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longed to the same regiment, and both had reached the rank of corporal, Uncle Luther on one leg and Uncle Tommy on two. But Uncle Luther always had deferred to Uncle Tommy as if he had been an older brother, and it seemed to him hardly short of sacrilege to appear as Uncle Tommy's rival. So he struggled to his feet, and held up a lean finger to catch Captain Enoch's eye.

"I rather have Tommy have the place," he faltered;" he's better fitted for it than I be."

But Uncle Tommy was storming down the


"Keep it," he roared, and he went out, slamming the door after him.

Uncle Luther followed him a few steps, wistfully, and then he dropped back in his seat, and listened dumbly while Captain Enoch and the exultant revolters planned the details of the parade.

"It's Amery's turn this year," gloated Captain Enoch.

Uncle Luther walked up the road alone. His step was brisker than usual, and there was a brighter gleam in his eye. He could not help feeling proud that he had been honored. There were other men in Amery who would have served better in his place-he knew that well enough, for he was old, and he

didn't walk easily-but he was glad with the joy of appreciation. For so many years he had been an unnoticed, crippled tinker, and when at last recognition came to him, even at the expense of his more fortunate brother, he could not help exulting.

"Well, I fought fer it," he mumbled; "an' I bled fer it. I'd a-given both my legs, if necessary-they know that." Then, after a pause, he said aloud: "But I wisht Tommy'd got it."

He opened the door of his little shop, and went in. His eyes swept the familiar disorder of the room, the rusty tools hanging on the wall, the blear-faced old clocks, the pots and pans, all the toys of a second childhood. He was glad to be at home again, for he was worn out and trembling with the unwonted excitement of the meeting. Outside, the sun shone on the green prairies, and there was warm, puddly dust in the road; but Uncle Luther's blood was thin and cold, and he shivered in the damp interior of the shop. So he brought his soldering brazier from the corner and stirred the coals into a bright glow. Then he bent over to warm his hands.

Jonathan Dowell came down the lane between his prosperous fields, on his way to town. Little Dick was with him. When Uncle Luther saw them, he went to the door

"Several of the other old soldiers were clinging to Captain Enoch's coat-tails."

and beckoned.

"Come in, Jonathan, come in," he called. His face shone with pride, and he told with feverish eagerness of the new honor which the day had brought him.

"Nonsense," interrupted Jonathan, testily; "don't you know, father, that you're gettin' too old an' feeble to take part in such things? You ain't able to walk to the graveyard an' back, an' you're only stirrin' up trouble between the

families. Uncle Tommy'll never forgive you."

"I know it," he faltered; "I know it, Jonathan. Tommy'd ought to have it. I told 'em so. I said Tommy'd ought to have it.”

The end of the lane was the end of Dick's little world, and he turned and loitered back, humming a tune to himself, as a child will.

Uncle Luther stood in the doorway, and watched him wistfully. Of a sudden he recalled how Uncle Tommy had looked when they were boys together.

"Jus' like Tommy, exactly," he said, half aloud, gazing fondly at the little fellow. Then he bent over stiffly and beckoned.

"Come see gran'pa," he said, smiling enticingly.

nearer, glancing from the candy to his grandfather's wrinkled face. Uncle Luther waved the stick like a wizard's wand, and lured Dick nearer and nearer until a dirty little hand closed over the candy. Then he reached out slyly and cautiously, and gathered Dick in his arms.



Ain't you goin' to kiss gran'pa?" he asked eagerly.

But the little boy wriggled away, and ran out of the door. Uncle Luther watched him loitering up the lane in the sunshine, sucking his candy, until the vision blurred in his dim old eyes. Then he returned to his brazier. He sat down, and drew his chair almost over it. He bent double, with his elbows on his knees and his head resting on his hands, and there he sat alone for a long time. Finally he straightened up. The subtle warmth of the fire had stolen through all his body. He leaned back in his chair, his head drooped over to one side, and his work-worn old hands lay palm upward on his knees. He was fast asleep.

"Dick crossed his hands behind his back."

Dick crossed his hands behind his back, and looked at Uncle Luther soberly. He was a sunnyhaired little fellow, with blue eyes and puckery red lips, and he stood full in the bright May sunshine.

Uncle Luther regarded him seriously.

"I told 'em I didn't want to march," he said protestingly. "I said Tommy'd do it better'n I could; but Captain Enoch, ner any of 'em, wouldn't listen to me. Don't go 'way, Dicky, don't go 'way, an' leave gran' pa," beseechingly.

But the little boy was edging away; he didn't understand, and he was afraid.

"Don't go 'way," said Uncle Luther, eagerly; "come an' see what gran'pa's got for Dicky."

He turned, and hobbled painfully across his shop. He put on his spectacles, and opened a drawer in his work-bench, and in its depths he found a stick of horehound candy. Dick stood with one pudgy hand resting on the door frame, peering into the shop with wide eyes.

"Candy," announced. Uncle Luther expressively.

Dick drew a little

The brazier under him continued to glow, and send its cheery comfort stealing up around his chair. It had a friendliness and hearty warmth that were more than the kindness of many of the old man's friends.

"To examine the remains of the fifty-dollar leg."

The dusk of evening came down, and filled the corners with shadows. And presently a glow that was not all in the brazier began to illumine the center of the room. A thin, wavering mist of smoke curled up around the old man, and crept silently along the dingy ceiling. A moment later there was a sharp burst of flame, that disappeared as suddenly as it came. The old man's trouser-leg rested against the hot brasier, and the fine fire gnawed and sparkled in the heavy cloth. A few shavings on the littered floor of the shop were crisping with sudden wisps of flame, and the chair legs were on fire.

But Uncle Luther slept on, wholly unconscious of his danger.

Jonathan Dowell, returning from the village, saw a sinister glare in the shop windows. He rushed into the room, seized the old man, and lifted him swiftly to one side. Then he beat out the fire with a gunny sack. Uncle Luther sat up, trembling and terrified. His wooden leg was gone. It had burned almost to the stump, and the charred remains were still smoking.

Jonathan Dowell's voice rang with anger. "What won't you do next, father?" he said. "You've set yourself on fire, and nearly burned up the shop. That wooden leg of yours cost me just fifty dollars, and it'll be a long time before I can afford another." And then he saw dimly the agony in his father's face, and he softened. He was not a bad man, nor even a harsh man-only thoughtless. "You must learn to be more careful, father," he said gently, and yet insistently, as if he talked to a child.

Uncle Luther was glad when his son went away. He crept to his little back room like a wounded dog, and lay down on the bed. Old age had made him slow, and he could not realize at first the full magnitude of his disaster; but he knew that he had deeply angered his son.

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emnly, as at a funeral, glancing sideways from the corners of their eyes, and yet not missing anything.

Among the very first to call was Captain Enoch Bradley, who was a hearty, warmblooded, irascible old fellow, and his bluff sympathy went far toward solacing Uncle Luther in his affliction.

""Twan't so bad as if you hadn't lost it before," he comforted.

But Uncle Luther had no mind for treating his loss frivolously. The years had crushed all of the humor out of him, and left him only tragedy. "that now I

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"I was thinkin'," he said, can't march, p'raps you-p'raps Amerymight let Tommy have itCaptain Enoch frowned darkly, but Uncle Luther hurried on:

He's more commandin' than I be, er ever was, er ever will be, an' he's had practice

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"Oh, you'll be ready to march by Decoration Day," interrupted Captain Enoch. "It's good of you to say so," said Uncle Luther, but I jus' can't do it. Tommy's the man; " and then he added wistfully, "I wisht I could see Tommy."

"To point out where the fire had charred the chair."

town, and the next morning the sympathetic and the curious came to condole with Uncle Luther, and to examine the remains of the fifty-dollar leg, and to point out where the fire had charred the chair. They went about sol

But Uncle Tommy did not come. Uncle Luther heard, however, that Uncle Tommy had been appointed marshal of the parade, and he was glad of it. For himself, he was busied after the first day or two with a stout piece of ash, which he slowly whittled down with a draw-shave to the proportions of a wooden leg. It would not do as well as a regu

lar artificial leg, such as the one he had been wearing, but he hoped that it would serve him for the Memorial Day exercises.

He still cherished a desire to march with the parade, although he knew that

Jonathan would not approve of it. He was afraid of Jonathan. But whole days slipped by when he was not strong enough to work, and yet he clung to the task with feverish eagerness. The man within him protested that he was still good for something, that old age had not robbed him of everything.

On the morning of Memorial Day the whittling was all finished, but there remained the task of attaching the straps, and Uncle Luther knew that he could not hope to complete the leg in time for the exercises. So he laid it away, and toward noon he dressed up in his best blue clothes, and put on his wide-brimmed black hat with the gold cord around the crown. Then he hobbled out of the door, and dropped down on a box by the fence, with his back resting against a post. It was a fresh, clear May morning. During the night there had been a shower, and the grass at the roadside stood up green and dewy. The fields of waving wheat-blades spread away for miles before him, dotted here and there with houses and red barns, and straight rows of Lombardy poplars and cottonwoods. Where Uncle Luther sat he could look up the yellow stretch of roadway, and he knew that he could see the parade almost as soon as it left the town. It would pass the end of the lane on its way to the cemetery, and he hoped, with the vague optimism of the very old and the very young, that it would come back by the same road. Seeing it was next to marching with it.

Uncle Luther put on his long-distance glasses, and he saw a blur of blue moving along the road from the village. Above it there was a blur of red and white. A moment later they resolved themselves into a knot of old soldiers, with the flag flapping above them. Uncle Luther took a long breath, and his eyes shone. Suddenly a band began to play the stirring music of "Marching through Georgia."

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and orderlies clattered up and down with yellow envelopes stuck in their belts; and the shells were screeching from the rebel heights. He saw the companies wheel and deploy; he saw them strip down and form in line at "Charge bayonets." The big, black guns were leaping the ruts in the road, with the gunners clinging desperately to the caissons. Then he saw the long line of gray rise up over the hill, and pour itself down the slope. He saw the ragged, mile-long flash of the carbines and he would have leaped forward to the charge, if for a single moment he had heard the bugle's shrill summons.

Uncle Luther's spectacles were dimmed. He polished them off with shaky fingers, and looked again. Behind the band there was a stretch of white that seemed to nod and twinkle in the sunshine.

"They've got the children, too," he faltered.

Then the old fellows in blue swung at the corner; they were keeping military line, and something of the old spirit had thrilled their steps into an unwonted precision. The band, wheeling with them, swept into "Rally Round the Flag, Boys." Uncle Luther leaped forward on his one good leg, waved his hat around his head, and shouted, "Hur-. rah, hurrah!" His head was thrown back, his eyes flashed, his breath came quick and hot.

"They've got the band," exclaimed Uncle Luther, in a voice that choked with ecstasy. Unconsciously he rose on his one good foot and took off his hat. His eyes dimmed, and as the enlivening strains of the music came up to him, another picture formed on his misty glasses. He saw the boys in blue -not a meager handful of gray and stooping remnants, but boys, with fresh young faces, and broad shoulders, and proud chins. They were muddy to the knees with marching, they were ragged and tattered, but they swept by to the drums and fifes, regiment voice. after regiment and brigade after brigade;

"Down with the traitor, up with the star," he chanted in his thin, quavery old

Now they had reached the end of the

lane, and Uncle Luther could make out the
full length of the parade. It was by far the
greatest celebration that the town ever had
known, and his heart
swelled with pride at
the thought. Not
once did he recall his
own disappointment
and sorrow; it was
all for the glory of
the day.


Luther shrunk back. What were they trying to do? He felt an impulse to run forward and tell them that they had missed the way to the cemetery, and that the lane ran only as far as Jonathan Dowell's house. But before

carried an odd-shaped package in his arms, and when he was near to Uncle Luther, he stopped and cleared his throat. Every one was silent, listen

he could decide what
to do the old soldiers
stopped almost in
front of his own lit-
tle shop. The band
had swung out to one
side. It was playing
"America," and the sweet, shrill voices of
the children rose and fell with the music.
Uncle Luther sank back on his box, trem-
bling. Through a mist of great happiness
he saw Uncle Tommy and Captain Enoch ad-
vancing toward him side by side. He
couldn't believe it at first; he didn't pre-
tend to believe it.

"Waved his hat around his head, and
shouted, 'Hurrah, hurrah!'"

"I'm gettin' old," he muttered, "an' I'm not steady in my mind."

But he rose to meet them. Uncle Tommy

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Uncle Luther strapped on the leg with trembling, inefficient fingers, and then Captain Enoch and Uncle Tommy marched him out between them. Uncle Tommy's own horse and buggy, decorated with ribbons and flowers, stood in front of the shop. "You're goin' to be the marshal of the day," said Captain Enoch. "But-Tommy

"Get in," commanded Uncle Tommy, in a voice that was not to be disputed.

Uncle Luther, sitting as straight as a trooper, drove out at the head of the procession, while the band, with a rattle of drums, swept into "Hail, Columbia, Happy Land."

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