Just over two months later, one sunny April morning, as Henry was pouring over his latest effort at translating Dante's Inferno in order to be ready for the next day’s meeting, the sound of the newsboy's bell was heard again, and the newsboy's voice rang out once more. This time it was a cheery sound as the newsboy shouted out: “Extra, extra! The war is over. Lee surrenders at at Appomattox. War effectively over. Read all about it!” Henry's heart filled with joy. He called to Charles, who was resting in the living room and sent him out to purchase a paper. When Charles returned with the paper, Henry took the paper from Charles to read the details. “Though not officially over,” he read, “Lee’s surrender should serve to bring that about an official end speedily.” Putting the paper down, Henry smiled and said, “At least it’s over in this part of the country.” He looked at Charles and smiled. “Well, Son,” he added, “it looks like you won't have to be concerned now about going back to your regiment.”
“Yes Sir, it does.” said Charles with a smile.
Henry smiled broadly. “Well, we really have something to celebrate now, don't we?
“We sure do, Father.”
When the children arrived home from school, he told them to put on their good clothes. “We're going out to eat this evening to celebrate.”
“--Celebrate what?” asked Edith.
“Why, the beginning of the end of the war. The war is effectively over. It will be officially over soon. And the North, that's us, is the winner.”
“Does that mean Charles won't be a soldier anymore?” asked little Annie, expectantly, since she had not been told of Charles’ discharge.
“Well, Charles isn’t actually a soldier anymore anyway,” replied Henry. “But, I guess this will make more certain of it.” He looked at Charles and smiled. “Now there’s nothing to try to re-enlist for even if you could.”
“Aren't you glad, Charles?” asked Mary Alice.
“I am, I am,” he replied, smiling, but then added, “But, I'd kinda liked another chance t' show them rebs who's boss.”
“Well, Son,” chided Henry, “You had enough of a chance. The good Lord saw fit for you not to have any more chance. Who knows what else mighta happened. So somebody else did th' resta yer fightin' for y’. So what? Th’ same end was accomplished, and I'm just glad t' have y' here alive an' well. And now that it’s over, we’d best forget our former feelings and disagreements and look on them as simply fellow Americans.”
Charles put his hand on his father’s shoulder. “You’re absolutely right, Father. I don’t know why I was talkin’ like that.”
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