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re as necessary as muskets and cannon."
"Indeed they are," said Mr. Rosenbaum earnestly; "you wouldn't know what to do with your muskets and cannon if the spies didn't tell you where the rebels were, unt how many there was of them. I go out unt get information that it would cost hundreds of lives to get, unt may save thousands of lives, unt all that it costs is one poor little Jew's neck, when they drop on to him some day, unt leave him swinging from a tree. But when that time comes, I shall make no more complaint than these other poor boys do, who get their heads knockt off in battle. I'm no better than they are. My life belongs to the country the same as theirs, unt this free Government is worth all our lives, unt more, too."
His simple, sincere patriotism touched the Deacon26 deeply. "I'd no idee that there was so much o' the man in a Jew," he said to himself. Then he asked the stranger:
"How did you come to go into the spy business, Mr. Rosenbaum?"
"Well, I was in St. Louis in the Clothing pizniss, unt you know it was purty hot there. All the Germans were for the union, unt most of the Americans unt Irish seemed to be Secessionists. I sided with the Germans, but as nobody seemed to think that a Jew had any principles or cared for anything but the almighty dollar, everybody talked right out before me, unt by keepin' my ears wide open I got hold of lots of news, which I took straight to General Lyon. I got well acquainted with him, and he used to send me here and there to find out things for him. I'd sell gray uniforms and other things to the Secessionists; they'd talk to one another right before me as to what was being done, and I'd keep my ears wide open all the time, though seemed to be only thinking about the fit and the buttons and the gold lace.
"Then General Lyon wanted to find out just exactly how many men there was in Camp Jackson—no guesswork—no suppose. I took 2,000 of my business cards, printed on white, and 1,000 printed on gray paper. I went through the whole camp. To every man in uniform I give a white card; to every man without a uniform, who seemed to be there for earnest, I give a gray card. When I got back I counted my cards in General Lyon's office, unt found I'd give out 500 white cards unt 200 gray27 ones. Then General Lyon took out about 3,000 men, unt brought the whole crowd back with him."
"Then General Lyon," continued Rosenbaum, "sent me out from Springfield, Mizzouri, to see how many men old Pap Price unt Ben McCullough had gathered up against him from Mizzouri, Arkansaw, Texas unt the plains. Holy Moses, I was scared when I saw the pile of them. The whole world seemed to be out there, yipping unt yelling for Jeff Davis, drinking raw sod-corn whisky, making secession speeches, unt shooting at marks.
"I rode right into them, unt pretended that I was looking for Mexican silver dollars to take to Mexico to buy powder unt lead for the rebel army. I had a lot of new Confedrit notes that I'd got from my cousin, who was in the tobacco business in Memphis. They was great curiosities, unt every man who had a Mexican dollar wanted to trade it for a Confedrit dollar.
"There was no use tryin' to count the men—might as well have tried to count the leaves on the trees, so I begun to count the regiments. I stuck a pin in my right lapel for every Mizzouri regiment, one in my left lapel for every Arkansaw regiment, one in my vest for every one from Texas. I had black pins for the cannons. I was getting along very well, when I run across Bob Smiles, a dirty loafer, who had been a customer in St. Louis. He wouldn't pay me, unt I had to get out a writ unt levy on his clothes just as he was dressing to go to a quadroon ball.
"I left him with only a necktie, which was worth nothing to me, as it had been worn and soiled. He was very sore against me, unt I was not surprised.28
"It made me sick at my stomach when I saw him come up.
"'Hello, you damn Dutch Jew,' he said. 'What are you doing here?'
"I tried to be very pleasant, unt I put out my hand unt said, with my best smile:
"'Good gracious. Bob, how glad I am to see you. When did you get here? Are you well? How are the other boys? Who's here? Where are you stopping?'
"But I might as well have tried to make friends with a bull dog in front of a farm house where all the people had gone away.
"'Go to blazes,' he said. 'None of your bizniss how I am, how I got here, or how the other boys are. Better not let them find out you're here. They'll take it out of your Jew hide for the way you used to skin them in St. Louis. I want to know what the devil you are doing here?'
"'Now, Mister Smiles,' I said, pleasant as a May morning, 'that's not the way to talk to me. You know I got up the stylishest clothes unt the best fits in St. Louis. We had a little trouble, it is true. It was nothing, though. Just a little business dispute. You know I always thought you one of the very nicest men in St. Louis, unt I said so, even to the Squire unt to the Constable.'
"'Go to the devil, you Savior-killing Jew,' said he. 'Shut up your mouth, or I'll stuff a piece of pork in it. I want to know at once what you are doing here? Where did you come from?'
"'I come from Memphis,' said I. 'I'm in the service of the Southern Confedrisy. General Pillow sent29 me to gather up all the Mexican dollars I could find, to send to Mexico to buy ammunition.'
"'It's a lie, of course,' said he. 'A Jew'd rather lie than eat, any day. Then you're one of them St. Louis Dutch—them imported Hessians. They're all dead against us. They all ought to be killed. I ought to kill you myself for being so cussed mean to me.'
"He put his hand on his revolver in a way that made my breakfast sour in my stomach, but then I knew that Bob Smiles was a great blowhard, unt his bark was much worse than his bite. In St. Louis he was always going to fight somebody unt kill somebody, but he never done neither. Quite a crowd gathered around, unt Bob blew off to them, unt they yelled, 'Hang the Jew spy. Kill the damn rascal,' and other things that made me unhappy. But what made my flesh crawl was to see a man who wasn't saying much, go to a wagon, pull out a rope, unt begin making a noose on the end. Bob Smiles caught hold of my collar unt started to drag me toward a tree. Just as I was giving up everything for lost, up comes Jim Jones—the same man I'm going to meet here—he come runnin' up. He was dressed in full uniform as a rebel officer—gray coat unt pants, silver stars on his collar, high boots, gray slouched hat with gold cord, unt so on.
"'Here, what is the matter? What's all this fuss in camp?' he said.
"'We've ketched one of them Dutch Jews from St. Louis spying our camp, Major,' said Bob Smiles, letting loose of my collar to salute the Major's silver stars. 'And we are going to hang him.'30
"'A spy? How do you know he's a spy?'" asked Jim Jones.
"'Well, he's Dutch; he's a Jew, unt he's from St. Louis. What more do you want?'" asked Bob Smiles.
Trying to Save his Neck. 30
The crowd yelled, unt de man with the rope went to the tree unt flung one end over a limb.
"'His being a St. Louis Dutchman is against him,'31 said Jim Jones, 'but his being a Jew is in his favor. A Jew don't care a blame for politics. He hain't got no principles. He'd rather make a picayune off you in a trade than have a wagon-load of principles. But you fellers have got nothing to do with spies, anyway. That's headquarters' bizniss. I'm an officer at General Price's headquarters. I'll take him up there unt examine him. Bring him along.'
"'Go along, Jew,' said two of three of them, giving me kicks, as Bob Smiles started with me. The man with the rope stood by the tree looking very disappointed.
"When we got near General Price's tent, Jim Jones says to the rest:
"'You stop there. Come along with me, Jew.'
"He took me by the collar, unt we walked toward General Price's tent. He whispered to me as we went along: 'You're all right, Rosenbaum. I know you, unt I know what you're here for. Just keep a stiff upper lip, tell your story straight, unt I'll see you through.'
'i Know You, Unt What You're Here For.' 32
"That scared me worse than ever, but all that I could do was to keep up my nerve, unt play my cards coolly. We went into the General's tent, but he was busy, unt motioned us with his hand to the Adjutant-General.
"'What's the matter?' asked the Adjutant-General, motioning me to sit down, while he went on making tally marks on a sheet of paper, as a man called off the regiments that had reported. Then he footed them all up, unt, turning to another officer, read from it so many Arkansaw regiments, so many32 Louisianny, so many Mizzouri, so many Texas, so many batteries of artillery, unt he said to another officer as he laid the paper face down among the other papers on his table: 'Just as I told you, Colonel. We have fully 22,000 men ready for battle.' Then to us: 'Well, what can I do for you?'
"'The boys had picked up this Jew for a spy, Colonel,' said Jim Jones, pointing to me, 'unt they33 were about to hang him, just to pass away the afternoon more than for anything else. I took him away from them, telling them that it was your privilege to hang spies, unt you could do it according to the science of war. I brung him up here to get him away from them. After they're gone away or got interested in something else I'll take him unt put him outside of camp.'
"'All right," said de Adjutant-General, without taking much interest in the matter. 'Do with him as you please. A Jew more or less isn't of any consequence. Probably he deserves hanging, though, but it isn't well to encourage the boys to hang men on sight. They're quite too ready to do that, anyway.'
"He talked to the other man a little, unt then when he went away he turned to me, unt said, sort of lazy like, as if he didn't care anything about it:
"'Where are you from?'
"'From Memphis,' said I.
"'Great place, Memphis,' said he; 'one of the thriving suburbs of Satan's Kingdom. Had lots of fun there. I know every faro bank in it, which speaks well for my memory, if not for my morals. What bizniss was you in?'