A gallant volunteer officer was searching the houses of citizens for arms, with a squad of men, and on arriving at the residence of an old gentleman named Hayes, was met in the hall by his daughter,–a beautiful, black-eyes girl of eighteen,–who appeared deeply agitated, and implored the Captain not to search the house. The officer was sternly immovable, resolved to do his duty, and the more bent upon searching from the apparent dismay of the fair girl. “Indeed–indeed,” she exclaimed, “we have only three guns in the house.”
The Captain smiled incredulously. “Fetch them to me,” said he, remembering the fate of poor Ellsworth. The young lady hurried upstairs, and returned with an old, rusty, double-barrelled shot gun that no prudent man would have ventured to load and discharge. “The others–the other two!” demanded the officer. “O sir, my brothers!” sobbed the girl. “I cannot take them from them!”
The Captain pushed her on one side. “Forward, men!” he shouted, falling into the rear himself. As the file of soldiers hastily mounted the stairs, the young lady clung to the skirts of the officer, who was the last to ascend, exclaiming wildly:
“But–but, sir, my brothers–you will not harm my brothers?”
The Captain shook her off somewhat ungallantly, and rushed up after the soldiers, who, by this time, reached the closed door of a chamber. After a pause, the men pushed open the door, and rushed in with bayonets fixed, when two juvenile Zouaves, of the ages of eight and ten years, fully armed and equipped with wooden guns, appeared drawn up in line before them. At the same moment the silvery laugh of the black-eyes beauty was heard on the stairs, echoed by a couple of chambermaids, who were peeping over the balusters from above. The officer beat a hasty retreat, without making a seizure of the two remaining guns.
Originally posted 2010-03-10 02:04:15.