Welcome back to our continuing story of a typical Czech (Moravian) immigrant family as they have settled in the United States. Today our author, Hugo Chotek, has us in 1863 and moving forward another ten years as we continue to follow this wonderful family.
We began in 1850 and Chotek has skillfully and enjoyably taken us to 1863 and soon into 1873!
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Amerikán Národní Kalendář
Volume: XLIV, Year: 1921, Pages 154-168
A Page from the Lives of American Czechs from the Fifties
Written by Hugo Chotek
Translated by Layne Pierce and Mila Saskova-Pierce
©Onward To Our Past®
“Don’t be worried, dear. Today is Christmas Day, and at that time even a soldier spends it gladly among his four walls. Be assured that I will return soon, and I will bring an abundance of killed game.“ Having kissed his wife and children he went to meet his fate.
It was noon, then one o’clock and her husband did not return. Anna would go outside every five minutes and with worry she was looking towards the prairie to see if he was not coming. Her heart was squeezed by painful foreboding and it was a wonder that she did not start to weep aloud.
Towards two o’clock in the afternoon she saw out on the prairie a group of men carrying a load. Now she was already sure that her husband had met with misfortune. With a mad speed she ran to meet the men and shortly after she was kneeling besides the seriously wounded Vojtěch.
Her premonition was correct. While hunting, Vojtěch had encountered the recruiters and while fleeing he was shot in his back and into his right leg. They took him to the closest farm and from there he was carried home. Anna was almost in despair, and her father and mother themselves half out of their minds, because of the loss of their beloved son, had to invest themselves in their eloquence together with their paternal and maternal love in order to calm her down a little bit, and they were successful only when the doctor said that the wounds were not necessarily mortal and there was hope for recovery, if he would be well nursed. Be nursed! If the recovery of a beloved one depended only on that, oh for sure he would not die, since she was going to nurse him through day and night. She was going to deny herself rest and sleep and she was going to be constantly by his bed and follow each one of his breaths and motions so that she could immediately fulfill his wishes. —
In spite of the commotion that was reigning on both farms the Christmas tree was shining in the rays of its lights and the small children were jumping around it happily, not noticing even that on the faces of their parents there were tears of boundless pain and their hearts were overflowing with bitterness over the underserved fate.
Outside it was beautiful blue skies, shining in the reflection of the clear light the little stars, the air was warm and perfumed. Everywhere there was peace and divine silence. Only at the Bláha and Lešovský homes uninvited guests sat down: sorrow and pain.
How quickly time passes! Before you know it, in the blinking of an eye, ten years go by, and it is once again Christmas time. At the Bláha’s home everyone is merry and lively. Aneška is now already nineteen years old and together with the sixteen-year-old Anna they are helping their mother in the kitchen and they are moving around the stove like on a spindle, singing and poking fun at each other.”
Stay with us here as we continue our wonderful story from the pages of the great Czech-American annual journal, Amerikan Národní Kalendar and the pen of the Czech-American author, Hugo Chotek.
Only from Onward To Our Past®