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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: 5913

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:03


"Oh, ever thus from childhood's hour,

I've seen my fondest hopes decay;

I never loved a tree, or flower,

But it was first to fade away.

I never nursed a dear gazelle,

To glad me with its soft black eye,

But when it came to know me well

And love me, it was sure to die."

We reached Jefferson, Texas, when the excitement was rife over the murder of Bessie Moore, the terrible details of which sent a thrill of horror over the entire United States. It rained during the several days of our stay there; but thanks to the earnest endeavors of Mrs. Frazer, of the Frazer House, I did very well in my business. Many of the fairest portions of the town had been laid waste by the destructive ravages of incendiary fires, and had never been rebuilt.

Marshall is one of the most enterprising towns in the State, being a great railroad centre, and settled almost exclusively by Northern people.

We had a most delightful visit to Shreveport, Louisiana: It lies at the head of Red River navigation, and is the port of entry for New Orleans steamers, being a place of great wealth and equal generosity. The editors worked with great zest to aid me, and among the many people I met very few failed to buy books. The genial skies and bright sunshine made it hard to realize that it was the winter season; and I shall ever revert to its warm-hearted people not only with pleasure but with gratitude.

At Longview-in the dilapidated prison-like room of my hotel, I received tidings of the death and burial of Hattie. My surroundings were in such sad accord with my feelings, that I wondered if the sun would ever shine, or the flowers bloom again, so much light went out with her dear life.

At Longview we took a branch of the International Railroad to Palestine-Mr. Smith, the Vice-President of the road, not only largely patronizing me, but presenting me with a six months' pass and the assurance that if I ever again visited the State a letter addressed to him would ensure a repetition of the favor.

Thence we went to Galveston, where Mr. Arms had been for three months trying the efficacy of sea-bathing. This city is beautifully located upon a fertile island in Galveston Bay. The streets are lined upon either side with oleander trees, which, arching over at the top, form a very bower of bloom, while every breath of the clear bright air is balmy with the odor of orange blossoms.

The Mesquite trees, with attenuated leaves and gracefully drooping pods, adorn all the parks of the city, the beans forming a delicious dish either cooked or raw.

No wonder Texas is called "The Happy Hunting Ground," for the five delightful weeks we spent in Galveston seemed like a dream of Paradise. Its many pleasures were varied by sailing and bathing, every morning finding us upon the pure, white beach, where the waves whispered the sweetest melodies.

We went back to Houston in the month of bloom, and no "vale of Cashmere" could

have been more beautiful in its "feast of roses."

The street car ran to the depot, and we found in it but one passenger, a gentleman who carried a rose in his hand. Noticing at once that I was blind, he arose and said to me, "Although you cannot see the beautiful flowers you can inhale their sweetness," at the same time asking me to accept the rose. His delicate kindness and urbane manner struck a deep chord in my heart, and I never think of Houston without recalling the gentle touch and tone.

I must not omit to mention an act of generosity upon the part of the railroad office at Galveston. Leaving there I had paid fare to Houston, and the agent refunded five dollars, adding that I should never be allowed to pay railroad fare.

After remaining two weeks at Houston I took the Sunset Route to San Antonia, and stopped at the Central House on the main plaza. This is the oldest town in Texas, and is called "The Stone City," its antique buildings and narrow winding streets giving it a quaint, time-worn air.

San Antonia River rises from a low spring, four miles distant from the city, and gracefully winds through its streets, and is here and there spanned by beautiful rustic bridges.

The "City Gardens" are one block distant from the main plaza, and are located upon an island of great natural beauty, romantically approached by a floating bridge. The air is cool and refreshing from the river breeze, fair flowers, bloom and sweet voiced birds rival the musical instruments which lead the merry feet of the dancers.

A mile from the city are the San Pedro Springs, a lovely park often acres in area, where springs flow out into crystal purling streams, forming islands, lakes, and ponds white and fragrant with their lily bloom, while shining green lizards and other reptiles peep curiously out from the rocks and glide away into the stream.

Just across the main plaza stands the old Spanish cathedral, with its musical chime of bells sending out on the perfumed air melodies sweet as vesper songs.

We went to the old Alamo, felt the antique cannon used by the Mexicans, were shown the room in which Bowie died and the spot where fell the brave Colonel Crockett, who, with his handful of men, so gallantly held the citadel, at which time he was taken alive, together with five other prisoners, and ordered by Santa Anna to be killed.

Just before the fatal sword-thrust, which ended a life so fraught with daring and danger, he sprang like a tiger at the throat of Santa Anna, his face wearing even in death this expression of fiendish, scowling hatred.

San Antonia being the great market for the frontier, is a place of great business activity. While there I was struck with amazement to see a dirty, ragged man mounted upon a jaded, dilapidated horse, a very Sancho Panza and Rezinante, smilingly asking alms of the passer-by.

I had often heard of, but never before saw a veritable "beggar on horseback."

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