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      He interrupted her. "Come inside. The mosquitoes are too bad."

      But for a long-time Si's stomach was in a state of chronic rebellion, and on the whole he had a hard time of it getting used to this staple article of army diet. He did not become reconciled to it until after his regiment had rations of flour for a week, when the "cracker-line" had been cut by the guerillas and the supply of that substantial edible was exhausted. Si's experience with the flour swept away all his objections to the hardtack. Those slapjacks, so fearfully and wonderfully made, and those lumps of dough, mixed with cold water and dried on flat stones before the fire, as hard as cannon balls, played sad havoc with his internal arrangements. For the first time he was obliged to fall into the cadaverous squad at sick-call and wabble up to the doctor's shop, where he was dosed with castor-oil and blue-mass. Si was glad enough to see hardtack again. Most of the grumbling he did thereafter concerning the hardtack was because he often couldn't get enough.

      Si thought this was neat and a good start for his letter. Just as he had caught an idea for the next sentence a few scattering shots were heard on the picket-line, and in an instance the camp was in commotion. "Tall in!" "Be lively, men!" were heard on every hand.When Si got out his nice portfolio he found it to be an utter wreck. It had been jammed into a shapeless mass, and, besides this, it had been soaked with rain; paper and envelopes were a pulpy ruin, and the postage stamps were stuck around here and there in the chaos. It was plain that this memento of home had fallen an early victim to the hardships of campaign life, and that its days of usefulness were over.

      "Run, you scald-headed dominie.71"But he didn't do it," said Pen with an odd, detached air. The words came out of her involuntarily.

      "Dear Si," the letter began. He didn't have to turn over to the bottom of the last page to know what name he would find there. He read those words over and over a dozen times, and they set his nerves tingling clear down to his toe-nails. Si forgot his aches and blisters as he read on through those delicious lines.

      "Right shoulder shift arms! ForwardMarch!"Si had always been used to speaking right out when he had anything to say, and had not yet got his "unruly member" under thorough subjection. He saw that it wouldn't do to fool with the Drill Sergeant, however, and he held his peace. But Si kept thinking that if he got into a fight he would ram in the cartridge and fire them out as fast as he could, without bothering his head about the "one time and three motions."


      "Don't shout at me," said Pen coolly. "I am not a criminal."



      Early in January there was a storm of sleet, followed by severe frost, which glazed the streets with ice. Knox, being ordered to mount guard in the Lower Town, found the descent of Mountain Street so slippery that it was impossible to walk down with safety, especially as the muskets of the men were loaded; and the whole party, seating themselves on the ground, slid one after another to the foot of the hill. The Highlanders, in spite of their natural hardihood, suffered more from the cold than the other troops, as their national costume was but a sorry defence against the Canadian winter. A detachment of these breechless warriors being on guard at the General 335