Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1777-1963 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
Newspaper Page Text
.as she dared. To know the shortest
way back to her horse might mean .life to her. She understood that. Also she fully realized that she might at that very instant- he under hostile observation. In her"" easily excited (imagination, all around her the forest seemed to conceal a hundred male volent eyes. She shivered slightly, Swiped the perspiration from her brow with one small bare fist, and plodded ,on, clutching her light-wood to her soft, rounded breast. And now at last she was nearing the open cabin door; and she must not hesitate, must show no suspicion. tSo she went in, dragging her clumsily-shod feet. A very young man in the uniform of a Confederate cavalry officer was 'seated inside before the empty fire Iplace of baked clay. He had a bad .scar on his temple. She looked at him, simulating dull surprise; he rose "and greeted her gracefully. ' "Howdy," she murmured in re sponse, still staring. "Is this your house?" he asked. ) "Suh?" blankly. "Is this your house?" "I reckon," she nodded. "How come you all in my house?" He replied -with another question: "What were you. doing in the woods?" "Light-wood," she answered brief ly, stacking the fragrant splinters on the table. "Do you live here all alone?" "Reckon I'm alone when .1 live heah," sullenly. "What is your name?" He had a trick of coloring easily. "What may be yoh name, suh?" she retorted with a little flash of Southern spirit, never entirely quenched even in such as she seemed to be. Genuine surprise brought the red back into his face and made it, worn as it was, seem almost handsome. The curious idea came to her that she- had seen him before somewhere. Afctti same moment speech seemed to tremble on his lips; he hesitated, looked at her with a new and sudden keenness, and stood looking. "I expected to meet somebody here," he said at length. She did not seem to comprehend.. "I expected to meet a woman here." "Who? Me?" incredulously. He looked her over for a while carefully; looked at her dusty, bare ankles, at her, walnut-smeared face and throat. She seemed so different from what he had expected. They had said that the woman he must find was pretty. "Was yuh-all fixin' to meet up with me?" she repeated with a bold laugh. "I don't know," he said. "By the Eternal, I don't know, ma'am. But I'm going to find out in right smart time. Did you ever hear anybody speak Latin?" "Suh?" blankly; and the audacity faded. "Latin?" he repeated, a trifle dis comfited. "For instance, 'sic itur.' Do you know what 'sic itur' means?" "Sick what, suh?" " 'Sic itur!' Oh, Lord, she is what she looks like!" he exclaimed in frank despair. He walked to the door, wheeled suddenly, came' back, and confronted her. . "Either, ma'am, you are the most consummate actress in this war drama, or you don't know what I'm saying, and you think me crazy. . . . And now I'll ask you once for all: Is this the road?" The Special Messenger looked him full in the eyes;,then, as by magic, the. loveliest of sdpiles transfigured the dull, blank features ; her round shoulders, pendulous arms, slouching pose, melted away mto superb sym metry, quickening with grace. and youth as she straightened up and faced him, erect, supple, laughing, adorable. "Sic itur ad Astra," she said, de murely, and offered him her hand, "Continue," she added.