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We may further reassure the peoples of the Confederation that no further special efforts on their part will be called for. This is not to be thought of as a war or even as a campaign, but merely as one isolated, regretted but necessary blow at a system which cannot but be a shock to the mind of civilized man.
The rebel cannoneers seemed to lose heart at once under the storm of fire that beat upon them. The volume of their fire diminished at once, and then became fitful and irregular. Two of their limbers were blown up in succession, with thunderous noise, and this further discouraged them.
A crowd of teamsters, sutlers' men and other camp followers gathered around. A tall, sandybearded man with keen, gray eyes and a rugged, stony face rode up. He wore a shabby slouch hat, his coat was old and weather-stained, but he rode a spirited horse.
Reuben thought long and anxiously about his brother. He did not speak much of him to his mother or Naomi, for he knew that they would not understand the problem that confronted him. He felt worn by the extra load of work, and his brain fretted, spoiling his good sleep. He[Pg 53] was back in his own room now, but he slept worse than in Harry's; he would lie awake fighting mentally, just as all day he had fought physicallylife was a continuous fight.
CHAPTER XVIII. NO PEACE FOR SI AND SHORTY
"Were you out late last night?"