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Full text of "Looking back : an autobiography"

LAWRENCE J. GUTTER 

Collection of Chicogoono 

THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS 
AT CHICAGO 

The University Library 



Digitized by tlie Internet Arcliive 

in 2010 witli funding from 

CARL!: Consortium of Academic and Researcli Libraries in Illinois 



http://www.archive.org/details/lookingbackautobOOrich 




MERRICK RICHARDSON AT THE AGE OP SEVENTY-FIVE. 



LOOKING BACK 

AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY 



By 
Merrick Abner Richardson 

AUTHOR OF 

^JIM HALL AND THE RICHARDSONS"j '''EIGHT DATS OUT", "MINA FAUST'' 

"ROSE LIND", "PERSONALITY OF THE SOUL", "CHICAGO'S 

BLACK SHEEP", "TWILIGHT REFLECTIONS," 



Privately Printed 
chicago: mcmxvii 



Copyright igiy 
' By 
Merrick Abner Richardson 



PREFACE 

My spare time, only, is occupied in literary efforts. I 
never allow them to interfere with either my business or 
social life. 

In composing, in a mysterious way, I comprehend the 
companionship of my imaginary friends as vividly as I 
do the material associates of life. To me imagination is 
the counterpart or result of inspiration, while inspiration 
is light thrown upon the unrevealed. The image may be 
the result of known or unknown cause, but the mystery 
does not blot out the actual existence of the image. The 
material image we call sight, the retained memory, and 
the unknown revelation, but all are comprehensive im- 
ages. 

I see a bird, its form created a picture on my eye, the 
image of which mysteriously remained after the object 
had disappeared. Now what or who cognizes the primitive 
object, the formed picture or the retained image? 

The materialist assumes he has solved the mystery 
when he says; The appearance of the object formed an 
impression on your brain ; omitting the important part 
of who comprehends the impression. 

These material and spiritual views are not the two 
extremes, there is no midway, one is right and the other 
is wrong. Either man is a spiritual, responsible being or 
he is just temporary mud. 

Therefore imagination, to me is incomprehensible 
realization, while materialism is the symbol of passing 



II PREFACE 

events. This explains how my imaginary friends become 
so dear to me. 

The ideas presented in my story of Mary Magdalene 
I gained through descriptions conveyed to me by Jona 
while traveling across the Syrian desert. He always be- 
gan in the middle of his story and worked out both ways, 
which made it difficult to take notes, besides at the best it 
was but a legend, dim and indistinct. 

In this work I have carefully avoided Oriental style, 
language or customs for two reasons : First, there is not 
an Oriental scholar now, who could do them justice, 
Second, one is perfectly safe in bringing any people of 
any age right down to our times. For, the culture of 
one tribe or race does not influence incoming souls for 
the next generation. The human family enter life on 
about the same plane. A child from the low tribes of the 
jungles or from the desert wild, if brought up by a Chi- 
cago mother, might becon.e as great as one of the royal 
family. The feelings, aspirations, sorrows and love of 
Mary Magdalene and Peter were similar to what ours 
would have been under the same conditions. Therefore 
I bring the story of Magdalene right down to yesterday, 

I first constructed the story of Magdalene while in 
Jerusalem, then I revised it in Egypt, and have been re- 
vising it at intervals ever since. From Jona's continued 
reiteration regarding her prepossessing gifts, spiritual 
and unwavering qualities, especially her firmness before 
Caiaphas, I formed her personality in my mind and asso- 
ciated her with bright women of today, then I let Mag- 
dalene talk for herself. 

To me she was no exception from the women I asso- 
ciated with in Chicago. There are not wanting women 
in Oak Park who under the same circumstances would 



PREFACE III 

have followed Jesus to Jerusalem, disdained to deny him 
and would have pleaded before the sanhedrim at the 
dead of night to have saved their associate from the 
misguided servants of the devil. 

The reminiscenses of the pioneer Richardsons, Jim 
and Winnie, Sunshine days around Wabbaquassett, John 
Brown, roving escapades of the Richardson Brothers, 
my athletic exploits, my travels and other scenes of my 
life are primitive truths copied from memory and set 
forth in my original form of expresson. 

My attack on materialists or infidelic instructors 
stands on its own feet and opposes a tendency that will 
create degeneracy if continued. 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 

Page 

My Ancestors 9 

WOBURN 10 

Traditions 12 

Records 15 

Old Homestead 17 

Jim Hall 19 

Love Spats 20 

Jim's Story 31 

The Arrest 35 

The AIartyrs Zl 

The Escape 38 

Stubbs' Store 40 

Susan Beaver 45 

Revenge 49 

Alone in the Wilderness 51 

Hunting for Baby 54 

Muldoon 57 

Our Wabbaquassett Mountain Home 61 

WooDCHucK IN the Wall 64 

Sunday Morning 69 

Husking Bee 76 

Prayer Meeting at Uncle Sam's 78 

Golden Days 81 

The Wild Sexton Steer 83 

School Days 87 

Country Boys in Town 89 

As a Yankee Tin Peddler 94 

The Thompson Family 97 

John Brov^n 99 

The Dead Appear 106 

Vida's Daring Exploit 108 

Owen Brown's Story 110 

After the Mist Had Cleared Away 115 

Yankee Horsemen Go West 117 

My Relation 121 

Horse Jockies 123 

Landed in Chicago 126 

Dr. Thomas 128 

Early Chicago 131 

HcRSE Racing in Chicago 134 



VI TABLE OF CONTENTS 



Page 

Hopeful and Rarus 137 

Chicago Piety 141 

Public Conveyance 143 

My Athletic Exploits 146 

My First Hundred Mile Run 148 

Arthur's and Walton's Long Run 151 

The First Century Race 157 

Dead Glacier 160 

Miraculous Escape From a Bear 168 

My Education 173 

Hawaiian Islands 176 

South Sea Islands and Australia 180 

New Guinea 183 

Cochin China 190 

Mesopotamia 192 

Rud Hurner 193 

Off for Babylon 198 

On the Euphrates 200 

On the Shat-el-chebar 201 

KooFA, Arabia ' 203 

The Sheik of Koofa 205 

Wild, Yet Beautiful 209 

Nazzip 211 

The Man I Had Seen Before 212 

Real Bedouins After Us 214 

Suspicion Aroused 217 

The Rechabites 221 

Sleeping Beauty of the Desert 225 

The Abandoned Castle 227 

Mary Magdalene 229 

DiNA of Endor 231 

The Home of Magdalene 235 

John and Magdalene 237 

Ruth 240 

Darkness Over Galilee 242 

Surprise for the Pharisees 248 

Council of the Disciples 251 

Turn of the Tide 253 

Magdalene's Heroic Plea 255 

Jesus Speaks 261 

The Exodus 262 

Waiting By the Jordan 265 

In Council at Jericho 267 

Arrival at Jerusalem 270 

Adultery 272 

Magdalene Pleading With Jesus 278 

At the Home of Mai y and Martha 280 



TABLE OF CONTENTS VII 

Page 

A Naughty Maid 282 

Lazarus Restored 285 

Conspiracy to Murder Jesus 287 

The Mob Fall Upon Jesus 292 

Magdalene Before Caiaphas 295 

Jesus Before Pilate 300 

The Crucifixion 302 

Alone on Olivet 304 

Magdalene Herself Again 307 

Ruth Comes to Meet Magdalene 311 

Joseph's Last Interview 312 

Magdalene's Last Night With John 315 

Last Good-B ye 321 

The Prickett Home 324 

Ourselves 326 

William James, of Harvard 328 

Gladstone 335 

Evening of My Life Day 340 

Fifty-four Miles' Hike 342 

Back Home 348 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

Facing 
Page 

Merrick A. Richardson 1 

Camp of the Stafford Pioneers 14 

Ancient Cemetery of the Stafford Pioneers 16 

Winnie Richardson 21 

Good Morning, Miss Richardson 23 

Jim in the Woods 52 

Our Mountain Home 61 

Chasing for a Kiss 76 

Prayer Meeting at Uncle Sam's 80 

When the Folks Were Away 86 

Wabbaquassett Girls 88 

Charming Old Wabbaquassett 90 

The Aborn Home 92 

Album of Sunny Days 94 

Mary Jane Hoyt 96 

John Brown, 1850 99 

ViDA Thompson's Midnight Ride 109 

Near John Brown's Adirondack Home 115 

Yankee Horsemen 117 

Horse Sales 123 

Dr. Thomas 128 

Early Chicago 144 

G. M. Richardson and Family 1-16 

Saddle Horse Days 148 

The Fox River Bicycle Race 158 

Cycling Run to South Park 160 

North Shore, Loon Lake, Winona Grove 162 

Arthur Richardson and Friends 164 

Eastfr Island 181 

New Guinea 187 

Mesopotamia Servants 193 

Desert Life Among the Arabs 209 

Ruins of Tadmor 227 

Mary Magdalene 231 

Prickett Home 324 

Fannie Peterson 336 

Our Oak Park Home 338 

My Children 340 

Arthur Richardson and His Twins 342 

ViDA 344 

Barbara Beaver 346 

Our Fifty-four Mile Hike 349 



LOOKING BACK 



MY ANCESTORS 

Ezekiel Richardson, with his wife Susanna, joined 
the Protestant Church in the Village of Charlestown, 
Mass. — now Boston — in 1630. The following year 
Thomas and Samuel Richardson joined the same church ; 
the records of the will of Ezekiel prove them to have been 
his brothers. 

When they came to New England, or where from, 
is unknown, but as about thirty ships of British emigrants 
came into Boston Harbor about that time, it is safe to 
assume that they came on one of these vessels, but 
possibly they may have come on one of the boats which 
followed the Mayflower nearly ten years previous. 

It appears that there arose dissensions in the church 
and those good Pilgrim Fathers and Mothers strove 
among themselves until 1634, when the three Richard- 
sons, with several other families, withdrew and decided 
to start a colony and a church of their own, where they 
could worship God in peace. 
9 



■ WOBURN 

Through a swamp on the west, called Cat Bird Glen, 
ran a trout brook to the meadows below. Beyond this 
woodland glen lay an upland plain, held by the Indians 
as a camping ground, which the Richardsons concluded 
they might, through the persuasion of powder and 
bullets, be able to occupy and leave the parent church 
at Charlestown to mourn their departure. 

Accordingly about twenty families, including the 
Richardsons, took possession of the site, dug their cellars, 
and built primitive homes together with a log church and 
named the town Woburn. 

Joy mingled with pride encouraged the men to subdue 
the soil, hunt, snare and trap the game and fish, while 
the buxom dames hummed their spinning wheels as they 
cooed their frolicsome babies beneath the shadows of 
the great forest monarchs who seemed loath to give way 
to the encroaching steps of the white man. 

Contrary to the general rule, that rats and ministers 
advance hand in hand with civilization, in this case the 
ministers failed to appear for the reason that the home 
church of England refused to recognize the seceders as 
children of God by turning down their supplication for 
a regular ordained preacher. 

Here the true spirit and determination which seems 

to tinge the veins of the Richardsons made its first 

appearance. Ezekiel, by the grace of God, took upon 

himself the leadership in all the praying and singing of 

10 



LOOKING BACK 11 

the independent church for about ten years. He offici- 
ated at all weddings and funerals, besides established the 
whipping post for those who did not appear in church, 
with clean shirts on, three Sundays each month to hear 
him preach two long sermons, when it is said he often 
preached so loud that he could be distinctly heard in the 
Charlestown church two miles away, to the annoyance 
of his old-time associates. 

After Ezekiel's thrifty swarm had become greater 
than the parent hive at Charlestown and the hand of 
time began pressing heavily upon his shoulders, a regu- 
larly ordained preacher was sent in, which the parishion- 
ers did not like as well as they did Ezekiel, for he could 
not clothe and feed himself as Ezekiel had done, but he 
stayed until he died, and here is a sample of primitive 
piety in our grandfather's days : 

"The Reverend Mr. Carter of the Woburn Episcopal 
Church died, and being a good man, our forefathers 
decided to turn out in mass, give him a Christian burial 
and charge the expenses to the town. Of the itemized 
bill — coffin, shroud, grave-digging, and stimulants, — the 
latter, the liquor bill, exceeded all the other expenses." 

See Woburn Town Records, Volume 3, page 68. 

Thus while we find traces of weakness in our ancest- 
ors, a principle seems to have been involved which made 
New England a hot-bed for vags and tramps. No 
wonder we sigh for the good old days when respectable 
citizens did not have to lock their doors on Sunday, for 
all the thieves were in church. 



TRADITIONS 

Through the first appearance of the Richardsons in 
Charlestown we have an unbroken hne of nine genera- 
tions through Ezekiel of Woburn 1630 to Marvin of 
Chicago 1917. 

Ezekiel of Woburn. 

Theopohs of Woburn. 

John of Stafford Street. 

Uriah of Stafford Street. 

John of of Devil's Hop Yard. 

W^arren of Wabbaquassett Lake. 

Merrick of Chicago. 

Arthur of Chicago. 

Marvin of Chicago. 
Of course, my brothers and cousins perpetuate this 
lame, the same as I do. Collins and Gordon, my broth- 
ers, with Orino, the son of my Uncle Orson, alone have 
raised about twenty boys. 

The living male descendants of Ezekiel, Samuel and 
Thomas, who carry our name, must now be more than 
one hundred thousand Richardsons, and I presume few 
of them trace back their rehition more than three 
generations, but they could if they would. 

MY grandmother's STORY 

My grandmother, Judith Burroughs Richardson, who 
died in 1859, age 94, seemed in the evening of her life- 
12 



LOOKING BACK 13 

day to think, dream and commune with her ancestors and 
friends, who long since entered Paradise, and now 
seemed to be throwing back kisses to loved ones ap- 
proaching that land of delight. 

From her experience and traditional reminiscences 
I here give a condensed sketch of her apparent and vivid 
memories : 

James Burroughs, her grandfather, was the son of the 
minister, George Burroughs, her great-grandfather, who 
was hanged at Salem, Mass., August 19, 1692, for being 
in league with the devil. 

James was arrested soon after, but escaped from 
Salem jail and, under the name of Jim Hall, lived in 
Connecticut for several years. Later, under his right 
name, he married Winnie Richardson, a Stafford Street 
girl, and they settled near Brattleborough, Vermont, 
where grandmother's father, Amos Burroughs, was born. 

After James died, her grandmother Winnie came to 
\\'est Stafford to live with them. She died before grand- 
ma was born and was buried in the family lot near their 
house. Her gravestone was still standing when mv 
father was old enough to go with his grandfather Amos 
Burroughs and see them. 

The homestead where Winnie died and grandmother 
was born and married can be found by following the 
south road out of West Stafford and turning the first 
road to the right, across the brook and up the hill to the 
first farm scene. 

Winnie's father, Theopolis, son of Ezekiel, and sev- 
eral other men with their families, came West when she 
was a little girl and took possession, or squat, on the 
northern rise of a highland plain, where a grand view of 



14 LOOKING BACK 

the far-away Western mountains can be seen. They 
called their camp Stafford. 

John, Winnie's brother, who was conducting an 
Indian trading post at Medford came on later, with 
his two brothers, Gershom and Paul, and opened up the 
famous Stafford Street, which was laid out twenty rods 
wide and about two miles long, the southern terminus 
being about one mile northeast of Stafford Springs. 

John Richardson took up the first farm at the north 
entrance on the west side and Silas Dean took the first 
on the left, or east, side from the old campus on the hill 
at the north end of the street. 

All between the walls, which was later changed to 
sixteen rods, was commons. The church in the center 
was used for spiritual devotion, recorder office and court 
of justice. 



RECORDS 

The records of those New England pioneers are dim, 
as the Puritans considered church members only, as 
persons. 

Boston records (Woburn), as we have seen, seem to 
extol Ezekiel. 

Theopolis according to his will, must have been a 
financial success. 

The Stafford Street records, I was informed by Mrs. 
Earned, who now lives on the old homestead, were kept 
in their family from the beginning until lately, when 
they became such a source of annoyance from ancestor 
seekers, like myself, that they sent them to the recorder's 
office at Stafford Springs. 

At the recorder's office at Stafford Springs I found 
that John Richardson from Medford came to Stafford 
Street in 1726, this, though meager, acts as the official 
connecting link between Woburn and Stafford. 

Another scrap I found was that Paul Richardson had 
taken land adjoining his brother, John Richardson, this 
identifies both John and Paul. 

Regarding Gershom, the other one of the three broth- 
ers, I found this : 

"Gershom Richardson, son of Gershom and Abigail, 
born in 1761." 

This would make the elder Gershom Richardson con- 
temporary with John and Paul. 
15 



16 LOOKING BACK 

E. Y. Fisk, an early settler, told me that a part of 
the early church records have been burned. 

In the old graveyard just south of the brook which 
crosses Stafford Street still remains the headstone of Lot 
Dean, who died in 1818. 

Lot would be of the next generation from Silas Dean, 
who took the farm opposite John Richardson. 

Near the grave of Lot are the headstones of Uriah 
Richardson and his wife Miriam, who died October 18, 
1785, at the age of 75. Uriah must have been all right, 
for Miriam, who died twenty years later, had had in- 
scribed on his headstone : 

"The memory of the just is blessed." 

Grandmother remembered Uriah, the son of John and 
the father of John, her husband. 

Now while the traditions, records and gravestones 
may prove each in themselves to be weak evidence, to- 
gether they form an unbroken chain from Ezekiel down 
to our times. 



OLD HOMESTEAD 

With my interesting nieces, Joe and Lina Newell, one 
bright summer day, I visited the ancient homes of the 
Stafford Street, Conn., Richardsons. 

E. Y. Fisk and his son now possess the historical 
property. The son from Springfield, who was haying 
there at the time, invited us and all the other Richard- 
son tribe to come and camp on the homestead grounds, 
sit on the old w^alls, gaze over the western mountains and 
even coquet with the star Venus evenings, all of which 
look now the same as when our ancestors saw them 200 
years ago. 

That day, July 19, 1916, with those girls, viewing the 
scenes and taking pictures of the surroundings, im- 
printed on my mind an oasis of beauty ever awaiting recall 
as I journey over the trackless sands of time. 

The present seemed to pass away as the past unfolded 
its charms while we were reminded of the long ago. 

Sacredly we listened to the voice of Mother Mary 
calling Winnie from the kitchen door, saw the men in 
homespun shirts and trousers coming up from the 
meadow below. Heard the careless boy whistling while 
unyoking the lazy oxen. Saw old dog Towser sleeping 
in the shade. And in the pasture far away we seemed 
to hear the faint tinkling of the cow bell on the brindle 
steer. 

Day dreams, says one. 

Imagination, says another. 
17 



18 LOOKING BACK 

May it not be that when death removes this earthly 
garment, we will again realize that the past, present, and 
future are one. 

If the image of the face before me now is the reten- 
tion of the face I saw yesterday, may not all fiction, in- 
vention and imagination be retention of occurences we 
can only recall in parts ? 

The power of recall is mysterious. If we dream of 
the dead as living when we know that they are dead, but 
we cannot recall that which we know, may we not know 
of pre-existence but lack the power to recall? 

Thus Lina, Joe and myself spent a happy summer day 
on the New England hills, which we will pleasantly re- 
call when the cold winds of winter rattle the doors and 
windows and we are hugging the radiators. 



JIM HALL 

During the days of the New England pioneers our 
early church had more trouble in evolutionizing Chris- 
tianity from bigotry than in driving the red man from his 
native lair. Therefore, as the records show my ancestors 
to have been entangled in this muss, I have arranged,, 
in this family record, and the story of my life, the story 
of Winnie and Jim. 

One warm May evening, in 1693, a stranger, who said 
his name was James Hall, appeared at the door of Deacon 
Felker's home in Stafford, Conn., and applied for a job. 
His face betokened firmness, his speech was clear and 
distinct, while a tinge of sadness seemed to prevade his 
distant smile. 

He claimed to be a good chopper and, as the deacon 
was now clearing up his future home in the New England 
wilderness, he soon bargained with Jim for all the season. 

Hall soon became a favorite in the colony, broke all 
the unruly steers, saddled the ugly colts, collared Bill 
Jones, the terror of the town, and thrashed him soundly ; 
but did not attend church until the influence of Winnie 
Richardson changed hatred to forgiveness. 



19 



LOVE SPATS 

For some weeks the Felkers had had many callers, 
who sympathized deeply with the poor broken-hearted 
mother over her lost Juda among the Indians, but time, 
the blessed obliterator of all earthly troubles, soon brought 
forward other scenes and changes, and people laughed, 
joked and enjoyed themselves at Stafford as usual. 

W^innie Richardson and her father were over to see 
the Felkers almost every day and Mr. Richardson would 
hear nothing about the pay for the colt which the In- 
dians had stolen from Jim while searching for Juda, say- 
ing he had another one as nice, which, if Jim would come 
over and break, so Winnie could ride it, he would call it 
square. 

One evening Winnie came over and, as was her cus- 
tom, fluttered around and fussed over Jim, bandaging 
up his sore foot, which he had hurt during the hunt for 
Juda. Then she made tea for Mrs. Felker and slicked 
up the room, while Jim lay back in the chair and watched 
all her movements. 

Jim felt almost like crying, he was so worn out and 
heart-broken over the loss of little Juda. Everyone knows 
how sweet home and friends seem under such circum- 
stances ; but here was Winnie, who had won his heart, 
and he wanted to tell her so, but she would not let him. 

"Winnie," he said, in as a careless a manner as he 
20 




WINNIE RICHARDSON. WAITING ON THE EASTERN BLUFFS OF 
OLD WABBAQUASSETT. 



LOOKING BACK 21 

was capable of, "you do not know how much that new 
gown becomes you." 

"Thanks, Jim, I'm glad you like it ; do you know I 
have worked on it ever since you went away? I was so 
worried about you I had to work or ride old Dan, to keep 
from going wild. Several times I rode down to the 
Springs, followed the trail around the west bend way up 
to old Wabbaquassett, around to the eastern highlands 
from where I gazed across the pretty waves, hoping to 
see you coming, but saw only Nipmunk maidens sporting 
in their canoes." 

"Then, if I had never come back, Winnie, I suppose 
you would have worked on that gown and ridden to 
Wabbaquassett Lake all the remainder of your life." 

"I do not know. I know I wanted you to come home." 

Jim was encouraged. This was more than she had 
ever said before, so he ventured to say, "Winnie, come 
here and give me your hand." 

She came forward, and placing her hand in his, said, 
laughingly, "Well, Jim, what?" 

"Now, Winnie, why were you worried for fear I 
would not come home and what did you want me to come 
back for?" 

"Why, Jim, are you so simple as all that? You know 
that father expects you to break his colts in the spring, 
besides he thinks he cannot get along without your opin- 
ion on cabbages and turnips, then why would it not 
worry me? Now, Jim, I'm going home, and I want you 
to limp over tomorrow and see me, and stay all day, and 
we will have a good visit. But, really, Jim, you must not 
talk serious to me; you must give up that." Both were 
silent a moment and then she continued : "There, James 
Hall, has that little lecture almost killed you? I see you 



22 LOOKING BACK 

have the dumps. That will never do. Look up here, 
Mr. Hall, have you forgotten that ]\Iiss Richardson is 
present?" 

Jim looked up and endeavored to catch her eye, but 
no use. When she saw how pitiful he looked she burst 
out lavighing and walked away with her chin way up 
high, then came back with a smile, bade him good-night, 
and she was gone. 

Jim was in trouble. Mrs. Felker was delirious with 
grief. Little Juda, the sunshine of the home, was gone, 
and Winnie had told him plainly he must abandon all 
serious thoughts. He lay awake way into the night and 
formed his plans thus : I will not go over to Richard- 
sons in the morning, nor the next day nor the next, and 
perhaps never. I will take my axe and go up among 
the old hickory trees and work from sun to sun and try 
to banish little Juda from my mind, and also try to for- 
get what a fool I am ; fool — fool — of course I am, toss- 
ing around here all night over a girl that does not care 
for me. The idea of my consulting with her father over 
a cabbage patch. I think Jim Hall is not quite dead 
gone yet — no, I will not show my face there again very 
soon, of course not. Now I will turn over and go to 
sleep." But poor Jim, like many others, would like to 
forget his Winnie, but could not. ^^'innie had won his 
heart. She had come to stay. 

Morning came and as the sun banished the dew from 
the grass, so daylight had upset all of Jim's plans con- 
cerning the hickory logs. He did not want to see Win- 
nie in particular — no, but then he must not treat Mr. 
Richardson shabbily because Winnie had misused him. 
"Oh, I'll go over, of course I will, and visit the old folks, 




GOOD MOHiNINli, MISS HICHAHDSON ! 



LOOKING BACK 23 

and if I see her I will pass the time of day to her — that 
is all." 

He found the old gent out feeding pigs and soon they 
were engaged in a friendly conversation. When they 
turned into the house, Aunt Mary came briskly forward 
to greet him and asked many questions concerning his 
long hunt for Juda among the Indians, which he could 
have answered more sensibly had he not been expecting 
Winnie. Of course, he was not anxious to see her, but 
he wondered where she was. 

"Jim," said Mr. Richardson, "you will find plenty of 
those early apples down in the orchard if you care for 
them." So Mr. Hall started through the orchard and 
came spat upon Winnie by the wild rose bush, on the 
orchard wall. 

"Good morning, Miss Richardson," he said, as he 
extended his hand in a cold business-like manner. 

Winnie paid no attention to his good morning, but 
brushing aside his extended hand she began fixing a white 
rose in the buttonhole of his coat as she said in a soft 
tone : "Jim, how would you feel if you were a girl and 
had gone and primed yourself all up nice so as to look 
sweet as possible, waiting for your fellow to come and 
say, 'Hello, Winnie, how sweet you look this morning!' 
but instead to see him come stalking through the trees as 
though he was monarch of all he surveyed, saying 'good 
morning. Miss Richardson.' Now, own up, Jim, that 
you deliberately planned that scheme to frighten me." 

"\\' ell, but you see, my dear." 

"Yes, Jim, I see. I know all about it. You have been 
nerving yourself up to show that you did not care for me. 
You did it nicely. I thought you could not hold out more 
than a minute, but I think you did about two. And 



24 LOOKING BACK 

now you're smiling, calling me dear, and will not let go 
of my hand. You did not sleep well last night, did 
you?" 

"No, I did not." 

"Was Mrs. Felker nervous?" 

"Yes, she did not sleep a wink before two o'clock." 

"And how about Frank?" 

"Oh, he always sleeps like a log." 

"Say, Jim, why do you take such an interest in Frank; 
where did the Felkers get him?" 

"Boston, or somewhere East." 

"What is his name?" 

"Burroughs, they say." 

"Burroughs — Burroughs — he did not come from Sa- 
lem, did he ?" 

\A'innie, noticing Jim's emotion, turned back to the 
original theme and continued : "And I suppose Juda was 
on your mind?" 

"Yes, she was, and still I know it is wrong to worry 
about her, but I shall never cease to love that little angel. 
You know, I have lots of love letters she wrote me? 
She used to bring them over into the lot herself and then 
turn her back while I read them. She said she could not 
bear to see a man read a love letter. She was like her 
mother, artful as she could be. She used to enjoy our 
love spats, as she called them ; she would pretend to get 
mad and go pouting around all day and expect me to 
come and make up with her, and sometimes it required 
lots of coaxing, but, of course, she always gave in at last. 
You see, now she is gone, I cannot help thinking about 
those things, and that is not all the trouble with me, 
either." 

"That is enough, Jim. You need not tell your other 



LOOKING BACK 25 

troubles. Come along to the grove, I want to talk with 
you." 

Following the cart path they entered the woods, when 
she turned quickly and said : "Jini, I have something on 
my mind which I wish to unload, and you will not think 
me silly even if I am wrong?" 

"No, no," he replied with a searching look. "I like 
to have you confide in me." 

"Do you know, Jim, that I think there is a possible 
chance yet to find Juda alive." 

He sprang to his feet as he exclaimed, "Tell me, Win- 
nie, tell me all you know !" 

"Do not get excited; I have no proof. Tell, me. Jim, 
all about the first day you were out hunting for Juda, 
who you saw and what they said?" 

After he had gone through with the particulars she 
asked : "How many Indians camped at W^abbaquassett 
Lake that first night?" 

"Only four, besides those regular lake dwellers." 

"Did you see them all at one time?" 

"Yes, we saw the four and talked with them. They 
came from the West." 

"Were they Mohawks ?" 

"No, they were Narragansetts." 

"\\'ell, if Juda had been with the camp when you 
and Frank came upon them, could thev have concealed 
her?" 

"Certainly, but I do not think she was there." 

"I do not think, Jim, she was killed by the wolves," 
said \\'innie, as she frowned thoughtfully while looking 
on the ground. "If she is dead the Indians killed her." 

"Did not you and all the neighbors, after we had gone, 
find the place where the wolves had killed her?" 



26 LOOKING BACK 

"Oh, yes, Jim, I was there, but those Indians are so 
cunning. You see they broke camp about noon and that 
must have been about the time she would have arrived 
there. Now, if she arrived at the camp after they had 
gone, she could have come back home, but if lost, why 
did she not hear the calls for her, for the wolves dis- 
turb no one until after dark." 

"Suppose your theory is true, Winnie, what steps 
would you take to find her?" 

"Will you do what I want you to do about it?" 
"Yes, Winnie, I feel like Queen Esther, when risking 
her Hfe for her people." 

"Queen Esther? Jim Hall, who taught you the Bible?" 
He studied a moment and then said : "Go on about 
Juda, please." 

Winnie scrutinized him keenly, then turned from the 
painful subject and continued about Juda. "I want you 
to wait several months until the Indians think we have 
given her up, then go quietly among the tribes ; you know 
you talk all their tongues, and if you find her, Jim, I will 
love you for your bravery, and if you do not, the endeavor 
ought to count some. Now I suppose you want to go in 
and visit with papa and mamma." 
"Y-e-s." 

"What makes you drag out that 'yes' so long?" 
"I thought you might like to take a walk in the grove." 
"If you had not been so cross to me this morning." 
"Well— but, I really did think—" 
"What has changed your mind, Mr. Hall?" 
"Well, Winnie." 

"Well, Jim, say, do you really want to make up ? Oh, 
catch me, Jim, my heart — my heart!" 



LOOKING BACK 27 

Jim sprang and saved her from falling into the brook, 
as she pushed him from her and began laughing. 

"Oh, ^^'innie, you do not know how you did frighten 
me, you are a roguish girl, but I like you and think you 
a perfect pet." 

"Perfect pet — get out. Did you know John Bragg 
was over to see me?" 

"John Bragg?" 

"Yes, John Bragg." 

"I thought you had given him up?" 

"Oh, no. I did think when you and I came home from 
church on the black colt, it would give him a shock, but 
he is all the more attentive. Think of it, all the fathers 
and mothers have had their daughters cooing around 
him for the last three years and he does not bite, but is 
in great agony over me. Now, what can I do? I will 
have to marry him to get rid of him, won't I ?" 

"To get rid of him?" 

"Oh, Jim, but his father is rich. You see, it is dig- 
nified to have such a beau. He came over last night 
after I left you and said his father had bought of Mr. 
Converse a beautiful saddle horse and he wanted me to 
take a ride on it, but when I told him I was engaged he 
looked downcast. He proposed to bring over his sister 
Lydia and, if it pleased you, we would all go up to the 
west bend fishing together and have a fish fry. What 
do you thing of that?" 

"I would be delighted to go." 

"Yes, but he will expect to escort me and leave you 
to attend to Lydia." 

"Th-it is all right ; I like Lydia." 

"You do?" 

"Of course, I do." 



28 LOOKING BACK 

"But, Jim, you are older than Lydia." 

"I do not think she cares for that by what she said." 

"What she said ? When was all this talk ?" 

"Oh, not long ago." 

"Not long ago? Look around here, James Hall!" 
At this he smiled and she said, "There, now, you were 
fooling me — own up that it was not true." 

"It may not be exactly true, but bordering on the 
truth." 

"What do you mean by bordering on the truth ?" 

"I actually saw her." 

"Did you talk that way to her?" 

"Oh, no; we did not speak." 

"There, Jim, now I like you just a little bit ; sort of 
sisterly love, you know. That is all. Jim — do you hear?" 

"No," he said, drawing her to him. "I did not catch 
that last sentence. Come a little nearer, Winnie." 

"Never ! Never ! James Hall," she said, withdrawing 
with a flushed face. "You are holding a secret from me 
and unless you confide all, Winnie Richardson will die 
an old maid." 

"Thank God," he replied, with irony, "That cuts off 
John Bragg." 

"John is already cut off. I love the tracks you make 
in the dust more than I do him, but no girl should allow 
herself to follow a love trail into a snare. You may be 
all right. I think you are, but do not advance another 
shade until I know all." 

Jim dried her falling tears as caressingly as he dared, 
but the mystery still remained. 

Winnie turned and gazed to the far away hills, but 
she did not see them, for her soul was silently summoning 
courage for the trying ordeal. Jim could but see in her 



LOOKING BACK 29 

the model of pure virtue and loveliness, as she turned to 
him, saying: 

"Is your name James Hall ?" 

"No." 

"Were you ever married?" 

"Yes." ' 

"Is your wife alive?" 

"No." 

"What is your name?" 

"James Burroughs." 

"Is your father alive?" 

"No." 

"What was his name?" 

"George Burroughs." 

"Where did he die?" 

"Salem." 

"When ?" 

"August 19. 1692." 

"Was he that George Burroughs?" Here Winnie's 
voice failed, and Jim answered, "He was." 

Winnie stepped back while her thin lips parted and 
seemed to look as white as the ivories between them. 

"Was your wife that beautiful Fanny Shepherd, who 
died with a broken heart at Casco Bay, after the report 
of your death ?" 

"She was." 

Winnie stood a moment as if to satisfy herself that 
the world was real and she was not dreaming, then com- 
ing softly forward she sat on his knee and putting her 
arm around his neck began kissing him, while she said : 
"Mother is to have hot biscuits, butter and honey for 
supper, and we must go now, and after that I will give 
her a hint of what has happened, and we will take to the 



30 LOOKING BACK 

parlor and you must tell me the story of your life, and 
you may talk just as serious as you please. Now, Jim, 
I want you to hug and kiss me for keeps." 

Father and mother were puzzled to conjecture what 
had caused the turn in the tide, for the distance between 
Winnie and Jim had suddenly disappeared, and \\'innie 
began bossing him around, just like regular married folks. 

"Jim," said Winnie, as they entered the parlor. "Your 
clothes do not fit, your boots are too big, and your hair 
is too long. Oh, dear me, after we are married what a 
time I will have fixing you up. What makes you smile?" 

"Who has said anything about marrying, Winnie?" 

"I did." 

"When is all this to take place?" 

"Oh, it will be several months yet. You know, papa 
and mamma will want me to look nice and I will have 
to make all my new clothes. Now begin your story." 

"Will you promise not to cry, Winnie?" 

"Really, I will try. But think of it, it seems to me 
something like one rising from the dead ; and still, be- 
lieve me, dear, something of this kind impressed me from 
the day you arrived in Stafford, nearly eight years ago. 
If I should tell you my dreams you would call me vision- 
ary, but I will tell that some other time. Now begin and 
I will be good except when I want to pet you." 



JIM'S STORY 

I was born in Boston, May 1, 1670. My father, 
George Burroughs, then an ordained minister, was travel- 
ing on a circuit, preaching in stores, schoolhouses or any 
place where it was convenient, as most preachers did at 
that time. When I was four years old we moved to 
Salem, where father had charge of the Salem Mission, 
and when I was twelve years of age my mother died. 

Father's liberal views did not please Samuel Harris 
and several other officials of the church, and they peti- 
tioned the presiding elder that he be removed. 

Soon father learned that a settlement at Casco Bay, 
Maine, a landing on the coast nearly 100 miles north of 
Salem, had no preacher, so accordingly, one morning 
after a friend had given us our lodging, breakfast and 
two dollars in money, we started on foot for Casco Bay. 
The evening before leaving, we had spent several hours 
fixing up mother's grave, and as we passed by the yard 
the next morning we went in and knelt, and I remember 
how father thanked God that our angel mother had passed 
to the land of dreams, "Where the wicked cease from 
troubling and the weary art at rest." 

On our way along the north shore road, father 
preached several times, for which the people lodged, fed 
and gave us some money. On arriving at our destination, 
father announced that he would preach next morning, 
Sunay, in Gordon Richardson's barn. Well do I remem- 
31 



32 LOOKING BACK 

ber the text, "Come unto me, all ye that are weary and 
heavy laden, and I will give ye rest." I noticed all paid 
close attention and some shed tears, and when we sang, 
all joined in and it seems to me I have never heard such 
voices since. It was a bright, clear summer day, all the 
little settlement was quiet, and when those standing out- 
side joined in the chorus the peaceful strains seemed to 
waft my soul far away and make me think that I was 
with my mother. 

After it was over Lucius Aborn, when shaking hands, 
said, "Your talk suits me, Mr. Burroughs, and although 
I'm not a church-going man, here is my dollar, and I want 
you and the boy to come right up to my house and stay 
six or eight weeks, and we will all pitch in and find you 
a place to live and preach." 

CASCO BAY 

Oh, how well we prospered in that little one-horse 
town, where there was little money, but the fields, orchards 
and gardens brought forth their fruit abundantly, while 
fish and game were plenty. The business center consisted 
of one large grocery and notion store, a sawmill, grist- 
mill, fish and game market, and several large storehouses. 
I soon found employment in the store which was kept by 
Obadiah Stubbs, where I worked while I was not in 
school as long as I lived there. 

At the end of one year, father had ninety members 
in his flock, and was still preaching in the schoolhouse. 
Eight years after our arrival, the congregation had built 
a commodious log and plastered church and father was 
receiving four hundred dollars salary, while I had saved 
two hundred dollars. With this and father's savings, we 
bought the Dimmick place, a comfortable village home. 



LOOKING BACK 33 

On my twenty-first birthday I married Fanny Shep- 
herd, a beautiful blue-eyed girl of eighteen, when we, 
with father, moved into our new quarters, and as Mr. 
Stubbs had proposed taking me in as a partner, we looked 
forward to a happy and prosperous life. 

Father's affectionate acts and words to Fanny caused 
her to love him and, when we were blessed with a little 
baby boy, our happiness was complete, but, oh, how little 
did I dream of the dark storm that was gathering on 
yonder horizon, whose distant thunder I could not hear, 
and angry lightning I could not see, but whose dark 
mantle, when spread over, would cause me to bow down 
in grief, such as few ever realize. 

DEACON HOBBS 

Deacon Hobbs, returning in IMarch, from Salem, 
stated in open church that he had learned that George 
Burroughs was not a regularly ordained minister, even 
if he once had been, and if he received spiritual aid, 
as he claimed, it was not the spirit of God, but that of the 
devil. He advised all members to beware of wolves in 
sheep clothing. 

Father replied : " 'An evil tree cannot bring forth 
good fruit.' Look to the right and left, Deacon Hobbs, 
and view the two hundred members working in the Mast- 
er's vineyard. Compare my life of the past few years 
with yours. I, with my son's assistance, and the liberality 
of my flock, have saved enough to buy a modest home, 
while you have sponged up nearly half the wealth of this 
town. Your barns, storehouses, and pockets are full. I 
have not charged usury for money, cheated the red man 
out of his honest dues or trampled upon the rights of 
widows and orphans ; all these things you have done. I 



34 LOOKING BACK 

think I divine your purpose; but now listen, you steeple 
of soulless piety, neither insinuations nor acts will intimi- 
date me. Not for an extension of this momentary life 
would I budge one hair to the right or left from the 
path my Master has laid out for me. He knows it all, 
and why should I fear?" At this point Hobbs left the 
church. 



THE ARREST 

On May 4, 1692, father, Fanny and myself were at 
the table with the baby boy in father's arms, he saying 
that it did not seem to him that the whole family was 
there unless he had the baby on his knee. As dear Fanny 
was joking him about feeding a baby two weeks old, two 
officers stepped into the room and read a warrant to 
him. It was for the arrest of George Burroughs as being 
suspected of being in complicity with the Devil. The 
warrant was dated Boston, April 30th, 1692. (See Bos- 
ton Records.) 

Without permission to bid us privately good-bye, his 
hands were shackled, he was placed on a horse, and they 
rode away at full gallop. 

Fanny was in no condition to be left alone, but she 
urged me to saddle her father's horse at once and follow 
on. Soon the horse was waiting for me, but she could 
not let me go, she wept so bitterly while she flung her 
lovely arms around my neck, but at last with one sweet 
kiss she bade me hasten and said she would go home 
to Father Shepherd's until I returned. 

Fanny, oh, Fanny ! How little did I think the heart 
which loved me so fondly would soon be silent in the 
grave and I a fugitive and a wanderer — no friends, no 
home, and no one to love me. 

Twenty miles away I caught up with them, when we 
rode nearly three days, with father's hands unnecessarily 
shackled, most of the time. The second day he said: 
35 



36 LOOKING BACK 

"Jimmy, this is my last earthly ride. The church is in 
error and will continue its injustice until some tragedy 
awakens the people, then it will be restrained. I may as 
well suffer as another. Jesus intends righteousness to 
eventually govern His church, but his professed follow- 
ers are often blind to truth and righteousness, and will be 
until some great wrong is committed whereby they can 
place right against wTong for compromise. Do not weep, 
my boy, soon, in a moment as it were, you and I will 
stand before the judge, and who will this judge be? 
Our lives, just the plain record of our lives. There and 
then we can easily forgive those who have wronged us, 
but if we have wronged others, will their forgiveness to 
us set us free? Not unless a higher power steps in. Oh, 
this will be all right, my son, when the sunlight of Jesus 
shall awaken us to the new born day. I was thinking last 
night how glad I was that Jesus had already pleaded my 
cause. Oh, yes, the cause of poor unworthy me. Pray, 
pray, humbly my brave boy. Pray that you enter not into 
temptation and seek revenge. Do not forget that your 
Heavenly Father knows your inmost secret thoughts, and 
when you pray ask Jesus to forgive my tormentors, for 
as he said on Calvary, 'They know not what they do.' " 

I will omit the bitter experience I passed through 
during father's sham trial and cruel execution. 



THE MARTYRS 

The public records of the execution of the Salem 
martyrs were : 

June 10. 1692. 
Bridget Bishop. 

July 19, 1692. 
Sarah Good, Sarah Wildes, Lizzie Howe. Rebecca 
Nurse, Susanna Martin. 

August 19, 1692. 
George Burroughs. John Proctor. George Jacobs, John 
\\'illard. ]\Iartha Carrier. 

September 19, 1692. 
Giles Corey. 

September 22, 1692. 
Martha Corey, Mary Easty, Alice Parker, Ann Pude- 
ator, Margaret Scott, Wilmot Reed, Samuel Wardwell, 
Mary Parker. 

Abel Pike, John Richardson, Mary Parsons, Annie 
Hibbins, Margaret Jones, and others were known to have 
been executed, but there is no record of their arrest or 
trial at Salem. On the gallows, Richardson said : "Go 
on with your hanging, I do not want to live in a world 
with such fools." 



37 



THE ESCAPE 

The evening after father's execution I started for 
Casco Bay, and on arriving at a tavern about ten miles 
out, I found two officers awaiting me. I was at once 
taken back to the same prison and placed in a cell to await 
my turn on gallows hill. 

The jailer, whom I had know when a boy, said his 
orders were to give me bread and water once a day. He 
was a man about my size, but I knew that I was stronger 
than he; besides in a struggle for life, I believed my 
guardian angel would increase my power. I concluded 
that if once outside the jail, with ten minutes the start, I 
could reach the woods and make my way to some far- 
away Indian tribe and in time come and take Fanny 
and the baby to live with me among the natives, who, 
now, to me, seemed angels. 

Accordingly, when he came about noon the third day, 
I pointed to the wall back of him, saying, "What is 
that?" and when he turned, I slipped my hand under his 
arm and seized him by the throat, and with the other in 
his long hair I broke him backwards over my knee to 
the ground, continuing my deadly grip until he ceased to 
struggle and lay like one dead. Then, quickly, before 
he revived, I slipped on his official garb and drawing his 
hat over my face started for the door, which I passed 
through and slammed behind me. Then lazily locking it 
and dangling the bunch of keys I had taken from him 
I walked towards Cotton Mather, who was standing, his 
38 



LOOKING BACK 39 

back to me, and unlocked one of the cells. Then, as he 
did not notice me, I passed him, and on turning towards 
the outer door I saw the jailer's assistant, who was talk- 
ing to a female prisoner, whom I also passed without 
interruption. Stepping into the free world, I locked the 
door behind me, leaving the keys in the door, and walked 
down the road, to a woodshed, where I threw off the 
official garb and ran to the woods for dear life. 

I now worked my way to Casco Bay with great diffi- 
culty. I could not travel nights, for fear of the wolves, 
so I crept cautiously along in the daytime through the 
woods and came down and slept in barns nights, where 
I usually found milk or eggs ; and on the fifth day, as the 
sun was setting, I arrived in an opening on what we called 
Chestnut Hill, and looked down on the village of Casco 
Bay. 



STUBBS' STORE 

Oh, I wanted to see Fanny so badly, but I knew I was 
on dangerous ground, as officers would surely be waiting 
for me, and probably at Father Shepherd's was where 
they would expect to find me. Accordingly I decided to 
wait until midnight and then go down to Mr. Stubbs' 
store, where I had worked so many years, and could 
easily gain entrance, and hide among the boxes and lie 
there through the day to learn from overhearing what 
was going on about the village. So after breaking into 
the store and eating my fill of Stubbs' crackers and cheese, 
I fixed my nest under the dirty old front counter and fell 
asleep. 

In the morning I heard the boy unlock the store, 
which reminded me of the times I first came there. He 
walked directly on the brown sugar hogshead and stood 
and ate for about three minutes, and then began to hunt 
for the broom while with his mouth full of cheese he 
tried to whistle a lively tune. 

Soon another boy came in and I heard him say, "Hello, 
Ralph, did you hear about the 'tectives?" 

" 'Tectives — what is a 'tective ?" 

"Why, don't you know, Ralph ? I have always known 
that. Besides father told us all about it this morning. 
They are officers with their coats buttoned up, and you 
would think they were real men until they catch you 
and take you to jail and hang you; so father says." 

"Gracious alive ! Have you seen a live one. Bill ?" 
40 



LOOKING BACK 41 

"No, I never have, but father has. He said there were 
two hanging around Uncle Wilham's last night. He 
thinks they are the same ones which carried off our 
minister, and he says he don't know who they are after 
unless it is Jim Burroughs, and it can't be him, either, 
for he is dead, they say the Indians or wolves have eat 
him up." 

"Golly, that's strange. Bill. Maybe they're after Jim's 
wife. You know them pleggy ministers at Salem kill 
lots of good folks." 

"Oh, no, Ralph, no 'tectives haven't touched her. be- 
cause she's got a baby, besides she is awful sick. \\'hen 
she heard Jim was dead she went right into spazumbs or 
something, and she is going to die. Why, she moans so 
loud we can hear her clear over to our house. Mother 
said she was crazy all day and thought that Jim was at 
the foot of the bed and would not take her in his arms. 
She kept saying, 'Oh, Jim, Jim, don't you love me any 
more, won't you let me put my arms around your neck 
and kiss you once more before I die ?' " 

Here the conversation ended, and I could see Ralph 
with his arm on Bill's shoulder both sobbing and wiping 
the tears with their dirty sleeve and I bowed my face 
down and moaned until Ralph said, "What was that 
noise?" 

Stubbs came in and said, "Ralph, why have you not 
swept the. floor?" 

"Because I can't find the broom. Besides Bill has 
been telling me all about how sick Jim Burroughs' wife 
is, and how there is 'tectives around here to catch some 
one — I think vou had better look out." 



42 LOOKING BACK 

"It isn't 'tectives, Ralph, say detectives. Do wipe the 
sugar off your mouth and speak more proper." 

"Didn't know there was sugar on my mouth — Oh, yes, 
there was a lump fell out of the hogshead when I was 
sweeping, and it was so dirty that I did not like to put it 
back into the clean sugar, so I ate it." 

"I thought you said you had not swept, for you could 
not find the broom." 

"Oh — I — ^yes — say, Mr. Stubbs, did you ever see a 
live detective?" 

"Now, that will do, Ralph ; never mind the sweeping ; 
go and count Mrs. Armstrong's eggs, for she is waiting. 
Now, Ralph, do not count double-yelk eggs for two any 
more, do you understand?" 

"I don't see why, as long as there might be a rooster 
and a pullet." 

"Yes — yes — Mrs. Armstrong, he is coming as soon as 
he grasps the cause of twins." 

PAUL DIMOCK 

Stubbs and the boy now trudged around the store 
waiting on customers until about 10 o'clock, when Paul 
Dimock came in and engaged Stubbs in an undertone, 
but being directly over my head, I could hear all. "I 
have learned," said Dimock, "that two detectives are 
stopping at Deacon Hobbs', and have been several days, 
and no one knows who they are looking for." 

"You see, Paul," said Stubbs, "that Hobbs was in- 
strumental in Brother Burroughs' arrest, and I have 
been told his daughter, Abigail, swore at Salem that she 
saw two black devils standing behind Brother Burroughs 
while praying — " 



LOOKING BACK 43 

At this point a third party came in, and I recognized 
the well-known voice of Susan Beaver. 

"Isn't it awful about Deacon Hobbs?" she said. "I 
suppose that is your secret? Why, I do think it is just 
terrible." 

"What news, Mrs. Beaver? What have you heard?" 

"Why, last night when Tom came home late, he said 
he saw two strangers come out of the woods and sneak 
into the deacon's house. So, out of curiosity, Sarah and 
I slid around and peeped in at the window, and sure 
enough there they were, eating supper and the deacon 
was — hush, there comes old Hobbs now." 

"Good afternoon. Deacon," said Stubbs, "what is the 
news ?" 

"Bad news, awful bad. They say Fanny Burroughs 
is very low. My heart aches for that family. James was 
a good boy, and I wonder if anyone knows for certain 
that he is dead . I think possibly he may be among the 
Indians yet, although Shepherds' folks are sure he is 
dead, or he would come to Fanny. I suppose you have no 
particulars. Then there was George, his father, that 
they hung down at Salem. I wonder where they got 
evidence to convict him? To be sure, he and I did not 
exactly agree as to our religious views, but I never took 
that to heart, and would have done all I could to have 
saved him, even if he was not a regular ordained min- 
ister. I think from his record here that he was honest, 
don't you, Mr. Dimock?" 

"Yes, Deacon Hobbs, I do. And James, his son, was 
an honest, upright and worthy citizen, and whoever was 
instrumental in causing those officers at Salem to come 
into our midst and take them away and murder them 
outright will surely repent when it is too late. I believe 



44 LOOKING BACK 

they have imprisoned Jim, and either have or will hang 
him, for the report of his being killed by the Indians, or 
wolves, may have come direct from Salem. Oh, Mr. 
Hobbs, it shatters my faith, that our Heavenly Father 
allows such men to live. This is terrible," he uttered, 
as he wiped the perspiration from his face and repeated, 
"terrible, terrible." Then as if aroused by wrong, he 
raised his voice as he faced the deacon, and continued : 
"Deacon Hobbs, I am no more safe than they were. If 
an officer should come in here now and arrest me for 
complicity with the devil, I should consider it my death 
knell, would you not ?" 

"Well, really," began the deacon, "I do not know. 
You see, I have been down to Salem and talked with 
Cotton Mather and others prominent in the church, and 
they seem to be worthy Christians. I have thought 
George Burroughs may have been convicted of some other 
crime. You see, the prison is closely guarded and all we 
get is hearsay." 



SUSAN BEAVER 

The reader will remember that Susan Beaver was 
talking when the deacon came in, and now stood listening 
to his subterfuge, and Dimock's stinging insinuations. 
As I remember Susan, she was short, stout, with black 
eyes, glistening teeth, and quick movements. She tried 
to keep silent, but now her cup of wrath was full, and 
reached the high-water mark, where danger could not 
restrain the break, and she broke: 

"Deacon Hobbs, you miserable old liar, I saw the 
detectives in your house myself. Maybe they're waiting 
to take my husband to Salem. If so, you can inform 
them that they can never cross our threshold unless it 
is over my dead body. You say you do not know much 
about it. Was not Abigail at Salem, swearing against 
the minister? Did not you both swear he was in league 
with the Devil? Now you say he may have been con- 
victed of some other crime. George Burroughs, that 
worthy Christian minister, defile his name, now he is 
dead, will you? Oh, you ought not to live another min- 
ute," and suiting the action to the w^ord, she sprang 
across the store to the old cheese box. Now, I knew the 
cheese knife was long and heavy, and in the hands of a 
desperate woman. Bang-slam-bang, they went around 
and around the store, he holding a chair before him and 
crying, "Help ! Murder !" while she struck out wildly 
without speaking a word. Dimock and Stubbs sprang 
45 



46 LOOKING BACK 

in to save the deacon's life, but when I peeped through 
the crack and saw the broad grin on Dimock's face, I 
concluded their interference was not genuine. The deacon 
worked around the counter, when she sprang on top and 
had him in a trap, at which he dropped his chair and ran 
and plunged through the window headlong. After he 
had escaped, and Susan had time to think, she sat down 
and began to cry, but on being assured by Dimock that 
no one would think the less of her, she left the store. 

While Paul was helping board up the broken window, 
I overheard Stubbs ask him : "Do you consider Cotton 
Mather and his associates murderers?" 

"Oh, no," was the reply, "not exactly that. It is a 
phenomenal wave of insanity. Similar waves have spread 
their gloomy pall over the innocent, long before Joshua 
put the women and children to death at Jericho. These 
Salemites are at war with the Devil on the same prin- 
ciple that one nation wars with another ; they justify 
themselves through a spasmodic lunacy, that duty calls 
them to kill their fellow beings. 

"God works in a mysterious way. Cotton Mather may 
be blind. He may be a tool in the hand of a higher 
power. Finite beings do not comprehend the infinite. If 
God permits, does He not sanction? These cruelties 
will have a tendency to humanize Christianit}^ When 
years have passed and Brother Burroughs thinks over 
earthly life he will not regret that his Maker called him 
home at noon. Friendship and love will increase towards 
the Burroughs family. They are just leaving their lights 
along the shore. The love of Jesus will spread when the 
church shall have hatched out of its shell of ignorance ; 
then it will stand on a higher and more liberal plane; 



LOOKING BACK 47 

midnight to us may be morning to the angels. Do you 
know, Stubbs, what is the main trouble with the human 
family ?" 

"I do not, Paul. What is it?" 

"It is that they know less than they are aware of." 

After the store had been closed and Stubbs was work- 
ing on his books, I heard the door open and some one 
come in. 

"Good evening, doctor. How is Fanny Burroughs?" 

The doctor came near and replied in an almost inaudi- 
ble voice, "She is dead." The little bullet-headed doctor 
was affected, for I could hear his voice tremble. "Oh, 
well," he replied to Stubbs' inquiry, "She had no disease, 
the poor girl actually died of a broken heart. Such suf- 
fering I never saw before, but when she did go if you 
had seen her, Stubbs, you would never question the 
theory of life beyond dissolution of the body. She raised 
her eyes upwards, smiled so sweetly and said : 'Oh, 
father, father, where is Jim?' I am sorry, Stubbs, I 
have not led a better life, for I have known Fanny 
Shepherd since she was born and if God will forgive the 
past, I will turn over a new leaf and try to meet her 
when I die. I know now that our minister, whom I 
always ridiculed, was right there in the room with us 
when she was dying. Besides, Mr. Stubbs, I believe Jim 
is alive, for if he had been dead he would have been the 
first one for her to recognize. You see, she was expect- 
ing to see him and he was not there." 

Here Jim's heart and voice seemed to fail and Win- 
nie put her arm around his neck and they sobbed con- 
vulsively for a moment and then continued : 

When all was still I crept from my hiding place, 
washed my face, but could not eat. As usual, the shutters 



48 LOOKING BACK 

were closed, so I lit a candle and began to rummage 
around the store. I found Stubbs had a new musket with 
a horn of powder and a bag of shot, and as I knew he 
would gladly give them to me, I took them. Then I 
waited until near dawn, when I went out to the hill in 
the woods and stayed all day, on the very spot where I 
had spent many happy hours with Fanny. 1 could look 
down into the room where I had courted and wedded my 
dear Fanny, and could see part on one of her arms, as 
her body lay near the window, in Father Shepherd's 
house. Also I saw the village carpenter making my 
Fanny's coffin and a stranger digging her grave. That 
night I slept in the store again and the next day, from 
the same hill, I saw them lower her body into the grave, 
but my heart was locked in despair; I could not weep. 



REVENGE 

At night I came down and went to the grave. The 
distant stars seemed to be shedding their soft light on a 
lonely world, while the moon about setting cast her 
ghastly beams among the chestnut trees, making the 
scene, oh, so lonely, in that silent little graveyard. Out 
upon the cold waters of the bay I could see the silver 
waves glisten in the moonlight among the familiar bayous, 
which I should never see again, while far beyond the 
bosom of the great Atlantic seemed to heave a sigh of 
grief at my loneliness. I fell upon dear Fanny's grave, 
kissed the clay and wondered if she was there. Then 
breathing a long farewell, I folded my hands in prayer, 
asking God to forgive me for the crime I was about to 
commit. 

Hastily I then walked towards Stubbs' store, resolved 
to settle with Deacon Hobbs and then turn my back on 
white man forever. I entered the store and wrote on a 
slip of brown paper: "Obadiah Stubbs, a friend has 
taken your gun and ammunition," and placed the slip 
in the cash drawer. 

When outside of the store I walked lively to the 
deacon's nearest storehouse, then ran from one to the 
other, and at last set fire to his home, then stepped back 
into the lilac bushes and cocked my gun. 

Soon I saw great curls of smoke ascending from the 
storehouses on the wharf, then the barns and sheds, and 
now the home had caught fire. Then seeing the family 
49 



50 LOOKING BACK 

in danger, to awaken them I seized a rock and dashed it 
through the window. 

The family were now aroused and Hobbs ran to the 
well for water, when I raised my gun, but a shadow came 
before me, and I could not see him. Again he ran out 
and again I raised the gun, determined to kill him, just 
as I felt a soft pressure on my shoulder and turning 
quickly I found myself alone. Then I knew I must not. 

As I walked away from old Chestnut Hill, I gave 
one last, lingering look. It was now daybreak, and as I 
gazed down on the little village where I had spent so 
many happy days I saw that all of Deacon Hobbs' wealth 
had ascended into smoke. Stubbs' old store looked as 
dingy and dirty as ever. Father's church, on which I had 
often looked so fondly, now seemed silently waiting to 
catch the first glimmer of the morning sun as it came 
to give light and life to the hills and valleys of old New 
England. Father Shepherd's house, the door through 
which I had passed so many times with a light heart, 
were all plain to my view. Once more I looked through 
the trees to the grave of Fanny and walked away. 



ALONE IN THE WILDERNESS 

About noon, the first day out, I met three Indians 
and we took lunch together, they furnishing bear meat 
and I cheese and crackers, which I had borrowed from 
Stubbs. After this I trudged on, following an old trail 
in a westerly direction, hoping to find Indians who could 
give me shelter for the night, but finding none, I started 
a fire at dark to scare the wolves away and prepared to 
stay in the woods alone. 

As darkness came on and my fire lit up the woods, I 
was lonely and yearned for a friend, while a strangeness 
came over me which caused me to shudder. The excite- 
ment had past, and I was left to contemplate as to the 
course I had taken and where my pathway of life might 
be leading me. I saw myself, as only a short time before, 
a promising young man of the wild wood harbor village ; 
but now alone in the wilderness, soon to be a ragged, 
friendless outcast. Was my condition better or worse 
than Fanny's or father's? Silently I knelt and implored 
the unseen to forgive all and keep me pure in heart as 
I wended my way over mountains of trouble and through 
vales of temptation. 

While pondering I heard the flapping of wings, and 
a large owl came and lit on a dry limb above me and began 
its lonely hooting. The night was still, save the occasional 
bark of a wolf and the echo of the bird's dreary chant, 
which under ordinary circumstances would have startled 
51 



52 LOOKING BACK 

me, but now rising to my feet I gazed at the intruder 
with an eye of gladness and longed to caress him as a 
friend, while I murmured, "Your lot on earth as com- 
pared with mine is to be envied. Carelessly and thought- 
lessly youi- days pass with no regret for the past or 
anxiety for the morrow, while my sympathetic heart, 
actuated by an ingenious brain, dashes cold waves of 
sorrow against bleak rocks of cruel destiny." 

I closed my eyes and again implored my Heavenly 
Father to increase my strength to tread the thorny way. 
Then I pondered over my condition again and cried, "Oh, 
the heart — the human heart — that beats in sympathy i 
Oh, the soul that longs to comfort some one and yearns 
to be loved in return !" 

Gazing high into the far away Eternity where all 
seemed lovely and serene, I said, "Silence is the token 
of love. Fanny is ; yes, she still lives, but she is silent 
and in her silence she loves me still." 

Then the stars, hills and trees, like friends, came near 
and shared with me my troubles, and as I sank upon the 
ground overcome I thought I was a child again and 
mother whispered low and sweet, "Love your enemies 
and Jesus will love you." 

Resting upon a bed of leaves with my boots for a 
pillow, the angel of dreams took me in her fair arms. 
Fanny and I were walking beside a laughing crytsal 
stream, gathering wild flowers, whose fragrance seemed 
to fill the balmy air, where familiar birds came and 
warbled sweet notes over our heads while the soft sun- 
shine bore upon the scene, peeping into the shady grove 
and forming our peaceful nook into a perfect bower of 
love. Here upon a bank strewn with tiny violets I 
kneeled at Fanny's feet and asked her to become my 




POOR JIM. LONELY BUT XOT ALOXL. p-ANM E IS NEAR. 



LOOKING BACK 53 

wife. She did not speak, but looked on me with her own 
sweet smile as she glided softly away. I arose to follow 
her, when I awoke and found myself alone in the dark 
woods. 

Morrxing came at last, and not being able to taste 
my food, I trudged on, and in a few days reached Spring- 
field, where I first assumed the name of James Hall. 
There I worked about ten days for a man named Anson 
Newell, but when I learned there were two families 
there from Salem I feared detection and decided to go. 



HUNTING FOR BABY 

I now abandoned the idea of living with the Indians 
and worked my way over the Green Mountains, then 
down the Hudson River to New York. During the 
winter my mind was continually on my baby boy, and 
when spring came I started East to try to locate him. 
At Hartford I stayed a few days, hoping to find someone 
from Casco Bay, but being unsuccessful I went on and 
spent the night with about thirty Indians in the dark 
grove south of Wabbaquassett Lake. Here I found a 
buck and his squaw, who had lived near Casco Bay, but 
they knew nothing of church affairs. 

Next morning near Stafford, just as I was turning 
north from the river bend, I met a party of hunters, one 
of whom I recognized as Josiah Converse, from near 
Casco Bay. After passing, I overheard him remark- 
"That man looks and walks just exactly like Jim Bur- 
roughs, and if I did not know he was dead, I would 
swear it was he." This remark disturbed me, for I had 
thought that my full beard and shabby clothes had dis- 
guised me. Soon I passed near my baby boy but did not 
know it. 

When I arrived at Casco Bay I was puzzled as to 
how I was to get my information. Stubbs' store could 
not be approached now, as I had left traces of my last 
visit and someone might be on the alert, so I hung around 
Chestnut Hill three days, secreted near the road, hoping 
54 



LOOKING BACK 55 

to see someone passing who was a stranger. Several 
acquaintances passed each day, among whom was old 
Deacon Hobbs, which made my blood boil, and I almost 
forgot that I was to love my enemies. One day a strange 
boy approached and I ran up to the brow of the hill and 
then turned and met him. 

"Does Deacon Hobbs live in this town?" I inquired. 

"Yes, he lives over there in that cottage." 

"Do you think he wants to hire a man?" 

"Oh, no, he does not want help. He is poor now ; all 
he had is burned up." 

"Who did it?" 

"We do not know, but think it was an angel from 
heaven, and every one is glad." 

"Why were they glad?" 

"Oh, because he killed the minister. That was last 
year, and I was not here." 

"How did he do it?" 

"\\^ell, he did not kill him, but he got some folks down 
in Salem to come up and arrest him and they hanged 
him." 

"Did he kill anyone else?" 

"Yes, he killed James Burroughs and Fanny, too, so 
Mr. Shepherd says." 

"Who were they?" 

"James was the minister's son and Fanny was his 
wife. I live with the Shepherds and heard them say 
these things." 

"Did James and Fanny have any children?" 

"Yes, they must have had one, for I heard Mrs. Shep- 
herd tell how the minister's sister came on from Boston 
and took it home with her." 



56 LOOKING BACK 

Then looking inquiringly in my face, he said, "Say, 
mister, are you sick?" 

"Oh, no," I replied, and we passed on. 

On arriving at Boston I learned that uncle had died 
and Aunt Hannah had gone with her sister, Abigail, who 
lived in Salem. In Salem, with great difficulty, I learned 
they had sold out all their property and gone West. All 
further efforts were fruitless and I returned to New York 
and began to work at my last winter's job, where I worked 
quietly, ever on the alert to gain tidings of my boy. 



MULDOON 

One day while I was working with an Irishman 
named Muldoon, the proprietor, Mr. Benjamin, came 
along, leading his little daughter, who, pointing to Mul- 
doon, said, "Papa, what makes you hire paddies? I do 
not like them." Muldoon resented the innocent prattle, 
and turning to Benjamin, said: "Will ye allow that wee 
bit of a brat to spake that way of a gintleman?" 

"You are no gentleman to call a child a brat, and if 
you answer back I'll discharge you at once." 

Pat tugged away in silence and when Benjamin had 
gone he said : "I niver knew but one mon in me life as 
mane as ould Benjamin and that was Cotton Mather 
himself." 

"\A'hat do you know about Cotton Mather?" I eagerly 
inquired. 

"Nothing good, sir." 

"Were you ever at Salem?" 

"Do yees think that auld Ben aught to larn that wee 
bit of a snipe to insolt the loikes of me?" 

"But, Pat, that does not answer my question." 

"Thin why should a gintlemin aloix yee be axen me- 
self quistions which I niver knew a-tal-tal?" 

"Yes, you do know, and if I explain why I am so 
anxious you'll tell me all you can, won't you, Pat?" 

"Yees moight be an officer." 
57 



58 LOOKING BACK 

"Nonsense, Pat, haven't you worked beside me for 
a long time?" 

"Sure, but you moight be." 

"No, I am not, and you should not be afraid, for you 
have never committed any crime." 

"Oh, Init it was the innocent that they murthered. 
But, Jim, if yees will lit me come to your room at the did 
o' night and yees will kiss the Holy Cross and hold the 
sacred Mary to your heart while ye swear niver to till, 
I might till yees the bit I know." 

When Pat arrived at midnight he whispered in my 
ear, "Ye see, that if Cotton Mather hears that I till the 
truth he will git some one to swear I am posist with the 
devil and they will hang me sure." 

After I had explained to him how large a dowery had 
been left for the Burroughs family, and that a child had 
been lost, he said : "Then it is not Giles Corey yees are 
after hearing, for I might tell yees more about him, for 
I lived with him both before and after he was dead." 

"No, I want you to tell me all about George Bur- 
roughs. Did you ever hear about him ?" 

"Faith and indade, I did, I heard him make his last 
prayer when on the gallows, asking God to forgive his 
inimies and we all wipped loike babbies, we did." 

"Did he have a family?" 

"Yis, a son. A fair young mon. He looked so much 
loike yees that I think of him when yees walk along, but 
he is dead, poor bye. When he started home he lost his 
way and the wolves ate him. Some said he may not be 
ded, but shot up in prison to be hung, but I know he 
was dead, for I hilped to bury his bones." 

"Did you see them?" 



LOOKING BACK 59 

"No, they were in a box, but I knew he was ded, fer 
he did not smill hke a Hve man, and his wife died, but 
they had a httle one, who is alive now." 

"Where is he?" 

"He was first taken to Boston to his Aunt Hannah's 
and thin to his Aunt Abigail's in Salem, thin a man came 
on from Stafford, Conn., and took him to keep. His 
wife was Aunt Hannah's daughter and Aunt Agibail wint 
to Stafford hersilf." 

The day I arrived at Stafford Street I walked from 
Hartford, and the nearer I came the faster I walked. 
When I arrived at the village some men were working 
on the road and in answer to my inquiry, said : "The 
widow Abigail Drake lives in that red house," which 
they pointed out. I called on her under the pretense 
of buying her home, and staid quite a while. She men- 
tioned some of the best families. Deans, Converses, Rich- 
ardsons, etc., but I could not find out who had the boy 
until I spoke of the church, when she mentioned that 
Deacon Felker had adopted a boy who was her nephew. 
Then I asked her who his parents were. She hesitated, 
and then said, "His father and mother are both dead." 

"Were you acquainted with his father?" 

"Yes, I was ; he was a man about your build, only 
when I saw him last he was in trouble, and pale and thin." 

"What trouble?" 

"Trouble," she replied wiping the tears away with her 
apron. Then coming near me inquired quizzically, "What 
is your name?" 

I saw she was on the point of detecting me. and look- 
ing straight in her eye I answered, "James Hall." 

Again she hesitated and then said, "You do look so 
much like James Burroughs, who is dead, that I thought 



60 LOOKING BACK 

the dead had been raised." She then told me all about 
father's execution, Fanny's death and mine, after which 
I walked over to Deacon Felker's. 

When I arrived, there was no one in but the deacon, 
so I struck him up for a job. Soon I saw a lady coming 
up the walk who I at once recognized as Cousin Phoebe, 
whom I had not seen for fifteen years. Beside her ran 
a little^ boy. The deacon introduced me, and in shaking 
hands I squeezed hers so hard that she looked up quickly, 
then presuming me to be very rough, she spoke pleas- 
antly. Then I picked up my own little boy and as in 
some phantom mirror, Fanny seemed to look me right in 
the face. 

While waiting for tea, Winnie Richardson came in 
and adroitly introduced herself by saying, 'T presume 
our town looks tame to you, especially if you've been 
living in the city, but to us who have never traveled 
Stafford is the center of the world." 

At the conclusion of Jim's story the sweet Winnie 
softly caressed the troubled man with her arm around his 
neck, and here we leave Winnie and Jim, to whirl and 
swirl in their frail barques of life, on the restless waves 
of time, until they mysteriously cross the bar out into the 
unknown ocean of Eternity, from whence, if they return 
to guide our thoughts, we do not comprehend it. 




OUR MOUNTAIN HOME NEAR WABBAQUASSETT LAKE, BUILT BY WARREN 

RICHARDSON, 1832. 

PORTRAITS OF CHILDREN, 1870, EXCEPT AIARIETTE. LEFT TO RIGHT. ELIZA. 

ADELIA, COLLINS. CAROLINE, MERRICK, GORDON, JANETTE. 



OUR WABBAQUASSETT MOUNTAIN HOME 

John, my Grandfather Richardson, son of Uriah, 
built his home on the east side of the Devil's Hopyard, 
while Abner, one of John Dimock's ten sons, built his 
home on the west side. 

John Richardson raised a family of boys, John, War- 
ren, Collins, Marvin, Orson, and one girl, Fanny, while 
Abner Dimock raised a family of girls, Lovey, Manerva, 
Luna, Hannah, Arminia, Abigail, and one boy, Abner. 

Warren Richardson crossed the Hopyard, wooed and 
won Luna Dimock, and they built their nest near \A'ab- 
baquassett Lake, where the flowers bloom in early spring, 
wild birds awake the summer morn and the babbling 
brook sings through the winding vale below, all day long. 

Here they raised a group of laughing, frolicing, romp- 
ing backwoods mischief and their names were: 

Mariette A. — Married Frank Slater. 

Eliza L. — Married Lucius Kibbes. 

Adelia A. — Married Epaphro Dimock. 

Caroline C. — Married Lucius Aborn. 

Collins W.— Married Martha Aborn. 

Merrick A. — Married Mary Hoyt. 

Gordon M. — Married Amanda Pitt. 

Janette A. — Married George Newell. 

\\'abbaquassett retained its virgin bloom of nature 
long after the surrounding country had been occupied 
by white invaders. 

61 



62 LOOKING BACK 

Stafford, Ellington, Somers and Tolland Streets had 
become self -centered, while the sleeping beauty, Wab- 
baquassett, was held by the Nipmunks as a sort of ren- 
dezvous for the Pequods, Mohegans, Mohawks, Narra- 
gansetts and several other tribes who were roaming over 
New England, stealing fowls, cattle and even children, 
for the red man felt that the brooks, lakes and forests, 
together with all they contained, virtually belonged to 
him. 

Wabbaquassett of old, with its broad sandy shore, 
dreaming in the protecting arms of a dense forest of oak, 
pine, chestnut and maple giants was truly the gem of 
New England. 

When the Richardsons, Dimocks, Newells and Aborns 
began their encroachment into these forests the Indians 
were loath to leave their pow-wow home in the oak 
grove, on the south shore of the lake, for the American 
Indian dreaded the law more than the tomahawk, but 
the following instance routed them. 

A buck named Wappa, who lived on the shore, south 
of the old West Rock, killed his squaw, Dianah, for which 
he was tried at Tolland Street and hanged. On the gal- 
lows he saw Captain Abner Dimock, my mother's father, 
among the spectators and called for him to come on the 
gallows and pray for him. 

My father and mother were in the crowd and when 
the sheriff asked the Indian if he was ready, mother 
fainted. The execution took place August 22, 1816, after 
which the Indians left Wabbaquassett and never returned. 

In those days, Wabbaquassett, since called Square 
Pond, and now Crystal Lake, was the nucleus of four 
prominent families, Dimocks, Richardsons, Newells and 
Aborns. 



LOOKING BACK 



63 



The group consisted of the following families 
Abner Dimock Anson Newell 

Orwell Dimock Armherst Newell 

Ephraim Dimock Charles Newell 

Lorain Dimock Ezekiel Newell 

Sexton Dimock Ephraim Newell 



Warren Richardson 
Orson Richardson 
Marvin Richardson 
John Richardson 
Royal Richardson 



Lucius Aborn 
Parkel Aborn 
Morton Aborn 
Gilbert Aborn 
Jedediah Aborn 



Of these twenty families in 1850 I now find, at the 
Lake, only one descendant, A. M. Richardson, son of my 
brother, Collins, who with his interesting wife, Bessie, 
actually holds the fort alone. 



WOODCHUCK IN THE WALL 

Recently when my son Arthur and myself with our 
families were touring with automobile over the Alle- 
ghanies, up the sea-shore, and over the Green Moun- 
tains, we spent several days at the Lake, with many old- 
timers who came to meet us, when they coaxed me to tell 
the woodchuck story, which ran as follows : Bow-wow- 
wow is heard on the hillside across the little meadow from 
our old farm house. We boys, Gordon and I, drop our 
hoes and run, for we knew by the sound that old Skip 
had a woodchuck in the wall and wanted us to come and 
get him out. 

"Hold on, Gordon," said I, "now is the time for us 
to give our Towser a chance." 

Towser was a young bull terrier, we boys had bought 
of Holmes, who had recommended him to be able to 
catch the largest ox by the nose and hold him, or catch 
a hog by the ear and hold the hog, or off would come the 
ear, and as for woodchucks, he would pick them up as a 
hen would pick up kernels of corn. 

Our Towser, as we boys called him, was at once un- 
chained and we were off to the pasture on the hillside, 
whcx-e in days gone by, old Skip had captured so many 
woodchucks. 

As we ran along, the conversation ran thus : 

"Hey-hey, Towser," said I, "Mr. Woodchuck don't 
know that you're coming ; he thinks it is old Skip, but 
when he sees you, he will know that he's got to die." 
64 



LOOKING BACK 65 

"Oh, dear," said Gordon, "when he gets those great 
white teeth on to him, won't the blood fly? I hope he 
won't swallow him whole, for we want his hide to make 
shoe strings." 

"You bet," said I. Then patting the dog on the head, 
I continued : "Won't old Skip be ashamed when he sees 
you, Towser?" 

Skip was a little brindle cur who had watched the 
whole farm night and day for ten years. He would never 
worry the cat or chase the chickens, but would speak, roll 
over, sit up, or play he was dead, to please us boys. He 
could hustle the cattle out of the corn, keep the pigs from 
the door and had kept all the rabbits and woodchucks 
away from the garden. In fact, he was a friend to every- 
one except Towser. Of course, he was jealous of him. 

\Mien we boys arrived on the scene, we found old 
Skip bounding over the wall back and forth, barking, 
squealing, pawing and biting off roots in his great excite- 
ment, while the woodchuck was chattering, whistling and 
snapping his teeth in great shape. 

"Oh, look here, Gordon," said I, as I peeped into 
the wall, "He is as big as two tomcats ; it must be the 
one father said had been nibbling all our green pumpkins." 

"Yes, yes," says Gordon, "Pa said Skip has been try- 
ing to get between him and his hole all summer, and now 
our Towser has got him at last. Say, Merrick, don't you 
think we had better let Skip kill him. I'm afraid that 
Towser will tear him all to flitters and we won't have 
his hide left." 

Now there was a terrible yelping and we discovered 
that the big bulldog was shaking little Skip unmercifully. 
We clubbed him off, and tried to drive Skip home, as, of 
course, we would not need him any more, but he would 



66 LOOKING BACK 

not go, so we tied him to a white birch tree with Towser's 
chain and continued tearing down the wall. 

Gordon's countenance took on a sort of a funeral 
aspect as he said, "Now, Mr. Woodchuck, you have got 
to die." 

"Yes," said I, as I jammed my dirty thumb into my 
mouth to keep from weeping, "My heart aches for him, 
but it has got to be done." 

Towser was anxious to get at the woodchuck. Every- 
time we boys rolled off a stone, he would jam his head 
into the wall, so anxious was he to get at his prey, while 
poor little Skip, who should have had the honor, was up 
under the white birch tree trying to break the chain and 
come down and help, not even minding his bleeding ear, 
where Towser had bit him. 

At last the right stone was removed and the unfor- 
tunate old woodchuck could do no better than face grim 
death, and he did it bravely. Standing on his little hind 
legs, with his front paws extended, he chattered defiance, 
while snapping his white teeth and awaiting the onslaught. 

Towser plunged into the wall and out came the wood- 
chuck, but to our surprise, Towser had not got the wood- 
chuck, but the woodchuck had Towser right by the nose. 

Over and over they rolled as the blood squirted from 
the dog's nose, each sommersault working them farther 
and farther down the swale in the direction of the wood- 
chuck's hole. Towser roared, bellowed and squealed, 
but the woodchuck would not let go his lucky hold. 

We boys saw the danger of escape and I, seizing a 
club, started on to help Towser, while Gordon ran to 
unchain Skip, as it began to look now as if old Skip's 
help might be necessary after all. 

The clever old woodchuck, who was watching to take 



LOOKING BACK 67 

advantage of the first favorable opportunity, when he saw- 
Skip coming, let go his grip and started for his hole. 
Towser, who was also figuring for his own personal 
safety, when released, curled his tail between his legs 
and started for home, crying "ki-yi-yi-yi." 

Skip bounded forward just in time to seize his wood- 
chuckship by the tail, just as he was entering the hole. 
Now a desperate struggle ensued, the woodchuck trying 
to pull the dog into the hole and the dog trying to pull 
the woodchuck out. 

Skip was losing ground, when, seizing him by the 
hind legs, I planted my bare feet in the gravel and pulled 
with all my might. The woodchuck chattered and 
squealed, the dog shook and growled, as I pulled them 
out, when the tail broke, he darted into the hole, and the 
game was lost. 

Then we boys took Skip up to the spring and washed 
his poor bleeding ear and promised him right then and 
there that we would take Towser back to Mr. Holmes 
and that he, Skip, might run the farm as long as he 
lived. 

Lemuel Warner followed up the woodchuck story by 
acting out, in his genial manner, the stuttering man trying 
to testify in prayer-meeting. Orino Richardson and 
Perlin Richardson came in with their extremely ridicu- 
lous tales, followed by hymns and old plantation songs. 

In all this we seemed to forget ourselves, with the 
fifty years of ups and down on Life's tempestuous waves, 
and in friendly glee we were back again in that fair 
morning, dreamily anticipating Life's strange journey, so 
unlike the reality fond memory now reveals. 

Together we all visited the cemeteries on the hill at 
the north, where the rippling waves of old Wabbaquas- 



68 LOOKING BACK 

sett click along the shore so near the feet of those whose 
voices we do not hear, but whose sweet smiles seem to 
reflect back to us their beauty as our earthly vision grows 
dim. 

Soon the stranger will pause to read and say : "Who 
were all these Richardsons, Newells, Aborns and Dim- 
ocks ?" In the silence reason seems to whisper : They 
came forth in the dawn; enjoyed a brief day; and re- 
turned to the silence of an endless Eternity. 
"Now dear to my heart are the scenes of my childhood, 

When fond recollections present them to view ; 
The orchard, the meadow, the deep-tangled wildwood, 

And every loved spot which my infancy knew. 
The wide-spreading Pond, and the Mill that stood by it, 

The Bridge and the Rock where the cataract fell; 
The Cot of my Father, the dairy-house nigh it, 

And e'en the rude Bucket which hung in the Well." 



SUNDAY AIORNING 

Father and mother did not marry until their home 
had been estabHshed, but they lost no time when they 
got started, for, thirteen years gave them a brood of 
eight children. 

Father was a shrewd dealer in land and cattle, through 
which he gained enough to purchase about 350 acres of 
wild land and built a house and barn, while mother, as 
was customary for New England women, braided palm 
leaf hats for the slaves of the Southern planters, until 
she had saved enough to furnish the house. Then they 
got married. 

Our living room was the big kitchen, where we 
warmed ourselves by the old-fashioned fireplace while the 
pots and kettles hung on the crane before us. Beside it 
was a brick oven, where mother baked the good things, 
especially on Thanksgiving Day, when we did not fill up 
with old common potatoes. 

The parlor, which we were seldom allowed to enter, 
was to a little boy dazzling. Looking-glass, with gilded 
frame, paper of many colors, and high-shining brass 
andirons in the fireplace. 

Sunday morning we all gathered there for family 
worship and one morning father gave us a lesson on 
"Inspiration," which has nerved me up to fight infidelity 
all my days. 

He had quite a collection of books and one day he 
69 



70 LOOKING BACK 

brought home a book on geology, from which, after study- 
ing it evenings, he declared that the creation of the 
world in science and the Bible exactly agreed. 

That lesson and the surroundings on that sunny 
Sabath morning is one of the old landmarks in my mem- 
ory to which I often return in moments of reflection. 

"Now children," he began, "no one knows who wrote 
the first chapter of Genesis, which appears to have no 
connection with the other chapters. It may have been 
written by Moses, his sister, Miriam, or some ether per- 
son along about that time, say four or five thousand years 
ago. The strange thing about it is that, according to 
their new geology, the writer revealed the secrets of 
that which transpired millions of years ago. 

"People had supposed, until about one hundred years 
ago, that the first chapter of Genesis was a fable, or 
fairy tale, but now geology proves it to have been a true 
history of what the writer knew nothing about. 

"It must have been that an angel who had lived all 
through the time the world was being made, sat right 
beside or in some way influenced the author to write the 
wonderful story of the creation. This is what I call real 
inspiration, don't you? 

"Some folks think, and I would not wonder if it might 
be true, that fiction is a faint glimmer of inspiration, 
and that composers are often led along by the spirit of 
some person who once lived in this world. Let this be 
as it may, I wish one of you children might become a 
novelist, but you never will, you will be farmers just like 
all us New England mountaineers. 

"Learned men have discovered, by digging in the 
rocky surface of the earth, that under certain conditions, 
oysters or other animals, will turn to stone. They call 



LOOKING BACK 71 

them fossils. Scientists have also learned that each l>ind, 
wherever found, represents the age in which the animal 
lived. So, the fossil, you see, is an animal which died 
and turned to stone, perhaps millions of years ago. 

"By investigation they find that one kind of rock, 
called azoic, contains no fossils, so they know there was 
a day or age when there was no life in this world, and 
this is the first day in the Bible, which I have been reading 
to you. 

FIRST DAY 

"They find by the conglomerate condition of the 
azoic rock that after the gaseous confusion of the ele- 
ments had subsided, it sort of settled into one boiling mass 
of mixed elements. Then the heavier elements, gold, 
mercury, lead and the like, condensed and formed a 
center of attraction, while the more rare elements, such 
as oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen, formed a floating band 
around it, then, as the Bible states, darkness must have 
been upon the face of the deep until the lighter elements 
rarefied, when the sun would feebly penetrate in the 
daytime and the rotation of the world would make it cor- 
respond to the first day and night of the Bible. 

SECOND DAY 

"This day, in which the firmament was formed, is 
wonderful in that it was preparation for the day when 
the land should appear, as it would need rain to make 
the vegetation grow. Man's highest imagination cannot 
grasp or conceive the wonders of this strange scheme. It 
really meant condensing part of the water to become 
liquid, or seas, and raising part to become clouds, or rain, 



72 LOOKING BACK 

as we now find them. So again the two accounts agree 
as to the second day. 

THIRD DAY 

"Seas and land appear. This Bible account exactly 
agrees with the carboniferous and crustacean births which 
followed on through the ages, when vegetation grew in 
such abundance that its decay, when submerged by erup- 
tions, laid the foundations for our coal and oil fields. 

FOURTH DAY 

"While the former days occupied millions of years 
each, this day was not a duration of time, not even one 
moment. It was simply an illustration of the then pres- 
ent conditions. Had we been on earth at that time we 
would have seen all the heavenly bodies and their move- 
ments just as this Bible account describes, and as we 
see them now. 

FIFTH DAY 

"As the fourth Bible day did not include time to 
produce geological changes, the two ages divonian, or 
fish, and amphibious, or reptilian, ages exactly fit in to 
make up the fifth day. 

"Could we have visited the earth when it first became 
solid with the sea floating over it, we would have seen 
at the bottom of the sea animals of the oyster family 
beginning to live in their shells, which later they took 
up and carried around on their backs, and now we call 
them turtles. We know they were there, for they are 
still sleeping in their little stone cofiins on mountain 



LOOKING BACK 73 

tops, which God raised up when He made dry land. God 
called them all moving creatures, which have life, which, 
of course, included fish and frogs. 

"Now hark, I will read the twentieth verse over again. 
There now, you see God did not make the birds up in 
the mountains and tell them to fly. He made them in 
the water, I guess He fixed legs where the fins were, 
so they could hop and crawl, and then fixed wings where 
the legs were, so they could fly, and this exactly corre- 
sponds to the reptilian age in geology. That transforma- 
tion must have made even God stop and think, for it 
took millions of years. Many kinds came out of the 
water, so you see we have many kinds of birds on the 
land. Some of them were awfully large. One, geologists 
call the Pterodactyl, had a mouth and teeth like a horse, 
tail like a fish or snake, and wings which he could spread 
more than twenty-five feet. I imagine it flew from shore 
to shore catching turtles for breakfast, who were out 
on the sand laying eggs as big as our old peck measure. 

SIXTH DAY 

"God made cattle and all other big walking things, 
and all the creeping things. 

"The family of largest animals are called Dinosaur. 
Their fossil bones are found in the Rocky Mountains. 
They must have lived there on the plains before the 
upheavel of the mountains. Some of them were about 
one hundred feet long and twenty-five feet high. In 
New Jersey, geologists have dug up the fossil bones of 
an animal they call the Iguanodon, a sort of frog with a 
snake tail ; when he sat up his head was about thirty feet 
high. Had he lived on men he would have eaten three 



74 LOOKING BACK 

for dinner. It seems that when those animals raised 
up on all four, like elephants, they lost their fish-like 
tails, except to use as fly whiskers. Those animals lived 
all through what is called the mammalian age in geology, 
or the sixth day in the Bible. 

"Now, children, this twenty-fifth verse ends up the 
creation of the world and all its animals. Then God 
called a halt and said, 'Let us make something special.' 
What was it?" "Man, man," we said. "What was man 
to be like?" "Just like God himself." 

"Is God an animal?" 

"No." 

"What is He?" 

"Nobody knows." 

"Think again, what did I read last Sunday about 
Christ at Jacob's well ?" 

"Oh, yes, God is a spirit." 

"Then is man a spirit or an animal ?" 

"Both," I said. 

"How so, Merrick?" 

"Why, God made she-male man and he-male man 
of dirt, so they could have a lot of children. Then the 
image man, we cannot see, who was to do the thinking, 
was to have dominion, that means it was to boss them- 
selves and everything else around. That is the man that 
goes to Heaven when he dies." 

"How is that, Luna, for a boy of eight years old?" he 
said to mother. 

"You are all right, Merrick," she said, drawing me 
to her for a kiss. "Now, you must try to govern your- 
self and not be so stubborn, even if you do think you 
are in the right. Let wisdom instead of spunk be your 



LOOKING BACK 75 

guide, and then the angels will be with you in your dreams 
and our pretty school-ma'am will not have to switch you 
so often." 

"Pretty school-ma'am, eh ! Why, she walks just 
exactly like a cow." 



HUSKING BEE 

One of my earliest recollections is of hearing mother 
telling a neighbor housewife about the prayer meeting 
up at Uncle Sam's. Mother was a great tease, and to 
see her act out Aunt Lovey in this particular case was 
enough to make the bushes laugh. 

In order to picture the scene at the prayer meeting, 
I will give one of mother's escapades by the way of con- 
trast between Lovey, Uncle Sam's wife, and her wide- 
awake sisters, of which mother was accused of being 
the ring leader in many daring acts. Therefore, I will 
begin with the story of the husking bee at Grandfather 
Dimock's home, when mother was a girl. 

At a husking in those days all in the neighborhood 
would gather, not so much, I imagine, to husk corn as 
for the frolic, and the good things they had to eat. 

The custom was to set the shocks of corn around a 
large circle and all husk from the outside. Then if a 
lady found a red ear she was privileged, if she dare, 
to throw it across a space at a man whom, if she hit, 
was privileged to chase her around the outer ring, for 
which if he caught her while on the circuit he could 
kiss her. 

Well, mother found a red ear and she threw it at 
the minister, hitting him, whack ! side of the head. His 
name was Frink, a real minister of the Gospel, yet 
he could not allow such an opportunity to escape, so he 
dropped his dignity and started, 
/o 



LOOKING BACK 77 

The arranged plan was that all should get out of 
the way to give the lady a chance to run, while the real 
plan was for all to stumble into the way and see the fun." 

Mother, finding it impossible to break through, turned 
quickly and lit out for the orchard. This bold but admir- 
able act caused 200 buskers to raise on tip-toe, for it was 
a pretty scene in the moonlight to see the daring maid, 
clad in a pretty white frock, dodging among the dark 
shadows of the apple trees, evading the terrific lunges 
of her eager pursuer, whose physiognomy took on a 
strange earnestness which betokened his consideration 
that the prize was worth striving for. 

When the girl, by artful dodging, escaped and struck 
out for home, old Jasiah Bradley, forgetting his 80 years, 
roared out, "Stand back ! Stand back ! Give the girl a 
chance," at which two rows cjuickly formed, giving the 
gfrl, whose knee action betokened great speed, a clear way 
until as she crossed the line, Frink extended his hand to 
grab, but did not catch her. 

This illustration represents the innocent dare of the 
family to which mother belonged, except the oldest. 
Lovey, who was very sedate, and in this case said that 
Luna ought to be spanked and put to bed. Lovey wore 
her skirts very long and would walk way around to 
pass through the gate, while her astonishing sisters would 
jump or climb over the fence and whistle just like boys. 



PRAYER MEETING AT UNCLE SAM'S 

Lovey married Samuel Harwood. They built their 
home on Chestnut Hill, where they raised a fine family. 
Monroe was their youngest son, who figured very 
seriously in the catastrophy I am about to relate. 

Uncle Sam and Aunt Lovey were both strictly re- 
ligious, but did not agree as to the mode of proceedure. 
She threw her whole religious weight on the sixth verse 
of the sixth chapter of Matthew, while he was a roaring 
Methodist. Together they attended church on Sunday, 
but Lovey never attended the weekly home prayer meet- 
ings, neither would she allow the church to have one 
at her home, and so they worshiped for years until Sam's 
grey locks and the children's clamor induced her to try 
it just once. Such an unusual event caused the whole 
church to turn out in mass for a real good spiritual 
uplifting. 

Their house, which my wife and I rode by last time 
we were in Connecticut, is of the old dominion style. 
Kitchen, dining and living rooms all in one, and very 
commodious. Under the stairs to the second story were 
the stairs to the deep, dark cellar below, of which there 
was no broad stair at the top, and the cellar door opened 
into the cellar. 

On that memorable evening the room was crammed 

to suffocation when the meeting opened with the hymn, 

"On Jordan's Stormy Banks I Stand." Then Abner 

Dimock, who always prayed so loud as to be heard a 

78 



LOOKING BACK 79 

mile, and several others, led in prayer, which was fol- 
lowed by inspiring testimonials, to all of which Uncle 
Sam chimed in Amen, amid the shouts of halleluiah, 
while Aunt Lovey sat in dreamy silence, with her nose 
turned just a trifle askance. 

The pinnacle was reached when Anise Ladd arose 
to testify, for every one knew Anise poured forth her 
feelings without reserve. 

"I," she began, "was born peevish and as my neigh- 
bors can here testify, was, to say the least, irritable 
through my maiden and middlehood earthly career, but 
last winter at our revival meetings, I experienced a 
genuine halleluiah wave of godliness, and now I coo 
like a turtle dove and fret or scold no more." 

To Uncle Sam, who was tipping back in his chair, 
this wonderful halleluiah testimony so coincided with 
his desires toward Lovey, that he shouted, "Glory to 
God," as in the expansion of his joy he lost his balance, 
his chair striking the cellar door, which flew open, caus- 
ing him, still in the chair, to start, head downwards, on 
his perilous journey into the dismal region below. He 
did not swear, neither did he shout halleluiah, but fresh 
grunts followed in rapid succession as he pounded from 
stair to stair. 

During the excitement all trying with lighted tallow 
candles to ascertain if he was still alive, his son, Monroe, 
continued roaring and laughing until some one said, 
"Why, Monroe, it might have killed your father," to 
which he replied between spasms, "I should have laughed 
just the same, if I had known it had killed him." 

During the excitement Aunt Lovey pressed her hand 
to her heart, but did not speak until urged by the pastor, 
when she said : "Well, really, you were all talking so 



80 LOOKING BACK 

much about going to heaven that when I witnessed Sam- 
uel's sudden departure, I wondered, yes, I really won- 
dered, whether my halleluiah husband had started for 
heaven or for the other place." 

Uncle Sam survived and lived on the old place until 
he was 94 years old, but that was the first and last prayer 
meeting up to Uncle Sam's. 



GOLDEN DAYS 

Oh, those golden days when with indulgent parents 
we gathered around the table of plenty. There we 
romped in the orchards, woods and meadows, among 
the wild flowers and through the shady dells, where 
we chased the rabbits and squirrels, hunting the shy 
nests of birds, watching the pretty fish in the crystal 
stream, as they darted about showing their silver sides. 
The side hills teemed with wild fruit, shadberries, check- 
erberries, cherries, grapes, strawberries, etc. Wild birds 
were in abundance and their songs were gay; I think 
I hear them now. Father taught us that we must not 
destroy the nests of crows, hawks or other bad birds, 
not even the homes of the mischievous woodchucks, who 
nibbled our pumpkins. He said, "Let them bring up 
their little families. God provides room and food for 
all." 

When we brought the little blue eggs in for mother 
to see, she would kiss and hurry us back with them to the 
nest, for she said the mother bird's heart would ache 
if we broke one of her little eggs. 

And yet, after all, my brother, Gordon, and myself 
were not real neighborhood pets, for the two little sun- 
burned blondes were net as innocent as they looked. 
Aunt Becky Bragg, our second-door neighbor, was quoted 
as saying that Warren Richardson's two little white- 
headed urchins were the bane of her life, and all attempts 
to chide them seemed only to add fuel to the flames. 
81 



82 LOOKING BACK 

We must have been useful about the farm, in teaching 
the chickens and cats to swim and the colts and steers to 
let us ride them, who occasionally dumped us where we 
least expected. One lively pastime was to tie a tin pan 
to one of the sleepy old cattle's tail, and watch him bound 
over the bushes to clear himself from what seemed to be 
following him. I can now see these great gentle creatures 
with half -closed eyes chewing their cuds, while father 
was around them, but when we appeared, they would 
stop chewing, bulge out their eyes and make ready to 
jump over the wall at our first gesture. 

Still we had our confiding pets, hens, lambs and even 
pigs. We had a curly-haired pig which would follow 
us around and lie down for us to scratch him, and as 
for dogs — why, old Major, the neighborhood tramp of 
suspicious character, stood in well with us and licked 
our hands and faces as we fed and gave him a warm 
shelter from the cold night. 

Father and mother understood it all, I know they 
did, but they realized how we would soon be out in the 
hand-to-hand conflict of life, and they wanted us to look 
back to our childhood mountain home with gladness and 
not pain. 

I was exceedingly stubborn and moderately truthful, 
so much so that one of the first remembrances of my 
life was that in some mysterious way I had acquired the 
nick-name of Old Honesty. Oh, it did make me so mad 
to be called that, for I must have considered it a sort 
of defamation of character. 



THE WILD SEXTON STEER 

One day in the spring of 1855, when all the folks 
were away except Gordon and myself, we felt somewhat 
elated that we were running the farm on our own hook, 
so we conjured up a little fun. 

Our long barnyard opened with bars towards the 
house across the center to separate the cattle from the 
sheep. Here, just for sport, when no one was around, 
we would put up two or three bars and then chase the 
cattle, one by one, and see them jump over. 

We had a fercious wild steer, we called Sexton, which 
would jump over almost anything to get away from us 
boys, so he was usually our victim for sport. 

Father was accustomed, each fall, to bring muck 
into the barnyard, which through the winter was cov- 
ered with cornstalks, straw and manure from the stables, 
which the cattle would tread in during the rainy spring 
and mix it ready for the land. On this occasion it had 
been raining, and the mixture, soft as jelly, was about a 
foot deep, with the exception of a dry spot by the house 
bars. 

Our custom was to teach all the newcomers into 
our ranch, or farm, to carry us on their backs, and as 
the bushes hung low in the pastures and the steers had 
no manes to cling to, we often got dumped, but we did 
not care for scratches and bruises, for I boasted to be 
able to hang to a frightened steer's tail through a bush 
pasture longer than any boy in the neighborhood. 
83 



84 LOOKING BACK 

On this occasion the wild Sexton steer was in the 
yard — a big black fellow, who was so mean that he would 
kick the boards off the barn, just if we tickled him wnth 
the tines of a pitchfork. Really, he was so unruly that 
he had no respect for the other cattle, or even a ten-rail 
fence, when Gordon and I, with the dog, got after him. 

Forgetting we were going to prayer meeting that 
evening, and that we had already put on our Sunday 
clothes, I said to Gordon: 

"I think now is a good time to teach old Sexton to 
let us ride him." 

"Oh, Merrick, don't try that again, he will kill you." 

"Nonsense, I'm not afraid; if he throws me off, I 
will land on my feet." 

"You may and you may not; see how black his eyes 
are ; let us take our bows and arrows and go and shoot 
at Kendel's cats. Mr. and Mrs. Kendel went to Som- 
mers today, so there is no one at home but Grandpa Bragg 
and he cannot see well enough to tell whether it is us 
or the \\ ires' boys." 

"Never mind the cats, Gordon," I said as I stripped 
off my coat in a real businesslike manner, "I am dying 
for a ride on that steer. Come and help me catch him. 
There, that's right, now we have him, so, bossy — so, 
bossy — so-so-bossy, so. Look out, there, Gordon !" 

"Merrick, I told you we could not catch him." 

"It was because you was so slow. Now you come and 
stand on this dry spot and when I chase him around, 
stop him, and I will creep up — there, that is better — so- 
bossy-so." 

"There he goes again. What did I tell you, Merrick ? 
I said we could not catch him." 

"Oh, that is because you are so slow. Now, when I 



LOOKING BACK 85 

get him here again and he lets me put my hand on him, 
you must be ready to grab the foot I raise and throw me 
over square on his back, then I will ride him around 
and around until he gets tired out; that is just the way 
they tame elephants. Here we have him again, grab, 
now grab — there I am. Sa}', isn't it funny he does not 
move or stir? Why, I am having a regular picnic up 
here." 

"Oh, Merrick, but if you could see his eyes, and his 
neck is curved like a ram's horn. He is going to do 
something. You better seize his tail and slide off back- 
wards before he starts." 

"Oh, you little fraid goose, I am just here on his 
back and he can't help himself. It's just fun, and when 
I tell the girls about it, won't it make their eyes open 
wide? He can't just help himself, now punch him a 
little with the fork handle right under the flanks — gee 
whiz, it is funny he doesn't start, isn't it? I wonder if 
steers ever rear up in the front?" 

"First you know, Merrick, he will rear up behind and 
send you into the middle of next week. See, he won't 
stir when I punch him with the fork handle. He is just 
getting ready to do something terrible, and when he does 
start, something will happen. Oh, how he kind of swells 

up." 

"I'm not afraid. Just twist his tail a little, twist it 
harder. Hey-hey, here I go — look out! Gordon, stop 
him — whoa-whoa — Oh, Gordon, where have I been? 
What did he do ? Where am I now ? and where are my 
pants?" 

"Why, Merrick, just as you were talking to me, he 
hollered 'Bah,' and started. First your legs flew up and 
before you caught your balance he stopped suddenly, 



86 LOOKING BACK 

threw up his head and his horns caught your pants and 
ripped them clean off, and you took the most awful 
plunge. You actually flew through the air about ten 
feet, like a quail, and then disappeared in this manure 
pond. I thought he had killed you. Say, are you almost 
dead?" 

"Dead, no, but where are my pants and did anybody 
see us? Did Charlotte Lewis and Mariva Shepherd 
come this way from school ?" 

"No, they did not, but see your pants are on his horns 
now. Oh, Merrick, your eyes, and ears, and hair are 
just chuck full. Do you think you are hurt inwardly?" 

"Hurt? No, I'm not hurt. Gee-whiz, I'm glad the 
school girls weren't coming along about then. Say, 
Gordon, lets run for the brook and I will dive, head- 
foremost, right into the old deep hole, and when I come 
up I will be span clean." 

"Gracious, Merrick, but there is ice floating down 
now and aren't your legs cold?" 

"Cold? No. Pa says there are lots of people in the 
world who wear no pants — say, Gordon, now listen — 
if you won't ever tell of this to no living soul I will do 
all the chores : milking, feeding the hogs, cleaning the 
stables, building the fire mornings, and I'll be hanged if 
I don't help you lie yourself out of every mean scrape 
you get into in the next ten years." 




ALWAYS WELCOME AT SISTER CAROLINE'S WABBAQtJASSETT HOME. 
LEFT TO RIGHT. CAROLINE, MARTHA, WALTON, WARREN, 
EVERETT. LUCIUS. 



SCHOOL DAYS 

Nearby was a backwoods school which was called the 
White Birch, where about eighty scholars met in winter 
to fit themselves for future eminence. Here it was that 
life's troubles began with me. The mode of punishment 
in those days for a boy was to draw him over the master's 
knee and spank him, and I am quite sure I got more 
floggings than all the other seventy-nine scholars together. 
Tom Wheelock often spanked me so furiously that the 
rising dust often made the other scholars think he was 
setting me on fire. 

From the first at school I had been a mental genius. 
When eight years old I could calculate in my head prob- 
lems intended for large scholars to work out with slate 
and pencil. The knottiest problems in Colburn's old 
mental arithmetic were as simple for me as three times 
ten, and this I could do without ever looking at the rules. 
But, oh, my spelling, reading and writing were shock- 
ingly deficient, and my grammar was laughable. Once 
the master compelled me to write a composition, and 
when he read it he laughed and said, "The ideas are 
good, Merrick, but it needs a Philadelphia lawyer to 
connect them." 

I would as soon fight as eat and was ready to ham- 
mer any boy of my size who had broken up a bird's nest, 
and was ready to protect the girls to the limit of my 
strength and ability. Whether I was right or wrong, I 
can now see that I was unconsciously following the dic- 
87 



88 LOOKING BACK 

tates of conscience. When fourteen years old I took a 
serious dislike to punishment of any kind, and the result 
was that I left school for srood. 




WABBAQUASSETT (ilFiLS. NEWELL HILL IN THE DISTANCE. 



COUNTRY BOYS IN TOWN 

My boyhood days were spent in what might be 
termed, the upper strata of the last stages of the tallow 
candle age. Mother dipped candles each fall to light 
us through the year. Whale oil was also used, but a 
little later coal oil from Pennsylvania came into vogue. 

In order to obtain whale oil, vessels for that pur- 
pose were sent out from New Bedford, New London, 
New York and other harbors along the northern Atlantic 
Coast. Accordingly, four of us youngsters, my brother 
Collins, Lucius Aborn, Lyman Newell and myself, formed 
a scheme to go catching whales and decided to visit New 
York and look the matter up and, if possible, learn why 
our parents so seriously objected to having us become 
sailors. 

Accordingly, we went to Hartford and took the night 
steamer, on the Connecticut River, for New York. \\'hile 
waiting for the boat in Hartford we all went out to get 
shaved and I remember it, for it was my first shave. 

The barber must have been a funny fellow, of the 
Abe Lincoln type, who looked serious when he said and 
did funny things. He was not sparing of his lather, for 
my ears held quite a lot, but I bore it bravely until he 
grabbed me right by the nose to begin, which made me 
burst out laughing and let the lather run into my mouth. 
W^hen I sobered down he would seize me by the nose 
and begin again, which would make my friends and the 
other barbers all laugh. I laughed a little mvself, but 



90 LOOKING BACK 

he never smiled — just watched for his chance to seize me. 
When he got through, without a smile, he said he never 
charged boys anything for the first shave. 

On the steamer, of which the cabins seemed to me 
as dazzling, beautiful and wonderful as the constellation 
of Orion does now, the cabin porter got our cow-hide 
boots, while we were asleep, and shined them and then 
demanded ten cents for each boot, but we compromised 
on ten cents for the whole lot, and threatened to throw 
him overboard at that. 

When we landed at Peck Slip, New York, we at once 
inquired for the office where sailors were enlisted for 
three-year voyages catching whales. 

The agent was a man probably seventy years old and 
began inquiring our names and where we were from, 
and then he said he knew about Square Pond,' as he once 
drove stage right along its shore on the old roiite from 
Hartford to Boston. Then he said: "Sit down, boys," 
and he talked to us to this effect: 

"Now, boys, you do not want to enlist for a three 
years' voyage. If you have got the fishing fever I can 
get you all a chance on a smack for three months, off the 
coast of Newfoundland, catching codfish. Then if you 
are not sick of the job you can go whaling." We listened 
to him kindly and finally gave up, not only the whaling, 
but the fishing altogether. 

We then began canvassing the book stores for a book 
which Lyman had heard about, which boys ought not to 
read, and that was why he wanted it. The title was 
"Fanny Hill," and when we inquired at the book stores 
we were turned down, until we struck a Yankee who sold 
second-hand books, who inquired where we were from, 
and when our boat would leave New York, and then 




BEAUTIFUL WOMEN, WORTHY MEN, CHARMING OLD WABBAQUASSETT. 

CENTRAL LOWER LADY FIGURE. JULIA NEWELL WARNER, MY^ 

LIFE-LONG ESTEEMED FRIEND. 



LOOKING BACK 91 

said he hardly dare sell it to us for fear he would be 
arrested. 

The price he said was $1.00, and he would run the 
risk, if we would come around just before the boat started 
and then promise, all of us, not to open the package 
until the boat had left the dock. To this we readily 
agreed and then went on taking in the town, thinking more 
about the book than we did about the giants, pigmies, 
monkeys and elephants which we found at Barnum's 
Museum. 

We were now hungry again, so we took another oyster 
stew and then started up the Bowery, when we heard 
music and were invited in where a wheel table was 
turning. One could put down ten cents and might win 
$100.00. We were going shares in everything, so decided 
to risk ten cents, and the other boys allowed me to try. 
"Forty dollars," cried the man, and then discovered his 
mistake, that it was only forty cents, and then began 
telling of folks from the country winning money, and 
this was one of the stories which did not take : 

"A large man," he said, "came to New York from 
the mountains of Pennsylvania and offered to bet $50.00 
that he could carry a feather-bed tick full of buck-shot 
across Broadway on his head. Well, boys, we loaded the 
tick, which took nearly all the shot in the city, and he 
started. He won the bet, I saw him do it, but you see 
that stone pavement on Broadway, do you? Well, boys, 
when he crossed the street the load was so heavy that 
he mired into that stone pavement clear up to his knees, 
but he won the $50.00." 

Then we told him that we were liars ourselves, and 
trugged on, actually having beat the gamblers out of 
thirty cents. 



92 LOOKING BACK 

After another oyster stew dinner we strolled into the 
Bowery Theatre, where minstrels were playing, which 
amused us, as it was the first we had ever seen, and 
supposed they were genuine darkies. They sat in a half 
circle and after singing and playing, the two end men 
would ask questions, and one dialogue ran this way : 

"Rastus, I heard you was out last night." 

"Yes, Sah, I was out prominading on Broadway." 

"Did you have your best girl along?" 

"Zartenly." 

"Did you take her home?" 

"Zartenly." 

"Did she invite you in ?" 

"Not zackly. We stood inside the gate." 

"Did she exhibit great affection?" 

"Great what ?" 

"Great affection." 

"I suppose so." 

"What did she and you do?" 

"Dat am a pointed question, sah." 

"Well, but you said she showed great affection." 

"Showed what?" 

"Great affection, Rastus. Did she love you?" 

"Yes, sah, she squozed my hand and then I squoze 
her with my arm." 

"Squoze, Rastus? Why, there is no such word a? 
squoze." 

"Yes, there is, for she said she had never been squoze 
by a regular man before." 

"Where do you get that word ?" 

"Noah Webster, sah. Shall I instruct you ?" 

"Certainly." 

"Is not rise, rose, risen, proper?" 



LOOKING BACK 93 

"Certainly." 

"Then why not squize, squoze, squizzen ?" 

Then they all sang again. 

One incident that I yet remember was that all had 
on light-colored vests, and while crossing Broadway, 
dodging here and there among the omnibusses, trucks, 
and other vehicles, such as we had never seen before, 
I slipped on the wet stone pavement and fell flat on my 
stomach, but it soon dried off and I was at the front 
again, and at the appointed time we appeared at the 
book store and gave the man his dollar, who again cau- 
tioned us not to let the police see it. 

It was papered up nicely and I can now see how 
nervously Newell jammed it into his inside pocket, which 
was not quite large enough, and then we boarded the 
steamer, all the while looking out of the corners of our 
eyes that no one suspicioned us. 

After the steamer had cleared the dock and Lute 
Aborn said we were on the high seas, we slipped around 
behind the wheel pit, for it was a side-wheeled steamer, 
and as Newell was nervously untying the string, he said : 
"Now we will all look at the pictures first and then you, 
Lute, who is the best reader, will read it aloud" — when, 
behold, it was nothing but a New Testament worth ten 
cents. 

This little Fanny Hill experience was really a bless- 
ing in disguise to us boys, but we did not think so at the 
time, and if we could have gotten hold of that dealer 
we would have taught him that there was yet a God in 
Israel. 



AS A YANKEE TIN PEDDLER 

At the Methodist Church just south of Wabbaquassett 
there were revivals each winter and with other I expe- 
rienced rehgion, but mine, even though serious, sort of 
struck in and did not break out again for several years. 

At the age of nineteen I had become sort of terror 
to my enemies, for I was quick, strong and fearless. One 
night I had my usual warning dream, of trouble ahead, 
and the next day I nearly killed a man as fearless as 
myself. The following day when I caught my father 
weeping I resolved ever after to avoid all personal en- 
counters, which determination for self-control has car- 
ried me over many a rickety bridge in safety, and my 
warning dreams have never troubled me since. 

Farming soon became too tame for me, and while 
nature's adornments which made up and surrounded our 
quiet home, often charmed my soul into serious dream- 
like fancies, yet, somehow I enjoyed singing funny 
songs and telling stories, together with their proper 
amendments and legitimate construction — in fact, like 
my mother, I could tell an old story which every one had 
heard forty times in such a way as to cause laughter. 
Therefore, as farm life seemed to be an insvifficient in- 
cubator for hatching out fresh productions, I mysteriously 
evolved into the seemingly exalted position of a Yankee 
Tin Peddler. 

There were at that time at least ten firms in New 
England and York State who manufactured tinware, for 
94 






<b 

















^ 4^ 




•^^PP' ^il ^i^e 



ALBUM OF SUNNY DAYS. 

CENTRAL LOWER LIKENESS IS OF MY COUSIN O. M. RICHARDSON, 

NOW RETIRED MANUFACTURER OF ROCKVILLE, CONN. THREE 

GIRLS IN CENTRAL SCENE, LINA, ELVA AND JOSEPHINE 

NEWELL, DAUGHTERS OF MY SISTER JANETTE 

AT HER OLD WABBAQUASSETT HOME, 1890. 



LOOKING BACK 95 

which they loaned carts and gave credit to lively chaps 
who had teams. The peddler would go on the road and 
trade the tinware for barter, old iron, copper, brass, lead, 
zinc and all kinds of paper stock, besides cow hides and 
sheep pelts or anything of which he knew the value, and 
ship it in to pay his account. It was a lucrative business 
for a clever boy, often clearing $100.00 per week besides 
his expenses. Also it gave him a chance to study human 
nature, as a good peddler must be able to read his cus- 
tomer before he says the wrong thing, for a frolicsome 
Irish woman appreciates a tone and language with per- 
haps a friendly slap on the shoulder, which would frighten 
an elderly, sedate, bloodless maiden into spasms. 

Soon my two brothers and myself with several neigh- 
boring young men were into the business, and in the 
Spring of 1861 Alonzo Shepherd and myself ventured a 
tirp to Long Island by the way of New York City. On 
this trip we acquired both wealth and fame. The ridicul- 
ous instances of our travels often come up before me 
now. We were continually playing tricks on each other 
which always ended in laughter. On this trip we became 
horse traders, which proved to be more lucrative than 
peddling. 

In 1863 I shipped my team to Batavia, New York, 
and in August sent for my brother Gordon to come to 
Dunkirk, where I had another team, and we peddled 
through Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan, returning to 
Connecticut in the Fall, after which I returned to Elba, 
N. Y., where, December 10th, I married Mary Jane 
Hoyt, a beautiful, intelligent girl of twenty years. 

The following year, 1864, with several other teams 
each, we came West again and returned to Albany for 
the winter. On mv return I followed the shore road of 



96 LOOKING BACK 

Lake Ontario around to Watertown, N. Y., while Gor- 
don returned through Pennsylvania, our object being to 
buy horses of the mountain farmers. 




MARY JANE HOYT, ELBA. N. V.. 18G3. \V1LUEH WOOD^ 

THIS PICTURE WAS TAKEN THE SUMMER BEFORE 

WE WERE MARRIED. 



THE THOMPSON FAMILY. 

From Watertown, I worked East, where I fell in with 
a family by the name of Thompson, who owned a large 
stock-raising farm in the foot hills of Mount Seward, 
not far from North Elba, the Adirondack home of John 
Brown. 

My experience with the Thompsons left a vivid im- 
pression on my memory which never grows dim. 

As I remember them Mr. Thompson was short, heavy 
set, blue eyed, fair complexion, with a physiognomy in- 
dicating that he seldom suffered defeat. He v/as usually 
thoughtful and serious, but when telling stories or re- 
lating experience he was full of mirth. 

Mary, his wife, was an interesting woman. Her stout 
figure, dark eyes and hair with fair skin made her look 
striking, especially in laughing, when her eyes twinkled 
and gave expression of mirth. All the animals on the 
farm were seemingly her special pets, but their little dog 
Joe came in for the lion's share. Really the little white. 
curly fellow with black eyes and nose, when standing 
erect with head and tail up, did look as though he was 
monarch of all he surveyed. Everybody loved him ex- 
cept the cats. Much of Mrs. Thompson's time was given 
over to church work, for which she must have been well 
fitted, as her Christian character was discernable at every 
move and turn. 

Vida, their daughter of sixteen summers, was fair, 
with large dark eyes, auburn hair and prominent chin. 
97 



98 LOOKING BACK 

Her quick glance and mirthful smile betokened self- 
esteem and decisive character, while glee and dare inno- 
cently portrayed pent emotion and artful design. 

During the evening I turned the conversation to the 
story of John Brown, and was glad to learn that Mr. 
Thompson had been a near friend of Brown and was 
with him on the Kennedy farm only a few days before 
the raid on Harper's Ferry. 

At Mrs. Thompson's suggestion we planned that we 
four take a horseback ride after church services on the 
morrow, up to the Brown farm and see John's grave and 
the big rock nearby from which, in former days, he had 
done much preaching to the mountaineers. 

Our horses were good lopers, taking us up and down- 
hill through the woods to the farm, at which we arrived 
very quickly, but found none of the family at home. 
We finally gained entrance to the little farm house and 
sat in John's chair by his cheap desk. Afterwards we 
climbed on the big rock now near his grave which seems 
to stand as a lone sentinel, in the rocky wilds, silently 
calling the coming generations to the resting place of the 
ashes of him who followed the dictates of conscience, re- 
gardless of immediate results. 

After enjoying hot cream biscuit with wild honey 
and crabapple jelly, with a neighbor of the Browns, we 
started down the mountain, and through the evening 
we sat before the crackling hickory flames in the great 
fireplace while Mr. Thompson gave his experience with 
the Browns, which were substantially as follows : 




JOHN BROWN, 1850. 

GOD CALLS EVERY MAN AND WOMAN TO DUTY AND REQUIRES 
A RESPONSE AGCORDINfi TO THEIR INDIVIDUAL ABILITY. 



JOHN BROWN. 

One evening in the summer of 1850, John Brown, 
whom I had known in Springfield, Mass., as a successful 
wool merchant, surprised us by calling, and relating his 
troubles, 

"I," he said, "through misfortune or mismanagement, 
have lost the fortune which I amassed in 25 years. In 
trying to retrieve, I shipped my stock to Europe, but 
after staying there about four months I sold it so low 
that my loss, including the expense of the trip, left me 
stranded. My ardor for the slave has not in the least 
abated, and through the assistance of Gerritt Smith I 
have taken up land and am building a home over in 
North Elba, I am a sort of instructor to the colored folks 
of Smith's Wild Wood Colony. 

"I have several colored men working for me in clear- 
ing up and planting, and they work well. I brought along 
some blooded cattle, pigs and hens, and finding many 
hard maples on the place, which produce sap for sirup, 
we feel quite independent. Two of our heifers have 
come in and we have plenty of milk, so I tell my wife 
if we have not crossed the Jordan into the land of milk 
and honey, we have crossed the Connecticut into the land 
of milk and maple molasses. Now I must be going in 
order to reach home before dark." 

"Stay, Mr. Brown," I said, "why, we have not visited 
at all yet." 

"I know, Mr. Thompson, but I came just to let 
99 



100 LOOKING BACK 

you know where we are, and if you will come to see us 
we will treat you to fried chicken, boiled potatoes, hot 
corn bread and fresh butter. Will you come?" 

"Surely; how far is it, John?" 
"About 25 miles up the mountain, and 10 miles down ; 
but I am still good for four miles an hour. Say, Mrs. 
Thompson, set on something for* me to eat, the very best 
you have, for the Bible says, 'Be not slow to entertain 
strangers for thereby you may be entertaining angels, 
unaware.' " 

Soon after, early one morning, we saddled our horses 
and rode over to call on our new neighbors, when Brown 
would hear nothing but that we must stop with them 
overnight, and although we all visited, cooked, ate and 
slept in the same room, we did enjoy ourselves. 

Before retiring, we all knelt in family worship, when 
Brown prayed so clear and fervent that no one could 
doubt his faith in the loving Father, who he believed was 
listening. 

Ruth, Brown's eldest daughter, and her husband, 
Henry Thompson, were with them, and several of the 
younger children. Oliver, one of those killed at Har- 
per's Ferry, recently, was then about 10 years old. 

After supper. Brown and I climbed onto the great 
rock, beside where his body now lies, when he revealed 
to me his disconnected plans of venturing into a slave 
state and arming negroes who could fight for their own 
liberty. 

"But," said I, "the law gives those Southerners the 
right to hold slaves." 

"What law?" he exclaimed as he extended his lower 
jaw defiantly and repeated, "What law? Jesus defined 
laws as the will or mandate of Jehovah. If you call the 



LOOKING BACK 101 

conclusions of an assembly of men today which another 
assembly of men tomorrow can prove to be felonious, 
law, then John Brown is an outlaw ; but if the Saviour's 
definition, 'Love the Lord, thy God, w4th all thy mind 
and soul, and thy neighbor as thyself,' is law, then John 
Brown is a law-abiding citizen, and will, if needs be, 
die for those who are in bondage, who have committed no 
crime." 

Then raising his tall form and moving slowly to and 
fro in the moonlight on the great rock, he continued in 
a soft tone. 

"God calls every man and woman to duty and requires 
a response according to their individual ability. I feel 
that I have had a call to open the gate of freedom to 
the slaves in this, Columbia. This call is not a direct 
communication from God, but more in the line of duty. 
I am somehow impressed that I am the man to answer 
this call, for, when I pray for guidance, the echo seems 
to come back, 'Your strength is sufficient.' When you 
and I were boys, Dan, we read of famous persons whose 
characters glittered before us, but we somehow over- 
looked the fact that duty and praise do not travel hand 
in hand, but rather, that duty treads the thorny way and 
fame creeps softly after. 

"Not only is this God's law, but it coincides with ex- 
perience. Disappointment mingled with failure seems 
to be the earthly lot of man, and yet it is not failure. 
W'hen the morn of eternity dawns, and you and I shall 
stand to be judged according to our past records, what 
will be more glorious than that we meet failure in trying 
to accomplish good? I know that slavery is a sin, and, 
if needs be, I will die for the cause." 

Of course, I saw Brown occasionally during the next 



102 . LOOKING BACK 

nine years, but I have no time this evening to relate his 
wildcat crusades in Kansas and Missouri, so we will pass 
over to the closing days of his life. 

Oliver, Brown's youngest son, grew up on the North 
Elba farm, and through him I was kept informed con- 
cerning Brown's border free-booters until Brown came 
and took him to the Kennedy Farm near Harper's Ferry. 

NEAR harper's FERRY. 

Anna, Brown's oldest daughter by his second wife, 
returned from Maryland about the last of October, 
1859, when at her father's request she sent for me and 
gave me all the particulars concerning their rendezvous 
at the Kennedy Farm and their contemplated raid on 
Hall's Rifle Works at Harper's Ferry. 

The next day, after promising my pets, my wife and 
Vida, that 1 would not join the mutineers, as Vida liked 
to call them, I left for Washington, and was soon in con- 
sultation with John Brown in the attic of the little house 
on the Kennedy Farm, where Anna had, as Brown said, 
acted as his watchdog, entertaining and detaining all 
strangers until he or his men could disperse or prepare. 

I soon discovered that his attitude toward universal 
fredom had not abated, and that all his men, including 
three sons, had become much like him, as, at the prayer 
meeting in the little church nearby and the family altar, 
they often chimed in "Amen." As I think of them now 
I can truthfully say I never saw a band of men more 
Christianized in their expressions than those, for John 
had instilled into their minds his theory that ihe world 
was to be benefited by the struggle they were about to 
begin. 



LOOKING BACK 103 

One day Oliver, his father and I walked down to Har- 
per's Ferry, and while returning in the evening, Oliver 
and I pressed him for an explanation of the course he 
would pursue when he had taken possession of the arms 
at the Rifle A\'orks, as the slaves would be useless at 
first, but he had none — he seemed to rely implicitly upon 
God and the Northern abolitionists to see him through. 

Suddenly stopping us under the dark shadowy trees, 
and laying one hand on Oliver's shoulder and the other on 
mine, he said low and earnestly : "I do not know where 
I shall be when that beautiful moon has made its journey 
around this world once more, but one thing I do know 
and that is this : through my ceaseless efiforts I have cor- 
ralled the slave holders until now I have them in a trap. 
If my efiforts are not impeded the slave will eventually 
free himself. If they are, and I am destroyed, the North, 
through sympathy for me and justice to the slave, will 
continue my cause until the bondmen are free. So you 
see I have them in a trap, but my aim is to avoid a bloody 
war, for the families in the South are as dear to me as 
those in the North, but slavery is a sin and must cease. 
Soon this generation will be passed, other men our lands 
will till and other men our streets will fill. When we are 
all gone the South as well as the North will speak kindly 
of him who dared to oppose his country's unjust laws." 

All of Brown's men as well as myself considered the 
Harper's Ferry raid an unwise move, but to Brown, 
human life seemed a secondary matter, as compared to 
the continuation of national sin. 

The last evening I stayed at the Kennedy Farm. After 
a supper of corn cake and molasses, Stephens and Tidd, 
who had melodious voices, sang "All the Dear Folks at 
Home Have Gone" and "Faded Flowers." Their voices 



104 LOOKING BACK 

echoing softly down the glens where the tree of freedom 
was about to appear rooted and nourished in the blood of 
those brave helpless invaders. Oliver Brown, noticing my 
emotion, gave me a friendly slap on the shoulder, saying, 
"Now we will all join in with father, 'Nearer my God 
to Thee,' " which we did before kneeling together for 
the last time at that strange family altar. 

When I left for the North next day, the understand- 
ing was that the raid would not take place until about 
November 1st, but condition made it expedient for them 
to move at once, which they did. 

I arrived home the 17th of October, and after sup- 
per I saddled the horses, when my wife, Vida and myself 
ran up the mountains at a spirited canter, arriving at the 
Brown Farm in the dark. In the small frame house we 
found his wife, Mary, and three of his daughters, Anna, 
Sarah and Ellen; Mary, the wife of Oliver; Henry and 
Ruth Thompson and several neighbors. 

All listened in silence, while I related the incidents 
of my visit at the Kennedy Farm, but, of course, none 
of us knew that Brown had already taken possession of 
Harper's Ferry, that Oliver and Watson had been killed, 
and that the old man was holding out so grimly in the 
engine house. 

About ten days later the exaggerated telegrams con- 
cerning Harper's Ferry were afloat which set us all agog, 
but not until Friday the 21st did we get a copy of the 
New York Times, of the 18th, which I took up to the 
Elba home, and we all listened while Annie read it 
through, then for several moments all remained silent, as 
we thought father and all were dead. 

Later we learned that the father was alive, but Wat- 



LOOKING BACK 105 

son and Oliver were dead, and that Owen was missing, 
which was considered equivalent to being dead. 

John Brown's trial ended October 21st. On Novem- 
ber 2d he was sentenced to be hanged, which execution 
was carried out December 2, 1859. 

Of those missing. Cook and Haslet were captured, 
and we took it for granted that Owen and the other three 
for whom there was a reward offered had been killed at 
the Ferry, but not reported. 



THE DEAD APPEAR 

Near the time set for the execution of Mr. Brown we 
were all nervous, especially our Vida and Sarah Brown ; 
they were about ready to fly, and what happened, Vida 
must tell it herself. 

"Oh, no, papa ; you're telling the story ; keep right on." 

Well, as I have said, we knew that the three Brown 
boys, Watson, Owen and Oliver, were dead and the 
father was to be executed December 2d, and we were 
running back and forth to the Elba Farm all the time, 
trying to help the women to bear up under this trying 
ordeal. 

One dark evening, the last of November, two neigh- 
boring girls came in and stayed until after 10 o'clock, 
when Vida and my wife accompanied them to the gate. 
When she returned, as we were sitting before the fire 
in this big fireplace, a soft rap came on the door, which 
we seldom use, and as I rose up Vida said : "That is 
Flossy, let me go." 

The door being in the entry, from where we sat Mary 
and I could not see Vida when she opened it, but listened 
if we might recognize the voice. The voice being inaudi- 
ble, I started to go just as Vida uttered a low moan, 
staggered backwards to where I could see her, and fell 
in a dead faint. 

I sprang to the open door and called out, but could 

see nor hear no one. Then I closed and locked it, and 

Mary brought the camphor, but we could not bring her 

back, so as to tell whom she had seen for a long time. 

106 



LOOKING BACK 107 

When she recovered she said it was one of the Browns, 
but she thought he was dead. I instantly decided it was 
John Brown, who had escaped from Charlestown jail, 
which was a feasible conchision, as all the news we 
were receiving in the Adirondacks was nearly a week 
old and unreliable. 

Rushing out I ran down into the road, calling John 
by name, when I heard a voice near the house, and turning 
back, discovered it was Owen Brown, who had been 
reported missing, and we supposed he was dead. 

When in out of the cold and before the big fireplace 
with Mary washing his hands and face, Vida trying to 
untangle his unkempt hair and I getting off his shoes, 
which had not been removed in weeks, he covered his 
face with his hands and wept, but did not speak. 

After supper he listened to our reports from Harper's 
Ferry and North Elba as we had gained them, and then 
inquired if I thought it was imprudent for him to try 
to visit those at home, to which I assured him that he 
would be more safe in Washington than he was in the 
Adirondacks. 

"Then," said he, "it is better that they never know 
you have seen me." Then turning to Vida said : "You 
can keep a secret?" Vida put her hand on his head say- 
ing, "Try me and see." 

It was soon arranged that Mary should spend the 
next day cleaning and fixing his clothes, Vida would 
run Fleet Foot Jim up to the Elba Farm and without 
revealing anything bring back all the news, while I was 
to borrow what money he might require, and the follow- 
ing night he and I were to run, on saddle, to Robert 
Doan, a staunch abolitionist, from which place he would 
make his way to his brother at Dorsett, Ohio. 



VIDA'S DARING EXPLOIT 

We were unable to get Owen ready for the night ride 
until the second evening, when Vida declared her in- 
tention to accompany us as far as Jobe's Hill, seventeen 
miles down the mountain. "For," said she, "when Mr. 
Brown is clear from the Adirondack region, he can make 
his way in comparative safety to Utica, or if he is going 
to Ohio, he can follow the lake shore to Rochester. Now 
do not say no. Papa, for I am not afraid ; they will never 
catch Old Jim while I am on his back. Besides, a lady 
riding with two men might fool even a shrewd detective, 
if such a thing might be that any of our mountain green- 
horns have turned detectives for the sake of the reward 
which is out for Owen." 

"Why, Vida," said Owen. 

"Please do not object, Mr. Brown. I am an Adiron- 
dack lassie who used to go barefoot in summer, and I 
know as much about these backwood aspirants as anyone." 

"Now, my dear child," I said. 

"Papa," she continued, "will you, for once, allow your 
pet to have her own way? If you should be caught, think 
of the consequences ; and you. Mamma and I would be 
ashamed to hold up our heads in church. Now, Mamma, 
will you take my side?" 

"You know. Papa," said Mrs. Thompson, "that all 
the girls are accustomed to — " 

"All right— all right," I said, for I felt that Vida's 
plan was sensible. 

108 



LOOKING BACK 109 

At 10 o'clock, when we went out to saddle the horses, 
we were startled by two strangers standing near the 
gate, but soon learned they were wood choppers from 
the timberlands farther up the mountain, who had become 
confused, thinking they might be on the wrong road. 

Fleet Foot Jim, who was always proud when my wife 
or Vida was on his back, pranced, nibbled his bit, paced 
and cantered until Vida patted his neck and talked baby 
talk to him, when he steadied down and we went on at 
a brisk trot, seldom speaking until we reached Jobe's Hill, 
where Vida kissed me again, bidding me not to worry, 
shook hands good-bye with Owen and she was off on 
a spirited run through the midnight gloom. 

Brown and I listened to the klick of the horse's feet 
as they made the turn down through the dark timber 
valley, then ascending the hill the klicking grew fainter 
until they passed over the brow of the hill, when it ceased 
altogether. 

"Listen," said I to Brown, "the long wooden bridge 
we came over is not more than two miles away," and as 
we waited the rumbling thunder from old Jim's heels on 
the bridge assured us that Vida's lonely midnight ride 
up the Adirondack Mountains would soon be over, and so 
it was, for she left the hemlock grove on Jobe's Hill at 
just 11 :30 and bounced into her waiting mother's arms at 
home at 12:15, making the 17 miles in 45 minutes, which 
she always refers to as her glorious midnight ride. 



OWEN BROWN'S STORY 

"Soon after you left us at the Kennedy Farm we were 
startled by the rumor that the authorities were about to 
come down upon us, so we decided to seize the arsenal 
Sunday night. 

"Father routed us out earlier than usual for our 
family worship on Sunday morning, and all of us knelt 
together for the last time. 

"Now Oliver and Watson are dead, father is to be 
hanged to-morrow, I am a fugitive with a large reward 
over me and most of the others are either dead or soon 
will be. 

"We left Kennedy Farm at dusk Sunday, October 16, 
1859. In our party there were, besides father ; Watson, 
Oliver and I, Marriam, the two Coppic boys. Cook, Tidd, 
Kagi, Taylor, Bill Thompson, Hazlett, Copeland, Leary, 
Greene, Anderson and several other men. 

"Father rode in the wagon and the others walked two 
by two, all but Marriam, Cook, Barclay, Coppic and my- 
self, who were left to guard the arms and other effects 
until we heard from the raid. 

"Tidd came out to us in the morning stating that the 
battle was going on fiercely and that our men were being 
hemmed in on all sides. Then he reported that more than 
fifty had been killed, the Mayor of Harper's Ferry had 
been shot, and Watson and Oliver were dead ; so, upon 
this report we decided to flee from the scene and leave 
all behind. 

110 



LOOKING BACK 111 

"We hastily ate and fixed up as much lunch as we 
could carry, when Marriam, Coppic, Cook, Tidd and 
myself ran across the country to Maryland Heights, 
where we could view the scene but could not help. 

"At first we saw no troops, but hundreds of men 
from behind trees, rocks and buildings firing at our men, 
who, as yet, held the town. We could see father, with 
s\vord in hand, walking about apparently encouraging 
the men. 

"Soon we saw a squad of more than a hundred sol- 
diers leave the bridge and march down the street towards 
father and his few men, and could see father begin pre- 
paring for the onslaught. 

"When they were about two hundred feet distant 
father apparently gave the word to fire, and it was kept 
up until two of our men and more than twenty of their 
troop lay dead in the street, while their live ones retreated 
in confusion to the covered bridge from whence they 
came. 

"Truly it was a strange sight to see father, an old 
man, with a handful of mountaineers holding the town of 
Harper's Ferry against that company of Maryland regu- 
lars, besides receiving an occasional shot from behind 
buildings or other places of safety. He was facing odds 
of more than fifty to one, who, not knowing what father's 
re-enforcements might be, were really panic stricken. 

"Through continuous firing, one after another of our 
few men were shot down, until father abandoned the 
arsenal and seemed to be barricading the engine house 
with his few men, probably not more than three or four 
besides himself. 

"Colonel Robert E. Lee, with a company of United 
States Marines, appeared just before dark but did not 



112 LOOKING BACK 

attempt to capture the enemy's stronghold in the engine 
house, possibly because he had heard the rumor that 
father had three or four thousand men in the mountains 
waiting his command. 

"Knowing that anything more on our part to help 
father would virtually be suicide, we gathered up our 
effects and started on our night tramp through the Blue 
Ridge Mountains in a northwesterly direction. 

"We traveled in the roads strung out about ten rods 
apart, myself in advance, so when I met anyone I would 
engage him in conversation until the other boys were con- 
cealed from the view of the road. When passing villages 
we climbed the fences and ran around. 

"Soon our food was ear corn, which we pillaged from 
the farmers. This we could not pop or roast, as we dare 
not build a fire. We could travel in the rain nights, but 
we could not sleep days when it was wet and cold, and we 
suffered terribly. After several days suffering. Cook pro- 
posed to venture into the town for food, to which Tidd 
strongly objected and I often had my hands full trying to 
quiet their quarrels. 

"About the sixth day out we slept on a mountain which 
overlooked Ole Forge, near Chambersburg, Pa., where 
Cook was determined to go down for food, which he did, 
and never returned, and as you know, was captured and 
will soon share the fate of others at Charlestown. 

"Marriam was now so weak that he could go no fur- 
ther, and I at a great risk, got him down to Chambers- 
burg, where he boarded a train without detection. Then 
we were but three." 

"Fearing that Cook might be forced to reveal our 
whereabouts and intentions, we traveled all that night 
back towards the hill from whence we came, making our 



LOOKING BACK 113 

course as zigzag as possible, so detectives would be un- 
able to design our intentions or lay in wait for us. 

"The third day after Cook's capture, an old lady hunt- 
ing nuts in the woods came spank upon us, while we were 
sleeping in the sun. We were still near Chambersburg 
and from what she had heard she knew who we were, 
and told us so. To kill her would be wrong, to let her 
go back and report would be dangerous ; but she soon put 
us at ease by telling about her abolition friends in Massa- 
chusetts and how her son, with whom she lived, and all 
her neighbors would help us on the way. 

"We trusted her and at dark we found ourselves in 
her son's home eating chicken-pie and drinking hot cof- 
fee, which we had not partaken of in ten days. Soon 
another sympathizer came in and the two men arranged 
to take us on our journey as far as they could before 
morning. 

"When we were small, father used to tell us children 
about the angels and I formed the idea that they were 
sweet, lovely and looked beautiful, but oh, Mr. Thomp- 
son, that dear old lady, I wish you could have seen her 
just as she looked to me that night, stepping around so 
softly to make us comfortable. Why, Thompson, she 
seemed so handsome, while looking through my tears I 
actually think she might have been an angel which God 
sent to comfort us. When we were ready to start, she 
put her arm around each of our necks and kissed us, say- 
ing, 'We will play that I am your mother, just for tonight.' 

"Acting on our host's guarantee, we rode boldly down 
through Chambersburg, where Cook had just been taken, 
but all was well. At break of day, when about forty-five 
miles away, we jumped out with our luggage, eight loaves 



114 LOOKING BACK 

of bread and part of a boiled ham, and fled into the 
woods. 

"Now we found ourselves among the Quakers, who 
fed and protected us, and in a few days we separated, I 
working my way to you, and here I am tonight. 

"Father taught his followers that the move on Har- 
per's Ferry would precipitate conditions which would free 
the slaves. If, as we believe, God was leading him, it 
surely will, for dark as it appears to us today, it may 
be all right when viewed by the coming generations." 

Then in a voice, just like old John Brown himself, 
Owen softly sang a verse of the hymn, "God Moves in a 
Mysterious Way His Wonders to Perform." We rode 
a little way in silence and again he struck up : 

"Let us love one another as long as we stay 

Where storm after storm rises dark o'er the way." 



AFTER THE MIST HAD CLEARED AWAY 

Forty-six years have passed since the sixteen year old 
Vida played her part so well in the strange drama of 
freedom's birth, and now, in an automobile tour to the 
coast of Maine with my wife, Mary Prickett, and our 
sixteen year old Vida, who to me, is a veritable imprint 
of the afore-characterized Vida Thompson. I again travel 
the winding roads of the old Adirondack Mountains. 

We visit the John Brown farm, sit in his easy chair, 
and climb the great rock which silently stands sentinel 
where, in turn, the cold winter's blasts in their wild mid- 
night ride howl weirdly, and the sweet spring mornings 
awaken the forest song birds who shy their nests among 
the wild flowers near the grace of the old Hero — John 
Brown. 

The Browns are gone from North Elba. New York 
State has secured possession of the farm and erected a 
fitting monument to the memory of John Brown. When 
the old home is gone, and the monument has been re- 
placed, the great rock will stand there just as Brown 
found it, seeming to say, "I alone will stay and guard his 
long repose." 

Strangers now live in the Thompson home, the ever- 
green on Jobe's Hill is seen no more, the long wooden 
bridge over which Old Jim thundered out the distant 
echo as he hastened the fair Vida through the mountains, 
has been replaced and each fair day, as the evening sun 
nears Ontario's restless waves, it kisses a fond adieu to 
115 



116 LOOKING BACK 

the little cemetery where Mr. and Mrs. Thompson sleep, 
while a little child smoothes Grandma Vida's silver locks 
on yonder's distant shore where the grand old Pacific 
ebbs and flows as time rolls on. 



YANKEE HORSEMEN GO WEST 

The following year, 1865, it appears Gordon and I 
were not satisfied to let well enough alone, so we gave up 
our lucrative business for something more leisurely, by 
going into Batavia, New York, as fruit dealers. We had 
a stack of money and pitched right in, buying up whole 
orchards and paying approximately 40 per cent down, and 
when apples declined from $8.00 to $5.00 per barrel we 
had hardly enough money left to get out of town with, 
but our brother, Collins, loaned us all we needed and we 
struck out again at our old business, undaunted, as though 
nothing had happened. 

The next year, 1866, we three brothers, with our 
wives, and all our teams hung out for the winter at 
Cleveland, Ohio. 

Collins and Martha. 

Merrick and Mary. 

Gordon and Amanda. 
In the spring, 1867, with about fifty teams, we scat- 
tered over the south and west planning a rendezvous on 
the Mississippi River, where we all grouped for about 
three months. Our evenings of sport are better remem- 
bered than imagined. We had expanded our business 
until there were nearly 100 of us, playing tricks on each 
other, wrestling, lifting, swimming, running horses, tell- 
ing stories, singing songs, etc. 

One of our men, a hostler, named Kelly, made an 
impromptu speech one evening, which was comical, but 
117 



118 LOOKING BACK 

without the surroundings could not be appreciated. Ram- 
son Young started an old-time school play of snapping 
the whip. It consisted of a captain standing at his post 
and as many as were take hold of hands and when he 
gave the word, all start on a swing to run around him. 
Of course, the outer one must run faster and the trick 
was to all pull the outer or tail man off his feet and see 
him try to save himself from falling. They got Kelly 
on the end and when he came around the next man let 
go of his hand, his body got ahead of his legs and he 
ran among the tables and dishes and through the camp 
fire in his big bare feet, before he could stop, but did not 
catch on that it was intentional. 

Next evening the boys gathered again and when Kelly 
saw that he would be on the tail end, he let go, and 
stepping onto a stump said : "Gentlemen, I am a Hoosier, 
born in the .State of Indiana, and an uneducated man, but 
you will never again get me on the tail end of that 'ere." 
I did not like to see Young impose on Kelly, so I em- 
braced the first opportunity to even up matters. One 
evening while waiting in camp for supper, near Duluth, 
Kelly was exhibiting his new shotgun, when Young said 
to me : "I'm going to bet with Kelly he cannot hit my 
new hat at twenty paces, and you must load the gun, 
but put in no shot." 

"I will do nothing of the kind," I said. 

"Yes, you will, Mr. Richardson; this is just for a 
joke." 

"I tell you I will have nothing to do with your tricks." 

"Kelly," he cried, "I will bet you a quarter that you 
cannot hit my new hat at twenty paces, and Mr. Richard- 
son says he will load the gun." 



LOOKING BACK 119 

"All right," says Kelly, "Richardson is honest ; I will 
trust him." 

I again refused, but when they both insisted I took 
the new gun and amunition and when out of sight I put 
in, not only a good charge of powder, but a whole hand- 
ful of buckshot, and when I delivered it, Young said to 
Kelly: "Suppose we make it fifty cents instead of a 
quarter?" "All right," said Kelly. 

By this time all the boys were excited, for they knew 
Kelly could hit the hat, and Young began betting five 
and ten cents each, with them, until he had nearly two 
dollars up and his new straw hat on stake. 

Young caught me smiling, and looked at little scared 
as he whispered, "There is no shot in the gun?" to which 
I paid no attention. Now Kelly squared himself and 
took aim long and steady and then fired. Of course, 
blowing the new hat all to driblets. 

Young gave me one wicked glance and then stood 
around like a rooster in the rain, and when the joke 
got out he simply remarked, "If a man cannot trust a 
preacher, who can he trust?" 

We had a ministerial looking fellow w^ith us, who 
gave his name as Wilson from New Jersey. He had 
worked for us but a few months when one morning three 
men came up and stopped one of our teams. Wilson, 
who was driving a front team, looked back, and, dropping 
his rein, ran for the woods, nearly a half mile distant, 
looking neither to the right or left until he disappeared 
into the bushes. Next day, going through a piece of 
woods,,! heard Wilson's voice, "Is everything all right?" 
and when told that the men only wanted to buy a horse, 
he still suspected that he had seen one of them before. 



120 LOOKING BACK 

Although he was with us until near the end of our trav- 
els he never told us why he ran so fast. 

Of course, our lives were full of peculiar incidents. 
Mr. Young, who deputized me to load the gun, delighted 
in telling the fortunes of those who came around the 
camp fire in the evening, and it was rich to listen to him 
when he had a fellow and girl on the string, who were 
really serious. 



MY RELATION 

We camped over Sunday near the home of a distant 
relative of mine, who had come out west many years 
before and had been prosperous. He was a great big 
generous farmer of about seventy-five years, who en- 
joyed our stories and songs hugely, while he supplied 
our camp with eggs, ham, chicken, cream and vegetables. 
One of his neighbors told me a secret about the old man's 
narrow escape from death, which I have not forgotten. 

It appears that after his first wife's death, the old 
chap married a young woman of the neighborhood, who 
made him an excellent wife, although there was a slight 
blemish of character on the family from which she came. 
It seems that before the marriage he had agreed never 
to twit her about her relation, but had broken over sev- 
eral times, for which she had warned him to desist if he 
valued his life. 

One day, as the stor}^ went, she was making pies 
and he was in the kitchen tormenting her. for which 
she gave him tit for tat until he remarked. "Well, thank 
the Lord I was reared in a family of God-fearing and 
law-abiding citizens." She uttered an unprintable phrase, 
and drew a butcher knife from the table drawer. It was 
the one which the old gent had often used to slay pigs and 
calves, but he had never dreamed it would one day be 
used to wind up his own earthly career. 

A glance at the keen, ugly blade caused him to un- 
ceremoniously discontinue the argument and rush out 
121 



122 LOOKING BACK 

the back door crying, "Help ! Help !" Knowing the 
unscrupulous character of the family to which his sweet- 
heart belonged, and the heat to which he had fired her 
passion, he, without stopping to either pray or swear, 
lit out for the orchard, hoping to distance his fair pur- 
surer and climb a tree. 

In this horrid dilemma of running while looking, both 
before and behind, he forgot about the old unused wel! 
without a curb, and just as she was about to plunge the 
awful knife, he dropped into the well just deep enough 
to save himself from decapitation. 

"I was one," said the relator, "to help old John out 
of the well and patch up an armistice, which I think he 
has held sacred, and twitted his wife no more about her 
relation." 



HORSE JOCKIES 

We had now abandoned our tin peddling business ex- 
cept as a means of settling expense bills, and had become 
successful horse dealers. 

Our fine horses gave us a sort of prestige and welcome 
in traveling over the country. Our lookout for bargains 
was always in unmanageable young horses, which usually 
became docile through kind treatment. Of the three 
brothers, Collins was the best judge of a horse, while 
Gordon and I were close buyers. Our method was to 
trade for or buy unmanageable young sound horses and 
put them on the wheel of a four-horse team. After they 
had fought and tired themselves out they would come 
along and soon be working all right. In this way we 
could tame the ugliest animals and never whip them. 
Then they were for sale and would please the buyer. 
Sometimes we had more than one hundred horses, which 
gave a good selection for the buyer. 

A few of our men were on good salary, but many 
were hangers on. 

Frank Button, from Vermont, was ahvays on hand 
in the time of trouble. He was kind-hearted, but when 
on a lark was always looking for the bully of the town. 
The Aurora papers came out one morning with large 
headlines, stating that Ben Grim, the "Terror or Ter- 
rier" of Aurora, had tackled one of Richardson's horse 
jockies, named Button, wdio although appearing like a 
123 



124 LOOKING BACK 

common cloth-bound wooden-button, proved to have been 
brass inside, but it was hoped that Grim would live. 

At Davenport we camped over Sunday on the river 
just north of the town, where the Methodist minister (a 
jolly good fellow) thought to invite us to come and hear 
him preach. In coming up through the teams he chanced 
to climb the six-horse van to see how things looked 
inside. Tiger, the one-eyed brindle pup, could not stand 
for that, and when we all rushed to see what the stranger 
was yelling about, we found the minister swinging from 
the top bar of the Broad Gauge by both hands, while 
Tiger was swinging from the seat of the minister's pants 
by his teeth. Our liberal donation for his new pants vir- 
tually healed the breach, but that evening, when in his 
sermon he lauded us for our Christian benevolence and 
sympathy, he said nothing about the seat of his pants, 
nor even. mentioned the faithfulness of our beloved Tiger. 

At Evansville I boarded an Ohio River steamer for 
Louisville, on which there were four colored men, accus- 
tomed to singing old plantation melodies at each landing. 
I took them with us through the hills of old Kentucky 
for several weeks and we all learned to sing their songs. 
I am wishing now I could be in that old camp once more, 
and hear those voices again : 

"Oh, Dearest May, You're Lovelier Than the Day,'* 
•'Down on the Old P. D.," "My Old Kentucky Home Far 
Away," "Darling Nelly Gray," and the like. 

Prosperity and joy were with us in every way, and 
never in all our travels did we have a man get severely 
hurt. We three brothers were strong, athletic and humor- 
ous and always made companions of our men. 

Our foot and horse racing was often exciting. Our 
Inst foot race was in Cleveland, Ohio, where after we 



LOOKING BACK 125 

three brothers had outdone all the men we ran it off 
between ourselves on the Lake Shore, where Collins won, 
but I told him it was just by the length of his nose. 

Some of us were good marksmen, but when we run 
on to a backwoodsman in Missouri, who had about a 
dozen squirrels he had killed that morning, all shot in. 
the eye except one, which was hit in the ear, for which 
he apologized, as he declared that in the tallest tree he 
was able to hit ninety-nine out of one hundred in the 
eye, we boasted no more about our marksmanship. 

If Frank and Jesse James, the notorious outlaws of 
the Wild West, ever visited our camp, we did not know it. 
I visited their old home twice while in Missouri, and 
listened to their mother's story about her boys she loved 
so well. At that time the State of Missouri had out 
rewards, in the aggregate of more than $50,000 for their 
capture, dead or alive. 



LANDED IN CHICAGO 

In the fall, Collins and Gordon returned to Con- 
necticut, while I, having spent much time in the South, 
laid up in Cleveland for the winter. They returned to 
Cleveland in the spring, when at the solicitation of our 
dear wives we decided to dispose of as many of our teams 
as possible during the summer and locate permanently in 
some large city, which we did, and in the fall of 1868. 
with about 100 horses and seventy-five men, we landed 
in Chicago. 

We purchased the northwest corner of Canal and 
Lake Streets, running to the alley each way. Besides 
some little stores on Lake Street, there was an immense 
ice house and a large wooden structure occupied by Gar- 
land, Downs & Holmes, as sales station of a carriage 
manufacturer in Boston. These gave us ample room for 
all our teams, but before our titles were perfected the 
city condemned most of the property in opening Dutch 
Broadway (Milwaukee Avenue) into Lake Street, and 
althovigh we never came into legal possession of the 
property the city's appraisement was su'^h that ovu" pur- 
chase left us a good bonus besides our occupation of 
the building for over a year. We then lived over stores 
on Canal Street, where the Chicago & Northwestern 
Depot now stands. 

In 1869 we bought property on both sides of Lake 
Street, in the second block west of Western Avenue, 
where we built homes on the south and a factory on 
126 



LOOKING BACK 127 

the north side of the street. A\'e then sold our teams, 
mostly to our men on the installment plan, holding the 
l)roperty in our name until paid for. Then we started 
manufacturing tinware, working about fifty tinners, sell- 
ing the ware to those who bought the teams. It was a 
success. Soon all the teams were off our hands, and the 
once prolific and romantic business and escapades of 
the three Richardson brothers had entirely disappeared. 

In 1872 Collins sold out to Gordon and me, he return- 
ing to Connecticut and settling down on a farm. 

In 1874 we sold out the tin factory, and Gordon, 
who had always been a lover of fast horses, began deal- 
ing in them again. 

I, who had all the time been exhorting and writing 
books, entered the Evanston Theological Seminary, pre- 
paring for the ministry, but when Dr. H. W. Thomas 
experienced his troubles with Rock River Conference. 
I abandoned that course, but kept up, through private 
instructors, the languages and scientific studies for five 
years, including one year of experimental astronomy on 
the great telescope then at Cottage Grove. 



DR. THOMAS 

Thomas' ideas moulded my thoughts into hnes of 
truth. He was a good man, a profound scholar and deep 
thinker, but lived before his time. The following I copy 
from his thoughts : 

THE ORIGIN AND DESTINY OF MAN 
BY H. W. THOMAS, D.D. 

We say that this is the 12th day of December. We 
say that this is the year 1870. We say that it is the 
Sabbath evening, and that we are gathered here in the 
house of worship. We say that we look into each other's 
faces, and that you hear my words. But is this a dream, 
or is it reality? For in the night-time we have often 
dreamed that we have seen large assemblages ; we have 
heard music and singing; we have listened to sermon or 
lecture ; we have loved, we have hoped, we have wept, we 
have been glad — and in the morning we have found it 
was only a dream. There have not been wanting, in our 
world's history, those who have held that all our day-life 
is only another kind of a day-dream. And, when we come 
to think of it, it is not the easiest thing to disprove this. 
I do not know how to prove that I am here better than 
just to say so. I do not know how I can be much more 
certain of the fact than I am of certain facts in my 
dreams. Yet somehow we feel that there is something 
more in this life than simply an illusion, and I guess that 
128 




H. W. THOMAS, D. D. 

'l AM GLAD THAT IMMORTALITY IS NOT ONLY A FAITH BUT 

A GREAT FACT. I AM GLAD THAT WHILE THE SNOWS 

OP WINTER MAY LIE OVER THE GRAVES OP LOVED 

ONES, THEIR SPIRITS ARE UP WITH GOD." 



LOOKING BACK 129 

our senses do not deceive us. The revolving earth is 
beneath our feet ; the heavens are above our heads. But 
if this be so, how came we here? How and whence did 
we come ? Are we the results of some process of mate- 
rial nature, the fortuitous concurrence of innumerable 
atoms, or are we the creatures of a living God? Is there 
an order and a plan about our being? Shall our days 
end with the autumn and the snow, or will there be a 
spring time? and shall we wake in the long tomorrow 
and be forever? Now we may ask, "Is this that we call 
death the end of our being?" It seems to me, if we 
get a correct view of death, that it is only another form 
of birth. Personally, I think that one coming down to 
a point of dying may find it something like the setting 
of the sun. Had we never seen the going down of our 
sun, we would dread the thought of darkness coming on. 
Men would gather in the deepest alarm as the great orb 
began to descend in the west. They would gaze anxiously 
at the last lingering rays on the tree-tops and hill-tops. 
But as the sun gradually disappeared, and darkness began 
to settle over them, they would see in the distance a 
twinkling star ; and as they looked at this, another would 
appear, and another, and another, till, as they stood gaz- 
ing, the whole starry heavens would shine out before 
them. Instead of the going down of the sun being an 
eclipse, it only makes visible the splendor of the heavens. 
So we should go down to dying, thinking of the change 
as only revealing to us the vaster universe beyond. 

Socrates, before he died, said he expected soon to be 
with Homer, and Hesiod, and Orpheus, and Musaius. 
Cicero apostrophized his departed daughter, and said he 
would meet her in the realms of the blest. Dante thought 
to find his Beatrice in the spirit-life. 



130 LOOKING BACK 

As I stand here, it seems like a dream that I am 
talking to you in the light of this beautiful room ; that 
the time will soon come when others shall be here and 
we shall be gone. Yes, my friends, the strange mystery 
lies before us. 



EARLY CHICAGO 

Chicago, then about 300,000 inhabitants, was virtually 
in the hands of the gang. The heelers from the assessors' 
office boldly reduced the valuation on property to those 
who stood their assessments for what they called elec- 
tioneering purposes, while raising the assessment on 
those who refused to bribe, until the burden on the honest 
taxpayer became griveous to bear. 

Cases are said to be on record where two vacant lots 
lying side by side were assessed, one five times as much 
as the other, and that not one of our aldermen paid per- 
sonal property tax, while families whose income was 
less than $400.00 per year, were heavily assessed on their 
household effects. 

John AA'entworth ("Long John"), one of Chicago's 
early mayors, who had fought the Indians at Fort Dear- 
born, with several other large land holders, refused to 
pay their taxes until the court of last resort decided 
they must pay as assessed, but the effect of the attempt 
was good, for the following year the valuation on real 
estate was cut down nearly one-half. 

This so diminished the income of the Cook County 
wolves that a panic ensued, which incensed the ever- 
irritable element and finally swelled into anarchy, con- 
summating in the Haymarket Riot, in 1886, in which 
several officers were maimed or killed, and for which a 
few of the chief conspiring anarchists were executed, and 
thus civilization was restored. 
131 



132 LOOKING BACK 

Good men were then selected for responsible positions, 
while the dirty constables and rotten, self-elected magis- 
trates, who held courts in extreme corners of the county, 
where victims were summoned to appear, only to find that 
judgment had been rendered against them, were at last 
stamped under the heels of decency. 

Mr. Story, editor of the Chicago Times, who had 
amassed a large fortune, as the story ran, became in- 
fatuated with a feminine spiritual medium, who acted 
both as advisor and architect in the construction of a 
marble mansion on Grand Boulevard, whose apparent 
cost would have been four times his capital. The warmth 
of the medium did not ofifset the chill of old age, and 
becoming weary, he laid down the burden of life and the 
mansion was never completed. 

Philip Hoyne was perhaps then the most noted crim- 
inal lawyer in Chicago, and this was the story of how 
he first became famous. 

A man had been arrested for horse stealing who haa 
no lawyer and the judge appointed Hoyne, then a young 
man, to defend him. 

"\Miat shall I do for him?" inquired Hoyne. 

"Clear him if you can," said the judge. 

Hovne took the prisoner into the ante-room, used 
for counsel, and said to him : 

"Mr. O'Flerity, did you steal the horse?" 

"I did, your honor," 

"Do you expect to go to the penitentiary?" 

"I do, sir." 

"Do you want me to clear you?" 

"If you can do it. I swear by the Holy Virgin Mary 
that I will come to your wake and bring all me relations." 



LOOKING BACK 133 

Hoyne raised the window and said, "Do you see those 
woods yonder?" 

"Indade, I do, sir." 

"Now, I will hold my watch and see how long it takes 
you to run there." 

When Hoyne returned to court the judge inquired 
where his client was. 

"I do not know." 

"Did I not place him in your charge?" 

"Yes, but you said, 'Clear him if you can,' and the 
last I saw of him he was entering the woods about two 
miles away." 



HORSE RACING IN CHICAGO 

Mr. Billings, the original West Side gas monopolist, 
had a pacer which could go on the street 2 :40 or better, 
and my brother Grodon drove Tom, the silver-tailed 
trotter, who could crowd 2 :30 very close. Billings lived 
on Lake Street, near Union Park, while we lived farther 
west, and we used to race horses nearly every day. 

One noon, on going home to lunch, Billings tackled 
us on Washington Street for a race. Tom drawing us 
two was a little handicapped, so it made the race about 
an even thing. Billings becaxne so excited that he did not 
turn off at Sheldon Street, to his home, but kept on 
through Union Park. When at Robey Street we en- 
countered a fat colored woman and her dog crossing the 
street. A policeman saw us coming and tried to get her 
out of the way, but we ran over the whole bunch. 

We turned right back to the policeman, who knew 
Billings had been instrumental in getting him his job. 
He said he was not much hurt, only his shins ached 
terribly where we had run over them with both wheels. 
The woman had been rolled over and over in the mud, 
but she said she did not care, only for her dog. 

We decided on the officer's advise that it was better 
to settle the case out of court, so we gave the woman a 
dollar for her dog. The next noon we had the race over 
again, and really it was rich to hear Billings and my 
brother both tell how easily they would have won had not 
their horses gone into the air. 
134 



LOOKING BACK 135 

We West Siders had what we called the gentlemen's 
race track, on the south wing of Central Park (Garfield 
Park). Every Saturday afternoon many of the promi- 
nent men with their wives and fast horses assembled 
there, one to show the other how easy his horse could 
do the other fellow's nag up. 

Mr. Eighmy, a man past 75 years, usually had a fine 
stepper and he was a good driver. One day in a race 
of five or six, we could see from the grandstand that 
on turning into the back stretch they had purposely en- 
closed the old gent in a pocket, allowing Wrigley with 
Fly-Away and my brother Gordon with Tom to pass 
on the outside. Soon we saw the sulky in front and the 
one at the old gent's side, together with his own, all in 
a mixup and turning flipflops. When we reached the 
spot we found them all bruised and bleeding, with their 
horses loose on the prairie, but the old man was game, 
and this is what he said : 

"I ran between them purposely. I knew it would 
top us all over, but I said to myself, 'Old Eighmy, you 
haven't long to live at the best, and if you must die you 
might as well kill a couple of these damn mean cusses 
for the good of the community, after you're gone.' " 

Isaac Waxwell and Jim Rawley were forever wrang- 
ling. Jim was usually on the judge's stand and Isaac 
claimed that Jim did not give him a fair show. He cer- 
tainly should have had a fair show, for it was rich to 
see him drive in the dead heat ; he had a peculiar way of 
leaning forward and sticking out his elbows so it looked 
as though he was pushing on the reins. 

John Brennock, a pioneer packer from the stockyards, 
was a unique character. He was a big man with a large 
head, and his mouth was very large in proportion to his 



136 LOOKING BACK 

head. Everyone liked Brennock and knew he was rich, 
for he had told them so. His last resort, in a dead 
heat, was to bawl so loud as to frighten the other drivers' 
horses off their feet. 



HOPEFUL AND RARUS 

On the sportsman's track, adjoining ours on the west, 
national events took place. The race between Hopeful 
and Rarus was the most exciting of anything which 
ever took place in those days. About 60,000 people gath- 
ered to see the race. 

The blooded Rarus was a tall six-year-old bay trotter 
of national fame, from Beldom Brothers' stock farm 
in California. Hopeful was a chubby little white pacer, 
from a farm on the New England hills. He was twenty- 
two years old, and had never been on a race track until 
that season. 

Neither horse had ever lost a race, and while the 
l)ress, from the Atlantic to the Rockies, leaned hopefully 
towards Hopeful, yet they seemed to think that he was 
overmatched. 

The match was really a strife between the people and 
the sporting fraternity, for horse racing throughout the 
country had become demoralized to the extent that the 
gamblers seldom allowed the best horse to win. There- 
fore, all the people wanted to see the old farmer, with 
his handsome pet, win the race. 

It was a delightful October day and not only did the 
whole city turn out, but thousands came in from the coun- 
try, to witness the great national race which had long 
been advertised. 

Rarus came out first, stepping lively around the mile 
course and speeding down past the grandstand, which 
137 



138 LOOKING BACK 

brought forth applause, for all admired the Pacific 
Ranger, who had come to Chicago to win the laurels 
of the day. 

When Hopeful came out and paced slowly up past 
the grandstand he looked one way and the other to those 
who applauded him with a sort of confident grin, but 
when he turned at the north end of the home stretch and 
let loose, the people just yelled and roared, while the 
women acted as though they would like to hug him in 
their arms. 

When lots were chosen and Hopeful won the pole, 
there was another shout, but it was soon followed by a 
row in the judge's stand, as there seemed to be a misun- 
derstanding as to who should call time, or give the word 
to go, but it was finally settled, and the horses appeared 
for probably the most exciting race ever pulled ofl^ on 
the American continent. 

At the word "go" they were off and we all craned our 
necks as they shot around the south bend. Hopeful hug- 
ging the pole and Rarus laying on the wheel of his 
sulky. On the back stretch, Rarus pulled out endeavoring 
to pass, and our hearts were in our mouths, while the 
little mountaineer elevated his head a trifle and steadily 
held the big ranger on the hub until they came under the 
wire. Hopeful winner, first in three. 

We were still uneasy, for the impression was prevalent 
that the blooded animal was a stayer, while Hopeful 
could not make the second mile as fast as the first, but 
he still held the pole, and we argued that if Rarus had 
done his best we were all right. 

When they came out for the second heat we soon 
discovered that we were being jockeyed, for several times 
they came under the wire, neck and neck, and yet were 



LOOKING BACK 139 

called back by the starter, whose neck we wanted to 
wring, for we knew he was doing it to fuss, worry and 
tire our Hopeful. 

The last time they were called back, Rarus turned 
sooner than usual, and before Hopeful could turn he 
was at full speed and came under the wire far ahead and 
got the word "go," which gave him time to swing in 
and take the pole. 

A murmur seemed to stifle the friends of Hopeful 
as the horses swung into the back stretch, where we 
hoped to see the pacer try to pass, but he steadily hung 
on the hub, as he had done around the south bend, and 
continued this all the way around the north bend, when 
suddenly his driver pulled him out into the center of 
the home stretch, and the great race was on in dead 
earnest. 

We had taken some ladies from the ground into our 
carriage, so they could see, while I stepped onto the 
tire of one wheel with my wife, Mary's hand on my neck 
to keep me from falling. In the excitement she gripped 
me so hard I can almost feel her hand now. 

Our position near the judge's stand gave us a full 
view of the horses as they were coming, with Hope- 
ful's head high and his knees far apart. For a few sec- 
onds the silence which seemed to reign was only broken 
by the seemingly far away sound of the horses' feet on 
the soft dirt, but soon those at the north started a cheer, 
which wildly broke along the throng like a wave, as 
Hopeful steadily poked his nose farther to the front 
until Rarus flew up into the air, when the news began 
flashing over the wires into the country that Hopeful 
had won. 

Amid the cheers and yells, a ridiculous scene occurred 



no LOOKING BACK 

which the reader should have witnessed to appreciate. 
Suddenly in the crowd nearby a gruff voice seemed utter- 
ing smothered oaths, while a woman shouted shrieks of 
terror, as she suddenly appeared above the throng sitting 
on the top of a man's head, he pawing with both hands 
to try to get her off, while she was struggling for release. 

The cause of this strange episode took place some- 
thing like this : He was a burly, cross-eyed Wolverine, 
from the tall pine tree country, who came down to bet 
his hard-earned money on the famous Pacific Coast 
trotter. During the excitement someone knocked his 
glasses off, and in order for the cross-eyed man to see 
to find them he had to put his face near to the ground. 
She, Mrs. Durgan, a little woman, it seems, when awfully 
tickled, was accustomed to spat her hands on her knees 
and run backwards while laughing. When she heard 
Hopeful had won, forgetting where she was, she indulged 
in her old habit of running backwards until she sat on 
his head. 

When he felt her alight he sprang erect and, of 
course, not being able to see out or know what was hap- 
pening, uttered a few excusable oaths. After the good- 
natured man had found his spectacles he looked pitifully 
at the woman, who was deluged in a flood of tears, and 
then turning to me smiled, as he said, "Didn't that beat 
hell?" 

That was long, long ago. Should the recording angel 
call the roll today of those who were there that day, not 
one in ten would answer, and in a few years all will be 
silent. Where have they gone, and will they come again ? 



CHICAGO PIETY 

Jim Sackley, an Irishman of merited renown, was liv- 
ing in the neighborhood of Lake Street and Western 
Avenue, when we arrived in Chicago. He had been a 
sort of self-appointed constable of the town of Cicero, 
which he said included all the territory west of Western 
Avenue. 

Thompson Brothers at the time were running a gen- 
eral store on Lake Street and, as they were politically 
inclined, their store seemed to be a gathering place for 
the worthy aspirants of the neighborhood. 

One evening Gordon and I were in the store when 
Tony McGuel, a gentleman from Cork, came in to an- 
nounce the death of his wife. We all huddled around him 
in sympathy, for we had not even heard that she was 
sick. The surroundings of the scene were made all the 
more pitiful, as it had taken place just before pay day at 
the car barns, and he needed a little assistance financially, 
so Hiram and Harvey Thompson headed the subscription 
list, and soon we had raised quite a respectable sum. 

Jim Sackley was there and in just the frame of mind 
to shed sympathy copiously, for it was said that one of his 
near relatives had recently passed away and he was in 
communication, at intervals, with the priest, who was 
still praying her out of purgatory. Not only this, but 
Jim, although not an Irishman himself, for as he had said 
his children were all born in this country, yet he had 
seen the auld sod and, like Joseph and his kinsmen in 
141 



142 LOOKING BACK 

Egypt, with a five dollar bill in his hand he fell on Tony's 
neck and they kissed and hugged like mother and babe. 

Of course, they had both been drinking slightly, which 
made the tears flow more freely, which so afifected us all 
that we pulled out our linen and wiped away the surplus 
moisture. 

After Tony had gone with about $13.00, which Sackley 
said would only buy the cheapest coffin, Sackley and 
Harvey Thompson shaved, put on clean shirts, and called 
at the home to view the corpse and, if necessary, offer 
prayer, when to their surprise the corpse met them at the 
door, and said she did not know where Tony was ; the 
last she heard of him he was trying to borrow money 
to attend a wake down on Canal Street. 



PUBLIC CONVEYANCE 

During those days the Chicago Street Railway Com- 
pany suffered much through what might be called grow- 
ing pain. The Randolph Street cars turned at Union 
Park over onto Lake Street, as far as Robey, and there 
they stopped during the busy hours of morning and 
evening, only running to their barns on \\"estern Avenue, 
when they were not in a hurry. 

Their excuse for not running all their cars to West- 
ern Avenue was that they could not afford to carry pas- 
sengers so far for five cents, as hay was $5.00 a ton 
and oats twenty-seven cents per bushel, besides the pub- 
lic demanded such extravagant service. 

The patrons continually murmured about the cars be- 
ing cold in winter, so the company filled into each car 
about a foot of loose straw to keept feet warm. This 
did not work, for the ladies' skirts dragged in the mud 
and tobacco spittle, and as a result our common council 
rashly passed an ordinance requiring the company to heat 
their cars. 

The company's first impression was that it could be 
done with hot water bags, which the wise city fathers 
rejected, so the company turned to red hot iron. They 
made receptacles at intervals under the seats, where they 
carried hot iron, which they exchanged, the cold for the 
hot, at the return of each trip. This could hardly be 
considered a success, for if one set over where there 
was no heat the chills would creep up his spinal column, 
143 



144 LOOKING BACK 

while if he sat over a fresh hot slab he was in danger of 
being blistered, but the ordinance had been obeyed, and 
the company was proud of their West Side horse car 
line until the cruel hand of competition disturbed their 
sweet repose. 

A wide awake German by the name of Kolbe bought 
up the old North Shore buss line and furnished it with 
much better horses than the railroad company were using 
and started in to carry passengers over the same route 
for four-cent fare. 

At first the railroad company ignored Mr. Kolbe, but 
soon reduced their fare to four cents, and even at that 
the busses got all the passengers, for they were driven 
faster. 

Now the fun began. The company ordered their 
drivers to make the trip as fast as the omnibusses, or they 
would be discharged, while Kolbe gave orders to his 
drivers to outdo the company. This gave the passengers, 
whose destination was State Street, regular joy rides, but 
those who attempted to get on or off along the route, 
took their lives in their hands. During the heat of excite- 
ment, Kolbe dropped the fare to three cents, which the 
company followed. Even at this, the more frisky pas- 
sengers continued to patronize the buss line, leaving only 
a few grandfathers and gentle dames to ride in the cars. 
This dropped the fare to two cents, when the company 
bought Kolbe out, paying him a fabulous price for his 
old bus line, in railroad stock, which now advanced rap- 
idly, and thus the wide awake German made a handsome 
fortune. 

In 1877 Gordon and I opened up a factory just east 
of the river, on Lake Street. In 1882 we sold our homes 
on West Lake Street, and built on Washington Boule- 




BOULEVARD HOME OF MY BROTHER G. M. 

RIGHT TO LEFT. G. M.. ELMER. PERRIN, ELLA. LAWRANCE, GERTIE, 
MERRICK, GEORGE. AMANDA. 



LOOKING BACK 145 

vard, he at the southwest corner of Albany Avenue, and 
I at the southeast corner of Francisco Street. 

We continued partners until 1885, when we dissolved, 
he remaining at the old stand and I starting in the 
same line on Lake Street, just west of State Street, where 
through damage by water from an adjacent fire, I lost 
heavily and made a bad failure. Soon I picked up again 
and in 1890 bought the northwest corner of Washington 
Boulevard and Curtis Street, and erected a six-story 
factory and began manufacturing on a more extensive 
scale. 



MY ATHLETIC EXPLOITS 

I mention with pride the physical strength and agiHty 
with which I was born, and which sustains me still. 
Equestrianship came into vogue in western cities in about 
1885, and was kept up until bicycles came out. At one 
period I kept four saddle horses for the use of my fam- 
ily. Like other horse fanciers, I carried it to the extreme. 
For over two years, summer and winter, wet or dry, I 
mounted my pet horse, Deacon, at four o'clock in the 
morning, and rode ten to thirty miles before breakfast. 
I also had a vicious horse — Blackhawk — who objected to 
the saddle, which I took out occasionally, just for the 
fun. Often with me in the saddle he would rear up and 
come over on his back, which, when I felt him going, I 
would swing around and land on my feet, then mount him 
again when he was springing up. \Mien I gave him the 
spurs he would kick, only to get the spurs again when 
his heels came down, and sometimes we both went over 
the sidewalk into the ditch, which I enjoyed, for I never 
got hurt. 

In 1895 the bicycle craze came on, and we all left 
our horses and mounted wheels. I objected to the wheel 
at first, but when my son, Arthur, brought me a wheel 
to the factory and insisted that I should try it. I did, and 
made lots of sport for the hands who were watching me 
trying to mount, for whenever I lost my balance I would 
throw the wheel against the curbstone. 

That evening Arthur and Walton Aborn gave me a 
146 



LOOKING BACK 147 

lesson in the dark, and the next day I could ride — that 
was if all the gates were closed — ^but when I saw one 
open I somehow seemed to start right for it, often to the 
disgust of some dignified old gentleman or frowning lady, 
who were scrambling for their lives to get out of my 
way and wondering what I was trying to do. 

About the third day I started before daybreak for 
my brother's summer cottage at Twin Lakes, Wis., about 
sixty-five miles northwest of Chicago. I arrived about 
noon, but, oh, the summersaults I did take. Honestly, 
when I got there, there was scarcely an inch on the wheel 
where the varnish was not scratched, or any very large 
patches on my legs where the skin was presentable, for 
when I took a heels over head into the wayside, the bark 
usually got scraped off of either the saplings or me. The 
next day I took a 100-mile circuitous route home, and 
then for a day was under the care of Dr. Chamberlain, 
my son-in-law, who was bound to have my picture taken, 
which I stubbornly declined, but now I wish I had it. 



MY FIRST HUNDRED MILE RUN 

My soil, Arthur, then famous as one of the long dis- 
tance riders of the west, got up a party of about twenty 
aspirants to take over the 100-mile Elgin and Aurora 
course at a breakneck speed. I was not fitted for such 
a run, but I fell in and we were all off at about five o'clock 
in the morning. 

The wind blew almost a gale in our faces and before 
we reached Elgin all had dropped out but Walton Aborn, 
Jim Carroll, Billy Push, Arthur and myself. 

Down the Fox River Arthur increased the pace to 
that extent that Billy threw himself into the shade of a 
barn and refused to budge, so we left him there. 

On the home run from Aurora, Jim Carroll declared 
his intention not to alight, as was customary at the S. 
Hill, but ride his wheel down, a feat which Arthur told 
him no fatigued rider should attempt. 

We fell back and let him lead, and held our breath 
as he shot out of sight around the first corner at a thirty- 
mile pace. 

When we turned the corner hoping to see Jim far 
away across the Skunkamunk Valley, we discovered a 
swath in the roadside down through the underbrush, 
briers and brambles nearly to the foot of the hill. At the 
end of the swath under an immense heap of rubbish we 
found Jim and his wheel, he blinking like a toad under a 
harrow. 

Jim groaned and grunted and finally told us he did 
148 




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LOOKING BACK 149 

not think he was dead, but his back was probably broken. 
We soon had him on his feet with his wheel righted and 
was pleased to learn that, with the exception of the few 
tufts of hair and chunks of hide left in the trail where 
he had slidden down, he was the same man, only his eyes 
were so full of gravel that he could not see. 

He now proposed to take a bath in the creek in order 
to find out just how much skin he had left on his body. 
For this purpose he attempted to crawl under the barbed 
wire fence, into which his clothes got caught in such a 
way that he could neither raise up nor let down, back out 
or push forward, work his pants ofif, or keep his shirt on. 

When we began to laugh and roar, Jim began to 
swear and cry, and said if we would go on about our own 
business he would get out and come home when he got 
good and ready. 

Now there were only three of us, and Arthur lit out, 
leaving Walton and myself to come as fast as we could. 
We got into a mixup and both took headers over our 
wheels, when we sung out to Arthur to come back and 
help us. 

When he returned I showed deep regret that my wheel 
was broken, for, of course, I was not much tired, but 
when he pronounced both wheels in good running order, 
I felt awfully, for I would have given most anything for 
an excuse to go no farther. 

Arthur now encouraged us by saying he would run 
on a while and then wait for us, so we took it steady, and 
in some way got past him. Then we sat down in the 
shade and waited, for we did not want to report at the 
club house that we had left him in the country, for fear 
they would blame us. We finally started on and came 
slowly, stopping in every shade, waiting for Arthur, until 



150 LOOKING BACK 

we reached Garfield Park, where we met Minnie, my eld- 
est daughter, with Dr. Chamberlain, her husband, and 
Alberta, my next, with her husband, George Carlson, 
together with several other neighbors, all riding their 
wheels, who laughed at us and said Arthur arrived home 
about three hours before. 



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ARTHUR'S AND WALTON'S LONG RUN 

The next summer Arthur and Walton made their 
famous ride through to Crystal Lake, Conn. Here is an 
outline of their exploit, which was considered a great 
achievement, considering the rainy weather and the rough 
roads they encountered between Chicago and Toledo and 
between Silver Creek and Memphis, N. Y. 

Here I reproduce the letters which Arthur sent back 
while on the road : 

Perrysburg, Ohio, June 17, 1896. 
Dear Father : — 

\\"alton and I were very much surprised at the end of 
our first day's ride at Mishawaka, Lid., to read in the Tri- 
bune so much about your winning the 100-mile race over 
all the crack Illinois bicycle riders. The paper was shown 
us by our friends at Mishawaka, and at first we thought 
there was a mistake that father had won the closely con- 
tested race, but Walton said: "No use talking, Uncle 
Merrick is fast — but it is not all in his legs ; it is his 
indomitable will power that wins." Then we pictured 
to ourselves the occasion and "he 55 years old," said L 
"Well, God gave him a strong constitution, and he has 
taken care of it." 

Batavia, N. Y., June 19, 1896. 
Dear Folks at Home : — 

This letter is especially for mother, Minnie and Bertie, 
while the ones about bicycle riding go to father. 
151 



152 LOOKING BACK 

We are stopping here at Uncle John's at Batavia, and 
the rest is very welcome. We were mighty tired and 
this is the first day we have had a chance to rest since 
we left home. 

I tell you, mother, I have a couple of fine cousins 
in Carrie and Ida. I don't think Walton will ever for- 
get Ida's kindness. He was so sore from riding his 
wheel that when he got here he couldn't sit down. He 
had to sleep standing, but Ida made him the dandiest 
pillow and sewed it on to his bicycle saddle, so poor 
Walton is all right now. 

We are going to see Grandmother Hoyt at Elba to- 
morrow. You know it is only six miles north. Well, 
mother, the Hoyts are all in good standing around here, 
and I feel mighty proud of you all. Aunt Alida seems 
young as ever, and the bloom of youth is on her cheek. 
But, say, you would think I was writing a novel, wouldn't 
you ? 

Uncle John and I sat up nearly all night, and he cer- 
tainly told me some very interesting things about the 
Hoyts and Deweys, and many incidents of you in your 
childhood days, when you lived in Rochester, before 
you came to Pine Hill. He says the childhood home of 
Grandfather Hoyt was at Hudson, on the Hudson River, 
and that his family came from Danbury, Connecticut. 
Grandmother Hoyt was a Dewey from Ohio, and her 
father was from Watertown, N. Y., whose ancestors 
sprang from the Herkimer County Mohawk Dutch. 

Now, why can't we claim a connecting link, for we 
all know that my great grandfather, John Richardson's 
brother, Gershom, moved from Stafford, Connecticut, 
to Watertown, N. Y., and I have heard father say that 
he, Warren Richardson, my grandfather, with some other 




ill >ll(M,i. tH)\ LVKE. WINONA (;HOVE. 



LOOKING BACK 153 

men, walked up to Watertown one winter, over 300 miles, 
and staid a month or so with their cousins. They were 
a large family. 

I wish Uncle John lived where I could see him often. 
He is so full of information on all subjects, that I just 
love to talk with him. It made me laugh when he told 
me about how you, Ellen Wilder, Mary Robe and Mary 
Raymond, actually carried old Pine Hill by storm several 
winters. 

Then he got to talking about the war and I really 
cried when he described the battle of Cold Harbor, June 
3, 1864. Just think of it, four brothers — John, Sylvester, 
and the twins, Edwin and Edward — standing there at 
daylight waiting for the order to charge the enemy's 
breast works. Uncle John said that they all thought it 
meant death. Colonel Porter must have been a brave 
man ; he stood in front and said, "Boys, this is our last 
charge, but we are going to obey orders." He unwisely 
wore his uniform in leading; Uncle John said that he 
hadn't gone thirty feet before he was pierced with seven 
or eight bullets. 

Uncle John was captured and sent to Salisbury prison 
for nearly two years. When he came out his mother said 
he looked like a monkey. He only weighed seventy-nine 
pounds. Sylvester was shot in the thigh, Edwin was 
shot through the lungs, and poor Edward ; we have never 
heard from him. Wasn't that an awful price for your 
family to pay for the Union? Uncle said "that from 
1,900 of us boys of that 22d New York Heavy Artillery, 
over 600 were killed in half an hour, and at the next 
roll call at Reams Station, only nineteen men of the regi- 
ment answered the call." 

Well, I can't write any more. Walton has already 



154 LOOKING BACK 

gone to bed and we have got to start at four o'clock to- 
morrow morning. We expect to visit Uncle Sherman 
at Rochester tomorrow. We are in the best of spirits, 
and the way we have been going so far we ought to make 
Connecticut in about twelve or thirteen days from 
Chicago. 

\\"alton and I are awfully proud of father for winning 
the Century from all the fast boys of the Cycling Club, 
but we don't pride ourselves on these short spurts. Our 
specialty is thousand-mile affairs, and if he wants to race 
us he has got to race the whole thousand. Good night. 
Your loving son, Arthur. 

Rochester, N. Y., June 21, 1896. 
Dear Father : — 

We called on our Uncle Sherman Richardson, and he 
was very proud of us, introducing us to many of his 
friends, saying that the blood in our veins was the same 
as ran in his, and that showed the kind of stuff his family 
was made of. I received your letter at Cleveland, telling 
us about your century run, and advising us to reserve our 
strength until we reached your time of life. It naturally 
stiffened our backbone for the remaining part of our 
ride. 

Memphis, N. Y., June 24, 1896. 
Dear Father : — 

I must write just a word, for Walton has had a lucky 
escape. We were pushing along sleepily today when a 
big Newfoundland dog came near killing Walton. I 
looked around just in time to see Walton plunge over 
an embankment into a snarl of milkweeds, briars and 
rocks, head down, with his wheel on top of him. He said 



LOOKING BACK 155 

the dog barked so fiercely that when he made the plunge 
he actually thought he felt the ugly beast's breath on 
the seat of his pants. We soon discovered that the dog 
was tied to a tree, so we went about to repair his wheel. 
The front wheel must have been caught between two 
rocks, when Walton's weight on it (for a frightened man 
weighs heavy) doubled up the forks like a jack knife. 
W'g got a blacksmith to heat and hammer it out and now 
both \\"alton and the wheel are in a good ridable condi- 
tion, and we shall light out again early in the morning. 
Are you getting my postals, which I am sending back 
from every town? This is to prove to the club boys that 
we rode to Connecticut on our wheels and not on the 
train. 

Crystal Lake, Conn., June 28, 1896. 
Dear Father : — 

We arrived here this evening, having made the run, 
1,017 miles, in thirteen days and this is our record : 

Mishawaka, Ind 110 miles 

Edgerton, Ohio 90 " 

Perrysburg, Ohio 68 " 

Wakeman, Ohio 70 " 

Willoughby, Ohio 69 " 

Erie, Pa 82 " 

Silver Creek, N. Y 61 " 

Batavia, N. Y 70 " 

Palmyra, N. Y 63 " 

Memphis. N. Y 50 " 

Little Falls, N. Y 89 " 

Nassau, N. Y 88 " 

Crystal Lake, Conn 107 " 

1,017 miles 



156 LOOKING BACK 

Our last day was the most severe we experienced. 
There was a drizzHng rain all day, in which we rode 
from Nassau, and, of course, you know we had to zig- 
zag over the Green Mountains. 

We stopped a few moments to see Uncle Epaphro 
and Aunt Adelia and she gave us the first free lunch 
we had had since we left Batavia. When we arrived 
here Uncle Lucius and Aunt Caroline were surprised to 
see us looking so well. Then to prove to them that we 
were well as we looked Walton and I turned hand-springs 
on the grass in the front yard, and now we are going to 
bed. Good-night, remember me to the boys, and kiss all 
the girls for me that are worth kissing. 
Affectionately, your son, 

Arthur. 

P. S. — Uncle Collins says the mountains, wildwoods 
brooks, lakes and meadows around your old home are 
still teeming with fruit, flowers, song birds, wild game, 
and shy fish. He says to tell you to come down and 
take a good rest. 



THE FIRST CENTURY RACE 

The Illinois Cycling Club was now in its glory, and I 
joined them and entered for the 100-mile race, which 
came off June 15, 1896, The aspirants began training 
for the event early in the spring, but I attended to my 
business days, and evenings I slipped out, unknown to 
anyone, practicing on the worst hills I could find, pre- 
paring for the race over the Elgin and Aurora course, 
but none of the boys knew that I was having any train- 
ing whatever. 

As Arthur and Walton were to start for Connecticut 
the same morning on their thousand-mile run, we ate 
breakfast together at Lawrence's Restaurant, on Madison 
Street, about three o'clock in the morning. When we 
were about to part, Arthur said to me : "Father, do you 
expect to win that race today?" My reply was to the 
effect that if I did not, Charley Knisely and his fast 
bunch would have to make 100 miles quicker than they 
had ever made it yet. 

When I arrived at the club house about fifty were 
awaiting the command to fall in and about two or three 
hundred standing to see us off, and if ever a dark horse 
entered a race it was M. A. Richardson that morning. 

That evening there were reports in all the daily 
papers, and among other things the Chicago Times-Her- 
ald said in part: "The sixth annual run of the Illinois 
Cycling Club, America's largest cycling organization, took 
place yesterday. Many of the fast riders, anxious to 
157 



158 LOOKING BACK 

make a record over the famous Elgin and Aurora 100- 
mile course, tried to have the event postponed because 
of the heavy rains of Friday and Saturday, but the 
schedule could not be changed in their behalf. 

"As it was a certainty that the rain had made the 
regular Elgin mud roads west of Maywood unridable, 
the course was taken over the Armitage road to Addison, 
'seventeen miles out,' in the vain hope that this road 
would be in better condition. The mud just sufficiently 
dried to be caked and baked into a rough mass, beside 
which corduroy is a boulevard, furnished ample test for 
endurance, strength and skill, for no sooner had a mile 
of it been traveled than the roadside was strewn with 
physical and mechanical wrecks. 

"The stunning surprise of the run was the fact that 
M. A. Richardson, the untrained and oldest member, a 
gray-haired wiry cycler, finished long first, making his 
appearance at the club house at 12:15, one hour before 
R. H. Inman, the second best man, who finished at 1:15. 
Upon the home run from Aurora, Richardson did some 
fast riding, leaving masculine brawn and youth to figure 
out just what had taken place." 

THE SECOND RACE 

The next year the race was set for June 28, 1897, 
when many outsiders from the country came in, all 
intent on beating Richardson, but one can imagine their 
surprise when I announced that I would drive a 126-gear 
wheel, which was equal to a ten per cent handicap from 
the 80-gear then in use. 

The morning was fair and hot when 140 of us lined 
up, of which I was the oldest by about twenty years. 




MYSELF IN THE LEAD UP THE FOX RIVER ON THE FAMOUS 
100 MILE RUN. 



LOOKING BACK 159 

At the word "go" we ran in a bunch about two miles, 
when I pulled out, and then the race really began. At 
Austin Avenue I increased my speed to Twelfth Street, 
when I slowed down and allowed the fast bunch to pass, 
and when they turned west on Twenty-second, as I 
knew they would, I ran straight ahead through Clyde 
to the old Hinsdale road. This confused them, and they 
struck out, each man for himself, to beat Richardson 
in at LaGrange. 

When I struck the Aurora Road again there were 
about twenty-five ahead of me all strung out. It was a 
fine sight to see them between me and Hinsdale, raising 
a cloud of dust in the morning sun that would have done 
honor to the Chicago fire department, hook and ladder 
included. One athletic fellow from the stockyards was 
actually carrying his cap in his teeth, which seemed to 
intensify his comical grin of confidence. 

I entered the cloud of dust at a steady pace, and when 
I arrived in Aurora for registration, eight of the fastest 
in the bunch had registered and were out of sight on 
the road to Elgin. 

The distance as our course ran to Elgin was twenty- 
two miles, for which I set my pace to reach there in 
sixty minutes, which I made in fifty-eight minutes. 

One by one I passed my struggling competitors on 
the winding road up the Fox River Valley, registering 
first man at Elgin and ofif for Chicago before the next 
best man hove in sight, having the last forty miles of 
the road to myself, which I covered at high speed, and 
then ate a fine club breakfast before the second in the 
race arrived. 



DEAD GLACIER 

While studying the North American Indians in Alaska 
I experience a thrilling adventure in the Mendenthall 
Valley which memory often recalls. 

At Juneau, Judge Mellen, one of the eight United 
States judges appointed to Alaska, from Kentucky, who 
had accompanied me to Taku, giving me much infor- 
mation, invited me to dinner, when he told me I ought 
not to leave Alaska until I had seen a dead glacier. 
Mendenthall, he said was the most wonderful but hard 
to approach, and he and his wife declared I was just 
the fellow to tackle the job. 

That evening he sent a trusty guide to me, who had 
another man on the string, and said he would take both 
of us for $20.00, we bearing all expenses. We were 
soon together, with his mother, a lady of great self- 
respect, who advised me to caution her son, Archibald, 
and not allow him to plunge into danger. 

I sized Archibald up and decided he was a good fel- 
low with heavy self-esteem and light experience, so I 
mentioned, before his mother, that the outing would be 
wild experience and very strenuous, at which Archibald 
assured me he could stand it if I could, besides it was 
just the job he was seeking for, as he wanted to take 
something home out of the ordinary. 

The next evening at 10:30, the time when the sun 
sets in Alaska in June, we left Juneau in a rowboat. as 
we must cross the bar at high water at about midnight, 
160 



LOOKING BACK 161 

or go around about fifty miles each way, both going and 
returning. 

Our guide, who had never taken the trip before, mis- 
calculated and we were late at the bar. This left us our 
choice to jump out and draw the boat through the sea 
weeds at once or wait until the next tide came in. Arch- 
ibald reluctantly straddled over the side of the boat, men- 
tioning that he came north for his health, and did not 
think that a midnight bath would be beneficial, especially 
such a very cold one. 

"You will get warm enough," I said, "before noon, 
when we are working our way through that swamp, where 
mosquitoes are as big as grasshoppers and the bears as 
big as oxen." 

"Bears? What bears, Mr. Richardson?" 

"I understand that those woods are full of bears. 
How is it, guide?" 

"That is why I took my rifle along," replied the grim 
old mountaineer, as he tugged at the oars. 

"Where is your rifle, Mr. Richardson?" inquired 
Archibald, as the white of his eyes began to show. 

"Oh, I prefer a large knife for a close contact. Judge 
Mellon said we could borrow either of the Indians." 

Soon we were in deep water again, where the wild 
geese and ducks were scooting this way and that to keep 
out of our way, when Archibald turned his attention to 
the oarsman, saying, "Say, old man, I suppose we can 
hire plenty of guides at the hotel to go with us?" 

"Guides," grunted the boatsman, "I can find the place 
myself. Besides, there ain't no hotel there." 

"No hotel ! Where will we get our breakfast ?" 

"Plenty of fresh bear meat, sir; they kill them every 
day. 



162 LOOKING BACK 

Soon Archibald turned to me and said : "Really, Mr. 
Richardson, I am quite chilly now, and if it will be just 
the same to you I will stay at the landing while our good 
friend takes you to the glacier, which you are so anxious 
to see." 

"Chilly," ejaculated the old guide. "The sun will 
soon be up. It rises here now at 2 :30 in the morning, 
and as for staying at the landing is concerned, would 
you dare stay alone with those Indians?" 

"Alone with the Indians? Why, the Alaska Indians 
are civilized, aren't they?" 

"Spose so, but Mendenthall Valley is a great place 
for men to come up missing." 

THE FOREST. 

At the landing, the Indians set about to prepare us 
breakfast of hot no-cake and coffee. The coffee is from 
burned wild rice, and the no-cake corresponds to our 
corn bread. They pound the dry corn in a mortar with 
a pestle and make and fry them. The guide and I filled 
up on about ten cakes and a quart of coffee each, but 
Archibald refused, whispering to me that the dishes 
smelled of bear's oil ; besides, the excitement had taken 
away his appetite. 

Archibald then said: "That old Indian says they 
live here mostly on fish and bear. Really, do you think 
those bears are of the savage kind?" 

"Oh, no," I replied, "only when they have cubs, but 
they say this is just cubbing time." 

Mendenthall Valley is about ten or twelve miles west 
of Juneau, lies between two precipitous mountain ranges 
over 2,000 feet heigh. The timber, brook and soil give 
evidence of great age, and no indications appear to cause 



LOOKING BACK 163 

one to think it is a grown-up pathway of a glacier. After 
entering the woods we could see nothing ahead, only 
timber, except at intervals an opening, which gave us a 
view of the mountains on either side, as we followed the 
brook, which led us in a zigzag course. 

A\"hen several miles in we discovered unmistakable 
evidence of where some large animal had fled at our 
approach, but we saw nothing but owls, eagles and other 
small game. I was urging the guide to hurry up, while 
Archibald was grumbling because we were going so fast, 
saying he was faint and hungry, so we stopped for lunch, 
and Archibald was glad to eat the no-cake, which he 
refused when it was hot. 

The foliage was remarkable for its large leaves. Wild 
berries were in abundance, and the trees appeared to be 
of great age, which caused me to remark that it seemed 
incredible that, where we were sitting, the ice was more 
than two hundred feet above our heads not so very long 
ago. 

"Not so very long? Do you believe that yourself, 
Mr. Richardson?" 

"Certainly I do. Once this valley was a basin of ice. 
Have you not studied geology, Archibald?" 

"I have, sir, and I never learned that a glacier could 
ever thrive in such a d — d hot hole as this. Say, Richard- 
son, were you living in the Glacial Period?" 

"Which one?" 

"Was there more than one?" 

"Yes, sir." 

"Were you living in the last one ?" 

"Yes, sir." 

"Hear that, guide, Richardson says he was living in 
the Glacial Period, which was more than 40,000 years 



164 LOOKING BACK 

ago, and he does not look to be more than two or three 
hundred years old. Will you explain, Mr. R. ?" 

"Oh, yes, the Glacial Period is now on at the poles — 
long ago it was on in this valley and still longer ago it 
was down in the states. Do you not know that our world 
is slowly revolving in the direction we call south? That 
is God's wise plan to give each part of the earth rest. 
Tropical animals once lived here and in Siberia. 

"Who told you all that stuff?" 

"Geology, sir; the same book which you have been 
studying. By the way, did you ever learn about the 
Neanderthal man whose skull was found in a cave in the 
Neanderthal Valley, with the bones of a bear? The 
man must have lived contemporary with Adam, and it 
seems that the bear " 

"Were the bones of that man and bear found in this 
place?" 

"No ! No ! Do not get excited." 

"But you said they were found in Mendenthal Valley." 

"I said Neanderthal, where a prehistoric race once 
lived, but really where the bones were found closely re- 
sembles this place as well afS the name, for I have been 
there. It is in Prussia. Now let me illustrate by our 
presence here, what mayi once have occured in the 
Neanderthal Valley. Suppose one of those ferocious she- 
bears should come spat upon us now and the guide and 
I should escape, while she dragged your mangled 
corpse " 

"Bah-aa-aa," roared the guide. 

"What are you laughing at, you great fool?" said 
Archibald. 

"Laughing to see your eyes bulge out." 

"Please do not speak that way to Mr. Archibald," I 



LOOKING BACK 165 

said, "he knows we're in no danger, so long as there's 
plenty of trees to climb." 

"Your business, sir," said Archibald to the guide, "is 
to take us to the glacier and the quicker the better. 
Neither Mr. Richardson or myself care to roost in these 
trees over night." 

"Twon't be sundown till nigh midnight," grunted the 
guide, and we all started on. 

I was following close on the heels of the guide as we 
entered an opening, when we all stopped and gazed in 
astonishment at a dead glacier. Two miles or so away 
stretched across the valley stood a perpendicular wall of 
glistening ice, about 250 feet high and four miles long, 
reaching across the entire valley. 

To view a glacier fifty or more miles wide, as I 
found at the foot of Mt. St. Elias, winding its way high 
up into the mountain, where the snow drifts whirl blindly 
all the summer day, where no plant or animal abide, 
seems to be in keeping with the surroundings, but to 
emerge. from a dense thicket, a valley teeming with animal 
and vegetable life, on a hot summer day and fall spat 
upon a dead glacier is a sight which must be seen to be 
realized — then to know that this vast field of ira once 
extended to the sea, but so long ago that thousands of 
acres of timber have grown up in its retreating pathway, 
is enough to astound any but the simple. 

I was lost in thought and pondered thus : In time this 
this ice mountain will waste away to its fountain head and 
a peaceful river will flow down this warm valley, where 
the inhabitants on either side of the river will be as unable 
to realize the truth concerning the cold bed- fellow that 
once slept in this Alaskan cradle, as we are unable to 
comprehend the fact that there is not a spire in Chicago 



166 LOOKING BACK 

high enough to have shown its tip above the ice that once 
lay over that city during the Great Lakes' Glacial Period. 

The earth between us and the glacier was carpeted 
with the most beautiful moss imaginable, all shades and 
colors, caused by reflection of the sun from the crystal ice. 
A solemn silence prevailed, such as I never experienced 
elsewhere, broken at intervals by reports like cannons, oc- 
casioned by huge mountains of ice cleaving off to melt in 
the sun. 

Li climbing the mountain side to get upon the glacier, 
I found ripe strawberries within a few feet of the ice, 
and upon the glacier small streams of water, which did 
not seem to melt the ice. Like all glaciers, there were 
great boulders upon it, which had plunged down from 
some far away mountain and were taking a slow cold 
ride. I jumped across crevices, where if one should fall in 
he might go down 100 feet, there to wedge in and freeze. 
Standing in front of this terrible monster a cool strange 
halo seems to surround, which is far more awe-inspiring 
than that of the Niagara Falls. 

On descending from the glacier we found Archibald 
in a state of agitation, as a thunder storm was approach- 
ing and all the protection we possessed was straw hats. 
My laughing aroused his ire and he used some very un- 
dignified language, as the rain began coming down in tor- 
rents, accompanied by a strange rattling sound, which 
seemed to be from overhead. Looking up we could see 
that several immense rocks from high up the mountain 
had become dislodged and had started down a deep ravine 
with such force as to break others from their moorings, 
which also joined in the mad run, roll, slip, slide, plunge. 
The impetus was so great and the resistance so strong that 
when the great boulders met they flashed fire until the 



LOOKING BACK 167 

entire valley of racing rocks, trees and earth seemed to 
be enveloped in a blue flame, which formed into a slide, 
sweeping everything in its path, until it brought up on the 
plain below with a slump. 

On examination we found that the immense quantity 
of debris covered nearly half an acre and was more than 
fifty feet deep. That it had swept everything in its path, 
including trees more than a foot in diameter, which were 
broken up like matches. I told Archibald that whoever 
got caught in the descent of such a mountain slide would 
probably remain as deposit until Gabriel blew his horn, 
to which he grunted assent. 

As I lingered upon the scene declaring that few people 
in the world had ever seen such a wonderful sight, he 
solemnly vowed that he saw nothing peculiar about that 
rock and mud different from what he could find in the 
road anywhere. 

Wet to the skin, tired and hungry, we started on, 
Archibald wholly unprepared for the skirmish awaiting 
him. It soon cleared up, but every bush we stumbled 
against showered down and gave us a fresh bath. My 
shoes hurt my feet, and especially my game toe, which 
sometimes cramps, took advantage of the situation and, 
oh, how it did hurt, but I did not mention it, for fear 
Archibald would say I did not enjoy roughing it any 
more than he did, and so we plodded on, anxious to reach 
the landing where I knew the Indians would give us the 
best thev had. 



MIRACULOUS ESCAPE FROM A BEAR 

After travelling about three miles, which seemed like 
twenty, we rested on a log, when I began rehearsing the 
sights and scenes of the day. I said that if compelled 
to stay in the woods all night, we ought to consider it a 
day well spent, but failing to receive a hearty response, 
I switched off into a more lively subject by exclaiming, 
as I pointed into the woods, "See ! See ! There is a 
bear behind that log." The ruse worked all right until 
I proposed we rush in and capture him, when Archibald 
declared this was the last time he should ever tour with 
a man who knew nothing and feared nothing. 

As the sleepiest dog will show signs of great activity 
when a tea-kettle is tied to his tail, so tired men, finding 
themselves in a strange forest, will pick up their heels 
with amazing agility when uncertainty confronts them 
and the landing is far away. Thus it was that our gait 
was quite lively, which both pleased and vexed his 
mother's son, Archibald, who had insisted on carrying the 
guide's gun since I had mentioned that catamounts came 
out for their serenade long before sunset. Our course 
was leading us through heavy timber, when I proposed 
that we circle around through an opening and started 
that way, the guide following, Archibald pushed straight 
through, saying that the barking of dogs proved that we 
were near the landing. 

After leaving the woods and climbing part way up 
the hill, I could see Archibald hurrying through the tim- 



LOOKING BACK 169 

ber where, on account of the fallen trees, he made but 
little headway, so I called out to him to come into the 
opening where the walking was better, to which he re- 
plied, "I am not afraid to walk in the woods." 

At the top of the hill was a berry patch, from which 
I had full view along the foot of the mountain, where 
nearby I saw three Indians running towards me with 
rifles in a position to shoot. Between me and them was 
a dark ravine, in which dogs were fiercely barking, and 
knowing they were trying to kill something, I rushed 
forward to see, when a bouncing black bear whipped 
around the ledge and over the knoll in the direction of 
poor Archibald. He was closely pursued by the dogs, 
to whom old Bruin was often compelled to stop and give 
battle. When running the dogs were upon his heels, and 
when he stopped and set up for a fight he would see the 
gunners and light out again regardless of the dogs, 

I knew the bear would not hurt Archibald unless in 
the act of running over him, but I began shouting, "Look- 
out ! Lookout, Archibald ! Lookout, there's a bear after 
you. Run! Run! Run for your life," at which he 
started running toward me, thinking the bear was com- 
ing from the other direction. As the bear ran down the 
hill with the Indians trying to get a shot at him, I could 
see both the bear and Archibald approaching each other, 
tvhile Archibald was looking over his shoulder, so he did 
not see the bear until he was right upon him, when 
turning quickly he dropped his gun and lit out uncere- 
moniously. 

The panorama before me was what the girls call a 
peach — the shortest, funniest, and most earnest sprinting 
match ever recorded ; Indians chasing dogs, dogs chasing 
bear, bear chasing Archibald, Archibald running for dear 



170 LOOKING BACK 

life. Archibald did not take a zigzag course as lightning 
usually does, but shot straight ahead into the thicket, 
leaving no evidence of his late departure, but an imagi- 
nary wake. The bear, who could not stand the nipping 
of the dogs, turned again, and as he raised up was shot 
by one of the Indians. 

We could see nor hear nothing of Archibald, whose 
parting glimpse had aroused my concern, so I hurried 
in the direction of his disappearance, crying out his name. 
Leaning against a big tree I put my hands to my mouth 
and helloed so loud that my voice echoed through the 
swamp, when I was surprised at his voice so near me 
saying, "What in the d-v-1 do you want?" 

"\\'here are you, Archibald?" 

"Here I am, up here." 

"Oh, yes, come down." 

"Did you kill him, Mr. Richardson?" 

"Yes, he is dead." 

"Did he catch anybody?" 

"No, he was not after anyone. Come down cut of 
that tree." 

"Not after anyone? What is the use of your lying. 
If you had not shot him he would have had me in two 
more jumps. Is there any more of them ?" 

"No, there is not. He was not after you. He was< 
running to get away from the dogs. You know I had 
no gun. It was the Indians who shot him. Come down 
here ! Come down ! Here is the gun which you threw 
away." 

"I am in no particular hurry to come down. Say, 
Richardson, tell me how long you expect to stay in this 
God-forsaken country?" 



LOOKING BACK 171 

"Oh, about three weeks more. Why? Do you not 
like Alaska?" 

"Alaska is all right, but you are so bull-headed, taking 
a fellow into such a hole as this. Besides, there is noth- 
ing to see here." 

"Haven't you seen an avalanche?" 

"Avalanche? Nothing but stones rolling down hill." 

"And you've seen a glacier." 

"Glacier? Nothing but a chunk of ice." 

"And a bear right in the woods. Your friends will 
be glad to hear about " 

"Now grin, Mr. Richardson ! Sit there and hold your 
sides to keep from bursting with laughter. I swear if I 
did not know anymore than you do I would never com- 
pose a book. I did think a brief account of this trip 
might be interesting, but no one would care for the min- 
ute details as you would give them. At least, I hope they 
will not get into print until after I am dead." 

"Why, Archibald, when you get home you will enjoy 
telling your friends all about your adventures and hair- 
breath escapes, how bravely you faced " 

"Oh, you get out! Let us go to the landing and get 
some more dodgers fried in bear's tallow, that you enjoy 
so much." 

We stood in silence a moment, when he put his hand 
kindly on my shoulder as he said : "Mr. Richardson, 
you must not think I mean everything I say, but I'm so 
terribly wrought up. The glacier was so much different 
from what I expected, and I was afraid you might get 
hurt up there alone. Then the landslide startled me 
awfully, for I thought the whole mountain was coming 
down, and that the world might be coming to an end. 



172 LOOKING BACK 

shall laugh about it when I get home, but I cannot get up 
a smile now." 

"Certainly you will lavigh about this trip, Mr. Arch- 
ibald, in years to come, especially when you come to 
consider that bears are not like wolves, panthers and 
those kind of fierce beasts, which kill to eat. Besides, 
you should not spleen at eating bear meat, for they live 
mostly on nuts and berries and sleep all winter. Expe- 
rience is a great teacher, this day will never be forgotten. 
It adds to our lives and we shall look back to it with 
pleasure. Now, you're not mad?" 

"Mad? No, Mr. Richardson, I half way love you, 
and when I think of this fright I shall think about you 
as both the best and meanest man on my list. I am 
going to eat hearty on the bear steak for supper; you' 
see if I do not. Now you can consider yourself for- 
given for all except one act." 

"What is that, Archibald?" 

"When you kept calling 'Run ! Run ! He is after 
you !' He was not after me, he was before me, and 
you knew that you were lying all the time." 

The last evening I spent at Juneau with Judge Mellen 
and his interesting wife. It was ten o'clock when we 
parted. The sun was still shining and the birds singing 
when we shook hands good-bye, and he said : "We will 
meet again, where friends meet friends which they loved 
on earth." As the steamer pulled off from the shore I 
thought of the friends I had gained in Alaska to make 
my life more interesting in that home where the flowers 
fade not and the inhabitants never grow old. 



MY EDUCATION 

In returning to my mental endeavors, I gladly con- 
fess that before I had passed out of my teens, my lack 
of a common school education caused me deep regret, 
but I braced myself bravely against adversity and soon 
found myself working evenings over the very rudiments 
of language which I had spurned in the old Birch School 
House. 

After my marriage to Mary Hoyt, she took me in 
hand and together evenings we read "The Hoosier School 
Master," "Belle of Ores Islands," "Uncle Tom's Cabin," 
and many other good books, after which I struck in for 
myself with Webster's unabridged at my elbow. By 
working days and studying nights I soon became con- 
versant with Stowe, Eliot, Dickens, Shakespeare and that 
class of literature which illustrates human nature. Later 
I took up the sciences, geology, astronomy and what 
else I cared for, together with the languages under 
private instructors, which, with my experience at Evans- 
ton, gave me a comparatively good understanding as to 
how these great subjects are handled in our classical 
institutions of learning. I never aspired to scholarship ; 
my ambition is to discern truth. 

For diversion I am usually working up some subject 
which, when formed into a book, I present to my friends, 
never thinking of recompense, as my business affords me 
more than I need, and as to notoriety, I have no ambi- 
tion that way. 

173 



174 LOOKING BACK 

"Jim Hall and the Richardsons" was my first literary 
endeavor. It evolved out of my long siege in ferreting 
out the chronological trail of the Stafford branch of 
Richardsons. 

"Rose Lind" is an assumed exposure of the far-reach- 
ing evil influences of the grain gamblers on the Chicago 
Board of Trade. 

"Eight Days Out" is a burlesque on Phillip, on my 
visit to the Soo. 

"Mina Faust" is a long love story. 

"Chicago's Black Sheep" is a figurative illustration 
of the criminal dens of Chicago, and the work of the 
Salvation Army. 

"Personality of the Soul" is a review of the pre- 
vailing religion, as I found them in my extensive 
travels. 

"Twilight Reflections" is an accumulation of indi- 
cations that mineral, vegetable and animal existence 
are the direct result of scheming and are being held or 
driven by an incomprehensible will power. Also, that 
the animal, especially man, possesses slight creative 
power. 

Somehow, I cannot think of the soul as something 
evolving from nothing, or as beginning its existence 
with the formation of the body, but rather as descend- 
ing to or ascending from former existence. 

Pre-existence is in harmony with the teachings of 
Jesus, reason and eternal life. The animated body 
comes into existence through transformation from pre- 
existence. If that quality, to present, to consider, to 
decide, exists it must be a transformation of some 
kind of pre-existence. To afi^irm that God gave or 



LOOKING BACK 175 

created does not im])ly that He gave or created from 
that which He did not have. 

I will not question the Divine Power or intelli- 
gence, but I challenge man to produce an indication 
of existence only as transformation or evolution from 
existence. The only way to blot out memory is 
through unconsciousness, and we know it does not do 
it. Eternal life is for all, but souls, even in this life, 
often drift far apart. 

The unfathomable, incomprehensible, unthinkable 
dark pocket of forgetfullness conceals memory but it 
does not annihilate it. If time admits of no before, 
space of no beyond and matter of no annihilation, 
then the law of continuity is established ; and if we do 
now live, we have lived and will live forever. Eternal 
life must include the past as well as the future. Life 
from God is a declaration of pre-existence. Existence 
beginning at conception or birth assumes something 
evolving from nothing. 



HAWAIIAN ISLANDS 

In 1898, having nothing to detain me and knowing 
that my son Arthur could conduct my business better 
than I could, I decided to take an extensive tour 
around the world, taking as much time as I pleased in 
visiting the interior of countries to study the people 
in their natural condition, both physically and men- 
tally. 

When our boat passed through the Golden Gate into 
the open Pacific a wild storm was whistling down the 
coast from Alaska, which caused our steamer to roll 
and plunge worse than anything I have ever since 
experienced. For five days neither sun or stars ap- 
peared, and when we got our reckoning we were five 
hundred miles out of our course. 

When we neared the Hawaiian Islands we saw 
whales, schools of pretty flying fish, sharks and por- 
poises, while large sea birds came near. Then, when 
we felt our cheeks fanned by the soft summer breeze, 
we forgot Columbia's wild Boreas and got our silver 
pieces, so that when the natives swam from shore to 
meet us we could throw the money into the deep sea, 
which they would dive for and usually bring up, even 
though they sometimes swam more than fifty feet to 
the spot where it went down. 

We found the mid-Pacific Islands all in bloom. I 
stayed there five weeks, in which time I visited Kilanea 
Volcano on the Hawaiian Island and all the other 
176 



LOOKING BACK 177 

islands, of which I will only mention my trip to Man 
Eating Rock, which, to me, was the most wonderful. 

THE ANCIENT CITADEL 

Paukoonea, a deserted, skillfully fortified pre-his- 
toric fortress on which the man-eating rock still can 
be seen, is seldom visited by tourists, and still it is 
undoubtedly the most ancient and beautifully located 
kings' palace grounds on our globe. To the thoughtless 
it is simply a rock on an island. To the thoughtful 
it is wonderful. 

Vogue tradition has it that long ago a great world, 
a mid-Pacific continent, existed in this summer clime. 
One evening, as the sun was going down, their world 
sank into the ocean, leaving only the mountain top. 
on which more people were huddled together than 
could live. As a necessity the priestly clan, or kings, 
barricaded themslves on this protected island, where 
they shaped out a baking rock which would preserve 
all the juices of the flesh, and then ordered each tribe 
to furnish their portion of human beings, to be placed 
on the hot rock alive and cooked until palatable. This 
statement does not seem so inconsistent when we learn 
that when Cook discovered these islands the natives 
were allowed only a certain number of children to each 
pair of parents, and all the over-plus were killed at 
birth. 

At Waialua I found a guide. Major Jankea, whose 
father, grandfather and great-grandfather spent their 
lives near the fort. We rode up the Helamano River 
about eight miles where, in a bend among the trees, 
he showed me a large deep footed stone covered with 



178 LOOKING BACK 

dots, diagonal lines and curves which he said no one 
could read and no one knew what it represented. 

At the fort we crossed the chasm on the stone debris 
of an ancient dam, when we began hunting for the man- 
eating rock. We searched in the grass, about four feet 
tall, and found it in about the center of the field, half 
buried in the earth. 

It was chipped and defaced all over. Originally it 
must have measured about three by nine feet, and would 
weigh several tons. As far as I saw there were no other 
rocks on the surface of the island. It is roughly carved 
out to receive the head, arm, legs and body of a man. 
My guide informed me that his grandfather said that 
the ancient custom was for four men each, at an arm or 
leg, to hold the victim on the heated rock until dead, and 
then let him be cooked for dinner. 

The citadel, or fort of the cannibal kings, is near the 
source of the Helamano River, under the Koolauloa 
Mountain. It is about three or four miles in circum- 
ference, protected by a perpendicular rock chasm nearly 
one hundred feet high. The gully surrounding it must 
once have served as an aqueduct, the water having been 
held back by the dam, which now, and probably for 
ages, has served as a passageway into the ancient 
rendezvous. 

Standing there in the latter half of February looking 
west, the scene is lovely beyond description. The green 
palms on the Koolauloa Mountains serve as a background, 
while the Helamano River, with its fringe of trees all in 
blossom, winds its way like a ribbon of white roses away 
to the dreamy old Pacific Ocean, plain in view, but many 
miles away. Then to feel the spell of silence, where 



LOOKING BACK 179 

tumult once arose, we can but ask. "Is life a reality or 
a myth?" and a voice comes back from the voiceless 
realms of the dead, they were like us, simply passing 
through earth life. 



SOUTH SEA ISLANDS AND AUSTRALIA 

In a few weeks I found myself taking in the South 
Sea Islands, admiring the pretty lagoons, those tiny inner- 
ocean retreats, where the glistening sandy beach is strewn 
with miniature shells cozily protected by the surrounding 
palm groves, upon whose outer shore the mighty waves 
come pounding in only to recede without disturbing the 
finny tribes who never venture outside of these inland 
tiny lagoons. 

At Apia, in the Samoa group, where lies the body 
of Robert L. Stevenson, I wondered not at his choice 
of selection for spending the last days of his life. Here 
among the South Sea Islands he could muse unmolested, 
far from the struggle for gain, and notoriety. There is 
a beautiful side to those so-called barbarian lives, and 
one is tempted to envy them their freedom as they laugh 
and sing in the bamboo shade, and bathe at ease in the 
soft waves of the grand old Pacific Ocean. One can 
but love them for their simplicity and confiding way as 
their wistful smile pleads for your generosity and 
sympathy. 

The wonder-land in the Friendly or South Sea Isl- 
and is Tongo-Taboo. Here one finds undoubted traces 
of a lost continent, in the way of an archway, or portal, 
through which a people must have passed before the 
dawn of Babylonian tradition. Two immense rectangu- 
lar stone columns are seen tied together at the top by 
180 




EASTER ISLAND. 

^HE DREAMLAND OF THE SOUTH' SEAS. COULD THEY 
BUT speak! 



LOOKING BACK 181 

an enormous slab, on which rests a huge stone bowl, 
The entire structure must be nearly fifty feet high. 

There is no quarry on this little island from which it 
could have been taken, neither could it have been brought 
from a distant land, for ancient boats were not adequate. 

The quarry from which it came, the mysteries of the 
people who such art designed, and the homes in which 
they lived, must be nearby, beneath the waves. 

To satisfy curiosity, I took a shell boat to Easter Is- 
and, where those strange saint-like statues with sealed 
lips now stand, pre-eminent sentinels, as they have stood 
since the day when the Mid-Pacific continent was a 
prominent feature on our globe. On this tiny mid-ocean 
world the natives know about as much concerning the 
origin of their clans as we do about pre-existence. They 
shelter from storm in stone houses, of which the walls 
are four or five feet thick. 

Many of the inner walls still bear traces of an intel- 
ligent people. Hieroglyphic characters and paintings of 
birds and other animals adorn the inner walls of what 
must have been the mansions of nabobs, while many 
statues of these unknown people with thin lips and serious 
countenances stand facing the sea. Like the fort on the 
Helomano and the colossal on Tonga, they speak for 
themselves, and while each have no tradition of other 
tribes, still all their languages spring from the same 
roots. 

As I stood on deck gazing at these faces a spell came 
over me and from above I looked down on our world 
100,000 years ago. 

Before me lay an elbow-shaped mid-Pacific continent 
2,000 miles wide and 8,000 miles long, on which millions 
of half -civilized people w^ere passing their days and years 



182 LOOKING BACK 

as we are now doing, while the land of the morning sun 
teemed with shore and inland animal life roaming over 
the vast plains sheltered by primeval forests. Suddenly, 
as I gazed, the world trembled and reeled as the vast 
plains at the rising sun begun belching forth lightning 
and fire amid peals of thunder destroying all animal life 
as an immense mountain range came forth like a budless 
blossom far up and down the ocean shore. 

In horror I turned to the mid-ocean continent and 
beheld it with all its cities and inhabitants sinking down, 
down beneath the ocean waves. 

From this reverie I awoke and wondered who would 
dare dispute, as soundings prove that such a continent, 
with the exception of a few mountain peaks we call 
islands, now sleep beneath those ocean waves, while the 
bones and fossils of mammalia are found on the Rock) 
Mountain Range. 

After visiting the Maories of New Zealand, one of 
the remaining fragments of the South Sea Island tribes, 
who are probably the finest specimen of aboriginies in 
the world, I took in Australia, where the white cockatoo 
parrots move in great flocks and the many species of 
kangaroo, from the size of a rabbit to a horse, sport in 
the gardens to the annoyance of the pioneer farmers, and 
where the sun shines in from the north windows, the 
north star and great dipper have disappeared, and beauti- 
ful new constellations appear in the sovtthern skies, and 
the mountains of the moon are seen from the other side. 



NEW GUINEA 

Copy of diary when in Torres Straits and New 
Guinea, 1899: 

April 6. 
Arrived at Cooktown on Japanese steamer Kusuga 
Maru and leave on schooner Shilo for New Guinea next 
day. 

April 8. 
York Island, only three white men besides Captain 
Mosly, live here. The captain tells sympathetic stories 
about the storm of March 3, when he saw the ship his 
son was on go down. He thinks about 200 men from 
pearl hunting crafts were lost in the storm. 
April 9. 
At sea, bound for Fly River. Hot as tophet, but a 
stiff breeze. Find small island inhabited by birds, but 
no land quadrupeds, as in dry season the small fresh 
water streams dry up. 

April 10. 
At mouth of Fly River. Approach main land. High 
mountains appear in the distance. Great marshes on 
either side, which cause Guinea fever to the whites, but 
not to the natives. 

April 11. 

Go ashore, several miles up the river. Birds, birds, 

birds on all sides. I shot a Guinea pigeon, looks like a 

pheasant, big as a hen, soon have her cooked. Natives 

never travel singly, always in groups. Several mission- 

183 



184 LOOKING BACK 

aries have been eaten here. One from Boston, but the 
natives do not look to me particularly hungry, 

April 12. 
Head on for Port Moresby, where I am to catch 
Burns-Phillips Co. steamer. Go ashore on a lagoon 
island. Go through the palms to the miniature ocean, 
find a beautiful helmet shell and concluded to keep it and 
gather others to send home. 

April 13. 
Strike fleet of pearl shell boats. Go down in diving 
suit about 160 feet. Bad job, starts the blood out of my 
ears. Get but one shell, which I will send to Arthur. 
Most of the divers are natives or Japs. One shipmaster 
owns and supplies about twenty diving boats. All shells 
opened on the ship. Average about one pearl to 300 
shells. I buy of native four pearls for $6.25. 

April 14. 
Port Moresby only live houses. Bishop Stowigg. 
English missionary, here. Find three missionaries at each 
of these little ports. Became acquainted with Miss Tully 
from Brisbane, Australia. She is lonesome and shed 
tears when she bid me farewell. 

April 15. 
Land at Samaria. Find a native here who came from 
the interior, where the people go naked and build their 
houses in the trees. He speaks a few words in English 
and considers himself an interpreter. For two silver 
dollars I hire him to go with me anywhere as long as I 
feed him, and when through with him can leave him 
anywhere on the shore. We board the steamer here 
for the west, along the north shore. Everything and 
everybody looks and smells as though they had sat on 
the equator and fried ever since they had been born. 



LOOKING BACK 185 

April 16. 
At sea. My appreciative companions are a mother 
and four kittens, a captive young cassowary, about four 
feet tall, who the captain declares will eat his hammer 
and nails if he does not hide them, and three dogs. All 
small dogs around here will dive from the bow of a boat 
into deep water and bring up a knife or anything you 
show them before you throw it in. Dear little curs. 

April 17. 
Reach Kaiser Wilhelm's land and leave steamer. Am 
hearing terrible stories about the natives, men who eat 
an antelope at a meal, women with pompadours three 
feet high ; also hear about snakes ninety-five feet long, 
but the stories come from natives who cannot count 
higher than the number 5. 

April 18. 
Catch excursion boat at Cape Croiselles and start 
west in search of village where the inhabitants live in 
nests in the trees. Captain and mate are from Adalaide, 
Australia, out for the season on about the same kind 
of a mission that I am. Captain continually teasing me 
that I am about at the end of my rope. Says he will 
write to Chicago and inform them that I escaped a 
Jonah whale only to be swallowed by a Guinea nigger. 
The mate says he will venture into the interior with me, 
at which I assure him if he will not attempt to coc|uette 
W'th the ladies he will not be hurt. Of course, I advise 
the captain to stay by his anchor and avoid temptation, 
for I tell him I see by the size and shape of his neck 
that he would become completely betwaddled in the 
presence of nature's fair adornments, or Papuan sim- 
plicity. 



186 LOOKING BACK 

April 19. 

The mate, guide, three stalwart blacks and myself 
leave the boat in the night. Several miles in we cross 
a clear running brook, through which we wade to our 
hips. After climbing several mountain trails we con- 
tinue for five or six miles along a zigzag course under 
the brow of a mountain range, crossing ravines in which 
the large birds, all of them beautiful in color, do not 
seem to fear us or fly at our approach. 

At openings I can view the evergreen, palm tree val- 
ley below, which seems awaking from its dreams to greet 
the rising sun. I call a halt and look and listen, for I 
am charmed. 

About ten o'clock, when motioned by our guide, we 
somewhat nervously follow him to a crystal lake, sur- 
rounded by tropical verdure, where we were confronted 
with from sixty to one hundred houses or nests built in 
the trees covered, water-proof tight, with a sort of long 
sea grass, which grows abundantly in all tropical marshes. 
Apparently some of the larger dwellings, like those of 
the Alaska Indians, would accommodate several families. 
Here and there naked people, looking out or climbing 
up or down the swinging ladders. 

The king, a young fellow, after learning our wants, 
invites us to stay a moon, which I think would have been 
perfectly safe if we did not wander away from the 
village. 

I then presented the king with the presents I had 
brought, six large jack knives and six cheap hatchets, after 
which they began to show us things, how and what they 
cooked, how they caught game, fight, dance, worship and 
lastly how they clear a guilty conscience. 

This is done by immersion in clear water by moon- 



LOOKING BACK 187 

light, when the god in the moon forgives all. They be- 
lieve that the sovils of the dead linger around those whom 
they loved on earth. 

The king and several others gave me rudely orna- 
mented shell rings. A lady to whom I gave a silver 
dollar gives me a pretty shell which she had herself 
ornamented with the sharp end of a stone, also she gave 
me her petticoats which females wear when at the sea 
shore. (I have these mementoes yet.) The petticoat 
consists of a waist-band to which is attached loose ring- 
lets down to the knees, all made of sea grass. Once I 
caught two girls winking, laughing and making fun of 
me. All females stand sideways to the males and look 
and talk over their shoulder. ]\Iany have fine physiques. 

There are few quadrupeds here, but this seems to be 
the home of birds. 

The cassowary is larger than an ostrich. Their flesh 
is said to taste like turkey. The plumage of some birds 
is wonderful. Especially the lyrebird, who struts like a 
tom-turkey. Over twenty species of the bird of paradise 
are said to live here. 

All kind of tropical fruit grow wild and in great 
abundance. Bread fruit trees grow quickly and furnish 
500 to 1,000 pounds of food each, substance about equal 
to oatmeal. 

Many from Chicago may well envy these kind, timid, 
primitive people their sunshine career as compared to 
our daily struggle for ascendancy. 

As I am about to leave these people, who are huddled 
around me, out of curiosity I look one after another of 
each sex squarely in the eyes for recognition, and I get 
the response every time. Not that steady stare of the 
snake, dog, or gorilla, but that conscious response of 



188 LOOKING BACK 

affection between souls. This satisfies me that men are 
not improved beasts, but rather distinct creatures en- 
dowed with certain soul-responsive looks, self -controlling 
powers, gifts which cannot be mentally experienced. 

April 24. 

After several days among the verdure islands with 
broad, glistening, sandy shores, strewn with large and 
small shells, I find myself among the Solomon Islands, 
about 500 miles from New Guinea. 

I am glad I came here, for it seems like a dream of 
the long, long ago. With the exception of a few naked 
natives, flying foxes, and shore fowls, these islands must 
resemble the great lake region at home in the carbonifer- 
ous age. The age after the great Mississippi Valley in- 
land sea had fled away from the shores. The age before 
the vegetation had lured the sea family through the long 
reptilean age into the mammalian age, when the mastodon 
roamed the palm groves of Michigan and the great dino- 
therium lived on the marshy plains of Colorado, before 
the Rocky Mountains had raised their now silent, dreary 
forms. 

If there was a day in Illinois when the Crustacean 
invertebrate families lined the hot ocean shores and the 
vegetation grew thirty feet high, it must have resembled 
this equatorial region now, for although clear today, I 
am told it rains almost daily, and up the mountain sides 
as far as I can see thfe vegetation is wonderful. 

A sort of inspiration seems to pervade the forests of 
New Guinea and the Samoa group, but this carboniferous 
clime has little charm. For although white sand beaches 
miles wide strewn with shell against a background of 
waving palms, is a sight long to be remembered, I some- 



LOOKING BACK 189 

how feel I am associating with clams, turtles and pelicans 
of the "evening and morning of the fifth day," so I will 
now leave for Cape York, to catch the Futami Meru, 
which is to call there May 17th. 



COCHIN CHINA 

Briefly I must mention the interesting countries of 
Anam and Siam. 

Saigon, a city of Anam, that country which the 
French gobbled up from the helpless natives, is to me, 
the most beautiful city in the world. 

The Mongolian natives here are modest-nice for hot 
climate people. 

The females wear loose gauze habits, protecting from 
the neck to the bare toes. 

It is amusing to see a group of these ladies on an 
afternoon outing, riding in a wooden cart drawn by one 
lazy ox. I have often felt like patting both the ox and 
the ladies. 

Paddy fish come ashore here in great schools, flop- 
ping into and damaging the gardens and rice fields. 

In the park they have on exhibition a sacred ele- 
phant, which they claim saved the life of one of their 
kings more than one thousand years ago. He is really 
covered with moss, apparently blind and quite feeble. 
This is the home of the spotted fawn, of which their 
babies seem so dear. 

In Siam the women and the men wear only a breach 
cloth. Both sexes wear their hair cut short, so it is diffi- 
cult to distinguish one from the other. 

Monkeys here are as tame as robins at home, and 
lizards two feet long crawl over one's bed, but they do 
not bite. 

190 



LOOKING BACK 191 

Of the nineteen million inhabitants over one million 
are priests. It takes three hundred of them to do the 
praying in the one temple here in Bangkok. This is 
where the eagles, three feet tall, gather from the moun- 
tains to devour the bodies of the dead who had not left 
money enough to pay the priests for the cremation 
ceremony. 

The present king has five hundred wives, seventy-five 
sons and seven white elephants on his hands, and yet he 
is not happy. It was from here that General Grant went 
into the forest to see wild elephants. The herds are not 
feeding here now, so with two French tourists I have 
stopped over at Tringano, on the west coast of the Gulf 
of Siam. 

The elephants of India are being rapidly thinned out, 
as they with the tigers hold forest lands v/hich when de- 
veloped are very productive. 

The elephant herds move slowly on irregular circuit, 
eating everything about them. 

We found no great number together as in a herd of 
cattle ; sometimes only one and never more than five in 
a group. 

It can be no trick for the exultant European sports- 
men to shoot them, for they are not wild and will hurt 
no one, unless it be an old defeated bull, who are said 
to be ferocious at times. 

Ivory now in use is not, as a rule, from the now living 
elephants. The natives search it out from under the 
forest debris, where the remains of elephants who lived 
thousands of years ago are found. 



MESOPOTAMIA 

After visiting the interior of Japan, China, Anam, 
Siam, Ceylon, India, Persia, Arabia, I found myself, in 
the evening of November 2, 1899, at Bagdad, Turkey, in 
close communion with our American consul, Rudolph 
Hurner, who had held that position from the United 
States to Mesopotamia for about thirty years. Bagdad 
is about 400 miles from the Persian gulf, and is now 
the largest Mesopotamian city of the old Babylonain em- 
pire, whose kings once caused the world to wince. 

Mesopotamia, like the valley of the Yangtsekiang, is 
by nature very productive. Either, if properly cultivated, 
would supply rice sufficient to sustain the world, but here 
the outrageous taxes, together with the wild men of the 
desert scare away all enterprise, while in China the 
Yaw-men actually absorb the products of the soil through 
the imposition of exchange. 



192 




WITH CONSUL HERNER'S SERVANTS IN BAGDAD, MESOPOTAMIA. 



RUD HURNER 

"Now, Mr. Richardson," said Consul Hurner, as in 
the twilight we stood in his tropical garden, which over- 
looks the Tigris River, "you had better take my advice 
and not go beyond Hille. It is better to take the course 
of other travelers. Go to the border of civilization and 
then get some well-informed native to give you particu- 
lars, which you can polish up and call it experience, like 
the assumed traveler in the Star and Crescent, who boxed 
our dead in coffins, a custom unknown here. 

"I have represented the United States here for years 
and have probably entertained every American traveler 
who has visited Baylon, Nipper and other biblical land- 
marks here. None have been so hazardous as to go 
among a people who are so bigoted that they consider it 
their religious duty to kill those who would interfere with 
their mode of worship. From reports of stragglers, or 
desert herdsmen, there are, I presume, twenty thousand 
people in Nazzip or Me-Schwad, mostly children of 
Bedouins. They have no schools, no maps of the world, 
do not know north from south and their wealth has been 
gained through wild raids on the Mohammedan fanatics 
bringing their dead to the ancient shrine of Nazzip, mostly 
from Persia and India." 

"I came out to see the elephant, Mr. Hurner," I said, 

"and while I appreciate your advice, I am not afraid of 

those people. I go open-handed with little money, which 

they could use, and with a disposition to appreciate in- 

193 



194 LOOKING BACK 

stead of criticize. My experience with the unciviHzed 
has been that if one mind his own business, and do not 
stray from the crowd, their confidence is soon gained, 
and they soon show indications of sympathy and love. 
Do you think my men will back out of the agreement?" 

"Well, let me see. Old Shammo has been acting as 
cook and guide around here for twenty-five years. He 
boasts that he conducted a funeral party down the Shat- 
El-Chebar and over to Me-Schwad twenty years ago. He 
may be lying about that, but I think for the price you 
offer he will stick to you. Then Moses is a daring fellow, 
whom you can rely upon. You ought to know him; he 
just came up on the boat with you. He has been to 
Africa, has he not? He will help you, as he speaks a 
little broken English. I think by what I can learn, he is 
the best fitted man in Bagdad for you. Alker his half- 
brother, will probably stick by you also. Tatus, the 
wealthy man's son, is anxious to learn about the south, 
and will probably go where Moses goes and stay where 
Moses stays. I think they are all Shea-Mohammedans, 
and while they are looked upon with suspicion they are 
in much less danger than you are. 

"You see, I have your passport signed and sealed by 
the Turkish authorities, so you must exhibit that con- 
tinually, and if the Sheiks are not able to read one word 
of it they will recognize the quail tracks, and think it is 
an order from Constantinople for you and your escort 
to pass through. Then with our arrangements for Nim 
Burr's old solid-wood-wheeled stage and the six mounted 
police, you will get through to Babylon all right, that is 
if they do not lay down on you and make you pay them 
over again. I think if you furnish, as you seem to be 
doing, a quarter of mutton to each man for lunch, they 



LOOKING BACK 195 

will go through all right, for it cannot be more than thirty 
or forty miles to Babylon. 

"From Hille, which is built from the ruins of old 
Babylon, to Chuffel, with a good mounted squad, you 
will make it easily, for they will think you are rabbinical 
tourists to Burr's Nimrod and Ezekiel's tomb. 

"If you could be satisfied to visit Karbilla, where there 
is also a temple for the Mohammedan dead, you could 
probably run across the desert from Burr's Nimrod in 
safety, but if you approach the wealthy interior city 
called Me-Schwad or Nazzip, where the temple is, in 
which they claim Allah, the brother-in-law of Mohammet, 
was buried, you may find a decidedly warm reception 
and you may not — I do not know. I often thought I 
would like to go there myself. 

"You may think it strange, Mr. Richardson, that 
there is no map of that district, or statistics, or census of 
the inhabitants of so vast a country and city, which like 
the sphinx of the Nile, sits with its face to the broad 
valley before it and its back to the great desert, which 
is inhabited by roving Bedouins, who respect no law, pay 
no taxes, and love their horses more than they do their 
wives and children, but it is practically true. 

"You see, Mr. Richardson, it is this way: like a 
Russian Jew who will spend a life's careful savings for 
one journey to the tomb of Abraham, so these Shea- 
Mohammedans, who are scattered over Arabia, Persia, 
Messopotamis and even into India, who have amassed a 
small fortune, arrange that when they die their relatives 
start with their embalmed bodies — not in coffins, but 
wound in tarred linen — to carry them on horses or camels 
either to Mecca, Me-Schwad or Karbilla. 

"When they arrive, the ceremony for the dead is in 



196 LOOKING BACK 

accordance with the amount of money they bring. After 
the funeral, the friends of the dead stay in town on a 
protracted spree until their money is spent, then beg or 
steal their way home. Thus you see that the sacred tem- 
ples are a source of income, and wealth has its influence 
in the Orient just the same as in your own Yankeedom. 
When those mourners are returning home, either from 
ignorance or fear, they keep mum as to the city, condi- 
tions, the final disposal of the bodies and everything else. 
Simply it is an honor to lug along a putrid carcass and 
lay it in the gilded temple of Allah. 

"Now, my good friend Richardson, while it may be 
that Moses will bring you back safe, still you better take 
my advice and give up Me-Schwad. When you get to 
Babylon get a heavy escort of cavalry and run down to 
Nipper, a ruins more ancient than Babylon, where you 
will find an old Yankee from Boston rooting around the 
debris expecting every day to unearth the private library 
of Adam with the spinning wheel of Mother Eve, and 
place them on exhibition in the world's gallery of fame. 
Now, will you give up that trip to Nazzip, or must you 
go into the stamping grounds of the dare-devil Moham- 
medans ?" 

"Consul," I said, as I laid my hand on his arm and 
smiled into his face, "your caution is appreciated, but it 
does not budge me a hair." Then we both laughed loud, 
and he ordered more cofi"ee or something else, after 
which I continvied : "I have been among the cannibals 
and they treated me royally. Of course, it is necessary 
for one to take good care not to be ambushed and eat 
food only from their own cook, with, of course, a proper 
guard when on the desert. Now, that isn't all, Mr. Hur- 
ner. I am going to join the big caravan on its way from 



LOOKING BACK 197 

Persia to Palestine, and you do not like that either, do 
you ?" 

"Mr. Richardson, I wish you could see your finish 
before you start. Of course, Oriental traders, half-breeds 
and camel drivers, who sometimes speak a little English, 
often take refuge in those caravans, but they are not like 
tourists. During my consulship here, no tourist has 
passed over the Dier and Tadmore route. You know 
you will be as lousy as a badger in three days, and if 
you die, they may not even bury you in the sand, but leave 
you for the vultures to eat.'' 

"Nonsense, if I avoid accidents and do not stray from 
the camp I shall be all right, for no well man can get 
sick in six weeks if he sticks to his tea, rusk, eggs and 
mutton." 

"All right, my American invincible, just one more 
word and I am through. You remember the first night 
that you came to Bagdad, how I took you out on the 
desert to show you where we had a fair two years ago, 
and pointed out the spot where the Bedouins came down 
upon us and at the point of their daggers took our col- 
lection and not one of them were arrested. I do this to 
impress upon your mind the fact that the Sabeans who 
fell upon the family of Job still linger on the desert wild 
Now as we have argued so long you must be weary, 
so please join me again in refreshments before my guard 
takes you to your room." 



OFF FOR BABYLON 

At four o'clock in the morning, November 6, 1899, 
we crossed the Tigris River in a tropical downpour, and 
struck out for the ruins of Babylon. About nine o'clock 
we halted for breakfast, where the hotel reminded me of 
a blacksmith shop, with several fireplaces and no roof. 
The plan in that country is for wayfarers to furnish their 
own food, cook it themselves, and when they can find 
the landlord, pay about one-third cent each for the accom- 
modation, while the lodging is free anywhere on the 
ground. Of course, everyone pays their bills there, for 
the custom of the Turks and Bedouins is to kill thieves 
and burn them with their families and their entire 
belongings. 

No sooner had our squad been filled with eggs and 
chickens than they began to grumble that they could not 
take us to Babylon on the price paid, but must leave 
us at Messaya on the Euphrates, where we could descend 
the river in a boat. 

Moses now showed his teeth. Shammo began to 
bawl and everyone took a hand in the row but myself. 
They all talked so fast and loud that all I could under- 
stand was the profanity of Moses, who was a brave fel- 
low and stood up for my rights as best as he could. 

After the excitement had subsided, Moses explained 

that he could force them to take us through, but was 

afraid they might move slow and purposely leave us on 

the desert for the night, so I ordered them to turn over 

198 



LOOKING BACK 199 

to Messaya, where we arrived about four o'clock p. m., 
when I decided the safest way was to have boats take us 
across the river at dark, and when out of sight of the 
village, pay the oarsmen big money, or force them to 
take us all the way down the river to Babylon, the dis- 
tance of which, as near as I could learn, was somewhere 
between three and thirty miles. Our offer was gladly 
accepted, and we considered ourselves safe, as the Be- 
douins around Messava would not know where we were. 



ON THE EUPHRATES 

While gliding down the fourth Bible river, the Eu- 
phrates, the moon came up and seemed to turn its soft 
face upon the silence and as I began singing "Old Black 
Joe," the jackals along the shore joined in, possibly think- 
ing by my voice that we were all descendants from one 
father. All were soon asleep but the oarsmen and myself, 
and I became lonesome as I thought of the days of the 
Aecadian priesthood, the Babylonian kings, Ezekiel and 
his people, Alexander the Great, who died here, all felled 
by the sickle of the reaper, Time, and here in silence I 
seemed to ask, "Where have they gone?" 

We arrived at Babylon at three o'clock in the morn- 
ing, when I was given the bed of Mr. Nelson, the hospit- 
able German explorer, and the next morning we took in 
the ruins, and slept in Hille the next night. The follow- 
ing day we rode on donkeys to Burr's Nimrod, a wonder- 
ful ruins built of pot-shaped bricks, each weighing sev- 
eral tons. The tower or temple Ziggurat must have 
been built at the top of an artificial mountain on the plain, 
about seven or eight miles from the ruins of Babylon. 
Many think that the ancient city like Nineveh extended 
beyond Burr's Nimrod. From Burr's Nimrod on camels 
we rode to Chuffel, a village on the Chebar River, where 
we entered Ezekiel's tomb, of which the Mohammedons 
allow no Jew to enter. Still around the open space 
there were several tents occupied by orthodox Jews, who 
had come from afar to worship at the shrine of their 
beloved ancestors. 

200 



ON THE SHAT-EL-CHEBAR 

At Chuffel our trouble began. The Sheik would not 
let us stay over night in the town, we had no tent, even 
if we had dared to sleep in the open, and the next city, 
Koofa, was open only to Mohammedans, on their way to 
Nazzip with their dead. I began to laugh, which pro- 
voked even Moses, but we soon found relief in a man 
with one wall eye, minus a hat, shoes or pants, who 
with his helpers was accustomed to conduct funeral 
parties down the Chebar River to Koofa. He held us up 
for the enormous sum of one silver dollar for the ride, 
and for another dollar would venture to land us in the 
corpse room at Koofa, that is if it was not already oc- 
cupied by other corpses. Again I smiled as I thought 
what would my son Arthur say if he could step into this 
boat just now and learn of the encouraging prospects. 
jNIoses and his helpers now became a trifle alarmed at 
the situation, and while we were eating our chicken, 
fried in camel's tallow, I kept laughing, which made 
Alkar mad, and he remarked to Moses that he believed 
I was a fool, traveling on borrowed money. 

After the owner of the boat and his helpers had 
paddled us down the river until about ten o'clock at 
night, we hove in sight of a few dim lights, which made 
me scratch my head a trifle, when I learned it was Koofa. 
My men were all wearing a sort of sickly grin since we 
had learned that the Sheik of Koofa had never before 
been imposed upon in this way, and I was beginning to 
201 ^ 



202 LOOKING BACK 

feel that there might have been a trifle of virtue in Con- 
sul Hurner's advice, but I slapped Moses on the shoulder 
and said, "The metal in a man shows up only in cases 
of an emergency," to which he smiled complacently, as 
though he had been assured that he had all night to live. 



KOOFA, ARABIA 

At the mud landing, more than fifty had assembled, 
each hoping to earn a half -penny by carrying a corpse 
up the hill where, according to tradition, the Prophet 
Ezekiel had probably walked on his bare feet many times, 
for Koofa was a city on the west bank of the Shat-El- 
Chebar, long before Abraham left this region for the 
land of Canaan. 

AMien all was ready for the funeral march and 
Shammo had been loaded with the luggage, which con- 
sisted of pillows, blankets and cooking utensils, his face 
actually did take on the mournful hue of an undertaker 
carrying the dead across the dark river. 

Our guide sang out something which I supposed 
indicated that a burial troop was following as he dashed 
through the crowd, up the clifif, dodging this way and 
that through the dark, alley-like streets and rooms, where 
tall men with dark visages sat on high benches and 
scowled at our approach, until he landed us in a square 
cement room, about 12x12, with no ventilation save a hole 
over the door, when he mysteriously disappeared, taking 
his dim oil light with him. 

Soon officers appeared whom, I could see. were con- 
fused. Moses tried to pacify them by saying I was a rich 
man and would pay much money, but they did not seem 
to pacify, because the rich man was neither a Moham- 
medan nor a dead man. Their howling was to the effect 
that the owner of the room was ruined, as no dead Mo- 
203 



204 LOOKING BACK 

hammedan would consent to be laid in that room after 
we had occupied it. At last, after Moses had killed all 
the time he possibly could, I demanded to see the Sheik, 
which request is never refused among the Arabs. 



THE SHEIK OF KOOFA 

Soon a guard of about twenty appeared and started 
with Moses and myself to consult the Sheik ; while all the 
town, men, women and children, ran on either side of us, 
eager to get a glimpse of my pants, as, apparently, 
neither sex had ever seen before, or much less, donned 
such tight-fitting garments. 

After walking probably a mile we entered a dark alley, 
where, on one of the side walls, our escort began pound- 
ing and crying out until a grufif voice, which came as 
through a tube back of us, answered, and after a long 
wait we saw a dimm light right back of where we were 
standing, but no one appeared. 

\\'hile we were waiting Moses jokingly inquired of 
me, ''Do you wish you were in Chicago?" "No," I re- 
plied, "it is eleven o'clock in the morning there now and 
they are all working hard, while I am enjoying touring 
just waiting here in the shadows for permission to go to 
bed." "You're a queer sort of a cuss," was his smiling 
retort. 

At length, after the voice and the officer had talked 
back and forth through the hole, of which I overheard 
them speak the words English, Christian, Devil, Moham- 
medan, Bagdad, Nazzip and a few other words which I 
could understand, there seemed to be a stir, as some one 
from the inside began taking down boards ; and with two 
of the party, Moses and myself crept up the rickety stair- 
way, feeling our way through a long, dark hall which 
205 



206 LOOKING BACK 

opened into a room about 20x40. In this room, which 
was the palace of the Sheik, there was no furniture save 
a bed, table and a long bench. On the table was burning 
an oiled rag, one end soaking in a dish shaped like a 
wooden shoe. 

In the center of the large bed, which was, as near 
as I could see, composed of a mass of beautiful soft 
rugs, sat a sharp featured man with piercing black eyes 
and long white hair and whiskers. His face revealed no 
form or air of authority, but on the contrary, his sun- 
burned features wore a friendly smile while he gazed 
fixedly at me, apparently paying no attention to the offi- 
cers' gabble, who were apparently over-estimating the 
enormity of the crime. 

While he studied me I studied him, and concluded 
that in his care I was all right. Finally he inquired of 
Moses if I had friends in America, and why I came to a 
sacred city without permission, at which Moses turned to 
me for explanation. After explaining my position and 
truthfully telling him how we came into what we knew 
was a forbidden town because we were afraid to stay out- 
side, I then, through Moses, word for word, explained 
that Americans always heard that the chiefs of Arab 
tribes were great and good men, and were hospitable to 
strangers ; especially when they did not interfere with 
their religion. This was the substance of my drift, 
although we talked back and forth for more than an hour. 

A skittish scene now took place ; he called the chief 
officer to his side on the bed and by the dim light they 
began whispering, so Moses and I could not hear, occa- 
sionally turning their piercing gaze on me. At the 
conclusion he dismissed his officer and told Moses to 
tell me that at Me-Schwad they had a room for such 



LOOKING BACK 207 

people, and we must go there, for which he would send 
a heavy guard to protect us. Then it took about ten min- 
utes for him to express his gratitude for my confidence 
in him and his protecting power, and he wanted me to 
feel that Allah loved upright strangers in all the world. 

I then asked him if the guards at Me-Schwad would 
let us into the city, as it was now past midnight. To this 
he replied, "No," but said his force should furnish blan- 
kets and guard us all night. 

I hesitated and looked down, which made him inquire 
of Moses if I was sorry, at which I looked him kindly in 
the face as Moses interpreted each word, and said that 
I was sorry to go home and tell my people that the Sheik 
of Koofa had sent me away in the desert in the dark. 

Now he called the guard again, and after another 
continued whispering decided we could stay in the room 
over night, but must be prepared to leave at surise in the 
morning. As I left the room I felt his powerful influence 
on me, and turning quickly, I again met that kindly gaze 
as the old chief raised his thin, bloodless hand adieu. 
That night in my prayers I thanked God that the mag- 
nanimity of Abraham still tinged the veins of his people, 
even though they were deprived of the world's bounties 
through non-progressive bigotry. 

Soon I was peacefully resting in the unventilated 
room, which my friends on the other side of the world 
would have spurned, but to me it was experience, and I 
was glad to know that pity, love and sympathy were not 
confined to any one people, but were God-given attributes 
to humanity. 

My sweet dreams, if such they were, were cut short 
by Shammo, who began frying camel steak, goat or some 



208 LOOKING BACK 

other kind of meat close by my head, and soon we learned 
that the Sheik had ordered his special body guard to take 
us to Me-Schwad, Arabia, which was about twenty-five 
mile southwest from Koofa, over the trackless desert. 




J 



WILD, YET BEAUTIFUL 

At sunrise, leaving Shammo to care for the luggage, 
we mounted spirited horses selected for us, and with an 
escort of about one hundred cavalry picked our way, 
Indian file, up through the lane-like streets of Koofa until 
we reached the summit, from which we had a view of the 
surrounding country, especially ancient Nazzip, now- 
called both Nazzip and Me-Schwab, which lay on a rise 
of ground before us, just far enough away to conceal 
its grossness. 

The morning sun at our backs cast its golden rays 
across the desert wild intrespersed with clumps of verd- 
ure green. Over and beyond lay, face to us, the silver 
side-hill city of Nazzip, like the Arab himself, whose 
ambition is an array of dashing splendor. The Moham- 
medan pride appeared decorated with polished steeples 
and spires coated with sheets of silver and polished 
bronze, while the great Allah temple sat as a center piece. 
As we neared the scene it became grotesque, but in the far 
away it looked like a dazzling gem, set in soft Oriental 
drapery. A thoughtless vision seemed to confuse me 
with the scene as I said to myself, "Oh, if my Chicago 
friends were here to enjoy this enthusiasm." 

Now all the horses, with heads high, who could run 
like greyhounds, amid the whoops and howls of the 
braves of the desert, struck out wildly for the Oriental 
Silver Shrine. This was too much for me, and forgetting 
that I was to avoid all risks I stood in my stirrups and 
209 



210 LOOKING BACK 

urged my horse forward in the race, which had broken 
its ranks, and soon found myself near the front of the 
now go-as-you-please, bawling to my steed like a regular 
Buffalo Bill, and this was kept up all the way to Me- 
Schwab. When I liberally recompensed the chief he 
kissed me, and I kissed him ; then he put his arm around 
me and shook me and kissed me again, then they all 
cheered and were off. 



NAZZIP 

On entering through the gates we found ourselves 
in an open space of probably twenty-five acres, with high 
walls on the north, east and south, apparently set aside 
for plays, prayers, public trade or exchange and, possibly, 
a place of protection for Bedouin rovers. It was a pretty 
place, and when at certain hours the priest calls out his 
Allah song from the tower, to see hundreds of people 
drop on their knees and faces in the attitude of worship 
is a sight long to be remembered. 

Our quarters, or jail, was a porch on the south, facing 
the open space of which we were not allowed to step out- 
side, except to the roof, unless accompanied by officers. 

After coffee and rest, I begged permission to be taken 
about town, which was refused. Again I demanded to 
see the Sheik, which was always granted. But the Sheik 
actually looked astonished, and smiled at my audacity 
when Moses informed him that I wished to be shown 
through the great temple of Allah, but he was courteous 
and explained that their people, the Sheas, were very 
strict. They were better than the Seanees, who would 
eat with foreigners, while the Sheas would throw away 
any piece of furniture or dish once used by them. He 
finally consented for the guard to take us through the 
streets we wished to visit, where I found that they would 
sell their own manufacture, lace, rugs, bronze, etc., to 
their own people only, but throvigh strategy I purrhased 
some amber beads. 

211 



THE MAN I HAD SEEN BEFORE 

While the officers were conducting us through the 
town I noticed a dark fellow, whom I had somewhere 
seen before, following us and laughing at my jokes, which 
were spoken to Moses mostly in English. When I spoke 
to him he feigned not to understand English, and began 
drawing me out of the few Arabic words which I had 
learned, at which he laughed and said he could speak ten 
tongues, including English. He said he knew all about 
me, but I had forgotten him. I then had Moses question 
him, but could get so little satisfaction that we concluded 
he was a fake, but he followed us and managed to advise 
me that I had better leave Me-Schwab in the dark; also 
that the Sheik might not consent for us to stay over again. 
Then I tried hard to think where I had seen r.im, but I 
could not. 

After we had been hustled back to our jail a party 
who owned the only wooden-wheeled wagon in that world 
came to bargain with me to take us to Karbilla. Two 
women, they said, were wanting to go with us, and we 
had better go through in the night, to which I objected, 
but after much wrangling we fixed on one o'clock in the 
morning for the start. 

Again I appeared before the Sheik, for permission to 
visit the Mohammedan cemeteries. He was reluctant, but 
finally consented, with whispered instructions to the 
guard, who took us outside the gate to a little hill, where 
we could see the graveyard about a mile distant, and then 
hustled us right back to our pen. 

At one o'clock, after we had swallowed our camel 
212 



LOOKING BACK 213 

steak and coffee, we were taken to the carry-all, where we 
found two masked women just arriving, whom I knew 
were quite young by their movements. A soft rug was 
stretched across to separate us from the women, who 
seemed to be housekeeping in the rear flat of the wagon, 
and we in the front. As our start was delayed, I snuggled 
back against the rug which partitioned us from the 
females, and soon realized that someone on the other side 
was snuggling up against me. Wlien I aroused to inquire 
about our departure she would speak to the other woman, 
then we would resume our comfortable position, until 
her head dropped on my shoulder and nature's sweet 
repose drove all our cares away — of course both of us 
were asleep. Thus we waited until after light, all 
grumbling except us who were asleep. 

About sunrise the driver, with six Arabian steeds, 
in true Bedouin style, circled the open space on a wild 
run, then dashing out through the gates struck out for 
the north, which took us between the two cemeteries 
to which we had been refused admittance the previous 
evening. They ran the down grade at high speed, ap- 
parently so we could not see the tombs ; but, when just 
at the point of curiosity, one wheel ran off and we were 
dumped in the sand, where the women lost their masks. 
One of them looked slyly at me with her soul brim full 
of laughter, as she placed her hands on my shoulders and 
shook me playfully; I did not understand her affection, 
although under those circumstances I appreciated it and 
wished we could each tell our story to the other. 



REAL BEDOUINS AFTER US 

I concluded that this ruse was being given to intimi- 
date me, but later we experienced something more serious. 

The road between Nazzip and Karbillia is supposed to 
be more safe than the Koofa route, as it is guarded by 
squads of Turkish cavalry. At noon we changed horses 
and ate barley cakes for dinner, cooked by slapping the 
dough on the inside of a heated cement barrel. When we 
were ready to start again we could not find out why we 
did not go. 

We had now recrossed the desert and descended 
from the plateau into the valley of the Messopotamia, 
where our trail ran between the Chebar River and the 
clilTs on the west. All the while we had been waiting our 
two drivers had remained on the cliffs, where we could 
not see them, but I was not nervous, as I had become 
accustomed to waiting. Our suspicion was not aroused 
until we started, when the drivers yelled our six-horse 
team into a wild run, shaking the old crate wagon from 
side to side, for about five miles, when we heard reports 
of firearms, and suddenly came to a stop. Then the 
drivers, together with the passengers, sisters and all, ran 
up the craggy steeps onto the open plain, where in the 
distance we saw about ten Bedouins leaning on their 
horses' necks running for dear life, followed by a squad 
of Turkish cavalry who were firing at them with no effect, 
for they were too far away. 

I declared at once that it was a plot to frighten me 
214 



LOOKING BACK 215 

out of the Mohammedan Stamping Grounds, but our 
guard, who had been riding to the west of our route all 
day, said that the teamsters who came down with our 
cary-all from Karbilla a few days previous had killed 
a camel man of the great herd which we were about to 
pass through, and that the Bedouins were the dead man's 
friends from the camel camp, who intended to kill all of 
us for re.venge. Also, that the reason we staved so long 
in the night and where we lunched was for the cavalry 
to arrive from Nazzip to chase the Bedouins away. Then 
I decided that, if our guard had told the truth, the Arabs 
were not so bad after all. 

We soon struck a herd of about 8,000 camels feeding 
on the grass and briars along the Shat-El-Chebar. It was a 
sight to see them, with their two or three hundred Arabian 
family tents, surrounded by horses, dogs, goats, sheep, 
chickens and children, leading the sleepy life of our way- 
side gypsies, seeming to have no inspiration for a change 
in their condition, as one generation follows another. On 
each voyage, or tour, said to occupy about live years, 
they go collecting camels at the round-up on the wilds 
of the great desert and driving them to Persia, of course 
selling and trading all the way along the creatures, both 
human and dumb, reproducing on the way. The pastur- 
age is free but the government taxes are heavy, being 
nearly fifty per cent of the value of the animal, which is 
paid in such stock as they own. Arabian herdsmen are 
generous and hospitable, but, when aroused by what they 
consider wrong, they are exceedingly ferocious. We 
camped with them several days, and if I had a better grip 
on their language I would like to travel a year or two in 
one of those herdsmen's caravans and write them up as 
the family from which Abraham was called, for from the 



216 LOOKING BACK 

time of the historical events of Abraham to now there 
has probably been little or no change in their daily life. 
Their helpfulness and hospitality, without expecting re- 
compense, often reminded me of the story of Moses 
helping the Midian girls to water their flocks. 



SUSPICION AROUSED 

Upon my return to Bagdad the Consul took me home 
to dinner, where he related a long, amusing story, of 
which I will make a short one. He said that the morning 
after I left Bagdad the Turkish Emissary from Constan- 
tinople sent his deputy to him to inquire who the stranger 
from America was and what he wanted, to which the 
Consul referred to my passport, which had been presented 
to them, and then told them all he knew about me. 
Again, in the evening, they sent to him to learn where I 
had gone, whereupon Hurner, thinking I would be more 
likely to go to Niffer than the interior, told them I had 
gone to visit my United States friend who was exploring 
the ruins at that place. 

Again they sent, to inquire if any treasure had been 
found at Niffer, to which the Consul jokingly replied, 
"Why, haven't you heard that they have found a sub- 
terranean pocket of valuables? And I suppose Richard- 
son is here to take them out of the country by way of the 
Persian Gulf. I hear he has several camels on the spot; 
but this is all hearsay, through the Bedouins, and may not 
be true." 

In less than an hour, said Hurner, two hundred 
cavalry, with shining sabres, were on the dash over the 
sixty miles of straight across desert sand to intercept 
the American thief. Their approach was a surprise to 
the old Bostonian, who was simply examining each brick 
217 



218 LOOKING BACK 

as they came out of the debris, and innocently declared 
he had seen no treasure or anything of the American. 

JONA AND HIS WIVES 

The next morning I received a caller whom 1 recog- 
nized at once as the stranger I had met in Nazzip. After 
I incjuired how he got to Bagdad so soon, he told me he 
had joined the horsemen from Nazzip who protected me. 
I asked him what he meant by saying he knew me. 

"Were you at Jask, Persia?" he began. 

"Yes," I said, "Jask is v/here I saw, in the distance, 
those rocky, book-like mountains, so beautiful." 

"Did you go ashore ?" 

"I did." 

"Did you see me?" 

"No." 

"On your retvirn to the steamer did you assist two 
Mohammedan women?" 

"I did. Americans always assist the ladies." 

"Did you go ashore at Bahrein, Arabia?" 

I said, "Yes, that is where S. M. Zwemer, a missionary 
from the Dutch Reform Church of Holland, Michigan, 
rode with us on donkeys to Riggeb-Gem, that ruin more 
ancient than Babylon." 

"On the return to the steamer did you assist those 
women again ?" 

"I did, I stood in the water to my hips and assisted 
each from their wet donkey to the barge. When on board 
one gave me a pomegranite, and when she saw I did not 
know what it was, she took it from me with a laugh 
and fixed it with sugar so I could eat it." 

"Those women, stranger, were my wives. Did you 
know that your frankness gained their affection ?" 



LOOKING BACK 219 

"Your wives ! Gee-whiz, were those women at Me- 
Schwad the same women I met on the steamer? Say, 
friend, where did you come from, and where are you 
going?" 

"Aly name is Jona. I am a nabob, my home is the 
desert thirty days journey from Muscat, but we wih not 
burden each other with our history. I have learned that 
you are bound for Tadmor, and so am I. Now, can you 
tell me anything more about the last days of Jesus of 
Nazareth and the last days of Mary Magdalene than is 
found in your testament, with which I am familiar?" 

I hesitated, and then said : "I did not come into this 
country as a missionary, I came to study the people. I 
would not interfere with your Mohammedan faith." 

"You Christians mistake our position in regard to 
Jesus. Jesus, as Mohammed, was a wonderful spiritual 
teacher from the living God, but until all worshipers of 
the spiritual God drop their materialism, of which the 
resurrection of the physical body of Jesus is the most 
ungodlike, this world will continue to be the abode of 
ignorance, which is the generator of sin ; but enough on 
that score for now, for I intend to join you on your 
journey to Tadmor, and I trust you will hereafter pass 
my wives unnoticed." 

"If I see one of your wiv^s falling, head downward 
from a camel, shall I save her from breaking her neck?" 

"Not if she falls intentionally; but let us return to the 
object of my call, the story of Mary Magdalene and Jesus 
in their last days." 

"Mary Magdalene was all right, friend, but how about 
your girl wife, who shook me so fondly when I saw 
her face?" 

"Oh, she admired v-qu'' frankness ; she is mad, so 



220 LOOKING BACK 

please pass her unnoticed on our journey to Tadmor. 
Now to change the subject. 

"All organized nations, Syria not being the least, 
after the fame of Jesus spread abroad, sent scribes to 
listen at his feet and report, which report was included 
in the collection for our Family Tree Tribe, with a record 
of the life and death of Mary Magdalene in which she 
shines forth as a feminine beauty of wonderful spiritual 
comprehension. This report, with that of the destruction 
of Jerusalem and the final attempt to crush out Christi- 
anity, has been carried by us in tradition but lost in record 
for many centuries. Lately we have been told that the 
original manuscripts still exist in the ruins of our ancient 
citadel in Tadmor (Palmyra.) 



THE RECHABITES 

"We styled ourselves Rechabites because we lived in 
open air, drank no wine and mingled with no other tribes. 
We descended from Adam through the Kenites. Our 
rendezvous at the time of David was at Jabes, but in the 
days of Jeremiah we came to Tadmor, where we as- 
sembled yearly to pay tithes for over a thousand years. 

"Now we are dispersed throughout the Orient, and 
pay no tithes, yet we hold sacred our peaceful attitude 
toward strangers, our education as scribes, our nomad 
life and our abhorrence to strong drink. The family 
tree is disappearing, for we are intermarrying; even my 
mother was an Indian from Karachi. 

"My object in this journey is, if possible, to collect 
the Aramaic manuscripts of the tribe, that they may be 
handed down in an unbroken line, thus completing our 
family tree. I can tell you more particulars about our 
people, and many incidents about Mary Magdalene, even 
if we do not find the manuscripts. For we will journey 
together." 

"Please let me ask you one question, Mr. Jona, and 
then you can proceed. Do you intend me to understand 
that you expect to find the original report or document at 
Tadmor, or is it a legend of a later author of your tribe 
who was familiar with traditional accounts of Jesus and 
Mary Magdalene ?" 

"I do not want you to understand anything only that 
I hope to find manuscripts which will satisfy all that 
221 



222 LOOKING BACK 

Jesus of Nazareth was a spiritual representative of God, 
and that after His death He appeared to ]\Iary Mag- 
dalene." 

"I understand you now, go on about your rendezvous." 

"As I said concerning our people, the Hebrews, who 
thought God had chosen them to disseminate His love and 
care over this world, became bigoted through priesthood 
and set up a cry that they were retainers instead of dis- 
seminators. This caused a breach between us and the 
Gentiles, who mande war with us ; but our tribe, the 
Rechabites, held aloof, enjoying our nomad life until 
Babylonia, spurred on by Syria, began preparations for 
that world-wide foraging tour toward Canaan. Then our 
tribe, fearful of an onslaught, held council and decided 
to take shelter within the walls of Jerusalem, and did so 
until Jehoiakim, through Jeremiah, attempted to get us 
drunk, when we again held council and decided to throw 
ourselves upon the mercy of the Babylonian King, who 
in turn permitted us to assemble at Tadmor, exempt from 
army service. 

"Tadmor now became our home, and upon the brow 
of the mountain which overlooks the city we excavated 
a broad and deep channel in the rock, around a center on 
which we built a wonderful castle, the crown to the gem 
of the desert, Tadmor. In its sacred archives were kept 
all the manuscripts of our tribe. Since we abandoned it 
I have heard they still call it by our family name, 'The 
Castle of the Rechabs.' 

"Recently we have heard that some kind of documents 
or manuscripts are still in keeping by a descendant of 
our clan, so my people have deputized me to go on this 
journey." 

"If it would be agreeable to you, Mr. Jona, I would 



LOOKING BACK 223 

like that we group our sub-caravans for the journey." 

"Thanks for your hospitahty, but for reasons pre- 
viously expressed we will tent separately. You and I will 
ride side by side, that I may enjoy the influence of your 
inspiring thoughts ; but, really, you would not enjoy the 
company of the woman, who you could neither see or 
understand." 

"Why in the d 1, Jona, do you not let them throw 

off those masks, just for this journey, and allow the 
sweet sunshine, which the flowers on the desert are per- 
mitted to enjoy, be experienced by your wives, whom, 
by your barbarous custom, you place in dark coffins 
before they die?" 

"Oh, Mr. Richardson. I understand you all right, but 
my people would not. Please do not mention that subject 
again. Now please attend to the details of your wants for 
our journey with the Persian caravan, which is now 
arriving, for we must be ready for the forward move- 
ment, which will take place in about four days." 

Not willing to let up on the subject, I continued: 
"Do your women ever find fault with the way you treat 
them?" 

"Yes, all women are dissatisfied." 

"They are not. Our women at home are the sunshine 
of our lives." 

"Please do not talk any more on that subject," he said 
as he wiped the sweat from his neck with his flowing 
sleeve. 

Many were the peculiar incidents in our caravan of 
over fifteen hundred souls on our long journey of twenty- 
nine days up the Euphrates and over the desert, all of 
which I must pass over, noticing only Jona and his group 
as they appeared on the desert. 



224 LOOKING BACK 

Jona, astride of his beautiful, fleet Arabian, was fol- 
lowed by a mammoth black camel loaded down with 
about eight hundred pounds of luggage. Following next 
was a tall, gaunt, mouse-colored camel on which was a 
platform fastened to the saddle ; of which, on either side 
over the camel's sides, were attached covered seats which 
looked like dog houses. In each of these dog houses was 
a wife, his favorite and her assistant, Fatima. Each 
wore a veil over her head, jewels on her fingers, ankles, 
wrists, ears and neck, attired in a loose wrapper. Ori- 
ental nabobs usually travel with two wives, their favorite 
and her assistant. The elder, in this case, was his favor- 
ite ; she bossed him around just like American wives 
do their husbands, not by force but through influence ; 
as Abraham obeyed Sarah, and sent the guileless Hagar 
into the wilderness, regardless of his feelings. 

A sort of Jacob's ladder, on which the women de- 
scended to and from their roost, was among the luggage 
on the pack camel, and notwithstanding the charge of my 
Rechabite friend that I was not to disquiet his wives, I 
continually placed the ladder and assisted Fatima and 
his favorite to ascend as soon as we struck camp ; for if 
I had not, Jona was liable to leave his wives and other 
luggage on the camel until we had been on the sand for an 
hour. Fatima and I were usually side by side evenings, 
when her aptness in catching the English words and re- 
turning them to me in Arabic surprised me. 



SLEEPING BEAUTY OF THE DESERT 

On the twenty-eighth day, about eleven o'clock P. M., 
weary from the long day journey, I dined again on tea 
and toast, and with my boots on dropped on my cot, just 
for a moment; and seemingly before the moment had 
massed the morning sun peeped in and awoke me from my 
sweet dream of home. I awoke Jona, and while the camp 
still slumbered we ascended a rise of ground to gaze on 
that silent form of grandeurs which lay before us, full 
twenty miles away. As far as the eye could penetrate, 
north and south, the Syrian highlands, long known as 
the haunt of the most ferocious Bedouins, loomed up, 
where about in the center, seemingly imbedded in the 
glistening cliff, lay the ruins of the once proud city of 
Tadmor, the queen of the desert. For, while Nineveh 
and Babylon at their best were old gray monks, Tadmor, 
in the days of David, with her stately granite columns 
from the Nile, coquetted with the morning sun like a 
maiden in her teens. 

Breakfast again of tea and toast, when Jona and I, 
with a guard of twelve horsemen, started for a run over 
the hilly plain which lay between us and the ruins, leaving 
the wives and other luggage to come along with the cara- 
van, which would reach Tadmor some time before next 
morning. Before starting I promised our escorts a piece 
of silver each if we should reach the ruins in an hour. 

The morning was bright and the ride was inspiring, 
but very tame compared to the wild ride at Nazzip, for we 
225 



226 LOOKING BACK 

ran steadily on over the sand-drifted desert, while the 
sweat on the horses' necks soon worked into a foam ; and 
although the distance was nearer twenty-five than twenty 
miles, we reined up to the temple of the sun in about 
ninety minutes, when I gave two pieces of silver to each, 
for which they carried me in their arms through the 
ancient archway where there were once swinging gates 
nearly sixty feet in height, through which Solomon had 
many times passed. Then they lugged me to the market 
and coaxed me to buy them a camel bone for soup, which 
I did, on the promise that I was to have some of the 
soup, but I forgot to come around on time. 



THE ABANDONED CASTLE 

Jona, as I expected, found the castle, but no relative 
in Tadmor; nor anyone who had ever heard who built 
or occupied the Fort-Castle on the rocks overlooking the 
city. I then questioned him again as to whether there had 
ever been such a family tradition concerning Mary Mag- 
dalene as he had related, to which he stoutly maintained 
there had been, and that Mary Magdalene, the fair 
Galilean Goddess whose life was interwoven into the 
family of Jesus of Nazareth, had once been a bright 
feature in the traditional tree of the Rechabites, but when 
or by whom it was introduced he did not know. 

With Jona's plat of the ancient ruins, we passed up 
through the once beautiful city, where the immense 
granite columns from Egypt still stand single, in groups 
and in lines, retaining their caps, crowns and arches. 

As described by Jona, we found upon the hill which 
overlooks the city the once elegant rock castle, surrounded 
by a deep Water channel quarried from the solid rock, 
as before described, but, apparently, no one had lived 
there for ages. 

Then, by following his plat west of the city proper, 
we found ancient family tombs as he had described, but 
the receptacles for the dead, four tiers high, were empty, 
save as a retreat for bats and owls. Still we found 
no documents concerning Jesus, and Jona's journey to 
Tadmor with his two wives was, as far as Jesus and the 
Goddess of Galilee were concerned, a complete failure. 
227 



228 LOOKING BACK 

Unless his many evenings spent with me, relating the 
disjointed traditional reminiscences concerning Mary 
Magdalene, satisfies others as it does me of the heroic, 
unremitting zeal of woman when clouds of sorrow over- 
shadow the day. 

In parting from my Bedouin friends I shook hands 
with the three, and got one more good squeeze from 
Jona's disobedient Fatima. Then, according to Oriental 
custom, Jona hugged and kissed me. Females of the 
desert who are not Mohammedans are accustomed to 
kiss at will, the same as the men do. Jona was a kind- 
hearted, truthful old Arab. His wife's affection for me 
was pure desire for soul liberty, like a bird confined in a 
cage while other birds play in the trees. 



MARY MAGDALENE 

While the orb of day is kissing a fond adieu to the 
Syrina highland which overlooks the great city Tandmor 
with its two million inhabitants, two sojourners from the 
far East, with their usual escort, turn in beside the fast 
flowing stream of hot water which still gushed forth from 
under the once beautiful city of the desert. 

The fleet and pack animals gently kneel to be relieved 
of their burden, for even the patient ships of the desert 
become weary on their long journeys over the trackless, 
sand blown wilds. 

Long after the hum of the city had ceased and the 
silence above had thrown its dark mantle over the sleep- 
ing face of nature, we sat by the babbling brook discussing 
the strange report, which for nearly two years had been 
heralded from the vine clad hills of Canaan, to the effect 
that one Jesus of Nazareth, a carpenter, was imbued with 
spiritual power to the extent that he was healing all 
manner of diseases, and of late had raised a damsel 
twelve years old from the dead. 

Next day, while crossing the Desert of Hor, we could 
see Tandmor when twenty miles away, and on the iifth 
day we reached Palestine. The evening we arrived at 
Capernaum we found the west shore of the Sea of Gali- 
lee from the ford of the Jordan north to the hot springs 
of Tiberias, south, as well as the western hillside, liter- 
ally strewn with groups of wise men from different parts 
229 



230 LOOKING BACK 

of the world, together with the high and low of the 
Hebrew clan. 

As Magdala and Capernaum seemed to be the center 
of attraction, we staked our tent near, and soon learned 
that Jesus, the Wonderful, was a guest of one Simon, a 
fisherman, while his kindred were being cared for by 
relatives and friends of the family. 

Scribes from the South and far East were comparing 
notes and discussing His latest miracle of stilling the 
tempest, of which there was an abundance of proof 
that the storm, which was raging on Galilee, had sub- 
sided almost immediately, but as to Jesus having been the 
cause, there was a diversity of opinion. Many thought 
Jesus was mad or beside himself, while others said, "Has 
not God, in all ages past, at times, awakened the people 
in mysterious v/ay s ?" 

Others, among whom were the scribes and Pharisees 
from Jerusalem, declared him to be possessed with the 
devil, through which he healed the sick, fed the hungr\' 
and stilled the waves ; and still others declared that his 
teachings were exclusively spiritual, and not material- 
istic. 



DINA OF ENDOR 

While a group of fishermen, who occupied a large 
black tent, were enlisting followers to the cause and one, 
called Peter, was exhorting the throng, a woman of the 
Hebrew tongue was overheard talking to a group of 
strangers, to whom she said : ""I am from Endor, my 
name is Dina and I have been floating in this great 
religious wave for more than a year ; and I am truly con- 
vinced that God, through Jesus, is visiting His people, 
but why does Jesus not avoid those strangers who are 
noting down every word He says, to carry home. An- 
other thing seems strange to me, that Jesus, who is from 
a nice family, should tolerate rascals who never wore 
a square inch of decency on their hides. Just look at 
Simon, the old fisherman ; that broad shouldered man 
talking now, whom Jesus named Peter, who was and I 
suppose is a liar and a toper, whom no one has ever 
accused of dealing honestly. Then there is Mary Mag- 
dalene, who, with her wealthy Aunt Susanna, lives just 
up there on the hillside. Some say she is a relative of 
Jesus, perhaps that is because her hair is light, for some 
of the breed to whom Jesus belongs have auburn hair. 
But oh, isn't she a diamond in the rough? Why, that 
maid is a bewitching beauty, graceful as a swan, some- 
times as soft as the summer breeze and at other times 
wilder than a tornado. She was brought up with or near 
the family of Joseph of Nazareth, came here when about 
a dozen years old and took the name of Magdalene. I 
231 



232 LOOKING BACK 

believe, from what I hear, that if that girl faced the 
Devil he would back down, and yet she has more true 
admirers, staunch friends, than any maid in Gahlee, 
In fact I, even though I never speak to her, like her my- 
self ; but how Jesus, as the Son of God, can bunch her 
faults and forgive them in one batch, is a puzzle to me." 

"Why is she called a sinner?" inquired a tall man 
in a red shirt which came down to his heels. 

"Oh, Jesus says we are all sinners in a certain sense ; 
I suppose he would say she will some day bridle her 
tongue, but she never will. You see, she has no respect 
for the customs and rites of the Pharisees, so I suppose 
it was the orthodox who branded her a sinner, but I have 
heard that the sisters of Jesus like her, and that of late 
she has come down from her perch wonderfully." 

"Do the people actually believe the child of Jarius 
was dead, or was she possessed by demons?" broke in a 
keen-eyed observer with a quill over his ear. 

"Oh, I don't know. The people are clamoring for 
miracles. Magdalene says the resurrection Jesus preaches 
does not refer to the body. Everyone thought the child 
was dead, but Jesus said she was not. He talks so much 
in parable it is hard to understand him. I have listened 
to Jesus almost every day for nearly two years, he all 
the time talking about death, and still I and all his 
friends are confounded as to whether he means death 
of the body or a state of sin-death, from which condition 
he can raise those who are naturally dead in sin. I think 
the report of his having raised that child is what has 
brought so many here of late, but if I understand Jesus — 
hush, do you see that tent right here beside us? Those 
people just came in at dark. James says they are from 
Tadmor, a sect of scribes once called Rechabites. See, 



LOOKING BACK 233 

they are noting down every word I say, so I'm glad I 
haven't said much. Just see old Peter swing his arms 
and preach ; from here, where one cannot hear a word, 
he would pass for quite a respectable man, yet I heard 
that when he used to peddle fish all the attractive women 
turned from him, but he never bothered me, and Jesse, 
my husband, says it is no wonder, but I tell him if I 
am not pretty I know enough to keep my mouth shut. 
Magdalene sums up Peter the quaintest; she says she 
always manages to get on the side of his cock eye so he 
cannot wink at her. 

"James and John, the two brothers who are with 
Jesus, are fine fellows, in fact I have heard that John 
wants to marry Magdalene. James, the brother of Jesus, 
is a man to be admired, in fact all the brothers and sisters 
of Jesus seem to take after their mother, who, all the 
folks say, is a bright ^reature; but the father, Joseph — 
well, he is dead, and while I never heard a word against 
him, I should say that his lineage from David was his 
chief attraction. Jesus, they say, was the real head of the 
family from the time he was a boy, but I do not think 
he worked at the carpenter trade very much. At an early 
age he served at the feet of the noted scribes and priests, 
through which he virtually became a support of the 
family, for, as an instructor, he was unequaled. Even at 
the Sanhedrim his opinion had weight until he took 
this religious turn, when his former friends became his 
enemies." 

"How could Jesus have tolerated the doings of those 
he now so bitterly opposes?" inquired a bystander. 

"Oh, I do not know, possibly he was studying their 
real character and now he hits them on their sore spots, 
but it — there — there — comes Jesus now, that tall man, 



234 LOOKING BACK 

come close so you can hear him and you will believe every 
word he says. Oh there, they are sending us out so they 
can be alone — dear me, let us meet again tomorrow so T 
can tell you a little of the news ; but as I said, I am not 
a woman who says much and seldom express my opinion." 



THE HOME OF MAGDALENE 

"Magdalene, why are you so restless, and why gazing 
so intently at the stormy sea ; has anything crossed your 
path, dear?" 

"Oh, Aunt Susanna, I was just watching the tumb- 
ling waves of Old Galilee and I envy them the peace they 
enjoy, for soon they will lie down to sleep, but there is 
no rest for your poor, wayward Magdalene." 

"You are not bad, Mary, your beauty has made you 
gay and your vanity presses hard upon your virtue, but 
you have never stooped. All your require is time and 
patience." 

"Time, why I am twenty-two gone and I doubt if 
twenty-two million of years would mellow me down to 
your soft nature. Often I try to be mild and keep my 
promise so often made to Jesus, and first I know I am 
facing all kinds of difficulties with a rebuff and then I 
am too proud to own up that I am sorry." 

"Did you hear Jesus talk in the synagogue today?" 

"Yes, I was there this morning and that is why I am 
so upset. You know I was ever with him and his sisters, 
especially Ruth, until I came to you, but since he began 
to preach I have avoided him. Well, he caught me this 
morning and spoke so kindly that I felt the old child-love 
coming back. Seeing so many of my Nazareth friends 
and Jesus talking so strangely I began to cry and might 
have joined them had not Simon, our old fish peddler, 
approached me and began hinting at my waywardness 
235 



236 LOOKING BACK 

and talking about miracles. Then I flared up and said. 
'Really, Peter (that is what they call him now), you do 
not say you have repented — if you have, and it goes deep 
enough to make you give honest weight on fish, I should 
say Jesus has performed a miracle, indeed.' Then he 
broke in by saying, 'Maggie,' but I checked him on the 
spot and said, 'Call me Magdalene. I am no little girl, 
I am a lady.' Then he kind of twisted his jaw as he used 
to when he cried, 'Fish — fish,' and asked if I was sure, 
and I told him he had better keep on seeking shelter 
against the day of wrath to come. Then as Jesus came 
near the anger seemed to leave me and I could have 
knelt and kissed his feet." 

"Whose feet. Mary?" 

"Whose do you suppose ?" Then the proud girl bit her 
lip in scorn. 

A moment silence, and Aunty continued, "\Miat dc 
you think of Jesus?" 

"Why, really, I do not know what to think ; probabb 
I am not as good a judge as one who has not known him 
for he was always ready to help Ruth and me out of oui 
embarrassing predicaments, of which there were many, 
for you know Ruth and I were hand in hand in mischief. 
One day she and I — say Aunty, there comes John, what 
do you suppose he wants?" 



JOHN AND MAGDALENE 

Aunt Susanna fluttered some at John's approach, for, 
although a daily playmate with Magdalene, he seldom 
appeared in their garden now. "I am glad to see you, 
John. You used to run in, when a boy, and why do you 
not come oftener now?" 

John laughingly replied, while greeting Magdalene, 
"Since I have become so big that Lena cannot box me 
around handy, I thought the enjoyment of my presence, 
especially for her — " 

"Now, John," broke in Magdalene, as she solidly 
planked herself on the couch beside him, "First, you've 
been here more than forty times since that evening, and 
next, did you not deserve a good box on your ear when 
you tied the straw to our dog's tail?" 

"I was just playing Sampson." 

"How did you like my playing Sampson, when I 
boxed your ears?" 

"I just enjoyed it." 

"You did not; if you had you would not remember 
it." 

"I did." 

"Now, John," said the peaceful aunty, "you must 
confine yourself to the truth ; you know I have always 
held you up as a model young man." 

"John," said Magdalene, as she touched him on the 
shoulder. 

John turned, and looking her quizzically in the face, 
2Z1 



238 LOOKING BACK 

said, "Do you remember. Lena, that the trouble that day 
all ended with you and I eating bread and honey and then 
your going part way home with me, hugging and kissing 
me all the way. Now do you wonder at my enjoyment?" 

She smilingly replied, "What a pity it is that hand- 
some boys grow up to be such ugly men. Just play you 
are a boy again and set fire to the dog's tail once more. 
I dare you to do it." 

"Oh, Lena," he said, as he turned the conversation, 
"do you buy your fish of Simon yet?" 

Springing to her feet, her eyes sparkling, she said, 
"Honestly, John, I would rather go to hell with you than 
to heaven with old Simon." 

John looked admiringly at the stately figure before 
him, as he calmly said, "Why, Lena." 

After time for reflection, Magdalene again seated her- 
self beside him, dropping her head on his shoulder weep- 
ing, and while Aunt Susanna came and kissed away the 
tears, she with difficulty continued, "If you only knew 
how I hated some people, without cause, and loved others 
who do not love me, you would pity me. Old Peter has 
his virtues and I know it." 

After the storm had passed, Magdalene laughingly 
inquired, "Now, John, did you actually come over to see 
Aunty, or did you come to see me?" 

John declared it was both, but the business end of the 
call was bread. Then it was soon arranged that Aunt 
Susanna should furnish ten loaves each day as long as 
the followers of Jesus remained at the Lake. 

"His a parent communion with God," continued John, 
"has so startled the world that many are coming out of 
curiosity. Tomorrow, being Sabbath, he will preach in 



LOOKING BACK 239 

the synagogue and we hope the spies from Jerusalem 
will not interfere." 

"Truly, John," inquired Aunt Susanna, "do you be- 
lieve in him? Magdalene, answer the door call." 



RUTH 

Aunt Susanna and John listened that they might 
recognize the voice when Magdalene exclaimed, "Oh, 
Ruth — Ruth, you dear sweet girl, why did you keep me 
waiting so long?" And Ruth after embracing Magdalene 
ran and kissed Aunt Susanna and then with a low 
:ourtsey begged John to pardon her rudeness, for which 
John complied and said, "I saw you with your folks to- 
day, but I did not dare approach for you all looked so 
nervous that I feared a break-down." 

Ruth turned a distant glance as the large tears trickled 
down her cheeks, when Magdalene placed her fair arm 
around the waist of her life-long friend, softly saying, 
"Do not weep, Ruth, everybody loves you," to which the 
sad girl replied, "We do all feel so strange ; no one 
thought it would ever come to this." 

"Ruth," began Aunt Susanna, "anxiety will make you 
all sick ; now be calm and let me plan. You and Magda- 
lene must enter the garden while it is twilight, and Mag- 
dalene do not fail to show her the baby birds in the lilac 
bushes. You, John, however much you wish, cannot go 
with them, for I have a duty for you. \\'hile I light the 
fire for hot cakes and honey you must run down to 
Capernaum and bring Jesus, his mother and all the family 
up here to dine, and stop with us until morning. Ruth 
will sleep v/ith Magdalene, her mother with me and Jesus 
on the couch. We have heaps of rugs so others can lie 
down where they please. If you like, John, you can stay 
also, for I know you like to be with Jesus." 
240 



LOOKING BACK 241 

"Really, Aunt Susanna," broke in Ruth, "I have been 
here so much." 

"Now, Ruth, not a word from you. During the time 
Magdalene has lived with me, I do not think you have 
made her what might be called ten good visits, and 
Magdalene has been to Nazareth about forty times. Be- 
sides, everytime she comes home I hear nothing but Ruth,' 
Ruth, so I conclude she is at your home most of the time." 

"Aunt Susanna," said John, as he raised to go. 

"John," ejaculated Magdalene as she seized him by 
the arm, "You're not going until vou have seen our gar- 
den ; it will not hinder you three minutes." 

John did not seem anxious to release himself from 
her grasp, but responded, "I must obey your Aunty's 
command." Then turning to Aunty he continued, "Please 
do not bake the cakes until I return, for I think they are 
all fixed for the night. Jesus is stopping with Peter's 
wife's mother and — " 

"Peter," exclaimed Magdalene, as she turned her 
saucy nose to one side and elevated her chin. 

"Ruth," said John, as arm in arm with the two girls 
they turned to the garden, "can you abide Magdalene 
without obeying her commands?" 

Ruth seeming to forget her troubles, laughingly re- 
plied, "Oh, I see your predicament, John, but you know 
the wise do control the weak." 

Then as Magdalene let go his arm and squared herself 
saucily before him in the attitude of wisdom, she said, 
"Now, John, own up that you wish you had not asked 
Ruth that question," to which John mumbled something 
about all girls being alike, at which Magdalene again 
flared up and accused him of not being capable of appre- 
ciating select company, and then they all laughed. 



DARKNESS OVER GALILEE 

John has returned home ; Jesus is asleep in the home 
of Simon's mother-in-law ; Mary, the mother of Jesus, 
and her childen, save Jesus and Ruth, are sleeping under 
their little open tent shelter on the pebbled beach. Every 
lodging in Tiberias, Magdala, Bethsaida and Capernaum 
is occupied by strangers, while more than ten thousand 
souls overcome by fatigue have tonight lopped down in 
groups here and there upon the shore of the renowned 
inland lake, the Sea of Galilee. 

The evening star has disappeared beyond the western 
hills, while spangled Orion and the Pleiades sisters seem 
lingering as though to look down in silent pity on slum- 
bering old Nazareth, whose religious zealots have thrust 
out in bitter scorn the man whose lamp of light will shine 
upon the mysterious way called Death, when other lights 
have all grown dim. 

It is now after midnight. Ruth and Magdalene are 
in fond embrace, while Aunt Susanna on a reclining divan 
amid a profusion of pretty rugs and bolstering pillows is 
plying questions to Ruth concerning her brother, Jesus. 

"Ruth, how long has it been since your brother began 
to talk this way?" 

"Really, Aunt, I cannot say. He has practically been 
the head of our family since before father died. He 
always seemed to know if a sick person was going to get 
well, but, of course, as Lena knows, he said and did many 
things that we did not notice then, which look strange 
242 



LOOKING BACK 243 

to us now. I remember one time when we were small 
we all went over to Saffuriyeh to spend the day with 
mother's folks, and while going over, he said to us that 
we must all be kind to grandpa for we would never 
see him again, and he did die in a few days." 

"Did he ever call himself the son of God?" 

"Oh, no, we never thought of such a thing, but he 
often spoke of God as my father instead of our father. 
The first time we noticed anything unusual was when he, 
with a lot of other men, went to the Jordan, near Jerusa- 
lem, to be baptized by a man named John. When they 
returned home, he was preaching different from what 
he used to preach. Of course, as mother says, he may 
have had divine aid all along and not told us, nor even 
understood it himself." 

"Did your mother love him better than she did you 
younger children?" 

"Certainly she did. You do not think she would like 
gusts of emotion like Lena and me as well as she did a 
fatherly man like Jesus. Why, Aunt Susanna, everyone 
loved Jesus until that old bigoted gang of priests got after 
him." 

"I wish I was God," broke in Magdalene, "wouldn't 
I jerk those priests out of their phylactery garm.ents 
and put them to grinding in the mill ? I should say every- 
one does love Jesus, he won my heart when I was 6 years 
old, and I would love him yet if he would shake up old 
Peter." 

"Why, Magdalene." 

"Oh, Aunty, you know I do not mean just what I 
say, but let me go on with my story of love. One after- 
noon when we were all up on the commons, they got 



244 LOOKING BACK 

up a race between me and Delila, from the spring. You 
know, Ruth, I was swift, — awful swift." 

"And you are fleetly still," chimed in Aunt Susanna. 

"Oh, yes, Ruth, she refers to a race about two years 
ago when someone brought in a Greek courier to run 
with me and I showed him my heels before a crowd of 
over two thousand people. Now I will begin back on 
my love story : One afternoon when we were all up on 
the commons, they got up a race between Delila and me. 
She was an inch taller and a year older than I. So well 
do I remember when we were waiting for the signal and 
I was so confident of winning, but we had not gone far 
before I discovered I had my match. If we had had 
twenty steps more to run I would have won, but as it was 
they all cried Delila — Delila, when Jesus caught me up in 
his arms and said, 'Now, Mary (you know he always 
calls me Mary), would you not rather be called the 
sweetest girl than the faster runner?' Then, after he 
had wiped the tears and gotten me to laughing, he said, 'I 
want you to do something for me, will you?' and I said, 
'Yes, you know I will, what is it ?' 'I want you to go over 
to Delila and say, "When my legs get as long as yours I 
will race you again." ' 'I will not,' said I. Then he turned 
and looked the other way, but I shook his hand and said, 
'Do you hear me? I say I will not go near the old thing.' 
Then he turned and spoke as he often spake, 'Why, 
Mary.' I stood a moment and then dropped my elevated 
chin, let go of his hand and ran to Delila and told her 
just what he told me to, and she laughingly said. 'You 
would have won anyhow if you had not stumbled at the 
start.' So we began talking and both went back to Jesus, 
who bought us a piece of melon, and he laughed when we 



LOOKING BACK 245 

ate it by one taking a bite and then the other, unti .t was 
gone." 

"Do you know," inquired Ruth, "that Dehla has mar- 
ried that rich man who had been a leper and they are 
Hving in Bethany, near Jerusalem ? Jesus told me only a 
few days ago about two sisters in Bethany, Mary and 
Martha, who are relatives of Simon and live near him 
with their brother Lazarus. Simon has a beautiful home, 
where our folks, when at Jerusalem, go over and stay 
nights. Joseph of Aramathaea and Nicodemus are often 
there, they help Jesus in many ways, always giving him 
money and a place to stay. Jesus said he is going back to 
Jerusalem again, but mother and all of us are trying to 
persuade him not to do so. If he does, and we all go, 
will you both go with us? Mother wants to know." 

"I think we will," replied Aunt Susanna, and so they 
talked on until the golden dawn awoke the little songsters, 
who sang the three to sleep on the hillside by the sea. 

"Do you know, Lena," said Ruth, as they were walk- 
ing in the twilight, "that mother thinks I had better not go 
to Jerusalem. She says only she and James will follow 
Jesus, for if we all go the rabbis may burn our home." 

"I have feard that, Ruth, for some time. Some in- 
fluence caused me to think that way, but I did not mention 
it. Say, Ruth, why do people call me a sinner and say I 
am possessed with devils ?" 

"Why, Lena, they call Jesus the same. That is an 
epithet applied to all who do not conform to the orthodox 
faith. Jesus says everybody is tempted by devils and 
that God, through Him, casts them out. You know you 
have never allied yourself to any faith." 

"Do you think that is necessary, Ruth ?" 

"You can see," she replied, hesitatingly, "that Jesus 



246 LOOKING BACK 

approves of that course. Kneeling and kissing the feet is 
considered an open confession. Have you ever spoken 
to Jesus about it?" 

"Yes, I have, and he seemed to avoid me by asking if 
I loved those who did not love me, and you know I can 
never love Peter." The sad girl looked upon the ground 
in a brown study, and then continued : "Is that which 
one cannot control sinful?" 

Ruth did not reply and Magdalene bit her lip nerv- 
ously as she murmured, "Oh, if I could only get rid of 
this temper of mine. So long have I loved Jesus, r.iid I 
know he loves poor me and wants to forgive my sins. 
Am I one of those whom he talked about the other day? 
Will he be ashamed of me when he comes into his king- 
dom ?" Mary Magdalene turned her gaze. Her soul was 
wandering far away into the future. She was thinking 
of the day, not so far distant, when her earthly eyes would 
be closed to those familiar Galilean hills. The storm was 
fast gathering, her poor heart was aching, but still she 
stood aloof, trying to suppress the love she should im- 
part. Ruth took in the situation and placing her arm 
around the troubled maid turned the conversation and 
talked softly of what might take place tomorrow. 

As the morning sun gleamed from over the Syrian 
desert, touching the hilltops, the song birds in the olive 
orchards and oak groves began chiming their sinless mel- 
odies, regardless of the throng, now stirring themselves 
and lighting fires here and there in the great camp around 
the renowned Sea of Galilee. 

Facing the camp stood the quaint old temple of Caper- 
naum, in which Jesus had been teaching for several days. 
Probably the sun never rose on a more curious throng 
than those who lodged in open air, under blankets, and 



LOOKING BACK 247 

in tents along the western shore, while Jesus lingered in 
and about Capernaum. Healing the sick and casting out 
devils had been practiced by all nations and tribes since 
the advent of tradition, but when sojourners from Mesop- 
otamia, Syria, and Egypt returned home to announce 
that a man in Galilee had for two years been preaching 
that he as the Savior of the world had come from God 
to heal the sick, cure the deaf and blind, cast out devils 
and raise the dead, wise men began to gather in Galilee 
until now an immense throng were gathered near the 
childhood home of Jesus. 

A group of large, broad, bullet-headed men from 
Nineveh, who styled themselves the descendents of Jona, 
had just arrived. Their roomy camel-hair knee breeches 
and dawn-like smile betokened that their object was in- 
formation and not criticism. 

Pharaoh's land was represented by a small caravan of 
Egyptians attired in professional habits, who had chosen 
quarters near a group of Persian cameleers, whose very 
equipment, both of man and beast, seemed to blend in soft 
Oriental shades. The peculiarity of these two groups of 
doctors was that while listening attentively they ex- 
pressed no opinion. 

Groups of scribes, Turks, Persians, Arabs and In- 
dians were closely noting all events connected with Jesus 
and his followers, but took no part in the discussions of 
the Jews, who everywhere nervously discussed the effect 
of his teachings. 

The scribes, Pharisees and priests who disdainfully 
ignored his claim, were worried that so many of their 
people were following him, especially as the edict had 
gone forth that any one who professed Jesus to be the 
Christ should be expelled from the synagogue. 



SURPRISE FOR THE PHARISEES 

When evening came, a rich Pharisee, knowing that 
Jesus was having no time to either eat or sleep, and he 
himself desirous to hear and see him, invited him to his 
spacious apartments to dine, where he had assembled his 
friends. As Jesus approached the entrance, Ruth and 
Magdalene ran spat upon him, when he, taking Magda- 
lene by the hand, smiled and said, "Mary." Then kissed 
Ruth and passed in as Simon's guest. 

The recognition of Alagdalene had been noticed by 
Simon and a dark scowl knit his brow, as he mentally 
connected her with sinful episodes, and thinking Ruth 
must be a sister of Jesus, he wondered how she tolerated 
the fearless maid with whom she was associating. 

Washing feet and fondling hair was a mark of great 
respect, often paid to illustrious guests, but Simon, know- 
ing Jesus to be weary and hungry, waived all ceremonies, 
as he bade them sit for the sumptuous repast. 

After the guests had entered and darkness had dis- 
persed the throng outside, Ruth and Magdalene walked 
back and forth in front of the entrance, which was a cur- 
tained arch through a high wall into a canopy-covered, 
miniature garden, decked with a profusion of soft rugs 
on divans with lace-embroidered coverings. 

As the interesting Jewess walked back and forth, Ruth 
engaging her in low tones, she, Magdalene, turned quickly 
and contrary to all customs of her race and times, uncere- 
248 



LOOKING BACK 249 

moniously tossed back the drapery and stood before the 
assembly. 

Dead silence reigned, as the Pharisees gazed upon the 
bold intruder. A scarf of veil-like appearance hung care- 
lessly over her head of abundant auburn hair rambling 
over her shoulders, while from a neat dark habit which 
enclosed her erect form protruded her shapely arms and 
one extended foot protected by an adorned slipper. 

Jesus glanced recognition, which encouraged her, and 
then turned his eyes upon Simon, which seemed to rivit 
him to the spot, as Magdalene approached with angelic 
grace and kneeling before Jesus began weeping and kiss- 
ing his feet. 

Simon's disdainful look blended into sympathy as he 
gazed upon the famous beauty, while he hesitated as 
though he would lay his hand upon her head. Jesus 
bowed to his impulsive friend, as he called her by the 
name she bore when a child, and then turning to his 
host, said, "Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee." 

"Say on, Alaster." 

"There was a certain creditor who had two debtors, 
the one owed 500 pence and the other 50, and when they 
had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both ; tell 
me, therefore, which of them will love him most?" 

"I suppose the one whom he forgave most," was 
Simon's answer. 

"Thou has rightly judged," and turning to Magdalene, 
he said, "Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine 
house, thou gavest me no water for my feet, but she 
hath washed my feet with tears. Thou gavest me no 
kiss, but she hath not ceased to kiss my feet, wherefore 
I say unto thee, her sins are forgiven," and turning to 
her he said, "Thy faith hath saved thee." 



250 LOOKING BACK 

Magdalene softly passed out through the curtain way 
while Simon would gladly have had her remain, and now 
to her the stars shone more bright than ever before. 
Ruth's embrace was more dear, while her hatred for poor 
penitent Peter was quietly passing away. 



COUNCIL OF THE DISCIPLES 

When they arrived at the apostle's tent, Magdalene, 
in her impulsive manner, ran to Peter, and placing her 
hand on his shoulder, for a long time engaged him in earn- 
est conversation. No one was more pleased than Peter, 
whom she had scorned for years, and he was glad to 
forget all and forgive the dashing maid whom he had 
often designated as Tornado Mag of Galilee. 

After the evening meal, which the women had pre- 
pared and practically provided, reports were received and 
commented upon. Thomas overheard a priest declare 
that if Jesus had blasphemed, he ought to be put to death 
at once, while John had learned that the Ninevites and 
Rechabites had declared that God had come to his own, 
and many of the like for or against were received. All 
of this James, the brother of Jesus, received coolly and 
assured them that it would require time for the tumult 
and confusion to subside, during which time all should 
deport themselves in an exemplary manner and prepare 
for the worst, "for," he continued, "in times of old, God 
often called those He loves, to tread the thorny path, but 
it must be that the afflicions of our momentary existence 
cannot be compared with the joys of Eternity. Jesus, 
you know, has often told us, 'My Kingdom is not of this 
world,' and true it is that the real life lies beyond this 
scene of continued death." 

"James, James," cried Peter, "are we to reap no 
earthly benefit from this course?" 
251 



252 LOOKING BACK 

"Truly, truly, Peter, if we live the spotless life which 
Jesus lives our rewards will be great, but God's plan " 

"Can I speak ?" interrupted Ruth, as she raised to her 
feet. 

"Certainly, certainly," was the reply, as all turned to 
listen, for the scene was unusual. 

"I do not comprehnd the ideas of brother James as 
I wish I did, but if this work is of God, and His myste- 
rious plan is that wt shall suffer defeat in this, our day, 
in order that the coming generations may rejoice" 

"Hear! Hear," cried John, and the men all chimed 
in "Hear ! Hear !" except Peter, who seemed to think 
that a bird in the hand was worth two in the bush, as he 
cried : 

"The Kingdom of Galilee is good enough for me ; 
Ruth may be willing to suffer for the unborn and I am 
no more afraid of death than she is, but my motto has 
always been, 'Let everyone die for themselves,' therefore 
I think the maid from Nazareth is out of order." 

Peter's self-preservation speech rather upset the 
maiden's zeal and she came back at him thoughtlessly ; 
"You better make peace with your mother-in-law before 
you assume to thwart the plans .of the Almighty," to 
which Peter winked his bad eye, but could think of no 
reply appropriate for the occasion. 



TURN OF THE TIDE 

Months have passed and again we find Jesus at the 
home of Peter's mother-in-law in Capernaum, Magda- 
lene and Ruth are serving the women who are lodging at 
the home of Aunt Susanna. The homes of John, Philip 
and Matthew are all overcrowded, for the Lord's earthly 
career is now at its zenith, but tomorrow the doubtful 
will return home, the venomous will conspire to destroy, 
while the faithful will try to induce Jesus not to go down 
to Jerusalem. 

The next day Jesus, standing in the synagogue, cried, 
"I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never 
hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. I 
came down from Heaven, not to do mine own will, but 
the will of Him that sent me, and this is the will of Him 
that sent me, that everyone which seeth the son, and be- 
lieveth on him, may have everlasting life." 

Then the multitude murmured and said : "Why does 
this man disdain signs and wonders and yet says he 
came down from Heaven? Is not this the carpenter's 
son? Is not his mother called Mary, and his brethren 
James and Joses, and Simon and Judas, and his sisters, 
are they not all with us?" 

Continuing, Jesus said : "No man can come to me, 
except the Father who sent me, draw him ; not that any 
many hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he 
hath seen the Father. Whosoever eateth my flesh and 
drinketh my blood, hath eternal life. My flesh is meat, 
253 



254 LOOKING BACK 

indeed, and my blood is drink, indeed. Doth this ofifend 
you? It is the spirit that quickeneth ; the flesh profiteth 
nothing. The words that I speak unto you are spirit and 
are hfe." 

Then many of his disciples, when they heard it, said : 
"This is an hard saying; who can hear it?" and from that 
time many went back and walked no more with him. 



MAGDALENE'S HEROIC PLEA 

Evening lowers its dark mantel over the faithful, as 
they gather at the home of Aunt Susanna again to discuss 
and consider the conditions. 

"Where is Jesus?" his mother inquired. 

"He is walking on the shore," replied John. "He re- 
quested to be alone." 

Trembling and pale, Mary, the mother of Jesus, stood 
and looked down upon the Galilean shore as she mur- 
mured, "Oh, how peaceful." Then closing her eyes she 
continued, "Oh, that this generation was passed." Then 
Magdalene assisted her to a divan and was whispering 
softly to her, when James came and caressed her gray 
locks as he said, "Mother, kiss Magdalene; she is lovely, 
isn't she?" 

"I," responded Magdalene, "am nothing but a briar," 
to which James replied, "Roses grow on briars." 

Around and in Aunt Susanna's home a great crowd 
of men and women had assembled when Thomas stood 
up and began, "A strange problem lies before us for 
solution this day. For more than two years we have 
followed Jesus and listened to his teachings. We had 
understood that God, through Jesus, was doing this 
work. Today the aspect is changed, for he tells us he 
came forth from God to do God's will. This implies a 
consciousness of existence in a place he calls Heaven, 
before he came among men. Some of his most ardent 
admirers now believe he is beside himself. If such is 
255 



256 LOOKING BACK 

the case, we ought to persuade him not to go up to 
Jerusalem to the feast of the Passover." 

"Does his sermon on the mount portray derangement 
of the mind?" broke in Matthew, as he produced a bvm- 
dle of parchment and began reading: "A good tree 
cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree 
bring forth good fruit." 

"That is exactly the point," said John. "Either we 
must deny all, or admit his version of the source of his 
power. If you observe closely you will find his intimacy 
with God includes more than faith ; it corresponds closely 
to acquaintance. Notice what he said today, 'Not that 
any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God.' 
Then knowing that we could not understand, he followed 
by saying, 'He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.' 
The knowledge he possesses we cannot comprehend, and 
knowing this he simply requires faith." 

Judas Iscariot, the burly disciple from Beersheba, 
now arose and after admitting his faith in the Master's 
claim, began to lay stress on the fact that as so many 
were falling away, it might be better for all to abandon 
the cause until such time as Jesus could passify the 
Scribes and Pharisees by admiting their prescribed 
authority. 

While Judas continued, two men were overheard con- 
versing in an undertone as they looked in at the audience. 

"Do you see that young woman there facing Judas? 
That is Mary Magdalene." 

"Really, is that so ! I have heard so much about her. 
I wish I could hear her speak or sing." 

"Do not worry, you will hear her. See her bite her 
lip ! There is a storm brewing in her soul, and I pitv 
old Jude when she gets the floor." 



LOOKING BACK 257 

"Does she believe in Jesus?" 

"Believe ! I should say she does ; she exhorts every 
evening. That elderly woman beside her is Mary, the 
mother of Jesus, and the one with her hand on Magda- 
lene's shoulder is Ruth, one of his sisters. Honestly, 
those two maids have done more thus far to convince the 
public than all of his sleepy disciples." 

"She does not look like the tornado of Galilee." 

"Tornado, nothing ! Why, her folks lived near us 
before she came over here, and I do not believe she ever 
told a lie in her life, but she has an interesting way of 
enforcing her opinion. There ! There ! she has the floor 
now ! Listen !" 

"You, Judas Iscariot," she began, "virtually admit 
that you have faith in Jesus as to his sanity and that he 
is the Christ which was to come into the world, and still, 
for fear of apparent consequences, you advise abandon- 
ment. All lives and careers undergo encouraging and 
discouraging events, today the world enfolds you in her 
loving arms, tomorrow the cruel cold shoulder is turned, 
and experience teaches that the rebuff sometimes falls 
on the worthy, for the world often goes agog. Truly, 
the multitude is disappearing, thousands will return home 
on account of this 'Bread-of-life' sermon today, for they 
do not understand that evolution requires time ; that large 
bodies move slowly. They may be blameless, but you — 
you, Judas Iscariot — you who have been with him 
more than two years, are you yet befogged, or are you a 
coward? Dir you today think that Jesus intended to con- 
vey the idea that God was a baker and had sent a loaf 
of bread down to Capernaum, and that he, Jesus, was 
the loaf? I know you did not. I hope I do not under- 
stand you. I hope you are true. I cannot imagine a 



258 LOOKING BACK 

traitor among us. Oh, how my heart aches. See how 
low the lights burn tonight ! All seems so far away." 

At this juncture she scowled and looked downwards 
as though collecting her thoughts, and then continued : 
"You know that the priests at Jerusalem dread Jesus, 
thinking that his teachings, if not impeded, will revolu- 
tionize the religious world and for this reason they favor 
a ransom to have him out of the way. Inasmuch as vou 
are aware of this, you can imagine my surprise when 
today I overheard you with the others say to Jesus, 'De- 
part then and go into Judaea.' " As she quoted his words 
she hesitated, biting her lip nervously, then as though a 
thought struck her, she raised her head smilingly and 
continued, as she turned from Judas to the 'audience : 

"In the upper corner of our garden nearby, one can 
see an old cactus. Some one sowed the seed from which 
it sprang before any one of us was born. I used to try 
to twist and break it when I first came here, for it seemed 
to cast no blossoms and bear no fruit. Other plants and 
shrubs blossomed, yielded their fruit, but the old cactus 
seemed just to live and that was all. One day, as some 
of you know, Ruth was here and we discovered a bud on 
it, called the gardener, who decided it was a century plant 
which might blossom soon, but it did not. Evening after 
evening all the neighbors came to behold the wonderful 
blossom which was expected to come forth from the seed 
sown nearly one hundred years ago. It was so slow 
that we became discouraged, but at last one evening, when 
we all stood around, the gardener applied warm water to 
the roots and in a few moments the largest and most 
beautiful blossom known to the Orient came forth, and 
think of it, dear friends, more than fifty years after the 
one who sowed the seed had gone to his long home. 



LOOKING BACK 259 

"Today the seed of life is being sown in the hilly 
land of Old Canaan, the buds are promise, blossoms peace 
and fruit everlasting life. As through summer and win- 
ter, sunshine and rain, the old cactus came forth, so 
through joy and sadness, bitterness and despair, the tree 
of life may put forth. When we think of the thorny 
path over which good souls before us have traveled, we 
ought to trust in providence, for God is with us and 
knows it all. 

"God's mysterious guide oft leads us where we would 
not go, bvit never where we cannot stay. He plans our 
course, he knows it all and some bright morn he will 
reveal. Abraham did not know, when he was called from 
home to spend his years among these hills, that when 
the frost of time had turned him pale, the angels would 
appear. Hagar, wandering in the wilds of Beersheba, 
did not think that God knew all of her troubles, and would 
not let her perish with her child. Moses did not know 
when he fled across the desert wilds oft looking back in 
fear, that his fair Zipporah would meet him at the well. 
\Mien Ruth looked, for the last time, on the scenes of 
her childhood, and turned from the hills of Moab, to 
follow Naomi in the plain path of duty, she did not know 
that God had called her to become the mother of the 
most illustrious family in the world. All these, my 
friends, were blessings in disguise. 

"Neither does the seed sown mature so quickly. The 
seed here sown in Galilee these days may bear little fruit 
in our generation, even for hundreds or thousands of 
years, but some sweet day, when the storms of life are 
over, and the followers of our Lord join hands to spread 
the gospel of the "Bread-of-life" as we have heard to- 



260 LOOKING BACK 

day, like the sleepy cactus, it will blossom forth in all 
lands." 

At this point Jesus and James stepped in, unobserved 
by her, while she continued : "The storm is upon us now. 
I hear the distant billows roar. This night to you who 
hesitate may be the turn of the tide throughout an end- 
less Eernity, so bare your bosoms to the storm and look 
only to the beacon lights, if dimly you may discern them. 

"Earth life is but a fleeting shadow, soon past.- I 
know my name will never appear on the records of this 
great struggle, no one will ever weep at the tomb of 
Mary Magdalene, but what for aye the morrow. Can 
you all meet me there? 

"Did you who beheld Moses on the Mount of Trans- 
figuration a few days ago think he had just come from his 
grave on Mount Nebo, where he had been sleeping fifteen 
hundred years? If you did, I hope God will wink at your 
ignorance, but you did not, no — no. The real spiritual, 
personal Moses did not die, he has lived, he does live, 
he will live, and you and I will just begin to live when 
these poor eyes will cease to weep, when this poor heart 
will ache no more and these soft hands are cold in clay. 

"Is this struggle a sacrifice or a privilege? Oh, 
friends, the day will come when the world will envy us 
who lived in these dark days, and walked and talked and 
sang with the real Savior of the world, the son of the liv- 
ing God." 

The last words seemed to thrill the throng with emo- 
tion, but the climax was only reached when Magdalene 
fainted into the arms of John and Ruth, who bore her 
gently away. 



JESUS SPEAKS 

A tumult now acrose as poor impetuous Peter, for- 
getting that his motto was each one to die for themselves, 
swung his brawny arms amid his tears and cried, "Hear ! 
Hear ! Hear !" which was taken up by the crowd assem- 
bled outside, who though they did not catch her words, 
were anxious to cheer for the fascinating maid of Galilee. 

When the tumult subsided, Jesus stepped forward, 
leaning on the arm of his brother James. His tall figure 
was perceptibly bowed with fatigue and meditation, while 
his florid complexion assimilated his face to that of his 
mother, whose refinement also appeared in her daugh- 
ter Ruth. The Lord stood half a head above his twelve 
disciples, save Thomas, who was very tall, contrasting 
absurdly with Matthew, who was so small and quaint 
looking that Magdalene, in her sunny days, designated 
him as the embalmed puckerberry. 

^Mlen all was quiet, Jesus, in a low voice, said : "Did 
my words in the synagogue ofifend you? What, and if 
you see the son of man ascend up where he was before? 
It is the spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing. 
As I have said, the words which I speak unto you are 
spirit, they are life. Go you up to the feast, I go not up 
yet to the feast, for my time is not yet fully come." 



261 



THE EXODUS 

The encouraging days of our Lord's career were now 
at an end. His "Bread-of-life" sermon was generally 
misunderstood and taken as literal, which agitated the 
question of his sanity, besides his remarks on the assem- 
bly concerning his ascending up to where he was before 
did not help the matter. The invincible Magdalene had 
convinced two of the twelve and a few of the others that, 
as he had said his words were spirit and truth, they must 
not be taken literally, but the thousands, which included 
his friends and relatives, were in doubt. The Persian and 
Egyptian scholars, with the Assyrian Knights, Nobles and 
Princes, argued that his moral lessons did not voice of 
insanity, neither of deceit, still they were returning home 
somewhat depressed while the Galileans, including the 
twelve, save Peter and John, were preparing to go up 
to Jerusalem to the feast. 

Magdalene, Aunt Susanna and Mary, the mother of 
Jesus, with Peter and John, soon set out with Jesus from 
the Galilean coast as though they would journey to Tyre. 
While ascending the hills west of Capernaum, Jesus, 
turning for the last time, looked down upon the familiar 
scenes before him. It semed but a moment since he, 
with other children, stopped and gazed on old Galilee for 
the first time. Now along the shore lay boats like the 
one from which, in days of his great achievement, he 
had taught the eager throng, which had now disappeared. 
The sun's dazzling rays bore down upon the dreamy 
262 



LOOKING BACK 263 

waters of the little mountain inland sea upon whose shore 
he would walk no more. From Bethsaida, a blue smoke 
curled languidly over the retreat of his fisherman follow- 
ers, while upon the hillside to the south lay the garden 
home of Aunt Susanna, where the once beautiful, but 
now pale Magdalene had upon every occasion so vehem- 
ently defended him whom she was now to follow to his 
earthly doom. 

The little party traveled to the northwest, leaving 
Nazareth on the south, until noon of the second day, 
when Jesus turned south as though he would go to Jeru- 
salem, and, as it were, secretly camped in the woods on 
Mount Carmel, in plain view of the hills of Nazareth, 
where many of his old acquaintances were now boasting 
of the failure of his mission. 

Magdalene would gladly have run over and hugged 
and kissed Ruth one more good-bye, but as their route 
to the south, along the foot of Mount Carmel, had been 
unnoticed, the Master's orders were to proceed again in 
the night and crocs the Esdraelon Plain before day. 

After the evening meal, Jesus read the 28th chapter 
of First Samuel, and as was their custom, sang and 
prayed. Then, while the sun still lingered on the hilltop, 
Jesus pointed out the position of the two armies, and 
the City of Endor, where Saul consulted the woman the 
night before he and his sons were slain ; then he drew 
their attention to the traditional homestead of Elijah, 
who lived nearly fifteen hundred years before. 

Peter called attention to the beautiful sunset on the 
Mount of Transfiguration and inquired if Moses and 
Elias would ever come again, at which, while all lis- 
tened for his reply, Jesus turned and looked at the moun- 
tain, but did not speak. 



264 LOOKING BACK 

Before sunrise next morning the little party had 
passed Jezreel and by noon arrived at Dothan, where 
they decided to camp until the following morning. Here 
they viewed the traditional pit into which Joseph had 
been cast the day his brothers had sold him into Egypt. 

As twilight came on, a party was seen approaching 
from the north, which proved to be a band of his follow- 
ers who, having become alarmed, had followed them with 
the hope of persuading Jesus to return to Nazareth. 
Among them was Cleophas and his wife, Mary, she being 
the sister of Joseph, the father of Jesus, but all argu- 
ments to induce Jesus to return were of no avail. 

The next morning at Jacob's well they found several 
hundred who fell into line and thus the throng increased 
until they crossed the Jordan, where they were met by 
his ten disciples who, with a host of others, had come up 
from Jerusalem to meet them, and now Jesus went be- 
fore them towards Jericho. 



WAITING BY THE JORDAN 

When back on the west side of the Jordan, Jesus with 
the women from GaHlee and the twelve disciples turned 
south for the night, into the well known palm grove, 
■while the crowd hastened to Jericho for bread. After 
supper he with his mother and Magdalene strolled south 
to the shore of the Dead Sea, where he, while reclining 
his head on his mother's knee and Magdalene smoothing 
his hair, fell asleep. 

John, who was following, now stole in with pillows 
and blankets, and soon Jesus and the two women were 
lost in dreams in the very plain where the children of 
Israel had slept the first night after crossing the Jordan 
into the Promised Land. 

Since Jesus had left Capernaum he had avoided the 
curious, for well he knew he was misunderstood by all 
save mother, John and Magdalene, to whom he often con- 
fided, maintaining that if his death was required to 
awaken the world he would drink the bitter cup and 
leave the coming generation to judge of his works, 
whether they were of man or God. 

Accordingly, to avoid the throng, the four recrossed 
the Jordan at dawn and sought a sequestered spot, where 
trees sheltered them from the sun, when Jesus ordered 
that all attention be directed to Magdalene, who had 
eaten scarcely any food since she left home. 

During the day they continued to bring cool water 
from the spring, which allayed her fever so that she felt 
265 



266 LOOKING BACK 

herself again, and said in her old-time laughing way, 
"Better then worse, better then worse, really if we do not 
return to Galilee soon I think it will be nip and tuck 
as to who will get into the Kingdom of Heaven first," 
at which Jesus replied, "The Kingdom of Heaven is 
within you, Magdalene." 

"Jesus, can one enter the Kingdom of Heaven before 
they die?" 

"One that liveth and believeth in me shall never die." 

"Jesus," she inquired earnestly, "what is death?" 

"Did you not hear my parable of the rich man and 
Lazarus ?" 

"When is the resurrection?" 

"I am the resurrection." 

"Will my body ever be resurrected?" 

"Have I not told you that flesh profiteth nothing?" 

Mother and John listened motionlessly, while Mag- 
dalene bit her lip nervously, trying to form an inquiry 
which would open the sealed door of the tomb. 

"Can the dead communicate with the living?" 

"No, Mary." 

"From whence came Moses and Elias?" 

"From the abode of the living." 

Mary Magdalene's voice changed to milder tones as 
she sympathetically continued: "Oh, can you not ease 
my aching heart ? This burden is greater than I can bear. 
I do not understand you. I volunteered when in Galilee 
to follow you, but as we near Jerusalem my heart fails 
me. Is this the expression of God's love to me? You 
say you go but do not die. How, then, will I know that 
you remember me when you are gone?" 

"I will come back again." 



IN COUNCIL AT JERICHO 

Evening found Jesus comfortably situated in Jericho, 
while his near friends gathered in secret to plan for the 
morrow. A dim oil lamp lit up the stable-like enclosure, 
where the dejected and sorrowful had assembled. Peter's 
speech, as usual, was lengthy and to the effect that as 
Jesus was determined to face his enemies at Jerusalem, it 
would be cowardly to abandon him, but if worse came to 
worse and Jesus was seized, they might be able to scatter 
so that the officers would not recognize them. 

John's opinion acted as a glimmer of light on the 
gloom when he assured them that if they, the disciples, 
were detained as followers, they would simply be beaten 
with stripes and driven from Jerusalem. 

Diversity of opinions among the others revealed the 
fact that most of them were on the point of breaking 
away as they did in Galilee, until Magdalene arose and 
tried to greet them with her old-time winning smile. 

When she began speaking the flush came to her 
cheeks, her voice became clear and soon she stood erect, 
the same Alagdalene of old, with that true feminine grace 
and spirit of her sex, who flee at a mouse but turn not 
aside from a lion, the attention was eager. 

"Friends from Galilee, you believe in God, I know 
you do. You believe in eternal life as set forth by the 
Master, I know you do. You believe that soon we all 
will pass away from this earthly scene, and as from 
Jericho this night we can look back to sad and glad days 
267 



268 LOOKING BACK 

in Galilee, so some unknown day, from some unknown 
place, under some unknown conditions, we shall look 
back to scenes of this life and what will we linger on 
and love to contemplate most? Will it be the beauty of 
face and form we wore ? No ! Will it be earthly fame ? 
No ! Will it be the days when the soft summer breeze 
fanned our cheeks and flitted our souls away on an un- 
troubled sea ? No ! Will it be that while others died, we 
live to good old age? No! Then what will it be? Will 
it not be the heroic stand we took for love, sympathy 
and justice towards our earth-born companions, when the 
cruel hand of injustice stayed not from shame and 
persecution ? 

"Dark and gloomy is this enclosure, but greater dark- 
ness prevails outside. Two thousand souls or more line 
the way to Zion. All Israel meet now at Jerusalem, but 
few, if any, know that the foretold Redeemer, in human 
form, is on his way to the city of David. Do you know 
it? Do I know it? 

"Could we know it? Have we the ability to compre- 
hend his claim? Were his mission for the present in- 
habitants, we might better understand it, but if it is for 
all time, and for all the coming generations, how can we 
know, for what is wisdom to us today may be folly to the 
people in two thousand years, so let us fearlessly follow 
and not falter. 

"I dread tomorrow. I dread all these coming days. 
Jerusalem to me is a throne of wickedness. Satan 
reigns there and God permits, but Jesus loves them all. 
Do you recall his word as he stood on Olive's brow, 
'Oh, Jerusalem — Jerusalem, which killest the prophets 
and stonest them which are sent unto thee ; how often 
would I have gathered thy children together as a hen 



LOOKING BACK 269 

doth gather her brood under her wing, but ye would 
not.' Does not this sound more Hke God than man, 
lamenting over the unfortunate condition of those who 
reject him? Will we reject him? Well I know your 
answer, but listen — listen, men of Galilee, this night 
may seal your doom, desertion falls little short of 
rejection. 

"Behold your house is left desolate. What does that 
mean? Does it mean that our beautiful Zion, the throne 
of David, shall become the home of the Gentiles, while 
the Jew stands outside the gate and knocks as the cen- 
turies pass on ? We do not know, but one thing is sure ; his 
kingdom is not for this generation. It either refers to 
days gone by or days to come or possibly both. If this 
is true why not follow the Master through darkness into 
light? If this meek and lowly way, dark and stormy 
as it may appear, is the magnet of love to win the world, 
let us follow that our names may be recorded in the 
book of life as the faithful few who, when the night was 
dark and billows of fear and trouble ran mountain high, 
stood firm. Stand up, you men of Galilee, all who are 
ready for the fray." All responded quickly but Judas 
Iscariot, who slowly raised to a stooping position. 



ARRIVAL AT JERUSALEM 

Nicodemus, who had been Hstening to Magdalene, 
now ordered his servants to conduct her and the Mother 
of Jesus to his tent, where Jesus had been resting since 
dark. Here the fair Jewess, who had struggled so hard 
to encourage the men, now seemed to lose nerve at the 
impending gloom until Jesus took her by the hand, when 
she fell asleep. The following morning she was con- 
veyed by the servants of Nicodemus to the half-way inn, 
and the next day to Bethany, where she was nursed by 
Mary, the sister of Martha, until the third morning, when 
it was being proclaimed the Jesus was to make his public 
entry into Jerusalem, according to ancient prophecy. 

Accordingly the women from Galilee, with Mary and 
Martha, ascended the Mount of Olives from Bethany, 
crossing over the ridge to the Zion side, where they oc- 
cupied a prominent view of the road from Jericho around 
Olive and up the steep incline to the walled city. 

After the public demonstration John, Peter, Nico- 
demus and Lazarus joined the w^omen, when they all 
partook of refreshments save Magdalene, whose soul, 
at times, seemed about to leave her body. She did not 
speak until Peter inquired if she did not consider the 
entry into Jerusalem w^onderful. 

"Wonderful, — no, it is only adding fuel to the 
flames. It is down right foolishness. Has not Jesus 
said time and again, 'My kingdom is not of the world?' 
What will Pilate, the Roman governor, say?" 
270 



LOOKING BACK 271 

"But, Magdalene, this fulfills the prophecy." 

"Oh, dear me, Peter. To future generations the 
prophecies may be valuable, but we need no such thing 
to convince us." 

Nicodemus then joined in to assist Peter, and be- 
tween the two they talked Magdalene to sleep. When 
they ceased she opened her eyes and laughingly said, 
"Nicodemus, I see that Jesus has talked eternal life 
into you, all right, and I am glad for your sake, for I 
shall 'soon be waiting and watching for those I have 
loved in this life to anchor their barques in that haven 
of rest where darkness forever hies away, waves of 
trouble cease to roll ; where the sun never sets, the 
flowers never fade and the child-like glee of Mary 
Magdalene will depart no more." 

After the excitement subsided Magdalene became 
stronger, until, with her Galilean friends, she was able 
each morning to attend the teachings of Jesus in the 
temple, where sharp and vehement criticism by the 
priests and Pharisees was continually deluged upon 
him. They appeared determined to compel him, 
through act or word, to violate either the Roman or 
Mosaic law, that he might be accused of heresy, con- 
spiracy or insurrection. Their chief aim being to 
entangle him in a decision relating to the violation of 
the law of Moses, in which case Pilate would turn him 
over to them, for trial. 



ADULTERY 

For several days there seemed to have been a lull 
in the persecution, to which Martha ascribed the 
smoldering of a diabolical plot, until one morning, 
while Jesus was engaged in conversation with several 
Rabbinical doctors, a group entered the temple con- 
sisting of twelve Fathers, attired in priestly garb, 
together with a squatty old publican from Joppa. 
They were followed by a middle-aged woman, who 
was in charge of four executioners ; she at inter- 
vals falling on her knees imploring mercy and begging 
that her life be spared, while a Roman officer with a 
squad of six soldiers brought up the rear. 

Magdalene, taking in the situation, rose up quickly 
and forgetting her weakness while the flush of 
maidenhood colored her cheeks, without hesitation 
boldly approached the Roman officer and begged an 
interview with the unfortunate prisoner, which was 
granted by the Roman, who admired her grace and 
courage. 

The accusers squatted on the ground as the officer 
directed Magdalene and the terrified woman to the 
wall, where they could converse unmolested, which 
was in strict accordance with Roman law. The pris- 
oner took much time to explain the situation, for by 
so doing she was postponing the awful moment when 
she should be shoved headlong ofif of the rocks, there 
to have her head broken by the heavy stones from the 
272 



LOOKING BACK 273 

hands of the executioners. Her story was to the effect 
that she had been married to the squatty old Simon of 
Joppa when very young, and they lived happily until 
he had married a younger wife and she became their 
servant, for which she ran away and came to Jerusa- 
lem, where she served a man for three years, after 
which, as her remarrying would be unlawful, they 
began living as man and wife and had lived peace- 
fully for six years, until this night she had been taken 
from bed to be killed for what many of her acquaint- 
ances had been practicing for years, a condition which 
was well known to the authorities. 

Magdalene, undaunted, again approached the offi- 
cer for the release of the woman whom, she said, was 
accused under an old Mosaic statute which had been a 
dead letter for many years ; besides, it was improbable 
that Pilate would listen to the case if brought before 
him. The officer informed her that he had not the 
power to release the prisoner. Besides, he had been in- 
formed that she was to be tried before one, Jesus from 
Galilee, who had of late entered the city amid pomp 
and glory as King of the Jews. 

Magdalene staggered backwards, bewildered, and 
glanced at Jesus. He stooped and wrote in the sand 
while the Pharisees drew near, saying, "Master, this 
woman was taken in adultery, in the very act ; Moses, 
in the law, commanded that such should be stoned. 
What sayest thou?" 

When they continued asking he lifted himself up, 
and casting a disdainful look at Simon of Joppa he 
turned to the twelve accusers, giving each a scrutin- 
izing gaze as though he were reading the page of their 
life history. 



274 LOOKING BACK 

It was a moment of agonizing suspense ; the guard 
and executioners stood as riveted to the spot ; Magda- 
lene pressed her hand upon her heart, while the other 
women held their breath. The disciples craned their 
necks, especially Peter, who never could hear very well 
with his mouth closed, dropped his jaw that he might 
catch the first lisp. The accusers seemed to shrivel 
under the search of his large eyes and move backward 
from the woman, who, on her knees before the Lord, 
was pleading for mercy. 

"He that is without sin among you, let him first 
cast a stone at her.'' And again he stooped and wrote 
on the ground. When he arose he saw none save the 
woman, to whom he said, "AVhere are those, thine 
accusers? Hath no man condemned thee?" 

"No man. Lord." 

"Neither do I condemn thee ; go, and sin no more." 

The effect of the scene so elated the disciples that 
for a time they forgot their fear and anxiety ; but 
Magdalene, ]\Iary and Nicodemus took a different 
view. Mary, his mother, saying, "Rebuff does not always 
mean defeat." 

So- the day passed until evening, when Mary came 
over to invite the Galileans to an evening repast. 
When supper was over they turned to the garden for 
devotion, after which Peter and John escorted the 
Galilean women to the house of Joseph, while Jesus 
and his disciples slept in the house of Simeon. 

The following day a strange group approached 
Zion ; Jesus, with his tall stooping form, so emaci- 
lated that one could almost read through his hand, 
advancing with a far away look, as though beyond the 



LOOKING BACK 275 

doomed city he beheld the anxious father awaiting his 
son's return. He was followed by Mary and Martha, 
two large, dark sisters of the Hebrew type with swing- 
ing gait and sincere expression, who contrasted 
strangely with the pretty Magdalene, whose startled 
gaze gave her the appearance of a bird or fawn await- 
ing alarm. 

At the brook Cedron they found the others awaiting 
them, when they all climbed the hill, turning to the 
left to avoid the crowd, and passed around the corner, 
entering Solomon's temple area by the south gate, 
where they were almost submerged by the throng ; 
for the news had spread that Jesus had yesterday con- 
futed the learned, who had sent to entangle him, with- 
out even laying himself open to criticism. 

On entering the treasury, where all expounders 
were accustomed to teach, they found the front space 
again occupied by scribes and Pharisees, still keenly 
anxious to gain notoriety by wringing from Jesus a 
sentence which might be taken up by the throng as 
blasphemy, for which they might stone him to death 
without danger of punishment at the Roman Bar. 

As Jesus approached the rostrum an aged scribe, 
of the Arabian type, cried out, "Wlio art thou?" 

Jesus adroitly evaded a direct reply by asking, 
"What think ye of Christ; whose son is he?" 

"David's son," was the reply. 

"How, then, does David in spirit call him Lord? 
If David call him Lord, how is he his son?" Silence 
was the only response. 

Jesus then turned to the multitude, and drawing 
their attention to his tormentors, said, "The scribes 



276 LOOKING BACK 

and Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. All therefore, they 
bid you observe ; observe and do, but do not after their 
works, for they say and do not." Then, to his accusers, 
he continued, "Ye blind guides who strain at a gnat 
and swallow a camel and say, 'If we had been in the 
days of our fathers we would not have partaken with 
them in the blood of the prophets' ; whereof ye be wit- 
nesses unto yourselves that ye are the children of them 
which killed the prophets. Ye serpents, vipers, how 
can you escape the damnation of hell? I know from 
whence I came, and whither I go; ye are from beneath, 
I am from above ; ye are of this world, I am not of 
this world. If you believe not that I am He, ye shall 
die in your sins. If a man keep my saying he shall 
never see death." 

"Now we know that thou hast a devil, for Abraham 
is dead and the prophets are dead and you say, 'If a 
man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death.' 
Art thou greater than our father, Abraham and the 
prophets, whom makest thou thyself?" 

"I came forth from the Father and am come into the 
world — again I leave the world and go to the Father. 
Your father, Abraham, rejoiced to see my day, and saw, 
and was glad." 

"Thou art not fifty years old, and hast thou seen 
Abraham ?" , 

"Verily, verily, I say unto you before Abraham was, 
I am." 

Jesus now discovered suspicious characters with rocks 
in their hands and stepped back among the Galileans and 
left the temple. 

While the Pharisees were searching for him, he with 



LOOKING BACK 277 

the Galileans crossed the Cedron and climbed nearly to 
the summit of the Mount of Olives, where they assembled 
under a wide spreading olive tree, Jesus resting one arm 
on a branch of the tree as he looked down on the re- 
nowned city and wept as he cried, "Oh, Jerusalem! 
Jerusalem !" 



MAGDALENE PLEADING WITH JESUS 

While standing there, Magdalene came, and kneeling 
before Jesus pleaded with him that he go home with her 
to Galilee, never again to return to Jerusalem. The scene 
of the frail creature pleading for the life of Jesus, to- 
gether with the environment and condition, was so touch- 
ing that all gave way to their feelings, even brawny old 
Judas wiped away the bitter tears with the sleeve of his 
soiled garment, for all had learned to love Magdalene, 
the once haughty maid of the West Shore, who, as Peter 
now expressed it, would far outshine all the angels when 
she got to Heaven. 

All now began imploring Jesus never to return to the 
city again, to which he made no reply, but stooping 
quickly caught Magdalene as she swooned into uncon- 
sciousness. Then all stood in breathless suspense, while 
he began stroking back the heavy locks of the death-like 
creature as he said in his old familiar way, "Mary," to 
which she opened her eyes and smiled as though coming 
back from the fairy land of spirits. Then she looked 
inquiringly at Jesus, saying, "Were you with me?" Re- 
ceiving no answer, she murmured, "Surely, I was not 
alone." Jesus then taking his weary mother in his arms 
lovingly smoothed her silver hair as he kissed away the 
falling tears, but he gave no encouragement that he would 
return to Galilee. 

As evening closed in, Martha came over to invite all 
to dine, and while she was speaking, Nicodemus came 
278 



LOOKING BACK 279 

hurriedly to report that a gang of ruffians, armed with 
stones, spears and other weapons, were on their way 
around to Bethany, expecting to find Jesus at the home 
of the sisters. He advised that Jesus and his disciples 
hasten, in the dark, north to Ephraim and the second 
night turn east and cross the Jordan, where they would 
be safe from Caiaphas and his persecutors. 

This plan pleased the disciples, especially Peter, who 
remarked that the walking would be fine, even if it did 
rain. Philip lent encouragement by adding that he had 
an acquaintance on the road, twelve miles out, who would 
gladly sup them on fish, eggs, and honey, as long as they 
wished to stay. Jesus was inclined to return to Jeru- 
salem, but after Mother and Magdalene had conversed 
with him in an undertone, he arose and followed his dis- 
ciples into the darkness, none having tasted food since 
morning. 



AT THE HOME OF MARY AND MARTHA 

As the women moved over the hill they were met by 
one who came to again sound the alarm that the brigands 
were nearing Bethany, but on learning what had taken 
place and seeing the feeble condition of Magdalene, he 
with Martha, made a saddle of their hands and with 
Magdalene's arms, one around the neck of each, they 
carried her down the stony path. 

Later in the evening Nicodemus, Joseph of Arima- 
thaea and other men and women of the faith came in to 
try to cheer the anxious and divert their minds from 
impending gloom. The mother, weary and sad, sank 
down on a pallet of straw. Mary and Martha interested 
themselves to make all as comfortable as possible, while 
Magdalene, true to her unrelenting devotion, sat in the 
midst telling them stories about her early life with Jesus, 
and how she loved the family to which he belonged, be- 
fore he entered his mysterious mission, "For," said she, 
with a forced smile, "you know there are times when a 
woman cannot sleep, but never a time when she cannot 
talk." 

"This," said she, "is a sort of watch night, for Jesus, 
my good friend John, and the lesser lights. I somehow 
believe if we keep awake and think about them it miti- 
gates their weariness, even though they do not under- 
stand the source from which relief comes. Do you 
believe in such a theory as that, Joseph?" 

"Really, Magdalene, I do not know whether I do or 
280 



LOOKING BACK 281 

not, but one thing I do know, we are all glad to hear 
you talk and receive your opinions, besides I have had 
much undisputed evidence that there is some sort of 
communication between minds, or souls of near affinity, 
and my experience teaches me that this is sometimes 
kept up after death. Now please go on and tell us some 
more things which we have never heard about yourself, 
when a child." 



A NAUGHTY MAID 

"Well," she began, ''as I have told you before, Jesus 
always manifested an interest in me, by mentioning my 
virtues and indulging me in so many ways. However, 
naughty as I was, he was still my friend and called me 
Mary. Many a time, when I was a little tot, I have 
cried myself to sleep with both arms around his neck. 

"How well I remember one evening when I had 
become so big that he could not fondle me any more, how 
he stood between me and prison, and how severely he 
admonished me when it was all over. It was while I was 
living in Nazareth that one dark night I headed a group 
of dare-devil maids to steal grapes from the garden of 
old Benjamin, the potter. Well, we got caught, and 
when I found that, not only myself, but I had gotten all 
the others into a scrape, I run over to Ruth with my 
troubles, as I always did, and she got Jesus to go right 
down and see old Ben and then she listened behind the 
screen and heard Jesus say something like this : 'Ter- 
ror to the neighborhood, Benjamin ; why, you talk like 
a wooden man. Magdalene is not yet in her teens, and 
you ought not to call it stealing for maids of that age 
to help themselves to a little fruit when they are hungry.' 
In that way he hammered at the crusty old miser until 
he gave in. Then, after Ruth had told me all about it, 
Jesus got us girls together and oh, the picture he did 
paint about thieves, which set us all to crying but me, 
282 



LOOKING BACK 283 

and when I laughed he said something about there being 
oceans of room for improvement in me yet. 

"Then, after the girls had gone home, wondering at 
their lucky escape, he and Ruth took me home, and while 
we stood in the moonlight by our old gate, Ruth told him. 
all, how she had overheard him convincing old Ben that 
it was nothing, and had told me all about it, which made 
me laugh when he made it out so awful to us. 

"Before leaving me, he, taking my hand in his, with 
his other arm around Ruth, talked to us about being true, 
and showed us that the course he had taken in my behalf 
was just the course God was taking with all those he 
loved and that God's power was so great that one was 
alwavs safe in his keeping, not only in this life, but even 
in death, one would come out victorious, if they trusted 
in him. 

"Of course, I cried half the night and resolved never 
to steal another grape, but in a few days I left Nazareth 
and soon became the ever irritable night-mare of the 
over-solemn saints around Capernaum, and then it was 
that Peter gave me the nickname of 'Tornado Mag of 
Galilee.' " 

Here Magdalene paused and listened with that vacant 
gaze which betokened that while her body was in Bethany 
her soul had joined the wanderers in the dark. "I love 
Jesus," she murmured, "but, oh, my soul is tossing about 
like an empty shell on an ocean wave. Oh, that I could 
see more clearly through the misty veil of horror which 
hangs like a pall over the once beautiful city of Zion. I 
love Jesus, as the son of man, but I love him more as the 
Son of God. j\Iy womanly weakness yearns for him to 
return to our home in Galilee, while my inmost soul 



284 LOOKING BACK 

joins the song of the distant angels' choir. Oh, God, Thy 
will be done." Then stern old Joseph lowered her head 
to a pillow in the shadows of the mountain, while the 
heavenly host beamed down in silence on the swooning 
form of the heroic maid of Galilee. 



LAZARUS RESTORED 

The following morning the party returned to the home 
of the Galileans, leaving Lazarus very sick. 

A few days later news was received from Jericho 
that Jesus and his disciples were on the way to Jerusalem. 
Then when Martha went out to meet Jesus the myste- 
rious dialogue took place concerning the death of Lazarus 
which caused great commotion, for all thought Lazarus 
dead, even though Jesus had said, "This sickness is not 
unto death — Lazarus sleepeth." 

Now many believed on Jesus, causing the high priest 
and Pharisees to say: "If we let him alone all will 
believe in him." Then they took counsel to put him to 
death, and sent officers to Bethany to bring Jesus to 
Jerusalem. 

In the meantime the Galileans arrived in Bethany and 
Jesus, after kissing his mother, took Magdalene by the 
hand, but neither spoke. 

As the tumult arose and the mob outside began to 
howl, Magdalene became hysterical, but when Jesus, still 
holding her almost transparent hand, gave it a shake, as 
he said, "Mary," she looked confidingly in his face and 
smiled. 

Martha, now standing with John and Peter, beckoned 

Magdalene to come to them, when Jesus stepped forward 

and raised his hand. As he did so a stifled hush invaded 

the throng while the officers sent by Caiaphas to take 

285 



286 LOOKING BACK 

him fell backwards, lowering their weapons, each stoop- 
ing to listen and catch his words. 

When his voice broke the dead silence, no relief 
came, for even unbelievers feared they were in the pres- 
ence of God. 

"I am the resurrection and the life ; he that believeth 
in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live again ; and 
whosoever liveth and believeth on me shall never die 
Believeth thou this?" 

After these words Jesus came forward as to giv^ 
himself up, and no man laid hands on him, but the mob 
returned to the chief priests, saying, "No man ever spake 
like this man," which brought his adversaries to a stand- 
still, not knowing what step to take next. 



CONSPIRACY TO MURDER JESUS 

The next day Jesus and his followers again entered 
the temple, and after the noon hour retired across the 
brook up in to the renowned Olive Orchard, which over- 
looks Jerusalem. Among the throng which followed 
them was Caiaphas, who the previous day had convened 
the chief rulers into his palace, when he advocated decoy- 
ing Jesus from his friends and murdering him, w^hich 
was opposed by the more conservative, who said it would 
cause an uproar among the people. 

Again in the evening Caiaphas assembled his co-con- 
spirators and, after setting forth what Jesus had said on 
the mountain and how the people were all turning to him, 
said, "Some means must be devised to destroy this man, 
as I fear if the case comes before Pilate he will require 
more evidence than is at hand, before he will consent 
to his death." 

Nicodemus, still a member of good standing among 
them, arose and asked, "Does our law judge any man 
before it hear him and know what he doeth?" which 
created so strong an opposition that it broke up the coun- 
cil and Caiaphas ordered each man to his own home. 

Caiaphas, nervous and weary from the perplexity of 
the day, reclines on an elaborate divan in an alcove off 
from his spacious court, where the Sanhedrim of seventy 
elders were wont to convene and discuss important mat- 
ters. As he sips wine to drown his troubles, trouble 
seems to arise, when he is startled from his phlegmatic 
287 



288 LOOKING BACK 

vision by an intruder in the form of a huge Hzzard, creep- 
ing over a cactus urn. Then the great high priest mur- 
mured, "I wonder if there is a God, as that which I daily 
proclaim ; if I knew there were not it might eliminate this 
fear of the devil." 

As he thus soliloquized at the dead of night, a trusted 
servant intrudes upon, his forced quietude, by announcing 
that the gatekeeper informs him that one of the disciples 
of Jesus of Nazareth is at the gate, craving audience with 
the high priest personally. 

Caiaphas, frowning, orders the servant to bring his 
message, "but first," says he, "send two officers of the 
court to detain him." 

Servant returns : "He must commune with the high 
priest personally." 

Caiaphas hesitates, then to the servant growls : "Sum- 
mon my guard." To the guard he says, "Search him 
that he bears no arms and bring him to my inner court 
chamber." 

The arch conspirators now meet. Caiaphas thin and 
pale, with his three score years and ten all past, while 
the broad burly frame of Judas Iscariot indicated not 
more than forty years. 

"Art thou a Galilean?" 

"I am not." 

"Are not the disciples of Jesus Galileans?" 

"All but me. I am an Edomite." 

"What? Edom at the south ?" 

"Yes." 

"Did you join the Galilean band as a spy?" 

"No." 

"Then why comest thou hither?" 



LOOKING BACK 289 

"'It hath been rumored that you would have Jesus 
delivered and that none volunteer." 

"Can you deliver him?" 

"I can." 

"Alive or dead?" 

"Dead? Why dead?" 

"Alive then. How can it be done?" 

"One hundred pieces of silver, one hundred brigands 
and ten officers from your court, but it must be done in 
the dark." 

"You are shrewd. Retire and await my summons." 

Caiaphas immediately summons his kin to the San- 
nedrim; wealthy priests, scribes and Pharisees, among 
them, tottering under the weight of years, came Annas, 
his father-in-law, who inquired, "Sanhedrim at dead 
of night?" 

"Exactly so, august father," and bowing low, the con- 
spirator whispered, "this is an important, private affair 
to which Joseph, Nicodemus and like traitors must not 
be admitted. See?" 

Stealthily, one by one, the rulers arrive and while the 
watchmen on the tower and outside the gates of Jeru- 
salem cry, "All is well," the most loathsome, dogmatic 
group known in the annals of history draw near in the 
dim light of a lantern to listen to Caiaphas, who, after 
glancing nervously about, said : 

"The Lord, God of Israel, who gave to the seed of 
Abraham, Canaan for their inheritance, also, through one 
Moses,- gave them laws with priests and Scribes to exe- 
cute over the unsanctified. The mouth of our high priest 
is the chosen oracle through which God speaks to his 
chosen people. Through slavery in Egypt, insurrection 
among the ten tribes and captivity in Babylon, we have 



290 LOOKING BACK 

suffered under the promise of God that through the 
prophet he would send a redeemer that should bring the 
world to our feet for mercy. As you know, some three 
years since, one Jesus of Nazareth began preaching and 
assuming himself to be that redeemer. At first we gave 
him credence that he would restore Israel from the 
Roman yoke, but soon discovered that he criticised the 
priests as well as the heathens, claiming for himself direct 
communication with our God. His fame went abroad 
and the world assembled in Galilee to hear him. Now 
he comes to Zion, in the city of David, and what will we 
do? for this man doeth miracles! If we let him alone 
the Romans will come and take away our place and 
nation." 

"The assassin's blade often executes the will of God," 
ejaculated the venerable Annas. 

"True! True!" continued Caiaphas in an undertone, 
as the conspirators drew themselves nearer. "But should 
it be known, priesthood would suffer the condemnation 
of the world, for all the common people, both Jews and 
Gentiles, believe him to be the Christ, an error which 
we must correct at once or our power will wane. I have 
a scheme which if carefully executed will exclude us, 
God's chosen, from all blame. 

"You know Pilate refuses to interfere with our dog- 
matic religious troubles, but if we clamor before him he 
will favor the voice of the people. For several days I 
have been unable to detain the intruder, either with officer 
or mob violence, but at last I have, through patience and 
perseverance, sought out an agent, even Judas Iscariot, 
his most confidential disciple, who is now in waiting at 
the gate, to lead a band of our most vicious brigands 
to bring him before me, when through previously in- 



LOOKING BACK 291 

structed witnesses I will condemn him and turn him 
over to Pilate. Now listen, — my scheme is that the 
same assassins, led by Judas Iscariot, will crowd every 
available space of standing room in Pilate's court, and 
clamor for his conviction. These assassins Pilate will 
suppose to be the common people and of course will 
yield to their demand and permit his execution, while 
we, his countrymen, will shed a tear that the Romans 
have crucified a Jew." 

"Our captains to-morrow will summon the squad of 
ruffians, who will exact one piece of silver each, except 
Judas, who is wrangling for 100 pieces, but will accept 
much less." 

"The plan I would suggest is that to-morrow evening 
our gate-keepers be instructed to retain the squad inside 
the city walls until our common people are asleep, then 
when the Galileans are crossing the Cedron, fall upon 
them and bring him in for examination, and I, after a 
mock trial, will turn him over to Pilate." 



THE MOB FALL UPON JESUS 

The following evening Joseph and Nicodemus, to- 
gether with the Galileans and Bethany friends, having 
become anxious that Jesus and his disciples remained so 
late in the city, began a search. Finding all the gates 
closed for the night, they stopped before the gate beauti- 
ful and clamoured for admittance, but received no 
response. 

Nicodemus, realizing the move as unusual, becomes 
alarmed and communed in low tones with the group 
thus : *T fear Caiaphas has assembled his family at the 
Sanhedrim and condemned Jesus and his disciples and 
put them all to death, for, the second time he assembled 
us, concerning Jesus, he advocated such a course. Let 
us now go to the Damascus gate on the north and if 
we are not admitted I know a watchman who has the 
key to the quarry dungeon, from which I can gain 
entrance through a secret chamber to the abandoned 
court of Bell, near to the home of Annas." 

"What quarry dungeon?" inquired Magdalene, as she 
faced him, opening wide her large eyes in wonder. 

"There is such a place," he replied. "Jerusalem is 
honeycombed by high, dark, shapeless vaults, from which 
Solomon quarried his foundation. It is beneath the city 
and the public have not been permitted to enter there for 
many years." 

During these moments, Jesus and his disciples had 
passed out of the South Gate and were now in the 
292 



LOOKING BACK 293 

Garden of Gethsamane. The Galileans, at the Damascus 
gate, did not know this until Lazarus came running to 
say that Jesus was in the garden below. Just at this 
instant they heard loud voices inside and while they 
listened the gate swung open and a mob of nearly one 
hundred men, armed with rusty swords, clubs and rocks, 
led by Judas Iscariot, came rushing out. 

Immediately Magdalene sprang into the way before 
them and cried, "Oh, Judas, traitor— traitor, — stand — 
turn back," at which they all stopped, Judas trembling 
and casting his eyes on the ground, "Now," she cried, 
"that Rome has disdained to interfere, you — you traitor, 
with a band of hired bloodthirsty assassins" 

At this moment one from the rear threw a heavy 
bludgeon, striking her full in the face and as she fell 
the band surged forward, stumbling over her form, but 
she did not faint, and rising quickly tried to follow, but 
was restrained by those around her, who began wiping 
the blood from her face. 

Thinking their object was to assassinate Jesus, the 
Galileans ran into the garden, where they found Jesus 
endeavoring to arouse his sleepy disciples, who became 
frightened when they saw the assassins and fell back, 
all except poor old Peter, who bristled for the affray. 

As Peter rushed forward a servant of Caiaphas dealt 
him a heavy blow with his dull sword, which Peter re- 
turned, nearly severing his ear, but at the command of 
Jesus, all the assassins fell back except Judas, who at- 
tempted to kiss him. Jesus . staid him, saying, "Judas, 
betrayest thou the son of man with a kiss?" Then to 
the mob he continued, "When I was daily in the temple 
you stretched forth no hand against me, but this is your 
hour, in the cover of darkness." 



294 LOOKING BACK 

The assassins then bound the hands of Jesus in front 
and pinioned his elbows at the back in such a way as 
to cause great pain, after which two stalwart ruffians 
seized him by either arm and hastened him forward, amid 
the jeers and yells of the entire band, except Judas, who, 
witnessing the cruelty and pitiful state of Magdalene, 
turned away and wept convulsively, and then with Peter 
followed the assassins to Annas. Judas entered the hall, 
but Peter, when accused of being a disciple of Jesus, 
denied it and disappeared into the darkness. 



MAGDALENE BEFORE CAIAPHAS 

While Jesus, still bound, was held in the dim hall of 
the court of Annas, the priests, elders and captains of 
the mob, blindfolded him, then spit upon and beat him, 
which so grieved Magdalene that Judas persuaded Nico- 
demus to take Magdalene before Caiaphas, where the 
Sanhedrim was stealthily convening. 

Kneeling before the astounded assembly, Magdalene 
craved an audience, which was reluctantly granted by 
Caiaphas, saying as he did so, that his act was through 
courtesy for Nicodemus. 

Nicodemus now retired to his accustomed seat in the 
Sanhedrim, leaving Magdalene, deathly pale, standing 
alone, when she cautiously meandered forward. Then, 
as though inspired, quickly tossing her head erect, said 
in a firm tone : 

"Learned men of Judea, angry are the elements and 
fierce the gale, now hovering over old Jerusalem, but 
dark as the night and wild as the storm, it is sunshine 
and peace compared with the gloom and terror now 
raging in my poor soul. I stand before your august body 
making my last plea for suffering innocence. Not only 
for the guiltless Jesus, but for fair Canaan's sons and 
daughters,, who are this night slumbering, all unconscious 
of the fact that in the City of David, blind bigotry has 
marshalled its unscrupulous forces against the welfare 
of humanity, all unconscious, that in secret session, sur- 
rounded by fanatical apirants, this Sanhedrim has con- 
295 



296 LOOKING BACK 

vened to consider an act which, if accompHshed, will 
defame for ages the name of our people, the Jews. 

"Judas Iscariot now confesses to me that he bar- 
gained with the priests and elders for silver to pilot their 
hirelings to the arrest of Jesus, in the dark, and bring 
him before Annas, which he did. Now he has repented, 
returned the silver and is about to destroy himself. 

"Why all this haste, what has Jesus said, what has 
he done, that he should be apprehended in the night and 
destroyed before the people can gather?" 

"Has he not criticized the law of God, through 
Moses?" inquired Caiaphas. 

"Never! Never!" she said, as she faced the high 
priest. "He has eulogized Abraham, Moses and the 
prophets, but the law, 'An eye for an eye, and a tooth 
for a tooth,' what is it? 

"Abraham, face to face with the angels, Moses at the 
burning bush, the pillar of fire, the quails and the manna 
were all involved in mystery, but the law, the law, *Ye 
shall be a peculiar treasure to me above all people, ye 
shall be unto me a kingdom of priests,' that wa& con- 
summated in the foothills of Mount Sinai, at the home 
of Jethro, the priest of Midian, after Moses had virtually 
been dethroned and doomed to a hermit's cave on Mount 
Pisgah, there to die alone. 

"From the dawn of human observation, deep medi- 
tators have faintly observed that which appears to be. 
the hand of providence. The islanders of the South 
Seas see God in the soft silent moon. The Greek high- 
land philosophers see God in the groups of the heavenly 
hosts. The friends of Job observe God "in the awaken- 
ing of the dawn, while our people, the Hebrews, picture 



LOOKING BACK 297 

God in human, form. Thus all mankind, each in their 
own way, bow to the strange unknown, whom Jesus 
terms a spirit. 

"Oh, priests of Israel, oh, fathers of this strange 
session, listen to my child-like plea. Beautiful, inspiring 
to the human soul, is nature's sweet repose ; beautiful are 
the noiseless flowers strewn in the dells; beautiful are 
the silent, heavenly hosts, if wandering or at rest, in 
starlight's strange unknown, but far more beautiful than 
nature's wondrous realm is a community of human souls 
traveling on life's unknown journey, encouraged and 
advised by a fatherly priest, pastor or shepard, who goes 
before and warns them not to stray or venture on the 
wilds. Contrast such a scene of love and sympathy with 
selfish codes and frivolous laws, of which violation is 
punishable by death. 

"Act, act, men, save him, oh, save him. Will you 
not aid the birth of universal grace to all mankind? Oh, 
brave men, come to my aid in this dark earthly night, and 
when you, so soon, shall awake in eternity's glad morn- 
ing, Mary Magdalene will be among those to welcome 
you home. 

"Oh, men of Abraham's clan, come to my aid. Come 
now in this wild storm of fate, bear me in your arms 
that when your strength, like mine, shall fail, when the 
sun of life grows dim and the stars of love hie away, that 
then, oh, then, the angels of light may draw near and 
guide you safely home. Embrace this opportunity to 
record your name where angels scan the page. 

"Look, men of Judea, look before you leap. Midnight 
hours like these you may endure, but, oh, the morning; 
oh, the judgment morning, when this strange dream of 



298 LOOKING BACK 

life is. o'er. I plead not to you for mercy, justice is my 
plea and justice is. the limit of your jurisdiction. ]My 
plea for the accused is not alone for him, this awful 
night will plead for him whom God has sent. But listen, 
oh, listen, when present scenes have become records of 
the past, when the names and works of mighty monarchs 
have grown dim, yes, faded and forgotten, this strange 
midnight drama will stand out as though written by Job's 
pen of iron in the Rock of Ages, to plead for him who 
knows no guile. 

"Oh, men of destiny, opportunities still await, but the 
past has no recall. God will forgive, Jesus will forgive, 
but you can never forgive yourselves. Hell hath no flame 
to consume the remorse of a guilty conscience. You may 
deceive the Jews, you may deceive the Gentiles, but you 
will not deceive God." 

After Magdalene, between two burly soldiers, had 
been tenderly escorted from the court, silence seemed to 
reign while the lights burned low, until Nicodemus arose, 
when Caiaphas cried, "Await your proper time." 

Then rising to his full height, he exclaimed, "Is there 
another Galilean sympathizer among us? If so, with 
Nicodemus, let him rise." At which all arose except 
three, Annas being one. Caiaphas, turning pale, cried, 
"Let each man standing go immediately to his own 
home." 

After the Galilean sympathizers had all passed out, 
the priests, scribes and elders, who made up the inner 
life of the high priest, came in, and Jesus was called 
and questioned, but answered nothing. This angered 
them and after more abuse they sent him out, w^ien the 
high priest and his abetters grouped and conversed in 



LOOKING BACK 299 

low tones. It was then determined to increase the mob 
and surround the judgment hall of Pilate, and allow no 
one, not even a counsellor, to gain entrance, save those 
who would clamor for the crucifixion of Jesus. 



JESUS BEFORE PILATE 

Early Pilate entered the judgment hall and with a 
dark scowl said, "What accusation have you against this 
man?" and the mob cried, "He is a malefactor, or we 
would not have brought him here." 

"What crime hath he committed?" 

"He stirreth up the people, causing insurrection." 

"How?" 

"He says he is the Christ which was to come." 

"Is he?" 

"He is a carpenter from Galilee." 

"Carpenter from Galilee, so I have heard. Loose the. 
shackles at once ; why so cruel." 

"He deceiveth the people. He is not the Christ." 

"Was Christ to come to the Gentiles?" 

"So he preaches, but he blasphemes, saying, T came 
forth from God.' " 

"Can a man so arouse the world unless God be with 
him?" 

As Pilate was speaking, he was interrupted by a serv- 
ant, who announced that Pilate's wife awaited him in the 
hall. 

The old Roman scowled, murmured "unusual," then 
said, "Admit the fair lady." 

"Pilate, oh, Pilate, thou art on the edge of an eternal 
brink." 

"My fair one" 

"Listen, oh, listen," she continued, kneeling at his 
300 



LOOKING BACK 301 

feet. "When first the morning sun hied past the tower 
and through the latticed vines, I turned to smile, as a 
vision caught and held me in a spell. Before me lay a 
winding vale through which a crystal stream did wend 
to silver islands, whose golden shores faded away into 
one glorious star-lit eternity. 

"As I gazed, the scene seemed to be changing. First 
the stars became worlds, then the worlds became king- 
doms, then the kingdoms became priests, and lastly the 
priests became nothing. . Then again the stars appeared 
all singing, 'Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the 
Lord.' 

"Pilate, oh, Pilate, my loving husband, I implore you 
to stand firm, having nothing to do with the murder of 
this just person. The angels are now recording not only 
every word but every thought to carry home, where you 
and I must soon appear." Then, kissing Pilate's hand, 
she looked pitifully at Jesus and turned away. 

Pilate knit his brow in brown study for a moment 
and then said to the accusers of Jesus, "I will chastise 
this man and then let him go," to which the mob from 
Caiaphas shouted, "Crucify him, he stirreth up the people 
against Caesar." 

Turning back to Jesus, Pilate asked, "From whence 
art thou?" To which Jesus gave no answer; but when 
he repeated the question, Jesus said, "To this end was 
I born and for this cause came I into the world." 

When the rabble continued clamoring for the death 
of Jesus, Pilate washed his hands before the accusers, 
saying, "I am innocent of the blood of this just person ; 
his blood is on you." Then he turned him over to the 
Roman guard to be crucified. 



THE CRUCIFIXION 

When the soldiers arrived at Calvary with Jesus, thou- 
sands had gathered on the hill, hoping, still, to witness 
some further miracle. Following Jesus, on the way, 
were his friends, weeping bitterly, which wailing was 
taken up by the throng on the hill. Near the brow, his 
strength failed and he fell on his hands and knees, when 
one of the executioners struck him a heavy blow^ but 
he could not rise until the cross was removed. When 
able to stand, he turned to the crowd and said, "Daughters 
of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, 
and for your children." Then he sank to the ground and 
was seized by the executioners, carried and thrown 
heavily upon the cross, and held while his garments were 
removed and his hands and feet nailed. 

Martha groaned and cried, "Oh, the cruel Romans," 
to which Magdalene voiced in, "Why blame the Romans? 
These are Pilate's executioners doing their duty; they 
must be wicked or they would faint. Why blame the 
brigands who haled him to Pilate ; their hearts are hard- 
ened, their conscience is seared. These fiends are but the 
tools in the hands of Caiaphas. The doom of the assas- 
sin awaits them, the doom of a coward awaits Pilate, 
but the doom of a murderer awaits the High Priest of 
Jerusalem. I go, call me not," as with a startled look, 
the insane creature smiled and ran away. 

Kneeling beside the rippling stream s'he closed her eyes 
in silent prayer, and then as though awakening from a 
302 



. LOOKING BACK 303 

dream she continued, "But why this darkness in my 
soul, it cannot be he dies, it cannot be that he comes no 
more." Then shuddering cold she murmurs, "True, true, 
he dies and death ends all, — yes,, all." Wildly springing 
across the stream she turns quickly, again gazes on Cal- 
vary and smiles a demon's smile, murmuring, "Yes, Jesus 
is dead, I am dead. Death ends all." 

As darkness spreads its mantle over the face of nature, 
a deep gloom invaded the hearts of the people in and 
around the once beautiful City of Zion. Those who had 
been instrumental in sending Jesus to the cross, feared 
that the end had not yet come, while those who had list- 
ened to his teachings feared that the end had come. His 
disciples and immediate friends had no leader, they were 
entirely at sea and everything indicated that all was a 
failure and that they must disband and return home. 

The next day, the Sabbath, was quietly spent by the 
Galileans, discussing how they might take the body of 
Jesus to Nazareth. IMagdalene all the while contended 
against every proposition introduced, she did not want 
to have the body removed, she did not want to go home, 
neither did she eat or drink, was on her feet all day, often 
visiting the tomb and kneeling before it. 



ALONE ON OLIVET 

The storm is past — the scene ended. As stranded 
wrecks along along the shore, evidence of the awful night 
on the tempest tossed sea, so the Galileans, with broken 
hearts, lie restless near old Zion's walls, while the cruci- 
fixion of Jesus of Nazareth becomes simply a page of 
record in the history of our strange world. 

Magdalene lingers in the twilight at Joseph's tomb 
until the mother of Jesus brings her away, and pleadingly 
tries to convince her that it may be a part of God's wise 
plan to awaken the world and lead wanderers home. 

At last she seemingly becomes quiet, and as the 
mother smooths her silken hair she feigns rest, in sleep, 
but when all is still she silently steals away in the shadows 
to the Mount of Olives. At the top she hesitates, 
shudders, scowls and then laughs hysterically, as she 
draws her sleeping frock closer around her unprotected 
form. 

Standing alone, her scant attire fluttering in the cold 
north breeze, she suddenly awakens ; with outstretched 
arms breaths softly, "Yes, Fll come," then, bowing low, 
whispers, "I thought I heard him call," then, strangely 
wild, proclaims, "No — no — I am not mad, I know he is 
dead, he'll call me Mary nevermore." 

Turning back, she shrugged her shoulders, seeming 

herself again, and while gazing over the Jordan to the tar 

away Moabite hills she murmurs, "Somewhere in those 

vine-clad hills the childhood home of pretty Ruth once 

304 



LOOKING BACK 305 

lay, and here so near, on Bethlehem's plain, she gleaned 
and gleaned until she won his heart ; but now she is dead, 
they are all dead. They come again no more. 

"Oh, my soul, hast thou no home? Oh, evening 
star, beautiful heavenly light, wilt thou find rest in the 
ocean waves, and Magdalene find none, oh spangled 
heavens and God? Could I this night lay down to sleep 
in the swelling bosom of the Mediterranean Sea never to 
awake, never to remember more. Oh, that I could sleep 
forever in a starless night that knows no morning." 

One long, weird, wicked glance she casts at old Jeru- 
salem and then murmurs, "Was it but yester' night that 
I, before that monster, stood and pleaded and pleaded in 
vain. Oh, see yon cross on Cavalry's brow. I go — I go, 
my heart is cold ; I die for him. He loves me still — no — 
no — he loves me not, he is dead, he will love me never 
more. Oh, soulless maid from Galilee, did you once 
think that men had souls? Where is my dream of spirit 
homes, where tranquil souls are joined in love, far away 
in Heaven's domain ? I am not mad ; I know he is dead ; 
there is no God ; there is no home where spirits dwell." 

Wandering down the steep, she waits a moment be- 
neath the tree where she had knelt and prayed that Jesus 
go with her to Galilee. Lingering a moment in this 
sacred retreat, she sighs, with her hand on her heart, and 
cries, "Oh, for just one tear to melt the frosty gloom 
on this cold fount of life," but tears came not. 

Leaping the stream, she ran hysterically up the rocky 
incline, then pausing a moment at the gate beautiful she 
turned towards Calvary. 

At the Damascus gate she was startled by the watch- 
man's cry from the tower, "All is well." 

"All is well — all is well," she repeated sarcastically. 



306 LOOKING BACK 

Through this gate, at dead of night, dark demons came, 
and through this gate, in noonday light, he bore the cross, 
the cross of shame; and now is this, the great high priest 
that sings, "All — all is well" — footsteps near frightened 
her, and, shrieking wildly, she whirled and fell in dear 
old Peter's arms, who, with John, took her back to those 
who loved her. 

THE RESURRECTION 

Feigning rest, she listened until heavy breathing as- 
sured her that all were sleeping, when softly she stole 
away into the silent night, and while it was yet dark 
glided through Gethsemane to Calvary. While kneeling 
at the tomb a strange influence aroused her, and, turning, 
she saw Jesus. 

First she started back, then springing wildly forward, 
cried, "Jesus, oh, Jesus," as she extended both hands, 
strangely to awake and find that the vision had passed. 
The mother of Jesus and the other Mary arrived in time 
to hear Magdalene's voice and see her faint and fall, but 
they saw no man. 

When Magdalene realized what had taken place she 
began weeping, and crying, "Glory to God." Then, as 
though recalling sad scenes, she cried, "Oh, God, forgive 
that miserable old high priest, Caiaphas — Oh, God, for- 
give all their murderous acts, for it was a blessing in 
disguise. 

She could not walk or stand upon her feet. Soon she 
swooned, and was carried back as one dead to the brow 
of Olive's mountain. 



MAGDALENE HERSELF AGAIN 

When restored to consciousness she looked wonder- 
ingly about her, and then smihng in her bright, girHsh 
way, said to John, "^^'hen, where and how did I die?" 

When told she had not died she inquired : "Was I 
alive when Jesus came to me ?" and being told she was, 
she continued, "He says tell the disciples to meet him in 
Galilee, and that I must see Ruth before I come to him ; 
and tell her all about this — is she here ? Oh no ; what a 
goose I am; she is at home, way up in Galilee — way up 
in Galilee," she repeated, and then, kissing the hand of 
the mother, she smilingly said, "Oh, Aunty, do you think 
little birds will sing next summer, when I am gone, as 
they did w^hen Ruth and I w^ere little girls, we never 
thinking that we must some day part?" Then for a mo- 
ment a bewildered look seemed to control her, when, 
brightly smiling again through her tears, she said : "Oh, 
how silly I am ; soon we will live together again ; what 
is this brief span of life, compared to an endless eternity? 
Tell me. Aunt Mary, did you see Jesus?" 

"No, Magdalene, I did not." 

"Why, he looked and spake just exactly as when he 
chided me ten years ago." 

Oh, dear me, just look at old Peter and the other 
men back there, weeping enough to break their necks 
because they think I am dying. Say, Peter, come here 
and tell me what you are weeping for." 

"Because you look so heavenly." 
307 



308 LOOKING BACK 

"Did you think I looked heavenly when you used to 
peddle fish?" 

"Yes, Magdalene, you looked sweet then, but you was 
so confounded mean." 

She hesitated, and then said, "Why, Peter?" 

"Well, Magdalene, you led me right into it, just 
as you do everyone you talk with." 

Magdalene looked on poor Peter, who seemed to wilt 
and fade under the smiling searchlight of the now happy 
Jewess. 

"John," she said quite firmly, "please relieve Aunt 
Mary by holding me in your arms while I talk." 

When he had taken her she looked in his face and 
laughingly said, "Queer, isn't it, John ? Once you wanted 
to love me and I would not let you, now I want you to 
love me and you will not." 

John choked and sobbed and finally said, "I do love 
you, Magdalene ; we all love you ; the angels love you, and 
that is why they are waiting to take you home." 

A sweet smile lingered on the swooning beauty's face 
while John gently passed his hand over her auburn waves, 
which seemed to awake her again, and she said, "Peter, 
where do you think Jesus is now ?" 

"I do not know, Magdalene, I am all at sea." 

"Peter, he may be right here now and knowing all 
that we are thinking." 

Peter dropped his jaw. Joseph craned his long neck, 
while Nicodemus, the disciples and bystanders all leaned 
forward, to catch, if possible, from the angel face the 
last gleam which might swing the gates of death ajar. 

"I know," she continued, "for I have been talking with 
him." 

At this they all drew near, when she said, "His death 



LOOKING BACK 309 

upon the cross was natural, simply the separation of him- 
self from his body." 

"Has he gone up to heaven, from whence he came ?" 
inquired Joseph. 

"Why, Joseph, you are worse than Peter ; do you think 
heaven is up above the moon?" 

"Magdalene, you know what Jesus said when alive — " 

"When alive, Joseph ; he is alive now and possibly 
hears every word you say." 

"Be that as it may, Magdalene ; he has said from the 
beginning, 'I came down from heaven.' " 

Magdalene scowled, and with a painful effort bit her 
lip as she tried to form a convincing sentence, and then 
began : "Down in a well and up on a hill are material 
positions, while down in hell and up in heaven are 
spiritual conditions. 

"Think of Jesus as living in a purely spiritual con- 
dition and volunteering to take on humanity and live with 
us as animals. In that he came down from on high 
to that low, hellish animal, condition of last Friday. 
And, Joseph, when you thought you were laying Jesus 
in your tomb, he was not necessarily there. I know 
that I was face to face with Jesus, and there are no 
scars on his hands or thorns in his brow." 

NIcodemus, kneeling beside her, said : "I know you're 
weary, but can you answer this — If Jesus was not in his 
body when he spoke your name, how did you hear his 
voice ?" 

Her ready reply was : "You are not an apt scholar. 
Do you remember when you came to Jesus by night, 
in Bethany, and he explained how one could be born 
again? And now you're asking me if a body can talk. 
I do not know how to answer you ; I know not the secret 



310 LOOKING BACK 

of animal existence, and much less that of spiritual life; 
but this much I do know, that sound and sight both 
create impressions. One is silent, the other is not, yet 
they are equally distinct. Will power, thought, joy, 
sorrow, truth are all noiseless, yet real, so why not sup- 
pose all spiritual life be the same. At the tomb he im- 
pressed me that I must see the disciples and see Ruth 
before I came home to him. I cannot explain how it 
was, but I am sure that Jesus was not in the body, and I 
do not know as I was." 

As she closed her eyes the grizzly counsellor bowed 
and kissed the tips of her cold fingers, then one by one 
the listeners drew nearer in silence, but she awoke again. 



RUTH COMES TO IvIEET AIAGDALENE 

\Mien Joseph learned that Magdalene wished to see 
Ruth he started a courier on a fleet beast, with orders to 
take four relays and make sure to reach Nazareth before 
sunset. 

When they arrived at Nazareth they found all in 
commotion, for the report had come that Jesus had raised 
from the dead ; that Mary Alagdalene was dying and had 
:alled for Ruth to come to Jerusalem. 

Jerome, the tanner, made ready his fleet mule for 
Ruth, while the men mounted brisk horses, and soon 
Ruth, Jude and the guide hastened down the narrow 
streets into the open plain and were off on their lone 
journey. 

As the moon came up from the Sea of Galilee three 
lone riders silently sped over the Esdraelon plain, with 
the fleet little mule on which Ruth was riding in the lead. 
Near the renowned city of Nain the guide took the lead, 
speeding past Endor, through Shunan and over the Jezreel 
plain, while not one word was spoken to break the sad 
silence of poor Ruth, whose ashy, tearless face betokened 
consciousness of approaching gloom. 

Changing horses at Dothan, they continued on 
through Samaria, past Jacob's well, and near sunset 
turned into the gorge called Eden's vale, where they saw 
in the distance a group kneeling in the shadows beneath 
a clump of olive trees. 



311 



JOSEPH'S LAST INTERVIEW 

After Joseph had started the courier to Nazareth 
he provided a litter with four stalwart men and four 
relays to carry Magdalene, if possible, to meet Ruth. 
He also sent several camels for Mary the mother of 
Jesus, and the other women, with an animal each for 
Nicodemus and John, and four beasts of burden with at- 
tending servants, while the disciples, on foot, followed the 
train. 

Magdalene, although unable to retain food or stimu- 
lants, could talk with apparent ease, and when informed 
that Joseph dispatched a courier for Ruth to come and 
meet her she said to Joseph, with a rougish twinkle in her 
eye, "If you were not so awfully old and I was not so 
very near the Golden Gate your proposal would certainly 
receive deep consideration," to which Josph continued the 
joke by saying, "But I have one wife, you know." 

"Oh, yes, Joseph, I know your faithful wife; and 
does she scold you as much as yoa deserve? I hope she 
does, for men are so stupid they need correcting very 
often. And Joe, are you kind to Hulda, the mother of 
you children, and the sweetest dame in Arimathaea, the 
one who walked by your side all these years and allowed 
no one to speak despairingly of you? You would not 
allow yourself to love another, were she ever so young 
and pretty, would you?" 

"Oh, no — no, Magdalene ; but tell me, before we part, 
how you can be so cheerful, even blithe, in the face of 
death ?" 

312 



LOOKING BACK 313 

"Joseph, you, a counsellor, a man of experience, a 
ruler among the Jews, ask me to explain that which the 
children, the song birds of the morning and the wild 
gazelle of the plains act out at every turn. They live 
in the present, while we live in the past, present and ap- 
parent future. If you knew the future you would not 
be content to stay. God, in his wisdom, has drawn the 
veil of uncertainty between his loved people and their 
higher life, but now he has withdrawn that veil from me. 
Yesterday, when I supposed Jesus was dead, I feared, 
I wondered, I shrank ; today I am glad, my soul is filled 
with glory and I am impatiently waiting the call ; now, 
do you understand?" 

"Because you know that Jesus lives?" 

"Yes, Joseph. All through life I knew Jesus as he 
appeared ; now I know him as he is ; yesterday the dark 
unknown; today beautiful, beautiful life." 

"One more question, Magdalene, before we part ; 
Jesus has gone home and you are determined to follow ; 
now will his disciples be able to take up the work where 
the master has laid it down?" 

"Oh, I do not know ; as yet, you see, they are such 
a set of cowards. Here is my John, whose affection con- 
trols his will power; then there is Peter, whose cranium 
is like a cocoanut shell, so thick that nothing can get in 
and what he knows cannot get out ; still, Peter is brave, 
he will win at last, he will surely die at his post if neces- 
sary. Poor Judas Iscariot, already in hell before he died. 
Thomas has not so much faith as a grain of mustard seed ; 
Philip, like many, is so weak in the upper story that he 
actually thinks he understands the whole plan of sal- 
vation. The others, with one exception, are not strik- 
ing characters, and yet they would, every one, fight to the 



314 LOOKING BACK 

end for the cause of Jesus if they understdod him as I 
do. Oh, that Jesus would manifest himself to them as he 
has to me. 

"I do not know what will come next; I simply know 
that this tragedy is the beginning, and not the end. God 
cannot be baffled ; Jesus has sown the seed of individual 
purity, which will spring up somewhere at some time. 
If the Jews discover their error and accept him as the 
Christ, they will become the spiritual leaders of the world, 
but if they reject him the world will reject them and the 
terrific blow will scatter them far and wide. But they 
will turn back ; it may be thousands of years, but they wil.' 
turn back. Abraham will not forget his children ; Moses 
yet lives and he will lead them home. The Gentiles 
will cease to persecute and all will be lambs of one 
fold. Good-bye, Joseph, you've done all you covild and 
we will meet again tomorrow, just tomorrow, Joseph; we 
will all arrive home." 



MAGDALENE'S LAST NIGHT WITH JOHN 

Gentle hands carried Magdalene's wasted form over 
the Judean hills, camping for the night near Bethel. She, 
being troubled for breath, chose to rest on a litter beneath 
a wide, spreading olive tree rather than accept the hos- 
pitality of the large tent Joseph had sent for them. 

After the usual nursing, and she had been bolstered 
up with huge cushions, she was able to talk, and again be- 
came buoyant. 

Nicodemus, Mary and John each volunteered to 
sit by her side, but she chose John, saying : "Aunt Mary,, 
you must rest or we shall be compelled to procure an 
ambulance for you; and you, Nicodemus, look as pale 
as a ghost ; you go and get a little rest also, for tomorrow 
will be an eventful day. As for you, John, I want you 
to prop yourself up and hold my hands all night, then I 
will think we are children again." 

After an hour's rest she opened wide her large, hazel 
eyes and laughingly said, "Tell me, John, exactly what 
you were thinking about." 

John hesitated. 

"Spit it out, John ; if it's funny all the better, for all 
the sadness about this scene is that you must stay to 
fight the world after I have gone home." 

"Well, Lena, I was thinking about the first time we 
met." 

"Yes, John, so was I, we were twelve years old; 
I know exactly what you want to tell ; it's about my re- 
fusal before your proposal ; now go ahead." 
315 



316 LOOKING BACK 

"You remember," began John seriously, "that we 
first met at the yearly fish-fry which was always on the 
south shore of Galilee. Oh, Magdalene, you tell it ; I can- 
not." 

"Go right on," she said, her eyes sparkling with 
delight. 

"Well, your aunt and my mother were great friends, 
you know, and that was what brought us young ones to- 
gether while eating our fish. I can see you just as you 
was then ; you had on a new wine-colored gown, silk 
stockings, tiny sandals and your hair was loose over your 
shoulders. You remember, mother fixed me up smart ; 
being tall, I really looked more than I was, so we made 
it up to sly away from the common young hopefuls and 
go strolling down the river, where, after while, we sat 
down on the bank to watch the little fish who live in shore, 
and you began — " 

"No, you began — " 

"No, you began, Lena." 

"Well, have it your way, John; go on." 

"You, Lena, began to talk about — yovi see, I did not 
know you then as I do now." 

"Go right on, John, or I shall have a kaniption." 

"Yes, you began to talk about people getting married 
young, very young, and sometimes, when there were ob- 
jections, people ran away together. Then we told our 
ages, and it turned out that you were one day older than 
I, when you sprang to your feet and said : 'There, John, 
the jig is up, for I positively will not marry a man 
younger than myself.' " 

"And you began to cry." 

"No, Lena, I did not." 

"What did you do?" 



LOOKING BACK 317 

"Oh, not much." 

"Much; you dared me to — " 

"No, you dared me." 

"No, you dared me, John." 

"Now, Lena, you dared me to kiss you and I did." 

"Then I suppose you went right home and told your 
mother." 

"Told mother ; I should say not. You made me prom- 
ise never to tell. Why, Lena, are you in pain?" 

"Only my heart, John — Oh, if Ruth was here." 

The frail creature half closed her eyes, her lips 
parted, and John thought she was going, but when he 
called Nicodemus she opened them again and smiled and 
told Nicodemus to go to his rest. 

After a few moments she seemed to come back again 
and said, "Oh, John, is Heaven really so near?" Then 
she seemed to become a child again, and said, "Tell me 
something inspiring ; it rests me. Do not weep, John ; 
you promised to be brave ; now go on and tell me about 
Pipe and his dog. Tell it just as though you were tell- 
ing it to someone else and I was not listening." 

John hesitated, wiped away the tears, kissed her cold 
cheek and when she insisted, began, "Mary Magdalene 
came over from Nazareth when she was twelve years 
old, and by the time she was fifteen she had become the 
most notorious maid that graced the west shore of 
Galilee. She had staunch friends, who would go through 
fire and water to protect her — " 

"And you were one?" 

"Certainly I was, for she was pretty, neat, witty 
and wonderful in a case of emergency. She made some 
enemies ; for while nothing was too good for those she 
loved, so there was no letup on her dislikes." 



318 LOOKING BACK 

"Why did so many hate her, John?" 

"Oh, she was well dressed and attractive, which was 
more than her female companions could stand ; and then, . 
while she was upright and generous, she was reserved 
and often imprudent, to that extent that when irritated 
she bridled not her tongue." 

"Not even for you?" 

"Oh, I was an exception." 

"So you were, John ; go on." 

"Old Pipe the potter had, besides a large family 
of children, a white pet dog, and for a joke this maid 
from Nazareth formed a compact with one John, the 
brother of James — " 

"Where is that John now?" 

"Keep quiet, Lena, or you will get me to weeping 
again and spoil the story. She and John caught the dog 
and hid him in the cellar of John's home, and a day or so 
after Magdalene started a rumor that she had seen some- 
thing white floating in the lake, south of Tiberias, which 
looked like that dog. Old Pipe at once accused her of 
stealing and drowning his dog, but after an all day, fruit- 
less search, she and John loosed the dog and sent him 
home. Somehow the. joke got out, and old Pipe rent 
his garments and swore vengeance on the Sidehill Whirl- 
wind. On the street, one day, he began to upbraid her, 
when she turned upon him with something she had heard 
her Aunt Susie tell about his family affairs which closed 
him up like a clam — had you not better rest again, Lena ?" 

"No, John, go on; I'm in no pain, only those spells 
of suffocation. I want you to tell this so you will re- 
member I love you when I am gone." 

Nicodemus now appeared with his cup, which re- 
vived her, and John continued, "When our Fall Gaily 



LOOKING BACK 319 

Day came on all the country around flocked to the Lake 
to see the fun ; Jesus, James and Ruth came over from 
Nazareth." 

"Yes, I remember; they stayed with Aunty and me, 
and Ruth stayed a week or more." 

"Well, there were all kinds of sports and games, 
foot and horse racing, singing, dancing, etc., and then 
such a dinner as we had. 

"Everybody wanted to see Magdalene run, and the 
best that could be done was to match the Sidehill Whirl- 
wind with one of the Mur girls, a fleety family who lived 
on the hills in Safed. The Whirlwind gave the Mur girl 
twenty paces the start in a two hundred pace race, but 
she told her aunt and John's mother she feared Miss 
Mur had too great an advantage for her to ever over- 
take her. 

"When the race was called and the word given, John 
remembers just how Lena looked, with her head thrown 
back, coming down the line just like a shooting star, when 
old Zerna, the fig peddler, attempted to cross the way and 
Magdalene's knee collided with the side of her head. 
The old woman spun around and around like a top as 
Magdalene fell on her hands and knees, but recovered 
in time to win." 

"Did she win fair?" 

"Oh, I guess it was about a draw, for the time- 
keeper told John's father the next day that he rather 
favored the Whirlwind because the old fig woman got 
in her way, 

"When the boat race was coming oflf the men gath- 
ered south along the shore to get a better view of the 
maneuvers, while the women and children stood on the 
landings at Capernaum. John, Mary Magdalene and 



320 LOOKING BACK 

several other young folks had climbed to the roof of a 
house when they heard the cry that old Pipe's child 
had fallen into the water and was drowning. A cry went 
up for a fisherman to save the child, but all the men were 
down toward Tiberias. 

"When our group from the housetop arrived we could 
see the little boy's white garments at the bottom, under 
two fathoms of water. Instantly, Mary Magdalene 
plunged down head foremost and brought the little one 
up ill her arms, and as no one could reach it she somehow 
held it out of the water and swam to the little sand beach 
just south of Capernaum. Old Pipe arrived on the 
scene just as she was wading ashore with the child and, 
falling on his knees, began imploring her to forgive him 
for all he had injured her, but instead she handed him the 
struggling child as she indignantly said : 'Take your little 
brat, it is not to blame for having a contemptible father.' 

"After a change to dry clothes the naughty maid 
hunted up old Pipe and forgave him all, so that was how 
they became fast friends, and she, of course, became the 
heroine of the day." 

Thus, the last night of her life, Magdalene listened 
to reminiscences of naughty pranks and sweet affections 
of childhood's sunny hours. 



LAST GOOD-BYE 

At sunrise, after assuring Magdalene that Ruth was 
on the way from Nazareth, the Httle group took up their 
weary journey, moving north until they descended into 
a deep valley where a clear stream from the hills me- 
anders through the woody dell which was called by the 
Datriarchs, Eden's Vale. 

Here Magdalene implored them to stay and bathe her 
parched lips and fevered brow in the cool waters from the 
hills of Shiloh. Soon she fell into a doze from whence 
she, at intervals, would awake and call for John, and in- 
quire if Ruth was near. So the day wore on, her breath- 
ing growing more faint. Twice she ceased to breathe, 
then came back again and smiled. 

Lastly she opened wide her eyes, pressed John's hand 
to her lips, then softly settled back in silence, just as two 
dusty riders came around the bend, at once recognized as 
Ruth and Jude. 

Ruth swung from her horse and ran to where she 
could see her ; then, thinking she was dead, moved softly 
forward, and kneeling by her side kissed her lips, at 
which she came back, opened her eyes and smiled. 

"Lena, oh Lena, my dear, what can I do to save your 
life." 

"Ruth, darling Ruth, I have lingered all the day to 
love you once more and tell you I am not dying. Just 
going home, where I will love you still, and when the 
evening shadows fall and you go wandering into the grove 
think of me as with you. Oh, Ruth, I will come so near 
321 



322 LOOKING BACK 

that you will feel my presence in your soul. My darling 
girl, banish every thought of death and bare your bosom 
to the storms of life until the angel comes to call you 
home. Oh, sister dear, if you could only know my feel- 
ings now, in this strange scene that you call death. The 
sting of all life's troubles are more than repaid in these 
passing moments of tranquil bliss, and yet some scenes 
have been so sad. I pleaded with all my soul before 
Caiaphas, but his heart was hardened ; they went their 
way. They nailed him to the cross and then the sun grew 
dim and the world became cold. But while I waited at 
the tomb a form appeared, and it was Jesus, who told me 
that your faith was weak and I must comfort you now, 
as you had me in days gone by." 

"Did Jesus speak to you after he was dead?" 
"Oh, Ruth, you thoughtless child, banish the idea of 
death. He is not dead. They killed his body, but the 
body is just the mask; that is why great souls are un- 
known on earth. Jesus still lives. I cannot tell if he 
spoke or not, or how he appeared or disappeared, but 
the word, 'Mary,' sounded just as he always spoke, and I 
saw him as distinctly as I see you now. His attitude and 
movement were such that I supposed he had come to life 
until he disappeared. The body is not the person, Ruth. 
It is the form that we wear • it is ever dying, dying while 
the unseen yet lives. Love me, sweet, dear Ruth, and let 
me go. John, come ; kiss me and say you will never cease 
to love. Dear ones, you must not weep when I am gone. 
Think of me as living, as one who can still commune, 
influence, comfort and help you when mystery darkens 
all your ways." 

Softly the fading flower swooned away, her lips 
parting and eyes closing; then, strangely, a shadowy 



LOOKING BACK 323 

movement brightened her face and a httle flush came to 
her cheeks ; while John and Ruth, in silence, awaited the 
death angel. 

Three days' journey brought the mourners to the hill- 
side city of Nazareth, where Magdalene had so often 
shocked the sanctimonious with her naughty pranks. 

The tide had turned, harsh criticism had changed to 
love, as from Nazareth, Endor, Nain and Cana, together 
with the throng from the west shore, they sadly ap- 
proached the hillside home of Aunt Susanna, where, near 
the close of day, in the old garden, they laid to sleep 
the form of Mary Magdalene. 

Here, when the tourist visits the ruins of Capernaum, 
where Jesus met rebuff, they mention with pride Peter 
in prison, Paul before Agrippa and John on the Isle of 
Patmos, while they never mention the heroic maid tc 
whom the Gate Beautiful first swung ajar. 



THE PRICKETT HOME 

Goshen, Ind., May 18, 1902. 

My dear M. A. : I will now reply to yours, received 
a few days ago. Yes, I hope our wedding day will be 
bright and sunny, and that sunshine and affection may be 
with us as we journey together. 

I have never seen a mountain, and if I appear green 
to your people when we reach Connecticut, you must 
excuse me. 

I am feeling somewhat depressed this evening, for 
my sister Minerva and I have been over to Solomon's 
Creek today, visiting our old home on the farm. 

The enclosed is a picture of our old home, gotten up 
of late, but it represents us children as we were years ago 
when we were all at home. 

Now mother and James are gone to their long home ; 
father is married again ; the farm is sold, but still it 
seems like home. 

In imagination we were children again ; Mahala, 
Minerva and I. We were romping in the pastures, woods 
and fields ; climbing pear trees, gathering grapes, currants 
and cherries ; and I told Minerva that I could almost hear 
Jeff and the other boys laughing at us when the naughty 
buck sheep chased us onto the haystack, our only safe 
retreat. 

The old maple trees, from which w^e made svigar, are 

there and many of the other trees, old fences and the like 

look natural. We talked of how our brothers used to 

fit us out with hooks and bait to go fishing in the 

324 



LOOKING BACK 325 

creek, where our anticipation far exceeded our realiza- 
tion; that is, as far as fish were concerned, but really, 
we did sometimes get a bite. 

We talked of how father always brought the minister 
home to dinner Sunday, and how mother had to fly 
around waiting on them. 

All these old times seem to come back to us in a sort 
of day dream, as this evening Minerva, Cash and I are 
in their beautiful home here in Goshen. You and I will 
soon be in ours in Oak Park. I know we shall enjoy 
ourselves in the home which you are building for us, 
which we went out to see. 

I wish I might talk with you instead of writing. Shall 
anxiously await your reply. 

Good-night, 

Your Mary. 



OURSELVES 

We are strange beings ; ovir journey through life 
is a wonderful career. Through unfolding years of child- 
hood, later literary pursuits and life experience, we hasten 
forward, aspiring to reach our day-dream fancies. 

When about forty we seem to rest, refllect and 
soliloquize : "Who am I ; what am I ; where from ; where 
bound; why do I enjoy, and why do I weep? How all 
these unseen emotions if my feelings are not controlled 
by an invisible person who knows, thinks and dictates?" 

Reason and science teach that we are complex beings, 
living on the outside of a world which holds us from fall- 
ing off by a force called gravity. 

Our abode, our home world, is so far from other 
worlds that we have no communication with their in- 
habitants. In fact, we do not know that other worlds 
are inhabited by beings standing around on their hind 
legs like ourselves. We simply know that our world is 
voyaging among millions of other worlds, which, at 
certain periods of their life-day, must resemble the con- 
dition of our world today, for their elements and move- 
ments are similar to ours. 

Apparently the entire material universe, of which our 
bodies form a part, is actuated by an invisible force of 
push. Everything is moving on, giving place and taking 
place, cohesion followed by dissolution. 

The velocity of this continued material movement is 
governed by conditions. On one hand the mountains, 
or earth's age wrinkles, rise so slowly that the changes 
326 



LOOKING BACK 327 

of thousands of years may be inperceptible, while, on the 
other, the velocity of the molecular forces astound us, 
for we are taught that the electrons in our own bodies, 
and all other material substance, are continually darting 
around the corners of the atoms at the rapidity of more 
than one hundred thousand miles per second. This state- 
ment seems incredible, except when we consider tele- 
graphy. In that, even if vibration is assumed, some- 
thing travels over the entire distance ; or, something 
awakes something else, which, in turn, arouses the next 
over the entire course. This astounding proof encourages 
us in our faith in infinity and God. 

Truly, death does not end the commotion, for, when 
we bury our dead the molecules begin escaping up 
through the gravel to gain their freedom, and it may 
require thousands of years or but a few seconds ; in the 
end all have flown away into the sweet, pure atmosphere, 
and the form has disappeared. 

This strange inquiry does not end with the study of 
the physical system, for, as stated, we find we are 
possessed by something invisible, and yet personal, to our- 
selves. That which loves, approves, decides, reasons, 
knows right from wrong and wills to do. This self- 
evident, mysterious thing we may be allowed to desig- 
nate as self, or soul. 



WILLIAM JAMES, OF HARVARD 

For information concerning these mysteries we turn 
to public instructors of our country and Europe, and find 
that the higher branches of education are controlled by 
men who teach that man has no soul, or invisible guide. 
What we call soul action is nothing more than reflex 
action from brain compound, aroused by external stimuli. 

A sample of these teachings can be found in the 
works of William James, Professor of Psychology in 
Harvard University of Cambridge, Mass., from where 
agnostic youths return home from college to sympathize 
with father and mother, who are so old-fashioned and 
ignorant as to actually believe they have a soul to save. 

In James' works, of about 1400 pages, issued in 1902, 
which are considered standard in Europe and the United 
Staes, we find, Volume 1, Page 348: 

"The soul, however, when carefully scrutinized, guar- 
antees no immortality; therefore I feel perfectly free to 
discard the word soul from the rest of my books. The 
reader who finds any comfort in the idea of the soul is, 
however, perfectly free to continue to believe in it." 

Volume 2, Page 572 : "My own belief is that the 
question of free will is insoluble." 

Page 576: "We can, therefore, leave the free will 
question out of our account." 

Page 108 : "The entire nervous system is nothing but 
a system of paths between a sensory terminous and a 
muscular glandular." 

Pag-e 179: "Everv individual cell has its own con- 



LOOKING BACK 329 

sciousness, which no other cell knows anything about." 

Page 291 : A man's self is the sum total of all that 
be can call his, not only his body, but his clothes." 

Page 296 : "Self, not personality, unity or pure ego." 

Page 339 : Each pulse of cognitive consciousness, 
each thought dies away or is replaced." 

Page 401 : "Thought itself is a thinker." 

Page 554: "Let us try as we will to express this 
cerebral activity in exclusive mechanical terms. I, for 
one, find it quite impossible — the soul presents nothing 
herself ; and creates nothing." 

Page 656: "The retention of the experience (mem- 
ory) is nothing more or less than the brain paths which 
associate the experience with the occasion and the recall." 

Volume 2, Page 487 : "The only ends that follow im- 
mediately upon our willing seem to be the movement 
of our bodies." 

Page 495 : "Why any state of consciousness should 
precede a movement we do not know." 

Volume 1, Page 64: "The highest centers do prob- 
ably contain nothing but arrangements for representing 
impressions and movements, and other arrangements 
for coupling the activities of these arrangements, which 
in turn excite others, until at last a motor discharge 
occurs." 

Page 29 : "Can we tell precisely in what the feelings 
of the central active self consists? When I forsake 
general principles and grapple with particular it is diffi- 
cult for me to detect any pure spiritual elements at all." 

Page 107: "The currents, once in, must find their 
way out. In getting out they leave their track. The only 
thing they can do, in short, is to deepen old paths or make 
new ones, and the whole plasticity of the brain sums itself 



330 LOOKING BACK 

up in tv/o words, when we call the brain an organ in 
which currents passing in from the sense organs make 
paths which do not easily disappear." 

The reader will here observe that James refers to 
motor discharges and brain paths as though he actually 
believed, or that there was evidence, that such things 
existed. 

All through his works he quotes freely from agnostic 
and atheistic authors who have been attacking religion 
for about three hundred years, from which I will copy 
samples : 

Spino::;a : "Extension is invisible thought, thought is 
invisible extension. Man is not free-willed — God neither 
thinks nor creates." 

John Locke : "Whatever any man may know, or rea- 
sonably believe in, or even conceive, is dependent on 
human experience." 

David Hume : "Ideas are but weakened copies of 
impressions." 

Herbert Spencer: "No idea or feeling arises save 
as the result of some physical force expended in pro- 
ducing it." 

The teachings of this school of instructors are pe- 
culiar, inasmuch as no such ambiguity concerning reason 
or will power has heretofore been taught at large or 
sanctioned by any class of instructors in the history of 
our world. The attempt to shelter under the wing of 
the ancient Greeks is plainly a misconstruction, for the 
wise Greek bowed in wonder before unknown cause. 

Pythagoras, 582 B. C., used as the base of his argu- 
ments transmigration of the soul. One of his expressions 
was : "The soul is a harmony chained to the body." 

Socrates : "Design proves that existence is God." 



LOOKING BACK 331 

Aristotle: "Thinking or thought is God Theology — 
Soul always thinking is immortal." 

Thus I might quote from deep thinkers from Zoro- 
aster down to our times. If one feels disposed to study 
the works of those self-styled liberal exponders from 
Spinoza to James, they will find their arguments running 
essentially in the same groove, virtually this : Animals, 
including men, are not possessed by an invisible guide. 
That something which discerns between right and wrong 
and dictates to the body whether it should follow the 
path of desire or virtue, they absolutely ignore. Because 
they cannot comprehend the mysteries of the soul, they 
dwell upon and cling to tangible material effects, actually 
assuming effect without cause. They disallow that the 
good Samaritan and the Levite had exactly the same ex- 
terior stimuli. They are like the woman at Jacob's well, 
who could comprehend the well and mountain, but could 
not comprehend the invisible spring. She awoke when 
told how her secrets were known, but they awake not, 
as the result of intention. 

James makes a feeble attempt to prove that matter 
thinks when he says : "Every individual cell has its own 
consciousness, which no other cell knows anything about 
— associated by brain paths." 

What profound reasoning; think of it. Betts tells 
us that there are three thousand million cells, or neurons, 
in an adult nervous system ; then think of the paths lead- 
ing from one cell to the other. We learn that light, or 
electricity, would travel around our world eight times in 
one second ; I wonder, if at the same rate of speed, how 
long it would take an exterior stimulus to cover the 
distance over one of his brain paths, from cell to cell. 

"Oh," but one says, "Richardson, you do not under- 



332 LOOKING BACK 

stand James." Allowed, but if a man of my experience 
does not understand materialism, how is a youth of 
twenty years expected to understand it? 

Man cannot explain memory, but he knows it is the 
principle in the ego, or soul. To illustrate : In a crowd 
I overhear a voice. I say to the talker, "I recognize your 
voice, but I cannot place you." "Think again," he says. 
Now, I start back over life's trail, listening to voices, 
one-two-twenty-forty years, then I say, "your name is 
Edwin Pease." "Yes," he says, "we were boys together 
fifty years ago." 

Did this familiar voice, the true External Stimulus, 
awaken something which existed, or did it create some- 
thing in my brain? 

James calls this a motor discharge, which we will 
admit, but he wavers when he says, "Why any state of 
consciousness should precede a movement we do not 
know." Then he adds, "The soul presents nothing her- 
self and creates nothing." 

Exterior Stimuli, he assumes, awakens the sinews, 
which in turn cause the body to act. Do not External 
Stimuli cause the vegetable to act ! Go set your little 
geranium in the south window and see how soon it turns 
its pretty face to the sun. These acts may receive their 
origin in the law of inclination, permitted but not emitted, 
while every act of a sane animal is an exhibition of in- 
tention. Exterior Stimuli are individual causes. Inten- 
tional response is of invisible individual origin. Reflex 
action would be nothing but continued Exterior Stimuli. 

The invisible actor is the man ; see him out on the 
wings of the soul in the far away Eternity, weighing the 
stars, predicting their course, calculating their velocity 
and testing their elements. 



LOOKING BACK 333 

See our Edison bottling up the lightning's wild vim 
and causing it, in its attempt to regain liberty, to serve 
man silently and safely. Would the Stimuli which cause 
Edison to invent cause any other man of the same ex- 
perience and education to evolve the same results? 
Answer yes, and you expose your weakness. Answer no, 
and you establish the mysterious, invisible thinking soul. 

Materialism is an educational attempt to compel the 
religious world to prove that which they do not profess 
to comprehend. Knowledge is the accumulation of past 
earthly experience. Send a weakling through college 
and he has obtained knowledge, but he is the same simple 
Simon. 

Wisdom is innate ; it consists of individual ability to 
comprehend. It is peculiar to each self, and cannot be 
obtained through experience or education. 

According to James, self is the body, clothes and 
surroundings. According to Genesis it is the image of 
God. Is God an animal? Jesus said to the Samaritan 
woman : "God is spirit." Is Jesus authority ? Man's 
body, wealth and surroundings are not even his, they are 
simply under his control for a season. Self is that 
strange quality which designates one person from an- 
other. Memory and self are closely connected. It may 
be that the soul possesses memory of experience in other 
worlds, which, like all absent memory, awaits recall. 

Sleep represents a mysterious condition of the soul. 
When the veil of consciousness begins to vanish one 
enters a sphere which is not controlled by reason, but 
rather by emotion ; which, in dreaming, is often very in- 
tense and dictates wildly. 

The lower animals are possessed of a soul, but if they 
have a sense of right and wrong it is undeveloped, in fact, 



334 LOOKING BACK 

the connecting link between man and beast may be con- 
sciousness of wrong. 

Faith is an easy couch on which to repose ; as a 
bridge it spans dark rivers of uncertainty, but it requires 
no faith to beheve in the soul. 

Even Spinoza must have observed that desire, reason 
and conscience are under the control of a distant power 
which can brush them all aside and go on its way, but 
it does not control memory. 

Unconsciousness, whether in sleep or in death, ought 
not to frighten us. If in sleep it does not impair memory, 
it does not in death, as they are both simply the veil 
which shv:ts ofif our view. 

In short, the soul appears through the body as it; 
organ, giving us a view of its wonder through the flash- 
light of sensibility, one view at a time and no more. 

In some mysterious, incomprehensible way the past 
travels with the present. Memory, anticipation and 
dreams are often far more real than when face to face 
with animal activity. 

We cannot comprehend first cause ; result is our only 
guide, but we dimly comprehend the apparent steps from 
the mineral to the spiritual. 

Mineral life is inspiring in that it represents the star- 
lit Eternity into which we gaze in wonder and contem- 
plate the incessant transformation. 

Vegetable life creeps softly after, in obedience to the 
law of inclination, the roots search in darkness for moist- 
ure while the foliage turns to the morning sun in gladness. 

Animal life cuts clear from vegetable moorings mys- 
teriously equipped with an invisible guide. 



GLADSTONE 

Spiritual life is the soul unincumbered by material 
bondage. 

To prove that extinction or enfeeblement of the body 
does not impair the soul, we will consider the life of Glad- 
stone, for if we find an isolated case whose mind did not 
'.veaken along with the body, it is positive proof that all 
30-called dotage or drowsiness of the aged is simply the 
effect of the live soul impeded in its effort to recall fa- 
miliar occurrences through impaired organs. This is ob- 
vious from the fact that when the object has been recalled 
the spiritual vision of the object appears in all its original 
minuteness. 

Everyone who reads knows that Gladstone when he 
carried the Home Rule Bill in the House of Commons, 
at the age of eighty-four, was as elegant, scrutinizing, and 
powerful in his debates as when forty-four years old. 
Still at that age his sight, hearing, power of recall of 
names, and tottering form were incessantly passing away. 

Is not this evidence that two distinct agencies were 
at the time involved, life and death. 

According to James' no-soul theory, his speech was 
involuntary reflex action, governed by neither will nor 
memory, while according to reason the spirit which con- 
trolled this wonderful man's feeble, tottering form was as 
clear and bright as it had been in days gone by. 

Falling asleep in death is not a new venture. We are 
unconscious through life of all we know except as mo- 
mentary knowledge comes forth through the organs, 
335 



336 LOOKING BACK 

which in sleep as in death are unconscious of surround- 
ing existence. 

Jesus said, "I go that I may wake him out of sleep." 
"She is not dead but sleepeth." 

If man is simply a creation of animated matter, he 
dies like a vegetable, if he is a dual creature, soul and 
body, when one part ceases to be, the other is not self, 
but if man is a spiritual being temporarily inhabiting and 
partially controlling a creation of animation the dissolu- 
tion of the animated form must set him free and leave the 
spiritual being intact. 

In memory, of childhood days, we apparently go back 
and view the scenes again, but if we really did go back 
we would see them as they are and not as they were, so 
we must give up that theory. 

The most prevalent materialistic doctrine is that mem- 
ory is an impression of the occurrences stamped on the 
brain. This theory when turned upon" itself plainly estab- 
lishes the invisible soul as the being who discerns the 
impressions. 

The most modern atheistic theory is that memory is 
not a retained impression, but rather a new creation 
caused by immediate external stimuli. See Volume 1, 
page 649, of James' Psychology. 

As all sane expressions are based on foreknowledge, 
this theory assumes that the cold exterior stimuli at the 
motor discharge instantly re-create the experience of 
our entire passed life. 

This fallacy, together with the brain path theory, 
proves that excess of possessions coupled with classical 
education creates degeneracy. 

Under the guise of philosophy and science these in- 
structors are not only attacking the church but the vital 
spark of life. 




ARTHUR RICHARDSON AND HIS TWINS. 



LOOKING BACK 337 

I have spent years in the principal parts of the world 
studying the people and their modes of worship and I 
have found that all religions are one and beautiful in that 
they teach that at death the soul will be free. The righ- 
teous and wicked will be separated and our future des- 
tination will depend upon our personal motives while 
living in the body. 

Whether our soul theory be a myth, mystery or truism, 
one thing is obvious, those living under the conviction 
that their apparent secret motives are in some way ac- 
tually known, and will stand for or against them at death, 
Avill lead more pure lives, and make better parents, citi- 
zens and neighbors than those who imbibe materialism 
through faithless instructors who apparently hope there 
will be no reckoning day. 

The immortal soul has been the staff of hope on which 
frail humanity has leaned for ages. The American 
Indian stood in the evening gloom, shading his brows 
with his feeble hand as he tried to look over the cold 
waves of death just to get a glimpse of the unexplored 
happy hunting ground. John, while on the isle of Patmos 
invented pearly gates and golden streets. He had caught 
the symbolic mode of teaching from Jesus in that ideas 
transformed into object lessons are more easily compre- 
hended. 

Jesus taught the soul theory from start to finish. "The 
kingdom of God cometh not by observation — the king- 
dom of God is within you." "Fear not them which kill 
the body but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both 
body and soul in Hell." "It is the spirit that quickeneth, 
the flesh profiteth nothing." "The words I speak unto 
you are spirit and are life." Still he illustrated his ideas 
through object lessons. 



338 LOOKING BACK 

Many who do not profess actually believe in the im- 
mortality of the soul. When unprofessing parents weep 
at the death of their sweet babe; they somehow believe 
that after life's dark storms are all passed, they will find 
that their pet has been in the care of loved ones who have 
gone before. 

Any thoughtful person when observing their hand 
must discern two distinct forces in existence, spiritual and 
material or visible and invisible. And that the invisible is 
the force which knows and drives the material. Thus, as 
the exterior stimuli through the ear or other senses 
awaken the reason, so the invisible through the dififerent 
functions of the brain emit their conclusion, based on 
world experience and scrutinized by the spirit, or a God- 
given power we call reason, which is often swayed by 
sly will power. 

The aged are continually calling up minor incidents of 
forty years ago, while yesterday's events evade recall. 
Why is this ? 

It is not that the obscurity of vision, confusion of re- 
sults and uncertainty of doubt which befogs life today 
darkened the path in the same way fifty years ago, but 
time has removed the obscurity and the original appears, 
Could we live another fifty years, might not the cloud 
which now befogs our path have vanished and we again 
remember the glance of recognition of yesterday, which 
now seems hard to recall. 

No one contends but that our journey of life is tra- 
veled in utter darkness. No recall of the past, no dis- 
cernment of the future. If then one unimportant act or 
thought of the long ago did record itself, may not all have 
done the same, and may it not be that when the veil of 
obscurity is drawn aside, all the minute details of life will 




OUR OAK PARK HOME — MRS. RICHARDSON, OUR DOG JOE, AND 
FAMILY GROUP. 



LOOKING BACK 339 

blend the awakened past with the present, and we dis- 
cover that our birth was not a beginning but rather a for- 
getting, and death the welcome morning call. 

I stood with the mother of the James boys, beside the 
grave of Jesse, in her door yard, when she told how that 
once when Jesse thought he was dying he took his watch 
charm and handed it to a comrade, saying, "Take this to 
sister Anna and tell her to pray that we meet in Heaven." 
That mother's tears did not seem to me like crocodile 
tears. In fact there is something about the deadly bandit 
which we sometimes admire, but if there is anything fas- 
cinating about Harvard James and his sympathizers who 
sneak in under the cloak of morality to influence the 
young to turn against the great thinking spiritual world, 
I, for one, cannot see it. 

I may be too blunt and plain in my remarks concern- 
ing soulless advocates but I feel that these teachers are 
not only swinging to the other extreme from religion, but 
through selfishness or ignorance they are creating unrest 
and war. 

Most of our national leaders have been drilled in these 
theories and while many are too wise to accept them there 
are those who accept what they are taught just as a calf 
takes milk from the cow. 

These thoughtless learned often become political lead- 
ers. Especially where finances are concerned, for with 
this no sotil theory in view, their only object in life can 
be aggrandizement and luxury tinctured with animal 
passion. 



EVENING OF MY LIFE DAY 

Years have passed since my cycling days and ye'c I 
am strong and athletic. 

My daughter Minnie and her husband, Dr. B. H. 
Chamberlain, with their only boy Hiland, have lately sold 
their home on Washington boulevard and are not yet 
settled again. 

Arthur and Jessie, with three children, Marvin and 
die twins, Jean and Willard, have an elegant home on 
Keystone avenue, Rivert Forest. He owns the Inland 
vVhitelead Co., which is a large concern. 

Alberta and her husband, George Carlson, with their 
three bright girls, Mary, Mildred and Frances, live in 
their comfortable home near me in Oak Park. George 
is captain of our fire department. 

Thus I have my children and grandchildren around 
me, all in good health and standing in the community. 

I am still conducting my manufacture of copper and 
tinware on my property, corner Washington boulevard 
and Curtis street. My 75 years does not seem to trouble 
me, for I feel as well as I did fifty years ago. 

Mary Hoyt, my first wife, long since entered the 
shadows where faults and failings grow dim, while vir- 
tues and charms blend the past, present and future into 
one eternal morning of gladness. 

In 1902, I married Mrs. Williamson, whose maiden 
name was Mary Prickett, of Goshen, Ind. Our days 
together have been continued sunshine and joy. Even- 
ings when I return home each tells of the day's joys, 
troubles and ludicrous incidents. 
340 



LOOKING BACK 341 

My Mary not only runs the home, buying, paying, 
attending to her church trotting and downtown shop- 
ping, but she is interested in my ups and downs at the 
factory. Inquires all about Dorfman, my factory super- 
intendent; Bilthouse, my mechanical engineer, and car- 
ries in mind my business associates, knows their names 
and who they represent. 

To me, a man who expects his wife to stay in her 
place, never deserving of praise, misses much he might 
enjoy if he knew enough to appreciate her worth. Many 
a man's success in life is owing to the genius of his wife, 
a fact which neither seems to understand. 

Our home, northwest corner East and Chicago ave- 
nue. Oak Park, we built in 1909 and 1910. The house 
is spacious and elegant, but the gem of Fair Oaks sub- 
division is our large yard. 

Of the six stately burr oaks, known to be hundreds 
of years old, one stands near our sleeping room window, 
on which is the house or home of a mother squirrel, who 
when she has babies allows no other squirrel to even 
climb the tree. Each day she comes down to the kitchen 
for dinner, often sitting on Mrs. Richardson's shoulder 
while eating and does not even care if her tail does brush 
the ladies' eyes. 

There are about forty other large trees in the yard 
besides, on either side of the bridge, a dense thicket of 
thorn and crab apple trees. Here the wrens and robins 
raise their broods in harmony with the saucy sparrows 
who live with us all the year, eat that which would be 
thrown away, and never disturb other birds' nests. They 
all bathe in the same pool and actually seem to appre- 
ciate our little dog Joe, who assumes great responsibility 
in keeping the cats from catching the young birds and 
the boys from climbing over our high iron fence. 



FIFTY-FOUR MILES' HIKE 

The latest excitement in our neighborhood has been 
the exploit of myself and my son Arthur, with several 
other aspirants, attempting without training, to walk to 
Channel Lake, fifty-four miles, in one day. 

Our plan was for the men to leave Oak Park at 
sundown and walk in the dark thirty miles, and the 
ladies leave home, in automobile, at 3 :30 in the morning, 
then all take breakfast together at Libertyville, from 
where the ladies would accompany the men on the last 
twenty-four miles. 

The evening before the start we had a laughable 
wrangle as to who, of the men, could or could not pull 
through to Libertyville, as the heavy fall rains had so 
impaired the roads that there would be much high step- 
ping and low dipping as we stumbled along in the dark. 
Also, we knew that the journey from Libertyville to 
Antioch, being over clay hills, would be either slip-slop 
or hard and sharp for the feet of the ladies, but every- 
body seemed anxious to make a record. 

Jessie, Arthur's wife, and Mrs. Buhler felt dubious 
about the outcome of the ladies' walk, but my wife de- 
clared she would like to see the man who had walked 
thirty miles in the night that she could not accompany 
through the following day. 

Of the very many aspirants all found plausible ex- 
cuses except the two Richardsons and their wives, Eu- 
gene Buhler, and Paul Highland and their wives, Albert 
Hauter, Edd Hauter and Bruce Tate. 
342 




FANNIE PETERSON. 



LOOKING BACK 343 

Accordingly, as the autumn sun was casting its last 
gleam through the old oaks we seven men grouped for a 
picture, by a neighbor lady, who declared it would be 
nice for the survivors, if any, to look at after they had 
become weaker and wiser. 

After kissing all the kissable ladies and promising to 
take it easy, we, in spite of ourselves, lit out at a pace 
that would have done justice to trained pedestrians. 

In River Forest we turned north on Keystone avenue 
and then on to the country road, when we broke step 
and strung out, each man attending to his own feet. 

It was understood that we stop for supper at Des- 
plaines, but when we arrived at Kolze, seven miles out, 
the two Hauters, Highland and Tate ordered ham and 
eggs, while Buhler, Arthur and myself pegged on fast, 
because the others had declared they would catch us 
before we reached Desplaines, but they did not. 

At Desplaines, thirteen miles out, we found the sum- 
mer restaurant closed, but in a sort of hotel annex we 
found a damsel of about 12 years ready to prepare for 
us ham, eggs and coffee. 

She did step around like a regular woman, for which 
we recompensed her liberally, for she was exceptionally 
quaint and interesting for a child. 

While we were eating, the rear guard arrived, when 
Albert and Paul came in, saying Bruce and Edd were 
waiting outside. 

When we were ready to start Edd and Bruce were no- 
where to be found. We inquired, called and whistled, 
but no response, so concluded they had either become 
discouraged and taken the train for Chicago or gone on 
ahead to fool us, so we five struck out for Wheeling. 

At every house the dogs came out barking, which set 



344 LOOKING BACK 

the dogs at the next house agoing, who, together with 
the dogs at the last house, which had not yet stopped 
barking, gave us real dog encouragement. 

To keep up our spirits we accompanied the dogs by 
striking up "Old Black Joe." Really we lacked only a 
bagpipe to have made the farmers think Gabriel was at 
hand calling the elect from their graves. 

At every bend in the old Desplaines River the water 
babbled loudly, seeming to join in our merriment, as we 
jested, told stories and laughed through the joyous hours 
of our moonlight escapade along the winding stream. 

At Wheeling, twenty-two miles out, Buhler began 
to realize he ought not to have attempted so strenuous 
an effort, but said he would stick it out forty miles, to 
Gray's Lake, after which we could continue our foolish- 
ness if we did not know enough to get in and ride. 

Tate and Ed Hauter put in their appearance at Lib- 
ertyville, just before the ladies arrived, and to prove they 
had actually walked all the way, exhibited blisters on 
their heels. 

The ladies teased us and seemed greatly amused while 
arousing us for breakfast, but soon we were all out in 
the glorious dawn while the sun was yet lingering beyond 
old Lake Michigan. 

Our way was over the hills which overlook. the head 
waters of the sleepy Desplaines. Touched with a glim- 
mer of pathos at the golden dawn, Arthur and I stopped 
to listen to my wife's sentimental refrain: 

"Not so long ago the red men with their squaws and 
pappooses gathered here, when the leaves were falling, 
to celebrate their autumn powwow, feasting on wild rice, 
berries and venison, never dreaming that a pale-faced 
foe lurked on an unknown shore who would soon appear 



LOOKING BACK 345 

to drive them far away from their own hunting ground, 
never more to return to join in the chase or the young 
braves to woo the sun-burned Indian maids." 

This httle day dream of long ago seemed to awaken 
serious thought, into which Arthur took part thus : 

"Isn't this lovely away from the great city of catch 
as catch can — to enjoy the inspiration of these quiet 
hills and valleys? I wonder if this morning may not be 
just a glimmer of worlds in the far away Eternity more 
beautiful, than ours. Do you think, father, there are 
other worlds like ours?" 

"Not exactly like ours, my boy, there are no two 
cherries on the tree just alike, still like folks they are 
all similar. Eternity is the abode of millions of worlds — 
see, there, our party are climbing the next hill ; no more 
monologues here, we must overtake them." 

From Gray's Lake, when our party of eleven had 
dwindled to five, Arthur, Hauter and Highland pegged 
steadily on, while Mary and I lagged to enjoy the beauti- 
ful northern hilly country. 

We really did enjoy our lark, as Mary called it. She 
observed every interesting thing. Listened to the bark- 
ing of the squirrels, songs of the birds and strayed into 
the woods for pretty autumn leaves and berries until her 
arms were full. 

Our daughter Vida, at Carroll College, who knew of 
our contemplated walk, telephoned to Chicago and on 
learning we had actually started took the train to Anti- 
och and came down the road to surprise us. 

We were loafing along when our Weiders (Vida), 
whom we had not seen in eight weeks, sprang from a 
concealment and grabbed us. 

Surely I would not have been much more surprised 



346 LOOKING BACK 

if one of the fair sex from the planet Mars had accosted 
us. 

After the shower of kisses Mary and I forgot our 
sore toes, and, with her, hurried on, visiting all the way 
until we neared our destination, when in the woods, a 
flood of red bitter-sweet berries attracted their attention 
and, in spite of all I could do or say, they left the road 
and began browsing again. 

Vida's animation reached serene heights, when from 
a perch on a fallen tree she cried, "Oh, Papa, see how 
I can climb. Come up here and see the rippling wave 
of old Fox Lake dance in the blushing rays of the even- 
ing sun. Oh, isn't it a pity that girls cannot fly." 

When we arrived at the home of my brother, G. M, 
Richardson, we found Arthur, Hauter and Highland, 
with many friends, awaiting us, all pleased to learn that 
the Richardsons were far from being played out. 

After dinner, and Amanda (my brother's wife) had 
taken Mary and me to the kitchen and exhibited their 
24-pound turkey for dinner next day, we gathered in the 
big living room, when even those who were tired were 
able to tease and tell stories which had the semblance of 
truth. 

It was not intended for a Richardson reunion, still 
there were Richardsons enough to render the occasion 
one of merriment and joy. 

Besides mates and friends, the following Richardsons 
were present. 

My brother Gordon. 
His son Perin. 
His son Merrick. 
His son Lawrence. 
His son George. 




BARBARA BEAVER. 



LOOKING BACK 347 

His daughter Gertie. 

His daughter Ehiia. • ■ 

Myself — Merrick Abiier. 

My son — Merrick Arthur. 

And — Vida. 
We had a high old time, for the Richardsons when 
teasing are said to be somewhat given to exaggeration, 
so one can easily understand that when they cut loose 
no one felt sleepy. 



BACK HOME 

The following evening a few of our immediate 
friends gathered to congratulate us, among whom were 
two of Vida's college chums, (Bob) Barbary Beaver and 
(Peter) Fannie Peterson, who with our Welders made 
an interesting trio of entertainers. 

Really, when Bob was acting "When Angelina John- 
son Came Swinging Down the Line," one could see the 
pretty colored girl, right from the cotton fields, shaking 
her heels to the tune of the "Old Virginia Reel." 

Peter singing "Maggie, Maggie, the Cows Are in the 
Clover," was enough to make the most sedate forget 
themselves, especially the last verse, where Maggie had 
gone to the county fair and was up in a balloon spooning 
with her lover, when away in the distance from the 
kitchen door she faintly heard that old familiar scream, 
"Maggie, Maggie"— 

The cows are in the clover. 

They've trampled there since morn. 

Go and drive them, Maggie, 
To the old red barn. 

Thus ended our glad, eccentric lark to Channel Lake, 
but our hikes still continue. Since our Channel Lake epi- 
sode, our neighbor, Mrs. Wm. F. Kraft, together with 
Mrs, Richardson and myself, walked in one day to Elgin, 
thirty miles, and really these two interesting dames did 
give me a right lively chase. 
348 



LOOKING BACK 349 

I close this book with regret that I am unable, throtfgh 
language, to express my conviction of the immortality 
of the soul of both man and beast. Consummated life 
on earth consists of coming from and returning to ; 
creation, action and dissolution of the body do not account 
for the personal, invisible cause of action. You, dear 
reader, and myself are now cloaked in garments of dust. 
When this mantle is laid aside we shall know each other. 
We shall remember more distinctly ; see more clearly 
love more dearly ; enjoy more purely and wonder tha 
our faith while on earth was so weak. 

Merrick Abner Richardson. 



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