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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: 8000

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:03


"There was a time when meadow,

Grove and stream,

The earth and every common sight

To me did seem

Appareled in celestial light,

The glory and the freshness of a dream.

It is not now as it has been of yore,

Turn where soe'r I may,

By night or day,

The things that I have seen

I now can see no more."

Upon our return to Chicago I found my husband so ill that he yielded to the advice of his physician to go to the Mineral Springs of St. Louis, and there being a heavy drain upon our finances, I felt it necessary to resume my travels. Disagreeable as was the task, it was tolerable only for its benefit to loved ones.

Ida, the young daughter of my favorite brother, had just graduated, her laurels still green and her heart full of girlish enthusiasm. With the sanction of her parents she kindly consented to accompany me. Kindred ties are deep and strong, and her society was like a ray of sunshine in my clouded pathway.

Mr. Keep, the Manager of the North-western Railway, presented us with a general pass, and we started for the Lake Superior country, first visiting many of the beautiful towns of Wisconsin, among which was Peshtigo, then but partially rebuilt from its recent ravages from fire. In canvassing we called at the house of Mrs. Armstrong, who kept a book, and asked us to call in the afternoon for the money.

During the day her little daughter had become so interested in the "story of the blind girl," that she insisted upon going out to buy her a dress, which she presented in person. Little Nellie's gift of simple calico was as precious to me as if of silken texture and Tyrion dye, and "waxed rich" with the royalty of sympathy and love.

We visited Escanaba, a beautiful summer resort upon Lake Michigan, spending a delightful week in the elegant hotel, which rests in the shaded seclusion of park and garden, and gaining renewed health and vigor.

We had a short, sweet stay at Marquette, saw the "Isle of Yellow Sands" with its luring light, the "Pictured Rocks" bearing the tracery of the Divine Artist, and all the well-known beauties of Lake Superior.

On our way to Ishpenming we were presented with tickets to the concert of "Blind Tom," the musical prodigy and whilom slave boy, through whose God-given talent the former master had amassed quite a fortune.

We heard his improvised and memorized melodies, and were struck with awe and wonder.

After the concert we went to the Commercial Hotel, where I was suddenly and violently attacked with a congestive chill, in which emergency Mrs. Newett, the landlady, proved a ministering angel, her thorough knowledge of the disease and prompt devoted attendance no doubt saving my life.

We next visited L'Anse, the terminus of the Marquette Railroad, and found a delightful hotel, bearing the euphonious name of Lake Linden House, suggestive of the beautiful grounds gracefully sloping to the edge of the lake, whose "wide waste of waters" seemed a "sapphire sea" set with emerald gems, from one of which verdant spots gleaming in the picturesque distance rose the symmetrical spire of a cathedral, whose cross stood out like a beautiful "bas relief" from the violet background; and the solemn voice of the convent bell told the hour when orisons arose like holy incense to the skies. A fitting resort for the student, and the recluse was this secluded spot, where nature opened her fairest page, and beauty planted her altars on earth, in air and sky, and where "devotion wafts the mind above."

We crossed in the steamer to Houghton, beautifully located upon a winding stream, and we were pleasantly entertained at the Butterfield House.

We remained some time, lingering among the towns in its vicinity, and returned home improved in health and finances.

Before settling down for the winter I resolved to visit a few towns in the vicinity of Chicago, and among them Sycamore, where there was an unexpected episode in my hitherto eventful career, a touching incide

nt and "words fitly spoken," which the good book says are as "apples of gold in pictures of silver."

My husband having once been engaged in business at Sycamore, I was in constant expectation of meeting some of his old associates; hence, was not so much surprised when, upon entering a store, a gentleman stepped down from his desk, and warmly grasping both of my hands, exclaimed: "I know you." I quickly and inquiringly responded, you are perhaps a friend of my husband? Oh no, he replied, I do not know your husband, but I have great reason to remember you, for you were the cause of my salvation!

Moved and wondering, I tried in vain to recall the time when I could have been an humble agent in the hands of the Heavenly Father, even to the salvation of a human soul.

Shakspeare has said that-

"Ofttimes to win us to our harm

The instruments of darkness tell us truths;

Win us with honest trifles, to betray us

In deepest consequence."

And why should not the same "honest trifles" win us to good.

He then explained to me that eight years previous he was in Burlington, Wisconsin, having wandered far from the fold in which a patient, loving, Christian mother had faithfully tended her flock, teaching them the wisdom of divine truth and loving lessons of duty to God and man.

He had entered a saloon and sat down to a card-table with a congenial companion, when suddenly lifting his eyes a lady stood beside him offering him a little book, and something in the expression of that face riveted his attention and penetrated the depths of his soul, inspiring resolves new and strange. While years had passed since that time, he had never forgotten the lineaments which had changed the whole tenor of his life. Both his companion and himself bought books, threw down their cards, and from his own assurance he has never since been tempted to indulge in a game.

The next winter he made his peace with God and became a consistent and steadfast member of the Congregational Church.

The following spring he was married to one who was in every way fitted to minister to his higher impulses and lead him to a holier life, and while he has ever since been actively engaged in every good "word and work," he is especially engrossed with Sabbath School duties, in which field he has planted many a seed, from which has been reaped richest harvests and fairest fruitage.

Their cozy, little home, is a fair and faithful mirror, reflecting the unostentatious, goodness, purity and love which characterizes every act of their private lives, whose peaceful, even tenor is indicated in the tasteful apartments, pervaded with purity and touched with the delicate tracery of taste. Fair flowers grace almost every nook of this truly Eden-home, and its bright blooming garden is a fitting type of their lives, blossoming with goodness and fragrant with the incense of holiness.

It is not strange that these dear people seemed to me like loved relations; our meeting like a reunion with some pure spirits with whom my heart had held communion in other days, their voices coming to me like some sweet strain of unforgotten music.

I left them, feeling grateful that my little book had been the humble instrument of so much good, and was happy in the thought that it had been so thoroughly read and discussed in the little Sabbath School, that I had many warm friends in Sycamore.

Before I left he pleadingly besought me never to pass by a saloon in my canvassing tours, for I little knew the good my presence might bring about. I have faithfully followed his advice, ever buoyed by the hope of some equally happy result, and never having met with an indignity or repulse, this class of people ranking among my most generous patrons.

As from every event in life we gather some golden lesson of wisdom, from this I learned to-

"Think nought a trifle

Though it small appear

Small sands make up the mountain,

Moments make the year,

And trifles life!"

* * *

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