the rebels seemed to grow weary of the fight, for they drew off their forces; then, as soon as it was safe on deck, the cousins seated themselves on the guard, to "talk over old times." Frank gave descriptions of the fights in which he had engaged since they last met, and also related stories of mess-room life, with which Archie was entirely unacquainted; and to show him how things were conducted, told him of the jokes the officers frequently played upon each other.
"Speaking of jokes," said Archie, "reminds me of a little affair I had a hand in at Cairo.
"While the commandant of the station was absent on a leave, his place was supplied by a gentleman whom, for short, I will call Captain Smith. He was a regular officer, had grown gray in the service, and was one of the most eccentric men I ever saw. He was extremely nervous, too, and if a steamer happened to whistle while passing the wharf-boat, it would make him almost wild.
"One day, a man who lived off somewhere in the woods, came dow
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