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Title: Frank's Ranche - My Holiday in The Rockies
Author: Marston, E.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                            FRANK'S RANCHE;

                       MY HOLIDAY IN THE ROCKIES.



                             FRANK'S RANCHE

                       MY HOLIDAY IN THE ROCKIES


                           _BY THE AUTHOR OF

              "To thy bent mind some relaxation give,
              And steal one day out of thy life, to live!"


                            Second Edition.

                   CROWN BUILDINGS, 188, FLEET STREET

                        (_All rights reserved_)

         "Oh! happy farmers! overblest I wis,
         If they could only realise their bliss!
         For whom the earth, away from jingling strife,
         In just abundance sheds the gifts of life."

                                     VIRGIL'S _Georgics_.
                             (_R. D. Blackmore's Translation._)


                          _DEDICATORY LETTER._


_I cannot but dedicate this little volume to you who have been my
pleasant travelling companion for many thousands of miles in the great
western world. But for you I should probably never have undertaken such
a journey; and for how many acts of thoughtful kindness by the way am I
not indebted to you? Can I forget that you always insisted on my taking
the best bunk in the cabin, the best seat in stage-coaches, the best
room in hotels, the best bed in sleeping cars? Can I forget that it was
your warmhearted friendship for Frank which induced you to "rough it"
with me in his little log shanty? And ought I not gratefully to remember
the inexhaustible resources of that wonderful travelling bag and the
cruse of cordials which, in time of need, were ever at my service? No
man could have had a more pleasant, unselfish, and kind companion than
you were, and my only regret is that I have not been able to produce a
record of our journeyings more worthy of your acceptance._

                                                     _Yours faithfully,
                                                                  E. M._

     Christmas, 1885._


                           INTRODUCTORY NOTE.

"What can justify one in addressing himself to the general public as if
it were his private correspondent?" asks Oliver Wendell Holmes. He then
answers his own question by stating that "there are at least three
sufficient reasons," and proceeding to give them.

I wish I could with satisfaction to myself offer any one of those three
reasons for the existence of this little book. But, I cannot venture to
say that I have "a story to tell which everybody wants to hear;" neither
have I "been shipwrecked, or been in a battle, or witnessed any
interesting event that I can tell anything new about." It is needless to
add that I have not been hugged by a bear or scalped by an Indian. I do
not presume to assert that I can "put in fitting words any common
experiences not already well told;" and so I must assign the third
reason, which permits me "to tell anything I like, provided I can so
tell it as to make it interesting."

I cling to this third reason; it embodies the only plea I can put forth.
I have tried to make my story interesting; it would gratify me deeply to
believe that I have succeeded.

                  *       *       *       *       *

"What shall we do with our boys?" is a question frequently put to the
body politic through the medium of the newspapers in the dull season. My
experience has convinced me that the question is a useless one. You may
train up and control your boys to a certain age; you may make them a
present of as good an education as you can afford; you may lay down
plans for their future; you may find niches for each one to fill; you
may fondly hope that each one in his turn will quietly drop into his
niche; that they will live and work together, and in course of time
become a help and comfort to you in your declining years.

But will they do so? I have other sons besides Frank, and they have
found niches for themselves quite other than the ones I had intended for
them when years ago I said to myself "What shall I do with my boys?" Now
they have sons and daughters of their own, who will no doubt soon become
objects of the same inquiry in their turn.

Frank's erratic wanderings from the niche I had designed for him are
recorded in these pages. I have written them in the hope that they may
be, if not very interesting, at least useful to young fellows who, like
him, cannot rest content in the parent nest, however well-feathered or
cotton-wooled it may be; but who also, like Frank, seem to be impelled
by some subtle influence, or by—

            "Such wind as scatters young men thro' the world
            To seek their fortune further than at home,
            Where small experience grows."




                                 PART I.

 LETTER I.—My bright anticipations—Melancholy forebodings—Bound _Page_ 1
   for the Rockies—Frank's start for the Far West—Farming in
   Minnesota—A new scheme—Starting a creamery—Glowing
   hopes—Failure and disappointment

 LETTER II.—Frank's dearly-bought experience—A start for the          11
   Rockies—Magnificent scenery—Indian scouts and
   revolvers—Advice to parents—Frank's determination to "rough

 LETTER III.—A hundred and twenty miles' walk—Axe, pick-axe,          16
   and shovel—A four-hundred-feet roll down the mountain—Rough
   living—An Indian scare—Deadly fumes—Working round a
   smelter—Fishing in Lake "Abundance"—Disturbed by a grizzly

 LETTER IV.—Starting afresh on a new farm—Wheat forty to              27
   seventy-five bushels to the acre—Felling trees and
   fencing—"Life here is deuced hard"—Somewhat despondent—Forty
   below zero—Ink and bacon frozen—Anxiety for General
   Gordon—Working in snow up to the waist

 LETTER V.—Never had such a hard time—Camping out in the              35
   Rockies—Horses decamp—Left in the lurch—A terrible
   fright—Crossing a torrent—"Old Jim" taking a roll—Pack
   smashed—"Old Jim" in a snow-drift—Woke up by a grizzly—What
   the newspapers said of it—Cutting fencing poles in the
   snow—Christmas Day—Pickles and plum pudding—The
   consequences—A dance—Cowboys and farmers' daughters—"Shall I
   turn tail?"—A profitable old cow—The nicest little ranche in
   Montana—Start on a sheep drive 300 miles—"The healthiest
   place I ever struck"

 LETTER VI.—My last letter before leaving for the United States       55
   by the good ship "Cunardia"

                                PART II.

 LETTER VII.—On board the "Cunardia"—Small troubles—The Romance       57
   of a rickety old chair—Arrival at New York—First
   acquaintance with katydids

 LETTER VIII.—Up the Hudson River—The Catskills—My first              63
   chipmunk—"The Rip Van Winkle"—"Sleepy Hollow"—The
   Mountain-House Hotel—Old Indian squaw-spirit—A snake in the
   grass—A painting by Holbein

 LETTER IX.—Arrival at Saratoga—Season over—Hotel crowded with        73
   Deputies for nomination of a State Governor—Mugwump—Arrival
   at Niagara—The Falls at midnight and by moonlight—No letter
   from Frank

 LETTER X.—Start for Chicago—"The Michigan Central"—Arrival at        82
   Chicago—Still no letter from Frank—Start for St. Paul—St.
   Paul and Minneapolis—Commodore Kitson's stables—Falls of St.
   Anthony—"The Granary of the World"—Falls of
   Minnehaha—Telegram to Frank to meet me at Livingston

 LETTER XI.—The North Pacific Railway—Brainerd—Detroit—Massacre       93
   by Sioux—Indian Reservation—Fargo—Wheat-fields of
   Dakota—Bismarck—"Bad Lands"—The Rockies—Arrival at
   Livingston—No news of Frank—My great disappointment

 LETTER XII.—The Yellowstone National Park—"The New                  106
   Wonderland"—"The Devil's Slide"—The stage driver—Story of a
   corpse—Driving a circus coach—Circus Bill "appropriates" a
   coat—Stealing their own blankets—Start for the Park—Mammoth
   Springs—Forest of dead pines—The Lake of the Woods—Norris
   Hot Springs and Geysers—"Hell's Half-acre"—A perilous
   drive—Fire Hole River—Lower Geyser Springs—"Old
   Faithful"—"The Bee Hive"—The Grand Cañon—Rough
   roads—Return—"The Golden Gate"—A strange pedestrian—"By
   Jove! it's Frank!"

 LETTER XIII.—Livingston to Bozeman—Bozeman City—Arrival at          129
   Frank's ranche—Frank's progress—The shanty—Kitten and
   mice—Aroused by a ground squirrel—Variation of climate—A
   snowstorm—Our beds   drenched—"Baching" it—Shaving under
   difficulties—Situation—Fertility of the soil—Cultivation of
   strawberries—Fine grazing district—Climate—Story of our
   holiday on the ranche—Fishing in West Gallatin river—New
   bridge and old canoe—"The coloured aristocracy"—Three bear

 LETTER XIV.—Saying "Goodbye"—Departure in a heavy                   160
   snowstorm—Gallatin Valley—Helena—Garrison—Butte City—Salt
   Lake City—Polygamy—Articles of faith—Trial of a
   murderer—Trial of polygamists

 LETTER XV.—Leave for Cheyenne—"Rock Springs"—Murder of              186
   Chinese—Mr. Black's "Green Pastures" and bottle of
   champagne—"Hell upon Wheels"—Big Horn Cowboy and Milord

 LETTER XVI.—We leave Cheyenne—Arrival at Omaha—The barber's         197
   shop—Narrow escape from having my head shaved—Arrival at
   Chicago—Niagara Falls

 CONCLUSION                                                          202

 APPENDIX                                                            205

   How to obtain Government Land                                     205

   Pre-Emptions                                                      206

   Homesteads                                                        207

   Timber Culture Claims                                             209

   Desert Land                                                       211

   Government Land Offices                                           213

   Diagram of Time across the American Continent                     214



                            FRANK'S RANCHE;


                       MY HOLIDAY IN THE ROCKIES.

                                PART I.

                             LETTER No. I.

  My bright anticipations—Melancholy forebodings—Bound for the
    Rockies—Frank's start for the Far West—Farming in Minnesota—A new
    scheme—Starting a creamery—Glowing hopes—Failure and

                                                   _London, July, 1885._

Last year I spent a pleasant time in Dovedale, and "The Amateur Angler"
told you all about it. This autumn I had looked forward to a holiday in
some retired nook in leafy Herefordshire or Shropshire. I had my eye on
an old farmhouse at which to make my headquarters for fishing in The
Teme, or The Lugg, or The Arrow.

As a boy, I knew that old house well; every corner of it, all the
buildings, orchards, and lovely green meadows surrounding it; the woods,
the ravines, the far-off mountains, and, above all, the pleasant river
which ran through and around the farm, wherein I used to swim and fish
for trout and grayling, are vividly before me now.

               "I knew each lane and every alley green,
               Dingle and bushy dell....
               And every bosky bourn from side to side,
               My daily walk and ancient neighbourhood."

But hard and inexorable fate has ordered me off in quite a different
direction. All being well, my autumnal holiday will be spent in the
Rocky Mountains! If I have called such a fate as that hard, it is only
because of the uncertainty of it. A young man, I fancy, would see
nothing but delight in it; but for an old man in his seventh decade, and
one not accustomed to travel, it is like tearing up his roots and
plunging down stream into the unknown.

I am going to fish in the Rockies. I shall take with me that immaculate
tackle which last year inspired me with such hopes in Dovedale. I hear
of places where you have only to cast your fly and you pull out a 5 lb.
trout (nothing less) with positive certainty; and without taking him off
your hook, you have simply to swing him a little behind you into a
natural boiling geyser, and in ten minutes your 5-pounder is cooked and
ready for your lunch. That is but a small specimen of the kind of sport
I am anticipating! That's the sort of thing that inspires me!

But then there is the reverse of this pretty picture, which sometimes,
in melancholy moments, makes me contemplate my enforced holiday as a
hardship on the part of fate. Are there not mosquitoes on that side of
the broad Atlantic? Are there not Red Indians and grizzly bears? I have
pictured myself walking though a narrow glen, fishing-rod in hand, in
the angler's contemplative mood, and suddenly finding myself confronted
by a grizzly! Must, or rather _will_, he retire, or must I? I never
fired a revolver in my life, so I should not think of carrying one;
besides, I have no thirst for a grizzly's blood, and I only hope he has
none for mine. I am sure if he will let me alone I won't meddle with
him. Alas! I get a hug and a pat, and my fate and my fishing are ended!

Then, again, I dream of encountering a band of black-feet, or crow's
feet, or spotted-tailed Indians, in feathers and war-paint, armed with
tomahawk and scalping-knife. I yield my hoary, or I may say my bald
scalp to that horrid knife, and _so_ my fate is ended. When I think of
things in that way, am I wrong in talking of it as a _hard_ fate? Then
there are six-shooters, bowie-knives, buffaloes, and rattlesnakes!

Nevertheless, to the Rockies I am bound, in spite of all such gloomy
possibilities. My passage money is already paid and my berth secured in
the good ship "Cunardia": which is, I am told, one of the finest vessels
afloat; so I hope I shall be able to give a good account of her.

My youngest son Frank, who has always been somewhat of a rolling stone,
and to whom, in the old country, neither wool nor pelf would stick, is
now settled away up at the foot of the Rocky Mountains; and when he has
sometimes written to me for money, and I have asked him how he has spent
it, his answer has invariably been "Come and see!"

Year after year I have put off going, but now I am beginning to feel
that if I am ever to go, I must delay no longer; so I am about to see
with my own eyes where my money has gone to, and what may be the chances
of any portion of it coming back to me.

Frank was always a peculiar youth to manage. He began life in my City
counting-house, but he soon tired of it. He had formed the notion that
he was better suited to the free life of the prairie than to the routine
work of City business. Of course he knew nothing about prairie life, and
he would not be persuaded that his notions were but the outcome of a
disordered imagination; he was well off where he was, with fair chances
before him; but he was quite prepared to throw those chances away, and
to strike out into the Far West. He was a strong, healthy, good-looking
youth, fond of society, and very popular, and consequently, was
gradually being led into habits of extravagance which might have ended
badly. I was therefore, willing to humour his wishes.

In the year 1880 I paid his passage to America, and he began his career
by engaging himself to a farmer in Minnesota, who for a small stipend
was to instruct him in farming and give him his board in exchange for
his work.

When Frank began with the farmer, it is not too much to say that he was
totally ignorant of everything belonging to a farm; but he had not been
on this farm for six months before he became convinced that he had
learnt everything there was to learn, and that he could give a few
wrinkles to his master.

Then he told me that there was a wonderful farm to be had close at hand,
dirt cheap, a chance not to be lost; it was a small place of about 200
acres with good house and building, and splendid feeding prairie-land
adjoining. This, he said, was just the place for him to begin on; and he
produced such elaborate figures to prove to me that, although the
previous occupant had failed there, enormous profits—one hundred per
cent. at least—could be made of it, if managed in accordance with his
enlightened views, rather than in the humdrum way in which the previous
farmer had come to grief. He wrote to me so urgently, so persistently,
so enthusiastically, that I, although with many misgivings, found him
the money wherewith to purchase and stock the place. More money was
expended on that farm than I am now willing to acknowledge, but
everything went along swimmingly for a short period.

As time went on things did not seem to thrive so well as was hoped. The
corn crop was not up to the mark; the cattle did not fetch the expected
price; two or three horses died, and, on the whole, the first year's
work had not paid its expenses. But Frank was not disheartened; he wrote
courageously home for more money, and worked hard, ploughing and
planting, digging and hoeing. I was at least pleased to find him
sticking to his work so bravely, and exhibiting no desire to "cave in,"
although it was evident that his life was a pretty hard one, and his
daily fare rough enough.

One day I got a letter from him telling me that he was going to sell the
farm, as he had got another scheme in view which would land him in a
fortune in a very short time.

The scheme was something quite new in that part of the country, and was
a safe success.

The idea was to sell his farm, and with the produce establish a
Creamery, for the purpose of buying up all the cream from the farmers
for many miles round, and supply all the western cities, and even
eastward, as far as New York, with the best butter that could be made,
and at prices of hitherto unknown moderation.

Frank supplied me with figures which proved conclusively that after
estimating cost of plant, and interest thereon, horses and carts for
driving round and collecting, wages of carters and butter-makers, and
the prime cost of the cream, the best butter could be produced at a
prime cost of sixpence a pound, while the very lowest at which it could
possibly be sold was a shilling or 1_s._ 2_d._ a pound. This, after
making ample allowance for cost of transit, &c., would clearly leave a
very handsome profit; the success of the thing was too obvious to be for
a moment questioned.

So Frank sold his farm at about what it had originally cost him, but
with a total loss of his year's labour, and money sunk in improvements;
and went to work in connection with a partner, a practical man, who
joined him with no capital, but who, in consideration of his knowledge
and experience, was to share equally in the profits, first allowing
Frank fair interest for his capital. The local newspapers puffed the new
enterprise, and spoke in glowing terms of the pluck and energy of the
young Englishman: for a time things looked quite promising.

Frank wrote home with his usual buoyancy and asked for more money to
purchase sundry articles and machinery absolutely needed to carry on the
rapidly-growing business.

But, alas! for the glowing hopes of youth! At the end of a year it was
found by a balance-sheet carefully, and I believe fairly, drawn up by
the business partner, that there was nothing left but the plant; the
working capital for purchases and expenses was gone. The price of butter
had fallen enormously, and the price of cream and cost of collecting it
had exceeded the original calculations, whilst the plant, except as a
going concern, was not worth much.

It was found necessary either that Frank should put in 2,000 dollars
more capital (which he said would set them right), or he must give up
the creamery. He did give it up, and was left high and dry to begin the
world again with a capital of about two hundred dollars.

I am told that the working partner still carries on the business, and
having got hold of the plant at a nominal price, is now really making
the thing pay.

But Frank was out of it, and Minnesota was no longer a place for him.
With the small capital above mentioned he decided to strike out west for
the Rockies.

How he fared I will tell you in my next letter.



                             LETTER No. II.

Frank's dearly-bought experience—A start for the Rockies—Magnificent
scenery—Indian scouts and revolvers—Advice to parents—Frank's
determination to "rough it."

                                                 _London, August, 1885._

I have now given you a short account of how Frank managed to get through
his two first years of farming life in Minnesota, and how he (or rather
I) was worse off in the end than at the beginning.

He had purchased experience at my expense; his money was nearly all
gone, and with what remained he resolved to start off for the Rocky
Mountains with a friend. This friend was a young fellow, who had gone
out from the City of London fired with the notion that the Great West
was the proper place for him, that there was nothing like a life in the
open prairie, where a little work would be diversified by a good deal of
hunting, shooting, and riding about.

So this youth immediately on his reaching Frank, to whom he had been
highly commended by friends at home, borrowed a hundred dollars from
him, and they started off together to seek their fortunes in the

I think I cannot do better than send you some extracts from Frank's
letters, which will give you a fair notion of his progress from the year
1883 to this time, and show, at all events, that amid a good many ups
and downs, and hardships of no ordinary character, he has up to this
point "stuck to it;" while his friend who accompanied him to the
Rockies, suddenly bolted, leaving Frank in the lurch, and minus the
money he had lent him. The first letter is dated June, 1883.


  "I have just struck out here; I had nothing to do at M. The creamery
  business was finished up, and I can get better pay working out here
  than there. I started with S. on Monday, and we arrived here on
  Thursday, a distance of 1,100 miles, right through the Rockies.

  "The view from our window looks out across a valley to the Rocky
  Mountains, and down the valley for a distance of fifty miles; the
  scenery is magnificent; the mountains are capped with snow. On
  Monday we start for a place called Clark's Forks, 120 miles S.W.,
  just north of 'The National Park.' We stage it for sixty miles, and
  either walk or take ponies the rest, up to a height of 7,000 feet
  above sea level, to work on some fencing at two and a half dollars a
  day. There are lots of ways of making a living there, and I hope of
  saving money. The town here is full of Indian scouts, and every man
  carries a revolver; in fact, as you may suppose, it is a rough
  place, and we shall have to look sharp after ourselves with our
  revolvers. Bears (grizzlies) are thick in the district we are going
  to, also antelope, deer, and Indians.... We are in the roughest of
  countries, but I am determined to fight my way through, and in the
  end I hope to come out successful....

  "My motive in coming here is simply to work hard and save money. If
  any thing should happen to either of us you will hear from one of
  us; we go with our lives in our hands.

  "As we are green hands just yet, we only get two dollars, but after
  a little while we are to get three dollars a day.

  "I have now just money enough to get to our destination."

Notwithstanding the fact that this boy had been losing my money all the
time, I did not feel altogether disheartened; for I had found him as
candid about his failures as he had been sanguine about his successes,
and he always gave me sufficiently clear accounts as to _how_ the money
had gone. I was pleased with the pluck he had shown under difficulties
from which many a young fellow would have shrunk.

I had found out by this time that I had acted very unwisely in supplying
an inexperienced youth, however energetic and right principled, with
capital to start farming in a new country without any practical
knowledge whatever.

Hundreds of youths go out to America and the Colonies every year under
circumstances very like those of my son. Indulgent parents supply them
with money at once to start them in life in an occupation to which they
bring nothing but conceit and ignorance combined, and their money is as
certain to be lost as if it were thrown into the sea.

My advice to parents situated similarly to myself is never to give an
unlimited supply of money to start with. Allow your son just so much as
will keep him from starvation, and let him work out his luxuries for
himself. Let him rough it for three or four years at least; by that time
he will have discovered how far his boyish dreams have been realized by
experience, and he will have shown the stuff he is made of. He will
either have succumbed and gone home, or broken down in some more
disastrous way, or he will have gained experience which may justify his
starting in business with some hope of his being able to take care of
himself and his money, and to pull through.

My son had gained experience at my expense, and now I decided that he
should gain a little more at his own cost. I thought it better that he
should rough it for himself, and this he had made up his mind to do.



                            LETTER No. III.

  A hundred and twenty miles' walk—Axe, pick-axe, and shovel—A
    four-hundred-feet roll down the mountain—Rough living—An Indian
    scare—Deadly fumes—Working round a smelter—Fishing in Lake
    "Abundance"—Disturbed by a grizzly.

                                                 _London, August, 1885._

I propose now to occupy a few pages with extracts from Frank's letters,
which will give a fair notion of his progress up to the time of my
sailing, and from that point I purpose to give you an account of my own

In his next letter, which is dated Cook's City, July 6, 1883, he says:—

  "I started out from Minnesota, as there was nothing for me to do
  there that would pay me so well.... We walked from Bozeman, 120
  miles through the Rockies, with a promise of work, but the roads and
  creeks, or rather mountain torrents, which we had to cross are so
  bad at present that the smelter cannot be got up here yet, and so we
  are employing ourselves in building a log cabin for the winter for
  ourselves. The trouble is that winter will soon be here ... and as I
  paid all S.'s expenses as well as my own, besides lending him 100
  dollars, I am afraid I shall not have much left.... We are now 120
  miles from the nearest neighbourhood, right in the heart of the
  Rockies, so that letters are scarce and far between. From Bozeman
  (where Mrs. Blackmore was buried) the carrier comes once a week, but
  in winter, I suppose, once a fortnight.

  "The scenery here is magnificent; we are now in a gulch, with a
  range of mountains on each side of us; a small camp composed of log
  cabins, at present about fifty people, but a boom is expected, and
  we shall share it. We have already taken up a lot, which costs
  nothing, and are building a log cabin, which in two weeks we hope to
  finish.... We hope in winter to save by getting an elk or two, of
  which there are plenty, also bears, mountain lions, &c. The air is
  very fine and rare here, and happens to agree with us both."


                                      "_Clark's Fork, August 5, 1883._

  "When we first came here (on foot, 120 miles from Bozeman) we were
  promised work, but on account of a misunderstanding between our
  employers, we had to wait a few days; however, we have both been
  working on a mountain pass, at two dollars and board a day. The
  work, swinging an axe, pick-axe, and shovel, is not so very hard,
  but the sleeping out in the open under our two blankets, sometimes
  pouring with rain, was not very clever. There were about twenty of
  us and a black cook, and the amount of bluebottle flies and other
  insects I have eaten would have turned my stomach but for having a
  marvellous appetite.

  "Boiled elk, bear, and tea was the programme for two weeks. When the
  job was finished, we immediately got work fixing up and shovelling
  charcoal round a smelter at three dollars, _without_ board; so we
  are now working at it, and come home at noon for our dinner in a
  little shack near the smelter; hours, seven to twelve; one to six.
  We cook our bread when we get through at six, generally boiling some
  buffalo meat for our next day's supply.

  "I must not forget to mention that our appearance at night is
  somewhat similar to a coalheaver's.

  "This is good, honest, though dirty work. Our intention at present
  is to save up 100 dollars, start off from here, and camp up at
  Bridger's, 130 miles from here (about twelve miles on the other side
  of Bozeman), and cut cordwood to supply Bozeman, and by hard work
  hope to make 1,000 dollars by next July.... I want you to think that
  I am doing my very best to make and save money. We have not had even
  potatoes for a month. Goods are too expensive here, as they have to
  be hauled from Bozeman.

[Illustration: AN AWKWARD ROLL.]

  "Before we went on to the road business we had a three days' job
  about five miles away, up on the side of a mountain covered with
  snow, and had to pack our blankets, grub, &c., across the snow,
  making sure of our footsteps, otherwise it might have been all up
  with us. Once we did slip, and went flying down the mountain for 400
  feet; but there happened to be a curve which pulled us up. I shall
  never forget the sensation. We tried to get a horse across. He
  slipped, rolled over and over with our blankets, frying pan, and all
  on his back. We thought it was all over with him, but he got up
  after tumbling down 300 feet, shook himself, and walked off, leaving
  our teapot smashed in. I believe the old beast had been there

                                                   "_August_ 19, 1883.

  "... As long as my health keeps up I don't care. I can get along
  well; but this high altitude and the rough living, nothing but bread
  and elk meat, which is liable to give one dysentery, has stopped me
  working two or three days. However, I hope to be all right

  "I have been working round a smelter (which has not yet actually
  begun to work) from seven o'clock to six, at three dollars a day,
  without board, so that, though I don't spend a cent except for meat,
  sugar, flour, and coffee, which, by the way, are frightfully dear,
  having to be hauled 120 miles, I cannot save much.... This is the
  roughest of lives, but as I can get good wages I can put up with it.

  "My idea now is to work on as long as possible here. The smelter is
  run by water power, and when it freezes up work will stop, Then
  either go to a place near Bozeman and cut wood, or hire out
  somewhere else; and when the winter is through make my way out to
  Washington territory as soon as the snow will allow; take up a
  homestead claim somewhere the other side of the Columbia River, work
  in a lumber camp all the winter, and work the farm in the summer....
  There was an Indian scare in camp last night. Ten Indians turned up
  fully armed, but they were only after some of their horses the
  whites had stolen; two men were arrested, but one escaped, tearing
  away with a horse and six-shooter at full gallop."

                                                   "_August_ 26, 1883.

  "... I can now fully appreciate the value of money, having worked
  hard for it lately. The 'boom' I mentioned meant simply that we
  staked out ground near town, built a log foundation on it (to hold
  it by homestead right), so that should this mining town turn out
  another Leadville, the lot would be valuable, though it did not cost
  a cent save our two days' labour.... You also mention that I said I
  was going to get 20 dollars a week. So I did, but have had to lay
  off two days, and still have plenty of money in hand; but laying off
  when work shuts down cannot be helped. Last night, for instance, I
  worked from seven o'clock to seven in the morning in the smelter
  here for 14_s._ at carrying bullion (silver and lead, 100 lbs.
  weight), but I am afraid I cannot work again to-night, as my feet
  are blistered and dried up. Besides, the fumes, which are deadly,
  have rather upset me. Though the wages are good, the risk is too
  great. Out of the 14_s._ (three and a half dollars) I have to pay
  2_s._ a meal for board, as one has to live a little better than
  'baching it' at this sort of work.

  "Milk is a _necessity_, and at 1_s._ 6_d._ a quart runs away with
  money. I must not forget to mention that there is a fearful rush for
  the four cows owned by an old rancher here, whose _spring_ is by far
  too handy.

  "I would have sent you a little sketch, but the principal mixer of
  my oil colours is missing, and 120 miles too far to send.... Winter
  is fast coming on, and the snow lies from five to seven inches deep
  on the level, outside work being nearly shut off.

  "S. left here two days ago to work on a ranche, and I am not very
  sorry for it, as he would neither save nor try and push along; so at
  present I am without a partner in this wild life.

  "In my last I told you I was not feeling very well, so I went up on
  the mountains from the valley to Lake 'Abundance,' and I send you
  herewith a short account of my excursion.... I am sorry to say that
  churches are out of the question here. The old miners are a
  perfectly godless set, and if they were to catch sight of what they
  call a 'sky pilot' he would swing."


  "Just a line to tell you of a little fishing expedition that I went
  on with a friend. We started from here, Cook's City (? city, there
  are only a few log cabins), at daybreak on one of those mornings
  only known to early risers, cool, with slight delicious breezes
  fanning the valley of pines. We took with us a pack-horse to carry
  our blankets, grub, &c., and I must here mention that a man soon
  learns to pack, there being very little both as to quantity and
  size—two blankets each, ten pounds of flour, coffee, bacon,
  frying-pan, and coffee-pot completing the outfit.

  "Our way took us over a steep mountain leading through forests, down
  again to a long plateau with a rushing torrent as its centre, until
  we again ascended to a high divide or rocky ridge, whence we caught
  sight of our lake, some four miles distant, shut in between the
  bases of surrounding mountains.

  "I must not forget the charming view we had from the divide. Far
  away for the distance of quite eighty miles could be seen mountain
  after mountain rising in the clear, though mighty rare, atmosphere,
  some looking like ancient castles, others as flat as tables, all
  bare and rugged from above timber line. After a pipe and look to the
  trappings of our pack-saddle, we started to descend, and camped
  within a mile of the lake, near a creek of clear snow water. A
  breakfast the next morning of bacon, coffee, and bread cooked in
  frying-pan, at the cooking of which I am quite an expert, and we
  started for the lake, catching grasshoppers on our way before the
  sun had made them shed their overcoats and get too lively.

  "The first throw I made was with a piece of red flannel, and hooked
  three nice salmon trout in no time, weighing from a pound to two and
  a half; but they seemed as the morning advanced to fight shy of such
  indigestible stuff as flannel, and I treated them to some nice
  hoppers of a brownish tint, catching eight more. The hoppers went
  wrong after a little, and I was hard up for a new bait, when,
  happening to nearly land another fish, I pulled a piece of his jaw
  (do you anglers call it the jaw?) out, threw again with this, and
  caught two more; it was a small piece of the white gristly flesh,
  and wriggled like a worm in the water. Time for grub came on: we
  started a fire, fried some fish, ate it, smoked, of course, and I
  think went to sleep—I know I did; when my friend roused me up and
  told me to listen, and sure enough we could hear an old bear rolling
  rocks on the other side of the lake, some quarter of a mile distant.
  Both of us started with our rifles to have a shot, though, if within
  fifty yards and the shot is not fatal (and bears have been shot
  three times through the heart, and yet not killed), it is all up
  with you; if near a tree, up you go.

  "However, we did not see the bruin, and perhaps it was lucky for us
  we did not, as the older the hunters, the more cautious and wary
  they are about these enormously strong brutes. Let me tell of my
  first bear story out here. We were then down at the mill creek, some
  eighty miles distant, when we met three hunters, who the night
  before had met a bear. They came upon her unawares, each discharging
  his Winchester, though only one slightly wounded her. She made a
  rush for the nearest of them, and then for a scatter—one jumped into
  a creek running fast enough to carry him off his legs; the other
  climbed up a tree, which, being rotten, fell with a crash. However,
  they all escaped, and lucky for them, as the strength and agility of
  these Rocky Mountain bears is marvellous; they can lift and roll
  about boulders of six hundred pounds, and tear up young trees from
  the ground in a surprising manner. To return to our fishing, we had
  good sport also the next day, catching forty-two; and on our nearing
  the lake saw two young elk. My friend fired, but missed, I having
  left my gun behind.

  "As our mail carrier starts early to-morrow, I must conclude, and,
  should you want any information as to species of fish with their
  anatomical peculiarities, I will try and find them out and send
  you.—I am, &c.,


  "_Cook's City, Montana, August 30, 1883._"



                             LETTER No. IV.

  Starting afresh on a new farm—Wheat forty to seventy-five bushels to
    the acre—Felling trees and fencing—"Life here is deuced
    hard"—Somewhat despondent—Forty below zero—Ink and bacon
    frozen—Anxiety for General Gordon—Working in snow up to the waist.

                                              _London, August 15, 1885._

In September, 1883, Frank worked his way back into the more civilized
regions of Montana, and with his usual enthusiasm he wrote to me:—

  "This is the best country I have yet struck, and I am sure that I
  shall do well here. My idea now is to hack up 160 acres, get a team,
  wagon, and horses, build a small house, plough forty acres this
  fall, put it into wheat, and ten acres of oats; ... if _I only had
  the start now which I had when I went to Minnesota my fortune would
  soon be made I feel sure_. Wheat goes from forty to even
  seventy-five bushels to the acre, and at 4_s._ a bushel, one ought
  to make plenty of money. A member of Parliament and several English
  gentlemen have lately visited this valley, and were surprised at the
  fertility of the soil. If a little later on you could send me some
  money to start with again, it will help me to get a home, and so far
  as I can see pave my way to a large thing.

  "By chance I have run out a piece of land where I can secure the
  entire water right for a farm. I cannot see any thing but success
  before me.... I am going to work out with the team every day I can
  spare from the farm and earn money.... I would not ask you for a
  cent if I could possibly help it, and I only want you to think I am
  doing the very best for myself. I don't spend any money at all but
  what is absolutely necessary, and I must beg you to give me another
  small start to put me on my legs again.

  "I worked on the thresher here two days ago, and the wheat on the
  farm I worked went forty-three bushels to the acre. On some stalks
  two heads; this is a second crop on same land and no manure."

The result of these appeals was that I supplied Frank with some more
money, and he purchased the farm and other things partly on credit (at a
ruinous interest), partly with his own savings, and partly with the cash
I sent him.

In October of the same year (1883) he wrote—


  "I have got my cabin up and ploughed up some land, and have these
  last five days been hauling logs down from the mountain to build my
  stable, and, in fact, have come to town to have my log chain

  "Don't imagine I am having a good time and spending money for the
  sake of spending. I am up long before daylight and working hard
  until dark. This winter I hope to get out 600 posts, and fencing for
  the farm, besides working round to earn money. I bought fifteen
  bushels of seed wheat at one dollar, and sowed and harrowed it in my
  neighbour's piece of breaking. This is called 'renting;' I receive
  two-thirds of the crop and he gets one-third. As I was not on my
  land in time to plough enough, this gives me a share in the winter
  wheat crop, and next year I hope to put in twenty acres of wheat and
  five of potatoes."

In December, 1883, he wrote to his brother:

  "A letter from you now and again would do no positive injury to
  either party; send me a line when you can, as I don't expect to be
  home for some years, and I do not want to lose track of any of you.
  Many thanks for papers, send me any old magazines you can. I read
  for company's sake, as I am all alone here, and don't want to forget
  how to read.

  "The life here is deuced hard, but I feel certain of reaping a good
  harvest, and am going to stick to it. At present I am working about
  two miles from home, cutting down trees for fencing. I then start
  them down the mountain on a small natural gulch on the snow; they go
  like greased lightning, and make a terrible noise, which is echoed
  and re-echoed through the mountains.

  "I have just completed my stable which looks _boss_, logs with mud
  chinking; next year I intend putting in twenty acres of spring
  wheat.... As I have just bought some beef-bones I am making a fine
  stew; which makes my little kitten mew and skip round, being the
  first taste for her little sides."

                                                      "_Jan. 1, 1884._

  "I wanted, if possible, to begin the new year without having to
  write for money, but I am now having the hardest time I have ever
  had; weather excessively cold, and very little grub in the house....
  I don't like to give up my best hopes, so if you can let me have the
  little balance I mentioned, it would make me even.... It was indeed
  a quiet Christmas for me, at work in the woods at my fencing; and
  now comes new year, just the same."

                                                 "_A few days later._"

  "Sometimes I begin to despair, as the undertaking I have gone into
  requires more money than I really thought it would.... Don't think
  by this that I am getting discouraged with the work or prospects—far
  from it.... It seems to me that I cannot start to write a letter
  unless I make some allusion to money, but I am so anxious to get
  straightened up that I cannot help it.... The money has wholly been
  expended on the ranche, no folly or stupidities have been indulged
  in, and I feel fully competent to take care of anything I get
  now.... Winter has set in now nearly two months, and those who
  _can_, keep near the stoves. Every day is much the same to me, and
  all I hope is, that I don't get hurt, or become ill, as getting out
  timber alone is dangerous work; snow slides, bringing rocks and
  timber along, may occur at any moment.

  "... Time is creeping along, and spring not far off, bringing back
  the horrid grizzlies and panthers."

                                                     "_Jan. 10, 1884._

  "I am obliged to write in pencil, as my ink has frozen, and adding
  water to it has taken away nearly all its colour. The snow is nearly
  three feet deep on the level, making it mighty hard work to get
  about; however, if it lets up it will make it all the better
  sleighing. I am still at work in the woods chopping; up to my waist
  in snow, getting down fencing and firewood; uncomfortable. Though
  when I have a good soup and get a refreshing sleep I forget all the
  discomforts. If it snows to-morrow I shall plaster up my shack
  inside, having bought a bushel of lime.... Every day I learn
  something new, and expect to do so for years to come. I look forward
  to a bright future. All farming operations have ceased long ago, and
  nothing can be done until the spring.

  "... I have made several friends out here, but have been very
  careful who they were, and sometimes by moonlight I skip away five
  miles and have a chat with a good old timer.... My paint box has not
  come from Cook City yet; when it does I will try my hand at giving
  you some faint idea of this superb scenery."

                                                      "_Feb. 8, 1884._

  "I told you that S. had disappeared altogether, and with him my
  hundred dollars and other money he owed me. Young B. has now come
  out here, and has so far joined me that we go halves in expenses,
  and he helps me in all work.... The weather the last four days has
  been intensely cold, forty below zero. In fact, so cold, that we
  dared not go out to work, and though we have just put a floor in the
  shack, just in time, at night the cold wakes one up and sends the
  creeps down one's back. Our bacon freezes solid, saw and axe only
  having any effect. Is there no old aunt to die and leave me some
  money? I do hate to be always bothering you.... Of course we 'bache
  it' here, and as there is no great variety to cook, cooking is no
  great hardship.

  "We have just finished our supper of bacon and beans, and some stray
  pieces of meat; and as Burnaby says in his book that _tea_ stays
  longer by one than coffee, we have been _teaing_ for some time.

  "Now is the dull season, of course; but we are getting a few hens,
  hoping the weather will improve, to make them cackle. It does not
  seem like the same place now I have some one with me—much pleasanter
  and a great help in working.

  "I must not forget to mention that I hurt my back a few days ago
  lifting some logs, and I get up every morning like an old man;
  however, B. has put a porous plaister on my back, and I really don't
  know which is the greater nuisance of the two, back-ache or

                                                     "_March 5, 1884._

  "Thanks for sending me the papers! I really don't know what we would
  do without them; the neighbours make regular calls, weather
  permitting, to borrow them. Our anxiety for General Gordon is as
  great here as I suppose it is with you.... Although life is hard and
  rough here, I like it more and more, and I trust to do well here:
  our plans for next year are as follows:—To put in about four acres
  of garden produce, onions, potatoes, &c., and sell the produce; and
  if we have luck we shall do well on this; not to put any crop in at
  all, as machinery is too expensive; a reaper, rake and thrashing
  expenses would eat up our profits, especially as the machinery would
  have to be bought on time, a system I am not going in for if I can
  help it. To fence the whole 160 acres in, the posts for which I have
  already cut (640), besides hen-house logs, &c., with barbed wire,
  will cost £23, but I hope to sell hay enough off the place to cover
  this. When the fencing is done, I shall start out somewhere to get
  work, and stay away six months (the law allows this under the
  Homestead Act), and B. will run the ranche.

  "I hope to earn three dollars a day, but cannot figure on it, as all
  sorts of accidents may happen; I might not get paid, or I may hurt
  myself in some way. B. has already six cows from which we hope to
  make butter and raise the calves; this is the best and surest
  business, they increase rapidly. The natural grass (bunch grass) is
  not only good feed, but strengthening and fattening....

  "During the season B. ought to have time to cut up at least fifty
  cords of wood, which left to the fall to season, readily brings in
  Bozeman six dollars a cord, or in all, 300 dollars.... As the
  'Rheumatiz' has got a slight hold of me, the result of working in
  the snow up to my waist after fencing and timber, I must make an
  early start to bed.... A general thaw was followed last night by
  eight inches of snow, bringing the average up again to two feet ten
  inches on the level."


                             LETTER No. V.

  Never had such a hard time—Camping out in the Rockies—Horses
    decamp—Left in the lurch—A terrible fright—Crossing a torrent—"Old
    Jim" taking a roll—Pack smashed—"Old Jim" in a snow-drift—Woke up
    by a grizzly—What the newspapers said of it—Cutting fencing poles
    in the snow—Christmas Day—Pickles and plum pudding—The
    consequences—A dance—Cowboys and farmers' daughters—"Shall I turn
    tail?"—A profitable old cow—The nicest little ranche in
    Montana—Start on a sheep drive 300 miles—"The healthiest place I
    ever struck."

                                              _London, August 20, 1885._

In the following May, 1884, he wrote: "I never had such a hard time of
it in my life." And in September to his brother:—

  "... The truth is, I have been some seventy miles away from home,
  and shall be gone again in a few days to look for a winter job. The
  new railway has knocked things topsy-turvy.

  "Labour, when I first came here, was scarce, and well paid for, but
  now things are very dull here. However, there is a good prospect for
  better things. They all say that one railroad spoils a town, two
  bring it to par again, and three make it 'boom.' This seems the
  general rule throughout America. On my way out to the mountains
  after work, some three months back, I found a good prospect for
  copper, and since then we have taken up four distinct veins in the
  centre of a good mining camp; but we shall simply represent them
  each year to hold them so that it will not ruin us. (Representation
  is ten days' work each year on the mine for five years, then you can
  get your patent.) We may make a fortune from them, and we may not
  make a cent. However, we shall not let it interfere with our work. I
  could send one of your papers a decent article—'A Prospector's Life,
  or Hunting after Gold.' The newspapers come in mighty handy, and are
  read through and through.

                     "CAMPING OUT IN THE ROCKIES."

  "Let me give you a short account of my little trip. Starting from my
  log cabin early in the spring, when the snow was still in drifts, in
  places fifteen feet deep, I made my way some seventy miles into the
  mountains. I had a little Indian pony, and a horse old enough in
  tricks, if not in years, to carry my pack, consisting of my
  blankets, tent, and grub. Grub! why, certainly. Fifty pounds of
  flour, a tin of self-raising flour, labelled 'absolutely pure' of
  course, (a lawsuit ought to follow up this libel,) two pounds of
  coffee, salt, frying-pan, cup, and a well-stocked box of matches.
  The above was to last me a month or more. I am forgetting the bacon.
  The day I set out was beautifully clear, and my journey progressed
  through ever-changing scenery. Before me and on each side were the
  snow-capped mountains, still white as they had been for six months
  past, and fringed along their sides by a massive belt of timber, at
  the foot of which my little pony and old carcase ahead were picking
  their way, treading lightly lest their weight should precipitate
  them through the hardened crust of snow.

  "Looking back, I could see my little home nestled close against the
  mountains, and I fancied, too, that I could see my little kitten on
  the roof, perhaps mourning its late master, or more probably
  lamenting its cosy bed inside. I stayed but a short time to
  contemplate this scene, a fairer could not be found—a beautiful
  valley, surrounded on all sides by high-towering mountains of every
  shape and form. Three brooks teeming with trout wend their headlong
  way; I say headlong, for they rise from the very top of yon snowy
  peaks, and come tearing and roaring down at this season of the year,
  when the sun is getting the better of the snow, and feeding these
  streams, which eventually fall into the flowing Missouri.

  "Continuing my journey for a short time, my ponies wanted to stop
  for a feed, and I felt the same inclination; so I unpacked,
  scratched a fire together, made some coffee, and while my gentle
  steeds were pawing and nibbling at grass in bare places, took to my
  pipe of 'Wills' Westward Ho' (supposed to be) tobacco, dried and cut
  fine, but it ought to be labelled 'Old Boot Tops,' instead of 'Uncle
  Sam.' So absorbed was I in my pipe, I did not notice that my Arabs
  had decamped, leaving me in the lurch. Ascending a higher point, I
  could just distinguish them a mile off, and had it not been for the
  snow, they would have been five miles away, making steadily for
  home, though why they wanted to go there I do not know. Certainly
  not for food; at least, I could very rarely find any luxuries there
  myself. A brisk walk, with much shouting, 'Whoa! where are you off
  to?' &c, brought me up to them. A hasty return, quickened by
  prodigious cudgellings, though my pack-horse has a hide like a
  rhinoceros, packing up, and giving old Jim a happy reminder, I again
  rode along. Towards evening it became excessively chilly. I had
  taken a little _eau de vie_ with me, which, however, I always put in
  my pack, as its immediate presence on my person might tempt me too
  often; so starting my pony at a little quicker pace, and getting
  off, I made for old Jim, just a little ahead of me; but no sooner
  was I within reach of the old boy's tail than he started off at a
  brisk gambol. Nothing would induce him to stop till he had left me
  some distance behind. However, being persistent, and by making
  little detours, I secured him and the bottle.

  "The place to which I was bound was some seventy miles from home,
  and through a rough and wild country, infested with bears, mountain
  lions, and wolves. The weather at night was very cold, and my fare
  not princely. At sundown I struck off into the timber, lighted my
  camp fire, secured one of the horses, and in a short time was fast
  asleep, dreaming of delightful trips by land or sea. Let me not
  forget a little incident which occurred this first night. It being a
  calm evening, the wind having lulled, before retiring for the night
  I did not put up my little tent. At somewhere between midnight and
  three o'clock I was awakened by a terrible (or it seemed so then)
  howl close to my head, which had got out of the blankets, and on
  looking up I saw an awful head not a foot from mine, teeth, jaws,
  and ears. It did not take as long as it does to recount to find my
  head where my toes were; I had performed a sort of double
  somersault, landing me in the snow, and then I looked back and found
  the terrible monster who was ready to devour me was off at a
  two-forty pace in the opposite direction. After all, it was only old
  'Jim.' He must have been scared at a coyote (wolf) or other
  marauder, and sought my protection; but he was certainly scared far
  worse the second time. Shaking off the snow, and having another pipe
  between the blankets just to consider awhile as to whether the old
  animal was not going to cause me more trouble, I soon fell asleep
  again, dreaming of bears, tigers, and every other household pet.

  "On waking, my blankets seemed heavier than on going to bed. It had
  snowed during the early hours, and they were converted into white
  ermine. One more snooze, and then to get up, shake my blankets,
  light my fire; breakfast through, and horses saddled, away I start
  to commence my second day. A few hours after starting I lost sight
  of the valley I had come from, but in front of me again was one of
  the finest panoramas I had ever seen. From my elevated position, and
  for a distance of fifty miles at least, I could see mountain after
  mountain towering one above another—high, sharp, rocky peaks, and
  undulating table-lands. Leaving this, I broke off down a narrow
  divide or cañon, wending my way towards a bright stream, near which
  I could discern a small house, some fencing, and cattle ranging

  "Two hours' ride brought me to the little stream, now a raging
  torrent. The farmer shouted to me not to attempt the crossing, but
  my motto is 'Excelsior.' I had terrible hard work to cross.

                 "'Try not the pass!' the old man said,
                 'Dark lowers the tempest overhead.
                 The roaring torrent is deep and wide.'

  "My horses were very nearly carried away down the rushing stream.
  However, we succeeded at last; and a warm fire and a chat with a
  human being, for it seemed a month since starting, revived my hopes.
  I found the house to be owned by a cattle-man whom I met just before
  entering, ready saddled, and on his way to hunt up some game. The
  house is beautifully situated; the stream furnishes an abundant
  supply of fine mountain trout, many of which have been caught in a
  little irrigating ditch, which the rancher has run out from the
  stream to water his garden, and not having time to put them back in
  the stream, and time to eat them, I presume he prefers the latter.
  Here, 'midst the heart of the Rockies, lives a man and his wife all
  alone, not seeing a human being for a month at a time, perfectly
  happy and healthy, letting their cattle range on the vast undulating
  lowlands; and here, owing to the amount of wind in winter, they feed
  all the year round, bare places being thus kept open. Although a
  pressing invitation was given me to stay, I still journeyed on,
  following the creek along, and having to cross it no less than nine
  times until the route indicated to me took up a rough and dry cañon,
  where, I have since found out, the gentle rattlesnake 'loves to lie
  a-basking in the sun.' Nothing happened worthy of mention, save old
  Jim, who, wanting to give his old back (made at an angle of
  forty-five degrees) a scratch, coolly—I may here use the word, as it
  was in the snow—squatted down and commenced to roll with my precious
  pack on his back. My coffee-pot was crushed square, frying-pan
  jammed into the hunch of bacon, and _eau de vie_ bottle smashed.
  What did I say? Never mind. At length we got to what seemed to me an
  impassable barrier, a terribly deep snow-drift. If I had reached
  this place early in the morning all would have been well, but now
  the sun had softened the upper crust, and the first step old Jim
  took was up to his neck, his poor old front legs and nose were
  hidden altogether, presenting a comical picture which I should like
  to give you a sketch of. Unpacking him, letting him struggle
  backwards, carrying the pack by pieces nearly a half mile, and
  letting the horses swim rather than walk through, took me two good
  hours at least, landing me on a bare place, only to find that I had
  another drift almost as bad to go through. A repetition of the above
  landed me near two or three scattered pines, not knowing in the
  least where I was or which way to turn, my clothes wet, everything
  wet, bottle gone, and generally played out.

[Illustration: OLD JIM IN A SNOW-DRIFT.]

  "I soon made my camp, pitched my tent, heaped up all the wood I
  could find, and then sat down to brood over my folly in not waiting
  until a month later, or indeed in making such a risky journey at
  all. After awhile I was surprised to see, coming evidently from the
  opposite direction from which I had come, a man with two horses.
  This, at least, was a blessing, for were he white or black man he
  should answer me, and tell me all he knew concerning the route.

  "He turned out to be a miner returning from a camp through which I
  had to go, but as he was too anxious to get on, I kindly asked him
  if he would not take a drink, when suddenly I remembered the smashed
  bottle. Ample excuses and convincing ones, as he had to go through
  the same drift, and would there see the mangled remains of my dead
  soldier; so we parted, he to continue his journey, and I to bed,
  though yet only sundown.

  "The next morning found me up early, only too anxious to get away
  from this land of desolation. The preceding evening had landed me on
  a bare knoll, and a slight wind having sprung up during the night
  and obliterated the tracks of my unexpected visitor, I had to make
  my way as well as I possibly could; old Jim now up and now down,
  digging him out, unpacking and wearying along, passed the day, and
  found me camped alongside a creek surrounded by heavy brush.

[Illustration: "IT WAS A FINE OLD BRUIN!"]

  "It would have been hard to have awoke me when I did get to sleep,
  as I had had a fairly rough day of it; still it could not have been
  more than three hours after I had gone to sleep when I was awoke by
  a horrible grunting, and the bushes round the tent were torn and
  smashed round as if a young cyclone was at work. It could not be old
  Jim this time; oh, no! it was a fine old bruin! so, hastily putting
  on my pants, and at the same time giving a terrific yell, feeling
  for my rifle, which, by the way, I had left at home, and skipping
  out of the tent, took a very short space of time. As it was now
  pitch dark, and plenty of roots of trees to run against and tumble
  over, I had to pull up and listen, and I soon heard with
  satisfaction the noise some distance past my tent. I evidently had
  either scared him or he had gone to the tent, taken my bacon, and
  walked off. Though not fifty yards off, I had a good deal of trouble
  to find my tent again, and, when found, lay me down, but not to
  sleep, for a while at least, until I could hear no more groanings.
  Old bear-hunters since tell me that he would have done no harm if he
  had intruded into my tent; if I had feigned being dead he would only
  have nosed me round and given me a parting slap for old
  acquaintance' sake, breaking one or two ribs. I think here again
  discretion was better than valour. The funny part comes later on.
  Next day I met two prospectors, and told them about the bear. They
  told it in Bozeman, and next day it is in the paper, reading as

  "'A man out prospecting was aroused from his midnight slumbers by a
  bear. The night being dark, and no ammunition at hand, he beat a
  hasty retreat, running two miles, falling into a creek, and then
  down a deep gully (fortunately sustaining no injuries) in but very
  scanty clothing; staying out all night, and on returning in the
  morning, he found his bacon and grub all gone,' &c.

  "So much for newspaper reports! I have had several gentle surprises
  since. I hope to do well in time, and do not expect to return home
  until I have made a good stake.

  "The remainder of my journey passed without further incident."

                                                 "_December 10, 1884._

  "Why don't you send me a coloured plate now and then? People in my
  low scale of life would hang it up on the wall in place of a

  "I can do well here. It is only a question of time, as I have before
  said. If business were more flourishing, the prices would be better,
  and this can only be remedied by time. 'Everything comes to him who

  "I am now getting out fencing poles, both for myself and to sell. It
  is terribly hard work. A walk of three miles, completely up grade,
  brings me to the top of the mountain range, back of the cabin, and
  here I cut them on the now already six inches of snow, work them
  down a 'shoot,' then haul them home on a sleigh. To-day I cut one
  hundred, and put them in position with my others (three hundred
  already cut). This may seem easy work, but in reality it is very
  hard. Even if it snows a foot or two to-morrow, I must still stick
  to it. I want about one thousand five hundred (a thousand to sell at
  fourpence apiece), and it will keep me rushing to do it. What with
  climbing up and slipping down, cutting and clearing the shoot each
  fresh snow, walking home again, you may imagine I get pretty fagged
  out by the end of the day.

  "If we had not had such bad luck this summer we (B. and myself)
  would have been some hundreds of dollars ahead this winter; but the
  cattle breaking my garden fence down, and destroying the whole of
  the garden stuff, and not getting paid for work, it put me a way
  behind, besides the loss of one of my horses....

  "My mule was looking poor when B. came. So we thought to trade him
  off, and we exchanged him for a pony, and then exchanged the pony
  for a mare (a good trade). Unfortunately, I lost the mare, but may
  still get her back next summer; so I had to get another horse, for
  which I gave eighty-five dollars.... The money you sent me helped to
  pay for my former team, wagon, harness, tools, and furniture. Though
  not elaborate, still it all mounted up.

  "... This winter I shall earn all I can, though it is terribly hard
  to make much this time of year. Boots (rubber) are continually
  wearing out, and socks too; my heels are like boards.

  "I have come to the conclusion I could learn some language, living
  or dead, these long winter evenings, if you would send me some
  books. I read continually of an evening.... Wishing you all a merry
  Christmas and happy new year."

                                                 "_December 31, 1884._

  "Since I last wrote we have had a terrible fall of snow, but now all
  is clear again; that is to say, the tracks are all broken; good
  sleighing and sharp, cold weather. Can you realise 47° below zero?
  We had this for a day and a half, and it kept us pretty close to the

  "B. calculates to buy a piece of railroad land adjoining my ranche,
  and we can then fence together.... He can still live with me, and we
  can work and help one another. The longer I stay here, the more I
  like the life.... Cattle grow at a surprising pace here. My
  neighbour, a mile north, sold ten steers at forty dollars a head,
  for which he was only offered twenty dollars last spring. Thank all
  round for Christmas cards.

  "The hardest thing to do now is to keep warm, and much as we try
  with patent socks, running round, eating fat bacon, &c., the cold
  will creep to our toes.... A bottle of Crosse and Blackwell's
  pickles, mixed with a little plum pudding of my own making, we had
  on Christmas Day, quite made me ill for the time being; however, a
  dose of horse specific soon put me right again. I really believe the
  sight of a mince pie would turn my stomach. Life here is without any
  of the festivities of Old England. If there is a dance, you invite
  your lady love to go with you, and pay two dollars for the privilege
  of dancing in a little cabin no bigger than mine (seventeen by
  nineteen), crowded with cowboys and farmers' daughters. As I have no
  lady love, nor the money to throw away, I have not given them the
  pleasure of my society yet.

  "Sister A. ought to come out and keep my house for me next summer.
  Tell her I will build an addition to the mansion if she will come.
  The mountain air will do her good."

                                                    "_March 14, 1885._

  "I have been expecting to hear from you, I may say, very
  anxiously.... _Any_ letter would be better than none at all. I feel
  it all the more here, as I have been doing my very best to get
  ahead. I am still convinced that I can do well here if I can once
  get ahead. A little bunch of stock, and my debts cleared, and I can
  then go right ahead.... To-day is my birthday. By next year, if I
  live, I shall be gray-headed. Snow still a foot deep, though

                                                      "_May 17, 1885._

  "We are now in full swing of spring work; grass, trees, and my
  garden are pushing ahead wonderfully. The season is short here, so
  vegetation has to hurry up to take advantage of the time.... I
  verily believe I got the last piece of Government land in the valley
  worth taking up with good grass on it, and water running through,
  but it is too rocky to plough any extent of it. Thirty acres are the
  most I could work, but as pasturage it will be worth considerable
  some day.

  "I am now in such a position that I hardly know how to look ahead. I
  have my ranche, which still requires considerable fencing, and ought
  to be done this spring, as grass is getting scarce, and the stock
  not only eat it off, but tread it out, so that I ought to take
  advantage of this spring to get it completely under fence. This, of
  course, costs money. The barbed wire has to be bought. I have
  already a good deal up, besides the 1,350 poles and 640 posts that I
  cut and put up myself. All this takes time, of course, and prevents
  my working out anywhere in the mountains.

  "Now the question is, What am I to do? I still owe —— dollars. I
  hardly like to say that I had better turn tail and come home, or get
  a berth, if possible, in New York or somewhere. This is not my wish
  at all. In truth, I would sooner stay and work on here. I like the
  country immensely, and, with the aid of capital, can do well; but,
  on the other hand, I can only go on as a day labourer, earning
  enough, perhaps, this summer and winter to pay my debts, which are
  piling up at a cent and a half a month interest (18 _per cent._). Of
  course, you will take into account my early failure in Minnesota;
  but though I know it was my own fault, I put it down to a run of bad
  luck and want of experience. I assure you I have done nothing but
  work since I have been out here, building up my home, and looking
  out for a job as the chances came.... My debts paid and clear here,
  I can, of course, make a living, but I want to do something more
  than that.

  "If you cannot possibly give me the necessary start, I must go off
  and wander round from month to month. It seems to me that I have
  done nothing but have money since I left England, but since the
  first loss it has come in in rather small sums, that have been
  swallowed up in odds and ends about the place.

  "You need not think me grumbling or grasping. I long to get a fair,
  clear start, and have done with it. Whatever you do, do not think I
  am tired or want a change. The more I see of this life the more I
  like it.

  "My _Homestead Right_[1] lasts for five years, and until they have
  expired I cannot get a title from the Government for my land, so
  that I am not likely to throw up my work and right without a good

Footnote 1:

    See Appendix.

  "_P.S.—A trip out here would do you good, and you could see for
  yourself how things stand._"

                                                     "_June 26, 1885._

  "... You ask me whether my ranche does not produce anything—have I
  no cattle to sell, &c. If you refer to my letters, you will see that
  I mentioned having bought an old cow cheap (for £4), which gave us
  milk last winter, but as she was a little too decrepit to raise a
  calf, I traded her off this spring for a little mare, which, again,
  I sold for 200 cedar posts, worth twenty cents apiece, or forty
  dollars. Thus my old cow, which I gave £4 for, will, when the posts
  are delivered and sold, bring me in £8. (As the spring has been
  unusually wet, the man has not come up to time with the posts, but I
  shall have them shortly.) My garden ought to bring me in £20. I have
  the finest set of cabbages, peas, and potatoes in the valley, my
  team, and this spring I have 130 chickens, 100 of which we raised
  this spring, and more are hatching out now. Twenty-five acres broken
  ready for a crop of wheat that is ready to sow by September, and one
  mile and a half of fence, or 150 acres, enclosed. In addition to
  this, I have just finished putting up a little milk house on the
  creek, and am terribly proud of it; it looks like a Swiss châlet,
  gabled ends, &c. I am all the more proud of it, as I have hewed the
  logs and put it up at odd times of an evening. By next autumn, when
  I hope to have everything complete, I shall have, if not the
  prettiest, at least one of the nicest little ranches in Montana,
  magnificent building spot, icy cold water all the year round, and
  unrivalled panoramic view, also perfectly healthy. You will
  understand from this that what with having bought my team, tools,
  &c., it does not leave much for stock. One cow costs fifty dollars,
  and _hard_ to get at that. A yearling calf costs from £3 to £5, and
  if possible I must try and get some in the fall, as I have put about
  seven acres into oats for hay, besides what hay I can cut (this
  having been a splendid season for grass). Oats would hardly pay to
  thresh on so small an acreage, though the yield ought to be between
  fifty and seventy bushels to the acre. Crops are magnificent. On
  lots of ranches _wheat_ will go as high as fifty bushels to the acre
  this year (seventy-five have been raised). As my team, though
  strong, are not very heavy, I have only averaged three-quarters of
  an acre breaking sod a day. Three horses are generally used.

  "With five cows I could keep twenty hogs, and what with my crop next
  year, garden, and work at odd times, should be considered rich here,
  and could put by money.

  "You will perhaps remember my telling you that there was a saw-mill
  up the cañon above my ranche some three miles. Well, the 'boss' came
  down three weeks ago, and hired me to work for him at thirty dollars
  a month until threshing time, or the 1st of September. This suited
  me well, as on Sundays and after work, when not too tired, I could
  run down home and see that things were all right. B. is still
  staying with me, and is a great help.... I started to work two days
  after, and stayed three weeks, whereas I had hoped to get a job till
  September. He shut down the mill suddenly, and thus threw me out of
  work. We have given him a piece of our mind, but as he was young,
  and didn't know his own mind, we didn't quarrel about it. This job,
  of course, suited me well, as it was handy to home; but the day
  after to-morrow I am going after a three months' job on a sheep
  drive some three hundred miles, at forty dollars a month. The sheep
  are twenty miles from here, and have to be driven down beyond
  Custer, which would bring me back home by threshing time.

  "I am glad to say that wherever I have worked or am known at all I
  can always get a job, as I am considered to be a 'rustler,' or
  night-hawk, as I work early up to dark. The mill-owner is going to
  move his mill down to mouth of the cañon, I hear; so this will to
  some extent improve the value of my property."

In July, 1885, he wrote to a friend:—

  "I have only just received your letter. It has been a long time on
  the road, as I am now twenty miles away from home, working out at
  'dipping sheep,' dirty and terribly hard work. As to your cousin
  coming out, I can only say that _I_ certainly can do well, and I
  should say that he could also if he will be content to rough it. I
  have done nothing but rough it since I have been out, and find it
  has done me no harm, but much good. I am getting as strong as a

  "Thirty shillings (say five dollars) a week will keep your cousin in
  good circumstances; and if he cares to come out to me I can show him
  round, and he will be quite welcome. The climate is bracing, and it
  is without exception the healthiest place I have ever struck.

  "Try and get 'the Old Man' [meaning _me_] to come out with you; you
  will enjoy the trip. I am sending this scrawl by a cowboy, and he
  may or may not forget to post it, though I trust he will not."



                             LETTER No. VI.

  My last letter before leaving for the United States by the good ship

                                              _London, August 20, 1885._

Frank is now about twenty-six years of age. He has had four years of
hard and varied experience, and although fortune has not yet smiled upon
him, he does not seem inclined, so far as I am able to form an opinion
from his correspondence, to succumb. I gather from his letters, by which
alone I can at present judge, that he is still prepared to rough it. He
has youth, health, and strength on his side, and I imagine there are few
young fellows who have been brought up amidst the comforts and pleasures
of a city life who would willingly have gone through so many hardships.

Circumstances make it desirable for me to visit New York and the other
Eastern cities. I have, therefore, resolved to journey so far as the
Rockies, in order to see for myself, and thus to form a clear opinion of
what he is doing and what his chances of success really are.

I propose, therefore, to follow up the foregoing sketch of Frank's four
years' struggles by sending occasional letters, giving you an account of
whatever may turn up on my long journey, and to describe what I may see
of his location and surroundings. I am also not without hope of finding
opportunities for some further piscatorial exploits in the lakes and
streams of Montana. If I meet with any adventures in this way, I shall
not fail to record them.

                             END OF PART I.


                                PART II.

                            LETTER No. VII.

  On board the "Cunardia"—Small troubles—The Romance of a rickety old
    chair—Arrival at New York—First acquaintance with katydids.

                                                _New York, Sept., 1885._

"In travelling by land," says Washington Irving, "there is a continuity
of scene and a connected succession of persons and incidents that lessen
the effect of absence and separation.... But a wide sea-voyage severs us
at once. It makes us conscious of being cast loose from the secure
anchorage of settled life, and sent adrift upon a doubtful world. It
interposes a gulf not merely imaginary, but real, between us and our
homes—a gulf subject to tempest and fear and uncertainty, rendering
distance palpable, and return precarious!"

That is just what I felt and thought, but could not find words to
express so eloquently, "as I saw the last blue line of my native land
fade away like a cloud in the horizon." Notwithstanding the fact that
the broad Atlantic is now bridged over by seven-days' steamers, and
linked to its Eastern and Western shores by submarine cables, as it was
not in the Knickerbocker days, the solution of continuity seemed to me
as real when I saw the last bit of rock as ever it was in that bygone

 If I were writing a book of travels I should perhaps be tempted to tell
you of all our little adventures in crossing the Atlantic. We had many
small troubles which at the time we thought large ones; but why should I
record such every-day occurrences? There was a time when we would have
given "a thousand furlongs of sea for an acre of barren ground—long
heath, brown furze, anything." We had quite enough of the rough to
remind even the best of us that, when rolled and tossed in "the roaring
forties," "we're all poor creeters"—and again, we had enough of the
delightfully smooth to satisfy us that perhaps we are not such "poor
creeters" after all. We reached New York only ten hours after the usual

One little story may be worth telling. On the fifth day out, when the
westerly gale had partly subsided, but while the weather was still muggy
and cold, I had been sitting on a rickety chair next to what seemed to
be a bundle of rugs. When I got up, a gust of wind tilted the chair
rather roughly against the bundle, and I then observed that it began to
move. I immediately turned to apologize to this living and moving
bundle. A pair of bright blue eyes peeped out, and a pleasant voice
explained to me that my unmannerly chair had been no inconvenience at
all. The bright eyes and pleasant voice were, as I soon found, the
property of a charming young lady, with whom I had a long chat, and we
soon became very good friends. Stress of weather had kept her a prisoner
below, and this was her first appearance in the upper regions. I, as you
know, am only an old "buffer," but my friend and travelling companion M.
is a bright young spark, with a heart like a tinder-box, and when he
came round and I had introduced him, he was at once smitten with the
charms which had gradually unfolded themselves from the rugs. Soon
afterwards my friend M. introduced (though I think with somewhat jealous
misgivings) another young acquaintance; and this fine fellow at once
fell a victim to the fascinations which had already fluttered M.'s
susceptible heart.

It was amusing enough to such an old fellow as I to watch the antics of
these young people. We supped together, and we paraded the deck. When we
reached New York, our hotels being within a stone's throw of each other,
we frequently met.

M., whose chivalry at least equalled his infatuation, suppressed his own
ardour in favour of his friend's. They went to the theatre together,
they supped at Delmonico's, and in two days the young and happy couple
were engaged to be married. I don't think I shall betray any special
confidence when I add that the young lady was on her way with her
brother to her native home at the Antipodes, and that the successful
smitten one was a wealthy _ranchero_ of the Far West. When the happy
secret was confided to me I gave them my paternal blessing and we all
separated—he hastening off to his hunting grounds to sell his immense
stock of cattle and sheep, and then to meet his young _fiancée_ and her
brother at San Francisco, thence to proceed together to Australia to
settle affairs with "papa."

This little episode, probably not an uncommon one on board ship, though
quite new to me, I will call "_The Romance of a Rickety Old Chair_."

The heat was so oppressive when we arrived at New York, that we were
well pleased to accept the kind invitation of a friend to spend a night
at his pleasant residence on the Sound.

Here it was that I first heard, and was gradually lulled to sleep by the
incessant singing of little green katydids in the surrounding trees.
What a curious monody their combined song makes! It varies the note, as
it seemed to me, to something like this:—

                 Katy-did, Katy-did, Katy-didn't,
                 Katy-_did_, Katy-didn't, Katy-_did_,
                 Katy-_didn't_, Katy-did, Katy-didn't.

Such was the unchanging song of myriads of these little creatures for
hours at a time; and to this was added the chirping of grasshoppers and
locusts, and a perpetual accompaniment of the shrill little shriek of

The lovely autumn evening, a pleasant sail on the Sound, the green
foliage of the trees, and these little insect-songs were refreshing to
me after our rough and rolling experiences on the Atlantic.



                            LETTER No. VIII.

  Up the Hudson River—The Catskills—My first chipmunk—"The Rip Van
    Winkle"—"Sleepy Hollow"—The Mountain-House Hotel—Old Indian
    squaw-spirit—A snake in the grass—A painting by Holbein.

                                      _Catskill Mountains, Sept., 1885._

After a short time in New York, agreeably spent in spite of the heat, we
started early one bright morning on the splendid river steamer "Albany"
up the noble Hudson River. It is no part of my plan or my duty to
describe the innumerable objects, historical and picturesque, which
command this wonderful river. Why should I attempt to describe or even
to mention points so fully and so well described elsewhere? All I aspire
to record is the passing impression of whatever comes under my own
notice or interests me as a rapid traveller; it would be presumption to
do more.

The chief object and _ultima Thule_ of my wanderings is that little log
shanty built by my boy thousands of miles away in the heart of the Rocky
Mountains—but our plan is to take in our way as much of this great
country as our limited time will permit.

The point we are now sailing for is "The Catskills," about 120 miles up
the river from New York. Reaching the Catskill Station early in the
afternoon, we took train for the foot of the mountains, a ride of about
eight miles through a richly cultivated country: every object here, even
the rocks and streams and fruit-laden apple-trees, seemed strange and
new to me.

At the foot of the ascent, we were met by a stage-wagon drawn by a
couple of stout horses; these had to drag us for three miles and a half
up the steep mountain side.

The mountain is clad with thick foliage to the summit. The sun was
shining hotly, but we were protected by a canopy formed of the green
leaves of trees mostly new to me. Scattered freely among them were
maples decked in manifold autumn tints, several kinds of birch, and oaks
with leaves differing so much in shape from any English oaks I know,
that I should not have called these young saplings oaks at all but for
the unmistakable large acorns with which they were laden. Then, too,
there were the mountain-ash with large chocolate cones, and the lovely
sumach with red berries. The mingling of this variegated foliage made
for me an indescribably pleasant scene.

What has much surprised and pleased me in this, the first American wood
I have seen, is the fresh, bright, spring-like greenness of the leaves,
at a time when in Old England leaves are becoming sere and brown, and
are rapidly falling.

We had no sooner entered the wood than I saw sitting on a rail a pretty
little animal of a kind unknown to me. It was the size of a small
squirrel, but without the bushy upturned tail. I had but a glimpse as it
darted away; it was brown on the back, with broad black diagonal
stripes, and white throat and belly. The driver told me it was a
chipmunk—it may have had three inches of tail.

The road for some distance up was alive with katydids and locusts; but
birds and other animals seem to be very scarce. I was told there are
plenty of jack-rabbits and partridges in these woods, and occasionally a
black bear is heard of.

[Illustration: "THE RIP VAN WINKLE."]

Apart from the music of the katydids and grasshoppers there is perfect
stillness; and one longs to hear the songs of birds in these pleasant
places, but I never heard even "the occasional whistle of a quail or
tapping of a woodpecker."

Halfway up the hill we came upon an old-fashioned little inn called "The
Rip Van Winkle," and the stone on which Rip slept. His long sleep is
regarded as a true and veritable piece of history about which there can
be no question, for is not the rock still there to attest it?

Over the porch is a half-obliterated signboard representing Rip Van
Winkle waking up, and underneath is the inscription,—

  "O that flagon! that wicked flagon! what shall I say to Dame

Footnote 2:

  It should read "What excuse shall I make to Dame Van Winkle?"

Here it was that "from an opening between the trees" Rip "could overlook
all the lower country for many a mile of rich woodland. He saw at a
distance the lordly Hudson, far, far below him, moving on in its silent
but majestic course." Here it is that we look down through the foliage
upon "Sleepy Hollow," at least I was told so by the communicative
landlord; certainly the opening does reveal a deep wood-clad valley,
which looks charming, though somnolent enough to merit the title of
"Sleepy Hollow;" nevertheless, Knickerbocker's "Sleepy Hollow" is
certainly not here; it lies away down yonder "in the bosom of one of
those spacious coves which indent the eastern shore of the Hudson, not
far from the village of Tarrytown, in a little valley or rather lap of
land among high hills, which is one of the quietest places in the whole

Some of us walked up the steep inclines to ease the horses, until we
reached "The Mountain-House Hotel," a great place capable of holding
five hundred people; but the season is over, and there are not more than
thirty here now; the other hotels on the mountains are already closed. I
will only say of this hostelry that it is kept in a very primitive
style, and is certainly fifty years behind the age.

The view from the front, on the very edge of the cliff, looks over a
semicircle of country extending for sixty miles in every direction, with
the Hudson River winding like a silver streak through the very heart of
it. This prospect, they tell me, is one of the most wonderful to be
found in this wonderful country, but owing to haze and mist it is rarely
to be seen as we saw it.

We wandered through the woods and down by the lakes for miles, but we
heard not a sound of bird or beast; the dead silence is almost
appalling; not even the noisy little katydids get so far up the

These woods would be perfect if one could only say of them as Longfellow
says of some of the American woods in autumn:

            "The gentle wind, a sweet and passionate wooer,
            Kisses the blushing leaf, and stirs up life
            Within the solemn woods of ash deep-crimsoned,
            And silver beech, and maple yellow-leaved,
            Where Autumn, like a faint old man, sits down
            By the wayside aweary. Through the trees
            The golden robin moves. The purple finch,
            That on wild cherry and red cedar feeds,
            A winter bird, comes with its plaintive whistle,
            And pecks by the witch-hazel, whilst aloud
            From cottage roofs the warbling bluebird sings."

The weather during our stay here has been perfect, the air bright and
bracing; that old Indian squaw-spirit who is said to influence the
weather on the "Catskills," "spreading sunshine or clouds over the
landscape," was very good to us; she gave us nothing but bright sunshiny
days and clear moonlight nights, a sure proof that we were welcome
visitors, for it is said that when she is displeased she "would brew up
clouds black as ink, sitting in the midst of them like a bottle-bellied
spider in the midst of its web; and when these clouds broke, woe betide
the valleys!"

We visited most of the points of interest within easy reach. There is a
magnificent waterfall near the Laurel House, and many other sights which
it did us good to see. The sunset one night was the most glorious I had
ever beheld. "Real handsome," a Baltimorean enthusiast called it, and
the full silver moon shining over the broad expanse was equally

One morning, as I was walking along the cliff in front of the hotel, a
snake nearly a yard long sprang out of the long grass under my feet, and
flung itself right over the precipice; it came down flop on the hard
rock thirty feet below, and then shot off into the bushes as if there
was nothing the matter. The whole thing passed so rapidly that I could
not distinctly note the colour of the reptile; but it seemed to be of a
dark-brownish colour. I wondered if that was its usual way of going
home, or if it had made the leap by mistake.


That snake, the little chipmunk, katydids, and sparrows, were the only
samples I saw of the natural history of "The Catskills;" but it must be
remembered that I only passed two days there. Even the idle Rip,
however, could find but little sport for his vagabond gun, for he is
said to have "trudged through woods and swamps, and up hill and down
dale, to shoot a few squirrels or wild pigeons." I was told by the
landlord, who, proud of the grand position he holds as monarch of a
sixty-miles' unrivalled panorama, must have told it scores of times
before, that down yonder in the village of Catskill there resides a
member of the Salisbury family, who possesses a family picture painted
by Holbein which he regards as of priceless value. This good and
loquacious old landlord is full of the history of the great valley and
river in front of him, and if you have patience to listen he will tell
you everything that ever happened from the time when Hendrich Hudson
first discovered it to the present time.



                             LETTER No. IX.

  Arrival at Saratoga—Season over—Hotel crowded with Deputies for
    nomination of a State Governor—Mugwump—Arrival at Niagara—The
    Falls at midnight and by moonlight—No letter from Frank.

                                           _Niagara Falls, Sept., 1885._

We left the "Catskills" on a Monday morning for Saratoga; but the glory
of Saratoga had departed; the season was all but over; only a few
stragglers of the flock of the summer birds of fashion remained, the
others had already migrated southward. The shopkeepers were packing up
their goods and shutting up their shops, and resident hibernators were
preparing their winter quarters; but the great hotel was not empty. On
the contrary, we found it difficult to procure a night's lodging there.
The house was crowded, but not with youth and beauty; there was no sound
of music and of revelry, but there was a great clatter of the tongues of
men—strong, healthy, earnest-looking men, who had come from every
village in New York State to "vote their ticket." It was the time of
convention for nomination of a Governor for the State.

It was pleasant to me to be afforded an opportunity of seeing such an
assemblage of true American men in one hall. I presume that every man I
saw in that great crowd was the chosen representative of his own village
or parish or township or city; and I own I was agreeably surprised to
observe that so very many of them bore such a strong family resemblance
to the best of my own countrymen of the like class; the chief difference
perhaps being one which I regard as favourable to the Americans, for
they did not smoke so much as so many Englishmen would have done, and
certainly they drank far less. Indeed, I noticed that many of them
confined their drinks to iced water, or tea and coffee. There was very
little spitting, and I am pretty sure there was no chewing. Their cheeks
were bronzed and healthy, and they had the appearance of intelligent
men, quite in earnest respecting the business they had come to do.

I fancy that the men assembled in this hotel were all bent on voting the
Republican ticket, while the Democrats had met in other quarters. Here
it was that for the first time I learnt the existence of a third party
in the State which rejoices in the title of "Mugwump."

I have not been able to find this word in any American dictionary, but
it seems to have become so thoroughly imbedded in the American language
that you may be quite sure it will be found with its derivation and
application fully described and probably illustrated in that grand new
dictionary now being prepared by "The Century Company." My present
information, however, only enables me to say that a "mugwump" is a man
who has earned that appellation on account of his strict adherence to
the dictates of his own conscience; he votes for principle, not for
party. A "mugwump" is a man who, if he is a Republican, will vote for a
good Democrat rather than for a bad Republican, and probably the
converse holds good. Of course I repelled the idea that honesty was so
rare amongst American politicians as to have led them to invent a new
word to represent such an unusual phenomenon as an honest voter; there
is, I am sure, a better reason to be found, and I commend the word to
the notice of English politicians; the principle it represents may be
valuable if largely applied during our own coming elections.

We took a rapid survey, by a drive round the park and the lake, and then
went "aboard" the cars for Niagara.

                         THE FALLS OF NIAGARA.

We had a long cold ride through the night, and our hotel being on the
Canadian side, we caught our first sight of the Falls under unusual
circumstances; in fact, through the windows of a large omnibus occupied
by ourselves alone, and driven slowly over the Suspension Bridge at two
o'clock in the morning. The harvest moon, just at its full, but a little
obscured by passing clouds and mists, was shining on the Falls, and, as
the horses tramped slowly over the bridge, suspended several hundred
feet above the dread waters, we came upon the scene quite unexpectedly:
the sight was a stirring one, I assure you. On the bridge we could see
the whole of the Falls at once, looking down upon them from our great


The Falls looked at in this way, from a moving carriage suspended in the
air, were somewhat dwarfed in height; of course we could get but a
glimpse in passing in the night. We expected to have been stunned by the
roar of the Falls, but our first surprise was at the awful silence; we
could hear nothing but the tramp of the horses and the roll of the
wheels as our carriage moved slowly along—all else was silent as the
grave. Notwithstanding the moonlight, it was not clear enough to
distinguish motion in the Falls above us or in the water far down
beneath us. The great semicircular Horseshoe, as we passed along in
front of it, looked as though a great white sheet had been thrown over
its motionless face, and the foam and stir of the water below was fixed
and immovable as in a painted picture.

No motion was to be discerned anywhere, the moonlight was too hazy. I
assure you that was a weird and grand picture we saw last night; the
Falls beheld dimly, indistinctly, and really through a glass darkly—and
so we arrived at the Clifton House Hotel.

The next day arose, like every other we have yet seen on this American
Continent, bright and beautiful. We had only one day to see everything,
so we took a drive round.

I am not going to attempt a description or to rhapsodize over the Falls
of Niagara—great authors have done so over and over again. Charles
Dickens has moralized about them; Anthony Trollope has described them;
William Black has painted their portraits in bright words—why should I
attempt to describe them? To me these great waters seem to say, "Men may
come and stare at us, and men may go, but we flow on irresistibly and
for ever. We care nought for your staring, your admiration, your poetic
fancies about us. We are matter-of-fact; stare as much as you please,
but come not within our grip. Build your airy roads above us, span us
over if you will, but know that death and destruction await him who
dares to come within the proscribed limit of our rapids above or our
whirlpools below. You may sail on our placid waters up yonder, your
'Maid of the Mist' may approach the outer circle of our Falls below, but
come not within that circle, or we shall have you in a grip from which
no power on earth shall save you." The scene, the picture, is indelibly
impressed on my memory, and there it must remain. I will not spoil that
picture by daring to paint it in feeble words.

We did what is usual in our limited time. We drove down to the
Whirlpool, we crossed the suspension bridge, we wandered through Goat
Island, we descended beneath the Horseshoe Falls to the utmost point
allowed by the guide. We had our portraits taken in the subaquatic
costume, but so hideously did they come out that we promptly suppressed

The people who live at the Falls are quite aware of it. Every individual
regards them as his own property; even in the coldest weather dollars
melt there like snow in summer's heat; so we were glad to get away from
Niagara and its army of vampires.

Here at Niagara I fully expected letters from Frank. I have now been
fourteen days in America, and he knows it, and yet not a line of welcome
to these shores has he sent me. To-morrow we turn our faces to the West;
surely at Chicago, which is 536 miles from hence, I shall get some news
of him.



                             LETTER No. X.

  Start for Chicago—"The Michigan Central"—Arrival at Chicago—Still
    no letter from Frank—Start for St. Paul—St. Paul and
    Minneapolis—Commodore Kitson's stables—Falls of St. Anthony—"The
    Granary of the World"—Falls of Minnehaha—Telegram to Frank.

                                      _St. Paul, Minnesota, Oct., 1885._

On the morning of our start for the West we were aroused before five
o'clock to catch a train which did not reach our station till 8.30.

The line over which we travelled to Chicago was "The Michigan Central,"
which runs along the north side of Lake Erie to Windsor; at this point
the train is carried bodily across the Detroit river to Detroit on an
enormous barge built for the purpose; from thence we proceed to Chicago.
Nothing befell us by the way, and I have only to remark about the
railway that the carriages were very comfortable, or rather would have
been so but for the stifling extent to which they were heated. The
dining-car is well managed, and the food excellent. We reached Chicago
at ten o'clock the same night, after a long, dusty, and very hot
journey, through not particularly interesting scenery.

We have now got a thousand miles on our way to look after the young
_ranchero_, but where is he? Why does he not write? I was growing
anxious, for up to this time I had not received a line, and no letter
awaited me here. I telegraphed to him, but no reply came. I wrote
requesting that a telegram might meet me at St. Paul, over four hundred
miles farther on our route.

We were most hospitably entertained by our friends, and after hurriedly
driving round the points of interest in Chicago, we made another
departure, still for the Far West. Here we take the Chicago and North
Western Railroad for St. Paul. This iron road claims to be "the best and
most perfectly equipped railway in the world;" its luxuriantly furnished
drawing-room coaches are marvels of beauty and comfort, and the
dining-cars are superb; the meals and attendance are equal to what one
might expect to find in any first-class hotel, and I can bear most
willing testimony to the civility we met with from all the officials,
from the chief passenger manager down to the road attendants.

We left Chicago at 9.55 p.m., and we reached St. Paul at 2.25 p.m. next
day, a distance of 409 miles.

As regards time, I may mention that American railway companies deal very
arbitrarily with the sun.[3] At Niagara he is bidden to stand still in
the heavens for one hour, and is called Eastern time. Then he makes a
sudden jump to Mandan, 476 miles west of St. Paul; over this space,
viz., one hour, he is called Central time; then from Mandan to Heron
(1,429 miles west of St. Paul), he makes another leap and is called
Mountain time. From Heron to Portland on the Pacific he again recedes an
hour, and is called Pacific time. This hop, skip, and jump across the
American continent, in lieu of his usual steady mode of progression, is
of course a very convenient arrangement for railways, and it appears to
be universally accepted. I suppose he makes the same hourly jumps on the
same longitudinal lines throughout the continent. It will thus be seen
that the sun rises and sets four hours later at Portland than at New

Footnote 3:

  See Appendix (page 214) for Time Diagram.

St. Paul, the capital of Minnesota, is a very flourishing and beautiful
city built on a series of terraces on the left or eastern bank of the
great "Father of Waters," over which it commands magnificent views. The
streets are paved with pine-logs, over which one travels in comfort that
contrasts most favourably with the rough and clumsy paving-stones of New
York. Minneapolis is situated ten miles further west, on the right bank
of the Mississippi. In 1860 the combined population of the two cities
was 16,000—to-day it exceeds 250,000. They are rapidly approaching each
other, and the time is looked forward to when they will form one great
metropolitan city. Within the last three years they have doubled their
population. They are now called "The Twin Cities," though their
commercial interests are not identical, and there is considerable
rivalry between the two cities.

[Illustration: ST. PAUL.]

We were driven out by a friend of M.'s, whom we met at the hotel, to a
place called Midway Park, where Commodore Kitson keeps his celebrated
trotters. Here we were shown the fastest trotters and pacers in the
world. "Johnston," the "King of the Turf," was trotted out for our
inspection. I am no judge of horseflesh, though I tried to look as
knowing as I possibly could. We were told that in _pacing_—which I think
means trotting by advancing the two right legs together and then the two
left legs, like the celebrated animal in Miss Thompson's "Roll Call"—he
is the fastest horse in the world; to me, who am uninitiated, his trot
looked like an awkward shamble; but he paces a mile in 2 min. 6¼ sec.
Our attention was drawn to the large bumps on his forehead—a proof, his
trainer said, of very unusual intellect. We were also shown "Little
Brown Jug," "Fanny Witherspoon," and "Minnie R.," all well-known names
in the sporting world. "Minnie R." it appears paced a mile in 2 min. 3½
sec. with "Firebrand" trotting alongside; this I presume is a great

These stables are admirably arranged. Each animal lives in a sort of
little drawing-room, decorated with flags, pictures, and records of
deeds accomplished. I much regretted my extreme ignorance with respect
to these worldwide wonders, but I was careful not to betray it. There
were many other horses pointed out to us, but I forget their names. I
was told they were not to be matched in the wide world, and not one of
them was worth less than 20,000 dollars—probably there was a little vain
boasting in this. The same day I cut the following from a St. Paul

  "The death of George Wilkes, the editor (of 'The Spirit of the
  Times'), and 'Goldsmith Maid,' the trotter, on the same day, may not
  be a very singular thing, after all, but a St. Paul horseman
  remarked yesterday that it was 'a queer coincidence that two such
  old and well-known sports should fly the track on the home stretch

I rather think the "Goldsmith Maid" had been a thorn in the side of the
sanguine head-boss of the Kitson stables. I knew poor Wilkes well many
years ago, not however in his capacity as sportsman, but as author of a
work on Shakespeare, the main object of which, if my memory serves me,
was to prove that the Swan of Avon was a "bloated aristocrat!"

We had not time to stay at Minneapolis, and could only catch a slight
glimpse of its magnificent bridges and corn elevators as our train swept

Here, somewhere in the immediate neighbourhood of Minneapolis, are the
celebrated Falls of St. Anthony, and also those of Minnehaha, which we
would gladly have gone to see had time permitted. We were told, however,
that their charms are not less practical than poetic.

The practical charms of Minneapolis, St. Anthony's Falls, and the
surrounding country, are demonstrated in the following cutting from
"Forest and Stream":—

                       "THE GRANARY OF THE WORLD.

  "So it has been called, this northern land of lakes and forests and
  broad prairies. And the appellation is not altogether fanciful.
  Visit Minneapolis and inspect its flouring mills, inquire as to
  their number and the capacity of each, and you will find that the
  annual product of flour from this source is enough to supply the
  world with bread—for a while at least. These mills can turn out
  thirty thousand barrels of flour per day, when running on full time,
  and at this rate their product for a year would supply one-quarter
  of the population of the United States with the bread which they
  annually consume. It may be taken for granted that these mills have
  not been established here without some good reason. The great
  water-power of the Falls of St. Anthony is usually alleged as the
  cause of the growth of this tremendous industry, but that alone
  would not be enough to have brought it into existence and to have
  raised it to its present proportions. The true cause is that the
  whole vast country from the Mississippi to the Rocky Mountains, all
  through Minnesota, Dakota, and Montana, is a wheat-producing
  country, all of the product of which is tributary to the city where
  these mills are located."

And was it not at the wonderful "Falls of Minnehaha" near by—

                "That my Hiawatha halted
                In the land of the Dacotahs?
                  Was it not to see the maiden,
                See the face of Laughing Water
                Peeping from behind the curtain;
                Hear the rustling of her garments
                From behind the waving curtain,
                As one sees the Minnehaha
                Gleaming, glancing through the branches—
                As one hears the Laughing Water
                From behind its screen of branches?"

We had now to travel by the Northern Pacific Railroad for 1,200 miles.
Before beginning this long journey I was anxious to hear something of
Frank, for no telegram or letter had even yet reached me. I am indebted
to the general passenger manager at St. Paul, Mr. Chas. S. Fee, for his
great courtesy in sending the following telegram, free of cost to me, to
his own agent at Bozeman:—

[Illustration: FALLS OF MINNEHAHA.]

  "Mr. ——, of London, desires that his son, Frank M., whose
  post-office is Bozeman, shall meet him in Livingston next Wednesday,
  on arrival of number one. He desires that he shall come equipped for
  a five days' trip in the Park. Drop this telegram in the post-office
  at once.—C. S. F."

Livingston is the station about twenty-five miles east of Bozeman, where
we branch off southward for the Yellowstone National Park; and I thought
surely this would stir the boy up, if alive and well. I need hardly say
that my anxiety was increasing. My feverish desire now is to get on to
Livingston, as quickly as possible, and my next letter will, I hope, be
dated from Frank's abode.



                             LETTER No. XI.

  The North Pacific Railway—Brainerd—Detroit—Massacre by Sioux—Indian
    Reservation—Fargo—Wheat-fields of Dakota—Bismarck—"Bad Lands"—The
    Rockies—Arrival at Livingston.

                                           _Frank's Ranche, Oct., 1885._

We took our departure from St. Paul in a Pullman Sleeping Car at 4 p.m.,
and found ourselves very comfortably placed; a fortunate circumstance,
seeing that this car had to be our home for fifty-eight hours over 1,032
miles from St. Paul to Livingston, with no opportunity of even
stretching our legs outside the train.

The North Pacific Railroad stretches across the great continent from
Duluth at the head of Lake Superior, and from St. Paul, the capital of
Minnesota, to Portland, on the Pacific, a distance of nearly 2,000

[Illustration: DINING CAR.]

Of its commercial success or the value of its shares in the market I
know nothing, but as a simple traveller over more than 1,200 miles I can
speak well of it; its track is all steel rail, and its road-bed solid.
All its passenger trains are equipped with the Westinghouse air-brake,
Miller platforms, and patent steel-tired car-wheels. Pullman palace
drawing-room sleeping-cars of the newest and most improved pattern run
between St. Paul and Portland; I would, however, caution passengers that
it is desirable to secure berths in these beforehand at St. Paul, by
applying to the conductor, who will telegraph to the ticket agents in
advance. The dining-cars are also very luxurious in their appointments,
and the _menu_ all that can be desired. I may add that the charge for
every meal is only seventy-five cents, whereas I have been charged a
dollar on other lines, and at inconvenient roadside inns, for far
inferior fare. The only complaint I have to make is that the cars are
sometimes heated in a way which is almost unbearable, and if they could
increase their speed, which averages seventeen miles an hour, it would
be a boon to weary travellers who want to get on. One does not object to
moderate progress through beautiful scenery, but seventeen miles an hour
for hundreds of miles of prairie land becomes monotonous.

From St. Paul our route takes a northwesterly direction on the eastern
side of the Mississippi to Brainerd, where the railroad from Duluth
joins our line. There we cross the Mississippi, and thenceforth our
route is almost in a bee-line due west to the Pacific. On leaving
Brainerd we pass through the Lake Park region, and for some distance the
scenery is charmingly diversified by fine timber and lakes, on which may
be seen flocks of wild ducks and larger water-fowl, sometimes a solitary
prairie chicken, and here and there a well-fenced wheat farm with good
buildings, and surrounded by many large ricks. In the neighbourhood of
Detroit, Mic., is the White Earth Reservation of the Chippewa or Ojibway
Indians, of whom there are 1,500 civilized and Christianized. It is only
about twenty years ago that this country was devastated by the murderous
Sioux, when more than 3,000 men, women, and children were most inhumanly

Now we reach Fargo, and are in the neighbourhood of the famous
wheat-fields of Dakota.

[Illustration: MR. O. DALRYMPLE'S FARM.]

  "It is in this neighbourhood that those enormous farms are located
  which extend further than the eye can reach, and upon which in
  harvest time an army of labourers are employed. One of the largest
  of these belongs to a firm of which Mr. Oliver Dalrymple is the
  chief. They own about 75,000 acres, or 117 square miles."—_Forest
  and Stream._

At Bismarck we crossed the Missouri river ("the big muddy," as it is
called), over a splendid three-pier iron bridge. The view one gets of
the upward reach of the river and its muddy banks is fine. The bridge
has three spans of 400 feet each and two approach spans of 113 feet
each; it is said to have cost a million dollars. The Missouri is here
3,500 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, and 2,800 feet wide, being still
navigable for 2,000 miles further to the north.

At Mandan we come upon Mountain time, that is, we lose an hour since
leaving Niagara. We reached Mandan at 12.50, and started at 12.10 by the
time-table, having remained there twenty minutes. We are now approaching
Pyramid Park, the celebrated "Bad Lands," but our train is two hours
behind time, so we shall not see them by daylight, and in fact I failed
to see them at all.


When I arose on the following morning at six o'clock we found ourselves
travelling along

                   "That desolate land and lone,
                   Where the Big Horn and Yellowstone
                   Roar down their mountain path."

We had passed Bad Lands in the night. I cannot pretend to describe what
I did not see, but I am told that this extraordinary bit of country is
in itself worth coming from England to see; there is nothing else in the
world like it. One writer tells me that "it owes its singular appearance
to the combined action of fuel and water, which have assisted to produce
the most fantastic forms and startling contrasts of colours that the
most disordered imagination could conceive."

[Illustration: "BAD LANDS."]

Mr. E. V. Smalley thus describes it:—

  "The change in the scene is so startling, and the appearance of the
  landscape so wholly novel and so singularly grotesque, that you rub
  your eyes to make sure that you are not dreaming of some ancient
  geologic epoch, when the rude, unfinished earth was the sport of
  Titanic forces, or fancying yourself transported to another planet.
  Enormous masses of conglomerate—red, grey, black, brown, and blue,
  in towers, pyramids, peaks, ridges, domes, castellated
  heights—occupy the face of the country. In the spaces between are
  grassy, lawn-like expanses, dotted with the petrified stumps of huge
  trees. The finest effect of colour is produced by the dark red
  rock—not rock in fact, but actual terra-cotta, baked by the heat of
  underlying layers of lignite. At some points the coal is still on
  fire, and the process of transforming mountains of blue clay into
  mountains of pottery may be observed from day to day. It has been
  going on for countless ages, no doubt. To bake one of these colossal
  masses may have required 10,000 years of smouldering heat. I despair
  of giving any adequate idea of the fantastic forms of the buttes or
  of the wonderful effects of colour they offer. The pen and brush of
  a skilful artist would alone be competent for the task. The
  photographer, be he never so deft with his camera and chemicals,
  only belittles these marvellous views. He catches only bare
  outlines, without colour, and colour is the chief thing in the
  picture. He cannot get the true effect of distance, and his
  negatives show only staring blacks and whites in place of the
  infinite variations of light and shadow effects in valleys and
  gorges and hollows, and upon crags and pinnacles. Look, if you can,
  by the feeble aid of written words, upon a single butte, and see how
  impossible it is to photograph it satisfactorily. It rises from a
  carpet of green grass. Its base has a bluish hue, and appears to be
  clay solidified by enormous pressure. It is girdled by bands of
  light grey stone and black lignite coal. Its upper portion is of the
  rich red colour of old Egyptian pottery. Crumbled fragments strew
  its sides. Its summit, rising 300 feet above the plain, has been
  carved by the elements into turrets, battlements, sharp spires,
  grotesque gargoyles, and huge projecting buttresses—an amazing
  jumble of weird architectural effects, that startle the eye with
  suggestions of intelligent design. Above, the sky is wonderfully
  clear and blue, the rays of the setting sun spread a rosy tint over
  the crest, and just above its highest tower floats a little
  flame-coloured cloud like a banner. When I say there are thousands
  of these buttes, the reader will perceive that the Bad Lands of the
  Little Missouri are a region of extraordinary interest to the
  tourist and artist."

I had done my best to keep awake; I really thought I had done so for
hours, and I know that I peeped out of my bed many times during the
night, but nothing but the dim broad everlasting prairie met my gaze—so
I must have fallen asleep just as we were passing through this
interesting region, to my great disappointment. I was told by those who
had been more wakeful, that they could see the lignite coal a-fire,—fire
which has for countless ages been baking these rocks into actual
terra-cotta. I was inclined to question the exactness of this statement.
Smoke may doubtless be seen; and when I am told by a man that he has
lighted a cigar at a hole in the rock the existence of fire can be no
longer questioned.

We were told by the guide-books to expect to see hereabouts, herds of
buffalo, deer, and elk,—in fact, we have only seen a few prairie dogs,
and these looked comical enough as they stood bolt upright on their
little hillocks, with their fore-paws hanging down before them. They
only wanted a stick in their arms to look like soldiers on guard.

Just here we caught our first distant glimpse of the Rockies, some of
the peaks tipped with snow,—and now we are at Livingston!

I need not tell you how anxiously I looked out for the train from
Bozeman. When it came in I sought in vain through the crowd for Frank;
my heart sank within me when I found that no Frank was there. I could
not get on to Bozeman; the last train for the day had already gone, so
we took the train for the "National Park," and I sat down in one corner
of it, and felt more like fainting than I had ever felt in my life
before. Three weeks had I been in the country, and not a word or sign
from the boy I had come so far to see. What was the cause? If he had
been ill some friend would surely have told me. Was he living? Had he
met with some terrible accident on that long sheep-drive he wrote about
months ago? Had he married a red Indian squaw, and did he not want to
see me? Did he suppose that his old friend M. and I would be too proud
to put up at the little log shanty which he had built with his own
hands? Had he been in the hug of a grizzly?

These were some of the grim reflections that passed through my disturbed
mind as I sat at the end of the car, gloomily watching the magnificent
scenery through which the train was now carrying us down towards the



                            LETTER No. XII.

  The Yellowstone National Park—"The New Wonderland"—"The Devil's
    Slide"—The stage driver—Story of a corpse—Driving a circus
    coach—Circus Bill "appropriates" a coat—Stealing their own
    blankets—Start for the Park—Mammoth Springs—Forest of dead
    pines—The Lake of the Woods—Norris Hot Springs and Geysers—"Hell's
    Half-acre"—A perilous drive—Fire Hole River—Lower Geyser
    Springs—"Old Faithful"—"The Bee Hive"—The Grand Cañon—Rough
    roads—Return—"The Golden Gate"—"By Jove! it's Frank!"

                                           _Frank's Ranche, Oct., 1885._

The Yellowstone National Park lies partly in the territory of Wyoming
and partly in that of Montana. It is sixty-five miles north and south,
by fifty-five miles east and west; it comprises 3,575 square miles, and
is throughout its extent 6,000 feet or more above the level of the sea.
The mountain ranges that hem in the valleys on every side rise to a
height of from 10,000 to 12,000 feet, and are covered with perpetual

The Yellowstone Park is a perfect little world of wonders. They call it
the "New Wonderland," and there are as many strange things to be found
in it as "Alice" saw in her fairy realm.

On reaching Livingston, we take a train which runs southward to within
six miles of the entrance to the Park. Soon after leaving the station we
pass through a grand cañon of towering rocks called "The Gate of the
Mountains," and then through pleasant valleys, always near the beautiful
Yellowstone river.

We then pass, on our right, Cinnabar Mountain, which rises to a height
of about 2,000 feet above the river; a broad streak of red down the
mountain is called "The Devil's Slide," and suggests at the same time
that his black majesty in sliding down must have had a rough time of it.

The terminus of the line is at a place called Cinnabar City, which at
present contains about twelve shanties; several of these are drinking
saloons. From Cinnabar we take a stage-coach and six horses for the
drive, through some very grand scenery, to the "Mammoth Springs Hotel."
The driver of this stage is a fellow of infinite wit, and tells
marvellous stories in a manner which kept us on a roar the whole way. I
wish I could give you, in his own style and words, the story of a corpse
which he once carried on his coach.

[Illustration: "THE GATE OF THE MOUNTAINS."]

  "Once," said he, "I was driving a coach down in Utah—a sixty-mile
  drive. One night a corpse came along, packed in a leaden coffin, and
  then in a wooden one, and then in a box. They fixed him on the top
  of the stage. Of course we had no passengers; who would want to
  travel with a corpse if they could help it? It was a bitter cold and
  pitchy dark night, sometimes snowing and raining, with lightning and
  thunder. The way that blessed corpse kept rolling backwards and
  forwards on the top of the coach was, I tell you, pretty scaring.
  For about thirty miles the road ran along the side of a mountain.
  You bet I whipped them horses along, and my off-wheels travelled in
  the air most of the way. I got to the end of my journey two hours
  quicker than I ever done that journey before. I am not a bit
  superstitious; but driving a corpse all alone over the mountains on
  a night like that isn't very lively. If I had known the party in the
  box it might have been different, but we were strangers. Next time a
  corpse comes along wanting a ride with me, I guess he'll have to
  walk. I never want to drive another."

Charlie told us that he was once the driver of a circus coach—

  "And I tell you," said he, "that was an experience! The pay wasn't
  much, a hundred dollars a month or so; the rest was made up by
  appropriation! I had a trunk full of things when I started, but I
  hadn't been driving a week before everything was gone out of it, and
  then they stole the trunk. I had nothing left but what I stood up
  in, and I asked a fellow-driver what I was to do. 'Do?' says he;
  'why don't you take a coat?' The next hotel we stopped at, 'Circus
  Bill,' that was his name, stood round and unhooked a splendid
  buffalo coat. I wore that coat all winter, and then sold it in the
  spring to a Mormon in Salt Lake City for seventy-five dollars, which
  about repaid me for the loss of my own trunk. I once knew two of
  them fellows who got drunk and stole their own blankets, and were
  locked up for it!"


As we were going along be pointed out an eagle's nest on the top of a
pinnacle of the mountain. Presently we arrived at Gardener City, a
flourishing place of a dozen dwellings. It was now getting towards
sundown. "Won't you have a lantern, colonel, for the rest of the road?"
"No, thanks," said our driver; "the brightness of my face and the
brilliancy of my wit are quite sufficient to light up the road."

The Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel is large and commodious, and for a summer
resort fairly comfortable; it is capable of accommodating 400 guests. In
the hall is a splendid specimen of a mountain lion, bearing in his mouth
the significant inscription, "Meet me by moonlight alone!" The hotel
faces the famous Mammoth Springs, of which the accompanying sketch gives
but a very imperfect idea. The hill is about 200 feet high, composed of
the chalky deposit of the hot springs, and the series of terraces
present a marvellous scene; but they do not, however, exhibit that
beautiful clear snowy whiteness which some enthusiasts claim for them;
they have rather the appearance of dirty, crumbling, whitey-brown chalk.

Next morning we started off on a coach and four to view the Park. First
we came to "The Golden Gates," an immense cañon through which a small
stream runs between enormously high limestone rocks. The road, which is
here a splendid one, winds up along one side of the cañon; it is cut out
of the solid rock, and it gradually rises to such a height that to a
nervous person the look down into the gulch below must be rather
alarming, especially if one had not the fullest confidence in the
driver. Then we passed through an extraordinary forest of pines, all
dead, stripped entirely of their bark, even to the gnarled and curled
branches. There must be millions of these naked-burnt trees standing,
and the ground is also strewed with them in every direction. Here and
there the upturned roots present a very weird and curious appearance.
One made a strong impression on me from its marked resemblance to that
wonderful griffin which now commemorates the spot where once stood
Temple Bar.

[Illustration: "THE OBSIDIAN CLIFFS."]

We crossed the Gardener river, then passed below an extraordinary range
called "The Obsidian Cliffs." They are composed of glass—perpendicular
cliffs of solid glass; I picked up several small blocks for
paperweights, but unluckily lost them. The range extends for probably
1,500 feet, and the height may be 250 or 300 feet.

A little farther on we came to the "Lake of the Woods." On this lake is
a beaver-dam and house, and there are said to be a few beavers about
there, but I have met with no one who has seen them. On the lake were
large flocks of wild geese and ducks. The interest of this Park is
somewhat diminished by the distance one has to travel from one
remarkable point to another. After passing "The Lake of the Woods" we
must have travelled about fifteen miles or more, wholly through a green
pine forest, over hill and down dale, but all pine. Then we came to
"Norris Hot Springs and Geysers." Here we found a number of boiling and
bubbling hot springs; some send up small jets, others are great lakes of
boiling water. One, called "The Emerald," is a circular hole of perhaps
thirty feet in circumference. The water is of the clearest emerald
green, so transparent that one could see right down into it for many
yards. Within a few feet was another hot spring of quite a different
character. In this the stuff that bubbled up was of a thick leaden
colour; others were pouring forth streams of red, green, and yellow, all
pervaded with a strong smell of sulphur. A spring called "The Paint Pot"
is a great cauldron of perhaps 150 feet in circumference. On one side
the deposit thrown out is of a bright salmon colour. This is a lake of
pure creamy boiling paint, like liquid plaster of Paris.

[Illustration: "THE FAIRY FALLS."]

After lunching in a temporary hotel, consisting of several tents, we
drove on till we came to "The Fairy Falls," which can only be seen by
following a steep path down the side of the cañon—a difficult path, but
quite worth taking. Shortly afterwards we came upon a scene which
probably cannot be paralleled on this earth. They call it, not
inappropriately, "Hell's Half-acre." Here our coachman turned out of the
road on to a wide expanse of white, chalky formation, which seemed to me
like the upper crust of an immense honeycomb; out of this bubbled
innumerable small and large hot springs. Driving over this great crust,
which covered a boiling lake, struck me as being rather risky, for I
could see no reason why it might not give way under the weight of a
coach and four at any moment. Suddenly we came upon a great opening
which had fallen in. Just imagine an apple-pie a dozen acres in size,
and on it you come suddenly upon a place where half an acre or so has
been cut out with a knife; or you may picture the crust as having fallen
in. The coach drives close up to the edge of this place, and you look
down upon a great roaring, boiling cauldron at least half an acre in
size, sending up great rolls of sulphurous steam hundreds of feet into
the air.[4] The terror of it is quite indescribable. I was glad when the
coach got back on the hard road again. The boiling water is of a most
brilliant transparent green, and it boils up great globes of various
coloured gems like potatoes in a pot.

Footnote 4:

  Lord Dunraven says, "The crust feels as if it might break through at
  any moment and drop you into fire and flames beneath, and the animals
  tread gingerly upon it.... It is dangerous ground; I have not heard of
  any accident up to this time; no modern Korah, Dathan, and Abiram as
  yet have been engulfed alive; but the visits to these regions have
  been, like those of angels, few and far between."

Last week, a wild duck flying over the scalding steam was sucked into
the cauldron and immediately shot out again cooked and ready for
table—so said our coachman. As to the cooking there can be no question,
for the temperature is over 200°.

Passing along Fire Hole River, we could see at intervals small and large
springs, boiling hot, rising right out of the banks of the river. So you
see how perfectly practicable it is to catch a fish in the river and
cook it in the boiling water without moving a yard.

On we went till we came to the Lower Geyser Springs, and after a look at
them, we drove on to the hotel at the Upper Geysers, completing a
distance of fifty-eight miles. We had been jolted on the stage since
seven o'clock in the morning. This is the scene of the Great Geysers,
and one of them, called the "Riverside," which flings itself up at
intervals of twenty-four hours, did us the honour of starting just as we
came to it; it springs from the banks of the river, where the bridge
spans it, and made a grand display for us as we crossed over.

[Illustration: "THE RIVERSIDE."]

Close by the hotel is another marvellous geyser, which, from his extreme
punctuality, has earned the name of "Old Faithful." He rises once every
sixty-five minutes to a second.[5] We walked up over the lava, or chalky
bed, to examine his abode. There we could look down into the circular
crater, from which jets of steam were rising, and great agitated bubbles
of water were struggling to get free. Presently, without a minute's
warning, up shot an enormous column of boiling water, it may be six feet
in diameter, straight into the sky, a hundred and fifty feet or more,
then spread out into a beautiful vase-like shape, and came down in hot
showers all round. Of course we managed to get outside the range of the
spray, but we had some difficulty in steering clear of the little rivers
of hot water which were streaming all round us. The eruption lasts for
about five minutes.

Footnote 5:

  When Lord Dunraven saw "Old Faithful," ten or eleven years ago, his
  time was "every three-quarters of an hour." The landlord now quotes it
  as I have stated, and he is confirmed by my own observation; but we
  only saw him twice.

We saw "Old Faithful's" performances just as the sun was setting most
brilliantly over the far-off western mountains. There are scores of
other geysers continually bubbling, boiling, and seething on this great
white plain, which is hemmed in on all sides by pine or fir-clad hills,
forming a scene not to be described by me. The principal geysers have
all names attached to them. "The Giantess" only shows off her powers
once in fourteen days. Then there are "The Castle," "The Lion," "The
Lioness," and her two cubs, "The Grand," "The Comet," &c. One of the
most curious and eccentric is called "The Bee-Hive." She is very
uncertain in her movements; but when she does go off she throws a
strange, solid column of water straight up into the air for 220 feet,
which is then diffused in brilliant colours, like rockets at a Crystal
Palace display of fireworks. We did not see her—her times are irregular;
but there is a small one at her foot called "The Indicator," which, when
it goes off, gives half an hour's warning that "The Bee-Hive" is coming.
Then there is a strange commotion at the hotel, for she sometimes bursts
out at midnight. A watchman on the look-out shouts, "The Bee-Hive! the
Bee-Hive!" and people rush out of their beds wrapped up in blankets, or
whatever clothing they can find, and off they go; there is no time to
dress, for the grand display is as brief as it is magnificent.

[Illustration: "OLD FAITHFUL."]

We could not give time (two days or more) to travel fifty miles farther
in order to see the grandest scene of all in this park of wonders—the
Grand Cañon. I am told by everyone who has seen it that it is quite
impossible by words or paint-brush to give any idea of its grandeur.

As, however, any description of the Park which omits the GRAND CAÑON
would be like omitting Hamlet from the play, I will give you this
quotation from Professor F. V. Haydon's report to Congress:—

  "No language can do justice to the wonderful grandeur and beauty of
  the cañon below the lower falls, the very nearly vertical walls
  slightly sloping down to the water's edge on either side, so that
  from the summit the river appears like a thread of silver foaming
  over its rocky bottom; the variegated colours of the sides—yellow,
  red, brown, white—all intermixed and shading into each other; the
  gothic columns of every form standing out from the sides of the
  walls with greater variety and more striking colours than ever
  adorned a work of human art.... A celebrated artist exclaimed, with
  a kind of regretful enthusiasm, that these beautiful tints were
  beyond the reach of human art.... After the waters of the
  Yellowstone roll over the upper descent, they flow over the
  apparently flat rocky bottom ... until near the lower falls, where
  the channel contracts, and the waters seem to gather themselves into
  one compact mass, and plunge over the descent of 350 feet in
  detached drops of foam as white as snow, some of the larger globules
  of water shooting down like the contents of an exploded rocket. It
  is a sight far more beautiful, though not so grand or impressive as
  that of Niagara Falls."

The next morning we started back again by another route, on the other
side of the Fire Hole River, and when we came opposite to "Hell's
Half-acre," we saw great streams of boiling sulphur water pouring down
the rocks from the cauldron I have already mentioned, into the river,
where I am told the boiling water runs alongside the cold a long
distance before mixing with it. The fish to be found in this and other
lakes and rivers in the Park are quite uneatable, being wormy, and
sulphurous in flavour.

I am aware that I have utterly failed to convey anything like an
adequate picture of what I have seen myself in this "region of wonder,
terror, and delight." The geysers are said far to surpass both in number
and in size those of Iceland or New Zealand.

I must leave it to others to explain the physical causes which produce
these phenomena. It is said by the learned that the entire region was,
at a comparatively recent geological period, the scene of remarkable
volcanic activity, and that its last stages are visible in these hot
springs and geysers.

At present the roads are, for the most part, terribly rough and
unformed; but the government is active, and the work already done, both
on the roads and bridges, is admirable. Sixteen miles of splendid roads
had already been completed on the route we travelled over. The hotel
accommodation cannot be commended. The food one gets is simply
execrable; but doubtless all this will soon be changed. I am told that a
wealthy company has now obtained leases for hotels, and the public may
hope next year to be better fed and better lodged than they have been in
the past. The hotel charges at present are four dollars a day.

The stage-coaches are not bad, and the teams are for the most part
excellent. The drivers are very intelligent, civil fellows, and when
once stirred up they tell most amusing stories.

The proprietors employ about two hundred and fifty horses in the Park,
and as we left on the last day of the season, I was curious to know what
became of the horses during the winter. I was told that they are all
turned loose on the prairie, to paw up their living from under the snow
on the foothills where it lies thin, and in the spring they are brought
in fatter and stronger than when they went out.


Now that nearly all the buffaloes in the country have been killed, very
strict game laws have been put in force for their preservation. I am
told that within the Park there is now very little game of any kind. A
man was recently fined 100 dollars and costs and imprisoned for six
months for killing two elk and eight beaver within the Park, whilst a
premium of ten dollars is given for the destruction of a bear.

Let me add that there is some capital trout fishing in the Yellowstone
River, just outside the Park, and we had made arrangements to spend a
day there and to sleep at "Yankee Jim's," who keeps a small inn by the
riverside. Jim is a well-known character throughout the country, but our
experience of him did not encourage us to take up our abode in his
little shanty. When sober we are told he is a highly respectable
character; but when drunk (and he happened to be in that condition when
we made his acquaintance) he is a madman, and a spiritualist able to see
through mountains, to boot. On the whole, we did not care to cultivate
Jim's acquaintance, so we had to give up our day's fishing in the
Yellowstone. We may do better by-and-by in the West Gallatin River.

Just before sundown, and as we were passing through "The Golden Gate," I
saw a pedestrian coming up the road at a rapid pace. I was sitting on
the box-seat, and I said to the driver—

"Where can yonder fellow be going in this direction at this time of day;
there is not a house of any kind within twenty miles?"

"It is curious," said he.

When we came up to the pedestrian, "By Jove! it's Frank!" I shouted.
"Pull up, driver! Jump up, my boy!" He was looking strong and well, and
almost as brown as a red Indian, and he soon explained to me the mystery
of my not hearing from him. He had sent a telegram to Chicago, which I
never received, requesting me to go straight on to Bozeman, and he had
driven in to Bozeman five days successively, twenty-four miles each day,
to meet us, and of course was as much bewildered about me as I had been
about him. The passenger agent at Bozeman had put wrong initials on the
telegram I had sent from St. Paul, and the post-master had refused to
give it up for two or three days; when by chance Frank met the passenger
agent, who told him about the telegram and explained his mistake to the
post-master. At last he got the message, and he then started off at once
for Livingston and the Park, and met us coming out of it, instead of
accompanying us through it, as I had planned.

In due time we reached Bozeman, and by seven o'clock in the evening of
the day after our first meeting we were safely housed in Frank's little
log hut.



                            LETTER No. XIII.

  Livingston to Bozeman—Bozeman City—Arrival at Frank's
    ranche—Frank's progress—The shanty—Kitten and mice—Aroused
    by a ground squirrel—Variation of climate—A snowstorm—Our
    beds drenched—"Baching" it—Shaving under
    difficulties—Situation—Fertility of the soil—Cultivation of
    strawberries—Fine grazing district—Climate—Story of our
    holiday on the ranche—Fishing in West Gallatin river—New
    bridge and old canoe—"The coloured aristocracy"—Three bear

                                           _Frank's Ranche, Oct., 1885._

The railroad from Livingston to Bozeman runs through very picturesque
scenery, and after a steep grade of 116 feet to the mile, passes through
a tunnel in the mountain at an elevation of 5,565 feet above the ocean.
The train then runs down the western slope through a remarkably grand
cañon, and passes out into the broad valley of West Gallatin: in a few
minutes more Bozeman is reached.

[Illustration: CAÑON NEAR BOZEMAN.]

This delightful little city of about 3,000 inhabitants is seated on the
East Gallatin river at the eastern end of the Gallatin Valley, and is
the county seat of Gallatin. It has a fine court house, three hotels, a
fine opera house, seven public halls, five churches, and two
well-conducted newspapers.

The streets are well laid out, and there are many very fine, handsome
buildings in the town, and pretty villas in its suburbs.

Unfortunately, time did not admit of my making any stay in the town, or
of calling upon persons to whom I had introductions; it was necessary to
hurry on to get to Frank's ranche before dark. We hired a handsome
waggonette, and, with a spanking pair of horses, we drove along a
perfectly level well-trodden road across the prairie for twelve miles,
and eventually pulled up at Frank's mansion while there was light enough
to enable us to see it, but not to criticise it too severely.

Here, then, at last, after nearly six weeks of hard travelling by sea
and land, I had reached the chief goal of my journey.

I have already taken you so completely into my confidence by telling you
of Frank's disasters and misfortunes, that it is but fair to him that I
should now describe to you his small successes; not that he has very
much to show at present, but he seems to me to be on the right track. He
already possesses by homestead right 160 acres of very good land, which
will be absolutely his freehold in two years' time; he also owns a
hundred acres of good railroad feeding land on the foothills; he has
fenced round the whole of this with strong posts, rails, and barbed
wire; he has built himself a log hut; he has purchased a fair set of
agricultural implements, including wagons, and a handsome buggie; he has
a pair of strong horses, a number of pigs, some poultry, and a few cows
and calves; he has a well-stocked garden, which produces all the
vegetables he requires, and he has laid down about half an acre of land
with strawberries: next summer this will produce a large crop.

When I remind you that he has acquired this little property with only
trifling assistance from me, and mainly by the labour of his own hands,
in the space of three years, you will understand that I am inspired with
some hopes for his future.


Frank's shanty originally consisted of one room nineteen feet by
seventeen, but in anticipation of his visitors, he and B. built an
additional room of about the same size. The old room having a boarded
floor was breakfast, dining, drawing-room, and library combined, and was
also the visitors' bedroom. Our beds were made upon planks laid upon
four logs, and consisted of a bundle of straw laid on the planks, a
blanket on the straw, and a couple of rugs to roll ourselves in. These
beds were placed one on each side of the room, and when bed-time came, a
cotton curtain was suspended across the middle, and thus each lodger had
a bedroom to himself.

Our beds being those usually occupied by Frank and his friend, they
rigged up for themselves a sort of long manger or bunk in the new (or
kitchen) compartment, and slept in it feet to feet.

I cannot boast that I slept soundly under these novel circumstances. The
first night Frank's kitten was left in the room to scare the mice away,
and proved to be a greater nuisance than the mice; the next night she
was excluded, and I was aroused out of my sleep by a crash among some
empty bottles. I struck a light, and after searching about for some
time, I caught sight of a little ground squirrel which had come in
through a hole in the floor. The next night I was aroused by this little
wretch running over my face in a playful mood, and I sat up slipper in
hand for over an hour waiting for a chance to fling it at him, but he
did not afford me one. This little squirrel and a few mice were our only
troubles; otherwise we should have slept quite as comfortably as in our
own beds at home.

The weather during the first six days and nights had been most
delightful, very hot by day and pleasantly cool by night; on the seventh
and last night of our stay, the thermometer, by way of giving us a taste
of the variation of climate here, suddenly dropped from 78° to 34°, and
snow and rain fell all night. This wintry blast is always looked for
just at this time, and lasts for about twenty-four hours; then the
Indian summer resumes its reign till far on into November. Months of dry
and very hot weather had dried the mud covering of the shanty into
powder, and when my friend M. awoke in the morning, he found that the
roof above him had proved a sieve, and he and his bed were thoroughly
soaked. I had fared only a little better; but we didn't mind these
trifling inconveniences. I found my umbrella very useful to sit under at
breakfast, and M. managed very well when wrapped up in his macintosh.


Frank and his friend had, from long practice, acquired the art of baking
and cooking to perfection. While the one lighted the stove, made the hot
cakes, and broiled the bacon, the other started off to milk the cow and
collect some new-laid eggs—the result being an excellent and plentiful
breakfast, eaten with the splendid appetite due to abundant exercise on
these health-giving hills.

Whilst these preparations were going on M. and I washed by turns; our
basin was a miner's old iron washpan, and our shaving operations were
performed outside.

Dinner demanded greater efforts, to which our hosts proved quite equal.
They roast, boil, and stew to perfection, and make very nice puddings.
There is but one glass tumbler in the establishment, so we drank pure
water out of teacups; of these there are four, but Frank boasts only one

In the matter of crockery I am sorry to say Frank was sadly deficient;
the kitten and the invading little squirrel had recently played havoc in
his china closet; we managed, however, very well. We had no change of
plates, but we washed them as we progressed with our meals.

I should tell you that the shanty is situated at the foot of the
foothills of the mountains, and is about 5,000 feet above sea level,
overlooking towards the west an expanse of level country of from twenty
to thirty miles in extent; the whole circumference being the jagged
ranges of the mountains. Some parts of the great plain are rather rocky
and thin, but the nutritious bunch-grass grows everywhere; other parts,
again, are of a deep, loamy, dark-coloured soil, which produces crops of
wheat of forty to sixty bushels to the acre year after year. All had
been cut and gathered before our arrival, but we could easily see by the
stacks and the stubble what the crops must have been.


Oats have been grown there this last season which reached 100 bushels to
the acre.

The following sensible remarks, cut from the excellent paper I have
already quoted, entirely confirm my own impression of this country:—

  "This is pre-eminently the land for the poor man, but only for the
  poor man who is willing to work hard. He can raise enough to support
  his family, and if he has a few cows their increase will in the
  course of a few years make him well-to-do. I spent a night a short
  time since in the cabin of a settler who, with his wife and four
  children, had located about forty miles from the railroad. He had
  ten cows, a team of horses, and a mowing machine. From the cows his
  wife made enough butter to pay the living expenses of the family. He
  puts up hay for the stock in summer, and then hires himself out to
  neighbours at good wages. His calves and colts were in fine
  condition, and everything pointed to a most comfortable future for
  this sturdy, energetic settler.

  "Who can tell how many families there may not be scattered over the
  broad West, who from similar small beginnings have attained by
  industry and thrift a competence, or even wealth."—_Forest and

I was so well pleased with the absolute truthfulness of Frank's reports,
and satisfied with the progress he had made, that I was glad to place
him in a position to acquire an adjoining ranche of 250 acres, so that
he may now be said to possess a capital farm of 500 acres, capable of
carrying at a moderate computation fifty head of cattle, ten pigs,
fifteen to twenty horses, and two hundred chickens. The farm includes
about a hundred and fifty acres of excellent arable land, which may at a
very moderate estimate be expected to produce 3,000 bushels of wheat,
barley, and oats. His garden produces many marketable vegetables, and he
has milk, butter, and eggs.

Strawberries grow on the land to a large size and of excellent flavour,
and the half acre now planted would, it was calculated, produce a clear
net profit of at least 200 dollars for the first year. Strawberries, I
was told, produce from 250 to 500 bushels to the acre after the first
year—say 250 bushels @ 10 cents a quart. Thirty-two quarts to bushel @
10 cents = $3 20c. or $750 60c. an acre. Expenses of gathering, 2 cents
a quart = 150 dollars; cost of cultivation, 120 dollars = 270 dollars;
this deducted from product, $750 60c., leaves net profit $480—say £100

Strawberries are too perishable to be conveyed a long distance, but the
immense mining population in the vicinity can consume all that can be
grown. In course of time strawberry jam may be made here, and sent even
to England, to compete with the English farmer in the new article of
commerce which Mr. Gladstone has suggested for him.

Frank's neighbour McD. has planted a number of apple and other fruit
trees in and around his garden, and these young trees are thriving, and
give promise in a year or two of bearing much fruit. Frank's land is
equally suited for similar trees.

On the whole, it appears to me that Frank has now only to go on with the
same dogged perseverance he has hitherto shown, and he will soon be in a
very comfortable position, and make up for his early losses in
Minnesota. I should add that the farm is well watered by a perpetual
little stream which runs down from the mountains, and never freezes or

This district has the reputation of being the best grazing country in
the world. Cattle rarely require any other food during the winter than
what the native grasses supply. The bunch-grass grows abundantly, not
only in the valleys and on the benches, but on the foothills and
mountain slopes. Cattle do not require housing in the winter, but are
foddered sometimes, or rather allowed to browse round the straw-stacks.
Horses maintain themselves by pawing up the snow as the reindeer do in
Northern Europe.

The climate of Montana is peculiarly mild considering its altitude; this
is doubtless owing to the influence of the great warm Japan current of
the Pacific Ocean and the prevailing westerly Chinook wind. This warm
pleasant breeze was distinctly perceptible by us as we ascended the
hills, even in the then hot weather. The atmosphere is singularly dry,
pure, and exhilarating, and this is especially the case on the spot
where Frank has chosen his location. They never have the bitter cold
"blizzards" which one hears of in other states and territories; and when
the thermometer stands at 20º, 30º, and even 45° below zero, as it
sometimes does in the winter months, the cold is endurable.

Now let me give you a little history of our short "Holiday in the

_Sunday._—There being no church or place of worship of any kind, I
regret to say, within many miles, we had to content ourselves with some
quiet reading at home. The Church Missionary Societies should look after
these boys scattered about here and there in these mountain wilds. The
day was calm and bright, but by no means cool; the thermometer stood at
125º in the sun. In the afternoon we walked a considerable distance in
the shade of the cañon, and then somewhat foolishly scrambled up one
side of it in order to make a short cut over the mountain towards home,
and a risky climb it was; but on reaching the top we were rewarded by a
fine new view of the whole valley.

There is a remarkable echo up this cañon, equal, I have no doubt, to
that celebrated one at Killarney which, if asked "How do you do, Paddy
Blake?" will answer "Pretty well, I thank you."

_Monday_ we walked up the foothills to look for some grouse and prairie
chickens to shoot, but could not see any, greatly to my friend M.'s
disappointment; he had come well provided with ammunition, both for
large and small game. Unfortunately our time did not admit of very
extended wanderings in search of sport. We then called upon neighbour
McD., an old rancher who has had many rough experiences, and who tells
long stories of perils he had undergone in the early Californian gold
diggings and in fights with Indians. On his ranche he has built a nice
little house, of which I made the accompanying sketch. A house of this
description, of wood planking, comprising two good-sized rooms and a
kitchen on the ground floor, and two bedrooms, can be built for about
250 dollars.

[Illustration: NEIGHBOUR McD.'s COTTAGE.]

He compelled us to stay to dinner. His wife, an active good-looking
Canadian body, bustled about and prepared us an excellent dinner of
hashed chicken, sweet cakes, coffee, and apple tart. She waited upon us
at table and urged us to eat, and was pleased to see with what excellent
appetites we fell to. She was gratified at the well-merited praise we
lavished on her cooking.

After dinner, we had what I may call a musical evening. Frank gave us
some songs, and his friend accompanied him on the guitar.

On _Tuesday_ we drove for fifteen miles across the prairie to the West
Gallatin River, where I was told good fishing may be had. We stayed at a
comfortable hotel which had no licence for strong drinks, and we had to
content ourselves with tea and coffee.

We immediately started for the river—a really fine stream, well stocked
with trout and other fish. You already know something of my enthusiasm,
as well as my bad luck, in matters piscatorial. I caught no trout, but
you will perhaps be surprised to hear I brought home half-a-dozen
half-pound fish called "White fish." I caught these with a large black
fly with a red body. The fish takes this fly freely, but he has no pluck
whatever; no sooner is he hooked than he succumbs at once, and one has
nothing to do but pull him out of the water—there is no sport or fight
in him. Our jolly landlord had taken us to a favourite spot, where he
himself fished with a pole and twine, sitting on the stump of a tree;

                "There sat my friend with patient skill,
                Attending of his trembling quill."

                                          SIR H. WOTTON.

he baited his hook with grasshoppers and locusts, and with this bait he
was usually very successful, but on that particular evening he caught
nothing, and soon gave up.


My own success had so much surprised me that next morning I was up at
six o'clock, and had caught six more white fish before breakfast.

They were cooked for us, and certainly if they afford poor sport, they
are very pleasant, delicate eating. I cannot honestly take much credit
to myself for these feats. Our hostess, a very severe hard-featured
Calvinistic person, took all the conceit out of me at once by solemnly
telling the company at the breakfast table that she could go down to the
river and catch as many white fish as she wanted with a worm hooked on
to a pin.

I was reminded of the angler in "The Sketch Book":—

  "I recollect that after toiling and watching and creeping about ...
  with scarcely any success, in spite of all our admirable apparatus,
  a lubberly country urchin came down from the hills with a rod made
  from a branch of a tree, a few yards of twine, and, as Heaven shall
  help me! I believe a crooked pin for a hook, baited with a vile
  earthworm—and in half-an-hour caught more fish than we had nibbles
  throughout the day!"

Our host, a wealthy rancher as well as innkeeper, was of a more jovial
turn, especially when he was not awed by the presence of his austere
wife. He had been a slave-owner in pre-emancipation days, and so had his
fathers before him; and he vowed the niggers were far better off then
than they are now. "God Almighty," said he, "made the niggers black and
unthrifty, and do what you will you can never make them anything else.
The utmost height of a nigger's ambition is to drive a coach or to be a
waiter in an hotel; and it is just all he is good for."

This reminded me of the many members of the "coloured aristocracy" I had
met with as waiters at hotels and in railroad dining-cars. I remember
one especially—the head-boss of a small army of black waiters at one of
the largest hotels in an Eastern city—a tall portly fellow in evening
dress, diamond shirt studs, and white kid gloves. He stands at the
entrance of the saloon, and receives the guests with a dignified bend
and a patronizing wave of his hand which my Lord Mayor at a grand
reception could not surpass. We, unshaven and dust-stained travellers,
were quite awed in his presence, as he loftily passed us on to another
diamond-studded and gold-chained nigger, who condescended to find us a
table. We soon learned that if you expect to get any decent attention
from a negro, you had better slip a "quarter" into his ready and
expectant palm; then he will wait upon you quickly and well. Pay him
beforehand, and he will serve you in anticipation of further tips—a
quarter in hand is worth to him a good deal more than a possible dollar
in the end, which may never come.

These negro waiters generally speak good Yankee English; they don't say
"Massa;" and if one may judge by the eagerness with which they will lean
over one's shoulder to peruse a letter one may be writing or reading, I
suppose they have been tolerably well educated. Here is an account of an
aristocratic wedding cut from a Southern paper:—

  "A wedding took place in South Carolina recently, the bride
  belonging to one of the oldest families of the coloured aristocracy
  and the groom being presumably a man of means and evidently of much
  respectability. When the fateful question was asked by the
  officiating clergyman (also coloured) it was thus translated by him,
  possibly with an eye to the intensely respectable nature of the
  whole affair: 'N., wilt thou have this lady to be thy wedded wife?'
  &c., and the blushing bride, when her turn came, was asked if she
  would have 'this young gentleman.'"

We returned across the prairie on _Wednesday_ morning, noting as we
passed that the whole route was dotted here and there with substantial
farmhouses; some of these were large and handsome, surrounded by
buildings as good and substantial-looking as any to be seen in the old

The West Gallatin is all very well if one's only object in fishing is to
catch fish, but I would rather have one day on the pleasant "Dove," with
only a brace of trout in my creel, or, indeed, without any trout at all,
than a hundred days on the brown prairie-bound banks of the Gallatin
with creels full of the stupid white fish. I want buttercups and
daisies, water-ouzels, king-fishers, green meadows, and the songs of
birds when "I go a-fishing."

On passing over the new bridge we saw an old Indian canoe rotting and
half hidden in the mud. If I were given to moralizing, "the new bridge
and the old canoe" should form a melancholy theme; but I will leave my
readers to compose it for themselves.

Frank's companion B. being of an inquiring mind, knew every farm and
every farmer on the route, or perhaps in the whole valley. He knew the
value of every man's estate, and how he stood with his banker; one was
worth 50,000 dollars, another 20,000, and here and there an unthrifty
"Rip Van Winkle" with an insuperable aversion to labour and hopelessly
in debt. Amongst them were one or two millionaires. It is a
characteristic of this community that everyone knows to a dollar how
much everyone else is worth. Generally they seemed to be well-to-do and
thriving; and when I looked at the numerous great ricks of wheat, the
abundant stubble, the rich dark soil so easily and so cheaply
cultivated, and the cattle and horses around, it was plain to my
perception that a man of ordinary industry, intelligence, and thrift
must inevitably become not merely well-to-do, but wealthy.

_Thursday._—B. drove into town for our letters, but found none. By this
time our fresh meat had given out, so Frank and M. went out and ran down
a couple of chickens. Frank chopped their heads off, plucked, and
roasted them very deftly. It was an excessively hot day, the thermometer
standing at 125º in the sun. I remained indoors most of the day clearing
off my correspondence, and in the evening we compared notes as to
Frank's past adventures and future prospects.

_Friday._—This being our last day, I wandered up the creek in the
morning, and gathered a few wild flowers of bright hues, and packed them
up to carry home. Of course the time for flowers is all but over now,
but I am told that in the summer-time the whole hillside is ablaze with
small wild roses and other flowers.

[Illustration: ROSS'S PEAK.]

In the afternoon we had intended to do a little mountain climbing. We
had gone a mile on the road to ascend Ross's Peak, a mountain (of which
I made a sketch) about 10,000 feet above sea level, and at a distance of
about seven miles; but on looking towards the mountains in the west we
noticed that the bright sunshine in which we were walking was obscured
in their direction by heavy, suspicious clouds. And presently a few
drops fell. Before we could get back to our cabin the rain came down in
torrents, with thunder and lightning; and, looking up to Ross's Peak, we
found that he had already assumed his winter mantle of snow. This is the
first rain we have had since our arrival in America, and as it was our
last day we were sorry to miss the fine view to be obtained from the
peak. The ascent, we were told, was in fine weather not difficult,
though no doubt very laborious. In the evening the western mountains
across the valley presented a very interesting appearance. They were now
clad with snow, and a thick black cloud hung just above them, leaving a
clear-cut outline of white peaks; the sunset was glowing like a great
fiery furnace behind them. It was a splendid sight.

Before night set in the thermometer had fallen from 78° in the shade, as
it stood in the morning, to 34°, and during the night we had the deluge
which I have already mentioned. To-morrow we start on our homeward

                  *       *       *       *       *

I told you in my first letter that it was my intention to spend my
holiday in this region, and here I am sitting in our little log cabin,
overlooking a vast expanse of prairie valley, nearly six thousand miles
away from my native land. So much of one's time is taken up in the
railway trains that little is left for doing anything out of them. I
told you that the three special horrors I expected to have to encounter
would be mosquitoes, Indians, and bears! I saw one or two mosquitoes in
New York, and I _felt_ them in Chicago, but only slightly; the season is
over for these pests, but the present unusual weather stirs up a few now
and then. As for Indians, I have only seen a few wigwams and one or two
horsemen, perfectly peaceable and friendly now, though a few years ago
this Gallatin Valley was the scene of many a bloody engagement between
them and the settlers, and old-timers have long tales to tell of many
terrible affrays. Nor have I yet met with a grizzly, though there are
plenty of these fellows, as well as "silver tips" and black bears, up in
the mountains.

Last week a big black bear came down through this ranche and found his
way to a slaughter-house in the neighbourhood of Bozeman, where he was
discovered amusing himself by tearing about the offal. Two butchers in
town armed themselves with a couple of rusty old rifles, and starting
off on a moonlight night, kept watch for Master Bruin's appearance.
Eventually they spied him on the top of the roof of the slaughter-house
(a by no means easy roof to get on). They put two balls into him, and he
rolled over dead. His skin was being exhibited in Bozeman as we passed

While I am on the subject of bears, I may as well tell you another tale
just as an eyewitness told it to me.

A few weeks ago a party of miners, returning home after prospecting all
summer, were encamped in a fine hunting-ground, up in the mountains near
Ross's Peak, lately the favourite resort of Flat-head Indians. They
started one morning on a deer and elk hunt, and having separated to
scare out the game, one of them suddenly came upon a great grizzly
basking in the sun in front of his den. The bear allowed him to approach
within a few yards, being apparently in a drowsy state, and the hunter,
being a "tenderfoot" (new-comer), did not take the ordinary precautions
which experience teaches; but thinking all the bear stories he had ever
heard were mere twaddle, imprudently fired in the animal's face,
breaking his jaw. This at once aroused the fury of Bruin, and he rushed
on the hunter, who succeeded in planting another ball in his shoulder,
but this failed to stop him. Being now at such close quarters that
another shot was impossible, he tried to jam his rifle down the bear's
throat; they then became locked together in a deadly struggle. After
wrestling for a few seconds, both hunter and bear fell over a log and
down a steep ravine. At this juncture, a dog belonging to one of the
party, hearing the row, came up barking, and distracted the bear's
attention; the hunter thus succeeded in escaping from the deadly hug and
regained his rifle, the stock of which had been split in the first
struggle. The bear then started off, feeling, no doubt, that with a
broken jaw and a dislocated shoulder the odds were against him. The
hunter renewed the chase, and being now joined by the rest of his party,
they followed the quarry in this wounded state for eight miles, and
eventually killed him.

A short time prior to this incident a man and a boy were up in a cañon a
few miles to the north, cutting cordwood. The man saw a cinnamon bear,
and fired at him, wounding him in the shoulder. The bear turned on him;
and the man having no more ammunition—it being in the boy's charge—threw
down his rifle and scrambled up the nearest tree; the bear rushed up
after him, caught hold of his leg, and tore his boot off, at the same
time tearing the flesh of his leg open to the bone. The man then
succeeded in getting beyond the bear's reach.

[Illustration: "THE BEAR TORE HIS BOOT OFF."]

Bruin then turned his attention to the boy, who was manfully engaged in
reloading the rifle. He seized and hugged the lad, and, being on a steep
incline, the two rolled over and over till they came to the bottom of
the mountain, where the bear left his victim for dead, and then returned
to the man, who was still treed. Probably feeling some stiffness from
the wound in his shoulder, he could no longer climb, but having amused
the man in the tree by leisurely walking round and round it for three or
four hours, he then quietly departed.

It fortunately turned out that the boy was not killed, but terribly
shaken. He eventually recovered from the fearful ordeal he had

These bear stories may be taken as facts, and as substantial proofs
that, although we luckily did not encounter any bears, there are plenty
of them up in the hills just above us.



                            LETTER No. XIV.

  Saying "Goodbye"—Departure in a heavy snowstorm—Gallatin
    Valley—Helena—Garrison—Butte City—Salt Lake City—Polygamy—Articles
    of faith—Trial of a murderer—Trial of polygamists.

                                        _Cheyenne, Wyoming, Oct., 1885._

On Saturday morning we found the ground covered with snow, and it was
bitterly cold. It seemed as if this sudden change had come upon us
opportunely to prevent our carrying away a too favourable impression of
the climate. Truly, the day was a rough one, and we had to drive twelve
miles across the prairie to Bozeman in a blinding storm of snow and
sleet, and over a road smooth and level a week ago, but now full of
holes and deep ruts up to the axles. Our progress through the sludgy
snow was very slow.

I had hoped to make some calls in Bozeman, but the weather prevented my
doing so.

We reached the station only just in time to catch the train for Helena,
and we were not sorry to get under cover from the pitiless storm.

Now the time had arrived for saying goodbye to the boy I had gone so far
to see, a great lump came into my throat as I thought of the years that
may pass before we meet again; of his rough journey back, and of the
poor little leaky shanty he had to winter in, and to which he had
voluntarily exiled himself.

But for this taste of wintry weather, I should have left Frank's ranche
with a more cheerful heart, yet with a false impression of the country
and climate.

Unquestionably the life on a ranche such as Frank's is a rough and hard
one, and I should be sorry if I have said anything throughout this
narrative that might induce any aspiring youth to adopt a similar mode
of life under a contrary impression. But for a young fellow who is
willing to banish himself from all society and to work as Frank has
done, I can certainly commend this country.

We left Bozeman in the afternoon for Helena and Garrison, the junction
where we turn to the south on the Branch Line of the Union Pacific.

As I felt a special and peculiar interest in the beautiful Gallatin
Valley, it was some disappointment to me that my latest view of it was
in the midst of a heavy snowstorm. Our railroad route ran for thirty
miles through this valley, and had the afternoon been clear, we might
have caught a last glimpse of the little log cabin ten miles away up
yonder, at the foot of the Eastern Hills.

At the head of the valley we came to "Gallatin City." Here "The
Gallatin," "The Madison," and "Jefferson" rivers are lost in the great
Missouri. After crossing the Missouri, the road passes down the Missouri
Valley to Helena. No sooner had we got out of the valley than the storm
cleared off, the evening sun shone out brightly, and by the time we
arrived at Helena, just 100 miles from Bozeman, we found ourselves again
in the same mild, genial atmosphere we had experienced previous to the
storm. No snow had fallen at Helena.

Helena, the capital of Montana, has a population of 8,000, is situated
at the eastern foot of the main chain of the Rockies, and close to the
famous "Last Chance" gold mines, out of which $10,000,000 worth of gold
has been taken, and which still yields a considerable amount annually.
This circumstance, and the fact that it is the nearest point in the
mining region to the head of navigation on the Missouri river at Fort
Benton, gave Helena a great start in earlier days, and it is certainly
likely to maintain its position as the chief commercial town of Montana
territory. It is surrounded by mountains, rising one above the other,
till the more distant are lost in the clouds, forming a view of striking
beauty and grandeur.

The town itself, so far as we had time to observe, is not well built;
the streets are narrow, crooked, and steep; but it has all the
appearance of wealth and prosperity. It has four national banks, a fine
opera house, seating 1,200, and two daily papers. The shops are large,
and full of attractive-looking "stock." The city is lighted by the Brush
electric light system.

The hotel we stopped at is very large and very comfortable, but they
won't black one's boots. If you wish to indulge in this luxury you must
descend to the boot-black's quarters, and mount on his stool. He will
polish you off in five minutes, and scorns anything less than a shilling
for doing it. Why should he take less when he finds full employment all
the day long at this rate of pay? I reckoned that fellow was making
thirty shillings a day by his blacking.

Next morning we started for Garrison. The route from Helena to "The
Mullan Pass" is most picturesque, taking us through the charming valley
of "Prickly Pear," and past great masses of craggy rocks and boulders.
"The Mullan Pass" takes us over, or rather through the main range of the
Rocky Mountains by a tunnel 3,850 feet in length, and at an elevation
above sea-level of 5,547 feet.

Now we are at Garrison, where we leave the Great Northern Pacific
Railway, on which we have travelled so pleasantly over 1,200 miles of
country, through scenes as tame and scenes as wildly picturesque as are
probably to be found in any other part of this great country.

Our route now lies due south for a distance of nearly 500 miles to Ogden
and Salt Lake City.

The cars being narrow gauge, we did not find them so pleasant as those
we had just left; but as we secured sleeping compartments, and the
passengers for part of the way were few, we had nothing to complain of.
On this line there are no dining-cars, so we had to descend at various
stations for scrambling meals, at not by any means nice hotels.

At a distance of about thirty miles from Garrison, we passed the great
mining city of Butte, on the west side of the main dividing range of the
Rocky Mountains; for an hour or two our car was crowded with holiday
people from that wealthy city, decked out very gorgeously, and proud of
their display of jewellery. Butte is a city of 18,000 inhabitants, and
is called "a mining camp." It is the county seat of Silver Bow county.
There are over 1,300 patented mines in this district, five smelters, and
nine quartz mills. The mines produce silver, copper, and gold, the
shipments of which amount to $6,000,000 annually. The adjoining city of
Anaconda, which two years ago consisted of two tents, has now 3,000
inhabitants, and boasts of having the largest smelter in the world. It
cost a million dollars, and the two owners are said to be worth forty
million dollars each—they own two mines. This smelter pays the Union
Pacific a hundred thousand dollars a month for carrying ore over a
little branch line of nine miles in length.

The train passes through the Cache Valley, which is fifty miles long and
ten miles broad; it is wholly occupied by Mormons. On the south-east
side of the valley is the city of Logan, where a fine temple overlooking
the whole of the valley has been built. There are seventeen separate
settlements in this most fertile valley, and these, seen from the
railway, look like green patches of verdure dotted over the great brown
prairie, each settlement being hidden in groves of green trees.

We reached Ogden at 5.30 p.m., and took train the same evening for Salt
Lake City, where we arrived at the Walker House Hotel at eight.

                            SALT LAKE CITY.

A residence of one day and two nights in Salt Lake City does not
constitute me an authority or entitle me to put forth any opinions on
the vexed question of Mormonism, but as I chanced to reach the city in
stirring times, I venture to give two or three quotations from the
current literature, which exhibit the question in its two aspects. The
first is an extract from a very well-written pamphlet by Mrs. H. M.
Whitney _in favour of_ POLYGAMY. She says:—

  "I have been a spectator and a participator in this order of
  matrimony for over thirty years, and, being a first wife, I have had
  every opportunity for judging in regard to its merits. The
  Scriptures declare, "By their fruits ye shall know them;" so I know
  that this system tends to promote and preserve social purity, and
  that this alone can remedy the great social evils of the present
  day. When lived up to as the Lord designed it should be, it will
  exalt the human family; and those who have entered into it with pure
  motives, and continue to practise it in righteousness, can testify
  to the truth of these statements. There are real and tangible
  blessings enjoyed under this system which cannot be obtained in any
  other way. Not only can the cares and burdens be equally distributed
  among the members of the family, but they can assist one another in
  many ways, and if blessed with congenial natures and filled with the
  love of God, their souls will be expanded, and in the place of
  selfishness, patience and charity will find place in their hearts,
  driving therefrom all feelings of strife and discord."

The little _if_ in the last sentence seems to beg the whole question,
and reminds one of Cowper's epigram:—

        "If John marries Mary, and Mary alone,
        'Tis a very good match between Mary and John;
        Should John wed a score, O, the claws and the scratches!
        It can't be a match—it's a bundle of matches!"

Another enthusiastic lady says:—

  "Shall we, the wives and daughters of the best men on earth, submit
  to the dictation of unholy, licentious, and wicked men? No, never! I
  feel that it is high time for the women of Utah to stand up and
  defend this Heaven-revealed principle. I am a polygamous wife, and
  am proud to say it. I regard those women who are my husband's wives
  to be so as much as I am. Our husbands are virtuous and noble men,
  and are the friends of all mankind."

The following is taken from the biennial message of W. M. Budd, Governor
of Idaho, and, I fancy, fairly represents the general feeling of the
United States Government on this very important question at this time:—


  "While the constitution of our nation guarantees to every person of
  whatever birth, rank, or condition, past or present, a generous
  freedom in his own thoughts and religious convictions, not only the
  common law pronounces against adultery, bigamy, and polygamy, but
  every consideration of safety urges against permitting a
  self-proclaimed enemy to harbour within our fold while he gathers
  strength to strike at our life with the venom he already possesses.
  It becomes you to approach the discussion of this malignant
  mischief, that has retarded the Territory in the past and threatens
  such disaster for the future, with brave and grave deliberation. If
  you decide after careful investigation, as I have decided, that
  there can be no harmony between virtue and such monstrous vice; that
  either—and that at no distant day—pure, moral Christianity, that is
  such from fear of God, love of Christ and hope of heaven, or this
  leprous legacy of barbarity and sensual riot must possess the land
  to the exclusion of the other, then I say, it is not merciful to
  temporize with the blow that must be struck to free this Territory
  of this social plague and political curse. Polygamous and treasonous
  Mormonism stalks wantonly, insolently, and blatantly through this
  Territory, to the shame and degradation of every Christian woman and
  every man with a love for law and a regard for decency. Crime under
  the guise of religion is a hundred fold worse than under the banner
  of Satan. The leaders, owners, and bidder of this unholy,
  licentious, and treasonable institution are saints to glut their own
  vile and selfish purposes. Selfishness, which sees in the world only
  a mirror just large enough to reflect itself, writes in their case,
  as it always has written, a story of cant, hypocrisy, falsehood,
  deceit, fraud, and violence; and the inevitable logic of events,
  which is stronger than all the sins that infamy, greed, and
  selfishness are heir to, will write the invariable sequel:
  detection, retribution, expiation, and the felon's cell. These
  law-breakers mock and scoff the power of this great government,
  abuse our free institutions, and bedraggle our flag in the muck and
  mire of their offences. The guilty may be brought to bay and to
  justice even at the time when they imagine themselves most strongly
  entrenched. The Mormon leaders were never more defiant than at this
  peculiar and particular time. I conjure you to do your utmost toward
  destroying the polluting practices of this seditious organization.
  Suppress these licentious saints with their plural marriages, and so
  wipe away the fetid blotch upon this Territory, that is a stench in
  the nostrils of all the honest humanity within our borders. I advise
  the enactment of such laws and amendments as shall make effective
  the laws of God and man regarding adultery, bigamy, and polygamy,
  and compel loyalty to the nation and respect for the flag."


  "1. We believe in God the Eternal Father, and in His Son Jesus
  Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.

  "2. We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not
  for Adam's transgression.

  "3. We believe that through the atonement of Christ all mankind may
  be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

  "4. We believe that these ordinances are: first, Faith in the Lord
  Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for
  the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of
  the Holy Ghost.

  "5. We believe that a man must be called of God by 'prophecy and by
  the laying on of hands,' by those who are in authority, to preach
  the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.

  "6. We believe in the same organization that existed in the
  primitive church, viz., apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers,
  evangelists, &c.

  "7. We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation,
  visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, &c.

  "8. We believe the Bible to be the word of God, as far as it is
  translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the
  Word of God.

  "9. We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now
  reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and
  important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

  "10. We believe in the literal gathering of Israel, and in the
  restoration of the Ten Tribes. That Zion will be built upon this
  continent. That Christ will reign personally upon the earth, and
  that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.

  "11. We claim the privilege of worshipping Almighty God according to
  the dictates of our conscience, and allow all men the same
  privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

  "12. We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and
  magistrates, in obeying, honouring, and sustaining the law.

  "13. We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous,
  and in doing good to _all men_: indeed, we may say that we follow
  the admonition of Paul, 'We believe all things, we hope all things,'
  we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all
  things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or
  praiseworthy, we seek after these things.—JOSEPH SMITH."

This is all very well as far as it goes, but I find nothing about
polygamy here, and I learn elsewhere that—

  "According to Mormon theology, God the Father, the Supreme Jehovah,
  became man in the form of Adam, and thus became the father of the
  human race. He is thus represented as a being of parts such as we
  are. And all true and faithful Mormons who live up to their
  privileges, who take many wives, and who beget many children, will
  in the process of time become gods to all those who spring from
  them. Brigham Young was regarded as God by some of his followers
  even before his death."

In walking down Main Street I came to a great crowd opposite the
court-house. I was curious to know what was going on, and to see the
interior of a law court in a Mormon city, but the staircase was so
completely blocked that I could not get in. On inquiry I learned that a
murderer named Hopt was receiving his sentence, and that three Mormons
were being tried for polygamy.

The court, in passing sentence on Hopt, said "The penalty of the crime
for which you have been convicted is death, and must be inflicted by
hanging you by the neck, or by shooting you, at your discretion. Which
mode of death do you elect shall be inflicted upon you?"

HOPT—"I choose to be shot."

[Illustration: MAIN STREET.]

Shortly afterwards, going down the same street, I came upon another
great crowd round a photographer's, and I was told that immediately
after Hopt had received his sentence he had been conveyed here to have
his portrait taken. Whether this was at his "own discretion," or by
order of the authorities, I could not ascertain.

Salt Lake City has a population of 30,000 inhabitants, of whom 25,000
are "Latter-day Saints," and 5,000 Gentiles, and just now the Gentiles
seem to be making the city too hot for the saints. I was told that
several of the leading men, including President Taylor, were wanted by
the city marshals on the score of polygamy, but could not be found; and
that one hundred polygamists are now in "The Pen," undergoing six
months' imprisonment (and a fine of 300 dollars and costs) for refusing
to part with their surplus wives.

Of the three men sentenced this day, the first was a policeman named
Smith, who stood to his colours, as will be seen.

  "THE COURT—Your name is Andrew Smith, I believe.

  "MR. SMITH—Yes, sir.

  "THE COURT—You have been found guilty of the crime of unlawful
  cohabitation, and this morning was fixed upon for your sentence.
  Have you anything to say why this sentence of the law should not be
  pronounced in accordance with the verdict—have you anything further
  to say?

  "MR. SMITH then said, in a firm, clear voice—If your honour please:
  I have been placed on trial here for living in the practice of my
  religion, which I do not intend to relinquish, under any
  circumstances whatever, and I have no promises to make. Therefore, I
  am prepared to receive the judgment of the court. I cannot under any
  circumstances give up any principle of my religion. My religion is
  worth everything to me, or it is worth nothing, and I am prepared to
  receive any judgment you may see fit to pronounce. That is about
  all, I believe.

  "THE COURT—I understand you to state by inference that you
  understand your religion authorizes you and makes it your duty to
  practice polygamy and unlawful cohabitation?

  "MR. SMITH—That is a part and portion of my religion.

  "THE COURT—Yes, and I suppose from what you state also that it makes
  it your duty to advise others, so far as you give any advice at all,
  to practise that?

  "MR. SMITH—I have not been an adviser, sir, but that is my feeling.
  I am not much of a preacher; but my religion is worth everything to
  me. As I said before, I could not sacrifice that under any
  consideration whatever.

  "THE COURT—Well, I have so often stated here from this bench that
  polygamy and unlawful cohabitation are crimes under the laws of the
  United States that it is hardly worth while to state it again. I
  presume you understand that they are both defined as crimes, and you
  must realize that you are not to determine what the laws of the
  United States are for yourself, contrary to the tribunals selected
  to interpret and construe the laws and to enforce them. In view of
  your statements the law makes it my duty to impose upon you such a
  penalty as may possibly reform you and may tend to deter others from
  like crimes against society. The object of this law is to protect
  society, and it is my duty to enforce that law so far as the law
  gives me my discretion, and use the discretion which I possess so as
  to accomplish the purpose and to reach the end intended by the law.
  You are sentenced in the penalty of a term of six months, and to pay
  a fine of 300 dollars and costs. You will also stand committed until
  the fine and costs are paid."

The next defendant was evidently a gentleman of considerable standing in
the city.

  "As the name of John Nicholson was called, there was a buzz of
  interest which subsided into a breathless silence as that gentleman
  stood up under the judge's gaze.

  "THE COURT—Mr. Nicholson, I suppose it is hardly necessary for me to
  state to you—you are already advised that the jury found you guilty
  of the crime of unlawful cohabitation. Have you anything further to
  say why sentence of the law should not be pronounced against you?

  "MR. NICHOLSON—If your honour please: I will take advantage of the
  privilege that the court affords me of stating my position before
  the court from my own standpoint. I have been connected with the
  Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for about a quarter of a
  century. I accepted its doctrines, including the law that is called
  in the church 'celestial marriage,' which includes plurality of
  wives. At the time that I entered upon that relationship I had not
  the slightest idea that I was infringing upon or acting in
  contravention to any law made in pursuance of the constitution of
  the country, the supreme law of the land. I entered into that
  relation in 1871, and, to give the court an idea of my position in
  reference to the law, I will illustrate it by stating that when the
  Reynolds case was offered in order to test the constitutionality of
  the statute of 1862, enacted against polygamy, at the request of the
  defendant in that suit I went upon the stand and testified for the
  prosecution that a conviction might be obtained. There is no need
  for me to state to your honour that the essence of a crime is the
  intent to commit it. There could be no intention on my part to
  commit a crime in entering into the relationship which I have

  "Years afterwards the Edmunds' law was enacted, which made my status
  criminal—that is to say, from my standpoint—my conduct was made by
  it _malum prohibitum_, because in my opinion it cannot be made
  _malum in se_. That law requires that I should give up a vital
  principle of my religion, and discard at least a portion of my
  family, and consequently disrupt my family organization.

  "This places me, as your honour will perceive, in a very painful
  position: because I have a large family, and the ties which bind
  them to myself are sacred, and the affection which I entertain for
  them is deep, and I do not think that these ties can possibly be
  severed by any law of whatever character it may be, or from whatever
  source it may spring; because there are sentiments and feelings that
  are engendered in the human heart that the law cannot touch. I will
  say here, also, that the lady who would have been the principal
  witness in this case, had I not testified against myself, stated to
  me that she would decline to testify against me, or do anything that
  would have the effect of sending me to prison. And now, after such
  an exhibition of devotion to me on her part, the bare contemplation
  of cutting her adrift is revolting to my soul, and I could not do

  "People's ideas differ in regard to what constitutes religion. Some
  hold that it is merely sentiment and faith, and does not necessarily
  embody action. I differ from this view; and I have always been bold
  to express my opinions on every subject without fear, favour, or
  hope of reward. I am of the opinion expressed by the Apostle James,
  who stated that faith without works is dead. The religion that I
  believe in is a religion that finds expression in action.

  "I am aware of the attitude of the court, and I presume of the
  country, towards the peculiar institution of religion in the Church
  with which I am identified, and which I have honestly accepted and
  have honestly practised. It is held that this conjugal relationship
  threatens the existence of monogamous marriage. must say that,
  judging from the attitude of this court, which represents, I
  presume, the attitude of the nation, and in view of the assaults
  that are made on plural marriage, it appears to me that there is not
  very much ground for apprehension of danger in that respect.

  "It is also true that some people hold that my relations in a family
  capacity are adulterous. From my point of view, however, I have the
  consoling reflection that I am in excellent company, including
  Moses, the enunciator, under God, of the principles which constitute
  the foundation of modern jurisprudence.

  "Not to weary the court, I will simply say that my purpose is fixed,
  and I hope unalterable. It is, that I shall stand by my allegiance
  to God, fidelity to my family, and what I conceive to be my duty to
  the constitution of the country, which guarantees the fullest
  religious liberty to the citizen.

  "I thank your honour for bearing with me, and will now simply
  conclude by stating that I am prepared to receive the pleasure of
  the court.

  "MR. NICHOLSON spoke in a low, but clear and deliberate tone, which
  was maintained without variation to the close. The manner, as much
  as the matter of his speech, clearly prepossessed all hearers in his
  favour, and even the judge was impressed by it."

It will be seen from these examples that there is a strong determination
on the part of the United States' government to root out polygamy, and
there also seems to be an equally firm determination of the Mormons to
stand by this, which they regard as an essential article of faith.

After a long address from the judge, Mr. Nicholson and the other
polygamists received the same sentence as Smith, and were all driven off
to the Penitentiary.

It may be added that a Bill now before Congress is of a still more
stringent character. I quote the following from a recent evening paper:—

  "The Bill provides that all marriages in the Territories shall be
  certified in writing by the minister and contracting parties,
  compels the testimony of the husband or wife of the accused in
  prosecutions for polygamy, prescribes punishment for adultery in
  Utah, and abolishes the present limitation of prosecutions for
  adultery to the complaint of husband or wife. It also abolishes
  female suffrage, takes away the general jurisdiction of the Utah
  probate courts, and annuls the territorial law about the capacity of
  illegitimate children to inherit property. The Bill further attacks
  the Mormon Church by giving the President of the United States
  authority to appoint trustees to take charge of its temporal
  affairs, and annuls the Mormon emigration fund, prohibiting the
  re-establishment of any such corporation for importing Mormons, all
  funds being forfeited for the benefit of a school fund in Utah."

We paid a visit to the Tabernacle, the Temple, and Assembly Hall. We
were politely received by the superintendent, who showed us round in the
usual way. The wonderful acoustic properties of the Tabernacle, by which
a pin dropped at one end of the great building can be distinctly heard
at the other, were pointed out. I quote the following brief statistics
about these buildings, only remarking that, judged by present
appearances, the Temple is not likely to be completed for many years:—

  Tabernacle: This building is 233 feet long, 133 feet wide, and 70
  feet high. It has 20 doors of 9 feet wide. In case of an accident an
  audience of 10,000 people can be cleared out in a few minutes.
  Seating capacity, 12,000.

  Temple: The corner-stone was laid April 12th, 1853, and amount
  expended in construction to March 12th, 1884, $2,500,000. It is 200
  by 800 feet. Height of walls, 100 feet. Middle tower on either end
  will be 200 feet high.

  Assembly Hall: Dimensions of building, 120 by 68 feet. Seating
  capacity, 2,500. Cost, $150,000. Services every Sunday at 2 p.m. The
  ceiling is divided off into sixteen panels of different shape and
  design, each panel having some fresco painting; one of them is a
  rather gaudy-looking historical painting of "The angel Moroni
  showing the prophet Joseph where the plates were hid in the hill

  Bee-Hive, Lion, and Gardo Houses: One block east of the Temple, the
  latter block now occupied by President John Taylor.

  Streets: There are nearly 100 miles of streets in Salt Lake City.
  They run with the four points of the compass. Each street is 132
  feet wide, including the side-walks, and nearly all are bordered
  with shade trees. A small stream of water also flows down each side
  of many streets.

  Total population of Utah in 1880, 143,965. Population of Salt Lake
  City is about 30,000.

  Value of Utah's mineral production in 1884 is estimated at

  Great Salt Lake is nearly 100 miles long by 60 miles wide, with
  average depth of 40 feet.

In the afternoon we drove round the city and suburbs, and up to Fort
Douglas, a well-built full-regiment post, situated on a plateau three
miles east of the city. It is well laid out, and the officers' quarters,
in charming little villas embowered in creepers and green foliage, are
exceedingly pleasant to look at.

Our driver was an Englishman, a thirty-years' resident, who had married
a Mormon wife (now dead), but he was careful to tell us that he was and
always had been a Gentile, though for the sake of peace and quietness,
and, in the early days, personal safety, he had duly paid his "tithing."
He prided himself in having driven Hepworth Dixon during his stay here,
and in having "introduced" Lord Carrington to President Taylor! The
stories he volunteered to tell us were perhaps more facetious than

I will only add that the city in its outward appearance has left a most
favourable impression on me—it is pleasantly situated at the foot of the
Wasatch Mountains, which rise on the east to a height of from 10,000 to
12,000 feet, and are covered with snow nearly all the year. The city
occupies a series of terraces, and, with its houses half hidden in shade
and fruit-trees, it presents the appearance of a beautiful green oasis
in the midst of a desert.


[Illustration: CLIFFS OF ECHO CAÑON.]


                             LETTER No. XV.

  Leave for Cheyenne—"Rock Springs"—Murder of Chinese—Mr. Black's
    "Green Pastures" and bottle of champagne—"Hell upon Wheels"—Big
    Horn Cowboy and Milord.

                                                 _Cheyenne, Oct., 1885._

We left Salt Lake City by the Union Pacific Railway on Wednesday at 7.50
a.m., and we reached Cheyenne at 10.30 a.m. on Thursday. It is
impossible for me to describe or even to mention the many objects of
interest and points of beautiful scenery through which this line passes.
How can one describe in a few hurried words such scenes as those to be
found in "The Echo Cañon," "The Devil's Gate," "The Devil's Gate
Mountain," and "The Devil's Slide"?[6] The makers of this road, or the
early pioneers, seem to have had a great liking for his black majesty,
or they would not have given his name to such splendid scenery.

Footnote 6:

  It will be remembered that the Devil has another slide in the
  Yellowstone Park.


About two hundred miles east of Ogden we passed a place called "Rock
Springs," where a number of Chinamen had been brutally massacred by
white miners a week or two before.

Two Chinamen had taken up a white man's "chamber," and when ordered out
the Chinamen went at them with their picks. A general battle ensued, in
which two men were shot. At night their village was set fire to, and it
was said that several Chinamen in trying to escape from the fire were
shot down by the miners, and about fifteen others perished in the

Soldiers from the nearest fort were sent for, and several miners were
arrested, but it was found impossible to get sufficient evidence to
convict them. The Chinese Consul from Washington had just been there
investigating the brutal affair, and was returning in the same train
with us.

In Mr. William Black's "Green Pastures and Piccadilly" there is an
interesting description of Cheyenne as it was some twelve years ago.
There was a time, not long previous to Mr. Black's visit, when this now
thriving little city had earned for itself the name of "Hell upon
Wheels," and I was told by an inhabitant who lived there then, when the
Union Pacific Railway was being made, and the city comprised a long row
of saloon tents, that bowie knives and six-shooters were freely used in
the settlement of disputes, and that three or four murders a week were
the average, to say nothing of fights with Sioux Indians.

Cheyenne had settled down from these exciting times when Mr. Black
arrived there, and he found "nothing about its outward appearance to
entitle anyone to call it 'Hell on Wheels.'"

  "Certainly," he says, "the Cheyenne we saw was far from being an
  exciting place; there was not a single corpse lying at any of the
  saloon doors, nor any duel being fought in the street."

Of the outskirts of Cheyenne, he says:—

  "The odd fashion in which shanties and sheds—with some private
  houses here and there—are dotted down anyhow on the plain; their
  temporary look; the big advertisements; the desolate and homeless
  appearance of the whole place, all serve to recall the dismal scene
  that is spread around the Grand Stand on Epsom Downs on the morning
  after Derby Day, when the revellers have all returned to town.... We
  drove out to a lake which will no doubt form an ornamental feature
  in a big park, when the Black Hill miners, gorged with wealth, come
  back to make Cheyenne a great city."

Mr. Black will be pleased to know that his prophecy has been, to some
extent, fulfilled.

Cheyenne is now a most pleasant city. The big park has been formed; the
streets are broad, and lined with trees; the houses are well-built;
there are stores there which would almost rival Whiteley's or
Shoolbred's in the magnitude and variety of their contents, and perhaps
surpass them in their outward appearance. The outskirts are now dotted,
I might rather say crowded, with very charming "Queen Anne" villas,
surrounded by well-laid-out lawns, flower-beds, and creeping foliage,
reminding one not so much of Epsom Downs, as of that æsthetic suburb of
London known as Bedford Park, only that the houses are larger and better
built, and in their furniture display an exuberance of wealth and good
taste. There are two fine hotels, several churches and chapels, and a
delightful little club-house, where we were most hospitably entertained.

I may add that the place has none of the appearance of vulgar show which
"Black Hill miners, gorged with wealth," might be supposed to have given
to it; on the contrary, it has an air of quiet respectability not to be
seen in many other western cities. The inhabitants are well-educated
people, musical and social, and amongst them is a large community of
well-bred English people.

As I have a personal interest in the matter, I will venture to give
another extract from "Green Pastures and Piccadilly."

Mr. Black says that—

  "As he was unanimously requested by his party to pay a tribute of
  gratitude to the clean and comfortable inn at the station, he must
  now do so; only he must also confess that he was bribed, for the
  good-natured landlord was pleased, as we sat at supper, to send in
  to us, with his compliments, a bottle of real French champagne. Good
  actions should never go unrewarded; so the gentle reader is most
  earnestly entreated, the first time he goes to Cheyenne, to stay at
  this inn and give large orders. Moreover, the present writer not
  wishing to have his conduct in this particular regarded as being too
  mercenary, would wish to explain that the bottle of champagne in
  question was, as was subsequently discovered, charged for in the
  bill and honestly paid for too; but he cannot allow the landlord to
  be deprived of all credit for his hospitable intentions merely on
  account of an error on the part of the clerk."

Just before I left England, and knowing that I contemplated a visit to
the Rockies, Mr. Black was good enough to request me to look into his
book and to see, from the circumstances, as quoted above, whether I was
not fairly entitled to have that bottle of champagne produced: he also
desired me to present his compliments to a "very pretty Scotch lassie"
at the hotel.

Of course I pursued the inquiry; I had by chance stayed at this very
hotel, but I ascertained, alas! that poor old Jones, the good-natured
landlord, had long since made his pile in the good old times when he
could charge crowds of passengers a dollar and a half for their meals
instead of (as now) seventy-five cents only: had retired to a farm
somewhere in Idaho; had died, and left an enormous fortune to his widow.
I may also inform Mr. Black that "the pretty Scotch lassie" is now the
mother of a large family somewhere up in the mountains.

The inn has become the property of the Union Pacific, and is, in fact,
one of the dining stations of that enterprising company. I regret to say
that the intelligent and civil manager, though perfectly acquainted with
the circumstances (through having read "Green Pastures" in a ten cent
edition), did not feel it to be a part of his duty to his employers to
hand over to me the bottle of champagne, notwithstanding the credentials
I presented. He did not, however, raise the slightest objection when I
invited him to join me and my friend M. in drinking to the health of the
writer of "Green Pastures," to the wealthy widow of the departed Jones,
and to "the pretty Scotch lassie," wherever she may be.

A local newspaper thus, somewhat erroneously, recorded our visit to this

  "A. B. and C. D., two Englishmen who have been travelling around the
  world, stopped off yesterday morning, and are guests at The Pacific.
  They had letters of introduction to Jones(!), the former landlord of
  the hotel, and had been told that Cheyenne was 'Hell on Wheels.'
  They are disappointed."

In these western parts it is a dangerous thing sometimes to refuse a
"drink," and to offer to pay for it is a mortal offence. I was told that
in Cheyenne even the cowboys, with their big whips, broad-brimmed felt
hats, and hip-joint boots, were a superior, well-educated class, who had
a large reading-room, crowded of an evening with men who could hold
their own on any subject, political, social, or literary; and that there
were among them good mathematicians, and even classical scholars.

The following cutting from "The Cheyenne Democrat" exhibits the cowboy
in another light:—

                               "HE DRANK.


  "Editor Becker, of the Big Horn 'Sentinel,' tells a good story of a
  nobby and snobby milord, of British extraction, who travelled from
  Big Horn with him and Abe Idelman on the stage-coach early this
  week. Milord was excessively exclusive. He wouldn't be social, and
  spoke to no one except the two 'John Henry' servants he had with
  him, and was altogether as unpleasant as his snobbishness could make
  him. At a dinner station there were a lot of jolly cowboys on a
  lark, and one of them 'treating' everybody asked the Englishman to
  drink. Of course, milord haughtily refused. The cowboy displayed a
  dangerous-looking six-shooter, and very impressively insisted on his

  "'But I cawn't, you know. I don't drink, you know,' was milord's

  "Mr. Cowboy brought the muzzle in dangerous proximity to the knot in
  which milord's brains were supposed to lie hidden somewhere, and
  then he said he'd drink—he'd take soda water, you know.

  "'Soda water nuthin,' said Mr. Cowboy. 'You'll take straight

  "'But, aw, this American whiskey, I cawn't swallow it, you know.'

  "'Well,' said the cowboy, 'I'll make a hole in the side of your head
  so that we can pour it in,' and he began to draw down on milord, and
  milord said—

  "'Aw, that'll do; I'll drink it.'

  "Then the cowboy invited milord's servants to drink, which horrified

  "'They don't drink, you know,' he said.

  "'Well, we'll see whether they do or not,' said Mr. Cowboy. 'The
  chances are you don't give 'em a "hopportunity." Come up here, you
  fellows, and guzzle some,' and the two 'John Henrys,' with a little
  show of reluctance, but really glad to get a drink, came up, and the
  cowboy passed a tumbler full of torchlight procession whiskey for
  milord, and the servants poured for themselves. Then the cowboy made
  the 'John Henrys' clink glasses with milord, and all drank, and
  there was great fun. Milord tried after that to be very jolly, and
  the stimulant assisted him decidedly. But in the coach he fell back
  into his exclusiveness and retained it throughout, and has probably
  got it yet.

  "Now the fact is that, abstractly, the cowboy was wrong in forcing a
  man to drink who had no desire to do so. But, on the other hand,
  snobbishness is not the proper thing in this country, and sensible
  men generally try, while in Rome, to do as Rome does. At any rate,
  they don't make themselves offensive to the country in which they
  are travelling."



                            LETTER No. XVI.

  We leave Cheyenne—Arrival at Omaha—The barber's shop—Narrow escape
    from having my head shaved—Arrival at Chicago—Niagara Falls.

                                                 _New York, Nov., 1885._

I have already told you that I am not writing a book of travels, but
merely recording my impressions by the way; these have already occupied
far more space than I had ever contemplated, and as we are now
approaching the more beaten tracks of civilization, I will hasten on to
a conclusion.

We left Cheyenne on Friday morning at 10.30, and after a continuous run
of 516 miles, we "stopped off" at Omaha for a few hours at 10.30 on
Saturday morning. Omaha is a great rambling city of 60,000 inhabitants
on the western bank of the Missouri. Council Bluffs is an equally
flourishing city on the eastern bank.

My chief recollection of Omaha is the barber's shop whither I went to
get shaved. I had tried to shave myself in the train, but had contrived
instead to gash my cheek sufficiently to cause much bloodshed. When the
barber had finished shaving me, I asked him just to trim my hair the
least bit in the world. He was an hour and a quarter over the job, and
as I had been travelling continuously for twenty-four hours with little
or no sleep, I fell asleep under his hands. Luckily, I was woke up by an
unusual tickling at the back of my head; he was lathering me there, and
I am quite sure he meant to shave the whole of my head.

"Confound it," I shouted; "what are you doing?"

"I was only going to shave the back of your head," he said.

I found to my horror that my whiskers had entirely disappeared, and he
had not only cut my hair as closely as it could be cut with a pair of
scissors, but he had run it over with a sort of small horse-clipper. I
caught him in time to stop the further operation of shaving. Judging by
the many naked polls I afterwards saw in the hotel, I concluded that it
is the fashion in Omaha to go about with your head shaved. It is a
compliment, I suppose, which those who have hair pay to the bald-headed

The Omaha barber has quite destroyed the youthful appearance which I
flattered myself I had acquired since I have been travelling on this

My friend M., when I came out of that terrible barber's hands, passed me
by without knowing me; and when at last he began to have a suspicion
that the bald individual before him was I, he exclaimed, "What on earth
have you been doing? An hour and a quarter of our precious time have you
wasted in that barber's shop, and you come out like a bald-headed boiled
lobster. Our friends in Chicago, Boston, and New York certainly won't
know you."

Time the destroyer is also a happy restorer, and now while I am writing,
a fortnight after the event, my whiskers have already given indication
of a returning crop, and my hair has grown long enough to enable me to
identify myself. I trust that after the sea voyage, and when I get home,
my wife will also be able to identify me. The rascal charged me
seventy-five cents (three shillings) for this personal disfigurement.

I was very glad to get away from Omaha the same day at 5.30 p.m. We
travelled by the Chicago and Rock Island line, and we reached Chicago, a
distance of 500 miles, the next afternoon at three o'clock.

On Monday it rained in torrents all day, and Tuesday was not much
better. On Tuesday night at 8.40 I started for Boston, leaving my friend
M. behind for two or three days. This was the first time we had
separated since we started together from Euston on our outward journey.

The line I now travelled on was "The Michigan Central." About seven
o'clock next morning we reached Niagara, where the train stopped a few
minutes to give us a look at "The Falls."

As I have no more superlative adjectives left in my vocabulary, I will
tell you what the "Michigan Central" has to say about Niagara. It far
surpasses my most sublime efforts.

                       "THE NIAGARA FALLS ROUTE.

  "'So long as the waters of that mighty river thunder down to the
  awful depths below, so long as the rush and roar, the surge and
  foam, and prismatic spray of nature's cataphractic masterpiece
  remain to delight and awe the human soul, thousands and tens of
  thousands of beauty-lovers and grandeur-worshippers will journey
  over the only railroad from which it can be seen. _There is but one
  Niagara Falls on earth, and but one direct great railway to it._'

  "Trains stop at Falls View, near the brink of the Horseshoe Fall,
  where the finest view is obtainable without leaving the cars, cross
  the gorge of Niagara river on the great steel, double-track
  Cantilever Bridge, the greatest triumph of modern engineering, and
  connect in Union Depots, at Niagara Falls and Buffalo with the New
  York Central and Hudson River, the only four-track railroad in the




                                                   _Home, Dec. 9, 1885._

There is no place like home, after all. On reaching Boston, I felt more
like being at home than I had ever felt since I left my own country.
Boston resembles an old English city more than any other town I have yet
visited in America.

It is, however, no part of my plan to describe the "Hub." I think it is
Benjamin Disraeli who says somewhere that "description is always a bore
both to the describer and the describee," and I have sinned enough in
this direction already; nor have I any desire to make intrusive and
impertinent remarks about the inhabitants. I will only say that the few
days I spent in Boston were made very pleasant by the most courteous and
unostentatious hospitality.

From the classic city I passed on to the Empire City, as New York is
sometimes called. I was told long before I left England by warmhearted
friends in New York that if I ever visited that city their utmost should
be done "to impair my digestion!" They did their best, and I hereby
declare my gratitude to them for their generous intentions. Suffice it
to say that I eventually got away from them with no more serious injury
than could be cured by a few days' tossing and rolling on the broad

Our passage was even rougher and more trying on the whole than the
outward passage had been, but we did not mind that; for were we not
homeward bound?

I have now been at home about three weeks, and I am already beginning to
doubt whether it is an actual fact that such a stay-at-home old fixture
as I have always been, could, within the last four months, have
travelled something like fourteen thousand miles by land and sea! I am
inclined to regard that great land of my pilgrimage as altogether

                   "The land of vision; it would seem
                   A still, an everlasting dream!"




The following information is supplied by the Northern Pacific Railroad

                     HOW TO OBTAIN GOVERNMENT LAND.

There are over 40,000,000 acres of the best Government lands in America
located in the extremely fertile regions of Minnesota, North Dakota,
Montana, Northern Idaho, Washington, and Oregon, and traversed by the
Northern Pacific Railroad, open for occupancy by actual settlers. The
laws of the United States provide that citizens of the United States, or
persons who have declared their intention to become such, can obtain
lands as follows:


Heads of families, widows or single persons (male or female) over the
age of twenty-one years, who are citizens of the United States, or who
have declared their intention to become such under the naturalization
laws, may enter upon any "offered" or "unoffered" lands belonging to the
United States, or any unsurveyed lands to which the Indian title has
been extinguished, outside of the limits of any land grant, and purchase
not exceeding 160 acres under the pre-emption laws. If the tract is
"offered" land, the settler must file his "declaratory statement" in the
United States District Land Office within thirty days after making
settlement; and within one year from the date of settlement he must make
proof of actual residence on and cultivation of the land, and thereupon
purchase the same at $1.25 per acre, if outside of the limits of a
railroad land grant, and at $2.50 per acre if within railroad land grant
limits. If the tract is "unoffered" land, the settler must file his
"declaratory statement" within three months from the date of settlement,
and make final proof and payment within thirty-three months from the
date of settlement. If the tract is unsurveyed land, the declaratory
statement must be filed within three months after the approved plat of
the township is received at the United States District Land Office, and
final proof and payment must be made within thirty months after the
expiration of the said three months. A pre-emptor may submit proofs of
continuous residence at any time after six months from the date of
settlement, and obtain title to his land. The settler in possession of a
valid pre-emption claim may, at any time, convert his pre-emption claim
into a homestead. No person who abandons his residence upon land of his
own (not a town lot) to reside upon public lands in the same state or
territory, or who owns 320 acres of land in any state or territory, is
entitled to the benefits of the pre-emption laws.


Any person who is the head of a family, or who has arrived at the age of
twenty-one years, and is a citizen of the United States, or has filed
his declaration of intention to become such, is entitled to enter
one-quarter section, or less quantity of unappropriated public land,
under the homestead laws. The applicant must make affidavit that he is
entitled to the privileges of the homestead act, and that the entry is
made for his exclusive use and benefit, and for actual settlement and
cultivation, and must pay the legal fee and that part of the commissions
required as follows: Fee for 160 acres, $10; commission, $4 to $12; fee
for eighty acres, $5; commission, $2 to $6. Within six months from the
date of entry, the settler must take up his residence upon the land, and
reside thereupon and cultivate the same for five years continuously. At
the expiration of this period, or within two years thereafter, proof of
residence and cultivation must be established by four witnesses. The
proof of settlement with the certificate of the Registrar of the Land
Office is forwarded to the General Land Office at Washington, from which
patent is issued. Final proof cannot be made until the expiration of
five years from date of entry, and must be made within seven years. The
Government recognizes no sale of a homestead claim. A homestead settler
may at any time purchase the land under the pre-emption laws if desired,
upon making proof of settlement and cultivation for a period of not less
than six months from the date of entry to the time of purchase. The law
allows only one homestead privilege to any one person.

                         TIMBER CULTURE CLAIMS.

Under the timber culture laws, public lands naturally devoid of timber
may be acquired by planting trees thereon, and keeping the same in a
healthy, growing condition for eight years. Not more than 160 acres in
any one section can be entered, and no person can enter more than 160
acres or make more than one entry under these laws. An applicant must be
the head of a family or twenty-one years of age, and a citizen of the
United States, or he must have filed his declaration of intention to
become a citizen, as required by the naturalization laws. The Land
Office fee for an entry of more than 80 acres is $14; and for 80 acres
or less, $9; and $4 when final proof is made. Land to be entered must be
entirely devoid of timber. In order to acquire 160 acres of land, 10
acres must be cultivated and planted with trees; 5 acres must be
cultivated and planted with trees to acquire any legal subdivision of 80
acres; and 2½ acres to acquire any legal subdivision of 40 acres or
less. The person making entry of 160 acres is required to break or
plough five acres during the first year, and five acres during the
second year. The five acres broken or ploughed during the first year
must be cultivated to crop or otherwise during the second year, and be
planted to timber during the third year. The five acres broken or
ploughed the second year must be cultivated the third year, and planted
to timber the fourth year. For entries of less than 160 acres, a
proportionate number of acres must be ploughed, planted, cultivated and
planted to trees. These trees must be cultivated and protected for not
less than eight years; and at the expiration of that period, or within
five years thereafter, proof must be made by the claimant and two
credible witnesses, showing that there were at the time of making such
proof at least 675 living, thrifty trees on each of the ten acres
required to be planted; also that not less than 2,700 trees were planted
on each of the ten acres. Fruit-trees are not considered timber, within
the meaning of this act. Title cannot be obtained prior to the
expiration of eight years, and final proof must be made within five
years after the expiration of the said eight years.

                              DESERT LAND.

Any person who is a citizen of the United States, or any person of
requisite age who may be entitled to become a citizen, and who has filed
his declaration to become such, may file his oath with the Registrar and
Receiver of the Land Office in the district in which any desert land is
located, that he intends to reclaim, not exceeding one section of said
land, by conducting water upon it, within three years; and by paying to
the Receiver twenty-five cents, per acre for all the land claimed, such
person may enter said land under the desert land act. At any time within
three years a patent can be obtained by making proof that he has
reclaimed said land, and paying the additional sum of $1 per acre. No
person can enter more than one tract of land, and not to exceed 640
acres, which shall be in a compact form. This act applies to desert
lands in Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon.

Desert lands are defined by this act to be all lands, exclusive of
mineral and timber lands, which will not without irrigation produce some
agricultural crop.


The above is a diagram of a township, with sections numbered according
to government surveys.

A township is 6 miles square and contains 36 square miles, or 36
sections, each section being 1 mile square, and containing 640 acres of

A quarter section is one-half mile square, 160 acres. An acre of land is
208.71 feet square, and contains 43,560 square feet. Sections 16 and 36
in Dakota, Montana, and Washington are reserved for school purposes.

                        GOVERNMENT LAND OFFICES

  _In Districts tributary to the Northern Pacific Railroad and Allied

  Minnesota.  │   Dakota.   │  Montana.   │ Washington. │   Oregon.
 St. Cloud.   │Fargo.       │Miles City.  │Olympia.     │Oregon City.
 Fergus Falls.│Grand Forks. │Bozeman.     │Vancouver.   │Roseburg.
 Crookston.   │Bismarck.    │Helena.      │Walla Walla. │La Grande.
 Duluth.      │—————————————│—————————————│Spokane      │Lake View.
              │             │             │Falls.       │
 Taylor's     │    Lewiston, Idaho Ty.    │North Yakima.│The Dalles.
 Falls.       │                           │             │

The following diagram shows the difference of time on the American

[Illustration: ☞ E before figures denotes time of Eastern trains W time
of Western Trains.]

                        INFORMATION FOR SETTLERS

                                 IN THE

                       NORTHERN PACIFIC COUNTRY.

  Giving Suggestions relating to Farming Implements, Fuel, Animals,
    Household Goods, Lumber, Breaking New Prairie, Location of
    Markets, and other valuable Information.

  The best time to come to the NORTHERN PACIFIC COUNTRY is in the
  spring, but farmers can come to this favoured region at any season,
  properly outfitted, and in a short time acquire a comfortable and
  prosperous home.

  The breaking season extends from about May 15th to July 15th. Three
  horses or mules, or two yoke of oxen, constitutes a good breaking
  team for a sulky or walking plough.

  Sowing grain commences as soon as the frost is out of the ground to
  the depth of a few inches. The work is generally begun about April
  1st, and completed in 10 to 15 days. Some years the grain can be put
  in as early as March 20th.

  Good farm horses can be bought at from $100 to $150, according to
  size, &c. Cows are worth from $25 to $40 each, and working oxen from
  $90 to $125 per yoke. Standard makes of farm wagons cost $60.
  Breaking costs, usually, from .50 to $3.00 per acre, and
  back-setting $1.50 to $1.75. The settler opening a new farm can
  always find plenty of work among his neighbours, after he has done
  his own breaking and back-setting, and cut his hay. He can raise an
  abundance of vegetables from the sod the first year. From 150 to 200
  bushels potatoes, and from 25 to 45 bushels of oats can be raised on
  the sod the first year. Good common lumber ranges from $20 to $25
  per thousand along the line of the railroad. Car load lots, for
  settlers, are carried by the railroad at the same rates given to
  dealers. A good house can be built for $350 to $700. Household
  goods, farm implements and working stock can be bought at reasonable
  prices at St. Paul and Minneapolis, and at various points along the

  Liberal provision is made by law for schools, and, in the towns and
  country settlements, school-houses and churches of the several
  denominations abound. The people who come to this country believe in
  these institutions.

  There is an abundance of cheap fuel supplied from the great
  coalfields of North Dakota and Montana, and also from the extensive
  forests of Northern Minnesota, Western Montana, Northern Idaho,
  Washington, and Oregon. Good water abounds all along the line of the
  Northern Pacific Railroad.

  There is a combination of soil and climate in the Northern Pacific
  country which makes it the most reliable and productive wheat region
  in the world, and in no other section of the United States have
  there been, for so many consecutive years, such bountiful crops. It
  is as healthy a country as there is in America. There is always a
  market for farm products at good prices. Quick and cheap
  transportation is afforded by the lake port at Duluth, or by rail
  direct, to the great markets of the world; while the numerous mining
  camps in the RICH GOLD AND SILVER SECTION through which the Northern
  Pacific Railroad passes, afford a western market at good prices. The
  United States Government is also a large purchaser of oats, hay and
  provisions in North Dakota and Montana for use at the various
  military posts. The immense flouring mills at Minneapolis and other
  points, which grind over 24,000,000 bushels of wheat a year, are
  active bidders for the "No. 1 Hard" spring wheat grown along the
  Northern Pacific. The great wheat belt which produces the celebrated
  hard spring wheat—Scotch Fife—which is acknowledged to be superior
  to any other variety grown, is traversed by the Northern Pacific
  Railroad for a distance of over 600 miles, through Northern
  Minnesota and North Dakota.

  Reduced rates of fare are given land seekers, and reduced rates of
  fare and freight to settlers in North Dakota.

  Settlers will find people of their own nationality in the country
  along the Railroad, and the Land Department employs Norwegian,
  Swedish and German agents, who are ready to meet emigrants and give
  them all needed information and assistance.

  There are splendid openings in this new and rapidly developing
  country for carpenters, painters, blacksmiths, plumbers, shoemakers,
  tailors, harness-makers, and workers at all other trades.

  It costs more per acre for manure, lime and other fertilizers
  annually on many of the eastern farms than the best wheat lands in
  the Northern Pacific country cost per acre.

                  *       *       *       *       *

=FREE!= For Maps and Descriptive Publications, SENT FREE OF CHARGE, and
for all information relating to lands and the Northern Pacific Country,
apply to or address

           P. B. GROAT,       or       CHAS. B. LAMBORN,
             General Emigration Agent,   Land Commissioner,
                 ST. PAUL, MINN.              ST. PAUL, MINN.

                             THE BEST HOMES

For 10,000,000 People now await occupancy in Minnesota, North Dakota,
Montana, Northern Idaho, Washington, and Oregon.


[Sidenote: 2,000,000 Families
           10,000,000 Souls!]

Of the Great Population—no man can predict how great it will
become—which will soon inhabit this vast region, the new comers from the
older States will become the first families, and leaders, socially and
politically, in this newly opened section of the United States. They
will all become prosperous, and many will acquire fortunes in a short
period, by turning the vast wheat-producing lands, ready for the plough,
into productive farms; by stock-raising, on the immense grazing ranges;
by developing the resources of the extensive forests and mineral
districts; by engaging in various trades and manufacturing enterprises;
and by investments in the thriving new towns and other property in the
vast region opened for settlement all along the line of the

                       NORTHERN PACIFIC RAILROAD.

[Sidenote: =LANDS!=]

Millions and Millions of Acres of low-priced Lands for sale by the
Northern Pacific Railroad Company on Easy Terms, and an equal amount of
Government lands lying in alternate sections with the railroad land, are
offered free to settlers, under the Homestead, Preemption and Tree
Culture laws.


Agricultural lands of the Company east of the Missouri River, in
Minnesota and North Dakota, are sold chiefly at from $4.00 to $5.00 per
acre, Grazing lands at from $3.00 to $4.00 per acre; and the preferred
stock of the Company will be received at par in payment. When lands are
purchased on five years' time, one-sixth stock or cash is required at
time of purchase, and the balance in five equal annual payments in stock
or cash, with interest at 7 per cent.

The price of agricultural lands in North Dakota west of the Missouri
River, ranges chiefly from $3.00 to $3.50 per acre, and Grazing lands
from $2.00 to $2.50 per acre. In Montana the price ranges chiefly from
$3.00 to $5.00 per acre for Agricultural lands, and from $1.25 to $2.50
per acre for Grazing lands. If purchased on five years' time one-sixth
cash, and the balance in five equal annual cash payments, with interest
at 7 per cent. per annum.

The price of agricultural lands in Washington and Oregon ranges chiefly
from $2.60 to $6.00 per acre. If purchased on five years' time,
one-fifth cash. At end of first year the interest only on the unpaid
amount. One-fifth of principal and interest due at end of next four
years. Interest at 7 per cent. per annum.

=On ten years' time.=—Actual settlers can purchase not to exceed 320
acres of Agricultural land in Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho,
Washington, and Oregon on ten years' time at 7 per cent. interest,
one-tenth cash at time of purchase and balance in nine equal annual
payments, beginning at the end of the second year. At the end of the
first year the interest only is required to be paid. Purchasers on the
ten-year credit plan are required to settle on the land purchased and to
cultivate and improve the same.

                  *       *       *       *       *

=FREE!= For Maps and Descriptive Publications, SENT FREE OF CHARGE, and
for all information relating to lands and the Northern Pacific Country,
apply to or address

           P. B. GROAT,       or       CHAS. B. LAMBORN,
             General Emigration Agent,   Land Commissioner,
                 ST. PAUL, MINN.              ST. PAUL, MINN.



 _Imp. 32mo. fancy boards, 1s.; limp leather-cloth, gilt edges, 1s. 6d._

   ⁂ _Also a Large Paper Edition, printed on hand-made paper parchment
                    binding, price 5s._ (_all sold_).

                          OPINIONS OF THE PRESS.

  =The Athenæum= says:—"This is an amusing little book, written with
  much brightness and considerable literary skill."

  =The Standard=, _Dec. 24, 1884_:—"It is written in an exceptionally
  bright and genial style ... his writings bespeak an intense love of
  Nature and a keen power of observation. A strong vein of quiet
  humour runs through the volume, mingled with thoughts sometimes
  serious, sometimes playful. Altogether it is one of the most
  pleasantly written little books which we have read for a long time."

  =The Daily News= says:—"Herein is the charm of the book.... For an
  amateur, he certainly saturates you thoroughly with true Dove Dale

  =The Pall Mall Gazette=:—"This is a pleasant book to read 'now that
  the fields are dank and ways are mire.'"

  =The World= says:—"Not merely by brethren of the rod, but by all who
  appreciate Nature in her prettiest haunts it will be found pleasant

  =The Illustrated News= says:—"This charming bit of personal
  narrative ... will certainly be preserved on many a shelf where
  Izaak Walton and Charles Cotton hold the most honoured place."

  =The Graphic= says:—"Written in a charming spirit, with plenty of
  quiet humour in it."

  =Harper's Magazine=, _Jan. 1885_:—"He is _serus stud orum_, he is
  only learning to fish, but he can write, and has made a very
  charming though brief addition to angling literature."

  =The Field= says:—"Anyhow, the result of 'The Dove Dale Holidays' is
  a delightful pocket companion.... The principal charm of the little
  work is that it will be equally interesting to anglers and

  =The St. James's Gazette=:—"Every page of it is good—a bright little
  volume. Worthy of gracious acceptance from all sorts and conditions
  of readers."

  =The Daily Telegraph=:—"The fisherman, who must be as pleasant a
  companion by the waterside, as he is genial as an author, tells us
  how he spent three weeks' holidays, &c.... may employ very
  pleasantly half-an-hour of any angler's time."

  =The Guardian=, _Nov. 19_, says:—"Tells in a very pleasant fashion
  how a delightful three weeks' holiday may be spent in beautiful Dove

  =Glasgow Herald=:—"Decidedly interesting and amusing. It is
  gracefully and lightly written ... he tells the story ... with much
  quiet and quaint humour.... No angler should be without this
  excellent little book."

  =The Whitehall Review=:—"This is one of the most charming little
  books we have met with for some time."

  =The St. Stephen's Review=:—"No more charming little work than this
  has been published for many a day."

  =Army and Navy Gazette=:—"A very pleasant little book."

  =Daily Chronicle=:—"An entertaining little book."

  =Civil Service Gazette=:—"This charming and interesting little

  =The Bookseller=:—"A dainty little volume.... The author tells in a
  most charmingly simple style.... There is much quiet humour in the
  book.... The dedication is a little gem in its way."

  =The Literary World=:—"Others besides anglers will read with
  interest this pleasant record of a holiday."

  =The Sunday Times= says:—"One of those charming little
  _quasi-extempore_ books.... We have enjoyed a very pleasant hour in

  =The Publishers' Circular=:—"All lovers of this picturesque scenery
  will welcome this fresh and natural tribute to its merits."

  =Lloyd's Weekly=:—"A genial, pleasant little book, written in the
  happiest vein."

  =The Derby Mercury= says:—"We have read no pleasanter book of its
  kind.... Always genial, sometimes humorous, sometimes thoughtful,
  sometimes playful, and invariably readable, displaying, though
  without parade, the signs of considerable culture."

  =Exeter and Plymouth Gazette=:—"This is not the sort of bookmaker
  that the critic impales upon his hook. We hail him as the pleasant
  companion whose pleasant chat and merry companionship will beguile
  the hot hours," &c.

  =The Weekly Dispatch=:—"A dainty little book by a disciple of Izaak
  Walton, who shows himself not unworthy to be named with his master,
  alike for steady handling of a line and for rambling use of a neat
  pen. He gossips pleasantly about the ins and outs of a corner of

  =Land and Water=:—"This is a very charming little book.... One of
  the brightest which we have read for many a long day, and we look
  forward to the publication of some more letters from the author."

  =Spectator=:—"He seems to have got a good deal of pleasure out of
  his fishing; and something of this he is good enough to communicate
  to his readers."

  =The Banner=:—"Tells most charmingly his successes as well as his

  =Decoration=:—"Out of very slight materials, by sheer charm of
  style, the author has succeeded in making a very fascinating
  book.... The author shows a cultured taste."

  =Warrington Guardian=:—"An entertaining series of sketches."

  =Bath Herald=:—"His descriptions of scenery and places of note are
  forcible without being laboured."

  =Western Daily Mercury=:—"He is a more skilled handler of the pen
  than the rod, and his letters will be read with a great deal of
  pleasure, whether by anglers or by lovers of the picturesque in

                CROWN BUILDINGS, 188, FLEET STREET, E C.



                Cheery, chatty, breezy booklet,
                  Breathing scents of wilding flowers,
                Cool and clear as mountain brooklet,
                Yet diffusing warmth of sunshine
                  Thro' these wintry hours;


                Whence the power thy artless pages
                  Have to soothe my weary brain,
                Killing cares that Wisdom's sages,
                Plying philosophic maxims,
                  Reason with in vain?


                Hence:—because, like him thou ownest
                  With such modest grace, thy king,[7]
                To the heart that's saddest, lonest,
                Needing healing, thou dost simply
                  Nature's simples bring.


                Nature's simples, God's specific,
                  Pure and sweet as Cana's wine,
                Flowing from His hand benefic,
                Fresh, by art left uncorrupted,
                  Living blood of vine!—


                Making glad man's heart and lifting
                  From it all its weight of care,
                Till its sorrows seem like drifting
                Clouds that fly before the rising
                  Of a mountain air.


                Thanks for such a breeze, O writer,
                  Blown from thy pure page to-night!
                Night without its darkness, brighter
                Far than common days, for with thee
                  I have walked in light;


                Shared thy hope whilst thou hast angled,
                  Nor could help a laugh, to see
                All thy woes with line entangled,
                All thy flyless whippings, and thy
                  Flight from angry bee!


                Felt a sympathetic sadness
                  With thy disappointments: seen
                With delight that sight of gladness—
                Age and infancy together
                  Romping on the green!


                O, with Lorna and with Alice,
                  Far from stir and strife of men,
                Rod in hand, refill thy chalice
                In the dales of Dove, and often
                  Prythee write again!

                                      COTSWOLD ISYS.

Footnote 7:

  Izaak Walton.

_Jun 16th, 1885._



                      TOOKS COURT, CHANCERY LANE.

                          TRANSCRIBER'S NOTES

 1. Added missing PART I on p. 1.
 2. Corrected quelch to gulch on p. 30.
 3. Corrected cataractic to cataphractic on p. 201.
 4. Silently corrected simple spelling, grammar, and typographical
 5. Retained anachronistic and non-standard spellings as printed.
 6. Enclosed italics font in _underscores_.
 7. Enclosed bold font in =equals=.

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enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.