I turned over on my side. He was asleep, breathing quietly, his head resting on his outflung left forearm, his right arm tucked under the pillow. Again the moon outside was bright. Red light filtered through the curtains, mixing the black shadows of his body with shining crimson highlights. I bent closely over him, breathing in his male-ness, longing to touch him, to run my hand down his sunburned back to where the brown became abruptly white where his summer bathing-trunks had been.
It took them an hour and a. half to cover the two miles and, by the time he collapsed in the dirt beside the cement highway, Bond was delirious. It was the girl who had got him there. But for her he would never have kept a straight course. He would have stumbled about amongst the cactus and rock and mica until his strength was exhausted and the broiling sun came to finish the job.
Reminding him of the fact, that Mr. Peggotty derived a steady, though certainly a very moderate income from the bequest of his late brother-in-law, I promised to do so. We then took leave of each other. I cannot leave him even now, without remembering with a pang, at once his modest fortitude and his great sorrow.
'Well, I've got pretty bad news for you. They're gaining on us and I've only got a couple of gallons left in the tank. We'll have to stop in Filisur. There won't be a garage open and it'll mean waking someone up. Can't hope to do it under ten minutes and they'll have us. You'll have to think up something clever.'
"Oh, excuse me, Sir Hugo," she said in a strangled voice.
'Mas'r Davy! It's Mas'r Davy!'
WESTSIDER PAUL GOLDBERGER
'Well!' retorted Mr. Peggotty. 'And ye steer with a rudder, don't ye? It ain't fur off. How is he, sir?'
'Whaddya know. Hey, Sam, better call the doc. This one's come round.'
At the close of the seven days' retreat, McClellan, who had with a magnificent army thrown away a series of positions, writes to Lincoln that he (Lincoln) "had sacrificed the army." In another letter, McClellan lays down the laws of a national policy with a completeness and a dictatorial utterance such as would hardly have been justified if he had succeeded through his own military genius in bringing the War to a close, but which, coming from a defeated general, was ridiculous enough. Lincoln's correspondence with McClellan brings out the infinite patience of the President, and his desire to make sure that before putting the General to one side as a vainglorious incompetent, he had been allowed the fullest possible test. Lincoln passes over without reference and apparently without thought the long series of impertinent impersonalities of McClellan. In this correspondence, as in all his correspondence, the great captain showed himself absolutely devoted to the cause he had in mind. Early in the year, months before the Peninsular campaign, when McClellan had had the army in camp for a series of months without expressing the least intention of action, Lincoln had in talking with the Secretary of War used the expression: "If General McClellan does not want to use the army just now, I would like to borrow it for a while." That was as far as the Commander-in-chief ever went in criticism of the General in the field. While operations in Virginia, conducted by a vacillating and vainglorious engineer officer, gave little encouragement, something was being done to advance the cause of the union in the West. In 1862, a young man named Grant, who had returned to the army and who had been trusted with the command of a few brigades, captured Fort Donelson and thus opened the Tennessee River to the advance of the army southward. The capture of Fort Donelson was rendered possible by the use of mortars and was the first occasion in the war in which mortars had been brought to bear. I chanced to come into touch with the record of the preparation of the mortars that were supplied to Grant's army at Cairo. Sometime in the nineties I was sojourning with the late Abram S. Hewitt at his home in Ringwood, New Jersey. I noticed, in looking out from the piazza, a mortar, properly mounted on a mortar-bed and encompassed by some yards of a great chain, placed on the slope overlooking the little valley below, as if to protect the house. I asked my host what was the history of this piece of ordnance. "Well," he said, "the chain you might have some personal interest in. It is a part of the chain your great-uncle Israel placed across the river at West Point for the purpose of blocking or at least of checking the passage of the British vessels. The chain was forged here in the Ringwood foundry and I have secured a part of it as a memento. The mortar was given to me by President Lincoln, as also was the mortar-bed." This report naturally brought out the further question as to the grounds for the gift. "I made this mortar-bed," said Hewitt, "together with some others, and Lincoln was good enough to say that I had in this work rendered a service to the State. It was in December, 1861, when the expedition against Fort Donelson and Fort Henry was being organised at Fort Cairo under the leadership of General Grant. Grant reported that the field-pieces at his command would not be effective against the earthworks that were to be shelled and made requisition for mortars." The mortar I may explain to my unmilitary readers is a short carronade of large bore and with a comparatively short range. The mortar with a heavy charge throws its missile at a sharp angle upwards, so that, instead of attempting to go through an earthwork, it is thrown into the enclosure. The recoil from a mortar is very heavy, necessitating the construction of a foundation called a mortar-bed which is not only solid but which possesses a certain amount of elasticity through which the shock of the recoil is absorbed. It is only through the use of such a bed that a mortar can be fired from the deck of a vessel. Without such, protection, the shock would smash through the deck and might send the craft to the bottom. 2020-07-04 13:23:57