"I judge from the weight. There are two stamps on the envelope. I was tempted to open it, but, being directed to mother, I didn't venture."
Mrs. Frost sat down, and the children gathered round her, while she read the following letter:
"DEAR MARY: When I look about me, and consider the novelty and strangeness of my surroundings, I can hardly realize that it is only a week since I sat in our quiet sitting-room at the farm, with you and our own dear ones around me. I will try to help your imagination to a picture of my present home.
"But first let me speak of my journey hither.
"It was tedious enough, traveling all day by rail. Of course, little liberty was allowed us. Military discipline is rigid, and must be maintained. Of its necessity we had a convincing proof at a small station between Hartford and New Haven. One of our number, who, I accidentally learned, is a Canadian, and had only been tempted to enlist by the bounty, selected a seat by the door of the car. I had noticed for some time that he looked nervous and restless, as if he had something on his mind.
"At one of our stopping-places--a small, obscure station--he crept out of the door, and, as he thought, unobserved, dodged behind a shed, thinking, no doubt, that the train would go off without him. But an officer had his eye upon him, and a minute afterward he was ignominiously brought back and put under guard. I am glad to say that his case inspired no sympathy. To enlist, obtain a bounty, and then attempt to evade the service for which the bounty was given, is despicable in the extreme. I am glad to know that no others of our company had the least desire to follow this man's example.
"We passed through New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, but I can give you little idea of either of these cities. The time we passed in each was mostly during the hours of darkness, when there was little opportunity of seeing anything.
"In Washington I was fortunate enough to see our worthy President. We were marching down Pennsylvania Avenue at the time. On the opposite side of the street we descried a very tall man, of slender figure, walking thoughtfully along, not appearing to notice what was passing around him.