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the sleeping camp behind him and the " Lord, Honey," he exclaimed, getting rain beating on his back. His blood up and shuffling over to Babe, “yams that warmed as he ran, and he might have sped dry I reckon yo' wouldn't tell on a ole on indefinitely, even to the defeat of his man. I is got a ham-bone in de cupplan to return, but for a very little thing board, Honey. Sh— If dis yer storm that checked his progress--only a few hadn't come up, I 'lowed to bury hit in sparks drifting along the ground at a rise de 'tatah patch dis night. Might be a bite in the road before him. To his cavalry round de shank,” continued Unc' Bijah, instinct it indicated the presence of a pick- as he brought out the ham-bone, with the et. It mattered little in which direction he black skin flapping from the loop of twine turned. He was coated with ice like a by which it had hung in the white man's frosted cake, and fairly crackled as he smoke-house. walked away from the high road through There were some scraps of meat still the brush of an old cotton field. A dog clinging to the bone, with a flavor of salt howled in the distance, and following this such as had not tickled Babe's palate for sound Babe came in good time to a low many a day, and when he had satisfied his cabin in a lonely field within sound of the hunger he rolled up the black skin, which flowing waters of the Congaree.

but for the storm would have been buried Red firelight glimmered mistily through deep in the sand, and put the roll in his the cracks of the stone chimney. Babe pocket. knocked at the door as confidently as he The two men sat together before the had rung the bell of the fine house in Cov- cabin fire well into the night, until Babe's ington. It was an old negro that opened clothing had become quite dry and comit-just a crack—and peered out into the fortable. The sleet had ceased to beat on darkness.

the roof when he took leave of Unc' Bijah, “Afo' I 'vite yo’in, Marsta, dese wah but the night was still cloudy and dark. times," said the old man, "yo done 'bliged As Babe made his way back to the big to tell me who yo' is.”

road, which he knew ran close by the “I'm Lieutenant Highchester, from Bos- camp at the point where the extra guard ton," said Babe.

loop would be thrown out at nine o'clock “Never year o' dat place befo', Sa. in the morning to take in the water, a new What is it yo' want, Marsta?

idea came to him, by which he could avoid Such ignorance struck through the coat giving the authorities the satisfaction of of ice that enveloped Babe with an addi- knowing that he had been at large. Betional chill, and froze the words on his fore he came to the ford, which was near lips.

the guard line, he dropped down the “Is yo a Yankee 'scaped from Camp stream to a safer crossing, and felt his way Sorghum,” said the old man. "Is yo cautiously on to the ground which he knew dat?"

would be a part of the camp after guard “ Yes!” exclaimed Babe.

mounting. He could see the sentries be" Lord love yo’, Honey,” cried the old fore him against the first gray of the comdarky, swinging the door wide, “come ing day, and all about him dark mounds right in yer, an’set down close to de fiah. which were heaps of pine-boughs. He Is I got any meat, Honey ? No, Sa, 'fo crawled forward on his hands and knees, God I aint, Sa. I’se a hones' Nigga, but and worked his way under one of these I allus has plenty o''tatahs in de ashes. mounds, where, after his fatigue and exJes help yo’sef, Marsta,” he continued, as posure, he fell asleep, only to be awakened he turned a heap of yams into view in the by the glimmer of sunlight through the corner of the chimney. “Lord, Honey, needles and the voices of the new guard look lak yo clean starved, an' yo' one o' behind him. Marsa Lincom's officas benedictionizin’ No one saw Babe when he emerged Unc' Bijah's pore cabin an’’similatin' dry from the brush-heap and trotted over to yams lak a ordinary buck nigga.”

the miserable shelter where the Major Unc' Bijah shook his head and shifted should have been, but was not.

As soon his position on the stool so that he could as he had concealed himself under the the better observe his distinguished guest. wet tent he unrolled his prize and cut it

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into small rectangles, which he packed in cers were old prisoners.

cers were old prisoners. The Major had layers in the leather case that had held his seen the latter peeling ripe tomatoes in the field-glass.

old fair building at Macon, and their white III

duck trousers went out regularly, in those

days, to be laundered. But now their blue The mystery that surrounded the ap- money had been spent and they ate meal pearance of the bacon rind in camp en- and molasses with the others and washed gaged the gossips, to the exclusion of

every

their own clothes. For more than a week other topic. Officers discussed the sub- the aroma of Babe's cooking ascended into ject over their fires and in groups about the nostrils of these higher officers, while the old field, and almost nightly in solemn the polished surface of the soapstone gridconclave on the wood-pile by the road dle was still a stranger to the bacon rind leading to the water. The rumor that which had greased many an inferior pan. Babe had been seen outside was laughed Since Babe had declined the use of that at. Once at large, he was not the man to coveted piece of plate, tendered by Colcome back voluntarily, and then it was onel Green, the members of the two excluknown that his clothes were quite dry in sive messes had made no further direct the morning.

overtures, but they lost no opportunity to The bacon rind had come to him some- court Babe or show politeness to the how out of the great storm, but how or Major. The practice of such a dignified whence no man knew. There were some reserve touched the owner of the bacon ignorant and superstitious officers who at- rind, but he restrained his charitable intached to it a supernatural origin, and clinations, for certain diplomatic reasons, these were confirmed in their belief as the yet a little longer. He knew his power. weeks passed and the bit of rind proved In a camp where meat or salt had not inexhaustible, like the widow's cruse of been tasted for months, and where eating oil. In fact, Babe took good care to was the one compensation in life, the sersustain this view by using first one piece vice of the bacon rind was a favor which and then another, never permitting any to no well-fed person can possibly comprelose its power to anoint a frying-pan. He hend. broke in the new rinds on his own half- Meanwhile Babe's popularity grew and canteen.

fed on the mystery which surrounded its His popularity sprang into existence origin. Every prisoner in camp knew him full-fledged the morning after the storm. by sight. He was commonly spoken of as Representatives of the three colonels and the Man with the Bacon Rind." He was of the six naval officers called and con- otherwise known as Captain Babe, algratulated him that very day. Colonel though some said that was not his real Green came over in the evening and of

No information could be pumped fered the use of the soapstone griddle, from the Major. It was ascertained with without stipulating any favor in return. certainty that there was no such name as This neighborly politeness Babe declined “ Babe on the books at headquarters. to accept for deep and crafty reasons, Who was this man and where had he leaving these high officers to enjoy the come from? Some believed that he was smell of his cooking while each morning a spy sent inside to discover plots among he greased the frying-pan of some poor the prisoners, and these avoided him acfellow who was unable to make any pos- cordingly. The Major had always been a sible return for this favor. The vessels mystery; his comrade with the unchristian so treated retained for days a taste of salt name was a riddle. The belief, however, and a flavor of bacon, and their use was that the two were in collusion with the aubought and sold in the market. Babe was thorities was short-lived. There was somenot above accepting a bonus or a favor in thing about the tall young fellow that won return for his office of greaser in general, the confidence of the prisoners and comand many a comfort for the Major and pelled them to like him. not a few small pieces of property came Babe enjoyed the distinction and the into his possession.

mystery which surrounded his personality. The three colonels and the naval offi- It amused him to hear the remarks at

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night as his tall figure caught the light of marched back to his quarters, where the a camp-fire in passing or crossed the disc morning smoke was just beginning to curl of the moon.

out of the chimney of sticks. Babe knew Human nature yielded at last in the that they were about to begin their miserbreasts of the three colonels, or, rather, in able cooking. He felt that he had been the region below their diaphragms, and a trifle hard in his terms with the Colonel Colonel Black himself came over to make and he longed to make some amends, so some arrangement by which his mess he walked over to the house and into the could enjoy the taste of that which it had presence of the three colonels. The soapheretofore been their rapture only to stone griddle was hot on the fire, and Babe smell. He was the bearer of the compli- held in his hand the tempting juicy rind. ments of Colonel White and Colonel “Gentlemen," he said, "you really Green, in due military form, to Mr. Babe must allow me—the Major's compliments and the Major. The Colonel was blunt and mine ;” and before the colonels could and to the point.

refuse or accept his services, he swept the “Mr. Babe," he said, “I'll be d-d bacon rind back and forth across the heatif we can resist the smell of that bacon ed surface of the griddle, and retired bowrind any longer."

ing from the room, which was filled with “My dear Colonel," replied Babe, "I'll the most seductive and appetizing odor. grease your griddle with pleasure. I've The soapstone griddle went its accusonly been waiting for you to ask me.” tomed round that day, sowing the seeds of

“Not out of charity, my boy,” said the desire as it passed. So well had Babe perColonel. “My instructions are to ascer- formed his office that the seductive flavor tain if there is any service we can render attended the progress of the griddle even to your mess in return for-ahem—the into the bungalow of the six naval officers. daily use of the rind.”

Some inkling of Babe's astounding prop“I'll talk it over with the Major,” said osition to Colonel Black had evidently Babe, hitching the leather case around on passed along the line, for several intermehis back. “ He's a great admirer of your diate two-button messes volunteered to accomfortable house. You see we are ex- cept the terms which had been scorned by posed to the cold and the wet ourselves, the Colonel. In his own mind, however, and the Major is not strong.”

Babe had chosen his architects and build“The Devil!” cried the Colonel. “You ers, and he put off these eager applicants don't propose to demand our house for with a serene confidence that he should not your services?"

be disappointed in his first choice. “Certainly not,” said Babe,“ but we Later in the day when he glanced furshould like to have one like it."

tively in the direction of the Naval Bunga“No doubt you would,” gasped the low, he observed Colonel Black in earnest Colonel.

conversation with the Lieutenant-Com“ That's the point,” continued Babe, mander. The latter was washing his duck " and I think, Colonel, I may venture to trousers in a pail, clad only in his gold-lace make you a business proposition without coat which was not so resplendent as it forconsulting the Major."

merly had been. The bullion was dingy The Colonel looked at the young fellow and frayed, and the stars were breaking blankly, without opening his mouth in re- away from their moorings. It was a conply.

ference between the heads of the two offi“ If you gentlemen,” drawled Babe, in cial families, in which the Colonel appeared his most deliberate manner, " and the six to be earnest and persuasive and the Lieunaval officers will club together and build tenant-Commander interested and as dignius a house, we will grease the soapstone fied as was consistent under the circumgriddle for a month.”

stances. The legs of the naval officer were “Young man,” cried the Colonel, draw- planted firmly at first, as if he were rooted ing himself up to his full height, “ your on his own quarterdeck and master of the assurance is something sublime. Good- situation. Gradually, however, under the morning, sir."

attacks of the Colonel, he began to shift The Colonel turned on his heel and his weight from one foot to the other. He

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was evidently in a choppy sea, for his ex- before the last shingle was in piace and the pressive legs showed signs of weakening. wood laid for the first fire in the chimney.

The Lieutenant-Commander wrung out During all this time Babe and the Major his vestments, and hung them over a pole to had slept under the shelter of tent cloth, dry. Then he wiped his right hand on the and cooked over an open fire on the burntskirt of his coat, and yielded it to the Col- out turf. The Major was no longer an onel. Babe observed the firm grip and as- invalid, having fully recovered his health senting nod which marked the end of the and spirits ; but during the last week beconference between the two officers. fore the house was finished the half can

So eager had other messes become to se- teen had never once been greased. The cure the contract for building the house for very last rind had been used up on the the two mysterious prisoners, that the three soapstone griddle, and its fellowshad come colonels and the naval officers lost no time to rattle like dry husks in the leather case. in settling the terms. The latter suspended Babe and the Major looked ruefully at work on their own bungalow, which was each other. They were far from happy without a roof, and on the very next morn- on that great day which saw the compleing the new job of construction was begun tion of the house. They were gloomy, with a will. The nine high officers piled up like the weather, and restless as the dark their uniform coats and fell to chopping clouds trooping before the wind over the and scoring and digging and levelling in old field. a way that was highly entertaining to the The night that followed was cold. A prisoners who came to look on. To the scurry of snow, the first of the coming Major the spectacle was embarrassing. It winter, whitened the ground between the pained him to witness what he regarded as poor shelters like a hoar frost. Prisoners the humiliation of his superior officers. He shivered and cowered together in their absented himself at first, until he could get tattered blankets. Some, who had no covused to the change in his position. ering at all, sat up and coaxed the embers

Babe, on the other hand, superintended left from the evening fire into a blaze, the work without any disturbing sense of which they fed with sticks. Crooning over the exalted rank of his workmen.

these fires and lying awake in the tents always polite and considerate in giving his and hovels, they marvelled at the cleverorders, but firm in his adherence to his own ness of the Man with the Bacon Rind, and plans. He would condescend to relieve forgot to discuss the last rumors of exthe Lieutenant-Commander, whose duty it change. was to mix the mortar, or lend a hand to The colonels and the naval officers the colonels in placing a log in position ; awoke to regret that their work was at an but when the foundation of the chimney end, for their pay ended with it. They was not to his liking the construction had no idea that they had broken the stopped until the error was remedied. bank. The Lieutenant - Commander

None of these things escaped the obser- planned some additional comforts for the vation of the prisoners, who came to ad- interior of the new house, and turned out mire Babe more and more. The romance at an unseasonable hour to offer his sugand the mystery surrounding the Man with gestions to Babe. When he came to the the Bacon Rind increased with the evi- new house he found it empty. The fire dence of his power.

had not been lighted on the hearth. It The most distinguished officers from the was sunrise now, yet scarcely a man was highest set in camp were his servants. As stirring on the old field. The Lieutenantthe work progressed, Babe fulfilled his part Commander turned from the house and of the contract to the letter, greasing the came down to the canvas shelter. The soapstone griddle generously at each end of blankets were gone and the leather case. the line. The colonels and the naval offi- The half canteen, whose handle was cers were more than satisfied, but as the forked stick, lay in the ashes on the burntdays passed it became a cause of secret out turf. anxiety to Babe and the Major that the ba- The Man with the Bacon Rind had discon rinds were fast losing their virtue. appeared with his secret, and he had taken

The house was just a month in building along with him the Maker of Maps.

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ONCERNING the work of any good will not care for any putting forward of B

painter there is much to be said, but when he wishes facts concerning A. This

the commentator's methods should be being so, a collection of intelligent statethe reverse of the painter's. The artist's cre- ments respecting the painter's art may be ations have distinction as they reveal his in- a more useful contribution than any single dividuality, whilst the writer had better set one ; and it sometimes happens, as in the forth his subject without any ego at all. It case of the present artist, that the variety is more politic for him not to consider that of renderings of the same general concluhis personal sympathies and impressions sions have that finer interest of subtle variahave peculiar value; that he is entitled to tions—much finer than that which attaches cherish his moods as the artist is his. It to gross contradictions. The distinguishis safer to assume that the general reader ing characteristics of Miss Beaux's portrait

Vol. XXII. - ; 1

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