Following Benedict Arnold

Darlene is chatting with her Aunt Lucille in Deadwood, South Dakota, Claire is resting in her blue bed, and I am blogging in the back room, listening to a Randy Newman tune I downloaded from iTunes, “Sigmund Freud’s Impersonation of Albert Einstein in America.” It was chilly enough here in Old Orchard Beach this morning to try out the heater, which quickly warmed up the inside of the Southwind. On our second night in the RV, we slept like black bears, and I spent no time during the night prowling around with the night willies.

I have started reading Kenneth Roberts’s 1930 historical novel Arundel, the tale of Benedict Arnold’s doomed march through Maine to Quebec, back before he turned traitor. The French don’t come across too well in the early pages of Arundel, running off with the hero’s girlfriend and using deceit to win over the Indians. Two hundred and thirty years later, relations are peaceful between the French and English here at the Paradise Park RV Resort. Our French-speaking neighbors in a camper in the next site are from Quebec, and much of the signage at the resort is in both languages.

We spent yesterday provisioning the Southwind, taking a long foray to Portland, which was named Falmouth in the time of Arundel’s narrator, Steven Nason. “I wondered how the people of Falmouth could spend their days amid such noise and excitement without losing their minds; and I resolved then, nor have I ever changed, that I would hold to the peace of the country and leave the tumult of cities to folk of stronger nerves,” avows Steven. Today is a day of rest here in the country before we head north, following Arnold’s trail to Quebec, unless another plan wrests control of the itinerary.

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