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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

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At one o'clock, we reached Michigan City, where we were to remain till morning. When the cars stopped, Mr. C. told me to sit still while he went out and attended to our baggage. He had been absent but a few minutes when a man stepped up to me and asked if I was not going to a hotel. I informed him I was, as soon as my friend returned. He said I had better go with him. I declined. He insisted upon my doing so, and asked if the gentleman with me was my brother. Just then my noble friend came up, and I felt greatly relieved when I found him near. While walking to the hotel, he inquired what the man whom he saw speaking to me had said. I repeated to him what had passed between us, and he informed that though I did not know him, it was the same man who had been so insulting to me in the cars, and that if I had gone with him, he would never have seen me again. I felt his arm tremble as though with indignation.


We had reached the hotel, where we procured supper. On going to the parlor the next morning, I found Mr. C. alone. He arose and seated me; then said we would have to part, for he was compelled to take the stage, for his home twelve miles distant. He frankly told me he would not leave me until he had placed me in charge of my friends, but that his money was expended, leaving him barely sufficient for the remainder of his journey. He offered to place me under the protection of some one who would take equally as good care of me as he had endeavored to do.




"HEAVEN gives us friends to bless the present scene;
Resumes them, to prepare us for the next."


"JOY! the lost one is restored!
Sunshine comes to hearth and board."


"ABSENCE, with all its pains,
Is by this charming moment wiped away."


MR. CHAMBERLAIN left me to institute a search for some one travelling in the same direction I was. He soon returned with a gentleman, whom he introduced as Mr. Hicks. He was very polite, but did not make so favorable an impression upon me as had my first friend. The bell rang, the signal "All aboard" was given. Mr. C. having procured me an agreeable seat, and wrapped me in Mr. Hicks' buffalo-robe, left me with the parting injunction not to forget him, and to write as soon as I reached my journey's end. He had checked my baggage and bought my ticket, indeed had paid all my expenses since I met him. I offered to pay him, but he refused, saying I must find some other appropriation for my money. Again he told me I must never forget him, which injunction was all unneeded. I could not cease to recollect and cherish kindness such as he had tendered. He had pressed my hand for the last time and was gone. I wept as if indeed I had parted with a beloved brother.


Mr. Hicks was a Californian, and shortly after we had started, seven other Californians joined him and took seats by us. On observing I was blind, they each gave me a gold dollar, which Mr. H. said I would do perfectly right to accept. The Central Railroad at this time did not go through to Chicago, and we had twenty-five miles to travel by stage. Offering the amount for my fare, I was told it had already been paid by the gentleman who had previously been so generous to me. It was now mid-day, and we were seated in the stage to complete our journey after the fashion of "auld lang syne." We got along very well; I had dined while waiting for the stage, therefore did not feel as wearied as I otherwise should have done.


It was nearly dark when we reached the City Hotel in Chicago. Upon alighting from the stage a gentleman stepped forward and offered to pay my fare; I thanked him, but told him it had already been attended to. Mr. H. secured a room for me, while he went out in search of my friends, who had not been informed as to what time I should be with them. While he was absent, I made my toilet with more than usual care, as my brother and sister had not seen me for so many years -- indeed, since I was a child.


Not far from the hotel Mr. H. met a young man, of whom he asked if he could direct him where to find a person by the name of Charles Day. Singular as the coincidence may seem, that was his name. Mr. H. informed him: "His sister had been placed under his protection part of the journey to Chicago, and that she was at the hotel." Without waiting to hear another word, he hastened to meet me, and we were once more clasped in a loving, fond embrace. "Is it possible this is my darling sister?" were his first words. He kissed me over and over again. After remaining with me a short time, he left, saying he would soon return. I wondered at his not taking me with him instead of desiring me to remain alone until he should bring our sister.


Reaching sister's he said: "Jinnie, who do you think is at the City Hotel?" "I do not know," was her, reply. "Why, sister Mary!" "How does she look?" was her first inquiry. "Look! I wish you could see her," said Charles, "she's an awful-looking somebody; she has hair as red as fire, with hand and foot as large as mine, I do believe, and then too, she is awkward and ignorant." "Was she well dressed?" said sister. "Well, I think she had a faded calico on." But my dear sister resolved as far as possible to remedy all deficiencies, though she could not change the color of my hair, or the size of my hand and foot, as represented by my mischief-loving brother. Charles was commissioned to go for and bring me home, as sister could not well leave her family.

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