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MICHIGAN, MY MICHIGAN

MAJ. W. C. RANSOM, 1871

I must admit that it was by no means an inviting place at the time I mention. Here it was that the redoubtable [Major David C] McKinstry had his abiding place—McKinstry, one of the others of the Detroit regency, and the life-long friend of jolly Tom Sheldon—Sheldon of the aldermanic build and unstinted hospitality, who died finally of dropsy of the chest, and breathed his last, wondering where so much water came from, when he had not tasted a drop for more than twenty years. Sheldon and McKinstry were fast friends while living, and unless some transmigration doctrine of the poor "heathen Chinee" prevails in the other world, their tired spirits are doubtless now bliss- ! fullv reunited in the peaceful abodes of the blest. It is told of these two, that once upon a time McKinstry had been very ill and brought close down by the banks of the dark-flowing river. Rumor's uncertain tongue had reported it to Sheldon that his friend was no more. With affecting devotion to the memory of the loved one departed, he hitched up his shining bays to his carriage, and taking in such spiritual consolation as the chilly night and rough roads seemed to demand, he started out just as the sun was setting, to attend on the morrow the last sad obsequies of the dead McKinstry. Sunrise found him at his journey's end, with spirits as light as the lightness of his flask and the nature of his mission would permit. His first inquiry was for the funeral hour, when to his mingled satisfaction and astonishment, he learned that Mac. was still of the earth earthy, and to all appearances good for a hundred years. For a moment he seemed utterly at loss to appreciate the situation, until at last, recovering his utterance, he exclaimed: "You can just take my hat. Drunk as an owl, thirty miles from home to a funeral, and no corpse!" And not waiting even to congratulate his revitalized friend, he ordered around his team, and was soon wending his way eastward to the city of the straits.

MY MICHIGAN


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