I saw Mrs Fuller in one of the boxes and made haste to speak with her. She had just landed, having left Hope to study a time in the Conservatory of Leipzig.
‘Mrs Livingstone is with her,’ said she, ’and they will return together in April.
‘Mrs Fuller, did she send any word to me?’ I enquired anxiously. ’Did she give you no message?
‘None,’ she said coldly, ’except one to her mother and father, which I have sent in a letter to them.
I left her heavy hearted, went to the reporter’s table and wrote my story, very badly I must admit, for I was cut deep with sadness. Then I came away and walked for hours, not caring whither. A great homesickness had come over me. I felt as if a talk with Uncle Eb or Elizabeth Brower would have given me the comfort I needed. I walked rapidly through dark, deserted streets. A steeple clock was striking two, when I heard someone coming hurriedly on the walk behind me. I looked over my shoulder, but could not make him out in the darkness, and yet there was something familiar in the step. As he came near I felt his hand upon my shoulder.
‘Better go home, Brower,’ he said, as I recognised the voice of Trumbull. ‘You’ve been out a long time. Passed you before tonight.’
‘Why didn’t you speak?’
‘You were preoccupied.’
‘Not keeping good hours yourself,’ I said.
‘Rather late,’ he answered, ’but I am a walker, and I love the night. It is so still in this part of the town.’
We were passing the Five Points.
‘When do you sleep,’ I enquired.
‘Never sleep at night,’ he said, ’unless uncommonly tired. Out every night more or less. Sleep two hours in the morning and two in the afternoon — that’s all I require. Seen the hands o’ that clock yonder on every hour of the night.’
He pointed to a lighted dial in a near tower.
Stopping presently he looked down at a little waif asleep in a doorway, a bundle of evening papers under his arm. He lifted him tenderly.
‘Here, boy,’ he said, dropping corns in the pocket of the ragged little coat, ’I’ll take those papers — you go home now.
We walked to the river, passing few save members of ’the force , who always gave Trumbull a cheery ‘hello, Cap!’ We passed wharves where the great sea horses lay stalled, with harnesses hung high above them, their noses nodding over our heads; we stood awhile looking up at the looming masts, the lights of the river craft.