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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library - PinkMonkey.com-The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane


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 chim-
neys.

"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
trousers' 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 intro-
duced. He and the loud one came near to fight-
ing over it.

A corporal began to swear before the assem-
blage. 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 im-
pressed that they were in a sort of eternal camp.

Many of the men engaged in a spirited debate.
One outlined in a peculiarly lucid manner all the
plans of the commanding general. He was op-
posed by men who advocated that there were
other plans of campaign. They clamored at each
other, numbers making futile bids for the pop-
ular attention. Meanwhile, the soldier who had
fetched the rumor bustled about with much
importance. He was continually assailed by
questions.
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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library - PinkMonkey.com-The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane



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