Samantha at the St. Louis Exposition
by Marietta Holley
Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5
Home - Random Browse

"I experienced from the first moment my eyes rested on you," sez the Professor in solemn axents, "a sensation, or a feeling, as you may say, that you wuz my affinity, that your soul wuz congenial, and every transitory period of time that has progressively advanced since then has but intensified the impression."

Though I couldn't see her, I could feel Blandina simper. But at that minute Josiah interrupted the dialogue by askin' where Samantha wuz, and I come forward and jined 'em. Blandina looked radiantly happy, and I motioned to Molly and Josiah to come on, I knowed they would rather have our room than our company. For I remembered I wuz onmarried myself once, and though my sperit wuz never incarnated in the personality of a Blandina, yet I had a vivid remembrance of the time when Love first laid holt on me, and I well remembered the feelin's I felt at the ardent attentions of a Josiah.

Professor Todd might not be an object of admiration to me, indeed he wuz not, fur from it! But one of the last things we learn in life is not to judge other folks attachments and desires by our own liking, and not to condemn other people for having fur different ideals than our own. I had found out that Professor Todd wuz likely and respectable and well off, and if Blandina had got to git along through life without knowin' much, she had better git along with a protector and under comfortable circumstances. So I stood ready to give away the bride at any time, for to tell the truth I had worried about her future, not knowin' but I had her on my hands for life. But true to my principles I felt that I would make no matches nor break none, but would only smooth the path for True Love to trundle along in.

Josiah wuz blind as a bat to what I see, and wanted to know, "What Blandina wuz pokin' round with that fool for?"

Truly men can't see through a stun wall or a matrimonial movement with anything like the clearness of a woman. As I wended my way onwards I felt jest as sure in my mind how it would end as I did two months afterwards when I see 'em at the altar.

But to resoom backwards. Josiah, Molly and I wended our way off to another department of the immense buildin', goin' from one display to another, and could have stayed a week and seen sunthin' new every minute.

I took sights of comfort at the Indian schools. Seein' on one side the old poor oncivilized way of living, habits and customs; and then to see what education and culture had done and wuz doing for 'em, what swift strides they wuz makin' along the road that leads upwards. And to see 'em workin' away right before us at all the industrial trades, to see inteligence in the eyes that had held savagery, to hear the inteligent conversation in place of gutteral axents, I wuz highly tickled.

And I sez to Josiah and Molly, "I hope Uncle Sam will do well by all the folks he's gardeen over, the Indians, Negroes, Philippinos and all, I believe he means well by the hull on 'em, but he has so much on his hands he don't know which way to turn, and I spoze it will be some time before he gits 'round to do what he wants to for all on 'em, and," sez I, "they had better in the mean time try to git along and do all they can for themselves, it will be best for 'em anyway."

I wuz walkin' along with my Josiah in a quiet part of the grounds, if any of 'em can be called so, 'tennyrate there wuzn't many round when I hearn some workmen passin' along say, "There is the President."

And lookin' round eagerly and anxiously I see a good-lookin' man with eye glasses settin' on a bench readin' a paper. And I knowed to once that it wuz our Teddy, so dear to the heart of them that set store by manliness, fearlessness, bravery, bright badges from Heaven's mint shinin' on the breast of a man faithful to wife, children and country. He didn't look exactly like his pictures, but I knowed pictures didn't always favor their originals, specially in newspapers. I wuz highly tickled to see him, for I had some errents for him, and wanted to advise him for his good, and I advanced with outstretched hand and sez "Mr. President, I am delighted to see you!"

He shook hands and said polite, "You have the advantage of me, mom."

"Yes," sez I, "folks see your face in the papers." I mentioned my name and then went right on to say, "I wanted to tell you the first thing, I hadn't nothin' to do with that slightin' piece about you you probable read in the Jonesville Auger. The Nation knew I had writ for it, and for the Gimlet, and I wuz awful afraid you'd think it wuz me, and be mad at me, but I'm as innocent as a infant babe. Keturah Snyder writ it, and she's been through with trials enough to make her bitter but bein' so mad she sez things she can't prove. Now she thinks you could kep' her from bein' turned out of the Jonesville post-office and you could keep the price of meat down. No use arguin' with her, she sez you had it in your power to squelch some of the Trusts, and didn't do nothin' but talk.

"And that Post-Office scandal, she said she spozed you wuz goin' to make public samples of them stealers, but it all squizzled out, nothin' done about it, only jest talk. And you remember she said in her piece, 'she wuz turned out of the post-office for borryin' five cents from the Government, and bein' backward with another five, ten cents in all, and them post-office clerks in Washington stealin' hundreds of thousands and nothin' done.'" Here Theodore tried to say sunthin', and knowin' he wuz such a fluent talker I wuz bound to git my explanation in before he begun, for I wouldn't interrupted him for the world after he got to goin'.

Sez I, "I wanted you to know jest what reason she had for bein' so mad and writin' it, for I knowed you wouldn't feel so mortified about it. The way on't wuz, she wuz in the Office, and hadn't baked that week owin' to the cat tippin' over her yeast, she's so petickular she won't use boughten, and a hull load of company driv up onexpected at leven forty-five. The baker come and not havin' a cent of change by her, and he refusin' to trust her jest out of meanness, she knowin' she wuz to have some money paid her in the mornin', jest borrowed five cents from Uncle Sam. I don't say it wuz right, she'd better made biscuit, but I say she wuz punished pretty hash for that and two other small things, for bein' half distracted by her cares, she forgot to cancel three letters, the first mistake she'd made in the three years she'd been in office. One wuz a drop letter, so Uncle Sam wuz only out five cents. Well, you know Theodore, that when trials come, they come as Shakespeare said, 'Not as single spiders but hull battles on 'em,' or words to that effect.

"Right on top of that Baker come the Inspector. He discovered the deficit of ten cents, and also that other incident, where I got mixed up in the Jonesville P.O. Scandal. Keturah had to have help in the office once in awhile, and two men wanted to work for her, Nate Yerden and Sam Pendergrast. She didn't like Nate, and she did like Sam, and I don't spoze it made much difference in her feelin's, but Sam kep' sheep and did gin her yarn for a pair of stockin's, and jest out of pure kindness I colored it for her in my indigo dye tub.

"I never thought of committin' any sin, let alone one with such a big name, Misprision of Treason and Maladministration of Justice, I believe he called it. Why, for a spell I thought I should have to be shot up, Josiah wuz skairt to death, and told him he never hearn of such crimes, and sez he, 'I'll bet you can't find 'em in the Velosipeder.'

"He meant the Encyclepeder, but poor man he wuz most crazy. I emptied out my blue dye and don't know as I shall ever set up another. And Keturah raveled out her stockin's and gin back the yarn, I got off with the awfulest talkin' to I ever had, and warnin's never, never to trifle in such a heedless and wicked way with Public Matters and the sacred rights of the people. But Keturah, poor thing! wuz jest turned right out of office root and branch. She knowed what high influence duz in politics, and she got Thomas Jefferson to argy with the Inspector and tell him jest how it wuz. But he said the dignity of a great Nation wuz at stake and out she must go.

"Keturah wep' and cried, and reminded him the yarn wuz gin back and how small the sum wuz. And he said, 'A straw showed which way the wind blowed, and the Nation must trust its public servants implicitly, or where would be the safety of the people.'

"Then Keturah sassed him and said if a straw showed the direction of the wind in Jonesville, how wuz it with the dead loads and stacks of straw in Washington, sez she, they're so heavy with rottenness and corruption they can't blow. You'll remember that powerful figger of speech in the article. I told her it would make you mad as a hen and I spoze it did. And I felt it my duty to molify you and tell you that a honester creeter never lived than Keturah, and it wuz only these extronnery circumstances that made her borry the ten cents. And workin' out by the day and eatin' codfish as she duz, makes her more morbid, kinder salts her blood I believe, and she lays it to you onjustly, for meat bein' so high that she can't buy any.

"Ive told her time and agin it wuzn't your fault. But she sez you might hold in the Trusts some if you wuz a minter.

"She sez you had 'em in your power once and could made a sample on 'em but didn't, and so, sez she, I've got to live on codfish, and the flour trust is bringin' up flour so Id'no but I'll have to eat saw-dust bread. You remember them powerful metafors in the Auger. I wanted to explain all this and I also had some errents of my own."

He made another effort to speak, but knowin' his remarkable eloquence, and that I wouldn't try to git a word in after he begun, I should enjoy his talk so, I kep' on:

"I want to be open and above board, Theodore, jest as you are nachelly. And that other piece you remember that come out about the same time in the Jonesville Gimlet I'll tell you plain that I approved on it, though I didn't write it. You remember it begun with this quotation:

"'They enslave their children's children Who make compromise with sin.'

"And it went on to talk about our great dignified Nation bein' a pardner in Saloons, ruinin' men, breakin' wimmen's hearts, starvin' children, committin' theft, murder, adultery, arson, helpin' on fights, death and ruin, jest goin' in snux, as you may say with all this for the money got out of it; it said that though there wuz many great evils to face and overthrow, there wuz none that brutalized the race and agonized the hearts of the people like this, and though all sin left its mark, no other sin changed a man so into the loathsome body and soul wrecks, that drunkenness did, and all for a little money.

"It wuz a powerful piece, and as full of facts as a brick is of sand. It told jest how much money Uncle Sam got out of every drunkard he made. My memory hain't what it wuz, Theodore, and I can't tell exactly jest how much money it would be in Uncle Sam's pocket to make your four bright good boys drunkards, and finish up the job and land 'em in the drunkard's grave, via the saloon and gutter. But if you stood by and see it goin' on before your face as so many thousands of proud and lovin' fathers have to, you would think a million dollars of such blood money wuz too cheap, yes indeed!

"That tells the hull story, Theodore, I could throw statistics at you till you wuz black and blue, about our country spendin' for what is useless and ruinous to soul, body and estate, one billion four hundred millions a year, and about the hundred thousand drunkards that stumble along into the staggerin' slobberin' ranks every year, and drop into the drunkard's grave. I could eppisode eloquent to you about all this but what's the use; you're real smart and you know all about it. You've seen on every side on you the beast drivin' out the angel in man, you've seen the staggerin' army march by you to ruin. You've seen the saloons spring up by the thousands on every side, for the purpose of makin' drunkards, you've seen wives murdered by them that promised to protect 'em, you've seen children driv to starvation and the streets by it; you've seen Poverty drive Prosperity out everywhere the curse fell. And you've seen nothin' good come from it, nothin' at all, only the money that Uncle Sam takes with one hand, and pays out with the other, for law's machinery to punish the criminals he makes, and prisons, jails, reformatories, poor houses, orphan's homes, cheap coffins, etc.

"No use my tellin' you all this for you know it, but you love your boys, and I want you to promise me to do by other boys as you'd want me to do by yourn if I see the Saloon tryin' its best to entice 'em, and see their bright innocent eyes beginnin' to enjoy the deathly glitter on't. You'd want me to slam that door to and keep 'em out. Put my shoulder blade agin it, prop it up with all the strength I could git holt on in law and gospel, so they couldn't git in. And that's what I want you to do, Theodore, I want you to help keep out other children jest as dear to their fathers and mothers as your children are to you. And you know that you and their mother would ruther see 'em lay dead at your feet, than to see 'em enter that door with the doom of the place on 'em.

"It's a heavy door, Theodore, loaded down with greed and lowest passions, you can't shet it alone, nor I can't, but I would feel guilty as a dog if I didn't try my very best. Public Opinion backed by Law is what has got to slam that door to and lock it. But you and I can help, and you can do more than I can, and I want you to promise me to do all you can."

Agin I see he wuz strugglin' for speech, and I hurried to git my last words in, "I believe you want to do right, and I will encourage you by tellin' you that Josiah is goin' to vote for you, though we hain't got nothin' agin Mr. Parker. He's close-mouthed, which is a good quality, though it can be carried too fur.

"A neighbor of ourn had warned her girl to not be too familiar with the hired man, a good Christian he wuz too. And once when her ma wuz gone he asked her where the milk pail wuz, and she wantin' to be on the safe side wouldn't say a word. That wuz bein' too cautious, and a good many think he's been a little too mute about some things, he didn't tell jest where his politics wuz. But then the tongue is a onruly member and has to be curbed in, and I guess he means well. And Mr. Davis, too, of course he's gittin' along in years. But jest think of Methusaler, Mr. Methusaler's folks would call Mr. Davis nothin' but a child."

Here he blurted right out, "I hain't Theodore, though I've been took for him before, I'm President of a Gas Company."

I wuz mortified for most a minute, but come to think it over I knowed such seeds of truth as I'd been a scatterin' couldn't help but do good even if the sile wuzn't so rich as I'd spozed.


Well, the next week we had a busy time, Josiah and Molly and I went mostly together, Blandina most always meetin' Professor Aspire Todd somewhere nigh the entrance, I guess it wuz planned, but 'tennyrate I wuz willin', plan or no plan.

And we visited every interestin' spot from Morocco to the Model City and from Physicial Culture Hall to Nevada.

There wuz a meetin' that scientific folks held there, and its main aim seemed to be to make light of the religion of Christ. It madded Josiah dretfully, and he sez, "I feel it my duty as a deacon to go and give in my testimony and break up such wicked doin's."

Sez I, "Josiah you let 'em alone. You couldn't break it up, nothin' but the power of the God they deny could do it. But we'll punish 'em by not goin' near 'em. That will mortify 'em and mebby make 'em see where they stand, denyin' the power that gives em the breath they spend in such folly." So when Sunday come agin we went to the same M.E. meetin' house and hearn a splendid sermon on what the Christian Religion had done for the World. And we visited Lincoln's Cabin and I had probable fifty emotions a minute all the time I wuz there thinkin' of that wise, child-hearted man and what he did for humanity.

And I had about the same emotions in Grant's Log Cabin. Noble creeters, both on 'em! They wuz cramped for room in these humble homes, and wuz probable put to it for comforts. But they have room enough now, the Great World claims 'em, and they will walk down the ages together crowned with the love and reverence of the people.

And Josiah wanted to see the Boer War, and though a war wuz nothin' I wanted to see I felt I musn't cross him. And all the while I sot there seein' them contendin' armies contend I wuz thinkin' of poor Oom Paul and his brave fight for liberty, and at last losin' all and dyin' broken-hearted in a strange land.

But onbeknown to myself these words come to me:

"The mills of the gods grind slowly But they grind exceedingly small."

I can't look ahead and see jest what they're grindin' out for this brave people and them that conquered 'em, nor Josiah can't.

And I took solid comfort in the Hall of Lady Managers seein' how well they managed. In this Exposition there is no seperate place fenced off for wimmen's exhibit. They carry the idee here that good work is equally valuable when done by man or woman. They claim that works of art, invention, manufacture, etc., are as sexless as religion, and you know our Lord said plain of men and wimmen, "Ye are one in Christ."

I wuz glad enough to see it, it seems to bring us nigher to the day of justice and true liberty for all. That glorious day hain't dawned yet (wimmen are still classed in law with idiots, criminals and lunaticks). But by standin' on tip-toe I can catch a faint glow in the East showin' that the day is goin' to break in rosy splendor bime-by.

I cant begin to tell jest where we went or what we see, enough 'tennyrate I felt to last me through life, but time hurried on jest as usual and brought the last days of our stay here.

I told Josiah that I never would go home without seein' President Francis and thankin' him for the treat he'd gin us.

Josiah didn't want to go but I sez, "David will expect it of me, it's only showin' him common politeness. You know I brought the children up to always thank the folks that entertained 'em. And such a entertainment as this! Do you spoze I am goin' to slight and mortify him by not noticin' it and thankin' him? No, indeed!"

Josiah argyed and said that "he guessed if everybody follered David up and thanked him he would have his hands full."

"But," I sez, "Other folks can do as they're a mind to, I shall do my duty," so I went up to his office follered by a onwillin' Josiah, and advanced towards him where he sot alone at his desk.

He's a dretful handsome man, sometimes smart men are humbly, and it is a treat to find one that combines beauty, smartness, and faculty, for it took more than smartness alone to plan this show, it took faculty and tack, sights and sights of tack. For as I told him, after I'd introduced myself and shook hands cordially with him, sez I:

"I couldn't leave without thankin' you for the great treat you've gin us, and to tell you how I appreciate what you've done for us." Sez I, "I'm a housekeeper and know what it is to fix up for company and how much work it is to git two or three rooms and the front steps and door yard all right for half a dozen folks for jest one afternoon, and then to clear up and ornament as you have more'n twelve hundred acres, and have so many visitors come right onto you and settle down for a six months' stay, I don't see how you stand it.

"Why last winter I had six of the relation on my side and on hisen, snowbound to our house for a week, and I thought I should go distracted tryin' to keep the house clean, and suit 'em all in vittles, and some on 'em jealous thinkin' I gin the others a better bed, and the other relation comin' in to see 'em and kinder disputin' and twittin' 'em as relation will, and kinder jealous of me because they wuz visitin' me instead of them, and my folks callin' me extravagant in vittles—I had a dretful time. And what wuz it compared to what you're goin' through with fifteen thousand visitors settlin' right down on you for a six months' visit, some on 'em smart and high headed, some not knowin' putty, some good-natered and easy to please, some quarrelsome, some awful petickular and fussy about their vittles, some that will eat dogs, some too dressy, some that will go most naked, and hundreds of millions comin' and goin' all the time, and more than thirty millions of your own folks complainin' and sassin' you as your own folks will. Payin' out fifty millions and mebby called extravagant for it—why what a time you're havin'!

"And I wanted to tell you how I appreciated what you're goin' through, and thank you from the bottom of my heart for givin' me and Josiah such a great treat, and also Blandina.

"And if you ever come to Jonesville I want you to feel free to come right to our house and stay as long as you can. Though of course I can't do for you what you've done for me, but I'll kill a hen and make a bag puddin', and do the best I can."

He thanked me real polite and said "if he wuz ever in Jonesville he should certainly come and see me."

And I sez, "How I do wish it wuz so you could come this fall. We're goin' to have a big Harvest Entertainment for the benefit of the Grange, and you do have such a talent for gittin' up sunthin' interestin', your advice would be onvaluable about ornamentin' the hall and givin' 'em all a equal show. Of course every mother wants her children to speak the openin' piece, and every man wants the best place to show off his squashes and rutabagers. Pomona wants the hall trimmed one way, and Cerius 'tother way, whilst Flora and Hygea are settin' on the fence. I d'no how it will turn out and whether or not it will lead to bloodshed.

"If we only had your faculty and your tack to fall back on what a boon it would be, for you must have gone through with as much agin with everybody wantin' the best place.

"But I know it is too much to ask of you with all this doin's on your hands, millions of visitors comin' and goin' and thousands of help to look after, and I shan't say a word to you about it, only wishin' you could be there to enjoy it with us when it is ready.

"And now thankin' you agin for all you've done for us I will bid you adoo." And I shook hands with him almost warmly.

He seemed glad and relieved about sunthin' as we took leave, I guess it wuz because I thought so high on him.

And bein' wunk at by me, Josiah Allen advanced and held out his hand and said, "how de do," and "good-bye," at the same time, and I sez to kinder smooth it over, "In this world, Mr. Francis, it is hail and farewell time and agin."

And then we bowed ourselves out, I'd told Josiah to be sure and not turn his back. And we got along first-rate, only onfortinat'ly jest as we got to the door we backed into the Chinese Minister and his party who wuz jest comin' in.

But then, as I told Josiah as we went down the steps when he wuz blamin' me for this contrary temps, as men always will blame their pardners for most everything, I sez:

"China is used to bein' backed into by foreigners, I guess they'll overlook it."

I didn't bandy words with Josiah, I knowed I'd done my duty and that kep' me serene. When you're follerin' a star you don't mind the bite of a nat.

The last week of our stay in St. Louis Aunt Trypheny on leavin' the Fair ground one day wuz struck by the twenty-mule team that perambulates the ground, was knocked down and carried to an emergency hospital on the Fair ground. The head doctor there wuz Miss Huff's nephew, and she got a little room for her till she could be moved with safety.

The day before we went home Josiah went down into the city to do a few errents for the bretheren, Blandina had gone with Aspire Todd to visit a sister of hisen (they wuz engaged), and I had been to work gittin' ready to leave the next mornin', and Molly and I wuz goin' in the afternoon to take a last look at the Fair, and she come into my room as I wuz gittin' my bunnet on with her hands full of the most beautiful flowers she could get, and proposed that we should go and see Aunt Pheeny and cheer her up a little.

Sweet creeter, I hadn't thought on't. The hospital wuz quite a distance off from where we had laid out to go, and I knowed I would be tired as a dog anyway. But not wantin' to be behind hand in good works I said I would go with her, and I selected some of the nicest of the fruit I had bought to take home to the grandchildren, and put in my silk bag for her, and put on my mantilly and told her I wuz ready. And then that dear child proposed we should take Dorothy with us, knowin' Aunt Trypheny would ruther see her than any Emperor or Zar, and I gin my consent to that, and we sot off, Dotie happy as a Queen at goin' with us.

Well, Aunt Pheeny wuz glad enough to see us, specially Dorothy. But we found her blissful in mind anyway for she told us the first thing her Prince Arthur had been there to see her and had been gone only a few minutes, and she showed us a couple of gold pieces he had gin her, big enough to bear witness to his goodness of heart as well as his wealth. She said with her linement all aglow (she never liked her) that his mother had died two months ago leaving him a free man, he had stayed with her and devoted himself to her because he thought it wuz his duty, and since her death he had been on a long journey, it seemed, she said, as if he wuz hunting for something or other, though what she didn't know. And he had promised her that some time in the future she should come and live with him, and sez she, with her characterestic irreligion, "If I had my choice to live with him or in heaven I wouldn't look at heaven." The idee! We give her the fruit and flowers and asked her if she had everything for her comfort, and she said:

"Yes, indeed! 'tain't much here like the ironfirmary I wuz sent to in Chicago. I wuz jest as white as you are, Miss Molly, when I went there, and them iggorent doctors jest turned my skin black as tar; I wuz so mortified when I come to my senses and found what they'd done and I wuz a nigger, I jest leaped out o' bed and rushed right out into the street, I wuz so mortified. But 'twuzn't no use, I wuz a nigger, and so I've been ever since."

And all the time she wuz tellin' this, Dotie's little white arms wuz 'round her neck and she was pattin' the black cheeks. And as she finished she said lovingly, "Pheeny is nice! Pheeny is pretty! Pheeny has got white teef!" And indeed they did glisten like ivory in the blackness of her face as she held the baby clost to her heart with broad smiles.

Well, we made quite a long call and cheered her up considerable by listenin' to some more of her most eloquent and unlikely fabrications, and then bid her good-bye. A man's gray kid glove lay on the table and a little book, and she said Prince Arthur had forgot them.

Well, jest as we passed out of the long corridor, Dotie, who wuz looking back, cried out, "There is Pheeny's Prince Arthur!" And refused to stir another step till she went back to see him. She said Aunt Pheeny had showed her his picture and that wuz the Prince that could do anything. Aunt Pheeny I spoze had filled her mind full of stories of his perfections, she said he'd gone back to git his glove and book, and she would wait and see him.

I wuz in a hurry and wuz for goin' on, but Molly, sweet-natured thing, said we might sit down on the bench for a few minutes and then Dotie would be willing to go. So we sot down and Dotie begun to state with much excitement her reasons for wanting to stay, sez she:

"Billy has been bolsting to me that he see a Prince to the Fair, a real live meat Prince. He wuz bolsting about it, and said Aunt Pheeny didn't have no Prince, but I see his picture my own self, and I'll let Billy know that Aunt Pheeny did have a nice live, meat Prince and I see him. And there he comes now!" sez she, she wuz a little in advance of us and could see furder. And sure enough we hearn a quick light step coming down the corridor, it come nigher and nigher, a handsome elegant-looking young man turned the corner right by us, Molly looked up—and had the desire of her heart.

* * * * *

He left his friend's house and Molly, thinking his duty kept him by his mother, and he had decided it was wrong to ask a young happy girl to enter the shadow of selfish invalidism with him. He didn't say jest that, but I knowed it from what he didn't say as well as from what he did. The minute he wuz free he had flown to his friends where they had met. The house wuz closed, the family in Europe, he didn't know where, he had tried in vain to find her, and wuz jest on the eve of departing for Europe that afternoon to try to find his friends hoping to get a clue of her. Had she not gone to the hospital that day, had she come a little earlier or a little later, had she not humored Dorothy by waiting, they would not have met. That's what worldlings might say, but I didn't say it even to myself. She wuz safe, she could not have been either too early or too late. She had like a little child, asking its pa for a gift, asked her Lord for the desire of her heart and jest as he promised, he brought it to pass, usin' that bare corridor jest as he might the Valley of the Nile, or the Rocky Mountains if necessary. The hull world is but a tiny doorstep leadin' up to the shinin' pavilion of divine love.

They wuz led towards each other, she couldn't miss her way, he couldn't. The broad ocean rolled between 'em and mountain and valley, but they wuz both led by the hand like two little children out May-flowering with their ma—they had to meet.

Well, Josiah met us, accordin' to promise in front of Festival Hall, and we stayed to the illumination, Dotie havin' gone home with Miss Huff before dark.

Molly and Arthur stood on the high terrace with light fallin' all 'round 'em and before 'em, their faces needin' no light, so bright wuz they with heart sunshine. Josiah and I sot a little in the shadder, but where we could see plain. And one by one like brilliant jewels dropped from an endless storehouse of glory, lights sprung out along the front of the stately white palaces, adown the broad avenues they shone in gleamin' lines and clusters, and starred with brilliance all the long glorious vistas. Broad beams of crimson, gold and azure changin' every minute fell on the cascades, the flowers gleamed out from the emerald grass like jewels of every color.

Music riz softly from the lagoon, the great organ pealed out in triumphant notes, and my heart boyed up on waves of beauty and melody follered the strains heavenward as if it didn't ever want to come back agin to earth and Jonesville.

But as my eye fell on Josiah's face I knowed that where the star of Love went it wuz my duty and joy to foller it. He wuz gittin' worrisome and wanted to go, and so I sez:

"Beautiful! beautiful! Ivory City, farewell!"


Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5
Home - Random Browse