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The World As I Have Found It / Sequel to Incidents in the Life of a Blind Girl By Mary L. Day Characters: 3072

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:03

"The muffled drum's sad roll has beat

The soldier's last tattoo:

No more on life's parade shall meet

That brave and fallen few;

On fame's eternal camping ground

Their silent tents are spread,

And glory guards, with solemn round,

The bivouac of the dead."

After a short period of reunion with friends in Baltimore, I resolved, notwithstanding the agitated condition of the country, to wend my way southward, for I restlessly yearned for an active continuation of duty.

Miss Weaver having other engagements, it became necessary for me to seek another traveling companion. Trusting to the good fortune which had hitherto favored me in that regard, I engaged the services of Miss Mary Chase, who proved a valuable attendant, combining in her character so many graces and endowments, possessing, among her numerous attractions, a voice of rare, rich and mellow flexibility.

My uncle, Mr. Heald, having an interest in the Bay Line of steamers, his son, my cousin, Howard Heald, attended me to the steamer Belvidere, introduced me to the captain, and took every precautionary measure to enhance the pleasure of my trip. Subsequent events proved how salutary were these efforts. The captain did all that polite attention and study of my comfort could suggest, attended us to the table, pointed out the workings of the engine, the complications of the machinery and propelling power of the steamer, which so airily and so gracefully "walked the waters," directed attention to every object of note on the route and t

heir charm of historic interest, thus making the trip one replete with instruction. Miss Chase, with the melody of a song-bird, drew around us a circle of charmed listeners, and her voice became a source of constant and soothing solace to me.

Arriving at the city of Richmond at the untimely hour of four o'clock in the morning, at the solicitation of the captain we remained on board until a later and more convenient time, when we found the streets of the city alive with soldiers and filled with sad sounds of sword and musketry, the first low reverberation of the din of war, the opening of the battle-song, whose weird refrain has been echoed by so many sorrowing ones, its mad music adapted to the thousands of crushed and broken hearts!

The little war-cloud, at first "no larger than a man's hand," was growing deeper and darker, and the stern rumble of the conflict becoming irrepressible. Every avenue in the way of business was closed, and being told that if I desired remaining north of Mason and Dixon's line I must go at once, I retraced my steps, and returned by the James river, since so memorable in the history of our civil conflict, and sought shelter in Baltimore, where I remained for the winter; and while so many relatives and friends would have welcomed me to their homes, I felt impelled to accept an invitation to the institution in which I had been educated, and could enjoy the association of those who had first directed my tottering steps, and my schoolmates, who were friends and co-workers.

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