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      "Whew, there goes more'n a month's pay," said the other players, stopping to watch the dice as they rolled out, with the deuce and five-spot down somewhere else than on top. "And his roll's beginning to look as if an elephant had stepped on it. Now we'll see his sand."

      "It's an awful risk to have an old man and a civilian come down here into camp," Si complained. "And he oughtn't to go about alone. He's always been used to mingling with the quiet, honest, respectable people. Up home the people are as honest as the day is long. They're religious and peaceable, and Pap's never knowed no other kind. He wouldn't harm nobody for the world, and none o' them'd harm him. He's only a child among these toughs down here. I wisht one of us was able to be with him all the time.""First sucker o' this Spring's run. String him. Si."

      "Chattanooga, Tenn., Nov. 20, 1863.

      For the very first time in his whole life Shorty had run away from a crisis. With his genuine love of fighting, he rather welcomed any awkward situation in which men were concerned. It was a challenge to him, and he would carry himself through with a mixture of brass, bravado and downright hard fighting. But he would have much more willingly faced the concentrated fire of all the batteries in Bragg's army than Maria's eyes as she raised them from that letter; and as for the comments of her sharp tonguewell, far rather give him Longstreet's demons charging out of the woods onto Snodgrass Hill. He walked out into the barn, and leaned against the fanning-mill to think it all over. His ears burned with the imagination of what Maria was saying. He was very uncomfortable over what the rest of the family were thinking and saying, particularly the view that dear old Mrs. Klegg might take. With the Deacon and Si it was wholly different. He knew that, manlike, they averaged him up, one day with another, and gave him the proper balance to his credit. But Mariathere everything turned to gall, and he hated the very name of Bad Ax, the whole State of Wisconsin and everybody in it. He would never dare go back into the house and face the family. What could he do? There was only one thingget back to his own home, the army, as soon as possible.

      "Well, then, here goes a dollar on that five-spot," said Shorty, "skinning" a bill from a considerable roll.


      "In talking with the Secret Service men," explained the Lieutenant, "they suggested that it would be well to have one good man, a stranger, dressed in citizen's clothesbutternut jeans, if possibleto go ahead at times and reconnoiter. He ought to be able to play off refugee rebel, if possible."


      All the money for those not present to receive it in person was turned over to the Deacon, and then for the first time the boys felt relieved of a great responsibility. "And how purty you spel. Ime something ov a speler myself,


      Coming back to the platform they found the boys there recovering but still very weak and pale. They confirmed the story about the tobacco. Shorty examined the rest of the tobacco in the man's possession with the practiced taste of a connoisseur, found it strong black plug, just the thing to upset a green boy who took it on an empty stomach, cut off a liberal chew for himself and dismissed the man with a kick.