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Title: A Summer's Outing - and The Old Man's Story
Author: Harrison, Carter H.
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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A Summer's Outing - and The Old Man's Story" ***

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[Illustration: Carter H. Harrison]






Transcriber's Note: Minor typographical errors have been corrected
without note. Dialect spellings, contractions and discrepancies have
been retained.

The cover of this book was created by the transcriber and is placed in
the public domain.


"A Summer's Outing" comprises letters hastily written while the writer
was on the wing. Being printed in the CHICAGO TRIBUNE they were
favorably received by many friends, who have urged their being
published in book form, as a thing now needed by would-be tourists to
the Yellowstone National Park and to Alaska. To this end they were
revised and somewhat enlarged. If the little book be of little value,
the apology is offered that it will be, too, of little cost.

"The Old Man's Story" is thrown in as filling between two covers, and
need not be read except by those who find an idle hour hard to dispose


    231 Ashland Boulevard,
    Chicago, May 6th, 1891.



The Writer Indulges in Fancies                                      9


A Run Through Pretty Wisconsin and Minnesota--Beautiful St. Paul
--Jealousy Between Twin Cities--An Indignant St. Paul Democrat
and a Careless Seattle Man--Dakota and the Dirty Missouri River
--A Dissertation on Waste of Land and Destruction of Trees--The
Bad Lands--The Yellowstone River--Gateway to National Park and
its Guardian Eagle                                                 15


The National Park, "The Wonderland of the Globe"--The Home of
the Evil One--Steam Vents--Geysers--The Grotto--The Giant--The
Bee-Hive--The Castle and Old Faithful in the Upper Geyser
Basin                                                              27


Mammoth Hot Springs--A Wonderful Formation--The White Elephant
--A Theory Accounting for the Hot Springs and Geysers--Mud
Geysers--Marvelous Colorings of Some Pools                         45


How to do the Park--Hotels and Vehicles--My Innocents--Charming
Scenery--Natural Meadows--Wild Animals--Beautiful Flowers--Debts
to the Devil--Camp Life and Fishing--Wonderful Canyon--Painted
Rocks--Glorious Waterfalls--Nature Grotesque and Beautiful         59


We Leave the Park Satisfied--Helena--Its Gold Bearing
Foundations--Broadwater--A Magnificent Natatorium--A Wild
Ride Through Town--Crossing the Rockies--Spokane--A Busy Town
--Midnight Picnic--Fine Agricultural Country--Sage Bush a
Blessing--Picturesque Run Over the Cascades--Acres of Malt
Liquors--Tacoma--A Startling Vision of Mt. Renier (Tacoma)
--Washington, a Great State                                        82


Thriving and Picturesque Seattle--Two Curious Meetings--
Victoria and its Flowers--Esquimault and the Warspite--Two
Broken Hearted Girls--Charming Sail on the Island Sea--
Picturesque Mountains--Growth of Alaska--Whales and their
Sports--Native Alaskans--Their Homes, Habits, Food, Feasts
and Wild Music--Baskets and Blankets--Salmon Fisheries--Mines
and Dogs                                                          102


Steaming up the Ice-Packed Fiords and Channels of the Arctic
Country owned by Uncle Sam--Salmon Canneries--Canoe Building
by Natives--Ascent of the "Muir" Glacier, an Ice Cliff 300
Feet High--Fantastic Ice Formations at Takou--Summer and
Winter Climates--Impudent Crows and Oratorical Ravens             134


Vancouver--A Picturesque, Growing City--A Run over the Canadian
Pacific--Magnificent Scenery met with from the Start--A Glorious
Ride--Fraser River Glutted with Salmon--A Never-Tiring View
from Glacier House, Four Thousand Feet above the Sea--Rugged,
Precipitous Grandeur of the Selkirks and Rockies--Natural
Beauties of Banff--Reflections at the "Soo."                      162


The St. Mary's River--Charming Scenery--The Locality for Summer
Homes--An Episode--Mackinaw--Grand Rapids, a Beautiful City       196



The Secret of the Big Rock                                        203


CARTER H. HARRISON,                                     (Frontispiece.)

TERRACE, MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS                                  Page 16

THE GIANT, UPPER GEYSER BASIN                                   "  32

JUPITER TERRACE, MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS                            "  48

MAP ILLUSTRATING GEYSER ACTIONS                                 "  54

THE GROTTO, UPPER GEYSER BASIN                                  "  64

THE BISCUIT BOWL, UPPER BASIN                                   "  80

OLD FAITHFUL                                                    "  90

GRAND CANYON                                                    " 112



The summer outing is a fad--a necessity of fashion. Reigning beauty
bares its brow on ocean waves and climbs mountain heights, courting
sun-kisses. Jaunty sailor hats and narrow visored caps are donned, that
the amber burning of the summer's excursion may be displayed at early
assemblies of heraldic Four Hundred. Anglo-mania has taught at least
one good lesson--that the russet cheek of romping health is more
kiss-tempting than the rose-in-cream of beauty lolling on downy
cushions. Elite closes its massive doors and draws down front window
shades; Paterfamilias sweats in his struggle to force a balance to the
credit side, and mothers and daughters sit at back windows in glare of
sunlight, wooing sun-beams, while notices of "Out of town" are already
placarded on front stoops.

The summer outing is urged by honest doctors, with the admission that
change of air and scene is oftentimes worth more than all the nostrums
doled out over apothecaries' counters. Motion is nature's first
inexorable law. A tiny drop of water is pressed between two plates of
glass, apparently rendering the slightest motion impossible. The
microscope fills it with scores or hundreds of beings full of life and
energy, disporting in pleasure or waging deadly battle. Around us and
about us nothing is still. The grasses grow in refreshing green and
spring beneath the feet, but ere the wane of day, wither and crackle
under the tread. Flowers bloom in beauty and within the hour fade in
ugliness. The rock ribs of earth expand and contract under tidal
commands of sun and moon, and continents lift from, or are sinking
beneath briny oceans.

The gleaming sun, so rounded in glowing calmness as he gently circles
across the vaulted sky, is a raging mass of countless millions boiling,
dashing, burning jets, in any one of which fiery Vesuvius would be lost
as a dim spark. Myriads of starry spheres flecking the midnight sky,
are mighty suns tortured by inconceivable convulsions. Far off beyond
them the telescopic lens dips up from limitless space countless suns,
all boiling, roaring and raging in unending, monstrous motion.

Motion evolves change. Change goes on everywhere, declares science!
Change, cries orthodoxy, is universal save in One--the everlasting,
unchangeable maker of all things! Orthodoxy tells us that man--man the
soul--, was made in God's image and was by him pronounced good. The
"good" in God's eye must be perfect. We know that man--the soul
man--grows--the perfect therefore grows and perfection becomes more
perfect. A Paradox! So is that mathematical truth that two parallel
lines drawn towards infinity, meet.

The deathless soul emanates from God. Is the question irreverent? May
not the Eternal who started then and keeps all things moving and
growing--may not He grow in perfection? May not the Omnipotent become
more potent, the Omniscient wiser? Being given to digression, I give
this in advance to save the reader one later on.

In obedience to fashion's and nature's law, I would put myself in
motion and would seek change. I will take an "outing" in this summer of
A.D. 1890.

My daughter, a school girl, will go with me. The old and those growing
old, should attach to themselves the young. Old tree trunks in tropical
climes wrap themselves in thrifty growing vines. The green mantle wards
off the sun's hot rays, and prevents to some extent too rapid
evaporation. Gray-haired grandfathers oftentimes delight to promenade
with toddling grandchildren. This is good for momentary divertissement,
but for steady regimen it is a mistake. Callow childhood furnishes not
to the old, proper companionship. The unfledged but intense vitality of
the one may sap the slow-running current of the other, and reduce it to
the lower level--to second childhood. Age should tie to itself ripening
youth. Then heart and springtide is absorbed by the older, and ripe
experience given to the younger in exchange.

We resolve to _do_ the Yellowstone National Park, by way of the
Northern Pacific Railroad, thence onward to Puget Sound and Alaska to
return by the Canadian Pacific. We hope for health, pleasure and brain
food. I shall write of our goings and comings, that my friends at home
may through our eyes feel that they are voyaging with us.

A beautiful or grand scene is doubly enjoyed when one feels he may
through a letter have hundreds see what he sees and as he sees. They
become his companions and hold sweet communion with him, though
thousands of miles may lie between them. This is sympathy, and sympathy
makes the joy of life. The tete-a-tete between lovers "beneath the
milk-white thorn that scents the evening gale," is delicious. But not
more sweet than the communion between the orator and the mighty
audience which he sways and bends at will. He holds a tete-a-tete with
each of his listeners.

Byron swore he "loved not the world, nor the world him." The bard was
self-deceived. He wrote that he might win the sympathy of millions.
Bayard Taylor told the writer once that he wrote from an irresistible
impulse. His warm, generous nature yearned for the sympathy of a
reading world. I shall write that a few hundred may see through my
eyes--may feel when my heart beats, and for a few brief hours may be in
sympathy with me. Some one possibly may sneer "Cacoethes Scribendi."
Catch the retort, "Honi soit qui Mal-y-pense."



    MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, July 17, 1890.

We left Chicago by the Wisconsin Central Railroad for St. Paul. From
the beginning the run was interesting, especially to one who remembers
what the country was thirty-five years ago--an almost flat prairie of
tangled grass, in which the water was held as in a morass, promising
but little to the ambitious earth-tiller. I recall a remark of Senator
Douglas when the future of our flat prairies was being discussed in my
presence thirty-five years ago: "People do not realize that the
drainage problem is being now daily solved. The leader of a herd of
cattle browsing the prairies, is an engineer, and his followers
faithful laborers in making ditches. When going to and from their
grazing grounds, they march in line and tread down paths which make no
mean drains. The cattle of Illinois are annually lifting millions of
acres out of the swamp into good arable lands."

As soon as the Des Plaines was crossed, good farms began, and
comfortable farm houses were always in sight; oats bent and waved in
light green, and corn stood sturdy in emerald, where a third of a
century ago, even in July, a pedestrian was compelled to step from
ant-hill to ant-hill to keep his ankles dry. Copses of young wood
relieved the monotony of too much flatness, and in a few hours after
our start, pretty lakes shimmered in the sinking sun light, and sweetly
homelike villas were ever in view. We crossed the Wisconsin line, and
hill and vale or gentle undulations with wooded heights and flowing
streams, and villages and saw mills enlivened the journey.


In the distant future when population shall become abundant, and
tasteful homesteads shall replace somewhat speculative shanties, few
countries of the world will be more pleasingly rural than southern and
middle Wisconsin.

Books should be carried by the tourist in his trunk, and newspapers
should be religiously discarded throughout the run to St. Paul. The
country traversed opens many a pleasing page during the summer months,
and glowing pictures are spread before him on nature's living canvass.
He unfortunately loses much when the curtain of night is drawn over
God's own impartial book: the book which never misleads if carefully
read and studiously digested.

At St. Paul we had some hours to ride about the pretty town, before
boarding the Northern Pacific railroad for our long journey to Puget's
Sound. This great road has the singular characteristic of having double
termini at each end, and between each of the twins there exists a feud
rarely found except between cities engaged in actual war with each

Athens and Sparta hated each other not as do St. Paul and Minneapolis.
Just now, owing to the taking of the census, there is blood in the eye
of every St. Paulite. An elderly gentleman introduced himself to me the
other day at the station. After a while he said: "It is a ---- shame
the way the United States is treating St. Paul. I am a Democrat, sir,
and can stand a little stuffing of the ballot-box, but I draw the line
there. I can't stand the stuffing of the census. We are willing to
concede to Minneapolis 10,000 more population than we have, but
Harrison ought to be turned out of office for running it up to 40,000.
It is a fraud, sir--a miserable Republican fraud. We will be revenged,
sir, and will show our teeth next fall and don't you forget it." I
sympathized with him and felt like marching to Washington at once to
send my cousin Ben back to Hoosierdom.

In the National Park I saw at four different hotels the names of Mr.
---- Mrs. ---- and two little blanks. There was a bracket after the
names, but the writer had evidently forgotten to write in the address.
The name preceding his on the first book was from Boston. At the next
place the preceding person was from New York, and again from some other
city. The fourth day at dinner I was introduced to the head of the
family. He was from Seattle. I asked him why it was he had not put in
his address, declaring I would tell it on him at Tacoma. "Good
Heavens!" he exclaimed, "have I done that?" He rushed back to the
register and wrote "Seattle" as big as a John Hancock. The next time we
met in a crowd, I twitted him about the thing. He then declared he must
have left out the address instinctively from a natural aversion to
being known to come from any spot so close to Tacoma. Considerable
jealousy of St. Paul on the part of her twin city is natural, for it is
a beautiful town. Its residences on the hills are very fine, and their
locations lovely beyond those of all but few cities. The entire town
was very clean, and in the hill portion bright and cheerful. The
residences are generally surrounded by considerable grounds, filled
with trees and shrubbery, in much variety and in luxuriant growth. The
young girl with me fell so completely in love with the clean, pretty
place, that she declared, if she ever got married it would be to a St.
Paul man.

The run through Minnesota is as if through a great park. Everything is
green and bright. Copse, meadow and field are as fresh as a May
morning. The natural location of frequent wooded clumps, of prairie
openings and of lakes, could hardly be improved by a landscape
engineer. We passed the great wheat fields of Dakota at night, but I
thought there was far less of barren plain and alkali patches as we
approached the Missouri river, than I saw there seven years ago.

How different the feelings with which we approached the Missouri from
those experienced as we drew near the Mississippi! One cannot get up a
feeling of respect for the tortuous, treacherous, muddy, long and
snake-like ditch. One takes off his hat to the Father of Waters, but
feels like kicking, if he had a place to kick, this lengthy, nasty
thing. No one can see any real use for it, except as a tributary to and
feeder of the Mississippi. It has not and never had a placid infancy.
Several of its upper feeders are beautiful, clear, rapid, purling
streams. But some of them apparently without rhyme or reason suddenly
become flowing mud. One dashes on a train along one and wishes he could
alight to cast a fly for a speckled beauty. The road takes a turn
around a mountain spur, and lo! the crystal stream has become liquid
mud, to prepare itself, I suppose, for the mucky thing it will soon
join. Possibly and probably, these transformations are owing to a
miner's camp and a placer washing on the other side of the spur.

North Dakota has not become settled along the railroad, after quitting
the great wheat belt, as I expected. Farms are very scattered, and when
seen are small and wear an air of neglect. Yet the native plains are
cheerful looking and roll off in green undulations. The Forest
Commissioners, if there be any, must find some more hardy species of
trees than those now used to enable them to grow brakes for warding off
the winds and blizzards. The railroad people have planted many trees,
but they do not thrive. They seem alive about the roots, but dead after
reaching one or two feet. Possibly a blanket of snow lies about the
roots in winter and protects them; but the alternation of cold and hot
winds apparently kills the sap as it rises higher up. Government should
inaugurate a thorough system of arboriculture, inviting and encouraging
a real science.

The Socialists say the Nation should own the land. To a certain degree
the Socialists are right. The fountain of land ownership is in the
Government. It should maintain such ownership to a certain extent
throughout all time. "The earth is the Lord's and the fullness
thereof." Government is and should be the lord of the domain, and
should never part with such control as may prevent private owners from
destroying the land which is to be the heritage of the people to the
latest generation. It should forbid and prevent a waste of land. To
this end it should force the husbanding of all resources for the
improvement of that which is to support the people for all time. No
private owner should be allowed to destroy wantonly that which comes
from mother earth. What comes from the bosom of the land, and is not
essential to feed and maintain the cultivator, should be given back to
it. A man should be fined who burns manure. Man should not cut timber
to such an extent as to reduce a necessary rainfall. Commissioners
should determine from scientific data, how much of forest is necessary
in fixed districts of the country, and when so determined no one should
be permitted to cut a tree without replacing it by a young one. In the
Old World millions of acres are now worthless which once supported
teeming populations; all because they have been denuded of trees.
Nearly all European countries as well as India are now, and have been
for some years, earnestly endeavoring to check this evil. Commissioners
of Forestry, earnest and educated men, have been appointed. Schools of
Forestry are fostered by the state. The betterment has been so marked,
that the ordinary pleasure seeking traveler sees a wonderful change
between visits separated by twenty or thirty years. America has
countless millions of acres scarcely capable of supporting a human
being, which could be made to wave in cereals or grow fat in edible
roots, if only trees were grown to induce a somewhat regular rainfall.

The arid plains of the Great West have the richest of known soils, if a
little human sweat mixed with water in sufficient quantity could be
kneaded into it. Government as the lord paramount of its domain, should
force the growing of trees and should prevent the destruction of timber
wherever the same is necessary to keep up or improve the land. It has
parted with the title to the soil, but still retains the power to use
it for its own support. It levies and collects taxes from lands as the
paramount owner. The same power exists to prevent the waste of that
from which its taxes spring or through which its people may live.

"No one is a man," says the Arab maxim, "until he has planted a tree,
dug a well, and grown a boy." The nation is an aggregation of men and
should follow the maxim. The statesman who devises a good system of
taxation is entitled to the praises of all men, but he is but a pigmy
to the man who turns sterile deserts into places of plenty, or who make
many blades of grass grow where now only one springs up. I am ready to
bow down before the man who will maintain and improve the soil of our
Eastern States, or will shower over the West a copious rainfall.

Bismark was disappointing. It has not improved as could have been
expected since we helped to lay the corner-stone of its Capitol seven
years ago.


The "bad lands" are as God-forsaken in appearance as they were years
since. There the very earth has been burned and the Evil One seems to
have set his foot-print on every rod. Men do live in them, but more
blessed is he who dies in genial surroundings! What a hold upon us has
the love of life! So short and such a bauble! How worthless when
robbed, as it must be in this bleak tract, of every concomitant of the
joyful! Only the All-powerful can reclaim the soil of the "bad lands,"
and not until a cataclysm has carried it 1,000 fathoms beneath the sea,
will it be fitted for sunlight and ready to support life. It has been
burned up with the coals and lignites which underlaid the surface.
After striking the Yellowstone Valley the ride westward becomes pretty.
The mountains are bold, with fine outlines, often lifting in
picturesque precipices from the water's edge. Great strata of coal are
frequently seen stretching in level parallel lines for considerable
distances. Snow appears in seams and gorges on the loftiest heights.
While not offering as grand displays as are seen in one or two points
of other across-the-continent roads, the Northern Pacific presents more
varied scenery, and far more that is pleasing and restful to the eye,
than any other except the Canadian Pacific.

To most travelers much of the scenery of the Northern Pacific until
Helena is reached is monotonous. But to one disposed to be a student of
nature and a lover of its varied forms, many instructive lessons can be
conned from the car window, and many pleasing pictures hastily enjoyed.
The Yellowstone, along whose banks the road runs for three hundred and
fifty miles, is a cheerful stream. When first reached it is muddy, but
after the mouths of one or two large affluents have been passed it
becomes clear and limpid. Its flow is almost constantly rapid and
turbulent. But few still reaches are seen, and these are rarely over a
mile or so in length. On one or the other bank considerable mountains
lift from the water's edge, in lofty, clear-cut precipices. The upper
slopes have but few trees and rarely any clumps or masses, but offer
much variety in earth coloring. Light brown, sometimes deepening into
chocolate, is the dominant tone. There are frequent stretches of
yellow, here and there flecked with patches or bands of venetian red.
This latter sometimes takes a tint so bright as to merit being called

At Livingston, a thousand and odd miles from St. Paul, we left the
Northern Pacific, and by a narrow-gauge road continued up the
Yellowstone, fifty-one miles to Cinnabar; thence by Park coaches,
wagonettes and surreys, eight miles along the wildly rushing Gardner
river, and through a narrow defile hemmed in by lofty precipices
beneath frowning crags--the gateway to the park--to the "Mammoth Hot
Springs." Near the gateway on a lofty pinnacled rock, so slender as at
first to be mistaken for the trunk of a huge tree, sat an eagle upon
its eyrie, keeping watch and ward over the entrance to the people's
pleasure ground. The bird's nest is built of loose sticks laid upon the
rocky point, which is not broader than a good-sized tree stump. How it
withstands the dash of storms, which often rage through the narrow
pass, is a marvel. Yet it has been there for many years, and each year
sends forth its young brood. I regret to say this eagle is not the
genuine American screamer, which so grandly spreads its wings upon the
daddy's dollar, but is the great white-headed fish-hawk. He is easily
mistaken for the bald eagle, but is smaller and a somewhat sociable
bird, building his home near by those of others of his species. The
true eagle is sullen and solitary, and chooses his eyrie many miles
removed from his fellows. Indeed he spurns all fellowship with his

All tourists delight to look at the "Devils Slide" in the Gardner
canyon. It is from five to six hundred feet high, a few feet broad,
between thin slate dykes, and as smooth as a toboggan way. As there is
no record that the father of lies was acquainted with sand paper, there
is a peculiar pleasure in imagining the grinding away of the seat of
his trousers, while he was polishing down his coaching slide. In spite
of what the preachers say, there is no doubt that man, woman and child
hate the devil, and are delighted by any evidence of annoyance to him.




American dudes of both sexes wandering about the world have been
sorely perplexed because Uncle Sam has had no huge ships of war with
which to display his grandeur in foreign ports, and no embassadorial
residences in which Yankee heels may air themselves to advantage. When
foreigners have made allusion to our poverty in this regard, and their
own wealth of splendor, we have been forced to fall back upon the
Yankee's retort, "Yes; but you hain't got no Niagary." Luckily but few
of those who taunted us were aware that Niagara was simply located
_in_ the United States but did not belong to it. But now we can throw
back at the effete denizens of other lands "the wonderland of the
globe,"--The Yellowstone National Park--in which there is more of the
marvelous sports of nature than exists in the entire outer world
besides. We can tell them of these wonders, and can then say that
these marvels are the Nation's, and that this park of over 3,500
square miles is maintained by the Nation for the people, for their
amusement and recreation. It is to be regretted that more of the
surplus which has been lying idle in the treasury vaults has not been
expended to enable the people to better enjoy their wealth of wonders.
The people may read of their treasures; they may see folios of
illustrations, but no one can comprehend them without seeing them; no
pen pictures can bring them before the eye of one who has not been
here; no photograph can display their forms and then dye them in their
wondrous colors; no painter can spread them upon canvas, for he would
at once be put down as an artistic liar. The simple truth is an
exaggeration, and a precise copy is a distortion of nature's molds.


No wonder the Indians have given this section of the country a wide
berth, for well might they believe it the home of the evil spirit. One
of them straying here might wander for days and never mount an elevated
point without being able to count scores of columns of white steam
lifting above the trees from different points of the forest, telling
him of the wigwams of the evil one. If he stole along the valleys, he
would come upon pools of water of crystal clearness tempting in
appearance to the thirsty; some of them not larger than the blanket
which covered his shoulders, others so large that the tepees of half
his tribe would not cover their area; some mere jagged holes in the
rock, others with rims a foot or so in height, and as regular as his
pipe of peace. Here are some a few inches or a few feet in depth, with
bottoms and sides painted in rainbow tints; there are others with deep
sunken walls embossed and tufted, and dyed with the colors of the
setting sun, and with dark throats so deep that they seem to be yawning
from fathomless depths. Here they are as placid as the eye of the
papoose hanging at the squaw mother's back. Our Indian pauses at the
painted brink of one, dips his hand into the tempting fluid--jerks it
back quickly, but perhaps not before it is scalded. There they boil up
one, two, three or more feet and appear as though they would pour out a
flood from below, but not a drop passes over the rim of the pool. The
boiling motion is from volumes of steam working its way through the
waters from the bowels of the earth and spreading upon the breeze.
Boiling water elsewhere wastes itself away, but these pools boil and
boil from year to year, and scarcely vary perceptibly in height. Our
untutored tourist turns his eye upon the mountain bordering the valley,
whose sides are so encrusted with geyserite deposit that it appears to
have been formed of this material, and to have been erected by boiling
springs; along its whitened side and far up on its crest are springs or
vents, from which arise columns of lifting steam and the mountain seems
to roar; startled, he hears close to his feet, a gurgling sound such as
comes from an animal whose throat is newly cut. His eye seeks the spot
whence comes this sound of death. He sees an orifice in the ground not
large enough to take in his body, but from it comes the death rattle a
hundred times louder than the largest buffalo could make when pierced
about its heart. The Evil Spirit is slaying an animal so huge that if
he were on the ground its tread would shake the earth.


He climbs over a mountain spur and sees spread before him a white
plateau of several hundred acres. Jets of steam are pouring from a
thousand points of its surface, some rising only a few feet, others
lifting 500 feet into the air; here from fountains boiling merely, or
spouting up to one, two, or more feet; there from simple vent holes in
the nearly level surface of the plain. Some pour from fantastic
forms--great stumps of trees with one side torn away; from piles of
downy cushions; from great platters of biscuit, a part as white as
dough, others crisp and brown; from ruined castles; from orifices
bordered by mighty, parted, Ethiopian lips of whitish gray tone or
painted red and brown. One is fashioned like an old time conical straw
bee-hive. So well is the model copied, that no great stretch of
imagination would be required to enable one to hear the buzz of busy
honey makers swarming about it. Another is a rude cabin chimney with
steam lifting from its top, in lieu of smoke curling from a woodman's

He approaches one which might once have been a grotto, with stalagmites
and stalactites forming its ribs and roof, but the superincumbent earth
having been removed, the stony skeleton is laid bare, partly a dozen or
more feet above the ground and partly sunken below. From its hollow pit
comes a roaring sound not unlike the growl of a lion when feeding, only
of a king of beasts many fold enlarged. He hears close by it a noise he
takes to be the call of a familiar bird. There is no bird in sight, but
near his feet in the rocky platform is a small vent he could close with
his thumb; it is breathing, but its breath is high heated steam; its
inspiration is a gentle gurgle, its expiration is the blue jay's call.

Its breath comes from deep below, from the lungs of the monster whose
stertorous breathing is an indication that he is turning over in his
hidden lair; and as he turns he belches forth a mouthful of steam and
water through the grotto. He has evidently eaten something disagreeable
and is sick in the regions of the maw, for up comes another and a
larger mouthful; and then another and more, until he pours out his very
insides in tons of boiling water. Through every opening of the grotto's
frame, water and steam rush forth in mighty volume. Thousands of
gallons to the minute lift in jets ten to thirty feet through each
opening, and run in great streams to the crystal river a little way
below. The monster bellows, the vents about the grotto's base whistle,
the water splashes, and the steam rushes, scalding hot. After a
while--perhaps in twenty or thirty minutes--all flowing ceases, and a
column of steam pours out for perhaps an hour and lifts several hundred
feet into the air.


While this strange action is being seen, close by, a rumbling noise is
heard in the depths of "The Giant," 200 or 300 yards away. The noise
increases, not unlike that of an approaching railroad train, and is
soon accompanied by a discharge of water three or more feet in diameter
at the geyser nozzle, lifted in an almost vertical column 150 to 200
feet high, all enveloped in a veil of steam. This pours through the top
of a geyserite formation some ten feet high, and a dozen or fifteen
from out to out--a monster stump, broken and jagged as if a monarch of
the forest had been snapped off by a mighty storm blast.


The flood drops all about in spray, veiling the lifted column, and is
of such quantity that the river nearly seventy-five feet wide, is
doubled in depth when the monster is in action.

Our accidental red tourist has lost his Indian stoicism, and wishes to
see something more of the Devil's doings. The "Giant" having become
silent, he steals along the white formation a few hundred yards, when,
from a small hole in the ground, without any warning, up shoots a
beautiful little geyser about twenty feet high, a perfect spreading jet
d'eau, accompanied by no steam and lasting only perhaps a quarter of a
minute. The action of this little jet over, every drop of its lifted
water flows back into its mouth and disappears down its throat; but not
for long, for it again shoots up in four minutes, and is so regular in
its action, that it has been christened "Young Faithful."

The plateau here spoken of--"The upper geyser basin"--is two or more
miles long and of irregular width, probably averaging a third of a
mile. It is all white with encrusted geyserite deposit often giving out
a hollow sound to the tread. This deposit varies in thickness from a
few inches to several feet. It is grayish white, resembling tarnished
frozen snow.


But see that noble column spouting 200 feet high in a somewhat slanting
stream not far from a quarter of a mile away. Close by a smaller jet
shoots obliquely, mingling its spray with the larger one. The tourist
is too far removed to see the brilliant rainbow formed in the mingling
spray. But let him wait some hours and he may visit it again to witness
another active eruption from the "Splendid Geyser," which pours four
times a day from a simple hole in the rock, and has as yet builded
himself no geyserite nozzle. A short walk brings one to the "Devil's
Punch Bowl," where the old Fiend takes his nocturnal nip, from a basin
a few feet in diameter, inclosed by an embossed rim a foot high and as
regular as the raised edge of a Dresden punch bowl, and always boiling
and seething to keep the tipple hot and ready.

In this plateau are hundreds of pools of exquisite colorings, and
scores of geysers lifting more or less regularly and at shorter or
longer intervals; some of the intervals being of hours, others of days
and others still measured only by minutes. The geysers are all named in
accordance with a supposed resemblance of their formation to some known
thing, or to the character, size or quality of their eruptions; "The
Queen," "The King," "The Bee-hive," "The Castle," "The Princess," "Old
Faithful," "The Excelsior," "The Splendid" and so on. The pools take
their names generally from the colorings of their rims or sides, or of
the water held in them, as "The Emerald," "The Amethyst," "The Sunset,"
"The Rainbow" and "The Morning Glory." Some of the pools are named from
the nature of their boilings, others from the rock formation in their
throats and about their sides; "The Biscuit Bowl," "The Snow-ball,"
"The Spouter." Many of the names are by no means far fetched. The
"Biscuit Bowl," for example, resembles a mass of well formed monster
breakfast rolls, some in whitened dough, others in all stages of brown
from the half done to the well baked.

The tourist approaches a flattened cone, with a base 600 or 800 feet in
circumference, and fifty feet high, surmounted by the ruins of an old
castle. The owner of the "Castle" has been growling all day and
emitting an unusual amount of steam. He is evidently preparing to
erupt, which he does at intervals of several days. His terrific
growlings increase as the day wears on, and angry spurts of boiling
water accompanied by steam show he is getting his temper up to white
heat. He has been quiet for an unusual time of late and when aroused,
like Othello, he will be fearfully moved. He makes a few angry
premonitory belches and bellows. The noise is accompanied by a
trembling of the earth for hundreds of yards. A mass of water is then
ejected from 50 to 100 feet up, mixed with steam in dense mass. The
flow of water is of short duration; but is of thousands of tons, and is
followed by an emission of steam large enough to run an ocean steamer.
This steam escape can be heard for a mile or more, and sounds like the
roar made by a Long Island Sound steamer blowing salt from its boilers.
The noise is continuous for an hour; it gradually lessens, however,
until it ceases entirely. Steam is then lazily emitted continuously,
and a loud gurgling noise is constant deep down in the Geyser throat.
This is more or less the case with nearly all of the geysers. A few,
however, become so quiet, that very close attention is necessary to
catch any boiling noise. The "Castle" geyser blows off for hours before
his steam generators are cleaned.


Our red cheeked tourist has stoicism, but he cannot stay over this
Devil's kitchen long enough to see half of the mighty vents in action.
One, which but rarely plays, shakes the very earth. A good white man,
who flatters himself that he is a child of God and believes in
sovereign reigning grace, is struck by it with awe akin to terror.

But there is one geyser which becomes familiar to the civilized tourist
and seems to win from him a sort of affection, because of his
conscientious behavior. His very regularity, however, would strike the
more terror into the heart of the untutored red man. He has built his
home under a mound 300 yards in circumference and twenty or so feet
high at its apex, upon which he has cast a geyserite chimney ten to
fifteen feet high and six or eight in diameter. This chimney he has
ornamented within and without with huge tufted beads, and painted those
within with rose and white, orange and brown, red and grey. These
adjuncts, however, do not compare to those of many others, for some of
them seem to have wrapped their throats in great pillows, hard as
gypsum, but looking as soft and tufty as if made of swans down, while
others have painted their inside linings with all the tints of the
rainbow; and their crystal clear water seems to have caught the
cerulean blue from the heavens and are holding it in solution.

But to return to this geyser; for nearly an hour he has been as quiet
as a lamb, just enough of steam arising from his throat to show he is
gently breathing. The steam breath gradually grows and is exhaled with
more vigor. Presently he belches up a barrel or so of water which falls
back into his throat. Then in a minute come two or three such little
spasms, when up lifts a rounded column two or three feet in diameter,
rising higher and higher in exact perpendicularity 150 feet high. The
jet breaks more or less as it rises into pointed sprays, which, when
there is no wind blowing, fall with almost precise regularity about the
up going column.


In about five minutes the jet of water ceases, but is followed by
considerable steam emissions for a quarter of an hour, when one can
look down into his throat and see the crystal water ten to fifteen feet
below the apex, and all quiet and still. So regular is the action of
this geyser that one could, by watching it, almost dispense with a
watch. He never plays in less than sixty-three minutes, and never
delays action longer than seventy. Indeed, some of his most constant
admirers declare these variations are the fault of watches, not of "Old
Faithful." Thus he is named, and as such is known far and near. There
are several of these geyser-basins scattered over the park from ten to
twenty-five miles apart, the principal ones being the "Norris," the
"Lower Geyser Basin" and the "Upper Geyser Basin." These are reached in
succession on the tourist road from "Mammoth Hot Springs."

The regular tourist, starting from Mammoth Hotel, dines at the "Norris"
and sleeps at the "Lower Basin." The next day, if he prefers to go on
with his coach, he passes the "Excelsior," which is the hugest of all
the geysers, and has been for two or three years nearly quiet, but this
year is in tolerable eruption. It is a vast pool, possibly over two
hundred feet in diameter. When quiet, water about twenty feet below the
pool rim boils, seethes and tosses in horrible motion. It erupted just
as our party reached it, but not in one of its grand actions. A mass of
water possibly many feet in diameter was lifted fifty or more feet in
the air. It is said that when in full eruption the height of the column
is from two to three hundred feet. This I doubt. The mass of steam
enveloping the jet is so great that the water column is entirely
hidden, and has given rise to exaggeration on the part of those who
have seen it at its best. The basin of the Excelsior is called "Hell's
half acre," and it is by no means a misnomer, for the earth trembles,
and the roar when the geyser is in action is that of an earthquake,
while great stones are scattered about for several hundred feet. Close
by it are the "Prismatic Springs" and the "Turquoise." The first is two
or more hundred feet in diameter and is a placid mass of scalding
water. It has various depths; in the center where very deep, it is of
an indigo blue which shades off into a bluish green; then where very
shallow, it runs off into yellow, orange, red and brown, while some
circles are white. It is a marvel of beauty. The color of the Turquoise
is precisely described by its name.

The whole park plateau is filled with hot springs, which are building
up elevations with their deposit and mounting them as they build. The
water is all clear as crystal, but holds in solution lime, iron,
sulphur and other minerals, which it deposits sufficiently fast to
encrust a key, horseshoe, or other piece of metal in three or four days
with a solid enamel--say the sixteenth of an inch in thickness--and of
the appearance of second-class white sugar.

The geysers eject, when in action, large quantities of water, but the
springs, though boiling and spouting, and appearing to be lifting much
water, flow over their rims in very small streams. As they flow they
build up their margins, which are thus made almost exactly level. This
gentle flow runs off in wavy ripples generally; not in little rivulets,
but in thin sheets, depositing the solid matter they have held in
solution while below, which is freed by the action of the atmosphere.
In this way the springs lift themselves, and build lofty hills. The
deposit when fresh is hard, but when dry becomes generally friable,
though there are cases where it maintains great hardness. These
deposits often times wear beautiful colors, and nearly always do so
when being made or while under water. Some of the quiet pools are over
100 feet in diameter. The outer edges when shallow are of a deep brown,
followed by a lighter brown or red, then blending into a yellow and
followed by a yellow olive, and deepening as they sink into dark olive,
while in the deep throats they are almost black. The water before it
makes the deepest point, in some is of emerald greenness, in others of
exquisite blue; along the steep sloping walls assuming a rich amethyst
or tinted in exquisite sapphire.

All deposits take either a wavy or a tufted form, whether on gentle
slopes or on perpendicular walls. Some steep walls are not unlike
slightly tufted fleeces of wool. The tufts are of all sizes, from that
of an orange up to others as large as a bushel basket. One can scarcely
realize that these tufts are hard. They appear beneath the water to be
as light and soft as newly fallen snow upon an evergreen bush. Some of
them are creamy white, others yellow, orange and all shades of brown.
In one of the Geyser basins is a large pool actually used by the hotel
people as a laundry tub. If you will promise not to mention it I will
confess two evidences on my part of weakness. I always shed tears at
the theatres, and I washed some handkerchiefs in this boiling pool and
they came out nicely white.


To many, the paint-pots at the "Lower Basin" are the most curious
things seen in the park. Imagine somewhat rounded pits of all sizes
from those a few inches in diameter to others of forty and even sixty
feet across, filled with fine white mud or mortar, such as plasterers
call putty, and used by them for hard finish. This is boiling and
plopping (I coin this word) like mush in huge pots, or thick soap in
mighty caldrons. In boiling, the big bubbles lazily lift several inches
high, and more lazily burst with a muffled noise, and sputter dabs of
thick paste several feet into the air. Falling upon the rim of the
pool, these erect a wall--now smooth as a plastered wall--and then in
rough grotesque finish. No mortar made up for a first-class plaster
finish was ever tempered as is this natural paste. When dry and
pulverized it is an almost impalpable powder. The paste is sometimes
white, but more often is of a pale scotch gray. One large pool is half
white or whitish grey, the other half of a delicate peach blow. In one
pot the putty was a pretty pink salmon. Putting these three colors on a
cardboard to dry, I found that much of the coloring disappeared after
exposure to the atmosphere. At one basin between the Yellowstone canyon
and the great Yellowstone Lake, the mortar is of dark mud, pure and
simple, and is lifted many feet in the air, and falling, is sucked back
into a monster throat with horrible gurgling sound. Go to a slaughter
house to see a stuck pig breathing his last. Multiply his agonizing
throes several hundred fold and a good idea can be had of the struggle
of these hidden monsters. One of the mud geysers is said at times to
be so violent in its action, that the earth trembles for a very
considerable distance, when the monster is in full eruption. Curiously
there will sometimes be found a pool of crystal pure water boiling or
spouting not many feet away, and in one instance, close to a mud
boiling pool is a large spring of pure cold water. One is tempted to
wish to turn one of these into the mouth of the mud geyser to wash down
its throat and ease its agony. Neither the mud nor the white mortar in
these craters overflow, but bubble, sputter, and plop year after year.
The particles are as impalpable as the fine ground paint upon an
artist's easel.

All kinds of pools, geysers and paint-pots are heated more or less
highly, all of them nearly up to, and some much above boiling point.
The heating is not from the visible water being near to any fire or
heated surface, but from super-heated steam, generated far below, being
forced through the surface water. Sometimes only steam escapes through
the surface orifices. These are called vents. The steam coming from
some of these is so hot that the skin would be taken from the hand by a
single instantaneous application. They seem to be a sort of safety
valves from the great steam generators in the bowels of the earth. No
wonder the Indian gives this country a clear berth, or that a good
schoolmarm tourist constantly had on her lips Hades! Hades!! Hades!!!
To be candid, I think she used the old fashioned word.



The tourist entering the National Park by way of Livingston through
the Gardner Canyon, and rocky Gateway, at about sixty miles reaches
the "Mammoth Hot Springs". Here he sees a surprising formation. Before
him rises in terraces each from twenty to thirty feet high, a great
white cataract looking mass, several hundred feet high, bulging out
into the valley. The center projects with rounded contour far beyond
the wings, which recede on either side, and to be seen must be skirted.
The entire bent crest is not far from three miles in length. When first
approached, it strikes the eye as a succession of water falls tumbling
from terrace to terrace. To a second glance it appears a system of
falls one above the other hardened into dirty ice. To one who has
visited lofty snow clad mountains, an act of deliberation is required
to prevent him believing that the terraces are a part of a glacier of
more or less purity.

The crests of the different terraces are almost level--some of them
apparently exactly so. They are built by water, and, water here levels
as it builds, for if there be a depression it seeks it, and depositing
the solid matter held in solution, levels it up with the rest. From
the crest of the upper terrace runs back a plateau of silicious
incrustation covering 300 to 400 acres. Scattered over this, are
shallow pools of hot water of a bluish white tinge. About their shallow
sides these pools have concentric, tinted borders, some a few inches
wide, others of one or two feet. These are bent to conform to the
irregular shape of the pools, one within the other, and are several
deep. The borders differ from each other in color, being red, orange,
yellow and brown and of intermediate shades.

Near the front bulge of the upper terrace, lifts the principal spring
or pool on its individual terrace, high above the main plateau. It
looks like a turret when seen from below. Flowing in thin sheets over
the margin, sometimes a simple ooze, the water from each pool makes a
deposit as it spreads over the surrounding surface. At the foot and in
front of the great precipice, stand two isolated slender pillars of
geyserite, one of them about forty feet high. They are hollow and are
the cones or nozzles of extinct geysers. One is called the "Liberty
Cap" the other the "Devil's Thumb." They lift sheer up from the level
in front of the great formation, and are a sort of sentinels keeping
watch and ward over the wonderful picture. A large part of the
precipitous projection of each terrace is moist from slowly trickling

At the rear of the great plateau half hidden among scattered trees, is
a long fissure in the solid rock foundation of the mountain slope.
Through this has poured up hot water from below, building, as it
flowed, a huge white formation two to three hundred feet long, ten to
fifteen feet high, and about as broad, rounded and smooth on its crest.
This is supposed to resemble an elephant in recumbent position and has
been aptly named "The White Elephant." If one pauses to listen, he will
hear a gurgling of running water down in the leviathan's inside, not
unlike that made when its living namesake pours a draught of water from
his trunk down into his throat. Here, as everywhere else in active
spring formations, the sound of running water can be heard beneath the
surface incrustation. In some instances the ear must be bent down to
catch a gentle rippling; in others it deepens into a hoarse gurgle.

The silicious crest of all of the plateaux on which a person walks,
gives out so hollow a sound, that one is apt to feel somewhat anxious
lest it break beneath his weight. I suspect, however, if it should do
so, the bottom would be found generally at only a few inches, and a
crimped shoe would be the most injurious result. Occasionally, however,
the crest may cover a deep pool, but not often. When a pool is very
still a film of solid matter spreads over its margin as grease does
over cool water. This attaches itself to the edge and spreads towards
the center. Gentle ripples then overflow this but do not break it down,
but thicken it by further deposits. Sometimes one sees these edges
projecting well over a deep pool, and strong enough to bear up the
weight of several men; some of these may at some time be the cause of
very scalding accidents. The principal danger, however, to a moderately
prudent tourist is to his shoe leather. One frequently steps into a
little puddle after a geyser ceases to act, or walks into a thin sheet
to see more closely the coloring of a pool. Either of such imprudences
may cost a pair of good shoes. The safest course is to wear old ones
for a ramble and to keep a good dry pair at the hotel.


It may not be amiss to suggest some solution of the problems under
which the silicious incrustations are produced and the active geysers


The entire Yellowstone Park is an elevated plateau thrown up by
volcanic eruption, or more probably was left when the plains sank
beneath the ocean, leaving the crumpled back bone of the continent
pushed far above. The rocky ribs of earth were pitched here into a more
or less vertical position, leaving seams and fissures running deep down
into the bowels of the earth in the neighborhood of intense internal
fires. Volcanic forces have left their marks throughout the Park. The
hot springs and geysers are their feeble remnants.

On the mountain heights, melting snows and rains fill great lakes and
copious flowing rivers. These send veins more or less large, or
percolate down into the earth crust, supplying the intensely heated
rocks with moisture for a vast volume of super-heated steam. The steam
seeks an outlet through fissures made in the plutonic rocks by volcanic
forces and through seams in the upper crumpled and pitched stratified
formations. Passing through these latter this intensively heated steam
erodes the softer rocks into throats, recesses and pockets, and taking
up minerals in chemicals solution bears them upward, meeting the cooler
crust and mingling with percolations from melting snows and rains, it
becomes more or less condensed and pours out in small springs. These as
they flow, deposit the silicious and other mineral matter held in
solution, building up the lower side of the spring, until the rim is
level. Thus the spring becomes a more or less rounded pool.

The over flow now becomes very gentle and even over the entire rim. The
atmosphere reaches the whole of the overflow as it spreads over the
surface of the ground and causes rapid precipitation. The constant
outpour causes a constant lifting of the pool and of the incrustations
about it. This spreading crust is in laminae or thin sheets. As the
pool rim lifts, the weight of the column of water forces some of it
between the sheets and carries it hot and rich in mineral and earthy
solid matter to the outer edges of the formation, where it escapes to
spread the incrustation wider and wider. The streams beneath the crust
gradually wear away their channels leaving open spaces above them,
which give out a hollow sound when one walks over them, and in them the
rippling or gurgling of flowing water is to be heard more or less,
beneath the crust.

When such underflowing streams cut a large enough channel, they
frequently build up new small pools more or less removed from the
parent spring. In other words one vein of hot water coming from below
may be the source of several pools. Yet there are many only a few yards
apart, which have sources far removed from each other, or at least the
steam which supplies them with their heat and solid matter in solution,
has passed through widely different and distant rock formations. This
is shown by the different and distinct minerals which color the water
and the formations deposited by them.

The water in one pool will be comparatively pure, while close by, is
that of another strongly impregnated with sulphur, depositing great
tufts in yellow and brown, and still another with red borders and olive
throat full of oxide of iron. Here will be a pool beautifully green,
with exquisitely tinted formations, proving that copper or arsenic are
held in solution; and then within a half stone's throw is still another
of intense cerulean blue and a third of most delicate sapphire.

In one of the paint pots, in the "Lower basin" not over forty feet in
diameter, about half of the putty is pearl gray, while the other half
is a rich peach blow. I said that the overflow of the pools was
generally small. I recall several small ones and a few fully thirty or
more feet in diameter, from which the overflow in a calm day was almost
uniform from the entire veins, and nowhere thicker than a very thin
sheet of glass. And in some instances the out put was so thin as to be
a simple ooze. And yet in many of such pools the boiling action in the
centre was great enough to lift bubbles and turbulations many inches
high. In one pool called the "Spouter" there are constant large jets
lifting from a few inches up to three or more feet, a wild fearful
boiling and still only a small stream ran from it. And still others
which boiled furiously but had no outflow at all. It is not improbable
that from these latter there are water exists below the crusts, which
have been lifted up as rims or pool margins. The bubbles and
turbulations are not strictly speaking from boiling hot water, but from
steam rushing up and striving to escape.


No ordinary stretch of imagination will enable one who has not seen
them to realize the variety and exquisiteness of the tints and
colorings of many of the pools. The caves of Capri near Naples, furnish
not a more wondrous blue, and the grottoes of tropical seas do not
afford such variety. The tints are partly derived from the minerals
held in solution by the water, but are probably owing more to the
reflected tones of the geyserite formation surrounding the throats,
walls and margins.

One can easily understand the solution of the problem resulting in the
formation and actions of the pools, and of the building of the
encrustations of the plateaux, which extend over hundreds of acres. But
the actions of geysers are so weird and strange that science has
probably not fully explained them. I confess myself too much of a tyro
to fully comprehend the more scientific elucidation, which explains the
action on chemical principles. I can, however, comprehend the more
practical but possibly less scientific theory, which is sufficient for
me and will probably also be so for the majority of my readers. The
pools and hot springs are formed at all elevations in the valleys and
on mountain slopes.


The Geysers are always in the valleys and generally contiguous to the
lowest points. When lifted up they are probably so raised by their own
energies as builders.

On the following page is a cut showing a section of the earth crust,
running across a valley and up the mountain side. Along its lowest
point flows rapidly a stream of cold clear water fed by melting snows
and dews on mountains towering above and more or less distant.

[Illustration: Map]

"_G_" is a geyser cone. Below is the geyser throat or well sinking
down to "_W_".

"_S_" is a shaft more or less vertical opening into the geyser well
and running far down into the softer rocks to "_C_" a somewhat
horizontal continuation leading into "_R_" a recess or pocket in the
softer upper rocks of sufficient capacity in some cases to hold
hundreds or thousands of tons of water.

"_P_" is another recess opening into "_R_" near its apex. These
recesses or pockets have been scooped out by superheated steam pouring
up from far below through plutonic rocks contiguous to living central
fires. Such steam is generated from veins and percolations of water
always sinking from the earth's surface and from moisture believed to
exist in or about all rocks.

"_D_" "_D_" and "_D_" are reservoirs on the surface of the earth or
beneath it high up on the mountains, perennially supplied by rains and
melting snows.

"_V_" "_V_" "_V_" are veins through which water flows from reservoirs
"_D_" "_D_" "_D_" into recess "_R_" at "_X_". These veins are also fed
by percolations throughout the formations through which they run.
"_F_" "_F_" are fissures or seams in the upper rocks running into and
extending deep down in the primative or igneous rocks below, along
which highly heated steam generated near the internal fires underlying
earth's solid crust, rushes upward into recess or pocket "_P_". We
will assume that there are no veins conveying cold water into this
latter recess or pocket.

Now we assume also that at a given moment recesses "_R_" and "_P_" and
shaft "_S_" and its continuation "_C_" are free or nearly free of
water. Steam, however, is rushing from them and out of geyser "_G_" in
hot, roaring volume. In recess "_R_" it is encountering cold water
flowing in at "_X_" and rapidly loses its high temperature and is
being condensed. As such condensation goes on, the horizontal
continuation "_C_" is being filled. As it fills the escape of steam at
"_G_" lessens rapidly, until continuation "_C_" becoming full of
water, it ceases entirely or only a small amount lifts lazily up from
the hot shaft "_S_". The inflow at "_X_" and condensation fills recess
"_R_" with water more or less cool. The steam coming up through "_F_",
"_F_" no longer having an escape, heats the water in "_R_" until it
reaches a line "_L_" in recess "_R_," where it becomes so hot as no
longer to condense steam or does it to a very small extent. The
pressure of the high heated steam now stops a further inflow at "_X_"
and forces the water upward into shaft "_S_" and is capable of
sustaining the column at the geyser throat "_W_" and the column in
veins "_V_" at a like height. Condensation having ceased the steam in
"_R_" above "_L_" and in "_P_" becomes superheated and acquires
enormous expansive power. Finally its energy is so vast that a sudden
expansion or explosion takes place. The water at "_L_" is pressed
enormously downward and the contents of recess "_R_" are forced upward
through shaft "_S_" into the geyser well and then through the
contracted nozzle at "_G_" in a mighty jet high into the open air. The
action of suddenly expanded or exploded steam is spasmodic and
immediate. All of the water in recess "_R_" is therefore rapidly
thrown out at "_G_". The water gone, fearfully hot steam follows it
through "_G_" until its spasmodic energy ceases almost if not quite as
suddenly as it was at first aroused. Immediately the steam, now coming
from recess "_R_" begins to go through the cooling process before
described, until again the shaft is closed at "_C_" and again a
repetition of the eruption is brought about.

This series of actions is more or less regular in all geysers. In old
"Faithful" the round is completed in about sixty-three minutes. The
recesses or pockets are of various sizes in different geysers requiring
different periods of time to be filled. The time taken to empty them,
and in some measure the height of the jets depend probably very largely
upon the size of the throat and of the nozzle of the geysers. "Old
Faithful" has a comparatively small nozzle. His jet continues for
several minutes and mounts to a great height. The same is true of the
"Splendid." "The Castle" spurts up a very much larger volume of water;
but not nearly so high, from a huge throat and in very much less time.
The "Excelsior" has a throat many feet in diameter, and ejects a column
proportionately large. Its actions are not regular and indeed it is
rather a water volcano than a geyser, throwing up large stones and

"Young Faithful" emits no steam. It is probably only a sort of adjunct
of some of the violently boiling pools near by. Steam, which in some of
these cause violent turbulations at regular intervals, forces water
through lateral shafts up through this little gem. Its throat is very
small. A considerable body of water passing from behind with only a
moderate force, yet finding only the small throat, makes a jet of
considerable height. Jets resembling it are frequently seen on low
rocky cliffs on the sea shore, caused by the ocean swell passing into
grottoes and caverns and forcing water up along small fissures through
the overhanging rock, called "puffing holes". The foregoing theory of
geyser action may not bear the test of close criticism, but it is
probable that such criticism may be answered by hypotheses not here
alluded to. At all events it may be sufficiently satisfactory for the
ordinary mind.




I will say at the beginning of this letter, a few words as to how the
Park's wonders can be seen. There are associations under leases from
the Government and supposed to be under its control, which regulate the
movements of regular tourists, in and through the park; one for
transportation alone, and the other for feeding and housing.

The latter has five hotels, two of them completed--two others
sufficiently so to house their guests. The completed houses are, one at
"Mammoth Hot Springs," the other at "Grand Canyon." These are fairly
appointed hotels and each is capable of nicely accommodating several
hundred guests. Aside from these there are two where a tourist can live
in comfort, provided he be not over fastidious. The largest and best
hotel is at "Mammoth Hot Springs," at an elevation of 6,200 feet. The
next best and next largest one is at "Grand Canyon," 7,500 feet up.
Several other hotels are partially finished.

The transportation company has some seventy-five vehicles, two-thirds,
if not three-fourths of them Concord stages and wagonettes carrying six
to seven passengers, but capable of carrying three or four more by
placing three on a seat; the other vehicles are four-passenger surreys.
The coaches and wagonettes each have four horses, the surreys two. The
tourist purchases tickets for the round trip. Forty dollars carries one
from Livingston on the railroad to Mammoth Hot Springs and then around
the park, occupying five and a quarter days. This includes hotel
expenses. One thus sees everything in the grand tour, but somewhat
hurriedly. However, quite a number stop over at the "Upper Geyser
Basin" and at "Grand Canyon;" the stop-overs thus making room for those
who had halted the day before. There are at this time tourists enough
to start out each day from Mammoth Hot Springs about five coaches and
several surreys all leaving at a fixed hour and reaching points of
interests or other hotels close together, each vehicle maintaining its
position in the line throughout the tour. Thus racing is prevented. A
great mistake is made in keeping the vehicles in line too close
together. For at times the dust on some of the roads is very deep,
causing passengers in some of the vehicles to be choked and rendered
very uncomfortable. It rains frequently throughout the park; but for
this the tour would be almost unbearable. Our party was in this respect
very fortunate.

The management very foolishly discourages individual stop-overs, but
suggests a stage or surrey party to hold over the vehicle. This is
expensive and parties are not always of one mind. I stopped and now
stop over, taking my chances for a vacancy in a coach. This should be
encouraged by the management, for a person can spend several days of
pleasure and instruction at two, three or more points.

"Grand Canyon" from which this letter is started, would make a charming
resort for parties for days, or even weeks, and two or three days
should be taken to study the "Upper Geyser Basin." But the entire
management is yet in an embryo state, and too great an endeavor is made
to make both ends meet, with a profitable balance at the end of the
season. Some travelers complain bitterly of the accommodations
furnished at the hotels. They are, however, I suspect, of those who
expect the comforts of home, or the luxuries of first-class city hotels
where ever they go. Those who are prepared to make the most of life,
and to pick up pleasure wherever to be found, can spend several weeks
in the Park, without loss of flesh and with instruction regarding the
sports and freaks of nature to be found no where else. The wonders are
unique and the marvels unequaled elsewhere in the world.

Some tourists are so unfortunate as to arrive at the park when very
large excursion parties from the East make their entry. Then the hotels
become necessarily crowded. No prudent provision can make preparation
for an extra hundred pouring in on top of the regular travel. At such
times one is compelled to take a bed in a room with several others and
may even be forced to crowd two in a bed. That happened once to our
party. But none of the travelers had the small pox or itch, so no great
harm resulted. By hugging the outer rail of a bed, instead of the bed
fellow, the necessity of tumbling two in a bed is not altogether a

Besides those who make the regular tours, there are many who hire
carriages and wagons at Cinnabar for a leisurely excursion, which may
be longer or shorter to suit disposable time and the fullness of
purses. Parties too, besides hiring carriages and horses, frequently
take tents and enjoy a regular roughing life. We encountered many of
these. Some were of a man and his family, others of two or three young
men, and still others of men and ladies by the dozen or two, and in one
instance thirty or forty were in the party. The large parties have a
number of attendants who generally go ahead to prepare the camps for
the night, while the tourists loiter along the way to inspect the
marvels or to botanize. The small parties we saw, pitched their tents
when practicable, near a trout stream, several of which furnished fine
sport. Throughout the Park we noticed that at and about localities
usually chosen for camping ground, warnings were nailed upon the trees,
"Put out the fires." Destructive forest fires have resulted from
carelessness of campers. Soldiers in pairs ride along several of the
roads daily to see that these regulations are observed, and to prevent
injurious results from non-observance. Twice we saw blue coats
extinguishing smouldering fires left by reckless people.

My personal stage party up to this point, has been my daughter and
some intelligent schoolmarms from New York, one of them, however,
resenting the appellation of "schoolmarm." She is a _principal_.
Woman-like, they seemed glad when I assumed command of the party.
Queer, how even the brightest and most independent woman takes to a
sort of master. Show me one who will not submit to the yoke, and ten
to one she is one few men desire to boss. I call my party, "my
Innocents," and all move with alacrity when I cry out, "Come girls!"

Between us, it has been several years since the youngest of them wore
short dresses. I mean this in good part, for girls just getting into
long skirts are very like the rinsing fluid into which the wash-woman
dips her clean laundry, and called "blue water"--rather thin!


All my Innocents are good, but can stand a straight shot in sensible
English. One quotes with a sigh the remark of a friend, who when in the
park, had but one word--the word translated "sheol" in the revised
version. Quotation marks are convenient when one wishes to say
something a little naughty. The Rev. Thomas Beecher, who is one of our
daily party, but not in our coach, and who by the way is something of a
wag, and is not averse to having a learned theological discussion with
one who, like himself, was intended for an Evangelist, speaking of the
huge amount of solid matter brought here above ground, declares he must
look up Bob Ingersoll to tell him the Devil is making some mighty big
holes down below. For my part if the Devil is doing all this, I shall
begin to cultivate high respect for him as an artist, and would only
ask him not to let the bottom drop out until my friends to the third
and fourth generation may come and see. After them it matters not. Let
the deluge come. It is evident from the names given to many points
about the park that the Devil's friends have done much of the
christening in this region.

Now, having to some extent touched upon the marvelous antics of Nature
in Uncle Sam's domain, I will say something of those things nearly as
interesting, and which make this tour charming as a simple road
excursion. The park is full of beauties. The drives are often through
delightful pine forests. The trees are small, but straight as arrows,
tall and lading the air with delicious perfumes. Many hundred, or
rather hundreds of thousands of acres are dead: Some from forest fires,
but in many cases apparently from a species of blight, possibly from a
failure of nourishment in the thin soil on the mountain slopes for the
trees after they have attained any size. Tracks of fierce mountain
storms are frequently seen; miles upon miles of forests are thrown
down, the trees all lying in one direction, showing that the
devastation was done by straight running winds, and not by tornadoes.

There are noble mountains constantly towering above us, although we are
ourselves sometimes nearly nine thousand feet above the sea, and never
after leaving Mammoth Hot Springs, under 7000. Many of the mountains
have bands of snow stretching far below their pinnacles, and some of
them are properly entitled, snow-capped. The mountains and slopes are
fairly well treed; and the small plains or plateaux show beautiful
downs bordered with forest and cut by copses. These downs are green and
so smooth in the distance that it is difficult to realize that man has
had nothing to do with laying them out. Several level valleys are very
pretty and when seen from eminences remind one of valleys over which
people go into ecstasies in foreign lands. If there were here a church
spire, and there a mill and a sprinkling of hamlets, they would be as
happy valleys as the vaunted ones abroad.

The utter absence of habitations on the long drives is a striking
peculiarity. The roads being tolerably good and entirely artificial,
makes one expect to see hamlets, and he involuntarily finds himself
looking for a farm house, when the coach emerges from a forest, and
comes upon a broad stretch of clean looking well grassed native meadow
land. A turn of a mountain spur along a crystal stream, which has
deepened into a pool, suggests a mill pond, and that a water wheel will
soon come into view. A grassy plain all sun-lighted causes one to look
for a herd of cattle lazily lying in a wooded copse on its margin. But
no habitation other than the regular hotels, are to be found within the
wonder land.

The park is comparatively a free and safe home for many varieties of
wild animals. Guns and pistols are forbidden, except to the soldiers
and to the _scouts_ who are a sort of a police corps, whose duty
is to see that trespassers do not enter upon the Government preserve.
Elk, deer, mountain sheep, bear black and cinnamon, buffalo and other
animals indigenous to the Rocky mountains, range freely over the hills
without molestation; and beaver build their dams close by the hotels.
How many buffalo are yet denizens of the park, I could not definitely
learn, but was told that there are from fifty to a hundred. Squirrels
and chipmunks are very numerous in several varieties, and very gentle.
The bear are becoming too numerous for the safety of such animals as
they prey upon. On this account the scouts are destroying many of them.

I said there are no domestic animals, except a few about the hotels.
The result is, the grasses are fine and the flowers in great profusion
and very beautiful--patches of larkspur as blue as indigo, acres of
lupin of various tints, generally blue and lilac with eyes of white;
gentians so rich and purple that one feels that they have been dipped
in Tyrian dyes; sunflowers and buttercups, making acres look as if they
had been sprinkled with gold; and many other beautiful flowers, whose
names I know not. But one thistle I must not forget to mention. It is
short and heavy from the ground, not unlike the edible thistle of
Japan, with leaves and stalks of flesh colored pink, bleached into a
sort of mixture of white, green and rose, with clustered flowers in
compact head of exquisite rose and pink. It is a rarely beautiful
flower. One flower of delicate lavender, thickly strewn along branching
spikes, was wholly unknown to all of our party and is acknowledged of
great beauty. Its leaf and small flowers lead me to think it a wild


As I sit at my window the roar of the glorious Yellowstone falls
filling my ear, I look out across the deep river canyon, to an upper
plateau of several thousands of acres of beautiful meadow, some miles
away, with here and there a copse of young pines, and all fringed by
rich forest, and feel I should see a herd of fallow deer wandering over
some ancient, lordly park. It is true that my glass shows that much of
the velvety softness of the down is from green sagebush, which is so
softened down by the distance that from here it resembles well cut
grass. It is very beautiful.

Guide books tell us not to drink the water. I think their writers were
in collusion with the hotel management to force guests to buy lager
and apollinaris at 50 cents a bottle. By the way, there is on the
first days drive an apollinaris spring. It seems to me the simon pure
thing. We drank freely of it at the spring and afterwards from bottles
carried for several hours. One of the bottles was tightly corked, and,
when opened, popped as if well charged. At another spring--a little
thing immediately on the edge of the road on the Beaver river and in
the cool and beautiful Beaver canyon, we had soda water flavoured with
lime juice. At least, it reminded me very distinctly of soda water
with which the juice of the lime had been mingled in Ceylon. The
bar-tenders in the "Flowery Isle" call it "lemon squoze." It was our
favorite beverage in hot Colombo. Both of these springs are small, but
from them could be bottled many cases a day. A gentleman in the party
who has drank only Apollinaris since he came into the Park, tasted
from my bottle and declared it quite equal to the pure stuff. Feeling
the need of an alterative, I twice drank several glasses from a hot
spring with decided benefits; and have partaken freely throughout the
tour of the springs (except those whose brilliant green showed them
largely impregnated with arsenic or copper,) and with no perceptible
injurious effects. The hotel people are inclined to disparage the
waters of the springs generally, and discourage their use, thereby and
possibly for that purpose, largely increasing the consumption of lager
and bottled waters, which sell at fifty cents a bottle. The enormous
number of empty bottles along the road sides and at the hotels testify
to the thirst and timidity of the traveling public. The coach drivers
call the empty bottles along the road "dead soldiers." The "peg"
_i.e._ whisky soda is the bane of the European in India. The
disposition to make "dead soldiers" in the National Park very probably
does more harm to the tourist than the native waters would if
judiciously used.

When the government does its duty--makes abundant roads and bridges
about its marvelous domain here, and analyzes thoroughly its hot
springs--I doubt not there will be found many of them of great hygienic
value, and sanitariums will be established to make the park a blessing
to the afflicted of the country.

One good housewife whom I met frequently at the different halting-places,
sighed deeply at the enormous waste of hot water, declaring there was
enough here to laundry all America, and to wash the poor of all our
big cities. The good people tell us everything was made for man. I
doubt it. He is not worth the good things lavished upon him. He is a
part of the mighty plan and will be followed after the next cataclysm
by beings as much above him as he is above the chimpanzee. But if the
good people be correct, Congress ought to take immediate steps to
enable the people more fully to utilize the mighty Hygea located
within the bounds of this park.

Surrounded by bare and bleak mountains and hot and arid plains, here at
this elevation rains are abundant, and dews are sufficient; trees
clothe mountain top and slope; grass is green and fattening, and
flowers deck the open downs and shade the forest land. And yet the air
is dry and beneficial to all except those whose lungs require an
atmosphere less light. We have seen several consumptives who have come
here for their health. The rarified atmosphere makes their breathing
very laborious and painful. Possibly in the early stages of the
disease, benefits may be derived from a sojourn here, but in its later
stages, the poor victims suffer fearfully. The majority of those whom
we have seen here for health, are camping out and seem to be having a
good time. They have their horses, and spend their time fishing and

On the road from the lower Geyser basin to Grand Canyon we halted at a
little rivulet to water our stock. The stream cut its way deep down in
a grassy plain, and was so narrow that one could easily jump over it. A
small camping party had just pitched its tents close by. While the tent
lines were being stretched, the gentleman of the party came to the
rivulet near us to angle for his supper. He cast his fly a few times,
when there was a "rise" to it not twenty feet from our coach, and a two
pound beauty, speckled and plump was landed. I envied the camper.

In some localities in the Yellowstone, and especially in and about the
great lake, parasites so infest the fish as to unfit them for the
table. The infected fish, however, are easily known and may be
discarded, while the good are retained. A gentleman who has fished
throughout the park informed me, that as a rule, the fish were good.
Like the trout in all the Rocky mountains and Pacific regions, the fish
caught here lack the delicate flavour of the brook trout taken in the
Adirondacks and throughout the New England States.

We regret we could not visit the Great Yellowstone Lake. The hotels
there being unfinished, the regular stage route does not yet take it
in. It is at an altitude of 7700 feet, and is over twenty miles long
from the North-west to the South-east and fifteen from North-east to
South-west, covering an area of 150 or more square miles. It is very
irregular in its form and said to be a beautiful sheet. Excepting the
lake in the Andes it is much the largest lake in the world at so great
elevation. A large hotel is being erected on its margin. When finished
it will make a very attractive addition to the Park tour, and will
furnish a stop over for days or weeks to those who have time at their

One is surprised to find how quickly he becomes fatigued by a short
climb, until his lungs become accustomed to the rare medium he is
taking in. One old man, I need not name, stepped jauntily by the side
of a pretty schoolmarm and swore he was 32, but the climb of a mile
made him, with blushes which tinged the cuticle of his bald head,
acknowledge he was past 65. He was somewhat relieved, when he saw how
the sweet innocent was panting at his side.

There is here what I am told exists nowhere else in the world--a
mountain of glass--volcanic obsidian--monster masses resembling the
molten opaque blocks left by the Chicago great fire in the ruins of a
glass warehouse. We drove along a road of shivered glass. The engineers
built fires over great obsidian bowlders, and then threw cold water
from the stream close by over the heated mass, breaking it into glass
gravel. Chipmunks of several varieties, gray pine squirrels, hop about
barking within a few feet of one; robins are almost as gentle as
sparrows, and bears come down near to one of the hotels nightly to be
fed for the amusement of the tourists. Beavers have their dams close by
our hotel and can at dusk be seen swimming about and feeding. A small
herd of buffalos, since we have been here, rushed across the road just
in front of an excursion party, giving the stage horses a fright and
nearly creating a panic. No gun is allowed in the park, except to the
military and scouts, and no one can kill an animal, except when driven
to it for want of necessary food. Two companies of soldiers patrol the
regular routes to enforce the regulations and to serve as voluntary
guides for the ladies of the daily parties. They forbid the smallest
specimen to be carried off. I had even to hide the little dabs of mud I
took from a paint-pot. Uncle Sam is cultivating good nature among men
and beasts within this, his unique domain. Even the devil may grow
good-natured, and may cut up his didos and antics after a while only
for the people's amusement.


Having told you of the freaks and sports of nature which make the more
striking marvels of this wonderland; and having spoken of the softer
and sweeter characteristics of the Park, I now come to what the
majority of the travelers consider its gem.

A Soudanese wise man is said to have swallowed the tale of Jonah and
the whale without making a wry face, but grew fighting mad when asked
to believe the story of snow and ice in northern lands. The genii might
easily send a man through a whale's belly, but Allah himself could not
make water hard and dry. So it is easy to tell of the monstrosities of
the park, and hope for credence. They are simply monstrosities--the
work of demoniac power, and are credible. But who can make another
believe that huge precipices, one and two thousand feet high, have been
painted with all the colors of the setting sun; that the rainbow has
settled upon miles of rocks and left its sweet tints upon their rugged
sides? And yet this and these are true of the Yellowstone canyon.

We approached it from the South on a road running near the river. On a
pretty grassy bank we rode along the stream, here over a hundred yards
wide, rolling swiftly yet smoothly along in green depths, preparing to
make its two plunges into the chasm below. Swift and swifter it hurried
onward in quickened dignity. Presently the rock walls on either side
grew contracted to a hundred or so feet, and then the green stream
rushed in smooth slope to a gateway of eighty feet in width, through
which, with parabolic swoop, it leaps 112 feet with such depth on its
brink, that the deep-emerald green is not lost till it strikes a ledge
at the bottom, where a large part of the falling sheet is shot off at
an angle into the air, half as high up as the fall itself. The two
sides of the river at the brink of the fall rush against precipitous
walls and are bent and curled upwards into a veil six or eight feet
high over the green center--a veil of countless millions of crystal
drops--over the main stream of emerald more than half hidden in a
mighty shower of diamonds. Standing immediately on the edge, one can
imagine how Niagara's Horseshoe would look if one could get within a
few feet of it. This fall is not very lofty nor wide, but is one of the
most beautiful in the world. The river after the first fall rushes in
foamy swirl a half mile further, between cliffs which on either side
lift 1,500 feet high, and growing higher and higher, and then with one
wild leap plunges 300 feet into the rocky gorge below.

As it drops the emerald and the diamond struggle for supremacy, but the
brighter crystal gains the ascendency before all is lost in the
lace-like mist which envelopes the depths. The whole when seen from a
little distance looks as light as a gem-decked veil of lace, but so
vast is the body of the water which makes the leap, and so great the
fall, that to one standing a mile away, with a point of land
intervening between him and the fall, shutting off the noise of the
splashing water, there comes a deep and mellow bass, richer than any I
ever heard before made by a water fall. It is not an angry tone like
Niagara's roar, but is as deep and mellow as distant rolling thunder
when heard in a mountain gorge.

These falls are beautiful in the extreme, but the beholder soon forgets
them in wonder of the canyon which bends between the towering cliffs
for four miles. Far under him, at least 1500 feet down, the river leaps
and tears, now in green, and then in snowy foam, between precipices at
whose feet no human foot ever did or can safely tread. The rocks lift
on either side in mighty buttresses like giant cathedral walls.
Standing out before the walls are towers and pointed spires of most
artistic form, all painted in exquisite tints. The upper walls are of
yellow and orange hue, with here and there towers and bulwarks of
chalky white or of black lava over which is a film of venetian red. The
upper yellow walls, sink and contract between the lifting buttresses,
which at their base are of lava black, running first into dark umber,
and then into chocolate bordered with black and stained with red, often
so bright as to be vermillion. In some places the main walls are broken
down, where some long-ago slide has carried their steepness into the
river below, but with slopes far too steep for human tread. Some of
these slopes are orange and yellow as if coated with sulphur; others
are painted in vertical bands of brown and red, with between them
narrow stripes of pearl gray and yellow, and of orange stretching for
hundreds of feet, and at one point for a half mile in extent; one of
these slopes look as if a banner with these several colors, had been
spread over it, and then being removed, the colors of the drapery had
been left upon the soft velvety rock. The buttresses and spires lift
now fifteen to a hundred feet apart, and then they are spread so that
the golden wall between shows 150 to 200 feet. All of the colors except
the yellow seem to be in and of the rock. The yellow looks as if made
by blowing thousands of tons of flowers of sulphur upon the walls, the
flowers having clung when the wall had some incline, but having dropped
off from the vertical rock.

These painted rocks extend along the canyon for about four miles; then
the gorge grows more somber and dark, and so continues some twenty
miles. This lower part seems to be of a harder rock. It was cut through
myriads of ages ago and has grown darkly gray, while the painted part
is of a much later period and is of soft rocks--so soft that they seem
to be composed of somewhat indurated volcanic ash, sulphur being the
predominating mass. The red coloring is from oxide of iron. These
blending together make other tints. Burnt Umber, often deepened into a
rich chocolate is the dominating one. The buttresses are of a harder
yet still a rather soft lava, of a yellowish brown tint near the
summits, red and brown below, and finally towards their bases almost
black. Sometimes there are slopes of white lime and several towers,
nearly 2,000 feet high sheer up from the river, are so white that one
could think them chalk. Half way down the heights are great points,
like the sharpened spires of a cathedral, colored as if a mighty pot of
venetian red had been emptied over them and had run in streaks down the
rocky sides. Had an artist tried to sell me a picture of these cliffs,
before I had seen them, in no way exaggerated in coloring, I would have
called him a fraud, and would have thought he had taken me for a fool.
I have seen now and then pictures which I considered daubs, which I now
know did not in the least overdo Nature in its freak of rock-painting.
I quit the park glad that I came, but feel that the rush and labor of
going through it would hardly repay a second hasty visit, at least for
several years. Yet I can recall no excursion of the same length in any
part of the world half so full of surprises. Could we have made it
leisurely, our enjoyment would have been greatly enhanced. We have met
some tourists who think the labor and annoyance of the thing
over-balance the profit and pleasure. Burns says "Man was made to
mourn." In my weary round, I have frequently been convinced that about
half of the travelers of the world were made to growl, or at least half
think they fail to show their "raisin" unless they do growl.

Equanimity of temper is the most valuable of all human characteristics
for happiness. It is absolutely necessary to the traveler, who desires
to learn much, and to enjoy what he sees. A plain traveling suit on
one's back, a resolution to make the most of every thing in one's mind,
and the least possible luggage to carry, are the three indispensables
for a good traveler. The park people may not do all they should for the
public; indeed, I fear they have many short-comings, but I for one, am
very glad they are here, and that they do as much as they do.

PAGE 35.)]

The hotels at Mammoth Hot Springs and at Yellowstone canyon are large,
each capable of housing two or three hundred guests. The beds are clean
and soft, the table fair and the attendance quite good. I have only one
complaint to make. At the first named hotel they will insist on a brass
band's tooting a good part of the time. The noise it made was
execrable. There is no such thing as bad music, it is either music or
it is noise. At Norris, the hotel is poor and the managers impolite. At
the Lower and at the Upper Geyser Basin, the houses are unfinished, and
the rooms not sufficient in number, but the people do their best to
please. This endeavor should cover a multitude of sins.



    TACOMA, WASHINGTON, July 31, 1890.

Familiarity is said to breed contempt; certainly it robs strange
things of much that at first seems marvelous. On our return from the
excursion around the Park, the formation at Mammoth Hot Springs had
lost much of that which on our first visit struck us as so wonderful
and charming. We had seen other things greatly more wonderful with
which to compare them. The encrustations seemed not so white and the
colorings of the water had lost some of their prismatic variety and

The impressions made upon the mind by Niagara grow on succeeding
visits. A storm at sea arouses no less awe because several have been
before passed through. Niagara and the ocean are in eternal motion.
Motion irresistably suggests change, and change precludes monotony.
One does not lose his feeling of awe, after looking for many times
upon the towering heights of the Yungfrau or of Kinchinjinga. Their
inaccessible peaks and eternal snows repel every disposition to close
communion. I doubt not, however, if a safe railroad could be run up to
mighty Everest's loftiest pinnacle, that tourists would snap their
fingers at the world's monarch when standing in warm furs 29,000 feet
above the sea.

The still and apparently unchangeable incrustations at Mammoth Hot
Springs, were looked upon on our final visit without awe or surprise.
A large party of us left the hotel for Cinnabar closely packed in the
coaches and surreys on a bright sunny afternoon, glad we had seen the
wonderland, but quite satisfied to leave our labors behind us. As we
dashed down the defile near the park line, we doffed our hats and bade
adieu to the eagle sitting on its eyrie as we had seen him on our
entrance. The downward ride was quite rapid, and some of us who had
been drawn into somewhat close communion during the past week were
almost sorry when we so soon reached Livingston--some to go eastward
and others westward, all to part most probably forever.

From Livingston to Helena the run was made at night. We found the
latter a bustling place and well worth a visit. There is an air about
a mining camp which can be seen in no old country, and Helena though
now full of city airs yet has many of the characteristics of the camp.
Its foundations rest upon gold bearing earth, and even now in digging
cellars, quite in the town, pay dirt is found. Nearly the entire site
of the city has been dug over by the miner. It was in one of its
gulches, now a street, that a prospector wearied out by unsuccessful
tramps and reduced to his last dollar, stuck in his pick to try for a
"last chance." He had no expectation of reward, but dug down in sheer
desperation before going off a pauper. The result was "The last chance
mine," one of the richest ever discovered.

We stopped at the Helena hotel and found it quite equal to any in
large eastern cities.

The Broadwater Hotel, however, some three to four miles out of town,
is now the lion of the place. It is a cottage-built house, with 200
fine rooms, all finished in hardwoods and elegantly furnished. Its
bathrooms, with huge porcelain tubs and large dressing-rooms attached
to each, are especially fine and the baths are said to be medicinally


But these dwindle when compared with its huge swimming bath. The
natatorium building is about 350 feet long by 150, with a roof 100
feet high, supported by light arches in single spans. The tank is 300
feet by 100; at one end about four feet deep, and running to ten or
more at the other. Natural hot and cold waters pour over a precipice
of cyclopean masses of granite at one end, about fifty feet wide and
forty high. This precipice is pierced by three large openings over
which the water pours in great sheets, and so artistically that one
would easily believe it a series of natural falls. The flow is so
large that the tank is replenished several times a day. The
temperature was to me rather high--about 80 degrees. A swim in its
deep waters, however, was very fine. The whole is lighted by day
through windows high up, of cathedral glass in different tints, terra
cotta predominating. The hotel, with its 200 rooms, and the tank-house
and grounds are illuminated at night by incandescent lights. We saw it
only by day, but could easily imagine how beautiful it must look and
how gay a scene it must offer when 300 or 400 people are in at
night--men and gay ladies. Very decorous bathing suits are furnished
to bathers, and those bringing their own, are compelled to have them
of conventional modesty. I was told that 300 bathers of an evening is
not an unusual number, and that it is largely frequented during nine
months of the year and by the very best people of the city. The charge
is fifty cents for an entrance, so as to keep out the riff-raff. Col.
Broadwater has expended half a million on the house and grounds,
bringing his hot water from a mineral hot spring some four miles up a
gorge, and a large supply of cold pure water also from the hills. The
hotel was full. We took lunch with the Colonel and some friends, and
found it like everything else, first class. A steam and an electric
motor road leads from the city to the hotel. By the way, why do the
street car people not put in electrical motors in Chicago? At St.
Paul, Helena and Spokane we have ridden upon them and were delighted.
A car looks as if it were out fishing with a fishing rod springing
from its top, bent just as if it were playing a gamy fish.

The hospitalities of the Broadwater very nearly cost us our connection
at the railroad. We gave ourselves but little time, expecting to find
a carriage ordered to be in waiting at the electric road city
terminus. It was not there and we walked to our hotel to find we had
but eleven minutes to get our luggage on a carriage and to reach the
railroad station a mile and a half away. The porter said it was
impossible to reach it in time. We ordered our traps brought down and
rushed to our rooms for our small pieces. At the office were a crowd
of newly arrived travelers. I called to the clerk saying I had no time
to pay hotel bills. He smiled. Taking advantage of his good humor we
mounted the carriage telling the driver to make the train or die. He
said he would land us on the train or in--naming a rather hot place.
He tore through the town at a full gallop. People in shop doors looked
at us and smiled. Possibly they suspected an old gray beard was
getting away with a young girl. The jehu and his horses were plucky.
The station house as we drove up hid the train from us, and hid us
from it. We turned the building, the train was well in motion, the
engineer checked up but the train continued to move. We jumped down;
the driver threw our trunk into the baggage car; I landed my valise on
the platform of the next car; my daughter got her satchel on the next
and she climbed up on the third. I caught on and climbed the fourth
and threw the fare to the driver. Quite a crowd of people about the
station admired our pluck, and when our driver yelled out "Hurrah for
Chicago" a generous response went up from a score or more of throats.
Success is admired everywhere, but out west it is the cure all. Every
man at that station would at that moment have voted for me for--pound
master. Shortly after leaving Helena the climb is commenced in scaling
the real Rocky Mountains. The road bends and winds over many
magnificent curves and loops, rapidly climbing upward. Now we look far
above us, at a locomotive slowly creeping along the mountain side, and
we look down upon the road we had a few moments before puffed along,
but already hundreds of feet immediately under us. The mountains
towered above us, covered by great black precipices, and mighty
detached rocks standing alone or in groups. This is the true backbone
of the continent, and the black scattered rocks might be vertebrae
pushing through the worn cuticle. We could understand here why these
are called the _rocky_ mountains. Rough towers and jagged turrets
black with the weather wear of ages are the salient features of the
heights and slopes. Here they are in great groups, there isolated. Now
they are compacted into massive precipices, frowning and repellent,
and then scattered as if dropped by icebergs. They are, however, not
mighty loose boulders, but are moored to and are a part of the
mountain's foundation rocks.

We crossed some lofty trestle bridges and looked down upon a stream
thick with mud from a gold washing camp near by. At length we reached
the summit. Our extra locomotive was side tracked and we breathed an
atmosphere perceptibly different from that we had left on the eastern
side of the range. We were now upon the Pacific slope.

We halted for a few minutes at Missoula. The fine valley was bathed in
the glowing red of sunset. We lost at night much beautiful wooded
scenery which I once before enjoyed so much. To one simply going to
Puget Sound it is worth while to stop over at Missoula and then to run
down Clark's Fork by day. But we wished to have a full day at our next
stopping place.

Of all the cities we have seen, the busiest was Spokane--pronounced as
if there were no "e" at the end and the "a" quite broad. Seven years
ago I was there. Then it had but 800 dwellers. Now there are in the
neighborhood of 25,000. There are several streets with elegant
business blocks, finished or being completed, of four, five, and six
stories in height, comparing favorably with those of any Eastern city
in architectural design and finish. The heart of the city reminds one
of Chicago the spring after the great fire, and the people seem to
have the same pluck, and energy, and confidence that so marked our
people at that time. Some of the private houses on the steep,
hugely-bowldered slope of a high hill on one side of the city are
models of elegance. We visited two which were real chefs d'oeuvres of
architectural design--one a Swiss chalet, the other Mooresque in
design. Everything was after the original models, even to much of the
furniture. I have never seen except in some model houses abroad such
complete specimens. The outside of several others which we did not
visit are quite as fine. Mrs. Cutter, the proud mother of the
architect, exhibited her house with great hospitality, and Mrs. Moore
seemed to feel that she had no right to hide her gem of a residence.

At evening we were invited to a fete champetre on a fine lake some
forty miles north of the city and 800 feet elevated above it. About
300 of the elite of the town went out by rail, danced, and had supper,
returning to town by 1 o'clock in the morning. The young girl with me
enjoyed it greatly. A severe cold just caught forbade my appreciating
anything but the sweet, sincere hospitality shown us. Judge Kinnaird,
the son of one of the friends of my early Kentucky boyhood, got us the
entree of Spokane's "four hundred." This is destined to continue a
thriving city, but lots at $1,000, four miles from the heart of the
city, will burn badly some real estate speculators. It is said a
mining trade of nearly $50,000 a day naturally belongs to the town. I
fear, however, there will be a bursting of a bubble when the burnt
district shall be restored. A large trade will be necessary to support
the great number of mechanics and laborers now lifting the town from
its ashes. Hotel Spokane is a very large and good house.


Very fine crops are grown in the Spokane Valley. The crops of oats and
wheat sown for hay was being harvested and proved a very heavy yield.
Washington claims she will harvest over 20,000,000 bushels of wheat
this year. I was surprised to see fine fields of grain on the rolling
plains in the great bend of the Columbia river. I remember speaking of
the richness of this soil in the "Race with the Sun," but thought
artificial irrigation would be necessary to make it yield. This year
there are fine crops where only nature's watering can ever be availed
of. One of the stations, quite removed from any water course, has
grown into a thriving town, showing that the country around is

I suspect that a fair rainfall cannot be relied upon from year to
year. It will, however, become more and more reliable, for it has been
the rule throughout the world and probably through all ages, that
rains follow cultivation, and man's presence and industry calls down
Heaven's aid. The answer of Hercules to the cartman would be the reply
of Ceres as well to the prayers of her votaries.

The ash colored sage bush was thought by the early men of the great
plains to be poison to the land. It however was one of God's bounties
to man. It prevented the soil from being blown away and where it grew
the most lavishly, is now found to be the best of soils. Sage bush not
only keeps the winds away, but when dead and rotten fills up sand
pockets with material rich for all of the small grains. The people of
the Yakima valley on the eastern slope of the Cascade mountains, boast
that theirs is the garden spot of the Pacific country. They certainly
do produce fine fruits, melons and garden vegetables, but I have not
been struck favorably with the outlook of the locality in either of my
trips through the land.

The run from Ellensburg over the Cascades is a magnificent ride. The
enormous mass of forest, prevents many extended views, but those seen
are very fine. Every break in the forests would reveal lofty
mountains' slopes clothed in forests of marvelous richness, and now
and then snowy heights would tower aloft. Once a fine view of Renier
is caught, the monarch of the grand range. Robed in his snowy ermine
he stands out a sceptered hermit wrapped in his isolation. Seen from
the sound he is one of the most picturesque peaked mountains of the
world, and from all inland points of view he is a grand towering mass
of ever living snow and ice.


Having done considerable hard work on the trip so far, we resolved to
take a rest at the hot springs, three and-a-half hours from Tacoma, on
Green River. Three years ago my boys and I fished here pleasantly for
several days. The place is unpretentious, but the waters possess
apparently the same properties as those of the Arkansas hot springs.
The place is some fourteen hundred and fifty feet above Tacoma. During
our present three days stop, an overcoat has been comfortable in the
evenings, and we sleep under three blankets. A cold batch of air drops
down the valley from Mount Reniers (Tacoma calls him Mount Tacoma;
Renier is his name), 14,400 feet of snowy peak, driving away all
summer sultriness. A bath in the medicinal waters of seven minutes and
then a pack causes the perspiration to flow from one quite as heavily
as the same course would do in Arkansas. Before leaving home I had a
large and painful carbuncle on the back of my neck. The sign of the
cross was cut deeply into it, and as it healed it proved a nest-egg
for several smaller jewels near by. These I cauterized with pure
carbolic in the park, but still they annoyed me much. Four baths here
have at least temporarily dried them up. Men who came here three or
four weeks ago on crutches from rheumatism, are walking about freely
and feel themselves able to buckle down to work.


A sight of the magnificent cedar and fir forests here would amply
repay an Easterner for a day's stop-over. I have been among them
before several times, yet at each visit they surprise me as they did
at first. Fifty thousand shingles are made from a single cedar. I
counted twenty-one firs on a space considerably less than a quarter of
an acre. The owner, a sawyer, assured me they would cut over five
thousand feet of board each. He owns a quarter of a section about his
mill and expects to market 15,000,000 feet of lumber from his land. He
said the railroad company had cut 30,000,000 feet from its right of
way of 400 feet by ten miles in this locality. I saw on a quarter of
an acre a cluster of twenty odd trees from four and-a-half feet to
over six in diameter and 300 high. They ran up about 150 feet before
reaching a limb. Mighty logs lie upon the ground so thickly that even
a good woodsman can walk but little over a mile an hour. Cedar logs,
moss-covered and sodden, stretch 100 feet in the tangled undergrowth,
and have lain there so long that one often sees a fir tree, growing
with its roots straddled over them 50 to 100 years old.

We were pleased to find among the guests of the springs one of
Chicago's fairest daughters, now living at Tacoma, whose pulled-candy
tresses three years ago out-glistened the fiber of her bridal veil,
and whose eyes are bluer than the turquoise in her talismanic ring. I
like little unpretentious Green River, Hot Springs, even if its table
is not of the Delmonico order.


A pretty drop of fourteen hundred and odd feet through wild rocky
gorges and thickly treed glades, along the rapid green waters of the
river, in which trout abound, between lofty heights, brought us to the
world-famous hop yards of the Puyallup Valley. What masses of green
lift upon the closely-set hop-poles! I involuntarily cried "Prosit und
Gesundheit" as we whizzed through them. Twenty-three or four years
ago, the first hop root was planted in the soil of this marvelous
valley. Now in this valley and others in this locality, two hundred
and fifty thousand acres are giving forth each year crops unknown in
any other hop land. Two thousand pounds to the acre are not unusual,
and some yields have been nearly if not quite double that. Thousands
of barrels of malt liquors were green about us in original packages.

When we alighted at Tacoma, from which I date this letter, I was most
agreeably surprised to find that Mr. Winston and his two fair
daughters were on the same train. They had intended going with us into
the Yellowstone Park, but were unavoidably detained. They have _done_
the Park more rapidly than we did and here overtook us. To-morrow we
will be fellow-passengers for Uncle Sam's ice-bound Eldorado, Alaska.
Tacoma has been and is growing with great rapidity. A great suburb
covers a wide slope on the upper end of the town, which at night, when
I was here three years ago, had the appearance of a Titanic camp-fire.
Fires gleamed along great logs; fires burnt on sides and tops of lofty
stumps, and fires belched forth from burning trees fifty and more feet
from the ground. Diagonal auger holes had been bored near the root
into the heart of a tree. Two holes meet at the heart thus causing a
draught. Fire was put in, igniting the inflammable pitch, always
richest near the ground. It then bored its way up the heart to break
out as from a flue, often a hundred feet from the roots.

Tacoma was a cluster of shanties with a small population, barely among
the thousands, seven years ago. It was a dusty, scattered, ungainly big
village of 12,000 three years ago. Now the census gives it about 40,000
population. The Northern Pacific company is filling the five-mile flat
marsh along the Puyallup River which empties into the bay, in front of
the town. A large part of this belongs to the Indian Reservation, and
is covered by several feet of water during the high tides, which come
up the Sound. The filling is being done by a powerful pumping dredge,
which pours each day a vast quantity of sand and silt from the deeper
part of the river upon the flats to be filled. My friends Christy and
Wise of the Illinois Club, Chicago, are part owners of the powerful
dredge, and I suspect are making a big thing of it. The reclaimed
land will, when high and dry, be worth millions, and will be the seat
of the best business portion of the future city. The _generous_ way
in which this great railroad company has taken possession of and is
appropriating the fat of this place reminds one forcibly of what is or
may be going on in a city between this and the Atlantic. Columbian
World's Fair Commissioners, Directors, and City Councils may possibly
be sometimes just a little too generous, as Congresses are and have
been. The people may sometimes permit their patriotic fervor to make
them somewhat unobservant of the wide reach and tenacious grasp of
monopoly. Corporations are said to have no souls. Railroad corporations
are as voracious as their iron horses and have consciences as cold as
their iron rails.

The big hotel here is now crowded with travelers, the most of them just
returned from or about to sail for Alaska. Cots are doubled up in many
rooms. The wide veranda, overlooking the sound, last night was full of
gay promenaders from many quarters of the Union; they enjoyed very fair
music from the house band, while they watched with delight the unique
spectacle of what appeared to be a new moon arising in the east with
its crescent bent downward instead of upward. Fair Luna arose to us
immediately over the sharp rounded pinnacle of lofty Mount Tacoma. She
presented a narrow silver crescent--a mere thread at first, but waxing
by a rapid crescendo movement, she showed her first, her second, and
her third quarter, and then her full rounded self in all of her cold
glory many degrees up in the sky. The proud mountain having played his
short role of eclipsing a planet at once sank into gray nothingness. It
seemed a pity the moon's movement was so rapid. She is a cold, fickle
jade and is said to be from rim to core hard in eternal frost. It was
but fitting she should rest awhile on yonder pinnacled home of eternal
ice and snow.

During the afternoon of yesterday after our arrival, all of the
mountain's lower mass, more than two-thirds of its height, was
absolutely invisible, veiled in translucent, unclouded haze. No one
could have guessed a mountain was there, but high up some four to five
thousand feet of his ice-locked lofty summit hung like a gigantic
balloon, thinly silvered and delicately burnished, floating on airy
nothingness some ten degrees above the horizon. To those who have never
seen this effect of a snow-clad mountain, the picture was startling and
to all was weird in the extreme. Few mountain chiefs in the world are
seen to such advantage as Tacoma from this point on a clear day. The
beholder standing on a level of the sea sees the whole of the cone in
all of the majesty of fourteen thousand four hundred and odd feet, over
6,000 feet of this being clothed in eternal snow. We were lucky in
seeing the floating summit yesterday, for a change of wind has since
then brought the smoke from forest fires down into the valley to-day,
and a compass is necessary to fix the great mountain's exact location.
He may keep himself impenetrably veiled for several weeks. If I be not
mistaken, I was told he was invisible last year for nearly if not quite
three months.

Mr. Clint Snowden, the Secretary of the Board of Trade, has been our
cicerone, as the board was our host, in showing us about the city
to-day. Its growth one could scarcely comprehend from the information
as the increase of population. Seeing has shown the naked truth. The
great kindness to me in the past of friends in Seattle has made me
rather a Seattler. But I tremble lest it may not be able to keep pace
with its pushing rival. Will the country be able to support two big
cities? I have great faith in the country. Three years ago I said there
would be a mighty empire along the Pacific slope--that is, a mighty
part of the great Nation of the continent. Each visit here more and
more impresses me that my prophecy will be fulfilled. I recalled the
fact that we once thought it an outrage that "the Father of his
country" should have his state-namesake off in an out of the way corner
of the country, and that corner a mountainous mass of worthless land;
but now one can realize that Washington will be the most picturesque
state in the Union, and when America becomes densely populated, it will
be one of the richest. The yield of all kinds; lumber, coal, hops,
wheat and oats, fish and fruits will this year equal that of many of
the eastern states. The state will ere many years have gone by, prove a
magnificent namesake of the Father of his country.

Dust is one of the most serious impedimenta of the Pacific slope; for
three months of the year it makes one's throat and lungs a sort of
mortar bed, but the soil which so easily turns to impalable powder and
in such quantities as to be almost solid along some of the roads, is of
marvelous richness. The trees are nearly as imposing monarchs as are
the mountains; the flowers are as beautiful as the rivers are clear and
pearly; the fruits are glorious and the climate is delicious. Though
the noon-day sun is so hot as to make a broad-brimmed hat or an
umbrella a necessity, yet the nights are so cold that one gets chilled
under less than three blankets. Speaking of fruits, we must say that
excepting in the Caucasus the world has no equal for the cherries of
this locality--so pulpy and so big. A peddler selling some, captured
his purchaser when he cried out: "But, then, sir; them's cherries, not
apples." While writing this the sun marches deeply into the West. We
must soon board the steamer which sails before day to-morrow.



    STEAMER QUEEN, Aug. 10, 1890.

I wrote voluminously from the Yellowstone National Park, quite at
large on the run on the Northern Pacific railroad, and expected to
make a big letter on the Alaskan excursion. But I am discouraged. If
all the pencils seen making copious notes and extracting from route
and other books on this steamer were preparing letters, and if a like
proportion on the other regular steamers do the same, then the thing
will be written into the ground during this season alone. I will,
however, commence a short letter; the humor of my pen may make it a
long one.

We boarded the "Queen" at Tacoma the night of the 31st of July. Before
morning we cleared the port, and at six landed at Seattle for a two
hours stop. It was too early for us to see any of our friends, but
giving us time to mark the wonderful growth of the last three years.
In my last, the possibility of Tacoma taking the lead of Seattle was
expressed. When one sees the elegant houses going up or gone up here
since the fire of a year ago; looks over the hills which were three
years since clothed with forests but now are covered with beautiful
residences; drives over paved streets where he so short a time since
was choked by dust; and glides in cable and electric cars smoothly up
grades which make a walk laborious and caused the horses in his
carriage to pant and blow--when one sees all these things and recalls
the pluck of these people when they let the world know they wanted no
help from outside when their city lay in ashes, then he feels Tacoma
will have a mighty struggle even with the Northern Pacific's help to
catch and lead Seattle.

The Tacoma people claim that the United States census gives them the
larger population. This the Seattleite denies, and I suspect with
justice. He claims his city will have over 43,000 population, all
within the compact boundaries of the town, and several thousands in
the suburbs. Many may be there helping to build the place up out of
its ashes. The greater proportion of them will probably remain
permanently, for Seattle has a great trade. Before the fire a year ago
it was rather over crowded. The large warehouses and hotels now gone
up, are not in advance of the demand. I was, the day before while
driving about Tacoma, almost a Tacoma man. But as our ship bent out of
her rival's harbor, I was again a Seattler.

The view of the city perched upon its terraced hills is very imposing
from the bay, and recalls a long ago prospect from the sea at Genoa.
While the Queen was steaming out of the bay into the open sound, I
mounted to the hurricane deck for a parting view of the picturesque
place. At the foot of the upper gang way I paused to let a gentleman
and lady pass me on their descent from above. The gentleman held out
his hand saying "Mr. Harrison, I think; we never met but once before.
We were vis-a-vis at the dinner table in Colombo, Ceylon. My wife and
I had just landed from the "Rome" on our way from Australia. You were
about to embark on her for Suez." Indeed if I be not mistaken I got
the state room he had vacated. Mr. Sargent and his wife, had a few
days ago arrived at San Francisco from Japan and were then on their
way to Alaska before going to their home in New Haven, from which they
had been absent for several years. This meeting made a singular
co-incidence with another of the day before at Tacoma. As I was
crossing the rotunda of the Tacoma hotel, a stranger accosted me, and
at the same time held out his hand, saying "This is Mr. Harrison of
Chicago, is it not?" I replied "Yes". "We never met but once Mr.
Harrison, and that was at the supper table at Agra, India. We sat side
by side and talked of the Taj." This gentleman was from New York and
was too, on his way to Alaska. He had just come from the East and had
expected to sail on the Queen, but not being able to secure a berth,
was about to go aboard the George W. Elder, which had been crippled on
a rock the week before, and sailed from Tacoma the evening of the
31st. It was pleasant thus to meet these people--utter strangers to
each other, whom I had encountered on the other side of the world. It
is remarkable how often such chance meetings come to voyagers in
distant regions. It shows how the love of travel grows upon one.
Seeing begets a desire for seeing. A large number of our fellow
passengers on this excursion have been world wanderers.

We tied to the pier at Port Townsend for a couple of hours. We had
time for a hasty run over the town and to measure the march of its
improvement during the past three years. It has grown very
considerably and improved much. Its people make huge calculations as
to its future, but have no expectation of their town being a rival of
the other two cities. It has been the port of entry for the Sound,
which has given it considerable advantages. This exclusive privilege
it will hereafter have to share with one or both of the others. Back
of it lies the unexplored Olympian mountains, in which many think rich
gold mines will be found. If this should be the case, then Port
Townsend will forge ahead.

Our far northern excursion is now coming to a close. We have done
Alaska and are again sailing through British waters. Vancouver Isle
stretches to our right. We can easily imagine that a turn of a
headland may reveal the Warspite, with her guns, throwing 300-pound
shot, ready to knock us into pi should our Yankee inclinations tempt
us to give a too short twist on the lion's tail. By the way, the
ironclad bearer of the Admiral's broad pennant, is a ferocious looking

Having three hours at our command before dark on our arrival at
Victoria the first of the month, we drove about the staid and orderly
town, drinking in air laden with the breath of honeysuckle embowering
lattice and cottage; exclaiming in delight at sight of roses hanging
in mighty clusters and festooning porches and verandas, or lifting
their faces six inches from out to out on strong stems in the gardens;
and having our eyes refreshed by parterres of dahlias, nasturtiums,
feverfews, and many delicate flowers in white or of every tint. This
town was evidently settled directly from England. The love evinced for
cottage adornment would have been lost in a passage through the Canuck
settlements of the East. The sweet embowered cottage is an English
institution, as thoroughly as is "magna charta." Wherever either
exists we know it to be a heritage from the seagirt isle.


Our drive brought us about six o'clock to Esquimault, the fairy-like
harbor of the British fleet of the North Pacific. What a little gem it
is! A rounded patch of sea, a few hundred yards in diameter, lifted up
and dropped thirty fathoms deep among well-wooded, sloping hills and
connected by a short, deep channel less than a hundred feet wide, with
the mighty ocean. This channel is in fact a gateway with smooth
granite buttresses, of bowlder-like surface, lifting a few feet above
high tide. These buttresses were built by no human hand, but were born
of the molten mass poured up from the earth's fiery center. The very
globe shook and reeled in volcanic spasms at their birth. Here, in
this quiet little harbor, thoroughly protected from the outer sea, lay
the fearful man of war Warspite, a sleeping Titan, surrounded by
several others less formidable, but yet of ugly dimensions. Close by
the entrance of the harbor is a great dry dock, in which American
vessels have been courteously repaired. Near this is a little hamlet
where one can get a fair meal and can take rowing boat to visit the
great ships.

The drive from town to the harbor is very charming; through pretty
woods, on good roads, overlooking green arms of the sea which run back
into the hills, in crystal clearness. One can well say these
sea-creeks run back into the hills, for the incoming tides send
currents up them of great strength. Pretty villas are built along the
well kept roads, and acres of wild roses scent the air, while the red
barked Arbutis leans over the cool streams with knarled bronze like
arms and branches. The excursion steamers all anchor at Victoria long
enough to permit tourists to take this and other drives.

When we reached the neighborhood of the man-of-war, it was so late
that we had no expectation of going aboard, but our hackman desirous
of putting in as much time as possible, and a boatsman in want of a
job assured us we would be received aboard the Warspite. A large
number of her 600 complement were leaning over the bulwarks, and gold
lace and brass buttons shone upon the eyes of our two young girls.
Their little hearts fluttered as no glacier of the Arctic zone could
have made them do. Ah! what a wondrous spell the glitter on the
shoulders of soldier or sailor works upon the female heart! Even the
married woman of our party had a heightened color as we approached the
gangway of the mighty ship. Fancy the two broken hearts of the girls
and the composed, sad face of the matron when a sailor came down the
gangway to inform us the hour for visitors was past, that no one was
received after five o'clock. One of the men of our party told him the
next time we came we would board his ship from the deck of the
"Chicago." He laughed. There is no taint of a quarrel between the
brave tars of an English and an American man-of-war. We rowed slowly
away. The music from the band poured down upon us from the decks and
was caught in sweet echo by the hills around. How I pitied the girls!
They are just on the edge of society, and what tales they could have
told their schoolmates! Chicago's late representative at the Court of
the Shah of Persia smiled as only one who had been at a court could
smile. But the girls uttered sighs which smote the writer's too
sympathetic soul.


The Warspite lies at Esquimault (up here called Squimal) ready to
shake the icebergs of Behring Sea. A word to President Harrison and
Secretary Blaine: Don't tell England that our blood is up to fighting
heat, until we are ready to gobble down Canada and the Canadian
Pacific railway at a mouthful. It can be done and not at the expense
of a very wry face. Then let England roam about the oceans to her
hearts content, while we Yankees will play base-ball with a continent
for our grounds, with basemen and shortstops between the two oceans,
and out-fielders on the Gulf of Mexico and the Arctic seas.


We are now on our tenth day from Tacoma. The ship will reach her home
Tuesday, the twelfth day, having sailed over 2,100 miles; some ten
hours of this was in the open Pacific, from Glacier Bay to Sitka, and
then from that port south to Clarence Strait. The remainder of the
distance was in the interior channels, and across perhaps a half-dozen
short openings into the sea. The several channels have fixed names and
are of various breadths, from 200 or 300 yards to four or five miles.
Sometimes we were next the broad continent, but often small islands
lay between the straits and the mainland, with large islands or
smaller ones several deep, towards the sea. The sailing along the
watery road was plain and easy except in two narrow straits, where the
ship had to slow up frequently, while she bent in and out to avoid
rocks. These are taken partly as cut-offs and partly for the beauty of
the scenery. The islands are all mountains lifted from the water; all
are more or less tree-clad, with peaks on the tallest, rocky, jagged,
and oftentimes with streamers of snow stretching downward in their
upper gorges.

Vancouver Island is 300 miles long, covered by a broad, lofty range of
mountains in pile behind pile, broken and in some instances with heads
wrapped in perpetual snow. North of this along the way are four
irregularly shaped long islands, around each of which a good steamer
would require nearly a day to sail. These, too, are a mass of rugged,
jagged, sharply pointed and peaked mountains in very confused mass,
with no valleys, but with narrow gorges and small flats, along many of
which pour pellucid streams from snowy heights. Seen from the south,
the mountains are green up to a height of two or more thousand feet,
with rocky summits flecked with snow or banded in the long downward
gorges. Viewed from the north, the snow often lies in broad fields and
always is in greater profusion then when seen from other points of the
compass. The smaller island mountains are not so lofty, but are beyond
the dignity of hills, being from 1,500 to 2,000 and some of them 3,000
feet high.


To the eastward the mainland presents one continuous mass of
mountains; never in even ranges, but all broken, toothed and needled,
with foothills next the water green and rounded. The loftier masses
behind shoot their rocky height into the blue sky from 3,000 to nearly
5,000 feet above the sea. Flecks and bands of snow are never absent
from these, and often the smooth upper heights are wrapped in pure
mantles of white.

(SEE PAGE 77.)]

Into the mainland enter many crooked, deep inlets antlered in form,
the counterparts of the fiords of Norway with this difference, those
of Norway have generally lofty precipices lifting directly from the
water; here there are fewer precipices. The mountains, however, lift
up very steep, with wooded slopes, but permitting their pinnacles to
be seen. Some prospectors abroad told us that the scenery on these
fiords was majestic in the extreme. And well it may be, for nearly all
of the inlets are flanked by notched and peaked mountains, shooting
into the sky with shoulders and necks wrapped in eternal frosts. When
our great Republic shall have its boundary lines marked only by oceans
and seas, then these bold highlands should be set apart as a
continental park for the free people of the Western hemisphere.

The mountains of both mainland and islands are thoroughly picturesque,
with rugged upper members topped out in sharp points and rocky
pinnacles, such as are seen nowhere in the old states of our country
and but rarely in the new ones or in any of the old Territories. There
are no deciduous or hardwood trees, and but few hardwood shrubs. Firs,
balsams, and hemlocks cover the mountain sides, and cedars sometimes
are seen in the small flats next the sea or up the gullies. The
forests on mountains slopes are of small trees, and no track of the
fire fiend is ever seen. The air is so humid along the entire outer
sea coast from the mouth of the Columbia to Behring Strait that one
cannot avail himself of forest fires to help clear the land. Should
the trees be deadened and fall, they would lie sodden and wet until
destroyed by sluggish rot, while tangled undergrowth and young forests
would spring up in almost impenetrable maze. On many mountain slopes
more than half of the trees are dead but still standing, while often
are seen great belts of bare, dead trunks, with not a single live one,
but a green carpet of fresh after-growth spreading over the ground.
The soil is so thin upon the rocky mass of the mountain that
sustenance is not afforded for any but young and vigorous forests.
After a few years' growth the living die to make a soil for larger
ones to come. Thus ever do the young feed upon the old. A man works,
accumulates and dies, for his children to feed upon his hoarded fat,
perhaps to squander it in riotous living. One frequently sees here the
footprints of avalanches which have swept the accumulations of long
years, trees and soil, into the sea or gorges, leaving the rock bare
as it was in its primal upheaval. So, too, misfortunes and unavoidable
shocks sweep away the heritage of worthy sons from worthy sires.


On the more gentle slopes and in the small valleys of Alaska, fallen
timber builds up a rich soil. The trees, however, lie for many years
piled one upon another, the newer upon the older, and all heavily
covered with moss and yielding to slow decay. When decayed, they make
a soil so uneven in surface that a walk over it is an arduous task.
When a tree falls it lies and moulders for long years; heavy, rich
moss wraps it as in thick blankets. In this way the ground becomes
covered by hummocks several feet high. These hummocks are as thick as
graves in an old cemetery. We saw an upturned tree back of Sitka ten
to twelve feet in diameter some distance from its roots. Saplings ten
inches in diameter were growing among its upturned roots fifteen feet
from the ground. Moss six inches thick lay like a winding sheet about
the trunk. Half of the lower trunk had been slabbed off, I suspect by
natives for material for their carved wood work, for it was perfectly

Another large tree lay prone at great length. A fir over three feet in
diameter was sitting astride it, sending its roots down to the ground
on either side. A trail running across it made it necessary to cut
down into the old trunk. The wood left at the bottom was perfectly
sound. Again I saw a large tree perched some feet up upon an old
stump, its roots having found the ground down in the hollow. The
majority of the large trees on the flats have grotesque trunks for
several feet from the ground, showing that they had been distorted by
old trunks, in whose moss-covered sides the seed from which they
sprang had germinated. The air is so full of moisture that moss soon
covers a fallen tree and furnishes the best bed for sprouting the
delicate seed of coniferae. The expense of clearing such land as might
be fitted for cultivation will retard for a long time any agricultural
pursuits in Alaska. A well-posted man assured me it would cost $600
per acre.

Live stock would thrive here if lands could be opened. Grasses are
rich and luxuriant, and the few horses and cows seen were sleek and
fat. But I do not think from what we saw and heard that either as an
agricultural or as a grazing country Alaska ever will or can be a
success. Cauliflowers, lettuce, potatoes, and several other garden
vegetables looked well at Sitka and Fort Wrangel but in small patches.
A few beds of poppies and daisies were very fine, and several other
flowers were brightly yellow in the little gardens.


We have had charming weather--the Captain says the best trip of the
season. Several of our passengers give your correspondent credit for
being the mascot of the party--a compliment very complacently
accepted. The good, sunny days have not only enabled us to enjoy
hugely the beautiful and often sublime scenery, but have given us many
opportunities for studying some of the mannerisms of the leviathans of
the deep. We have seen many whales, several times ten to twenty at
once, and at close range. They rolled themselves in grand dignity up
out of the water a few hundred yards from us, and, slowly bending,
threw their flukes several feet into the air. Then they would spurt
great geysers ten or more feet high, making a noise not unlike that
made by elephants when blowing dust over themselves, but far louder.
Indeed, when some blew a hundred yards away from us, it sounded like a
somewhat continuous emission from a steam stack.

To-day several fine fellows were very near us, and one apparently
young one threw himself several feet entirely into the air. He seemed
from twelve to eighteen feet long. The passengers thought it a baby
whale sporting for the amusement of its dam. But a glass happening to
catch him on the fly it was discovered he had a decided snout. Some of
us then decided it to be a Greenland shark, which has an underjaw
provided with very sharp, rather protruding teeth, with which it
scoops out of a whale great chunks of blubber. Close by where it
leaped a large whale lifted its fluke almost perpendicularly out of
the water and thrashed it into foam. This was kept up for several
hundred yards till we got too far away to see it well. This we are
told is sometimes done in a kind of wanton sport, but I suspect in
this instance the monster was trying to defend itself from one of its
inveterate enemies. At any rate our passengers were afforded a very
unusual sight.


Of the animated nature, however, exhibited for our amusement and
study, the native Alaskans were the most interesting part. They are
very improperly called Indians, being of a distinct race from the
American red men. I went into several shacks or native houses. They
are built by the natives, and under no outside advice or architectural
interference. I saw the manner of arrangement of their little stock of
furniture. I saw them preparing their food and eating their meals;
heard them talk, and watched the play of their features when trading
and when having some sport. I thought I saw cropping out everywhere
decided Japanese characteristics. It is difficult to name or enumerate
the points of resemblance. But they exist, and are to me far more
marked than any resemblance between the Japanese and the Chinese, who
are supposed by most ethnologists to be of cognate families. These
people are to me degraded descendants of the land of the rising sun
who entered America through the Aleutian Isles.

The Alaskan shacks are generally located near the water, in somewhat
orderly rows, one behind the other. They usually, as far as I could
see, consist of a single room occupying the entire house. At or near
the center of the building is a square, covered with dirt when the
house is raised up, or if the house be low down, then on the ground,
whereon the fire burns. Around this square is a somewhat raised
platform, as in a Japanese house; on this, the different members of
the family, or the several families have their separate locations,
with their boxes, beds and other individual property. Frequently the
room is thirty to forty feet square, and houses ten, twenty, and often
forty or more people. These are members of a large family or of a
sub-tribe. By the way a woman is frequently chief of a tribe, and one
reads over the door in large letters the name of "Blank (a woman)
chief." The Indians seem to evince a sort of boastfulness in the
numberings on their houses, which at Sitka run from 3,000 or 4,000 up
to five and six. It is barely possible this may be a part of a system
of enumeration running through several colonies or tribes, and
throughout the land wherever such tribes live. But a white man living
in the territory told us it arose from the native desire to look big
and to appear as one of a great multitude.

The individual possessions of the different members of a family, are
kept in boxes and piled upon them. I looked into several of these
boxes. Every thing was thrown in pell-mell--shoes, skins, scarfs,
tools, pails and even iron pots and axes. The packing of a box looked
as if it had been done in a hurry. The women and children when indoors
were found, except at meal time, squatted about the several platforms.
When at meals they were huddled on their haunches on the earthen
square about the open fire. There are no chimneys to the houses. The
fire being built in the center of the squares, the smoke goes out as
in Japan through openings in the center of the roof, and to a
considerable extent through the doors. About and above the openings in
the roof are a sort of screen which may be shifted according to the
direction of the wind.

In several small shacks at Juneau, old fashioned iron stoves were
seen, with stove pipes leading above the roof. The inside of a shack
is an omnium gatherum, not only of people of both sexes and of all
ages, but of fishing nets, axes and saws, boat paddles, and blocks on
which wooden work was being done. Dried fish and pelts stretched are
on the walls and hanging from the roof poles.

The natives are very dark and swarthy, and have rather a yellow tinge
in their complexions than red; have large heads and huge, broad, flat,
stolid faces, long bodies, short, ill-shaped legs, and ungainly gaits.
The habit of squatting when at rest, and when propelling their canoes
and fishing, has developed unduly the upper body at the great expense
of the lower limbs. They obtain their livelihood from the sea, and
spend much more than half of their waking hours in their dugouts. They
have no thwarts in their canoes to sit upon, but squat down upon the
bottom, or bend on their knees. This causes the legs to dwindle when
young and to become decidedly crooked. This, too, is the cause of
their decidedly shambling gait when walking. They do not look bright,
but are skilled in all things they understand, and learn with great
rapidity, not by imitation as the Chinese do, but from inborn aptitude
like that of the Japanese. Their blankets, made of the wool of the
mountain goat, are marvels of closely woven fabrics, and their baskets
of a kind of tough grass are as close as the finest Panama hats and
very harmoniously colored. They carve fairly in wood, their totems and
small ware being quite artistic. In silver ornamentation they excel.
Blankets are the medium of exchange; not the native ornamental
blankets, but those introduced by the Hudson Bay people. The old
traders bought furs, and pelts, paying for them in woolen blankets. A
pile of furs was worth so many blankets. From what I can learn the
skill of a native trader has always been in his ability to demand a
large number of blankets for his goods, and then to maintain as long
as possible the stolidity of his countenance, during the higgling
necessary to meet the views of the shrewd Hudson Bay fellow. About the
places we visited only silver coin is taken in trade, and a native man
or woman rarely drops a peg from the price first demanded.


At a school, "The Home," in Sitka, under the control of a church
organization in the States, are a large number of girls and boys of
all sizes. They are neat, intelligent in feature, recite fluently and
feelingly simple speeches and verses, and sing sweetly and as if they
felt not only the sense but the harmony of their hymns. A band of
twenty youths plays brass instruments well and with great precision in
time. They have all pleasant low voices and the girls exceedingly
sweet ones. I noticed the same characteristics among some wholely
uneducated and semi-savage women when singing to a wild uncouth dance
of the men.

A party of about sixty of a certain family returned in canoes from
berrying while we were in Sitka. They went through uncouth motions
while in the boats and then danced in savage grotesqueness on the
shore, where they were received by the men and women of other families
in wild glee. It was a berry "potlach" or feast. The women's voices
could be heard singing in low, weird but sweet monotone. After dancing
and distributing pieces of calico among certain of the berrying
people, a party of over a hundred entered a large shack, closing the
door to us white outsiders. There they went through some long
ceremonies. I managed to get inside and for a few minutes was not
disturbed. All were squatted around the great room, in the center of
which was a fire, the smoke going out of an aperature in the roof.
When I entered all were singing in so low a tone that it could almost
be termed crooning. The whole thing was weird and wild, but the
singing was not lacking in untutored melody. Some other tourists
seeing me get in also entered, opening the door so widely that the
wind drove the smoke back into the room. A sort of head man who was
next the fire leading the song, got angry--gave the word, when all got
up hurriedly, and each taking a large basket or bowl full of berries
went off to their respective homes.

From what I could learn, a whole sub-tribe takes boats and visits some
locality possibly a day or more's sail away, where the berry crop is
known to be good. They remain until their canoes are well filled. When
they return some of the men stand up in the canoes arrayed in showy
colored calico or other bright stuff--and shout and sing and wildly
gesticulate. By this, those in the village at once understand whether
or not the excursion has been successful. In accordance therewith the
returning party is met on the landing. If unsuccessful with dirges and
lamentations. If successful with a "potlatch," a species of joyous

The party we saw were in high feather. Bedizened fellows stood in the
prows of the boats, going through gesticulations and contortions
which, had they been white men, would have overturned the treacherous
dugouts. They shouted and chanted in wild glee. Their songs were
returned from the shore. There were forty to sixty in the returning
party. As soon as their keels touched the strand, they poured out, a
few in uncouth antics, but the bulk of them in solemn decorousness.
When landed one two or more sang in wild weird tones, the women
joining in the chorus. After going through certain formalities,
presents were given to members of the returning party, of coin, and of
strips or pieces one or more yards long of calico in red or other
bright colors. Then the singing was continued, and the berries were
removed from the canoes and carried into a large shack where other
ceremonies were gone through. No white people were allowed to enter. A
couple of natives stood guard at the door, and grufly if not angrily
turned off all who attempted to gain ingress. The ceremonies were
continued within for two or three hours. It was at the later end of
this that I gained admission, as above stated, while the attention of
the guards was removed.

The whole thing seemed very ridiculous, especially when one remembered
that at best only a few bushels of huckleberries were the occasion of
the rejoicing. Our Grecco-maniacs, however, should not deem the thing
small. For according to Homer, the immediate success of the demigods
of Greece--the heroes who gyrated in that wonderful tempest-in-a-tea-pot,
the Trojan war, did quite as silly things over just as pitiful
successes. After all, too, it is not the size of a thing which makes
it valuable, but the size the possessor thinks it possesses. A bushel
of huckleberries to an Alaskan is quite as large, as a schooner load
of wheat would be to old Hutch, or a dozen car load of pigs would be
to P.D.A.


I went into a house at Juneau; a woman and several children with one
man were squatted around the fire taking their dinners. This consisted
of a large dried salmon. A woman held it in her hand before the hot
fire, screening her hand by a fold of the fish. When it was cooked on
one side enough to burn her hand, she turned another fold and when
satisfied with her culinary art, tore it apart in a large wooden bowl.
The fish was in fact scarcely at all cooked, but was simply made very
hot. This, however, seemed satisfactory to the feasters. Each member
of the family tore a piece off with fingers or teeth. The hands of the
young girls were soaked with the oil exuding from the hot and fat
salmon. They wiped them clean several times during the meal upon their
luxuriant tresses, which hung down their backs in massive braids. I
think I must have a good-natured face, for I have never in any land
offended when making such domiciliary visits. In this instance the
woman wished me to join them in their feast, assuring me it was good.
At least I so took the words with the expressions of face used. They
had no bread of any sort. After they had sufficiently filled
themselves, each took a long draught of water, from a native wooden

Salmon is the staple article of food, and hangs drying by the scores
and hundreds on racks in front of each shack or house and upon the
walls within. The fish on the racks seemed small, possibly such are
reserved for home consumption, while the larger ones had been sold to
the canneries. The Alaskan salmon, however, is not a large one. It
must be fattening food, for men and women are generally plump and the
children as rounded as well-fed pigs. The little ones are as frisky
and happy as in Japan, which I thought the paradise of babies. I was
struck by the full rounded paunches of the little ones. This, too, is
remarkable among their little cousins in the land of the rising sun;
possibly a result of fish diet. During the summer season the Indians
consume large quantities of berries--blue or huckleberries and salmon
berries. The English call the latter, cloud berry in Norway. I saw a
basket full of a white clustered root in front of a shack; a sort of
bunch of small seed like bulbs compacted into a single bulb, very
white, not unlike a mass of snow-drops glued together into a ball
walnut-sized. I asked a woman who was washing them if they were good.
She grinned and put a handful into her mouth as answer, at the same
time handing me some. They tasted like a starchy paste made from
impalpable flour. I asked the name. She replied "Chinook (Indian)
lice." They cannot pronounce the "r," but Chinese-like substitute "l"
for it.

Another delicacy is a kind of very small fish egg, deposited by a sort
of herring on fine twigs of hemlock placed by the natives in certain
places in the sea for the purpose. The eggs are clustered on the twigs
until they are as big as one's thumb, thousands upon thousands, upon a
small branched limb. The branches are hung up to dry. When used they
are soaked in fresh water and the eggs stripped off by the hand. The
eggs when soaked swell till they seem perfectly fresh. I asked the
woman I saw soaking them if they were good. A smile from ear to ear
illumined her face; she offered me some and then opened her capacious
mouth into which she threw a handful which she crushed with evident
delight. Though of an enquiring mind, I abstained heroically from
accepting the proffered hospitality. Had the eggs been fried I doubt
not they would have made a good dish. The dry ones were shriveled and
as dead looking as the roe in a smoked herring, yet when soaked they
seemed as plump and fresh as if just taken from the mother fish.


When selling berries to the ship passengers the women are either all
the while eating of their goods or are chewing some kind of gum,
generally the latter. Why should not Alaska's 400 chew gum as well as
our own. One of their fashions is very grotesque. We saw several women
with their faces, necks, arms and hands stained almost black. Whether
this was done for ornamentation, or as a sort of mourning badge, I
could not definitely learn. Both solutions were given us by people
residing among them. If the latter, it furnished another evidence of
Japanese origin. A Japanese married woman blackens her teeth, and
plucks her eye brows and lashes to make herself unattractive, as a
proof of her love for her lord. These women carry out the same idea
when in sorrow. Their grief is certainly much more economical than in
politer lands where, robes de deul are both nobby and costly.

At each town visited by us lines of women with some men were crouched
down on their haunches, with their wares for sale; dressed skins,
carved wood, spoons, totems, and uncouth images of animals; baskets
beautifully woven of a kind of grass, very close, very strong, and
decorated in bold, natural colors. They have what so many untutored
but somewhat self-cultured half savage people have, a thorough
conception of harmony of color. At first, to our cultivated estheticism,
the coloring used by them is too glaring, but when toned down by time,
or when seen at a little distance, no civilized people can surpass them.

The baskets made by the people of a sort of strong grass probably
mixed with some kind of bark, are very strong and so closely woven,
that they will hold water. They can be folded tightly without breaking
the fiber. I had considerable difficulty in getting a native to part
with an old one. It would seem they recognize the softness lent by
age. I offered several women two or three times as much for old ones,
which they had in use, as they asked for new ones. The one I succeeded
in getting was from a woman who had no new ones for sale. It probably
had held rather unsavory messes, but its coloring is exquisitely soft
and mellow. A passenger asked what I wanted with the dirty thing. Its
soft tone being pointed out, she spent over an hour going from shack
to shack fruitlessly endeavoring to obtain one.

The same difference is observable between old and new Turkish rugs.
Their beauty is not in the texture or weight but in the harmony of
color, which no European has yet been able to surpass, if equal. The
high art of France has not yet learned to create in large ungraceful
figures the result found in rugs laboriously made by the half
civilized people of Eastern Turkey and of the Caucasus. The French
attain it only by grouping small figures of graceful design. The
Thlinkets are the most numerous of the native tribes, and are the ones
which so resemble the Japanese. A Thlinket when playing merchant to
the tourist visitors offers his wares with an utter indifference and
apparently never drops a tittle from his first price. If you purchase
he or she seems pleased; if you decline his air is of one utterly
indifferent. We saw a large number at work about the Treadwell mines
in different capacities, and in drilling and quarrying the quartz.
They seem to work as well as the average white man.

By the way, the Treadwell mine is an extraordinary thing. Gold-bearing
quartz is quarried like common stone. The vein, if it can be so
termed, is 500 feet wide, open upon the surface and extending to an
unknown depth. It is of low grade ore, yielding only from four to
eight dollars per ton, but is so easily reached and worked with such
cheapness that many think it the most valuable mine in the world. The
mine runs 240 stamps, being the largest number in existence under one
roof. It is controlled by so close a corporation that the yield is
never divulged and its value is a secret. It is said, however, that an
offer of $15,000,000 to $20,000,000 has been refused. Its machinery is
almost if not entirely run by water power furnished by a mountain
stream tumbling from a lofty height immediately behind and over the
mine. It is on Douglas Island, which is separated from the main land
at Juneau by a channel about a mile in width.

Other paying mines are being worked about Juneau, and promising claims
have been located in many parts of the Territory. The seal produce of
the land is too well known to need any comment, but it will probably
surprise the majority of our people when they learn that the salmon
crop of last year was of about 750,000 cases. Each case I believe,
holds two dozen cans. When one considers the fact that the waste of
fish at the great packing canneries is enormous, not more than half of
an eight pound sock-eye salmon--the best of all--being used, and then
considers the number caught by the natives for themselves and for
their dogs, we can easily marvel at the vast schools which frequent
these Northern waters. The waste spoken of is not because more cannot
be saved, but because the middle part of the fish cans best and is
saved with a minimum of labor. The back with its fin is removed by one
stroke of the knife, then the same is done with the belly. The head
and tail is then cut so deep into the body that only four pounds of an
eight-pounder is left. This is divided into four equal parts. One part
is then rolled and pressed by the hand into a can. The cans are closed
and placed in great vats, where they are boiled. When about done they
are taken out and pricked to let the air out, and again soldered. They
go again into vats to be boiled an hour and a half. This long cooking
in air-tight cans causes the bones to be absorbed without wasting the
juices and flavor of the fish. When this is done, each can is again
examined and any one at all puffed up is again pricked to let all air
escape and is again boiled. They are then cooled for boxing. Some
canneries on the Pacific pack from forty all the way up to a hundred
thousand fish a day.

I spoke of dogs. There are a great many in the Indian villages. They
are all more or less mixed of Esquimaux breed. They exceed the number
of children, are all wolf-like, and are on the best of terms with the
people. It is amusing to set one of them to barking, especially if the
bark be of the howl kind, for immediately it is caught up by his
nearest neighbor and carried on until every dog in the camp is
squatting on his haunches and lifting his voice to its highest pitch.
The medley of sounds, from the pup's quaver through the whole gamut of
different ages to the sober howls of the grandfather, is very droll,
especially when the hearer sees the performers in their dead
earnestness. They lift their heads and look so solemn, and howl in so
lugubrious a key, that one feels that in this dogish art at least they
are unequaled by the canines of any other part of the world.



    GULF OF GEORGIA, Aug. 10.

The salmon canneries of Alaska are not all in the neighborhood of the
towns at which the excursion steamer calls, but are at or near every
considerable stream which flows into the straits, channels and inlets.
The instinct of the fish send them at regular seasons into fresh
water, where and near which, they are caught in vast numbers. Other
steamers, some of them carrying passengers and requiring a week longer
to make the trip, call at stated times at several places, to which the
Queen does not go, to take on and unload freight. The natives are the
principal fishermen using, both nets and hooks from their trim canoes.
These are dug out from a single log, some barely holding a man, others
carrying with safety fifty or more. A log of two feet diameter will
make a canoe nearly twice as large at its waist. When dug out to a
thin shell almost as light as birch bark, the frame is filled with
water, into which hot stones are thrown until the wooden walls are
thoroughly steamed, hot and pliable. Sticks of different lengths, the
longest at the canoe waist, are then set into the frame, which is
spread out into a fine, cutter-shaped keel. A high prow and somewhat
raised stern are cut out of the log or set into it. Some of the crafts
present finely modeled keels. The shell of a canoe holding over sixty
people, is often less than a half inch thick, and so light that two
people can easily pull it high on dry land. The native squats in the
bottom of his canoe and paddles it with great speed.

We saw a boat not twenty feet long, the whole filled to the top with
light firewood. On this were perched two men, three women, a dog, a
small tent, and the cooking utensils of the family. They were sailing
from Juneau to another village several miles away. A native gets into
his canoe as lightly and carefully as if he were treading on eggs. In
this instance, the boat sank until its upper line was not four inches
out of water. We expected to see it swamped, for there was a light
wind and a few white caps. We watched it with our glasses until safely
landed at a village several miles away. The natives, of villages quite
distant from the towns at which the steamers call, bring their wives,
dogs, and household utensils, together with what they may have to sell
in the curio line to these places on the day the steamers are due.
They pitch their tents on the shore not far from the steamboat pier,
draw their canoes upon the strand above high water mark, and seem as
much at home as if regularly domiciled. They remain as long as they
see a chance for trade and then fold their tents and silently steal
away. They require only a few minutes to get themselves and their
worldly possessions aboard their little dugouts. At Juneau there were
several of these temporary inhabitants. They all embarked after
sundown, and with the long twilight were able to reach their permanent
abodes before well-set dark.

The people catch fish at or near their respective villages. The
canneries each have a small steambarge, which is sent to several
villages daily to pick up the catch. In this way the salmon are landed
at the packing-places when perfectly fresh. The Alaskan salmon is as a
rule small, averaging only about six pounds, while "sock eye" of the
Frazer River run evenly at eight pounds, and the Columbia River
furnishes an average of nearly twenty pounds. Large fish, however,
were brought to our steward, also magnificent halibut, which the
passengers enjoyed greatly. One soon becomes satiated with salmon on
the Pacific Coast. It is as thoroughly an every day food, as is the
hog and hominy on a southern plantation. Except to the Indian, it does
not seem to be as good for a steady diet as the southerner's homely
fare. Several other varieties of salt water fish furnish a less
surfeiting every day food than this famous beauty. We hailed with
pleasure, the change to halibut given us by our steward when we
reached Alaska. No where is this solid denizen of the sea, found in
better kelter than up here.


Our ship on the excursion stops at Seattle and Port-Townsend, in
Washington; Victoria and Nanaimo, on Vancouver's Island; and at Fort
Wrangle, Juneau, and Sitka, in Alaska; at each long enough to afford
passengers full time to satisfy themselves. Juneau is the largest
place owing to the rich mines in the vicinity. All have large
canneries near by, which employ natives, many of whom have acquired
considerable property. A native woman, widow to a white trader, and
her daughter were passengers from Juneau to Chilkat. She is a sort of
Merchant, continuing the business of her defunct husband. She bore
herself most decorously in her half mourning, and seemed quite able to
steer her own bark through the remaining voyage of life. She is
reputed to be worth several thousand dollars, and manages her affairs
shrewdly. Her eligibility was suggested to the late friend of Persia's
shah. His eyes rested more fondly upon her plump daughter, who
displayed much agility and a trim ankle when she descended the gangway
in a high sea out side of Chilkat.

Sitka has one of the prettiest sites and harbors in the world, and its
climate just now is simply delicious. It is built on slightly rising
ground on a bay running some miles from the sea, with beautiful little
islands, clustered in large number in front of the town. These lift
with rounded rocky foundations naked and water-washed at low tide, but
are clothed in rich green shrubbery above high water mark. They would
make an exquisite water park for a large city. Over one edge of this
park lifts a few miles away, Mount Edgecumbe, a perfect volcanic cone
about 3,000 feet high. Its lower two thirds are clothed in green. Its
upper third, beneath its broad extinct crater, is of rich red rock.
Long points of the red run down into the green, while points of the
green run up into the red. It reminds one much of famous Fuji-yama in
Japan. The god-mountain of Japan is over four times as high, but
Edgecumbe is seen so close that the contrast does not entirely
belittle it.

Around and behind Sitka are lofty foot hills clothed in forests,
making a perfect amphitheater, while behind them rear pointed, rocky
mountains more or less snow flecked. The town is on the great island
of Baranoff, which is a mass of pinnacled mountains, the northern
slopes of which are always white with sheets of snow. When we sailed,
a few days before, northward through Prince Frederick Sound, these
mountains formed a wonderfully beautiful background. Prince Frederick
Sound is about twenty by thirty odd miles. All around it lie grand
mountains of exceeding ruggedness on their highest peaks, but green
below, with stripes, bands and patches of white. Through a break to
the south the sound stretches some miles further, backed by the
Baranoff range, rising in innumerable sharply pointed pinnacles, and
about their shoulders as purely white as loftiest Alpine heights. All
the mountains are comparatively uncovered when seen on their southern,
western, and eastern exposures, while those seen from the north
although not more lofty, are clothed in blankets of white, as if to
protect them from the northern blasts.

The entire Alaskan trip presents a constant succession of gorgeous
scenery, and if the weather be fine, it is worth the time taken and
the cost in money to one who loves the picturesque and enjoys the
rugged grandeur of nature, even if they were no grand glaciers. The
time is not far distant, when commodious hotels will be maintained in
these northern possessions as summer resorts. Many people will then
spend weeks in them, and with the aid of small excursion barges will
find health and delights.

An intelligent man who has resided for several years in Sitka, assured
me he much preferred its winter climate to that of southern Ohio,
where he had grown up to mature manhood. The average winter climate is
rather milder than that of Washington, but with no extreme of cold.
The frequent rainy days during the summer are a great draw back to the
pleasure of excursion tourists. The chances are decidedly that he will
find everything wet when he arrives. Our party was one of the lucky
ones. The air was clear and balmy. The sun made a parasol agreeable to
the ladies. I lolled for an hour on the stoop of a deserted house,
with my head in shade, but my body and lower limbs warmed by a
delicious sun bath, while my eyes feasted upon the glorious picture
spread before me of mountain peak and green slopes, and gently
rippling water as the tide slowly crept up the soft beach of the
little bay behind the town.

Except when sailing across four entrances or broad straits running out
to the open sea, the entire voyage to and from Alaska, usually is and
always may be through straits, canals, and fiords so thoroughly
protected from the ocean's angry waters that the smallest steamer can
hardly feel a toss. On this excursion of ours, the briny depths below
us were often as smooth as glass, reflecting the mountains, as from a
mirror. As the swell from our steamer would roll off in smooth,
rounded and diverging lines, they would weave fantastic forms, upon
their mirror like surface, of green forest, rugged rocks, or snow
caps. Towards the land beyond the effect of the swell, the mountains
would often be so perfectly delineated upon the mirror, that a
photograph of them would show them as distinctly below as above. The
picture could be turned upside down with but little detriment to the
view. Near the steamer the rounded crest of the swell would reflect
long weird lines of forest, which would spread out behind us as the
swell sank to a lower level.

At night millions of small fish, probably herrings, would be disturbed
in their schools, and fluttering and hurrying from the ship's prow
would make the water blaze in brilliant phosphorescence. Now and then
a large fish would dart through these schools, leaving behind him a
bright wake of flame. As he dashed through them, the herrings would
scatter their flame work into myriads of sparkling diamonds. When our
ship would push into the school, the alarm seemed to be given to quite
a distance in the mass. The dense pack of little fellows forward the
ship's bow, would break the sea into chaotic burning mass, as they
sped in haste before the great monster chasing them. The line to the
right and left then bent aft, weaving the sea into a waving network of
fire. Farther off the brightness was toned down to a glistening
shimmer, and then was lost in the distance. The schools we saw were
moving in great lines in the direction we were sailing. They were
composed of millions of little finny flutterers.


Frequently as we sailed over the placid sea, little diving ducks would
flap the waters in a race from the ship's hull, and when a hundred
feet off would dive for a score or more feet, perfectly satisfied that
by their dive they had hidden their tracks from the mighty monster.
Droves of porpoise rolled about us, and now and then one would race
with us for a mile or so and seem really to understand and enjoy the
contest. Asiatic crows cawed around us when we were ashore most
familiarly, and with the cute impudence, so characteristic of his
brethren in Eastern Asia. When we landed at Muir Glacier, a young
school marm and I wandered along the shore then bare from the receding
tide, up to the icy precipice. A couple of crows espied us and flew
about us cawing, and finally perched on a rock close by. I told the
fair one that these birds instinctively saw that we were to be caught
by the incoming tide or under an ice fall, and were awaiting a feast.
Their cawing was so constant, that she become superstitious, and
declared she could not stand it. I had to shy a pebble at them to
allay her timidity. The crow is a familiar bird up here, but the raven
is an Alaskan institution. If I be not mistaken he is held by the
natives in a sort of veneration. He is twice or more as large as our
crow; has a huge roman nosed beak, which occasionally snaps with a
report nearly as loud as the snaps of a pelican's bill. His coat is of
shiny, burnished bottle green black, and his eye has an expression
queerly mixed of vacuous imbecility, and cunning impudent rascality.
He is a genuine stump speaker, and as fond of his own orations as a
famous eastern after dinner talker is of his pretty speeches.

When we strolled in the deep shade of the dense forest behind Sitka,
some of these impudent fellows settled in adjoining trees and held
dialogues and debates, possibly upon our human characteristics. They
would harange and then seem to crack coarse jokes, when one of them
would almost laugh in low gutturals, not unlike the gurgling of water
running from a two gallon jug. A wag among us declared they were
making ward stump-speeches, and was willing to wager that if ravens
language could be understood, we should find that some of the jokes
were utterly unfit for polite ears. Those we saw were rather jolly
good fellows, and were not of the family of which one appeared to
Edgar Poe in his hashish dreams.

I said that the simple, beautiful scenery presented by the Alaskan
excursion, well repays the loss of time and money expended upon it.
Many of the mountain-flanked channels are wonderfully beautiful. The
Linn or Chilkat Canal is surpassed by nothing of the sort we have ever
seen. It is about four miles wide and probably 30 long. On either side
tower mountains, say 3,000 feet high, rising from the water like great
receding buttresses, clothed thickly in forest below, with scattered
copses toward the upper slopes, and flecked with openings of low
shrubbery in pale green, artistically contrasting with the dark tone
of firs and spruce. All are topped by rocks, those near us gray, and
the most distant ones of an undertone of purple, while in the far
distance, the mountains on either shore become first blue-gray, and
then blend off into sweet opalescent tints. Over and above all,
towered at no great distance mighty snow fields and glaciered heights.
Crillon, Fairweather, and La Peronse to the west cut the clear blue
sky with their points 15,000 and nearly 16,000 feet above us; mantels
of clouds here and there fell about their titanic shoulders, and light
veils of mist wound and unwound about them just under their snowy
pinnacles. Into this glorious fiord we steamed to its head at Chilkat,
and then back to enter Glacier Bay, the acme of Alaska's wonderful

Fully nine Alaskan tourists out of ten go for its glaciers, which are
seen in a magnitude and grandeur inducing one to pass as scarcely
worthy of notice, the best of any other country which is possible of
approach. They are seen in icy hardness on distant summits shortly
after passing the boundary of British Columbia. They increase in
frequency as one goes further north, until on a clear and cloudless
day one is scarcely ever out of sight. The first visited by us was
that at the head of Takou inlet south of Juneau. It is comparatively
small, less than a mile wide at its foot, but running back several
miles. Its foot presents a perpendicular wall of ice 150 to 200 feet
high, rising out of water several hundred feet deep. Its face is
irregular; here supported by icy buttresses, and there sinking back
into icy recesses; now with irregular pilasters and projections of
soft snowy appearance and then with broken columns, recesses, and
caves of every tint of blue from the flitting opalescent to
transparent ultra-marine and deep indigo.


Now is seen a mass of closely welded crystals of diamond whiteness
glistening under the kiss of the sun, like monster piles of precious
gems; then a huge broken and fissured wall compactly studded with
turquoise and amethysts and gems so green as to be almost emeralds
forming the icy cliffs. Loud reports as of rifle guns would fill the
ear, coming from the cracking behind of the solid moving mass as it
pushed onward in its descent. Hark! A rattle of musketry! You look and
see a mere hat full of snowy ice tumbling from the upper edge. As it
falls it becomes a cart full, a house full, and then with a report as
loud as that of a heavy cannon, a section of the wall's face separates
from the mass behind and tumbles into the deep water with a splash
which scatters spray one or two hundred feet around, and the air is
filled as with the bellowing of thunder echoed from projecting ice
walls and from the lofty mountains hemming in the narrow inlet. The
fallen mass disappears below the surface. But look! See that monster
lifting from the water a half hundred feet away from where the
tumbling ice fell! It is a dome-like pinnacle of ice. Up it rises
slowly, revealing the most exquisite tints as its shoulders broaden;
ten feet, twenty, fifty, aye, nearly a hundred feet! For a moment it
poses a solidified mass of ultramarine. Sparkling waters pour in
cascades from its uplifted dome. But see! It leans a little; it leans
a little more; and tumbles with a mighty noise and sends geysers up to
the brink of the icy precipice and wide around for several hundred
feet. As its upper member or crest topples over, a huge section many
times more bulky than the part we had seen above water, lifts, and
then lies stretched three or more hundred feet, and exposed above the
surface nearly thirty feet. The huge mass of possibly a hundred
thousand tons weight came only to a small extent from the icy wall
standing before and above us; but the fissure above extended--three or
more hundred feet down into the glacier below water, and rested on the
ground. For one end was covered with mud and for many feet was deeply

An officer of the ship declared this was the finest exhibition of the
sort he had ever seen, and that the iceberg thus made and now slowly
floated out by the receding tide weighed far more than a hundred
thousand tons. Our ship was lying with its bow toward the glacier not
a thousand feet away. The vessel rocked and reeled from stem to stern
as the great waves made by the glacier avalanche rolled under her. We
lay there two hours listening to constant reports and seeing a
succession of ice slides. While so resting for the enjoyment of
passengers, the captain was laying in ice enough for his next round
trip. Icebergs of all sizes, from those weighing only a ton up to
others half as big as the steamer, were floating all about us. Some of
crystal whiteness and as clear as the lens of a telescope. Others were
of every tone of blue, deepening sometimes into translucent olive. The
most of the bergs were of delicious purity, but a few were full of mud
brought from the bed hundreds of feet under water. In some were seen
good sized cobble stones; in one a boulder weighing probably a quarter
of a ton. Sailors in a boat picked from these masses chunks of perfect
clearness, passed grappling ropes under them, and then hoisted them by
the steam derrick upon the main deck. Sometimes the piece seen above
water was not larger than a barrel, but when lifted into full view it
weighed one, two or more tons. For every foot of ice seen in an
iceberg above water eight lie below. Thus when a berg floated close to
us showing thirty feet above water, it had, if of even form, 240 feet


Some of the passengers felt uneasy, fearing another mighty tumble
might occur immediately in front of us, and that the mass might shoot
outward below water, and might come up beneath, or uncomfortably close
to us. The captain, however, stood upon the bridge ready to send his
ship rapidly backward should anything look untoward. The engines were
kept in gentle motion holding our bow steadily toward the glacier
precipice. The captain, by the way, thinks the Takou the most
interesting of the approachable glaciers. The ice gathered was of
great solidity. It did not break under an ice pick in straight
cleavage, but irregularly, showing its peculiar characteristic of
being formed, not from water simply freezing, but from snow compacted
under irresistible pressure. Two chunks of perhaps each two tons
weight lay between decks supplying the entire ship's wants for four or
five days. It may have been imagination, but I thought this ice more
agreeable for eating than that made by ordinary process. It was more
friable and broke and crumbled in the mouth in shorter pieces and not
in long spiculae as ordinary ice does.

We passed on our run close to several other huge glaciers, some of
them running quite down to the water; among them the "Stephens" which
though very large, reaches the sea in a slope and not with a
perpendicular precipice. We, however, stopped only at the celebrated
"Muir." We lay in front of it from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.--a half hour in
rather dangerous proximity, and then anchored a mile off for
passengers to land and climb its banks. The Muir presents a precipice
to the head of the inlet nearly 300 feet high and over a mile long.
Two years ago it bent outward with a very decided convex front; last
year it was nearly straight. Now it is a very open horseshoe. We took
soundings when the Queen lay a thousand feet from the front and found
under us 720 feet. It possibly shallows considerably close to the
wall, say to 400 feet. The glacier is certainly over 200 feet high;
this makes, with what is under water, 600 feet. But give it the low
estimate of an average across the inlet of 400 feet. It moves steadily
downward forty feet a day, and gradually recedes. Thus it will be
found that it tumbles into the sea a mass of ice, 40 x 5280 x 400
feet, or of at least 84,000,000 cubic feet a day.

After wandering for several hours over the surface of the glacier,
along a sort of granite road way varying in depth from a few inches up
to very many feet thick lying upon it; among blocks of granite
weighing tons brought down upon the solid frozen river; across narrow
crevices, into whose depths we could look a hundred feet down, into
pure ice of all tints of blue from the pearl blue of a southern sky to
ultramarine and indigo--tints so beautiful that one involuntarily
groaned in pleased admiration; along chasms where our iron-pointed
alpenstocks were necessary to prevent a slip, which would have sent us
down into glacial graves; looking over pinnacles, domes and valleys of
ice in confused profusion; over grotesque forms, over which no one
person could safely go, but a dozen attached to each other by ropes,
with shoes iron-nailed, might with hazard venture. Then up and before
us spread the mighty glacier, 25 miles by 30, fed by many smaller
ones. Morains of rock lifted above the surface in long even lines
running back for miles, showing the edge of each of the frozen rivers,
which have united to make the mighty single one.

The theory explaining the medial moraines of glaciers, is that two or
more glaciers come down the gorges and upper valleys of the mountain.
Each of these gather up broken rock and mountain debris on their two
sides. When two such glaciers meet and run into and form one, then the
inner lateral moraines unite and are borne along by the enlarged
glacier. As it flows these two morains, now become "medial," are
apparently pressed upward to and upon the surface. This, however, is
probably only apparent, for the ice melting under the summer sun's
heat, simply leaves the rock debris on the surface.

The Muir is the result of several upper feeding glaciers. Each two
uniting formed from their inner lateral moraines, one medial. Several
medial ones are observable on the surface of the great glacier, some
of them uniting lower down, when the bed of the icy stream becomes
contracted--where the valley becomes narrow. Several medial moraines
retain their individual line until the great precipice is reached. The
mass of the debris forming a moraine is of comparatively small broken
granite; not broken and rounded by glacial action, but simply
irregular pieces thrown off from granite precipices high in the
mountains by frost forces. Now and then a few rounded pebbles, and
small boulders are seen, worn on the under surface of upper glacier
streams. Quite a number of very large masses of granite are being
borne down by the Muir moraines. One I estimated to weigh several
tons. Its cleavage sides and edges were fresh and sharp as if it were
just broken from its parent rock.

The medial morains on some of the glaciers seen at a distance, have a
singular effect. They can be seen in long apparently parallel lines
and seemingly close enough together, to be the walls of a long smooth
road. A wag declared that one of them was the road from an Indian
village to the little red school house in an upper valley.

After exploring the surface of the glacier, we found that the tide
having reached its ebb, we could approach the foot of the
ice-precipice. Three of us had approached it somewhat nearly before
when the tide was but half out. We walked up the shingly shore through
stranded icebergs of all sizes, and hundreds in number. Some were not
larger than a barrel, others larger than a railroad car, and of all
intermediate sizes. Now we threaded our way through a cordon of huge
blocks as clear as crystal, from which we chipped with the spikes of
our alpenstocks, chunks delicious to eat. Then we were among others of
various tints, colored by the earthy matter caught by them when
flowing near to or upon the valley bed. One mass weighing probably a
thousand tons was resting upon a point so small as to be a mere pivot.
I cut from it a smooth rounded cobble stone for a paper weight, and
was glad when my task was finished, for I was somewhat uneasy lest the
slight hammering might topple over the bulky mass.

We reached the foot of the glacier. Here the picture was wonderfully
fine. The ice-precipice from which so many newly broken bergs had
tumbled, was far more beautiful than when seen from several hundred
yards away. We looked into grottoes many yards recessed into the
frozen cliff. Here in one was every shade of blue; all tints of green
were resplendent in another; and then the sun would discolor these
shades, and weave them into the sweet tones which paint an opal's
cheek. Now an upper member of a newly broken recess under the sun rays
sparkled as a million diamonds, and then another looked like a mass of
crystalized olive tints. From out of a deep grotto at the base of the
cliff flowed a strong river, which had been pent within its icy house,
and now reaching the free air bounded and rushed to join the mighty

Since our arrival in the morning the tide had fallen fully twenty
feet, taking away considerable support from the hanging mass, so that
the fall of icebergs was almost continuous. The thunder while so close
to a tumbling mass was terrific and sublime. The inlet was full of
bergs, so that the ship in turning out had to pick its way carefully.
How exquisitely beautiful they were as they glistened in the sun's
rays, displaying their iridescent crystals! As we steamed out of the
inlet among a scattered ice floe we thought we had seen all that a
grand glacier could present. Imagine our surprise when we had gone
about ten miles to find ourselves at the entrance to another inlet
which was packed almost solidly with icebergs. With our glasses we
could see the huge "Pacific glacier," about thirty miles away, with a
precipice of ice 600 to 800 feet high and five miles long. Although it
was quite three times as far from us as the "Muir", yet its icy front
showed to us higher out of water. The inlet running up to it was
literally packed with ice, into which no steamer, unless armored for
Arctic seas, would dare to venture.

A passenger lately taken on, who had spent a season prospecting in
this immediate neighborhood, assured us that the fall of ice from this
glacier was absolutely continuous, and that masses would tumble a half
mile long. He had seen one floating three miles long. He admitted he
had no means of measuring it, and gave us the result of a rather hasty
guess. He said it stranded at each low tide, but would be lifted at
each flood and was by degrees broken up sufficiently to get out of the
inlet. "Why," said this passenger, "the Muir is a baby by the side of
the Pacific. For every iceberg coming from the one five hundred come
from the other." The statement was credible, for while just above this
inlet the strait had only scattered bergs, below it was almost a pack
of ice. The majority of the icebergs, which had fallen from the Muir,
were melted away before reaching the mouth of the Pacific inlet.
Looking up this, the icebergs seemed almost in solid mass; of all
sizes from a few feet broad, to others covering a quarter of an acre;
and from a few feet in height up to twenty, thirty and forty. Out side
of the inlet and below its mouth, monster masses were all about us,
some of them hundreds of feet across and several fully fifty feet
above water.

The George W. Elder, which sailed from Tacoma the night we did,
reached the Muir while we were there and sailed out with us. We thus
had a genuine Arctic picture. The two ships picked their way slowly,
less than a mile apart. The Elder was frequently hidden from us
entirely by mighty icebergs. For miles we stole our way through the
floe, delighted with the novel scene. Two fine ships in this icy sea
gave us a realization of the pictures we had seen of the Thetis and
her comrade in the frozen pack beyond the Arctic circle. Mighty
Crillon, Fairweather, and La Perouse the sources of the great fields
of frozen snow around us here pour their icy floods into the sea. The
last is 14,000 feet high; the others respectively 15,900 and 15,500.
They present the same amount of white above the snow line as does
Mount Everest. That is about 12,000 feet on its southern slope. In
Alaska the snow line toward the south is reached at 3,000 feet, while
in the Himalayas the tree line mounts to 17,000 feet.

When I looked upon these great icebergs which had tumbled from the
huge ice-cliffs we had lately seen, and then recalled the fact that
they were but snow balls when compared to some which have been sighted
in far northern and in southern seas--some which were from two to
three miles square and seven to eight hundred feet high above water,
and nearly if not quite a mile deep below the water line--when I
recalled these facts I was lost in trying to speculate upon the
vastness of the glaciers existing in Greenland and in Antarctic
continents. Judging from what we know of those about us, we have to
suppose there are glaciers in the world two or three aye six or seven
miles high above water, sinking miles below the surface, and
stretching in awful grandeur their frozen cliffs for many miles along
the sea.

The Pacific glacier is from six to eight hundred feet high at its
brink, and five miles long, yet among the bergs we saw--and the
captain said he had never seen a finer display in the locality--there
were none which were a half acre in size and none over sixty feet
high. Icebergs are said to have been seen covering an area of from
2,500 to 4,000 acres, and twelve times as high as the highest about
us. The glacier from which such monsters fell, was to the "Muir" as
Niagara is to a mill dam. Are the mighty snow and ice mountains of the
far south growing, or are they melting and breaking away from their
moorings? If growing, when will they tumble through the crust of the
earth, and send a raging sea over the habitable part of the globe? A
guaranteed ticket for a berth in the coming Noah's ark may be a handy
thing to have about the house. With one, the possessor could be quite
content to let the other fellow do the swimming.

What a grand mind picture is presented to us, when we realize that
glaciers once covered the northern half of this continent--glaciers
whose sources were about Baffins Bay and within the Arctic circle, and
whose feet stretched from the Alleghanies to the Rocky mountains--from
Pennsylvania to Colorado! glaciers so vast that they built up moraines
over a thousand feet deep! It is these thoughts which show us man's
littleness and his vanity in boasting himself fashioned in God's

A good clergyman we met in the National Park, in all seriousness
expressed a fear that the enormous sky scrapers our people are
erecting in Chicago might destroy the equilibrium of the earth, and
cause it to oscillate eccentrically upon its axis. A conscientious
Chicagoan informed his reverence, that we were building our city of
such weight that it would counterbalance the undue growth of ice
mountains about the southern pole.


We have a pleasant company aboard--several being from Chicago. There
is less of stiffness than is generally found on ocean steamers. There
is an amusing party of over twenty from the city of brotherly love.
They are all nice--very nice, and evidently have made a vow to hold
themselves aloof from all others. They sit on deck in rows four deep,
and follow the lead of one lady as a sort of bell-wether. When she
smiles all laugh; when she feels a cold in her head all sneeze.

Perhaps I should say something further about the climate of our frozen
territory. Few things are less understood. The Sitka winters are not
unlike those of Norfolk, Va., rarely getting much below freezing. The
nights there are very long, as the days are in summer. The sun was hot
while we were there, but the shades were delicious. Three blankets
were quite comfortable at night. In the straits and inlets the weather
is not quite so mild as on the open seashore, but nowhere are there
severe winters until the coast mountain range is crossed. There the
sun in the summer days is piercing hot and mosquitoes are so thick
that they are almost unbearable. There the long winters lock
everything up in thick ribbed ice.

We know that nothing can be more delightful than what we found for
summer. However, we have been fortunate. The rainfall is great and
rains and fogs frequent. We have escaped both. Warm clothing,
umbrellas, waterproofs, and water-tight shoes are recommended by those
who advise how to go to Alaska. We have needed neither except the
shoes when climbing the glacier. We have worn overcoats aboard ship
when the wind was against us, for a slight breeze and the wind made by
the speed of the ship causes a decided chilliness when on deck. When
the ship is lying still we have required no extra clothing.

We expect to reach Nanaimo early to-morrow morning where the ship will
coal. I hope we will be in early enough for myself and daughter to
catch the little steamer running to Vancouver.

Before closing, however, permit me to give one of the most valuable
points in the art of traveling. When you leave home drop its cares
entirely and trustfully. Let your friends write nothing about your
business unless it be such as they know should hurry you back and for
that intended. Look on the bright side of everything before you, and
do not complain because you have not the comforts of your home.
Profitable travel is often laborious, and like all well applied labor,
pays. As a young man I spent two years abroad and heard not a word as
to my affairs. Since then I have made three trips to Europe and a long
one around the world. Not a word on either of them did I hear of my
business. Once a month during a Globe Circuit we received a cablegram
telling us of the health of the loved ones at home.

To this policy I have ascribed the happiness and much of the benefits
received. People we met in various quarters of the world looked
regularly for and got advices on their affairs and were often uneasy
and miserable, but were powerless to correct anything going wrong.
Passengers on this ship are fretting about letters they expect to get
at Victoria. I have heard nothing for a month and expect nothing until
I wire home. If one keeps himself hopeful he can adopt as his
traveling motto, "No news is good news." Try this and you will confess
you owe me a good fee for sound advice.



    AT SAULT STE. MARIE, Aug. 23, '90.

Three years ago I wrote quite largely on a trip over the Canadian
Pacific Railway, running from east to west. Perhaps by now writing of
it beginning at the western terminus, an appearance of plagiarism upon
myself may be avoided. It is so grand a road, however, and the
magnificence and variety of scenery offered by it to the traveler are
so great, that considerable repetition may be permissible, especially
as the probabilities are that only a few ever read or now remembers
what I said before.

My Alaskan letter was ended at Nanaimo. A sail of three hours on a
little steamer owned in New Zealand and lately brought from Bombay
brought us to Vancouver. It seemed somewhat singular that we should be
voyaging on a short local run in North-west America on a small steamer
owned and lately doing service in a land so far away, and that land,
too, one which we are prone to regard as our ultima thule, whose
inhabitants are but one degree removed from the ragged edge of
savagery. The world has so rapidly progressed since many of us studied
geography, that we have scarcely been able to keep pace with its
strides. We have to pause and think to be able to realize that New
Zealand is no longer the land of savages, but is populated by a highly
cultivated and energetic people, and abounds in splendid cities.

Before reaching Vancouver we saw high on the rocks the hull of the old
steamer "Beaver". It was the first steamer to cross the broad Pacific
brought here long ago by the Hudson Bay company from Bombay. It was
wrecked only last year, but is already in this humid climate green
with moss and ocean weed.

Vancouver has grown marvelously. Five years since its site was covered
by a forest of enormous cedars and firs. Three years ago when I
visited there, it had only seven or eight hundred population. Now it
boasts having about 15,000. It has well graded streets, a few of them
paved and several well planked; fine water brought in from a distance;
blocks of handsome stone houses and office buildings; commodious and
elegant hotels, and many handsome residences. If I be not mistaken I
suggested it three years ago as a good place for safe speculation. Had
it not been for the long voyage then before me I should have dropped a
thousand or two into its lots, and would have been considerably richer
by the venture.

High mountains of picturesque contours almost surround the city. It is
a sad fact that at this season of the year a dense shroud of smoke
usually envelopes the bulk of the uplands. Fortunately a copious rain
cleared up the atmosphere just before our arrival. We passed through
the town three years ago twice, and afterwards lay at its pier three
days, while our ship was getting ready to sail for Japan; and all the
while supposed the place was a great forest plain, until the morning
of our departure, when a rain washed down the smoke and revealed
magnificent mountain scenery close about us.

To one taking the train at Vancouver for the East, fine scenery faces
him as he emerges from the station and then continues to greet the
eye, varying and growing for the next 600 miles, never once tame,
often beautiful or grand and sublime, and frequently terrible. It
changes rapidly and as unexpectedly as the pictures presented by a
revolving kaleidoscope. Lofty mountains, lifted up in rounded forms of
granite, gneiss and other igneous rocks, massive and grand, like
mighty boulders welded together, with monster trees in the valley
below, and tall and straight ones high above wherever a ledge or a
fissure affords their hardy roots chance to take hold, flank the road
for the first ninety miles. On the north side of the Frazer River,
whose broad white stream is soon reached, and which for the first 90
miles runs from East to West, these mountains arise immediately from
the road. Across the river to the south more or less removed, from one
to several miles, they show themselves in all their solid grandeur.

Rounded boulder shaped mountains of granite or igneous rocks are to me
far more impressive than much taller ones of other formations. One
feels that they are solid, and are welded to the central foundations
of earth; that they were the offsprings of primal overpowering heat,
while the others are made up of tiny particles of disintegrated
igneous stone, loosely thrown together by glacial moraines or dropped
at ocean's bottom, and after eons of time compressed into hardness.
Their walls were uplifted by the pressure from below of belching
granite, or were crumbled together by the cramped earth, and their
points, pinnacles, and needles were fashioned by rains and slow
chemical processes. They are the offspring of other than their own
power and are shaped by puny causes acting through untold ages. The
rounded granite mountains, however, lifted themselves and rushed forth
from the seat of earth's central fires, moved by their own inherent

One feels that mountains of secondary rocks are a mass of tiny things
thrown aloft as the creation of other than their own powers. They may
tower far above the snow line, and may pierce the vaulted sky with
their sharp needles and tooth like pinnacles in the silent regions of
eternal ice; but we know that their loftiest horns once lay beneath
the ocean's wave, and after being hoisted as an impotent mass, have
been cut and fashioned into sharpness by the gnawing tooth of frost.
We know that they were borne up upon the breast of boiling, seething
primitive rocks, and that they now rest upon the shoulders of granite
titans. We know that they are crumbling day by day, and are being
borne away upon pigmy streams into ocean depths. They are perishable
and are perishing.

But yonder rounded form whose smooth head barely reaches the clouds,
has its foundations welded by inconceivably fierce fires; fires
kindled when this earth was rounded by the will of God from a formless
void--welded to the very base and heart of the globe. It rose upon the
crest of a molten sea, rending and tearing away everything its way,
and now in adamantine coldness, seems the fit emblem of eternal

One may be terrified by the pinnacled monster, but I am awed by the
rounded giant.

The Canadian Pacific road furnishes observation cars through its grand
mountain scenery, from a point some sixty miles from Vancouver to and
into the plains east of the Rockies or for six hundred miles. This
thoughtful provision should be imitated by all railroads traversing
fine scenery.


About ninety miles from Vancouver the milky Fraser rushes from the
canyon which has held it in a close embrace for a hundred miles; from
a chasm where the mountains have been split asunder, and now tower two
or more thousand feet high, their feet washed in the turbulent stream,
their heads cutting the sky in picturesque lines. The mountains along
the canyon are all of metamorphic rock, splintered and shivered by too
rapid cooling. In the course of some millions of years they have been
washed down, so that what were once perpendicular walls have become
precipitous heights, with every ledge and projection and all slopes
which can hold soil, covered by dark green conifirae, and now and then
by light green patches of deciduous shrubbery and small hardwood
trees. Down toward the water the rocks are harder, and through it the
river cuts its way between walls from fifty to one or more hundred
feet high. These walls have defied the flood, and the river bends and
winds through narrow fissures fifty to eighty feet wide, along which
the white fluid rushes, almost with cascade force. Many of the
projecting points and buttresses are grotesque and picturesque in the

For many miles along the canyon an old government stage road hangs on
escarped walls or dips down to the waters. At one point, at a height
of a thousand feet, it almost hangs over the gorge, serving now but
one purpose, to make lady tourists exclaim upon the cruelty of making
even gold seekers so risk themselves as did the passengers of stage
coaches a score or so years ago. I said the old road almost hangs over
the gorge. In fact it does frequently entirely hang. For it was
timbered out so that while one wheel might be over solid rock, the
other would be upon wooden sills from which a pebble could be dropped
a hundred feet or more below. The stage road cost a vast sum, and is
now among the many exhibitions of the destructiveness of capital as it
works out new improvements. Every valuable creation of capital wrecks
all others whose place it takes. The older ones have performed their
tasks, and now become comparatively useless.


We had remarkably visible evidences of the strange and irresistible
instinct of the salmon to climb steep waters from the sea. For many
miles the Fraser runs or rather rushes with great speed. Below every
projecting rock there is an eddy more or less large. In these eddies
salmon were congregated by the thousands, showing their black backs
and fins an inch or two above the surface. These little swirling pools
are generally many feet deep, and the finny voyagers must have been
piled several deep one on the other. Over one crystal stream running
into the river the road passes on a short bridge. In a pool in this
creek, say twenty by fifty feet, the fish were so thickly packed that
a man could almost have walked dry shod across the stream on salmon
backs. In the ascent of the fish they fail often to overcome the rapid
current and stop to rest in the eddies. I do not think I exaggerate in
saying we saw hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, in a part of
our run not exceeding thirty or forty miles. The fish looked small to
us, for only a few inches of their backs could be seen. A fellow
passenger, however, assured us that such as we saw ran from six to
nine pounds. They were the sock-eye salmon, the fattest and best
variety for canning. We saw no Indians fishing as there were three
years ago. Their stock is already laid in and stored away in caches
built upon high posts or up among the branches of spreading trees.

A hundred and eighty thousand fish averaging about eight pounds weight
were caught in one day last week at New Westminster. A gentleman of
the locality told us that now was but the beginning of the running
season, and in three weeks there would be a hundred thousand where
there was one now. A scientist was probably not mistaken when he
asserted that the water of the world could produce more food for man,
acre for acre, than the land. I fear the canneries are causing too
many to be killed now.

An uninitiated person would have thought that great sport could be had
just now on the Fraser with rod and line. In this, had he made the
experiment, he would have been grievously mistaken. The salmon when on
the run never rise to the fly or takes any food. They start from the
ocean very fat and live on their fat until the spawning season is
over, by which time they become so lean as to be scarcely edible.
Indeed, the great bulk of them die of injuries suffered on their
upward run or of starvation. Thousands are seen floating later in the
season down the upper streams, bruised, torn and emaciated. The people
out here have the impression that a salmon never feeds again after
leaving the sea in its spawning journey, and that none of the vast
millions which commence the voyage ever return. They spawn and die.
This fish will spawn in a few weeks in the clear brooks and streams
high up among the mountains. The eggs lie dormant until the warmth of
next years' sun hatches them out. The small fry has then the clear
water to commence its life in. It feeds, grows and runs down to the
sea thereafter to do and die as its progenitors have been doing since
the race began.

Nature's ways are very queer, and it seems to permit more
inconceivable things to be done by its creatures beneath the water
than upon the land. A fish disporting itself in a limpid stream or
gently propelling itself deep down in the transparent sea, appears to
be absolutely enjoying existence--to be reveling in his "dolce far
niente," and yet it would seem that the whole finny family is spawned
to bear the whips and spurs of most cruel fate. From the instant a
little fellow emerges from the egg up to his fullest growth, he is
always on the ragged edge of some bigger fish's maw. He climbs with
intensest labor the rushing stream from the instinct of procreation,
and then begins to die from slow inanition--the cruelest of deaths.
Experiment has shown that the fish learns nothing by study--everything
is from instinct; that he has no sense whatever. Lucky fish: for
surely to him ignorance _is_ bliss.


Three years ago I rode along a part of Thompson Canyon and down the
whole of Fraser into Vancouver, some 200 miles, on the cowcatcher. It
is the most delightful of all railroad running. We are ahead of the
train. We seem not to be on wheels, but simply to be gliding along the
iron way, propelled by an invisible impulse. There is no jar, no dust
nor cinders. Over trestles a hundred feet high of frail and creaking
timbers we rush without the least uneasiness or anxiety, for the
machine and train being behind us and unseen we do not realize that
hundreds of tons are being whirled over the frail bridge-work, and
forget that there is anything heavier upon them than our own weight;
onward we slide; a turn brings us face to face with a mighty
precipice; we are rushing headlong against the rocky barrier when a
sudden bend around a jutting point, reveals before us a hole in the
rocky mass; into it we are shot--into the dark; a roar is heard behind
us as if a thousand demons are after us in full chase; a glimmer of
light steals along the iron ribbons before us, and then we burst into
the broad day with a new and beautiful scene pictured for our delight;
down below us rushes the river through deep fissures between the rocky
walls; high above us lift mountains cutting the sky with bands of snow
along the upper heights; past Indian hamlets, near which sits a squaw
or two and lounges a lazy buck, while their children look at us as we
fly along in indolent carelessness. Tunnel after tunnel, about thirty
in all, swallow and then throw us forth. Once on the Thompson, the
iron ribbons ahead rest one on the ground, the other on timbers
projecting over a precipice. Over it we glide. Fifteen hundred feet
below runs the silvery stream, so nearly under us that we think we
could pitch a penny into it. But so lightly do we skim along that we
feel no tremor. Ah! mine was a beautiful ride. It was three years ago,
but as I looked at the same road as we passed along it a few days ago,
the whole picture came back to me, and I feel sure the memory of it
will live with me while I live.

Up the Thompson we came now, and saw some beautiful valley farms early
at daybreak, with bright wheat fields, cozy homes, and sleek-looking
stock. The mountains above were mighty uplifted long mounds, not
rocky, broken nor peaked. Pines were scattered over them as if they
were planted in upland parks--isolated trees, just enough to make
parks bright, while over the ground was spread a carpet of velvet of a
brownish drab. This effect was from the low bunch grass, now dried
into hay. This grass is short, but sustains all winter through cattle
in oily fat. The Thompson finally came up to a level with us, and was
a clear and dignified river, making the meadows green. After a while
it broadened into a great lake--the "Shuswap"--along whose pebbly
shore, under great sloping mountains, we ran for over a third of a
hundred miles. The Shuswap is an irregular sheet with long arms. No
where is it much if any over a mile wide. High mountains lift from the
water and mount upward in gentle slopes, well wooded. In a few places
there are tiny plains at their feet. On these are the wig-wams of the
Shuswap tribe of Indians.

Leaving this beautiful sheet we entered a range of mountains lofty and
grand, with now and then a shoulder mantled with snow. Three years ago
this range was all green with noble trees; now, as far as we could
see, the fire fiend has done its work, leaving forests of tall trunks
in gray, with a fresh undergrowth beginning to spring. Even yet,
however, the Gold Mountains are a noble range.

It would seem we had seen enough of the grand. But wait. We reach a
broad flowing river coming from the north. It is white with detritus
ground from the eternal ribs of earth by the irresistible march of
glaciers. It is our own Columbia, which has been paying her Majesty's
American land a short visit before it sweeps with majesty towards the
Pacific. We cross this and enter upon a wealth of mountain scenery,
which belittles what we have passed through, though we thought it so
fine. High to the right lifts a monarch capped with snow. High to our
left is a huge pair of twins, the double head of a monster.

Our iron horse pants along a rushing river cutting with foaming
torrent through chasms so narrow that the father of our land could
have leaped across them in the spring-tide of his manhood. Up, up we
climb, twenty-eight hundred feet in less than fifty miles. The river
along which we climb is always lashing itself into creamy foam; now in
rushing rapids, then in a succession of leaps one after the other, as
if in mad frolic; now almost throwing its spray into our faces; then
two or three hundred feet down in rocky canyons, and at one place
through a notched and jagged cleft in the rock, over two hundred feet
deep, and only twenty-five feet wide at the top. This is the Albert
Canyon. Mountains tower over us, pile upon pile, thickly tree clad
below, but to a larger extent gray with lofty trunks all dead and bare
from forest fires. I do not know but these fires have been a friend to
the tourist. For his vision is widened.

When I was there three years since, there had been in the Selkirks but
few destructive fires. The forests were so dense that we often lost
fine bits of view, which are now free to us. We look aloft and see
great snow-fields, glimmering through openings between the mountains
nearest us. We put our glasses up and catch the green tints in
furrowed snow masses which tell us we are looking at glaciers. Up! up!
The mountains become higher and the precipices bolder and the torrent
at our feet more fierce and foaming. We halt for a moment at
Illecillewact, said to be a rich mining camp. Far over us thousands of
feet, on the side of the mountain, so steep that it seems to us a
sheer precipice, we see what looks like a mere burrow for a wild
animal. Men are delving through it in quest of silver ore.

After a while we see what appears to be another railroad coming down
the mountain side parallel to ours, and a couple of hundred feet above
us. A wise one smiles and tells us it is our own road which here makes
a letter "S"--a loop almost doubling upon itself, and a large part of
it on winding trestles. The trestles creak and groan beneath us, but
we bend around and back upon them, and soon our whistle screams. A
quick turn around a spur reveals a frozen stream bending over a lofty
mountain brow, like a curtain of white with irregular streaks of pale
green, and sending its foot almost down to our level. But bend your
head back. Far up over us is Sir Donald piercing the sky; a sharp
pointed three-faced rock lifting over 11,500 feet, under whose shadow
we will halt at Glacier House, over 4,000 feet above the sea, while
the pointed peak above us, all rock, stands about a mile and a half
higher and so close that one would think a man on its pinnacle could
almost throw a stone to the platform on which stands the pretty hotel.

We stop a day here. I spent three or four days there three years ago
and would never pass it without a few hours' pause. Few spots on earth
afford a sublimer picture than is seen from Glacier House in the
Selkirks. It is a vast auditorium; stage and audience-hall, not a half
mile wide, with lofty mountains stretching along either side six or
seven miles--all covered by noble trees below and snow sheeted above.
Sir Donald cold and rocky, is on one side, glaciered heights on the


A mighty glacier hangs down like a snowy drop curtain over the rear of
the auditorium, while a straight line of mountain heights encloses the
stage. This line is jagged and toothed on its crest, with lofty
glaciers glistening under the pinnacles. Sitting on the platform in
front of the pretty station hotel just before sunset, watching the
sunlight climb the rocky heights eastward, while those to the west
were sinking into grayness, and then a little later as the daylight
dodges into twilight and all becomes first a mellow gray, cold and
repellent, except over the snow, which seems to emit a light all its
own--sitting thus one sees a picture equaled in few spots of the

The entire scene is enclosed by mountains, as in a great oblong pit
with corners rounded off, no outlet being apparent. The mountains seem
to close in upon the glorious picture. It should be seen just before
and after sunset and until the lessening twilight is swallowed up, and
then in the morning, when the grayness high above seems crystallized.
The very light encircling the peaks seem frozen until a sun ray kisses
Sir Donald's peak. The cold rocks then catch a yellow glow and the
snows below ere long are tinted with pink. Three years ago I looked at
it morning and evening for three or four days, and on this trip one
morning and evening.

A short run brings the Eastward bound traveler to Rogers pass, one of
the ruggedest ever traversed by railroad. Lofty rocky mountains are
all around with cold glaciers hanging near their crests.

The drop down to the eastward from the summit of the Selkirk Mountains
to the western edge of the Rockies is all the way grand. We again
cross the Columbia, which runs north skirting the Selkirk range, and
flows again southward past the point crossed by us two days before and
seventy miles back but a hundred and twenty five around. Then for some
miles we look upon these two mighty ranges, one on our right and the
other on our left. Both are lofty, broken, and pinnacled, and snow
clothes many summits of each, yet they are strangely unlike each
other--as much so as if belonging to widely distant regions.

As we ran up the Columbia the day grew hot, until at Golden it was
absolutely sweltering. We had felt nothing like it for nearly a month.
We were glad to quit the Columbia and enter a mighty gorge cooled by
the sprays from the Kicking Horse, a wildly rushing river coming down
from the summit of the Rockies. Up this foaming torrent, between lofty
mountains, along gorges barely wide enough to permit the river to leap
between, the road cuts its way in galleries of rocks; through tunnels
now on one side of the river, then on the other, and enters and winds
high up a broad valley between great mountains stretching north and
south. It would seem the climb was ended, but not so. We have to take
some fifteen or more miles among the loftiest mountains of the great
backbone of the continent, looking up ever at gray rocks piercing the
sky 6,000 to 8,000 feet almost sheer over us; looking down into narrow
valleys or rather gorges 1,000 and 2,000 feet below us. Almost
overwhelmed by nature's grandeur, we climb, while a great engine puffs
and groans before us, and another pants and wheezes pushing behind.
Even with these two great iron horses, tugging behind and before, we
make not much more speed than a rapid pedestrian could walk were he on
the level. We are climbing a grade of about 200 feet in the mile.


But see that line of timbering hugging the face of Mt. Stephen. A
prospector from across the mighty gorge saw with his glass a quartz
vein on Stephen. By perilous climbing along ledges he visited it, to
find a rich ledge of silver ore. Yonder long gallery carved out of the
rock's face is for miners to go to the vein to bore into the
mountain's heart or wherever the vein leads them. They would tunnel
through the fiery walls of Hades if pure free silver were floating on
the top of the Devil's soup boiler.

I wonder if those fellows up in yonder gallery ever pause to take in
the grandeur of the scenery thrown about them. The mighty Giver of
Good heaped up those piles of grandeur and beauty. The preachers
intimate that the imp of darkness tempts us poor mortals with gold and
silver. Believing as they do in the existence of a personal devil
outside of man's nature, they should bow down and beg him to be good
natured until their race be safe. They are powerless to hurt him.
Luther's bible hit empty air; to abuse the devil only makes one's
throat sore, and some people really grow savage in their denunciation
of Old Nick. I once met a really good, pious woman who hated bad
words, but did not disdain to utter real cuss words when denouncing
his Satanic Majesty. The Arab tribe call Satan the nameless one. Some
preachers should follow suit. Abusing the devil has been done for
countless ages, and to all appearances the old knave has as much power
as when he poured sweet poison into Mother Eve's too willing ears.
Poor thing! She was not used to apples, and a golden pippin was
tempting. In these latter days it takes apples of real gold to win a
woman, at least among the "four hundred." But my eye! a shower of such
fruit can twine her plump arms about the devil's neck even when blue
blazes are pouring from his benzine distilling lungs. But, pshaw! What
a disposition a pious man has to preach. I must quit it.

It is hard to determine which affords the grandest scenery, the
Selkirks or the Rockies. On a first run on this road probably nine out
of ten would say the former, but the second or the third trip would
put the latter fully up. They are of as different types as if
separated by a continent. Both are broken, notched and peaked, yet
they affect the beholder differently. The Selkirks are grand and
terrible, the Rockies majestic and gloomy.

The Illiclliwact (Indian for rapid water) and the Kicking Horse, the
two rivers which rush from the two ranges westward--the former into
the Columbia at Revelstoke, the other into the same river a hundred
and odd miles above at Golden--are somewhat different types of torrent
rivers. The Kicking Horse on the summit at Hector, springs from a
deep, dark, but calm lake a mile above the sea. A mile or so eastward,
and a half a dozen feet higher at the actual summit, is a shallow
little lake, or rather a system of short, deep morasses. A mild wind
from the west would take their waters into the Bow River, which flows
into the Saskatchewan, then through Lake Winnipeg and on to Hudson
Bay, while a breeze from the East carries a part of their currents
into the grand Columbia and then into the mighty Pacific.

How like the fate of men! A shower or a cloud of dust sent a mighty
one to pine on a bleak isle in a far-off sea, and made another
moderate man the idol of a nation and its chosen Nestor. An invisible
line with a name separated the birthplaces of two men, and this simple
separation made one of them the leader of a lost cause but the idol of
millions, and the other the victorious hero whom history may call the
savior of a nation. In our every-day life in modest places, we see the
most trivial circumstances, mere straws, turning the fortunes of
nearly all whom we have known intimately. It would probably amaze most
people to find how small the thing was which sent them to high
fortune, or led their feet into paths of mediocrity or on the road to

A run from nine to ten hours from Glacier, always through grand and
majestic scenery and often among terrible and gloomy heights and
gorges, brought us to Banff, near the western slope of the Rockies.
Shortly after leaving Vancouver, we had mounted the observation car,
and continued on one of them except at night, until well into the
great plains east of the mountains. This system adds greatly to the
pleasure of passing through fine scenery.


Banff is by many considered the gem of this great road, because of its
beautiful location and also because of its warm and hot mineral
springs. The Canadian Pacific company has erected here the most
elegant and best appointed hotel which can be found in a wild
mountainous region probably in the world. Indeed it will compare
favorably with the best hostelries in the neighborhood of large

Here in a wild basin of the mighty backbone of the continent, 2,300
miles from Montreal, nearly 1,000 from Winnipeg, and 600 from
Vancouver, with no populous or productive lands contiguous, but
surrounded by nature's boldest and roughest works, in which are the
haunts of wild beasts--here one finds all the elegances and comforts
of a city's suburbs; all of the delicacies and luxuries of a city
hotel, coupled with the hygiene of a sanitarium, the ozone and bracing
atmosphere of a lofty altitude, and the glorious scenery of a mountain
fastness. The house is architecturally very fine and all its
appointments are first class. It has a French Chef presiding over the
kitchen, who sends to the table dishes to satisfy an epicure. The
house and grounds are lighted by electricity which adds greatly to the
beauty of the place at night. In the drawing rooms, surrounded by
costly furniture, one can listen to music from a superb piano, and in
the dining saloon can satisfy the most voracious or the most epicurean

One can loiter lazily around the broad piazzas girdling the great
hotel, and let vision lose itself among lofty, rocky, grotesque
mountains, or sit in graceful Kiosk observatories overlooking a bold
river tumbling near by in a furious cascade. One can watch the limpid,
green waters of a large mountain stream meeting and unwillingly
mingling with those of a milk-white, glacier-fed river, just below the
vortex under the cascade. One can wander in pretty pine woods on
gentle slopes; can drive or ride along well-graveled roads through the
National Park, now along limpid streams, then on winding curves or
mounting by zig-zag bold rocky heights; can bathe in porcelain tubs
filled by hot mineral waters just from plutonic laboratories far below
the mountain's foundations, and then sweat in soft blankets almost as
white as snow, or can by a tunnel through lava rocks reach a grotto or
cave scooped out by agencies of hot water--a veritable gothic room in
the rock, lighted dimly from a small aperture in the apex. Here in
this gem of a natatorium one can swim in water above blood heat, five
feet deep and twenty-five from rim to rim. When satiated with his warm
bath in this glorious pool, he can mount a great stalagmite on one
side--a stalagmite resembling a huge mushroom--and a shower of cool
water from a natural spring tumbles from above upon him, or he can
stand waist deep in the warm embrace of the fluid while the cool
sprays fall upon his head and shoulders.

If one prefers an outdoor swim he can splash in a sulphur spring forty
feet across, of Nature's fashioning, while bubbling through sands at
his feet water heated to 95 degrees rises and lures him to swimming
depth. If he prefer a real genuine swim he finds it near the back door
of the hotel in a tank a hundred feet long, in fresh cold water with
the air barely taken off. In his room he has a soft bed to sleep upon,
surrounded by tasty furniture, and eats in a large dining room
attended by silent waiters, and provided with fruits, wines and viands
fit to satisfy the most fastidious.

Close under the hotel an angler now and then catches a trout of over a
pound weight, and in a lake a few miles off in the park is rewarded
with speckled fellows of fine size, and with lake trout not
infrequently running up to forty pounds. I met at Glacier Mr. E. S.
P., of Chicago, with his family going west. He caught a fine lot of
fish in Devil's Lake near Banff, one a lake trout weighing thirty-six
pounds. There are few mountain resorts offering so many natural
attractions as this Rocky Mountain hot spring.

The mountains around are nearly all built of horizontal stratified
rocks. Some of them present curious resemblances. One is a mighty
palace of several stories--each upper one receding back from the one
below. It reminds me much of old oriental palaces visited when we were
making our race with the sun. This palace-like appearance is, however,
lost upon the majority of tourists, because one end of the mountain
presents the likeness of a huge templar warrior reclining in miles of
stature. This picture is so grotesque, that the other passes

I cannot recall anywhere else in the world, a group of mountains,
whose rocks are so distinctly horizontal in their beds, as those in
this part of the Rockies. They look as if there had once been a vast
upland plateau, which had been partly abraded and washed away, leaving
lofty mountains more or less snow covered throughout the year, and
many of them always clothed in mantles of white. The wear of countless
eons of rains and frosts have made deep valleys and gorges and the
beds of beautiful rivers, and rushing torrents, leaving the slopes of
the mountains generally not too steep to afford footing for thick
forests or for bands and copses of firs and pines. Now and then the
mountains are so broken down as to present mighty precipices--clean
cut cleavages, as if a single mountain had been split and sundered in


My friend, the late visitor from Chicago to the Shah of Persia, whom
we left, with his daughters, aboard ship at Nanaimo, overtook us at
Banff, where we spent two days. He rarely enthuses over scenery and
has little love of Nature or its beauties. Switzerland is to him worth
one visit, but no more, and Tyrol is a bore. He loves travel, but to
travel among the haunts of men and women, not of Nature. Berlin and
London are pleasant places, but Paris is his paradise. He had been
filled with ennui on the whole Alaskan journey, and had uttered but
once an exclamation of pleasure, and that was when we sailed out of
Glacier Bay. He then cried out, "Thank heaven our ship is turned
homeward." Even he is really somewhat enthusiastic over the beauties
of the Canadian road and is charmed by Banff. I suspect, however, all
because of getting through quickly. He could enjoy the rush through
towering mountains, because he was getting where he could revel in
rising stocks.

The plains east of the mountains on this road are beautiful. Great
sweeps of land in more or less lifting benches stretch north and south
as far as the eye can reach; not bleak or parched or covered with the
dead ash color of sage brush, as the same plains are south of our
boundary, but fairly green and restful to the eye. We tried to go back
in fancy to long ago years, when countless thousands buffalo marched
in single file along the trails which they cut down into the hard
soil, and which are yet seen crossing our road nearly north and south.
We tried to count the deep buffalo wallows, bored by horns and scooped
out by hoofs, where the shaggy bulls tossed the dust and sent up
clouds which made the air thick for many a mile around. We saw in
fancy the heavy maned bulls and heard their bellowings, which won the
gaze and admiration of the mild eyed cows. We recalled how these
thousands of wallows would be filled by the next rains, and how
succeeding herds would bathe in the mud, and then march onward a
moving mass of _thick mortar_. Thousands of these wallows are
seen, and for several hundred miles the furrowed trails are rarely out
of sight for many miles. They generally run in nearly parallel lines
from north to south; now and then deflected to get around an Alkali
lake or pool: or where old leaders had scented pure water ahead and
bent their way toward it, and all of the mighty hosts following the
lead. What countless thousands there must have been! The Indians
killed them, but killed them for food or for raiment. The white man
came; he who was fashioned in the image of his God; he who claims to
be a follower of Him who taught charity to all things and gentleness
of spirit--he came in his boasted civilization--born of families whose
pedigrees run back a thousand years--and killed and slew in the mere
love of killing--killed and slew simply because he could kill and
slay. One of the cruelest wars ever waged, was the insane crusade
against the bison of the plains. Now these plains will know no more
forever their old tenants.

Occasionally troops of horses and herds of cattle are seen, but for
nearly a day's ride there are only scattered farms, and they are as
yet not prosperous; but in Eastern Assiniboia and in Manitoba farms
became more frequent and crops looked well, until finally in the
latter province broad fields of fine wheat and oats and farmhouses
covered the prairie as far as we could see. The improvement in the
prairie land, running some 200 miles on our line, has wonderfully
grown since I was there three years ago. The breadth of grain standing
or being harvested is great. I am told there will be a yield this year
of twenty million bushels. These people boast that their hard-shell
wheat is decidedly superior to that of Dakota and Minnesota. It is now
very cold and frosts are feared. The wheat is largely out of danger,
but oats need some two or more weeks of good weather yet. Root crops
seem good on the plains where wheat is not yet a success. The plains
are in Assiniboia, the prairies in Manitoba.

At Winnipeg my friends went south. I continued on the rail to Port
Arthur. There is not much worth seeing east of Winnipeg. Thin pine
land of small trees are seen, generally flat, with rounded rising
ground back from the road; all more or less covered with bowlders of
granite, many of great size. Lakes and lakelets abound. My daughter
remarked that in Yellowstone Park there was a fearful waste of hot
water, in Alaska of ice, and here of gray granite. The country back of
Port Arthur is said to be rich in mines. I can believe it. Nothing is
made in vain, and this county is evidently fit for nothing else except
mines. The public rooms of the hotels seem to be frequented by only
two classes of men--miners and fishers. Here a knot talked of minerals
and claims, there of three or four and six pounders. The Nipigon, near
by, is said to be the finest of trout streams. Mr. Higinbotham, of
Chicago, and sons left the day before our arrival after having made
fine catches. The people seemed much amused at their anxiety to save a
pailful. They chartered a steamer to take them and their fry, quickly
to Duluth.


Port Arthur has a beautiful site on a gentle slope, with an elevated
bench behind for residences. If it were in the States it would be
boomed. It is Canada's only port on Lake Superior, and in Thunder Bay
has a grand harbor. The weather is so cool, throughout the summer,
that evening fires are rarely dispensed with. This should be
considered a terminus for the C.P.R.R., at least for all heavy
freights and grain. The road has now two or three 1,200,000 bushel
capacity elevators, and I am informed intends immediately to build
several more. These will enable it to move the grain from Manitoba,
and hold it during the winter and until the opening of navigation.

We had intended continuing by rail to Sudbury, north of Lake Huron,
but finding that we should pass all the interesting country by night
we halted a day and then boarded the Alberta, the Canadian Pacific
railroad steamer, a Clyde-built vessel of some 2,000 tonnage, with
clean and comfortable rooms, polite officers and servants, and in
every way first-class. The break on the great run from ocean to ocean
on this longest of the world's trunk lines, by taking steamer between
Owen Sound on Georgian Bay and Port Arthur, is a most agreeable one.

It is charming to sail on a good ship on this the mightiest of
fresh-water seas, and to lose sight of land while skimming over its
dark green depths. We have had a smooth sea and delicious bracing air,
and find nothing to complain of and much to commend. Before closing I
wish to say something of the remarkable civility of the officers and
employes of this great road. The managers evidently know the value of
politeness on the part of those who cater to the traveling community,
the hardest and most difficult to satisfy of all others. Four out of
five of them pack their trunks for a trip and expect to find the
comforts of their home while on the go, and find fault at every turn.
This Van Horne seems to know, and has so drilled his people, from the
highest to the lowest, that courtesy, the cheapest of valuable
commodities, is never lacking.

I am finishing this letter while our ship lies in the great lock at
the "Soo." We are again under the protection of the Stars and Stripes.
The rush of waters of the great "Sault" fills the air with its roar.
This was a few moments since deadened by the greater turmoil from some
twenty dynamite blasts in the hard rock through which Uncle Sam is
cutting for the huge lock, which is to aid the present one in passing
to and fro the mighty traffic of our great system of fresh-water seas.
The present lock is wholly inadequate, and steamers often wait for
five hours for their turn, and that, too, although it admits several
vessels at a time. Over beyond the cascade the Dominion is erecting a
vast system of locks on its own ground. The near future will need them


We look across the foamy river and see a beautiful little town, the
"Canadian Soo." Behind it lifts a gently rising land, all clothed in
sweet verdure and making an exquisite picture. There, for thousands of
miles east and west and extending several hundreds of miles to the
north, are a people in every way our kinsmen. We wander among them and
feel that we are among friends of our own clan, and yet I cannot take
my satchel ashore without submitting it to the inspection of our
custom-house officers. How long will this thing last? Why should two
people so closely united by every bond except that of so called
nationality, submit to this hampering of their kindly relations? When
will the bars be thrown down so that the Canuck and the Yankee can
trade as brothers and friends? I may not be a statesman, but what
little of statecraft I possess, tells me there should be absolute
reciprocity between Americans from the Gulf of Mexico to the frozen
seas; reciprocity at least for all productions of the respective

I look out of my window; the ship is sinking down between the massive
walls of the lock. In a few moments we will be on a level with Lake
Huron, and just below the lock we will land in Michigan. So now we bid
adieu to the hospitalities of President Van Horne, and will commend
his iron highway to all who love nature and its grand works, and who
delight in its sublimest displays.



At Sault Ste. Marie, we took steamer for Mackinaw. The steamer was
comfortable, and the trip a charming one.

The run down the Ste. Marie into Lake Huron, has few equals in sweet,
gentle, and at times picturesque scenery. Low lying hills lie on both
banks of the river, some of them lifting from the water. Now and then,
a promentory or an island point lifts the general quiet tone into
something of boldness. These are washed and laved by waters of
pallucid purity. The hills, both however, generally lie back from the
river on banks with pretty plains under them; here, wide enough for a
small field, or garden; there, giving space for a pretty farm. The
uplands rise from the small bottoms in easy flowing slopes, green in
fresh growth. There are on both slopes occasional farms and small
hamlets, affording life and movement to the pretty picture.

When this continent shall become a single nation--one grand Republic;
the frozen arms of an Arctic ice-floe enfolding its northern boundary;
the warm breath of the Gulf of Mexico reddening the cheek of the
orange and covering Magnolia groves with snowy bloom along its
southern shores; the mighty Pacific pouring its sonorous swell on its
western confines from Behring's sea to the Tropic of Cancer, and the
storm breeding Atlantic roaring along its shores, from Lincoln Sea to
Key West; when brothers shall clasp hands across the deep waters of
the lakes without the espionage of a custom collector, then these
low-lying hills and sweet plains at their feet--these pretty islands
and rugged promentories, will become the summer homes of the rich of
the mighty land, and the green waters will reflect the villas and
cottages of the wealthy and the well to do, along the entire river;
and the world will know no more beautiful and sweetly rural locality.

I was leaning on the taffrail of our boat, enjoying the sweet
prospect--the long reach of Georgian Bay, lying to the east--and some
bold points lifting about us, when I heard a gentleman call the
attention of a lad by his side, to a rock they could see in the
distance through their glasses.[1]

          [1] The reader may take all reference to this gentleman
          as fact or fiction, as his own fancy suggests.

"At the foot of that rock, I caught twenty black bass in an hour,"
said the gentleman.

A deep groan close by my side caught my ear. I turned to find a gray
headed old man, also leaning on the rail, whose glass was turned in
the same direction as those of the gentleman and lad. The man of the
groan, was evidently seventy odd years old, with a gentle face, but
now in deep and painful thought; tears were coursing down his cheeks,
and when he lowered his glasses, showed eyes red with weeping. His
face looked so wan that I feared he was sick. I spoke to him gently.

He answered me kindly, and then said: "I was watching through my glass
a spot in the distance beyond the rock adverted to by the gentleman to
that boy, and when he spoke of catching fish at its base, a long ago
past was weighing on my mind. His words brought up the groan you heard
and not any illness of my own--a past connected with a big rock near
the spot I was looking at, and of a tragedy which deeply distressed
me, and changed the course of my life."

I very naturally asked: "Are the matters you refer to, such that you
cannot speak of them?" I handed him, at the same time, my card. He
looked up saying "Ah, yes! I know of you. A few days since I read some
letters of yours in the Chicago _Tribune_, from the National Park.
They made me half resolve to go there next year." He asked me if I
intended publishing them in book form; that he thought such a book,
just now, would be acceptable; that he had preserved my letters for
use, should he make the excursion. A man who has published any thing,
is as easily captured by a kindly word for his bantling, as ever
mother was by praise for her first baby. I told him that my letters,
even if enlarged as I might see fit, would hardly make a book of fit
size for publication.

The elderly gentlemen landed at Mackinaw with us. After wandering over
this pretty old island, visiting its places of interest which well
repay a visit--after listening to a few dozen prominent lawyers,
judges, merchants and physicians talking through their noses--all of
them victims of hay-fever--I was lazily resting on the hotel piazza,
awaiting the hour for taking the ferry boat to reach the train for
home, when my new made friend of the boat came to me and said: "Mr.
Harrison, you say your letters are not enough to make a book of
publishing size. I spoke to you of a tragedy, which changed the course
of my life. I have at home, but will send it to you, a manuscript,
touching that sad affair, which would not be inappropriate in a letter
touching a trip from the Soo to Chicago. The manuscript is a plain and
faithful story of the events narrated; you can, however, supply
fictitious names, and alter certain immaterial points and touch up the
whole. I thanked him, and assured him I would probably gladly use his
material." He afterward sent to me "The Secret of the Big Rock," which
will be found following this letter.

A night's run brought us to Grand Rapids. Its people ought to be proud
of it. It is not only a thriving, busy town, growing with great
rapidity, but is one of the prettiest cities in America. Its business
quarters are fine and wear a metropolitan air, but its residence
portion is very pretty. The streets are lined with trees, which grow
with such luxuriance park commissioners might envy.

We spent a half day in the charming place and in a few hours reached
home, having enjoyed a glorious "outing," which I freely recommend
every one who can, to make, and as early as possible. If I had to
choose between a trip to Europe of two or three months, and the
excursion we have just made, and were compelled to forego one or the
other, I would forego the European one.





In the spring of 185-- I was head bookkeeper and confidential clerk of
a Cincinnati firm, having a large trade with the Cotton States. I had
an adored wife, and two fine children, who were our pride and our
delight. Not ambitious for wealth, I was perfectly satisfied if my
endeavors conduced to the prosperity of my employers. My salary was
sufficient for our wants. None of us had ever been sick and the family
physician was rather a friend than an adviser. The firm was
prosperous; my employers, always kind and considerate; my modest home
was cheerful, and I believed myself the happiest of men.

Cholera was that year prevalent, and toward the first of June,
threatened to become epidemic in our city. My employers hurried with
their families to the country, leaving me in full charge of the house.
Continuous immunity from sickness, made my wife and myself so
confident, that had we been able to strike the sign of the passover on
our door posts, we would scarcely have thought the precaution
necessary. Even the dread scourge, cholera, had few terrors for us.

Going home one Saturday afternoon, I read on the Bulletin Board of a
newspaper office, that the physicians believed Cincinnati had passed
the crisis; that no epidemic need be feared. I had a habit, when
walking alone, of whistling softly. Near my house a neighbor smiled,
as he said, "he was glad to see my mouth in so fine a pucker, for it
spoke well of the day." My wife met me at the door, as usual, but told
me she felt quite sick; seeing my face become clouded, she assured me
it was not much, and laughingly repeated a witty speech of our little
girl. Hardly had she finished, when she almost screamed with pain. In
twenty-four hours, she was a corpse; and Monday, at noon, I was
wifeless and childless.

I did not pray to die, believing that God knew and did what was best
for his children; but I would have greeted with a smile the grim
monster, had he reached out his hand for me.

In two days I was at my desk, for there were important matters to be
attended to. The necessity for work, kept me from falling by the
wayside. My mother had taught me, "that man's highest duty is, to do
his duty." This saying had been adopted as my motto.

The next week, my employers returned to town, and ordered me to Fort
Mackinaw for a couple of months' vacation, presenting me with a
thousand dollar check, to cover my expenses. Two months between the
Island and the Soo were passed in fishing, with such benefits
resulting, that the excursion has been renewed whenever an absolute
necessity for a change has been felt.

My employers on my return, seeing the good effects upon me, of the
water and the rod, presented me with a nice skiff, telling me to take
every Thursday afternoon for a holiday, and to keep them supplied with
fish for Friday; at the same time, kindly informing me, that a plate
would always be at one or the other of their tables for me to help
enjoy my catch.

Being a man of almost machine like habits of regularity, my boat was
always seen on the proper afternoon, rain or shine, during the fishing
seasons for several years.

It was in '58 that I accidentally threw my line in a deep pool or
hole, in the Licking river, a mile or two from the Ohio, and almost
immediately struck a fine gaspergou perch, or as the people in
Kentucky called it, a "New Light." This fish was first seen in the
state, when the forerunners of the present Cambellite, or Christian
church, the "New Lights," were creating much enthusiasm in the
Kentucky religious world.

The catch was followed by several others, when a terrible splashing
was made close to my hook by an out-rigger rowed by a stalwart negro.
The Ethiopian scowled upon me as he shot by. In a few moments he
returned and caught a _crab_, letting an oar back water about the
same place on his run down stream. The disturbance drove all the fish
from the locality; at least I had no more bites.

The two following Thursdays, I tried the same pool, but my darkey was
again rowing about the ground, and no fish were to be had.

About a month later, there was a press of business at the store. At
the request of our senior to forego my usual holiday, I worked all
Thursday afternoon, with the understanding I was to take the next day
and bring in my fish for Friday's supper. I started early and rowed
some distance up the Licking, to what were considered good fishing
grounds. In passing the spot where my sport had been twice disturbed,
I saw the outrigger handled by the sable oarsman, while a handsome
young man in the stern drew up a fine black bass. The negro again
scowled at me.

I reached my ground, and was having but indifferent success, when
almost without a ripple the outrigger drew up close to my side.

"What luck?" demanded the gentleman, in a clear, sweetly modulated
voice, which made me for a minute forget the colored man's evident ill

"Rather poor; nothing to what I was enjoying four weeks ago, before
your boat drove all the fish away from the hole where I saw you an
hour ago. I have a notion your man had a method in his madness."

The gentleman laughed a laugh so breezy and cheery, that it drew me at
once to him.

"Yes, Jim told me of his exploit, and we have come up to invite you
back to "_our hole_" as he calls it."

I could not refuse an offer so cordially extended.

The gentleman as we gently floated down the stream informed me, that
Jim had selected "our hole" as one little likely to attract Cincinnati
Waltons, and regularly every Friday left in it a fine feed for fish;
that Jim was almost amphibious and seemed to know how to draw the
finny denizens of the river to whatever spot he selected and at fixed
times; that he was surprised to learn I had found fish in the place on
Thursday, when there should have been none until Friday; that the
sable conjuror was not so much put out, because I had found the spot,
as because the fish had lost their reckoning and were a day ahead of

"I am supposed to be Jim's boss," he smilingly went on, "but in fact,
on the water, am governed by Jim; his rod is one of iron."

At "our hole" we lay to, and in an hour had a fine mess of bass and
new lights--as many as we needed.

Felden was the name my new acquaintance gave me as his--"Jack Felden"
he said, "and this coon is Jim Madison."

Jim grinned and was the very personification of the free and easy, yet
servile southern "body servant."

Mr. Felden said, "I make it a rule, Mr. Jamison, never to kill a
single fish I can not consume either myself or through a few friends,
to whom I now and then send a mess. The poor things have a right to
their pursuit of life, health and happiness, and should not be killed
in wanton love of killing. As one of the dominant animals of this
earth, I claim the right to take fish for my uses. I enjoy the sport
of angling; but when enough are caught the sport ends, and I reel in
my line, and silently steal away."

"You are a sportsman of my own kidney," I rejoined, "we have enough."

Jim then emptied a pail of fish feed into the river, saying:

"Dey'll guzzle all dat afore dark, and termorrer dey'll come here and
find nuthin', and dey'll go away, but shuah as death and 'ligeon
dey'll be back here nex' Friday. Dis niggah skeert em de las' fo'
weeks, a Thursdays."

Jim grinned in my face as he said this, and I was forced to commend
his prudence, though it had been at my cost.

The following Thursday, I tried the hole, but Jim was right; no fish
took my bait; he was seen, however, scudding along in Felden's
outrigger. He grinned at me and asked, "how is _de hole_?"

The following week, to my gratification, I found Mr. Felden on the
river. We fished at "our hole" with some success: Jim then fed the
fish, while his master informed me that he had concluded to go shares
with me. Hereafter, he would meet me on Thursday, so as to enable me
to gratify the Catholic appetites of my employers. Thus he would have
the pleasure of bettering our acquaintance. He paid me the compliment
of saying that he had circled the globe, associating with men in all
lands, and felt we ought to be friends.

Our friendship grew into intimacy, before the season was over. He
invited me to _his den_. It was a plain cottage, externally; but
within sumptuous; skins of lions, tigers, leopards of every variety of
spots, and of other animals covering the floors of hard wood at that
time rarely seen. Several of the pelts, he said, were the trophies of
his own skill with the rifle. The walls were tapestried with rare
draperies, and rugs, all of them valuable souvenirs of Eastern lands.
One room was given up to cabinets, in which curios and objects de
vertu sparkled in oriental beauty. All was arranged with rare taste. I
hinted to my host, that his house was a temptation to the burglar. He
went to the door and whistled gently. In rushed two fine dogs; noble
specimens of monster mastiffs.

"These are my guardians. Woe to the thief that gets into this house;
if he escapes Jim and me, these fellows would tear him into fish bait.
Wouldn't you my Mogul?" One of the huge mastiffs sprang up with a
growl that startled me.

"Now Akbar! you and Queen salute this gentleman. He is my friend and
must be yours."

The two dogs came up to me, smelt all about me, then one of them laid
a great paw in my lap, while the other put both feet on my shoulders,
yawning mightily in my face showed fangs long enough and strong enough
to give the king of the forest no mean battle.

I spent a charming evening with my new friend, and found him one I
could gladly call such.

During the following winter, I dined with Jack--I had accepted his
request to address him thus familiarly--at least one day in each week.
His dinners were at the then unusual hour of seven, a habit acquired
as he informed me in India. Jim was butler, and Dinah, his wife was
cook. She was an artist of a kind to be found nowhere in the world,
outside of old southern plantation halls. The table service was of
pure china and cut glass. The menu was never extensive, thereby not
conducing to over-indulgence, but everything was perfect of its kind,
and cooked absolutely to a "T". A single bottle of wine was always
served for us two, either of Rhine or one of the best clarets. My host
and I never emptied more than two glasses each. At the end of each
meal, Dinah and Jim came in as the table was being cleared off, and
drank to our healths in glasses of the same set, and from the same
wine used by the master.

Mr. Felden never smoked cigars at table, but we each had a jasmine
Turkish pipe and puffed delicious Ladikiyah, received by him from
Beyrout in hermetically sealed cans.

One evening when we were lolling back on softest chairs and enjoying
to our full the fragrant weed, Jack said to me, "Paul," (this was the
first and almost the only time, he thus called me,) "you have told me
the sad, sweet story of your life. I propose, if you wish, to give you

"I am very glad of it, and have been hoping you would."

For some minutes he was silent, and his noble face was lighted with
what seemed an illumination from within, wholly different from that
laid upon it by the mellow glow from the candelabra.

"I am thirty years old; have light auburn and very curly hair." I
started, for his hair and beard were dark brown, almost black, and
without even a wave. Without noticing my surprise, he continued, "My
complexion is florid and my face without a scar."

"My goodness, Jack, you are making sport of me," I cried, for the man
before me had a complexion of richest olive, and a terrible scar had
been cut across his cheek, as he once laughingly intimated, by a
tiger's claw.

"No, I am telling you simple facts. I am the son of a rich planter in
----," he did not name the state; "my father and my uncle owned
adjoining estates of great value, and were as proud as they were rich.
I was an only child. My uncle had but one, and that a daughter. Our
parents inherited their fortunes from my grandfather, and at an early
date they determined to unite the family wealth again by a marriage
between my cousin Belle and myself. She was a pure blonde, one year my
senior, very stately, very cold, and intensely proud. We grew up to
consider ourselves as indissolubly betrothed. Belle treated it as
calmly as if we had been married for years. This she did as soon as
she was out of the school room. She never seemed to doubt the
propriety of our engagement. She loved 'Clifton' and 'Brandon'--I will
thus call the two plantations--she loved the two estates next to her
father. Him she worshipped. These two loves filled her soul, and left
no room for any other genuine affection. Yes; she loved herself, our
name, our lineage, and her pride."

For awhile he was silent, and his soul seemed to be working in his
face; then, with a sigh of pain, he continued:

"I graduated from one of the best colleges in the land at twenty, and
at once with a learned tutor, was sent abroad. We traveled in
continental Europe for a few months and I was intensely happy. Before
the first year had half ran out, we were summoned home. My father was
ill, and would probably not live to see me. This was my first great
pain, for my mother had died at my birth. We hurried to New York by
the first steamer, then by rail and coach we flew southward without
having heard a word from home. We were too late; my poor father had
been dead nearly a fortnight. I had loved him with intense devotion.

My uncle having died three years before, Belle had been living since
then with my father at Clifton. She met me at the door, enveloped in
black, and looking the very embodiment of decorous grief. She kissed
me on the forehead, and when within told me in a voice as calm as ice
of my poor father's last illness, of his death, and of the immensely
attended funeral. She opened her writing desk, read letter after
letter of condolence, and with a fitting sigh spoke of the
gratification we should feel, 'that dear uncle had so many admirers
among the best people of the south.' Her well-poised calmness nearly
stifled me. Yearning for love and sympathy, all I received from the
only relative I had on earth, at least of near degree, were
congratulations that my father had found in death the cold esteem of

As soon as I could decently leave the house, I hurried to the negro
quarters to see my foster mother, Dinah, and her husband, Jim. There I
found loving hearts, and for many minutes was clasped in the arms of
her who had nursed me on her bosom through my babyhood. I lay upon a
settee, given Dinah by myself as a Christmas present years before, and
with my head on the old negress' lap, let her comb the hair over my
aching brow. Soothed and rested by the kind, homely sympathy, I lay
with closed eyes, when the cabin became redolent of that peculiar odor
given out by genuine crepe, and Belle walked in. In calm, cold words
she said she was sorry John could not find some one at the house to
brush his head.

The next day my cousin handed me a letter, 'the last,' she said
'Uncle had ever written.' It told me where I would find his will; that
everything he possessed was left to me, and asked, as a dying request,
that I should marry my cousin the day I became twenty-one. He told me
how all the love he had borne my mother had been centered upon me;
gave me a few words of advice, but said he felt advice unnecessary, as
he knew how good his only son was.

When I had finished reading I handed the letter to Belle, saying
there was something in it concerning her. I watched her through my
fingers and saw that her reading was simply perfunctory; she had
evidently read it before. She sighed, came to my seat, put her arms
about my neck--called me her dear John, and kissed me on the lips. I
felt like one fettered and powerless. My heart was filled with a sort
of numbness--despair. Two facts were as clear to me as daylight: that
I did not love my cousin, that she did not love me; she was incapable
of real passion. I turned to her and said:

'Belle you have read my father's letter, what do you suggest?'

'Why, of course, John, we will be married on the 20th day of
February. We have a month to get ready, besides we need not much
preparation, for we will at once go to Europe for a year, until the
sad events of the past few weeks shall have been obliterated from our

Good God! she could speculate on the death of grief. I hated her. But
I would as soon have thought of exhuming my father's body and
scattering it to the four winds of heaven, as to think of not obeying
his wishes.

Well, we were married, and at once went abroad. I tried to and did
respect my wife. She attracted great attention, for she was superbly
beautiful--queenly. But there was never a moment when I felt like
pressing her stately form to my breast; never had the slightest
inclination to kiss her lips; never once felt I could look into her
great blue eyes, and breathe out my life on her bosom.

A marble statue would as quickly have aroused a feeling of passion in
my heart. She was cold and did not seem to realize that I was not a
model husband, for I was her attentive and watchful companion. She
seemed thoroughly satisfied, while my heart was hardening into stone.

In July we visited a flower show in Regent's Park, accompanied by two
English ladies, both married, romantic and full of sentiment. In our
rounds, we met a lady in company with a gentleman and a little boy.
She was about eighteen years old, with dark melting eyes under a
perfectly arched brow, and a broad low forehead, over which her black
hair was banded in massive silken waves. Her complexion was so deeply
brunette as to be almost olive. The blood was rich and flowing in her
cheeks, and her lips were two full ripe riven cherries, when she spoke
parting over large pearly teeth. Her head was exquisitely poised on
shoulders of superb mould, and her form and gait queenly. We were on
the opposite side of a wonderful erica admiring its masses of pink
flowers. Our eyes met. I stood as if spell bound. I had never before
seen a perfect beauty and all of my own chosen type. She was exactly
my opposite, I, high florid; she intensely brunette.

The color came into her cheek and mounted to her very hair when she
caught my fixed gaze. One of our English friends noticed this.
Afterwards in our walks, we met again and again the lady in the brown
shawl--for so our friends called her. Whenever we met, my eyes
instinctively sought those of the unknown, and always caught her
glance in return, and at every such encounter her face crimsoned. This
was remarked by our two lady friends and caused them to banter me.
They told my wife to be on her guard; that if I were not already
married, they would say I had certainly met my fate.

Ah! little did they dream they were speaking truth--that this girl
was my fate for weal or for woe! I heard the unknown's voice several
times without catching her words. It sank into my very soul. I became
absent minded throughout the remainder of the day. Belle joined the
ladies in declaring that the "brown shawl" had bewitched me.

Mr. Jamison, I have a very decided theory of true marriage. The Bible
is a mass of oriental rubbish! Forgive me, I do not mean to offend. I
reverence the bible, but not every word of it. It is made up of ingots
of gold covered and almost hidden within masses of sand--grains of
truth and Godly wisdom, in bulks of chaff. It is made up of God's
wisdom and oriental fable legend and poetry. You reverence the gold,
the grains--the sands and the chaff. I wash out the sand, and pick out
the gold; winnow away the chaff, and gather up the rich grains.

Nothing to me in the book of Genesis, reveals more deep knowledge of
human nature, than the account of the creation of Adam; he was made
from the dust of the ground, and his soul was breathed into him by the
breath of God. When a man dies, his body returns to the dust, his soul
goes back to its maker. God created man! male and female, created he
_them_! They were then good. He afterward separated the female
from the male. Each thus became imperfect--each became a part and not
a whole. There is a constant yearning in them for reunion. When the
true Eve unites with her Adam, they become one, and their union is
bliss. When so united, no man shall put them asunder. The union is
founded directly on natural and, not on moral or religious laws. The
natural laws speak within, and draw irresistibly two hearts to be
mated. Whoever obeys the impulse find a Heaven on earth. Others,
falsely-mated, may not find absolute misery, but, it is equally
certain, true happiness is never theirs. Men and women are made for
each other; not one man for one certain woman, but in classes. A man
finds his physical mate in one of a certain class. If her moral
qualities be not fitted by education, he should wait with a well
grounded hope of finding another in the same class, whose bringing up
will have better fitted her for him.

Now, the woman in the _brown shawl_ was my mate, that is one of
the proper class. I could not get her out of my mind, and my wife's
coldness, constantly made me yearn for her. Travel was distasteful to
Belle, so that before the fall had set in, we were again at home. I
did not love my wife, she did not love me. She was fully satisfied to
live with me in the proud dignity given us by our vast estates.

Besides his plantation, negroes and stock, my father had left me
largely over a hundred thousand dollars in money and convertible bonds
and mortgages. I resolved to turn all of these into cash, and to
abandon wife and country. I got all in readiness; executed and left
with my lawyers papers conveying every thing else to Belle; went to
New York on some pretended business and sailed for Europe, writing
home that I would never return. I sought the American colonies and
hotels in every country, in a sort of vague hope that I could find the
woman in the brown shawl. She was my fate. I was mad with the one
idea. I was no libertine, Mr. Jamison. I simply yearned for her, not
asking what the result would be should she be found. I drifted into
the East and wandered through Russia, Turkey, Greece, Palestine and
Egypt. I did not meet her; and could get no tidings of her.


I resolved to lose myself in the far East. I went to India; hunted in
the jungles, reckless of life and danger. I was successful in
overcoming the monsters of the wilds; and escaped dreadful fevers
because I seemed to bear a charmed life. It was worthless to me, and a
bad penny could not be lost.

In India I met with a cunning native, who changed my locks from light
to their present color, curly to straight; my complexion from florid
to its olive hue. He taught me how to put a scar on my cheek that
would deceive the eyes of a surgeon, but from which I could at any
time free myself in a single night, and renew at will. So perfectly
was my disguise, that my Indian servant, who had been with me for a
year, failed to recognize me. He never knew me again. With my skin I
changed my name. I was a stranger even when in my most frequented
haunts, and as you see, am still disguised. I visited Siam, Burmah,
China and Borneo. I wandered five years in the far East, and returned
to America by the Pacific and Panama, and thence to New Orleans.

In that city, I went to a Mardi-Gras ball. On entering the brilliant
assembly room, I was almost stunned by the sight of my wife, standing
close by my side. She looked at me without recognition. She was the
same cold, queenly woman. I was presented and talked to her of her
husband, whom I had met in the far East. She seemed considerably
interested in me, but did not evince the slightest emotion when I
spoke of her husband and told her I had heard of his death in India.
She said in chilling tones she felt sure it was a false rumor. Had she
shown any feeling, I think I would have tried to get her into my

I went to my old home, and pretending to be shooting and belated, went
to Jim Madison's cabin about sun-down and talked to him and Dinah.
Neither of them recognized me, but when her back was to me I spoke;
she started, for my voice reached her memory. They were both true to
Mars John, whom I told them I had known at college. Dinah shed bitter
tears, because she could never see him again, and Jim would be like
Simeon of old, if his eyes could rest upon him once more. They were to
be trusted.

I went to the cabin door and finding there was no one in the
neighborhood, I drew my hat over my face and said in my natural voice:
"Jim, Dinah, don't you know me?"

They sprang to me at once, with a cry, "Oh bress de Lord, it's
him,--it's him--it's Mars John" and for minutes I was pressed in their
arms, while they shed tears and gave thanks to the good God. The two
lowly hearts were true as steel to me, and would be willing to follow
me to the ends of the earth. Jim was a teamster and had to draw a load
of cotton to the nearest steam boat landing on the following day.

In my boyhood his aquatic qualities won my admiration and were the
wonder of the negroes for many miles around. To my inquiry as to his
ability in that line now, he proudly stated that "he was a duck a-top
the water, an' a musrat under it." I then told him to be on the
lookout, when on the wharf boat the next day; that I would be there;
would manage to tumble into the river; he was to rescue me, and out of
gratitude I would purchase him and Dinah, and take them north to

We performed our comedy admirably. Water could scarcely drown me, for
from childhood, I had been a water-dog, and when Jim made his
wonderful dive, and brought me from the bottom, to which I had
conveniently sunken the third time, I acted the drowned man so well,
that the negroes around nearly killed me by rolling me on a barrel to
get the water out of my stomach. I managed to be properly
resuscitated, and in three days Jim and Dinah, paid for, were on their
way north. They had no children, and left no ties behind. Jim says,
"he is a bigger slave than ever, for I am always on his mind."

We reached Cincinnati last spring, and I feel certain my identity can
never be discovered. I have my two oldest earthly friends with me, and
now my newest, and almost only other one. I am trying to recover a
part of my fortune, for I had but little left when I reached this
city. I came here because, the only words I ever distinctly caught
from my brown shawled mate and her companions were, when the boy said,
"but Cincinnati, you know"--that was all. I am here making a little
money speculating in grain; using Jim's rheumatism to inform me as to
weather probabilities and if prices will go up or down--and keeping my
eyes always open for the only woman I have ever seen whom I can love.

And now fill up your chilbouque and let us have a glass of beer." He
rang a bell and told Jim to open a couple of bottles of ale.

I was deeply impressed by the story--more so, than I cared my friend
to see. To open up a light vein of conversation I asked:

"What was that you said about Jim's rheumatism?"

"I spoke in earnest;" answered Jack, "last summer and fall I used
Jim's ankles to tell me if the weather would be favorable for crops.
He believes implicitly in his rheumatic prognostications. To humor him
I follow his advice, and so far have never failed to make a good deal
by so doing."

I thanked Felden for his story, and went home pondering upon his
notions and pluck. It was strange to see a man who evidently so
enjoyed lavish luxury, living as he did, when a beautiful wife, a vast
fortune and high position were waiting for him, whenever he should
acknowledge his proud name.

Toward the end of the winter, a messenger brought me, from Mr. Felden
a request for the address of a first class physician, and telling me
Dinah was much indisposed. The next evening I dropped in at his house,
but he begged to be excused. The message brought to the door by Jim,
made me feel my visits were not desired for the time being. Ten days
elapsed without any news from him, when I met Dr. J. and inquired as
to the condition of his dusky patient.

"Oh! ho! Then I owe to you this new patient!"

I stated the circumstances.

"Well, Mr. Jamison, I thank you, for I have had a revelation at that
bedside, for which I would not take a thousand dollars."

I expressed gratification and some surprise.

"You know," the genial doctor continued, "you know that I am an old
time abolitionist, and one of the straightest kind."

I replied, I had often regretted the fact. Scarcely noticing my remark
he went on:

"I have received a revelation, Mr. Jamison, and one that God willing!
will make me a more charitable--a braver, perhaps a better man. Think
of it sir: I went to see this black woman, expecting to find her in
charge of some other ignorant woman of her color. But instead of that,
there was an elegant gentleman sitting at her bed side; his hand was
upon her hot forehead, and every now and then he whispered, "Don't be
afraid Mammy, little John is by you, and he will take care of you."
The poor creature was delirious. She thought herself on a southern
plantation, and that some one was trying to do her bodily harm.

"When I stepped forward, he motioned me to be still. I am generally an
autocrat in a sick room, but that man's look and gesture made me a
regular sucking babe."

I laughed at the thought.

"You needn't laugh, sir. I am telling God's truth. Well! when he had
quieted her, he took me into an adjoining room, and gave me his
diagnosis of the case. It was the opinion of a man of science,
absolutely correct. I left my prescription, promising to be on hand as
early as possible the next morning. Would you believe it, sir, I was
there before day-light? I wanted to see that man. I found him seated
as he had been the night before, and learned he had been there ever
since I left. She was still out of her head.

Something she said caused the gentleman to say, "She must be saved.
She and her husband are all that are left to me of a great plantation
and five hundred negroes."

"Instead of feeling disgust for the owner of five hundred human
beings, I felt they had lost a friend when they lost their master. For
a whole week, that man never took off his clothes, and as far as I
could see, never left that lowly bed side. I never saw such devotion.
It pulled her through; my drugs were a humbug, sir. That Christian
gentleman saved her life."

The doctor took off his hat and mopped his brow. It was wet from the
energy of his speech.

"It was a revelation to me, sir. Think of it! A man can own human
beings, and still be a Christian. If our Saviour has a true follower
on this earth, that born slave owner is of his chosen ones."

I told this to Felden a few days later. He smiled and said, "I thank
the good doctor. Don't tell him I am a worshipper of the one unknown,
and unknowable God. I reverence Jesus of Nazareth--I reverence
Sidartha, the Buddh--I reverence Zoroaster. They were the greatest of
men, whom long meditation sublimated and lifted above their kind. But
there is only one God. No one of woman born, ever could, or can
conceive his form.

The best and purest Christian I ever met was a Hindoo, not only in
race, but in religion. Yet, he was a Christian in the true sense of
the word. He lived and acted the life inculcated by Jesus. The next
best was a Parsee worshipper of the sun. He did unto his kind as he
would they should do unto him. He clothed the naked, fed the hungry
and healed the sick; yet he gave the body of his beautiful and
idolized daughter to be devoured by vultures on the Tower of Silence.
One of the genuine Christians I have met, was a Chinaman, who
worshipped Joss, and daily knelt at a shrine erected to him in the
back of his shop. He washed the wounds of a stranger, and nursed him
for weeks, though his house was shunned as the home of pestilence.

"Forgive them Father, they know not what they do," might be offered up
in behalf of fully one half of the good people of this Christian land.
They wrap themselves up in their egotism and their bigotry. They
follow the blind lead of narrow minded preachers and make the pulpit
their fetich. Bah! how I hate cant and hypocricy! Poor Dinah is as
black as the ace of spades, but under her dusky breast is as white a
soul as ever came from the breath of God; and I am supposed to be a
good man, simply because I did not leave her to die like a crippled

"No, Mr. Jamison, I am no better than I ought to be. Dinah nursed me
on her breast and fed me from her life's blood, when I was helpless. I
was only a man when I nursed her through this illness. I came to tell
you she is nearly well again, and Jim wishes you to eat a dinner of
his cooking to-morrow evening. Good day." And with that he showed me
his straight back and massive shoulders as he walked with swinging
strides from the store.

We commenced fishing in March and spent many a pleasant hour together,
on the water by day, and in his den at evening. Early in May, I went
as per agreement to dine with him. Jim handed me a note. It read,

    "Dear Jamison, go in and make the most of the dinner. I am off for
    how long, I know not. I met to-day, my fate of the brown shawl. I
    follow wherever it may lead me, never to stop until my doom be

    Yours, in the height of folly,


Jim informed me his master had come in a half hour before; after
hurriedly filling a valise and satchel, he had jumped into the
carriage, which brought him home, saying "Goodbye old folks, take care
of the dogs, and expect me home, when you see me."

Jim added, "He's all right up here sah," touching his head, "but his
heart's sort'er crazy."

I could scarcely taste the food, for I felt that there was over Jack,
and thus over me, an impending disaster. I had become deeply attached
to him. One knowing the intense nature of the man could not but fear
he was following an ignis fatuus to his doom. Here was a married man,
who had schooled his heart and reason to the belief he was not
wedded--that his marriage was a fiction of the law, and not binding on
his conscience. I was a religious man, and shuddered lest my friend
with his marvelous fascinations, and goaded by a mad passion, might do
some act abhorrent to my notions of right.

Days and weeks of uneasiness on my own part, and apparently of
distress on the part of the two colored servants passed by, without a
word from the absent one. At first I went to his house repeatedly to
rest and to think of him, but finally satisfied myself with inquiries
at the door.

About two months after his disappearance, it became necessary for me
to make a journey to a distant state in the interest of our house. I
was absent over a fortnight. Immediately upon my return, I visited the
den (I had learned to call it thus). A white woman met me at the door
with the information that she was the present tenant. She knew nothing
of the late occupants, but referred me to a real estate firm as her
landlords. I went to them. They knew nothing of the late tenants of
the cottage, farther than, that Mr. Jack Felden had sent them the
keys, and the rent to the end of the term. They found the premises in
fine condition, but nothing to indicate where the people had gone.

It was evident that Felden had what he considered good reasons for not
communicating with me. I was sure he sincerely liked me, and would not
thus act, unless he desired to cover his tracks. I respected his
wishes and did not afterwards refer to him. Desiring to work off my
anxiety I went to the river for a hard trial at rowing. The man in
charge of my boat handed me a note written he said, by himself at
Jim's dictation. It simply said, "Mars Jack axes you to take his canoe
for yersef. He won't want it no more. Good bye, sah, may de Lord be
good to you, for Mars Jack loved you.

    Jim X Madison

I soon learned to scull the outrigger called by Jim, canoe, and used
it for years, but its late owner was seen by me no more in Cincinnati.
By degrees I ceased to expect him again. I often thought of him, and a
prayer for his happiness became a part of my nightly supplication,
before the throne of grace.


Nearly a year after Felden's disappearance, I was surprised by the
following letter from him:

    "Dear old Jamison:

    I know you thought and think me a scape grace, but when you read
    what I shall write, you will forgive me as a simple madcap. To get
    you into a proper state of mind, I will at once proceed a tale to

    The day of my departure from Cincinnati, I went to the Burnett to
    discuss a business venture with a guest of the house. He was in
    the dining-room at 5 o'clock dinner. I sat by his side discussing
    our business, when I was startled by the tones of a voice near by.
    I sought it. There just opposite to me the "brown shawl" was being
    seated. An elderly lady accompanied her.

    My vis-a-vis was a young girl, not over eighteen, but in every
    respect the woman I met in '50, at the flower-show in Regent's
    Park. There was one difference it is true--in her coiffure; as I
    took it, the result of change of fashion. So vividly was the
    photograph of years ago impressed on my memory, and so exactly was
    it copied, that the incongruity of time and added years never
    crossed my brain. I was dazed by the sudden apparition of my
    dream. No thought entered my mind that it was contrary to the laws
    of nature, that a woman of 18 in '50 was still only 18 now; nor
    did the idea occur to me that I was laboring under an
    hallucination, or was the victim of mistaken identity. The woman I
    had worshipped for long years was there before me, in every
    feature the same as memory pictured her. She was no older, and was
    altered only as change of fashion had altered her. I did not
    reason on the subject.

    I overheard that the two ladies were on their way to Boston; and
    were to leave on the 7:30 train, going East. They examined a time
    table, and speculated as to their stops for meals before reaching
    their destination. The elder was addressed as "Auntie," the
    younger one as "Rita."

    In an hour I was at the station with my luggage. I saw them enter
    the cars, and knew whenever they left it at eating stations. At
    Boston I made my cab driver follow their carriage and took the
    number of the dwelling and the name of the street. The next day I
    watched the house. At noon Rita with a lady, both in calling
    costume took a carriage at the door, and Rita, for so I already
    called her in my thoughts threw a kiss to a child who had followed
    them from the house.

    I determined this was her home, and felt no longer any necessity
    for constant watching. Towards sundown I was walking in the
    Common, where she and I met face to face. She looked at me, but as
    one to her an indifferent stranger. A girl, probably of five years
    was her companion. While the latter sailed a toy boat on the pond,
    the young lady sat on a seat not far away.

    The little girl dropped her hat in the water, and called out, "Oh,
    Aunt Rita! I've lost my hat." They tried to reach it with her
    parasol. I ran to a man raking grass, took his rake and rescued
    the hat. When I put it on the child's head, the aunt thanked me,
    with a smile that was a ray of sunshine. Her voice, modulated to
    express thanks, was simply music.

    Resolved to take advantage of any and every opportunity to make
    her acquaintance, I took off my hat saying, "Pardon me, but we
    have met before. It was in London, in 1850."

    She replied, with a smile, "Your memory must be wonderful, for at
    that time, I was--let me see--" and she counted the years on her
    fingers, "I was then nine years old, and very small for my age." I
    was dumbfounded, for as yet I had not thought of the anachronism I
    had been guilty of. I said, "it is strange"--my voice sounded
    hollow to myself--"but a young lady, your very image, I met a
    dozen times, and what is stranger still, she wore the self same
    brown shawl which covered your shoulders at the Burnett house, a
    few days since." She did not notice my allusion to the Burnett
    house but burst out in a hearty laugh and clapped her hands so
    loudly, that the little girl ran to her.

    "I see it all," she cried; "Minnie, my sister, was in London that
    year, and wore that shawl. Her picture was taken in it about the
    same time, and when I grew up I was so wonderfully like her, that
    she gave it to me; when I fix my hair as hers was, and put on that
    wrap, every one declares the picture to be the very image of

    I had broken the ice rather unconventionally, and was determined
    not to recede. I said "But she was with her father and a little
    boy." I felt I was treading on thin ice, but if it were not her
    father, I would manage in some way to get out of my mistake.

    "Yes!" she replied. "Yes! my poor dear father and dear little
    Ralph were with her. I was at school at home. Poor papa--poor
    Ralph." Her eyes became suffused. "Papa and Minnie went abroad for
    brother Ralph's health. Poor boy, he did not live to get home, and
    papa died the next year."

    It was not right, but I could not resist it. I knew that grief
    admits a friend more readily than gaiety, so I said: "Yes! Ralph
    looked very frail, but your father was the picture of health. I
    was abroad after that for several years and lost sight of them."

    She paused a while, and then continued, "dear papa was never sick,
    but his troubles broke his heart and killed him. You know it was a
    terrible thing to be cheated of all he possessed by the man he
    thought his best friend."

    I saw she had an idea, I had known her father and of his affairs.
    I was villain enough not to undeceive her. What is more, I felt I
    had a right to be free with this girl. I had worshipped her sister
    for years, and in every land. She and her sister were now become
    as one, and that one was designed by nature for me.

    The child ran up and pulled her hand. "Lets go home, aunt Rita, I
    am hungry."

    She arose, and nodding me a polite good evening, said:

    "I suppose you will come to see Minnie. Her house is No. ----. My
    aunt and I are visiting her."

    I promised to do so, and passed a sleepless night, racking my
    brain to discover some way of getting into No. ---- without taking
    advantage of this sweet girl's unconventional innocence. Could I
    tell a lie? Would it be a lie to excuse myself on the plea of
    having a slight acquaintance with the dead father? I lived a lie;
    was indeed a living lie, but I had as yet to my recollection never
    uttered a direct one.

    On the next day I called, asking for the ladies. I sent in a card
    with an assumed name and wrote under it, "An acquaintance of years
    ago." Rita and Mrs. Wilton, her sister, came in together. I stood
    for several minutes speechless. There were the two sisters.
    Apparently there was ten years difference in their ages, and the
    disparity was patent. Yet I looked from one to the other, and for
    a while was hardly able to determine that it was the elder I had
    previously met. I hid my confusion. They seemed never to question
    my having been a friend of their father. Neither evinced the
    slightest emotion when our eyes met. I had while abroad, the entre
    of many noble houses. I used this fact as a sort of credential and
    succeeded so well that Mr. Wilton called at my hotel and invited
    me to dine with his family.

    The visit was repeated; and I was well received. I honored the
    wife--but loved the young sister. It seemed to me it was she I had
    been carrying all of these years in my heart; and I did not stop
    to think what all this might lead to. When I changed my skin in
    India I became the man I pretended to be. I was the homeless Jack
    Felden. I was madly infatuated, and what may seem strange, while I
    trembled when I looked at or touched the younger sister, I felt
    not a single tremor, when the elder walked to a concert at night
    with her hand on my arm; not an emotion, when she looked me in the
    face. I loved her years ago, I loved her sister now because she
    and her sister had become one, and that one was the younger.

    I watched Rita and could not find that I aroused one single
    feeling of reciprocation in her breast. I grew mad at the thought,
    and at night cried aloud in agony. Was it true--could it be true,
    that after all, I was nothing to this woman who, I believed, was
    made for me?

    I spoke one day of the episode at the flower show, intimating
    nothing which could connect them with it. Minnie told how she,
    too, once had fallen in love the same way; suddenly she started
    and fixed her eyes on my black hair and olive hue. The look seemed
    to recall her; she had no suspicion.

    I pondered on the thing. Years ago my glance sent the blood
    crimson to her brow. The sister now affected me as she had
    formerly done, but I seemed to be nothing to her. I spent
    sleepless nights trying to account for this. I reached the
    conclusion at last that love--passionate love, was a physical as
    well as a spiritual emotion; that I was wearing a mask covering my
    true self, and to win Rita I must unmask.

    I have told you I could remove and replace my scar in a day, but
    to change the color of my hair or complexion requires from four to
    six months. I learned that Rita, with her aunt, whom I did not
    meet, would return to their home in Tennessee within a month, and
    she would then be a village fixture for perhaps a year. I grew
    madly jealous lest some one should love and win her before I could
    appear properly before her.

    I swore to have her, and when won, I felt sure she would never
    change, but would wait and wait until she could be mine. I bade
    the sisters goodbye with a heavy heart--all the heavier, because
    on their part leave-taking was only kindly.

    I hurried to Cincinnati; avoided places where I could meet you;
    gathered together my guns and fishing-tackle, my cosmetics and
    wardrobe sufficient for several months absence; arranged my bank
    account and went to Chicago, where I thought the Ethiopian might
    change his skin without observation. Jim being able to read my
    writing when in plain characters, was directed to pack up all my
    valuables and to hold himself in readiness to come to me at once
    on receipt of a letter.

    He and his wife finally joined me. I sent him to Tennessee to
    learn the lay of the land in the town in which Rita's aunt
    resided. To escape any difficulties a Northern negro might
    encounter in a small Southern town, he went as a boat hand on a
    steamer running from St. Louis; managed to get sick when ---- was
    reached, and was necessarily put ashore. In a month he returned
    full of the information I desired.

    I learned that the father of the two sisters, Mr. Dixon, had been
    a wealthy merchant in one of the large southern cities. He was an
    Englishman by birth and had lost his wife, a high-born Spanish
    lady, when Rita was a small child. They had no relations in
    America, except the aunt, under whose care the youngest daughter
    was living and upon whom she was dependent. When the family was in
    England for Ralph's health in '50, the partner of Mr. Dixon
    contrived to raise a very large sum of money and decamped. Mr.
    Dixon reached home to find himself an absolute pauper. The blow
    prostrated him, and in a few months he was laid beside his wife.
    Rita had only a village education, but was a great reader and a
    good musician. Her aunt, Mrs. Allen, had been governess in a
    nobleman's house in England, was literary and decidedly uppish and
    withal intensely avaricious.

    Mr. Wilton was the Boston correspondent of the ruined firm, and in
    the course of settling with it met and won Minnie. Rita's aunt, or
    rather, aunt-in-law, the widow of her father's only brother, took
    charge of her and made her home an unhappy one, not by direct
    unkindness, but by her querulous, carping and sarcastic
    disposition and manner. She would long since have gone to her
    sister but for a dislike of Wilton, who, though most kind to his
    wife, was a selfish man, and had given his young sister-in-law
    some great offense for which the Spanish blood, so hot in her
    veins, forbade forgiveness.

    I do not remember ever to have told you that Jim Madison, the
    obedient servant and devoted slave of his once master, is a man of
    great native intellect. When a boy, I taught him to read a little
    and in Cincinnati spent much time trying to educate him. He was
    wonderfully apt and occasionally with strangers uses good English,
    but with me and my intimates prefers to be the negro servant and
    to use plantation language. He is intensely loving, absolutely
    honest, and at times startles me by an almost savage dignity
    inherited through a short line from his African forefathers.
    Reared among a thousand negroes, for Clifton and Brandon people
    mingled almost as if of one plantation--jolly and light in his
    heart, he courted popularity among his kind and became one of the
    most astute diplomats. I love him as my servant and honor him as a
    true and honest man; respect, and if he were not my friend, would
    almost fear him as a shrewd, self poised, ever alert diplomatist.
    I had known his qualities before, yet the thoroughness of his
    information brought me from ---- amazed me. He managed to get a
    job of sawing a load of fire-wood and packing it in the aunt's
    yard, and from that he became domiciled in a room over the
    kitchen. With his open but shrewd honesty, he became almost a
    confident of Miss Rita.

    You who have never lived in the South cannot understand how
    closely drawn together are kind masters and mistresses and humble
    but faithful servants.

    The cunning Hindoo who gave me my raven locks and olive
    complexion, gave me also ingredients to restore my original
    appearance more rapidly than nature, unassisted, would do, and at
    the same time, cosmetics, which would enable me to conceal the
    change while going on. The effects of the cosmetics were entirely
    temporary, and easily removable.

    When Jim returned, I was ready to reassume my skin. When emerging
    from my bath one morning, I was no longer Jack Felden, but John
    ---- of Clifton, ----. Jim and Dinah shed tears of joy, crying
    together "Bress de Lord! oh bress de Lord--its Mars John--its
    hisself shuah"; and they hugged me again and again.

    Dinah sat down in a rocking chair and said, "Come to Mammy, honey;
    jes let Mammy nuss her baby boy one more time, and I'se ready to
    go to glory."

    I lay my head on the loving creature's lap, while she combed out
    my hair and tried to curl it around her fingers. The curls of my
    youth, however, were gone forever.

    When I looked into the glass, and saw my changed appearance, a
    sudden revulsion of feeling came over me. I was John ----: I was
    the unhappy husband of my cold cousin. A gulf arose between Rita
    and myself. How dare I think of winning the love of that pure
    girl! I, who was bound by the law of man to another, even though
    my reason and my heart told me, I was free. So thoroughly had I
    identified myself with the character of Jack Felden, while wearing
    his hair and complexion, that the recollection of my real name and
    position was blurred. It is true, my unfortunate marriage was
    never entirely forgotten, but I felt myself a new man, with new
    lights and different possibilities. The husband of Belle had
    become an unreal shadow--the figment of a disordered imagination.
    The life I had been living for years began in the Bengalee
    village, when the cunning Hindoo made me a stranger to my
    servant--all before that was a dream. Now having laid aside my
    mask, I was the dead man come back to life, with all his memories
    and his hated ties.

    I took long walks at night out into the open country. I fought the
    demon of memory; I fought the commands of conscience. But
    conscience would not down. The blood spot would not out. Despair
    filled me.

    Aided by my temporary cosmetics, I again became Jack Felden, but
    the change was only partial. My glass told me I was he, my
    conscience whispered, I was John ----. Mine was a dual being. The
    hopes of the masquerader were depressed by the fears of the real
    man. I decided to send Jim to Clifton to learn something of Belle,
    resolved if she were still clinging to her pride, to speculate
    boldly--to win a fortune and give it to Rita as a restitution
    coming from her father's swindler.

    You know something of my success in Cincinnati. Jim had been my
    lucky stone; his rheumatic limbs were my barometer, telling me
    what the season would be from week to week, and though I did not
    believe in it, I had speculated on what his joints foretold and
    was now the possessor of a fair competency--I would risk my all,
    court fortune's smile to make or break. If fortune should favor
    me, all would be Rita's; I would avoid her forever; if the fickle
    jade failed me, Jim and I could gain a livelihood in new

    While shedding my skin, I had made several small successful
    ventures in corn and wheat. Jim and I put our heads together (or
    rather, I put my head to his shins) and we arrived at conclusions,
    which should lead to wealth, or to poverty. I put aside a couple
    of thousands for Jim and Dinah, staking all the rest of my fortune
    in margins. I won from the first. I pushed my luck with reckless
    daring, turning my profits into margins and new ventures. At the
    end of two weeks, my means were doubled.

    I was eating my dinner--one of the best Dinah ever prepared--when
    Akbor and Queen watching me close by my chair, suddenly sprang up,
    and rushed to the door whining and uttering low barks. Jim
    entered, to be overthrown by the delighted animals. Gathering
    himself up quickly, he held out his hand to me, an unusual
    familiarity, for Jim is my friend, yet my slavish servant, and
    rarely loses the demeanor of the servant.

    "Bress de Lord, Mars Jack; shout glory hallelujer Dineh, you black
    niggar! We'se free! and created equal as shuah as Tom Jeffersom
    printed de declaratium!"

    I made him sit down and tell his story. He told me all he thought
    of interest regarding the dear home of my childhood.

    I tried to get him to the point on which I most desired
    information, but he could not be induced to alter the thread of
    his narration in the least detail. Finally I learned that Belle,
    who had gone abroad twelve months before, was to be married in a
    month to an Italian Lord.

    "Jess think of it Dineh--git it through yo' wool, ole gal.--over
    dah dey calls men lords. I don't wonnah dat Sodum and Gomorrah was
    guv up to fire and brimstone. I specks dar was lords in dem days.
    The reel Lord will make Miss Belle a piller of salt--shuah! stick
    dat in yo' craw, Dineh--dar is one Lord, and he tells us in de
    book, dat he am a jellus God."

    Jim then spread before me a newspaper printed in ----. It
    announced, as a most important event--"That the beautiful and
    queenly Mrs. Belle ---- whose husband, Mr. John ---- had
    mysteriously disappeared in 185--, supposed to have died of
    cholera in India, had become a Catholic and was about to be
    married to the Marquis of ---- in Rome. Mrs. ---- had with hopeful
    love for her husband, for all these years refused to credit the
    report of his death; even now, she was unwilling to act on
    information she had gained at great expense, from India;
    information which every one else thought thoroughly reliable. She
    had therefore applied to the Pope for a dispensation; that as soon
    as the formalities necessary at the Vatican were completed, she
    would at once become the Marchionness of ----. The marriage was to
    occur on the ---- day ----, just one month from the day of the
    publication of this paper."

    Oh Jamison, old fellow, that was a happy hour for me. I had that
    day closed very successful deals. I was almost rich and could win
    and wear Rita. I did not for a moment doubt she would be mine, for
    I honestly believed her my mate. All impatience to fly to her, I
    made an arrangement to travel south for a Chicago firm, to be paid
    out of commission alone. Jim informed me that Rita's aunt
    sometimes rented her front parlor and a bed-room attached, to
    traveling men with samples; that it was a source of much
    mortification to the niece, for the elderly lady was rich and had
    no children, renting the room out of pure avarice. I resolved to
    lease it, for it would bring me close to Rita and would arouse her
    animosity, out of which I would snatch victory.

    I washed every vestige of Jack Felden from my hair and skin, but
    put a scar on my cheek, which with a full beard and straight hair,
    I thought would insure me against all recognition, should chance
    bring me in contact with some one I had known in early manhood. On
    reaching ----, leaving my luggage and sample boxes at the wharf, I
    went at once to the home of the aunt; secured the rooms and agreed
    to pay a large price for my breakfast and supper in the house.
    Thus the best of treatment was secured, for the avaricious old
    lady would try to keep me as long as possible.

    My first meal in the house, was supper. When Rita came to the
    table, she scarcely deigned to notice me. She disliked me for
    taking the parlor.

    Mrs. Allen, the aunt, was a screw, but she was an epicure. Her old
    cook was an artist. Like all genuine gourmets, the old lady was a
    table talker, and a good one. I resolved to return Miss Rita's
    disdain, by ignoring her presence, and if possible to arouse her
    interest in me, against her will.

    When the aunt served me with tea, she said:

    "Mr. Felden, there is a cup which I am sure you cannot equal in
    Chicago. New made people can soon become good judges of coffee,
    but a connoisseur in tea must have blue blood in his veins."

    "I do not boast a long line of ancestry," I rejoined, "but my
    palate must be the heritage of good blood, for I enjoy the Chinese
    drink greatly, and am very particular as to the brand. There is
    only one country in the world where good tea is almost universal.
    A bad cup in Russia, I found the exception."

    "Ah," she said, "but it is in England, that it is always above the

    "Yes," I acknowledged, "as a food, not as a beverage. English tea
    is good to eat--that is to mix with, and wash down your muffins.
    In Russia tea is a drink, and is even jealous of a thing so coarse
    as sugar. I learned there to put into my cup only a soupçon of

    "You have been in the land of the Czar then, have you?"

    "I spent some time within his dominions," I replied.

    "You have been a traveler, then I suppose. What other countries
    have you visited? Pardon my seeming impertinence, but I have found
    it a good beginning to an acquaintance, to learn where each has
    been. I have myself, wandered considerably, but only in Europe."

    "I have visited nearly every European land;" I said, for I was
    determined to please her and at the same time to win the attention
    of the niece, who so far, had only noticed me by casual glances,
    "have hunted the tiger in Indian jungles and laved my limbs in
    holy Ganges among its devotees."

    "Oh, how charming!" the good lady exclaimed. "I thought I was
    getting only a liberal lodger and I find I may be entertaining a

    "To get myself on the best footing, dear Madam," I rejoined, "I
    will say I have straddled the equator, and have used the Arctic
    Circle for a trapeze."

    She clapped her hands, saying, "That's capital, is it not, Rita?
    What else, and where else, Mr. Traveler?"

    "In Burmah I have ogled beauties with huge cigars piercing the
    lobes of their ears, and have worshipped Soudanise ladies closely
    veiled on the upper Nile, awakening from my dream of adoration to
    find the Yashmac of my divinities covering ebony coloured

    "Go on, dear sir, go on, I am wrapt in profound attention," and
    the old wizened eyes sparkled with pleasure.

    "I have been in ----," I glanced at Rita, she was listening with
    intense interest; I grew ashamed of the game and paused. But
    knowing how a woman's nature clothes the mysterious man in
    brightest garments, and is ready to find the prince in beggar's
    raiment, I resolved to show her a despised drummer, who had been
    in all lands, and even an actor in wild and dangerous adventures.

    "I have crossed the dark teak forests of Siam, where jungle fever
    kills its victims in a single day, and escaped its venom by
    swallowing quinine by the handful and by sleeping in the houdah on
    my elephant's back. A single night on the ground would have been

    Rita changed her seat to become my vis-a-vis and from then never
    removed her eyes from my face.

    I continued: "In Cambodia I lived a week in a grand palace,
    surrounded by huge temples of fine architectural beauty; temples
    and palaces covering a mile square; and excepting my servants, I
    was the only tenant of a magnificent lost city. Trees were rooting
    on the friezes of noble porticos and splitting their marble
    members asunder.

    "I was once caged in a small cave near old Golconda, and my guard
    of honor was a huge tiger, who lay across the entrance to the den,
    and strove to tear down the barricade I had erected to keep him
    out. His fierce growls as he wildly scratched against the granite
    wall, curdled the blood in my veins and his breath came hot upon
    my face, the winding crevices in the barricade permitting this,
    while not allowing me to shoot through them. I sat rifle in hand,
    expecting every minute that my protection would give way, and then
    barely hoping that I might send a bullet into the monster's brain.
    Finally the wall toppled--he crouched for the fatal spring, when a
    shell from my faithful gun pierced his heart, and I sank in a
    swoon from long excitement, and physical exhaustion."

    A sweet voice of intense emotion came across the table.

    "And--and--please tell me how long did you lie in the swoon?"

    Ah, how I did long to press to my bosom that dear, sympathetic

    I replied, "I do not know, but when I came to, I felt I was dying
    from thirst. I crept through the opening and with the tiger's
    blood not yet cold, moistened my parching tongue. I lapped it in a
    sort of revenge."

    "That was grand! Oh, why am I not a man?" she exclaimed.

    I leaned towards her, my heart spoke in tones she did not mistake.
    "Thank God! thank God! you are not."

    She started, her eyes met mine, every drop of blood seemed to
    leave her cheek, she was so pale; our eyes looked into our eyes.
    Her face crimsoned, and she rushed out of the room.

    Mrs. Allen apolegetically--"do not mind that child, Mr. Felden,
    she's an idiot," and then, her face became nearly malignant, "Yes,
    she's an idiot, a plague and a nuisance."

    How I hated her! How I gloated over the idea, that I would take
    the plague from her, resolved never to ask her consent. For
    several days the young lady's manner was constrained but not
    haughty. I was differential but reserved. Indeed I felt a sort of
    timidity when she was present. I avoided every appearance of
    throwing myself into her company.

    I spent some time in the business quarter of town and soon secured
    some capital orders for my employers. This gave me real pleasure.
    You, old Jamison, who are so true to your firm, understand this
    feeling. I made excursions to other towns where I was somewhat

    The fourth Sunday was a glorious sunny day, just the one for a
    long ramble in the country.

    At breakfast I asked Rita to join me in a constitutional. The aunt
    spoke up, "Of course she will, I would go myself, but my lame foot
    forbids it."

    I proposed going to the hotel to get a lunch.

    "No! No!" the old lady said. "No! I will put you up a nice basket.
    In a few days you will take me out for a long promenade a
    voiture." I consented by a nod.

    With basket in hand, we left the house early. My companion wore a
    charming but plain walking habit; a boy's straw hat sat jauntily
    on her head. I was sure I had never seen anything half so
    beautiful, as was this dark, yet fair young girl. Rita was a
    glorious walker. Hers was not the gliding swimming motion which in
    America and especially in the South, has been regarded as the ne
    plus ultra of female grace; but the light springing movement, with
    which fair Eve tripped over Eden's bloom bespangled glens, when
    she gathered flowers of every sweet odor and of every native tint
    to deck her bridal bed; when she tripped over nature's parterres
    and scarcely brushed away the dews sparkling on their wealth of
    fragrant bloom.

    We walked and gaily chatted. She lost all the reserve, which since
    I became an inmate of her auntie's home had more or less marked
    her demeanor. She was the young village maiden, who had in artless
    innocence, at Boston's old frog pond, laughingly talked with the
    respectful stranger. But when our eyes met, her soul spoke
    unconsciously through them, telling me that she read my heart and
    was full of sympathy.

    We reached a high tree-clad bluff, which overlooked a wide river
    bend. The sun was warm, but sent upon us no burning rays; rather
    shimmering his light through the leafy shade. Across the stream, a
    broad bottom lay, waving in grass and grain, and bright here and
    there with opening cotton bloom. We sat side by side on a fallen
    tree, and drank in the beauty of a picture painted from colors
    worked upon nature's pallette.

    We descended toward the river bank to a pretty little spring which
    Rita had before oftentimes visited. We partook of the lunch Mrs.
    Allen had put up for us, or as Rita said, "for her gold paying
    lodger, who was a traveled savant."

    She made the welkin ring with her merry laugh, as she took the
    wrapping paper from a dusty bottle of claret.

    "Oh! my generous aunty! see, here is genuine Chateau Lafitte! I
    knew she had it, but I have seen a bottle of it but once on her
    table, and that was when President Polk dined with us, a good
    while ago. Poor aunty! You have surely bewitched her, Mr. Felden."

    The lunch was delicious, and we did it ample justice. "See, Mr.
    Felden, here is real spring chicken broiled to a "T." Poor aunt;
    strangely inconsistent aunty. A lavish miser! a generous lover of
    self! A born epicure."

    We wandered among little gorges: she was happy, for she was a
    joyous young girl, set free in nature's haunts. I was happy
    because by my side was my own--my Heaven given mate, the rib taken
    from my long ago progenitor, and now given back to me. Grown
    somewhat tired, we sat upon the grass covered root of an upturned
    tree. I said something, I remember not what, my companion started;
    I noticed and adverted to it.

    "Mr. Felden, do you know you frequently startle me. I seem to hear
    in your voice a tone I have heard before, or have listened to in
    my dreams." I felt the hour had come.

    "Miss Rita. I owe to you a confession. I am not what I am." I
    spoke with all the pathos practice among wild and dangerous people
    had made me master of.

    "Listen to me, Rita, pardon my familiarity: but you will forgive
    me when I have finished."

    I rapidly gave her the story of my life, and dwelt upon the
    meeting with her sister at the flower show, and the hold it took
    upon me. Again she started, and was about to speak, when with a
    motion, I stilled her tongue. I spoke of my long wanderings, and
    then of my seeing her at the Burnett and thinking her the lady of
    the flower show.

    I told her of my visit to Boston. The color left her face, and she
    faltered out--"I knew it--I see it now, you are Mr. Ford," and
    crimsoned from neck to the roots of her glossy hair.

    "Yes, Rita, I am John ----. I am Jack Ford; and now Jack Felden
    tells you that he loves you--he worships you and would make you
    his wife and would be happy,--would make you his wife, his
    Queen--and would, too, make you happy."

    I paused and grasped her hand--she did not withdraw it. For a
    moment she was silent, and then raising her dark confiding eyes to
    mine, she said in low tones:

    "Thank God, Jack, I have not dreamed and prayed in vain. I will be
    your wife--I will cling to you through life, and will rest by your
    side in death."

    I drew her unresisting form to my heart, I kissed her lips in one
    long kiss, and saw, within the gates ajar, the paradise awaiting

    We arose, and hand in hand, silent, but with heart speaking to
    heart, walked slowly homeward. We scarcely spoke. Speech was
    unnecessary. There was a silent communion of souls, still, yet
    eloquent. We were one. We were as Adam, when first created, male
    and female; our simple reunion was bliss.

    We are to start together next week for Boston, to be married in
    the presence of Minnie. Mrs. Allen is glad to be freed from the
    expense of Rita's outfit. She regrets that "a great traveler, who
    ought to be wiser, can tie himself down to a chit of a girl." I go
    to Chicago to-morrow to close up my affairs, and to bring Jim and
    his wife here. This climate will suit them better than that of
    Chicago. We will halt in Cincinnati long enough to see you, old
    fellow, and when married we will go abroad for a year.

    Congratulate me, dear Jamison, for I am the happiest of men.
    Yours, never again to perpetuate a folly.


I, too, was happy, for I loved Felden as I had loved no one since my
wife and little ones went to Heaven.

Imagine my astonishment, my terror, when some weeks later, I received
a short letter mailed at St. Louis.

    "Dear Jamison, my true and honest friend:

    Forget me forever! Do not try to look me up; never inquire for
    me; never again mention my name. Henceforth I am dead to the

    Your friend, JACK."

I did not try to understand these terrible lines. I honored my friend
and felt sure he had good reasons for his request. I complied with his
demands, except one, I could not forget.


Years passed by, but brought no tidings from Jack Felden. I made no
inquiries for him; his last request came to me as from the grave and
was sacred. Had we met on the street, I would have passed him
unheeded, unless the first advance had come from him.

I said no tidings came from him; that is, no direct or positive

On the first of May following his letter, a case of Chateau Lafitte, a
jasmine turkish pipe and six sealed cans of _Ladikiyeh_ tobacco
came to my room. Tacked to the box was an envelope containing this
message: "On the first day of May and November of every year, drink to
the health of a lost friend who loved you. May the cares of life lift
from your heart as lightly as the smoke curls from your chibouque."
Regularly after that, on November 1st and May 1st, a case of finest
claret and a half dozen cans of Turkish tobacco sent from a great wine
house in New York, was placed in my room by an express messenger, and
never after that did I fail to drink in silence to my friend. Whoever
sent the wine and tobacco evidently kept note of my life, for my
residence was changed three times, once to a distant city; the
messenger found me wherever I was domiciled.

Not long after Felden's disappearance, the troubles which had been
brewing between the North and the South broke out into open war. Our
house was among the first to close its business as it was wholly
dependent on Southern trade. We paid up every dollar we owed and both
heads of the firm retired to the country. Service was offered me under
another firm, but as I had become a part of the machinery of the old
house, I felt such a change would prove uncongenial.

I volunteered in answer to Mr. Lincoln's first call for troops and was
sent into camp in Kentucky. In a month I was sick and ordered
discharged by the surgeon. A complaint, hitherto unknown to me,
forbade active and hard work, but the consolation was offered me that
with light, healthful exercise, generous food and abstinence from any
nervous strain, I might live to old age. I was given a clerkship in
the commissary department, and in '62 was transferred to Washington
city. When the war was over I was retained in my position. Close
confinement affected my health.

One of my pleasantest memories was of a summer spent in fishing and
boating in the neighborhood of Mackinaw. Something impelled me to
renew my old friendship with the well-remembered scenes. After a brief
stay on the island I became a denizen of a lumber camp located a few
miles from the rock which brought me to your acquaintance. Alone in a
light row-boat which I had purchased at Buffalo on my way up the
lakes, a large part of each day was spent on the water.

One bright day I anchored my boat near the "Rock" I mentioned to you,
on the boat coming from the Soo, and wandered in the woods stretching
behind it. The forest was of small trees, with here and there an old
timer spared by the loggers. Every thing about me was wild, and
excepting stumps and upper members of trees from which saw-logs had
been removed, there was nothing to indicate fellowship with men.
Emerging from a small ravine I came upon an opening in the wood on the
edge of which was a cluster of three tents, one apparently for the
occupancy of a luxurious owner; a plainer one for servant or servants
and a third for a kitchen with a stove pipe projecting through its
apex. In front of the principal tent was a sort of porch or shed
covered with light boards to keep out the rain, and over-topped with
boughs giving it a sylvan character.

I walked toward the tent when a huge old mastiff, fat and unwieldily,
sprang toward me with a bark and growl which brought me to a sudden
halt. The beast rushed toward me angrily, but all at once paused and
smelt about me with his bristles erect. These, however soon smoothed
down and the dog whined as if I was not unknown to him. A gentleman
and lady stepped from the large tent. Imagine my intense surprise when
I recognized before me the stately form of Jack Felden. I repressed
all evidences of recognition and with a bow and low apology was about
to turn away, when Jack in his old cheery tone, cried out:

"Don't go, Paul, chance has brought you to me; why old Akbar
recognized you and wishes you to stop; come back!" His words were
kindly and his tone almost loving. I ran to him and for a moment our
arms were about each others shoulders and our eyes were moistened by
tears. The lady came forward, saying:

"It is Mr. Jamison, Jack, is it not? But I need not ask, for no man,
but you Mr. Jamison, would be thus met by my husband."

We were soon seated before that tent in that sweet intercourse which
arises only between genuine friends. It was difficult to realize that
years had elapsed since I had last seen Jack. He was the same open
hearted, genial and dignified man. Shortly afterward, the dog got up
lazily, and trotting toward the little ravine, met a gray bearded
negro--the Jim Madison who so disturbed me on the Licking river. His
pleasure at seeing me seated with Felden and his wife, seemed
unbounded. When I repeated to him what I had told his master of my
location in the logging camp, he said, in a tone that showed the thing
was a matter of course:

"Well! Mars Jack, I'll jes' take de boat an' go to de camp an' fotch
Mr. Jamison's things over."

Jack laughed, "Yes, Jim, your hospitality has only run ahead of mine.
Jamison must come and make his home with us in 'Big Rock Camp.'"

Before night I was in possession of Jim's tent and he had fixed his
cot in a corner of the kitchen. We spent the next few days fishing,
walking and talking. The late afternoons and evenings were delightful.
Jack sang gloriously to the guitar, and his wife could discourse
charming music from that most inharmonious of instruments, the banjo.
She had a rich contralto voice and sang with what is higher than all
art--exquisite tenderness and deep feeling.

Jack was usually as gay as I had ever known him, but occasionally his
face had a tinge of intense sadness, which he evidently struggled to
suppress. This expression was never shown in his wife's sight. With
her he was a rolicking, joyous man, and every act and word showed him
a loving, an idolatrous husband. But when her back was turned he
occasionally regarded her with a look of such pain that my heart went
out toward him and ached for him.

About a week after my arrival Jack and I were fishing at some distance
from the camp, our low conversation had flagged, when he suddenly
said: "Mr. Jamison, you must have thought me a brute all of these

I quickly responded, "No, Jack! I never doubted you had good reasons
for your silence, and nothing would have tempted me here had I dreamed
I would meet you."

"I am so glad you came! I have wanted to see you more than you can
think." His voice was exquisitely modulated while saying this.

"I wish now to tell you every thing. Rita wishes me to do so. Your
great discretion will teach you how far you must hereafter be reticent
in her presence. The one great object of my life is to save her
pain--to make her happy."

"When I wrote you my long letter I was about to be married and was to
call to see you on our way to Boston; am I not right?" I nodded.

"Well, in a week Rita received a letter from her sister saying she was
not well, and suggesting that it would be better we should be married
in Tennessee. This letter altered our plans. A few days later a
dispatch came from Wilton, telling us, that poor Minnie had died
suddenly, she and her baby at the same time. Mrs. Allen was a great
stickler for what she called the proprieties of life, and though she
had not in her heart a spark of affection for her nieces, she insisted
our marriage should be postponed for at least three months.

Rita had been in her care since childhood; it is true the care was of
no gentle kind, but she was grateful and did not wish to displease her
Aunt. I went to Chicago to get my affairs into shape. Before the time
I was to have returned, my darling wrote me that her shrewd
worldly-wise Aunt had become suddenly alarmed by the shape political
matters were rapidly taking; had determined to convert all she owned
into money and to go to her relatives in England for the remainder of
her days. The dear girl begged me to come to her as soon as possible.
Her wish was my law. I started the next day; for I had acquired the
habit of being always ready for a change of base.

Reaching ---- I found the shrewish old woman up to her eyes in
affairs. I lent her all the assistance possible, and in one month she
was ready for her departure. With her and another for witnesses, Rita
and I were made one. She dowered her niece with five thousand dollars,
kissing her most decorously on the forehead. In a half hour after the
ceremony she started north, and we west. Her last words were, "Adieu!
Don't write to me. If I ever care to hear from you I will write." She
thus passed out of our lives and we know not whether she be alive or

My bride and I went to Memphis and thence to St. Louis. We were
absolutely happy. The world was bright and rosy to us both. My wife
was, as fully as I, imbued with the belief that we were mated,
dovetailed together; were as thoroughly one as Adam or Shiva were one,
before Eve or Parvati were taken from them.

Possessed as we were of perfect health, physically we might have been
models to an artist for robust, untainted manhood and womanhood. Not a
cloud flecked our sky--not a shadow, we thought, could possibly lurk
beneath the horizon. At St. Louis, the day after our arrival, we had
been out for a walk and on returning I went to the hotel reading room,
while Rita gaily tripped up stairs toward our room, kissing her hand
to me from the upper landing. I picked up a paper, chance-dropped by
some traveller, published in the town near my home; the same which Jim
had brought me with the announcement of Belle's marriage. Almost the
first thing I saw was an editorial statement that "the marriage
between the beautiful Mrs. Belle ---- and the Marquis of ---- in Rome
had been positively and permanently abandoned." My eyes were riveted
to the horrible column. It continued: "The proud uncrowned Queen of
---- discovered before it was too late, the titled groom desired the
gems and gold in the bride's strong box, far more than the jewels and
pure metal so effulgently shining in her form and rich in her
character, etc., etc." I was stunned--my blood stood still in my
heart. I leaned over upon a table and was blind from intense agony. I
thought of my own misery, but Great God! what would become of my poor
wife! My limbs seemed powerless; I did not move until a light hand
rested upon my head.

My wife had come down to find me. "Oh, darling, what is it, what is
it?" I took her hand and slowly staggered to our room. I knelt at her
feet. I prayed her to forgive me. I hid my face in her lap and sobbed
as a broken hearted child. She smoothed my hair and for some minutes
with sweetest of all sympathy let my grief flow. Then she lifted my

"Tell me what it is, my husband."

I looked into her dear pale face and cried, "I cannot--I cannot break
your heart, my poor wife."

"Break my heart, darling! It can never break while it has yours to
dwell in."

"But," I gasped, "we must part."

"Part! part! Oh, God! Jack! what is it you say? part! no, no! Never,
never!" She was as colorless as the lace about her neck. I then told
her all.

When I had finished, she laid her arm around my neck, drew my cheek to
hers, and said in a firm, brave voice, "No, Jack, my darling, we will
not part. I am your wife, wedded in Heaven. God was witness to our
betrothal under the open sky. God was sponsor to our marriage. We are
man and wife and no man or woman can ever separate us. I am your Eve
darling and with you would live in Eden, but if driven out, I will be
by your side and wherever we go, there will be my paradise. You have
not offended the law. You thought yourself free and no one can blame

I pressed her to my heart and cried, "My Rita, my noble Rita!"

"No, no! Jack, I am your Rita, but not your noble Rita. I am simply a
woman; I am your wife and do no more or no less than any loving woman
should do."

We resolved to go to Chicago, to live in seclusion while I should do
all I could to increase my fortune, and then we would go off to some
far off land, where there could be no possibility of having scandal's
finger pointed at us. I then wrote you to forget me.

I again became Jack Felden, and my wife learned to like my olive hue
and my dark hair better than my natural complexion. Chicago became our
home. I courted fortune on change. For a while I was but indifferently
successful. One year on almost the last day of August, Jim hurriedly
entered my office saying:

"Mars Jack, your time is come. My ole ankles tells me thar will be a
killing frost dis night; the corn will be cotched. I knows what I
tells you. I run all way down town to tell you. Go out now, dis very
minit, an' buy all de corn you can carry; put your las' dollar up and
make a fortune. You'll win, Mars Jack; if you fails, you kin sell me
for a ole grinnin possum."

The honest face of my old friend was ashy from excitement. With one
word--"Jim I'll do it," I went on the board and before night nearly
every dollar I owned on earth was up in margins on corn. That night
there was a frost, corn went up several cents; this gave me additional
margins, and I risked all. One month later I had cleared a handsome

The next year Rita and I went abroad to remain for two years. A boy
was born to us in Egypt. We wanted Jim and Dinah to see him. For
though they were our servants, we loved them as our best friends. I
knew how Dinah would yearn to hold little Jack on her bosom; to live
over in her deep loving fancy the days when her baby John drew his
life from her breast. She had prayed that Miss Rita would let her nuss
Mars John's Baby. She never saw him. In London he was exhaled as a dew
drop. It was a sad blow; but my wife did not grieve as I feared she

She said "it is best Jack. He would have been nameless in the eyes of
the law. We will live for each other." It would have been better had
she shed more tears; for there are times when her very fortitude
alarms me.

We returned to Chicago. Rita was quietly happy in her little secluded
home. I am always happy, when her face is unclouded.

My disguise as Jack Felden precludes any ambition either social or
otherwise. Our little family lives for each other, and is perfectly
satisfied to know only a few necessary acquaintances. We go to
theatres and concerts and keep ourselves abreast of progress and of
life. We are school teachers, Jim being our pupil. His life is inwoven
with ours. We are both fond of books. People we often meet at places
of amusement and on our drives look at us inquiringly, and
occasionally some have tried to break into our seclusion. We have met
the kindly advances courteously, but continue to live within
ourselves. Our city being made up of people new to each other, makes
this easy.

Once in New York at the opera I saw Belle; she was the admired
occupant of a box. Her opera glass was bent upon us several times. I
think she recognized her acquaintance of the New Orleans ball-room.
She was still queenly, cold, and I could see selfishness had laid its
mark upon more than one of her perfectly modeled features. She was
still the proud rich widow.

Rita looked at her through her glass, and said to me "Jack dear, look
at that magnificent blonde; she is perfect in form, and her features
are faultless, but she could never be a follower of the Buddha; she
could tread the life out of living beings, and care not if she only
did not soil her skirts." With that she turned so as not to see her
again. I kept my counsels. Belle was not again referred to.

Last spring Rita lost a little girl at its birth; she did not
recuperate. The Doctor advised a tent life for the summer. Dinah was
not well enough to accompany us. If Rita be not fully recovered by the
middle of autumn, we will go to the upper Nile. I have an idea its
climate must prove beneficial to her.

As I said, we keep to ourselves; at first, feeling it necessary
because we were over a social volcano, but lately from choice. I
cannot help thinking that Belle will some day grow weary of her
widowed life and will make me free; she can get a decree of divorce, I
cannot. I would not commit a fraud to win one, and she would not
permit me to obtain it otherwise. Now Jamison, you know why I have so
long neglected you."

"Yes, Jack, I not only know, but fully appreciate your feelings, and
though I try to be a religious man, I cannot blame you for your
course." With that he pressed my hand in warm and grateful affection.

Felden seemed to have told all he wished to tell at that time. That
there was something still untold, I suspected.


That night, never to be forgotten by me, we were kept entirely within
doors, by a deluging rain. The winds shrieked through the groaning
trees. The thunder rolled in constant and awe inspiring
reverberations. The lightning kept the tent in a continuous blaze.
Thoroughly protected, we were silenced by the awful voice of the
tempest. A storm is never so grand as to the occupants of a tent in a
wild forest, one seems then so close to Him who rides the winds and
speaks in the roar of the thunder.

Just as nature seemed wearied of the intense exertion, the old mastiff
sprang up with a growl and rushed toward the tightly closed tent door.

The curtain was drawn aside, when he sprang out into the night, and
was soon in pursuit of some wild animal, evidently of considerable
size, for we heard its flying tread in the darkness. When the storm
abated, Jim reported that a fine mess of bass we had caught just
before dark had been stolen. Mrs. Felden expressed regret, for several
of the fish had been taken by her. Jack laughingly offered to go down
to the Rock at day break, and bring back a mess in time for breakfast
at seven.

When I awoke, the next morning the sun was quite high in the heavens.
Mrs. Felden and Jim were already out, and evinced some impatience,
because Jack had not returned with the promised breakfast. When seven
o'clock came, the wife sent the old man to call her husband home, fish
or no fish.

"Tell him," said she, "that the storm has made us ravenous."

When Jim also failed to return in due time, Mrs. Felden became alarmed
and asked me to follow him. I set out, and although the ground was
sopping wet, she joined me, in spite of my gentle remonstrances. We
soon met Jim hurrying towards us. His face was of an ashen hue.

"Where is Jack, Jim--Oh where is my husband?" shrieked the mistress,
as she rushed past the negro toward the water.

The man caught her arm, "Stop Miss Rita, stop Miss Rita, fer de Lord
sake stop. I'll tell you, Miss Rita, please stop."

She tried to tear herself from his grasp. "Oh my God, he's dead--my
husband is dead. Tell me--Jim, where is my husband?"

The negro forced her down on a boulder, and catching her hand covered
it with tears and kisses. "Miss Rita, my dear Misses, be good an' I'll
tell you all." She attempted in vain to arise, for a powerful arm held
her firmly, but gently back.

I sat by her side, and lay my hand soothingly on her shoulder,
saying--"Tell her, Jim, she is a brave woman and can bear the Lord's
will. Tell her all."

The negro's face showed only too plainly that her worst fears were
true. "Miss Rita--I'll tell you all. Be a good chile Miss Rita; jess
be Mars Jack's wife, Miss Rita, an' I'll keep nothin' back."

"I will Jim--tell me the worst;" she uttered between choking sobs.

In a voice of intense grief and solemnity, Jim then said, "Be a good
chile, Miss Rita; be de wife of de grandes' man what ever lived; Jim
Madison never tole his marster an' mistis a lie. God is good, Miss
Rita; his ways is unscrubable; he knows whats bes', for his chilluns.
He wanted Mars Jack hisself; he done took him to his side. Mars Jack's

A wild shriek rang through the woods--a shriek of agony which caused
the blood to run cold in my veins. The bereaved woman stared into
vacancy, as though seeking her husband's form. She arose from her seat
almost rigid, and without a word, fell in a dead swoon at our feet. So
still did she lie and so long, that I feared she had passed away.

After a quarter of an hour, as it seemed to us, Mrs. Felden recovered
a semi-consciousness--staring first at one of us and then at the other
with piteously questioning eyes. When the horrible reality again
dawned upon her awakening mind, the forest was filled with heart
rending cries, silence only coming when she once more fainted away. I
chafed her hands while Jim ran to the tents for camphor and brandy. We
bathed her face and neck; fanned her; poured brandy between her parted
lips--did all that suggested itself to our terrified minds. The swoon
lasted so long that we had almost abandoned hope, when she breathed
and opened her eyes--they were vacant.

She wept no more, but in low sweet tones murmured "Jack darling, don't
be lonesome; I will come to you! Yes, Jack, I'll come."

These were repeated again and again, as we bore her to the tents and
laid her on her bed. She immediately fell into a sleep lasting for
hours, and only interrupted by sobs and moans. I watched by her
bedside while Jim went off saying he had work on hand which must be
done at once. When the poor lady awoke and looked into my face, I
thanked the Giver of all, that she was herself again in mind, though
her strength seemed quite broken.

Upon Jim's return she said in tones so calm, so gentle and so full of
deep suffering, that they pained me almost as much as had her more
active grief:

"Sit down Jim and tell me all about it. You said you would tell me
all. You see I am calm. You see I can bear anything--everything

He replied in his simple caressing manner, "not ter day, my chile, you
jes eat an' sleep an' git strong; ter morrer I'll tell you everything.
You'se weak now, Miss Rita,--wait till ter morrer."

"I will Jim." She hardly spoke again during the day or following

When he brought her supper, she tried like an obedient child to eat
all he urged upon her, saying in answer to his words of encouragement,
"Yes, Jim; I must eat and be strong. I need all my strength."

When at dark, she seemed to sink into sleep, the negro and I sat
outside the tent so that we could watch within, but far enough off we
thought, to prevent our conversation reaching her ears.

He then told me that on going to the rock in the morning he saw that a
large part of it weighing a ton or more, had fallen since the day
before into the deep water at the precipice's base; there had been a
thin crevice or fissure running through the rock, in which a few vines
and small bushes had taken root. Into this crack the heavy rain of the
night had swept, eating away the last puny tie which held the two
parts together. Jack's weight in the morning was too much for it.

Jim found his rod floating at the base, the hook having caught on a
small bush growing nigh. About half way down a part of his coat sleeve
was hanging to a rough corner of the jagged rock. As the falling man
went down on the broken mass, he had evidently clutched at the
projection; had wrapped his arm about it, but had in some way been
caught and forced downward tearing the sleeve from the arm.

Jim, who was a keen observer, understood at once that his master was
down below among the ruins of the fallen mass. He threw off his
clothes and dived to the bottom. In the second dive he discovered what
he sought. He found his master's body lying on its back, held and
pinioned by a massive stone weighing tons. After making this
discovery, he had returned to meet us. But while his mistress slept in
the afternoon, leaving me to watch by her side, he had again visited
the Rock. He wore heavy flannels to protect himself as much as
possible from the chilly water.

He found the body above the knees was free. He tried to draw it out,
only to learn to his sorrow, that it could not be removed except by
rending it from the lower limbs. The bottom was of gravel so compacted
as to be nearly as hard as stone. The dead man had been caught below
the knees in a recess or depression in the falling rock. Jim expressed
great joy that this depression while holding his master's limbs as in
a vise, had protected them from being crushed.

"We'll cut up de wings of de kitchen tent an' sew 'em tergedder three
or fo' thick wid twine, and spread 'em over Mar's Jack an' den I'll
put rocks on de canvas, an' down thar under de clean water it'll stay
till de blessed Jesus calls his chilluns home."

I expressed great gratification that he had thought of this, and
suggested that he could send for some loggers to give us aid.

He quickly stopped me. "No! No! Mr. Jamison! Mars Jack's been wearin'
masks all dese long years. He's been hidin' from men. No man must'
know his las' restin' place. No man but you an' me."

I honored this tender solicitude for his master's secret and at once
acquiesced, telling him that, when Mrs. Felden's condition would admit
of our both leaving her, I would aid him in his pious endeavors.

"Dat's right Mr. Jamison, me an' you must nuss dat darlin' chile--you
an' me an' her an' Dinah knows his secrut. You an' me an' her an'
Dinah mus' keep his secrut to our graves. If eny body helps us here,
de officers and de newspapers'll be sticking dar oar in. I'd ruther
see you an' Miss Rita down dar along side 'er Mars Jack, dan anybody
should meddle in his matters."

He said this in subdued tones, but there was on his face a gleam of
almost savage determination.

The next day Mrs. Felden was perfectly calm; her mind apparently
clear, but there was a far away expression in her eyes that gave me

When Jim had removed the little breakfast table from her bedside, she
said, "I am strong to-day, Jim; see how calm I am. I can hear and bear
everything, as my husband's wife should do."

He told her all he had discovered, to the minutest detail. He
controlled his voice and manner so as not to show the deep emotion
with which his loving heart was almost breaking. His voice was low,
sweet, and sympathetic. Having finished his account, he said, "Now
chile, be a brave good woman. 'Member what a great big man Mars Jack
was, an' how he loved his wife mor'n hisself. He's up thar, Miss Rita;
his eyes is clar, for Jesus is by his side and makes him see
everything; he sees you dis minit, an' knows you'll soon be beside
'im. Don't let him see you miserble."

Mrs. Felden's calmness astonished me. She listened in silence; tears
rolled down her cheeks; her breast heaved with low deep sighs, but
there was a strange light in her eyes, which looked afar off, and
seemed to see her husband as the man described him. When the faithful
negro had finished, he had her hand in his. For long minutes she
uttered not a word. Her spirit was in that far off land beyond the
skies or more probably at the foot of the rock. We watched her in

At last she said, "Jim is right, Mr. Jamison. If my husband could
speak to us now, he would bid us keep his secret." Her keenly atuned
ears had evidently overheard Jim when he so urgently insisted that no
one should help us.

"No one must know what has happened--no one but ourselves; we must do
all. I will help for I am strong now. A few loggers have passed our
camp, if they come again and make any inquiries, they must be made to
believe my husband has gone away, and that he is coming back. No human
being must ever know our grave," she quickly added, "where he sleeps."

She paused, her face brightened with unnatural light, and with a voice
of exquisite sweetness, she whispered, "sleep well Jack! sleep well my
husband, your wife will soon be with you."

Jim at once proceeded to his task. He asked me to row to the nearest
store, for some sea-grass cord, and all the chains I could buy,
without arousing suspicion.

I found no difficulty in completing my share of the preparations. Jim,
in the meanwhile, made two sheets eight to nine feet square, and of
four thicknesses of strong canvas, cutting up the wings of the tents
for the purpose. We carried in the large boat, several hundred weight
of boulders, as heavy as we could handle, to the shore near where poor
Felden lay. These were to anchor down, for all time his last winding
sheet. Two log chains were fastened securely around the edges of the
canvas sheets; a mass of strong boughs were made ready for anchoring
over and around the watery grave, so that accretions of sand and
gravel collected and held by them, would guard Jack's body securely
and well.


We determined that as soon as these last services to the dead should
be concluded, we would at once strike the camp and return to Chicago.
When the labors required the strength of both Jim and myself, Mrs.
Felden accompanied us. I was unwilling to leave her alone. Her
calmness rather alarmed than assured me. It was the calmness, not of
resignation, but of despair. When all was as I thought, in readiness,
Jim asked me to get several bags of shot; I remembered afterwards, he
did not state for what purpose they were needed.

On my return before night, I noticed him and his mistress talking
apart from me more than usual. She had, too, strangely altered.
Instead of the look of agonized calmness worn by her face for the past
few days, her appearance was almost cheerful. I could not help
wondering, if after all this woman, apparently so passionate and
intense, was of the shallow ones of her sex. She seemed to enjoy her
dinner which was late, and ate more heartily than I had known her ever
to eat before.

She retired early. Jim and I sat up rather late; he seemed loth for me
to go to bed. When he retired, I lay awake for hours pondering over
the change in Mrs. Felden. Wearied at last, a profound slumber
overcame me.

I awoke in the morning to see the sun already several hours high. Jim
was engaged in setting breakfast. I took a short walk. He soon blew
the whistle--it was the call to meals. Mrs. Felden did not come out of
her tent. There was only one plate on the table. To my enquiries, if
she were not coming, he simply answered that I would eat alone. I had
slept so well during the night that my appetite was good, and I did
full justice to the meal. In answer to my question whether Mrs. Felden
would not like something, the negro seated himself before me, the
first time I had ever known him to do so of his own volition, and
said, "Mr. Jamison, Miss Rita 'll eat no more. She lies by Mars Jack
in the deep water. Her soul is wid his at de foot of de Throne of
Grace; de blessed Jesus I believe has brushed away her las' sin, if it
wur a sin--de las' and almos' only one she ever done."

The truth flashed across my mind at once. I sprang to my feet, and in
angry horrified tones demanded--"Jim, has Mrs. Felden drowned herself,
and you have done nothing to prevent her mad act?"

"Yes, Mr. Jamison, Miss Rita my mistress, who I loved nex' to my
maister, is gone ter God, an' I seen her go, an' ain't lifted a finger
or said a word fer ter stop 'er an' more'n that I helpt her."

"Jim Madison, you are a murderer!" I cried in anger. The negro arose.
His eyes dilated and his form seemed to expand. His demeanor lost
every vestige of the servant. He stood before me a man, black, but of
over-powering dignity. His face was stern, but not angry. From his six
feet, he seemed to look down upon me; he spoke to me ungrammatically,
but in words almost free from negroism, save in the intonation of his
voice. He was my equal, and seemed to feel himself my superior. The
servant had departed, and in his place was a man,--a man whose every
look and gesture bespoke virile power and self-confidence.

"Mr. Jamison, your words an' indignation ain't uncalled for. In your
eyes I am a aider in murder. In my eyes what I done wus right. You try
to be a christian gentleman, Mr. Jamison, an' I ain't ever seen a
single act to make me doubt your goodness. I've professed Christ, and
I want to walk in the paths He laid for me, an' as far as a sinful man
can, to be a follower of Jesus. If the Saviour'll forgive my old sins,
I ain't got no fear he will hole me to account for what I done, an'
seen done to-day.

"Mr. Felden told me the day before he died, that you knowed everything
about him but one fact. If the Lord could 'er spared him he'd 'er told
you all.

"The las' day he lived he couldn't help feelin' that some great
misfortune was comin'. He told me that if anythin' happened to him to
get you to be a frien' to his wife; if anything happened to 'em both,
that you an' me was to be friens in all things. He didn't tell you he
feared his wife's mind hung on a hinge, an' it might be easy broken;
that fear made him so keerful of her. He's been afeared ever since
little Jack died in Lunnun, les' some sudden shock might drive her out
her head. He said if he los' her he had some duties to perform for the
colored race which gave him his two trues' friens, an' if him an' Miss
Rita both died I was to do it. If it wasn't that I knowed I ought to
carry out his plans, I'd wish I was by his side at the bottom of the

"When Miss Rita found whar her husban' laid, she wanted to go to his
side. You 'member how calm she got. It was 'cause she made up her min'
and was at peace. She tole me what she wanted. I knowed she'd carry it
out. To her mine it wus right. Her mind you'll say wusn't balanced.
But who can prove it? I'd er killed any man who tried to steal her
liberty, and to lock her up."

His eyes gleamed as if the blood of his savage African ancestors was
surging in his heart. "She asked me to help 'er; what could I do? If I
refused, she'd go alone. If we used force here to prevent her, she'd
come back, an' then she couldn't reach him to clasp him in her arms in
death, as she promised she'd do when he told her their marriage wasn't
legal. I says to myself, I can't prevent her, ain't it best for me to
help her? It was self-destruction, but my conscience didn't make a
single objection. When you went fur the shot, I helped her make a
canvas gown, which covered all her body 'cept her arms. The shot you
brought I run in pockets all about the dress, I rowed her to the rock
in the canoe. I held the boat to the right place.

"Just before she dropt out, she cried, 'I'm comin' my husban', I'm
comin'!' After she sunk, I jumped in an' follered her. She laid by her
husban's side, with her breas' on his, an' her cheek close 'gainst his
face. One arm was on his shoulder. I bent it roun' his neck. I told
her I would. I expect she held her breath an' kep' her will till she
was ready, an' then she died. She was Mars Jack's brave wife. I helpt
her before she went down, and I helpt her down thar. I had to dive
down five times afore I got it all right. The water was cold, but I
didn't feel it."

He paused a few minutes and then continued: "Mr. Jamison, the man who
could 'er resisted Miss Rita's pleadin' when she begged me to help
her, would 'er been hard hearteder than me. I done it, an' I thank God
I done it good.

"Mars John when he was a school boy tole me an Dineh about a good man
before Christ come to save us sinners. That man took some sort 'er
tea"--"Was it hemlock?" I interjected. "Yes, that wus it; he took
hemlock tea, kaze the city ordered it. Mars John said that nobody ever
'cused that good man of suicide. He told us of a great many good men a
long while ago who killed thar selves an' nobody called it suicide. He
tole us of one great man running on a sword held out by his servant
an' nobody ain't 'cused that servant of murder. Miss Rita done what
the good man done a long while ago. She didn't drown herself; she went
to her husband kaze she heard him callin' her. I didn't commit murder.
I held the sword as 'er faithful servant oughter do."

"Now Mr. Jamison, is it better she'd be alive, the widow of a
unmarried-bed; married in Heaven, but her marriage not by the law; the
widow of no lawful husban'; to be pinted at by the finger of scorn?
Would it be better fur her to be here, with madness peraps in her
mine--maybe in a lunatic sylum, or by her husban's side, down thar in
the bottom of the lake?"

"Men will be judged, Jim, I believe according to their lights," I

With a sigh he returned, "I'm willin' to be judged! Now, sir, we must
finish our task."

We labored four days. Jim dived down and anchored long poles to guide
our work. By means of these and by diving he spread the canvas sheets
over the bodies. He anchored them safely with the chains and boulders.
We let the heavy stones down by cords gently to prevent them from
falling upon the bodies. The Big Rock arises in a small land-locked
cove, thoroughly protected from outer-waves, and almost hidden from
view lake-ward. But for this we could not have performed our task. We
strewed the boughs over the canvas, securing them in turn so as to
catch the sands and gravels over the last resting place of our loved
ones. Chilled though he was to the very bones, the determined negro
would not desist from his labours, until thoroughly satisfied.

When all was finished, with uncovered head the negro threw a handful
of dirt into the water, saying, his voice broken with sobs: "Dust to
dust! Dust to dust!"

We sang a hymn while tears streamed down our faces, and left the dear
dead to Him who created them, and to Him who died that man might be

It was dusk on Saturday, the fourth day, when our work was ended. When
we reached the camp old Akbar who had been sick since the night of the
rain, lay dead before the tent. We buried him that night near the

Never was Sabbath rest more needed, than by us the next day. For days
we had labored under intense excitement. The strain removed, we were
limp and nerveless. Jim advised hot drinks, very warm clothing and
wraps and absolute rest.

He covered himself head and all, sleeping heavily for nearly
twenty-four hours. Monday morning found him rested but "stiff in der

When we were about to abandon the camp, I intimated that it was
necessary for me to go to Chicago, to see to winding up my friend's
estate. The negro said with great dignity, "No! Mr. Jamison it is not
necessary, but I want you to go. Mr. Felden lef' a paper that makes
everything mine. Thar wur three copies of it. One is in the safe in
Chicago. Miss Rita had one in a belt on her waist and the other is in
a rubber bag here."

He pointed to his waist.

"Ef Miss Rita had er lived every thing would er been hers, excep a
good livin for Dineh and me. But now I must take every thing to make
good poor colored people happy. The paper tells me how to do it. We
don't have to go to the court. Mr. Felden didn't want nobody to know
that his wife did not have his lawful name, and fixed it so I can take
every thing."

For a few moments he was silent and then continued, "Mr. Felden the
day before he died told me a honester man never lived than Mr. Paul
Jamison, and ef any thing happened to him he wanted you to be a friend
to his wife. Now Mr. Jamison I am rich, but I am a steward an' must
use every dollar jis like my marster said I must. Ef you will help me,
I will give you a good salary and you kin carry out a noble purpose."

I reflected a few moments and said, "Jim, I accept your proposition,
and will devote all of my energies to the cause Mr. Felden had at
heart. It is a noble one; one which at this juncture is as worthy as
any other on earth. I will, however, take of the salary you offer only
what I need for a comfortable life."

He seemed greatly pleased, saying: "I need you Mr. Jamison. In
Cincinnati an' in Chicago my master began to educate me. I studied
hard, and it was hard work, but I've liked best when I was a servant,
to be a humble negro. But now I must be a man, with grave sponserbilities,
and must forgit what I was, in what I am. When I ac' the part of a
negro servant, I talk like a servant. It comes natral to me an' I
likes it. But now I am a servant no more, an' I spose I can change my
speech onbeknownst jess like Mars Jack. When he wus rosy and light
haired he was John ----, when he wus dark an' black headed, he was
Jack Felden.

My granfather was brung from Africy a boy. He allers claimed he wus a
great chief--a king. My young master John used to call me "King Jim."
He said the Africin heathen cropped out 'er me. I've studied, but I'm
ignorant. I know nothing of the world but what he learned me. I
learned to read, so I could read his letters. I learned how to talk to
fit me to do business for Mr. Felden. My learnin' ain't much, an'
that's what I want you for, to help me do my work."

We reached Chicago in due time. Dinah was almost inconsolable when her
husband told of the double tragedy. She began to droop and pine away.
We rapidly arranged our affairs, finding no difficulty in doing so,
for nearly everything was in good stocks and bonds. The bank settled
with Madison as per written orders from Mr. Felden, found in his safe;
making no inquiries except kindly ones as to his health. These Madison
evaded adroitly.

When all was finished, we took Dinah to a warmer climate. Madison
needed the change almost as much as she. His natural predisposition to
rheumatism had been greatly aggravated by his exposure to the chilly
water at the foot of the Rock. Indeed he suffered for many years
greatly from that cause. Change of climate did him good, but poor
Dinah's complaint, no human agency or climatic influence could reach.
One evening about four months after the sad event at the camp, she
went out as a burning candle--a flicker, and all was over. Her husband
said "She didn't die, she jess went to Jesus an' to her foster-chile."

We earnestly set to work to carry out Mr. Felden's wishes, greatly, I
think to the benefits of a down trodden race. We kept only enough to
support ourselves economically through the remainder of life. The old
negro never permitted anyone to know whence benefits sprang, or who
gave out charities. He said, "Mr. John ---- died long ago in India;
Mr. Jack Felden an' his wife sleep in their unknown grave; no one but
us knows who he wus, nor what he did, in fact, you don't know his real
name; no body except me knows that; and no body but us mus know what
he is doing now he's dead. If he looks down on us an' sees what we are
doin' with what he lef', his spirit rejoices that we don't ask no
thanks for him, but are doin' our best to make some sufferin' black
folks happy."

A short while before I met you, Madison and I went from Mackinaw to
pay what would most probably be our last visit to the scenes hallowed
by so many sad, yet endearing memories. We stopped at ---- and rowed
to the Big Rock a few miles away. It lifted from the water dark and
frowning as it appeared to us a score of years before. Lichens and
moss partially covered the space from which the mass fell when Felden
was carried to his death. The fresher cleavage was to us a tablet
memorial of the sad event.

With a long pole to which he had attached an iron hook, Jim probed the
secrets of the deep. His gratification was unbounded when he
discovered that not only were the boulders holding down the canvas
winding sheets entirely under sand and gravel, but the accumulations
nearly covered the boughs and brush placed over the grave.

Madison's aged head whitened by eighty-two winters was lifted erect
upon his broad shoulders; and a mild August breeze coming in from the
lake and gently circling around the little cove, bore upon its wings
his sweetly modulated thanks 'to the Almighty God for his many

For a while we sat silent in deep thought, and then he said, "Let's go
now, Mr. Jamison. I feels secure that Mr. Jack Felden and his wife
down thar under the sand and water, will sleep undisturbed."

I rowed out of the cove, the old negro keeping his sad eyes riveted
upon the fatal rock. We turned the point which hid it from the lake;
he seized an oar and working manfully, uttered not a word until we
drew up under the village.

The mental and bodily strain, however, had been too much for the old
man. I was compelled to call for aid to support his tottering steps to
our room. He staggered and fell upon his bed; his massive form gave
way, like a glass shattered by a blow.

His mind and speech remained unimpaired. He positively refused to have
a physician called, declaring if it was the Lord's will he should go,
he would obey the will of the Lord. He lay for several days without a
murmur or a complaint. One night I was awakened by a deep groan;
hurrying to his bedside, a single glance told me his end was nearly
come. For several hours he lay in a dull stupor, his labored breathing
alone showing that life was still in his breast. His breathing grew
fainter and fainter, until just as the rising sun poured through the
window, it seemed to die away. I hastened to his side to close the
tired faithful eyes in their last long sleep, when the wan lips opened
to whisper, "Good-bye Mr. Jamison, good-bye"! and then as if by mere
will power he sat erect on his bed and cried in a loud voice "Bress de
Lord! I see Mars John! Diner! Jim's gwine home;" and then he died.

Two Finns, fresh immigrants in the land, rowed me with the body to the
cove. There on the shore in a spot shadowed at evening by the Big Rock
we buried him. The sun hovering above the whispering maples lighted
the last sad rites to the end. The waves from the lake stealing into
the cove in mild ripples, sang with mysterious cadence a sweet, loving
requiem. The dying day, the whispering breeze, the sighing wavelets
and the solitude seemed to my over-wrought senses to promise a
fulfillment of the negro's prophecy; that the sleepers below would
rest undisturbed until summoned on the last and final call; that until
then "The Big Rock would keep its sad secret."

In giving this story to the world, I feel guiltless of violating any
pledge of secrecy. There is nothing in the names mentioned to enable
any one to probe the mystery of John ----. The terrible events of
the war about his old home, scattered its residents, and to-day the
places that knew them know them no more.


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