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"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.
Co. Q of the 200th Ind. received with the first issue of army rations at Louisville a bountiful supply of bacon of prime quality, and Si was happy at the prospect. He thought it would always be that way.
"You're just a little bit brash," said his veteran friend, who had just been through the long, hungry march from Huntsville, Ala., to Louisville. "Better eat all you can lay yer hands on now, while ye've got a chance. One o' these days ye'll git into a tight place and ye won't see enough hog's meat in a week to grease a griddle. I've bin there, myself! Jest look at me and see what short rations 'll bring you to?"
Then he went to the sutler—or "skinner," as he was better known—and paid 10 cents for a sheet of paper and an envelope, on which were the cheerful words, "It is sweet to die for one's country!" and 10 cents more for a 3-cent postage stamp. He borrowed a leadpencil, hunted up a piece of crackerbox, and sat down to his work by the flickering light of the fire. Si wrote:
they're gittin' a fellow to enlist. It's mity rough, and
and down for an hour with a big rail on my sholder.
"It's a mighty sight worse 'n that!" replied Shorty, who knew more about these things than Si did. "I reckon we'll all be doin' like they are 'fore long."
A Field Shanty 117
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