WESTSIDER CARLOS MONTOYA
We left our party concluding breakfast on the morning after the masquerade. The ladies shortly after repaired to the great room, whither they were soon followed by some of the gentlemen, among others the Marquis of H. The scene afforded a striking contrast to that of the evening before: Sir Archibald’s mysterious death, together with the atrocious attempt on the life of Captain Montgomery, seemed to have given a shock to the gay spirits of all. Those who spoke at all, spoke almost in whispers, their themes murders, mysteries, and sudden deaths.
Another delegation, which had been urging some months in advance of what Lincoln believed to be the fitting time for the issuing of the Proclamation of Emancipation, called asking that there should be no further delay in the action. One of the ministers, as he was retiring, turned and said to Lincoln: "What you have said to us, Mr. President, compels me to say to you in reply that it is a message to you from our Divine Master, through me, commanding you, sir, to open the doors of bondage, that the slave may go free!" Lincoln replied: "That may be, sir, for I have studied this question by night and by day, for weeks and for months, but if it is, as you say, a message from your Divine Master, is it not odd that the only channel He could send it by was that roundabout route through the wicked city of Chicago?"
Under the influence of the Friends and the growing danger from Russia, four North American states, Canada, the Atlantic Republic, the Mississippi Republic, and the Pacific Republic, were once more unified. North America became once more a great, though not the greatest, power. For a while, moreover, it looked as though North America would become the model community, destined to save mankind by example and by leadership. Here at last, it seemed, was the true though inarticulate and undoctrinal faith in the spirit. Here was the true liberalism of self-disciplined free citizens, the true communism of mutually respecting individuals. Rumour of this new happy society began to spread even in conquered Europe in spite of the Russian imperial censorship, and to hearten the many secret opponents of the dictatorship. Between the new North America and the new India there was close contact and interchange of ideas. From the Indian wisdom the Friends learned much, and they gave in return much American practical skill.
鈥楾his opened our eyes to a peril in the infant Church, of which you probably never would dream. Ellie and I set to counting up young maidens who are of a suitable age to become brides,鈥攚ell-educated, nice girls,鈥攁nd came to the conclusion that a kind of fashion is setting in not to marry. The Native delights in imitating the European. The girls see that most female Missionaries, whom they love and honour, are unmarried. They enjoy freedom.... Christian women are at a premium. Widows are eagerly sought as Bible-women....