I pitied him for his short-sightedness, but unconsciously I did, I dare presoom to say, onbend a little in my proud gait.
And we proceeded onwards.
Wall, on our way home we heard a bystander a-speakin’ about the beautiful vistas, and the other one replied, and said how wonderful and beautiful he considered ’em.
And Josiah sez to me, “Where be them ‘Vistas,’ anyway? I’ve hearn more talk about ’em than a little—do they keep ’em in cases, or be they rolled up in rolls? I want to see ’em, anyway,” and he turned and went to go into one of the big palaces. Sez he, “He seemed to be a-pintin’ this way; we must have missed ’em the day we wuz here.”
But I took holt of his arm and drawed him back, and I pinted down the long, beautiful distance, the glorious view bounded by the snowy sculptured heights of palaces—long, green, flower-gemmed avenues of beauty—with the blue waters a-shinin’ calm behind towerin’ statutes of marvellous conception, and sez I—
“Behold a vista!”
[Illustration: “Behold a vista!”]
He put on his specs and looked clost, and sez he—
“I don’t see nothin’ out of the common.”
“No,” sez I; “spiritual things are spiritually discerned. The wind bloweth where it listeth,” sez I.
“Oh, bring up the Bible,” sez he; “there is a time for all things.”
He acted real pudgiky.
But I at last got him to understand what a vista wuz, and I told him that Mr. Burnham and the others who had charge of buildin’ this marvellous city took no end of pains to design these marvellous picters—more lovely than wuz ever painted on canvas sence the world begun.
And sez I, as I looked round me once more, some as Moses did on Pisga’s height, “and viewed the landscape o’er”—
Sez I, “I must thank the head one here—I must thank Director-General Davis in my own name, and in the name of Jonesville, and the world, for gittin’ up this incomparable spectacle, the like of which will never be seen agin by livin’ eyes.”
And if you’ll believe it, I hadn’t hardly finished speakin’ when who should come towards us but General Davis himself. I knew him in a minute, for his picter had been printed in papers as many as two or three times since the Fair begun—it wuz a real good-lookin’ face, anyway, in a paper or out of it.
And I gathered up the folds of my cotton umbrell more gracefully in my left hand, and kinder shook out the drapery of my alpaca skirt, and wuz jest advancin’ to accost him, when Josiah laid holt of my arm and whispered in a sharp axent—
“I won’t have it. You hain’t a-goin’ to stop and visit with that man.”
I faced him with dignity and with some madness in my liniment, and sez I, “Why?”
Sez he, “Do you ask why?”
“Yes,” sez I, with that same noble, riz-up look on my eyebrow—“why?”
“Wall,” sez he, a-lookin’ kinder meachin’, “I want sunthin’ to eat, and you’d probable talk a hour with him by the way you’ve praised up his doin’s here.”