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      From that he could observe the whole lawn around the house.He stopped short, for there arose the disturbing thought as to just how he himself had come into possession of the birds, and he murmured:


      On the retirement of Townshend, Walpole reigned supreme and without a rival in the Cabinet. Henry Pelham was made Secretary at War; Compton Earl of Wilmington Privy Seal. He left foreign affairs chiefly to Stanhope, now Lord Harrington, and to the Duke of Newcastle, impressing on them by all means to avoid quarrels with foreign Powers, and maintain the blessings of peace. With all the faults of Walpole, this was the praise of his political system, which system, on the meeting of Parliament in the spring of 1731, was violently attacked by Wyndham and Pulteney, on the plea that we were making ruinous treaties, and sacrificing British interests, in order to benefit Hanover, the eternal millstone round the neck of England. Pulteney and Bolingbroke carried the same attack into the pages of The Craftsman, but they failed to move Walpole, or to shake his power.


      The roll of the drums and the whistle of the fifes died away in the distance. There was a long silence, followed by three volleys of musketry, the salute over the open grave. And then taps was pealed in notes of brass up to the blue sky, a long farewell, a challenge aforetime to the trumpet of the Last Day. They turned and came marching back. The drums and fifes played "Yankee Doodle" in sarcastic relief. The men walked briskly with their guns at carry arms, the black-draped horse curved its neck and pranced until the empty stirrups danced. The incident was overclosed. The post picked up its life and went on. Two afternoons later the ambulance which had been sent for Felipa came into the post. She stepped out from it in front of the Elltons' quarters so majestic and awe-inspiring in her black garments that Mrs. Ellton was fairly subdued. She felt real grief. It showed in her white face and the nervous quiver of her lips. "I am going out to the graveyard," she told Mrs. Ellton almost at once. Mrs. Ellton prepared to accompany her, but she insisted that she was going alone, and did so, to the universal consternation.It would have been best so, and she knew it, had[Pg 199] indeed meant to make it like this on her part, but a feeling swept over her that if they did not speak now, they would pass down to their deaths in silence. She reached out her hand to stop him, and spoke.

      One by one, and very slowly, other nerves awoke. He became conscious that there was a sharp stone or knot under his head, which hurt, and he tried to move it, but queerly his head would not move, and then he found that neither would his hands. This was faintly puzzling, as things are in dreams. Then his throat became on fire with thirst, and somehow there came a dream of the deliciously cool well on the farm at home, the bucket covered with green moss swinging over it, the splash of cool water when it was lowered, the trough by the side, where they used to pour water for the fowls to drink, the muddy spot around, where water plants grew on the splashings and drippings. Then were visions of the eternal, parching thirst of the damned, which he had often heard preachers describe, and he was conscious of a faint curiosity as to whether he had died and waked up in the home of the lost.

      Landor tried to interpose a suggestion that though the whole effect was undoubtedly good and calculated to melt a heart of iron, the rhetoric was muddled; but the reporter swept on; so he clasped his hands behind his head and leaning back against a tent pole, yawned openly. Stone came to an end at length, and had to mop his head with a very much bordered handkerchief. The temperature was a little high for so much effort. He met Landor's glance challengingly.


      "Who is there to marry hereabouts? And always supposing there were some one, I'd be sent off on a scout next day, and have to ship her back East for an indefinite time. It would be just my blamed luck."

      So did Sandy.Oh, well, Jeff turned and found his way back to the rowboat. Time will tell. I seen a flock of birds circle over my head this afternoon and that-there is a sure sign of good fortune. Ill come out cleared!

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      It was his intention to go to Crook and to warn him if he needed warning, which was not probable, since he was never napping. He would then offer his services as a scout. He was sincerely attached to the general, and felt his own career in a way involved with that of the officer, because he had been with him, in one capacity or another, in every campaign he had made in the southwest.

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      "Seen the way Landor's been catching it?" they asked.

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      When, therefore, Mrs. Landor said, with the utmost composure, that it was too bad, his gasp was audible.


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