(More memories of coming to and living in Arizona)
'Arizona is as large as all England. If you cannot fulfill your destiny there, it is not the fault of the land.'
The professor's words echoed in Ben Kingsley's mind as he stared from the open windows of the Jeep jolting down slope toward the excavation site that was to be home for the next year.
It had been a far longer journey than Ben, 21 and newly graduated from the school of Archaeology, Leicester University, had envisioned though he knew the distances involved. But the several modes of transportation and the scenery changes lengthened his sense of time and disrupted the continuity of place. He had been nine days out of Liverpool aboard the 'Ascania' in the North Atlantic in February. What passed for scenery were icebergs, whales and occasional glimpses of other vessels unfortunate enough to have been abroad in this season. Two days seasickness began the morning of the third day out, accompanied by intolerable gray skies over endless white-flecked steel-green seas smoothed by ice-cold rains.
On the sixth day Ben surveyed the damage wrought by lack of food, drink, razor and bath. Driven by hunger, he soon had his 5 foot six 150 pound slender frame bathed, shaved, combed, dressed and fed, and sought the professor.
On deck again, Dr Hargood Cauldwell, Professor of Meso-American Archeology at Leicester joked, 'One should not venture into the North Atlantic in anything smaller than the Isle of Wight in February,' as they leaned on the port rail reveling in the first patches of sunlight in six days. The professor was attending a symposium in upstate New York that would delay his arrival at the dig by ten days. Ben would disembark at Halifax, the professor in New York.
Canadian Customs dispensed with in the large, cheerless dockside shed, Ben made his way though several inches of freshly fallen snow in bitter cold despite the cloudless sky and brilliant sunlight. His goal was the Canadian National Railway terminal west of the next row of warehouses. Two sturdy suitcases was as light as he could manage for personal and professional belongings for a year stay. 'Minimize', the professor had admonished. Ben was glad he had. A single chest from the hold would have delayed him here and at each change of train along the way.
His ticket in hand, his cases checked aboard, Ben had almost an hour before departure. He sought the nearest exchange, converting several English pounds to Canadian dollars then wandered into a souvenirs and sweets shop, 'Candies' was the word they used here. Ben already knew that there was no rationing in Canada or the States. Nevertheless, his first experience with un-rationed shopping since the war had started 13 years before seemed decadent, possibly illegal, and definitely seductive. 'Black Jack' gum, 'The Maritime Provinces' in paperback, scented soaps, 'The Lifesavers Story' in 12 assorted flavors in a box that opened like a book...going off rationing was definitely addictive Ben concluded.
'Day after tomorrow sir,' informed the conductor as Ben boarded the train, 'late evening with all the snow up that way.' The enfolding steam heat felt good after the long walk up the platform. Ben settled into his berth, spreading the essentials from one suitcase, exploring the conveniences of the tiny room, memorizing the mealtime postings.
Halifax was provincial in appearance with many quaint wood buildings. Little permanency Ben decided. Yet by the time he began to traverse the fields, farms and forests of New Brunswick he realized that wood was the logical building material for so wildly wooded a land. 'Build with what's at hand', his first practical lesson in a new land.
The St Lawrence was crossed at Quebec just after dark the following day. Ben remained awake, determined to experience all he could of his comparatively brief passage through Canada. He'd elected this route as a rapid and varied way to penetrate the eastern interior of this huge continent. From Toronto he would continue by rail into the States at Buffalo, remarkably in the same state that the professor would just have arrived in. 'How vast this continent is,' he thought.
The St Lawrence passage was rather dull owing to the snow, the river ice and the masses of gray bare trees. Ben correlated as much as he could to the paperback but realized now that he'd only passed though two of the Maritime Provinces, catching an uninspiring glimpse of Prince Edward Island between infrequent gaps in the forests of New Brunswick.
It was early morning of the day he would change trains in Toronto when the train stopped briefly in Montreal for another engine change. The French influence was intriguing and provided yet another gap in the continuity of his passage, though views of the city were fleeting from his compartment as he felt the train's pace quicken as if anxious to reach Toronto. The Thousand Islands passed, ice-locked now, the conifers looking like tufts of grass in a distant white desert. Then passed the gray darkness of ice-rimmed Lake Ontario peeking through endless stretches of leafless gray-black trees.
Separated in time and distance from the small neatly divided English world, a landscape of tangled hedgerows, fieldstone walls and compact villages, Ben mused on his new understanding of the world at large. 'Order displaced by chaos,' he thought. 'No that was not it exactly. Small neat worlds replaced by large unruly ones in which I loom smaller, no longer the measure of all I see. This New World will measure me.' Ben was experiencing a touch of homesickness.
Toronto in late afternoon. The low pale orange sun drifted between grain elevators as the train eased its pace through the eastern suburbs. Drawing abreast of the elevators Ben could smell the sun-warmed cylinders exuding a nut-like malty scent mixed with the sweet burnt smell of syrup.
The great hall of the Union Station brought Ben a measure of assurance that civilization had not been entirely abandoned. A little over thirty years old, the interior stone, marble, lighting and statuary still impressed the many travelers seeking its warmth. Tickets secured for the next leg, luggage checked, Ben sought food within the terminal. Then with three hours until the night train departure, Ben decided upon a welcome walk after his recent confinement. He plodded through snow from one sparkling pool of light to the next as he kept his bearings on the way to the waterfront. Warmly lit varnish-sided streetcars filled with locals lately returning from work glided above the snow, wheels and trolleys sparking at unexpected intervals as Ben waited to cross to dockside.
Here a ferry kept the slip ice-free as it traversed the still black waters beyond which lay the Toronto Islands. With adequate time remaining until the train's departure, Ben boarded the last evening round trip and took up a bench at the rear of the sheltered passenger lounge to observe the city slipping into the ever-widening channel. During the brief stay at the Island's dock, Ben took a quick tour of the vessel, approving of the well kept paint- and bright-work, then took up a position on the upper exposed deck impressed by the unexpected extent of the city to the west and north with many multi-storied buildings thrusting into the clear night air.
Deeply chilled from the on-deck breezes, Ben hurried the few blocks to the station, slowing after one near fall on a black patch that was not macadam but a sheet of black ice. By February, the snow was being piled in head-high drifts wherever it would fit without interrupting commerce. "Won't be entirely melted till May," the counter lady volunteered as she filled Ben's cup and replied to his remarks on amounts of snow greater than he'd ever seen. "But the summers are lovely, though it can snow by early September," she cautioned.
As he boarded the train and watched arriving and departing snow-chained cars weaving through the icy streets Ben could not help but feel depressed by the thought of such extended winters. 'Even Leicester wasn't this bad,' he murmured, though he did temper unkind thoughts of Toronto climate with the waitress's remarks about mid 80s in July, wondering how such tropical temperatures would feel.
Cautioned by the conductor that he might as well remain awake for US Customs about midnight, Ben opened a book on climate and geology of Arizona. '...with highs approaching 115 degrees in the shade in the desert regions...' Ben was glad that his dig was at 2200 feet on the north shore of Roosevelt Lake and began to more favorably re-assess Toronto summers.
"Will we see the Falls?" Ben inquired as the conductor came around waking those who'd grabbed what sleep they could.
"Too far downstream, sir. 'Sides, they're frozen. Not much to look at till April."
The Toronto Hamilton and Buffalo never built into Toronto or Buffalo, basically providing alternate rail shipping service in the Hamilton-Welland area. Ben had taken a Canadian Pacific train as far as Buffalo and would change there.
Ben was glad to put Buffalo behind him. 'Culture shock,' the professor had warned. 'Crass commercialism,' Ben decided after he'd settled in and was rolling along the south shore of Lake Erie. He'd changed all his money to US dollars. A morning stroll to the local equivalent of Marks and Spencers, the S.S. Kresge Five and Dime Store, netted him all he hoped he'd need for the rest of the trip. He could not resist peeking in the euphoniously appellated Piggly Wiggly. He was amazed at the variety of goods and the selection of what was basically the same food with different brand names attached. Shop-keepers were friendly, though his first proffering of the advertised amount for an item brought a tirade from the clerk who demanded an additional amount for 'tax'. This seemed a peculiar complication. 'Why not include the tax in the asking price?' brought incredulous stares.
On his return to the station, Ben had his first encounter with Negroes. Ben's later observation to a fellow passenger that 'they were polite folks who got right off the pavement, excuse me, sidewalk, when I drew near to pass' was met with gales of laughter and a hurried and embarrassed explanation of their status.
Less snow and more frequent encounters with towns made the voyage (for that's how it seemed as the New York Central train hugged the shore) to Cleveland more interesting to a first time observer. Tired as he was, Ben was determined to harvest as much as could be gathered from the detached view of America passing the train.
After lunch and Cleveland, the train penetrated the inland farmlands of Ohio and Indiana and finally reached St Louis, Missouri very early the next day. It was beginning to seem to Ben that all journeys were arranged to end when all station services were barely functional. There was about a station at one in the morning a melancholy air that drained one's enthusiasm for loitering. The lighting was intensified to emphasize the confusion of one seeking the booking hall, excuse me, ticket office, the entrance to the tracks of the adjoining railway- no, railroad- or the toilet, now surreptitiously known as men's room or restroom.
Aboard the Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe, Ben consulted his now much folded railroad map. Eleven hundred miles to El Paso! Here the world still bore a mantle of white. He'd already traveled 600 miles from Buffalo and before that, 850 miles from Halifax to Buffalo. Now he faced nearly a day and a night before changing to Southern Pacific. At least he had access to the Pullman and could sleep.
A Pullman was not a compartment however and precious little sleep was had before the muffled call to breakfast dragged him from his three hours rest.
There being little to see on the increasingly treeless plains, Ben dozed undisturbed in his seat, pleased that this was the off-season for travel through this part of the country. Awakened for the second time, he had difficulty recalling how long he'd been asleep, what time it was, what day. The reality that he'd left St Louis in the early morning of that same day did not sit well with his sense of time. Losing an hour for every time zone encountered added to the confusion. England was beginning to seem far more distant than any map revealed.
Just as the western sky turned to a deep blue-black, Ben sensed a change in the land. The horizon wrinkled, hills drifted by outlined against a startlingly star-clogged sky, snow yielded to the colors of land he'd only seen in picture albums, stunted plants of unfamiliar disposition flared and were gone in the windows' glare. Supper. The call to bed. To fall asleep on a train, weary from inactivity, the cares of every day living left behind or far in the future. Only the rhythm of the rail, the sway of springs, snoring travelers...
And in the next moment 'First sitting for breakfast 20 minutes!' The line at the lavatories. And sunlight! Low, red, whole in a cloudless sky. Mountains, real mountains, to the north. Color in the land. Dark green in the plants. Openness even the mountains could not dispel. A night's sleep – food - storied Texas. The whole trip worth this moment, this morning, this land!
El Paso! Not altogether the Western aura he'd hoped for. Even so the building style was less eastern. Still there were no saloons, and without a doubt, the horses were still in their stables. And in the distance to the south and east boxy flat-roofed buildings swarming hap-hazardously across brown hills. Mexico! I've crossed an entire country, Ben realized. De-training, Ben felt the chill of the high plains West. It was windy. Cold masses of air swept down from the snow-covered mountains to the north.
'Y'all have five hours till boardin',' drawled the ticket seller. 'But don' gwinta Juarez. No guarantee y'all git back in time. A'lays closin' the bordar fer this 'n' that.'
Ben headed for the bridge, watched foot and vehicle traffic crossing the border, looked at the wares spread on blankets before Mexican ladies and children. Then on a whim he asked several people before being directed to a small museum of local history, determined to compare artifacts of this area with those of New Mexico and Arizona that he'd studied. Upon learning from his accent and knowledge of the material on display that Ben was an English graduate student pursuing his diploma at a Salado tribe dig in Arizona, the curator took him to the restoration rooms to view the more recent, yet to be displayed material. There had been an extensive trade between the tribes from California to eastern New Mexico and into old Mexico. Ben recognized many Salado artifacts.
Soon enough it was time to leave. Names and addresses were exchanged and promises to keep in touch were made.
In 1950 the streamlined Sunset Limited went into service between San Francisco and New Orleans via Los Angeles. The cars were stainless steel with a red letterboard. This was known as the Sunset color scheme. It lasted until 1958. Ben was fortunate enough to intercept this prestige train and by taking seating in the day coach avoided paying the fare premium for sleeping accommodations. Thus it was that Ben arrived in style and good time in Tucson at sunset. He was on the verge of a different world. New Mexico had been flat and featureless. The crossing into Arizona was marked by increasingly novel rock formations and distant mountain ranges, and by the beginnings of exotic cactus forests. Isolated from the climate by the conditioned comfort aboard, Ben was pleasantly surprised to find the air quite warm on the platform. It was still above 60 degrees as he enquired about bus schedules for Phoenix.
'Bus is due in from Benson about 9 pm, leaving immediately for Phoenix. Yes, you can get off there. Passes right through Apache Junction.' Ben purchased his ticket through to the Junction then placed a call to his contact at Arizona State College in Tempe, who was in radio communication with his sponsor at the dig.
'Ask the driver to drop you at the Superstition Inn. There's a café next door that's open 24 hours a day. Your sponsor, Carol, will pick you up there about midnight or later depending upon road conditions. We've had rain.'
The sun had set. The temperature had plunged. There seemed little to see in Tucson and though it was only a few blocks to the University, the late hour suggested little activity there. Ben stayed put, grabbed a sandwich, the dining hours aboard the train had not been convenient for one de-training in Tucson, and settled down with the small illustrated 'Flora and Fauna of Arizona' he'd just purchased.
With the bus lighting on for readers, Ben could only just make out the Santa Catalina Mountains on the right as they left town. A fellow traveler pointed out the Tom Mix memorial site where the actor had died in a car wreck 12 years before and a lonely intersection known as Cactus Forest sporting a roadhouse and a cluster of saguaro cactus. The rest was a blur of roadside grasses and low trees against a starlit sky. Crossing the Gila River just after making a stop in Florence took Ben out of Gadsden Purchase land. Soon after, he was helping the driver lift down his suitcases and thanking him for circling around to the Inn.
Ben had always had an ear for local dialects but they'd changed so often on his long journey that he'd not settled on a general accent and had been focusing upon individual words consistently pronounced. New ways of saying familiar words echoed in his head as he nursed cups of 'kawfee' while awaiting his ride.
About one am headlights appeared from the direction the waitress had told him was the way to the lakes. Traffic having been very light, Ben was sure this was his ride and bustled about in preparation. The lights swung in and a young woman in heavy denim jacket and jeans, dark hair flowing from under a typical Stetson hat, twisted sideways from the door-less Jeep, well-worn boots hitting the ground together. Waving to the waitress and looking in the direction the waitress indicated she introduced herself to Ben with hand out in greeting.
"Carol Lane. You must be Kingsley."
"Exactly. Ben for short. Rough trip?"
"Doubt it was as rough as yours. You have come a long way to play in the dirt."
"Thesis area. Salado artifacts don't surface often around Leicester."
Carol was sipping the tea the waitress had placed before her. "Why recent Amerind? English digs are far older and simply fascinating."
In the dim café lighting Ben studied Carol Lane. She was deeply tanned, wrinkles setting in around the eyes from constantly squinting in the sunlight. She had a penetrating stare, unusual in a girl Ben thought, and full of confidence but easy to be with.
"Huh? Sorry. Yes, quite so, but so petrified in its interpretation. The extensive influence of the Roman occupation on English civilization is still actively suppressed. The American Southwest civilizations are still very much 'tabla rasa'. One can do real work here and report on it as it is without having to fight the establishment for acceptance of findings and datings."
"True enough. Little politics in a locally-made clay pot," Carol agreed. "Well let me hit the john and we'll be on our way."
'The john?' Ben plundered his brain for colloquialisms but when he saw her pushing through the door marked restrooms, he added another Americanism to his lexicon. 'How different this American woman is from the typical reticent British maiden,' Ben was becoming disarmed by Carol's openness.
"That's better. Ready to go? Here let me get those," she said reaching for the suitcases.
"Thanks," Ben said, "but I can manage them. Have for several thousand miles now."
Carol shrugged, lowered the tailgate, stepped back, then flipped it into place and latched it.
Ben had observed Carol's dress and the door-less side window-less Jeep and had donned a long heavy coat.
"Heater helps and we won't exactly be speeding. It's bearable," Carol offered as she backed out.
"Those are the Superstitions of Lost Dutchman fame," Carol began. "Still risky to go in there. Bunch of nuts shooting at each other over a mine no one is sure exists. Volcanic plugs. Highly unlikely there's gold back there. Still they look."
"Read of it. Fascinating to be here next to them," Ben remarked.
"Not that there isn't gold hereabouts. That's the Bluebird. Between 1892 and 1896 they took $3 million in gold out and still putter around in there. On the left they're still working gravels."
Carol was quiet for several minutes as the road became increasingly winding then continued the tour. "Can't see it but directly ahead some miles is Four Peaks. At over 7600 feet it regularly gets snow like the Superstitions. And if it were light, " she indicated to the right, "you'd see Weaver's Needle over there. Looks like a huge dick from this angle."
Ben almost jumped at the phrase suspecting he'd heard right but not wishing to pursue it out of politeness. He surreptitiously studied Carol in the glow of the instrument lighting. 'Was she trying to turn the conversation to prurience,' Ben wondered. 'Or was this normal chatter for a girl in a man's world away from the influences of politer society.'
After several miles of increasingly tortuous road along the sides of which Carol pointed out various rock and lichen types, Ben was startled by flashes of starlight on water below. "That's Canyon Lake, the third lake coming down the Salt."
The reflections disappeared behind several curves then burst into view much nearer now. Two more tight curves and the Jeep rattled across a one-lane bridge. "First Water Creek," was all Carol offered by way of description.
The pavement ended. Dust and gravel swirled behind and Carol slowed the pace. The road felt like it was made of logs placed side by side and had a corrugated appearance in the headlights. "They grade it occasionally," Carol shouted over the rattle of Jeep parts trying to separate. "Go fast, the rattling evens out but we eat dust. Go slow and our asses suffer."
Ben shot Carol another look. She did not seem to be conscious of Ben's glances and was not looking for any effect her words might have on him. 'How curious,' Ben thought.
A short climb and another downgrade brought a few lights into view. "Tortilla Flat," announced Carol. "One of the wagon stops for the freighters hauling equipment and supplies to Roosevelt Dam about 50 years ago. The only stop to survive. A tourist trap. Indifferent food. Creek crossing. Pull your coat away from the door opening, it gets deep here. There may be some splashing."
Carol slowed to a crawl as the Jeep entered Tortilla Creek, flowing well after the recent rains. "Level's dropping," she observed. "Almost pushed me off coming down to the Junction."
Ben surveiled Carol as the dim pool of light that was Tortilla Flat receded. "What?" she said, glancing Ben's way.
"Uh, nothing. Just curious about you."
Carol frowned mentally then put it down to English outspokenness. "What can I tell you?"
"Oh, school, hometown, family," suggested Ben.
Carol shrugged away thoughts of English forwardness and launched into a disjointed narrative over her ranching origins, scholarship to ASC in Tempe, a brother back from the European theater of war. Her attention was mainly on the winding approach to Fish Creek Hill.
It was dawn, both a good and a bad time for one's first descent of the Hill. As the Jeep swung through the last gap and onto the edge of the drop-off, Ben gasped as Carol rammed the Jeep into first. "Doesn't do to ride brakes down this one," she informed him. Then, horn honking, gearbox whining, she skillfully navigated the several hundred foot drop in just over a mile, dodging overhanging rock, navigating impossibly sharp curves, skimming inadequate-looking guard rails.
"You drive very well," Ben managed as the Jeep swung left across another single lane bridge at the bottom.
"Thanks," she replied. "A truck's more fun specially at a meet. And imagine twenty mules and a wagonload of heavy equipment. Do you see the cars over the side up there?"
Ben glanced up just making out ancient and modern hulks rusting in the rocks above.
Carol was waving her hand toward a flat area to the right. "That's the site of Fish Creek Station, another wagon stop. Burned just over 20 years ago".
"Any Indian ruins along here that we'll be investigating?" Ben inquired, anxious now to keep her talking. He was becoming quite taken with Carol, the more so as he was getting his first daylight look at her features. She seemed very young to have graduated from college. Her hair was almost black and shone as momentary rays burst through a mountain pass. Her features appeared faintly Indian!
"Nothing but a few mud and rock storage chamber remnants in narrow wash walls. Not enough flat land here for farming. There were some more extensive features riverside but they've been underwater for years. Same applies around Roosevelt Lake. Some have only been seen once during an extended drought some years back.
"Highway maintenance yard on the right ahead," she informed Ben as another one-lane bridge was crossed. "And that truck road up there is the way into the Reevis ranch. Lots of apple trees up there."
"Carol," Ben felt driven to speak her name, "are you part Indian?"
"On my mother's side. My father was a rancher. Delivered beef to the Indian school on the White River rez. Met my mother who worked in the kitchen. Juanita Begay, orphan. Schooled on the rez then stayed on as she had no place to return to. And there's Apache Lake," she announced, waving to the left.
"So your tribe was Apache?"
"And your brother was..."
"...white, by a first marriage. Ten years older than me. Went off to war in '41. Returned recently from an extended tour in Germany. Not much in common. Military resort down that road, called Waterdog."
Carol swung right into a trail that led to a corral and stopped the engine. "Pee break time," she announced as she headed behind a low tree.
Ben would have smiled had he not been so taken back by her matter-of-fact announcement. 'Perhaps it's the Indian way,' he muttered to himself. Ben found it refreshing and surprisingly erotic as he picked out his tree. The thought of her exposed tanned skin, the two of them alone in a foreign setting, started a stubborn erection.
"Well look at you," Carol observed as they swung aboard and she glanced over.
Ben was flabbergasted and deep embarrassment began to show. "Sorry," he muttered, then added, "I never meant anything by...it."
Carol grinned and started the engine. "Wouldn't care if you did."
Ben felt compelled to assure her that he meant her no harm. "It's the setting. The end of a long trip in an inspiring countryside. I've never been alone like this with such..." Ben felt compelled to say it, "...beauty, of scenery and of companion, who is so outspoken. You are different from all the other girls I've ever known and I just couldn't stop thinking about..."
"I'm hardly a girl, Ben," Carol said softly.
"No, I'm sorry, of course you're not. I should have said 'woman', Carol."
"And I should have said 'female', Ben."
There was a long silence. Then Ben lowered his eyes and dropped his head. "Oh dear!" he exclaimed.
More silence. Then Carol spoke. "You were becoming attracted to me." It was as much a statement as a question.
"I'm sorry. I guess that's how it must have seemed. Well yes I suppose I was," Ben almost whispered. "As a woman," he hastened to add.
"No apology necessary. I thought it was an English thing and decided to be polite. But to make things perfectly clear, Carol is a man's name hereabouts as well as a woman's."
"Oh," was Ben's best response.
"Actually I was beginning to be quite flattered. Such attraction is not quite as misunderstood among our people...and you are handsome...for a white guy," and Carol shot Ben a sideways glance.
"Oh dear, oh dear," muttered Ben. "The professor warned me about culture shock. I fear I've made a faux pas right off the bat." He was falling back on his English mannerisms in his confusion.
"I guess some of the things I said must have seemed...encouraging...offered from an apparently feminine source," Carol suggested by way of smoothing the confusion.
Ben reluctantly nodded. "You have no idea." Then a recollection hit him. "Carol, what did you mean by 'Wouldn't care if you did?'"
"Have you ever had a woman?" Carol asked.
"I'll take that as a no," said Carol. "It's not so different you know."
Ben looked puzzled, "What's not?"
Carol shook his head. "Sex," he replied simply. "Between guys," he clarified. "And there aren't any girls, excuse me, women, where we're going."
With that, Carol started the engine and swung back onto the road.
Ben could not help looking at Carol. He was smiling slightly. He's Indian. That would explain the lack of facial hair, and perhaps my not recognizing male from female features. Still he was cute...handsome...as children of mixed parentage often were. Ben could not suppress a growing physical attraction despite his newfound knowledge, or perhaps even because of it.
"I would be very much indebted to you if you never told anyone of my error," Ben pleaded.
Carol slowed to a stop beside an enormous multi-armed saguaro and turned in his seat.
He reached for Ben's hand and took it in his. By a supreme act of self-control, Ben managed not to jump or pull away.
"Ben," Carol gazed into Ben's eyes as he spoke, "I will never share this...intimacy...with others. Whether what has occurred between us grows or remains a fond memory, it is too private, too special to me to be cast before your society for their misunderstanding."
Ben hesitated then asked, "You are...that way...with sex...between guys?"
Carol squeezed Ben's hand, "I am. But I will bring no pressure to bear on you. You must find your own path to me if that is where it leads."
Ben experienced an attraction in Carol's touch and returned the squeeze before dropping his hand. "The professor spoke of fulfilling my destiny in Arizona. I think it may be unlike any I could have imagined."
* * *
Ben and Carol often worked together in the following year. Their hours of quiet labors in trenches offered many opportunities for innocent physical contact. Their field surveys in search of other sites offered less innocent opportunities. The pressure on them to conceal their feelings was well expressed by the following lyrics:
We kiss in a shadow,
We hide from the moon,
Our meetings are few,
And over too soon.
We speak in a whisper,
Afraid to be heard;
When people are near,
We speak not a word.
Alone in our secret,
Together we sigh,
For one smiling day to be free
To kiss in the sunlight
And say to the sky:
"Behold and believe what you see!
Behold how my lover loves me!"
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein from the 1951 musical "The King and I"
The lyrics had a special meaning to me when I first heard them in March of 1957 in Toronto attending the 1956 musical movie 'The King and I'. My boyfriend was departing for Chicago and I a few months later for San Diego. We were sixteen.
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