Ah, Mamie -- to have you with me, would be too much real, solid comfort! Too good to be true. --
I must go to bed!
March 26th, 1875
Friday night! --- Three years ago tonight we pitched camp on the Medicine -- our first night in camp on the prairie!
Herbert has gone into the Platte -- and I am waiting the result, with some anxiety and a good deal of annoyance! Unexpected letters -- recd. the morning before he started (yesterday mor.) and of my hurried answers, I retain but a troubled memory. I will wait -- and "not be foolish," as a certain cross little friend of mine, admonishes -- and, hunt ducks, to "while away the dreamy hours"!
I wonder why I have never told mon petit contraire ami "it was time to go!" I send off (or use to) every one at the proper hour, without a moment's hesitation. --Night before last, or rather Tuesday night, I gave the old-time order for retreat, and the recipient remarked that it 'minded him of "old times" --- when I would suddenly start up and say "Come! It is time to go -- I wish you pleasant dreams!"
I remember Mrs. C---- said when I "got in the North I would not dare send young men off that way -- or they would never come again." Phew! What a woeful catastrophe: But I dared it nevertheless -- and as "fortune favors the brave" escaped the predicted misfortune!
Ah, well -- no danger of my being misunderstood in this case, -- it is refreshing to have that trust!
Sunday -- Apr. 4th, 1875
Herbert got in about noon, yesterday -- I did not see him until later, however. --Went duck-hunting in the morning, and was delayed by seeing an unprecedented quantity of game, and having the worst possible "luck"! I got but one shot --with which I killed one duck and wounded two! My wonderfully wise dog rushed gallantly into the water and caught up the dead duck -- and then stood "stock still"! I called -- and coaxed -- raved and commanded -- but all to no purpose! --There he stood, holding the duck aloft and gazing mildly at me -- a perfect picture of benign stupidity!
Meanwhile the ducks, the wounded ducks, were making use of the time employed in this interesting little by-play, to make a hasty exit -- and when at last I turned in desperation to go for my game myself -- it was not to be seen -- but into the brush I went -- and into the water too -- about a foot and a half deep -- but all to no purpose! I believe I am very good tempered after all, for when I at length waded up to that canine quadruped it was with the full intention of using my ram-rod until his hold on to life would be very small indeed.
But he in his utter innocence of my anger gave me such a gaze of blind confidence, that it disarmed me utterly! I took the duck, "made no sign" and started homeward! Saw wild turkeys, goose, etc. but "no luck"!
Apr. 5th, '75
I am trying to keep in doors today. -- Made myself sick "tramping" so much last week.
I suppose I may get my mail tonight. -- I trust I shall hurt no hearts! Hearts are queer things anyway. They are more restless than a sand crab on a broad beach! Some times I scoff at the idea of anyone's doing them lasting hurt! And then again I think again, and the subject does not seem scoffable! Someone has said, who is it? --that "it is best to love wisely, no doubt --but to love foolishly is better than not to be able to love at all. Some of us can't: and are proud of our impotence too." ---- ----
All of that is very wise, no doubt -- but as to those who can't, I believe the number to be very few, if the right chord