the whole story; it will kill time, anyway."
"Yes," continued Mr. Ridley, "I was taken prisoner, and it all came of my foolishness and scorn for the enemy. We boys of the --th Arkansas thought any Johnny Reb could whip five Yanks, and it made us kind of careless-like, I reckon. I was a raw country lad when the war broke out, as tough a specimen as ever Jefferson County turned loose on the unsuspecting public, but I wasn't much worse than the rest of the boys who loafed around Todd's livery stable swapping lies, chawing tobacco, and setting the nation to rights. We were all full of fight when the Sumter news came, and anxious to get in it; and I saw a heap of it, too, before I made the acquaintance of Nathan Bull.
"There was some lively skirmishing on the morning of September twentieth, sixty-three, before the armies got together in earnest. It was real comical to see the boys tearing up their love-letters and playing-cards just before going into battle. The roads and fields were speckled with th
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