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His eyes searched her face. People who met him only casually were generally left with the impression that he had black eyes, but as a matter of fact they were dark blue. A hidden power forced Naomi's eyes to meet them ... they were narrow and deep-set, with extraordinarily long lashes. She gazed into them for a moment without speaking. Then suddenly her own filled with an expression of hatred, and she ran out of the room.
there won't be no pigeon about it, but a game ov fox-and-"Probably Sarjint Hennessey has some rations that he kin give us," suggested Shorty, who was genuinely sorry for the poor boys.
"O, he's trying to keep them fresh young kids from blowin' themselves into Kingdom Come with the rebel guns," answered one of the veterans indifferently, and they resumed their shoveling.
After a night of cursings and trampings in his room, he took the fermenting dregs of his wrath to Cheat Land. It was queer that he should go for sympathy to Alice Jury, who was chief in the enemy's camp. But[Pg 231] though he knew she would not take his part, she would not be like the others, leering and cackling. She would give him something vital, even if it was only a vital opposition. That was all the difference between her and everyone elseshe opposed him not because she was flabby or uninterested or enterpriseless, but because she really hated what he strove for. She was his one strong candid enemy, so he went to her as his only friend.
Reuben did not go back to Cheat Land for several weeks. Those five minutes had been too much for him. He would never again risk putting himself in the power of things he did not understand. Besides, he felt vaguely that after what had happened Alice would not want to see him. She had humiliated herself, or rather he had humiliated herfor she had put out in one swift dark minute all the powers of her nature to bind him, and she had failed. He remembered her voice when she whispered, "But not too late," and her eyes afterwards, smouldering in shadow, and her little hands held out to him.... There had been nothing definite, obvious, or masterful, yet in those few words and actions her whole self had pleaded on its kneesand he had turned away.After Mrs. Backfield and her eldest son, walked Harry and his sweetheart, Naomi Gasson. They had been sweethearts just three months, and were such a couple as romance gloats overyoung, comely, healthy, and full of love. Years had perfected the good looks of "beautiful Harry." He was a tall creature, lithe and straight as a birch tree. His face, agreeably tanned, glowed with youth, half dreamy, half riotous; his eyes[Pg 27] were wild as a colt's, and yet tender. Naomi was a fit mate for him, with a skin like milk, and hair the colour of tansy. She wore a black gown like Mrs. Backfield, but she had made it herself, and it was friendly to her, hinting all the graciousness of her immaturity. These two tried to walk dejectedly, and no doubt there was some fresh young sadness in their hearts, but every now and then their bodies would straighten with their happiness, and their eyes turn half afraid from each other's because they could not help smiling in spite of the drooped lips.
"If you say a word, or try to, you're a dead man," Si whispered, as he dropped the gun, and substituted his left hand at the man's throat for his right arm. Taking silence for acquiescence, Si picked up his own gun and started with his prisoner for the Colonel. He walked upright boldly now, for the watchers on the rebel works could not see that there was more than one man in the path.