Page:A Thousand-Mile Walk To The Gulf.djvu/29

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Introduction

good-bye. When they asked where I was going I said, Oh! I don t’know—just anywhere in the wilderness, southward. I have already had glorious glimpses of the Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, Indiana, and Canada wildernesses; now I propose to go South and see something of the vegetation of the warm end of the country, and if possible to wander far enough into South America to see tropical vegetation in all its palmy glory .’

“The neighbors wished me well, advised me to be careful of my health, and reminded me that the swamps in the South were full of malaria. I stopped overnight at the home of an old Scotch lady who had long been my friend and was now particularly motherly in good wishes and advice. I told her that as I was sauntering along the road, just as the sun was going down, I heard a darling speckled-breast sparrow singing, ‘The day’s done, the day’s done.’ ‘Weel, John, my dear laddie,’ she replied, ‘your day will never be done. There is no end to the kind of studies you like so well,

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