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      The ladies stood up to see. An unseen locomotive whistled for a brief stop. The dust-cloud drew nearer. The engine whistled to start again, and they could hear its bell and quickening puff. But the dust-cloud came on and on, and all at once the whole six-gun battery--six horses to each piece and six to each caisson--captain, buglers, guidon, lieutenants, sergeants and drivers in the saddle, cannoneers on the chests--swept at full trot, thumping, swaying, and rebounding, up the highway and off it, and, forming sections, swung out upon the field in double column, while the roaring train rolled by it and slowed up to the little frame box of Buerthe's Station with passengers cheering from every window.

      Why do you ask me? she asked.

      Canal Street that evening was a veritable fairyland. When, growing tired of their carriage, the Callenders and Mandeville walked, and Kincaid unexpectedly joined them, fairyland was the only name he could find for it, and Anna, in response, could find none at all. Mallard's, Zimmerman's, Clark's, Levois's, Laroussini's, Moody's, Hyde & Goodrich's, and even old Piffet's were all aglow. One cannot recount half. Every hotel, every club-house, all the theatres, all the consul's offices in Royal and Carondelet streets, the banks everywhere, Odd Fellows' Hall--with the Continentals giving their annual ball in it--and so forth and so on! How the heart was exalted!

      Wretch! she exclaimed as she sprang up almost frantic with terror and fled."Bah!" retorted the staggering boy, pushed out among them and with profane mutterings stood agaze.

      Historically valuable, you see. Yet through all this impersonal interchange love shone out to love like lamplight through the blinds of two opposite closed windows, and every heart-hiding letter bore enough interlinear revealment of mind and character to keep mutual admiration glowing and growing. We might very justly fancy either correspondent saying at any time in those ten months to impatient or compassionate Cupid what Hilary is reported to have said on one of the greatest days between Manassas and Shiloh, in the midst of a two-sided carnage: "Yes, General, hard hit, but please don't put us out of action."She did not say. "Yes," she continued, "she had at once thought it ought to be with some one who could easily replace it if, by any strange mishap--flood, fire, robbery--it should get lost. To do which would to her be impossible if at Mobile her house--" she tossed out her hands and dropped them pathetically. "But I little thought, Captain Kincaid--" she began a heart-broken gesture--

      "Why, then," laughed Hilary, "I may as well knock off, too," and began to wash his hands.

      "Now, Mr. Brick-mason, ef you'll climb in hyuh I'll step out whah you is and fetch a bucket o' warteh. Gal, move one side a step, will you?"Finally artillery again! every man in it loved by some one--or dozen--in these glad throngs. Clap! call! wave! Oh, gallant sight! These do not enter Royal Street. They keep Canal, obliquing to that side of the way farthest from the balconies--


      "I do, and to know it a long, long time before he can have any right to know whether--"No, no; dont go yet! said Esmeralda, almost hurriedly. I am not tired; andand I am glad to get back to see you, Lilias. Howhow long have Lord Norman andand Lady Ada been here? she asked, inconsequently.


      So, as to that item, in all the wild-eyed city shaking with its ague of anxieties only Anna was troubled when day after day no detective came back with the old mud-caked dagger and now both were away on some quite alien matter, no one could say where. She alone was troubled, for she alone knew it was the bazaar's proceeds which had disappeared. Of what avail to tell even Miranda, Connie, or Flora if they must not tell others? It would only bind three more souls on the rack. "Vanished with the dagger!" That would be all they could gasp, first amazed, then scandalized, at a scheme of safe-keeping so fantastically reckless; reckless and fantastical as her so-called marriage. Yes, they would be as scandalized as they would have been charmed had the scheme prospered. And then they would blame not her but Hilary. Blame him in idle fear of a calamity that was not going to befall!


      I am very fond of him, she said.