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Corporal Hunt had stood beside me all through the fight as
our men went down,That tall, blue grain in its long swaths lying, hiding the
earth where it had been brown. The cleft twigs dropped from the trees above us, cut by the
bullets which whistled there, And with labored breathing we clambered forward, mutter
ing sometimes a curse or prayer. Little Jack Two-Sticks, the company's drummer-you see
we had nicknames among the boysWas drumming away at my left, and helping to deaden the
shriek of those leaden toys. Jack was a lad, and a little fellow about the size of my young
est girl I had left at homne; eyes the same color, and hair that was
always trying to curl. “ Look at that boy!” the corporal shouted. “Look at that
little chap drumming away!” And we sort of smiled in each other's faces. “He takes it
as cool as if it was play!” And the powder-grimed face of the corporal softened, then
suddenly hardened, and down he fell. • What! Hunt, are you hit ? ” But he made no answer,
and I heard in the front the rebel yell, And our colonel shouting, “Charge bayonets, men !” I rushed
through the thicket to take my part, Leaving the corporal lying quiet with a minie-ball lodged
in his gallant heart. We fought and we won with the little handful left of our
brave old Company G. Our colonel dropped, half rose, and shouted,“ Follow them,
boys! Not a man stays with me.” But after the cannon had stopped their rattle, and after the
bullets had ceased their play, And we searched for our comrades, I heard the drumming
of little Jack Two-sticks far away. Queer that Jack wasn't up with the company, as the sharp
tattoo of his drum we heard, But it suddenly changed to a muffled long-roll, and five of
us started without a word And followed the sound through the Wilderness shadows.
There, with his back to a fallen tree, And six of his comrades dead around him, he was beating the long-roll for Company G.
Why, Jack, old chap, are you hurt?” we questioned; his
jacket was torn and the front was red. I thought of my girl as I watched him faintly beating the
long-roll there to the dead. “How did it go-who beat?” he whispered. “ We saved
the day at the last-we won!” Write to mother about it --" His hands fell lifeless, and
little Jack Two-sticks' drumming was done. The night came down with its blessed quiet, and I said a
prayer for my little girl, And the little chap in the darkness sleeping, with hair too
stiffened with blood to curl. But of all the sights that the Wilderness shadows were try
ing to hide as the smoke-clouds fled, The saddest of all was that little fellow beating the long
roll there for the dead.
THE CURATE'S STORY.–JEROME K. JEROME.
It was Christmas-eve! Christmas-eve at my uncle John's, in the dimly lighted front parlor, where the flickering fire-light threw strange shadows on the highly colored wall-paper, while without, in the wild street, the storm raged pitilessly, and the wind, like come unquiet spirit, flew, moaning, across the square, and passed, wailing with a troubled cry, round by the milk-shop.
We had had supper, and were sitting round, talking and smoking.
Aunt went to bed soon after supper, leaving the local curate, old Dr. Scrubbles, Mr. Samuel Coombes, our mem. ber of the County Council, Teddy Biffles, and myself to keep Uncle company. We agreed that it was too early to give in for some time yet, so Uncle brewed another bowl of punch ; and I think we all did justice to that, at least I know I did.
Uncle John told us a very funny story in the course of the evening. Oh, it was a funny story! I forget what it was about now, but I know it amused me very much at the time; I do not think I ever laughed so puch in all
life. It is strange that I cannot recol
lect that story too, because he told it to us four times. And it was entirely our own fault that he did not tell it us a fifth. After that, the Doctor sung a very clever song, in the course of which he imitated all the different animals in a farm-yard. He did mix them a bit. He brayed for the bantam cock, and crowed for the pig ; but we knew what he meant all right.
Oh, we did have such fun that evening!
And then, somehow or other, we must have got on to ghosts; because the next recollection I have is that we were telling ghost stories to each other.
Teddy Biffles told the first story. He called it Johnson and Emily; or, the Faithful Ghost. It made me cry very much, Biffles told it with so much feeling.
We had some more punch and then the curate told us a story. I could not make head or tail of the curate's story, so I cannot retail it to you. We none of us could make head or tail of that story. It was a good story enough, so far as material went. There seemed to be an enormous amount of plot and enough incident to have made a dozen novels. I should suppose
human being our curate had ever known or met or heard of was brought into that story. There were simply hundreds of them. Every five seconds he would introduce a completely fresh collection of characters, accompanied by a brand-new set of incidents.
This was the sort of story it was :
"Well, then, my uncle went into the garden and got his gun, but, of course, it wasn't there, and Scrogging said he didn't believe it."
“ Didn't believe what? Who's Scroggins ? '
“Scroggins! Oh, why, he was the other man, you know-it was his wife.” “What was his wife—what's she got to do with it?”
Why, that's what I'm telling you. It was she that found the hat. She'd come up with her cousin to London-her cousin was my sister-in-law and the other niece
had married a man named Evans, and Evans, when it was all over, had taken the box round to Mr. Jacobs because Jacobs's father had seen the man when he was alive, and when he was dead, Joseph
“Now look here, never you mind Evans and the box; what's become of your uncle and the gun 1?”
The gun! What gun ?” “Why, the gun your uncle used to keep in the garden, and that wasn't there. What did he do with it? Did he kill any of these people with it—these Jacobses and Evanses and Scrogginses and Josephses ? Because, if so, it was a good and useful work, and we should enjoy hearing about it."
No-oh, no- -how could he? He had been built up alive in the wall, you know, and when Edward IV. spoke to the abbot about it any sister said that in her then state of health she could not. So they christened Horatio, after her own son, who had been killed at Waterloo before he was born, and Lord Napier himself said —"
“Look here, do you know what you are talking about ?" we asked him at this point.
He said no, but he knew it was every word of it true, because his aunt had seen it herself. Whereupon we covered him over with the table-cloth and he went to sleep.
- Told after Supper.
THE EVERLASTING MEMORIAL.-HORATIUA BONAR. Up and away, like the dew of the morning,
That soars from the earth to its home in the sun;
Only remembered by what I have done.
The brief race of time well and patiently run,
Only remembered by what I have done. Gladly away from this toil would I hasten,
Up to the crown that for me has been won;
Onthought of by man in rewards or in praises
Only remembered by what I have done. Up and away, like the odors of sunset,
That sweeten the twilight as darkness comes on; 6o be my life,-a thing felt but not noticed,
And I but remembered by what I have done. Yes, like the fragrance that wanders in darkness When the flowers that it came from are closed up
and gone, So I would be to this world's weary dwellers,
Only remembered by what I have done.
The name and the epitaph graven on stone ?
We ourselves but remembered by what we have done. I need not be missed, if my life has been bearing
(As its summer and autumn moved silently on) 'The bloom, and the fruit, and the seed of its season;
I shall still be remembered by what I have done. I need not be missed if another succeed me
To reap down those fields which in spring I have sown; He who ploughed and who sowed is not missed by the reaper,
He is only remembered by what he has done.
Not myself, but the seed that in life I have sown,
Save the truth I have spoken, the things I have done. So let my living be, so be my dying;
So let my name lie, unblazoned, unknown; Unpraised and unmissed, I shall still be remembered,
Yes—but remembered by what I have done.
BILLY'S ROSE.-GEORGE R. SIMs.* Billy's dead, and gone to glory-so is Billy's sister Nell: There's a tale I know about them, were I poet I would tell ; Soft it comes, with perfume laden, like a breath of country
air Wafted down the filthy alley, bringing fragrant odors there.
*Author of "The Life-boat,” “The Old Actor's Story,” “In the Harbor," * The Ticket O' Losve," and other famous Readings in previous Numben.