Cousin Bettina, from The Dwelling Place, by Anne Goodwin Winslow


She had no home of her own, and her life was spent in journeying back and forth to the homes of others. This operation she called “flitting,” which was surely a propitiatory term for railway travel in the South of those days; and not only its tediousness but all its odd contacts and predicaments, and even its occasional dangers, she seems to have met with perfect coolness and a sort of light dignity that never forsook her. On one occasion she spent the whole night by herself in a lonely little station, and on another in the company of a lunatic who thoughtfully locked the door on the inside and pocketed the key. I think she was a little proud of the time when the doors of the passenger coach got jammed in a collision and she heard the conductor say to a man who was breaking the window with his boot heel: “You all would do a whole lot better to quit your screamin’ and scufflin’ and go sit back in your places like that lady over yonder with the guitar.”

From The Dwelling Place, by Anne Goodwin Winslow (1943)

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