Page:Abraham Lincoln, A Story and a Play.djvu/80
Lincoln (looking at the picture and speaking very softly),—How glad you must be that your mother is still living! If I were in your place, I would try to make your mother proud of you. Never give her cause to be sorrowful, my dear boy. Never let her shed one tear on your account.
Scott (aside),—Why does the President speak in this way to me, when he must know that I am to die to-morrow ? Ah I It is because he is so kind. (Looking up into the President's face.) Sir, I do not feel guilty. I did my best. Truly I did. It happened this way. One of my mates was on picket duty for the night. But he was so ill that he was not fit for it. "I will take your place," I told him. It was hard work, for I was not used to it, keeping awake all night. You see, mother didn't want me to go into the war, anyway. She said I was too young. But, sir, I did my duty on guard that night and did not close my eyes once.
Lincoln (tenderly),—Then what happened, my boy?
Scott,—The very next day, I was ordered on guard for the night. I tried my best, sir, indeed I did. But I couldn't keep awake, and went to