"I feel that you have done yourself credit in your selection."
Here there was a round of applause.
"I am sorry that some of you are still very awkward, but I hope under my excellent discipline to make veterans of you in less than no time."
"You cannot expect me to remain long with you, as I am now in the line of promotion, and don't mean to stop short of a brigadier. But as long as I am your captain I hope you will appreciate your privileges."
Sam's speech was followed by a chorus of laughter, in which he joined heartily himself.
As for John's defection, nobody seemed to regret it much. It was generally felt that the company would have no difficulty in getting along without him.
ON the first of April Frank received the following letter from his father. It was the more welcome because nearly a month had elapsed since anything had been received, and the whole family had become quite anxious:
"Dear Frank," the letter commenced, "you are no doubt feeling anxious on account of my long silence. You will understand the cause of it when I tell you that since the date of my last letter I have been for a fortnight in the enemy's hands as a prisoner. Fortunately, I have succeeded in effecting my escape. You will naturally be interested to learn the particulars.
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