portion of his body, would have appeared as unaccountable to the Guerrillas as a revolver without a mainspring. At the end of every battle some one reckless fighter asked of an

other: “Of course, John can’t be killed, but where is he hit this time?” And Coger, himself, no matter how often or how badly hurt, scarcely ever waited for a old wound to get

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well before he was in the front again looking for a new one. He lived for fifty years after the battle, carrying thirteen bullet wounds. The wonderful nerve of the man saved him many times during the war in open and desperate conflicts, but never when the outlook was so unpromising as it was now, with the chances as fifty to one against him. Despite his two hurts, Coger would dress himself every day and hobble about the house, watching all the roads for the Federals. His pistols were kept under the bolster of his bed. One day a scout of sixty militiamen approached the house so suddenly that Coger had barely time to undress and hurry to bed, dragging in with him his clothes, his boots, his tell-tale shirt and his four revolvers. Without the help of the lady of the house he surely would have been lost. To save him she surely—well, she did not tell the truth. 190 The sick man lying there was her husband, weak from a fever. Bottles were ostentatiously displayed for the occasion. At intervals Coger groaned and ground his teeth, the brave, true woman standing close to his bedside, wiping his brow ev

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ery now and then and putting some kind of smelling stuff to his lips. A Federal soldier, perhaps a bit of a doctor, felt Coger’s left wrist, held it awhile, shook his head, and murmured seriously: “A bad case, madam, a bad case, indeed. Most likely pneumonia.” Coger groaned again. “Are you in pain, dear?” the ostensible wife tenderly inquired. “Dreadful!” and a spasm of agony shot over the bushwhacker’s sun-burnt face. For nearly an hour the Federal soldiers came and went and looked upon the sick man moaning in his bed, as deadly a Guerrilla as ever mounted a horse or fired a pistol. Once the would-be doctor skirted the edge of the precipice so closely that if he had stepped a step further he would have pitched headlong into the abyss. He insisted upon making a minute examination of Coger’s lungs and laid a hand upon the coverlet to uncover the patient. Coger held his breath hard and felt upward for a revolver. The first inspection would have ruined him. Nothing could have explained the ugly, ragged191 wound in the left shoulder, nor the older and not entirely healed one in the right leg. The iron man, however, did not wince. He neither made protest nor yielded acquiescence. He meant to kill the doctor, kill as many more as he could while life lasted and his pistol balls held out, and be carried from the room, when he was carried at all, feet foremost and limp as a lock of hair. Happily a woman’s wit saved him. She pushed away the doctor’s hand from the coverlet and gave as the emphatic order of her family physician that the sick man should not be disturbed until his return. Etiquette saved John Coger, for it was so unprofessional for one physician to interfere with another physician’s patient, and the Federal soldier left the room and afterwards the house. Press Webb, a Born Scout PRESS WEBB was a born scout crossed upon a highlander. He had the eyes of an eagle and the endurance of the red deer. He first taught himself coolness, and then he taught it to others. In traveling he did not travel twice the same road. Many more were like him in this—so practicing the same kind of woodcraft and cunning—until the enemy began to say: “That man Quantrell has a thousand eyes.” Press Webb was ordered to take with him one day Sim Whitse


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