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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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When we reached Kalamazoo, I thought of my friend Mr. Chamberlain, and listened eagerly, hoping to hear his voice among the passengers. At twelve o'clock we arrived at Marshall. To my great relief we found Mr. Barton awaiting us. I was by this time so ill, it was with difficulty I reached Mr. B.'s. After taking some refreshment I felt better.


Little Cora was delighted, having never been away from home before. When the sun had gone down, taking Cora by the hand, we proceeded to call on my friend, Almeada Cook. I felt scarcely able to get there, although it was only four squares distant. No one knew me except Almeada; she recognized my voice as soon as I spoke, and appeared delighted that I had come back again, and begged me to promise never to go back to Chicago.


It was now getting dark, the evening was beautiful, calm, and peaceful, with no sound of dissonance -- indeed, only the birds were heard is they fled homeward each to its leafy bower. As I walked along, meditating upon the many changes that I had transpired in a few years, I forgot Cora was unacquainted with the streets, and soon found she had turned a wrong corner, and I was unable farther to direct her. She became dreadfully frightened, fearing we should never find the way home. Meeting a gentleman, we inquired of him. He kindly offered me his arm, which I gladly accepted, for I felt scarcely able to walk; and through his graceful and prompt attention we safely reached Mr. Barton's.


The next morning Mr. B. accompanied me to Mrs. Cook's. When at the gate I asked him to let me go in alone. I found the sitting-room door open and Mrs. Cook and her five daughters engaged sewing. I walked in without knocking and not one of them knew me. I then said, O Mrs. Cook! have you forgot me? and in another moment my head was pillowed upon her bosom, and I was nearly smothered with kisses from the girls. I visited the little room which had once been mine, and found every thing just as I had left it, indeed nothing appeared changed, except the girls had grown to be young ladies. Old Lucy still reigned supreme in the kitchen, and talked and laughed, and gave wise counsel as sagely as ever. My favorite seat under the old oak still remained, I forgot I was sick while exploring my former home and its treasured haunts. Mr. Cook and Benjamin, on coming in to dinner, welcomed me most cordially as the others had done before. Mr. C. said he was sorry I had ever left them.


The next morning I was so ill I could not rise, and continued growing worse. The doctor having been sent for, after seeing me pronounced my symptoms those of typhoid fever. He told Mrs. C. I was dangerously ill, and he thought could not live. He said my constitution was so broken down, and the disease so firmly rooted, it could not possibly be removed. She begged him to do his utmost to bring about my recovery. For my part, I was happy in thinking I would die in my old loved home, and be buried in the quiet grave yard on the hillside.


After a few days they wrote to sister, telling her if she wished again to see me in life she must come immediately. As she sat weeping over the letter, my friend, the strains of whose sweet melodies reach me even now, inquired the cause of her distress. She handed him the letter, after glancing over it he exclaimed: "Go to your sister this very hour; I will take you to the depot and do any thing else you may desire." He then went out to call a carriage; after ordering it, he stopped at his office and wrote me a letter, just such a one as only a true-hearted friend could write.


That afternoon they laid me upon a sofa in the parlor. I had not been there long when sister Jinnie and little Cora entered. Cora ran and threw her arms around me and said: "O Aunt Mary! don't die, don't die." This excitement was too great for my weakened nerves, and I fainted. Sister had a carriage prepared with a bed in it, to take me to Mrs. Barton's. After the sun had set, they lifted me to the carriage and placed me in it; Mrs. Cook arranging my pillow with all a mother's tender care. How like a mother had she seemed to me in my desolate orphanage, and yet twined even with the memory of her tendernesses will come the sweet lines of the poetess:


"I miss thee, my mother, when young health has fled,
And I sink in the languor of pain;
Where, where is the arm that once pillowed my head,
And the ear that once heard me complain?


"Other hands may support me, gentle accents may fall,
For the fond and the true are still mine:
I've a blessing for each; I am grateful to all,
But whose care can be soothing as thine?"


My loved friend Mrs. C. having made me as comfortable as she possibly could, embraced me for the last time; for shortly after, ere we met again her pure spirit went home, she bade adieu to earth that in heaven she might reap the reward promised unto the faithful. Her mission here had been fulfilled, and she is even now one of that shining throng who surround the Throne, and who are ever singing in rapturous strains: "Unto Him who has washed us and made us white in the blood of the Lamb, be honor and glory forever."

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