The Red Badge of Courage - Stephen Crane - Страница 1 из 173


The Red Badge of Courage
An Episode of the American Civil War
by
Stephen Crane
CHAPTER I.
The cold passed reluctantly from the earth, and the retiring fogs
revealed an army stretched out on the hills, resting. 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.
Once a certain tall soldier developed virtues and went resolutely to
wash a shirt. 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. "We're goin' t' move t'morrah--sure," he said pompously to a
group in the company street. "We're goin' 'way up the river, cut
across, an' come around in behint 'em."
To his attentive audience he drew a loud and elaborate plan of a very
brilliant campaign. When he had finished, the blue-clothed men
scattered into small arguing groups between the rows of squat brown


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