“Prisoner, what is your name?”
“As I am to lose it at daylight to-morrow morning it is hardly worth while concealing it. Parker Adderson.”
“A somewhat humble one; commissioned officers are too precious to be risked in the perilous busin...
<p>“Prisoner, what is your name?”</p>
<p>“As I am to lose it at daylight to-morrow morning it is hardly worth while concealing it. Parker Adderson.”</p>
<p>“A somewhat humble one; commissioned officers are too precious to be risked in the perilous business of a spy. I am a sergeant.”</p>
<p>“Of what regiment?”</p>
<p>“You must excuse me; my answer might, for anything I know, give you an idea of whose forces are in your front. Such knowledge as that is what I came into your lines to obtain, not to impart.”</p>
<p>“You are not without wit.”</p>
<p>“If you have the patience to wait you will find me dull enough to-morrow.”</p>
<p>“How do you know that you are to die to-morrow morning?”</p>
<p>“Among spies captured by night that is the custom. It is one of the nice observances of the profession.”</p>
<p>The general so far laid aside the dignity appropriate to a Confederate officer of high rank and wide renown as to smile. But no one in his power and out of his favor would have drawn any happy augury from that outward and visible sign of approval. It was neither genial nor infectious; it did not communicate itself to the other persons exposed to it – the caught spy who had provoked it and the armed guard who had brought him into the tent and now stood a little apart, watching his prisoner in the yellow candle-light. It was no part of that warrior’s duty to smile; he had been detailed for another purpose. The conversation was resumed; it was in character a trial for a capital offense.</p>
<p>“You admit, then, that you are a spy – that you came into my camp, disguised as you are in the uniform of a Confederate soldier, to obtain information secretly regarding the numbers and disposition of my troops.”</p>
<p>“Regarding, particularly, their numbers. Their disposition I already knew. It is morose.”</p>
<p>The general brightened again; the guard, with a severer sense of his responsibility, accentuated the austerity of his expression and stood a trifle more erect than before. Twirling his gray slouch hat round and round upon his forefinger, the spy took a leisurely survey of his surroundings. They were simple enough. The tent was a common “wall tent,” about eight feet by ten in dimensions, lighted by a single tallow candle stuck into the h...