Part 10 out of 10
in Company H, was killed at Gettysburg; he is the only Jones I can
recall. Yet I must have had relations with a different Jones; who was
he? I must try to get him.
The Doctor's face again; Jones, too, is there. Jones is with the Doctor
in a tent at night, and they are getting ready--getting ready for what?
A package has been made. They are talking. The lights are put out and I
lose the Doctor, but I can yet see Jones. In the dim light of the stars
he comes out of the tent; a man on a horse is near; he holds another
horse, ready saddled. Jones mounts, and the two ride away. And I hear
Jones ask, "What is your name?" and I hear the man reply, "Jones."
But the other Jones asks also, "Don't you know me?" and then another
picture comes before me, but dimly, for it seems almost in the night:
Jones--this new Jones--is standing near a prostrate horse as black as
jet and is prisoner in the hands of Union men, and the other Jones is
there, too, and I see that he is joyful that Jones is caught. What utter
folly! Is everybody to be named Jones? I have followed one Jones and
have found two--possibly three. Who is the true Jones? Is there any true
Jones? Has my fevered brain but conjured up a picture, or series of
pictures, of events that never had existence? Why should one Jones be
glad that another Jones was caught? I give up this new Jones.
Now I was thinking without method--in a daze. Every line had resulted in
an end beyond which was a blank, or else confusion. I gave myself up to
Somehow, I had trust; I felt that I was at a beginning which was also an
end. I had come far. I had recovered the name of Dr. Khayme, and of
Lydia, of Sergeant Jake Willis, of Jones, with possibly another Jones;
with these names I ought to work out the whole enigma. I knew that Jones
was the man who had broken his gun; the man who had helped Willis; the
man who had been under the bursting shell on the hill. Yes, and another
thought,--the man who had been wounded there.
I knew that Lydia was the Doctor's daughter. A few more relations found
would untangle everything. But how to find more? I must think. Yet
thinking seemed weak. I believed that if I could quit thinking, the
thing would come of itself. Yet how to quit thinking? I remembered that
I had received lessons upon the power of the will from Captain Haskell
and ... from ... somebody ... who?--Why, Doctor Khayme, of course.
And now another new thought, or fancy. What relation, if any, could
there be between the Captain and the Doctor? In a confused way I groped
in the tangle of this question until I became completely lost again,
having gained, however, the knowledge that Dr. Khayme had taught me
concerning the will.
I lay back and closed my eyes, to try to banish thought; the effort was
vain. I opened my eyes, and dreamed. I could recall the Doctor's dark
face, his large brow, his bright eyes, and a pipe--yes, a pipe, with its
carven bowl showing a strange head; and I could recall more easily the
Captain's long jaw, and triangle of a face, and even the slight lisp
with which he spoke. What relationship had these two men? If Captain
Haskell had ever known Dr. Khayme, should I not have heard him speak of
the Doctor? I had known the Captain since I had known the Doctor; where
had I known the Doctor? Where had I known him first? He had been my
teacher. Where? I remembered--in Charleston! But why does the Doctor
associate with Willis, who is distinctly a Federal soldier, and with
Jones, who is sometimes a Federal? I can see the Doctor in an
ambulance--and in a tent; he must be a surgeon.
Ah! yes; Willis is a prisoner, after all, and in the Confederate
The thought of a possible relationship between the Doctor and the
Captain continued to come. Why should I think of such a possibility? My
brain became clearer. My people must be in Charleston. The Captain may
have known the Doctor in Charleston. They may have been friends. They
talked of similar subjects--at least, they had views which affected me
similarly. Yet that might mean nothing. I tried to give up the thought.
Again the Doctor's face, and the Captain. For one short instant these
two men seemed to me to be at once identical and separate--even
opposite. How preposterous! Yet at the same moment I remembered that the
Captain once had said he was not sure that there was such a condition as
absolute individuality. Preposterous or not, the thought, gone at once,
had brought another in its train: I had never seen these two men
together, and I had never seen the Doctor without Jones. Wherever the
Doctor was, there was Jones also. Here came again the former glimmering
notion of double and even opposite identity. Was Jones two? He was
seemingly a Federal and a Confederate. I had supposed, weakly, that he
was a Confederate spy in a Federal uniform; but his conduct at Manassas
had not borne out the supposition. He had even broken his gun rather
than have it fall into the hands of Confederates, and had helped a
wounded Federal. Yet, again, that conduct might have been part of a very
deep plan. What plan? To deceive the enemy so fully that he would be
received everywhere as one of them? Yes; or rather to act in entire
conformity with his supposed character. He must always act the complete
Federal when with federals, so that no suspicion should attach to him.
No doubt he had remained in the Federal camp until he had got the
information needed, and had returned to the Confederates before he had
been wounded by the shell.
So, all these fancies had resulted in worse than nothing; every effort
I had made, on these lines, had but entangled me more. That Jones was a
Confederate spy, was highly probable; this absurd notion of a double had
drawn me away from the right track; he was a double, it is true, but
only on the surface; he was a Confederate acting the Federal.
Jones interests me intensely. There is something extraordinary about
him. No man that I ever saw or heard of seems to possess his capacity to
interest me. Yet his only peculiarity is that he changes clothing. No,
not his only one; he has another: he is absolutely ubiquitous.
That he has some close relationship with me is clear. Why clear? Just
because I cannot get rid of him? Is that a reason? Nothing is clear. My
head is not clear. All this mysterious Jones matter may be delusion. Dr.
Khayme is fact, and Lydia is fact, and Willis; but as to this Jones, or
these Joneses, I doubt. Doubt is not relief. Jones remains. Wherever I
turn I find him. He will not down. If he is a fact, he must be the most
important person related to my life. More so than Lydia?
What is Jones to me? My mind confesses defeat and struggles none the
less. Could he be a brother? Can it be possible, after all, that my name
is B. Jones? Anything seems possible. Yet a thought shows me that this
supposition is untenable. If I am Berwick Jones, and the spy was my
brother, I should have heard of him long ago.
Why? why should I hear of him, when I could not hear of myself? The
Confederate army may have had a score of spies named Jones, and I had
never heard of one of them.
But if he had been my brother, _he_ would have hunted _me_, and would
have found me! That was it.
This thought was more reasonable--but ... he might have been killed!
He must have been killed by the shell on the hill ... yes ... that is
why I can trace him no farther. I have never seen him since. Why had I
at first assumed that he had been wounded only? I see that I assumed too
much--or too little. I had seen him under the fire, and had seen him no
more; that was all.
Yet I knew absolutely and strangely that Jones had not been killed.
It is certain that the memory, in retracing a succession of events, does
not voluntarily take the back track; it goes over the ground again, just
as the events succeeded, from antecedent to consequent, rather than
backward. It is more difficult--leaving memory aside--to take present
conditions and discover the unknown which evolved these conditions, than
to take present conditions and show what will be evolved from them. Of
course, if we already know what preceded these conditions, there is no
discovery to be claimed--and that is what I am saying: that with our
knowledge of the present, the future is not a discovery; it is a mere
development naturally augured from the present. An incapable general
means defeat, but defeat does not imply an incapable general.
Now, I had been trying to begin with Jones on the bare hill where I had
seen him latest, and to go back, but my efforts had only proved the
truth of the foregoing. I had only jumped back a considerable distance,
and from the past had followed Jones forward as well as my imperfect
powers permitted; again I had jumped back and had followed him until he
met the Doctor in the night. The episode of lifting Willis into the
ambulance seemed a separate event of very short duration. My mind had
unconsciously appreciated the difficulty of working backward, and had in
reality endeavoured to avoid that almost impossible process by dividing
Jones into several periods and following the events of each period in
order of time and succession. I now, without having willed to think it,
became conscious of this difficulty, and I yielded at once to
suggestion. I would begin anew, and would help the natural process.
First I tried to sum up results. I found these: first, Jones, in blue,
helps another man in blue and I follow him until I lose him when he
reaches the Doctor. Second, Jones, in blue, and the Doctor come to
Willis again--and then I lose Jones and all of them. Third, Jones--alone
and in gray--is in the act of falling, with a shell bursting over him,
and I lose him.
I had no doubt of the order in which these events had occurred, and
none, whatever of the fact that all of Jones's life had been lost to me,
if not indeed to himself, when I saw him fall. Now I wanted to find
connecting events; I wanted to know how to join the Jones at the secret
place in the woods with the Jones that I had seen fall, and I set my
memory to work, but obtained nothing. The scene on the hill seemed
unrelated to that of Willis.
There was remembrance, it is true, of Jones walking through a forest at
night, but the scene was so indistinct that I could make nothing out of
it; I could not decide even whether it had occurred before the time of
Manassas. Then, too, there was recollection of Jonas in a tent, and of
an officer in blue showing him a map, and I could also remember that I
had seen or heard that Jones had been on a shore with the Doctor and
Lydia. These events had no connection. Between Jones in blue and Jones
in gray there were gaps which I could not cross.
Yet I set myself diligently to the task of joining these events with the
more important ones; taxing my memory, diving into the past, hunting for
the slightest clews.
And there was another event, farther back seemingly in the dim past,
that I could faintly recall--Jones, sick in a tent with the Doctor
attending him ... yes, and some one else in the tent. I strained my head
to recall this scene more clearly. In this case Jones had no uniform;
neither did the others wear uniform. And now a new doubt--why in a tent
and without uniform?
For a moment I tried to settle this question by answering that the
Confederate troops had not been provided with uniforms at so early a
period; but the answer proved unsatisfactory. I knew or felt that Doctor
Khayme's relationship with me was so near that, had he been a
Confederate surgeon, he would have found me long since.
Yet the Doctor might be dead, as well as Jones, was the thought which
But I knew again that Jones was still alive. How I knew it, I could not
have told, but I knew it.
Then, too, there was a strange feeling of something like intuition in my
knowing that Jones was sick--why should Jones not be wounded rather than
sick? How could I know that this scene in the tent was not the sequence
of the scene of the bursting shell? But I say that I knew Jones was
sick, and not wounded. How could I know this?
And there was yet a third instance of unreasoning knowledge--I knew
that Jones was in gray in the night and in a dense forest.
I examined myself to see whether I believed in intuition, and I reached
the conclusion that only one of these events was an instance of
knowledge without a foundation in reason. I knew that Jones was in gray
in the dark night. Had I been told so? Had _he_ told me so? I knew that
he had been sick. Had he told me so? In any case, I knew these things
and knew that my knowledge was simple. But how could I know that Jones
was now alive?
Why should Jones be alive? The only answer I could then make was, that I
felt sure of the fact. I had no reason to advance to myself for this
knowledge, or feeling. I felt that it was more than intuition. I felt
that it was experience, not the experience of sight or hearing or any of
the senses, but experience nevertheless--subconscious, if you wish to
call it so in these days. Though the experience was inexplicable, it was
none the less valid. I wondered at myself for thinking this, yet I did
not doubt. There are many avenues to the soul. To know that a man is
alive, seeing him walk is not essential, nor hearing him speak, nor
touching his beating pulse; he may be motionless and dumb, yet will he
have the life of expression and intelligence in his face. Communication
between mind and mind does not depend on nearness or direction. But I
saw no face. Intelligence resides not in feature; the change of feature
is but one of its myriad effects. The mind of the world affects every
individual mind ... where did I hear such an idea advanced? From whom?
Dr. Khayme, beyond a doubt.
I was sure of it. And then opened before me a page, and many pages, of
the past, in which I read the Doctor's philosophy.
I remembered his opinions ... he was a disbeliever in war ... why, then,
was he in the army?
Perhaps he was not in the army. Yet was he not doing service as a
surgeon? Was he not attending to Jones, sick in a tent? But the tent
itself did not prove the existence of an army. The Doctor wore
But a tent is strong presumption of an army. Was the Doctor a surgeon?
And the ambulance ... the tent coupled with the ambulance made the army
almost certain. And Jones and Willis, both soldiers, assisted by the
Doctor ... yes, the Doctor must be an army surgeon, although he wears no
uniform. Perhaps he wears uniform only on occasions; when at work at his
calling he puts it off.
I have gained a position, from which I must examine everything anew--in
a new light.
I consider the Doctor a surgeon in the army. Why has he not found me?
Again comes that thought of double personality, and this time it will
not down so easily. I can remember the Doctor's utterances upon the
universal mind, and upon the power of the will. I can remember that I
had almost feared him ... and suddenly I remember that Willis had said
that the Doctor could read the mind ... WHAT! WHO? I? JONES?
My brain reeled. I was faint and dizzy. If the order to march had come,
I could not have moved.
What was this new and strange knowledge? How had it come? I had simply
remembered that Willis had told Jones that the Doctor could tell what
another man was thinking, and I had known that Willis had spoken the
words to ME!
Then I was Jones. No wonder I could not get rid of him, for he had my
mind in his body. One mind in two bodies? How could that be? But I
remember that the Captain warned me against attributing to mind
extension or divisibility or any property of matter. I am a
double--perhaps more. Who knows but that the relation of mind with mind
is the relation of unity? It must be so. I can see that I am Jones. No
wonder that I felt tired when he was weary; no wonder that I knew he
wore gray in the night; no wonder that I knew he was not dead.
Yes, the broken gun was mine; I have been a Confederate spy. I am Jones
Berwick and I am Berwick Jones.
"Which, is the side that I must go withal?
I am with both: each army hath a hand;
And, in their rage, I having hold of both,
They whirl asunder, and dismember me."
I had been in the battle of Manassas, fighting in the ranks of blue
soldiers--yes, I remember the charge and the defeat and the rout. How
vividly I now remember the words--strange I thought them then--of Dr.
Khayme. He had said that it might be a spy's duty to desert even, in
order to accomplish his designs.
Had this suggestion been made before the fact? I am again in a mist. But
what matter? I had not deserted in reality; I had only pretended to
desert. Yet I think it strange that I cannot remember what Jones Berwick
felt when deciding to act the deserter. Had he found pretended desertion
Yes, undoubtedly; unless he had passed himself off as a deserter he
could not have been received into the Yankee army, and I now knew that I
was once in that army.
But why could I not have joined it as a recruit?
Simply because Jones Berwick was in the Confederate army; I could not
have easily gone North to enlist.
But could I not have clothed myself at once as a Union soldier, so that
there would have been no need of desertion?
No; I could not have answered questions; I should have been asked my
regiment; I should have been ordered back to my regiment. I remember
the difficulty I had met with when I joined, or when Berwick Jones
joined, Company H. I had been compelled to lay aside the Confederate
uniform, and join as a recruit dressed in civilian's clothing, merely
because I could not bear to have questions asked. So, when I had played
the Federal, if I had presented myself in a blue uniform, I could not
have answered questions, and the requirement to report to my company
would have destroyed my whole plan.
Yet it was just possible that I had succeeded in obtaining civilian's
clothing, and had joined the Federals as a pretended recruit, just as I
had joined Company H later. This was less unlikely when coupled with the
thought that possibly my first experience in this course had had some
hidden influence on my second.
But why is it that I cannot recall my first service as a Confederate?
The question disturbs me. My peculiar way of forgetting must be the
reason. When, as Jones Berwick the Confederate, I became Berwick Jones
the Federal, there must have come upon my mind a phase of oblivion
similar to that which clouded it when I became a Confederate again.
Yet this explanation is weak. No such thing could occur twice just at
the critical time ... unless ... some power, mysterious and profound....
What was Dr. Khayme in all this?
And another thought, winch bewilders me no less. On my musket I had
carved J.B. I was Jones Berwick as a Federal. Then I must always have
been Berwick Jones when a Confederate. How did I ever get to be Berwick
Jones? How did I ever become Jones Berwick? Which was I at first? Had I
ever deserted? Had I ever been a spy? I doubt everything.
My mind became clearer. I could connect events: the first Manassas, or
Bull Bun; the helping of Willis; the meeting with the Doctor; the return
to Willis; the shore and the battle of the ships; the _Merrimac_; the
line of the Warwick; the lines at Hanover; the night tramp in the
swamp; crossing the hill; a blank, which my double memory knew how to
fill, and the subsequent events of my second service in our army.
Nothing important seemed lacking since the battle of Bull Run. Before
that battle everything was confusion. My home was still unknown. The
friends of my former life, so far as I could remember, had been
Federals, if Dr. Khayme and Lydia could be called Federals.
Yet I supposed my home was Charleston. My memory now began with that
city. There were but two great gaps remaining to be filled: first, my
life before I was at school under the Doctor; second, my life at home
and in the Confederate army before I pretended to desert to
I am Jones Berwick and I am Berwick Jones? What an absurdity! Let reason
work; the idea is preposterous! What does it mean? Can it mean any more
than that you were known at one time as Jones Berwick and at another
time as Berwick Jones? It is insanity to think that you are two persons
at once. Have you imagined that now, while you are a Confederate again,
there is also a you in the Yankee army? When your connection with the
Confederates was interrupted you were received by the Federals as Jones
Berwick; the J.B. on the gunstock shows that well enough; but when you
became a Confederate again, your name was reversed because of
I took out the diary. It was too dark to read, but I knew every word of
the few lines in it,--B. Jones, on the fly-leaf.
And now I recall that the Doctor had told me to write in the little
book.... What was his purpose? To deceive the enemy in case I should be
But--I was going to become a Confederate again!
Did the Doctor know that?
Yes; he knew it. At least he provided for such a change; the words he
dictated were for a Confederate's diary. He knew it? Yes; he helped me
on with the Confederate uniform!
Then why should he think that additional effort--the diary--was
required to make Confederates believe a Confederate a Confederate?
Could I not at once have named my original company and its officers? Why
this child's play of the diary?
I studied hard this phase of the tangle.
Perhaps the Doctor wanted me to be able to prove myself to the first
party of Confederates I should meet. Yes; that is reasonable. I might
have been subjected to much embarrassing questioning--and to
detention--but for something on my person to give substance to my
statement. The Doctor was far-sighted. He had protected me.
But how could I make a statement? How could I know what to say to a
party of Confederates? I laughed at the question, and especially at the
thought which had caused it. I had actually forgotten, for the moment,
that I was a real Confederate, and had begun to imagine that I had been
a Federal trying to get into the Confederate lines, and whom the Doctor
was helping to do so.
But, was the Doctor a Confederate? He must have been a Confederate. If
so, what was he, too, doing in the Federal camp? He, too, a spy? He and
I were allies? Possibly.
But is it not more likely that he was deceived in me? Did he not think
me a Union soldier? If so, he thought that he was helping me to play the
spy in the interest of the Federals.
What, then? Why, then the Doctor was, after all, a surgeon in the Union
But I knew that the Doctor was thoroughly opposed to war; he would not
fight; he took no side; he even argued with me ... God! what was it that
he argued? And what in me was he arguing against? He had contended--I
remember it--that the war would destroy slavery, and that was what he
wanted to be done; and I had contended that the Union was pledged by the
Constitution to protect slavery, and all I wanted was the preservation
of the Union.
A cold shudder came through me.
In an instant I could see better. Such talk had been part of my plan. I
had even succeeded in blinding the Doctor. Yet this thought gave little
pleasure. To have deceived the Doctor! I had thought him too wise to
allow himself to be deceived.
Yet any man may be cheated at times. But, had I lent myself to a course
which had cheated Dr. Khayme? This was hard to believe. I became
bewildered again. No matter which way I looked, there was a tangle. I
have not got to the bottom of this thing.
Of two things one must be true: first, Dr. Khayme is a Confederate and
my ally; second, I have been such a skilful spy that I have deceived him
with all his wisdom and all my reluctance to deceive him. Which of these
two things is true?
Let me look again at the first. I am sure that the Doctor was in some
way attached to the army. What army? I know. I know not only that it was
the Union army, but I know even that it was McClellan's army. I remember
now the Doctor's telling me about movements that McClellan would make.
These things happened in McClellan's army while I was a spy. To suppose
that the Doctor was my ally comports with his giving me information of
McClellan's movements. He was a surgeon, and, of course, a Confederate;
he certainly was from Charleston, and must have been a Confederate. But,
on the other hand, I remember clearly his great hostility to slavery,
and his hostility, no less great, to war. From this it seems that he
could not have been a Confederate.
Let me look at the second. I am sure that I was a spy and that I was in
McClellan's army. I am equally sure that the Doctor knew that I was a
spy. He had even argued in favour of my work as a spy. How, then, could
I deceive him? There is but one answer: he thought me a Union spy, and
that I was to go into the Confederate lines to get information, when the
opposite was true.
Now the first proposition seems clearly contradictory. The Doctor was
not a Confederate, and I feel sure that he did not know that I was a
Confederate spy. I give up the first proposition.
Since one of the two is true, and the first is not, then the second must
be the truth. I must have played the spy so well that even Dr. Khayme
had been deceived.
Yet I can remember no deceit in my mind. I was a spy, and my business
was deceit; yet in regard to the Doctor I feel sure that I was open and
frank. The second proposition, while possible, I reject, at least for
Can I decide that neither of two opposite things can be true? How
absurd! Yet I recall an utterance of the Doctor, "There is nothing false
absolutely;" and I recall another, "To examine a question thoroughly, be
not content with looking at two sides of it; look at three."
Let me try again, then, and see if by any possibility there be a third
alternative. The first, namely, that the Doctor is a Confederate, is
untrue; the second, namely, that I deceived him, is untrue: what is a
I fail to see what else is possible ... wait ... let me put myself in
the Doctor's place. Let me consider his antislavery notions and his
invulnerability to deceit. He sends me, as he thinks, into the
Confederate lines as a Union spy. Why?
Because he believes I am a Union spy. Well, what does that show but that
he is deceived? The reasoning turns on itself. It will not do. Where is
the trouble? There is a way out, if I could but find it.
What is that third alternative? Can it be that the Doctor knew I was a
Confederate and wished to help me return to my people? He was opposed to
war, and would take no part in it; was he indifferent in regard to the
success of the Federals? No; he wished for the extinction of slavery.
Yet Captain Haskell was a Confederate, but he argued for a modification
of slavery, and for gradual emancipation.
Could Dr. Khayme have had such, affection for me that he would do
violence to his own sentiments for my sake? Was he willing for me to go
back to the Confederate army? Perhaps one man more or fewer does not
count. Possibly he helped me for the purpose of doing me good, knowing
that he was doing the Union cause no harm.
But would he not know that the information I should take to the
Confederates would be worth many men? He would be seriously injuring
Perhaps he made me promise not to use my information. No; that could not
be true. He was above such conduct, and his affection for me was too
sincere to admit the purpose of degrading me; neither would I
And now I see other inconsistencies in all of these suppositions. For
the Doctor to know that I was a Confederate, and at the same time help
me to act the Union spy, would be deceit on his part. I am forced to
admit that he knew my true character and that I knew he knew me.
But, MY GOD! Willis did not know me!
An instant has shown me Willis's face, his form, his red hair, as he
attacked me at the close of the day at second Manassas! That look of
relenting, when his powerful arm refused to strike me; that look of
astonishment,--all now show that, in the supreme moment preceding death,
he knew my face and was thunderstruck to find me a Confederate!
Willis had never known me as a Confederate; then why should the Doctor
have known me as such?
Yet I am sure that Dr. Khayme has been to me much nearer than Willis
ever was, and much more important to my life. And, besides, I feel that
Willis could have been more easily deceived. I know that Willis did not
know me, but the Doctor knew me, for he helped me return to the
... Poor Willis! ... he refused to strike! ...
But why did Willis relent? Even after he knew that I was a rebel, he
had refused to strike! Refused to strike a traitor? Why? Why?
I fear for my reason....
* * * * *
I must cease to follow these horrible thoughts. I must try another line.
So far as I know, I have never given the Confederates the information
gained from the Yankees: why? Because I could not. My wound had caused
me to forget. Now, had the Doctor been able to read the future? If he
had such power, his course in regard to me could be understood. He knew
that I should become unable to reveal anything to injure his cause,
therefore he was willing to help me return to the Confederate army.
There, at last, was a third alternative, but a bare possibility only.
Was it even that?
To assume that the Doctor, even with all his wonderful insight, knew
what would become of me, was nonsense. To suppose he could read the
future was hardly less violent than to suppose he could control the
future. Mind is powerful, but there are limits. What are the limits? Had
not the Doctor spoken to me of this very subject? He had reasoned
against there being limits to the power of the mind ... notwithstanding
my resistance to the thought I still think it; I am still thinking of
the possibility that the Doctor controlled me, and caused me to lose the
past in order that thus he might not be accessory to a betrayal of his
This view explains--but how can I grant the impossible? Yet how can I
place a limit to the power of mind? God is mind ... and if there is a
man on earth who can do such miracles, that man is Dr. Khayme.
But, another thought--why should the Doctor have been willing for me to
suffer so? If he knew that I should be hurt--and that I should endure
mortification--and be without friends--and long hopeless of all
good--why should he do me such injury? Would it not have been better for
me to remain in the Union army? I could not see any reason for his
subjecting me to so bitter an experience--but wait--did he not contend
that every human being must go through an infinity of experience? That
being true--or true to his thought--he might be just in causing me to
endure what I have endured.
Now the whole course of events, at least all since Bull Run, seems clear
if I can but know--or even believe--that any man has such superhuman
power. Can I believe it?
Again it is my time for vedette duty. I relieve Butler. Not long till
dawn, I think. Far to my left I hear sounds, as if an army is stirring.
My time will be short on post. Where was I? Yes; the supernatural power
of the Doctor.
What would the possession of such power imply? To see future events and
control them! Divine power? Yes, in degree, at least. But the mind, is
it not divine? I have seen the Doctor do marvellous things. That letter
of my father's was a mystery.... What! My father!
The sounds increase; the army is moving; the day is near.
I have a father? Who is my father?
The thought brings me to my feet.
I had been sitting on the trunk of a fallen tree. Far in front stretches
the dark valley of the Hedgeman River. Confused noises come from rear
and left. The vedettes will be withdrawn at once, no doubt, for the
march begins. Where is my father? Where he is there should I be also.
Suddenly light comes; I know that the letter was signed Jones Berwick,
Sr. From what place was it written? I do not know. But I know that my
father is the man in the tent where the Doctor attends me sick.
I make a step forward.
Owens, on my left a hundred yards, shouts, "Jones, come on; the line is
moving back; we are ordered back!"
I open my mouth to reply to him, but think better of it.
I am going to my father.
A flood of recollection has poured upon me.
I am the happiest--no, the most wretched--man on earth.
"Unthread the rude eye of rebellion,
And welcome home again discarded faith."
My past life had rushed tumultuously upon me. Oh! the misery of it would
have slain me there, a rebel picket, but that balance was made by its
I must turn my back upon my comrades, but I should go to my father. The
Southern cause must be forsaken, but I should recover my country.
At roll-call in Company H, no voice would henceforth respond to my name
distorted. My comrades would curse my memory. It must be my duty to
battle against friends by whose sides I had faced danger and death. The
glory of the Confederate victories would now bring me pain and not joy.
Oh! the deepness of the woe!
But, on the other hand, I should recover my life and make it complete. I
must atone for the unconscious guilt of a past gorgeous yet criminal--a
past which I had striven to sow with the seeds of a barbarous future. I
should be with the Doctor; I should be myself, and always myself, for I
knew that my mind should nevermore suffer a repetition of the mysterious
affliction which had changed me. My malady had departed forever; and
with this knowledge there had come upon the glimmering emotions of
repressed passion the almost overpowering consciousness that there was a
woman in the world.
I sought the low ground bordering the river. My companions had gone; I
would go. There was none to stop me; none to know my going. I wept and
laughed. I had no fear. Nothing was present--all was past and future. I
was strong and well. With my healing had come a revolution of another
kind--a physical change which I felt would make of me a different
creature from the poor moody rebel in rags, or even the groping Yankee
spy of the day and of the year before.
How I loved and pitied the men of Company H! They were devoted and true.
No matter what should befall them, they would continue to be true and
loyal to their instincts of duty. Misfortune, even the blackest
disaster, seems before them; but I know them for courage and for
fortitude to be the equals, at least, of any who may conquer them. Their
soldierly honour will be maintained even when they go down in defeat, as
they must; never will shame lay its touch upon their ways, no matter
what their destiny. I honour them, more now since I know the might of
their enemies; I love them; I am proud of their high deeds, but I am
done with them. In my heart alone can I do them reverence. My hand must
be against them, as it has been for them.
Raetions? Rations! The Federals say _rations_! Why did I not follow that
* * * * *
Poor old Willis! ... he refused to strike! ...
* * * * *
I went up the sloping edge of the river's brink, seeking a place to
cross. My mind was wondrously alert. At my right the dawn was lighting
the sky. Behind me and at my left, I could hear the well-known sounds of
a moving army--an army which had been my pride and now must be my enemy.
How often had I followed the red flag! How I had raised my voice in the
tumult of the charge--mingling no dissentient note in the mighty concert
of the fierce old rebel yell!
What will they think of me? I know full well what they will think, and
the knowledge makes my heart ache and almost cease to beat. They will
say--some of them--that Jones has gone to the Yankees; not at once will
they say that, but in a week or two when hope of my return has been
abandoned--and a few will say that Jones has lost his mind and has
wandered off. The first--the unkind--will be right, and they will be
wrong. The others--the generous--will be utterly wrong. I have not lost
my mind; I have found it, and found it "for good." The report of my
desertion will come to Adjutant Haskell and to Dr. Frost, perhaps. Will
they tell? I hope not. Will they suspect the truth? I wish it, but I
cannot hope it.
Let Berwick Jones be dead and buried and forgotten; let Jones Berwick
live from this night as he never lived. The Doctor says men live
forever. I believe it. If man can live through the worse than death
which I have passed through alive, he is eternal. I shall never die. On
through the ages! That bright star--almost the only one left in the
graying sky--has but the age of an infant. I saw it born!
I found a shallow place in the river and crossed. The sun was up; I kept
it on my right. What should I do and say when I should reach our men?
Our men! how odd the thought sounded! I must get to them quickly. The
rebels were moving. The whole of two corps of infantry were seeking to
fall upon our rear. I must hasten, or there would be a third Bull Run.
But what can I say? How can I make them believe? How can I avoid being
captured, and brought before the officers as a rebel? I will call for
Dr. Khayme to bear out my words. I will appeal to General Morell and to
General Grover. But all this will take time. The loss of a day, half a
day, an hour, means defeat. Meade's army ought to be falling back now.
To retreat at once may save it--to delay means terrible disaster.
I hasten on, thinking always what I shall say, what I shall do, to make
the generals believe. Oh! if I can but cause a speedy retreat of the
army, a safe retreat from the toils laid for its destruction, I shall be
happy. I will even say that my service as a Confederate was a small
price to pay ... what had the Doctor said? He had said that my infirmity
was a power! He had said that he could imagine cases in which my
peculiar affliction would give great opportunity for serving the
country. What a mind that man has! He is to be feared. I wonder if he
has had active part in what has befallen me.
I keep a straight north course over hill and hollow, through wood and
field, crossing narrow roads that lead nowhere. Farmhouses and fields
and groves and streams and roads I pass in haste, knowing or feeling
that I shall find no help here. Here I shun nothing; here I seek
nothing--beyond this region are the people I want. What can I say? what
can I prove? This is the question that troubles me. If I say that I am a
Union soldier, I must tell the whole truth, and that I cannot do;
besides, it would not be believed. If I say I am a deserter, my
declarations as to Lee's movement will not be taken without suspicion.
What shall I do? If I could but get a horse; if I could but get Federal
clothing; I might hope to find a horse, but to get a blue uniform seems
impossible. I must go as I am, and as I can. If I could but find Dr.
Khayme! But I know not how to find him. If he is yet with the army, he
is somewhere in its rear. Is he yet with the army? Is he yet alive? And
Lydia? My God, what might have happened to her in so many long months!
Yet, I have trust. I shall find the Doctor, and I shall find Lydia, but
I cannot go at once to them; I must lose no time; to seek the Doctor
might be ruin. I must go as fast as possible to the general
To the southeast I hear the boom of a distant gun--and another. I hurry
on. What do they mean by fighting down there?
I keep looking out for a horse, but I see none--none in the fields or
roads or pastures or lots. This war-stricken land is bare. No smoke
rises from the farmhouses. The fields are untilled; the roads are
untravelled. There are no horses in such a land.
I reach a wide public road running east and west, Hoof-prints cover the
road--hoof-prints going west; our cavalry; I almost shout and weep for
joy. The cavalry will certainly detect Lee's movement. That is, if they
go far enough west.
Again the dull booming of cannon in the far southeast. What does it
mean? It means, I know it, I feel certain of it, it means that Lee is
preventing Meade's retreat by deceiving him. Those guns are only
On the wide public road I turn eastward--straight down the road. Other
cavalry may be coming or going.
The road turns sharply toward the northeast. I cease to follow it. I go
straight eastward, hoping to shorten the way and find the road beyond
the hill. What is that I see through the trees? It looks like a man. It
is a man, and in blue uniform. From mere habit I cock my rifle and hold
it at the ready. I cannot see that he is armed. I go straight to him. He
is lying on the ground, with his back toward me. He hears me. He rises
to his feet. He is unarmed. He is greatly astonished, but is silent.
"What are you doing here?"
"I surrender," he says.
"Very well, then," I say; "guide me at once to the nearest body of your
He opens wide eyes. He says, "All right, if that's your game."
He leads me in a southerly direction, takes a road toward the west, and
goes on. Suddenly he says, "You are coming over to us?"
"Then let me have the gun," he says.
I do not reply at once. Why does he want the gun? Is it in order to
claim that he has captured me? If so, my information will not be
believed; it may be thought intended to mislead. Then again, it is not
impossible that this man is a deserter; if that be the case, he wants to
march me back to the rebels, just as I am marching him back to the Union
army. He may be a Confederate spy. I shall not give him the gun. But I
will make him talk.
"What do you want with the gun?"
"Oh, never mind. Keep your gun; it don't make any difference," he says.
He keeps on, going more rapidly than before. We go up hill and down
hill, hardly changing direction.
Suddenly he says, without looking back at me, "Say, Johnny, what made
"My mind changed," I say.
He looks back at me; I can see contempt in his face. He says, "I
wouldn't say that, if I was you."
"Why not, since it is true?"
"It will do you no good."
"True men don't change their minds. But it's all one to me. Do as you
He is right, I think. Nobody will believe me if I speak the whole truth.
I say no more. Soon we see cavalry. We walk straight to them. Their
leader speaks to my companion. "Thomas, you seem to have done a good
job. How did you happen to get him?"
"I didn't get him. He got me. He says he has come over."
"Captain," I say, "send me at once to General Meade. I have information
of extreme importance to give him."
"Well, now, my good fellow," he says, "just give it to me, if you
"I am ready to give you the information," I say, "but I must make a
condition." "What is your condition?" he asks, frowning slightly.
"That you will not seek to know who I am, and that you will send me to
General Meade at once."
"It seems to me that you are making two conditions."
"Well, sir," I reply, "the first is personal, and ought not to count. If
you object to it, however, I withdraw it."
"Then, who are you?"
"I decline to say."
"Well, it makes no difference to me who you are, but I should like to
know how I am to rely on what you tell."
"Captain," I say, "we are losing valuable time. Put me on a horse, and
send me under guard to General Meade; you ride with me until I tell what
I have to tell."
"That sounds like good sense. Here, Thomas, get your horse, and another
for this man."
Two minutes pass and we are on the road. The captain says: "You see, I
am giving you an escort rather than a guard. You served Thomas; now let
him serve you. What is it you want to tell?"
"Ewell and Hill are at this moment marching around our--I mean your
"The devil you say! Infantry?"
"The whole of Ewell's corps and the whole of Hill's--six divisions."
"How do you know that? How am I to know that you are telling me the
"I am in your hands. Question me and see if I lie in word or
"When did Ewell begin his march?"
"I do not know."
"When did Hill march?"
"He began to move on the 8th."
"Where was he before that date?"
"In camp near Orange Court-House."
"Who commands the divisions of Hill's corps?"
"Heth, Anderson, and Wilcox."
"Which division is yours?"
"Please withdraw that question."
"With great pleasure. Where did Hill's corps camp on the night of the
"Near the Rapidan, on the south side."
"Where did Hill camp on the night of the 9th?"
"About two miles this side of Madison Court-House."
"Where on the 10th?"
"The night of the 10th near Culpeper."
"And where on the 11th?"
"Last night Hill's corps was just south, of North Fork; only a few miles
"And where was Ewell's corps?"
"I know nothing of Ewell's corps, except one thing: it passed Hill's
"No, sir; it went toward our right."
"Do you know how many divisions are under Ewell?"
"Who commands them?"
"Early, Johnson, and Rodes."
"Where is Hill's corps to-day?"
"It began to move up the river at daybreak."
"Is that all you have of importance?"
"Yes, sir; and I know what I say. General Meade is in danger. General
Lee's movement corresponds exactly, thus far, with Jackson's march last
year around General Pope." I say this very earnestly, and continue: "You
ought to know that I am telling you the truth. A man coming into your
lines and ordering an unarmed man to take him to you, ought to be
"There is something in that," he says; "yet it would not be an
impossible method of deceiving; especially if the man were tired of
life," and he looks at me searchingly. I return his look, but say
nothing. I know that my appearance is the opposite of prepossessing. The
homeliest rebel in the South is not uglier than I am. The strain to
which I have been subjected for days and weeks, and especially for the
last forty-eight hours, must be telling fearfully upon me. Uncouth,
dirty, ragged, starved, weak through fever and strong through unnatural
excitement, there can be no wonder that the captain thinks me wild. He
may suspect that such a creature is seeking the presence of General
Meade in order to assassinate him.
"Captain," said I, "you have my arms. Search me for other weapons. Bind
my hands behind my back, and tie my feet under this horse's belly. All I
ask is to have speech with General Meade. If I am not wretchedly
mistaken, I can find men near him who will vouch for me."
"Halt!" said he. "Now, Thomas, you will continue to escort this
gentleman to headquarters. Wait there for orders, and then ride for your
life to General Gregg. Bring back the extra horse."
He wrote a note or something, and handed it to Thomas.
"Now," said he to me, "I cannot say that I trust you are telling the
truth, for the matter is too dangerous. I hope you are deceived in some
way. Good luck to you."
He put spurs to his horse and galloped west.
I had yielded my gun to Thomas. At his saddle hung a carbine, and his
holsters were not empty.
"Six paces in front of me, sir!" says Thomas.
We go on at a trot. It is now fully twelve o'clock. We are nearing the
river again. We cart hear the rumbling of railroad trains, directly in
front but far away.
The speed we are making is too slow. I dig my heels into my horse's
sides; he breaks into a gallop. "Stop!" roars Thomas. I do not stop. I
say nothing. I know he will not shoot. He threatens and storms, but
keeps his distance. At length, he makes his horse bound to my side, and
I feel his hand on my collar.
"Are you crazy?" he shouts.
I fear that he means what he says. I pull in my horse. Such, a suspicion
may ruin my plan.
After a time we began to see camps ahead. We passed through the camps.
We passed troops of all arms and wagon trains.
At last we reached headquarters. Thomas reported to an aide, giving him
the note. I was admitted, still under Thomas's guard, before the
general. He was surrounded by many officers and couriers and orderlies.
The aide approached the general, who turned and looked at me. The
general held the note in his hand.
"What is your name?" he asked."
"Jones Berwick, Jr., sir," said I.
"What state is McGowan's brigade from?"
"How many brigades are in that division?"
"Lane's, Scales's, Thomas's, and McGowan's."
"From what states?"
"Lane's and Scales's are from North Carolina. Thomas's brigade is from
"When, did you leave the reb--when did you leave the enemy?"
"This morning, sir, before daylight"
"You say that a movement was in progress?"
"General Lee's army was moving up the river, sir."
"Up what river?"
"The Hedgeman. The North Fork."
"You say the army? General Lee's army?"
"Yes, sir; all but Longstreet's corps, which has gone to Georgia."
"Did you see the other troops?"
"Yes, sir; all of the Second and the Third corps."
"Did you see both corps?"
"I was in Hill's corps, General, and Ewell's passed Hill's in the
afternoon of yesterday; Ewell's corps was many hours passing."
The officers standing about were attentive, even serious. General
Meade's face showed interest, but not grave concern.
"How can I know that you are not deceiving me?"
"I have nothing on me to prove my character, General, but there are some
officers and men in your army who would vouch, for me if they
"Who are they?"
"General Morell is one, sir."
All the officers, as well as the general, now stared at me. I saw one of
them tap his forehead.
"What are you to General Morell?" asked the commander.
"General Grover also would vouch for me, sir."
"You do not answer my question. Answer promptly, and without evasion.
What are you to General Morell?"
"Nothing now, sir. Our relations have ceased, yet I am sure that he
would know me and believe me."
"What are you to General Grover?"
"He knew me, General"
"Well, sir, neither General Morell nor General Grover is now with this
army. You have a peculiar way of calling for absent witnesses."
"I believe, General, that General Fitz-John Porter would bear me out."
"General Porter is no longer in this army."
"Then General Butterfield."
"General Butterfield is no longer in this army."
I was staggered. What I was trying to do was to avoid calling for Dr.
Khayme, who, I feared, would betray me through surprise. What had become
of all these generals? Even General McClellan, who by bare possibility
might have heard of me through General Morell, was, as I knew very well,
far from this army. Certainly the war had been hard on the general
officers of this Army of the Potomac. I would risk one more name.
"Then, General, I should be glad to see Colonel Blaisdell."
"What Colonel Blaisdell? What regiment?"
"Eleventh Massachusetts, sir."
General Meade looked at an officer. The officer shook his head slightly.
"Nor is Colonel Blaisdell here, my good fellow. Now I am going to ask
you some questions, and I think it well to advise you to answer quickly
and without many words. How do you happen to know that the colonel of
the Eleventh Massachusetts is named Blaisdell?"
I did not know what to say. If I had been with General Meade alone, I
should have confided in him at this moment--yet the idea again came that
he would have considered me a lunatic. I had to answer quickly, so I
said, "I had friends in that regiment, General."
The officers had gathered around their commander as close as etiquette
allowed. They were looking on, and listening--some of them very
serious--others with sneers."
"Name one of your friends."
"John Lawler, sir."
An officer wrote something, and an orderly went off.
"Now," said the general, "how is it that you seem to know General Grover
and General Butterfield--stop! What brigade did General Grover command?
Where was it that you knew him?"
"General, I beg of you that you will not force me to answer. The
information I bring you is true. What I might say of General Grover
would not prove me to be true. I beg to ask if Dr. Khayme, of the
Sanitary Commission, is with the army?"
"Yes," said the general, after again questioning his aide with a look.
"He will vouch for me, sir," said I.
A second orderly was sent off.
All the officers now looked grave. The general continued to question me.
I had two things to think of at once,--replies to the general, and a
plan to prevent a scene when the Doctor appeared.
"How far up the river was Lee's infantry this morning?"
"Near Jeffersonton, sir, moving on up." How could I keep the Doctor
quiet? I knew not. I could only hope that his wonderful self-control
would not even now desert him.
"How do you know they were still moving?"
"Hill's corps began to move just before day. I could hear the movement,
sir." Doctor Khayme might save me or might undo me; on his conduct
depended my peace for the future. If he should betray me, I should
henceforth be a living curiosity.
"Why did you not start yesterday, sir?" asked the general.
The question was hard. It did not seem relevant. I knew not how to
answer. I was silent.
"I asked why you did not start yesterday?"
"Start where, General?"
"For this army. Did you not know on yesterday that Lee was moving? If
you intended to be of service to us, why did you delay?"
Here was an opening.
"Circumstances were such that I could not leave yesterday, General;
besides, it was only last night that I became convinced of the nature of
General Lee's movement." I was hoping that I could give the Doctor some
signal before he should speak--before he should recognize me. I was
determined to prevent his exposing me, no matter at what personal risk.
"And how did you become convinced?" asked the general.
"It was the universal opinion of the men that convinced me, General. But
that was only additional to the circumstances of position and direction
"The men? What do the men know of such things?"
"The men I speak of, General, were all familiar with the country, from
having marched over it many times. They were in the August campaign of
last year; they said that the present movement could mean nothing except
a repetition of General Jackson's flank march of last year."
The general looked exceedingly grave. His eyes were always upon me. The
officers were very silent--motionless, except for glances one
"Were you in Lee's campaigns last year?"
"Were you under Jackson or Longstreet?"
"I was in Jackson's corps, General."
"Did you make the march under him?"
"And this march of Ewell and Hill seems similar to your march of last
"General, last year, on August 24th, I rejoined General Jackson's corps
at the very place where I left Hill's corps this morning. On August 25th
last year General Jackson crossed the Hedgeman River on his flank march.
Hill's corps this morning began to move toward the crossing of
"Have you seen General Lee in the last few days?"
"No, sir; but I have seen men who said they saw him."
"Do you know him when you see him?"
"Have you seen General Hill in the last few days?"
"Yes, sir--many times."
"Have you seen General Ewell?"
"I would not know General Ewell, sir."
"How, then, do you know that his corps is up the river?"
"His entire corps passed ours, sir, marching to our right."
"You are sure it was Ewell's whole corps?"
"It was a great column of infantry and nineteen batteries; it took many
hours to march by us. Many of the men in the different brigades told us
they were of Ewell's corps. None of us doubted it, General."
The questions of the general continued. I thought that they were for the
purpose of testing me; their forms were various, without change of
The first orderly returned, followed closely by the second. They
reported to an aide, who then spoke in a low voice to General Meade.
Soon I saw Dr. Khayme approaching.
The Doctor looked as ever. I said hurriedly to General Meade, "General,
I beg that you let me see Dr. Khayme alone; let me go to meet him, if
but a few yards."
The general looked at his aide, then shook his head.
I cried out: "Doctor, hold your peace! Say nothing but yes or no!"
General Meade and all his staff looked at me with anger.
The Doctor had come up. He said not a word.
Intense gravity was all over him.
General Meade said, "Doctor, do you know this man?"
"Who is he?"
The Doctor smiled very faintly, then became serious again, and shook his
head; "I obey orders, General," he said.
"Then reply," said the general.
"I am commanded to say yes or no," said the Doctor. "I suppose,
however, there is no objection?" looking at me. I inclined my head.
Etiquette could no longer restrain the staff. We were all in a huddle.
"He is Jones Berwick," said Dr. Khayme.
"Do you vouch for him?"
"He brings information of great import, if true; there is immense danger
in accepting it, if false."
"I will answer for him with my life, General."
"But may he not be deceived? May you not be deceived in him? And he will
tell nothing except what he wishes to tell!"
"General, let me say a few words to him and to you."
"All right." He made a movement, and his staff dispersed--very
reluctantly, no doubt, but quickly enough.
"Now, Jones, my dear boy," said the Doctor, "I think you may confide in
the general. You see, General, there is a private matter in which my
friend here is greatly interested, and which he does not want
everybody to hear."
"He may rely on my confidence in matters personal--and if he is bringing
me the truth, he may rely on my protection," said the general; "now
speak up and convince me, and be quick."
"General," I said, "I went into the rebel army as a Union spy. I am a
regularly enlisted man in the Eleventh Massachusetts."
Dr. Khayme said, "That is true, General."
"Then," roared the general, "then why the hell did you take so long to
He dashed off from us. He called his aides. He began sending despatches
like the woods afire.
"And all that was death
Grows life, grows love,
The Doctor held my hand.
Couriers and aides had gone flying in every direction. A hubbub rose;
clouds of dust were in the west and north and east and
south--everywhere. The Army of the Potomac was retreating.
But not the whole army as yet. Beyond the Rappahannock were three
corps,--the Sixth, the Fifth, and the Second, under Sedgwick, Sykes, and
Warren,--which General Meade had thrown forward on the morning of this
day, in the belief that Lee was retiring. Until these troops should
succeed in recrossing to the north side of the river, a strong force
must hold the bridges.
Thomas had left my gun. The Doctor shouldered it. I think this was the
first gun he had ever touched. He took me with him.
Long lines of wagons and cannon were driving northward and eastward on
every road. The Doctor said little. Tears were in his eyes and sobs in
his voice. I had never seen him thus.
We reached the Sanitary Camp. The tents were already struck, and the
wagons ready to move.
"Stay here one moment, my boy," the Doctor said.
He left me and approached an ambulance, into which I could not see; all
its curtains were down. He raised the corner of a curtain, remained
there while one might count a hundred--or a million--and came back
"Now get in, Jones," he said, preparing to mount his horse.
I got in.
By my side was a woman ... weeping.
* * * * *
Lee's guns are grumbling in all the southwest quadrant of the horizon.
In the west Gregg's cavalry impedes the advance of A.P. Hill; in the
south Fitzhugh Lee is pressing hard upon Buford.
The retreat continues; I hold a woman's hand in mine.
* * * * *
Past the middle of an autumn night, where thick forests added to the
darkness fitfully relieved by the fires of hasty bivouacs, there sat,
apart from cannon and bayonets and sleeping battalions, a group
One was a man of years and of thought and of many virtues--at least a
sage, at least a hero.
One was a woman, young and sweet and pure and devoted.
One was a common soldier.