The major commanding looked up from the morning report and surveyed the post adjutant with something of perturbation, if not annoyance, in his grim, gray eyes. For the fourth time that week had Lieutenant Field requested permission to be absent for several hours. The major knew just why the junior wished to go and where. The major knew just why he wished him not to go, but saw fit to name almost any other than the real reason when, with a certain awkward hesitancy he began: Well, is the post return ready? It will be, sir, in abundant time,� was the prompt reply. You know they sent it back for correction last month, hazarded the commander. And you know, sir, the error was not mine, was the instant rejoinder, so quick, sharp and positive as to carry it at a bound to the verge of disrespect, and the keen, blue eyes of the young soldier gazed, frank and fearless, into the heavily ambushed grays of the veteran in the chair. It made the latter wince and stir uneasily. "If there's one thing I hate, Field, it is to have my papers sent back by some whipsnapper of a clerk, inviting attention to this or that error, and I expect my adjutant to see to it that they don't.
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June 30, 2010
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