Granting that the stream they were now on should prove to be the Tongue, then the direct route toward where Custer was supposed to be would be northwest, leading ever deeper into the lonely wilderness, and toward more imminent peril. Then, at the end of that uncertain journey, they might easily miss Custer's column.
Waldron turned, beckoned his staff officers to approach, and said, "Gentlemen, this is Captain Fitz Hugh of the th Delaware. He has volunteered to join us for the day, and will act as my aid. And now, Captain, will you ride to the head of the column and order it forward? There will be no drum-beat and no noise. When you have given your order and seen it executed, you will wait for me."
Out of the dust of preparation rose once more the pillar of cloud that had hovered over the column for hundreds of dusty miles; and soon to an accompaniment of stamping feet and jingling harness it moved on, leaving me behind as it had left so many others not all to go home, but some to sleep beneath the roadside bushes.
Cecilia?" asked Orion eagerly; and when Sebek had replied in the affirmative and vanished again indoors, the young man, overwhelmed with painful forebodings, sank on his knees near a column to which a crucifix was hung, and lifted up his hands and soul in fervent prayer.
When, after several weeks of campaigning, the column went into camp for a short rest, O'Reilly decided that he would try to throw off the burden of Leslie's overwhelming dejection, and, if possible, shift a portion of it upon the shoulders of Captain Judson.
The Austrians, trusting to their story, and much interested by what they heard, descended from the mound, and joining them, proceeded to walk backwards and forwards along the bridge, conversing on the probable consequences of the treaty; when suddenly turning round by chance, as they walked towards the right bank, they saw the head of a grenadier column approaching at the quick step.
They carried everything from the fort save the fort itself and the two lombards. In the narrow paths that are this world's roads, one man must walk after another, and their column seems endless where it winds and is lost and appears again. Beltran and I were no longer bound. Nor were we treated unkindly, starved nor hurt in any way. All that waited until we should reach Caonabo's town.
For the best part of three days the Union general had been completely mystified. Jackson had left Jefferson on the 25th. When the column was last seen it was moving northward from Orleans, but the darkness had covered it, and the measure of prolonging the march to midnight bore good fruit.
Reckless of the defence of their own goal, on they come across the level big-side ground, the ball well down amongst them, straight for our goal, like the column of the Old Guard up the slope at Waterloo. All former charges have been child's play to this. Warner and Hedge have met them, but still on they come.
When we reached the head of the highest slope, near the place whence I first saw these ponds, a dense column of smoke ascended from Mount Frazer, and subsequently other smokes arose,* extending in telegraphic line far to the south, along the base of the mountains; and thus communicating to the natives who might be upon our route homewards the tidings of our return.