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Title: The Adventures of Uncle Jeremiah and Family at the Great Fair - Their Observations and Triumphs
Author: Stevens, C. M. (Charles McClellan), 1861-
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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The

Adventures of

Uncle Jeremiah

and

Family

At The

Great Fair

60 Illustrations

The Pastime Series--Issued monthly. By subscription, $8.00 per annum.
No. 108. June, 1893, Entered at Chicago P. O. as second-class matter.

Chicago

LAIRD & LEE, Publishers

1893



[Illustration: "Apples, pears, bananas, sweet oranges."]



The Adventures

OF

UNCLE JEREMIAH

AND FAMILY

AT THE

Great Fair

_Their Observations and Triumphs_

By "Quondam"

With Sixty Illustrations

Chicago

LAIRD & LEE. Publishers

1898

COPYRIGHT, 1893, BY LAIRD & LEE

(ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)



_To
UNCLE JEREMIAH AND FAMILY
And to
All those Interested
in the
WORLD'S COLUMBIAN EXPOSITION
This Book
Is Respectfully Dedicated_



CONTENTS


CHAPTER                                       PAGE
     I. On the Way                               7
    II. Now for the Fair                        20
   III. Around the World for Twenty Cents       33
    IV. Escort and Body Guard                   38
     V. Columbia Avenue                         51
    VI. Dancers of the Great City               63
   VII. On Board the "Illinois"                 76
  VIII. La Rabida                               87
    IX. The Plaisance Prophecy                 102
     X. Plaisance Society                      113
    XI. A Startling Mystery                    128
   XII. Beauty Show                            137
  XIII. Sunday and Conscience                  148
   XIV. Sight-seeing Galore                    163
    XV. A Terrible Experience                  174
   XVI. To Buy a Dog                           183
  XVII. Cairo Street                           194
 XVIII. Uncle in the Lock-up                   205
   XIX. The Lost Found                         220



UNCLE JEREMIAH AND FAMILY

AT THE GREAT FAIR



_CHAPTER I_

ON THE WAY


"Apples, pears, bananas, sweet oranges, five cents apiece."

"Last call for dinner in the dining car."

"Ah! this is comfortable," soliloquised Uncle Jeremiah. "All the nations
of the earth contribute to our appetites, and millions are spent to
transport us comfortably. Going to the World's Fair with Mary's two
children, me and Sarah. Say, stranger, what time do you think we'll
arrive?"

"In about two hours if we are on time, but so many people are crowding
on, that I doubt if we can get there before six o'clock."

Uncle Jeremiah had addressed his question to a good-natured appearing
young man just behind him who had been ostensibly reading a newspaper
but really covertly watching with admiring glances Uncle Jeremiah's
grand-daughter Fanny as she replaced the fragments of a lunch back into
the basket. Uncle was in a communicative mood for he had just disposed
of his share of one of Aunt Sarah's admirable lunches and squared
himself round, as he called it, to talk with some one. Johnny was busy
investigating a hole in the seat cushion and Aunt Sarah had laid her
head against the window frame and was calmly viewing the flying scenery
outside. The two seats turned together were occupied by Uncle Jeremiah
and his family and a number of bundles and valises.

"Yes, this is a great country; and, as I have lived in it nigh onto
sixty year and fit for it without seeing much of it but what I tramped
over with Sherman to the sea, I concluded to take the whole world in at
once by spending a month or so at the Exposition. I told Sarah we'd take
Mary's two children along, for I didn't like to leave them so long with
our hired help. Then they'd be company for us. Mary was our girl, but
she's dead now, and so Johnny and Fanny must take her place. Me and
Sarah has worked hard for many a year, and we're going to enjoy this
trip ef it takes more 'n a dozen of my best Jerseys to foot the bill.
We've got the best farm and Jersey herd in Park County, and I've made up
my mind that we can afford it."

The stranger laid down his paper and seemed much interested in the
talking farmer and his family. Fanny had stowed the lunch basket away
under the seat and wearily laid her head against the back of the seat,
unconscious of the respectful admiration bestowed upon her from the
gentleman in conversation with her grandfather. Fanny was a very pretty
miss, just reaching womanhood, and unsullied in thought or conduct by
the usual desire for masculine attention. Her face was warm and full,
and her light wavy hair reached her shoulders and turned up at the ends
around her neck.

Johnny was too industrious in his varied investigations to notice much
that was occurring about him. His keen eyes just a little turned inward
gave him the appearance of shrewdness that well befitted him. He always
investigated what he did not understand and the World's Fair opened a
field directly in his line.

"As I was saying. I've brought along enough money to get everything we
want and to enjoy life for once. I guess we can go back home then
contented and have enough to talk about for the rest of our natural
lives."

Uncle's new-found friend was evidently a well-to-do commercial traveler
and there was something about him that won Uncle's heart at once. It was
not long till Uncle had relieved his mind of all that bore on it about
himself or his neighbors or his church. Uncle was a deacon and he had
many original ideas about the social and religious economics of the
world. The only pride he had was in his Jerseys and in Fanny, and his
only ambition was to be considered a kind of Socrates by his neighbors.

The commercial traveler did not have much of a chance to talk, if he had
been so inclined, but he listened with very respectful attention to the
odd observations of Uncle Jeremiah. Uncle had not talked loud, but
across the aisle were two young men who seemed to be listening more
intently than befitted their opportunity to hear. They were faultlessly
attired, and frequently exchanged observations with each other in low
tones, covertly watching Uncle and his family as if they had become very
interesting personages. Presently one moved to a seat a little nearer,
and both apparently became absorbed in their own affairs.

"But maybe I should beg pardon, Mister. I've been talking to you all
this time without introducing myself. I know it isn't just the thing,
but I'm not used to sassiety. I'm Jeremiah Jones, and what is your
name?"

"My name is Hezekiah Moses," said the traveling man, solemnly.

"Ah," remarked Uncle, warmly, "that sounds a right smart like a Jew
name, but you don't look like a Jew. I Judge your parents were very good
people."

"They were very pious people, and, of course, brought me up in the way
I should go. You have quite a charming family."

"There now, I knew you had good judgments and I am glad for you to say
so. Of course me and Sarah are too old to be charming and Johnny is too
bad, but I take no exceptions to Fanny."

Mr. Moses thoroughly agreed with Uncle on the latter observation.

"Johnny is all right but only last week he was training one of my Jersey
calves to walk a plank like he saw the lions In the circus and it fell
off and broke its neck and that was not a month after it had took the
prize at our county fair. And, after I had took him atween my knees and
talked to him about his responsibility to his Creator, he didn't wait
two days till he cut off the colt's tail so as to make it bobbed like
the British and it kicked and broke its leg on the cross bar. But I do
believe he's got the making of a man in him after all. I think he must
be like his father, though I never seed him. You see Mary she run off to
marry some man she fell in with when she went off to school, and I
forbid her letting him come to see her, for you see he might be some
city fortune hunter; but Mary said she knowed, and so one day when we
went to town somebody drove up to our house in a buggy and I never seed
her any more. I didn't think she ought to take that way to somebody I
didn't know. I must have been hard hearted them days, but somehow I
couldn't help it. Sarah she went to see them lots of times over in the
big town across in Ohio but I couldn't leave Indiana and when Johnny was
born Mary she died a senden good words to me but I couldn't help it."

The old man drew his sleeve across his eyes and continued, "You see
Mary's man was all broke down, and he told Sarah to take the children
and he'd go wandering around the world for a year or two. Mary was the
only child we had living, and when she died I wanted to move away from
where she used to play when she was a little girl, so in two years I
got a good offer, and I sold out. All four of us went to see my sister
in the city, and somehow didn't tell nobody where we were going, but I
said I thought we would go on to California. Well, I found a stock farm
in Illinois, and after a while we went back to our old home visiting,
and the old neighbors told us a nice looking man had come soon after we
left, and was nearly distracted to find us gone. He advertised and spent
lots of money trying to find us, but at last went away broken-hearted.
Then I sent Sarah right to Ohio, but Mary's man had sold his big
clothing store, and some said he had gone to California, and others said
one place and another, but he couldn't be found. He never came back to
our old home place, nor to his old home place, for I've kept a writing
ever since. Somehow he had to give us up. It broke me all down, and I've
been doing all I could for the children. Fanny is getting a good
education, for our town has got to be a big one now, and has a fine
college in it; but I can't educate Johnny. He's always experimenting and
doing damage. Howsumever, he's a great trader, and I'm going to give him
a start some time. Why, I gave him a shote a month ago, and I don't
believe there is a sled or a jack-knife in the hull neighborhood any
more, for Johnny's got them in our garret, but the pig is gone.

"But say, Mr. Moses, you haven't said a word about your business yet,
and I've been a bragging about my farm and stock for half an hour."

"Don't worry about that, Mr. Jones. I haven't got much to tell. I'm a
traveling salesman for a Chicago house; and, like you, I intend to rest
up for a couple of weeks and see the Fair. I am happy to say that I
stand well with my firm, and I am to be taken in as the junior member
soon. The head of the firm has been the friend to whom I owe all my
advancement and advantage. I hope sometime to settle down into a quiet
business life and enjoy a home once more. Your talk takes me back to my
old Indiana home and its comforts."

"Ah, that's it, Mr. Moses, it is plain your parents have given your mind
a good mold. Here, newsboy, just bring over to me and Mr. Moses two of
your best five cent cigars and we'll go into the smoker and have a
smoke. I don't never smoke cigars, but these are extra days, and we can
afford the luxuries."

The idea seemed to amuse Mr. Moses, but he complied with the request of
the friendly farmer, and, with a good-natured wink at the newsboy, took
out a cigar and deftly stuck it into his pocket as he pulled out one of
his own.

Uncle could find no change and without more ado took out a roll of bills
from his breast pocket. The smallest bill was ten dollars but neither
Mr. Moses nor the boy could change it. One of the young men across the
aisle volunteered to help them out of the difficulty and counted the
change into Uncle's hand. Just then the newsboy's heel struck Mr. Moses'
foot sharply and there was a quick response. The change went into one of
Uncle's trouser's pockets and the roll of bills into the other, when he
and Mr. Moses went into the smoking car and were soon behind a cloud of
smoke.

The newsboy came in presently and there were a few whispered words
between him and Mr. Moses.

"Apples, pears, bananas, sweet oranges, here, five cents apiece."

There was no sale for anything eatable in the smoker just then and the
boy returned to the rear cars.

"You didn't notice when the gentleman across the aisle made change for
you that you got flim-flamed did you?"

"That I got what?" said Uncle.

"That you got flim-flamed. Did you count your change when that young
gent gave it to you? This is a money making occasion you know and the
gentry are on the make."

"Of course I counted the money. Nobody gets me that way."

"I'll bet a cigar that you haven't got over seven dollars of that ten
dollar bill."

"It's a go," said Uncle as he thrust his hand into his pocket and drew
out a handfull of coins. He laid his hat between his knees and counted
the money into it. "Six dollars, six fifty, six seventy-five, seven,
seven ten, seven fifteen."

[Illustration: "UNCLE AND MR. MOSES WERE SOON BEHIND A CLOUD OF SMOKE."]

"Ah, I've not got it all out of my pocket," and Uncle's hand dived
hastily into his trousers but came out empty. A look of consternation
came into his face as he looked at the laughing salesman.

"Well, by Jove! I don't often lose my bets, but here, Uncle, is the
cigar, for I've lost the bet. You have fifteen cents more than seven
dollars. I didn't watch that gent's counting as well as I thought," and
Uncle mechanically took the cigar he had so generously given to Mr.
Moses a few minutes before.

"It's worth it, Mr. Moses, it's worth it. I don't begrudge the fellow
for his two dollars and six bits. I feel like I ought to go in and thank
him for the lesson."

"Cigars, gentlemen, best Havanas. Here, old man, is the rest uv yer
change. The chappie back there wanted to kick, but he couldn't stand me
look. I don't 'low no working uv me customers dat way. You see I wur
next to him in a minute."

"Ah, my boy, nobody can talk to me any more about dishonorable newsboys.
You keep that money. I won't have a cent of it. I'm willin' to pay fer
my teaching. And here's a dollar more for you to go right back there and
supply my folks with whatever eating things you've got that they want.

"You see, Mr. Moses, I know before I get through with them Arabs and
Esquimaux, and Indians and African savages at Chicago I'm going to know
a good deal more than I do now, and I never in my life got something for
nothing, and it's too late for me to begin now."

The first suburban station of the great World's Fair city was now passed
and Mr. Moses said he must return to his seat and get his grip ready for
leaving the train at the next station. He gave Uncle a card on which was
printed:

|------------------------------|
|  _William Warner_            |
|                              |
|  _With The Clarendon Company |
|  Wholesale Clothiers_        |
|------------------------------|

As he did so, he said, "Now Uncle, remember never to give a chance to
pickpockets or confidence men, watch your change and take directions
only from those you know to be responsible officers; and if at any time
you need a friend, don't fail to call at the office of the firm and
present that card."

They returned to their seats and a frown came over Mr. Moses' face when
he saw the companion of the disreputable money changer glibly talking to
Aunt Sarah and Fanny. The young man bowed himself away very gracefully
and went to his seat as Uncle and Mr. Moses came up.

Uncle gave Mr. Moses a hearty hand shake and God bless you as he started
for the car door; but, to the astonishment of Mr. Moses Aunt Sarah and
Fanny looked scornfully at him and did not in any way acknowledge his
parting salute.

"Baggage, have your baggage checked?"

"Well, what a town Chicago is, anyhow. Here they've sent a man to take
care of our baggage. Now, I call that all-fired hospital. Get the checks
quick, Sarah."

"What hotel?" Inquired the agent.

"We're not overly pertiklar. I was talkin' some with a young fellow back
here who said he was a hotel agent; but I don't mind if I go where you
say. How high are your rates?"

"The Auditorium--as high as you want to go; the Northern, fourteen
stories, and the Palmer, out of sight."

"Well, Mister, we don't want to go out of sight, and we don't know how
high we do want to go so I guess you'd better make it fourteen stories."

The agent took the checks, gave him some tickets and passed on.

In a few minutes a uniformed young man came along and said:

"Mr. Jones, I'd like very much to book you for one of our down-town
hotels. Every convenience, gas, baths, heat, and all the modern
appliances; near car lines that land you right at the Exposition gates.
Best place in the city. Take you right there free of cost."

"But how high is it?"

"Only one dollar a day apiece and up as high as you want to go."

"Ah, that's it, young man. I see your mother taught you United States.
You see the baggage man said fourteen stories and I didn't understand
the city way of charging."

"Shall I book you?"

"Yes."

"For how long?"

"O we may stay a month. May be less."

"Say two weeks."

"All right."

"Here's your ticket with coupons. Fifty-six dollars please."

"But I haven't seen the place nor got the money's worth. I'm Deacon
Jones and I always pay my debts."

"No difference, it's the rules."

"Mr. Moses said not to deal only with responsible officers. How may I be
sure you are a responsible officer?"

"I'll prove it by the conductor."

The conductor was called and Uncle Jeremiah paid over his money and
received his printed directions.

"Where are your baggage checks?"

"O, I've already attended to that. I'll see to that myself."

The hotel agent left and the two young men across the aisle watched with
satisfaction as Uncle folded his big roll of bills and deposited them in
his left trouser's pocket.

"There it is--there is the White City," some one yelled, and the people
rose from their seats and looked at the most favored spot of the earth
as long as it could be seen. Houses flew by, stations were passed; the
placid lake, flecked with many boats, lapped the shore as with some
friendly greeting. The great buildings of Chicago's business center
appeared in view, and the end of their journey was near at hand.

"Chicago, all out!"

"Listen at 'em," said Uncle, "they've got our money and now they're
goin' to put us off. But I guess we must be there."

[Illustration: "UNCLE WAS BEING ROUGHLY HANDLED BY THE TWO MEN."]

All the people were standing as the magic words were yelled in at the
front door by the brakeman. Uncle Jeremiah had not been as excited since
he heard of the fall of Richmond.

With a valise, packed almost to bursting, in each hand, Uncle was
preparing to do whatever he saw others do. The two young men from across
the aisle had also arisen and pressed into the crowd. One was directly
in front of Uncle, and the one who had made the false change had crowded
himself between Uncle and Aunt Sarah. The train slowed up as the depot
was reached, and all crowded toward the door. There was a low chirrup,
and Uncle was being roughly jostled about by the two men, when there was
a cry of "pickpockets," and the train-boy was seen swinging on to the
wrist of one of the men behind Uncle and yelling "let 'er go; let 'er
go."

[Illustration: "UNCLE GAVE HIS CHECKS TO THE NEAREST CAB DRIVER."]

The man held a wallet in his hand, but with a curse he dropped it, tore
loose from the boy and rushed through the door, disappearing in the
crowd.

"Here, Mister, is yer wad. Yer wants ter keep yer eye skinned fur them
fellers."

Uncle warmly thanked the boy but he received this second lesson with a
little less complacency than the first. Following the crowd to the
outside he presented his tickets to the first hack driver he came to.

"You are pretty well supplied, aren't you dad. You have the right of way
to two hotels. Which do you want?"

"Take us to the one I've paid fer."

"Which is that?"

"Well, I guess it must be the down town hotel."

"They are both down hotels. I see your baggage is booked for the
Northern and I suppose you want to follow your baggage."

Without more ado all four were placed into the uncomfortably crowded
hack and shortly unloaded at the Northern. An obsequious porter ushered
them into the office and Uncle was astounded with a demand for twenty
dollars down. "But I've paid," Uncle protested. The clerk looked at his
card and assured him he was at the wrong hotel. It was now dark and
Uncle concluded to pay the money and start out anew the next day. They
were shown to their rooms by way of the elevator and more dead than
alive, to use Aunt Sarah's expression, they flung themselves into chairs
and Johnny yelled, "This is Chicago, what I've heard them talk about."
They went to the windows and could not repress a shudder as they saw the
street lights so far below. Aunt Sarah did not see how she could sleep
so high up, but when their evening meal was done and the events of the
day discussed they became as sleepy and they felt as safe as they did
with the whippoorwill singing in the orchard and the hogs grunting
lazily in the lane.



_CHAPTER II_

NOW FOR THE FAIR


The next morning Uncle Jeremiah was up as usual at four o'clock, chafing
like a caged stable horse that could not get out to fresh air and the
tempting pastures.

[Illustration: "I THINK OF EARTHQUAKES EVERY TIME I LOOK OUT."]

"These confounded people won't let a fellow have his meals only at their
own convenience, and the feelin' of earthquakes keeps a growing on me
every time I look down out of that window. I've got to quit it." Aunt
Sarah shared the same feeling, but John and Fanny decided that it was
not half as high as they wanted to go before they left Chicago.

[Illustration: "Say, Mister, I've paid fare once on this tarnal
machine."]

In due time the city awoke, with a rush and a roar, to the business of
the day. Uncle found the office of the boarding house syndicate a few
doors away, and the family were soon safely housed in more congenial
quarters.

"The Fair, Father, the Fair! When will we ever get to see the Fair? I
just heard a man say that it's ten o'clock, and here we are a-fussing
about in the rooms and missin' the sights."

Johnny was impatient, but not long after, the family hailed a passing
street car and were on their way at last.

"Twenty cents is the fare for four of you."

The conductor rang the fares and passed on. The new scenes of the city
absorbed their attention, but Uncle soon began shifting in his seat, and
at last whispered to Aunt Sarah: "Say, I noticed that we went clear
'round a hull lot of blocks, and it 'pears ter me that we air goin'
right backards to where we ought to go, or else this 'ere town has got
two parts a blamed sight alike."

"Fare, please!"

"Say, Mister, I've paid fare once on this tarnal machine. How often do
you have to pay--every once in a while?"

"Are you riding around for your health, or do you want to go somewhere?"

"That's it, Mister, exactly. I wish you'd drive this riding machine at
once to the World's Fair. You've got it pasted on the front of your
engine, and yet you're takin' us right back past where we got on."

"Sure, old man, you're all right, only you got on a car going the wrong
way, and so went on around the loop. But you're all right now. I'll land
you at the grounds; but twenty cents, please."

Twenty cents were forthcoming, and shortly the family found themselves
in a maze of booths, people, streets and vehicles. It was not difficult
to follow the crowd, and in a few minutes the amazed family were walking
the streets of the great White City.

"Guides, World's Fair Guides!"

Uncle stopped a moment as a boy planted himself in front of him, thus
calling him from the amazement of the wonderful city down to the
realities of the earth.

[Illustration]

"Guides, Mister, only twenty-five cents. This little book contains all
you want to know about yonder lovely city--for the price of one small
quarter you have a key to all the doors of the Fair--with this book no
Columbian guard can call you down--you are free and independent of
everybody with this book in your hands--it's only a quarter, remember,
only twenty-five cents! Illustrated, tells you everything."

"That's it Sarah, let's buy one of these books and go home. It tells us
every thing and it is illustrated. What's the use of wearing our eyes
out and our feet off when we can learn it all out of this feller's book.
I feel all done up on the first sight. It's too big a job fer me to
undertake. I didn't calculate on such a big show."

"No, my boy. I wish I could accommodate ye but you see I ain't got no
time on the grounds for reading or I'd a brought the Scriptures along. I
judge it prophesied this when it spoke of signs and wonders appearing."

"Only a quarter, sir."

Uncle shook his head, but Fanny produced a quarter and took one of the
books.

Near by was a booth where camp stools were to be leased.

"That is what Sarah and I will need. These young ones can walk all day."
Directly Johnny had a folded camp chair in each hand and they went on
following the crowd toward the Administration building. They did not go
inside as most of the people did but continued on around till the basin
between the Peristyle and the Administration building appeared in view.
Through the columns of the Peristyle at the far end of the basin they
could see the blue lake meeting the summer clouds; above them rose the
dome of the Administration building till it seemed almost to pierce the
clouds. They were looking upon a scene never before excelled in grandeur
by the art of man. The basin was filled with gondolas gracefully plied
by Venetians, launches moving both by steam and by electricity and gay
sailboats of every description. In the far end of the basin was to be
seen the Statue of the Republic sixty-five feet tall and standing forty
feet above the water on its great stone foundation. The MacMonnies
fountain was roaring with the fall of water and the heroic figures of
Columbia enthroned in her triumphal barge guided by Time and heralded by
Fame was outlined against the Agricultural building. From the dome of
that massive structure, exhibiting the produce of our land, Diana with
her drawn bow seemed to be aiming directly at them.

"Let us sit down," said Aunt, as the first wave of the wonderful vision
passed over them.

"I feel more like saying, let us kneel down," said Uncle.

Fanny read from the front of the Administration building the
inscriptions there about Columbus and his work.

High over the north entrance were the words:

"Columbus received from Ferdinand and Isabel, Sovereigns of Spain, a
commission as Admiral of an exploring fleet, April 30, 1492."

Over the east entrance she read:

"Columbus sailed from Palos with three small vessels, Aug. 3, and landed
on one of the Bahama Islands."

What common-place facts so simply stated! But they brought forth
thoughts and emotions greater and greater of the wonderful consequences
to mankind.

"Grandpa, you see how we have come here to learn of the world and its
progress to this greatness."

"Do not speak to me now, child; I want to think," and Uncle bowed his
head in his hands.

No one said anything for a few minutes, when Johnny startled them by
yelling "Gorgeous! gorgeous!"

"Of course it's gorgeous," said Fanny; "but you needn't yell that way.
You must not forget that you are not in our barnyard now."

Johnny subsided. He had expressed his opinion, and he was ready to move
on.

Uncle arose and said: "I guess we are able to go to the next scene now,
and I warn you all that the word gorgeous is as high as we will be
allowed to go in expressing ourselves, no matter what we see. There has
got to be a limit somewhere, and I judge that gorgeous is far enough."

"Is that the statyure of Mrs. Columbus?" asked Johnny.

"No, it's the Statue of the Republic."

"I declare I've been watching them things on that Statue of the
Republic, and I really believe they're men instead of being pigeons."

"They are men," said Fanny. "No wonder that they look so little, for the
book here says her forefinger is four feet long. Look at that figure on
the top of the big building yonder. That Is Diana, the huntress. How
tall do you think she is?"

"Nine feet," said Johnny, promptly.

"Life-size," said Uncle.

"Both wrong. The book says she is eighteen feet tall."

"Well, well, my girl, this looks like a dream, but it ain't, is it?"

There was a band-stand in front of them, and beyond that was a massive
building, which Fanny found was Machinery hall. As they went on to it,
Fanny read to them that it covered over twenty acres of ground and cost
nearly a million and a half dollars. As they entered the door they saw
one awful mass of moving machinery.

Uncle said he thought they had better sit down again and think awhile
before venturing further, but Johnny urged them to come on so they could
see something and do their thinking afterward.

They came to one of the doors of the power house, and Uncle sat down.

"I can't stand this pressure," he said, "I tell you I've got to sit down
and look at this thing." At his left he could see into the power house
nearly five hundred feet long and full from one end to the other of
great boilers with the red fires glowing underneath.

On the right he looked across the hall where the great power wheel was
flying and saw five hundred feet of whirling wheels, while before him
there was an unobstructed view of machines but little short of a
thousand feet.

They went over to the middle aisle and on past the larger machinery.

"Why Grandma, you are walking by me with your eyes shut. What's the
matter?"

"Well you see, Fanny, it's too much to look at so many millions of
things so I just shut my eyes and think. What's the difference if I do
miss a few thousand sights."

"That's so, Fanny, we aint got used to looking yet. It looks like they
had everything a working here but my old shaving horse. I wouldn't be
surprised any minute to see that it had walked away from the woodshed
and come over to show itself off in this here exposition. I believe I'll
go over and offer them my old barlow knife. It's a score of years old
but it'll bore a hole for a hame string all right yet."

They came to the place where they were making watches with the complex,
automatic machinery that defies the eye to detect its movements, then
there was the sewing machine with a man riding it like a bicycle and
sewing carpet in strips a hundred feet long. There were knitting
machines and clothing machines, and carving and molding machines, and
type-setting machines, till the day was spent and they had seen only how
much there was to see.

"It takes taste to paint pictures, and art to make sculpture, and mind
to write books, and genius to carry on war, but I tell you, my girl,"
said Uncle, "that it takes brains to make machinery."

Passing through a south door they went on around Machinery hall. Some
working men were passing by singly or in twos and threes. One had a
wrench in one hand and a queer looking bottle in the other. The
ludicrous side of the exposition now began to appear. Nothing can become
so great that amusing things will not occur. They are the relaxations of
mental life. One of the guards saw the man and his bottle.

"Hi, there," he shouted. The workman came to a stop, the bottle being
ostensibly concealed behind his apron. "What are you bringing beer into
machinery hall for?"

"I ain't got any beer," replied the workman.

"Don't tell me any such stuff. You've got a bottle under your apron."

[Illustration: "The Guard was determined to do his duty."]

"No I haven't," and the culprit as if by accident let a portion of the
bottle drop into sight. The guard made a grab for it and held it up
before the seemingly confused workman.

"I'll just take you to the station-house," declared the officer. "What
did you mean by telling me you had no beer?"

"It ain't beer. It's--it's--ginger ale."

The prisoner was lying. That was evident to the guard. At the same time
he did not want to be placed in the position of disobeying orders
against making trivial arrests. He knew by the color of the liquid it
was not ginger ale. A brilliant thought came to him. He would test the
beer and thus have the evidence. But here a difficulty was encountered.
While the rule prohibiting employees from bringing intoxicants into the
grounds is a strict one, there is a much severer regulation against
guards tasting the stuff while on duty. What if his sergeant should see
him with a bottle of beer to his lips! To meet this obstacle the guard
led his prisoner to a secluded place behind a big packing case, and
after looking fearfully around hastily uncorked the bottle and sent a
huge swallow of the contents down his throat.

The result was unexpected so far as the blue coat was concerned. With a
howl of anguish he dropped the bottle. Both eyes started from his head
and his face turned to ashen paleness as he danced about the floor
shrieking "I am poisoned." Finally he sank down with a moan and the men
attracted by his cries carried him to a bench and laid him down. On the
edge of the human circle about him the guard beheld the face of his
prisoner. Beckoning him to his side the guard feebly said, "What was
that stuff in the bottle?"

"Lard oil and naphtha," replied the workman.

The guard was removed to the hospital, while the workmen were laughing
their heartiest. In an hour the stricken officer was back at his post.

That afternoon, as the family climbed the stairs to the station on their
way back to the hotel, Uncle Jeremiah was a study to the student of
human nature. The size of the Exposition had dazed and awed him. He wore
a neat paper collar with an old-fashioned ready-made necktie pushed
under the points. The slouch hat was down over his ears, as a heavy wind
was tearing across the high landing. His manner was that of one
oppressed by a great sorrow. He looked at the turrets and domes and the
hundreds of dancing flags and shook his head solemnly. When the people
around him gabbled and pointed their fingers and piled up the same old
adjectives he glanced around at them timidly and then stepped softly
away where he could gaze without being interrupted. After boarding the
car he stood up between the seats and held on to the railing. At each
curve of the track, as new visions swung into view, he shook his head
again and again, but said nothing. He had been for a good many years
taking in a daily landscape of stubble-field, orchard and straight
country roads. His experience had taught him that a red two-story hay
press was a big building. To him the huddle of huckster stands at the
county fair made a pretty lively spectacle. Then he was rushed into
Chicago. With the roar of wheels still in his ears and the points of the
compass hopelessly mixed, he found himself being fed into the Exposition
gate with a lot of strange people. The magnitude of the great enterprise
was more than any intellect could fully grasp. His mind perceived so
much that was strange and new that he became as that one who saw men as
trees walking. His eyes were opened to a new world. He was now a living
part of the intellectual vision and prophecy of the "Dream City."



_CHAPTER III_

AROUND THE WORLD FOR TWENTY CENTS


The next day, when the "Alley L" road let them off at the station next
to the electric road, they decided to ride around and view the "White
City" from that elevated position. The intramural road is about three
miles around, and makes the trip in seventeen minutes. It was like going
around the world in that time, so much was to be seen on either side.

The four made a fine picture of age and youth gathering mental breadth
from this great exhibition of human wisdom and achievement. They passed
around the west end of Machinery hall and along the south side of it,
then between the Agricultural annex and the stock pavilion. Here they
emerged into what seemed to be the waste yard of the Exposition, debris
of all kinds, beer houses, lunch rooms, hundreds of windmills flying in
the breeze and heavily loaded cars, back of which could be seen bonfires
of waste materials, these making a striking contrast to the white beauty
and massive art on the opposite side of the car.

The queer looking Forestry building flew by, the leather exhibit was
passed, and the train ran around a station not far from the Krupp gun
works. They had not yet made the grand tour of the grounds, but another
investment in tickets sent them back again, the way they had come, on
the parallel track. When they reached the west side they looked away
from the massive buildings across Stony Island avenue at the amusing
medley of hotels, booths for lunches, and tents for blue snakes, sea
monsters, and fat women strung along the front. Little merry-go-rounds
buzzed like tops in cramped corners between pine lemonade stands and
cheap shooting-galleries. Looking eastward, the eye rests with
satisfaction upon the gilded satin of the Administration dome, and then
it may take an observation to the westward of a flaunting placard:

|-------------------------|
| _Four Tintypes          |
| for Twenty-five Cents_  |
|-------------------------|

Back of the sandwich counters and fortune-telling booths are stored the
World's Fair hotels, looking like overgrown store boxes, with holes
punched in them.

The train flew on, and uncle saw little of the outside because of his
interest in the strange machinery that was propelling them forward. The
engineer pulled a lever and then there was a buzz and a whirr; another
lever was turned, and the car would come to a standstill at some
station. It was amazing to see such simple movements by one man control
such unseen energy. From the farm to the Exposition grounds was as
marvelous a change as from one world to another, and to the simple
genius of rural work it was like going from the peaceful valley to the
mysteries beyond the clouds.

Past the Esquimau village, the richly varied city of state and foreign
buildings came into view. All the varieties of architectural genius from
the different countries of the world appeared one after another and it
was easy to imagine a flight of incredible speed all over the earth. The
terminal station at the northeast was reached and uncle wanted to ride
back again. In this way the panorama of the great Fair was quite well
fixed in their minds when they descended from the southeast station at
the entrance of Agricultural hall. For once Uncle felt at home when he
walked into that paradise of grass and grain.

[Illustration: "HE STOOD CHEWING A WISP OF HAY."]

"Every body but me and Sarah can scatter and we'll all meet at the far
end of this house, or if not there at the south side of the Sixty-third
street gate at six o'clock." Fanny and Johnny took Uncle at his word and
were soon strolling among the booths, but they were more intent upon
watching the maneuvers of the various types of people than of observing
what the earth is able to produce out of its soil. They heard a band
playing somewhere in the distance and they moved on that way.

As a curious observer of this moving world, Fanny made note of the many
interesting exhibitions about her of country ignorance and enthusiasm.
At one place she stopped near a tall, lank farmer, whose cowhide boots
had left their massive imprint on every roadway on the grounds. He stood
chewing a wisp of hay plucked from an exhibit, while he gazed in delight
at the harvesters, plows and sheaves of wheat which stretched away
before him in an endless vista.

"Wall, I swan," he at length confided to the dignified guard, who stood
like a sign-post near the door, "this 'ere's the only thing I've seed
'minded me of hum. Bin tramping raound these 'ere grounds, scence 7
o'clock, b'gosh, an' ain't seen a blamed thing did my ole heart so much
good as this show right here. By George! wish I'd a struck this buildin'
fust thing I come in. Would a saved me a power of walkin'. Say, had a
great show out our way a spell ago. Had a corn palace--Sioux City, you
know. Be they goin' to have a corn palace at this 'ere fair?"

The guard unbent enough to guess not.

"Sho! y' don't say so. Wall, that's curious. Corn palace out to hum was
the biggest show ever give out that way. And crowd! Say, I'll bet a
nickel I've seed as many as hundreds of people thar in one day. In one
day, reclect, all just looking at that there corn palace. Wonder these
fellows didn't think of that. Would a drawd all the folks from out in
our section, shore. Tell you what I don't like about this show," he went
on, waxing confidential, "Too much furrin stuff here. Don't see nothing
from Keokuk, Sioux City, Independence or even old Davenport. But all
London and Berlin and Paris, and all them other places where they's
kings and things. Ought to a give the folks here more of a show, b'gosh,
same as we did out to hum. Why, they wasn't none of this statoo stuff
thar, I tell you. Wasn't no picters and the like of that. What good is
them picters over there, I'd like to know? Why, some on 'em, the folks
ain't got a stitch of clothes on 'em, and you couldn't hang them air
picters in a barn. Ought to have more of these things here--oats and
wheat and seedin' machines. Them's what people want to see. And say, I
was daown here below this mornin', and by gum, I seed the damdest
lookin' fellows I ever seen in all my born days. They was heathen Turks,
I reckon, with rags round their heads and wimmin's clo'es on all o' 'em.
I was a-scared to stay there, b'gosh, and I jest lit out, I tell ye.
Well, I'm goin' through here and see what you've got, but I jest tell
you this is the part of this show that'll do. Yes, sir." And the rural
visitor stalked away.

In less than two hours the brother and sister had reached the west
doorway, but uncle and aunt were nowhere to be seen. Then they went up
into the gallery to hear the musicians again. It was very evident that
Agricultural hall had swallowed their grandparents for that day and the
grandchildren were left to shift for themselves. It was now past noon
and they were both hungry enough to welcome the first lunch counter they
could find. One o'clock found them again wandering listlessly about the
gallery absorbed in the sights about them.



_CHAPTER IV_

ESCORT AND BODY GUARD


"Hist, me boys," said one of a group of young men near the band-stand,
who were watching the people moving about them, "Me eye has caught sight
of something forbidden to all the rest of the world. You can look but
you must mustn't touch. Give me your prayers boys." He sauntered away
from them and came near to Fanny and Johnny as if intensely interested
in all that was about him. Fanny was standing near the balustrade that
was around the gallery, when the opportunity the young man was watching
for soon came. Some rude man hurrying by struck her arm in such a way as
to knock her hand-satchel out of her hand and it fell to the main floor
far below. In an instant the young man lifted his hat, and bowing to her
ran down the near flight of stairs; taking the satchel from some one
near whom it had fallen, he hurried back and gave it to her with a
profound bow. Seeming to recognize her all at once he made another bow
and said, "Ah, pardon me but I see I have just had the honor of serving
Miss Jones, whom I met on the train a few days ago." Hardly knowing just
what to do, she thanked him and hesitated, but he was not slow to turn
the tide in his favor and was soon chatting in such a very agreeable way
about the many scenes that she soon forgot all doubts as to propriety.
It was now three o'clock in the afternoon and she thought of her
grandparents and what they would think; but the three hours till meeting
time at 60th street gate flew by under the interesting guidance of the
young man on whose card Fanny read

  |-----------------------|
  | _Arthur Blair         |
  |  Attorney             |
  |Masonic Temple_ [S.S.] |
  |-----------------------|

He explained that (S. S.) was a sign that meant "Secret Service" as he
had told her before how he had been sent out to shadow Mr. Moses. They
rested for awhile on one of the seats in the gallery and Mr. Blair took
great interest in showing Fanny his official papers and commissions.
Surely he was a very honorable and talented man.

[Illustration: "He bowed to her, and then ran down the near flight of
stairs."]

While he was pointing out his name on one of these papers, a gentleman
came by who started on seeing them, as if in the most pained surprise.

"That man means her some harm," he said to himself, "and I feel as if I
have no manhood if I do not undertake somehow to prevent it. But he has
told her something terrible against me and I have no way to approach
her."

The two arose to go and the gentleman walked not far behind.

"You do not know how it pains me, Mr. Blair, to know that such a noble
looking young man as Mr. Moses, is a man under police surveilance. He
has such an agreeable and gentlemanly appearance."

"That is true Miss Jones, but you have no idea how perfectly these
criminals can assume an appearance of culture and high social standing."

Six o'clock had come swiftly and as they approached the gate Uncle and
Aunt were seen sitting on their camp stools at the appointed place. The
young man excused himself before reaching them and bowed himself away,
but not before he had learned her address and that they came every day
through the 60th street gates at nine o'clock in the morning.

"Where is Johnny?" anxiously inquired Aunt as Fanny came up alone.

For the first time Fanny seemed to realize that Johnny had not been with
her for some time. She told Aunt that she had been for two or three
hours with the young gentleman who had warned them on the train of Mr.
Moses.

They waited and waited, growing more and more anxious about Johnny.

"Yer, yer, yer, all of you, come on out!" They knew Johnny's voice, and
turned about just in time to see one of the guards holding Johnny fast
by the ear as they disappeared around the corner of the wall and through
the gates.

"There, you young scamp," as he gave Johnny an extra box on the ear,
"let me see you trying to sneak through the gates again and you won't
get off so easy."

"Well, ain't I been tellin' you fer an hour that the folks was a waitin'
fer me inside and you wouldn't tell 'em fur me," and Johnny, with a
disgusted shake of the head, joined the family as they came out.

"Where on earth have you been?" said Uncle, in a chiding tone of voice.

"Why, I came up to the gate about two hours ago and I seed Louis Burjois
here a-peekin' through, an' I come out and we've been a-takin' in the
circuses along Stony Island avenue. Say, Gran'pa, I've engaged Louis fer
bodyguard fer next week when he comes back from his next run on the
train. I gives him a salary of goin' wheresomever I go."

Uncle looked at the boy standing by Johnny and recognized him as the
train-boy who had twice saved him from the loss of money.

"All right, Johnny," said Uncle, as he shook the train-boy's hand, "how
much extra allowance will that take?"

[Illustration: "LOUIS STUCK A PIN IN HER WHILE SHE WAS ASLEEP."]

"Just double and a half for a regular time of it. You ought to a seen us
a doin' the side-shows. You see Louis knows 'em. The fat woman is there,
but not an ounce bigger than Sal Johnson at Villaville, and she's part
stuffed, for Louis stuck a pin in her while she was asleep, and she
never flinched. The sea monster and the man with two bootblacks at each
shoe, and just as tall as the shoetops, is not much bigger than Bill
Mason to hum. And the four-legged woman is no good, fer Louis he pinched
one of them and it didn't kick, and the show that's got a man with his
body cut off just below his head is busted. You see Louis said ef I'd
pay the way in of half a dozen kids whut he picked out and instructed,
he'd bust the show and prove thet the man's hed had a body. I agreed,
and we all got pea-shooters at my expense, and in we went. When they
drawed the curtin up my blood run cold fer there was a hed humping
itself about on a table and I could see clear under the table and there
was no body around there. I forgot to shoot, but Louis give the sign,
and all the rest just fired the peas at his head and he howled and the
head it shook awful ghastly, and then they all fired again, and the head
it jest raised right up and turned the table over and shook, and the
whole thing raised up and shook his fists at us and then Louis said
"jiggers," and you ought to have seen us a gittin' out from under the
bottom of the tent and over behind Buffalo Bill's show. They was after
us, but couldn't catch us."

[Illustration: "LOUIS SAID 'JIGGERS.'"]

"Johnny, Johnny," said Uncle sternly, "don't you know what I've told you
about letting other people's business alone?"

"But you see, grandpa, that was a fake and you know it's everybody's
duty to uproot the fakes."

"That's all right, Johnny," said Aunt, "You can uproot the things
needing uprooting on the farm but you must let Chicago people uproot
their own foolishness."

The sage advice was unheeded for Johnny was too full of the day's
adventures with his body guard and guide.

So far they had seen little of the city of Chicago, and it was a great
rest and pleasure for them to sit at the windows of their rooms or in
the balcony and look out over the busy street before them or talk of the
events of the day.

Uncle had gone ahead of the rest and taken his seat in a rocker at their
room window.

"O grandpa, there you are," called out Fanny's clear voice as she
entered the door and came quickly up to his side. "I ran ahead, and
grandma and Johnny are coming."

In her face was the sweet look of guileless girlhood, and her dark hair
waving back in the breeze coming through the window crowned her sweet
face with the tenderest beauty. Her eyes were bright and sparkling with
the interest and enthusiasm of young life. They told of a woman's soul
that would one day shine out and help to make this bright world more
bright and holy.

When the grandmother and Johnny joined them these four stood there with
no petty jealousies or bad feeling of any description to mar their
happiness as a family. The sinking sun came out from the western clouds
and lit up their faces as if they all rested under God's smile of peace.

[Illustration: "SHE SMOOTHED BACK THE HAIR ON HIS FOREHEAD."]

"Well, Fanny, I am closing my days on earth mighty satisfactory to me. I
have been mighty alarmed about what the "Zion's Herald" said about the
world's meanness, but I tell you what I have seed wasn't made by mean
men. I believe I have felt more of the Lord in my soul in the last few
days than I ever did before in so many years. I've seen ribbons, and
threshing machines and wheat and corn for a long time but I never had
any idea how much brains people had before this. I went to some of the
farmer's meetings fer I felt oppressed myself and thought I was just
about doing it all myself but when I come here I see I haint nowhere. I
used to be afraid that the government was all a going to pieces and that
my fighting for the union and that the blood of your Uncle Sam at
Gettysburg was of no use but I ain't any more now afraid of the world a
bustin' up. People that made the machinery that I've seen and all that
have too much sense. My mind is at rest now about all such things. When
I seed the big engine I didn't say nothing for I never had any use
before to learn words that suited such things, so I just said nothing."

Fanny understood her grandfather's mood, and she smoothed back the hair
on his forehead and gently stroked his cheeks with her hands.

"Papers, papers! 'Daily Columbian'!"

A childish voice at the door broke their reverie.

"Grandpa, you must be like city folks and read the papers."

"Here, little boy, is five cents for the morning 'Columbian' and one
cent for your evening paper."

"Now, Grandpa, I want you to read. Let's see the headlines."

"_ENTHUSIASTIC THOUSANDS_"

"I was one of that crowd," said Uncle, "but it was too big to be
enthusiastic over."

"_Many of the World's Distinguished People Present_"

"That may be right, Fanny, but I don't believe they are very
distinguished after they get inside. I know I felt like I had just got
extinguished or something."

  "_The Colossal Manufacturers' Exhibit Amazes the
  Great Crowd of Visitors. The United States
  and the Foreign Nations join in Creating
  the Greatest Display in the
  World's History. Shown like a
  Jewel in a Frame of Light_"

"Ah, my little girl, that's my Fanny when she comes between me and the
window, a jewel in a frame of light."

Fanny put her hand over his mouth and said, "Grandpa, I don't want you
to scold me so unless when I deserve it."

Uncle Jeremiah having read all that interested him, turned the paper
over, when his eye fell on the columns of advertisements. He had never
read any of them before, and it attracted his interest at once.

"Look hyar, Johnny! Here is a position you might git if you had only
done as I have teached and learnt your lesson at school." And Uncle
read, slowly:


  Wanted.--A BRIGHT, HONEST, IN-
  telligent boy: good Christian; A No. 1
  writer; quick at figures, not fond of
  play; never reads novels or smokes, or sets
  a bad example in any way before children.
  Address, * * * * *


"Grandpa, that is a sad reminder," said Fanny, as she came up and looked
over his shoulder at the paper.

"Why?"

"Because God loves a shining mark, and all those boys are dead. On their
tombs should be written: 'Here lies one who lived not wisely, but too
well.'"

"Tut! tut! child, how you do talk!"

"Here, father, here is the one. You know I've always wanted a parrot."

  Exchange.--WILL EXCHANGE FINE
  Parrot, good talker, for a pet monkey.
  Address, * * * * * *

"But, Fanny, where's the monkey to exchange?"

"Why, Johnny, of course. I know it would be a trade," she said,
rapturously.

Johnny had come up in the meantime, and was leaning on Uncle's right
shoulder. At Fanny's words he eyed her suspiciously for a moment, and
then, pointing his finger at another advertisement, said: "Father, send
Fanny to that place at once. Her first meal will take the people a month
to digest, and that will be a big saving, for she won't have to make but
one meal a month, and she will never be bothered about doing so much
fixing up." The advertisement read:

  Cook WANTED.--NEED NOT WASH.
  Address, * * * * * *

Uncle crumpled the paper up in his hand and said emphatically, "O you
children git out."

But they felt more like talking as they were accustomed to do of
evenings at the farm. Johnny had told his adventures and Uncle and Aunt
had seen wonderful things which they knew were only interesting to them.
What they had seen was to them an awful revelation of what the world was
doing in the various lines of work while the farmers were busy with the
cares of the farm and isolated from the great industries of life where
genius subdues and achieves.

"Somebody brought a heap of wool all the way from New South Wales in
Australia, and I felt ashamed of myself when I seed farm products that
was brought all the way from the Cape of Good Hope and I hadn't brought
nothing from Villaville. We seen farmers from Japan, and China, and
Ceylon. I was shocked to see how them Japanese like to have snakes and
hobgoblins a crawling round their pavilions but when I seed the
Americans jammed all around when there was nicer products in the other
places, I just concluded that maybe after all it was our people that
liked 'em too, and so made 'em set the fashion here.

"The Canadians tried to beat everything with their twenty-two thousand
pound cheese. There is lots of fool extravagance in that place but I
guess it was necessary to show what we farmers can do when we make up
our minds."

Fanny told about meeting Mr. Blair and how interestingly he explained
everything. As she looked up at her Grandma, she saw a troubled look on
her face.

"It's nothing," said Grandma, "but I didn't meet young folks that way
when I was a girl, and I am afeard now for you; but I've always tried to
teach you right, and I know no body can make you believe I haven't
teached you just right. I will trust ye. I trusted your mamma when
nobody else did, and she didn't do no wrong."

Fanny went over and laid her cheek against her grandma's face and
whispered: "Grandma, any body can kill me, but nobody can make me
wilfully do wrong."



_CHAPTER V_

COLUMBIA AVENUE


Several unnoteworthy days were spent by Uncle and his family in which
they saw through the official buildings of the states and nations;
through the Forestry building, showing the forestry wealth of the world;
through the leather exhibits, showing the wonders done to the skins of
beasts; all over Wooded Island, with its curiosities of Davy Crockett's
cabin and the Javanese Hooden; through the clam bakes and the Casino,
with the miscellaneous objects of interest about them. Uncle thought he
was entering the Liberal Arts building when he walked past the guard at
the southeast entrance of the Casino. He wandered into a labyrinth of
side-rooms, where he heard an amazing medley of excited voices in as
many different languages. They were evidently quarreling over something
that displeased them very much. Presently a guard caught him by the arm.

[Illustration: "THERE WAS A MEDLEY OF EXCITED VOICES."]

"Are you a musician, sir?"

"Well, I used ter play a Jew's harp a leetle."

"The Casino will open again at three o'clock. You are not allowed in
here."

The rest of the family had remained on the outside, suspicious of
Uncle's venture. As he returned, led out in rather an undignified way by
the guard, Uncle did not relish the amused looks of his family and the
casual observers.

"Ah, ha," yelled Johnny in glee, "Grandpa's the first of us to get took
by the cop. I'll tell everybody at Villaville about you getting led
out."

From here they went on around to the north end of the greatest building
on the grounds where were stored the miscellaneous educational
achievements of the world.

As they entered the Manufacturers and Liberal Arts building through one
of the small entrances on the north, the greatness of that more than
forty-four acres of exhibits did not impress itself upon them. The first
objects that met their gaze were the graphophones or phonographs. Some
nickles were soon in the slots and the family for the first time
listening to music coming from some where by singers unseen. Johnny had
a face covered with smiles as he listened to some loud-mouthed artist
singing "Throw him down McClosky." Between each verse Johnny told the
boy who stood in open-mouthed wonder near him that the "feller is a
singer from way back." He could not realize that he was not in a concert
hall and that all standing about were not hearing what he heard. When
the music ceased and he withdrew the tubes from his ears he said to
the boy, "Wasn't that out of sight?"

[Illustration: "They listened to melodies by musicians unseen, and from
somewhere unknown."]

"Sure, and out of my hearing too, but I guess I got a nickle to try it
on," and his nickle disappeared in the slot and the unwearied singer hid
away in the machine told again his story of the great fight.

When Uncle took the tubes from his ears his eyes were full of tears.

"Why, Grandpa, what's the matter?" asked Fanny who had just listened to
some selection by the Marine band.

"Well, you see, I heard something that I used to hear long time ago, and
I couldn't tell just who was a singin' it to me. It was some woman,
though, and I let myself think it was somebody else, and I was a
thankin' God for lettin' me hear her once more. I thought it was Mary
singin' "Old Folks at Home" for me, jest like she used to, and I thought
for a while that she had come back to me. I wanted to talk to her, and
it hurt me when I seed that I couldn't."

There was a stairway near by, and Fanny suggested that they should first
go above. They came to the place where they could look out into the main
floor. They were near the great clock tower just as the chimes began to
peal forth their weird melodies.

"What's that?" cried Aunt, in awe-struck tones.

"It's the chime of the bells," cried Fanny, in delight, "listen!
listen!"

Clear and plain through the vast building and to the streets on the
outside came the slow measured notes of that nation-thrilling air, "My
Country, 'tis of Thee."

All stood entranced before a scene never before reached by human means.
When the chimes were done, Uncle said: "Let us go down to the main
floor. I want to walk from end to tother of that aisle."

Johnny held in each hand a camp-stool for Uncle and Aunt, and he
arranged the stools for them to sit awhile before that wonderful scene.
Not long after, they were marching down that aisle called Columbia
avenue. They felt themselves every inch as citizens of a great republic.
It is not a very long thoroughfare--only a third of a mile--but they
were two hours on the way. Uncle was a common, everyday American citizen
when he started. At each step it seemed to him he swelled in his own
estimation. At the clock tower he was proud enough to ascend that
structure and make a Fourth of July speech. At the end of his walk he
wanted to wear an eagle on his hat and shout till his throat should be
stiff. It was not solely as an American that he was filled with
exultation but as a member of the human race. He was lifted up with
pride in the achievements of his fellow-man and in satisfaction that his
own country was the host of such a splendid company.

Columbia avenue is the broad thoroughfare which traverses the center of
the greatest building that ever was. It runs through the Manufactures
and Liberal Arts building from the grand court to the plaza at the
northern end. A walk down this thoroughfare is like a tour of the world
in sixty minutes. Though, if you are to do it in sixty minutes, you must
fifty times repress an impulse to linger beside some new marvel in the
handiwork of man and go marching on. You cannot beat the record in a
trip around the world and stop and see all the grand cathedrals and
picturesque ruins and beautiful women and inviting galleries of art.

Columbia avenue is a picture never to be surpassed. It is a cleanly and
an attractive thoroughfare for the world of tourists who throng the way.
The path is no longer littered with lumber and boxes and kegs of paints.
The horizon--for this vast enclosure has its horizon--is no more filled
with a fine, white mist rising from the efforts of workmen to push and
chisel blocks of staff into their appropriate places. It is a colossal
field of process and a panorama of result. The world can not produce a
more noble and inspiring place. It is the avenue down which the man on
whom fate has fallen and whose steps in this world are few should choose
to expend the last remaining atoms of his strength.

Uncle, as an American citizen, came in pride and exultation into the
avenue from the central court. He had not been there before. The first
thing he did was to stand fully five minutes gazing at the immensity of
the enclosure trying to comprehend it, instinctively but vainly seeking
adjectives with which to characterize it, and finally giving it all up,
as a man gives up trying to measure the ocean or count the stars,
conceding it to be too vast and wonderful for the range alike of his
vision and his mind. No one told him which way to go, but away over his
head, he couldn't guess how many hundred feet, was a line of pendent
stars and stripes extending so far in a perspective of red and white
that he could not see the fartherest. For aught he knew to the contrary
the line led away to the sunny South. But knowing that where the stars
and stripes led the way, he could go as he had done in the years of war,
he passed on through a maze of wonders greater than even a Solomon could
dream.

Not a word had been spoken for some time. Fanny had stopped at a
millinery booth.

"Well, now come on Fanny, you wouldn't let me look at them harrows to my
heart's content so come on, for you might get ideas into your head that
would cost me lots of money and you know these times are expensive
enough anyhow."

At the south end of the hall they ascended to the galleries again and
soon, came past the educational exhibits that cover every department of
human training. There was a booth of educational temperance. Here they
read:

  |---------------------------|
  |  _The Star of Hope        |
  |  of the Temperance Reform |
  |  stands over the          |
  |  School House_            |
  |---------------------------|

These letters were on a banner of beautifully wrought silk, and near by
was a map of the United States, with seven states distinguished from the
rest by being in the darkest black.

"Those states," explained the ladies in charge, "have no school
legislation for teaching temperance."

"Yes," soliloquized Uncle, "the school house, the pulpit and the press,
are the three forces of freedom and progress in our welfare, but our
lives and our natures are not alone molded by these. The fathers and
mothers in the home holds greater destinies for the world than all the
rest of the forces of the earth together." Then they went through a
modeling department. Uncle could not see any use of these things.

"Now, Fanny, I'm tired of these mixing wax and realities together.
Here's a man's head four feet across in this glass case. What does it
mean?"

"O, that's just an enlarged figure to show the anatomy."

"Well, I didn't come here to see 'natomy, so let's pass on and leave it
to other folks that like sich."

Just then some good country people came up and they were almost wild for
knowledge as to where the Exposition people dug up that awful giant, and
as to how long he lived before the flood, and if it might not be Goilah.
Fanny could not stand such an error, and she pointed out to the little
girl the card below explaining what the figure intended to show.

They went on past states and foreign countries, and booth after booth of
books and papers of the great publishing companies.

"Come here, come this way, all of ye!"

Johnny was wildly motioning to his folks, who had stopped to examine
some books in a booth near the north end of the Liberal Arts hall. As
they came up to him, he said: "Say, you remember the Century plant,
don't you, down in the Horticultural hall, wot's jest bloomed? Well,
I've found a Century company, an' I want Fanny to go in thar an' ask the
gurl wot hes charge if we kin see it bloomin'."

"They are the people who publish so much about the war and about
Lincoln. Let us go in and I'll take some notes about what they have."

Fanny took out her pencil and notebook as they approached the entrance
of the booth. All went in together, and the lady in charge, seeing Fanny
with a notebook in her hand, came over to her from the opposite side of
the room with a rush that almost took the young observer's breath away.

"Are you a reporter, Miss?"

"No, no," said Fanny.

"Oh! Just taking notes for your own amusement."

"Well, not exactly that. I may use them some time."

Fanny had in mind the things she would have to tell to her less
fortunate friends at home.

"O I see, going to weave them into a book or a lecture. Just come this
way;" and, followed by Johnny, Uncle and Aunt, Fanny went the rounds of
the place listening attentively to the interesting talk of the lady in
charge as she explained the processes in detail of making a great
magazine, the evolution of the English dictionary and of dictionary
making in all its phases. She showed them many interesting relics and
among them the original letters and documents of the company's great war
articles and their life of the martyred president. The lady never had
more interested listeners or people more grateful for the trouble she
had taken to instruct them.

[Illustration: "UNCLE DID NOT RECOGNIZE HIM."]

"No, don't go till you have registered."

Fanny went over and registered for all of them and Uncle went away
feeling as if he now had a literary education and could write anything
from a war article to a dictionary.

They passed on down and out of the building more impressed than ever
concerning the greatness of the world. Aunt rarely said much but now she
remarked that she loved their farm and their Jerseys more than ever but
she could see that God's mercies and blessings did not rest alone on
them and their neighbors. There was indeed a world beyond what she had
ever seen or been able to dream.

As they passed on to the gate a family evidently from off the farm
passed them.

The eyes of Uncle and the farmer happened to meet and the farmer nodded
to him.

"Now look at that," exclaimed Uncle. "How cityfied I'm getting. I didn't
nod to that feller. The fust few days I was here I nodded to everybody
who looked at me but when they stared back at me like I was an idiot, I
quit."

As they came by the Administration building a gentleman passed near them
and politely lifted his hat. Without response Aunt and Fanny went on but
Uncle grasped the gentleman by the hand and said, "Mr. Moses, I am so
glad to see you. I ain't been tuck up yet by the perlice nor lost any
money but I guess I would if you hadn't give me such good advice."

"Uncle, I must tell you that my name is Warner, as you have it on my
card and not Moses. I told you that name just for a joke because I
didn't expect to see you again and you know we don't often tell our
names and business to people we meet on the trains."

Uncle was very much troubled. He could not see any joke in a false name
being given. He remembered then that Fanny said a young man on the train
was shadowing Mr. Moses, and this false name made it look bad for Mr.
Warner.

"Well Mr. Warner I am sorry you deceived me for I liked you very much
and I aimed to call on you, but maybe I hadn't orter not."

Without another ward Uncle went on to join his waiting family, sadly
shaking his head as he thought of the misplaced confidence he had
bestowed.

"There," said Mr. Warner, "I have estranged the good opinion of the old
man and in his mind made the words of the confidence man seem true. But
somehow I feel sure that I shall meet her in a different way."

As he looked after her he said, "There goes the dearest girl on earth to
me."

[Illustration: "HE LOOKED AROUND AFTER HER."]

It was arranged that the next day the old people should rest at their
hotel all day and at two o'clock Fanny would go to one of the big retail
stores to do some needful shopping with Johnny as an escort.



_CHAPTER VI_

DANGERS OF THE GREAT CITY


Johnny was listlessly walking along in front of Dearborn Station, on
Polk street, when he saw some fine looking apples on one of the fruit
stands. Instantly the old orchard at home came into his mind, and with
it a hunger for apples that could not be downed. Fishing up a dime from
his pocket, it was not long till two apples were his, one of them
undergoing a carving that only a country boy hungry for apples could
perform. As he turned the corner he passed a number of bootblacks
tossing pennies to the edge of the curbing, the one lodging his penny
nearest the edge winning all the other pennies. Johnny watched them long
enough to understand their gambling game and then moved on.

"Hi ther, kids," said one, "watch me git a free lunch."

He came quickly up behind the unsuspecting boy and struck one of the
apples out of his hand. But before he could pick it up, Johnny gave him
a shove that sent him sprawling in the mud. Johnny stooped to regain his
apple, but half a dozen of the other boys ran up and began striking him
from all sides. His knife was open in his hand, and some one struck him
a blow on the hand that knocked the knife into the gutter. Warding off
the uncomfortable blows as fast as he could, he ran to get his knife. In
an instant he was tripped down upon his face with half a dozen boys
cuffing him about the head and shoulders.

"What you skates a-doin' there. Come off now; let a feller have a
show!"

The boys were thrust back, and Johnny scrambled to his feet.

"Hello! If it ain't de kid wot's got de purty sister an' helped me to
pepper de fake on Stony Island avenoo. Bin a-crapin', have ye, an' them
fellers wuz a-doing ye up." It was the train-boy who had been of such
service to Johnny's grandfather as they came into the city.

[Illustration: "BEEN A CRAPIN', HAVE YE!"]

Johnny explained how it all happened, and they went away from the crowd.
Johnny's clothes were soiled and his knife and apples were gone, but he
was glad to get out of such a rough crowd.

"Where wuz ye goin'?"

"I've got an hour yet, when I am to meet Fanny at the north entrance to
the store she's tradin' at. I couldn't stand taggin' after her, so she
let me go."

Johnny had wandered from the store into the neighborhood of one of the
most disreputable places in the city. He and his friend were coming up
the street when the train-boy exclaimed: "Hi, thar, wot's yer sis doin'
on dis devilish street wid dat thief yonder?"

Johnny looked where the boy was pointing, and, sure enough, Johnny saw
his sister being escorted along the street by Mr. Blair, who had spoken
to them of Mr. Moses on the train, and who had been with Fanny one day
at the Fair.

"Why, ain't he all right," said John.

"Nary all right. Wusn't he helping to rob your grandad as he was a
coming out of the train, and did'nt I nab his pal with the wad of stuff
in his hand? He works with the feller what give yer old dad the short
change."

Johnny would have started on a run after his sister but Louis said,
"Hold on pard, I'm a running this. Ef your sis is all right, that feller
is liable to git to travel over the road fer it. I've got it in fer that
feller and you see if I don't git him pulled. I tell you if he gits your
sis into one of them houses, she'll never come out alive fer she'll kill
herself."

Johnny was white with fright but Louis laid his hand on Johnny's
shoulder and said: "Now you watch the show."

A policeman was at the next corner and Louis walked up to him with the
air of one who had a most important communication to make.

"Me name is Louis Burjois, and dis is de brudder of dat gal wot you see
walkin' over dere. She is an innercent gal, which dat feller is
a-tollin' of her off. He's a pickpocket, and I'm one wot kin swear to
it. We want him arrested an' jugged. We'll see to all de
responsibility."

"Ah, you Arabs don't take me in that way. Git out. The gal knows her
biz."

By this time Louis saw that the confidence man had stopped at one of the
most prepossessing houses on the street. It was also one of the vilest
and most dangerous places in the city. The door-bell had been rung, and
there was not a moment to lose.

[Illustration: "SHE'S AN INNERCENT GIRL WHAT'S A GITTIN' TOLLED OFF."]

"For God's sake run and yell!" and he gave Johnny a push in their
direction, which was all he needed to send him flying up the street
yelling and waving his hat and calling "Fanny! Fanny! Fanny!" like a boy
gone mad.

The door had opened and Fanny was about to step inside, when she heard
her name called. She turned around, but the young man crowded up behind
her.

"Who is calling me?" she said. "It must be Johnny. Yes, it's his voice."

"No, it's only a bootblack," her companion said, harshly and excitedly.

"I know its Johnny," and she dodged by him out of the door. He tried to
catch her by the arm, but, missing that, seized her dress, nearly
tearing it off of her waist. At this moment Johnny dashed up, and,
throwing his arms around her, cried: "O Fanny! Fanny! come quick! come
away! don't wait a minute!" and he fairly dragged her to the sidewalk.

The young man disappeared through the door but not before he saw Louis
come running up and shaking his fist at him yelling at the top of his
voice, "O you horrible old cheese, I'll get your mug behind the bars
some of these days in spite of yourself."

The policeman was placidly watching the scene, but concluding at last
that something unusual was happening he came up and went into the house.
A few minutes after he came out alone and walked measuredly on toward
the end of his beat.

Fanny in the meantime had pinned her dress and was walking away with the
two boys. She was not less excited than they were.

"What is the matter? I can't think. What has happened; there must be
something awfully wrong."

"Well, you see, miss, that feller is the pall of the man what tried to
rob your grandad and he was a taking of you to one of the worstestes
places in Chicago."

"Why he showed me his detective star and also papers and business cards
the other day at the Fair. I met him this time in the store. While we
were talking there he showed me a blue book which he said was a list of
the best society of Chicago, and he showed me his name and his
sisters'. I didn't know anything how to trade at the big stores and he
said it would please him so much to take me and introduce me to his
mother and sisters, who lived only three or four blocks away, and one of
his sisters would come back with me and I could do my trading in half
the time and to so much better advantage. He talked so nicely that I
didn't see how I could refuse to go."

"That's the chap exactly. He's a bad man, and I'm a going to run him in
yet."

Louis gave a self satisfied toss of the head, clinched his fists and
said, "Its lucky, awful lucky that I seed ye." Fanny shuddered and she
whispered a fervent prayer of thankfulness.

They had now arrived at the store and Louis acted as ready escort to the
various booths where Fanny desired to trade.

"Don't you forgit that you have to meet me at the Sixtieth street gate
at nine o'clock next Monday morning for to be my body guard the whole
week and I think I can get our grandpa to throw in about two dollars a
day for ye for general services. Anyhow, I don't see how any of us can
feel safe any more without you being around. I expect if you come out to
our farm, I'd save your life about a dozen times a day for the first
week, you'd need me around pretty bad for the first month."

"It's very glad I am that I struck you," said Louis, "for my dad got
killed cause he stuck by his engine and I have to help the folks so much
that I couldn't get into the Fair only by scheming somehow, and I might
not hit the combination."

Fanny and Johnny, still bewildered over their adventures, now took a
cable car and in a little while were telling their astonished
grandparents about their day's experiences and Fanny's wonderful escape
from the confidence man. Uncle could not remember Mr. Blair, but it was
a good occasion for one of his impressive lectures on the providence of
God.

It was an evening for the electric display at the grounds and at eight
o'clock they were seated near the statue of the Republic on the south
side of the basin waiting to see the crowning achievement of modern
intellect.

No wonder that the papers of the next morning spoke of the "White City
in a blaze of glory," and that "thousands viewed the sight, entranced
with the marvelous exhibition." It was a sight to inspire the writers of
the day, and of all the descriptions that Fanny culled none were more
appropriate for recalling the memories of what she saw, and to record
what she had experienced, than the reportorial sketches of this night.
The hour approached for the most wonderful illumination since God said:
"Let there be light."

Slowly night came on, and slowly night was turned back into day. A few
stars came out and shone for a little while, and then disappeared from
man because of the blaze of light he was in.

To the north and west a heavy pall of smoke brooded over the city. Above
it a broad band of gorgeous crimson, shot with purple and yellow, marked
the dying glories of the day. Overhead scattered clouds floated against
a gray sky, and through them yellow stars were shining. Looking down
into the grand basin the white walls of the palaces which bound it
loomed gray and ghostly. On the southern horizon the chimneys of a blast
furnace belched their red flames high into the darkness.

One by one white globes of light glittered about the graceful sweep of
the basin. They cast deep black shadows on the walls behind them, and
threw burnished, rippling ribbons over the dark water below. The broad
avenue leading to the north between the Mines and Mining and the
Electricity buildings grew brilliant on either side. At its far northern
end a clump of tangled shrubbery lay in heavy shadow, and still beyond,
stretching away for miles, a hundred thousand scattered yellow sparks
told that the great city was awake. Far off on the dark lagoon, men
were singing, and the echo of their voices rose faintly through the
silence.

Suddenly a single beam of yellow light, like a falling star, flickered
and grew bright on the high dome of the Administration building. Then
lines of fire ran down its splendid sweep, and outlined in flame it
stood out in splendor against the night. About its base circled a wheel
of light, while above a hundred torches flared into the darkness. Within
the great buildings about the basin electric coronas were ablaze and the
giant pillars of the colonnades loomed white against the shadows. From
their caps huge figures of the arts of peace leaned out over the black
abyss beneath. Along the top of the peristyle flickered a yellow ribbon
of flame, and above, dim and gray against the sky, senators and heathen
gods look down upon the glory.

Between these lay the dark waters of the basin, seamed with faint,
waving bars of light. Over them, like long black shadows, graceful
gondolas slipped in silence, and electric launches with their fiery eyes
crept across the vista.

From the roof of Music hall a wide pyramid of fierce white light was
thrown upon the Administration dome. Its blazonry of yellow died away,
and under the new glare the delicate, lace-like tracery of gold and
white was brought into strong relief. From the roofs of the buildings of
Manufactures and Agriculture twin search-lights beat down upon the
MacMonnies fountain. Behind it the plaza was black with men, and its
pure white figures shone as if carved from Parian marble.

Then the light was changed, and in a glory of crimson the ship Columbia,
with its white-armed rowers, sailed on before the people. From his high
pillar on either side, Neptune, leaning on his trident, looked down
serenely. The search-lights swept the horizon, and for a moment graceful
Diana loomed against the sky like a figure suspended in midair. At the
east end of the basin the Golden Republic glittered against the night,
lifting her golden eagle high above the crowd. Smoke from a passing
engine rose about the dome of the Administration building, and its fiery
outlines flickered and grew faint. The triumphant goddess seated high on
the galley in the central fountain was bathed in a glory of green fire,
and then yellow, changing again to its spotless white.

Under the great central entrance to Electricity building stood all the
while the figure of an old-time Quaker. His eyes looked upward, and he
held in his hand the feeble instrument which made possible the glories
of this night. Franklin, with his kite, looked out upon the consummation
of what he dreamt of when he drew lightning from the summer cloud. For
two hours the "White City" blossomed in new beauty. The great basin was
bathed in a flood of fairy moonlight. Outside the peristyle the lake
beat its monotone against the walls. On the plaza the great orchestra of
more than 100 men played patriotic music, and the people were filled and
lifted with the spirit of the night.

The search light was a great surprise. It went dancing along the fronts
of opposite buildings, climbed up the towers and brought out golden
Diana. It flashed against the statue of the Republic, and kept it for a
full minute resplendent as though carved from a block of flame and then
flickered away, leaving the great figure in twilight uncertainty. After
a time three irregular splashes of light were playing hide-and-seek
along the basin and up the fronts of the big building. The lights
changed their colors. Sometimes they were green and again they were blue
or red.

While several thousand people were admiring this picture, a rocket of
light shone out from one of the high corners of the agriculture building
and flooded the MacMonnies fountain in a whiteness which made all the
other light seem dim and lifeless. Under its focus the golden caravels
and the draped figures showed strange contrasts of chalky pallor and
deep shade. Only a moment later a second bar of light leaped out from
a sky-high nook of the Manufactures building and swept the surface of
the basin. It struck a moving gondola, and in a flash showed the gay
Venetians bending to their long oars, the bright colors of the boat
and the muffled forms of the passengers.

Johnny had left the others absorbed in their trance of delight. He
sought other sights. Directly he came to the Electricity building, with
its marvels of light. It burst on his childish mind, seeking for
novelties, as greater than the scenes outside. It was something that
Fanny and Uncle and Aunt must see. He ran in the greatest haste to bring
them. When they came in, Johnny showed them where to sit to see the
great illumination in the center of the building. It was then quite dark
about them, but Johnny knew the marvelous sight he had said was there
would soon appear.

Four rows of colored bulbs containing incandescent lights and placed on
zig-zag frame works forty feet long in different directions are about a
pillar around which are twined strings of two thousand electric bulbs of
red, white and blue. The pillar is covered with bits of reflecting
colored glass, thus making a magic intermingling of lights that almost
rival the lightning in startling brilliancy and produce a pillar of fire
scarcely surpassed even by that one which led the Israelites across the
sea.

When the illumination came the weird ingenuity of the electric magicians
struck Aunt Sarah with a sublimity almost more than she could endure. As
the flashes of light struck out about the pillar and the ball of fire
fell as if dropped from some creating hand she screamed, "O my God, what
blasphemy is this that men have achieved. Can they snatch the fire from
heaven and make the lightening a plaything?"

She sank upon a chair and gazed stupefied for some minutes at the awful
scene. Then as they passed on she said, "I have seen the wonderful
machinery great and small. I have seen the old relics which they say are
the remains of men's hopes long gone by, but when man can take the light
that comes out from the storms and put it up for show, it seems to me
that I am seeing forbidden things and that the skill of men has gone too
far."

[Illustration: "The light shot across the sky."]

At the next flash from the tower there was a shriek and a crowd began to
gather about a man just across the hall. The cry came from a man who
could receive the terrible grandeur but he did not have the strength of
mind to sustain it.

He was gazing upon the incandescent globe-studded column, as in a
trance, and again one of the electricians turned on the current and the
shaft changed to living fire. The man seemed horrified by the unearthly
beauty of the spectacle. It continued but a minute, when the current was
turned off and the blinding light disappeared almost as suddenly as it
had come.

A bystander whose attention happened to be directed toward him says that
he stood gazing at the column for fully three minutes after the light
had been turned off and that his countenance betrayed overwhelming
bewilderment. Once or twice he raised a hand and drew it across his
forehead. Then he was seen to press his temples with both palms, all the
while gazing in an awe-stricken way at the great pillar. The attention
of several visitors was attracted to the farmer, and one of them stepped
to his side to inquire if anything was wrong with him. As the gentleman
reached his side the latter threw his arms upward and, with a shriek
that started the echoes, fell forward upon his face. Two or three guards
rushed to the prostrate man's assistance, but before they reached his
side he leaped to his feet and, screaming at the top of his voice, ran
through the aisle toward the entrance facing the lagoon.

In a moment all was excitement, and the great crowd of visitors,
becoming panic-stricken, ran in a dozen different directions or hid
behind exhibits. The madman, pursued by a half-dozen guards, dashed down
a side aisle and, leaping over boxes and machines, made a complete
circuit of the General Electric company's exhibit and then paused again
before the central column. Two guards seized him, but he threw them off
as though they had been infants and again he started on a wild hurdle
race through the building. He had not gone far when he tripped and fell,
and in a moment three bluecoats were upon him.

Struggling and shrieking, the poor man was half led, half carried, to
the north entrance of the building, where was waiting a patrol wagon. It
required the combined strength of five guards to get the unfortunate man
into the patrol wagon. Throughout the short drive to the patrol barn the
prisoner fought like a wild animal and the officers had their hands full
in keeping him aboard. When brought before the sergeant the prisoner
became exceedingly quiet and spoke rationally while giving his name and
address.

One of the guards then began to detail the offense of the prisoner. The
recital had but just begun when the man became greatly excited and began
screaming once more. The sergeant placed his hand in a kindly way upon
his shoulder and gently forced him into a chair. The man grew quiet
again and listened to the guard relate the story of the arrest without
interruption. When the officer had finished the man arose and, walking
up to the sergeant, said:

"Don't harm me, I didn't put all those bottles there. I'll tell you how
it was. Somebody has stuck those bottles on that post and covered them
up with a white cloth. When they raised the cloth the bottles turned to
fire. I am not to blame. I don't know how those bottles came there.
There are millions of them. They were all right at first, but the devils
poured red fire into them. Don't hurt me. I had nothing to do with it."

The sergeant talked kindly to the man, and when he was quieted led him
to the hospital, where a doctor attended to him. Here he entered into a
long description of the pillar of "bottles," by which he evidently meant
the incandescent globes. The doctor gave his patient a quieting potion,
and in a short time he fell into a sleep. When he awoke from his sleep
he was quiet, but his mind still dwelt on the pillar of "bottles," and
he insisted on repeating his version of the affair to all the doctors.
In the evening a carriage took the patient away, supposedly to the
detention hospital.



_CHAPTER VII_

ON BOARD THE "ILLINOIS"


"Now for the battleship," said Johnny, "that's what I want to see." As
they came on board the brick ship, the first words they heard were quite
nautical.

"It's eight bells."

"Aye, aye, sir!"

The bos'un, or whoever it was that received the order from the
Lieutenant, climbed up and tapped out eight strokes on the big brass
bell. About twenty people, with lunch baskets and camp-chairs, ran after
him and watched the performance.

"What's that for?" asked a young woman.

"That tells the time of day," answered her escort.

"But it's after 12 o'clock by my watch and he struck it only eight
times."

"Well, they--ah--they have a system of their own. It's very
complicated."

"Look at that crooked thing there," said one of the visitors, pointing
to the air-tube leading to the stoker. "Is that their foghorn I've heerd
about?"

"They don't need no foghorns on warships. I jedge it's a shootin'-iron
of some kind or other, maybe a gattlin' gun what jest blows the shot
out. You see it's pointin' out like at an enemy."

An elderly woman stepped up to the Lieutenant and said: "I'd like mighty
well to see some of the Gatling guns."

"Yes, ma'am, you will find them at the foretop."

"How's that?"

"At the turret in the fore-top."

[Illustration: "MAYBE ITS A FOG HORN, OR A GATLING GUN."]

"Do you mean up in the little round cupola?"

"Cupola, great heavens," murmured the officer under his breath. Then he
called a marine and had him show the woman to the fore-top. It is the
experience of a lifetime for a naval officer who has cruised in the
Mediterranean and rocked over the high waves of the south Atlantic to be
placed in command of a brick battleship, which rests peacefully
alongside a little pier and is boarded by hundreds of reckless
sight-seers every day. The conning towers are of sheet-iron and some of
the formidable guns are simply painted wood. It is said that if anything
larger than a six-inch gun should be fired from the deck of the mimic
battleship the recoil would upset the masonry and jolt the whole
structure into a shapeless mass.

Below the water line the Illinois is a hollow mockery, but the two
decks, the turrets and the heavy battery are made so realistic that any
one who had not seen the brick laid and the plating put on might suppose
it was a real war vessel that had stranded well in toward the beach. As
a matter of fact, about one-third of the visitors are deceived, which
fact may be vouched for by any one of the marines parading the deck. A
man who looked as though he read the newspapers, called a sergeant of
marines "Cap," and remarked that it was a very fine vessel.

"Yes, indeed, sir," replied the sergeant.

"She'll be here all summer, will she?"

"Oh, yes."

"Did this boat take part in the review at New York?"

"No, sir; this battleship is stuck fast here. It is a shell of brick,
built up from a stone foundation, and is intended to represent a model
battleship."

"You don't tell me. Made of brick, eh?" Uncle, listening to the talk,
shared the countryman's disgust.

"There, Fanny, how do you excuse them for that piece of mockery?
Everybody getting fooled as if they were in a cheap dime show. It's too
bad the government should be a partner to sich deceptions. And then just
hear them fellows making fun o' the likes o' us. It's a shame. Of course
we hev to ask questions when they use all the art in the world to make
deceiving things and then make fun if they do such good work as to fool
us. We don't know any more about their work than they do about our
farm. I guess they couldn't tell a Jersey from a short-horn, nor a
header from a clover-huller."

One of the sailors was telling of the questions asked by the public.
Some person asked him if the gulls flying around the ship were
sea-gulls, and whether they had been brought on especially for the Fair.
Another asked why the guns were plugged up at the end with pieces of
wood. A marine said the plugs of wood made them air-tight, so that they
wouldn't sink if they fell overboard. Maybe the man believed it. He
didn't say anything.

From sight-seeing at the ship they came over to the Fisheries building.

The throng of visitors here at first detracted their sight from the wall
of fish and wonders of the sea around them.

"Oh," said Aunt when she looked about, "I nearly have to gasp to make
sure I'm not at the bottom of the sea. Just look at them fish swimming
around on both sides of you."

"Well I feel sorry for these poor fish, they look so tired," said Fanny,
"but it's very evident they can't keep lively all the time."

One of the big scaly-backed tarpons in the fountain was fanning his tail
and moving slowly through the water. On the railing at the edge of the
pool sat a tired man with a baby hanging over his arm. If the tarpon had
stuck his nose out of the water he could have grabbed the man by the
coat-tail and pulled him backward. The mother was standing a few feet
away. She turned around and saw two beady eyes shining up through the
water.

"Hold tight to that child," she said. "If you ever drop him that big
pike would gobble him right up."

"He don't eat babies," replied the husband, calmly. "Besides, it ain't a
pike; it's a sturgeon."

"Well, he looks awful mean, anyway." The husband, merely to reassure
her, moved a few feet further along and let the baby lie over his
shoulder and watch the little fish chase one another. The aisles were
crowded full of people, who had found that a visit to the east end of
the Fisheries building was almost as good as a dive to the bottom of the
ocean.

It is in this place where you may stand with coral reefs and ring-tailed
shells on either side and watch strange fish with spikes on their backs
open their mouths and gape until each one looks like the letter O. The
sea turtles stand on their heads and wave yellow flippers at the
wide-eyed crowd, and a devil crab makes all the women shiver and pull
the children away from the glass. In one aquarium there are so many
catfish that they make the water cloudy.

In front of one of the cases there was a learned discussion. The label
simply said "Anemone." On the rocks and shells were some things shaped
like stars and mushrooms, except that they were moss-colored and had
whiskers floating out in the water. "Annymone, what the dickens are
they?" asked a man with a linen duster.

"Some kind of sea-weed, I believe," said an elderly gentleman in a
patronizing manner.

"No, they ain't they're animals, broke in a third.

"But, sir, they are stuck fast there and can't move," said the elderly
gentleman.

"I know that but they reach out with those whiskers and grab stuff and
feed themselves that way."

"Well, that's the first time I ever heard of anything feedin' itself
with its whiskers."

One of the young women looked at the sheepshead aquarium and murmured:
"What long bills they have." Her escort smiled in a knowing way and
said: "That is not a bill; that is a proboscis, I believe. I wish I had
a hook and line."

A Columbian guard said he was tired of hearing the same old jokes, for
nearly every young man who came in with a girl said: "When I come back
here I'll bring a hook and line."

They finished the day here, and wearied with the noise and tumult of the
streets were glad to find rest in their rooms when evening came.

[Illustration: "NEXT TIME I'LL BRING A HOOK AND LINE."]

The sweetness of this rural family was nowhere better to be seen than
when they were resting at home in the evening after the fatiguing
experiences of the day.

"Grandpa," said Fanny, when they were comfortably at rest, "I can't help
but get angry at the women as I walk about, for I do see them do so much
foolishness. Why, to-day I saw one crazy for souvenirs, and I believe
she thought everything was a souvenir. I saw her pick up a nail and put
it into her handbag, and when she came up to the Pennsylvania coal
monument in the Mining building, she commenced putting pieces of the
coal in her pocket. Then one of the working men played really a mean
joke on her. He came up with a lump as big as a water bucket. Then he
asked her if she wouldn't like to have that to remember the Fair by. And
what do you think, she just said she thought he was very kind, but she
didn't believe she could take it, for it was so big. But she would like
awfully to have it. I saw the man shut one eye and say to the other man
that the woman was crazy, because it was just the same kind of coal that
she put into the stove every day at home."

"Now the only thing I've got to grumble about," said Uncle, "is what's
models and what's facts. There is no use of scaring people to death with
things that ain't so. Now over in the Government building I saw some hop
plant lice that was not less than a foot long; there was a potato bug
nine inches long, and there was a chinch bug two feet long, for I out
with my rule and measured it. When I seen them I said, the Lord help the
people who live where them things do, and then some city folks laughed
at me, when at last Fanny came along and said they was models. Then we
went into another room and there was soldiers from everywhere and army
things that made me believe I was back again with Sherman, but there
again they were wax, excepting the wagons and guns. I went up to one of
the officers when I fust come in and I says, says I, "Are you regular
army folks or Illinois militia?" and he didn't answer, and I turned to
one of the privates and I asked why there was so many of them bunched
together, then I seed some folks a laughing at me and I slunk away. I
say the government is in poor business when it makes sport of its own
defenders."

[Illustration: "A souvenir for her."]

"Over there in the Transportation building I seen what it said was the
boat Columbus sailed in; but after all, Fanny said it was a model. Right
close to it was the boat what Grace Darling rowed out into the storming
sea and saved so many lives. I thought it was a model, but Fanny said it
was the very boat she used. I jest thought ef that was really the boat,
we could all be sure that Grace Darling didn't stand o' Sunday mornins
afore the glass a paintin' and a powderin'." He was getting himself
worked up to the belief that he was a very much abused old soldier, when
Fanny said:

"Grandpa, I have just cut a splendid piece of poetry out of the paper
about the Fair. The man who wrote it don't live far from us, for his
address says at the bottom, 'Mr. Matthews, from Effingham County,' and
I'm going to keep it in my scrap-book. Let me read it to you:


_The City of the Workers of the World_

THE BUILDING OF IT

  In a wilderness of wonders they are piling up the stores
  Gathered by the hands of labor on a hundred happy shores;
  In a palpitating plexus of white palaces they heap
  The marvels of the earth and air--the treasures of the deep;
  They have reached their restless fingers in the pockets of the past,
  And robbed the sleeping miser of the wealth he had amassed--
  To the festival of nations--to the tournament of toil,
  They have garnered in the offerings of every sun and soil;
  They have levied on the genius of the age, and it replies
  Full handed, with the blessed light of heaven in its eyes;
  In honor of old Spain they have taxed the brawn and brain
  Of a planet, for the glory of that Master of the Main,
  Whose fortitude is written on each flag that is unfurled
  Above the great white city of the world.

THE MEETING OF THE NATIONS

  They are climbing over mountains, they are sailing over seas,
  From the artics, from the tropics, from the dim antipodes;
  In the steamship, in the warship, under banners loved the best,
  They are laughing up the waters from the east and from the west:
  From the courts of Andalusia, from the castles of the Rhone,
  To the meeting of the brotherhood of nations they are blown;
  From the kraals beside the Congo, from the harems of the Nile,
  They are thronging to the occident in never-ending file;
  From the farthest crags of Asia, from the continents of snow,
  The long-converging rivers of mankind begin to flow;
  In the twilight of the century, its wars forever past,
  The nations of the universe are clasping hands at last
  By Columbia's inland waters, where in beauty lies impearled
  The imperial white city of the workers of the world.

THE PASSING OF THE PAGEANT

  When the roses of the summer burn to ashes in the sun,
  When the feast of love is finished, and the heart is overrun;
  When the hungry soul is sated and the tongue at last denies
  Expression to the wonders that are wearing out the eyes,
  Then the splendor it will wane like a dream that haunts the brain,
  Or the swift dissolving beauty of the bow above the rain;
  And the summer domes of pleasure that bubble up the sky
  Will tumble into legends in the twinkling of an eye;
  But the art of man endureth, and the heart of man will glow
  With reanimated ardor as the ages come and go.
  The pageants of the present are but pledges of a time
  When strifes shall be forgotten in a cycle more sublime
  When the fancies of the future into golden wreaths are curled
  O'er the dim, remembered city of the workers of the world.



_CHAPTER VIII_

LA RABIDA


It was a warm summer day, and rolling chairs, launches and gondolas were
in great demand. At Fanny's suggestion they decided to take an electric
launch and go around to La Rabida, where the relics of Columbus were
kept. She accosted one of the guards who attends to the moorings by
asking how near the launch would take them to La Rabida.

"La-Ra-La what? I don't think I know what that is," said the guide.

"La Rabida is the convent--the Columbus relics are there. Columbus was
the man who discovered America," Aunt volunteered to tell him.

"Oh, yes; I have heard of Columbus, of course, but I haven't been here
very long."

"Well, the convent is over at the lake end of the Agricultural building.
Do the launches go there?"

"The Agricultural building? Let me see; that is over----"

"Do you know where the colonnade is?"

"No. I don't."

"Ever hear of the grand basin, the gold statue, the lagoon?"

"Oh, yes; this is the lagoon."

"Well, how long will it be before a launch will come along?"

[Illustration: "BEFORE THEM WAS THE STRANGE OLD CONVENT."]

He went out to the edge of the landing and looked up the lagoon. Then he
jerked out, "in three-quarters of a minute." He was provoked about
something. It may have been because she wanted to know so much; it may
have been for a latent discovery of a lack of knowledge on his part, or
it may have been because Fanny had been laughing at something; Fanny
laughs easily. She is just as likely to laugh where she ought to cry;
the electric guard didn't see anything to laugh at. They sat down on a
pile of lumber to wait the three-quarters of a minute. It was
three-quarters, and several more. The guard said the warm weather had
come unexpectedly. They would have the whole fifty-two launches running
soon. But only about half the number had been necessary until now, and
they were very busy and could not keep up the time. One came soon after
that. As they were stepping in Fanny asked how much the round trips
were. Some one said "25 cents in the Director General's schedule, but in
the launches they are 50 cents." The captain, or the man who takes the
money, heard him. He smiled, and charged them 25 cents apiece to La
Rabida. Just afterward a man handed him $1 and said "Administration
building--for two." The Administration building is considerably this
side of La Rabida. The captain slipped the dollar into his pocket and
passed on to the next. The woman said:

"Did he keep the whole of it?"

"Keep it? I should think he did. You don't get much back on these side
experiences. I ought to have asked him how much it costs to go all the
way."

But the man made no reply. He was meditating. He evidently had not read
the morning papers. They gave all the prices--admissions and extra
convenience.

It was with feelings of considerable curiosity, mingled with awe, that
they approached La Rabida.

Before them was the strange old building which they knew was the convent
where Columbus had received such rest, comfort and inspiration in his
great enterprise that opened the door to modern civilization.

A number of tents were on the south of the house, and soldiers were to
be seen standing about, with their heavy muskets, which mean nothing but
that their lives are pledged to protect this collection, belonging to
the Vatican and the descendants of Columbus. All the royal letters
patent from the sovereigns of Spain to Columbus and many letters written
by Columbus himself, are in the cases. His will is also there. The
signature of Columbus is written in this way:

  _S._
  _S. A. S._
  _X. N. Y._
  _Xpo Ferens._

At one end of this room is the collection of pictures loaned from the
Vatican by Pope Leo. No one is allowed to go up the steps. One of the
Columbian guards standing there said, in answer to one of Uncle's
questions:

"This is the altar. It is sacred and no one is allowed up there, because
these pictures are very valuable and very small."

The mention of the size in that connection meant that they could be
carried off easily. But nothing could be carried off easily with those
watchful "regulars" about. A contract was made by Spain with the United
States before the collection left there that it should be guarded by a
detachment of United States soldiers. That contract is fulfilled to the
letter. No one is allowed even to touch the glasses of the case.

There are some wonderful pictures on the wall of Musaico Filato, which
belong to Pope Leo. They are wonderfully beautiful as pictures, without
thought of the thousands of tiny mosaics used in making the pictures,
and that each one was placed in by hand. Some of the other pictures are
wonderful, too--wonderful in their hideousness. No two artists seem to
have the same idea of the features of Columbus. There seemed to be but
one thing that they agreed upon fully, and that was that Columbus wore
his hair chopped off on his neck. There is a great likeness there.
Ferdinand and Isabella looked painfully disturbed on being trotted out
at this World's Fair, and just exactly as if they never could have
agreed on allowing Columbus or any one else to discover us. Some of the
pictures were not numbered, and some of them had two numbers. The young
lady who sold catalogues said they would be all right after a while.

"Say, can you tell me--is these 'ere things all Columbus' works--did 'e
do 'em all?" asked Uncle.

"No, it is the history of his life."

"Didn't he do any of 'em?"

When the young lady shook her head, Uncle walked away, disappointed. He
knew just what it was to dig and toll down on his farm, and he could
gauge greatness only by labor. And if Columbus did not do any of it,
paint any of the pictures, or build the convent, he could not understand
what had made them go to so much expense to build the old convent when a
good picture for a few dollars would serve just as well.

After going through the narrow entrance of La Rabida they found little
dark rooms with pictures and maps and charts of Columbus and Isabel in
many different forms. In the southwest room they found a table and doors
and bricks and the key from the house of Columbus. In the case among the
many sacred relics was a locket said to contain some of the dust of that
great man. They saw the Lotto portrait which was used on the souvenir
half dollars. There were the Indian idols which Columbus brought to
Isabel, one of the canoes in which the Indians came out to meet him, and
even one of the bolts to which Columbus was chained. Each one of the
party were continually discovering the most wonderful things. Fanny
found an autograph letter of the great Cortez and she wrote in her note
book from the book of Waltzeemuller where he said, "Americus has
discovered a fourth part more of the world and Europe and Asia are named
for women this country ought to be called America or land of Americus
because he has an acute intellect."

While she was writing this an old gentleman came up to her and said,
"Say, Miss, I want to see the remains of Columbus, I heard they are here
with a soldier on each side of his body."

Fanny pointed to the place where the locket was but he was disappointed
and did not care to go "just to see a pinch of dust in a locket."

Aunt was sitting on her camp stool in the room where the table of
Columbus was, but to get a nearer view of something she left it for a
moment. Just then a family of man and wife with five children came in
and found that they were standing at the table and by the door of
Columbus. The woman saw the chair and supposing it to be a part of the
Columbus furniture sat down in it. Then she arose and called her
husband. "Henry come here and set in this chair. Thank God I've set
where Columbus set." The husband sat in it awhile and then each one of
the children time about, while Aunt Sarah waited patiently for them to
get through, not wanting to break the pleasure of their great
achievement.

[Illustration: "THANK GOD I'VE SET WHERE COLUMBUS SET."]

Tired of further sight seeing, our family decided to leave the grounds,
and started on their homeward journey with over two hours ahead of them.
There was no use walking through streets when they could pass nearly
the whole distance through buildings. This was one of the ways to
economize on travel and time.

Across the bridge from La Rabida was the great archway entrance of the
Agricultural hall. Around the old convent with its low-browed walls ran
a width of fresh dirt at intervals over which were stuck the ancient
signs, "Keep off the grass," but no grass was yet visible.

"That's what I don't like about this White City. So much of it is so,
and so much of it ain't so that I never can tell what is so," said
Uncle.

In the Agricultural hall there were never ending wonders for the farmer.
All the agricultural ingenuity of the earth was centered here.

"Now, come on, father, we can see plows and lawn mowers when we get
home."

But Uncle lingered longingly over a new device for lacerating the soil
and destroying its noxious productions. Uncle and Aunt had ceased their
usual exclamations after the first two or three days. In the first place
exclamations, such as the good deacon would use, were entirely
inadequate, and in the second place the cords of utterance had become
exhausted.

"Well, ef they haint gone and got some dog fennel here. I wonder where
the cuckle-burrs are, and the tick-seed, and the jimson weeds and the
puff-balls. It's a mean discrimination to bring one of the nuisances
without bringing them all."

They went through and out over the bridge of the south canal, on past
the bandstand to the Administration building.

"What inspiring music," said Fanny. "It is hard to tell whether our eyes
or our ears can bring us the most joy. Surely I can live to be a better
woman now every day of my life."

As they entered the Administration building they saw a man in the center
of the court looking up through the building at the great dome which
seemed to pierce the sky. He leaned farther and farther back until he
fell backwards and lay there on his back still gazing intently upward. A
number of people rushed up to him horror stricken, as if he had just
fallen from the top of the dome and they expected to see him a crushed
mass. As they began to close up around him he yelled out: "O you get
away you fool people, you don't know what a fine view I'm a getting of
the top."

[Illustration: "HIS HALF-DOLLAR ENTRANCE FEE GAVE HIM THE RIGHT TO SEE
THE DOME FROM THE MOST ADVANTAGEOUS POSITION."]

But one of the Columbian guards seemed to think that was not the legal
way to view the dizzy heights of the building and forthwith jerked him
to his feet and ushered him to the outside. The last seen of the man he
was muttering, "Them fool builders put them picters clear up at the top
and then the fool guards wont let a fellow enjoy them."

He evidently believed he had been treated outrageously in a free country
by an autocratic guard, and that his fifty cents entrance fee entitled
him to view any object in any position of vantage.

They went on into the Mines building where the sparkling ores of a
thousand mines were in piles and pyramids or wrought into colonnades,
facades and burnished domes. There were dazzling diamonds and beautiful
opals, emeralds and gems from all parts of the earth; Michigan's copper
globe, North Carolina's pavilion of mica designs, Montana's famous Rehan
statue of solid silver resting on a plinth of gold, Arizona's old
Spanish arastra and New Mexico's mining cabin.

From a northwest doorway they passed on out of this world of
subterranean wonders across the street into the Transportation building.

"I don't believe these things are used anywhere," said Johnny. "They're
like the four-legged woman--just made for show. Father, you can't expect
me to ride in no common farm wagon after bringin' me to see this."

"These cars do represent awful improvement in three generations," said
Uncle. "Now, it is supposed that when I was a boy I rode in that 'Flyer'
there, or on the one they call 'Rocket;' but I didn't, 'cause I never
seed a train till I was past twenty. Fanny would be supposed to ride up
there in that gay three-story palace on wheels, and Johnny will get to
ride a hundred and fifty miles an hour on that 'lectric railroad; but a
common cattle car is fast enough for me. I don't know what the world's a
comin' to when people rides a hundred and fifty miles an hour and choose
to sleep fourteen stories high."

They had wandered around the locomotive section, and on their way
curiously viewed the famous "John Bull," the oldest locomotive in
America. Near by some workingmen throwing a pile of dirt into a cart,
caught Uncle's eye.

"Well, look at them fellers. Ef my farm hands was to work that way I'd
not get enough corn to feed my Jerseys a month."

[Illustration: "A FIGHT, A FIGHT!"]

He was quite disgusted with their slow and listless movements. They
returned down another aisle and came out in front of the magnificent
doorway of the building. They were just behind two elegantly dressed
ladies, who were looking up at the decorations.

"Well, upon me wohd, do obswerve that dohway. How intwesting. I am
shuah it seems to me to be pewfectly supub. It is so lovie, so sreet."

"O Grandpa," said Johnny, "do tell me what language they are talking."

"I don't know, Johnny; ask Fanny."

John's attention was here caught by the loud arguments of some
gondoliers at the landing near by, and he ran down to see the fight he
was sanguine enough to believe was about to take place.

They made noise enough to be sure but perhaps this was their way of
attracting attention. There were at least a dozen excited foreigners
gesticulating over some exciting topic. Evidently some foreigner had
been riding and he thought the fare was too high. Noise and genteel
swearing were the chief argument.

  They swore in German, French and Russian;
  In Greek, Italian, Spanish, Prussian;
  In Turkish, Swedish, Japanese--
  You never heard such oaths as these.
  They scolded, railed and imprecated,
  Abased, defied and execrated;
  With malediction, ban and curse
  They simply went from bad to worse;
  Carramba! O, bismillah! Sacre!
  (And ones than which these aren't a marker.)
  The very air with curses quivered
  As each his favorite oath delivered;
  A moment's pause for breath, and then
  Each buckled up and cursed again.

But the storm ceased as quickly as it had begun and in a minute they
were all as complacent and jolly as children.

Fanny read aloud to her grandfather the words over the archway:

"There be three things which make a nation great and prosperous: a
fertile soil, busy workshops, and easy conveyance for men and goods from
place to place."

"Grandpa, Bacon wrote that and he lived in the time of Shakespeare, when
Elizabeth was Queen of England."

"Yes, yes, child, it's a great prophesy of our greatness. I thought
before I came here that the soil done about all of it and what little
was not done by the soil was done by the workshop but I see that there
is just as much necessity and greatness outside of these things."

"Grandpa, let me read what is on the right side of the doorway: "Of all
inventions, the alphabet and the printing press alone excepted, those
inventions which abridge distance have done most for civilization." That
was Macaulay, the great essayist and historian of England. I wish I had
known he said that, for last month we debated in our literary society
the question: "Resolved. That bullets have done more for the spread of
civilization than books.""

It is rather an amusing thing to note how the exposition affects
different people. Some of the visitors are of a type which nothing
moves. They have lived all their lives in the pursuit of a placid
routine of simple duties, and, while they have come to the fair from a
sense of duty and fully intend to see all that may be seen, still they
are prone to retire on occasion to some quiet corner where they can rest
unobserved, and then their talk invariably drops into some simple,
natural channel that is in accord with the tenor of their dally lives.
Of course this is tinctured more or less with the unaccustomed sights
and sounds about them, but not greatly so; for the most part they simply
ignore their surroundings.

In strong contrast are the ones who have obviously got themselves up
expressly for the fair regardless of expense; their clothes are new, and
are chiefly noticeable for the quality which Stevenson refers to as "a
kind of mercantile brilliancy." They are nearly as much occupied in
allowing others the inestimable pleasure of gazing at them as they are
in improving their own minds. They are visitors, pure and simple, and
they are characterized by such an air of newness that even the flies
avoid them for fear of sticking to the varnish.

There is the girl with the notebook, a schoolmarm presumably, though
heaven only knows, she may be a lecturer. She usually numbers glasses
and a dark velvet bag among her accoutrements.

She is possessed of all of the catalogues and guide books sold on the
grounds, and in the bag is a further supply of heavier literature for
the improvement of her idle moments. It would puzzle anybody to find out
when these idle moments occur, for when visible she is engaged in a
frantic rush from place to place, pausing only for a moment to ask a
question or jot down an impression, sometimes doing both at once without
even looking at the dispenser of information.

[Illustration]

She must have a miscellaneous mind, this girl, for anything seems to go
with her from pig iron to poetry. One of her stopped for an instant in
the Electricity building to inquire the name of a queer, compact,
powerful looking machine. The impression which she received from the
laconic attendant in charge went into her notebook in this form:

     Multiple intensifier is round and black; looks powerful; attendant
     says 360 horse power. Mem., look up multiple intensifiers in
     Century dictionary on return, and find how they are applied to
     horses.

The machine in question was a dynamo, but perhaps she will never know.

In the Japanese section of the Manufactures building two dear little old
women sat down to rest their tired feet in the midst of a bewildering
display of pottery, whose brilliant tints contrasted strongly with the
rusty crape and bombazine in which they were dressed.

"I don't see," said one of them, "the use of sending missionaries to
Japan. I suppose they do worship all them things, but, even if they do,
I think that if they had as much pretty china to home as they've got
here, I'd be inclined to worship it myself. I just don't see how they
can help doing it. Do you?"

"No, I don't," said the other. "It seems almost what you could expect. I
don't believe they are so very bad after all. I can't believe that
anyone who could make such lovely things could be a very wicked heathen.
I should think the Japanese would almost feel like sending missionaries
over here."

But Fanny was of a different type, she realized the sublime display of
mind and she grew months in the excellence of womanhood every hour of
her enthronement in the soul of this great panorama of intellect and
labor. Aunt was silently seeing everything like the great dream that it
was but Uncle was storing his mind with facts whereby he could confound
his neighbors.

"It really seems strange to me," said Fanny, "to see how some of these
people take the Fair for a circus. If the band played all the time they
would never get a chance to look inside the buildings. The moment they
get within earshot of the tuba horns they anchor themselves to benches
or camp-stools and watch the leader swish the air with his baton. After
the music stops they will begin hunting for more excitement, and may
finally wander in among the pictures and admire some battle scene
covering a whole wall. To-day I saw a young man and his girl standing
before that wonderful statuary from the Trocadero palace looking the
goddess in the eye while both were eating peanuts. They are after
nothing but a good time, as at a country fair. I believe it is all
because they don't understand what they are looking at. Grandpa, I can
finish my education now and know how to bless you for your goodness to
me. I am just beginning to see what a great privilege it is to live."



_CHAPTER IX_

THE PLAISANCE PROPHECY


Fanny had made the acquaintance of one of the ladies in charge of the
educational exhibit of one of the states, and who occupied rooms on the
grounds. This lady made arrangements for Fanny to remain over night with
her and view a sunrise on the lake and over the "White City." It was to
be an experience well in keeping with her emotional nature.

The morning came, and the two placed themselves where they could see
through the columns of the peristyle across the lake in the direction of
the sun. They were sitting on their camp stools on the bridge east of
the statue in the basin with their cloaks drawn tightly around them,
waiting in awe as they saw the suffusions of color spread upward into
the grey sky.

Suddenly there is a flash of fire far out on the lake. The last pink
curtain of mist rolled slowly away light and fleecy as cotton wool, and
the sun, behind this lazy apparel of his rising, spreads a crimson glow
over the sky and lake. Miles it comes across the rippling waves,
stealing through each arch and pillared opening of the peristyle,
creeping over the motionless waters of the basin and bringing brightness
everywhere.

Slowly the great ball of fire rises higher. Now it flashes upon the
statue of liberty, now on Diana, aiming her arrow down into the laughing
waters. Under its rays the winged angels on the spires of the palace of
mechanic arts seem to start into life, as if they had but paused for an
instant in their flight toward the land of dawning.

Now the statues of the seasons, flanking the four corners of the
Agricultural building, greet the day. Columbus, his face ever toward the
west, rides onward with the sun in his triumphal car. He looks down on
the work wrought out to his glory and honor, but his journey is westward
still, out of the sunlight into the gloom. Against the dark western sky
hangs the majestic dome of the Administration building, now a blaze of
ivory and gold.

The sun lifts slowly out of the water. Its rays shine white and clear.
The tired guards lean wearily over the parapets of the canals, throwing
bread to hungry swans. Flocks of seabirds sweep up and down the canals
like the first flurries of autumn snow. The water fowl greet the day
with joyous clamor, adding a quaint, rural touch, almost startling in
this city of silent palaces. They splash about the wooded island,
screaming lustily when boys come in skiffs to steal their eggs. Swallows
and frowsy little sparrows flit from their nests, built in the very
hands of the golden goddess of Liberty.

From the roofs of every building there is a sudden flash of color. A
thousand flags float in the morning breeze. Ten thousand workmen hurry
through the sunny park.

The mystical city of dreamland is again the workshop of the world.

Three hours later our family were together in the art gallery glancing
at the famous paintings and statues which the nations had given to show
what subtle art can achieve on canvas and stone.

Aunt said she always knew those French people were the most shocking
people in the world. How different their section of paintings from those
of the United States. Fanny had no time for any thought outside of the
overwhelming beauty of all she saw. She had begun to paint a little and
to do some molding, and she knew how to appreciate the marvelous skill
before her. She saw very few people who saw anything in them but a
show. Uncle was positively disgusted, and went through only as if it was
his duty to see everything. But among the statuary he found some things
of more interest.

"Why, Grandpa, how solemn you look. Now, I can't feel solemn at this
piece of statuary. Let's see what is its name. Here it is--'The Struggle
for Bread.' That makes it more interesting. The people are starving and
the factories can give work only to a few. Every day they throw out
tickets from the windows, and whoever brings a ticket to the office
window is employed. Look at that strong young man. He has secured one
and the old man is pleading for it, and the woman with her little child
has been knocked down in the struggle of the people for the ticket."

"Yes, yes, child, you can appreciate only the romance and sentiment of
it. You have never struggled in despair for bread, and may God keep you!
but Sarah and me have seen many sad, weary days of struggles to live."

Johnny had little care for the sentiment or the romance. He was much
amused, but it was a dull place for him. At last a thought struck him.
He struggled with it several minutes in a very deep study before he
ventured to reveal his perplexity. At last it became too great to be
borne longer.

"Say, Grandpa, I kin see why the sculpture can't sculpture clothes on
their folks; but I don't see why the painters can't paint their folks up
some more decent."

That same thing puzzled Uncle, and he could not answer. He thought a
great deal, but he only muttered something about pictures not fit to be
stuck on his horse-lot gate posts.

It was nearly eleven o'clock when Fanny and Aunt found Uncle and Johnny
sitting disconsolately on the steps of the south entrance awaiting their
appearance.

John was patriotic and he wanted to see the liberty bell over in the
Pennsylvania building. A great crowd was gathering as they came up and
Johnny found out that the interest came from the fact that the Duke of
Varagua, the representative of Spain at the Fair and the descended of
Columbus, was visiting the bell. It was a sight to awaken memory for the
representative of the fifteenth century discovery to be paying respects
to the representative of nineteenth century liberty.

[Illustration: "NOT FIT TO STICK ON OUR HORSE-LOT GATE POST."]

City folks were not there alone. Many country people were enjoying the
pulses of freedom, liberty and patriotism. An honest looking plow boy
standing near Fanny asked his father what he thought of the "Dook," a
real live "Dook."

"I think the dook ort to be proud of hevin' been kin to Columbus, but
I'll be blamed ef I don't think Columbus would be proud too, if he wuz
yer, and could tech hands 'ith his forty-eleventh grandson. It takes a
purty good man to stand all the honors levished 'pon him that the dook's
a-gittin' 'ithout his head a-bein' turned, an' I jes' say good fur the
dook."

"It's all right to hev smart kin folks afore you, but it takes lots o'
hustlin' in these days an' lots o' hard work in order to stand fust; an
I vote the dook is a fine represen'tive o' his Columbus grandfather. Now
lets git closer to the old lib'ty bell."

As the rural philosopher looked upon the bell hanging there in the
Pennsylvania State building he said, unconscious of the crowd around
him:

"When thet bell kep' a ringin' out lib'ty, the folks thet wuz they
didn't know thet in a little mor'n a hundred years the hull world would
be a bowin' to thet bell; an' they never hed no idee it would be carried
away out yere in a place called Chicago, covered over 'ith flowers an'
gyarded by perlice to keep folks from a techin' it, a fearin' harm might
cume to it--an' it a standin' as a symbol o' great faith an' courage.
I'm powerful glad I kin stand yere to-day with my fam'ly and look at
thet bell. I jes' wisht they'd let it ring onct."

But there were others too ignorant or stupid to be patriotic before such
a scene.

John became indignant, almost to the fighting point, at the amazing
stupidity of some of the remarks concerning the bell. To him it was more
than an emblem, it was a hero.

He heard comments which are past belief. Of course, there are patriots
who approach with reverence and understanding and who are only
restrained by the police from chipping off pieces of the bell, but many
enter and gaze and depart in bland ignorance.

"By jinks! but that's an old feller," exclaimed one inspired ignoramus.
"Wonder where it came from." Another, a stout, prosperous,
business-looking party, observed that it was cracked. "Reckon that was
done bringing it here," he said. "The railroads are fearful careless
about handling freight."

Still another intelligent communicator, and it seemed as if nothing
short of positive inspiration could justify his views, spoke of the bell
slightingly as a poor exhibit, and wondered what the Pittsburg foundries
meant by sending such stuff to an international exhibition.

It was now noon lunch time, and our happy family went over to a table in
one of the cafes. At one o'clock Uncle and Aunt were to occupy rolling
chairs in spending the afternoon sight-seeing around Midway Plaisance.
They had heard a great deal about the sights there, and concluded it
best to see the outside first and prepare a campaign of sight-seeing
based on information received from the chair pushers.

Across the table from them sat a man eating his meal in a fatigued sort
of way that caught their attention.

"Good evening, Colonel," said a gentleman, coming up to him. The colonel
was not himself, that was plain. His eyes looked dreamy, and he had the
appearance of a man who was under the influence of some strong and very
pleasurable excitement. When the friend saluted him he did not reply
with marked courtesy. He did not even look at him. He continued to gaze
unmeaningly at his plate, and to murmur "Irene-te-raddle, fol de-rol.
I'll niver go there anny more."

"What's the matter with you?" asked the gentleman, testily.

"Well, sir, it do beat the dickens," said the colonel, irreverently,
"I've lived a long toime an' seen manny a queer soight in circuses an'
dime musooms an' hanky-panky shows, but niver till to-day--oh! Naha-a,
it's a bright eyes an'--a bonny locks--" here the colonel began to thrum
the table.

The friend came over impatiently and shook his fist under the colonel's
nose.

"You weak-minded old gazabo, is it to hear ye singin' topical songs thot
Oi came down from Archery road? What ails ye?"

The colonel remarked easily: "Don't git gay, George; don't git gay.
Because Oi chuse to sing a little is no reason why ye should take
liberties." Then he went on, half-musing: "Oi don't give annything for
the Fair itsilf. O'Connor tuk me in there first, but what do Oi ca-are
for show cases full uv dhried prunes, ould r-rocks an' silk
handkerchers? I was f'r goin' over to see Buffalo Willie shootin' Injuns
an' rescuin' Annie Oakley frum the red divvels, but O'Connor sez: 'No,'
he sez, 'come on an' see the Midway,' he sez. 'So over we goes to the
Midway, an', George, Oi haven't been well since. There'll be a trolley
in me hed to me dhyin' dhay, there will, there will. We had no more than
got in the strate when a nigger in a mother Hubbard comes up an' sez:
'Little mon.'

"'Yis,' sez I, 'an' dom ye little mon till ye do go home an' put on
ye're pants, ye bould thing.'

"'Hugh-h!' sez O'Connor; 'that's a Turk.'

"'Thin there's a pair of us,' I sez; 'let's go.'

"'Well,' he sez, 'come into the Turkish village.'

"'An' see more niggers? I'll not,' I sez.

"'Will you go to the Irish village, thin?'

"'No,' I sez, 'aint I seen you?'

"'Well, where will you go?'

"'If you know a place where they keep beer,' I sez, 'I'm convenient.'

[Illustration: "Dom ye, little mon," says I, "Till ye do go home an' put
on yer pants."]

"He shoots me into a hole in the ground. George, ye should a seen it! At
one table sat a lot of black fellows with red towels around their heads
an' knives stickin' out of their yellow cloaks. At another table was
half-a-dozen gurrls with earrings as big as barrelhoops in their ears.

"'Come on back,' sez O'Connor.

"'No,' I sez, 'this is good enough for a poor man,' an' we sat down at
the next table to th' gurrls. Well, sir, from that time my mind's a
blank. I was like the feller in the story-books. I knew no more. I dunno
what happened at all, at all, with dancin' gurrls an' snake cha-armers
an' Boolgarian club swingers an' foreign men goin' around with their
legs in mattesses. All I know is this, that I was carried to a ca-ar in
a seedin' chair by two men with room enough in the seat of their pants
to dhrive a street sweeper. Did y'r never ride in a seedin' chair,
George? Then, faith, ye're not in my class. Fol-der-rol, de-rol de
raddle, fol----"

"An' what did ye do with O'Connor?"

"How do I know? The last time I remimber him he was askin' a girl in the
Turkish theayter whether she liked vanilla or rawsburry in her soda
wather, the droolin jackanapes. Ah, na-ha, the girls of Limerick
city----." The colonel resumed his thrumming.

"And is that all you see of the fair."

"Yis," said the colonel, "an' faith! if you had me hed you'd think it
was enough. An', George, to be in earnest wid ye, that I've known since
you was a little dirty boy, go to the fair, ride around in the boats,
luk at the canned tomatties an' the table-clothes, ride in the electric
cars, but beware of that Midway. It'll no do for young men at all, at
all. You'd lose your head. You would, you would. Oh, fol-de-rol, de
raddle rol."

After this amusing experience just related before them, Uncle thought it
very advisable to give Johnny "a good talkin' to about doin' nothin'
wrong in that heathen exhibition of furriners."

But Johnny could afford to finish that Saturday walking demurely around
with the rest, for the next Monday morning Louis, the train-boy, was to
be guard and guide through the mysteries of Midway Plaisance.



_CHAPTER X_

PLAISANCE SOCIETY


When Monday morning came the family were promptly at the 60th street
gate at nine o'clock. Johnny espied Louis with his eye over a knot hole
that seemed designed by providence to let the hungry outsiders have a
morsel of the Midway Plaisance scenery. Inside of the grounds Johnny
determinedly led the way at once to the great Ferris go-round. They
stood before it measuring their chances of living through such a
revolution. It did not take much to persuade Fanny to accompany the
venturesome boys; Uncle positively refused to discuss such a piece of
folly, but Aunt decided at last that if Fanny went she must go also.

Like a forbidden specter the skeleton of the Ferris Wheel stands out
gaunt and fleshless. All around is full of light and gayety.

A devout Moslem may be pardoned if, as he passes, he touches his
forehead with three fingers of his right hand and murmurs: "Allah il
Allah!" Some such exorcism seems to be needed to ward off the evil
spirits that one would think must cluster around the ponderous
structure, perching, perhaps, like the broomstick riders of Salem, on
its spare metal ribs.

They entered the car of the great wheel, and when the signal to start
was given they found that another old lady with her dudish son were to
be their companions in the aerial flight.

The earth was dropping away. Higher and higher they went. Johnny was
holding with a death-like grip on to the car. Fanny's whole life was
passing before her like a procession of spectres. In a few minutes they
had gone more than one hundred and fifty feet, and the sky seemed to be
falling upon them.

"Stop her!" shouted the dude, accompanying his words with a frantic
waving of his hands. Higher yet they ascended and his face assumed the
look depicted in the features of Dante's characters when about to enter
the infernal regions.

[Illustration: "HIS PLANS IN LIFE WERE INTERFERED WITH."]

"Now, if the good Lord ever permits me to get back to the earth safely,"
said the old woman, "I promise never to leave it again till I am called
to die."

They had reached the top and passed the crisis of going up. Now they
began to fall. The sky was leaving them, and the earth was coming after
them. They had no time to think. The coming down was worse than the
going up. When they stepped out on the earth at the bottom of their
descent it was with a sensation of thankfulness never experienced
before.

The wheel is 275 feet high, and requires over 500 horse power to turn
it. The axle is the largest piece of steel ever forged, and it was a
great triumph of engineering skill to put it in place 150 feet from the
ground.

Hagenbeck's animal show was naturally the next attraction. Some distance
ahead of them there was quite a commotion. Johnny and his companion
were, as usual, ahead. In another minute Johnny came running back to
Fanny and caught her by the hand. Without a word he started forward with
her at a rapid pace. Quite a crowd was following some strange object,
and Johnny hurried Fanny around to the front, where she saw Mr.
Hagenbeck coming leisurely toward them with a lion walking by his side.
This was the object which was attracting such a large crowd of people,
and it indeed took some courage to stand there as he came by. So
completely did they all acknowledge the superiority of the animal that
there was no jostling about him. The Columbian guards did not have to
form a line--in fact, even they gave way to the distinguished walker who
held his head high in the air and enjoyed the bright sunshine without
deigning to look at the crowd of different races around him. He was a
native of India, and was born to be a king, but his plans in life were
interfered with, and the forest in which he was to have ruled was
invaded and he was captured. For some time he had not been feeling well,
and the proprietor determined to let the captive see the sunshine. So
they started out together, the lion walking along as quietly as a
spaniel. When the six lions in the cage saw their comrade out for a
stroll they gave a chorus of roars which made the windows rattle. It was
answered from the roadway, and six guards who stood by thought
discretion the better part of valor, and started on a run for the
viaduct. Mr. Hagenbeck called them back and told them it was all right,
but they still kept a safe distance. The lion seemed to enjoy the
outing, yet when his trainer started to come back the monarch of the
jungle followed him.

The crowd parted as the pair came toward it with more haste than grace,
and the lion licked his companion's hand and went back to his cage. Mr.
Hagenbeck explained that the lion is one of the largest in the world,
and is not yet full grown. It is perfectly gentle, and at his home in
Hamburg it is not kept in a cage, but plays in the yard with his
children like a cat.

In front of Hagenbeck's building there were assembled a motley crowd of
people gazing into a small room over the entrance way. There were a
number of lions jumping about at the crack of the master's whip and
giving the people a sample show of what could be seen inside. It caught
the crowd, for there was a rush to the ticket office when the keeper
disappeared from among the lions.

In the center of the building was a circular cage that looked like an
old fashioned wire rat trap greatly enlarged. Into this cage the animals
were introduced to go through with their performance.

"Well for that bear to walk on that globe and roll it along beats
anything I ever seed," said Uncle. "He's got more agility in him than I
ever had even at my best. Johnny, you couldn't walk a log across the
creek as well as that bear walks that pole, and just look at him walking
backwards. If you will notice, Johnny, you will see that the trainer
gives all that acts bad a lump of sugar and the ones that act good don't
get nothing. That's the way of lots of things, but if you will notice
it the good ones will live the longest."

Aunt admired the dogs very much and observed that they didn't have to be
told what to do as the others did and they were more willing and more
grateful for attention. It was really pathetic and comical to see how
they seemed to appreciate applause.

The dwarf elephant, thirty-five inches high, was brought into the arena
in an ordinary trunk. It complacently ate some sugar and returned to its
quarters.

When the show was over they walked up the street toward the Turkish
village. Here a number of people were gathering around a Turkish fakir
who was at the side of the street loudly proclaiming the merits of his
wares and shouting out some tirade that his employer had taught him as a
means of attracting a crowd. Johnny had seen the fellow before and he
drew his friends up close to him so they could hear his peculiar
harangue.

"By the beard of the prophet, my heart swells to spill the souls of
those christian dogs. I am the mighty man of the desert and they shall
repent or die."

"He, he, he," yelled Louis, "that's the feller what the kids told me
yanked the mummy of Rameses from the holy temple and knocks out all the
Chinamen and Arabs along the Plaisance. Look at him howl."

"Oh, Jeremiah, let's get away quick. I'm 'fraid he's dangerous," said
Aunt Sarah.

"No he ain't," said Louis. "Jest watch me," and he walked up and tossed
a copper at the orator's head and Abdul, the mighty man of the desert,
caught it with a grin and in broken English said "tank ye."

"Disturb me not, O reckless heathens," and he flipped a pebble with his
fingers at a passing German who had just come out of the mediaeval
castle with a tray of beer mugs on his head. The stone struck him on
the ear. He set his tray down on a table and came over to the warlike
Arab.

"Wot ver you trow dot stein."

"Move on I contend only with the strong and mighty."

"Wot ver you trow dot stein," and the little waiter edged up close.

[Illustration: "IT STRUCK HIM ON THE EAR."]

"O mamma, I know the poor waiter will be killed, let's run away quick,"
said Fanny.

"O yer don't know nothin'," said Johnny, disgusted. "The Dutchman kin
lick him in a minnit."

[Illustration: "She sketched their heads----"]

"Wut ver you trow dot stein. You tink I am a house side.
Donnervetter! I gif you some brains alretty;" and before Abdul, son of
Cairo, could think, the little German tripped him to the ground, and as
he fell caught him by the hair and dragged him into the boundary lines
of the Turkish village, slammed him on the ground, and in a few minutes
was back among the beer tables of the castle with his tray, calling
"peer, peer, shents! ah trei peer, two cigar, kevarter tollar!"

The day had been a very fatiguing one, and Uncle and Aunt decided to
spend the next day quietly at home in the hotel. Johnny and Louis had
stayed manfully by the old folks all day, and their promised adventures
had not yet occurred. The next day they were to be the guardians of
Fanny, and they were quite proud of the duty.

Fanny's note book and sketch book were now pretty well filled. Midway
Plaisance heads and feet offered the most tempting work for her pencil.
It is tempting enough for anyone to ask: "Where did you get that hat?"
or "Where did you hit that shoe?" Evidently not in Chicago. Nothing of
their kind ever graced a western city in such versatile varieties until
the bands began to play and the world's cake-walk moved down the
Plaisance.

In former years, when they had band concerts and Sunday school picnics
at Jackson Park the visitor saw about four kinds of masculine headwear.
One was the gray helmet of the park policeman resting under the tree.
Another was the tall and shining silk hat of the elderly parent. In
addition to these were some straw hats with rims not so wide as those of
1893, and derbys which were a trifle higher in the crown than the new
ones. In the general description at the park the old styles of headwear
have been crowded to the background by foreign novelties. The dicer, the
fez, the turban, the hood, the helmet and the sun-shade are becoming
very common. Only the stranger who comes into the gates is startled by
the sight of a gaunt black man wrapped in a sheet and wearing coiled
around his head enough clothing to make a good wash. But of all the
incomprehensible varieties of headwear about the grounds from foreign
lands, it remained for our own American Indian to outdo them all. When
the great No Neck, of the Sioux nation, walks through the grounds with
his war bonnet of eagle feathers trailing on the ground, the East
Indians concede their defeat. No Neck's bonnet is worth about $400.

The footwear is worse in variety, if such a thing is possible. Perhaps,
after all, it is a matter of education rather than appearance or
convenience. The most elaborate is the high-topped boots of the German
cavalryman, and the least the Dahomey Amazon, who sometimes has a red
string tied around her great toe. They come from a torrid country, and
have been freezing nearly every day, but scorn the apparel of the weak
white man. The Amazons refuse to wear shoes. When it is too chilly for
them to gallop around inside the bark fence they crawl into their tents,
roll themselves up in the black blankets and criticise the policy of the
Exposition.

On a moist day, when a Chinaman walks down the Plaisance he leaves a
trail of oval-shaped tracks. It would take a keen judge of human nature
to decide by looking at the tracks whether he has left home or was going
back.

[Illustration: "----And then their feet."]

The Soudanese slipper is the most shiftless thing that a man ever put on
his foot. It is simply a leather sole and toe. These represent the
triumph of laziness. The Soudan citizen simply walks into his slipper in
the morning and then in the evening he backs out. Every time he takes a
step he lifts his heel away from the sole and it seems morally certain
that he will lose the slipper, but in some way he manages to hold it. It
is said this trick is accomplished by elevating the big toe at each
step, thus preventing any slip. Any uncultured American who started for
a promenade, wearing such things, would be in his stocking feet
before he proceeded ten steps, but the men in the Cairo street tramp
around all day and apparently do not realize that they are running any
risk.

That evening at home Fanny gave a review of her note book, wherein she
had recorded her observations on the politeness of the different nations
as she had witnessed them. She thought the Javanese were the politest
people of all. They always lay their hands upon their hearts and say, "I
am honored," when spoken to. When they failed in their ability to answer
a question, they just smile to show their good will. The Fort Rupert
Indians politely tell their visitor to go when they have told what is
asked for. There is of course more kinds of etiquette in the Plaisance
than in any other spot of its size on earth. If the visitor desired to
be just right it would require an etiquette reference book in at least
sixteen languages.

Among the Turks there are strange habits. In greeting a stranger they
bow very low and remain perfectly silent until spoken to. They will then
shake hands in a genuine English fashion. One Turk calling on another
will never sit down until the host arrives, even if he has to wait an
hour. When the host comes in the two sit down after having exchanged
greetings and not another word is spoken until coffee is served. The
Syrians, on the other hand, will not turn their faces to a host before
being spoken to. It is the proper thing when visiting one of them to
take a seat with the back to the door and wait until the host enters and
make no move until spoken to, when the visitor is expected to rise and
bow.

To fully understand all an Egyptian says and does is a harder task than
deciphering the hieroglyphics on an obelisk. The language of the
Egyptian gentleman is the most fulsome possible. If he should be in need
of a little temporary loan he will pound the man (whom he hopes to
confidence successfully) on the back until he can hardly breathe.
Experts in Egyptian etiquette can tell by the pounding process what is
coming, and when the ceremony reaches the piledriver degree it is the
proper thing to say: "What can I do for you?"

On hearing this the Egyptian will talk something like this: "Do for me?
Why, my dear and most honored sir, your humble dog of a servant would
not presume to ask a favor of one so great as you. I thought of calling
on you yesterday, but it rained, and I feared that you would not be in a
good humor and might refuse me, but then I want nothing. Who am I that a
humble follower of Mohammed should dare to ask of you, my great lord and
master, the very slightest favor? And yet if it had not rained yesterday
I should have been fully inclined to ask you for temporary aid, but
to-day I would not think of causing your highness any trouble. Why
should I, who am so lowly, ask one for $5 for a few days. It would be an
insult to you; one you could never forget. What, you insist on it? I am
to take this, am I? Now really, as I was saying that one so low--but if
you positively insist, if you are sure you will be deeply and terribly
insulted if I do not take it--but your dog of a servant----"

That settles it. Having obtained the money he marches out without a
thank you or goodbye.

The Dahomey people are the strangest of all. The first greeting of one
amazon to the other is to slap her face. The visitor always slaps the
hostess first, and if the visit is welcome the visitor gets a cuff on
each cheek, and if it is not convenient to receive the visitor no slap
is given in return.

But the palm is left to the American for a whole-souled disregard of the
feelings of others. The show was brought here for the special benefit of
the visitor; he has paid his money, and he has the right to do as he
pleases.

If the sedan chair bearers happen to pass with some fat man for a
passenger, the whole street is in an uproar of English comment meant to
be humorous. Then the ordinary American visitor seems to think it his
prerogative to point at the foreign contingent and say things aloud
about them that would secure physical retaliation if the object of the
remark were a citizen of the United States instead of a guest of the
nation.



_CHAPTER XI_

A STARTLING MYSTERY


The next day was what the boys called African day; that is, they
intended to see all that was to be seen from Dahomey to Nubia and
Soudan. Fanny was to spend the morning in the panoramas of the Burnese
Alps and the volcano Kilaueau. At noon she would meet them at one of the
inns.

The boys wandered about for some time in search of adventure. Over in
the street of Cairo there were two peculiar structures that looked like
inverted soup-bowls. There was a three cornered aperture In the front of
each where men and women could be seen crawling in and out. Over one of
these doors was a placard on which was painted, "See the 18 months old
Soudanese baby dance. The only dance of the kind on earth." Over the
door of the other one was a placard on which was printed "Only 25c to
see the great Nubian terpsichorean evolutions." Two or three men would
come up, stand awhile and listen at the curious sounds from within,
resembling very much the noise made by a pack of curs after a rabbit
they did not hope to catch; or, perhaps, more like a plantation jamboree
when all the strings of the banjo were broken but one and it had been
mended twice.

The people came to see the sights, and here was a mysterious something
they might regret a lifetime in the missing. Our two boys required no
mental balancing of any nice points of propriety. It was there to see,
and they had the money to see it with. What more was wanting? Nothing
but to exchange the fee for the yellow ticket and present it to the
saffron-hued keeper of the door. The little half space alloted to
visitors inside was crowded, but the two boys were soon at the front.
This was the Nubian's place. There were two men, two women and two
little girls. All had what seemed very much like bed-sheets wrapped
closely around them. The older girl, according to Johnny's estimate, was
six inches through and about five feet tall. One of the men had a belt
made of goat hoofs. He danced around awhile and then held out his hat
for voluntary contributions. A number of nickels and dimes went in, and
then a vigorous dancing commenced. The dance consisted in all jumping
straight up and down as stiff-legged and as high as possible. The hat
went round again, and the pennies and nickels came in by handfuls. This
made them wild in their desire to give value received, and they jumped
higher and higher, faster and faster. Sometimes they forgot that they
were in Chicago and neglected to attend to the sheet with dexterity. But
when people are in Nubia they are supposed to do as the Nubians do and
not regard these little negligences. Some of the women went out, but
Johnny and Louis stayed in; and they kept staying like a small boy at a
free phonograph. They were studying Nubians.

After being satiated with knowledge, they remembered that there was a
Soudanese baby dance, the only one of its kind on earth. They might be
missing something. Then they wanted out.

In the next place they saw the same kind of people and the same dance.
True, there was a baby eating some candy in the back of the hut, but its
jaws did all the dancing for it. This was a swindle which the boys would
not further encourage by their presence, and they withdrew.

From this they went over to the Dahomey village. Like all Gaul, Dahomey
is divided into three parts, whereof Monsieur and his staff inhabit one,
his warriors a second, and his amazons a third. The amazons are twenty
in number and for the most part are occupied in the pursuit of keeping
their pickaninnies from making mud pies with the drinking water. They
live in a row of long, low huts thatched with palm leaves.

[Illustration: "THE TINT OF A NEWLY BLACKED PAIR OF OXFORDS."]

A rail runs in front of the huts and a board sidewalk, on which the
amazons squat to perform their toilets, mainly consisting of the
application of greasy combs to the half inch of wool accorded them by
their Creator to serve the purpose of hair.

Day and night they oil themselves. Other times they oil one another.
Their shining bodies reflect the glory of the noonday sun. Their
complexions when their toilets are fully complete approach patent
leather. Other times they stop short at the tint of a newly blacked pair
of Oxfords.

Inside the huts the amazons betake themselves to arts of peace. A tall
woman, clad in a striped loin cloth, was rubbing corn between two big
stones in a firm faith that eventually it would become meal. The miller
is the curiosity of the realm, for she only has two husbands, both of
whom, however, she saw fit to leave behind her in Africa to mind the
babies. In Dahomey the hand that rocks the cradle does not bother about
ruling the world. Woman has her rights with a vengeance among those
people and man has fully recognized her fighting qualities.

[Illustration: "HE GAVE A YELL THAT COULD BE HEARD TO THE BEAUTY SHOW."]

They found the village tightly enclosed in a high board fence. Then
began a vigorous search for knot-holes. But every opening they found had
the walls of a hut before it. At last they were partially rewarded by
discovering a fault in one of the boards where they could see past one
of the huts into the enclosure. Half a dozen of the backs of men and
women could be seen about ten steps from the fence. The people would
bend over out of sight and then back again. All kinds of conjectures
came to the boys. Louis suggested that they were "shootin' craps."
Johnny thought they were doing some kind of a religious ceremony. The
pressure of curiosity became too great to be endured. They went around
the corner and discovered that there was not a single guard in sight.
Johnny was standing the expenses, and Louis was generous enough to
propose that some means be secured to elevate Johnny to the top of the
fence. No more intense brain work was expended on the Ferris wheel than
these two boys gave to the proposed elevation. It took mechanical skill
of the highest order, for the management had provided for these
emergencies, and there was nothing in sight to help them. But necessity
kindly became again the mother of invention. There was a small tool
chest a short distance down the back fence waiting for the wagon to take
it away. It evidently contained no tools, for it was quite light, and
the boys soon had it set on end against the fence. Louis got on top of
this and was able by tip-toeing to get an occasional glimpse over. But
not long enough to reach any conclusions as to the mysterious ceremonies
transpiring within. Louis caught hold of the top of the fence firmly and
told Johnny to climb up over his back. The natives were too intent at
their work to see him, and he got astride of the fence without any
difficulty, but in such a position that he could not see what was going
on. The eaves of the conical shaped hut were almost in reach. He moved
back a little and put his hand on the roof to steady himself. But, alas,
the roof was dried palm leaves, and instead of supporting him his hand
plunged through and before he could recover himself he fell crashing
over against the house, held there for a moment as in despair and then
with an armful of the hut held tight to his breast he fell headlong to
the ground. The excited natives in all styles of dress, from the
voluptuous mother hubbard, much abbreviated above and below to the heavy
slouch hat and military overcoat, all crowded around him in the belief
that somehow he was intending to destroy their domestic happiness.
Johnny did not know in what form the attack was coming and as he could
not turn over to get up without touching one of the natives he concluded
it wisest to lie still on his back with the portion of the hut which he
had brought down with him, remaining over him for protection. Louis gave
a mighty jump upward and got his elbows over the top of the fence. He
drew himself up enough to see Johnny lying on his back so still and the
natives gathered around him gesticulating wildly and talking in a very
excited manner. The sight was enough. Certainly, his friend was dead. He
gave a yell that could be heard to the beauty show, and jumped down to
the ground, calling for the police at the top of his voice. The natives
hearing the noise, supposed there was a plot to murder them all, and one
got a long-handled rake some workman had left and began to pull the
grass off of the prostrate Johnny. Meantime, the frantic explanations of
Louis that the Dahomeys were murdering his friend brought a greater and
greater crowd to the corner of the enclosure. A number of guards came
up, but they had no key and no authority to break into the village. Some
policemen came up, but they were either powerless or could not
comprehend. No one had seen the accident, and Louis was fast becoming
incoherent in his oft repeated explanations. Meanwhile the crowd grew
larger and larger, till hundreds were gathered together. All the
Plaisance was coming to see what extraordinary affair was taking place.

When all the debris was pulled off of Johnny he concluded to get up. He
tried to make them understand that he wanted out, but they could not get
his meaning, for he was so bewildered that he was pointing in another
direction from the gate. At last one seemed to comprehend, and he ran as
fast as he could go to one of the huts toward which Johnny seemed to
point, and returned leading one of the damsels of the place who, from
gorgeousness of native modesty, seemed to be the belle of the village.
The native evidently thought that Johnny was in love with the girl, and
that he had taken this unceremonious method as the last desperate chance
of his life to obtain her. The native was presenting her to him with all
his natural suaveness, and was apparently offering him the freedom of
the town, when the gate opened and two officers rushed in. One of them
took Johnny by the ear and led him outside. People were packed about the
place in enormous masses, and every available fence or elevation was
utilized by the crowd struggling to see. A dozen or more policemen were
outside endeavoring to handle the mass of people. It took half an hour
for them to make a way to get John to the outside. When they saw Johnny,
a great shout was set up, but it only added to the fright that already
possessed Johnny's whole mind.

All sorts of stories were afloat among the people. Some said the
Dahomeys had captured a boy the night before and were just on the eve of
sacrificing him to their idols when a policeman got track of what was
going on. As some policemen passed this part of the crowd they were
cheered, cheer on cheer, for their keenness and bravery in rescuing an
American from such a fate. Others, who claimed to know, said it was
worse even than that, for one of the policemen had confided to him that
the Dahomey people were about to practice canabalism and had secured
the boy in order to eat him. A number were sure that this would cause
our government to have these people sent back to Dahomey and as they
were under the French government and were brought here by French people
it would probably lead to an open rupture between the two republics and
perhaps involve all Europe in a struggle for national existence.

The reporters ran the rumors down to the very last prophecy and sent
post-haste their scoops to their respective papers and a wave of
indignation swept the entire country that canabalism came so near being
enacted in the very midst of the greatest enterprise of modern
civilization.

The name of the boy could not be learned, nor anybody found who knew
anything about him, but there were thousands of people who were
witnesses of the rescue and bore testimony of how near our nation came
of being disgraced forever. The policemen knew nothing about it. All
they could say was that they found the boy surrounded by the natives,
and they since remembered that he seemed too terrified to speak, and the
natives were greatly excited at the presence of the officers. They had
taken the boy to the outside of the crowd and let him go. The natives
themselves could give only a confused account of how they had heard a
noise and had seen the boy lying near one of the huts on his back and
covered with material torn from the roof of one of the huts. Their story
was evidently absurd. Meantime the delivery wagon had taken the tool
chest away and thus destroyed the only evidence that might have cleared
up the case. The fence was too high for the boy to climb over, and the
Columbian guards detailed to that section swore they always kept the
whole village in view, and it was impossible for the boy to have got
over the fence without being seen by them. Like the great wave of the
sea that breaks into a million pieces as it strikes the shore, so this
great question resolved itself into a thousand theories, and at last
lived in the memory of the people only as the great mystery of Midway
Plaisance.



_CHAPTER XII_

BEAUTY SHOW


Fanny was at the inn when noon came but the boys were nowhere to be
seen. She saw great crowds of people massed a little way up the street
but crowds were a common sight. She heard broken narrations of some
exciting event that had transpired but there was nothing to cause her to
think that her brother might be the central figure of all the
excitement. Johnny rarely missed his appointments with her and she felt
that something unusual had occurred or he would have met her at the
designated place.

She decided to spend the afternoon at the Libby Glass Works and at the
Beauty show. Once in the works, where glass is wrought into the most
curious and costly designs, a few hours seems only too short for a good
appreciation of the work done. The art, as illustrated there, is as
fascinating as a romance. Three hundred people are employed there daily
in showing what can be done with glass. Entrance is to be had to the
blowing-room, in the center of which is the huge cruciform. In this
there are placed the crucibles, as the working-holes are called. The
heat in the furnace is 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

The batch from which glass is made is composed of sand, lead, saltpetre,
potash and soda. It has to be cooked in the terrible heat for
twenty-four hours before it is fit for use. In front of the working
holes are the workmen. A long steel tube is thrust into the batch and a
quantity of the mixture accumulated on the end. From the moment it is
taken out of the crucible until the form is completed the operator
never allows the hot glass to be still for a moment. It is always
moving.

The second floor of the building is a lively place. It is here that the
cutting is done. The process is most interesting and shows the highest
skill of the glass-worker's art.

Opposite the cutting department is the glass spinning and weaving
department. The spinning of glass into fine threads is done by means of
a wheel nine feet in diameter which revolves twenty times a minute. A
glass rod is exposed at one end to a blowpipe flame. When the glass is
melted it is attached to the periphery of the wheel and the operator
sits with watch in front of him. Every minute the position of the
melting glass is shifted until the broad wheel is filled, when it is
stopped and the glass is cut and taken off, made into the desired
lengths and taken to the loom. The weaving is done by girls on hand
looms. Two hundred threads of glass are woven alternately with one
thread of silk. The thread is made up into napkins, neckties, lamp
shades, bonnets and hats.

[Illustration: "SHE THOUGHT VERY DIFFERENTLY OF HIM NOW."]

Fanny sat down on a bench to rest for a while when, chancing to glance
to the far side of the exhibit she saw Mr. Warner, whom she had formerly
known as Mr. Moses, intently watching the work in the looms. She thought
very differently of him now. Louis had hotly defended him against
everything the confidence man had said, and, of course, she now saw that
the man who had spoken against Mr. Warner was of the most abandoned type
of men. Somehow she felt that she owed him some palliation for the
rudeness she had exercised. It would, perhaps, not be altogether
according to the rules of etiquette; but if the opportunity offered she
intended to say something in explanation. As he came on around her way
she felt her pulses beat faster and her face flushing under some strange
excitement. As he approached to where she sat, he saw her and stopped
for a moment. When he came by she looked, up and he bowed and was about
to pass on, but she arose from her seat and he stopped. He held in his
hand some samples of woven goods, and he remarked that he was making a
study of these fabrics to see if they were worth handling by his firm.
The conversation led on so easily and naturally that she forgot that she
had something she wanted to say in extenuation of past rudeness. She
could not help observing how totally different was this man's bearing
and conversation from the evil-minded man who had presumed upon her
acquaintance before. There were no questions asked; no lead in
conversation that caused her to speak in any way whatever of herself or
her people. In a few minutes he had passed on, and she felt from
instinct and reason that this man was a gentleman.

[Illustration: "THE LADIES WANTED TO SEE HER DRESS."]

From this place she went over to the international dress exhibit, more
commonly known as the "Beauty Show." Here were fifty young ladies chosen
from as many different nationalities in order to exhibit the fashions of
the world in the highest art of dress. At the front was Fatima, the
queen of beauty. Her booth represented a room in the Sultan's harem. On
either side, reclining on an ottoman, were her waiting maids, and at her
feet her special servant. All the magnificence of oriental splendor
surrounded her. A group of at least a hundred people were continually
crowding the railing in front. They plied her with questions, and the
ladies were much offended because she would not walk around so they
could get a better view of her dress.

She could answer questions in nearly any language but Turkish, and she
finally admitted to some French gentlemen who were quizzing her that she
came from Austria, her foot servant from the south of France, and her
waiting maids from Paris.

That international beauty show is a wonderful and fearful affair. The
beautiful representative of Ireland is dressed in green, and wears
glasses.

"Arrah," said an Irishman to the proprietor, "raley now, is it in grane
all the Oirish girruls do be drissed? By the bones av St. Patrig, 'tis
the first toime Oi iver saw wan in glasses."

"The fact of the matter is that our Irish young lady is ill, and we have
engaged this young lady to fill her place," said the proprietor, and he
moved away only to hear the following conversation with the typical
Greek lady from the Ionian isles:

"Do you speak English?" from a visitor. The lady shook her head.

"Do you speak French?" This In French by the same. Another shake of the
classic head.

"Do you speak Greek?" This actually in Greek, but it only brought
another shake.

"Sprechen sie Deitsch?" cried the visitor, with some impatience.

"Oh, ja! ja!" exclaimed the Greek young lady, eagerly, and a general
laugh went around the little group which had listened to the
conversation.

"Say, Bess," said a young fellow, nudging his girl and pointing to the
Queen of Beauty, "ain't she a corker?"

"Naw," replied Bess. "I don't see anything pretty about her. She's all
drug store. Anybody can see that."

"How d'ye like that, Mariar?" remarked an old Hoosier, stroking his
yellow whiskers and squinting at his better half, a hawk-faced woman of
determined countenance. "I tell yer what. Mariar, with all your good
qualities yer never could hold a candle to that 'ere girl, could yer,
now? Honest?"

"Benjamin! Come right along out o' here. Yer head's bein' turned by
these brazen-faced females. Why, yer'll be cavorting around here like a
young colt in a minnit or two. The idee o' comparin' me with that
painted young woman--me, your loving wife--come along now," and Benjamin
went.

[Illustration: "THERE WAS A PERT YOUNG MISS WALKING THE FLOOR."]

At the United States booth there was a pert Miss walking the floor,
monarch of all she surveyed, a typical Uncle Sam's daughter. It was a
sorry mistake when a dude presumed too much on her patience or a smart
young man made too free with his remarks. She was always ready for
them, to the delight of the patriotic young Americans about.

Here Fanny found five young girls studying the United States beauty with
more than ordinary interest. Each of the girls wore a badge, on which
was printed C. C. of C. C., and just above these letters were five more,
M. K. S. L. N. A note book containing a pencil was attached by a neat
little chain with the badge. There was scarcely a minute that one or the
other of them was not writing something in her book.

Dressed exactly alike and being so intent on their work, they were
evidently not ordinary sight-seers. Finally some remark was made between
Fanny and one of the girls and Fanny showed her own note and sketch book
and asked how they were keeping theirs. It soon appeared that these five
girls were in a contest of more than ordinary interest. An enterprising
newspaper of a Southern Illinois town had sent these five girls to see
the Fair. They were to be supplied with all needful money, to be
independent of all escorts, to take notes and write up their adventures
and their version of the scenes of the great exposition entirely unknown
to one another, and the paper would publish their reports on their
return. Competent judges were to decide on the merits of their work and
a handsome reward would be given to the successful writer. In an
adjoining town another editor had sent out five boys on the same errand.
The writers must all be between twelve and fifteen. The one out of the
ten who did the best work was to receive a splendid souvenir medal. They
were given ten days of sight-seeing and their whole souls were in the
work.

"But what can be the meaning of these letters C. C. of C. C."

"At home they say these letters mean Crazy Cranks of Cumberland County
but the fact is they have a meaning which is a secret that shall die
with us. We are sworn with each other never to reveal it and to prove
that girls can keep secrets. Of course the letters form our club name,
and it has the word Columbian in it, but that is all we are ever to
tell. We have a constitution and by-laws and regular meetings for mutual
protection and advice in our trials and troubles." This was all quite
interesting as a proof of what the girls in the latter part of the 19th
century could do. Fanny and these girls at once became fast friends, for
she found that they did not live a score of miles from her home, and
that there were a number of people and home places that they all knew.

"But what can these letters "M. K. S. L. N." here at the top of the
badge mean?"

"Oh, that is no secret. They are the initials of our names--Mary, Kate,
Stella, Leila and Nannie."

They said they were not the only ones on a like errand, for they had met
a little girl all the way from Boston, and only fourteen years old, who
had been sent on the same errand by her class in the high school, and
they had heard of girls from the south and west who were coming for the
same purpose.

"We can't lecture," said Mary, "but we are going to help the Women's
Congress prove that girls have just as much brains and courage as boys."

It was now nearly six o'clock, and Fanny was so interested in the five
girls that she persuaded them to go home with her to enjoy the evening
together. It promised a pleasant diversion, for the five girls had been
hard at work several days and had not met a single acquaintance or
congenial friend.

When Fanny arrived at her hotel that evening with the five girls, it was
to discover Uncle and Aunt in consternation over an extraordinary story
told by Johnny, who had arrived home an hour or two before. According to
his story, he and Louis had tried to see into the Dahomey village. He
did not know that it was wrong. He missed his balance and fell over the
fence. He was scared and stunned by his fall. After a while he heard
Louis yelling as if in great pain. Then two policemen came in and
protected Johnny till he got safely away. When they reached the outside
of the crowd which was all the time yelling at them, the policeman told
him to git if he didn't want to get mobbed. He ran as hard as he could
run in order to escape. Then he remembered Louis was caught, for he had
heard him calling for help. Johnny came back around the buildings, but,
alas! the bloodthirsty mob had done its work and Louis was no more.
Johnny, now safely at home, lay moaning on his bed and would not be
comforted. Fanny remembered having seen the great crowd over by the
Dahomey village, but she had not dreamed of such a terrible scene taking
place. Altogether it seemed incredible.

"Extry papurs, all about de cannibal feast!"

A thought suddenly struck Fanny that if there had been such a horrible
tragedy as Johnny had told of, the papers would tell all about it. She
ran down to the street and came back with a copy. She looked rapidly
over the paper, but she saw nothing about a lynching at the Fair
grounds. Then the front page leader, with its half a column of
head-lines caught her eye:

 "_EXTRA, SEVEN O'CLOCK_"

  "_The Mystery of the Dahomey Village deepens as
  the Investigation Progresses"_

  _"The French proprietor avers that there was no
  attempt at Cannibalism, but he cannot
  make a coherent statement
  of the case"_

  _"The supposedly bloodthirsty Dahomey men and
  amazons, said to be the most peaceful and mild
  in Africa. The natives contradict themselves and
  tell a dozen different stories. The Exposition
  management greatly alarmed, and the investigation
  being pushed with vigor. Horrifying disclosures
  supposed soon to be reached"_

She read it over, then she read it aloud to sorrowing Uncle Jeremiah and
Aunt Sarah. The truth of the great unintended hoax and misunderstanding
began to dawn upon them. Then she explained the situation, and Johnny
was brought out to hear it fully discussed. It was now clear to all of
them, but what should they do was the next question. They could not
think of the newspaper notoriety that the avowal of the truth would give
them. Anyway, it had gone too far for them to interfere. Surely it was
wisest and best for them to say nothing. It was so decided. As ludicrous
as it was, it had become too grave a matter for amusement.

"Of course you will help us keep this secret, you girls?"

Not a word was returned but Mary picked up her chair and sat down in
front of the four girls.

"The noble and progressive association, C. C. of C. C. will now come to
order."

Instantly each girl sat prim and upright in her seat.

"Is there any question before this deliberative body of girls?"

Nannie arose and said, "Madam President, I believe it is proposed that
we add another secret to our list."

Leila had her note book out and was taking down the minutes of the
meeting.

"Believing that this should be done," Nannie continued, "I move that
what we have heard and now know concerning this newspaper sensation we
forever keep secret."

Stella seconded the motion.

Here Kate got the floor and said she did not think it advisable to add
another secret to their list for she now had so many that it was making
her life a burden in trying to remember them every time she had occasion
to open her mouth. Besides the case would certainly be a scoop for them
against the boys and would make them famous and cause the "Weekly
Express" to be circulated all over the globe if it published the first
true version of the case.

[Illustration: "THE NOBLE AND PROGRESSIVE ASSOCIATION, C. C. OF C. C."]

There was a sharp discussion for a few minutes, in which parliamentary
usage was dethroned and confusion seemed to rule but they were young
women and therefore had not lost a word.

The vote was taken and there was but one voice in the negative. There
was a motion to make it unanimous and it was unanimous. Thus the wish of
their hostess prevailed and another great secret was forever closed In
their hearts from the common herds of mankind.



_CHAPTER XIII_

SUNDAY AND CONSCIENCE


Johnny could scarcely wait for nine o'clock of the next morning to come
around. He wanted to see if his friend Louis was really alive and if he
would be at 60th street gate.

Louis was there dancing about in a fever of anxiety. At John's
appearance the two boys went off to talk about their mishaps. They had
achieved more adventure than they had bargained for.

"Have you seen the papers?" said Louis.

"Yes."

"Have you told anybody yet?"

"No, and my folks thinks it's best never to say anything about it."

"Then we never will."

"Say, Louis," said John confidently, "there was five of the alfiredest
best looking girls around at our house last night you ever saw. Fanny
found them at the Beauty show a looking at the sights. They live in a
town not very far from our farm and they are coming over to visit Fanny
before they have to go into school. You have to come down and visit me
while they are there or I will have to live in the barn."

The agreement was closed and the boys passed through the gates in quest
of new adventures, as if nothing unusual had ever occurred to them.

However, they instinctively avoided Midway Plaisance, and decided to see
what was on Wooded Island. They ranged through the hunter's camp,
through the Japanese Hooden, and all over the island in the vain attempt
to find something equal to their educated fancies of fun. Somehow Louis
learned that there was to be a religious dance in the Quackahl cabin.
Nothing else could have a place in the boys' minds until they had
tickets for the show.

Inside the hut was a strange sight. Wanug had arranged four of his
warriors on the east side of the hut, and these formed a quartet that
produced the music for the fearful dance to follow. In the center of the
hut a log fire burned briskly. The warriors had their faces smeared with
Indian ink, and some of the beauty spots looked like demi-semiquavers on
a sheet of music. The squaws, and even the papooses, were painted for
the occasion, and everyone of the Quackahls were dressed in blue robes,
ornamented with striking pearl buttons.

At a signal Hammasoloe suddenly sprang on the boards and began the
mythical movement known as the cannibal dance. It was symbolic of a
curious legend current among the Indians of Vancouver island, of a
strange spirit that dwells among the mountains and spends most of his
time eating the fat members of the Quackahl tribe. Hammasoloe took the
part of the spirit and crouched down as if ready to spring on his prey.
The sticks beat hard on the plank, and the music for the dance began.

A squaw pounded on a square box, which represented the Quackahl drum.
Two warriors were deputed to watch Hammasoloe while he circled around
the fire, for the usual ending to the dance is startlingly realistic.
Usually the dancer becomes so excited that he bites the arms of those
present in imitation of the actions of the great spirit on the
mountains. Whenever his eyes glared and his looks became ferocious the
warriors grasped his arms and quieted him. He disappeared behind a white
curtain, and a few minutes afterward out sprang another warrior wearing
a huge mask, representing a raven's head. The raven is a slave of the
spirit and is supposed to be represented by one man.

But Awalaskaius played the part of the raven. His body proved as supple
as a professional contortionist. He twisted his legs and whirled his
head around and snapped his jaws in a remarkable manner. Cries that made
the ears ring accompanied the dance.

When Awalaskaius had finished, Hammasoloe sprang out from behind the
white curtain wearing a blue gown on which the figure of the Quackahl
sun was worked. The rays of the sun were blazing red, and the man in the
orb was depicted winking in a gracious manner.

Louder grew the noise, and the quartet taunted the spirit so much that
he again disappeared. Then came forth Awalaskaius with a duck's head
mask, which is the sign of the great spirit. Again he went through his
curious contortions and scared some of the ladies, as he snapped his
beak dangerously near them.

When the dance was done and the boys were once more outside they were
quite satisfied with sight-seeing among savages and were quite contented
to spend the remaining days of the week among the more prosaic and
poetical scenes of the great Fair.

Uncle and Aunt had about walked themselves down in their sight-seeing,
and were now enjoying the comforts of the rolling chairs and listening
to the voluble information which the chair pushers thought it their duty
to impart.

Fanny was walking near them in a never ceasing enjoyment of people and
scenery. As they passed the Woman's building a large number of women
were seen coming out together. On going over the viaduct two well
dressed men from the Emerald Isle could be heard in critical
conversation.

One of them said:

"Look, Pat! It's women again! Do ye mind that now. Look at um coom out
ov that new building. It's the Fair that's bein' run by thim faymales.
Soon they'll want to run the wurrld, and they'll be votin'. The divil
will be to pay in a man's home. They should be taught their places at
once. If my wife should git that strong minded sure I'd be packin' her
off. Dacent homes are bein' ruined, Pat, and soon there'll be no homes.
They meet in clubs to worship the rich, and who will do our mending and
cook our meals? It's all wrong, all wrong. The women must be taught
their places."

[Illustration: "VOLUBLE AND PERHAPS VALUABLE INFORMATION."]

And the poor man looked worried. He is probably teaching Bridget her
place today.

Aunt was looking wistfully over toward Wooded Island as if it reminded
her of home.

"I tell ye, I haven't saw anything as nice as them flowers. They tell ye
of the country, and its quiet over here. Ye get too much of a good
thing sometimes out among the white buildings. It's sort o' dreamlike
over here, ye know."

She was right, it is dreamlike and it is restful. Din and noise are far
away and nothing breaks the stillness but the faint music as it floats
down from the plaza. The azalias are in full bloom, and orchids and
pansies and nearly every other blossom meet you at every turn.

They stopped at a place where a number of people were looking up at the
roof of the Liberal Arts building. Countless small black specks could be
seen moving along the roof. Then it was perceived that those specks were
really men and women. It is only by such a comparison that they could
realize the vastness of these buildings.

"What a jumble of bigness all this is!" Aunt exclaimed, "them people
look just like flies on the ceiling or swallows on the peak of our new
barn."

The chair pushers took them slowly through Wooded Island.

"What was that, Fanny, that you used to tell me about Alladin and his
wonderful lamp?" said Uncle. "I keep a thinking' of that story every
time I try to picture all these things at once. Here is fifteen acres of
fairy land just like in the fairy books I used to buy for Mary."

They then went on with the crowd past the Government building and the
Liberal Arts hall to the basin. On the viaduct, over behind the Statue
of the Republic, they stopped to look over that never-fading picture
there presented to view. Over the peristyle were written some of the
sayings of great men. Fanny read one that heightened the scene into a
thrill of thankfulness and patriotism: "We here highly resolve that
government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not
perish from the earth."

"Now," said Aunt. "I believe I know the meaning of this vast
expenditure of money and energy. It is not only to show us and others
that we have not all the brains; that we are not doing all that is done,
but to teach us mutual gratitude for the great privileges of our
republic, and fix firm the resolve in the breast of every man that our
government of freedom and conscience shall live forever."

They went on out to the pier and dismissed their chairs for seats in the
cool lake breeze, where they could see the people coming off of the
steamers and approaching them down the long pier on the moving sidewalk.

Wearied with the constant commotion in which they had never been before,
it was decided to return home and to spend the remainder of the week in
rest and recuperation for another struggle with the world of culture in
Jackson Park.

When Sunday came. Uncle was told that the Fair would be opened for
visitors. He had been so busy sight-seeing that he had not read the
papers or he would have known better. He did not know just what to do on
that day, whether to go to church, or the parks, or the Fair, but he was
anxious to see what the Fair looked like with most of the people
promenading the streets all in their Sunday best. He came to Chicago to
see the sights and seeing sights never appeared to him to be wrong.
Every Sunday it was his custom to go out into the pasture and look at
his jerseys, congratulate himself on how fast his herd was increasing,
and contemplate the prospects for the future. Grass grew, the birds
sang, the cattle bellowed, and nature was as bright on Sunday as any
other day. Besides he had some neighbors who believed that Saturday was
the holy Sabbath and he had never been able to disprove their arguments.
He believed on general principles that the Fair should be closed on
Sundays and that the grass ought not to grow, but since the grass did
grow, he would profit by the increase and if the Fair was opened on
Sundays, he would not miss its magnificent object lessons.

"Ah, Jeremiah," said Aunt, "every one of them big buildings comes over
my spirit like a prayer and when I go inside I see the answer and the
benevolence of God. To shut people out is like padlocking the orchards
on Sunday, and stopping the machinery that makes the apples grow. Six
days are the rich men's days and God made the Sabbath for the poor.
Because our neighbor raises hogs and eats pork it is none of our
business because we raise Jerseys and drink milk. The Good Book says:
"Let no man, therefore, judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of
any holy day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days.""

They concluded to go back home and then stroll out, and in their walk to
go into the first church they found.

They did so, and came into a great church just in time to hear the
minister read the text: "And God said unto Jonah, Doest thou well to be
angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto
death. Then said the Lord, thou hast had pity on the gourd, for which
thou hast not labored, neither madest it grow, which came up in a night
and perished in a night; and should I not spare Nineveh?"

Uncle Jeremiah listened for the story of Jonah and the gourd to be
applied in some way for a lesson to the hearers, but only once, when the
minister told what he had seen in Palestine, did he become intelligible
to Uncle. It was all so transcendently ethical. Uncle got a remote idea
that Chicago was to be likened to Nineveh, and the gourd to the World's
Fair, but when the sermon was done, and all said, he felt that he would
have enjoyed the hour so much better in some of the quiet shades of one
of the parks, where he would have heard so reverently the still small
voice of nature's teachings.

After noon they went to Lincoln Park, and as they stood before
Lincoln's statue, Aunt said: "This is greater than any sermon I ever
heard." They read the words and sat on the bench encircling the statue,
while Fanny read the sayings of Lincoln chiseled on the stone. Then they
visited Grant's monument. They sat down on the stone steps and looked at
the noble figure. Uncle was carried away with a religious patriotism
that held all the emotions of divine presence.

[Illustration: "THIS IS GREATER THAN ANY SERMON I EVER HEARD."]

"There," said Aunt, "we are listening to another sermon that can not be
surpassed by the tongues of men. A whole life of great deeds for our
country is here speaking to us. No man can be a bad man if he were to
come every Sunday and give his emotions up to the lessons of the lives
of Grant and Lincoln. Divine emotion is not aroused alone by words from
the pulpit or the silent walls of a house. Seeing is as great a means
of God as hearing, but seeing receives its sermons from the infallible;
hearing listens to that which may come only from the brain."

[Illustration: "THE POLICEMAN CAME OUT OF THE BOX AND WALKED RAPIDLY
DOWN THE STREET."]

It was late in the afternoon when the four of them got off the cable car
at Monroe and Dearborn streets and walked leisurely toward their hotel.
At one of the street corners they saw a policeman come out of the patrol
box and walk rapidly down thestreet. In a moment more he was joined by
three other policemen from another street. Uncle turned to watch them,
when suddenly they began to run, then faster, almost as in a race.

"Sure they're going to arrest somebody," said John, and he started
after them at break-neck speed with visions of a murder probably being
done just around the corner. Uncle became excited also and started after
them followed by Aunt and Fanny, not knowing what else to do. Uncle and
John reached the corner breathless and looked each way to see where the
robbery or murder was being done, but what was their disgust to see the
three policemen climbing into a cable car and calmly taking a seat. It
was an outrageous sell on all of them, but it could not be helped, and
there was no law by which they could sue the policemen for a false
alarm. They had the right to run to catch a car if they wanted to. The
family went on more deliberately now for they had no breath to spare and
there was but little to be said. Uncle felt that Chicago was very much
of a mockery anyhow. But he had seen enough to make him desire to see
more.

The tremendous puffing and blowing of a tug was heard somewhere in the
river and they concluded to go over to the bridge and see what it was.
There was a mystery anyway about how those big boats got past the
bridges.

Uncle and Aunt walked on over the bridge but John and Fanny stopped to
hear the music made by a cornet band of girls on one of the excursion
steamers. The tall masts of a lumber boat could be seen coming rapidly
toward them in tow with an insignificant little steamer. There was a
jing-aling two or three times of a bell hid somewhere in the framework
of the bridge, teamsters and people were hurrying across, and all at
once the bridge began to move. Johnny saw some people remaining on the
bridge and catching Fanny by the hand he cried, "Here let's take a ride"
and in a moment they were swayed past the street and out over the
stream. Over at the other end they saw Uncle and Aunt holding
desperately on to the railing. They had not been able to get over when
the bridge moved away. Presently the boats were past and the bridge
rapidly swung into place. Down the street half a block Johnny saw some
steam issuing from the middle of the street. Instantly the idea of a
volcanic eruption in the middle of Chicago possessed his mind. He called
Fanny's attention to it and their curiosity was greatly excited. They
had heard that Chicago was a very wicked place and their preacher had
once remarked that he would not be surprised at any time to hear of an
upheaval by the Lord sending the city over into the lake. In
considerable dread lest the overthrow was about to take place, they
walked towards the place along the sidewalk, as the famous Harry walked
up to the guidepost at the country crossroads on that cloudy night so
long ago. But they were greatly reassured when they found the people
about them were so indifferent and they were chagrined to learn that
they were again deceived. It was no volcano, there would be no terrible
cataclysm, it was only an inoffensive man-hole to the sewers, into which
the waste steam of one of the factories near by was escaping.

Meanwhile, Uncle and Aunt had stepped off of the bridge and were
intensely bewildered all at once to find that the excursion steamer and
the houses next to it had all apparently jumped across the river to
their side.

"Did we come acrost that bridge?" Uncle asked.

"I know we never."

"How did we git acrost without coming acrost?"

"I can't see how anybody could come across without comin' across, and I
know we never," said Aunt.

"Well, ef we hain't acrost, then the houses are acrost, and it is more
natural fer us ter be crazy than for the houses to get acrost."

"Ask the policeman."

Uncle went up to the policeman and said: "Say, Mister, we want to know
if you will be so kind as to tell us ef we are acrost or not acrost."

"Do you mean on the north side or the south side?"

"No; I mean on this side or the other side."

"Well, which side did you come from?"

"I thought I came from the other side," said Uncle, "but it seems now as
if I came from this side and didn't go over to the other side at all."

"Where have you been?" asked the policeman, making a mighty effort to
untangle himself.

Uncle was becoming impatient.

"I tell you I've been acrost that river 'cause I walked acrost, and then
I never walked acrost again, and here I am not acrost, and I want to
know how I got back acrost again."

"Say, old lady!" said the policeman, "ain't he crazy?"

"This is the first time I really ever thought so. We've been seeing too
much, and I guess we're both crazy."

"In that case," replied the officer, "I am compelled to take charge of
you."

"O Grandma!" cried Fanny, just then running up, "ain't this great.
Johnny and I have been nearly half an hour trying to figure out how we
got across the river, and I found out first. You see the bridge just
went straight half around, and so when we got on this end here it
carried us around to the other side and carried you back around to this
side."

"Bless the Lord!" said Uncle, fervently; "Sarah and me ain't crazy yet,
and the policeman needn't worry himself." But the policeman was gone.

"You see, Fanny, we couldn't make it out, and Sarah and me and the
policeman all agreed that we was stark gone daft."

Uncle and Aunt now had enough for one day, and they heartily wished they
were back on the farm. But they swallowed their discomfiture: and,
after a good night's test at home, determined to visit the Board of
Trade, where Bob Simmons had lost the fortune his father left him.

[Illustration: "IS THEM THE FELLERS THAT THE FARMERS IS AFRAID OF?"]

Uncle and family did not get around to the Board of Trade till nearly
eleven o'clock the next morning. There was a wide entrance with a
stairway on either side. Uncle saw the people in front of him, and he
was accustomed to pass right in among the congregation and take his seat
in the amen corner. He did not notice that the others had stopped at the
door, but he plunged right ahead. The door-keeper evidently had his
attention engaged at something else, for he let Uncle walk on in. Some
one at the door spoke to the ladies and told them to take the left
stairway to the gallery. They reached there just in time to see Uncle in
a difficulty below. A young man had him by the arm and was pointing very
vigorously toward the door.

"Who do you want to see, sir?"

"I want to see the Board of Trade. Where is it?"

"Go outside and up the stairs into the galleries and you can see it all
you want to, but not here."

Uncle did as he was bid, but found that he was quite widely separated
from his family, because he had been sent up the opposite stairway from
them.

"I came up to see the Board of Trade," he said, confidently, to a
well-dressed stranger next to him.

"Well, there it is in all its glory," said the stranger.

"Oh, I see! The board is that table where them fellers is a tickin' them
machines. You see I thought they would be a setting and a trading across
a long, wide board like they used to do at the country stores for
counters. But them fellers down there acts like a lot of lunatics. I
don't see how they can ever come to a bargain, yelling and spewing
around that way. And then I don't see the bulls and bears that change
the market."

The stranger thought it a useless job to try to enlighten him.

When Uncle and his family came down, he went up to the doorkeeper and
asked, "Say, do you belong here?" The keeper nodded. "Did you know Bill
Simmons what lost five thousand dollars here last year?" The door keeper
shook his head. "Well, say, I just want to ask one more question. Are
them people down there the bulls and bears themselves, and are they the
Board of Trade and are they the people that the farmers are so afraid
of?" The keeper nodded.

"Well," continued Uncle, "I've got this to say; any set of farmers as is
fools enough to be afraid of them yelling idiots, aint got no backbone
at all."

Chicago was unsettling many of Uncle's ideas, and he began to decide
that the only real, bonafide thing he could swear by was his own farm,
and that the great outside world was only a great circus of art and
extravagant genius.



_CHAPTER XIV_

SIGHT-SEEING GALORE


Under promises of gorgeous sights and full protection, Fanny had
concluded to visit the chief Midway Plaisance theaters with Johnny and
Louis as escorts. The "Midway," as it is familiarly called, is
undoubtedly the most unique and interesting pleasure-walk in the world.
It is a thoroughfare of ever-shifting scenes and ever-recurring
incidents. Fanny was not sure she ought to go, and Johnny could not
comprehend why she did not go with him as readily wherever he proposed
as she did on the wild free life of the big Jersey farm. But this was to
her a supremely different existence, and she tried hard to recall all
she had seen and heard and read of etiquette and the proprieties. Uncle
and Aunt were not the only ones who were bewildered at every step by the
amazing mixture of reality and art, of fact and fancy, of nature and
imitation. They felt as if their souls were living apart, and that they
were mere automatons in a panoramic world.

Johnny had seen the Soudanese and Nubian play actors just before his
disastrous attempt to be informed concerning the Dahomey village. But
some scoffers from the South had spoiled part of the novelty of it by
alleging that the men of northern Africa were really natives of
Mississippi or Louisiana, and were dancing only plantation hoe-downs in
slow time and increased perpendicular action.

But without question the high histrionic art of the Chinese, Javanese,
Turkish and Algerian actors ought to be seen. Maybe it was strangeness
rather than excellence and novelty rather than entertainment that drew
the people but strangeness and novelty are the greater excellence when
people come to see wonders.

The Chinese theater is by far the most pretentious. It was pretty well
advertised to the world at the advent of the actors in Vancouver and
their encounter with the custom officers. They came to Chicago several
hundred strong and are housed in the big blue-and-gilt structure with
trim pagodas near the Cottage Grove end of the Midway. Entrance to the
theater is through a big tea house, where decent-looking Chinamen who do
not look like rats and whose fluent English proclaims their long sojourn
in "Flisco," serve the cheering cup at from 10 to 60 cents, according to
the pliability of the victim. They are doing a business worthy of a
better cause. The tea house is but the ante-chamber to a joss house
overhead, mendaciously advertised to be "the biggest outside of China,"
and to the theater proper. The latter is not so big as the Chinese
theaters in San Francisco, but it smells sweeter, being over ground and
not surrounded with the cooking-rooms and opium bunks of the actors.
This is a concession to occidental taste which all but oriental
enthusiasts will appreciate. Nor are visitors allowed, as in San
Francisco, to inspect the green-room or sit on the stage.

[Illustration: "She visited the play and sincerely regretted it."]

In other respects the theater is pure San Francisco Chinese. There is
the orchestra, led by the man with the yard-wide cymbals, playing the
leading part. There is the property man, always in evidence, who places
a chair and says "This is a horse," or turns the chair around and calls
it a mountain. And there is the female impersonator with deeply roughed
cheeks, who is the pride and flower of histrionic art. Women are not
allowed to walk the boards of the Chinese theater, but the male actor
who best can mimic woman's tones and mincing airs is the Henry Irving.
There is a whole chorus of these men-women in the Jackson Park
theater--an all-star combination. As for the piece itself, they first
play a little curtain-raiser of about two-months' duration and then the
real play occupies the rest of the year. It will be all one to the
American visitors, however, who enjoy the novelty, so that they are
allowed to quit when they like. And there is no objection to that from
the polite Chinamen in charge of the Jackson Park theater.

The Turkish theater is across the way and farther east than the Chinese.
It is back from the beaten path and you might miss it--if you were deaf.
Having ears to hear you will be apprised of its whereabouts at forty
rods distance by the orchestra, which sits on the front steps and
discourses horrors on a sort of flageolet and a bass drum. The orchestra
plays only one tune and it plays that hard. When a respectable house has
been gathered by these out-of-door allurements the curtain rises on a
Turkish play. It is a sweet pastoral of a youth who is lovesick and
cannot be cured by the doctor, by the soothsayer--by any one except his
love, who comes in time, and there is a wedding.

When this play was ended, Fanny decided that she had seen enough of
foreign theaters and declined to go further.

A Boston girl in spectacles sat near her through the Turkish play. She
told Fanny that she and her mother had been venturesome enough to visit
the other plays, and they sincerely regretted it. She found a mongrel
horde of Turks, Arabs, Europeans, blacks, Greeks--everything applauding
an interminable song, whose filthy motif it needs no knowledge of Arabic
to discover. The singer was an Algerian woman, good enough looking,
after the pasty style of oriental beauties, young, agile and mistress of
the curious, droning guttural melody which constitutes oriental music.
She plays her part with complete abandon, probably because she knows no
better, and her audience applauds her wildly for the same reasons. The
Boston girl said she had seen these same girls, or their professional
sisters, in the Algerian theater. But their performance had been
modified to suit the western taste. They sing and dance, but their songs
and dances are nothing more dangerous than a languorous drone. But there
are also some funny parts, according to the Algerian idea. They are
played by a jet black Somauli woman who joins in the dance and a jet
black Somauli boy in the orchestra who has a face of India rubber and a
gift for "facial contortion" that would make the fortune of an American
minstrel.

[Illustration: "FACIAL CONTORTION THAT WOULD MAKE THE FORTUNE OF AN
AMERICAN MINSTREL."]

A look at the outside of the Soudanese theater is enough for the
ordinary curiosity-seeker. It is a little round hut of bark in a dark
corner of the Egyptian enclosure. Mahomet Ali sits at the receipt of
custom exchanging pleasantries with dusky flower girls whose home is by
the orange market beyond the Kase el Nil, who know more French than
English, and more deviltry than either; who sing "Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay,"
and know how to solicit backsheesh to perfection. The theatricals here
are simplicity brought to perfection. It is said their language consists
of only a hundred words. If you were to paint your face black, look
wild-eyed, stiffen your hair in many strands, array yourself in a cotton
garment that revealed more than it concealed, and then were to jump
straight up and down to the music of a dolorous chant you would not be
far astray. Add to this a whining and interminable appeal for backsheesh
and you might be very near the mark indeed. But there is one Soudanese
performance you could scarcely hope to equal, unless you were to learn
some sort of devil's chant, gird your loins with a loose belt of shells
and by rapid contortions of your body make these primitive cymbals
accompany your chant. This is the star of the troupe.

Romantic people, who like to think of dancing as the poetry of motion,
can get a liberal education in muscular poesy by making the rounds of
the Midway Plaisance. They may see sonnets in double-shuffle metre,
doggerels in hop-skip iambics, and ordinary newspaper "ponies" with the
rhythm of the St. Vitus dance. Slices of pandemonium will be thrown in
by the orchestras for the one price of admission, and if the visitor
objects to taking his pandemonium on the installment plan, he may get it
in job lots down at the Dahomeyan village.

In their "dance," as it is termed, they take a step forward with the
right foot, and drag the left after it. This is repeated until they stub
their toes on the orchestra, when they swarm back and go through the
difficult feat of advancing by a series of hops on one foot. All of this
is to the discordant pounding of drums and scrap-iron, where tune could
not be discovered with a search warrant.

That evening Fanny visited the C. C. of C. C. and arranged for a family
picnic at Washington Park the next day. She was to be hostess, and they
were to have an outing with her in the city's artificial fields and
forests that would recall the merry life of the country, and yet they
would be surrounded by all the artistic embellishments that money and
genius could secure.

Johnny went post haste for Louis, and the two boys were made bearers of
the lunches, guides of the expedition, the vanguard of the march and the
responsible protection of the company. They were eight merry young folks
who took possession of the grip-car on the Cottage Grove Avenue cable
line that morning. They stopped at the park hot-house and spent two
delightful hours in the wilderness of flowers and of palm forests. On
the outside were rustic seats about a pond where, in waters made tepid
by steam heat through iron pipes, all kinds of tropical plants
flourished in a profusion perhaps not excelled anywhere on the equator
or along the banks of the Amazon. The great flower clock and the immense
flower globe showing the geography of the earth, the old English castle
gate and the carpeted lawns showed them the skill of the gardener's art.
A quiet nook was found near the water's edge of one of the ponds. With a
newspaper for a table-spread they enjoyed a lunch where hunger was a
sauce better than Worcestershire, and the sod a better resting place
than a throne.

After their lunch and a good rest they returned to the business part of
the city and spent the remainder of the day in the Mystic Maze, the
Labyrinth and the Panoptican. These were places where electricity and
mirrors were arranged with the object of reversing every conception the
eye had ever given to the mind. In one place the visitors entered a
triangular room in one corner of which there was a large vase of
flowers. The walls were solid mirrors and the six girls found themselves
as if in a host of people and a wilderness of flowers. From this they
passed on into a room which the attendant said was forty feet square and
contained thirty-eight mirrors six feet by eight set at different angles
between posts evenly distributed about the room. As they stepped forward
they found themselves among countless hordes of people, again they were
alone, all at once they found themselves in a line of girls that
stretched on either side apparently for miles. One time they would be
brushing around among people about two feet high and two feet thick;
again they would be surrounded by thousands of girls eight or ten feet
high and correspondingly thin. It was exasperating to say the least.
When they became weary of this novelty they looked about them for the
attendant but he had mysteriously disappeared. Leila said she knew the
way out and she started with all the confidence that a usually level
headed girl can have, but alas! she nearly broke her head by running
into one of the big mirrors. Nannie happened to look in a certain
direction when she saw the door and the curtains about it as plainly as
she ever saw anything in her life.

"There I see the door," she cried, "come this way," and she started with
her hands out before her like some one feeling his way in the dark,
though it was as bright about them as the electric lights could make it.
All at once the door she had in view disappeared like magic and she
stood before herself in a mirror ducking her head backwards and forwards
like two young chickens with their beaks just touching in the
preliminaries of a fight. The situation was becoming too serious to be
amusing any longer.

"What shall we do?" said Fanny, who had read of death in the mysterious
labyrinths in ancient times. The roof was low, and even if the sky had
been their roof they had no wings, like Daedalus, whereby they might
escape.

The girls began to get nervous, and several million of them seemed to
huddle together as they discussed the situation.

"I say, let's yell!" said Mary.

"But what is the use to yell," one said, "if they have determined that
we are to die here?"

[Illustration: "THEY HELD TO ONE ANOTHER, AS IF FOR LIFE OR DEATH."]

Now they were becoming really frightened. The picture of their lingering
death in that frightful crowd of specters was most horrifying. Their
voices were becoming tremulous and hollow, and the terra-cotta figures
of wild Bedouins that sat in a niche of the far wall and was multiplied
a thousand times, seemed to grin at them maliciously, as if in
anticipation of seeing their agonizing struggles against death by
hunger. The suspense was becoming something terrible.

"I say somebody must yell."

"Let Kate yell, she's got a strong voice that might reach the street."

Kate tried to do her duty, and she said, "Oh, Say!" in a voice that
would not have wakened a rabbit from its slumber.

She tried again, "Oh, say, we want to get out!" in a voice so hollow
that none of the girls recognized it as hers.

"Is ze ladies seen eet all they want?" said the polite attendant, as he
seemed to come before them at one step.

"Where were you?" they all cried.

"Why, I vas by ze glass about tree feet away."

"And you were listening to all we said?"

"Oh, I do not leesen. Eet ese my beesness to go out weeth you ven you
ask eet."

And then they followed him out.

"What a horrid place that was and we thought at first it was so nice,"
said one.

"In all our lives we can never have a dream half so frightful as that
was," said a third.

"One thing sure," said Mary, "this terrible experience has bound us
forever and forever together; and because of our common experience in
this awful adventure we must initiate Fanny into the mysteries of the
noble order of progressive girls, C. C. of C. C."



_CHAPTER XV_

A TERRIBLE EXPERIENCE


Foreign theaters, mazes, labyrinths, panopticons, spectatoriums and
their ilk had no more charms for the girls, but with Uncle and Aunt they
spent the next day in the museums, casinos and panoramas of the city.
But wax figures and brain-muddling deceptions were still the value they
received for their money.

"I will be contented," said Aunt, "never to leave the farm again. I can
be happy there the rest of my born days in knowing that when I look at a
cow it is not a stuffed cow, that the calf by her side can move; that
the man on the barn floor with his pitchfork in the hay can really lift
it over into the manger for the cattle. This mornin' I see a lady
standin' on one of the stairs tryin' to tie her shoes. She was having a
time of it, I knew, so I says, says I, 'leddy, let me help you.' She
didn't say nothing, so I jest stooped down to help her. I pulled the
tongue of the shoe up and tapped the sides together over it, when a
perfect chill came over me, for I pressed the lady's ankle, and it felt
just like sawdust. Poor woman! I thought some terrible accident had cut
off her leg and she had a false one. I looked up into her face, and she
looked so pale like and deathly that I was awful scared, then I looked
more and more and I see she was dead, died maybe of heart disease while
she was a stooping over. O what a shock! I can not get over it to my
dying day. I nearly screamed but I knew I must not, so I just called to
the feller sitting at the table writing visiting cards to come there
quick; but he just set there stock still and never moved. I didn't want
to attract attention from the folks around so I just picked up a nail a
lying there and hit him square on the cheek but he never flinched. I
spoke then to the woman leaning over the railing laughing at the little
girl down below but she never changed her smile at all. I couldn't tell
what to make of it when a feller came up to me an' says, 'Do you want
anything, old lady?' I stared at him and says 'Hist, sir, don't you see
this poor woman is dead. Died a stooping over too sudden.'"

[Illustration: "SO I SAYS, SAYS I, 'LEDDY, LET ME HELP YOU.'"]

"Then he just laughed at me a little, and pulled her dress to one side
and showed me that she was only a wax head and a stuffed body. That
made me mad, for it is a sin and a shame for to deceive people that way,
and defraud 'em of their hard earned money. I told him to show me the
way out, and I would report how he was defrauding the public to the
humane society or somebody. He just laughed at me again and invited me
to take a chair in the office if I wanted to wait for my folks. I went
in there and an awful nice woman talked to me and explained things till
I wasn't so mad as I was; but I still think it is a shame that a
Christian city should allow such awful frauds on peoples' eyes and
nerves. Anyhow, when I get home I want to go around and touch everything
and make sure that there is no more foolin', so I can live in peace and
facts."

Aunt was very indignant. She could stand the deceptions that Uncle had
been so opposed to at the Fair, but when she was deceived in her acts of
kindness, it was carrying things entirely too far.

The places of interest, as the guide books said, had now all been
visited, and they were walking down the street fully satisfied that they
had seen all the sights of the city from the skyscrapers to the organ
grinders. The police courts and the stock yards were not considered as
places of interest by them.

John and Fanny were in the lead, with the five girls just behind them,
and Uncle and Aunt bringing up the rear. As they reached the corner
there was a clamor and a scattering of people crossing the street, and a
rumbling that jarred the earth as two great fire engines dashed by
rolling smoke upward and clanging a bell in a way that was frightful.

"Fire, fire!" shouted Johnny.

"Oh that's what we want to see, a fire, a big fire," echoed the girls.

In a moment they were all running pell mell after the engines, jostling
against the people and exciting the merriment and wonder of every body.
The engines were running in the direction of their hotel and very likely
it was on fire and they would lose all their clothing.

"Come on girls," shouted John as he led the way like a foxhound. "Come
on, I know it's only just around the corner. I see the smoke rolling up
from the house."

The engines had turned another corner and Johnny felt a great pride in
being the guide and encyclopedia of ready information for six girls. Out
of breath they reached the corner where they supposed they would see a
terrible fire with people jumping out of the windows twelve or fourteen
stories high, perhaps safely into blankets, possibly to their death. Or,
brave firemen scaling ladders and bearing lovely girls out of the
horrible flames. But they discovered that the smoke they had seen was
coming out of a tall chimney, and that far down the street almost a mile
away they could get glimpses of the fire engines still forging straight
ahead. But they were not to be daunted thus. There must be a great fire
somewhere down there that it would take many hours for the engines to
get under control. On and on they ran, out of breath, to be sure, but
determined to see the great Chicago fire that required two such great
engines to bring under control. They had run several blocks, when they
became so tired they could only walk. Another block or two was
traversed, when they met the engines coming leisurely back. It was a
bitter deception, there was no fire. They turned back; and, when they
met Uncle and Aunt, also entirely out of breath with the chase, Aunt
declared that this was only another case of Chicago's base deceptions.
It could joke with dead people and jest with fires and make a playhouse
exhibition costing many millions of dollars, and fool old people and the
young alike and with equal conscience.

Uncle observed that it proved to him that Barnum was right when he said
that a fool was born every minute, and that the Americans were a people
who delighted in being deceived.

The girls decided to remain that night with Fanny, and to visit the Fair
together the next day. A pleasant evening was spent, but the subject of
fire and fire escapes were the chief topic of conversation. Each of the
windows of their room had a fire-escape fastened to the facing, and the
instructions printed underneath were carefully studied and mastered by
all before retiring.

The next morning they were gathered in the main room awaiting the time
for breakfast. Johnny raised a window to get a look outside, when the
well known clang! clang! clang! of the Chicago fire engine was heard.
Instantly all was excitement. Clang! clang! clang! and another came by.
Then there were two or three more, and they seemed to stop right under
the window. People across the street, even up to the top stories, were
complacently sitting in the windows and looking into the street as if
such a thing as great flames lapping upward and smothering them to
death, were unknown. Johnny, who was looking out of the window, yelled:
"O Lord! it's our house on fire, and we are five stories high!"

The streets began to fill with people. Uncle, panic-stricken, looked out
and saw the engines puffing below. The cool audacity of the people at
the windows across the street was appalling. They did not care for
death. All at once Uncle recovered himself and yelled: "Everybody to the
life preservers! Git into the fire escapes and save yourselves!"

But the room was empty. "Oh Lord," Uncle groaned, "they have gone insane
and run down into the flames below."

Wringing his hands he ran to the door and cried, "Oh Sarah, Sarah, come
back and let us die together." But neither Sarah nor the rest were
anywhere to be seen. He was alone.

Remembering the instructions regarding the fire escape, he ran to the
window, fastened the straps about his waist and climbed out of the
window. He pulled the string that was to unreel the rope and let him
down. Down, down, he went expecting every moment to feel the fierce heat
about him. He seemed to be half way down when the reel ceased to work
and he hung there suspended in mid air awaiting an awful death. He gave
a despairing jerk when down he went within three feet of the pavement
with a sudden stop that took his breath away. A crowd of people began to
gather about him.

[Illustration: "HE HUNG SUSPENDED IN MID AIR, AWAITING AN AWFUL DEATH."]

"What's the matter old man," said a man who had seen all the
performance.

"Where's the fire," said Uncle wildly.

"It is two blocks further up," he answered.

"And ain't my folks all burnt up?" he said pathetically.

The answer was at once before him for he had let himself down directly
over the entrance of the hotel and his family just then arriving at the
bottom of the stairway came out to him. There never was a more happy
meeting for Uncle than that one. His ridiculous adventure was not clear
to him till he had time to study it over. But there really was a fire
further on and they were not to lose such a sight.

[Illustration: "THE FIRE WAS TWO BLOCKS AWAY."]

A large dry goods house was on fire, and eighteen or twenty monster
engines were puffing and roaring, each one like a threshing machine on
Uncle's wheat field. They pressed themselves forward to the very front
of the spectators, and so close that the heat of the flames could be
distinctly felt. A heavy wind was blowing, and all the force of the
fire department was out to stop the flames. It was truly the grandest
and most fearful spectacle the family had ever seen. There came a puff
of wind toward them and the flames came down, almost scorching their
clothing. Then the policemen commenced to drive the crowd back.

[Illustration: "SOMETHING HAPPENED."]

There was almost a panic, and the girls nearly had their lives crushed
out of them. It was an adventure they cared never to repeat. Johnny did
not fare so badly, for he was more intent on the workings of the
engines. He was free from mishaps till he chanced to take a position
over the great hose-pipe through which the water was sent with such
tremendous force on its mission. Something happened. He is not able to
relate just how it was. But the hose burst directly under him, and he
was tossed over into the streaming gutter with a precision he can
forgive but never forget. After this happened it was time to go home to
be more agreeably clothed. Johnny was a sadder though a wiser boy.



_CHAPTER XVI_

TO BUY A DOG


Jackson Park was a paradise of peace and rest compared with the nerve
destroying difficulties of sight-seeing in the city. Uncle had
experienced all the adventures he wanted, and his great desire now was
to escape all further mishaps until he could get back safe among his
Jerseys on the farm.

Tired from much walking among the scenes of the Exhibition, the family
sat down upon one of the rustic seats in Wooded Island. It was a most
picturesque place, a most inspiring spot from which to contemplate the
great sweep of history that had culminated on those grounds.

"The longer I stay about this Fair," said Uncle, "and the more I see,
the more I wish I knew. I can see folks discussing things with such
great delight when I can't understand anything but the ifs and ands and
buts. I heard a man say to-day that Columbus never discovered America,
that he was a pirate. He said that all these doings should have been for
a Viking or some such name. I knew it wasn't so, for so many people
couldn't be fooled. How may that all be, Fanny?"

"There are a great many theories and stories set afloat about the
discovery of America by people who desire more to show off their ability
to construct plausible heresies against accepted things than to give
real historic truth. But there is much that at least seems to be
evidence of the Norsemen having been in America 500 years before
Columbus touched the outlying islands of the West Indies. The Sagas of
Leif the Lucky and Eric the Red told some marvelous stories of
discoveries to the southwest of Iceland. Some of these stories seem to
be verified in many ways, by digging up the logs of the Norse huts, by
the written characters on Dighton rock, by the old tower at Newport, by
the Benheim map of 1492, and a number of other important things.

"Then there has been found what seems to be beyond doubt a figure of
Buddha in Yucatan, and also a Buddhist monument in Central America.
Therefore a number of people have been trying to prove that Hwul Shan of
China, discovered America ages ago. There are likewise well established
the claims of the Phenicians and Greeks and even the Welsh and the
Irish. But all of these were fruitless till Columbus in his high
aspirations to become a great prince over unknown countries and to
spread the Christian religion of his day, opened the way for the course
of Western empire."

"But Fanny," said Uncle. "I heard the man say that Columbus didn't know
anything and had no chance to learn."

"Yes, Father, this glorious year has taught to the students all over
this country the beginning history of our great republic even as this
Fair is teaching the progress of the world. Though Columbus was the
greatest man of his age, yet we know only that he was the son of a wool
comber and that he attended the school at Pavia, where he showed a
marvellous aptitude for astronomy and cosmography. He became a sailor on
the Mediterranean, some say a pirate, but the ships of one nation then
preyed on the ships of another and considered it legitimate because
there was then no International law. He married the daughter of an
Italian named Palestrello, who had been a celebrated Portuguese sailor.
With her he received many valuable charts, journals and memoranda. He
soon moved to Lisbon, which was then the center of everything
speculative and adventurous in geographical discovery. Columbus made a
living here by making maps. Here he studied out his theory that he could
reach Asia by going west, and he made several voyages to the Azores and
Canary islands, which were then the limit of sea navigation. Then began
his travels for help to carry out his wonderful plans. He took with him
his motherless boy, Diego. From place to place he went with a heroism of
patience never surpassed. The story of the rebuffs and privations
through which he passed will be the wonder and praise of men forever.
Weary and footsore and hungry, he stopped one day before the Franciscan
Convent La Rabida, in Andalusia, to beg some bread and water for his
child. Then came the mysterious turning of the scales in the forces of
human greatness. The Superior of the convent happened to pass by, and,
struck by the appearance of the poor traveler, began to talk to him. The
Superior at once saw that no ordinary man was before him. Grander views
were never presented and greater plans of conquest were never known.
Christianity was to invade Asia on its eastern shores and meet the
irresistible forces from the West. Columbus believed himself divinely
inspired for this and therefore demanded that he be made high-admiral,
governor-general and viceroy over all the land he reached and that for
his revenue there should be given one-tenth of the entire produce of the
countries. Such a far reaching demand as this could not have been
acceded to only by a doubting sovereign, and he would probably have been
beheaded with his puny crew of one hundred and twenty men if he had
reached Asia and attempted to carry out such a wholesale scheme of
subjugation.

"The months of this voyage were scarcely less full of treason, burdens,
and peril than the years that had been given to make the voyage
possible. A pension was promised to the man who first sighted land but
Columbus saw a light rising and falling on the evening of Oct. 11, and
on that account claimed and received the pension. It is said that the
sailor who really saw land first foreswore his country and fled to
Africa because of having lost the pension and the honor of being the
first to see land. This is told by the enemies of Columbus to prove a
sordid and avaricious nature. It is also told that he took such
exasperating and outrageous measures to uphold his visionary schemes of
conquest and government as high-admiral, governor-general and viceroy,
that it became more than his home government could endure.

"His last voyage was disastrous, but whether from his own desire for
gold hunting, or because from the demands of his crew, it can not be
told. A man was sent to supersede him and chains were placed upon the
man who had worn the robe of royalty. His last years before the public
were even more bitter than his first. Until his death he seemed to spend
all his time in trying to recover from the king his lost prestige,
titles and possessions, but they never came. He besought Ferdinand
pitifully to bestow them as a perpetual heritage upon his son, even if
not to him. In a letter to his sovereigns, he said: 'Such is my fate
that twenty years of service, through which I passed with so much toil
and danger, have profited me nothing; and at this day I do not possess a
roof in Spain that I can call my own. If I wish to eat or sleep, I have
no where to go but to the inn or the tavern, and I seldom have wherewith
to pay the bill. I have not a hair upon my head that is not grey; my
body is infirm, and all that was left me, as well as to my brothers, has
been taken away and sold, even to the frock that I wore, to my great
dishonor. I implore your highness to forgive my complaints. I am indeed
in as ruined a condition as I have related. Hitherto I have wept for
others: may Heaven now have mercy upon me, and may the earth weep for
me!'

"He died in bitterest poverty at Valladolid at about the age of seventy
years. He was buried at Valladolid for a short while to satisfy the
Franciscans, and then removed to Seville by request of his relatives. It
was said that Columbus wished to be buried in San Domingo, and Charles
V. gave authority for this to be done to the grandson of Columbus, and
the family of Colon was to occupy the chapel of the cathedral. But there
is no record whatever of the events of his burial at San Domingo. This
is accounted for only on the theory that Drake, the English pirate,
destroyed them when he sacked San Domingo.

"In 1795 Spain ceded San Domingo to France and it seemed to the Spanish
people to be a national disgrace for the bones of Columbus to remain on
foreign soil. There were no explicit directions as to the exact spot
where his bones were and it was not known then that five of the family
were buried together there. What was supposed to be his ashes were taken
to Havana but in 1877 while making some repairs in the vaults another
tomb was discovered in which was a strip of lead from a box which proved
that the place contained the ashes of the grandson of Columbus. Then a
further search was made; only a few inches from the vault first opened
another vault was found and in it a lead box containing pieces of bone
and human dust and on the lid was written

  _"D. de la A. per Ate"_

which is supposed to mean "Discoverer of America, First Admiral." A
silver plate inside had inscribed on it the names and titles of
Columbus. This much decomposed leaden case was placed, with its
contents, in another case of satin wood and glass, and all deposited in
a vault so that the contents could be seen through the glass. Spain
could not think of giving up the honor of having the bones of Columbus
on her own soil, and the Royal Academy of Madrid made an exhaustive
study of the subject and at last published a book in which they closed
the argument with the following words: "The remains of Christoval Colon
are in the cathedral of Habana, in the shadow of the glorious banner of
Castile. It is most fit that over his sepulchre waves the same flag that
sailed with him from Palos in the Santa Maria.""

After reviewing this history, which her interest in the great Fair, and
the great events it commemorated, had caused her to learn, and after
consulting her note book to be sure of her correctness, there was a
general discussion among them, which showed that sight-seeing was not
all they were doing at the Fair.

[Illustration: "Some bodies for the heads and feet."]

It was now past noon. Aunt decided to go home; Fanny would walk up and
down the "Plaisance," and with her sketch book see what she could do
toward putting bodies between some of those heads and feet she had
drawn. Uncle and Johnny decided to go up to the business portion of the
city to spend the rest of the day. It was a pleasant afternoon, and when
they reached the viaduct from the train a great mass of people were
passing and repassing. The great Auditorium building loomed up before
them, with the Art Gallery on their right and the Columbus statue on
their left. Under them trains were gliding by like long serpents, and
out in the lake fleet steamers and sail-boats loaded with people were
moving about like white spots on the blue waters. Uncle and Johnny
passed along the sidewalk in front of the hotel when something at the
corner caught their attention, and they came up for a moment to look at
it. Two or three men also turned, stopping by him when he stopped. Then
a few more came up, and a ring of men began to form. Uncle and Johnny
now noticed that they were surrounded by people, and they attempted to
move out, but in vain. In a short time the crowd had become so large
that the sidewalk was blocked, and none except those who were close to
the center knew what the original attraction was. The people coming over
the viaduct and from far down the street noticed the crowd too, and bent
their steps also in its direction. Some, fearful that they would miss
something, began to run. The contagion for speed spread, and soon the
whole mass were speeding up the boulevard with open mouths and
wide-staring eyes. Each was asking the other as he ran, "What is it?"

As they came in contact with the central surging crowd where each man
and woman was trying to see over the heads of those in front, despite
the fact that the object, whatever it was, was on the ground, the
question was repeated. But no one seemed to know what had happened.
People in the center of the crush began to demand room and air. In vain
they struggled to get out. The people still coming over the viaduct
would start into a run as soon as they were on the street, and thus
continually adding pressure on the outside made the positions of those
inside almost unbearable. The crowd was now a pushing, clamoring one,
extending some distance up and down the sidewalk and out into the
street. The apparently insolvable mystery as to the nature of the
accident or cause of the excitement only made the crowd more persistent
and harder to manage. There were some who shouted, "give the poor fellow
more air." "It's a shame to crowd around him like that." Then they would
push harder than ever to see what it was.

Two men pushing each other got into an altercation. One struck the
other, almost knocking him down. The crowd quickly took hold of the
injured man and shoved him out into the "outer darkness," as if he had
been a criminal, while the other was let alone. Some shouted for a
doctor, others for the patrol and ambulance and the police. At last two
officers came. After ringing up the patrol they forced their way through
the crowd, which quickly fell in behind them and pressed on again with
the renewed hope of seeing something. The presence of the officers only
added to the general excitement, and people who had been laggards or had
left in disgust came back at a double quick.

When the police got to the wall of the building they found a man who
had two Newfoundland pups tied to a string. The patrol wagon was sent
back empty, and the crowd, which had been sold instead of the pups,
dispersed.

When Uncle got out he took his bandana out of his hat and mopped his
forehead, as if he had just finished tossing up a load of hay to Johnny
on a hot day in the hayfield.

[Illustration: "ONLY A COUPLE OF NEWFOUNDLAND PUPPIES."]

"Consarn them critters!" he said, "I was thinkin' of buyin' one of them
Newfoundland purps for Fanny, but the crowd was so anxious to see the
trade that I've got entirely out o' the notion. I never see such
curiosity people in all my life. The other day I stopped at a winder,
and before I got half through seeing there were about fifteen people
standin' around and lookin' over my shoulder. I guess I can't see
anything any more without tollin' so many folks on that I'm liable to
get crushed. If country folks was half as curious 'bout things as these
city folks, they might be laffed at with some sense."



_CHAPTER XVII_

CAIRO STREET


"And so you call this the Anthropological building?" said Uncle. "What
kind of things has it got inside to have such a name?"

"Well, Grandpa, if you desire to be enlightened scientifically, I may
say that it is a subject beginning with Adam and including the whole
human race. It is divided into five parts: zoological anthropology,
showing the differences and similarities between men and brutes;
descriptive anthropology, showing the differences and similarities
between the races; general anthropology, which is the descriptive
biology of the human race; theological anthropology, which concerns the
divine origin and the destiny of man; and ethical anthropology, which
discusses the duties of man to the world and his creator."

"Do tell! it's a pretty big subject, and no wonder it has a house to
itself."

Inside they found skulls, skeletons, bones, savage relics consisting of
dress, utensils, ornaments and weapons with amulets, charms, idols and
everything pertaining to early religions the world over.

On the eastern border of south pond was to be found the outdoor
ethnographical exhibit. Indian groups, Indian schools and everything
illustrating their primitive life and material progress.

There were objects, shell heaps, village sites, burial places, mounds,
cliff houses and the ruins of Mexico, Central and South America. To see
the same thing, and to only very little better advantage, would require
thousands of dollars and years of perilous travel.

"The more I go through these places," said Uncle "the more I feel
ashamed that I did not do my share in bringing of relics. Now I could
have brought the old nightcap that sister Susan's dead husband's
grandfather brought over from England; and I have a gridiron that my
great aunt gave me to remember her by. And there's the snuffers and the
old wood-yard rake that my grandfather made himself way back in New
England, and the dress in which my aunt Harriet was married, and the
horseshoe from the foot of the horse that killed cousin John's boy Tom,
and sister Hanner's gold fillin' of her tooth, which was the first gold
fillin' in our parts, and it came out just afore she died, and I don't
know how much more. Ain't they anthropological, ethnographic biology or
something like that?"

"I think, Grandpa, they would have been more useful in some kind of a
cabinet in the old settler's cabin, but we needn't to fret about it
any."

From here they went over to the Midway Plaisance. The "Street in Cairo"
was to be opened with a great parade of some kind and they wanted to see
it. The natives call it _Mars-al-Kabia_. In fact the Street in Cairo was
all the curiosities of Egyptian Cairo's streets crowded into one Chicago
Cairo Street. It was a splendid sight with its gardens and squares, its
temples, its towers and minaret made in the most Arabesque architecture
and ornamented with the most fantastic draperies. The inhabitants had
been directly transported from old Cairo across the sea to Midway
Plaisance. There were the importunate street venders, the donkey boys
begging and pulling at the clothing of the visitors, the pompous drivers
of camels beseeching the visitors to try their "ship of the desert;"
tom-tom pounders, reed blowers, fakirs, child acrobat beggars,
Mohammedans, Copts, Jews, Franks, Greeks, Armenians, Nubians, Soudanese,
Arabs, Turks, and men and women from all over the Levant, all in the
gorgeous apparel of the East, filling the booths or strolling about the
street. They were the happiest lot of Orientals that ever got so far
away from home. Drums were beating, camel drivers singing merry songs,
and a curious medley of voices which the earth beneath them never heard
before. At eleven o'clock somebody blew a strange kind of horn, which
made the small boy almost kill himself in his frenzy to get near to see
what it meant.

Musicians mounted the camels and began grinding out music that was
enough to frighten even a North American Indian to death. At the first
glimpse of the camels a team of steady old horses, that probably were
never frightened before, ran away with the gravel wagon which they had
been patiently dragging along. Little Arabs and Soudanese ran ahead of
the procession turning somersets and clapping their hands in hilarious
glee. There were warriors hopping about and clashing shields and swords
together in mimic battle. In front of Hagenbeck's show the lions were
aroused from their slumber in the den above the entrance, and they stood
before the bars and roared at the procession. Then the dancing girls
came skipping along, followed by a bride and her maids, for at last it
was seen to be a bridal procession that was celebrating the opening of
"Cairo street" in Chicago.

Here is the circus of the "Plaisance," where the visitors are the actors
and the clowns. Every hour can be seen a bevy of pretty girls escorted
by a brother or some dapper young man. The camel drivers hail them. What
a chance for a lark! "Let's have a ride on the back of the queer
creature," says one maiden. "Oh! you wouldn't dare," replies brother.
"Wouldn't I, though? Just watch me," is the modern maiden's response.
She approaches the dromedary, which opens one eye by way of recognition.


[Illustration: "Hurrah! It humps in front, jumps behind, and paces in
the middle."]

She passes silver to the hand of the dark-skinned menial. The other
girls giggle. A great crowd gathers round to see the fun which
experience has taught is coming. Now the bold young woman is in the
saddle, and holding tightly, as advised, to the strap which hangs near
by. The dromedary opens the other eye, shuffles his rear and longest
legs in the dust with a sound that resembles the hum of an approaching
cyclone, gathers himself for an effort, and suddenly presents to the
gaze of all beholders a rear elevation notable for its suddeness and its
altitude, if not for its architectural beauty. Though catapulted about
ten feet higher than she had had any idea of going, the American young
woman does not scream. That would be unbecoming woman in this woman's
era. She merely presses her lips tighter together, lets her smile fade
away at the corners of her pretty mouth and grasps the strap as if her
life depended upon it. The crowd, of course, laughs.

By this time the dromedary has shuffled himself some more along the
brick pavement and opened the ugliest mouth ever seen this side the
Nile. Now he shows his front elevation, and the smile which had returned
to the lips of his fair rider fades again as the other end of the
animated catapult is put into operation. But only for a moment. The
bystanders have only begun their second laugh when the American young
woman is seen to be herself again. She is out for a good time, and she
is having it. The dromedary winks three times and puts a sinuous,
swaying sort of motion into his body. His fat feet and angular legs
begin to describe semi-circles. The saddle and its rider twist and
gyrate and revolve and stop short, only to start quickly off again in
some other direction, and the triumphant journey through the "Street in
Cairo" has begun.

It is a very narrow thoroughfare, this oriental street, and it has no
sidewalks. The crowd falls to either side. As the courier of the desert
humps through the lane made open for him, his rider is seen smiling and
happy. She knows she has a pretty foot, and that it is neatly clad in
red shoes with tapering points and the most becoming of hosiery. She
knows her figure is trim, and that her cheeks are bright and her eyes
flashing. Applause follows her from the mosque to the temple of Luxor,
and rolls back again as her beast turns for the homeward march.

She has had a ride on a real dromedary, caused palpitations in a hundred
masculine hearts, and made 500 of her sex envy her the possession of
such feet, figure and nerve. But these are not her sweetest triumphs.
The consciousness to her most grateful and satisfying is that the
courage and the independence of the modern young woman of America have
been exemplified and vindicated.

They must get their fortunes told. There were no gypsies in this Cairo
such as camp along the country roads or in the edges of the villages and
tell sighing swains about their loves. Here was a seer imported direct
from the banks of the Nile.

His father studied the stars and read lives from the palms of men's
hands. His grandfather did the same. He came from a race of wise men.
The first seers of his family sat in the shade of the early sphinxes and
told Egyptian maidens to beware of young men who came up from the Red
sea with false promises.

But his fortune-telling was of the same kind as one finds everywhere. A
young man paid the price and held out his hand. The wise man took hold
of the fingers, bent them back from the hand and pushed the cuff half
way back to the elbow. He traced the course of the veins, ran his
coal-black finger along each wrinkle of the palm, and all the time
muttered to himself. Sometimes he nodded his head and gurgled
approvingly. Again he hesitated and groaned feebly, as if the signs were
sad. The young man had a scared look in his eyes. Then the interpreter
began to tell what the aged seer had to say:

"He says that you had sickness. It was not long ago. You were afraid.
But it's all right. You won't be sick any more. Have health, good
health. Feel good all time. Don't be afraid."

"I'm glad to hear it," said the young man.

"Before you worked where you do now you had another kind of work. You
did something else. You will change. Not the same kind of work next
time. No, no. You will have good time. A man will give you work. It is
different from what you do now. He is short, fat, very rich man. Go with
him. You will do well, make money--lots of money. Fat man will make you
have better clothes."

"Well, what's the matter with these I've----," began the young man, but
the interpreter hushed him.

"He says you must stay in Chicago, good place. If you travel you will
not have as much money as you will have when you get with the fat man.
You must stay here if you want to be rich and have good clothes. Aha!
this is very good. Put your head near. He says you are very
warm-hearted, like all of the women. Yes, yes, that's it, you love one
in particular, your wife or some one. He wants to know who it is you
love."

"I am not married," said the young man.

"He says," resumed the interpreter, "that it's all right."

"All right, eh?"

"Yes, you will marry her, but not this year."

"How long do you think you will live?"

"Give it up."

"You will live to be 87. He says so."

That was all, and the puzzled young man arose to go away.

"How was it? How was it?" asked all the women who had been looking on
and marveling.

"I'll tell you," said the young man. "The past and present are both a
little cloudy, but the future is all that any one could ask."

Then he started away, keeping a sharp lookout for a fat man who seemed
to be rich.

At the end of the street is the Temple of Luxor, where the curious pass
under the deity-covered portal, and gaze upon the reproduced wonders of
ancient Egypt. They bend over withered mummies of kings dead 5,000 years
ago, and listen to music that has not been played for ages.

Near here is the passage way outside, and, as Fanny came out with her
ears ringing with the strange jargon that everywhere met her, she was at
once relaxed from the tension of sights and sounds she had just been in
by seeing two country people rush together just before her. One said:

"Well, what in the world are you doin' here?"

"I swan, is that you? What are you doin' here?"

"Oh-h-h, we had to see the Fair, couldn't miss it, you know, not if it
took a leg."

"That's right, that's right. Bring your folks?"

"Oh, yes, they're around here somewhere. Mother's about fagged. Says
she'd rather cook for harvest hands than walk all day. Going to stay
long?"

"Calculate on being here all next week if body and soul stick together.
'Spose you'll be here sometime."

"Can't tell yet. Just about give up seeing it all. Half the time don't
know whether I'm on my head or my heels. Blamedest place I ever struck."

"That's right, that's right."

It was enough to cause her to smile at their homely enthusiasm, and the
striking contrast of language. It was a relief to hear intelligible
language once more, and in the rural dialect so familiar to her ears.

The soft, balmy days of June were now in their glory, and Uncle and Aunt
sometimes spent nearly the whole day sitting around on Wooded Island
imagining they could hear their cattle lowing in the pasture across the
creek, and dreaming their lives over again from their early happy days.
It was so peaceful there. Then they loved to go over by the lake and
look upon it as a painted ocean, as calm and quiet as a pond of Raphael.
It was something to see the stretch of blue go on till it touched the
low-hung clouds at the edge of the world. Beyond the mists and the smoke
of the white steamers were dimly outlined streaks of yellow and light,
which turned the whole heavens into a softened sky of good promise. In
the foreground of the vista the giant figures of victory, with charging
horses and chariot, and all the Apollos and Neptunes, stood out like
silhouettes. There was no noise save the ripple of the water down the
cascade at Columbia's feet. Gentle winds lapped the waves along the
beach, the furious breakers of other days were toned into a delicate
murmur, which sounded very like some sweet symphony or the hymn of a
winged choir. Waves which had for weeks been tangled masses of white
caps and had thrashed with frantic anger the bases of the towering
pillars dropped to the dainty ripples of a summer breeze. There was no
crash, no roar, no splashing spray, driven on by a gale that snorted and
snapped. So delicately and silently did the waters kiss the shore that
sparrows and wrens and a flock of wandering doves walked to the very
edge and filled their crops with the pure white sand. Then this, the
best great work of any race of any age, comes over the spirits of
worshipful men like heavenly benedictions of good-will and peace.

Sometimes as they sat in some quiet place alone saying nothing but
thinking joy, the music of holy melodies came floating across the
waters of the basin and re-echoed from the heaving lake to the
Administration dome. They were sitting at the feet of that human genius
which God had hallowed for the sake of those who revere His holy name.

They were everywhere thrilled with the supremely gifted achievements of
their fellow men, inspired by the living canvass from every clime, and
amazed to know that the lumps of Parian stone could be made to speak the
heroism of the world.



_CHAPTER XVIII_

UNCLE IN THE LOCK-UP


Our family felt that they could remain in the grounds forever and never
be done seeing; but the time was drawing near when they must return
home. Uncle decided that this Saturday must be their last day at the
Fair. Surely they had seen enough, even if there was so much more not
yet seen. They had seen notable people all the way from the Infanta of
Spain to Faraway Moses, of Egypt. But they were all the same to Uncle.
He had heard all kinds of music, from the Spanish band to the Samoan
tom-tom. "Some of the music," he said, "was so peaceful like, but the
rest was not half so nice as the growin' pigs rubbin' against splinters
in the sty back of the barnyard." He had surely been all over, and there
was nothing more of a startling nature to see. He had watched them check
babies at the children's building as if they were poodles or handbags,
and he had been over to the Irish village and seen the people kissing
the "Blarney Stone." On a card tacked near by he read:

  This is the stone that whoever kisses
  He never misses to
  Grow eloquent.
  A clever spouter
  He'll turn out an orator
  In Parliament.

Uncle had no ambition that way, and so he let the rest do all the
kissing.

He had completed his sight-seeing in the city by taking a Turkish bath,
and he considered himself now ready to "pull up stakes" and return to
the farm.

"I've made hay in July, and punched it back into the loft," said Uncle;
"I've harvested in August, and drunk out of the branch; I've cut
hoop-poles in the swamp, and done lots of other hot things, but fer real
sultuy weather nothing is ekal to the Turkey bath. Some feller told me
it was the healthiest bath a feller could take when there was no creek
around. You see, I looked at the Chicago river and decided it wasn't
altogether a proper place fer a swim; then I went over to the lake whar
they were a paddling around, but somehow the water didn't warm up even a
little bit in the afternoons, and then I thought I might just as well
pay a dollar and take a Turkey bath.

"Well, it do beat anything in the wash line I ever see. I went into the
barber shop where the sign was and paid a woman a dollar, and she took
my silver ticker and chain and all my spare change, and my pocket book,
and put 'em all into a box and locked it and then fastened the key
around my wrist. Well, I wondered if I was a going down there whar they
had to protect me that way from getting robbed.

"I went down stairs where I stopped to see a feller a doing some thing
to a feller's feet. I seed he was a cutting the nails, and then I
thought how awful lazy these city people do get, that they can't even
cut their own toe nails.

"A feller came up and put me in a little room and told me to strip off
and foller him. Well, sir, that feller he just stuck me into a room that
was hot enough to fry eggs and bake Johnny cakes. I dassent breathe hard
for fear of burning my nose off. He set me into a lean back chair and
decently covered me over with a sheet. I've biled sap, an' I've rolled
logs; I've scraped hogs over the kettle and made soap, but this beat
anything I ever see fer hot weather. If I hadn't seen other respectable
folks goin' in there I'd a knowed I was a gittin' basted for my sins in
the bad world. I couldn't set there, so I tried to walk around, but I
seen my feet was liable to get roasted, and the air was hotter at the
top, so I set down again.

"Well, sir, I sot there till I got hotter'n biled corn, and then I
hollered worse nor the Johnnies at Kenesaw mountain.

"Then a feller stuck his head in at the door and told me to come out
there, and when I did a colored feller shoved me on to a bench and began
to slap the daylights out o' me with both hands, and then another feller
he turned the hose on me, and then I cut loose.

"Well, sir, you ought to a seed me. I'm gittin' old, but 'nough is
'nough, and I kin be painters an' wild cats when I want to. I was in a
pecooliar place without a stitch on me, but I jest run the slapper into
the bake oven, and I made the buggy washer jump into the fish pond or
swimmin' hole what they aimed to chuck me into next; and then a feller
came out and took me into another room, where he rubbed me down kind a
horse like, and I got my clothes on and went up to the woman and got my
things give back; and I told her I was awful glad to see daylight again.
She laffed, an' I didn't say no more, but I done lots of thinkin'."

They were sitting on a rustic bench, just across the southwest bridge on
Wooded Island, when Uncle's talking was brought to a stop by a great
noise in the direction of the "Plaisance." Just then two Turks came
trotting by with a sedan chair in which was seated a nervous-looking
woman who seemed anxious to reach the place from which the medley of
noises seem to be issuing. She nervously grasped the sides of the chair
and looked at the bent form of the toiling Ottoman in front. Over the
bridge they went, the carriers executing a double shuffle diagonally
down the steep descent. The passenger opened her mouth and gave a
scream that made the Turk in front stumble as he bent his head to see
what was wrong. Then she screamed harder, frightening a flock of
sea-gulls off the island and bringing a Columbian guard on a run from
the north entrance of the Horticultural building to see what was the
matter. Then she insisted on getting out, and she was so glad, that she
gave the Turk a dollar, and left before he could give her any change.

[Illustration: "SHE GAVE A SCREAM THAT SCARED SOME GULLS OFF OF THE
ISLAND."]

The noise over towards the "Plaisance" continued, and Johnny cried out,
"The parade, the Midway Plaisance parade! Come on, the whole earth is
parading!"

The front of the procession just then appeared in view, and the family
went to the top of the bridge where they could review the strangest
procession that ever walked on the western world. Processions may come,
and processions may go, but there never was one like that which was then
winding through the broad streets of Jackson Park.

The column was over a mile long, and made up of men and women afoot;
camels, gaily decked horsemen, wild Bedouins from Arabia's desert's;
carriages, rolling chairs, reindeer and dog sledges. From the fur
garments of the Laplanders leading the column, to the sea-grass,
thoroughly ventilated costumes of the Samoans, was presented a contrast
that marked the display all along the line. It seemed as if there had
been a revival of the Babel scene from the Pentateuch. It seemed that
the confusion of tongues had just come to pass and people had not yet
become accustomed to talk anything but Sanscrit or Chinese.

There was a gathering of assorted freaks not surpassed since Noah came
out of the ark, and an assortment of people never seen before. When Mr.
Moody preaches to the Midway Plaisance, surely the scripture will be
fulfilled as to preaching the gospel to all the nations of the earth.

Then the bedlam of strange cries were heard again. These peculiar sounds
came from the Dahomey warriors and amazons, black as night and stupid as
pigs. In thin cloth and hair garments that concealed just a little of
their bodies, the blacks romped as they sang and beat upon long
cartridge shaped drums.

The noisiest part of the parade began with the Algerian village. Drums
resounded, clarinets screeched, castanets clattered, and the shrill
cries of the dancing girls rose above all the tumult. The girls rode in
rolling chairs, and while they were not busy rivaling the banshee of
Ireland, they laughed and flirted to their hearts' content.

The Chinese was the most gorgeous contingent in the column. Costumed in
rare and brilliant silks, ablaze with gold and silver, the Chinese
actors and actresses made a brilliant appearance. But it was the dragon
that wriggled behind them that caught the crowd. It was 125 feet long,
and its mouth was big enough to swallow a man without tearing his
clothes on its fangs. When it passed the beer tunnel in the "Plaisance,"
its glaring eyes turned toward a man whose best friends have been to
Dwight. The man shuddered and drew a long and nervous breath.

"Take me away from here, Bill," the man said to his companion. "I never
thought I could get in this kind of a fix. I'm a quitter right now."

From a distance it looked like a monster sea serpent on a spree. It was
really a dragon, at least that's what the Chinese call it; but it was in
fact the finest exhibit ever beheld of what a diseased imagination can
do for a victim of strong drink. It could easily claim the prize as
being the most terrifying object on earth.

The people from the "Street of Cairo," afoot and mounted on camels and
donkeys, headed their part of the procession with the Turkish flag, and
swift-footed runners guarded the banner, while men in rusty, antique
chain-armor were near to defend. A horde of fakirs and jugglers of all
colors, from jet-black Soudanese to fair-faced Greeks, pressed close at
their heels, stripped to the waists, with bare feet, and cutting up all
sorts of tricks. Swordsmen, garbed in long robes, twirling naked blades
and shields as they hopped about one another in imitation of combat;
more donkey boys; Nubians bearing carved Egyptian images, one of which
was of the sacred bull done in gold; bayaderes and nautch dancers, not
very good looking, but with fine white arms and well-turned ankles and
gorgeous in oriental robes and colors--all flocked after the fakirs.

Then came the Persians, the women playing upon hurdy-gurdies and singing
a plaintive air more suggestive of melody than any other native music
in the line. The lion banner of the Shah was carried proudly, and this
detachment closed with a score of Persian gladiators, naked to the
waist. They seemed to be superbly executed pieces of bronze set in
motion.

The "Beauty Show" was in the parade. Blarney Castle had several lads and
lasses present, led by the pipes and a jig-dancer as agile as an
antelope and as tireless as an electric fan, for he jigged all the way
the procession marched. Then the Samoans came along. Stalwart men are
they, yellow-skinned and muscular, and in their airy sea-grass garments,
knee short and chest high, they presented a splendid physical
appearance, while the women were pleasant-faced and fairly pretty. The
men danced a war dance while marching along, and their fierce wielding
of their clubs had greater influence in putting back the fast
encroaching crowds than did the oft repeated command of the Columbian
guard to stand back.

The South Sea Islanders, with nothing much more than feathers and
grasses about their bodies and on their heads, sang a wild but tuneful
melody as they brandished war clubs and danced about, their well-greased
bodies gleaming in the sun. Three pretty Hula-Hula girls in the party
sang all the time. Their dress was very fantastic; short, full skirts of
brilliant-colored grasses fell to their bare brown knees. Flowers and
grasses were twined in their hair. A short, tight-fitting robe of
grasses and feathers fell over their shoulders and ended at their
waists.

The young women who illustrate all the various types of beauty to be
seen anywhere on earth, from Hong Kong to State street, made up the
line. They were in carriages, and attracted much attention.

The odd procession traversed the Fair grounds to the east end of the
Electricity building, and then returned to their respective shows.

It was now getting late in the afternoon and Uncle said, "Now, let us be
taking our last looks."

"Papers, Mister? All about the Sunday Fair."

Uncle bought a paper and read the headlines:

  _"GATES REMAIN OPEN"_

  _"Courts' Final Decision in Favor of Sunday Fair
  Judges are Unanimous--Overrule Judgment
  of United States Circuit Court"_

  _"Court Room and Halls Crowded with People
  Eager to Hear the Decision"_

  _"The Chief Justice brushes away the Cobwebs of
  sophistry and religious paternalism by which the
  Sabbatarian sects sought to close the Gates
  against the Millions"_

"I didn't see no millions when I was here Sunday, did you, Sarah? And
the grounds looked lots like a big grave yard, with some people sad
like, a wandering through."

The sweat began to come on Uncle's face. His big bandanna was brought
into play. "So they've opened it. Well, I don't know, I don't know. It
kind of worries me somehow, as if they oughtn't a done it. But I don't
understand all the law and the gospel. I surely didn't do no wrong when
I thought seeing the Fair on Sunday was right, if it do disturb me like,
just now. I thought our Savior meant seeing the Fair on Sunday when he
said 'It is lawful to do well on the Sabbath day.' But when I see the
beer tunnel full of people, and the furrin theayters a runnin', it
didn't look lawful, and I wisht I was back to our old church a sittin'
in the corner. Anyhow, I hope I didn't do any of it."

Uncle walked on slowly in a very sad and meditative mood. Aunt looked as
if there was something that had overthrown all her high sentiment on
her first Sunday of seeing the entrancing visions of the great
Exposition. There were religious realities touching her soul now, and
she walked on rapidly with Fanny, leaving Uncle behind. Johnny was
flipping pebbles at some ducks in the lagoon and Uncle had stopped to
look in at one of the doors of Liberal Arts hall. While he was standing
there two dapper young men came walking hastily by. One caught sight of
Uncle and quickly uttered a low whistle. His companion stopped short as
the first one said: "Der's de old duffer; let's work him."

"Naw, we can't do it. He'll remember me mistake in change an' de blasted
trainboy biz."

"'I'll bet you a fiver he don't! You're trigged out altogether new, an'
your gran'mother wouldn't know ye."

"Nothin' like tryin', so here goes," and the speaker walked on a few
steps and half concealed himself behind a column, close enough to hear
all that was said.

"Well, how do you do, Deacon Jones? I am awfully surprised. It's like
two needles meeting in a haystack for us to meet here. Isn't it now!
It's a long time since I saw you back in old Barnville, Sage county,
Indiana; but I remembered you the minute I clapped my eyes on you. I
suspect you'd like to hear from some of your old neighbors."

The speaker was still holding Uncle's hand, and Uncle was looking at him
in a bewildered manner, as if searching intensely in the picture gallery
of memory's old time faces.

"I see you can't place me, but I guess it's 'cause I was only a chunk of
a lad, but I see you often in the 'amen corner' of the Barnville Baptist
church. You see my father was killed in one of the battles before
Atlanta, and mother and me, when I was a boy, didn't have much to live
on, only our pension. So I had to work hard, and didn't git around much
for to be seen by anybody. I was converted and joined the church just
about the time you moved away. Then I went into Mr. Monroe's store and
got to be chief clerk, and then when the bank was opened at Barnville I
was made cashier, and in three or four years I was called to be cashier
in the First National here, so you see I have been more successful than
most of the poor boys about Barnville whose fathers never came back from
defending their country."

[Illustration: "I SEE YOU CAN'T PLACE ME."]

"Ah, my boy," said Uncle, "my heart always warms up for my comrades'
children. I believe I recollect you now. Wasn't you the boy what swum
out into the crick at high water, when the bridge went down while
preacher Barker's wife was crossing with her baby to bring him back from
Bethel, and towed 'em safe to shore?"

"Yes, sir. I'm the lad."

"Widow Brown's son George?"

"Yes, sir, George Brown, from Barnville, is what I am."

"Well, well, my boy, I knowed I recollected you. My memory's bad enough,
but I haint forgot ye and yer brave deed. Well, I'm glad your succeeding
so well, and I hope you haint forgot your redemption before the Cross."

"No, Deacon, I haven't, and I trust I am doing the Lord's will, as I
ought, though I know sometimes I fall short. I take part more than most
of the young people in our church, but I trust I will still be moved to
do more and more for our holy cause."

"There, there! It's proud I am to see in this great wicked city one of
Barnville's boys so true to the teachings of our Lord and Master that he
learnt in our old home church."

Here the young man coughed lightly, as if the emotion of religious
memories was swelling up in his throat and almost choking his utterance.

"But I guess everybody has forgot me at Barnville. It's mor'n twelve
years now."

"Not at all, Deacon. Every time I go back there to the old church I hear
somebody speak of Deacon Jones."

"Do tell----!"

At this moment a young man came up hurriedly and tapped "George" on the
shoulder. "George" turned at once, and said: "How do you do, Henry?
Henry, this is my old friend, Deacon Jones, from the home of my boyhood.
Mr. Jones, Mr. Wilson. I am proud, Deacon, to have you meet my friend
here, who is one of the Exposition directors and manager of one of the
most important departments on the grounds."

"I would be very glad to talk longer with you and your friend Mr. Brown,
but I was just hunting for Johnson, the paymaster. Iv'e got to have two
hundred dollars inside of ten minutes or there will be the biggest howl
among employees you ever saw."

"Oh, you needn't hunt any longer for Johnson, Mr. Wilson, here's my
check for the sum and you can cash it at once at the World's Fair bank,"
and Mr. Brown, who was none other than Arthur Blair, the confidence man
and bogus detective, drew out a First National bank check book.

"But that's exactly the trouble. It is now past banking hours, and for
some reason Johnson has not come around."

A troubled look came over Mr. Blair's face in his anxiety to help out
his friend. Turning to Uncle he said: "Perhaps the Deacon can help my
friend out and then cash my check here on the grounds in the morning."

Uncle looked uneasy for a moment, and then said: "Of course I can
accommodate you," and he pulled out a roll of bills and laid aside $200,
which left him with only thirty dollars.

Mr. Blair had the check made out and was just extending it to Uncle when
Johnny came up, a curious spectator of the scene before him. A second
glance at the gentleman talking to his grandfather and he began to jump
up and down and whirl around yelling at the top of his voice: "Perlice!
fire! murder! robbers! pickpockets! confidence men! thieves! thugs!
highwaymen! bandits! outlaws! catch 'em! hang 'em! crucify 'em! here,
here, everybody! surround 'em! close in on 'em! let no guilty man
escape!"

The two confidence men were for once too astonished to act quickly, but
one recovered himself soon enough to make a snatch for the roll of bills
in Uncle's hand. Two or three corners of bills were torn away, but Uncle
held the money. In an instant a dozen men were crowding around, and
among them two or three officers.

"Catch that old thief!" yelled Blair, "he's got my money." "Catch him!"
cried Wilson, appearing to try to get at him, "he's got our money."

Uncle was standing in blank stupefaction holding the bills in his hands
and staring at the gathering crowd.

An officer caught him by the arm and said: "Old man, where did you get
that money?"

Uncle found his tongue at last, and said: "Mister, I got that from Bill
Shaw for some of the finest Jerseys you ever seed."

"Here, officer, are our cards and the charge. We'll appear in the
morning at the station."

Johnny had been overwhelmed by the crowd, but by this time he had edged
his way in, and when he saw his grandfather in the tolls of the law he
yelled shrill enough to startle the whole crowd.

"Grandfather's done nothing, let him alone. Here's the thieving
hypocrits." But the two young men had disappeared among the people, and
Uncle was being taken away in such a crowd that John could get no view
whatever of the situation, so he ran howling and sputtering round and
round the fast increasing crowd like a child gone insane. Presently the
uselessness of his action made him think of Mother and Fanny. At once he
darted off to the spot where he had seen them last, and in his wildness
to find them ran past them two or three times, till Fanny saw him and in
amazement cried, "Johnny! John! What on earth is the matter with you,
Johnny?"

Johnny darted over to them and yelled out: "He's tuk up! The cops has
got him! grandfather's tuck up, and he's done nothing, and them bloody
bandits got away again. Oh! Oh! Oh!" and Johnny danced around, incapable
of telling Fanny or his grandma anything further.

But they learned enough to know that for some reason Uncle had been
arrested and was no doubt now in the guard house. Aunt was overwhelmed
with consternation, but Fanny ran over to a guard standing near by and
inquired: "If anyone is arrested on the grounds where do they take
them?"

"Over there to the guard house, Miss. There they go with some old chap
now."

[Illustration: "HE'S TUCK UP, HE'S TUCK UP! THE COPS GOT HIM!"]

Fanny looked and could scarcely repress a scream as she saw Uncle seated
in the patrol wagon between two policemen. She ran back to Aunt and
Johnny and told him to run as fast as he could to see where the wagon
went, and they would follow in the same direction. Johnny was off like a
shot as he saw the wagon rapidly disappearing over the way.

Out of breath they were coming up to the station door when they met
Johnny, hat off, and almost speechless with excitement.

"They've took Grandpa's money and everything, and locked him up. They
asked him if he had any friends, and he said he had no friends here but
us. Nobody listens to me, come quick," and he started them off on a run
for the station. Arriving there, the officers in charge told them he
could do nothing for them unless they could find some responsible
persons to secure his appearance for the preliminary hearing of the next
day. They were taken around where Uncle was, and a more woe-begone
appearing farmer never was seen.

"Ah, children, this is Chicago!"

"Grandpa, I'm going to find Mr. Warner. I believe he is a good man, and
will help us, as he told you he would. Johnny and I will start at once
to find him. I don't know what else to do."

"But, child," said Aunt, "it's already five o'clock, and the people will
all be gone home from the store."

"No difference, Grandma; you stay right here, for we're going."

She took the card from Uncle that Mr. Warner had given him and left the
building with Johnny walking resolutely by her side.



_CHAPTER XIX_

THE LOST FOUND


They took a car, and in half an hour were at the doors of the Clarendon
Company. It was past business hours and the doors were locked. Fanny was
greatly distressed as to what she should do; but there was no time to
lose. Some young men were standing near eyeing her with the usual
sensual greediness of their kind. Her mission was too urgent for her to
notice their insinuating remarks.

"Can any of you tell me where or how I may find the gentleman named on
this card?"

Her demeanor, so unaffected and true, brought all their latent manhood
out, and each one was anxious for the honor of helping her.

Some one standing in the rear made an unbecoming remark, and instantly
the eyes of those about her turned on him so meaningly that he slunk
away. One of them took her into a restaurant near by and made known to
the proprietor what she wanted. He said Mr. Warner lived with the head
of the firm, a Mr. Sterling. The street and number of the residence was
given to a cabman, and soon they were driving rapidly away.

Mr. Sterling was sitting alone in his library reading the evening
papers, when he heard a determined ring at the door. His door was open
into the hall, and he went himself at once to answer the call.

It was growing quite dark, and he could distinguish only that there
were two young people standing before him.

"Is this where Mr. Sterling lives?" said one, in a very pleasing tone of
voice.

"It is."

[Illustration: "HE HEARD A DETERMINED RING AT THE DOOR."]

"We are very sorry to disturb you, but we are in some trouble, and a
gentleman by the name of Warner told us if, for any reason, we needed
any assistance while in the city, to call on him. We went to the store,
but it was closed, and then we were directed to come to you in the hope
that through you we could find Mr. Warner."

John and Fanny saw a kindly appearing business man before them, and they
spoke with the utmost confidence in his good-will.

"So, so! that is good. I have heard him speak several times recently of
a young lady he met on the train, and somewhere else once or twice
since. Are you the young lady I have been teasing him about? Now, that
is good. Of course you can see him. He lives with me and is up-stairs
now. May I ask what is the nature of your trouble?"

Johnny could hold his tongue no longer.

"Why, sir, they've tuck Grandpa up and got him in jail 'cause I stopped
some crooks a gettin' his money."

"I don't see, my boy, just how that could be," and the gentleman seemed
somewhat suspicious of their grandfather.

"I don't, nuther," blurted Johnny.

"Come in. I will send for Mr. Warner and see what he can do for you."

They followed him into the room, and he motioned them to take seats.
Then he went out and sent some one up-stairs for Mr. Warner.

[Illustration: "Fanny, my little girl--my lost children!"]

The room was richly furnished, but had an air of negligence about it
that betokened the want of an interested woman's taste and care. They
could hear voices now and then coming from some distant part of the
house, but they sounded more like the hilarious gaiety of servants than
of persons having such a cultured place for a home. From the tapestries
on the walls to the piano and the great case full of books, everything
was arranged for the convenience of the one rather than for the taste of
the many. It was the most pleasing home, where money was lavishly spent,
that she had ever been in, and perhaps she is not to be blamed that for
a moment she was carried away by her surroundings, and the longing came
over her to be so happily situated as this. Seeing a life-size painting
of a woman placed on a high frame near a desk, she went over to look at
it. There was something so lifelike and natural, and even familiar,
about the picture that she still further forgot how she came to be
there. She did not hear Mr. Sterling as he re-entered the room, but he
came up to her, and as she stepped aside the light fell full upon her
face almost on a level with the picture in the frame. A startled
expression came over the face of Mr. Sterling, which deepened into an
amazement. His face grew white, and he looked at her and then at the
picture, and then from the picture to her.

The light of some quick intuition spread over her face, and she thrust
her hand into her cape pocket and drew out a small gold locket, which
she opened and looked at intently, and then from the face of the man to
the face of the woman. Mr. Sterling saw the locket.

"What are you looking at, child?" he almost shrieked.

"My mother and father," she said.

He caught the locket out of her hand.

"There, there," he cried, pointing to the painting; "there is the same
picture, it is the picture of the only one I ever loved, the one now in
heaven, and you are her living image. In God's name, tell me, child,
what is your name."

"My name is Fanny," she said, "Fanny Jones; sometimes they call me
'Fanny Sterling.' Mary Sterling was my----"

She never finished the sentence. With a cry of joy he caught her in his
arms, sobbing and laughing; "My child, my child, my own little girl;
found, found at last!"

Johnny at this amazing outburst had come up as if to protect his sister,
and as Mr. Sterling saw him he cried, "And is this your brother, the
baby I left never to see again till now?"

Mr. Sterling sat down and drew Johnny up to him. "A rough, hearty,
honest farmer boy," he said; "I can not realize that after an endless
search, you have been sent to me in such a strange manner."

Mr. Sterling overcome with his emotion, buried his face in his hands,
and Fanny kneeling by his side, looked wistfully at him, not knowing
what to think or do. Mr. Warner, in answer to the call, had come to the
door and witnessed the whole scene. He could not understand it, and his
astonishment rendered him speechless. At last without moving from his
place at the door, he said: "What can this mean, may I ask? It is a
mystery to me."

"My children," was all Mr. Sterling could say.

Her mission there suddenly came back to Fanny. She sprang to her feet
and cried: "Oh! Mr. Warner, my grandpa is in trouble. You told us to
call on you if we needed assistance in anything. He is in the police
station as a result of our acquaintance with that man on the train. I
came for you to go with us and see what you could do to help us out."

Everything was soon explained to them all; the cab that brought John and
Fanny there was dismissed, and Mr. Sterling's carriage was soon speeding
them all to the fastest train for the Fair grounds. At the police
station half an hour later there was sorrow turned to joy, and a meeting
that was too happy to be told. Uncle was released on bail to appear the
next afternoon to answer to the charges, and there was a reunion at the
hotel in another hour, when every past ill was forever buried in the
pleasure of the present and the promise of the future. The next morning
Mr. Sterling's house was made their abiding place, and Fanny became
queen of his home.

That afternoon Uncle was in the police court awaiting his accusers. The
judge called the case, but the witnesses were not there. Their names
were called, but no one answered. Just then two boys came rushing into
the room.

"Hold up, yer honnur," said one, "de persecution will soon arrive. I've
been after 'em, an' I got 'em. I see 'em doin' de robbin', and' I found
a policeman whut had sense enuf to take 'em in. See!"

[Illustration: "LOUIS CAME IN DANCING WITH EXCITEMENT BEFORE THE BURLY
POLICEMAN WITH HIS TWO WARDS."]

The irrepressible Louis had hardly ceased speaking when a burly
policeman entered with the two confidence men who had attempted so
perseveringly to get Uncle's money. Behind them came the man they had
just been trying to rob. Johnny and Louis had seen them talking to a
countryman, and, divining what was intended, followed them as they
tolled him away to a place where they could accomplish the robbery. They
found a policeman on the way, who took in the situation and assisted the
boys to catch the fellows in the act.

Uncle's case was dismissed, and Louis succeeded in seeing the crooks
given a chance to learn an honest trade at Joliet.

Sight-seeing as a business now gave over to a new order of things. The
change was almost beyond what a dream could be. Before the C. C. of C.
C. returned home there was a social gathering at Fanny's new home.
Johnny had one young friend present and Fanny had five. Mr. Warner had
often noticed that Louis was a very reliable boy, and Mr. Sterling gave
him a good position in his store. Uncle and Aunt could not part with
their children, and Johnny was so thoroughly a farmer that there could
be no thought of him doing anything else; therefore, it was decided that
Uncle's Jerseys should be removed to Mr. Sterling's farm, half an hour's
ride from the city, and that Johnny should have charge of them there.
Soon after, Uncle and Aunt sold their farm and henceforth lived as they
pleased with Johnny and the Jerseys, or with Fanny in her happy city
home. Mr. Warner is trying to win the approval of Fanny to some of his
plans of happy life, and John and Louis believe they are more than
kindly remembered by two of those bright girls known as the C. C. of C.
C.

       *       *       *       *       *

Here we may leave Uncle Jeremiah and family to the good of domestic
contentment and to the well-earned peace of having lived life well. If
the Exposition has awakened the sentiments of patriotism and reverence
in the minds of all its visitors, and has broadened their views
concerning mankind, and made more charitable their hearts toward the
rest of the world, as it has done with this one true rural family, then
it has been a mighty success, though millions of dollars were lost in
its construction.

This need be none the less true to all, though no two people have seen
the same World's Columbian Exposition. In all the vast throngs that
have walked its streets and crowded its palaces for half a year there
can be no two individuals who have the same story to tell, or who have
the same thought to pay out to the world from that mint of human
intelligence.

There is so much within the great "White City" that single pieces are
lost like flowers in a landscape or like ferns on a mountain side. But
its beauties inspire every soul; its refinements chasten every heart;
its achievements exalt every mind, and its lessons give strength to
every life.


_THE END_



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