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68                               A FEW MEMORIES
along the journey we had proofs of their constant thoughtfulness. After arriving an utter stranger, it seemed remarkable to be leaving the beautiful Crescent City two weeks later loaded with so many favors and marks of its friendship. My bright dreams were first realized there, and I shall always remember New Orleans with affectionate gratitude.
' Our first act on returning was to pay off all our creditors. The satisfaction of doing this with one's own earnings must be felt to be understood. Towards the end of the summer, a week's engagement at Owensboro, a small, pretty town near Louisville, was offered me. The disadvantages of acting with a group of country players, we were told, would be many: the "juvenile leading man" of the company was a rather elderly woman; the scenery, to say the least, not of the best, and the discomforts and inconveniences were sure to be legion. Still, every performance was a gain in experience and ease, and a fever for improvement at any cost, as well as the anticipation of some primitive " barn-storming," induced me to accept the offer. I was a tall, slender Juliet, and my Romeo proved to be a plump, pleasant little woman, probably the mother of several would-be