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[459] allowed, therefore, to undertake it; but only upon the express stipulation that he was to return and resume his studies by a certain day.

There were, as usual, great delays in starting, and the expedition was by no means one of ease and comfort. The party incurred all the risks and hardships of emigrant trains, yet no trial cast a cloud over Cabot's cheerfulness, and his companions bear witness to his unflagging spirit and sweet temper. ‘Whoever else,’ one of them says, ‘might be discouraged or out of humor, Cabot was always bright and ready to help.’ His natural humor found infinite fun in the various little contretemps of the journey, and from every small disaster he managed to extract some pleasure. Adventure was his element, and he found an attraction in the Western desert, which, as he fancied, would determine his choice of an occupation. But no Western ranches or droves of horses were to justify his dreams.

At Fort Laramie, on his journey out, he heard of the seven days battles before Richmond. In a letter dated Fort Laramie, June 10, 1862, he says: ‘The officers gave us their telegrams, which told all they knew, and these said McClellan fought seven days, retreated, and lost twenty thousand men. We do not know whether that is true or not, and I don't know about Jim or Charley (Lowell). If anything has happened to either of them, father, I shall want to enlist as soon as I get back.’ While at Fort Bridger, he received a letter telling him of Lieutenant James Lowell's death. He forwarded the letter to the companion from whom he had just parted, writing across it, ‘Now I shall certainly go.’

In another letter speaking of the late battles and of his sad loss he writes, ‘Since then I have wanted doubly to go, and I wish—how I wish—father would let me.’

At Fort Bridger he learned that, if he went to Salt Lake, it was doubtful whether he could return by the day fixed. He was within a few days of the most interesting object of their journey, but the opportunities for returning were uncertain. He therefore gave up the trip, and turned his face

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