The Woodrow Wilsons

The Woodrow Wilsons

The Woodrow Wilsons

The Woodrow Wilsons

Excerpt

IN THE MISTY TANGLE of impressions and memories of my earliest childhood, one picture stands crystal-clear. I am playing with my sisters in a square old- fashioned room before a bright coal fire. We move to a window and stand peering out. The panes are frosty and. blurred, and Margaret and Jessie blow and then rub with their fingers. Using all my strength I can just reach to look through the spot Jessie has cleared and she puts one arm about me to steady me. Margaret is energetically rubbing one place after another and looking through each in turn. Outside, perched in a row on their fence, are our playmates and neighbors--the five little Purveses--closely wrapped, motionless little figures, heads lifted to a leaden sky, mouths wide open, swallowing snow .

A door opens and mother comes into the room, eyes shining, cheeks pink with excitement. Something tremendous has happened. She is telling us. Her voice is a soft slow drawl, but the words run together; each sentence seems one long incomprehensible sound; then "we won, we won" becomes distinct to me and I repeat it over and over. Margaret and Jessie are shouting it .

We are back at the window, mother lifts me in her arms . . .

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