Library Collections: Document: Full Text

Incidents In The Life Of A Blind Girl

Creator: Mary L. Day (author)
Date: 1859
Publisher: James Young, Baltimore
Source: Available at selected libraries
Figures From This Artifact: Figure 2

Previous Page   Next Page   All Pages 

Page 16:


The passengers were becoming weary of conversation; my kind friend urged me to feel no delicacy in reclining my head upon his shoulder. I thanked him, but refused, partly because he was a stranger, and then I did not feel very drowsy.


At two o'clock the locomotive arrived, running against us with great force, almost pushing us through the bank. The shock was so sudden, it quite discomposed our Yankee friend, throwing him from his sleeping-place, and part of his temporary accommodations with him. He sprang to his feet and, looking much frightened, exclaimed: "Golly, have they got snow-banks in this ere world, too?" The passengers burst out laughing. He told us he had dreamed he had been killed and had awakened in another world.


I was now becoming very weary, and Mr. Chamberlain proposed making me a bed upon a sofa in the ladies' saloon, to which I readily assented. Several gentlemen offered me their buffalo-robes; with these and one of the cushions, I soon had a very comfortable napping-place. When I had lain down, Mr. C. threw a buffalo-robe, he had nicely warmed by the stove, over me, and then left, bidding me rap and he would come to me, when I had refreshed myself with as long a nap as I might desire.


I was soon fast asleep, and do not know how long I might have continued so, if I had not, in making an effort to turn myself upon my very narrow couch, rolled from it on to the floor, making a terrible noise. I was almost as much frightened as was my chance friend, the Yankee. Mr. Chamberlain soon had the door unlocked, to ascertain what had happened. He laughed heartily on hearing I had fallen from my bed. He led me again to my warm seat by the stove.


It was now nine o'clock; the morning clear, cold, and frosty; and there were no prospects of our being extricated from the snow-bank that day. The water in the engines had frozen, and had to be thawed before any probability could exist of effecting a removal. The gentlemen went out and procured for us provision to last the day. Had I been his sister, Mr. Chamberlain could not have taken better and more tender care of me. When I would thank him, he would say: "I am doing no more than I would wish any one to do for my sister, were she situated as you are." He asked me if I was fond of reading. I told him I was. He then brought several books and passed the remainder of the day reading to me.


At nightfall we were not much nearer starting than the evening previous. It was very wearisome waiting so long; the delay seemed very tedious. What little sleep I had, was upon Mr. C.'s shoulder; my slight timidity in availing myself of his kind offer the night before, having entirely vanished: his kindness and gentlemanly attention had won my perfect confidence. He told me, "Several of the passengers had asked if I was not his sister," and that "he had told them I was, and said I should tell them the same if any inquired of me." The next morning, while Mr. C. was absent from the car, ordering our breakfast, a lady took a seat beside me, and after preferring a great many questions, she asked: "If the gentleman with me was my brother?" I answered as I had been instructed, upon which she remarked: "I knew he was, for he looks exactly like you." So much for family resemblances.


That afternoon we left the cars, Mr. C. and myself, and enjoyed a comfortable dinner at the hotel, thinking it preferable to remaining longer where so many shared accommodations. We also spent the afternoon at the hotel, as the cars were not to start till evening. While sitting upon the sofa, my friend came and sat by me, and taking my hand in his, said: "Miss Mary, I have been travelling the last seven years, and have met with a great many ladies, but have never seen one who interested me as you have." I told him: "I did not know what I should have done had I not met with him."


We passed the afternoon in pleasant conversation: he relating his travels and consequent adventures, some grave and some gay. We were startled by the car-whistle, hurried to regain our former agreeable seat by the stove. The weather had greatly moderated since morning, and there being quite a vigorous fire in the stove, I felt myself fainting. I remembered Mr. C. trying to open the window, and then became perfectly oblivions to all around me, until upon recovering, I found myself out upon the platform supported by the arm of my friend, while with the other hand he was bathing my temples. Several ladies were standing by, anxious to render some service. The first words I heard were: "Sister, do you feel better now?" To which kind inquiry I responded with my heart rather than with my lip, for his tenderness really seemed the gentle ministering of some good Samaritan.


The passengers were all delighted to be once again on the move, and a glad huzza went up as their farewell to Kalamazoo. Nothing farther of importance happened until we reached Niles, at which place a man got into the cars and took a seat just back of us. He disputed loudly with the conductor about paying his fare; from this and other indications, we soon discovered he was intoxicated. After he had paid his fare, and the conductor had passed on, he slapped me on the shoulder in a very rude manner, at the same time saying: "My pretty miss, you had better take a seat round here by me." Mr. C. sprang to his feet in an instant, exclaiming: "Villain, what do you mean by insulting my lady? if you do not take a seat in some other part of the car, I will pitch you out into the snow-bank." To my great relief he acted upon Mr. C.'s threat immediately.

Previous Page   Next Page

Pages:  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  29  30  31  32  33  34  35  36  37  38  39  40    All Pages