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27 A Soldier of the Union Mustered Out On my return to Chicago,I made good report of Father’s condition and said nothing of his forebodings, for I wanted Zulime to start on her vacation in entire freedom from care. Had it not been for my lecture engagements I might not have gone with them, but as certain dates were fixed, I bought tickets for myself on the same train which Mrs. Morris had taken, and announced my intention to travel with the party at least as far as Sheridan.“I want to watch the children’s faces and hear their words of delight when they see the mountains,” I explained to Mrs. Morris. “My lectures at the Colorado Normal School do not begin till the second week in July—so that I can be with you part of the time.” My decision gave the final touch to the children’s happiness. They liked their shaggy father—I don’t know why, but they did— and during the days of preparation their voices were filled with bird-like music.They were palpitant with joy. On the day appointed the Morris automobile called for us and took us to the train, and when the children found that they were to travel in a private pullman and that the stateroom was to be their own little house they were transported with pride.Thereafter they knew nothing of heat or dust or weariness.Their meals came regularly,and they went to bed in their berths with warbles of satisfaction. The plains of the second day’s travel absorbed them.The prairie dogs, the herds of cattle, the cactus blooms all came in for joyous recognition.They had read about them:now here they were in actuality .“Are those the mountains?” asked Mary Isabel as we came in sight of the buttes of Eastern Wyoming. “No, only hills,” I replied. Then, at last, came the Big Horns deep blue and lined with snow. Mary Isabel’s eyes expanded with awe. “Oh, they are so much finer than I expected them to be,” she said, and from that 315 Garland_Daughter_to press 10/20/06 3:44 PM Page 315 moment, she gave them her adoration.They were papa’s mountains and hence not to be feared.“Are we really going up there?” she asked.“Yes,” I replied pointing out Cloud Peak,“we shall go up almost directly toward that highest mountain of all.” At a camp just above Big Horn City we spent a month of just the sort of riding, trailing and camping which I was eager to have my children know, and in a few days under my instruction, they both learned to sit a horse in fearless confidence.Mary Isabel,who was eleven,accompanied me on a ride to Cloud Peak Lake,a matter of twenty miles over a rough trail, and came into camp almost unwearied.She was a chip of the old block in this regard,and as I listened to her cheery voice and looked down into her shining face I was a picture of shameless parental pride. For several weeks I was able to remain with them and then at last set forth for Colorado on my lecture tour. Meanwhile, unsuspected by Americans, colossal armies were secretly mobilizing in Europe,and on August first,whilst we were on our way home, the sound of cannon proclaimed to the world the end of one era and the beginning of another. Germany announced to the rulers of the Eastern Hemisphere that she intended to dominate not merely the land but the seas, and in my quiet hotel in a Colorado college town this proclamation found amazed readers. I, for one,could not believe it—even after my return to Chicago in August,while the papers were shouting “War! War!” I remained unconvinced.Germany’s program seemed monstrous , impossible. The children and their mother arrived two days later and to Zulime I said “Father is patiently waiting for us and in the present state of things West Salem seems a haven of rest.We must go to him at once.” She was willing and on August six, two days after England declared war, the old soldier met us, looking thin and white but so happy in our coming that his health seemed miraculously restored. With joyous outcry the children sprang to his embrace and Zulime kissed him with such sincerity of regard that he gave her a convulsive hug. “Oh...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780873516662
Related ISBN
9780873515665
MARC Record
OCLC
835517518
Pages
352
Launched on MUSE
2012-10-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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