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A Wife And A Ducking

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It was one of the motó Wautilul night in August that eur mess was Beated before the quattêrs at F..rt Corcoran, courting the muse and rooounting tules ot flood and tield. O B. had reluted a laughuble stor about "the holy ground Of poteeh :iml patat '-" V thiovvn us into hysterie wilh "Larrv M'Hale," wben wit one ccord, the boys appealed u il ■ l"1' someihing sentimental. K was i handeome yoong fellbw I of ubtmt tnenty foiir, and as li'iid ot I tho girls as a duok is of Wttter, His easy, notuthaiani manner, eoitibined with a pico of deviltry, fine voice, natural talent for musió und a "góod pair of legs," made him s sene ul fi.vorite with ihe gentier sex ; and it he took a lit!e advantage of tbis l'act, it is excusable on the ground that " all is fair in lovu and war." If modestv was one of his inherent ch iraeteristics, its develo] ment had been sadly nuglee'ted ; so, without lurt' er induceirenl, he reluted tb following; wh eb, as near as I recnll, I givo in his owq lantruaae. 11 You see, boys, before I was trans ierred to ihis prisorihouse, I was in liharge of as awkward a si t 't reouits as ever shouldered n rr.usket or wore a uniiorm. Tbey had rushed wih willing hearls and steudy anus iivin woiksliop and tield to the defenseoj conslitntional liberty, knovviag as much about nilitavy tac íes as an elephaut abiiut rope walking Morning, no-m and night, I manoeuvered thosu feflowa Qtitil dril becuine a ■ ree-ular bon : Just aa y had attamed a re-pectable proficiencv, BBd.I was ready to enjoy the salisfaction which accompanies all good urks, the followHig was placed in mv hands : - Head Quartcrs, Arniy of the Potomac. L'AuleuftBl . vnl pr( ;n lur a parUciUr serviré arid repuri tor niBlruetiona ut head-quaiteri, By urüer uf Brigadier General EoDownl, Cumman.Ung. A. -A. slim, Miltivy Secretar)'. " The routine of camp lite had quite taken tf.e romance out of soldiering, and 1 luiiled with delight any change from its (inll monotony So, after i heariy brealdast, Í donned my best dothes, inounted rny pet pony, and rode up to the head-quarters, where I was informed that strict attention to my duties in camp lor severa] months, baving inucti grat fied niy colonel, by his request I was temporarily lelieveel from active service, und ordered to northern New York, ihere to superiotend thö enlisunent and forwardiug of recruits to the Beat of war. "Bnwiiig my thanka with as rauch calnines as I oould command, I backed out of the prewaoe of my superior officers, reinounted my herse, rode ofl to teil the mesa of tny good kick, packerl up tny traps, and left in the first train ibr L , a pleasant tovvn on the Hndson, and not a tbousand miles Irom 'l'roy. My intructions amounted to little lew than a furlough, the superintendente oonetioting in ridiog bbout to several recruiting stations to ovtr'look the business. " Ot necepsity, the entranoe of a dashing drasroon, iill booted and spurrert, sonievvhat disturlied the repose of L , and more than one pair ot brigbt eyes glintened tliroiigh the howed shutters, as I rode up to ihe Phoenix, (so calleo, I eupp'?pe, becauee it imse from its a'hes,) gave my horae lo the groom, and entertd itiv name - Lieutenant L , Uni ed States Army in fiatring ebaraetere on the register. ' It required bui a short time lor a scion of ITncle Sarn, fresh from the seat of war, to make hirnbelf acquainted , and the Record ifternoon found mo in cornpany vvith Chark-y (a fine fellow vvho isn't tint ought to be, a soldier,) in preneru.'e of ihree as pretty and agreeable yoimg ladips a on6 need w'teh pass au evening with. There ie a fatality in my existence : it never rains bnt it pours. The deaire to have n flirtation was supreme, but how to choose trom three equally attractive and pfeasflDi was difficult. Howevvr, what rde cision fatled to bring about, chance ai compHuhed ; and in less than three days Eintna (I drop the Miss, as inereiy eonventional) and royaelf wen: skirn ishing with our light ariillery l glanres, occiisionally vaned on my part hy tlirowingin u few volleys of tei dei speeches, all supported bv a reserve forceof sighs whose import was un mislakable, In the mean time. Mary was by no mean neglectad ; and as Bho ,'ived in bDOthtT part of the own, he two affaires du cceur Peldon) con flicted ; ulule Jennie, who rnanifesied a motheiTv inteieet in all "f ns, hxiktsd prticiiiarjy to the welfaro of Smi&u tier COU8ÍI) and vttitor. " Pic-nics, drives. Nüils, ar.d fiirprise partiee uKnir-id nld Patber time to travel with unüsual ritpiiiity, nnd I hegnn to re.ilize that niv holiday vis druwing to a tltwe Ths frequent, indeed almnst constant acsociation with Eninm, liad excited in uiy lie.irt soinethirií); more tban a transiiory interest, althougb I was hardly wilüng to concede, even to rnjHelf, that I wns fa'uly cawffht ín the net woven for her. Tliat she di'l not diiike uu-, I wa- convin ctd, but n 1 1 1 i n had ever escaped her which gave tno innch ground for hope; wliilc , on the other hand, Mary was at attentive aivl tingasfing as ■ misp of nzteen, and evident ly in no w'mo displeased with mv ibow of devotion. To be the victini of HWequited affection was a litlle more than my instruotion "ealled ïr. nnd my reeniiting epedition seemed likely, tf lar ue a weetheart was concerned, to be a faiiure. But I recalled iho 'iaint huurt never won a fair lidy' ndage, and !■ tfi-iniiv d it lenst to m;ike the nttempt Vitd, i'ih, v.nd I didri't fuel disponed to abandon the field without the vici "As a preliminary I prnjeeted tiercnado, iind. with CharU-y tor a compsinion, proceeded, one raagnificent i.ifilit, arnied wiih a guitar and cainpBtool, to the Rcone of action. 'I he prelude liad Boaroebv dwtl awny when tlie i:ppei' sliutters were slifrhtly ipt:ned nnd two headi - white-capptd; like the wilves - liocamo indistinctly visible through the civice. Certain of thu prenenco of niy fair one, T cliiorei'l my voice for B ientimcntnl nislody, whic-li was to wend oftoviotiofl ot my siticerity to her haart. Striking ep ittitucio- iull opera - I blazeá awuy, and v; :ie i d the midst of somelhing ubout a Jeepseated aflectioq, whun the camp-atoo] broke, and over 1 went ioto tho glitter, eluvatirvg mv heels toward the window in an ungtliant andipasmodio farewell. Tb RcireaniH OÍ laughier that followod would huve wjiked the dead. Nightcaps protruded f rom peighboring vvitidows; dog barkod, and watehmen sprang their rattles; ho I serambled u}), iiiid wito the dilapidated remaina ■ of tlieguitar ia my band, beat a buBty retreiil, rat lier crestfiillen, back !o Uie hotel. 'Allah is g. cd ! '- the girls kept the aft'air to 'heoiselvcs, and in a ' luw d aya all went on swiimningly as before. " Mv lenve expired on Snnday, and it was airead j' tbe Thursday ppevioun whon I c.alK-d on Emma ior the purpose of laying a plaira statemoát of facto bfti re Iut. What I said, or what I did, are not niattei'a of historica! tatarent, Sutliee il to say that lefl her sevcral eïegrees happier ihati when t met, and with her father's address in inj' card-osse. " What to dé iti the other case becanie a matter. of atnusing importa nee If Ptraws teil which way the wind blow, Mary nctions Ddioated t-oinething more than ordinary friendehip. 80 I euDHultod with Emrna as to tho couraa for me to nrtiue, and Jennie was callfd to advise in the pre mi sus. The ouaoil of war lieckied that noihing was k-fi to me but a profKiijal, and to trust to luok lor a refusal, whioh Jennie intimatad wnuld aoon fctllov. Saturday evyning was set apart for the ordeal, and with a palpitating heart I stood, at the time appointed, in bör preAenoe. Thore was a niischie ous twinkle n her evo vvhon stin received me. 1 glapced aroui d, luit porceived uotbing to excite distnmt. We sal down near h curtained window nhioh opened upon a veranda. Mv aoxiety to finish the furoe led me to a very early propqsal. The oxtruvgnnoe ot mv èxpressions a-emed (o impress her, and severa! times she shook with sup prepsed agitation. (I learr.ed subce quently thnt it was eoiptbered laugh ter.) Thus encournged, I feil upon iny kneijs, which position brought my b ck toward the open window. At the moment ns qiiiTPtion, she eovered her laco wiih her handkerchief and, placioj? lier luuul ie mine, uttored i oud and unroinanlio ' Yes.' At the instant 1 was deltiged with na'er. whilo a very boisterous chorus echoed her reply. Uttei'ly durab-foundered, I juinped up, the anjíiiest youlh yon ever saw ; bilt hefove I had tirre for action, Emma, Jenoie, and Chailey, surrnunded ind subd.ied me 'Dijeretion wafl the bettt-r part ui' va'or,' so I forgot mv vvrath. laughiotf with the rest, thou'gh th's struck me is rather u novel and a cool way of endorsing1 an acceptance. J(?nnie had planned, and Emma reïuctantly acquiescad in, a lesson whieh has effectunlly eured me of flirting" Sunday came muoh pooner than I desired I made my wil] iu favor of Emma, placed it in Jennie's keepinjr, took the evening boat froin Troy, and am here now, tull tlio .tory. " That racruitiflg expedition cnst me a wifa and n duokin; the latter I re ceived at sight, and the other I am going to tak 8 r,ext winter. "In conclusión, loj; me ad vise yon not to put your trust in weak campstool or tnake a confidanti of your sweetheart'a cousio." Eex.


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Michigan Argus