Kincaid's Battery eBook

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

“No, you sha’n’t do that, either.”

She strove after it.  He held her off by an arm, but already his strength was failing.  “My God!” he groaned, “it’s you, Flora Valcour, who’ve killed me.  Oh, how did—­how did you—­was it accid’—­wasn’t it accident?  Fly!” He flung her loose.  “For your life, fly!  Oh, that gun!  Oh, God send it!  Fly!  Oh, Anna, Anna Callender!  Oh, your city, Flora Valcour, your own city!  Fly, poor child!  I’ll keep up the sham for you!”

Starting now here, now there, Flora wavered as he reeled to the broken wall and seized the trowel.  The knife dropped to the floor but he set foot on it, brandished the tool and began to sing: 

  “When I hands in my checks, O, my ladies—­”

A cry for help rang from Flora.  She darted for the door but was met by Greenleaf.  “Stay!” he repeated, and tone, hand, eye told her she was a prisoner.  He halted aghast at the crimson on her hands and brow, on Hilary’s, on Hilary’s lips and on the floor, and himself called, “Help here! a surgeon! help!” while Kincaid faced him gaily, still singing: 

  “Mighty little I espec’s, O, my ladies—­”

Stooping to re-exchange the tool for the weapon, the singer went limp, swayed, and as Greenleaf sprang to him, toppled over, lengthened out and relaxed on the arm of his foe and friend.  Wild-eyed, Flora swept to her knees beside him, her face and form all horror and affright, crying in a voice fervid and genuine as only truth can make it in the common run of us, “He di’n’ mean!  Oh, he di’n’ mean!  ‘Twas all accident!  He di’n’ mean!”

“Yes, Fred,” said Hilary.  “She—­she—­mere accident, old man.  Keep it mum.”  He turned a suffering brow to Flora:  “You’ll explain for me—­when”—­he gathered his strength—­“when the—­boat’s gone.”

The room had filled with officers asking “who, how, what?” “Did it himself, to cheat the gallows,” Madame heard one answer another as by some fortune she was let in.  She found Greenleaf chief in a group busy over the fallen man, who lay in Flora’s arms, deadly pale, yet with a strong man’s will in every lineament.

“Listen, Fred,” he was gasping.  “It’ll sound.  It’s got to!  Oh, it will!  One minute, Doctor, please.  My love and a city—­Fred, can’t some one look and see if—?”

From a lifted window curtain the young aide who had brought Anna to the house said, “Boat’s off.”

“Thank God!” panted Hilary.  “Oh, Fred, Fred, my girl and all!  Just a minute, Doctor,—­there!”

A soft, heavy boom had rolled over the land.  The pain-racked listener flamed for joy and half left the arms that held him:  “Oh, Fred, wasn’t that heaven’s own music?” He tried to finish his song: 

  “But whaheveh I is sent, dey mus’ undehstan’—­”

and swooned.

LXVII

MOBILE

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Project Gutenberg
Kincaid's Battery from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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