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An Argonant's Return

An Argonant's Return image
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You carne to California in 1852. Yo return home, for the first time, in 187'2. Your home, in an ossttjrn State, is Dozeville. For the last twenty years, you havo persisted in regarding Dozevilie aa still posaessed of all tho attrftciveness it had f r you in youth. HefieOtïem told you it must have changed. Peoplo who had visitad Dozeville, and retürned, boro back gloomy stories of it èollnesa itud monotony. But yuu had not scen tti. You oould not realize it. Thivi! was Eor you bat ono Dozevillc - yomig Dozevillu - always young, becauso yuu aw it litst in youth. In duy-dreams in rivor ftöd liank claims, pieking and shoveling up to tlit middle iu raud, slum, and water ; by your oabin-door, smoking the evemng Mpn; on the sterile ridges ut' Kerada, prospeoting f or '' ledgc," you have, iii imaginuticm,' ttany times visited Yo t havo shaken hands with all its oldciiizjns ; yon have beon, lor a timo, thenewly-retured litfri of tile placa. ÍN o matter t:mt lntter after letter told you how si-rus, and grandsires, and matrütís, and blooming, bright-eyed school-mates, had drop-1 ried off; you would see yourself, on the first Sunday home at Dozeville, stndiiïg ia the village church ; and with wha6 congregation could you ñll it, save thi_ one you left. The dreaiu is roalized ; tho continent iï orossed ; you stand bodiiy in l)ozeville. None know of your coming. It is iright ; the train has stopped at the depot. The railroad bas been extended to Dozevillo since you left ; Dozevillians were talking of building this road when you were a boy. The " braneh " is thirty miles in length. Tliey were thirty years talking it over. üld Dozevilliaris hau lived and died talking of it. At last a brisk New York speculator came along, and in a lew nionthe the road was built. Thero is a feoble efl'ervesence about the Dozeville depot when the train stops. Compared with the roaring, hustling, ciowding bustle of a wide awake town, it is the languid pop of a stale champagne-bottle to the roar of a forty-twopounder. You get into a coach, and are uriven toward the fatnily residence. It is a cold, clear winter's night. You look out; the wind is roaring through the léafless sycamores; every street has its old curve ; every house is in its old place. You recognize them all, as though you had left butyesterday ; yet a glooin, seems to bang over them, for you realïze, now, that you are not to meet this or that old neighbor, whose daily ceming and g'oing from those gates seemed as unehiBgeable as the rising and sitting of yonder moon. You have met your mother and sisters ; you have alinost been obliged to prove to them your identity. It Was a surprise, but not exactly of the quality you had hoped for. They wero hardly prepared to see a middle-aged man, worn by toil and exposure. Tho last photograph you sent home, ten years ago, implied still some appearance of youth. And after a few days, sometimos after a few hours, you make a discovery : you are not acquainted with your own mother and sisters. Twenty years is too long an absence ; there is a great gap, a whole life-time of incident and event, between you and them. You are bound to a thousand California sympathies and associatiens of which they knexw itotbing. You betray them every hour. You ara coimnally proving, now that you are back at the old home, seated in the old artnchair, and on the very carpet over whiutr you tumbledin your babyhood, that threefourths of your heart is back in the land of geysers, grizzlies,. and gold. ïho mother involuntarily sighs. This is not the boy's heart which left her twenty years ago ; it is a strange mau's heart, full of hopes, fears, plans, and rernembrances, unknowii toitet. It is a heart recast, remoldecï. It was a beardless boy who left ber - fretn the eradle to that last parting, she had ïnown his whole lifo ; but this is a bearded man, who has returned with dashes si' erav in his hair, with a different manne? and a different voice. Ho brings ntft him thfi volumo of twenty years of life, but she can not read it all at once. He shows, carelessly, a page here and there; but it is broken and fragmentary to her. Hereyebrightens when he speafcs eoneerning soma event of his childhood ;■ there she is upon familiar ground - that seems a piece of her own son. Hers, ctíiring your entile absence, has been the quiet 1 f Dozcville, uot making hali-a-rlozeii nuw aoquaintances ; you havo made hundreds in the same time, and jou bring them ail lionie with you. -


Old News
Michigan Argus