Kincaid's Battery eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 413 pages of information about Kincaid's Battery.

He was a stranger and an enemy, whose hurried speech was stealthy and whose eyes went spying here and there, but so might it be just then somewhere with him for whom she yet clung to life.  For that one’s sake, and more than half in dream, she gave the sufferer her support, and with a brow knit in anguish, but with the fire of battle still in his wasting blood, he rose, fitfully explaining the conditions of the place and hour.  To cover a withdrawal of artillery from an outer to an inner work a gray line had unexpectedly charged, and as it fell back with its guns, hotly pressed, a part of the fight had swung down into and half across this ravine, for which another struggle was furiously preparing on both sides, but which, for him, in the interval, was an open way of deliverance if she would be his crutch.

In equal bewilderment of thought and of outer sense, pleadingly assured that she would at once be sent back under flag of truce, with compassion deepening to compulsion and with a vague inkling that, failing the white flag, this might be heaven’s leading back to Callender House and the jewel treasure, to Mobile and to Hilary, she gave her aid.  Beyond the thicket the way continued tangled, rough and dim.  Twice and again the stricken man paused for breath and ease from torture, though the sounds of array, now on two sides, threatened at every step to become the cry of onset.  Presently he stopped once more, heaved, swayed and, despite her clutch, sank heavily to the ground.

“Water!” he gasped, but before she could touch the canteen to his lips he had fainted.  She sprinkled his face, but he did not stir.  She gazed, striving for clear thought, and then sprang up and called.  What word?  Ah, what in all speech should she call but a name, the name of him whose warrant of marriage lay at that moment in her bosom, the name of him who before God and the world had sworn her his mated, life-long protection?

“Hilary!” she wailed, and as the echoes of the green wood died, “Hilary!” again.  On one side there was more light in the verdure than elsewhere and that way she called.  That way she moved stumblingly and near the edge of a small clear space cried once more, “Hilary!...  Hilary!”



Faintly the bearer of that name heard the call; heard it rise from a quarter fearfully nearer the foe’s line than to his; caught it with his trained ear as, just beyond sight of Irby, Miranda, and others, he stood in amazed converse with Flora Valcour.  Fortune, smiling on Flora yet, had brought first to her the terrified funeral group and so had enabled her to bear to Hilary the news of the strange estrayal, skilfully blended with that revelation of Anna’s Vicksburg sojourn which she, Flora, had kept from him so cleverly and so long.

With mingled rapture and distress, with a heart standing as still as his feet, as still as his lifted head and shining eyes, he listened and heard again.  Swiftly, though not with the speed he would have chosen, he sprang toward the call; sped softly through the brush, softly and without voice, lest he draw the enemy’s fire; softly and mutely, with futile backward wavings and frowning and imploring whispers to Flora as in a dishevelled glow that doubled her beauty she glided after him.

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Kincaid's Battery from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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