Kincaid's Battery eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 307 pages of information about Kincaid's Battery.

“Yet the man who gets her,” said Greenleaf, “ought to be a soldier in every drop of his blood.  You don’t know her yet; but you soon will, and I’m glad.”

“Now, why so?  I can’t ever please her enough to be pleased with her.  I’m too confounded frivolous!  I love nonsense, doggon it, for its own sake!  I love to get out under a sky like this and just reel and whoop in the pure joy of standing on a world that’s whirling round!”

“But you do please her.  She’s told me so.”

“Don’t you believe her!  I don’t.  I can’t.  I tell you, Fred, I could never trust a girl that forever looks so trustworthy!  S’pose I should fall in love with her!  Would you—­begrudge her to me?”

“I bequeath her to you.”

“Ah! you know I haven’t the ghost of a chance!  She’s not for po’ little Hil’ry.  I never did like small women, anyhow!”

“My boy!  If ever you like this one she’ll no more seem small than the open sea.”

“I suppose,” mused Hilary, “that’s what makes it all the harder to let go.  If a girl has a soul so petty that she can sit and hear you through to the last word your heart can bleed, you can turn away from her with some comfort of resentment, as if you still had a remnant of your own stature.”

“Precisely!” said the lover.  “But when she’s too large-hearted to let you speak, and yet answers your unspoken word, once for all, with a compassion so modest that it seems as if it were you having compassion on her, she’s harder to give up than—­”

“Doggon her, Fred, I wouldn’t give her up!”

“Ah, this war, Hilary!  I may never see her again.  There’s just one man in this world whom—­”

“Oh, get out!”

“I mean what I say.  To you I leave her.”

“Ha, ha!  No, you don’t!  It’s only to her you leave me.  Old boy, promise me!  If you ever come back and she’s still in the ring, you’ll go for her again no matter who else is bidding, your humble servant not excepted.”

“Why—­yes—­I—­I promise that.  Now, will you promise me?”

“What! let myself—?”

“Yes.”

“Ho-o, not by a jug-full!  If ever I feel her harpoon in me I’ll fight like a whale!  But I promise you this, and warn you, too:  That when it comes to that, a whole platoon of Fred Greenleafs between her and me won’t make a pinch of difference.”

To that Greenleaf agreed, and the subject was changed.  With shipping ever on their left and cotton-yards and warehouses for tobacco and for salt on their right their horses’ feet clinked leisurely over the cobble pavements, between thousands of cotton-bales headed upon the unsheltered wharves and only fewer thousands on the narrow sidewalks.

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Kincaid's Battery from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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