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"We'd have to fix on some spot beforehand so you would know where to find me.""I thought I heard a little commotion down-stairs. It wakened me."
To anyone else beside Pen the explanation would have been obvious enough. It is all very well to buy yourself royally through a world of salable women, but it lays you open to a dangerous weakness. When you meet a woman who is obviously not for sale, you are apt to fall down before her most ignominiously. That was what had happened to Riever. Just because he was so rich Pen had instinctively adopted an independent air towards him that piqued him intolerably. Really independent. Then there was that highly individual charm of hers. And her independence was not indifference. With all his experience Riever had never met a woman like Pen. Or perhaps it would be more correct to say that a woman of Pen's spirit and transparent honesty had never before taken an interest in the ugly little man.
It was said at the time that the officers voted for retreat because they thought Vaudreuil unfit to command an army, and, still more, to fight a battle.  There was no need, however, to fight at once. The object of the English was to take Quebec, and that of Vaudreuil should have been to keep it. By a march of a few miles he could have joined Bougainville; and by then intrenching himself at or near Ste.-Foy he would have placed a greatly superior force in the English rear, where his position might have been made impregnable. Here he might be easily furnished with provisions, and from hence he could readily throw men and supplies into Quebec, which the English were too few to invest. He could harass the besiegers, or attack them, should opportunity offer, and either raise the siege or so protract it that they would be forced by approaching winter to sail homeward, robbed of the fruit of their victory.
CHAPTER IV. THE AWFUL HARDTACKIndeed, to look at those mules one who was ignorant of the peculiar characteristics of the species would not have thought that beneath those meek exteriors there were hearts filled with the raging fires of total depravity. Shorty thought how it would be, but he didn't say anything. He was sure that Si would find out about it soon enough.
It was fully midnight before they reached their pen and laid their burden down. They were too tired to do anything more than lay their blankets down on a pile of cedar boughs and go to sleep.
"Shorty," said he, "I shouldn't wonder if I could find a blanket and an overcoat. You keep on holding that hole down, and I'll go out agin. I won't be gone long, for I'm dead tired. Just as soon as I find an overcoat or a blanket to put between us and the mud, I'll come back and we'll lay down. Every joint in me aches."