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"Cheer up, lad," he'd say, "What ails you? One would think you'd met reverse, instead of winning glory and promotion. It was a brave day, and bravely you did bear yourself. Would that Jerome could see."

But the consciousness of dishonour had torn elation from my soul, though, God knows, it had before been stainless in thought or deed.

"We'll have many sweet and tranquil hours at Biloxi when days of peace are come. My cottage can be your home after the barracks no longer claim your care. Agnes is the sweetest of wives; her little sister, too, a child, but fair, and clever too, beyond her years."

Verily I cared nothing for a baby sister. But Agnes?

He repeated his invitation to their cottage many times, and mentally I prayed, "O God, lead not Thy children into temptation."

When we had settled down again at Biloxi, for days I remained to myself in the barracks, and saw no one, making pretence of being busy amongst my men.

De la Mora rallied me upon my ungallant conduct, in denying to the ladies the sight of so famous a soldier.

I had now firmly determined to make it necessary to be away from the post for a season, either in campaign with the Choctaws against the Natchez, or by taking part in the coming siege of Havana. Any pretext to get away. Anything but the truth.