‘Thought you were dead long ago,’ it said.
‘No, no,’ I answered, ’I’m alive — I know I’m alive — this is the battlefield.
‘’Fraid I ain’t goin’ t’ live,’ he said. ’Got a terrible wound. Wish it was morning.’
‘Dark long?’ I asked.
‘For hours,’ he answered. ‘Dunno how many.’
He began to groan and utter short prayers.
’O, my soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning,’ I heard him cry in a loud, despairing voice.
Then there was a bit of silence, in which I could hear him whispering of his home and people.
Presently he began to sing:
’Guide me, O thou great Jehovah!
Pilgrim through this barren land
I am weak but thou art mighty’
His voice broke and trembled and sank into silence.
I had business of my own to look after — perhaps I had no time to lose — and I went about it calmly. I had no strength to move and began to feel the nearing of my time. The rain was falling faster. It chilled me to the marrow as I felt it trickling over my back. I called to the man who lay beside me — again and again I called to him — but got no answer. Then I knew that he was dead and I alone. Long after that in the far distance I heard a voice calling. It rang like a trumpet in the still air. It grew plainer as I listened. My own name! William Brower? It was certainly calling to me, and I answered with a feeble cry. In a moment I could hear the tramp of someone coming. He was sitting beside me presently, whoever it might be. I could not see him for the dark. His tongue went clucking as if he pitied me.
‘Who are you?’ I remember asking, but got no answer.
At first I was glad, then I began to feel a mighty horror of him.