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Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
page 2 of 185 (01%)
"We're goin' t' move t'morrah--sure," he said pompously to a
group in the company street. "We're goin' 'way up the river,
cut across, an' come around in behint 'em."

To his attentive audience he drew a loud and elaborate plan of a
very brilliant campaign. When he had finished, the blue-clothed
men scattered into small arguing groups between the rows of squat
brown huts. A negro teamster who had been dancing upon a cracker
box with the hilarious encouragement of twoscore soldiers
was deserted. He sat mournfully down. Smoke drifted lazily from
a multitude of quaint chimneys.

"It's a lie! that's all it is--a thunderin' lie!" said another
private loudly. His smooth face was flushed, and his hands were
thrust sulkily into his trouser's pockets. He took the matter as
an affront to him. "I don't believe the derned old army's ever
going to move. We're set. I've got ready to move eight times
in the last two weeks, and we ain't moved yet."

The tall soldier felt called upon to defend the truth of a rumor
he himself had introduced. He and the loud one came near to
fighting over it.

A corporal began to swear before the assemblage. He had just put
a costly board floor in his house, he said. During the early
spring he had refrained from adding extensively to the comfort
of his environment because he had felt that the army might start
on the march at any moment. Of late, however, he had been
impressed that they were in a sort of eternal camp.

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