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"Si Klegg, of the 200th Ind., and Shorty, his Partner," were born more than 25 years ago in the brain of John McElroy, editor of The National Tribune, who invented the names and characters, outlined the general plan, and wrote a number of the chapters. Subsequently, the editor, having many other important things pressing upon his attention, called in an assistant to help on the work, and this assistant, under the direction and guidance of the editor, wrote some of these chapters. Subsequently, without the editor's knowledge or consent, the assistant adopted all the material as his own, and expanded it into a book which had a limited sale and then passed into the usual oblivion of shortlived subscription books.
Then it occurred to his thoughtful sister Maria that he ought to have a good supply of stationery, including pens, a bottle of ink, and a portfolio on which to write when he was far away from tables and desks.
On his entry into service a boy accepted everything without question when assured that it was "regulations." He would have charged bayonets on a buzz-saw if authoritatively informed that it was required by the mysterious "regulations."
We regret to say that Si, having thrown away his "Baxter's Call to the Unconverted" in his first march, and having allowed himself to forget the lessons he had learned but a few years before in Sunday-school, soon learned to play poker and other sinful games. These, at night, developed another use for the bayonet. In its capacity as a "handy" candlestick it was "equaled by few and excelled by none." The "shank" was always ready to receive the candle, while the point could be thrust into the ground in an instant, and nothing more was necessary. This was perhaps the most general sphere of usefulness found by the bayonet during the war. Barrels of candle-grease flowed down the furrowed sides of this weapon for every drop of human blood that dimmed its luster.
"APPETITE'S a queer thing," said Si to Shorty one day, when both were in a philosophical mood. "It's an awful bother when you haven't it, and it's a great deal worse when you have it, and can't get anything for it." "Same as money," returned sage Shorty. During the first few months of Si Klegg's service in the army the one thing that bothered him more than anything else was his appetite. It was a very robust, healthy one that Si had, for he had grown up on his father's farm in Indiana, and had never known what it was to be hungry without abundant means at hand for appeasing his desires in that direction. His mother's cupboard was never known to be in the condition of Old Mother Hubbard's, described in the nursery rhyme. The Kleggs might not have much tapestry and bric-a-brac in their home, but their smoke-house was always full, and Mrs. Klegg's kitchen could have fed a camp-meeting any time without warning. So it was that when Si enlisted his full, rosy face and his roundness of limb showed that he had been well fed, and that nature had made good use of the ample daily supplies that were provided. His digestive organs were kept in perfect condition by constant exercise.
Si's heart sank almost into his shoes at the prospect, for the taste of his mother's pie and Annabel's fruit cake were yet fresh in his mouth. But Si was fully bent on being a loyal, obedient soldier, determined to make the best of everything without any more "kicking" than was the inalienable right of every man who wore a uniform.
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