Newspaper Page Text
Cjtt festonnai! 2? $w?\m.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 7.
By Capt. CHAELES ELTO, U. a A.
?vthor of "Dunraven Ranch," "The Colo?
nel's Daughter," "Marions
faith," Etc., Tic.
*rijpyr%ht, hy J. B. Lipptncott Company, Phila
ddtob- uand puWb?ovl by special arnu*?cuxeat
I CONTINUED. ?
ri ; !
- -?Zone m the coloneVs presence.
The officers of Fort Warrener were
* assembled, as vvas the daily morjiing
custom, in the presence of the colonel
commanding. It had long been the
practice of that veteran soldier to re?
quire ali his commissioned subordinates
. ta put in an appearance at his office im
iBediate'y after the ceremony of guard
mounting. He might have nothing to
say to them, or he might have a good
- deal; and he was a man capable of say?
ing a good deal ia very few words and
meaning exactly what he said. It was j
his custom to look up from his writing
as each ofT? ^r entered and respond to
t"he respectful salutation tendered him
with an equally punctilious 4'Good morl?
ing. Capt. Gregg," or "Good morning,
5?r. *Bla.ke." never omitting the mention
of tl>e name, unless, as was sometimes
tried, a squad of them came in together
and made their obeisance as a body. In
t?iis event the colonel simply looked
each maa in the face, as though taking
mental note of the individual constitu?
ents of the group, and contented him?
self with a '*Good morning, gentlemen."
When i:i addition to six troops of his
own regiment of cavalry there were sent
to the post a major and four companies
of infantry, some of the junior officers
of the latter organization had suggested
. tc* titeir x-omrades of the yellow stripes
that as the colonel had no roll call it
might bo a matter of no great risk to
**cut the matinee" on some of the fiend
Ishly cold mornings that soon set in; but j
the experiment was ncvc>r designedly j
tried, than ks, possibly, io the frank ex- i
position of his person.-.: views as ex- I
pressed by Lieut. Blake, of the cavalry, I
who said. "Try it if you ure stagnating j
for want of a sensation, my genial plod- ?
dex, but not if you valu - the advice of
Op* who* has been there, so to speak,
.pike chief will spot you quicker than he
can a missing shoe-a mi^isg horseshoe,
johnnj-, let me elaborate for your com
.prebension^and the next question will j
be, *Mr Bluestrap, did you intentionally j
absent ?ourself?* and then how will you
get ont of it?*
The- matinees, so called.'were by no !
means unpopular features of the daily j
routine. The officers were permitted to |
bring their pipes or cigars and take their j
after breakfast smoke in the big, roomy
office of the commander, just as they ?
were perruitted.to enjoy the post-prandial
whiff when at evening recitation in
the same office they sat around the
room, chatting in low tones, for half an
hour, while the colonel received the re?
ports of !?s"adjutant, the surgeon and the ;
old and the new oiTicer of the day. Then
any matte*-s affecting the discipline or
instruction or general interests of the
command were brought up: l*>rh sides
of tlie question were presented, if
question arose: tl*e decision was rendered |
then and there, and the officers were dis?
missed for the day with tlie customary
.That's all. gentlemen.*" Tlicy left the
office weil knowin^thatonly in the event
of some sodden emergency w ould they
be called thither again or disturbed in
their daily vocations until tlie same hour
on the following morning. Meantime,
they must lie aiiout their work- drills, if
-weatlver.iiermiited: stahl** du:\. n<> mat?
ter wiuit the weather: garrison courts,
boards of survey, the big general court
that was perennially dispensing justice
at the post, and the long list of minor but
nore the ?ess exacting dema"nds on the
time and attention of the subalterns and
The colonel was a si riet, even severe,
disciplinarian, birt lie was cool, de?
liberate, and just. ile "worked*" hts
officers, and thereby incurred the criti?
cism of a few, but held the respect of all
Ile liad iieen a splendid cavalry com?
mander in the field of ail others where
his st erl i n g qualities were sure to find j
responsive appreciation in his officers j
and mon-on active and stirring ca:!?- [
paigns against the Indians-und among j
his own regiment he knew that deep in ;
their lu .M ts the -th respected and be- ?
lloved in him. even wtieri they growled i
at garrison exactions which seemed un
called for. The infantry officers knew |
less of him as a sterling campaigner. !
and were not so well pleased wit!? his
discipline. I? was ?*:il right f< r him to
"rout oui" every mothers son i i the
cavalry at reveille. l*vause n'A the cav?
alry officers had to go to stables s<?<?n
afterward-that was they were lit
for-btu what on earth was the use'of '
getting them-the infantry -out of theil I
warm beds before sunrise on a wintry :
morning and having no end ? f roll calls
and such tilings through the day. "just
to keep tisera busy?" The real oi>j-c?ion
-the main objection-to the colonel's
system was that it kept a large number \
of officers, most of whom were educates!
gentlemen, hammering all day long at
an endless routine of trivial duties. ::!
lowing act nally no time in which they
could read; study*, or improve their
minds: but, as ill luck would have it.
the three young gentlemrn who decid? i
to present to the colonel thi . view of tin
case had been d-'V'.-iin^ w A spar? time
they could find to a lively une of joker
down at "the store." an v ir petition :
for "more time to them > ves** brought
down a r? ply from the < icular hps <-f
the commander that h< ;::>r immortal
on the frontier and made the petitioners i
For a week the trio was th" butt of all .
the wits ar Fort Warrener And \?'t the
estire commissioned"force felt tliat they .
were l>ei??;: kept at the grindstone be?
cause of t he frivolity oftlieseyoungsters,
and the;? did not like it. AU the same
the cavalrymen stuck up for tlieir colonel
and the infantrymen respected bim, and
the matinees were business like and
profitable. They were rarely unpleasant
in any feature, but this particular morn
ing-two days after the arrival of
Rayner and her sister-there had bc
scene of somewhat dramatic inte
and tho groups of officers in breaking
and going away could discuss not]
else. The colonel had requested or
their number to romain, as he vvishc
speak to him further, and that man
Seven years had that young gentle]
been a second lieutenant of thc regia
of infantry, a detachment of which
now stationed at Warrener. Only
very winter had promotion cometo 1
and, of all companies in the regiment
was gazetted to the first lieutenancy
Capt. Rayner's. Tor a while the i
ruent when by itself could talk of 1
else. Mr. Ilayne liad spent three or i
years in the exile of a little "two c
pany post" far up in the mountains,
cept tiie officers there stationed, none
his comrades had seen iiim during t
"So one of them would like to ad
that he would care to see him. And ;
when once in a while they got to talk
among themselves about him. and
question was sometimes confident!;
asked of comrades who came down
leave from that isolated station, "1]
is Ilayne doing?" or "What is lia;
doing?" the language in which he i
referred to grew by degrees far 1
truculent and confident than it had b
when he first went thither. Officers
other regiments- rarely spoke to
''Riflers" of Mr. Hayne, Unlike ene
two others of their nun of the servi
tliis particular regiment of foot held
affairs of its officers as regimental pr
erty in which outsiders had no conee
If they had disagreements they w?
kept lo themselves: and even in a ci
winch in its day had attracted ' wi?
spread attention the Riflers had lo
Bince learned to shun all talk outsi<
It was evident to other commands tl
the Kayne affair was a sore point a
one on which they preferred silen<
And yet it was getting to be whisper
around that the Riflers were by no mea
so unanimous as they had been in th<
opinion of this very officer. They wt
becoming divided among tiiomselvi
and what complicated matters was t
fact that those who felt their views u
dergoing a reconstruction were coi
pelled to admit that just in proporti
as the case of Mr. Ilayne rose in thc
estimation ti ie reputation of another ol
cer was bound to sutler, and that offic
was Capt Rayner.
Between these two men net a wo:
had bern exchanged for five years-n
a single word since the day when, wi
ashen face and broken accent*, bat wi
etern purpose in every syllable. Liei
Hayne, standing in the presence
nearly all the officers of his regimer
liad hurled this prophecy in his adv??
sary's teeth* "Though rt take me year
1 will live it down despite you: and y<
wiil wish to God you had bitten out yen
perjured tongue before ever you told tl
lie that wrecked me."
No wonder there was talk, and lots <
it, in the "Riflers" and all through tl
garrison when Rayner's first lieutenai
suddenly threw up his commission ar?
retired to the mines he had looa ted i
Montana, and Ilayne.the "senior second
was promoted to the vacancy. Specnli
tion as to what would be the result wj
given a temporary rest by the licws th;
war department orders had granted tl
subaltern fix months" leave-the first 1
had sought in as many years. It wc
known that he had gone east: but bardi
had he been away a fortnight when thei
came the trouble with the Cheyenr.es <
the reservation-a leap for liberty b
some fifty of the ban i, and an im med
ate rush of the cavalry in pursuit. Thei
were some bloody atrocities, as thei
always are. Ail the troops in the deparl
ment were ordered to be in readiness fe
instant service, while the officials eagerl
watched the reports to see which wa
the destrate band would turn; and th
next heard of Mr. Hayne was the new
tliat he had thrown up his leave and ha
hurried out to join his company the mo
ment the eastern papers told of th
trouble. It was all practically settle;
by the time he reached the department
but tlie spirit and intent of his actioi
could not l)e doubted. And now here lu
was at Warrener. That very morning
during the matinee he had entered tin
office unannounced, walked up to tin
desk of the commander, and. while? even
voice but his in the room was stilled, h<
"Permit me to introduce myself, col
onel-Mr. Hayne. 1 desire to relinquisL
my leave of absence ai ul re|H>rt for duty.*
Thecolonel quickly arose and extended
"Mr. I layne, I am especially glad tc
see you and to thank you here for all
your care and kindness to our men. The
doctor teils methat many of them would
have liad to sulier the los* of noses and
ears, even of hands and feet in some
cases, but for your attention. Maj.
Stannard will add his thanks to mine
when he returns. Take a seat, sir, for
the present. Voa are acquainted with
the officers <. f your own regiment..doubt?
less. Mr. Billings, introduce Mr. Ilayne
Whereat the adjutant courteously
greeted the newcomer, pres Sited a small
party of yellow strap?>e 1 shoulders, and
then drew him into earnest tall; about
th** adventure of the train, lt was no?
ticed that Mr. Hayne neither by word
nor glance gave tho slightest recogni?
tion of the presence of the officers of his
own regiment, and^that they-as studi?
ously avoided him. One or two of their
number had indeed risen an i stepped
forward.as though to'oiler him the civil
greeting -duo to one of their own c!\\.
but it was with evi lent <! mb: of the re?
sult They r- i.I -a - 1 when he mei their
tentative- which was that of a gentle?
man- with a col 1 lo .': of utter repudia?
tion il" did not choose to sec them,
and. of course, that end* 1 it.
X- .:. wa < ling hearty among the
cavalrymen. Tit re were only a few
present, as most of the -ta were still out
i:i t!i . 1 ;<.:.! and. ia ir<;!::r? rrlowly home?
ward. The in lr >d:;cti< rus w erecourtei >us
and formal, th*-re was even constraint
among two or th. ree. but t tore wo.; civil?
ity andan evident desire to refer to his
servares ia hehai; of their men. All : ;?..??
attempts, however-. Mr. Hayne waved
r's;.!,- by aa i n mediate change of the sub
jeet. Ir was plain that to them, too, ho
h:id the manner < fa man who \.;e< at
odds wit h the woidd and der ired lo make
no fri nd <.
The colonel quickly noted the general
silence and constraint, and resolved to
shorten i: as much as ix?ssi >!e. Dropping
hts pen, he wlie led around i.i his chair
with determined cheorfalne?
k*Mr. Mayne, you wiil i.d a day ot
two ?o I * k .-J!, ?ut a.l> etq^irlersand
get n ady for work, 1 pre-um ..**
"Thank you. colon* I. N .. sir. I ?diall
mo.vein ;!d^ af; moon i bc on <!:::>
to-morrow morning." was the cairn r<
There was an awkward pau -e for :t
nioment. The officers 1 ??kr-.i h!a:vk!y j
from ono to another, and t ion or "an
craning their necks to search for the
post quartermaster; who: a/an absorbe?!
listener. Then the colonel spoke again:
"I appreciate your promptness. Mr.
Hayne: but have you considered tait in
choosin ; quarters ace* ?rding to your i a;: !;
volt wiil necessarily movesomeb . i1. out?
We are crowtled now. and many of your j
juniors are married, and the ladies will
want tin"- t ? pack."
An anxious silence again. Capt. Ray?
ner was gazing at his l oot, toes and try?
ing toappear utterly indifferent: otb? !-;
leaned forward, a- though eager t.. !. ar '
?ie answer. A faint smile ( i'ossed M
Hayne's features; he seemed rather t
eirjt-h- the situation:
'.J have considered, colonel. I sha
turn nobody out. and nobody need be h
commoded in the least.*'
"Olil then you will share qnartei
with some of tao bachelors?'* asked th
colonel, with evident relief,
j ".No, sir:" and tho answer was stern i
?tono, though perfectly respectful; "
shall live as I have lived for years-u!
Onecould haveheard a pin drop in th
office-even on thc matted floor. Th
colonel half arose:
"Why, Mr. Hvyno, there is not a vt
cant set cf quarters in the garrison. Yo
will have to movo some one out if yo
decide to live alone.*'
"There may be no quarters in the post
sir. but, if you will permit me, lean liv
near my company and yet in officer*
"How so. sir?"
"In the house out there on tho edge c
the garrison, facing the prairie. It i
within stone's throw of thc l>arracks c
Company H. and isexactly like those hui]
for the officeisin here along the parade.
"Why, Mr. Ilayne, no officers eve
lived there. It is utterly out of the wa;
and isolated. I believe it was built fo
the sutler years ago, but was bought i:
by the government afterwards. Who live
there now. Mr. Quartermaster?"
"No one, sir. It is being used as a tail
ors* shop: half a dozen of the compan;
tailors work there; but I can send tlieu
back to their own barracks. The hous
is in good repair, and, as Mr. Haynesays
exactly like those built for officers* use.
"And you mean you want to live ther
alone. Mr. Ilayne?"
"I do, sir, exactly."
The colonel turned sharply to hi
desk once more. The strained silence
continued a moment. Then ho faced hi
"Mr. Ilayne, will you remain a few
moments? I wish to speak with you
Gentlemen, that is all this morning.'
And so the meeting adjourned.
While many of the cavalry officers
strolled into the neighboring club ant
reading room it was noticed that theil
comrades of the infantry lost no time a'
intermediate points, but took the short
est road to the row of brown cottage;
known as the officers' quarters. Tin
feeling of constraint that had settlei
upon all was still apparent in the grour
that entered the club room, and for r
moment no one spoke. There was c
general settling into easy chairs am:
picking up of newspapers without refer?
ence to or dut e. No one seem erl tc
want to say anything, and yet every one
felt it necessary to have some apparent
excuse for becoming absorbed in othei
matters. This was so evident to Lieut.
Blake that he speedily burst into a laugh
-the first that had been heard-an?]
when two or three heads popped out
from behind their prime? screens to in?
quire into the cause- of his mirth that
light hearted gentleman wi&seen sprawl?
ing his long legs apart and gazing out of
the window after the groups of infantry?
"What do you see that's so intensely
funny?" growled one of tiie elders among
"Nothing, old mole - nothing,** said
Blake, turning suddenly about. "It looks
too much like a funeral procession for
fun. What I'm chuckling at is the ab?
surdity of our coming tn here like so
many mutes in weepers. It's none of our
"Strikes me the situation is damned
awkward," growled "the mole" again.
"Here's a fellow comes ia who's cut by
Ids regiment and has placed ours under
lasting obligation before ho gets inside
..Weil, does any man here know the
rights and wrongs of the case, anyhow?"
said a tall, bearded captain as he threw
aside the paper which he had not I ?cen
reading, and rose impatiently to his feet.
"It seems to me from the little I've heard
of Mr. ilayne and the little I* ve seen, that
there is a broad variation between facts
and appearances. He looks like a gentle?
"Xo one does know anything moro of
thc matter than was known at the time
of the court martial five years ago," an?
swered "the mole.'* "Of course you have
heard all about that, and my experience
is that when a body ot" officers and gen?
tlemen find.tifterdue deliberation on the
evidence, that another has boen guilty of
conduct unbecoming an officer and a
gentleman, the chances are a hundred to
one he has boen doing something dis?
reputable, to say the least."
"Then why wasn't he dismissed?**
queried a young lieutenant. "The law
says he must i>e."
"That's right, Dolly: pull your I ves and
Benet on 'em and show you know all
about military law and courts martial,"
said trie captain, crushingly. "It's one
thing for a court to sentence and another
for the president to approve. Ilayne
was dismissed, so far as a court could do
it. but the president remitted tho whole
"There was more to it ?han that,
though, and you know it. Buxton," said
Blake. "Neither thc department com?
mande rnor (?cn. Sherman thought the
evidence "conclusive, and they said so.
especially old Gray Fox. And you ask
any of these fellows hero now whether
they believe Ilayne was really guilty,
and I'll bet you that eight out of ten will
think at the question."
"And yet they all cut him dead. That's
prima facieevidenceof what they think."
"Cut bc blowed! By gad, if any man
asked m.* to testify on oath as to where
the cut lay. I shouhdsay he had cut them.
Did you SJ-" how he ignored Foster and j
Graham this morning?"
"I did,-and I thought it damned un?
gentlemanly in him. Those fellows did i
the projx'r tiling, and ho ought to have
acknowledged ir." broke in a thifr<] officer, j
"Fm not defending that point: the j
Lord knows he has ?I >uo nothing toen- j
courage civ ils tv* with lils own people; but j
th? re aro two s:d~s t'? every story, and 1 ?
asked their adjutant hist fall, when
there was some t tis of his com pan v's
being sent h re. what Ilayne's status
was. and he t?>id me. There isn't a
squarer i j:in or sounder soldier in the
; J i r : i y th:ui the adjutant of the Killers:.
and he that it was Ilayne's stubborn
pride thal more than anything else otood
in til'- v? iv of his restoration to ^.H-T.IJ
standing, il - had made ii a rule'that i
every one who w.;^ t.-,i for lum was
against him. and refused to admit any j
tuan to his s?>cietv vvh ? would not lirst j
comet-?-hi t of his ow.i volition and say I
lie believed him utterly innovent. As ;
111.-.t in"volv? 'I the nee?, ?sity of their look- j
eng. up M f." . i:? r a * either j ?or hired or
:r? .. f iv : persistently mistaken, no
one felt called upon 1 ? <i.? it. Guilty or i
innocent"? I.-- has lived th . lite of a '
Pariah ever sine-*'
"1 ? tnt i t ? open cm* to. h im, ?od'?y.*'
said <? ' ip?. . . j - - *. "but th?* moment 1
!>?..: ei !<>- .> :P; of hi, great kindness to
our men l?? froze ai M? f as Mulligan's
ear. What wa; the ir-se? . simply ,
couldn't thaw au i-iel -. What made
??i'!' so e?Feetive ia getting the f?"ost out
of t_hc:n wa- his cap? -ny for absorbing
it hit ? his own system."
"Well, lier'4, gentlemen."said Buxton, '
impatiently, "we**? ' got to fae" this thing
sooner or latur, and mae M > \\?ii ?i<> it ..
now. I know t?ivinT and lb* ? him. an i
d*?:i*| U-lieve he's the ki"'! of manto
wilful?v wrong ano'her. 1 don't know
Mr. flayne, and Mr. Mayne apparently
don't want to know me. I think thal
w here a maa has b; i convict? i '.?! uis
honorable-disgraceful conduct and is
cut by Iiis whole regiment it is our busi?
ness to back the regiment, not thc man.
Now the question is, where shall we
draw the line in this case? It's none of
our funeral, as Blake says, but ordinarily
it would be our duty to call upon this
ofiiccr. Shall we do k, now that he is
in Coventry, or shall we leave him to his
"Til answer for myself, Buxton,"' said
Blake, "and you can do as you please.
Except that one thing, and tho not un?
usual frivolties of a youngster that oc?
curred previous to this trial, I understand
that his character has been above re?
proach. So far as I can learn, he is a far
more reputable character than I am, and
a better officer than most of us. Growl
all you want to, comrades mine; 'it's a
way wc have in the army," and I like it.
So long as I include myself in these mal?
odorous comparisons, you needn't swear.
It is my conviction that the Riflers
wouldn't Fay he was guilty today if they
hadn't said so five years ago. It is my
information that he has paid every cent
of the damages, whether he caused them
or not, and it is my intention to go and
call upon Mr. Ilayne as soon as lie's set?
tled. I don't propose to influence any
man in his action; and excuse me, Bux?
ton, I think you did."
The captain looked wrathful. Blake
was an oddity of whom he rather stood
in awe, for there was no mistaking thc
popularity and respect in which he was
held in his own regiment. Tho -th was
somewhat remarkable for being emphati?
cally an "outspoken crowd," and for somc
years, thanks to a leaven of strong and
truthful men in whom this trait was pro?
nounced and sustained, it had grown tc
be the custom of all but a few of the offi?
cers to discuss openly and fully all mat?
tel's of regimental policy and utterly tc
discountenance co vert action of any kind.
Blake was thoroughly popular and gen?
erally respected, despite a tendency tc
rant and rattle on most occasions. Never?
theless, there were signs of dissent as tc
the line of action he proposed, though it
were only for his own guidance.
"And how do you suppose Rayner and
the Riflers generally will regard your
calling on their black sheep?" asked Bux?
ton, after a pause.
"I don't know," said Blake, more seri?
ously, and with a tone of concern. "I
like Rayner, and have found most of
those fellows thorough gentlemen and
good friends. Tin's will test the question
thoroughly. I believe most of Hiern, ex?
cept, of course. Rayner, would do the
same \ve;e they in my place. At all
events, I mean to see."
"What aro you goin~ to do. Cregg?"
asked "the mole," wheeling suddenly cn
his brother troop commander.
"I don't know," said Gregg, doubt?
fully. "I think i'll ask the colonel."
"What do you suppose he means to
"1 don't know again; but I'll bet we
all know ns soon tm he make ; up his
mind: and he is making up hrs mind
now-or he's made it up, for then? goes
Mr. ilayne. and here conics the orderly.
Something's up already.
Every head was turne1 to the door?
way as the orderly's ste * v. is heard in
tile cuter hail, and every -rice stilled to
hear the message, it was so unusual for
the commanding officer to send for one
of his*subordinates after the morning
meeting. The soldi' r tapped at the
panel, and at the prompt "Come in"
pushed it partly open and stood with one
white gloved hand resting on the knob,
the other raised io his cap visor in salute.
"Lieut. Blake?" he asked, as he glanced i
"What is i'.?** asked Blake, stepping
quickly from tho window.
"The commanding officer's cornpli- j
ments, sir, and could he we thc lieuten- j
ant one minute before tiie court meets?" j
"Coming at once," said Blake, as he ?
pushed his way through the chairs, and |
the orderly faced about and disappeared. I
"i'll bet it's al>out Hayne." was tht
apparently unanimous sentiment as the !
cavalry party broke up and scattered for I
line morning's duties. Some waited pur- !
pos.-ly to hear.
The adjutant alone stood in the colo?
nel's presence as Blake knocked and en- :
tered. AU others had gone. There was
a moment's hesitation, and the colonel
paused and looked his man over before
"Voa will excuse my sending for you.
Mr. Blake, when I tell you that it is a
mailer that lias lo be decided at once.
In this case you wili consider, too, that
I want you to say yes or no exactly as
you would to a comrade of your own
grade. If you were asked to meet Mr.
ilayne at any other house in the garri?
son than miue, would you desire to ac?
cept? You are aware of all the circum?
stances, the adjutant tells me."
"I am, sir, and have just announced
my intention of calling upon him."
"Theil will you dine with us this
evening to meet Mr. Ilayne?"
"I will do so with pleasure, sir."
It could hardly have been an hour
afterwards when Mr.- Rayner entered
the library ia her cosey home and found
Mi s Travers entertaining herself with a
"Have you written to Miss Van Ant?
werp this morning?" she asked. "I
thought that was what you came here
"I did mean lo, but Mrs. Waldron luis
been lu re, and i was interrupted."
"It is fully fifteen minutes aince sha
left. Nellie, Y-r. might have written
two or time pages already: and you know
that nil manner of visitors wiil becoming
in by noon.*'
"1 was just thinking over something
she told nu-. I"J1 write presently."
"Mrs. Waldron is a woman who talks
aljoui everything ami everybody. 1 ad?
vise you to listen to her no more than ;
you crin h< lp. What was it ?he told you?"
Miss Travers smiled roguishly: "Why
should you want to know. Kate, if you
disapprove of her revelations?"
"Oil." with visible annoyance, "it is to
-I wanted l<> know so as to ?et you see
that it was something unfounded, as
"SIie said she had just been told that
the c??l<niel was going lo given dinner
pal Iv this ev? nie.g to Mr. Hayna."
"SSie- said -sh.-- had - just - been
told-that--the -colonel-was going--- |
to give a dinner pally-thia evening- j
" Who told her?"
"Kate, I didn't re k."
"Who are invited? None of f urs?"
"Kate, 1 don't know."
"Where dill she say she had heard it?" (
"She didn t say."
Mrs. Ravner paused one moment, ir- ?
resolute: "I>tdn't she tell yon anything j
more nix ?ut it.-"
"Nothing, sister mine. Why should !
you feel such a? hil? rot in what Mrs.
Waldron says, if she's such a gossip?" j
And Mi s Travers was evidently having j
hard work to keep from laughing out- !
"You had 1>< it? r write your letter," j
.>ai I her big sifter, and ll?Minced * uddeiily
out . ? li:.- r.xiiii and up tho stairs.
A moment lat? r she was at the parlor j
d-?r with a wrap thrown <>\< r lier j
should-rs. "If <a?.i. liayncr comes in. j
tell liim 1 want particularly to seo him
U i on> he j;.> s out again."
"Yv h?*iv an* yon ?vine. Kate?"
"Oh. just over to Mrs. Waldron's a j
Buy (cur be Cream Churns, Waler |
'O.>!.T.-?. Hummocks and Fh Fat-3 at E. E j
it-au., rt Si Co.
Their hostess led kim to her 2>io.:\o.
Facing the broad, bleak prairie, sepa?
rated from it only by a rough, unpainted
picket fence, and flanked by uncouth
structures of pine, one of which was used
as a storehouse for quartermaster's proj>
orty. the other as the post trader's deposi?
tory for skins and furs, there stood the
frame cottage which Mr. Ilayne had chos?
en as his home. As has l>een said, it was
precisely like those built for the subal?
tern officers, so far as material, plan and
dimensions were concerned. The locali?
ty made the vast difference which really
existed. Theirs stood all in a row. front?
ing the grassy level of the parade, sur?
rounded by verandas, bordering on a
weil kept gravel path and an equally
well graded drive. Clear, sparkling
water rippled in tiny acequias through
the front yards of each, and so furnished
the moisture needed for the life cf the
various little shrubs and flowering plants.
The surroundings were at least "socia?
ble." and there was companionship and
jollity, with an occasional tiff to keep
things lively. The married officers, as a
rule, had chosen their quarters farthest
from the entrance gate and nearest those
of the colonel commanding. The bache?
lors, except the two or three who were old j
in the service and had "rank" in lieu of I
encumbrances, were all herded together j
along the eastern end, a situation that ?
had disadvantages as connected with du?
ties which required the frequent pres?
ence of the occupants at the court mar?
tial rooms or at headquarters, and j
that was correspondingly far distant j
from the barracks of the soldiers, it !
had it3 recommendations in being con- j
venient to tl ie card room and billiard j
tables at "the store," and in embracing j
within its limits one house which pos- j
scssed mysterious interest in the eyes of j
every woman and most of the men in
the garrison: it was said to be haunted.
A sorely perplexed lann was the post \
quartermaster when the rumen- came out '
from the railwaystation that Mr. Ilayne j
had arrived and was coming to report j
for duty. As a first lieutenant he would i
have choice of quarters over every sec?
ond lieutenant in the garrison. There ,
were ten of these young gentlemen, and
four of the ten were married. Every '.
set of quarters had ils occupants, and ?
Ilayne could move in nowhere, unless as
occupant of a room or two in the house ;
of some comrade, without first compel- ;
ling others to move out. This proceed- j
mg would lead to vast discomfort, oe- j
curring as it would in the dead of winter, ?
and the youngsters were naturally per- j
tui'bed in spirit-their wives especially
so. What made the prospects infinitely j
worse was the fact that the cavalry j
bachelors were already living three in a
house: the only spare rooms were in the j
quarters of the second lieutenants of the
infantry, and they wen- not on speaking ;
terms wi:h Mr. Ilayne. Everything,
therefore, pointed to the probability of j
his ' displaein .:" a junior, who would in '
turn displace somebody else, and so they
would go tumbling like a row of bricks j
until thc lowest and List was reached.
All tilts would involve no end ( f worry ;
for the quartermaster, who even under ?
the most favorable circumstances is sure
to lie the least appreciate'* and most
abused officer under 11 tc* commandant
himself, and that worthy vas simply
agasp with relief and joy wh< n he heard '
Mr. Elayne's astonishing announcement ! s
that he would take the quarters out on j ?
"Prairie avenue." ?
It was tho talk of the <rarriso:T all that ? *
?av. The ladies, especially, liad a good i '
deal to 'ay, because many of the men ? (
seemed averse to expressing their views. 1
"Quite the proper thing for Mr. Ilayne :
to do," was the apparent opinion of the j ?'
majority of the young wives and moth- J
ers. As a particularly kind and con- 1
siderate thing it was not remarked by 1
one of them, though that view of the (
case went not entirely unrepresented. 1
In choosing to live there Mr. Ilayne
separated himself from companionship. '
That, said some of the commentators
nien as well as women-he simply ac?
cepted as the virtue of necessity, and so J
there was nothing to commend in his i
action. I>ut Mr. ilayne was said to pos- I
sess an eye for the picturesque and lx-au- j
tiful. If so. he deliberately condemned 1
himself to the daily contemplation of a M
treeless barren, streaked in occasional j J
shallows with dingv patches of snow, I '
ornamented only in spots by abandoned j 1
old hats, boots, or tin cans blown bo- 1
yond the jurisdiction of the garrison j f
police parties. A line of telegraph poles \ ^
was all that intervened between his fence ! '
and the low lying hills of the eastern j
horizon. j 1
Southeastward lay the distant roofs j <
and the low, squat bail.lings of the fron- '
tier town; southward the shallow valley '
of the winding creek in which lay tho ?
long line of stables for the cavalry and >
thc great stacks of hay; while the row j 1
on which he chose to live-"Prairie ave?
nue," as it was termed-was far worse
at his end of it than at the other. Itcov- j 1
cred the whole eastern front. The big, j I
brown hospital building stool at the j I
northern end. Then came th" quarters i
of the surgeon and his assistants, then : ;
the snug home of the post trader, then <
the "store" and its scattering appen- ' t
dages, then the entrance gateway, then j j.
a broad vacant space, through which the j *
wind swept like a hurricane, then the : 1
little ?-banty of the trader's fur house i
anil one or two hovel like structures t
used hy the tailors and cobbler of the I
adjacent infantry companies. Then j 1
came the cottage itself; south of it stood ' <
the quartermaster's 6'oreroom, back of I
which lay an extension lilied with ord- | n
nanee stores, then other and similar j :
shells devoted to commissary supplies ?
the po t butcher shop, tho saddler's ?
shoo, then i ?ig coal sheds, and then the t
brow vf the bh.if. down which at a
steep grade plunge?! the road to thc i j
stables. It was as un pr?-possessing a 1
place for a home as ever was chosen by 1
a man of cd item iou or position; and Mr. i i
Mavne was possessed of both.
In garrison, despite the Hat parade,
then' was a grand expanse of country to
be seen stretching away towards the ;
snow covered Rockies. There was life
and the sense of iieighl.H>rlinoss to one's
kind Out on Prairie avenue all was 8
wintry desolation, except when twice 1
each day tin* cavalry officers went plod- j
ding by on their way to and from the I rt
stables, muffled up in their fur caps and i
coats.and hardly distinguishable from so ! I
many hears, much less from one another.
And yet Mr. Haynesmiled not unbap- n
[div as Le glanced from his eastern win- 1
dow at this group of burly warriors tl
afternoon succeeding his dinner at tl
colonel's. Ile had been busy all day lor
unpacking bo:ks, book shelves, son
few pictures which he loved, and h
simple, soldierly outfit of househol
goods, and getting them into shape. II
sule assistant was a Chinese servant, wi
worked rapidly and well, and wi
seemed in no wise dismayed by tl
bleakness of their surroundings. If any?
thing, he was disposed to grin and b
dulgc in high pitched commentaries i
"pidgin English" upon the unaccustomc
amount of room. His master had l?ec
restricted to two rooms and a kitche
during the two years he had served hin
Now they had a house to themselve
and more rooms than they knew win
to do with. The quartermaster ha
sent a detail of men to put up the stove
and move out the rubbish left by ti
tailors; "Sam" had worked vigorousl
with soft soap, hot water and a big mc
in sprucing up the rooms: the adjutar
had sent a little note during the mon
ing, saying that the colonel would lx.'gla
to order him any men he needed to pi
the quarters in proper shape, and tl?:
Capt. Rayner had expressed his read
ness to send a detail from the compan
to unload and unpack his box^s, ete., t
which Mr. Ilayne replied in person th?
he thanked the commanding officer fe
his thoughtfulness, but tiiat he had ver
little to unpack, and needed no assisi
ance beyond that already afforded by th
quartermasters men. Mr. Billings coul
not help noting that he made no aliusio:
to that part of the letter which sjx>ke o
Capt. Rayner's offer. It increased hi
respect for Mr. Ilayne's percept! v
While every officer of the infantry bat
talion was ready to admit that Mr. Hayn
had rendered valuable service to theme]
of the cavalry regiment, they were no
so unanimous in their opinion as to hov
it should be acknowledged and requiter
by its officers. No one was prepared fo
the announcement that the colonel ha<
asked him to dinner and that Blake an?
Billings were to meet him. Some fev
of their number thought it going too far
but no one quite coincided with the ve
liement declaration of Mrs. Rayner tba
it was an outrage and an affront ahue<
at the regiment in general and at Capt
Rayner in particular. She was an oner
getic woman when aroused, and then
was no doubt of her being very mucl
aroused as she sped from house to hous<
to see what the other ladies thought o:
it. Rayner's wealth and Mrs. Rayner'!
qualities had made her an undoubtec
though not always popular leader in al
social matters in the Riflers. She wai
xii authority, so to speak, and one wh<
knew it. Already th re had been som?
[X)ints on which she had differed will;
;he colonel's wife, and it was plain to all
that it was a difiicult thing for her tc
ionic down from being the authority
the leader of the social element of a gar?
rison - and from the position of second
[>r third importance which she had been
accorded when first assigned to tho sta?
There were many, indeed, who assert?
ed that it was because she found her new
position unbearable that she decided on
lier long visit to the east, and departed
thither before the Killers had i>eeu at War?
rener-a. month. The colonel's wife had
greeted her and her lovely sister with
.harming graceon their arrival two days
previous to the stirring event of the din?
ner, and every one was looking forward
to a probable series of pleasant entertain?
ments hy the two households, even while
ivondering how long the entente cordiale
iv ou ld last-when the colonel's invitation
:o Mr. Hay ne brought on an immediate
crisis. It is safe to say that Mrs. Rayner
was madder than the captain her hus?
band, who hardly knew how to take it.
[Ie was by no means the best liked oiTiccr
in his regiment, nor the ".deepest** and
/est informed, but he had a native
shrewdness which helped him. He noted
?ven be fore his wife would speak of it to
lim the gradual dying out of the bitter
feeling that had once existed at ilayne's
expense. He felt, though it hurt him
ierioudy to make inquiries, that t he man
whom lie had practically crushed anti
ruined ia the long ago was slowly but
surely gaining sirength, even where he
would not make friends.
Worse than hil, he was beginning to
lou bi the evidence of his own senses ar
he years receded, and unknown to any
;oul on earth, even his wife, there was
growing up deep down in his heart a
mawing, insidious, ever festering fear
.hat after all. after all. he might have
>3en mistaken. And yet on the sacred
>ith cf a soldier and a gentleman, against
:he most searching cross-ex a m i n;U ion.
igain and again had ho most confidently
md positively declared that he had both
seen and heard the fatal interview on
which the whole case hinged And as
to the exact language employed, he alone
t)f those wilina earshot had lived to tes
ify for or against the accused: of the
[ive soldiers who stood in that now cele
bruted group, three were shot to death
within the hour, ile was growing ner?
vous, irritable, haggard: he w:is getting
to hate the mere mention of the case
The promotion of ? layne to his own com?
pany thrilled him with an almost super
>t it ions dismay. Were his words com?
ing true? Was it the judgment of an
>f*fended (h>d that ins hideous pride, o'o
>tiuaev and old time hatred of this officer
were now to be revenged by daily, hour?
ly contact with the victim of his criminal
persecution? Ile had grown morbidly
sensitive to any remarks as to Hayne's
having "lived down" the toils in which
lie had been encircled. Might he not
"live down" tlie ensnarer? ile dreaded
to see him-though Rayner w;is no
;oward- and he feared ?lay by day to
lear of his restoration to fellowship in
;he regiment, and yet would have given
lia If his wealth to bring it about, could
it but have been accomplished without
thc dreadful admission. "1 was wrong.
I was uttei ly wrong."
He had grown lavish tn hospitality; he
iad heeome almost aggrcssivelv open j
landed to his comrades, and had sought j
;o press money ti pori men who in no
wise tuvded it. lie w:is as eager to lend i
is some are to borrow, and his brothel .
)il?cers ??ubUnl him "Midas." not because
everything he touched would turn to
?old. but because he would intrude his
;old upen them at every turn. There
vere some who borrowed: and these he I
struggled not to let repay lie seemed
0 have an in>aiie idea that if he could
?u! get his regimental friend? bound to i
sim (nvumarily he could control their j
>pinio!is and actions. It was making !
lim sick at heart, and it made him in j
secret doubly vindictive and bitter ?
1 ga inst the man he had doomed lo years I
?f sutiering. This showed out that very j
noni ing Mrs. Rayner had begun lo j
alk, and lie turned liercely ii|K>n her:
"Not a woi\l on that subject. Kate, if
,0:1 love me!-not even tho mention of I
iis nanu?' 1 must have |>oacc in my own j
rouse, lt is enough to have to talk of it j
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Cleanable Refrigerators-Dumm & Belitzer. i
New style Flower Pots-Durant & Belitzer.
Gel E. E Uenibert ?te Co. to quote priers in I
nytlung y ou need tn their line before buy-:
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--mm^~ - - -
Dizziness, nausea, drowsiness, distress I
fter eating, ran be cured and prevented by
nkinf? Dr..1. H McLean's Liver and Kidney
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No need to take those big cathartic pills; 1
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J. R???EIH k ?
PROFUSE WITH NOVELTIES,
GREAT JJV AS?SRTMEVI1,
And Unapproachable in Price.
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This department is a very striking feature of our stock. We
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All mail orders will receive prompt attention. Samples sent