Around The Tea-Table eBook

Thomas De Witt Talmage
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 260 pages of information about Around The Tea-Table.

Where is the glory now?  What has become of the velvet?  Who wears the jewels?  Would Amy Robsart have so longed to get into the castle had she known its coming ruin?  Where are those who were waited on, and those who waited?  What has become of Elizabeth, the visitor, and Robert Dudley, the visited?  Cromwell’s men dashed upon the scene; they drained the lakes; they befouled the banquet hall; they dismantled the towers; they turned the castle into a tomb, on whose scarred and riven sides ambition and cruelty and lust may well read their doom.  “So let all thine enemies perish, O Lord; but let them that love him be as the sun when he goeth forth in his might.”

CHAPTER XIII.

The midnight lecture.

At eight o’clock precisely, on consecutive nights, we stepped on the rostrum at Chicago, Zanesville.  Indianapolis, Detroit, Jacksonville, Cleveland and Buffalo.  But it seemed that Dayton was to be a failure.  We telegraphed from Indianapolis, “Missed connection.  Cannot possibly meet engagement at Dayton.”  Telegram came back saying, “Take a locomotive and come on!” We could not get a locomotive.  Another telegram arrived:  “Mr. Gale, the superintendent of railroad, will send you in an extra train.  Go immediately to the depot!” We gathered up our traps from the hotel floor and sofa, and hurled them at the satchel.  They would not go in.  We put a collar in our hat, and the shaving apparatus in our coat pocket; got on the satchel with both feet, and declared the thing should go shut if it split everything between Indianapolis and Dayton.  Arriving at the depot, the train was ready.  We had a locomotive and one car.  There were six of us on the train—­namely, the engineer and stoker on the locomotive; while following were the conductor, a brakeman at each end of the car, and the pastor of a heap of ashes on Schermerhorn street, Brooklyn.  “When shall we get to Dayton?” we asked.  “Half-past nine o’clock!” responded the conductor.  “Absurd!” we said; “no audience will wait till half-past nine at night for a lecturer.”

Away we flew.  The car, having such a light load, frisked and kicked, and made merry of a journey that to us was becoming very grave.  Going round a sharp curve at break-neck speed, we felt inclined to suggest to the conductor that it would make no especial difference if we did not get to Dayton till a quarter to ten.  The night was cold, and the hard ground thundered and cracked.  The bridges, instead of roaring, as is their wont, had no time to give any more than a grunt as we struck them and passed on.  At times it was so rough we were in doubt as to whether we were on the track or taking a short cut across the field to get to our destination a little sooner.  The flagmen would hastily open their windows and look at the screeching train.  The whistle blew wildly, not so much to give the villages warning as to let them know that something terrible had gone through. 

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Around The Tea-Table from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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