Half a Century eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 352 pages of information about Half a Century.

“Schure mum, an’ ye mustn’t be afther blamin’ de rist av us fur that fellow’s impidence.  Schure, an’ there’s some av us that ’ud kick him out av the ward, if we could, for the way he talks to ye afther all that you have done for ‘im an’ fur all av us.”

“Why! why!  How can you feel so?  What difference is it to me how he talks?  It does him good to scold, and what is the use of a man having a mother if he cannot scold her when he is in pain?  I wish you would all scold me!  It would do you ever so much good.  You quite break my heart with your patience.  Do, please be as cross as bears, all of you, whenever you feel like it, and I will get you well in half the time.”

“Schure mum, an’ nobody iver saw the likes of ye!”

A man was brought from a field hospital, and laid in our ward, and one evening his stump was giving him great pain, when the cross man advised him to send for me, and exclaimed: 

“There’s mother, now; send for her.”

“Oh!” groaned the sufferer, “what can she do?”

“I don’t know what she can do; an’ she don’t know what she can do; but just you send for her!  She’ll come, and go to fussin’ an’ hummin’ about just like an old bumble-bee, an’ furst thing you know you won’t know nothin’, for the pain’ll be gone an’ you’ll be asleep.”



The second or third day of my hospital work, Mrs. Gaylord, the Chaplain’s wife, came and inquired to what order I belonged, saying that the officers of the hospital were anxious to know.  I laughed, and told her I belonged exclusively to myself, and did not know of any order which would care to own me.  Then she very politely inquired my name, and I told her it was Mrs. Jeremiah Snooks, when she went away, apparently doubting my statement.  I had been in Campbell almost a week, when Dr. Kelly came and said: 

“Madam, I have been commissioned by the officers of this hospital to ascertain your name.  None of us know how to address you, and it is very awkward either in speaking to you, or of you, not to be able to name you.”

“Doctor, will not Mrs. Snooks do for a name, for all the time I shall be here?”

“No, madam, it will not do.”

I was very unwilling to give my name, which was prominently before the public, on account of my Indian lecture and Tribune letters, but I seemed to have at least a month’s work to do in Campbell.  Hospital stores were pouring in to my city address, and being sent to me at a rate which created much wonder, and the men who had given me their confidence had a right to know who I was.

So I gave my name, and must repeat it before the Doctor could realize the astounding fact; even then he took off his cap and said: 

“It is not possible you are the Mrs. ——­, the lady who lectured in Doctor Sunderland’s church!”

So I was proclaimed, with a great flourish of trumpets.  For two hours my patients seemed afraid of me, and it did seem too bad to merge that giantess of the bean-pole and the press and the tall woman of the platform both in poor little insignificant me!  It was like blotting out the big bear and the middle-sized bear from the old bear story, and leaving only the one poor little bear to growl over his pot of porridge.

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Half a Century from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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