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The Deserter

Harold Frederic

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .He could not hear his father breathe, even when he bent over him; but no doubt that was on account of the prodigious spluttering and crackling which the fire kept up. Through the other griddle hole he continually thrust in fresh, dry kindlings to swell the blaze.

He had learned some new things about cooking in the army—among others the value of a pot-lid in hurrying forward the stew. He looked about for a cover for the frying-pan. There was no such thing in the house, but he found in the shed an old sheet-iron snow-shovel, and made the blade of this serve, with a nail-hole punched through it to let out the steam.

In his researches he was glad to run upon some salt, because it would help toward making the mess on the stove palatable. But it would not be easy to tell with what emotions he discovered that there was absolutely not another eatable thing in the house.

The room had grown decently warm again, under the influence of the. . . Read More