Quote: “Yesterday Ching Ling Soo died. Yesterday the Civil War ended right here in this town forever. Yesterday Mr. Lincoln died right here and so did General Lee and General Grant and a hundred thousand others facing north and south. And yesterday afternoon, at Colonel Freeleigh’s house, a herd of buffalo-bison as big as all Green Town, Illinois, went off the cliff into nothing at all. Yesterday a whole lot of dust settled for good.”
Context: Douglas and Tom Spaulding have just found out that Colonel Freeleigh, whom they refer to as a “time machine” because he is so old, has just died. In this passage, Douglas is commenting on the fact that there is no one else they know who can tell them about events of the distant past from personal experience.
This made me think: I thought this passage was cool because of the unique way it described the death of a person. Instead of just seeing Colonel Freeleigh’s death as sad or as loss, Douglas explains that the boys no longer have a direct link to the great events of the past through Colonel Freeleigh. I thought that the final sentence, “Yesterday a whole lot of dust settled for good,” was a particularly cool and well-worded image.