时间：<2020-06-07 16:04:50 作者：y1魔力学院aty 浏览量：9777
"And yet," said the matron on second thought, "it may really have helped her to bear up.""But, Con," argued Anna, "an extra on Sunday evening, brought away down here--" The call piped nearer.
"Ole mahs' love' wine, ole mis' love'--"
Anna's own private version (sum of all), though never written even in her diary, was illustrated, mind-pictured. Into her reveries had gradually come a tableau of the great field. Inaccurate it may have been, incomplete, even grotesquely unfair; but to her it was at least clear. Here--through the middle of her blue-skied, pensive contemplation, so to speak--flowed Bull Run. High above it, circling in eagle majesty under still, white clouds, the hungry buzzard, vainly as yet, scanned the green acres of meadow and wood merry with the lark, the thrush, the cardinal. Here she discerned the untried gray brigades--atom-small on nature's face, but with Ewell, Early, Longstreet, and other such to lead them--holding the frequent fords, from union Mills up to Lewis's. Here near Mitchell's, on a lonesome roadside, stood Kincaid's Battery, fated there to stay for hours yet, in hateful idleness and a fierce July sun, watching white smoke-lines of crackling infantry multiply in the landscape or bursting shells make white smoke-rings in the bright air, and to listen helplessly to the boom, hurtle and boom of other artilleries and the far away cheering and counter-cheering of friend and foe. Yonder in the far east glimmered Centerville, its hitherward roads, already in the sabbath sunrise, full of brave bluecoats choking with Virginia dust and throwing away their hot blankets as they came. Here she made out Stone Bridge, guarded by a brigade called Jackson's; here, crossing it east and west, the Warrenton turnpike, and yonder north of them that rise of dust above the trees which meant a flanking Federal column and crept westward as Evans watched it, toward Sudley Springs, ford, mill, and church, where already much blue infantry had stolen round by night from Centerville. Here, leading south from these, she descried the sunken Sudley road, that with a dip and a rise crossed the turnpike and Young's Branch. There eastward of it the branch turned north-east and then southeast between those sloping fields beyond which Evans and Wheat were presently fighting Burnside; through which Bee, among bursting shells, pressed to their aid against such as Keyes and Sherman, and back over which, after a long, hot struggle, she could see--could hear--the aiders and the aided swept in one torn, depleted tumult, shattered, confounded, and made the more impotent by their own clamor. Here was the many-ravined, tree-dotted, southward rise by which, in concave line, the Northern brigades and batteries, pressing across the bends of the branch, advanced to the famed Henry house plateau--that key of victory where by midday fell all the horrid weight of the battle; where the guns of Ricketts and Griffen for the North and of Walton and Imboden for the South crashed and mowed, and across and across which the opposing infantries volleyed and bled, screamed, groaned, swayed, and drove each other, staggered, panted, rallied, cheered, and fell or fought on among the fallen. Here cried Bee to the dazed crowd, "Look at Jackson's brigade standing like a stone wall." Here Beauregard and Johnson formed their new front of half a dozen states on Alabama's colours, and here a bit later the Creole general's horse was shot under him. Northward here, down the slope and over the branch, rolled the conflict, and there on the opposite rise, among his routed blues, was Greenleaf disabled and taken.
She winced yet smiled: "And still--your cousin--he's receive' no order?" Her fingers tingled to maim some one--this dolt--anybody! Her eyes sweetened.
"'Twould have been little!--to make him rich!--and us also!""Yes," said Anna, with her dryest smile, "it's sneaked off in the dark."
"Law, Miss Nannie! Me leave you? I--"
Anna gave a wilder start: "Oh, no-o-oh! Oh, yes--oh, no--oh, yes, yes! Oh, Captain Kincaid, how could you? Oh, monstrous, monstrous!" She made all possible commotion to hide any sound that might betray Flora, who had sprung to her feet, panting.
Neither in those sixty days had Anna seen him. The blue sentries let no one pass in sight of that sort of windows. "Permit?" She had not sought it, Some one in gold lace called her "blamed lucky" to enjoy the ordinary permissions accorded Tom, Dick, and Harry. Indeed Tom, Dick, and Harry were freer than she. By reason of hints caught from her in wanderings of her mind on the boat, in dreams of a great service to be done for Dixie, the one spot where she most yearned to go and to be was forbidden her, and not yet had she been allowed to rest her hungry eyes on Callender House. Worse than idle, therefore, perilous for both of them and for any dream of great service, would it have been even to name the name of Hilary Kincaid.On the road to Callender House, while Charlie and Victorine palavered together--"I cannot quite make out," minced the French-speaking grandmother to Flora, "the real reason why you are doing this."
Anna beamingly laid her fingers on the lips of the enthusiast: "Con!--Miranda!--we can have a bazaar right in this house! Every friend we've got, and every friend of the bat'--Oh, come in, Flora Valcour! you're just in the nick o' time--a second Kirby Smith at Manassas!""Pshaw, Nan, I know he's been here, it's in your face. Who was with him; Charlie?"Anna smiled fondly, but her heart had stopped, her feet moved haltingly. A mask of self-censure poorly veiled Flora's joy, yet such as it was it was needed. Up from the garden, barely audible to ears straining for it, yet surging through those two minds like a stifling smoke, sounded the tread of the departing horseman.