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      No, she said; I could never go back, Varley. All that is past and done with. There would be no one to go back to but Lady Wyndover and Lilias, and theythey will soon forget me. In the world over there the people do not remember many days; they are all so busy with their pleasures that they havent time to remember. It is each for himself, and in the rush and tear the best of friends are soon forgotten.

      On the uncle's side of the fence a quick step brought a newcomer, a Creole of maybe twenty-nine years, member of his new staff, in bright uniform:

      You dont mean that, Lyrcus, he replied, for what man is mad enough to prefer war to peace? Is not war like a tempest or an earthquake? It turns everything upside down. In peace the sons bury their fathers, but in war fathers bury their sons.

      Full believer likewise, and true sorrower, was Greenleaf, in Hilary's death, having its seeming proof from Constance and Miranda as well as from Flora. For in all that twelvemonth the Callenders had got no glad tidings, even from Mandeville. Battle, march and devastation, march, battle and devastation had made letters as scarce as good dreams, in brightest Dixie. But darkest Dixie was New Orleans. There no three "damned secesh" might stop on a corner in broadest sunlight and pass the time of day. There the "rebel" printing-presses stood cold in dust and rust. There churches were shut and bayonet-guarded because their ministers would not read the prayers ordered by the "oppressor," and there, for being on the street after nine at night, ladies of society, diners-out, had been taken to the lock-up and the police-court. In New Orleans all news but bad news was contraband to any "he or she adder," but four-fold contraband to the Callenders, the fairest member of whose trio, every time a blue-and-gold cavalier forced her conversation, stung him to silence with some word as mild as a Cordelia's. And yet,(you demur,) in the course of a whole year, by some kind luck, surely the blessed truth--Ah, the damsel on the tight-rope took care against that! It was part of her dance to drop from that perch as daintily as a bee-martin way-laying a hive, devour each home-coming word as he devours bees, and flit back and twitter and flutter as a part of all nature's harmony, though in chills of dismay at her peril and yet burning to go to Hilary, from whom this task alone forever held her away.Whats the shindy, Bill? asked Varley, as the empty tumbler was taken away from him.


      Trafford almost rose from his seat.



      "Biggest straw in Dixie!" jeered Anna, grasping the paper, which Constance half yielded with her eye still skimming its columns.