Army Letters From An Officer's Wife, 1871-1888, By Frances M.A. Roe


Service is held in a long, large hall, at the rear end of which is a
smaller room that can - Page 360
Army Letters From An Officer's Wife, 1871-1888, By Frances M.A. Roe - Page 360 of 410 - First - Home

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Service Is Held In A Long, Large Hall, At The Rear End Of Which Is A Smaller Room That Can Be Made A Part Of The Hall By Folding Back Large Doors.

We were just inside this small room and the doors were opened wide.

On a long bench sat the four singers, two each side of a very unhappy woman, and back of the bench in a half circle were the six musicians. Those musicians depended entirely upon me to indicate to them when to play and the vocalists when to sing, therefore certain signals had been arranged so that there would be no mistake or confusion. There I sat, on a hot summer morning, almost surrounded by expert musicians who were conscious of my every movement, and then, those men were soldiers accustomed to military precision, and the fear of making a mistake and leading them wrong was agonizing. At the farther end of the hall the Rev. Mr. Clark was standing, reading along in an easy, self-assured way that was positively irritating. And again, there was the congregation, each one on the alert, ready to criticise, probably condemn, the unheard-of innovation! Every man, woman, and child was at church that morning, too - many from curiosity, I expect - and every time we sang one half of them turned around and stared at us.

During the reading of the service I could not change my position, turn my head, or brush the flies that got upon my face, without those six hands back of me pouncing down for their instruments.

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