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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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Page 7:


"Behind the clouds is the sun still shining."




"I WILL not bow me to thoughts that breathe despair."
"OH! a cherubim
Thou wast, that didst preserve me!"


"O tiger's heart wrapt in woman's form!
How couldst thou drain the life-blood of the child?"


Upon learning that my father had left Jonesville, with no communication as to where it was his intention to go, I "was treated with greater unkindness even than before. The only happiness I had, was in taking care of the beautiful Evelyn, George's little daughter. I felt she was the single exception in the family who cared aught for me, as I yearned to be loved. Mr. Ruthven was kind; but his wife's dislike for me and annoyance at my presence, could but have its weight.


A lovely summer afternoon, Evelyn and I went searching for berries in a wood about a quarter of a mile from the house. We wandered on, unheeding how far from home we had gone, so occupied and engrossed were we in making garlands of flowers and admiring the gay plumage of the birds. Suddenly we were startled with the sound of distant thunder. I then observed how dark and threatening was the sky; taking Evelyn by the hand, I hurried as I thought, towards home, but unfortunately selected the wrong direction. Every thing appeared strange and unfamiliar, although I had frequently been there before. At last we reached a marsh; I fancied our home must be on the opposite side. Catching Evelyn up in my arms, I carried her across; how I ever succeeded in doing so, I can not tell, so extremely was I frightened. The thunder rolled and boomed through the vaulted heaven, the forked lightning flashed with alarming fury; it had grown quite dark, and the rain fell in torrents. Sinking well-nigh exhausted upon the wet grass, I took little Evelyn in my lap. As she nestled closely in my arms, she said: "Mamie, do you think the bears will eat us?" I shuddered at the question, they were so numerous in that vicinity; even the rain falling upon the leaves I imagined the tread of a bear.


In about an hour the rain ceased, the moon arose, and we again started in search of home; for three hours we wandered on through the thickly-shaded, dark, wet wood, ere we came in sight of a dwelling-house.


The one we at last reached was surrounded by a beautiful garden; we went to the fence, but there was no one visible; poor little Eva complained of being tired and sleepy; I laid her down on the grass and she was soon asleep -- although her couch was the damp ground, and her canopy the stars of the firmament above us.


I thought I would go into the house and ask that we might remain there the rest of the night; but just as I was climbing over the fence the door opened, and a man came out; he looked like a huge Indian; I sprang from the fence, caught the sleeping child in my arms, and ran back into the woods.


Heavy impenetrable clouds had covered the moon, and we were in darkness again, the rain once more falling in torrents; we sat down under a tree, thinking we would remain there till daylight; in an instant a vivid flash of lightning darted athwart the heavens, striking and shattering a tree not far from us. This shocked us greatly, and we immediately started back to the fence; we had proceeded but a short distance, when we heard the sound of horns; we, knew some one was in search of us. Imagine our delight on meeting Eva's father with a party of neighbors who had joined to aid in finding us. He clasped Evelyn to his bosom, and turning to me said: "This is all your fault." Notwithstanding his unkind expression and accompanying threats, his presence had never been so agreeable to me.


It was now three o'clock in the morning, and we were six miles from home. They carried the sleeping Eva in their arms, but allowed me to walk, weary, hungry, and faint. From the effects of this exposure I was sick several days, during which time I received little or no sympathy from Mrs. Ruthven; if possible, she was more unkind to me than ever before. Oh! how I envied other children who had parents to watch over, guide, and tend them; but then "our Father in heaven" keepeth the orphan as the waters in the hollow of his hand.


In the autumn, a blind gentleman came to board with us. He soon learned how severe they were to me, and often spoke decidedly in my behalf. I was frequently in the habit of leading him out for a walk, little thinking then I should some day have to be led. One day while laughing at a mistake of his, he chidingly said to me: "Take care, Mary, you may be blind yourself ere you die." How like a prophecy have the words of my old friend seemed!


Mr. Lee had lost his sight while studying law. He had a kind, noble heart; often has he taken me upon his lap, and stroking fondly and caressingly my hair, he would say in tones I well remember: "Poor child, I pity you; had I my sight you should not remain here a day longer." How I clung to him! indeed, he seemed the only friend I had in the world save the loving, gentle Evelyn.

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