The Project Gutenberg eBook, Abroad at Home, by Julian Street, Illustrated by Wallace Morgan

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at

Title: Abroad at Home

American Ramblings, Observations, and Adventures of Julian Street

Author: Julian Street

Release Date: April 25, 2011 [eBook #35965]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1



E-text prepared by Juliet Sutherland, Corsetiere,
and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team






[ iii]



Fifth Anniversary Edition. Illustrated by James Montgomery Flagg. Cloth, 50 cents net. Leather, $1.00 net.


"Gastronomic promenades" in Paris. Illustrated by May Wilson Preston. Cloth, 60 cents net.


Mr. Street plays host to the stranger in New York. Illustrated by James Montgomery Flagg and Wallace Morgan. Cloth, $1.00 net.


Who hasn't been? Illustrated by May Wilson Preston. Cloth, 50 cents net.

ABROAD AT HOME Cheerful ramblings and adventures in American cities and other places. Illustrated by Wallace Morgan. Cloth, $2.50 net.

For Children


A Christmas story for children between six and sixty. Colored Illustrations and page Decorations. Cloth, 70 cents net.

[ iv]

The St. Francis at tea-time.—With her hotels San Francisco is New
York, but with her people she is San Francisco—which comes near
being the apotheosis of praise The St. Francis at tea-time.—With her hotels San Francisco is New York, but with her people she is San Francisco—which comes near being the apotheosis of praise

[ v]






[ vi]
Copyright, 1914, by
The Century Co.

Copyright, 1914, by
P. F. Collier & Son, Inc.

Published, November, 1914
[ vii]

the companion of my first railroad journey

[ viii]

The Author takes this opportunity to thank the old friends, and the new ones, who assisted him in so many ways, upon his travels. Especially, he makes his affectionate acknowledgment to his wise and kindly companion, the Illustrator, whose admirable drawings are far from being his only contribution to this volume.

—J. S.

New York,
October, 1914.

[ ix]




The St. Francis at tea-time.—With her hotels San Francisco is New
York, but with her people she is San Francisco—which comes
near being the apotheosis of praise. Frontispiece
I was moving about my room, my hands full of hairbrushes and toothbrushes
and clothesbrushes and shaving brushes; my head full of
railroad trains, and hills, and plains, and valleys
A dusky redcap took my baggage12
What scenes these black, pathetic people had passed through—were
passing through! Why did they not look up in wonderment?.
We made believe we wanted to go out and smoke. And as we left
our seats she made believe she didn't know that we were going.
The gentleman who favored linen mesh was a fat, prosperous-looking
person, whose gold-rimmed spectacles reflected flying lights
from out of doors
In a few hours there was enough shame around us to have lasted all
the reformers and muckrakers I know a whole month
My companion and I made excuses to go downstairs and wash our
hands in the public washroom, just for the pleasure of doing so
without fear of being attacked by a swarthy brigand with a brush
I was prepared to take the field against all comers, not only in favor
of simplicity, but in favor of anything and everything which was
favored by my hostess
Chamber of Commerce representatives were with us all the first day
and until we went to our rooms, late at night
It is an Elizabethan building, with a heavy timbered front, suggesting
some ancient, hospitable, London coffee house where wits of
old were used to meet
In this charming, homelike old building, with its grandfather's clock,
its Windsor chairs, and its open wood fires, a visitor finds it hard
to realize that he is in the "west"
Down by the docks we saw gigantic, strange machines, expressive of
Cleveland's lake commerce—machines for loading and unloading
ships in the space of a few hours
In midstream passes a continual parade of freighters ... and in
their swell you may see, teetering, all kinds of craft, from proud
white yachts to canoes
The automobile has not only changed Detroit from a quiet old town
into a rich, active city, but upon the drowsy romance of the old
days it has superimposed the romance of modern business
Of course there was order in that place, of course there was system—relentless
system—terrible "efficiency"—but to my mind it expressed
but one thing, and that thing was delirium
Never, since then, have I heard men jeering over women as they look
in dishabille, without wondering if those same men have ever seen
themselves clearly in the mirrored washroom of a sleeping car
"Can that stuff," admonished Miss Buck in her easy, offhand manner117
She was saying to herself (and, unconsciously, to us, through the
window): "If I had played that hand, I never should have done
it that way!"
Rodin's "Thinker"145
Chicago's skyline from the docks.... A city which rebuilt itself after
the fire; in the next decade doubled its size; and now has a population
of two million, plus a city of about the size of San Francisco
Two rabbis, old bearded men, performed the rites with long, slim,
shiny blades
As I stood there, studying the temperament of pigs, I saw the butcher
looking up at me.... I have never seen such eyes
The bold front of Michigan Avenue along Grant Park ... great
buildings wreathed in whirling smoke and that allegory of infinity
which confronts one who looks eastward
The dilapidation of the quarter has continued steadily from Dickens's
day to this, and the beauty now to be discovered there is that of
decay and ruin
The three used bridges which cross the Mississippi River at St. Louis
are privately controlled toll bridges
The skins are handled in the raw state ... with the result that the
floor of the exchange is made slippery by animal fats, and that the
olfactory organs encounter smells not to be matched in any zoo
St. Louis needs to be taken by the hand and led around to some municipal-improvement
tailor, some civic haberdasher
We came upon the "Mark Twain House."... And to think that,
wretched as this place was, the Clemens family were forced to
leave it for a time because they were too poor to live there
At one side is an alley running back to the house of Huckleberry Finn,
and in that alley stood the historic fence which young Sam
Clemens cajoled the other boys into whitewashing for him
Never outside of Brittany and Normandy have I seen roads so full of
animals as those of Pike County
Mr. Roberts is a wonder—nothing less. There's a book in him, and
I hope that somebody will write it, for I should like to read that
Looking down from Kersey Coates Drive, one sees ... the appalling
web of railroad tracks, crammed with freight cars, which seen
through a softening haze of smoke, resemble a relief map—strange,
vast and pictorial
Colonel Nelson is a "character." Even if he didn't own the "Star," ...
he would be a "character."... I have called him a volcano;
he is more like one than any other man I have ever met
Mr. Fish informed me that the waters of Excelsior Springs resemble
the waters of Homburg, the favorite watering place of the late
King Edward—or, rather, I think he put it the other way round
We strolled in the direction of the old house, that house of tragedy in
which the family lived in the troublous times.... It was there
that the Pinkertons threw the bomb
It was Frank James.... He looks more like a prosperous farmer or
the president of a rural bank than like a bandit. In his manner
there is a strong note of the showman
The campus seems to have "just growed."... Nevertheless, there is
a sort of homely charm about the place, with its unimposing, helter-skelter
piles of brick and stone
Even at sea the great bowl of the sky had never looked to me so vast368
The little towns of western Kansas are far apart and have, like the
surrounding scenery, an air of sadness and desolation
In the lobby of the Brown Palace Hotel we saw several old fellows,
sitting about, looking neither prosperous nor busy, but always
talking mines. A kind word, or even a pleasant glance, is enough
to set them off
"Ain't Nature wonderful!"405
I was by this time very definitely aware that I had my fill of winter
motoring in the mountains. The mere reluctance I felt as we began
to climb had now developed into a passionate desire to desist
The homes of Colorado Springs really explain the place and the society
is as cosmopolitan as the architecture
On the road to Cripple Creek we were always turning, always turning
We were invited to meet the President of the Mormon Church and
some members of his family at the Beehive House, his official
The Lion House—a large adobe building in which formerly resided
the rank and file of Brigham Young's wives
The Cliff House has a Sorrento setting and hectic turkey-trotting
The Salt-water pool, Olympic Club, San Francisco477
The switchboard of the Chinatown telephone exchange is set in a
shrine and the operators are dressed in Chinese silks
We believed we had encountered every kind of "booster" that creeps,
crawls, walks, crows, cries, bellows, barks or brays, but it remained
for the Exposition to show us a new specimen
New York—Everyone is in a hurry. Everyone is dodging everyone
else. Everyone is trying to keep his knees from being knocked
by swift-passing suitcases
[ 1]


[ 3]




"What, you are stepping westward?"—"Yea."
—'Twould be a wildish destiny,
If we, who thus together roam
In a strange Land, and far from home,
Were in this place the guests of Chance:
Yet who would stop or fear to advance,
Though home or shelter he had none,
With such a sky to lead him on?


For some time I have desired to travel over the United States—to ramble and observe and seek adventure here, at home, not as a tourist with a short vacation and a round-trip ticket, but as a kind of privateer with a roving commission. The more I have contemplated the possibility the more it has engaged me. For we Americans, though we are the most restless race in the world, with the possible exception of the Bedouins, almost never permit ourselves to travel, either at home or abroad, as the "guests of Chance." We always go from one place to another with a definite purpose. We[ 4] never amble. On the boat, going to Europe, we talk of leisurely trips away from the "beaten track," but we never take them. After we land we rush about obsessed by "sights," seeing with the eyes of guides and thinking the "canned" thoughts of guidebooks.

In order to accomplish such a trip as I had thought of I was even willing to write about it afterward. Therefore I went to see a publisher and suggested that he send me out upon my travels.

I argued that Englishmen, from Dickens to Arnold Bennett, had "done" America; likewise Frenchmen and Germans. And we have traveled over there and written about them. But Americans who travel at home to write (or, as in my case, write to travel) almost always go in search of some specific thing: to find corruption and expose it, to visit certain places and describe them in detail, or to catch, exclusively, the comic side. For my part, I did not wish to go in search of anything specific. I merely wished to take things as they might come. And—speaking of taking things—I wished, above all else, to take a good companion, and I had him all picked out: a man whose drawings I admire almost as much as I admire his disposition; the one being who might endure my presence for some months, sharing with me his joys and sorrows and collars and cigars, and yet remain on speaking terms with me.

The publisher agreed to all. Then I told my New York friends that I was going.

I was moving about my room, my hands full of hairbrushes and toothbrushes
and clothesbrushes and shaving brushes; my head full of railroad trains, and hills,
and plains, and valleys I was moving about my room, my hands full of hairbrushes and toothbrushes and clothesbrushes and shaving brushes; my head full of railroad trains, and hills, and plains, and valleys

They were incredulous. That is the New York atti[ 5]tude of mind. Your "typical New Yorker" really thinks that any man who leaves Manhattan Island for any destination other than Europe or Palm Beach must be either a fool who leaves voluntarily or a criminal taken off by force. For the picturesque criminal he may be sorry, but for the fool he has scant pity.

At a farewell party which they gave us on the night before we left, one of my friends spoke, in an emotional moment, of accompanying us as far as Buffalo. He spoke of it as one might speak of going up to Baffin Land to see a friend off for the Pole.

I welcomed the proposal and assured him of safe conduct to that point in the "interior." I even showed him Buffalo upon the map. But the sight of that wide-flung chart of the United States seemed only to alarm him. After regarding it with a solemn and uneasy eye he shook his head and talked long and seriously of his responsibilities as a family man—of his duty to his wife and his limousine and his elevator boys.

It was midnight when good-bys were said and my companion and I returned to our respective homes to pack. There were many things to be put into trunks and bags. A clock struck three as my weary head struck the pillow. I closed my eyes. Then when, as it seemed to me, I was barely dozing off there came a knocking at my bedroom door.

"What is it?"[ 6]

"Six o'clock," replied the voice of our trusty Hannah.

As I arose I knew the feelings of a man condemned to death who hears the warden's voice in the chilly dawn: "Come! It is the fatal hour!"

When, fifteen minutes later, doubting Hannah (who knows my habits in these early morning matters) knocked again, I was moving about my room, my hands full of hairbrushes and toothbrushes and clothes brushes and shaving brushes; my head full of railroad trains, and hills, and plains and valleys, and snow-capped mountain peaks, and smoking cities and smoking-cars, and people I had never seen.

The breakfast table, shining with electric light, had a night-time aspect which made eggs and coffee seem bizarre. I do not like to breakfast by electric light, and I had done so seldom until then; but since that time I have done it often—sometimes to catch the early morning train, sometimes to catch the early morning man.

Beside my plate I found a telegram. I ripped the envelope and read this final punctuation-markless message from a literary friend:

you are going to discover the united states dont be afraid to say so

That is an awful thing to tell a man in the very early morning before breakfast. In my mind I answered with the cry: "But I am afraid to say so!"

And now, months later, I am still afraid to say so, be[ 7]cause, despite a certain truth the statement may contain, it seems to me to sound ridiculous, and ponderous, and solemn with an asinine solemnity.

It spoiled my last meal at home—that well-meant telegram.

I had not swallowed my second cup of coffee when, from her switchboard, a dozen floors below, the operator telephoned to say my taxi had arrived; whereupon I left the table, said good-by to those I should miss most of all, took up my suit case and departed.

Beside the curb there stood an unhappy-looking taxicab, shivering as with malaria, but the driver showed a face of brazen cheerfulness which, considering the hour and the circumstances, seemed almost indecent. I could not bear his smile. Hastily I blotted him from view beneath a pile of baggage.

With a jerk we started. Few other vehicles disputed our right to the whole width of Seventy-second Street as we skimmed eastward. Farewell, O Central Park! Farewell, O Plaza! And you, Fifth Avenue, empty, gray, deserted now; so soon to flash with fascinating traffic. Farewell! Farewell!

Presently, in that cavern in which vehicles stop beneath the overhanging cliffs of the Grand Central Station, we drew up. A dusky redcap took my baggage. I alighted and, passing through glass doors, gazed down on the vast concourse. Far up in the lofty spaces of the room there seemed to hang a haze, through which—from that amazing and audacious ceiling, painted like[ 8] the heavens—there twinkled, feebly, morning stars of gold. Through three arched windows, towering to the height of six-story buildings, the eastern light streamed softly in, combining with the spaciousness around me, and the blue above, to fill me with a curious sense of paradox: a feeling that I was indoors yet out of doors.

The glass dials of the four-faced clock, crowning the information bureau at the center of the concourse, glowed with electric light, yellow and sickly by contrast with the day which poured in through those windows. Such stupendous windows! Gargantuan spider webs whose threads were massive bars of steel. And suddenly I saw the spider! He emerged from one side, passed nimbly through the center of the web, disappeared, emerged again, crossed the second web and the third in the same way, and was gone—a two-legged spider, walking importantly and carrying papers in his hand. Then another spider came, and still another, each black against the light, each on a different level. For those windows are, in reality, more than windows. They are double walls of glass, supporting floors of glass—layer upon layer of crystal corridor, suspended in the air as by genii out of the Arabian Nights. And through these corridors pass clerks who never dream that they are princes in the modern kind of fairy tale.

As yet the torrent of commuters had not begun to pour through the vast place. The floor lay bare and tawny like the bed of some dry river waiting for the[ 9] melting of the mountain snows. Across the river bed there came a herd of cattle—Italian immigrants, dark-eyed, dumb, patient, uncomprehending. Two weeks ago they had left Naples, with plumed Vesuvius looming to the left; yesterday they had come to Ellis Island; last night they had slept on station benches; to-day they were departing; to-morrow or the next day they would reach their destination in the West. Suddenly there came to me from nowhere, but with a poignance that seemed to make it new, the platitudinous thought that life is at once the commonest and strangest of experiences. What scenes these black, pathetic people had passed through—were passing through! Why did they not look up in wonderment? Why were their bovine eyes gazing blankly ahead of them at nothing? What had dazed them so—the bigness of the world? Yet, after all, why should they understand? What American can understand Italian railway stations? They have always seemed to me to express a sort of mild insanity. But the Grand Central terminal I fancy I do understand. It seems to me to be much more than a successful station. In its stupefying size, its brilliant utilitarianism, and, most of all, in its mildly vulgar grandeur, it seems to me to express, exactly, the city to which it is a gate. That is something every terminal should do unless, as in the case of the Pennsylvania terminal in New York, it expresses something finer. The Grand Central Station is New York, but that classic marvel over there on Seventh[ 10] Avenue is more: it is something for New York to live up to.

When I had bought my ticket and moved along to count my change there came up to the ticket window a big man in a big ulster who asked in a big voice for a ticket to Grand Rapids. As he stood there I was conscious of a most un-New-York-like wish to say to him: "After a while I'm going to Grand Rapids, too!" And I think that, had I said it, he would have told me that Grand Rapids was "some town" and asked me to come in and see him, when I got there,—"at the plant," I think he would have said.

As I crossed the marble floor to take the train I caught sight of my traveling companion leaning rigidly against the wall beside the gate. He did not see me. Reaching his side, I greeted him.

He showed no signs of life. I felt as though I had addressed a waxwork figure.

"Good morning," I repeated, calling him by name.

"I've just finished packing," he said. "I never got to bed at all."

At that moment a most attractive person put in an appearance. She was followed by a redcap carrying a lovely little Russia leather bag. A few years before I should have called a bag like that a dressing case, but watching that young woman as she tripped along with steps restricted by the slimness of her narrow satin skirt, it occurred to me that modes in baggage may have[ 11] changed like those in woman's dress and that her little leather case might be a modern kind of wardrobe trunk.

My companion took no notice of this agitating presence.

"Look!" I whispered. "She is going, too."

Stiffly he turned his head.

"The pretty girl," he remarked, with sad philosophy, "is always in the other car. That's life."

"No," I demurred. "It's only early morning stuff."

And I was right, for presently, in the parlor car, we found our seats across the aisle from hers.

Before the train moved out a boy came through with books and magazines, proclaiming loudly the "last call for reading matter."

I think the radiant being believed him, for she bought a magazine—a magazine of pretty girls and piffle: just the sort we knew she'd buy. As for my companion and me, we made no purchases, not crediting the statement that it was really the "last call." But I am impelled to add that having, later, visited certain book stores of Buffalo, Cleveland, and Detroit, I now see truth in what the boy said.

For a time my companion and I sat and tried to make believe we didn't know that some one was across the aisle. And she sat there and played with pages and made believe she didn't know we made believe. When that had gone on for a time and our train was slipping[ 12] silently along beside the Hudson, we felt we couldn't stand it any longer, so we made believe we wanted to go out and smoke. And as we left our seats she made believe she didn't know that we were going.

Four men were seated in the smoking room. Two were discussing the merits of flannel versus linen mesh for winter underwear. The gentleman who favored linen mesh was a fat, prosperous-looking person, whose gold-rimmed spectacles reflected flying lights from out of doors.

"If you'll wear linen," he declared with deep conviction—"and it wants to be a union suit, too—you'll never go back to shirt and drawers again. I'll guarantee that!" The other promised to try it. Presently I noticed that the first speaker had somehow gotten all the way from linen union suits to Portland, Me., on a hot Sunday afternoon. He said it was the hottest day last year, and gave the date and temperatures at certain hours. He mentioned his wife's weight, details of how she suffered from the heat, the amount of flesh she lost, the name of the steamer on which they finally escaped from Portland to New York, the time of leaving and arrival, and many other little things.

I left him on the dock in New York. A friend (name and occupation given) had met him with a touring car (make and horsepower specified). What happened after that I do not know, save that it was nothing of importance. Important things don't happen to a man like that.

A dusky redcap took my baggage A dusky redcap took my baggage

[ 13]

Two other men of somewhat Oriental aspect were seated on the leather sofa talking the unintelligible jargon of the factory. But, presently, emerged an anecdote.

"I was going through our sorting room a while back," said the one nearest the window, "and I happened to take notice of one of the girls. I hadn't seen her before. She was a new hand—a mighty pretty girl, with a nice, round figure and a fine head of hair. She kept herself neater than most of them girls do. I says to myself: 'Why, if you was to take that girl and dress her up and give her a little education you wouldn't be ashamed to take her anywheres.' Well, I went over to her table and I says: 'Look at here, little girl; you got a fine head of hair and you'd ought to take care of it. Why don't you wear a cap in here in all this dust?' It tickled her to death to be noticed like that. And, sure enough, she did get a cap. I says to her: 'That's the dope, little girl. Take care of your looks. You'll only be young and pretty like this once, you know.' So one thing led to another, and one day, a while later, she come up to the office to see about her time slip or something, and I jollied her a little. I seen she was a pretty smart kid at that, so—" At that point he lowered his voice to a whisper, and leaned over so that his thick, smiling lips were close to his companion's ear. The motion of the train caused their hat brims to interfere. Disturbed by this, the raconteur removed his derby. His head was absolutely bald.

[ 14]

Well, I am not sure that I should have liked to hear the rest. I shifted my attention back to the apostle of the linen union suit, who had talked on, unremittingly. His conversation had, at least, the merit of entire frankness. He was a man with nothing to conceal.

"Yes, sir!" I heard him declare, "every time you get on to a railroad train you take your life in your hands. That's a positive fact. I was reading it up just the other day. We had almost sixteen thousand accidents to trains in this country last year. A hundred and thirty-nine passengers killed and between nine and ten thousand injured. That's not counting employees, either—just passengers like us." He emphasized his statements by waving a fat forefinger beneath the listener's nose, and I noticed that the latter seemed to wish to draw his head back out of range, as though in momentary fear of a collision.

For my part, I did not care for these statistics. They were not pleasant to the ears of one on the first leg of a long railroad journey. I rose, aimed the end of my cigar at the convenient nickel-plated receptacle provided for that purpose by the thoughtful Pullman Company, missed it, and retired from the smoking room. Or, rather, I emerged and went to luncheon.

Our charming neighbor of the parlor car was already in the diner. She finished luncheon before we did, and, passing by our table as she left, held her chin well up and kept her eyes ahead with a precision almost military—almost, but not quite. Try as she would, she was[ 15] unable to control a slight but infinitely gratifying flicker of the eyelids, in which nature triumphed over training and femininity defeated feministic theory.

A little later, on our way back to the smoking room, we saw her seated, as before, behind the sheltering ramparts of her magazine. This time it pleased our fancy to take the austere military cue from her. So we filed by in step, as stiff as any guardsmen on parade before a princess seated on a green plush throne. Resolutely she kept her eyes upon the page. We might have thought she had not noticed us at all but for a single sign. She uncrossed her knees as we passed by.

In the smoking room we entered conversation with a young man who was sitting by the window. He proved to be a civil engineer from Buffalo. He had lived in Buffalo eight years, he said, without having visited Niagara Falls. ("I've been meaning to go, but I've kept putting it off.") But in New York he had taken time to go to Bedloe Island and ascend the Statue of Liberty. ("It's awfully hot in there.") Though my companion and myself had lived in New York for many years, neither of us had been to Bedloe Island. But both of us had visited the Falls. The absurd humanness of this was amusing to us all; to my companion and me it was encouraging as well, for it seemed to give us ground for hope that, in our visits to strange places, we might see things which the people living in those places fail to see.

When, after finishing our smoke, we went back to[ 16] our seats, the being across the way began to make believe to read again. But now and then, when some one passed, she would look up and make believe she wished to see who it might be. And always, after doing so, she let her eyes trail casually in our direction ere they sought the page again. And always we were thankful.

As the train slowed down for Rochester we saw her rise and get into her slinky little coat. The porter came and took her Russia leather bag. Meanwhile we hoped she would be generous enough to look once more before she left the car. Only once more!

But she would not. I think she had a feeling that frivolity should cease at Rochester; for Rochester, we somehow sensed, was home to her. At all events she simply turned and undulated from the car.

That was too much! Enough of make-believe! With one accord we swung our chairs to face the window. As she appeared upon the platform our noses almost touched the windowpane and our eyes sent forth forlorn appeals. She knew that we were there, yet she walked by without so much as glancing at us.

We saw a lean old man trot up to her, throw one arm about her shoulders, and kiss her warmly on the cheek. Her father—there was no mistaking that. They stood there for a moment on the platform talking eagerly; and as they talked they turned a little bit, so that we saw her smiling up at him.

Then, to our infinite delight, we noticed that her eyes were slipping, slipping. First they slipped down to her

What scenes these black, pathetic people had passed through—were passing
through! Why did they not look up in wonderment? What scenes these black, pathetic people had passed through—were passing through! Why did they not look up in wonderment?

[ 17] father's necktie. Then sidewise to his shoulder, where they fluttered for an instant, while she tried to get them under control. But they weren't the kind of eyes which are amenable. They got away from her and, with a sudden leap, flashed up at us across her father's shoulder! The minx! She even flung a smile! It was just a little smile—not one of her best—merely the fragment of a smile, not good enough for father, but too good to throw away.

Well—it was not thrown away. For it told us that she knew our lives had been made brighter by her presence—and that she didn't mind a bit.

Pushing on toward Buffalo as night was falling, my companion and I discussed the fellow travelers who had most engaged our notice: the young engineer from Buffalo, keen and alive, with a quick eye for the funny side of things; the hairless amorist; the genial bore, whose wife (we told ourselves) got very tired of him sometimes, but loved him just because he was so good; the pretty girl, who couldn't make her eyes behave because she was a pretty girl. We guessed what kind of house each one resided in, the kind of furniture they had, the kind of pictures on the walls, the kind of books they read—or didn't read. And I believed that we guessed right. Did we not even know what sort of underwear encased the ample figure of the man with the amazing memory of unessential things? And, while[ 18] touching on this somewhat delicate subject, were we not aware that if the alluring being who left the train, and us, at Rochester possessed the once-so-necessary garment called a petticoat, that petticoat was hanging in her closet?

All this I mention because the thought occurred to me then (and it has kept recurring since) that places, no less than persons, have characters and traits and habits of their own. Just as there are colorless people there are colorless communities. There are communities which are strong, self-confident, aggressive; others lazy and inert. There are cities which are cultivated; others which crave "culture" but take "culturine" (like some one drinking from the wrong bottle); and still others almost unaware, as yet, that esthetic things exist. Some cities seem to fairly smile at you; others are glum and worried like men who are ill, or oppressed with business troubles. And there are dowdy cities and fashionable cities—the latter resembling one another as fashionable women do. Some cities seem to have an active sense of duty, others not. And almost all cities, like almost all people, appear to be capable alike of baseness and nobility. Some cities are rich and proud like self-made millionaires; others, by comparison, are poor. But let me digress here to say that, though I have heard mention of "hard times" at certain points along my way, I don't believe our modern generation knows what hard times really are. To most Americans the term appears to signify that life is hard indeed on[ 19] him who has no motor car or who goes without champagne at dinner.

My contacts with many places and persons I shall mention in the following chapters have, of necessity, been brief. I have hardly more than glimpsed them as I glimpsed those fellow travelers on the train. Therefore I shall merely try to give you some impressions, from a sort of mental sketchbook, of the things which I have seen and done and heard. There is one point in particular about that sketchbook: in it I have reserved the right to set down only what I pleased. It has been hard to do that sometimes. People have pulled me this way and that, telling me what to see and what not to see, what to write and what to leave out. I have been urged, for instance, to write about the varied industries of Cleveland, the parks of Milwaukee, and the enormous red apples of Louisiana, Mo. I may come to the apples later on, for I ate a number of them and enjoyed them; but the varied industries of Cleveland and the Milwaukee parks I did not eat.

I claim the further right to ignore, when I desire to, the most important things, or to dwell with loving pen upon the unimportant. Indeed, I reserve all rights—even to the right to be perverse.

Thus I shall mention things which people told me not to mention: the droll Detroit Art Museum; the comic chimney rising from the center of a Grand Rapids park; horrendous scenes in the Chicago stockyards; the Free[ 20] Bridge, standing useless over the river at St. Louis for want of an approach; the "wettest block"—a block full of saloons, which marks the dead line between "wet" Kansas City, Mo., and "dry" Kansas City, Kas. (I never heard about that block until a stranger wrote and told me not to mention it.)

As for statistics, though I have been loaded with them to the point of purchasing another trunk, I intend to use them as sparingly as possible. And every time I use them I shall groan.[ 21]



Alighting from the train at Buffalo, I was reminded of my earlier reflection that railway stations should express their cities. In Buffalo the thought is painful. If that city were in fact, expressed by its present railway stations, people would not get off there voluntarily; they would have to be put off. And yet, from what I have been told, the curious and particularly ugly relic which is the New York Central Station there, to-day, does tell a certain story of the city. Buffalo has long been torn by factional quarrels—among them a protracted fight as to the location of a modern station for the New York Central Lines. The East Side wants it; the West Side wants it. Neither has it. The old station still stands—at least it was standing when I left Buffalo, for I was very careful not to bump it with my suit case.

This difference of opinion between the East Side and the West with regard to the placing of a station is, I am informed, quite typical of Buffalo. Socially, commercially, religiously, politically, the two sides disagree. The dividing line between them, geographically, is not, as might be supposed, Division Street. (That, by the[ 22] way, is a peculiarity of highways called "Division Street" in most cities—they seldom divide anything more important than one row of buildings from another.) The real street of division is called Main.

Main Street! How many American towns and cities have used that name, and what a stupid name it is! It is as characterless as a number, and it lacks the number's one excuse for being. If names like Tenth Street or Eleventh Avenue fail to kindle the imagination they do not fail, at all events, to help the stranger find his way—although it should be added that strangers do, somehow, manage to find their way about in London, Paris, and even Boston, where the modern American system of numbering streets and avenues is not in vogue. But I am not agitating against the numbering of streets. Indeed, I fear I rather believe in it, as I believe in certain other dull but useful things like work and government reports. What I am crying out about is the stupid naming of such streets as carry names. Why do we have so many Main Streets? Do you think we lack imagination? Then look at the names of Western towns and Kansas girls and Pullman cars! The thing is an enigma.

Main Street is not only a bad name for a thoroughfare; the quality which it implies is unfortunate. And that quality may be seen in Main Street, Buffalo. On an exaggerated scale that street is like the Main Street of a little town, for the business district, the retail shopping district, all the city's activities string along on

We made believe we wanted to go out and smoke. And as we left
our seats she made believe she didn't know that we were going We made believe we wanted to go out and smoke. And as we left our seats she made believe she didn't know that we were going

[ 23]

either side. It is bad for a city to grow in that elongated way just as it is bad for a human being. To either it imparts a kind of gawky awkwardness.

The development of Main Street, Buffalo, has been natural. That is just the trouble; it has been too natural. Originally it was the Iroquois trail; later the route followed by the stages coming from the East. So it has grown up from log-cabin days. It is a fine, broad street; all that it lacks is "features." It runs along its wide, monotonous way until it stops in the squalid surroundings of the river; and if the river did not happen to be there to stop it, it would go on and on developing, indefinitely, and uninterestingly, in that direction as well as in the other.

The thing which Buffalo lacks physically is a recognizable center; a point at which a stranger would stop, as he stops in Piccadilly Circus or the Place de l'Opéra, and say to himself with absolute assurance: "Now I am at the very heart of the city." Every city ought to have a center, and every center ought to signify in its spaciousness, its arrangement and its architecture, a city's dignity. Buffalo is, unfortunately, far from being alone in her need of such a thing. Where Buffalo is most at fault is that she does not even seem to be thinking of municipal distinction. And very many other cities are. Cleveland is already attaining it in a manner which will be magnificent; Chicago has long planned and is slowly executing; Denver has work upon a splendid municipal center well under way; so has San[ 24] Francisco; St. Louis, Milwaukee, and Grand Rapids have plans for excellent municipal improvements. Even St. Paul is waking up and widening an important business street.

Every one knows that what is called "a wave of reform" has swept across the country, but not every one seems to know that there is also surging over the United States a "wave" of improved public taste. I shall write more of this later. Suffice it now to say that it manifests itself in countless forms: in municipal improvements of the kind of which the Cleveland center is, perhaps, the best example in the country; in architecture of all classes; in household furniture and decoration; in the tendency of art museums to realize that modern American paintings are the finest modern paintings obtainable in the world to-day; in the tendency of private art collectors not to buy quite so much rubbish as they have bought in the past; in the Panama-Pacific Exposition, which will be the most beautiful exposition anybody ever saw; and in innumerable other ways. Indeed, public taste in the United States has, in the last ten years, taken a leap forward which the mind of to-day cannot hope to measure. The advance is nothing less than marvelous, and it is reflected, I think, in every branch of art excepting one: the literary art, which has in our day, and in our country, reached an abysmal depth of degradation.

With Cleveland so near at hand as an example, and[ 25] so many other American cities thinking about civic beauty, Buffalo ought soon to begin to rub her eyes, look about, and cast up her accounts. Perhaps her trouble is that she is a little bit too prosperous with an olden-time prosperity; a little bit too somnolent and satisfied. There is plenty to eat; business is not so bad; there are good clubs, and there is a delightful social life and a more than ordinary degree of cultivation. Furthermore, there may be a new station for the New York Central some day, for it is a fact that there are now some street cars which actually cross Main Street, instead of stopping at the Rubicon and making passengers get out, cross on foot, and take the other car on the other side! That, in itself, is a startling state of things. Evidently all that is needed now is an earthquake.

I have remarked before that cities, like people, have habits. Just as Detroit has the automobile habit, Pittsburgh the steel habit, Erie, Pa., the boiler habit, Grand Rapids the furniture habit, and Louisville the (if one may say so) whisky habit, Buffalo had in earlier times the transportation habit. The first fortunes made in Buffalo came originally from the old Central Wharf, where toll was taken of the passing commerce. Hand in hand with shipping came that business known by the unpleasant name of "jobbing." From the opening of the Erie Canal until the late seventies, jobbing flourished in Buffalo, but of recent years[ 26] her jobbing territory has diminished as competition with surrounding centers has increased.

The early profits from docks and shipping were considerable. The business was easy; it involved comparatively small investment and but little risk. So when, with the introduction of through bills of lading, this business dwindled, it was hard for Buffalo to readjust herself to more daring ventures, such as manufacturing. "For," as a Buffalo man remarked to me, "there is only one thing more timid than a million dollars, and that is two million." It was the same gentleman, I think, who, in comparing the Buffalo of to-day with the Buffalo of other days, called my attention to the fact that not one man in the city is a director of a steam railroad company.

From her geographical position with regard to ore, limestone, and coal it would seem that Buffalo might well become a great iron and steel city like Cleveland, but for some reason her ventures in this direction have been unfortunate. One steel company in which Buffalo money was invested, failed; another has been struggling along for some years and has not so far proved profitable. Some Buffalonians made money in a land boom a dozen or so years since; then came the panic, and the boom burst with a loud report, right in Buffalo's face.

Back of most of this trouble there seems to have been a streak of real ill luck.

The gentleman who favored linen mesh was a fat, prosperous-looking person,
whose gold-rimmed spectacles reflected flying lights from out of doors The gentleman who favored linen mesh was a fat, prosperous-looking person, whose gold-rimmed spectacles reflected flying lights from out of doors
[ 27]

There is a great deal of money in Buffalo, but it is wary money—financial wariness seems to be another Buffalo habit. And there are other cities with the same characteristic. You can tell them because, when you begin to ask about various enterprises, people will say: "No, we haven't this and we haven't that, but this is a safe town in times of financial panic." That is what they say in Buffalo; they also say it in St. Louis and St. Paul. But if they say it in Chicago, or Minneapolis, or Kansas City, or in those lively cities of the Pacific slope, I did not hear them. Those cities are not worrying about financial panics which may come some day, but are busy with the things which are.

If you ask a Buffalo man what is the matter with his city, he will, very likely, sit down with great solemnity and try to tell you, and even call a friend to help him, so as to be sure that nothing is overlooked. He may tell you that the city lacks one great big dominating man to lead it into action; or that there has been, until recently, lack of coöperation between the banks; or that there are ninety or a hundred thousand Poles in the city and only about the same number of people springing from what may be called "old American stock." Or he may tell you something else.

If, upon the other hand, you ask a Minneapolis man that question, what will he do? He will look at you pityingly and think you are demented. Then he will tell you very positively that there is nothing the matter with Minneapolis, but that there is something definitely the matter with any one who thinks there is! Yes, in[ 28]deed! If you want to find out what is the matter with Minneapolis, it is still necessary to go for information to St. Paul. As you proceed westward, such a question becomes increasingly dangerous.

Ask a Kansas City man what is wrong with his town and he will probably attack you; and as for Los Angeles—! Such a question in Los Angeles would mean the calling out of the National Guard, the Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club, and all the "boosters" (which is to say the entire population of the city); the declaring of martial law, a trial by summary court-martial, and your immediate execution. The manner of your execution would depend upon the phrasing of your question. If you had asked: "Is there anything wrong with Los Angeles?" they'd probably be content with selling you a city lot and then hanging you; but if you said: "What is wrong with Los Angeles?" they would burn you at the stake and pickle your remains in vitriol.

At this juncture I find myself oppressed with the idea that I haven't done Buffalo justice. Also, I am annoyed to discover that I have written a great deal about business. When I write about business I am almost certain to be wrong. I dislike business very much—almost as much as I dislike politics—and the idea of infringing upon the field of friends of mine like Lincoln Steffens, Ray Stannard Baker, Miss Tarbell, Samuel Hopkins Adams, Will Irwin, and others,[ 29] is extremely distasteful to me. But here is the trouble: so many writers have run a-muckraking that, now-a-days, when a writer appears in any American city, every one assumes that he is scouting around in search of "shame." The result is that you don't have to hunt for shame. People bring it to you by the cartload. They don't give you time to explain that you aren't a shame collector—that you don't even know a good piece of shame when you see it—they just drive up, dump it at your door, and go back to get another load.

My companion and I were new at the game in Buffalo. As the loads of shame began to arrive, we had a feeling that something was going wrong with our trip. We had come in search of cheerful adventure, yet here we were barricaded in by great bulwarks of shame. In a few hours there was enough shame around us to have lasted all the reformers and muckrakers I know a whole month. We couldn't see over the top of it. It hypnotized us. We began to think that probably shame was what we wanted, after all. Every one we met assumed it was what we wanted, and when enough people assume a certain thing about you it is very difficult to buck against them. By the second day we had ceased to be human and had begun to act like muckrakers. We became solemn, silent, mysterious. We would pick up a piece of shame, examine it, say "Ha!" and stick it in our pockets. When some white-faced Buffalonian would drive up with another load of shame I would go up to him, wave my finger under his nose and, trying to[ 30] look as much like Steffens as I could, say in a sepulchral voice: "Come! Out with it! What are you holding back? Tell me all! Who tore up the missing will?" Then that poor, honest, terrified Buffalonian would gasp and try to tell me all, between his chattering teeth. And when he had told me all I would continue to glare at him horribly, and ask for more. Then he would begin making up stories, inventing the most frightful and shocking lies so as not to disappoint me. I would print some of them here, but I have forgotten them. That is the trouble with the amateur muckraker or reformer. His mind isn't trained to his work. He is constantly allowing it to be diverted by some pleasant thing.

For instance, some one pointed out to me that the water front of the city, along the Niagara River, is so taken up by the railroads that the public does not get the benefit of that water life which adds so much to the charm of Cleveland and Detroit. That situation struck me as affording an excellent piece of muck to rake. For isn't it always the open season so far as railroads are concerned?

I ought to have kept my mind on that, but in my childlike way I let myself go ambling off through the parks. I found the parks delightful, and in one of them I came upon a beautiful Greek temple, built of marble and containing a collection of paintings of which any city should be proud. Now that is a disconcerting sort of thing to find when you have just abandoned your[ 31]self to the idea of becoming a muckraker! How can you muckrake a gallery like that? It can't be done.

With the possible exception of the Chicago Art Institute my companion and I did not see, upon our entire journey, any gallery of art in which such good judgment had been shown in the selection of paintings as in the Albright Gallery in Buffalo. Though the Chicago Art Institute is much the larger and richer museum, and though its collection is more comprehensive, its modern art is far more heterogeneous than that of Buffalo. One admires that Albright Gallery not only for the paintings which hang upon its walls, but also for those which do not hang there. Judgment has been shown not only in selecting paintings, but (one concludes) in rejecting gifts. I do not know that the Albright Gallery has rejected gifts, but I do know that the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Chicago Art Institute have, at times, failed to reject gifts which should have been rejected. Almost all museums fail in that respect in their early days. When a rich man offers a bad painting, or a roomful of bad paintings, the museum is afraid to say "No," because rich men must be propitiated. That has been the curse of art museums; they have to depend on rich men for support. And rich men, however generous they may be, and however much they may be interested in art, are, for the most part, lacking in any true and deep under[ 32]standing of it. That is one trouble with being rich—it doesn't give you time to be much of anything else. If rich men really did know art, there would not be so many art dealers, and so many art dealers would not be going to expensive tailors and riding in expensive limousines.

Those who control the Albright Gallery have been wise enough to specialize in modern American painting. They have not been impressed, as so many Americans still are impressed, by the sound of the word "Europe." Nor have they attempted to secure old masters.

Does it not seem a mistake for any museum not possessed of enormous wealth to attempt a collection of old masters? A really fine example of the work of an old master ties up a vast amount of money, and, however splendid it may be, it is only one canvas, after all; and one or two or three old masters do not make a representative collection. Rather, it seems to me, they tend to disturb balance in a small museum.

To many American ears "Europe" is still a magic word. It makes little difference that Europe remains the happy hunting ground of the advanced social climber; but it makes a good deal of difference that so many American students of the arts continue to believe that there is some mystic thing to be gotten over there which is unobtainable at home. Europe has done much for us and can still do much for us, but we must learn not to accept blindly as we have in the past. Until quite recently, American art museums did, for the most part,[ 33] buy European art which was in many instances absolutely inferior to the art produced at home. And unless I am very much mistaken a third-rate portrait painter, with a European name (and a clever dealer to push him) can still come over here and reap a harvest of thousands while Americans with more ability are making hundreds.

In a few hours there was enough shame around us to have lasted all the reformers and muckrakers
I know a whole month In a few hours there was enough shame around us to have lasted all the reformers and muckrakers I know a whole month

One of the brightest signs for American painting to-day is the fact that it is now found profitable to make and sell forgeries of the works of our most distinguished modern artists—even living ones. This is a new and encouraging situation. A few years ago it was hardly worth a forger's time to make, say, a false Hassam, when he might just as well be making a Corot—which reminds me of an amusing thing a painter said to me the other day.

We were passing through an art gallery, when I happened to see at the end of one room three canvases in the familiar manner of Corot.

"What a lot of Corots there are in this country," I remarked.

"Yes," he replied. "Of the ten thousand canvases painted by Corot, there are thirty thousand in the United States."

There are two interesting hotels in Buffalo. One, the Iroquois, is characterized by a kind of solid dignity and has for years enjoyed a high reputation. It is patronized to-day at luncheon time by many of[ 34] Buffalo's leading business men. Another, the Statler, is more "commercial" in character. My companion and I happened to stop at the latter, and we became very much interested in certain things about it. For one thing, every room in the hotel has running ice water and a bath—either a tub or a shower. Everywhere in that hotel we saw signs. At the desk, when we entered, hung a sign which read: Clerk on duty, Mr. Pratt.

There were signs in our bedrooms, too. I don't remember all of them, but there was one bearing the genial invitation: Criticize and suggest for the improvement of our service. Complaint and suggestion box in lobby.

While I was in that hotel I had nothing to "criticize and suggest," but I have been in other hotels where, if such an invitation had been extended to me, I should have stuffed the box.

Besides the signs, we found in each of our rooms the following: a clothes brush; a card bearing on one side a calendar and on the other side a list of all trains leaving Buffalo, and their times of departure; a memorandum pad and pencil by the telephone; a Bible ("Placed in this hotel by the Gideons"), and a pincushion, containing not only a variety of pins (including a large safety pin), but also needles threaded with black thread and white, and buttons of different kinds, even to a suspender button.

But aside from the prompt service we received, I think the thing which pleased us most about that hotel

My companion and I made excuses to go downstairs and wash
our hands in the public washroom, just for the pleasure of doing
so without fear of being attacked by a swarthy brigand with
a brush My companion and I made excuses to go downstairs and wash our hands in the public washroom, just for the pleasure of doing so without fear of being attacked by a swarthy brigand with a brush

[ 35] was a large sign in the public wash room, downstairs. Had I come from the West I am not sure that sign would have startled me so much, but coming from New York—! Well, this is what it said:

Believing that voluntary service in washrooms is distasteful to guests, attendants are instructed to give no service which the guest does not ask for.

Time and again, while we were in Buffalo, my companion and I made excuses to go downstairs and wash our hands in the public washroom, just for the pleasure of doing so without fear of being attacked by a swarthy brigand with a brush. We became positively fond of the melancholy washroom boy in that hotel. There was something pathetic in the way he stood around waiting for some one to say: "Brush me!" Day after day he pursued his policy of watchful waiting, hoping against hope that something would happen—that some one would fall down in the mud and really need to be brushed; that some one would take pity on him and let himself be brushed anyhow. The pathos of that boy's predicament began to affect us deeply. Finally we decided, just before leaving Buffalo, to go downstairs and let him brush us. We did so. When we asked him to do it he went very white at first. Then, with a glad cry, he leaped at us and did his work. It was a real brushing we got that day—not a mere slap on the back with a whisk broom, meaning "Stand and deliver!" but the kind of brushing[ 36] that takes the dust out of your clothes. The wash room was full of dust before he got through. Great clouds of it went floating up the stairs, filling the hotel lobby and making everybody sneeze. When he finished we were renovated. "How much do you think we ought to give him for all this?" I asked of my companion.

"If the conventional dime which we give the washroom boys in New York hotels," he replied, "is proper payment for the services they render, I should say we ought to give this boy about twenty-seven dollars."

There are many other things about Buffalo which should be mentioned. There is the Buffalo Club—the dignified, solid old club of the city; and there is the Saturn Club, "where women cease from troubling and the wicked are at rest." And there is Delaware Avenue, on which stand both these clubs, and many of the city's finest homes.

Unlike certain famous old residence streets in other cities, Delaware Avenue still holds out against the encroachments of trade. It is a wide, fine street of trees and lawns and residences. Despite the fact that many of its older houses are of the ugly though substantial architecture of the sixties, seventies, and eighties, and many of its newer ones lack architectural distinction, the general effect of Delaware Avenue is still fine and American.

My impression of this celebrated street was neces[ 37]sarily hurried, having been acquired in the course of sundry dashes down its length in motor cars. I recall a number of its buildings only vaguely now, but there is one which I admired every time I saw it, and which still clings in my memory both as a building and as a sermon on the enduring beauty of simplicity and good, old-fashioned lines—the office of Spencer Kellogg & Sons, at the corner of Niagara Square.

It happened that just before we left New York there was a newspaper talk about some rich women who had organized a movement of protest against the ever-increasing American tendency toward show and extravagance. We were, therefore, doubly interested when we heard of a similar activity on the part of certain fashionable women of Buffalo.

Our hostess at a dinner party there was the first to mention it, but several other ladies added details. They had formed a few days before a society called the "Simplicity League," the members of which bound themselves to give each other moral support in their efforts to return to a more primitive mode of life. I cannot recall now whether the topic came up before or after the butler and the footman came around with caviar and cocktails, but I know that I had learned a lot about it from charming and enthusiastic ladies at either side of me before the sherry had come on; that, by the time the sauterne was served, I was deeply impressed, and that,[ 38] with the roast and the Burgundy, I was prepared to take the field against all comers, not only in favor of simplicity, but in favor of anything and everything which was favored by my hostess. Throughout the salad, the ices, the Turkish coffee, and the Corona-coronas I remained her champion, while with the port—ah! nothing, it seems to me, recommends the old order of things quite so thoroughly as old port, which has in it a sermon and a song. After dinner the ladies told us more about their league.

"We don't intend to go to any foolish extremes," said one who looked like the apotheosis of the Rue de la Paix. "We are only going to scale things down and eliminate waste. There is a lot of useless show in this country which only makes it hard for people who can't afford things. And even for those who can, it is wrong. Take the matter of dress—a dress can be simple without looking cheap. And it is the same with a dinner. A dinner can be delicious without being elaborate. Take this little dinner we had to-night—"

"What?" I cried.

"Yes," she nodded. "In future we are all going to give plain little dinners like this."

"Plain?" I gasped.

Our hostess overheard my choking cry.

"Yes," she put in. "You see, the league is going to practise what it preaches."

"But I didn't think it had begun yet! I thought this dinner was a kind of farewell feast—that it was—"

I was prepared to take the field against all comers, not only in favor of
simplicity, but in favor of anything and everything which was favored by
my hostess I was prepared to take the field against all comers, not only in favor of simplicity, but in favor of anything and everything which was favored by my hostess

[ 39]

Our hostess looked grieved. The other ladies of the league gazed at me reproachfully.

"Why!" I heard one exclaim to another, "I don't believe he noticed!"

"Didn't you notice?" asked my hostess.

I was cornered.

"Notice?" I asked. "Notice what?"

"That we didn't have champagne!" she said.[ 40]



Before leaving home we were presented with a variety of gifts, ranging all the way from ear muffs to advice. Having some regard for the esthetic, we threw away the ear muffs, determining to buy ourselves fur caps when we should need them. But the advice we could not throw away; it stuck to us like a poor relation.

In the parlor car, on the way from Buffalo to Cleveland, our minds got running on sad subjects.

"We have come out to find interesting things—to have adventures," said my blithe companion. "Now supposing we go on and on and nothing happens. What will we do then? The publishers will have spent all this money for our traveling, and what will they get?"

I told him that, in such an event, we would make up adventures.

"What, for instance?" he demanded.

I thought for a time. Then I said:

"Here's a good scheme—we could begin now, right here in this car. You act like a crazy man. I will be your keeper. You run up and down the aisle shouting—talk wildly to these people—stamp on your hat[ 41]—do anything you like. It will interest the passengers and give us something nice to write about. And you could make a picture of yourself, too."

Instead of appreciating that suggestion he was annoyed with me, so I ventured something else.

"How would it be for you to beat a policeman on the helmet?"

He didn't care for that either.

"Why don't you think of something for yourself to do?" he said, somewhat sourly.

"All right," I returned. "I'm willing to do my share. I will poison you and get arrested for it."

"If you do that," he criticized, "who will make the pictures?"

I saw that he was in a humor to find fault with anything I proposed, so I let him ramble on. He had a regular orgy of imaginary disaster, running all the way from train wrecks, in which I was killed and he was saved only to have the bother and expense of shipping my remains home, to fires in which my notebooks were burned up, leaving on his hands a lot of superb but useless drawings.

After a time he suggested that we make up a list of the things we had been warned of. I did not wish to do it, but, acting on the theory that fever must run its course, I agreed, so we took paper and pencil and began. It required about two hours to get everything down, beginning with Aches, Actresses, Adenoids, Alcoholism, Amnesia, Arson, etc., and running on, through the[ 42] alphabet to Zero weather, Zolaism, and Zymosis.

After looking over the category, my companion said:

"The trouble with this list is that it doesn't present things in the order in which they may reasonably be expected to occur. For instance, you might get zymosis, or attempt to write like Zola, at almost any time, yet those two dangers are down at the bottom of the list. On the other hand, things like actresses, alcoholism, and arson seem remote. We must rearrange."

I thought it wise to give in to him, so we set to work again. This time we made two lists: one of general dangers—things which might overtake us almost anywhere, such as scarlet fever, hardening of the arteries, softening of the brain, and "road shows" from the New York Winter Garden; another arranged geographically, according to our route. Thus, for example, instead of listing Elbert Hubbard under the letter "H," we elevated him to first place, because he lives near Buffalo, which was our first stop.

I didn't want to put down Hubbard's name at all—I thought it would please him too much if he ever heard about it. I said to my companion:

"We have already passed Buffalo. And, besides, there are some things which the instinct of self-preservation causes one to recollect without the aid of any list."

"I know it," he returned, stubbornly, "but, in the interest of science, I wish this list to be complete."

So we put down everything: Elbert Hubbard,

Chamber of Commerce representatives were with us
all the first day and until we went to our rooms, late
at night Chamber of Commerce representatives were with us all the first day and until we went to our rooms, late at night

[ 43] Herbert Kaufman, Eva Tanguay, Upton Sinclair, and all.

A few selected items from our geographical list may interest the reader as giving him some idea of the locations of certain things we had to fear. For example, west of Chicago we listed Oysters, and north of Chicago Frozen Ears and Frozen Noses—the latter two representing the dangers of the Minnesota winter. So our list ran on until it reached the point where we would cross the Great Divide, at which place the word "Boosters" was writ large.

I recall now that, according to our geographical arrangement, there wasn't much to be afraid of until we got beyond Chicago, and that the first thing we looked forward to with real dread was the cold in Minnesota. We dreaded it more than arson, because if some one sets fire to your ear or your nose, you know it right away, and can send in an alarm; but cold is sneaky. It seems, from what they say, that you can go along the street, feeling perfectly well, and with no idea that anything is going wrong with you, until some experienced resident of the place touches you upon the arm and says: "Excuse me, sir, but you have dropped something." Then you look around, surprised, and there is your ear, lying on the sidewalk. But that is not the worst of it. Before you can thank the man, or pick your ear up and dust it off, some one will very likely come along and step on it. I do not think they do it purposely; they are simply careless about where they walk. But whether it happens by[ 44] accident or design, whether the ear is spoiled or not, whether or not you be wearing your ear at the time of the occurrence—in any case there is something exceedingly offensive, to the average man, in the idea of a total stranger's walking on his ear.

I mention this to point a moral. However prepared we may be, in life, we are always unprepared. However informed we may be, we are always uninformed. We gaze up at the sky, dreading to-morrow's rain, and slip upon to-day's banana peel. We move toward Cleveland dreading the Minnesota winter which is yet far off, having no thought of the "booster," whom we believe to be still farther off. And what happens? We step from the train, all innocent and trusting, and then, ah, then——!

If it be true, indeed, that the "booster" flourishes more furiously the farther west you find him, let me say (and I say it after having visited California, Oregon, and Washington) that Cleveland must be newly located upon the map. For, if "boosting" be a western industry, Cleveland is not an Ohio city, nor even a Pacific Slope city, but is an island out in the midst of the Pacific Ocean.

Nor is this a mere opinion of my own. Upon the mastodonic brow of the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce there hangs an official laurel wreath. The New York Bureau of Municipal Research invited votes from the secretaries of Chambers of Commerce and similar or[ 45]ganizations in thirty leading cities, as to which of these bodies had accomplished most for its city, industrially, commercially, etc. Cleveland won.

No one who has caromed against the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce will wonder that Cleveland won. All other Chambers of Commerce I have met, sink into desuetude and insignificance when compared with that of Cleveland. Where others merely "boost," Cleveland "boosts" intensively. She can raise more bushels of statistics to the acre than other cities can quarts. And the more Cleveland statistics you hear, the more you become amazed that you do not live there. It seems reckless not to do so. The Cleveland Chamber of Commerce can prove this to you not merely with figures, but also with figures of speech.

Take the matter of population. Everybody knows that Cleveland is the "Sixth City" in the United States, but not everybody knows that in 1850 she was forty-third. The Chamber of Commerce told me that, but I have prepared some figures of my own which will, perhaps, give the reader some idea of Cleveland's magnitude. Cleveland is only a little smaller than Prague, while she has about 50,000 more people than Breslau.

If that does not impress you with the city's size, listen to this: Cleveland is actually twice as great, in population, as either Nagoya or Riga! Who would have believed it? The thing seems incredible! I never dreamed that such a situation existed until I looked it up in the "World Almanac." And some day, when I[ 46] have more time, I intend to look up Nagoya and Riga in the atlas and find out where they are.

A Chamber of Commerce booklet gives me the further information that "Cleveland is the fifth American city in manufactures, and that she comes first in the manufacture of steel ships, heavy machinery, wire and wire nails, bolts and nuts, vapor stoves, electric carbons, malleable castings, and telescopes"—a list which, by the way, sounds like one of Lewis Carroll's compilations.

The information that Cleveland is also the first city in the world in its record, per capita, for divorce, does not come to me from the Chamber of Commerce booklet—but probably the fact was not known when the booklet was printed.

Besides being first in so many interesting fields, Cleveland is the second of the Great Lake cities, and is also second in "the value of its product of women's outer wearing apparel and fancy knit goods."

It is, furthermore, "the cheapest market in the North for pig iron."

It is an
Elizabethan building, with a heavy timbered
front, suggesting some ancient, hospitable, London coffee
house where wits of old were used to meet It is an Elizabethan building, with a heavy timbered front, suggesting some ancient, hospitable, London coffee house where wits of old were used to meet
[ 47]

There are other figures I could give (saving myself a lot of trouble, at the same time, because I only have to copy them from a book), but I want to stop and let that pig-iron statement sink into you as it sank into me when I first read it. I wonder if you knew it before? I am ashamed to admit it, but I did not. I didn't consider where I could get my pig iron the cheapest. When I wanted pig iron I simply went out and bought it, at the nearest place, right in New York. That is, I bought it in New York unless I happened to be traveling when the craving came upon me. In that case I would buy a small supply wherever I happened to be—just enough to last me until I could get home again. I don't know how pig iron affects you, but with me it acts peculiarly. Sometimes I go along for weeks without even thinking of it; then, suddenly, I feel that I must have some at once—even if it is the middle of the night. Of course a man doesn't care what he pays for his pig iron when he feels like that. But in my soberer moments I now realize that it is best to be economical in such matters. The wisest plan is to order enough pig iron from Cleveland to keep you for several months, being careful to notice when the supply is running low, so that you can order another case.

Apropos of this let me say here, in response to many inquiries as to what the nature of this work of mine would be, that I intend it to be "useful as well as ornamental"—to quote the happy phrase, coined by James Montgomery Flagg. That is, I intend not only to entertain and instruct the reader but, where opportunity offers, to give him the benefit of good sound advice, such as I have just given with regard to the purchasing of pig iron.[ 48]



Because I have told you so much about the Chamber of Commerce you must not assume that the Chamber of Commerce was with us constantly while we were in Cleveland, for that is not the case. True, Chamber of Commerce representatives were with us all the first day and until we went to our rooms, late at night. But at our rooms they left us, merely taking the precaution to lock us in. No attempt was made to assist us in undressing or to hear our prayers or tuck us into bed. Once in our rooms we were left to our own devices. We were allowed to read a little, if we wished, to whisper together, or even to amuse ourselves by playing with the fixtures in the bathroom.

On the morning of the second day they came and let us out, and took us to see a lot of interesting and edifying sights, but by afternoon they had acquired sufficient confidence in us to turn us loose for a couple of hours, allowing us to roam about, at large, while they attended to their mail.

We made use of the freedom thus extended to us by presenting several letters of introduction to Cleveland gentlemen, who took us to various clubs.[ 49]

Almost every large city in the country has one solid, dignified old club, occupying a solid, dignified old building on a corner near the busy part of town. The building is always recognizable, even to a stranger. It suggests a fine cuisine, an excellent wine cellar, and a great variety of good cigars in prime condition. In the front of such a club there are large windows of plate glass, back of which the passer-by may catch a glimpse of a trim white mustache and a silk hat. Looking at the outside of the building, you know that there is a big, high-ceiled room, at the front, dark in color and containing spacious leather chairs, which should (and often do) contain aristocratic gentlemen who have attained years of discretion and positions of importance. One feels cheated if, on entering, one fails to encounter a member carrying a malacca stick and wearing waxed mustaches, spats, and a gardenia. The Union Club of New York is such a club; so is the Pacific Union of San Francisco; so is the Chicago Club; and so, I fancy, from my glimpse of it, is the Union Club of Cleveland.

In the larger cities there is usually another club, somewhat less formal in architecture, decoration, and spirit, and given over, broadly speaking, to the younger men—though there is often a good deal of duplication of membership between the first mentioned type of club and the second. The Tavern of Cleveland is of the second category; so is the Saturn Club of Buffalo, of which I spoke in a former chapter. Almost every good-sized city has, likewise, its university club, its athletic club, and[ 50] its country club. University clubs vary a good deal in character, but athletic clubs and country clubs are in general pretty true to type.

Besides such clubs as these, one finds, here and there, in the United States, a few clubs of a character more unusual. Cleveland has three unusual clubs: the Rowfant, a book collector's club; the Chagrin Valley Hunt Club, at Gates Mills, near the city, and the Hermit Club.

Were it not for the fact that I detest the words "artistic" and "bohemian," I should apply them to the Hermit Club. It is one of the few clubs outside New York, Chicago, and San Francisco possessing its own house and made up largely of men following the arts, or interested in them. Like the Lambs of New York, the Hermits give shows in their club-house, but the Lambs' is a club of actors, authors, composers, stage managers, etc., while the Hermit Club is made up, so far as the theater is concerned, of amateurs—amateurs having among them sufficient talent to write and act their own shows, design their own costumes, paint their own scenery, compose their own music, and even play it, too—for there is an orchestra of members. I have never seen a Hermits' show, and I am sorry, for I have heard that they are worth seeing. Certainly their club-house is. It is an Elizabethan building, with a heavy timbered front, suggesting some ancient, hospitable, London coffee house where wits of old were used to meet. This illusion is enhanced by the surroundings of the club, for it stands in an alley—or perhaps I had better say a nar[ 51]row lane—and is huddled down between the walls of taller buildings.

The pleasant promise of the exterior is fulfilled within. The ground floor rooms are low and cozy, and have a pleasant "rambling" feeling—a step or two up here or down there. The stairway, leading to the floor above, is narrow, with a genial kind of narrowness that seems to say: "There is no one here with whom you'll mind rubbing elbows as you pass." Ascending, you reach the main room, which occupies the entire upper floor. This room is the Hermit Club. It is here that members gather and that the more intimate shows are given. Large, with dark panels, and heavy beams which spring up and lose themselves in warm shadows overhead, it is a room combining dignity with gracious informality. And let me add that, to my mind, such a combination is at once rare and desirable in a club building—or, for the matter of that, in a home or a human being. A club which is too informal is likely to seem trivial; a club too dignified, austere. A club should neither seem to be a joke, nor yet a mausoleum. If it be magnificent, it should not, at least, overwhelm one with its magnificence; it should not chill one with its grandeur, so that one lowers one's voice to a whisper and involuntarily removes one's hat.

In some clubs a man leaves his hat upon his head or takes it off, as he prefers. In others custom demands that he remove it. Some men will argue that if you give a man his choice in that matter he feels more at[ 52] home; others contend that if he takes his hat off he will, at all events, look more at home, whereas, if he leaves it on he will look more as though he were in a hotel. These are matters of opinion. There are many pleasant clubs which differ on this minor point. But I do not think that any club may be called pleasant in which a man is inclined to take off his hat instinctively because of an air of grim formality which he encounters on entering the door. To make an Irish bull upon this subject, one of the nicest things that I remember of the Hermit Club is that I don't remember whether we wore our hats while there or not.

The Chagrin Valley Hunt Club lies in a pleasant valley which acquired its name through the error of a pioneer (General Moses Cleveland himself, if I remember rightly) who, when sailing up Lake Erie, landed at this point, mistaking it for the site of Cleveland, farther on, and was hence chagrined. Here, more than a hundred years ago, the little village of Gates Mills was settled by men whose buildings, left behind them, still proclaim their New England origin. If ever I saw a Connecticut village outside the State of Connecticut, that village is Gates Mills, Ohio. Low white farmhouses, with picturesque doorways and small windows divided into many panes, straggle pleasantly along on either side of the winding country road, and there is even an old meeting house, with a spire such as you may see in many a New England hamlet.

In this charming, homelike old building, with its grandfather's clock, its Windsor chairs, and
its open wood fires, a visitor finds it hard to realize that he is in the "west" In this charming, homelike old building, with its grandfather's clock, its Windsor chairs, and its open wood fires, a visitor finds it hard to realize that he is in the "west"

[ 53]

The old Gates house, which was built in 1812 by the miller from whom the place took its name, is passing a mellow old age as the house of the Hunt Club. In this charming, homelike old building, with its grandfather's clock, its Windsor chairs, and its open wood fires, a visitor finds its hard to realize that he is actually in a portion of the country which is still referred to, in New York, as "the west."

The Connecticut resemblance is accounted for by the fact that all this section of the country was in the Western Reserve, which belonged to, and was settled by, Connecticut. Thus travel teaches us! I knew practically nothing, until then, of the Western Reserve, and even less of hunt clubs. I had never been in a hunt club before, and my impressions of such institutions had been gleaned entirely from short stories and from prints showing rosy old rascals drinking. Probably because of these prints I had always thought that "horsey" people—particularly the "hunting set"—were generally addicted to the extensive (and not merely external) use of alcohol. As others may be of the same impression it is perhaps worth remarking that, while in the Hunt Club, we saw a number of persons drinking tea, and that only two were drinking alcoholic beverages—those two being visitors: an illustrator and a writer from New York.

I mentioned that to the M. F. H., and told him of my earlier impression as to hunt-club habits.

"Lots of people have that idea," he smiled, "but it is[ 54] wrong. As a matter of fact, few hunting people are teetotalers, but those who ride straight are almost invariably temperate. They have to be. You can't be in the saddle six or eight hours at a stretch, riding across country, and do it on alcohol."

I also learned from the M. F. H. certain interesting things regarding a fox's scent. Without having thought upon the subject, I had somehow acquired the idea that hounds got the scent from the actual tracks of the animal they followed. That is not so. The scent comes from the body of the fox and is left behind him suspended in the air. And, other conditions being equal, the harder your fox runs the stronger his scent will be. The most favorable scent for following is what is known as a "breast-high scent"—meaning a scent which hangs in suspension at a point sufficiently high to render it unnecessary for the hounds to put their heads down to the ground. Sometimes a scent hangs low; sometimes, on the other hand, it rises so that, particularly in a covert, the riders, seated upon their horses, can smell it, while the hounds cannot.

But I think I have said enough about this kind of thing. It is a dangerous topic, for the terminology and etiquette of hunting are even more elaborate than those of golf. Probably I have made some mistake already; indeed, I know of one which I just escaped—I started to write "dogs" instead of "hounds," and that is not done. I have a horror of displaying my ignorance on matters of this kind. For I take a kind of pride—and I think[ 55] most men do—in being correct about comparatively unimportant things. It is permissible to be wrong about important things, such as politics, finance, and reform, and to explain them, although you really know nothing about them. But with fox hunting it is different. There are some people who really do know about that, and they are likely to catch you.

Two other Cleveland organizations should be mentioned.

Troop A of the Ohio National Guard is known as one of the most capable bodies of militia in the entire country. It has been in existence for some forty years, and its membership has always been recruited from among the older and wealthier families of the city. The fame of Troop A has reached beyond Ohio, for under its popular title, "The Black Horse Troop," it has gone three times to Washington to act as escort to Presidents of the United States at the time of their inauguration. Cleveland is, furthermore, the headquarters for trotting racing. The Cleveland Gentlemen's Driving Club is an old and exceedingly active body, and its president, Mr. Harry K. Devereux, is also president of the National Trotting Association.

A curious and characteristic thing which we encountered in no other city is the Three-Cent Cult—a legacy left to the city by the late Tom Johnson. Cleveland's[ 56] street railway system is controlled by the city and the fare is not five cents, but three. But that is not all. A municipal lighting plant is, or soon will be, in operation, with charges of from one to three cents per kilowatt hour. Also the city has gone into the dance-hall business. There, too, the usual rate is cut: fifteen cents will buy five dances in the municipal dance halls, instead of three. No one will attempt to dispute that dancing, to-day, takes precedence over the mere matter of eating, yet it is worth mentioning that the Three-Cent Cult has even found its way into the lunch room. Sandwiches may be purchased in Cleveland for three cents which are not any worse than five-cent sandwiches in other cities.

Perhaps the finest thing about the Three-Cent Cult is the fact that it runs counter to one of the most pronounced and pitiable traits of our race: wastefulness. Sometimes it seems that, as a people, we take less pride in what we save than in what we throw away. We have a "There's more where that came from!" attitude of mind. A man with thousands a year says: "Hell! What's a hundred?" and a man with hundreds imitates him on a smaller scale. The humble fraction of a nickel is despised. All honor, then, to Cleveland—the city which teaches her people that two cents is worth saving, and then helps them to save it. Two points, in this connection, are interesting:

One, that Cleveland has been trying to induce the Treasury Department to resume the coinage of a three-[ 57]cent piece; another, that the percentage of depositors in savings banks in Cleveland, in proportion to the population, is higher than in most other cities. And, by the way, the savings banks pay 4 per cent.

We were taken in automobiles from one end of the city to the other. Down by the docks we saw gigantic, strange machines, expressive of Cleveland's lake commerce—machines for loading and unloading ships in the space of a few hours. One type of machine would take a regular steel coal car in its enormous claws and turn that car over, emptying the load of coal into a ship as you might empty a cup of flour with your hand. Then it would set the car down again, right side up, upon the track, only to snatch the next one and repeat the operation.

Another machine for unloading ore would send its great steel hands down into the vessel's hold, snatch them up filled with tons of the precious product of the mines, and, reaching around backward, drop the load into a waiting railroad car. The present Great Lakes record for loading is held by the steamer Corry, which has taken on a cargo of 10,000 tons of ore in twenty-five minutes. The record for unloading is held by the George F. Perkins, from which a cargo of 10,250 tons of ore was removed in two hours and forty-five minutes.

Some of the largest steamers of the Great Lakes may be compared, in size, with ocean liners. A modern ore[ 58] boat is a steel shell more than six hundred feet long, with a little space set aside at the bows for quarters and a little space astern for engines. The deck is a series of enormous hatches, so that practically the entire top of the ship may be removed in order to facilitate loading and unloading. As these great vessels (many of which are built in Cleveland, by the way) are laid up throughout the winter, when navigation on the Great Lakes is closed, it is the custom to drive them hard during the open season. Some of them make as many as thirty trips in the eight months of their activity, and an idea of the volume of their traffic may be gotten from the statement that "the iron-ore tonnage of the Cleveland district is greater than the total tonnage of exports and imports at New York Harbor." One of the little books about Cleveland, which they gave me, makes that statement. It does not sound as though it could be true, but I do not think they would dare print untruths about a thing like that, no matter how anxious they might be to "boost." However, I feel it my duty to add that the same books says: "Fifty per cent. of the population of the United States and Canada lies within a radius of five hundred miles of Cleveland."

I find that when I try to recall to my mind the picture of a city, I think of certain streets which, for one reason or another, engraved themselves more deeply than other streets upon my memory. One of my clear[ 59]est mental photographs of Cleveland is of endless streets of homes.

Now, although I saw many houses, large and small, possessing real beauty—most of them along the boulevards, in the Wade Park Allotment or on Euclid Heights, where modern taste has had its opportunity—it is nevertheless true that, for some curious reason connected with the workings of the mind, those streets which I remember best, after some months of absence, are not the streets possessed of the most charm.

I remember vividly, for instance, my disappointment on viewing the decay of Euclid Avenue, which I had heard compared with Delaware, in Buffalo, and which, in reality, does not compare with it at all, being rather run down, and lined with those architectural monstrosities of the 70's which, instead of mellowing into respectable antiquity, have the unhappy faculty of becoming more horrible with time, like old painted harridans. Another vivid recollection is of a sad monotony of streets, differing only in name, containing blocks and blocks and miles and miles of humble wooden homes, all very much alike in their uninteresting duplication.

These memories would make my mental Cleveland picture somewhat sad, were it not for another recollection which dominates the picture and glorifies the city. This recollection, too, has to do with squalid thoroughfares, but in a different way.

Down near the railroad station, where the "red-light[ 60] district" used to be, there has long stood a tract of several blocks of little buildings, dismal and dilapidated. They are coming down. Some of them have come down. And there, in that place which was the home of ugliness and vice, there now shows the beginning of the city's Municipal Group Plan. This plan is one of the finest things which any city in the land has contemplated for its own beautification. In this country it was, at the time it originated, unique; and though other cities (such as Denver and San Francisco) are now at work on similar improvements, the Cleveland plan remains, I believe, the most imposing and the most complete of its kind.

When an American city has needed some new public building it has been the custom, in the past, for the politicians to settle on a site, and cause plans to be drawn (by their cousins), and cause those plans to be executed (by their brothers-in-law). This may have been "practical politics," but it has hardly resulted in practical city improvement.

No one will dispute the convenience of having public buildings "handy" to one another, but there may still be found, even in Cleveland, men whose feeling for beauty is not so highly developed as their feeling for finance; men who shake their heads at the mention of a group plan; who don't like to "see all that money wasted." I met one or two such. But I will venture the prophecy that, when the Cleveland plan is a little farther advanced, so that the eye can realize the amazing splendor of the thing, as it will ultimately be, there will be no one left in Cleveland to convert.

Down by the docks we saw gigantic, strange machines, expressive of Cleveland's lake commerce—machines
for loading and unloading ships in the space of a few hours Down by the docks we saw gigantic, strange machines, expressive of Cleveland's lake commerce—machines for loading and unloading ships in the space of a few hours

[ 61]

It is a fine and unusual thing, in itself, for an American city to be planning its own beauty fifty years ahead. Cleveland is almost un-American in that! But when the work done—yes, and before it is done—this single great improvement will have transformed Cleveland from an ordinary looking city to one of great distinction.

Fancy emerging from a splendid railway station to find yourself facing, not the little bars and dingy buildings which so often face a station, but a splendid mall, two thousand feet long and six hundred wide, parked in the center and surrounded by fine buildings of even cornice height and harmonious classical design. At one side of the station will stand the public library; at the other the Federal building; and at the far extremity of the mall, the county building and the city hall.

Three of these buildings are already standing. Two more are under way. The plan is no longer a mere plan but is already, in part, an actuality.

When the transformation is complete Cleveland will not only have remade herself but will have set a magnificent example to other cities. By that time she may have ceased to call herself "Sixth City"—for population changes. But if a hundred other cities follow her with group plans, and whether those plans be of greater magnitude or less, it must never be forgotten that Cleveland had the appreciation and the courage to[ 62] begin the movement in America, not merely on paper but in stone and marble, and that, without regard to population, she therefore has a certain right, to-day, to call herself "First City."[ 63]

[ 64]

[ 65]



Because Buffalo, Cleveland, and Detroit are, in effect, situated upon Lake Erie, and because they are cities of approximately the same size, and because of many other resemblances between them, they always seem to me like three sisters living amicably in three separate houses on the same block.

As I personify them, Buffalo, living at the eastern end of the block, is the smallest sister. She has, I fear, a slight tendency to be anemic. Her husband, who was in the shipping business, is getting old. He has retired and is living in contentment in the old house, sitting all day on the side porch, behind the vines, with his slippers cocked up on the porch rail, smoking cigars and reading his newspapers in peace.

Cleveland is the fat sister. She is very rich, having married into the Rockefeller family. She is placid, satisfied, dogmatically religious, and inclined to platitudes and missionary work. Her house, in the middle of the block, is a mansion of the seventies. It has a cupola and there are iron fences on the roof, as though to keep the birds from falling off. The lawn is decorated with a[ 66] pair of iron dogs. But there are plans in the old house for a new one.

The first two sisters have a kind of family resemblance which the third does not fully share. Detroit seems younger than her sisters. Indeed, you might almost mistake her for one of their daughters. The belle of the family, she is married to a young man who is making piles of money in the automobile business—and spending piles, too. Their house, at the western end of the block, is new and charming.

I am half in love with Detroit. I may as well admit it, for you are sure to find me out. She is beautiful—not with the warm, passionate beauty of San Francisco, the austere mountain beauty of Denver, nor the strange, sophisticated, destroying beauty of New York, but with a sweet domestic kind of beauty, like that of a young wife, gay, strong, alert, enthusiastic; a twinkle in her eye, a laugh upon her lips. She has temperament and charm, qualities as rare, as fascinating, and as difficult to define in a city as in a human being.

Do you ask why she is different from her sisters? I was afraid you might ask that. They tell a romantic story. I don't like to repeat gossip, but—They say that, long ago, when her mother lived upon a little farm by the river, there came along a dashing voyageur, from France, who loved her. Mind you, I vouch for nothing. It is a legend. I do not affirm that it is true. But—voila! There is Detroit. She is different.

If you will consider these three fictitious sisters as[ 67] figures in a cartoon—a cartoon not devoid of caricature—you will get an impression of my impression of three cities. My three sisters are merely symbols, like the figures of Uncle Sam and John Bull. A symbol is a kind of generalization, and if you disagree with these generalizations of mine (as I think you may, especially if you live in Buffalo or Cleveland), let me remind you that some one has said: "All generalizations are false—including this one." One respect in which my generalization is false is in picturing Detroit as young. As a matter of fact, she is the oldest city of the three, having been settled by the Sieur de la Mothe Cadillac in 1701, ninety years before the first white man built his hut where Buffalo now stands, and ninety-five years before the settlement of Cleveland. This is the fact. Yet I hold that there is about Detroit something which expresses ebullient youth, and that Buffalo and Cleveland, if they do not altogether lack the quality of youth, have it in a less degree.

So far as I recall, Chicago was the first American city to adopt a motto, or, as they call it now, a "slogan."

I remember long ago a rather crude bust of a helmeted Amazon bearing upon her proud chest the words: "I Will!" She was supposed to typify Chicago, and I rather think she did. Cleveland's slogan is the conservative but significant "Sixth City," but Detroit comes out with a youthful shriek of self-satisfaction, declaring that: "In Detroit Life is Worth Living!"[ 68] Doesn't that claim reflect the quality of youth? Doesn't it remind you of the little boy who says to the other little boy: "My father can lick your father"? Of course it has the patent-medicine flavor, too; Detroit, by her "slogan," is a cure-all. But that is not deliberate. It is exaggeration springing from natural optimism and exuberance. Life is doubtless more worth living in Detroit than in some other cities, but I submit that, so long as Mark Twain's "damn human race" retains those foibles of mind, morals, and body for which it is so justly famous, the "slogan" of the city of Detroit guarantees a little bit too much.

I find the same exuberance in the publications issued by the Detroit Board of Commerce. Having just left the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce, I sedulously avoided contact with the Detroit body—one can get an overdose of that kind of thing. But I have several books. One is a magazine called "The Detroiter," with the subtitle "Spokesman of Optimism." It is full of news of new hotels and new factories and new athletic clubs and all kinds of expansion. It fairly bursts from its covers with enthusiasm—and with business banalities about Detroit's "onward sweep," her "surging ahead," her "banner year," and her "efficiency." "Be a Booster," it advises, and no one can say that it does not live up to its principles. Indeed, as I look it over, I wonder if I have not done Detroit an injustice in giving to Cleveland the blue ribbon for "boosting." The Detroit Board of Commerce even goes so far in its[ 69] "boosting" as to "boost" Detroit into seventh place among American cities, while the "World Almanac" (most valuable volume on the one-foot shelf of books I carried on my travels) places Detroit ninth.

Like Cleveland, I find that Detroit is first in the production of a great many things. In fact, the more I read these books issued by commercial bodies, the more I am amazed at the varied things there are for cities to be first in. It is a miserable city, indeed, which is first in nothing at all. Detroit is first in the production of overalls, stoves, varnish, soda and salt products, automobile accessories, adding machines, pharmaceutical manufactures, aluminum castings, in shipbuilding on the Great Lakes and, above all, in the manufacture of motor cars. And, as the Board of Commerce adds significantly, "That's not all!"

But it is enough.

The motor-car development in Detroit interested me particularly. When I asked in Buffalo why Detroit was "surging ahead" so rapidly in comparison with certain other cities, they answered, as I knew they would: "It's the automobile business."

But when I asked why the automobile business should have settled on Detroit as a headquarters instead of some other city (as, for instance, Buffalo), they found it difficult to say. One Buffalonian informed me that Detroit banks had been more liberal than those of other[ 70] cities in supporting the motor industry in its early days. This was, however, vigorously denied in Detroit. When I mentioned it to the president of one of the largest automobile concerns he laughed.

"Banks don't do business that way," he declared. "The very thing banks do not do is to support new, untried industries. After you have proved that you can make both motor cars and money they'll take care of you. Not before. On the other hand, when the banks get confidence in any one kind of business they very often run to the opposite extreme. That was the way it used to be in the lumber business. Most of the early fortunes of Detroit were made in lumber. The banks got used to the lumber business, so that a few years ago all a man had to do was to print 'Lumber' on his letterhead, write to the banks and get a line of credit. Later, when the automobile business began to boom, the same thing happened over again: the man whose letterhead bore the word 'Automobiles' was taken care of." The implication was that sometimes he was taken care of a little bit too well.

"Then why did Detroit become the automobile center?" I asked.

The question proved good for an hour's discussion among certain learned pundits of the "trade" who were in the president's office at the time I asked it.

First, it was concluded, several early motor "bugs" happened to live in or near Detroit. Henry Ford lived there. He was always experimenting with "horseless

In midstream passes a continual parade of freighters ... and in their
swell you may see, teetering, all kinds of craft, from proud white yachts
to canoes In midstream passes a continual parade of freighters ... and in their swell you may see, teetering, all kinds of craft, from proud white yachts to canoes

[ 71] carriages" in the early days and being laughed at for it. Also, a man named Packard built a car at Warren, Ohio. But the first gasoline motor car to achieve what they call an "output" was the funny little one-cylinder Oldsmobile which steered with a tiller and had a curved dash like a sleigh. It is to the Olds Motor Company, which built that car, that a large majority of the automobile manufactories in Detroit trace their origin. Indeed, there are to-day no less than a dozen organizations, the heads of which were at some time connected with the original Olds Company. This fifteen-year-old forefather of the automobile business was originally made in Lansing, Mich., but the plant was moved to Detroit, where the market for labor and materials was better. The Packard plant was also moved there, and for the same reasons, plus the fact that the company was being financed by a group of young Detroit men.

It was not, perhaps, entirely as an investment that these wealthy young Detroiters first became interested in the building of motor cars. That is to say, I do not think they would have poured money so freely into a scheme to manufacture something else—something less picturesque in its appeal to the sporting instinct and the imagination. The automobile, with its promise, was just the right thing to interest rich young men, and it did interest them, and it has made many of them richer than they were before.

It seems to be an axiom that, if you start a new busi[ 72]ness anywhere, and it is successful, others will start in the same business beside you. One of the pundits referred me, for example, to Erie, Pa., where life is entirely saturated with engine and boiler ideas simply because the Erie City Iron Works started there and was successful. There are now sixteen engine and boiler companies in Erie, and all of them, I am assured, are there either directly or indirectly because the Erie City Iron Works is there. In other words, we sat in that office and had a very pleasant hour's talk merely to discover that there is truth in the familiar saying about birds of a feather.

When we got that settled and the pundits began to drift away to other plate-glass rooms along the mile, more or less, of corridor devoted to officials' offices, I became interested in a little wooden box which stood upon the president's large flat-top desk. I was told it was a dictagraph. Never having seen a dictagraph before, and being something of a child, I wished to play with it as I used to play with typewriters and letter-presses in my father's office years ago. And the president of this many-million-dollar corporation, being a kindly man with, of course, absolutely nothing to do but to supply itinerant scribes with playthings, let me toy with the machine. Sitting at the desk, he pressed a key. Then, without changing his position, he spoke into the air:

"Fred," he said, "there's some one here who wants to ask you a question."[ 73]

Then the little wooden box began to talk.

"What does he want to ask about?" it said.

That put it up to me. I had to think of something to ask. I was conscious of a strange, unpleasant feeling of being hurried—of having to reply quickly before something happened—some breaking of connections.

I leaned toward the machine, but the president waved me back: "Just sit over there where you are."

Then I said: "I am writing articles about Buffalo, Cleveland, and Detroit. How would you compare them?"

"Well," replied the Fred-in-the-box, "I used to live in Cleveland. I've been here four years and I wouldn't want to go back."

After that we paused. I thought I ought to say something more to the box, but I didn't know just what.

"Is that all you want to know?" it asked.

"Yes," I replied hurriedly. "I'm much obliged. That's all I want to know."

Of course it really wasn't all—not by any means! But I couldn't bring myself to say so then, so I said the easy, obvious thing, and after that it was too late. Oh, how many things there are I want to know! How many things I think of now which I would ask an oracle when there is none to ask! Things about the here and the hereafter; about the human spirit; about practical religion, the brotherhood of man, the inequalities of men, evolution, reform, the enduring mysteries of space, time, eternity, and woman![ 74]

A friend of mine—a spiritualist—once told me of a séance in which he thought himself in brief communication with his mother. There were a million things to say. But when the medium requested him to give a message he could only falter: "Are you all right over there?" The answer came: "Yes, all right." Then my friend said: "I'm so glad!" And that was all.

"It is the feeling of awful pressure," he explained to me, "which drives the thoughts out of your head. That is why so many messages from the spirit world sound silly and inconsequential. You have the one great chance to communicate with them, and, because it is your one great chance, you cannot think of anything to say." Somehow I imagine that the feeling must be like the one I had in talking to the dictagraph.

Among the characteristics which give Detroit her individuality is the survival of her oldtime aristocracy; she is one of the few middle-western cities possessing such a social order. As with that of St. Louis, this aristocracy is of French descent, the Sibleys, Campaus, and other old Detroit families tracing their genealogies to forefathers who came out to the New World under the flag of Louis XIV. The early habitants acquired farms, most of them with small frontages on the river and running back for several miles into the woods—an arrangement which permitted farmhouses to be built close together for protection against Indians. These farms, handed down for generations, form the basis of a number of Detroit's older family fortunes.

The automobile has not only changed Detroit from a quiet old town into a rich, active city, but
upon the drowsy romance of the old days it has superimposed the romance of modern business The automobile has not only changed Detroit from a quiet old town into a rich, active city, but upon the drowsy romance of the old days it has superimposed the romance of modern business
[ 75]

To-day commerce takes up the downtown portion of the river front, but not far from the center of the city the shore line is still occupied by residences. Along Jefferson Avenue are many homes, surrounded by delightful lawns extending forward to the street and back to the river. Most of these homes have in their back yards boathouses and docks—some of the latter large enough to berth seagoing steam yachts, of which Detroit boasts a considerable number. Nor is the water front reserved entirely for private use. In Belle Isle, situated in the Detroit River, and accessible by either boat or bridge, the city possesses one of the most unusual and charming public parks to be seen in the entire world. And there are many other pleasant places near Detroit which may be reached by boat—among them the St. Clair Flats, famous for duck shooting. All these features combine to make the river life active and picturesque. In midstream passes a continual parade of freighters, a little mail boat dodging out to meet each one as it goes by. Huge side-wheel excursion steamers come and go, and in their swell you may see, teetering, all kinds of craft, from proud white yachts with shining brasswork and bowsprits having the expression of haughty turned-up noses, down through the category of schooners, barges, tugs, motor yachts, motor boats, sloops, small sailboats, rowboats, and canoes. You may even catch sight of a hydroplane swiftly skimming[ 76] the surface of the river like some amphibious, prehistoric animal, or of that natty little gunboat, captured from the Spaniards at the battle of Manila Bay, which now serves as a training ship for the Michigan Naval Reserve.

A good many of the young aristocrats of Detroit have belonged to the Naval Reserve, among them Mr. Truman H. Newberry, former Secretary of the Navy, about whom I heard an amusing story.

According to this tale, as it was told me in Detroit, Mr. Newberry was some years ago a common seaman in the Reserve. It seems that on the occasion of the annual cruise of this body on the Great Lakes, a regular naval officer is sent out to take command of the training ship. One day, when common seaman Newberry was engaged in the maritime occupation of swabbing down the decks abaft the bridge, a large yacht passed majestically by.

"My man," said the regular naval officer on the bridge to common seaman Newberry below, "do you know what yacht that is?"

Newberry saluted. "The Truant, sir," he said respectfully, and resumed his work.

"Who owns her?" asked the officer.

Again Newberry straightened and saluted.

"I do, sir," he said.[ 77]



Within the last few years there has come to Detroit a new life. The vast growth of the city, owing to the development of the automobile industry, has brought in many new, active, able business men and their families, whom the old Detroiters have dubbed the "Gasoline Aristocracy." Thus there are in Detroit two fairly distinct social groups—the Grosse Pointe group, of which the old families form the nucleus, and the North Woodward group, largely made up of newcomers.

The automobile has not only changed Detroit from a quiet old town into a rich, active city, but upon the drowsy romance of the old days it has superimposed a new kind of romance—the romance of modern business. Fiction in its wildest flights hardly rivals the true stories of certain motor moguls of Detroit. Every one can tell you these stories. If you are a novelist all you have to do is go and get them. But, aside from stories which are true, there have developed, in connection with the automobile business, certain fictions more or less picturesque in character. One of these, which has been widely circulated, is that "90 per cent. of the automobile[ 78] business of Detroit is done in the bar of the Pontchartrain Hotel." The big men of the business resent that yarn. And, of course, it is preposterously false. Neither 90 per cent. nor 10 per cent. nor any appreciable per cent. of the automobile business is done there. Indeed, you hardly ever see a really important representative of the business in that place. Such men are not given to hanging around bars.

I do not wish the reader to infer that I hung around the bar myself in order to ascertain this fact. Not at all. I had heard the story and was apprised of its untruth by the president of one of the large motor car companies who was generously showing me about. As we bowled along one of the wide streets which passes through that open place at the center of the city called the Campus Martius, I was struck, as any visitor must be, by the spectacle of hundreds upon hundreds of automobiles parked, nose to the curb, tail to the street, in solid rows.

"You could tell that this was an automobile city," I remarked.

"Do you know why you see so many of them?" he asked with a smile.

I said I supposed it was because there were so many automobiles owned in Detroit.

"No," he explained. "In other cities with as many and more cars you will not see this kind of thing. They don't permit it. But our wide streets lend themselves to it, and our Chief of Police, who believes in the auto[ 79]mobile business as much as any of the rest of us, also lends himself to it. He lets us leave our cars about the streets because he thinks it a good advertisement for the town."

As he spoke he was forced to draw up at a crossing to let a funeral pass. It was an automobile funeral. The hearse, black and terrible as only a hearse can be, was going at a modest pace for a motor, but an exceedingly rapid pace for a hearse. If I am any judge of speed, the departed was being wafted to his final resting place at the somewhat sprightly clip of twelve or fifteen miles an hour. Behind the hearse trailed limousines and touring cars. Two humble taxicabs brought up the rear. There was a grim ridiculousness about the procession's progress—pleasure cars throttled down, trying to look solemn—chauffeurs continually throwing out their clutches in a commendable effort to keep a respectful rate of speed.

Is there any other thing in the world which epitomizes our times as does an automobile funeral? Yesterday such a thing would have been deemed indecorous; to-day it is not only decorous, but rather chic, provided that the pace be slow; to-morrow—what will it be then? Will hearses go shooting through the streets at forty miles an hour? Will mourners scorch behind, their horns shrieking signals to the driver of the hearse to get out of the road and let the swiftest pass ahead, where there isn't all that dust? I am afraid a time is close at hand when, if hearses are to maintain that posi[ 80]tion in the funeral cortège to which convention has in the past assigned them, they will have to hold it by sheer force of superior horsepower!

Detroit is a young man's town. I do not think the stand-pat, sit-tight, go-easy kind of business man exists there. The wheel of commerce has wire spokes and rubber tires, and there is no drag upon the brake band. Youth is at the steering wheel—both figuratively and literally. The heads of great Detroit industries drive their own cars; and if the fact seems unimportant, consider: do the leading men of your city drive theirs? Or are they driven by chauffeurs? Have they, in other words, reached a time of life and a frame of mind which prohibit their taking the wheel because it is not safe for them to do so, or worse yet, because it is not dignified? Have they that energy which replaces worn-out tires—and methods—and ideas?

I have said that the president of a large automobile company showed me about Detroit. I don't know what his age is, but he is under thirty-five. I don't know what his fortune is, but he is suspected of a million, and whatever he may have, he has made himself. I hope he is a millionaire, for there is in the entire world only one other man who, I feel absolutely certain, deserves a million dollars more than he does—and a native modesty prevents my mentioning this other's name.

Looking at my friend, the president, I am always[ 81] struck with fresh amazement. I want to say to him: "You can't be the president of that great big company! I know you sit in the president's office, but—look at your hair; it isn't even turning gray! I refuse to believe that you are president until you show me your ticket, or your diploma, or whatever it is that a president has!"

Becoming curious about his exact age, I took up my "Who's Who in America" one evening ("Who's Who" is another valued volume on my one-foot shelf) with a view to finding out. But all I did find out was that his name is not contained therein. That struck me as surprising. I looked up the heads of half a dozen other enormous automobile companies—men of importance, interest, reputation. Of these I discovered the name of but one, and that one was not (as I should have rather expected it to be) Henry Ford. (There is a Henry Ford in my "Who's Who," but he is a professor at Princeton and writes for the Atlantic Monthly!)[1]

Now whether this is so because of the newness of the automobile business, or because "Who's Who" turns up its nose at "trade," in contradistinction to the professions and the arts, I cannot say. Obviously, the compilation of such a work involves tremendous difficulties, and I have always respected the volume for the ability with which it overcomes them; but when a Detroit dentist (who invented, as I recollect, some new kind of[ 82] filling) is included in "Who's Who," and when almost every minor poet who squeaks is in it, and almost every illustrator who makes candy-looking girls for magazine covers, and almost every writer—then it seems to me time to include, as well, the names of men who are in charge of that industry which is not only the greatest in Detroit, but which, more than any industry since the inception of the telephone, has transformed our life. The fact of the matter is, of course, that writers, in particular, are taken too seriously, not merely by "Who's Who" but by all kinds of publications—especially newspapers. Only opera singers and actors can vie with writers in the amount of undeserved publicity which they receive. If I omit professional baseball players it is by intention; for, as a fan might say, they have to "deliver the goods."

[1] "Who's Who" for 1913-1914. The more recent volume, which has come out since, contains a biographical sketch of Mr. Henry Ford of Detroit.

Baedeker's United States, a third volume in the condensed library I carried in my trunk, sets forth (in small type!) the following: "The finest private art gallery in Detroit is that of Mr. Charles L. Freer. The gallery contains the largest group of works by Whistler in existence and good examples of Tryon, Dewing, and Abbott Thayer as well as many Oriental paintings and potteries."

But in the case of the Detroit Museum of Art, Baedeker bursts into black-faced type, and even adds an asterisk, his mark of special commendation. Also a[ 83] considerable reference is made to various collections contained by the museum: the Scripps collection of old masters, the Stearns collection of Oriental curiosities, a painting by Rubens, drawings by Raphael and Michelangelo, and a great many works attributed to ancient Italian and Dutch masters. "The museum also contains," says Baedeker, "modern paintings by Gari Melchers, Munkacsy, Tryon, F. D. Millet, and others."

I have quoted Baedeker as above, because it reveals the bald fact with regard to art in Detroit; also because it reveals the even balder fact that our blessed old friend Baedeker, who has helped us all so much, can, when he cuts loose on art, make himself exquisitely ridiculous.

The truth is, of course, that Mr. Freer's gallery is not merely the "finest private gallery in Detroit"; not merely the finest gallery of any kind in Detroit; but that it is one of the exceedingly important collections of the world, just as Mr. Freer is one of the world's exceedingly important authorities on art. Indeed, any town which contains Mr. Freer—even if he is only stopping overnight in a hotel—becomes by grace of his presence an important art center for the time being. His mere presence is sufficient. For in Mr. Freer's head there is more art than is contained in many a museum. He was the man whom, above all others in Detroit, we wished to see. (And that is no disparagement of Henry Ford.)[ 84]

Once in a long, long time it is given to the average human being to make contact for a brief space with some other human being far above the average—a man who knows one thing supremely well. I have met six such men: a surgeon, a musician, an author, an actor, a painter, and Mr. Charles L. Freer.

I do not know much of Mr. Freer's history. He was not born in Detroit, though it was there that he made the fortune which enabled him to retire from business. It is surprising enough to hear of an American business man willing to retire in the prime of life. You expect that in Europe, not here. And it is still more surprising when that American business man begins to devote to art the same energy which made him a success financially. Few would want to do that; fewer could. By the time the average successful man has wrung from the world a few hundred thousand dollars, he is fit for nothing else. He has become a wringer and must remain one always.

Of course rich men collect pictures. I'm not denying that. But they do it, generally, for the same reason they collect butlers and footmen—because tradition says it is the proper thing to do. And I have observed in the course of my meanderings that they are almost invariably better judges of butlers than of paintings. That is because their butlers are really and truly more important to them—excepting as their paintings have financial value. Still, if the world is full of so-called art collectors who don't know what they're doing, let us[ 85] not think of them too harshly, for there are also painters who do not know what they are doing, and it is necessary that some one should support them. Otherwise they would starve, and a bad painter should not have to do that—starvation being an honor reserved by tradition for the truly great.

Very keenly I feel the futility of an attempt to tell of Mr. Freer in a few paragraphs. He should be dealt with as Mark Twain was dealt with by that prince of biographers, Albert Bigelow Paine; some one should live with him through the remainder of his life—always sympathetic and appreciative, always ready to draw him out, always with a notebook. It should be some one just like Paine, and as there isn't some one just like Paine, it should be Paine himself.

Probably as a development of his original interest in Whistler, Mr. Freer has, of late years, devoted himself almost entirely to ancient Oriental art—sculptures, paintings, ceramics, bronzes, textiles, lacquers and jades. The very rumor that in some little town in the interior of China was an old vase finer than any other known vase of the kind, has been enough to set him traveling. Many of his greatest treasures he has unearthed, bargained for and acquired at first hand, in remote parts of the globe. He bearded Whistler in his den—that is a story by itself. He purchased Whistler's famous Peacock Room, brought it to this country and set it up in his own house. He traveled on elephant-back through the jungles of India and Java[ 86] in search of buried temples; to Egypt for Biblical manuscripts and potteries, and to the nearer East, years ago, in quest of the now famous "lustered glazes." He made many trips to Japan, in early days, to study, in ancient temples and private collections, the fine arts of China, Corea and Japan, and was the first American student to visit the rock-hewn caves of central China, with their thousands of specimens of early sculpture—sculpture ranking, Mr. Freer says, with the best sculpture of the world.

The photographs and rubbings of these objects made under Mr. Freer's personal supervision have greatly aided students, all over the globe. Every important public library in this country and abroad has been presented by Mr. Freer with fac-similes of the Biblical manuscripts discovered by him in Egypt about seven years ago, so far as these have been published. The original manuscripts will ultimately go to the National Gallery, at Washington.

Mr. Freer's later life has been one long treasure hunt. Now he will be pursuing a pair of mysterious porcelains around the earth, catching up with them in China, losing them, finding them again in Japan, or in New York, or Paris; now discovering in some unheard-of Chinese town a venerable masterpiece, painted on silk, which has been rolled into a ball for a child's plaything. The placid pleasures of conventional collecting, through the dealers, is not the thing that Mr. Freer loves. He loves the chase.[ 87]

You should see him handle his ceramics. You should hear him talk of them! He knows. And though you do not know, you know he knows. More, he is willing to explain. For, though his intolerance is great, it is not directed so much at honest ignorance as against meretricious art.

The names of ancient Chinese painters, of emperors who practised art centuries ago, of dynasties covering thousands of years, of Biblical periods, flow kindly from his lips:

"This dish is Grecian. It was made five hundred years before the birth of Christ. This is a Chinese marble, but you see it has a Persian scroll in high relief. And this bronze urn: it is perhaps the oldest piece I have—about four thousand years—it is Chinese. But do you see this border on it? Perfect Greek! Where did the Chinese get that? Art is universal. We may call an object Greek, or Roman, or Assyrian, or Chinese, or Japanese, but as we begin to understand, we find that other races had the same thing—identical forms and designs. Take, for example, this painting of Whistler's, 'The Gold Screen.' You see he uses the Tosa design. The Tosa was used in Japan in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, and down to about twenty years ago. But there wasn't a single example of it in Europe in 1864, when Whistler painted 'The Gold Screen'; and Whistler had not been to the Orient. Then, where did he get the Tosa design? He invented

[ 88]

it. It came to him because he was a great artist, and art is universal."

It was like that—the spirit of it. And you must imagine the words spoken with measured distinctness in a deep, resonant voice, by a man with whom art is a religion and the pursuit of it a passion. He has a nature full of fire. At the mention of the name of the late J. P. Morgan, of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or of certain Chinese collectors and painters of the distant past, a sort of holy flame of admiration rose and kindled in him. His contempt is also fire. A minor eruption occurred when the automobile industry was spoken of; a Vesuvian flare which reddened the sky and left the commercialism of the city in smoking ruins. But it was not until I chanced to mention the Detroit Museum of Art—an institution of which Mr. Freer strongly disapproves—that the great outburst came. His wrath was like an overpowering revolt of nature. A whirlwind of tempestuous fire mounted to the heavens and the museum emerged a clinker.

He went to our heads. We four, who saw and heard him, left Mr. Freer's house drunk with the esthetic. Even the flooding knowledge of our own barbarian ignorance was not enough to sober us. Some of the flame had gotten into us. It was like old brandy. We waved our arms and cried out about art. For there is in a truly big human being—especially in one old enough to have seemed to gain perspective on the uni[ 89]verse—some quality which touches something in us that nothing else can ever reach. It is something which is not admiration only, nor vague longing to emulate, nor a quickened comprehension of the immensity of things; something emotional and spiritual and strange and indescribable which seems to set our souls to singing.

The Freer collection will go, ultimately, to the Smithsonian Institution (the National Gallery) in Washington, a fact which is the cause of deep regret to many persons in Detroit, more especially since the City Plan and Improvement Commission has completed arrangements for a Center of Arts and Letters—a fine group plan which will assemble and give suitable setting to a new Museum of Art, Public Library, and other buildings of like nature, including a School of Design and an Orchestra Hall. The site for the new gallery of art was purchased with funds supplied by public-spirited citizens, and the city has given a million dollars toward the erection of the building. Plans for the library have been drawn by Cass Gilbert.

It seems possible that, had the new art museum been started sooner, and with some guarantee of competent management, Mr. Freer might have considered it as an ultimate repository for his treasures. But now it is too late. That the present art museum—the old one—was not to be considered by him, is perfectly obvious. Inside and out it is unworthy. It looks as much like an old waterworks as the new waterworks out on Jefferson Avenue looks like a museum. Its foyer contains[ 90] some sculptured busts, forming the most amazing group I have ever seen. The group represents, I take it, prominent citizens of Detroit—among them, according to my recollection, the following: Hermes, Augustus Cæsar, Mr. Bela Hubbard, Septimus Severus, the Hon. T. W. Palmer, Mr. Frederick Stearns, Apollo, Demosthenes, and the Hon. H. P. Lillibridge.

I do not want to put things into people's heads, but—the old museum is not fire-proof. God speed the new one![ 91]



The great trouble with Detroit, from my point of view, is that there is too much which should be mentioned: Grosse Pointe with its rich setting and rich homes; the fine new railroad station; the "Cabbage Patch"; the "Indian Village" (so called because the streets bear Indian names) with its examples of modest, pleasing, domestic architecture. Then there are the boulevards, the fine Wayne County roads, the clubs—the Country Club, the Yacht Club, the Boat Club, the Detroit Club, the University Club, all with certain individuality. And there is the unique little Yondatega Club of which Theodore Roosevelt said: "It is beyond all doubt the best club in the country."

Also there is Henry Ford.

I suppose there is no individual having to do with manufacturing of any kind whose name is at present more familiar to the world. But in all this ocean of publicity which has resulted from Mr. Ford's development of a reliable, cheap car, from the stupefying growth of his business and his fortune, and more recently from his sudden distribution among his working people of ten million dollars of profits from his busi[ 92]ness—in all this publicity I have seen nothing that gave me a clear idea of Henry Ford himself. I wanted to see him—to assure myself that he was not some fabulous being out of a Detroit saga. I wanted to know what kind of man he was to look at and to listen to.

The Ford plant is far, far out on Woodward Avenue. It is so gigantic that there is no use wasting words in trying to express its vastness; so full of people, all of them working for Ford, that a thousand or two more or less would make no difference in the looks of things. And among all those people there was just one man I really wanted to see, and just one man I really wanted not to see. I wanted to see Henry Ford and I wanted not to see a man named Liebold, because, they say, if you see Liebold first you never do see Ford. That is what Liebold is for. He is the man whose business in life it is to know where Henry Ford isn't.

To get into Mr. Ford's presence is an undertaking. It is not easy even to find out whether he is there. Liebold is so zealous in his protection that he even protects Mr. Ford from his own employees. Thus, when the young official who had my companion and me in charge, received word over the office telephone that Mr. Ford was not in the building, he didn't believe it. He went on a quiet scouting expedition of his own before he was convinced. Presently he returned to the office in which he had deposited us.

"No; he really isn't here just now," he said. "He'll[ 93] be in presently. Come on; I'll take you through the plant."

The machine shop is one room, with a glass roof, covering an area of something less than thirty acres. It is simply unbelievable in its size, its noise and its ghastly furious activity. It was peopled when we were there by five thousand men—the day shift in that one shop alone. (The total force of workmen was something like three times that number.)

Of course there was order in that place, of course there was system—relentless system—terrible "efficiency"—but to my mind, unaccustomed to such things, the whole room, with its interminable aisles, its whirling shafts and wheels, its forest of roof-supporting posts and flapping, flying, leather belting, its endless rows of writhing machinery, its shrieking, hammering, and clatter, its smell of oil, its autumn haze of smoke, its savage-looking foreign population—to my mind it expressed but one thing, and that thing was delirium.

Fancy a jungle of wheels and belts and weird iron forms—of men, machinery and movement—add to it every kind of sound you can imagine: the sound of a million squirrels chirking, a million monkeys quarreling, a million lions roaring, a million pigs dying, a million elephants smashing through a forest of sheet iron, a million boys whistling on their fingers, a million others coughing with the whooping cough, a million sinners groaning as they are dragged to hell—imagine all of[ 94] this happening at the very edge of Niagara Falls, with the everlasting roar of the cataract as a perpetual background, and you may acquire a vague conception of that place.

Fancy all this riot going on at once; then imagine the effect of its suddenly ceasing. For that is what it did. The wheels slowed down and became still. The belts stopped flapping. The machines lay dead. The noise faded to a murmur; then to utter silence. Our ears rang with the quiet. The aisles all at once were full of men in overalls, each with a paper package or a box. Some of them walked swiftly toward the exits. Others settled down on piles of automobile parts, or the bases of machines, to eat, like grimy soldiers on a battlefield. It was the lull of noon.

I was glad to leave the machine shop. It dazed me. I should have liked to leave it some time before I actually did, but the agreeable young enthusiast who was conducting us delighted in explaining things—shouting the explanations in our ears. Half of them I could not hear; the other half I could not comprehend. Here and there I recognized familiar automobile parts—great heaps of them—cylinder castings, crank cases, axles. Then as things began to get a little bit coherent, along would come a train of cars hanging insanely from a single overhead rail, the man in the cab tooting his shrill whistle; whereupon I would promptly retire into mental fog once more, losing all sense of what things meant, feeling that I was not in any factory, but in a[ 95] Gargantuan lunatic asylum where fifteen thousand raving, tearing maniacs had been given full authority to go ahead and do their damnedest.

In that entire factory there was for me but one completely lucid spot. That was the place where cars were being assembled. There I perceived the system. No sooner had axle, frame, and wheels been joined together than the skeleton thus formed was attached, by means of a short wooden coupling, to the rear end of a long train of embryonic automobiles, which was kept moving slowly forward toward a far-distant door. Beside this train of chassis stood a row of men, and as each succeeding chassis came abreast of him, each man did something to it, bringing it just a little further toward completion. We walked ahead beside the row of moving partially-built cars, and each car we passed was a little nearer to its finished state than was the one behind it. Just inside the door we paused and watched them come successively into first place in the line. As they moved up, they were uncoupled. Gasoline was fed into them from one pipe, oil from another, water from still another.

Then as a man leaped to the driver's seat, a machine situated in the floor spun the back wheels around, causing the motor to start; whereupon the little Ford moved out into the wide, wide world, a completed thing, propelled by its own power.

In a glass shed of the size of a small exposition build[ 96]ing the members of the Ford staff park their little cars. It was in this shed that we discovered Mr. Ford. He had just driven in (in a Ford!) and was standing beside it—the god out of the machine.

"Nine o'clock to-morrow morning," he said to me in reply to my request for an appointment.

I may have shuddered slightly. I know that my companion shuddered, and that, for one brief instant, I felt a strong desire to intimate to Mr. Ford that ten o'clock would suit me better. But I restrained myself.

Inwardly I argued thus: "I am in the presence of an amazing man—a prince of industry—the Mæcenas of the motor car. Here is a man who, they say, makes a million dollars a month, even in a short month like February. Probably he makes a million and a quarter in the thirty-one-day months when he has time to get into the spirit of the thing. I wish to pay a beautiful tribute to this man, not because he has more money than I have—I don't admit that he has—but because he conserves his money better than I conserve mine. It is for that that I take off my hat to him, even if I have to get up and dress and be away out here on Woodward Avenue by 9 A. M. to do it."

Furthermore, I thought to myself that Mr. Ford was the kind of business man you read about in novels; one who, when he says "nine," doesn't mean five minutes after nine, but nine sharp. If you aren't there your chance is gone. You are a ruined man.

Of course there was order in that place, of course there was system—relentless
system—terrible "efficiency"—but to my mind it expressed but one
thing, and that thing was delirium Of course there was order in that place, of course there was system—relentless system—terrible "efficiency"—but to my mind it expressed but one thing, and that thing was delirium

[ 97]

"Very well," I said, trying to speak in a natural tone, "we will be on hand at nine."

Then he went into the building, and my companion and I debated long as to how the feat should be accomplished. He favored sitting up all night in order to be safe about it, but we compromised at last on sitting up only a little more than half the night.

The cold, dismal dawn of the day following found us shaved and dressed. We went out to the factory. It was a long, chilly, expensive, silent taxi ride. At five minutes before nine we were there. The factory was there. The clerks were there. Fourteen thousand one hundred and eighty-seven workmen were there—those workmen who divided the ten millions—everything and every one was there with a single exception. And that exception was Mr. Henry Ford.

True, he did come at last. True, he talked with us. But he was not there at nine o'clock, nor yet at ten. Nor do I blame him. For if I were in the place of Mr. Henry Ford, there would be just one man whom I should meet at nine o'clock, and that man would be Meadows, my faithful valet.

Apropos of that, it occurs to me that there is one point of similarity between Mr. Ford and myself: neither of us has a valet just at present. Still, on thinking it over, we aren't so very much alike, after all, for there is one of us—I shan't say which—who hopes to have a valet some day.

Mr. Ford's office is a room somewhat smaller than the[ 98] machine shop. It is situated in one corner of the administration building, and I am told that there is a private entrance, making it unnecessary for Mr. Ford to run the gantlet of the main doorway and waiting room, where there are almost always persons waiting to ask him for a present of a million or so in money; or, if not that, for four or five thousand dollars' worth of time—for if Mr. Ford makes what they say, and doesn't work overtime, his hour is worth about four thousand five hundred dollars.

He wasn't in the office when we entered. That gave us time to look about. There was a large flat-top desk. The floor was covered with an enormous, costly Oriental rug. At one end of the room, in a glass case, was a tiny and very perfect model of a Ford car. On the walls were four photographs: one of Mr. James Couzens, vice-president and treasurer of the Ford Company; another, a life-size head of "Your friend, John Wanamaker," and two of Thomas A. Edison. Under one of the latter, in the handwriting of the inventor—handwriting which, oddly enough, resembles nothing so much as neatly bent wire—was this inscription:

To Henry Ford, one of a group of men who have helped to make U. S. A. the most progressive nation in the world.

Thomas A. Edison.

Presently Mr. Ford came in—a lean man, of good[ 99] height, wearing a rather shabby brown suit. Without being powerfully built, Mr. Ford looks sinewy, wiry. His gait is loose-jointed—almost boyish. His manner, too, has something boyish about it. I got the feeling that he was a little bit embarrassed at being interviewed. That made me sorry for him—I had been interviewed, myself, the day before. When he sat he hunched down in his chair, resting on the small of his back, with his legs crossed and propped upon a large wooden waste-basket—the attitude of a lanky boy. And, despite his gray hair and the netted wrinkles about his eyes, his face is comparatively youthful, too. His mouth is wide and determined, and it is capable of an exceedingly dry grin, in which the eyes collaborate. They are fine, keen eyes, set high under the brows, wide apart, and they seem to express shrewdness, kindliness, humor, and a distinct wistfulness. Also, like every other item in Mr. Ford's physical make-up, they indicate a high degree of honesty. There never was a man more genuine than Mr. Ford. He hasn't the faintest sign of that veneer so common to distinguished men, which is most eloquently described by the slang term "front." Nor is he, on the other hand, one of those men who (like so many politicians) try to simulate a simple manner. He is just exactly Henry Ford, no more, no less; take it or leave it. If you are any judge at all of character, you know immediately that Henry Ford is a man whom you can trust. I would trust him with anything. He didn't ask me to, but I would. I would trust him with all my money.[ 100] And, considering that I say that, I think he ought to be willing, in common courtesy, to reciprocate.

He told us about the Ford business. "We've done two hundred and five millions of business to date," he said. "Our profits have amounted to about fifty-nine millions. About twenty-five per cent. has been put back into the business—into the plant and the branches. All the actual cash that was ever put in was twenty-eight thousand dollars. The rest has been built up out of profits. Yes—it has happened in a pretty short time; the big growth has come in the last six years."

I asked if the rapid increase had surprised him.

"Oh, in a way," he said. "Of course we couldn't be just sure what she was going to do. But we figured we had the right idea."

"What is the idea?" I questioned.

Then with deep sincerity, with the conviction of a man who states the very foundation of all that he believes, Mr. Ford told us his idea. His statement did not have the awful majesty of an utterance by Mr. Freer. He did not flame, although his eyes did seem to glow with his conviction.

"It is one model!" he said. "That's the secret of the whole doggone thing!" (That is exactly what he said. I noted it immediately for "character.")

Having revealed the "secret," Mr. Ford directed our attention to the little toy Ford in the glass case.

"There she is," he said. "She's always the same. I tell everybody that's the way to make a success. Every[ 101] manufacturer ought to do it. The thing is to find out something that everybody is after and then make that one thing and nothing else. Shoemakers ought to do it. They ought to get one kind of shoe that will suit everybody, instead of making all kinds. Stove men ought to do it, too. I told a stove man that just the other day."

That, I believe, is, briefly, the business philosophy of Henry Ford.

"It just amounts to specializing," he continued. "I like a good specialist. I like Harry Lauder—he's a great specialist. So is Edison. Edison has done more for people than any other living man. You can't look anywhere without seeing something he has invented. Edison doesn't care anything about money. I don't either. You've got to have money to use, that's all. I haven't got any job here, you know. I just go around and keep the fellows lined up."

I don't know how I came by the idea, but I was conscious of the thought that Mr. Ford's money worried him. He looks somehow as though it did. And it must, coming in such a deluge and so suddenly. I asked if wealth had not compelled material changes in his mode of life.

"Do you mean the way we live at home?" he asked.

"Yes; that kind of thing."

"Oh, that hasn't changed to any great extent," he said. "I've got a little house over here a ways. It's nothing very much—just comfortable. It's all we need. You can have the man drive you around there on your[ 102] way back if you want. You'll see." (Later I did see; it is a very pleasant, very simple type of brick suburban residence.)

"Do you get up early?" I ventured, having, as I have already intimated, my own ideas as to what I should do if I were a Henry Ford.

"Well, I was up at quarter of seven this morning," he declared. "I went for a long ride in my car. I usually get down to the plant around eight-thirty or nine o'clock."

Then I asked if the change had not forced him to do a deal of entertaining.

"No," he said. "We know the same people we knew twenty years ago. They are our friends to-day. They come to our house. The main difference is that Mrs. Ford used to do the cooking. Lately we've kept a cook. Cooks try to give me fancy food, but I won't stand for it. They can't cook as well as Mrs. Ford either—none of them can."

I wish you could have heard him say that! It was one of his deep convictions, like the "one model" idea.

"What are your hobbies outside your business?" I asked him.

It seemed to me that Mr. Ford looked a little doubtful about that. Certainly his manner, in replying, lacked that animation which you expect of a golfer or a yachtsman or an art collector—or, for the matter of that, a postage-stamp collector.

"Oh, I have my farm out at Dearborn—the place[ 103] where I was born," he replied. "I'm building a house out there—not as much of a house as they try to make out, though. And I'm interested in birds, too."

Then, thinking of Mr. Freer, I inquired: "Do you care for art?"

The answer, like all the rest, was definite enough.

"I wouldn't give five cents for all the art in the world," said Mr. Ford without a moment's hesitation.

I admired him enormously for saying that. So many people feel as he does in their hearts, yet would not dare to say so. So many people have the air of posturing before a work of art, trying to look intelligent, trying to "say the right thing" before the right painting—the right painting as prescribed by Baedeker. True, I think the man who declares he would not give five cents for all the art in the world thereby declares himself a barbarian of sorts. But a good, honest, open-hearted barbarian is a fine creature. For one thing, there is nothing false about him. And there is nothing soft about him either. It is the poseur who is soft—soft at the very top, where Henry Ford is hard.

I saw from his manner that he was becoming restless. Perhaps we had stayed too long. Or perhaps he was bored because I spoke about an abstract thing like art.

I asked but one more question.

"Mr. Ford," I said, "I should think that when a man is very rich he might hardly know, sometimes, whether people are really his friends or whether they are cultivating him because of his money. Isn't that so?"[ 104]

Mr. Ford's dry grin spread across his face. He replied with a question:

"When people come after you because they want to get something out of you, don't you get their number?"

"I think I do," I answered.

"Well, so do I," said Mr. Ford.[ 105]



It was on a chilly morning, not much after eight o'clock, that we left Detroit. I recall that, driving trainward, I closed the window of the taxicab; that the marble waiting room of the new station looked uncomfortably half awake, like a sleeper who has kicked the bedclothes off, and that the concrete platform outside was a playground for cold, boisterous gusts of wind.

Our train had come from somewhere else. Entering the Pullman car, we found it in its night-time aspect. The narrow aisle, made narrower by its shroud of long green curtains, and by shoes and suit cases standing beside the berths, looked cavernous and gloomy, reminding me of a great rock fissure, the entrance to a cave I had once seen. Like a cave, too, it was cold with a musty and oppressive cold; a cold which embalmed the mingling smells of sleep and sleeping car—an odor as of Russia leather and banana peel ground into a damp pulp.

Silently, gloomily, without removing our overcoats or gloves, we seated ourselves, gingerly, upon the bright green plush of the section nearest to the door, and tried[ 106] to read our morning papers. Presently the train started. A thin, sick-looking Pullman conductor came and took our tickets, saying as few words as possible. A porter, in his sooty canvas coat, sagged miserably down the aisle. Also a waiter from the dining car, announcing breakfast in a cheerless tone. Breakfast! Who could think of breakfast in a place like that? For a long time, we sat in somber silence, without interest in each other or in life.

To appreciate the full horror of a Pullman sleeping car it is not necessary to pass the night upon it; indeed, it is necessary not to. If you have slept in the car, or tried to sleep, you arise with blunted faculties—the night has mercifully anesthetized you against the scenes and smells of morning. But if you board the car as we did, coming into it awake and fresh from out of doors, while it is yet asleep—then, and then only, do you realize its enormous ghastliness.

Our first diversion—the faintest shadow of a speculative interest—came with a slight stirring of the curtains of the berth across the way. For, even in the most dismal sleeping car, there is always the remote chance, when those green curtains stir, that the Queen of Sheba is all radiant within, and that she will presently appear, like sunrise.

Over our newspapers we watched, and even now and then our curiosity was piqued by further gentle stirrings of the curtains. And, of course, the longer we were forced to wait, the more hopeful we became. In a low[ 107] voice I murmured to my companion the story of the glorious creature I had seen in a Pullman one morning long ago: how the curtains had stirred at first, even as these were stirring now; how they had at last been parted by a pair of rosy finger tips; how I had seen a lovely face emerge; how her two braids were wrapped about her classic head; how she had floated forth into the aisle, transforming the whole car; how she had wafted past me, a soft, sweet cloud of pink; how she—Then, just as I was getting to the interesting part of it, I stopped and caught my breath. The curtains were in final, violent commotion! They were parting at the bottom! Ah! Slowly, from between the long green folds, there appeared a foot. No filmy silken stocking covered it. It was a foot. There was an ankle, too—a small ankle. Indeed, it was so small as to be a misfit, for the foot was of stupendous size, and very knobby. Also it was cold; I knew that it was cold, just as I knew that it was attached to the body of a man, and that I did not wish to see the rest of him. I turned my head and, gazing from the window, tried to concentrate my thoughts upon the larger aspects of the world outside, but the picture of that foot remained with me, dwarfing all other things.

I did not mean to look again; I was determined not to look. But at the sound of more activity across the way, my head was turned as by some outside force, and I did look, as one looks, against one's will, at some horror which has happened in the street.[ 108]

He had come out. He was sitting upon the edge of his berth, bending over and snorting as he fumbled for his shoes upon the floor. Having secured them, he pulled them on with great contortions, emitting stertorous sounds. Then, in all the glory of his brown balbriggan undershirt, he stood up in the aisle. His face was fat and heavy, his eyes half closed, his hair in tussled disarray. His trousers sagged dismally about his hips, and his suspenders dangled down behind him like two feeble and insensate tails. After rolling his collar, necktie, shirt, and waistcoat into a mournful little bundle, he produced from inner recesses a few unpleasant toilet articles, and made off down the car—a spectacle compared with which a homely woman, her face anointed with cold cream, her hair done in kid curlers, her robe a Canton-flannel nightgown, would appear alluring!

Never, since then, have I heard men jeering over women as they look in dishabille, without wondering if those same men have ever seen themselves clearly in the mirrored washroom of a sleeping car.

On the railroad journey between Detroit and Battle Creek we passed two towns which have attained a fame entirely disproportionate to their size: Ann Arbor, with about fifteen thousand inhabitants, celebrated as a seat of learning; and Ypsilanti, with about six thousand, celebrated as, so to speak, a seat of underwear.[ 109]

One expects an important college town to be well known, but a manufacturing town with but six thousand inhabitants must have done something in particular to have acquired national reputation. In the case of Ypsilanti it has been done by magazine advertising—the advertising of underwear. If you don't think so, look over the list of towns in the "World Almanac." Have you, for example, ever heard of Anniston, Ala.? Or Argenta, Ark.? Either town is about twice the size of Ypsilanti. Have you ever heard of Cranston, R. I.; Butler, Pa., or Belleville, Ill.? Each is about as large as Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor put together.

Then there is Battle Creek. Think of the amount of advertising that town has had! As Miss Daisy Buck, the lady who runs the news stand in the Battle Creek railroad station, said to us: "It's the best advertised little old town of its size in the whole United States."

And now it is about to be advertised some more.

We were total strangers. We knew nothing of the place save that we had heard that it was full of health cranks and factories where breakfast foods, coffee substitutes, and kindred edibles and drinkables were made. How to see the town and what to see we did not know. We hesitated in the depot waiting room. Then fortune guided our footsteps to the station news stand and its genial and vivacious hostess. Yes, hostess is the word; Miss Buck is anything but a mere girl behind the[ 110] counter. She is a reception committee, an information bureau, a guide, philosopher, and friend. Her kindly interest in the wayfarer seems to waft forth from the precincts of the news stand and permeate the station. All the boys know Miss Daisy Buck.

After purchasing some stamps and post cards as a means of getting into conversation with her, we asked about the town.

"How many people are there here?" I ventured.

"Thirty-five," replied Miss Buck.

"Thirty-five?" I repeated, astonished.

Though Miss Buck was momentarily engaged in selling chewing gum (to some one else), she found time to give me a mildly pitying look.

"Thousand," she added.

The "World Almanac" gives Battle Creek but twenty-five thousand population. That, however, is no reproach to Miss Buck; it is, upon the contrary, a reproach to the cold-hearted statisticians who compiled that book. And had they met Miss Buck I think they would have been more liberal.

"What is the best way for us to see the town?" I asked the lady.

She indicated a man who was sitting on a station bench near by, saying:

"He's a driver. He'll take you. He likes to ride around."

"Thanks," I replied, gallantly. "Any friend of yours—"[ 111]

"Can that stuff," admonished Miss Buck in her easy, offhand manner.

I canned it, and engaged the driver. His vehicle was a typical town hack—a mud-colored chariot, having C springs, sunken cushions, and a strong smell of the stable. Riding in it, I could not rid myself of the idea that I was being driven to a country burial, and that hence, if I wished to smoke, I ought to do it surreptitiously.

Presently we swung into Main Street. I did not ask the name of the street, but I am reasonably certain that is it. There was a policeman on the corner. Also, a building bearing the sign "Old National Bank."

Old! What a pleasant, mellow ring the word has! How fine, and philosophical, and prosperous, and hospitable it sounds. I stopped the carriage. Just out of sentiment I thought I would go in and have a check cashed. But they did not act hospitable at all. They refused to cash my check because they did not know me. Well, it was their loss! I had a little treat prepared for them. I meant to surprise them by making them realize suddenly that, in cashing the check, they were not merely obliging an obscure stranger but a famous literary man. I was going to pass the check through the window, saying modestly: "It may interest you to know whose check you have the honor of handling." Then they would read the name, and I could picture their excitement as they exclaimed and[ 112] showed the check around the bank so that the clerks could see it. The only trouble I foresaw, on that score, was that probably they had not ever heard of me. But I was going to obviate that. I intended to sign the check "Rudyard Kipling." That would have given them something to think about!

But, as I have said, the transaction never got that far.

The principal street of Battle Creek may be without amazing architectural beauty, but it is at least well lighted. On either curb is a row of "boulevard lights," the posts set fifty feet apart. They are good-looking posts, too, of simple, graceful design, each surmounted by a cluster of five white globes. This admirable system of lighting is in very general use throughout all parts of the country excepting the East. It is used in all the Michigan cities I visited. I have been told that it was first installed in Minneapolis, but wherever it originated, it is one of a long list of things the East may learn from the West.

After driving about for a time we drew up. Looking out, I came to the conclusion that we had returned again to the railway station.

It was a station, but not the same one.

"This is the Grand Trunk Deepo," said the driver, opening the carriage door.

"I don't believe we'll bother to get out," I said.

But the driver wanted us to.

Never, since then, have I heard men jeering over women as they
look in dishabille, without wondering if those same men have ever
seen themselves clearly in the mirrored washroom of a sleeping car Never, since then, have I heard men jeering over women as they look in dishabille, without wondering if those same men have ever seen themselves clearly in the mirrored washroom of a sleeping car

[ 113]

"You ought to look at it," he insisted. "It's a very pretty station."

So we got out and looked at it, and were glad we did, for the driver was quite right. It was an unusually pretty station—a station superior to the other in all respects but one: it contained no Miss Daisy Buck.

After some further driving, we returned to the station where she was.

"I suppose we had better go to the Sanitarium for lunch?" I asked her.

"Not on your life," she replied. "If you go to the 'San,' you won't feel like you'd had anything to eat—that is, not if you're good feeders."

"Where else is there to go?" I asked.

"The Tavern," she advised. "You'll get a first-class dinner there. You might have larger hotels in New York, but you haven't got any that's more homelike. At least, that's what I hear. I never was in New York myself, but I get the dope from the traveling men."

However, not for epicurean reasons, but because of curiosity, we wished to try a meal at the Sanitarium. Thither we drove in the hack, passing on our way the office of the "Good Health Publishing Company" and a small building bearing the sign, "The Coffee Parlor"—which may signify a Battle Creek substitute for a saloon. I do not know how coffee drinkers are regarded in that town, but I do know that, while there, I[ 114] got neither tea nor coffee—unless "Postum" be coffee and "Kaffir Tea" be tea.

It was at the Sanitarium that I drank Kaffir Tea. I had it with my lunch. It looks like tea, and would probably taste like it, too, if they didn't let the Kaffirs steep so long. But they should use only fresh, young, tender Kaffirs; the old ones get too strong; they have too much bouquet. The one they used in my tea may have been slightly spoiled. I tasted him all afternoon.

The "San" is an enormous brick building like a vast summer hotel. It has an office which is utterly hotel-like, too, even to the chairs, scattered about, and the people sitting in them. Many of the people look perfectly well. Indeed, I saw one young woman who looked so well that I couldn't take my eyes off from her while she remained in view. She was in the elevator when we went up to lunch. She looked at me with a speculative eye—a most engaging eye, it was—as though saying to herself: "Now there's a promising young man. I might make it interesting for him if he would stay here for a while. But of course he'd have to show me a physician's certificate stating that he was not subject to fits." My companion said that she looked at him a long while, too, but I doubt that. He was always claiming that they looked at him.

The people who run the Sanitarium are Seventh-Day Adventists, and as we arrived on Saturday it was the Sabbath there—a rather busy day, I take it, from the[ 115] bulletin which was printed upon the back of the dinner menu:

7.20 A. M. Morning Worship in the Parlor.
7.40 to 8.40 A. M. BREAKFAST.
9.45 A. M. Sabbath School in the Chapel.
11 A. M. Preaching Service in the Chapel.
12.30 to 2 P. M. DINNER.
3.30 P. M. Missionary talk.
5.30 to 6 P. M. Cashier's office open.
6 to 6.45 P. M. SUPPER.
6.45 P. M. March for guests and patients only.
8 P. M. In the Gymnasium. Basket Ball Game. Admission
25 cents.

No food to be taken from the Dining Room.

The last injunction was not disobeyed by us. We ate enough to satisfy our curiosity, and what we did not eat we left.

The menu at the Sanitarium is a curious thing. After each item are figures showing the proportion of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates contained in that article of food. Everything is weighed out exactly. There was no meat on the bill of fare, but substitutes were provided in the list of entrees: "Protose with Mayonnaise Dressing," "Nuttolene with Cranberry Sauce," and "Walnut Roast."

Suppose you had to decide between those three which would you take?

My companion took "Protose," while I elected for some reason to dally with the "Nuttolene." Then, neither of us liking what we got, we both tried "Wal[ 116]nut Roast." Even then we would not give up. I ordered a little "Malt Honey," while my companion called for a baked potato, saying: "I know what a potato is, anyhow!"

After that we had a little "Toasted Granose" and "Good Health Biscuit," washed down in my case by a gulp or two of "Kaffir Tea," and in his by "Hot Malted Nuts." I tried to get him to take "Kaffir Tea" with me, but, being to leeward of my cup, he declined. As nearly as we could figure it out afterward, he was far ahead of me in proteins and fats, but I was infinitely richer in carbohydrates. In our indigestions we stood absolutely even.

There are some very striking things about the Sanitarium. It is a great headquarters for Health Congresses, Race Betterment Congresses, etc., and at these congresses strange theories are frequently put forth. At one of them, recently held, Dr. J. H. Kellogg, head of the Sanitarium, read a paper in which, according to newspaper reports, he advocated "human stock shows," with blue ribbons for the most perfectly developed men and women. At the same meeting a Mrs. Holcome charged that: "Cigarette-smoking heroes in the modern magazine are, I believe, inserted into the stories by the editors of publications controlled by the big interests."

To this Mr. S. S. McClure, the publisher, replied: "I have never inserted cigarettes in heroes' mouths. I

"Can that stuff," admonished Miss Buck in her easy, offhand manner "Can that stuff," admonished Miss Buck in her easy, offhand manner

[ 117] have taken them out lots of times. But generally the authors use a pipe for their heroes."

There was talk, too, about "eugenic weddings." And a sensation was caused when a Southern college professor made a charge that graduates of modern women's colleges are unfitted for motherhood. The statement, it may be added, was vigorously denied by the heads of several leading women's colleges.

Rather wild, some of this, it seems to me. But when people gather together in one place, intent on some one subject, wildness is almost certain to develop. One feels, in visiting the Sanitarium, that, though many people may be restored to health there, there is yet an air of mild fanaticism over all. Health fanaticism. The passionate light of the health hunt flashes in the stranger's eye as he looks at you and wonders what is wrong with you. And whatever may be wrong with you, or with him, you are both there to shake it off. That is your sole business in life. You are going to get over it, even if you have to live for weeks on "Nuttolene" or other products of the diet kitchen.


It is always an experience for the sophisticated palate to meet a brand-new taste. In "Nuttolene" my palate encountered one, and before dinner was over it met several more.

"Nuttolene" is served in a slab, resembling, as nearly as anything I can think of, a good-sized piece of shoemaker's wax. In flavor it is confusing. Some faint[ 118] taste about it hinted that it was intended to resemble turkey; an impression furthered by the fact that cranberry sauce was served on the same plate. But what it was made of I could not detect. It was not unpleasant to taste, nor yet did I find it appetizing. Rather, I should classify it in the broad category of uninteresting food. However, after such a statement, it is but fair to add that the food I find most interesting is almost always rich and indigestible. Perhaps, therefore, I shall be obliged to go to Battle Creek some day, to subsist on "Nuttolene" and kindred substances as penance for my gastronomic indiscretions. Better men than I have done that thing—men and women from all over the globe. And Battle Creek has benefited them. Nevertheless, I hope that I shall never have to go there. My feeling about the place, quite without regard to the cures which it effects, is much like that of my companion:

At luncheon I asked him to save his menu for me, so that I might have the data for this article. He put it in his pocket. But he kept pulling it out again, every little while, throughout the afternoon, and suggesting that I copy it all off into my notebook.

Finally I said to him:

"What is the use in my copying all that stuff when you have it right there in print? Just keep it for me. Then, when I get to writing, I will take it and use what I want."

"But I'd rather not keep it," he insisted.

"Why not?"[ 119]

"Well, there might be a railroad wreck. If I'm killed I don't want this thing to be found on me. When they went through my clothes and ran across this they'd say: 'Oh, this doesn't matter. It's all right. He's just some poor boob that's been to Battle Creek.'"

When we got out of the hack at the station before leaving Battle Creek, I asked the hackman how the town got its name. He didn't know. So, after buying the tickets, I went and asked Miss Daisy Buck.

"I suppose," I said, "there was some battle here, beside some creek, wasn't there?"

But for once Miss Buck failed me.

"You can search me," she replied. Then: "Did you lunch at the 'San'?"

We admitted it.

"How did you like it?"

We informed her.

"What did you eat—Mercerized hay?"

"No; mostly Nuttolene."

She sighed. Then:

"What town are you making next?" she asked.

"Kalamazoo," I said.

"Oh, Ka'zoo, eh? What line are you gen'l'men travelling in?"

"I'm a writer," I replied, "and my friend here is an artist. We're going around the country gathering material for a book."[ 120]

In answer to this statement, Miss Buck simply winked one eye as one who would say: "You're some little liar, ain't you?"

"It's true," I said.

"Oh, sure!" said Miss Buck, and let one eyelid fall again.

"When the book appears," I continued, "you will find that it contains an interview with you."

"Also a picture of you and the news stand," my companion added.

Then we heard the train.

Taking up our suit cases, we thanked Miss Buck for the assistance she had rendered us.

"I'm sure you're quite welcome," she replied. "I meet all kinds here—including kidders."

That was some months ago. No doubt Miss Buck may have forgotten us by now. But when she sees this—as, being a news-stand lady, I have reason to hope she will—I trust she may remember, and admit that truth has triumphed in the end.[ 121]



I had but one reason for visiting Kalamazoo: the name has always fascinated me with its zoölogical suggestion and even more with its rich, rhythmic measure. Indian names containing "K's" are almost always striking: Kenosha, Kewanee, Kokomo, Keokuk, Kankakee. Of these, the last two, having the most "K's" are most effective. Next comes Kokomo with two "K's." But Kalamazoo, though it has but one "K," seems to me to take first place among them all, phonetically, because of the finely assorted sound contained in its four syllables. There is a kick in its "K," a ring in its "L," a buzz in its "Z," and a glorious hoot in its two final "O's."

I wish here to protest against the abbreviated title frequently bestowed upon the town by newspapers in Detroit and other neighboring cities. They call it "Ka'zoo."

Ka'zoo, indeed! For shame! How can men take so fine a name and treat it lightly? True, it is a little long for easy handling in a headline, but that does not justify indignity. If headline writers cannot handle it conveniently they should not change the name, but rather[ 122] change their type, or make-up. If I owned a newspaper, and there arose a question of giving space to this majestic name, I should cheerfully drop out a baseball story, or the love letters in some divorce case, or even an advertisement, in order to display it as it deserves to be displayed.

Kalamazoo (I love to write it out!) Kalamazoo, I say, is also sometimes known familiarly as "Celery Town"—the growing of this crisp and succulent vegetable being a large local industry. Also, I was informed, more paper is made there than in any other city in the world. I do not know if that is true, I only know that if there is not more something in Kalamazoo than there is in any other city, the place is unique in my experience.

From my own observations, made during an evening walk through the agreeable, tree-bordered streets of Kalamazoo, I should have said that it led in quite a different field. I have never been in any town where so many people failed to draw their window shades, or owned green reading lamps, or sat by those green-shaded lamps and read. I looked into almost every house I passed, and in all but two, I think, I saw the self-same picture of calm, literary domesticity.

One family, living in a large and rather new-looking house on Main Street, did not seem to be at home. The shades were up but no one was sitting by the lamp. And, more, the lamp itself was different. Instead of a plain green shade it had a shade with pictures in the[ 123] glass, and red bead fringe. Later I found out where the people were. They were playing bridge across the street. They must have been the people from that house, because there were two in all the other houses, whereas there were four in the house where bridge was being played.

I stood and watched them. The woman from across the street—being the guest, she was in evening dress—was dummy. She was sitting back stiffly, her mouth pursed, her eyes staring at the cards her partner played. And she was saying to herself (and, unconsciously, to us, through the window): "If I had played that hand, I never should have done it that way!"

Kalamazoo has a Commercial Club. What place hasn't? And the Commercial Club has issued a booklet. What Commercial Club hasn't? This one bears the somewhat fanciful title "The Lure of Kalamazoo."

"The Lure of Kalamazoo" is written in that peculiarly chaste style characteristic of Chamber of Commerce "literature"—a style comparable only with that of railway folders and summer hotel booklets. It is the "Here-all-nature-seems-to-be-rejoicing" school. Let me present an extract:

Kalamazoo is peculiarly a city of homes—homes varying in cost from the modest cottage of the laborer to the palatial house of the wealthy manufacturer.

The only place in which the man who wrote that[ 124] slipped up, was in referring to the wealthy manufacturer's "house." Obviously the word called for there is "mansion." However, in justice to this man, and to Kalamazoo, I ought to add that the town seemed to be rather free from "mansions." That is one of the pleasantest things about it. It is just a pretty, unpretentious place. Perhaps he actually meant to say "house," but I doubt it. I think he missed a trick. I think he failed to get the right word, just as if he had been writing about brooks, and had forgotten to say "purling."

But if I saw no "mansions," I did see one building in Kalamazoo the architecture of which was distinguished. That was the building of the Western Michigan Normal School—a long, low structure of classical design, with three fine porticos.

Having a Commercial Club, Kalamazoo quite naturally has a "slogan," too. (A "slogan," by the way, is the war cry or gathering cry of a Highland clan—but that makes no difference to a Commercial Club.) It is: "In Kalamazoo We Do."

This battle cry "did" very well up to less than a year ago; then it suddenly began to languish. There was a company in Kalamazoo called the Michigan Buggy Company, and this company had a very sour failure last year, their figures varying from fact to the extent of about a million and a half dollars. Not satisfied with dummy accounts and padded statements, they had, also, what was called a "velvet pay roll." And, when [ 125] it all blew up, the whole of Michigan was shaken by the shock. Since that time, I am informed, the "slogan" "In Kalamazoo We Do" has not been in high favor.

She was saying to herself (and, unconsciously, to us, through the window):
"If I had played that hand, I never should have done it that way!" She was saying to herself (and, unconsciously, to us, through the window): "If I had played that hand, I never should have done it that way!"

Among the "lures" presented in the Commercial Club's booklet are four hundred and fifty-six lakes within a radius of fifty miles of the city. I didn't count the lakes myself. I didn't count the people either—not all of them.

The "World Almanac" gives the population of the place as just under forty thousand, but some one in Kalamazoo—and I think he was a member of the Commercial Club—told me that fifty thousand was the correct figure.

Now, I ask you, is it not reasonable to suppose that the Commercial Club, being right in Kalamazoo, where it can count the people every day, should be more accurate in its figures than the Almanac, which is published in far-away New York? Errors like this on the part of the Almanac might be excused, once or twice, on the ground of human fallibility or occasional misprint, but when the Almanac keeps on cutting down the figures given by the Commercial Clubs and Chambers of Commerce of town after town, it begins to look like wilful misrepresentation if not actual spitework.

That, to tell the truth, was the reason I walked around and looked in all the windows. I decided to get at the bottom of this matter—to find out the cause[ 126] for these discrepancies, and if I caught the Almanac in what appeared to be a deliberate lie, to expose it, here. With this in view, I started to count the people myself. Unfortunately, however, I did not start early enough in the evening. When I had only a little more than half of them counted, they began to put out their lights and go upstairs to bed. And, oddly enough, though they leave their parlor shades up, they have a way of drawing those in their bedrooms. I was, therefore, forced to stop counting.

I do not attempt to explain this Kalamazoo custom with regard to window shades. All I can say is that, for whatever reason they follow it, their custom is not metropolitan. New Yorkers do things just the other way around. They pull down their parlor shades, but leave their bedroom shades up. Any one who has lived in a New York apartment house in summer can testify to that. Probably it is all accounted for by the fact that in a relatively small city, like Kalamazoo, the census takers go around and count the people in the early evening, whereas in New York it is necessary for those who make the reckoning to work all night in order to—as one might say—get all the figures.[ 127]



I know a man whose wife is famous for her cooking. That is a strange thing for a prosperous and charming woman to be famous for to-day, but it is true. When they wish to give their friends an especial treat, the wife prepares the dinner; and it is a treat, from "pigs in blankets" to strawberry shortcake.

The husband is proud of his wife's cooking, but I have often noticed, and not without a mild amusement, that when we praise it past a certain point he begins to protest that there are lots of other things that she can do. You might think then, if you did not understand him, that he was belittling her talent as a cook.

"Oh, yes," he says, in what he intends to be a casual tone, "she can cook very well. But that's not all. She's the best mother I ever saw—sees right into the children, just as though she were one of them. She makes most of their clothes, too. And in spite of all that, she keeps up her playing—both piano and harp. We'll get her to play the harp after dinner."

People are like that about the cities that they live in. They are like that in Detroit. They are afraid that in considering the vastness of the automobile industry, you'll overlook the fact that Detroit has a lot of other[ 128] business. And in Grand Rapids they're the same; only there, of course, it's furniture.

"Yes," they say almost with reluctance, "we do make a good deal of furniture, but we also have big printing plants and plaster mills, and a large business in automobile accessories, and the metal trades."

They talked that way to me. But I kept right on asking about furniture, just as, when the young husband talks to me about his wife's harp playing, I keep right on eating shortcake. That is no reflection on her music (or her arms!); it is simply a tribute to her cooking.

Grand Rapids is one of those exceedingly agreeable, homelike American cities, which has not yet grown to the unwieldy size. It is the kind of city of which they say: "Every one here knows every one else"—meaning, of course, that members of the older and more prosperous families enjoy all the advantages and disadvantages of a considerable intimacy.

To the visitor—especially the visitor from New York, where a close friend may be bedridden a month without one's knowing it—this sort of thing makes a strong appeal at first. You feel that these people see one another every day; that they know all about one another, and like one another in spite of that. It is nice to see them troop down to the station, fifteen strong, to see somebody off, and it must be nice to be seen off like that; it must make you feel sure that you have[ 129] friends—a point upon which the New Yorker, in his heart, has the gravest doubts.

Consider, for example, my own case. In the course of my residence in New York, I have lived in four different apartment houses. In only two of these have I had even the slightest acquaintance with any of the other tenants. Once I called upon some disagreeable people on the floor below who had complained about the noise; once I had summoned a doctor who lived on the ground floor. In the other two buildings I knew absolutely no one. I used to see occasionally, in the elevator of one building, a man with whom I was acquainted years ago, but he had either forgotten me in the interim, or he elected to do as I did; that is, to pretend he had forgotten. I had nothing against him; he had nothing against me. We were simply bored at the idea of talking with each other because we had nothing in common.

Any New Yorker who is honest will admit to you that he has had that same experience. He passes people on the street—and sometimes they are people he has known quite well in times gone by—yet he refrains from bowing to them, and they refrain from bowing to him, by a sort of tacit understanding that bowing, even, is a bore.

That is a sad sort of situation. But sadder yet is the fact that in New York we lose sight of so many people whom we should like to see—friends of whom we are genuinely fond, but whose evolutions in the whirlpool of the city's life are such that we don't chance to[ 130] come in contact with them. At first we try. We paddle toward them now and then. But the very act of paddling is fatiguing, so by and by we give it up, and either never see them any more, or, running across them, once in a year or two, on the street or in a shop, lament at the broken intimacy, and make new resolves, only to see them melt away again in the flux and flow of New York life.

I thought of all this at a Sunday evening supper party in Grand Rapids—a neighborhood supper party at which a dozen or more people of assorted ages sat around a hospitable table, arguing, explaining, laughing, and chaffing each other like members of one great glorious family. It made me want to go and live there, too. Then I began to wonder how long I'd really want to live there. Would I always want to? Or would I grow tired of that, just as I grow tired of the contrasting coldness of New York? In short, I wondered to myself which is the worst: to know your neighbors with a wonderful, terrible, all-revealing intimacy, or—not to know them at all. I have thought about it often, and still I am not sure.

The Grand Rapids "Press" fearing that I might fail to notice certain underlying features of Grand Rapids life, printed an editorial at the time of my visit, in which attention was called to certain things. Said the "Press":

It isn't immediately revealed to the stranger that this is one of the clearest-thinking communities in the country. The rec[ 131]ords of the public library show the local demand for books on sociology, on political economy, on the relations of labor and capital, on taxation, on art, on the literature that has some chance of permanency. The topics discussed in the lecture halls, in the social centers, and in the Sunday gatherings, which are so pronounced a feature of church life here, add to the testimony. Ida M. Tarbell noticed that on her first visit. Her impression deepened on her second.... Without tossing any bouquets at ourselves it can be said that we are thinking some thoughts which only the elect in other cities dream of thinking.

I should like to make some intelligent comment on this. I feel, indeed, that something very ponderous, and solemn, and authoritative, and learned, and wise, and owlish, and erudite, ought to be said.

But the trouble is that I am utterly unqualified to speak in that way. I am not one of the elect. If some one called me that, I would knock him down if I could, and kick him full of holes. That is because I think that the elect almost invariably elect themselves. They are intellectual Huertas, and as such I generally detest them. I merely print the "Press's" statement because I think it is interesting, sometimes, to see what a city thinks about itself. For my own part, I should think more of Grand Rapids if, instead of sitting tight and thinking these extraordinary thoughts, it had done more to carry out the plan it had for its own beautification.

That is not to say that it is not a pretty city. It is. But its beauty is of that unconscious kind which comes from hills, and pleasant homes, and lawns, and trees.[ 132] The kind of beauty that it lacks is conscious beauty, the creation of which requires the expenditure of thought, money, and effort. And if it does nothing else to indicate its intellectual and esthetic soarings, I should say that it might do well to discard the reading lamp in favor of the crowbar, if only for long enough to take the latter instrument, go down to the park, and see what can be done about that chimney which rises so absurdly there.

The lack of coherent municipal taste is all the more a reproach to Grand Rapids for the reason that taste, perhaps above all other qualities, is the essential characteristic of the city's leading industry.

I used to have an idea that "cheap" furniture came from Grand Rapids. Perhaps it did. Perhaps it still does. I do not know. But I do know that the tour I made through the five acres, more or less, of rooms which make up the show house of Berkey & Gay, afforded me the best single bit of concrete proof I met, in all my travels, of the positive growth of good taste in this country.

Just as the whole face of things has changed architecturally in the last ten or fifteen years, furnishings have also changed. The improved appreciation which makes people build sightly homes makes them fill those homes with furniture of respectable design. People are beginning to know about the history of furniture, to recognize the characteristics of the great English[ 133] furniture designers and to appreciate the beauty which they handed down.

We went through the warerooms with Mr. Gay, and as I feasted my eyes upon piece after piece, set after set, of Chippendale, Sheraton, Heppelwhite, and Adam, I asked Mr. Gay about the renaissance which is upon us. One thing I was particularly curious about: I wanted to know whether the improvement in furniture sprang from popular demand or whether it had been in some measure forced upon the public by the manufacturers.

Mr. Gay told me that the change was something which originated with the people. "We have always wanted to make beautiful furniture," he said, "and we have helped all we could, but a manufacturer of furniture cannot force either good taste or bad taste upon those who buy. He has to offer them what they are willing to take, for they will not buy anything else. I know that, because sometimes we have tried to press matters a little. Now and then we have indulged ourselves to the extent of turning out some fine pieces, of one design or another, a little in advance of public appreciation, but there has never been any considerable sale for such things." He indicated a fine Jacobean library table of oak. "Take that piece for instance. We made some furniture like that twenty or twenty-five years ago, but could sell very little of it. People weren't ready for it then. Or this Adam set—as recently as five years ago we couldn't have hoped for any[ 134]thing more than a few nibbles on that kind of thing, but there's a big market for it now."

I asked Mr. Gay if he had any theories as to what had caused the development in popular appreciation.

"It is a great big subject," he said. "I think the magazines have done some of it. There have been quantities of publications on house furnishing. And the manufacturers' catalogues have helped, too. And as wealth and leisure have increased, people have had more time to give to the study of such things."

On the train going to Chicago I fell into conversation with a man whom I presently discerned to be a furniture manufacturer. I don't know who he was but he told me about the furniture exposition which is held in Grand Rapids in January and July each year. There are large buildings with many acres of floor space which stand idle and empty all the year around, excepting at the time of these great shows. Last year more than two hundred and fifty separate manufacturers had exhibitions, a large number of them being manufacturers whose factories were not located in Grand Rapids, but who nevertheless found it profitable to ship samples there and rent space in the exhibition buildings in order to place their wares before the buyers who gather there from all over the country.

Before we parted, this gentleman told me a story which, though he said it was an old one, I had never heard before.[ 135]

According to this story, there was, in Grand Rapids, a very inquisitive furniture manufacturer, who was always trying to find out about the business done by other manufacturers. When he would meet them he would question them in a way they found exceedingly annoying.

One day, encountering a rival manufacturer upon the street, he stopped him and began the usual line of questions. The other answered several, becoming more and more irritated. But finally his inquisitor asked one too many.

"How many men are working in your factory now?" he demanded.

"Oh?" said the other, as he turned away, "about two-thirds of them."[ 136] [ 137]

[ 138]

[ 139]



Imagine a young demigod, product of a union between Rodin's "Thinker" and the Wingèd Victory of Samothrace, and you will have my symbol of Chicago.

Chicago is stupefying. It knows no rules, and I know none by which to judge it. It stands apart from all the cities in the world, isolated by its own individuality, an Olympian freak, a fable, an allegory, an incomprehensible phenomenon, a prodigious paradox in which youth and maturity, brute strength and soaring spirit, are harmoniously confused.

Call Chicago mighty, monstrous, multifarious, vital, lusty, stupendous, indomitable, intense, unnatural, aspiring, puissant, preposterous, transcendent—call it what you like—throw the dictionary at it! It is all that you can do, except to shoot it with statistics. And even the statistics of Chicago are not deadly, as most statistics are.

First, you must realize that Chicago stands fourth in population among the cities of the world, and second among those of the Western Hemisphere. Next you must realize that there are people still alive who were[ 140] alive when Chicago did not exist, even as a fort in a swamp at the mouth of the Chicago River—the river from which, by the way, the city took its name, and which in turn took its own name from an Indian word meaning "skunk."

I do not claim that there are many people still alive who were alive when Chicago wasn't there at all, or that such people are feeling very active, or that they remember much about it, for in 102 years a man forgets a lot of little things. Nevertheless, there are living men older than Chicago.

Just one hundred years ago Fort Dearborn, at the mouth of the river, was being rebuilt, after a massacre by the Indians. Eighty-five years ago Chicago was a village of one hundred people. Sixty-five years ago this village had grown into a city of approximately the present size of Evanston—a suburb of Chicago, with less than thirty thousand people. Fifty-five years ago Chicago had something over one hundred thousand inhabitants. Forty-five years ago, at the time of the Chicago fire, the city was as large as Washington is now—over three hundred thousand. In the ten years which followed the disaster, Chicago was not only entirely rebuilt, and very much improved, but also it increased in population to half a million, or about the size of Detroit. In the next decade it actually doubled in size, so that, twenty-five years ago, it passed the million mark. Soon after that it pushed Phila[ 141]delphia from second place among American cities. So it has gone on, until to-day it has a population of two million, plus a city of about the size of San Francisco for full measure.

There are the statistics in a capsule paragraph. I hope you will feel better in the morning. And just to take the taste away, here's another item which you may like because of its curious flavor: Chicago has more Poles than any other city except Warsaw.

One knows in advance what a visitor from Europe will say about New York, just as one knows what an American humorist will say about Europe. But one never knows what any visitor will say about Chicago. I have heard people damn Chicago—"up hill and down" I was about to say, but I withdraw that, for the highest hill I remember in Chicago is that ungainly little bump, on the lake front, which is surmounted by Saint Gaudens' statue of General Logan.

As I was saying, I have heard people rave against Chicago and about it. Being itself a city of extremes, it seems to draw extremes of feeling and expression from outsiders. For instance, Canon Hannay, who writes novels and plays under the name of George A. Birmingham, was quoted, at the time of his recent visit to this country, as saying: "In a little while Chicago will be a world center of literature, music, and art.[ 142] British writers will be more anxious for her verdict than for that of London. The music of the future will be hammered out on the shores of Lake Michigan. The Paris Salon will be a second-rate affair."

Remembering that the Canon is an Irishman and a humorist—which is tautology—we may perhaps discount his statement a little bit for blarney and a little more for fun. His "prophecy" about the Salon seems to stamp the interview with waggery, for certainly it is not hard to prophesy what is already true—and, as everybody ought to know by now, the Salon has for years been second-rate.

The Chicago Art Institute has by all odds the most important art collection I visited upon my travels. The pictures are varied and interesting, and American painters are well represented. The presence in the institute of a good deal of that rather "tight" and "sugary" painting which came to Chicago at the time of the World's Fair, is to be regretted—a fact which is, I have no doubt, quite as well known to those in charge of the museum as to anybody else. But as I remarked in a previous chapter, most museums are hampered, in their early days, by the gifts of their rich friends. It takes a strong museum indeed to risk offending a rich man by kicking out bad paintings which he offers. Even the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has not always been so brave as to do that.

"Who's Who" (which, by the way, is published in Chicago) mentions perhaps a score of Chicago painters[ 143] and sculptors, among the former Lawton S. Parker and Oliver Dennett Grover, and among the latter Lorado Taft.

There are, however, many others, not in "Who's Who," who attempt to paint—enough of them to give a fairly large and very mediocre exhibition which I saw. One thing is, however, certain: the Art Institute has not the deserted look of most other art museums one visits. It is used. This may be partly accounted for by its admirable location at the center of the city—a location more accessible than that of any other museum I think of, in the country. But whatever the reason, as you watch the crowds, you realize more than ever that Chicago is alive to everything—even to art.

Years ago Chicago was musical enough to support the late Theodore Thomas and his orchestra—one of the most distinguished organizations of the kind ever assembled in this country. Thomas did great things for Chicago, musically. He started her, and she has kept on. Besides innumerable and varied concerts which occur throughout the season, the city is one of four in the country strong enough to support a first-rate grand opera company of its own.

About twenty-five musicians of one sort and another are credited to Chicago by "Who's Who," the most distinguished of them, perhaps, being Fannie Bloomfield Zeisler, the concert pianist. But it is the writers of Chicago who come out strongest in the fat red volume, among followers of the arts. With sinking heart[ 144] I counted about seventy of these, and I may be merely revealing my own ignorance when I add that the names of a good two-thirds of them were new to me. But this is dangerous ground. Without further comment let me say that among the seventy I found such names as Robert Herrick, Henry B. Fuller, Hamlin Garland, Emerson Hough, Henry Kitchell Webster, Maud Radford Warren, Opie Read, and Clara Louise Burnham—a hatful of them which you may sort and classify according to your taste.

Canon Hannay said he felt at home in Chicago. So did Arnold Bennett. Canon Hannay said Chicago reminded him of Belfast. Arnold Bennett said Chicago reminded him of the "Five Towns," made famous in his novels. Even Baedeker breaks away from his usual nonpartizan attitude long enough to say with what, for Baedeker, is nothing less than an outburst of passion: "Great injustice is done to Chicago by those who represent it as wholly given over to the worship of Mammon, as it compares favorably with a great many American cities in the efforts it has made to beautify itself by the creation of parks and boulevards and in its encouragement of education and the liberal arts."

Baedeker is quite right about that. He might also have added that the "Windy City" is not so windy as New York, and that the old legend, now almost forgotten, to the effect that Chicago girls have big feet is

Rodin's "Thinker" Rodin's "Thinker"

[ 145] equally untrue. There is still some wind in Chicago; thanks to it and to the present mode in dress, I was able to assure myself quite definitely upon the size of Chicago feet. I not only saw them upon the streets; I saw them also at dances: twinkling, slippered feet as small as any in the land; and, again owing to the present mode, I saw not only pretty feet, but also—However, I am digressing. That is enough about feet. I fear I have already let them run away with me.

A friend of mine who visited Chicago for the first time, a year ago, came back appreciative of her wonders, but declaring her provincial.

"Why do you say provincial?" I asked.

"Because you can't pick up a taxi in the street," he said.

And it is true. I was chagrined at his discovery—not so much because of its truth, however, as because it was the discovery of a New Yorker. I always defend Chicago against New Yorkers, for I love the place, partly for itself and partly because I was born and spent my boyhood there.

I know a great many other ex-Chicagoans who now live in New York, as I do, and I have noticed with amusement that the side we take depends upon the society in which we are. If we are with Chicagoans, we defend New York; if with New Yorkers, we defend Chicago. We are like those people in the circus who stand upon[ 146] the backs of two horses at once. Only among ourselves do we go in for candor.

The other day I met a man and his wife, transplanted Chicagoans, on the street in New York.

"How long have you been here?" I asked.

"Three years," said the husband.

"Why did you come?"

"For business reasons."

"How do you like the change?"

The husband hesitated. "Well, I've done a great deal better here than I ever did in Chicago," he said.

"How do you like it?" I asked the wife.

"New York gives us more advantages," she said, "but I prefer Chicago people."

"Would you like to go back?"

The wife hesitated, but the husband shook his head.

"No," he replied, "there's something about New York that gets into your blood. To go back to Chicago would seem like retrograding."

Among my notes I find the record of a conversation with a New York girl who married a Chicago man and went out there to live.

"I was very lonely at first," she said. "One day a man came around selling pencils. I happened to see him at the door. He said: 'I'm an actor, and I'm trying to raise money to get back to New York.' As I was feeling then I'd have given him anything in the house just because that was where he wanted to go. I[ 147] gave him some money. 'Here,' I said, 'you take this and go on back to New York.' 'Why,' he inquired, 'are you from New York, too?' I said I was. Then he asked me: 'What are you doing away out here?' 'Oh,' I told him, 'this is my home now. I live here.' He thanked me, and as he put the money in his pocket he shook his head and said: 'Too bad! Too bad!'

"That will show you how I felt at first. But when I came to know Chicago people I liked them. And now I wouldn't go back for anything."

There is testimony from both sides.

With the literary man the situation is, perhaps, a little different. New York is practically his one big market place. I was speaking about that the other day with an author who used to live in Chicago.

"The atmosphere out there is not nearly so stimulating for a writer," he assured me. "Here, in New York, even a pretty big writer is lost in the shuffle. There, he is a shining mark. The Chicago writers are likely to be a little bit self-conscious and naive. They have their own local literary gods, and they're rather inclined to sit around and talk solemnly about 'Art with a capital A.'"

Necessarily, when the adherents of two cities start an argument, they are confined to concrete points. They talk about opera and theaters and buildings and hotels and stores, and seldom touch upon such subtle[ 148] things as city spirit. For spirit is a hard thing to deal with and a harder thing to prove. Yet "greatness knows itself." Chicago unquestionably knows that it is great, and that its greatness is of the spirit. But the Chicagoan, debating in favor of his city, is unable to "get that over," and is therefore obliged to fall back upon two last, invariable defenses: the department store of Marshall Field & Co. and the Blackstone Hotel.

The Blackstone he will tell you, with an eye lit by fanatical belief, is positively the finest hotel in the whole United States. Mention the Ritz, the Plaza, the St. Regis, the Biltmore, or any other hotel to him, and it makes no difference; the Blackstone is the best. As to Marshall Field's, he is no less positive: It is not merely the largest but also the very finest store in the whole world.

I have never stopped at any of those hotels with which the New Yorker would attempt to defeat the Blackstone. But I have stopped at the Blackstone, and it is undeniably a very good hotel. One of the most agreeable things about it is the air of willing service which one senses in its staff. It is an excellent manager who can instil into his servants that spirit which causes them to seem to be eternally on tiptoe—not for a tip but for a chance to serve. Further, the Blackstone occupies a position, with regard to the fashionable life of Chicago, which is not paralleled by any single hotel in New York. Socially it is preëminently the place.

General dancing in such public restaurants as Rec[ 149]tor's—the original Rector's is in Chicago, you know—and in the dining rooms of some hotels, was started in Chicago, but was soon stopped by municipal regulation. Since that time other schemes have been devised. Dances are held regularly in the ballrooms of most of the hotels, but are managed as clubs or semi-private gatherings. This arrangement has its advantages. It would have its advantages, indeed, if it did nothing more than put the brakes on the dancing craze—as any one can testify who has seen his friends offering up their business and their brains as a sacrifice to Terpsichore. But that is not what I started to say. The advantage of the system which was in vogue at the Blackstone, when I was there, is that, to get into the ballroom people must be known; wherefore ladies who still have doubts as to the propriety of dancing in a public restaurant need not, and do not, hesitate to go there and dance to their toes' content.[ 150]



Of course we visited Marshall Field's.

The very obliging gentleman who showed us about the inconceivably enormous buildings, rushing from floor to floor, poking in and out through mysterious, baffling doors and passageways, now in the public part of the store where goods are sold, now behind the scenes where they are made—this gentleman seemed to have the whole place in his head—almost as great a feat as knowing the whole world by heart.

"How much time can you spare?" he asked as we set out from the top floor, where he had shown us a huge recreation room, gymnasium, and dining room, all for the use of the employees.

"How long should it take?"

"It can be done in two hours," he said, "if we keep moving all the time."

"All right," I said—and we did keep moving. Through great rooms full of trunks, of brass beds, through vast galleries of furniture, through restaurants, grilles, afternoon tea rooms, rooms full of curtains and coverings and cushions and corsets and waists and hats[ 151] and carpets and rugs and linoleum and lamps and toys and stationery and silver, and Heaven only knows what else, over miles and miles of pleasant, soft, green carpet, I trotted along beside the amazing man who not only knew the way, but seemed even to know the clerks. Part of the time I tried to look about me at the phantasmagoria of things with which civilization has encumbered the human race; part of the time I listened to our cicerone; part of the time I walked blindly, scribbling notes, while my companion guided my steps.

Here are some of the notes:

Ten thousand employees in retail store——Choral society, two hundred members, made up of sales-people——Twelve baseball teams in retail store; twelve in wholesale; play during season, and, finally, for championship cup, on "Marshall Field Day"——Lectures on various topics, fabrics, etc., for employees, also for outsiders: women's clubs, etc.——Employees' lunch: soup, meat, vegetables, etc., sixteen cents——Largest retail custom dressmaking business in the country——Largest business in ready-made apparel——Largest retail millinery business——Largest retail shoe business——Largest branch of Chicago public library (for employees)——Largest postal sub-station in Chicago——Largest—largest—largest!

Now and then when something interested me particularly we would pause and catch our breath. Once we stopped for two or three minutes in a fine school[ 152]room, where some stock-boys and stock-girls were having a lesson in fractions—"to fit them for better positions." Again we paused in a children's playroom, where mothers left their youngsters while they went to do their shopping, and where certain youngsters, thus deposited, were having a gorgeous time, sliding down things, and running around other things, and crawling over and under still other things. Still again we paused at the telephone switchboard—a switchboard large enough to take care of the entire business of a city of the size of Springfield, the capital of Illinois. And still again we paused at the postal sub-station, where fifty to sixty thousand dollars' worth of stamps are sold in a year, and which does as great a postal business, in the holiday season, as the whole city of Milwaukee does at the same period.

At one time we would be walking through a great shirt factory, set off in one corner of that endless building, all unknown to the shoppers who never get behind the scenes; then we would pop out again into the dressed-up part of the store, just as one goes from the kitchen and the pantry of a house into the formality of dining room and drawing room. And as we appeared thus, and our guide was recognized as the assistant manager of all that kingdom, with its population of ten thousand, saleswomen would rise suddenly from seats, little gossiping groups would disperse quickly, and floor men, who had been talking with saleswomen, would begin to occupy themselves with other matters. I re[ 153]member coming upon a "silence room" for saleswomen—a large, dark, quiet chamber, in which was an attendant; also a saleswoman who was restlessly resting by rocking herself in a chair. And as we moved through the store we kept taking off our hats as we went behind the scenes, and putting them on as we emerged into the public parts. Never before had I realized how much of a department store is a world unseen by shoppers. At one point, in that hidden world, a vast number of women were sewing upon dresses. I had hardly time to look upon this picture when, rushing through a little door, in pursuit of my active guide, I found myself in a maze of glass, and long-piled carpets, and mahogany, and electric light, and pretty frocks, disposed about on forms. Also disposed about were many "perfect thirty-sixes," with piles of taffy-colored hair, doing the "débutante slouch" in their trim black costumes, so slinky and alluring. Here I had a strong impulse to halt, to pause and examine the carpets and woodwork, and one thing and another. But no! Our guardian had a professional pride in getting us through the store within two hours, according to his promise. I would gladly have allowed him an extra ten minutes if I could have spent it in that place, but on we went—my companion and I dragging behind a little and looking backward at the Lorelei—I remember that, because I ran into a man and knocked my hat off.

At last we came to the information bureau, and as there was a particularly attractive young person behind[ 154] the desk, it occurred to me that this would be a fine time to get a little information.

"I wonder if I can stump that sinuous sibyl," I said.

"Try it," said our conductor.

So I went over to her and asked: "How large is this store, please?"

"You mean the building?"


"There is fifty acres of floor space under this roof," she said. "There are sixteen floors: thirteen stories rising two hundred and fifty-eight feet above the street, and three basements, extending forty-three and a half feet below. The building takes up one entire block. The new building devoted exclusively to men's goods is just across Washington Street. That building is—"

"Thank you very much," I said. "That's all I want to know about that. Can you tell me the population of Chicago?"

"Two million three hundred and eighty-eight thousand five hundred," she said glibly, showing me her pretty teeth.

Then I racked my brains for a difficult question.

"Now," I said, "will you please tell me where Charles Towne was born?"

"Do you mean Charles A. Towne, the lawyer; Charles Wayland Towne, the author; or Charles Hanson Towne, the poet?" she demanded.

I managed to say that I meant the poet Towne.

"He was born in Louisville, Kentucky," she informed[ 155] me sweetly. She even gave me the date of his birth, too, but as the poet is a friend of mine, I will suppress that.

"Is that all?" she inquired presently, seeing that I was merely gazing at her.

"Yes, you adorable creature." The first word of that sentence is all that I really uttered. I only thought the rest.

"Very well," she replied, shutting the book in which she had looked up the Townes.

"Thanks very much," I said.

"Don't mention it," said she—and went about her business in a way that sent me about mine.

Aside from its vastness and the variety of its activities, two things about Marshall Field's store interested me particularly. One is the attitude maintained by the company with regard to claims made in the advertising of "sales." When there is a "sale" at Field's comparisons of values are not made. It may be said that certain articles are cheap at the price at which they are being offered, but it is never put in the form: "Was $5. Now $2.50." Field's does not believe in that.

"We take the position," an official explained to me, "that things are worth what they will bring. For instance, if some manufacturer has made too many overcoats, and we are able to get them at a bargain, or if there is a mild winter and overcoats do not sell well, we may place on sale a lot of coats which were meant to be sold at $40, but which we are willing to sell at $22.50.[ 156] In such a case we never advertise 'Worth $40.' We just point out that these are exceptionally good coats for the money. And, when we say that, it is invariably true. This advertising is not so sensational as it could be made, of course, but we think that in the long run it teaches people to rely upon us."

Another thing which interested me in Field's was the appearance of the saleswomen. They do not look like New York saleswomen. In the aggregate they look happier, simpler, and more natural. I saw no women behind the counters there who had the haughty, indifferent bearing, the nose-in-the-air, to which the New York shopper is accustomed. Among these women, no less than among the rich, the Chicago spirit seemed to show itself. It is everywhere, that spirit. I admit that, perhaps, it does not go with omnipresent taxicabs. I admit that there are more effete cities than Chicago. The East is full of them. But that any city in the country has more sterling simplicity, greater freedom from sham and affectation among all classes, more vigorous cultivation, or more well-bred wealth, I respectfully beg to doubt.

No, I have not forgotten Boston and Philadelphia.

In an earlier chapter I told of a man I met upon a train who, though he lived in Buffalo, had never seen Niagara Falls. In Chicago it occurred to me that, though I had worked on a newspaper, I had never stood[ 157] as an observer and watched a newspaper "go through." So, one Saturday night after sitting around the city room of the Chicago "Tribune"—which is one of the world's great newspapers—and talking with a group of men as interesting as any men I ever found together, I was placed in charge of James Durkin, the world's most eminent office boy, who forthwith took me to the nether regions of the "Tribune" Building.

With its floor of big steel plates, its towering presses, vast and incomprehensible, and its grimy men in overalls, the pressroom struck me as resembling nothing so much as the engine room of an ocean liner.

The color presses were already roaring, shedding streams of printed paper like swift waterfalls, down which shot an endless chain of Mona Lisas—for the Mona Lisa took the whole front page of the "Tribune" colored supplement that week. At the bottom, where the "folder" put the central creases in them, the paper torrents narrowed to a disappearing point, giving the illusion of a subterranean river, vanishing beneath the floor. But the river didn't vanish. It was caught, and measured, and folded, and cut, and counted by machinery, as swift, as eye-defying, as a moving picture; machinery which miraculously converted a cataract into prim piles of Sunday newspapers, which were, in turn, gathered up and rushed away to the mailing room—whither, presently, we followed.

In the mailing room I made the acquaintance of a machine with which, if it had not been so busy, I should[ 158] have liked to shake hands, and sit down somewhere for a quiet chat. For it was a machine possessed of the Chicago spirit: modest, businesslike, effective, and highly intelligent. I did not interrupt it, but watched it at its work. And this is what it did: It took Sunday papers, one by one, from a great pile which was handed to it every now and then, folded them neatly, wrapped them in manila paper, sealed them up with mucilage, squeezed them, so that the seal would hold, addressed them to out-of-town subscribers and dropped them into a mail sack. There was a man who hovered about, acting as a sort of valet to this highly capable machine, but all he had to do was to bring it more newspapers from time to time, and to take away the mail bags when they were full, or when the machine had finished with all the subscribers in one town, and began on another. Nor did it fail to serve notice of each such change. Every time it started in on a new town it dipped its thumb in some red ink, and made a dab on the wrapper of the first paper, so that its valet—poor human thing—would know enough to furnish a new mail bag. I noted the name to which one red-dabbed paper was addressed: E. J. Henry, Bosco, Wis., and I wondered if Mr. Henry had ever wondered what made that florid mark.

It was near midnight then. All Bosco was asleep. Was Mr. Henry dreaming? And however wonderful his dream, could it surpass, in wonder, this gigantic organization which, for a tiny sum, tells him, daily, everything that happens everywhere?[ 159]

Think of the men and the machines that work for Mr. E. J. Henry, resident of Bosco, in the Badger State! Think of the lumbermen who cut the logs; of the Eastern rivers down which those logs float; of the great pulp mills which convert them into paper. Think of the railroad trains which bring that paper to Chicago. Think of the factories which build presses for the ultimate defacement of that paper; and the other factories which make the ink. Think of the reporters working everywhere! Think of the men who laid the wires with which the world is webbed, that news may fly; and the men who sit at the ends of those wires, in all parts of the globe, ticking out the story of the day to the "Tribune" office in Chicago, where it is received by other men, who give it to the editors, who prepare it for the linotypers, who set it for the stereotypers, who make it into plates for the presses, which print it upon the paper, which is folded, addressed, and dropped into a mail bag, which is rushed off in a motor through the midnight streets and put aboard a train, which carries it to Bosco, where it is taken by the postman and delivered at the residence of Mr. E. J. Henry, who, after tearing the manila wrapper, opening the paper, and glancing through it, remarks: "Pshaw! There's no news to-day!" and, forthwith, rising from the breakfast table, takes up an old pair of shoes, wraps them in his copy of the Chicago "Tribune," tucks them under his arm and takes them down to the cobbler to be half-soled.

Sic transit gloria![ 160]

Up-stairs, on the roof of the "Tribune" Building, in a kind of deck-house, is a club, made up of members of the staff, and here, through the courtesy of some of the editors, my companion and I were invited to have supper. When I had eaten my fill, I had a happy thought. Here, at my mercy, were a lot of men who were engaged in the business of sending out reporters to molest the world for interviews. I decided to turn the tables and, then and there, interview them—all of them. And I did it. And they took it very well.

I had heard that the "Column"—that sometimes, if not always, humorous newspaper department, which now abounds throughout the country, threatening to become a pestilence—originated with the "Tribune." I asked about that, and in return received, from several sources, the history of "Columns," as recollected by these men.

Probably the first regular humorous column in the country—certainly the first to attract any considerable attention,—was conducted for the "Tribune" by Henry Ten Eyck White, familiarly known as "Butch" White. It started about 1885, under the heading, "Lakeside Musings." After running this column for some five years, White gave it up, and it was taken over, under the same heading, by Eugene Field, who made it even better known than it had been before.

Field had started as a "columnist" on the Denver "Tribune," where he had run his "Tribune Primer"; later he had been brought to Chicago by Melville E.

Chicago's skyline from the docks.... A city which rebuilt itself after the fire; in the next
decade doubled its size; and now has a population of two million, plus a city of about the size
of San Francisco Chicago's skyline from the docks.... A city which rebuilt itself after the fire; in the next decade doubled its size; and now has a population of two million, plus a city of about the size of San Francisco

[ 161] Stone (now general manager of the Associated Press) and Victor F. Lawson, who had together established the Chicago "Daily News," of which Mr. Lawson is the present editor and publisher. Field's column in the "News" was known as "Sharps and Flats." In it appeared his free translations of the Odes of Horace, and much of his best known verse. Also he printed gossip of the stage and of literary matters—the latter being gathered by him at the meetings of a little club, "The Bibliophiles," composed of prominent Chicagoans. This club used to meet in the famous old McClurg bookstore.

In 1890 George Ade came from Indiana, and after having been a reporter on the Chicago "Record" for one year, started his famous "Stories of the Street and Town," under which heading much of his best early work appeared. This department was illustrated by John T. McCutcheon, another Indiana boy. At about this time, Roswell Field, a brother of Eugene, was conducting a column called "Lights and Shadows" in the Chicago "Evening Post," in which paper Finley Peter Dunne was also beginning his "Dooleys." Dunne was born in Chicago and was a reporter on several Chicago papers before he found his level. He got the idea for "Dooley" from Jim McGarry, who had a saloon opposite the "Tribune" building, and employed a bartender named Casey, who was a foil for him. McGarry was described to me by a "Tribune" man who knew him, as "a crusty old cuss."[ 162]

After some years Dunne left the "Post" and became editor of the Chicago "Journal," to which paper came (from Vermont by way of Duluth) Bert Leston Taylor. Taylor ran a department on the "Journal" which was called "A Little About Everything," and one of his "contribs" was a young insurance man, Franklin P. Adams. Later, when Taylor left the "Journal" to take a position on the "Tribune," Adams left the insurance business and went at "columning" in earnest, replacing Taylor on the "Journal." Some years since Adams migrated to the metropolis, where he now conducts a column called "The Conning Tower" in the New York "Tribune."

Taylor, in the meantime, had started his famous column known as "A Line-o'-Type or Two." This he ran for three years, after which he moved to New York and became editor of "Puck." Before Taylor left the "Tribune," Wilbur D. Nesbit, who had been running a column which he signed "Josh Wink," in the Baltimore "American," came to Chicago and started a column called "The Top o' the Morning," which, for a time, alternated with Taylor's "Line-o'-Type." Later Nesbit moved over to the "Post," where he conducted a department called "The Innocent Bystander," leaving the "Tribune," for a time, without a "column."

In the next few years two other "columns" started in Chicago, "Alternating Currents," conducted by S. E. Kiser, for the "Record-Herald," and "In the Wake of the News," which was started in the "Tribune" by the[ 163] late "Hughey" Keough, who is still remembered as an exceptionally gifted man. When Keough died, Hugh S. Fullerton ran the column for a time, after which it was taken up by R. W. Lardner, who, I believe, continues to conduct it, although he has recently written baseball stories which have been published in "The Saturday Evening Post," and have attracted much attention. Kiser also continues his column in the "Record-Herald." Another column, which started a year or so ago is "Breakfast Food" in the Chicago "Examiner," conducted by George Phair, formerly of Milwaukee.

The Chicago "Tribune" now has two "columns," for, five years since, it recaptured Bert Leston Taylor, and brought him back to revive his "Line-o'-Type." He has been there ever since, and, so far as I know "columns," his is the best in the United States. It has been widely imitated, as has also been the work of the "Tribune's" famous cartoonist, John T. McCutcheon. But something that a "Tribune" man said to me of McCutcheon, is no less true, I think, of Taylor: "They can imitate his style, but they cannot imitate his mind."[ 164]



It is rather widely known, I think, that Chicago built the first steel-frame skyscraper—the Tacoma Building—but I do not believe that the world knows that Kohlsaat's in Chicago was the first quick-lunch place of its kind, or that the first "free lunch" in the country was established, many years since, in the basement saloon at the corner of State and Madison Streets. Considering the skyscrapers and quick lunches and free lunches that there are to-day, it is hard to realize that there ever was a first one anywhere. But the origin of things which have become national institutions, as these things have, seems to me to be worth recording here. It may be added that the loyal Chicagoan who told of these things seemed to be prouder of the "free lunch" and the quick lunch than of the skyscraper.

Of two things I mentioned to him he was not proud at all. One was the famous pair of First Ward aldermen who have attained a national fame under their nick-names, "Hinky Dink" and "Bathhouse John." The other was the stockyards.

"Why is it," he asked in a bored and irritated tone, "that every one who comes out here has to go to the stockyards?"[ 165]

"Are you aware," I returned, "that half the bank clearings of Chicago are traceable to the stockyards?"

He answered with a noncommittal grunt.

His was not the attitude of the Detroit man who wants you to know that Detroit does something more than make automobiles, or of the Grand Rapids man who says: "We make lots of things here besides furniture." He was really ashamed of the stockyards, as a man may, perhaps, be ashamed of the fact that his father made his money in some business with a smell to it. And because he felt so deeply on the subject, I had the half idea of not touching on the stockyards in this chapter.

However the news that my companion and myself were there to "do" Chicago was printed in the papers, and presently the stockyards began to call us up. It didn't even ask if we were coming. It just asked when. And as I hesitated, it settled the whole matter then and there by saying it would call for us in its motor car, at once.

I may say at the outset that, to quote the phrase of Mr. Freer of Detroit, the stockyards "has no esthetic value." It is a place of mud, and railroad tracks, and cattle cars, and cattle pens, and overhead runways, and great ugly brick buildings, and men on ponies, and raucous grunts, and squeals, and smells—a place which causes the heart to sink with a sickening heaviness.

Our first call was at the Welfare Building, where we were shown some of the things which are being done to[ 166] benefit employees of the packing houses. It was noon-time. The enormous lunch room was well occupied. A girl was playing ragtime at a piano on a platform. The room was clean and airy. The women wore aprons and white caps. A good lunch cost six cents. There were iron lockers in the locker room—lockers such as one sees in an athletic club. There were marble shower baths for the men and for the women. There were two manicures who did nothing but see to the hands of the women working in the plant. There were notices of classes in housekeeping, cooking, washing, house furnishing, the preparation of food for the sick—signs printed in English, Russian, Slovak, Polish, Bohemian, Hungarian, Lithuanian, German, Norwegian, Swedish, Croatian, Italian, and Greek. Obviously, the company was doing things to help these people. Obviously it was proud of what it was doing. Obviously I should have rejoiced, saying to myself: "See how these poor, ignorant foreigners who come over here to our beautiful and somewhat free country are being elevated!" But all I could think of was: "What a horrible place the stockyards is! How I loathe it here!"

On the North Side of Chicago there is an old and exclusive club, dating from before the days of motor cars, which is known as the Saddle and Cycle Club. The lunch club for the various packing-house officials, at the stockyards, has a name bearing perhaps some satirical relation to that of the other club. It is called the Saddle and Sirloin Club, and in that club I ate a[ 167] piece of sirloin the memory of which will always remain with me as something sacred.

After lunching and visiting the offices of a packing company where, we were told, an average daily business of $1,300,000 is done—and the place looks it—we visited the Stockyards Inn, which is really an astonishing establishment. The astonishing quality about it is that it is a thing of beauty which has grown up in a place as far removed from beauty as any that I ever looked upon outside a mining camp. A charming, low, half-timbered building, the Inn is like something at Stratford-on-Avon; and by some strange freak of chance the man who runs it has a taste for the antique in furniture and chinaware. Inside it is almost like a fine old country house—pleasant cretonnes, grate fires, old Chippendale chairs, mahogany tables, grandfather's clocks, pewter, and luster ware. All this for cattlemen who bring their flocks and herds into the yards! The only thing to spoil it is the all-pervasive smell of animals.

From there we went to the place of death.

Through a small door the fated pigs enter the final pen fifteen or twenty at a time. They are nervous, perhaps because of the smell coming from within, perhaps because of the sounds. A man in the pen loops a chain around the hind foot of each successive pig, and then slips the iron ring at the other end of the chain over a hook at the outer margin of a revolving drum, perhaps ten feet in diameter. As the drum revolves the hook rises, slowly, drawing the pig backward[ 168] by the leg, and finally lifting it bodily, head downward. When the hook reaches the top of its orbit it transfers the animal to a trolley, upon which it slides in due course to the waiting butcher, who dispatches it with a knife thrust in the neck, and turns to receive the next pig.

The manners of the pigs on their way to execution held me with a horrid fascination. Pigs look so much alike that we assume them to be minus individuality. That is not so. The French Revolution—of which the stockyards reminded Dr. George Brandes, the literary critic, who recently visited this country—scarcely could have brought out in its victims a wider range of characteristics than these pigs show. I have often noticed, of course, that some people are like pigs, but I had never before suspected that all pigs are so very much like people. Some of them come in yelling with fright. Others are silent. They shift about nervously, and sniff, as though scenting death. "It's the steam they smell," said a man in overalls beside me. Well, perhaps it is. But I could smell death there, and I still think the pigs can smell it, too. Some of the pigs lean against each other for companionship in their distress. Others merely wait with bowed heads, giving a curious effect of porcine resignation. When they feel the tug of the chain, and are dragged backward, some of them set up a new and frightful squealing; others go in silence, and with a sort of dignity, like martyrs dying for a cause.[ 169]

As I stood there, studying the temperament of pigs, I saw the butcher looking up at me as he wiped his long, thin blade. He was a rawboned Slav with a pale face, high cheek bones, and large brown eyes, holding within their somber depths an expression of thoughtful, dreamy abstraction. I have never seen such eyes. Without prejudice or pity they seemed to look alike on man and pig. Being upon the platform above him, right side up, and free to go when I should please, I felt safe for the moment. But suppose I were not so—suppose I were to come along to him, hanging by one leg from the trolley—what would he do then? Would he stop to ask why they had sent another sort of animal, I wondered? Or would he do his work impartially?

I should not wish to take the chance.

The progress of the pig is swift—if the transition from pig to pork may be termed "progress." The carcass travels presently through boiling water, and emerges pink and clean. And as it goes along upon its trolley, it passes one man after another, each with an active knife, until, thirty minutes later, when it has undergone the government inspection, it is headless and in halves—mere meat, which looks as though it never could have been alive.

From the slaughter-house we passed through the smoke-house, where ham and bacon were smoking over hardwood fires in rows of ovens big as blocks of houses. Then through the pickling room with its enormous hogs-heads, giving the appearance of a monkish wine cellar.[ 170] Then through the curing room with its countless piles of dry salt pork, neatly arranged like giant bricks.

The enthusiastic gentleman who escorted us kept pointing out the beauties of the way this work was done: the cleanliness, the system by which the rooms are washed with steam, the gigantic scale of all the operations. I heard, I noticed, I agreed. But all the time my mind was full of thoughts of dying pigs. Indeed, I had forgotten for the moment that other animals are also killed to feed carnivorous man. However, I was reminded of that, presently, when we came upon another building, consecrated to the conversion of life into veal and beef.

The steers meet death in little pens. It descends upon them unexpectedly from above, dealt out by a man with a sledge, who cracks them between the horns with a sound like that of a woodman's ax upon a tree. The creatures quiver and quickly crumple.

It is swift. In half a minute the false bottom of the pen turns up and rolls them out upon the floor, inert as bags of meal. Only after death do these cattle find their way to an elevated trolley line, like that used for the pigs. And, as with the pigs, they move along speedily; shortly they are to be seen in the beef cooler, where they hang in tremendous rows, forming strange vistas—a forest of dead meat.

The scene where calves were being killed according to the Jewish law, for kosher meat, presented the most sanguinary spectacle with which my eyes have ever[ 171] burned. Two rabbis, old bearded men, performed the rites with long, slim, shiny blades. Literally they waded in a lake of gore. Even the walls were covered with it. Looking down upon them from above, we saw them silhouetted on a sheet of pigment utterly beyond comparison—for, without exaggeration, fire would look pale and cold beside the shrieking crimson of that blood—glistening, wet, and warm in the electric light.

I shall not attempt to conceal the fact that I was glad to leave the stockyards.

When, a short time later, the motor car was bearing us smoothly down the sunlit boulevard, the Advertising Gentleman who had conducted us through all the carnage put an abrupt question to me.

"Do you want to be original?" he demanded.

"I suppose all writers hope to be," I answered.

"Well," he replied, tapping me emphatically upon the knee, "I'll tell you how to do it. When you write about the Yards, don't mention the killing. Everybody's done that. There's nothing more to say. What you want to do is to dwell on the other side. That's the way to be original."

"The other side?" I murmured feebly.

"Sure!" he cried. "Look at this." As he spoke, he produced from a pocket some proofs of pen-and-ink drawings—pictures of sweet-faced girls, encased in spotless aprons, wearing upon their heads alluring caps, and upon their lips the smiles of angels, while, with[ 172] their dainty rose-tipped fingers, they packed the luscious by-products of cattle-killing into tins—tins which shone as only the pen of the "commercial artist" can make tins shine.

"There's your story!" he exclaimed. "The poetic side of packing! Don't write about the slaughter-houses. Dwell on daintiness—pretty girls in white caps—everything shining and clean! Don't you see that's the way to make your story original?"

Of course I saw it at once. Original? Why, original is no name for it! I could never have conceived such originality! It isn't in me! I should no more have thought of writing only of pretty girls and pretty cans, after witnessing those bloody scenes, than of describing the battle at Liège in terms of polish used on soldiers' buttons.

But original as the idea is, you perceive I have not used it. I could not bear to. He thought of it first. It belonged to him. If I used it, the originality would not be mine, but his. So I have deliberately written the story in my own hackneyed way.[ 173]



Has it ever struck you that our mental attitude toward famous men varies in this respect: that while we think of some of them as human beings with whom we might conceivably shake hands and have a chat, we think of others as legendary creatures, strange and remote—beings hardly to be looked upon by human eyes?

Some years since, in the courtyard of a hotel in Paris, I met a friend of mine. He was hurrying in the direction of the bar.

"Come on," he beckoned. "There are some people here you'll want to meet."

I followed him in and to a table at which two men were seated. One proved to be Alfred Sutro; the other Maurice Maeterlinck.

To meet Mr. Sutro was delightful, but it was conceivable. Not so Maeterlinck. To shake hands with him, to sit at the same table, to see that he wore a black coat, a stiff collar (it was too large for him), a black string tie, a square-crowned derby hat; to see him seated in a bar sipping beer like any man—that was not conceivable.

I sat there speechless, trying to convince myself of what I saw.[ 174]

"That man over there is actually Maeterlinck!" I kept assuring myself. "I am looking at Maeterlinck! Now he nods the head in which 'The Bluebird' was conceived. Now he lifts his beer glass in the hand which indited 'Monna Vanna!'"

Nor was my amazement due entirely to the surprise of meeting a much-admired man. It was due, most of all, to a feeling which I must have had—although I was never before conscious of it—a feeling that no such man as Maeterlinck existed in reality; that he was a purely legendary being; a figure in white robes and sandals, harping and singing in some Elysian temple.

I experienced a somewhat similar emotion in Chicago on being introduced to Hinky Dink. In saying that, I do not mean to be irreverent. I only mean that I had always thought of Hinky Dink as a fictitious personage. He and his colleague, Bathhouse John, have figured in my mind as a pair of absurd, imaginary figures, such as might have been invented by some whimsical son of a comic supplement like Winsor McCay.

Now, as I soon discovered, the Hinky Dink of the newspapers is, as a matter of fact, to a large extent fictitious. He is a legend, built up out of countless comic stories and newspaper cartoons. The real Hinky Dink—otherwise Alderman Michael Kenna—is a very different person, for whatever may be said against him—and much is—he is a very real human being.[ 175]

I clip this brief summary of his life from the Chicago "Record-Herald."

Born on the West Side, August 18, 1858.
Started life as a newsboy.
"Crowned" as Alderman of the First Ward in 1897.
Reëlected biennially ever since.
Owner in fief of various privileges in the First Ward.
Lord of the Workingmen's Exchange.
Overlord of floaters, voters, and other liege subjects.

The Workingmen's Exchange, referred to above, is one of two saloons operated by the Alderman, on South Clark Street, and it is a show place for those who wish to look upon the darker side of things. It is a very large saloon, having one of the longest bars I ever saw; also one of the busiest. Hardly anything but beer is served there; beer in schooners little smaller than a man's head. These are known locally as "babies," and, by a curious custom, the man who removes his fingers from his glass forfeits it to any one who takes it up. Nor are takers lacking.

"I'll tell you a funny thing about this place," said my friend the veteran police reporter, who was somewhat apologetically doing the honors. (Police reporters are always apologetic when they show you over a town that has been "cleaned up.")

"What?" I asked.

"No one has ever been killed in here," he said.

I had to admit that it was a funny thing. After looking at the faces lined up at the bar I should not[ 176] have imagined it possible. Presently we crossed the street to the Alderman's other saloon; a very different sort of place, shining with mirrors, mahogany, and brass, and frequented by a better class of men. Here we met Hinky Dink.

He is a slight man, so short of stature that when he leans a little, resting his elbow on the bar, his arm runs out horizontally from the shoulder. He wore an extremely neat brown suit (there was even a white collarette inside the vest!) a round black felt hat, and a heavy watch chain, from which hung a large circular charm with a star and crescent set in diamonds. Though it was late at night, he looked as if he had just been washed and brushed.

His face is exceedingly interesting. His lips are thin; his nose is sharp, coming to a rather pronounced point, and his eyes are remarkable for what they see and what they do not tell. They are poker eyes—gray-blue, cold, penetrating, unrevealing. My companion and I felt that while we were "getting" Hinky Dink, he was not failing to "get" us.

Far from being tough or vicious in his manner or conversation, the little Alderman is very quiet. There is, indeed, a kind of gentleness about him. His English is, I should say, quite as good as that of the average man, while his thinking is much above the average as to quickness and clearness. As between himself and Bathhouse John, the other First Ward fixture on the Board of Aldermen, it is generally conceded that Hinky Dink is the more able and intelligent. On this point, however, I was unable to draw my own conclusions. The Bathhouse was ill when I was in Chicago.

Two rabbis, old bearded men, performed the rites with long,
slim, shiny blades Two rabbis, old bearded men, performed the rites with long, slim, shiny blades
[ 177]

In the ordinary conversation of the Honorable Hinky Dink there is no trace of brogue, but a faint touch of brogue manifests itself when he speaks with unwonted vehemence—as, for example, when he told us about the injustices which he alleged were perpetrated upon the poor voters who live in lodging houses in his ward.

The little Alderman is famous for his reticence.

"Small wonder!" said my friend the police reporter. "Look at what the papers have handed him! I'll tell you what happens: some city editor sends a kid reporter to get a story about Hinky Dink. The kid comes and sees Kenna, and doesn't get anything out of him but monosyllables. He goes back to the office without any story, but that doesn't make any difference. Hinky Dink is fair game. The kid sits down to his typewriter and fakes a story, making out that the Alderman didn't only talk, but that he talked a kind of tough-guy dialect—'deze-here tings'—'doze dere tings'—all that kind of stuff. Can you blame the little fellow for not talking?"

I could not.

But he talked to us, and freely. The police reporter told him we were "right." That was enough.

As the "red-light district" of Chicago used to be largely in the First Ward before it was broken up, I asked the Alderman for his views on the segregation of[ 178] vice versus the other thing, whatever it may be. (Is it dissemination?)

"I'll tell you what I think about it," he replied, "but you can't print it."

"Why not?" I asked, disappointed.

"Well," he returned, "I believe in a segregated district, but if I'm quoted as saying so, why the woman reformers and everybody on the other side will take it up and say I'm for it just because I want vice back in the First Ward again. I don't. It doesn't make any difference to me where you have it. Put it out by the Drainage Canal or anywheres you like. But I believe you can't stamp vice out; not the way people are made to-day. They never have been able to stamp it out in all these thousands of years. And, as long as they can't, it looks to me like it was better to get it together all in one bunch than to scatter it all over town.

"Now I know there's a whole lot of good people that think segregation is a bad thing. Well, it is a bad thing. Vice is a bad thing. But there it is, all the same. A lot of these good people don't understand conditions. They don't understand what lots of other men and women are really like. You got to take people as they are and do what you can.

"One thing that shocks a lot of these high-minded folks that live in comfortable homes and never have any trouble except when they have to get a new cook, is the idea of commercialized vice that goes with segregation. Of course it shocks them. But show me some[ 179] way to stop it. Napoleon believed in segregation and regulation, and a lot of other wise people have, too.

"Here's the way I think they ought to handle it: they ought to have a district regulated by the Police Department and the Health Department. Then there ought to be restrictions. No bright lights for one thing. No music. No booze. Cut out those things and you kill the place for sightseers. Then there ought to be a law that no woman can be an inmate without going and registering with the police, having her record looked up, and saying she wants to enter the house. That would prevent any possibility of white slavery. Personally, I think there's a lot of bunk about this white-slave talk. But this plan would fix it so a girl couldn't be kept in a house against her will. Any keeper of a house who let in a girl that wasn't registered would be put out of business for good and all. Men ought not to be allowed to have any interest, directly or indirectly, in the management of these places.

"Now, of course, there's objections to any way at all of handling this question. The minute you say 'cut out the booze' that opens a way to police graft. But is that any worse than the chance for graft when the women are just chased around from place to place by the police? Segregation gives them some rights, anyhow.

"Some people say 'segregation doesn't segregate,' Well, that's true, too. But segregation keeps the worst of it from being scattered all over town, doesn't it? When you scatter these women you have them liv[ 180]ing in buildings alongside of respectable families, or, worse yet, you run them onto the streets. That's persecution, and they're bad enough off without that.

"Say, do you think Chicago is really any more moral this minute because the old red-light district is shut down? A few of the resort keepers left town, and maybe a hundred inmates, but most of them stuck. They're around in the residence districts now, running what they call 'buffet flats.'"

Listening to the little Alderman I was convinced of two things. First, I felt sure that, without thought of self-interest, he was telling me what he really believed. Second, as he is undeniably a man of broad experience among unfortunates of various kinds, his views are interesting.

"I wish you'd let me print what you have said," I urged as we were leaving his saloon.

He shook his head.

"I'll tell you what I'll do," I persisted. "I'll write it out. Perhaps I can put it in such a way that people will see that you were playing square. Then I'll send it to you, and, if it doesn't misrepresent you, perhaps you'll let me print it after all."

"All right," he agreed as we shook hands.[ 181]



In city planning, as in other things, Chicago has thought and plotted on an Olympian scale, and it is characteristic of Chicago that her plan for her own beautification should be so much greater than the plan of any other city in the country, as to make comparisons unkind. For that reason I have eliminated Chicago from consideration, when discussing the various group plans, park and boulevard systems, and "civic centers," upon which other American cities are at work.

The Chicago plan is, indeed, too immense a thing to be properly dealt with here. It is comparable with nothing less than the Haussman plan for Paris, and it is being carried forward, through the years, with the same foresight, the same patience and the same indomitable aspiration. Indeed, I think greater patience has been required in Chicago, for the French people were in sympathy with beauty at a time when the broad meaning of the word was actually not understood in this country. Here it has been necessary to educate the masses, to cultivate their city pride, and to direct that pride into creative channels. It is hardly too much to say that the minds of American city-dwellers (and half our race in[ 182]habits cities) have had to be remade, in order to prepare them to receive such plans as the Chicago plan.

The World's Columbian Exposition, at Chicago, exerted a greater influence upon the United States than any other fair has ever exerted upon a country. It came at a critical moment in our esthetic history—a moment when the sense of beauty of form and color, which had hitherto been dormant in Americans, was ready to be aroused.

Fortunately for us, the Chicago Fair was worthy of the opportunity; and that it was worthy of the opportunity was due to the late Daniel Hudson Burnham, the distinguished architect, who was director of works for the Exposition. In the perspective of the twenty-one years which have passed since the Chicago Fair, the figure of Mr. Burnham, and the importance of the work done by him, grows larger. When the history of the American Renaissance comes to be written, Daniel H. Burnham and the men by whom he was surrounded at the time the Chicago Fair was being made, will be listed among the founders of the movement.

The Fair awoke the American sense of beauty. And before its course was run, a group of Chicago business men, some of whom were directors of the exposition, determined to have a plan for the entire city which should so far as possible reflect the lessons of the Fair in the arrangement of streets, parks and plazas, and the grouping of buildings.[ 183]

After the Fair, the Chicago Commercial Club commissioned Mr. Burnham to proceed to re-plan the city. Eight years were consumed in this work. The best architects available were called in consultation. After having spent more than $200,000, the Commercial Club presented the plan to the city, together with an elaborate report.

To carry out the plan, the Chicago City Council, in 1909, created a Plan Commission, composed of more than 300 men, representing every element of citizenship under the permanent chairmanship of Mr. Charles H. Wacker, who had previously been most active in the work. Under Mr. Wacker's direction, and with the aid of continued subscriptions from the Commercial Club, the work of the Commission has gone on steadily, and vast improvements have already been made.

The Plan itself has to do entirely with the physical rearrangement of the city. It is designed to relieve congestion, facilitate traffic, and safeguard health.

Instead of routing out the Illinois Central Railroad which disfigures the lake front of the whole South Side, the plan provides for the making of a parkway half a mile wide and five miles long, beyond the tracks, where the lake now is. This parkway will extend from Grant Park, at the center of the city, all the way to Jackson Park, where the World's Fair grounds were. Arrangements have also been made for immense forest areas, to encircle the city outside its limits, occupying somewhat the relation to it that the Bois de Boulogne and the Bois[ 184] de Vincennes do to Paris. New parks are also to be created within the city.

It is impossible to go into further details here as to these parks, but it should be said that, when the lake front parkway system, above mentioned, is completed, practically the whole front of Chicago along Lake Michigan will be occupied by parks and lagoons, and that Chicago expects—and not without reason—to have the finest waterfront of any city in the world.

Michigan Avenue, the city's superb central street which already bears very heavy traffic, now has a width of 130 feet at the heart of the city, excepting to the north, near the river, where it becomes a narrow, squalid street, for all that it is the principal highway between the North and South Sides. This portion of the street is not only to be widened, but will be made into a two-level thoroughfare (the lower level for heavy vehicles and the upper for light) crossing the river on a double-deck bridge.

It is a notorious fact that the business and shopping district of Chicago is at present strangled by the elevated railroad loop, which bounds the center of the city, and it is essential for the welfare of the city that this area be extended and made more spacious. The City Plan provides for a "quadrangle" to cover three square miles at the heart of Chicago, to be bounded on the east by Michigan Avenue, on the north by Chicago Avenue, on the west by Halsted Street, and on the south by Twelfth Street. When this work is done these streets[ 185] will have been turned into wide boulevards, and other streets, running through the quadrangle, will also have been widened and improved, principal among these being Congress Street, which though not at present cut through, will ultimately form a great central artery, leading back from the lake, through the center of the quadrangle, forming the axis of the plan, and centering on a "civic center," which is to be built at the junction of Congress and Halsted Streets and from which diagonal streets will radiate in all directions.

Nor does the plan end here. A complete system of exterior roadways will some day encircle the city; the water front along the river will be improved and new bridges built; also two outer harbors will be developed.

By an agreement with the city, no major public work of any description is inaugurated until the Plan Commission has passed upon its harmonious relationship with the general scheme. The Commission further considers the comprehensive development of the city's steam railway and street transportation systems; very recently it successfully opposed a railroad union depot project which was inimical to the Plan of Chicago, and it has generally succeeded in persuading the railroads to work in harmony with the plan, when making immediate improvements.

One of the most interesting and intelligently conducted departments under the Commission has to do with the education of the people of Chicago with regard to the Plan. A great deal of money and energy has been[ 186] expended in this work, with the result that city-wide misapprehension concerning the Plan has given place to city-wide comprehension. Lectures are given before schools and clubs with the idea of teaching Chicago what the plan is, why it is needed, and what great European cities have accomplished in similar directions. Books on the subject have been published and widely circulated, and one of these, "Wacker's Manual," has been adopted as a textbook by the Chicago Public Schools, with the idea of fitting the coming generations to carry on the work.

If the plan as it stands at present has been accomplished within a long lifetime, Chicago will have maintained her reputation for swift action. Two or three lifetimes would be time enough in any other city. However, Chicago desires the fulfillment of the prophecy she has on paper. Work is going on, and the extent to which it will go on in future depends entirely upon the ability of the city to finance Plan projects. And when a thing depends upon the ability of the city of Chicago, it depends upon a very solid and a very splendid thing.[ 187]



The Chicago Club is the rich, substantial club of the city, an organization which may perhaps be compared with the Union Club of New York, although the inner atmosphere of the Chicago Club seems somehow less formal than that of its New York prototype. However, that is true in general where Chicago clubs and New York clubs are compared.

The University Club of Chicago has a very large and handsome building in the Gothic style, with a dining room said to be the handsomest club dining room in the world: a Gothic hall with fine stained-glass windows. Between this club-house and the great Gothic piles of the Chicago University there exists an agreeable, though perhaps quite accidental, architectural harmony.

Excepting Washington University, in St. Louis, Chicago University is the one great American college I have seen which seems fully to have anticipated its own vastness, and prepared for it with comprehensive plans for the grouping of its buildings. Architecturally it is already exceedingly harmonious and effective, for its great halls, all of gray Bedford stone, are beginning to[ 188] be toned by the Chicago smoke into what will some day be Oxonian mellowness. Even now, by virtue of its ancient architecture, its great size and massiveness, it is not without an effect of age—an effect which is, however, violently disputed by the young trees of the campus. Though these trees have grown as fast as they could, they have not been able to keep up with the growth of the great institution of learning, fertilized, as it has been, by Mr. Rockefeller's millions. Instead of shading the university, the campus trees are shaded by it.

The South Shore Country Club is an astonishing resort: a huge pavilion, by the lake, on the site of the old World's Fair grounds. It is a pleasant place to which to motor for meals, and is much used, especially for dining, in the summer time. The building of this club made me think of Atlantic City; I felt that I was not in a club at all, but in the rotunda of some vast hotel by the sea.

I had no opportunity to visit The Little Room, a small club reported to be Chicago's artistic holy of holies, but I did have luncheon at the Cliff Dwellers, which is the larger and, I believe, more active organization. The Cliff Dwellers is a fine club, made up of writers and artists and their friends and allies. I know of no single club in New York where one may meet at luncheon a group of men more alive, more interesting, or of more varied pursuits, and I may add that I ab[ 189]sorbed while there a very definite impression that between men following the arts, and those following business, the line is not so sharply drawn in Chicago as in New York.

At the Cliff Dwellers I met a gentleman, a librarian, who gave me some interesting information about the management of libraries in Chicago.

"Chicago is a business city, dominated by business men," he said. "We have three large public libraries, one the Chicago Public Library, belonging to the city, and two others, the Newberry and the Crerar, established by rich men who left money for the purpose.

"The system of interlocking directorates, elsewhere pronounced pernicious, has worked very beautifully in affecting coöperation instead of competition between these institutions.

"About twenty years ago, at the time of the Crerar foundation, the boards of the three libraries met and formed a gentleman's agreement, dividing the field of knowledge. It was then arranged that the Chicago Public Library should take care of the majority of the people, and that the Newberry and the Crerar should specialize, the former in what is called the 'Humanities'—philosophy, religion, history, literature, and the fine arts; the latter in science, pure and applied. At that time the Newberry Library turned over to the Crerar, at cost, all books it possessed which properly belonged in the scientific category. And since that time there[ 190] has been practically no duplication among Chicago libraries. That is what comes of having public-spirited business men on library boards. They run these public institutions as they would run their own commercial enterprises. The Harvester Company, for example, wouldn't duplicate its own plant right in the same territory. That would be waste. But in many cities possessing more than one library, duplication of an exactly parallel kind goes on, because the libraries do not work together. Boston affords a good example. Between the Boston Public Library, the Athenæum, and the library of Harvard University, there is much duplication. Of course a university library is obliged to stand more or less alone, but it is possible even for such a library to coöperate to some extent with others, and, wherever it is possible to do so, the library of the University of Chicago does work with others in Chicago. Even the Art Institute is in the combination."

I do not quote this information because the arrangement between the libraries of Chicago strikes me as a thing particularly startling, but for precisely the opposite reason: it is one of those unstartling examples of uncommon common sense which one might easily overlook in considering the Plan of Chicago, in gazing at great buildings wreathed in whirling smoke, or in contemplating that allegory of infinity which confronts one who looks eastward from the bold front of Michigan Avenue along Grant Park.[ 191]

The automobile, which has been such an agency for the promotion of suburban and country life, seems to have the habit of invading, for its own commercial purposes, those former residence districts, in cities, which it has been the means of depopulating. I noticed that in Cleveland. There the automobile offered the residents of Euclid Avenue a swift and agreeable means of transportation to a pleasanter environment. Then, having lured them away, it proceeded to seize upon their former lands for showrooms, garages, and automobile accessory shops. The same thing has happened in Chicago on Michigan Avenue, where an "automobile row" extends for blocks beyond the uptown extremity of Grant Park, through a region which but a few years since was one of fashionable residences.

I do not like to make the admission, because of loyal memories of the old South Side, but—there is no denying it—the South Side has run down. In its struggle with the North Side, for leadership, it has come off a sorry second. In point of social prestige, as in the matter of beauty, it is unqualifiedly whipped. Cottage Grove Avenue, never a pleasant street, has deteriorated now into something which, along certain reaches, has a painful resemblance to a slum.

It hurt me to see that, for I remember when the little dummy line ran out from Thirty-ninth Street to Hyde Park, most of the way between fields and woods and little farms. I had forgotten the dummy line until I saw the place from which it used to start. Then, back[ 192] through twenty-eight or thirty years, I heard again its shrill whistle and saw the conductor, little "Mister Dodge," as he used to come around for fares, when we were going out to Fifty-fifth Street to pick violets. There are no violets now at Fifty-fifth Street. I saw nothing there but rows of sordid-looking buildings, jammed against the street.

Everywhere, as I journeyed about the city how many memories assailed me. When I lived in Chicago the Masonic Temple was the great show building of the town: the highest building in the world, it was, then. The Art Institute was in the brown stone pile now occupied by the Chicago Club. The turreted stone house of Potter Palmer, on the Lake Shore Drive was the city's most admired residence—a would-be baronial structure which, standing there to-day, is a humorous thing: a grandiose attempt, falling far short of being a good castle, and going far beyond the architectural bounds of a good house. Then there was the old Palmer House hotel, with its great billiard and poolroom, and its once-famous barbershop, with a silver dollar set at the corner of each marble tile in its floor, to amaze the rural visitor. The Palmer House is still there, looking no older than it used to look. And most familiar of all, the toy suburban trains of the Illinois Central Railroad continue to puff, importantly, along the lake front, their locomotives issuing great clouds of steam and smoke, which are snatched by the lake wind, and hurled like giant snowballs—dirty snowballs, full of [ 193] cinders—at the imperturbable stone front of Michigan Avenue.

As I stood there, studying the temperament of pigs, I saw the
butcher looking up at me.... I have never seen such eyes As I stood there, studying the temperament of pigs, I saw the butcher looking up at me.... I have never seen such eyes

Chicago has talked, for years, of causing the Illinois Central Railroad to run its trains by electricity. No doubt they should be run in that way. No doubt the decline of the South Side and the ascendancy of the North Side has been caused largely by the fact that the South Side lakefront is taken up with tracks and trains, while the North Side lakefront is taken up with parks and boulevards. Still, I love the Chicago smoke. In some other city I should not love it, but in Chicago it is part of the old picture, and for sentimental reasons, I had rather pay the larger laundry bills, than see it go.

One day I went down to the station at Van Buren Street, and took the funny little train to Oakland, where I used to live. One after the other, I passed the old, dilapidated stations, looking more run down than ever. Even the Oakland Station was unchanged, and its surroundings were as I remembered them, except for signs of a sad, indefinite decay.

Strange sensations, those which come to a man when he visits, after a long lapse of years, the places he knew best in childhood. The changes. The things which are unchanged. The familiar unfamiliarity. The vivid recollections which loom suddenly, like silent ships, from out the fog of things forgotten. In that house over there lived a boy named Ben Ford, who moved away—to where? And Gertie Hoyt, his cousin, lived[ 194] next door. She had a great thick braid of golden hair. But where is Guy Hardy's house? Where is the Lonergans'—the Lonergans who used to have the goat and wagon? How can those houses be so completely gone? Were they not built of timber? And what is memory built of, that it should outlast them? Mr. Rand's house—there it is, with its high porch! But where are the cherry trees? Where is the round flower bed? And what on earth have they been doing to the neighborhood? Why have they moved all the houses closer to the street and spoiled the old front yards? Then the heartshaking realization that they hadn't moved the houses; that the yards were the same; that they had always been small and cramped; that the only change was in the eye of him who had come back.

No; not the only change, but the great one. Almost all the linden trees that formed a line beside my grandfather's house are gone. The four which remain aren't large trees, after all.

The vacant lot next door is blotted out by a row of cheap apartment houses. But there is the Borden house standing stanch, solid, austere as ever, behind its iron fence. How afraid we used to be of Mr. Borden! Can he be living still? And has he mellowed in old age?—for the spite fence is torn down! Next door, there, is the house in which I went to my first party—in a velveteen suit and wide lace collar. There was a lady at that party; she wore a velvet dress and was[ 195] the most beautiful lady that I ever saw. She is several times a grandmother now—still beautiful.

The gentleman who owns the house in which I used to live had heard I was in town, and was so kind as to think that it would interest me to see the place again.

I never was more grateful to a man!

The house was not so large as I had thought it. The majestic "parlor" had shrunk from an enormous to a normal room. But there was the wide hardwood banister rail, down which I used to slide, and there was the alcove, off the big front bedroom, where they put me when I had the accident; and there was the place where my crib stood. I had forgotten all about that crib, but suddenly I saw it, with its inclosing sides of walnut slats. However, it was not until I mounted to the attic that the strangest memories besieged me. The instant I entered the attic I knew the smell. In all the world there is no smell exactly like the smell which haunts the attic of that house. With it there came to me the picture of old Ellen and the recollection of a rainy day, when she set me to work in the attic, driving tacks into cakes of laundry soap. That was the day I fell downstairs and broke my collarbone.

Leaving the house I went out to the alley. Ah! those beloved back fences and the barns in which we used to play. Where were the old colored coachmen who were so good to us? Where was little Ed, ex-jockey, and ex-slave? Where was Artis? Where was William? William must be getting old.[ 196]

At the door of his barn I paused and, not without some faint feeling of fear, knocked. The door opened. A young colored man stood within. He wore a chauffeur's cap. So the old surrey was gone! There was a motor now.

"Where's William?" I asked.

"William ain't here no more," he said.

"But where is he?"

"Oh, he's most generally around the alley, some place, or in some of the houses. He does odd jobs."

"Thanks," I said and, turning, walked up the alley, fearing lest I should not be able to find the old colored man who, perhaps more than any one outside my family, was the true friend of my boyhood.

Then, as I moved along, I saw him far away and recognized him by the familiar, slouching step. And as I walked to meet him, and as we drew near to each other in that long narrow alley, it seemed to me that here was another allegory in which the alley somehow represented life.

How glad we were to meet! William looked older, his close-cropped wool was whiter, he stooped a little more, but he had the same old solemn drawl, the same lustrous dark eye with the twinkle in it, even the same old corncob pipe—or another like it, burned down at the edge.

We stood there for a long time, exchanging news. Ed had gone down South with the Bakers when they moved away. Artis was on "the force."

The bold front of Michigan Avenue along Grant Park ... great buildings wreathed in whirling smoke
and that allegory of infinity which confronts one who looks eastward The bold front of Michigan Avenue along Grant Park ... great buildings wreathed in whirling smoke and that allegory of infinity which confronts one who looks eastward

[ 197]

"The neighborhood's changed a good bit since you was here. Lots of the old families have gone. I'm almost a stranger around the alley myself now. I must be a pretty tough old nut, the way I keep hangin' on." He smiled as he said that.

"Of course I'll see you when I come out to Chicago again," I said as we shook hands at parting.

William looked up at the sky, much as a man will look for signs of rain. Then with another smile he let his eyes drift slowly downward from the heavens.

"Well," he said in his nasal drawl, "I guess I'll see you again some time—some place."

I turned and moved away.

Then, of a sudden, a back gate swung open with a violent bang against the fence, and four or five boys in short trousers leaped out and ran, yelling, helter-skelter up the alley.

I had the curious feeling that among them was the boy I used to be.[ 198] [ 199]

[ 200]

[ 201]



"The moderation of prosperous people comes from the
calm which good fortune gives to their temper."

La Rochefoucauld.

Some years ago, while riding westward through the Alleghenies in an observation car of the Pennsylvania Limited, a friend of mine fell into conversation with an old gentleman who sat in the next chair.

"Evidently he knew a good deal about that region," said my friend, in telling me of the incident later. "We must have sat there together for a couple of hours. He did most of the talking; I could see that he enjoyed talking, and was glad to have a listener. Before he got off he shook hands with me and said he was glad to have had the little chat. Then, when he was gone, the trainman came and asked me if I knew who he was. I didn't. Come to find out, it was Andrew Carnegie."

I asked my friend how Mr. Carnegie impressed him.

"Oh," he replied, "I was much surprised when I found it had been he. He seemed a nice old fellow enough, kindly and affable, but a little commonplace. I should never have called him an 'inspired millionaire.' I've been reconstructing him in my mind ever since."[ 202]

I am reminded of my friend's experience by my own meeting with the city of St. Louis; for it was not until after I had left St. Louis that I found out "who it is." That is, I failed to focus, while there, upon the fact that it is America's fourth city. And now, in looking back, I feel about St. Louis as my friend felt about the ironmaster: I do not think it looks the part.

St. Louis leads the world in shoes, stoves, and tobacco; it is the world's greatest market for hardware, lumber, and raw furs; it is the principal horse and mule market in America; it builds more street and railroad cars than any other city in the country; it distributes more coffee; it makes more woodenware, more native chemicals, more beer. It leads in all these things. But what it does not do is to look as though it led. Physically it is a great, overgrown American town, like Buffalo or St. Paul. Its streets are, for the most part, lacking in distinction. There is no center at which a visitor might stop, knowing by instinct that he was at the city's heart. It is a rambling, incoherent place, in which one has to ask which is the principal retail shopping corner. Fancy having to ask a thing like that!

I do not mean by this that St. Louis is much worse, in appearance, than some other American cities. For American cities, as I have said before, have only recently awakened to the need of broadly planned municipal beauty. All I mean is that St. Louis seems to be behind in taking action to improve herself.

Almost every city presents a paradox, if you will but[ 203] find it. The St. Louis paradox is that she is a fashionable city without style. But that is not, in reality, the paradox, it seems. It only means that being an old, aristocratic city, with a wealthy and cosmopolitan population, and an extraordinarily cultivated social life, St. Louis yet lacks municipal distinction. It is a dowdy city. It needs to be taken by the hand and led around to some municipal-improvement tailor, some civic haberdasher, who will dress it like the gentleman it really is.

I remember a well-to-do old man who used to be like that. His daughters were obliged to drag him down to get new clothes. Always he insisted that the old frock coat was plenty good enough; that he couldn't spare time and the money for a new one. Nevertheless, he could well afford new clothes, and so can St. Louis. The city debt is relatively small, and there are only two American cities of over 350,000 population which have a lower tax-rate. These two are San Francisco and Cleveland. And either one of them can set a good example to St. Louis, in the matter of self-improvement. San Francisco, with a population hardly more than half that of St. Louis, is yet an infinitely more important-looking city; while Minneapolis or Denver might impress a casual visitor, roaming their streets, as being equal to St. Louis in commerce and population, although the Missouri metropolis is, in reality, considerably greater than the two combined. However, in considering the foibles of an old city we should be lenient, as in considering those of an old man.[ 204]

Old men and old cities did not enjoy, in their youth, the advantages which are enjoyed to-day by young men and young cities. Life was harder, and precedent, in many lines, was wanting. Excepting in a few rare instances, as, for example, in Detroit and Savannah, the laying out of cities seems to have been taken care of, in the early days, as much by cows as men. Look at Boston, or lower New York, or St. Paul, or St. Louis. How little did the men who founded those cities dream of the proportions to which they would some day attain! With cities which have begun to develop within the last fifty or sixty years, it has been different, for there has been precedent to show them what is possible when an American city really starts to grow. To-day all American cities, even down to the smallest towns, have a sneaking suspicion that they may some day become great, too—great, that is, by comparison with what they are. And those which are not altogether lacking in energy are prepared, at least in a small way, to encounter greatness when, at last, it comes.

Baedeker says St. Louis was founded as a fur-trading station by the French in 1756. "All About St. Louis," a publication compiled by the St. Louis Advertising Men's League, gives the date 1764. Pierre Laclede was the founder, and it is interesting to note that some of his descendants still reside there.

When Louis XV ceded the territory to the east of the Mississippi to the English, he also ceded the west bank to Spain by secret treaty. Spanish authority was established in St. Louis in 1770, but in 1804 the town became a part of the United States, as a portion of the Louisiana Purchase.

The dilapidation of the quarter has continued steadily from Dickens's day
to this, and the beauty now to be discovered there is that of decay and ruin The dilapidation of the quarter has continued steadily from Dickens's day to this, and the beauty now to be discovered there is that of decay and ruin

[ 205]

In the old days the city had but three streets: the Rue Royale, one block back from the levee (now Main Street); the Rue de l'Eglise, or Church Street (now Second); and the Rue des Granges, or Barn Street (now Third).

Though a few of the old French houses, in a woeful state of dilapidation, may still be seen in this neighborhood, it is now for the most part given over to commission merchants, warehouses, and slums.

Charles Dickens, writing of St. Louis in 1842, describes this quarter:

"In the old French portion of the town the thoroughfares are narrow and crooked, and some of the houses are very quaint and picturesque: being built of wood, with tumbledown galleries before the windows, approachable by stairs or rather ladders from the street. There are queer little barbers' shops and drinking houses, too, in this quarter; and abundance of crazy old tenements with blinking casements, such as may be seen in Flanders. Some of these ancient habitations, with high garret gable windows perking into the roofs, have a kind of French shrug about them; and, being lopsided with age, appear to hold their heads askew, besides, as if they were grimacing in astonishment at the American improvements.[ 206]

"It is hardly necessary to say that these consist of wharves and warehouses and new buildings in all directions; and of a great many vast plans which are still 'progressing.' Already, however, some very good houses, broad streets, and marble-fronted shops have gone so far ahead as to be in a state of completion, and the town bids fair in a few years to improve considerably; though it is not likely ever to vie, in point of elegance or beauty, with Cincinnati.... The Roman Catholic religion, introduced here by the early French settlers, prevails extensively. Among the public institutions are a Jesuit college, a convent for 'the Ladies of the Sacred Heart,' and a large chapel attached to the college, which was in course of erection at the time of my visit.... The architect of this building is one of the reverend fathers.... The organ will be sent from Belgium.... In addition to these establishments there is a Roman Catholic cathedral.

"No man ever admits the unhealthiness of the place he dwells in (unless he is going away from it), and I shall therefore, I have no doubt, be at issue with the inhabitants of St. Louis in questioning the perfect salubrity of its climate.... It is very hot...."

The cathedral of which Dickens wrote remains, perhaps the most sturdy building in the section which forms the old town. It is a venerable-looking pile of gray granite, built to last forever, and suggesting, with its French inscriptions and its exotic look, a bit of old[ 207] Quebec. But for the most part the dilapidation of the quarter has continued steadily from Dickens's day to this, and the beauty now to be discovered there is that of decay and ruin—pathetic beauty to charm the etcher, but sadden the lover of improvement, whose battle cry invariably involves the overworked word "civic."

An exception to the general slovenliness of this quarter is to be seen in the old Merchants' Exchange Hall on Main Street. Built nearly sixty years ago, this building, now disused and dilapidated, nevertheless shows a façade of a distinction rare in structures of its time. I was surprised to discover that this old hall was not better known in St. Louis, and I cheerfully recommend it to the notice of those who esteem the architecture of the Jefferson Memorial, the bulky new cathedral on Lindell Boulevard, or that residence, suggestive of the hanging gardens of Babylon, at Hortense Place and King's Highway. Take the old Merchants' Exchange Hall away from dirty, cobbled Main Street, set it up, instead, in Venice, beside the Grand Canal, and watch the tourist from St. Louis stop his gondola to gaze!

But what city has respected its ruins? Rome used her palaces as mines for building material. St. Louis destroyed the wonderful old mound which used to stand at the corner of Mound Street and Broadway, forming one of the most interesting archeological remains in the country and, together with smaller mounds near by, giving St. Louis her title of "Mound City."

With Dickens's statements concerning the St. Louis[ 208] summer climate, the publication, "All About St. Louis," does not, for one moment, agree. In it I find an article headed: "St. Louis has Better Weather than Other Cities," the preamble to which contains the following solemn truth:

The weather question is purely local and individual. Every person forms his own opinion about the weather by the way it affects him, wherever he happens to be.

Having made that clear, the writer becomes more specific. He informs us that, in St. Louis, "the prevailing winds in summer blow over the Ozark Mountains, insuring cool nights and pleasant days." Also that "during the summer the temperature does not run so high, and warm spells do not last so long as in many cities of the North." The latter statement is supported—as almost every statement in the world, it seems to me, can be supported—by statistics. What wonderful things statistics are! How I wish Charles Dickens might have seen these. How surprised he would have been. How surprised I was—for I, too, have visited St. Louis in the middle of the year. Yes, and so has my companion. He went to St. Louis several years ago to attend the Democratic National Convention, but he is all right again now.

I showed him the statistics.

"Why!" he cried. "I ought to have been told of this before!"

"What for?" I demanded.[ 209]

"If I had had this information at the time of the convention," he declared, "I'd have known enough not to have been laid up in bed for six weeks with heat prostration."

Though the downtown portion of St. Louis is, as I have said, lacking in coherence and distinction, there are, nevertheless, a number of buildings in that section which are, for one reason or another, notable. The old Courthouse, on Chestnut and Market Streets, between Fourth and Fifth, is getting well along toward its centennial, and is interesting, both as a dignified old granite pile and as the scene of the whipping post, and of slave sales which were held upon its steps during the Civil War.

Not far from the old Courthouse stands another building typifying all that is modern—the largest office building in the world, a highly creditable structure, occupying an entire city block, built from designs by St. Louis architects: Mauran, Russell & Crowell. Another building, notable for its beauty, is the Central Public Library, a very simple, well-proportioned building of gray granite, designed by Cass Gilbert.

The St. Louis Union Station is interesting for several reasons. When built, it was the largest station in the world—one of the first great stations of the modern type. It contains, under its roof, five and a half miles of track, and though it has been surpassed, architecturally, by some more recent stations, it is still a spec[ 210]tacular building—or rather it would be, were it not for its setting, among narrow streets, lined with cheap saloons, lunch rooms, and lodging houses. That any city capable of building such a splendid terminal could, at the same time, be capable of leaving it in such environment is a thing baffling to the comprehension. It must, however, be said that efforts have been made to improve this condition. Six or seven years ago the Civic League proposed to buy the property facing the station and turn it into a park. St. Louis somnolence defeated this project. The City Plan Commission now has a more elaborate suggestion which, if accepted, will not only place the station in a proper setting, but also reclaim a large area, in the geographical center of the city, which has suffered a blight, and which is steadily deteriorating, although through it run the chief lines of travel between the business and residence portions of the city.

This project, if put through, will be a fine step toward the creation, in downtown St. Louis, of some outward indication of the real importance of the city. The plan involves the gutting of a strip, one block wide and two miles long; the tearing out of everything between Market and Chestnut Streets, all the way from Twelfth Street, which is the eastern boundary of the City Hall Square, to Grand Avenue on the west. Here it is proposed to construct a Central Traffic Parkway, which will pass directly in front of the station, connecting it with both the business and residence districts, and will also[ 211] pass in front of the Municipal Court Building and the City Hall, located farther downtown. The plan involves an arrangement similar to that of the Champs-Elysées, with a wide central drive, parked on either side, for swift-moving vehicles, and exterior roads for heavy traffic.

An expert in such work has said that "city planning has few functions more important than the restoration of impaired property values." American cities are coming to comprehend that investment in intelligently planned improvements, such as this, have to do not only with city dignity and city self-respect, but that they pay for themselves. If St. Louis wants to find that out, she has but to visit her western neighbor, Kansas City, where the construction of Paseo boulevard did redeem a blighted district, transforming it into an excellent neighborhood, doubling or trebling the value of adjacent property, and, of course, yielding the city increased revenue from taxes.

A matter more deplorable than the setting of the station is the unparalleled situation which exists with regard to the Free Bridge. Though the echoes of this scandal have been heard, more or less, throughout the country, it is perhaps necessary to give a brief summary of the matter as it stands at present.

The three used bridges which cross the Mississippi River at St. Louis are privately controlled toll bridges. Working people, passing to and fro, are obliged to pay a five-cent toll in excess of car fare. Goods are also[ 212] taxed. It was with the purpose of defeating this monopoly that the Free Bridge was constructed. But after the body of the bridge was built, factional fights developed as to the placing of approaches, and as a result, the approaches have never been built. Thus, the bridge stands to-day, as it has stood for several years, a thing costly, grotesque, and useless, spanning the river, its two ends jutting out, inanely, over the opposing shores. In the meantime the city is paying interest on the bridge bonds at the rate of something over $300 per day. The question of approaches has come before the city at several elections, but the people have so far failed to vote the necessary bonds. The history of the voting on this subject plainly shows indifference. In one election the Twenty-eighth Ward, which is the rich and fashionable ward, cast only 2,325 votes, on the bridge question, out of a possible 6,732. Had the eligible voters of this ward, alone, done their duty, the issue would have been carried at the time, and the bridge would now be in operation.

One becomes accustomed to exhibitions of municipal indifference upon matters involving questions like reform, which, though they are not really abstract, often seem so to the average voter. Reforms are, relatively at least, invisible things. But the Free Bridge is not invisible. Far from it! There it stands above the stream, a grim, gargantuan joke, for every man to see—a tin can tied to a city's tail.

The three used bridges which cross the Mississippi River at
St. Louis are privately controlled toll bridges The three used bridges which cross the Mississippi River at St. Louis are privately controlled toll bridges

In writing of St. Louis I feel, somehow, like a man[ 213] who has been at a delightful house party where people have been very kind to him, and who, when he goes away, promulgates unpleasant truths about bad plumbing in the house. Yet, of course, St. Louis is a public place, to which I went with the avowed purpose of writing my impressions. The reader may be glad, at this point, to learn that some of my impressions are of a pleasant nature. But before I reach them I must rake a little further through this substance, which, I am becoming very much afraid, resembles "muck."

St. Louis has, for some time, been involved in a fight with the United Railways Company, a corporation controlling the street car system of the city. In one quarter I was informed that this company was paying dividends on millions of watered stock, and that it had been reported by the Public Service Commission as earning more than a million a year in excess of a reasonable return on its investment. In another quarter, while it was not denied that the company was overburdened with obligations representing much more than the actual value of the present system, it was explained that the so-called "water" represented the cost of the early horse-car system, discarded on the advent of the cable lines, and also the cost of the cable lines which were, in turn, discarded for the trolley. It was furthermore contended that, in the days before the formation of the United Railways Company, when several companies were striving for territory, the street rail[ 214]roads of St. Louis were overbuilt, with the result that much money was sunk.

In an article on St. Louis, recently published in "Collier's Weekly," I made the statement that the street car service of St. Louis was as bad as I had ever seen; that the tracks were rough, the cars run-down and dirty, and that an antediluvian heating system was used, namely, a red-hot stove at one end of the car, giving but small comfort to those far removed from it, and fairly cooking those who sat near.

This statement brought some protest from St. Louis. Several persons wrote to me saying that the cars were not dirty, that only a few of them were heated with stoves, and that the tracks were in good condition. With one of these correspondents, Mr. Walter B. Stevens, I exchanged several letters. I informed him that I had ridden in five different cars, that all five were heated as mentioned, that they were dirty and needed painting, and that I recalled distinctly the fact that the rail-joints caused a continual jarring of the car.

Mr. Stevens replied as follows:

"In your street car trip to the southwestern part of the city you saw probably the worst part of the system. Some of the lines, notably those in the section of the city mentioned by you, have not been brought up to the standard that prevails elsewhere. I have traveled on street cars in most of the large cities of this country, north and south, and according to my observation, the[ 215] lines in the central part of St. Louis, extending westward, are not surpassed anywhere."

As I have reason to know that Mr. Stevens is an exceedingly fair-minded gentleman, I am glad of the opportunity to print his statement here. I must add, however, that I think a street car system on which a stranger, taking five different cars, finds them all heated by stoves, leaves something to be desired. Let me say further that I might not have been so critical of the St. Louis street railways and its cars, had I not become acquainted, a short time before, with the Twin City Rapid Transit Company, which operates the street railways of Minneapolis and St. Paul: a system which, as a casual observer, I should call the most perfect of its kind I have seen in the United States.

"What is the matter with St. Louis?" I inquired of a wide-awake citizen I met.

"Oh, the Drew Question," he suggested with a smile.

"The Drew Question?" I repeated blankly.

"You don't know about that? Well, the question you asked was put to the city, some years ago, by Alderman Drew, so instead of asking it outright any more, we refer to it as 'the Drew Question,' Every one knows what it means."

The man who asks that question in St. Louis will receive a wide variety of answers.

One exceedingly well-informed gentleman told me[ 216] that St. Louis had the "most aggressive minority" he had ever seen. "Start any movement here," he declared, "and, whatever it may be, you immediately encounter strong objection."

In other quarters I learned of something called "The Big Cinch"—an intangible, reactionary sort of dragon, said to be built of big business men. It is charged that this legendary monster has put the quietus upon various enterprises, including the construction of a new and first-class hotel—something which St. Louis needs. In still other quarters I was informed that the city's long-established wealth had placed it in somewhat the position of Detroit before the days of the automobile, and that much of the money and many of the big business enterprises were controlled by elderly men; in short, that what is needed is young blood, or, as one man put it, "a few important funerals."

"It is conservatism," explained another. "The trouble with St. Louis is that nobody here ever goes crazy." And said still another: "About one-third of the population of St. Louis is German. It is German lethargy that holds the city back."

Whatever truth may lurk in these several statements, I do not, personally, believe in the last one. If the Germans are sometimes stolid, they are upon the other hand honest, thoughtful, and steady. And when it comes to lethargy—well, Chicago, the most active great city in the country, has a large German population. And, for the matter of that, so has Berlin! Some of the best citi[ 217]zens St. Louis has are Germans, and one of her most public-spirited and nationally distinguished men was born in Prussia—Mr. Frederick W. Lehmann, former Solicitor General of the United States and ex-president of the American Bar Association. Mr. Lehmann (who served the country as a commissioner in the cause of peace with Mexico, at the Niagara Falls conference) drew up a city charter which was recommended by the Board of Freeholders of St. Louis in 1910. This charter was defeated. However, another charter, embodying many even more progressive elements than those contained in the charter proposed by Mr. Lehmann, has lately been accepted by the city, and there can be little doubt that the earlier proposals paved the way for this one. The new charter had not been passed at the time of my visit. The St. Louis newspapers which I have seen since are, however, most sanguine in their prophecies as to what will be accomplished under it. All seem to agree that its acceptance marks the awakening of the city.

German emigration to St. Louis began about 1820 and increased at the time of the rebellion of 1848, so that, like Milwaukee, St. Louis has to-day a very strong German flavor. By the terms of the city charter all ordinances and municipal legal advertising are printed in both English and German, and the "Westliche Post" of St. Louis, a German newspaper founded by the late Emil Pretorius and now conducted by his son, is a powerful organ. The great family beer halls of the city[ 218] add further Teutonic color, and the Liederkranz is, I believe, the largest club in the city. This organization is not much like a club according to the restricted English idea; it suggests some great, genial public gathering place. The substantial German citizens who arrive here of a Sunday night, when the cook goes out, do not come alone, nor merely with their sons, but bring their entire families for dinner, including the mother, the daughters, and the little children. There is music, of course, and great contentment. The place breathes of substantiality, democracy, and good nature. You feel it even in the manner of the waiters, who, being first of all human beings, second, Germans, and waiters only in the third place, have an air of personal friendliness with those they serve.

Aside from his municipal and national activities, Mr. Lehmann has found time to gather in his home one of the most complete collections of Dickens's first editions and related publications to be found in the whole world. It is, indeed, on this side—the side of cultivation—that St. Louis is most truly charming. She has an old, exclusive, and delightful society, and a widespread and pleasantly unostentatious interest in esthetic things. In fact, I do not know of any American city, to which St. Louis may with justice be compared, possessing a larger body of collectors, nor collections showing more individual taste. The most important private collections in the city are, I believe, those of Mr. William K. Bixby,[ 219] who owns a great number of valuable paintings by old masters, and a large collection of rare books and manuscripts. As a book collector, Mr. Bixby is widely known throughout the country, and he has had, if I mistake not, the honor of being president of that Chicago club of bibliolatrists, known as the "Dofobs," or "damned old fools over books."

An exhibition of paintings owned in St. Louis is held annually in the St. Louis Museum of Art, and leaves no doubt as to the genuineness of the interest of St. Louis citizens in painting. Nor can any one, considering the groups of canvases loaned to the museum for the annual exhibition, doubt that certain art collectors in St. Louis (Mr. Edward A. Faust, for example) are buying not only names but paintings.

The Art Museum is less accessible to the general citizen than are museums in some other cities. Having been originally the central hall of the group of buildings devoted to art at the time of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, it stands in that part of Forest Park which was formerly the Fair ground. Posed, as it is, upon a hill, in a commanding and conspicuous position, it reveals, somewhat unfortunately, the fact that it is the isolated fragment of a former group. Nevertheless, it must take a high place among the secondary art museums of the United States. For despite the embarrassment caused by the possession of a good deal of mediocre sculpture, a legacy from the World's Fair, which is packed in its central hall; and despite the inheritance,[ 220] from twenty or twenty-five years since, of vapid canvases by Bouguereau, Gabriel Max, and other painters of past popularity, whose works are rapidly coming to be known for what they are—despite these handicaps, the museum is now distinctly in step with the march of modern art. The old collection is being weeded out, and good judgment is being shown in the selection of new canvases. Like the Albright Gallery in Buffalo, the St. Louis Museum of Art is rapidly acquiring works by some of the best American painters of to-day, having purchased within the last four or five years canvases by Redfield, Loeb, Symons, Waugh, Dearth, Dougherty, Foster, and others.

Another building saved from the World's Fair is the superb central hall of Washington University, a red granite structure in the English collegiate style, designed by Cope & Stewardson. The dozen or more buildings of this university are very fine in their harmony, and are pronounced by Baedeker "certainly the most successful and appropriate group of collegiate buildings in the New World."

It is curious to note in this connection that there are eight colleges or universities in the United States in which the name of "Washington" appears; among them, Washington University at St. Louis; Washington College at Chestertown, Md.; George Washington University at Washington, D. C.; Washington State College at Pullman, Wash., and the University of Washington at Seattle.

The skins are handled in the raw state ... with the result that the floor of the exchange is made slippery
by animal fats, and that the olfactory organs encounter smells not to be matched in any zoo The skins are handled in the raw state ... with the result that the floor of the exchange is made slippery by animal fats, and that the olfactory organs encounter smells not to be matched in any zoo

[ 221]



Before making my transcontinental pilgrimage I used to wonder, sometimes, just where the line dividing East from West in the United States might be. When I lived in Chicago, and went out to St. Louis, I felt that I was going, not merely in a westerly direction, but that I was actually going out into the "West." I knew, of course, that there was a vast amount of "West" lying beyond St. Louis, but I had no real conception—and no one who has not seen it can have—of what a stupendous, endless, different kind of land it is. St. Louis west? It is not west at all. To be sure, it is the frontier, the jumping-off place, but it is no more western in its characteristics than the city of Boulogne is English because it faces England, just across the way. From every point of view except that of geography, Chicago is more western than St. Louis. For Chicago has more "wallop" than St. Louis, and "wallop" is essentially a western attribute. "Wallop" St. Louis has not. What she has is civilization and the eastern spirit of laissez-faire. And that of St. Louis which is not of the east is of the south. Her society has a strong southern[ 222] flavor, many of her leading families having come originally from Kentucky and Virginia. The Southern "colonel" type is to be found there, too—black, broad-brimmed hat, frock coat, goatee, and all—and there is a negro population big enough to give him his customary background.

Much negro labor is employed for the rougher kind of work; colored waiters serve in the hotels, and many families employ colored servants. As is usual in cities where this is true, the accent of the people inclines somewhat to be southern. Or, perhaps, it is a blending of the accent of the south with the sharper drawl of the west. Then, too, I encountered there men bearing French names (which are pronounced in the French manner, although the city's name has been anglicized, being pronounced "Saint Louiss") who, if they did not speak with a real French accent, had, at least, slight mannerisms of speech which were unmistakably of French origin. I noted down a number of French family names I heard: Chauvenet, Papin, Vallé, Desloge, De Menil, Lucas, Pettus, Guion, Chopin, Janis, Benoist, Cabanné, and Chouteau—the latter family descended, I was told, from Laclede himself. And again, I heard such names as Busch, Lehmann, Faust, and Niedringhaus; and still again such other names as Kilpatrick, Farrell, and O'Fallon—for St. Louis, though a Southern city, and an Eastern city, and a French city, and a German city, by being also Irish, proves herself American.[ 223]

It is in all that has to do with family life that St. Louis comes off best. She has miles upon miles of prosperous-looking, middle-class residence streets, and the system of residence "places" in her more fashionable districts is highly characteristic. These "places" are in reality long, narrow parkways, with double drives, parked down the center, and bordered with houses at their outer margins. The oldest of them is, I am told, Benton Place, on the South Side, but the more attractive ones are to the westward, near Forest Park. Of these the first was Vandeventer Place, which still contains some of the most pleasant and substantial residences of the city, and it may be added that while some of the newer "places" have more recent and elaborate houses than those on Vandeventer Place, the general average of recent domestic architecture in St. Louis is behind that of many other cities. Portland Place seemed, upon the whole, to have the best group of modern houses. Westmoreland and Kingsbury Places also have agreeable homes. But Washington Terrace is not so fortunate; its houses, though they plainly indicate liberal expenditure of money, are often of that "catch-as-catch-can" kind of architecture which one meets with but too frequently in the middle west. If St. Louis is western in one thing more than another it is the architecture of her houses. Not that they lack solidity but that on the average they are not to be compared, architecturally, with houses of corresponding modernness in such cities as Chicago or Detroit. The more I see of other cities[ 224] the more, indeed, I appreciate the new domestic architecture of Detroit. And I cannot help feeling that it is curious that St. Louis should be behind Detroit in this particular when she is, as a city, so far superior in her evident understanding and love of art.

Nevertheless, St. Louis has one architect whom she cannot honor too highly—Mr. William B. Ittner, who, as a designer of schools, stands unsurpassed.

If ever I have seen a building perfect for its purpose, that building is the Frank Louis Soldan High School, designed by this man. It is the last word in schools; a building for the city of St. Louis to be proud of, and for the whole country to rejoice in. It has everything a school can have, including that quality rarest of all in schools—sheer beauty. It is worth a whole chapter in itself, from its great auditorium, which is like a very simple opera house, seating two thousand persons, to its tiled lunch rooms with their "cafeteria" service. An architect could build one school like that, it seems to me, and then lie down and die content, feeling that his work was done. But Mr. Ittner apparently is not satisfied so easily as I should be, for he goes gaily on building other schools. If there isn't one to be built in St. Louis at the moment (and the city has an extraordinary number of fine school buildings), he goes off to some other city and puts a school up there. And for every one he builds he ought to have a crown of gold.

Mr. John Rush Powell, the principal of the high school, was so good as to take my companion and me

St. Louis needs to be taken by the hand and led around to some municipal-improvement tailor,
some civic haberdasher St. Louis needs to be taken by the hand and led around to some municipal-improvement tailor, some civic haberdasher

[ 225] over the building. We envied Mr. Powell the privilege of being housed in such a palace, and Mr. Powell, in his turn, tried to talk temperately about the wonders of his school, and was so polite as to let us do the raving.

Do you remember, when you went to school, the long closet, or dressing room, where you used to hang your coat and hat? The boys and girls of the Soldan School have steel lockers in a sunlit locker room. Do you remember the old wooden floors? These boys and girls have wooden floors to walk on, but the wood is quarter-sawed oak, and it is laid in asphalt over concrete, which makes the finest kind of floor. Do you remember the ugly old school building? The front of this one looks like Hampden Court Palace, brought up to date. Do you remember the big classroom that served almost every purpose? This school has separate rooms for everything—a greenhouse for the botanists, great studios, with skylights, for those who study art, a music hall, and private offices, beside the classrooms, for instructors. Oh, you ought to see this school yourself, and learn how schools have changed! You ought to see the domestic science kitchen with its twenty-four gas ranges and the model dining room, where the girls give dinner parties for their parents; the sewing room and fitting rooms, and the laundries, with sanitary equipment and electric irons—for every girl who takes the domestic-science course must know how to do fine laundry work, even to the washing of flannels.[ 226]

You should see the manual-training shops, and the business college, and the textile work, and the kilns for pottery, and the very creditable drawings and paintings of the art students (who clearly have a competent teacher—again an unusual thing in schools), and the simple beauty of the corridors, so free from decoration, and the library—like that of a club—and the lavatories, as perfect as those in fine hotels, and the pictures on the classroom walls—good prints of good things, like Whistler's portrait of his mother, instead of the old hideosities of Washington and Longfellow and Oliver Wendell Holmes, which used to hang on classroom walls in our school days. Oh, it is good to merely breathe the air of such a school—and why shouldn't it be, since the air is washed, and screened, and warmed, and fanned out to the rooms and corridors? Just think of that one thing, and then try to remember how schools used to smell—that rather zoölogical odor of dirty little boys and dirty little slates. That was one thing which struck me very forcibly about this school: it didn't smell like one. Yet, until I went there, I should have wagered that if I were taken blindfold to a school, led inside, and allowed a single whiff of it, I should immediately detect the place for what it was. Ah, memories of other days! Ah, sacred smells of childhood! Can it be that the school smell has gone forever from the earth—that it has vanished with our youth—that the rising generation may not know it? There is but little sadness in the thought.[ 227]

Having thus dilated upon the oldtime smell of schools, I find myself drifting, perhaps through an association of ideas, to another subject—that of furs; raw furs.

The firm of Funsten Brothers & Co. have made St. Louis the largest primary fur market in the world. They operate a fur exchange which, though a private business, is conducted somewhat after the manner of a produce exchange. That is to say, the sales are not open to all buyers, but to about thirty men who are, in effect, "members," it being required that a member be a fur dealer with a place of business in St. Louis. These men are jobbers, and they sell in turn to the manufacturers.

Funsten Brothers & Co. work direct with trappers, and are in correspondence, I am informed, with between 700,000 and 800,000 persons, engaged in trapping and shipping furs, in all parts of the world. Their business has been considerably increased of late years by the installation of a trappers' information bureau and supply department for the accommodation of those who send them furs, and also by the marketing of artificial animal baits. In this way, and further by making it a rule to send checks in payment for furs received from trappers, on the same day shipments arrive, this company has built up for itself an enormous good will at the original sources of supply.

The furs come from every State in the Union, from every Province in Canada, and from Alaska, being[ 228] shipped in, during the trapping season, at the rate of about two thousand lots a day, these lots containing anywhere from five to five hundred pelts each.

The lots are sorted, arranged in batches according to quality, and auctioned off at sales, which are held three days a week. Even Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Florida, and Texas supply furs, but the furs from the north are in general the most valuable. This is not true, however, of muskrat, the best of which comes from the central and eastern States.

The sales are conducted in the large hall of the exchange, where the lots of furs are displayed in great piles. The skins are handled in the raw state, having been merely removed from the carcass and dried before shipment, with the result that the floor of the exchange is made slippery by animal fats, and that the olfactory organs encounter smells not to be matched in any zoo—or school—the blended fragrance of raccoon, mink, opossum, muskrat, ermine, ringtail, house cat, wolf, red fox, gray fox, cross fox, swift fox, silver fox, badger, otter, beaver, lynx, marten, bear, wolverine, fisher—a great orchestra of odors, in which the "air" is carried most competently, most unqualifiedly, by that master virtuoso of mephitic redolence, the skunk.

I was told that about sixty-five per cent of all North American furs pass through this exchange; also I received the rather surprising information that the greatest number of skins furnished by this continent comes from within a radius of five hundred miles of St. Louis.[ 229]

It was in this Fur Exchange that the first auction of government seal skins ever held by the United States on its own territory, occurred last year. Before that time it had been the custom of the government to send Alaskan sealskins to Europe, where they were cured and dyed. Such of these skins as were returned to the United States, after having undergone curing and dyeing, came back under a duty of 20 per cent., or more recently, by an increase in the tariff—30 per cent. And all but a very few of the skins did come back. It was by action of Secretary of Commerce Redfield that the seal sale was transferred from London to St. Louis, and a member of the firm of Funsten Brothers & Co. informed me that the ultimate result will be that seal coats now costing, say, $1,200, may be bought for about $400 three years hence, when the seals will no longer be protected according to the present law.

Some interesting information with regard to sealing was published in the St. Louis "Republic" at the time of the sale. Quoting Mr. Philip B. Fouke, president of the Funsten Co., the "Republic" says:

"Under the present policy of the Government the United States will get the dyeing, curing, and manufacturing establishments from London, Amsterdam, Nizhni Novgorod, and other great centers. The price of sealskins will be reduced two-thirds to the wearer. Seals have been protected for the past two years, and will be protected for three years more, but during the period of protection it is necessary for the Government hunters[ 230] to kill some of the 'bachelor seals'—males, without mates, who fight with other male seals for the possession of the females, destroying the young, and causing much trouble. Also a certain amount of seal meat must go to the natives for food.

"Each female produces but one pup a year, and each male demands from twenty to one hundred females. Fights between males for the possession of the females are fearful combats.

"In addition to protecting the seals on the Pribilof Islands, the United States has entered into an agreement with Japan, Russia, and England, that there shall be no sealing in the open seas for fifteen years. This open sea, or pelagic sealing did great harm. Only the females leave the land, where they can be protected, and go down to the open sea. Consequently the poachers got many females, destroying the young seals as well as the mothers, cutting off the source of supply, and leaving a preponderance of 'bachelors,' or useless males."

What a chance for the writer of sex stories! Why dally with the human race when seals are living such a lurid life? Here is a brand-new field: The heroine a soft-eyed female with a hide like velvet; the hero a dashing, splashing male. Sweet communions on the rocks at sunset, and long swims side by side. But one night on the cliffs, beneath the moon comes the blond beast of a bachelor, a seal absolutely unscrupulous and of the lowest animal impulses. Then the climax—the Jack London stuff: the fight on the edge of the cliff; the cry,[ 231] the body hurtling to the rocks below. And, of course, a happy ending—love on a cake of ice.

Old John Jacob Astor, founder of the Astor fortune, was a partner in the American Fur Company of St. Louis of which Pierre Chouteau was president. A letter written to Chouteau by Astor just before his retirement from the fur business gives as the reason for his withdrawal the following:

I very much fear beaver will not sell very well very soon unless very fine. It appears that they make hats of silk in place of beaver.

Beaver was at that time the most valuable skin, and had been used until then for the making of tall hats; but the French were beginning to make silk hats, and Astor believed that in that fact was presaged the downfall of the beaver trade.

Club life in St. Louis is very highly developed. There are of course the usual clubs which one expects to find in every large city: The St. Louis Club, a solid old organization; the University Club, and a fine new Country Club, large and well designed. Also there is a Racquet Club, an agreeable and very live institution now holding the national championship in double racquets, which is vested in the team of Davis and Wear. The Davis of this pair is Dwight F. Davis, an exceedingly active and able young man who, aside from many other interests,[ 232] is a member of the City Plan Commission, commissioner in charge of the very excellent parks of St. Louis, and giver of the famous Davis Cup, emblematic of the world's team tennis championship.

But the characteristic club note of St. Louis is struck by the very small, exclusive clubs. One is the Florissant Valley Country Club, with a pleasant, simple club-house and a very charming membership. But the most famous little club of the city, and one of the most famous in the United States, is the Log Cabin Club. I do not believe that in the entire country there is another like it. The club is on the outskirts of the city, and has its own golf course. Its house is an utterly unostentatious frame building with a dining room containing a single table at which all the members sit at meals together, like one large family. The membership limit is twenty-five, and the list has never been completely filled. There were twenty-one members, I was told, at the time we were there, and besides being, perhaps, the most prominent men in the city, these gentlemen are all intimates, so that the club has an air of delightful informality which is hardly equaled in any other club I know. The family spirit is further enhanced by the fact that no checks are signed, the expense of operation being divided equally among the members. Here originated the "Log Cabin game" of poker, which is now known nationally in the most exalted poker circles. I should like to explain this game to you, telling you all the hands, and how to bet on them, but after an evening of practical instruction, I came[ 233] away quite baffled. Missouri is, you know, a poker State. Ordinary poker, as played in the east, is a game too simple, too childlike, for the highly specialized Missouri poker mind. I played poker twice in Missouri—that is, I tried to play—but I might as well have tried to juggle with the lightnings of the gods. No man has the least conception of that game until he goes out to Missouri. There it is not merely a casual pastime; it is a rite, a sacrament, a magnificent expression of a people. The Log Cabin game is a thing of "kilters," skip-straights, around-the-corner straights, and other complications. Three of a kind is very nearly worthless. Throw it away after the draw if you like, pay a dollar and get a brand-new hand.

But those are some simple little points to be picked up in an evening's play, and a knowledge of the simple little points of such a game is worse than worthless—it is expensive. To really learn the Log Cabin game, you must give up your business, your dancing, and your home life, move out to St. Louis, cultivate Log Cabin members (who are the high priests of poker) and play with them until your family fortune has been painlessly extracted. And however great the fortune, it is a small price to pay for such adept instruction. When it is gone you will still fall short of ordinary Missouri poker, and will be as a mere babe in the hands of a Log Cabin member, but you will be absolutely sure of winning, anywhere outside the State.

It seems logical that the city, which is beyond doubt[ 234] the poker center of the universe, should also have attained to eminence in drinks. It was in St. Louis that two great drinks came into being. In the old days of straight whisky, the term for three fingers of red liquor in a whisky glass was a "ball." But there came from Austria a man named Enno Sanders, who established a bottling works in St. Louis, and manufactured seltzer. St. Louis liked the seltzer and presently it became the practice to add a little of the bubbling water to the "ball." This necessitated a taller glass, so men began to call for a "high ball."

The weary traveler may be glad to know that the highball has not been discontinued in St. Louis.

Another drink which originated in St. Louis is the gin rickey. Colonel Rickey was born in Hannibal, Mo., of which town I shall write presently. Later he moved to St. Louis and invented the famous rickey, which immortalized his name—preserving it, as it were, in alcohol. The drink was first served in a bar opposite the old Southern Hotel—a hotel which, by the way, I regretted to see standing empty and deserted at the time of my last visit, for, in its prime, it was a hotel among hotels.

I have tried to lead gradually, effectively to a climax. From clubs, which are pleasant, I progressed to poker, which is pleasanter; from poker I stepped ahead to highballs and gin rickeys. And now I am prepared to reach my highest altitude. I intend to tell the very nicest thing about St. Louis. And the nicest thing about St. Louis[ 235] is the nicest thing that there can be about a place.

It discounts primitive street cars, an ill-set railway station, and an unfinished bridge. It sinks the parks, the botanical gardens, the art museum into comparative oblivion. Small wonder that St. Louis seems to ignore her minor weaknesses when she excels in this one thing—as she must know she does.

The nicest thing about St. Louis is St. Louis girls.

In the first place, fashionable young women in St. Louis are quite as gratifying to the eye as women anywhere. In the second place, they have unusual poise. This latter quality is very striking, and it springs, I fancy, from the town's conservatism and solidity. The young girls and young men of the St. Louis social group have grown up together, as have their parents and grandparents before them. They give one the feeling that they are somehow rooted to the place, as no New Yorker is rooted to New York. The social fabric of St. Louis changes little. The old families live in the houses they have always lived in, instead of moving from apartment to apartment every year or two. One does not feel the nervous tug of social and financial straining, of that eternal overreaching which one senses always in New York.

One day at luncheon I found myself between two very lovely creatures—neither of them over twenty-two or twenty-three; both of them endowed with the aplomb of older, more experienced, women—who endeared themselves to me by talking critically about the works of[ 236] Meredith—and Joseph Conrad—and Leonard Merrick. Fancy that! Fancy their being pretty girls yet having worth-while things to say—and about those three men!

And when the conversation drifted away from books to the topic which my companion and I call "life stuff," and when I found them adept also in that field, my appreciation of St. Louis became boundless.

It just occurs to me that, in publishing the fact that St. Louis girls have brains I may have unintentionally done them an unkindness.

Once I asked a young English bachelor to my house for a week-end.

"I want you to come this week," I said, "because the prettiest girl I know will be there."

"Delighted," he replied.

"She's a most unusual girl," I went on, "for, besides being a dream of loveliness, she's clever."

"Oh," he said, "if she's clever, let me come some other time. I don't like 'em clever. I like 'em pretty and stupid."[ 237]



If black slaves are no longer bought and sold there, if the river trade has dwindled, if the railroad and the factory have come, bringing a larger population with them, if the town now has a hundred-thousand-dollar city hall, a country club, and "fifty-six passenger trains daily," it is, at all events, a pleasure to record the fact that Hannibal, Missouri, retains to-day that look of soft and shambling picturesqueness suitable to an old river town, and essential to the "St. Petersburg" of fiction—the perpetual dwelling place of those immortal boys, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.

Should this characterization of the town fail to meet with the approval of the Hannibal Commercial Club, I regret it, for I honor the Commercial Club because of its action toward the preservation of a thing so uncommercial as the boyhood home of Mark Twain. But, after all, the club must remember that, in its creditable effort to build up a newer and finer Hannibal, a Hannibal of brick and granite, it is running counter to the sentimental interests of innumerable persons who, though most of them have never seen the old town and never will, yet think of it as given to them by Mark Twain, with a peculiar tenderness, as though it were a Tom Sawyer or Huck Finn among the cities—a ragged,[ 238] happy boy of a town, which ought never, never to grow up.

There is no more charming way of preserving the memory of an artist than through the preservation of the house in which he lived, and that is especially true where the artist was a literary man and where the house has figured in his writings. What memorial to Thomas Bailey Aldrich, for example, could equal the one in Portsmouth, N. H., where is preserved the house in which the "Bad Boy" of the "Diary" used to live, even to the furniture and the bedroom wall paper mentioned in the book? And what monuments to Washington Irving could touch quite the note that is touched by that old house in Tarrytown, N. Y., or that other old house in Irving Place, in the city of New York, where the Authors' League of America now has its headquarters?

With the exception of Stratford-on-Avon, I do not know of a community so completely dominated by the memory of a great man of letters as is the city of Hannibal by the memory of Mark Twain. There is, indeed, a curious resemblance to be traced between the two towns. I don't mean a physical resemblance, for no places could be less alike than the garden town where Shakespeare lived and the pathetic wooden village of the early west in which nine years of Mark Twain's boyhood were spent. The resemblance is only in the majestic shadows cast over them by their great men.

Thus, the hotel in Stratford is called The Shakespeare Hotel, while that in Hannibal is The Mark Twain.[ 239] Stratford has the house in which Shakespeare was born; Hannibal the house in which Mark Twain lived—the house of Tom Sawyer. Stratford has the cottage of Anne Hathaway; Hannibal that of Becky Thatcher. And Hannibal has, furthermore, one possession which lovers of the delightful Becky will hope may long be spared to it—it possesses, in the person of Mrs. Laura Hawkins Frazer, who is now matron of the Home for the Friendless, the original of Becky.

It is said that a memorial tablet, intended to mark the birthplace of Eugene Field in St. Louis, was placed, not only upon the wrong house, but upon a house in the wrong street. Mark Twain unveiled the tablet; one can fancy the spirits of these two Missouri literary men meeting somewhere and smiling together over that. But if the shade of Mark Twain should undertake to chaff that of the poet upon the fact that mortals had erred as to the location of his birthplace, the shade of Field would not be able to retort in kind, for—thanks partly to the fact that Mark Twain was known for a genius while he was yet alive, and partly to the indefatigable labors of his biographer, Albert Bigelow Paine—a vast fund of accurate information has been preserved, covering the life of the great Missourian, from the time of his birth in the little hamlet of Florida, Mo., to his death in Reading, Conn. No; if the shade of Field should wish to return the jest, it would prob[ 240]ably call the humorist's attention to a certain memorial tablet in the Mark Twain house in Hannibal. But of that presently.

I have said that the Commercial Club honored Mark Twain's memory. That is true. But the Commercial Club would not be a Commercial Club if it did not also wish the visitor to take into consideration certain other matters. In effect it says to him: "Yes, indeed, Mark Twain spent the most important part of his boyhood here. But we wish you to understand that Hannibal is a busy, growing town. We have the cheapest electric power in the Mississippi Valley. We offer free factory sites. We—"

"Yes," you say, "but where is the Mark Twain house?"

"Oh—" says Hannibal, catching its breath. "Go right on up Main to Hill Street; you'll find it just around the corner. Any one will point it out to you. There's a bronze tablet in the wall. But put this little pamphlet in your pocket. It tells all about our city. You can read it at your leisure."

You take the pamphlet and move along up Main Street. And if there is a sympathetic native with you he will stop you at the corner of Main and Bird—they call it Wildcat Corner—and point out a little wooden shanty adjoining a near-by alley, where, it is said, Mark Twain's father, John Marshall Clemens, had his office when he was Justice of the Peace—the same office in which Samuel Clemens in his boyhood saw the corpse[ 241] lying on the floor, by moonlight, as recounted in "The Innocents Abroad."

We came upon the "Mark Twain House".... And to think that,
wretched as this place was, the Clemens family were forced to leave it
for a time because they were too poor to live there! We came upon the "Mark Twain House".... And to think that, wretched as this place was, the Clemens family were forced to leave it for a time because they were too poor to live there!

It was at Wildcat Corner, too, that the boys conducted that famous piece of high finance: trading off the green watermelon, which they had stolen, for a ripe one, on the allegation that the former had been purchased.

Also near the corner stands the building in which Joseph Ament had the office of his newspaper, the "Missouri Courier," where young Sam Clemens first went to work as an apprentice, doing errands and learning to set type; and there are many other old buildings having some bearing on the history of the Clemens family, including one at the corner of Main and Hill Streets, in the upper story of which the family lived for a time, a building somewhat after the Greek pattern so prevalent throughout the south in the early days. Once, when he revisited Hannibal after he had become famous, Mark Twain stopped before that building and told Mr. George A. Mahan that he remembered when it was erected, and that at the time the fluted pilasters on the front of it constituted his idea of reckless extravagance—that, indeed, the ostentation of them startled the whole town.

Turning into Bird Street and passing the old Pavey Hotel, we came upon the "Mark Twain House," a tiny box of a cottage, its sagging front so taken up with five windows and a door that there is barely room for the little bronze plaque which marks the place. At one side[ 242] is an alley running back to the house of Huckleberry Finn, on the next street (Huck, as Paine tells us, was really a boy named Tom Blankenship), and in that alley stood the historic fence which young Sam Clemens cajoled the other boys into whitewashing for him, as related in "Tom Sawyer."

Inside the house there is little to be seen. It is occupied now by a custodian who sells souvenir post cards, and has but few Mark Twain relics to show—some photographs and autographs; nothing of importance. But, despite that, I got a real sensation as I stood in the little parlor, hardly larger than a good-sized closet, and realized that in that miserable shanty grew up the wild, barefoot boy who has since been called "the greatest Missourian" and "America's greatest literary man," and that in and about that place he gathered the impressions and had the adventures which, at the time, he himself never dreamed would be made by him into books—much less books that would be known as classics.

In the front room of the cottage a memorial tablet is to be seen. It is a curious thing. At the top is the following inscription:

MAY 7, 1912,

[ 243]

Beneath the legend is a portrait bust of the author in bas relief. At the bottom of the tablet is another inscription. From across the room I saw that it was set off in quotation marks, and assuming, of course, that it was some particularly suitable extract from the works of the most quotable of all Americans, I stepped across and read it. This is what it said:


George A. Mahan.

That inscription made me think of many things. It made me think of Napoleon's inscription on the statue of Henri IV, and of Judge Thatcher's talk with Tom Sawyer, in the Sunday school, and of Mr. Walters, the Sunday school superintendent, in the same book, and of certain moral lessons drawn by Andrew Carnegie. And not the least thing of which it made me think was the mischievous, shiftless, troublesome, sandy-haired young rascal who hated school and Sunday school and yet became the more than honest, more than industrious man, commemorated there.

If I did not feel the inspiration of that place while considering the tablet, the back yard gave me real de[ 244]light. There were the old outhouses, the old back stair, the old back fence, and the little window looking down on them—the window of Tom Sawyer, beneath which, in the gloaming, Huckleberry Finn made catcalls to summon forth his fellow buccaneer. And here, below the window, was the place where Pamela Clemens, Sam's sister, the original of Cousin Mary in "Tom Sawyer," had her candy pull on that evening when a boy, in his undershirt, came tumbling from above.

And to think that, wretched as this place was, the Clemens family were forced to leave it for a time because they were too poor to live there! Of a certainty Mark Twain's early life was as squalid as his later life was rich. However, it was always colorful—he saw to that, straight through from the barefoot days to those of the white suits, the Oxford gown, and the European courts.

At one side is an alley running back to the house of Huckleberry Finn, and
in that alley stood the historic fence which young Sam Clemens cajoled the
other boys into whitewashing for him At one side is an alley running back to the house of Huckleberry Finn, and in that alley stood the historic fence which young Sam Clemens cajoled the other boys into whitewashing for him

Not far back of the house rises the "Cardiff Hill" of the stories; in reality, Holliday's Hill, so called because long ago there lived, up at the top, old Mrs. Holliday, who burned a lamp in her window every night as a mark for river pilots to run by. It was down that hill that the boys rolled the stones which startled churchgoers, and that final, enormous rock which, by a fortunate freak of chance, hurdled a negro and his wagon instead of striking and destroying them. Ah, how rich in racy memories are those streets! Somewhere among them, in that part of town which has come to be called "Mark-Twainville," is the very spot, unmarked and unknown,[ 245] where young Sam Clemens picked up a scrap of newspaper upon which was printed a portion of the tale of Joan of Arc—a scrap of paper which, Paine says, gave him his first literary stimulus. And somewhere else, not far from the house, is the place where Orion Clemens, Sam's elder brother, ran the ill-starred newspaper on which Sam worked, setting type and doing his first writing. It was, indeed, in Orion's paper that Sam's famous verse, "To Mary in Hannibal," was published—the title condensed, because of the narrow column, to read: "To Mary in H—l."

Along the crest of the bluffs, overlooking the river, the city of Hannibal has made for itself a charming park, and at the highest point in this park there is to be unveiled, in a short time, a statue of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, which, from its position, will command a view of many leagues of mile-wide Mississippi. It is peculiarly fitting that the memorial should be stationed in that place. Mark Twain loved the river. Even though it almost "got" him in his boyhood (he had "nine narrow escapes from drowning") he adored it; later, when his youthful ambition to become a river pilot was attained, he still adored it; and finally he wrote his love of it into that masterpiece, "Life on the Mississippi," of which Arnold Bennett has said: "I would sacrifice for it the entire works of Thackeray and George Eliot."

Looking up the river from the spot where the statue will be placed, one may see Turtle Island, where Tom and Huck used to go and feast on turtle's eggs—rowing[ 246] there in that boat which, after they had so "honestly and industriously" stolen it, they painted red, that its former proprietor might not recognize it. Below is Glascox Island, where Nigger Jim hid. Glascox Island is often called Tom Sawyer's Island, or Mark Twain's Island, now. Not far below the island is the "scar on the hill-side" which marks the famous cave.

"For Sam Clemens," says Paine in his biography, "the cave had a fascination that never faded. Other localities and diversions might pall, but any mention of the cave found him always eager and ready for the three-mile walk or pull that brought them to the mystic door."

I suggested to my companion that, for the sake of sentiment, we, too, approach the cave by rowing down the river. And, having suggested the plan, I offered to take upon myself the heaviest responsibility connected with it—that of piloting the boat in these unfamiliar waters. All I required of him was the mere manual act of working the oars. To my amazement he refused. I fear that he not only lacks sentiment, but that he is becoming lazy.

We drove out to the cave in a Ford car.

Do you remember when Tom Sawyer took the boys to the cave at night, in "Huckleberry Finn"?

"We went to a clump of bushes," says Huck, "and Tom made everybody swear to keep the secret, and then showed them a hole in the hill, right in the thickest part of the bushes. Then we lit candles and crawled in on[ 247] our hands and knees. We went about two hundred yards, and then the cave opened up. Tom poked about among the passages, and pretty soon ducked under a wall where you wouldn't 'a' noticed there was a hole. We went along a narrow place and got into a kind of room, all damp and sweaty and cold, and there we stopped. Tom says: 'Now we'll start this band of robbers and call it Tom Sawyer's Gang. Everybody that wants to join has got to take an oath and write his name in blood.'"

That is the sort of cave it is—a wonderful, mysterious place, black as India ink; a maze of passageways and vaulted rooms, eaten by the waters of long ago through the limestone cliffs; a seemingly endless cavern full of stalactites and stalagmites, looking like great conical masses of candle grease; a damp, oppressive labyrinth of eerie rock formations, to kindle the most bloodcurdling imaginings.

As we moved in, away from the daylight, illuminating our way, feebly, with such matches as we happened to have with us, and with newspaper torches, the man who had driven us out there told us about the cave.

"They ain't no one ever explored it," he said. "'S too big. Why, they's a lake in here—quite a big lake, with fish in it. And they's an arm of the cave that goes away down underneath the river. They say they's wells, too—holes with no bottoms to 'em. Prob'ly that's where them people went to that's got lost in the cave."[ 248]

"Have people gotten lost in here?" I asked.

"Oh, yes," he said cheerfully. "They say there's some that's gone in and never come out again. She's quite a cave."

I began to walk more gingerly into the blackness.

"I suppose," I said to him presently, "there are toads and snakes and such things here?"

He hastened to set my mind at rest on that.

"Oh, Lord bless you, yes!" he declared. "Bats, too."

"And I suppose some of those holes you speak of are full of snakes?"

"Most likely." His voice reverberated in the darkness. "But I can't be sure. Nobody that's ever been in them holes ain't lived to tell the tale."

By this time we had reached a point at which no glimmer of light from the mouth of the cave was visible. We were feeling our way along, running our hands over the damp rocks and putting our feet before us with the utmost caution. I knew, of course, that it would add a good deal to my story if one of our party fell into a hole and was never again heard from, but the more I thought about it the more advisable it seemed to me that I should not be that one. I had an engagement for dinner that evening, and besides, if I fell in, who would write the story? Certainly the driver of the auto-hack, for all his good will, could hardly do it justice; whereas, if he fell in I could at a pinch drive the little Ford back to the city.[ 249]

I dropped behind. But when I did that he stopped.

"I just stopped for breath," I said. "You can keep on and I'll follow in a minute."

"No," he answered, "I'll wait for you. I'm out of breath, too. Besides, I don't want you to get lost in here."

At this juncture my companion, who had moved a little way off, gave a frightful yell, which echoed horribly through the cavern.

I could not see him. I did not know what was the matter. Never mind! My one thought was of him. Perhaps he had been attacked by a wildcat or a serpent. Well, he was my fellow traveler, and I would stand by him! Even the chauffeur of the hack seemed to feel the same way. Together we turned and ran toward the place whence we thought the voice might have come—that is to say, toward the mouth of the cave. But when we reached it he wasn't there.

"He must be back in the cave, after all," I said to the driver.

"Yes," he agreed.

"Now, I tell you," I said. "We mustn't both go in after him. One of us ought to stay here and call to the others to guide them out. I'll do that. I have a good strong voice. And you go in and find out what's the matter. You know the cave better than I do."

"Oh, no I don't," said the man.

"Why certainly you do!" I said.

"I wasn't never into the cave before," he said.[ 250] "Leastways not nowhere near as far as we was this time."

"But you live right here in Hannibal," I insisted. "You must know more about it than I do. I live in New York. What could I know about a cave away out here in Missouri?"

"Well, you know just as much as I do, anyhow," he returned doggedly.

"Look here!" I said sharply. "I hope you aren't a coward? The idea! A great big fellow like you, too!"

However, at that juncture, our argument was stopped by the appearance of the missing man. He strolled into the light in leisurely fashion.

"What happened?" I cried.

"Happened?" he repeated. "Nothing happened. Why?"

"You yelled, didn't you?"

"Yes," he said, "I wanted to hear the echoes."

Before leaving Hannibal that afternoon, we had the pleasure of meeting an old school friend of Samuel Clemens's, Colonel John L. RoBards—the same John RoBards of whom it is recorded in Paine's work that "he wore almost continually the medal for amiability, while Samuel Clemens had a mortgage on the medal for spelling."

Colonel RoBards is still amiable. He took us to his office, showed us a scrap-book containing clippings in[ 251] which he was mentioned in connection with Mark Twain, and told us of old days in the log schoolhouse.

Seeing that I was making notes, the Colonel called my attention politely to the spelling of his name, requesting that I get it right. Then he explained to me the reason for the capital B, beginning the second syllable.

"I may say, sir," he explained in his fine Southern manner, "that I inserted that capital B myself. At least I converted the small B into a capital. I am a Kentuckian, sir, and in Kentucky my family name stands for something. It is a name that I am proud to bear, and I do not like to be called out of it. But up here I was continually annoyed by the errors of careless persons. Frequently they would fail to give the accent on the final syllable, where it should be placed, sir—RoBards; that is the way it should be pronounced—but even worse, it happened now and then that some one called me by the plebeian appellation, Roberts. That was most distasteful to me, sir. Most distasteful. For that reason I use the capital B for emphasis."

I was glad to assure the Colonel that in these pages his name would be correctly spelled, and I call him to witness that I spoke the truth. I repeat, the name is RoBards. And it is borne by a most amiable gentleman.

Mr. F. W. Hixson of St. Louis has in his possession an autograph book which belonged to his mother when she was a young girl (Ann Virginia Ruffner), residing[ 252] in Hannibal. In this book, Sam Clemens wrote a verse at the time when he was preparing to leave the town where he had spent his youth. I reproduce that boyish bit of doggerel here, solely for the value of one word which it contains:

Good-by, good-by,
I bid you now, my friend;
And though 'tis hard to say the word,
To destiny I bend.

Never, in his most perfect passages, did Samuel Clemens hit more certainly upon the one right word than when in this verse he wrote the second word in the last line.

And what a destiny it was!

Never outside of Brittany and Normandy have I seen roads so full of animals as those of Pike County Never outside of Brittany and Normandy have I seen roads so full of animals as those of Pike County

[ 253]



It was before we left St. Louis that I received a letter inviting us to visit in the town of Louisiana, Mo. I quote a portion of it:

Louisiana is in Pike County, a county famous for its big red apples, miles of rock roads, fine old estates, Rhine scenery, capons, rare old country hams, and poker. Pike County means more to Missouri than Missouri does to Pike.

Do you remember "Jim Bludso of the 'Prairie Belle'"?

He weren't no saint—them engineers
Is pretty much all alike—
One wife in Natchez-under-the-Hill
And another one here in Pike.

We can show you "the willer-bank on the right," where Bludso ran the 'Prairie Belle' aground and made good with his life his old promise:

I'll hold her nozzle agin the bank
Till the last galoot's ashore.

We can also show you the home of Champ Clark, and the largest nursery in the world, and a meadow where, twenty-five years ago, a young fellow threw down his hayfork and said to his companion: "Sam, I'm going to town to study law with Champ Clark. Some day I'm going to be Governor of this State." He was Elliott W. Major, and he is Governor to-day.

The promise held forth by this letter appealed to me. It is always interesting to see whether a man like[ 254] Champ Clark lives in a house with ornamental iron fences on the roof and iron urns in the front yard; likewise there is a sort of fascination for a man of my extensive ignorance, in hearing not merely how the Governor of Missouri decided to become Governor, but in finding out his name. Then those hams and capons—how many politicians can compare for interest with a tender capon or a fine old country ham? And perhaps more alluring to me than any of these was the idea of going to visit in a strange State, and a strange town, and a strange house—the house of a total stranger.

We accepted.

Our host met us with his touring car and proceeded to make good his promises about the nursery, and the scenery, and the roads, and the estates, and as we bowled along he told us about "Pike." It is indeed a great county. And the fact that it was originally settled by Virginians, Kentuckians, and Carolinians still stamps it strongly with the qualities of the South. Though north of St. Louis on the map, it is south of St. Louis in its spirit. Indeed, Louisiana is the most Southern town in appearance and feeling that we visited upon our travels. The broad black felt hats one sees about the streets, the luxuriant mustaches and goatees—all these things mark the town, and if they are not enough, you should see "Indy" Gordon as she walks along puffing at a bulldog pipe black as her own face.

Never outside of Brittany and Normandy have I seen roads so full of animals as those of Pike County. From[ 255] the great four-horse teams, drawing produce to and from the beautiful estate called "Falicon," to the mule teams and the saddle horses and the cows and pigs and chickens and dogs, all the quadrupeds and bipeds domesticated by mankind were there upon the roads to meet us and to protest, by various antics, against the invasion of the motor car. Dogs hurled themselves at the car as though to suicide; chickens extended themselves in shrieking dives across our course; pigs arose from the luxurious mud with grunts of frantic disapproval, and cantered heavily into the fields; cows trotted lumberingly before us, their hind legs and their fore legs moving, it seemed, without relation to each other; a goat ran round and round the tree to which he was attached; mules pointed their ears to heaven, and opened their eyes wide in horror and amazement; beautiful saddle horses bearing countrymen, or rosy-cheeked young women from the farms, tried to climb into the boughs of wayside trees for safety, and four-horse teams managed to get themselves involved in a manner only rivaled by a ball of yarn with which a kitten is allowed to work its own sweet will.

Our host took all these matters calmly. When a mule protested at our presence on the road, it would merely serve as a reminder that, "Pike County furnished most of the mules for the Spanish war"; or, when a saddle horse showed signs of homicidal purpose, it would draw the calm observation, "Pike is probably the greatest county in the whole United States for saddle horses.[ 256] 'Missouri King,' the undefeated champion saddle horse of the world, was raised here."

So we progressed amid the outraged animals.

My feeling as I alighted at last on the step before our host's front door was one of definite relief. For dinner is the meal I care for most, and man, with all his faults, the animal I most enjoy.

The house was genial like its owner—it was just the sort of house I like; large and open, with wide halls, spacious rooms, comfortable beds and chairs, and ash trays everywhere.

"I've asked some men in for dinner and a little game," our host informed us, as he left us to our dressing.

Presently we heard motors arriving in the drive, beneath our windows. When we descended, the living room was filled with men in dinner suits. (Oh, yes; they wear them in those Mississippi River towns, and they fit as well as yours does!)

When we had been introduced we all moved to the dining room.

At each place was a printed menu with the heading "At Home Abroad"—a hospitable inversion of the general title of these chapters—and with details as follows:


Old Pike County ham,
Pike County capons
and other Pike County essentials,
with Pike County Colonels.

[ 257]

At the bottom of the card was this—shall I call it warning?

Senator Warner once said to Colonel Roosevelt: "Pike County babies cut their teeth on poker chips."

I have already said that Pike is a county with a Southern savor, but I had not realized how fully that was true until I dined there. I will not say that I have never tasted such a dinner, for truth I hold even above politeness. All I will say is that if ever before I had met with such a meal the memory of it has departed—and, I may add, my memory for famous meals is considered good to the point of irritation.

The dinner (save for the "essentials") was entirely made up of products of the county. More, it was even supervised and cooked by county products, for two particularly sweet young ladies, members of the family, were flying around the kitchen in their pretty evening gowns, helping and directing Molly.

Molly is a pretty mulatto girl. Her skin is like a smooth, light-colored bronze, her eye is dark and gentle, like that of some domesticated animal, her voice drawls in melodious cadences, and she has a sort of shyness which is very fetching.

"Ah cain't cook lak they used to cook in the ole days," she smiled in response to my tribute to the dinner, later. "The Kuhnel was askin' jus' th' othah day if ah could make 'im some ash cake, but ah haid to tell 'im ah couldn't. Ah've seen ma gran'fatha make it[ 258] lots o' times, but folks cain't make it no mo', now-a-days."

Poor benighted Northerner that I am, I had to ask what ash cake was. It is a kind of corn cake, Molly told me, the parent, so to speak, of the corn dodger, and the grandparent of hoecake. It has to be prepared carefully and then cooked in the hot ashes—cooked "jes so," as Molly said.

Having learned about ash cake, I demanded more Pike County culinary lore, whereupon I was told, partly by my host, and partly by Molly, about the oldtime wedding cooks.

Wedding cooks were the best cooks in the South, supercooks, with state-wide reputations. When there was a wedding a dinner was given at the home of the bride, for all the wedding guests, and it was in the preparation of this repast that the wedding cook of the bride's family showed what she could do. That dinner was on the day of the wedding. On the next day the entire company repaired to the home of the groom's family, where another dinner was served—a dinner in which the wedding cook belonging to this family tried to outdo that of the day before. This latter feast was known as the "infair." But all these old Southern customs seem to have departed now, along with the wedding cooks themselves. The latter very seldom came to sale, being regarded as the most valuable of all slaves. Once in a while when some leading family was in financial difficulties and was forced to sell its wedding[ 259] cook she would bring as much as eight or ten times the price of an ordinary female slave.

After dinner, when we moved out to the living room, we found a large, green table all in place, with the chips arranged in little piles. But let me introduce you to the players.

First, there was Colonel Edgar Stark, our host, genial and warm-hearted over dinner; cold and inscrutable behind his spectacles when poker chips appeared.

Then Colonel Charlie Buffum, heavily built, but with a similar dual personality.

Then Colonel Frank Buffum, State Highway Commissioner; or, as some one called him later in the evening, when the chips began to gather at his place, State "highwayman."

Then Colonel Dick Goodman, banker, raconteur, and connoisseur of edibles and "essentials."

Then Colonel George S. Cake, who, when not a Colonel, is a Commodore: commander of the "Betsy," flagship of the Louisiana Yacht Club, and the most famous craft to ply the Mississippi since the "Prairie Belle." (Don't "call" Colonel Cake when he raises you and at the same time raises his right eyebrow.)

Then Colonel Dick Hawkins, former Collector of the Port of St. Louis, and more recently (since there has been so little in St. Louis to collect) a gentleman farmer. (Colonel Hawkins always wins at poker. The question is not "Will he win?" but "How much?")[ 260]

Only two men in the game were not, so far as I discovered, Colonels.

One, Major Dave Wald, has been held back in title because of time devoted to the pursuit of literature. Major Wald has written a book. The subject of the book is Poker. As a tactician, he is perhaps unrivaled in Missouri. He will look at a hand and instantly declare the percentage of chance it stands of filling in the draw, according to the law of chance. One hand will be, to Major Wald, a "sixteen-time hand"; another a "thirty-two time hand," and so on—meaning that the player has one chance in sixteen, or in thirty-two, of filling.

The other player was merely a plain "Mister," like ourselves—Mr. John W. Matson, the corporation lawyer. At first I felt sorry for Mr. Matson. It seemed hard that the rank of Colonel had been denied him. But when I saw him shuffle and deal, I was no longer sorry for him, but for myself. With the possible exception of General Bob Williams (who won't play any more now that he has been appointed postmaster), and Colonel Clarence Buell, who used to play in the big games on the Mississippi boats, Mr. Matson can shuffle and deal more rapidly and more accurately than any man in Missouri.

Colonel Buell was present, as was Colonel Lloyd Stark, but neither played. Colonel Buell had intended to, but on being told that my companion and I were from New York he declined to "take the money." The[ 261] Colonel—but to say "the Colonel" in Pike County is hardly specific—Colonel Buell, I mean, is the same gentleman who fought the Indians, long ago, with Buffalo Bill, and who later acted as treasurer of the Wild West Show on its first trip to Europe. Some one informed me that the Colonel—Colonel Buell, I mean—was a capitalist, but the information was beside the mark, for I had already seen the diamond ring he wears—a most remarkable piece of landscape gardening.

During the evening Colonel Buell, who stood for an hour or two and watched the play, spoke of certain things that he had seen and done which, as I estimated it, could not have been seen or done within the last sixty years. "How old is Colonel Buell?" I asked another Colonel.

"Colonel," asked the Colonel, "how old are you?"

"Colonel," replied the Colonel, "I am exactly in my prime."

"I know that, Colonel," said the Colonel, "but what is your age?"

"Colonel," returned the Colonel suavely, "I have forgotten my exact age. But I know that I am somewhere between eighty and one hundred and forty-two."

It was Mr. Matson's deal. He dealt. The cards passed through the air and fell, one on the other, in neat piles. (If you prefer it, Mr. Matson can drop a fan-shaped hand before you, all ready to pick up.) And from the time that the first hand was played I knew that here, as in St. Louis, my companion and I were babes[ 262] among the lions. I do not know how he played, but I do know that I played along as best I could, only trying not to lose too much money at once.

But why rehearse the pathetic story? I spoke in a former chapter of Missouri poker, and Pike County is a county in Missouri. Bet on a good pat hand and some one always holds a better one. Bluff and they call you. Call and they beat you. There is no way of winning from Missouri. Missouri poker players are mahatmas. They have an occult sense of cards. Babes at their mothers' breasts can tell the difference between a straight and a flush long before they have the power of speech. Once, while in Pike County, I asked a little boy how many brothers and sisters he had. "One brother and three sisters," he replied, and added: "A full house."

The Missouri gentlemen, so gay, so genial, at the dinner table, take on a frigid look when the cards and chips appear. They turn from gentle, kindly human beings into relentless, ravening wolves, each intent upon the thought of devouring the other. And when, over a poker game, some player seems to enter into a pleasant conversation, the other players know that even that is a bluff—a blind to cover up some diabolic plot.

Once during the game, for instance, Colonel Hawkins started in to tell me something of his history. And I, bland simpleton, believed we were conversing sans ulterior motive.

"I used to be in politics," he said. "Then I was in[ 263] the banking business. But I've gone back to farming now, because it is the only honest business in the world. In fact—"

But at that juncture the steely voices of half the other players at the table interrupted.

"Ante!" they cried. "Ante, farmer!"

Whereupon Colonel Hawkins, who by that time had to crane his neck to see the table over his pile of chips—a pile of chips like the battlements of some feudal lord—anted suavely.

By midnight Colonel Buell, who had stood behind me for a time and watched my play, showed signs of fatigue and anguish. And a little later, after having seen me try to "put it over" with three sixes, he sighed heavily and went home—a fine, slender, courtly figure, straight as a gun barrel, walking sadly out into the night. Next Major Wald ceased to play for himself, but began to take an interest in my hand. Under his supervision during the last fifteen minutes of the game I made a tiny dent in Colonel Hawkins's stacks of chips. But it is only just to Colonel Hawkins to say that, by that time, the Missourians were so sorry for us that they were making the most desperate efforts not to win from us any more than they could help.

When the game broke up, Major Wald and Colonel Hawkins showed concern about our future.

"How far are you young men going, did you say?" asked Colonel Hawkins.

"To the Pacific Coast," I answered.[ 264]

At that the two veteran poker players looked at each other solemnly, in silence, and shook their heads.

"All the way to the coast, eh?" demanded Major Wald. Then: "Do you expect to play cards much as you go along?"

I wished to uphold the honor of New York as best I could, so I tried to reply gamely.

"Oh, yes," I said. "Whenever anybody wants a game they'll find us ready."

Again I saw them exchange glances.

"You tell him, Major," said Colonel Hawkins, walking away.

"Young man," said Major Wald, placing his hand kindly on my shoulder, "I played poker before you were born. I know a good deal about it. You wouldn't take offense if I gave you a pointer about your game?"

"On the contrary," I said, thinking I was about to hear the inner secrets of Missouri poker, "I shall be most grateful."

"If I advise you," he pursued, "will you agree to follow my advice?"


"Well," said the Major, "don't you play poker any more while you're in the West. Wait till you get back to New York."

Seeing the houses of the players next day as I drove about the county, I suspected that even these had been[ 265] built around the game of poker, for each house has ample accommodations for the "gang" in case the game lasts until too late to go home. In the winter the games occur at the houses of the different Colonels, and there is always a dinner first. But it is in summer that the greatest games occur, for then it is the immemorial custom for the Colonels (and Major Wald and Mr. Matson, too, of course) to charter a steamer and go out on the river. These excursions sometimes last for the better part of a week. Sometimes they cruise. Sometimes they go ashore upon an island and camp. "We take a tribe of cooks and a few cases of 'essentials,'" one of the Colonels explained to me, "and the game never stops at all."

My companion and I were tired. The mental strain had told upon us. Soon after the Colonels, the Major, and Mr. Matson went, we retired. It seemed to me that I had hardly closed my eyes when I heard a faint rap at my bedroom door. But I must have slept, for there was sunlight streaming through the window.

"What is it?" I called.

The voice of our host replied.

"Breakfast will be ready any time you want it," he declared. "Will you have your toddy now?"

Ah! Pike is a great county!

And what do you suppose we had for breakfast? At the center of the table was a pile of the most beautiful and enormous red apples—fragrant apples, giving a sweet, appetizing scent which filled the room. I had[ 266] thought before that I knew something about apples, but when I tasted these I became aware that no merely good apple, no merely fine apple, would ever satisfy my taste again. These apples, which are known as the "Delicious," are to all other apples that I know as Missouri poker is to all other poker. They are in a class absolutely alone, and, in case you get some on a lucky day, I want to tell you how to eat them with your breakfast. Don't eat them as you eat an ordinary apple, but either fry them, with a slice of bacon, or cut them up and take them as you do peaches—that is, with cream and sugar. Did you ever see an apple with flesh white and firm, yet tender as a pear at the exact point of perfect ripeness? Did you ever taste an apple that seemed actually to melt upon your tongue? That is the sort of apple we had for breakfast.[ 267]



Later we motored to the town of Clarksville, some miles down the river—a town which huddles along the bank, as St. Louis must have in her early days. Being a small, straggling village which has not, if one may judge from appearances, progressed or even changed in fifty years, Clarksville out-Hannibals Hannibal. Or, perhaps, it is to-day the kind of town that Hannibal was when Mark Twain was a boy. In its decay it is theatrically perfect.

Our motor stopped before the bank, and we were introduced to the editor of the local paper, which is called "The Piker."

The bank is, in appearance, contemporary with the town. The fittings are of the period of the Civil War—walnut, as I recall them. And there are red glass signs over the little window grilles bearing the legends "Cashier" and "President."

In the back room we met the president, Mr. John O. Roberts, a gentleman over eighty years of age, who can sit back, with his feet upon his desk, smoke cigars, and, from a cloud of smoke, exude the most delightful stories of old days on the Mississippi. For Mr. Roberts was[ 268] clerk on river boats more than sixty years ago, in the golden days of the great stream. There, too, we had the good fortune to meet Professor M. S. Goodman, who was born in Missouri in 1837, and founded the Clarksville High School in 1865. The professor has written the history of Pike County—but that is a big story all by itself.

In the old days Pike County embraced many of the other present counties, and, running all the way from the Mississippi to the Missouri River, was as large as a good-sized State. Pike has colonized more Western country than any other county in Missouri; or, as Professor Goodman put it, "The west used to be full of Pike County men who had pushed out there with their guns and bottles."

"Yes," added Mr. Roberts in his dry, crackling tone, "and wherever they went they always wanted office."

I asked Mr. Roberts about the famous poker games on the river boats.

"I antedate poker," he said. "The old river card game was called 'Brag.' It was out of brag that the game of poker developed. A steward on one of the boats once told me that he and the other boys had picked up more than a hundred dollars from the floor of a room in which Henry Clay and some friends had been playing brag."

Golden days indeed!—and for every one. The steamboat companies made fabulous returns on their investments.

Mr. Roberts is a wonder—nothing less. There's a book in him, and
I hope that somebody will write it, for I should like to read that book Mr. Roberts is a wonder—nothing less. There's a book in him, and I hope that somebody will write it, for I should like to read that book

[ 269]

"In '54 and '55," said Mr. Roberts, "I worked for the St. Louis & Keokuk Packet Company, a line owning three boats, which weren't worth over $75,000. That company cleaned up as much as $150,000 clear profit in one season. And, of course, a season wasn't an entire year, either. It would open about March first and end in December or, in a mild winter, January.

"But I tell you we used to drive those boats. We'd shoot up to the docks and land our passengers and mail and freight without so much as tying up or even stopping. We'd just scrape along the dock and then be off again.

"The highest fare ever charged between St. Louis and Keokuk was $4 for the 200 miles. That included a berth, wine, and the finest old Southern cooking a man ever tasted. The best cooks I've ever seen in my life were those old steamboat cooks. And we gave 'em good stuff to cook, too. We bought the best of everything. You ought to see the steaks we had for breakfast! The officers used to sit at the ladies' end of the table and serve out of big chafing dishes. I tell you those were meals!

"There was lots going on all the time on the river. I remember one trip I made in '52 in the old 'Di Vernon'—all the boats in the line were named for characters in Scott's novels. We were coming from New Orleans with 350 German immigrants on deck and 100 Californians in the cabin. The Californians were sports and they had a big game going all the time. We had[ 270] two gamblers on board, too—John McKenzie and his partner, a man named Wilburn. They used to come on to the boats at different places, and make out to be farmers, and not acquainted with each other, and there was always something doing when they got into the game.

"Well, this time cholera broke out among the immigrants on the deck. They began dying on us. But we had a deckload of lumber, so we were well fixed to handle 'em. We took the lumber and built coffins for 'em, and when they'd die we'd put 'em in the coffins and save 'em until we got enough to make it worth stopping to bury 'em. Then we'd tie up by some woodyard and be loading up with wood for the furnaces while the burying was going on. Some twenty-five or thirty of 'em died on that trip, and we planted 'em at various points along the way. And all the while, up there in the cabin, the big game was going on—each fellow trying to cheat the other.

"After we got to St. Louis there was a report that we'd buried a man with $3,500 sewed into his clothes. Of course we didn't know which was which or where we'd buried this man. Well, sir, that started the greatest bunch of mining operations along the river bank between New Orleans and St. Louis that anybody ever saw! Every one was digging for that German. Far as I heard, though, they never found a dollar of him."

Some one in Clarksville (in my notes I neglected to set down the origin of this particular item) told me that[ 271] the term "stateroom" originated on the Mississippi boats, where the various rooms were named after the States of the Union, a legend which, if true, is worth preserving.

Another interesting item relates to the origin of the slang term "piker," which, whatever it may have meant originally, is used to-day to designate a timid, close-fisted gambler, a "tightwad" or "short sport."

When one inquires as to the origin of this term, Pike County, Missouri, begins to remember that there is another Pike County—Pike County, Illinois, just across the river, which, incidentally, is I think, the "Pike" referred to in John Hay's poem.

A gentleman in Clarksville explained the origin of the term "piker" to me thus:

"In the early days men from Pike County, Missouri, and Pike County, Illinois, went all through the West. They were all good men. In fact, they were such a fine lot that when any crooks would want to represent themselves as honest men they would say they were from Pike. As a result of this all the bad men in the West claimed to be from our section, and in that way Pike got a bad name. So when the westerners suspected a man of being crooked, they'd say: 'Look out for him; he's a Piker.'"

In St. Louis I was given another version. There I was told that long ago men would come down from Pike to gamble. They loved cards, but oftentimes hadn't enough money to play a big game. So, it was[ 272] said, the term "Piker" came to indicate more or less the type it indicates to-day.

No bit of character and color which we met upon our travels remains in my mind more pleasantly than the talk we had with those fine old men around the stove in the back room of the bank of Mr. John O. Roberts, there at Clarksville. Mr. Roberts is a wonder—nothing less. There's a book in him, and I hope that somebody will write it, for I should like to read that book.

As we were leaving the bank another gentleman came in. We were introduced to him. His name proved also to be John O. Roberts—for he was the banker's son.

"Yes," the elder Mr. Roberts explained to me, "and there's another John O. Roberts, too—my grandson. We're all John O. Robertses in this family. We perpetuate the name because it's an honest name. No John O. Roberts ever went to the penitentiary—or to the legislature."[ 273]

[ 274]

[ 275]



If you will take a map of the United States and fold it so that the Atlantic and Pacific coast lines overlap, the crease at the center will form a line which runs down through the Dakotas, Nebraska, and Kansas. That is not, however, the true dividing line between East and West. If I were to try to draw the true line, I should begin at the north, bringing my pencil down between the cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, leaving the former to the east, and the latter to the west, and I should follow down through the middle of Minnesota, Iowa, and Missouri, so that St. Louis would be included on the eastern map and Kansas City and Omaha on the western.

My companion and I had long looked forward to the West, and had speculated as to where we should first meet it. And sometimes, as we traveled on, we doubted that there really was a West at all, and feared that the whole country had become monotonously "standardized," as was recently charged by a correspondent of the London "Times."

I remember that we discussed that question on the[ 276] train, leaving St. Louis, wondering whether Kansas City, whither we were bound, would prove to be but one more city like the rest—a place with skyscrapers and shops and people resembling, almost exactly, the skyscrapers and shops and people of a dozen other cities we had seen.

Morning in the sleeping car found us less concerned about the character of cities than about our coffee. Coffee was not to be had upon the train. In cheerless emptiness we sat and waited for the station.

While my berth was being turned into its daytime aspect, I was forced to accept a seat beside a stranger: a little man with a black felt hat, a weedy mustache of neutral color, and an Elk's button. I had a feeling that he meant to talk with me; a feeling which amounted to dread. Nothing appeals to me at seven in the morning; least of all a conversation. At that hour my enthusiasm shows only a low blue flame, like a gas jet turned down almost to the point of going out. And in the feeble light of that blue flame, my fellow man becomes a vague shape, threatening unsolicited civilities. I do not like the hour of seven in the morning anywhere, and if there is one condition under which I loathe it most, it is before breakfast in a smelly sleeping car. I saw the little man regarding me. He was about to speak. And there I was, absolutely at his mercy, without so much as a newspaper behind which to shield myself.

"Are you from New York?" he asked.

With about the same amount of effort it would take[ 277] to make a long after-dinner speech, I managed to enunciate a hollow: "Yes."

"I thought so," he returned.

It seemed to me that the remark required no answer. He waited; then, presently, vouchsafed the added information: "I knew it by your shoes."

Mechanically I looked at my shoes; then at his. I felt like saying: "Why? Because my shoes are polished?" But I didn't. All I said was, "Oh."

"That's a New York last," he explained. "Long and flat. You can't get a shoe like that out in this section. Nobody'd buy 'em if we made 'em." Then he added: "I'm in the shoe line, myself."

He paused as though expecting me to state my "line." However, I didn't. Very likely he thought it something shameful. After a moment's silence, he asked: "Travel out this way much?"

"Never," I said.

"Never been in Kansas City?"

I shook my head.

"Well," he volunteered, "it's a great town. Greatest farm implement market in the world." (He drawled "world" as though it were spelled with a double R.) "Very little manufacturing but a great distributing point. All cattle and farming out here. Everything depends on the crops. Different from the East."

I looked out of the window.

It was different from the East. Even through the smoky fog I saw that.[ 278]

"Kansas City!" called the negro porter.

I arose with a sigh, said good-by to the little man, and made my way from the car.

The heavy mist was laden with a smoky smell like that of an incipient London fog. Through it I discerned, dimly, a Vesuvian hill, piling up to the left, while, to the right, a maze of tracks and trains lost themselves in the gray blur. Immediately before me stood as disreputable a station as I ever saw, its platforms oozing mud, and its doorways oozing immigrants and other forlorn travelers. Of all the people there, I observed but two who were agreeable to the eye: a young girl, admirably modish, and her mother. But even looking at this girl I remained depressed. "You don't belong here," I wished to say to her, "that's clear enough. No one like you could live in such a place. You needn't think I live here, either; for I don't! Most decidedly I don't!"

We got into a taxi, my companion and I, and the taxi started immediately to climb with us, like a mountain goat, ascending a steep hill in leaps, over an atrocious pavement, and between vacant lots and shabby buildings which seemed to me to presage an undeveloped town and, worse yet, a bad hotel.

My companion must have thought as I did, for I remember his saying in a somber tone: "I guess we're in for it this time, all right!"

Those are the first words that I recall his having spoken that morning.[ 279]

After ascending for some time, we began to coast down again, still through unprepossessing thoroughfares, until at last we slid up in the mud to the door of the Hotel Baltimore—one of the busiest hotels in the whole United States.

On sight of the hotel I took a little heart. Breakfast was near and the hostelry looked promising. It was, indeed, the first building that I saw in Kansas City, that seemed to justify "City."

The coffee at the Baltimore proved good. We saw that we were in a large and capably conducted caravansary—a metropolitan hotel with a dining room like some interior in the capitol of Minnesota, and a Pompeian room, the very look of which bespoke a cabaret performance at a later hour. From the window where we sat at breakfast we saw wagons with brakes set, descending the hill, and streams of people hurrying on their way to work: sturdy-looking men and healthy-looking girls, the latter stamped with that cheap yet indisputable style so characteristic of the young American working woman—a sort of down-at-the-heels showiness in dress, which, combined with an elaborate coiffure and a fine, if slightly affected carriage, makes her at once a pretty and pathetic object.

In Kansas City one is well within the borders of the land of silver dollars. Dollar bills are scarce. Pay for a cigar with a $5 bill, and your change is more than likely to include four of those silver cartwheels which, though merely annoying in ordinary times, must be a real source[ 280] of danger when the floods come, as one understands they sometimes do in Kansas City. Not only are small bills scarce but, I fancy, the humble copper cent is viewed in Kansas City with less respect than in the East. I base this conclusion upon the fact that a dignified old negro, wearing a bronze medal suspended from a ribbon tied about his neck, charged me five cents at the door of the dining room for a one-cent paper—a rate of extortion surpassing that of New York hotel news stands. However, as that paper was the Kansas City "Star," I raised no objection; for the "Star" is a great newspaper. But of that presently.

Later I found fastened to the wall of my bathroom something which, as I learned afterward, is quite common among hotels in the West, but which I have never seen in an eastern hotel—a slot machine which, for a quarter, supplies any of the following articles: tooth paste, listerine, cold cream, bromo lithia, talcum powder, a toothbrush, a shaving stick, or a safety razor.

Counterbalancing this convenience, however, I found in my room but one telephone instrument, although Kansas City is served by two separate companies. This proved annoying; calls coming by the Missouri & Kansas Telephone Company's lines reached me in my room, but those coming over the wires of the Home Telephone Company had to be answered downstairs, whither I was summoned twice that morning—once from my bath and once while shaving. I had not been in Kansas City half a day before discovering that monopoly—at least in the[ 281] case of the telephone—has its very definite advantages. A double system of telephones is a nuisance. Even where, as for instance in Portland, Oregon, there are two instruments in each room, one never knows which bell is ringing. Duplication is unnecessary, and where there are two companies, lack of duplication is annoying. Every home or office in Kansas City provided with but one instrument is cut off from communication with many other homes and offices having the other service, while those having both instruments have to pay the price of two.

It always amuses me to hear criticisms by foreigners of the telephone as perfected in this country. And our sleeping cars and telephones are the things they invariably do criticize. As to the sleeping car there may be some justice in complaints, although it seems to me that, under the conditions for which it is designed, the Pullman car would be hard to improve upon. It is the necessity of going to bed while traveling by rail that is at the bottom of the trouble. But when a foreigner criticizes the American telephone the very thing he criticizes is its perfection. If we had bad telephone service, and didn't use the telephone much, it would be all right, according to the European point of view. But as it is, they say we are the instrument's "slaves."

That was the complaint of Dr. George Brandes, the Danish literary critic. "The telephone is the worst instrument of torture that ever existed," he declared.[ 282] "The medieval rack and thumb-screws were playthings compared with it."

Arnold Bennett, in his "Your United States," tells of having permanently removed the receiver from the telephone in his bedroom in a Chicago hotel. His action, he declares, caused agitation, not merely in the hotel, but throughout the city.

"In response to the prayer of a deputation from the management," he writes, "I restored the receiver. On the horrified face of the deputation I could read the unspoken query: 'Is it conceivable that you have been in this country a month without understanding that the United States is primarily nothing but a vast congeries of telephone cabins?'"

Now, the thing which Mr. Bennett, Dr. Brandes, and many other distinguished visitors from Europe seem to fail to comprehend is this: that, being distinguished visitors, and therefore sought after, they are the telephone's especial victims, and consequently gain a wrong impression of it. They themselves use it little as a means of calling others; others use it much as a means of calling them. Furthermore, being strangers to this highly perfected instrument, they are also, quite naturally strangers to telephonic subtleties. Mr. Bennett proved his entire lack of knowledge of the new science of telephone tact when he tried to stop the instrument by removing the receiver. Any American could have told him that all he need have done was to notify the operator, at the switchboard, downstairs, not to permit him[ 283] to be disturbed until a certain hour. Or, if he had wished to do so, he could have asked her to sift his messages, giving him only those she deemed desirable. He would have found her, I feel sure, as capable, on that score, as a well-trained private secretary, for, among the many effective services of the telephone, none is finer than that given by those capable, intelligent, quick-thinking young women who act as switchboard operators in large hotels and offices. I am glad of this opportunity to make my compliments to them.

If an American wishes to appreciate the telephone, as developed in this country, he has but to try to use the telephone in Europe. In London the instrument is a ridiculous, cumbersome affair, looking as much like an enormous metal inkwell as any other thing—the kind of inkwell in which some emperor might dip his pen before signing his abdication. To call, you wind the crank violently for a time, then taking up the receiver and mouthpiece which are attached to the main instrument by a cord, you begin calling: "Are you there, miss? Are you there? I say, miss, are you there?" And the question is quite reasonable, for half the time "miss" does not seem to be there. In Paris it is worse. Once, while residing in that city, I had a telephone in my apartment. It was intended as a convenience, but it turned out to be an irritating kind of joke. The first time I tried to call my house, from the center of town, it took me three times as long to get the connection as it took me to get New York from Kansas City. In the begin[ 284]ning I thought myself the victim of ill luck, but I soon came to understand that was not the case—or, rather, that the ill luck was of a kind experienced by all users of the telephone in Paris. The service there is simply chaotic. It is actually true that I once dispatched a messenger on a bicycle, calling my house on the phone, immediately afterward, and that the messenger had arrived with the note, after having ridden a good two miles, through traffic, by the time I succeeded in talking over the wire. However, in the interim I had talked with almost every other residence in Paris.

The telephones in France and England are controlled by the government. If that accounts for the service given, then I hope the government in this country will never take them over. Bureaucracy makes the Continental railroads inferior to ours, and I have no doubt it is equally responsible for telephone conditions. Bureaucracy, as I have experienced it, feels itself intrenched in office, and is consequently likely to be indifferent to complaint and to the requirements of progress. When I called New York from Kansas City I was talking within ten minutes, and when, later on, I called New York from Denver, it took but little longer, and I heard, and made myself heard, almost as though conversing with some one in the next room. As I reflect upon the countless services performed for me by the telephone, upon these travels, and upon the very different sort of service I should have had abroad, I bless the American Telephone and Telegraph[ 285] Company with fervent blessings. And if I said about it all the things I really think, I fear the reader might suspect me of having received a bribe. For I am aware that, in speaking well of any corporation I am flying in the face of precedent and public opinion.

Toward noon, the pall of smoke and fog which had blanketed the city, vanished on a fresh breeze from the prairies, and my companion and I, much inspirited, set forth on foot to see what the downtown streets of Kansas City had to offer. We had gone hardly a block before we realized that our earlier impressions of the place had been ill-founded. We had arrived in the least agreeable portion of the city, and had not, hitherto, seen any of the built-up, well-paved streets. "Petticoat Lane"—the fashionable shopping district on Eleventh Street between Main Street and Grand Avenue—has a metropolitan appearance, and the wider avenues, with their well-built skyscrapers, tell a story of substantiality and progress. But the most striking thing to us, upon that walk, lay not in the great buildings already standing, but in the embryonic structures everywhere. All over Kansas City old buildings are coming down to make place for new ones; hills of clay are being gouged away and foundations dug; steel frames are shooting up. Never, before or since, have I sensed, as I sensed that day, a city's growth. It seemed to me that I could feel expansion in the very ground beneath my feet. Look[ 286]ing upon these multifarious activities was like looking through an enormous magnifying glass at some gigantic ant hill, where thousands upon thousands of workers were rushing about, digging, carrying, constructing, all in breathless haste. Nor was the incidental music lacking; the air was ringing with the symphony of work—the music of brick walls falling, of drills digging at the earth, and of automatic riveters clattering their swift, metallic song, high up among the tall, steel frames, where presently would stand desks, and filing cabinets, and typewriter machines.

"Did you ever feel a city growing so?" I asked of my companion.

"Grow!" he repeated. "Why it has grown so fast they haven't had time to name their streets."

The statement appeared true. We had looked for street signs at all corners, but had seen none. Later, however, we discovered that the streets did have names. But as there are no signs, I conclude that the present names are only tentative, and that when Kansas City gets through building, she will name her streets in sober earnest, and mark them in order that strangers may more readily find their way.

The "slogan" of Kansas City suggests that of Detroit. Detroit says: "In Detroit life is worth living." Kansas City is less boastful, but more aspiring. "Make it a good place to live in," she says.

As nearly as I can like the "slogan" of any city, I like that one. I like it because it is not vainglorious, and[ 287] because it does not attempt cheap alliteration. It is not "smart-alecky" at all, but has, rather, the sound of something genuinely felt. And I believe it is felt. There is every evidence that Kansas City's "slogan" is a promissory note—a note which, it may be added, she is paying off in a handsome manner, by improving herself rapidly in countless ways.

Perhaps the first of her improvements to strike the visitor is her system of parks. I am informed that the parked boulevards of Kansas City exceed in mileage those of any other American city. These boulevards, connecting the various parks and forming circuits running around and through the town, do go a long way toward making it "a good place to live in." Kansas City has every right to be proud, not only of her parks, but of herself for having had the intelligence and energy to make them. What if assessments have been high? Increased property values take care of that; the worst of the work and the expense is over, and Kansas City has lifted itself by its own bootstraps from ugliness to beauty. How much better it is to have done the whole thing quickly—to have made the gigantic effort and attained the parks and boulevards at what amounts to one great municipal bound—than to have dawdled and dreamed along as St. Louis and so many other cities have done.

The Central Traffic Parkway of St. Louis is, as has been said in an earlier chapter, still on paper only. But the Paseo, and West Pennway, and Penn Valley Park,[ 288] in Kansas City, are all splendid realities, created in an amazingly brief space of years. To make the Paseo and West Pennway, the city cut through blocks and blocks, tearing down old houses or moving them away, with the result that dilapidated, disagreeable neighborhoods have been turned into charming residence districts. In the making of Penn Valley Park, the same thing occurred: the property was acquired at a cost of about $800,000, hundreds of houses were removed, drives were built, trees planted. The park is now a show place; both because of the lesson it offers other cities, and the splendid view, from its highest point, of the enterprising city which created it.

Another spectacular panorama of Kansas City is to be seen from Observation Point on the western side of town, but the finest views of all (and among the finest to be seen in any city in the world) are those which unroll themselves below Scaritt Point, the Cliff Drive, and Kersey Coates Drive. Much as the Boulevard Lafayette skirts the hills beside the Hudson River, these drives make their way along the upper edge of the lofty cliffs which rise majestically above the Missouri River bottoms. Not only is their elevation much greater than that of the New York boulevard, but the view is infinitely more extensive and dramatic, though perhaps less "pretty." Looking down from Kersey Coates Drive, one sees a long sweep of the Missouri, winding its course between the sandy shores which it so loves to inundate. Beyond, the whole world seems to be spread

Looking down from Kersey Coates Drive, one sees ... the appalling
web of railroad tracks, crammed with freight cars, which seen through a
softening haze of smoke, resemble a relief map—strange, vast, and pictorial Looking down from Kersey Coates Drive, one sees ... the appalling web of railroad tracks, crammed with freight cars, which seen through a softening haze of smoke, resemble a relief map—strange, vast, and pictorial

[ 289] out—farms and woodland, reaching off into infinity.

Below, in the nearer foreground, at the bottom of the cliff, is the mass of factories, warehouses and packing houses, and the appalling web of railroad tracks, crammed with freight cars, which form the Kansas City industrial district, and which, reduced by distance, and seen through a softening haze of smoke, resemble a relief map—strange, vast, and pictorial. Beyond, more distant and more hazy, lies the adjoining city, Kansas City, Kas., all its ugliness converted into beauty by the smoke which, whatever sins it may commit against white linen, spreads a poetic pall over the scenes of industry—yes, and over the "wettest block," that solid wall of saloons with which the "wet" state of Missouri so significantly fortifies her frontier against the "dry" state, Kansas.

So far, Kansas City has been too busy with her money-making and her physical improvement, to give much thought to art. However, the day will come, and very soon, when the question of mural decoration for some great public building will arise. And when that day does come I hope that some one will rise up and remind the city that the decorations which, figuratively, adorn her own walls, may well be considered as a subject for mural paintings. I should like to see a great room which, instead of being surrounded by a frieze of symbolic figures, very much like every other frieze of symbolic figures in the land, should show the splendid sweep of the Missouri River, and the great maze of the freight yards,[ 290] and the wonderful vistas to be seen from the cliffs, and the rich, rolling farm land beyond. How much better that would be than one of those trite things representing Justice or Commerce, as a female figure, enthroned, with Industry, a male figure, brown and half-naked, wearing a leather apron, and beating on an anvil, at one side, and Agriculture, working with a hoe, at the other. Yes, how much better it would be; and how much harder to find the painter who could do it as it should be done.

In view of the enormous activity with which Kansas City has pursued the matter of municipal improvement, and in view of the contrasting somnolence of St. Louis, it is amusing to reflect upon the somewhat patronizing attitude assumed by the latter toward the former. Being the metropolis of Missouri, St. Louis has the air, sometimes, of patting Kansas City on the back, in the same superior manner that St. Paul assumed, in times gone by, toward Minneapolis. It will be remembered, however, that one day St. Paul woke up to find herself no longer the metropolis of Minnesota. Young Minneapolis had come up behind and passed her in the night. As I have said before, Kansas City bears more than one resemblance to Minneapolis. Like Minneapolis, she is a strong young city, vying for State supremacy with another city which is old, rich, and conservative. Will the history of the Minnesota cities be repeated in Missouri? If some day it happens so, I shall not be surprised.[ 291]



The quality in Kansas City which struck Baron d'Estournelles de Constant, the French statesman and peace advocate, was the enormous growth and vitality of the place. "Town Development" quotes the Baron as having called Kansas City a "cité champignon," but I am sure that in saying that he had in mind the growth of the mushroom rather than its fiber; for though Kansas City grew from nothing to a population of 250,000 within a space of fifty years, her fiber is exceptionally firm, and her prosperity, having been built upon the land, is sound.

That feeling of nearness to the soil that I met there was new to me. I felt it in many ways. Much of the casual conversation I heard dealt with cattle raising, farming, the weather, and the promise as to crops. Business men and well-to-do women in the shopping districts resemble people one may see in any other city, but away from the heart of town one encounters numerous farmers and their wives who have driven into town in their old buggies, farm wagons, or little motors to shop and trade, just as though Kansas City were some little county seat, instead of a city of the size of Edinburgh.[ 292]

In earlier chapters I have referred to likenesses between cities and individuals. Cities not only have traits of character, like men, but certain regions have their costumes. Collars, for example, tend to become lower toward the Mississippi River, and black string ties appear. Missouri likes black suits—older men in the smaller towns seem to be in a perpetual state of mourning, like those Breton women whose men are so often drowned at sea that they never take the trouble to remove their black.

Western watch chains incline to massiveness, and are more likely than not to have dangling from them large golden emblems with mysterious devices. Likewise the western buttonhole is almost sure to bloom with the insignia of some secret order.

Many western men wear diamond rings—pieces of jewelry which the east allots to ladies or to gamblers and vulgarians. When I inquired about this I heard a piece of interesting lore. I was informed that the diamond ring was something more than an adornment to the western man; that it was, in reality, the survival of a fashion which originated for the most practical reasons. A diamond is not only convenient to carry but it may readily be converted into cash. So, in the wilder western days, men got into the way of wearing diamond rings as a means of raising funds for gambling on short notice, or for making a quick getaway from the scene of some affray.

Whether they are entirely aware of it or not, the well-[ 293]dressed men of eastern cities are, in the matter of costume, dominated to a large extent by London. The English mode, however, does not reach far west. Clothing in the west is all American. Take, for example, coats. The prevailing style, at the moment, in London and in the eastern cities of this country happens to run to a snugness of fit amounting to actual tightness. Little does this disturb the western man. His coat is cut loose and is broad across the shoulders. And let me add that I believe his vision is "cut" broader, too. Westerners, far more than easterners, it seems to me, sense the United States—the size of it and what it really is. Time and again, talking with them, it has come to me that their eyes are focused for a longer range: that, looking off toward the horizon, they see a thousand miles of farms stretched out before them or a thousand miles of mountain peaks.

And even as coats and comprehension seem to widen in the west, so hats and hearts grow softer. The derby plays an unimportant part. In Chicago, to be sure, it makes a feeble effort for supremacy, but west of there it dies an ignominious death beneath an avalanche of soft felt hats. Felt hats around Chicago seem, however, to lack full-blown western opulence. Compared with hats in the real middle west, they are stingy little headpieces. When we were in Chicago that city seemed to be the center of a section in which a peculiar style of hat was prominent—a blue felt with a velvet band. But that, of course, was merely a passing fashion. Not so[ 294] the hats a little farther west. The Mississippi River marks the beginning of the big black hat belt. The big black hat is passionately adored in Missouri and Kansas. It never changes; never goes out of fashion. And it may be further noted that many of these somber, monumental, soft black hats, with their high crowns and widespread brims, have been sent from these two western states to Washington, D. C.

At Kansas City there begins another hat belt. The Missouri hat remains, but its supremacy begins to be disputed by an even larger hat, of similar shape but different color. The big black, tan or putty-color hat begins to show at Kansas City. Also one sees, now and again, upon the streets a cowboy hat with a flat brim. When I mentioned that to a Kansas City man he didn't seem to like it. With passionate vehemence he declared that cowboy hats were never known to adorn the heads of Kansas City men—that they only came to Kansas City on the heads of itinerant cattlemen. Well, that is doubtless true. But I did not say the Mayor of Kansas City wore one. I only said I saw such hats upon the street. And—however they got there, and wherever they came from—those hats looked good to me!

Some of the bronzed cattlemen one sees in Kansas City, though they yield to civilization to the extent of wearing shirts, have not yet sunk to the slavery of collars. They do not wear "chaps" and revolvers, it is true, but they are clearly plainsmen, and some of them sport colored handkerchiefs about their necks, knotted[ 295] in the back, and hanging in loose folds in front. Once or twice, upon my walks, I saw an Indian as well, though not a really first-class moving-picture Indian. That is too much to expect. Such Indians as one may meet in Kansas City are civilized and citified to a sad degree. Nor are the Mexicans, many of whom are employed as laborers, up to specifications as to picturesqueness.

I feel it particularly necessary to state these truths, disillusioning though they may be to certain youthful readers who may treasure fond hopes of finding, in Kansas City, something of that wild and woolly fascination which the cinematograph so often pictures. True, a large gray wolf was killed by a Kansas City policeman last winter, after it had run down Linwood Boulevard, biting people, but that does not happen every day, and it is recorded that the youth who recently appeared on the Kansas City streets, dressed in "chaps" and carrying a revolver with which he shot at the feet of pedestrians, to make them dance, declared himself, when taken up by the police, to have recently arrived from Philadelphia, where he had obtained his ideas of western manners from the "movies."

I mention this incident because, after having labeled Kansas City "Western," I wish to leave no loopholes for misunderstanding. The West of Bret Harte and Jesse James is gone. All that is left of it is legend. When I speak of a western city I think of a city young, not altogether formed, but full of dauntless energy. And when I speak of western people I think of people[ 296] who possess, in larger measure than any other people I have met, the solid traits of character which make human beings admirable.

Kansas City is said to be more American than any other city of its size in the United States. Eighty per cent. of its people are American born, of either native or foreign parents. Its inhabitants are either pioneers, descendants of pioneers, or young people who have moved there for the sake of opportunity. This makes for sturdy stock as inevitably as close association with the soil makes for sturdy simplicity of character. The western man, as I try to visualize him as a type, is genuine, generous, direct, whole-hearted, sympathetic, energetic, strong, and—I say it not without some hesitation—sometimes a little crude, with a kind of crudeness which has about it something very lovable. I fear that Kansas City may not like the word "crude," even as I have qualified it, but, however she may feel, I hope she will not charge the use of it to eastern snobbishness in me, for that is a quality that I detest as much as anybody does—a quality compared with which crudeness becomes a primary virtue. No; when I say "crude" I say it respectfully, and I am ready to admit in the same breath that I dislike the word myself, because it seems to imply more than I really wish to say, just as such a word as "unseasoned" seems to imply less.

You see, Kansas City is a very young and very great center of business. It is still engrossed in making money, but, being so exceptionally sturdy, it has found[ 297] time, outside of business hours, as it were, to create its parks and boulevards—much as some young business man comes home after a hard day's work and cuts the grass in his front yard, and waters it, and even plants a little garden for his wife and children and himself. He attends to the requirements of his business, his family, his lawn and garden, and to his duties as a citizen. And that is about all that he has time to do. He has the Christian virtues, but none of the un-Christian sophistications. Art, to him, probably signifies a "fancy head" by Harrison Fisher; literature, a book by Harold Bell Wright or Gene Stratton Porter; music, a sentimental ballad or a ragtime tune played on the Victor; architecture—well, I think that means his own house.

And what is his own house like? If he be a young and fairly successful Kansas City business man, it is, first of all, probably a solid, well-built house. Very likely it is built of brick and is "detached"—just barely detached—and faces a parked boulevard or a homelike residence street which is lined with other solid little houses, like his own. Now, while the homes of this class are, I think, better built and more attractive than homes of corresponding cost in some older cities—Cleveland, for example—and while the streets are pleasanter, there is a sort of standardized look about these houses which is, I think, unfortunate. The thing they lack is individuality. Whole rows of them suggest that they were all designed by the same altogether honest, but somewhat inartistic, architect, who, having[ 298] hit on one or two good plans, kept repeating them, ad infinitum, with only minor changes, such as the use of vari-colored brick, for "character." True, they are monuments to the esthetic, compared with the old brownstone blocks of New York City, or the Queen Anne blocks of cities such as Cleveland, but it must be remembered that New York's brownstone period, and the wooden Queen Anne period, date back a good many years, whereas these Kansas City houses are new. And it is in our new houses that we Americans have had a chance to show (and are showing) the improvement in our national taste. I do not complain that the domestic architecture of Kansas City represents no improvement; I complain only that the improvement shown is not so great as it should be—that Kansas City residences, of all classes, inexpensive and expensive, in town and in the suburban developments, are generally characterized by solidity, rather than architectural merit. The less expensive houses lack distinction in about the same way that rows of good ready-made overcoats may be said to lack it, when compared with overcoats made to order by expensive tailors. The more costly houses are for the most part ordinary—and some of them are worse than that.

I am well aware of the fact that the foregoing statements are altogether likely to surprise and annoy Kansas City, for if there is one thing, beyond her parks and boulevards, upon which she congratulates herself peculiarly, it is her homes. I could detect that, both in the[ 299] pride with which the homes were shown to me and in the sad silences with which my very mildly critical comments on some houses, were received. Nevertheless, it is quite true that Kansas City very evidently needs a good domestic architect or two; and if she does not pardon me just now for saying so, I must console myself with the thought that, ten or fifteen years hence, she will admit that what I said was true.

Kansas City ought to be a good place for architects. There is a lot of money there, and, as I have already said, a great amount of building is in progress. One of the most interesting real estate developments I have ever seen is taking place in what is called the Country Club District, where a tract of 1,200 acres, which, only five or six years ago, was farm land, has been attractively laid out and very largely built up on ingenious, restricted lines. In the portion of this district known as Sunset Hill, no house costing less than $25,000 may be erected. As a matter of fact, a number of houses on Sunset Hill show an investment, in building alone, of from $50,000 to $100,000. In other portions of the tract restrictions are lower, and still lower, until finally one comes to a suburban section closely built up with homes, some of which cost as little as $3,000—which is the lowest restriction in the entire district.

I visited the new Union Station, which will be in operation this winter. It is as fine as the old station is atrocious. I was informed that it cost between six and[ 300] seven millions, and that it is exceeded in size only by the Grand Central and Pennsylvania terminals in New York. The waiting room will, however, be the largest in the world. The gentleman who showed me the station gave me the curious information that Kansas City does the largest Pullman business of any American city, and that it also handles the most baggage. He attributed these facts to the great distances to be traveled in that part of the country and also to the prosperity of the farmers.

"You see," he said, "Kansas City has the largest undisputed tributary trade territory of any city in the country. We are not, in reality, a Missouri city so much as a Kansas one. Indeed Kansas City was originally intended to be in Kansas and was really diverted into Missouri when the government survey established the line between the two states. We reach out into Missouri for some business, but Kansas is our real territory, as well as Oklahoma and Arkansas. We get a good share of business from Nebraska and Iowa, too. These facts, plus the fact that we are in the very center of the great American feed lot, account for our big bank clearings. In bank clearings we come sixth, St. Louis being fifth, Pittsburgh seventh, and Detroit eighth. And we are not to be compared in population with any of those cities.

"Almost all our greatest activities have to do with farms and produce. We are first as a market place for hay and yellow pine; second as a packing center and a[ 301] mule market; third in lumber, flour, poultry, and eggs, in the volume of our telegraph business, and in automobile sales. And, of course, you probably know that we lead in the sale of agricultural implements and in stockers and feeders."

At that my companion, who, because he resided for a long time in Albany, N. Y., prides himself upon his knowledge of farming, broke in.

"I suppose," said he, "that instead of drawing stockers and feeders with horses, they use gasoline motors now-a-days?"

"Oh, no," said the Kansas City man, "they walk."

"Walk?" exclaimed my companion. "They have made an advance in agricultural implements since my day if they have succeeded in making them walk!"

"I'm not speaking of agricultural implements," said our informant. "I'm speaking of stockers and feeders."

"What are stockers and feeders?" I asked.

"Cattle," he said. "There are three kinds of cattle marketed here; first, fat cattle, for slaughter; second, stockers, which are young cows used for stocking farms and ranches; third, feeders, or grassfed steers, which are sold to be fattened on grain, for killing. In stockers and feeders we lead the world; in fat cattle we are second only to Chicago."[ 302]



"What do you expect to see in Kansas City?" I was asked by the president of a trust company.

"I want to see the new Union Station," I said, "and I hope also to meet Colonel Nelson."

He smiled. "One's as big as the other," was his comment.

That is a mild statement of the case. The power of Colonel Nelson is something unique, and his newspaper, the Kansas City "Star," is, I believe, alone in the position it holds among American dailies.

Like all powerful newspapers, it is the expression of a single individuality. The "Star" expresses Colonel William Rockhill Nelson as definitely as the New York "Sun" used to express Charles A. Dana, as the New York "Tribune" expressed Horace Greeley, as the "Herald" expressed Bennett, as the Chicago "Tribune" expressed Medill, as the "Courier-Journal" expresses Watterson, as the Pulitzer papers continue to express the late Joseph Pulitzer, and as the Hearst papers express William Randolph Hearst.

Besides circulating widely throughout Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and western Missouri, the "Star"[ 303] so dominates Kansas City that last year it sold, in the city, many thousand papers a day in excess of the number of houses there. Other papers have been started to combat it, but without appreciable effect. The "Star" continues upon its majestic course, towing the wagon of Kansas City.

To me the greatest thing about the "Star" is its entire freedom from yellowness. Its appearance is as conservative as that of the New York "Evening Post." It prints no scareheads and no half-tone pictures, such pictures as it uses being redrawn in line, so that they print sharply. Another characteristic of the paper is its highly localized flavor. It handles relatively little European news, and even the doings of New York and Chicago seem to impress it but slightly. It is the organ of the "feed lot," the "official gazette" of the capital of the Southwest.

While contemplating the "Star" I was reminded of a conversation held many weeks before in Buffalo with a very thoughtful gentleman.

"The great trouble with the American people," he declared, "is that they are not yet a thinking people."

"What makes you believe that?" I asked.

"The first proof of it," he returned, "is that they read yellow journals."

It is a notable and admirable fact that the people of Kansas—the State which Colonel Nelson considers particularly his own—do not read the "yellows" to any considerable extent. ("I might stop publishing this pa[ 304]per," Colonel Nelson said, "but it will never get yellow." And later: "Anybody can print the news, but the 'Star' tries to build things up. That is what a newspaper is for.")

Even the "Star" building is highly individualized. It is a great solid pile of tapestry brick, suggesting a castle in Siena. In one end are the presses; in the other the business and editorial departments. The editorial offices are in a single vast room, in a corner of which the Colonel's flat-top desk is placed. There are no private offices. The city editor and his reporters have their desks at the center, under a skylight, and the editorial writers, telegraph editor, Sunday editor, and all the other editors are distributed about the room's perimeter.

Colonel Nelson is a "character." Even if he didn't
own the "Star," ... he would be a "character."...
I have called him a volcano; he is more like one than
any other man I have ever met Colonel Nelson is a "character." Even if he didn't own the "Star," ... he would be a "character."... I have called him a volcano; he is more like one than any other man I have ever met

Before talking with Colonel Nelson I inquired into some of the reforms brought about through the efforts of the "Star." The list of them is formidable. Many persons attributed the existence of the present park and boulevard system to this great newspaper; among other things mentioned were the following: the improvement of schools; the abolition of quack doctors, medical museums and fortune tellers; the building of county roads; the elimination of bill-boards from the boulevards; the boat line navigating the Missouri River; the introduction of commission government in Kansas City, Kas. (which, I was informed, was the first city of its size to have commission government); the municipal ownership of waterworks in both Kansas Cities. More[ 305] recently the "Star" has been fighting for what it terms "free justice"—that is, the dispensing of justice without costs or attorneys' fees, as it is already dispensed in the "small debtors" courts of Kansas City and through the free legal-aid bureau. Colonel Nelson says: "'Free justice' would take the judicial administration of the law out of the hands of privately paid attorneys and place it wholly in the hands of courts officered by the public's servants.

"In the great majority of cases justice is still not free. A man must hire his lawyer. So justice is not only not free but not equal. A poor owner of a legal right gives a $5 fee to a $5 lawyer. A rich defender of a legal wrong gives a $5,000 fee to a $5,000 lawyer. The scales of a purchased justice tip to the wrong side. Or, even if the owner of the legal right gets his right established by the court, he still must divide the value of it with his attorney. The administration of justice should be as free as the making of laws. It should be as free as police service."

The "Star" has been hammering away at this idea for months, precisely as it has been hammering at political corruption, wherever found. Another "Star" crusade is for a 25-acre park opposite the new Union Station, instead of the small plaza originally planned—the danger in the case of the latter being that, although it does provide some setting for the station, it yet permits cheap buildings to encroach to a point sufficiently near the station to materially detract from it.[ 306]

Many lawyers disapprove of the "free justice" idea; all the politically corrupt loathe the "Star" for obvious reasons; and some taxpayers may be found who cry out that Colonel Nelson pushes Kansas City into improvements faster than she ought to go. Nevertheless, as with the "Post-Dispatch" in St. Louis, the "Star" is read alike by those who believe in it and those who hate it bitterly.

As an outsider fascinated by the "Star's" activities, I came away with the opinion that Colonel Nelson's power was perhaps greater than that of any other single newspaper publisher in the country; that it was perhaps too great for one man to wield, but that, exercised by such a pure idealist as the Colonel unquestionably is, it has been a blessing to the city. Nor can I conceive how even the bitterest enemies of Colonel Nelson can question his motives.

Will Irwin, who knows about newspapers if anybody does, said to me: "The 'Star' is not only one of the greatest newspapers in the world, but it is a regular club. I know of no paper anywhere where the personnel of the men is higher. I will give you a letter to Barton. He will introduce you around the office, and the office will do the rest."

I found these prognostications true. Inside a few hours I felt as though I, too, had been a "Star" man. "Star" men took me to "dinner"—meaning what we in the East call "luncheon"; took me to see the station, put me in touch with endless stories of all sorts—all[ 307] with the kindliest and most disinterested spirit. They told me so much that I could write half a dozen chapters on Kansas City.

Take, for example, the story of the Convention Hall. It is a vast auditorium, taking up, as I recall it, a whole block. It was built for the Democratic National Convention in 1900, but burned down immediately after having been completed; whereupon Kansas City turned in, raised the money all over again, and in about ten weeks' time completely rebuilt it. There Bryan was nominated for the second time. Or, consider the story of the "Harvey System" of hotels and restaurants on the Santa Fé Road. The headquarters of this eating-house system is in Kansas City, and offers a fine field for a story all by itself, for it has been the biggest single influence in civilizing hotel life and in raising gastronomic standards throughout the west.

But these are only items by the way—two among the countless things that "Star" men told me of, or showed me. And, of course, the greatest thing they showed me was right in their own office: their friend, their "boss," that active volcano, seventy-three years old, who comes down daily to his desk, and whose enthusiasm fires them all.

Colonel Nelson is a "character." Even if he didn't own the "Star," even if he had not the mind he has, he would be a "character," if only by virtue of his appearance. I have called him a volcano; he is more like one than any other man I have ever met. He is even shaped[ 308] like one, being mountainous in his proportions, and also in the way he tapers upward from his vast waist to his snow-capped "peak." Furthermore, his face is lined, seamed, and furrowed in extraordinary suggestion of those strange, gnarled lava forms which adorn the slopes of Vesuvius. Even the voice which proceeds from the Colonel's "crater" is Vesuvian: hoarse, deep, rumbling, strong. When he speaks, great natural forces seem to stir, and you hope that no eruption may occur while you are near, lest the fire from the mountain descend upon you and destroy you.

"Umph!" rumbled the volcano as it shook hands with my companion and me. "You're from New York? New York is running the big gambling house and show house for the country. It doesn't produce anything. It doesn't take any more interest in where the money comes from than a gambler cares where you get the money you put into his game.

"Kansas is the greatest state in the Union. It thinks. It produces things. Among other things, it produces crazy people. It is a great thing to have a few crazy people around! Roosevelt is crazy. Umph! So were the men who started the Revolution to break away from England.

"Most of the people in the United States don't think. They are indifferent and apathetic. They don't want to work. One of our 'Star' boys went to an agricultural college to see what was going on there. What did he find out? Why, that instead of making farmers they[ 309] were making professors. Yes. Pretty nearly the entire graduating class went there to learn to teach farming. That's not what we want. We want farmers."

The Colonel's enemies have tried, on various occasions, to "get" him, but without distinguished success. The Colonel goes into a fight with joy. Once, when he was on the stand as a witness in a libel suit which had been brought against his paper, a copy of the editorial containing the alleged libel was handed to him by the attorney for the prosecution.

"Colonel Nelson," said the attorney, menacingly, "did you write this?"

"No, sir!" bristled the Colonel with apparent regret at the forced negation of his answer, "but I subscribe to every word of it!"

Once the Colonel's enemies almost succeeded in putting him in jail.

A "Star" reporter wrote a story illustrating the practice of the Jackson County Circuit Court in refusing to permit a divorce case to be dismissed by either husband or wife until the lawyers in the case had received their fees. The "Star" contended that such practice, where the couple had made up their quarrel, made the court, in effect, a collection agency. Through a technical error the story, as printed, seemed to refer to the judge of one division of the court when it should have applied to another. The judge who was, through this error, apparently referred to, seized the opportunity to issue a[ 310] summons charging Colonel Nelson with contempt of court.

Colonel Nelson, who had known nothing of the story until he read it in print, not only went to the front for his reporter, but caused the story to be reprinted, with the added statement that it was true and that he had been summonsed on account of it.

When he appeared in court the judge demanded an apology. This the Colonel refused to give, but offered to prove the story true. The judge replied that the truth of the story had nothing to do with the case. He permitted no evidence upon that subject to be introduced, but, drawing from his pocket some typewritten sheets, proceeded to read from them a sentence, condemning the Colonel to one day in jail. This sentence he then ordered the sheriff to execute.

However, before the sheriff could do so, a lawyer, representing the Colonel, ran upstairs and secured from the Court of Appeals, in the same building, a writ of habeas corpus on the ground that the decision of the lower judge had been prepared before he heard the evidence. This the latter admitted. Thus the Colonel was saved from jail—somewhat, it is rumored, to his regret. Later the case was dismissed by the Supreme Court of Missouri.

An attorney representing the gas company, against which the "Star" had been waging war, called on the Colonel one day to complain of injustices which he al[ 311]leged the company was suffering at the hands of the paper.

"Colonel Nelson," he said, "your young men are not being fair to the gas company."

"Let me tell you," said the Colonel, "that if they were I'd fire them!"

"Why, Colonel Nelson!" said the dismayed attorney. "Do you mean to say you don't want to be fair?"

"Yes, sir!" said the Colonel. "When has your company been fair to Kansas City? When you are fair my young men will be fair!"

If there is one thing about the "Star" more amazing than another, it is perhaps the effect it can produce by mere negative action—that is, by ignoring its enemies instead of attacking them. In one case a man who had made most objectionable attacks on Colonel Nelson personally, was treated to such a course of discipline, with the result, I was informed, that he was ultimately ruined.

The "Star" did not assail him. It simply refused to accept advertising from him and declined to mention his name or to refer to his enterprises.

When the victim of this singular reprisal was writhing under it, a prominent citizen called at Colonel Nelson's office to plead with the Colonel to "let up."

"Colonel," he protested, "you ought not to keep after this man. It is ruining his business."

"Keep after him?" repeated the Colonel. "I'm not keeping after him. For me he doesn't exist."[ 312]

"That's just the trouble," urged the mediator. "Now, Colonel, you're getting to be an old man. Wouldn't you be happier when you lay down at night if you could think to yourself that there wasn't a single man in Kansas City who was worse off because of any action on your part?"

At that occurred a sudden eruption of the old volcano.

"By God!" cried the Colonel. "I couldn't sleep!"[ 313]



The shades of night were falling fast,
As through a western landscape passed
A car, which bore, 'mid snow and ice,
Two trav'lers taking this advice:

Visit Excelsior Springs!

Have you ever heard of the city of Excelsior Springs, Missouri? I never had until the letters began to come. The first one reached me in Detroit. It told me that Excelsior Springs desired to be "written up," and offered me, as an inducement to come there, the following arguments: paved streets, beautiful scenery, three modern, fire-proof hotels, flourishing lodges, live churches, fine saddle horses, an eighteen-hole golf course ("2d to none," the letter said) four distinct varieties of mineral water, and—Frank James.

The mention of Frank James stirred poignant memories of my youth: recollections of forbidden "nickel novels" dealing with the wild deeds alleged to have been committed by the James Boys, Frank and Jesse, and their "Gang." I used to keep these literary treasures concealed behind a dusty furnace pipe in the cellar[ 314] of the old house in Chicago. On rainy days I would steal down and get them, and, retiring to some out-of-the-way corner of the attic, would read and re-read them in a kind of ecstasy of horror—a horror which was enhanced by the eternal fear of being discovered with such trash in my possession.

I had not thought of the James Boys in many years. But when I got that letter, and realized that Frank James was still alive, the old stories came flooding back. As with Maeterlinck and Hinky Dink, the James Boys seemed to me to be fictitious figures; beings too wonderful to be true. The idea of meeting one of them and talking with him seemed hardly less improbable than the idea of meeting Barbarossa, Captain Kidd, Dick Turpin, or Robin Hood. I began to wish to visit Excelsior Springs.

Before I had a chance to answer the first letter others came. Mr. W. E. Davy, Chief Correspondent of the Brotherhood of American Yeomen, wrote that, "Excelsior Springs is one of the most picturesque and interesting spots in that portion of the country." Ban B. Johnson, president of the American Baseball League, also wrote, declaring, "I believe Excelsior Springs to be the greatest watering place on the American continent." Then came letters from business men, Congressmen and Senators, until it began to seem to me that the entire world had dropped its work and taken up its pen to impress upon me the vital need of a visit to this little town. The letters came so thick that, from St.[ 315] Louis, I telegraphed the Secretary of the Excelsior Springs Commercial Club to say that, if he would let up on me, I would agree to come. After that the letters stopped as though by magic. Until I reached Kansas City I heard no more about Excelsior Springs. There, however, a deputation called to remind me of my promise, and a few days later the same deputation returned and escorted my companion and me to the interurban car, and bought our tickets, and checked our trunks, and put us in our seats, and sat beside us watchfully, like detectives taking prisoners to jail. For though I had promised we would come, it must not be forgotten that they were from Missouri.

Excelsior Springs is a busy, pushing little town of about five thousand inhabitants, situated in Clay County, Missouri, about thirty miles from Kansas City. The whole place has been built up since 1880, on the strength of the mineral waters found there—and when you have tasted these waters you can understand it, for they are very strong indeed. But that is putting the thing bluntly. Listen, then, to the booklet issued by the Excelsior Springs Commercial Club:

Even as 'truth is stranger than fiction,' so the secrets of Nature are even more wonderful than the things wrought by the hands of man. Just why it pleased the Creator of the Universe to install one of His laboratories here and infuse into its waters curative powers which surpass the genius and skill of all the physicians in Christendom is a question which no one can answer. Like the stars, the flowers, and the ocean, it is merely one of the

[ 316]

great eternal verities with which we are surrounded. Whither and whence no man knows.

Having paid this fitting compliment to the Creator, the pamphleteer proceeds to expatiate upon the joys of the place:

There are cool, shaded parks and woodlands, where you can sit under the big, spreading trees which shut out the hot summer's sun—where you can loll on blankets of thickly matted blue grass and read and sleep to your heart's content—far from the madding crowd and the world's fierce strife and turmoil.... Here the golf player will find one of the finest golf links his heart would desire. The fisherman will find limpid streams where the wary black bass lurks behind moss-covered rocks.... Here you and your wife can vie at tennis, bowling, horseback riding, and a dozen other wholesome exercises, and when the shadows of the night have fallen there are orchestras which dispense sweet music and innumerable picture shows and other forms of entertainment which will while away the fleeting moments until bedtime.

Though the writer of the above prose-poem chose to assume that the imaginary being to whom he addresses himself is a married man, the reader must not jump to the conclusion that Excelsior Springs is a resort for married couples only, that the married are obliged to run in pairs, or that those who have been joined in matrimony are, for any reason, in especial need of healing waters. If unmarried persons are not so welcome at the Springs as married couples, that is only because a couple spends more money than an individual. The unmarried are cordially received. And I may add,[ 317] from personal observation, that the married man or woman who arrives alone can usually arrange to "vie at tennis, bowling, horseback riding, and a dozen other wholesome exercises" with the husband or the wife of some one else. In short, Excelsior Springs is like most other "resorts." But all this is by the way. The waters are the main thing. The paved streets, the parks, the golf links, even Frank James, sink into comparative insignificance compared with the natural beverages of the place. The Commercial Club desires that this be clearly understood, and seems, even, to resent the proximity of Frank James, as a rival attraction to the waters, as though under an impression that no human being could stomach both. Before I departed from the Springs some members of the Commercial Club became so alarmed at the interest I was showing in the former outlaw that they called upon me in a body and exacted from me a solemn promise that I should on no account neglect to write about the waters. I agreed, whereupon I was given full information regarding the waters by a gentleman bearing the appropriate name of Fish.

Mr. Fish informed me that the waters of Excelsior Springs resemble, in their general effect, the waters of Homburg, the favorite watering place of the late King Edward—or, rather, I think he put it the other way round: that Homburg waters resembled those of Excelsior Springs. The famous Elizabethbrunnen of Homburg is like a combination of two waters found at the Missouri resort—a saline water and an iron water,[ 318] having, together, a laxative, alterative, and tonic effect. Mr. Fish, who has made a study of waters, says that Excelsior Springs has the greatest variety of valuable mineral waters to be found in this country, and that the town possesses two among the half dozen iron-manganese springs being used, commercially, in the entire world. Duplicates of these springs are to be found at Schwalbach and Pyrmont, in Germany; Spa, in Belgium, and St. Moritz, in Switzerland. The value of manganese when associated with iron is that it makes the iron more digestible.

Another type of water found at the Springs is of a saline-sulphur variety, such as is found at Saratoga, Blue Lick (Ky.), Ems, and Baden-Baden. Still another type is the soda water similar to that of Manitou (Colo.), Vichy, and Carlsbad, while a fourth variety of water is the lithia.

In 1881 the present site of the town was occupied by farms, one of them that of Anthony Wyman, on whose land the original "Siloam" iron spring was discovered. This spring, the water of which left a yellow streak on the ground as it flowed away, had been known for years among the negro farm hands as the "old pizen spring," and it is said that when they were threshing wheat in the fields, and became thirsty, none of them dared drink from it.

Rev. Dr. Flack, a resident of the neighborhood, having heard about the spring, took a sample of the water and sent it to be analyzed—as my informant put it,[ 319] "to find out what was the matter with it." The analysis showed the reason for the yellow streak, and informed Dr. Flack of the spring's value.

From that time on people began to drive to the Springs in the stagecoaches that passed through the region. First there were camps, but in 1882 a few houses were built and the town was incorporated. In 1888 the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad began to operate a line through Excelsior Springs, and in 1894 the Wabash connected with the Springs by constructing a spur line. The Milwaukee & St. Paul tracks pass at a distance of about one mile from the town, and this fact finally caused the late Sam F. Scott to build a dummy line to the station.

I was told that Mr. Scott had handsome passes engraved, and that he sent these to the presidents of all the leading railroad companies of the country, requesting an exchange of courtesies. According to this story, Mr. Scott received a reply from Alexander Cassatt, then president of the Pennsylvania system, saying that he was unable to find Mr. Scott's road in the Railroad Directory, and asking for further information. To this letter, it is said, Mr. Scott replied: "My road is not so long as yours, but it is just as wide." Perhaps I should add that, later, I heard the same story told of the president of a small Colorado line, and that still later I heard it in connection with a little road in California. It may be an old story, but it was new to me, and I hereby fasten it upon the town where I first heard it.[ 320]

Excelsior Springs is the headquarters of the Bill Club, which has come in for humorous mention, from time to time, in newspapers throughout the land. The Bill Club is a national organization, the sole requirement for membership having originally consisted in the possession of the cognomen "William" and the payment of a dollar bill. Bill Sisk of Excelsior Springs is president of the Bill Club, Bill Hyder is secretary, and Bill Flack treasurer. By an amendment of the Bill Club constitution, "any lady who has been christened Willie, Wilena, Wilhelmine, or Williamette, may also join the Bill Club." The pass word of the organization is "Hello, Bill," and among the honorary members are ex-President Bill Taft, Secretary of State Bill Bryan, Senators Bill Warner and Bill Stone of Missouri, Bill Hearst, Colonel Bill Nelson, publisher of the Kansas City "Star," and Bill Bill, a hat manufacturer, of Hartford, Conn.

The head waiter at our hotel was a beaming negro. As my companion and I came down to breakfast on our first morning there, he met us at the door, led us across the dining room, drew out our chairs, and, as we sat down, inquired, pleasantly:

"Well, gentamen, how did you enjoy yo' sleep?"

We both assured him that we had slept well.

"Yes, suh; yes, suh," he replied. "That's the way it most gen'ally is down here. People either sleeps well or they don't."[ 321]

After breakfast we were taken in a motor to the James farm, nine miles distant from the town. Never have I seen more charming landscapes than those we passed upon this drive. An Englishman at Excelsior Springs told me that the landscapes reminded him of home, but to me they were not English, for they had none of that finished, gardenlike formality which one associates with the scenery of England. The country in that part of Missouri is hilly, and spring was just commencing when we were there, touching the feathery tips of the trees with a color so faint that it seemed like a light green mist. It was a warm, sunny day, and the breeze sweet with the smell of growing things. There was no haze, the air was clear, yet by some subtle quality in the light, colors, which elsewhere might have looked raw, were strangely softened and made to blend with one another. Blatant red barns, green houses, and the bright blue overalls worn by farm hands in the fields, did not jump out of the picture, but melted into it harmoniously, keeping us in a constant state of amazement and delight.

"If you think it's pretty now," our guardians told us, "you ought to see it in the summer when the trees are at their best."

Of course such landscapes must be fine in summer, but the beauty of summer is an obvious kind of beauty, like that of some splendid opulent woman in a rich evening gown. Summer seems to me to be a little bit too sure of her beauty, a little too well aware of its completeness. The beauty of very early spring is dif[ 322]ferent; there is something frail about it; something timid and faltering, which makes me think of a young girl, delicate and sweet, who, knowing that she has not reached maturity, looks forward to her womanhood and remains unconscious of her present virgin loveliness. No, I am sure that I should never love that Missouri landscape as I loved it in the early spring, and I am sure that such a painter as W. Elmer Schofield would have loved it best as I saw it, and that Edward Redfield or Ernest Lawson would prefer to paint it in that aspect than in any other which it could assume. I should like to see them paint it, and I should also like to see their paintings shown to Kansas and Missouri.

What would Kansas and Missouri make of them? Very little, I fear. For (with the exception of St. Louis) those two States seem to be devoid of all feeling for art. I doubt that there is a public art gallery in the whole State of Kansas, or a private collection of paintings worth speaking of. As for western Missouri, I could learn of no paintings there, save some full-sized copies, in oil, of works of old masters, which were presented to Kansas City by Colonel Nelson. These copies are exceptionally fine. They might form the nucleus for a municipal gallery of art—a much better nucleus than would be formed by one or two actual works of old masters—but Kansas City hasn't "gotten around to art," as yet, apparently. The paintings are housed in the second story of a library building, and several people to whom I spoke had never heard of them.

Mr. Fish informed me that the waters of Excelsior Springs resemble the waters of Homburg, the
favorite watering place of the late King Edward—or, rather, I think he put it the other way round Mr. Fish informed me that the waters of Excelsior Springs resemble the waters of Homburg, the favorite watering place of the late King Edward—or, rather, I think he put it the other way round

[ 323]



The James farm occupies a pretty bit of rolling land, at one corner of which, near the road, Frank James has built himself a neat, substantial frame house.

Before the house is a large gate, bearing a sign as follows:

James Farms
Home of the James'
Jesse and Frank
Admission 50c.
Kodaks Bared

As we moved in the direction of the house a tall, slender old man with a large hooked nose and a white beard and mustache walked toward us. He was dressed in an exceedingly neat suit and wore a large black felt hat of the type common throughout Missouri. Coming up, he greeted our escort cordially, after which we were introduced. It was Frank James.

The former outlaw is a shrewd-looking, well preserved man, whose carriage, despite his seventy-one years, is notably erect. He looks more like a prosperous farmer[ 324] or the president of a rural bank than like a bandit. In his manner there is a strong note of the showman. It is not at all objectionable, but it is there, in the same way that it is there in Buffalo Bill. Frank James is an interesting figure; on meeting him you see, at once, that he knows he is an interesting figure and that he trades upon the fact. He is clearly an intelligent man, but he has been looked at and listened to for so many years, as a kind of curiosity, that he has the air of going through his tricks for one—of getting off a line of practised patter. It is pretty good patter, as patter goes, inclining to quotation, epigram, and homely philosophy, delivered in an assured "platform manner."

It may be well here to remind the reader of the history of the James Gang.

The father and mother of the "boys" came from Kentucky to Missouri. The father was a Baptist minister and a slaveholder. He died before the war, and his widow married a man named Samuels, by whom she had several children.

From the year 1856 Missouri, which was a slave state, warred with Kansas, which was a free state, and there was much barbarity along the border. The "Jayhawkers," or Kansas guerrillas, would make forays into Missouri, stealing cattle, burning houses, and committing all manner of depredations; and lawless gangs of Missourians would retaliate, in kind, on Kansas. Among the most appalling cutthroats on the Missouri side was a man named Quantrell, head of the[ 325] Quantrell gang, a body of guerrillas which sometimes numbered upward of a thousand men. The James boys were members of this gang, Frank James joining at the opening of the Civil War, and Jesse two years later, at the age of sixteen. In speaking of joining Quantrell, Frank James spoke of "going into the army." Quantrell was, however, a mere border ruffian and was disowned by the Confederate army.

According to Frank James, Quantrell, who was born in Canal Dover, Ohio, went west, with his brother, to settle. In Kansas they were set upon by "Jayhawkers" and "Redlegs," with the result that Quantrell's brother was killed and that Quantrell himself was wounded and left for dead. He was, however, nursed to life by a Nez Perce Indian. When he recovered he became determined to have revenge upon the Kansans. To that end, he affected to be in sympathy with them, and joined some of their marauding bands. When he had established himself in their confidence he used to get himself sent out on scouting expeditions with one or two other men, and it was his amiable custom, upon such occasions, to kill his companions and return with a story of an attack by the enemy in which the others had met death. At last, when he had played this trick so often that he feared detection, he determined to get himself clear of his fellows. A plan had been matured for an attack upon the house of a rich slaveholder. Quantrell went to the house in advance, betrayed the plan, and arranged to join forces with the defenders. This[ 326] resulted in the death of his seven or eight companions. At about this time the war came on, and Quantrell became a famous guerrilla leader, falling on detached bodies of Northern troops and massacring them, and even attacking towns—one of his worst offenses having been the massacre of most of the male inhabitants of Lawrence, Kas. He gave as the reason for his atrocities his desire for revenge for the death of his brother, and also used to allege that he was a Southerner, though that was not true.

I asked Frank James how he came to join Quantrell, when the war broke out, instead of enlisting in the regular army.

"We knew he was not a very fine character," he explained, "but we were like the followers of Villa or Huerta: we wanted to destroy the folks that wanted to destroy us, and we would follow any man that would show us how to do it. Besides, I was young then. When a man is young his blood is hot; there's a million things he'll do then that he won't do when he's older. There's a story about a man at a banquet. He was offered champagne to drink, but he said: 'I want quick action. I'll take Bourbon whisky.' That was the way I felt. That's why I joined Quantrell: to get quick action. And I got it, too. Jesse and I were with Quantrell until he was killed in Kentucky."

John Samuels, a half brother of the James boys, told me the story of how Jesse James came to join Quantrell.[ 327]

"Jesse was out plowing in a field," he said, "when some Northern soldiers came to the place to look for Frank. Jesse was only sixteen years old. They beat him up. Then they went to the house and asked where Frank was. Mother and father didn't know, but the soldiers wouldn't believe them. They took father out and hung him by the neck to a tree. After a while they took him down and gave him another chance to tell. Of course he couldn't. So they hung him up again. They did that three times. Then they took him back to the house and told my mother they were going to shoot him. She begged them not to do it, but they took him off in the woods and fired off their guns so she'd hear, and think they'd done it. But they didn't shoot him. They just took him over to another town and put him in jail. My mother didn't know until the next day that he hadn't been shot, because the soldiers ordered her to remain in the house if she didn't want to get shot, too.

"That was too much for Jesse. He said: 'Maw, I can't stand it any longer; I'm going to join Quantrell.' And he did."

After the war the wilder element from the disbanded armies and guerrilla gangs caused continued trouble. Crime ran rampant along the border between Kansas and Missouri. And for many crimes committed in the neighborhood in which they lived, the James boys, who were known to be wild, were blamed.

"Mother always said," declared Mr. Samuels, "that Frank and Jesse wanted to settle down after the war,[ 328] but that the neighbors wouldn't let them. Everything that went wrong around this region was always charged to them, until, finally, they were driven to outlawry."

"How much truth is there in the different stories of bank robberies and train robberies committed by them?" I asked.

"I don't know," he said. "Of course they did a lot of things. But we never knew. They never said anything. They'd just come riding home, every now and then, and stop for a while, and then go riding away again. We never knew where they came from or where they went."

It has been alleged that even after a reward of $10,000 had been offered for either of the Jameses, dead or alive, the neighbors shielded them when it was known that they were at home. I spoke about that to an old man who lived on a near-by farm.

"Yes," he said, "that's true. Once when the Pinkertons were hunting them I met Frank and some members of the gang riding along the road, not far from here. I could have told, but I didn't want to. I wasn't looking for any trouble with the James Gang. Suppose they had caught one or two of them? There'd be others left to get even with me, and I had my family to think of. That is the way lots of the neighbors felt about it. They were afraid to tell."

I spoke to Frank James about the old "nickel novels."

We strolled in the direction of the old house, that house of tragedy in which
the family lived in the troublous times.... It was there that the Pinkertons
threw the bomb We strolled in the direction of the old house, that house of tragedy in which the family lived in the troublous times.... It was there that the Pinkertons threw the bomb.

"Yes," he said, "some fellows printed a lot of stuff. I'd have stopped it, maybe, if I'd had as much money as[ 329] Rockefeller. But what could I do? I tell you those yellow-backed books have done a lot of harm to the youth of this land—those and the moving pictures, showing robberies. Such things demoralize youth. If I had the job of censoring the moving pictures, they'd say I was a reg'lar Robespierre!"

"How about some of the old stories of robberies in which you were supposed to have taken part?" I asked.

"I neither affirm nor deny," Frank James answered, with the glibness of long custom. "If I admitted that these stories were true, people would say: 'There is the greatest scoundrel unhung!' and if I denied 'em, they'd say: 'There's the greatest liar on earth!' So I just say nothing."

According to John Samuels, Frank James and Cole Younger were generally acknowledged to be the brains of the James Gang. "It was claimed," he said, "that Frank planned and Jesse executed. Frank was certainly the cool man of the two, and Jesse was a little bit excitable. He had the name of being the quickest man in the world with a gun. Sometimes when he was home for a visit, when I was a boy, he'd be sitting there in the house, and there'd come some little noise. Then he'd whip out his pistol so quick you couldn't see the motion of his hand."

As we conversed we strolled in the direction of the old house, that house of tragedy in which the family lived in the troublous times. On the way we passed Frank[ 330] James's chicken coop, and I noticed that on it had been painted the legend: "Bull Moose—T. R."

"The wing, at the back, is the old part of the house," James explained. "It was there that the Pinkertons threw the bomb."

I asked about the bomb throwing and heard the story from John Samuels, who was there when it occurred.

"I was a child of thirteen then," he said, "and I was the only one in the room who wasn't killed or crippled. It happened at night. We had suspected for a long time that a man named Laird, who was working as a farm hand for a neighbor of ours named Askew on that farm over there"—he indicated a farmhouse on a near-by hill—"was a Pinkerton man, and that he was there to watch for Frank and Jesse. Well, one night he must have decided they were at home, for the house was surrounded while we were asleep. A lot of torches were put around in the yard to give light. Then the house was set on fire in seven places and a bomb was thrown in through this window." He pointed to a window in the side of the old log wing. "It was about midnight. My mother and little brother and I were in the room. Mother kicked the bomb into the fireplace before it went off. The fuse was sputtering. Maybe she even thought of throwing the thing out of the window again. Anyhow, when it exploded it blew off her forearm and killed my little brother."

"Come in the house," invited Frank James. "We've got a piece of the bomb in there."[ 331]

We entered the old cabin. In the fireplace marks of the explosion are still visible. The piece of the bomb which they preserve is a bowl-shaped bit of iron, about the size of a bread-and-butter plate.

"What was their idea in throwing the bomb?" I asked.

"As near as we know," replied Frank James, "the Pinkertons figured that Jesse and I were sleeping in the front part of the house. You see, there's a little porch running back from the main house to the door of the old cabin. They must have figured that when the bomb went off we would run out on the porch to see what was the matter. Then they were going to bag us."

"Well, did you run out?"

"Evidently not," said Frank James.

"Were you there?" I asked.

"Some think we were and some think not," he said.

An old man who had been constable of the township at the time the James boys were on the warpath had come up and joined us.

"How about Askew?" I suggested. "I should have thought he would have been afraid to harbor a Pinkerton man."

The old man nodded. "You'd of thought so, wouldn't you?" he agreed. "Askew was shot dead three months after the bomb throwing. He was carrying a pail of milk from the stable to the house when he got three bullets in the face."

"Who killed him?" I asked.

The old constable allowed his eyes to drift rumina[ 332]tively over the neighboring hillsides before replying. Frank James and his half brother, who were standing by, also heard my question, and they, too, became interested in the surrounding scenery.

"Well-l," said the old constable at last, "that's always been a question."

Mr. Samuels told me details concerning the death of Jesse James.

"Things were getting pretty hot for the boys," he said. "Big rewards had been offered for them. Frank was in hiding down South, and Jesse was married and living under an assumed name in a little house he had rented in St. Joe, Mo. That was in 1882. There had been some hints of trouble in the gang. Dick Little, one of the boys, had gotten in with the authorities, and it had been rumored that he had won the Ford boys over, too. Jesse had heard that report, but he had confidence in Charlie Ford. Bob Ford he didn't trust so much. Well, Charlie and Bob Ford came to St. Joe to see Jesse and his wife. They were sitting around the house one day, and Jesse's wife wanted him to dust a picture for her. He was always a great hand to help his wife. He moved a chair over under the picture, and before getting up on it to dust, he took his belt and pistols off and threw them on the bed. Then he got up on the chair. While he was standing there Bob Ford shot him in the back.

"Well, Bob died a violent death a while after that.[ 333] He was shot by a man named Kelly in a saloon in Creede, Colo. And Charlie Ford brooded over the killing of Jesse and committed suicide about a year later. The three Younger boys, who were members of the gang, too, were captured a while after, near Northfield, Minn., where they had tried to rob a bank. They were all sent up for life. Bob Younger died in the penitentiary at Stillwater, but Cole and Jim were paroled and not allowed to leave the State. Jim fell in love with a woman, but being an ex-convict, he couldn't get a license to marry her. That broke his heart and he committed suicide. Cole finally got a full pardon and is now living in Jackson County, Missouri. He and Frank are the only two members of the Gang who are left and the only two that didn't die either in the penitentiary or by violence. Frank was in hiding for years with a big price on his head. At last he gave himself up, stood trial, and was acquitted."

Adherents of Bob Ford told a different story of the motives back of the killing of Jesse James. They contend that Jesse James thought Ford had been "telling things" and ought to be put out of the way, and that in killing Jesse, Ford practically saved his own life.

Whatever may be the truth, it is generally agreed that the action of Jesse James in taking off his guns and turning his back on the Ford boys was unprecedented. He had never before been known to remove his weapons. Some people think he did it as a piece of bravado. Others say he did it to show the Ford boys that he trusted[ 334] them. But whatever the occasion for the action it gave Bob Ford his chance—a chance which, it is thought, he would not have dared take when Jesse James was armed.

During the course of our visit Frank James "lectured," more or less constantly, touching on a variety of subjects, including the Mexican situation and woman suffrage.

"The women ought to have the vote," he affirmed. "Look what we owe to the women. A man gets 75 per cent. of what goodness there is in him from his mother, and he owes at least 40 per cent. of all he makes to his wife. Yes, some men owe more than that. Some of 'em owe 100 per cent. to their wives."

Ethics and morality seem to be favorite topics with the old man, and he makes free with quotations from the Bible and from Shakespeare in substantiation of his opinions.

"City people," I heard him say to some other visitors who came while we were there, "think that we folks who live on farms haven't got no sense. Well, we may not know much, but what we do know we know darn well. We farmers feed all these smart folks in the cities, so they ought to give us credit for knowing something."

He can be dry and waggish as he shows himself off to those who come and pay their fifty cents. It was amusing to watch him and listen to him. Sometimes he sounded like an old parson, but his air of piety sat upon him grotesquely as one reflected on his earlier career. A prelate with his hat cocked rakishly over one ear could have seemed hardly more incongruous.

It was Frank James.... He looks more like a prosperous farmer or the president of a rural bank
than like a bandit. In his manner there is a strong note of the showman It was Frank James.... He looks more like a prosperous farmer or the president of a rural bank than like a bandit. In his manner there is a strong note of the showman
[ 335]

At some of his virtuous platitudes it was hard not to smile. All the time I was there I kept thinking how like he was to some character of Gilbert's. All that is needed to make Frank James complete is some lyrics and some music by Sir Arthur Sullivan.

There are almost as many stories of the James Boys and their gang to be heard in Excelsior Springs as there are houses in the town. But as Frank James will not commit himself, it is next to impossible to verify them. However, I shall give a sample.

I was told that Frank and Jesse James were riding along a country road with another member of the gang, and that, coming to a farmhouse shortly after noon, they stopped and asked the woman living there if she could give them "dinner"—as the midday meal is called in Kansas and Missouri.

The woman said she could. They dismounted and entered. Then, as they sat in the kitchen watching her making the meal ready, Jesse noticed that tears kept coming to her eyes. Finally he asked her if anything was wrong. At that she broke down completely, informing him that she was a widow, that her farm was mortgaged for several hundred dollars, and that the man who held the mortgage was coming out that afternoon to collect. She had not the money to pay him and expected to lose her property.[ 336]

"That's nothing to cry about," said Jesse. "Here's the money."

To the woman, who had not the least idea who the men were, their visit must have seemed like one from angels. She took the money, thanking them profusely, and, after having fed them well, saw them ride away.

Later in the day, when the holder of the mortgage appeared upon the scene, fully expecting to foreclose, he was surprised at receiving payment in full. He receipted, mounted his horse, and set out on his return to town. But on the way back a strange thing befell him. He was held up and robbed by three mysterious masked men.[ 337]



Everything I had ever heard of Kansas, every one I had ever met from Kansas, everything I had ever imagined about Kansas, made me anxious to invade that State. With the exception of California, there was no State about which I felt such a consuming curiosity. Kansas is, and always has been, a State of freaks and wonders, of strange contrasts, of individualities strong and sometimes weird, of ideas and ideals, and of apocryphal occurrences.

Just think what Kansas has been, and has had, and is! Think of the border warfare over slavery which began as early as 1855; of settlers, traveling out to "bleeding Kansas" overland, from New England, merely to add their abolition votes; of early struggles with the soil, and of the final triumph. Kansas is to-day the first wheat State, the fourth State in the value of its assessed property (New York, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts only outranking it), and the only State in the Union which is absolutely free from debt. It has a more American population, greater wealth and fewer mortgages per capita, more women running for office, more religious conservatism, more political radicalism,[ 338] more students in higher educational institutions in proportion to its population, more homogeneity, more individualism, and more nasal voices than any other State. As Colonel Nelson said to me: "All these new ideas they are getting everywhere else are old ideas in Kansas." And why shouldn't that be true, since Kansas is the State of Sockless Jerry Simpson, William Allen White, Ed Howe, Walt Mason, Stubbs, Funston, Henry Allen, Victor Murdock, and Harry Kemp; the State of Susan B. Anthony, Carrie Nation, and Mary Ellen Lease—the same sweet Mary Ellen who remarked that "Kansas ought to raise less corn and more hell!"

Kansas used to believe in Populism and free silver. It now believes in hot summers and a hot hereafter. It is a prohibition State in which prohibition actually works; a State like nothing so much as some scriptural kingdom—a land of floods, droughts, cyclones, and enormous crops; of prophets and of plagues. And in the last two items it has sometimes seemed to actually outdo the Bible by combining plague and prophet in a single individual: for instance, Carrie Nation, or again, Harry Kemp, "the tramp poet of Kansas," who is by way of being a kind of Carrie Nation of convention. Only last year Kansas performed one of her biblical feats, when she managed, somehow, to cause the water, in the deep well supplying the town of Girard, to turn hot. But that is nothing to what she has done. Do you remember the plague of grasshoppers? Not in the whole Bible is there to be found a more perfect pesti[ 339]lence than that one, which occurred in Kansas in 1872. One day a cloud appeared before the sun. It came nearer and nearer and grew into a strange, glistening thing. At midday it was dark as night. Then, from the air, the grasshoppers commenced to come, like a heavy rain. They soon covered the ground. Railroad trains were stopped by them. They attacked the crops, which were just ready to be harvested, eating every green thing, and even getting at the roots. Then, on the second day, they all arose, making a great cloud, as before, and turning the day black again. Nor can any man say whence they came or whither they departed.

Among the homely philosophers developed through Kansas journalism several are widely known, most celebrated among them all being Ed Howe of the Atchison "Globe," William Allen White of the Emporia "Gazette," and Walt Mason of the same paper.

Howe is sixty years of age. He was owner and editor of the "Globe" for more than thirty years, but four years ago, when his paper gave him a net income of sixty dollars per day, he turned it over to his son and retired to his country place, "Potato Hill," whence he issues occasional manifestos.

Some of Howe's characteristic paragraphs from the "Globe" have been collected and published in book form, under the title, "Country Town Sayings." Here are a few examples of his homely humor and philosophy:

So many things go wrong that we are tired of becoming indignant.

[ 340]

Watch the flies on cold mornings; that is the way you will feel and act when you are old.

There is nothing so well known as that we should not expect something for nothing, but we all do and call it hope.

When half the men become fond of doing a thing, the other half prohibit it by law.

Sometimes I think that I have nothing to be thankful for, but when I remember that I am not a woman I am content. Any one who is compelled to kiss a man and pretend to like it is entitled to sympathy.

Somehow every one hates to see an unusually pretty girl get married. It is like taking a bite out of a very fine-looking peach.

What people say behind your back is your standing in the community in which you live.

A really busy person never knows how much he weighs.

Walt Mason is another Kansas philosopher-humorist. Recently he published in "Collier's Weekly" an article describing life, particularly with regard to prohibition and its effects, in his "hum town," Emporia.

Emporia is probably as well known as any town of its size in the land. It has, as Mason puts it, "ten thousand people, including William Allen White." Including Walt Mason, then, it must have about eleven thousand. Mason's article told how Stubbs, on becoming Governor of Kansas, enforced the prohibition laws, and of the fine effect of actual prohibition in Emporia. "No town in the world," he declares, "wears a tighter lid. There is no drunkenness because there is nothing to drink stiffer than pink lemonade. You will see a unicorn as soon as you will see a drunken man in the streets[ 341] of the town. Emporia has reared a generation of young men who don't know what alcohol tastes like, who have never seen the inside of a saloon. Many of them never saw the outside of one. They go forth into the world to seek their fortunes without the handicap of an acquired thirst. All Emporia's future generations of young men will be similarly clean, for the town knows that a tight lid is the greatest possible blessing and nobody will ever dare attempt to pry it loose."

Having spent a year in the prohibition State of Maine, I was skeptical as to the feasibility of a practical prohibition. Prohibition in Maine, when I was there, was simply a joke—and a bad joke at that, for it involved bad liquor. Every man in the State who wanted drink knew where to get it, so long as he was satisfied with poor beer, or whisky of about the quality of spar varnish. Never have I seen more drunkenness than in that State. The slight added difficulty of getting drink only made men want it more, and it seemed to me that, when they got it, they drank more at a sitting than they would have, had liquor been more generally accessible.

In Kansas it is different. There the law is enforced. Blind pigs hardly exist, and bootleggers are rare birds who, if they persist in bootlegging, are rapidly converted into jailbirds. The New York "Tribune" printed, recently, a letter stating that prohibition is a signal failure in Kansas, that there is more drinking there than ever before, and that "under the seats of all the automobiles in Kansas there is a good-sized canteen." Whether[ 342] there is more drinking in Kansas than ever before, I cannot say. I do know, however, both from personal observation and from reliable testimony, that there is practically no drinking in the portions of the State I visited. As I am not a prohibitionist, this statement is nonpartizan. But I may add, after having seen the results of prohibition in Kansas, I look upon it with more favor. Indeed, I am a partial convert; that is, I believe in it for you. And whatever are your views on prohibition, I think you will admit that it is a pretty temperate State in which a girl can grow to womanhood and say what one Kansas girl said to me: that she never saw a drunken man until she moved away from Kansas.

Three religious manifestations occurred while I was in Kansas. A negro preacher came out with a platform declaring definitely in favor of a "hot hell," another preacher affirmed that he had the answer to the "six riddles of the universe," and William Allen White came out with the news that he had "got religion."

Now, if William Allen White of the Emporia "Gazette" really has done that, a number of consequences are likely to occur. For one thing, a good many Americans who follow, with interest, Mr. White's opinions, are likely also to follow him in this; and if they fail to do so voluntarily, they are likely to get religion stuffed right down their throats. If White decides that it is good for them, they'll get it, never fear! For White's the kind of man who gives us what is good for us, even[ 343] if it kills us. Another probable result of White's coming out in the "Gazette" in favor of religion would be the simultaneous appearance, in the "Gazette," of anti-religious propaganda by Walt Mason. That is the way the "Gazette" is run. White is the proprietor and has his say as editor, but Walt Mason, who is associated with him on the "Gazette," also has his say, and his say is far from being dictated by the publisher. White, for instance, favors woman suffrage; Mason does not. White is a progressive; Mason is a standpatter. White believes in the commission form of government, which Emporia has; Mason does not. Mason believes in White for Governor of Kansas, whereas White, himself, protests passionately that the "Gazette" is against "that man White."

Says a "Gazette" editorial, apropos of a movement to nominate White on the Progressive ticket:

We are onto that man White. Perhaps he pays his debts. He may be kind to his family. But he is not the man to run for Governor. And if he is a candidate for Governor or for any other office, we propose to tell the truth about him—how he robbed the county with a padded printing bill, how he offered to trade off his support to a Congressman for a Government building, how he blackmailed good citizens and has run a bulldozing, disreputable newspaper in this town for twenty years, and has grafted off business men and sold fake mining stock and advocated anarchy and assassinations.

These are but a few preliminary things that occur to us as the moment passes. We shall speak plainly hereafter. A word to the wise gathers no moss.

[ 344]

That is the way they run the Emporia "Gazette." It is a kind of forum in which White and Mason air their different points of view, for, as Mason said to me: "The only public question on which White and I agree is the infallibility of the groundhog as a weather prophet."

White and Colonel Nelson of the Kansas City "Star" are great friends and great admirers of each other. One day they were talking together about politics.

"I hear," said Colonel Nelson, "that Shannon (Shannon is the Democratic boss of Kansas City) says he wants to live long enough to go to the State Legislature and get a law passed making it only a misdemeanor to kill an editor."

"Colonel," replied White, "I think such a law would be too drastic. I think editors should be protected during the mating season and while caring for their young. And, furthermore, I think no man should be allowed to kill more editors at any time than he and his family can eat."[ 345]



It was about one o'clock in the afternoon when my companion and I alighted from the train in Lawrence, Kas., the city in which the Quantrell massacre occurred, as mentioned in a preceding chapter, and the seat of the University of Kansas.

An automobile hack, the gasoline equivalent of the dilapidated horse-drawn station hack of earlier times, was standing beside the platform. We consulted the driver about luncheon.

"You kin get just as good eating at the lunch room over by the other station," he said, "as you kin at the hotel, and 't won't cost you so much. They charge fifty cents for dinner at the Eldridge, and the lunch room's only a quarter. You kin get anything you want to eat there—ham and eggs, potatoes, all such as that."

Somehow we were suspicious of the lunch room, but as we had to leave our bags at the other station, we told him we would look it over, got in, and drove across the town. The lunch room proved to be a one-story wooden structure, painted yellow, and supporting one of those "false fronts," representing a second story, which one sees so often in little western towns, and which of all architectural follies is the worst, since it deceives no one,[ 346] makes only for ugliness, and is a sheer waste of labor and material.

We did not even alight at the lunch room, but, despite indications of hurt feelings on the part of our charioteer, insisted on proceeding to the Eldridge House and lunching there, cost what it might.

The Eldridge House stands on a corner of the wide avenue known as Massachusetts, the principal street, which, like the town itself, indicates, in its name, a New England origin. Lawrence was named for Amos Lawrence, the Massachusetts abolitionist, who, though he never visited Kansas, gave the first ten thousand dollars toward the establishment of the university.

Alighting before the hotel, I noticed a building, diagonally opposite, bearing the sign, Bowersock Theater. Billboards before the theater announced that Gaskell & McVitty (Inc.) would present there a dramatization of Harold Bell Wright's "Shepherd of the Hills." As I had never seen a dramatization of a work by America's best-selling author, nor yet a production by Messrs. Gaskell & McVitty (Inc.), it seemed to me that here was an opportunity to improve, as at one great bound, my knowledge of the theater. One of the keenest disappointments of my trip was the discovery that this play was not due in Lawrence for some days, as I would even have stopped a night in the Eldridge House, if necessary, to have attended a performance—especially a performance in a theater bearing the poetic name of Bowersock.[ 347]

Rendered reckless by my disappointment, I retired to the Eldridge House dining room and ordered the fifty-cent luncheon. If it was the worst meal I had on my entire trip, it at least fulfilled an expectation, for I had heard that meals in western hotels were likely to be poor. It is only just to add, however, that a number of sturdy men who were seated about the room ate more heartily and vastly than any other people I have seen, excepting German tourists on a Rhine steamer. I envy Kansans their digestions. For my own part, I was less interested in my meal than in the waitresses. Has it ever struck you that hotel waitresses are a race apart? They are not like other women; not even like other waitresses. They are even shaped differently, having waists like wasps and bosoms which would resemble those of pouter pigeons if pouter pigeons' bosoms did not seem to be a part of them. Most hotel waitresses look to me as though, on reaching womanhood, they had inhaled a great breath and held it forever after. Only the fear of being thought indelicate prevents my discussing further this curious phenomenon. However, I am reminded that, as Owen Johnson has so truly said, American writers are not permitted the freedom which is accorded to their Gallic brethren. There is, I trust, however, nothing improper in making mention of the striking display of jewelry worn by the waitresses at the Eldridge House. All wore diamonds in their hair, and not one wore less than fifty thousand dollars' worth. These diamonds were set in large hairpins, and the show of[ 348] gems surpassed any I have ever seen by daylight. Luncheon at the Eldridge suggests, in this respect, a first night at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, and if it is like that at luncheon, what must it be at dinner time? Do they wear tiaras and diamond stomachers? I regret that I am unable to say, for, immediately after luncheon, I kept an appointment, previously made, with the driver of the auto hack.

"Where do you boys want to go now?" he asked my companion and me as we appeared.

"To the university," I said.

"Students?" he asked, with kindly interest.

Neither of us had been taken for a student in many, many years; the agreeable suggestion was worth an extra quarter to him. Perhaps he had guessed as much.

The drive took us out Massachusetts Avenue, which, when it escapes the business part of town, becomes an agreeable, tree-bordered thoroughfare, reminiscent of New England. Presently our rattle-trap machine turned to the right and began the ascent of a hill so steep as to cause the driver to drop back into "first." It was a long hill, too; we crawled up for several blocks before attaining the plateau at the top, where stands the University of Kansas.

The setting of the college surprised us, for, if there was one thing that we had expected more than another, it was that Kansas would prove absolutely flat. Yet here we were on a mountain top—at least they call it[ 349] Mount Oread—with the valley of the Kaw River below, and what seemed to be the whole of Kansas spread round about, like a vast panoramic mural decoration for the university—a maplike picture suggesting those splendid decorations of Jules Guerin's in the Pennsylvania Terminal in New York.

I know of no university occupying a more suitable position or a more commanding view, although it must be recorded that the university has been more fortunate in the selection of its site than in its architecture and the arrangement of its grounds. Like other colleges founded forty or fifty years ago, the University of Kansas started in a small way, and failed entirely to anticipate the greatness of its future. The campus seems to have "just growed" without regard to the grouping of buildings or to harmony between them, and the architecture is generally poor. Nevertheless there is a sort of homely charm about the place, with its unimposing, helter-skelter piles of brick and stone, its fine trees, and its sweeping view.

It was principally with the purpose of visiting the University of Kansas that we stopped in Lawrence. We had heard much of the great, energetic state colleges, which had come to hold such an important place educationally, and in the general life of the Middle West and West, and had planned to visit one of them. Originally we had in mind the University of Wisconsin, because we had heard so much about it; later, however, it struck us that everybody else had heard a good deal about it,[ 350] too, and that we had better visit some less widely advertised college. We hit on the University of Kansas because Kansas is the most typical American agricultural state, and also because a Kansan, whom we met on the train, informed us that "In Kansas we are hell on education."

In detail I knew little of these big state schools. I had heard, of course, of the broadening of their activities to include a great variety of general state service, aside from their main purpose of giving some sort of college education, at very low cost, to young men and women of rural communities who desire to continue beyond the public schools. I must confess, however, that, aside from such great universities as those of Michigan and Wisconsin, I had imagined that state universities were, in general, crude and ill equipped, by comparison with the leading colleges of the East.

If the University of Kansas may, as I have been credibly informed, be considered as a typical western state university, then I must confess that my preconceptions regarding such institutions were as far from the facts as preconceptions, in general, are likely to be. The University of Kansas is anything but backward. It is, upon the contrary, amazingly complete and amazingly advanced. Not only has it an excellent equipment and a live faculty, but also a remarkably energetic, eager student body, much more homogeneous and much more unanimous in its hunger for education than student bodies in eastern universities, as I have observed them.[ 351]

The University of Kansas has some three thousand students, about a thousand of them women. Considerably more than half of them are either partly or wholly self-supporting, and 12 per cent. of them earn their way during the school months. The grip of the university upon the State may best be shown by statistics—if I may be forgiven the brief use of them. Out of 103 counties in Kansas only seven were not represented by students in the university in the years 1910-12—the seven counties being thinly settled sections in the southwest corner of the State. Seventy-three percent. of last year's students were born in Kansas; more than a third of them came from villages of less than 2,000 population; and the father of one out of every three students was a farmer.

Life at the university is comfortable, simple, and very cheap, the average cost, per capita, for the school year being perhaps $200, including school expenses, board, social expenses, etc., nor are there great social and financial gaps between certain groups of students, as in some eastern colleges. The university is a real democracy, in which each individual is judged according to certain standards of character and behavior.

"Now and again," one young man told me, with a sardonic smile, "we get a country boy who eats with his knife. He may be a mighty good sort, but he isn't civilized. When a fellow like that comes along, we take him in hand and tell him that, aside from the danger of cutting his mouth, we have certain peculiar whims on[ 352] the subject of manners at table, and that it is better for him to eat as we do, because if he doesn't it makes him conspicuous. Inside a week you'll see a great change in a boy of that kind."

Not only is the cost to the student low at the University of Kansas, but the cost of operating the university is slight. In the year 1909-10 (the last year on which I have figures) the cost of operating sixteen leading colleges in the United States averaged $232 per student. The cost per student at the University of Kansas is $175. One reason for this low per capita cost is the fact that the salaries of professors at the University of Kansas are unusually small. They are too small. It is one of the reproaches of this rich country of ours that, though we are always ready to spend vast sums on college buildings, we pay small salaries to instructors; although it is the faculty, much more than the buildings, which make a college. So far as I have been able to ascertain, Harvard pays the highest maximum salaries to professors, of any American university—$5,500 is the Harvard maximum. California, Cornell, and Yale have a $5,000 maximum. Kansas has the lowest maximum I know of, the greatest salary paid to a professor there, according to last year's figures, having been $2,500.

Before leaving New York I was told by a distinguished professor in an eastern university that the students he got from the West had, almost invariably, more initiative and energy than those from the region of the Atlantic seaboard.

The campus seems to have "just growed."... Nevertheless there is a sort of homely charm about
the place, with its unimposing, helter-skelter piles of brick and stone The campus seems to have "just growed."... Nevertheless there is a sort of homely charm about the place, with its unimposing, helter-skelter piles of brick and stone

[ 353]

"Just what do you mean by the West?" I asked.

"In general," he replied, "I mean students from north and west of Chicago. If I show an eastern boy a machine which he does not understand, the chances are that he will put his hands in his pockets and shake his head dubiously. But if I show the same machine to a western boy, he will go right at it, unafraid. Western boys usually have more 'gumption,' as they call it."

Brief as was my visit to the University of Kansas, I felt that there, indeed, was "gumption." And it is easy to account for. The breed of men and women who are being raised in the Western States is a sturdier breed than is being produced in the East. They have just as much fun in their college life as any other students do, but practically none of them go to college just "to have a good time," or with the even less creditable purpose of improving their social position. Kansas is still too near to first principles to be concerned with superficialities. It goes to college to work and learn, and its reason for wishing to learn are, for the most part, practical. One does not feel, in the University of Kansas, the aspiration for a vague culture for the sake of culture only. It is, above all, a practical university, and its graduates are notably free from the cultural affectations which mark graduates of some eastern colleges, enveloping them in a fog of pedantry which they mistake for an aura of erudition, and from which many of them never emerge.

Directness, sincerity, strength, thoughtfulness, and[ 354] practicality are Kansas qualities. Even the very young men and women of Kansas are not far removed from pioneer forefathers, and it must be remembered that the Kansas pioneer differed from some others in that he possessed a strain of that Puritan love of freedom which not only brought his forefathers to Plymouth, but brought him overland to Kansas, as has been said, to cast his vote for abolition. Naturally, then, the zeal which fired him and his ancestors is reflected in his children and his grandchildren. And that, I think, is one reason why Kansas has developed "cranks."

Contrasting curiously with Kansas practicality, however, there must be among the people of that State another quality of a very different kind, which I might have overlooked had I not chanced to see a copy of the "Graduate Magazine," and had I not happened to read the list of names of graduates who returned to the university for the last commencement. The list was not a very long one, yet from it I culled the following collection of given names for women: Ava, Alverna, Angie, Ora, Amida, Lalia, Nadine, Edetha, Violetta, Flo, Claudia, Evadne, Nelle, Ola, Lanora, Amarette, Bernese, Minta, Juanita, Babetta, Lenore, Letha, Leta, Neva, Tekla, Delpha, Oreta, Opal, Flaude, Iva, Lola, Leora, and Zippa.

Clearly, then, Kansas has a penchant for "fancy" names. Why, I wonder? Is it not, perhaps, a reaction, on the part of parents, against the eternal struggle with the soil, the eternal practicalities of farm life? Is it an[ 355] expression of the craving of Kansas mothers for poetry and romance? It seems to me that I detect a wistful something in those names of Kansas' daughters.

Much has been heard, in the last few years, of the "Wisconsin idea" of linking up the state university with the practical life of the people of the State. This idea did not originate in Wisconsin, however, but in Kansas, where as long ago as 1868 a law was passed making the chancellor of the university State Sealer of Weights and Measures. Since that time the connection between the State and its great educational institutions has continued to grow, until now the two are bound together by an infinite number of ties.

For example, no municipality in Kansas may install a water supply, waterworks, or sewage plant without obtaining from the university sanction of the arrangements proposed. The dean of the University School of Medicine, Dr. S. J. Crumbine, is also secretary of the State Board of Health. It was Dr. Crumbine who started the first agitation against the common drinking cup, the roller towel, etc., and he succeeded in having a law passed by the State Legislature in Kansas abolishing these. He also accomplished the passage of a law providing for the inspection of hotels, and requiring, among other things, ten-foot sheets. All water analysis for the State is done at the university, as well as analysis in connection with food, drugs, etc., and student work is utilized in a practical way in connection with this state service, wherever possible.[ 356]

Passing through the laboratories, I saw many examples of this activity, and was shown quantities of samples of foods, beverages, and patent medicines, which had failed to comply with the requirements of the law. There was an artificial cider made up from alcohol and coal-tar dye; a patent medicine called "Spurmax," sold for fifty cents per package, yet containing nothing but colored Epsom salts; another patent medicine sold at the same price, containing the same material plus a little borax; bottles of "SilverTop," a beer-substitute, designed to evade the prohibition law—bottles with sly labels, looking exactly alike, but which, on examination, proved, in some cases, to have mysteriously dropped the first two letters in the word "unfermented." All sorts of things were being analyzed; paints were being investigated for adulteration; shoes were being examined to see that they conformed to the Kansas "pure-shoe law," which requires that shoes containing substitutes for leather be stamped to indicate the fact.

"This law," remarks "The Masses," "is being fought by Kansas shoe dealers who declare it unconstitutional. Apparently the right to wear paper shoes without knowing it is another of our precious heritages."

The same department of the university is engaged in showing different Kansas towns how to soften their water supply; efforts are also being made to find some means of softening the fiber of the Yucca plant—a weed which the farmers of western Kansas have been trying to get rid of—so that it may be utilized for making rope.[ 357] The Kansas state flower is also being put to use for the manufacture of sunflower oil, which, in Russia, is burned in lamps, and which Kansas already uses, to some extent, as a salad dressing and also as a substitute for linseed oil.

The university has also given attention to the situation with regard to natural gas in Kansas, Professor Cady having recently appeared before the State Board of Utilities recommending that, as natural gas varies greatly as to heat units, the heat unit, rather than the measured foot, be made the basis for all charges by the gas companies.

In one room I came upon a young man who was in charge of a machine for the manufacture of liquid air. This product is packed in vacuum cans and shipped to all parts of the world. I had never seen it before. It is strange stuff, having a temperature of 300 degrees below zero. The young man took a little of it in his hand (it looked like a small pill made of water), and, after holding it for an instant, threw it on the floor, where it evaporated instantly. He then took some in his mouth and blew it out in the form of a frosty smoke. He was an engaging young man, and seemed to enjoy immensely doing tricks with liquid air.

In the department of entomology there is also great activity. Professor S. J. Hunter has, among other researches, been conducting for the last three years elaborate experiments designed to prove or disprove the Sambon theory with regard to pellagra.[ 358]

"Pellagra," Professor Hunter explained to me, "has been known in Italy since 1782, but has existed in the United States for less than thirty years, although it is now found in nearly half our States and has become most serious in the South. Its cause, character, and cure are unknown, although there are several theories. One theory is that it is caused by poisoning due to the excessive use of corn products; another attributes it to cottonseed products; and the Sambon theory, dating from 1910, attributes it to the sand fly, the theory being that the fly becomes infected through sucking the blood of a victim of pellagra, and then communicates the infection by biting other persons. In order to ascertain the truth or untruth of this contention, we have bred uncontaminated sand flies, and after having allowed them to bite infected persons, have let them bite monkeys. The result of these experiments is not yet complete. One monkey is, however, sick, at this time, and his symptoms are not unlike certain symptoms of pellagra."

The university's Museum of Natural History contains the largest single panoramic display of stuffed animals in the world. This exhibition is contained in one enormous case running around an extensive room, and shows, in suitable landscape settings, American animals from Alaska to the tropics. The collection is valued at $300,000, and was made, almost entirely, by members of the faculty and students.[ 359]

The Department of Physical Education is in charge of Dr. James Naismith, who can teach a man to swim in thirty minutes, and who is famous as the inventor of the game of basketball. Dr. Naismith devised basketball as a winter substitute for football, and gave the game its name because, originally, he used peach baskets as his goals.

A very complete system of university extension is operated, covering an enormous field, reaching schools, colleges, clubs, and individuals, and assisting them in almost all branches of education; also a Department of Correspondence Study, covering about 150 courses. Likewise, in the Department of Journalism a great amount of interesting and practical work is being done on the editorial, business, and mechanical sides of newspaper publishing. Following the general practice of other departments of the university, the Department of Journalism places its equipment and resources at the service of Kansas editors and publishers. A clearing house is maintained where buyers and sellers of newspaper properties may be brought together, printers are assisted in making estimates, cost-system blanks are supplied, and job type is cast and furnished free to Kansas publishers in exchange for their old worn-out type.

These are but a few scattered examples of the inner and outer activities of the University of Kansas, as I noted them during the course of an afternoon and even[ 360]ing spent there. For me the visit was an education. I wish that all Americans might visit such a university. But more than that, I wish that some system might be devised for the exchange of students between great colleges in different parts of the country. Doubtless it would be a good thing for certain students at western colleges to learn something of the more elaborate life and the greater sophistication of the great colleges of the East, but more particularly I think that vast benefits might accrue to certain young men from Harvard, Yale, and similar institutions, by contact with such universities as that of Kansas. Unfortunately, however, the eastern students, who would be most benefited by such a shift, would be the very ones to oppose it. Above all others, I should like to see young eastern aristocrats, spenders, and disciples of false culture shipped out to the West. It would do them good, and I think they would be amazed to find out how much they liked it. However, this idea of an exchange is not based so much on the theory that it would help the individual student as on the theory that greater mutual comprehension is needed by Americans. We do not know our country or our fellow countrymen as we should. We are too localized. We do not understand the United States as Germans understand Germany, as the French understand France, or as the British understand Great Britain. This is partly because of the great distances which separate us, partly because of the heterogeneous nature of our population, and partly because, being a[ 361] young civilization, we flock abroad in quest of the ancient charm and picturesqueness of Europe. The "See America First" idea, which originated as the advertising catch line of a western railroad, deserves serious consideration, not only because of what America has to offer in the way of scenery, but also because of what she has to offer in the way of people. I found that a great many thoughtful persons all over the United States were considering this point.

In Detroit, for example, the Lincoln National Highway project is being vigorously pushed by the automobile manufacturers, and within a short time streams of motors will be crossing the continent. As a means of making Americans better acquainted with one another the automobile has already done good work, but its service in that direction has only begun.

Mr. Charles C. Moore, president of the Panama-Pacific Exposition, whom I met, later, in San Francisco, told me that the authorities of the exposition had been particularly interested in the idea of promoting friendliness between Americans.

"We Americans," said Mr. Moore, "are still wondering what America really is, and what Americans really are. One of the greatest benefits of a fair like ours is the opportunity it gives us to form friendly ties with people from all over the country. We shall have a great series of congresses, conferences, and conventions, and will provide the use of halls without charge. The railroads are coöperating with us by making low round-trip[ 362] rates which enable the visitor to come one way and return by another route, so that, besides seeing the fair, they can see the country. The more Americans there are who become interested in seeing the country, the better it is for us and for the United States. Any one requiring proof of the absolute necessity of a closer mutual understanding between the people of this country has but to look at the condition which exists in national politics. What do the Atlantic Coast Congressmen and the Pacific Coast Congressmen really know of one another's requirements? Little or nothing as a rule. They reach conclusions very largely by exchanging votes: 'I'll vote for your measure if you'll vote for mine.' That system has cost this country millions upon millions. If I had my way, there would be a law making it necessary for each Congressman to visit every State in the Union once in two years."

In an earlier chapter I mentioned Quantrell's gang of border ruffians, of which Frank and Jesse James were members, and referred to the Lawrence massacre conducted by the gang.

In all the border trouble, from 1855-6 to the time of the Civil War, Lawrence figured as the antislavery center. That and the ill feeling engendered by differences of opinion along the Missouri border with regard to slavery, caused the massacre. It occurred on August 21, 1863. Lawrence had been expecting an attack by Quantrell for some time before that date, and had at one period posted guards on the roads leading to the[ 363] eastward. After a time, however, this precaution was given up, enabling Quantrell to surprise the town and make a clean sweep. He arrived at Lawrence at 5.30 in the morning with about 450 men. Frank James told me that he himself was not present at the massacre, as he had been shot a short time before and temporarily disabled.

Lawrence, which then had a population of about 1,200, was caught entirely unawares, and was absolutely at the mercy of the ruffians. A good many of the latter got drunk, which added to the horror, for these men were bad enough when sober. They burned down almost the entire business section of the town, as well as a great many houses, and going into the homes, dragged out 163 men, unarmed and defenseless, and cold-bloodedly slaughtered them in the streets, before the eyes of their wives and children. Very few men who were in the town at the time escaped, but among the survivors were twenty-five men who were in the Free State Hotel, the proprietor of which had once befriended Quantrell, and was for that reason spared together with his guests. Some forty or fifty persons living in Lawrence at the present time remember the massacre, most of these being women who saw their husbands, fathers, brothers, or sons killed in the midst of the general orgy. Many stories of narrow escapes are preserved. In one instance a woman whose house had been set on fire, wrapped her husband in a rug, and dragged him, thus enveloped, in the yard as though attempting to save her rug from the[ 364] conflagration. There he remained until, on news that soldiers were on the way to the relief of the stricken town, the Quantrell gang withdrew.[ 365]



We left Lawrence late at night and went immediately to bed upon the train. When I awoke in the morning the car was standing still. In the ventilators overhead, I heard the steady monotonous whistling of the wind. As I became more awake I began to wonder where we were and why we were not moving. Presently I raised the window shade and looked out.

How many things there are in life which we think we know from hearsay, yet which, when we actually encounter them, burst upon us with a new and strange significance! I had believed, for example, that I realized the vastness of the United States without having actually traveled across the country, yet I had not realized it at all, and I do not believe that any one can possibly realize it without having felt it, in the course of a long journey. So too, with the interminable rolling desolation of the prairies, and the likeness of the prairies to the sea: I had imagined that I understood the prairies without having laid eyes upon them, but when I raised my window shade that morning, and found the prairies stretching out before me, I was as surprised, as stunned,[ 366] as though I had never heard of them before, and the idea came to me like an original thought: How perfectly enormous they are! And how like the sea!

I had discovered for myself the truth of another platitude.

For a long time I lay comfortably in my berth, gazing out at the appalling spread of land and sky. Even at sea the great bowl of the sky had never looked so vast to me. The land was nothing to it. In the foreground there was nothing; in the middle distance, nothing; in the distance, nothing—nothing, nothing, nothing, met the eye in all that treeless waste of brown and gray which lay between the railroad line and the horizon, on which was discernible the faint outlines of several ships—ships which were in reality a house, a windmill and a barn.

Presently our craft—for I had the feeling that I was on a ship at anchor—got under way. On we sailed over the ocean of land for mile upon mile, each mile like the one before it and the one that followed, save only when we passed a little fleet of houses, like fishing boats at sea, or crossed an inconsequential wagon road, resembling the faintly discernible wake of some ship, long since out of sight.

Presently I arose and joining my companion, went to the dining car for breakfast. He too had fallen under the spell of the prairies. We sat over our meal and stared out of the window like a pair of images. After breakfast it was the same: we returned to our car and[ 367] continued to gaze out at the eternal spaces. Later in the morning, we became restless and moved back to the observation car as men are driven by boredom from one room to another on an ocean liner.

Now and then in the distance we would see cattle like dots upon the plain, and once in a long time a horseman ambling along beneath the sky. The little towns were far apart and had, like the surrounding scenery, an air of sadness and of desolation. The few buildings were of primitive form, most of them one-story structures of wood, painted in raw color. But each little settlement had its wooden church, and each church its steeple—a steeple crude and pathetic in its expression of effort on the part of a poor little hamlet to embellish, more than any other house, the house of God.

Even our train seemed to have been affected by this country. The observation car was deserted when we reached it. Presently, however, a stranger joined us there, and after a time we fell into conversation with him as we sat and looked at the receding track.

He proved to be a Kansan and he told us interesting things about the State.

Aside from wheat, which is the great Kansas crop, corn is grown in eastern Kansas, and alfalfa in various parts of the State. Alfalfa stays green throughout the greater part of the year as it goes through several sowings. Fields of alfalfa resemble clover fields, save that the former grows more densely and is of a richer, darker shade of green. After alfalfa has grown a few years[ 368] the roots run far down into the ground, often reaching the "underflow" of western Kansas. This underflow is very characteristic of that part of the State, where it is said, there are many lost rivers flowing beneath the surface, adding one more to the list of Kansas phenomena. Some of these rivers flow only three or four feet below the ground, I am told, while others have reached a depth of from twenty to a hundred feet. Alfalfa roots will go down twenty feet to find the water. The former bed of the Republican River in northwestern Kansas is, with the exception of a narrow strip in the middle where the river runs on the surface in flood times, covered with rich alfalfa fields. Excepting at the time of spring and summer rains, this river is almost dry. The old bridges over it are no longer necessary except when the rains occur, and the river has piled sand under them until in some places there is not room for a man to stand beneath bridges which, when built, were ten and twelve feet above the river bed. Now, I am told, they don't build bridges any more, but lay cement roads through the sand, clearing their surfaces after the freshets.

The Arkansas River once a mighty stream, has held out with more success than the Republican against the winds and drifting sands, but it is slowly and certainly disappearing, burying itself in the sand and earth it carries down at flood times—a work in which it is assisted by the strong, persistent prairie winds.

Even at sea the great bowl of the sky had never looked to me so vast Even at sea the great bowl of the sky had never looked to me so vast

The great wheat belt begins somewhere about the middle of the State and continues to the west. In the spring[ 369] the wheat is light green in color and is flexible in the wind so that at that time of year, the resemblance of the prairies to the sea is much more marked, and travelers are often heard to declare that the sight of the green billows makes them seasick. The season in Kansas is about a month earlier than in the eastern states; in May and June the wheat turns yellow, and in the latter part of June it is harvested, leaving the prairies brown and bare again.

The prairie land which is not sown in wheat or alfalfa, is covered with prairie grass—a long, wiry grass, lighter in shade than blue grass, which waves in the everlasting wind and glistens like silver in the sun.

Rain, sun, wind! The elements rule over Kansas. People's hearts are light or heavy according to the weather and the prospects as to crops. My Kansan friend in the observation car pointed out to me the fact that at every railroad siding the railroad company had paid its respects to the Kansas wind by the installation of a device known as a "derailer," the purpose of which is to prevent cars from rolling or blowing from a siding out onto the main line. If a car starts to blow along the siding, the derailer catches it before it reaches the switch, and throws one truck off the track.

"I suppose you've seen cyclones out here, too?" I asked the Kansan.

"Oh, yes," he said.

"Do the people out in this section of the State all have cyclone cellars?"[ 370]

"Oh, some," he said. "Some has 'em. But a great many folks don't pay no attention to cyclones."

Last year, during a bad drought in western Kansas, the wind performed a new feat, adding another item to Kansas tradition. A high wind came in February and continued until June, actually blowing away a large portion of the top-soil of Thomas County, denuding a tract of land fifteen by twenty miles in extent. It was not a mere surface blow, either. In many places two feet of soil would be carried away; roads were obliterated, houses stood like dreary, deserted little forts, the earth piled up breast high around their wire-enclosed dooryards, and fences fell because the supporting soil was blown away from the posts. During this time the air was full of dust, and after it was over the country had reverted to desert—a desert not of sand, but of dust.

This story sounded so improbable that I looked up a man who had been in Thomas County at the time. He told me about it in detail.

"I have spent most of my life in the Middle West," he said, "but that exhibition was a revelation to me of the power of the wind. A quarter of the county was stripped bare. The farmers had, for the most part, moved out of the district because they couldn't keep the wheat in the ground long enough to raise a crop. But they were camped around the edges, making common cause against the wind. You couldn't find a man among them, either, who would admit that he was beaten. The[ 371] kind of men who are beaten by things like that couldn't stand the racket in western Kansas. The fellows out there are the most outrageously optimistic folks I ever saw. They will stand in the wind, eating the dirt that blows into their mouths, and telling you what good soil it is—they don't mean good to eat, either—and if you give them a kind word they are up in arms in a minute trying to sell you some of the cursed country.

"The men I talked to attributed the trouble to too much harrowing; they said the surface soil was scratched so fine that it simply wouldn't hold. There were wild theories, too, of meteorological disturbances, but I think those were mostly evolved in the brains of Sunday editors.

"The farmers fought the thing systematically by a process they called 'listing': a turning over of the top-soil with plows. And after a while the listing, for some reason known only to the Almighty and the Department of Agriculture, actually did stop the trouble and the land stayed put again. Then the farmers planted Kaffir corn because it grows easily, and because they needed a network of roots to hold down the soil. Most of that land was reclaimed by the end of last summer."

The little towns along the line are almost all alike. Each has a watering tank for locomotives, a grain elevator, and a cattle pen, beside the track. Each has a station made of wide vertical boards, their seams covered by wooden strips, and the whole painted ochre. Then there is usually a wide, sandy main street with a[ 372] few brick buildings and more wooden ones, while on the outskirts of the town are shanties, covered with tar paper, and beyond them the eternal prairie. You can see no more reason why a town should be at that point on the prairie than at any other point. And it is a fact, I believe, that, in many instances, the railroad companies have simply created towns, arbitrarily, at even distances. The only town I recall that looked in any way different from every other town out there, was Wallace, where a storekeeper has made a lot of curious figures, in twisted wire, and placed them on the roof of his store, whence they project into the air for a distance of twenty or thirty feet.

I think, though I am not sure, that it was before we crossed the Colorado line when we saw our first 'dobe house, our first sage brush, and our first tumbleweed. Mark Twain has described sagebrush as looking like "a gnarled and venerable live oak tree reduced to a little shrub two feet high, with its rough bark, its foliage, its twisted boughs, all complete." In "Roughing It" he writes two whole pages about sagebrush, telling how it gives a gray-green tint to the desert country, how hardy it is, and how it is used for making camp fires on the plains and he winds up with this characteristic paragraph:

"Sagebrush is very fair fuel, but as a vegetable it is a distinguished failure. Nothing can abide the taste of it but the jackass and his illegitimate child, the mule. But their testimony to its nutritiousness is worth nothing, for they will eat pine knots, or anthracite coal, or brass filings, or lead pipe, or old bottles, or anything that comes handy, and then go off looking as grateful as if they had had oysters for dinner."

The little towns of Western Kansas are far apart and have, like the surrounding scenery, an air of sadness
and desolation The little towns of Western Kansas are far apart and have, like the surrounding scenery, an air of sadness and desolation

[ 373]

Though Mark Twain tells about coyotes and prairie dogs—animals which I looked for, but regret to say I did not see—he ignores the tumbleweed, the most curious thing, animal, vegetable, or mineral, that crossed my vision as I crossed the plains. I cannot understand why Mark Twain did not mention this weed, because he must have seen it, and it must have delighted him, with its comical gyrations.

Tumbleweed is a bushy plant which grows to a height of perhaps three feet, and has a mass of little twigs and branches which make its shape almost perfectly round. Fortunately for the amusement of mankind, it has a weak stalk, so that, when the plant dries, the wind breaks it off at the bottom, and then proceeds to roll it, over and over, across the land. I well remember the first tumbleweed we saw.

"What on earth is that thing?" cried my companion, suddenly, pointing out through the car window. I looked. Some distance away a strange, buff-colored shape was making a swift, uncanny progress toward the east. It wasn't crawling; it wasn't running; but it was traveling fast, with a rolling, tossing, careening motion, like a barrel half full of whisky, rushing down hill. Now it tilted one way, now another; now it shot swiftly into some slight depression in the plain, but only to come[ 374] bounding lightly out again, with an air indescribably gay, abandoned and inane.

Soon we saw another and another; they became more and more common as we went along until presently they were rushing everywhere, careering in their maudlin course across the prairie, and piled high against the fences along the railroad's right of way, like great concealing snowdrifts.

We fell in love with tumbleweed and never while it was in sight lost interest in its idiotic evolutions. Excepting only tobacco, it is the greatest weed that grows, and it has the advantage over tobacco that it does no man any harm, but serves only to excite his risibilities. It is the clown of vegetation, and it has the air, as it rolls along, of being conscious of its comicality, like the smart caniche, in the dog show, who goes and overturns the basket behind the trainer's back; or the circus clown who runs about with a rolling gait, tripping, turning double and triple somersaults, rising, running on, tripping, falling, and turning over and over again. Who shall say that tumbleweed is useless, since it contributes a rare note of drollery to the tragic desolation of the western plains?

As I have said, I am not certain that we saw the tumbleweed before we crossed the line from Kansas into Colorado, but there is one episode that I remember, and which I am certain occurred before we reached the boundary, for I recall the name of the town at which it happened.[ 375]

It was a sad-looking little town, like all the rest—just a main street and a few stores and houses set down in the midst of the illimitable waste. Our train stopped there.

I saw a man across the aisle look out of the window, scowl, rise from his seat, throw up his arms, and exclaim, addressing no one in particular: "God! How can they stand living out here? I'd rather be dead!"

My companion and I had been speaking of the same thing, wondering how people could endure their lives in such a place.

"Come on," he said, rising. "This is the last stop before we get to Colorado. Let's get out and walk."

I followed him from the car and to the station platform.

Looking away from the station, we gazed upon a foreground the principal scenic grandeur of which was supplied by a hitching post. Beyond lay the inevitable main street and dismal buildings. One of them, as I recall it, was painted sky-blue, and bore the simple, unostentatious word, "Hotel."

My companion gazed upon the scene for a time. He looked melancholy. Finally, without turning his head, he spoke.

"How would you like to get off and spend a week here, some day?" he asked me.

"You mean get off some day and spend a week," I corrected.

"No, I mean get off and spend a week some day."[ 376]

I was still cogitating over that when the train started. We scrambled aboard and, resuming our seats in the observation car, looked back at the receding station. There, in strong black letters on a white sign, we saw, for the first time, the name of the town:

Monotony![ 377]

[ 378]

[ 379]



What a curious thing it is, that mental process by which a first impression of a city is summed up. A railway station, a taxicab, swift glimpses through a dirty window of streets, buildings, people, blurred together, incoherently, like moving pictures out of focus; then a quick unconscious adding of infinitesimal details and the total: "I like this city," or: "I do not like it."

It was late afternoon when the train upon which we had come from eastern Kansas stopped at the Denver station—a substantial if not distinguished structure, neither new nor very old, but of that architectural period in which it was considered that a roof was hardly more essential to a station than a tower.

Passing through the building and emerging upon the taxi stand, we found ourselves confronted by an elaborate triple gateway of bronze, somewhat reminiscent of certain city gates of Paris, at which the octroi waits with the inhospitable purpose of collecting taxes. However, Denver has no octroi, nor is the Denver gate a barrier. Indeed, it is not even a gate, having no doors, but is intended merely as a sort of formal portal to the city—a city proud of its climate, of the mountain[ 380] scenery, and of its reputation for thoroughgoing hospitality. Over the large central arch of this bronze monstrosity the beribboned delegate (arriving to attend one of the many conventions always being held in Denver) may read, in large letters, the word "Welcome"; and when, later, departing, he approaches the arch from the city gate, he finds Denver giving him godspeed with the word "Mizpah."

Passing beneath the central arch, our taxi swept along a wide, straight street, paved with impeccably smooth asphalt, and walled in with buildings tall enough and solid enough to do credit to the business and shopping district of any large American city.

All this surprised me. Perhaps because of the unfavorable first impression I had received in Kansas City, I had expected Denver, being farther west, to have a less finished look. Furthermore, I had been reading Richard Harding Davis's book, "The West Through a Car Window," which, though it told me that Denver is "a smaller New York in an encircling range of white-capped mountains," added that Denver has "the worst streets in the country." Denver is still by way of being a miniature New York, with its considerable number of eastern families, and its little replica of Broadway café life, as well; but the Denver streets are no longer ill paved. Upon the contrary, they are among the best paved streets possessed by any city I have visited. That caused me to look at the copyright notice in Mr. Davis's book, whereupon I discovered, to my surprise, that twenty-two years (and Heaven only knows how many steam rollers) had passed over Denver since the book was written. Yet, barring such improvements, the picture is quite accurate to-day.

In the lobby of the Brown Palace Hotel my companion and I saw several old fellows, sitting about,
looking neither prosperous nor busy, but always talking mines. A kind word, or even a pleasant glance,
is enough to set them off. In the lobby of the Brown Palace Hotel my companion and I saw several old fellows, sitting about, looking neither prosperous nor busy, but always talking mines. A kind word, or even a pleasant glance, is enough to set them off.

[ 381]

Another feeling of my first ten minutes in Denver was one of wonder at the city's flatness. That part of it through which we passed on the way to the Brown Palace Hotel was as flat as Chicago, whereas I had always thought of Denver as being in the mountains. However, if flat, the streets looked attractive, and I arrived at the proudly named caravansary with the feeling that Denver was a fine young city.

Meeting cities, one after another, as I met them on this journey, is like being introduced, at a reception, to a line of strangers. A glance, a handshake, a word or two, and you have formed an impression of an individuality. But there is this difference: the individual at the reception is "fixed up" for the occasion, whereas the city has but one exterior to show to every one.

That the exterior shown by Denver is pleasing has been, until recently, a matter more or less of accident. The city was laid out by pioneers and mining men, who showed their love of liberality in making the streets wide. There is nothing close about Denver. She has the open-handed, easy affluence of a mining city. She spends money freely on good pavements and good buildings. Thus, without any brilliant comprehensive plan she has yet grown from a rough mining camp into a delightful city, all in the space of fifty years.[ 382]

A little more than a hundred years ago Captain Zebulon Pike crossed the plains and visited the territory which is now Colorado, though it was then a part of the vast country of Louisiana. Long, Frémont, Kit Carson, and the other early pioneers followed, but it was not until 1858 that gold was found on the banks of Cherry Creek, above its juncture with the South Platte River, causing a camp to be located on the present site of Denver. The first camp was on the west side of Cherry Creek and was named Auraria, after a town in Georgia. On the east side there developed another camp, St. Charles by name, and these two camps remained, for some time, independent of each other. The discovery of gold in California brought a new influx of men to Colorado—though the part of Colorado in which Denver stands was then in the territory of Kansas, which extended to the Rockies. Many of the pioneers were men from eastern Kansas, and hence it happened that when the mining camps of Auraria and St. Charles were combined into one town, the town was named for General James W. Denver, then Governor of Kansas.

Kansas City and Denver are about of an age and are comparable in many ways. The former still remains a kind of capital to which naturally gravitate men who have made fortunes in southwestern oil and cattle, while the latter is a mining capital. Of her "hundred millionaires," most have been enriched by mines, and the story of her sudden fortunes and of her famous "characters"[ 383] makes a long and racy chapter in American history, running the gamut from tragedy to farce. And, like Kansas City, Denver is particularly American. Practically all her millionaires, past and present, came of native stock, and almost all her wealth has been taken from ground in the State of Colorado.

J. M. Oskison, in his "Unconventional Portrait," published in "Collier's" a year or so ago, told a great deal about Denver in a few words:

Last October a frock-coated clergyman of the Episcopal Church stood up in one of the luxurious parlors of Denver's newest hotel and said: "I am an Arapahoe Indian; when I was a little boy my people used to hunt buffalo all over this country; we made our camps right on this place where Denver is now." There is not very much gray in that man's hair.

In the summer of 1867, when Vice-President Colfax came to Denver from Cheyenne, after a stage ride of twenty-two hours, he found it a hopeful city of 5,000. Denver had just learned that Cherry Creek sometimes carried a great deal of water down to the Platte River, and that it wasn't wise to build in its bed.

Irrigation has made a garden of the city and lands about. There are 240,000 people who make Denver their home to-day. The city under the shadow of the mountains is spread over an area of sixty square miles; a plat of redeemed desert with an assessed valuation of $135,000,000.

In 1870, three years after the visit of Colfax, Denver got its first railroad: a spur line from Cheyenne; in the 80's it got street cars; to-day it has the look of a city that is made—and well made. But, as I have said before, that has, hitherto, been largely a matter of good fortune. Denver's youth has saved her from[ 384] the municipal disease which threatens such older cities as St. Louis and St. Paul: hardening of the arteries of traffic. Also, nature has given her what may be termed a good "municipal complexion," wherein she has been more fortunate than Kansas City, whose warts and wens have necessitated expensive operations by the city "beauty doctor."

Now, a city with the natural charm of Denver is, like a woman similarly endowed, in danger of becoming oversure. Either is likely to lie back and rest upon Nature's bounty. Yet, to Denver's eternal credit be it said, she has not fallen into the ways of indolent self-satisfaction. Indeed, I know of no American city which has done, and is doing, more for herself. Consider these few random items taken from the credit side of her balance: She is one of the best lighted cities in the land. She has the commission form of government. (Also, as you will remember, she has woman suffrage, Colorado having been the first State to accept it.) Her Children's Court, presided over by Judge Ben B. Lindsey, is famous. She has no bread line, and, as for crime, when I asked Police Inspector Leonard De Lue about it, he shook his head and said: "No; business is light. The fact is we ain't got no crime out here." Denver owns her own Auditorium, where free concerts are given by the city. Also, in one of her parks, she has a city race track, where sport is the only consideration, betting, even between horse owners, having been successfully eliminated. Furthermore, Denver has been one of the[ 385] first American cities to begin work on a "civic center." Several blocks before the State Capitol have been cleared of buildings, and a plaza is being laid out there which will presently be a Tuileries Garden, in miniature, surrounded by fine public buildings, forming a suitable central feature for the admirable system of parks and boulevards which already exists.

Curiously enough, however, by far the smallest part of Denver's parks are within the confines of the city. About five years ago Mr. John Brisben Walker proposed that mountain parks be created. Denver seized upon the idea with characteristic energy, with the result that she now has mountain parks covering forty square miles in neighboring counties. These parks have an area almost as great as that of the whole city, and are connected with the Denver boulevards by fine roads, so that some of the most spectacular motor trips in the country are within easy range of the "Queen City of the Plains."

But though the mountains give Denver her individuality, and though she has made the most of them, they have not proved an unmixed blessing. The riches which she has extracted from them, and the splendid setting that they give her, is the silver lining to her commercial cloud. The mountains directly west of Denver form a barrier which has forced the main lines of trancontinental travel to the north and south, leaving Denver in a backwater.

To overcome this handicap the late David Moffat,[ 386] one of Denver's early millionaires, started in to build the Denver & Salt Lake Railroad, better known as the Moffat Road. This railway strikes almost due west from Denver and crosses the continental divide at an altitude of over two miles. While it is one of the most astonishing pieces of railroad in the world, its windings and severe grades have made operation difficult and expensive, and the road has been built only as far as Craig, Colo., less than halfway to Salt Lake City. The great difficulty has always been the crossing of the divide. The city of Denver has now come forward with the Moffat tunnel project, and has extended her credit to the extent of three million dollars, for the purpose of helping the railroad company to build the tunnel. It will be more than six miles long, and will penetrate the Continental Divide at a point almost half a mile below that now reached by the road, saving twenty-four miles in distance and over two per cent. in grade. The tunnel is now under construction, and will, when completed, be the longest railroad tunnel in the Western Hemisphere. The railroad company stands one-third of the cost, while the city of Denver undertakes two-thirds. When completed, this route will be the shortest between Denver and Salt Lake by many miles.

Nor is Denver giving her entire attention to her railway line. The good-roads movement is strong throughout the State of Colorado. Last year two million dollars was expended under the direction of the State Highway Commission—a very large sum when it is consid[ 387]ered that the total population of the State is not a great deal larger than that of the city of St. Louis.

The construction of roads in Colorado is carried on under a most advanced system. Of a thousand convicts assigned to the State Penitentiary at Cañon City, four hundred are employed upon road work. In traveling through the State I came upon several parties of these men, and had I not been informed of the fact, I should never have known that they were convicts. I met them in the mountains, where they live in camps many miles distant from the penitentiary. They seemed always to be working with a will, but as we passed, they would look up and smile and wave their hands to us. They appeared healthy, happy, and—respectable. They do not wear stripes, and their guards are unarmed, being selected, rather, as foremen with a knowledge of road building. When one considers the ghastly mine wars which have, at intervals, disgraced the State, it is comforting to reflect upon Colorado's enlightened methods of handling her prisons and her prisoners.

Denver, in her general architecture, is more attractive than certain important cities to the eastward of her. Her houses are, for the most part, built solidly of brick and stone, and more taste has been displayed in them, upon the whole, than has been shown in either St. Louis or Kansas City. Like Kansas City, Denver has many long, tree-bordered streets lined with modest homes which look new and which are substantially built, but there is less monotony of design in Denver.[ 388]

As in Kansas City, the wonder of Denver is that it has all happened in such a short time. This was brought home to me when, dining in a delightful house one evening, I was informed by my hostess that the land on which is her home was "homesteaded," in '64 or '65, by her father; that is to say, he had taken it over, gratis, from the Government. That modest corner lot is now worth between fifteen and twenty thousand dollars.

Though Denver has no art gallery, she hopes to have one in connection with her new "civic center." In the meantime, some paintings are shown in the Public Library and in the Colorado Museum of Natural History—a building which also shelters a collection of stuffed animals (somewhat better, on the whole, than the paintings) and of minerals found in the State.

A symphony hall is planned along with the new art gallery, for Denver has a real interest in music. Indeed, I found that true of many cities in the Middle West and West. In Kansas City, for instance, important concerts are patronized not only by residents of the place, but by quantities of people who come in from other cities and towns within a radius of thirty or forty miles.

Denver has her own symphony orchestra, one which compares favorably with many other large orchestras in various parts of the country. The Denver organization is led by Horace Tureman, a very capable conductor, and its seventy musicians have been gathered from[ 389] theater and café orchestras throughout the city. Six or eight programs of the highest character are given each season, and in order that all music lovers may be enabled to attend the concerts, seats are sold as low as ten cents each.

"If some of the big concert singers who come out here could hear one of our symphony programs," one Denver woman said to me, "I think they might revise their opinion of us. A great many of them must think us less advanced, musically, than we are, for they insist on singing 'The Suwanee River' and 'Home, Sweet Home'—which we always resent."

The one conspicuous example of sculpture which I saw in Denver—the Pioneer's Fountain, by Macmonnies—is not entirely Denver's fault. When a city gives an order to a sculptor of Macmonnies's standing, she shows that she means to do the best she can. It is then up to the sculptor.

The Pioneer's Fountain, which is intended to commemorate the early settlers, could hardly be less suitable. It is large and exceedingly ornate. Surmounting the top of it is a rococo cowboy upon a pony of the same extraction. The pony is not a cow-pony, and the cowboy is not a cowboy, but a theatrical figure: something which might have been modeled by a Frenchman whose acquaintance with this country had been limited to the reading of bad translations of Fenimore Cooper and Bret Harte. At the base of the fountain are figures which, I was informed, represent pioneers.[ 390] If western pioneers had been like these, there never would have been a West. They are soft creatures, almost voluptuous, who would have wept in face of hostile Indians. The whole fountain seems like something intended for a mantel ornament in Dresden china, but which, through some confusion, had gotten itself enlarged and cast in bronze.

Society in Denver has several odd features. For one thing, it is the habit of fashionables, and those who wish to gaze upon them, to attend the theaters on certain nights, which are known as "society night." Thus, the Broadway Theater has "society night" on Mondays, the Denham on Wednesdays, and the Orpheum on Fridays.

"Society," of course, means different things to different persons. In Denver the word, used in its most restricted, most elegant, most recherché, and most exclusive sense, means that group of persons who are celebrated in the society columns of the Denver newspapers, as "The Sacred Thirty-six."

If it is possible for newspapers anywhere to outdo in idiocy those of New York in the handling of "society news," I should say that the Denver newspapers accomplished it. Having less to work with, they have to make more noise in proportion. Thus the arrival in Denver, at about the time I was there, of Lord and Lady Decies caused an amount of agitation the like of which I have never witnessed anywhere. The Denver papers were absolutely plastered over with the pictures[ 391] and doings and sayings of this English gentleman and his American wife, and the matter published with regard to them revealed a delight in their presence which was childlike and engaging.

I have a copy of one Denver paper, containing an interview with Lord and Lady Decies, in which the reporter mentions having been greeted "like I was a regular caller," adding: "The more I looked the grander everything got." The same reporter referred to Decies as "the Lord," which must have struck him as more flattering than when, later, he was mentioned as "His Nibs." The interviewer, however, finally approved the visitors, stating definitely that "they are Regular Folks and they don't four-flush about anything."

When it comes to publicity there is one man in Denver who gets more of it than all the "Sacred Thirty-six" put together, adepts though they seem to be.

It is impossible to consider Denver without considering Judge B. Lindsey—although I may say in passing that I was urged to perform the impossible in this respect.

Opinion with regard to Judge Lindsey is divided in Denver. It is passionately divided. I talked not only with the Judge himself, but with a great many citizens of various classes, and while I encountered no one who did not believe in the celebrated Juvenile Court conducted by him, I found many who disapproved more or less violently of certain of his political activities, his speech-making tours, and, most of all, of his writings[ 392] in the magazines which, it was contended, had given Denver a black eye.

Denver is clearly sensitive about her reputation. As a passing observer, I am not surprised. With Denver, I believe that she has had to take more than a fair share of criticism. She thoroughly is sick of it, and one way in which she shows that she is sick of it is by a billboard campaign.

"Denver has no bread line," I read on the bill-boards. "Stop knocking. Boost for more business and a bigger city."

The charge that the Judge had injured Denver by "knocking" it in his book was used against him freely in the 1912 and 1914 campaign, but he was elected by a majority of more than two to one. He is always elected. He has run for his judgeship ten times in the past twelve years—this owing to certain disputes as to whether the judgeship of the Juvenile Court is a city, county, or state office. But whatever kind of office it is, he holds it firmly, having been elected by all three.

At present the Judge is engaged in trying to complete a code of laws for the protection of women and children, which he hopes will be a model for all other States. This code will cover labor, juvenile delinquency, and dependency, juvenile courts, mothers' compensation, social insurance (the Judge's term for a measure guaranteeing every woman the support of her child, whether she be married or unmarried), probation, and other matters having to do with social and industrial justice to[ 393]ward mother and child. It is the Judge's general purpose to humanize the law, to cause temptations and frailties to be considered by the law, and to make society responsible for its part in crime.

The Judge is also trying to get himself appointed a Commissioner of Child Welfare for the State, without salary or other expense.

Of all these activities Denver, so far as I could learn, seemed generally to approve. A number of women, two corporation presidents, a hotel waiter, and a clerk in an express office, among others, told me they approved of Lindsey's work for women and children. A barber in the hotel said that he "guessed the Judge was all right," but added that there had been "too much hollering about reform," considering that Denver was a city depending for a good deal of her prosperity upon tourists.

In the more intelligent circles the great objections to the Judge seemed to rest upon the florid methods he has used to promote his causes, upon the diversity of his interests, and upon the allegation that he had become a demagogue.

One gentleman described him to me as "the most hated citizen of Colorado in Colorado, and the most admired citizen of Colorado everywhere outside the State."

"Lindsey has done the State harm, perhaps," said this gentleman, "by what he has said about it, but he has done us a lot of good with his reforms. The great trouble is that he has too many irons in the fire. His[ 394] court is a splendid thing; we all admit that. And he is peculiarly suited to his work. But he has gotten into all kinds of movements and has been so widely advertised that he has become a monumental egotist. He believes in his various causes, but, more than anything else, he believes in himself, in getting himself before the public and keeping himself there. He has posed as a little god, and, as Shaw says: 'If you pose as a little god, you must pose for better or for worse.'"

The Judge is a very small, slight man, with a high, bulging white forehead, thin hair, a sharp, aquiline nose, a large, rolling black mustache and very fine eyes, brown almost to blackness. The most striking things about him are the eyes, the forehead, and the waxy whiteness of his skin. He looks thin-skinned, but he seems to have proved that, in the metaphorical sense at least, he is not.

He speaks of his causes quietly but very earnestly, and you feel, as you listen to him, that he hardly ever thinks of other things. There is something strange and very individual about him.

"The story of one American city," he said to me, "is the story of every American city. Denver is no worse than the rest. Indeed, I believe it is a cleaner and better city than most, and I have been in every city in every State in this Union."

It has been said that "the worst thing about reform is the reformer." You can say the same thing about authorship and authors, or about plumbing and plum[ 395]bers. It is only another way of saying that the human element is the weak element. I have met a number of reformers and have come to classify them under three general heads. Without considering the branch of reform in which they are interested, but only their characteristics as individuals, I should say that all professional reformers might be divided as follows: First, zealots, or "inspired" reformers; second, cold-blooded, theoretical, statistical reformers; third, a small number of normal human beings, capable alike of feeling and of reasoning clearly.

About reformers of the first type there is often something abnormal. They are frequently of the most radical opinions, and are likely to be impatient, intolerant, and suspicious of the integrity of those who do not agree with them. They take to the platform like ducks to water and their egos are likely to be very highly developed. Reformers of the second type are repulsive, because reform, with them, has become mechanical; they measure suffering and sin with decimals, and regard their fellow men as specimens. What the reformer of the third class will do is more difficult to say. It is possible that, blowing neither hot nor cold, he will not accomplish so much as the others, but he can reach groups of persons who consider reformers of the first class unbalanced and those of the second inhuman.

I have a friend who is a reformer of the third class. His temperate writings, surcharged with sanity and a sense of justice, have reached many persons who could[ 396] hardly be affected by "yellow" methods of reform. Becoming deeply interested in his work, he was finally tempted to take the platform. One day, when he had come back from a lecture tour, I chanced to meet him, and was surprised to hear from him that, though he had been successful as a lecturer, he nevertheless intended to abandon that field of work.

I asked him why.

"I'll tell you," he said. "At first it was all right. I had certain things I wanted to say to people, and I said them. But as I went on, I began to feel my audiences more and more. I began to know how certain things I said would affect them. I began to want to affect them—to play upon them, see them stirred, hear them applaud. So, hardly realizing it at first, I began shifting my speeches, playing up certain points, not so much because those points were the ones which ought to be played up, but because of the pleasure it gave me to work up my listeners. Then, one night while I was talking, I realized what was happening to me. I was losing my intellectual honesty. Public speaking had been stealing it from me without my knowing it. Then and there I made up my mind to give it up. I'm not going to Say it any more; I'm going to Write it. When a man is writing, other minds are not acting upon his, as they are when he is speaking to an audience."

Personally, I think Judge Lindsey would be stronger with the more critical minds of Colorado if he, too, had felt this way.[ 397]

A number of odd items about Denver should be mentioned.

Elitch's Garden, the city's great summer amusement place, is famous all through the country. It was originally a farm, and still has a fine orchard, besides its orderly Coney Island features. Children go there in the afternoons with their nurses, and all of Denver goes there in the evenings when the great attraction is the theater with its stock company which is of a very high order.

The Tabor Opera House in Denver is famous among theatrical people largely because of the man who built it. Tabor was one of Denver's most extraordinary mining millionaires. After he had struck it rich he determined to build as a monument to himself, the finest Opera House in the United States, and "damn the expense."

While the building was under construction he was called away from the city. The story is related that on his return he went to see what progress had been made, and found mural painters at work, over the proscenium arch. They were painting the portrait of a man.

"Who's that?" demanded Tabor.

"Shakespeare," the decorator informed him.

"Shakespeare—shake hell!" responded the proprietor. "He never done nothing for Denver. Paint him out and put me up there."

Though there have been no Tabors made in Denver in the last few years, mining has not gone out of fashion.[ 398] In the lobby of the Brown Palace Hotel my companion and I saw several old fellows, sitting about, looking neither prosperous nor busy, but always talking mines. A kind word, or even a pleasant glance is enough to set them off. Instantly their hands dive into their pockets and out come nuggets and samples of ore, which they polish upon their coat sleeves, and hold up proudly, turning them to catch the light.

"Yes, sir! I made the doggondest strike up there you ever saw! It's all on the ground. Come over here and look at this!"

To which the answer is likely to be:

"No, I haven't time."

The Denver Club is a central rallying place for the successful business men of the city. It is a splendid club, with the best of kitchens, and cellars, and humidors. All over the land I have met men who had been entertained there and who spoke of the place with something like affection.

One night, several weeks after we had left Denver, we were at the Bohemian Club in San Francisco, and fell to talking of Denver and her clubs.

"It was in a club in Denver," one man said, "that I witnessed the most remarkable thing I saw in Colorado."

"What was that?" we asked.

"I met a former governor of the State there one night," he said. "We sat around the fire. Every now and then he would hit the very center of a cuspidor which[ 399] stood fifteen feet away. The remarkable thing about it was that he didn't look more than forty-five years old. I have always wondered how a man of that age could have carried his responsibility as governor, yet have found time to learn to spit so superbly."[ 400]



An enthusiastic young millionaire, the son of a pioneer, determined that my companion and I ought to see the mountain parks.

It was winter, and for reasons all too plainly visible from Denver, no automobiles had attempted the ascent since fall, for the mountain barrier, rearing itself majestically to the westward, glittered appallingly with ice and snow.

"We can have a try at it, anyway," said our friend.

So, presently, in furs, and surrounded by lunch baskets and thermos bottles, we set out for the mountains in his large six-cylinder machine.

Emerging from the city, and taking the macadamized road which leads to Golden, we had our first uninterrupted view of the full sweep of that serrated mountain wall, visible for almost a hundred miles north of Denver, and a hundred south; a solid, stupendous line, flashing as though the precious minerals had been coaxed out to coruscate in the warm surface sunshine.

There was something operatic in that vast and splendid spectacle. I felt that the mountains and the sky formed the back drop in a continental theater, the stage[ 401] of which is made up of thousands of square miles of plains.

Striking a pleasant pace we sped toward the barrier as though meaning to dash ourselves against it; for it seemed very near, and our car was like some great moth fascinated by the flash of ice and snow. However, as is usual where the air is clear and the altitude great, the eye is deceived as to distances in Colorado, and the foothills, which appear to be not more than three or four miles distant from Denver, are in reality a dozen miles away.

Denver has many stock stories to illustrate that point. It is related that strangers sometimes start to walk to the mountains before breakfast, and the tale is told of one man who, having walked for hours, and thus discovered the illusory effect of the clear mountain air, was found undressing by a four-foot irrigation ditch, preparatory to swimming it, having concluded that, though it looked narrow, it was, nevertheless in reality a river.

Nor is optical illusion regarding distances the only quality contained in Denver air. Denver and Colorado Springs are of course famous resorts for persons with weak lungs, but one need not have weak lungs to feel the tonic effect of the climate. Denver has little rain and much sunshine. Her winter air seems actually to hold in solution Colorado gold. My companion and I found it difficult to get to sleep at night because of the exhilarating effect of the air, but we would awaken in[ 402] the morning after five or six hours' slumber, feeling abnormally lively.

I spoke about that to a gentleman who was a member of our automobile mountain party.

"There's no doubt," he replied, as we bowled along, "that this altitude affects the nerves. Even animals feel it. I have bought a number of eastern show horses and brought them out here, and I have found that horses which were entirely tractable in their habitual surroundings, would become unmanageable in our climate. Even a pair of Percherons which were perfectly placid in St. Louis, where I got them, stepped up like hackneys when they reached Denver.

"I think a lot of the agitation we have out here comes from the same thing. Take our passionate political quarreling, or our newspapers and the way they abuse each other. Or look at Judge Lindsey. I think the altitude is partly accountable for him, as well as for a lot of things the rest of us do. Of course it's a good thing in one way: it makes us energetic; but on the other hand, we are likely to have less balance than people who don't live a mile up in the air."

As we talked, our car breezed toward the foothills. Presently we entered the mouth of a narrow cañon and, after winding along rocky slopes, emerged upon the town of Golden.

Golden, now known principally as the seat of the State School of Mines, used to be the capital of Colorado. Spread out upon a prairie the place might assume an[ 403] air of some importance, but stationed as it is upon a slope, surrounded by gigantic peaks, it seems a trifling town clinging to the mountainside as a fly clings to a horse's back.

The slope upon which Golden is situated is a comparatively gentle one, but directly back of the city the angle changes and the surface of the world mounts abruptly toward the heavens, which seem to rest like a great coverlet upon the upland snows.

Rivulets from the melting white above, were running through the streets of Golden, turning them to a sea of mud, through which we plowed powerfully on "third." As we passed into the backyard of Golden, the mountain seemed to lean out over us.

"That's our road, up there," remarked the Denver gentleman who sat in the tonneau, between my companion and myself. He pointed upward, zig-zagging with his finger.

We gazed at the mountainside.

"You don't mean that little dark slanting streak like a wire running back and forth, do you?" asked my companion.

"Yes, that's it. You see they've cut a little nick into the slope all the way up and made a shelf for the road to run on."

"Is there any wall at the edge?" I asked.

"No," he said. "There's no wall yet. We may have that later, but you see we have just built this road."

"Isn't there even a fence?"[ 404]

"No. But it's all right. The road is wide enough."

Presently we reached the bottom of the road, and began the actual ascent.

"Is this it?" asked my companion.

"Yes, this is it. You see the pavement is good."

"But I thought you said the road was wide?"

"Well, it is wide—that is, for a mountain road. You can't expect a mountain road to be as wide as a city boulevard, you know."

"But suppose we should meet somebody," I put in. "How would we pass?"

"There's room enough to pass," said the Denver gentleman. "You've only got to be a little careful. But there is no chance of our meeting any one. Most people wouldn't think of trying this road in winter because of the snow."

"Do you mean that the snow makes it dangerous?" asked my companion.

"Some people seem to think so," said the Denver gentleman.

Meanwhile the gears had been singing their shrill, incessant song as we mounted, swiftly. My seat was at the outside of the road. I turned my head in the direction of the plains. From where I sat the edge of the road was invisible. I had a sense of being wafted along through the air with nothing but a cushion between me and an abyss. I leaned out a little, and looked down at the wheel beneath me. Then I saw that several feet of pavement, lightly coated with snow, intervened between the tire, and the awful edge. Beyond the edge was several hundred feet of sparkling air, and beyond the air I saw the roofs of Golden.

"Ain't Nature wonderful!" "Ain't Nature wonderful!"

[ 405]

One of these roofs annoyed me. I do not know the nature of the building it adorned. It may have been a church, or a school, or a town hall. I only know that the building had a tower, rising to an acute point from which a lightning rod protruded like a skewer. When I first caught sight of it I shuddered and turned my eyes upward toward the mountain. I did not like to gaze up at the heights which we had yet to climb, but I liked it better on the whole than looking down into the depths below.

"What mountain do you call this?" I asked, trying to make diverting conversation.

"Which one?" asked the Denver gentleman.

"The one we are climbing."

"This is just one of the foothills," he declared.

"Oh," I said.

"If this is a foothill," remarked my companion, "I suppose the Adirondacks are children's sand piles."

"See how blue the plains are," said the Denver gentleman sweeping the landscape with his arm. "People compare them with the sea."

I did not wish to see how blue the plains were, but out of courtesy I looked. Then I turned my eyes away, hastily. The spacious view did not strike me in the sense of beauty, but in the pit of the stomach. In looking away from the plains, I tried to do so without no[ 406]ticing the town below. I did not wish to contemplate that pointed tower, again. But a terrible curiosity drew my eyes down. Yes, there was Golden, looking like a toy village. And there was the tower, pointing up at me. I could not see the lightning rod now, but I knew that it was there. Again I looked up at the peaks.

For a time we rode on in silence. I noticed that the snow on the slope beside us, and in the road, was becoming deeper now, but it did not seem to daunt our powerful machine. Up, up we went without slackening our pace.

"Look!" exclaimed the Denver gentleman after a time. "You can see Denver now, just over the top of South Table Mountain."

Again I was forced to turn my eyes in the direction of the plains. Yes, there was Denver, looking like some dream island of Maxfield Parrish's in the sea of plain.

I tried to look away again at once, but the Denver man kept pointing and insisting that I see it all.

"South Table Mountain, over the top of which you are now looking," he said, "is the same hill we skirted in coming into Golden. We were at the bottom of it then. That will show you how we have climbed already."

"We must be halfway up by now," said my companion hopefully.

"Oh, no; not yet. We are only about—" There he broke off suddenly and clutched at the side of the tonneau. Our front wheels had slipped sidewise in the[ 407] snow, upon a turn, and had brought us very near the edge. Again something drew my eyes to Golden. It was no longer a toy village; it was now a map. But the tower was still there. However far we drove we never seemed to get away from it.

Where the brilliant sunlight lay upon the snow, it was melting, but in shaded places it was dry as talcum powder. Rounding another turn we came upon a place of deep shadow, where the riotous mountain winds had blown the dry snow into drifts. One after the other we could see them reaching away like white waves toward the next angle in the road.

My heart leaped with joy at the sight, and as I felt the restraining grip of the brakes upon our wheels, I blessed the elements which barred our way.

"Well," I cried to our host as the car stood still. "It has been a wonderful ride. I never thought we should get as far as this."

"Neither did I!" exclaimed my companion rising to his feet. "I guess I'll get out and stretch my legs while you turn around."

"So will I," I said.

Our host looked back at us.

"Turn around?" he repeated. "I'm not going to turn around."

My companion measured the road with his eye.

"It is sort of narrow for a turn, isn't it?" he said. "What will you do—back down?"

"Back nothing!" said our host "I'm going through."[ 408]

The pioneer in him had spoken. His jaw was set. The joy that I had felt ebbed suddenly away. I seemed to feel it leaking through the soles of my feet. We had stopped in the shadow. It was cold there and the wind was blowing hard. I did not like that place, but little as I liked it, I fairly yearned to stop there.

I heard the gears click as they meshed. The car leaped forward, struck the drift, bounded into it with a drunken, slewing motion, penetrated for some distance and finally stopped, her headlights buried in the snow.

Again I heard a click as our host shifted to reverse. Then, with a furious spinning of wheels, which cast the dry snow high in air, we made a bouncing, backward leap and cleared the drift, but only to charge it again.

This time we managed to get through. Nor did we stop at that. Having passed the first drift, we retained our momentum and kept on through those that followed, hitting them as a power dory hits succeeding waves in a choppy sea, churning our way along with a rocking, careening, crazy motion, now menaced by great boulders at the inside of the road, now by the deadly drop at the outside, until at last we managed, somehow, to navigate the turning, after which we stopped in a place comparatively clear of snow.

Our host turned to us with a smile.

"She's a good old snow-boat, isn't she?" he said.

With great solemnity my companion and I admitted that she was.[ 409]

Even the Denver gentleman who occupied the tonneau with us, seemed somewhat shaken.

"Of course the snow will be worse farther up," he said to our host. "Do you think it is worth going on?"

"Of course it is," our host replied. "I want these boys to see the main range of the Rockies. That's what we came up for, isn't it?"

"Yes," said my companion, "but we wouldn't want you to spoil your car on our account."

It was an unfortunate remark.

"Spoil her!" cried our host. "Spoil this machine? You don't know her. You haven't seen what she can do, yet. Just wait until we hit a real drift!"

The cigar which I had been smoking when I left Denver was still in my mouth. It had gone out long since, but I had been too much engrossed with other things to notice it. Instead of relighting it, I had been turning it over and over between my teeth, and now in an emotional moment, I chewed at it so hard that it sagged down against my chin. I removed it from my mouth, and tossed it over the edge. It cleared the road and sailed out into space, down, down, down, turning over and over in the air, as it went. And as I watched its evolutions, my blood chilled, for I thought to myself that the body of a falling man would turn in just that way—that my body would be performing similar aerial evolutions, should our car slew off the road in the course of some mad charge against a drift.

I was by this time very definitely aware that I had[ 410] my fill of winter motoring in the mountains. The mere reluctance I had felt as we began to climb had now developed into a passionate desire to desist. I am no great pedestrian. Under ordinary circumstances the idea of climbing a mountain on foot would never occur to me. But now, since I could not turn back, since I must go to the top to satisfy my host, I fairly yearned to walk there. Indeed, I would have gladly crawled there on my hands and knees, through snowdrifts, rather than to have proceeded farther in that touring car.

Obviously, however, craft was necessary.

"I believe I'll get out and limber up a little," I said, rising from my seat.

My companions of the tonneau seemed to be of the same mind. All three of us alighted in the snow.

"How far is it to the top?" I asked our host.

"A couple of miles," he said.

"Is that all?" I replied. "Couldn't we walk it, then?"

I was touched by the avidity with which my two companions seized on the suggestion. Only our host objected.

"What's the matter?" he demanded in an injured tone. "Don't you think my car can make it? If you'll just get in again you'll soon see!"

"Heavens, no!" I answered. "That's not it. Of course we know your car can do it."

"Yes; oh, yes, of course!" the other two chimed in.

"All I was thinking of," I added, "was the exercise."

"That's it," my companion cried. "Exercise. We[ 411] haven't had a bit of exercise since we left New York."

"I need it, too!" put in the Denver man. "My wife says I'm getting fat."

"Oh, if it's exercise you want," said our host, "I'm with you."

Even the spirits of the chauffeur seemed to rise as his employer alighted.

"I think I had better stay with the car, sir," he said.

"All right, all right," said our host indifferently. "You can be turning her around. We'll be back in a couple of hours or so."

The chauffeur looked at the edge.

"Well," he said, "I don't know but what the exercise will do me good, too. I guess I'll come along if you don't mind, sir."

On foot we could pick our way, avoiding the larger drifts, so that, for the most part, we merely trudged through snow a foot deep. But it was uphill work in the sun, and before long overcoats were removed and cachéd at the roadside, weighted down against the wind with stones. Now and then we left the road and took a short cut up the mountainside, wading through drifts which were sometimes armpit deep and joining the road again where it doubled back at a higher elevation. Presently our coats came off, then our waistcoats, until at last all five of us were in our shirts, making a strange picture in such a wintry landscape.

Now that the dread of skidding was removed I began to enjoy myself, taking keen delight in the marvel[ 412]ous blue plains spread out everywhere to the eastward, and inhaling great drafts of effervescent air.

When we had struggled upward for perhaps two hours we left the road and assailed a little peak, from the top of which our host believed the main range of the Rockies would be visible. The slope was rather steep, but the ground beneath the snow was fairly smooth, giving us moderately good footing. By making transverse paths we zigzagged without much difficulty to the top, which was sharp, like the backbone of some gigantic animal.

I must admit that I had not been so anxious to see the main range as my Denver friends had been to have me see it. It did not seem to me that any mountain spectacle could be much finer than that presented by the glittering wall as seen from Denver. I had expected to be disappointed at the sight of the main range, and I am glad that I expected that, because it made all the greater the thrill which I felt when, on topping the hill, I saw what was beyond.

I was by this time very definitely aware that I had my fill of winter motoring in the mountains.
The mere reluctance I felt as we began to climb had now developed into a passionate desire to
desist I was by this time very definitely aware that I had my fill of winter motoring in the mountains. The mere reluctance I felt as we began to climb had now developed into a passionate desire to desist

I do not believe that any experience in life can give the ordinary man—the man who is not a real explorer of new places—the sense of actual discovery and of great achievement, which he may attain by laboring up a slope and looking over it at a vast range of mountains glittering, peak upon peak, into the distance. The sensation is overwhelming. It fills one with a strange kind of exaltation, like that which is produced by great music played by a splendid orchestra. The golden air,[ 413] vibrating and shimmering, is like the tremolo of violins; the shadows in the abysses are like the deep throbbing notes of violoncellos and double basses; while the great peaks, rising in their might and majesty, suggest the surge and rumble of pipe organs echoing to the vault of heaven.

I had often heard that, to some people, certain kinds of music suggest certain colors. Here, in the silence of the mountains, I understood that thing for the first time, for the vast forms of those jewel-encrusted hills seemed to give off a superb symphonic song—a song with an air which, when I let my mind drift with it, seemed to become definite, but which, when I tried to follow it, melted into vague, elusive harmonies.

There is no place in the world where Man can get along for more than two or three minutes at a time without thinking of himself. Everything with which he comes in contact suggests him to himself. Nothing is too small, nothing too stupendous, to make man think of man. If he sees an ant he thinks: "That, in its humble way, is a little replica of me, doing my work." But when he looks upon a mountain range he thinks more salutary thoughts, for if his thoughts about himself are ever humble, they will be humble then. Indeed, it would be like man to say that that was the purpose with which mountains were made—to humble him. For it is man's pleasure to think that everything in the universe was created with some definite relation to himself.[ 414]

However that may be, it is man's habit, when he looks upon the mountains, to endeavor to make up for the long vainglorious years with a brief but complete orgy of self-abnegation. And that, of course, is a good thing for him, although it seems a pity that he cannot spread it thinner and thereby make it last him longer. But man does not like to take his humility that way. He prefers to take it like any other sickening medicine, gulping it down in one big draft, and getting it over with. That is the reason man can never bear to stay for any length of time upon a mountain top. Up there he finds out what he really is, and for man to find that out is, naturally, painful.

As he looks at the mountains the ego, which is 99 per cent. of him, begins to shrivel up. He may not feel it at first. Probably he doesn't. Very likely he begins by writing his own name in the eternal snows, or scratching his initials on a rock. But presently he gazes off into space and remarks with the Poet Towne: "Ain't Nature wonderful!" And, of course, after that he begins to think of himself again, saying with a great sense of discovery: "What a little thing I am!" Then, as his ego shrinks farther, the orgy of humility begins.

"What am I," he cries, "in the eyes of the eternal hills? I am relatively unimportant! By George, I shouldn't be surprised if I were a miserable atom! Yes, that's what I am! I am a frail, wretched thing, created but to be consumed. My life is but a day. I am a poor, two-legged nonentity, trotting about the surface[ 415] of an enormous ball. I am filled with egotism and self-interest. I call myself civilized—and why? Because I have learned to make sounds through my mouth, and have assigned certain meanings to these sounds; because I have learned to mark down certain symbols, to represent these sounds; and because, with my sounds and symbols, I can maintain a ragged interchange of ragged thought with other men, getting myself, for the most part, beautifully misunderstood.

"Of what else is my life composed? Of the search for something I call 'pleasure' and something else I call 'success,' which is represented by piles of little yellow metal disks that I designate by the silly-sounding word, 'money.' I spend six days in the week in search of money, and on the seventh day I relax and read the Sunday newspapers, or put on my silk hat and go to church, where I call God's attention to myself in every way I can, praying to Him with prayers which have to be written for me because I haven't brains enough to make a good prayer of my own; singing hymns to Him in a voice which ought never to be raised in song; telling Him that I know He watches over me; putting a little metal disk, of small denomination, in the plate for Him; then putting on my shiny hat again—which I know pleases Him very much—going home and eating too much dinner."

That is the way man thinks about himself upon a mountain top. Naturally he can only stand it for a little while before his contracting ego begins to shriek in pain.[ 416]

Then man says: "I have enjoyed the view. I will note the fact in the visitors' book if there happens to be one, after which I will retire from this high elevation to the world below."

Going down the mountain he begins to say to himself: "What wonderful thoughts I have been thinking up there! I have had thoughts which very few other men are capable of thinking! I have a remarkable mind if I only take the time to use it!"

So, as he goes down, his ego keeps on swelling up again until it not only reaches its normal size, but becomes larger than ever, because the man now believes that, in addition to all he was before, he has become a philosopher.

"I must write a book!" he says to himself. "I must give these remarkable ideas of mine to the world!"

And, as you see, he sometimes does it.

The homes of Colorado Springs really explain the place and the
society is as cosmopolitan as the architecture The homes of Colorado Springs really explain the place and the society is as cosmopolitan as the architecture
[ 417]



In a certain city that I visited upon my travels, I met one night at dinner, one of those tall, pink-cheeked, slim-legged young polo-playing Englishmen, who proceeded to tell me in his positive, British way, exactly what the United States amounted to. He said New York was ripping. He said San Francisco was ripping. He said American girls were ripping.

"But," said he, "there are just two really civilized places between your Atlantic and Pacific coasts."

The idea entertained me. I asked which places he meant.

"Chicago," he said, "and Colorado Springs."

"But Colorado Springs is a little bit of a place, isn't it?" I asked him.

"About thirty thousand."

"Why is it so especially civilized?"

"It just is, y'know," he answered. "There's polo there."

"But polo doesn't make civilization," I said.

"Oh, yes, it does," he insisted. "I mean to say wherever you find polo you find good clubs and good society and—usually—good tea."

This, and further rumors of a like nature, plus some[ 418] pleasant letters of introduction, caused my companion and me to remove ourselves, one afternoon, from Denver to the vaunted seat of civilization, some miles to the south.

Colorado Springs is somewhat higher than Denver and seems to nestle closer to the mountains. The moment you alight from the train and see the park, facing the station and the pleasant façade of the Antlers Hotel, beyond, you feel the peculiar charm of the little city. It is well laid-out, with very wide streets, very good public buildings and office buildings, and really remarkable homes.

The homes of Colorado Springs really explain the place. They are of every variety of architecture, and are inhabited by a corresponding variety of people. You will see half-timbered English houses, built by Englishmen and Scots; Southern colonial houses built by people from the South Atlantic States; New England colonial houses built by families who have migrated from the regions of Boston and New York; one-story houses built by people from Hawaii, and a large assortment of other houses ranging from Queen Anne to Cape Cod cottages, and from Italian villas to Spanish palaces. There is even the Grand Trianon at Broadmoor, and an amazing Tudor castle at Glen Eyre.

The society is as cosmopolitan as the architecture. It has been drawn with perfect impartiality from the well-to-do class in all parts of the country and has been assembled in this charming garden town with, for the[ 419] most part, a common reason—to fight against tuberculosis. This does not mean, of course, that the majority of people in Colorado Springs are victims of tuberculosis, but only that, in many instances, families have moved there because of the affliction of one member.

I say "affliction." Literally, I suppose the word is justified. But perhaps the most striking thing about society in Colorado Springs is its apparent freedom from affliction. One goes to the most delightful dinner parties, there, in the most delightful houses, and meets the most delightful people. Every one seems very gay. Every one looks well. Yet one knows that there are certain persons present who are out there for their health. The question is, which? It is impossible to tell.

In the case of one couple I met, I decided that the wife who was slender and rather pale, had been the cause of migration from the East. But before I left, the stocky, ruddy husband told me, in the most cheerful manner that he had arrived there twenty years before with "six months to live." That is the way it is out there. There is no feeling of depression. There is no air of, "Shh! Don't speak of it!" Tuberculosis is taken quite as a matter of course, and is spoken of, upon occasion, with a lightness and freedom which is likely to surprise the visitor. They even give it what one man designated as a "pet name," calling it "T. B."

Club life in Colorado Springs is highly developed. The El Paso Club is not merely a good club for such a[ 420] small city, but would be a very good club anywhere. One has only to penetrate as far as the cigar stand to discover that—for a club may always be known by the cigars it keeps. So, too, with the Cheyenne Mountain Country Club at Broadmoor, a suburb of the Springs. It isn't one of those small-town country clubs, in which, after ringing vainly for the waiter, you go out to the kitchen and find him for yourself, in his shirtsleeves and minus a collar. Nor, when he puts in his appearance, is he wearing a spotted alpaca coat that doesn't fit. Without being in the least pretentious, it is a real country club, run for men and women who know what a real club is.

When you sit at luncheon at the large round table in the men's café you may find yourself between a famous polo-player from Meadowbrook, and a bronzed young ranch-owner, who will tell you that cattle rustling still goes on in his section of the country. The latter you will take for a perfect product of the West, a "gentleman cowboy," from a novel. But presently you will learn that he is a member of that almost equally fictitious thing, an "old New York family," that he has been in the West but a year or two, and that he was in "Tark's class" at Princeton. So on around the table. One man has just arrived from Paris; another from Honolulu, or the Philippines, or China or Japan. And when, as we were sitting there, a man came in whom I had met in Rome ten years before, I said to myself: This is not life. It is the beginning of a short story by some dis[ 421]ciple of Mrs. Wharton: A group of cosmopolitans seated around a table in a club. Casual mention of Bombay, Buda-Pesth and Singapore. Presently some man will flick his cigarette ash and say, "By the way, De Courcey, what ever became of the queer little chap we used to see at the officer's mess in Simla?" Whereupon De Courcey, late of the Lancers, and second son of Lord Thusandso, will light a fresh Corona and recount, according to the accepted formula, the story of The Queer Little Chap.

I could even imagine the illustrations for the story. They would be by Wenzell, and would show us there, in the club, like a group of sleek Greek statues, clothed in full afternoon regalia of the most unbelievable smoothness—looking, in short, not at all like ourselves, or anybody else.

However, the story of The Queer Little Chap was not told. That is the trouble with trying to live short stories. You can get them started, sometimes, but they never work out. If the setting is all right, the story somehow will not "break," whereas, on the other hand, when the surroundings are absolutely wrong, when the wrong people are present, when the conditions are utterly impossible, your short story will break violently and without warning, and will very likely cover you with spots. The trouble is that life, in its more fragmentary departments, lacks what we call "form" and "composition." There is something amateurish about it. Nine editors out of ten would reject a short story written by[ 422] the Hand of Fate, on this ground, and would probably advise Fate to go and take a course in short-story-writing at some university. No; Fate has not the short story gift. She writes novels—rather long and rambling, most of them, like those of De Morgan or Romaine Rolland. But even her novels are not popular. People say they are too long. They can't be bothered reading novels which consume a whole lifetime. Besides, Fate seldom supplies a happy ending, and that's what people want, now-a-days. So, though Fate's novels are given away, they have no vogue.

Having somehow digressed from clubs to authorship I may perhaps be pardoned for wandering still further from my trail here to mention Andy Adams.

A long time ago, ex-Governor Hunt expressed lack of faith in the future of Colorado Springs because, at that time, there was not much water to be found there, and further because the town had "too many writers of original poetry." So far as I could judge, from a brief visit, things have changed. There is plenty of water, and I did not meet a single poet. However, I did meet an author, and he is a real one. Andy Adams' card proclaims him author, but more than this, his books do, also. Himself a former cowboy, he writes cowboy stories which prove that cowboy stories need not be as false, and as maudlinly romantic as most cowboy stories manage to be. You don't have to know the plains to know that Mr. Adams' tales are true, any more than you have to know anatomy to understand[ 423] that a man can't stand without a backbone. Truth is the backbone of Mr. Adams' writings, and the body of them has that rare kind of beauty which may, perhaps, be likened to the body of some cowboy—some perfect physical specimen from Mr. Adams' own pages.

I have not read all his books, and the only reason why I have not is that I have not yet had time. But so far as I have read I have not found one false note in them. I have not come upon a "lone horseman" riding through the gulch at eventide. I have not encountered the daughter of an eastern millionaire who has ridden out to see the sunset. Nor have I stumbled on a romantic meeting or a theatrical rescue.

So far as I know, Mr. Adams' book "The Log of a Cowboy," is preëminently the classic of the plains. One of its greatest qualities is that of ceaseless movement. Three thousand head of cattle are driven through those chapters, from the Mexican frontier to the Canada border, and those cattle travel with a flow as irresistible as the unrelenting flow of De Quincey's Tartar tribe.

The author is one of those absolutely basic things, a natural story teller, and the fine simplicity of his writing springs not from education ("All the schooling I ever had I picked up at a cross-roads country school house"), not from an academic knowledge of "literature," but from primary qualities in his own nature, and the strong, ingenuous outlook of his own two eyes.

Mr. Henry Russell Wray tells of a request from eastern publishers for a brief sketch of Adams' life. He[ 424] asked Adams to write about two hundred words about himself, as though dealing with another being. The next day he received this:

A native of Indiana; went to Texas during his youth; worked over ten years on cattle ranches and on the trail, rising from common hand on the latter to a foreman. Quit cattle fifteen years ago, following business and mining occupations since. When contrasted with the present generation is just beginning to realize that the old days were romantic, though did not think so when sitting a saddle sixteen to twenty-four hours a day in all kinds of weather. His insight into cattle life was not obtained from the window of a Pullman car, but close to the soil and from the hurricane deck of a Texas horse. Even to-day is a better cowman than writer, for he can yet rope and tie down a steer with any of the boys, though the loop of his rope may settle on the wrong foot of the rhetoric occasionally. He is of Irish and Scotch parentage. Forty-three years of age, six feet in height and weighs 210 pounds.

Though I met Mr. Adams at Colorado Springs, I shall, for obvious reasons, let my description of him rest at that.

When writing of clubs I should have mentioned the Cooking Club, which is one of the most unique little clubs of the country. The fifteen members of this club are the gourmets of Colorado Springs—not merely passive gourmets who like to have good things set before them, but active ones who know how to prepare good things as well as eat them. Every little while, throughout the season, the Cooking Club gives dinners, to which each member may invite a guest or two. Each takes his turn[ 425] in acting as host, his duties upon this occasion being to draw up the menu, supply materials, appoint members to prepare certain courses, and, wearing the full regalia of a chef, superintend the preparation of the meal, which is cooked entirely by men belonging to the club. Wine is not served at Cooking Club dinners, the official beverage being the club Rum Brew, which has a considerable local reputation, and is everywhere pronounced adequate. Not a few of the members learned to cook in the course of prospecting tours in the mountains, and the Easterner who, with this fact in mind, attends a Cooking Club dinner is led to revise, immediately, certain preconceived ideas of the hard life of the prospector. No man has a hard life who can cook himself such dishes. Indeed, one is forced to the conclusion that Colorado is full of undiscovered mines, which would have been uncovered long ago, were it not that prospectors go up into the mountains for the primary purpose of cooking themselves the most delightful meals, and that mining is—as indeed it should be—a mere side issue. For myself, while I have no taste for the hardy life of the mountaineer, I would gladly become a prospector, even if it were guaranteed in advance that I should discover nothing, providing that Eugene P. Shove would go along with me and make the biscuits.

Aside from its clubs Colorado Springs has all the other things which go to the making of a pleasant city. The Burns Theater is a model of what a theater should be. The Antlers Hotel would do credit to the shores[ 426] of Lake Lucerne. Where the "antlers" part of it comes in, I am unable to say, but as nothing else was lacking, from the kitchen, down stairs, to Pike's Peak looming up in the back yard, I have no complaint to make.

I suppose that every one who has heard of Colorado Springs at all, associates it with the famous Garden of the Gods.

Before I started on my travels I was aware of the fact that the two great natural wonders of the East are Niagara Falls and the insular New Yorker. I knew that the great, gorgeous, glittering galaxy of American wonders was, however, in the West, but the location and character of them was somewhat vague in my mind. I knew, of course, that Pike's Peak was a large mountain. I knew that the giant redwoods were in California. But for the rest, I had the Grand Cañon, the Royal Gorge, and the Garden of the Gods associated in my mind together as rival attractions. I do not know why this was so, excepting that I had been living on Manhattan Island, where information is notoriously scarce.

Now, though I saw the Royal Gorge, though I rode through it in the cab of a locomotive, with my hair standing on end, and though I found it "as advertised," I have no idea of trying to describe it, more than to say that it is a great cleft in the pink rocks through which run a river and a railroad, and that how the latter managed to keep out of the former was a constant source of wonder to me.[ 427] As for the Grand Cañon of the Colorado, it affects those who behold it with a kind of literary asthma. They desire to describe it; some try, passionately; but they only wheeze and look as though they might explode. Since it is generally admitted that no one who has seen it can describe it, the task would manifestly devolve upon some one who has not seen it, and that requirement is filled by me. I have not seen it. I am not impressed by it at all. I am able to speak of it with coherence and restraint. But even that I shall not do.

With the Garden of the Gods it is different. The place irritated me. For if ever any spot was outrageously overnamed, it is that one. As a little park in the Catskills it might be all well enough, but as a natural wonder in the Rocky Mountains, with Pike's Peak hanging overhead, it is a pale pink joke. If I had my way I should take its wonder-name away from it, for the name is too fine to waste, and a thousand spots in Colorado are more worthy of it.

The entrance to the place, between two tall, rose-colored sandstone rocks may, perhaps, be called imposing; the rest of it might better be described as imposition. Guides will take you through, and they will do their utmost, as guides always do, to make you imagine that you are really seeing something. They will point out inane formations in the sandstone rock, and will attempt to make you see that these are "pictures." They will show you the Kissing Camels, the Bear and Seal,[ 428] the Buffalo, the Bride and Groom, the Preacher, the Scotsman, Punch and Judy, the Washerwoman, and other rock forms, sculptured by Nature into shapes more or less suggesting the various objects mentioned. But what if they do? To look at such accidentals is a pastime about as intelligent as looking for pictures in the moon, or in the patterns of the paper on your wall. As nearly as Nature can be altogether silly she has been silly here, and I think that only silly people will succeed in finding fascination in the place—the more so since Colorado Springs is a prohibition town.

The story of prohibition there is curious. In 1870, N. C. Meeker, Agricultural Editor of the New York "Tribune," under Horace Greeley, started a colony in Colorado, bringing a number of settlers from the East, and naming the place Greeley. With a view to eliminating the roughness characteristic of frontier towns in those days, Mr. Meeker made Greeley a prohibition colony.

When, a year after, General William J. Palmer and his associates started to build the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad from Denver to Colorado Springs, a land company was formed, subsidiary to the railway project, and desert property was purchased on the present site of the Springs. The town was then laid out and the land retailed to individuals of "good moral character and strict, temperate habits."

In each deed given by the land company there was in[ 429]corporated an anti-liquor clause, whereby, in the event of intoxicating liquors being "manufactured, sold or otherwise disposed of in any place of public resort on the premises," the deed should become void and the property revert to the company. Shortly after the formation of the colony the validity of this clause was tested. The suit was finally carried to the United States Supreme Court, where the rights of the company, under the prohibition clause, were upheld.

General Palmer, later, in discussing the history of Colorado Springs, explained that the prohibitory clause was not inserted in the deeds for moral reasons, but that "the aim was intensely practical—to create a habitable and successful town."

The General and his associates had had ample experience of new western railroad towns, and wished to eliminate the disagreeable features of such towns from Colorado Springs. Even then, though the prohibition movement had not been fairly launched in this country these practical men recognize the fact that Meeker had recognized; namely that with saloons, dance halls and gambling places, gunfighting and lynchings went hand in hand.

It is recorded that the restriction seemed to work against the town at first, but, on the other hand, such growth as came was substantial, and Colorado Springs attracted a better class of settlers than the wide open towns near-by. The wisdom of this arrangement is[ 430] amply proven, to-day, by a comparison of Colorado Springs with the neighboring town of Colorado City, which has not had prohibition.

Even before Colorado Springs existed, General Palmer had fallen in love with the place and determined that he would some day have a home at the foot of the mountains in that neighborhood. In the early seventies he purchased a superb cañon a few miles west of the city, and the Tudor Castle which he built there, and which he named Glen Eyrie, because of the eagles' nests on the walls of his cañon, remains to-day one of the most remarkable houses on this continent.

Every detail of the house as it stands, and every item in the history of its construction expresses the force and originality which were such strong attributes of its late proprietor.

The General was an engineer. In the Civil War he was colonel of the 15th Pennsylvania Cavalry, and was breveted a general. After the war he went into the West and became a railroad builder. Evidently he was one of those men, typical of his time, who seem to have had a craving to condense into one lifetime the experiences and achievements of several. He was, so to speak, his own ancestor and his own descendant; there were, in effect, three generations of him: soldier, railroad builder, and landed baron. In his castle at Glen Eyrie one senses very strongly this baronial quality. Clearly the General could not be content with a mere modern house. He wanted a castle, and above all, an[ 431] old castle. And, as Colorado is peculiarly free of old castles, he had to build one for himself. That is what he did, and the superb initiative of the man is again reflected in the means he used. The house must be of old lichen-covered stone, but, being already past middle age, the General could not wait on Nature. Therefore he caused the whole region to be scoured for flat, weathered stones which could be cut for his purpose. These he transported to his glen, where they were carefully cut and set in place, so that the moment the new wall was up it was an old wall. Finding the flat stones was easy, however, compared with finding those presenting a natural right angle, for the corners of the house. Nevertheless, all were ultimately discovered and laid, and the desired result was attained. After the house was done the General thought the roof lacked just the proper note of color, so he caused it to be torn off, and replaced with tiles from an old church in England.

Perhaps the most splendid thing about the place is an enormous hall, paneled in oak, with a gallery and a beamed barrel ceiling, but there are other features which make the house unusual. On the roof is a great Krupp bell, which can be heard for miles, and which was used to call the General's guests home for meals. There is a power plant, a swimming pool, a complicated device for recording meteorological conditions in the mountains. And of course there are fireplaces in which great logs were burned; yet there are no chimneys on[ 432] the house. The General did not want chimneys issuing smoke into his cañon, so he simply did not have them. Instead, he constructed a tunnel which runs up the mountainside behind the house and takes care of the smoke, emitting it at an unseen point, far above.

Meanwhile the General played Santa Claus to Colorado Springs, giving her parks and boulevards. One day, while riding on his place, he was thrown from his horse and a vertebra was fractured, with the result that he was permanently prostrated. After that he lay for some time like a wounded eagle in his eyrie, his mind as active as ever. He was still living in 1907, when the time for the annual reunion of his old regiment came around. Unable to go East, he invited the remaining veterans to come to him by special train, as his guests. So they came—the remnants of that old cavalry regiment, and passed in review, for the last time, before their Colonel, lying helpless with a broken neck.

On the road to Cripple Creek—We were always turning, always turning
upward On the road to Cripple Creek—We were always turning, always turning upward

In its mountain setting, with the pink sandstone cliffs rising abruptly behind it, this castle of the General's is one of the most dramatic homes I have ever seen. There is a superb austerity about it, which makes it very different from the large homes of Broadmoor, at the other side of Colorado Springs. As I have already mentioned, one of these is a replica of the Grand Trianon; others are Elizabethan and Tudor, and many of them are very fine, but the house of houses at Colorado Springs is "El Pomar," the residence of the late Ashton H. Potter. I do not know a house in the United States[ 433] which fits its setting better than this one, or which is a more perfect thing from every point of view. It is a one-story building of Spanish architecture—a style which, to my mind, fits better than any other, the sort of landscape in which plains and mountains meet. Houses as elaborate as the Grand Trianon, always seem to me to lend themselves best to a rather formal, park-like country which is flat, or nearly so; while Elizabethan and adapted Tudor houses of the kind one sees at Broadmoor, seem to cry out for English lawns, and great lush-growing trees to soften the hard lines of roof and gable. Such houses may be set in rolling country with good effect, but in the face of the vast mountain range which dominates this neighborhood, the most elaborate architecture is so completely dwarfed as to seem almost ridiculous. Architecture cannot compete with the Rocky Mountains; the best thing it can do is to submit to them: to blend itself into the picture as unostentatiously as possible. And that is what "El Pomar" does.[ 434]



One day, during our stay at Colorado Springs, we were invited to take a trip to Cripple Creek.

Driving to the station a friend, a resident of the Springs, pointed out to me a little clay hillock, beside the road.

"That," he said, "is what we call Mount Washington."

"I don't see the resemblance," I remarked.

"Well," he explained, "the top of that little hump has an elevation of about six thousand three hundred feet, which is exactly the height of Mount Washington. You see our mountains, out here, begin where yours, in the East, leave off."

Presently, on the little train, bound for Cripple Creek, the fact was further demonstrated. I had never imagined that anything less than a cog-road could ascend a grade so steep. All the way the grade persisted. Never had I seen such a railroad, either for steepness or for sinuosity. The train crawled slowly along ledges cut into the mountain-sides, now burrowing through an obstruction, now creeping from one mountain to another on a spindly bridge of the most shocking height, below which a wild torrent dashed through a rocky cañon;[ 435] now slipping out upon a sky-high terrace commanding a view of hundreds of square miles of plains, now winding its way gingerly about dizzy cliffs which seemed to lean out over chasms, into which one looked with admiring terror; now coming out upon the other side, the main chain of the Rockies was revealed a hundred miles to the westward, glittering superbly with eternal ice and snow. It is an unbelievable railroad—the Cripple Creek Short Line. It travels fifty miles to make what, in a straight line, would be eighteen, and if there is, on the entire system, a hundred yards of track without a turn, I did not see the place. We were always turning; always turning upward. We would go into a tunnel and presently emerge at a point which seemed to be directly above the place where we had entered; and at times our windings, our doublings back, our writhings, were conducted in so limited an area that I began to fear our train would get tied in a knot and be unable to proceed.

However, we did get to Cripple Creek, and for all its mountain setting, and all the three hundred millions of gold that it has yielded in the last twenty years or so, it is one of the most depressing places in the world. Its buildings run from shabbiness to downright ruin; its streets are ill paved, and its outlying districts are a horror of smokestacks, ore-dumps, shaft-houses, reduction-plants, gallows-frames and squalid shanties, situated in the mud. It seemed to me that Cripple Creek must be the most awful looking little city in the world, but I was informed that, as mining camps go, it is un[ 436]usually presentable, and later I learned for myself that that is true.

Cripple Creek is not only above the timber-line; it is above the cat-line. I mean this literally. Domestic cats cannot live there. And many human beings are affected by the altitude. I was. I had a headache; my breath was short, and upon the least exertion my heart did flip-flops. Therefore I did not circulate about the town excepting within a radius of a few blocks of the station. That, however, was enough.

After walking up the main street a little way, I turned off into a side street lined with flimsy buildings, half of them tumbledown and abandoned. Turning into another street I came upon a long row of tiny one story houses, crowded close together in a block. Some of them were empty, but others showed signs of being occupied. And instead of a number, the door of each one bore a name, "Clara," "Louise," "Lina," and so on, down the block. For a time there was not a soul in sight as I walked slowly down that line of box-stall houses. Then, far ahead, I saw a woman come out of a doorway. She wore a loose pink wrapper and carried a pitcher in her hand. I watched her cross the street and go into a dingy building. Then the street was empty again. I walked on slowly. As I passed one doorway it opened suddenly and a man came out—a shabby man with a drooping mustache. He did not look at me as he passed. The window-shade of the crib from which he had come went up as I moved by. I[ 437] looked at the window, and as I did so, the curtains parted and the face of a negress was pressed against the pane, grinning at me with a knowing, sickening grin.

I passed on. From another window a white woman with very black hair and eyes, and cheeks of a light orchid-shade, showed her gold teeth in a mirthless automatic smile, and added the allurement of an ice-cold wink.

The door of the crib at the corner stood open, and just before I reached it a woman stepped out and surveyed me as I approached. She wore a white linen skirt and a middy blouse, attire grotesquely juvenile for one of her years. Her hair, of which she had but a moderate amount, was light brown and stringy, and she wore gold-rimmed spectacles. She did not look depraved but, upon the contrary resembled a highly respectable, if homely, German cook I once employed. As I passed her window I saw hanging there a glass sign, across which, in gold letters, was the title, "Madam Leo."

"Madam Leo," she said to me, nodding and pointing at her chest. "That's me. Leo, the lion, eh?" She laughed foolishly.

I paused and made some casual inquiry concerning her prosperity.

"Things is dull now in Cripple Creek," she said. "There ain't much business any more. I wish they'd start a white man's club or a dance hall across the street. Then Cripple Creek would be booming."

I think I remarked, in reply, that things did look[ 438] rather dull. In the meantime I glanced in at her little room. There was a chair or two, a cheap oak dresser, and an iron bed. The room looked neat.

"Ain't I got a nice clean place?" suggested Madam Leo. Then as I assented, she pointed to a calendar which hung upon the wall. At the top of it was a colored print from some French painting, showing a Cupid kissing a filmily draped Psyche.

"That's me," said Madam Leo. "That's me when I was a young girl!" Again she loosed her laugh.

I started to move on.

"Where are you from?" she asked.

"I came up from Colorado Springs," I said.

"Well," she returned, "when you go back send some nice boys up here. Tell them to see Madam Leo. Tell them a middle-aged woman with spectacles. I'm known here. I been here four years. Oh, things ain't so bad. I manage to make two or three dollars a day."

As I passed to leeward of her on the narrow walk I got the smell of a strong, brutal perfume.

"Have you got to be going?" she asked.

"Yes," I answered. "I must go to the train."

"Well, then—so long," she said.

"So long."

"Don't forget Madam Leo," she admonished, giving utterance, again, to her strident, feeble-minded laugh.

"I won't," I promised.

And I never, never shall.[ 439]



I think it was in Kansas City that I first became conscious of the fact that, without my knowing it, my mind had made, in advance, imaginary pictures of certain sections of the country, and that, in almost every instance, these pictures were remarkable for their untruthfulness. Kansas City itself surprised me with its hills, for I had been thinking of it in connection with the prairies. With Denver it was the other way about. Thinking of Denver as a mountain city, instead of a city near the mountains, I expected hills, but did not find them. And when I crossed the Rockies, they too afforded a surprise, not because of their height, but because of their width. Evidently I must have had some vague idea that a train, traveling west from Denver, would climb very definitely up the Rocky Mountains, cross the Great Divide, and proceed very definitely down again, upon the other side, whither a sort of long, sloping plain would lead to California. Denver itself I thought of as being placed further west upon the continent than is, in reality, the case. I did not realize at all that the city is, in fact, only a few hundred miles west of the halfway point on an imaginary line drawn[ 440] from coast to coast; nor was I aware that, instead of being for the most part sloping plain, the thousand miles that intervenes between Denver and the Pacific Ocean, is made up of series after series of mountain ranges and valleys, their successive crests and hollows following one another like the waves of the sea.

In short, I had imagined that the Rockies were the whole show. I had not the faintest recollection of the Cordilleran System (of which the Rockies and all these other ranges are but a part), while as for the Sierra Nevadas, I remembered them only when I came to them and then much as one will recall a slight acquaintance who has been in jail for many years.

Are you shocked by my ignorance—or my confession of it? Then let me ask you if you know that the Uintah Mountain Range, in Utah, is the only range in the entire country which runs east and west? And have you ever heard of the Pequop Mountains, or the Cedar Mountains, or the Santa Roasas, or the Egans, or the Humboldts, or the Washoes, or the Gosiutes, or the Toyales, or the Toquimas, or the Hot Creek Mountains? And did you know that in California as well as in New Hampshire there are the White Mountains? And what do you know of the Wahsatch and Oquirrh Ranges?

Not wishing to keep the class in geography after school, I shall not tell you about all these mountains, but will satisfy myself with the statement that, in an amphitheater formed between the two last mentioned ranges,[ 441] at the head of a broad, irrigated valley, is situated Salt Lake City.

The very name of Salt Lake City had a flat sound in my ears; and in that mental album of imaginary photographs of cities, to which I have referred, I saw the Mormon capital as on a sandy plain, with the Great Salt Lake on one side and the Great Salt Desert on the other. Therefore, upon arriving, I was surprised again, for the lake is not visible at all, being a dozen miles distant, and the desert is removed still farther, while instead of sandy plains the mountains rise abruptly on three sides of the city, and on the fourth is the sweet valley, covered with rich farms and orchards, and dotted here and there with minor Mormon settlements.

Like Mark Twain, who visited Salt Lake many years ago, before the railroad went there, I managed to forget the lake entirely after I had been there for a little while. I made no excursion to Saltair Beach, the playground of the neighborhood, and only saw the lake when our train crossed a portion of it after leaving the city.

I do not know that the great pavilion at Saltair Beach, of which every one has seen pictures, is a Mormon property, but it well may be, for the Mormons have never been a narrow-minded sect with regard to decent gaieties. They approve of dancing, and the ragtime craze has reached them, for, as I was walking past the Lion House, one evening, I heard the music and saw a lot of young people "trotting" gaily, in the place where formerly resided most of the twenty odd known wives[ 442] of the late Brigham Young. Later a Mormon told me that dances are held in Mormon meeting-houses and that they are always opened with prayer.

Also in the café of the Hotel Utah there was dancing every night, and when the members of the "Honeymoon Express" Company put in an appearance there one night, we might have been on Broadway. The hotel, I was informed, is owned by Mormons; it is an excellent establishment. They do not stare at you as though they thought you an eccentric if you ask for tea at five o'clock, but bring it to you in the most approved fashion, with a kettle and a lamp, and the neatest silver tea service I have ever seen in an American hotel. But that is by the way, for I was speaking of the frivolities of Mormondom, and afternoon tea is, with me at least, a serious matter.

Salt Lake City was, until a few years ago, a "wide open town." The "stockade" was famous among the red-light institutions of the country. But that is gone, having been washed away by our national "wave of reform," and the town has now a rather orderly appearance, although it is not without its night cafés, one of them being the inevitable "Maxim's," without which, it would appear, no American city is now complete.

One of the first things the Mormons did, on establishing their city, was to build an amusement hall, and as long as fifty years ago, this was superseded by the Salt Lake Theatre, a picturesque old playhouse which is still[ 443] standing, and which looks, inside and out, like an old wartime wood-cut of Ford's Theatre in Washington. Even before the railroads came the best actors and actresses in the country played in this theater, drawn there by the strong financial inducements which the Mormons offered, and it is interesting to note that many stage favorites of to-day made their first appearances in this playhouse. If I am not mistaken, Edwin Milton Royle made his début as an actor there, and both Maude Adams and Ada Dwyer were born in Salt Lake City, and appeared upon the stage for the first time at the Salt Lake Theatre. Yes, it is an interesting and historic playhouse, and I hope that when it burns up, as I have no doubt it ultimately will, no audience will be present, for I think that it will go like tinder. And although I still bemoan the money which I spent to see there, a maudlin entertainment called "The Honeymoon Express," direct from that home of banal vulgarities, the New York Winter Garden, I cannot quite bring myself to hope that when the Salt Lake Theatre burns, the man who wrote "The Honeymoon Express," the manager who produced it, and the company which played it, will be rehearsing there. For all their sins, I should not like to see them burned, though as to being roasted—well, that is a different thing.

Whatever may be one's opinion of the matrimonial industry of Brigham Young, the visitor to Salt Lake City will not dispute that the late leader of the Mormons knew, far better than most men of his day, how a town[ 444] should be laid out. The blocks of Salt Lake City are rectangular; the lots are large, the streets wide and admirably paved with asphalt, almost all the houses are low, and stand in their own green grounds, and perhaps the most characteristic note of all is given by the poplars and box elders which grow everywhere, not only in the city, but throughout the valley.

Besides my preconceptions as to the city, I arrived in Salt Lake City with certain preconceptions as to Mormons. I expected them to be radically different, somehow, from all other people I had met. I anticipated finding them deceitful and evasive: furtive people, wandering in devious ways and disappearing into mysterious houses, at dead of night. I wanted to see them, I wanted to talk with them, but I wondered, nervously, whether one might speak to them about themselves and their religion, and more especially, whether one might use the words "Mormon" and "polygamy" without giving offense.

It was not without misgivings, therefore, that my companion and I went to keep an appointment with Joseph F. Smith, head of the Mormon Church—or, to give it its official title, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We found the President, with several high officials of the church, in his office at the Lion House—the large adobe building in which, as I have said, formerly resided the rank and file of Brigham Young's wives; although Amelia lived by herself, in the so called "Amelia Palace," across the street.[ 445] Mr. Smith is a tall, dignified man who comes far from looking his full seventy-six years. The nose upon which he wears his gold rimmed spectacles is the dominant feature of his face, being one of those great, strong, mountainous, indomitable noses. His eyes are dark, large and keen, and he wears a flowing gray beard and dresses in a black frock-coat. He and the men around him looked like a group of strong, prosperous, dogmatically religious New Englanders, such as one might find at a directors' meeting in the back room of some very solid old bank in Maine or Massachusetts. Clearly they were executives and men of wealth. As for religion, had I not known that they were Mormons, I should have judged them to be either Baptists, Methodists or Presbyterians.

The occasion did not prove to be a gay one. I tried to explain to the Mormons that I was writing impressions of my travels and that I had desired to meet them because, in Salt Lake City, the Mormons seemed to supply the greatest interest.

But even after I had explained my mission, a frigid air prevailed, and I felt that here, at least, I would get but scant material. Their attitude perplexed me. I could not believe they were embarrassed, although I knew that I was.

Then presently the mystery was cleared up, for President Smith launched out upon a statement of his opinion regarding "Collier's Weekly"—the paper in which many of these chapters first appeared—and I became suddenly[ 446] and painfully aware that I was being mistaken for a muckraker.

The President's opinion of "Collier's" was more frank than flattering, and though one or two of the other Mormons, who seemed to understand our aims, tried to smooth matters over in the interests of harmony, he would not be mollified, but insisted vigorously that "Collier's" had printed outrageous lies about him. This was all news to me, for, as it happened, I had not read the articles to which he referred, and for which, as a representative of "Collier's," I was now, apparently, being held responsible. I explained that to the President of the Church, whereupon he simmered down somewhat, but I think he still regarded my companion and me with suspicion, and was glad to see us go.

Thus did we suffer for the sins of Sarah Comstock.

It may not seem necessary to add that the subject of polygamy was not mentioned in that conversation.

In thinking over our encounter with these leading Mormons I could not feel surprised, for all that I have read about this sect has been in the nature of attacks. Mark Twain tells about what was called a "Destroying Angel" of the Mormon Church, stating that, "as I understand it, they are Latter Day Saints who are set apart by the Church to conduct permanent disappearances of obnoxious citizens." He characterizes the one he met as "a loud, profane, offensive old blackguard." But Mormon Destroying Angels are things of the past, as, I believe, are Mormon visions of Empire, and Mor[ 447]mon aggressions of all kinds. Another book, Harry Leon Wilson's novel, "The Lions of the Lord," was not calculated to soothe the Mormon sensibilities, and of the numerous articles in magazines and newspapers which I have read—most of them with regard to polygamy—I recall none that has not dealt with them severely.

Now, remembering that whatever we may believe, the Mormons believe devoutly in their religion, what must be their point of view about all this? Their story is not different from any other in that it has two sides. If they did commit aggressions in the early days, which seems to have been the case, they were also the victims of persecution from the very start, and it is difficult to determine, at this late day, whether they, or those who made their lives in the East unbearable, were most at fault.

According to Mormon history the church had its very beginnings in religious dissension. It is recounted by the Mormons that Joseph Smith, Jr., founder of the church (he was the uncle of the present President), attended revival meetings in Manchester, Vermont, and was so confused by the differences of opinion and the ill-feeling between different sects that he prayed to the Lord to tell him which was the true religion. In regard to this, Smith wrote that after his prayer, "a mysterious power of darkness overcame me. I could not speak and I felt myself in the grasp of an unseen personage of darkness. My soul went up in an unuttered prayer for deliverance, and as I was about despairing, the gloom[ 448] rolled away and I saw a pillar of light descending from heaven, approaching me."

Smith then tells of a vision of a Glorious Being, who informed him that none of the warring religious sects had the right version. Then: "The light vanished, the personages withdrew and recovering myself, I found myself lying on my back gazing up into heaven."

Apropos of this, and of other similar visions which Smith said he had, it is interesting to note that there is a theory, founded upon a considerable investigation, that Smith was an epileptic.

After his first vision Smith had others, and according to the Mormon belief, he finally had revealed to him the Hill Cumorah (twenty-five miles southwest of Rochester, N. Y.) where he ultimately found, with the aid of the Angel Moroni, the gold plates containing the Book of Mormon, together with the Urim and Thummim, the stone spectacles through which he read the plates and translated them. After making his translation, Smith returned the plates to the angel, but before doing so, showed them to eight witnesses who certified to having seen them.

As time went on Smith had more visions until at last the Mormon Church was organized in 1830. Revelations continued. The church grew. Branches were established in various places, but according to their history, the Mormons were persecuted by members of other religious sects and driven from place to place. For a time they were in Kirtland, Ohio. Later they went to[ 449] Jackson County, Mo., but their houses were burned and they were driven on again. In 1838 "the Lord made known to him (Smith) that Adam had dwelt in America, and that the Garden of Eden was located in Jackson County, Mo." For a time they were in Nauvoo, Ill., where it seems their political activities got them into trouble, and at last Joseph Smith and his brother Hiram were shot and killed by a mob, at Carthage, Ill. That was in 1844. There were then 10,000 Mormons, over whom Brigham Young became the leading power. Soon after this the westward movement began. They established various settlements in Iowa, and in 1847 Young and his pioneer band of 143 men, 3 women and 2 children, entered the valley of Salt Lake, where they immediately set up tents and cabins and began to plow and plant, and where they started what the Mormons say was the first irrigation system in the United States.

Certainly there were good engineers among them. Their early buildings show it—especially the famous Tabernacle in the great square they own at the center of the city. The vast arched roof of the Tabernacle is supported by wooden beams which were lashed together, no nails having been used. This building is not beautiful, but is very interesting. It contains among other things a large pipe organ which was, in its day, probably the finest in this country, although there are better organs elsewhere, now. The Mormon Trails are also recognized in the West as the best trails, with the lowest levels, and there are many other evidences of unusual[ 450] engineering and mechanical skill on the part of the early settlers, including a curious wooden odometer (now in the museum at Salt Lake City) which worked in connection with the wheel of a prairie schooner, and which was marvelously accurate.

The revelation as to the practice of polygamy was made to Brigham Young, and was promulgated in Utah in 1852, soon becoming a subject of contention between the Mormons and the Government. The practice was finally suspended by a manifesto issued by President Wilford Woodruff, in 1890, and the "History of the Church," written by Edward H. Anderson, declares that "a plurality of wives is now neither taught nor practised."

Speaking of polygamy I was informed by Prof. Levi Edgar Young, a nephew of Brigham Young, a Harvard graduate and an authority on Mormon History, that not over 3 per cent. of men claiming membership in the Mormon Church ever had practised it. These figures surprised me, as I had imagined polygamy to be the rule, rather than the exception. Professor Young, however, assured me that a great many leading Mormons had refused from the first to accept the practice.

It must be remembered that the day of Brigham Young was not this day. He was a powerful, far-seeing and very able man, and it does seem probable that he had the idea of founding an Empire in the West. However the discovery of gold in '48, flooded the West with settlers and brought a preponderance of "gen[ 451]tiles" (as the Mormons call those who are not members of their church) into all that country, making the realization of Young's dream impossible. What the Mormon Church needed, in those early times, was increase—more men to do its work, more women to bear children—and viewed entirely from a practical standpoint, polygamy was a practice calculated to bring about this end. I met, in Salt Lake City men whose fathers had married anywhere from five or six to a dozen wives, and so far as sturdiness goes, I may say that I am convinced that plural marriages brought about no deterioration in the stock.

I am informed that the membership of the church, to-day, is between 500,000 and 600,000, and that less than 1 per cent. of the Mormon families are at present polygamous. It is not denied that some few polygamous marriages have been performed since the issuance of the manifesto against the practice, but these have been secret marriages without the sanction of the church, and priests who have performed such marriages have, when detected, been excommunicated.

I was told in Salt Lake City that, in the cases of some of the older Mormons, who had plural wives long before the manifesto, there was little doubt that polygamy was still being practised. Some of these men are the highest in the church, and it was explained to me that, having married their wives in good faith, they proposed to carry out what they regard as their obligations to those wives. However, these are old men, and with[ 452] the rise of another generation there can be little doubt that these last remnants of polygamy will have been finally stamped out.

The modern young Mormon man or woman seems to be a perfectly normal human being with a normal point of view concerning marriage. Furthermore, the Mormons believe in education. The school buildings scattered everywhere throughout the valley are very fine, and I was informed that 80 per cent. of the whole tax income of the State of Utah was expended upon education, and that in educational percentages Utah compares favorably with Massachusetts.

What effect a broad education might have upon succeeding generations of Mormons it is difficult to say. From a literary point of view, the Book of Mormon will not bear close scrutiny. Mark Twain described it accurately when he said, in "Roughing It":

The book seems to be merely a prosy detail of imaginary history, with the Old Testament for a model; followed by a tedious plagiarism of the New Testament. The author labored to give his words and phrases the quaint old-fashioned sound and structure of our King James's translation of the Scriptures; and the result is a mongrel—half modern glibness and half ancient simplicity and gravity. The latter is awkward and constrained; the former natural, but grotesque by contrast. Whenever he found his speech growing too modern—which was about every sentence or two—he ladled in a few such Scriptural phrases as "exceeding sore," "and it came to pass," etc., and made things satisfactory again.... The Mormon Bible is rather stupid and tiresome to read, but there is nothing vicious in its teachings. Its code of morals is unobjectionable—it is "smouched" from the New Testament and no credit given.

We were invited to meet the President of the Mormon Church and some members of his family
at the Beehive House, his official residence We were invited to meet the President of the Mormon Church and some members of his family at the Beehive House, his official residence

[ 453]

Certainly there is no need to prove that education is death on dogma. That fact has been proving itself as scientific research has come more and more into play upon various dogmatic creeds. I was told, however, that the Mormon Church schools were liberal; that instead of restricting knowledge to conform to the teachings of the church, the church was showing a tendency to adapt itself to meet new conditions.

If it is doing that it is cleverer than some other churches.[ 454]



Before going to Salt Lake City I had heard that the Mormons were in complete control of politics and business in the State of Utah, and that it was their practice to discriminate against "gentiles," making it impossible for them to be successful there. I asked a great many citizens of Salt Lake City about this, and all the evidence indicated that such rumors are without foundation, and that, of recent years, Mormons and "gentiles" have worked harmoniously together, socially and in business. The Mormons have a strong political machine and pull together much as the Roman Catholics do, but the idea that they dominate everything in Salt Lake City seems to be a mistaken one. Time and again I was assured of this by both Mormons and "gentiles," and an officer of the Commercial Club went so far as to draw up figures, supporting the statement, as follows:

Of the city's fourteen banks and trust companies, nine are not under Mormon control; of five department stores, four are non-Mormon; all skyscrapers except one are owned by "gentiles"; likewise four-fifths of the best residence property. Furthermore, neither the city[ 455] government nor the public utilities are run by Mormons, nor are the Mayor and the President of the Board of Education members of that church.

This is not to say that Mormon business interests are not enormous, but only that there has been exaggeration on these points, as on many others concerning this sect. The heads of the church are big business men, and President Smith is, among other things, a director of the Union Pacific Railroad Company.

Among other well-informed men with whom I talked upon this subject was the city-editor of a leading newspaper.

"I am not a Mormon," he said, "although my wife is one. You may draw your own conclusions as to the Mormon attitude when I tell you that the paper on which I work is controlled by them, yet that, as it happens just now, I haven't a Mormon reporter on my staff. Here and there there may be some old hard-shell Mormon who won't employ any one that isn't a member of the church, but cases of that kind are as rare among Mormons as among other religious sects."

Every business man with whom I talked seemed anxious to impress me with this fact, that I might pass it on in print.

"For heaven's sake," said one impassioned citizen, "tell people that we raise something out here besides Mormons and hell!"

One of the most level-headed men I met in Salt Lake[ 456] City was a Mormon, though not orthodox. His position with regard to the church was precisely the same as that of a man who has been brought up in any other church, but who, as he grows older, cannot accept the creed in its entirety. His attitude as to the Mormon Bible was one of honest doubt. In short, he was an agnostic, and as such talked interestingly.

"Of course," he said, "out here we are as used to the Mormon religion and to the idea that some men have a number of wives, as you are to the idea that men have only one wife. It doesn't seem strange to us. I can't adjust my mind to the fact that it is strange, and I only become conscious of it when I go to other parts of the country and find that, when people know I'm a Mormon, they become very curious, and want me to tell them all about the Mormons and polygamy.

"Now, in trying to understand the Mormons, the first thing to remember is that they are human beings, with the same set of virtues and failings and feelings as other human beings. There are some who are dogmatically religious; some with whom marriage—even plural marriage—is just as pure and spiritual a thing as it is with any other people in the world. On the other hand, some Mormons, like some members of other sects, have doubtless had lusts. The family life of some Mormons is very beautiful, and as smoking, drinking and other dissipations are forbidden, orthodox Mormon men lead very clean lives. In this they are upheld by our women, for many Mormon women will not marry a man except[ 457]ing in our Temple, and no man who has broken the rules of the church may be married there.

"Among the younger generation of Mormons you will see the same general line of characteristics as among young people anywhere. Some of them grow up into strict Mormons, while others—particularly some of the sons of rich Mormons—are what you might call 'sports.' Human nature is no different in Utah than elsewhere.

"My father had several wives and I had a great number of brothers and sisters. We didn't live like one big family, and the half-brothers and half-sisters did not feel towards each other as real brothers and sisters do. When my father was a very old man he married a young wife, and we felt about it just as any other sons and daughters would at seeing their father do such a thing. We felt it was a mistake, and that it was not just to us, for father had not many more years to live, and it appeared that on his death we might have his young wife and her family to look after.

"My views are such that in bringing up my own children I have not had them baptized as Mormons at the age of eight, according to the custom of the church. This has grieved my people, but I cannot help it. I am bringing my children up to fear God and lead clean lives, but I do not think I have the right to force them into any church, and I propose to leave the matter of joining or not joining to their own discretion, later on."[ 458]

Another Mormon, this one orthodox, and a cultivated man, told me he thought that in most cases the old polygamous marriages were entered into with a spirit of real religious fervor.

"My father married two wives," he said. "He loved my mother, who was his first wife, very dearly, and they are as fine and contented a couple as you ever saw. But when the revelation as to polygamy was made, father took a second wife because he believed it to be his duty to do so."

"How did your mother feel about it?" I asked.

"I have no doubt," said he, "that it hurt mother terribly, but she was submissive because she believed it was right. And later, when the manifesto against polygamy was issued, it hurt father's second wife, when he had to give her up, for he had two children by her. However, he obeyed implicitly the law of the church, supporting his second wife and her children, but living with my mother."

Later this gentleman took me to call at the home of this old couple. The husband, more than eighty years of age, was a professional man with a degree from a large eastern university. He was a gentleman of the old school, very fine, dignified, and gracious, and there was an air about him which somehow made me think of a sturdy, straight old tree. As for his wife she was one of the two most adorable old ladies I have ever met.

Very simply she told me of the early days. Her[ 459] parents had been well-to-do Pennsylvania Dutch and had left a prosperous home in the East and come out to the West, not to better themselves, but because of their religion. (One should always remember that, in thinking of the Mormons: whatever may have been the rights and wrongs of their religion, they have believed in it and suffered for it.) She, herself, was born in 1847, in a prairie schooner, on the banks of the Missouri River, and in that vehicle she was carried across the plains and through the passes, to where Salt Lake City was then in the first year of its settlement. Some families were still living in tents when she was a little girl, but log cabins were springing up. Behind her house, I was shown, later, the cabin—now used as a lumber shed—in which she dwelt as a child.

Fancy the fascination that there was in hearing that old lady tell, in her simple way, the story of the early Mormon settlement. For all her gentleness and the low voice in which she spoke, the tale was an epic in which she herself had figured. She was not merely the daughter of a pioneer, and the wife of one; she was a pioneer herself. She had seen it all, from the beginning. How much she had seen, how much she had endured, how much she had known of happiness and sorrow! And now, in her old age, she had a nature like a distillation made of everything there is in life, and whatever bitterness there may have been in life for her had gone, and left her altogether lovable and altogether sweet.[ 460]

I did not wish to leave her house, and when I did, and when she said she hoped that I would come again, I was conscious of a lump in my throat. I do not expect you to understand it, for I do not, quite, myself. But there it was—that kind of lump which, once in a long time, will rise up in one's throat when one sees a very lovely, very happy child.

When our friend Professor Young asked us whether we had met President Joseph F. Smith, we told him of our unfortunate encounter with that gentleman, in the Lion House, a day or two before. This information led to activities on the part of the Professor, which in turn led to our being invited, on the day of our departure, to meet the President and some members of his family at the Beehive House—the official residence of the head of the church.

The Beehive House is a large old-fashioned mansion with the kind of pillared front so often seen in the architecture of the South. Its furnishings are, like the house itself, old-fashioned, homelike, and unostentatious.

I have forgotten who let us in, but I have no recollection of a maid, and I rather think the door was opened by the President himself. At all events we had no sooner entered than we met him, in the hall. His manner had changed. He was most hospitable, and walked through several rooms with us, showing us some plaster casts and paintings, the work of Mormon artists. Most

The Lion House—a large adobe building in which formerly resided the rank and
file of Brigham Young's wives The Lion House—a large adobe building in which formerly resided the rank and file of Brigham Young's wives

[ 461] of the paintings were extremely ordinary, but the work of one young sculptor was remarkable, and as the story of him is remarkable as well, I wish to mention him here.

He is a boy named Arvard Fairbanks, a grandson of Mormon pioneers, on both sides, and he is not yet twenty years of age. At twelve he started modeling animals from life. At thirteen he took a scholarship in the Art Students' League, in New York, and exhibited at the National Academy of Design. At fourteen he took another scholarship and also got an art school into trouble with the sometimes rather silly Gerry Society, for permitting a child to model from the nude. Work done by this boy at the age of fifteen is nothing short of amazing. I have never seen such finished things from the hand of a youth. His subjects—Indians, buffalo, pumas, etc.—show splendid observation and understanding, and are full of the feeling of the West. And if the West is not very proud of him some day, I shall be surprised.

After showing us these things, and talking upon general subjects for a time, the President went to the foot of the stairs and called:


Whereupon a woman's voice answered, from above, and a moment later Mrs. Smith—one of the Mrs. Smiths—appeared. She was most cordial and kindly—a pleasant, motherly sort of woman who made you feel that she was always in good spirits.[ 462]

After we had enjoyed a pleasant little talk with her, one of her sons and his wife came in: he a strong young farmer, she pretty, plump and rosy. They had with them their little girl, who played about upon the floor. Later appeared President Penrose (there are several Presidents in the Mormon Church, but President Smith is the leader) who has red cheeks and brown hair in spite of the fact that he is eighty-two years old, and considerably married.

Here in the midst of this intimate family group I kept wishing that, in some way, the matter of polygamy might be mentioned. By this time I had heard so many Mormons talk about it freely that I understood the topic was not taboo; still, in the presence of Mrs. Smith I hardly knew how to begin, or indeed, whether it was tactful to begin—although I had been informed in advance that I might ask questions.

But how to ask? I couldn't very well say to this pleasant lady: "How do you like being one of five or six wives, and how do you think the others like it?" And as for: "How do you like being married?" that hardly expressed the question that was in my mind—besides which, it was plainly evident that the lady was entirely content with her lot.

It did not seem proper to inquire of my hostess: "How can you be content?" That much my social instinct told me. What, then, could I ask?

At last the baby granddaughter gave me a happy[ 463] thought. "Certainly," I said to myself, "it cannot be bad form to make polite inquiries about the family of any gentleman."

I tried to think how I might best ask the President the question. "Have you any children?" would not do, because there was his son, right in the room, and other sons and daughters had been referred to in the course of conversation. Finally, as time was getting short, I determined to put it bluntly.

"How many children and grandchildren have you?" I asked President Smith.

He was not in the least annoyed by the inquiry; only a little bit perplexed.

"Let's see," he answered ruminatively, fingering his long beard, and looking at the ceiling. "I don't remember exactly—but over a hundred."

"Why!" put in Mrs. Smith, proudly, "you have a lot over a hundred." Then, to me, she explained: "I am the mother of eleven, and I have had thirty-two grandchildren in the last twelve years. There is forty-three, right there."

"Oh, you surely have a hundred and ten, father," said young Smith.

"Perhaps, perhaps," returned the modern Abraham, contentedly.

"I beat you, though!" laughed President Penrose.

"I don't know about that," interposed young Smith,[ 464] sticking up for the family. "If father would count up I think you'd find he was ahead."

"How many have you?" President Smith inquired of his coadjutor.

President Penrose rubbed his hands and beamed with satisfaction.

"A hundred and twenty-odd," he said.

After that there was no gainsaying him. He was supreme. Even Mrs. Smith admitted it.

"Yes," she said, smiling and shaking a playful finger at him, "you're ahead just now; but remember, you're older than we are. You just give us time!"[ 465]



As our train crossed the Great Salt Lake the farther shores were glistening in a golden haze, half real, half mirage, like the shores of Pæstum as you see them from the monastery at Amalfi on a sunny day. Beyond the lake a portion of the desert was glazed with a curious thin film of water—evidently overflow—in which the forms of stony hills at the margin of the waste were reflected so clearly that the eye could not determine the exact point of meeting between cliff and plain. Farther out in the desert there was no water, and as we left the hills behind, the world became a great white arid reach, flat as only moist sand can be flat, and tragic in its desolation. For a time nothing, literally, was visible but sky and desert, save for a line of telegraph poles, rising forlornly beside the right-of-way.

I found the desert impressive, but my companion, whose luncheon had not agreed with him, declared that it was not up to specifications.

"Any one who is familiar with Frederick Remington's drawings," he said, "knows that there must be skeletons and buffalo skulls stuck around on deserts."[ 466]

I was about to explain that the Western Pacific was a new railroad and that probably they had not yet found time to do their landscape gardening along the line, when, far ahead, I caught sight of a dark dot on the sand. I kept my eye on it. As our train overtook it, it began to assume form, and at last I saw that it was actually a prairie schooner. Presently we passed it. It was moving slowly along, a few hundred yards from the track. The horses were walking; their heads were down and they looked tired. The man who was driving was the only human being visible; he was hunched over, and when the train went by, he never so much as turned his head.

The picture was perfect. Even my companion admitted that, and ceased to demand skulls and skeletons. And when, two or three hours later, after having crossed the desert and worked our way into the hills, we saw a full-fledged cowboy on a pinto pony, we felt that the Western Pacific railroad was complete in its theatrical accessories.

The cowboy did his best to give us Western color. When he saw the train coming, he spurred up his pony, and waving a lasso, set out in pursuit of an innocent old milch cow, which was grazing near-by. That she was no range animal was evident. Her sleek condition and her calm demeanor showed that she was fully accustomed to the refined surroundings of the stable. As he came at her she gazed in horrified amazement, quite as some fat, dignified old lady might gaze at a bad little[ 467] boy, running at her with a pea-shooter. Then, in bovine alarm, she turned and lumbered heavily away. The cowboy charged and cut her off, waving his rope and yelling. However, no capture was made. As soon as the train had passed the cowboy desisted, and poor old bossy was allowed to settle down again to comfortable grazing.

After a good dinner in one of those admirable dining cars one always finds on western roads, and a good smoke, my companion and I were ready for bed. But as we were about to retire, a fellow-passenger with whom we had been talking, asked, "Aren't you going to sit up for Elko?"

"What is there at Elko?" inquired my companion, with a yawn.

"Oh," said the other, "there's a little of the local color of Nevada there. You had better wait."

"I don't believe we'll be able to see anything," I put in, glancing out at the black night.

"It is something you couldn't see by daylight," said the stranger.

That made us curious, so we sat up.

As the train slowed for Elko, and we went to get our overcoats, we observed that one passenger, a woman, was making ready to get off. We had noticed her during the day—a stalwart woman of thirty-three or four, perhaps, who, we judged, had once been very handsome, though she now looked faded. Her hair was a dull red, and her complexion was of that milky[ 468] whiteness which so often accompanies red hair. Her eyes were green, cold and expressionless, and her mouth, though well formed, sagged at the corners, giving her a discontented and rather hard look. I remember that we wondered what manner of woman she was, and that we could not decide.

The train stopped, and with our acquaintance of the car, my companion and I alighted. It was a long train, and our sleeper, which was near the rear, came to a standstill some distance short of the station building, so that the part of the platform to which we stepped was without light. Beyond the station we saw several buildings looming like black shadows, but that was all; we could make out nothing of the town.

"I don't see much here," I remarked to the man who had suggested sitting up.

"Come on," he said, moving back through the blackness, towards the end of the train.

As I turned to follow him I saw the red-haired woman step down from the car and hand her suitcase to a man who had been awaiting her; they stood for a moment in conversation; as I moved away I heard their low voices.

Reaching the last car our guide descended to the track and crossed to the other side. We followed. My first glimpse of what lay beyond gave me the impression that a large railroad yard was spread out before me, its myriad switch-lights glowing red through the black night. But as my eyes became accustomed to the darkness, I saw that here was not a maze of tracks, but a maze of houses, and that the lights were not those of switches, but of windows and front doors: night signs of the traffic to which the houses were dedicated.

The Cliff House has a Sorrento setting and hectic turkey-trotting nights The Cliff House has a Sorrento setting and hectic turkey-trotting nights

[ 469]

"There," said our acquaintance. "A few years back you'd have seen this in almost any town out here, but things are changing; I don't know another place on this whole line that shows off its red light district the way Elko does."

After looking for a time at the sinister lights, we re-crossed the railroad track. As we stepped up to the platform, two figures coming in the opposite direction rounded the rear car and, crossing the rails, moved away towards the illuminated region. I heard their voices; they were the red haired woman and the man who had met her at the train.

Was she a new arrival? I think not, for she seemed to know the man, and she had, somehow, the air of getting home. Was she an "inmate" of one of the establishments? Again I think not, for, with her look of hardness, there was also one of capability, and more than any one thing it is laziness and lack of capability which cause sane women to give up freedom for such "homes." No; I think the woman from the train was a proprietor who had been away on a vacation, or perhaps a "business trip."

Suppose that to be true. Suppose that she had been away for several weeks. What was her feeling at seeing, again, the crimson beacon in her own window?[ 470] What must it be like to get home, when home is such a place? Could one's mental attitude become so warped that one might actually look forward to returning—to being greeted by the "family"? Could it be that, at sight of that red light, flaring over there across the tracks, one might heave a happy sigh and say to oneself: "Ah! Home again at last! There's no place like home"—?

One thing the Western Pacific Railroad does that every railroad should do. It publishes a pamphlet, containing a relief map of its system, and a paragraph or two about every station on the line, giving the history of the place (if it has any), telling the altitude, the distance from terminal points, and how the town got its name.

From this pamphlet I judge that some one who had to do with the building of the Western Pacific Railroad, or at least with the naming of stations on the line, possessed a pleasantly catholic literary taste. Gaskell, Nevada, one stopping place, is named for the author of "Cranford"; Brontë, in the same State, for Charlotte Brontë; Poe, in California, for Edgar Allan Poe; Twain for Mark Twain; Harte for Bret Harte, and Mabie for Hamilton Wright Mabie. Other stations are named for British Field Marshals, German scientists, American politicians and financiers, and for old settlers, ranches, and landmarks.

Had there not been washouts on the line shortly be[ 471]fore we journeyed over it, I might not have known so much about this little pamphlet, but during the night, when I could not sleep because of the violent rocking of the car, I read it with great care. Thus it happened that when, towards morning, we stopped, and I raised my curtain to find the ground covered with a blanket of snow, I was able to establish myself as being in the Sierras, somewhere in the region of the Beckwith Pass—which, by the way, is by two thousand feet, the lowest pass used by any railroad entering the State of California.

Some time before dawn the roadbed became solid and I slept until summoned by my companion to see the cañon of the Feather River.

Dressing hurriedly, I joined him at the window on the other side of the car (I have observed that, almost invariably, that is where the scenery is), and looked down into what I still remember as the most beautiful cañon I have ever seen.

The last time I had looked out it had been winter, yet here, within the space of a few hours, had come the spring. It gave me the feeling of a Rip Van Winkle: I had slept and a whole season had passed. Our train was winding along a serpentine shelf nicked into the lofty walls of a gorge at the bottom of which rushed a mad stream all green and foamy. Above, the mountains were covered with tall pines, their straight trunks reaching heavenward like the slender columns of a Gothic cathedral, the roof of which was made of low-hung,[ 472] stone-gray cloud—a cathedral decked as for the Easter season, its aisles and altars abloom with green leaves, and blossoms purple and white.

Throughout the hundred miles for which we followed the windings of the Feather River Cañon, our eyes hardly left the window. Now we would crash through a short, black tunnel, emerging to find still greater loveliness where we had thought no greater loveliness could be; now we would traverse a spindly bridge which quickly changed the view (and us) to the other side of the car. Now we would pass the intake of a power plant; next we would come upon the plant itself, a monumental pile, looking like some Rhenish castle which had slipped down from a peak and settled comfortably beside the stream.

Once the flagman who dropped off when the train stopped, brought us back some souvenirs: a little pink lizard which, according to its captor, suited itself to a vogue of the moment with the name of Salamander; and a piece of glistening quartz which he designated "fools' gold." And presently, when the train was under way again, we saw, far down at the water's edge, the "fools" themselves in search of gold—two old gray-bearded placer-miners with their pans.

At last the walls of the cañon began to melt away, spreading apart and drifting down into the gentle slope of a green valley starred with golden poppies. Spring had turned to summer—a summer almost tropical, for, at Sacramento, early in the afternoon, we saw open[ 473] street-cars, their seats ranged back-to-back and facing outwards, like those of an Irish jaunting-car, running through an avenue lined with a double row of palms, beneath which girls were coming home from school bareheaded and in linen sailor suits.

Imagine leaving New York on a snowy Christmas morning, and arriving that same afternoon in Buffalo, to find them celebrating Independence Day, and you will get the sense of that transition. We had passed from furs to shirtsleeves in a morning.

Late that afternoon, we left the valley and began to thread our way among the Coast Range hills—green velvet hills, soft, round and voluptuous, like the "Paps of Kerry." We were still amongst them when the sun went down, and it was night when we arrived at the terminal in Oakland.[ 474]



Leaving the train in Oakland, one is reminded of Hoboken or Jersey City in the days before the Hudson Tubes were built. There is the train shed, the throng headed for the ferry, the baggage trucks, and the ferryboat itself, like a New York ferryboat down to its very smell. Likewise the fresh salt wind that blows into your face as you stand at the front of the boat, in crossing San Francisco Bay, is like a spring or summer wind in New York Harbor. So, if you cross at night, you have only the lights to tell you that you are not indeed arriving in New York.

The ferry is three miles wide. There are no skyscrapers, with lighted windows, looming overhead, as they loom over the Hudson. To the right the myriad lamps of Oakland, Berkeley and Alameda are distributed along the shore, electric trains dashing in front of them like comets; and straight ahead lies San Francisco—a fallen fragment of the Milky Way, draped over a succession of receding hills.

Crossing the ferry I tried to remember things I had been told of this city of my dreams, and to imagine what it would be like. Of course I had been warned[ 475] time and again not to refer to it as "'Frisco," and not to speak of the Earthquake, but only of the Fire. I had those two points well in mind, but there were others out of which I endeavored to construct an imaginary town.

San Francisco was, as I pictured it in advance, a city of gaiety, gold money, twenty-five cent drinks, flowers, Chinamen, hospitality, night restaurants, mysterious private dining rooms, the Bohemian Club, open-hearted men and unrivaled women—superb, majestic, handsomely upholstered, six-cylinder self-starting blondes, with all improvements, including high-tension double ignition, Prestolite lamps, and four speeds forward but no reverse.

That is the way I pictured San Francisco, and that, with some slight reservations, is the way I found it.

Several times in the course of these chapters, I have been conscious of an effort to say something agreeable about this city or that, but in the case of San Francisco, I find it necessary to restrain, rather than force my appreciation, lest I be charged with making noises like a Native Son.

The Native Sons of the Golden West is a large and semi-secret organization of men born in California who, I was informed, are banded together to help one another and the State. Its activities are largely political and vocal.

It was a Native Son who, when asked by an Englishman, visiting the United States for the first time, to[ 476] name the Seven Wonders of America, replied: "Santa Barbara, Coronado, Del Monte, San Francisco, Yosemite, Lake Tahoe and Mount Shasta."

"But," objected the visitor, "all those places are in California, aren't they?"

"Of course they're in California!" cried the Native Son. "Where else would they be?"

That is the point of view of the Native Son and the native Californian in general. Meeting Californians outside their State, I have been inclined to think them boasters, but now, after a visit to California, I have come to understand that they are nothing of the kind, but are, upon the contrary, adherents of cold truth. They want to tell the truth about their State, they try to tell it, and if they do not succeed it is only because they lack the power of expression. When it comes to California everybody does—a fact which I shall now assist in demonstrating further.

Take, for instance, the climate. The exact nature of the California climate had been a puzzle to me. I had been in the habit of considering certain parts of the country as suited for winter residence, and certain other parts for summer; but, in the East, when I asked people about California, I found some who advised it as a winter substitute for Florida, and others who recommended it as a summer substitute for Maine.

Therefore, on reaching San Francisco, I took pains to cross-examine natives as to what they meant by "climate."

The salt-water pool, Olympic Club, San Francisco The salt-water pool, Olympic Club, San Francisco
[ 477]

As I did not visit Southern California I shall leave the climate of that section to the residents, who are not only willing to describe it, but who, from all accounts, can come as near doing it adequately as anybody can. But in San Francisco and the surrounding country I think I know what climate means.

There are two seasons: spring, beginning about November and running on into April; autumn, beginning in April and filling out the remaining six months. Winter and summer are simply left out. There is no great cold (snow has fallen but six times in the history of the city) and no great heat (84 degrees was the highest temperature registered during an unusual "hot spell" which occurred just before our visit). It is, however, a celebrated peculiarity of the San Francisco climate that between shade and sun there is a difference so great as to make light winter clothing comfortable on one side of the street, and summer clothing on the other. The most convenient clothing, upon the whole, I found to be of medium weight, and as soon as the sun had set I sometimes felt the need of a light overcoat.

One of the finest things about the California weather is its absolute reliability. In the rainy season of spring, rain is expected and people go prepared for it; but with the arrival of the sunny season, the rain is really over, and thereafter you need not fear for your straw hat or your millinery, as the case may be.

Small wonder that the Californian loves to talk about[ 478] his climate. He loves to discuss it for the same reason the New Yorker loves to discuss money: because, with him, it is the fundamental thing. All through the West, but particularly on the Pacific Coast, men and women alike lead outdoor lives, compared with which the outdoor lives of Easterners are labored and pathetic. The man or woman in California who does not know what it is to ride and camp and shoot is an anomaly. Apropos of this love of outdoors, I am reminded that the head of a large department store informed me that, in San Francisco, rainy days bring out the largest shopping crowds, because people like to spend the sunny ones in the open. Also, I noticed for myself, that small shopkeepers think so much of the climate that in many instances they cannot bear to bar it out, even at night, but have permanent screen fronts in their stores.

All the year round, flowers are for sale at stands on corners, in the San Francisco streets, and if you think we have no genre in America, if you think there is nothing in this country to compare with your memories of picturesque little scenes in Europe—scenes involving such things as the dog-drawn wagons of Belgium; Dutch girls in wooden shoes, bending at the waist to scrub a sidewalk; embroidered peasants at a Breton pardon; proud beggars at an Andalusian railway station; mysterious hooded Arabs at Gibraltar; street singers in Naples; flower girls in the costume of the campagna, at the Spanish Steps in Rome—if you think we cannot match such bits of color, then you should see the flower[ 479] stands of San Francisco upon some holiday, when Chinese girls are bargaining for blooms.

But I am talking only of this one part of California. When one considers the whole State, one is forced to admit that it is a natural wonder-place. It is everything. In its ore-filled mountains it is Alaska; to the south it is South America; I have looked out of a train window and seen a perfect English park, only to realize suddenly that it had not been made by gardeners, but was the sublimated landscape gardening which Nature gave to this state of states. I have eaten Parisian meals in San Francisco and drunk splendid wines, and afterwards I have been told that our viands and beverages had, without exception, been produced in California—unless one counts the gin in the cocktail which preceded dinner. But that is only part of it. With her hills San Francisco is Rome; with her harbor she is Naples; with her hotels she is New York. But with her clubs and her people she is San Francisco—which, to my mind, comes near being the apotheosis of praise.

So far as I know American cities San Francisco stands out amongst them like some beautiful, fascinating creature who comes suddenly into a roomful of mediocrities. She is radiant, she has charm and allure, those qualities which are gifts of the gods, and which, though we recognize them instantly when we meet them, we are unable to describe.

I have not forgotten the charm of Detroit, nor the stupendousness of Chicago, but—there is only one Paris[ 480] and only one San Francisco. San Francisco does not look at all like Paris, and while it has a large foreign population the people one meets are, for the most part, pure-blooded Americans, yet all the time I was there, I found myself thinking of the place as a city that was somehow foreign. It is full of that splendid vigor which one learns to expect of young American cities; yet it is full of something else—something Latin. The outlook upon life even of its most American inhabitants is touched with a quality that is different. The climate works its will upon them as climate does on people everywhere. Here it makes them lively and spontaneous. They are able to do more (including more sitting up at night) than people do in New York, and it seems to tell upon them less. They love good times and, again owing to the climate, they are able to have them out of doors.

The story of the Portola fête, as told me by a San Franciscan, nicely illustrates that, and also shows the San Francisco point of view.

"In 1907," he informed me, "we decided to put over a big outdoor New Year's fête, with dancing in the streets, the way they have it in Paris on the Fourteenth of July. But at the last minute it rained and spoiled the outdoor part of the fun. Once in a while, you see, that can happen even in San Francisco.

"Everybody agreed that we ought to have a regular established festival, and as we didn't want to have it spoiled a second time, we hunted up the weather records[ 481] and found that in the history of the city there had never been rain between October seventeenth and twenty-ninth. That established the time for our fête; the next thing was to discover an excuse for it. That was not so easy. After digging through a lot of history we found that Don Caspar de Portola discovered San Francisco Bay October twenty-second, 1679—or maybe it was 1769—that doesn't matter. Nobody had ever heard of Portola until then, but now we have dragged him out of oblivion and made quite a boy of him, all as an excuse to have a good time."

"Then you don't celebrate New Year's out here?" I asked.

"Don't we though!" he exclaimed. "You ought to be here for our New Year's fête. It is one of the most spontaneous shows of the kind you'll see anywhere. It's not a tough orgy such as you have on Broadway every New Year's Eve, with a lot of drunks sitting around in restaurants under signs saying 'Champagne Only'—I've seen that. We just have a lot of real fun, mostly in the streets.

"One thing you can count on out here. We celebrate everything that can be celebrated, and the beauty of a lot of our good times is that they have a way of just breaking loose instead of being cooked-up in advance. It has often happened that on Christmas Eve some great singer or musician would appear in the streets and sing or play for the crowds. A hundred thousand people heard Tetrazzini when she did that four years ago. Bispham and[ 482] a lot of other big singers have done the same thing, and three years ago, on Christmas Eve, Kubelik played for the crowds in the streets. Somehow I think that musicians and artists of all kinds have a warm feeling for San Francisco, and want to show us that they have."

There can be no doubt that that is true. Many artists have inhabited San Francisco, and the city has always been beloved by them; especially, it sometimes seems, by the writing group. Mark Twain records that on his arrival he "fell in love with the most cordial and sociable city in the Union," and countless other authors, from Stevenson down, have paid their tribute.

As might be expected of a country so palpitantly beautiful and alive, California has produced many artists in literature and the other branches, and has developed many others who, having had the misfortune to be born elsewhere, possessed, at least, the good judgment to move to California while still in the formative period.

Sitting around a table in a café, one night, with a painter, a novelist and a newspaper man, I set them all to making lists, from memory, of persons following the arts, who may be classified as Californians by birth or long residence.

The four most prominent painters listed were Arthur F. Mathews, Charles Rollo Peters, Charles J. Dickman and Francis McComas, all of them men standing very high in American art. Among sculptors were mentioned Robert Aitken, Arthur Putnam, Haig Patigian and Douglas Tilden. Of writers there is a deluge.[ 483] Besides Mark Twain and Stevenson, the names of Bret Harte, Frank Norris, and Joaquin Miller are, of course, historic in connection with the State. Among living writers born in California were listed Gertrude Atherton, Jack London, Lloyd Osbourne, Austin Strong, Ernest Peixotto and Kathleen Norris; while among those born elsewhere who have migrated to California, were set down the names of Harry Leon Wilson, Stewart Edward White, James Hopper, Mary Austin, Grace MacGowan Cooke, Alice MacGowan, Rufus Steele and Bertha Runkle. Still another group of writers who do not now reside in California are, nevertheless, associated with the State because of having lived there in the past. Among these are Wallace and Will Irwin, Gelett Burgess, Eleanor Gates, Kate Douglas Wiggin, Edwin Markham, George Sterling, Richard Tully, Jack Hines and Arno Dosch.

At this juncture it occurs to me that, quite regardless of the truth, I had better say that I have not set down these names according to any theories of mine about the order of their importance, but that I have copied them off as they came to me on lists made by other persons, who shall be sheltered to the last by anonymity.

All the names so far mentioned were furnished by the painter and the novelist. The newspaper man kept me waiting a long time for his list. At last he gave it to me, and lo! Harrison Fisher's name led all the rest. Henry Raliegh and Rae Irvin, illustrators, were also listed, but the formidable California showing came with the cate[ 484]gory of cartoonists and "comic artists" employed on New York newspapers. Of these the following were set down as products of the Golden State: Bud Fisher, Igoe, and James Swinnerton of the "American"; Tom McNamara, Hal Cauffman, George Harriman, Hershfield, and T. A. Dorgan ("Tad") of the "Journal"; Goldberg of the "Evening Mail"; R. E. Edgren of the "World"; Robert Carter of the "Sun"; and Ripley of the "Globe." The late Homer Davenport of the "American" also came to New York from San Francisco. This list, covering as it does all but a handful of the cartoonists and "funny men" of the New York papers, seems to me hardly less remarkable than this further list of "artists" of another variety who trace back to California: James J. Corbett, Jim Jeffries, Joe Choynski, Jimmy Britt, Abe Attell, Willie Ritchie, Eddie Hanlon and Frankie Neil; with Jack Johnson and Stanley Ketchell added for the reason that, although not actual native products, they "developed" in California.

Perhaps after having given California her artistic due in this handsome manner, and being, myself, well out of the State, this may be the best time to touch upon a sensitive point. As the reader may have observed, I always try to evade responsibility when playing with fire, and if one does that with fire, it becomes all the more necessary to observe the same rule in the case of earthquakes.

In this instance the best way out of it for me seems to be to put the blame on Baedeker, who, in his little red book, declares that "earthquakes occur occasionally in[ 485] San Francisco, but have seldom been destructive," after which he recites that in 1906 "a severe earthquake lasting about a minute" visited the city, that "the City Hall became a mass of ruins but, on the whole, few of the more solid structures were seriously injured."

San Francisco is notoriously sensitive upon this subject, and her sensitiveness is not difficult to understand. For one thing, earthquakes, interesting though they may be as demonstrations of the power of Nature, are not generally considered a profitable form of advertising for a city, although, curiously enough, they seem, like volcanic eruptions, to visit spots of the greatest natural beauty. For another thing San Francisco feels that "earthquake" is really a misnomer for her disaster, and that this fact is not generally understood in such remote and ill-informed localities as, for instance, the Island of Manhattan.

There is not a little justice in this contention. However the city may have been "shaken down" in the past, by corrupt politicians, the quake did no such thing. All the damage done by the actual trembling of the ground might have been repaired at a cost of a few millions, had not the quake started the fire and at the same time destroyed the means of fighting it. Baedeker, always conservative, estimates the fire loss at three hundred and fifty millions.

Furthermore, it is contended in San Francisco that the city is not actually in the earthquake belt. Scientists have examined the earthquake's fault-line, and have de[ 486]clared that it comes down the coast to a point some miles north of the city, where it obligingly heads out to sea, passing around San Francisco, and coming ashore again far to the south.

While, to my mind, this seems to indicate an extraordinary degree of good-nature on the part of an earthquake, I have come, through a negative course of reasoning, to accept it as true. For it so happens that I have discussed literature with a considerable number of scientific men, and I cannot but conclude from the experience that they must know an enormous amount about other matters. Therefore, on earthquakes, I am bound entirely by their decisions, and I believe that all well-ordered earthquakes will be so bound, and that the only chance of future trouble from this source, in San Francisco, might arise through a visit from some irresponsible, renegade quake which was not a member of the regular organization.

As to San Francisco's "touchiness" upon the subject there is this much more to be said. A cow is rumored to have kicked over a lamp and started the Chicago Fire. An earthquake kicked over a building and started the San Francisco Fire. People do not refer to the Chicago Fire as the "Cow." Why then should they refer to the San Francisco Fire as the "Earthquake"? That is the way they reason at the Golden Gate. But however that may be, the important fact is this: the Chicago Fire taught that city a lesson. When Chicago was rebuilt in brick and stone, instead of wood, another cow could[ 487] kick over another lamp without endangering the whole town. The same story is repeated in San Francisco. The city has been magnificently reconstructed. Another quake might kick over another building, but the city would not go as it did before, because, aside from the fact that the main part of it is now unburnable, as nearly as that may be said of any group of buildings, the most elaborate system of fire-protection has been installed, so that if, in future, water connections are broken at one point, or two points, or several points, there will still be plenty of water from other sources.

As an outsider, in love with San Francisco, who has yet had the temerity to mention the forbidden word, I may perhaps venture a little farther and suggest that it is time for sensitiveness over the word "earthquake" to cease.

Let us use what word we like: the fact remains that the disaster brought out magnificent qualities in San Francisco's people; they were victorious over it; they have fortified themselves against a repetition of it; they transformed catastrophe into opportunity. Already, I think, many San Franciscans understand that the cataclysm was not an unmixed evil, and I believe that, strange though it may seem, there will presently come a time when, for all their half-melancholy "before the fire" talk, they will admit that on the whole it was a good thing. For it is granted to but few cities and few men to really begin life anew.[ 488]



San Fransiscans love to show their city off. Nevertheless they take a curious delight in countering against the enthusiasm of the alien with a solemn wag of the head and the invariable:

{seen     }
{felt       }
"Ah, but you should have {tasted   } it before the Fire!"
{heard   }

They say that about everything, old and new. They say it indiscriminately, without thought of what it means. They love the sound of it, and have made it a fixed habit. They say it about districts and buildings, about hotels, and the Barbary Coast (which is much like the old Bowery, in New York, and where ragtime dancing is said to have originated), and the Presidio (the military post, overlooking the sea), and Golden Gate Park (a semitropical wonder-place, built on what used to be sand dunes, and guarded by Park Policemen who carry lassos with which to stop runaways), and Chinatown, and the Fish Market (which resembles a collection of still-life studies by William M. Chase), and the Bank Exchange[ 489] (which is not a commercial institution, but a venerable bar, presided over by Duncan Nicol, who came around the Horn with his eye-glasses over his ear, where he continues to wear them while mixing Pisco cocktails). They say it also of "Ernie" and his celebrated "Number Two" cocktail, with a hazelnut in it; and of the St. Francis Hotel (which is one of the best run and most perfectly cosmopolitan hotels in the country), and of the Fairmont Hotel (a wonderful pile, commanding the city and the bay as Bertolini's commands the city and the bay of Naples), and the Palace Hotel (where drinks are twenty-five cents each, as in the old days; where ripe olives are a specialty, and where, over the bar, hangs Maxfield Parrish's "Pied Piper," balancing the continent against his "Old King Cole," in the Knickerbocker bar, in New York). They say it about the Cliff House, (with its Sorrento setting, its seals barking on the rocks below, and its hectic turkey-trotting nights), about Tait's, and Solari's, and the Techau, and Frank's, and the Poodle Dog, and Marchand's, and Coppa's, and all the other restaurants; about the private dining-rooms (which are a San Francisco specialty), about the pretty girls (which are another specialty), about the clubs (which are still another), about cable-cars, taxicabs, flowers, shrimps, crabs, sand-dabs (which are fish almost as good as English sole), and about everything else. They use it instead of "if you please," "thank you," "good-morning," and "good-night." If there are no strangers to say it to they say it to one another. If you[ 490] admire a man's wife and children he will say it, and the same thing occurs if you approve of his new hat.

If the old San Francisco was indeed so far superior to the new, then Bagdad in the days of Haroun-al-Raschid would have been but a dull prairie town, compared with it.

But was it?

The San Francisco attitude upon this subject reminds me of that of the old French Royalists.

A friend of mine, an American living in Paris, happened to inquire of a venerable Marquis concerning the Palais de Glace, where Parisians go to skate.

"Ah, yes," replied the ancient aristocrat, raising his shoulders contemptuously, "one hears that the world now goes to skate under a roof, upon ice manufactured. Truly, all is changed, my friend. I assure you it was not like this under the Empire. In those times the lakes in the Bois used to freeze. But they do so no longer. It is not to be expected. Bah! This sacré Republic!"

While in San Francisco, I noted down a number of odd items, some of them unimportant, which, when added together, have much to do with the flavor of the town. Having used the word "flavor," I may as well begin with drinks.

Drinks cut an important figure in San Francisco life, as is natural in a wine-producing country. The merit of the best California wines is not appreciated in the East. Some of them are very good—much better, indeed, than[ 491] a great deal of the imported wine brought from Europe. I have even tasted a California champagne which compares creditably with the ordinary run of French champagne, though when it comes to special vintages, California has not attained the French level.

It is a general custom, in public bars and clubs to shake dice for drinks, instead of clamoring to "treat," according to the silly eastern custom, which as every one knows, often causes men to drink more than they wish to, just to be "good fellows." The free lunch, in connection with bars, is developed more highly in San Francisco than in any other city that I know of; also, Easterners will be surprised to find small onions, or nuts, in their cocktails, instead of olives. A popular cocktail on the Coast is the "Honolulu," which is like the familiar "Bronx," excepting that pineapple juice is used in place of orange juice.

When my companion and I were in San Francisco a prohibition wave was threatening. Such a movement in a wine-producing country engenders very strong feeling, and I found, attached to the bills-of-fare in various restaurants, earnest pleas, addressed to voters, to turn out and cast their ballots against the temperance menace.

Of prohibition the town had already had a taste—if one may use the expression. The reform movement had struck the Barbary Coast, the rule, at the time of our visit, being that there should be no dancing where alcoholic drinks were served, and no drinks where there was dancing. This law was enforced and it made the former[ 492] region of festivity a sad place. Even the sailors and marines sitting about the dance-halls, consuming beer-substitutes, at a dollar a bottle, were melancholy figures, appearing altogether unresponsive to the sirens who surrounded them.

Ordinary drinks at most bars in San Francisco are fifteen cents each, or two for a quarter, as in most other cities. That is to say, two drinks for "two bits."

Like the American mill, or the English Guinea, the "bit," familiar on the Pacific Slope, is not a coin. The Californian will ask for change for a "quarter," or a "half," as we do in the East, but in making small purchases he will ask for two, or four, or six "bits' worth," a "bit" representing twelve-and-a-half cents. In the old days there were also "short bits" and "long bits," meaning, respectively ten cents, and fifteen cents, but these terms with their implied scorn of the copper cent, have died out.

The humble penny is, however, still regarded contemptuously in San Francisco. Until quite recently all newspapers published there sold at five cents each, and that is still true of the morning papers, the "Chronicle" and the "Examiner." Lately the "Call" and the "Bulletin," evening papers, have dropped in price to one cent each, but when the princely Son of the Golden West buys them, he will frequently pay the newsboy with a nickel, ignoring the change. Nor is the newsboy to be outdone in magnificence: when a five-cent customer asks for one paper the boy will very likely hand him both. They un[ 493]derstand each other, these two, and meet on terms of a noble mutual liberality.

As to Chinatown, those who knew it before the fire declare that its charm is gone, but my companion and I found interest in its shops, its printing offices and, most of all, in its telephone exchange.

The San Francisco Telephone Directory has a section devoted to Chinatown, in which the names of Chinese subscribers are printed in both English and Chinese characters. Thus, if I wish to telephone to Boo Gay, Are Too, Chew Chu & Co., Doo Kee, Fat Hoo, the Gee How Tong, Gum Hoo, Hang Far Low, Jew Bark, Joke Key, King Gum, Shee Duck Co., Tin Hop & Co., To To Bete Shy, Too Too Guey, Wee Chun, Wing On & Co., Yet Bun Hung, Yet Ho, Yet You, or Yue Hock, all of whom I find in the directory—if I wish to telephone to them, I can look them up in English and call "China 148," or whatever the number may be. But if a Chinaman who cannot read English wishes to call, he calls by name only, which makes it necessary for operators to remember not merely the name and number of each Chinese subscriber, but to speak English and Chinese—including the nine Chinese provincial dialects.

The operators are, of course, Chinese girls, and the exchange, which has over a thousand subscribers, representing about a tenth of the population of the Chinese district, is under the management of Mr. Loo Kum Shu, who was born in California and educated at the University of California. His assistant, Mr. Chin Sing,[ 494] is also a native of the State, and is a graduate of the San Francisco public schools.

For a "soulless corporation" the Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company has shown a good deal of imagination in constructing and equipping its Chinatown exchange. The building with its gaily decorated pagoda roof and balconies, makes a colorful spot in the center of Chinatown. Inside it is elaborately frescoed with dragons and other Chinese designs, while the woodwork is of ebony and gold. The switchboard is carved and is set in a shrine, and this fascinating incongruity, with the operators, all dressed in the richly colored silk costumes of their ancient civilization, poking in plugs, pulling them out, chattering now in English, now in Chinese, teaches one that anachronism may, under some conditions, be altogether charming.

One rumor concerning San Francisco restaurants appealed to my sinful literary imaginings. I had heard that these establishments resembled those of Paris, not only in cuisine, but because, as in Paris, the proprietors did not deem it necessary to stipulate that private dining-rooms should never be occupied save by parties of more than two.

Of one of these restaurants, in particular, I had been told the most amazing tales: A taxi would drive into the building by a sort of tunnel; great doors would close instantly behind it; it would run onto a large elevator and[ 495] be taken bodily to some floor above, where the occupants would alight practically at the door of their clandestine meeting-place—an exquisite little apartment, decorated like the boudoir of some royal favorite. If it were indeed true that such a picturesquely shocking place existed, I intended—entirely in the interest of my readers, you will understand—to see it; and honesty forces me to add that I hoped, with journalistic immorality, that it did exist.

One night I went there. True, the conditions were somewhat prosaic. It was quite late; my companion and I were tired, but we were near the end of our stay in San Francisco, and I insisted upon his accompanying me to the mysterious café, although he protested violently—not on moral grounds, but because he is sufficiently sophisticated to know that there is no subject upon which exaggeration gives itself carte blanche as it does when describing gilded vice.

The taxi did drive in through a kind of tunnel—a place suggesting coal wagons—but there were no massive, silent doors to close behind it. Passing into an inner court, which was like an empty garage, it stopped beside a little door.

"Where is the elevator?" I asked the taxi driver.

"In there," he answered, indicating the door.

"But," I complained, "I heard that there was a big elevator here, that took taxis right up stairs."

"There ain't," he said, succinctly.[ 496]

Telling him to wait, we entered the door and came upon an elevator and a solitary waiter, whom we informed of our desire to see the place.

Obligingly he took us to an upper floor and opening the door of an apartment, showed us in.

"Of course," he said, "all of them are not so fine as this."

Alas for my imaginings, here was no rose-pink boudoir, no scene for a romantic meeting, but a room like one of those frightful parlor "sets" one sometimes sees in the cheapest moving pictures. However, in the movies one is spared the color of such a room; one may see that the wallpaper is of hideous design, but one cannot see its ghastly scrambled browns and greens and purples. As I glanced at the various furnishings it seemed to me that each was uglier than the last, and when finally my eye fell upon an automatic piano in a sort of combination of dark oak and art nouveau, with a stained glass front and a nickel in the slot attachment, my dream of a setting for sumptuous and esthetic sin was dead. It was a room in which adventure would taste like stale beer.

My companion placed a nickel in the slot that fed the terrible piano. There was a whirring sound, succeeded, not by low seductive strains, but by a sudden din of ragtime which crashed upon our ears as the decorations had upon our eyes.

Hastily I moved towards the door. My companion followed.

The switchboard of the Chinatown telephone exchange is set
in a shrine and the operators are dressed in Chinese silks The switchboard of the Chinatown telephone exchange is set in a shrine and the operators are dressed in Chinese silks

[ 497]

"If the gentlemans would wish to see some other apartments—?" suggested the obliging waiter, as we closed the door.

"Oh, no thanks," I said. "This gives us a good idea of it."

As we moved towards the elevator the waiter asked politely: "The gentlemans have never been in here before?"

"No," I said, "we don't live in San Francisco. We had heard about this place and wanted to see it before we went away."

"It is a famous place," he said. Then, with a shake of the head, he added, "But before the Fire——Ah, the gentlemans should have seen it then!"[ 498]



The Panama Pacific Exposition will unquestionably be the most beautiful exposition ever held in the world. Its setting is both accessible and lovely, for it has the city upon one side and the bay and the Golden Gate upon the other.

Instead of being smooth and white like those of previous World's Fairs, the buildings have the streaked texture of travertine stone, with a general coloring somewhat warmer than that of travertine. Domes, doorways and other architectural details are rich in soft greens and blues, and the whole group of buildings, viewed from the hills behind, resembles more than anything else a great architectural drawing by Jules Guérin, made into a reality. And that, in effect, is what it is, for Guérin has ruled over everything that has to do with color, from the roads which will have a warm reddish tone, to the mural decorations and the lighting.

The exposition will hold certain records from the start. It will be the first great exposition ever held in a seaport. It will be, if I mistake not, the first to be ready on time. It will be the first held to celebrate a contemporaneous event, and its contemporaneousness will be re[ 499]flected in its exhibitions, for, with the exception of a loan collection of art, nothing will be shown which has not been produced since the St. Louis Exposition of 1904. Also, I am informed, it is the first American exposition to have an appropriation for mural paintings. True, there were mural paintings at the Chicago World's Fair, but they were not provided for by appropriation, having been paid for by the late Frank Millet, with money saved from other things.

Of the painters who will have mural decorations at the Exposition, but one, Frank Brangwyn, is not an American. Also, but one is a Californian, that one being Arthur F. Mathews.

The only mural decorations in the Fine Arts Building will be eight enormous panels by Robert Reid, in the interior of the dome, eighty feet above the floor. Four of the panels symbolize Art; the others the "four golds of California": poppies, citrus fruits, metallic gold and golden wheat. Among the various excursions to the Exposition, I hope there will be one for old-school mural decorators—men who paint stiff central figures in brick-red robes, enthroned, and surrounded by cog-wheels, propellers, and bales of cotton, with the invariable male figures petrified at a forge upon one side, and the invariable inert mothers and children upon the other—I hope there will be an excursion to take such painters out and show them the brave swirl and sweep of line, the light, and the nacreous color which this artist has thrown into his decorations at the Fair.[ 500]

Aside from the work of Mr. Reid, Edward Simmons has done two large frieze panels of great beauty, Frank Vincent Du Mond, two others, Childe Hassam, a lunette in most exquisite tones, and William de Leftwich Dodge, Milton H. Bancroft and Charles Holloway, other canvases, so that, the finished exposition will be fairly jeweled with mural paintings.

It is hard to write about expositions and mural paintings, without seeming to infringe upon the prerogatives of Baedeker, and it is particularly difficult to do so if one has happened to be shown about by a professional shower-about of the singularly voluble type we encountered at the Exposition.

To the reader who has followed my companion and me in our peregrinations, now drawing to a close, it will be unnecessary to say that by the time we reached the Pacific Coast, we believed we had encountered every kind of "booster" that creeps, crawls, walks, crows, cries, bellows, barks or brays.

But we had not. It remained for the San Francisco Exposition to show us a new specimen, the most amazing, the most appalling, the most unbelievable of all: the booster who talks like a book.

It was on the day before we left for home that we were delivered up to him. We had been keeping late hours, and were tired in a happy, drowsy sort of way, so that the prospect of being wafted through the morning sunshine to the exposition grounds, in an open automobile, and cruising about, among the buildings, without alight[ 501]ing, and without care or worry, was particularly pleasing to us.

The automobile came at the appointed hour, and with it the being who was to be our pilot. Full of confidence and trust, we got into the car, but we had not proceeded more than a few blocks, and heard our cicerone speak more than a few hundred thousand words, before our bosoms became filled with that "vague unrest" which, though you may never have experienced it yourself, you have certainly read about before.

I had not planned to have any vague unrest in this book, but it stole in upon me, unexpectedly, out there by the Golden Gate, just at the end of my journey, when I was off my guard, believing that the perils of the trip were past.

We had driven in that automobile but a few minutes, and had heard our guide speak not more than two hundred and fifty or three hundred thousand words, when my first vague feeling turned into a certainty that all was not for the best; and when I caught the eye of my companion and saw that its former drowsy look had given place to one of wild alarm, I knew that he shared my apprehension.

By the time we reached the fair grounds I had become so perturbed that I hardly knew where we were.

"Stop here," I heard our captor say to the chauffeur.

The car drew up between two glorious terracotta palaces. Directly ahead was the blue bay, and beyond it rose Mount Tamalpais in a gray-green haze. Our cus[ 502]todian arose from his seat, stepped to the front of the tonneau, and turning, fixed first one of us and then the other with a gaze that seemed to eat its way into our vitals. Through an awful moment of portentous silence we stared back at him like fascinated idiots. He raised one arm and swept it around the horizon. Then, of a sudden, he was off:

"Born a drowsy Spanish hamlet, fed on the intoxicants of man's lust for gold, developed by an adventurous and a baronial agriculture, isolated throughout its turbulent history from the home lands of its diverse peoples, and compelled to the outworking of its own ethical and social standards, the sovereign City of San Francisco has developed within her confines an individuality and a versatility, equaled by but few other cities, and surpassed by none."

At that point he took a breath, and a fresh start:

"It mellowed the sternness of the Puritan and disciplined the dashing Cavalier. It appropriated the unrivaled song and pristine art of the Latin. Every good thing the Anglo-Saxon, Celt, Gaul, Iberian, Teuton or almond-eyed son of Confucius had to offer, it seized upon and made part of its life."

Another breath, and it began again:

"Here is no thralldom of the past, but a trying of all things on their merits, and a searching of every proposal or established institution by the one test: Will it make life happier?"

As he went on I was becoming conscious of an over[ 503]mastering desire to do something to stop him. I felt that I must interrupt to save my reason, so I pointed in the direction of Mount Tamalpais, and cried:

"What is that, over there?"

His eyes barely flickered towards the mountain, as he answered:

"That is Mount Tamalpais which may be reached by a journey of nineteen miles by ferry, electric train and steam railroad. This lofty height rears itself a clean half-mile above the sparkling waters of our unrivaled bay. The mountain itself is a domain of delight. From its summit the visitor may see what might be termed the ground plan of the greatest landlocked harbor on the Pacific Ocean, and of the region surrounding it—a region destined to play so large a part in the affairs of men."

"Good God!" I heard my companion ejaculate in an agonized whisper.

But if our tormentor overheard he paid not the least attention.

"We know," he continued in his sing-song tone, "that you will find here what you never found, and never can find, elsewhere. We shall try to augment your pleasure by indicating something of its origin in the city's romantic past. We shall give you your bearings in time and place. We shall endeavor to make smooth your path. We shall tell you what to seek and how to find it, and mayhap, what it means. We shall endeavor to endow you with the eyes to see, the ears to hear,[ 504] and the heart to understand. In short, it is to help the visitor to comprehend, appreciate and enjoy 'the City Loved Around the World,' with its surpassingly beautiful environs, that this little handbook is issued."

"That what?" shrieked my companion.

The human guidebook calmly corrected himself.

"That I am here with you to-day," he said.

Through two interminable hours the thing went on and on like that. Several times, in the first hour, we tried to stop him by this means or that, but after awhile we learned that interruptions only opened other floodgates, and that it was best, upon the whole, to try to cultivate a state of inner numbness, and let his voice roll on.

Sometimes I fancied that I was becoming passive and resigned. Then suddenly a wave of hate would come boiling up inside me, and my fingers would itch to be at the man's throat: to strangle him, not rapidly, but slowly, so that he would suffer. I wanted to see his tongue hang out, his eyes bulge, and his face turn blue; to see him swell up, as he kept generating words, inside, until at last, being unable to emit them, he should burst, like an overcharged balloon.

Once or twice I was on the verge of leaping at him, but then I would think to myself: "No; I must not consider my own pleasure. If I kill him it will get into the New York papers, and my family and friends will not understand it, because they have not heard him talk."

We believed we had encountered every kind of "booster" that creeps,
crawls, walks, crows, cries, bellows, barks or brays, but it remained for
the Exposition to show us a new specimen We believed we had encountered every kind of "booster" that creeps, crawls, walks, crows, cries, bellows, barks or brays, but it remained for the Exposition to show us a new specimen

[ 505]

Somehow or other my companion and I managed to survive until lunch time, but then we insisted upon being taken back to the St. Francis. He did not want to take us. He did not like to let us escape, even for an hour, for it was only too evident that several five-foot-shelves of books were still inside him, eager to get out.

At the door of the hotel he said: "I could stop and lunch with you. In that way we would lose no time. Ah, there is so much to be told! What city in the world can vie with San Francisco either in the beauty or the natural advantages of her situation? Indeed there are but two places in Europe—Constantinople and Gibraltar—that combine an equally perfect landscape with what may be called an equally imperial position. Yes, I think we had better remain together during this brief midday period at which, from time immemorial, it has been the custom of the human race to minister to the wants of the inner man, as the great bard puts it."

"Thank you," said my companion, firmly. "We appreciate the offer, but we have an engagement to lunch, to-day, with several friends who are troubled with bubonic plague and Asiatic cholera."

"So be it," said our warden. "I shall return for you within the hour. It shall be my pleasure, as well as my duty, to show you all points of interest, to give you a brief historical sketch of this coveted Mecca of men's dreams, to tell you of its awakening, of the bringing of order out of chaos, of...."[ 506]

It was still going on as we entered the hotel, and from a window, we saw that he was sitting alone in the tonneau, talking to himself, as the motor drove away.

"How long will it take you to pack?" my companion asked me.

"About an hour," I said.

"There's a train for New York at two," said he.

We moved over to the porter's desk, and were arranging for tickets and reservations when the Exposition Official, who had assigned our guide to us, passed through the lobby.

"Did you enjoy your morning?" he inquired.

We gazed at him for a moment, in silence. Then, in a hoarse voice, I managed to say: "We shall not go out with him this afternoon."

"But he is counting on it," protested the Official.

"We shall not go out with him this afternoon!" said my companion, in a voice that caused heads to turn.

"Why not?" inquired the other.

I was afraid that my companion might say something rude, so I replied.

"We are going away from here," I declared.

"Oh," said the Official, "if you have to leave town, it can't be helped. But if you should stay in San Francisco and refuse to go out with him again, it might hurt his feelings."

"Good!" returned my companion. "We won't go until to-morrow."[ 507]



On my first night in San Francisco I sat up late, unpacking and distributing my things about my room; it was early morning when I was ready to retire, and it occurred to me that I had better leave a call.

"Please call me at nine," I said to the telephone operator.

"Nine o'clock," she repeated, and in a voice like a caress, added: "Good-night."

It was very pleasant to be told good-night, like that, even though the sweet voice was strange, and came over a wire; for my companion and I had been traveling for a long, long time, and though the strangers we had met had been most hospitable, and though many of them had soon ceased to be strangers, and had become friends, and though we had often said—and not without sincerity—that we "felt very much at home," we had now reached a state of mind in which we realized that, to say one "feels at home" when one is not actually at home, is, after all, to stretch the truth a little.

I must have gone to sleep immediately and I knew nothing more until I was awakened in the morning by the tinkle of the telephone.[ 508]

I jumped out of bed and answered.

"Good-morning, Mr. Street," came a voice even sweeter than that of the night before. "Nine o'clock."

As I may have mentioned previously, I do not, as a rule, feel cheerful on the moment of arising, especially in a strange room, a strange hotel, and a strange city. But the pleasant personal note contained in that morning greeting, the charming tone in which it was delivered, and perhaps, in addition, the great warm patch of melted California gold which lay upon the carpet near my window—these things combined to make me feel awake, alive and happy, at the beginning of the day.

Every night, after that, I left a call, whether I really wished to be called, or not, just for the sake of the "good-night," and the "good-morning" with my name appended. For it is very pleasant to be known, in a great hotel, as something more than a mere number.

I said to myself, "That morning operator has learned from the papers that I am here. She has probably read things I have written, and is interested in me. Doubtless she boasts to her friends: 'Julian Street, the author, is stopping down at the hotel. I call him every morning. He has a pleasant voice. I wish I could see him, once.'"

Because of modesty I did not mention this flattering attention to my companion until the day before we left San Francisco, and then I was only induced to speak of it by something which occurred when we were shopping.

It was at Gump's—that most fascinating Oriental[ 509] store—and having made a purchase which I wished them to deliver, I mentioned my name and address to the clerk who, however, seemed to have some difficulty in getting it correctly, setting me down at first as "Mr. Julius Sweet."

When my companion chose to taunt me about that, dwelling with apparent delight upon the painfully evident fact that my name meant nothing to the clerk, I retorted:

"That makes no difference. The telephone operator at the St. Francis calls me by name every morning."

"So she does me," he returned.

I did not believe him. I could not think that this beautiful young girl—I was sure that any girl with such a voice must be young and beautiful—would cheapen her vocal favors by dispensing them broadcast. For her to coo my name to me each morning was merely a delicate attention, but for her to do the same to him seemed, somehow, brazen.

I pondered the matter as I went to bed that night, and in the morning, when the bell rang, I thought of it immediately.


"Good-morning, Mr. Street. Eight o'clock," came the mellifluous cadences.

"Good-morning," I replied. "This is the last time you will call me, so I want to say good-by, and thank you. You and the other operator always say 'good-night' and 'good-morning' very pleasantly and I wish you to[ 510] know I have appreciated it. And when you call me you always do so by name. That has pleased me too."

"Thank you," she said—and oh! the dulcet tone in which she spoke the words.

"How did you happen to know my name?" I asked.

"Oh," she replied—and seemed to hesitate for just an instant—"Mr. Woods has given us instructions always to call by name."

"You mean in my case?" I asked, somewhat nervously.

"In making all morning calls," she explained. "At night, when the night operator isn't busy, she takes the call list, gets the names of the people, and notes them down opposite the room numbers so that I can read them off, when I ring, in the morning. Mr. Woods says that it makes guests feel more at home."

"It does," I assured her sadly. Then, in justice, I added: "Nevertheless you have a most agreeable voice."

"It's very kind of you to speak of it," she returned.

"Not at all," said I. "I am writing something about San Francisco, and I want to know your name so that I can mention you as the owner of the voice."

"Oh," she said, "are you a writer?"

"I am," I declared firmly.

"And you're really going to mention me?"

"I am if you will give me your name."

"It's Lulu Maguire," she said. "Will you let me know when it comes out?"

"I will," said I.[ 511]

"Thank you very much," she answered. "I hope you'll come again."

"I hope so too."

Then we said good-by. And though I cannot say of the angel-voiced Miss Maguire that she taught me about women, she did teach me something about writers, and something else about hotels.

I had always fancied that an unbroken flight across the continent would prove fatiguing and seem very, very long, but however others may have found it, it seemed short to me.

Looking back over the run from the Pacific Coast to Chicago I feel as though it had consumed but a night and one long, interesting day—a day full of changing scenes and episodes. The three things I remember best about the journey are the beauty of the Bad Lands, the wonderful squab guinea chicken I had, one night, for dinner, in the dining car, and the pretty girl with the demure expression and the mischievous blue eyes, who, before coming aboard at a little western station, kissed a handsome young cattleman good-by, and who, having later made friends with a gay young blade upon the train, kissed him good-by, also, when they parted on the platform in Chicago.

Railroad travel in the West does not seem so machine-like as in the East. That is true in many ways. West of Chicago you do not feel that your train is sand[ 512]wiched in between two other trains, one just ahead, the other just behind. You run for a long time without passing another train, and when you do pass one, it is something in the nature of an event, like passing another ship, at sea. So, also, on the train, the relations between passengers and crew are not merely mechanical. You feel that the conductor is a human being, and that the dining-car conductor is distinctly a nice fellow.

But once you pass Chicago, going east, the individuality of train officials ceases to be felt. They become automatons, very efficient, but cold as cogs in a machine. As for you, you are a unit, to be transported and fed, and they do transport and feed you, doing it all impartially and impersonally, performing their duties with the most rigid decorum, and the most cold-blooded correctness.

New York—Everyone is in a hurry. Everyone is dodging everyone
else. Everyone is trying to keep his knees from being knocked by swift-passing
suitcases New York—Everyone is in a hurry. Everyone is dodging everyone else. Everyone is trying to keep his knees from being knocked by swift-passing suitcases

Even the food in the dining-car seems to be standardized. The dishes look differently, and vary mildly in flavor, but there is one taste running through everything, as though the whole meal were made from some basic substance, colored and flavored in different ways, to create a variety of courses. The great primary taste of eastern dining-car food is, as nearly as I can hit on it, that of wet paper. The oysters seem to be made of slippery wet paper with oyster-flavor added. The soup is a sort of creamy essence of manilla. The chicken is damp paper, ground up, soaked with chicken-extract, and pressed into the form of a deceased bird. And,[ 513] above all, the salad is green tissue-paper, soaked in vinegar and water.

As with the officials, so with the passengers. They become frigid, too. If, forgetting momentarily that you are no longer in the West, you speak to the gentleman who has the seat beside you in the buffet smoker, after dinner, he takes a long appraising look at you before replying. Then, after answering you briefly, and in such a way as to give you as little information as possible, and to impress upon you the idea that you have been guilty of gross familiarity in speaking to a social superior without having first been spoken to by him—then the gentleman will rise from his chair and move to another seat, feeling, the while, to make sure that you have not got his watch.

That, gentle reader, is the sweet spirit of the civilized East. Easterners regard men with whom they are not personally acquainted as potential pickpockets; and men with whom they are acquainted as established thieves.

On you rush towards the metropolis. The train is crowded. The farms, flying past, are small, and are divided into little fields which look cramped after the great open areas of the West. Towns and cities flash by, one after another, in quick succession, as the floors flash by an express elevator, shooting down, its shaft in a skyscraper; and where there are no towns there are barns painted with advertisements, and great advertising signboards disfiguring the landscape. There[ 514] are four tracks now. A passenger train roars by, savagely, on one side, and is gone, while on the other, a half-mile freight train tugs and squeaks and clatters.

When the porter calls you in the morning, and you raise your window shade, you see no plains or mountains, but the backs of squalid suburban tenements, with vari-colored garments fluttering on their clothes lines, like the flags of some ship decked for a gala day.

Gathering yourself and your dusty habiliments together, you sneak shamefully to the washroom. Already it is full of men: men in trousers and undershirt, men with tousled hair and stubble chins, men with bags and dressing-cases spread out on the seats, splattering men, who immerse their faces in the swinging suds of the nickel-plated washbowl, and snort like seals in the aquarium.

Ah, the East! The throbbing, thriving, thickly-populated East!

Presently you get your turn at a sloppy washbowl, after which you slip into the stale clothing of the day before, and return to the body of the car, feeling half washed, half dressed and half dead.

Outside are factories, and railroad yards, and everywhere tall black chimneys, vomiting their heavy, muddy smoke. But always the train glides on like some swift, smooth river. Now the track is elevated, now depressed. You run over bridges or under them, crossing streets and other railroads. At last you dive into a tunnel and presently emerging, coast slowly along be[ 515]side an endless concrete platform raised to the level of the car floor.

Your bags have long since been carried away by the Pullman porter, and you have sat for many minutes in the hot car, wearing the overcoat and hat into which he insisted upon putting you when you were yet many miles outside New York.

Before the train stops you are in the narrow passage-way at the end of the car, lined-up with others eager to escape. The Redcaps run beside the vestibule. That is one good thing: there are always plenty of porters in New York.

The Pullman porter hands your bags to a station porter, and you hand the Pullman porter something which elicits a swift: "Thank you, boss."

Then, through the crowd, you make your way, behind your Redcap, towards the taxi-stand. In the great concourse, people are rushing hither and thither. Every one is in a hurry. Every one is dodging every one else. Every one is trying to keep his knees from being knocked by swift-passing suitcases. You feel dazed, rushed, jostled.

It is always the same, the arrival in New York. The stranger setting foot there for the first time may, perhaps, sense more keenly than the returning resident, the magnificent fury of the city. But, upon reaching the metropolis after a period of exile, the most confirmed New Yorker must, unless his perceptions are quite ossified, feel his imagination quicken as he is again con[ 516]fronted by the whirling, grinding, smashing, shrieking, seething, writhing, glittering, hellish splendor of the City of New York.

Never before, it seemed to me, had I felt the impact of the city as when I moved through the crowded concourse of the Pennsylvania Terminal with my companion—the comrade of so many trains and tickets, so many miles and meals.

We were at our journey's end. We were in New York again at last and would be in our respective homes as soon as taxicabs could take us to them. But, eager as I was to reach my home, it was with a kind of pang that I realized that now, for the first time in months, we would not drive away together in the same taxicab, but would part here, at the taxi-stand, and go our separate ways; that we would not dine together that night, nor sup together, nor visit in each other's rooms to talk over the day's doings, before turning in, nor breakfast together in the morning, nor match coins to determine who should pay for things.

When the first taxi came up there were politenesses between us as to which should take it—that in itself bespoke the change already coming over us.

I persuaded him to get in. We shook hands hurriedly through the window. Then, with a jerk, the taxi started.

As I watched it drive away, I thought: "What a fine thing to know that man as I know him! Have I always been as considerate of him, on this trip, as I should have[ 517] been? Was it right for me to insist on his staying up that night, in San Francisco, when he wanted to go to bed? Was it right for me to insist on his going to bed that night, in Excelsior Springs, when he wanted to stay up? Shouldn't I have taken more interest in his packing? And if I had done so, would he have left his razor in one hotel, and his pumps in another, and his bathrobe in another, and his kodak in another, and his umbrella in another, and his silver shoehorn in another, and his trousers in another, and his pajamas in every hotel we stopped in?"

Then my taxi drove up and I got in, and as we scurried out into the congested street, I kept on ruminating over my treatment of my traveling companion.

"I never treated him badly," I thought. "Still, if I had it all to do over again I should treat him better. I should tuck him in at night. I should send his shoes to be polished and his clothes to be pressed. I should perform all kinds of little services for him—not because he deserves such treatment, but because that would get him under obligations to me. And it is a most desirable thing to get a man under obligations to you when he knows as much about you as that man knows about me!"




******* This file should be named 35965-h.txt or *******

This and all associated files of various formats will be found in:

Updated editions will replace the previous one--the old editions will be renamed.

Creating the works from public domain print editions means that no one owns a United States copyright in these works, so the Foundation (and you!) can copy and distribute it in the United States without permission and without paying copyright royalties. Special rules, set forth in the General Terms of Use part of this license, apply to copying and distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works to protect the PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm concept and trademark. Project Gutenberg is a registered trademark, and may not be used if you charge for the eBooks, unless you receive specific permission. If you do not charge anything for copies of this eBook, complying with the rules is very easy. You may use this eBook for nearly any purpose such as creation of derivative works, reports, performances and research. They may be modified and printed and given away--you may do practically ANYTHING with public domain eBooks. Redistribution is subject to the trademark license, especially commercial redistribution.



To protect the Project Gutenberg-tm mission of promoting the free
distribution of electronic works, by using or distributing this work
(or any other work associated in any way with the phrase "Project
Gutenberg"), you agree to comply with all the terms of the Full Project
Gutenberg-tm License (available with this file or online at

Section 1.  General Terms of Use and Redistributing Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic works

1.A.  By reading or using any part of this Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic work, you indicate that you have read, understand, agree to
and accept all the terms of this license and intellectual property
(trademark/copyright) agreement.  If you do not agree to abide by all
the terms of this agreement, you must cease using and return or destroy
all copies of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works in your possession.
If you paid a fee for obtaining a copy of or access to a Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic work and you do not agree to be bound by the
terms of this agreement, you may obtain a refund from the person or
entity to whom you paid the fee as set forth in paragraph 1.E.8.

1.B.  "Project Gutenberg" is a registered trademark.  It may only be
used on or associated in any way with an electronic work by people who
agree to be bound by the terms of this agreement.  There are a few
things that you can do with most Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works
even without complying with the full terms of this agreement.  See
paragraph 1.C below.  There are a lot of things you can do with Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic works if you follow the terms of this agreement
and help preserve free future access to Project Gutenberg-tm electronic
works.  See paragraph 1.E below.

1.C.  The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation ("the Foundation"
or PGLAF), owns a compilation copyright in the collection of Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic works.  Nearly all the individual works in the
collection are in the public domain in the United States.  If an
individual work is in the public domain in the United States and you are
located in the United States, we do not claim a right to prevent you from
copying, distributing, performing, displaying or creating derivative
works based on the work as long as all references to Project Gutenberg
are removed.  Of course, we hope that you will support the Project
Gutenberg-tm mission of promoting free access to electronic works by
freely sharing Project Gutenberg-tm works in compliance with the terms of
this agreement for keeping the Project Gutenberg-tm name associated with
the work.  You can easily comply with the terms of this agreement by
keeping this work in the same format with its attached full Project
Gutenberg-tm License when you share it without charge with others.

1.D.  The copyright laws of the place where you are located also govern
what you can do with this work.  Copyright laws in most countries are in
a constant state of change.  If you are outside the United States, check
the laws of your country in addition to the terms of this agreement
before downloading, copying, displaying, performing, distributing or
creating derivative works based on this work or any other Project
Gutenberg-tm work.  The Foundation makes no representations concerning
the copyright status of any work in any country outside the United

1.E.  Unless you have removed all references to Project Gutenberg:

1.E.1.  The following sentence, with active links to, or other immediate
access to, the full Project Gutenberg-tm License must appear prominently
whenever any copy of a Project Gutenberg-tm work (any work on which the
phrase "Project Gutenberg" appears, or with which the phrase "Project
Gutenberg" is associated) is accessed, displayed, performed, viewed,
copied or distributed:

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at

1.E.2.  If an individual Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work is derived
from the public domain (does not contain a notice indicating that it is
posted with permission of the copyright holder), the work can be copied
and distributed to anyone in the United States without paying any fees
or charges.  If you are redistributing or providing access to a work
with the phrase "Project Gutenberg" associated with or appearing on the
work, you must comply either with the requirements of paragraphs 1.E.1
through 1.E.7 or obtain permission for the use of the work and the
Project Gutenberg-tm trademark as set forth in paragraphs 1.E.8 or

1.E.3.  If an individual Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work is posted
with the permission of the copyright holder, your use and distribution
must comply with both paragraphs 1.E.1 through 1.E.7 and any additional
terms imposed by the copyright holder.  Additional terms will be linked
to the Project Gutenberg-tm License for all works posted with the
permission of the copyright holder found at the beginning of this work.

1.E.4.  Do not unlink or detach or remove the full Project Gutenberg-tm
License terms from this work, or any files containing a part of this
work or any other work associated with Project Gutenberg-tm.

1.E.5.  Do not copy, display, perform, distribute or redistribute this
electronic work, or any part of this electronic work, without
prominently displaying the sentence set forth in paragraph 1.E.1 with
active links or immediate access to the full terms of the Project
Gutenberg-tm License.

1.E.6.  You may convert to and distribute this work in any binary,
compressed, marked up, nonproprietary or proprietary form, including any
word processing or hypertext form.  However, if you provide access to or
distribute copies of a Project Gutenberg-tm work in a format other than
"Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other format used in the official version
posted on the official Project Gutenberg-tm web site (,
you must, at no additional cost, fee or expense to the user, provide a
copy, a means of exporting a copy, or a means of obtaining a copy upon
request, of the work in its original "Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other
form.  Any alternate format must include the full Project Gutenberg-tm
License as specified in paragraph 1.E.1.

1.E.7.  Do not charge a fee for access to, viewing, displaying,
performing, copying or distributing any Project Gutenberg-tm works
unless you comply with paragraph 1.E.8 or 1.E.9.

1.E.8.  You may charge a reasonable fee for copies of or providing
access to or distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works provided

- You pay a royalty fee of 20% of the gross profits you derive from
     the use of Project Gutenberg-tm works calculated using the method
     you already use to calculate your applicable taxes.  The fee is
     owed to the owner of the Project Gutenberg-tm trademark, but he
     has agreed to donate royalties under this paragraph to the
     Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation.  Royalty payments
     must be paid within 60 days following each date on which you
     prepare (or are legally required to prepare) your periodic tax
     returns.  Royalty payments should be clearly marked as such and
     sent to the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation at the
     address specified in Section 4, "Information about donations to
     the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation."

- You provide a full refund of any money paid by a user who notifies
     you in writing (or by e-mail) within 30 days of receipt that s/he
     does not agree to the terms of the full Project Gutenberg-tm
     License.  You must require such a user to return or
     destroy all copies of the works possessed in a physical medium
     and discontinue all use of and all access to other copies of
     Project Gutenberg-tm works.

- You provide, in accordance with paragraph 1.F.3, a full refund of any
     money paid for a work or a replacement copy, if a defect in the
     electronic work is discovered and reported to you within 90 days
     of receipt of the work.

- You comply with all other terms of this agreement for free
     distribution of Project Gutenberg-tm works.

1.E.9.  If you wish to charge a fee or distribute a Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic work or group of works on different terms than are set
forth in this agreement, you must obtain permission in writing from
both the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation and Michael
Hart, the owner of the Project Gutenberg-tm trademark.  Contact the
Foundation as set forth in Section 3 below.


1.F.1.  Project Gutenberg volunteers and employees expend considerable
effort to identify, do copyright research on, transcribe and proofread
public domain works in creating the Project Gutenberg-tm
collection.  Despite these efforts, Project Gutenberg-tm electronic
works, and the medium on which they may be stored, may contain
"Defects," such as, but not limited to, incomplete, inaccurate or
corrupt data, transcription errors, a copyright or other intellectual
property infringement, a defective or damaged disk or other medium, a
computer virus, or computer codes that damage or cannot be read by
your equipment.

of Replacement or Refund" described in paragraph 1.F.3, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation, the owner of the Project
Gutenberg-tm trademark, and any other party distributing a Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic work under this agreement, disclaim all
liability to you for damages, costs and expenses, including legal

defect in this electronic work within 90 days of receiving it, you can
receive a refund of the money (if any) you paid for it by sending a
written explanation to the person you received the work from.  If you
received the work on a physical medium, you must return the medium with
your written explanation.  The person or entity that provided you with
the defective work may elect to provide a replacement copy in lieu of a
refund.  If you received the work electronically, the person or entity
providing it to you may choose to give you a second opportunity to
receive the work electronically in lieu of a refund.  If the second copy
is also defective, you may demand a refund in writing without further
opportunities to fix the problem.

1.F.4.  Except for the limited right of replacement or refund set forth
in paragraph 1.F.3, this work is provided to you 'AS-IS,' WITH NO OTHER

1.F.5.  Some states do not allow disclaimers of certain implied
warranties or the exclusion or limitation of certain types of damages.
If any disclaimer or limitation set forth in this agreement violates the
law of the state applicable to this agreement, the agreement shall be
interpreted to make the maximum disclaimer or limitation permitted by
the applicable state law.  The invalidity or unenforceability of any
provision of this agreement shall not void the remaining provisions.

1.F.6.  INDEMNITY - You agree to indemnify and hold the Foundation, the
trademark owner, any agent or employee of the Foundation, anyone
providing copies of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works in accordance
with this agreement, and any volunteers associated with the production,
promotion and distribution of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works,
harmless from all liability, costs and expenses, including legal fees,
that arise directly or indirectly from any of the following which you do
or cause to occur: (a) distribution of this or any Project Gutenberg-tm
work, (b) alteration, modification, or additions or deletions to any
Project Gutenberg-tm work, and (c) any Defect you cause.

Section  2.  Information about the Mission of Project Gutenberg-tm

Project Gutenberg-tm is synonymous with the free distribution of
electronic works in formats readable by the widest variety of computers
including obsolete, old, middle-aged and new computers.  It exists
because of the efforts of hundreds of volunteers and donations from
people in all walks of life.

Volunteers and financial support to provide volunteers with the
assistance they need are critical to reaching Project Gutenberg-tm's
goals and ensuring that the Project Gutenberg-tm collection will
remain freely available for generations to come.  In 2001, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation was created to provide a secure
and permanent future for Project Gutenberg-tm and future generations.
To learn more about the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation
and how your efforts and donations can help, see Sections 3 and 4
and the Foundation web page at

Section 3.  Information about the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive

The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation is a non profit
501(c)(3) educational corporation organized under the laws of the
state of Mississippi and granted tax exempt status by the Internal
Revenue Service.  The Foundation's EIN or federal tax identification
number is 64-6221541.  Contributions to the Project Gutenberg
Literary Archive Foundation are tax deductible to the full extent
permitted by U.S. federal laws and your state's laws.

The Foundation's principal office is located at 4557 Melan Dr. S.
Fairbanks, AK, 99712., but its volunteers and employees are scattered
throughout numerous locations.  Its business office is located at
809 North 1500 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84116, (801) 596-1887, email  Email contact links and up to date contact
information can be found at the Foundation's web site and official
page at

For additional contact information:
     Dr. Gregory B. Newby
     Chief Executive and Director

Section 4.  Information about Donations to the Project Gutenberg
Literary Archive Foundation

Project Gutenberg-tm depends upon and cannot survive without wide
spread public support and donations to carry out its mission of
increasing the number of public domain and licensed works that can be
freely distributed in machine readable form accessible by the widest
array of equipment including outdated equipment.  Many small donations
($1 to $5,000) are particularly important to maintaining tax exempt
status with the IRS.

The Foundation is committed to complying with the laws regulating
charities and charitable donations in all 50 states of the United
States.  Compliance requirements are not uniform and it takes a
considerable effort, much paperwork and many fees to meet and keep up
with these requirements.  We do not solicit donations in locations
where we have not received written confirmation of compliance.  To
SEND DONATIONS or determine the status of compliance for any
particular state visit

While we cannot and do not solicit contributions from states where we
have not met the solicitation requirements, we know of no prohibition
against accepting unsolicited donations from donors in such states who
approach us with offers to donate.

International donations are gratefully accepted, but we cannot make
any statements concerning tax treatment of donations received from
outside the United States.  U.S. laws alone swamp our small staff.

Please check the Project Gutenberg Web pages for current donation
methods and addresses.  Donations are accepted in a number of other
ways including checks, online payments and credit card donations.
To donate, please visit:

Section 5.  General Information About Project Gutenberg-tm electronic

Professor Michael S. Hart is the originator of the Project Gutenberg-tm
concept of a library of electronic works that could be freely shared
with anyone.  For thirty years, he produced and distributed Project
Gutenberg-tm eBooks with only a loose network of volunteer support.

Project Gutenberg-tm eBooks are often created from several printed
editions, all of which are confirmed as Public Domain in the U.S.
unless a copyright notice is included.  Thus, we do not necessarily
keep eBooks in compliance with any particular paper edition.

Each eBook is in a subdirectory of the same number as the eBook's
eBook number, often in several formats including plain vanilla ASCII,
compressed (zipped), HTML and others.

Corrected EDITIONS of our eBooks replace the old file and take over
the old filename and etext number.  The replaced older file is renamed.
VERSIONS based on separate sources are treated as new eBooks receiving
new filenames and etext numbers.

Most people start at our Web site which has the main PG search facility:

This Web site includes information about Project Gutenberg-tm,
including how to make donations to the Project Gutenberg Literary
Archive Foundation, how to help produce our new eBooks, and how to
subscribe to our email newsletter to hear about new eBooks.

EBooks posted prior to November 2003, with eBook numbers BELOW #10000,
are filed in directories based on their release date.  If you want to
download any of these eBooks directly, rather than using the regular
search system you may utilize the following addresses and just
download by the etext year.

    (Or /etext 05, 04, 03, 02, 01, 00, 99,
     98, 97, 96, 95, 94, 93, 92, 92, 91 or 90)

EBooks posted since November 2003, with etext numbers OVER #10000, are
filed in a different way.  The year of a release date is no longer part
of the directory path.  The path is based on the etext number (which is
identical to the filename).  The path to the file is made up of single
digits corresponding to all but the last digit in the filename.  For
example an eBook of filename 10234 would be found at:

or filename 24689 would be found at:

An alternative method of locating eBooks: