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orderly reported it to Wendell, and he hurried to quarters, to find the troopers sitting about, awed, scared, and silent, every man, at his own bunk, watching the writhings of their stricken comrade; for well they knew they could do nothing.

Something in that very silence and the strange aloofness of the men troubled Wendell. In three days there was another case, and the work of the troop began to fall off noticeably. The men were growing peaked and wan and pale. Wendell called upon his veteran first sergeant for advice.

"Why is it, Sergeant, that our men get it? The troop at Boc-boc is scot-free. Surely they can't take better care than we do. And Captain Smith writes that his men seem to be in excellent spirits. Look at ours. They drag themselves about like men without hope. I don't understand. I don't understand."

The sergeant was ready with his theory. "Captain, I've been with Uncle Sam thirty years. I've seen lots of troops, and I know what 's the matter with ours. We ain't got no funny man-none of them minstrelly people. Nearly always they 's some man-sometimes two or three--that 's jest nacheral-born, God-made monkeys. The Cap'n knows what I mean. It 's somethin' a man can't learn. When he tries, he's a fool.

"They ain't never good soldiers them minstrel people, but they 're the fellers that starts the singin' on marches, an' it's them the troop sits aroun' in camp, listenin' to the monkey-business an' forgettin' they 're tired. It's them that keeps up life an' sperits, an' this troop ain't got none.

"The men sit round the squad-room, an' 'cause they ain't got nothin' else to do, they feel sorry for themselves. They must have somethin' to keep their minds off their troubles, so they sneak out after taps an' fool aroun' the natives. Work's only hard, black work for them, with nothin' to ease an' spice it. That's what 's the matter, Cap'n."

Wendell did his best. He tried to organize a troop jinks. But the work had to go on, and the show was a pallid failure, falling flat, and by its very failing doing far more harm than good through its sheer ghastliness.

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shirked and growled and grumbled. Two deserted-deserted in the jungle with as little chance for escape as there would have been from a transport in mid-Pacific. There were many sick, and Wendell was worn to exhaustion.

But the hill people of the upper Candayra had been almost all rounded into the two villages. They were watched and disciplined and cared for. Wendell scanned the surgeons' daily report from both places, and smiled wryly,

"They 're beating us over at Boc-boctwo per cent. of cases and one and a fourth deaths to our four and two. It 's fallen in both places from ten and eight. We're choking the life out of it; but to think of old Smith beating us! He'll never get

over it-and neither will I. I wonder if there 's anything in the sergeant's theory; it sounds like a fairy-tale," he added as he took an official envelop that his orderly handed him.

"Great ghost of Julius!" It was an order from the regiment transferring the two officers, and a note from the adjutant explaining.

"The colonel's doing this in anticipation of our going back to the States. He wants you at headquarters with him. It may be a little inconvenient now, but it's the best in the end, and it 's satisfactory to Smith."

Wendell met Smith at Boc-boc, and they talked over their new commands while the sergeants prepared the papers.

"You'll find it a good troop," Smith said proudly. "Of course there are exceptions. There's a little man named Dornikee who 'll have to go. I've given him every chance and warning-utterly worthless, Wendell, utterly. He won't be a soldier in a million years. No trouble to ship him, though. He has four previous convictions by summary court, and you 'll find charges here for his fifth. That finishes him. When you get rid of him, you'll have a ripping troop. Now, what am I getting?"

"You 're getting, I'm sorry to say," Wendell confessed ruefully, "a tiptop organization with the bottom all dropped out. This Candayra business has been too much for it. It can fight insurrectos all right, and it has proved it, but these Candayra woods and the cholera-bug have been more than its measure, and you'll

have to handle 'em gently. Good-by, old fellow. I'll clean up the sheet with Mr. Dornikee, never fear."

Cholera disappeared in Boc-boc just two months prior to the last case in Bato, and Smith's new troop had failed dismally. It had to be brought out of the Candayra country, and Wendell's sent to take its place. The sick-list grew alarmingly, and the desertions were appalling. The men had not taken kindly to their new captain, and he gave them no cause to repent their first impression. When it was 'all over, part of a letter from Wendell to Smith read:

"They say the troubadours are dead, and they sing about the last of them. Don't ever believe it, old fellow. When you find some rantipole, foolish, irresponsible, penniless sort of chap in your troop, who sings a little, dances perhaps, laughs all the time, and lives a life that's in itself a joke, he 's one. Hang on to him as you would to hope. He's what we call worthless, and he 's been kicked from pillar to post. He 's probably a vagabond, and no one will admit that he has any excuse for living. Let me tell you, Smithie, I would n't want a troop of him, but never again give me a troop without him. He's more important in some ways than the captain, the first sergeant, and ten of the men. He serves his purpose, and a sweet purpose it is. It's more than just making spruce soldiers with shining buttons and tight-fitting coats, or drilling neatly, or shooting people to pieces featly with lead-so much more, that muckleheaded soldiers like you and me don't even appreciate it. He makes people happy, Smithie; that's what he does. smoothes troubles, and the world is better for him-ten times more than we can imagine. And he does n't even suspect it; that's the beauty of it.

He

"I was getting ready to try your friend

Dornikee for the fifth time on those charges you left when some little technical point about his pay came up, so I sent for him.

"He was ragged and unkempt, and I laughed when I laughed when I saw him. Then he laughed, and the sight of it set me off again. I asked him what he did with his money, for there was a monthly allotment of two thirds of his pay recorded to some woman in 'Frisco, a Mrs. Renshaw.

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'Sister?' I asked; but it was n't. "'Sweetheart, then?'

"Smith, you'd never guess. It was just an old widow that the boy had talked to for perhaps an hour while the regiment was going through 'Frisco. She had a crippled child to support, she was n't very well, and she could see only starvation ahead for both of them, and told Dornikee so. so. I had fairly to drag the story from him.

"He lied to her-told her he was the son of a Chicago banker (Dornikee, mind you), and next day allotted ten dollars of his pay for two years to her.

"Irresponsible and impossible, yes; but think of it!-I thought of it, and suspended charges to watch the man.

"No, Smith, I did n't get rid of Dornikee. If I could, I 'd raise his pay ten times over. He would n't have any more money than he has now, for he 'd find ten other Mrs. Renshaws as fast as ever he could; but I'd like to watch him. If I could bestow the Medal of Honor, the Iron Cross, and the Double Eagle, I 'd pin them on that boy. I'd cover him with garlands, and lead him through the cities in honor; for if there is one man that saved us all along the Candayra and averted the plague from the capital,-the whole East, for all I know,-that man is Private Thomas Dornikee-knife, fork, roll, and rifle come a-runnin'. Your friend, "Wendell."

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The prisoners were all manacled, and

THE sailing of the Maharaja ands shackled about the ankles with chains fas

was not accompanied by the usual good-bys and handkerchief-waving, for of my fellow-passengers there were seventy to whom no one wished bon voyage or a safe return. These were convicts, all murderers under life-sentences, who for some reason had escaped the. death-penalty, and included six women; for the Maharaja is the ship used by the Colonial Indian Government to transport convicts to the penal settlement near Port Blair, South Andaman Island, a distance of 650 miles from Calcutta.

tened to bands at the waist. They were a despicable lot. At night a continual moaning and cursing and hopeless sobbing came up from the hatches and made sleep out of the question for me, though the European officer in the steamer's cabin apparently slept undisturbed. Early the first morning I went on deck and learned that two of the male prisoners were ill and had been brought up to the deck for air. They were closely guarded, and raw recruits were stationed at the railing to prevent them from committing

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