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CHAPTER XX. AFTER THE SKIRMISH
"Call your first witness, then, Judge-Advocate," said Maj. Truax, with a wave of his hand.
"I s'pose that's all right and satisfactory," said Shorty, saluting. "It's got to be, anyway. In the army a man with a star on his shoulder's got the last say, and kin move the previous question whenever he wants to. I never had no hankerin' for a job around Headquarters, and now that I'm a Korpril I ought to be with my company. But they need you worse'n they do me, and I've noticed that you was always as near the front as anybody, so I don't think I'll lose no chances by stayin' with you."
"Sergeant Josiah Klegg.
"Well, you won't git there," said the Deacon decisively. "We don't allow nobody in there who hain't arrived at the years o' discreetion, which'll keep you out for a long time yit."Shorty appreciated very properly the dignity and responsibilities of his two stripes. He was going to be the model Corporal of the regiment, and give all the rest a copy which they could follow to advantage. Of all the Corporals he had ever known, Si Klegg had come nearest his ideas as to what a Corporal should be, but even Si had his limitations. He would show him some improvements. So shorty bent his mind upon the performance of everything pertaining to the Corporalcy with promptness and zeal. He even set to studying the Regulations and Tacticsat least those paragraphs relating to Corporals and their dutieswhere heretofore he had despised "book-soldiering," and relied on quick observation and "horse sense" to teach him all that was worth knowing. But his stay in the Deacon's home showed him that they esteemed "book-knowledge" even in common things as of much value, and he began to have a new respect for that source of instruction.