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A Roving Commission by G. A. Henty

Dinah could not affirm that she had eaten much


lifted her and placed the cup in her hands, and she drank it off eagerly.

"Is that your voice, Dinah?" she said after a pause.

"Yes, madame; I'se come up to help to take care ob you. Marse Glober come and tell me whar you were, so you may be suah that me lose no time, just wait to get a few tings dat you might want and den start up."

"I think I am not very well, Dinah."

"Jess a little poorly you be. Bery funny if you not poorly abter sich wicked doings. Now de best ting dat you can do is to go to sleep and not worry."

"Give me another drink, Dinah."

"Here it is, dis time a little wine wid de water and a little 'tuff to make you sleep quiet. Den me double up a blanket for you to lie on and put anober over you, and a bundle under your head, and den you go to sleep firm. No trouble to-night; to-morrow morning we go on."

Madame Duchesne drank off the contents of the cup. She was made as comfortable as circumstances would permit, and it was not long before her regular breathing showed that the medicine that Dinah had administered had had the desired effect.

"Now, Myra," Nat said, "we will investigate the contents of the basket. I am beginning to get as hungry as a hunter, and I am sure that you must be so too."

style="text-align: justify;">"I am thirsty," the girl said, "but I do not feel hungry."

"You will, directly you begin. Now, Dinah, what have you brought us?"

"Dere am one roast chicken dar, Marse Glober. Dat was all I could get cooked. Dere are six dead ones. I caught dem and wrung their necks jest before I started. Dey no good now. Dere is bread baked fresh dis morning before de troubles began, and dere is two pine-apples and a big melon."

"Bravo, Dinah! You have got knives?"

"Yes, sah, four knibes and forks."

"We could manage without the forks, Dinah, but it is more comfortable having them. Now we will cut the chicken up into three. It looks a fine bird."

"I'se had my dinner, sah; no want more."

"That is all nonsense, Dinah," he said. "I am quite sure that you did not eat much dinner to-day, and you will want your strength to-morrow."

Dinah could not affirm that she had eaten much, and indeed she had scarcely been able to swallow a mouthful in the middle of the day. The meal was heartily enjoyed, and they made up with bread and fruit for the shortness of the meat ration.

"Now you two lie down," Nat said after they had chatted for an hour. "I am accustomed to night watches and can sleep with one ear open, but I am convinced that there is not the slightest need for any of us keeping awake. When the lantern is out, which it will be as soon as you lie down, if all the negroes came up into the woods to search for us I should have no fear of their finding us."

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