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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: 6641

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:03


"Dared I but say a prophecy,

As sang the holy men of old,

Of rock-built cities yet to be

Along these shining shores of gold,

Crowding athirst into the sea;

What wondrous marvels might be told!

Enough to know that empire here

Shall burn her loftiest, brightest star;

Here art and eloquence shall reign

As o'er the wolf-reared realm of old;

Here learned and famous from afar,

To pay their noble court, shall come,

And shall not seek or see in vain,

But look on all with wonder dumb."

Once more away from Sacramento we visited Marysville, which is a beautiful brick town, laid out with great regularity and width of street, each house nestling in flower-garden and shade, and is a place of extensive manufactures and trade. We went from there to Colusa, where I reaped a rich harvest of gain. Indeed I never found a people more lavish in the expenditure of money, seeming to value it only for the good it dispensed.

Leaving Colusa, elated with the success we had met, we journeyed to Marysville in a very happy state of mind that was doomed to undergo a severe reverse on our arrival. When we started there were three hundred dollars in "hard money" in my trunk, and when we arrived in Marysville my heart sank within me and I could feel the blood leave the surface and my face grow deadly cold when I learned that my trunk, which we had seen stowed in the "boot" of the stage on starting, was not there on our arrival. After a few moments, in which I considered what should be done, I went to the stage agent, who telegraphed back to Colusa, and, after an hour of deep and painful suspense, the answer came back that the trunk was safe. By some singular omission the straps of the boot had not all been buckled and my trunk had fallen out. It was picked up by some honest farmer, who, believing that it belonged to a passenger in the stage, had sent it to the office. The next morning it came to me, and I was amply compensated for the delay in the kindness of the agent, who not only expressed great regret for the mishap, but voluntarily defrayed all extra expense incurred.

We next visited Chico, at that time the terminus of the Central Pacific Railway, where I hoped to meet Elder Hobart, the friend I had so loved in my childhood. After some search I found his daughter, from whom I was pained to learn that he had closed his earthly pilgrimage but a short time before. My pain was not for him who rested from such faithful labors, but for those bereft. The daughter, although married, forgot not the friend of early days; and I accepted with alacrity her invitation to visit her house, where we had a season fraught with pleasant reminiscence.

We took the stage here for Red Bluff, the rain pouring in torrents and the night dark as Erebus, it being the beginning of the regular rainy season of this country. During the night we reached the Sacramento River, which we could almost have imagined to be the Styx, with the sombre Charon for a ferry-man, for we soon learned that we were obliged to cross upon a flat boat. The wind was blowing in so fierce a gale that the boatmen could not near the shore, and called upon the passengers for assistance. All the gentlemen responded but one passenger, who, although a man, was not gentle, settled himself upon the back

seat and declared he would not pay his passage and work it too. All attempts of the ladies to shame him into activity were useless. He could not be induced to leave his snuggery, and even as we talked he was lustily snoring. So do some selfish natures smoothly slip through the emergencies of life, leaving to others the responsibilities and exertion; and this man I was afterwards told was a professional humorist, actually a humorous writer for the press, and I must accept this as one of his jokes.

After three weary hours we drifted to the shore, and next day went to Red Bluff, a wild, uncanny place, but abounding in wealth and replete with generous hearts, of whose bounty I was a rich recipient.

Thence we went to Shasta, where Mr. Hudson, a cousin of Hattie, had rooms in readiness for us at the American Hotel. The meeting of the cousins, after a separation of nineteen years, was a joyous one, their animated conversation keeping time with the quick, impetuous throbbing of their hearts. The pleasure of our day there was also much enhanced by the sprightly-even brilliant conversation of the hotel proprietress, Mrs. Green, whose three-score years and ten were worn as gracefully as many a maiden's sweet sixteen.

As a protracted rain seemed inevitable, and all business possibilities were precluded, we assented to Mr. Hudson's proposition to visit his bachelor quarters in the country, which we found to be one of the most romantic, sylvan shades imaginable, with its little three roomed-cot embowered in vines and running roses, then in full bloom, and after the storm, radiant in color, freighted with perfume and sparkling with liquid gems. Alone he had occupied this secluded spot for nineteen years, and in his isolation-

"Had made him friends of mountains;

With the stars and the quick spirits of the Universe,

He held his dialogues,

And they did teach to him

The magic of their mysteries."

He was as familiar as a hunter, with every trail in the vicinity, and he took us through every romantic, winding path, one of which led us to an elevation commanding a view of Mount Shasta, the highest peak of the Coast Range.

Reluctantly we left this "pleasure dome," which, although less stately than that "in Xanadu of Kubla Kahn," held all the fairy charms of a bright Eutopia; and with the vain regrets which all must feel who leave some fancy realm for the cold regions of reality, we took the stage route for Weaversville, forty miles farther up the mountain heights, whose crests were now white with snow, and the road in many places running within six inches of the ragged chasms, thousands of feet in depth.

Our stage was drawn by four horses, and, at one time, the snow accumulated around the foot of one of the leaders until it formed a huge ball, and with this impediment he was partially precipitated over the edge of a precipice. This noble animal exhibited more presence of mind than would have characterized many human beings under similar circumstances, and, with great judgment, gradually extricated the foot from its snowy burden, and resumed his journey, but not before the face of every passenger was blanched with terror.

After a few days at Weaversville, we returned to Sacramento, feeling that we had enjoyed a pleasant and profitable trip.

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