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قراءة كتاب Vistas of New York

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‏اللغة: English
Vistas of New York

Vistas of New York

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دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
الصفحة رقم: 5

we have been doing a big business down at the store. Two or three nights a week now I’ve had to stay down till ten. We get extra for this, and I don’t mind the work. By degrees I’m getting an insight into the business. But there isn’t any short cut to a fortune that I can see. There’s lots of hard work before me and lots of waiting, too—and it’s the waiting for you I mind the most.



NEW YORK, Nov. 4, 1894.

DEAR MIRIAM,—I was beginning to wonder what the matter was when I didn’t have a letter for a week and more. And now your letter has come, I don’t quite make it out. You write only a page and a half; and the most of that is taken up with asking about Miss Stanwood.

Yes, I see her Sundays, of course, and she is always very pleasant. Indeed, I can’t guess what it is that you have against her or why it is you are always picking at her. I feel sure that she doesn’t dye her hair, but I will look at the roots as you suggest and see if it’s the same color there. Her name is Hester—I’ve seen her write it in the library cards. Her father is very rich, they say—at least he’s president of a railroad somewhere down South.

She strikes me as a sensible girl, and I think you would like her if you knew her. She has helped me to get the right kind of books into the hands of the little Italians and other foreigners I have to teach. Most Sunday-school books are very mushy, I think, and I don’t believe it’s a healthy moral when the good boy dies young. Miss Stanwood says that sometimes when one of my scholars takes home a book it is read by every member of the family who knows how to read, and they all talk it over. So it’s very important to give them books that will help to make good Americans of them. She got her father to buy a lot of copies of lives of Washington and Franklin and Lincoln. They are not specially religious, these books, but what of it? Miss Stanwood says she thinks we must all try first of all to make men of these rough boys, to make them manly, and then they’ll be worthy to be Christians. She is thinking not only of the boys themselves, but of the parents too, and of the rest of the family; and she says that a little leaven of patriotism suggested by one of these books may work wonders. But you are quite right in saying that I’m not as lonely as I was a month ago. Of course not, for I’m getting used to the bigness of the place and the noise no longer wears on me. Besides, I’ve found out that the New-Yorkers are perfectly willing to be friendly. They’ll meet you half-way always, not only in the church, but even down-town, too. I ain’t afraid of them any more, and I can tell a conductor to let me out at the corner now without wishing to go through the floor of the car. Fact is, I’ve found out how little importance I am. Up at Auburnvale people knew me; I was old John Forthright’s only son; I was an individual. Here in New York I am nobody at all, and everybody is perfectly willing to let me alone. I think I like it better here; and before I get through I’ll force these New-Yorkers to know me when they see me in the street—just as they touch each other now and whisper when they pass old Ezra Pierce.

Write soon and tell me there’s nothing the matter with you. I’m all right and I’d send you my love—but you got it all already.



NEW YORK, Nov. 16, 1894.

DEAR MIRIAM,—I asked you to write me soon, and yet you’ve kept me waiting ten days again. Even now your letter has come I can’t seem to get any satisfaction out of it. I have never known you to write so stiffly. Is there anything the matter? Are you worried at home? Is your mother sick or your father?

I wish I could get away for a week at Thanksgiving to run up and see you. But we are kept pretty busy at the store. There isn’t one of the firm hasn’t got his nose down to the grindstone, and that’s where they keep ours. That’s how they’ve made their money; it’s all good training for me, of course.

All the same I’d like to be with you this Thanksgiving, even if it isn’t as beautiful a day as last Thanksgiving was. I don’t know when I’ve enjoyed a dinner as I did your mother’s that night, but I guess it wasn’t the turkey I liked so much or the pumpkin pie, but the welcome I got and the sight of the girl who sat opposite to me and who wouldn’t tell me what she had wished for when we pulled the wishbone. I think it was only that morning in church when I looked across and saw you at the organ that I found out I had been in love with you for a long while. You were so graceful, as you sat there and the sunlight came down on your beautiful brown hair, that I wanted to get up and go over on the spot and tell you I loved you. Then at dinner your fiery eyes seemed to burn right into me, and I wondered if you could see into my heart that was just full of love of you.

It is curious, isn’t it, that I didn’t get a chance to tell you all these things for nearly six months? I don’t know how it was, but first one thing and then another made me put off asking you. I was afraid, too. I dreaded to have you say you didn’t care for me. And you were always so independent with me. I couldn’t guess what your real feelings were. Then came that day in June when I mustered up courage at last! Since then I’ve been a different man—a better man, I hope, too.

But I don’t know why I should write you this way in answer to a letter of yours that was too short almost to be worth the postage!



NEW YORK, Dec. 2, 1894.

DEAR MIRIAM,—You don’t know how much good it did me to get your long letter last week. You wrote just like your old self—just like the dear little girl you are! I was beginning to wonder what had come over you. I thought you had changed somehow, and I couldn’t understand it.

Of course, I wished I was in Auburnvale on Thanksgiving. I’d like to have seen you sitting in the seats and singing with your whole soul; and I’d have liked to hear your father preach one of his real inspiring sermons that lift up the heart of man.

To be all alone here in New York was desolate—and then it rained all the afternoon, too. It didn’t seem a bit like a real Thanksgiving.

I went to church, of course, but I didn’t think Dr. Thurston rose to the occasion. He didn’t tell us the reasons why we ought to be grateful as strongly as your father did last year.

Coming out of church it had just begun to rain, and so there was a crowd around the doors. As I was just at the foot of the stairs I tripped over Miss Stanwood’s dress. I tell you it made me uncomfortable when I heard it tear. But these New York girls have the pleasantest manners. She didn’t even frown. She smiled and introduced me to her father, who seemed like a nice old gentleman. He was very friendly, too, and we stood there chatting for quite a while until the crowd thinned out.

He said that if I really wanted to understand some of the Sunday-school lessons I ought to go to the Holy Land, since there are lots of things there that haven’t changed in two thousand years. He’s been there and so has his daughter. He brought back ever so many photographs, and he’s asked me to drop in some evening and look at them, as it may help me in making the boys see things clearly. It was very kind of him, wasn’t it? I think I shall go up some night next week.

I’ve been here nearly three months now, and Mr. Stanwood’s will be the first private house I shall have been to—and in