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In some respects the temper of the troops was excellent. In the petty warfare of the past winter they had generally been successful, proving themselves 339Shorty Thinks si Does Not Look Like a Ghost. 118
"You fellers down there shut up and go back in side to your cards, if you know what's good for you," he said. "You're nothing but a lot of durned skulkers. We are here under orders. We don't want nothin' but a piece o' the tin roof. You kin have the rest. If any of you attempts to throw anything I'll mash him into the ground with this wheel. Do you hear me? Go back inside, or we'll arrest the whole lot of you and take you back to your regiments.""The whole world down here is full of honeysuckle," murmured Don. "In the evening you can smell it far out in the Bay."
He stopped, stuck his pencil in his mouth, and began to study just what words he should use to describe the occurrence. He wanted to tell her all that was bubbling in his heart, and yet he was afraid she would think him an intolerable boaster, if he told it in just the words that came to him. He was more afraid of that little country girl's disapproval than of all the rebels in Murfreesboro.
"There's someone in there," said Si, as they came close to it. They reconnoitered it carefully. Five or six men, without arms, were comfortably ensconed inside and playing cards by the light of a fire of pitch-pine, which they had built upon some dirt placed in the middle of the car.Si and Shorty found several cedar stumps and logs, which they rolled together, and made a splendid fire. They cooked themselves an ample supper of fried pork, toasted hardtack, and strong, fragrant coffee, which they devoured with an appetite and a keen enjoyment only possible to healthy young men who have had a day of active manuvering and marching in the crisp, chill air of December.