After that Alice confided her experiments to the open fields, where she could see whatever was in danger, and Harney, galloping up and down the pike, stirring up dissension and scattering his opinions broadcast through the country, saw her more than once at her occupation, smiling grimly as he muttered to himself: “It’s possible I may try a hand with you at shooting some day, my fair Yankee miss.”
Blacker, and darker, and thicker the war clouds gathered on our horizon, but our story has little to do with that first year of carnage, when human blood was poured as freely as water, from the Cumberland to the Potomac. Over all that we pass, and open the scene again in the summer of ’62, when people were gradually waking to the fact that Richmond was not so easily taken, or the South so easily conquered.
There had been a desertion from a regiment on the Potomac. An officer of inferior rank, but whose position had been such as to make him the possessor of much valuable information, and whose perfect loyalty had been for some time suspected, was missing from his command one morning, and under such circumstances as to leave little doubt that his intention was to reach the enemy’s lines if possible. Long and loud were the invectives against the traitor, and none were deeper in their denunciations than Captain Hugh Worthington, as, seated on his fiery war horse, Rocket, he heard from Irving Stanley the story of Dr. Richards’ disgrace.
“He should be pursued, brought back, and shot!” he said, emphatically, feeling that he would like much to be one of the pursuers, already on the track of the treacherous doctor, who skillfully eluded them all, and just at the close of a warm summer day, when afar, in his New England home, his Sister Anna was reading, with an aching heart, the story of his disgrace, he sat in the shadow of the Virginia woods, weary, footsore and faint with the pain caused from his ankle, sprained by a recent fall.
He had hunted for Adah until entirely discouraged, and partly as a panacea for the remorse preying so constantly upon him, and partly in compliance with Anna’s entreaties, he had at last joined the Federal army, and been sworn in with the full expectation of some lucrative office. But his unlucky star was in the ascendant. Stories derogatory to his character were set afloat, and the final result of the whole was that he found himself enrolled in a company where he knew he was disliked, and under a captain whom he thoroughly detested, for the fraud practiced upon himself. In this condition he was sent to the Potomac, and while on duty as a picket, grew to be on the most friendly terms with more than one of the enemy, planning at last to desert, and effecting his escape one stormy night, when the watch were off their guard. Owing to some mistake, the aid promised by his Rebel friends had not been