Filled Under: Food

Marshmallow Peeps

The stapler was invented in Spring Valley, Minnesota.


The first television newscaster was Kolin Hager, who used to broadcast farm and weather reports in 1928


Pixie, a Siberian Husky, gave birth to 7 puppies, one of which was bright green


Back in 1953, it took 27 hours to make one Marshmallow Peep. Now it takes only six minutes


On average, an ear of a corn has 16 rows and approximately 800 kernels


The green ring that is formed around the yolk of eggs that have been cooked too long is formed by the chemical reaction from the iron in the yolk and the sulphur in the white part of the egg


The silk that is produced by spiders is stronger than steel


The first president to have a picture taken was John Quincy Adams


Some brands of toothpaste contain glycerin or glycerol, which is also an ingredient in antifreeze


1 in 2000 babies are born with a tooth that is already visible.


It was during World War II that clothes with elastic waists were introduced. This is because the metal used in zippers was badly needed for the war


In 1902, the game table tennis was brought to the U.S. from Europe by Parker Brothers


Hershey’s Kisses are called that because the machine that makes themlooks like it’s kissing the conveyor belt.

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The Easter Egg

Saki

The Easter Egg                   

It was distinctly hard lines for Lady Barbara, who came of good fighting stock, and was one of the bravest women of her generation, that her son should be so undisguisedly a coward. Whatever good qualities Lester Slaggby may have possessed, and he was in some respects charming, courage could certainly never be imputed to him. As a child he had suffered from childish timidity, as a boy from unboyish funk, and as a youth he had exchanged unreasoning fears for others which were more formidable from the fact of having a carefully-thought-out basis. He was frankly afraid of animals, nervous with firearms, and never crossed the Channel without mentally comparing the numerical proportion of life belts to passengers. On horseback he seemed to require as many hands as a Hindu god, at least four for clutching the reins, and two more for patting the horse soothingly on the neck. Lady Barbara no longer pretended not to see her son’s prevailing weakness; with her usual courage she faced the knowledge of it squarely, and, mother-like, loved him none the less.
Continental travel, anywhere away from the great tourist tracks, was a favoured hobby with Lady Barbara, and Lester joined her as often as possible. Eastertide usually found her at Knobaltheim, an upland township in one of those small princedoms that make inconspicuous freckles on the map of Central Europe.
A long-standing acquaintanceship with the reigning family made her a personage of due importance in the eyes of her old friend the Burgomaster, and she was anxiously consulted by that worthy on the momentous occasion when the Prince made known his intention of coming in person to open a sanatorium outside the town. All the usual items in a programme of welcome, some of them fatuous and commonplace, others quaint and charming, had been arranged for, but the Burgomaster hoped that the resourceful English lady might have something new and tasteful to suggest in the way of loyal greeting. The Prince was known to the outside world, if at all, as an old-fashioned reactionary, combating modern progress, as it were, with a wooden sword; to his own people he was known as a kindly old gentleman with a certain endearing stateliness which had nothing of standoffishness about it. Knobaltheim was anxious to do its best. Lady Barbara discussed the matter with Lester and one or two acquaintances in her little hotel, but ideas were difficult to come by.

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“Might I suggest something to the Gnoedige Frau?” asked a sallow high-cheekboned lady to whom the Englishwoman had spoken once or twice, and whom she had set down in her mind as probably a Southern Slav.
“Might I suggest something for the Reception Fest?” she went on, with a certain shy eagerness. “Our little child here, our baby, we will dress him in little white coat, with small wings, as an Easter angel, and he will carry a large white Easter egg, and inside shall be a basket of plover eggs, of which the Prince is so fond, and he shall give it to his Highness as Easter offering. It is so pretty an idea; we have seen it done once in Styria.”
Lady Barbara looked dubiously at the proposed Easter angel, a fair, wooden-faced child of about four years old. She had noticed it the day before in the hotel, and wondered rather how such a tow-headed child could belong to such a dark-visaged couple as the woman and her husband; probably, she thought, an adopted baby, especially as the couple were not young.
“Of course Gnoedige Frau will escort the little child up to the Prince,” pursued the woman; “but he will be quite good, and do as he is told.”
“We haf some pluffers’ eggs shall come fresh from Wien,” said the husband.
The small child and Lady Barbara seemed equally unenthusiastic about the pretty idea; Lester was openly discouraging, but when the Burgomaster heard of it he was enchanted. The combination of sentiment and plovers’ eggs appealed strongly to his Teutonic mind.
On the eventful day the Easter angel, really quite prettily and quaintly dressed, was a centre of kindly interest to the gala crowd marshalled to receive his Highness. The mother was unobtrusive and less fussy than most parents would have been under the circumstances, merely stipulating that she should place the Easter egg herself in the arms that had been carefully schooled how to hold the precious burden. Then Lady Barbara moved forward, the child marching stolidly and with grim determination at her side. It had been promised cakes and sweeties galore if it gave the egg well and truly to the kind old gentleman who was waiting to receive it. Lester had tried to convey to it privately that horrible smackings would attend any failure in its share of the proceedings, but it is doubtful if his German caused more than an immediate distress. Lady Barbara had thoughtfully provided herself with an emergency supply of chocolate sweetmeats; children may sometimes be timeservers, but they do not encourage long accounts. As they approached nearer to the princely dais Lady Barbara stood discreetly aside, and the stolid-faced infant walked forward alone, with staggering but steadfast gait. encouraged by a murmur of elderly approval. Lester, standing in the front row of the onlookers, turned to scan the crowd for the beaming faces of the happy parents. In a side-road which led to the railway station he saw a cab; entering the cab with every appearance of furtive haste were the dark-visaged couple who had been so plausibly eager for the “pretty idea.” The sharpened instinct of cowardice lit up the situation to him in one swift flash. The blood roared and surged to his head as though thousands of floodgates had been opened in his veins and arteries, and his brain was the common sluice in which all the torrents met. He saw nothing but a blur around him. Then the blood ebbed away in quick waves, till his very heart seemed drained and empty, and he stood nervelessly, helplessly, dumbly watching the child, bearing its accursed burden with slow, relentless steps nearer and nearer to the group that waited sheep-like to receive him. A fascinated curiosity compelled Lester to turn his head towards the fugitives; the cab had started at hot pace in the direction of the station.

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The next moment Lester was running, running faster than any of those present had ever seen a man run, and – he was not running away. For that stray fraction of his life some unwonted impulse beset him, some hint of the stock he came from, and he ran unflinchingly towards danger. He stooped and clutched at the Easter egg as one tries to scoop up the ball in Rugby football. What he meant to do with it he had not considered, the thing was to get it. But the child had been promised cakes and sweetmeats if it safely gave the egg into the hands of the kindly old gentleman; it uttered no scream but it held to its charge with limpet grip. Lester sank to his knees, tugging savagely at the tightly clasped burden, and angry cries rose from the scandalized onlookers. A questioning, threatening ring formed round him, then shrank back in recoil as he shrieked out one hideous word. Lady Barbara heard the word and saw the crowd race away like scattered sheep, saw the Prince forcibly hustled away by his attendants; also she saw her son lying prone in an agony of overmastering terror, his spasm of daring shattered by the child’s unexpected resistance, still clutching frantically, as though for safety, at that white-satin gew-gaw, unable to crawl even from its deadly neighbourhood, able only to scream and scream and scream. In her brain she was dimly conscious of balancing, or striving to balance, the abject shame which had him now in thrall against the one compelling act of courage which had flung him grandly and madly on to the point of danger. It was only for the fraction of a minute that she stood watching the two entangled figures, the infant with its woodenly obstinate face and body tense with dogged resistance, and the boy limp and already nearly dead with a terror that almost stifled his screams; and over them the long gala streamers flapping gaily in the sunshine. She never forgot the scene; but then, it was the last she ever saw.
Lady Barbara carries her scarred face with its sightless eyes as bravely as ever in the world, but at Eastertide her friends are careful to keep from her ears any mention of the children’s Easter symbol.

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Worm Food

There is an area located off the south-eastern Atlantic coast of the United States called the “Bermuda Triangle.” It is known for a high rate of unexplained losses of ships, small boats, and aircraft, which has led some people to believe that this triangle has supernatural powers.


State with the highest percentage of people who walk to work: Alaska.


Some toothpastes and deodorants contain the same chemicals found in antifreeze.


The Shroud of Turin is the single most studied artifact in human history .


Smartest dogs: 1) Scottish border collie; 2) Poodle; 3) Golden retriever.


The sperm count of an average American male compared to thirty years ago is down thirty percent


Humpback whales are capable of living up to 95 years.


The 1912, a wrestling match in Stockholm between Finn Alfred Asikainen and Russian Martin Klein lasted more than 11 hours. Klein eventually won, but was to tired to participate in the championship match


Manitoulin Island is the largest island in a fresh water lake. It is located in Canadian Lake Superior.


Cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of eleven: $6,400.


The Chinese politician Mao Zedong refused to ever brush his teeth and instead just washed his mouth with tea.


The Super Bowl is broadcast to over 182 countries in the world.

Banging your head against a wall uses 150 calories an hour.


In 1884, Dr. Hervey D. Thatcher invented the milk bottle.


Some Ribbon worm will eat themselves if they cannot find food.This type of worm can still survive after eating up to 95% of its body weight.


The only 15 letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is “uncopyrightable.”



Singer Chaka Khan came out with a line of chocolates called “Chakalates.”

In a day 34,000 children die every day from causes that are related to poverty and hunger.

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Pizza Feast

The biggest pumpkin the world weighs 1,337.6 pounds .

The highest consumption of Pizza occurs during Super Bowl week.

During World War II, condoms were used to cover rifle barrels from being damaged by salt water as the soldiers swam to shore.

Approximately 55% of movies released are Rated R.

The Roman emperor Domitian took great pleasure in being secluded in his room for hours and catching flies and stabbing them with pens.

Tarantulas can live up to 30 years.

On average redheads have 90,000 hairs. People with black hair have about 110,000 hairs

More than half the time spent in United States courts is cases that involve automobiles.

One barrel of petroleum holds 42 gallons.

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Diaper Rash

The projection light used for IMAX theaters can be seen from space.


The human liver performs over 500 functions


The word “maverick” came into use after Samuel Maverick, a Texan, refused to brand his cattle. Eventually any unbranded calf became known as a Maverick


More than $1 billion is spent each year on neck ties in the United States


In the 18th century, potatoes were given out as a dessert. They were served in a napkin, salted and hot


The only poisonous birds in the world are the three species of Pitohui. The Hooded Pitohui from Papua New Guinea is the most deadliest out of the three


Pretzels were originally invented for Christian Lent. The twists of the pretzels are to resemble arms crossed in prayer


The American Airlines Center in Dallas has more toilets per capita than any other sports and entertainment venue in the country


After 8 months, babies are more likely to get a diaper rash

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Superstitions about Death

BIRD—————————————-

A bird in the house is a sign of a death.

If a robin flies into a room through a window, death will shortly follow.

CANDLE———————————-

Light candles on the night after November 1. One for each deceased relative should be placed in the window in the room where death occurred.

CEMETERY——————————

You must hold your breath while going past a cemetery or you will breathe in the spirit of someone who has recently died.

CLOCK————————————-

If a clock which has not been working suddenly chimes, there will be a death in the family.

You will have bad luck if you do not stop the clock in the room where someone dies.

CORPSE———————————–

If a woman is buried in black, she will return to haunt the family.

If a dead person’s eyes are left open, he’ll find someone to take with him.

Mirrors in a house with a corpse should be covered or the person who sees himself will die next.

DOG—————————————–

Dogs howling in the dark of night,
Howl for death before daylight.

DREAMS———————————-

If you dream of death it’s a sign of a birth, if you dream of birth, it’s a sign of death.

If you touch a loved one who has died, you won’t have dreams about them

DYING————————————-

A person who dies on Good Friday will go right to heaven.

A person who dies at midnight on Christmas Eve will go straight to heaven because the gates of heaven are open at that time.

All windows should be opened at the moment of death so that the soul can leave.

The soul of a dying person can’t escape the body and go to heaven if any locks are locked in the house.

EYE—————————————–

If the left eye twitches there will soon be a death in the family.

If a dead person’s eyes are left open, he’ll find someone to take with him.

FUNERAL——————————–

Funerals on Friday portend another death in the family during the year.

It’s bad luck to count the cars in a funeral cortege.

It’s bad luck to meet a funeral procession head on.

Thunder following a funeral means that the dead person’s soul has reached heaven.

Nothing new should be worn to a funeral, especially new shoes.

Pointing at a funeral procession will cause you to die within the month

Pregnant women should not attend funerals.

GRAVE————————————

If the person buried lived a good life, flowers will grow on the grave. If the person was evil, weeds will grow.

MIRROR———————————-

If a mirror in the house falls and breaks by itself, someone in the house will die soon.

MOTH————————————–

A white moth inside the house or trying to enter the house means death.

PHOTOGRAPH————————-

If 3 people are photographed together, the one in the middle will die first.

THIRTEEN——————————

If 13 people sit down at a table to eat, one of them will die before the year is over.

UMBRELLA——————————

Dropping an umbrella on the floor means that there will be a murder in the house.

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Movie Blunders

In the movie ‘Now and Then’, when the girls are talking to the hippie (Brenden Fraser), and they get up to leave, Teeny (Thora Birch) puts out her cigarette twice.


In Hitchcock’s movie, “Rear Window”, Jimmy Stewart plays a character wearing a leg cast from the waist down. In one scene, the cast switches legs, and in another, the signature on the cast is missing.


In the movie “Two Jakes,” which is set in the 1940’s, Jack Nicholson walks right by a BankOne automatic teller machine. Didn’t know there were too many of those around in the 1940’s.


In the movie “Bustin’ Loose” where Richard Pryor and Cicely Tyson take a group of underprivileged kids to the west coast, the car in which Cicely Tyson’s boyfriend is pursuing them changes interior color from red to white and then back to red several times.


In the movie Ghost (Patrick and Demi) when Demi is making something on the pottery wheel her hands are covered in clay. But when her husband comes up behind her to give her a kiss she turns around and they are completely clean.


In Forrest Gump, when Forrest goes to see Jenny toward the end, in one scene, in Jenny’s apartment, the iron is up, later, the iron is faced down steaming.


In the Mario Brothers movie, the Princess’ first name is Daisy, but in Mario 64, the game, her first name is Peach. Before that, it’s Princess Toadstool.


“60 Minutes” is the only show on CBS that doesn’t have a theme song.


Dooley Wilson appeared as Sam in the movie Casablanca. Dooley was a drummer – not a pianist in real life. The man who really played the piano in Casablanca was a Warner Brothers staff musician who was at a piano off camera during the filming.


The TV sitcom Seinfeld was originally named “The Seinfeld Chronicles”. The pilot which was broadcast in 1989 also featured a kooky neighbor named Kessler. This character later became known as Kramer.

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Bed Making Exercise

All 50 states are listed on the Lincoln Memorial on the back of a five dollar bill.

Almonds are members of the peach family.

The longest place name still in use is: Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwenuakitanatahu, a New Zealand hill.

The mighty Attila the Hun was only 4 ft 6in tall.

Hitler was voted Time magazine’s “Man of the Year” for 1938.

The average housewife walks four miles a year making beds.

The average duration of sexual intercourse for humans is a mere two minutes.

When asked to name a colour, three out of five people will say red.

Aztec emperor Montezuma had a nephew, Cultlahac, whose name meant “plenty of excrement”.

Einstein couldn’t speak fluently when he was nine, leading hid parents to think that he might be retarded.

Roy Harper once gave the kiss of life to a sheep.

Madonna was sacked from New York fast-food restaurant Dunk’ Donuts for squirting jam at a customer.

100 million acts of sexual intercourse take place throughout the world every day.

“Stewardesses is the longest word that is typed with only the left hand.

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Pancakes….MMMMMM

In China, pancakes are generally served as side dishes. They are stuffed with meat, bean sprouts, and other vegetables.


93% of all greeting cards are purchased by women.


Paper money is not made from wood pulp but from cotton. This means that it will not disintegrate as fast if it is put in the laundry.


The most deadly fires that occur in the home happen between 6pm and 10pm.


There are over 200 parts in a typical telephone.


There is an automobile model called Stutz Bearcat.


If you were standing on Mercury, the Sun would appear 2.5 times larger than it appears from Earth.

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Mark Twain-Short Story Pt 2

Continued from part 1……..1-27-2010

Then we got a little sleep. But after all we had gone through, our activities were not over for the night, for about two o’clock in the morning we heard a shout of warning from down the lane, accompanied by a chorus from all the dogs, and in a moment everybody was up and flying around to find out what the alarm was about. The alarmist was a horseman who gave notice that a detachment of Union soldiers was on its way from Hannibal with orders to capture and hang any bands like our which it could find. Farmer Mason was in a flurry this time himself. He hurried us out of the house with all haste, and sent one of his negroes with us to show us where to hide ourselves and our telltale guns among the ravines half a mile away,. It was raining heavily.

We struck down the lane, then across some rocky pasture land which offered good advantages fro stumbling; consequently we were down in the mud most of the time, and every time a man went down he black guarded the war and everybody connected with it, and gave himself the master dose of all for being so foolish as to go into it. At last we reached the wooded mouth of a ravine, and there we huddled ourselves under the streaming trees and sent the negro back home. It was a dismal and heart breaking time. We were like to e drowned with the rain, deafened with the howling wind and the booming thunder, and blinded by the lightning. It was indeed a wild night. The drenching we were getting was misery enough, but a deeper misery still was the reflection that the halter might end us before we were a day older. A death of this shameful sort had not occurred to us as being among the possibilities of war. It took the romance all out of the campaign and turned our dreams of glory into a repulsive nightmare. As for doubting that so barbarous an order had been given, not one of us did that.

The long night wore itself out at last, and then the Negro came to us with the news that the alarm had manifestly been a false one and that breakfast would soon be ready. Straightaway we were light-hearted again and the world was bright and full of life, as full of hope and promise as ever; for we were young then. How long ago that was! Twenty four years.

The mongrel child of philology named the night’s refuge Camp Devastation and no soul objected. The Masons gave us a Missouri country breakfast in Missourian abundance, and we needed it. Hot biscuits, hot wheat bread, prettily crossed in a lattice pattern on top, hot corn pone, fried chicken, bacon, coffee, eggs, milk, buttermilk etc. and the world may be confidently challenged to furnish the equal of such a breakfast, as it is cooked in the South.

We stayed several days at Mason’s and after all these years the memory of the stillness and dullness and lifelessness of that slumberous farmhouse still oppresses my spirit as with a sense of the presence of death and mourning. There was nothing to do. Nothing to think about. There was no interest in life. The male part of the household were away in the fields all day, the women were busy and out of our sight, There was no sound but the plaintive wailing of a spinning wheel forever moaning out from some distant room, the most lonesome sound in nature, a sound steeped and sodden with homesickness and the emptiness of life. The family went to bed about dark every night and as we were not invited to intrude any new customs we naturally followed theirs. Those nights were a hundred years long to youths accustomed to being up till twelve. We lay awake and miserable till that hour ovariotomy and grew old and decrepit waiting through the still eternities for the clock strikes. This was no place for town boys. So at last it was with something very like joy that we received word that the enemy were on out track again. With a new birth of the old warrior spirit, we sprang to our places in line of battle and fell back on Camp Ralls.

Captain Lyman had taken a hint from Mason’s talk, and he now gave orders that our camp should be guarded from surprise by the posting of pickets. I was ordered to place a picket at the forks of the road in Hyde’s prairie. Night shut down black and threatening. I told Sergeant Bowers to out to that place and stay till midnight, and, just as I was expecting, he said he wouldn’t do it. I tried to get others to go but all refused. Some excused themselves on account of the weather, but the rest were frank enough to say they wouldn’t go in any kind of weather. This kind of thing sounds odd now, and impossible, but there was no surprise in it at the time. On the contrary, it seemed a perfectly natural thing to do. There were scores of little camps scattered over missouri where the same thing was happening. These camps were composed of young men who had been born and reared to a sturdy independence and who did not know what it meant to be ordered around by Tom, Dick, and Harry, who they had known familiarly all their lives in the village or the farm. It is quite within the probabilities that this same thing was happening all over the South. James Redpath recognized the justice of this assumption and furnished the following instance in support of it. During a short stay in East Tennessee he was in a citizen colonel’ s tent one day talking, when a big private appeared at the door and, without salute or other circumlocution, said to the colonel;

“Say, Jim, I’m a goin’ home for a few days.”

“What for?”

“Well, I hain’t b’en there for a right smart while and I’d like to see how things is comin’ on.”

“How long are you gonna be gone?”

“Bout two weeks.”

“Well, don’t be gone longer than that and get back sooner if you can.”

That was all, and the citizen officer resumed his conversation where the private had broken it off. This was in the first months of the war of course. The camps in our part of Missouri were under Brigadier-General Thomas H. Harris. He was a townsman of ours, a first rate fellow and well liked, but we had all familiarly known him as the soles and modest-salaried operator in the telegraph office, where he had to send about one despatch a week in ordinary times and two when there was a rush of business. Consequently, when he appeared in our midst one day on the wing, and delivered a military command of some sort in a large military fashion, nobody was surprised at the response which he got from the assembled soldiery.

“Oh, now what’ll you take to don’t, Tom Harris?”

It was quite the natural thing. One might justly imagine that we were hopeless material for the war. And so we seemed in our ignorant state, but there were those among us who afterward learned the grim trade, learned to obey like machines, became valuable soldiers, fought all through the war, and came out at the end with excellent records. One of the very boys who refused to go out on picket duty that night and called me an ass for thinking he would expose himself to danger in such a foolhardy way, had become distinguished for intrepidity before he was a year older.

I did secure my picket that might, not by authority but by diplomacy. I got Bowers to go by agreeing to exchange ranks with him for the time being and go along and stand the watch with him as his subordinate. We stayed out there a couple of dreary hours in the pitchy darkness and the rain, with nothing to modify the dreariness but Bower’s monotonous growling at the war and the weather, then we began to nod and presently found it next to impossible to stay in the saddle, so we gave up the tedious job and went back to the camp without interruption or objection from anybody and the enemy could have done the same, for there were no sentries. Everybody was asleep, at midnight there was nobody to send out another picket so none was sent. We never tried to establish a watch at night again, as far as I remember, but we generally kept a picket out in the daytime.

In that camp the whole command slept on the corn in the big corn crib and there was usually a general row before morning, for the place was full of rats and they would scramble over the boys’ bodies and faces, annoying and irritating everybody, and now and then they would bite someone’s toe, and the person who owned the toe would start up and magnify his english and begin to throw corn in the dark. The ears were half as heavy as bricks and when they struck they hurt. The persons struck would respond and inside of five minutes everyman would be locked in a death grip with his neighbour. There was a grievous deal of blood shed in the corn crib but this was all that was spilt while I was in the war. No, that is not quite true. But for one circumstance it would have been all.

Our scares were frequent. Every few days rumours would come that the enemy were approaching. In these cases we always fell back on some other camp of ours; we never stayed where we were. But the rumours always turned out to be false, so at last we even began to grow indifferent to them. One night a negro was sent to our corn crib with the same old warning, the enemy was hovering in our neighbourhood. We all said let him hover. We resolved to stay still and be comfortable. It was a fine warlike resolution, and no doubt we all felt the stir of it in our veins–for a moment. We had been having a very jolly time, that was full of horseplay and schoolboy hilarity, but that cooled down and presently the fast waning fire of forced jokes and forced laughs died out altogether and the company became silent. Silent and nervous. And soon uneasy–worried and apprehensive. We had said we would stay and we were committed. We could have been persuaded to go but there was nobody brave enough to suggest it. An almost noiseless movement began in the dark by a general but unvoiced impulse. When the movement was completed, each man knew that he was not the only person who had crept to the front wall and had his eye at a crack between the logs. No, we were all there, all there with our hearts in our throats and staring out towards the sugar-troughs where the forest footpath came through. It was late and there was a deep woodsy stillness everywhere. There was a veiled moonlight which was only just strong enough to enable us to mark the general shapes of objects. Presently a muffled sound caught our ears and we recognized the hoof-beats of a horse or horses. And right away, a figure appeared in the forest path; it could have been made of smoke, its mass had such little sharpness of outline. It was a man on horseback, and it seemed to me that there were others behind him. I got a hold of a gun in the dark, and pushed it through a crack between the logs, hardly knowing what I was doing, I was so dazed with fright. Somebody said “Fire!” I pulled the trigger, I seemed to see a hundred flashes and a hundred reports, then I saw the man fall down out of the saddle. My first feeling was of surprised gratification; my first impulse was an apprentice-sportsman’s impulse to run and pick up his game. Somebody said, hardly audibly, “Good, we’ve got him. Wait for the rest!” But the rest did not come. There was not a sound, not the whisper of a leaf; just the perfect stillness, an uncanny kind of stillness which was all the more uncanny on account of the damp, earthy, late night smells now rising and pervading it. Then, wondering, we crept out stealthily and approached the man. When we got to him, the moon revealed him distinctly. He was laying on his back with his arms abroad, his mouth was open and his chest was heaving with long gasps, and his white shirt front was splashed with blood. The thought shot through me that I was a murderer, that I had killed a man, a man who had never done me any harm. That was the coldest sensation that ever went through my marrow. I was down by him in a moment, helplessly stroking his forehead, and I would have given anything then, my own life freely, to make him again what he had been five minutes before. And all the boys seemed to be feeling the same way; they hung over him, full of pitying interest, and tried all they could to help him, and said all sorts of regretful things. They had forgotten all about the enemy, they thought only of this one forlorn unit of the foe. Once my imagination persuaded me that the dying man gave me a reproachful look out of the shadow of his eyes, and it seemed to me that I could rather that he had stabbed me than he had done that. He muttered and mumbled like a dreamer in his sleep about his wife and his child, and, I thought with a new despair, “This thing that I have done does not end with him; it falls upon them too, and they never did me any harm, any more than he.”

In a little while the man was dead. He was killed in war, killed in fair and legitimate war, killed in battles as you may say, and yet he was as sincerely mourned by the opposing force as if he had been their brother. The boys stood there a half-hour sorrowing over him and recalling the details of the tragedy, and wondering who he might be and if he was a spy, and saying if they had it to do over again, they would not hurt him unless he attacked them first. It soon turned out that mine was not the only shot fired; there were five others, a division of the guilt which was a great relief to me since it in some degree lightened and diminished the burden I was carrying. There were six shots fired at once but I was not in my right mind at the time, and my heated imagination had magnified my one shot into a volley.

The mans was not in uniform and was not armed. He was a stranger in the country, that was all we ever found out about him. The thought of hi got to preying on me every night, I could not get rid of it. I could not drive it away, the taking of that unoffending life seemed such a wanton thing. And it seemed an epitome of war, that all war must just be the killing of strangers against whom you feel no personal animosity, strangers who in other circumstances you would help if you found them in trouble, and who would help you if you needed it. My campaign was spoiled. It seemed to me that I was not rightly equipped for this awful business, that war was intended for men and I for a child’s nurse. I resolved to retire from this avocation of sham soldier-ship while I could retain some remanent of my self-respect. These morbid thoughts clung to me against reason, for at the bottom I did not believe I had touched this man. The law of probabilities decreed me guiltless of his blood for in all my small experiences with guns, I had not hit anything I had tried to hit, and I knew I had done my best to hit him. Yet there was no solace in the thought. Against a diseased imagination, demonstration goes for nothing.

The rest of my war experience was of a piece with what I have already told of it. We kept monotonously falling back upon one camp or another and eating up the farmers and their families. They ought to have shot us; on the contrary they were as hospitably kind and courteous to us as if we had deserved it. In one of these camps we found Ab Grimes, an upper Mississippi pilot who afterwards became famous as a daredevil rebel spy, whose career bristled with desperate adventures. The loom and style of his comrades suggested that they had not come into the war to play and their deeds made good the conjecture later. They were fine horsemen and good revolver shots, but their favourite arm was the lasso. Each had one at his pommel, and could snatch a man out of his saddle with it ovariotomy, on a full gallop, at any reasonable distance.

In another camp, the chief was a fierce and profane old black-smith of sixty and he had furnished his twenty recruits with gigantic, home-made bowie-knives, to be swung with two hands like the machetes of the Isthmus. It was a grisly spectacle to see that earnest band practising their murderous cuts and slashes under the eye of that remorseless old fanatic.

The last camp which we fell back on was in a hollow near the village of Florida where I was born, in Monroe County. Here we were warned one day that a Union Colonel was sweeping down on us with a whole regiment at his heels. This looked decidedly serious. Our boys went apart and consulted; then we went back and told the other companies present that the war was a disappointment to us and we were going to disband. They were getting ready themselves to fall back on some place or another, and we were only waiting for General Tom Harris, who was expected to arrive at any moment, so they tried to persuade us to wait a little while but the majority of us said no, we were accustomed to falling back and didn’t need any of Harris’s help, we could get along perfectly without him and save time too. So, about half of our fifteen men, including myself, mounted, and left on the instant; the others yielded to persuasion, and stayed–stayed through the war.

An hour later we met General Harris on the road, with two or three people in his company, his staff probably, but we could not tell; none of them were in uniform; uniforms had not come into vogue among us yet. Harris ordered us back, but we told him there was a Union colonel coming with a whole regiment in his wake and it looked as if there was going to be a disturbance, so we had concluded to go home. He raged a little bit, but it was of no use, our minds were made up. We had done our share, killed one man, exterminated one army, such as it was; let him go and kill the rest and that would end the war. I did not see that brisk young general again until last year; he was wearing white hair and whiskers.

In time I came to learn that the Union colonel whose coming frightened me out of the war and crippled the Southern cause to that extent; General Grant. I came within a few hours of seeing him when he was as unknown as I was myself; at a time when anybody could have said, “Grant–Ulysses S Grant? I do not remember hearing the name before.” It seems difficult to realize there was once a time when such a remark could be rationally made, but there was, I was within a few miles of the place and the occasion too, though proceeding in the other direction.

The thoughtful will not throw this war paper of mine lightly aside as being valueless. It has this value; it is not an unfair picture of what went on in may a militia camp in the first months of the rebellion, when the green recruits were without discipline, without the steadying and heartening influence of trained leaders, when all their circumstances were new and strange and charged with exaggerated terrors, and before the invaluable experience of actual collision in the field had turned them from rabbits into soldiers. If this side of the picture of that early day has not before been put into history, then history has been, to that degree incomplete, for it had and has its rightful place there. There was more Bull Run material scattered through the early camps of this country than exhibited itself at Bull Run. And yet, it learned it’s trade presently and helped to fight the great battles later. I could have become a soldier myself if I had waited. I had got part of it learned, I knew more about retreating than the man that invented retreating.

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