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HOME > Classical Novels > Vanished Arizona33 > CHAPTER XXV. OLD CAMP MACDOWELL
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 We were expected, evidently, for as we drove along the road in front of the officers' quarters they all came out to meet us, and we received a great welcome.  
Captain Corliss of C company welcomed us to the post and to his company, and said he hoped I should like MacDowell better than I did Ehrenberg. Now Ehrenberg seemed years agone, and I could laugh at the mention of it.
Supper was awaiting us at Captain Corliss's, and Mrs. Kendall, wife of Lieutenant1 Kendall, Sixth Cavalry2, had, in Jack3's absence, put the finishing touches to our quarters. So I went at once to a comfortable home, and life in the army began again for me.
How good everything seemed! There was Doctor Clark, whom I had met first at Ehrenberg, and who wanted to throw Patrocina and Jesusita into the Colorado. I was so glad to find him there; he was such a good doctor, and we never had a moment's anxiety, as long as he staid at Camp MacDowell. Our confidence in him was unbounded.
It was easy enough to obtain a man from the company. There were then no hateful laws forbidding soldiers to work in officers' families; no dreaded4 inspectors5, who put the flat question, "Do you employ a soldier for menial labor7?"
Captain Corliss gave me an old man by the name of Smith, and he was glad to come and stay with us and do what simple cooking we required. One of the laundresses let me have her daughter for nurserymaid, and our small establishment at Camp MacDowell moved on smoothly8, if not with elegance9.
The officers' quarters were a long, low line of adobe10 buildings with no space between them; the houses were separated only by thick walls. In front, the windows looked out over the parade ground. In the rear, they opened out on a road which ran along the whole length, and on the other side of which lay another row of long, low buildings which were the kitchens, each set of quarters having its own.
We occupied the quarters at the end of the row, and a large bay window looked out over a rather desolate11 plain, and across to the large and well-kept hospital. As all my draperies and pretty cretonnes had been burnt up on the ill-fated ship, I had nothing but bare white shades at the windows, and the rooms looked desolate enough. But a long divan12 was soon built, and some coarse yellow cotton bought at John Smith's (the sutler's) store, to cover it. My pretty rugs and mats were also gone, and there was only the old ingrain carpet from Fort Russell. The floors were adobe, and some men from the company came and laid down old canvas, then the carpet, and drove in great spikes13 around the edge to hold it down. The floors of the bedroom and dining-room were covered with canvas in the same manner. Our furnishings were very scanty14 and I felt very mournful about the loss of the boxes. We could not claim restitution15 as the steamship16 company had been courteous17 enough to take the boxes down free of charge.
John Smith, the post trader (the name "sutler" fell into disuse about now) kept a large store but, nothing that I could use to beautify my quarters with—and our losses had been so heavy that we really could not afford to send back East for more things. My new white dresses came and were suitable enough for the winter climate of MacDowell. But I missed the thousand and one accessories of a woman's wardrobe, the accumulation of years, the comfortable things which money could not buy especially at that distance.
I had never learned how to make dresses or to fit garments and although I knew how to sew, my accomplishments18 ran more in the line of outdoor sports.
But Mrs. Kendall whose experience in frontier life had made her self-reliant, lent me some patterns, and I bought some of John Smith's calico and went to work to make gowns suited to the hot weather. This was in 1877, and every one will remember that the ready-made house-gowns were not to be had in those days in the excellence19 and profusion20 in which they can to-day be found, in all parts of the country.
Now Mrs. Kendall was a tall, fine woman, much larger than I, but I used her patterns without alterations21, and the result was something like a bag. They were freshly laundried and cool, however, and I did not place so much importance on the lines of them, as the young women of the present time do. To-day, the poorest farmer's wife in the wilds of Arkansas or Alaska can wear better fitting gowns than I wore then. But my riding habits, of which I had several kinds, to suit warm and cold countries, had been left in Jack's care at Ehrenberg, and as long as these fitted well, it did not so much matter about the gowns.
Captain Chaffee, who commanded the company of the Sixth Cavalry stationed there, was away on leave, but Mr. Kendall, his first lieutenant, consented for me to exercise "Cochise," Captain Chaffee's Indian pony22, and I had a royal time.
Cavalry officers usually hate riding: that is, riding for pleasure; for they are in the saddle so much, for dead earnest work; but a young officer, a second lieutenant, not long out from the Academy, liked to ride, and we had many pleasant riding parties. Mr. Dravo and I rode one day to the Mormon settlement, seventeen miles away, on some business with the bishop23, and a Mormon woman gave us a lunch of fried salt pork, potatoes, bread, and milk. How good it tasted, after our long ride! and how we laughed about it all, and jollied, after the fashion of young people, all the way back to the post! Mr Dravo had also lost all his things on the "Montana," and we sympathized greatly with each other. He, however, had sent an order home to Pennsylvania, duplicating all the contents of his boxes. I told him I could not duplicate mine, if I sent a thousand orders East.
When, after some months, his boxes came, he brought me in a package, done up in tissue paper and tied with ribbon: "Mother sends you these; she wrote that I was not to open them; I think she felt sorry for you, when I wrote her you had lost all your clothing. I suppose," he added, mustering24 his West Point French to the front, and handing me the package, "it is what you ladies call 'lingerie.'"
I hope I blushed, and I think I did, for I was not so very old, and I was touched by this sweet remembrance from the dear mother back in Pittsburgh. And so many lovely things happened all the time; everybody was so kind to me. Mrs. Kendall and her young sister, Kate Taylor, Mrs. John Smith and I, were the only women that winter at Camp MacDowell. Afterwards, Captain Corliss brought a bride to the post, and a new doctor took Doctor Clark's place.
There were interminable scouts25, which took both cavalry and infantry26 out of the post. We heard a great deal about "chasing Injuns" in the Superstition27 Mountains, and once a lieutenant of infantry went out to chase an escaping Indian Agent.
Old Smith, my cook, was not very satisfactory; he drank a good deal, and I got very tired of the trouble he caused me. It was before the days of the canteen, and soldiers could get all the whiskey they wanted at the trader's store; and, it being generally the brand that was known in the army as "Forty rod," they got very drunk on it sometimes. I never had it in my heart to blame them much, poor fellows, for every human beings wants and needs some sort of recreation and jovial28 excitement.
Captain Corliss said to Jack one day, in my presence, "I had a fine batch29 of recruits come in this morning."
"That's lovely," said I; "what kind of men are they? Any good cooks amongst them?" (for I was getting very tired of Smith).
Captain Corliss smiled a grim smile. "What do you think the United States Government enlists30 men for?" said he; "do you think I want my company to be made up of dish-washers?"
He was really quite angry with me, and I concluded that I had been too abrupt31, in my eagerness for another man, and that my ideas on the subject were becoming warped32. I decided33 that I must be more diplomatic in the future, in my dealings with the Captain of C company.
The next day, when we went to breakfast, whom did we find in the dining-room but Bowen! Our old Bowen of the long march across the Territory! Of Camp Apache and K company! He had his white apron34 on, his hair rolled back in his most fetching style, and was putting the coffee on the table.
"But, Bowen," said I, "where—how on earth—did you—how did you know we—what does it mean?"
Bowen saluted35 the First Lieutenant of C company, and said: "Well, sir, the fact is, my time was out, and I thought I would quit. I went to San Francisco and worked in a miners' restaurant" (here he hesitated), "but I didn't like it, and I tried something else, and lost all my money, and I got tired of the town, so I thought I'd take on again, and as I knowed ye's were in C company now, I thought I'd come to MacDowell, and I came over here this morning and told old Smith he'd better quit; this was my job, and here I am, and I hope ye're all well—and the little boy?"
Here was loyalty36 indeed, and here was Bowen the Immortal37, back again!
And now things ran smoothly once more. Roasts of beef and haunches of venison, ducks and other good things we had through the winter.
It was cool enough to wear white cotton dresses, but nothing heavier. It never rained, and the climate was superb, although it was always hot in the sun. We had heard that it was very hot here; in fact, people called MacDowell by very bad names. As the spring came on, we began to realize that the epithets
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