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New-York tribune. [volume] (New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924, June 12, 1910, Image 33

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83030214/1910-06-12/ed-1/seq-33/

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r^sissai for twelve of the new guns which I bought and
Cwhose handling Ihare 1 rained ray men. They have not
n-ae With a total of fifty five hundred fighting men.
-7S than half of •chj m are undisciplined. I am confronted
by a least thousand B< r: ters and men of the mountain
Hats nadfftijekadershipof the best General that has ever
safe ... to the sac red throne of your Majesty. Now
]a= ...... your Imperial Majesty direct, and on the
feaaroJmv service to tout Majesty and by the history of
rv-'St record I say to ■■ •-. .... we are lost.
ffflid ■..:-•"•• sea] of the Prophet which you gave
SB ta be csed in dire < m< rgency only, knowing that you,
•r.~;i<rteT, trill act for :':• best. * I say to you. whom I have
•..::h ; -I!y served, that a single hour's delay may change the
iitt • this nation, whii fa y >v have honored by ruling.
Hamilton Clarke,
Kai : ■ f his Imperial Majesty's Troops.
Sit Host August liv;.ne?s,
SaUan of Morocco,
Cosraander of the Faithful, etc.. etc
The sorjorou?, high sounding words, theatrical in ex
;:«-ifn had they not Ken tragic in ••••• died away.
*d light, soft,
*Wih» Ve \ as if lr<j!Jl " f - lli <-' fields " f Araby. had
( »rUined door. It seemed a part
l ' JTts t to «k^ , lijc ' n^' }n - cv «i the cuimijs baying gone
r^^'held.Y l^' VtV - I>in«1 > in « aocxwnpaninient of weary
l fiirr y oa^i i a ' :3;<li !i 'J 1 the aromatic odor of spioe
•T^ -aa* l\\ Uj l! "' Peaoeful <]rc-nins of romantic
?* fiaaj* im Arii!ji:in lights. It twisted the can
• " T -* v -vJ" , a *nthing gnome whose reflecUons
•'"' ' h Hhas; g . ,d, d ' jWs '' n Ih( ' blackened walls of the
J/ V*" li "' l * ° f< w«gners who were playing
, j.v ; f"; I', kismet.
&y S H^'if h , a ' ! lost ils smile- It was grave and
S^wSTi? 10 *! vv<r< - on l!l «-' ***** now, and
* le Was staring at the American, who
ha ' 1 " !l " ;ii '^ «*ftJy. "Whitney. I
Usl uv« hours to convince myself that
it wasn't so; but, by heavens, if we don't win this fight,
it means— well, it isn't what it means to us. you and me,
but it means that my sister and your lady of the heart,
Charlotte Marshall, "will fall into the hands of this mer
barbarian as sure as there's a God in heaven! If
we can't hold him off, Fez is lost!"
The trim figure of the American Captain seemed to
tense itself as if anticipating such a catastrophe. The
Kaid. as if overtaxed by motion, suddenly relaxed and.
still resting bis head on his hands, ran his fingers through
his hair. For the first time since they had known each
other the American Captain proposed a plan.
He stood upon his feet, and with an outstretched fore
finger tapped upon the table to punctuate his words.
•We can do this: We can retreat to Fez itself, if we have
ght a running fight every foot of the way. They
have no guns. They can shoot no better than we. and
discipline, after all." is the thing that counts. Good
Lord, man! you have heard of Sheridan and Win
The Kaid's fist came down with a bang on the flimsy
table, and the candle
danced and guttered as
if about to expire. "I
have." he said, "I have!
And you'll permit me to
say it stems '" '"' that
I have a Sheridan here
with me to-night!"
As if abashed by tin
,1, play of feeling, each
of the officers subsided awkwardly and
into his seat It WJ^gw^Lt than
Of battle as laid out by Sandhurst ai 1 »
to admit their own sentiments an-U mo,£ n fu
"We are on the inner side, .said t n - * ' , k
"and have that advantage, in case we nave
off-" „4l \, ,„.,;, ■•in ;ii;;«ii) reminded.
"And have the guns, the Am* ncangß^ ,js ((Wn
For several minutes <^%Sppulse. they
thoughts: and then, as if by < »' V4 . rv Vrest of the
walked out of the tent and stood on it > or
hill. stanng off at the ; t;.nt.;' ' 1« V, n ,, VVlI; .
back at the encampment .-l thorowni
A - „„. foot of the hill. f*stf*g&£3sS
-^ chaUenge of a sentinel, tt no ira\
In the named the Prophet, answer.
"A rider from Fez with messages for his Excellency
the Kaid Clarke."
•'Pass, rider, and accept a guard."
The two officers walked to the edge of the bluff and
awaited the courier, each hoping that he brought news
of tile relief that would turn the fate of the battle. The
man handed his packet to the Kaid and was dismissed,
and together they hurried inside to learn what message
he had brought. With hasty fingers the Kaid broke the
sea! and tore it open. It contained only two letters, one
addressed to "Richard Whitney, Esq.," in the Consul's
well known chirography, and the other an official docu
ment addressed in Arabic for the Kaid.
Dick, in the excitement of the moment, held his in his
hand and studied the Kaid's face as he bent far over and
deciphered its contents. His face grew grim and white
as lie irumpled it in his fingers, leaned across the table,
and --aid:
"From F»z there is scant hope. Only this: His Maj
esty the Sultan will himself lead the relief. He has
overridden his advisers, and will come to our aid; but
it is impossible for them to arrive in less than thirtj
hours. The ministers have tried to whip me. A leadei
who moves as fast as does Buhammei will have played
his hand before help can come, and — "
'• It'< up to us." the American finished.
The Kaid jerked his despatch book from his pocket
and. reading aloud as he wrote, indicted another appeal
f ( .r aid. while Dick stood quietly by. The message- fin
ished, Clarke walked rapidly out of the tent to the camp,
deciding to select a man personally to bear his message.
Dick heard his voice awakening Sidi Suleyman. and
then absently looked at the letter in his hand.
IX the dim light of the candle Dick tore open the letter
with the big red seal and read:
"My DEAR Boy. — I'm calling you that still, and that
you're going to be as long as you live, as long as I live,
and if you outlast me, as you probably will, you'll know
it after I'm dead, because I've lived for years with no
ideas but for you and the little girl, and made money i<>r
one as well as the other. I'm telling you this because 1
want you to know that what I've got to write don't
come easy. I haven't done nothing in my life that hurt
as badly as this I've got to do. I've worked at it and
tried, for most of the time since you and the Kaid pulled
out. to find words to make it easier and so's you'll under
stand. I ain't much of a letter writer, nohow. You
know that, and know ; :ig it will understand what a tough
job it's been for me; but then' ain't no use in fiddling
around with a sore tooth, because it's better to have
it yanked out, even if it hurts a little harder for an
instant, and so I'm going to write and hurt you to
save you from being hurt worse.
'•Dick, boy, you can't marry our little Charlie. She
don't love you that way.
'"Last night after you and the Kaid left we was all
mighty lonesome, and Margaret had a bad headache and
went to bed and we didn't see her no more that evening.
So me and Charlie sat out on the front porch all alone and
feeling pretty sober like. Somehow or another, as 1 get
older I see some things always a little plainer and some
things always a little dark, like lights and shadows over
our own hills, away out home. This night I found out
Id been a fool for not seeing some tilings sooner.
'•Charlie was sitting over by herself, and my cigar had
gone out. Tin- cigars you get herein this cussed country
are always going out, and you always hate yourself for
lighting them up again. I threw this one away, and ai I
sat there thinking about most everything I had a hunch
all of a sudden that she was feeling bad. I saw her
white handkerchief going up to her face and suspected
she was crying about something. I called her over and
held her in my lap and patted her. just the way I used to
do when she wasa right small child, withoul ayingany
thing, and <.mehow «.r another it fell as if she was jiM
a little girl again, running around in her little pinny
fores and telling me everything she knew. I thought
maybe she wa lonely because you'd gone; but, Dick, n
wasn't that. Thealphabel by which we read other folks
feelings is a mighty small one. alter all, even though
in., t of its letters are very plain.
'•]{y and by, when she'd quil sobbing so hard, I said
to he,", 'Why, what's the matter, little girl? You ain't
lost no dolls nor nothing like that, have you. and you
ain't so old that you can't t, II your old dad about it ?'
"She snuggled up into my arms a mite closer and put
her face up again t my neck until I could feel the breath
of he! sobs dying out ; but fora long time she didn't talk.
I felt as if she'd grown away from me somehow, or as if
then 'd been something come between us which I
couldn't bust through. It was like I'd fallen >b^n
way me that tried to take her mother's place
with her, to know all her baby thoughts, and teach her
to open her heart wide up on all things! I say 1 fell like
I'd been going it on the blind, after all. an ignorant, ell
sati Red old fool that couldn't seeor understand. When
she talked I knew it, Dick, and the whole trouble's been
my fault.
" You and she gn-w up together, and you do love ea< h
other. '>f that I'm vine. When you went away it was
always the same. She wa- Charlie to you, and you was
Di< I. to her. It got kind of natural to think you were
going to be together all your live , natural foi her and
you and me to' think so and to lav all our stake that
way. I told you so when you came back, being always
a fool and not thinking for a minute that you was
nothing but a boy and she nothing but a girl after all.
That v., a long tini- ago. I don'l suppose youve
changed any. You aci just the way you always did;
but Charlie': been out in the world and she's met other
men and she's matured, and now she knows the differ
ence inloves. It was my dream then to have you two
■ . • ft 12

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