‘Fort George’, a British military stronghold dated back at the time, sits on the Canadian side of the river. The famous falls is up at the end of the river about 10 minutes away by drive.It's almost embraced by the town called “Niagara-on-the-lake”, the number one travel destination, in my eyes, for cultural tourism, especially for those people who are eager to feel the culture, especially new comers with Oriental background in particular or as an example.
Why this woman dressed that way? Or is she modeling of any women that
lived together with the soldiers this camp during the war? -in this 18th century Fort? "Love and romance in the war?" I am whispering in my mind, becoming more curious and eager for what we are going to see the next moment.
“The women and children played their great roles in the Fort during the war time..” the guide starts speaking to a bunch of us sitting in line with all ears; "to be a solider in the army was a kind of job too, at the time, as a man could make a living by joining the war," by “endangering his life” ‘the very word of ‘making a living’ has stayed quite a while in my mind, as I am listening.
Then, he leads us into a gray house. The room is dim, the windows smaller. We are all sitting on a long bench like the soldiers used to do, the tourist guider's voice is clear and even a bit British，as I am trying to absorb every single word from the sounds of his speech, the story heard is from the pages of the history of the country.
Winters must have been cold and long in the 18th of century. I notice there is an ordinary wood table, quite heavier looking, rough, and strong but lower than the ones we have at in nowadays. A dark candle-stand, metal, sits in the center. But the table is in the right corner of the room. At the east end, on the right side, a double-bed is covered by a curtain-like cloth hanging in between separating from the other beds. On the left hand side is a stove sticking out of a wall, from which it was built.
“Women do the washing, and cooking” says his voice again," “They work and sleep in the same room with the soldiers in the war,” “they get paid too,” “they do the laundry, but not for just one man but for all,”
Love and romance never die in wars. It's though we are in the 18th century again, which appears in front of my eyes. ……… when a battle is over, the young couple in service, sitting there, hands in hands , in the corner, by the fire, and at the table, dimly the candles lit, in deep love they kiss and care for each other; enjoying a peaceful moment of romance. I am drawing a picture in my mind; I am lost in amazement.
No sooner had we stepped out the camp, we again sighted two canons at the roadside, black, heavy, and silent; but they roared once, devoured the lives of the young and the old in the war on two sides of the Niagara River flowing toward the Falls.
Yes, it's as if I can hear the voices in the distance, the laughing, yelling, shouting; men‘s or women’s singing, or maybe calling the kids home, maybe cryings from the deadly wounded, and from those diying. Like many, I hate all wars, but sadly, people living near the borders of the river fight each other, often, in wars.“At certain spots, the river is narrow; people hear each other and can see from both sides,” the guide's voice echoes once again in my mind. it awakens in me when I feel the canons with my hand. they are stone-cold, and in dead silence; they're rough, cold and solid. Then, I turned. "I will come back with my friends new to this town," I am speaking to myself, having a final glance of the Fort in the setting sun...
English journal 2007, E-writing,
Edited from the version written during February 2007
约翰 雷 K. Shaw Burlington, Ca.
Posted to 北美文学社 美语世界 于（ June, 2008, 夏 六月 ）