I was thrilled. I was taken into the staff's confidence! Me, Smith! That Major Harper would tell me part of a matter to conceal the rest of it did not enter my dreams, good as I was at dreaming. The flattery went to my brain, and presently, without the faintest preamble, I asked if there was any war-correspondent at headquarters just now. There came a hostile flash in his eyes, but instantly it passed, and with all his happy mildness he replied, "No, nor any room for one."
All that warm afternoon we paid the tiresome penalty of having pushed our animals too smartly at the outset. We grew sedate; sedate were the brows of the few strangers we met. We talked in pairs. When I spoke with Miss Harper the four listened. She asked about the evils of camp life; for she was one of that fine sort to whom righteousness seems every man's and woman's daily business, one of the most practical items in the world's affairs. And I said camp life was fearfully corrupting; that the merest boys cursed and swore and stole, or else were scorned as weaklings. Then I grew meekly silent and we talked in pairs again, and because I yearned to talk most with Camille I talked most with Estelle. Three times when I turned abruptly from her to Camille and called, "Hark!" the fagged-out horses halted, and as we struck our listening pose the bugle's faint sigh ever farther in our rear was but feebly proportioned to the amount of our gazing into each other's eyes.