The Iron Game eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 420 pages of information about The Iron Game.
the kissing he underwent among the impulsive Jeannettes of the village, who had a vague notion that soldiers, like sailors, were indurated for battle by adosculation.  Jack may have believed this himself, for he took no pains to disabuse the maidens as to the inefficacy of the rite, and bore with galliard fortitude the wear and tear of the nascent mustache, without which, to his mind, a soldier would figure very much as a monk without a shaven crown or a mandarin without a queue.  And though presently big Tom Tooker, chief of the rival faction in Acredale, gave his name to the recruiting officer in Warchester, and a score more of Jack’s rivals and cronies, he was the soldier of the village.  For hadn’t he given up the glory of graduation and the delights of “commencement” to take up his musket for the Union?  And then the fife was heard in the village street—­delicious airs from Arcady—­and a great flag was flung out from the post-office, and Master Jack was installed recruiting sergeant for Colonel Ulrich Oswald’s regiment, that was to be raised in Warchester County.  For Colonel Oswald, having failed in a third nomination for Congress, had gallantly proffered his services to the Governor of the State, and, in consideration of his influence with his German compatriots, had been granted a commission, though with reluctance, as he had supported the Democratic party and was not yet trusted in the Republican councils.

CHAPTER II.

Flag and faith.

If Acredale had not been for a century the ancestral seat of the Spragues, and in its widest sense typical of the suburban Northern town, there would be merely an objective and extrinsic interest in portraying its sequestered life, its monotonous activities.  But Acredale was not only a very complete reflex of Northern local sentiment; its war epoch represented the normal conduct of every hamlet in the land during the conflict with the South.  Now that the war is becoming a memory, even to those who were actors in it, the facts distorted and the incidents warped to serve partisan ends or personal pique, the photograph of the time may have its value.

Made up of thriving farmers and semi-retired city men, Acredale mingled the simple conditions of a country village and the easy refinement of city life.  The houses were large, the grounds ornate and ample, the society decorously convivial.  People could be fine—­at least they were thought very fine—­without going to the British isles to recast their home manners or take hints for the fashioning of their grounds and mansions.  There was what would be called to-day the English air about the place and some of the people; but it was an inheritance, not an imitation.  Save in the bustling business segment, abutting the four corners, where the old United States road bore off westward to Bucephalo and the lakes, the few score houses were set far back from the highway in a wilderness of shrubbery, secluded

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
The Iron Game from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook