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About The Hesperian / (Lincoln, Neb.) 1885-1899 | View Entire Issue (June 8, 1893)
lounged about iu their tents dividing their
attention about equally between cigars and
French novels, and half envying the more
energetic of their number who, taking ad
vantage of their two short hours of liberty,
had betaken themselves to the city. The
stillness was broken only by the song of the
thrush from the elm tree, while now and
then, from a neighboring ravine, could be
heard the lone call of a cat bird. On the
north lay a few scattered orchards; on the
south and east, sharply outlined against the
horizon, rose the blue bluffs of the Missouri,
while to the west several unkept back yards
and a base ball fence effectually dispelled
the vision of Arcadia.
To one acquainted with the Corporal it
might seem strange that, Achilles-like, he
should tarry in his tent while the chivalry of
the camp so valiantly besieged the beauty of
the city. But his madness was not without
method. The Corporal believed that first
impressions are iudellible; that in affairs of
the heart a man lost or won on his first
charge. In his inmost soul the Corporal
had sworn that, of all his campaigns, this
should be the most noted, the most glorious;
that, of all the captives who, with willing
feet had followed, bound to his chariot,
these should be the most beautiful, the most
lovely. After repeated trials he had decided
that a necktie of a faint lilac hue best suited
his complexion, and, with a sigh of relief,
settled it upon his immaculate shirt front.
He carefully smoothed down his hair, gave
a parting caress to his tiny blonde moustache,
reversed his cuffs, and drew on his newly
pressed drill coat. From a small portman
teau he took a bottle of crushed violets and
sprinkled it copiously over his person with
the view of dispelling the faint odor of Sweet
Corporal cigarettes that habitually clung to
his person. Glancing at his watch he put on
his eye glasses, drew on his gloves and hur
ridly left the camp.
' We have met the Evening and They are Ours."
"Syrup of sunflowers," replied fye Cor
poral to the inquiry of the clerk at the soda
fountain. "I say, Richardson," he said
turning to his companion, "if this country of
yours gets much hotter we'll all melt." lie
raised the glass to his lips but did not drink;
a symphony in red had entered. She had
black hair and black eyes such as the Cor
poral had seen in his dreams. With a shy
side glance at the Corporal she approached
the counter and timidly requested three
cents worth of Pepsin chewing gum. The
Corporal's gracp tightened on his bayonet;
ho set down his soda water untouched.
With assumed carelessness he managed to
say, "Richardson, suppose you introduce me
to that little girl over there?" His friend
readily complied and the formalities of an
introduction were soon over.
"Aint it a nice day?" said the Corporal.
"Perfectly lovely," replied Miss DeSmythe.
"But ain't it awful hot?" said the Corporal.
"Let's have something to drink, ah that
is ah that wouldn't you like a glass of
soda water?" said the Corporal in souiecon
fusion. "Oh, yes," she said; "I think soda water
is just too perfectly lovely for anything.""
She named "Ashes of Roses" as her
favorite flavor and the Corporal absent
mindedly took "the same.''
"It seems to me" he said lightly, "that I
have known you for a long time."
"Yes," she replied yeastily, "everyone
says I am awful easy to get acquainted with."
At this juncture the Commandant entered
and called for a soda water with a "stick"
in in, at the same time furtively eyeing the
Corporal and his fair companion. "Have
you seen much of the town yet?" she in
"No," he said, "and I want to see the
"Why the bridge is only a little ways
from here," she exclaimed.
"Ah might I ask that is would it be
too much I mean have you any objection
to walking down there?"
"Not the slightest," she said blushing.
As they started the commandant turned
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