Mardi Gras came and passed, but Ridge, though escorting his sister and cousin to all the festivities, took only a slight interest in them. He was always slipping away to buy the latest papers or to read the bulletins from Washington.
"Would you go as a private, son?" asked his father one evening when the situation was being discussed in the family circle.
"No, no! If he goes at all--which Heaven forbid--it must be as an officer," interposed Mrs. Norris, who had overheard the question.
"Of course a gentleman would not think of going as anything else," remarked Dulce, conclusively.
"I believe there were gentlemen privates on both sides during the Civil War," said Spence Cuthbert, quietly.
"Of course," admitted Dulce, "but that was different. Then men fought for principles, but now they are going to fight for--for--"
"The love of it, perhaps," suggested the girl from K