- Software name: appdown
- Software type: Microsoft Framwork
- size: 193MB
The next sun rose fair over the green, rolling, open land, rich in half-grown crops of cotton and corn between fence-rows of persimmon and sassafras. Before it was high the eager Callenders were out on a main road. Their Mobile boy had left them and given the reins to an old man, a disabled and paroled soldier bound homeward into Vicksburg. Delays plagued them on every turn. At a cross-road they were compelled to wait for a large body of infantry, followed by its ordnance wagons, to sweep across their path with the long, swift stride of men who had marched for two years and which changed to a double-quick as they went over a hill-top. Or next they had to draw wildly aside into the zigzags of a worm-fence for a column of galloping cavalry and shroud their heads from its stifling dust while their driver hung to his mules' heads by the bits. More than once they caught from some gentle rise a backward glimpse of long thin lines puffing and crackling at each other; oftener and more and more they heard the far resound of artillery, the shuffling, clattering flight of shell, and their final peal as they reported back to the guns that had sent them; and once, when the ladies asked if a certain human note, rarefied by distance, was not the hurrahing of boys on a school-ground, the old man said no, it was "the Yanks charging." But never, moving or standing from aides or couriers spurring to front or flank, or from hobbling wounded men or unhurt stragglers footing to the rear, could they gather a word as to Brodnax's brigade or Kincaid's Battery.
"Just brass it out and walk by them. Victorine's waiting out behind with all her aunt's things at a house that old Israel will tell you of--listen!" From just outside the basement, near the cisterns, a single line of song rose drowsily and ceased:Their joy was short. The proclamation was on the twelfth of December. On the twenty-first, a noted sorcerer came to Ossossan. He was of a dwarfish, hump-backed figure,most rare among this symmetrical people,with a vicious face, and a dress consisting of a torn and shabby robe of beaver-skin. Scarcely had he arrived, when, with ten or twelve other savages, he ensconced himself in a kennel of bark made for the occasion. In the midst were placed several stones, heated red-hot. On these the sorcerer threw tobacco, producing a stifling fumigation; in the midst of which, for a full half-hour, he sang, at the top of his throat, those boastful, yet meaningless, rhapsodies of which Indian magical songs are composed. Then came 92 a grand "medicine-feast"; and the disappointed Jesuits saw plainly that the objects of their spiritual care, unwilling to throw away any chance of cure, were bent on invoking aid from God and the Devil at once.
They had not forgotten, however, to consult their oracle. The medicine-man pitched his magic lodge in the woods, formed of a small stack of poles, planted in a circle and brought together at the tops like stacked muskets. Over these he placed the filthy deer-skins which served him for a robe, and, creeping in at a narrow opening, hid himself from view. Crouched in a ball upon the earth, he invoked the spirits in mumbling inarticulate tones; while his naked auditory, squatted on the ground like apes, listened in wonder and awe. Suddenly, the lodge moved, rocking with violence to and fro,by the power of the spirits, as the Indians thought, while Champlain could plainly see the tawny fist of the medicine-man shaking the poles. They begged him to keep a watchful eye on the peak of the lodge, whence fire and smoke would presently issue; but with the best efforts of his vision, he discovered none. Meanwhile the medicine-man was seized with such convulsions, that, when his divination was over, his naked body streamed with perspiration. In loud, clear tones, and in an unknown tongue, he invoked the spirit, who was understood to be present in the form of a stone, and whose feeble and squeaking accents were heard at intervals, like the wail of a young puppy.
"Here it is!" cried both, and rose together.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.