inclined to be austere, his smile of welcome gave me instantly a distinct feeling of relief.
"How long have you been here at Armstrong, Lieutenant?" he questioned, toying with an official-looking paper in his hands.
"Only about three weeks, sir. I came north on the Enterprise, with dispatches from General Gaines."
"I remember; you belong to the Fifth, and, without orders, I promptly dragooned you into garrison service." His eyes laughed. "Only sorry I cannot hold you any longer."
"I do not understand, sir."
"Yet I presume you have learned that the Wanderer stopped here for an hour last night on its way north to Prairie du Chien?"
"Captain Thockmorton just informed me."
"But you received no mail?"
"No, sir; or, rather, I have not been at the office to inquire. Was there mail for me?"
"That I do not know; only I have received a communication relating to you. It seems you have an application pending for a furlough."