Marsena: and other stories of the wartime (Google eBook)

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C. Scribner's Sons, 1894 - Fiction - 210 pages
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Page 160 - Mexican war had been dragged out on to the rickety covered river-bridge, and was frightening the fishes, and shaking the dry, wormeaten rafters, as fast as the swab and rammer could work. Our town bandsmen were playing as they had never played before, down in the square in front of the post-office. The management of the Universe could not hurl enough wild fireworks into the exultant sunset to fit our mood. The very air was filled with the scent of triumph the spirit of conquest. It seemed only...
Page 101 - ... Rappahannock," and he did this rather better than a good many other words. "Rappahannock," alas! was a word we heard often enough in those days, along with Chickahominy and Rapidan, and that odd Chattahoochee, the sound of which raised always in my boyish mind the notion that the geography-makers must have achieved it in their baby-talk period. These strange Southern river names, and many more, were as familiar to the ears of these four other untravelled Dearborn County farmers as the noise of...
Page 182 - I gazed confusedly at her mourning, and heard the echo of her sad tones in my ears. " Is some one ill ? " she asked again. "No; some one some one is very well!" I managed to reply, lifting my eyes again to her wan face. The spectacle of its drawn lines and pallor all at once assailed my wearied and overtaxed nerves with crushing weight. I felt myself beginning to whimper, and rushing tears scalded my eyes. Something inside my breast seemed to be dragging me down through the stoop. I have now...
Page 176 - His skin was so dark that we canvassed the theory from time to time of his having Indian blood. He did not discourage this, and he admitted himself that he was double-jointed. The streets of the business part of the town, into which we now made our way, were quite deserted. We went around into the yard behind the printing-office, where the carrier-boys were wont to wait for the press to get to work ; and Billy displayed some impatience at discovering that here too there was no one. It was now broad...
Page 171 - I started off alone up the hill. It was a distinct relief to find that my companions were congregated at the lower end of the common, instead of their accustomed haunt farther up near my home, for the walk had been a lonely one, and I was deeply depressed by what had happened. Tom, it seems, had been called away some quarter of an hour before. All the boys knew of the calamity which had befallen the Hemingways. We talked about it, from time to time, as we loaded and fired the cannon which Tom had...
Page 155 - Of course the idea of the Hemingways ever knowing what want meant was absurd. They lived a dozen doors or so from us, in a big white house with stately white columns rising from veranda to gable across the whole front, and a large garden, flowers and shrubs in front, fruit-trees and vegetables behind. Squire Hemingway was the most important man in our part of the town. I know now that he was never anything more than United States Commissioner of Deeds, but in those days, when he walked down the street...
Page 172 - ... hands, but as a taller and glorified Tom, in a roundabout jacket and copper-toed boots, giving the law on this his playground. The very cannon at our feet had once been his. The night air became peopled with ghosts of his contemporaries handsome boys who had grown up before us, and had gone away to lay down their lives in far-off Virginia or Tennessee. These heroic shades brought drowsiness in their train. We lapsed into long silences, punctuated by yawns, when it was not our turn to ram...
Page 157 - ... that we ought all to collect nails to fire at them from our cannon. This we pledged ourselves to do the bell keeping up its throbbing tumult ceaselessly. Suddenly we saw the familiar figure of Johnson running up the street toward us. What his first name was I never knew. To every one, little or big, he was just Johnson.
Page 167 - ... her voice trembling with eagerness, and the eyes which I had thought so soft and dove-like flashing down upon me as if she were the " cross teacher," Miss Pritchard, and I had been caught chewing gum in school. I drew the paper from under my roundabout coat, and gave it to her. She grasped the paper, and thrust a finger under the cover to tear it off. Then she hesitated for a moment, and looked about her. " Come where there is some light," she said, and started up the street. Although she seemed...
Page 157 - Even as he spoke, the big bell in the tower of the town-hall burst forth in a loud clangour of swift-repeated strokes. It was half a mile away, but the moist air brought the urgent, clamorous sounds to our ears as if the belfry had stood close above us. We sprang off the stoop and stood poised, waiting to hear the number of the ward struck, and ready to scamper off on the instant if the fire was anywhere in our part of the town. But the excited peal went on and on, without a pause. It became obvious...

About the author (1894)

Journalist and author Harold Frederic was born in Utica, New York on August 19, 1856. He decided to become a journalist and was editor of the Albany Evening Journal by 1882. In 1884, he became a London correspondent for the New York Times. He covered the cholera epidemic in France and Italy and went to Russia to investigate the persecution of the Jews. Besides working as a journalist, he wrote numerous novels that dealt with such topics as the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, New York state, and English life. The Damnation of Theron Ware or Illumination, about the decline and fall of a Methodist minister, was his most famous work. He died in England on October 19, 1898 following a summer of illness that ended with a stroke. After his death, his mistress Kate Lyon and Athalie Mills, were arrested and charged with manslaughter for trying to heal him through faith instead of calling for a doctor. They were later acquitted.