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      The reasons were obvious; Harry was essentially of a loving and dependent nature, whereas Reuben seemed equally indifferent to caresses or commands. He was not a bad son, but he never appeared to want affection, and was always immersed in dark affairs of his own. Besides, Harry was a beautiful boy. Though only a year[Pg 19] younger than Reuben, in the midst of the awkward age, his growing limbs quite lacked the coltishness of his brother's. He was like Reuben, but with all the little variations that make the difference between good and ordinary looks. Just as he had Reuben's promising body without that transitory uncouthness so natural to his years, so he had Reuben's face, more softly chiselled, more expressive and full of fire. His brows were lighter, his eyes larger, his hair less shiny and tough, growing in a soft sweep from his forehead, with the faintest hint of a curl at his ears. Neighbours spoke of him as "beautiful Harry." Reuben pondered him occasionallyhe would have liked to know his brother better, liked to love him, but somehow could never quite manage it. In spite of his clinging nature, there was something about Harry that was unhuman, almost elfin. The father and mother did not seem to notice this, but Reuben felt it, scarcely knowing how or why."Outrageously tyrannical and despotic," answered Billings hotly. "But jest what you might expect from these Abolition satraps, who're throttlin' our liberties. A white man's no longer got any rights in this country that these military upstarts is bound to respect. But I'm obeyin' the order till I kin git an appeal from it."

      "It means that you and your precious gang have to go down to Provo' Headquarters at once," answered the Lieutenant. "And no words about it. Forward, march, now.""No," said the conductor, who came back at that moment; "I can't go no further with you. Just got my orders. You must pile right out here at once. They want the engine and empties in five minutes to take a load back to Nashville. Git your men out quick as you kin."

      That autumn he had sown his oats. He sowed English Berlie, after wavering for some time between that and Barbachlaw. Quantities of rape cake had been delivered in the furrows with the seed, and now the fields lay, to the eye, wet and nakedto the soul, to Reuben's farmer-soul, full of the hidden promise which should sprout with May.

      Her voice was so low that Cadnan could barely hear it, but the words were like sharp stones, stabbing fear into his body. For the first time, he saw clearly exactly what she was driving at. And after a long pause, she spoke again.

      "You learn fast," he said, when work was finally over. He felt both tired and tense, but the thought of relaxation ahead kept him nearly genial.


      "Co. Q, Two Hundred Injianny


      "Then some o' them smarties found out that Scruggs was stuck on his spouting. Seems that he was the star declaimer in his school. They laid it in to him that I was soft on hearing poetry spouted, especially after night, when the moon was up, and everything quiet in camp, and that I was particularly tender on 'Bingen on the Rhine.' You know that if there is anything I'm dead sore on it's that sniveling rot. There used to be a pasty-faced boy in school that'd wail that out, and set all the girls to bawling. Then they gave us an entertainment just before we left, and all the girls were there, and Pasty-Face he must be the star attraction. He wailed out his condemned old There-was-a-soldier-of-the Legionlaying-i-n-Algiers, and all the girls looked at us as if we were already dead, and they'd better look out for new beaux. My own particular geranium did not lose any time, but married another feller before we got to Stone River. That made me hate the blasted caterwaul worse'n ever. Then that white-eyed, moon-struck Alfonso used to be yowling it at every chance, until he went to the hospital, and he got all the rest so that they were sputtering rags and tags of it. But I've been sorer than a bile on the condemned sick calfishness ever since I brung my chum Jim Bridgewater off the field at Chickamauga, and watched him die as the moon rose, back there at McFarland Gap. Well, what do these smarties do but fill up Scruggs with the idea that the best way to make himself forever solid with me was to stroll down close to my tent and casually let off 'Bingen on the Rhine' in his best style. I'd just got down to work on them pesky pay-rolls, having kept Monaghan two days in the guard-house, so's to be sure that he'd be sober enough to help meand you know Monaghan's lightning with the pen when he's soberwhen that possessed sap-sucker Scruggs began blatting out 'Bingen on the Rhine' till you could hear him down to the Colonel's quarters. It made me so mad that I knocked over the ink as I jumped up, and spoiled the triplicate rolls that we'd got about half made out. I snatched up a club to simply mash the bawling brat, but they got him away before I could reach 'im. They explained to Scruggs afterward that I was subject to fits whenever the moon was in her last quarter, and they'd forgotten to look at the almanac that evening. O, but I'll soak 'em for that yet."His work had made him splendid. His skin was the colour of the soil he tilled, a warm ruddy brown, his hair was black, growing low on the forehead, and curling slightly behind the ears. The moulding of his neck and jaw, his eyes, dark, bright, and not without laughter in them, his teeth, big, white, and pointed, like an animal'sall spoke of clean and vigorous manhood. He was now unmistakably a finer specimen than Harry. Harry had lost to a great measure his good looks. Not only had the vacancy of his face robbed it of much of its attractionfor more beautiful than shape or colouring or feature had been the free spirit that looked out of his eyesbut his constant habit of making hideous grimaces had worked it into lines, while the scar of his burning sometimes showed across his cheek. Add to this a stoop and a shambling gait, and it is no longer "Beautiful Harry," nor even the ghost of him, so much as some changeling, some ill-done counterfeit image, set up by vindictive nature in his stead.


      "The Great Elder wishes our obedience to the masters.