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Title: The Truth About America

Author: Edward Money

Release Date: November 19, 2009 [EBook #30503]

Language: English

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[Pg i]

THE
TRUTH ABOUT AMERICA


BY

EDWARD MONEY

"TEA—CULTIVATION AND MANUFACTURE IN INDIA," "TWELVE MONTHS
WITH THE BASHI-BAZOUKS," "WOMAN'S FORTITUDE,"
"WE'LL SEE ABOUT IT"


LONDON
SAMPSON LOW, MARSTON, SEARLE, & RIVINGTON
CROWN BUILDINGS, 188, FLEET STREET
1886
[All rights reserved]

[Pg ii]



LONDON:
PRINTED BY GILBERT AND RIVINGTON, LIMITED,
ST. JOHN'S SQUARE

[Pg iii]


CONTENTS.

page.

CHAPTER I.

More or less introductory—Americans and Yankees not synonymous—Want of courtesy in the States—The Press—Voyage out—New York climate 1

CHAPTER II.

New York—National types—American currency—The States as a cheap domicile 19

CHAPTER III.

Why I went to America—Agents in London and the Eden promised—New York to New Orleans—Railroads in the States—American scenery—Ranch life—Deserts in the States—Antelope Valley 42

CHAPTER IV.

San Francisco—Army and Navy—International Court—Pacific coast—Californian ranch—Social customs—Good-bye, California! 94

[Pg iv]


CHAPTER V.

Nevada—Utah—Wyoming—Denver—A restless night—Seeking for a ranch—Ranch work—Colorado Springs, the Sanitarium of Western America 133

CHAPTER VI.

Ranch again—Tea—American press—Celebrities victimized—Last journey—Chicago—Beauty—Niagara missed—New York—Atlantic—Home 195

[Pg 1]


Decoration

THE TRUTH ABOUT AMERICA.

CHAPTER I.

More or less introductory—Americans and Yankees not synonymous—Want of courtesy in the States—The Press—Voyage out—New York climate.
A

part from the object with which most authors write, viz. to make money, I purpose this little book to serve three objects.

Firstly, to make the United States of America, and the Americans, better known than they are at present to the mass of the English public.

Secondly, to put a certain class of emigrants on their guard against the machinations of a few agents in London, who victimize them not a little.

Thirdly, to let the many who suffer from[Pg 2] pulmonary diseases in Europe know that across the Atlantic is a cure-place excelling, owing to its peculiar climate, any in the Eastern hemisphere.

That my own knowledge of the United States is a superficial one, I admit in stating I was there not quite five months. If I have a talent for anything, it is the power of absorbing facts and describing them later. I kept no journal in America, but I made copious notes of all I saw and heard while the impressions were fresh. As I view all these in a bundle on the table before me, I feel that I must describe succinctly, to bring all I have to say into a "little book," and there are weighty reasons, with me at least, why it should be no more.

As my book will be truthfully written, and my intentions are good, success will not elevate me much, blame will not depress me. If the book is a fair picture, as far as it goes, of a vast and wonderful tract on the earth's surface, if it shows clearly the prevailing characteristics of the Americans, what there is for us (the English) to copy, what to avoid, if it prove of use to the[Pg 3] ever-increasing class of emigrants, and if it is readable and amusing withal, I shall be more than satisfied.

I affirm that the United States and its denizens are not more than superficially known to English men and women. I beg the question. Why is it? There are doubtless many books of American travel, politics, descriptions, and what not. I had read many of these, but surprised as I was on much I encountered after arrival, I was far more surprised how little what I had read had prepared me to find. The following may in some degree explain this. By far the larger number who go to the States are of two classes. 1. The rich, who go for travel, pleasure, and change. 2. The emigrant, who is poor, and who stays there. The first, naturally, see the best side of everything, and if they describe their experiences, the pictures drawn are scarcely fair ones. The second class, as a rule, it goes without saying, are not strong with their pens, and were it otherwise, having to win the bread of life, they have no leisure. There are of course exceptions. The political aspect of[Pg 4] America has been well depicted, the features of that huge continent aptly described in several books by good authors, but of true social pictures there are few. Among these there are no better than what Dickens wrote in "Martin Chuzzlewit," for the types there discussed are truly painted with great humour, the only fear is the reader thereof may conceive they are national, instead of what they truly are, characteristic of a large class.

The Americans know us far better than we know them. While, including emigrants, more pass from Great Britain to the States than America sends eastward, the proportion in visitors is certainly American. They come in shoals to England and Europe, returning generally the same year. Not strange, therefore, that their knowledge of our habits and customs exceeds ours of theirs. That the Americans know this is so, is shown by the style of conversation held with a "Britisher," when by chance (if he does not show it otherwise) his nationality is discovered. In England if A, an Englishman, meets B, an American, A does not discuss England with B as if it was necessarily all new to him.[Pg 5] B is supposed to have probably been here before, possibly to know England as well as A does, and often it is so. But on the other side of the Atlantic A (and generally truly) is supposed to know nothing of the country. This was one of the salient features that first struck me. Quite true, in my case at least, I did know nothing!

When, in England, a conversation, say on a rail carriage, is held between an Englishman and an American, the chances are against the latter being asked how he likes England. The Englishman should feel, if he does not, that it is begging a favourable answer, anyhow that the reply, politeness considered, cannot be worth much. Under the same circumstances, in the States (unless the American has visited Europe), the chances are three to one the query will be put in the first half-hour. The form varies. Sometimes it is put diffidently, and in the nicest words. Sometimes just the other way. "Does not your mind expand when you consider the institutions of this great country, when you see how like a clock the machinery works, &c.?" Or, more shortly, "And how do you like our[Pg 6] glorious country?" This last is a very favourite form. It was asked me many times in exactly the above words. My general reply (a safe and true one) was, "Well, I don't like it as well as England, though I see much we might copy with advantage, &c." The American, perhaps, then adds, "Ah, that's natural, but I'm glad you can discriminate, which few Britishers can, for believe me" (here he gives you a painful dig in the side), "they are prejudiced right away in favour of that little insignificant island." I cannot say the words are exact, but their drift is. The expression, "How do you like our glorious country?" I'll swear to.

Let it not be supposed that the above is characteristic of the Americans. It is so of the Yankee class alone. It is a significant word that "Yankee," I do not like it altogether, for it has more or less of depreciation in it. Still no one writing of America can help using it occasionally. What does it mean? In Latham's Dictionary it is defined, "Term applied in England to the Americans of the United States generally." This may have been so, it is certainly not the[Pg 7] case now. Why, I know not, but the term has acquired a low meaning. In speaking to a subject of the United States, you might ask him, "Are you an American?" You could certainly not, without transgressing good taste and most certainly offending him, ask if he is a Yankee. In what sense, then, may the word rightly be used? Sometimes it is employed to designate the inhabitants of the Northern States, but this again is wrong, simply, if for no other reason, that they do not relish it. By "Yankee" I understand, and shall use it to mean, a denizen of the Northern States, but one of a low type. The North American gentleman or lady can vie in that way with any nationality (in intelligence they are perhaps ahead of their compeers), but the Yankee, "the cute Yankee," is a very prononcé type, peculiar to America, and there are, alas, many of them. They hail principally from the North, but I have seen some in the South, and when met with there they grate against you more in proportion because civility and courtesy are generally the rule in the latter States.

We have all heard that servants in America[Pg 8] are named "helps." This alone signifies a great deal. They object to serve you, they do not mind, "if you make it worth their while," helping you. The same feeling pervades all but the well-educated and intellectual classes in the States. Even where, as in New York, contact with Europeans has rubbed off some of this peculiarity, it exists. The shopman serving you seems to do so under protest. The conductor on the rail treats you as his equal. The hotel official picks his teeth, and expectorates in dangerous proximity to your boots, while entering your name. You need not, 'tis true, shake hands with the shopkeeper, even if he recognizes you, simply because there is no time in New York for such courtesies, but you have to do it out West.

The first thing that strikes you on landing in America is the want of deference and courtesy among all classes. Not only from the inferior to the superior, but vice versa also. The maxim noblesse oblige has no sway there. In England, speaking to an equal or a social inferior, "Kindly do this," or "Please give me that," is general.[Pg 9] In America the "kindly" and "please" are carefully omitted, and the servant or "help" retaliates by the substance and tone of the answer. But I am wrong, perhaps, to use the word retaliates, for I never found that civility in asking produced any other effect.

The maxim in America seems to be that every man is as good as his neighbour, or better, at least every man seems to think so, and why, thinking so, they should address anybody as "Sir," beats their comprehension, and they simply don't do it.

It seemed to me, among the class I write of, that the feeling is "Civility argues inferiority, ergo, the less given the better." It can only be some feeling of the kind, deeply implanted, that accounts for the fact that the Yankee (mind I use the word as I have defined it above) is the most uncourteous being in creation.

The press in all countries reflects public opinion more than it leads it. Suppose a paper—I say not in London, but in Manchester, then the comparison is perfect—were to write of the Empress Eugenie as some American papers[Pg 10] write of our Royal Family. Were she spoken of as simply "Eugenie," and even lauded as such, would not the paper so speaking of her be certainly damned? But "Wales" I have seen in several Northern States papers, do duty for our Queen's eldest son and future king. Nay more, in such papers woman's sex is no defence. Her Royal Highness, Princess Beatrice, is written of by her Christian name only, and her husband is alluded to as "Battenberg." Even worse, I have an article (I care not to sully this page with even an extract) about him, which was headed "Beatrice's Mash," the last being a slang word used in the States for lover!

There are, of course, papers and papers in America, and many would not be guilty of the solecisms above alluded to; still, such are the exceptions. I do not care to name the two in which the above appeared, but as they were the leading journals in the capital of a western state, it is evident that this kind of thing goes down, for they, and many like them, flourish.

But to other subjects. I went out to New York in that magnificent Anchor Line steamer,[Pg 11] the City of Rome, which, after the Great Eastern, is the largest vessel afloat. The Atlantic was exceptionally kind, like a mill-pond, all the way between Liverpool and Sandy Hook, and the passage was nice in every way. We crossed in something less than eight days. The society on board was extensive and good—Americans, French, Germans, English, and others, there was no lack of choice. I studied the Americans most, for they were to me a new study, and I was very much pleased with the result. When I left the ship, I did so with the impression that, nation for nation, as regards intelligence, wide views, and general knowledge, the women certainly, if not the men, were ahead of us English. I had not many opportunities in America of mixing with the upper classes, but my limited experience there strengthened the above belief. Of course, all I met on the City of Rome were more or less travelled Americans (in no country, perhaps, does travel make a greater change than among our transatlantic cousins), but I was particularly struck by the intelligence, and the broad and charitable views of the ladies.[Pg 12] Speaking generally of both nations, the English woman who holds matured and decided opinions on politics, theology, or social questions, hesitates to give them vent. Not so the American. And, as regards the failings of her own sex, commend me to the ladies over the water, who are far more Christian-minded than we are in that way.

It was also a real pleasure to converse with many of the American gentlemen on board. As I have nothing to say, except in his favour, one of them will perhaps forgive my naming him. Mr. D'Almar is a well-known man in the States. He is a great writer on political economy and currency, and I believe an authority in the States on those and other heads. But I wish to speak of him here as a companion. Highly gifted with thinking power, and possessing an amount of knowledge which is extraordinary, so diversified are the subjects, he literally bristled all over with information. The above, joined to a modest demeanour and pleasant manner, made him one in many. All on board liked him, and that alone speaks much in a[Pg 13] man's favour; for ten days on a vessel betrays more of character than months elsewhere. If children like a man, I always think I shall do the same. We had a large nursery on board; the little ones liked Mr D'Almar, and so did I.

The City of Rome is a luxurious boat, and, given calm water and a set of passengers such as we had, what nicer than the Atlantic under such conditions? I do not like the sea, and am often sea-sick. The last thing I would do is to keep a yacht. So, enjoying the trip as I did, speaks volumes for the comfort and pleasure which was attainable. But then the City of Rome is not an ordinary ship. The sweep of deck for a walk, the superb saloon made gay with flowers, the cuisine, which tempted you to eat more than is well on board, the spacious smoking-room, the comfortable cabins, the absence of vibration from the screw, all and everything about the ship was simply perfect, and I felt almost sorry when we arrived, for though I have travelled much I have never ploughed the deep in this wise.

New York—I am not going to add one more to the many descriptions extant. As to[Pg 14] the city, the many beautiful churches, the grand museums, perfect picture-galleries, magnificent opera-house, luxurious clubs, and numerous theatres, are they not all described, and far better than I could do it, in Murray's hand-book and many others. Still I will say a few words. First, as to climate. I was there twice, once in the height of summer, once late in the autumn. The temperature was as nice the last time as it was disagreeable the first. I have spent years in the tropics, but I never suffered more from heat than I did in New York last July. The nights were very nearly as hot as they are in Calcutta the same month, and while in the capital of Bengal to sleep except under a punkah is thought impossible, in New York, punkahs or any cooling appliances being unknown, you really suffer more. Still there is a difference. In Calcutta, at that time of the year, you simply cannot walk out in the day time, the sun would knock you down. In New York you can, but any time towards the middle of the day it is very disagreeable to do so. Calcutta is in latitude 22°, New York 40°. This accounts for the less powerful[Pg 15] sun in the latter place; but why the nights there are so cruelly hot, I know not. The sea, as is well known, lessens extremes of temperature, but it does not seem to have that effect in New York, though it is virtually on the sea, for the winters there are as cold as the summers are hot. Twice in the year is the climate exquisite, viz. spring and autumn, but both summer and winter are intensely disagreeable. We have no idea here in England of extremes of temperature, for we never experience them. Were we visited with the heat and cold of New York, 100° Fahr. in summer, 20° to 25° below zero in winter, as maximums and minimums, we should feel new sensations, and be thankful for the temperate climate we have, instead of abusing it as so many of us do.

I cannot, I doubt if many can, sympathize with the sailor who, returning from a Pacific station, and entering the Channel one typical English day, thick with fog and sleet, buttoned his overcoat around him, and looking up aloft, exclaimed, "Ah! this is the sort of thing. None of your d—d blue skies here." If the story is not true,[Pg 16] it is well invented. Poor Jack was sick of blue skies and hot suns, but why he should have selected for commendation perhaps the main point in which the English climate is deficient, makes it very humorous. As I said, I cannot go as far as he did, and while I admit the English climate is far from perfect, that it is a climate of changes, the only rule being that no day shall be like its predecessor or its successor, that the winter is dark and dismal, that rain and slush, fog and mist, easterly winds and such like are the rule, and bright, balmy days the exceptions, still, in the immunity we possess from extremes of temperature, I think we have a blessing that balances all these drawbacks. Who, except those who have so suffered, can realize the lassitude, the intense discomfort of great heat, the acute physical suffering produced by extreme cold. I have been in many climes, but I know of one only I would, if I could, substitute for the English climate. I found that one in America, at San Francisco, on the Pacific coast, but of this farther on.

The entrance to New York is very beautiful,[Pg 17] and a great contrast to the dingy approach to London by the Thames. On a bright day, and bright days there are the rule, excepting perhaps the Bosphorus as you near Constantinople, I have seen nothing to equal it. Shortly before arrival the Brooklyn suspension bridge, the finest structure of its kind on earth, comes in view. But of this wonderful bridge presently. We left the good ship City of Rome some three or four miles down-stream, and after being transferred and closely packed in an inland boat, we steamed up the Hudson river to New York.

It is only two and a half centuries (1609) since the first European entered the New York Bay, and yet the coup d'œil from the water of the vast city and its surroundings argues many centuries of existence. America is wonderful in much, but in nothing more than its growth. I felt this first then, and my after life daily increased my wonder.

But here we are at the custom-house. My first experience of the scarcity of labour in the States came that day. There were no porters of any kind in the searching-room to move the luggage[Pg 18] (it is "baggage" in America), and I had to carry all mine myself. It was brought in and thrown down anywhere. The examination took place at the far end of the building, but each and every one had to carry his own things there. With this exception it was plain sailing, for the officers did the work quickly, and were not painfully suspicious.

[Pg 19]

Decoration

Decoration

CHAPTER II.

New York—National types—American currency—The States as a cheap domicile.
A

s London is the capital of Great Britain, I suppose New York may be called the first city in the United States, and yet I doubt its right to be so named. Commercially and in size it may be so, but scarcely in appearance. As regards buildings, cleanliness, commodious high-ways, the tout-ensemble which one looks for in a capital, San Francisco, on the Pacific coast, takes by much the precedence, and I am not sure that Chicago does not in a measure do the same, though not in a like degree. As regards the climatic advantages of New York and the capital of California, there cannot be two opinions. New York is certainly not a nice climate, while I believe there is none on this earth to equal in excellence that of San Francisco.[Pg 20] Still, the inhabitants of a city are not answerable for the climate!

There is not a decently paved street in New York. The asphalte and wooden pavements of London and Paris are unknown there. I was told both had been tried, but that the climate was against them. I could understand this as regards the latter but not the former. Anyhow they proved failures. Blocks of stone, when of one size and height, and laid in the best way, make a jolting, noisy road, but it is not even thus in New York. Take Broadway, the principal thoroughfare, the stones are not the same size, and a large proportion of them are one to two inches higher than their neighbours, while every here and there are depressions. This being so, I imagine, accounts for the scarcity of wheeled vehicles except tram-cars. These latter, generally drawn by horses, seemed to me to run in every street and road in the city. Of course on rails they travel smoothly, but they and the rails greatly increase the difficulty for cabs and carriages. The traffic in a New York street in no way resembles that in[Pg 21] a London one. Where there is one tram-car in London there are fifty in New York, and fifty cabs here to one there. The same as to carriages. Nearly the whole of the passenger traffic is done in the tram-cars and elevated railroads, and no wonder it is so, for to traverse the streets on wheels in any other way is very painful.

The foot-pavements are not much better than the roadways. The paving-stones are not evenly laid, and every here and there a thin iron ridge runs across an inch or so higher than the foot-way, apparently ingeniously placed with a view to cause accidents.

In two words, I have never seen a city with such bad roads and pavements as New York.

The tram-cars are much better than ours. They are better designed, far more roomy, and commodious. The fares, too, are moderate, generally five cents = 2d. for any distance. Another advantage: when you want to get out, you pull a rope, and the driver stops. How much better this than poking the conductor with an umbrella, the general plan in London!

The few cabs there are resemble ours, [Pg 22]four-wheelers and Hansoms. But woe to the visitor who hires one. I was told, and believe, there is a tariff of fares, but in no way is it acted up to. For a short distance, say one mile, the least demanded is one dollar = 4s. 2d., and if you object there's a row. I asked several Americans why the tariff is not enforced. "Few, only rich people, use cabs," they replied, "and it's not worth their while." Anyhow the cabbies have it their own way. I was warned on this head before I arrived, but I was obliged once to take one. I paid about six times the London fare. However, as you can go almost anywhere in a tram-car with comfort, it does not much matter, especially as you escape the woful jolting a cab entails.

The names of streets in America are not put up on the corners as with us. They are painted on the nearest lamp-glass. This is well for the night, but inconvenient for the day. The name is only on one lamp, and so small you must go close to read it. You have thus generally to cross the road, and where four streets meet it is not easily found. I did not like the plan.[Pg 23] But London is also far from perfect in this way, and might take a lesson from Paris. There, as a rule, the name of the street is at every corner.

The elevated railways are a feature in New York. Like our underground lines they lessen much the street traffic. They run about the height of the second floor windows, and must be an awful nuisance to the inhabitants of those rooms. The rails are supported on a timber frame which rests on stout wooden piles. These latter are possibly twenty feet high, they are very rough, and greatly disfigure the thoroughfare. Another disfigurement in the streets of New York are the telegraph-poles. We run our wires over the house-tops or underground. They do not. The wires are probably more numerous than ours, but all are supported on poles.

I went one trip on the elevated railroad. As you cross the open streets, you get good views of the city, but only then; at all other times the houses on either side shut out every thing. I thought the service, the punctuality, the carriages quite equal to, if not better than, our underground lines.

[Pg 24]

Among other things I went to one of the principal Fire Brigade Stations. We all know, or ought to know, the Americans are an inventive race. Much I saw showed great ingenuity, and not only that but high powers of organization. I may mention one instance. The horses for service stand ready harnessed except their collars (the harness is peculiarly simple). The said collars are suspended in front of the fire-engine, as far from it as when on the horses. The collars open at bottom, and hang thus something like the capital letter V inverted. A telegraph-bell rings when a fire breaks out anywhere. The horses are taught, when they hear this bell, to go at once in front of the engine, and put their heads and necks through the collars till they are in their places. The collars close with a spring, and the engine is ready to start! If I remember right, two minutes is the time allowed for the engine, with horses harnessed, firemen on it, and everything complete, to leave the yard. The firemen on duty are always ready dressed in the loft of the building where the fire-engines and horses[Pg 25] stand, and it is significant of the value attached to time, that they do not come down stairs as this would take too long. There is a square opening in the floor of their room, and through this a polished, round iron pillar ascends. When the bell rings, they slide down in quick succession.

The horses were noble beasts, and gentle as lambs. A lady and her child were with me, and the fireman, a most obliging fellow, put the child on the backs of the pair in succession. Upwards of sixteen hands high, the girl, nine years old, looked a very mite when so elevated. It may be that my lady friend petting the horses, won the fireman's heart. Anyhow he offered to show us how quick all could be got ready. He asked us to stand on one side, and giving notice above, to prevent the men descending, he rang the bell. Both horses immediately rushed forward and put their heads and necks through the collars. He fastened the traces in a moment—some quick way, I forget how—and all was ready. I timed the operation: all was done under the minute!

[Pg 26]

The said fireman showed us many other things, and having found out we were "Britishers," was much pleased at our encomiums. He said that Captain Shaw, the head of the London Fire Brigade, visited New York in 1884, and adopted much that was shown him. "In fact," he said, "the London Brigade has to thank us for much of its excellence." I smiled when he so spoke, the remark was so American; but I doubt not we have in this department, as in so many, profited by their inventive faculty, though I ventured to suggest it was not likely the obligation was all on one side.

The Brooklyn Suspension Bridge is, I think, the sight of New York. It connects New York with Brooklyn. It is the longest suspension bridge in the world, and I believe the best in every way. It took eight years, I think, to build. It is one mile 720 feet long between the entrances, and 85 feet wide. From either entrance to the large supporting towers is 2200 feet, which leaves a clear length of 1600 feet for the main span. The said towers, constructed of huge[Pg 27] blocks of granite, are 268 feet high. The bridge is 135 feet above high-water mark. It cost $17,000,000, i.e. about three and a half million sterling. There are three roads, or ways, below and one above. The centre lower way is for carriages, the other two for single lines of rails, trains crossing both ways. The upper road or way is for foot-passengers, and thus as you cross the bridge you see the carriages and trains below. The peculiarity of this wonderful and beautiful structure is the enormous span between the supporting towers, and the apparent extreme lightness of the whole bridge. It would take more engineering knowledge than I possess, and pages of space, to describe the manner the roadways, i.e. the whole bridge, is supported. But the idea conveyed is that the supporting-rods, and the ties of every kind, are far more numerous and lighter than in other suspension bridges. The mesh of a spider's web, but with threads running in every direction, is the only thing I can compare it to. I know not who the engineer was, but his name should go down to all posterity. I have travelled in many lands, but I never saw any human[Pg 28] achievement that impressed me so much as this Brooklyn Bridge. In vastness, in beauty, in ingenuity, there is no edifice, I believe, reared by man to equal it.[1]

New York is divided into three parts. The larger is New York proper. The other two are Jersey City and Brooklyn. The Hudson river runs between New York proper and Jersey City. This is not bridged, being about two miles wide, but I doubt not the go-ahead Americans will do it some day. The East river divides Brooklyn from New York, and is crossed by the bridge described above. The termini of the great rail lines, running North, South, and West, are in Jersey City, so when leaving New York you cross the Hudson river. There are six lines of ferries across. The boats are of enormous size, with separate compartments for wheeled vehicles and passengers. The horses pull the vehicles on board, and off at the other side. The saloons for the passengers are pictures of ornament, elegance, and comfort. In all such things the [Pg 29]Americans are far ahead of us. Look at the steamboats running up and down the Thames, what miserable craft they are. You could put six or eight of them on board one of the American steam-ferries described, not to descant on the absence of all decent accommodation. I like to be fair and give the Americans their due. There is much I must decry. Will it make my praise appreciated on the other side of the Atlantic? I doubt it; but it will, I feel sure, make my English readers believe I write fairly, and do not hesitate to point out the many things in which the Americans are ahead of the "Britisher." Do you, if English, mind the word? I do not, but it is very American.

It has always struck me that nationalities, judging of each other, do not act fairly. Each individual, be he or she English, American or of any Continental country, is apt to regard the question at issue solely from the nationalistic point of view, and does not attempt to place himself or herself on the other side, and try to realize how it would look there. There are no people on earth more apt to do this than the English, though the Americans do it likewise[Pg 30] to quite as great an extent. There is nothing, I think, to choose between them in this respect, and for national egotism these two nations head the list. There are not many more disagreeable beings than the egotistical, untravelled young Englishman (age generally modifies his views), who reviles everything foreign, and thinks nothing really good is found out of Great Britain! The class are well known on the Continent, and naturally avoided, for they exhibit little or no delicacy in propounding their views. The young Englishman in question, often of the upper classes, and also often rich, is disagreeable in other ways also. He adores wealth and despises poverty. He is a very slave to what is most foolish in our social customs, ignoring entirely those that are commendable. He would not carry a parcel through the street if any amount of money would induce some one else to do it for him. He scoffs at religion of every kind. He scarcely believes in the existence of right and wrong. He is shallow to an extent, and fast it goes without saying. Yet is he not all bad. He has a code, loose as it is, and acts up to[Pg 31] it. It is real pain to him to be backward with a debt of honour (though I write it, how foolish the expression: as if all debts were not equally incumbent), but any tradesman may wait for years. He does not lie, except to save a woman's reputation (query—Is it then justifiable? I really don't know), but he exaggerates fearfully. Animal courage he has, but nothing of the moral attribute. Except as regards his egotism, personal and national, he is not offensive in manner or language. To ladies he is courteous, but his opinion of woman is of the lowest. I have said enough to show such a one does not commend himself to foreigners.

There is an American of the same type, but he differs. Far more intellectual than his English brother, he has much wider views. He is equally puffed up with conceit as to his own "glorious country" (odd how often you hear this expression in the States), but he recognizes it is a new country, and may thus have some shortcomings. Still, that it is on the high road to eclipse all others is part of his creed. He does not, like the other described, look up[Pg 32] to a rich man because he is rich, but because he must have been "cute" to attain the position. Social customs of all kinds he ignores, and if with the Englishman aforesaid would willingly carry his parcel for him! He too is a free-thinker in theology, but he is more tolerant of creed and dogma in others. I cannot call him "fast" as compared with other Americans, for they are all fast in a sense. The word, as we understand it, somehow does not apply to them. So much for his best side. As regards any code of honour, or appreciation of the virtue of truth, it is not in him. As regards physical courage I would back the Englishman, moral courage the American. He (the latter) is often offensive both in manner and language. Courtesy to any one he does not practise, for he thinks it argues his own inferiority. I know not what he thinks of women, for I never cared to discuss the subject with him.

Such are, in my opinion, the general characteristics of two similar types of young men in England and America. Both, after travel and as they advance in years, improve. But, as painted, they are, of course, neither of them[Pg 33] desirable companions, and I do not think there is much to choose between them.

I care not here to continue the subject, and try to depict the opposing national characteristics of the Americans and English (of course, what is written above applies to neither, only to the particular type of each country as set forth). I have already done it more or less in the foregoing pages, and would rather it peeped out in the same way as my book proceeds.

But all this is not New York, which I am bound to finish in this chapter. Before we go further I had better, for the benefit of those who know it not, state the American currency and its equivalent value in English money, for it will save repetition. The "almighty dollar" is the unit of currency in the States. Why the coin is thus lauded in American phraseology is a puzzle, for it certainly procures less as regards its nominal value than any coin I know. The dollar is divided into 100 cents, and is worth itself 4s. 2d. Thus each cent represents one halfpenny; twenty-five cents, roughly one shilling; and the English sovereign is generally[Pg 34] worth $4.85, generally written $485, and read four dollars eighty-five cents. This decimal system is most convenient for all calculations. I may give one example. Suppose the exchange to be as above, £1 = $4.85, and I want to send the equivalent of £210 to America; I simply multiply 485 by 210 and divide the product by 100; practically cut off the two last figures in the said product. Thus—

485 × 210 = 101850.

The two last figures, the five and the cypher, are cut off, and they indicate the cents, the figures reading $101850, which is the true amount I shall get at the above rate of exchange.

Again, in casting up columns of English money figures, we have to divide the total of the pence by 12, the total of the shillings by 20, and only set down the remainder, carrying over the quotient. With the American currency the dollars are set down in one column, the cents in another, but the whole are added up together, then the two right-hand figures of the product struck off. These are the cents, all the rest are dollars. There are other ways in[Pg 35] which this decimal system is convenient, but I have exemplified it sufficiently. Shall we ever have as good a system?

The silver coins are ten cents, quarter, half, and whole dollars. The gold, five, ten, and twenty dollars, which are roughly worth a little over one, two, and four pounds sterling. The last is a very handsome gold piece, a trifle smaller in diameter than an English crown, but, I think, thicker. The bank-notes, called "Bills," begin at fifty cents, and run up to one thousand dollars. There may be higher, but I have not seen them. There is nothing to be said in their favour. They are of many patterns and devices, and most of them dilapidated and dreadfully dirty; so dirty that they stick to one another, and so greasy and discoloured by usage that I always fancied they gave off an unpleasant odour. They are not nice things to put in your pocket! I speak of those of moderate value, say 100 dollars. I believe those of higher denominations, not so much in use, are better. Accustomed to our clean and crisp notes, I was surprised that the go-ahead Americans had such[Pg 36] paper money, for bad as it is in some parts of the continent, I have never seen such offensive notes as the American. I believe, here in England, all paper money paid into the bank is destroyed, and new issued in its stead, and that this accounts for our clean, crisp, and undilapidated notes. I wish the same plan held over the water.

I had forgotten the copper coins. These are one cent, two cents, and five cent pieces. The last is covered over with some nickel composition, so that it looks like silver. Side by side with the ten cent silver piece, the five cent nickel bit looks the more valuable, and it takes time to realize it is only worth half the other. The five cent piece is often called "a nickel," the ten cent piece "a dime."

Out far west the copper coinage is not current under five cents. When at "San Francisco," I found that nothing was sold under that amount, which is, of course, 2d. The poor there take two or three of any cheap thing to make up the sum. Not only did the storekeepers there not think it inconvenient, they regretted[Pg 37] the time in the gold fever days when ten cents was the lowest tender, and if I remember right, when that splendid city was in its first infancy (i.e. gold in California was first discovered) nothing could be bought under 25 cents, or one shilling!

It is a great mistake to suppose America is a cheap country. It may be, nay often is, a good country to make money in for the very reason that things are not cheap, but it is, a very dear country to live in, and, take it all in all, the dearest I have ever visited. It is well that this all-important fact should be known, for numbers of emigrants go out, deceived by agents in London, with quite a contrary opinion. But still the broad fact requires qualification. Some few things are cheaper than in England or the continent, but most are far dearer. Food of some sorts is cheaper—notably meat—in many places less than half the price it is here. Bread, beer, and liquors much the same. Preserved provisions are a little dearer. Vegetables, perhaps, are cheaper. But all other necessaries of life are two or three times their cost here. Clothing is very dear. Furniture[Pg 38] more reasonable. Crockery, three times the home price, and everything else that is wanted in a house exceeds by much what it would cost here. Travelling is far more expensive, but more on this head farther on. The truth is as follows:—If a man or family live in the States in an out-of-the-way place, and are content so to live without the comforts of life, nothing but the bare necessaries, they can then, after once setting themselves up, live cheaper than in England. But only in this case can it be done. To live otherwise, that is to allow yourself and family things on the ordinary scale we have them in England, costs far more.

The reason why things are dear in the States is simply because labour is scarce and expensive. For an ordinary day's work, a man there gets one to one and a half dollars besides his food. This is certainly equal to three times the ordinary English wage. The consequence is, that, in spite of the heavy import dues on foreign manufactured goods, the Americans, in many cases, find it cheaper to import than to manufacture them. Take crockery for instance. By[Pg 39] far the greater part in use comes from England. They have as good clay in the States as there is here. I need not say that the Americans, ingenious and au fait at all machinery as they are, could make it, still they do not, to any extent, simply because, so made, it would be dearer than what they import. English crockery will be found all over America; it has borne sea freight, import dues, rail charges for perhaps fifteen hundred miles, what wonder then that when you buy such it costs three or four times what it does here?

It is the same with many other things. In fact, the purchasing power of a dollar in inner America is not, for all such articles, much more than one shilling in England! It goes without saying, that English emigrants of the lower class, settling in America, can, by selling their labour, as they do, at such a high price, and with the cheap common food available, more than make up for the high cost of such things as I have described. But people who have been accustomed to comforts in England should avoid the States, unless they are prepared to forego society, and live the sort of life one leads[Pg 40] on a cattle ranch, where nothing in the way of appearance is necessary.

One word more as to the poor emigrant class. It is not all couleur de rose for them. True, labour is in demand and its cost high, but the man, or the family, have often a hard fight before they can take advantage of these conditions, and during the interval they have necessarily to spend far more than they would in England. I do not say that the said poor class, who cannot find work here, should not emigrate to America, but I do say they are unwise to do so, unless some assured favourable locality, some kind of probable opening, is assured to them. America needs population, but the need is America's, and she should give the inducements.

Back to New York. There are many very good hotels there; among them may be named the Fifth Avenue Hotel, the Windsor, Brunswick, and Astor House, but all these are expensive, five to six dollars per day per head, which is a good deal more than the best hotels in London. There are also many good hotels in which the charges are not more than half the above, but[Pg 41] in most of the latter breakfast only lasts from 7 to 9, and dinner is at 1 o'clock—hours many will object to. You can have baths in all these houses, but the comfort of a sponge bath in your bedroom is not usual, and if you insist on it, you pay for your obstinacy. I went to Earl's Hotel: it is quite as good as any of the second-class houses; the waiters there are all negroes, they are attentive and serve well. It was the height of summer when I landed, and the heat was awful. The nights were suffocating; I could have fancied myself in the tropics, for the high temperature lasted till early morning. Sleep and great heat, in my case at least, are antagonistic, and, as I tossed on my bed, I longed for the waving punkah we have under such circumstances in India.

I was not sorry to leave the place, and advise any one visiting it, to do so either in the Spring or the Autumn, at those times the climate is delightful, but avoid both Summer and Winter, the extremes of temperature, heat and cold, at those seasons, are such as we in England wot not of, for above 100° in summer and 20° to 25° below zero (Fahr.) in winter are extremes.

FOOTNOTE:

[1] In vastness and ingenuity it has certainly no rival on earth. In beauty, the Palais de Justice at Brussels may be a rival.

[Pg 42]


Decoration

CHAPTER III.

Why I went to America—Agents in London and the Eden promised—New York to New Orleans—Railroads in the States—American scenery—Ranch life—Deserts in the States—Antelope Valley.
I

  left New York for California, which is right on the other side of the huge continent, but why I did so I must explain, for thereby hangs an important tale.

My object in going to America was to buy an estate and settle on it with my two sons, whom I had sent out there some eighteen months before. They went to learn farm and cattle ranch work, and had been so employed. Before leaving London I inquired much as to the best part of America to go to, but, as is so often the case, I found that nearly all the advice I received was prompted by self-interest, i.e. that among the class I applied to, mostly agents[Pg 43] connected in some way or other with America, each vaunted the excellence of the State and locality he worked for. In short, the result of all my inquiries was that a great many different States were the best in the Union!

While in doubt what to do, and with the determination not to be "done" by an agent, I read a very tempting advertisement, and eventually, like many more, was done very completely by the advertiser and his representations! The said advertisement set out that 160 acres in California would be granted free of cost by the Government to any one, above twenty-one years of age, and that any further area could be bought on very reasonable terms. The locality was said to possess a charming climate and many advantages, all of which would be detailed on application, &c., &c. I have not the advertisement, unfortunately, or would set it out. This I thought looked tempting. My two sons and I could take up 480 acres, and I could buy any more I wanted. I went to the advertiser (I found out later that he was an American, but he had been long in England and did not betray it),[Pg 44] and what I saw of him I liked. He said the locality was in California, and that it was known as the "Antelope Valley" (a taking name!), and possessed a very perfect climate. The winters were very mild, the summers not hot, and bright sunny days were the rule. That he was there in June, and wore with comfort the same clothes he did in England. That the rainfall was scanty, but the deficiency was supplied by artesian wells, which could be sunk at a small cost anywhere in the valley, and with certain results. That California was known to be a great fruit country, and that the valley in question was pre-eminently fitted for all kinds of fruit. That settlers had only begun to go there a few months before, and were increasing in number at a great pace. That a railroad ran through the valley, and that all the land in its vicinity was taken up, but that, if I went out soon, I could probably get land two or three miles from it. That crops of most kinds, besides fruit of all kinds, could be grown there, and that the rail connecting at either end with San Francisco and Los Angelos (the former the capital of California and[Pg 45] on the sea, the latter a large town and seaport), there was an unlimited market for all produce. The scenery, too, he said, was beautiful, the valley being surrounded by picturesque hills, &c., &c., &c. All these statements he supported by a map of the valley, showing the lands taken up, by a pamphlet he had written, in which the glories of this Eden were highly painted, and to which were added letters from the settlers, thanking him for having brought such a paradise to their notice.[2] But this was not all. Specimens of the crops and fruits grown in the valley, some dried, some imitations in wax, heavy bunches of grapes, peaches wonderful as to size, Brobdingnag strawberries, and what not! The only wonder was why so desirable a tract had only lately become known, and I asked as much. The answer was, "Want of population. California is roughly 800 miles long, with perhaps an average width of 200 miles. In this large tract, twice as big as England and Wales together, there are about a million inhabitants."

[Pg 46]

And I, like a fool, was more or less satisfied, for I found the areas and population mentioned were right.

Now in all the above, truth and fiction were so closely blended, that, to discriminate which was which, I should have to travel over the whole ground again, and this is not the place to do it. Wait till we get there. But I would ask the reader to note this page, and compare it later on with the facts.

Suffice it here to state that the said agent, who sent me and many others there, knew that not one in twenty would remain, and that numbers in fair positions here in England, who, influenced by him, sold up all they had and went out, some with wives and families, to this El Dorado, crossed the Atlantic on the high road to ruin!

But what was his object? Did he own lands there and want to sell them? Not an acre, I believe! He got a commission on the passengers he sent over a particular line of rail, and thus managed to send all his victims the same way that I went.

[Pg 47]

Now the oddest part of the whole affair is that he did manage to do this. If any one looks at a map of the States, he will see that the direct and consequently the shortest route from New York to California is viâ the Central Pacific Railway to San Francisco. The distance thus is about 3000 miles. By the route he sent me, and all the aspirants to become land-holders in the Antelope Valley, viz. viâ New Orleans and the Southern Pacific railroad, the distance is, say, 4500 miles. Thus, 1500 miles out of the way! I did not realize when he offered me tickets by that southern line how much longer it was. Still a glance at the map showed me it was longer, and I objected. "Yes, it is longer," he replied, "but I can get you tickets cheaper that way, and you will be far more comfortable." I assented. But I am surprised he succeeded with the others, as I am now that he did so with me—that none of the many, more suspicious than I am, did not fathom his object. But so it was. All who went to the happy valley travelled over that route, 1500 miles out of the way!

[Pg 48]

Besides the extra distance, and consequent extra expense, there was another very serious disadvantage in summer (the time I did the journey) to the line he recommended. It is much farther south, and in consequence a great deal hotter. I suffered not a little therefrom. Others did the same, and as they dropped in by twos and threes, exhausted by the heat, and joined the exasperated and despairing prior arrivals in the valley, they cursed, in no measured terms, the man who had so deceived them. In two words, the Antelope Valley is a howling desert. Not a blade of grass, not a green tree, no trees at all. In this it is a perfect contrast to the swampy "Eden," so well described by Dickens in "Martin Chuzzlewit," but as regards the impossibility of making it a home, the two are alike. More on this head when we get there.

I am not one of those to whom "money is no object;" quite the reverse, and more especially had I to study economy when I left for America. I therefore took second-class tickets from the said agent for the whole line from New York to San Francisco. The Antelope [Pg 49]Valley is, by the route I was to travel, some 300 miles nearer, but I thought it better to go to the capital of California first, and get what I might want. He assured me I should have every comfort in the said second class, and the amount I paid him for the tickets, considering the enormous distance (I forget the sum), was not great. He told me I should not get a regular bed as in a Pullman car, but that if I took a small mattress and blankets, I should find room to lie down and sleep. The tickets he gave me were to be exchanged at New York for a rail-book, with coupons in it to carry me over the different lines.

When leaving New York I went to the office to have this done, but only on the morning of the day I was to leave. I then found to my astonishment there was no second class, only first and emigrant class, and that my tickets were really only good for the latter. On further inquiry, I ascertained that between New York and New Orleans (the first part of the journey, taking about two days and nights), no sleeping space whatever was provided in the emigrant cars,[Pg 50] and consequently that I should have to sit up on the seat the whole of the forty-eight hours, but that from New Orleans to San Francisco, the said emigrant cars were built on an improved plan, the seats pulling out and forming bed-spaces, and that therefore the hardship on that, by far the longer part of the journey, four days and five nights, would not be so great. "But," I said, "I paid for second-class tickets, and emigrant class is third." "Very sorry," replied the rail official, "but there is no second, and you will see that the sum paid and marked on your London paper indicates emigrant rates." This was true, and I had no redress. I then observed, which I had not before, that on the tickets I purchased in London, "Second Class" was only written in ink on the side. I felt I had been deceived, but that no other course now lay open except to accept the said emigrant tickets, or pay the difference and go first. I decided eventually to do the latter as far as New Orleans, and after that, as there would then be sleeping space, to travel in the emigrant cars. I therefore paid the difference (it was considerable), [Pg 51]and left the office with first-class tickets to New Orleans, and emigrant class beyond.

Crossing the Hudson river to Jersey City in one of the magnificent ferries described, we started from the terminal station there. By the bye, the word station is not used in the States; dēpot, pronounced as written, does duty for it. I was surprised how, in many ways, the language used in America differs from our English. I will give a few examples: A cock is a rooster—biscuits, crackers—deficiency, shortage—put in prison, jailed—drapery, dry goods—cabman, hackman—horses' reins, lines—sleepers under rails, tyes—guard, conductor—cabin, state room—engine-driver, engineer—funnel, smoke-stack—engine, locomotive—to post, to mail—sending by rail, to ship—clergyman, minister—to harness, to hitch—to think, to guess—to do, to fix—to carry on any business, to run—barmaid, bar-tender—public house, saloon—many, quite a few—and pages might be so filled. Doubtless the language, the idioms vary more and more yearly, and probably the pronunciation also. You do meet[Pg 52] Americans, travelled ones, who have no nasal twang, but otherwise the nationality, partly by that, partly by the way occasional words are pronounced, is easily recognized. Some of the Americans seem to forget that England was the birthplace of the English language. One said to me, when pronunciation was one day the subject under discussion between us, "Very true, we do pronounce many words differently, and I can always recognize your countrymen by the British accent they use when speaking our language." I laughed, and remarked that unless I mistook, we had spoken it before Americans existed. He did not answer; it seemed to strike him as a new view of the subject, and he ruminated!

Running south from New York, the country we passed through until night fell was very beautiful. That, and some I saw near Lake Erie months later, was the most charming pastoral country I beheld in the States. It was quite equal to anything in England, which is so rich in pastoral scenery. One charm in American travel is, that, in traversing that[Pg 53] mighty continent, you see scenery equal to, and like, the best that any country on earth produces. While executing the enormous distances on American rail lines, you lie down at night, the last of the twilight having shown you rural scenes—peaceful villages, ivy-clad churches, browsing cattle, waggon teams and green fields. You awake in a desert—a real desert like the great African ones. Far as the eye can reach, for hours and hours as the train rolls on, sand and nothing else. Not a house, not an inhabitant, no water anywhere. You close your eyes that night on the arid waste, and lo! next morning you are in Swiss scenery. Great fir-clad mountains, capped with snow, border the rail, a precipice is below, and you shudder as you realize how near you are to the edge. A mountain stream, with numerous cascades, accompanies you for miles. Domestic animals are confined to a small breed of horses and goats, but if lucky you may see a large stag, or a grizzly bear, and possibly have a shot at the latter. Before evening all changes again. Vast and interminable plains of grass, with an [Pg 54]occasional sluggish stream. Cattle by the thousand in great flocks, sometimes grazing peacefully, sometimes driven by wild-looking cowboys on wiry horses with the high-peaked Mexican saddles and long whips. Here again you may travel for hours and see no habitation. Trees, too, there are none. It seems to be a country designed by nature for cattle only, and such is indeed the use it is put to.

The enormous cattle-ranches we read of exist here. The life of the owners or managers is a very Robinson Crusoe kind of existence. Miles probably from any rail, and miles also from their nearest neighbours, the solitude is extreme. Women delight them not, for there are none. An occasional newspaper finds its way there, but complete ignorance of the affairs in the outer world is the rule. A ranch-man's library is very limited, so not much can he do in the way of reading. He lives in a log-hut he has probably built himself, and he or his companion, if he has one, cook their simple fare. They have beef ad libitum, milk by the pail, they can wallow in cream, and consume any amount of[Pg 55] butter. Tea and coffee too they have—sad the day they run out—and possibly a bottle or two of spirits, but the last they are very sparing of, for such is not easily obtained, and they are a sober race. Two iron beds, which either of them gives up willingly to a friend and makes his own on the floor (hospitality is a law with them), a table or two, three or four chairs, shelves and pegs to put and hang everything on, and this is all the furniture in the hut. But, except at night, they are seldom indoors. Riding many miles after stray cattle, milking, butter-making, rearing crops for cattle food in the winter. There is plenty of occupation and they work well.

The cattle on such ranches stay out the year round. On the largest the owner often knows not how many there are. Occasionally they are driven into corrals (wooden enclosures), and counted, while the young stock are then branded. The life is necessarily wild, rough, and solitary. The ranch-owner, like Robinson Crusoe, is lord of all he surveys for many miles round. His work is not hard, his gun, his rod, his horses are[Pg 56] his amusements, but domestic happiness, the charm of "home" is not his. Think you he is to be envied or pitied?

All ranches in the States are not as above described. Where there is more population the ranches are smaller and differ in other ways. I shall have to describe one later which I bought, so will not do it here.

I had with me a mattress and blankets for the emigrant car beyond New Orleans, but having a first-class ticket I supposed this entitled me to a regular made-up bed in the Pullman carriage which was next to the first-class car. I found though it was not so, and that two dollars a night had to be paid for the luxury. In the first-class carriage, with small seats holding only two, it was impossible to lie down at all, and so I paid it, but this was the first experience I had of the way Europeans are deceived on the American railroads. When I paid at New York the difference of third to first as far as New Orleans, the official well knew, for I told him, I did it to secure sleeping accommodation, but he took good care not to undeceive me. I have[Pg 57] known the same sort of thing occur again and again. The most flagrant case I met with I will mention here. I was in Colorado at the time, and about leaving for England. I wrote to a high official of the Central Pacific Railway, at Denver, for the rates of through tickets to New York. He replied that first-class was 48 dollars, second, I think, 44, and added, the difference was small (which was quite true), and that an additional advantage obtained by going first-class was that "it entitled you to sleeping accommodation." (I can swear to the six words quoted.) "Yankee cuteness" had made me suspicious by this time, besides I had never known the Pullman beds included in first-class fare, so I wrote again, and asked if he meant what his letter said. Driven into a corner he explained what I had previously known, viz. that only first-class passengers could use the Pullman, but had to pay extra for it. I wrote back indignantly and said the statement in his first letter was analogous, and equally truthful, to the following supposititious case. A meets his friend B in a town. A points to a jeweller's[Pg 58] shop, and tells B he is "entitled" to anything in it. So he is if he pays for it, and it was the same with the Pullman car!

We reached New Orleans in due course. It is in latitude 30° while New York is 41°. It is thus much further south, about 1600 miles by rail. It is not a healthy place, the yellow fever often makes great ravages, but I heard nothing of it. I was only there one day, so can say very little about the town. The sun was very powerful and I did not care to roam. There are many French, and they had imported Cafés on their national plan, with seats outside. Of course the coloured race was numerous, and as a consequence the semi-coloured also. Many ladies and women of this latter class are very handsome; I saw some beautiful faces among them. The "Yankees" are not in the ascendant so far south, and as a consequence the habits of the people are more courteous. The large French element there also conduces thereto. Another thing struck me, the inhabitants seem to take life easier, there is not the rush and drive one meets[Pg 59] with in New York. As regards the people I should not object to live there, but the climate is a sad drawback. The winters are much pleasanter than met with north, but the summers must be far worse, and the yellow fever is a sad ogre.

The principal street is a grand one, very wide, with trees on the Boulevard plan. In this respect it far surpasses Broadway in New York,[3] while in buildings it is equal to it. I also found New Orleans much cheaper, the dollar commands more. I was only there about sixteen hours, and then left by the Southern Pacific line en route for California.

As I said before, for this part of the journey I had only emigrant class tickets. The distance is very great, right across the continent, and to San Francisco, where I was bound, some 2900 miles. It was with no little anxiety, therefore, I stepped into and inspected the said emigrant class carriage, in which I was to spend some five days and nights. The interior will be better [Pg 60]understood after I have described the general plan and principle of American trains.

Here in England each carriage is divided into compartments, distinct from each other, holding 6, 8, or 10 passengers. In America there are no compartments whatever. Whether first, second, or emigrant class, the carriage is open from end to end. In the middle, connecting the doors at either extremity (there are no doors at the sides), runs an open space, about three feet wide, and the seats are on either side of this passage, and placed at right angles to it. Each seat holds two people, the seats are placed in front of one another on both sides the whole length of the carriage or car, except a certain space at either end, of which presently. When the passengers are seated they thus all face the engine, but the back of each seat works on a pivot at its foot, so that the said back can be placed on either side of the seat. In other words, you can thus sit either with your face or back to the engine. This is a great convenience, for, if the carriage is not crowded and two people can occupy two seats, by placing the[Pg 61] backs different ways, you can put your legs on the opposite cushion. But it is a greater convenience still in the emigrant cars, for in them a board can be drawn out to fill up the vacancy between the seats, and you thus have space for a bed. In the emigrant carriages each passenger is entitled to space for his bed at night, and it is thus arranged. The two seats hold four in the day. At night two of the said four vacate, and occupy a space above, made large enough for two beds. This is the arrangement when the car is full, which is not often the case, but otherwise one sleeps above and one below. I was fortunate. Sometimes I occupied the upper, sometimes the lower space, but I never had to share either with another. The above arrangement, viz. spaces for beds, is only in the emigrant cars. In the first class, and in the second if there is one (for a second class carriage is the exception), there is no board to pull out to fill up the vacancy between the seats, nor is there any space for beds above, so that really, unless you go first and pay the nightly charge for the made bed in the Pullman car, you are far better off in[Pg 62] the emigrant carriage than in either of the others.

The spaces alluded to above at both ends of the carriages are occupied in one case by a stove and reservoir for iced water, in the other by a lavatory and retiring closet. The long journeys in America could not be undertaken without these conveniences.

In front of the door at each end of the carriage is a small platform, which joins on to and very nearly touches the adjoining one of the next car. The conductor or guard can thus at any time go from one end of the train to the other. So in fact can anybody else, though not permitted into a higher class than paid for. There is no difficulty whatever in going from one carriage to another. I have often seen children do it with the train running at full speed. The said platforms, except the passing space, are railed in, and it is often very pleasant to stand out there in the day time and see the scenery, often at night too, when it is hot, for the draught then is very welcome.

The seats in the emigrant cars have no cushions, they are plain wood. The passengers[Pg 63] sit on the pillows or mattresses brought with them, and there is thus no hardship in it. The other carriages have all cushioned seats. The Pullman cars are models of luxury. In some trains there are two Pullmans; one used as a drawing-room in the day and for beds at night, the other for meals. The lavatories in these are most commodious, one for men and one for ladies, and in every possible way the comfort of the passengers is studied. You have your meals at any hour you like, the cuisine is good, and all kinds of wine are on the list. You pass the day reading or writing, though the last is not easy, perfect as the springs are. You smoke, when you will, in a luxurious smoking-room. You can wander from one end of the train to the other, and at night you have a perfect bed. What more can one desire? Under such circumstances, a week's journey is no hardship; but, and it is an important "but" to many, to "do" America in this way is very expensive. The fare is high, the meals dear; thus, to cross the continent in this wise, costs perhaps 40l.

I advise none but the rich to visit America[Pg 64] with travel in view. But those to whom "money is no object," as the saying goes, can wander in the States with more comfort and luxury than anywhere in the world.

The American rail-cars, in their construction and arrangements, being so different to ours, it is well worth while to consider which is the better. I do not hesitate for a moment to award them the palm, in their phraseology, "far and away." In the first place, in such carriages the murders, thefts, and outrages, we occasionally hear of in England, are simply impossible. I will not dwell on this point, it must be so obvious. Secondly, you can quench your thirst, when you will, in whatever class you are; here you cannot do it at all. More, you can wash, you can retire for any purpose, while here, the suffering both sexes often go through, for want of such conveniences, is often very great, sometimes permanently injurious. Thirdly, you are not boxed up in a confined space in their cars as you are in our carriages. You can have change, choose your society, stretch your legs, go outside, and all this necessarily makes the time pass pleasantly. That[Pg 65] all this is so, every one must allow. Should we not then do well to copy their plan? The conservative feeling, prevalent with some, that because "our plan is ours it cannot be beaten, and we'll stick to it," is so contemptible. Let each nation, I say, learn from the other in every way. Perfection is not human, there is always room for improvement, and narrow-minded is the individual who, puffed up with conceit for his own or national attributes, fails to recognize it outside. I know, of course, that to change our plan of rail carriages must in any case take many years, but some might be built on the new plan, and the change tried gradually. If any like privacy, a carriage on the old build would meet the want.

But beyond the carriages there is nothing regarding American railroads equal to, or as good, as our system. Here in England the lowest tariff, the third class, is fixed by Act of Parliament. Every line is compelled to provide traffic at a given rate, viz. one penny per mile (parliamentary fares), and thus the poor can always travel cheaply, or the rich either if they[Pg 66] choose to go third class. In America, as far as I could ascertain, there is no Government interference at all in this respect, and each railroad company can charge what fares it pleases. The consequence is that on some lines the rates are simply prohibitory.

In England we have first, second, and third class, to suit the means of passengers. In America some lines have first and second class, some first and emigrant class, but some again only first! The second class avails nothing for long distances, inasmuch as you have no room to lie down, and if you go second, as I said above, you cannot, even if ready to pay the charge, get a bed in the Pullman car. You are therefore, unless prepared to go emigrant, practically driven into the first class. On those lines where there is only first class, you are, of course, still more helpless, and can simply elect between rail and any other conveyance. I later bought a ranch in Colorado, close to a railroad. On that line there was only first class. I there wrote the following letter to a local newspaper, and I give it here, as it elucidates much of what I have said.

[Pg 67]


A RANCHMAN'S PLAINT.
To the Editor of the Daily Gazette.

Sir,—I am an Englishman. I have lately bought a ranch near a station on the Denver and Rio Grande Railway. I naturally thought when I did so, that being near one of the iron roads would be a great advantage in many ways, but experience has shown me I was mistaken, inasmuch as the rates for passengers, goods, and live stock are so high, no benefit whatever is conferred by the said railroad.

First, as to the said rates. On all the railroads I have seen in all the many countries I have visited, and I have travelled much, there are different classes for passengers. Here, on this railroad, there is only one, and that first-class. Where the justice, nay the policy, of this, even in the interests of the railroad? Is it fair to make a poor man travel in a velvet bedecked and gilded carriage and pay for the same, when economy being the one important point to him, he would rather pay less for ruder accommodation? Of course the only object the railroad directors can have by this unique and singular arrangement is to increase the receipts. But does it do so? I say no; many times no. How empty the carriages are! In my own case, had there been a cheap class, I should, since I have been here, have once or twice a week visited Denver or the Springs. Instead of perhaps twenty trips, I have made three (my family none), and the last time there were only two other passengers with me in the carriage. None of the ranchmen around use the rail. If they have to go anywhere on the line they drive, and all say it is far cheaper to do so and pay livery for the team than incur such high rates. Is not this an absurdity? The rate is, I believe, six cents a mile, which is just about three times that[Pg 68] for the third class in England. A railway should increase and foster travel. It always does so. No; one exception: the D. and R. G. Railway does not. In the same way as individuals use their legs, horses, anything in preference to the rail, so it is on this line found cheaper to cart crops to market, and it is so done. Another result: crops don't pay here because the cost of taking them to market is so high. So not only does the railroad not get the existing crops, it also forfeits all which would be grown were the rates reasonable. Truly the policy figured is a strange one and exemplifies exactly the best way "not to do it."

But I dare not trespass more on your space, or I could enlarge greatly on other singular facts. How, because there is competition in one case and not in the other, short distances cost more for both passengers and goods than longer ones. How it was (I am not sure as to the present) cheaper to take a through ticket when the destination was an intermediate station and get out at that station—if you could! These and much more are not peculiar to the railroad under discussion, though peculiar to America. The whole system of railroads in America puzzles me. With much that other countries might with advantage copy, there are crying evils which, were public opinion more expressed, could never be tolerated. But enough for to-day. If you care to insert this I may write again. E. M.

The American carriages have not the class painted on them as ours.[4] How you are supposed [Pg 69]to know which is which, beats my comprehension. Having settled yourself with all your small parcels, you suddenly find you are not in your right class, and have all the trouble of changing!

When the train stops, be it for meals or otherwise, you are not warned beforehand, and no notice is given when about to start again. Not even a whistle when it does start! How different this from our plan, or the one on the Continent. The object in the States would seem to be to try and leave passengers behind. This uncertainty also diminishes the advantage of stoppages, especially when meals are in the case.

I omitted, when describing the carriages, to dilate on the advantages of the stoves. These warm the cars most thoroughly. With the thermometer outside 20° or 25° below zero, the interior will be, say, 60°! Here the most we get is a foot-warmer, and must needs shiver! The Americans certainly score against us in all as regards the carriages and their comforts.

In England there are porters at all stations. In the States there are very few. Luggage once "checked," that is registered, you have no further[Pg 70] trouble with it, but you will find no one to help you with what you keep by you. Changing trains with mattresses, bedding, baskets with food, &c., &c., is often very difficult. You carry your belongings, or rather as much as you can, to the new train, there is nothing to indicate the class, so you place them in any carriage, and rush back for the rest, doubtful how much may be stolen at either end. Perhaps three trips are necessary, and you know not how long before the new train starts. No one thinks of helping you. Darkness, possibly, adds to your difficulties, for you can't find your last carriage, or the train you came in has been shunted. You are lucky if, after gymnastic performances with luggage which is a new experience, and wishing, as no porters exist, barrows were supplied, for then you could carry all in one trip, the new train has not started, without you, but with a share of your belongings!

I have seen ladies with children, emigrant women with their little all in peril, nearly insane in such cases. I have done their porter work more than once myself, and broken my shins in doing it. It is very shameful that it should[Pg 71] be so; more shameful the fact that if on railroads, in such cases, you ask for information or help, the chances are you are answered à la Yankee, i.e. rudely, and no assistance or information given you. Oh, this beastly want of courtesy in America, how I did loathe it!

The rail wars in the States are a grand feature—grand in the sense that they produce great results, some of them very absurd. One line tries to swamp the other by lowering its rates; the other retaliates, and quotes still lower figures. The first comes down more still, and the second follows suit. This goes on for months, to the advantage of the public, to the ruin of the lines. At last the reductio is truly ad absurdum. 1500 miles for $5! Then the companies agree, and, presto, the rate is $50!! On a line there may be competition at either end, not in the middle, e.g. the Denver and Rio Grande Railway above. Then is it cheaper to take a ticket right through than for half the distance, and get out at your destination if you can, for they often try to prevent your doing so! The Americans may be, nay,[Pg 72] they are, "cute," but common sense would be more to the purpose in cases like the above.

Cut-rate-offices exist in all the large towns. The meaning of the term is an office where rail tickets can be bought under the existing rates. This is accomplished legitimately, and also by fraud; the first, by the fact that the companies think it worth their while to give such agents a commission on tickets sold, and they allow you a portion of such commission; the second, by selling you, often at a large reduction, the return ticket of another, who on arrival has found it unnecessary, and sold it for what he could get. As such tickets are not transferable, you have, after buying such, to personate on the return journey the original possessor, and sign his name. But the Yankees think nothing of this. Thank goodness, all Americans are not Yankees!

The object "far west" being population, emigrant carriages are supplied westward, in order that this said poor class shall go cheaply; but having arrived, it is wiser to keep them there, and ergo, if they return they must do so[Pg 73] first, or at least second-class, for there are no emigrant fares back, i.e. eastward. I presume they are supposed to make so much money by even a short sojourn in the west, that economy can be no object on their return!

In England luggage is not registered, why, I never understood, for there is practically no safety in our plan. The boxes are labelled for their destination, and are thus safe so far; but if from any cause you are not then by to claim them, any one can walk off with any portion, and consequently the smallest delay on arrival is dangerous. Strange that losses are not more frequent. For, or on the Continent, it is registered through, and you get a receipt for the number of packages. So far good, but if you are obliged to stop en route, you cannot obtain the luggage or any part of it. Only at its destination can it be claimed by the production of the receipt. The Continental plan is better than ours, but inferior to the American. They use brass labels with numbers; one is attached to the package, one given to the owner. Presenting this label, he can claim the baggage it[Pg 74] represents at any time en route. The said labels are convenient enough, thin brass plates about half an inch square, and can easily be carried in a purse. The corresponding label is attached to the package in an excellent way. It is fastened to a leather strap, some six inches long, and in this, at the opposite end, is a slit; the strap is passed through the handle of portmanteau or carpet-bag, or under the cord of any box, the label passed through the said slit, and the strap drawn tight. It cannot possibly come off. On the label attached is the destination besides the number. On arrival there it is kept until claimed by the production of the corresponding ticket. It is by far the best arrangement for luggage I have ever seen.

Before arriving at any large town the train is boarded by what are called express-men. If you deliver to one of these your labels he gives you a receipt for them, and telling him where your baggage is to be sent, you will receive it there, without fail, in a couple of hours. There is no risk whatever in doing so, and the plan is very convenient; but as regards their charges[Pg 75] the said express-men are most extortionate. They think nothing of fifty cents for each article, however short the distance may be, but half that amount if the things are few and large, one quarter if many and small, is enough, and when they find you won't give more, they agree.

Still you are then not quite safe. Having been "done" once or twice by express-men to a considerable amount, I, on one occasion, when leaving Denver, the capital of Colorado, made a bargain with an express-man to take my baggage to the rail for a certain sum. He brought it to the station, delivered to me what I supposed was all, and I had it duly "checked," as described. I then tendered him his payment; he asked half as much again, saying the amount agreed to was not enough. I objected. He replied, "I kept back one thing till you paid me; it is in the waggon outside, and I shall not give it up." I appealed to the rail officials; they answered curtly that it was no business of theirs, and that I had better go to the police. This was impossible, for the train was just leaving. I had[Pg 76] my son with me, and I thought I could take it from his waggon by force, but there were many of his class by, and I did not fancy a free fight. "Pay the money," said some one, "take his number and report him to the superintendent of police," and I thought this the better way and did so. I did report the case fully, and offered to return to Denver to prove it by my son's evidence, but the said superintendent was not even courteous enough to reply. The express-men are licensed by the police, and accountable to them, but many told me, e'er I wrote, I should get no redress, for unless prepared to spend money in the case I should not get a hearing. The law on every point is most lax in the States, for bribery and corruption are acknowledged on every side to be the rule, and cases promising no profit are passed over. Still I must add the above was an exceptional case, I having always found the express-men act up to their bargains. I think, therefore, a bargain made with them will be completed.

But all this does not advance the journey from New Orleans to San Francisco. If you[Pg 77] look them up on the map you will see how far they are apart—some 2500 miles as the crow flies, and by rail, say, 3000 miles. You traverse the states of Louisiana, Texas, a little of New Mexico, Arizona, and California. A state in America is, speaking generally and leaving out the smallest, as large as England, some much larger, twice as big. Thus it was no small journey; it took me five days' and nights' incessant travel by rail. But what must the distances in America have been before the days of railroads. Here in England, between the old waggon era and the rail time, we had an interregnum of coaches, which for speed were the best in the world. Thus from one end of the kingdom to the other was then only an affair of three or four days. It was different in the United States. As far as I could ascertain there never had been a coaching-time, except for short distances. The long ones were done by waggons, at the rate of, say, fifteen miles a day, the passengers sleeping in or under the said vehicles at night. From New York to California at that time took a good six months.[Pg 78] It is now done by the direct route in something less than that number of days.

Louisiana, the first state we traversed on leaving New Orleans, is an uninteresting and swampy country, and must be very unhealthy. The vegetation is luxurious and semi-tropical. Mosquitoes exist in swarms. Some of the jungle we passed through (it has that character) reminded me of the jungles in the south-east of Bengal. Louisiana cannot be a good state for emigrants.

Texas, the next, is very different. No swamps, indeed not much water. Vast and interminable plains of grass, very thinly inhabited, and almost entirely destitute of trees. The soil in many parts seemed good; the climate, though hot, is not bad, and millions of emigrants might find homes here. This is the largest cattle-breeding state, and the ranches there are of enormous size. I have said much on this head previously, so we need not linger here.

New Mexico comes next. We only traversed a corner of this; it was all desert, and from[Pg 79] this point, all through Arizona and well into California, there was nothing else as far as the eye could reach on either side but sand, sand, desert sand, and not a drop of water. If I remember right, we were nearly two days and nights traversing it. I was astonished beyond measure; I had read much about the United States, and I knew that there was a desert around Salt Lake, the abode of the Mormons, but I had never heard of any other. When later, both from what I saw and what was told me, I found that a very considerable part of the States is desert, I wondered more that such a great and important fact is not at all known in England, and that none of the numerous writers on America have brought it forward.[5] In the following, I may in one or two cases be open to correction, but substantially I know I am right, for most cases are the result of my own experience.

[Pg 80]

A great, if not the best part of Arizona, Nebraska, Nevada, and Utah are mostly desert.

More or less of California and New Mexico are the same.

A small part of Daho and Texas may, I believe, be included, but my information on these is from hearsay.

There may be much more than the above. I cannot doubt, from what I have seen in the parts I traversed, that there is, but the above is enough to justify my assertion that "a very considerable part of the States is desert."

I would I could give a map here of the States with all the deserts painted yellow. No map extant delineates these vast wastes. I am afraid to hazard a guess what proportion the said painted parts would bear to the whole, but enough, I am sure, to make the reader wonder as I did.

How enormous these deserts are may be judged of by the fact that the four first states in the list above are together roughly about one third larger than France ... and that the far[Pg 81] greater part of them, to say the least, are howling wastes!

A great part of these vast tracts are as truly desert as those in Africa. Sand and nothing but sand; water would have no effect as regards fertilization, and, besides, there is no water. But other parts are different. Not more tempting to the eye, what looks like sand has vitality in it. Water produces a wonderful transformation, and crops, trees—everything will grow with its aid. Thus, in this better class of desert and in the favoured spots where water is procurable, the said blank waste becomes a smiling spot. Such is the desert the Mormons have fertilized, such, as a rule, the deserts in California. Much of the splendid fruit that state produces has its birthplace in such localities.

Where the deserts of the last-mentioned kind are found, did anything like a moderate rainfall happen yearly, they, of course, would not exist. But rain in these localities is very rare, as indeed it is all over the world in such spots. The want of rain, I conceive, makes the desert,[Pg 82] and the arid waste responds by keeping off the rain. It is well known vegetation conduces to rainfall, and that a country thickly wooded, when cleared, has less rain after. I have myself seen striking instances of this. On the other hand, vegetation and rain increase simultaneously. It may be, therefore, that, in the course of very many years, a portion of the American deserts will disappear, for where the soil has any vitality in it, and water is procurable, artificial means will bring vegetation, which again, little by little, will increase the rainfall; until at last (it may take centuries) the now said desert tracts will thrive with the rain from heaven alone.

While on the subject of rain, I would mention some curious facts. From what we know of the climate in different European localities (or rather let us confine ourselves to Great Britain, where the western parts, especially Ireland, near to and exposed to the effects of the Atlantic, have an increased rainfall), we (by "we" I mean others, like me, ignorant of meteorology) would think the western Pacific coast of[Pg 83] America, with that boundless ocean (far wider than the Atlantic, and stretching across to Asia) in front would fare likewise. But it is not so. In fact quite the reverse. On the greater part of that coast, up to about latitude 42° north, the rainfall is exceedingly scanty, so much so that very little vegetation will thrive without artificial watering, and though north of 42° there is much more, it is still less than on our western coasts. The deficiency cannot arise, except very partially, from lack of vegetation, for though the said coast, south of 42°, is very bare, not far back exists a high and well-clad mountain range.[6]

What is the cause I know not, perhaps meteorologists do, I only state the fact. But more: though not to the same degree, all the large tract west of the Rocky Mountains has a deficient rainfall, and artificial irrigation is [Pg 84]more or less resorted to everywhere. I shall have more to say as to how it is done when, later, I describe the Antelope Valley.

I left the description of the journey when in the desert, and now return there. As the line enters the State of Arizona it begins to descend. It had ascended previously, which had made the heat bearable. But a few hours of descent made a woful change. Coats, waistcoats were discarded by the men, while the female passengers followed suit as far as they could. No use! we all gasped and panted and used many pocket-handkerchiefs. The temperature rose higher and higher, and the night was the worst, for we were then at the lowest point. Between Tucson and Yuma the heat was simply infernal. I believe this tract is the bed of what, ages ago, was an inland sea; anyhow it had all the appearance of it, and I was later told geologists thought so too. It is, to say the least, very likely, for Yuma, I heard, is several hundred feet below sea-level. The latitude is 32° north, a warm latitude in any case, but with desert for hundreds of miles all round, with perhaps[Pg 85] as low an elevation as exists on earth, shut in on all sides so that not a breath of air can get at it, what wonder that Yuma and all about there is hot? I have experienced great heat in many parts of the world, but Suez, the Red Sea, the hottest parts of India, are a joke to what I felt there. I have since heard it has the reputation of being the hottest place on earth!

Between Yuma and the head of the Gulf of California is about eighty miles. It would not therefore be difficult to let the water of the ocean into this dry bed, and make a large sea there, the same as they propose to do in Northern Africa.

Yuma is on the boundary-line between the States of Arizona and California, but it is some six hours further west by rail ere you leave this supposed dry sea bed and begin to ascend. California had been painted to me in such bright colours, both in England and America, I could not, when daylight came the following morning, and there was still nothing but desert, believe we were really there. But so it was. We ascended for some hours, and the climate[Pg 86] bettered as we did so, until at last we could breathe once more, but the desert was still there, and it was not till we came near Los Angeles, which is some 150 miles beyond Yuma, that we began to encounter vegetation. Los Angeles (the Angels) was so named by the Spaniards who founded it. It is on the barren Pacific coast alluded to, but the soil is of desert kind number two, that is, it has vitality in it, and water makes it fertile. Thus by artificial means (for of rain there is very little) the environs of the town are highly cultivated. Fruit is the main product. The grapes are magnificent, so are the peaches, in appearance at least, but they lack flavour. This defect is common to that fruit all over California; but I need not enumerate each kind of fruit grown, all that thrives both in temperate and semi-tropical regions is found there, and, the peaches excepted, all first rate of their kinds.

It was here I first appreciated the cheapness of fruit in California. A big basket of splendid black grapes, which at the cheapest time in London would cost say eight shillings, I bought[Pg 87] there for a few cents, say sixpence, and all other fruit in proportion.

I did not stay at Los Angeles; I was anxious to see my sons in the Antelope Valley, and we were now nearing it. I omitted to mention that while I was at New York, I received a letter from them, in it they told me that I had been grossly deceived, and that the said valley was, to repeat their words, "an out-and-out do." That nothing could be done there, that I should never stay, &c., &c. Of course I was much disappointed, but as they were there, I must join them, and I determined to see for myself. Thus, in spite of their warning, I had come to California.

A few miles from Los Angeles the country became bare again. No trees, no vegetation, sand everywhere, with low hills, but they were sand too. "Is all California like this?" I asked in despair of an intelligent American near me. "Yes," he answered, "pretty nearly so, south of San Francisco. North of that city there is rain and any amount of vegetation." My after experience showed me he was right, but[Pg 88] he qualified his statement. The mountain range, which runs down the middle of this great country, is, he told me, richly clad, and any amount of vegetation exists on either side some miles from its base. This, he explained to me, is partly due to the greater rainfall there (the hills and the vegetation on them being the cause), partly to the rivers and streams issuing from this mountainous region, and fed by the melting snows. Along their course for miles into the plains, the country is thus watered, in a measure naturally, partly by artificial means. He also told me that the waste and desolate country we were then traversing only wanted water to make it fertile.

We were very near the Antelope Valley by this time, and I asked him if he knew it. "Of course I do," he replied, "you are not going there are you?" I told him all I have told the reader. "Well, it might be worse," he added, "there are quite a few there now, sent out by the same man (I know him well) from the mother country, who would go away to-morrow if they could, but they have spent their[Pg 89] all to come, and are now in a tarnation fix. You take my advice, don't you stop there. Take your sons with you, and be off while you can." I asked him if doing anything there was hopeless? "Not at all," he replied "if you've got lots of money, and can import labour, which does not exist there, if you sink a lot of artesian wells (they run expensive), and if when sunk they prove a success (the last two have been failures), if you care to live in such a barren spot, and like a hot climate and the fiery glare from the sand. I might add a few more 'ifs,' but I've said enough. Given water (the rain I guess would not wet your pocket-handkerchief through six times in a twelvemonth), the soil will grow most things, but then you see there is no water, and as for the artesian wells, when successful, they can each only irrigate a small area; but here we are in the valley."

We had been passing through some deep cuttings lately, and had now entered a vast plain bounded by distant hills. No trees of any kind were in sight, the soil sand, but browner than most I had seen. Every few feet[Pg 90] was a little shrub, some two feet high, what I know not, but a miserable specimen of vegetation, and besides this not a stalk or leaf anywhere. A more miserable site I have never set eyes on. We passed miles and miles, all the same, till we came to where I had been told to have my letters sent, "Lancaster City"! The last two miles before arrival, an attempt had certainly been made at cultivation. A few acres of alfalfa (a productive American grassy crop), some rye, Indian corn, vegetables, and what not. But the whole area was not fifty acres, the cultivators inhabiting plank huts alongside. The train stopped at the station, and lo! Lancaster City lay around. It consisted of one decent-sized, two-storied building, viz. the hotel, two stores, a saloon, and half a dozen huts. Not another edifice, and the dreary plain described for miles and miles around. This was the haven, the Eden, I had come some six thousand miles to attain!

The hotel, quite close to the line, had an open verandah to the upper story, and the rail in front had some thirty or more pairs of boots[Pg 91] and shoes apparently attached to the top bar. Still it could scarcely be so, for only the soles were visible. Presently, as the train drew up, some of the boots disappeared, and men took their place. Gradually it became evident that each pair of soles represented an individual, who lay luxuriously poised on the back legs of a chair, with his feet up in the true American posture, which, however, mind you, I in no way decry, being much given to it myself. I had telegraphed to my sons to meet the train, and there they were as I got out. But they were both so sunburnt I scarcely knew them. Luckily the train stayed half-an-hour, so there was time to arrange matters. I plied them with questions. The answers were all to the same effect, viz. that the Antelope Valley (they had seen it from end to end) was in every part as what lay before us. That there existed no hope of doing anything in it, and that the only wise thing was to get away as quick as possible. They told me that the same agent who had sent me out, had also induced all the boot-owners in the verandah to come, and that far[Pg 92] the greater number would go away at once, had they the means to do so. Also as to the last artesian wells being failures, and this being so that all hope was gone. Every day or two a fresh lot of victims arrived, and that none with means stayed above a few hours. I mentioned the fruit specimens I had seen in London, they and the bystanders laughed, and averred there was not any fruit in the valley. They told me much more, which was all corroborated by several who had come out of the hotel, and it was really only necessary to look round to be convinced the Antelope Valley was in every sense a miserable tract.

I determined to take my sons on with me by the train. They had supposed I would do this, and were all ready. But there was a difficulty. They had no money, and I had not enough, so I was obliged to leave them there until I could send back funds from San Francisco. I thus went on alone, bidding good-bye to the dreary Antelope Valley for ever.

Night fell soon after, and next morning there[Pg 93] was cultivation around, together with enormous orchards of fruit. Soon we reached the terminus on the splendid bay of San Francisco, and steamed across in a ferry larger and even more luxurious than those at New York, which I described.

So my journey was done, and I stood in the great western capital of America, which so many have heard of, and so few, comparatively, seen. "What have I come for?" I asked myself as I landed, and echo answered "What?"

But San Francisco, if any city on earth does, deserves a chapter to itself.

FOOTNOTES:

[2] These letters, I was told by my sons and others, were in no way genuine.

[3] Broadway should be called Longway. It is very long; it is not at all broad.

[4] In Belgium, not only are the classes distinguished by numbers, but the carriages are painted different colours. This is the best plan of all.

[5] This may be partly accounted for by the fact that the said American deserts are all, or nearly all, on the west side of the Rocky Mountains, and that this distant part of the States has not hitherto been very much visited by Europeans.

[6] This is the great range of hills which runs, north and south, pretty well through the whole 800 miles of latitude California occupies. The vegetation on these mountains is luxurious, and some of the forest-trees are of an incredible size. Much beautiful scenery exists there.

[Pg 94]

Decoration

Decoration

CHAPTER IV.

San Francisco—Army and Navy—International Court—Pacific coast—Californian ranch—Social customs—Good-bye, California!
N

o one, who has read so far, can think I am unduly prejudiced in favour of America and the Americans. I have tried to write fairly, and point out in what respects their institutions, habits, &c., excel ours; but, on the other hand, I have criticized in no sparing language what I consider are faults or peculiarities distasteful to outsiders, and possibly there is more blame than praise in the foregoing pages. If now, therefore, I write strongly in favour of the great capital of Western America, it ought to be accepted as truth.

I have travelled much and seen many cities and towns in different parts of the world, but I have seen nothing to equal San Francisco—not in size of course, but in every respect which[Pg 95] makes a town a desirable residence.[7] Climate is the most important, so I will dilate on that first. There is much about it that puzzles me, and that I cannot explain. I leave the solution to others, and confine myself to the facts. There are no extremes of temperature in San Francisco, neither the days nor nights are ever either uncomfortably hot or cold. In summer the usual temperature is warm enough before noon to wear light clothing, but about one o'clock a breeze sets in from the bay and the ocean which reduces the heat considerably, and which sometimes blows stronger than is quite pleasant. This is the only possible fault that any one can find in the climate, and the said periodical wind only lasts for the three or four midsummer months. Winter there differs but little from summer, frost and snow are unknown, and inasmuch as in winter the said periodical sea-wind is quite absent, I have heard many of the inhabitants aver that winter is, in the daytime at least, warmer than summer! Whether this be so or not, it is a fact [Pg 96]the winter days are very charming, for as a rule there is a total absence of clouds, fogs, or mist, and the sun shines merrily in a bright blue sky from sunrise to sunset. In that latitude (38°) the sun has considerable power even in the winter. The want of rain on the Pacific coast, south of latitude 42°, applies of course to San Francisco. I was there about five weeks. It only rained twice, and not more than one quarter of an hour each time. I stupidly forget what the yearly rainfall is, but very small, I know. How odd, by the bye, are the variations of rain in different parts of the world. Let us guess San Francisco at ten inches, I doubt if it is so much. Here in England put it down at thirty-two inches, though the west coast of Ireland is, I expect, nearer fifty inches. In the tropics, say, 130 inches, though I have been in one place where 300 fell. But there is a spot in Bengal which has the largest rainfall in the world, viz. 600 inches. Fancy, fifty feet of rain! The place is a hill-station, by name "Cherra Poonjee," and the country is so steep none of the rain can lie on it.

[Pg 97]

With so little rain, fine weather at San Francisco is nearly continual the year round. The air is very dry. It is seldom too hot, never too cold; there are no dark, gloomy days. What more can any one desire? Verily it is, without exception, by far the finest climate on earth.

But there is an odd feature. The above is the climate of San Francisco; it is not the climate of a dozen miles off, either north, south, or east (the west is of course the ocean). For instance, Sacramento, a large town lying north-east about fifty miles, is a very hot place, and abounds with mosquitoes, which are unknown in the capital.

San Francisco resembles New York in the paucity of cabs. Here again nearly every one travels in the street cars. Horses are used in a few of them, but with most the motive power is steam at one end of the route, which works an endless rope. This wire rope runs on rollers under ground between the rails, and there is an orifice from end to end in the roadway above the said rope. Through this said orifice or narrow slit, a pair of pinchers, connected with the car, descends and nips the rope, which runs[Pg 98] continually. The said pinchers are made to grip and loose the rope as required.

When you first see these monster cars, with no apparent motive power, rushing about the roads and streets and climbing the steep hills of the town, the effect is very strange. When I first did so I made sure they were driven by electricity. The said cars are of great size, and most luxuriously and conveniently fitted up; with excellent springs and smooth rails, they glide over the ground at about eight miles an hour, with no perceptible motion. A ride in them is most enjoyable.

Market Street is the principal one. It is a noble thoroughfare, at least twice the width of Broadway in New York, with trees on either side, and very wide pavements. The buildings, mostly stone, cast into the shade anything we can show in London, and nowhere on the Continent have I seen such a main artery to any town. The Palace Hotel in it is by far the largest and finest in America, and even those we have here in Northumberland Avenue are more or less small in comparison. It is an enormous,[Pg 99] very lofty quadrangle, with inner verandahs on each story, built round a spacious court, which is glazed in at top of the building. I forget how many hundred bed-rooms it contains. The interior is also a model of luxury and comfort. In every department money has been lavishly spent, and the result is that the Palace Hotel is possibly the largest and best in the world. The charges also, considering the comforts offered, are by no means high. I believe it was built by one man out of the enormous fortune he accumulated in the first gold days, but what is the result of the speculation I could not ascertain.

There is a large and very beautiful park outside the town. Trees, shrubs, and flowers from all parts of the world are collected therein, while for those that require tropical temperature huge glass buildings are provided. All testifies to a luxurious growth, and the smooth, closely-shaven, mossy grass is of a picturesque bright emerald green. It is all artificial! Neither grass, shrubs, flowers, or trees would grow at all did they depend on rain alone. Everything is[Pg 100] irrigated. Below the surface a network of waterpipes runs in all directions with taps available everywhere. I was much struck by the way the turf is watered. The water is forced with great power through minute orifices in the large splay metal end of a hose, ascends some thirty or forty feet, and falls exactly in the form of very fine rain; thus every blade of grass is moistened. Wonderful indeed is the effect as you stand at the park entrance and compare the scene outside and within. The dry, baked soil, innocent of vegetation on the one hand, the luxurious growth of many lands combined on the other, interspersed with a green sward you long to fling yourself down and roll on!

The Bay of San Francisco is the finest harbour in the world. The navies of all nations could congregate and manœuvre in it. It is simply a huge inland salt-water lake communicating with the ocean. There is only one entrance, the Golden Gates, possibly one-third of a mile wide. It is commanded by fortifications, built on the rocks on either side, but these being stone appeared[Pg 101] to me ill adapted to the enormous forces gunnery can exert to-day. Just outside the Golden Gates, lashed by the waters of the Pacific, is a large solitary rock, called the Seal Rock. Hundreds of seals live on it, finding their food in the ocean. No one is allowed to molest them, but the fishermen on the coast cannot regard them with favour, for they must devour tons of fish daily. The said rock, covered with seals, some sleeping, some playing, rolling off into the water, and clambering out of it, is a very curious and characteristic sight as you enter the bay.

Living in San Francisco is very cheap as regards the cost for food. Fruit, as I have said, is far cheaper there than anywhere in the world. It is quite incredible what a few pence will procure in that way. Enough of splendid grapes, apricots, greengages, currants, strawberries, and what not to last three or four people several days. The price of meat too is very low. Mutton or beef, which costs here in England say 10d., per pound, can be had there for 3d. to 4d. Vegetables are the same. Bread is cheap too,[Pg 102] say three-quarters the price it commands here. Thus very little will keep body and soul together in San Francisco, but outside bare necessaries in the way of food, most things are dear. Groceries are about the same cost as in England. Furniture, and the many things required in a house, are all much dearer, but this of course only affects the poor in a measure. There are no beggars, no very poor, in San Francisco, for labour is in demand; the climate necessitates but a small outlay for fuel and clothes; and as for food, what better meal than bread and grapes, the latter to be had almost for the asking.

San Francisco is a very cosmopolitan town. All nationalities are to be found there. In the first gold fever days crowds poured in from all parts of the world, and they or their descendants are there still. Perfect as San Francisco is as a city, it is not thirty years since a small fishing village alone stood there. How such a perfect town has been erected in the time is truly a wonder, more wonderful still that in so many respects it should excel other capitals.

There are curious stories told of those gold-fever[Pg 103] days. How law and order there was none. A man there at that time held his life by a frail tenure, viz. only as long as he could himself take care of it—

"The good old rule, the simple plan,
That they should take who have the power,
And they should keep who can,"

held in California at that time. Later, as San Francisco enlarged, as the first attempts to put down violence and bloodshed were made, gambling in the gold stocks and mines assumed huge proportions. New mines, or new water-courses rich in gold dust, came forward daily. Shares often attained one hundred times their original value in a week. Beggars became rich, the millionaire a pauper in the same time. We shudder when we read of a suicide at "Monte Carlo" once or twice in the season. At the time of which I write there were often two or three at San Francisco in a day! That it should be so, was perhaps natural, for never, I believe, in this world's history were there such violent and sudden ups and downs as California then witnessed.

[Pg 104]

While I was at San Francisco an English man-of-war came into the bay. She was an object of great interest, and crowds flocked on board to see her—the result a wholesome appreciation of England's naval power. The fighting power of the United States at sea is very limited. She has really no navy to speak of. Odd that it should be so, but it is no less a fact. Congress is well aware of this, and admits it. But it will not be long thus, for the Americans realize how truly helpless they are in this way, and have commenced to remedy the defect as fast as they can. The United States, almost as much as England, need fear no foes except from over the water, but her position to-day in that respect is a sad one. Did war occur between Great Britain and the States, there is not a town on her sea-board which could not be annihilated by British men-of-war. America, isolated as she is, need fear no European or Asiatic convulsions, and the time is distant, if it ever come, that Canada, without England's support, though her neighbour, will be able to cope with her in the field. But to give her a voice[Pg 105] among nations, a navy is a necessity, and, as I have said, she has now fully realized that fact.

Of the United States' army I can say but little, for I saw but little of it. That little I was not favourably impressed with. No one who recalls the war between the North and South, can doubt the material is at hand, the question is whether the best is made of it. The physique of the American (national physique can only be spoken of generally) is perhaps not equal to the physique of some European nations, still the inferiority, if it exists, is slight, and physique has not so much to say in battle now as in times gone by. A soldier is more of a machine to-day than he was then. Courage given, it is discipline, coolness under fire, self-reliance, all teachable qualities, which makes the individual valuable. Has the American soldier these qualities in perfection? I rather doubt it from the little I saw. I have trained soldiers myself, and from rough materials (I raised a cavalry regiment of Albanians during the Crimean War, and previously served with the native army in India), so I speak with experience.

[Pg 106]

While armies and navies of large dimensions are necessities for nations to-day, is it always to be so? Because one nation, as Germany, has bloated armaments, must others have the same? Is there to be no limit to the fighting-power each nation must have on hand, with the waste of labour, the misery, the poverty entailed on the masses thereby? Cannot international arbitration supersede the roar of the cannon, the brute force which now decides the differences of nations? The Almighty has made man a reasoning animal, and yet in spite thereof the ultimate resort is senseless slaughter. Shame to the age that it should be so! Why cannot Cobden's great idea of an international Court, to decide national disputes, be carried out? The difficulties in its way are, I believe, more imaginary than real. I have thought on this matter so long, and most willingly would I lay down my life to-morrow to see the attempt made. Suppose two or three powerful nations, say France, England, and one other, commenced it. At the request of either of two nations disputing, both should be called on for the facts,[Pg 107] and the judgment given. The powers composing the Court should be bound by united action and force of arms to compel obedience to their mandate. The Court once formed would issue invitations to all other powers to join, that is, to appoint members and delegate them to the said Council. Those kingdoms that did join would realize the advantage that their representatives would form part of the deciding body in any case in which they were directly or indirectly interested, while those that held aloof would lack this benefit, and yet be amenable to the decision, if the opponents in any quarrel asked for the judgment of the said Court. What nation would eventually hold aloof? Verily none, I believe, for though in any possible case it might be that the establishment of such a Court was not approved of, yet once constituted, to keep out of it would necessarily be a losing game. The only way that any power could keep clear, and still hope to hold its own, would be by holding fighting forces in hand equal to, or superior, to the combined power of all the nations forming the Court, which would be simply impossible.

[Pg 108]

Such a Court once established would increase in numbers quickly, until the whole civilized world had joined, and then war, among the said civilized nations, would be at an end, or rather, if there was war, it would be the many against the one, a justifiable, a quick, decisive war, with only one possible ending. The first would probably be the first and last!

Then would armies be reduced to the small dimensions necessary to enforce order in each country. Then would the sufferings, the dreadful horrors entailed by war, cease. Then would the millions sterling of expenditure on bloated armaments, representing incalculable labour wasted, come to an end, and thus allow of light taxation. Then would there be food for all, and, as a consequence of less want, less crime. Then could great works, benefiting all mankind, be executed. Then would man progress as he has never done yet. In a word, the millennium, at present a religious myth, would then be realized!

Oh! that abler pens than mine, that some great statesman, would take this subject in hand.[Pg 109] That the press would agitate it, that nations would try and carry it out, not on the rude outlines I have given, so faulty in all but intention, but on the collective wisdom of the great and wise on earth. If it failed, what harm? If it succeeded, what millions yet unborn would bless their efforts!

As I write I see that the great European Powers are about to deliver an ultimatum to Greece, backed with force if disregarded, to stay her warlike preparations against Turkey and disarm. Of the wisdom of the step, both in the interests of Greece and the said great Powers, there can be but one opinion, viz. that it is well. But of the right so to act on the part of the Powers, of the justice thereof, I do not think there can be the same unanimity in the affirmative. I for one think the Powers are in no way justified. Were Greece a great kingdom instead of a very little one, they would not do so. The fact of her being weak can be no argument in favour of the course taken. When France wantonly tried to invade Germany some years back, there was quite as much, nay[Pg 110] more, reason for united action to restrain her. But such an idea was never mooted, simply because France is a great Power. As things are, and always have been, any nation can, and does, make war on the most frivolous pretexts, often wars of aggression and conquest on no pretext at all. How often has England done so! What right, except conquest, have we to the whole of Hindustan which we hold to-day? How would England, or any great Power, have brooked interference such as is exercised in the case of Greece now? No. As things are among civilized nations to-day, I see not how the action of the powers in this case can be defended, except on the score of expediency, for, in truth, the interference is most unjust and arbitrary.

But what is wrong now would have been right had an international court been previously convened, and had Turkey asked for arbitration. What is taking place to-day, and the result, if the Powers are firm, viz. the avoidance of a bloody war, and the risk of other nations being drawn into it, Europe possibly in a few months[Pg 111] in a blaze—all this evil set aside, by the action of the many against the one, is surely an example in favour of an international Court to settle national disputes.

Arbitration has made progress in nationalistic public favour during the last few decades. But, alas! it is only when both disputants sue for it that it is exercised. As I have said, my idea is that the proposed Court being formed at the request of one of the parties, judgment should be given. If neither applied, then let them fight it out. But this last, I think, would be rare, and more, I think many will agree with me, that when in a few years the advantages of the Court would be recognized by all nationalities, and its members were consequently many, they would with general sanction enact that all national disputes should be laid before them for decision.

Such are my crude ideas on this all momentous subject. There is none on earth with a tithe of its importance. Will international arbitration ever be an accomplished fact? I think yes for the following reasons:—

Much as it argues degradation in man, or[Pg 112] want of even common sense if he allows the present state of things to continue, it has lasted for all time, and may well, therefore, march yet awhile. But there are forces at work which will compel him, sooner or later, to ponder the subject. I think possibly the progress of Socialism will one day cause the masses to refuse to fight, and lay down their lives for the ambition, the purposes, of the few. But if this fail, and it is, I admit, only a possibility, there is still looming a more potent and likely hindrance to war in the wonderful power of attack over the power of defence. Already, by the use of torpedoes (still in their infancy) the largest iron-clads can be destroyed by two or three men in a small boat. Can we suppose that invention in this respect will stay where it is? In a few years it may well be that either in this direction or some other we wot not of, the whole of a national fleet will be in the power of one man with destructive engines at command. Will this not stop maritime warfare? Further, think you invention, science, will be idle as regards the annihilation of armies? How many new[Pg 113] destructive agents, how many new modes of applying them, the last few years have brought forth. Is there to be no more progress? Is it not reasonable to suppose that, in time, even armies will be at the disposal of a few? When that day comes, how can nations continue their senseless wars? What then will remain but international arbitration? This generation may not see all the above, but science is no laggard in these days, and the next possibly will. Why wait for it? Let us do now what they will be obliged to do then, and avoid all the intervening misery.

But enough, for this book is supposed to be on America, and the above is a sad digression.

I have not much more to say about San Francisco (its pet name is Frisco), and this reminds me of the great affection some Americans have for California, and especially its capital. On my way west I met a man in the train who had lived a long time in California and knew the capital well. In answer to my inquiries, he replied, "California is God's country, I can't say more." He did, however,[Pg 114] say a great deal more, for he lauded it in every way, and as for "Frisco," he only wondered how any one, who could live there, lived anywhere else. Others also spoke to me in the same way. I need scarcely say my later experience, while corroborating their opinions of the capital, stopped short there. The real fact is that the State of California has been very much overrated—"distance has lent enchantment to the view,"—for while San Francisco is truly next door to a Paradise, the said state cannot with truth be much eulogized. It is the first fruit country in the world, and when irrigation is possible it is in many parts wonderfully fertile; but, like all spots on earth where there is a deficiency of rain, the general outlook is far from pleasant. Up north of San Francisco it is, I believe, better, for there is much more rain, but I did not go there.

One of my objects in going to America was to start my sons on land of their own, and though much disappointed with what I had seen of California, I inquired there about land. I found it could be had from the Government[Pg 115] on very easy terms, but that all worth anything had been taken up long ago. There were enormous tracts, millions of acres, free, but it was either forest, necessitating a large outlay to clear it, or some equally valid reason why it had not been hitherto appropriated. It was, of course, possible that, travelling about and spending months in searching, some land well worth having might be found, but after much inquiry I had come to the conclusion that cattle-raising was the best thing to go in for, and I need hardly say that California, with its small rainfall and consequent want of grass is not a good cattle-raising state. Still I continued my inquiries. I found there was any amount of land held by private owners for sale, but that very high prices in every case were asked. The idea of all landowners there seemed to be that it was only a question of time before numberless emigrants of all classes would pour into California, and that when that day came even much higher prices than now asked would be realized.

I came to quite an opposite conclusion, and have not wavered from it since. I do not think[Pg 116] there will ever be a large tide of immigration into California; and I think, moreover, that, ten years hence, the present owners of land there will be glad to take far less than they ask for it now. Great efforts are being made at San Francisco, by a large and well-organized staff, and in a most efficient way, sparing neither time, money, nor labour, to attract immigrants into California from all parts of the world. Numberless pamphlets and maps, describing the country, where and how land can be had, what it will grow, the enormous crops produced, its wonders as a fruit region, &c., &c., are being published, and sent to many countries, as well as all over the States. In all these there is much truth, and I need scarcely add, the source being American, much exaggeration, and, worse still, important omissions. The great feature of the country, want of rain, though allowed in a passing way, is made light of, and the facilities of irrigation dwelt on. I doubt not the said publications have, and will, attract (I am one instance), but as few will be satisfied after arrival, the real truth will eventually be known,[Pg 117] and therefore, I think, the great tide of emigrants looked for will fail.

Though California, as I have said, is not well suited for raising cattle, I was surprised to find at San Francisco that cattle ranches existed, and several were advertised for sale. I determined to go and see one. It was situated down south, possibly two hundred miles from the capital, and not far from the Pacific coast. I took one of my sons with me. We went down in a coasting-steamer, stopping at different places en route. The coast was the same in character all the way down, patches of cultivation here and there where irrigated, but otherwise brown-baked earth, be it hill or plain, with nothing on it. I have never seen a less inviting coast. We landed at some of the places we called at, and inspected the country as far as we could in the given short time. The towns were clean and nice, and some houses had gardens attached, but outside the town limits always the same dry-baked earth and no vegetation or trees. The heat, which more or less prevails in inner California, is tempered by the Pacific on the[Pg 118] coast. "Charming climate, woful country," my son exclaimed, and I quite agreed with him.

Some twenty hours on board brought us to our destination, the port of San Obespo, and a short railway took us up to the town, where we hired two saddle-horses on which to go out and see the ranch. English saddles, the Americans call them pancake saddles, are quite the exceptions in mid-America and out west. Nothing but Mexican saddles are used. I have ridden on many kinds in different countries, but for keen discomfort the Mexican, in my opinion, beats them all. There is a peak in front, about a foot higher than the saddle-seat, which is capped by a wooden pin with a large wooden button on the top. The object of this is to twist the lasso round when, after a successful hunt behind cattle, wild or tame, the struggling beast is at the other end. But however useful it may be, it is not a pleasant appendage to a saddle, and must give cruel wounds to the rider if he is thrown forward. There is also a cantle behind, higher than any saddle cantle I have seen, and between these two the seat of the saddle[Pg 119] slopes down before and behind, forming an obtuse angle between the slopes, which obtuse angle you sit on! When in the saddle you feel possibly like Mazeppa did on the wild horse, safe not to fall off, but very uncomfortable and helpless. The stirrups—but no, never mind them or any other part of the saddle, the whole affair seemed to me ingeniously constructed for the purposes of torture, and when I returned in the evening, I had not lost "leather," in the way it is understood in England, I was simply raw, not only on the part over the obtuse angle aforesaid, but for many inches higher, before and behind, owing to the lasso pin and cantle described. It was some weeks after ere I could sit down comfortably. My son was more or less used to these ingenious Mexican torturing machines, and declared that I too would by use arrive at the same state, but when I did succeed in dismounting that night (a difficult gymnastic feat at any time, sore as I was, a very trying operation), I vowed never to trust myself to a Mexican saddle again, and never did!

The ranch, as I expected, disappointed us. It[Pg 120] was large, above 1000 acres, an undulating valley bordered by high mountains. But grass, as we understand the word, there was none. Still the land was not bare. There was a scanty vegetation on it, and here and there much wild oats, which is, I believe, good food for cattle. I do not doubt cattle could be raised there, and that they would thrive more or less. It was well watered by two running streams. But, in both my son's and my opinion, the vegetation was far too scanty, and the price asked for it, above 2l. per acre, was, I thought, much above its value, and I don't believe the owners will ever get anything like that figure. I declined in any case to become the purchaser.

There was a very decent hotel at San Obespo, where we slept that night. There is one thing common in rooms in America which it would be well to introduce in England. Above all the doors are glass window-frames, working on a centre pivot, so that they can be either opened or shut. When open into the passage, staircase, or hall, you thus obtain fresh air, and being high up near the ceiling, the privacy of the room is[Pg 121] not endangered thereby, while its altitude prevents draught. Thus in a bedroom, when the weather is too cold to sleep with the outer window open, this inner one supplies fresh air. The ventilation thus secured is utterly wanting in English rooms. You can't have a bedroom door open, and if the outer window is shut the same air is breathed over and over again all night long, which is a monstrous evil in a sanitary point of view.

Another matter, though a small one. At meals, in America, as pepper is shaken out lightly from a perforated castor over food, so can you do with the salt, which is in similar receptacles. This is a great improvement over our English salt-cellars. We have the salt castors in India too; we call them muffineers there. In India, as a rule, each individual has both a salt and pepper muffineer before his plate. If you doubt how far it is an improvement, just try it.

The steamer we came down in was a very fairly comfortable, well-appointed, and quick boat, but as she went down much farther south, she would not be due on her way back for some[Pg 122] days, and I cared not to wait. A small passenger-steamer, on the way to San Francisco, was expected next day, and we returned in her. She was in every way a most miserable craft. She called at all the coast stations, and took forty-eight hours en route. There were many Americans on board, but few of a good class. The saloon was as dirty as any pig-sty, and the table-cloth must have been in use many days to judge by its coloured appearance. It could not have been designedly, but there was a capital gravy map of North America in the centre. Knives were much in vogue, to the exclusion of forks and spoons. It really was wonderful the practice some had attained with the weapon. A combination of meat and vegetables was carefully, but quickly, adjusted on the said knife, and then a slight turn of the wrist, and presto—it disappeared. As the performer's mouth was nowhere near, what had become of the greasy mass at first puzzled me, but watching closely, for the sleight-of-hand was marvellous and the passage between knife and mouth instantaneous, I realized it all!

[Pg 123]

"You can't say these people eat with their knives," I said to a nice and exceptional American by me.

"No," he replied, laughing, "you must go to Germany to see that. My countrymen—I hope, however, we don't all do it—have left that vulgar and dangerous practice far behind. The knife, you see, is used only as a propeller, and very neatly they do it."

"It must take a lot of practice," I added.

"Doubtless, and so does a Yankee's power of spitting. Their aim in that way far beats the knife exhibition," he replied with gusto. He was a Southerner, and evidently no friend to Yankees. "Ah now," he continued, "that's bad, and I object."

"Yes," I replied, "so do I," as a fat man opposite sucked his knife first to clean it, and then helped himself to butter. "The liberty of the subject entitles him to do as he will with his own food, but scarcely with that of the masses," I added.

As other knives were shortly used in the same way, neither my companion nor I cared to have[Pg 124] butter, and contented ourselves with cheese, which luckily was cut at a side-table, and presented to us in large blocks, in the shape of dice, mathematically correct as to planes and angles.

I shall never forget the berth I was given on board that steamer. It was a lower one, and as to sheets and bedding clean enough, but the cabin, a deck one, was very low, and thus the space for two berths, one above the other, was confined. There was only about fifteen inches' space between the two, entailing when lying down a painful sensation of confinement. But to get in at all was the difficulty, only exceeded by the difficulty of getting out. The only way of getting in practicable was by lying quite flat on the projecting board, considerately, I presume, placed there for the purpose, and wriggling in like a worm; to get out much the same, except that the upper sheet and blankets came out with you, and increased the difficulty. They say one gets used to everything, but this I do deny; I should never have got used to that berth, for entering or leaving it was a gymnastic and painful puzzle.

[Pg 125]

There was an American stewardess on board, to whom I complained of the berth in my cabin. She bristled up dreadfully as she replied, "Cabin! I guess you're a Britisher. I presume you mean your state-room. As for the berth, I guess again it whips what you're accustomed to the other side of the water," and she sailed off with great dignity.

I felt crushed, of course, but I called after her, "Well, it is a state-room in one sense, for the state I get into before I succeed in crawling in quite—" But she had slammed the saloon door, and could hear no more. True, I had the last word, still I did not feel I had come off victorious.

The Americans know the value of time; anyhow the way they despatch their meals argues it. When the bell rings for dinner on board ship or at an hotel, there is a strange scene. As the time approaches, so eager is the expectation, conversation lulls. Some, anxious to get a good start, congregate near the companion ladder or the door. Tingle, tingle, at last goes the bell; every one jumps up, and away they go to the[Pg 126] dining-room pell-mell, as men crush in for the best seats in the pit of a theatre. Seated, they devour their food as if eating against time, and the stranger who cares not to be left a course or two behind, has to look sharp too. Dinner is naturally soon over, and then they lounge out in striking contrast to their mode of entrance. Half an hour at the outside, and the table is clear. I asked my American friend, a travelled man, to account for it all, striking as it is in its contrast to the European mode.

"I can't do so," he replied, "for of course here on board ship they have nothing to do afterwards, and at hotels most of them lounge about for an hour or two after dinner. It can only be habit; but it does not hold in good society anywhere in the States, and down south, whatever the society, meals are taken in a leisurely way."

It is a great mistake to suppose the antagonism between north and south has died out. Of course I know not what it was, but it exists very plainly now. They are really separate races in thoughts and habits, and will not easily[Pg 127] amalgamate. Courtesy is the rule in the south, the exception in the north, and the southerners naturally resent this, both for their own sakes and the national credit.

Will the United States continue for all time as one united republic? I doubt it, if for no other reason, because of its size. Were all Europe one united kingdom, should we expect it so to remain? And yet the cases are nearly alike. Leave out one-third of Russia, and the two areas are about the same. Nevertheless all works well now.

What to do after my return to San Francisco became a question. My sons, from all they had seen in America, liked the idea of breeding cattle best, and thought to possess a good ranche was the best way to make money. I was inclined to the same opinion, and discussing the matter after my return, we decided that a ranche should carry the day. But California is not the country for ranches, and we determined to go elsewhere. They had both been a long time in Colorado, and seen many ranches in that state. There, they said, was any[Pg 128] amount of grass, making Colorado one of the best, if not the best, ranch country. I had heard much the same from others, and Colorado was eventually decided on. Between decision and departure not many days elapsed. Our stay at San Francisco had still further limited my means, there was a ranche to buy and pay for, and thus economy was more necessary than ever. We took third-class tickets to Denver, the capital of Colorado, and for a part of the way, luckily, got an emigrant car, in which we could find room for our mattresses, and so managed to sleep at night. But, as I have said before, accommodation for emigrants is given westward only, and I know not why this exception was made over a part of the line; but this I do know, when, during the last two nights and one day of the journey, we were put into a second-class carriage because there was no third, and had to sit up on seats all night, it was very trying.

Every one knows the Americans spit a good deal, but few know the extent to which they carry the nasty habit. The second-class[Pg 129] carriage was far worse in this respect than the emigrant car. The floor was literally covered with saliva, and sit where you would, for it was crowded, you did not feel safe. True, they are good shots, and can generally make sure to three square inches of the spot they aim at; still, when you are surrounded with shooters, as we were in this car, you feel nervous, especially at night when the dim light makes it more than ever hazardous. In the Pullman car spitting on the floor is not allowed; the class so travelling are naturally more considerate in this way, nay, possibly, we will hope, steer clear of the habit, but to some even there it is a necessity, and entails an open window or frequent rushes to the spittoon, put considerately out of the way, so that in the Pullman car you avoid the nuisance.

I may as well group nasty subjects together, then the fastidious reader can skip them. The toothpick is more in vogue in America than in any country I have seen. A prolonged use of it is made after each meal, but some people are never without it. It is held in the hand when an[Pg 130] argument is enforced with manual action, and when the speaker is satisfied he has proved his case, it is transferred to the lips, as if that was its natural place, while the owner leans back and surveys you blandly. If you are convinced, it probably remains there; if you are not (though some have acquired the power of speaking without removing it), the hand grasps it once more, and brandishes it like a dagger. I must though, in justice to the American, state that the most inveterate toothpick-man I ever met was an Englishman who had been in America since boyhood, and crossed the Atlantic with me on my return. He always, morning, noon, and night, had one either in his hand or projecting out of his mouth. It signified not what was his occupation, the little stiletto was always to the fore. We used to speculate on board if he so slept, and the ayes were in the majority.

California is about 800 miles from north to south, but across, from west to east, the average width is only, perhaps, 200 miles. The rail line, the direct one from San Francisco to New York, was the line I ought to have taken when[Pg 131] bound west, as I explained before. Owing to the northerly course the rail takes after leaving San Francisco, some 300 miles in California, not 200, has to be traversed ere you reach the next state, Nevada, and having left the western capital in the afternoon we crossed the boundary next morning. I could not, of course, see much of the Californian scenery at night, but the general character of the country we passed through seemed to be much as I had seen in other parts of that state, very fertile where water for irrigation was at command, but barren otherwise.

Before finally leaving California I must add the last I heard of that "almighty swindle" (so styled by an American I met, who was one of the victims) the Antelope Valley. Every one who could leave it had done so, but there were many who could not, who had spent their all to get there. Some of these had wives and children, and their condition was of course most pitiable. There was naturally no work to be had there, and I heard that many of them were living on charity. The hotel-keeper in the valley, a most charitable man, and his good wife, did all in[Pg 132] their power to mitigate the suffering, which was excessive. What became of the colony after I left I know not. Some who departed to return to England vowed they would be revenged on the agent in London, and if there was no legal redress (which I imagine is the case) thrash him well! I hope they did, but I have heard nothing, except that I saw in the paper one of the victims appeared before a London magistrate, and detailed the case. How he had sold up everything in England to go there, induced to do so by the said agent's representations, and on arrival found himself landed in a vast desert. But it did not appear that the magistrate could help him.

I can only hope the Antelope Valley episode will be a warning to emigrants. The United States is too well known, the country too much explored, to make it likely that any spot, or El Dorado, with the advantages the Antelope Valley was said to possess can exist unutilized. The Americans are far "too cute," if they found such a place, to tout for occupants from England.

As this is the last I have to say about California, I will close this chapter.

FOOTNOTE:

[7] Always excepting the pavements. These are bad, but not as bad as in New York.

[Pg 133]


Decoration

CHAPTER V.

Nevada—Utah—Wyoming—Denver—A restless night—Seeking for a ranch—Ranch work—Colorado Springs, the Sanitarium of Western America.
N

evada, east of California, is a wretched waste, and like Arizona, described some pages back, mostly, if not all, desert. True, in both cases, I only saw the parts traversed by the rail, but it is absurd to suppose, were any part otherwise, it would not have been selected for the line. The whole distance across the state is, say, by rail, 350 miles, and certainly 250 of that is a sandy waste. Then came the state of "Utah," famous as the abode of the Mormons, and part of this was also bare sand, but not like Nevada, for where irrigated, as California, it seemed fertile.

This was the last I saw of the American Deserts, and recalling the hundreds of miles of[Pg 134] such I had traversed in my two journeys, I wondered greatly at the ignorance of Western nations on this head. It may be so, because, if you look at the map, you will see the parts described by me as desert are far out west, and that few Europeans go there. Of course Americans do, but even with them it is the exception, and quite in keeping with national characteristics to keep it quiet. The day will come that we shall know how many square miles of desert there are in the States. When it does many, not I, will be surprised.

In "Utah" we skirted the north side of the Great Salt Lake, but saw nothing of the Mormons. Salt Lake City, their abode, is perhaps 100 miles south, at the southern end of the lake. The next state we entered was "Wyoming," which differs much from either "Nevada" or "Utah." Here are great rolling plains of grass, such as hold in Texas, and cattle raising is carried on over the whole state, at least so I was told. It is a large country, about 350 miles long east and west, and 250 broad. The line of Rocky Mountains runs through[Pg 135] it, and some of the scenery is superb. As far as abundant food in the shape of grass goes, Wyoming must be a good ranch locality. But the winters are very severe, and the snow lies a long while on the ground. At such times, of course, cattle have all to be more or less sheltered and fed, which diminishes profits, and great losses are experienced from the extreme cold, which kills many. Here in England we think it very cold if the quicksilver shows 10° (Fahr.) below freezing-point, that is 22°. Zero there is not thought cold, and the thermometer varies between that and 35° below zero, for two or three months. Fancy 35° below zero which is 67° below freezing-point! I have experienced similar cold in Norway, and recall how acutely painful it was. The English climate is far from perfect, but in our immunity from extremes of temperature we are blessed.

Tempting, therefore, as the grassy plains of Wyoming looked in a ranch view after the bare Californian ground, the long snow-sheds we passed through told me much, which inquiry confirmed, as regards the cold in winter, and[Pg 136] neither my sons nor I cared to stop short there.

I had never seen snow-sheds over rails before. They are simply long wooden tunnels, erected above ground over the line in spots where snow is likely to drift and block it.

The next state we entered was that of our destination, viz. Colorado, and what I saw of it, in the 120 miles we traversed before arriving at the capital, "Denver," I liked well. Grass and to spare everywhere, well-wooded in parts, some exquisite scenery, and so on. "This is the country," I said to my sons; "glad you brought me here."

We reached "Denver" in due course, a good-looking town, and put up at an hotel near the rail. After the journey accomplished, about 1700 miles, and sitting up two nights, we were pretty well knocked up, so had a hurried dinner and went to bed. But alas! not to sleep. The creatures that attacked us were not fleas, something worse. I have such a horror of the little black thing, we all have, I need not define it. They were in swarms. We had[Pg 137] turned in confidingly, we jumped out of bed horrified and lit the candle. They were in dozens on the whitewashed walls, and running all over the beds. To remain was impossible, but it was too late to seek fresh quarters, and we spent the night on tables and chairs below in the bar!

Next morning I complained to the landlord.

"Never heard of such a thing. You must have brought them with you, I guess."

"What, hundreds of them? Come upstairs and look."

He did so, but he did not give in. "Well, it may be some of them belong to the place, but I guess you brought most of 'em."

He was of the true Yankee type—the worst type on earth. So I cared to say no more, but paid the bill and went elsewhere, finding cleanliness, comfort, and as much courtesy as you look for in America, in the next hotel.

"Denver" is a clean, commodious, and pleasant town enough. There are many of the Yankee type there, but also some very nice[Pg 138] people. We spent some days inquiring about ranches, and then made trips out to inspect them. I need not drag the reader with me on these little journeys; we mostly travelled in a light one-horse van, taking our food with us, and, as the weather was charming, camping out at night. Except in the winter, when it is far too cold, at night in any case, Colorado is just the country for this gipsy life. The atmosphere is wonderfully dry, and there is no danger whatever in sleeping outside without any shelter. This free kind of life has always had a great charm for me, and, except in winter, Colorado is just the place for it.

After some time I found a ranch to suit me. I bought it, the cattle, and everything on it. The former owner and his family were not long ere they left, and then my sons entered on their duties. They understood the work, I did not, but I used to potter about and help in any way I could.

The profits on a ranch are derived by breeding cattle and horses, and selling the surplus stock, also from dairy work. Firstly, as to[Pg 139] breeding cattle. The procedure is different in different parts. Climate principally regulates it. In Texas, a low latitude (33°), the winters are very mild, and the cattle there are never housed, they wander over the vast plains the year round. In Wyoming, and Montana and Dakota which join it, the cold in winter is intense, and the snow lies long. When the land is snow-bound, cattle, of course, can find no food for themselves, and during such time they have to be sheltered (scarcely housed) and fed. To do this costs money, and it goes without saying that in this respect the warm sites are the better. More, in the cold localities many cattle are lost in hard winters, simply frozen to death. But there is compensation as in most of the actions of nature. The cold localities have better grass in the summer.

In latitudes like Texas there is no necessity to grow crops for winter food. In the cold localities much has to be done in this way. Colorado is between these two extremes, latitude about 38°, nearly the same as San Francisco.[Pg 140] But it is far warmer in summer, much colder in winter, than that capital. This is in a great measure due to its being so far inland, and also to the fact that most of the state is high table-land. Thus in Colorado (the snow seldom lies there more than three or four days at a time) the cattle are only sheltered and fed for short periods.

As a rule they calve in the spring. If it is required to increase the stock, only the male two and three years old and any worn out old cows are sold yearly. There is always a market for them; in fact, in spring and summer dealers travel round to the ranches and buy. If the above plan of keeping all the young female stock is followed out, and the mishaps are few, the cattle on a ranch double themselves in three or four years. When the limit a run will carry is attained, all the increase can yearly be sold.

Great numbers of horses are bred on ranches, and it is a question whether these or cattle are the more profitable. Horses are hardier than cattle, stand both heat and cold better. They [Pg 141]consequently require less shelter, and also less food in winter, for horses will paw up the snow and find food when cattle cannot do so. They "rustle" better for themselves, as the Americans forcibly express it.

There are no natural enclosures in ranch countries like hedges, though I see not why, in time, there should not be such. In vast plains, such as are found in Texas, I believe ranches are not fenced in at all, and the cattle wander where they will. But in countries like Colorado, where pretty well every acre has an owner, fences are a necessity. The usual one is a barbed wire-fence. This is thus constructed: at distances of 30 or 40 feet, sometimes more, strong poles, 3 feet in the ground, and say 5 feet above it, are set up. Three wires, the lowest say 18 inches from the ground, the second and third, a like distance from the first and second, run from pole to pole, and are attached thereto by iron cleets. This alone, however, would not suffice to keep cattle in the enclosures, for they often charge the fences in great numbers at a time, and would thus easily[Pg 142] break through. But the wires are studded at every 18 inches with sharp spikes, which soon teach the cattle that they cannot run against them with impunity. This is why it is called a "barbed wire-fence," and it is a very efficacious one.

On the ranch I had purchased (I called it the Water Ranch as it was exceptionally well watered with two streams running through it), the snow never lies long, not usually more than two or three days after a fall; thus it is only during these short intervals the cattle require to be fed, and in a measure sheltered. But this occurs again and again during the winter, and the food necessary has to be provided and grown during the summer months in the shape of Alfalfa (a peculiar and productive American grass), hay, turnips, and rye. Besides, as all the food the ranch workers require has to be produced at home, there is thus plenty to do in the kitchen-garden, in growing potatoes and other things. Then there is the poultry-yard. Geese, ducks, and fowls are bred in large numbers, and require much attention.[Pg 143] Ranch-men naturally live well, for, besides meat and poultry, there is the produce of the dairy, which, in all its shapes—milk by the bucket, cream ad libitum, and butter in abundance—they can revel in. I never was better fed than on the Water Ranch.

The dairy work is very profitable. Either the cream is sent away and sold to butter and cheese factories established for that purpose in ranch localities, or such are manufactured at home, and sent to the market-town for sale. But it will readily be conceived that milking thirty to forty cows, and the dairy-work in all its shapes, gives plenty of work.

I was convinced, after a little experience, that my two sons, alone, could not do all necessary, and as it does not pay to hire labour in the States (wages are so high), and as the cost of the Water Ranch was more than I could afford to give in its entirety to my sons, after my return to England I sold to two young gentlemen the half-interest on the condition that they should at once go out and work there. This they did, and there are thus now four partners with equal[Pg 144] interests in the Water Ranch, and working there together.

I think the reader can now, in a measure, appreciate what sort of existence ranch-life is. Early to bed and early to rise, the latter four a.m. in the summer, breakfast at seven, dinner at one, tea at six; work of some kind or the other all day, but not as a rule hard manual work; many interests, absence of care, good food and sound sleep. It is a placid, if not a very intellectual existence; the charms of society, the ameliorating influence of woman, are wanting, but on the principle some hold, though unjustly, that "she" is at the bottom of all calamities, to such, at least, this latter want is not much felt! Civilization, society, has many charms, but their absence is not an unmixed evil. The freedom entailed thereby, the non-existence of social restrictions, are at least advantages ensured.

I had intended to make my home with my sons on the ranch. The roughness of the life in no way disgusted me, for I am accustomed to such, having experienced it in many countries, and in various occupations. But the want of[Pg 145] intellectual pursuits, the absence of society, the lack of woman's influence, and the many charms connected therewith, wearied me sadly. In two words I found I was too old for the life, and that I could not, at my age, adapt myself to such great and violent changes. I was happy while there, but I felt it would not do as a continuance, and thus determined, having started my sons and provided for them, to return to Europe.

"Colorado Springs," the great health resort of Western America, is some twenty-five miles only from the Water Ranch. It is, in many respects, an unique Sanitarium, and should therefore be better known than it is to Europeans. Its climatic and soil advantages (the latter no mean factor), as a cure-place for consumption, asthma, bronchitis, and all pulmonary diseases, are perhaps exceptional, for I doubt if any spot on the earth's surface, owing to weather, temperature, elevation, locality, and soil, possesses so dry an air.[8] When we consider [Pg 146]how many thousands of young lives, often the flowers of the household flock, here in England alone, succumb to these maladies, how neither age nor sex is spared, it is surely well that such an exceptional cure-place as Colorado Springs existing should be made known far and wide.

I should be quite incompetent myself, from lack of medical knowledge, to dilate on this point satisfactorily, were it not that during a visit of a week to the place, I made the acquaintance of an English physician there of high repute, Doctor S. Edwin Solly, who went there years ago to seek relief himself from some pulmonary complaint (I forget what), found it, and eventually settled there. He gave me a book descriptive of Colorado Springs and Manitou (the latter is the spot, five miles distant, where the medical springs are), which is in two parts. The first is a prize essay by a Mrs. Dunbar, a resident at Colorado Springs, and deals with the climatic, social, and scenic conditions of the Sanitarium as set out in the following notice to her work:—

"In the spring of 1883 a prize of one hundred[Pg 147] dollars was offered by a committee of the citizens of Colorado Springs and Manitou for the best article upon these two towns as places of residence and health resorts. Numerous articles were presented and several were of marked merit. Rev. Willis Lord, D. D., and Rev. James B. Gregg, the examining committee, adjudged the prize to Mrs. Simeon J. Dunbar, a resident of Colorado Springs for the past two years, and a correspondent of the Boston press. Mrs. Dunbar has sought to prepare such a statement of facts as she would have welcomed (and believes others desire) when she contemplated making a home in the New West; in this endeavour she has been eminently successful. It is believed that this is the most complete, compact and accurate body of practical information in print concerning these two places, which are becoming more popular every year; and that it will be of great and permanent value to all persons seeking a change of climate or proposing to visit or settle in Colorado."

The second part is written by my friend, Doctor Solly, and treats of the place from a[Pg 148] medical point of view. I can, therefore, by giving extracts from the said book, state with very good authority all that is necessary to tell, in the author's own words.

But before I do so, I would, in gratitude to the said Doctor Solly and another, say a few words. My sons, previous to joining me in California, had been several times at Colorado Springs, staying with a Mrs. Garstin, an English lady I had known in London, who has now finally taken up her abode there. Her kindness to my poor boys (who were living a hard life, working as common labourers for ranch and farm owners in the neighbourhood, and who, it goes without saying, had no spare cash) was excessive. She was as a mother to them, and being far from rich herself the doing so often entailed personal privations. Both my sons, while with her, fell ill, and at her kind instance Dr. Solly attended them gratis. This was no exceptional case, he is one of those "who do good by stealth, and blush to find it fame." When, therefore, I went from the Water Ranch to Colorado Springs, partly to see the place,[Pg 149] partly to get cured of a sprained back which some farm work had entailed, I went straight to Doctor Solly, both for medical aid, and to thank him for his kindness to my boys. I was, indeed, pleased to make his and Mrs. Solly's acquaintance, and they both, thinking I must be dull all alone at the hotel, insisted on my dining with them daily during my stay. The doctor soon put me all right, and I spent a happy week wandering in the neighbourhood, climbing the Rocky Mountains, and enjoying society at his house in the evening. Surely one may dilate, even in print, on the qualities of individuals of the fair sex if it be all praise. Mrs. Solly is an American lady, and her, among others, I had in my mind when I dilated on the intellectual and broad views, with charitable tendencies, of the best class of our transatlantic sisters. With a high order of intellect, and a capacity for appreciation such as is granted to few women, Mrs. Solly was, in two words, one of the most charming companions I have ever met. On dit, and the idea is a nice one, that in many married lives the[Pg 150] wife strives to, and often attains the husband's level. Sometimes, more rarely, it is the other way, and the woman's intellect soars above the man's, while he may, or may not, try and climb so high. In either case, if even perfect success is not attained, the intercourse between the two benefits the weaker vessel, be that male or female. But the above theory did not, in either form, hold good in those I wish to portray. Both were highly intellectual, yet were they quite different. Their individuality had not been affected, as far as I could judge, by marriage. Perhaps the companionship begotten thus is the most charming of any in marital life, but it is rare.

Of the daughter I need only say that she was a fit daughter for such parents, and seemed to me to partake of the individual excellences of both, while the English ideas received from the father, the American from the mother, made a very charming diversity in her individual character.

Doctor Solly has an extensive practice in Colorado Springs and the neighbourhood, and is reputed to be, I should think justly, the first[Pg 151] medical man there. What he says, therefore, on the advantages of the Sanitarium deserves every attention, the more so that he honestly points out, in more than one place, the individual conditions which are more likely to receive harm than good from a residence on such high, dry table-land.

I will now proceed to make extracts from the combined book of Mrs. Dunbar and Doctor Solly, and as, in a medical point of view, it explains much, I will first set out the preface to Doctor Solly's work in extenso.

"A committee appointed by our citizens having requested the County Medical Society to select one of their number to write an article, for general publication, upon the qualities of this locality as a health-resort, the choice fell upon me, and the following pages have been written to comply with this request. The opinions therein expressed are set forth upon my individual responsibility, and not as being the combined outcome of the views of the County Society at large. I am, however, indebted to my colleagues for several valuable suggestions[Pg 152] and points of experience, but with respect to a subject so complicated as Climatic Influences the saw applies 'Tot homines, tot sententiæ.' Nine years ago I resigned the practice of medicine in England to try the influence of the Colorado climate upon my health, with satisfactory results, and the opinions and statements here advanced are founded upon my experience and observation as a practitioner of medicine in this locality for the last nine years. The article being limited did not permit the publication of clinical records or extended discussion of the many interesting problems referred to, but is put forward as an effort to assist physicians and their patients in answering the often recurring question of the wisdom of a change to Colorado, from some safe standpoint and not merely from hearsay reports unsupported by evidence or reasonable inference. Viewing this subject of Climate as resting upon a scientific basis, and not alone upon empirical knowledge gained in particular regions, I have followed the plan of first stating the facts and opinions that are generally known or accepted[Pg 153] concerning the features and essentials of climates in general, and their influence upon the healthy body; secondly, giving the general features of elevated climates and their effects both in health and disease, and finally, comparing these general effects with the special effects observed in this particular locality. Thus I have endeavoured to show good reason for the faith that is in me, by connecting this fragmentary study of climate with the whole great subject of climatology."

"S. Edwin Solly."
"Colorado Springs, 1883."

Colorado Springs is thus described by Mrs. Dunbar.

"Pike's Peak Range is the most eastern spur of the Rocky Mountains, taking its name from the Peak itself, which rises high above the rest, viz. 14,150 feet above sea level. This eastern sentinel of the vast Rocky Mountain system has its advance-guard directly in front. Cones, peaks, and great shapeless masses of rock, terminating to the south in Cheyenne Mountain, and in the north in a long[Pg 154] chain of lower mountains. Twenty-five miles north from base of Pike's Peak, a ridge of hills, 8000 feet high, called the Divide (the water-shed between the Arkansas and Platte river), shoots out into the east for seventy-five miles, its blue-black outline cut sharply on the northern sky. Nearly 100 miles away the sharp eye will detect the outline of the Spanish Peaks almost upon the New Mexico line.

"Out from this semi-circle of hills and mountains stretch the great plains beyond the distant eastern horizon; not suddenly and in one smooth slope, but foothills and small broken mesas end in scattered and irregular bluffs, these gradually blending and losing themselves in the billowy rolling country, which makes up the eastern plains of Colorado.

"On one of these small mesas, close to the foothills and within the first line of bluffs, is situated Colorado Springs, on a level with the summit of Mt. Washington, in New Hampshire, 6000 feet above the sea.

"Neither nature nor art could design and lay out a more finished and beautiful spot for a[Pg 155] town. Nature has made the grading perfect for streets and sidewalks, for drainage and for irrigating ditches. The whole town appears perfectly level, but the mesa has just enough descent towards the south and east to take water from the main irrigating ditch as it enters the town from the north-west, and carry it freely throughout the whole city on each side of every street; four of the main streets and avenues have twelve miles of open boxed ditches about two feet wide running in absolutely straight lines. The lawns and gardens are graded and laid out to correspond with the grade of the ditches, from which they are flooded once a week by a box ditch running under the sidewalk.

"The town was founded in 1871 by a colony composed mostly of gentlemen from Philadelphia who were then projecting and building the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad from Denver. The town plat is three miles long and two wide, laid out in blocks four hundred feet square, separated by streets one hundred feet wide, and every third street an avenue one hundred and forty feet wide. These streets and[Pg 156] avenues are bordered by rows of flourishing cottonwoods, twenty-five feet apart, that greedily drink the water running over their roots through the spring and summer. The grass on the sides of these small irrigating ditches is green all summer and sprinkled with bright blossoms, and, with the grateful shade of the cottonwoods, makes pleasant walks through the city, which is full of beautiful homes.

"The houses are built of wood, stone, and brick, put together in all styles, varieties, and combinations of architecture, there are hardly two houses alike in the city, and with combinations of colours as various. Everywhere are well kept gardens and beautiful lawns, for the people like pleasant and large yards as well as wide streets and walks. Each householder takes pride in keeping up his place, even the plainest, and it is a rare thing to find a shabby house and yard. More than half of the dwellings are cottages, but there are many large and handsome houses, notably in the north part of the city, which has been built up rapidly within the last two years. There are several elegant[Pg 157] stone residences costing from twenty to forty thousands dollars.

"The public buildings are remarkably fine for so young and small a city. The new hotel, The Antlers, the El Paso Club building, the High School building and Colorado College are built of a fine, beautifully pink-tinted stone taken from the Manitou quarries. The City Hall and business blocks are substantial structures, and the Opera House a fine brick building, is a gem inside, perfect in its arrangements, and fitted and furnished with exquisite taste."

The above description is accurate enough, but it is not right to our ideas to speak of Colorado Springs as a "city." It is only a decent-sized, picturesque town. But the Americans name even five or six houses cities, e.g. the City of Lancaster, in the Antelope Valley, which consisted of an hotel, a rail station, and two or three shops! The Antlers Hotel, alluded to, seemed to me, while I was there, to be a very perfect one.

Doctor Solly, on his part, thus describes this charming town and health resort.

[Pg 158]

"Colorado Springs is situated upon a plateau 6023 feet above sea-level, latitude 39°, longitude 105°. It is about five miles from the foothills in which the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains terminates and from which the great plains stretch 800 miles east to the Missouri river, south to the Gulf of Mexico, and north to the Black Hills.

"Colorado Springs cannot strictly be called a mountain health-resort, for it is actually situated upon the first plateau of the great plains, but is surrounded on three sides by a semi-circle of hills. Immediately to the west is the great mountain of Pike's Peak, 8000 feet above it and to the summit on an air-line ten miles distant from this the shoulders spread, to the south-west, terminating abruptly in a much smaller but very picturesque mountain named Chiann, while to the north they merge into a spur called the Divide, which melts away eastward into the rolling prairie, first throwing off, some four miles to the east, another spur, this breaking into the irregular shapes of bluffs curves towards the south, extending the shelter[Pg 159] that the mountains on the west afford sufficiently to break the force of wind from the north-east, and leaving the plateau open to the plains in its southern and south-easterly aspects.

"The barriers from the wind and weather that this semi-circle just described affords, being an average distance of four miles from the edge of the plateau upon which the town is spread, do not detract from its openness or free exposure to the sun. The Peak lying to the west robs it of the direct effect of the last beams in setting but gives a longer twilight than is usual on this continent. The value of this semi-circle as a protection from storms is especially in the attraction it affords to the clouds that form upon the Peak, drawing the storms along its ridges to the north-east on one side or the south-west on the other, and thus frequently leaving the plateau free from the rain or snow that forms upon the mountains."

Again he thus remarks on the soil, the drainage, and the water-supply, all of them so important in a sanitary point of view.

"There is a top soil of about two feet, below[Pg 160] which sand and gravel are found to an average depth of sixty feet, when a clay bed is struck which follows the slope of the surface and the fall of the water-shed to the south. The soil, therefore, is naturally absolutely dry beyond what little moisture the top soil can hold to feed the grass, and with as perfect drainage as could be devised.

"The drainage is into leaching pits which have ventilating pipes in them and in the connecting soil pipes. As no water is taken from the soil and the ground is extremely dry and porous, this system works without danger. The smaller and older houses, however, mostly have earth-closets.

"Irrigating ditches supply the lawns and trees with water, and are further supplemented by that which is conveyed in iron pipes for drinking and domestic purposes. This supply is brought a distance of seven miles from a pure mountain stream, taken at a point among the foothills, above all danger of contamination. The pressure is sufficient to throw the water above the highest houses without the need of[Pg 161] fire-engines, and the amount of air bubbles confined in the water gives it a most refreshing taste, but a milky appearance when first drawn, which, as the air escapes, leaves it beautifully bright and clear. The supply is ample, so that baths and water-closets can be well flushed."

Mrs. Dunbar remarks as follows on the water supply, how the town is lighted, and the scenery.

"A complete system of water-works supplies the city with the purest water, brought seven miles in pipes from Ruxton's Creek, beyond Manitou, a clear, pure stream, abundantly fed by the springs and melting snows of Pike's Peak. The same pipes passing through Manitou supply that town and its hotels with water.

"A distributing reservoir on a mesa, considerably higher than the city mesa and two miles distant, receives the water. This gives a fine head and good protection against fire. Hydrants are placed a few hundred feet apart, and three efficient fire-companies have only to attach the hose to throw water over any building.

[Pg 162]

"Besides the temperance provisions for the social benefit of the town, the colony at the same time wisely provided for its permanent improvement and beauty by setting apart the proceeds, above cost, of a large portion of the lots first sold, for the construction of an irrigating canal, and the planting of trees throughout the city; for trees and vegetables do not grow on these mesas and plains without irrigation. This ditch takes water from the Fountain a short distance below Manitou, and, winding round the foothills and mesas to keep its grade, extends for a distance of thirteen miles before it reaches Colorado Springs. From this point, as already stated, branches extend to all parts of the city, and to the vegetable-gardens on the outskirts.

"The city is lighted by gas; the principal business street has a line of herdics, and telephone wires connect all parts of the town.

"The scenery about Colorado Springs, embracing the mountains and the plains, is grand and beautiful. On the western side the mesas skirt the foothills, these swell to mountains which[Pg 163] rise one above another till the magnificent dome of Pike's Peak stands alone above them all,

For ever to claim kindred with the firmament,
And be companioned by the clouds of heaven.

The whole mountain is one barren mass of rock as we see it from the town, for the eastern face is open to us almost down to the foothills; deep perpendicular gorges and terrible ravines reveal themselves by narrow white rifts, snow overlappings mark the cañons and the course of streams. A dense black moss, as it appears to the naked eye, covering some of the slopes and delicately fringing summits and sharp ridges, is in reality a heavy growth of timber, the sturdy pine, the tree beloved of Shakspeare. They cling mostly to the southern slopes, leaping the northern ones to climb the south slope of the next fold, sometimes leaving behind in their hurry a few stragglers whose scrawny branches seem pitifully beckoning their companions to wait."

Of the population and death-rate Dr. Solly writes:—

"The town extends over four square miles,[Pg 164] upon which the houses of the 6000 inhabitants are widely scattered. The residence lots are mostly 50 × 190 feet; and the streets and avenues vary from 80 to 125 feet in width. There are therefore none of the objections of a city in respect to overcrowding, and no manufactories or smelters to pollute the air. The death-rate, exclusive of death from consumption, is only 5·6 per 1000; from zymotic diseases, 1·6 per 1000."

There is a very extraordinary and I think an objectionable feature in the town. No alcoholic liquors are allowed to be retailed. Thus if you want even a glass of beer you can't get it. But you can have what you will at home, or, if I remember right, in the principal hotels if you are living there. Temperance in all indulgences is a grand thing, and drunkenness is a beastly habit, but the parental legislation described below by Mrs. Dunbar, scarcely recognizes the liberty of the subject, and is a very strange fact in what is supposed to be the freest country on earth.

"There are no saloons and bars in the city, for this is a temperance town. The colony, after[Pg 165] receiving the United States title to the town plat, incorporated the following strong provision into the deed of every lot and piece of ground thereafter sold:—

"'That intoxicating liquors shall never be manufactured, sold, or otherwise disposed of, as a beverage, in any place of public resort, in or upon the premises hereby granted.'

"Provision was also made in all deeds that if these conditions were violated, the land and buildings thereon should revert to the original owners. There have been violations of this clause, and the courts of this state, and the Supreme Courts of the United States, having decided in favour of the provision, valuable property has been lost to the owner."

Colorado Springs is a misnomer, inasmuch as the medical springs are not there but at Manitou, five miles off, in the heart of the mountains, and in superb scenery. Mrs. Dunbar thus describes it:—

"Five miles west of Colorado Springs, in the midst of the hills, lies Manitou, at the foot of Pike's Peak, in the beautiful valley of the Fountain,[Pg 166] out of whose banks bubble the mineral springs that have made this place the most fashionable summer resort of the West. It is a small and quiet town in itself, of about five hundred inhabitants, with churches, and schools, and pleasant residences, and four large, first-class hotels. During the summer months it swarms with life; its hotels overflow, and private houses take in the strangers; summer cottages and tents are perched like birds' nests on the hillsides, among the rocks and in the cañons, and in every available place.

Soda and Iron Springs.

"The Fountain is a stream of clear, swift-running water that comes from high up among the mountains, through Manitou Park and down through the Ute Pass, forming there the beautiful Rainbow Falls. Ruxton's Creek, flowing down Engleman's Cañon, joins the Fountain at Manitou. In this cañon of remarkable beauty are several iron springs, the best known and oftenest visited being the Iron Ute. On either bank of the Fountain are scattered the other springs. Their abundant waters overflowing[Pg 167] into the Fountain have coloured the rocks and earth with the mineral matter which they contain. Rocks near the Iron Ute look like huge blocks of iron. About the Shoshone, rocks and earth are clothed with a yellow, mosslike crust. Down the sides of the Navajo and Manitou the water trickles over rocks that are white with soda, and striped with green and peacock blue.

"There are six or seven springs in all. Their Indian names and legends are all that remain to remind us of our red brothers, whose offerings to the 'Manitou' of the 'medicine waters' filled the basins of the springs and hung from the neighbouring trees and bushes when the 'pale face' invaded this their favourite camping-ground. The springs differ much in their properties of iron, sulphur, and soda. Some of the waters are taken as a pleasant draught; others should be used only as a medicine, taken when needed and then discontinued; their temperature varies from 43° to 56° Fahr.

Bath House.

"Pipes convey the water from some of the[Pg 168] springs to the bath-houses. A large bath-house has just been completed, fitted with every modern convenience and aid to health and comfort. It is two stories high, with wide piazzas and balconies. On the first floor are the bathing-rooms, parlours, and dressing-rooms; above are reading and reception-rooms and the physician's office. No expense has been spared in making it complete in every particular.

"The surroundings of Manitou are particularly charming, and even without its mineral springs it would be a favourite resort. Mountains high and low shut it closely in. Joined hand in hand like a company of eager children, they press and crowd around the lovely spot, those outside peering over the heads and shoulders of their companions. Calmly the grand old peak looks over them all down into the loveliest places."

Dr. Solly writes thus of Manitou and its springs:—

"The statements concerning the climate of Colorado Springs applies to Manitou, with important modifications owing to its being in a[Pg 169] valley instead of on a plateau. The general modifying influences of valleys are confirmed by our local experience. The summer is somewhat cooler and damper, while the winter is slightly less dry and warmer, being more sheltered, the only wind blowing with direct force being the west, which though it comes from the mountains is usually warm. The hours of daylight are shorter.

"The Springs all contain a moderate quantity of carbonate of soda and minor ingredients, and some also iron and Glauber's salts. They are cold, and charged to saturation with carbonic acid, which increases the activity of their properties and makes them extremely palatable. They are peculiarly adapted for drinking and bathing in cases of anæmia and in most chronic stomach, liver, and kidney affections occurring in debilitated persons with whom the climate agrees. A detailed account of these waters will be found in my pamphlet on Manitou, published by the Gazette Publishing Company, Colorado Springs."

Mrs. Dunbar thus describes one of the[Pg 170] famous passes in the Rocky Mountains near Manitou.

"The Ute Pass, following up the course of the Fountain, was an old Indian trail into the parks and mountains higher up. Later on, in the gold excitement of 1859, when the rush was made to Pike's Peak, and later still, after the unprecedented excitement and the settlement of Leadville, before the railroad was built, the Pass was thronged with camp-trains pushing their way into the mountains. Now the tourist, the pleasure-seeker and the invalid go leisurely over a good road to pass a delightful summer among the beautiful parks through which it leads. One of these is Manitou Park, which is a summer camping-ground much frequented. The situation is very delightful and its summer hotel is good."

And again the beautiful seven falls in Cheyenne Cañon, she thus speaks of:—

"South Cheyenne is deep and narrow, and nearly a mile long, with perpendicular walls of solid granite rising hundreds of feet and in places over a thousand feet, naked and smooth,[Pg 171] with only occasional rifts. It is winding in its course, and narrows into gloomy rock-bound cells or widens into pleasant amphitheatres. A small stream runs quickly through the narrow rocky bed, pushing out around great boulders and leaping over the small ones, forming innumerable cascades that foam and gurgle and sing low quiet songs. At the head of the cañon the water falls three hundred feet, vainly trying to find a resting-place in its seven leaps to the bottom. Stairs have been built to the top of these falls, where are grand views of the cañon and the plains."

The society in Colorado Springs and Manitou is thus detailed by Mrs. Dunbar:—

"The society is the very best; people of culture and refinement, and many possessing much wealth, have been attracted here by the climate and surroundings, and these have drawn others of like tastes and habits, till on this little mesa where the mountains and the plains meet, there has grown up in a few short years a city of nearly six thousand people, 'the cream of eastern society.' Although Colorado Springs[Pg 172] is pre-eminently a health resort, and the health resort of the West, and although 'wealthy invalids from the East make up a good part of the population of the city,' others besides invalids are settled here. Men of means from the East owning large herds of cattle and sheep that roam over the great western plains from Montana to Mexico have found it best to make a home for themselves nearer their business interests, and seeking the best place have come to Colorado Springs. Others interested in the mineral wealth of the Rocky Mountains, especially in Colorado, Utah, and Old and New Mexico, have also settled here.

"Unlike many of the towns and cities of the West, Colorado Springs is not cosmopolitan; it has scarcely any French, German, or Irish element. The people are from the older states of the Union, and from Canada, England, and Scotland; hence an entirely English-speaking community. The people as a whole are probably better educated and possess more wealth than those of an eastern town of the same size. It is more New-England-like in the general[Pg 173] make-up of its social, religious, and educational characteristics than any town west of the Mississippi. The poorer people are a respectable class who have received some social and educational advantages; none but enterprising or well-to-do people would ever cross the plains to establish a new home in the West."

On the same point, education, and the accessibility of Colorado Springs, Dr. Solly writes:—

"There is an excellent college, good schools, and private teachers for those who have children to be educated, while for adults, attendance on one or more of the courses of lectures at the College offers the means of passing an hour or so a day in profitable and interesting study. Churches of all denominations are well supported. Two free reading-rooms and a library are open to visitors, and an attractive club welcomes strangers with a good introduction at moderate fees.

Colorado Springs is upon the main line of the Denver and Rio Grande Railway, which follows the course of the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains, sending branches westward[Pg 174] through the mountains in all directions and eastward connecting with nearly all the trans-continental routes, being seventy-five miles south of Denver, where it joins the Union Pacific, and Chicago, Burlington and Quincy, and forty miles north of Pueblo, where it connects with the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe. It is less than four days' journey to either the Atlantic or Pacific coasts, while Europe can be reached in fourteen days. For invalids it is wiser, however, to prolong these periods by frequent stoppages. Access is easy from this point to other desirable places of about the same elevation, so that the invalid can keep up the benefit that altitude affords and enjoy the pleasure and advantage of a change."

Of the climate at Colorado Springs, Mrs. Dunbar writes:—

"It is not the purpose of this article to encroach upon the subject-matter properly belonging to a physician, but a few general remarks concerning the climate and its effects upon lung diseases will not be out of place.

"The marked features of this climate are[Pg 175] the dry atmosphere and clear sunlight for more than 300 days in the year.

"This year, in February and March for seven successive weeks, there were but five cloudy days, and during each of those five days the sun shone at times.

"Most of our cloudy weather, with threatening snow or rain, is in April and May; the most disagreeable element of the climate is the wind-storms in spring and fall, mostly in April and November. These dry storms of wind and dust, though unpleasant, are of short duration and not injurious to health.

"Statistics might be given concerning the state of the weather from day to day throughout the year, but it is unnecessary here, for they will be found in the weather reports accompanying this article.

"Generally speaking there is no rain from the 1st of September till the next May or June, and often not much till July. July and August are the rainy months, and during this time rain is liable to fall nearly every day. Very seldom is there a long rain-storm, but tempests and[Pg 176] heavy showers for an hour or two each day and usually in the afternoon. In the mountains snows are frequent and heavy in the winter, and the higher ranges have snow upon them nearly every month in the year. But on the plains and in Colorado Springs and Manitou there is very little.

"In the early part of the winter, and usually in March and April, there are light snows which remain upon the ground only a short time, not longer than a day or two, and sometimes only a few hours. There is so little snow that cattle and sheep feed upon the plains through the winter with perhaps a few days' exception, on the short buffalo grass, which retains its nourishment in this dry climate like made hay, which it really is.

"The surface soil of Colorado Springs is a coarse, sandy loam, into which the moisture sinks rapidly. It is never muddy here for more than a few hours, so that our streets and walks are practically hard and dry.

"The temperature of this dry country is marked by sudden changes and extremes in summer and in winter. A noticeable feature is the decided[Pg 177] difference between day and night, and sunlight and shade. Most of the days in winter one can sit out of doors in the sun, but even after our warmest days the nights are cold, especially towards morning, when the mercury will frequently drop below zero. Owing to the absence of moisture the cold is not more noticeable here with the mercury at zero than when 15° or 20° above in damp localities farther east.

"In summer when the sun shining through the clear, dry atmosphere is so hot, the evenings and nights are always cool and comfortable; also in mid-day it is cool and agreeable in the shade. On account of the absence of moisture in the air we never have any sultry or foggy days. Through the day the mercury seldom rises higher than 90° in the shade. But the heat is not oppressive as it is at this temperature in lower altitudes and damp climates. Such a climate cannot but be favorable to throat and lung diseases."

On the same subject (climate), the following is by Dr. Solly, and indeed so are all the following extracts (regarding Colorado Springs from a medical point of view) from his pen.

[Pg 178]

"Weather.—Winter.

"People (invalids) sit on porches without extra wraps; so powerful is the sun's heat in winter that sunshades are grateful, and mid-day picnics are taken with enjoyment and benefit. It is at this season that the greatest improvement is noticed in the consumptives. On turning to the tables at the end of this chapter it will be seen that though the nights are often intensely cold, the days are seldom so. However, until we take thermometric observations, both in the sun and shade, and with continuous self-recording instruments, we cannot show what is the real temperature of the hours that especially concern the invalid. To a person unacquainted with physics or practically unversed in climates, the cold of the winter nights may seem a disadvantage; why this is but seldom the case is owing chiefly to the dryness. The proportion of sunshiny days is more remarkable at this resort throughout the year, and especially during the fall and winter, than at any other from which reports could be obtained.

"Sleighing is seldom possible, and only[Pg 179] for a few hours at a time in occasional winters.

"Skating, however, is good on most days through the middle of every winter. The frosts at night make the ice so thick and hard, that the hours of sunlight are not long enough to melt it to any appreciable extent, and the dry air absorbs the moisture from the melting ice so rapidly that a smooth hard surface is usually presented for the skaters' enjoyment.

"Snowfall.—The total amount of snow that falls through the whole winter is so slight that there are very few days upon which it is seen at all. The snow when it falls rarely lies more than a day or two, for the reasons that the dry air produces rapid evaporation and the dry soil quick absorption, so that it disappears without evidence of melting, and there is not the danger to the invalid of wet ground with a bright sun overhead.

Spring.

"The spring is undoubtedly here, as elsewhere, the least desirable season of the year, but it compares favourably with other climates, and[Pg 180] there is no period of melting snow or special month to be shunned, and an invalid can on occasion change with advantage his location on the elevated ground of Colorado to New Mexico, for a few weeks, guided by the weather reports.

Summer.

"Temperature by Day.—In the shade the heat is seldom over 82°. The air being dry, the heat is much less felt than a lower temperature in damper climates. But there being no solar temperature observations, the fact of the intense heat of the direct rays of the sun is not apparent.

"Evaporation.—This heat is, of course, to some delicate invalids, very trying, but sun-stroke is almost unknown, and if the head is protected harm is seldom done by exercising even during the hottest portions of the day.

"The temperature by night is almost invariably cool, as seen by the temperature tables, and two blankets at least are grateful to sleep under; while the mornings and evenings being cool, without dew or dampness, give sufficient daylight hours for exercise for those who shun the mid-day heat.

"The rainfall, which, with the melted snow,[Pg 181] averages only fifteen inches for the year, occurs almost entirely between the middle of April and the middle of October, and falls chiefly in the three summer months.

"Thunderstorms, or rather showers, occurring in the afternoons and lasting about twenty minutes or half an hour, when much rain will fall at that one time, are the usual form in which the bulk of the precipitation occurs. These storms arise rapidly, are seldom preceded by the warning sense of discomfort that is usually felt in lower regions, and disappear as quickly, leaving a sense of refreshment after the heat, with few and rapidly evaporating signs of moisture upon the soil.

Autumn.

"The autumn is perhaps the most enjoyable season of the year, it is very dry and warm without heat and with few storms. Although there is no reason why patients suited to the climate should not begin their sojourn in any season convenient to them, perhaps September or October are on the whole best, because they then approach the cold nights of winter gradually.

[Pg 182]

TABLE I.—Mean Temperature.
   At 7 a.m.   At 10 a.m.   At 2 p.m.   At 9 p.m.   [A] Day. 
January 17.8 27.3 36.0 20.9 24.4
February 21.3 36.3 42.0 27.1 29.4
March 31.4 46.6 52.4 37.4 36.6
April 38.9 50.8 54.7 42.2 43.9
May 50.2 57.9 62.9 51.7 49.9
June 61.5 66.1 72.6 60.2 65.9
July 66.2 75.2 77.6 65.0 69.7
August 64.9 74.3 76.9 63.6 68.1
September     50.1 60.4 68.8 54.2 57.2
October 37.9 52.0 60.6 42.7 47.8
November 27.9 43.9 48.2 31.3 35.5
December 20.2 22.8 38.2 23.2 27.6
Spring 40.2 51.8 56.7 43.8 42.8
Summer 64.2 71.9 75.7 62.9 67.9
Autumn 38.6 52.1 59.2 42.7 47.1
Winter 19.8 28.8 38.7 23.7 27.1
Year 40.7 51.1 57.6 43.3 46.4

[A] The daily mean is one-fourth the sum of the readings at 7 a.m., at 2 p.m., and double the reading at 9 p.m.

[Pg 183]


TABLE II.—Maximum and Minimum Temperatures in Winter and Spring.
PART I.—Maximum Temperatures.
  1873-'74. 1874-'75. 1875-'76. 1877-'78. 1878-'79. 1879-'80. 1880-'81. 1882-'83.
A B A B A B A B A B A B A B A B
December 65.0 44.1 59.0 41.7 67.0 51.6 69.0 59.5 31.2
January 63.0 46.6 60.0 35.1 62.0 45.5 59.5 68.0 37.6 62.5 46.4 63.0 40.5 55.5 36.8
February 59.0 40.2 58.0 40.8 64.0 51.6 61.5 47.1 68.5 47.1 61.0 39.1 60.0 47.6 62.0
  Winter 65.0 43.6 60.0 39.2 67.0 49.6 69.0 68.5 38.6
March 61.0 48.2 67.0 42.0 65.5 49.1 70.5 77.0 59.4 70.0 51.3 67.5 54.9
April 82.0 53.6 71.0 79.0 60.8 72.0 60.4 73.5 70.5 56.6
May 92.0 74.7 84.0 70.3 84.0 67.6 80.0 65.1 80.5 66.4
  Spring 58.8 59.2 59.3
June 101.0 85.6 91.0 82.2 93.0 77.2 84.0 71.5 90.5 76.5

Note.—Column A contains the highest temperature of the month or season; column B the mean of the highest temperatures of the several days.

[Pg 184]


TABLE III.—Maximum and Minimum Temperatures in Summer and Autumn.
  1874. 1875. 1878.
A B C D A B C D A B C D
June 101.0 85.6 39.0 50.7 91.0 82.2 32.0 49.7 84.0 71.5 42.0 49.0
July 98.0 89.5 48.0 55.5 90.0 76.4 47.0 53.1 90.0 83.2 48.5 57.0
August 92.5 85.5 52.0 55.4 93.0 79.7 42.0 51.6 92.0 81.5 50.0 58.3
    Summer 101.0 86.9 39.0 53.9 93.0 79.4 32.0 51.5 92.0 78.7 42.0 54.8
September 87.0 71.0 27.0 42.4 88.0 73.7 27.0 44.9 82.0 69.9 33.5 43.0
October 76.0 63.1 20.0 38.6 82.0 68.7 18.0 35.9 79.0 61.7 13.0 32.1
November 65.0 52.6 2.0 24.4 74.0 52.3 9.0 24.2 66.0 51.5 5.5 25.7
    Autumn 62.2 35.1 64.9 35.0 61.0 33.6

Note.—Column A contains the highest, and column C the lowest, temperature of the month or season; column B contains the mean of the highest, and column D the mean of the lowest, temperatures of the several days.

[Pg 185]

Physiological Effects observed at Colorado Springs.

"Skin.—'Its activity is increased; it is also better nourished and strengthened.' These effects are very markedly shown, the ruddy appearance of residents indicates at once the activity of the circulation, and the quickness with which the nerves of the skin respond to the impression of cold and heat; whereby, as has been shown, nature protects the body against cold-catching, and indicates its increased activity. These physiological effects are best demonstrated by a consideration of the influence of the climate upon the skin where there is some disorder or disease of it, or of some organ or function upon which it depends. As regards the skin itself, it is a common saying that Colorado is bad for good complexions and good for bad ones. This means that the beautiful pink and white complexion, that is so much admired, is destroyed, the burning of the sun and the vigour imparted to the circulation make fair maidens 'ruddier than the cherry and browner than the berry.' While the complexions of those who[Pg 186] are sallow and marked with acne, are improved; the sluggishness and poverty of the skin is stimulated, the colour gets brighter and the glands acting freely again the pores cease to be clogged with the hardened secretion, and by these means the acne is removed.

"Circulation.—'Heart and blood-vessels are probably strengthened.' The frequency of the pulse is certainly increased in individuals upon first arriving in Colorado, being greatest in those most feeble. In well persons and those who regain their health, it also soon returns to its customary number of beats. That each separate beat is made stronger is probable, but hard to demonstrate; however the fact will be admitted by all physicians practising in Colorado, that hearts which are muscularly weak, even when there are bruits, greatly improve in tone, strength and steadiness; while those where from some disease or obstruction the muscle is increased in size and strength, the symptoms are almost always so alarmingly developed that they have to be sent away before there is time to observe what the secondary effects might be.

[Pg 187]

"Lungs' Respiration.—'The number of respirations is increased at the beginning of the stay, but returns to the normal number after a longer time, and probably the depth of the inspiration is also increased.' This is in accordance with our observations. The greater expansion of the chest, and the frequency with which patients and others volunteer the statement that they can breathe deeper, confirms the opinion that the depth of respiration is increased; more bulk of air being taken in to give to the lungs an equivalent amount of oxygen, greater depth of breathing must needs follow. The increased chest development and the necessarily greater use of the respiratory muscles makes it tolerably certain that they are strengthened.

"Appetite and Assimilation.—'In most cases there is a transient or permanent increase of appetite and assimilation of nourishment.'

"There is certainly direct evidence of the former to be found in Colorado, but as change of scene and air produce it almost everywhere, where the general conditions are not unfavorable to health, and notably so at the seashore, and[Pg 188] also on shipboard when the depressing effects of seasickness are absent or passed away, it is doubtful how far this may be taken as a special effect of altitude, except through the increased oxygenation produced by both sea and mountain air. It would appear that in those with whom Colorado agrees there is a greater consumption of meat, a good appetite, and probably an increased one. That there is also an increased assimilation of nourishment may be inferred from an increased appetite without dyspepsia, in fact the improvement that usually takes place in dyspeptic conditions, during residence in Colorado, is a good evidence of increased or, at least, more perfect assimilation.

"Nourishment.—'From this follows an improved formation of blood and nourishment of the organs.' The general vigour of the circulation with the ruddier colour, which has been dwelt upon, would show that the improved quality of the blood must be due not only to the causes previously pointed out, more oxygen absorbed, etc., but also to the more perfect conversion of food into blood; all this will likewise apply to[Pg 189] the better nourishment of the organs which can be inferred from similar grounds.

"Sleep 'is usually improved.' This appears to be the case in Colorado in healthy persons, and in those invalids with whom the climate agrees; during their first few weeks of residence there is more or less tendency to nap, though between times they may be particularly wide awake. Later it would seem that less sleep is needed to sustain health, though it is especially profound. As regards the individual, the temperament probably largely influences this matter. The torpid generally are first made drowsy, and afterwards sleep well, the erethic or irritable are specially wakeful on arriving, and later their sleep is broken, exactly the reverse occurring on the sea shore. With respect to meteorological conditions, humidity undoubtedly is the first consideration, it being commonly observed that some sleep better in dry and some in rainy weather; though an increase of elevation without marked change in the humidity will add to the tendency to sleep in the torpid, and the contrary in the erethic,[Pg 190] thus indicating that altitude, that is lessened atmospheric pressure, has its own especial influence.

"Asthma, when purely nervous, is almost invariably relieved, and sometimes cured permanently, though more often it reappears with a return to the atmosphere in which it was generated, the rest from attacks and improvement in the general health caused by the climate will, however, even then often ward off a relapse for some time. The elevation at which the greatest relief is afforded varies with the case. When there is much bronchitis and emphysema, or heart trouble, the asthma is often worse at first, though it may afterwards be relieved; where these complications exist their extent and character must be the guide about coming. When the affection of the heart is not very great or long existing, a relief of the asthma generally brings improvement in its tone. Where these complications exist, if a trial of this climate is advised, it is best for the patient to halt two or three times for a few days, at least while ascending the slopes, and avoid[Pg 191] all exertion for the first few weeks after arrival, and be prepared to depart if improvement does not show itself at the end of the first month.

"The throat when affected with chronic catarrh is usually much benefited, probably locally, as indicated by Dr. Weber, by the readier separation of the mucus. I have also had cases of tuberculous ulceration of the larynx, in which the ulcers have healed under topical and general treatment, though Dr. Weber states such cases are not suitable.

"Chronic Bronchitis is also improved, though the cough at first is frequently increased for a time. When, as a result or complication of the bronchitis, there is much emphysema, considerable risk is run by coming to this elevation. However, when the emphysema is moderate in extent, and exertion is avoided for the first few weeks, the readier clearing of the bronchial tubes allows the sound portions of the lungs to be more perfectly used; the strain upon the emphysematous parts being thereby relieved, the patient ultimately breathes with greater[Pg 192] comfort, and the bronchitis is in time removed. Where old, chronic bronchitis with emphysema exists there is frequently marked dilatation of the right side of the heart, in which case a patient should by all means avoid Colorado.

"Advanced Cases.—Where the disease is much advanced it goes without saying that no honest physician would recommend a change of climate, and especially so great a change as to an elevation of several thousand feet; but cases do often come of their own will, cheered by the delusive hope that is characteristic of the disease, and though the result is usually a hastening of the end, yet death is generally less tedious and harassing, the sick one frequently being out enjoying the sunshine up to the last day, dying quietly and quickly with a failing heart, instead of being confined to bed for days or weeks in a close, heavy atmosphere, which impedes the last struggling efforts at respiration.

Time of Stay.

"In cases of decided phthisical tendency, even in the first stage, the treatment should extend[Pg 193] over some years, though whether the whole or a portion of each year should be spent on the mountains depends much upon the character of the individual and the place.

"That those cured of phthisis upon the mountains can never live again low down, is not the case; of course a cured consumptive will have to take care of himself for some years, and a return to the social and climatic conditions in which he got sick will always be dangerous, but this difficulty is usually much greater for those who have been cured in warm places than those who have been hardened by the mountains."

I have given all the above copious extracts, because it appeared to me while I was at Colorado Springs, that many people lived and enjoyed good health there, who could not live elsewhere. Some told me so much, and declared the place was full of similar cases. A part of these were English, of whom some had tried the Riviera, and they averred that Colorado Springs was much better for all pulmonary complaints than the northern shores[Pg 194] of the Mediterranean. When we consider how easy it is to get to Colorado, seven days to New York, and three and a half days beyond by rail, with luxurious comforts, and no fatigue for invalids, it is, I think, well that sufferers in England, and on the Continent too, should know of the existence of this charming spot and health-giving locality.

But any one interested and wishing to know more should get the book alluded to. I could only in my extracts pick out what appeared to me the most important parts, and I need not say the above gives no idea of the excellence of the work both in a medical and social point of view. I know not if it is procurable in London, but its title is "Colorado Springs and Manitou," and it is for sale by P. Blakiston, Son, and Co., 1012, Walnut Street, Philadelphia.

FOOTNOTE:

[8] Snow, when melted, leaves the ground dry. Garments, fresh from the wash-tub, hung out in the shade, dry in half an hour!

[Pg 195]

Decoration

Decoration

CHAPTER VI.

Ranch again—Tea—American press—Celebrities victimized—Last journey—Chicago—Beauty—Niagara missed—New York—Atlantic—Home.
A

fter my holiday at Colorado Springs, I returned to the ranch, and soon began my preparations for leaving. The climate is the same at both places. It was then the end of September, and nothing could exceed its perfection. Never a cloud in the sky, but bright sunshine all day long, with a bracing atmosphere and a pleasant temperature withal. Then came October, which was equally fine, but the nights began to be very cold. However the house was fairly air-tight, we had good stoves, and spent jolly evenings, to which a cask of excellent beer I had got from Denver contributed not a little. There was much to settle as to how my sons would act, as regards ranch work, after my departure. They were greatly pleased at being landowners, had the[Pg 196] sanguine expectations of success so natural at their age, and I am afraid to say how many pipes we got through discussing the bright future they painted. Then came a "snow storm" for a day and a night (it's always so named in America); for twenty-four hours the flakes fell incessantly, and all was white around with nine inches of snow. The following morning the sun rose in his usual cloudless splendour, and shone brightly all day, leaving no snow except on the hills, when darkness came, while owing to the dry atmosphere all moisture had evaporated, and the ground was dry. But the night succeeding was bitterly cold. The thermometer fell to Zero, or near it, and yet when we had been up four hours, the temperature stood at 60° again! This is the usual thing in the high lands of Colorado (and the Water Ranch is near 6000 feet high), for warm days and cold nights are the rule in winter, and hot days and cool nights in summer. Verily, it is a superb climate.

As regards the want of courtesy in America, which I have more than once dilated on, I was at this time much struck with the following:[Pg 197]—I saw a girl, some sixteen years old, at the railway station, or rather "Dēpot," as it is named and pronounced there. She was evidently waiting for a train, seated near her trunk. There was no one close by, and she came up to me. She was a particularly pretty-looking girl, nicely dressed, and seemed to be of a better class than the usual inhabitants in that somewhat out-of-the-way part of the country. I expected therefore, when she addressed me, she would do it nicely. The following passed:—

Girl.—"I can't fix my box—you do it."

The rope had come off.

Myself.—"Yes, I'll help you. Are you waiting for the train?"

Girl.—"Guess you are right. How stupid you are, don't fix it in that way. Can't you see the rope is long enough to go twice round?"

Myself.—"All right, I'll do it so."

Having completed the job, as the young lady was sitting on the one chair available, I sat on her box, which was a large and strong one.

Girl.—"You fixed it well, thank you, but don't sit on my box."

[Pg 198]

Myself.—"Why not?"

Girl.—"Because I don't like it. Can't you sit on the steps?"

Myself.—"No, thank you, I'll stand."

Girl.—"Tell me when is the train dōō."

Myself.—"Immediately. There it is coming now."

Girl.—"Guess the box is too heavy for one man. Will you help to fix it upon the car?"

She did not wait for a reply, but ran and took her place. No more thanks. I looked round for some one to help with her box, and as I did so she put her head out of the window, and called to a man who was sitting in a cart, and had probably brought her and the trunk.

"Jimmy, can't you see my box? Help that man standing by it to ship it on the car."

Jimmy did kindly help me, and so the difficulty was got over, but I saw or heard no more of the American lassie.

As I made notes of the above (I filled many pocket-books in that way in America), I pondered and thought it over. I don't at all believe the girl meant to be rude or unkind, it's quite[Pg 199] likely she would have done as much as she asked of me for some one else, but she had not been brought up to consider courtesy a necessity, and most certainly did not practise it.

The tea usually drunk in the States is dreadful stuff. As I am interested in the growth of tea in India, I inquired much as to the prospects of that tea if sent there, and on my return to England, I wrote the following to one of the papers devoted to tea matters in Calcutta. I give it here, as it exemplifies the difficulty of getting good tea in America, which so many English appreciate, and because large numbers here now are interested in the tea industry of Hindustan.

TEA IN AMERICA.

Would you like to hear as to the prospects of Indian tea in America? Having been in the States some five months and looked into the matter, I can tell you.

At present Indian tea is literally unknown on that side of the water. Not only is the tea unknown, but, with few exceptions, no one here is cognizant of the fact that any tea is produced in Hindustan. This, considering that a fair amount of Indian tea has been sent to America, may appear strange. But the explanation is not far to seek. When those who have not travelled in it speak of that country, they do not realize its vast size. How[Pg 200] many dozen countries like England joined together would equal the area of the United States? Take away Scotland and Wales and all that remains, England proper, could be put into Lake Superior! Is it strange then that the comparatively little Indian tea sent has never penetrated into the interior? Again, the tea sent has been delivered in New York. There, and there alone, and in a very minor degree, has it begun to run the course it has pursued in England for years. Very nearly all received has been used to mix with other and weak teas, but the whole quantity has been hitherto far too small to visibly affect the strength even of the teas sold in New York.

Speaking generally, two kinds of tea are used in the States—Java green tea, and what they name "English breakfast tea." The first is Java, and that only, and more woful stuff I have never tasted. It is far weaker than the Chinese mixtures which were used in England years ago, ere the Indian teas came into play. It is literally tasteless. It has no aroma, and very little colour. I never tasted so bodyless an infusion. Nine-tenths of the Americans drink the above.

The other, styled "English breakfast tea," is a compound of Chinese black teas; and into this (the percentage very small, for all received will give no more) is sometimes put a little Indian. Bad as it is, 'tis better than the Java beverage, but, as compared with the general tea sold in England to-day, which is more than one-third Indian, it is a tasteless mixture.

In two words, I conceive all, or nearly all, the Indian tea sent to the States has been used up in New York, and consequently it would be strange if it were known elsewhere.

[Pg 201] I travelled much in America, south to New Orleans, west to San Francisco. I asked as to Indian tea in many places. I found it in two only. At a tea-store in San Francisco (excuse the word "store," there are no shops in America) I found one kind, an inferior Souchong, with much red leaf. Still it was very drinkable, and I used no other while on the western coast. It had come, I was told, from Bengal, across the Pacific. Ordinary as the tea was, the store-keeper told me he sold much of it.

The only other place I got Indian tea was at Denver, the capital of Colorado. But it was in a shop kept by an Englishman named Cornforth. He had a large and very successful grocery business and made tea a speciality. He knew all about Indian tea, and had some of the very best, a high-class Pekoe Souchong, said to be from Assam. I was some weeks in Colorado (I bought a ranch there for my sons) and drank Mr. Cornforth's tea all the time. I used to give it to the Americans who came to my house, and they invariably liked it. Mr. Cornforth sells much of it in Denver, and many, his manager told me, drink it pure. Shortly, my experience leads me to believe that Indian tea could be easily introduced into the States.

Were it done, think of the result. The Americans drink individually far more tea than we do. As a rule, they are a sober race. When they drink alcohol, it is a big drink, lasting two or three days, and then for weeks nothing but tea and coffee, but far more of the former. I have not the statistics handy, but I doubt not for "tea per head" the denizens of the United States equal the New Zealanders, who I had previously thought the largest consumers on earth. Then, again, consider the[Pg 202] area covered by those tea-drinkers. If Indian tea ever becomes popular with them, the Indian and Ceylon plantations will have to be increased threefold to satisfy the demand.

Tea, I well know, is an aquired taste, and it is not easily, or quickly, that even a better produce will make its way, opposed as it is, to the flavour which has become familiar. But we had exactly the same difficulty in England, and have conquered. We can do the same in America. We cannot expect them, they will not (they did not in England, even few do so here now) drink it pure. It will run in the States as it has here, and runs in a great measure still. Used to mix with and give body to weak teas, our trans-Atlantic cousins will be taught to appreciate the improved flavour, ignorant as the many will still be of the cause. The taste will grow. More will yearly be demanded, and in time, a long time I admit, may happen what will now certainly occur in England in five years more, half the consumption will be Indian.

But how is it to be so introduced? Certainly not by the very puny efforts made hitherto. The quantity sent should be multiplied many times, and arrangements made to forward it on arrival, to some, if not all, of the great cities in the interior. There it should be sold at auction to the highest bidders, as done here in the Lane. Were this done for two or three years, the introduction would be accomplished (it has not been begun yet) and the tea would then make its own way.

But how as to the financial result? Losses at first there would be. Some sacrifice must always be made to carry out large enterprises, but they would not be heavy or of long duration, and every rupee embarked therein[Pg 203] would eventually bring back a hundredfold to the tea industry.

Only the Tea Associations of London and Calcutta can carry it out, and even they cannot do it if the garden owners in India and Ceylon do not help. You can assist likewise. Will you kindly do so?

London, 22nd January, 1886.     Edward Money.

I have spoken of the American Press before, but have more to add here, as during my stay on the ranch I saw much of papers published at Denver, the capital of Colorado. If a tradesman wants his goods advertised successfully, it is merely a question of money to get the Editor to allude to them in the body of the paper. Not as done at the bottom of columns with the word "advt." joined on, as some papers print such in England, but in the editorial articles, and as if the notice was put in by the Editor himself, struck with the superiority of what is recommended! Here are one or two examples. These were in the body of the paper, among items of news, &c.

Removed.—Gallup, the florist so long at 370 Curtis street, can be found hereafter at 321 Sixteenth street, still with Tunnel & Co. A competent lady floral worker has charge and all orders will receive prompt attention.[Pg 204] An abundance of fine flowers always on hand. Telephone connections with greenhouse on Broadway.

Madame Stouffs is in charge of Joslin's costume department, and is prepared to receive orders for all kinds of costumes, satisfaction guaranteed in every respect.

Halford Sauce, for uniform use.

Youman's fall stiff hats are now on sale at J. A. McClurg & Co.'s.

Joslin's have the finest line of dry goods to be found in the West.

Cold Weather is coming on, and the little ones must be shod accordingly. If you wish to save money, go to 232, Fifteenth street, just below Holladay. W. H. Moore.

See the assortment of fancy plated jewelry at Joslin's.

Another feature is sensational headings. No matter what the subject, the most sensational heading that can be devised appears in large print above it. Political leaders, social news, financial articles are all treated the same way. I had many but lost them. Here are two examples however.

ABDUCTION AND ATTEMPTED MURDER:
THE PUEBLO SENSATION.

SILVERTON TREATED TO SOME HARMLESS
REVOLVER PRACTICE.

Here, in England, expressions are occasionally made use of in the House which would be better[Pg 205] omitted, but the perpetrating delinquent is quickly called to order. Not so in the States. It is difficult to say from the following political leader, if, at the scene described, the combatants came to blows or not, but as it is stated the Sergeant-at-arms failed to keep the peace, and the heading says they "had it out on the floor," I incline to the belief that Messrs. McGilvray and Montgomery did indulge in a sparring-match, doubtless to the delight and edification of their brother statesmen.

The first heading would be unintelligible did I not state that "dukes" mean fists. Sensational enough in all conscience!

"NOW, PUT UP YOUR DUKES."

STORMY AND DISGRACEFUL SCENES IN THE
DEMOCRATIC STATE CONVENTION.

Boss McGilvray and B. F. Montgomery have it out on
the Floor—Judge W. F. Stone Nominated.

The proceedings of the State Democratic Convention, held at Turner Hall, yesterday, were disgraceful enough to bring a blush even to the cheek of a Democrat. "Liar,"[Pg 206] "snide," "put up your dukes, if you want to fight," cat-calls, hooting, and yelling filled up a greater part of the deliberations of the august body. Boss McGilvray, of the Seventh Ward, and B. F. Montgomery, statesman-at-large, vented their personal animosities towards each other. McGilvray said that Montgomery had prostituted every trust, both public and private, ever given into his hands, and Montgomery retaliated by saying that it could not be charged against him, that he was an apostate in the ranks of the party, a Republican who had been brought up in the slums of Chicago. This was a dig at McGilvray, and he responded by calling Montgomery a liar, and offering to fight him on the floor of the Convention.

The breeze grew out of McGilvray's opposition to Montgomery for Chairman of the Convention. The Committee on Permanent Organization reported in favor of Montgomery for Chairman, and McGilvray moved to strike out his name, and substitute that of G. Q. Richmond, of Pueblo. It was a bitter fight, and the result was a McGilvray victory. Montgomery was thrown overboard by an overwhelming majority.

Martin Currigan, the irrepressible, was on hand, and was made Sergeant-at-Arms; but he failed to be of any avail in keeping the peace.

Judge Wilbur F. Stone was nominated for the Supreme Bench without opposition.

The resolutions endorse the administration of President Cleveland, favor the free and unlimited coinage of silver on the present basis, denounce the fencing of large bodies of public land, and insist upon the strict enforcement of the Chinese restriction act.

Interviewing is a science in America. Who[Pg 207] has read "Martin Chuzzlewit" and not laughed over Dickens' description of it? Woe to the man or woman who goes to the States with anything in the way of a reputation. He or she will have no more peace than a titled individual has, for remember a lord with no reputation, or a bad one (the latter for choice), is as much an object of curiosity and adulation as the most renowned intellectual genius. It is amusing when any woman, famous for beauty, wealth, intellect, or anything else, visits the States. No sooner does she land than everybody would do anything for her. "She must at once be interviewed" is the dictum at each and every newspaper office, and interviewed she is, by one or more of that artist class, on some pretence or other, whether she likes it or not. I say "artist class" for, considering their wonderful ingenuity in pursuit of their object, they richly deserve the name. If the lady, and thank God many are, is modest and retiring, and cares not to see her name and antecedents blazoned forth in the public prints, and resolutely refuses to see any strangers on any plea,—what happens? Do they[Pg 208] desist and leave her alone? Not a bit of it. They will see her, coûte que coûte, and what's more they do! Cases are recorded, when in the guise of a waiter the opportunity by interviewers to see her at least has been found. Or, should she send out for any article, the individual bringing it is an interviewer, and in this capacity, in some ingenious way, the pretended tradesman is sure to get hold of something. If all other means fail, the chambermaid of her room is pressed into the service, and as regards the poor lady's clothing, if not more, she can and does tell much. Anyhow the victim does not escape. Information is highly paid for and obtained somehow. If she be a celebrity, something has appeared in the English or Continental press about her long ago, and with due foresight has been cut out, and labelled with her name, on the chance of her visiting America later. There it is ready in the office, and is duly made use of. But, if the information get-at-able is in any way insufficient and scanty, the editor or manager of the paper quietly remarks that "Some antecedents there must necessarily have been, that[Pg 209] it's a tarnation shame of the said lioness not to assist them to do her honour, but that as she is so blind to her own advantage, and it's a positive necessity that an article about her should appear next morning, the deficiency must be made up." Well he, or some one he deputes, sits down at the last moment (for there are many on watch, and information may drop in during the night) to write the article, which in any case is highly coloured, and as antecedents are scanty and the public must not be disappointed, plausible ones are invented.

Anyhow, next morning articles appear, possibly to the effect that the lovely and talented Mrs., or Miss, A. B. landed yesterday from the Cunard steamer, and took up her abode at the Fifth Avenue Hotel, where spacious rooms had been previously secured. That the editor, from exceptional sources of information, is able to lay before his readers the following short sketch of the talented artiste's previous life, and that it will be his endeavour to supplement this by more facts on the morrow. Then follows a biographical history from the cradle upwards,[Pg 210] closing with the menu of yesterday's dinner. Too much is not said in this first notice, the subject must not be exhausted, and materials for further articles are reserved. Poor Mrs., or Miss, A. B., at breakfast that morning, reads much about herself of which she had been previously ignorant!

But this is only the beginning of the campaign. The next day, thanks to the chambermaid, the waiter and others, a more or less accurate list of the wardrobe appears, the jewels she wore the previous day, and those still in the jewel-case, what time she got up, what she ate at breakfast, where she went in the day, how well the hat she wore suited the dress, what a lovely colour her hair is, how her fringe (if she had one) gave her a childish grace, how (if she had none) wisely she acted in discarding that woful fashion, and what a patrician look the absence of it gave to her lovely face, &c., &c. From early morn till she goes to bed (the description kindly halts there) her movements are recorded, and on morning No. 3 the public are informed that Mrs., or Miss, A. B. slept well, and awoke with a fresh colour to add to her other charms!

[Pg 211]

I need not dilate more. The excitement is kept alive by daily notices. Paper vies against paper in describing and commenting on her European antecedents and her life since she landed, until some new star appears, or until, often the case, the poor lady, in spite of the press assertions that all this homage delights her, is fairly driven out of New York. Some, alas! cannot seek safety in flight, their avocations oblige them to remain; such, it can only be hoped, grow callous, until, the subject being well threshed out and grown threadbare, they are left at peace.

I give here, complete, an article on one of such poor victims, cut out of a Denver paper, which, in its callous indifference to the pain it must have caused the lady under discussion, is a good example. But, as I would not drag this lady into further publicity, I have substituted an initial for her name, which was plainly given in the newspaper. "Madeline's Mash" does duty for Madeline's Lover. The sensational headings, and interpositions in large type, are worthy of notice.

[Pg 212]


MADELINE'S MASH.

THE APPEARANCE IN DENVER OF A
DISTINGUISHED SOCIETY LADY.

Recalling a Tragedy wherein an English
Actor was the Leading Artist.

The train hence to Kansas City via the Burlington road on yesterday afternoon departed, as usual, on time and, as usual, heavily laden. There was indeed more than the ordinary complement of pilgrims, remarked the Depot Superintendent, and made up of the class who travel luxuriously—of the class to whom luxuries are every-day experiences and whose journeyings, whether from lands of snow to lands of sun or to lands of snow from lands of sun, are accompanied by holiday pleasures. Among those whom the train bore Eastwardly was a fair daughter of Eve, about whose life has been woven a romance, a tragedy as dire in its effects upon two families, at least, as was the tragedy woven out of the warp and woof of the romance born of Paris and Helen. She is related to one of the wealthiest and most prominent families of the country, both socially and financially, and though upwards of forty years of age is yet youthful in appearance and hoydenish as a Vassar miss proud in the possession of her first beau. Twenty years ago she was a Gotham belle, and related to the L.'s, occupied a position of social distinction, which wealth, beauty and graces of character perfectly combined inevitably procure. In the heydey of her youth and beauty she was married, but scarcely mated,[Pg 213] to a representative of the Knickerbocker regime and, as is represented, barely consented

TO ENDURE THE BURDEN

officiously ambitious relatives had buckled on her back. It ended as all other matches wherein affection is made to pay tribute to other considerations end, in separation, infatuation with another, death, disgrace, exile. Her home is said to have been unhappy, a cheerless place, unwarmed by an atmosphere of love, whence an impulsive woman unconsciously went out to one who appreciated and was a friend to her. Of course she was obliged to encounter opposition, ostracism, social annihilation with the classes whereof she was at once the peer and superior. But little she cared, and in the salons of Paris, Berlin, Vienna, and St. Petersburgh, she found the salad of variety that was denied her at home up to 1867. She was a regnant queen at Washington, Cape May, Saratoga—in short, at every point she honored with her presence. She was the objective point of attraction to the grave and gay, to the solemn and severe. But while she outwardly accepted, and with pleasure, the homage men deemed themselves privileged to bestow, those familiar with the skeleton in the closet of Madeline R.'s heart, speak of her as one who suffered in silence, until it was a change or a mad-house, and she sought the change.

Those who were visitors to, or residents of New York city during 1867 will remember the advent of Walter Montgomery, the English actor. He came almost unheralded, but in the brief period of his sojourn

ACHIEVED A DRAMATIC TRIUMPH

unparalleled in the history of the American stage. In form and appearance he was a magnificent creation. A[Pg 214] trifle larger than Edwin Booth, with a physique modelled by the master-hand of nature, a physiognomy of classic outlines, and a genius for his art, that is said to have rivalled that displayed by the most noted histrions of the English stage. In all respects he is said to have been as ravishingly perfect as the forms Angelo hewed from blocks of marble, or Guido traced on canvas, which to-day haunt the memory as a vanished gleam of sunlight, that kissed life's rippling river—and then was gone. In addition to the qualities mentioned there was entire absence of the shilly-shallying practices many actors delight to indulge, in their efforts to secure applause or attract the admiration of susceptible females. He was esteemed, an accomplished artist and true man. He opened at Niblo's in "Ruy Blas," making his headquarters at the Metropolitan, and frequenting a theatrical club-house on Houston street, known as the "House of Lords." Socially, he was never received by the Knickerbockers of the Empire city, his relations with men of letters and the professions were extremely cordial. How Mrs. R. and himself became acquainted is not clearly defined. But that acquaintance on her part was resolved into an infatuation irresistible and indescribable, and she succeeded in inspiring him with

A RECIPROCITY OF FEELING

that was not to be misunderstood. Wherever he went professionally, she was constantly included in the list of his admirers. Upon the Eastern circuit, throughout the West, from Pittsburg to the Pacific slope, the susceptible Madeline was first and foremost among those who worshipped at the shrine of this gifted exponent of Melpomene.

[Pg 215] Upon his return to New York from San Francisco, he concluded his engagements and sailed for Liverpool by the Cunard steamship Scotia. By this time the attentions bestowed upon Montgomery by Mrs. R. had become more than a topic of comment with observers beyond the pale of the social set of which she had been a prime factor. It was reported that they were engaged to be married, and that his return to England was for the purpose of completing arrangements in that behalf. At all events she accompanied him as a fellow-passenger on the Scotia but reached England alone, for during the voyage Montgomery suicided by cutting his throat. No cause was ever assigned for the deed, but the fact that he had a wife, living in London impressed his friends with the belief that remorse at the lengths to which he had permitted his

FLIRTATION WITH MRS. R.

to proceed, prompted the deed. He was buried in Kensal Green, within sight of St. Paul's, and after the completion of the ceremonies at the grave his whilom admirer disappeared, to come to the surface at Paris as the promised wife of Sir St. George Gore, a landed proprietor of Tasmania, off the coast of Australia, and a man of wealth and prominence in the British possessions of the South Pacific. But it is not believed this alliance was perfected by a priestly benediction. Since then she has been a wanderer. Possessed of wealth, beauty, accomplishments, and much that would command esteem, she seeks to find in the excitement of travel a solace for her wasted life, and in intercourse with strangers forgetfulness of her woes. She is said to have come hither from San Francisco via Cheyenne, and that during her stay here she was known as Mrs. F.

[Pg 216]

One more example of the same kind. The President is about to be married. The following is from a London paper, and though not so stated, it is, I trust, only inserted as a picture of the American system of lionizing any celebrity. The name of the bride that is to be is given in full. I substitute an initial. I conceive the article is taken from a New York paper, but this is not clearly stated, only that the source is American.

President Cleveland's approaching marriage is now regarded as a certainty. It is understood that the engagement took place during Miss F.'s last visit to Washington. If Mr. Cleveland is married at the White House, in June, it will be the second marriage of a President during his term of office. Mr. Tyler was married while he was President, but his marriage took place in New York. The best portrait of Miss F. now in Washington is a large one, which hangs in the President's bedroom. Miss F. was very averse to giving a sitting to the photographers when she was here, and has a great horror of publicity. When she was in Washington last, a number of paragraphs were printed about her school life, which she traced to one or two of her school friends. She quarrelled with them for it. It is said that she went away to Europe so as to be out of the range of possible gossip and criticism during the engagement period. Miss F.'s hair (says a correspondent) is soft and brown, of a shade between light and dark. It[Pg 217] is combed well back from her full forehead and loose wave tendrils fall away from their confinement against the ivory whiteness of her face. She has violet blue eyes, a well-shaped nose and mouth, and a full, round chin. The warm pallor of her complexion contrasts with the deep red of her full lips, in which all her colour concentrates itself. Her shoulders are broad, and her bust and waist of classic proportions. She has finely moulded hands and feet; not small, but well suited to her height. With one other pupil at Aurora she shared the palm of being "the beauty of the school," the other being Miss Katherine Willard, of Illinois, who was her intimate friend, though not a fellow-senior, and she is now in Germany cultivating her voice. Miss F. has been with her there during much of the past winter. Many of the young ladies have flowers pressed in their albums, labelled "From the White House," these being mementoes given by her from the boxes of flowers weekly sent her by the President from his conservatories here. For her graduation, last June, he forwarded a particularly lavish supply. On that occasion she wore white satin, and, as one of her schoolmates describes her, "looked more like a goddess than a woman." Her student life has been marked by seriousness and deep religious feeling. She is a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Buffalo. She was deeply loved by her teachers, more for her solidity of character and amiability of disposition than for exceptionally brilliant intellectual traits, though her average of scholarship was good.

The postal arrangements are good in the States. Postage is cheap, and letters are carried[Pg 218] and delivered as safely there as in England. The street post-boxes though are not equal to English ones—they are small in size and fastened against the walls, instead of being prominent objects like ours. In some few towns, owing to the scarcity of labour, letters are not delivered at all. Each resident has a number assigned, and a corresponding pigeon-hole at the post-office, where his or her letters are placed. The letters have to be called or sent for. This was the case at Colorado Springs.

Why I know not, but the rule of the road is different in the States to ours. On meeting we take the left side, on passing the right; there they do just the opposite, as in France.

As a rule the Americans are not good drivers. A very common, not universal, habit is to hold a rein in each hand, and it goes without saying that a person doing so cannot drive well.

Their trotting-horses in the trotting-carriages (very light, four-wheeled vehicles, models of good workmanship, with fore and hind wheels of the same size) perform wonders. I speak under correction, but believe fifteen or sixteen miles[Pg 219] in the hour is not an unusual feat. Anyhow, I am sure they can trot much faster than any horses we have.

As foolish as we are in that way, the bearing-rein is used in the States. But it is taken over the top of the head between the ears. I know not if this is better or worse than our plan, but this I do know, bearing-reins, like blinkers, are hurtful, cruel appendages to harness, and in India, where I owned horses, I used neither. Had I horses in England I would do the same.

The roads in the States are far behind ours. Perhaps to this is due the fact that there are not many bicycles and tricycles to be seen.

In the first days of November, 1885, I left the ranch on my way home. It was a trial parting with my sons. Let them even do well, it is pretty certain they will not return to England under fifteen years. I am not young, and I could not help feeling, as I said good-bye, that it was very doubtful if I should ever see them again. Still we parted cheerfully, for they were happy with their possessions and the sanguine hope that they were on the high road to fortune.

[Pg 220]

I had taken my passage home across the Atlantic in one of the Monarch line of steamers, and not caring to halt en route, or linger in New York, I timed my departure from Colorado with no day to spare. At Denver I took a rail-ticket through to New York, and did the distance, about 1700 miles, in eighty-four hours, halting nowhere except the necessary time to make connection at the principal stations between the incoming and outgoing trains. I have not much to say as to this my last journey in the States, still I will briefly describe the country passed through. Nebraska was the first state after leaving Colorado. This, again, like Texas and Wyoming, is a vast country of grassy plains, on which many thousands of cattle are reared. The endless plains, though rich in grass, look desolate, owing to the total absence of trees, except in the vicinity of towns, where some attempt has been made to remedy the want. It is a very thinly inhabited state; for miles and miles, as we swiftly passed on, not a soul could be seen. The rail line through it, from west to east, is about 480 miles long.

[Pg 221]

Iowa was the next, and beyond that Illinois. They are much alike, so I will describe them together. They are very rich pastoral countries, with large towns, and abound in farms. The scenery in many parts is beautiful, and the general outlook very English. Iowa, by the rail, is about 320 miles across, Illinois about 180 miles.

On the western boundary of Illinois, joining Indiana, and on the southern shore of Lake Michigan, stands the wonderful city of Chicago: wonderful in its quick growth, and wonderful in the way the ravages of the great fire there have been replaced. I was necessarily, by the time-table of the trains, delayed there some six hours, so I walked through the town. It is a beautiful one, not equal in that respect to San Francisco, but still far ahead of New York. Like both the said cities, Chicago is overrun with tram-cars, and like them also other wheel-vehicles are in the minority. Its position on the shore of that vast lake, and on the direct line of rail, is a commanding one for all purposes of trade and commerce, and doubtless to this, in a great[Pg 222] measure, may its quick growth be attributed. Formerly, before the fire, it was, I believe, nearly all wood, now the greater part is brick and stone. It is built on the plan of all American towns, in square blocks, so that the streets, which are wide, all run at right angles to each other. It boasts many very handsome buildings, and the display in the shop windows of huge plate glass quite equals London, or Paris either. I was very glad of the six hours' delay, which enabled me to see this magnificent city. Lake Michigan was the first sight I had of those five vast sheets of fresh water, all joining together, which is such a unique feature in North America. As I stood on the shore and saw the boundless waters before me, it was difficult to realize that I gazed on a lake and not on the ocean.

I saw a number of pretty faces at Chicago, and I then first began to think what I should say in this book about the beauty of women in the States. In no country on earth, my experience teaches me, is beauty as common as in Great Britain. Every fourth young girl you[Pg 223] meet here, be it in Ireland, England, Scotland, or Wales, has some pretensions to good looks. Perhaps, anyway in my opinion, the claim for beauty as regards the four countries follows in the order in which I have named them. In America, on the contrary, beauty is not sown broadcast through the land, but then to make up for this, when it is found it is very perfect. Some American girls and women are extremely handsome, but in America, far more than in Europe, beauty clings to the upper classes. One point further; I doubt if beauty is as lasting on the other side of the Atlantic as it is here. I believe the high temperature the rooms are kept at with stoves during the severe cold of winter is, to some extent, answerable for this, and the extremes of temperature in summer and winter are doubtless another cause.

While perambulating Chicago, being a stranger, I had to ask my way, and I was then struck, as I had been both in New York and San Francisco, how much better the place desired is pointed out in London. Say you want to find Bond Street and ask the way. If anywhere in the[Pg 224] vicinity, the answer is, "Second to the right, first to the left, and first again to the left," or as it may be, and following such a direction is not difficult. Having found Bond Street, the houses are all numbered, and so you easily get to the one you want.

Say in any American city there is a street called Montgomery Street and you ask your way there. The answer is, "On Tenth, between Market and Cheese," and the interrogated passes on. You think the man is laughing at you, are angry, and ask again. A woman this time, the men all seem in such a woful hurry. Again the same answer, "On Tenth, between Market and Cheese." You are bewildered. Can this be a stereotyped joke? You essay a third time, result the same. But the third person you ask is perhaps more considerate, and, seeing your look of astonishment, and divining you are a Britisher, he deigns to explain. After listening a few minutes, you find that the said answer should read, "Out of Tenth Street, between Market Street and Cheese Street;" and adds the interrogated, "But, you see, we've no time to spare in this[Pg 225] city, and so answer as short as we can; besides every one knows 'Cheese' means Cheese Street."

Well, anyhow, you now know that Montgomery Street, which you seek, leads out of Tenth Street, and is between Market Street and Cheese Street. The first thing, of course, is to find Tenth Street. You ask your way there. The same answer in kind, though not in words, "On Lawrence, between Nine and Eleven." You do not now think it is a joke, and though confused, determined to see where it will end, you ask again for Lawrence Street. This time you are lucky, Lawrence Street abuts on the street you are in, which is Eighth Street, and the answer is, "Three blocks on." You have learnt before this that all American towns are built in blocks, the streets running between. So "three blocks on" is tantamout to "four turnings on," and thus you easily find Lawrence Street. If you have not forgotten, which you likely enough have, the previous directions, you have now to seek Tenth, which leads out of Lawrence Street. Walking down Lawrence Street, you come to Ninth Street, running off at right angles, so Tenth[Pg 226] Street is the next turning, and down that, between Market Street and Cheese Street, as told, you find the street you want, viz. Montgomery Street.

The above, to read, sounds puzzling, but, believe me, it is no exaggeration. You soon get accustomed to the word "street" being omitted, but as you don't know the town at all, to be told the street you ask for leads out of another, with the names of the streets on either side, does not help you much. Why such a roundabout mode of direction is adopted, and it holds all over the States, I never could understand. It may answer for those who know the town more or less, but an outsider it helps but little.

Having attained the street you seek, your troubles are not at an end. Houses are supposed to be numbered; but, unfortunately, only in some instances are the numbers marked on them, and if you ask for a number, no one knows it. You have to explain to any one you inquire of what kind of shop it is, and the name of the shopkeeper; or, if a private house, the name of the dweller. If he knows it, you are then told, either, "Six[Pg 227] blocks down," or "Between Eleven and Twelve" which, of course, you now understand; and after some trouble you find it in the block between Eleventh Street and Twelfth Street.

Enough on this. Now as to a point in which the Americans excel us. As I have said, all their cities and towns are laid out in square blocks, the streets running between, and thus always at right angles to one another. The streets running, say from north to south (I'm not sure if I am right as to the points of the compass), are all numbered in succession, thus, first, second, third, and so on for the whole number. The streets running the other way (say from east to west) are all named. Numbering the first is convenient, for if it is one of the numbered streets you seek there is no more difficulty in finding it than a house where all are numbered. But strange that, perceiving the advantage of this, as they of course do, the Americans have not gone a step further, which, if done, would have enabled a stranger to find any street he sought without inquiry. If the named streets were given names, with the first letter of each in alphabetical[Pg 228] succession, as Alpha Street, Bishop Street, Canary Street, right through, beginning from one end, the great desideratum detailed above would be accomplished. In other words, whereas now you can find any one of the numbered streets without inquiry, you could then do just the same with the streets which are named.

Another peculiarity in American towns are strong wire ropes, running high up across the street, from which, in the centre, depends, generally in ornamental wire-scroll letters, the name of the shopkeeper on one side and a résumé of the articles he sells. In some cases these are illuminated at night, and then have a pleasing effect, besides helping to light the street. I could see no possible objection to the plan, and if allowed in London, on the condition that the owners illuminated them properly at their own cost, the sad darkness our capital lies in, as compared with most others, would, in a great measure, be done away with. Are we never going to light up London with electricity? The Americans, on this point, are far ahead of us. In every large town there the electric light is nearly[Pg 229] universal; and on the Continent, too, much more has been achieved in that way than in England.

While on American peculiarities I must mention another, though it is a little thing, and is only universal far out west. The cups have no handles. This is certainly not an advantage when you are drinking hot tea or coffee, for you simply can't lift the cup! I have mentioned before that most of the crockery used in the States comes from England, and in the case of cups for despatch long distances by rail, I presume the handles are omitted to enable them to pack better, one in the other, which of course they do.

I left Chicago when the six hours were up. It was then dark, and as I slept through the state of Indiana I can say nothing about it. Next morning we were in Ohio, and skirting the southern shore of Lake Erie for some hours. I have nowhere seen more beautiful pastoral scenery than I saw there, or a richer country. There were many perfect country seats on the borders of that vast and superb lake, and clean-looking pretty towns and villages. There is no[Pg 230] want of rain in this part of America, and the pasture-fields vied in their bright green with those in Ireland, which so richly deserves the name of the Emerald Isle.

In the evening we reached Buffalo, at the eastern extremity of Lake Erie, and had an hour's halt there. That second wonderful sight in the world (I hold the Himalayan snowy range to be the first), the Niagara Falls, lay only twenty miles off, and I could not go and see it! I had only just allowed myself time to catch the steamer from New York, in which I had taken and paid for my passage, and I could not afford to lose the money. I almost cried with vexation at my stupidity, but the fact was I had not realized the line ran so near the Falls. "Don't you tell any one," said an American to me in the train, when we started again, "that you were so near, and yet missed seeing the great sight of our glorious country, because, you see, it's neither creditable or credible, though to miss your passage to Europe, I allow, would be a serious loss. Why didn't you fix it otherwise?" I told him. "Well,[Pg 231] keep it quiet," he added, "for your own sake, as it's not a thing to boast of." I have not followed his advice. Would you have done so, reader?

We were close to New York, or rather Jersey City, when I awoke next morning. The terminus of the rail is in the latter. I steamed across the Hudson river in one of the grand ferries, and at ten o'clock breakfasted once more in the American capital.

The cuisine is different in the States to ours. Many small dishes are served in succession, something on the French plan, but the order of succession is not so good, nor are the edibles themselves.

In all but the first and expensive hotels, bathing-towels there are none, and those they give are wofully small and thin. They look and feel more like pocket-handkerchiefs.

The blinds to the windows go up with a spring, but the said spring, owing to the stuff of which the blinds are made being thick, harsh, and stiff, seldom seems able to do more than pull the blind up three-quarters of the way.

[Pg 232]

There is one great advantage in American hotels. The daily charge is strictly an inclusive one, comprising meals, attendance, and everything but alcoholic drinks. There are positively no extras, and you depart in peace, not having to "remember" waiter, chambermaid, or others.

Turning over my memoranda, I find one very peculiar habit which I ought to have mentioned when out west, for I have not seen it elsewhere. Suppose a man has a box of matches in his hand, and you ask him for a light for your pipe. He takes out a match, lifts up the right leg, bent at the knee to draw the trousers tight, and ignites it on the lower part of the thigh. The effect is peculiar; he seems to be drawing fire from that part of his body! No one there ever lights matches any other way, and doubtless it is easier done so than on any other object, as I learnt by experience. But the posture is most inelegant and grotesque, and had any one prophesied, when I first saw the feat, that I should ever do it, I should have laughed scornfully. But habits, you see continually, take a strange hold of you; my sons never lighted[Pg 233] matches any other way, and I, trying it once or twice, found it so convenient, I am almost ashamed to say I was fast acquiring the practice when I left the ranch. Of course, since my return to civilization, I have not been so naughty! I once, in Colorado, saw a girl, and a very nice one, a lady's daughter of ten years old, essay the feat, quite unconscious of doing anything strange. Odd to relate, she succeeded, for petticoats are naturally inferior to trousers as match illuminating surfaces. But the performance convulsed me with laughter, while I pointed out to her mother and her that in her case it was highly dangerous withal.

The Monarch steamer left next morning early, so I slept on board. She was a tiny boat as compared with the City of Rome, in which I had come out, but a good one all the same. Except a twenty-four hours' gale of wind, during which she behaved well, we had a smooth passage. The passengers were not many. We were bound to London, so came up the Channel and river, arriving in thirteen days. After the bright skies I had revelled in, the foggy November weather we[Pg 234] encountered, after passing the Scilly Islands, was very gloomy in comparison, and the dingy old Thames, when I recalled the Hudson river, showed out painfully. Still England is dear England to the "Britisher," and as I landed at Blackwall I felt that, with all her faults, I loved her still.




FINIS.

[Pg 235]




LONDON:
PRINTED BY GILBERT AND RIVINGTON, LIMITED,
ST. JOHN'S SQUARE.





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