Page:Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Volume 5.djvu/210

This page has been validated.

when no eye but mine saw him in the lonely nights he wept, and prayed, and struggled to repent. I think he was forgiven, for when at last he lay dead a smile was on his lips that never had been there before. Then the print was taken down, and I was used to pin up a bundle of red flannel by one of the women, and for months I lay in a dark chest, meditating on the lessons I had already learned.

"Suddenly I was taken out, and when a queer round pin-ball of the flannel had been made by a nice old lady, I was stuck in it with a party of fat needles, and a few of my own race, all with stout bodies and big heads.

"'The dear boy is clumsy with his fingers, and needs strong things to use,' said the old lady, as she held the tomato cushion in both hands and kissed it before she put it into a soldier's 'comfort bag.'

"'Now I shall have a lively time!' I thought, and looked gaily about me, for I liked adventures, and felt that I was sure of them now.

"I cannot begin to tell you all I went through with that boy, for he was brave as a lion and got many hard knocks. We marched, and camped, and