Commentary

Disciples


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Saturday, July 18, 1891

     To Washington—train 3:46—nearly seven when we arrived. Day rainy, yet cleared before our arrival. Walked to Mrs. O'Connor's—112 M St. N.W.—where we had tea—my brother Lothario (in Government printing office) stopping in while we sat eating. Fine talk with Mrs. O'Connor—learning many new things about W., about O'Connor and their relations together. The more known of O'Connor, the more grandly he measures. After tea to Lieutenant Walker's to arrange with him about tomorrow. Walker was O'Connor's assistant—wrote up parts of many of the reports. A sailor—modest, high-minded, simple—with a fund of humor and wise speech—overflowing with tender regard and remembrance of O'Connor. Walker never knew W.—has never seen him. Brought us out a picture of O'Connor, which he much cherished. Much good talk with him—would cooperate with me any way I commanded to produce the book. Engaged for him tomorrow at ten. Then to the streets again (of course Mrs. O'Connor and Anne with me). Mrs. O'Connor took me to house in which she had first met W.—a large three-story

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and basement. They had a floor or part, and gave W. the hall room. Mrs. O'Connor had heard much of W. then but never seen him. W. had come to Washington—stopped in in her absence. There was his carpet bag, left—and he to return—and she to see him at last! He was looking up a room in Washington, and after O'Connor and wife consulting, they offered him this. He intended staying but a fortnight but stayed months. Rented their rooms from a fellow (Irish) named Quinn—very mean man—who, once cheating some poor devil roundly, and marked therefore by W., was meted out some justice by W. before he left. Mrs. O'Connor said, "I can hear his voice now—very gentle, but very firm and ringing. They were in the hall below." Now the whole vista closed in by houses; then everything open.

     Back home with Mrs. O'Connor—late—near midnight—then an hour's talk more in her parlor. William's books mainly there, and odds and ends—manuscripts and letters generally in trunks upstairs. (I engaged with my brother to meet me early tomorrow: we would walk together.)

     Mrs. O'Connor appears in reasonably good health. Complains of the hard work. Someone making political capital. Even suspects she may be thrown out shortly. Says, "I have an invitation to another place." I interposed, "I supposed as much: I interpreted your letter to mean—come down at once—I may have to leave Washington shortly." She smiled, "That is curious. I did not say that. I did not know I even indicated it. But I suppose I did." Then the change to involve leaving Washington? "Yes, and that's the reason I am in doubt about it. I don't want to go." (Learned after it was to go with some friends at Providence.)


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