Ramsey Milholland eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 120 pages of information about Ramsey Milholland.

“That’d be me, Grandpa.  That’s the way I’d do.”  And as the grandfather nodded, seeming to agree, a thought recently dismissed returned to the mind of the composite procession and he asked: 

“Well, why weren’t you ever afraid the Rebels would whip the Unions, Grandpa?”

“Oh, we knew they couldn’t.”

“I guess so.”  The little boy laughed disdainfully, thinking his question satisfactorily answered.  “I guess those ole Rebels couldn’t whipped a flea!  They didn’t know how to fight any at all, did they, Grandpa?”

“Oh, yes, they did!”

“What?” The boy was astounded.  “Weren’t they all just reg’lar ole cowards, Grandpa?”

“No,” said the grandfather.  “They were pretty fine soldiers.”

“They were?  Well, they ran away whenever you began shootin’ at ’em, didn’t they?”

“Sometimes they did, but most times they didn’t.  Sometimes they fought like wildcats—­and sometimes we were the ones that ran away.”

“What for?”

“To keep from getting killed, or maybe to keep from getting captured.”

“But the Rebels were bad men, weren’t they, Grandpa?”

“No.”

The boy’s forehead, customarily vacant, showed some little vertical shadows, produced by a struggle to think.  “Well, but—­” he began, slowly.  “Listen, Grandpa, listen here!”

“Well?”

“Listen!  Well, you said—­you said you never got scared the ole Rebels were goin’ to win.”

“They did win pretty often,” said the grandfather.  “They won a good many battles.”

“I mean, you said you never got scared they’d win the war.”

“No, we were never afraid of that.”

“Well, but if they were good men and fought like wildcats, Grandpa, and kep’ winning battles and everything, how could that be?  How could you help bein’ scared they’d win the war?”

The grandfather’s feeble eyes twinkled brightly.  “Why, we knew they couldn’t, Ramsey.”

At this, the little vertical shadows on Ramsey’s forehead became more pronounced, for he had succeeded in thinking.  “Well, they didn’t know they couldn’t, did they?” he argued.  “They thought they were goin’ to win, didn’t they?”

“Yes, I guess they did.  Up till toward the last, I suppose they probably did.  But you see they were wrong.”

“Well, but—­” Ramsey struggled.  “Listen!  Listen here, Grandpa!  Well, anyway, if they never got scared we’d win, and nobody got scared they’d win—­well, I don’t see—­”

“You don’t see what?”

But Ramsey found himself unable to continue his concentration; he slumped down upon the small of his back, and his brow relaxed to its more comfortable placidity, while his eyes wandered with a new butterfly fluttering over the irises that bordered the iron picket fence at the south side of the yard.  “Oh, nothin’ much,” he murmured.

“I see.”  And his grandfather laughed again.  “You mean:  If the Rebels felt just as sure of winning the war as we did, and kept winning battles why shouldn’t we ever have had any doubts that we were going to win?  That’s it, isn’t it?”

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Project Gutenberg
Ramsey Milholland from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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