“Lieutenant Robert Reynolds captured the first day of the battle.”
Afterward there came news that Andersonville was his destination, together with many others made prisoners that day.
“It is better than being shot, and a great deal better than being burned, as some of the poor wretches were,” Juno said, trying to comfort Bell, who doubted a little her sister’s word.
True, there was now the shadow of a hope that he might survive the horrors, the mere recital of which made the strongest heart shiver with dread; but the probabilities were all against it, and Bell’s face grew almost as white as Helen’s, while her eyes acquired that restless, watchful, anxious look which has crept into the eyes of so many sorrowing women, looking away to the southward, where the dear ones were languishing in the filthy rebel holes, unworthy the name of prison.
Morris had served out his time as surgeon in the army, had added to it an extra six months, and by his humanity, his skill and Christian kindness, made for himself a name which would be long remembered by the living to whom he had ministered so carefully, while many a dying soldier had blessed him for pointing out the way which leadeth to the life everlasting, and in many a mourning family his name was a household word for the good he had done to a dying son and brother. But Morris’ hospital work was over. He had gone a little too far, incurring too much risk, until his own strength had failed from long-continued toil, and now in the month of June, when Linwood was bright with the early summer blossoms, he was coming back, with health greatly impaired and a dark cloud before his vision, so that he could not see how beautiful his home was looking, or gaze into the faces of those who waited so anxiously to welcome again their beloved physician. Blind, some said he was, but the few lines sent to Helen announcing the day of his arrival contradicted that report. His eyes were very much diseased, his amanuensis wrote, but he trusted that the pure air of his native hills and the influence of old scenes and associations would soon effect a cure. If not too much trouble, he added, please see that the house is made comfortable, and have John meet me on Friday at the station.
Helen had just returned from New York, where she could not remain any longer, for the scenes of gayety in which she was sometimes compelled to mingle were utterly distasteful to her, and she longed for the seclusion of the farmhouse and the quiet there is among the hills. She was glad Morris was coming home, for he always did her good; he could comfort her better than any other, unless it were Katy, whose loving, gentle words of hope were very soothing to her.
“Poor Morris!” she sighed, as she finished his letter, and then took it to the family sitting upon the pleasant piazza, which, at Katy’s expense and her own, had been added to the house, overlooking Fairy Pond and the pleasant hills beyond.