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A Soldier of Virginia   By: (1872-1962)

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A SOLDIER OF VIRGINIA

A TALE OF COLONEL WASHINGTON AND BRADDOCK'S DEFEAT

BY BURTON EGBERT STEVENSON

1901

TO THE MEMORY OF THE GALLANT MEN WHO FELL WITH DUST OF FAILURE BITTER ON THEIR LIPS THAT OTHERS MIGHT BE TAUGHT THE LESSON OF THE WILDERNESS

CONTENTS

I. LIEUTENANT ALLEN GROWS INSULTING

II. THE STORY OF FONTENOY

III. IN WHICH I INTRODUCE MYSELF

IV. THE ENDING OF THE HONEYMOON

V. THE SECRET OF A HEART

VI. I AM TREATED TO A SURPRISE

VII. I DECIDE TO BE A SOLDIER

VIII. A RIDE TO WILLIAMSBURG

IX. MY FIRST TASTE OF WARFARE

X. THE FRENCH SCORE FIRST

XI. DREAM DAYS AT RIVERVIEW

XII. DOROTHY MAKES HER CHOICE

XIII. LIEUTENANT ALLEN SHOWS HIS SKILL

XIV. I CHANCE UPON A TRAGEDY

XV. WE START ON A WEARY JOURNEY

XVI. THE END IN SIGHT

XVII. THE LESSON OF THE WILDERNESS

XVIII. DEFEAT BECOMES DISHONOR

XIX. ALLEN AND I SHAKE HANDS

XX. BRADDOCK PAYS THE PRICE

XXI. VIRGINIA BIDS US WELCOME

XXII. A NEW DANGER AT RIVERVIEW

XXIII. THE GOVERNOR SHOWS HIS GRATITUDE

XXIV. A WARNING FROM THE FOREST

XXV. I FIND MYSELF IN A DELICATE SITUATION

XXVI. A DESPERATE DEFENSE

XXVII. I COME INTO MY OWN

XXVIII. AND SO, GOOD BY

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

"I DO NOT LOVE HIM, TOM"

"FOR SHAME, GENTLEMEN!"

"STEWART, LISTEN!"

THE SAVAGES POURED OVEB THE THRESHOLD

A SOLDIER OF VIRGINIA

CHAPTER I

LIEUTENANT ALLEN GROWS INSULTING

It was not until he sneered at me openly across the board that I felt my self control slipping from me. "Lieutenant Allen seems to have a poor opinion of the Virginia troops," I said, as calmly as I could.

"Egad, you are right, Lieutenant Stewart," he retorted, his eyes full on mine. "These two weeks past have I been trying to beat some sense into the fools, and 'pon my word, 't is enough to drive a man crazy to see them."

He paused to gulp down a glass of wine, of which I thought he had already drunk too much.

"I saw them this forenoon," cried Preston, who was sitting at Allen's right, "and was like to die of laughing. Poor Allen, there, was doing his best to teach them the manual, and curse me if they didn't hold their guns as though they burnt their fingers. And when they were ordered to 'bout face, they looked like nothing so much as the crowd I saw six months since at Newmarket, trying to get their money on Jason."

The others around the table laughed in concert, and I could not but admit there was a grain of truth in the comparison.

"'Tis granted," I said, after a moment, "that we Virginians have not the training of you gentlemen of the line; but we can learn, and at least no one can doubt our courage."

"Think you so?" and Allen laughed an insulting laugh. "There was that little brush at Fort Necessity last year, from which they brought away nothing but their skins, and damned glad they were to do that."

"They brought away their arms," I cried hotly, "and would have brought away all their stores and munitions, had the French kept faith and held their Indians off. That, too, in face of an enemy three times their number. The Virginians have no cause to blush for their conduct at Fort Necessity. The Coldstreams could have done no better."

Allen laughed again. "Ah, pardon me, Stewart," he said contemptuously, "I forgot that you were present on that glorious day."

I felt my cheeks crimson, and I looked up and down the board, but saw only sneering faces. Yes, there was one, away down at the farther end, which did not sneer, but looked at me I thought pityingly, which was infinitely worse. And then, of course, there was Pennington, who sat next to me, and who looked immeasurably shamed at the turn the dispute had taken. He placed a restraining hand upon my sleeve, but I shook it off impatiently.

"Yes, I was present," I answered, my heart aflame within me, "and our provincial troops learned a lesson there which even the gentlemen of the Forty Fourth may one day be glad to have us teach them... Continue reading book >>




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