and we had no occasion to seek him out. It was evident that he was no
longer unhappy, and so our interest in him, though still warm, remained
inactive.

       *       *       *       *       *

One night I was awakened, quite late, by Voisin, sitting on the side
of my bed, big-eyed and excited, and with a wonderful story to tell.
He had been, at the request of the counsel of the Prussian Consul,
to the detectives' rooms at police headquarters. Here he had been
questioned as to his knowledge of one Adolph Danforth, _alias_ Graf zu
Dohna-Schlodien, _alias_ Fritz Stabenow, and had subsequently had an
interview with that interesting youth in the lock-up.

The glory had all departed. He had been there forty-eight hours, was
unwashed, uncombed, stolid, comfortable, and quite at home. There was
no remnant left of the simple and modest demeanor of the well-bred
aristocrat. It was hard to see a trace of likeness to the Kürassier
officer with whose photograph we were familiar. The obligations of
_noblesse_ seemed to be entirely removed, and there was nothing left
but plain, ignoble Fritz Stabenow. An examination of his pockets
developed a singular folly. He had kept every scrap of paper on which
a word had ever been written to him. Tailors' bills, love-letters,
duns, photographs of half a dozen different girls, all were huddled
together. He had a package of the Count Dohna cards and the plate
from which they had been printed,--made in Boston; a letter of credit
from a banking-house in Berlin to its New York correspondent had the
copperplate card of the firm on the paper, but the paper was ruled as
a German banker's paper never is, and the plate from which the card
had been printed (also made in Boston) was in the envelope with it. A
letter from plain father Stabenow enclosed photographs of still plainer
mother and sister Stabenow, which were a sad contrast to the glory of
the Countess Dohna's picture. The father's letter was full of kindly
reproof and affectionate regret. "Ach! Fritz, ich hätte das von Dir
nicht gedacht,"--"I never thought that of you"; but it was forgiving
too, and promised the remittance, clothing, and gun I have spoken of
before. The papers, for the loss of which such tears had been shed
at Fort Trumbull, were all there in their well-worn companionship
with a soiled paper-collar, and that badge of dawning civilization, a
tooth-brush.

Here were also two photographs, one of the statue of Frederick the
Great in Berlin on the card of a St. Louis photographer, and another of
himself in Prussian uniform, on the card of a Berlin photographer. The
pictures had been "lifted" and changed to the different cards. A more
careful neglect of track-covering was never known. The evidence of all
his deceptions had been studiously preserved.

Voisin had given him a dollar to buy some necessary articles, and had
left him to his fate.

The disillusion was complete, and I saw that I had been swindled
by a false count even more completely than I ever had been by real
barons,--which is much to say.

Voisin had gathered from the Consul's lawyer that this Stabenow, a
valet of the veritable Count Dohna, had been one of a party who had
robbed him and committed other serious crimes, and he had fled to
this country, with his master's uniform, a valuable wardrobe, and
costly jewels. He had here undertaken to personify the Count, and
had had on the whole not an unhappy time, especially since he came
to New York in recruiting service. He had finally been arrested on
the complaint of a lady, one of the many whom he had attempted to
blackmail, by threatening exposure through letters they had written
him in the kindest spirit. Fortunately this one had had the good sense
to refer the matter to her husband, who brought the interesting career
to a close. He had obtained several thousand dollars in this way
from different persons, and had contracted considerable debts in all
directions. The Everett House was an especial sufferer.

I felt that my claim was secured by the luggage at the express-office,
and I called for it the next day. The gentlemanly clerk of the
establishment blandly showed me my name, neatly written in a strange
Teutonic hand, to a receipt for the property. Just then I had
information that a box addressed to my care was lying at the Hoboken
office of the German steamers. Indiscreetly mentioning this fact to the
Prussian Consul's lawyer, I was informed that it would be necessary to
take the box in evidence, and I prudently refrained from making further
efforts for its recovery.

It was with a chastened spirit that I paid a considerable bill at my
tailor's and ordered the overcoat sent to my address; and it was with
only mitigated satisfaction that I heard of the sending in irons to his
company in California of deserter Stabenow.

If the Herr Lieutenant Graf zu Dohna-Schlodien of the Gardecorps
Kürassier is still living, I beg to inform him that his overcoat--the
only memento of a grave _Schwindelei_--is now a comfortable wrap to a
Rhode Island farmer, who hopes that its rightful owner is as snugly
clad in his winter rides about Versailles.



TWO SCOUTS.


In the desultory and sporadic warfare carried on in the Southwest,
the scout--or "skeout," according to the dialect of the region--was a
very important element of our organization, and it is amusing now to
recall the variety of odd-fish of every description who applied for the
remunerative employment that this branch of the service afforded.

The interest of our life at Union City was not a little enhanced by two
specimens of this genus with whom we had much to do,--Pat Dixon and
"The Blind Preacher."

One day the guard brought in a suspicious character from the
picket-line. He was about twenty-five years old, long, lank, and
dusky,--a sort of half-Indian, half-Irish looking fellow, with
uncombed hair and an over-prominent quid of tobacco. He rode the
usual "nag" of the country,--an animal with more blood than bone and
more vice than beauty. He dismounted, passed his bridle over his arm,
and "squatted,"--the usual posture of the country. "The Hun," the
professional bully of all our culprits, took this creature in hand, and
presently came in with a suggestion that I had better see him alone.
He followed me cautiously to one side, leading his horse with him, and
squatted again when we had halted at a safe distance from curious ears.

"I'm Pat Dixon. I live down Troy way on the North Fork. Ye see, when
this yer muss fust broke out I didn't go to take no sides in it. But
Merryweather's men they come along a little 'fore sun-up, last month
was a year, an' they taken the only nag we had left. I'd had him hid
out all summer, but some derned skunk done found him out. I heern the
cusses a trampin' roun' an' I was goin' to take a crack at 'em for
'good mornin',' but, you see, I knowed if I did they'd just burn the
old woman out, an' she don't git along but porely, anyhow, so I didn't.
They _con_scripted the old man the year afore, an' he hain't been heern
on sence. So I come to the conclushin that I wa'n't agoin' to stan' no
such treatmint as that--by King! an' I jest took to the bresh, an' I
reckon I've pestered them 'uns right smart. I ain't agoin' afoot long
as theys hosses in West Tannisy,--you bet! I was agoin' to jine you
Yanks, but thinks sez I: 'Old Pat, you kin do a heap better in the
bresh nor what you kin in no army,' and so I stuck to it. O, now, I'm
squar'! Frank Moore can tell you all 'bout me; I ain't no gum-game, I
ain't. If you want a skeout, I'm on hand, an' I don't want no pass, I
kin git 'roun' in this kentry.

"Which? _hoss?_ Well, 't ain't much of a nag, but theys more on 'em
roun', an' if this 'un tuckers out I'll git somethin' to ride. I ain't
goin' afoot.--no, mam!"

This was very much the sort of talk "Mr." Forrest's emissaries used in
seeking our services for his purposes; so, partly to secure ourselves
on this point, and partly to give Dixon a good character should he
go out from our camp in his professional capacity, he was sent for a
few days to the guard-house, until Frank Moore should return from an
expedition. I believe Frank knew most of the vagabonds of Obion County,
and he at once certified that this was no other than Pat Dixon; that
his story was true; and that, while his controlling motives were not
perhaps such as one would most admire, his unconquerable hatred of
Merryweather's men and all their confederates might be relied on with
implicit confidence; so Pat was engaged as an employé of our Secret
Service Department, and sent outside the lines with a conspicuous
assurance, as he left his fellow-prisoners, that if found again within
our reach he would be hanged forthwith for a spy. I was riding on the
road he took, and he gave me a leering wink as he departed,--with
instructions to watch the movements of all guerilla bands in our front,
and to bring speedily any information he might obtain.

During the remaining months of our stay he was almost ubiquitous.
Every scouting-party that we sent out in any direction, though entirely
without notice to him, was pretty sure to meet him with important
information, just when information was most needed.

This part of his work was done perfectly, but he seemed to regard his
relation with us as a warrant for unending private iniquities. After
his own code of morals he was a strictly virtuous man, but his code was
of an extremely loose and pliable character. It is probably safe to say
that he never murdered a Union man, and that, unless sorely tempted by
the difference in value of the animals, he never forcibly exchanged
horses with a Union widow; neither, I believe, did he commit any
offence against a known Rebel when there was a probability of his being
found out and caught; but the complaints that came to us of the manner
in which he vented his private wrongs and carried on the feuds of his
ancestors gave us frequent annoyance. Sometimes it seemed necessary to
recall his commission and declare him an outlaw, but just then there
would transpire some particularly brilliant achievement that showed him
invaluable for our purposes.

More than once, when our patrols reported the immediate presence of
the enemy, Pat would turn up with the assurance that it was only
so-and-so's "band," who had come into the neighborhood on a visiting or
a marauding expedition, but with no intention of putting themselves in
our way; and invariably we found his report to be correct. Indeed, so
frequently did this happen that we became almost too confident in his
assistance, and when an excitable picket shot at a donkey or a cow in
the night-time, although the patrol of the guard went through the usual
routine of investigation, we felt that there could be no serious attack
or Dixon would have notified us.

How he obtained his information we could not guess, and his own
account of the matter was never satisfactory; but I believe that no
considerable force of the enemy ever crossed the Memphis and Charleston
Railroad (the whole State's width to the south of us) without our
being speedily notified; and through this means we were several times
enabled to telegraph to Columbus early information of contemplated
raids,--information that was not always heeded, as the surprise of
Paducah (on the Ohio River) several days after our warning sufficiently
proved.

One ambition of this worthy man had to remain unsatisfied. How little
this was due to the fact that we at the headquarters were all perfectly
mounted, modesty makes it improper to state here; but in our frequent
meetings as we rode outside the lines, he rarely failed to tell of
some particularly fine horse belonging to some particularly bad man
and especially virulent Rebel, which it would really be a virtue to
"confisticate." The worthy fellow was not satisfied with his own
conspicuous appropriations; he would fain have mounted our regiments on
the weedy screws which the Rebel impressments had left for the horsing
of the crippled region of Western Tennessee. Possibly, too, he may have
had some lurking fear that there was a suspicion of iniquity in his
thefts, and longed for the reassurance of similar conduct on the part
of true men like ourselves.

It was, of course, not long after the commencement of this active
campaign against the rights of ownership, that we began to receive
assurances on every hand that unless we could do something to repress
Pat Dixon's vagabondage an outraged people would take the law into
their own hands, and avenge the wrongs he had inflicted. With a
laudable desire to prevent unnecessary bloodshed, I told him one day of
the state of feeling against him, urging him to be more circumspect and
to conduct himself like a decent man, else he would be hanged the first
time he was caught; intimating, too, that it would be improper for us
to continue to employ him to such needless injury to an inoffensive
people. His reply was characteristic.

"Inoffensive, _which_? Mebbe you know these people an' mebbe you
don't. I do! and a dern'der lot of unhung cutthroats an' hoss-thieves
you can't find nowheres. As for hangin', you needn't give yourself no
worryment 'bout that. They're safe enough to hang me if they ketch me,
an' I guess I sha'n't hang no higher if I go right on my own gait. If
you don't want to employ me you needn't; theys enough corn an' bacon in
th' Obion bottom to keep me awhile yet, and money ain't no 'count down
here; but, by King! if I kin git a chance to tell you anything that
them 'uns don't want you to know, you bet your skin I'll do it, an' you
kin trust me every time, for I ain't goin' to lie,--not to your side,
not if I know it. Why, you talk to me about inikities. I don't want to
do no man any hurt; but my old dad _he_ was _con_scripted, an' me an'
my brother Jake had to take to the bresh to save ourselves, an' then
Jake he was shot in cold blood right afore my eyes, an' I made up my
mind then an' there that I wouldn't give no quarter to the whole State
of West Tannisy till this war was over an' ther' was some stronger hand
than mine to do jestis an' to furnish revenge. That's all I've got to
say about it. You needn't give yourself no oneasiness 'bout my doin's,
I'll answer for the hull on 'em; an' p'r'aps the last thing you'll hear
of Pat Dixon will be that he's hangin' to a tree somewheres down Troy
way. I know I'm booked for that if I'm ketched, and till I am ketched
I'm goin' my own gait."

We had become too much accustomed to this state of feeling among the
scanty Union population of the Southwest to be so shocked by it as we
ought to have been, and it was not without sympathy with Dixon's wrongs
that I let him go, with an earnest caution that he should mend his
ways, if only for his own sake.

It remains only to say that he _did_ go his own gait, and that he went
it with a desperation and an _élan_ that I have never known equalled;
and that, months later, after our snug quarters at Union City had been
turned over to a feeble band of home-guards, word came that they had
been burned to the ground, and that Pat Dixon, betrayed at last into
the hands of the enemy, had been hanged in the woods near Troy. We
could find no fault with the retribution that had overtaken him; for,
viewed with the eyes of his executioners, he had richly merited it: but
we had learned to like him for his frank and generous qualities, and to
make full allowance for the degree to which his rough, barbaric nature
had been outraged and inflamed by the wrongs inflicted on his family.

       *       *       *       *       *

A returning patrol one afternoon led to the parade-ground a sorry
horse drawing an open wagon in which were a man and a woman. The woman
had a cold-blooded, stolid look, and her eyes were filled with the
overflowing hatred we so often inspired among her sex at the South. Her
husband was dressed in black, and wore a rather scrupulously brushed
but over-old silk hat. In his hand was a ponderous and bulging cotton
umbrella.

They had been taken "under suspicious circumstances" at a house a few
miles outside the lines,--the suspicion attaching only to the fact that
they were not members of the family and seemed to have no particular
business in that region. When asked for an explanation, the woman said
she had nothing to say but that her husband was a blind clergyman
intending to fulfil an engagement to preach, and that she had driven
him, as was her habit. He said nothing. It was a rule of our system to
follow Hoyle's instructions, and "when in doubt to take the trick":
this pair were remanded to the guard-house.

As they turned away, the reverend gentleman said, in a feeble voice,
that if he could see me alone later in the evening, when he had
recovered from the shock of his capture, I might be willing to talk
with him. In the evening the Hun repaired to the dismantled warehouse
where the prisoners were lodged, to hold conversation with the
new-comers. When he came to the clergyman he found him so low spoken
that their talk fell almost to a whisper, but it was whispered that
he was to be taken alone, and subsequent disclosures led to his being
brought to headquarters. He there informed me that he was a minister
of the Methodist church, Canadian by birth and education, but married
to a lady of that region, and had been for some years engaged there in
his capacity as a circuit preacher. He was quite blind, and found it
impossible to make his rounds without being driven.

His sympathies were with the North, and he was burning to make himself
useful in the only way left him by his infirmity. His wife was of
a suspecting disposition, and their peaceful consorting required
that she should always accompany him; but, unfortunately, she was a
violent secessionist, and he had been compelled, in the interest of
the peaceful consorting above named, to acknowledge sympathy with her
views, and to join her in her revilings of the Union army.

All this made his position difficult, yet he believed that, if the
opportunity were given him, he could hide his intention even from her,
and could gather for us much useful information.

He was a welcome visitor at the houses of the faithful, far and near,
and warmed their hearts with frequent and feeling exhortation, as he
gathered his little meetings at his nightly stopping-places. He was now
about starting for the southern circuit, and had appointments to preach
and to pray at every town between us and Bolivar.

Evidently, if this man were honest in his intentions, he could be of
great service, but I suggested the difficulty that having once started
for an appointed round he could not return to bring us any information
he might receive. To this he replied that his wife believed him to be
in Forrest's service, and that he could at any time come as a spy into
our lines.

It seemed a very questionable case, but, after consultation with Voisin
and the Hun, it was determined to give him a trial, to prevent his wife
from seeing more than was necessary of our position, and to believe so
much as we liked of the information he might give us. The conditions of
the engagement were agreed upon, and after a severe public admonition,
and threats especially appalling to his wife, he was sent outside the
lines, with hints of the serious consequences that would follow his
second capture.

We were never quite sure that his wife was wrong in crediting him
with complicity with Forrest; but the worst that could be said of him
(and this was very likely true) was that he was pre-eminently a man
of peace, and if he gave information to both sides, it was always
information in compliance with the injunctions of his sacred calling.
The Rebel forces several times crossed into Tennessee, and came toward
us in numbers that indicated foul intentions, but, from the time
our pious friend first visited us, they invariably withdrew without
an engagement. Frequently small expeditions of our own forces went
scouting to the southward, and were checked and turned back by the
reports of this benevolent man.

He may have kept us from the successful fulfilment of some bloody
intentions, but we had occasion to know from other sources that he
sometimes kept small detachments of our troops from falling in with
overpowering numbers of the enemy. Be the theory what it may, from
November until February there was no conflict of arms in all the
counties we traversed, and neither side advanced to within deadly range
of the other.

The processes of this emissary were hidden and curious. He was
employed in a much more regulated manner than Dixon, and we generally
knew his whereabouts. Every interview had with him, either within our
own camp or when we were abroad, had to be so skilfully managed that no
suspicion, even in the eyes of his catlike wife, should attach to him.
He never came into our lines except as an unwilling prisoner, and was
never sent without them without dire admonition as to the consequences
of his return.

On one occasion Pat Dixon reported that a detachment of Forrest's
command, about three hundred strong, had crossed the railroad and was
moving north in the direction of our camp. At this time the preacher
was near us, and I had an interview with him. He doubted the report,
but would investigate. I told him we would start the next day, with
five hundred men, in the direction of Trenton,--where he was to hold a
prayer-meeting at the house of one of Forrest's captains. The meeting
was held, and after it was over, the subject of the advance was talked
over very freely by the officers present, he sitting in a rapt state of
unconsciousness--his thoughts on higher things--at the chimney-corner.
Pleading an early appointment at McKenzie's Station for the following
day, he left as soon as the moon was up, and drove to the house of a
friend in the village. His wife supposed that he was coming with a
false report to lead us into a trap laid for us.

We arrived at McKenzie's at one o'clock in the morning, after a
detestably cold, hard ride, and took up our quarters in a half-finished
and half-furnished house, where we struggled the whole night through in
the endeavor to get heat out of a fire of wet dead-wood. Early in the
morning the Hun started out, in his fiercest mood, with a small escort,
seeking for information and hunting up suspicious characters. At
breakfast-time he came upon a large family comfortably seated at table,
with our preacher and his wife as guests.

He was asked to "sit by." "Thank you; I have come for more serious
business. Who is at the head of this house? I should like to see you
alone, sir." The trembling, invalided paterfamilias was taken into an
adjoining room, and put through the usual course of questions as to his
age, place of birth, occupation, condition as to literacy, the number
of negroes owned, the amount of land, what relatives in the Rebel army,
to what extent a sympathizer with the Rebellion, when he had last
seen any Rebel soldiers or scouts or guerillas or suspicious persons
of any description, and so on, through the tortuous and aggravating
list that only a lawyer could invent. Questions and answers were taken
down in writing. The sterner questions were spoken in a voice audible
to the terror-stricken family in the adjoining room. The man, of
course, communicated nothing, and probably knew nothing, of the least
consequence. He was sent to a third room and kept under guard. His case
disposed of, his wife was examined in like manner, and then the other
members of the family. Finally, the coast being clear, our emissary
was sent for. He came into the room chuckling with delight over
this skilful exercise of the art of deceit, in which he was himself
such an adept, and laying his hand on the Hun's arm, said, "My dear
fellow, I respect you. This has been the most brilliant dodge I ever
knew,--capital,--capital!" And he then went on to recount all that he
had heard the evening before. A large detachment of Forrest's command
was advancing under Faulkner's leadership, and they doubtless had by
this time a full report of our position, for he had met acquaintance on
the road who had reported it to him. If we were able to engage a body
of three thousand men without artillery, we might find them that night
in Trenton,--he was confident that that was about their number.

The family were now notified that they had been guilty of a great
offence in harboring a known spy of the enemy; but they insisted
that they knew him only as a devout and active minister, and had no
suspicion, nor could they believe, that he had the least knowledge of
or interest in either army. With due warning as to the consequences
of a repetition of their crime, they were allowed to return to their
breakfast, and their guest was brought under guard to headquarters.

Being satisfied, after a close examination of the report, that it
would be imprudent to remain so far from our camp, which could be best
reached from Trenton by another road, we left a party of observation,
and returned to Union City, directing our scout to go to the vicinity
of Trenton and bring to our detachment any information he might obtain.
Twelve hours after our arrival home, the detachment returned with the
news that Faulkner, with a large force, had moved toward Mayfield,
Kentucky, and the event proved that every item of the intelligence we
had received had been substantially correct.

In this manner we were enabled to learn pretty definitely the
character of any movement of the enemy anywhere in Western Tennessee,
and so far as we had opportunity to investigate the reports they
generally proved to be essentially true. These two scouts were worth
more as a source of information, than would have been two regiments of
cavalry in active service. Sometimes our Methodist friend acted under
definite orders, but more often only according to his own judgment of
what was necessary.

A few days before Christmas we received word that Forrest in person
was in Jackson, with a large force, and we moved against him with
nearly the whole body of our troops, under the command of old A. J.
himself. We reached Jackson at night, after three days' hard marching,
only to find that Forrest's army had left that morning, destroying
the bridges over the swollen rivers and making organized pursuit
impossible. We took up quarters for some days in the town, where we
enjoyed the peculiarly lovely climate of the "sunny South" with the
thermometer seven degrees below zero, six inches of snow on the ground,
and a howling wind blowing. Our own mess was very snugly entertained
at the house of a magnate, where we had an opportunity to study the
fitness of even the best Southern architecture for an Arctic winter
climate.

On New Year's day, as we were sitting at a sumptuous dinner, and
mitigating so far as we could the annoyance to our hosts of being
invaded by a rollicking party of Northern officers, Voisin, who had
been called out, returned to the table to tell me that a man and a
woman would like to see me in my room. I was not prompt to respond, and
asked who they were. He replied, "O, who can tell? I suppose somebody
with a complaint that our men have 'taken some hams of meat' ["meat"
being the Tennessee vulgate for hog flesh only], or something of that
sort; the man seemed to have something the matter with his eyes." And
he gave me a large and expressive wink.

Ensconced, with such comfort as large and rattling windows permitted,
before our blazing fire, sat our serene Methodist friend and his sullen
wife. Taking me aside, he told me that he had passed the previous
evening at a private house between Jackson and Bolivar in religious
exercises, which were attended by Forrest and officers of his command.
After the devotions there was much cheerful and unrestrained talk as
to the plans and prospects of the future campaign, disclosing the
fact that as there seemed no chance of doing efficient service in
Tennessee, the whole body would move at once to Central Mississippi
and operate in connection with the army in Georgia. This report, which
we had no reason to disbelieve, decided A. J. to abandon a difficult
and unpromising pursuit, and to return to Union City and Columbus. We
found, on our return, a communication from the headquarters at Memphis
to the effect that Forrest had crossed the railroad and gone far south
into Mississippi.

We had no further service of importance or interest in this region.
"Jackson's Purchase" was thenceforward quite free from any considerable
body of the enemy; and when our clergyman found, a few weeks later,
that we were all ordered to the south, he came for a settlement of his
accounts, saying that he had been able to deceive his wife only up to
the time of our interview at Jackson, and as his life was no longer
safe in the country, he must depart for the more secure region of his
former home in Canada,--where let us hope that he has been allowed to
answer the behests of his sacred vocation with a mind single to his
pious duties, and that domestic suspicion no longer clouds his happy
hearthstone.

Happily, neither A. J. nor Forrest himself had further occasion for his
peaceful intervention, the fortunate absence of which may have had to
do with the notable encounter between these two generals at Tupelo.



IN THE GLOAMING.


The sun had gone, and above the dreamy blue of the far-lying woods,
the early evening had hung the sky with mellow, summery, twilight
loveliness.

The casements of the old house at Whittington glowed ruddy and warm
through their marvellous clustering ivy, and it was the idlest luxury
to hang over the crumbling road-wall, peopling its suggestive chambers
with the spirits of their long-gone tenants. It is a farm-house now,
and there is no available record to tell the stranger the story of
its more glorious days. No rigid history hampers the fancy, and the
strolling lover of the by-ways and roadsides of our dear Mother England
may let his imagination run with flowing rein, sweeping away the
hayricks and marigold beds, and calling back the peacocks and bagwigs
of the halcyon days.

Perhaps for the last time in my life I was taking the breath of an
English twilight,--sweetest to those whose childhood and youth have fed
on the rhyme and tale the green old land has sent to her world-wide
brood, and who come, in riper life, to find the fancies of early years
warm and living on every side, in hedge and field, in cowslip and
primrose, in nightingale and lark. The thick-coming impressions such
musing brings are vague and dreamy, so that there seemed a shade of
unreality in the quiet voice that bade me "Good evening," and added,
"Yes, it is an engaging old house, and it has a story that you may be
glad to hear."

It was not from perversity that I turned the subject, but no tale of
real life could have added interest to the fancies with which the old
manse had clad itself in the slowly waning day. Wayside impressions
lose their charm if too much considered, and, as my new companion was
walking toward Lichfield, I was glad to turn away and join him,--ending
a long day's tramp with the slow and quiet gait that his age compelled.
There was the least shade of the uncanny in his bearing, and his speech
was timorous and gentle. His threadbare and seedy look betokened a
native unthrift, but there was an undercurrent of refinement in his
mien and in his manner, and a trusting outlook from his large blue eyes
that made him the fittest of companions for a summer evening's walk in
a country filled with the mingled flavor of history and romance.

He was a man of the intensest local training. To him "the County of
the City of Lichfield" was of more consequence than all Staffordshire
besides, and far more than all England and all that vague entity called
the World. Even the County of the City of Lichfield was large for his
concentrated attachment: he knew it as one must know a small town in
which he has passed the whole of a long life; but his heart lay within
the cathedral close, and the cathedral close lay deep within his
heart,--deep and warm, with its history and its traditions, its romance
and its reality, so interlaced that he had long since ceased to ask
what was real and what unreal. All was unreal in the sense of being of
more than worldly consequence in his estimation, and all real as a part
of the training of his whole life.

To him Lichfield Cathedral was no mere pile of sculptured stone, built
round with the facts of recorded history; it was the fairy handiwork
of times and scenes long past, its walls raised by the hand of pious
enthusiasm, shattered and cemented by the strife and blood of the civil
war, hallowed by the returning glory of the Restoration, blessed by the
favor of royal presence, and now made admirable in his daily sight by
the dignity and grace of those holy men its dean and chapter.

As it was the cathedral I had come to see, and as I had come for no
architect's measurements, for no student's lore, only to bathe in the
charmed atmosphere of its storied past, I had fallen upon a guide
after my own heart, and it was as pleasant as it was easy to lend full
credence to all he so honestly believed and told.

In early life he had had gentler training, but he had long been a Poor
Brother of the Hospital of St. John the Baptist in Lichfield, and had,
for many years, held, by seniority, the right of presenting a rose, on
St. John's nativity day, to the heirs of William Juvenis (goldsmith),
who, by grants made in consideration of this ceremony, had secured
perennial prayers for the souls of his ancestors and a fragrant memory
for his own.

Hedged about by the traditionary customs and quaint observances of an
ancient charitable foundation, deadened in a way, if you please, by the
aristocratic pauperism of his condition, my gentle companion had grown
to his present dreamy estate.

As we reached Stow Pool, near the old parish church of St. Chad, he
pointed out the spring of pure water where, twelve hundred years ago,
this future Bishop of Lichfield--who during his hermit life supported
himself on the milk of a doe--was wont to pray naked in the water,
standing upon the stone still seen at the bottom of the well, and where
St. Ovin heard the angels sing as his good soul passed away.

Then, with the trusting look of a little child, the Poor Brother went
on to tell of the virtues and good deeds of this holy life;--how
even the King of the Mercians, struck with remorse for the crimes he
had committed, visited the saint in person, yielded to his eloquent
persuasion, became a convert to the true faith, and banished all
idolatry from his realm; how he became the head of the church of
Lichfield and laid its strong foundations of piety and faith; and how
his virtues so outlived him that his very tomb swallowed the ill-humors
of diseased minds resorting to its serene presence, that the dust
from his grave healed all ills of man and beast, and that the shrine
built in his honor after his canonization was so sought by numberless
devotees that Lichfield itself began thereupon to increase and flourish.

To our left, as he ceased, the evening's lingering glow gilded the
silent pool, where lay the unrippled reflection of the three spires of
the cathedral, hardly more unsubstantial than the fairy silhouette that
stood clean-cut against the sky, and dividing with the reality the rapt
admiration of the Poor Brother of St. John's.

We stood by the water's edge, and he turned toward the phantom spires
reversed within it, his talk wandering back to the days of the church's
troubles,--when the cathedral close was a fortress, with strong walls
and well-filled moat; when the beautiful west gate, which only our
own age was vile enough to destroy, kept stout ward against the outer
world, and protected the favored community who formed within the walls
a county independent of Lichfield and of Staffordshire. Within the
sacred pale no law had force save that of the Ecclesiastical Court, and
then, as now, none could there be taken for debt or crime save on the
warrant of the dean and chapter.

He knew by heart the long list of bishops, and would gladly have held
me to hear of the good deeds of Langton and Hackett. He was fairly
launched in his favorite enthusiasm, and told warmly the more striking
features of the church's history, but he told them rapidly lest I
should reach the storied pile with less than a full appreciation of its
traditional interest.

From his nervous lips I learned how King Richard II. kept Christmas
revels here with a splendor that lavished two hundred tuns of wine,
and roasted two thousand oxen, whose bones are still found in Oxenbury
field hard by; how Elizabeth passed three whole days in the close; and
how the solidity of its fortification, the consummate grace and finish
of its architecture, the richness of its sculpture, and the surpassing
beauty and magnificence of the nine windows of its lady chapel marked
it as the crowning glory of the Western Church, until the dark days
of the Revolution lowered. Then its sore trials were recounted, and
I learned of the fanatical attack of Lord Brooke, "with his horde of
impious Roundheads," made by strange fatality on St. Chad's day; of the
shooting of Lord Brooke by "Dumb Dyott," who was perched in the steeple
with a fowling-piece that now hangs over the fireplace of Colonel
Dyott's house; of the surrender of the close by Lord Chesterfield; of
the sack and bout that followed; of the recapture by Prince Rupert.

He told of the foul desecration by the Roundheads, who used every
species of havoc, plunder, and profanation,--pulling down the sacred
effigies which were the glory of the western front, hacking to pieces
the curious carvings of the choir, mashing the noses of the monumental
statues, destroying the valuable evidences and records of the church
and the city, shattering the glass of the costly windows,--save only
that of the marvellous nine of the lady chapel, which a pious care was
said to have removed to a place of safety. They kept courts of guard in
the cross aisles, broke up the pavements, and every day hunted a cat
with hounds throughout the church, delighting in the echoes from the
vaulted roof; they wrapped a calf in linen, and "in derision and scorn
of the sacrament of baptism," sprinkled it at the font and gave it a
name.

How the King, after the defeat of Naseby, came from Ashby-de-la-Zouche,
and passed the night in the close,--how Cromwell's defaming crew
completed the work of demolition and desecration, and smashed the old
bell called "Jesus," with its legend "I am the bell of Jesus, and
Edward is our King; Sir Thomas Heywood first causéd me to ring,"--how,
finally, the chapter-house alone had a roof under which service might
be said,--how the good Hackett on the first day of his bishopric set
his own servants and his own coach-horses at work removing the rubbish,
and never tired until in eight years' time the magnificence of the
cathedral was restored, except for the forever irreparable loss of the
decorations, and especially of the lady chapel windows, which all the
cost of the restoration would not have sufficed to renew,--how the
church was reconsecrated with great pomp and solemnity,--all this he
told me in detail, and he would gladly have told more, for this Poor
Brother had made these few rich historic acres nearly his whole world,
and had peopled it with all who throughout the long ages had marred it
or had made it. To have given "two good trees" for the rebuilding of
the church was a title to his lasting and grateful recognition.

But the light was fast waning, and the cathedral must be seen now or
perhaps never. It was already past the hour for closing, but one of
the vergers had formerly been a Poor Brother of St. John's, and my
companion went to him to secure our admission.

I stood before the west front of the cathedral, which was then bathed
in the lingering light of the after-day, its great central window
gleaming as though the altar lamps were still burning behind it, and
the western spires almost losing themselves in the sky. The quaint
effigies that fill the niches across the whole façade lost their
grotesqueness in the dusk, and seemed really the sacred sculptures they
were meant to be. Fair though this rich front must be at high midday,
it needs for its full beauty the half-light of a Northern evening. As
seen on that rarest of all evenings, it was a fit introduction to the
subdued glory which greeted us in the dim religious light to which we
entered as the great central door closed behind us.

We stood, uncovered and reverent, beneath the vaulted nave, looking
down the long curved aisle, bordered by the majesty of the clustered
columns, through the light illuminated screen of the choir, full upon
the sculptured and gem-set alabaster reredos, above and beyond which
stood the famed group of windows of the lady chapel, mellowed by the
light of the streaming full moon.

Rich in the blended mosaic of the floor, in the dimmed canopy overhead,
in the lightly arched gallery of the triforium, in the mellow
cross-lights of the side windows, in the sombre carvings of the choir,
and above all in the marvellous glass of the chapel, it was the very
perfection of a worshipful church.

It was too nearly dark to examine the details of the decoration, and we
wandered down the aisles, remarking here and there the bruised statues
of the tombs, and halting before the sleeping children of Chantrey to
marvel how much somnolent repose can be cut in chiselled stone.

"But come," said the gentle Brother, "we have only light enough left
for the storied glass which alone of all the richness of the old church
outlived its desecration, and, as by a miracle, was preserved to tell
these later generations of the higher art our forefathers' sons forgot."

As he spoke, we stood within the charmed light of the nine windows of
the apse,--windows which have perhaps no remaining equals in the world,
and before which one can only bow in admiration and regret for an art
that seems forever lost. Holding me fast by the arm, he went on:--

"In the restoration of the church, the spandrels of the old windows
were rebuilt, and the frames were set with plain glass, to the sad
defacement of the edifice; and so they stood for nigh two hundred
years, no art being equal to their worthy replacement, and no ancient
store to the supplying of so large a demand.

"But listen, now, how the hand of Heaven sheltered its own, and how
true servants of the Church are ever guided to reclaim its lost
splendor.

"A few years ago, a canon of the cathedral, travelling in Flanders,
wishing to contribute to the renewed work of restoration, visited the
dismantled convent of Herkenrode in the ancient bishopric of Liege.
Here he sought among the rubbish of the lumber-room for wood-carvings
which might be used in the rebuilding of the prebendal stalls. His
search discovered many boxes of colored glass, the origin of which no
one knew, and whose existence even had been forgotten. Thinking to
embellish some of the curious triangular windows above the triforium,
he purchased the whole store for two hundred pounds of our money, and
presented it to the dean and chapter as a tribute of affectionate
devotion to the cathedral. There was more than he had supposed, and the
large figures of some of the fragments indicated a coherent design.

"This chapel was fenced off from the aisles, and here the canon's wife
and daughter, devoting themselves to the solution of the puzzle, slowly
pieced out the varying connections. They worked patiently for weeks,
with a steadily increasing excitement of success, until [and here his
grasp grew tremulous and close], lying collated on this pavement where
we stand, only a bit wanting here and there, marking the exact sizes
of the varied openings, the grand old Lichfield windows, perfect as
you see them now in this softened moonlight, had come back to enrich
forevermore the dear old church to whose glory they had shone in the
bygone centuries, and whose sore trials their absence had so long
recalled.

"Kind stranger," said he, "this is a true tale. Sceptics have
questioned it, but it is true! true! And I thank Heaven that it has
been permitted to me, who have grown old in the love of this sacred
pile, to live to see, in this crowning act of its restoration, the
higher help the hand of man has had in performing its holy work."

His upturned blue eyes were moistened with tears, and his voice
trembled with emotion. I led him gently away and to the doorstep of
the Hospital of St. John the Baptist, where we parted in silence, and
forever.

Supping at the Swan Inn, I took the late train for Liverpool and home,
bringing with me an ideal Lichfield, to which it would perhaps have
been rash to hold the light of a Lichfield day.



FOX-HUNTING IN ENGLAND.


On entering the Regent Hotel at Leamington the first object that
attracts attention, after the stuffy old porter who hobbles about
to see some one else handle the luggage, is a small frame, over the
smoking coal-fire, which contains the following notice, decorated with
an old cut of a fox's mask:--

 MERRY & CO.'S HUNTING APPOINTMENTS, AND GUIDE TO THE DIFFERENT COVERTS.

                                                    December 30, 1872.

                      WARWICKSHIRE,--at 10.45.

 _Days._    _Meet at_         _Miles._     _To go through_
    M.       Goldicote House.   11.         Wellerbourne and Loxley.
   Tu.       Radway Grange.     12.         Tachbrook and Kineton.
    W.       Snitterfield.       7.         Warwick and Stratford Road.
   Th.       Red Hill.          13.         Warwick and Snitterfield.
    F.       Pebworth.          16.         Warwick and Stratford.

                    NORTH WARWICKSHIRE,--at 11.

    M.       Solihull.          14.         Warwick and Hatton.
   Tu.       Cubbington Gate.    2.         Lillington.
   Th.       Stoneleigh Abbey.   4.         On Kenilworth Road.
    F.       Tile Hill.          9.         By Kenilworth Castle.

                       PYTCHLEY,--at 10.45.

    M.       Naseby.            26.         Princethorpe and Rugby.
   Tu.       Hazlebeach.        31.         Dunchurch and Crick.
    W.       Dingley.           33.         Rugby and Swinford.
    F.       Cransley.          36.         Maidwell.
    S.       Swinford.          19.         Princethorpe and Rugby.

                       ATHERSTONE,--at 11.

    M.       Coombe.            12.         Bubbenhall and Wolston.
    W.       Harrow Inn Gate.   20.         Coventry and Nuneaton.
    F.       Brinklow Station.  12.         Bubbenhall and Wolston.
    S.       Corley.            14.         Stoneleigh and Coventry.

                       BICESTER,--at 10.45.

    M.       Fenny Compton.     12.         Radford and Ladbrook.
   Tu.       Trafford Bridge.   19.         Southam and Wormleighton.
   Th.       Hellidon.          14.         Southam and Priory Marston.
    S.       Steeple Claydon.   40.         Gaydon and Banbury.

Twenty-two meets in the week, all within easy reach, by road or
rail. Let us dine and decide. At table we will leave the _menu_ to
the waiter; but let him bring for consideration during the meal the
list of _meets_. "Brinklow Station, twelve miles"; that seems the most
feasible thing in the catalogue for the morrow, and who has not heard
that the Atherstone is a capital pack? But then the Pytchley is even
better known, and the train reaches Rugby in time for the meet. Let
the choice be decided with the help of coffee and cigars and possible
advice, during the soothing digestive half-hour in the smoking-room.
Dinner over, wander away through the tortuous, dim passage that leads
to the sombre hall where alone in English inns the twin crimes of
billiards and smoking are permitted, and, while writhing under the
furtive glances of the staid and middle-aged East-Indian who evidently
knows you for an American, and who is your only companion, decide,
with your nation's ability to reach conclusions without premises,
whether it shall be Pytchley or Atherstone. Don't ask your neighbor:
he is an Englishman, and have we not been told that Englishmen are
gruff, reticent men, who wear thick shells, and whose warm hearts can
be reached only with the knife of a regular introduction? However, you
must make up your mind what to do, and you need help which neither
the waiter nor the porter can give; the "gentlemanly clerk" does not
exist in England (thank Heaven!) and you have not yet learned what an
invaluable mine of information "Boots" is,--faithful, useful, helpful,
and serviceable to the last degree. I salute him with gratitude for
all he has done to make life in English hotels almost easier and more
home-like than in one's own house. It is safe to advise all travellers
to make him an early ally, to depend on him, to use him, almost to
abuse him, and, finally, on leaving, to "remember" him. Not yet having
come to know the Boots, I determined to throw myself on the tender
mercies of my stern, silent companion, and I very simply stated my
case. My stern, silent companion was an exception to the rule, and he
told me all I wanted to know (and more than I knew I needed to know)
with a cordiality and frankness not always to be found among the genial
smokers of our own hotels. His voice was in favor of the Atherstone as
being the most acceptable thing for the next day.

Ford, the veterinary surgeon of Leamington, had, on several
occasions, done good service for friends who had gone before me over
the hedges of North Warwickshire, and I went to him for advice about a
mount. Here I found that I had made a mistake in not engaging horses in
advance. To get a "hunter" for the next day would be impossible, but
he would do what he could for a few days hence. All he could promise
for the morning would be to lend me a horse of his own, a thoroughbred
mare, not up to my weight, but tough and wiry, and good for any amount
of road-work. He kindly volunteered to arrange for our going by the
first train to Coventry, only a couple of miles from Brinklow (it
turned out to be nine miles), so that we should arrive fresh on the
ground. At seven o'clock in the morning he came to my room to say
that everything was arranged, and that I should find the mare at the
station in an hour. Swallowing a glass of milk as a stay-stomach,--my
usual habit,--I put myself, for the first time since the war ended,
into breeches and boots, and drove to the station. On a turn-out stood
a "horse-box," one of the institutions of England,--a three-stabled
freight-car for the transportation of horses. Paying five shillings for
a horse-ticket to Coventry (only twice the cost of my own seat), I saw
the mare snugly packed into one of the narrow stalls and made fast for
the journey. Passing through a beautiful farming country, we came in
due time to the quaint old town of Coventry, where several horse-boxes,
coming from Birmingham and other stations, were discharging their
freight of well-bred hunters. As we rode from this station another
hard-shelled Englishman in brown top-boots and spotless white leather
breeches accosted me pleasantly, reminding me that we had come from
London together the day before, and asking, as he had recognized me for
an American, if he could be of service to me.

"Pray how did you know that I am from America?"

"Only by your asking if you should change 'cars' at Rugby. An
Englishman would have said 'carriages.'"

"Very well; I am glad my ear-mark was no greater. Can you direct me to
a hotel where I can get a bite before I go on?"

"Certainly: you will find the Angel very comfortable; take the next
street to the right, and you will soon reach it. Good morning; it is
nine miles to the meet, and I will move on slowly. Command me if I can
help you when you come up."

I did find the Angel comfortable, (as what English inn is not?) and
soon fortified myself with cold pheasant and sherry,--a compact
and little-burdensome repast to ride upon,--served in a cosey old
coffee-room by the neatest and most obliging of handmaidens.

On the road I fell in with straggling groups of horsemen, in red coats
and black coats, leather breeches and cords, white tops and black;
all neat and jaunty, and all wearing the canonical stove-pipe hat. My
little mare was brisk, and I had no hard riding to save her for, so I
passed a dozen or more of the party, getting from each one some form or
other of pleasant recognition, and finally from a handsome young fellow
on a very spicy mount, "Excuse me, are you going to Brinklow? You must
turn to the right."

Confound these Englishmen, thought I, where is their traditional
coldness and reserve? And I reined up for a chat.

My companion came from the vicinity of Birmingham. Like so many of
his class, he devotes three days a week to systematic hunting, and
he was as enthusiastic as an American boy could have been in telling
me all I wanted to know about the sport. To get hold of a grown man
who had never seen a foxhound seemed an event for him, and my first
instructions were very agreeably taken. Our road ran past the beautiful
deer-stocked park of Coombe Abbey, where the green grass of a moist
December and the thick clustering growth of all-embracing ivy carried
the fresh hues of our summer over the wide lawn and to the very tops
of the trees about the grand old house. The few villages on our way
were neither interesting nor pleasant, but the thatched farm-houses and
cottages, and the wonderful ivy, and the charming fields and hedges
were all that could have been asked.

And then the roadsides! and the stiles and the foot-paths, and the
look of age and the richness of the well-kept farms; and again and
everywhere the ivy clinging fast to each naked thing, and clothing it
with luxuriant beauty!

There is in all our hearts an inherited chord that thrills in the
presence of this dear old home of our race. Not this spot and not these
scenes, but the air, the tone, the spirit of it all,--these are as
familiar to our instincts as water to the hen-brooded duckling.

Brinklow Station has the modern hideousness and newness of railroad
stations everywhere in country neighborhoods, and it was pleasant to
leave it behind and follow the gay crowd down a sloping and winding
road into the real country again, and into a handsome and well-kept
park, beyond which there stood a fine old house of some pretension, and
well set about with terraced lawn and shrubbery,--a charming English
country-seat.

Here my eyes were greeted with the glory of my first "meet," and a
glory it was indeed! Pictures and descriptions had suggested it, but
they had only suggested it. This was the reality, and it far exceeded
my anticipation. The grounds were fairly alive with a brilliant
company of men and women,--happy and hearty, and just gathered for the
day's sport. Red coats, white breeches, and top-boots were plenty,
and the neat holiday air of the whole company was refreshing and
delightful. Scattered about singly and in groups, mounted, on foot,
and in carriages, were a couple of hundred people of all ages and of
all conditions. Chatting from the saddle and over carriage-doors,
lounging up and down the Drive, or looking over the hounds, the
company were leisurely awaiting the opening of the ball. They had
come from a circuit of twenty miles around, and they appeared to be
mainly people who habitually congregate at the cover-side throughout
the hunting-season, and to be generally more or less acquainted with
each other. The element of coquetry was not absent; but coquetry is
apparently not a natural product of the English soil, and that sort
of intercourse was not conspicuous. The same number of handsome young
men and women would be more demonstrative at a similar gathering
in America. A similar gathering, however, would not be possible in
America. We have no occasion on which people of all sorts come so
freely and so naturally together, interested in a traditional and
national sport, which is alike open to rich and poor, and meeting,
not for the single occasion only, but several times a week, winter
after winter, often for many years. Noblemen, gentlemen, farmers,
manufacturers, professional men, snobs, cads, errand-boys,--everybody,
in short, who cared to come seemed to have the right to come, and, so
far as the hunt was concerned, seemed to be on an equal footing. Of
course the poorer element was comparatively small, and mainly from the
immediate neighborhood. The _habitués_ of a hunt are seldom below the
grade of well-to-do farmers. Servants from the house were distributing
refreshments, riders were mounting their hunters, grooms were adjusting
saddle-girths, too fiery animals were being quieted, and there was
generally an air of preparation about the whole assemblage.

A little at one side, kept well together by the huntsman and a couple
of whippers-in, were the hounds (the Atherstone pack), about forty of
them, or, technically, "twenty couples," strong-limbed, large-eared,
party-colored, wholesome-looking fellows. They attracted much attention
and elicited frequent commendation, for they were said to be the very
finest pack in England,--as was also each of the three other packs that
I saw. To the unskilled eye, and simply viewed as dogs, they were not
remarkable; but it was a case in which the judgment of an unskilled
person could have no value.

The horses appealed to me much more strongly. Certainly I had never
before seen together the same number of the same average excellence;
and some of them were fit to drive one wild with envy. There was, on
the whole, less of the "blood" look than would be expected by a man who
had got his ideas of the hunting-field from Leech's drawings, but there
was a good deal of it, nevertheless, and in its perfection too; and
where it was wanting there was plenty of bone to make up for it.

At eleven the hounds were led out to the cover, and the whole field
followed slowly and irregularly and at some distance. There were about
one hundred and fifty mounted for the hunt. Perhaps one third of these
wore scarlet coats, white breeches, and top-boots; another third had
black coats and some of them black boots; and the remainder of the
field was made up of half a dozen ladies, a few stout old gentlemen of
seventy or so on stout old cobs of discreet age, little boys on smart
ponies, farmers and tradesmen and their clerks mounted on whatever they
could get, and men of every intermediate grade, and with all sorts of
horses. A certain amount of riff-raff, not mounted at all, but good
on their pins and ready for a run, were hanging about for a chance to
pick up a whip or a hat, or to catch a horse, or brush a muddy coat, or
turn an honest shilling in any way that might offer in the chances of
the day. Some of these fellows, rigged out with the cast-off clothing
of their betters, sported red coats, black velvet caps, and leather
leggings. One added to all this gorgeousness the refinement of bare
feet.

The hounds were taken into the cover, a brambly, tangled wood near by,
which had probably been planted and made a little wilderness to serve
as a cover for foxes.

They soon found a fox, drove him to the open, and followed him out of
the wood with a whimpering sort of cry which was disappointing after
the notion that the "full cry" of the books had given, and which is
heard in the very different fox-hunting of our Southern woods. The run
lay up a steepish hill, several fields wide and across an open country.
One bold rider (not a light one), mounted on a staving black horse,
went to the right of the cover, and made a splendid leap up hill,
over a stiff-looking hedge, and landed at the tail of the pack. The
"master" and his assistants had got away with the hounds. The rest of
the field went to the left, waiting their turns, through a farm-gate.
Once through, some twenty of them dashed up the hill, cleared a clever
hedge, and kept the pack in sight. The rest took an easier place,
where a farm laborer had pulled away the stakes by which a gap had
been filled. Here there was much very light jumping, and much more of
waiting until predecessors had made it lighter. In the mean time other
gaps were found, and it was not many minutes before all were through;
but during these minutes the fox, the hounds, and the harder riding men
were putting a wide space between themselves and us, who were at the
tail of the field. Yet there were some in the party who did not look
like laggards, and whose horses were good enough for any work such a
country could give them.

Even when across the gap, these men went with the rest of us, by
gates and lanes, toward a point to which it was thought by the knowing
ones that the fox would double,--and the knowing ones were right.
Gradually, as their judgment indicated, they left the roads and took to
the fields. This course was taken by three well-mounted young ladies.
I followed the gate-openers for about half an hour, when, coming out
on a high-road, I concluded that, with seventeen miles to ride home,
it was only just to my little mare to give the thing up and head for
Leamington. The hounds were far away on my right and quite out of sight.

Having come to look on and learn, I had probably seen and heard all
that day had in store for me,--surely enough for one's first day at
fox-hunting. When I had ridden for a few minutes I saw, far across
the fields, that the hounds had turned to the left and were making
for my road. Pressing forward, I came up in time to see them cross to
the front, and go scurrying away over the grass, nosing out the scent
as they ran. There had been a check, and "the field" was well up. The
road was lower than the fields, and was bordered by a ditch at each
side. From this the ground rose a little, and on each bank stood a
three-and-a-half-foot thorn hedge. Neither leap was difficult, but the
one out of the road was not easy. Here I sat and saw fully a hundred
horsemen, dressed in the gay colors of the hunting-field and mounted
as men rarely are mounted out of England, all, horses as well as men,
eager and excited in the chase, flying over hedge and ditch into the
carriage-way and over ditch and hedge into the higher field, beyond
and away, headlong after the hounds, every man for himself, and every
man for the front, and on they went over another hedge, and out of
sight. In the thick of the flight were two ladies, riding as well and
as boldly as the men, and two men were brushing their hats in the road,
their empty saddles keeping well up with the run. More than satisfied
with this climax of my first day's experience, I trotted out for home.
The result of the run I never heard, and I leave its description where
I lost sight of it. A mile farther on I did see a fagged-looking fox
making his rapid way across my road again, and sneaking off under the
hedge toward a thicket, and I halted to listen to what sounded like the
horn of a huntsman at check over the hill to the left; but possibly the
conclusion I drew was not a correct one.

I wish that words could give an idea of the life and action of the
headlong flight I had just seen; but the inadequacy of all I had read
to convey it to me makes it seem useless to try. Photography and
description may, in a measure, supply the place of travel; but he who
would realize the most thrilling intensity of eager horsemanship must
stand in a hedge-bound English lane, and see with his own eyes, and
for the first time in his life, a hundred gayly dressed and splendidly
mounted fox-hunters flashing at full speed across his path; and it is
worth the while to see.

Rain never fell on a more lovely country than that part of Warwickshire
through which my wet way lay. For ten miles of the seventeen it rained,
gently as it rains with us in April; nor is our grass more green in
April than this was in Christmas week. The all-prevailing ivy was
filled with berries, and the laurustinus was already in bloom.

No born Englishman could have cared less for the soaking rain; and,
wet to the skin, tired to the bone, and stiff to the marrow, I have
rarely been more exuberant than when I gradually regained the use of my
legs in the half-mile walk to the hotel, resolving that not even the
glories of American citizenship should ever keep me away from England
in winter were I only able to afford the luxury of regular hunting. But
the exuberance was moral rather than physical. I had not been so tired
for years,--stiff as an old horse, after over thirty miles of really
hard riding (the last seventeen miles in two hours). The cure was a
hot bath and a dish of hot soup, followed by a log-like sleep of two
hours on a sofa before a blazing hot fire, a sharp half-hour's walk,
a very plain dinner, and a couple of hours' chat with my interested
East-Indiaman in the smoking-room: the cure was complete; and all that
was left of the day's sport was its brilliant recollection.

       *       *       *       *       *

My second day was near Stratford-on-Avon,--on _Ay_-von, the misguided
English call it. The meet was to be at Goldicote House, one of the
"fixtures" of the Warwickshire Hunt. There were about a hundred
persons, including a few ladies, and one little bareheaded "blue-coat"
school-boy (from Charles Lamb's school), who, with his folded umbrella,
long skirt, low shoes, and yellow hose, was in for as much sport as
his Christmas holiday could give him. As a farther penalty for want of
forethought, I was reduced to riding a friend's coach-horse. However,
the reduction was not great, for whether by early instruction or by
inheritance, he was more than half a hunter, and gave me a capital
look at the whole day's chase; while his owner, on a most charming
black blood mare, being out of condition for hard riding, kindly
applied himself to urging me to severer work than one likes to do
with a borrowed horse. He introduced me to a venerable old gentleman
in a time-and-weather-stained red coat, velvet cap, and well-used
nether gear, mounted on a knowing-looking old gray, and attended by
his granddaughter. He could not have been less than eighty years old,
and his days of hard riding were over; but constant hunting exercise
every winter for over sixty years had protected him wonderfully well
against the ravages of time, and it is rare to see an American of
sixty so hale and hearty, and so cheerful and jolly. I was told that
if I would take him for my leader, I would see more of the run than I
could in any other way with such a mount as I had. He seemed to know
the habits of the foxes of South Warwickshire as thoroughly as he did
every foot-path and gate of the country, and he led us by cross-cuts to
the various points to which Reynard circled, so that we often had the
whole field in sight. It was not an especially interesting day, and the
fox got away at last, among a tangle of railway lines that blocked our
passage. My old mentor, who had given me much valuable instruction in
the details of hunting, was vastly disgusted at the result, and broke
out with, "Ah! it's all up with old England, I doubt; these confounded
railways have killed sport. There's no hunting to be had any longer,
for their infernal cutting up the country in this way. I've hunted with
these hounds under fifteen different masters, but I've about done, and
I sha'n't lose much,--it's all up. However, I suppose we could never
pay the interest on the national debt without the railways; but it's
all up with hunting." At that, he called away the young lady, bade me
a melancholy "good-by," and rode half sadly home. I galloped back to
Stratford with my handsome old host,--a little more knowing in the ways
of the field, but without yet having had a fair taste of the sport.

       *       *       *       *       *

Seven miles from Peterborough, in the dismal little village of
Wansford, near the borders of Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire, is,
perhaps, the only remaining old posting-inn in England that is kept up
in the unchanged style of the ante-railroad days. The post-horses are
gone, but the posting-stables are filled with hunters; the travelling
public have fled to the swifter lines, and Wansford is forever deserted
of them; but the old Haycock keeps up its old cheer, and Tom Percival,
who boasts that he has had the Princess Victoria for a guest, and has
slept five dukes in one night, has little occasion to complain of
neglect. The good wine that needs no bush still makes his cellar known,
and no one should criticise English cooking until he has dined once at
the Haycock. Nowhere is the inn-maid of whom we have read so much to be
found in such simple, tidy, and courtesying perfection; and nowhere, in
short, can one find so completely the solid comfort of hostelry life.
Half old farm-house and half wayside-inn; with a marvellous larder,
through whose glass-closed side the guest sees visions of joints and
jams and pastry in lavish profusion; backed by a stable-yard where boys
are always exercising good horses; and flanked by a yardful of quaint
clipped yews,--the old house at Wansford (in spite of its dull-looking
road front) is worth a visit from those who would get out of the sight
and sound of steam, and see the old, old country life of England.
The visitor is not numbered and billeted and pigeon-holed, as in the
modern hotel; but the old fiction of host and guest is well kept up.
Your coming should be announced in advance; and you are received as
in some sort a member of the family, whose ways are made to conform
more or less to the wishes of yourself and your convives, mainly young
swells from London, who are few, and who are there, as you are, not for
business, but for rest, good living, and regular sport. Three packs
of hounds are within reach; and on the days when none of the meets is
near, there is always the "larking"--the training of young horses--to
supply a good substitute, so far as the riding goes. One who cares for
hunting pure and simple, rather than for the gayer life of Leamington
and Cheltenham, cannot do better than to make the season, or a part of
it, at the Haycock, with regularly engaged horses for as many days in
the week as he may choose to ride. It costs,--but it pays. One is none
the less welcome among the guests for being an American.

I there had a day with the George Fitz William hounds. Not being, as
yet, quite at home in the field, I took a wise old horse, "Cock Robin,"
who was well up to my weight, and who, as Percival told me, would
teach me more than I could teach him. He was sent on early with the
other hunters, and I took a "hack" to ride to cover. We were a party
of four, and we went through the fields and the lawns and the rain,
to where the meet was fixed for eleven o'clock, at Barnwell Castle, a
fine old Norman ruin,--square and low, with four large corner towers
draped in magnificent ivy. It was a dreary morning, and not more than
sixty were out; but among these, as always, there were ladies, and
there was more than the usual proportion of fine horses. One cover
was drawn blank, and we moved to another, where a fox was found, and
whence the run was sharp and too straight for a prudent novice to see
very much of it; and it was some minutes before Cock Robin and his
rider came up with the hounds, who had come to a check in a large wood.
Throughout the day there was a good deal of waiting about different
covers, between which the fox ran back and forth. Finally he broke away
for a long, quick burst over the fields, which lay to the left of a
farm-road down which we were riding, and which was flanked by a high
and solid-looking hedge. Near the head of the party was a well-mounted
blonde of seventeen, who had hitherto seemed to avoid the open country
and to keep prudently near to her mother and her groom. The sight of
the splendid run, fast leaving us behind, was too much for her, and she
turned straight for the hedge, clearing it with a grander leap than I
had seen taken that day, and flying on over hedges and ditches in the
direct wake of the hounds. A young German who followed her said, as
we rode back to the Haycock, "It is vort to come from America or from
Owstria to see zat lofely Lady ---- go over ze cowntry"; and it was.

Luck often favors the timid; Cock Robin and I were quite alone--he
disgusted, and I half ashamed with my prudence--when the fox, who had
found straight running of no avail, came swerving to the right over
the crest of a distant hill, closely followed by the hounds, and, in
splendid style, by the first flight of the field. Soon he crossed a
brook which was fenced in with rails, and the horsemen all had to make
a long détour, so that I, who had been last, now became first. I had
the fox and the hounds all to myself; my horse was fresh, and the way
was easy. My monopoly lasted only a moment, but it was not a moment of
tranquillity. Finding an open gate and bridge, I followed the pack into
a large low field, surrounded on three sides by the wide brook. The fox
was turned by this and ran to the right along the bank; at the corner
of the field he turned again to the right, still keeping by the edge of
the stream; this gave the hounds an immense advantage, and cutting off
the angle, they came so closely upon him that with still another turn
of the brook ahead of him, he had but one chance for his life, and that
was a desperate one for a tired fox to consider. He did not consider,
but went slap at the brook, and cleared it with a leap of nearly twenty
feet. The foremost hounds whimpered for a moment on the bank before
they took to the water, and when they were across Reynard was well out
of sight, and they had to nose out his trail afresh. He brought them
again to a check, and finally, after half an hour's skirmishing, he ran
down a railway cutting in the wake of a train, and got away.

Incidentally, here was an opportunity for an English gentleman to show
more good temper and breeding than it is one's daily lot to see. He was
one of a bridgeful of horsemen watching the hounds as they vainly tried
to unravel the fox's scent from the bituminous trail of the locomotive,
when, full of eager curiosity, one of the ladies, middle-aged and not
"native and to the manner born," but not an American, rode directly
on to his horse's heels. To the confusion of my lady, the horse, like
a sensible horse as he was, resented the attack with both his feet.
His rider got him at once out of the way, and then returned, bowing
his venerable head in regretful apology, and trusting that no serious
harm had been done. "How can you ride such a kicking brute!" was the
gracious acknowledgment of his forbearance.

In this storied little island one is never for long out of the presence
of places on the traditions of which our life-long fancies have been
fed. Our road home lay past the indistinct mass of rubbish, clustered
round with ivy and with the saddest associations, which was once
Fotheringay Castle; and as we turned into the village my companions
pointed out the still serviceable but long-unused "stocks" where the
minor malefactors of the olden time expiated their offences.

We reached the Haycock at three, a moist but far from unpleasant body
of tired and dirty men, having ridden, since nine in the morning, over
fifty-five miles, mostly in the rain, and often in a shower of mud
splashed by galloping hoofs. By six o'clock we were in good trim for
dinner, and after dinner for a long, cosey talk over the events of the
day, and horses and fox-hunting in general. My own interest in the
sport is confined mainly to its equestrian side, and I am not able to
give much information as to its details. Any stranger must be impressed
with the firm hold it has on the affections of the people, and with the
little public sympathy that is shown for the rare attempts that are
made to restrict its rights.

It would seem natural that the farmers should be its bitter
opponents. It can hardly be a cheerful sight, in March, for a thrifty
man to see a crowd of mad horsemen tearing through his twenty acres of
well-wintered wheat, filling the air with a spray of soil and uprooted
plants. But let a non-riding reformer get up after the annual dinner
of the local Agricultural Association and suggest that the rights of
tenant-farmers have long enough lain at the mercy of their landlord and
his fox-hunting friends, with the rabble of idle sports and ruthless
ne'er-do-weels who follow at their heels, and that it is time for them
to assert themselves and try to secure the prohibition of a costly
pastime, which leads to no good practical result, and the burdens of
which fall so heavily on the producing classes,--and then see how his
brother farmers will second his efforts. The very man whose wheat was
apparently ruined will tell him that in March one would have said the
whole crop was destroyed, but that the stirring up seemed to do it
good, for he had never before seen such an even stand on that field.
Another will argue that while hunting does give him some extra work in
the repair of hedges and gates, and while he sometimes has his fields
torn up more than he likes, yet the hounds are the best neighbors he
has; they bring a good market for hay and oats, and, for his part, he
likes to get a day with them himself now and then. Another raises a
young horse when he can, and if he turns out a clever fencer, he gets a
much larger price for him than he could if there were no hunting in the
country. Another has now and then lost poultry by the depredations of
foxes, but he never knew the master to refuse a fair claim for damages;
for his part, he would scorn to ask compensation; he likes to see the
noble sport, which is the glory of England, flourishing, in spite of
modern improvements. At this point, and at this stage of the convivial
cheer, they bring in the charge at Balaklava, and other evidences that
the noble sport, which is the glory of old England, breeds a race of
men whose invincible daring always has won and always shall win her
honor in the field;--and Long live the Queen, and Here's a health to
the Handley Cross Hunt, and Confusion to the mean and niggardly spirit
that is filling the country with wire fences and that would do away
with the noble sport which is the glory of old England! Hear! hear!!
And so it ends, and half the company, in velvet caps, scarlet coats,
leathers and top-boots, will be early on the ground at the first meet
of the next autumn, glad to see their old cover-side friends once more,
and hoping for a jolly winter of such healthful amusements and pleasant
intercourse as shall put into their heads and their hearts and into
their hearty frames and ruddy faces a tenfold compensation for the
trifling loss they may sustain in the way of broken gates and trampled
fields.

I saw too little to be able to form a fair opinion as to the harm
done; but when once the run commences no more account is made of wheat,
which is carefully avoided when going at a slow pace, than if it were
so much sawdust; fences are torn down, and there is no time to replace
them; if gates are locked, they are taken off the hinges or broken; if
sheep join the crowd in an enclosure and follow them into the road, no
one stops to see that they are returned: we are after the hounds, and
sheep must take care of themselves. I saw one farmer, in an excited
manner, open the gates of his kitchen-garden and turn the hounds and
twenty horsemen through it as the shortest way to where he had seen the
fox go; his womenfolk eagerly calling "Tally-ho!" to others who were
going wrong. I have never seen a railroad train stopped because of the
conductor's interest in a passing hunt, but I fancy that is the only
thing in England that does not stop when the all-absorbing interest is
once awakened.

Whatever may be the effect on material interests, the benefit of this
eager, vigorous, outdoor life on the health and morals of the people
is most unmistakable. Such a race of handsome, hale, straight-limbed,
honest, and simple-hearted men can nowhere else be found as in the wide
class that passes as much of every winter as is possible in regular
fox-hunting; and to make an application of their example, we could well
afford to give over many of our fertile fields to ruthless destruction,
and many of our fertile hours to the most senseless sport, if it would
only replace our dyspeptic stomachs, sallow cheeks, stooping shoulders,
and restless eagerness with the hale and hearty and easy-going life
and energy of our English cousins. Hardly enough women hunt in England
to constitute an example; but those who do are such models of health
and freshness as to make one wish that more women had the benefit of
such amusement both there and here. It is very common to see men of
over sixty following the hounds in the very _élite_ of the field; they
seem still in the vigor of youth. At seventy many are yet regular at
their work; and it is hardly remarkable when one finally hangs up his
red coat only at the age of eighty. Considering all this, it almost
becomes a question whether, patriotism to the contrary notwithstanding,
it would not be a good thing for a prosperous American, instead of
settling down at the age of forty-five to a special partnership and a
painful digestion, to take a smaller income where it would bring more
comfort, and by a judicious application of the pig-skin to rehabilitate
his enfeebled alimentation.

Fox-hunting is a costly luxury if one goes well mounted and well
appointed. It can hardly be made cheap, even when one lives in his
own house and rides his own horses. With hotel bills and horse-hire,
it costs still more. As an occasional indulgence it is always a good
investment. My own score at the Haycock was as follows,--by way of
illustration, and because actual figures are worth more than estimates.
(I was there from Thursday afternoon until Sunday morning, went out
with a shooting-party on Friday, dined out on Friday night, and hunted
on Saturday.)

                       THE HAYCOCK INN.

                                          £  _s._ _d._
  Jan. 2.  Dinner and wine,                   10   6
           Bed and fire,                       3   6
   "   3.  Breakfast,                          2   6
           Apartments,[A] bed and fire,        5   0
           Attendance,[B]                      1   6
  Jan. 4.  Breakfast,                          2   6
           Dinner and wine,                   10   6
           Apartments, bed and fire,           5   6
           Attendance,                         1   6
   "   5.  Breakfast,                          2   6

                           STABLE.

           Conveying luggage from station,     2   6
           Dog-cart to Sharks Lodge,          10   6
            "   "    " Oundle,                12   6
            "   "    " Peterborough,           8   0

                       THOMAS PERCIVAL.

  Jan. 4. Hire of hunter to Barnwell,     4    4   0
            "     hack    "     "             10   6

[A] The run of the house.

[B] We are apt to consider this a petty swindle, but it has the
advantage that you get what you pay for.

Eight pounds, twelve shillings, and sixpence; which being interpreted
means $47.30 in the lawful currency of the United States. The hunter
and hack for one day cost $23.52.

An American friend living with his family in Leamington (much more
cheaply than he could live at home), kept two hunters and a hack, and
hunted them twice a week for the whole season (nearly six months) at a
cost, including the loss on his horses, which he sold in the spring, of
less than $1,500. I think this is below the average expense.

The cost of keeping up a pack of hounds is very heavy. The hounds
themselves, a well-paid huntsman, two or three whippers-in, two
horses a day for each of these attendants (hunting four days a week,
this would probably require four horses for each man), and no end of
incidental expenses, bring the cost to fully $20,000 per annum. This is
sometimes paid wholly or in part by subscription and sometimes entirely
by the Master of the Hounds. One item of my friend's expenses at
Leamington was a subscription of ten guineas each to the Warwickshire,
North Warwickshire, Atherstone, and Pytchley hunts. Something of this
sort would be necessary if one hunted for any considerable time with
any subscription pack, but an occasional visitor is not expected to
contribute.

A stranger participating in the sport need only be guided by common
modesty and common-sense. However good a horseman he may be, he cannot
make a sensation among the old stagers of the hunting-field. Probably
he will get no commendation of any sort. If he does, it will be for
keeping out of the way of others,--taking always the easiest and safest
road that will bring him well up with the hounds, not flinching when a
desperate leap must be taken, and following (at a respectful distance)
a good leader, rather than trying to take the lead himself. However
promising the prospect may be, he had better not do anything on his own
hook; if he makes a conspicuous mistake, he will probably be corrected
for it in plainer English than it is pleasant to hear.

       *       *       *       *       *

One of the memorable days of my life was the day before New-Year's.
Ford had secured me a capital hunter, a well-clipped gelding, over
sixteen hands high, glossy, lean, and wiry as a racer. "You've got
a rare mount to-day, sir," said the groom as he held him for me to
get up; and a rare dismount I came near having in the little measure
of capacity with which Master Dick and I commenced our acquaintance,
before we left the Regent. He was one of those horses whose spirits
are just a little too much for their skins, and all the way out he
kept up a restless questioning of his prospect of having his own way.
Still he was in all this, as in his manner of doing his work when he
got into the open country, such a perfect counterpart of old Max, who
had carried me for two years in the Southwest, that I was at home at
once. If I had had a hunter made to order, I could not have been more
perfectly suited.

The meet (North Warwickshire) was at Cubbington Gate, only two miles
from Leamington, and a very gay meet it was. The road was filled with
carriages, and there was a goodly rabble on foot. About three hundred,
in every variety of dress, were mounted for the hunt, a dozen or so
of ladies among them. Three of these kept well up all day, and one of
them rode very straight. The hounds were taken to a wood about a mile
to the eastward of Cubbington, where they soon found a fox, which led
us a very straight course to Princethorpe, about three miles to the
northeast.

I had done little fencing for seven or eight years, and the sort
of propulsion one gets in being carried over a hedge is sufficiently
different from the ordinary impulses of civil life to suggest at first
the element of surprise. Consequently, though our initial leap was a
modest one, I landed with only one foot in the stirrup and with one
hand in the mane; but I now saw that Dick was but another name for Max,
and this one moderate failure was enough to recall the old tricks of
the craft. As the opportunity would perhaps never come again, this one
was not to be neglected, and I resolved to have one fair inside view
of real fox-hunting. Dick was clearly as good a horse as was out that
day; the leaping was less than that to which we were used among the
worm-fences, fallen timber, and gullies of Arkansas and Tennessee; and
there was but a plain Anglo-Saxon name for the only motive that could
deter me from making the most of the occasion. Mr. Lant, the Master of
the Hounds, was not better mounted for his lighter weight than was I
for my fourteen stone; and his position as well as his look indicated
that he would probably go by the nearest practicable route to where the
fox might lead, so we kept at a safe distance behind him and well in
his wake. The hesitation and uncertainty which had at first confused my
bridle-hand being removed, my horse, recognizing the changed position
of affairs, settled down to his work like a well-trained and sensible
but eager beast as he was. From the covert to Princethorpe we took
seven fences and some small ditches, and we got there with the first
half-dozen of the field, both of us in higher spirits than horse and
rider ever get except by dint of hard going and successful fencing.

Here there was a short check, but the fox was soon routed out again and
made for Waveley Wood, a couple of miles to the northwest.

Waveley Wood is what is called in England a "biggish bit of timber,"
and the check here was long enough to allow the whole field to come up.
As we sat chatting and lighting our cigars, "Tally-ho!" was called from
the other side of the cover, and we splashed through a muddy cart-road
and out into the open just as the hounds were well away. Now was a ride
for dear life. Every one had on all the speed the heavy ground would
allow. In front of us was a "bullfinch" (a neglected hedge, out of
which strong thorny shoots of several years' growth have run up ten or
twelve feet above it). I had often heard of bullfinches, and no hunting
experience could be complete without taking one. It was some distance
around by the gate, the pace was strong, and the spiny fringe had just
closed behind Mr. Lant's red coat as he dropped into the field beyond.
"Follow my leader" is a game that must be boldly played; so, settling
my hat well down, holding my bridle-hand low, and covering my closed
eyes with my right elbow, with the whip-hand over the left shoulder, I
put my heart in my pocket and went at it, and through it with a crash!
An ugly scratch on the fleshy part of the right hand was the only
damage done, and I was one of the very few near the pack. Dick and I
were now up to anything; we made very light of a thick tall hedge that
came next in order, and we cleared it like a bird; but we landed in a
pool of standing water, covering deeply ploughed ground, the horse's
forefeet sinking so deeply that he could not get them out in time, and
our headway rolled us both over in the mud, I flat on my back. Dick
got up just in time for his pastern to strike me in the face as I was
rising, giving me a cut lip, a mouthful of blood, and a black and blue
nose-bridge. My appearance has, on occasions, been more respectable
and my temper more serene than as I ran, soiled and bleeding, over the
ploughed ground, calling to some workmen to "catch my horse."

I was soon up and away again. There seemed some confusion in the run,
and the master being out of sight, I followed one of the whips as he
struck into a blind path in a wood. It was a tangled mass of briers,
but he went in at full pace, and evidently there was no time to be
lost. At the other side of the copse there was a set of low bars, and
beyond this a small, slimy ditch. My leader cleared the bars, but
his horse's hind feet slipped on the bank of the ditch, and he fell
backwards with an ugly kind of sprawl that I had no time to examine,
for Dick took the leap easily and soon brought me into a field where,
on a little hillock, and quite alone, stood the huntsman, dismounted,
holding the dead fox high in his left hand, while with his long-leashed
hunting-crop he kept the hungry and howling pack at bay. The master
soon came up, as did about a dozen others, including a bright little
boy on a light little pony. The fox's head (mask), tail (brush), and
feet (pads) were now cut off and distributed as trophies under the
master's direction. The carcass was then thrown to the pack, that
fought and snarled over it until, in a twinkling, the last morsel had
disappeared. This was the "death,"--by no means the most engaging part
of the amusement. From the find to the killing was only twenty-five
minutes, into which had been crowded more excitement and more physical
happiness than I had known for many a long day.

The second cover drawn was not far away. With this fox we had two
hours' work, mainly through woods at a walk and with the hounds
frequently at fault, but with some good leaping. Finally he was run to
earth and abandoned.

We then went to a cover near Bubbenhall, but found no fox, and then,
with the same luck, to another east of Baggington. It was now nearly
four o'clock, growing dusk, and beginning to rain. The hounds started
for their kennels, and Dick and I took a soft bridle-path skirting the
charming road that leads, under such ivy-clad tree-trunks and between
such hedges as no other land can show, through Stoneleigh Village and
past Stoneleigh Abbey to Leamington, and a well-earned rest.

       *       *       *       *       *

My memorandum for that day closes: "Horse, £2 12_s._ 6_d._; Fees,
2_s._; and well worth the money."


THE END.





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this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
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