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IX THE MONTJOY BLOOD AGAIN A MONTH later Dan heard of Virginia's death when, at the end of the Seven Days, he was brought wounded into Richmond. As he lay upon church cushions on the floor of an old warehouse on Main Street, with Big Abel shaking a tattered palm-leaf fan at his side, a cavalryman came up to him and held out a hand that trembled slightly from fatigue . "I heard you were here. Can I do anything for you, Beau?" he asked. For an instant Dan hesitated; then the other smiled, and he recognized Jack ]\1:orson. "My God! You've been ill!" he exclaimed in horror. Jack laughed and let his hand fall. The boyish colour was gone from his face, and he wore an untrimmed beard which made him look twice his age. " Never bf".ter in my life," he answered shortly. "Some men are made of india-rubber, Montjoy, and I'm one of them. I've managed to get into most of these blessed fights about Richmond, and yet I haven't so much as a pin prick to show for it. But what's wrong with you? Not much, I hope. I've just seen Bland, and he told me he thought you were left at Malvern Hill during that hard rain on 368 The Montjoy Blood Again 369 Tuesday night. How did you get knocked over, anyway? " " A rifle ball went through my leg," replied Dan impatiently. "I say, Big Abel, can't you flirt that fan a little faster? These confounded flies stick like molasses." Then he held up his left hand and looked at it with a grim smile. "A nasty fragment of a shell took off a couple of my fingers," he added. "At first I thought they had begun throwing hornets' nests from their guns - it felt just like it. Yes, that's the worst with me so far; I've still got a bone to my leg, and I'll be on the field again before long, thank God." " Well, the worst thing about getting wounded is being stuffed into a hole like this," returned Jack, 6"lancing about contemptuously. "Whoever has had the charge of our hospital arrangements may congratulate himself that he has made a ghastly mess of them. Why, I found a man over there in the comer whose leg had mortified from sheer neglect, and he told me that the supplies for the sick had given out, and they'd offered him cornbread and bacon for breakfast." Dan began to toss restlessly, grumbling beneath his breath. "If you ever see a ball making in your direction," he advised, "dodge it clean or take it square in the mouth; don't go in for any compromises with a gun, they aren't worth it." He lay silent for a moment, and then spoke proudly. "Big Abel hauled me off the field after I went down. How he found me, God only knows, but find me he did, and under fire, too." " 'Twuz des like pepper," remarked Big Abel, fan2B 370 The Battle-Ground ning briskly, "but soon es I heah dat Marse Dan wuz right flat on de groun', I know dat dar warn' nobody ter go atter 'im 'cep'n' me. Marse Bland he come crawlin' out er de bresh, wuckin' 'long on his stomick same es er mole, wid his face like a rabbit w'en de dawgs are 'mos' upon 'im, en he sez hard es flint, 'Beau he's down over yonder, en I tried ter pull 'im out, Big Abel, 'fo' de Lawd I did!' Den he drap right ter de yerth, en I des stop long enough ter put a tin bucket on my haid 'fo' I began ter crawl atter Marse Dan. Whew! dat ar bucket hit sutney wuz a he'p, dat 'twuz, case I des hyeard de cawn a-poppin' all aroun' hit, en dey ain' never come thoo yit. "Well, suh, w'en I h'ist dat bucket ter git a good look out dar dey wuz a-fittin' twel dey bus', adodgin ' in en out er de shucks er wheat dat dey done pile 'mos' up ter de haids. lain' teck but one good look, suh, den I drap de bucket down agin en keep a-crawlin' like Marse Bland tole me twel I git 'mos' ter de cawn fiel' dat run right spang up de hill whar de big guns...


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