"O, no, we don't," said Si patiently, for her ignorance seemed beautifully feminine, where Maria's was provoking. "You see, dear, he's my Captain鈥攃ommands about a hundred sich as me, and wears a sword and shoulder-straps and other fine clothes, and orders me and the rest around, and has his own tent, all by himself, and his servant to cook for him, and we have to salute him, and do jest what he says, and not talk back鈥攁t least, so he kin hear it, and jest lots o' things."
The artillery all along the line burst out in torrents of shells, but Si's eyes were glued on the two little brigades. He saw the white spurts from the skirmishers' rifles, and men drop among the rebels,112 who yet moved slowly forward, like some all-engulfing torrent. The skirmishers ran back to the main line, and along its front sped a burst of smoke as each regiment fired by volley. The foremost rebel line quivered a little, but moved steadily on.
Finally they came up to their brigade, which had turned off the road and gone into line-of-battle in an old cotton-field, where the mud was deeper, if possible, than in the road.
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"All right," assented the Deacon, who was falling into camp ways with remarkable facility. "But you've got to look out for that teamster. He's meaner'n dog-fennel. He'll tell everything.". Si's head fairly swam, and he and Shorty ran so fast to make sure of the train that there was a suspicion in the minds of some of the citizens that they were escaping from their officers.
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