“Did Jones share your grateful sentiment?”
“I think he did. To spare you agitation, he set out at once alone, in order that you might be relieved of all responsibility.”
“Ah!” And Elisha Boone sank far back in the cushion. The carriage stopped in front of Willard’s; then he said: “I shall remain here now. I will order the driver to take you home. Come to me as often as you can.” He kissed her in the old friendly way and hurried into the hotel.
On reaching her lodgings she found a telegram waiting her. It read: “Jones gone South. He will advise you of his movements. ELKINS.”
THE LOST CARIBEES.
Meanwhile war, in one of its grim humors, had prepared a comedy when the stage was set in tragic trappings. In the withdrawal of Johnston’s army from Manassas—signalized in history as the Quaker campaign, because our army found wooden guns in the deserted works—that ardent young Hotspur, Vincent Atterbury, ran upon a disagreeable end to a very charming adventure. In chivalric bravado, to emphasize the fact that the withdrawal of the Confederates was merely strategic, not forced, the young man, with a lively company of horsemen, hungering for excitement, formed themselves into a defiant rear-guard. The Union outposts, never suspecting that Johnston’s army was not behind the enterprising cavalry, withdrew prudently to the main forces.
Then, when they were convinced that the little band was merely on an audacious lark, forces were sent out on either flank, while the main body feigned the disorder of retreat. The result was, that Vincent’s squadron was handsomely entrapped, and in the savage contest that ensued the intrepid major was hustled from his horse with a dislocated shoulder and broken wrist. He was brought, with a half-dozen more of his dare-devil comrades, into the Union lines, and in the course of time found himself in the hideous shambles allotted rebel prisoners at Point Lookout, Maryland. Too weak at first, or too confused, to bethink himself of his Northern friends, Vincent shared the hard usage of his companions and resigned himself patiently to the slow procedure of exchange, which was now going on regularly, since the Union victories in the West and South had given the Northern authorities ten prisoners to the Southerners’ one. The prospect of his own release was, under these circumstances, rather distant, as without special intervention he would have to await his turn, the rule being that those first captured were first exchanged. He knew that his family’s influence and his own intimacy with General Johnston would probably hasten the release, but he could not count upon an immediate return to his duties, and in view of this he was not very reluctant to undergo convalescence in the North.