Out in the fields one summer night,

We were together, half afraid
Of the corn-leaves' rustling, and of the shade

Of the high hills, stretching so still and far, Loitering till after the low little light

Of the candle shone through the open door, And over the hay-stack's pointed top, All of a tremble, and ready to drop,

The first half-hour, the great yellow star,

That we, with staring, ignorant eyes, Had often and often watched to see

Propped and held in its place in the skies By the fork of a tall red mulberry-tree,

Which close in the edge of our flax-field grew, Dead at the top, — just one branch full Of leaves, notched round, and lined with wool,

From which it tenderly shook the dew
Over our heads, when we came to play
In its hand-breadth of shadow, day after day.

Afraid to go home, sir; for one of us bore
A nest full of speckled and thin-shelled eggs;
The other, a bird, held fast by the legs,
Not so big as a straw of wheat;
The berries we gave her she would n't eat,
But cried and cried, till we held her bill,
So slim and shining, to keep her still.

At last we stood at our mother's knee.

Do you think, Sir, if you try,
You can paint the look of a lie?

you can, pray have the grace
To put it solely in the face
Of the urchin that is likest me:

I think 't was solely mine, indeed:

But that's no matter paint it so;

The eyes of our mother (take good heed),
Looking not on the nest-full of eggs,
Nor the fluttering bird, held so fast by the legs,
But straight through our faces down to our lies,
And, oh, with such injured, reproachful surprise!
I felt my heart bleed where that glance went, as

A sharp blade struck through it.

You, sir, know,
That you on the canvas are to repeat
Things that are fairest, things most sweet, -
Woods and cornfields and mulberry-tree, -
The mother, the lads, with their bird, at her knee.

But, oh, that look of reproachful woe!
High as the heavens your name I'll shout,
If you paint me the picture, and leave that out.



FIRST SERGEANT STOut of A Troop becomes his name like any hero of English ballad. First Sergeant Stout is towering tall, and broad and sinewy in proportion. There is not a meagre thing about him, from his heart and his smile to the grip of his hand, whether in strangle-hold or in greeting. Just as he stands, he might have roamed the woods with Robin Hood, or fought on the field of Crecy in the morning of the world.

But First Sergeant Stout has one peculiarity which in the morning of the world could never have marked him. Sometimes, when he turns his head to right or to left, his head sticks fast that way until he takes it between his two hands and lifts it back again; and the reason is that he carries a bullet close to his spinal cord, lodged between the first and second vertebræ.

Once on a time, Sergeant Stout had charge of a substation in the town of Unionville, County Fayette. And among those days came a night when, at exactly a quarter past ten o'clock, the sub-station telephone rang determinedly.

There was nothing novel in this, since the sub-station telephone was always determinedly ringing, day and night, to the tune of somebody's troubles. But this time the thing was vicariously expressed; or, you might call it, feebly conglomerate.

The constable of the village of Republic held the wire. He complained that one Charles Erhart, drunken and violent, had beaten his wife, had driven her and their children out of doors, and was now intrenched in the house, with the black flag flying.

“She's given me a warrant to arrest the man, but I can't do it,” said the constable. “He'll shoot me if I try. So I thought some of you fellers might like to come over and tackle him.”

The sergeant looked at his watch. “The trolley leaves in fifteen minutes,” said he. “I'll be up on that.”

The trolley left Unionville at half after ten, reaching Republic, the end of the line, just one hour later.

“Last run for the night,” the motorman remarked as they sighted the terminus.

“I know. And I've only about half an hour's business to do here. Then I'd like to get back. Do you think you could wait?”

“Sure," said motorman and conductor together. “Glad to do it for you, sergeant.”

Hovering in the middle of the road, at the “ 's-far-'swe-go” point, hung the constable — a little man, nervous and deprecatory. Religious pedagogy would have been more in his line than the enforcement of law. Now he was depressed by a threatened lumbago, and by the abnormal hours that his duty was laying upon him. Also he was worried by the present disturbance in his bailiwick, and therefore sincerely relieved to see an officer of the State Police.

“He's a bad one, that Charlie Erhart, at the best of times. And when he's drunk he's awful. I could n't pretend to handle him - it would n't be safe. Like's

not he'd hurt me. But you” As if struck by a new thought, the constable suddenly stopped in his tracks to turn and stare at the sergeant. “Why, you why, I thought you'd bring a squad!”

“To arrest one man?” the sergeant inquired gravely. “Well, you see we're rather busy just now, so we have to spread ourselves out.”

They were walking rapidly through the midnight streets, turning corners, here and again, into darker and narrower quarters. The ring of their steps stood out upon the silence with a lone and chiseled clarity, as though all the rest of the world had fled to the moon. Yet, to the constable's twittering mind that very silence teemed with a horrible imminence. The blackness in each succeeding alley seemed coiled to leap at him. He dared neither to face it nor to leave it at his back.

His gait began to slacken, to falter. At last he stopped. “I guess I'll leave you here." He flung out the words in a heap, as if to smother his scruples. — “You just go on down the street, then take the second turn to the left, and the house is on the far side third from the corner. You can't miss it. And my lumbago's coming on so fast I guess I'll have to get home to bed. Glad you came, anyway. Good-night to you."

“Wait a moment,” said the sergeant. “If you are not coming along, I want to see the woman before I go farther."

The constable indicated the tenement house in which the fugitive family had taken refuge. Then he whisked around, like a rabbit afraid of being caught by its long ears, and vanished into the dark.

Mrs. Erhart, nursing a swollen eye and a cut cheek,

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