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

The loss of their Mobile home, which also Madame had perfectly known since morning, was broken to them with less infelicity, though they would talk cheerily of the house as something which no evil ever would or could befall, until suddenly the girl said, “Grandma, dearest, that night air is not so pretty good for your rheum; we better pass inside,” and the old lady, insistently unselfish, moved a step within, leaving the other two on the balcony.  There, when the blow came at last, Flora’s melodious grievings were soon over, and her sweet reasonableness, her tender exculpation not alone of this dear friend but even of the silly fellows who had done the deed, and her queenly, patriotic self-obliteration, were more admirable than can be described.  Were, as one may say, good literature.  The grateful soldier felt shamed to find, most unaccountably, that Anna’s positively cruel reception of the same news somehow suited him better.  It was nearer his own size, he said to himself.  At any rate the foremost need now, on every account, was to be gone.  But as he rose Flora reminded him of “those few hundred gold?” Goodness! he had clean forgotten the thing.  He apologized for the liberty taken in leaving it with her, but—­“Oh!” she prettily interrupted, “when I was made so proud!”

Well, now he would relieve her and take it at once to a bank cashier who had consented to receive it at his house this very night.  She assured him its custody had given her no anxiety, for she had promptly passed it over to another!  He was privately amazed: 

“Oh—­o-oh—­oh, yes, certainly.  That was right!  To whom had she—?”

She did not say.  “Yes,” she continued, “she had at once thought it ought to be with some one who could easily replace it if, by any strange mishap—­flood, fire, robbery—­it should get lost.  To do which would to her be impossible if at Mobile her house—­” she tossed out her hands and dropped them pathetically.  “But I little thought, Captain Kincaid—­” she began a heart-broken gesture—­

“Now, Miss Flora!” the soldier laughingly broke out, “if it’s lost it’s lost and no one but me shall lose a cent for it!”

“Ah, that,” cried the girl, with tears in her voice, “’tis impossible!  ’Twould kill her, that mortification, as well as me, for you to be the loser!”

“Loser! mortification!” laughed Hilary.  “And what should I do with my mortification if I should let you, or her, be the loser?  Who is she, Miss Flora?  If I minded the thing, you understand, I shouldn’t ask.”

Flora shrank as with pain:  “Ah, you must not!  And you must not guess, for you will surely guess wrong!” Nevertheless she saw with joy that he had guessed Anna, yet she suffered chagrin to see also that the guess made him glad.  “And this you must make me the promise; that you never, never will let anybody know you have discover’ that, eh?”

“Oh, I promise.”

“And you must let her pay it me back—­that money—­and me pay it you.  ‘Twill be easy, only she mus’ have time to get the money, and without needing to tell anybody for why, and for why in gold.  Alas!  I could have kept that a secret had it not have been you are to go to-morrow morning”

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