YesyesI tell yehIll take care of yeh, Jim! protested the youth. He could not speak accurately because of the gulpings in his throat.
But the tall soldier continued to beg in a lowly way. He now hung babelike to the youths arm. His eyes rolled in the wildness of his terror. I was allus a good friend t yeh, want I, Henry? Ive allus been a pretty good feller, aint I? An it aint much t ask, is it? Jest t pull me along outer th road? Id do it fer you, wouldnt I, Henry?
He paused in piteous anxiety to await his friends reply.
The youth had reached an anguish where the sobs scorched him. He strove to express his loyalty, but he could only make fantastic gestures.
However, the tall soldier seemed suddenly to forget all those fears. He became again the grim, stalking specter of a soldier. He went stonily forward. The youth wished his friend to lean upon him, but the other always shook his head and strangely protested. Nononoleave me beleave me be
His look was fixed again upon the unknown. He moved with mysterious purpose, and all of the youths offers he brushed aside. Nonoleave me beleave me be
The youth had to follow.
Presently the latter heard a voice talking softly near his shoulder. Turning he saw that it belonged to the tattered soldier. Yed better take im outa th road, pardner. Theres a battry comin helitywhoop down th road an hell git runned over. Hes a goner anyhow in about five minutesyeh kin see that. Yed better take im outa th road. Where th blazes does he git his strenth from?
Lord knows! cried the youth. He was shaking his hands helplessly.
He ran forward presently and grasped the tall soldier by the arm. Jim! Jim! he coaxed, come with me.
The tall soldier weakly tried to wrench himself free. Huh, he said vacantly. He stared at the youth for a moment. At last he spoke as if dimly comprehending. Oh! Inteh th fields? Oh!
He started blindly through the grass.
The youth turned once to look at the lashing riders and jouncing guns of the battery. He was startled from this view by a shrill outcry from the tattered man.
Gawd! Hes runnin!
Turning his head swiftly, the youth saw his friend running in a staggering and stumbling way toward a little clump of bushes. His heart seemed to wrench itself almost free from his body at this sight. He made a noise of pain. He and the tattered man began a pursuit. There was a singular race.
When he overtook the tall soldier he began to plead with all the words he could find. JimJimwhat are you doingwhat makes you do this wayyoull hurt yerself.
The same purpose was in the tall soldiers face. He protested in a dulled way, keeping his eyes fastened on the mystic place of his intentions. Nonodont tech meleave me beleave me be
The youth, aghast and filled with wonder at the tall soldier, began quaveringly to question him. Where yeh goin, Jim? What you thinking about? Where you going? Tell me, wont you, Jim?
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