The Hundredth Meridian

The Hundredth Meridian
Victoria as well as with her older sister,\r\nmarried Maggie after she informed him\r\nshe was pregnant. When in due time he\r\ndiscovered the lie, he looked up Victoria,\r\nwhom Maggie had scared into keeping\r\nher mouth shut about her own pregnancy.\r\nBy now, Victoria had produced Ed's\r\nchild; two years later, she poisoned herself\r\nwith strychnine and died, aged 19.\r\nToday, the Staskiewiczs and Skudlases\r\nlie all together, almost side by side, under\r\nthin, weedy soil in back of the locked-up\r\nchurch with its Mass schedule dropping,\r\nletter by yellowed letter, from the announcement\r\nboard standing to the left of\r\nthe concrete steps.\r\nHalf a mile south from Sacred Heart,\r\nwe came to the dugout site, where practical\r\njokers dropped Old Jules 65 feet to the\r\nbottom of the well he was digging. They\r\nleft the injured man by the side of the road\r\nfor the soldiers to find on their way over to\r\nFt. Robinson, and Jules was treated by the\r\npost's Army surgeon, Dr. Walter Reed,\r\nwho wanted to amputate but was dissuaded\r\nby the patient's threat to kill him if he\r\nremoved the injured foot. Though Jules\r\nkept his foot, it never healed, and he remained\r\na cripple for the rest of his life. "I\r\ncan make a living better crippled than lots\r\nof men with two good feet," he said.\r\nWe took the road east from the vanished\r\ndugout and crossed the Niobrara\r\nRiver, shallow and shrunken but freely\r\nflowing still in its meandering channel, to\r\nthe...

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