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      The prisoners had been watching the Captain and his men with greatest anxiety. They now saw Si with his squad take the 'Squire. Mrs. Bolster and Hackberry off to one side, while the Captain placed the remainder of the prisoners in the center of his company and started back to camp with them.227

      "I only wish old Bragg wasn't of sich a retirin' nature," lazily commented Shorty. "The shade o' this tree is good enough for me. I don't want to ever leave it. Why couldn't he've waited for me, and we could've had it out here, coolly and pleasantly, and settled which was the best man! The thing' d bin over, and each feller could've gone about his business."

      Shorty muttered some very warm words under his breath, but discipline asserted itself, and he answered respectfully:

      "Now, all git on," said Shorty. "Be careful not to push it away.""Yes," grumbled Shorty, "and we'll jest git there in time to see them Illinoy Suckers hog everything. You kin see 'em limberin' up and preparing to git. Just our dumbed luck."

      Shorty suddenly bethought him of his blouse, in the pocket of which was the precious letter. He felt for it. It was gone. He was stunned.

      "Can't do hit when hit's rainin' an they're runnin' over thar banks.""You'll all raise your right hands," said Si, opening the book. "Place your left on this book, and repeat the words after that man there, givin' your own names." Si was as solemn about it as he believed everyone should be at such a ceremony. Hackberry and Mrs. Bolster were not sure which were their right hands, but Si finally got them started, and Tom Welch repeated slowly and impressively:


      "What's happened, Shorty?" inquired Si, as they all roused themselves and gathered around."The thunder you do," said Si in amazement.


      "SHELBYVILLE ONLY 10 MILES AWAY.""What is it she wants?" inquired the Major.


      "Well, he ain't a mite sheepish when there's serious business on hand," returned the father. "And next to ourselves, he's the best friend your brother has."He found abundant evidence of all that he, Si and Shorty had believed of it. It was a rendezvous for spies, both great and smallboth those, like Mrs. Bolster, who infested our camps, and got news of whatever was going on there, and those who operated on a larger scale, passing directly from the Headquarters of the rebels to the Headquarters of ours, and to the rear, and the sources of information at Nashville and Louisville. It was an important station on the route for smuggling gun-caps, quinine, medicines and other contraband from the North. Quantities of these were there waiting to be forwarded. As the source of the fighting whisky introduced into the camp of the 200th Ind. too much was known of it to require any further information. And it was more than probable that it was the scene of darker crimesunion soldiers lured thither under some pretext, murdered and robbed.