the landscape 3 changed from brown to green ,
the army 1 awakened , and began to tremble with eagerness at the noise of rumors .
It 1 cast
its 1 eyes upon
the roads 4 , which were growing from
long troughs of liquid mud 5 to
proper thoroughfares 6 .
, purled at
A river , amber-tinted in the shadow of
the army 1 's feet ; and at night , when
the stream 7 had become of
a sorrowful blackness 8 , one could see across
it 7 the red , eyelike gleam of hostile camp-fires set in
the low brows of
distant hills 10 9
a certain tall soldier 11 developed virtues and went resolutely to wash a shirt .
He 11 came flying back from
a brook 12 waving
his 11 garment bannerlike .
He 11 was swelled with a tale
he 11 had heard from
a reliable friend 13 , who had heard it from
a truthful cavalryman 14 , who had heard it from
trustworthy brother , one of
the orderlies at
division headquarters 17 16
He 11 adopted the important air of a herald in red and gold .
We 18 're goin ' t ' move t ' morrah -- sure , "
he 11 said pompously to
a group in
the company street 20 19
We 18 're goin ' ' way up
the river 7 , cut across , an ' come around in behint 'em . "
attentive audience 19
he 11 drew a loud and elaborate plan of a very brilliant campaign .
he 11 had finished ,
the blue-clothed men 19 scattered into
small arguing groups 21 between the rows of squat brown huts .
was deserted .
A negro teamster who had been dancing upon a cracker box with the hilarious encouragement of
twoscore soldiers 23 22
He 22 sat mournfully down .
Smoke drifted lazily from a multitude of quaint chimneys .
" It 's a lie !
that 's all it is -- a thunderin ' lie ! "
another private 24 loudly .
His 24 smooth face was flushed , and
his 24 hands were thrust sulkily into
his 24 trouser 's pockets .
He 24 took the matter as an affront to
him 24 .
I 24 do n't believe
the derned old army 1 's ever going to move .
We 18 're set .
I 24 've got ready to move eight times in the last two weeks , and
we 18 ai n't moved yet . "
The tall soldier 11 felt called upon to defend the truth of a rumor
himself 11 had introduced .
He 11 and the loud one came near to fighting over it .
A corporal 25 began to swear before
the assemblage 19 .
He 25 had just put a costly board floor in ,
he 25 said .
During the early spring
he 25 had refrained from adding extensively to the comfort of
his 25 environment because
he 25 had felt that
the army 1 might start on the march at any moment .
Of late , however ,
he 25 had been impressed that
they 27 were in a sort of
eternal camp 28 .
Many of the men 29 engaged in a spirited debate .
One 30 outlined in a peculiarly lucid manner all the plans of
the commanding general 31 .
He 30 was opposed by
men who advocated that there were other plans of campaign 32 .
They 33 clamored at each other , numbers making futile bids for the popular attention .
the soldier who had fetched the rumor 11 bustled about with much importance .
He 11 was continually assailed by questions .
" What 's up ,
Jim 11 ? "
Th ' army 1 's goin ' t ' move . "
" Ah , what
yeh 11 talkin ' about ?
yeh 11 know it is ? "
" Well ,
yeh 11 kin b ' lieve
me 11 er not , jest as
yeh 68 like .
I 11 do n't care a hang . "
There was much food for thought in the manner in which
he 11 replied .
He 11 came near to convincing
them 33 by disdaining to produce proofs .
They 33 grew much excited over it .
a youthful private 34 who listened with eager ears to the words of
the tall soldier 11 and to the varied comments of .
After receiving a fill of discussions concerning marches and attacks ,
he 34 went to and crawled through an intricate hole that served
it 36 as a door .
He 34 wished to be alone with some new thoughts that had lately come to
him 34 .
He 34 lay down on a wide bunk that stretched across the end of
the room 37 .
In the other end , cracker boxes were made to serve as furniture .
They were grouped about the fireplace .
A picture from an illustrated weekly was upon the log walls , and three rifles were paralleled on pegs .
Equipments hung on handy projections , and some tin dishes lay upon a small pile of firewood .
A folded tent was serving as a roof .
The sunlight , without , beating upon it , made it glow a light yellow shade .
A small window shot an oblique square of whiter light upon the cluttered floor .
The smoke from the fire at times neglected the clay chimney and wreathed into
the room 37 , and this flimsy chimney of clay and sticks made endless threats to set ablaze
the whole establishment 36 .
The youth 34 was in a little trance of astonishment .
they 38 were at last going to fight .
On the morrow , perhaps , there would be a battle , and
he 34 would be in it .
For a time
he 34 was obliged to labor to make
himself 34 believe .
He 34 could not accept with assurance an omen that
he 34 was about to mingle in one of those great affairs of
the earth 39 .
He 34 had , of course , dreamed of battles all
his 34 life -- of vague and bloody conflicts that had thrilled
him 34 with their sweep and fire .
he 34 had seen
himself 34 in many struggles .
He 34 had imagined
peoples secure in the shadow of
eagle-eyed prowess 40
he 34 had regarded battles as crimson blotches on the pages of the past .
He 34 had put them as things of the bygone with
his 34 thought-images of heavy crowns and
high castles 41 .
There was a portion of
the world 42 's history which
he 34 had regarded as the time of wars , but it ,
he 34 thought , had been long gone over the horizon and had disappeared forever .
his 34 youthful eyes had looked upon the war in with distrust .
It must be some sort of a play affair .
He 34 had long despaired of witnessing a Greeklike struggle .
Such would be no more ,
he 34 had said .
Men 45 were better , or more timid .
Secular and religious education had effaced the throat-grappling instinct , or else firm finance held in check the passions .
He 34 had burned several times to enlist .
Tales of great movements shook the land .
They might not be distinctly Homeric , but there seemed to be much glory in them .
He 34 had read of marches , sieges , conflicts , and
he 34 had longed to see it all .
His 34 busy mind had drawn for
him 34 large pictures extravagant in color , lurid with breathless deeds .
But had discouraged
him 34 .
She 46 had affected to look with some contempt upon the quality of
his 34 war ardor and patriotism .
She 46 could calmly seat
herself 46 and with no apparent difficulty give
him 34 many hundreds of reasons why
he 34 was of vastly more importance on
the farm 47 than on
the field of battle 48 .
She 46 had had certain ways of expression that told
him 34 that
her 46 statements on the subject came from a deep conviction .
Moreover , on
her 46 side , was
his 34 belief that
her 46 ethical motive in the argument was impregnable .
At last , however ,
he 34 had made firm rebellion against this yellow light thrown upon the color of
his 34 ambitions .
The newspapers , the gossip of
the village 49 ,
his 34 own picturings , had aroused
him 34 to an uncheckable degree .
They 50 were in truth fighting finely down there .
Almost every day the newspaper printed accounts of a decisive victory .
One night , as
he 34 lay in bed , the winds had carried to
him 34 the clangoring of the church bell as
some enthusiast 51 jerked the rope frantically to tell the twisted news of a great battle .
This voice of
the people rejoicing in the night 52 had made
him 34 shiver in a prolonged ecstasy of excitement .
he 34 had gone down to and had spoken thus : " Ma ,
I 34 'm going to enlist . "
Henry 34 , do n't
you 34 be a fool , " had replied .
She 46 had then covered
her 46 face with the quilt .
There was an end to the matter for that night .
Nevertheless , the next morning
he 34 had gone to and had enlisted in
a company that was forming
there 54 55
he 34 had returned
home 56 was milking the brindle cow .
Four others stood waiting .
" Ma ,
I 34 've enlisted , "
he 34 had said to
her 46 diffidently .
There was a short silence .
" The Lord 's will be done ,
Henry 34 , "
she 46 had finally replied , and had then continued to milk the brindle cow .
he 34 had stood in the doorway with
his 34 soldier 's clothes on
his 34 back , and with the light of excitement and expectancy in
his 34 eyes almost defeating the glow of regret for the
home 57 bonds ,
he 34 had seen two tears leaving their trails on 's scarred cheeks .
she 46 had disappointed
him 34 by saying nothing whatever about returning with
his 34 shield or on it .
He 34 had privately primed
himself 34 for a beautiful scene .
He 34 had prepared certain sentences which
he 34 thought could be used with touching effect .
her 46 words destroyed
his 34 plans .
She 46 had doggedly peeled potatoes and addressed
him 34 as follows : "
You 34 watch out ,
Henry 34 , an ' take good care of yerself in this here fighting business --
you 34 watch , an ' take good care of yerself .
Do n't go a-thinkin '
you 34 can lick
the hull rebel army 58 at the start , because
yeh 34 ca n't .
Yer 34 jest
one little feller amongst
a hull lot of others 60 59
yeh 34 've got to keep quiet an ' do what
they 60 tell
yeh 34 .
I 46 know how
you 34 are ,
Henry 34 .
I 46 've knet
yeh 34 eight pair of socks ,
Henry 34 , and
I 46 've put in all
yer 34 best shirts , because
I 46 want to be jest as warm and comf ' able as
the army 62 61
Whenever they get holes in 'em ,
I 46 want
yeh 34 to send 'em right-away back to
me 46 , so 's
I 46 kin dern 'em .
" An ' allus be careful an ' choose
comp ' ny 63 .
There 's lots of
bad men in
the army 62 64
Henry 34 .
The army 62 makes 'em wild , and
they 64 like nothing better than the job of leading off
, as ai n't never been away from
a young feller like
you 34 65
home 66 much and has allus had
a mother 67 , an ' a-learning 'em to drink and swear .
Keep clear of
them folks 64 ,
Henry 34 .
I 46 do n't want
yeh 34 to ever do anything ,
Henry 34 , that
yeh 34 would be ' shamed to let
me 46 know about .
Jest think as if
I 46 was a-watchin '
yeh 34 .
yeh 34 keep that in
yer 34 mind allus ,
I 46 guess
yeh 34 'll come out about right .