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A Little Dusky Hero by Harriet T. Comstock

A LITTLE DUSKY HERO

BY HARRIET T. COMSTOCK

_AUTHOR OF "CEDRIC THE SAXON," "TOWER OR THRONE," ETC._

NEW YORK THOMAS Y. CROWELL & Co. PUBLISHERS

Copyright, 1902, By Thomas Y. Crowell & Company.

THIS LITTLE BOOK IS LOVINGLY DEDICATED TO Philip and Albert BY THEIR MOTHER

[Illustration: COLONEL AUSTIN STAGGERED TO HIS FEET, LEANING UPON THE LITTLE SHOULDER.]

CONTENTS

I. George Washington McKinley Jones

II. The Box from up North

III. The Little Gauntlet and Sword

IV. Waiting in the Turret Chamber

V. The Boy up North

VI. "War, G. W.!"

VII. The Battle on the Hill-Top

VIII. The Colonel's Body-Guard

IX. "I'se Got de Colonel!"

X. In the Tent Hospital

XI. "It's all yours, G. W.!"

XII. A History-Evening at Oakwood

A LITTLE DUSKY HERO.

I.

GEORGE WASHINGTON MCKINLEY JONES.

Scratch! scratch! scratch! went Colonel Austin's pen over the smooth white sheets of paper, sheet after sheet.

The dead heat of Tampa hung heavy within the tent; the buzz of the flies was most distressing; but the reports must be got off, and after them there were letters to be written to "the Boy and his Mother" up North, telling them--especially the Boy--what a glorious thing it is to serve one's country under _any_ circumstances. The present circumstances were extremely trying, to be sure, but the firm brown hand glided back and forth over the long pages in a determined manner that showed how Colonel Austin believed in doing his duty.

Scratch! scratch! scratch!

Buzz! buzz! buzz!

"Good-mornin', sah!"

It was a soft little voice, and it droned away into the buzz of the flies and the scratching of the pen so that the writer at the rough table took no heed.

"Good mornin', sah!"

This time Colonel Austin turned. He was a firm believer in discipline, and the unannounced arrival annoyed him. He swung around and gazed sternly about six feet from the ground. There was nothing there! His eyes dropped and finally rested upon the very smallest, dirtiest, raggedest black boy he had ever seen. But the beautiful great eyes of the forlorn mite looked trustingly up at the surprised officer, and Colonel Austin noticed that the grimy cheeks were tear-stained though the childish lips were smiling bravely.


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