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THE ADVOCATE AND NiiWS.
10 DECEMBER 7. CHAPTER VII Within the fortnight came poor Ned Lawrence back to Worth, and men who rode far out on the Crockett trail to meet the stage marveled at the change three months had made in him. He had ijrown ton years older and was wrinkled and gray. Winn was of the party, aud Winn, who a month gone by was look ing haggard, nervous, miserable, now rode buoyantly, with almost hopeful eyea and certainly better color than ho had had for months, despite the fact that he had lost both flesh and color during his illness. Something had hap pened to lighten his load of dread and care. Something must have happened to enable Lawrence to take that long, long; journey back to Texas. Fort Worth indulged in all manner of theories as to where the money was coming from, and Barclay of course was suspected, even Interrogated. The frankest man in come respects that ever lived, Captain Gulbraitb Barclay was reticent as a clam when be saw fit to koep silent, and men found it useless to question or women to hint As for Winn, he had but one classmate at the post, Brayton, who had never boon one of bis intimates at the Point, and being rather, as was said, of the "high and mighty," re served and distant sort with the subal terns be found at Worth on joining three winters before, Winn had never been popular. Lawrence was his one in timate, despite the disparity in years. And so no man ventured to ask by what means he expected to meet the demands thus made upon him. The board of sur vey ordered to determine the amount of the loss and fix the responsibility had no alternative. Winn and his few frieadsTnado a hard fight, setting forth tho facts that the count had been made every month as required by orders and regulations, and that exoept by burst' lug open every bale, box and barrel and sifting over tho contents it would have been impossible to detect Marsden'a methods. Oi somethings the board was disposed to dare regulations and raps on the knuckles and to let Winn off on tovoral others, but what was the use, "the proceedings would Only be sent back for reconsideration," said their provident, and as it transpired that Winn had not exercised due vigilance, lot had trusted almost entirely to his ' ssrgtiant, they decided to cut the Gordian knot by saddling the young officer with the entire responsibility, which meant Kroner or later a stoppage of nearly C J.CGO of his pay. It is a sad yet time honored comm ea tery at the expense of human nature that the contemplation of the misfor tunes of our fellow men is not always a eoufee of unalloyed sorrow. There was Sfcxsuiae aud general sympathy for Law- ! Itnoo, because he had been poor and pinched and humbled for years, had worn shabby clothes and had sought all possible Cell duty, where "deeds, not duds," as a garrison wife expressed it, earned to irake the man. Ha had frank ly cpokon of his traits and worries to such as spoke to him in friendship, tad this, with his deep and tender love for his children and his capital record as a scout leader, had won over to him all the men who at one time wen? envious and jealous and had cber- ..(abed the line man's prejudice against the fellow whose duties for years had !topt him on the staff. The women were ell with him and that meant far more thzn may seem possible outside the t my. There was many a gentle dame Sa. the old days of adobe barracks who cm4 be an Artemisia in the cause of a 20 one know just what object Ned J.w?Bce bad in coming back to Dixie. vev7 0X10 kaow a ba4 iadi jnaajly re fused the second lieutenancy, despite the fact that one or two men with war service and rank almost equal to his own had meekly accepted the grudging y tendered commission and others were said to be about to follow suit all, pre sumably, with the hope that their friends and representatives in congress assembled vracld upccily legialtta them back where they thought they be longed. No one knew where Ned Law rence had made a raise of money, but a raise he certainly had made, for, to Elythe's indignation, there came a draft of f 100 to cover the expenses, he said, of his children and Old Mammy and to pay the latter some of her wages. The balance he would settle, he wrote, when he arrived. Blythe would far rather he had waited until his accounts were ad justed; then, if Lawrence were in funds, Blythe could have found no fault J with this insistence on at least partially I defraying the expenses incurred in pro viding for the little household. Law rence hoped to have his accounts adjust ed, his letter said, and he had reason to believe, from what friends in Washing ton told him, that he would find his successor willing to receipt to him for missing items, trusting to luck and the flotsam and jetsam of the frontier to re place tbem in course of time. Lawrence indeed was curious now to moot and know Captain Barclay, for he had been told many things that had gone far to remove the feeling of unreasoning an tagonism he had felt at first. Only one thing did he say to Blythe that threw light on his future plans. "I am dreadfully sorry," he wrote, "to hear such ill tidings about Harry Winn. I was always fearful there was some thing wrong about that fellow Mars don, and sometimes strove to caution him I, who could not see the beam in my own eye I, with two scoundrels in my orderly room, trying to warn him against the one in his. Winn is a proud, sensitive, self centered sort of fellow, whom wealth perhaps might hsTe made popular. He is no better manager than I. He has a wife who could never help him to live within his means, as poor Kitty certainly tried to do with me." (Oh, the blessed touch of timet Oh, the sweet absolution of death I Kitty was an angel now, and her ways and moans were buried with all that was mortal of her.) "And, worse than all, poor Hal has no one, I fear, to help him now, as I write it with blinded eyes, dear Blythe it has pleased God I should find in many friends in the days el kaf sore adversity you and your bU&td wife, and the colonel, and Brooks even rough old Follansbee and our dilettante De Lancy, and that in imitable Collabona My heart overflows, and my eyes, too, at thought of all you and they have done and said and writ ten for me and mine. And here, too, where in my bitterness I thought I was deserted of all, here is gallant old Front da Boeuf (yon remember how we swore by him in the valley after Davy Rusoell was killed). He has housed and fed and nursed and cared for me like a brother, and Senator Howe and even old Catnip God bless him have worked hard for me, and though my soldier days seem over for the time at least my stub born spirit has had to surrender to such counselors and friends as they have been to ma They all say congress will surely put me back next winter, and meantime Euffstick says I'm to have a salaried position in a big company with which he is associated and to begin work as soon as my health is re-established and my accounts straightened out" "Who la Boffstiok?" queried Mrs. Blythe at this juncture. "foCtickf ph. that was curjt name for Colonel Dalton of the -th Ma sacbusetts, Lawrence's friend and host in Washington; a magnificent fellow, .dear, with a head and chest that made some lover of Scott liken him to Front de Boeuf, out of 'Ivanhoe, ' yon know. But he was a stickler for neatneaa in dress and equipments, and his regiment called him Euffstick and grew to love him all tho name. He commanded a brigade aftor Cedar Creek, and now just think of itl he's a capitalist" "Does he know Captain Barclay, do you think?" she asked after a reflective pauoo. "I'm sure I don't know. Probably not," was the answer. "They never served in the same part of the army. Why do you ask?" "Oh, I was wishing I couldn't help thinking bow much Mr. Winn needed some good friend too." " Winn and Lawrence are very differ ent xoen," said Blythe gravely. "Law rence has made friends, while poor Winn has only enemies, I fear, and really none worse than himself. " Mrs. Blythe. sighed as she turnee away. It was much as her husband said. The Winns had come to the regi ment after a round of receptions, din ners and dances in their honor all the way from Washington to Worth and had "started with a splurge," as the chroniclers declared. Laura's gowns and airs and graces won her no end of prominence, but very few . friends. Winn's "high and mighty" ways, so they were termed by all the garrison, in which at that time only two or three West Pointers could be found, had alienated all the Bubs, most of Jthe sen- JW"'JT. Tf VZ:' VIS "Who U DuffBtickT' queried Mrt. Blythe. iors and many of the women. Their ex travagance during the first year of serv ice, the explanations and excuses ten dered by Laura in the next and Har ry's increasing moodiness and distrac tion served only to widen the breach. Men and women both, who began by envying, turned to openly decrying. Cutting, things wen said to Laura, whose mendacities provoked them. Sneering or at least suggestive things wore often said in presence of Winn, if not exactly to him, for there was one quality about the swell the garrison had to respect his cheerful and entire readiness to fight on very small provo cation and those were the days when the tenets of the "code" were not total ly forgotten, and there still remaiue In the army a sentiment in favor of tb doctrine of personal responsibility fo disparaging words. There would b fewer courts martial today were ther more of it left But when women heard the storie about the big bill at the sutler's an ethers that came by mail, and mad little icy comments about some peoplt being able to afford much more than they could, Laura laughed off the allu sions to their superior style of living by stories of an indulgent papa, until papa's death left her without further resource from that quarter. Then she eet afloat a fabrication about a doting aunt of Harry's who hod no children of her own an amiable old widow who was to leave him all her money. He did have an aunt of that description, but she didn't have the money, and there were men who were malicious enough to refer in Winn's presence to their wis!i that tzrj had wealthy- fa thers in-law or doting dowser aunt twtbjr jjiTirj. jrcae $tow JaUow H" w . . r chance to'eay, "And so does Fuller, no aoubt Indeed so practically friendless were the Winns that among nine out of ten families along oflJcers' row there was a feeling of lively curiosity to note the effect of this supposably crushing blow on the unhappy pair and a consequent sentiment, only partially veiled in many cases, of keen disappointment when the news flew around the garrison that Mr. Winn had announced his readiness to meet the demand in fulL I 1 1 rrr i ... . H way, ii can s do true," said many a woman. "I'll believe it when I see the money, "said many a man. "Do you suppose he could have accepted it from Captain Barclay?" asked, in strictest confidence, Mrs. De Lancy of Laura's erstwhile intimate, Mra Faulk ner. "Not Harry Winn, probably," an swered Mrs. Faulkner, in confidence equally inviolable, "but" and the pause that followed was suggestive. Follansbee and Bellows boltod down to the sutler's with the surprising news, wondering if Fuller could have been ass enough to advance the money. There was a time when he would have done so perhaps, for he was one of the first to be inthralled by young Mrs. Winn's grace and beauty, and lavished presents upon her and upon Winn, of course for. a month, until Winn put a stop to the presents and Mrs. Fuller came post haste back from San Antonio and put a stop to other manifestation! But Fuller had long since become estranged from the Winns the presentation of his bill at inopportune times having later widened the apparent breach. His jaw fell and hia month opened wide when he heard the news, for Fuller had begun to believe that he would never get his money, and resented it that Uncle Sam should be luckier. "Send up another 'bill rendered by IkeytoMr. Winn this afternoon," he bade his clerk as the investigators de parted to follow other clews. Fuller had gone down into his pockets unbe known to the post and had actually pressed on Lawrence a loan of $300 and bade him come for more when that was gone, but not a cent would he put up for Harry Winn not ha "The damned supercilious snob" was what Fuller now called him, not so much because he thought him a snob or supercilious or even deserving of damnation as be cause he had allowed himself to be rob bed of 3,000 worth of goods that might otherwise have been purchased of him, Fuller, for double or treble the money. No; plainly Fuller was not the angel that had come to the rescue of Winn, nor could Follansbee or Bellows or the rest of the fellows find out who had The mystery of Gilgal was outdone. Even Frazier and Brooks did not know, and when some one, possibly Mra Fra zier, suggested to the colonel that as the commanding officer he really ought to know the colonel did send for his new quartermaster and say to him: "Mr. Trott, as you are to receipt to Mr. Winn for the money value of his shortage it would be well to be very circumspect He probably cannot have that much in currency here. How does he propose to pay it?" "I don't know, sir," said the man of business promptly. "He says he will be ready to cover the entire amount on or before the 20th of May. I didn't like to ask him where it was to come from. " Neither did Frazier, despite no little prodding at homa Only one man ven tured to speak of it to Winn, and the resultant conversation having been vari ously and exaggeratively reported the truth should here be told. It was at the clnbroom, which for the first time in weeks Mr. Winn entered. He asked for Major Brooks, and finding him absent turned to go out with no more than a nod to the party at the poker table. That party was made up mainly of the class that was numerous in the amy in thoso days and is as rare as an Indian fight now. The least responsible among them at the moment was Lieutenant Bralligan, ex-corporal of dragoons, who could no more have passed the examina tion exacted of candidates today than a cat could squeeze through a carbina' "Hwat d'ye warrnt of the meejor. Winn?" he shouted. "Sure ye've got permission to ride out wid us to meet Lawrenca" Winn vouchsafed no answer. Bralli a and he jygra things agar a rf