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    Chapter 34

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    Chapter 35
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    MAJOR LYON MAKES A DISCOVERY AND DELIVERS A MESSAGE

    Deck found Artie lying in a sheltered spot, on a hastily constructed couch of pine boughs. Over the wounded young man stood Surgeon Farnwright, binding up a ghastly wound in the shoulder.

    "What do you think of this, Surgeon?" asked the major, anxiously.

    "Your brother is in a bad way, Major," was the grave response. "The bullet has shattered the shoulder blade and gone into the back."

    "What are his chances of recovery, in your opinion?"

    "Not the best, to be candid. They would be better if he could be removed immediately to some house where he would not be disturbed. In such cases as these, sudden jarrings are ofttimes fatal."

    "I will see what can be done for him," went on Deck. "In the meantime, do your best for him."

    "I always do my best in all our cases, Major," returned the surgeon, and turned away to aid some others who were wounded.

    In a few minutes Colonel Lyon rode up and was taken to Artie's side. The poor fellow was now conscious, and on seeing them he tried to smile, but the attempt was a sickly one.

    "Don't talk, Artie," said the colonel, as he saw the young captain make the attempt. "We will do what we can for you, and your recovery depends upon your keeping quiet."

    "If you will relieve me from duty, I will try to find some house to which Artie can be taken," put in Deck. "I am afraid the field hospital is too far off."

    "The trouble is, if we take him to a private place he will have no doctor's care," answered Colonel Lyon. "Surgeon Farnwright must remain with the others that are wounded."

    At this announcement Deck's hopes fell for an instant. "Well, I'll see what I can do anyway--if you will let me off," he returned soberly. "It would be too bad to have him die for the want of care. Mother would never forgive us--or Dorcas and Hope."

    "That is true, Dexter." The colonel's voice sounded strangely husky. "Do your best,--and spare no money, if money is of avail," and he turned to consult with Surgeon Farnwright once more.

    The major had noticed, during the ride along the timber road, a little farmhouse, set in a grove of walnuts, standing about a quarter of a mile back from the scene of the battle described in the last chapter. He now set off for this farmhouse post-haste, to see what accommodations it might offer.

    It was past noon, and from a distance came a heavy firing. Although he did not know it, the Confederate cavalry had crossed the creek in force, and were now charging straight for Crawfish Springs and the hospital located there. The brigade under Colonel Long was sustaining the main attack, although other of General Mitchell's cavalry was in the vicinity.

    As Deck rode toward the farmhouse, he noticed that all of the lower windows were boarded up, as if to resist an invasion. Some of the upper windows were also served in the same way, but two or three of them were partly unprotected.

    Riding to the door, he dismounted, and used the iron knocker lustily. The clank-clank brought forth no reply, and he used the knocker again, with additional force.

    "Please don't hammer that door down!" came in a shrill female voice, and now the head of an elderly lady appeared at one of the upper windows. The lady carried a pistol of ancient pattern in her hand, and her wrinkled face was full of determination.

    "I should like to talk to you," said Deck, and he felt half like smiling when he saw the old-time weapon.

    "I don't want to talk to you," was the short reply. "I have nothing to do with this war."

    "I am sorry to disturb you, madam, but one of our captains has been badly wounded and he is in need of some quiet spot where he can rest."

    "My place is no hospital, sir. Take him to the regular army hospital."

    "Unfortunately, that is just what we cannot do--for the present. He needs absolute quiet, or he may die."

    "I don't want him here--don't want anybody here," was the slow but positive reply. "As I said before, I have nothing to do with this war."

    "Perhaps you are a Southern sympathizer?" went on Deck, hardly knowing how to proceed.

    "If I am it is none of your business, young man. I can tell you one thing, I am not afraid of a suit of soldier clothing, no matter who wears it."

    "Oh, Aunt Clarissa, don't be rude," came in a soft voice from behind the elderly lady, and Deck saw a dainty hand placed on one of the gaunt shoulders.

    "You be still, Rosebel," was the crusty interruption. "I can manage this matter very well alone. Do you think I am going to open my house to any of the military--least of all to those Yankees? I am sure if I won't have our own soldiers here I won't have those who are fighting us!"

    "But he says the captain is badly wounded, and may die," pleaded Rosebel, and now she pressed closer to the window, to get a better look at the young Union officer below.

    Her soft voice interested Deck, and he came as close as possible under the window to see her fully. As he gazed at her he gave a start. Where had he seen that face before? Somewhere, he was positive of it--but where?

    "Rosebel, get back," ordered the elderly lady, and tried to crowd the maiden from the window, but she would not budge.

    "Aunt Clarissa, remember, Paul is in the army," she said. "I know I did not want him to join, but if he was wounded and among strangers--" She did not finish, excepting with a long sigh.

    Deck could hear her words plainly, and at the mentioning of the name, Paul, his heart gave a bound, then sank like a lump of lead in his bosom. He had found the missing sister of the young Confederate captain who lay in that cold trench many miles away, with a stick for a headstone, upon which was inscribed:--

    ROSEBEL'S PAUL LIES BURIED HERE.

    "Your name is Rosebel?" he said; and his voice was as soft as when he had spoken to Kate Belthorpe in his most sentimental mood.

    "Yes."

    "And your brother Paul was a captain in the Confederate service?"

    "Yes." And now the young lady's eyes began to fill with wonder.

    "You lived in Chattanooga with your brother, and you--you had a difference of opinion about his joining the army?"

    "We did have--and I am sorry for it," answered the maiden. "But who are you to speak thus to me? Do you know my brother?"

    "Rosebel, do not be hasty in talking to this young man," interposed the aunt.

    "I did know your brother, Miss Rosebel. I do not know your other name."

    "And yet you knew my brother!"

    "He must be telling falseho--" began the aunt, but the girl's hand over her mouth checked her.

    "I fell in with a young Confederate captain whose name was Paul," explained Deck, sadly. "He said he had a sister Rosebel living in Chattanooga. He had quarrelled with that sister, and in anger had hidden some money away so that she could not get it."

    "It was Paul!" cried Rosebel Greene, for such was her full name. "Oh, tell me about him, and how he came to tell you this. Is he well?"

    The young major looked at her, then turned his face away.

    "I am very sorry for you, Miss Rosebel, very sorry. He fought as only a true soldier can fight--to the end."

    "He is dead!" came with a moan. "Paul is dead, Aunt Clarissa! Oh, what shall I do now?" And the girl sank into the elderly lady's arms.

    It was a trying moment for Deck, especially so as he could do nothing, in his present position, to aid the young lady. He waited and saw both females leave the window. A minute after the front door was opened by the elderly lady, and he was asked to enter.

    "I hope you are not fooling my niece," she said. "What is your name?"

    "A man would not be human to fool upon such a heartrending subject," answered Deck. "I am Major Dexter Lyon, of the Kentucky cavalry. May I ask that young lady's name?"

    "Rosebel Greene. I am Miss Clarissa Pomeroy, her aunt. Rosebel used to live in Chattanooga, but when Paul went to the war and took all their money with him, she came to live here with me."

    "Paul did not take the money with him, Miss Pomeroy. He left it behind him, in hiding. I was with him when he died, and I promised to find his sister, if possible, and tell her where the money was secreted."

    The two entered the little sitting room of the farmhouse, where Rosebel had sank down in a rocking-chair, crying silently. In a broken voice she asked to be told about Paul, and sitting beside her, Deck gave her the particulars just as they had occurred, and told where the money was to be found. The recital brought tears to Deck's eyes, also, which he hastily brushed away, and Miss Pomeroy was likewise visibly affected.

    "I am glad to know Paul wasn't so bad as to run off with the money," the elderly lady observed, after a vigorous use of her handkerchief. "The house in Chattanooga is shut up now, but even if it wasn't, it isn't likely anybody would hunt down in the cellar for that money."

    "I would rather have Paul back!" moaned Rosebel Greene. "Oh, Paul, Paul, how much I shall miss you!" And unable to restrain her emotions, she rushed from the room.

    Deck was in a quandary, and looked at Miss Pomeroy. She saw his perplexity, and quickly made matters easy for him.

    "You may bring that wounded officer here," she said. "We will do the best we can for him. Who is he?"

    "His name is Captain Artie Lyon. He is in reality my cousin, but he has always been a member of our family, and I look at him almost as a twin brother."

    "If he is so close a relative we will do our very best for him, Major Lyon," answered Miss Pomeroy. "I have had some experience as a nurse, and Rosebel is excellent around a sickbed."

    "What he wants principally is quiet," rejoined Major Deck; and after a few words more he withdrew, his thoughts divided between poor Artie and the bereaved girl left behind.

    It was no easy matter, in those trying times, to obtain an ambulance, and after scouting around for the best part of half an hour without success, Deck decided to have Artie carried on a stretcher to the farmhouse.

    The young captain was in considerable pain, and the journey was by no means easy for him. Four men carried him, and Deck went along. Two rests were taken before the dwelling was gained. At the doorway both Miss Pomeroy and Rosebel met them. A small bed had been put up in the sitting room, and Artie was placed upon this; and hardly had this been accomplished when Surgeon Farnwright dashed up on his horse, to give the ladies instructions and to leave some medicine for the patient. Rosebel had now dried her tears, and went to work bravely, working with the tenderness of a sister over the sufferer.

    "He shall not be disturbed," she said to Deck. "Aunty and I will take care of that."

    Knowing he was needed in the field, Deck remained no longer than he deemed necessary. An urgent call from Crawfish Springs had reached the Riverlawns, and Colonel Lyon was now on the way to that locality, taking with him all but the twelfth company, which was escorting the prisoners to the rear. The major joined the command just as it was coming up in the rear of Colonel Long's brigade.

    The fighting had been heavy, and the Confederate commander, Wheeler, had lost many men. They had come over the Chickamauga, hardly thinking that any Union cavalry remained in the neighborhood. For a time the battle-ground was near Glass's Mill, but gradually the Unionists were driven toward Crawfish Springs, while the Confederates massed themselves in the direction of the field hospital of the Army of the Cumberland.

    Again Deck found himself in the fray, fighting as hard as ever. The Riverlawns had suffered heavily, but the organization still maintained its full number of companies. It supported Long in the second and third attacks and lost seven additional men, including a second lieutenant and two sergeants.

    By this time word came to Thomas from Rosecrans to fall back to Rossville, on the road to Chattanooga. To further this movement, some cavalry was needed to protect the immense wagon trains, and the Riverlawns were called to perform part of this service. It was no easy work, and there was but little glory in it; yet it had to be done, and every cavalryman, from Colonel Lyon down, went at it heart and soul. On the way to Rossville, the wagon train suffered two raids, but the Confederates were beaten off with a heavy loss. In the meantime, an ammunition train arrived, and infantry and cavalry were alike supplied with whatever was wanted. The movement of the wagons was slow, but by midnight the Riverlawns' duty came to an end, and they went into camp on the high ground not far from the turnpike running from Chattanooga through Rossville to Ringgold.
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