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Newspaper Page Text
By Harold Carter
"This was where the tide of battle
first began to turn," said old Bottle
Green to Peter. "Tirfs-was where we
hammered and broke 'em. Set 'em
up and we'll fight it all over again.
You can be the Rebs."
"Maybe I'll beat you this time, old
Bottle-Green," thought Peter, but he
said nothing and began to set up the
lead soldiers. For an hour and long
er the opposing forces fought tooth
and nail with spring guns and chips
for shells. Surely enough, the Yankee
army reeled back in sore disaster,
reeled back as far as the edge of the
table, and there died to a man rather
"That's because I didn't have
Stonewall Jackson," said old Bottle
Green. "You killed him early in the
game, you remember. Next time I'll
Peter crept guiltily out of the
house. It was strange how he had
first come to play soldiers with Bot-tle-Green.
He wore a bottle-green
coat, he tapped his stick fiercely as
he went down the street, and every
body was afraid of him. The old
man had no friends, and he lived all
alone in the white house, except for
his negro servant, Amyas.
Peter, fascinated by the old man,
crept up to a window and looked in.
He saw a big table and a wonderful
array of soldiers and artillery. The
old man was busily playingj one force
against another. Smasn, smash!
went the guns, and whole lines went
topping over. Just then old Bottle
Green looked up and saw the little
boy. Peter, too terrified to run, stood
with bulging eyes. He expected noth
ing else than to be caught and eaten.
Old Bottle-Green came charging
out of the door. "Want a game of
soldiers, little boy?" he asked.
Old Bottle-Green earned him m-
piaa and, uig- -temaea reter soon l
found himself playing with zest and
having the time of his life. That
game the Yankees knocked some
word Peter didn't understand out of
the Rebs. But the next time they
played the Rebs gave as good as they
got. And so the fortunes of war
swayed for many critical games.
"Mind you, don't tell anybody
about it," said old Bottle-Green.
"Swear by the password."
"I swear by the Continental con-
" k Mi
Crept Up to a Window and Looked In.
gress," answered Peter, lifting up his
"Now you're sworn in and a sol
dier," said old Bottle-Green. "Any
morning you're passing, step in and
have a battle.
Peter's mother never knew what
became of Peter on those days. She
thought he was playing with some of
the boys. Peter kept his fearful se
cret, conscious that the destinies of
the nation depended upon him.
"How is it you haven't any little
boys of your own to play with, old
Bottle-Green?" asked Peter one day.
Old Bottle-Green scowled fearfully