'We shall take shelter behind the outer steel stockade of the depository, Mr Midnight. All personnel will wear earplugs. There may be minor damage to some of the trucks, but that hazard must be accepted.'
'Un banco de trente-deux millions.'
Before this appointment of General-in-chief was given to General Grant, and he came to the East to take charge of the armies in Virginia, he had brought to a successful conclusion a dramatic campaign, of which Chattanooga was the centre. In September, 1863, General Rosecrans, who had occupied Chattanooga, was defeated some twenty miles to the south on the field of Chickamauga, a defeat which was the result of too much confidence on the part of the Federal commander, who in pressing his advance had unwisely separated the great divisions of his army, and of excellent skill and enterprise on the part of the Confederate commander, General Bragg. If the troops of Rosecrans had not been veterans, and if the right wing had not been under the immediate command of so sturdy and unconquered a veteran as General Thomas, the defeat might have become a rout. As it was, the army retreated with some discouragement but in good fighting force, to the lines of Chattanooga. By skilful disposition of his forces across the lines of connection between Chattanooga and the base of supplies, General Bragg brought the Federals almost to the point of starvation, and there was grave risk that through the necessary falling back of the army to secure supplies, the whole advantage of the previous year's campaign might be lost. Grant was placed in charge of the forces in Chattanooga, and by a good management of the resources available, he succeeded in reopening the river and what became known as "the cracker line," and in November, 1863, in the dramatic battles of Lookout Mountain, fought more immediately by General Hooker, and of Missionary Ridge, the troops of which were under the direct command of General Sherman, overwhelmed the lines of Bragg, and pressed his forces back into a more or less disorderly retreat. An important factor in the defeat of Bragg was the detaching from his army of the corps under Longstreet which had been sent to Knoxville in a futile attempt to crush Burnside and to reconquer East Tennessee for the Confederacy. This plan, chiefly political in purpose, was said to have originated with President Davis. The armies of the West were now placed under the command of General Sherman, and early in 1864, Grant was brought to Virginia to take up the perplexing problem of overcoming the sturdy veterans of General Lee.
Charles. Give me the slip then, and I will give them the slip! quick, quick, and the cloak and hood.
'In the name of Heaven,' said Miss Betsey, suddenly, 'why Rookery?'
Bond asked the huissier for a card and wrote on it, under a neat question mark, the remaining numbers, 2, 4, 5, 8, 10, and asked the huissier to give it to the chef de partie.
So it has been with many novelists, who, after some good work, perhaps after very much good work, have distressed their audience because they have gone on with their work till their work has become simply a trade with them. Need I make a list of such, seeing that it would contain the names of those who have been greatest in the art of British novel-writing? They have at last become weary of that portion of a novelist’s work which is of all the most essential to success. That a man as he grows old should feel the labour of writing to be a fatigue is natural enough. But a man to whom writing has become a habit may write well though he be fatigued. But the weary novelist refuses any longer to give his mind to that work of observation and reception from which has come his power, without which work his power cannot be continued — which work should be going on not only when he is at his desk, but in all his walks abroad, in all his movements through the world, in all his intercourse with his fellow-creatures. He has become a novelist, as another has become a poet, because he has in those walks abroad, unconsciously for the most part, been drawing in matter from all that he has seen and heard. But this has not been done without labour, even when the labour has been unconscious. Then there comes a time when he shuts his eyes and shuts his ears. When we talk of memory fading as age comes on, it is such shutting of eyes and ears that we mean. The things around cease to interest us, and we cannot exercise our minds upon them. To the novelist thus wearied there comes the demand for further novels. He does not know his own defect, and even if he did he does not wish to abandon his own profession. He still writes; but he writes because he has to tell a story, not because he has a story to tell. What reader of novels has not felt the “woodenness” of this mode of telling? The characters do not live and move, but are cut out of blocks and are propped against the wall. The incidents are arranged in certain lines — the arrangement being as palpable to the reader as it has been to the writer — but do not follow each other as results naturally demanded by previous action. The reader can never feel — as he ought to feel — that only for that flame of the eye, only for that angry word, only for that moment of weakness, all might have been different. The course of the tale is one piece of stiff mechanism, in which there is no room for a doubt.
'Fine way for one of my top men to spend his time.' The sarcasm in Ad's voice was weary, resigned. 'All right. Go ahead. But if what you say is right, you'd better see that you beat him. What's your cover story?'
God help me, I might have been improved for my whole life, I might have been made another creature perhaps, for life, by a kind word at that season. A word of encouragement and explanation, of pity for my childish ignorance, of welcome home, of reassurance to me that it was home, might have made me dutiful to him in my heart henceforth, instead of in my hypocritical outside, and might have made me respect instead of hate him. I thought my mother was sorry to see me standing in the room so scared and strange, and that, presently, when I stole to a chair, she followed me with her eyes more sorrowfully still - missing, perhaps, some freedom in my childish tread - but the word was not spoken, and the time for it was gone.