Part 4 out of 4
promising that I would meet her there also.
On my way I met the Doctor of the Regiment, a very kind-hearted
gentleman who, on seeing me, enquired what mischief I had done. I
told him of our trouble, and begged of him to intercede for the poor
baby, if possible, and, as he was well aware that the health of
Mrs. Rice was so much improved by nursing the infant, he thought he
would be able to help us.
Mrs. Rice entered the room, the infant in her arms, the Doctor and
myself following. The colonel, on seeing such a procession enter,
could not help smiling, and as the Doctor with all his eloquence
stated our case and of the necessity for Mrs. Rice's health to nurse
the baby, and the danger to the little baby's life in changing its
nurse, the Colonel, as a father, and a true-hearted gentleman, gave
not only consent for the baby to stay in barracks, but ordered other
quarters to be given to Rice and his wife,--a whole room to
themselves, where the baby could not annoy anybody.
But my story is growing too long, I will hasten to end it. The new
quarters into which Mrs. Bice moved were near the rooms occupied by
the armor sergeant and his wife who had been long in service, and
had saved quite a little fortune, but children they had none. Both
became soon so attached to their little neighbor that they offered
quite a sum of money to Madame Flora if she would give the child over
to them for adoption. I used all influence in my power to persuade
Madame Flora to give the child up, to which she at last consented. I
felt a heavy burden lifted off my heart and conscience when the
papers were lawfully made out which gave the dear little baby into
the hands of good Christian people. Now the child had full rights to
live in barracks, but its adopted father's time was in, and he
retired with a good pension which, along with his savings, enabled
him to buy a house and garden in New London, where the baby has
grown up into a fine young woman, not knowing to this day that her
dear father and mother are not her natural parents.
Madame Flora has retired from her life of shame, trying to bring up
her younger sisters in the path of virtue. One of the young girls
who had summoned me on that eventful night in such haste has also
reformed, and is living with a family as helpful servant a good many
years, and she has often told me that the events of that night were
the first cause to her for reflection. The other inmate of the house
whom I mentioned, who was so cruel and disgusting, fell lower and
lower,--nothing could we do for her--she would listen to nothing,
and a sudden death ended her life of shame.
May the Lord have mercy on her and guide me, the narrator of these
incidents, in His ways, so that when the last bell will be rung to
summon me before Him I need not hesitate but answer joyfully: I am
ready, I am ready to go.