The Red Badge Of Courage

  • Chapter 1

  • Narrator

    The cold passed reluctantly from the earth, and the retiring fogs revealed an army stretched out on the hills, resting.

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  • As the landscape changed from brown to green, the army awakened, and began to tremble with eagerness at the noise of rumors.

  • It cast its eyes upon the roads, which were growing from long troughs of liquid mud to proper thoroughfares.

  • A river, amber-tinted in the shadow of its banks, purled at the army's feet;

  • and at night, when the stream had become of a sorrowful blackness, one could see across it the red, eyelike gleam of hostile camp-fires set in the low brows of distant hills.

  • Narrator

    Once a certain tall soldier developed virtues and went resolutely to wash a shirt.

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  • He came flying back from a brook waving his garment bannerlike.

  • He was swelled with a tale he had heard from a reliable friend, who had heard it from a truthful cavalryman, who had heard it from his trustworthy brother, one of the orderlies at division headquarters.

  • He adopted the important air of a herald in red and gold.

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    Tall Soldier

    β€œWe're goin' t' move t'morrah--sure,”

  • Narrator

    he said pompously to a group in the company street.

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  • Profile Picture of Tall Soldier in The Red Badge Of Courage

    Tall Soldier

    β€œWe're goin' 'way up the river, cut across, an' come around in behint 'em.”

  • Narrator

    To his attentive audience he drew a loud and elaborate plan of a very brilliant campaign.

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  • When he had finished, the blue-clothed men scattered into small arguing groups between the rows of squat brown huts.

  • A negro teamster who had been dancing upon a cracker box with the hilarious encouragement of twoscore soldiers was deserted.

  • He sat mournfully down.

  • Smoke drifted lazily from a multitude of quaint chimneys.

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    Private

    β€œIt's a lie!

  • that's all it is--a thunderin' lie!”