I could not speak for a little while, as I took the money, for thinking of the many, many things this grand old man had done for me.
‘Do ye think these boots’ll do?’ he asked, as he held up to the light the pair he had taken off in the evening.
‘They look all right,’ I said.
’Ain’t got no decent squeak to ’em now, an’ they seem t’ look kind o’ clumsy. How’re your’n?’ he asked.
I got them out from under the berth and we inspected them carefully deciding in the end they would pass muster.
The steward had made up our berths, when he came, and lit our room for us. Our feverish discussion of attire had carried us far past midnight, when we decided to go to bed.
‘S’pose we musn’t talk t’ no strangers there ‘n New York,’ said Uncle Eb, as he lay down. ’I’ve read ’n the Tribune how they’ll purtend t’ be friends an’ then grab yer money an’ run like Sam Hill. If I meet any o’ them fellers they’re goin’ t’ find me purty middlin’ poor comp’ny.’
We were up and on deck at daylight, viewing the Palisades. The lonely feeling of an alien hushed us into silence as we came to the noisy and thickening river craft at the upper end of the city. Countless window panes were shining in the morning sunlight. This thought was in my mind that somewhere in the innumerable host on either side was the one dearer to me than any other. We enquired our way at the dock and walked to French’s Hotel, on Printing House Square. After breakfast we went and ordered all the grand new things we had planned to get. They would not be ready for two days, and after talking it over we decided to go and make a short call. Hope, who had been up and looking for us a long time, gave us a greeting so hearty we began to get the first feeling of comfort since landing. She was put out about our having had breakfast, I remember, and said we must have our things brought there at once.
‘I shall have to stay at the hotel awhile,’ I said, thinking of the new clothes.
‘Why,’ said Mrs Fuller, ’this girl has been busy a week fixing your rooms and planning for you. We could not hear of your going elsewhere. It would be downright ingratitude to her.’
A glow of red came into the cheeks of Hope that made me ashamed of my remark. I thought she looked lovelier in her pretty blue morning gown, covering a broad expanse of crinoline, than ever before.
’And you’ve both got to come and hear me sing tonight at the church,’ said she. ’I wouldn’t have agreed to sing if I had not thought you were to be here.’
We made ourselves at home, as we were most happy to do, and that afternoon I went down town to present to Mr Greeley the letter that David Brower had given me.