And I might as well tell it right here, as any time—she never got to the World’s Fair at all. For while she wuz a-payin’ a last visit previous to her departure, she wuz took down bed-sick for three weeks. And the Fair bein’ at that time on its last leglets, as you may say, it had took her so long to go the rounds—the Fair broke up before she got up agin.
Miss Pooler felt awful about it, so they say; it wuz such a dretful disapintment to her that they had to watch her for some time, she wuz that melancholy about it, and depressted, that they didn’t know what she would be led to do to herself.
And besides her own affliction about the Fair, and the trouble she gin her own folks a-watchin’ her for months afterwards, she got ’em mad at her on both sides. Seven different wimmen she kep to home, jest as they wuz a-startin’ for the Fair, and belated ’em.
Eleven of the relations on her side and on hisen hain’t spoke to her sence. And the family where she wuz took sick on their hands talked hard of suin’ her for damage. For they wuz real smart folks, and had been makin’ their calculations for over three years to go to the Fair, and had lotted on it day and night, and through her sickness they wuz kep to home, and didn’t go to it at all.
But to resoom.
Jest as I turned round from Miss Pooler, I see Miss
Solomon Stebbins and
Arvilly Lanfear come in the depot.
Arvilly come to bid me good-bye, and Miss Stebbins wuz with her, and so she come in too.
Arvilly said, “That she should be in Chicago to that World’s Fair, if her life wuz spared.” She said, “That she wouldn’t miss bein’ in the place where wimmen wuz made sunthin’ of, and had sunthin’ to say for themselves, not for ontold wealth.”
She said, “That she jest hankered after seein’ one woman made out of pure silver—and then that other woman sixty-five feet tall; she said it would do her soul good to see men look up to her, and they have got to look up to her if they see her at all, for she said that it stood to reason that there wuzn’t goin’ to be men there sixty-five feet high.
“And then that temple there in Chicago, dreamed out and built by a woman—the nicest office buildin’ in the world! jest think of that—in the World. And a woman to the bottom of it, and to the top too. Why,” sez Arville, “I wouldn’t miss the chance of seein’ wimmen swing right out, and act as if their souls wuz their own, not for the mines of Golconda.” Sez she, “More than a dozen wimmen have told me this week they wanted to go; but they wuzn’t able. But I sez to ’em, I’m able to go, and I’m a-goin’—I am goin’ afoot.”
“Why, Arvilly,” sez I, “you hain’t a-goin’ to Chicago a-walkin’ afoot!”
[Illustration: “Why, Arvilly!”]
“Yes, I be a-goin’ to Chicago a-walkin’ afoot, and I am goin’ to start next Monday mornin’.”
“Why’ee!” sez I, “you mustn’t do it; you must let me lend you some money.”