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Newspaper Page Text
me there," she said, lTt seems a
dreadful rhistake, doesti't it?""
Inwardly the colonel blessed
the forethought of his men. But
he might havdkflbWn that there
was not one man under his com
mand who would have told her
he might, as well liave killed her.
"But Jam s6 glad that he has
served his country with honor,
and has coriie safely thrbUgh
ese terrible dangers," Miss
King continued. "He was well,
a little wild. But he has redeem
ed himself, as I knew he Would.
Congressman Lathrop " she
hesitated. Then, seeing the col
onel's look, and mistaking it, she
"He told my father that Wil
liam would be safe under your
care, Colonel Saunders. That is
what everyone says about you at
home. They call you" she hes
itated "well, the 'Father of the
In the brief moment that elaps
ed before he answered her a thou
sand thoughts rushed, through
the colonel's brain. A minute agb"
he had actually dipped his peh
into the ink preparatory to sign
irig the death warrant. Now the
act seemed impossible. He
thought of Gilfoy he had been
wild, but a good and brave -soldier,
conspicuous in many en
gagements until the devil of lone
liness that was eating out his
heart summoned the drink devil
to His aid and the two tQgether
fuddled the boy's brains until he
turned traitor and disgraced the
regiment and his country And
Gilfoy, crazy from the Villain ouj J
native potations, had been like a
man in a nightmare; he hadTe
fhembered nothing from the day
he deserted until he was captured,"
firing his rifle wildly into the air
alone in the deserted hut.
He might have saved him by
a few kindly wo ds. Instead he
had committed him to the pun
ishment cells for his first offenses,,
had bullied him, disciplined hirq,
let him go to perdition he, thp
"Father of the Regiment.'' ,
"Excuse me, Miss King," he
said abruptly. "Pray be seated!
I will be back in a few minutes. '
And he strode away - under the
blazing sun irr the direction of the
Inside the yard the executioner
was still fumbling with the trap,
over Which a dummy hung sus
pended, a hideous bound thirig of
a man's weight, dangling grotes
quely from the cord. The colonel,
turned his eyes away.
Inside his cell William Gilfoy
was seated beside his cot, storing
vacantly through thebars at a
wisp of blue. When the colonel
entered he started as a man awak
ening out of a dream. The col
onel sat down beside him Upon
the plank bed. "r
"Gilfoy," he said quietly, "yhr
sweetheart is here." '
Gilfoy looked hard at him.
"She hasn't been told?" he saia
"Not yet, Gilfoy." '
The boy smiled bravely, ii
think it would be best to haveVt
done as soon as possible," he said
"But, sir must she know?"
"She shall neverJmowr'i ajij