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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesTwo Little Confederates - Chapter 20
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Two Little Confederates - Chapter 20 Post by :lordg Category :Long Stories Author :Thomas Nelson Page Date :May 2012 Read :3336

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Two Little Confederates - Chapter 20


The visitors remained at Oakland for several days, as the lady wished to have her son's remains removed to the old homestead in Delaware. She was greatly distressed over the want which she saw at Oakland--for there was literally nothing to eat but black-eyed pease and the boys' chickens. Every incident of the war interested her. She was delighted with their Cousin Belle, and took much interest in her story, which was told by the boys' mother.

Her grandson, Dupont, was a fine, brave, and generous young fellow. He had spent his boyhood near a town, and could neither ride, swim, nor shoot as the Oakland boys did; but he was never afraid to try anything, and the boys took a great liking to him, and he to them.

When the young soldier's body had been removed, the visitors left; not, however, until the boys had made their companion promise to pay them a visit. After the departure of these friends they were much missed.

But the next day there was a great rejoicing at Oakland. Every one was in the dining-room at dinner, and the boys' father had just risen from the table and walked out of the room. A second later they heard an exclamation of astonishment from him, and he called eagerly to his wife, "Come here, quickly!" and ran down the steps. Every one rose and ran out. Hugh and the General were just entering the yard.

They were pale and thin and looked ill; but all the past was forgotten in the greeting.

* * * * *

The boys soon knew that the General was making his peace with their Cousin Belle, who looked prettier than ever. It required several long walks before all was made right; but there was no disposition toward severity on either side. It was determined that the wedding was to take place very soon. The boys' father suggested, as an objection to an immediate wedding, that since the General was just half his usual size, it would be better to wait until he should regain his former proportions, so that all of him might be married; but the General would not accept the proposition for delay, and Cousin Belle finally consented to be married at once.

The old place was in a great stir over the preparations. A number of the old servants, including Uncle Balla and Lucy Ann, had one by one come back to their old home. The trunks in the garret were ransacked once more, and enough was found to make up a wedding trousseau of two dresses.

Hugh was to be the General's best man, and the boys were to be the ushers. The only difficulty was that their patched clothes made them feel a little abashed at the prominent roles they were to assume. However, their mother made them each a nice jacket from a striped dress, one of her only two dresses, and she adorned them with the military brass buttons their father had had taken from his coat; so they felt very proud. Their father, of course, was to give the bride away,--an office he accepted with pleasure, he said, provided he did not have to move too far, which might be hazardous so long as he had to wear his spurs to keep the soles on his boots.

* * * * *

Thus, even amid the ruins, the boys found life joyous, and if they were without everything else, they had life, health, and hope. The old guns were broken, and they had to ride in the ox-cart; but they hoped to have others and to do better, some day.

The "some day" came sooner than they expected.

The morning before the wedding, word came that there were at the railroad station several boxes for their mother. The ox-cart was sent for them. When the boxes arrived, that evening, there was a letter from their friend in Delaware, congratulating Cousin Belle and apologizing for having sent "a few things" to her Southern friends.


The "few things" consisted not only of necessaries, but of everything which good taste could suggest. There was a complete trousseau for Cousin Belle, and clothes for each member of the family. The boys had new suits of fine cloth with shirts and underclothes in plenty.

But the best surprise of all was found when they came to the bottom of the biggest box, and found two long, narrow cases, marked, "For the Oakland boys." These cases held beautiful, new double-barrelled guns of the finest make. There was a large supply of ammunition, and in each case there was a letter from Dupont promising to come and spend his vacation with them, and sending his love and good wishes and thanks to his friends--the "Two Little Confederates."

Thomas Nelson Page's Novel: Two Little Confederates

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