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"There'll be a dale of smoke," returned Dan, sitting up and ticking off the situation on his fingers, "sure to be, an' the noise of the firin'll be tremenjus, an' we'll be running about up and down, the regiment will.
Oh, don't be hard on me, Dan! You are - you were in it too.
Dan Grady chuckled as he blew for the fiftieth time into the breech of his speckless rifle.
Dan Grady raised himself to his knees and opened his mouth in a song imparted to him, as to most of his comrades, in the strictest confidence by Mulcahy - that Mulcahy then lying limp and fainting on the grass, the chill fear of death upon him.
Dan clapped Mulcahy merrily on the back, asking him to sing up.
"I'll speak to you after all's over," said Father Dennis authoritatively in Dan's ear.
Dan and Horse Egan kept themselves in the neighbourhood of Mulcahy.
His eyes staring at nothing, his mouth open and frothing, and breathing as one in a cold bath, he went forward demented, while Dan toiled after him.
Mulcahy tore on, sobbing; the straight-held blade went home through the defenceless breast, and the body pitched forward almost before a shot from Dan's rifle brought down the slayer and still further hurried the Afghan retreat.
"Fwhy not?" said Dan, with a twinkle in his eye as he stretched himself for rest.
Let us therefore come in." They came in, and "this regiment" withdrew to conspire under the leadership of Dan Grady.
Excellent as a subordinate, Dan failed altogether as a chief-in- command - possibly because he was too much swayed by the advice of the only man in the regiment who could manufacture more than one kind of handwriting.