Veteran, The A Stephen Crane Story

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The Veteran: A Stephen Crane Story

The Veteran featured Henry Fleming as a grand father many years after he appeared as the 18 year old Yankee first time soldier in The Red Badge of Courage. He retells the story succinctly and honestly about how he ran from his first battle as so many did. His grandchild was alarmed as children are when they learn the adults are not perfect in what they do.

Fleming exhibits bravery in the story as he saves his farm animals and lurches into his barn to save what he could, despite knowing the long odds against it. This story could well have been an Afterword to The Red Badge of Courage. The last paragraph is well worth the listening: "When the roof fell in (the barn), a great funnel of smoke swarmed toward the sky, as if the old man's (Fleming) spirit, released from its body-a little bottle-had swelled like the genie of fable. The smoke was tinted rose-hue from the flames, and perhaps the unutterable midnights of the universe will have no power to daunt the color of this soul."