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Water Valley progress. (Water Valley, Miss.) 1882-1918, December 17, 1904, Image 2

Image and text provided by Mississippi Department of Archives and History

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn87065501/1904-12-17/ed-1/seq-2/

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Jhe Water Valley Progress i
S. n. RKOW N, PuMtHtlcr.
WATER VAI.I.EY, : MISSISSIPPI.
ARNOLD OF
TitE RANKS.
BY AMELIA FRY.
The west was a flaming sea. A
few fleecy clouds floated suspend
ed like gilded craft—fantastic,
motionless. Athwart the cur
tained brilliancy beyond a prai
rie grouse winged its solitary
.way.
The somber lines of Fort Mc
Lane changed to scintillating
sp.endor. The whole world
around flamed with the crimson
and gold of sunset.
Just witin the stockade gale
stood Lieut. Chautrell intently
scanning the horizon with a field
glass. A scarcely discernible
speck near the sky-line rose and
fell with rhythmic motion. Slow
ly it evolved itself into a horse and
rider—the loping swing of a horse,
the rider lying low on the animal’s
neck.
The man in uniform adjusted
his binocular for a nearer view.
“By Jove!” he ejaculated, soft
ly, “I wonder what— Hello!”
The approaching horseman dis
played the regulation service uni
form, with a blood-stained rag
around his head. His identity and
appearance established beyond a
doubt that some important is
sue was at stake, hinting at des
perate chances many men were
taking somewhere out in that il
limitable greatness of God’s coun
try.
For weeks past disquieting ru
mors had reached the fort. The
Sioux tribes were quietly muster
ing their forces tor the warpath.
When the chieftains gave the sig
nal, the flower of their nation. 10,
00C braves, incited to an almost
fanatical frenzy by nightly war
dances, would descend upon the
sparsely settled districts.
The light was fast fading in the
west as the trooper pulled up at
the gate, and swung heavily from
his badly-heaving horse.
“I must see Col. Aldridge at
once,” he panted, in a hoarse tone,
to Lieut. Cliantrell, his face gleam
ing gray as his alkali-dusted uni
form. “There’s the deuce to pay
along the Lit tie Snake. Maj.
Dunn’s command is surrounded
two miles north of Big Rock ford
by a bunch of bucks under Painted
Horse. The boys are fighting the
fight of their lives, but God help
them after the sun rises to-mor
row.”
Maj. Dunn, commanding a de
tachment of regulars, had at
tempted to form a junction with
troops stationed at Fort Dalles.
He had been intercepted by a war
"party of Sioux near the Little
Snake,and forced to entrench him
self in a depression near the river
bank. That same night two vol
unteers had attempted to break
through the cordon surrounding
them. One succeeded with a bul
let wound in the head; the other
suffered the death of a hero, cov
ering his companion’s retreat.
The Sioux had taken to the war
path! Almost instantly the fort
blazed into sudden activity. The
Thilrd battalion received orders
to prepare for service. Everyman
knew what it meant—a long, hard
ride, with a good stiff fight at the
end of it. The parade soon be
came a congested mass of moving
man and beast.
Col. Aldridge was pacing impa
tiently up and down his quarters.,
Suddenly he turned to an order
ly. “Have Capt. Machamerreport
at once.”
A moment later the officer sa
luted.
“Have you a man in your com
mand,” asked Col. Aldridge, terse
ly, “who is not afraid of death?”
“My men are American soldiers,
sir,” came the quick response.
“You misunderstand me. On
the field of battle every soldier
takes his chances. Have you j.
man who is willing to accept one
chance out of a hundred? It is a
dangerous mission—he must go
only as a volunteer.”
“I can name a number, sir.”
“Cut one in whom you have the
strictest confidence, who will not
fail at the crucial moment. He
must reach those beleaguered
men by daybreak. The relief can
not possibly arrive there until
two hours later. Those two hours
may mean a matter of life and
death. He shall have the fastest
horse of the garrison, and must
cut his way to Maj. Dunn if his
dead body is the only message he
delivers. You understand. Have
you such a man?”
“I’d stake my life on Ai;.old, sir.
He’d cut his way through hell for
his flag.”
“Send him here at once.”
Cob Arnold had just finished
tightening his saddle-girths when
his captain accosted him with or
ders to report to the colonel at
headquarters.
As the young trooper turned to
ward “Officers’ Row,” the captair.
gazed after the manly, stalwart
figure with a certain feeling of re
gret.
“It’s a shame to sacrifice him
on such a mission,” he muttered,
angrily. “Gob’s as brave as thev
make ’em, and he’s one of the
boys heart and soul. Th1
"hanoesarehe’s goinsr to his death.
And there’s the ‘Celle of Old Mc~
Lane.’ ”
The “Belle of Old McLane” was
surely a most important factor.
Three years before Bob Arnold
had been a sophomore at an east
ern college ^nd the idolized leader
of his class. One day came news
of a serious financial difficulty
fhat involved his father’s fortune.
Tt left but one alternative open to
him:—to leave college and a ban
don all hopes of a future profes
sional career. It was a sad blow
to his ambition—a renouncement
of all that appealed to him in life
—but not once did he falter in his
decision. He left for the west
with the God speed of his college
mates ringing in his ears, and
eventually joined the army.
About the same time his company
was transferred to Fort McLane
Col. Aldridge was placed in com
mand of the garrison, lie was a
veteran in the civil war and an
able officer; but. best in the eyes of
Arnold, he was the father of Dor
othy.
The “Belle of Old McLane” the
boys affectionately described her,
and woe to him who denied her
deference. She was the prettiest
girl of prairie-land, as demure and
dainty as a western bluebell, and
many an officer’s heart beat fast
er at sight of her. But it soon be
came evident to all that she fa
vored one—Arnold of the ranks.
One summer night under the
mysticspell of the harvest-moon lie
conf >ssed his love for her. It was
the old, old story, ever new, for
the woman he loved loved him.
Both realized that until promo
tion came to him their causp was
hopeless. But they were young,
and youth is ever hopeful.
The steel-gray eyes fof Col. Ald
ridge regarded him searchiuglv as
he apprised him of the desperate
chances that the commission
would involve.
“I do not consider it your duty
to accept,” finished the colonel, in
the cold, even tones of the old
school warrior. “You may choose
as you will. If you return, your
promotion is asured.” N
“1 am ready, sir,” answered Ar
nold, briefiy.
The moon was already risen as
he led his restless pony to the
gate. She was the fleetest of the
corral, w'ith the blood of five gen
erations of Indian racers in her
veins. He had not mounted. A
lover’s intuition told him some
one would be waiting. Love sel
dom errs.
A woman came to him from out
of the shadow with a sob on her
lips. “Don’t go, Bob,” she entreat
ed, passionately. “The men say
vou’ll never get through alive.
Say that you’ll not go, Bob. To
think of you out there alone on
the prairie, wounded, dead per
haps — ah, God, God! — think—
think w hat it moans lo a woman!’*
“Would you have the gar
rison think mo a coward, Dor
othy?” lie questioned, tenderly.
“Ah, no, you wouldn’t, litfT^ girl.
And when I come back, we’re go
ing to be happy, you and L. This
will mean promotion for me,
sweetheart,” he added gayly, “and
it’s Mrs. Arnold I’ll be kissing
soon.”
“But Bob—suppose—”
“You mustn’t think of that,
sweetheart, for if you do it will
surely bring bad dreamst.”
“I shall not sleep to-night. 1
shall only think of you, Bob—out
there alone.”
He kissed her, and w as gone.
All night long his pony pounded
the floor of the prairie with unflag
ging hoofbeats. On, on, with the
moon-shadow of a horse and rider
behind and the face of a woman
taking image ahead—a woman
dearer than life to him. On, on,
with the sibilant rush of the night
wind past his ears whispering of
death in the distance. Twice he
; rested his pony, for the pace wras
beyond endurance. As the dull
gray streaks of the morning
dawned in the east the muffled re
ports of carbines came to him. To
his right the Little Snake trailed
the yellowish trend of the serpent.
Finally he came to a rise in the
prairie, and, dismounting, crept
cautiously to its crest. At the base
of the opposite slope, near the riv
er bank, lay the beleaguered
troops. On every side the Sioux
had flung their cordon in one un
broken line.
How he made that fearful dash
down the slope into the very midst
of the savage host below remains
only as some horrible reality—•
how the very daring of his inten
tions held the redskins inert and
spellbound for a moment, and aid
ed by the resistless momentum of
his pony, carried him through the
opposing line, with his “Colt’s”
spitting its death bark into tin*
ring of fiendish, painted fates.
Then how a hundred rifles spurted
flame, and under that terrible fu
sillade his pony shuddered, and
fell, and he was flung headlong to
earth, badly hit.
It was First Sergt. Burns who
leaped his barrier of horseflesh
and dragged back the recumbent
figure of the fallen trooper, with
only a furrowed cheek in payment
for his bravery. As Arnold sank
to unconsciousness beside him.
he caught the whispered name of
a woman falter on his lips.
“He’s touched,” said the ‘ser
geant, crimly. flMinsr the blood
from his wounded cheek.
“In the shoulder?” questioned a
pale-faced lad, late of the east,
glancing at the blood-stained uni
form.
“Naw!” grunted the sergeant;
“it’s Ins heart.”
Some distance back came the re
lief, riding as troopers never rode
before.
When Arnold came to life
again, a half hour later, the fight
was nearing it&end. His message
carried but little hope—the rein
forcements could not possibly ar
rive in time. Ammunition was
running low, and some of the men
had ceased firing, reserving the
last few charges for the final on
slaught.
At last it came.
The Sioux chieftain was seen to
raise himself on his pony and give
utterance to the war-whoop as a
signal for the death charge.
From every side came the exult
ant echo—the cougar-scream of
savage hate, keyed to anticipa
tion of the blood feast. A madden
ing whirl of ponies followed, the
circle narrow'ed, the charge was
on!
Sergt. Burns swept the distant
crest with a last look of infinite
longing. If only—
“By the eternal God!”
A trooper appeared silhouetted
against the sky-line—another—
the stars and stripes—the battal
ion!
Above the din of the battle
came the call of the bugle—God’s
own melody to the beleaguered
men—and the son! of the bugler
was in his music.
“Oh, say, can you see, by the
dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at
the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright
stars, through the perilous
light,
O’erjhe ramparts we watched
were so gallantly streaming.
And the rockets’ red glare, the
bombs bursting in air,
Gave pi*»of through the night that
our flag was still there.”
On they swept, a solid phalanx
of invincible blue.
A little while later Lieut. Col.
Marsh, commanding the reinforce
ments from Fort McLane, tired
but triumphant, congratulated
Maj. Dunn.
The following day a body of
horsemen rode into Fort McLane.
Among their number was Boh
Arnold, with a bandaged shoul
der and his arm in a sling.
The “Belle of Old McLane” met
him at the gate. The tears start
ed at sight of his wonds, and then
she laughed out of sheer happi
ness at his return.
“Oh, Bob!” was all she could
say, in the fullness of her joy.
A trooper standing near, with
all deference in his manner lifted
her up to him on horseback.
“I’m so glad that you’ve come
back,” she whispered, softly, as
she nestled close to his uninjured
shoulder.
His wounds had ceased to throb.
The pain was gone. It was all
wine and ecstasy in his veins now.
He felt her heart beat against
his breast in unison with his own.
His whole being seemed tuned to
the melody of a thousand songs.
Her breath swept his face, light
and fragrant as the brush of a
rose across his cheek. The light
in her eyes shone with love and
happiness.
He was her lover and hero—Ar
nold of the ranks. — Farm and
Fireside.
KNEE PANTS THE THING.
Knickerbockers tb- Solution of Every
Difficulty Connected with the
Long Trouser.
According to a London paper
the Jong trouser has every fault
which it is possible to combine in
a single garment. It rubs at the
ankle—wnich is not true of the
knickerbocker. If you turn up
the trouser, then you create a hori
zontal crease which is just as bad
as the rubbing of the elge. A
band of leather does not really
save the trouser from attrition
against the boot.
Then, consider the knees. No
amount of pressing or stretching
will really save a pair of trousers
irOm becoming baggy at this sin
gularly inopportune joint. The
man who is true to his trousers
must never sit and must never
run. Only by standing still, or at
most walking slowly, can he pre
serve the contour of his costume.
Here again knickerbockers
solve the problem. The chief
beauty of knickerbockers is that
they are baggy at the knees. Their
virtue is the trousers’ vice. And
there are other advantages.
On a muddy day a man with
long trousers finds that they are
covered with dust. He cannot
send them to the wash, and has to
trust entirely to the clothes brush
or vacuum cleaner. But in the ease
of stockings all he has to do is to
put on a new pair next morning.
It is therefore no wonder that
two pairs of trousers are neces
sary to last out one “coat and
rest,” whereas two “coats and
vests” are necessary to last out
one pair of knee breeches.
Different Cases.
“What is that going in Dryer’s
cellar?”
“A case of ginger ale. He
signed the pledge not long ago.”
“Why, he used to get eases of
champagne.”
“Yes, but circumstances alter
casee, you know.”—Chicago Daily
News
rHE JAPS AND THE MULE.
Rice Growers of Nippon Are Not Ass*
icue to Employ the Hybrid
in Their Work.
“So the Japanese rice growers aso
not willing to tackle that in teres tin®
native institution, the American mulct
without the aid of home folk," said
an observant man, according to thfe
Mew Orleans Times Democrat, “and
I can see where they are right about
the matter. The American mule W
a long-eared, quick-heeled, snpple
j'inted mystery, and no man, no mat
ter how wise he may be, can do any
thing with him unless he have special
training. As a matter of fact, tfao
white man in America Is sadly de
ficient when it comes to a working
knowledge of the mule. Up to the
present writing the American negro
is the only living person who can
claim anything like mastery when ft
comes to the mule. Somehow the*e
is something in the nature of tbe
black man and the mule which makee
it easier for them to get along. Just
what it Is 1 do not know. But even
the black man will have his upe and
downs now and then with the mule,
and I have seen some very Interest
ing instances of this kind, one of tto
most amusing being that of an ex
tremely hard skulled negro who never
wanted a better weapon than his head
in any sort of conflict with mas or
beast.
“One day he feH out with his inuto.
Ordinarily, they get along well enough
together. But in some way the mala
on the day in question made thn
negro mad and the* fight began. la
the first place, tbe negro broke bis
water jug over the mule’s head. This
did not feaze the animal. Grabbing
rbe mule by the ears and taking $
good, firm grip, the black man landed
with vigor between the mule’s ears*
using his head as a weapon. The bio*
was a knockout blow all right, but
the trouble was that It knocked tb»
negro out also. Both mule and negro
fell to the ground like dead. In m
short while both were fairly good
friends again. The Japs are right.
.They will need special training on
the mule proposition and no mistake^
and the negro 13 about tbe best man
they can get to do the training."
The Last Straw.
Mrs. Ponsonby-de-Style—Do you mean
to say that all is lost?
Mr. Ponsonby-de-Style— Every penny.
Nothing can be saved. We must give
up this fine house.
"No matter. We will have less «ara"
"We must give up our horses.”
"1 can walk.”
"And our servants."
“I will do the work myself.”
"And—our hyphen.”
Then she fainted.—Cassell's.
TILL NOON
Tho Simple Dish That Keeps On*
Vigorous and Well Fed.
When the Doctor takes his own me*
lcine, and the grocer eats the loud ha
recommends, some confidence comes to
the observer.
A Grocer of Ossian, IndL, had a prao»
tical experience with food worth anyw
one’s attention.
He says: "Six years ago I becamd
so weak from stomach and bowel trou
ble that I was finally compiled to giv*
up all work In my store, and, in iae^
all sorts of work, for aboi t xour years.
The last year I was confinsd to the bed
nearly all of the time, and much of the
time unable to retain fool o. any soot
on my stomach. My bowels were bad
ly constipated coniinualls, and I lost
in weight lrom 105 pounc-s down to 861
pounds.
"When at the bottom o. the ladder I
changed treatment entirety, and mart
en in on Grape-Nuts anl cream far
nourishment. 1 used absolutely noth-,
lng but tnis for about thiee months. I
slowly improved unJl 1 got out of bed
and began to move about
“1 have been improving regularly,
and now In tbe past two years have
been working about fifteen hours a
day in'the store, and never felt better
in my life.
"During these two years i nave neve*
missed a breakfast of Grape-Nuts and
cream, and often have It $wo meats it
day, but the entire breakfast is ad
ways made of Grape-Nuts and cream
alone.
“Since commencing tho use of Grape
Nuts I have never used anything I*
stimulate the action of the bowels, ft
thing I had to do for years, but tb4*
food keeps me regular and in fin^i
shape, and I am growing stronger and
heavier every day.
“My customers, naturally, have bee*
interested, and I am compelled to an
swer a great many questions abot*
Grape-N-Us.
“Some people would think that a sim
ple dish of Grape Null and cream
would not carry one through to tb*
noonday meal, but it will, and in tb*
most vigorous fashion.’’
Name given by Postum 3a, BaXtl*
Creek, Mich.
Look in each pkg. for the famous Jffc
tie book. “The Road to WaUvUle.**

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