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Title: Sinners and Saints - A Tour Across the States and Round Them, with Three Months - Among the Mormons
Author: Robinson, Phil (Philip Stewart)
Language: English
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Fluckiger, Mariah Averett, and Lauren McGuinness.



SINNERS AND SAINTS

A TOUR ACROSS THE STATES, AND ROUND THEM

WITH

THREE MONTHS AMONG THE MORMONS


BY PHIL ROBINSON

AUTHOR OF "IN MY INDIAN GARDEN," "UNDER THE PUNKAH," "NOAH'S ARK,'"
ETC., ETC.


NEW AND CHEAPER EDITION


LONDON

1892



Inscribed,

WITH AUTHOR'S GRATITUDE, TO A FRIEND, JOHN STUART DOWNING.



CONTENTS.

--

CHAPTER I.

FROM NEW YORK TO CHICAGO.

By the Pennsylvania Limited--Her Majesty's swine--Glimpses of
Africa and India--"Eligible sites for Kingdoms"--The Phoenix
city--Street scenes--From pig to pork--The Sparrow line--Chicago
Mountain--Melancholy merry-makers.


CHAPTER II.

FROM CHICAGO TO DENVER.

Fathers of Waters--"Rich Lands lie Flat"--The Misery River--Council
Bluffs--A "Live" town, sir--Two murders: a contrast--Omaha--The
immorality of "writing up"--On the prairies--The modesty of
"Wish-ton-Wish"--The antelope's tower of refuge--Out of Nebraska into
Colorado--Man-eating Tiger.


CHAPTER III.

IN LEADVILLE.

The South Park line--Oscar Wilde on sunflowers as food--In a
wash-hand basin--Anti-Vigilance Committees--Leadville the city of
the carbonates--"Busted" millionaires--The philosophy of thick
boots--Colorado miners--National competition in lions--Abuse of the
terms "gentleman" and "lady"--Up at the mines--Under the pine-trees.


CHAPTER IV.

FROM LEADVILLE TO SALT LAKE CITY.

What is the conductor of a Pullman car?--Cannibalism fatal to lasting
friendships--Starving Peter to feed Paul--Connexion between Irish
cookery and Parnellism--Americans not smokers--In Denver--"The Queen
City of the Plains"--Over the Rockies--Pride in a cow, and what came
of it--Sage-brush--Would ostriches pay in the West?--Echo Canyon--The
Mormons' fortifications--Great Salt Lake in sight.


CHAPTER V.

THE CITY OF THE HONEY-BEE.

Zion--Deseret--A City Of Two Peoples--"Work" the watch-word of
Mormonism--A few facts to the credit of the Saints--The text of the
Edmunds Bill--In the Mormon Tabernacle--The closing scene of the
Conference.


CHAPTER VI.

LEGISLATION AGAINST PLURALITY.

A people under a ban--What the Mormon men think of the Anti-Polygamy
Bill--And what the Mormon women say of polygamy--Puzzling
confidences--Practical plurality a very dull affair--But theoretically
a hedge-hog problem--Matrimonial eccentricities--The fashionable
milliner fatal to plurality--Absurdity of comparing Moslem polygamy
with Mormon plurality--Are the women of Utah happy?--Their enthusiasm
for Women's Rights.


CHAPTER VII.

SUA SI BONA NORINT.

A Special Correspondent's lot--Hypothecated wits--The Daughters of
Zion--Their modest demeanour--Under the banner of Woman's Rights--The
discoverer discovered--Turning the tables--"By Jove, sir, you shall
have mustard with your beefsteak!"


CHAPTER VIII.

COULD THE MORMONS FIGHT?

An unfulfilled prophecy--Had Brigham Young been still
alive?--The hierarchy of Mormonism--The fighting Apostle and his
colleagues--Plurality a revelation--Rajpoot infanticide: how it was
stamped out--Would the Mormons submit to the process?--Their fighting
capabilities--Boer and Mormon: an analogy between the Drakensberg and
the Wasatch ranges--The Puritan fanaticism of the Saints--Awaiting the
fulness of time and of prophecy.


CHAPTER IX.

THE SAINTS AND THE RED MEN.

Prevalent errors as to the red man--Secret treaties--The policy of the
Mormons towards Indians--A Christian heathen--Fighting-strength of
Indians friendly to Mormons.


CHAPTER X.

REPRESENTATIVE AND UNREPRESENTATIVE MORMONISM.

Mormonism and Mormonism--Salt Lake City not representative--The
miracles of water--How settlements grow--The town of Logan: one of the
Wonders of the West--The beauty of the valley--The rural simplicity of
life--Absence of liquor and crime--A police force of one man--Temple
mysteries--Illustrations of Mormon degradation--Their settlement of the
"local option" question.


CHAPTER XI.

THROUGH THE MORMON SETTLEMENTS.

Salt Lake City to Nephi--General similarity of the settlements--From
Salt Lake Valley into Utah Valley--A lake of legends--Provo--Into
the Juab valley--Indian reminiscences--Commercial integrity of the
saints--At Nephi--Good work done by the saints--Type of face in rural
Utah--Mormon "doctrine" and Mormon "meetings."


CHAPTER XII.

FROM NEPHI TO MANTI.

English companies and their failures--A deplorable neglect of claret
cup--Into the San Pete Valley--Reminiscences of the Indians--The
forbearance of the red man--The great temple at Manti--Masonry and
Mormon mysteries--In a tithing-house.


CHAPTER XIII.

FROM MANTI TO GLENWOOD.

Scandinavian Mormons--Danish ol--Among the orchards at Manti--On the
way to Conference--Adam and Eve--The protoplasm of a settlement--Ham
and eggs--At Mayfield--Our teamster's theory of the ground-hog--On
the way to Glenwood--Volcanic phenomena and lizards--A suggestion for
improving upon Nature--Primitive Art.


CHAPTER XIV.

FROM GLENWOOD TO MONROE.

From Glenwood to Salina--Deceptiveness of appearances--An apostate
Mormon's friendly testimony--Reminiscences of the Prophet Joseph
Smith--Rabbit-hunting in a waggon--Lost in the sage-brush--A day at
Monroe--Girls riding pillion--The Sunday drum--Waiting for the right
man: "And what if he is married?"--The truth about apostasy: not always
voluntary.


CHAPTER XV.

AT MONROE.

"Schooling" in the Mormon districts--Innocence as to whisky, but
connoisseurs in water--"What do you think of that water, sir?"--Gentile
dependents on Mormon charity--The one-eyed rooster--Notice to All!


CHAPTER XVI.

JACOB HAMBLIN.

A Mormon missionary among the Indians--The story Of Jacob Hamblin's
life--His spiritualism, the result of an intense faith--His good work
among the Lamanites--His belief in his own miracles.


CHAPTER XVII.

THROUGH MARYSVALE TO KINGSTON.

Piute County--Days of small things--A swop in the sage-brush; two
Bishops for one Apostle--The Kings of Kingston--A failure in Family.


CHAPTER XVIII.

FROM KINGSTON TO ORDERVILLE.

On the way to Panguitch--Section-houses not Mormon homes--Through wild
country--Panguitch and its fish--Forbidden pleasures--At the Source of
the Rio Virgin--The surpassing beauty of Long Valley--The Orderville
Brethren--A success in Family Communism.


CHAPTER XIX.

MORMON VIRTUES.

Red ants and anti-Mormons--Ignorance of the Mormons among
Gentiles in Salt Lake City--Mormon reverence for the Bible--Their
struggle against drinking-saloons in the city--Conspicuous piety
in the settlements--Their charity--Their sobriety (to my great
inconvenience)--The literature of Mormonism utterly unreliable--Neglect
of the press by the Saints--Explanation of the wide-spread
misrepresentation of Mormonism.


CHAPTER XX.

DOWN THE ONTARIO MINE


CHAPTER XXI.

FROM UTAH INTO NEVADA.

Rich and ugly Nevada--Leaving Utah--The gift of the Alfalfa--Through a
lovely country to Ogden--The great food devouring trick--From Mormon to
Gentile: a sudden contrast--The son of a cinder--Is the red man of no
use at all?--The papoose's papoose--Children all of one family.


CHAPTER XXII.

FROM NEVADA INTO CALIFORNIA.

Of bugbears--Suggestions as to sleeping-cars--A Bannack chief, his
hat and his retinue--The oasis of Humboldt--Past Carson Sink--A
reminiscence of wolves--"Hard places"--First glimpses of California--A
corn miracle--Bunch-grass and Bison--From Sacramento to Benicia.


CHAPTER XXIII.

San Franciscans, their fruits and their falsehoods--Their neglect
of opportunities--A plague of flies--The pigtail problem--Chinamen
less black than they are painted--The seal rocks--The loss of the
Eurydice--A jeweller's fairyland--The mystery of gems.


CHAPTER XXIV.

Gigantic America--Of the treatment of strangers--The wild-life
world--Railway Companies' food-frauds--California Felix--Prairie-dog
history--The exasperation of wealth--Blessed with good oil--The
meek lettuce and judicious onion--Salads and Salads--The perils of
promiscuous grazing.


CHAPTER XXV.

The Carlyle of vegetables--The moral in blight--Bee-farms--The city of
Angels--Of squashes--Curious vegetation--The incompatibility of camels
and Americans--Are rabbits "seals"?--All wilderness and no weather--An
"infinite torment of flies."


CHAPTER XXVI.

THROUGH THE COWBOYS' COUNTRY.

The Santa Cruz valley--The cactus--An ancient and honourable pueblo--A
terrible beverage--Are cicadas deaf?--A floral catastrophe--The
secretary and the peccaries.


CHAPTER XXVII.

American neglect of natural history--Prairie-dogs again; their courtesy
and colouring--Their indifference to science--A hard crowd--Chuckers
out--Makeshift Colorado.


CHAPTER XXVIII.

Nature's holiday--Through wonderful country--Brown negroes a libel
on mankind--The Wild-flower State--The black problem--A piebald
flirt--The hippopotamus and the flea--A narrow escape--The home of the
swamp-goblin--Is the moon a fraud?


CHAPTER XXIX.

Frogs, in the swamp and as a side-dish--Negroids of the swamp
age--Something like a mouth--Honour in your own country--The Land of
Promise--Civilization again.



CHAPTER I.

FROM NEW YORK TO CHICAGO.

    By the Pennsylvania Limited--Her Majesty's swine--Glimpses of
    Africa and India--"Eligible sites for Kingdoms"--The Phoenix
    city--Street scenes--From pig to pork--The Sparrow line--Chicago
    Mountain--Melancholy merry-makers.

"DOES the fast train to Chicago ever stop?" was the question of a
bewildered English fellow-passenger, Westward-bound like myself, as I
took my seat in the car of the Pennsylvania Limited mail that was to
carry me nearly half the distance from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
"Oh, yes," I replied, "it stops--at Chicago."

By this he recognized in me a fellow-innocent, and so we foregathered
at once, breakfasted together, and then went out to smoke the calumet
together.

--

To an insular traveller, it is a prodigiously long journey this,
across the continent of America, but I found the journey a perpetual
enjoyment. Even the dull country of the first hour's travelling had
many points of interest for the stranger--scattered hamlets of wooden
houses that were only joined together by straggling strings of cocks
and hens; the others that seemed to have been trying to scramble over
the hill and down the other side but were caught just as they got to
the top and pinned down to the ground with lightning conductors; the
others that had palings round them to keep them from running away, but
had got on to piles as if they were stilts and intended (when no one
was looking) to skip over the palings and go away; the others that had
rows of dwarf fir-trees in front of them, through which they stared out
of both their windows like a forward child affecting to be shy behind
its fingers. These fir-trees are themselves very curious, for they give
the country a half-cultivated appearance, and in some places make the
hillsides and valleys look like immense cemeteries, and only waiting
for the tombstones. Even the levels of flooded land and the scorched
forests were of interest, as significant of a country still busy over
its rudiments.

"All charcoal and puddles," said a fellow-traveller disparagingly; "I'm
very glad we're going so fast through it."

Now for my own part I think it looks very uncivil of a train to go
with a screech through a station without stopping, and I always wish I
could say something in the way of an apology to the station-master for
the train's bad manners. No doubt people who live in very small places
get accustomed to trains rushing past their platforms without stopping
even to say "By your leave." But at first it must be rather painful.
At least I should think it was. On the other hand, the people "in the
mofussil" (which is the Anglo-Indian for "all the country outside one's
own town") did not pay much attention to our train. Everybody went
about their several works for all the world as if we were not flashing
by. Even the dogs trotted about indifferently, without even so much as
noticing us, except occasionally some distant mongrel, who barked at
the train as if it was a stray bullock, and smiled complacently upon
the adjoining landscape when he found how thoroughly he had frightened
it away.

There seemed to me a curious dearth of small wild life. The English
"country" is so full of birds that all others seem, by comparison,
birdles. Once, I saw a russet-winged hawk hovering over a copse of
water-oak as if it saw something worth eating there; once, too, I saw
a blue-bird brighten a clump of cedars. Now and again a vagabond crow
drifted across the sky. But, as compared with Europe or parts of the
East which I know best, bird-life was very scanty.

And presently Philadelphia came sliding along to meet us with a stately
decorum of metalled roads and well-kept public grounds, and we stopped
for the first of the twelve halts, worth calling such, which I had to
make in the 3000 miles between the Atlantic and the Pacific.

How treacherously the trains in America start! There is no warning
given, so far as an ordinary passenger can see, that the start is under
contemplation, and it takes him by surprise. The American understands
that "All aboard" means "If you don't jump up at once you'll be left
behind." But to those accustomed to a "first" and a "second" and a
"third" bell--and accustomed, too, not to get up even then until the
guard has begged them as a personal favour to take their seats--the
sudden departure of the American locomotive presents itself as a rather
shabby sort of practical joke.

The quiet, unobtrusive scenery beyond Philadelphia is English in
character, and would be still more so if there were hedges instead
of railings. By the way, whenever reading biographical notices of
distinguished Americans I have been surprised to find that so many of
them at one time or other had "split rails" for a subsistence. But now
that I have followed the "course of empire" West, I am not the least
surprised. I only wonder that every American has not split rails, at
one time or another, or, indeed, gone on doing it all his life. For
how such a prodigious quantity of rails ever got split (even supposing
distinguished men to have assisted in the industry in early life)
passes my feeble comprehension. All the way from New York to Chicago
there are on an average twenty lines of split rails running parallel
with the railway track, in sight all at once! And after all, this is
only one narrow strip across a gigantic continent. In fact, the two
most prominent "natural features" of the landscape along this route are
dwarf firs and split rails. But no writer on America has ever told me
so. Nor have I ever been told of the curious misapprehension prevalent
in the States as to the liberty of the subject in the British Isles.

In America, judging at any rate from the speech of "the average
American," I find that there is a belief prevalent that the English
nation "lies prostrate under the heel of a tyrant." What a shock to
those who think thus, must have been that recent episode of the queen's
pigs at Slough!

Six swine and a calf belonging to her Majesty found themselves, the
other day, impounded by the Slough magistrates for coming to market
without a licence. Slough, from geographical circumstances over which
it has no control, happens to be in Buckinghamshire, and this country
has been declared "an infected district," so that the bailiff who
brought his sovereign's pigs to market, without due authority to do
so, transgressed the law. Two majesties thus came into collision
over the calf, and that of the law prevailed. Such a constitutional
triumph as this goes far to clear away the clouds that appeared to be
gathered upon the political horizon, and the shadows of a despotic
dictatorship which seemed to be falling across England begin to
vanish. The written law, contained probably in a very dilapidated
old copy in the possession of these rural magistrates, a dogs'-eared
and, it may be, even a ragged volume, asserted itself supreme over a
monarch's farmyard stock, and dared to break down that divinity which
doth hedge a Sovereign's swine. There are some who say that in the
British Isles men are losing their reverence for the law, and that
justice wears two faces, one for the rich and another for the poor.
They would have us believe that only the parasites of princes sit in
high place, and that the scales of justice rise or fall according to
the inclinations of the sceptre, with the obsequious regularity of the
tides that wait upon the humours of the moon. But such an incident
as this, when the Justices of Slough, those intrepid Hampdens, sate
sternly in their places, and, fearless of Royal frowns and all the
displeasure of Windsor, dispensed to the pigs, born in the purple, and
to the calf that had lived so near a throne, the impartial retribution
of a fine--with costs--gives a splendid refutation to these calumnies.
Where shall we look in Republican history for such another incident?
or where search for dauntless magistrates like those of Slough, who
shut their eyes against the reflected glitter of a Court, who fined the
Royal calf for risking the health of Hodge's miserable herd, and gave
the costs against the Imperial pigs for travelling into Buckinghamshire
without a licence? Fiat justitia, ruat coelum. There was no truckling
here to borrowed majesty, no sycophant adulation of Royal ownership;
but that fine old English spirit of courageous independence which has
made tyrants impossible in our island and our law supreme. It was of
no use before such men as these, the stout-hearted champions of equal
justice, for the bailiff to plead manorial privilege, or to threaten
the thunders of the House of Brunswick. They were as implacable as a
bench of Rhadamanthuses, and gave these distinguished hogs the grim
choice between paying a pound or going to one. Nor, to their credit
be it said, did either bailiff, calf, or pigs exhibit resentment. On
the contrary, they accepted judgment with that respectful acquiescence
which characterizes our law-abiding race, and the swine turned without
a murmur from the scene of their repulse, and trotted cheerfully before
the bailiff out of Buckinghamshire back to Windsor.

The bailiff, no doubt, bethought him of the past, and wished the good
old days of feudalism were back, when a King's pig was a better man
than a Buckinghamshire magistrate. But if he did, he abstained from
saying so. On the contrary, he paid his fine like a loyal subject, and
gathering his innocent charges round him went forth, more in sorrow
than in anger, from the presence of the magisterial champions of the
public interests. The punished pigs, too, may have felt, perhaps,
just a twinge of regret for the days when they roamed at will over
the oak-grown shires, infecting each other as they chose, without any
thought of Contagious Diseases Acts or vigilant justices. But they
said nothing; and the spectacle of an upright stipendiary dispensing
impartial justice to a law-abiding aristocracy was thus complete.

To return to my car. Beyond Philadelphia the country was waking up for
Spring. The fields were all flushed with the first bright promise of
harvest; blackbirds--reminding me of the Indian king-crows in their
sliding manner of flight and the conspicuous way in which they use
their tails as rudders--were flying about in sociable parties; and
flocks of finches went jerking up the hill-sides by fits and starts
after the fashion of these frivolous little folk.

A mica-schist (it may be gneiss) abounds along the railway track, and
it occurred to me that I had never, except in India, seen this material
used for the ornamentation of houses. Yet it is very beautiful. In the
East they beat it up into a powder--some is white, some yellow--and
after mixing it with weak lime and water, wash the walls with it, the
result being a very effective although subdued sparkle, in some places
silvery, in others golden.

Nearing Harrisburg the country begins to resemble upper Natal very
strongly, and when we reached the Susquehanna, I could easily have
believed that we were on the Mooi, on the borders of Zululand. But the
superior majesty of the American river soon asserted itself, and I
forgot the comparison altogether as I looked out on this truly noble
stream, with the finely wooded hills leaning back from it on either
side, as if to give its waters more spacious way.

And then Harrisburg, and the same stealthy departure of the train.
But outside the station our having started was evident enough, for
a horse that had been left to look after a buggy for a few minutes,
took fright, and with three frantic kangaroo-leaps tried to take the
conveyance whole over a wall. But failing in this, it careered away
down the road with the balance of the buggy dangling in a draggle-tail
sort of way behind it.

Nature works with so few ingredients that landscape repeats itself in
every continent. For there is a limit, after all, to the combinations
possible of water, mountain, plain, valley, and vegetation. This is
strictly true, of course, only when we deal with things generically.
Specific combinations go beyond arithmetic. But even with her species,
Nature delights in singing over old songs and telling the tales
she has already told. For instance here, after passing Harrisburg,
is a wonderful glimpse of Naini Tal in the Indian hills--memorable
for a terribly fatal landslip three years ago--with its oaks and
rhododendrons and scattered pines. In the valleys the streams go
tumbling along with willows on either bank, and here and there on the
hillsides, shine white houses with orchards about them.

The houses men build for themselves when they are thinking only of
shelter are ugly enough. Elegance, like the nightingale, is a creature
of summer-time, when the hard-working months of the year are over and
Nature sits in her drawing-room, so to speak, playing the fine lady,
painting the roses and sweetening the peaches. But, ugly though they
are, these scattered homesteads are by far the finest lines in all the
great poem of this half-wild continent, and lend a grand significance
to every passage in which they occur. And the pathos of it! Look at
those two horses and a man driving a plough through that scrap of
ground yonder. There is not another living object in view, though the
eye covers enough ground for a European principality. Yet that man
dares to challenge all this tremendous Nature! It is David before
Goliath, before a whole wilderness of Goliaths, with a plough for a
sling and a ploughshare for a pebble.

Here all of a sudden is another man, all alone with some millions of
trees and the Alleghanies. And he stands there with an axe in his
hands, revolving in that untidy head of his what he shall do next to
the old hills and their reverend forest growth. The audacity of it, and
the solemnity!

It would be as well perhaps for sentiment if every man was quite alone.
For I find that if there are two men together one immediately tries
to sell the other something; and to inform him of its nature, he goes
and paints the name of his disgusting commodities on the smooth faces
of rocks and on tree-trunks. Now, any landscape, however grand, loses
in dignity if you see "Bunkum's Patent" inscribed in the foreground in
whitewash letters six feet high.

What a mercy it is these quacks cannot advertise on the sky--or on
running water!

For the river is now at its grandest and it keeps with us all the
afternoon, showing on either side splendid waterways between sloping
spurs of the hills densely wooded and strewn with great boulders.
But on a sudden the mountains are gone and the river with them, and
we speed along through a region of green grass-land and abundant
cultivation. Land agents might truthfully advertise it in lots as
"eligible sites for kingdoms."

And so on, past townships, whose names running (at forty miles an hour)
no man can read, and round the famous "horseshoe curve"--where it looks
as if the train were trying to get its head round in order to swallow
its tail--down into valleys already taking their evening tints of misty
purple, and pink, and pale blue. And then Derry.

Just before we arrived there, two freight trains had selected Derry as
an opportune spot for a collision, and had collided accordingly. There
could have been very little reservation about their collision, for the
wreck was complete, and when we got under way again we could just make
out by the moonlight the scattered limbs of carriages lying heaped
about on the bank. In some places it looked as if a clumsy apprentice
had been trying to make packing-cases out of freight wagons, but had
given up on finding that he had broken the pieces too small. And they
were too big for matches. So it was rather a useless sort of collision,
after all--and no one was hurt.

But "the Pennsylvania Limited" has very little leisure to think about
other people's collisions, and so we were soon on our way again through
the moonlit country, with the hills in the distance lying still and
black, like round-backed monsters sleeping, and the stations going by
in sudden snatches of lamplight, and every now and then a train, its
bell giving a wail exactly like the sound of a shell as it passes over
the trenches. And so to Pittsburg, and, our "five minutes" over, the
train stole away like a hyena, snarling and hiccoughing, and we were
again out in the country, with everything about us beautified by the
gracious alchemy of the moonlight and the stars.

And the Ohio River rolled alongside, with its steamers ploughing
up furrows of ghostly white froth, and unwinding as they went long
streamers of ghostly black--and then I fell asleep.

When I awoke next morning I was in Indiana, and very sunny it looked
without a hill in sight to make a shadow. The water stood in lakes on
the dead level of the country, and horses, cattle, sheep, and here and
there a pig--a pregustation of Chicago--grazed and rooted, very well
satisfied apparently with pastures that had no ups and downs to trouble
them as they loitered about. And as the morning wore on, the people
woke up, and were soon as busy as their windmills. In the fields the
teams were ploughing; in the towns, the children were trooping off to
school. But the eternal level began at last, apparently, to weary the
Pennsylvania Limited, for it commenced slackening speed and finding
frivolous pretexts for coming nearly to a standstill--the climax being
reached when we halted in front of a small, piebald pig. We looked at
the pig and the pig looked at us, and the pig got the best of it, for
we sneaked off, leaving the porker master of the situation and still
looking.

But these great flats--what a paradise of snipe they are, and how
golf-players might revel on them! Birds were abundant. Crows went about
in bands recruiting "black marauders" in every copse; blackbirds flew
over in flocks, and small things of the linnet kind rose in wisps from
the sedges and osiers. And there was another bird of which I did not
then know the name, that was a surprise every time it left the ground,
for it sate all black and flew half scarlet. Could not these marsh
levels be utilized for the Indian water-nut, the singhara? In Asia
where it is cultivated it ranks almost as a local staple of food, and
is delicious.

A noteworthy feature of the country, by the way, is the sudden
appearance of hedge-rows. No detail of landscape that I know of makes
scenery at once so English. And then we find ourselves steaming along
past beds of osiers, with long waterways stretching up northwards, with
here and there painted duck, like the European sheldrake, floating
under the shadows of the fir-trees, and then I became aware of a great
green expanse of water showing through the trees, and I asked "What is
that? The water must be very deep to be such a colour." "That is Lake
Michigan," was the answer, "and this is Chicago we are coming to now."

And very soon we found ourselves in the station of the great city by
the lake, with the masts of shipping alongside the funnels of engines.
But not a pig in sight!

I had thought that Chicago was all pigs.

And what a city it is, this central wonder of the States! As a whole,
Chicago is nearly terrific. The real significance of this phoenix city
is almost appalling. Its astonishing resurrection from its ashes and
its tremendous energy terrify jelly-fishes like myself. Before they
have got roads that are fit to be called roads, these Chicago men have
piled up the new County Hall, to my mind one of the most imposing
structures I have ever seen in all my wide travels.

Chicago does not altogether seem to like it, for every one spoke of
it as "too solid-looking," but for my part I think it almost superb.
The architect's name, I believe, is Egan; but whence he got his
architectural inspiration I cannot say. It reminds me in part of a wing
of the Tuileries, but why it does I could not make up my mind.

Then again, look at this Chicago which allows its business
thoroughfares to be so sumptuously neglected--some of them are almost
as disreputable-looking as Broadway--and goes and lays out imperial
"boulevards" to connect its "system of parks." These boulevards, simply
if left alone for the trees to grow up and the turf to grow thick,
will before long be the finest in all the world. The streets in the
city, however, if left alone much longer, would be a disgrace to--well,
say Port Said. The local administration, they say, is "corrupt." But
that is the standing American explanation for everything with which a
stranger finds fault. I was always told the same in New York--and would
you seriously tell me that the municipal administration of New York
is corrupt?--to account for congestion of traffic, fat policemen, bad
lamps, sidewalks blocked with packing-cases, &c., &c. And in Chicago it
accounts for the streets being more like rolling prairie than streets,
for cigar stores being houses of assignation, for there being so much
orange peel and banana skin on the sidewalks, &c., &c. But I am not at
all sure that "municipal corruption" is not a scapegoat for want of
public spirit.

But let the public spirit be as it may, there can be no doubt as to
the private enterprise in Chicago. Take the iron industry alone--what
prodigious proportions it is assuming, and how vastly it will be
increased when that circum-urban "belt line" of railways is completed!
Take, again, the Pullman factories. They by themselves form an industry
which might satisfy any town of moderate appetite. But Chicago is a
veritable glutton for speculative trade.

The streets at all times abound with incident. Here at one corner was
a Hansom cab, surely the very latest development of European science,
with two small black children, looking like imps in a Drury Lane
pantomime, trying to pin "April Fool" on to the cabman's dependent
tails. Could anything be more incongruous? In the first place, what
have negro children to do with April fooling? and in the next, imagine
these small scraps in ebony taking liberties with a Hansom! A group
of cowboy-and-miner looking men were grouped in ludicrous attitudes
of sentimentality before a concertina-player, who was wheezing out
his own version of "old country" airs. On the arm of one of the group
languished a lady with a very dark skin, dressed in a rich black silk
dress, with a black satin mantle trimmed with sumptuous fur, and
half an ostrich on her head by way of bonnet and feathers. The men
there, as in most of America, strike me as being very judicious in the
arrangement of their personal appearance, especially in the trimming
of their hair and moustachios; but many of the women--I speak now of
Chicago--sacrificed everything to that awful American institution, the
"bang."

I know of no female head-dress in Asia, Africa, or Europe so absurd
in itself or so lunatic in the wearer as some of the Chicago bangs.
Ugliness of face is intensified a thousandfold by "the ring-worm style"
of head-dress with which they cover their foreheads and half their
cheeks. Prettiness of face can, of course, never be hidden; but I
honestly think that neither a black skin, nor lip-rings and nose-rings,
nor red teeth, nor any other fantastic female fashion that I have ever
seen in other parts of the world, goes so far towards concealing beauty
of features as that curly plastering which, from ignorance of its real
name, I have called "the ring worm style of bang."

Here, too, in Chicago I found a man selling "gophers." Now, I do not
know the American name for this vanish-into-nothing sort of pastry, but
I do know that there is one man in London who declares that he, and he
alone in all the world, is aware of the secret of the gopher. And all
London believes him. His is supposed to be a lost art--but for him--and
I should not be surprised if some lover of the antique were to bribe
him to bequeath the precious secret to an heir before he dies. But in
Chicago peripatetic vendors of this cate are an every-day occurrence,
and even the juvenile Ethiop sometimes compasses the gopher. What
its American name is I cannot say; but it is a very delicate kind of
pastry punched into small square depressions, and every mouthful you
eat is so inappreciable in point of matter that you look down on your
waistcoat to see if you have not dropped it, and when the whole is done
you feel that you have consumed about as much solid nutriment as a fish
does after a nibble at an artificial bait. Have you ever given a dog a
piece of warm fat off your plate and seen him after he had swallowed
it look on the carpet for it? So rapid is the transit of the delicious
thing that the deluded animal fancies that he has as yet enjoyed only
the foretaste of a pleasure still to be, the shadow only of the coming
event, the promise of something good. It is just the same with yourself
after eating a gopher.

Of course I went to see the stock-yards, and my visit, as it happened,
had something of a special character, for I saw a pig put through its
performances in thirty-five seconds. A lively piebald porker was one
of a number grunting and quarrelling in a pen, and I was asked to keep
my eye on him. And what happened to that porker was this. [1] He was
suddenly seized by a hind leg, and jerked up on to a small crane. This
swung him swiftly to the fatal door through which no pig ever returns.
On the other side stood a man--

  That two-handed engine at the door
  Stands ready to smite once, and smite no more,

and the dead pig shot across a trough and through another doorway,
and then there was a splash! He had fallen head first into a vat of
boiling water. Some unseen machinery passed him along swiftly to the
other end of the terrible bath, and there a water-wheel picked him
up and flung him out on to a sloping counter. Here another machine
seized him, and with one revolution scraped him as bald as a nut. And
down the counter he went, losing his head as he slid past a man with
a hatchet, and then, presto! he was up again by the heels. In one
dreadful handful a man emptied him, and while another squirted him
with fresh water, the pig--registering his own weight as he passed the
teller's box--shot down the steel bar from which he hung, and whisked
round the corner into the ice-house. One long cut of a knife made two
sides of pork out of that piebald pig. Two hacks of a hatchet brought
away his backbone. And there, in thirty-five seconds from his last
grunt--dirty, hot-headed, noisy--the pig was hanging up in two pieces,
clean, tranquil, iced!

The very rapidity of the whole process robbed it of all its horrors.
It even added the ludicrous to it. Here one minute was an opinionated
piebald pig making a prodigious fuss about having his hind leg taken
hold of, and lo! before he had even made up his mind whether to squeal
or only to squeak, he was hanging up in an ice-house, split in two! He
had resented the first trifling liberty that was taken with him, and in
thirty-five seconds he was ready for the cook!

That the whole process is virtually painless is beyond all doubt, for
it is only for the first fraction of the thirty-odd seconds that the
pig is sentient, and I doubt if even electricity could as suddenly and
painlessly extinguish life as the lightning of that unerring poniard,
"the dagger of mercy" and the instantaneous plunge into the scalding
bath.

Of the Chicago stock-yards, a veritable village, laid out with its
miniature avenues intersecting its mimic streets and numbered blocks,
it is late in the day to speak. But it was very interesting in its way
to see the poor doomed swine thoughtlessly grunting along the road, and
inquisitively asking their way, as it seemed, of the sheep in Block 9
or of the sulky Texan steer looking out between the palings of Block
7; to watch the cattle, wild-eyed from distress and long journeying,
snorting their distrust of their surroundings, and trying at every
opportunity to turn away from the terribly straight road that leads to
death, into any crossway that seemed likely to result in freedom; to
see for the first time the groups of Western herdsmen lounging at the
corners, while their unkempt ponies, guarded in most cases by drowsy
shepherd-dogs, stood tethered in bunches against the palings. All day
long the air is filled with porcine clamour, and some of the pens
are scenes of perpetual riot. For the pig does not chant his "nunc
dimittis" with any seemliness. His last canticles are frivolous. It
is impossible to translate them into any "morituri te salutant," for
they are wanting in dignity, and even self-respect. With the cattle
it is very different. But few of them were in such good case as to
make high spirits possible, and many were wretched objects to look
at. Dead calves lay about in the pens, and there was a general air of
distress that made the scene abundantly pathetic. But, after all, it
does not pay to starve or overdrive cattle, and we may confidently
expect therefore, that in Chicago, of all places in the world, they are
neither starved nor overdriven systematically.

The English sparrow has multiplied with characteristic industry in
Chicago, but further west I lost it. I saw none between Omaha and
Salt Lake City. So the sparrow line, I take it, must be drawn for
the present somewhere west of Clinton. I do not think it has crossed
the Mississippi yet from the east. But it is steadily advancing its
frontiers--this aggressive fowl--from both sea-boards, and just as it
has pushed itself forward from the Atlantic into Illinois, so from the
Pacific it has got already as far as Nevada. The tyranny of the sparrow
is the price men pay for civilization. Only savages are exempt. Here in
America, they have developed into a multitudinous evil, dispossessing
with a high hand the children of the soil, thrusting their Saxon
assumption of superiority upon the native feathered flock of grove and
garden, and driving them from their birthright. They have no respect
for authorities, and entertain no awe even for the Irish aldermen of
New York. In Australia it is the same. Imported as a treasure, they
have presumed upon the sentiment of exiled Englishmen until they have
become a veritable calamity. So they have been publicly proclaimed
as "vermin," and a price set upon their heads "per hundred." Indeed,
legislatures threaten to stand or fall upon the sparrow question. Here
in America, men and women began by putting nesting-boxes for the birds
in the trees and at corners of houses; I am much mistaken if before
long they do not end by putting up ladders against the trees to help
the cats to get up to catch the sparrows.

I looked everywhere for "Chicago Mountain"--a New England joke against
the Phoenix City--and at last found it behind a house at the corner of
Pine and Colorado streets. They say (in Boston) that Chicago, being
chaffed about having no high land near it, set to work to build itself
a mountain, but that when it had reached its present moderate elevation
of a few feet, the city abandoned the project. But I am inclined to
think that this fiction is due to the spite of the New Englanders, who,
it is notorious, have to sharpen the noses of their sheep to enable
them to reach the grass that grows between the stones; for on looking
at the mountain in question I perceived it to be merely a natural
sand-dune which it has not been thought worth while to clear away.
Further to acquaint myself with the city, I went into sundry "penny
gaffs," or cafés chantants, and found them to my surprise patronized
by groups of men sad almost to melancholy. It was the music, I think,
that made them feel so. Its effect on me I know was very chastening. I
felt inclined to lift up my voice and howl. But the intense gravity of
the company restrained me, and I left. Yet I am told that inside these
very places men stab each other with Bowie knives and shoot each other
with revolvers, and are even sometimes quite disagreeable in their
manners. But so far as my own experience goes I seldom saw a gathering
so unanimously solemn. I might even say so tearful. It is possible, of
course, that the music eventually maddens them, that it works them up
about midnight into a homicidal melancholy. But there was no profligacy
of blood-shedding while I was there.

They did not even offer to murder a musician.

Footnotes:

1. Need I say that I do not refer to the small field-rat of that name?



CHAPTER II.

FROM CHICAGO TO DENVER.

    Fathers of Waters--"Rich Lands lie Flat"--The Misery River--Council
    Bluffs--A "Live" town, sir--Two murders: a contrast--Omaha--The
    immorality of "writing up"--On the prairies--The modesty of
    "Wish-ton-Wish"--The antelope's tower of refuge--Out of Nebraska
    into Colorado--Man-eating Tiger.

FROM Chicago to Omaha by the Chicago and "Northwestern" route is not an
exhilarating journey. When Nature begins to make anything out here in
America she never seems to know when to stop. She can never make a few
of anything. For instance, it might have been thought that one or two
hundred miles of perfectly flat land was enough at a time. But Nature,
having once commenced flattening out the land, cannot leave off. So all
the way from Chicago to Omaha there is the one same pattern of country,
a wilderness of maize-stubble and virgin land, broken only for the
first half of the way by occasional patches of water-oak, and for the
second half of willows.

Just on the frontier-line of these two vegetable divisions of the
country lies a tract of bright turf-land. What a magician this same
turf is! It is Wendell Holmes, I think, who says that Anglo-Saxons
emigrate only "in the line of turf."

The better half of the journey passed on Sunday, and the people were
all out in loitering, well-dressed groups "to see the train pass," and
at the stations where we stopped, to see the passengers, too. Where
they came from it was not easy to tell, for the homesteads in sight
were very few and far between. Yet there they were, happy, healthy,
well-to-do contented-looking families, enjoying the Day of Rest--the
one dissipation of the hard-worked week. What a comfortable connecting
link with the outer world the railway must be to these scattered
dwellers on this prairie-land!

So through Illinois to the Mississippi. How wonderfully it resembles
the Indus where it flows past Lower Sind. A minaret or two, a
blue-tiled cupola and a clump of palms would make the resemblance of
the Mississippi at Clinton to the Indus below Rohri complete. And both
rivers claim to be "the Father of Waters." I would not undertake to
decide between them. In modern annals, of course, the American must
take pre-eminence; but what can surpass the historic grandeur that
dignifies the Indian stream?

And so into Iowa, just as flat, and as rich, and as monotonous as
Illinois, and with just the same leagues of maize-stubble, unbroken
soil, water-oaks and willows. And then, in the deepening twilight, to
Cedar Rapids, with the pleasant sound of rushing water and all the
townsfolk waiting "to see the train" on their way from church, standing
in groups, with their prayer-books and Bibles in their hands.

By the way, what an admirable significance there is in he care with
which these young townships discharge their duties to their religion
and the dead. The church or prayer-house seems to be always one of the
first and finest buildings. With only half-a-dozen homesteads in sight
in some places, there is the church and while all the rest are of the
humblest class of frame houses, the church is of brick. The cemeteries
again. Before even the plots round the living are set in order, "God's
acre" (often the best site in the neighbourhood) is neatly fenced and
laid out.

And I thought it somehow a beautiful touch of national character, this
reverent providence for the dead that are to come. And just before I
went to sleep, I saw out in the moonlit country a cemetery, and on the
crest of the rising ground stood one solitary tombstone, the pioneer
of the many--the first dead settler's grave. In this new country the
living are as yet in the majority!

Awakening, find myself still in Iowa, and Iowa still as flat as ever.
Not spirit enough in all these hundred miles of land to firk up even a
hillock, a mound, a pimple. But to make a new proverb, "Rich lands lie
flat;" and Iowa; in time, will be able to feed the world--aye, and to
clothe it too.

In the mean time we are approaching the Missouri, through levels in
which the jack-rabbit abounds, and every farmer, therefore, seems to
keep a greyhound for coursing the long-eared aborigines. The willows,
conscious of secret resources of water, are already in leaf, and
overhead the wild ducks and geese are passing to their feeding-grounds.
Here I saw "blue" grass for the first time, and I must say I am glad
that grass is usually green. Elsewhere in the States, English grass is
called "blue grass;" but in some parts, as here in this part of Iowa,
there is a native grass which is literally blue. And it is not an
improvement, so far as the effect on the landscape goes, upon the old
fashioned colour for grass. And then the Missouri, a muddy, shapeless,
dissipated stream. The people on its banks call it "treacherous," and
pronounce its name "Misery." It is certainly a most unprepossessing
river, with its ill-gotten banks of ugly sand, and its lazy brown
waters gurgling along in an overgrown, self-satisfied way. It is
a bullying stream; gives nobody peace that lives near it; and is
perpetually trying in an underhanded sort of way to "scour" out the
foundations of the hollow columns on which the bridges across it are
built. But the abundance of water-fowl upon its banks and side-waters
is a redeeming feature for all who care to carry a gun, and I confess
I should like to have had a day's leisure at Council Bluffs to go out
and have a shot. The inhabitants of the place, however, do not seem
to be goose-eaters, for, close season or not, I cannot imagine their
permitting flocks of these eminently edible birds to fly circling about
over their houses, within forty yards of the ground. The wild-goose
is proverbially a wary fowl, but here at Council Bluffs they have
apparently become from long immunity as impertinent and careless as
sparrows.

Council Bluffs, as the pow-wow place of the Red Men in the days when
Iowa was rolling prairie and bison used to browse where horses plough,
has many a quaint legend of the past; and in spite of the frame houses
that are clustered below them and the superb cobweb bridge--it has few
rivals in the world--that here spans the Missouri, the Bluffs, as the
rendezvous of Sagamore and Sachem, stand out from the interminable
plains eloquent of a very picturesque antiquity. And so to Omaha.

"But I guess, sir, Om'a's a live town. Yes, sir, a live town."

My experiences of Omaha were too brief for me to be just, too
disagreeable for me to be impartial. Before breakfast I saw a murder
and suicide, and between breakfast and luncheon a fire and several
dog-fights. Perhaps I might have seen something more. But a terrible
dust-storm raged in the streets all day. Besides, I went away.

I am beginning already to hate "live" towns.

I.

It was during the Afghan War. I had just ridden back from General
Roberts' camp in the Thull Valley, on the frontiers of Afghanistan, and
found myself stopped on my return at the Kohat Pass. "It is the orders
of Government," said the sentry: "the Pass is unsafe for travellers."

But I had to get through the Pass whether it was "safe" or not, for
through it lay the only road to General Browne's camp, to which I was
attached. So I dismounted, and after a great deal of palaver, partly of
bribes, partly of untruths, I not only got past the native sentries,
but got a guide to escort me, through the thirty miles of wild Afridi
defiles that lay before me. The scenery is, I think, among the finest
in the world, while, added to all is the strange fascination of the
knowledge that the people who live in the Pass have cherished from
generation to generation the most vindictive blood feuds. The villages
are surrounded by high walls, loopholed along the top, and the huts in
the inside are built against the wall, so that the roofs of them can
be used by the men of the village as lounges during the day, and as
ramparts for sentries during the night. Within these sullen squares
each clan lives in perpetual siege. The women and children are at all
times permitted to go to and fro; but for the men, woe to him who
happens to stray within reach of the jezails that lie all ready loaded
in the loopholes of the next village. The crops are sown and reaped by
men with guns slung on their backs, and in the middle of every field
stands a martello-tower, in which the peasants can take shelter if
neighbours sally out to attack them while at work. Rope-ladders hang
from a doorway half-way up the tower, and up this, like lizards, the
men scramble, one after the other, as soon as danger threatens, draw in
the ladder, and through the loop-holes overlook their menaced crops.

A wonderful country truly, and something in the air to day that makes
my guide ride as hard as the road will permit, with his sword drawn
across the saddle before him. My revolver is in my hand. And so we
clatter along, mile after mile, through the beautiful series of little
valleys, grim villages, and towers. Now and again a party of women will
step aside to let us pass, or a dog start up to bark at us, but not a
single man do we see. Yet I know very well that hundreds of men see us
ride by, and that a jezail is lying at every loophole, and covering the
very path we ride on.

We reach a sudden turn of the path; my guide gallops round it. He is
hardly out of my sight when Bang! bang! It is no use pulling up, and
the next instant I am round the corner too. A man, with his jezail
still smoking from the last shot, starts up from the undergrowth almost
under my horse's feet, and narrowly escapes being ridden down. Another
man comes running down the hillside towards him. In front of me, some
fifty yards off, is my guide, with his horse's head towards me and his
sword in his hand, and on the path, midway between us, lies a heap of
brightly-coloured clothing--a dead Afridi! For a second both guide
and I thought that it was we who had drawn the fire from the ambushed
men. But no, it the poor Afridi lad lying there in the path before
us, and the victim of a blood feud. He had tried, no doubt, to steal
across from his own village to some friendly hamlet close by, but his
lynx-eyed enemies had seen him, and, lying there on either side of his
path, had shot him as he passed.

But what a group we were! Myself, with my revolver in my hand, looking,
horror-stricken, now at the dead, and now at his murderers; my guide,
in the splendid uniform of the Indian irregular cavalry, emotionless as
only Orientals can be; the two murderers talking together excitedly; in
the middle of us the dead lad! But there was still another figure to be
added, for suddenly, along the very path by which the victim had come,
there came running an old woman--perhaps she had followed the lad with
a mother's tender anxiety for his safety--and in an instant she saw the
worst. Without a glance at any of us, she flung herself down with the
cry of a breaking heart, by the dead boys side, and as my guide turned
to ride on and I followed him, as the murderers slipped away into the
undergrowth, we all heard her crooning, between her sobs, over the body
of her murdered son.

II.

I was in Omaha. I had just crossed Thirteenth Street, and, turning to
look as I passed, at the Catholic church, had caught an idle glimpse of
the folk in the street. Among them was a woman at the wooden gateway of
a small house, hesitating, so it seemed to me afterwards, about pushing
it open, for though she had her hand upon the latch, yet she did not
lift it, but appeared to me, at the distance I passed and the cursory
glance I gave, to be listening to what somebody was saying to her
through the window. Had I been only a few yards nearer! At the moment
that I saw her, the wretched woman was gazing with fixed and horrified
eyes upon a face--a grim and cruel face--that glared at her from a
window, and at a gun that she saw was pointed full at her breast. And
the next instant, just as I had turned the corner, there was the report
of fire-arms. It did not occur to me to stop. But suddenly I heard a
cry, and then a second shot, and somehow there flashed upon my mind the
picture of that hesitating woman by the wicket, with her knitted shawl
over her head, and the wind blowing her light dress to one side.

I did not turn back, however. For the woman and the shots had only the
merest flash of a connexion in my mind. But after a few steps a man
came running past me, going perhaps for the doctor, or the police,
or the coroner, and the scared look on his face suddenly once more
wrenched back to my imagination the woman at the wicket.

So I turned back into Thirteenth Street, and there, in the middle of
the road, with a man stooping over her and two women, transfixed by
sudden terror into attitudes that were most tragic, I saw the woman
lying. Her face was turned up to the bright sunlit sky, her shawl had
fallen back about her neck, and her hair lay in the dust. She was
already dead. And her murderer? He too had gone to his last account;
and as I stood there in that dreary Omaha road, with the wind raising
wisps of dust about the horror-stricken group, and thought of the two
dead bodies lying there, one in the roadway, the other in the house
close by, my mind reverted involuntarily to the fancy that at that very
moment the two souls, man and wife, were standing before their Maker,
and that perhaps she, the poor mangled woman, was pleading for mercy
for the man, her husband, the lover of her youth--her murderer.

--

In the evening, when a cool breeze was blowing, and imagination
pictured the trees holding up screens of green foliage before the
hotel windows to shut out the ugly views of half-built streets, I
entertained feelings that were almost kindly towards Omaha; but the
memory of the day that was happily past, as often as it recurred to
me, changed them to gall again. All day long there had been a flaring,
glaring sun overhead and the wind that was blowing would have done
credit to the deserts through which I have since marched with the army
in Egypt. It went howling down the street with the voices of wild
beasts, and carried with it such simooms of sand as would probably
in a week overwhelm and bury in Ninevite oblivion the buildings of
this aspiring town. And not only sand, but whirlwinds of vulgar dust
also, with occasional discharges of cinders, that came rushing along
the road, picking up all the rubbish it could find, dodging up alleys
and coming out again with accumulations of straw, rampaging into
courtyards in search of paper and rags, standing still in the middle
of the roadway to whirl, and altogether behaving itself just as a
disreputable and aggressive vagabond may be always expected to behave.
Of course I was told it was a "very exceptional" day. It always is a
"very exceptional day" wherever a stranger goes. But I must confess
that I never saw any place--except Aden, and perhaps East London, in
South Africa--that struck me on short acquaintance as so thoroughly
undesirable for a lengthened abode. The big black swine rooting about
in the back yards, the little black boys playing drearily at "marbles"
with bits of stone, the multitude of dogs loafing on the sidewalks, the
depressing irregularity Of the streets, the paucity of shade-trees,
the sandy bluffs that dominate the town and hold over the heads of
the inhabitants the perpetual threat of siroccos, and the general
appearance (however false it may have been) of disorder--all combined
with various degrees of force to give the impression that Omaha is a
place that had from some cause or another been suddenly checked in its
natural expansion.

Its geographical position is indisputably a commanding one, and already
the great smelting works, with one exception the busiest in the States,
the splendid workshops of the Union Pacific Railway, and the thriving
distillery close by, give promise of the great industries which in the
future this town, with its wonderful advantages of communication, as
the meeting-point of great railway high-roads, will attract to itself.
Omaha has an admirable opera-house, and when its hotel is rebuilt it
will be able to offer visitors good accommodation. It has also an
imposing school-house imposingly advertised by being on top of a hill,
and the refining grace of gardens is not completely absent, while the
"stove-pipe" hat gives fragmentary evidence of advanced civilization.
But all this affords encouragement for the future only; at present
Omaha is a depressing spot. And so I left the town without regret; but
I did not make any effort to shake off the dust of Omaha. That was
impossible; it had penetrated the texture of my clothing so completely
that nothing but shredding my garments into their original threads
would have sufficed.

Now I had read something of Omaha before I went there, had seen it
called "a splendid Western city," and been invited to linger there
to examine its "dozens of noble monuments to invincible enterprise,"
which, with "the dozen or more church spires," are supposed to break
the sky-line of the view of this "metropolis of the North-western
States and Territories." It is possible, therefore, that my profound
disappointment with the reality, after reading such exaggerated
description, may have tinged my opinion of Omaha, and, combined with
the unfortunately "exceptional" day I spent there, have made me think
very poorly of the former capital of Nebraska. That it has a great
future before it, its position alone guarantees, and the enterprise
of Nebraska puts beyond all doubt; but the sight-seer going to Omaha,
and expecting to find it anything but a very new town on a very
unprepossessing site, will be as greatly disappointed as I was.

Equally unfortunate is the "writing up" which the Valley of the Platte
has received. Who, for instance, that has travelled on the railway
along that great void can read without annoyance of "beautiful valley
landscapes, in which thousands of productive farms, fine farm-houses,
blossoming orchards, and thriving cities" are features of the country
traversed? No one can charge me with a want of sympathy with the
true significance of this wonderful Western country. And I can say,
therefore, without hesitation that the dreariness of the country
between Omaha and Denver Junction is almost inconceivable. There is
hardly even a town worth calling such in sight, much less "thriving
cities." The original prairie lies there spread out, on either hand,
in nearly all its original barrenness. Interminable plains, that
occasionally roll into waves, stretch away to the horizon to right and
left, dotted with skeletons of dead cattle and widely scattered herds
of living ones. Here and there a cow-boy's shed, and here and there a
ranch of the ordinary primitive type, and here and there a dug-out,
are all the "features" of the long ride. An occasional emigrant waggon
perhaps breaks the dull, dead monotony of the landscape, and in one
place there is a solitary bush upon a mound. A hawk floats in the air
above a prairie-dog village. A plover sweeps past with its melancholy
cry.

No, the journey to North Platte--where a very bad breakfast was put
before us at a dollar a head--is not attractive. But here again it is
the Possible in the future that makes the now desolate scene so full
of interest and so splendidly significant. As a grazing country it
can never, perhaps, be very populous; but in time, of course, those
ranches, now struggling so bravely against terrible odds, will become
"fine farm-houses," and have "blossoming orchards" about them. But as
yet these things are not, and for good, all-round dreariness I would
not know where to send a friend with such confidence as to the pastures
between Omaha and North Platte.

Oh! when are we to have Pullman palace balloons? Condemned to travel,
my soul and my bones cry out for air-voyaging.

That some day man should fly like a bird has been, in spite of
superstition, an article of honest belief from the beginning of time,
and in the dove of Archytas alone we have proof enough that, even in
those days, the successful accomplishment of flight was accepted as a
fact of science. During the Middle Ages so common was this belief that
every man who dabbled in physics was pronounced a magician, and as such
was credited with the power of transporting himself through the air
at will. Some, indeed, actually claimed the enviable privilege, Friar
Bacon among others. But history records no practical illustration of
their control of the air, while more than one death is chronicled of
daring men who, with insufficient apparatus, launched themselves in
imitation of birds upon space, and fell, more or less precipitately, to
earth. The Italian who flapped himself off Stirling Castle trusted only
to a pair of huge feather wings, which he had tied on to his arms, and
got no farther on his way to France than the heads of the spectators
at the bottom of the wall; while the Monk of Tübingen started on his
journey from the top of his tower with apparatus that immediately
turned inside out, and increased by its weight the momentum with which
he came down plumb into the street.

Beyond North Platte the same melancholy expanses again commence, the
same rolling prairies, with the same dead cattle and the same herds of
live ones, an occasional waggon or a stock-yard or snow-fence being
all that interrupts the flat monotony. But approaching Sterling a
suspicion of verdure begins in places to steal over the grey prairie,
and flights of "larks," with a bright, pleasant note, give something
of an air of animation to isolated spots. Here is a plough at work,
the first we have passed, I think, since we left Omaha, and the plover
piping overhead seem to resent the novelty. Cattle continue to dot the
landscape, and all the afternoon the Platte rolls along a sluggish
stream parallel to the track.

The train happened to slacken pace at one point, and a man came up to
the cars. He was a beggar, and asked our help to get along the road
"eastward." One of his arms was in a sling from an accident, and his
whole appearance eloquent of utter destitution. And the very landscape
pleaded for him. Beggary at any time must be wretchedness, but here in
this bleak waste of pasturage it must almost be despair. And as the
train sped on, the one dismal figure creeping along by the side of the
track, with the dark clouds of a snowstorm coming up to meet him, was
strangely pathetic.

And then Sterling. May Sterling be forgiven for the dinner it set
before us!

And then on again, across long leagues of level plain, thickly studded
with prickly pear patches and seamed with the old bison and antelope
tracks leading down from the hills to the river. There are no bison
now. They cannot stand before the stove-pipe hat. The sombreroed
hunter, with his lasso, the necklace of death, was an annoyance to
them; they spent their lives dodging him. The befeathered Indian, "the
chivalry of the prairie," who pincushioned their hides full of arrows,
was a terror to them, and they fell by thousands. But before the
stove-pipe hat the bison fled incontinently by the herd, and have never
returned.

The prairie-dogs peep out of their holes at us as we passed. The
bashfulness of "Wish-ton-Wish," as the Red Man calls the prairie-dog,
is as nearly impudence as one thing can be another. It sits up perkily
on one end at the edge of its hole till you are close upon it, and
then, with a sudden affectation of being shocked at its own immodesty,
dives headlong into its hole; but its hind-legs are not out of sight
before the head is up again, and the next instant there is the
prairie-dog sitting exactly where you first saw it! Such a burlesque of
shyness I never saw in a quadruped before.

A solitary coyote was loitering in a hungry way along a gulch, and I
could not help thinking how the most important epochs of one's life
may often turn upon the merest trifles. Now, here was a coyote ambling
lazily up a certain gulch because it had happened to see some white
bones bleaching a little way up it. But in the very next gulch, which
the coyote had not happened to go up, were three half-bred greyhounds
idling about, just in the humour for something to run after. But they
could not see the coyote, though it was really only a few yards off,
nor could the coyote see them. So the dogs lounged about in a listless,
do-nothing, tired-of-life sort of way, thinking existence as dull
as ditch water, while the coyote, unconscious of the narrow escape
of its life that it ran, trotted slowly along--scrutinized the old
bones--scratched its head--yawned out of sheer ennui, and then trotted
along again. Now, what a difference it would have made to those three
dogs if they had only happened to loaf into the next gulch! And what
a prodigious difference it would have made to the coyote if it had
happened to loaf into the next gulch!

The prickly pear, that ugly, fleshy little cactus, with its sudden
summer glories of crimson and golden blossoms, fulfils a strange
purpose in the animal economy of the prairies. In itself it appears to
be one of the veriest outcasts among vegetables, execrated by man and
refused as food by beast. Yet if it were not for this plant the herds
of prairie antelope would have fared badly enough, for the antelope,
whenever they found themselves in straits from wolves or from dogs,
made straight for the prickly pear patches and belts, and there,
standing right out on the barren, open plain, defied their swift but
tender-footed pursuers to come near them. For the small, thick pads
of the cactus, though they lie so flat and insignificantly upon the
ground, are studded with tufts of strong, fierce spines, and woe to the
wolf or the dog that treads upon them. The antelope's hoofs, however,
are proof against the spines, and one leap across such a belt suffices
to place the horned folk in safety. These patches and belts, then, so
trivial to the eye, and in some places almost invisible to the cursory
glance, are in reality Towers of Refuge to the great edible division of
the wild prairie nations, and as impassable to the eaters as was that
girdle of fire and steel which Von Moltke buckled so closely round the
city of the Napoleons.

But here we are approaching Denver. The cottonwood has mustered into
clusters, a prototype of the future of these now scattered ranches.
Dotted about here and there in suitable corners, on river bank or under
sheltering bluff, single trees are growing side by side with single
stockyards or single cow-boys' huts, but every now and again, where
nature offers them a good site for a colony, the trees congregate,
select lots, and permanently locate. It is not very different after
all, with human beings.

Nature here is undoubtedly tempting, and Denver itself must surely be
one of the most beautiful towns in the States. Through great reaches
of splendid farm-land, with water in abundance and the cottonwood and
willow growing thickly, we pass to our destination as the twilight
settles on the country.

A whole day has again been spent in the train! We had awaked in the
morning to see from the car windows the people of Nebraska going out
to their day's work in the fields, and here in the evening we sit and
watch the Colorado folk coming home to their rest after the day's work
is over. Truly this steam is a Latter-Day apocalypse and this America a
land of magnificent distances.

I found out on this trip that my fellow-travellers (and the fact holds
good nearly all over America) took the greatest interest in British
India, and finding that I had spent so many years there, they plied me
with questions. On some journeys it would be the political aspect of
our government of Hindostan that interested, at others the commercial
or the social. But going through Colorado, one of the haunts of the
"grizzly" and the "mountain lion," I had to detail my experiences of
sport in India. Above all, the tiger interested them. It is the only
animal in the world that may be said to give the grizzly a point or
two. And there are some even who deny this; but I, who have shot the
tiger, and never seen a grizzly, naturally concede the first place in
perilous courage to Stripes, the raja of the jungle. In one particular
aspect, at any rate, the tiger is supreme among quadrupeds. It has the
splendid audacity to make man his regular food.

Now, it is generally supposed that the "man-eater" is a specially
formidable variety of the species; that it is only the boldest,
strongest, and fiercest of the tigers that preys on man. But the very
reverse is of course the truth. When hale and strong the tiger avoids
the vicinity of men, finding abundant food in the herds of deer and
other wild animals that share his jungles. But when strength and speed
of limb begin to fail, the brute has to look for easier prey than the
courageous bison or wind-footed antelope, and so skulks among the
ravines and waste patches of woodland that are to be found about nearly
every village. Then when twilight obscures the scene, he creeps out
noiseless as a shadow, and lies in ambush in a crop of standing grain
or bhair-tree brake, and watches the country folk go by from the fields
in twos and threes, driving their plough cattle before them. After a
while, there comes sauntering past alone, a man or a woman who has
lagged behind the company; yet not so far behind but that the friends
ahead can hear the scream which tells of the tiger's leap, though too
far for help to be of use. During four years 350 human beings and
24,000 head of cattle were killed by these animals in one district in
Bombay, while many single tigers have been known to destroy over a
hundred people before they were shot. One in the Mandla district caused
the desertion of thirteen villages and threw out of cultivation two
hundred and fifty square miles of country; while another, only one of
many similar cases, was credited with the appalling total of eighty
human victims per annum! The yearly loss in cattle and by decrease
of cultivation through the ravages of these fearful beasts has been
estimated at ten million pounds sterling!

No wonder, then, that even these doughty grizzly-slayers of the Rockies
respect the tiger's name.



CHAPTER III.

IN LEADVILLE.

    The South Park line--Oscar Wilde on sunflowers as food--In a
    wash-hand basin--Anti-Vigilance Committees--Leadville the city of
    the carbonates--"Busted" millionaires--The philosophy of thick
    boots--Colorado miners--National competition in lions--Abuse of the
    terms "gentleman" and "lady"--Up at the mines--Under the pine-trees.

STARTING from Denver for Leadville in the evening, it seemed as if
we were fated to see nothing of the very interesting country through
which the South Park line runs. At first there is nothing to look at
but open prairie land sprinkled with the homesteads of agricultural
pioneers, but as the moon got up there was gradually revealed a
stately succession of mountain ridges, and in about two hours we
found ourselves threading the spurs of the Sangre di Christi range
and following the Platte River up toward its sources. Crossing and
recrossing the cañon, with one side silvered, and the other thrown
into the blackest shadow by the moon, and the noisy stream tumbling
along beside us in its hurry to get down to the lazy levels of the
great Nebraska Valley, I saw glimpses of scenery that can never be
forgotten. It was fantastic in the extreme; for apart from the jugglery
of moonlight, in itself so wonderful always, the ideas of relative
distance and size, even of shape, were upset and ridiculed by the snowy
peaks that here and there thrust themselves up into the sky and by the
patches and streaks of snow that concealed and altered the contour of
the nearer rocks in the most puzzling manner imaginable. And all this
time the little train--for the line is narrow-gauge--kept twisting and
wriggling in and out as if it were in collusion with the hills, and
playing into their hands to disconcert the traveller.

I have seen at different times great curiosities of engineering, as
in travelling over the Ghats in Western India, where everything is
stupendous and at times even terrific, where danger seems perpetual and
disaster often inevitable. In passing by train from Colombo to Kandy
in Ceylon, and crossing Sensation Rock, the railway cars actually hang
over the precipice, so that when you look out of the window the track
on which you are running is invisible, and you can drop an orange plumb
down the face of this appalling cliff on to the tops of the palm-trees,
which look like little round bushes in the valley down below. From
Durban to Pietermaritzburg again, on the line along which, when it
was first opened, the engine-driver brought out from England refused
to take his train, declaring it to be too dangerous, but along which,
nevertheless, the British troops going up to Zululand were all safely
carried. The South Park line, however, can compare with these, and must
be accepted as one of the acknowledged triumphs of railway enterprise.
For much of its length the rocks had to be fought inch by inch, and
they died hard. The result to-day is a very picturesque and interesting
ride, with a surprise in every mile and beauty all the way.

On the way to the "City of the Carbonates," I heard much of Leadville
ways and life. That very morning the energetic police of the town had
arrested two young ladies for parading the sunflower and the lily too
conspicuously. One had donned a sunflower for a hat, the other walked
along holding a tall lily in her hand. The Leadville youth had gathered
in disorderly procession behind the aesthetic pair. So the police
arrested the fair causes of the disturbance.

I told Oscar Wilde of this a few days later. "Poor sweet things!"
said he; "martyrs in the cause of the Beautiful." He was on his way
to Salt Lake City at the time, and I told him how the Mormon capital
was par excellence "the city of sunflowers," and assured him that the
poet's feeding on "gilliflowers rare" was not, after all, too violent
a stretch of imagination, as whole tribes of Indians (and Longfellow
himself has said that every Indian is a poem, which is very nearly
the same thing as a poet) feed on the sunflower. The Apostle of Art
Decoration was delighted.

"Poor sweet things!" said he; "feed on sunflowers! How charming! If
I could only have stayed and dined with them! But how delightful to
be able to go back to England and say that I have actually been in a
country where whole tribes of men live on sunflowers! The preciousness
of it!"

It is a fact, probably new to some of my readers: that the wild
sunflower is the characteristic weed of Utah, and that the seeds of the
plant supply the undiscriminating Red Man with an oil-cake which may
agreeably vary a diet of grasshoppers and rattlesnakes, but has not
intrinsically any flavour to recommend it. So South Kensington must not
rush away with the idea that the noble savage who has the Crow for his
"totem," feeds upon the blossoms of the vegetable they worship. It is
the prosaic oil-cake that the Pi-ute eats.

But all I heard got mixed up eventually into a general idea that every
man in the place who had not committed a murder was a millionaire, and
all those who had not lost their lives had lost a fortune. The mines,
too, got gradually sorted up into two kinds--those that had "five
million now in sight, sir," or those whose "bottoms had fallen out."
But one fact that pleased me particularly was the "Anti-Vigilance"
Committee of Leadville. Every one knows that a "Vigilance Committee"
consists of a certain number of volunteer guardians of the peace, who
call (with a rope) upon strangers visiting their neighbourhood and
offer them the choice of being hanged at once for the offences they
purpose committing or of going elsewhere to commit them. The strangers,
as it transpires in the morning, sometimes choose one course and
sometimes the other. This is all very right and proper, and conduces to
a general good understanding. But in Leadville, the citizens started an
anti-vigilance committee and so the Vigilance Committee sent in their
resignations to themselves--and accepted them. I do not think I ever
heard of a fact so appalling in its significance. But the humour of it
is that the Anti-Vigilance Committee managed somehow to keep the peace
in Leadville as it had never been kept before.

It reminded me of an incident of the Afghan war. A certain tribe of
hill-men persisted in killing the couriers who carried the post from
one British camp to the other, and the generals were nearly at their
wits' end for means of communication, when the murderers sent in word
offering to carry the post themselves--and did so, faithfully!

It was in Leadville also that lived the barber who, going forth one
night, was met by two men who told him peremptorily to take his hands
out of his pockets, as they intended to take out all the rest. But he
had nothing in his pockets except two Derringers, so he pulled his
hands out and shot the two men dead where they stood. Next morning
the citizens of Leadville placed the barber in a triumphal chair, and
carried him round the town as a bright example to the public, presented
him with a gold watch and chain as a testimonial of their esteem for
his courage--and then escorted him the first stage out of the town,
advising him never to return.

But this was in the Leadville of the very remote past--1880 or
thereabouts--and not in the Carbonate City of the present, 1882. The
town is now as quiet as such a town can be, a wonderfully busy place
and a picturesque one.

And while my companions talked I sat in the wash-hand basin and smoked.
Why the wash-hand basin? Because there was nowhere else to sit.
The "smoking-car" of this particular train happened to be also the
gentlemen's lavatory, a commodious snuggery measuring about eight feet
by five. And as there were only eight smokers on board we were not so
crowded as we should have been if there had been eighteen, and then,
you see, we made more room still by two of the eight staying away. For
the rest, two of us sat in the wash-hand basins, one on a stool between
our legs, another on a stool with his knees against the gentlemen
opposite, and the balance stood. We were an example of tight packing
even to the proverbial sardine. But I found the water-tap at the edge
of the basin an inconvenient circumstance. I would venture to suggest
to American railway companies that for the comfort of smokers when
sitting in the basins they should place these taps a little farther
back.

I suppose I ought to give some mining statistics about Leadville. But
the very fact that I shall be neglecting an obvious duty if I omit all
statistics, nearly decides me to omit them. The deliberate neglect of
an obvious duty is, however, a luxury which only the very virtuous
can indulge in; and to compromise therefore with the situation, I
would state that the mining output of Leadville is to-day about eleven
times as great as it was two years ago, and that five years ago there
was no output at all. That is to say, this town of Leadville, with a
population, floating and permanent together, of some 40,000 souls, and
yielding from its mines about a thousand dollars per head of the total
population, was five years ago a camp of a few hundred miners, as a
rule so disappointed with the prospect of the place that another year
of the status quo would have seen Leadville deserted. But the secret
of the carbonates being "ore-iferous" was discovered, and Tabor, like
the fossil of some antediluvian giant, was gradually revealed by the
pick of the miner, in all his Plutocratic bulk. A few years ago he
was selling peanuts at the corner of a street. To-day he moves about,
king of Denver, with Leadville for an appanage. His potentiality in
cheques increases yearly by another cipher added to the total, and
drags at each remove a lengthening chain of wealth. Why do men go on
accumulating money when they are already masters of enough? Surely it
is better to be rich than a pauper? But in Colorado this is not the
general opinion. Men there prefer to be ruined rather than be merely
rich. And the result is that you could hardly throw a boot out of the
hotel window without hitting an ex-millionaire. Not that I would advise
anybody to go throwing boots promiscuously out of hotel windows in
Leadville. You would run a good chance of following your boots.

"Do you see that man there, paring his boot with a knife?" asked my
companion.

"Yes," said I, "I see him; there is a good deal of him to see."

"Well," said he, "that's So-and-so. He sold so-and-so for $400,000
about a year ago. But he busted last Fall. And if you get into
conversation with him, he'll be glad to borrow a dollar from you."

"Then I shall not get into conversation with him," I replied.

"And do you see that old fellow on the other side, leaning against the
hitching post, outside the Post Office?"

"Well," said I, "they seem to be mostly leaning against the
hitching-post, but I presume you mean the gentleman in the middle."

"Yes," was the reply. "That's So-and-so. He struck the so-and-so, got
$80,000 for his share about six weeks ago--and is busted."

And so on ad infinitum. The problem was a very puzzling one to me at
first--why do such men make fortunes if they take the first opportunity
of throwing them away? But the solution, I fancy, is this--that these
men do not care for money. It is to them what knowledge is to the
philosopher, a means of acquiring more--worthless in itself, but, as
leading to larger results, worthy of all eagerness in its pursuit.
They do not put Wealth before themselves as an accumulation of current
coins, capable of purchasing everything that makes life materially
pleasant. They contemplate it merely in the bulk. Much in the same way
a whaler never thinks of the number of candles in the spermaceti into
which he has struck a harpoon. He looks at his quarry only as a "ten
barrel" or a "fifteen barrel" whale, as the case may be. He does not
content himself with the illuminating potentialities of the creature
he pursues. He is only anxious as to how it will barrel off, and the
barrels might be pork, or potatoes, or anything else. So with the
man who goes out mine-hunting. He harpoons a lode, lays open so many
"millions" of ore, sells it to a company for a "million" or two, and
straightway goes and "busts" for so many "millions." It does not seem
to concern such a one that a "million" of dollars is so many guineas,
or roubles, or napoleons, or mohurs, and so forth, and that if he goes
on to the end of his life, he can never achieve more than money. His
arithmetic goes mad, and he begins computing from the wrong end of the
line. Ten thousands of dollars make one 50-cent piece, two 50-cent
pieces make one quarter, five quarters make one nickel, five nickels
make one cent, and "quite a lot" of cents make one fortune. So at it he
goes again, trying to foot up a satisfactory balance with thousands for
units--and "busts" before he gets to the end of the sum.

Leadville itself as I first saw it, ringed in with snow-covered hills,
a bright sun shining and a slight snow falling, remains in my memory
as one of the prettiest scenes in my experience. In Switzerland even
it could hold its own, and triumph. I wandered about its streets and
into its shops and saloons, curious to see some of those men of whom
I had heard so much; but whatever may have been their exercises with
bowie-knife and pistol at a later hour of the day, I was never more
agreeably disappointed than by the manners and bearing of the Leadville
miners early in the morning.

There is nothing gives a man so much self-reliance as having thick
boots on. This fact I have evolved out of my own consciousness, for
when I was out in the Colonies I often tried to analyze a certain sense
of "independence" which I found taking possession of me. The climate
no doubt was exceptionally invigorating, and I was a great deal on
horseback. But I had been subjected to the same conditions elsewhere
without experiencing the same results. And after a great deal of severe
mental inquiry, I decided that it was--my thick boots! And I was right.
No man can feel properly capable of taking care of himself in slippers.
In patent-leather boots he is little better, and in what are called
"summer walking-shoes" he still finds himself fastidious about puddles,
and at a disadvantage with every man he meets who does not mind a rough
road. But once you begin to thicken the sole, self-reliance commences
to increase, and by the time your boots are as solid as those of a
Colorado miner you should find yourself his equal in "independence."
And some of their boots are prodigious. The soles are over an inch
thick, project in front of the toes perhaps half an inch, and form a
ledge, as it were, all round the foot. What a luxury with such boots it
must be to kick a man!

The rest of the costume was often in keeping with the shoe leather, and
in every case where the wearers did not belong to the shops and offices
of the town, there was a general attention to strength of material and
personal comfort, at a sacrifice of appearance, which was refreshing
and unconventional. They are a fine set, indeed, this miscellaneous
congregation of nationalities which men call "Colorado diggers." There
is hardly a stupid face among them, and certainly not a cowardly one.
And then compare them with the population of their native places--the
savages of the East of London, the outer barbarians of Scandinavia, the
degraded peasantry of Western Ireland! The contrast is astonishing.
Left in Europe they might have guttered along in helpless poverty
relieved only by intervals of crime, till old age found them in a
workhouse. But here they can insist on every one pretending to think
them "as good as himself" (such is, I believe, the formula of this
preposterous hypocrisy), and, at any rate, may hope for sudden wealth.
Above all, a man here does not go about barefooted, like so many of
his family "at home," or in ragged shoe-leather, like so many more of
them; but stands, and it may even be sleeps, in boots of unimpeachable
solidity. So he goes down the street as if it were his own, planting
his feet firmly at every step, and, not having to trouble himself about
the condition of the footway, keeps his head erect. Depend upon it,
thick boots are one of the secrets of "independence" of character.

But Leadville, this wonderful town that in four years sprang up from
300 to 30,000 inhabitants, is not entirely a city of miners. On the
day that I was there larger numbers than usual were in the streets, in
consequence of an election then in progress holding out promises of
unusual entertainment. Besides these there is, of course, the permanent
population of commerce and ordinary business; and I was struck here, as
I had not been before since I left Boston, with the natural phenomenon
of a race reverting to an old type. Boston reminded me at times of some
old English cathedral city. Leadville was like some thriving provincial
town. The men would not have looked out of place in the street, say,
of Reading; while the women, in their quiet and somewhat old-fashioned
style of dressing, reminded me very curiously of rural England. Indeed,
I do not think my anticipations have ever been so completely upset
as in Leadville. All the way from New York I have been told to wait
"till I got to Colorado" before I ventured to speak of rough life, and
Leadville itself was sometimes particularized to me as the Ultima Thule
of civilization, the vanishing-point of refinement.

But not only is Leadville not "rough;" it is even flirting with the
refinements of life. It has an opera-house, a good drive for evening
recreation, and a florist's shop. There were not many plants in it, it
is true, but they were nearly all of them of the pleasant old English
kinds--geraniums, pansies, pinks, and mignonette. Two other shops
interested me, one stocked with mineral specimens--malachite, agate,
amethyst, quartz, blood-stone, onyx, and an infinite variety of pieces
of ore, gold, silver, lead, iron, copper, bismuth, and sulphur--with
which pretty settings are made, of a quaint grotto-work kind, for
clocks and inkstands. The other a naturalist's shop, in which, besides
fossils, exquisite leaves in stone and petrified tree-fragments, I
found the commencement of a zoological collection--the lynx with its
comfortable snow-coat on, and the grey mountain wolf not less cozily
dressed; squirrels, black and grey, "the creatures that sit in the
shade of their tails," and the "friends of Hiawatha" with various
birds--the sage hen and the prairie chicken, the magpie (very like the
English bird), and the "lark,"--a very inadequate substitute indeed for
the bird that "at Heaven's gate sings," that has been sanctified to
all time by Shelley, and the idol of the poets of the Old World--and
heads of large game, horned and antlered, and the skin of a "lion."
It is a curious fact that every country should thus insist on having
a lion. For the real African animal himself I entertain only a very
qualified respect. For some of his substitutes, the panther of Sumatra
and the Far East, the (now extinct) cat of Australia, and the puma of
the United States, that respect is even more moderate in degree. "The
American lion" is, in fact, about as much like the original article as
the American "muffin" is like the seductive but saddening thing from
which it takes its name. The puma, which is its proper name, is the
least imposing of all the larger cats. It cannot compare even with the
jaguar, and would not be recognized by the true lion, or by the tiger,
as being a kinsman. It is just as true of lions as it is of Glenfield
starch--"when you ask for it, see that you get it." I admit that it is
very creditable to America that in the great competition of nations
she should insist on not being left behind even in the matter of
lions, but surely it would be more becoming to her vast resources and
her undeniable enterprise if she imported some of the genuine breed,
instead of, as at present, putting up with such a shabby compromise as
the puma.

This tendency to exaggeration in terms has I know been very frequently
commented upon. But I don't remember having heard it suggested that
this grandiosity must in the long-run have a detrimental effect
upon national advancement. Presuming for instance that an American
understands the real meaning of the word "city," what gross and
ridiculous notions of self-importance second-class villages must
acquire by hearing themselves spoken of as "cities." Or supposing that
one understands the real meaning of the word "lady," how comes it that
an ill-bred, ill-mannered chambermaid is always spoken of as a "lady"?
If the name is only given in courtesy, why not call them princesses at
once and rescue the nobler word from its present miserable degradation?

I was in the Chicago Hotel and a coloured porter was unstrapping my
luggage. I rang the bell for a message boy, and on another black
servant appearing I gave him a written note to take down to the
manager. But in that insolent manner so very prevalent among the
blacker hotel servants in America, he said: "That other gentleman will
take it down." "Other gentleman!" I gasped out in astonishment; "there
is only one gentleman in this room, and two negro servants. And if," I
continued, forgetting that I was in America, and rising from my chair,
"you are not off as fast as you can go, I'll--" But the "gentleman"
fled so precipitately with my message that I got no further.

Now could anything be more preposterous than this poor creature's
attempt to vindicate his right to the flattering title conferred upon
him by the Boots, and which he in turn conferred upon the Barman, until
everybody in the hotel, from the Manager downwards, was involved in an
absurd entanglement of mutual compliments? It may of course be laughed
at as a popular humour. But a stranger like myself is perpetually
recognizing the mischief which this absurd want of moral courage and
self-respect in the upper classes is working in the country. Nor
have Americans any grounds whatever to suppose that this sense of
"courtesy" is peculiar to them. It is common to every race in the
world, and most conspicuous in the lowest. The Kaffirs of Africa and
the Red Indians address each other with titles almost as fulsome as
"gentleman," while in India, the home of courtesy and good breeding,
the natives of the higher castes address the very lowest by the title
of Maharaj("great prince"). It is accepted by the recipient exactly in
the spirit in which it is meant. He understands that the higher classes
do not wish to offend him by calling him by his real name, and his
Oriental good taste tells him that any intermediate appellation might
be misconstrued. So he calls himself, as he is called, by the highest
title in the land. There is no danger here of any mistake. Every one
knows that the misfortune of birth or other "circumstances beyond
his control" have made him a menial. But no one tells him so. He is
"Maharaj."

For myself, I adopted the plan of addressing every negro servant as a
"Sultan." It was not abusive and sounded well. He did not know what it
meant any more than he knows the meaning of "gentleman," but I saved my
self-respect by not pretending to put him on an equality with myself.

At Leadville the hotel servants are white men, and the result is
civility. But I was in the humour at Leadville to be pleased with
everything. The day was divine, the landscape enchanting, and the men
with their rough riding-costumes, strange, home-made-looking horses,
Mexican saddles (which I now for the first time saw in general use) and
preposterous "stirrups," interested me immensely. Of course I went up
to a mine, and, of course, went down it. And what struck me most during
the expedition? Well, the sound of the wind in the pine-trees.

It was a delightful walk--away up out of the town, with its suburbs of
mimic pinewood "chalets" and rough log-huts, and the hills all round
sloping back from the plateau so finely, patched and powdered with
snow-drifts, fringed and crowned with pine-trees, here darkened with
a forest of them, there dotted with single trees, and over all, the
Swiss magic of sunlight and shadow; away up the hill-side, through a
wilderness of broken bottles and battered meat cans, a very paradise
of rag-pickers, among which are scattered the tiny homes of the
miners. Women were busy chopping wood and bringing in water. Children
were romping in parties. But the men, their husbands and fathers,
were all up at the mines at work, invisible, in the bowels of the
mountain; keeping the kobolds company, and throwing up as they went
great hillocks of rubbish behind them like some gigantic species of
mole, or burrowing armadillo of the old glyptodon type. And so on, up
the shingle-strewn hillside thickly studded with charred tree-stumps,
desolation itself--a veritable graveyard of dead pine-trees. Above
us, on the crest of the mountain, the forest was still standing, and
long before we reached them we heard the wind-haunted trees of Pan
telling their griefs to the hills. It is a wonderful music, this of
the pine-trees, for it has fascinated every people among whom they
grow, from the bear-goblin haunts of Asiatic Kurdistan through the
elf-plagued forests of Germany to the spirit-land of the Canadian
Indians. It is indeed a mystery, this voice in the tree-tops, with all
the tones of an organ--the vox-humana stop wonderful--and in addition
all the sounds of nature, from the sonorous diapason of the ocean to
the whisperings of the reed-beds by the river. When I came upon them
in Leadville the pines were rehearsing, I think, for a storm that was
coming. Lower down the slope, the trees were standing as quiet as
possible, and in the town itself at the bottom of the hill the smoke
was rising straight. But up here, at the top, under the pine-trees,
the first act of a tempest was in full rehearsal. And all this time
wandering about, I had not seen one single living soul. There stood the
sheds built over the mines. But no one was about. At the door of one
of them was a cart with its horses. But no driver. This extraordinary
absence of life gave the hill-top a strange solemnity--and though I
knew that under my feet the earth was alive with human beings, and
though every now and then a little pipe sticking out of a shed would
suddenly snort and give about fifty little angry puffs at the rate
of a thousand a minute, the utter solitude was so fascinating that I
understood at once why pine-covered mountains, especially where mines
are worked, should all the world over be such favourite sites in legend
and ballad for the home of elfin and goblin folk.

The afternoon was passing before I set out homeward and I could hardly
get along, so often did I turn round to look back at the views behind
me. And in front, and on either side, were the hills, with their hidden
hoards of silver and lead, watching the town, whence they know the
miners will some day issue to attack them, and on their slopes lay
mustered the shattered battalions of their pines, here looking as if
invading the town, into which their skirmishers, dotted about among the
houses, had already fought their way; there, as if they were retreating
up the hillside with their ranks closed against the houses that pursued
them, or straggling away up the slopes and over the crest in all the
disorder of defeat.

And so, down on to the level of the plateau again, with its traffic and
animation and all the busy life of a hardworking town.



CHAPTER IV.

FROM LEADVILLE TO SALT LAKE CITY.

    What is the conductor of a Pullman Car?--Cannibalism fatal to
    lasting friendships--Starving Peter to feed Paul--Connexion
    between Irish cookery and Parnellism--Americans not smokers--In
    Denver--"The Queen City of the Plains"--Over the Rockies--Pride in
    a cow, and what came of it--Sage-brush--Would ostriches pay in the
    West?--Echo canyon--The Mormons' fortifications--Great Salt Lake in
    sight.

WHAT is the "conductor" of a Pullman car? Is he a private gentleman
travelling for his pleasure, a duke in disguise, or is he a servant
of the company placed on the cars to see to the comfort, &c., of the
company's customers? I should like to know, for sometimes I have been
puzzled to find out. The porter is an admirable institution, when he
is amenable to reason, and I have been fortunate enough to find myself
often entrusted to perfectly rational specimens. The experiences of
travellers have, as I know from their books, been sometimes very
different from mine--ladies, especially, complaining--but for myself I
consider the Union Pacific admirably manned.

But it is a great misfortune that the company do not run hotel cars.
I was told that the reason why we were made over helplessly to such
caterers as those at North Platte and Sterling for our food was, that
the custom of passengers is almost the only source of revenue the
"eating-houses" along the line can depend upon. Without the custom of
passengers they would expire--atrophise--become deceased. What I want
to know is why they should not expire. I, as a traveller, see no reason
whatever, no necessity, for their being kept alive at a cost of so
much suffering to the company's customers. Let them decease, or else
establish a claim to public support. During a long railway journey the
system is temporarily deranged and appetites are irregular, so that
some people can not eat when they have the opportunity, and when they
could eat, do not get it. Some day, no doubt, a horrible cannibalic
outrage on the cars will awaken the directors to the peril of carrying
starving passengers, and the luxury of the hotel-car will be instituted.

Not that I could censure the poor men of the South Seas or Central
Africa for eating each other. There seems to me something a trifle
admirable in this economy of their food. But cannibalism must, in the
very nature of it, be deterrent to the formation of lasting friendships
between strangers. So long as two men look upon each other as possible
side dishes, there can be no permanent cordiality between them. Mutual
confidence, the great charm of sincere friendship, must be wanting. You
could never be altogether at your ease in a company which discussed the
best stuffing for you.

Meanwhile, the custom of carrying their own provisions is increasing in
favour among passengers, so that, hotel cars or not, these Barmecide
"eating-houses" may yet expire from inanition. The waiting (done by
girls) is, I ought to say, admirable--but then so it was at Sancho
Panza's supper and at Duke Humphrey's dinner-table. And yet the hungry
went empty away.

Between Cheyenne and Ogden the commissariat is distinctly better, and
the unprovided traveller triumphs mildly over the more careful who have
carried their own provisions. But, striking a balance on the whole
journey, there is no doubt that the comfort of the trip, some sixty odd
hours, from Omaha to Ogden, is materially increased by starting with a
private stock of food. Bitter herbs without indigestion is better than
a stalled ox with dyspepsia.

An old Roman epicure gravely expressed his opinion that Africa could
never be a progressive country, inasmuch as its shrimps were so small.
And I think I may venture to say that if the cookery in the central
States does not improve, the country must gradually drift backwards
into barbarism. For there is a most intimate connexion between cookery
and civilization.

It is the duty of the historian, and not the task of the traveller,
to trace national catastrophes to their real causes--often to be
found concealed under much adventitious matter, and when found often
surprising from their insignificance--and I leave it, therefore, to
others to specify the particular feature of Irish cookery that tends to
create a disinclination to paying rent.

That the agitated demeanour of the after-dinner speakers during Irish
tenant-right meetings' was due solely to the infuriating and ferocious
course of food to which they had just submitted, is as certain as that
the extraordinary class of noises, cavernous and hollow-sounding,
produced by their applausive audiences was owing to the fact that they
had not dined at all. In the West of Ireland (where I travelled with
those "experts in constitutional treason" who were then organizing the
"No Rent" agitation), the agitators and conspirators had no time for
long dinners, as the mobs outside were as impatient as hunger, so they
sat down, invariably, to everything at once--mutton, bacon, sausages,
turkey and ham, with relays of hot potatoes every two minutes. While
one conspirator was addressing the peasantry, the upper half of his
body thrust out of the lower half of the window, and only his legs in
the dining-room, the rest were eating against time, and as soon as the
speaker's legs were seen to get up on tiptoe, which they always did for
the peroration, the next to speak had to rise from his food. The result
was of course incoherent violence. But a closer analysis is required to
detect the causes of Irish dislike to rent.

That it would be eventually found that potatoes and patriotism have
an occult affnity I have no doubt; but, as I have said above, such
research more properly belongs to the province of the historian. The
Spartan stirring his black broth with a spear revealed his nature at
once, and the single act of the Scythians, using their beefsteaks
for saddles until they wanted to eat them, gives at a glance their
character to the nation.

At any rate, it is as old as Athenaeus that "to cookery we owe
well-ordered States;" for States result from the congregation of
individuals in towns, and towns are the sum of agglomerated households,
and households, it is notorious, never combine except for the sociable
consumption of food. So long as, in the Dark Ages, every man cooked
for himself, or, in the primitive days of cannibalism, helped himself
to a piece of a raw neighbour, there could be no friendly heartiness
at meals; but, as soon as cooks appeared, men met fearlessly round a
common board, towns grew up round the dinner-table, and, as Athenaeus
remarks, well-ordered States grew up round the towns. But if we were
to judge of the prospects of the people who live, say, about Green
River or North Platte, by the character of the food (as supplied to
travellers) the opinion could not be very complimentary or encouraging.

It is a prevalent idea in England that Americans smoke prodigiously,
even as compared with "the average Britisher." Now, in America there
is very little smoking. You may perhaps think I am wrong. A great many
Americans, I allow, buy cigars in the most reckless fashion. But (apart
from the fact that cigars are not necessarily tobacco) I find that as
a rule they throw away more than they smoke. Speaking roughly, then, I
should say so-called "smokers" in this country might be divided into
three classes: those who buy cigars because they cost money; those
who buy them because cigars give them a decent excuse for spitting;
and those who buy them under the delusion that the friend who is with
them smokes, and that hospitality or courtesy requires that they
should humour his infatuation. Of the trifling residue, the men who
smoke because, as they put it, "they like it," it is not worth while
to speak. Now, one of the results of this general aversion to tobacco
is that when a foreigner addicted to the weed comes over and tries to
smoke, he is hunted about so, that (as I have often done myself) he
longs to be in his coffin, if only to get a quiet corner for a pipe. In
hotels they hunt you down, floor by floor, till they get you on to a
level with the street, and then from room to room till they get you out
on to the pavement. There is nowhere where you can read and smoke--or
write and smoke--or have a quiet chat with a friend over a pipe--or in
fact smoke at all, in the respectable, civilized, Christian sense of
the word. Of course, if you like, you can "smoke" in the public hall
of the hotel. But I would just as soon sit out on the kerbstone at the
corner of the street as among a crowd of men holding cigars in their
mouths and shouting business. Out on the kerbstone I should at any rate
find the saving grace of passing female society. In private houses
again, smokers are consigned to the knuckle end of the domicile and
the waste corners thereof, as if they snatched a fearful joy from some
secret fetish rites, or had to go apart into privacy to indulge in a
little surreptitious cannibalism. In the streets, friends do not like
you to smoke when with them, and there are very few public conveyances
in which tobacco is comfortably possible.

In trains there is a most conspicuous neglect of smokers. I found, for
instance, on my journey from New York to Chicago, that the only place I
could smoke in was the end compartment of the fourth car from my own.
That is to say, let it be as stormy and dark as it may, you have to
pass from other car to the other half the length of the train, and when
you do get to "the smoking compartment" you find it is only intended to
hold five passengers. I confess I am surprised that these palace cars,
otherwise so agreeable, should be such hovel cars for smokers. Nor, by
the way, seeing that the company specially notifies that the passage
from one car to the other is "dangerous" while the train is in motion,
do I think it fair that smokers should be encouraged, and indeed
compelled, to run bodily risks in order to arrive at their tobacco.
Some day no doubt there will be Pullman smoking cars, and when there
are--I will find something else to grumble at.

Imagine then my astonishment when arriving at the Windsor Hotel at
Denver, I was shown into a bona-fide smoking-room, with cosy chairs,
well carpeted, with a writing table properly furnished, all the
newspapers of the day, and a roaring fire in an open fireplace! Here
at last was civilization. Here was a room where a man might sit with
self-respect, and enjoy his pipe over a newspaper, smoke while he wrote
a letter, foregather over tobacco with a friend in a quiet corner! No
noise of loquacious strangers, no mob of outsiders to make the room
as common as the street, no fusillade of expectoration, no stove to
desiccate you--above all, no coloured "gentleman" to come in and say,
"Smoke nut 'lard here, sar!" I was delighted. But my curiosity, at such
an aberration into intelligence, led me to confide in the manager.

"How is it," I asked, "you have got what no other hotel in America that
I have stayed in has got--a comfortable smoking-room after the English
style?"

"Guess," said he, "because an English company built this hotel!"

And I went upstairs, at peace with myself and all English companies.

The first view of Denver is very prepossessing, and further
acquaintance begets better liking. Indeed on going into the streets of
"the Queen City of the Plains" I was astonished. The buildings are of
brick or stone, its roads are good and level, and well planted with
shade-trees, its suburbs are orderly rows of pretty villas, adorned
with lawn, and shrubs, and flowers. Though one of the very youngest
towns of the West, it has already an air of solidity and permanence
which is very striking, while on such a day as I saw it, it is also
one of the very cleanest and airiest. And the snow-capped hills are in
sight all round.

Particularly notable in Denver are its railway station--and yet,
with all its size, it is found too small for the rapidly increasing
requirements of the district--and the Tabor Opera-House. This is really
a beautiful building inside, with its lavish upholstery, its charming
"ladies' rooms," and smoking-rooms, its variety of handsome stone, its
carved cherry-wood fittings, its perfectly sumptuous boxes. The stage
is nearly as large as that at Her Majesty's, quite as large as any in
New York, while in general appointments and in novelty of ornaments,
it has very few rivals in all Europe. In one point, the beauty of the
mise-en-scene from the gallery, the Denver house certainly stands quite
alone, for whereas in all other theatres or opera-houses, "the gods"
find themselves up in the attics, as it were, with only white-washed
walls about them, and the sides of the stage shut out from view, here
they are in handsomely furnished galleries, with a clear view of the
whole stage over the tops of the pagoda-roofed boxes--these curious
"pepper-box" roofs being themselves a handsome ornament to the scene.
By having only a limited number of "stalls" on the level, sloping the
"pit" up to the "grand tier," and making the stage nearly occupy the
whole width of the house, everybody in the building gets an equally
good view of the stage. It is indeed an opera-house to be proud of; and
Denver is proud of it.

There is an idea sometimes mooted that Denver has been run on too fast;
that it has "seen its day," and may be as suddenly deserted as it has
been peopled. But there is absolutely no chance of this whatever.
Colorado is as yet only in its cradle, and the older it gets the more
substantial will Denver become, for this city--and very soon it will
be almost worthy of that name--is the Paris of "the Centennial State,"
the ultimate ambition of the moderately successful miner. It is not a
place to make your money in and leave. But having made your money, to
go to and live in. For a man or woman must be very fastidious indeed
who cannot be content to settle down in this, one of the prettiest and
healthiest towns I have ever visited. Denver accordingly is attracting
to it, year by year, a larger number of that class of citizens upon
which alone the permanent prosperity of a town can depend, the men of
moderate capital, satisfied with a fair return from sound investments,
who put their money into local concerns, and make the place their
"home."

I left Denver in the early morning. Outside the station were standing
five trains all waiting to be off, and one by one their doleful bells
began to toll, and one by one they sneaked away. Ours was the last to
be off; but at length we too got our signal: that is to say, the porter
picked up the stool which is placed on the platform for the convenience
of short-legged passengers stepping into the cars--and without a word
we crept off, as if the train was going to a funeral, or was ashamed
of something it had done. This silent, casual departure of trains
is a perpetually recurring surprise to me. Would it be contrary to
republican principles to ring a bell for the warning of passengers? One
result, however, of this surreptitious method of making off, is that
no one is ever left behind. Such is the perversity of human nature! In
England people are being perpetually "left behind" because they think
such a catastrophe to be impossible. In America they are never left
behind, because they are always certain they will be.

At first the country threatened a repetition of the old prairie, made
more dismal than ever by our recent experiences of the Switzerland of
Colorado. But the scene gradually picked up a feature here and there as
we went along, and knowing that we were climbing up "the Rockies," we
had always present with us the pleasures of hope. But if you wish to
see the Rocky Mountains so as to respect them, do not travel over them
in a train. They are a fraud, so far as they can be seen from a car
window. But in minor points of interest they abound. Curious boulders,
of immense size and wonderful shapes, lie strewn about the ground, all
water-worn by the torrents of a long-ago age, and some of them pierced
with holes--the work of primeval shell-fish. Beds of river gravel
cover the slopes, and on every side were abundant vestiges of deluges,
themselves antediluvian. And then we came upon isolated cliffs of red
sandstone, with kranzes running along their faces--exactly the same
kranzes as the Zulus made such good use of during the war--and showing
in their irregular bases how old-world torrents had washed away the
clay and softer materials that had once no doubt joined these isolated
cliffs together into a chain of hills, and had left the sandstone heart
of each hill bare and alone. And so on, up over "the Divide" into
Wyoming, still a paradise for the ride and the rod, past Cheyenne, a
town of many shattered hopes, and out into the region of snow again.

Our engine was perpetually screaming to the cattle to get off the
track, a series of short, sharp screams that ought to have sufficed
to have warned even cattle to get out of the way. As a rule they
recognized the advisability of leaving the rails, but one wretched
cow, whether she was deaf, or whether she was stupid, or whether, like
Cole's dog, she was too proud to move, I cannot say, but in spite of
the screams of the engine she held her ground and got the worst of the
collision. The cow-catcher struck her, and as we passed her, the poor
beast lay in the blood-mottled snow-drift at the bottom of the bank,
still breathing, but almost dead. As for the train, the cow might have
been only a fly.

And so we went on climbing--herds of cattle grazing on the slopes, and
in the splendid "parks" which lay stretched out beneath us wherever
the hills stood far apart--with frequent snow-sheds interrupting all
conversation or reading with their tunnel-like intervals, till we
reached the Red Granite canyon, with great masses of that splendid
stone fairly mobbing the narrow course of a mountain stream, and
beyond them snow--snow--snow, stretching away to the sky-line without
a break. And then Sherman, the highest point of the mountains
upon the whole line--only some 8000 feet though, all told--with a
half-constructed monument to Oakes Ames crowning the summit. When
finished, this massive cone of solid granite blocks will be sixty feet
high. And then on to the Laramie Plains, with some wonderful reaches
of grazing-ground, and almost fabulous records of ranching profits,
And here is Laramie itself, that will some day be a city, for timber
and minerals and stock will all combine to enrich it. But to-day it is
desolate enough, muffed up in winter, with snowbirds in great flights
flecking the white ground. And so out again into the snow wilderness,
here and there cattle snuffing about on the desolate hill-sides, and
snow-sheds--timber-covered ways to prevent the snow drifting on to the
track--becoming more frequent, and the white desolation growing every
mile more utter. And the moon got up to confuse the horizon of land
with the background of the sky. And so to sleep, with dreams of the
Arctic regions, and possibilities, the dreariest in the world, of being
snowed up on the line.

Awakening with snow still all round us, and snow falling heavily as we
reach Green River. And then out into a country, prodigiously rich, I
was told, in petroleum, but in which I could only see that sage-brush
was again asserting its claims to be seen above the snow-drift, and
that wonderful arrangements in red stone thrust themselves up from
the hill crests. Terraces reminding me of miniature table-mountains
such as South Africa affects; sharply scarped pinnacles jutting from
the ridges like the Mauritius peaks; plateaux with isolated piles
of boulders; upright blocks shaped into the semblance of chimneys;
crests broken into battlements, and--most striking mimicry of all snow
wildernesses--a reproduction in natural rock of the great fortress of
Deeg, in India. With snow instead of water, the imitation of that vast
buttressed pile was singularly exact, and if there had been only a
brazen sun overhead and a coppery sky flecked with circling kites, the
counterfeit would have been perfect. But Deeg would crumble to pieces
with astonishment if snow were to fall near it, while here there was
enough to content a polar bear.

What a pity sage brush--the "three-toothed artemisia" of science--has
no commercial value. Fortunes would be cheap if it had. But I heard at
Leadville that a local chemist had treated the plant after the manner
of cinchona, and extracted from its bark a febrifuge with which he
was about to astonish the medical world and bankrupt quinine. That it
has a valuable principle in cases of fever, its use by the Indians
goes a little way to prove, while its medicinal properties are very
generally vouched for by its being used in the West as an application
for the cure of toothache, as a poultice for swellings, and a lotion
("sage oil") for erysipelas, rheumatism, and other ailments. Some day,
perhaps, a fortune will be made out of it, but at present its chief
value seems to be as a moral discipline to the settler and as covert
for the sage-hen.

Would not the ostrich thrive upon some of these prodigious tracts of
unalterable land? Can all America not match the African karoo shrub,
which the camel-sparrow loves? Ostrich farming has some special
recommendations, especially for "the sons of gentlemen" and others
disinclined for arduous labour, who have not much of either money or
brains to start with. Is it not a matter of common notoriety that when
pursued this fowl buries its head in the sand, and thus, of course,
falls an easy prey to the intending farmer? If, on the other hand,
he does not want the whole of the bird, he has only to stand by and
pluck its feathers out, which, having its head buried, it cannot, of
course perceive. (These feathers fetch a high price in the market.)
Supposing, however, that the adventurous emigrant wishes to undertake
ostrich farming bona fide, he has merely to pull the birds out from the
sand, and drive them into an enclosure--which he will, of course, have
previously made--and sit on the gate and watch them lay their eggs.
When they lay eggs, ostriches--this is also notorious--bury them in the
sand and desert them, and the gentleman's son on the fence can then
go and pick them out of the sand. (Ostriches' eggs fetch five pounds
apiece.) These birds, moreover, cost very little for feeding, as they
prefer pebbles. They can, therefore, be profitably cultivated on the
sea beach. But I would remind intending farmers that ostriches are very
nimble on their feet. It is also notorious that they have a shrewd way
of kicking. A kick from an ostrich will break a cab-horse in two. The
intending farmer, therefore, when he has compelled the foolish bird to
bury its head in the sand and is plucking out its tail feathers, should
stand well clear of the legs. This is a practical hint.

We dined at Evanston, neat-handed abigails, as usual, handing round
dishes fearfully and wonderfully made out of old satchels and seasoned
with varnish. There is a Chinese quarter here, with its curious
congregation of celestial hovels all plastered over with, apparently,
the labels of tea-chests. I should think the Chinese were all self-made
men. At any rate they do not seem to me to have been made by any one
who knew how to do it properly.

However, we had not much time to look at them, for cows on the track
and one thing and another had made us rather late; so we were very soon
off again, the travellers, after their hurried and indigestible meal,
feeling very much like the jumping frog, after he couldn't jump, by
reason of quail shot.

The snow had been gradually disappearing, and as we approached Echo
canyon we found ourselves gliding into scenes that in summer are very
beautiful indeed, with their turf and willow-fringed streams and
abundant vegetation. And then, by gradual instalments of rock, each
grander than the next, the great canyon came upon us. What a superb
defile this is! It moves along like some majestic poem in a series of
incomparable stanzas. There is nothing like it in the Himalayas that I
know of, nor in the Suleiman range. In the Bolan Pass, on the Afghan
frontier, there are intervals of equal sublimity; and even as a whole
it may compare with it. But taken all for all--its length (some thirty
miles), its astonishing diversity of contour, its beauty as well as
its grandeur--I confess the Echo canyon is one of the masterpieces
of Nature. I can speak of course only of what I have seen. I do not
doubt that the Grand canyon in Arizona, which is said to throw all the
wonders of Colorado and the marvels of Yellowstone or Yosemite into
the shade, would dwarf the highway to Utah, but within my experience
the Echo is almost incomparable. It would be very difficult to convey
any idea of this glorious confusion of crags. But imagine some vast
city of Cyclopean architecture built on the crest and face of gigantic
cliffs of ruddy stone. Imagine, then, that ages of rain had washed away
all the minor buildings, leaving only the battlements of the city, the
steeples of its churches, its causeways and buttresses, and the stacks
of its tallest chimneys still standing where they had been built. If
you can imagine this, you can imagine anything, even Echo canyon--but I
must confess that my attempt at description does not recall the scene
to me in the least.

However, I passed through it and, up on the crest of a very awkward
cliff for troops to scale under fire, had pointed out to me the
stone-works which the Mormons built when they went out in 1857 to stop
the advance of the Federal army.

And there is no doubt of it that the passage of that defile, even with
such rough defences as the Saints had thrown up, would have cost the
army very dear. For these stone-works, like the Afghans' sunghums, and
intended, of course for cover against small arms only, were carried
along the crest of the cliffs for some miles, and each group was
connected with the next by a covered way, while in the bed of the
stream below, ditches had been dug (some six feet deep and twenty
wide), right across from cliff to cliff, and a dam constructed just
beyond the first ditch which in an hour or two would have converted
the whole canyon for a mile or so into a level sheet of water. On
this dam the Mormon guns were masked, and though, of course, the
Federal artillery would soon have knocked them off into the water, a
few rounds at such a range and raking the army--clubbed as it would
probably have been at the ditches--must have proved terribly effective.
This position, moreover, though it could be easily turned by a force
diverging to the right before it entered the canyon, could hardly be
turned by one that had already entered it. And to attempt to storm
those heights, with men of the calibre of the Transvaal Dutchmen
holding them, would have been splendid heroism--or worse.

And then Weber canyon, with its repetitions of castellated cliffs, and
its mimicry of buttress and barbican, bastion and demilune, tower and
turret, and moat and keep, and all the other feudal appurtenances of
the fortalice that were so dear to the author of "Kenilworth," with
pine-trees climbing up the slopes all aslant, and undergrowth that
in summer is full of charms. The stream has become a river, and fine
meadows and corn-land lie all along its bank; large herds of cattle
and companies of horses graze on the hill slopes, and wild life is
abundant. Birds are flying about the valley under the supervision of
buzzards that float in the air, half-mountain high, and among the
willowed nooks parties of moor-hens enjoy life. And so into Ogden.

Night was closing in fast, and soon the country was in darkness.
Between Ogden and the City of the Saints lay a two hours' gap of
dulness, and then on a sudden I saw out in front of me a thin white
line lying under the hills that shut in the valley.

"That, sir? That is Salt Lake."



CHAPTER V.

THE CITY OF THE HONEY-BEE.

    Zion--Deseret--A City of Two Peoples--"Work" the watchword of
    Mormonism--A few facts to the credit of the Saints--The text of the
    Edmunds Bill--In the Mormon Tabernacle--The closing scene of the
    Conference.

I HAVE described in my time many cities, both of the east and west; but
the City of the Saints puzzles me. It is the young rival of Mecca, the
Zion of the Mormons, the Latter-Day Jerusalem. It is also the City of
the Honey-bee, "Deseret," and the City of the Sunflower--an encampment
as of pastoral tribes, the tented capital of some Hyksos, "Shepherd
Kings"--the rural seat of a modern patriarchal democracy; the place
of the tabernacle of an ancient prophet-ruled Theocracy--the point
round which great future perplexities for America are gathering fast;
a political storm centre--"a land fresh, as it were, from the hands of
God;" a beautiful Goshen of tranquility in the midst of a troublous
Egypt--a city of mystery, that seems to the ignorant some Alamut or
"Vulture's Nest" of an Assassin sect; the eyrie of an "Old Man of
the Mountains:"--to the well-informed the Benares of a sternly pious
people; the templed city of an exacting God--a place of pilgrimage
in the land of promise, the home of the "Lion of Judah," and the
rallying-point in the last days of the Lost Tribes, the Lamanites, the
Red Indians--the capital of a Territory in which the people, though
"Americans," refuse to make haste to get rich; to dig out the gold and
silver which they know abounds in their mountains; to enter the world's
markets as competitors in the race of commerce--a people content with
solid comfort; that will not tolerate either a beggar or a millionaire
within their borders, but insist on a uniform standard of substantial
well-being, and devote all the surplus to "building up of Zion," to
the emigration of the foreign poor and the erection of splendid places
of ceremonial worship--a Territory in which the towns are all filled
thick with trees and the air is sweet with the fragrance of fruit and
flowers, and the voices of birds and bees as if the land was still
their wild birthright; in which meadows with herds of cattle and horses
are gradually overspreading deserts hitherto the wild pashalik of the
tyrant sage-brush--a land, alternately, of populous champaign and
of desolate sand waste, with, as its capital, a City of Two Peoples
between whom there is a bitterness of animosity, such as, in far-off
Persia, even Sunni and Shea hardly know.

Indeed, there are so many sides to Salt Lake City, and so much that
might be said of each, that I should perhaps have shirked this part of
my experiences altogether were I not conscious of possessing, at any
rate, one advantage over all my "Gentile" predecessors who have written
of this Mecca of the West. For it was my good fortune to be entertained
as a guest in the household of a prominent Mormon Apostle, a
polygamist, and in this way to have had opportunities for the frankest
conversation with many of the leading Mormons of the territory. My
candidly avowed antipathy to polygamy made no difference anywhere I
went, for they extended to me the same confidence that they would have
done to any Gentile who cared to know the real facts.

In the ordinary way, I should begin by describing the City itself.
But even then, so subtle is the charm of this place--Oriental in its
general appearance, English in its details--that I should hesitate to
attempt description. Its quaint disregard of that "fine appearance"
which makes your "live" towns so commonplace; its extravagance in
streets condoned by ample shade-trees; its sluices gurgling along by
the side-walks; its astonishing quiet; the simple, neighbourly life of
the citizens--all these, and much more combine to invest Salt Lake City
with the mystery that is in itself a charm.

Speaking merely as a traveller, and classifying the towns which I
have seen, I would place the Mormon Zion in the same genus as Benares
on the Ganges and Shikarpoor in Sinde, for it attracts the visitor
by interests that are in great part intellectual. The mind and eye
are captivated together. It is a fascination of the imagination as
well as of the senses. For the capital of Utah is not one of Nature's
favourites. She has hemmed it in with majestic mountains, but they
are barren and severe. She has spread the levels of a great lake, but
its waters are bitter, Marah. There is none of the tender grace of
English landscape, none of the fierce splendour of the tropics; and
yet, in spite of Nature, the valley is already beautiful, and in the
years to come may be another Palmyra. As yet, however, it is the day of
small things. Many of the houses are still of adobe, and they overlook
the trees planted to shade them. Wild flowers still grow alongside
the track of the tram-cars, and wild birds perch to whistle on the
telephone wires in the business thoroughfares.

But the future is full of promise, for the prosperity of the city is
based upon the most solid of all foundations, agricultural wealth, and
it is inhabited by a people whose religion is work. For it is a fact
about Mormonism which I have not yet seen insisted upon, that the first
duty it teaches is work, and that it inculcates industry as one of the
supreme virtues.

The result is that there are no pauper Mormons, for there are no idle
ones. In the daytime there are no loafers in the streets, for every man
is afield or at his work, and soon after nine at night the whole city
seems to be gone to bed. A few strangers of course are hanging about
the saloon doors, but the pervading stillness and the emptiness of the
streets is dispiriting to rowdyism, and so the Gentile damns the place
as being "dull." But the truth is that the Mormons are too busy during
the day for idleness to find companionship at night, and too sober in
their pleasures for gaslight vices to attract them.

As a natural corollary to this life of hard work, it follows that the
Mormons are in a large measure indifferent to the affairs of the world
outside themselves. Minding their own business keeps them from meddling
with that of others. They are, indeed, taught this from the pulpit.
For it is the regular formula of the Tabernacle that the people should
go about their daily work, attend to that, and leave everything else
alone. They are never to forget that they are "building up Zion," that
their day is coming in good time, but that meanwhile they must work
"and never bother about what other people may be doing." In this way
Salt Lake City has become a City of Two Peoples, and though Mormon and
Gentile may be stirred up together sometimes, they do not mingle any
more than oil and water.

There are no paupers among the Mormons, and 95 per cent of them live in
their own houses on their own land; there is no "caste" of priesthood,
such as the world supposes, inasmuch as every intelligent man is a
priest, and liable at any moment to be called upon to undertake the
duties of the priests of other churches--but without any pay.

Last winter there was a census taken of the Utah Penitentiary and the
Salt Lake City and county prisons with the following result:--In Salt
Lake City there are about 75 Mormons to 25 non-Mormons: in Salt Lake
county there are about 80 Mormons to 20 non-Mormons. Yet in the city
prison there were 29 convicts, all non-Mormons; in the county prison
there were 6 convicts all non-Mormons. The jailer stated that the
county convicts for the five years past were all anti-Mormons except
three!

In Utah the proportion of Mormons to all others is as 83 to 17. In the
Utah Penitentiary at the date of the census there were 51 prisoners,
only 5 of whom were Mormons, and 2 of the 5 were in prison for
polygamy, so that the 17 per cent "outsiders" had 46 convicts in the
penitentiary, while the 83 per cent. Mormons had but 5!

Out of the 200 saloon, billiard, bowling alley and pool-table keepers
not over a dozen even profess to be Mormons. All of the bagnios and
other disreputable concerns in the territory are run and sustained by
non-Mormons. Ninety-eight per cent of the gamblers in Utah are of the
same element. Ninety-five per cent of the Utah lawyers are Gentiles,
and 98 per cent of all the litigation there is of outside growth and
promotion. Of the 250 towns and villages in Utah, over 200 have no
"gaudy sepulchre of departed virtue," and these two hundred and odd
towns are almost exclusively Mormon in population. Of the suicides
committed in Utah ninety odd per cent are non-Mormon, and of the Utah
homicides and infanticides over 80 per cent are perpetrated by the 17
per cent of "outsiders."

The arrests made in Salt Lake City from January 1, 1881, to December 8,
1881, were classified as follows:--

  Men..........................782
  Women........................200
  Boys..........................38
       Total..................1020

  Mormons--Men and boys........163
  Mormons--Women.................6
  Anti-Mormon--Men and boys....657
  Anti-Mormon--Women...........194
       Total..................1020

A number of the Mormon arrests were for chicken, cow, and water
trespass, petty larceny, &c. The arrests of non-Mormons were 80 per
cent for prostitution, gambling, exposing of person, drunkenness,
unlawful dram-selling, assault and battery, attempt to kill, &c.

Now, if the 75 per cent Mormon population of Salt Lake City were as
lawless and corrupt as the record shows the 25 per cent non-Mormons to
be, there would have been 2443 arrests made from their ranks during
the year 1881, instead of 169; while if the 25 per cent non-Mormon
population were as law-abiding and moral as the 75 per cent Mormons,
instead of 851 non-Mormon arrests during the year, there would have
been but 56!

These are the kind of statistics that non-Mormons in Salt Lake City
hate having published. But the world ought to know them, if only to
put to shame the so-called Christian community of Utah, that is never
tired of libelling, personally and even by name, the men and women whom
Mormons have learned to respect from a lifetime's experience of the
integrity of their conduct and the purity of their lives--the so-called
"Christian" community that is afraid to hear itself contrasted with
these same Mormons, lest the shocking balance of crime and immorality
against themselves should be publicly known. But there is no appeal
from these statistics. They are incontrovertible.

The time at which I arrived in Utah was a very critical one for the
Latter-Day Saints. The States, exasperated into activity by sectarian
agitation--and by the intrigues of a few Gentiles resident in Utah who
were financially interested in the transfer of the Territorial Treasury
from Mormon hands to their own--had just determined, once more, to
extirpate polygamy, and the final passage of the long-dreaded "Edmunds
Bill" had marked down Mormons as a proscribed people, and had indicted
the whole community for a common offence.

The following is the text of this remarkable bill:--

"Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled, That section 5352 of
the Revised Statutes of the United States be, and the same is hereby,
amended so as to read as follows, namely:

"Every person who has a husband or wife living who, in a territory or
other place over which the United States have exclusive jurisdiction,
hereafter marries another, whether married or single, and any man who
hereafter simultaneously, or on the same day, marries more than one
woman, in a territory or other place over which the United States have
exclusive jurisdiction, is guilty of polygamy, and shall be punished
by a fine of not more than $500 and by imprisonment for a term of
not more than five years; but this section shall not extend to any
person by reason of any former marriage whose husband or wife by such
marriage shall have been absent for five successive years, and is not
known to such person to be living, and is believed by such person to
be dead, nor to any person by reason of any former marriage which
shall have been dissolved by a valid decree of a competent court, nor
to any person by reason of any former marriage which shall have been
pronounced void by a valid decree of a competent court, on the ground
of nullity of the marriage contract.

"SEC. 2--That the foregoing provisions shall not affect the prosecution
or punishment of any offence already committed against the section
amended by the first section of this act.

"SEC. 3--That if any male person, in a territory or other place over
which the United States have exclusive jurisdiction, hereafter cohabits
with more than one woman, he shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanour,
and on conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than
$300, or by imprisonment for not more than six months, or by both said
punishments, in the discretion of the court.

"SEC. 4--That counts for any or all of the offences named in sections
one and two of this act may be joined in the same information or
indictment.

"SEC. 5--That in any prosecution for bigamy, polygamy, or unlawful
cohabitation, under any statute of the United States, it shall be
sufficient cause of challenge to any person drawn or summoned as a
juryman or talesman, first, that he is or has been living in the
practice of bigamy, polygamy or unlawful cohabitation with more than
one woman, or that he is or has been guilty of an offence punishable
by either of the foregoing sections, or by section 5352 of the
Revised Statutes of the United States, or the Act of July 1st, 1862,
entitled, 'An Act to punish and prevent the practice of polygamy in the
territories of the United States and other places, and disapproving and
annulling certain Acts of the Legislative Assembly of the Territory
of Utah;' or second, that he believes it right for a man to have more
than one living and undivorced wife at the same time, or to live in
the practice of cohabiting with more than one woman; and any person
appearing or offered as a juror or talesman, and challenged on either
of the foregoing grounds, may be questioned on his oath as to the
existence of any such cause of challenge, and other evidence may be
introduced bearing upon the question raised by such challenge; and this
question shall be tried by the court. But as to the first ground of
challenge before mentioned, the person challenged shall not be bound
to answer if he shall say upon his oath that he declines on the ground
that his answer may tend to criminate himself; and if he shall answer
as to said first ground, his answer shall not be given in evidence in
any criminal prosecution against him for any offence named in sections
one or three of this Act; but if he declines to answer on any ground,
he shall be rejected as incompetent.

"SEC. 6--That the President is hereby authorized to grant amnesty to
such classes of offenders, guilty before the passage of this act of
bigamy, polygamy, or unlawful cohabitation, on such conditions and
under such limitations as he shall think proper; but no such amnesty
shall have effect unless the conditions thereof shall be complied with.

"SEC. 7--That the issue of bigamous or polygamous marriages, known as
Mormon marriages, in cases in which such marriages have been solemnized
according to the ceremonies of the Mormon sect, in any territory of
the United States, and such issue shall have been born before the 1st
January, A.D. 1883, are hereby legitimated.

"SEC. 8--That no polygamist, bigamist, or any person cohabiting with
more than one woman, and no woman cohabiting with any of the persons
described as aforesaid in this section, in any territory or other place
over which the United States have exclusive jurisdiction, shall be
entitled to vote at any election held in any such territory or other
place, or be eligible for election or appointment to or be entitled
to hold any office or place of public trust, honour, or emolument in,
under, or for any such territory or place, or under the United States.

"SEC. 9--That all the registration and election offices of every
description in the Territory of Utah are hereby declared vacant, and
each and every duty relating to the registration of voters, the conduct
of elections, the receiving or rejection of votes, and the canvassing
and returning of the same, and the issuing of certificates or other
evidence of election in said territory, shall, until other provision be
made by the Legislative Assembly of said territory as is hereinafter
by this section provided, be performed under the existing laws of the
United States and of said territory by proper persons, who shall be
appointed to execute such offices and perform such duties by a board of
five persons, to be appointed by the President, by and with the advice
and consent of the Senate, not more than three of whom shall be members
of one political party, a majority of whom shall be a quorum. The
canvass and return of all the votes at elections in said territory for
members of the Legislative Assembly thereof shall also be returned to
said board, which shall canvass all such returns and issue certificates
of election to those persons who, being eligible for such election,
shall appear to have been lawfully elected, which certificates shall be
the only evidence of the right of such persons to sit in such Assembly,
provided said board of five persons shall not exclude any persons
otherwise eligible to vote from the polls, on account of any opinion
such person may entertain on the subject of bigamy or polygamy; nor
shall they refuse to count any such vote on account of the opinion of
the person casting it on the subject of bigamy or polygamy; but each
house of such Assembly, after its organization, shall have power to
decide upon the elections and qualifications of its members."

The day also on which I arrived in Salt Lake City was itself a
memorable one, for it was the closing day of the fifty second annual
conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints--notable,
beyond other conferences, as a public expression of the opinions of
the leaders of the Mormon Church, at a crisis of great importance. The
whole hierarchy of Utah took part in the proceedings, and it was fitly
closed by an address from President Taylor himself, evoking such a
demonstration of fervid and yet dignified enthusiasm as I have never
seen equalled.

My telegram to the New York World on that occasion may still stand as
my description of the scene.

"Acquainted though I am with displays of Oriental fanaticism and
Western revivalism, I set this Mormon enthusiasm on one side as being
altogether of a different character, for it not only astonishes by its
fervour, but commands respect by its sincere sobriety. The congregation
of the Saints assembled in the Tabernacle, numbering, by my own careful
computation, eleven thousand odd, and composed in almost exactly
equal parts of the two sexes, reminded me of the Puritan gatherings
of the past as I imagined them, and of my personal experiences of the
Transvaal Boers as I know them. There was no rant, no affectation, no
straining after theatrical effect. The very simplicity of this great
gathering of country-folk was striking in the extreme, and significant
from first to last of a power that should hardly be trifled with by
sentimental legislation. I have read, I can assert, everything of
importance that has ever been written about the Mormons, but a single
glance at these thousands of hardy men fresh from their work at the
plough--at the rough vehicles they had come in, ranged along the street
leading to the Tabernacle, at their horses, with the mud of the fields
still upon them--convinced me that I knew nothing whatever of this
interesting people. Of the advice given at this Conference it is easy
to speak briefly, for all counselled alike. In his opening address,
President Taylor said,--

"'The antagonism we now experience here has always existed, but we have
also come out of our troubles strengthened. I say to you, be calm, for
the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth, and He will take care of us.'

"Every succeeding speaker repeated the same advice, and the outcome
of the five days' Conference may therefore be said to have been an
exhortation to the Saints 'to pay no attention whatever to outside
matters, but to live their religion, leave the direction of affairs to
their priesthood, and the result in the hands of God.'

"Bishops Sharp and Cluff challenged the Union to show more conspicuous
examples of loyalty than those that 'brighten the records of Utah;'
Bishop Hatch referred to a 'Revolutionary' ancestry; and Apostle
Brigham Young (a son of the late President) alluded to the advocacy
in certain quarters of warlike measures with which he was not himself
in sympathy. 'I am not,' he said, 'altogether belligerent, and am not
advocating warlike measures, but I do want to advocate our standing
true and steadfast all the time. If I am to be persecuted for living my
religion, why, I am to be persecuted. That is all. Dodging the issue
will not change it. I have read the bill passed to injure us, but am
satisfied that everything will come out all right, that the designs of
our enemies will be frustrated, and confusion will come upon them.'
Apostle Woodruff reminded the enemies of the Church that it 'costs a
great deal to shed the blood of God's people;' and Apostle Lorenzo Snow
said,--'I do not have any fear or trouble about fiery ordeals, but if
any do come we should all be ready for them.'

"These and other references to possible trouble seem to show that the
leaders of the Church consider the state of the public mind such as
to make these allusions necessary. But loyalty to the Constitution
was the text of every address, and even as regards the Edmunds Bill
itself, Apostle Lorenzo Snow said,--'There is something good in it,
for it legalizes every issue from plural marriages up to January 1,
1883. No person a few years ago could have ever expected such an act
of Congress. But it has passed, and been signed by the President.' The
expressions of the speakers with regard to polygamy were at times very
explicit. The President yesterday said,--'Some of our kind friends have
suggested that we cast our wives off, but our feelings are averse to
that. We are bound to them for time and eternity--we have covenanted
before high heaven to remain bound to them. And I declare, in the name
of Israel's God, that we will keep the covenant, and I ask all to say
to this Amen.' (Here, like the sound of a great sea-wave breaking in a
cave, a vast Amen arose from the concourse.) 'We may have to shelter
behind a hedge while the storm is passing over, but let us be true
to ourselves, our wives, our families, and our God, and all will be
well.' Again to-day he exhorted the Saints 'to keep within the law, but
at the same time to live their religion and be true to their wives,
and the principles Of their Church.' Several other speakers touched
upon the fact of plurality being an integral doctrine of Mormonism,
and not to be interfered with without committing an outrage against
their religion. Retaliation was never suggested, unless the advice
given to the congregation to make all their purchases at Mormon shops
may be accepted as a tendency towards Boycotting. But the Church was
exhorted to stand firm, to allow persecution to run its course, and
above all, to be 'manly in their fidelity to their wives.' Nor could
anything exceed the impressiveness of the response which the people
gave instantaneously to the appeal of their President for the support
of their voices. The great Tabernacle was filled with waves of sound as
the 'Amens' of the congregation burst out. The shout of men going into
battle was not more stirring than the closing words of this memorable
conference spoken as if by one vast voice: 'Hosannah! for the Lord God
Omnipotent reigneth; He is with us now and will be for ever. Amen!'"



CHAPTER VI.

LEGISLATION AGAINST PLURALITY.

    A people under a ban--What the Mormon men think of the
    Anti-Polygamy Bill--And what the Mormon women say of
    polygamy--Puzzling confidences--Practical plurality a very dull
    affair--But theoretically a hedge-hog problem--Matrimonial
    eccentricities--The fashionable milliner fatal to
    plurality--Absurdity of comparing Moslem polygamy with Mormon
    plurality--Are the women of Utah happy?--Their enthusiasm for
    Women's Rights.

UTAH, therefore, at the time of my visit was "a proclaimed
district"--to use the Anglo-Indian phrase for tracts suspected of
infanticide--and every Mormon within it had a share in the disgrace
thrust upon it. Nor was the triumph of the Gentile concealed at the
result. The Mormons, therefore, were consolidated, in the first
instance, by the equal pressure of the new law upon all sections of the
church alike; in the next by the openly expressed exultation of the
Gentiles. I wrote at the time: "They feel that they are under a common
ban. The children have read the Bill or have had its purport explained
to them, and it is well known even among the Gentiles how keen the
grief was in every household when the news that the Bill had passed
reached Utah. Wives still shed bitter tears over the act of Congress
which breaks up their happy homes, and robs them and their children of
the protecting presence of a husband and father. The Bill was aimed to
put a stop to a supposed self-indulgence of the men. But the Mormons
have never thought of it in this light at all. They see in it only an
attempt to punish their wives. And it is this alleged cruelty to their
wives and children that has stubborned the Mormon men."

Meanwhile the Mormons' affect a contemptuous disregard Of the
Commission and all its works. I have spoken to many, some of them
leaders of local opinion, and everywhere I find the same amused
indifference to it expressed. "We have too many real troubles," they
say, "to go manufacturing imaginary ones. We must live our religion in
the present and leave the future to God."

"But," I would say, "this is not a question of the future. All children
born after the 1st of January, 1883, will be illegitimate--and in these
matters Nature is generally very punctual. Now, are you going to break
the law or going to keep it?"

Some would answer "neither," and some "both," but all would agree
that there was no necessity for worrying themselves about evils which
may never befall, and that the Edmunds Bill, with all its malignity
and cunning, was "a stupid blunder," an "impossible" enactment, "an
absurdity." So the questioning would probably end in laughter.

"But in spite of this expressed indifference to the working of the
Bill, there can be little doubt that the more responsible Mormons
have already made up their minds as to the course they will take.
'The people' will follow them of course, and forecasting the future,
therefore, I anticipate that a small minority will break down under the
pressure, and will return their plural wives to their parents, with
such provision as they can make for their future support.

"Of the remainder, that is to say the bulk of the Mormons, I believe,
indeed I feel convinced, that they will simply ignore the Bill so long
as it ignores them, and that when it is put in force against them, they
will accept the penalty without complaint. In some cases the onus of
proving guilt will no doubt be made heavier by 'passive resistance,'
and where the whole family is solid in throwing obstacles in the way
of espionage, conviction will necessarily be very difficult. As a case
in point may be cited the instance of the Mormon in Salt Lake City,
who married a second wife and successfully defied both the law and
the public to fix his relationship to the lady in question and her
children. She herself was content with saying that her children were
honourable in birth, and that the wedding-ring on her finger was a fact
and not a fiction. But who her husband was neither the law nor the
press could find out for two years, and only then by the confession of
the sinner himself."

I was sitting one day with two Mormon ladies, plural wives, and the
conversation turned upon marriage.

"But," said I, "now that you have experienced the disadvantages of
plurality, shall you advise your daughters to follow your example?"

"No," said both promptly, "I shall not advise them one way or the
other. They must make their own choice, just as I did."

"Choice, I am afraid, is hardly a choice though. Plurality, I fear, is
too nearly a religious duty to leave much option with girls."

"Nonsense," said the elder of the two, "I was just as free to choose my
husband as you were to choose your wife. I married for love."

"And do you really believe," broke in the other, "that any woman in
the world would marry a man she did not like from a sense of religious
duty!"

"Yes," said I, regardless of the fair speaker's scorn, "I thought
plenty of women had done so. More than that, thousands have renounced
marriage with men whom they loved and taken the veil, for Heaven's
sake."

"Very true," was the reply, "a woman may renounce marriage and become a
nun as a religious duty. But the same motive would never have persuaded
that woman to marry against her inclinations. There is all the
difference in the world between the two. Any woman will tell you that."

"Then you mean to say," I persisted, "that you and your friends
consider that you are voluntary agents when you go into plurality? that
you do so entirely of your own accord and of your own free choice?"

"Certainly I do," was the reply. "You may not believe us, of course,
but that I cannot help. All I can say to you is, that if I had the last
seven years of my life to live over again, I should do exactly what I
did seven years ago."

"And what was that?" I asked.

"Refuse to marry a Gentile, to please my friends, and marry a
polygamist to please myself. I had two offers from unmarried men,
either of which my family were very anxious I should accept. But I did
not care for either. But when my husband, who had already two wives,
proposed to me, I accepted him, in spite of my friends' protests. And I
would marry him again if the choice came over again."

"Then yours must surely be exceptional cases, for I cannot bring myself
to believe that those who have been 'first' wives would ever consent to
their husband's re-marriage, if their past could be recalled."

"But I was his first wife," said the elder lady, "and my husband's
second wife was his first love. And if my past were recalled as you
put it, I would give my consent just as willingly as I did twelve
years ago." "Perhaps," said she, laughing, "you will call mine an
'exceptional' case too. But if you go through the Mormons individually,
I am afraid you will find that the 'exceptional' cases are very large."

"And how about the minority?" I asked, "the wives whose hearts have
been broken by plurality?"

"Well," was the reply, "there are plenty of unhappy wives. But this
is surely not peculiar to polygamy, is it? There are plenty of women
who find they have made a mistake. But is it not the same in monogamy?
And yet, though our poor women can get divorces with no trouble, and
at an expense of only ten dollars, and are certain of a competence
after divorce, and of re-marriage if they choose, they do not do it.
There is no greater disgrace attaching to divorce here than in Europe.
Indeed allowances are made for the special trials of plurality, and
mere unhappiness is in itself quite sufficient for a woman to get a
divorce. Yet divorce is very rare indeed, not one-tenth as common as in
Massachusetts, for instance."

"There are bad men amongst us just as there are everywhere," continued
the other lady, "and a bad Mormon is the worst man there can be. But we
are not the only people that have bad husbands among them."

And so it went on. I was met at every point by assurances as sincere
as tone of voice and language could make them appear. Eventually I
scrambled out of the subject as best I could, covering my retreat with
the remark,--

"Well, my only justification in saying that I do not believe you, is
this, that if I said I did, no one would believe me."

Of this much, however, I am convinced, that whatever may have been
true thirty years ago--and there has not been a single trustworthy
book written about Mormonism since 1862--it is not true to-day that
the Church interferes with the domestic relations of the people. When
there is a divorce the Church takes care that the man does not turn his
wife adrift without provision. But as far as I have been able to learn,
the authorities do not meddle in any other way between man and woman,
so long, of course, as neither is a scandal to the community. When a
scandal arises the Church takes prompt notice of it, and the offender,
if incorrigible, is next heard of as "apostatizing," or, in other
words, being turned out of Mormonism as unfit to live in it. But once
married into polygamy, religion is all-powerful in reconciling women
to the sacrifices they have to make, precisely, I suppose, in the same
way that religion reconciles the nun to the sacrifices which her Church
accepts from her.

Practical Plurality, then, is a very dull affair. I was disappointed
in it. I had expected to see men with long whips, sitting on fences,
swearing at their gangs of wives at work in the fields. I expected
every now and then to hear of drunken saints beating seven or eight
wives all at once, and perhaps even to have seen the unusual spectacle
of a house full of women and children rushing screaming into the street
with one intoxicated husband and father in pursuit. Everywhere else
in the world wife-beating is a pastime more or less indulged in coram
publico. In London, at any rate, men so arrange their chastisements
that you can hear the screams from the street and see the wife run out
of the front door on to the pavement. In Salt Lake City therefore, it
seemed only reasonable to suppose that the amount of the screaming
would be in proportion to the number of the wives, and that eventually
ill-used families would be seen pouring simultaneously out of several
doors, and scattering over the premises with hideous ululation. Where
are the aged apostles who have so often been described as going about
in their swallow-tail coats courting each other's daughters? Where
are the "girl-hunting elders" and "ogling bishops"? Where are the
families of one man and ten wives to be found taking the air together
that pictures have so often shown us? Of course there are anomalies,
and very objectionable they are. Thus one young man has married his
half-aunt, another his half-sister, and three sisters have wedded the
same man; but these instances are all "historical," so to speak, and
have been so often trotted out by anti-Mormon book-makers, that they
are hardly worth repeating. Nor does it appear to me to be of any force
to begin raking to-day into the old suspicions as to what Mormons dead
and gone used to do.

What is polygamy like to-day? That is the question. Polygamy to-day,
then, has settled down into the most matter-of-fact system that is
possible for such exceptional domestic arrangements. In the first
place, it is not compulsory, and some of the leading saints are
monogamous. About one-fourth of married Mormons are polygamous, and of
these something less than three per cent are under forty years of age.
The bill of 1862 making polygamy penal effected little or no difference
in the annual average of plural marriages, but since 1877 there has
been a very sensible decrease.

These facts, then, seem to prove first that polygamy, though accepted
as a doctrine of the Church, is not generally acted upon--and why?
For the best of reasons. Either that the men cannot afford to keep
up more than one establishment, or that they are too happy with one
wife to care to marry a second, or that the first wife refuses to
allow any increase of the household--all of which reasons show that
polygamy is controlled by prudential and domestic considerations, and
is not the indiscriminate "debauchery" that so many of the public
believe it to be. It is also evident that the younger Mormons are not
so active in marrying as the elder men were at their age, for ten
years ago the proportion of polygamous Mormons under forty years of
age was much greater, which may mean that the inaction of Congress was
gradually working towards the end which the action of '62 thwarted.
By legislating against polygamy, plural marriages increased--1863
to 1866 being as busy years in the Endowment House as any that ever
preceded them--while by letting polygamy severely alone they have been
decreasing.

Polygamy in fact, by the relaxation of the regime, now that Brigham
Young's personal government has ceased, has taken its place as an
ordinary civil institution, entailing serious responsibilities upon
those who choose to enter into it, and not carrying with it such
promises of temporal advantage as at one time were reserved for the
plurally wedded. There is not the same enthusiasm about it that there
was, owing probably to the diffusion among the people of a better
sense of the position of women and of the opinions of the world with
regard to polygamy. Under the administration of President Taylor there
has been a marked disinclination in the Church to interfere with the
domestic relations of the community, except, as I have said before,
when reprimand or punishment seemed to be called for; and it is
reasonable therefore to argue that the material decline in the number
of plural marriages between 1878 and 1882 would have continued, the
proportion of young enthusiasts have gone on decreasing and, as the
elders died out, the total of polygamists become annually less. Such, I
would contend, is the reasonable inference from the facts I have given.

Polygamy, as a problem, reminds me of a hedgehog. But as the hedgehog
may not be familiar to my American readers, let me explain. The
hedgehog, then, is a small animal with a very elastic skin, closely
set all over with strong sharp spines. A rural life is all its
joy. In habits and character it assimilates somewhat to the Mormon
peasant, being inoffensive, useful, industrious, prolific, and largely
frugivorous. But when hunted it is otherwise. For the hedgehog, if
closely pursued, takes hold of its ears with its hind paws and, tucking
its nose into the middle of its stomach, rolls itself into a perfect
ball. The spines then stand out straight and in every direction
equally. Nor, thus defended, does the hedgehog shun the public eye.
On the contrary, it lies out in the full sunlight, in the middle of
the sidewalk or the dusty high-road, a challenge to the inquisitive
attention of every passing dog. And you can no more keep a dog from
going out of its way to reconnoitre the queer-looking object than you
can keep needles away from loadstones. They do not all behave in the
same way to it, though. The mutton-headed dogs sit down by it and
contemplate it vacantly, and go away after a bit in a kind of brown
study. The silly ones smell it too close, and go off down the road in a
streak of dust and yelp. The experienced dogs sniff at it and trot on.
"Only that hedgehog again!" they say. The malicious prick their noses
and lose their temper, and then prick their noses worse and lose their
tempers more. The puppy barks at it remotely, receding every time by
the recoil of its own bark, till it barks itself backwards into the
opposite ditch. But the hedgehog lies perfectly still, as round and
as spiny as ever, in the middle of the high-road. All the dogs are
much the same to it. Some roll it a little one way, and some roll it a
little the other. It gets dusty or it gets wet. But there it lies as
inscrutable, puzzling, and odious to passing dogs as ever. By-and-by
when it is dark, and everybody has got tired of poking it and sniffing
it and wondering at it, the hedgehog will quietly unroll itself and
creep away to some secluded spot betwixt orchard and corn-field, and
remote from the highways of men and their dogs.

I am particularly led to this moralizing because a Mormon has just been
enumerating, at my request, some of the more extraordinary anomalies
that he knows of in recent polygamy. I took notes of a few, and they
seem to me sufficiently puzzling to justify a place in these pages.

A young and very pretty girl, in "the upper ten" of Mormonism, married
a young man of her own class, but stipulated before marriage that he
should marry a second wife as soon as he could afford to do so.

A young couple were engaged, but quarrelled, and the lover out of pique
married another lady. Two years later his first love, having refused
other offers in the mean time, married him as his second wife.

A man having married a second wife to please himself, married a third
to please his first. "She was getting old, she said, and wanted a
younger woman to help her about the house."

A couple about to be married made an agreement between themselves that
the husband should not marry again unless it was one of the relatives
of the first wife. The ladies selected have refused, and the husband
remains true to his promise.

The belle of the settlement, a Gentile, refused monogamist offers of
marriage, and married a Mormon who had two wives already.

A girl, distracted between her love for her suitor and her love for her
mother, compromised in her affections by stipulating that he should
marry both her mother and herself, which he did.

A girl, a Gentile, bitterly opposed at first to polygamy, married a
polygamist at the solicitation of his first wife, her great friend.

Two girls were great friends, and one of them, getting engaged to a man
(by no means of prepossessing appearance), persuaded her friend to get
engaged to him too, and he married them both on the same day.

These are enough. Moreover, they are not isolated cases, and I believe
I am right in saying that I can give a second instance, of recent
date, of nearly all of them. Nor are these anonymous fictions like the
"victims" of anti-Mormon writers. I have names for each of them. One of
them tells me she could name "scores" of the same kind.

It appears to me, therefore, that the women of Utah have shaken
somewhat the modern theories of the conjugal relation, and--with all
one's innate aversion to a system which is capable of such odious
abnormalisms--a most interesting and baffling problem for study. It is,
as I said, a regular hedgehog of a problem. If you could only catch
hold of it by the nose or the tail, you could scrunch it up easily. But
it has spines all over. It is at once provocative and unapproachable.

I remember once in India giving a tame monkey a lump of sugar inside
a corked bottle. The monkey was of an inquiring kind, and it nearly
killed it. Sometimes, in an impulse of disgust, it would throw the
bottle away, out of its own reach, and then be distracted till it was
given back to it. At others it would sit with a countenance of the
most intense dejection, contemplating the bottled sugar, and then,
as if pulling itself together for another effort at solution, would
sternly take up the problem afresh, and gaze into it. It would tilt
it up one way and try to drink the sugar through the cork, and then,
suddenly reversing it, try to catch it as it fell out at the bottom.
Under the impression that it could capture it by a surprise it kept
rapping its teeth against the glass in futile bites, and, warming to
the pursuit of the revolving lump, used to tie itself into regular
knots round the bottle. Fits of the most ludicrous melancholy would
alternate with these spasms of furious speculation, and how the matter
would have ended it is impossible to say. But the monkey one night got
loose and took the bottle with it. And it has always been a delight to
me to think that whole forestfuls of monkeys have by this time puzzled
themselves into fits over the great Problem of Bottled Sugar. What
profound theories those long-tailed philosophers must have evolved!
What polemical acrimony that bottle must have provoked! And what a
Confucius the original monkey must have become! A single morning with
such a Sanhedrim discussing such a matter would surely have satiated
even a Swift with satire.

Taking then polygamy to be the bottle, and the Gentile to be the
monkey, it appears to me that the only alternatives in solution are
these: Either smash the whole thing up altogether, or else fall back
upon that easy-going old doctrine of wise men, that "morality" is after
all a matter of mere geography.

An Oriental legend shows us Allah sitting in casual conversation with a
man. A cockroach comes along, and Allah stamps on it. "What did you do
that for?" asks the human, looking at the ruined insect. "Because I am
God Almighty," was the reply.

Now, polygamy can be smashed flat if the States choose to show their
power to do so. But no man who takes a part in that demolition must
suppose that in so doing he will be accepted by the community as
rescuing them from degradation. If left alone, polygamy will die out.
Mormons deny this, but I feel sure that they know they are wrong when
they deny it, for nothing but a perpetual miracle of loaves and fishes
will make polygamy and families of forty possible when population and
food-supply come to talk the position over seriously between them. The
expense of plurality will before long prohibit plurality.

"The fashionable milliner" is the most formidable adversary that the
system has yet encountered. A twenty-dollar bonnet is a staggering
argument against it. When women were contented with sunshades, and
made them for themselves, the husband of many wives could afford to be
lavish, and to indulge his household in a diversity of headgear. But
that old serpent, the fashionable milliner, has got over the garden
wall, and Lilith [1] and Eve are no longer content with primitive
garments of home manufacture.

No. Polygamy will before long be impossible, except to the rich; and in
an agricultural community, restricted in area, and further restricted
by the scarcity of water, there can never be many rich men. As it is,
the cost of plurality was on several occasions referred to by Mormons
whom I met during my tour, and I know one man who has for three years
postponed his second marriage, as he does not consider that his
means justify it; while I fancy it will not be disputed by any one
who has inquired into polygamy that, as a general rule, prudential
considerations control the system. Polygamy, then, I sincerely believe,
carries its own antidote with it, and if left alone will rapidly cure
itself. In the mean time the community that practises it does not
consider itself "degraded," and those who take part in smashing it up
must not think it does.

The Mormons are a peasant people, with many of the faults of peasant
life, but with many of the best human virtues as well. They are
conspicuously industrious, honest, and sober.

There is, of course, nothing whatever in common between Oriental
polygamy and Mormon plurality. The main object, and the main result
of the two systems are so widely diverse, that it is hardly necessary
even to refer to the hundred other points of difference which make
comparison between the two utterly absurd.

Yet the comparison is often made in order to prove the Mormons
"degraded," and it is a great pity that such superficial and stupid
arguments should be far more effective ones are at hand. Polygamy,
though difficult to handle, is very vulnerable. The hedgehog, after
all, will have to unroll some time or another. But to assault polygamy
because the Mormons are "Turks" or "debauched Mahometans," or the other
things which silly people call them, is monstrous.

The women have complicated the problem by multiplying instances of
eccentric "affection." But with it all they persist in believing that
they have retained a most exalted estimate of womanly honour. The men,
again, have inextricably entangled all recognized ideas of matrimonial
responsibilities. Yet they have not lost any of the manliness which
characterizes the pioneers of the West.

Their social anomalies are deplorable, but they are not desperate.
Education and the influx of outsiders must infallibly do their work,
and any attempt to rob these men and women of the fruits of their
astonishing industry and of the peaceful enjoyment of the soil which
they have conquered for the United States from the most warlike tribes
among the Indians, and from the most malignant type of desert, is not
only not statesmanship, but it is not humanity.

Are the women of Utah happy? No; not in the monogamous acceptation
of the word "happy." In polygamy the highest happiness of woman is
contentment. But on the other hand her greatest unhappiness is only
discontent. She has not the opportunity on the one hand of rising to
the raptures of perfect love. On the other, she is spared the bitter,
killing anguish of "jealousy" and of infidelity.

But contentment is not happiness. It is its negative, and often has
its source in mere resignation to sorrow. It is the lame sister of
happiness, the deaf-mute in the family of joy. It lives neither in
the background nor foreground of enjoyment, but always in the middle
distance. Tender in all things, it never becomes real happiness by
concentration; having to fill no deep heart-pools, it trickles over
vast surfaces. It goes through life smiling but seldom laughing.
Now, in many philosophies we are taught that this same contentment
is the perfect form of happiness. But humanity is always at war
with philosophy. And I for one will never believe that perpetual
placidity is the highest experience of natures which are capable of
suffering the raptures of joy and of grief. I had rather live humanly,
travelling alternately over sunlit hills and gloomy valleys, than
exist philosophically on the level prairies of monotonous contentment.
Holding, then, the opinion that it is a nobler life to have sounded the
deeps and measured the heights of human emotions than to have floated
in shallows continually, I contend that polygamy is wrong in itself and
a cardinal crime against the possibilities of a woman's heart. A plural
wife can never know the utmost happiness possible for a woman. They
confess this. And by this confession the practice stands damned.

Physically, Mormon plurality appears to me to promise much of the
success which Plato dreamed of, and Utah about the best nursery for
his soldiers that he could have found. Look at the urchins that go
clattering about the roads, perched two together on the bare backs of
horses, and only a bit of rope by way of bridle. Look at the rosy,
demure little girls that will be their wives some day. Take note of
their fathers' daily lives, healthy outdoor work. Go into their homes
and see the mothers at their work. For in Utah servants get sometimes
as much as six dollars a week (and their board and lodging as well
of course), and most households therefore go without this expensive
luxury. And then as you walk home through one of their rural towns
along the tree-shaded streets, with water purling along beside you
as you walk, and the clear breeze from the hills blowing the perfume
of flowers across your path in gusts, with the cottage homes, half
smothered in blossoming fruit-trees, on either hand, and a perpetual
succession gardens,--then I say, come back and sit down, if you can, to
call this people "licentious," "impure," "degraded."

The Mormons themselves refuse to believe that polygamy is the real
objection against them, and it will be found impossible to convince
them that the Edmunds bill is really what it purports to be, a crusade
against their domestic arrangements only. There are some among them who
thoroughly understand the "political" aspect of the case, and are aware
that "the reorganization of Utah" would give very enviable pickings to
the friends of the Commission. Others, have made up their minds that
behind this generous anti-polygamy sentiment is mean sectarian envy,
and that this is only one more of those amiable efforts of narrow
Christians to crush a detested and flourishing sect.

Jealousy, in fact, is the Mormons' explanation of the Edmunds bill. The
Gentiles, they say, are hankering after the good things of Utah, and
hope by one cry after another to persecute the Mormons out of them. But
it is far more curious that the jealousy of their own sex should be
suggested by Mormon women as the cause of their participation in the
clamour against polygamy. Yet so it is; the Gentile women are, they
say, "jealous" of a community where every woman has a husband! It is a
perplexing suggestion, and so thoroughly reverses all rational course
of argument, that I wish it had never been seriously put forward.
Imagine the ladies of the Eastern States who have made themselves
conspicuous in this campaign, who have fought and bled to rescue their
poor sisters from slavery, to free them from the grasp of Mormon
Bluebeards--imagine, I say, these ladies being told by the sisters for
whom they are fighting, that they ought to be ashamed of themselves for
being envious of the women in polygamy! Instead of being thanked for
helping to strike the fetters of plurality off their suffering sisters,
they are met with the retort that they ought to try being wives and
mothers themselves before they come worrying those who have tried it
and are content! They are requested not to meddle with "what they
don't understand," and are threatened with a counter-crusade against
the polyandry of Washington, New York, and other cities! But even more
staggering is the fact that Mormon women base their indignation against
their persecuting saviours on woman's rights, the very ground upon
which those saviours have based their crusade! The advocates of woman's
rights are a very strong party in Utah; and their publications use the
very same arguments that strong-minded women have made so terrible
to newspaper editors in Europe, and members of Parliament. Thus the
Woman's Exponent--with "The Rights of the Women of All Nations" for
its motto--publishes continually signed letters in which plural wives
affirm their contentment with their lot, and in one of its issues is a
leading article, headed "True Charity," and signed Mary Ellen Kimball,
in which the women of Mormondom are reminded that they ought to pray
for poor benighted Mr. Edmunds and all who think like him! Then follows
a letter from a Gentile, addressed to "the truthful pure-hearted,
intelligent, Christian women" of Utah, and after this an article,
"Hints on Marriage," signed "Lillie Freeze." But for a sentence or two
it might be an article by a Gentile in a Gentile "lady's paper," for it
speaks of "courtship" and "lovers," and has the quotation, "two souls
with but a single thought, two hearts that beat as one," and all the
other orthodox pretty things about true love and married bliss. Yet the
writer is speaking of polygamy! In the middle of this article written
"for love's sweet sake," and as womanly and pure as ever words written
by woman, comes this paragraph:--

"In proportion as the power of evil increases, a disregard for the
sacred institution of marriage also increases among the youth, and
contempt for the marriage obligation increases among the married until
this most sacred relationship will be overwhelmed by disunion and
strife, and only among the despised Latter-Day Saints will the true
foundation of social happiness and prosperity be found upon the earth;
but in order to realize this state we must be guided by principles
more perfect than those which have wrought such dissolution. God has
revealed a plan for establishing a new order of society which will
elevate and benefit all mankind who embrace it. The nations that fight
against it are working out their own destruction, for their house
is built upon the sand, and one of the corner-stones in the doomed
structure is already loosened through their disregard and dishonour of
the institution of marriage."

Now what is to be done with women who not only declare they are happy
in polygamy, but persist in trying to improve their monogamous sisters?
How is the missionary going to begin, for instance, with Lillie Freeze?

If the Commission deals leniently with them, they will offer only
a passive resistance to the law. But if there is any appearance of
outrage, General Sherman may have some work to do, and it will be
work more worthy of disciplined troops than mere Indian fighting.
There would be abundance of that too, but the Mormons are themselves
sufficient to test the calibre of any troops in the world. For they are
orderly, solid in their adherence to the Church, and trained during
their youth and early manhood to a rough, mountain-frontier life.
They are in fact very superior "Boers," and Utah is a very superior
Transvaal, strategically. Mormonism is not the wind-and-rain inflated
pumpkin the world at a distance believes; it is good firm pumpkin to
the very core. Nor are the Indians a picturesque fiction. They are an
ugly reality, and under proper guidance a very formidable one. In the
mean time there is no talk of war, and the Sword of Laban is lying
quietly in its sheath. For one thing, the commission has given no
"cause" for war; for another, the present hierarchy of the Church are
men of peace.

Such, then, as I view it, is the position in Utah at the present time.
Mormonism has taken up, in the phrase of diplomatic history, "an
attitude of observation," and the future is "in the hands of the Lord
God of Israel."

Footnotes:

1. By the way, it is curious that it should be charged against the
Mormons that they have made Adam a polygamist. It is not a Mormon
invention at all. For, as is well known, legends far older than Moses'
writings declare that Eve married into plurality, and that Lilith was
the "first wife" of our great progenitor.



CHAPTER VII.

SUA SI BONA NORINT.

    A Special Correspondent's lot--Hypothecated wits--The Daughters
    of Zion--Their modest demeanour--Under the banner of Woman's
    Rights--The discoverer discovered--Turning the tables--"By Jove,
    sir, you shall have mustard with your beefsteak!"

IT has been my good fortune to see many countries, and my ill-luck
to have had to maintain, during all my travels, an appearance of
intelligence. Though I have been over much of Europe, over all of
India and its adjoining countries, Afghanistan, Beloochistan, Burmah,
and Ceylon, in the north and west and south of Africa, and in various
out-of-the-way islands in miscellaneous oceans, I have never visited
one of them purely "for pleasure." I have always been "representing"
other people. My eyes and ears have been hypothecated, so to speak--my
intelligence been in pledge. When I was sent out to watch wars, there
was a tacit agreement that I should be shot at, so that I might let
other people know what it felt like. When run away with by a camel
in a desert that had no "other end" to it, I accepted my position
simply as material for a letter for which my employers had duly paid.
They tried to drown me in a mill-stream; that was a good half-column.
Two Afridis sat down by me when I had sprained my knee by my horse
falling, and waited for me to faint that they might cut my throat.
But they overdid it, for they looked so like vultures that I couldn't
faint. But it made several very harrowing paragraphs. I have been sent
to sea to get into cyclones in the Bay of Biscay, and hurricanes in
the Mozambique Channel, that I might describe lucidly the sea-going
properties of the vessels under test. I have been sent to a King to ask
him for information that it was known beforehand he would not give, and
commissioned to follow Irish agitators all over Ireland, in the hope
that I might be able to say more about them than they knew themselves.
It has been my duty to walk about inquisitively after Zulus, and to
run away judiciously with Zulus after me. Sometimes I have taken long
shots at Afghans, and sometimes they have taken short ones at me. In
short, I have been deputed at one time and another to do many things
which I should never have done "for pleasure," and many which, for
pleasure, I should like to do again. But wherever I have been sent I
have had to go about, seeing as much as I could and asking about all I
couldn't see, and have become, professionally, accustomed to collecting
evidence, sifting it on the spot, and forming my own conclusions. In a
way, therefore, a Special Correspondent becomes of necessity an expert
at getting at facts. He finds that everything he is commissioned to
investigate has at least two sides to it, and that many things have
two right sides. There are plenty of people always willing to mislead
him, and he has to pick and choose. He arrives unprejudiced, and speaks
according to the knowledge he acquires. Sometimes he is brought up to
the hill with a definite commission to curse, but like Balaam, the son
of Barak, he begins blessing; or he is sent out to bless, and falls
to cursing. Until he arrives on the spot it is impossible for him to
say which he will do. But, whatever he does, the Special Correspondent
writes with the responsibility of a large public. It is impossible to
write flippantly with all the world for critics.

Now, the demeanour of women in Utah, as compared with say Brighton or
Washington, is modesty itself, and the children are just such healthy,
pretty, vigorous children as one sees in the country, or by the seaside
in England--and, in my opinion, nowhere else. Utah-born girls, the
offspring of plural wives, have figures that would make Paris envious,
and they carry themselves with almost Oriental dignity. But remember,
Salt Lake City is a city of rustics. They do not affect "gentility,"
and are careful to explain at every opportunity that the stranger must
not be shocked at their homely ways and speech. There is an easiness of
manner therefore which is unconventional, but it is only a blockhead
who could mistake this natural gaiety of the country for anything
other than it is. There is nothing, then, so far as I have seen, in
the manners of Salt Lake City to make me suspect the existence of that
"licentiousness" of which so much has been written; but there is a
great deal on the contrary to convince me of a perfectly exceptional
reserve and self-respect. I know, too, from medical assurance,
that Utah has also the practical argument of healthy nurseries to
oppose to the theories of those who attack its domestic relations on
physiological grounds.

But the "Woman's Rights" aspect of polygamy is one that has never been
theorized at all. It deserves, however, special consideration by those
who think that they are "elevating" Mormon women by trying to suppress
polygamy. It possesses also a general interest for all. For the plural
wives of Salt Lake City are not by any means "waiting for salvation"
at the hands of the men and women of the East. Unconscious of having
fetters on, they evince no enthusiasm for their noisy deliverers.

On the contrary, they consider their interference as a slur upon their
own intelligence, and an encroachment upon those very rights about
which monogamist females are making so much clamour. They look upon
themselves as the leaders in the movement for the emancipation of their
sex, and how, then, can they be expected to accept emancipation at the
hands of those whom they are trying to elevate? Thinking themselves
in the van of freedom, are they to be grateful for the guidance of
stragglers in the rear? They laugh at such sympathy, just as the brave
man might laugh at encouragement from a coward, or wealthy landowners
at a pauper's exposition of the responsibilities of property. Can the
deaf, they ask, tell musicians anything of the beauty of sounds, or
need the artist care for the blind man's theory of colour?

Indeed, it has been in contemplation to evangelize the Eastern
States, on this very subject of Woman's Rights! To send out from
Utah exponents of the proper place of woman in society, and to teach
the women of monogamy their duties to themselves and to each other!
"Woman's true status"--I am quoting from their organ--"is that of
true status companion to man, but so protected by law that she can
act in an independent sphere if he abuse his position, and render
union unendurable." They not only, therefore, claim all that women
elsewhere claim, but they consider marriage the universal birthright
of every female. First of all, they say, be married, and then in case
of accidents have all other "rights" as well. But to start with, every
woman must have a husband. She is hardly worth calling a woman if she
is single. Other privileges ought to be hers lest marriage should
prove disastrous. But in the first instance she should claim her right
to be a wife. And everybody else should insist on that claim being
recognized. The rest is very important to fall back upon, but union
with man is her first step towards her proper sphere.

Now, could any position be imagined more ludicrous for the would-be
saviours of Utah womanhood than this, that the slaves whom they talk
of rescuing from their degradation should be striving to bring others
up to their own standard? When Stanley was in Central Africa, he was
often amused and sometimes not a little disgusted to find that instead
of his discovering the Central Africans, the Central Africans insisted
on "discovering" him. Though he went into villages in order to take
notes of the savages, and to look at their belongings, the savages used
to turn the tables on him by discussing him, and taking his clothes
off to examine the curious colour, as they thought it, of his skin. So
that what with shaking off his explorers, and hunting up the various
articles they had abstracted for their unscientific scrutiny, his time
used to be thoroughly wasted, and he used to come away crestfallen,
and with the humiliating consciousness that it was the savages and not
he that had gained information and been "improved" by his visit. They
had "discovered" Stanley, not Stanley them. Something very like this
will be the fate of those who come to Utah thinking that they will be
received as shining lights from a better world. They will not find
the women of Utah waiting with outstretched arms to grasp the hand
that saves them. There will be no stampede of down-trodden females.
On the contrary, the clarion of woman's rights will be sounded, and
the intruding "champions" of that cause will find themselves attacked
with their own weapons, and hoisted with their own petards. 'With
the sceptre of woman's rights the daughters of Zion will go down as
apostles to evangelize the nation. 'Who is she that looketh forth as
the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an
army with banners?' The Daughter of Zion!"

Mormon wives, then, are emphatically "woman's-rights women," a title
which is everywhere recognized as indicating independence of character
and an elevated sense of the claims of the sex, and as inferring
exceptional freedom in action. And I venture to hold the opinion that
it is only women who are conscious of freedom that can institute such
movements as this in Utah, and only those who are enthusiastic in
the cause, that can carry them on with the courage and industry so
conspicuous in this community.

A Governor once went there specially instructed to release the women
of Utah from their bondage, but he found none willing to be released!
The franchise was then clamoured for in order to let the women of Utah
"fight their oppressors at the polls," and the Mormon "tyrants" took
the hint to give their wives votes, and the first use these misguided
victims of plurality made of their new possession was to protest,
20,000 victims together, against the calumnies heaped upon the men of
Utah "whom they honoured and loved." To-day it is an act of Congress
that is to set free these worse-than-Indian-suttee-devotees, and
whether they like it or not they are to be compelled to leave their
husbands or take the alternative of sending their husbands to jail.

It reminds me of the story, "Sir, you shall have mustard with your
beefsteak." A man sitting in a restaurant saw his neighbour eating
his steak without mustard, and pushed the pot across to him. The
stranger bowed his acknowledgment of the courtesy and went on eating,
but without any mustard. But the other man's sense of propriety was
outraged. "Beefsteak without mustard--monstrous," said he to himself;
and again he pushed the condiment towards the stranger. "Thank you,
sir," said the stranger, but without taking any, continued his meal as
he preferred it, without mustard. But his well-wisher could not stand
it any longer. He waited for a minute to see if the man would eat his
beef in the orthodox manner, and then, his sense of the fitness of
things overpowering him, he seized the mustard-pot and dabbing down a
great splash of mustard on to the stranger's plate, burst out with, "By
Jove, sir, you shall have mustard with your beefsteak!"

In the same way the monogamist reformers, having twice failed to
persuade the wives of Utah to abandon their husbands by giving them
facilities for doing so, are now going to take their husbands from
them by the force of the law. "Sua si bona norint" is the excuse of
the reformers to themselves for their philanthropy, and, like the old
Inquisitors who burnt their victims to save them from heresy, they
are going to make women wretched in order to make them happy. Says
the Woman's Exponent: "If the women of Utah are slaves, their bonds
are loving ones and dearly prized. They are to-day in the free and
unrestricted exercise of more political and social rights than are the
women of any other part of these United States. But they do not choose
as a body to court the follies and vices which adorn the civilization
of other cities, nor to barter principles of tried worth for the tinsel
of sentimentality or the gratification of passion."

It is of no use for "Mormon-eaters" to say that this is written "under
direction," and that the women who write in this way are prompted by
authority. Nor would they say it if they knew personally the women who
write thus.

Moreover, Mormon-eaters are perpetually denouncing the "scandalous
freedom" and "independence" extended to Mormon women and girls. And the
two charges of excessive freedom and abject slavery seem to me totally
incompatible.

I myself as a traveller can vouch for this: that one of my first
impressions of Salt Lake City was this, that there was a thoroughly
unconventional absence of restraint; just such freedom as one is
familiar with in country neighbourhoods, where "every one knows every
one else," and where the formalities of town etiquette are by general
consent laid aside. And this also I can sincerely say: that I never
ceased to be struck by the modest decorum of the women I meet out of
doors. After all, self-respect is the true basis of woman's rights.

This aspect of the polygamy problem deserves, then, I think,
considerable attention. An Act has been passed to compel some 20,000
women to leave their husbands, and the world looks upon these women
as slaves about to be freed from tyrants. Yet they have said and
done all that could possibly be expected of them, and even more than
could have been expected, to assure the world that they have neither
need nor desire for emancipation, as they honour their husbands,
and prefer polygamy, with all its conditions, to the monogamy which
brings with it infidelity at home and prostitution abroad. Again and
again they have protested, in petitions to individuals and petitions
to Congress, that "their bonds are loving ones and dearly prized."
But the enthusiasm of reformers takes no heed of their protests. They
are constantly declaring in public speeches and by public votes, in
books and in newspapers--above all, in their daily conduct--that they
consider themselves free and happy women, but the zeal of philanthropy
will not be gainsaid, and so the women of Utah are, all else failing,
to be saved from themselves. The "foul blot" of a servitude which
the serfs aver does not exist is to be wiped out by declaring 20,000
wives mistresses, their households illegal, and their future children
bastards!

"By Jove, sir, you shall have mustard with your beefsteak!"



CHAPTER VIII.

COULD THE MORMONS FIGHT?

    An unfulfilled prophecy--Had Brigham Young been still
    alive?--The hierarchy of Mormonism--The fighting Apostle and his
    colleagues--Plurality a revelation--Rajpoot infanticide: how it was
    stamped out--Would the Mormons submit to the same process?--Their
    fighting capabilities--Boer and Mormon: an analogy between the
    Drakensberg and the Wasatch ranges--The Puritan fanaticism of the
    Saints--Awaiting the fulness of time and of prophecy.

"I SAY, as the Lord lives, we are bound to become a sovereign State
in the Union or an independent nation by ourselves. I am still, and
still will be Governor of this Territory, to the constant chagrin of
my enemies, and twenty-six years shall not pass away before the Elders
of this Church will be as much thought of as kings on their thrones."
These were the words of Brigham Young on the last day of August, 1856.
And the Bill was passed in 1882.

Had Brigham Young been alive then, that prophecy would assuredly have
been fulfilled, for the coincidence of recent legislation with the date
he fixed, would have sufficed to convince him that the opportunity for
a display of the temporal power of his Church which he had foretold,
had arrived. Once before with similar exactness Brigham Young fixed a
momentous date.

He was standing in 1847 upon the site of the Temple, when suddenly, as
if under a momentary impulse, he turned to those who were with him and
said, "And now, if they will only let us alone for ten years, we will
not ask them for any odds."

Exactly ten years later, to the very day, and almost to the very hour
of the day, the news came of the despatch of a Federal army against
Salt Lake City. Brigham Young called his people together--and what a
nation they were compared to the fugitive crowd that had stood round
him in 1847!--and simply reminding them of his words uttered ten years
before, waited for their response. And as if they had only one voice
among them all, the vast assemblage shouted, "No odds."

And then and there he sent them into Echo canyon--and the Federal army
knows the rest.

Had he been alive to-day, that scene would probably have been repeated.

But Brigham Young is not alive. And his mantle has not fallen upon
any of the Elders of the Church. They are men of caution, and the
policy of Mormonism to-day is to temporize and to wait. All the States
are "United" in earnest against them. Brigham Young always taught
the people to reverence prophecy, but he taught them also to help to
fulfil it. But nowadays Mormons are told to stand by and see how the
Lord will work for them. And thus waiting, the Gentiles are gradually
creeping up to them. Every year sees new influences at work to destroy
the isolation of the Church, but the leaders originate no counteracting
influences. Their defences are being sapped, but no counter-mines
are run. As Gentile vigour grows aggressive, Mormonism seems to be
contracting its frontiers. There is no Buonaparte mind to compel
obedience. Mahomet is dead, and Ali, "the Lion of Allah," is dead, and
the Caliphate is now in commission.

President Taylor is a self-reliant and courageous man, but for a ruler
he listens too much to counsel. Though not afraid of responsibility,
it does not sit upon him as one born to the ermine. Brigham Young was
a natural king. President Taylor only suffices for an interregnum. Yet
now, if ever, Mormonism needs a master-spirit. Nothing demoralizes like
inaction. Men begin to look at things "from both sides," to compromise
with convictions, to discredit enthusiasm. This is just what they are
doing now. At one of the most eventful points of their history, they
find the voices of the Tabernacle giving forth uncertain sounds. Their
Urim and Thummim is dim; the Shekinah is flickering; their oracles
stutter. They are told to obey the laws and yet to live their religion.
In other words, to eat their cake and have it; to let go and hold
tight--anything that is contradictory, irreconcilable, and impossible.

Meanwhile, wealth and interests in outside schemes have raised up in
the Church a body of men of considerable temporal influence, who it
is generally supposed "outside" are half-hearted. The Gentiles lay
great stress on this. But no one should be deceived as to the real
importance of this "half-heartedness." In the first place, a single
word from President Taylor would extinguish the influence of these
men politically and religously, at once and for ever. A single speech
in the Tabernacle would reduce them to mere ciphers in Mormonism,
and the Church would really, therefore, lose nothing more by their
defection than the men themselves. But as a matter of fact they are
not half-hearted. I know the men whom the outside world refers to
personally, and I am certain therefore of my ground when I say that
Mormonism will find them, in any hour of need, ready to throw all their
temporal influence on to the side of the Church. The people need not
be apprehensive, for there is no treason in their camp. There may be
"Trimmers," but was there ever a movement that had no Trimmers?

The hierarchy in Utah stands as follows:--

President--John Taylor. Counsellors to the President--Joseph F.
Smith, G. Q. Cannon. Apostles--Wilford Woodruff, Franklin Richards,
C. C. Rich, Brigham Young, Moses Thatcher, M. Lyman, J. H. Smith, A.
Carrington, Erastus Snow, Lorenzo Snow, S. P. Teasdel, and J. Grant.
Counsellors to the Apostles--John W. Young, D. H. Wells.

Now in the present critical situation of affairs the personnel of this
governing body is of some interest. President Taylor I have already
spoken of. He is considered by all as a good head during an uneventful
period, and that he is doing sound, practical work in a general
administrative way is beyond doubt. But it is his misfortune to come
immediately after Brigham Young. It is not often in history that an
Aurungzebe follows an Akbar. But his counsellors, Apostles Cannon and
Joseph Smith, are emphatically strong men. The former is a staunch
Mormon, and a man of the world as well--perhaps the only Mormon who
is--while the latter is "the fighting Apostle," a man of both brains
and courage. Had he been ten years older he would probably have been
President now. Of the remainder the men of conspicuous mark are Moses
Thatcher, an admirable speaker and an able man, Merion Lyman, a very
sound thinker and spirited in counsel, and D. H. Wells--perhaps the
"strongest" unit in the whole hierarchy. He has made as much history
as any man in the Church, and as one of its best soldiers and one of
its shrewdest heads might have been expected to hold a higher rank
than he does. He was one of the Counsellors of Brigham Young, but on
the reconstruction of the governing body, accepted the position of
Counsellor to the Twelve. These five men, should the contingency for
any decisive policy arise, will certainly lead the Mormon Church.

I was speaking one day to a Mormon, a husband of several wives, and
was candidly explaining my aversion to that co-operative system of
matrimony which the world calls "polygamy," but which the Saints prefer
should be called "plurality." When I had finished, much to my own
satisfaction (for I thought I had proved polygamy wrong), my companion
knocked all my arguments, premises and conclusion together, into a
cocked hat, by saying,--

"You are unprejudiced--I grant that; and you take higher ground
for your condemnation of us than most do. But," said he, "you have
never referred to the fact that we Mormons believe plurality to be a
revelation from God. But we do believe it, and until that belief is
overthrown angels from Heaven cannot convince us. You spoke of the
power and authority of the United States. But what is that to the power
and authority of God? The United States cannot do more than exterminate
us for not abandoning plurality. But God can, and will, damn us to all
eternity if we do abandon it."

Now what argument but force can avail against such an attitude as this?
The better the Mormon, the harder he freezes to his religion--and
part of his religion is polygamy--so important a part, indeed, that
the whole future of the Saints is based upon it. The "Kingdom of
God" is arranged with reference to it. The hopes of Mormons of glory
and happiness in eternity depend upon it, and in this life men and
women are perpetually exhorted to live up to it. It is pure nonsense
therefore--so at least it seems to me--to request the Mormons to give
up plurality, and keep the rest. You might just as well cut off all
a man's limbs, and then tell him to get along "like a good and loyal
citizen," with only a stomach.

Force of course will avail, in the end, just as it did in India when
the Government determined to stamp out female infanticide among the
Rajpoots. There, the procedure was from necessity inquisitorial (for
the natives of the proscribed districts combined to prevent detection),
but it was eventually effectual. It was simply this. Whenever a family
was suspected of killing its female infants, a special staff of police
was quartered upon the village in which that family lived, at the
expense of the village, and maintained a constant personal watch over
each of the suspected wives during the period immediately preceding
childbirth. Nothing could have been so offensive to native sentiment
as such procedure, but nothing else was of any use. In the end the
suspects got wearied of the perpetual tyranny of supervision, and their
neighbours wearied of paying for the police, and infanticide as a
crime common to a whole community ceased after a few years to exist in
India. Now if the worst came to the worst, something of the same kind
is within the resources of the United States. Every polygamous family
in the Territory might be brought under direct police supervision at
the cost of their neighbours, and punishment rigidly follow every
conviction. This would stamp out polygamy in time.

But it would be a long time, a very long time, and I would hesitate
to affirm that Mormon endurance and submission would be equal to such
a severe and such a protracted ordeal. There is nothing in their past
history that leads me to look upon them as a people exceptionally
tolerant of ill-usage.

The infanticidal families in India were, it is true, of a fighting
caste and clan, but the suspected families were only a few hundreds
in number. They could not, like the Mormons, rely upon a strength of
twenty-five thousand adult males, an admirable strategic position,
and the help, if necessary, of twenty thousand picked "warriors" from
the surrounding Indian tribes; and it is mere waste of words to say
that the consciousness of strength has often got a great deal to do
with influencing the action of men who are subjected to violence. And
I doubt myself, looking to the recent history of England in Africa,
and Russia in Central Asia, whether the United States, when they
come to consider Mormon potentialities for resistance, will think it
worth while to resort to violence in vindication of a sentiment. The
war between the North and the South is not a case in point at all.
There was more than a mere "sentiment" went to the bringing on of
that war. Remember, I do not say that the Mormons entertain the idea
of having to fight the United States. I only say that they would not
be afraid to do it, in defence of their religion, if circumstances
compelled it. And I am only arguing from nature when I say that those
"circumstances" arrive at very different stages of suffering with
different individuals. The worm, for instance, does not turn till
it is trodden on. The grizzly bear turns if you sneeze at it. And I
am only quoting history when I say that thirty thousand determined
men, well armed, with their base of military supplies at their backs,
could defend a position of great strategical strength for--well, a
very considerable time against an army only ten times as numerous as
themselves--especially if that army had to defend a thousand miles of
communications against unlimited Indians.

It was my privilege when on the editorial staff of the Daily Telegraph
in London to tell the country in the leading columns of that paper what
I thought of the chances of success against the Boers of the Transvaal.
I said that one Boer on his own mountains was worth five British
soldiers, and that any army that went against those fanatical puritans
with less than ten to one in numbers, would find "the sword of the
Lord and of Gideon" too strong for them, and the Drakensberg range an
impregnable frontier. As an Englishman I regret that my words were so
miserably fulfilled, and England, after sacrificing a great number of
men and officers, decided that it was not worth while "for a sentiment"
to continue the war.

The points of resemblance between the Mormons and the Boers are rather
curious.

The Boers of the Transvaal, though of the same stock as the great
majority of the inhabitants of British Africa, were averse to the forms
of government that had satisfied the rest. So they migrated, after some
popular disturbances, and settled in another district where they hoped
to enjoy the imperium in imperio on which they had set their longings.
But British colonies again came up with them, and after a fight with
the troops, the Boers again migrated, and with their long caravans of
ox and mule waggons "trekked" away to the farthest inhabitable corner
of the continent. Here for a considerable time they enjoyed the life
they had sought for, established a capital, had their own governor,
whipped or coaxed the surrounding native tribes into docility, and,
after a fashion, throve. But yet once more the "thin red line" of
British possession crept up to them, and the Boers, being now at bay,
and having nowhere else to "trek" to, fought.

They were not exactly trained soldiers, but merely a territorial
militia, accustomed, however, to warfare with native tribes, and, by
the constant use of the rifle in hunting game, capital marksmen. So
they declared war against Great Britain, these three or four thousand
Boers, and having worked themselves up into the belief that they were
fighting for their religion, they unsheathed "the sword of the Lord
and of Gideon," threatened to call in the natives, and holding their
mountain passes, defied the British troops to force them. Nor without
success. For every time the troops went at them, they beat them, giving
chapter and verse out of the Bible for each whipping, and eventually
concluded their extraordinary military operations by an honourable
peace, and a long proclamation of pious thanksgiving "to the Lord God
omnipotent." To-day, therefore, Queen Victoria is "suzerain" of the
Transvaal, and the Boers govern themselves by a territorial government.
To their neighbours they are known as very pious, simple, and stubborn
people; very shrewd in making a bargain; very honest when it is
made; a pastoral and agricultural community, with strong objections
to "Gentiles," who, by the way, are never tired of reviling them,
especially with regard to alleged eccentricities in domestic relations.

Am I not right, then, in saying that the resemblance between the Boers
and the Mormons is "curious"?

When I speak of the Mormons as being prepared to accept the worst that
the commission under the Edmunds bill may do, it should be understood
that this readiness to suffer does not arise from any misconception of
their own strength. The Mormons are thoroughly aware of it; indeed, the
figures which I have given (25,000 adult males and 20,000 Indians) are
not accepted by all of them as representing their full numbers. They
fully understand also the capabilities of their position for defence,
and are not backward to appreciate the advantages which the length of
the Federal communications would give them for protracting a campaign.

Under the circumstances, therefore, the argument of a leading Mormon,
that "if the United States really believe the people of Utah to be the
desperate fanatics they call them, any action on their part that tends
to exasperate such fanatics is foolhardy," may be accepted as quite
seriously meant. For the Mormons, if bigoted about anything at all,
are so on this point--that they cannot be crushed. As the elect of
God, specially appointed by Him to prepare places of worship and keep
up the fires of a religion which is very soon to consume all others,
they cannot, they say, be moved until the final fulfilment of prophecy.
The Jews have still to be gathered together, and "the nations from
the north country" whose coming, according to the Bible, is to be so
terrible, are to find the Mormons, "the children of Ephraim," ready
prepared with such rites and such tabernacles that the "sons of Levi,"
the Jews, can perform their old worship, and, thus refreshed, continue
their progress to the Holy Land. "And their prophets shall come in
remembrance before the Lord, and they shall smite the rocks, and the
ice shall flow down at their presence, and a highway shall be cast up
in the midst of the great deep. And they shall come forth, and their
enemies shall become a prey unto them, and the everlasting hills shall
tremble at their presence." For this time, these men and women among
whom I have lived are actually waiting!

Of course, we ordinary Christians, whose religion sits lightly upon
us, cannot, without some effort, understand the stern faith with which
the Mormons cling to their translations of Old Testament prophecy. Nor
is it easy to credit the fierce earnestness with which, for instance,
the Saints look forward to the accomplishment of the promise that they
shall eventually possess Jackson County, Missouri. But if this spirit
of intense superstition is not properly taken into account by those
who try to make the Mormons alter their beliefs, they run the risk of
underestimating the seriousness of their attempt. If, on the other
hand, it is properly taken into account, the difficulty of forcing this
people to abandon their creeds will be at once seen to be very grave.

Except, perhaps, the Kurdish outbreak on the Persian frontier some
three years ago, there has been no problem like the Mormon one
presented to the consideration of modern Europe. In the case of the
Kurds, two nations, Turkey and Persia, were within an ace of war, in
consequence of the insurgents pretending that a point of religion
was involved, and popular fanaticism very nearly slipping beyond the
control of their respective governments.

When living at a distance from Salt Lake City, it is very difficult
indeed to recognize the truth of the situation. Until I went there I
always found that though in a general way the obstacles to a speedy
settlement were admitted, yet that somehow or another there was always
the afterthought that Mormonism was only an inflated imposture, and
that it would collapse at the first touch of law. It was allowed on all
hands that the position was a peculiar one, but it was hinted also that
it was an absurd one. "No doubt," it was argued, "the Mormons are an
obstinate set of men, but after all they have got common sense. When
they see that everybody is against them, that polygamy is contrary to
the spirit of the times, that all the future of Utah depends upon their
abandonment of it, that resistance is worse than senseless," and so
on, they will give in. Let opinion as to the "bigotry" of the Mormons
or their capacity for mischief be what it might, there was always a
qualifying addendum to the effect that "nothing would come of all this
fuss." The Mormons, in fact, were supposed to be "bluffing", and it was
taken for granted therefore that they had a weak hand.

But in Salt Lake City it is impossible to speak in this way. A
Mormon--a man of absolute honesty of speech--in conversation on this
subject declared to me that he could not abandon plurality without
apostatizing, and rather than do it, he would burn his house and
business premises down, go away to the Mexicans, die, if necessary.
Now, that man may any day be put to the very test he spoke of. He will
have to abandon polygamy, or else, if his adversaries are malicious,
spend virtually the whole of his life in jail. Which will he do? And
what will all the others of his way of thinking do? Will they defy the
law, or will they try to break it down by its own weight--that is to
say, load the files with such numbers of cases, and fill the prisons
with such numbers of convicts that the machinery will clog and break
down? The heroic alternatives of burning down their houses, going
off to Mexico, and dying will not be offered them. Their choice will
simply lie between monogamy (or celibacy) and prison, two very prosaic
things--and one or the other they must accept. Such at any rate is the
opinion of the world.

But the Mormons, as I have already shown, do not admit this simplicity
in the solution at all. From the point of view of the law-makers,
they allow that the option before them is very commonplace. But the
law-makers, they say, have omitted to take into consideration certain
facts which complicate the solution. For though, as I have said,
the majority may be expected to accept such qualified martyrdom as
is offered, and "await the Lord's time", yet there can be no doubt
whatever that strict Mormons will not acquiesce in the suppression of
their doctrines, and among so many who are strict is it reasonable to
expect that there will be no violent advisers? Their teachers have
perpetually taught them, and their leaders assured them that prophecy
had found its fulfilment in the establishment of the Church in Utah.
Here, and nowhere else, the Saints are to await "the fulness of time"
when the whole world shall yield obedience to their government, and
reverence to their religion. The Rocky Mountains, and no other, are
"the mountains" of Holy Writ where "Zion" was to be built; and they,
the Mormons, are the remnant of Ephraim that are to welcome and pass
on the returning Jews. How, then, can the Saints reconcile themselves
to another exodus? Mexico, they say, would welcome them; but if the
richest lands in the world, and all the privileges they ask for were
offered them, they could not stultify revelation and prophecy by
accepting the offer. Moreover, they have been assured times without
number that they should never be "driven" again, and times without
number that their enemies "shall not prevail against them." To many,
to most, this, of course, now points to some interposition of Divine
Providence in their favour. The crisis may seem dangerous, and the
opposition to them overwhelming. But they are convinced--it is no
mere matter of opinion with them--that if they are only patient under
persecution and keep on living their religion, the persecution will
cease, and the triumph of their faith be fulfilled. Europe and America,
they believe, are about to be involved in terrific disasters. Wars of
unprecedented magnitude are to be waged, and natural catastrophes,
unparalleled in history, are to occur. But, in the midst of all
this shock of thrones, this convulsion of the elements, Zion on the
Mountains is to be at peace and in prosperity. It will be the one still
harbour in all the ocean of troubles, and to it, as to their final
haven, all the elect of all the nations are to gather. The prudent,
therefore, looking forward to this apocalypse of general ruin, counsel
submission to the passing storm, endurance under legal penalties, and
fidelity to their doctrine.

But all are not prudent. Every Gethsemane has its Peter. And from that
memorable garden they draw a lesson. The Saviour, they say, meant
fighting, but when he saw that resistance to such odds as came against
him could have only ended in the massacre of his disciples, he went to
prison.

That Brigham Young, if alive, would have decided upon a military
demonstration, the sons of Zeruiah are very ready to believe, for they
say that, even if the worst were to happen and they had eventually to
capitulate under unreasonable odds, their position would be preferable
to that which they hold to-day. To-day they lie, the whole community
together, under the ban of civil disabilities, as a criminal class, at
the mercy of police--a proscribed people. In the future, if compelled
to surrender their arms, they would be in the position of prisoners on
parole, under the honourable conditions of a military capitulation. The
worst, therefore, that could happen would, they say, be better than
what is.

Such, at any rate, they assert, would have been the argument of Brigham
Young, and Gentiles even confess that if the late President were still
at the head of the Church the temptation for "a great bluff" would be
irresistible.



CHAPTER IX.

THE SAINTS AND THE RED MEN.

    Prevalent errors as to the red man--Secret treaties--The policy of
    the Mormons towards Indians--A Christian heathen--Fighting-strength
    of Indians friendly to Mormons.

I HAPPENED some time ago to repeat, in the presence of two "Gentiles,"
a Mormon's remark that the Indians were more friendly towards the
Saints than towards other Americans, and the comments of the two
gentlemen in question exactly illustrated the two errors which I find
are usually made on this subject.

One said: "Oh, yes, don't you know the Mormons have secret treaties
with the Indians?"

And the other: "And much good may they do them; these wretched Indians
are a half-starved, cricket-eating set, not worth a cent."

Now, I confess that till I came to Utah I had an idea that the Utes
were always "the Indians" that were meant when the friendly relations
of the Mormons with the red men were referred to. About secret treaties
I knew nothing, either one way or the other. But while I was there I
took much pains to arrive at the whole truth--the President of the
Church having very courteously placed the shelves of the Historian's
office at my service--and I found no reference whatever, even in
anti-Mormon literature, to any "secret treaty."

The Mormons themselves scorn the idea and give the following reasons:
1. No treaty made with a tribe of Indians could be kept secret. 2.
There is no necessity for a treaty of any kind, as the dislike of
the Indians to the United States is sufficiently hearty to make them
friendly to the Territory if it came to a choice between the one or the
other. 3. The conciliatory policy of the Church towards the Indians
obviates all necessity for further measures of alliance.

And this I believe to be the fact. Indeed, I know that Mormons can
go where Gentiles cannot, and that under a Mormon escort, lives are
safe in an Indian camp that without it would be in great peril. I know
further that on several occasions (and this is on official record) the
expostulations of Mormons have prevented Indians from raiding--and I
think this ought to be remembered when sinister constructions are put
upon the friendliness of Saints towards the Indians.

From the very first, the Church has inculcated forbearance and
conciliation towards the tribes, and even during the exodus from the
Missouri River, harassed though they sometimes were by Indians, the
Mormons, as a point of policy, always tried to avert a collision by
condoning offences that were committed, instead of punishing them. If
the red men came begging round their waggons they gave them food, and
if they stole--and what Indian will not steal, seeing that theft is
the road to honour among his people?--the theft was overlooked. Very
often, it is true, individual Mormons have avenged the loss of a horse
or a cow by taking a red man's life, but this was always in direct
opposition to the teachings of the Church, which pointed out that
murder in the white man was a worse offence than theft in the red, and
in opposition to the policy of the leaders, who have always insisted
that it was "cheaper to feed than to fight" the Indians. In spite,
however, of this treatment the tribes have again and again compelled
the Mormons to take the field against them, but as a rule the extent
of Mormon retaliation was to catch the plunderers, retake their stolen
stock, hang the actual murderers (if murder had been committed) and
let the remainder go after an amicable pow-wow. Strict justice was
as nearly as possible always adhered to, and whenever their word was
given, that word was kept sacred, even to their own loss.

Both these things, justice and truth, every Indian understands. They do
not practise them, but they appreciate them. Just as among themselves
they chivalrously undertake the support of the squaws and children of a
conquered tribe, or as they never steal property that has been placed
under the charge of one of their own tribe, so when dealing with white
men, they have learned to expect fairness in reprisals and sincerity
in speech. When they find themselves cheated, as they nearly always
are by "Indian agents," they cherish a grudge, and when they suffer an
unprovoked injury (as when emigrants shoot a passing red man just as
they would shoot a passing coyote), they wreak their barbarous revenge
upon the first victims they can find. From the Mormons they have always
received honest treatment, comparative fairness in trade and strict
truthfulness in engagements, while, taking men killed on both sides,
it is a question whether the red men have not killed more Mormons than
Mormons have red men.

During the war of 1865-67, I find, for instance, that all the recorded
deaths muster eighty-seven on the Indian side and seventy-nine on the
Mormon, while the latter, besides losing great numbers of cattle and
horses, having vast quantities of produce destroyed and buildings
burned down, had temporarily to abandon the counties of Piute and
Sevier, as well as the settlements of Berrysville, Winsor, Upper and
Lower Kanab, Shuesberg, Springdale and Northup, and many places in
Kane County, also some settlements in Iron County, while the total
cost of the war was over a million dollars--of which, by the way, the
Government has not repaid a Territory a cent. During the twenty years
preceding 1865 there had been numerous raids upon Mormon settlements,
most of them due to the thoughtless barbarity of passing emigrants; but
as a rule, the only revenge taken by the Mormons was expostulation, and
the despatch of missionaries to them with the Bible, and medicines and
implements of agriculture.

The result to-day is exactly what Brigham Young foresaw. The
Indians look upon the Mormons as suffering with themselves from the
earth-hunger of "Gentiles," and feel a community in wrong with them,
while they consider them different from all other white men in being
fair in their acts and straightforward in their speech. In 1847 a chief
of the Pottawatomies--then being juggled for the second time from a
bad reservation to a worse--came into the camp of the Mormons--then
for the second time flying from one of the most awful persecutions
that ever disgraced any nation--and on leaving spoke as spoke as
follows--(he spoke good French, by the way): "My Mormon brethren,--We
have both suffered. We must help one another, and the Great Spirit
will help us both. You may cut and use all the wood on our lands that
you wish. You may live on any part of it that we are not actually
occupying ourselves. Because one suffers, and does not deserve it, it
is no reason he shall suffer always. We may live to see all well yet.
However, if we do not, our children will. Good-bye."

Now, it strikes me that a Christian archbishop would find it hard
to alter the Red Indian's speech for the better. It is one of the
finest instances of untutored Christianity in history, and contrasts
so strangely with the hideous barbarities that make the history of
Missouri so infamous, that I can easily understand the sympathies of
Mormons being cast in with the Christian heathens they fled to, rather
than the heathen Christians they fled from. Nor from that day to this,
have the Mormons forgotten the hint the Pottawatomie gave them, and on
the ground of common suffering and by the example of a mutual sympathy
have kept up such relations with the Indians, even under exasperation,
that the red man's lodge is now open to the Mormon when it is closed to
the Gentile.

What necessity, then, have the Mormons for secret treaties With
the Indians? None whatever. The Indians have learned by the last
half-century's experience that every "treaty" made with them has only
proved a fraud towards their ruin, while during the same period they
have learned that the word of the Mormons, who never make treaties, can
be relied upon. So if the Saints were now to begin making treaties,
they would probably fall in the estimation of the Indians to the level
of the American Government, and participate in the suspicion which the
latter has so industriously worked to secure, and has so thoroughly
secured.

The other error commonly made as to the Indians is to underestimate
their strength. Now the Navajoes alone could bring into the field
10,000 fighting men; and, besides these, there are (specially friendly
to the Mormons) the Flatheads, the Shoshonees, the Blackfeet, the
Bannocks, part of the Sioux, and a few Apaches, with, of course, the
Utes of all kinds. The old instinct for the war-path is by no means
dead, as the recent troubles in the south of Arizona give dismal proof;
and a Mormon invitation would be quite sufficient to bring all "the
Lamanites" together into the Wasatch Mountains.

That any such idea is ever entertained by Mormons I heartily repudiate.
But I think it worth while to point out, that--if the influence of
the Mormons on the Indians is considered of sufficient importance
to base the charge of treasonable alliance upon it--it is quite
illogical to sneer at that influence as making no difference in the
case of difficulties arising. But as a point of fact, the Mormons have
no other secret in their relations with the red men than that they
treat them with consideration, and make allowances for their ethical
obliquities; and further, as a point of fact also, these same tribes,
"the Lamanites" of the Book of Mormon, "the Lost Tribes," are in
themselves so formidable that under white leadership they would make a
very serious accession of strength to any public enemy that should be
able to enlist them.



CHAPTER X.

REPRESENTATIVE AND UNREPRESENTATIVE MORMONISM.

    Mormonism and Mormonism--Salt Lake City not representative--The
    miracles of water--How settlements grow--The town of Logan:
    one of the Wonders of the West--The beauty of the valley--The
    rural simplicity of life--Absence of liquor and crime--A police
    force of one man--Temple mysteries--Illustrations of Mormon
    degradation--Their settlement of the "local option" question.

SALT Lake City is not the whole of "Mormonism." In the Eastern States
there is a popular impression that it is. But as a matter of fact, it
hardly represents Mormonism at all. The Gentile is too much there, and
Main Street has too many saloons. The city is divided into two parties,
bitterly antagonistic. Newspapers exchange daily abuse, and sectarians
thump upon their pulpit cushions at each other every Sunday. Visitors
on their travels, sight-seeing, move about the streets in two-horse
hacks, staring at the houses that they pass as if some monsters lived
in them. A military camp stands sentry over the town, and soldiers
slouch about the doors of the bars.

All this, and a great deal more that is to be seen in Salt Lake City,
is foreign to the true character of a Mormon settlement. Logan, for
instance (which I describe later on), is characteristic of Mormonism,
and nowhere so characteristic as in those very features in which it
differs from Salt Lake City. The Gentile does not take very kindly to
Logan, for there are no saloons to make the place a "live town," and
no public animosities to give it what they call "spirit;" everybody
knows his neighbour, and the sight-seeing fiend is unknown. The one and
only newspaper hums on its way like some self-satisfied bumble bee; the
opposition preacher, with a congregation of eight women and five men,
does not think it worth while, on behalf of such a shabby constituency,
to appeal to Heaven every week for vengeance on the 200,000 who don't
agree with him and his baker's dozen. There is no pomp and circumstance
of war to remind the Saints of Federal surveillance, no brass cannon
on the bench pointing at the town (as in Salt Lake City), no ragged
uniforms at street corners. Everything is Mormon. The biggest shop is
the Co-operative Store; the biggest place of worship the Tabernacle;
the biggest man the President of the Stake. Everybody that meets,
"Brothers" or "Sisters" each other in the streets, and after nightfall
the only man abroad is the policeman, who as a rule retires early
himself; and no one takes precautions against thieves at night. It is
a very curious study, this well-fed, neighbourly, primitive life among
orchards and corn-fields, this bees-in-a-clover-field life, with every
bee bumbling along in its own busy way, but all taking their honey back
to the same hive. It is not a lofty life, nor "ideal" to my mind, but
it is emphatically ideal, if that word means anything at all, and its
outcome, where exotic influences are not at work, is contentment and
immunity from crime, and an Old-World simplicity.

But Logan is not by any means a solitary illustration. For the Mormon
settlements follow the line of the valleys that run north and south,
and every one of them, where water is abundant, is a Logan in process
of development.

For water is the philosopher's stone; the fairy All-Good; the First
Cause; the everything that men here strive after as the source of
all that is desirable. It is silver and gold, pearls and rubies, and
virtuous women--which are "above rubies"--everything in fact that
is precious. It spirits up Arabian-Nights enchantments, and gives
industry a talisman to work with. Without it, the sage-brush laughs
at man, and the horn of the jack-rabbit is exalted against him. With
it, corn expels the weed, and the long-eared rodent is ploughed out
of his possession. Without it, greasewood and gophers divide the
wilderness between them. With it, homesteads spring up and gather the
orchards around them. Without it, the silence of the level desert is
broken only by the coyote and the lark. With it, comes the laughter
of running brooks, the hum of busy markets, and the cheery voices of
the mill-wheels by the stream. Without it, the world seems a dreary
failure. With it, it brightens into infinite possibilities. No wonder
then that men prize it, exhaust ingenuity in obtaining it, quarrel
about it. I wonder they do not worship it. Men have worshipped trees,
and wind, and the sun, for far less cause.

Nothing indeed is so striking in all these Mormon settlements as the
supreme importance of water. It determines locations, regulates their
proportions, and controls their prosperity. Here are thousands of acres
barren--though I hate using such a word for a country of such beautiful
wild flowers--because there is no water. There is a small nook bursting
with farmsteads, and trees, because there is water. Men buy and sell
water-claims as if they were mining stock "with millions in sight," and
appraise each other's estates not by the stock that grazes on them, or
the harvests gathered from them, but by the water-rights that go with
them. Thus, a man in Arizona buys a forty-acre lot with a spring on it,
and he speaks of it as 70,000 acres of "wheat." Another has acquired
the right of the head-waters of a little mountain stream; he is spoken
of as owning "the finest ranch in the valley." Yet the one has not put
a plough into the ground, the other has not a single head of cattle!
But each possessed the "open sesame" to untold riches, and in a country
given over to this new form of hydromancy was already accounted wealthy.

Every stream in Utah might be a Pactolus, every pool a Bethesda. To
compass, then, this miracle-working thing, the first energies of every
settlement are directed in the union. The Church comes forward if
necessary to help, and every one contributes his labour. At first the
stream where it leaves the canyon, and debouches upon the levels of
the valley, is run off into canals to north and south and west (for
all the streams run from the eastern range), and from these, like the
legs of a centipede, minor channels run to each farmstead, and thence
again are drawn off in numberless small aqueducts to flood the fields.
The final process is simple enough, for each of the furrows by which
the water is let in upon the field is in turn dammed up at the further
end, and each surrounding patch is thus in turn submerged. But the
settlement expands, and more ground is needed. So another canal taps
the stream above the canyon mouth, the main channels again strike off,
irrigating the section above the levels already in cultivation, and
overlapping the original area at either end. And every time increasing
population demands more room, the stream is taken off higher and higher
up the canyon. The cost is often prodigious, but necessity cannot stop
to haggle over arithmetic, and the Mormon settlements therefore have
developed a system of irrigation which is certainly among the wonders
of the West.

"Logan is the chief Mormon settlement in the Cache Valley, and is
situated about eighty miles to the north of Salt Lake City. Population
rather over 4000." Such is the ordinary formula of the guide book.
But if I had to describe it in few words I should say this: "Logan is
without any parallel, even among the wonders of Western America, for
rapidity of growth, combined with solid prosperity and tranquillity.
Population rather over 4000, every man owning his own farm. Police
force, two men--partially occupied in agriculture on their own account.
N.B.--No police on Sundays, or on meeting evenings, as the force are
otherwise engaged."

And writing sincerely I must say that I have seen few things in America
that have so profoundly impressed me as this Mormon settlement of
Logan. It is not merely that the industry of men and women, penniless
emigrants a few years ago, has made the valley surpassing in its
beauty. That it has filled the great levels that stretch from mountain
to mountain with delightful farmsteads, groves of orchard-trees, and
the perpetual charm of crops. That it has brought down the river from
its idleness in the canyons to busy itself in channels and countless
waterways with the irrigation and culture of field and garden; to lend
its strength to the mills which saw up the pines that grow on its
native mountains; to grind the corn for the 15,000 souls that live in
the valley, and to help in a hundred ways to make men and women and
children happy and comfortable, to beautify their homes, and reward
their industry. All this is on the surface, and can be seen at once by
any one.

But there is much more than mere fertility and beauty in Logan and
its surroundings, for it is a town without crime, a town without
drunkenness! With this knowledge one looks again over the wonderful
place, and what a new significance every feature of the landscape
now possesses! The clear streams, perpetually industrious in their
loving care of lowland and meadow and orchard, and so cheery, too,
in their incessant work, are a type of the men and women themselves;
the placid cornfields lying in bright levels about the houses are not
more tranquil than the lives of the people; the tree-crowded orchards
and stack-filled yards are eloquent of universal plenty; the cattle
loitering to the pasture contented, the foals all running about in
the roads, while the waggons which their mothers are drawing stand
at the shop door or field gate, strike the new-comer as delightfully
significant of a simple country life, of mutual confidence, and
universal security.

And yet I had not come there in the humour to be pleased, for I was not
well. But the spirit of the place was too strong for me, and the whole
day ran on by itself in a veritable idyll.

A hen conveying her new pride of chickens across the road, with a
shepherd dog loftily approving the expedition in attendance; a foal
looking into a house over a doorstep, with the family cat, outraged at
the intrusion, bristling on the stoop; two children planting sprigs of
peach blossoms in one of the roadside streams; a baby peeping through a
garden wicket at a turkey-cock which was hectoring it on the sidewalk
for the benefit of one solitary supercilious sparrow--such were the
little vignettes of pretty nonsense that brightened my first walk in
Logan. I was alone, so I walked where I pleased; took notice of the
wild birds that make themselves as free in the streets as if they were
away up in the canyons; of the wild flowers that still hold their own
in the corners of lots, and by the roadway; watched the men and women
at their work in garden and orchard, the boys driving the waggons
to the mill and the field, the girls busy with little duties of the
household, and "the little ones," just as industrious as all the rest,
playing at irrigation with their mimic canals, three inches wide, old
fruit-cans for buckets, and posies stuck into the mud for orchards. I
stopped to talk to a man here and a woman there; helped to fetch down
a kitten out of an apple-tree, and, at the request of a boy, some ten
years old, I should say, opened a gate to let the team he was driving,
or rather being walked along with, go into the lot.

It was a beautiful day, and all the trees were either in full bloom or
bright young leaf; and the conviction gradually grew upon me that I had
never, out of England, seen a place so simple, so neighbourly, so quiet.

Later on I was driven through the town to the Temple. The wide roads
are all avenued with trees, and behind trees, each in its own garden,
or orchard, or lot of farm-land, stands a ceaseless succession of
cottage homes. Here and there a "villa," but the great majority
"cottages." Not the dog-kennels in which the Irish peasantry are
content to grovel through life so long as they need not work and
can have their whisky. Not the hovels which in some parts of rural
England house the farm labourer and his unkempt urchins. But cleanly,
comfortable homes, some of adobe, some of wood, with porticos and
verandahs and other ornaments, six or eight or even ten rooms, with
barns behind for the cow and the horse and the poultry, bird-cages
at the doors, clean white curtains at the windows, and neatly bedded
flowers in the garden-plots. Hundred after hundred, each in its own lot
of amply watered ground, we passed the homes of these Mormon farmers,
and it was a wonderful thing to me--so fresh from the old country, with
its elegance and its squalor side by side; so lately from the "live"
cities of Colorado, with their murrain of "busted" millionaires and
hollow shells of speculative prosperity--this great township of an
equal prosperity and a universal comfort. Every man I met in the street
or saw in the fields owned the house which he lived in, and the ground
that his railings bounded. Moreover they were his by right of purchase,
the earnings of the work of his own two hands. No wonder, then, they
demean themselves like men.

I was driving with the President of the "stake"--such is the name
of the Church for the sub-divisions of its Territory--and the chief
official, therefore, of Logan, when, in a narrow part of the road we
met a down-trodden Mormon serf driving a loaded waggon in the opposite
direction. The President pulled a little to one side, motioning the man
to drive past. But the roadway thus left for him was rather rough and
this degraded slave of the Church, knowing the rule of the road (that a
loaded waggon has the right of way against all other vehicles), calmly
pointed with his whip-handle to the side of the road, and said to his
President, "You drive there." And the President did so, whereat the
down-trodden one proceeded on his way in the best of the road.

Now this may be accepted as an instance of that abject servitude which,
according to anti-Mormons, characterizes the followers of Mormonism. As
another illustration of the same awe-stricken subjection may be here
noted the fact, that whenever the President slackened pace, passers-by,
men and women, would come over to us, and shaking hands with the
President, exchange small items of domestic, neighbourly chat--the
health of the family, convalescence of a cow, and, speaking generally,
discuss Tommy's measles. Now, women would hardly waste a despot's time
with intelligence of an infant's third tooth, or a man expatiate on the
miraculous recovery of a calf from a surfeit of damp lucerne.

I chanced also one day to be with an authority when a man called in
to apologize for not having repaid his emigration money; and to me
the incident was specially interesting on this account, that very
few writers on the Mormons have escaped charging the Church with
acting dishonestly and usuriously towards its emigrants. I have read
repeatedly that the emigrants, being once in debt, are never able to
get out of debt; that the Church prefers they should not; that the
indebtedness is held in terrorem over them. But the man before me was
in exactly the same position as every other man in Logan. He had been
brought out from England at the expense of the Perpetual Emigration
Fund (which is maintained partly by the "tithings," chiefly by
voluntary donations), and though by his labour he had been able to pay
for a lot of ground and to build himself a house, to plant fruit-trees,
buy a cow, and bring his lot under cultivation, he had not been able to
pay off any of the loan of the Church. It stood, therefore, against him
at the original sum. But his delinquency distressed him, and "having
things comfortable about him," as he said, and some time to spare, he
came of his own accord to his "Bishop," to ask if he could not work of
part of his debt. He could not see his way, he said to any ready money,
but he was anxious to repay the loan, and he came, therefore, to offer
all he had--his labour. Now, I cannot believe that this man was abused.
I am sure he did not think he was abused himself. Here he was in Utah,
comfortably settled for life, and at no original expense to himself. No
one had bothered him to pay up; no one had tacked on usurious interest.
So he came, like an honest man, to make arrangements for satisfying a
considerate creditor, but all he got in answer was, that "there was
time enough to pay" and an exchange of opinions about a plough or a
harrow or something. And he went off as crushed down with debt as ever.
And he very nearly added to his debt on the way, by narrowly escaping
treading on a presumptuous chicken which was reconnoitring the interior
of the house from the door-mat.

To return to my drive. After seeing the town we drove up to the Temple.
The Mormon "temples" must not be mistaken for their "tabernacles."
The latter are the regular places of worship, open to the public. The
former are buildings strictly dedicated to the rites of the Endowments,
the meetings of the initiated brethren, and the ceremonial generally
of the sacred Masonry of Mormonism. No one who has not taken his
degrees in these mysteries has access to the temples, which are, or
will be, very stately piles, constructed on architectural principles
said by the Church to have been revealed to Joseph Smith piecemeal, as
the progress of the first Temple (at Kirkland) necessitated, and said
by the profane to be altogether contrary to all previously received
principles. However this may be, the style is, from the outside, not
so prepossessing as the cost of the buildings and the time spent upon
them would have led one to expect. The walls are of such prodigious
thickness, and the windows so narrow and comparatively small, that
the buildings seem to be constructed for defence rather than for
worship. But once within, the architecture proves itself admirable.
The windows gave abundant light and the loftiness of the rooms imparts
an airiness that is as surprising as pleasing, while the arrangement
of staircases--leading, as I suppose, from the rooms of one degree
in the "Masonry" to the next higher--and of the different rooms, all
of considerable size, and some of very noble proportions indeed, is
singularly good.

I ought to say that this Temple at Logan is the only one I have
entered, and it is only because it is not completed. This year the
building will be finished--so it is hoped--and the ceremony of
dedication will then attract an enormous crowd of Mormons. It is
something over 90 feet in height (not including the towers, which
are still wanting) and measures 160 feet by 70. On the ground floor,
judging from what I know of the secret ritual of the Church, are
the reception-rooms of the candidates for the "endowments," various
official rooms, and the font for baptism. The great laver, 10 feet
in diameter, will rest on the backs of twelve oxen cast in iron
(and modelled from a Devon ox bred by Brigham Young) and will be
descended to by flights of steps, the oxen themselves standing in
water half-knee-deep. On the next floor are the apartments in which
the allegorical panorama of the "Creation" and the "Fall of Man" will
be represented. Here, too, will be the "Veil," the final degree in
what might be called, in Masonic phrase, "craft" or "blue" Masonry,
and, except for higher honorary grades, the ultimate objective point
of Mormon initiation. Above these rooms is a vast hall, occupying the
whole floor, in which general assemblies of the initiated brethren and
"chapters" will be held. The whole forms a very imposing pile of great
solidity and some grandeur, built of a gloomy, slate-coloured stone (to
be eventually coloured a lighter tint), and standing on a magnificent
site, being raised above the town upon an upper "bench" of the slope,
and showing out superbly against the monstrous mountain about a mile
behind it. The mountain, of course, dwarfs the Temple by its proximity,
but the position of the building was undoubtedly "an architectural
inspiration," and gives the great pile all the dominant eminence which
Mormons claim for their Church.

From the platform of the future tower the view is one of the finest I
have ever seen. The valley, reaching for twenty miles in one direction,
and thirty in the other, with an average width of about ten miles, lies
beneath you, level in the centre, and gradually sloping on every margin
up to the mountains that bound it in. Immediately underneath you, Logan
spreads out its breadth of farm-land and orchard and meadow, with the
river--or rather two rivers, for the Logan forks just after leaving the
canyon--and the canal, itself a pleasant stream, carrying verdure and
fertility into every nook and corner. To right and left and in front,
delightful villages--Hirum, Mendon, Wellsville, Paradise, and the rest,
all of them miniature Logans--break the broad reaches of crop-land,
with their groves of fruit-trees, and avenues of willows and carob,
box-elder, poplar, and maple, while each of them seems to be stretching
out an arm to the other, and all of them trying to join hands with
Logan. For lines of homesteads and groups of trees have straggled away
from each pretty village, and, dotted across the intervening meadows
of lucerne and fields of corn, form links between them all. Behind
them rise the mountains, still capped and streaked with snow, but all
bright with grass upon their slopes. It was a delightful scene, and
required but little imagination to see the 15,000 people of the valley
grown into 150,000, and the whole of this splendid tract of land one
continuous Logan. And nothing can stop that day but an earthquake or
a chronic pestilence. For Cache Valley depends for its prosperity
upon something surer than "wild-cat" speculations, or mines that have
bottoms to fall out. The cumulative force of agricultural prosperity is
illustrated here with remarkable significance, for the town, that for
many years seemed absolutely stationary, has begun both to consolidate
and to expand with a determination that will not be gainsaid.

The sudden success of a mining camp is volcanic in its ephemeral
rapidity. The gradual growth of an agricultural town is like the
solid accretion of a coral island. The mere lapse of time will make
it increase in wealth, and with wealth it will annually grow more
beautiful. Even as it is, I think this settlement of Mormon farmers
one of the noblest of the pioneering triumphs of the Far West; and in
the midst of these breathless, feverish States where every one seems
to be chasing some will-o'-the-wisp with a firefly light of gold, or
of silver--where terrible crime is a familiar feature, where known
murderers walk in the streets, and men carry deadly weapons, where
every other man complains of the fortune he only missed making by an
accident, or laments the fortune he made in three days, and lost in as
many hours--it is surpassingly strange to step out suddenly upon this
tranquil valley, and find oneself among its law-abiding men. It is
exactly like stepping out of a mine shaft into the fresh pure air of
daylight.

The Logan police force is a good-tempered-looking young man. There is
another to help him, but if they had not something else to do they
would either have to keep on arresting each other, in order to pass the
time, or else combine to hunt gophers and chipmunks. As it is, they
unite other functions of private advantage with their constabulary
performances, and thus justify their existence. As one explanation of
the absence of crime, there is not a single licence for liquor in the
town.

Once upon a time there were three saloons in Logan. But one night a
Gentile, passing through the town, shot the young Mormon who kept one
of them, whereat the townsfolk lynched the murderer, and suppressed
all the saloons. After a while licences were again issued, but a
six months' experiment showed that the five arrests of the previous
half-year had increased under the saloon system to fifty-six, so
the town suppressed the licences again, and to-day you cannot buy
any liquor in Logan. I am told, however, that an apostate, who is
in business in the town, carries on a more or less clandestine
distribution of strong drinks; but any accident resulting therefrom,
another murder, for instance, would probably put an end to his trade
for ever, for it is not only the Mormon leaders, but the Mormon people
that refuse to have drunkards among them.

These facts about Logan are a sufficient refutation of the calumny so
often repeated by apostates and Gentiles, that the Mormons are not the
sober people they profess to be. The rules now in force in Logan were
once in force in Salt Lake City, but thanks to reforming Gentiles there
are now plenty of saloons and drunkards in the latter. At one time
there were none, but finding the sale of drink inevitable, the Church
tried to regulate it by establishing its own shops, and forbidding it
to be sold elsewhere. But the Federal judge refused the application.
So the city raised the saloon licence to 3600 dollars per annum! Yet,
in spite of this enormous tax, two or three bars managed to thrive,
and eventually numbers of other men, encouraged by the conduct of
the courts, opened drinking-saloons, refused to pay the licence, and
defied--and still defy--all efforts of the city to bring them under
control. In Logan, however, these are still the days of no drink, and
the days therefore of very little crime.



CHAPTER XI.

THROUGH THE MORMON SETTLEMENTS.

    Salt Lake City to Nephi--General similarity of the
    settlements--From Salt Lake Valley into Utah Valley--A
    lake of legends--Provo--Into the Juab valley--Indian
    reminiscences--Commercial integrity of the saints--At Nephi--Good
    work done by the saints--Type of face in rural Utah--Mormon
    "doctrine" and Mormon "meetings."

THE general resemblance between the populations of the various Mormon
settlements is not more striking than the general resemblance between
the settlements themselves.

Two nearly parallel ranges of the Rocky Mountains, forming together
part of the Wasatch range, run north and south through the length
of Utah, and enclose between them a long strip of more or less
desolate-looking land. Spurs run out from these opposing ranges, and
meeting, cut off this strip into "valleys" of various lengths, so that,
travelling from north to south, I crossed in succession, in the line
of four hundred miles or so, the Cache, Salt Lake, Utah, Juab, San
Pete, and Sevier valleys (the last enclosing Marysvale, Circle Valley
and Panguitch Valley), and having there turned the end of the Wasatch
range, travelled into Long Valley, which runs nearly east and west
across the Territory.

In the Cache and the Sevier valleys there are some noble expanses of
natural meadow, but in all the rest the soil, where not cultivated,
is densely overgrown with sage-brush, greasewood and rabbit-brush,
and in no case except the Cache Valley (by far the finest section of
the Territory) and Long Valley, is the water-supply sufficient to
irrigate the whole area enclosed. The proportions under cultivation
vary therefore according to the amount of the water, and the size
of the settlements is of course in an almost regular ratio with the
acreage under the plough. But all are exactly on the same pattern. Wide
streets--varying from 80 to 160 feet in width--avenued on either side
with cotton-wood, box-elder, poplar, and locust-trees, and usually with
a runnel of water alongside each side-walk, intersect each other at
right angles, the blocks thus formed measuring from four to ten acres.
These blocks hold, it may be, as many as six houses, but, as a rule,
three, two, or only one; while the proportion of fruit and shade-trees
to dwelling-houses ranges from a hundred to one to twenty to one. As
the lots are not occupied in any regular succession, there are frequent
gaps caused by empty blocks, while the streets towards the outer limits
of the towns are still half overgrown with the original sage-brush.
All the settlements therefore, resemble each other, except in size,
very closely, and may be briefly described as groves of trees and fruit
orchards with houses scattered about among them.

The settlements of the Church stretch in a line north and south
throughout the whole length of the Territory, and on reaching the Rio
Virgin, in the extreme south, follow the course of that river right
across Utah to the eastern frontier. The soil throughout the line north
and south appears to be of a nearly uniform character, as the same
wild plants are to be found growing on it everywhere, and the sudden
alternations of fertility and wilderness are due almost entirely to the
abundance or absence of water.

Leaving Salt Lake City to go south, we pass through suburbs of orchard
and garden, with nearly the whole town in panoramic review before us,
and find ourselves in half an hour upon levels beyond the reach of
the city channels, and where the sage-brush therefore still thrives
in undisturbed glory. Bitterns rise from the rushes, and flights of
birds wheel above the patches of scrub. And so to the Morgan smelting
camp, and then the Francklyn works, where the ore of the Horn Silver
Mine is worked, and then the Germania, one of the oldest smelting
establishments in the Territory, where innocent ore of all kinds is
taken in and mashed up into various "bullions"--irritamenta malorum.
Two small stations, each of them six peach-trees and a shed, slip by,
and then Sandy, a small mining camp of poor repute, shuffles past,
and next Draper, an agricultural settlement that seems to have grown
fruit-trees to its own suffocation.

The mountains have been meanwhile drawing gradually closer together,
and here they join. Salt Lake Valley ends, and Utah Valley begins, and
crossing a "divide" we find the levels of the Utah Lake before us,
and the straggling suburbs of Lehi about us. These scattered cottages
gradually thicken into a village towards the lake, and form a pleasant
settlement of the orthodox Mormon type. The receipt for making one of
these ought to be something as follows: Take half as much ground as
you can irrigate, and plant it thickly with fruit-trees. Then cut it
up into blocks by cutting roads through it at right angles; sprinkle
cottages among the blocks, and plant shade-trees along both sides of
the roads. Then take the other half of your ground and spread it out in
fields around your settlement, sowing to taste.

The actual process is, of course, the above reversed. A log hut and an
apple-tree start together in a field of corn, and the rest grows round
them. But my receipt looks the easier of the two.

Beyond Lehi, and all round it, cultivation spreads almost
continuously--alternating delightfully with orchards and groves and
meadows--to American Fork, a charming settlement, smothered, as usual,
in fruit and shade-trees. The people here are very well-to-do, and
they look it; and their fields and herds of cattle have overflowed and
joined those of Pleasant Grove--another large and prosperous Mormon
settlement that lies further back, and right under the hills. It would
be very difficult to imagine sweeter sites for such rural hamlets than
these rich levels of incomparable soil stretching from the mountains to
the lake, and watered by the canyon streams.

"Great Salt Lake" is, of course, the Utah Lake of the outside world.
But "Utah Lake" proper, is the large sheet of fresh water which lies
some thirty miles south of Salt Lake City, and gives its name to the
valley which it helps to fertilize. All around it, except on the
western shore, the Mormons have planted their villages, so that from
Lehi you can look out on to the valley, and see at the feet of the
encircling hills, and straggling down towards the lake, a semicircle
of settlements that, but for the sterility of the mountain slopes on
the west, might have formed a complete ring around it. But no springs
rise on the western slopes, and the settlements of the valleys always
lie, therefore, on the eastern side, unless some central stream gives
facilities for irrigation on the western also.

Utah Lake is a lake of legends. In the old Indian days it was held in
superstitious reverence as the abode of the wind spirits and the storm
spirits, and as being haunted by monsters of weird kind and great
size. Particular spots were too uncanny for the red men to pitch their
lodges there; and even game had asylum, as in a city of refuge, if it
chanced to run in the direction of the haunted shore. In later times,
too, the Utah Lake has borne an uncomfortable reputation as the domain
of strange water-apparitions, and several men have recorded visions
of aquatic monsters, for which science as yet has found no name,
but which, speaking roughly, appear to have been imitations of that
delightful possibility, the sea serpent. Science, I know, goes dead
against such gigantic worms, but this wonderful Western country has
astonishment in store for the scientific world. If half I am told about
the wondrous fossils of Arizona and thereabouts be true, it may even be
within American resources to produce the kraken himself. In the mean
time, as a contribution towards it, and a very tolerable instalment,
too, I would commend to notice the great snake of the Utah Lake. It has
frightened men--and, far better evidence than that, it has been seen by
children when playing on the shore. I say "better," because children
are not likely to invent a plausible horror in order to explain their
sudden rushing away from a given spot with terrified countenances and
a consistent narrative--a horror, too, which should coincide with the
snake superstitions of the Pi-Ute Indians. Have wise men from the East
ever heard of this fabled thing? Does the Smithsonian know of this
terror of the lake--this freshwater kraken--this new Mormon iniquity?

Visitors have made the American Fork canyon too well known to need
more than a reference here, but the Provo canyon, with its romantic
waterfalls and varied scenery, is a feature of the Utah Valley which
may some day be equally familiar to the sight-seeing world. The
botanist would find here a field full of surprises, as the vegetation
is of exceptional variety, and the flowers unusually profuse. Down
this canyon tumbles the Provo River; and as soon as it reaches the
mouth--thinking to find the valley an interval of placid idleness
before it attains the final Buddhistic bliss of absorption in the lake,
the Nirvana of extinguished individuality--it is seized upon, and
carried off to right and left by irrigation channels, and ruthlessly
distributed over the slopes. And the result is seen, approaching Provo,
in magnificent reaches of fertile land, acres of fruit-trees, and miles
of crops.

Provo is almost Logan over again, for though it has the advantage over
the northern settlement in population, it resembles it in appearance
very closely. There is the same abundance of foliage, the same width
of water-edged streets, the same variety of wooden and adobe houses,
the same absence of crime and drunkenness, the same appearance of solid
comfort. It has its mills and its woollen factory, its "co-op." and
its lumber-yards. There is the same profusion of orchard and garden,
the same all-pervading presence of cattle and teams. The daily life
is the same too, a perpetual industry, for no sooner is breakfast
over than the family scatters--the women to the dairy and household
work, the handloom and the kitchen; the men to the yard, the mill,
and the field. One boy hitches up a team and is off in one direction;
another gets astride a barebacked horse and is off in another; a third
disappears inside a barn, and a fourth engages in conflict with a drove
of calves. But whatever they are doing, they are all busy, from the old
man pottering with the water channels in the garden to the little girls
pairing off to school; and the visitor finds himself the only idle
person in the settlement.

From Provo--through its suburbs of foliage and glebeland--past
Springville, a sweet spot, lying back under the hills with a bright
quick stream flowing through it and houses mobbed by trees. Here are
flour-mills and one of the first woollen mills built in Utah. In the
days of its building the Indians harried the valley, and young men
tell how as children they used to lie awake at nights to listen to the
red men as they swept whooping and yelling through the quiet streets
of the little settlement; how the guns stood always ready against the
wall, and the windows were barricaded every night with thick pine
logs. What a difference now! Further on, but still looking on to the
lake, is Spanish Fork (nee Palmyra), where, digging a water channel
the other day, the spade turned up an old copper image of the Virgin
Mary, and some bones. This takes back the Mormon settlement of to-day
to the long-ago time when Spanish missionaries preached of the Pope to
the Piutes, and gave but little satisfaction to either man or beast,
for their tonsured scalps were but scanty trophies and the coyote
found their lean bodies but poor picking. Only fifteen years ago the
Navajos came down into the valley through the canyon which the Denver
and Rio Grande line now traverses, but the Mormons were better prepared
than the Spanish missionaries, and hunted the Navajo soul out of the
Indians, so that Spanish Fork is now the second largest settlement
in the valley, and the Indians come there begging. They are all of
the "tickaboo" and "good Injun" sort, the "how-how" mendicants of
the period. All the inhabitants are as good an illustration of the
advantages of co-operation in stores, farm-work, mills--everything--as
can well be adduced.

Co-operation, by the way, is an important feature of Mormon life, and
never, perhaps, so much on men's tongues and in their minds as at the
present time. The whole community has been aroused by the consistent
teaching of their leaders in their addresses at public "meetings,"
in their prayers in private households, to a sense of the "suicidal
folly," as they call it, of making men wealthy (by their patronage) who
use their power against the Saints; and the Mormons have set themselves
very sincerely to work to trade only with themselves and to starve out
the Gentiles. And it is very difficult indeed for an unprejudiced man
not to sympathize in some measure with the Mormons. By their honesty
they have made the name "Mormon" respected in trade all over America,
and have attracted shopkeepers, who on this very honesty have thriven
and become wealthy in Utah--and yet some of these men, knowing nothing
of the people except that they are straightforward in their dealings
and honourable in their engagements, join in the calumny that the
Mormons are a "rascally," "double-dealing" set. For my own part, I
think the Church should have starved out some of these slanderers
long ago. Even now it would be a step in the right direction if the
Church slipped a "fighting apostle" at the men who go on day after
day saying and writing that which they know to be untrue, calling,
for instance, virtuous, hard-working men and women "the villainous
spawn of polygamy," and advocating the encouragement of prostitutes
as a "reforming agency for Mormon youth"! Meanwhile "co-operation" as
a religious duty is the doctrine while of the day, and Gentile trade
is already suffering in consequence. The movement is a very important
one to the Territory, for if carried out on the proper principles
of co-operation, the people will live more cheaply here than in any
other State in America. As it is, many imported articles, thanks to
co-operative competition, are cheaper here than further east, and when
the boycotting is in full swing many more articles will also come down
in price, as the Gentiles' profits will then be knocked off the cost
to the purchaser. Every settlement, big and little, has its "co-op.,"
and the elders when on tour through the outlying hamlets lose no
opportunity for encouraging the movement and extending it.

Passing Spanish Fork, and its outlying herds of horses, we see,
following the curve Of the lake, Salem, a little community of farmers
settled around a spring; Payson, called Poteetnete in the old Indian
days--after a chief who made life interesting, not to say exciting, for
the early settlers--Springlake villa, where one family has grown up
into a hamlet, and grown out of it, too, for they complain that they
have not room enough and must go elsewhere; and Santaquin, a little
settlement that has reached out its fields right across the valley
to the opposite slope of the hills. This was the spot where Abraham
Butterfield, the only inhabitant of the place at the time, won himself
a name among the people by chasing off a band of armed Indians, who
had surprised him at his solitary work in the fields, by waving his
coat and calling out to imaginary friends in the distance to "Come
on." The Indians were thoroughly fooled, and fled back up the country
incontinently, while Abraham pursued them hotly, brandishing his old
coat with the utmost ferocity, and vociferously rallying nobody to the
bloody attack.

Here Mount Nebo, the highest elevation in the Territory was first
pointed out to me--how tired I got of it before I had done!--and
through fields of lucerne we passed from the Utah into the Juab Valley
and an enormous wilderness of sage-brush. It is broken here and
there by an infrequent patch of cultivation, and streaks of paling
go straggling away across the grey desert. But without water it is a
desperate section, and the pillars of dust moving across the level, and
marking the track of the sheep that wandered grazing among the sage,
reminded me of the sand-wastes of Beluchistan, where nothing can move a
foot without raising a tell-tale puff of dust.

There, the traveller, looking out from his own cloud of sand, sees
similar clouds creeping about all over the plain, judges from their
size the number of camels or horses that may be stirring, and draws
his own conclusions as to which may, be peaceful caravans, and which
robber-bands. By taking advantage of the wind, the desert banditti
are able to advance to the attack, just as the devil-fish do on the
sea-bottom, under cover of sand-clouds of their own stirring up; and
the first intimation which the traveller has of the character of those
who are coming towards him, is the sudden flash of swords and glitter
of spearheads that light up the edges of the advancing sand, just as
lightning flits along the ragged skirts of a moving thunder-cloud.

But here there are no Murri or Bhoogti horsemen astir, and the Indians,
Piutes or Navajos, have not acquired Beluchi tactics. These moving
clouds here are raised by loitering sheep, formidable only to Don
Quixote and the low-nesting ground-larks. They are close feeders,
though, these sheep, and it is poor gleaning after them, so it is a
rule throughout the Territory that on the hills where sheep graze, game
need not be looked for.

An occasional ranch comes in sight, and along the old county road a
waggon or two goes crawling by, and then we reach Mona, a pretty little
rustic spot, but the civilizing radiance of corn-fields gradually dies
away, and the relentless sage-brush supervenes, with here and there a
lucid interval of ploughed ground in the midst of the demented desert.
With water the whole valley would be superbly fertile, as we soon see,
for there suddenly breaks in upon the monotony of the weed-growths
a splendid succession of fields, long expanses of meadowland, large
groves of orchards, and the thriving settlement of Nephi.

Like all other prosperous places in Utah, it is almost entirely Mormon.
There is one saloon, run by a Mormon, but patronized chiefly by the
"outsiders"--for such is the name usually given to the "Gentiles" in
the settlement--and no police. Local mills meet local requirements,
and the "co-op." is the chief trading store of the place. There are no
manufactures for export, but in grain and fruit there is a considerable
trade. It is a quaint, straggling sort of place, and, like all these
settlements, curiously primitive. The young men use the steps of the
co-operative store as a lounge, and their ponies, burdened with huge
Mexican saddles and stirrups that would do for dog-kennels, stand
hitched to the palings all about. The train stops at the corner of the
road to take up any passengers there may be. Deer are sometimes killed
in the streets, and eagles still harry the chickens in the orchards.
Wild-bird life is strangely abundant, and a flock of "canaries"--a very
beautiful yellow siskin--had taken possession of my host's garden.
"We do catch them sometimes," said his wife, "but they always starve
themselves, and pine away till they are thin enough to get through
the bars of the cage, and so we can never keep them." A neighbour who
chanced in, was full of canary-lore, and I remember one incident that
struck me as very pretty. He had caught a canary and caged it, but the
bird refused to be tamed, and dashed itself about the cage in such a
frantic way that out of sheer pity he let the wild thing go. A day or
two later it came back, but with a mate, and when the cage was hung out
the two birds went into captivity together, of their own free-will, and
lived as happily as birds could live!

My host was a good illustration of what Mormonism can do for a man. In
Yorkshire he was employed in a slaughtering-yard, and thought himself
lucky if he earned twelve shillings a week. The Mormons found him,
"converted" him, and emigrated him. He landed in Utah without a cent
in his pocket, and in debt to the Church besides. But he found every
one ready to help him, and was ready to help himself, so that to-day
he is one of the most substantial men in Nephi, with a mill that cost
him $10,000 to put up, a shop and a farm, a house and orchard and
stock. His family, four daughters and a son, are all settled round him
and thriving, thanks to the aid he gave them--"but," said he, "if the
Mormons had not found me, I should still have been slaughtering in the
old country, and glad, likely, to be still earning my twelve shillings
a week." Another instance from the same settlement is that of a boy
who, five years ago, was brought out here at the age of sixteen. His
emigration was entirely paid for by the Church. Yet last year he sent
home from his own pocket the necessary funds to bring out his mother
and four brothers and sisters! God speed these Mormons, then. They
are doing both "the old country and the new" an immense good in thus
transforming English paupers into American farmers--and thus exchanging
the vices and squalor of English poverty for the temperance, piety, and
comfort of these Utah homesteads. I am not blind to their faults. My
aversion to polygamy is sincere, and I find also that the Mormons must
share with all agricultural communities the blame of not sacrificing
more of their own present prospects for the sake of their children's
future, and neglecting their education, both in school and at home. But
when I remember what classes of people these men and women are chiefly
drawn from, and the utter poverty in which most of them I cannot, in
sincerity, do otherwise than admire and respect the system which has
fused such unpromising material of so many nationalities into one
homogeneous whole.

For myself, I do not think I could live among the Mormons happily, for
my lines have been cast so long in the centres of work and thought,
that a bovine atmosphere of perpetual farms suffocates me. I am
afraid I should take to lowing, and feed on lucerne. But this does
not prejudice me against the men and women who are so unmistakably
happy. They are uncultured, from the highest to the lowest. But the
men of thirty and upwards remember these valleys when they were utter
deserts, and the Indian was lord of the hills! As little children they
had to perform all the small duties about the house, the "chores," as
they are called; as lads they had to guard the stock on the hills; as
young men they were the pioneers of Utah. What else then could they be
but ignorant--in the education of schools, I mean? Yet they are sober
in their habits, conversation, and demeanour, frugal, industrious,
hospitable, and God-fearing. As a people, their lives are a pattern to
an immense number of mankind, and every emigrant, therefore, taken up
out of the slums of manufacturing cities in the old countries, or from
the hideous drudgery of European agriculture, and planted in these Utah
valleys, is a benefit conferred by Mormonism upon two continents at
once.

To return to Nephi. I went to a "meeting" in the evening, and to
describe one is to describe all. The old men and women sit in
front--the women, as a rule, all together in the body of the room, and
the men at the sides. How this custom originated no one could tell me;
but it is probably a survival of habit from the old days when there
was only room enough for the women to be seated, and the men stood
round against the walls, and at the door. As larger buildings were
erected, the women, as of old, took their accustomed seats together
in the centre, and the men filled up the balance of the space. The
oldest being hard of hearing and short of sight, would naturally, in an
unconventional society, collect at the front of the audience. Looking
at them all together, they are found to be exactly what one might
expect--a congregation of hard-featured, bucolic faces, sun-tanned and
deep-lined. Here and there among them is a bright mechanic's face, and
here and there an unexpected refinement of intelligence. But taken in
the mass, they are precisely such a congregation as fills nine-tenths
of the rural places of worship all the world over. Conspicuously
absent, however, is the typical American face, for the fathers and
mothers among the Mormons are of every nationality, and the sons and
daughters are a mixture of all. In the future this race should be a
very fine one, for it is chiefly recruited from the hardier stocks,
the English, Scotch, and Scandinavian, while their manner of life is
pre-eminently fitted for making them stalwart in figure, and sound in
constitution.

The meeting opens with prayer, in which the Almighty is asked for
blessings upon the whole people, upon each class of it, upon their
own place in particular, upon all the Church authorities, and upon
all friends of the Mormons. But never, so far as I have heard, are
intercessions made, in the spirit of New Testament teaching, for the
enemies of the Church. References to the author of the Edmunds Bill
are often very pointed and vigorous. After the prayer comes a hymn,
sung often to a lively tune, and accompanied by such instrumental
music as the settlement can rely upon, after which the elders address
the people in succession. These addresses are curiously practical.
They are temporal rather than spiritual, and concern themselves with
history, official acts, personal reminiscences, and agricultural
matter rather than points of mere doctrine. But as a fact, temporal
and spiritual considerations are too closely blended in Mormonism to
be disassociated. Thus references to the Edmunds Bill take their place
naturally among exhortations to "live their religion", and to "build up
the kingdom" in spite of "persecution." Boycotting Gentile tradesmen
is similarly inculcated as showing a pious fidelity to the interests
of the Church. These are the two chief topics of all addresses, but
a passing reference to a superior class of waggon, or a hope that
every one will make a point of voting in some coming election, is
not considered out of place, while personal matters, the health of
the speaker or his experiences in travel, are often thus publicly
commented upon. The result is, that the people go away with some
tangible facts in their heads, and subjects for ordinary conversation
on their tongues, and not, as from other kinds of religious meetings,
with only generalities about their souls and the Ten Commandments. In
other countries the gabble of small-talk that immediately overtakes
a congregation let out of church sounds very incongruous with the
last notes of the organ voluntary that play them out of the House of
God. But here the people walking homeward are able to continue the
conversation on exactly the same lines as the addresses they have
just heard, to renew it the next day, to carry it about with them
as conversation from place to place, and thus eventually to spread
the "doctrine" of the elders over the whole district. A fact about
waggon-buying sticks where whole sermons about salvation by faith would
not.



CHAPTER XII.

FROM NEPHI TO MANTI.

    English companies and their failures--A deplorable neglect of
    claret cup--Into the San Pete Valley--Reminiscences of the
    Indians--The forbearance of the red man--The great temple at
    Manti--Masonry and Mormon mysteries--In a tithing-house.

FROM Nephi, a narrow-guage line runs up the Salt Creek canyon, and
away across a wilderness to a little mining settlement called Wales,
inhabited by Welsh Mormons who work at the adjacent coal-mines. The
affair belongs to an English company, and it is worth noting that
"English companies" are considered here to be very proper subjects
for jest. When nobody else in the world will undertake a hopeless
enterprise, an English company appears to be always on hand to embark
in it, and this fact displays a confidence on the part of Americans in
British credulity, and a confidence on the part of the Britishers in
American honesty, which ought to be mutually instructive. Meanwhile
this has nothing to do with these coal-mines in the San Pete Valley,
which, for all I know, may be very sound concerns, and very profitable
to the "English company" in question. I hope it is. The train was
rather a curious one, though, for it stopped for passengers at the
corner of the street, and when we got "aboard," we found a baggage
car the only vehicle provided for us. A number of apostles and elders
were on Conference tour, and the party, therefore, was a large one; so
that, if the driver had been an enthusiastic anti-Mormon, he might have
struck a severe blow at the Church by tilting us off the rails. The
Salt Creek canyon is not a prepossessing one, but there grew in it an
abundance of borage, the handsome blue heads of flowers showing from
among the undergrowth in large patches.

What a waste of borage! Often have I deplored over my claret in India
the absence of this estimable vegetable, and here in Utah with a
perfect jungle of borage all about me, I had no claret! I pointed out
to the apostles with us that temperance in such a spot was flying
in the face of providence, and urged them to plant vineyards in
the neighbourhood. But they were not enthusiastic, and I relapsed
into silent contemplation over the incredible ways of nature, that
she should thus cast her pearls of borage before a community of
teetotallers.

Traversing the canyon, we enter San Pete Valley, memorable for the
Indian War of 1865-67, but in itself as desolate and uninteresting a
tract of country as anything I have ever seen. Ugly bald hills and
leprous sand-patches in the midst of sage-brush, combined to form a
landscape of utter dreariness; and the little settlements lying away
under the hills on the far eastern edge of the valley--Fountain Green,
Maroni, and Springtown--seemed to me more like penal settlements
than voluntary locations. Yet I am told they are pretty enough, and
certainly Mount Pleasant, the largest settlement in the San Pete
country, looked as if it deserved its name. But it stands back well out
of the desperate levels of the valley, and its abundant foliage tells
of abundant water. A pair of eagles circled high up in the sky above
us as we rattled along, expecting us apparently to die by the way, and
hoping to be our undertakers. A solitary coyote was pointed out to me,
a lean and uncared-for person, that kept looking back over its shoulder
as it trotted away, as if it had a lingering sort of notion that a
defunct apostle might by chance be thrown overboard. It was a hungry
and a thirsty looking country, and Wales, where we left our train, was
a dismal spot. Here we found waggons waiting for us, and were soon on
our way across the desert, passing a settlement-oasis now and again,
and crossing the San Pete "river," which here sneaks along, a muddy,
shallow stream, at the bottom of high, willow-fringed banks. And so
to Fort Ephraim, a quaint little one-street sort of place that looks
up to Manti, a few miles off, as a little boy looks up to his biggest
brother, and to Salt Lake City as a cat might look up to a king.

In 1865-67, however, it was an important point. Several companies of
the Mormon militia were mustered here, and held the mountains and
passes on the east against the Indians, guarded the stock gathered here
from the other small settlements that had been abandoned, and took part
in the fights at Thistle Creek, Springtown, Fish Lake, Twelve Mile
Creek Gravelly Ford, and the rest, where Black Hawk and his flying
squadron of Navajos and Piutes showed themselves such plucky men. It
is a pity, I think, that the history of that three years' campaign has
never been sketched, for, as men talk of it, it must have abounded with
stirring incident and romance. Besides, a well-written history of such
a campaign, with the lessons it teaches, might be useful some day--for
the fighting spirit of the Indians is not broken, and when another
Black Hawk appears upon the scene, 1865 might easily be re-enacted,
and Fort Ephraim once more be transformed from a farming hamlet to a
military camp.

Yet I have often wondered at the apathy or the friendship of the
Indians. Herds of cattle and horses and sheep wander about among the
mountains virtually unguarded. Little villages full of grain, and
each with its store well stocked with sugar, and tobacco, and cloths,
and knives, and other things that the Indians prize, lie almost
defenceless at the mouths of canyons. Yet they have not been molested
for the last fifteen years. I confess that if I were an Indian chief, I
should not be able to resist the temptation of helping my tribe to an
occasional surfeit of beef, with the amusement thrown in of plundering
a co-operative store. But the Mormons say that the Indian is more
honest than a white man and, in illustration of this, are ready to
give innumerable instances of an otherwise inexplicable chivalry. For
one thing, though, the Mormons are looked upon by the Indians in quite
a different light to other Americans, for they consider them to be
victims, like themselves, of Federal dislike, while both as individuals
and a class they hold them in consideration as being superior to Agents
in fidelity to engagements. So that the compliment of honesty is
mutually reciprocated. To illustrate this aspect of the Mormon-Indian
relations, some Indians came the other day into a settlement and
engaged in a very protracted pow-wow, the upshot of all their
roundabout palaver being this, that inasmuch as they, the Indians, had
given Utah to the Mormons, it was preposterous for the Mormons to pay
the Government for the land they took up!

From Fort Ephraim to Manti the road lies chiefly through unreclaimed
land, but within a mile or two of the town the irrigated suburbs of
Manti break in upon the sage-brush, and the Temple, which has been
visible in the distance half the day, grows out from the hills into
definite details. The site of this imposing structure certainly
surprised me both for the fine originality of its conception, and the
artistic sympathy with the surrounding scenery, which has directed
its erection. The site originally was a rugged hill slope, but this
has been cut out into three vast semicircular terraces, each of which
is faced with a wall of rough hewn stone, seventeen feet in height.
Ascending these by wide flights of steps, you find yourself on a
fourth level, the hill top, which has been levelled into a spacious
plateau, and on this, with its back set against the hill, stands the
temple. The style of Mormon architecture, unfortunately, is heavy and
unadorned, and in itself, therefore, this massive pile, 160 feet in
length by 90 wide, and about 100 high, is not prepossessing, But when
it is finished, and the terrace slopes are turfed, and the spaces
planted out with trees, the view will undoubtedly be very fine, and
the temple be a building that the Mormons may well be proud of. Looked
at from the plain, with the stern hills behind it, the edifice is
seen to be in thoroughly artistic harmony with the scene, while the
enormous expenditure of labour upon its erection is a matter for
astonishment. The plan of the building inside differs from those of
the temples at Logan, St. George, and Salt Lake City, which again
differ from each other, for it is a curious fact that the ritual of
the secret ceremonies to which these buildings are chiefly devoted,
is still under elaboration and imperfect, so that each temple in turn
partially varies from its predecessor, to suit the latest alterations
made in the Endowments and other rites celebrated within its walls. In
my description of the Logan Temple, I gave a sketch of the purposes for
which the various parts of the building were intended. That sketch, of
course, cannot pretend to be exact, for only those Mormons who have
"worked" through the degrees can tell the whole truth; and as yet no
one has divulged it. But with a general knowledge of the rites, and
an intimate acquaintance with freemasonry, I have, I believe, put
together the only reliable outline that has ever been published. The
Manti temple will have the same arrangements of baptismal font and
dressing-rooms on the ground floor, but as well as I could judge from
the unfinished state of the building, the "endowments," in the course
of which are symbolical representations of the Creation, Temptation and
Fall, will be spread over two floors, the apartment for "baptism for
the dead" occupying a place on the lower. The "sealing" is performed on
the third. I have an objection to prying into matters which the Mormons
are so earnest in keeping secret, but as a mason, the connexion between
Masonry and Mormonism is too fascinating a subject for me to resist
curiosity altogether.

As a settlement, Manti is pretty, well-ordered and prosperous. The
universal vice of unbridged water-courses disfigures its roads just
as it does those of every other place (Salt Lake City itself not
excepted), and the irregularity in the order of occupation of lots
gives it the same scattered appearance that many other settlements
have. But the abundance of trees, the width of the streets, the
perpetual presence of running water, the frequency and size of the
orchards, and the general appearance of simple, rustic, comfort impart
to Manti all the characteristic charm of the Mormon settlements. The
orthodox grist and saw-mills, essential adjuncts of every outlying
hamlet, find their usual place in the local economy; but to me the
most interesting corner was the quaint tithing-house, a Dutch-barn
kind of place, still surrounded by the high stone stockade which was
built for the protection of the settlers during the Indian troubles
fifteen years ago. Inside the tithing-house were two great bins half
filled with wheat and oats, and a few bundles of wool. I had expected
to find a miscellaneous confusion of articles of all kinds, but on
inquiry discovered that the popular theory of Mormon tithing, "a tenth
of everything,"--"even to the tenth of every egg that is laid," as a
Gentile lady plaintively assured me, is not carried out in practice,
the majority of Mormons allowing their tithings to run into arrears,
and then paying them up in a lump in some one staple article, vegetable
or animal, that happens to be easiest for them. The tenth of their
eggs or their currant jam does not, therefore, as supposed, form part
of the rigid annual tribute of these degraded serfs to their grasping
masters. As a matter of fact, indeed, the payment of tithings is as
nearly voluntary as the collection of a revenue necessary for carrying
on a government can possibly be allowed to be. What it may have been
once, is of no importance now. But to-day, so far from there being
any undue coercion, I have amply assured myself that there is extreme
consideration and indulgence, while the general prosperity of the
territory justifies the leniency that prevails.



CHAPTER XIII.

FROM MANTI TO GLENWOOD.

    Scandinavian Mormons--Danish ol--Among the Orchards at Manti--On
    the way to Conference--Adam and Eve--The protoplasm of a
    settlement--Ham and eggs--At Mayfield--Our teamster's theory of
    the ground-hog--On the way to Glenwood--Volcanic phenomena and
    lizards--A suggestion for improving upon Nature--Primitive Art

"MY hosts at Manti were Danes, and the wife brewed Danish ol." Such
is the entry in my note-book, made, I remember, to remind me to say
that the San Pete settlements are composed in great proportion of
Danes and Scandinavians. These nationalities contribute more largely
than any other--unless Great-Britishers are all called one nation--to
the recruiting of Mormonism, and when they reach Utah maintain their
individuality more conspicuously than any others. The Americans, Welsh,
Scotch, English, Germans, and Swiss, merge very rapidly into one blend,
but the Scandinavian type--and a very fine peasant type it is--is
clearly marked in the settlements where the Hansens and the Jansens,
Petersens, Christiansens, Nielsens, and Sorensens, most do congregate.
By the way, some of these Norse names sound very curiously to the ear.
"Ole Hagg" might be thought to be a nickname rather than anything else,
and Lars Nasquist Brihl at best a joke. Their children are remarkably
pretty, and the women models of thriftiness.

My hostess at Manti was a pattern. She made pies under an inspiration,
and her chicken-pie was a distinct revelation. Her "beer" was certainly
a beverage that a man might deny himself quite cheerfully, but to
eat her preserves was like listening to beautiful parables, and her
cream cheese gave the same gentle pleasure as the singing of thankful
canticles.

In the garden was an arbour overrun with a wild grapevine, and I
took my pen and ink in there to write. All went well for a while. An
amiable cat came and joined me, sitting in a comfortable cushion-sort
of fashion on the corner of my blotting-pad. But while we sat there
writing, the cat and I, there came a humming-bird into the arbour--a
little miracle in feathers, with wings all emeralds and a throat of
ruby. And it sat in the sunlight on a vine-twig that straggled out
across the door, and began to preen its tiny feathers. I stopped
writing to watch the beautiful thing. And so did the cat. For happening
to look down at the table I saw the cat, with a fiendish expression of
face and her eyes intent on the bird, gathering her hind legs together
for a spring. To give the cat a smack on the head, and for the cat to
vanish with an explosion of ill-temper, "was the work of an instant."
The humming-bird flashed out into the garden, and I was left alone to
mop up the ink which the startled cat had spilt. Then I went out and
wandered across the garden, where English flowers, the sweet-william
and columbine, pinks and wallflowers, pansies and iris, were growing,
under the fruit-trees still bunched with blossoms, and out into the
street. Friends asked me if I wasn't going to "the conference," but
I had not the heart to go inside when the world out of doors was so
inviting. There was a cool, green tint in the shade of the orchards,
pleasant with the voices of birds and dreamy with the humming of
bees. There was nobody else about, only children making posies of
apple-blossoms and launching blue boats of iris-petals on the little
roadside streams. Everybody was "at conference," and those that could
not get into the building were grouped outside among the waggons of the
country folk who had come from a distance. These conferences are held
quarterly (so that the lives of the Apostles who preside at them are
virtually spent in travelling) and at them everything is discussed,
whether of spiritual or temporal interest and a general balance struck,
financially and religiously. In character they resemble the ordinary
meetings of the Mormons, being of exactly the same curious admixture
of present farming and future salvation, business advice and pious
exhortation.

Everybody who can do so, attends these meetings; and they fulfil,
therefore, all the purposes of the Oriental mela. Farmers,
stock-raisers, and dealers generally, meet from a distance and talk
over business matters, open negotiations and settle bargains, exchange
opinions and discuss prospects. Their wives and families, such of
them as can get away from their homes, foregather and exchange their
domestic news, while everybody lays in a fresh supply of spiritual
refreshment for the coming three months, and hears the latest word of
the Church as to the Edmunds Bill and Gentile tradesmen. The scene is
as primitive and quaint as can be imagined, for in rural Utah life
is still rough and hearty and simple. To the stranger, the greetings
of family groups, with the strange flavour of the Commonwealth days,
the wonderful Scriptural or apocryphal names, and the old-fashioned
salutation, are full of picturesque interest, while the meetings of
waggons filled with acquaintances from remote corners of the country,
the confusion of European dialects--imagine hearing pure Welsh among
the San Pete sagebrush!--the unconventional cordiality of greeting, are
delightful both in an intellectual and artistic sense.

I have travelled much, and these social touches have always had a charm
for me, let them be the demure reunions of Creoles sous les filaos in
Mauritius; or the French negroes chattering as they go to the baths
in Bourbon; the deep-drinking convivialities of the Planters' Club in
Ceylon; the grinning, prancing, rencontres of Kaffir and Kaffir, or
the stolid collision of Boer waggons on the African veldt; the stately
meeting of camel-riding Beluchis on the sandy put of Khelat; the
jingling ox-drawn ekkas foregathered to "bukh" under the tamarind-trees
of Bengal; the reserved salutations of Hindoos as they squat by the
roadside to discuss the invariable lawsuit and smoke the inevitable
hubble-bubble; the noisy congregation of Somali boatmen before their
huts on the sun-smitten shores of Aden;--what a number of reminiscences
I could string together of social traits in various parts of the
world! And these Mormon peasants, pioneers of the West, these hardy
sons of hardy sires, will be as interesting to me in the future as any
others, and my remembrance of them will be one of admiration for their
unfashionable virtues of industry and temperance, and of gratitude for
their simple courtesy and their cordial hospitality.

As we left Manti behind us, the waggons "coming into conference" got
fewer and fewer, and soon we found ourselves out alone upon the broad
levels of the valley, with nothing to keep us company but a low range
of barren hills that did their best to break the monotony of the
landscape. In places, the ground was white with desperate patches of
"saleratus," the saline efflorescence with which agriculture in this
Territory is for ever at war, and resembling in appearance, taste, and
effects the "reh" of the Gangetic plains. Here, as in India, irrigation
is the only known antidote, and once wash it out of the soil and
get crops growing and the enemy retires. But as soon as cultivation
ceases or irrigation slackens, the white infection creeps over the
ground again, and if undisturbed for a year resumes possession. How
unrelenting Nature is in her conflict with man!

We passed some warm springs a few miles from Manti, but the water
though slightly saline is inodorous, and on the patches which they
water I saw the wild flax growing as if it enjoyed the temperature and
the soil. Then Six-Mile Creek, a pleasant little ravine, crossed by a
rustic bridge, which gives water for a large tract Of land, and so to
Sterling, a settlement as yet in its cradle, and curiously illustrative
of "the beginning of things" in rural Utah. One man and his one wife
up on the hillside doing something to the water, one cock and one hen
pecking together in monogamous sympathy, one dog sitting at the door
of a one-roomed log-hut. Everything was in the Adam and Eve stage
of society, and primeval. So Deucalion and Pyrrha had the earth to
themselves, and the "rooster" stalked before his mate as if he was the
first inventor of posterity. But much of this country is going to come
under the plough in time, for there is water, and in the meantime,
as giving promise of a future with some children in it, there is a
school-house--an instance of forethought which gratified me.

The country now becomes undulating, remaining for the most part a
sterile-looking waste of grease-wood, but having an almost continuous
thread of cultivation running along the centre of the valley which, a
few miles further on, suddenly widens into a great field of several
thousand acres. On the other side of it we found Mayfield.

In Mayfield every one was gone to the Conference except a pretty girl,
left to look after all the children of the village, and who resisted
our entreaties for hospitality with a determination that would have
been more becoming in an uglier person--and an old lady, left under the
protection of a big blind dog and a little bobtailed calf. She received
us with the honest courtesy universal in the Territory, showed us where
to put our horses and where the lucerne was stacked, and apologized to
us for having nothing better than eggs and ham to offer!

Fancy nothing better than eggs and ham! To my mind there is nothing in
all travelling so delightful as these eggs-and-ham interruptions that
do duty for meals. Not only is the viand itself so agreeable, but its
odour when cooking creates an appetite.

What a moral there is here! We have all heard of the beauty of the
lesson that those flowers teach us which give forth their sweetest
fragrance when crushed. But I think the conduct of eggs and ham, that
thus create an appetite in order to increase man's pleasure in their
own consumption, is attended with circumstances of good taste that are
unusually pleasing.

In our hostess's house at Mayfield I saw for the first time the
ordinary floor-covering of the country through which we subsequently
travelled--a "rag-carpet." It is probably common all over the world,
but it was quite new to me. I discussed its composition one day with a
mother and her daughter.

"This streak here is Jimmy's old pants, and that darker one is a
military overcoat. This is daddy's plush vest. This bit of the pattern
is--"

"No, mother, that's your old jacket-back; don't you remember?"--and so
on all through the carpet.

Every stripe in it had an association, and the story of the whole was
pretty nearly the story of their entire lives in the country.

"For it took us seven years to get together just this one strip of
carpet. We folks haven't much, you see, that's fit to tear up."

I like the phrase "fit to tear up," and wonder when, in the opinion of
this frugal people, anything does become suitable for destruction. But
it is hardly destruction after all to turn old clothes into carpets,
and the process is as simple as, in fact is identical with, ordinary
hand-weaving. The cloth is simply shredded into very narrow strips,
and each strip is treated in the loom just as if it were ordinary
yarn, the result being, by a judicious alternation of tints, a very
pleasant-looking and very durable floor-cloth. Rag-rugs are also
made on a foundation of very coarse canvas by drawing very narrow
shreds of rag through the spaces of the canvas, fastening them on the
reverse side, and cutting them off to a uniform "pile" on the upper.
In one cottage at Salina I remember seeing a rug of this kind in which
the girl had drawn her own pattern and worked in the colours with a
distinct appreciation of true artistic effect. An industrial exhibition
for such products would, I have no doubt, bring to light a great many
out-of-the-way handicrafts which these emigrant people have brought
with them from the different parts of Europe, and with which they try
to adorn their simple homes.

Our teamster from Mayfield to Glenwood, the next stage of my southward
journey, was a very cautious person. He would not hurry his horses down
hill--they were "belike" to stumble; and he would not hurry them up
hill--it "fretted" them. On the level intervals he stopped altogether,
to "breathe" them. It transpired eventually that they were plough
horses. I suspected it from the first. And from his driving I suspected
that he was the ploughman. In other respects he was a very desirable
teamster.

His remarks about Europe (he had once been to Chicago himself) were
very entertaining, and his theory of "ground hogs" would have delighted
Darwin. As far as I could follow him, all animals were of one species,
the differences as to size and form being chiefly accidents of age or
sex. This, at any rate, was my induction from his description of the
"ground hog," which he said was a "kind of squirrel--like the prairie
dog!" As he said, there were "quite a few" ground hogs, but they moved
too fast among the brush for me to identify them. As far as I could
tell, though, they were of the marmot kind, about nine inches long,
with very short tails and round small ears. When they were at a safe
distance they would stand up at full length on their hind legs, the
colouring underneath being lighter than on the back. What are they? I
have seen none in Utah except on these volcanic stretches of country
between Salina and Monroe.

Much of Utah is volcanic, but here, beyond Salina, huge mounds of
scoriae, looking like heaps of slag from some gigantic furnace,
are piled up in the centre of the level ground, while in other
places circular depressions in the soil--sometimes fifty feet in
diameter and lowest in the centre, with deep fissures defining the
circumference--seem to mark the places whence the scoriae had been
drawn, and the earth had sunk in upon the cavities thus exhausted.

The two sides of the river (the Sevier) were in striking contrast. On
this, the eastern, was desolation and stone heaps and burnt-up spaces
with ant-hills and lizards.

Nothing makes a place look (to me at least) so hot as an abundance of
lizards. They are associated in memory with dead, still heat, "the
intolerable calor of Mambre," the sun-smitten cinder-heap that men call
Aden, the stifling hillsides of Italy where the grapes lie blistering
in the autumn sun, the desperate suburbs of Alexandria--what millions
of scorched-looking lizards, detestable little salamanders, used to
bask upon Cleopatra's Needles when they lay at full length among the
sand!--the heat-cracked fields of India. I know very well that there
are lizards and lizards; that they might be divided--as the Hindoo
divides everything, whether victuals or men's characters, medicines
or the fates the gods send him--into "hot" and "cold" lizards. The
salamander itself, according to the ancients, was icy cold. But this
does not matter. All lizards make places look hot.

On the other side of the river, a favourite raiding-ground of "Mr.
Indian," as the settlers pleasantly call him, lies Aurora, a settlement
in the centre of a rich tract of red wheat soil with frequent
growths of willow and buffalo-berry (or bull-berry or red-berry or
"kichi-michi") marking the course of the Sevier.

But our road soon wound down by a "dug way" to the bottom-lands, and we
found ourselves on level meadows clumped with shrubs and patched with
corn-fields, and among scattered knots of grazing cattle and horses.
Overhead circled several pairs of black hawks, a befitting reminder to
the dwellers on these Thessalian fields, these Campanian pastures, that
Scythian Piutes and Navajo Attilas might at any time swoop down upon
them.

But the forbearance of the Indian in the matter of beef and mutton
is inexplicable--and most inexplicable of all in the case of lamb,
seeing that mint grows wild. This is a very pleasing illustration of
the happiness of results when man and nature work cordially together.
The lamb gambols about among beds of mint! What a becoming sense of
the fitness of things that would be that should surprise the innocent
thing in its fragrant pasture and serve up the two together! "They were
pleasant in their lives, and in death they were not divided." And what
a delightful field for similar efforts such a spectacle opens up to the
philosophic mind! Here, beyond Aurora, as we wind in and out among the
brakes of willow and rose-bush, we catch glimpses of the river, with
ducks riding placidly at anchor in the shadows of the foliage. And not
a pea in the neighbourhood! Now, why not sow green peas along the banks
of the American rivers and lakes? How soothing to the weary traveller
would be this occasional relief of canard aux petits pois!

After an interval of pretty river scenery we found ourselves once
more in a dismal, volcanic country with bald hills and leprous
sand-patches the only features of the landscape, with lizards for
flowers and an exasperating heat-drizzle blurring the outlines of
everything with its quivering refraction. And then, after a few miles
of this, we are suddenly in the company of really majestic mountains,
some of them cedared to the peaks, others broken up into splendid
architectural designs of almost inconceivable variety, richly tinted
and fantastically grouped. How wealthy this range must be in mineral!
In front of us, above all the intervening hills, loomed out a monster
mountain, and turning one of its spurs we break all at once upon the
village of Glenwood--a beautiful cluster of foliage with skirts of
meadow-land spread out all about it--lying at the foot of the huge
slope.

Near Glenwood is an interesting little lake that I visited. Its water
is exquisitely clear and very slightly warm. Though less than a foot
deep in most places (it has one pool twelve feet in depth), it never
freezes, in spite of the intense cold at this altitude. It is stocked
with trout that do not grow to any size, but which do not on the
other hand seem to diminish in numbers, although the consumption is
considerable. The botany in the neighbourhood of the lake is very
interesting, the larkspur, lupin, mimulus, violet, heart's-ease,
ox-eye, and several other familiar plants of English gardens, growing
wild, while a strongly tropical flavour is given to the vegetation by
the superb footstools of cactus--imagine sixty-one brilliant scarlet
blossoms on a cushion only fifteen inches across!--by the presence of
a gorgeous oriole (the body a pure yellow freaked with black on the
wings, and the head and neck a rich orange), and by a large butterfly
of a clear flame-colour with the upper wings sharply hooked at the
tips. Flower, bird, and insect were all in keeping with the Brazils or
the Malayan Archipelago.

On a rock, close by the grist-mill, is the only specimen of the
much-talked-of Indian "hieroglyphics" that I have seen. They may of
course be hieroglyphics, but to me they look like the first attempts of
some untutored savage youth to delineate in straight lines the human
form divine. Or they may be only his attempts to delineate a cockroach.



CHAPTER XIV.

FROM GLENWOOD TO MONROE.

    From Glenwood to Salina--Deceptiveness of appearances--An apostate
    Mormon's friendly testimony---Reminiscences of the Prophet Joseph
    Smith--Rabbit-hunting in a waggon--Lost in the sagebrush--A day
    at Monroe--Girls riding pillion--The Sunday drum--Waiting for the
    right man: "And what if he is married?"--The truth about apostasy:
    not always voluntary.

SOON after leaving Glenwood, cultivation dies out, and for twelve miles
or so the rabbit-brush and grease-wood--the "atriplex" of disagreeably
scientific travellers, who always speak of sage-brush as "artemisia,"
and disguise the gentle chipmunk as "spermophilus"--divide the land
between them. The few flowers, and these all dwarfed varieties, attest
the poverty of the soil. The mountains, however, do their best to
redeem the landscape, and the scenery, as desolate scenery, is very
fine. The ranges that have on either hand rolled along an unbroken
series of monotonous contour, now break up into every conceivable
variety of form, mimicking architecture or rather multiplying its
types, and piling bluffs, pierced with caves, upon terraces, and
pinnacles upon battlements. Causeways, like that in Echo Canyon, slant
down their slopes, and other vestiges of a terrific aqueous action
abound. Next to this riot of rock comes a long series of low hills,
grey, red, and yellow, utterly destitute of vegetation, and so smooth
that it looks as if the place were a mountain-yard, where Nature
made her mountains, and had collected all her materials about her in
separate convenient mounds before beginning to mix up and fuse. In
places they were richly spangled with mica, giving an appearance of
sparkling, trickling water to the barren slopes.

On the other side of the valley, the mountains, discountenancing such
frivolities, had settled down into solid-bottomed masses of immense
bulk, the largest mountains, in superficial acreage, I had seen all the
journey, and densely cedared.

With Gunnison in sight across the valley, we reached Willow Creek,
a pleasant diversion of water and foliage in the dreary landscape,
and an eventful spot in the last Indian war, for among these willows
here Black Hawk made a stand to dispute the Mormons' pursuit of their
plundered stock, and held the creek, too, all the day. And so out on to
the monotonous grease-wood levels again--an Indians' camp fire among
the cedars, the only sign of a living thing--and over another "divide,"
and so into the Sevier Valley. The river is seen flowing along the
central depression, with the Red-Mound settlement on the other side of
the stream, and Salina on this side of it, lying on ahead.

Salina is one of those places it is very hard to catch. You see it
first "about seven" miles off, and after travelling towards it for
an hour and a half, find you have still "eight miles or so" to go.
"Appearances are very deceptive in this country," as these people
delight in saying to new-comers, and the following story is punctually
told, at every opportunity, to illustrate it.

A couple of Britishers (of course "Britishers") started off from their
hotel "to walk over to that mountain there," just to get an appetite
for breakfast. About dinner-time one of them gave up and came back,
leaving his obstinate friend to hunt the mountain by himself. After
dining, however, he took a couple of horses and rode out after his
friend, and towards evening came up with him just as he was taking off
his shoes and stockings by the side of a two-foot ditch.

"Hallo!" said the horseman, "what on earth are you doing, Jack?"

"Doing!" replied the other sulkily. "Can't you see? I am taking off my
boots to wade this infernal river."

"River!" exclaimed his friend; "what river? That thing's only a
two-foot ditch!"

"Daresay," was the dogged response. "It looks only a two-foot ditch.
But you can't trust anything in this beastly country. Appearances are
so deceptive."

But we caught Salina at last, for we managed to head it up into a
cul-de-sac of the mountains, and overtook it about sundown. A few
years ago the settlement was depopulated; for Black Hawk made a swoop
at it from his eyrie among the cedars on the overlooking hill, and
after killing a few of the people, compelled the survivors to fly
northward, where the militia was mustering for the defence of the
valley. It was in this war that the Federal officer commanding the post
at Salt Lake City, acting under the orders of General Sherman, refused
to help the settlers, telling them in a telegram of twenty words to
help themselves. The country, therefore, remembers with considerable
bitterness that three years' campaign against a most formidable
combination of Indians; when they lost so many lives, when two counties
had to be entirely abandoned, many scattered settlements broken up, and
an immense loss in property and stock suffered.

At Salina I met an apostate Mormon who had deserted the religion
because he had grown to disbelieve in it, but who had retained,
nevertheless, all his respect for the leaders of the Church and the
general body of Mormons. He is still a polygamist; that is to say,
having married two wives, he has continued to treat them honourably
as wives. With me was an apostle, one of the most deservedly popular
elders of the Church, and it was capital entertainment to hear the
apostate and the apostle exchanging their jokes at each other's
expense. I was shown at this house, by the way, an emigration loan
receipt. The emigrant, his wife, and three children, had been brought
out in the old waggon days at $50 a head. Some fifteen years later,
when the man had become well-to-do and after he had apostatized, he
repaid the $250, and some $50 extra as "interest." The loan ticket
stipulated for "ten per cent per annum," but as he said, it was "only
Mormons who would have let him run on so long, and then have let him
off so much of the interest."

My host was himself an interesting man, for he had been with the
Saints ever since the stormy days of Kirtland, and had known Joseph
Smith personally. "Ah, sir, he was a noble man!" said the old fellow.
Among other out-of-the-way items which he told me about the founder
of the faith, was his predilection for athletic exercises and games
of all kinds; how he used to challenge strangers to wrestle, and be
very wroth when, as happened once, the stranger threw him over the
counter of a shop; and how he used to play baseball with the boys in
the streets of Nauvoo. This trait of Joseph Smith's character I have
never seen noticed by his biographers, but it is quite noteworthy, as
also, I think, is the extraordinary fascination which his personal
appearance--for he was a very handsome man of the Sir Robert Peel
type--seems to have exercised over his contemporaries. When speaking to
them, I find that one and all will glance from the other aspects of his
life to this--that he was "a noble man."

Rabbit-hunting across country in a two-horse waggon is not a sport
I shall often indulge in again. The rabbit has things too much its
own way. It does not seem to be a suitable animal for pursuing in a
vehicle. It is too evasive.

Indeed, but for an accident, I should probably never have indulged in
it at all. But it happened that on our way from Salina to Monroe we
lost our way. Our teamster, for inscrutable reasons of his own, turned
off from the main road into a bye-track, which proved to have been made
by some one prospecting for clay, and the hole which he had excavated
was its terminus. I tried to think out his reason for choosing this
particular road, the least and most unpromising of the three that
offered themselves to him. It was probably this. Two out of the three
roads, being wrong ones, were evils. One of these was larger than the
other, and so of the two evils he chose the less. Q.E.D.

To get back into the road we struck across the sage-brush, and in so
doing started a jack-rabbit. As it ran in the direction we wanted to
go, we naturally followed it. But the jack-rabbit thought we were in
murderous pursuit, and performed prodigies of agility and strategy in
order to escape us. But the one thing that it ought to have done, got
out of our road, it did not do. We did not gain on the lively animal,
I confess, for it was all we could do to retain our seats, but we gave
it enough to prose about all the days of its life. What stories the
younger generation of jack-rabbits will hear of "the old days" when
desperate men used to come out thousands of miles in two-horse waggons
with canvas hoods to try and catch their ancestors! And what a hero
that particular jack-rabbit which we did not hunt will be!

The road southwards leads along hillsides, both up and down, but on the
whole gradually ascending, till the summit of the spur is reached. Here
one of the most enchanting landscapes possible is suddenly found spread
out beneath you. A vast expanse of green meadow-land with pools Of blue
water here and there, herds of horses grazing, flocks of wild fowl in
the air, and on the right the settlement of Richfield among its trees
and red-soiled corn-fields!

Crossing this we found that a spur, running down on it, divides it
really into two, or rather conceals a second plain from sight. But
in the second, sage-brush, "the damnable absinthe," that standard of
desolation, waves rampant, and the telegraph wire that goes straddling
across it seems as if it must have been laid solely for the convenience
of larks. Every post has its lark, as punctually as its insulator, and
every lark lets off its three delicious notes of song as we go by, just
as if the birds were sentries passing on a "friend" from picket to
picket. And here it was that we adventured with the jack-rabbit, much
to our own discomfiture. But while we were casting about for our lost
road, we came upon a desolate little building, all alone in the middle
of the waste, which we had supposed to be a deserted ranch-house, and
were surprised to find several waggons standing about. Just as we
reached it, the owners of the waggons came out, and then we discovered
that it was the "meeting-house" for the scattered ranches round, and
seeing the several parties packing themselves into the different
waggons remembered (from a certain Sabbatical smartness of apparel)
that it was Sunday. We were soon on our right road again, and passing
the hamlets of Inverary and Elsinore on the right, came in sight of
Monroe, and through a long prelude of cultivation reached that quaint
little village just apparently at the fashionable hour for girls to go
out riding with their beaux.

Couple after couple passed us, the girls riding pillion behind their
sweethearts, and very well contented they all seemed to be, with their
arms round the object of their affections. Except in France once or
twice, I do not recollect ever having seen this picturesque old custom
in practice; but judging from the superior placidity of his countenance
and the merriment on hers, I should say it was an enjoyable one, and
perhaps worth reviving.

Another interesting feature of Sunday evening in Monroe was the big
drum. It appeared that the arrival of the Apostle who was with me had
been expected, and that the people, who are everywhere most curiously
on the alert for spiritual refreshment, had agreed that if the Apostle
on arriving felt equal to holding a meeting, the big drum was to be
beaten. In due course, therefore, a very little man disappeared inside
a building and shortly reappeared in custody of a very big drum, which
he proceeded to thump in a becoming Sabbatical manner. But whether the
drum or the association of old band days overcame him, or whether the
devil entered into him or into the drum, it is certain that he soon
drifted into a funereal rendering of "Yankee Doodle." He was conscious,
moreover, of his lapse into weekday profanity, and seemed to struggle
against it by beating ponderous spondees. But it was of no use. Either
the drum or the devil was too big for him, and the solemn measure
kept breaking into patriotic but frivolous trochaics. Attracted by
these proceedings, the youth of the neighbourhood had collected, and
their intelligent aversion to monopolists was soon apparent by their
detaching the little barnacle from his drum and subjecting the resonant
instrument to a most irregular bastinado. They all had a go at it, both
drumsticks at once, and the result was of a very unusual character,
as neither of the performers could hear distinctly what was going
on on the other side of the drum, and each, therefore, worked quite
independently. In the meanwhile some one had procured a concertina,
and this, with a dog that had a fine falsetto bark, constituted a very
respectable "band" in point of noise. Thus equipped, the lads started
off to beat up the village, and working with that enthusiasm which
characterizes the self-imposed missions of youth, were very successful.
Everybody came out to their doors to see what was going on, and having
got so far, they then went on to the meeting. By twos and threes and
occasional tens the whole village collected inside the meeting-house,
or round the door unable to get in, and I must confess that looking
round the room, I was surprised at the number of pretty peasant faces
that Monroe can muster.

And here for the first time I became aware of a very significant fact,
and one that well deserves notice, though I have never heard or seen
it referred to--I mean the number of handsome marriageable girls who
are unmarried in the Mormon settlements. Omitting other places, in each
of which many well-grown, comely girls can be found unmarried, I saw
in the hamlet of Monroe enough unwedded charms to make me think that
either the resident polygamist had very bad taste or very bad luck. My
host, a Mormon, was a widower (a complete widower I mean), and two very
pretty girls, neighbours, looked after his household affairs for him.
One was a blonde Scandinavian of Utah birth; the other a dark-haired
Scotch lassie emigrated three years ago--and each was just eighteen.
(And in the Western country eighteen looks three-and-twenty.) I asked
my host why he did not marry one of them, or both, and he told me that
he had a family growing up, and that he had so often seen quarrels and
separations result from the remarriage of fathers that he did not care
to risk it.

And the Apostle, who was present, said, "Quite right."

Now please remember this was in polygamous Utah, in a secluded village,
entirely Mormon, where, if anywhere, men and women might surely do as
they pleased. In any monogamous society such a reason, followed by the
approval of a Church dignitary, would not be worth commenting on, but
here among Mormons it was significant enough.

I spoke to the girls, and asked them why they had not married.

"Because the right man has not come along yet," said one.

"But perhaps when the right man does come along he will be married
already," I said.

"And why should that make any difference?" was the reply.

In the meantime each of these shapely daughters of Eve had a "beau" who
took her out riding behind him, escorted her home from meeting, and so
forth. But neither of them had found "the right man."

Of Monroe, therefore, one of those very places, retired from
civilization, "where the polygamous Mormon can carry on his beastly
practices undetected, and therefore unpunished"--as the scandalous
clique of Salt Lake City (utterly ignorant of Mormonism except what it
can pick up from apostates) is so fond of alleging--I can positively
state from personal knowledge that there are both men and women there
who are guided in matters of marriage by the very same motives and
principles that regulate the relation in monogamous society. Further, I
can positively state the same of several other settlements, and judging
from these, and from Salt Lake City, I can assure my readers that the
standard of public morality among the Mormons of Utah is such as the
Gentiles among them are either unable or unwilling to live up to.

In this connexion it is worth noting that public morality has in Utah
one safeguard, over and above all those of other countries, namely, the
strict surveillance of the Church. I have enjoyed while in Utah such
exceptional advantages for arriving at the truth, as both Gentiles and
Mormons say have never been extended to any former writer, and among
other facts with which I have become acquainted is the silent scrutiny
into personal character which the Church maintains.

Profanity, intemperance, immorality, and backbiting are taken quiet
note of, and if persisted in against advice, are punished by a gradual
withdrawal of "fellowship;" and result in what the Gentiles call
"apostasy." Among the standing instructions of the teachers of the
wards is this:--

"If persons professing to be members of the Church be guilty of
allowing drunkenness, Sabbath-breaking, profanity, defrauding or
backbiting, or any other kind of wickedness or unrighteous dealing,
they should be visited and their wrong-doing pointed out to them in the
spirit of brotherly kindness and meekness, and be exhorted to repent."

If they do not repent, they find the respect, then the friendship, and
finally the association, of their co-religionists withheld from them,
and thus tacitly ostracized by their own Church, they "apostatize" and
carry their vices into the Gentile camp, and there assist to vilify
those who have already pronounced them unfit to live with honest men or
virtuous women.



CHAPTER XV.

AT MONROE.

    "Schooling" in the Mormon districts--Innocence as to whisky,
    but connoisseurs in water--"What do you think of that water,
    sir?"--Gentile dependents on Mormon charity--The one-eyed
    rooster--Notice to All!

SITTING at the door next morning, I saw a very trimly-dressed damsel
of twenty or thereabouts, coming briskly along under the trees, which
there, as in every other Mormon settlement, shade the side-walk. She
was the schoolmistress, I learned, and very soon her scholars began
to pass along. I had thus an opportunity of observing the curious,
happy-go-lucky style in which "schooling" is carried on, and I was
sorry to see it, for Mormonism stands urgently in need of more
education, and it is pure folly to spend half the revenue of the
Territory annually in a school establishment, if the children and
their parents are permitted to suppose that education is voluntary
and a matter of individual whim. Some of the leading members of the
Church are conspicuous defaulters in this matter, and do their families
a gross wrong by setting "the chores" and education before them as
being of equal importance. Even in the highest class of the community
children go to school or stay away almost as they like, and provided a
little boy or girl has the shrewdness to see that he or she can relieve
the father or mother from trouble by being at home to run errands and
do little jobs about the house, they can, I regret to think, regulate
the amount of their own schooling as they please. I know very well
that Utah compares very favourably, on paper, with the greater part
of America, but I have compiled and examined too many educational
statistics in my time to have any faith in them.

But in the matter of abstinence from strong drink and stimulants, the
leaders of the Church set an admirable example, and I found it very
difficult most of the time, and quite impossible part of it, to keep my
whisky flask replenished.

My system of arriving at the truth as to the existence of spirit stores
in any particular settlement, was to grumble and complain at having
no whisky, and to exaggerate my regrets at the absence of beer. The
courtesy of my hosts was thus challenged, and of the sincerity of the
efforts made to gratify my barbaric tastes, I could have no doubt
whatever. In most cases they were quite ignorant of even the cost
of liquor, and on one occasion a man started off with a five-dollar
piece I had given him to get me "five dollars' worth of whisky in this
bottle," pointing to my flask. I explained to him that I only wanted
the flask replenished, and that there would be change to bring back. He
did not get any at all, however.

On one occasion the Bishop brought in, in evident triumph, two bottles
of beer. On another I went clandestinely with a Mormon, after dark, and
drank some whisky "as a friend," and not as a customer, with another
Mormon, who "generally kept a bottle on hand" for secret consumption.
That they would both have been ashamed for their neighbours to know
what they were about, I am perfectly convinced. On a third occasion an
official brought me half a pint of whisky, and the price was a dollar.

Now it is quite impossible for me, who have thus made personal
experiment, to have any doubt as to the prevailing sobriety of these
people. I put them repeatedly to the severest test that you can
apply to a hospitable man, by asking point-blank for ardent spirits.
Sometimes, in an off-hand way, I would give money and the flask to a
lad, and ask him to "run across to the store and get me a little whisky
or brandy." He would take both and meander round in an aimless sort of
way. But I might almost as well have asked him to go and buy me a few
birds-of-paradise or advance sheets of the "Encyclopaedia Britannica."
The father or a neighbour might perhaps suggest a "likely" place to get
some stimulant, but, as a rule, the quest was unconditionally abandoned
as hopeless.

The Elders of the Church set a strict example themselves, discouraging,
by their own abstinence, indulgence even in tea and coffee. You are
asked in a settlement whether you will have tea or coffee, just as in
England you would be asked whether you would drink ale or claret. A
strong man takes a cup of tea as a lady in Europe might take a glass of
sherry, as justified by unusual exercise and fatigue. Being a Londoner,
I entertain a most wholesome suspicion of water as a drink, and I
reverence fresh milk. In rural Utah, milk being so abundant, the people
think little of it, but they pride themselves on their water.

"What do you think of that water, sir?" was a question that puzzled me
to answer at first, for I am not a connoisseur in drinking-water. If
it had been a claret, I might have made a pretence of criticism. But
water! Or if they had let me wash in it, I would have told them whether
I thought it "hard" or "soft." But to pass an opinion on a particular
tumbler of water, as if it were a special brand laid down by my host
for his own drinking, completely puzzled me. I can no more tell waters
apart than I can tell Chinamen. Of course I can discriminate between
the outcome of the sea and of sulphur springs. But for the rest, it
seems to me that they only differ in their degrees of cleanliness, or,
as scientific men say, to "the properties which they hold in solution,"
that is mud. And mud, I take it, is always pretty much the same.

So at first when my host would suddenly turn to me with, "What do you
think of that water, sir?" I made the mistake of supposing it might be
one of the extraordinary aqueous novelties for which this territory
is so remarkable--hot-geyser water or petrifying water, or something
else of the kind--and would smack my lips critically and venture on a
suggestion of "lime," or "soda," or "alkali." But my host was always
certain to be down with, "Oh, no; I assure you. That is reckoned the
best water in the county!"

I soon discovered, however, that the right thing to say was that I
preferred it, "on the whole," to the water at the last place. This was
invariably satisfactory--unless, of course, there was a resident of
"the last place" present, when an argument would ensue. These people,
in fact, look upon their drinking-water just as on the continent they
look upon their vins ordinaires, or in England upon their local brews,
and to the last I could not help being delighted at the manner in
which a jug of water and tumblers were handed about among a party of
fatigued and thirsty travellers. I always took my share becomingly, but
sometimes, I must confess, with silent forebodings.

For in some places there are springs which petrify, by coating with
lime, any substance they flow over, and I did not anticipate with any
gratification having my throat lined with cement, or my stomach faced
with building-stone.

"Who are those children?" said I to my host at Munroe, pointing to
two ragged little shoeless waifs that were standing in his yard and
evidently waiting to be taken notice of. Instead of replying, my host
turned towards them.

"Well, Jimmy," said he, "what is it to-day?"

The wistful eyes looking out from under the tattered, broad-brimmed
hats, brightened into intelligence.

"Another chicken for mother," said both together, promptly; and then,
as if suddenly overtaken by a sense of their audacity, the forlorn
little lads dropped their eyes and stood there, holding each other's
hands, as picturesque and pathetic a pair as any beggar children in
Italy. In the full sunlight, but half shaded by the immense brims of
those wonderfully ancient hats, the urchins were irresistibly artistic,
and if met with anywhere in the Riviera, would have been sure of that
small-change tribute which the romantic tourist pays with such pleasant
punctuality to the picturesque poverty of Southern childhood. But this
was in Utah.

And my host looked at them from under his tilted straw hat. They stood
in front of him as still as sculptors' models, but fingers and toes
kept exchanging little signals of nervous distress.

"All right. Go and get one," said my host suddenly. "Take the young
rooster that's blind of one eye."

He had to shout the last instructions in a rapid crescendo as the
youngsters had sprung off together at the word "go," like twin shafts
from those double-arrowed bows of the old Manchurian archers. Three
minutes later and a most woful scrawking heralded the approach of
the captors and the captive. The young rooster, though blind of one
eye, saw quite enough of the situation to make him apprehensive, but
the younger urchin had him tight under his arm, and, still under the
exciting influences of the chase and capture, the boys stood once more
before my host, with panting bodies, flushed cheeks, and tufts of
yellow hair sprouting out through crevices of those wondrous old hats,
which had evidently just seen service in the capture. And the rooster,
feeling, perhaps, that he was now before the final court of appeal,
scrawked as if machinery had got loose inside him and he couldn't stop
it.

"How's your (scraw-w-w-k) mother?"

She's (scraw-w-w-k)--and she's (scraw-w-w-k) nothing to eat all
yesterday." (Scraw-w-k.)

"Go on home, then."

And away down the middle of the road scudded the little fellows in a
confusion of dust and scrawk.

"Who are those children?" I asked again, thinking I had chanced on that
unknown thing, a pauper Mormon.

"Oh," said my host, "he's a bad lot--an outsider--who came in here as a
loafer, and deserted his wife. She's very ill and pretty nigh starving.
Ay, she would starve, too, if her boys there didn't come round regular,
begging of us. But loafers know very well that 'those----Mormons' won't
let anybody go hungry. Ay, and they act as if they knew it, too."

In other settlements there are exactly such similar cases, but I would
draw the attention of my readers--I wish I could draw the attention
of the whole nation to it--to the following notice which stands to
this day with all the force of a regular by-law in these Mormon
settlements:--

    "NOTICE TO ALL.

    "If there are any persons in this city who are destitute of food,
    let them be who they may, if they will let their wants be known to
    me, privately or otherwise, I will see that they are furnished with
    food and lodging until they can provide for themselves. The bishops
    of every ward are to see that there are no persons going hungry.

    "(Signed by the Presiding Bishop.)"

Now it may be mere "sentiment" on my part, but I confess that this
"Notice to All," in the simplicity of its wording, in the nobility of
its spirit, reads to me very beautifully. And what a contrast to turn
from this text of a universal charity, that is no respecter of persons,
to the infinite meanness of those who can write, as in the Salt Lake
Tribune, of the whole community of Mormons as the villainous spawn of
polygamy!"

It is a recognized law among the Mormons that no tramp shall pass by
one of their settlements hungry; if it is at nightfall, he is to be
housed. Towards the Indians their policy is one of enlightened and
Christian humanity. For their own people their charity commences from
the first. Emigrated to this country by the voluntary donations which
maintain the "Perpetual Emigration Fund," each new arrival is met
with immediate care, and being passed on to his location, finds (as
I have described in another chapter) a system of mutual kindliness
prevailing which starts him in life. If sick, he is cared for. If he
dies, his family is provided for. All this is fact. I have read it in
no books, heard it from no hoodwinking elders. My informants are lads
just arrived in Salt Lake City--within an hour or two of their arrival,
in fact; young men just settling down in their first log hut in rural
settlements: grown men now themselves engaged in the neighbourly duty
of assisting new-comers.

I have met and talked to those men--Germans, Scandinavians,
Britishers--in their own homes here in Utah, and have positively
assured myself of the fact I state, that charity, unquestioning,
simple-hearted charity, is one of the secrets of the strength of this
wonderful fabric of Mormonism. The Mormons are, more nearly than any
other community in the world on such a scale, one family. Every man
knows all the rest of his neighbours with an intimacy and a neighbourly
interest that is the result of reciprocal good services in the past.
This is their bond of union. In India there is "the village community"
which moves, though in another arc, on the same plane as the Mormon
settlement system. There, to touch one man's crop is to inflame the
whole clan with the sense of a common injury. Here it is much the same.
And as it is between the different individuals in a settlement, so it
is between the different settlements in the territory. A brutal act,
like that eviction of the Mormon postmaster at Park City the other
day, disturbs the whole of Mormonism with apprehensions of impending
violence. A libel directed at a man or woman in Salt Lake City makes a
hundred thousand personal enemies in Utah. Now, with what petard will
you hoist such a rock?

Induce these Mormons to hate one another "for all the world like
Christians," as George Eliot said, and they can be snapped as easily
as the philosopher's faggots when once they were unbundled. But in
the meantime abuse of individuals or "persecution" of a class simply
cements the whole body together more firmly than ever. Mutual charity
is one of the bonds of Mormon union. It is the secret of this "oneness"
which makes the Salt Lake Tribune yelp so.



CHAPTER XVI.

JACOB HAMBLIN.

    A Mormon missionary among the Indians--The story of Jacob Hamblin's
    life--His spiritualism, the result of an intense faith--His good
    work among the Lamanites--His belief in his own miracles.

LEAVING Munroe, we find cultivation gradually disappearing, and, after
two or three miles, unmitigated brush supervenes. A steep divide now
thrusts itself across the road, and, traversing near the summit a
patch of pebbly ground which seemed a very paradise for botanists, we
descend again into a wilderness of grease-wood, "the unspeakable Turk"
among vegetables. The mountains between which we pass provide, however,
a succession of fine views. They are of that bulky, broad-based and
slowly sloping type that is so much more solemn and impressive than
jagged, sharp-pointed and precipitous formations.

A few miles more bring us to one of them, and for the first time during
the journey our road runs through the thickly growing "cedars" which we
have hitherto seen only at a distance lying like dark clouds upon the
hill-sides and black drifts in the gulches. The wild flowers growing
under these "cedars" (and the pines which are sprinkled among them) are
of new varieties to me, and I enjoyed a five-mile walk in this novel
vegetation immensely. A few years ago, though, "Mr. Indian" would have
made himself too interesting to travellers for men to go wandering
about among the cedars picking posies. They would have found those
"arrows tipped with jasper," which are so picturesque in Hiawatha,
flying about instead of humming-birds tipped with emerald, and a
tomahawk hurtling through the bushes would have been more likely to
excite remark than the blue magpies which I saw looking after snails.

This district was, until very recently, a favourite hunting-ground of
those Indians of whom old Jacob Hamblin was the Nestor--the guide,
philosopher, friend, and victim. One day they would try "to fill his
skin full of arrows;" on the next day they would be round him, asking
him to make rain-medicine. They would talk Mormonism with him all day,
and grunt approvingly; as soon as night fell they would steal his
horse. He was always patching up peace between this tribe and that, yet
every now and then they would catch him, have a great pow-wow over him,
and being unable to decide whether he should be simply flayed or be
roasted first over a charcoal fire, would let him go, with provisions
and an escort for his home journey.

His life, indeed, was so wonderful--much more fascinating than any
fiction--that I am not surprised at his believing, as he does, that
he is under the special protection of Heaven, and, as he says, in a
private covenant with the Almighty that "if he does not thirst for
the blood of the Lamanites, his blood shall never be shed by them."
He began life as a farmer near Chicago, but being baptized received
at once "the immediate gift of the Holy Ghost," and at once entered
upon a career of "miracles" and "prophecies" that when told in serious
earnest are sufficient to stagger even Madame Blavatsky herself. He
cured his neighbours of deadly ailments by the laying on of hands, and
foretold conversions, deaths, and other events with unvarying accuracy.
By prolonged private meditation he enjoyed what, from his description,
must be a pregustation of the Buddhistic Nirvana, and after this,
miracles became quite commonplace with him. He witnessed the "miracle"
of the great quail flights into the camp of the fugitive and starving
Saints in 1846, and helped to collect the birds and to eat them; he saw
also the "miraculous" flights of seagulls that rescued the Mormons from
starvation by destroying the locusts in 1848.

But his personal experiences, narrated with a simplicity of speech and
unquestioning confidence that are bewildering, were really marvellous.
If cattle were lost, he could always dream where they were. If sickness
prevailed, he knew beforehand who would suffer, and which of them would
die, and which of them recover. If Indians were about, angels gave
him in his sleep the first warnings of his danger. His sympathy with
the Indians was, however, very early awakened, and being strengthened
in it by the conciliatory Indian policy of Brigham Young, he became
before long the only recognized medium of friendly communication with
them. Everybody, whether Federal officials, California emigrants,
Mormon missionaries, or Indians themselves, enlisted his influence
whenever trouble with the tribes was anticipated. His own explanation
of this influence is remarkable enough. As a young man, he says, he was
sometimes told off to join retributive expeditions, but he could never
bring himself to fire at an Indian, and on one occasion, when he did
try to do so, his rifle kept missing fire, while "the Lamanites," with
equally ineffectual efforts to shed his blood, kept on pincushioning
the ground all around him with their futile arrows. After this he and
the Indians whenever they met, spared each other's lives with punctual
reciprocity.

On one occasion he dreamed that he was walking in a friendly manner
with some of the members of a certain tribe, when he picked up a piece
of a shining substance, which stuck to his fingers. The more he tried
to rub it off the brighter it became. One would naturally, under such
circumstances, anticipate the revelation of a gold-mine, but Jacob
Hamblin, without any questioning, went off at once to the tribe in
question. They received him as friends, and he stayed with them. One
day, passing a lodge, "the Spirit" whispered to him, "Here is the
shining substance you saw in your dream." But all he saw was a squaw
and a boy papoose. However, he went up to the squaw, and asked for the
boy. She naturally demurred to the request, but to her astonishment the
boy, gathering up his bow and arrows, urged compliance with it, and
Hamblin eventually led off his dream-revealed "lump." After a while he
asked the boy how it was he was so eager to come, though he had never
seen a white man before, and the boy answered, "My Spirit told me that
you were coming to my father's lodge for me on a certain day, and that
I was to go with you, and when the day came I went out to the edge
of the wood, and lit a fire to show you the way to me." And Hamblin
then remembered that it was the smoke of a fire that had led him to
that particular camp, instead of another towards which he had intended
riding!

By way of a parenthesis, let me remark here that if there are any
"Spiritualists" among my readers, they should study Mormonism. The
Saints have long ago formulated into accepted doctrines those mysteries
of the occult world which Spiritualists outside the faith are still
investigating. Your "problems" are their axioms.

This Indian boy became a staunch Mormon, and to the last was in
communion with the other world. Remember I am quoting Hamblin's words,
not in any way endorsing them. In 1863 he was at St. George, and one
day when his friends were starting on a mission to a neighbouring
tribe, he took farewell of them "for ever." "I am going on a mission,
too," he said. "What do you mean?" asked Hamblin. "Only that I shall be
dead before you come back," was the Indian's reply. "I have seen myself
in a dream preaching the gospel to a multitude of my people, and my
ancestors were among them. So I know that I must be a spirit too before
I can carry the Word to spirits." In six weeks Hamblin returned to St.
George; and the Indian was dead.

Brigham Young, as I have said, insisted upon a conciliatory policy
towards the Indians. He made in person repeated visits to the missions
at work among them, and was never weary of advising and encouraging.
Here is a portion of one of his letters: does it read like the
words of a thoroughly bad man?--"Seek by words of righteousness to
obtain the love and confidence of the tribes. Omit promises where
you are not sure you can fulfil them. Seek to unite your hearts in
the bonds of love. . . . May the Spirit of the Lord direct you, and
that He may qualify you for every duty is the constant prayer of your
fellow-labourer in the gospel of salvation, Brigham Young." Here
is a part of another letter: "I trust that the genial and salutary
influences now so rapidly extending to the various tribes, may continue
till it reaches every son and daughter of Abraham in their fallen
condition. The hour of their redemption draws nigh, and the time is not
far off when they shall become a people whom the Lord will bless. . . .
The Indians should be encouraged to keep and take care of stock. I
highly apprcNe your design in doing your farming through the natives;
it teaches them to obtain a subsistence by their own industry, and
leaves you more liberty to extend your labours among others. . . .
You should always be careful to impress upon them that they should
not infringe on the rights of others, and our brethren should be very
careful not to infringe upon their rights in any particular, thus
cultivating honour and good principles in their midst by example as
well as by precept. As ever, your brother in the gospel of salvation,
Brigham Young."

These and other letters are exactly in the spirit of the correspondence
which, in the early days of England in Hindostan, won for the old
Court of Directors the eternal admiration of mankind and for England
the respect of Asia. Yet in Brigham Young's case is it ever carried
to his credit that he spent so much thought and time and labour over
the reclamation of the Indians, by a policy of kindness, and their
exaltation by an example of honourable dealing?

It was in this spirit that the Mormon missionaries went out to
the Indians then living in the part of the Territory over which I
travelled, and Jacob Hamblin was one eminently characteristic of the
type. Beyond all others, however, he sympathized with the red man's
nature. "I argue with him just as he argues," he said. He was on
good terms with the medicine-men, and took a delightful interest in
their ceremonies. But when they failed to bring rain with bonfires
and howling, he used to pray down abundant showers; when they gave up
tormenting the sick as past all hope, Hamblin restored the invalid to
life by the laying on of hands!

Once more let me say that I am only quoting, not indorsing. But I
do him a great injustice in not being able to convey in writing the
impressive simplicity of his language, his low, measured tones,
his contemplative, earnest attitude, his Indian-like gravity of
countenance. That he speaks the implicit truth, according to his own
belief, I am as certain as that the water of the Great Salt Lake is
salt.

His "occult" sympathies seemed at times to be magnetic, for when in
doubt as to whom to choose for his companion on a perilous journey,
some brother or other, the fittest person for the occasion, would
always feel mysteriously influenced to go to him to see if his services
were needed. His displeasure killed men, that is to say they went from
his presence, sickened and died. So frequent was this inexplicable
demise that the Indians worked out a superstition that evil befalls
those who rob or kill a Mormon; and so marked were the special
manifestations of the missionaries' spirit power, that, as Hamblin
says, "the Indians were without excuse for refusing conversion," and
were converted. "They looked to us for counsel, and learned to regard
our words as law." Though the missionaries were sometimes alone, and
the tribes around them of the most desperate kind, as "plundersome" as
wolves and at perpetual blood-feud with each other, the Mormons' lives
were quite safe. When they had determined on an atrocity--burning a
squaw, for instance--they would do it in the most nervous hurry, lest
a Mormon should come along and stop it, and when they had done it and
were reproached, they used to cry like children, and say they were only
Indians.

Tragedy and comedy went hand in hand; laughter at the ludicrous is cut
short by a shudder of horror. "We cannot be good; we must be Piutes.
Perhaps some of our children will be good. We're going off to kill
so-and-so. Whoop!" And away they would go, putting an arrow into the
missionary's horse as they passed. By-and-by the man who shot the arrow
would be found dead, killed by a Mormon's curse, and the rest would
be back at work in the settlement hoeing pumpkins--"for all the world
like Christians!" Through all these alternations of temper and fortune,
Jacob Hamblin retained his tender sympathy with the red men.

Their superstitious piety which, quaintly enough, he does not seem
to think is exactly like his own, attracted him. He found among
them tribes asking the blessing of the Great Father on their food
before they ate it; invoking the Divine protection on behalf of their
visitors; praying for protection when about to cross a river; returning
thanks for a safe return from a journey; always sending one of their
religious men to accompany any party about to travel, and so on. All
this the pious Mormon naturally respected. But over and above these
more ordinary expressions of piety, he found tribes that believed in
and acted upon dreams; that accepted the guidance of "second sight;"
that relied upon prayer for obtaining temporal necessaries; that lived
"by faith," and were awaiting the fulfilment of prophecy. In all this
the Mormon missionary sees nothing but common sense. For instance,
Hamblin said, "I know that some people do not believe in dreams and
night-visions. I myself do not believe in them when they arise from a
disordered stomach, but in other kinds I have been forewarned of coming
events, and received much instruction!" And, in the spirit of these
words, he thinks it the most natural thing in the world that Indians
should start off after a dream and find their lost cattle; suddenly
alter their course in a waterless journey, and come upon hitherto
unknown springs; predict the most impossible meetings with friends,
and avoid dangers that were not even anticipated. In the most serious
manner possible, he acquiesces in the Indians' theory of rain-getting,
and acts upon their clairvoyant advice. "The Lord," he says, "is
mindful of the prayers of these poor barbarians, and answers them with
the blessings they need." Seeing them quite sincere in their faith, he
joins them in their ceremonies of scattering consecrated meal to ensure
protection on a journey, believing himself that simple reliance on
Providence is all that men of honest lives need.

One tribe has a tradition that three prophets are to come to lead them
back to the lands that their fathers once possessed, that these are to
be preceded by good white men, but that the Indians are not to go with
them until after the three prophets have reappeared and told them what
to do. The Indians accept the Mormons as "the good white men" of the
tradition, but "the three prophets" not having reappeared, they refuse
to leave their villages (as the Mormons have wanted them to do), and
Hamblin has not a word to say against such "reasonable" objections.

Is it not wonderful to find men thus reverting to an intellectual
type that the world had supposed to be extinct? to find men, shrewd
in business, honest in every phase of temporal life, going back to
cheiromancy and hydromancy, and transacting temporal affairs at the
guidance of visions? An Indian prays for rain on his pumpkins, in
apparently the most unreasonable way, but the Mormon postpones his
departure till the rain that results is over. On his way he nearly
dies of thirst, prays for deliverance, and in half an hour snow falls
over a mile and a half of ground, melts and forms pools of water! What
are we to say of men who say such things as these? Are they all crazy
together? And what shall we think of the thousands here who believe
that miracles are the most ordinary, reasonable, natural, every-day
phenomena of a life of faith, and quote point-blank the promises of the
New Testament as a sufficient explanation? The best thing, perhaps, is
to say Hum meditatively, and think no more about it.



CHAPTER XVII.

THROUGH MARYSVALE TO KINGSTON.

    Piute Count---Days of small things--A swop in the sage-brush; two
    Bishops for one Apostle--The Kings Of Kingston--A failure in Family
    Communism.

FROM the brow of the cedared hill south of Munroe a splendid view
is obtained, and Piute County opens with fair promises; for a
superb-looking valley, all natural meadow, lies spread out on either
side of the Sevier, while from a gulch in the mountains on the right,
a stream of vegetation seems to have poured down across the level,
carrying along with its flood of cotton-wood and willow a few stately
old pine-trees. From among the vegetation peeps out a cluster of
miners' houses--for there are the Sevier mines up beyond that pine
gulch--and a ranch or two. Much of the enchantment of distance vanishes
of course as we come down to the level of the plains ourselves and
skirt it close under the hills on the left. But it is a fine location
nevertheless, and some day, no doubt, may be a populous valley. After a
mile or two it narrows, and we cross the river--a wooden bridge, with
a store and barns--("Lisonbee's place") making a pleasant interval of
civilization.

From "Lisonbee's" the road passes up on to and over a stony plateau,
and then descends into the valley again. Cattle and horses are grazing
in the meadow, and the dark patches of wire-grass are spangled with
yellow lupins, and tinted pink in places with patches of a beautiful
orchid-like flower. On the edge of this pleasant-looking tract stand
two small cottages, and to one of these we are welcomed by its
Mormon occupants. To me the whole country had an aspect of desperate
desolation. Yet our host had just come back from "the Post;" his
children were away "at school;" the newspaper on his table was the
latest we had ourselves seen. It is true that the post was literally
a post, with a cigar-box nailed on the top of it, standing all by
itself among the brushwood on the roadside. The school was a mile or
two off, "just over the hill," and, till the regular teacher came, a
volunteer was making shift to impart education to the little scholars
who came straggling over the dreary hill-sides by twos and threes.
Yet, rudimentary though they be, these are the first symptoms of
a civilization triumphing over sage-brush, and give even to such
desperately small beginnings a significance that is very interesting.
All the thriving settlements I have visited began exactly in the
same way--and under worse conditions, too, for the Indian was then a
stronger power than the Mormon.

Our host here had shot among the reeds in his meadow a large bird, the
size of an average goose, black with white spots, which he had been
told was "a loon." It was one of the larger "divers," its neck being
very long and snake-like, terminating in a comparatively small head,
its wings very short and its legs (the feet webbed) set, as in all
diving birds, far back on the body.

Leaving this very young "settlement," we found ourselves again in a
wretched, waterless country, where the vegetation did not compensate
for its monotony by any attractions of colour, nor the mountains for
their baldness by any variety of contour. Here and there stunted cedars
had huddled together for company into a gulch, as if afraid to be
scattered about singly on such lonesome hill-sides, and away on the
right, in a dip under the hills, we caught a glimpse of Marysvale.

Traversing this forbidding tract, we met another waggon on its way to
Munroe, and stopping to exchange greetings, it suddenly occurred to
one of the strangers that by our exchanging vehicles the horses and
their teamsters would both be going home instead of away from it, and
thus everybody be advantaged! The exchange was accordingly effected,
our teamster getting two Bishops in exchange for an Apostle and a
correspondent, and the waggons being turned round in their tracks, the
teams, to their unconcealed satisfaction, started off towards their
respective homes.

Sage-brush and sand, with occasional patches of tiresome rock
fragments and unlimited lizards--nature's hieroglyphics for sultry
sterility--were the only features of the journey. Away on our left,
however, the track of a water-channel, that when completed will turn
many thousands of these arid acres into farm-lands, scarred the red
hill-side, and told the same old story of Mormon industry. Where it
came from I have forgotten, where it was going to I do not remember,
but it was in sight off and on for some thirty miles, and was probably
carrying the waters of the Sevier on to the Circle-ville plains.

We are there ourselves in the evening, and passing through some
ploughed land and meadow, find ourselves upon the wind-swept, lonesome,
location of

THE KINGS OF KINGSTON.

Among the social experiments of Mormonism, the family communism of the
Kings of Kingston deserves a special notice, for, though in my own
opinion it is a failure, both financially and socially, the scheme is
probably one of the most curious attempts at solving a great social
problem that was ever made.

Kingston is the name of a hamlet of fifteen wooden cottages and a
stock-yard which has been planted in the centre of one Of the most
desolate plains in all the Utah Territory--a very Jehunnam of a
plain. Piute County, in which it is situated, is, as a rule, a most
forbidding section of country, and the Kingston "Valley" is perhaps
the dreariest spot in it. The mountains, stern and sterile, ring it in
completely, but on the south-east is a great canyon which might be the
very mouth of the cavern in which the gods used to keep their winds,
for a persistent, malignant wind is perpetually sweeping through it
on to the plain below, and the soil being light and sandy, the people
live for part of the year in a ceaseless dust-storm. One year they
sowed 300 acres with wheat, and the wind simply blew the crop away.
That which it could not actually displace, it kept rubbed down close to
the ground by the perpetual passage of waves of sand. They planted an
orchard, but some gooseberry bushes are the only remaining vestiges of
the plantation, and even these happen to be on the lee side of a solid
fence. They also set out trees to shade their houses, but the wind
worked the saplings round and round in their holes, so that they could
not take root. It can be easily imagined, therefore, that without a
tree, without a green thing except the reach of meadow land at the foot
of the hills, the Kingston plain, with its forlorn fifteen tenements,
looks for most of the year desolation itself. That any one should ever
have settled there is a mystery to all; that he should have remained
there is a simple absurdity, a very Jumbo of a folly. Yet here,
after five years of the most dismal experiences, I found some twenty
households in occupation.

At the time when Brigham Young was exerting himself to extend the
"United Order" (of which more when I come to Orderville), one of the
enthusiasts who embraced its principles was a Mr. King, of Fillmore.
He was a prosperous man, with a family well settled about him.
Nevertheless, he determined from motives of religious philanthropy to
begin life anew, and having sold off all that he possessed he emigrated
with his entire family into the miserable Piute country, selected in
an hour of infatuation the Kingston--then "Circleville"--location,
and announced that he was about to start a co-operative experiment
in farming and general industry on the basis of a household, with
patriarchal government, a purse in common, and a common table for all
to eat at together.

Having been permitted to examine the original articles of enrolment,
dated May 1, 1877--a document, by the way, curiously characteristic of
the whole undertaking, being a jumble of articles and by-laws written
on a few slips of ordinary paper, a miracle of unworldly simplicity and
in very indifferent spelling--I found the objects of "the company,"
as it is called, were "agricultural, manufacturing, commercial, and
other industrial pursuits," and the establishment and maintenance of
"colleges, seminaries, churches, libraries, and any other charitable
or scientific associations." It was to be superintended by a Board,
who were to be elected by a majority of the members, and to receive
for their services "the same wages as are paid to farm hands or other
common labourers."

To become members of this Family Order it was necessary that they
should "bequeath, transfer, and convey into the company all their
right, title, and interest to whatever property, whether personal or
real estate, that they were then possessed of, or might hereafter
become possessed of by legacy, will, or otherwise for the purposes
above mentioned, and further that they would labour faithfully and
honourably themselves, and cause their children who were under age to
labour under the direction of the Board Of Directors, the remuneration
for which shall be as fixed by the board both as to price and kind of
pay he or she shall receive." It was "furthermore understood and agreed
that a schedule or inventory of all property bequeathed or transferred
to the company should be kept, together with the price of each article,
that in case any party becomes dissatisfied or is called away, or
wishes to draw out, he can have as near as may be the same kind of
property, but in no case can he have real estate, only at the option of
the Board, nor shall interest or a dividend be paid on such property."

"We further agree" (so run the articles of this curious incorporation)
"that we will be controlled and guided in all our labour, in our food,
clothing, and habitations for our families" (by the Board), "being
frugal and economical in our manner of living and dress, and in no case
seek to obtain that which is above another."

"We also covenant and agree that all credits for labour that stand to
our names in excess of debits for food and clothing, shall become the
property of the company."

In these four articles is contained the whole of the principles of
this astonishing experiment. Men were to sell their all, and put the
proceeds into a family fund. Out of this, as the wages of their labour,
they were to receive food and other necessaries to the value of $1 a
day, and if at the end of the year their drawings exceeded the amount
of work put in the company "forgave" them the excess, while if their
earnings exceeded their drawings, they "forgave" the company. Thus the
accounts were annually squared by reciprocal accommodation.

If anyone seceded from the Order, he was entitled to receive back
exactly what he had contributed. Mr. King, the father, started by
putting in some $20,000, and his sons and others following suit,
the fund rose at once to some $40,000. (I would say here that the
entirely original method of "keeping the books" makes balance-striking
a difficulty.) With this sum, and so much labour at their disposal,
the Family Company should have been a brilliant success. But several
circumstances conspired disastrously against it. The first was the
unfortunate selection of location, for, in spite of the quantity of
promising land available elsewhere, Mr. King pitched his camp in the
wretched sand-drifts of the Piute section. The next was the ill-advised
generosity of the founders in inviting all the country round to
come and join them, with or without means, so long as they would be
faithful members of the Order. The result, of course, was an influx of
"deadheads"--the company indeed having actually to send out waggons to
haul in families who were too poor to be able to move themselves. Of
these new-comers only a proportion were worth anything to the young
settlement, for many came in simply for the certainty of a roof over
their heads and sufficient food. The result was most discouraging,
and in short time the more valuable adherents were disheartened, and
began to fall off, and now, five years from the establishment of the
company, there are only some twenty families left, and these are all
Kings or relatives of the Kings. The father himself is dead, but four
sons divide the patriarchal government between them, and, having again
reduced the scheme to a strictly family concern, they are thinking of a
fresh start.

What may happen in the future is not altogether certain, but it will be
strange if in this country where individual industry, starting without
a dollar, is certain of a competence, co-operative labour commencing
with funds in hand does not achieve success. At present the company
possesses, besides its land in the valley, and a mill and a woollen
factory, both commencing work, cattle and sheep worth about $10,000,
and horses worth some $12,000 more. This is a tolerable capital for an
association of hard-working men to begin with, but it is significant
of errors in the past that after five years of almost superhuman toil
they should find themselves no better off materially than when they
started. Nor, socially, has the experiment hitherto been a success, for
Kingston is, in my opinion, beyond comparison the lowest in the scale
of all the Mormon settlements that I have seen. It is poverty-stricken
in appearance; its houses outside and inside testify, in unmended
windows and falling plaster, to an absence of that good order which
characterizes so many other villages. The furniture of the rooms and
the quality of the food on the tables are poorer than elsewhere, and
altogether it is only too evident that this family communism has
dragged all down alike to the level of the poorest and the laziest of
its advocates, rather than raised all up to the level of the best off
and the hardest working. The good men have sunk, the others have not
risen, and if it were not so pathetic the Kingston phenomenon would be
exasperating.

But there is a very sincere pathos about this terrible sacrifice of
self for the common good. I do not mean theoretically, but practically.
The men of "the company" are the most saddening community I have ever
visited. They seem, with their gentle manners, wonderful simplicity
of speech, and almost womanly solicitude for the welfare of their
guests, to have lost the strong, hearty spirit which characterizes
these Western conquerors of the deserts. Yet even the hard-working
Mormons speak of them as veritable heroes in work. It is a common thing
to hear men say that "the Kingston men are simply killing themselves
with toil;" and when Western men talk of work as being too hard, you
may rely upon it it is something very exceptional. Almost against
hope these peasants have struggled with difficulties that even they
themselves confess seem insuperable. They have given Nature all the
odds they could, and then gone on fighting her. The result has been
what is seen to-day--a crushed community of men and enfeebled women,
living worse than any other settlement on the whole Mormon line.
Their own stout hearts refuse to believe that they are a failure; but
failure is written in large capital letters on the whole hamlet, and in
italics upon every face within it. The wind-swept sand-drifts in which
the settlement stands, the wretchedness of the tenements and their
surroundings, the haphazard composition of their food, their black
beans and their buffalo berries, the whistling of the wind as it drives
the sand through the boards of the houses, the howling of the coyotes
round the stock-yard--everything from first to last was in accord to
emphasize the desperate desolation. But those who have known them for
all the five years that the experiment has been under trial declare
that their present condition, lamentable as it is, is an improvement
upon their past. When they ate at a common table, the living, it is
said, was even more frugal than it is now, and there was hardly a piece
of crockery among them all, the "family" eating and drinking out of tin
vessels. The women, either from mismanagement among themselves, or want
of order among the men, were unable to bear the burden of ceaseless
cooking, and the common table was thereupon abandoned by a unanimous
vote.

Yet they are courtesy and hospitality itself, and their sufferings have
only clinched their piety. They have not lost one iota of their faith
in their principles, though staggering under the conviction of failure.
Their children have regular schooling, the women are scrupulously neat
in their dress, while profanity and intemperance are unknown.



CHAPTER XVIII.

FROM KINGSTON TO ORDERVILLE.

    On the way to Panguitch--Section-houses not Mormon homes--Through
    wild country--Panguitch and its fish--Forbidden pleasures--At the
    source of the Rio Virgin--The surpassing beauty of Long Valley--The
    Orderville Brethren--A success in Family Communism.

NEXT day we started over the hills for Panguitch, some forty miles
off. And here, by the roadside, was pointed out to me one of those
"section-houses" which a traveller in Utah once mistook for Mormon
"homes," and described "cabins, ten feet by six, built of planks, one
window with no glass in it, one doorway with no door in it." This is an
accurate description enough of a section-house, but it is a mistake to
suppose that any one ever lives in it, as section-houses are only put
up to comply with the Homestead Act, which stipulates for a building
with one doorway and one window being erected upon each lot within a
certain period of its allotment. But they do duty all the same in a
certain class of literature as typical of the squalid depravity of
the Mormons, for, being inhabited by Mormons, it follows, of course,
that several wives, to say nothing of numerous children, have all to
sleep together "on the floor of the single room the house contains!"
Isn't this a dreadful picture! And are not these large polygamous
families who live in section-houses a disgrace to America? But,
unfortunately for this telling picture, the only "inhabitants" of these
section-houses are Gentile tramps.

A rough hill-road, strewn with uncompromising rocks, jolted us for
some miles, and then we crossed a stream-bed with some fine old pines
standing in it, and beds of blue lupins brightening the margin, and
so came down to the river level, and along a lane running between
hedges of wild-rose and redberry (the "opie" of the Indians) tangled
with clematis and honeysuckle, and haunted by many birds and brilliant
butterflies. The river bubbled along among thickets of golden currant
and red willow, and mallards with russet heads floated in the quiet
backwaters, by the side of their dames all dressed in dainty grey. It
was altogether a charming passage in a day of such general dreariness,
reminding one of a pleasant quotation from some pretty poem in the
middle of a dull chapter by some prosy writer.

But the dulness recommences, and then we find ourselves at a wayside
farm, where a couple of fawns with bells round their necks are keeping
the calves company, and some boys are fishing on a little log bridge.
These fish must have been all born idiots, or been stricken with
unanimous lunacy in early youth, for the manner of their capture
was this. The angler lay on his stomach on the "bridge" (it was a
three foot and a half stream), with one eye down between two of the
logs. When he saw any fish he thrust his "rod"--it was more like a
penholder--through the space, and held it in front of the fishes'
noses. At the end of the rod were some six inches of string, with a
hook tied on with a large knot, and baited with a dab of dough. When
the fish had got thoroughly interested in the dough, the angler would
jerk up his rod, and by some unaccountable oversight on the part of
the fishes it was found that about once in fifty jerks a fish came up
out of the water! They seemed tome to be young trout; but, whatever
the species, they must have been the most imbecile of finned things. I
suggested catching them with the finger and thumb, but the boys giggled
at me, as "the fish wouldn't let ye." But I am of a different opinion,
for it seemed to me that fish that would let you catch them with such
apparatus, would let you catch them without any at all.

From here to Panguitch the road lies through stony country of the
prevalent exasperating type until we reach the precincts of the
settlement, heralded long before we reach it by miles of fencing that
enclose the grazing-land stretching down to the river. A detestable
road, broken up and swamped by irrigation channels, leads into the
settlement, and the poor impression thus received is not removed as we
pass through the treeless "streets" and among the unfenced lots. But
it is an interesting spot none the less, for apart from its future,
it is a good starting-point for many places of interest. But I should
like to have visited Red Lake and Panguitch Lake. "Panguitch," by the
way, means "fish" in the red man's language, and it is no wonder,
therefore, that at breakfast we enjoyed one of the most splendid dishes
of mountain-lake trout that was ever set before man. It is a great fish
certainly--and I prefer it broiled. To put any sauce to it is sheer
infamy.

The beaver, by the way, is still to be trapped here, and the grizzly
bear is not a stranger to Panguitch.

Looking out of the window in the evening, I saw a cart standing by
the roadside, and a number of men round it. Their demeanour aroused
my curiosity, for an extreme dejection had evidently marked them for
its own. Some sate in the road as if waiting in despair for Doomsday;
others prowled round the cart and leant in a melancholy manner against
it. The cart, it appeared, had come from St. George, the vine-growing
district in the south of the territory, and contained a cask of wine.
But as there was no licence in Panguitch for the sale of liquors, it
could not be broached! I never saw men look so wretchedly thirsty
in my life, and if glaring at the cask and thumping it could have
emptied it, there would not have been a drop left. It was a delightful
improvement upon the tortures of Tantalus, but the victims accepted the
joke as being against them, and though they watched the cart going away
gloomily enough, there was no ill-temper.

From Panguitch to Orderville, fifty miles, the scenery opens with
the dreary hills that had become so miserably familiar, alternating
with level pasture-lands, among which the serpentine Sevier winds a
curiously fantastic course. But gradually there grows upon the mind a
sense of coming change. Verdure creeps over the plains, and vegetation
steals on to the hill-sides, and then suddenly as if for a surprise,
the complete beauty of Long Valley bursts upon the traveller. I cannot
in a few words say more of it than that this valley--through which the
Rio Virgin flows, and in which the Family Communists of Orderville have
pitched their tents--rivals in its beauty the scenery of Cashmere.

Springing from a hill-side, beautiful with flowering shrubs and
instinct with bird life, the Virgin River trickles through a deep
meadow bright with blue iris plants and walled in on either side by
hills that are clothed with exquisite vegetation, and then, collecting
its young waters into a little channel, breaks away prattling into
the valley. Corn-fields and orchards, and meadows filled with grazing
kine, succeed each other in pleasant series, and on the right hand
and on the left the mountains lean proudly back with their loads of
magnificent pine. And other springs come tumbling down to join the
pretty river, which flows on, gradually widening as it goes, past
whirring saw-mills and dairies half buried among fruit-trees, through
park-like glades studded with pines of splendid girth, and pretty
brakes of berry-bearing trees all flushed with blossoms. And the valley
opens away on either side into grassy glens from which the tinkle of
cattle-bells falls pleasantly on the ear, or into bold canyons that
are draped close with sombre pines, and end in the most magnificent
cathedral cliffs of ruddy sandstone.

What lovely bits of landscape! What noble studies of rock architecture!
It is a very panorama of charms, and, travelled widely as I have, I
must confess to an absolute novelty of delight in this exquisite valley
of

THE ORDERVILLE BRETHREN.

Among the projects which occupied Joseph Smith's active brain was one
that should make the whole of the Mormon community a single family,
with a purse in common, and the head of the Church its head. In theory
they are so already. But Joseph Smith hoped to see them so in actual
practice also, and for this purpose--the establishment of a universal
family communism--he instituted "The Order of Enoch," or "The United
Order."

Why Enoch? The Mormons themselves appear to have no definite
explanation beyond the fact that Enoch was holy beyond all his
generation. But for myself, I see in it only another instance of
that curious sympathy with ancient tradition which Joseph Smith, and
after him Brigham Young, so consistently showed. They were both of
them as ignorant as men could be in the knowledge that comes from
books, and yet each of them must have had some acquaintance with the
mystic institutions of antiquity, or their frequent coincidence with
primitive ideas and schemes appears to me inexplicable. No man can in
these days think and act like an antediluvian by accident. Josephus
is, I find, a favourite author among the Mormons, and Josephus may
account for a little. Moreover, many of the Mormons, notably both
Presidents, are or were Freemasons, and this may account for some more.
But for the balance I can find no explanation. Now I remember reading
somewhere--perhaps in Sir Thomas Browne--that "the patriarchal Order
of Enoch" is an institution of prodigious antiquity; that Enoch in the
Hebrew means "the teacher;" that he was accepted in prehistoric days as
the founder of a self-supporting, pious socialism, which was destined
(should destruction overtake the world) to rescue one family at any
rate from the general ruin, and perpetuate the accumulated knowledge of
the past. And it is exactly upon these conditions that we find Joseph
Smith, fifty years ago, promulgating in a series of formulated rules,
the scheme of a patriarchal "Order of Enoch."

All Mormons are "elect." But even among the elect there is an
aristocracy of piety. Thus in Islam we find the Hajji faithful above
the faithful. In Hindooism the brotherhood of the Coolinsis accepted by
the gods above all the other "twice-born." Is it not, indeed, the same
in every religion--that there are the chosen within the chosen--"though
they were mighty men, yet they were not of the three"--a tenth legion
among the soldiers of Heaven--the archangels in the select ministry
of the Supreme? In Mormonism, therefore, if a man chooses, he may
consecrate himself to his faith more signally than his fellows, by
endowing the Church with all his goods, and accepting from the Church
afterwards the "stewardship" of a portion of his own property! It is
no mere lip-consecration, no Ritualists' "Order of Jesus," no question
of a phylactery. It means the absolute transfer of all property and
temporal interests, and of all rights of all kinds therein, to the
Church by a formal, legal process, and a duly attested deed. Here is
one:--

"Be it known by these presents, that I, Jesse W. Fox, of Great Salt
Lake City, in the county of Great Salt Lake, and territory of Utah,
for and in consideration of the sum of one hundred ($100) dollars and
the good-will which I have to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day
Saints, give and convey unto Brigham Young, trustee in trust for the
said Church, his successor in office and assigns, all my claims to and
ownership of the following-described property, to wit:

  One house and lot . . . . . . . . . . . . $1000
  One city lot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .100
  East half of lot 1, block 12 . . . . . . . . 50
  Lot 1, block 14 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .75
  Two cows, $50; two calves, $15 . . . . . . . 65
  One mare, $100; one colt, $50 . . . . . . . 150
  One watch, $20; one clock, $12 . . . . . . . 32
  Clothing, $300; beds and bedding, $125. . . 425
  One stove, $20; household furniture, $210. .230
                                              --
  Total . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $2127

together with all the rights, privileges, and appurtenances thereunto
belonging or appertaining. I also covenant and agree that I am the
lawful claimant and owner of said property, and will warrant and for
ever defend the same unto the said trustee in trust, his successor in
office and assigns, against the claims of my heirs, assigns, or any
person whomsoever."

Then follows the attestation of the witness; and the formal certificate
of the Judge of the Probate Court that "the signer of the above
transfer, personally known to me, appeared the second day of April,
1857, and acknowledged that he, of his own choice, executed the
foregoing transfer."

Such transfers of property are not, I know, infrequent in other
religions, notably the Roman Catholic, but the object of the Mormon's
piety distinguishes his act from that of others. Had Brigham Young
persevered in his predecessor's project, it is almost certain that he
would have established a gigantic "company" that would have controlled
all the temporal interests of the territory, and eventually comprised
the whole Mormon population. It is just possible that he himself
foresaw that such success would be ruin; that the foundations of
the Order would sink under such a prodigious superstructure, for he
diverted his attention from the main to subsidiary schemes. Instead of
one central organization sending out colonies on all sides of it, he
advised the establishment of branch communities, which might eventually
be gathered together under a single headquarters' control. The two
projects were the same as to results; they differed only as to the
means; and the second was the more judicious.

A few individuals came forward in their enthusiasm to give all they
possessed to a common cause, but the Order flagged, though, nominally,
many joined it. Thus, travelling through the settlements, I have
seen in a considerable number of homes the Rules of the Order framed
upon the walls. At any time these would be curious; to-day, when the
morality of the principles of Mormonism is challenged, they are of
special interest:--

"RULES THAT SHOULD BE OBSERVED BY MEMBERS OF THE UNITED ORDER.

"We will not take the name of the Deity in vain, nor speak lightly of
His character or of sacred things.

"We will pray with our families morning and evening, and also attend to
secret prayer.

"We will observe and keep the Word of Wisdom according to the spirit
and the meaning thereof.

"We will treat our families with due kindness and affection, and
set before them an example worthy of imitation. In our families and
intercourse with all persons, we will refrain from being contentious or
quarrelsome, and we will cease to speak evil of each other, and will
cultivate a spirit of charity towards all. We consider it our duty to
keep from acting selfishly or from covetous motives, and will seek the
interest of each other and the salvation of all mankind.

"We will observe the Sabbath day to keep it holy, in accordance with
the Revelations.

"That which is committed to our care we will not appropriate to our own
use.

"That which we borrow we will return according to promise, and that
which we find we will not appropriate to our own use, but seek to
return it to its proper owner.

"We will, as soon as possible, cancel all individual indebtedness
contracted prior to our uniting with the order, and, when once fully
identified with said order, will contract no debts contrary to the
wishes of the Board of Directors.

"We will patronize our brethren who are in the order.

"In our apparel and deportment we will not pattern after nor encourage
foolish and extravagant fashions, and cease to import or buy from
abroad any article which can be reasonably dispensed with, or which
can be produced by combination of home labour. We will foster and
encourage the producing and manufacturing of all articles needful for
our consumption as fast as our circumstances will permit.

"We will be simple in our dress and manner of living, using proper
economy and prudence in the management of all intrusted to our care.

"We will combine our labour for mutual benefit, sustain with our faith,
prayers, and works those whom we have elected to take the management of
the different departments of the order, and be subject to them in their
official capacity, refraining from a spirit of fault-finding.

"We will honestly and diligently labour and devote ourselves and all we
have to the order and to the building up Of the Kingdom of God."

Under these general regulations a great number, as I have said,
enrolled themselves, and they may be considered therefore to
constitute, as it were, a Knight Templar commandery within a
Fellowcraft lodge. All are "brethren;" these are illustrious brethren.
All are pashas; these are "of many tails." All are mandarins of heaven;
these wear the supreme button.

But the temporal object of the Order was not served by such transfers
of moral obligations; by the hypothecation of personal piety; by
the investment of spiritual principles in a common fund. You cannot
get much working capital out of mortgages on a man's soul. Calchas
complained bitterly when the Athenian public paid their vows to the
goddess in squashes. The collector, he said, would not take them in
payment of the water-rates. So it has fared with the Order of Enoch. It
is wealthy in good intentions, and if promises were dollars could draw
large checks.

Here and there, however, local fervour took practical shape. The Kings
of Kingston planted their family flag on the wind-swept Circleville
plain. At Sunset another communistic colony was established, and in
Long Valley, in the canyons of the Rio Virgin, was inaugurated the
"United Order of Orderville."

Situated in a beautiful valley that needs nothing more added to it to
make its inhabitants entirely self-supporting; directed and controlled
with as much business shrewdness as fervent piety; supported by its
members with a sensible regard for mutual interests--this Orderville
experiment bids fair to be a signal success. In their Articles Of
Association the members call themselves a Corporation which is "to
continue in existence for a period of twenty-five years," and of which
the objects are every sort of "rightful" enterprise and industry that
may render the Order independent of outside produce and manufactures,
"consistent with the Constitution of the United States and the laws of
this Territory." Its capital is fixed at $100,000, in 10,000 shares of
$10 each, and the entire control of its affairs is vested in a board
of nine directors, who are elected by a ballot of the whole community.
Article 13 "the individual or private property of the states that
stockholders shall not be liable for the debts or obligations of the
company." Article 15 is as follows: "The directors shall have the
right and power to declare dividends on said stock whenever, in their
judgment, there are funds for that purpose due and payable."

Now, in these two last articles lie the saving principles of the
Orderville scheme, Hitherto, from the beginning of the world,
experiments in communism have always split upon this rock, namely,
that individuality was completely crushed out. No man was permitted
to possess "private" property--he was l'enfant de la République, body
and soul--and no man, therefore, had sufficient personal identity
to make it possible for individual profits to accrue to him. And
so the best of the young men--let the experiment be at any date in
history you like--became dissatisfied with the level at which they
were kept, and they seceded. They insisted on having names of their
own, and refused to be merely, like the members of a jail republic,
known by numbers. Individuality and identity are the original data
of human consciousness. They are the first solid facts which a baby
masters and communicates; they are the last that old age surrenders to
infirmity and death. But in Orderville, it will be seen, the notion of
"private" property exists. It is admitted that there is such a thing
as "individual" ownership. Moreover, it is within the power of the
board to pay every man a dividend. This being the case, this particular
experiment in communism has the possibility of great success, for its
members are not utterly deprived of all individuality. They have some
shreds of it left to them.

To become a member of the Order there is no qualification of property
necessary. The aged and infirm are accepted in charity. Indeed, at one
time they threatened to swamp the family altogether, for the brethren
seemed to have set out with a dead-weight upon them heavier than they
could bear. But this has righted itself. The working members have got
the ship round again, and in one way or another a place and a use has
been found for every one. Speaking generally, however, membership
meant the holding of stock in the corporation. If a man wished to
join the Order, he gave in to the Bishop a statement of his effects.
It was left to his conscience that this statement should be complete
and exhaustive; that there should be no private reservations. These
effects--whatever they might be, from a farm in another part of the
Territory to the clothes in his trunk--were appraised by the regular
staff, and the equivalent amount in stock, at $10 a share, was issued
to them. From that time his ownership in his property ceased. His books
would perhaps go into the school-house library, his extra blankets next
door, his horse into a neighbour's team. According to his capacities,
also, he himself fell at once into his place among the workers, going
to the woollen factory or the carpenter's shop, the blacksmith's forge
or the dairy, the saw-mills or the garden, the grist-mill or the
farm, according as his particular abilities gave promise of his being
most useful. His work here would result, as far as he was personally
concerned, in no profits. But he was assured of a comfortable house,
abundant food, good clothes. The main responsibilities of life were
therefore taken off his shoulders. The wolf could never come to his
door. He and his were secured against hunger and cold. But beyond
this? There was only the approbation of his companions, the reward
of his conscience. With the proceeds of his labour, or by the actual
work of his own hands, he saw new buildings going up, new acres coming
under cultivation. But none of them belonged to him. He never became a
proprietor, an owner, a master. While therefore he was spared the worst
responsibilities of life, he was deprived of its noblest ambitions.
He lived without apprehensions, but without hopes too. If his wife
was ill or his children sickly, there were plenty of kind neighbours
to advise and nurse and look after them. No anxieties on such matters
need trouble him. But if he had any particular taste--music, botany,
anything--he was unable to gratify it, unless these same kindly
neighbours agreed to spend from the common fund in order to buy him
a violin or a flower-press--and they could hardly be expected to
do so. Quite apart from the fact that a man learning to play a new
instrument is an enemy of his kind, you could not expect a community of
graziers, farmers, and artisans to be unanimously enthusiastic about
the musical whims of one of their number, still less for his "crank"
in collecting "weeds"--as everything that is not eatable (or is not a
rose) is called in most places of the West. Tastes, therefore, could
not be cultivated for the want of means, and any special faculties
which members might individually possess were of necessity kept in
abeyance. Amid scenery that might distract an artist, and fossil and
insect treasures enough to send men of science crazy, the community
can do nothing in the direction of Art or of Natural History, unless
they all do it together. For the Order cannot spare a man who may be a
good ploughman, to go and sit about in the canyons painting pictures
of pine-trees and waterfalls. Nor can it spare the money that may be
needed for shingles in buying microscopes for a "bug-hunter." The
common prosperity, therefore, can only be gained at a sacrifice of all
individual tastes. This alone is a very serious obstacle to success of
the highest kind. But in combination with this is of course the more
general and formidable fact that even in the staple industries of the
community individual excellence brings with it no individual benefits.
A moral trades-unionism planes all down to a level. It does not, of
course, prevent the enthusiast working his very hardest and best in
the interests of his neighbours. But such enthusiasm is hardly human.
Men will insist, to the end of all time, on enjoying the reward of
their own labours, the triumphs of their own brains. Some may go so
far as nominally to divide their honours with all their friends. But
where shall we look for the man who will go on all his life toiling
successfully for the good of idler folks, and checking his own free
stride to keep pace with their feebler steps? And this is the rock on
which all such communities inevitably strike.

Security from the ordinary apprehensions of life; a general protection
against misfortune and "bad seasons;" the certainty of having all the
necessaries of existence, are sufficient temptations for unambitious
men. But the stronger class of mind, though attracted to it by piety,
and retained for a while by a sincere desire to promote the common
good, must from their very nature revolt against a permanent alienation
of their own earnings, and a permanent subordination of their own
merits. At Orderville, therefore, we find the young men already
complaining of a system which does not let them see the fruits of their
work. Their fathers' enthusiasm brought them there as children. Seven
years later they are grown up into independent-minded young men. They
have not had experience of family anxieties yet. All they know is, that
beyond Orderville there are larger spheres of work, and more brilliant
opportunities for both hand and head.

Fortunately, however, for Orderville, the articles of incorporation
give the directors the very powers that are necessary, and if these
are exercised the ship may miss the rock that has wrecked all its
predecessors. If they can declare dividends, open private accounts, and
realize the idea of personal property, the difference in possibilities
between the outer world and Orderville will be very greatly reduced,
while the advantage of certainties in Orderville will be even further
increased. Young men would then think twice about going away, and
any one if he chose could indulge his wife with a piano or himself
with a box of water-colours. Herein then lies the hopefulness of
the experiment; and fortunately Mr. Howard Spencer, the President
of the community, has all the generosity to recognize the necessity
for concession to younger ambition, and all the courage to institute
and carry out a modification of communism which shall introduce more
individuality. I anticipate, therefore, that this very remarkable and
interesting colony will survive the "twenty-five years" period for
which it was established, and will encourage the foundation of many
other similar "Family Orders."

Seven years have passed since Mr. Spencer pitched his camp in the
beautiful wilderness of the Rio Virgin canyons. He found the hills
of fine building-stone, their sides thickly grown with splendid pine
timber, and down the valley between them flowing a bright and ample
stream. The vegetation by its variety and luxuriance gave promise of
a fertile soil; some of the canyons formed excellent natural meadows,
while just over the ridge, a mile or two from the settlement, lay a
bed of coal. Finally, the climate was delightfully temperate! Every
condition of success, therefore, was found together, and prosperity
has of course responded to the voice of industry. Acre by acre the
wild gardens have disappeared, and in their place stand broad fields
of corn; the tangled brakes of wild-berry plants have yielded their
place to orchards of finer fruits; cattle and sheep now graze in
numbers where the antelope used to feed; and from slope to slope you
can hear among the pines, above the idle crooning of answering doves
and the tinkling responses of wandering kine, the glad antiphony of the
whirring saw-mill and the busy loom.

The settlement itself is grievously disappointing in appearance. For
as you approach it, past the charming little hamlet of Glendale, past
such a sunny wealth of orchard and meadow and corn-land, past such
beautiful glimpses of landscape, you cannot help expecting a scene of
rural prettiness in sympathy with such surroundings. But Orderville
at first sight looks like a factory. The wooden shed-like buildings
built in continuous rows, the adjacent mills, the bare, ugly patch of
hillside behind it, give the actual settlement an uninviting aspect.
But once within the settlement, the scene changes wonderfully for the
better. The houses are found, the most of them, built facing inwards
upon an open square, with a broad side-walk, edged with tamarisk
and mulberry, box-elder and maple-trees, in front of them. Outside
the dwelling-house square are scattered about the school-house,
meeting-house, blacksmith and carpenters' shops, tannery, woollen-mill,
and so forth, while a broad roadway separates the whole from the
orchards, gardens, and farm-lands generally. Specially noteworthy
here are the mulberry orchard--laid out for the support of the
silk-worms, which the community are now rearing with much success--and
the forcing-ground and experimental garden, in which wild flowers as
well as "tame" are being cultivated. Among the buildings the more
interesting to me were the school-houses, well fitted up, and very
fairly provided with educational apparatus; and the rudimentary museum,
where the commencement of a collection of the natural curiosities of
the neighbourhood is displayed. What this may some day grow into, when
science has had the chance of exploring the surrounding hills and
canyons, it is difficult to say; for Nature has favoured Orderville
profusely with fossil strata and mineral eccentricities, a rich variety
of bird and insect life, and a prodigious botanical luxuriance. Almost
for the first time in my travels, too, I found here a very intelligent
interest taken in the natural history of the locality; but the absence
of books and of necessary apparatus, as yet of course prevents the
brethren from carrying on their studies and experiments to any standard
of scientific value.

Though staying in Orderville so short a time, I was fortunate enough
to see the whole community together. For on the evening of my arrival
there was a meeting at which there was a very full gathering of the
adults--and the babies in arms. The scene was as curious as anything I
have ever witnessed in any part of the world. The audience was almost
equally composed of men and women, the latter wearing, most of them,
their cloth sun-bonnets, and bringing with them the babies they were
nursing.

Brigham Young used to encourage mothers to bring them, and said that he
liked to hear them squalling in the Tabernacle. Whether he really liked
it or not, the mothers did as he said, and the babies too, and the
perpetual bleating of babies from every corner of the building makes it
seem to this day as if religious service was being held in a sheepfold.
Throughout the proceedings at Orderville babies were being constantly
handed across from mother to neighbour and back from neighbour
to mother. Others were being tossed up and down with that jerky,
perpendicular motion which seems so soothing to the very young, but
which reminded me of the popping up and down of the hammers when the
"lid" of a piano is lifted up during a performance. But the baby is an
irrepressible person, and at Orderville has it very much its own way.
The Apostle's voice in prayer was accepted as a challenge to try their
lungs, and the music (very good, by the way) as a mere obligato to
their own vocalization. The patient gravity of the mothers throughout
the whole performance, and the apparent indifference of the men, struck
me as very curious--for I come from a country where one baby will
plunge a whole church congregation into profanity, and where it is
generally supposed that two crying together would empty heaven. Of the
men of Orderville I can say sincerely that a healthier, more stalwart
community I have never seen, while among the women, I saw many refined
faces, and remarked that robust health seemed the rule. Next morning
the children were paraded, and such a brigade of infantry as it was!
Their legs (I think, though, they are known as "limbs" in America) were
positively columnar, and their chubby little owners were as difficult
to keep quietly in line as so much quicksilver. Orderville boasts that
it is self-supporting and independent of outside help, and certainly in
the matter of babies there seems no necessity for supplementing home
manufactures by foreign imports. The average of births is as yet five
in each family during the six years of the existence of the Order! Two
were born the day I arrived.

Unfortunately one of the most characteristic features of this family
community was in abeyance during my visit--the common dining-table. For
a rain-flood swept through the gorge above the settlement last winter
and destroyed "the bakery." Since then the families have dined apart or
clubbed together in small parties, but the wish of the majority is to
see the old system revived, for though they live well now, they used,
they say, to live even better when "the big table" was laid for its 200
guests at once.

Self-supporting and well-directed, therefore, the Orderville
"communists" bid fair to prove to the world that pious enthusiasm,
if largely tempered with business judgment, can make a success of an
experiment which has hitherto baffled all attempts based upon either
one or the other alone.



CHAPTER XIX.

MORMON VIRTUES.

    Red ants and anti-Mormons--Ignorance of the Mormons among
    Gentiles in Salt Lake City--Mormon reverence for the Bible--Their
    struggle against drinking-saloons in the city--Conspicuous
    piety in the settlements--Their charity--Their sobriety (to
    my great inconvenience)--The literature of Mormonism utterly
    unreliable--Neglect of the press by the Saints--Explanation of the
    wide-spread misrepresentation of Mormonism.

FROM Orderville (after a short tour in the south-west of the Territory)
I returned to Salt Lake City, and during my second sojourn there,
over a month, I saw nothing and learned nothing either from Mormon or
Gentile to induce me to erase a single word I had written during my
previous visit. Indeed, a better acquaintance only strengthened my
first favourable opinions of "the Saints of the Rocky Mountains."

I was walking one day up the City Creek, when I became aware of an aged
man seated on a stone by the roadside. His trousers were turned up to
his knees, and he was nursing one of his legs as if he felt a great
pity for it. As I approached I perceived that he was in trouble--(I
perceived this by his oaths)--and getting still nearer I ventured
to inquire what annoyed him. "Aged person," said I, "what aileth
thee?"--or words to that effect. But there was no response, at least
not worth mentioning. He only bent further over his leg, and I noticed
that his coat had split down the back seam. His cursing accounted for
that. It was sufficient to make any coat split. And then his hat fell
off his head into the dust, in judgment upon him. At this he swore
again, horribly. By this time I had guessed that he had been bitten by
red ants (and they are the shrewdest reptiles at biting that I know
of), so I said, "Bitten by red ants, eh?" At this he exploded with
wrath, and looked up. And such a face! He had a countenance on him like
the ragged edge of despair. His appearance was a calamity. "Red ants,"
said he; "red Indians, red devils, red hell!" and then, relapsing into
the vernacular, he became unintelligibly profane, but ended up with
"this damned Mormon city."

Now here was a man, fairly advanced in years, fairly clothed, fairly
uneducated. As I had never seen him before, he may have been, for all I
know, "the average American" I so often see referred to. Anyhow, there
he was, cursing the Mormons because he had been bitten by red ants! Of
his own stupidity he had gone and stood upon an ants' nest, thrust his
hippopotamus foot into their domicile, overwhelming the nurseries and
the parlours in a common catastrophe, crushing with the same heel the
grandsire ant and the sucking babe at its mother's breast, mashing up
the infirm and the feeble with the eggs in the cells and the household
provisions laid up in the larder--ruining in fact an industrious
community simply by his own weight in butcher's meat. Some of the
survivors promptly attacked the intruding boot, and, running up what
the old man was pleased to call "his blasted pants," had bitten the
legs which they found concealed within them. And for this, "the average
American" cursed the Mormons and their city!

The incident interested me, for, apart from my sympathy with the
ants, I couldn't help thinking what a powerful adversary to Mormonism
this trifling mishap might have created. That man went back to his
hotel (for he was evidently a "visitor") a confirmed anti-Mormon. His
darkest suspicions about polygamy were confirmed. His detestation of
the bestial licentiousness of the Saints was increased a hundred-fold.
He saw at a glance that all he had ever heard about "the Danites" was
quite true, and much more too that he had never heard but could now
easily invent for himself. There was no need for any one to tell him,
after the way he had been treated within a mile of the Tabernacle, of
the infamous debaucheries of Brigham Young with his "Cyprian maids" and
his "cloistered wives." Wasn't it as plain as the sun at noonday that
the Mormons were in league with the red Indians, and went halves in the
proceeds of each other's massacres?

The ant-bitten man was a very typical "Mormon-eater," for such
is the local name of those who revile Mormonism root and branch
because they find intelligent men opposed to polygamy. They are
under the impression, seeing and talking to nobody but each other,
that the United States in a mass, that the whole world, entertain an
unreasoning, fanatical abhorrence of the inhabitants of the Territory,
and share with them their mean parochial jealousy of the Mormon
tradesmen and Mormon farmers who are more thriving than they are
themselves.

Here in Salt Lake City there is the most extraordinary ignorance
of Mormonism that can be imagined. I have actually been assured
by "Gentiles" that the Saints do not believe in the God of the
Bible--that adultery among them is winked at by husbands under a
tacit understanding of reciprocity--that the Mormons as a class
are profane, and drunken, and so forth. Now, if they knew anything
whatever of the Mormons, such statements would be impossible (unless
of course made in wilful malice), for my personal acquaintance with
"the Saints" has shown me that in all classes alike the reverence
for the God of the Bible is formulated not only in their morning and
evening prayers, but in their grace before every meal; that so far
from there being any exceptional familiarity between families, the
very reverse is conspicuous, for so strict is the Mormon etiquette of
social courtesies, that households which in England would be on the
most intimate terms, maintain here a distant formality which impresses
the stranger as being cold; that instead of the Mormons being as a
class profane, they are as a class singularly sober in their language,
and indeed in this respect resemble the Quakers. Now, my opinions are
founded upon facts of personal knowledge and experience.

Of course it will be said of me that as I was a "guest" of Mormons
I was "bound" to speak well of them; that as I was so much among
them I was hoodwinked and "shown the best side of everything," &c.,
&c. Against this argument, always the resource of the gobemouche,
common sense is useless. "Against stupidity the gods themselves are
powerless." But this I can say--that I will defy any really impure
household, monogamous or not, to hoodwink me in the same way--to keep
up from morning to night the same unchanging profession of piety, to
make believe from week to week with such consummate hypocrisy that they
are god-fearing and pure in their lives, and to wear a mask of sobriety
with such uniform success. And I am not speaking of one household only,
but of a score to which I was admitted simply as being a stranger from
whom they need not fear calumny. I do not believe that acting exists
anywhere in such perfection that a whole community can assume, at a few
hours' notice and for the benefit of a passing stranger, the characters
of honest, kind-hearted, simple men and women, and set themselves
patiently to a three months' comedy of pretended purity. Such impostors
do not exist.

The Mormons drunken! Now what, for instance, can be the conclusion of
any honest thinker from this fact--that though I mixed constantly with
Mormons, all of them anxious to show me every hospitality and courtesy,
I was never at any time asked to take a glass of strong drink? If I
wanted a horse to ride or to drive I had a choice at once offered me.
If I wanted some one to go with me to some point of interest, his
time was mine. Yet it never occurred to them to show a courtesy by
suggesting "a drink."

Then, seriously, how can any one have respect for the literature or the
men who, without knowing anything of the lives of Mormons, stigmatize
them as profane, adulterous, and drunken? As a community I know them,
from personal advantages of observation such as no non-Mormon writer
has ever previously possessed, [1] to be at any rate exceptionally
careful in maintaining the appearance of piety and sobriety; and I
leave it to my readers to judge whether such solid hypocrisy as this,
that tries to abolish all swearing and all strong drink both by precept
from the pulpit and example in the household, is not, after all, nearly
as admirable as the real thing itself.

This, at all events, is beyond doubt--that the Mormons have always
struggled hard to prevent the sale of liquor in Salt Lake City, except
under strict regulations and supervision. But the fight has gone
against them. The courts uphold the right of publicans to sell when and
what they choose; and the Mormons, who could at one time boast--and
visitors without number have borne evidence to the fact--that a
drunkard was never to be seen, an oath never to be heard, in the
streets of their city, have now to confess that, thanks to the example
of Gentiles, they have both drunkards and profane men among them. But
the general attitude of the Church towards these delinquents, and
the sorrow that their weakness causes in the family circle, are in
themselves proofs of the sincerity in sobriety which distinguishes the
Mormons. Nor is it any secret that if the Mormons had the power they
would to-morrow close all the saloons and bars, except those under
Church regulation, and then, they say, "we might hope to see the old
days back when we never thought of locking our doors at night, and when
our wives and girls, let them be out ever so late, needed no escort in
the streets."

And having travelled throughout the Mormon settlements, I am at a loss
how to convey to my readers with any brevity the effect which the tour
has had upon me.

I have seen, and spoken to, and lived with, Mormon men and women of
every class, and never in my life in any Christian country, not even
in happy, rural England, have I come in contact with more consistent
piety, sobriety, and neighbourly charity. I say this deliberately.
Without a particle of odious sanctimony these folk are, in their words
and actions, as Christian as I had ever thought to see men and women. A
perpetual spirit of charity seems to possess them, and if the prayers
of simple, devout humanity are ever of any avail, it must surely be
this wonderful Mormon earnestness in appeals to Heaven. I have often
watched Moslems in India praying, and thought then that I had seen
the extremity of devotion, but now that I have seen these people on
their knees in their kitchens at morning and at night, and heard their
old men--men who remember the dark days of the Faith--pour out from
their hearts their gratitude for past mercy, their pleas for future
protection, I find that I have met with even a more striking form
of prayer than I have ever met with before. Equally striking is the
universal reverence and affection with which they, quite unconscious of
the fact that I was "taking notes," spoke of the authorities of their
Church. Fear there was none, but respect and love were everywhere. It
would be a bold man who, in one of these Mormon hamlets, ventured to
repeat the slanders current among Gentiles elsewhere. And it would
indeed be a base man who visited these hard-living, trustful men and
women, and then went away to calumniate them.

But it is a fact, and cannot be challenged, that the only people in
all Utah who libel these Mormons are either those who are ignorant of
them, those who have apostatized (frequently under compulsion) from
the Church, or those, the official clique and their sycophants, who
have been charged with looking forward to a share of the plunder of
the Territorial treasury. On the other hand, I know many Gentiles who,
though like myself they consider polygamy itself detestable, speak of
this people as patterns to themselves in commercial honesty, religious
earnestness, and social charity.

Travelling through the settlements, I found that every one voluntarily
considered his poorer neighbours as a charge upon himself. When a man
arrives there, a stranger and penniless, one helps to get together logs
for his first hut, another to break up a plot of ground. A third lends
him his waggon to draw some firewood from the canyon or hillside; a
fourth gives up some of his time to show him how to bring the water
on to his ground--and so on through all the first requirements of the
forlorn new-comer. Behind them all meanwhile is the Church, in the
person of the presiding Elder of the settlement, who makes him such
advances as are considered necessary. It is a wonderful system, and
as pathetic, to my mind, as any struggle for existence that I have
ever witnessed. But every man who comes among them is another unit of
strength, and let him be only a straight-spoken, fair-dealing fellow,
with his heart in his work, and he finds every one's hand ready to
assist him.

And the first commencement is terribly small. A one-roomed log hut is
planted in a desert of sage-brush "with roots that hold as firm as
original sin," and rocks that are as hard to get rid of as bad habits.
Borrowing a plough here, and a shovel there, the new-comer bungles
through an acre or two of furrows, and digs out a trench. Begging of
one neighbour some fruit-tree cuttings, he sticks the discouraging
twigs into the ground, and by working out some extra time for another
gets some lucerne seed. Then he gets a hen, and then a setting of eggs,
by-and-by a heifer, and a little later, by putting in work or by an
advance from the Church, or with kindly help from a neighbour, he adds
a horse to his stock. Time passes, say a year; his orchard (that is to
be) has several dozen leaves on it, and the ground is all green with
lucerne, the chickens are thriving, and he adds an acre or two more to
the first patch, and his neighbours, seeing him in earnest, are still
ready with their advice and aid. Adobe bricks are gradually piled up
in a corner of the lot, and very soon an extra room or two is built
on to the log hut, and saplings of cotton-wood, or poplar, or locust
are planted in a row before the dwelling: and so on year by year,
conquering a little more of the sage-brush, bringing on the water a
furlong further, adding an outhouse, planting another tree. At the end
of ten years--years of unsparing, untiring labour, but years brightened
with perpetual kindness from neighbours--this man, the penniless
emigrant, invites the wayfarer into his house, has a comfortably
furnished bedroom at his service, oats and fodder for his team, ample
and wholesome food for all. The wife spreads the table with eggs and
ham and chicken, vegetables, pickles, and preserves, milk and cream,
pies and puddings--"Yes, sir, all of our own raising." The dismal
twigs have grown up into pleasant shade-trees, and a flower-garden
brightens the front of the house. In the barn are comfortable, well-fed
stock, horses and cows. This is no fancy picture, but one from life,
and typical of 20,000 others. Each homestead in turn has the same
experience, and it is no wonder, therefore, when the settlement,
properly laid out and organized, grows into municipal existence, that
every one speaks kindly of, and acts kindly towards, his neighbour. A
visitor, till he understands the reason, is surprised at the intimacy
of households. But when he does understand it, ought not his surprise
to give place to admiration?

Not less conspicuous is the uniform sincerity in religion. A school
and meeting-house is to be found in every settlement, even though
there may be only half-a-dozen families, and besides the regular
attendance of the people at weekly services, the private prayers of
each household are as punctual as their meals. In these prayers, after
the ordinary generalities, the head of the house usually prays for
all the authorities of the Church, from the President downwards, for
the local authorities, for the Church as a body, and the missionaries
abroad, for his household and its guest, for the United States, and for
Congress, and for all the world that feels kindly towards Mormonism.
But quite apart from the matter of their prayers, their manner is very
striking, and the scene in a humble house, when a large family meets
for prayer--and half the members, finding no article of furniture
unoccupied for the orthodox position of devotion, drop into attitudes
of natural reverence, kneeling in the middle of the floor--appeals very
strongly to the eye of those accustomed to the stereotyped piety of a
more advanced civilization.

One more conspicuous feature of Mormon life is sobriety. I have been
the guest of some fifty different households, and only once I was
offered even beer. That exception was in a Danish household, where
the wife brewed her own "ol"--an opaque beverage of home-fermented
wheat and home-grown hops--as a curiosity curious, as an "indulgence"
doubtful, as a regular drink impossible. On no other occasion was
anything but tea, coffee, milk, or water offered. And even tea and
coffee, being discouraged by the Church, are but seldom drunk. As a
heathen outsider I deplored my beer, and was grateful for coffee; but
the rest of the household, in almost every instance, drank water.
Tobacco is virtually unused. It is used, but so seldom that it does not
affect my statement. The spittoon, therefore, though in every room, is
behind the door, or in a corner under a piece of furniture. In case
it should be needed, it is there--like the shot-gun upstairs--but its
being called into requisition would be a family event.

No, let their enemies say what they will, the Mormon settlements are
each of them to-day a refutation of the libel that the Mormons are not
sincere in their antipathy to strong drink and tobacco. That individual
Mormons drink and smoke proves nothing, except that they do it. For the
great majority of the Mormons, they are strictly sober. I know it to my
great inconvenience.

Is it possible then that the American people, so generous in their
impulses, so large-hearted in action, have been misled as to the
true character of the Mormon "problem"? At first sight this may seem
impossible. A whole people, it will be said, cannot have been misled.
But I think a general misapprehension is quite within the possibilities.

Whence have the public derived their opinions about Mormonism? From
anti-Mormons only. I have ransacked the literature of the subject,
and yet I really could not tell any one where to go for an impartial
book about Mormonism later in date than Burton's "City of the
Saints," published in 1862. Burton, it is well known, wrote as a man
of wide travel and liberal education--catholic, therefore, on all
matters religious, and generous in his views of ethical and social
obliquities, sympathetic, consistent, and judicial. It is no wonder,
then, that Mormons remember the distinguished traveller, in spite of
his candour, with the utmost kindness. But put Burton on one side,
and I think I can defy any one to name another book about the Mormons
worthy of honest respect. From that truly awful book, "The History
of the Saints," published by one Bennett (even an anti-Mormon has
styled him "the greatest rascal that ever came to the West") in 1842,
down to Stenhouse's in 1873, there is not, to my knowledge, a single
Gentile work before the public that is not utterly unreliable from
its distortion of facts. Yet it is from these books--for there are no
others--that the American public has acquired nearly all its ideas
about the people of Utah.

The Mormons themselves are most foolishly negligent of the power of
the press, and of the immense value in forming public opinion of a
free use of type. They affect to be indifferent to the clamour of the
world, but when this clamour leads to legislative action against them,
they turn round petulantly with the complaint that there is a universal
conspiracy against them. It does not seem to occur to them that their
misfortunes are partly due to their own neglect of the very weapons
which their adversaries have used so diligently, so unscrupulously, and
so successfully.

They do not seem to understand that a public contradiction given to
a public calumny goes some way towards correcting the mischief done,
or that by anticipating malicious versions of events they could as
often as not get an accurate statement before the public, instead of
an inaccurate one. But enterprise in advertisement has been altogether
on the side of the anti-Mormons. The latter never lose an opportunity
of throwing in a bad word, while the Mormons content themselves with
"rounding their shoulders," as they are so fond of saying, and putting
a denial of the libel into the local News. They say they are so
accustomed to abuse that they are beginning not to care about it--which
is the old, stupid self-justification of the apathetic. The fascination
of a self-imposed martyrdom seems too great for them, and, like flies
when they are being wrapped up into parcels by the spider for greater
convenience of transportation to its larder, they sing chastened
canticles about the inevitability of cobwebs and the deplorable
rapacity of spiders.

"I can assure you," said one of them, "it would be of no use trying to
undeceive the public. You cannot make a whistle out of a pig's tail,
you know."

"Nonsense," I replied. "You can--for I have seen a whistle made out of
a pig's tail. And it is in a shop in Chicago to this day!"

It will be understood, then, that the Mormons have made no adequate
efforts either in books or the press to meet their antagonists. They
prefer to allow cases against them to go by default, and content
themselves with privately filing pleas in defence which would have
easily acquitted them had they gone before the public. America,
therefore, hearing only one side of the case, and so much of it, is
certainly not to be blamed for drawing its conclusions from the only
facts before it. It cannot be expected to know that three or four
individuals, all them by their own confession "Mormon-eaters," have
from the first been the purveyors of nearly all the distorted facts it
receives. Seeing the same thing said in many different directions, the
general public naturally conclude that a great number of persons are in
agreement as to the facts.

But the exigencies of journalism which admit, for instance, of the
same correspondent being a local contributor to two or three score
newspapers of widely differing views in politics and religion, are
unknown to them. And they are therefore unaware that the indignation
so widely printed throughout America has its source in the personal
animosity of three or four individuals only who are bitterly sectarian,
and that these men are actually personally ignorant of the country
they live in, have seldom talked to a Mormon, and have never visited
Mormonism outside Salt Lake City. These men write of the "squalid
poverty" of Mormons, of their obscene brutality, of their unceasing
treason towards the United States, of their blasphemous repudiation of
the Bible, without one particle of information on the subject, except
such as they gather from the books and writings of men whom they ought
to know are utterly unworthy of credit, or from the verbal calumnies
of apostates. And what the evidence of apostates is worth history has
long ago told us. I am now stating facts; and I, who have lived among
the Mormons and with them, who have seen them in their homes, rich
and poor; have joined in their worship, public and private; who have
constantly conversed with them, men, women, and children; Who have
visited their out-lying settlements, large and small--as no Gentile
has ever done before me--can assure my readers that every day of my
residence increased my regret at the misrepresentation these people
have suffered.

Footnotes:

1. Except, of course, General Kane.



CHAPTER XX.

DOWN THE ONTARIO MINE.

"Been down a mine! What on earth did you do that for?" said the elder
Sheridan to the younger.

"Oh, just to say that I had done it," was the reply.

"To say that you had done it! Good gracious! Couldn't you have said
that without going down a mine?"

No, Mr. Sheridan, you could not; at least not in these latter days. Too
many people do it now for the impostor to remain undiscovered. Take my
own case, for instance. I had often read descriptions of mine descents,
and thought I knew how it happened, and how ore was got out. But no one
ever told me that you had to go paddling about in water half the time,
or that mines were excavated upwards. Now, then, if I had tried to
pretend that I had been down a mine I should have been promptly found
out, by my ignorance of the two first facts that strike one. Again, it
is very simple work imagining the descent of a "shaft" in a "cage."
But unfortunately a cage is only a platform to stand on without either
sides or top, and not, therefore, such a cage as one would buy to keep
a bird in, or as would keep a bird in if one did buy it. Nor, without
actually experiencing it, could anybody guess that the first sensation
of whizzing down a pipe, say 800 feet, is that of seeming to lose all
your specific gravity, and that the next (after you had partially
collected your faculties) is that you are stationary yourself, but that
the dripping timbers that line the shaft are all flying upwards past
you like sparks up a chimney.

Mines, of course, differ from one another just as the men who go down
them do, but as far as I myself am concerned all mines are puddly
places, and the sensations of descent are ridiculous--for I have only
been down two in my life, and both "demned, damp, moist, unpleasant"
places. But the mine to which I now refer is the "Ontario," in Utah,
which may be said, in the preposterous vernacular of the West, to be
a "terrible fine" mine, or, in other words, "a boss mine," that is to
say, "a daisy."

As for daisies, anything that greatly takes the fancy or evokes
especial admiration is called a daisy. Thus I heard a very much
respected Mormon Bishop, who is also a director of a railway, described
by an enthusiastic admirer as "a daisy!"

Finding myself in Park "City" one evening--it is a mining camp
dependent chiefly upon the Ontario--I took a walk up the street with
a friend. Every other house appeared to be a saloon, with a doctor's
residence sandwiched in between--a significantly convenient arrangement
perhaps in the days when there was no "Protective Committee" in Park
City, but--so I am told--without much practical benefit to the public
in these quiet days, when law-abiding citizens do their own hanging,
without troubling the county sheriff, who lives somewhere on the other
side of a distance. The result of this is that bad characters do not
stay long enough in Park City now to get up free fights, and make work
for the doctors. The Protective Committee invites them to "git" as soon
as they arrive, and, to do them credit, they do "git."

However, as I was saying, I took a walk with a friend along the street,
and presently became aware above me, high up on the hillside, of a
great collection of buildings, with countless windows (I mean that
I did not try to count them) lit up, and looking exactly like some
theatrical night-scene. These were the mills of the Ontario, which work
night and day, and seven days to the week, a perpetual flame like that
of the Zoroastrians, and as carefully kept alive by stalwart stokers as
ever was Vestal altar-fire by the girl-priestesses of Rome. It was a
picturesque sight, with the huge hills looming up black behind, and the
few surviving pine-trees showing out dimly against the darkening sky.

Next morning I went up to the mine--and down it.

Having costumed myself in garments that made getting dirty a perfect
luxury, I was taken to the shaft. Now, I had expected to see an
unfathomably black hole in the ground with a rope dangling down it,
but instead of that I found myself in a spacious boarded shed, with
a huge wheel standing at one end and a couple of iron uprights with
a cross-bar standing up from the floor at the other. Round the wheel
was coiled an enormous length of a six-inch steel-wire band, and the
disengaged end of the band, after passing over a beam, was fastened
to the cross-bar above mentioned. On the bridge of the wheel stood an
engineer, the arbiter of fates, who is perpetually unwinding victims
down from stage to stage of the Inferno, and winding up the redeemed
from limbo to limbo. Having propitiated him by an affectation of
intelligence as to the machinery which he controlled, we took our
places under the cross-bar, between the stanchions, and suddenly the
floor--as innocent-looking and upright-minded a bit of boarded floor
as you could wish to stand on--gave way beneath us, and down we shot
apud inferos, like the devils in "Der Freischütz." We had our lamps in
our hands, and they gave just light enough for me to see the dripping
wooden walls of the shaft flashing past, and then I felt myself
becoming lighter and lighter--a mere butterfly--imponderable. But it
doesn't take many seconds to fall down 800 feet, and long before I had
expected it I found we were "at the bottom."

Our explorations then began; and very queer it all was, with the
perpetual gushing of springs from the rock, and the bubble and splash
of the waters as they ran along on either side the narrow tunnels; the
meetings at corners with little cars being pushed along by men who
looked, as they bent low to their work, like those load-rolling beetles
that Egypt abounds in; the machinery for pumping, so massive that it
seemed much more likely that it was found where it stood, the vestiges
of a long-past subterranean civilization, than that it had been brought
down there by the men of these degenerate days; the sudden endings of
the tunnels which the miners were driving along the vein, with a man
at each ending, his back bent to fit into the curve which he had made
in the rock, and reminding one of the frogs that science tells us are
found at times fitted into holes in the middle of stones; the climbing
up hen-roost ladders from tunnel to tunnel, from one darkness into
another; the waiting at different spots till "that charge had been
blasted," and the dull, deadened roar of the explosion had died away;
the watching the solitary miners at their work picking and thumping at
the discoloured strips of dark rock that looked to the uninitiated only
like water-stained, mildewy accidents in the general structure, but
which, in reality, was silver, and yielding, it might be, $1600 to the
ton!

"This is all very rich ore," said my guide, kicking a heap that I was
standing on. I got off it at once, reverentially.

But reverence for the Mother of the Dollar gradually dies out,
for everything about you, above you, beneath you, is silver or
silverish--dreadful rubbish to look at, it is true, but with the spirit
of the great metal in it all none the less; that fairy Argentine
who builds palaces for men, and gives them, if they choose, all the
pleasures of the world, and the leisure wherein to enjoy them. And
there they stood, these latter-day Cyclops, working away like the
gnomes of the Hartz Mountains, or the entombed artificers of the
Bear-Kings of Dardistan, with their lanterns glowing at the end of
their tunnels like the Kanthi gem which Shesh, the fabled snake-god,
has provided for his gloomy empire of mines under the Nagas' hills.
Useless crystals glittered on every side, as if they were jewels, and
the water dripping down the sides glistened as if it was silver, but
the pretty hypocrisy was of no avail. For though the ore itself was
dingy and ugly and uninviting, the ruthless pick pursued it deeper
and deeper into its retreat, and only struck the harder the darker
and uglier it got. It reminded me, watching the miner at his work,
of the fairy story where the prince in disguise has to kill the lady
of his love in order to release her from the enchantments which have
transformed her, and how the wicked witch makes her take shape after
shape to escape the resolute blows of the desperate lover. But at last
his work is accomplished, and the ugly thing stands before him in all
the radiant beauty of her true nature.

And it is a long process, and a costly one, before the lumps of heavy
dirt which the miner pecks out of the inside of a hill are transformed
into those hundredweight blocks of silver bullion which the train from
Park City carries every morning of the year into Salt Lake City. From
first to last it is pretty much as follows. Remember I am not writing
for those who live inside mines; very much on the contrary. I am
writing for those who have never been down a mine in their lives, but
who may care to read an unscientific description of "mining," and the
Ontario mine in particular.

In 1872 a couple of men made a hole in the ground, and finding silver
ore in it offered the hole for sale at $30,000. A clever man, R. C.
Chambers by name, happened to come along, and liking the look of the
hole, joined a friend in the purchase of it. The original diggers thus
pocketed $30,000 for a few days' work, and no doubt thought they had
done a good thing. But alas! that hole in the ground which they were
so glad to get rid of ten years ago now yields every day a larger sum
in dollars than they sold it for! The new owners of the hole, which
was christened "The Ontario Mine," were soon at work, but instead of
following them through the different stages of development, it is
enough to describe what that hole looks like and produces to-day.

A shaft, then, has been sunk plumb down into the mountain for 900
feet, and from this shaft, at every 100 feet as you go down, you find
a horizontal tunnel running off to right and left. If you stop in your
descent at any one of these "stages" and walk through the tunnel--water
rushing all the way over your feet, and the vaulted rock dripping
over-head--you will find that a line of rails has been laid down along
it, and that the sides and roofs are strongly supported by timbers
of great thickness. These timbers are necessary to prevent, in the
first place, the rock above from crushing down through the roof of the
tunnel, and, in the next, from squeezing in its sides, for the rock
every now and then swells and the sides of the tunnels bulge in. The
rails are, of course, for the cars which the miners fill with ore, and
push from the end of the tunnel to the "stage." A man there signals
by a bell which communicates with the engineer at the big wheel in
the shed I have already spoken of, and there being a regular code of
signals, the engineer knows at once at which stage the car is waiting,
and how far therefore he is to let the cage down. Up goes the car with
its load of ore into the daylight,--and then its troubles begin.

But meanwhile let us stay a few minutes more in the mine. Walking
along any one of the main horizontal tunnels, we come at intervals to
a ladder, and going up one of them we find that a stope, or smaller
gallery, is being run parallel with the tunnel in which we are
walking, and of course (as it follows the same direction of the ore),
immediately over that tunnel, so that the roof of the tunnel is the
floor of the stope. The stopes are just wide enough for a man to work
in easily, and are as high as he can reach easily with his pickaxe,
about seven feet. If you walk along one of these stopes you come to
another ladder, and find it leads to another stope above, and going
up this you find just the same again, until you become aware that the
whole mountain above you is pierced throughout the length of the ore
vein by a series of seven-foot galleries lying exactly parallel one
above the other, and separated only by a sufficient thickness of pine
timber to make a solid floor for each. But at every hundred feet, as I
have said, there comes a main tunnel, down to which all the produce of
the minor galleries above it is shot down by "shoots," loaded into cars
and pushed along to the "stage." But silver ore is not the only thing
that the Company gets out of its mine, for unfortunately the mountain
in which the Ontario is located is full of springs, and the miner's
pick is perpetually, therefore, letting the water break into the
tunnels, and in such volume, too, that I am informed it costs as much
to rid the works of the water as to get out the silver! Streams gurgle
along all the tunnels, and here and there ponderous bulkheads have been
put up to keep the water and the loosened rock from falling in. Pumps
of tremendous power are at work at several levels throwing the water up
towards the surface--one of these at the 800-foot level throwing 1500
gallons a minute up to the 500-foot level.

Following a car-load of ore, we find it, having reached the surface,
being loaded into waggons, in which it is carried down the hill to
the mills, weighed, and then shot down into a gigantic bin--in which,
by the way, the Company always keeps a reserve of ore sufficient
to keep the mills in full work for two years. From this hour, life
becomes a burden to the ore, for it is hustled about from machine
to machine without the least regard to its feelings. No sooner is
it out of the waggon than a brutal crusher begins smashing it up
into small fragments, the result of this meanness being that the ore
is able to tumble through a screen into cars that are waiting for
it down below. These rush upstairs with it again and pour it into
"hoppers," which, being in the conspiracy too, begin at once to spill
it into gigantic drying cylinders that are perpetually revolving over
a terrific furnace fire, and the ore, now dust, comes streaming out
as dry as dry can be, is caught in cars and wheeled off to batteries
where forty stampers, stamping like one, pound and smash it as if they
took a positive delight in it. There is an intelligent, deliberate
determination about this fearful stamping which makes one feel almost
afraid of the machinery. Some pieces, however, actually manage to
escape sufficient mashing up and slip away with the rest down into
a "screw conveyor," but the poor wretches are soon found out, for
the fiendish screw conveyor empties itself on to a screen, through
which all the pulverized ore goes shivering down, but the guilty
lumps still remaining are carried back by another ruthless machine
to those detestable stamps again. They cannot dodge them. For these
machines are all in the plot together. Or rather, they are the honest
workmen of good masters, and they are determined that the work shall
be thoroughly done, and that not a single lump of ore shall be allowed
to skulk so without any one to look after them these cylinders and
stampers, hoppers and dryers, elevators and screens go on with their
work all day, all night, relentless in their duty and pitiless to the
ore. Let a lump dodge them as it may, it gets no good by it, for the
one hands it over to the other, just as constables hand over a thief
they have caught, and it goes its rounds, again and again, till the end
eventually overtakes it, and it falls through the screen in a fine dust.

For its sins it is now called "pulp," and starts off on a second tour
of suffering--for these Inquisitors of iron and steel, these blind,
brutal Cyclops-machines, have only just begun, as it were, their fun
with their victim. Its tortures are now to be of a more searching
and refined description. As it falls through the screen, another
screw-conveyor catches sight of it and hurries it along a revolving
tube into which salt is being perpetually fed from a bin overhead--this
salt, allow me to say for the benefit of those as ignorant as myself,
is "necessary as a chloridizer"--and thus mixed up with the stranger,
falls into the power of a hydraulic elevator, which carries it up forty
feet to the top of a roasting furnace and deliberately spills the
mixture into it! Looking into the solid flame, I appreciated for the
first time in my life the courage of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

The mixture which fell in at the top bluish-grey comes out at the
bottom yellowish-brown--I only wonder at its coming out all--and is
raked into heaps that have a wicked, lurid colour and give out such
fierce short flames of brilliant tints, and such fierce, short blasts
of a poisonous gas, that I could not help thinking of the place where
bad men go to, and wondering if a Dante could not get a hint or two
for improving his Inferno by a visit to the Ontario roasting-furnace.
The men who stir these heaps use rakes with prodigious handles, and
wear wet sponges over their mouths and noses, and as I watched them I
remembered the poet's devils who keep on prodding up the damned and
raking them about over the flames.

But the ore submits without any howling or gnashing of teeth, and is
dragged off dumb, and soused into great churns, kept at a boiling heat,
in which quicksilver is already lying waiting, and the ore and the
quicksilver are then churned up together by revolving wheels inside the
pans, till the contents look like huge caldrons of bubbling chocolate.
After some hours they are drained off into settlers and cold water is
let in upon the mess, and lo! silver as bright as the quicksilver with
which it is mixed comes dripping out through the spout at the bottom
into canvas bags.

Much of the quicksilver drips through the canvas back into the pans,
and the residue, silver mixed with quicksilver, makes a cold, heavy,
white paste called "amalgam," which is carried off in jars to the
retorts. Into these it is thrown, and while lying there the quicksilver
goes on dripping away from the silver, and after a time the fires are
lighted and the retort is sealed up. The intense heat that is obtained
volatilizes the quicksilver; but this mercurial vapour is caught as it
is escaping at the top of the retort, again condensed into its solid
form, and again used to mix with fresh silver ore. Its old companion,
the silver, goes on melting inside the retort all the time, till at
last when the fires are allowed to cool down, it is found in irregular
lumps of a pink-looking substance. These lumps are then taken to the
crucibles, and passing from them, molten and refined, fall into moulds,
each holding about a hundred-weight of bullion.

And all this bother and fuss, reader, to obtain these eight or ten
blocks of metal!

True, but then that metal is silver, and with one single day's produce
from the Ontario Mine in the bank to his credit a man might live at his
leisure in London, like a nobleman in Paris, or like a prince among the
princes of Eulenspiegel-Wolfenbuttel-Gutfurnichts.



CHAPTER XXI.

FROM UTAH INTO NEVADA.

    Rich and ugly Nevada--Leaving Utah--The gift of the
    Alfalfa--Through a lovely country to Ogden--The great
    food-devouring trick--From Mormon to Gentile: a sudden
    contrast--The son of a cinder--Is the red man of no use at
    all?--The papoose's papoose--Children all of one family.

IT is a far cry from the City of the Saints to the city of the
Celestials, for Nevada stretches all its hideous length between them,
and thus keeps apart the two American problems of the day--pigtails
and polygamy. But mere length in miles is not all that goes to make a
journey seem long, for dreariness of landscape stretches every yard to
six feet, and turns honest miles into rascally versts, or elongates
them into the still more infamous "kos" of the East, the so-called
mile, which seems to lengthen out at the other end as you travel along
it, and about nightfall to lose the other end altogether. And Nevada is
certainly dreary enough for anything. It is abominably rich, I know.
There is probably more filthy lucre in it per acre (in a crude state,
of course) than in any other state in the Union, and more dollars piled
up in those ghastly mountains than in any other range in America. But,
as a fellow-passenger remarked, "There's a pile of land in Nevada that
don't amount to much," and it is just this part of Nevada that the
traveller by railway sees.

"That hill over there is full of silver," said a stranger to me, by way
of propitiating my opinion.

"Is it" I said, "the brute." I really couldn't help it. I had no
ill-feeling towards the hill, and if it had asked a favour of me,
I believe I should have granted it as readily as any one. But its
repulsive appearance was against it, and the idea of its being full of
silver stirred my indignation. I grudged so ugly a cloud its silver
lining, and like the sailor in the Summer Palace at Pekin felt moved to
insult it. The sailor I refer to was in one of the courts of the palace
looking about for plunder. It did not occur to his weather-beaten,
nautical intelligence that everything about him was moulded in solid
silver. He thought it was lead. A huge dragon stood in the corner
of the room, and the atrocity of its expression exasperated Jack so
acutely that he smote it with his cutlass, and lo! out of the monster's
wound poured an ichor of silver coinage.

"Who'd have thought it!" said Jack, "the ugly devil!"

Nevada, moreover, lies under the disadvantage of having on one side of
it the finest portion of California, on the other the finest portion
of Utah, and sandwiched between two such Beauties, such a Beast
naturally looks its worst. For the northern angle of Utah is by far
the most fertile part of the territory, possessing, in patches, some
incomparable meadows, and corn-lands of wondrous fertility. As compared
with the prodigious agricultural and pastoral wealth of such states as
Missouri, Illinois, or Ohio, the Cache Valleys and Bear Valleys of Utah
seem of course insignificant enough; but at present I am comparing them
only with the rest of poor Utah, and with ugly, wealthy Nevada.

Starting from Salt Lake City northwards, the road lies through suburbs
of orchards and gardens, many of them smothered in red and yellow
roses, out on to the levels of the Great Valley. Here, beyond the
magic circle of the Water-wizard, there are patches of fen-lands still
delightful to wild-fowl, and patches of alkali blistering in the sun,
but all about them stretch wide meadows of good grazing-ground, where
the cattle, good Devon breed many of them, and here and there a Jersey,
loiter about, and bright fields of lucerne, or alfalfa, just purpling
into blossom and haunted by whole nations of bees and tribes of yellow
butterflies. What a gift this lucerne has been to Utah! Indeed, as the
Mormons say, the territory could hardly have held its own had it not
been for this wonderful plant. Once get it well started (and it will
grow apparently anywhere) the "alfalfa" strikes its roots ten, fifteen,
twenty feet into the ground, and defies the elements. More than this,
it becomes aggressive, and, like the white races, begins to encroach
upon, dominate over, and finally extinguish the barbarian weeds, its
wild neighbours.

Scientific experiments with other plants have taught us that vegetables
wage war with each other, under principles and with tactics, curiously
similar to those of human communities.

When a strong plant advancing its frontiers comes upon a nation of
feeble folk, it simply falls upon it pell-mell, relying upon mere brute
strength to crush opposition. But when two plants, equally hardy, come
in contact, and the necessity for more expansion compels them to fight,
they bring into action all the science and skill of old gladiators
and German war-professors. They push out skirmishers, and draw them
in, throw out flanking parties, plant outposts, race for commanding
points, manoeuvre each other out of corners, cut off each others'
communications with the water, sap and mine--in fact go through all the
artifices of civilized war. If they find themselves well-matched, they
eventually make an alliance, and mingle peacefully with each other,
dividing the richer spots equally, and going halves in the water.
But as a rule one gives way to the other, accepts its dominion, and
gradually accepts a subordinate place or even extirpation.

Now this lucerne is one of the fightingest plants that grows. It is the
Norwegian rat among the vegetables, the Napoleon of the weeds. Nothing
stops it. If it comes upon a would-be rival, it either punches its head
and walks over it, or it sits down to besiege it, drives its own roots
under the enemy, and compels it to capitulate by starvation. Fences and
such devices cannot of course keep it within bounds, so the lucerne
overflows its limits at every point, comes down the railway bank,
sprouts up in tufts on the track, and getting across into the Scythian
barbarism of the opposite hill-side, advances as with a Macedonian
phalanx to conquest and universal monarchy. Three times a year can the
farmer crop it, and there is no fodder in the world that beats it. No
wonder then that Utah encourages this admirable adventurer. In time it
will become the Lucerne State.

And so, passing through fields of lucerne, we reach the Hot Springs.
From a cleft in a rock comes gushing out an ample stream of nearly
boiling water as clear as diamonds, and so heavily charged with mineral
that the sulphuretted air, combined with the heat, is sometimes
intolerable, while the ground over which the water pours becomes in a
few weeks thickly carpeted with a lovely weed-like growth of purest
malachite green. Passing across the road, from its first pool under
the rock, the stream spreads itself out into the Hot Springs Lake,
where the water soon assimilates in temperature to the atmosphere, but
possesses, for some reason known to the birds, a peculiar attraction
for wild-fowl, which congregate in great numbers about it. Where it
issues from the rock no vegetable of course can grow in it, and there
is a rim all round its edge about a foot in width where the grass and
weeds lie brown and dead, suffocated by the fumes. The fungoid-like
growth at the bottom of the pool exactly resembles a vegetable, but
is as purely mineral, though sub-aqueous, as the stalactites on a
cave-roof.

And so, on again through a wilderness of lucerne, with a broad
riband of carnation-coloured phlox retreating before its advancing
borders--past a perpetual succession of cottages coming at intervals
to a head in delightful farming hamlets of the true Mormon type--past
innumerable orchards, and here and there intervals of wild vegetation,
willows, and cotton-wood, with beds of blue iris, and brakes of wild
pink roses (such a confusion of beauty!) among which the birds and
butterflies seem to hold perpetual holiday.

Then Salt Lake comes in sight, lying along under the mountains on the
left, and on the right the Wasatch range closes in, with the upper
slopes all misty with grey clouds of sage-brush, and the lower vivid
with lusty lucerne. Each settlement is in turn a delightful repetition
of its predecessor, meadow and orchard and corn-land alternating, with
the same pleasant features of wild life, flocks of crimson-winged or
yellow-throated birds wheeling round the willow copses, or skimming
across the meadows, bitterns tumbling out from among the reeds, doves
darting from tree to tree, butterflies of exquisite species fluttering
among the beds of flowers, and overhead in the sky, floating on
observant wings, the hawk--one of those significant touches of Nature
that redeems a country-side from Arcadian mawkishness, and throws into
an over-sweet landscape just that dash of sin and suffering that lemons
it pleasantly to the taste.

Round the corner yonder lies Ogden, one of the most promising towns
of all the West, and as we approach it the great expanses of meadow
stretching down to the lake and the wide alfalfa levels give place
to a barren sage veldt, where the sunflower still retains ancestral
dominion, and the jackass rabbits flap their ears at each other
undisturbed by agriculture or by grazing stock. Nestling back into a
nook of the hills which rise up steeply behind it, and show plainly on
the front their old water-line of "Lake Bonneville" (of which the Great
Salt Lake is the shrunken miserable relict), lies a pretty settlement,
cosily muffed up in clover and fruit trees, and then beyond it, across
another interval of primeval sage, comes into view the white cupola of
the Ogden courthouse.

Ogden is the meeting-point of the northern and southern Utah lines of
rail, and, more important still, of the Union Pacific and the Central
Pacific also. As a "junction town," therefore, it enjoys a position
which has already made it prosperous, and which promises it great
wealth in the near future. Nature too has been very kind, for the
climate is one of the healthiest (if statistics may be believed) in the
world; and wood and water, and a fertile soil, are all in abundance.
Fortunately also, the Mormons selected the site and laid it out so that
the ground-plan is spacious, the roadways are ample, the shade-trees
profuse, and the drainage good. Its central school is, perhaps, the
leading one in the territory, while in manufactures and industry
it will probably some day outstrip Salt Lake City. For the visitor
who does not care about statistics, Ogden has another attraction as
the centre of a very beautiful canyon country, and excursions can
be made in a single day that will give him as exhaustive an idea of
the beauties of western hill scenery, as he will ever obtain by far
more extended trips. The Ogden and Weber canyons alone exhaust such
landscapes, but if the tourist has the time and the will, he may wander
away up into the Wasatch range, past Ogden valley and many lovely bits
of scenery, towards Bear Valley. But for myself, having seen nearly all
the canyons of Utah and many of Colorado, I confess that the Weber and
Ogden would have sufficed for all mere sight-seeing purposes.

It was in the Ogden refreshment-room, waiting for the train for San
Francisco, that I saw a performance that filled me with astonishment
and dismay. It was a man eating his dinner. And let me here remark,
with all possible courtesy, that the American on his travels is the
most reprehensible eater I have ever seen. In the first place, the
knives are purposely made blunt--the back and the front of the blade
being often of the same "sharpness"--to enable him to eat gravy with
it. The result is that the fork (which ought to be used simply to
hold meat steady on the plate while being cut with the knife) has to
be used with great force to wrench off fragments of food. The object
of the two instruments is thus materially abused, for he holds the
meat down with the knife and tears it into bits with his fork! Now,
reader, don't say no. For I have been carefully studying travelling
Americans at their food (all over the West at any rate), and what I say
is strictly correct. This abuse of knife and fork then necessitates
an extraordinary amount of elbow-room, for in forcing apart a tough
slice of beef the elbows have to stick out as square as possible,
and the consequence is, as the proprietor of a hotel told me, only
four Americans can eat in a space in which six Englishmen will dine
comfortably. The latter, when feeding, keep their elbows to their
sides; the former square them out on the line of the shoulders, and at
right angles to their sides. Having thus got the travelling American
into position, watch him consuming his food! He has ordered a dozen
"portions" of as many eatables, and the whole of his meal, after the
detestable fashion of the "eating-houses" at which travellers are fed,
is put before him at once. To eat the dozen or so different things
which he has ordered, he has only one knife and fork and one tea-spoon.
Bending over the table, he sticks his fork into a pickled gherkin, and
while munching this casts one rapid hawk-like glance over the spread
viands, and then proceeds to eat. Mehercule! what a sight it is! He
dabs his knife into the gravy of the steak, picks up with his fork a
piece of bacon, and while the one is going up to his mouth, the other
is reaching out for something else. He never apparently chews his food,
but dabs and pecks at the dishes one after the other with a rapidity
which (merely as a juggling trick) might be performed in London to
crowded houses every day, and with an impartiality that, considered as
"dining," is as savage as any meal of Red Indians or of Basutos. Dab,
dab, peck, peck, grunt, growl, snort! The spoon strikes in every now
and then, and a quick sucking-up noise announces the disappearance of a
mouthful of huckleberries on the top of a bit of bacon, or a spoonful
of custard-pie on the heels of a radish. It is perfectly prodigious.
It defies coherent description. But how on earth does he swallow?
Every now and then he shuts his eyes, and strains his throat; this,
I suppose, is when he swallows, for I have seen children getting rid
of cake with the same sort of spasm. Yet the rapidity with which he
shovels in his food is a wonder to me, seeing that he has not got any
"pouch" like the monkey or the pelican. Does he keep his miscellaneous
food in a "crop" like a pigeon, or a preliminary stomach like the cow,
and "chew the cud" afterwards at his leisure? I confess I am beaten by
it. The mixture of his food, if it pleases him, does not annoy me, for
if a man likes to eat mouthfuls of huckleberries, bacon, apple-pie,
pickled mackerel, peas, mutton, gherkins, oysters, radishes, tomatoes,
custard, and poached eggs (this is a bona-fide meal copied from my
note-book on the spot) in indiscriminate confusion, it has nothing to
do with me. But what I want to know is, why the travelling American
does not stop to chew his food; or why, as is invariably the case, he
will despatch in five minutes a meal for which he has half an hour set
specially apart? He falls upon his food as if he were demented with
hunger, as if he were a wild thing of prey tearing victims that he
hated into pieces; and when the hideous deed is done, he rushes out
from the scene of massacre with a handful of toothpicks, and leans idly
against the door-post, as if time were without limit or end! The whole
thing is a mystery to me. When I first came into the country I used to
waste many precious moments in gazing at "the fine confused feeding" of
my neighbours at the table, and waiting to see them choke. But I have
given that up now. I plod systematically and deliberately through my
one dish, content to find myself always the last at the table, with a
tumult of empty platters scattered all about me. Nothing can choke the
travelling American. In the meantime, I wish that young man of Ogden
would exhibit his great eating trick in London. It beats Maskelyne and
Cook into fits.

From Ogden northwards the road lies past perpetual cottage-farms,
separated only by orchards or fields, and clustering at intervals
into pleasant villages, where the people are all busy gathering in
their lucerne crops. The same profusion of wild-flowers, and exquisite
rose-brakes, the same abundance of bird and insect life is conspicuous.

But gradually our road bears away westward from the hills, leaving
cultivation and cottages to follow the line of irrigation along their
lower slopes, and while to our right the narrow-gauge line runs
northward up into the Cache Valley, the granary of Utah, we trend away
to the left. The northern end of the Salt Lake comes in sight, and the
track running for a while close to its side gives me a last look at
this sheet of wonderful water.

I was sorry to see the last of it, for I was sorry to leave Utah and
the kind-hearted, simple, hard-working Mormon people. But the Lake
gradually comes to a point, dwindles out into a marsh, and is gone, and
as we speed away across levels of dreary alkaline ground, we can only
recall its site by the wild duck streaming across to settle for the
night in the reeds that grow by its edges.

Away from Mormon industry, the sage-brush flourishes like green
bay-trees. To the east, the line of white-walled cottages speaks of a
civilization which we are leaving behind us. To the west, the dreary
mountains of Nevada already herald a region of barren desolation. And
so the sun begins to set, and in the dim moth-time, as the mists begin
to blur the outlines of Antelope Island in the Salt Lake, the small
round-faced owls come out upon the railway fencing and chuckle to each
other, and crossing the Bear River, all ruddy with the sunset, we see
the night-hawks skimming the water in chase of the creatures of the
twilight.

And so to Corinne, ghastly Corinne, a Gentile failure on the very
skirts of Mormon success. It had once a great carrying-trade, for being
at the terminus of the Utah Railway, Montana depended upon it for its
supplies, and bitterly had Montana cause to regret it, for the Corinne
freight-carriers (I wish I could remember their expressive slang name)
seemed to think that railway enterprise must always terminate at
Corinne, and so they carried just what they chose, at the price they
chose, and when they chose. But the railway ran past them one fine day,
and so now there is Corinne, stranded high and dry, as discreditable
a settlement as ever men put together. Without any plan, treeless and
roadless, the scattered hamlet of crazy-looking shanties stands half
the year in drifting dust and half the year in sticky mud, and the
Mormons point the finger of scorn at the place the Gentiles used to
boast of. And Corinne seems to strike the keynote of the succeeding
country, for cultivation ceases and habitations are not on the desolate
plain we enter. And so to Promontory and then darkness.

We awake to find ourselves still in calamitous Nevada. What heaps of
British gold have been sunk in those ugly hills in the hope of getting
up American silver!

But here is Halleck, a government post, and soldiers from the barracks
are lounging about in uniforms that make them look like butcher-boys,
and with a drowsy gait that makes one suspect them to be burthened
with the saddening load of yesterday's whisky. Then, after an interval
of desert, we cross the Humboldt river, thick with the mud of melting
snows, and, snaking across a plain warted over with ant-hills, arrive
at Elko.

It is possible that Allah in his mercy may forgive Elko the offal which
it put before us for breakfast. For myself, mere humanity forbids me to
forgive it. But Elko was otherwise of interest. A waiter, very black,
and, in proportion to his nigritude, insolent, had triumphed over my
unconcealed disgust with my food. Yet I turned to him civilly and said,
"Isn't there a warm spring here which is worth going to see?"

"No," said the negro, "our spring been burned up!"

"Burned up!" I exclaimed in astonishment; "the spring been burned up!"

"Yes," said the abominable one, "burned up. Everybody know dat."

"Was your mother there?" I asked courteously, pretending not to be
exasperated by the blackamoor.

"My mother? No. My mother's--"

"Ah!" I replied, "I thought she might have been burned up at the same
time, for you look like the son of a cinder."

My sally--mean effort that it was--was a complete triumph, and I left
Ham squashed. It proved, of course, that it was the wooden shanty at
the spring that had been burned down, but in any case it was too far
off for us to go to see. So we consoled ourselves with the Indians,
who always gather on the platform at Elko, in the assurance of begging
or showing their papooses to some purpose. Nor were they wrong. I
paid a quarter to see "the papoose," and got more than my money's
worth in hearing this poor brown woman talking to her child the same
sweet nursery nonsense that my own wife talks to mine. And the papoose
understood it all, and chuckled and smiled and looked happy, for all
the world as if it were something better than a mere Indian baby. Poor
little Lamanite! In a year or two it will be strutting about the camp
with its mimic bow and arrows, striking its mother, and sneering at her
as "a squaw," and ten years later (if the end of the race has not then
arrived) may be riding with his tribe on some foul errand of murder,
while his mother carries the lodge-poles and the cooking-pots on foot
behind the young brave's horse. Imagine a life in which begging is the
chief dissipation, and horse-stealing the only industry!

But I can feel a sympathy for the red man. It may be true that neither
gunpowder nor the Gospel can reform him, that his code of morality is
radically incurable, that he is, in fact, "the red-bellied varmint"
that the Western man believes him to be. Yet all the same, remembering
the miracles that British government has worked with the Gonds and
other seemingly hopeless tribes of India, I entertain a lurking
suspicion that under other and more kindly circumstances the Red Indian
might have been to-day a better thing than he is.

At any rate, a people cannot be altogether worthless that in the
deepest depths of their degradation still maintain a lofty wild-beast
scorn of white men, and think them something lower than themselves.
And is not pride the noblest and the easiest of all fulcrums for a
government to work on?

Is it quite certain, for instance, that, given arms, and drilled as
soldiers, detachments of the tribes, as auxiliaries of the regulars,
might not do good service at the different military posts, in routine
duty, of course, and that the prestige of such employment would not
appeal to the military spirit of the tribes at large? What is there
at Fort Halleck that Indians could not do as well as white men? It is
a notorious fact, and as old as American history, that the red man
holds sacred everything that his tribe is guarding. Why should not this
chivalry, common to every savage race on earth, and largely utilized
by other governments in Asia and in Africa, be turned to account
in America too, and Indians be entrusted with the peace of Indian
frontiers?

I know well enough that many will think my suggestion sentimental and
absurd, but fortunately it is just the class who think in that way that
have no real importance in this or in any other country. They are the
men who think the "critturs" ought to be "used up," and who, when they
are in the West, "would as soon shoot an Injun as a coyote." These men
form a class of which America, when she is three generations older,
will have little need for, and who, in a more settled community, will
find that they must either conform to civilization or else "git."
There are a great number of these coarse, thick-skinned, ignorant men
floating about on the surface of Western America: for Western America
still stands in need of men who will do the reckless preliminary work
of settlement, and shoot each other off over a whisky bottle when that
work is done. Now, these men, and those of a feebler kind who take
their opinions from them, believe and preach that annihilation of the
Indian is the only possible cure for the Indian evil. I have heard
them say it in public a score of times that "the Indian should be
wiped clean out." But a larger and more generous class is growing up
very fast in the West, who are beginning to see that the red men are
really a charge upon them: and that as a great nation they must take
upon themselves the responsibilities of empire, and protect the weaker
communities whom a rapidly advancing civilization is isolating in their
midst.

But it is a pity that those in authority cannot see their way to
giving practical effect to such sentiments, and devise some method for
utilizing the Indian. For myself, seeing what has been done in Asia
and in Africa with equally difficult tribes, I should be inclined to
predict success for an experiment in military service, if the routine
duties of barracks and outpost duty, in unnecessary places, can be
called "military service."

For one thing, drilled and well-armed Indians would very soon put a
stop to cow-boy disturbances in Arizona, or anywhere else. Or, again,
if Indians had been on his track, James, the terror of Missouri, would
certainly not have flourished so long as he did.

But by this time we have got far past Elko, and the train is carrying
us through an undulating desert of rabbit-bush and greasewood, with
dull, barren hills on either hand, and then we reach Carlin, another
dreadful-looking hamlet of the Corinne type, and, alas! Gentile also,
without a tree or a road, and nearly every shanty in it a saloon.

More Indians are on the platform. They are allowed, it appears, under
the Company's contract with the government, to ride free of charge
upon the trains, and so the poor creatures spend their summer days,
when they are not away hunting or stealing, in travelling backwards
and forwards from one station to the next, and home again. This does
not strike the civilized imagination as a very exhilarating pastime,
nor one to be contemplated with much enthusiasm of enjoyment. Yet the
Indians, in their own grave way, enjoy it prodigiously.

Curiously enough, they cannot be persuaded to ride anywhere, except on
the platforms between the baggage-cars. But here they cluster as thick
as swarming bees, the in all the fantastic combination of vermilion,
"bucks" tag-rag and nudity, the squaws dragging about ponderous bison
robes and sheep-skins, and laden with papooses, the children, grotesque
little imitations of their parents, with their playthings in their
hands.

For the "papoose" is a human child after all, and the little Shoshonee
girls nurse their dolls just as little girls in New York do, only, of
course, the Red Indian's child carries on her back an imitation papoose
in an imitation pannier, instead of wheeling an imitation American
baby in an imitation American "baby-carriage." I watched one of these
brown fragments of the great sex that gives the world its wives and its
mothers, its sweethearts and its sisters, and it was quite a revelation
to me to hear the wee thing crooning to her wooden baby, and hushing
it to sleep, and making believe to be anxious as to its health and
comforts. Yes, and my mind went back on a sudden to the nursery, on
the other side of the Atlantic, thousands of miles away, where another
little girl sits crooning over her doll of rags and wax, and on her
face I saw just the same expression of troubled concern as clouded the
little Shoshonee's brow, and the same affectation of motherly care.

So it takes something more than mere geographical distance to alter
human nature.



CHAPTER XXII.

FROM NEVADA INTO CALIFORNIA.

    Of Bugbears--Suggestions as to sleeping-cars--A Bannack chief,
    his hat and his retinue--The oasis of Humboldt--Past Carson
    Sink--A reminiscence of wolves--"Hard places"--First glimpses of
    California--A corn miracle--Bunch-grass and Bison--From Sacramento
    to Benicia.

IS a bugbear most bug or bear? I never met one yet fairly face to face,
for the bugbear is an evasive insect. Nor, if I did meet one, can I
say whether I should prefer to find it mainly bug or mainly bear. The
latter is of various sorts. Thus, one, the little black bear of the
Indian hills, is about as formidable as a portmanteau of the same size.
Another, the grizzly of the Rockies, is a very unamiable person. His
temper is as short as his tail; and he has very little more sense of
right and wrong than a Land-leaguer. But he is not so mean as the bug.
You never hear of grizzly bears getting into the woodwork of bedsteads
and creeping out in the middle of the night to sneak up the inside of
your night-shirt. He does not go and cuddle himself up flat in a crease
of the pillow-case, and then slip out edgeways as soon as it is dark,
and bite you in the nape of the neck. It is not on record that a bear
ever got inside a nightcap and waited till the gas was turned out, to
come forth and feed like grief on the damask cheek of beauty. No, these
are not the habits of bears, they are more manly than bugs. If you
want to catch a bear between your finger and thumb, and hold it over
a lighted match on the point of a pin, it will stand still to let you
try. Or if you want to have a good fair slap at a bear with a slipper,
it won't go flattening itself out in the crevices of furniture, in
order to dodge the blow, but will stand up square in the road, in broad
daylight, and let you do it. So, on the whole, I cannot quite make
up my mind whether bugs or bears are the worst things to have about
a house. You see you could shoot at the bear out of the window; but
it would be absurd to fire off rifles at bugs between the blankets.
Besides, bears don't keep you awake all night by leaving you in doubt
as to whether they are creeping about the bed or not, or spoil your
night's rest by making you sit up and grope about under the bed-clothes
and try to see things in the dark. Altogether, then, there is a good
deal to be said on the side of the bear.

I am led to these remarks by remembering that at Carlin, in Nevada, I
found two bugs in my "berth" in the sleeping-car. The porter thought I
must have "brought them with me." Perhaps I did, but, as I told him,
I didn't remember doing so, and with his permission would not take
them any further. Or perhaps the Shoshonees brought them. All Indians,
whether red or brown, are indifferent to these insects, and carry them
about with them in familiar abundance.

And this reminds me to say a little about sleeping-cars in general.
During my travels in America I have used three kinds, the Pullman
Palace, the Silver Palace, and the Baltimore and Ohio, and except
in "high tone," and finish of ornament, where the Pullman certainly
excels the rest, there is very little to choose between them. All are
extremely comfortable as sleeping-cars. In the Silver Palace, however,
there is a custom prevalent of not pulling down the upper berth when it
is unoccupied, and this improvement on the Pullman plan is certainly
very great. The two shelves, one at each end of the berth, are ample
for one's clothes, while the sense of relief and better ventilation
from not having the bottom of another bedstead suspended eighteen
inches or so above your face is decidedly conducive to better rest.
The general adoption of this practice, wherever possible, would, I am
sure, be popular among passengers. As day-cars, the "sleepers" have
one or two defects in common, which might very easily be remedied. For
one thing, every seat should have a removable headrest belonging to
it. As it is, the weary during the day become very weary indeed, and
the attempts of passengers to rest their heads by curling themselves
up on the seats, or lying crosswise in the "section," are as pathetic
as they are often absurd, and give a Palace car the appearance, on
a hot afternoon, of a ward in some Hospital for Spinal Complaints.
Another point that should be altered is the hour for closing the
smoking-room. When not required for berths for passengers (for the
company's employees ought not to be considered when the convenience of
the company's customers is in question) there is no reason whatever
for closing the smoking-room at ten. As a rule it is not closed;
but sometimes it is; and it should not be placed in the power of
a surly conductor--and there are too many ill-mannered conductors
on the railways--to annoy passengers by applying such a senseless
regulation. A third point is the apple-and-newspaper-boy nuisance.
This wretched creature, if of an enterprising kind, pesters you to
purchase things which you have no intention of purchasing, and if you
express any annoyance at his importunity, he is insolent. But apart
from his insolence, he is an unmitigated nuisance. What should be done
is this: a printed slip, such as the boy himself carries and showing
what he sells, should be put on to the seats by the porter, and when
any passenger wants an orange or a book, he could send for the vendor.
But the vendor should be absolutely forbidden to parade his wares in
the sleeping-cars, unless sent for. Anywhere else, except on a train,
he would be handed over to the police for his importunities; but on
the train he considers himself justified in badgering the public,
and impertinently resents being ordered away. These are three small
matters, no doubt, but changes in the direction I have suggested would
nevertheless materially increase the comfort of passengers.

And now let me see. When I fell into these digressions I had just
said good-bye to the Mormons and Mormonland, and had got as far into
Nevada as Carlin. From there a dismal interval of wilderness brings the
traveller to Palisade, a group of wooden saloons haunted by numbers of
yellow Chinese. In the few minutes that the train stopped here, I saw a
curious sight.

A number of our Shoshonee passengers--the "deadheads" on the platform
between the baggage-cars--had got off, and one, of them was the squaw
that had the papoose. As she sat down and unslung her infant from
her back, a group gathered round her--one Englishman, one negro,
three mulattoes, and a Chinaman. And they were all laughing at the
Indian. Not one of them all, not even the negro, but thought himself
entitled to make fun of her and her baby! The white man looks down
on the mulatto, and the mulatto on the negro, and the negro and the
Chinaman reciprocate a mutual disdain; yet here they were, all four
together, on a common platform, loftily ridiculing the Shoshonee! It
was a delightful spectacle for the cynic. But I am no cynic, and yet I
laughed heartily at them all--at them all except the Shoshonee.

I cannot, for the life of me, help venerating these representatives of
aprodigious antiquity, these relics of a civilization that dates back
before our Flood.

Then we reach the Humboldt River, a broad and full-watered stream,
lazily winding along among ample meadows. But not a trace of
cultivation anywhere. And then on to the desert again with the
surface of the alkali land curling up into flakes, and the lank grey
greasewood sparsely scattered about it. The desolation is as utter as
in Beluchistan or the Land of Goshen, and instead of Murrees there are
plenty of Shoshonees to make the desolation perilous to travellers by
waggon. At Battle Creek station they are mustered in quite a crowd,
listless men with faces like masks and women burnished and painted and
wooden as the figure-heads of English barges. I do not think that in
all my travels, in Asia or in Africa, or in the islands of eastern or
southern seas, I have ever met a race with such a baffling physiognomy.
You can no more tell from his face what an Indian is thinking of than
you can from a monkey's. Their eyes brighten and then glaze over again
without a word being spoken or a muscle of the face moved, and they
avert their glance as soon as you look at them. If you look into an
Indian's eyes, they seem to deaden, and all expression dies out of
them; but the moment you begin to turn your head away, at you. They are
hieroglyphics altogether, and there is something "uncanny" about them.

At Battle Creek we note that (with irrigation) trees will grow, but
in a few minutes we are out again on the wretched desert, the eternal
greasewood being the only apology for vegetation, and little prairie
owls the only representatives of wild life. And so to Winnemucca,
where, being watered, a few trees are growing; but the desolation
is nevertheless so complete that I could not help thinking of the
difference a little Mormon industry would make! A company of Bannack
Indians were waiting here for the train, and such a wonderful
collection as they were! One of them was the chief who not long ago
gave the Federal troops a good deal of trouble, and his retinue was
the most delightful medley of curiosities--a long thin man with the
figure of a lamppost, a short fat one with the expression of a pancake,
a half-breed with a beard, and a boy with a squint. The chief, with
a face about an acre in width, wore a stove-pipe hat with the crown
knocked out and the opening stuffed full of feathers, but the rest
of his wonderful costume, all flapping about him in ends and fringes
of all colours and very dirty, is indescribable. His suite were in
a more sober garb, but all were grotesque, their headgear being
especially novel, and showing the utmost scorn of the hatter's original
intentions. Some wore their hats upside down and strapped round the
chin with a ribbon; others inside out, with a fringe of their own added
on behind--but it was enough to make any hatter mad to look at them.

They travelled with us across the next interval of howling wilderness,
and got out to promenade at Humboldt, where we got out to dine--and, as
it proved, to dine well.

Humboldt is an exquisite oasis in the hideous Nevada waste. A fountain
plays before the hotel door, and on either side are planted groves
of trees, poplar and locust and willow, with the turf growing green
beneath them, and roses scattered about.

No wonder that all the birds and butterflies of the neighbourhood
collect at such a beautiful spot, or that travellers go away grateful,
not only for the material benefits of a good meal, but the pleasures
of green trees and running water and the song of birds. An orchard,
with lucerne strong and thick beneath them, promises a continuance of
cultivation, but on a sudden it stops, and we find ourselves out again
on the alkali plain, as barren and blistered as the banks of the Suez
Canal. A tedious hour or two brings us to the river again; but man
here is not agricultural, so the desert continues in spite of abundant
water. And so to Lovelocks, where girls board the train as if they were
brigands, urging us to buy "sweet fresh milk--five cents a glass."
Indians, as usual, are lounging about on the platform, and some more of
them get on to the train, and away we go again into the same Sahara as
before. Humboldt Lake, the "sink" where the river disappears from the
surface of the earth, and a distant glimpse of Carson's "Sink," hardly
relieve the desperate monotony, for they are hideous levels of water
without a vestige of vegetation, and close upon them comes as honest a
tract of desert as even Africa can show, and with no more "features"
on it than a plate of cold porridge has. A wolf goes limping off in a
three-legged kind of way, as much as to say that, having to live in
such a place, it didn't much care whether we caught it or not; and what
a contrast to the pair of wolves I remember meeting one morning in
Afghanistan!

I was riding a camel and looking away to my right across the plain. I
saw coming towards me, over the brushwood, in a series of magnificent
leaps, a couple of immense wolves. I knew that wolves grew sometimes to
a great size, but I had no idea that, even with their winter fur on,
they could be so large as these were.

And there was a majesty about their advance that fascinated me, for
every bound, though it carried them twelve or fifteen feet, was so
free and light that they seemed to move by machinery rather than by
prodigious strength of muscle. But it suddenly occurred to me that they
were crossing my path, and I saw, moreover, that our relative speeds,
if maintained, might probably bring us into actual collision at the
point of intersection. But it was not for me to yield the road, and the
wolves thought it was not for them. And so we approached, the wolves
keeping exact time and leaping together, as if trained to do it, and
then, without swerving a hair's-breadth from their original course they
bounded across the path only a few feet behind my camel. It was superb
courage on their part, and as an episode of wild-beast life, one of the
most picturesque and dramatic I ever witnessed.

The next station we halted at was Wadsworth, a "hard place," so
men say, where revolvers are in frequent use and Lynch is judge.
Here the broad-faced Bannack chief got down, and, followed by his
tag-rag retinue, disappeared into the cluster of wigwams which we
saw pitched behind the station. I noticed a man standing here with a
splendid cactus in his hand, covered with large magenta blossoms, and
this reminded me to note the conspicuous change in the botany that
about here takes place. The flowers that had borne us company all
through Utah and now and then brightened the roadside in Nevada had
disappeared, and were replaced by others of species nearly all new
to me. I saw here for the first time a golden-flowered cactus and a
tall lavender-coloured spiraea of singular beauty. A little beyond
Wadsworth the change becomes even more marked, for striking the Truckee
river, we exchange desolation for pretty landscape, and the desert for
green bottom lands. The alteration was a welcome one, and some of the
glimpses, even if we had not passed through such a melancholy region,
would have claimed our admiration on their own merits. The full-fed
river poured along a rapid stream, through low-lying meadow-lands
fringed with tall cotton-wood, the valley sometimes narrowing so much
that the river took up all the room, and then widening out so as to
admit of large expanses of grass and occasional fields of corn. And so
to Greeno, where we supped heartily off "Truckee trout," one of the
best fish that ever wagged a fin. As we got back into the cars it was
getting dark, for with the usual luck of travel the Central Pacific
has to run its trains so as to give passengers ugly Nevada by day and
beautiful California by night.

Awaking next morning was a wonderful surprise. We had gone to sleep in
Nevada in early summer, and we awoke in California late in autumn! In
Utah, two days ago, the crops had only just begun to flush the ground
with green. Here, to-day, the corn-fields were the sun-dried stubble of
crops that had been cut weeks ago!

And the first glimpses of it were fortunate ones, for when I awoke
it was in a fine park-like, undulating country, studded with clumps
of oak-trees, but one continuous cornfield. Great mounds of straw
and stacks of corn dotted the landscape as far as the eye could see,
and already the fields were alive with carts and men all busy with
the splendid harvest. After a while came vast expanses of meadow,
prettily timbered, in which great flocks of sheep and herds of cattle
were grazing, ranches such as I had never seen before. And then we
passed some houses, broad-eaved and verandahed, with capacious barns
standing in echelon behind, and all the signs of an ample prosperity,
deep shaded in walnut-trees laden with nuts, overrun by vines already
heavy with clusters, and brightened by clumps of oleanders ruddy with
blossom. And then came the corn-fields again, an unbroken expanse of
stubble, yellow as the sea-sand, and seemingly as interminable. What a
country! It is a kingdom in itself.

And its rivers! The American River soon came in sight, rolling its
stately flood along between brakes of willow and elder, and aspen, and
then the Sacramento, a noble stream. And the two conspire and join
together to take liberties with the solid earth, swamp it into bulrush
beds by the league together, and create such jungles as almost rival
the great Himalaya Terai. And so to Sacramento.

Sacramento was en fete, for it was the race week. So bunting was
flapping from every conspicuous point, and everything and everybody
wore a whole holiday, morning-cocktail, go-as-you-please sort of look.
This fact may account for the very ill-mannered conductor who boarded
us here.

I am sitting in the smoking-car. Enter conductor with his mouth too
full of tobacco to be able to speak. He points at me with his thumb. I
take no notice of his thumb. He spits in the spittoon at my feet and
jerks his thumb towards me again. I disregard his thumb. "Ticket!" he
growls. I give him my ticket. He punches it and thrusts it back to me
so carelessly and suddenly that it falls on the floor. He takes no
notice, but passes on into the car. I take out my pocket-book and make
a note;--

"Such a man as this goes some way towards discrediting the
administration of a whole line. It seems a pity therefore to retain his
services."

However, of Sacramento, I was very sorry not to be able to stay there,
for next to the Los Angeles country I had been told that it was one of
the finest "locations" in all California, and I can readily believe it,
for the botany of the place is sub-tropical, and snow and sunstroke
are equally unknown. Fruits of all kinds grow there in delightful
abundance, and I cherish it therefore as a personal grudge against
Sacramento that there was not even a blackberry procurable at breakfast.

Passing from Sacramento, and remarking as we go, the patronage which
that vegetable impostor, the eucalyptus globulus (or "blue-gum" of
Australia) has secured, both as an ornamental--save the mark!--and
a shade-tree, two purposes for which by itself the eucalyptus is
specially unfitted, we find ourselves once more in a world given up to
harvesting. A monotonous panorama of stubble and standing crops, with
clumps of pretty oak timber studding the undulating land, leads us to
the diversified approaches to San Francisco.

It is old travellers' ground, but replete with the interest which
attaches to variety of scenery, continual indications of vast wealth,
and a rapidly growing prosperity. But one word, before we reach the
town, for that wonderful natural crop--the "wild oats," which clothe
every vacant acre of the country on this Pacific watershed with
harvests as close and as regular as if the land had been tilled, and
the ground sown, by human agency. This surprising plant is said to have
been brought to California by the Spaniards, and to have run wild from
the original fields. But whatever its origin, it is now growing in such
vast prairies that whole tribes of Indians used to look to it as the
staple of their food. But better crops are fast displacing it, and as
for the Indian, California no longer belongs to him or his bison-herds.
Further east, that is to say, from the Platte Valley to the Sierra
Nevada, the "bunch grass" was the great natural provision for the wild
herds of the wild man, and it still ranks as one of the most valuable
features of otherwise barren regions in Colorado, Utah, and Nevada.
To the student of Nature, however, it is far more interesting as one
of the most beautiful examples of her kindly foresight, for the bunch
grass grows where nothing else can find nourishment, and just when
all other grasses are useless as fodder, it throws out young juicy
shoots, thrives under the snow, and then in May, when other grasses are
abundant, it dies! Somebodv has said that without the mule and the pig
America would never have been colonized. That may be as it may be. But
the real pioneer of the West was the bison, for the first emigrants
followed exactly in the footsteps of the retiring herds, and these in
their turn grazed their way towards the Pacific in the line of the
bunch grass.

Mount Diavolo is the first "feature" that arouses the traveller's
inquisitiveness, and then the Martines Straits with their yellow
waters spread out at the feet of rolling, yellow hills, and then great
mud flats on which big vessels lie waiting for the tide to come and
float them on, and then a bay which, with its girdle of hills and its
broad margin, reminds me of Durban in Natal. So to Benicia, the place
of "the Boy," with the blacksmith's forge where Heenan used to work
still standing near the water's edge, and where the hammer that the
giant used to use is still preserved "in memoriam," and then on to the
ferry-boat (train and all!) and across a bay of brown water and brown
mud and brown hills--dismally remindful of Weston-super-Mare--and on
to dry land again, past Berkley, with its college among the trees,
Oakland, and other suburban resorts of the San Franciscan, to the
fine new three-storeyed Station at the pier. Once more on to the
ferry-boat, but this time leaving our train behind us and across
another bay, and so into San Francisco. Outside the station stands a
crowd of chariot-like omnibuses, as gorgeously coloured, some of them,
as the equipages of a circus, and empanelled with gaudy pictures. In
one of them we find our proper seats, and are soon bumping over the
cobble-stones into "the most wonderful city, sir, of America."



CHAPTER XXIII.

    San Franciscans, their fruits and their falsehoods--Their neglect
    of opportunities--A plague of flies--The pig-tail problem--Chinamen
    less black than they are painted--The seal rocks--The loss of the
    Eurydice--A jeweller's fairyland--The mystery of gems.

SOMEBODY has poked fun at San Francisco, by calling it the "Venice of
the West," and then qualifying the compliment by explaining that the
only resemblance between the two cities is in the volume and variety of
the disagreeable smells that prevail in them. But the San Franciscans
take no notice of this explanation. They accept the comparison in its
broadest sense, and positively expect you to see a resemblance between
their very wonderful, but very new town, and Venice! Indeed, there is
no limit to the San Franciscan's expectations from a stranger.

Now, I was sitting in the hotel one day and overheard a couple of San
Franciscans bragging in an off-hand way to a poor wretch who had been
brought up, I should guess, in New Mexico, and calmly assuring him that
there was no place "in the world" of greater beauty than San Francisco,
or of more delicious fruit. I pretended to fall into the same easy
credulity myself, and drew them on to making such monstrous assertions
as that San Francisco was a revelation of beauty to all travellers, and
the perfection of its fruit a never-ceasing delight to them! I then
ventured deferentially to inquire what standard of comparison they had
for their self-laudation, what other countries they had visited, and
what fruits they considered California produced in such perfection.
Now, it turned out that these three impostors had never been out of
America: in fact, that, except for short visits on business to the
Eastern States, they had never been out of California and Nevada! I
then assured them that, for myself, I had seen, in America alone, many
places far more beautiful, while "in the world" I knew of a hundred
with which San Francisco should not venture to compare itself. As for
its fruits, there was not in its market, nor in its best shops, a
single thing that deserved to be called first-class. From the watery
cherries to the woolly apricots, every fruit was as flavourless as it
dared to be, while, as a whole, they were so second-rate that they
could not have found a sale in the best shops of either Paris or
London. The finest fruit, to my mind, was a small but well-flavoured
mango, imported from Mexico. Its flavour was almost equal to that of
the langra of the Benares district, or the green mango of Burmah; and
if the Maldah was grafted on to this Mexican stock, the result would
probably be a fruit that would be as highly prized in New York and in
England, as it is all over Asia. But very few people in San Francisco
ever buy mangoes. "No, sir," I said at last to the barbarian who had
been imposed upon; "don't you believe any one who tells you that San
Francisco is the most lovely spot on earth, or that its fruits are
extraordinary in flavour. San Francisco is a wonderful city; it is the
Wonder of the West. But you must not believe all that San Franciscans
tell you about it."

It is a great pity that San Franciscans should have this weakness. They
have plenty to be proud of, for their city is a marvel. But it has as
yet all the disadvantages of newness. Its population, moreover, is
as disagreeably unsettled as in the towns of the Levant. All the mud
and dirt are still in suspension. I know very well, of course, that
improvement is making immense and rapid strides, but to the visitor the
act of transition is, of course, invisible, and he only sees the place
at a period of apparent repose between the last point of advance and
the next. He can imagine anything he pleases--and it is difficult to
imagine the full splendour of the future of the Californian capital.
But this is not what he actually sees. For myself, then, I found San
Francisco as so many other travellers have described it, disorderly,
breathless with haste, unkempt. Here and there, where trees have
been planted, and there is the grace of flowers and creeping plants,
the houses look as if rational people might really live in them. But
for the vast majority of the buildings, they seem merely places to
lodge in, dak-bungalows or rest-houses, perches for passing swallows,
anything you like--except houses to pass one's life in. They are not
merely wooden, but they are sham too, with their imposing "fronts"
nailed on to the roofs to make them look finer, just as vulgar women
paste curly "bangs" on to the fronts of their heads. There is also
an inexcusable dearth of ornament. I say inexcusable, because San
Francisco might be a perfect paradise of flowers and trees. Even the
"weeds" growing on the sand dunes outside the city are flowers that are
prized in European gardens. But as it is, Francois Jeannot,--"French
gardener, with general enterprise of gardens," as his signboard
states,--has evidently very little to do. There is little "enterprise
of gardens." Yet what exquisite flowers there are! The crimson salvia
grows in strong hedges, and plots are fenced in with geraniums.
The fuchsias are sturdy shrubs in which birds might build their
nests, and the roses and jessamines and purple clematis of strange,
large-blossomed kinds, form natural arbours of enchanting beauty.
Lobelias spread out into large cushions of a royal blue, and the canna,
wherever sown, sends up shafts of vivid scarlet, orange, and yellow.

If I only knew the names of other plants I could fill a page with
descriptions of the wonderful luxuriance of San Franciscan flowers.
But all I could say would only emphasize the more clearly the apparent
neglect by the San Franciscans of the floral opportunities they possess.

It is curious how enthusiastic California has been in its reception
of the eucalyptus globulus, the blue-gum tree of Australia. And I
am afraid there has been some job put upon the San Franciscans in
this matter. Has anybody, with a little speculation in blue-gums on
hand, been telling them that the eucalyptus was a wonderful drainer
of marshes and conqueror of fevers? If so, it is a pity they had not
heard that that hoax was quite played out in Europe, and the eucalyptus
shown to be an impostor. Or were they told of its stately proportions,
its rapid growth, its beautiful foliage, and its splendid shade? If
so, that hoax will soon expose itself. Given a site where no wind
blows, the eucalyptus will grow straight, but offered the smallest
provocation it flops off to one side or the other, while its foliage
is liable probably beyond that of all other trees to discoloration
and raggedness. In Natal it has proved itself very useful as fencing,
for neither wood nor stone being procurable, slips and shreds of
eucalyptus have soon grown up into permanent hedges. But no one thinks
of valuing it anywhere, except in Australia, either for its timber, its
appearance, or its medicinal virtues.

In many ways the Queen of the Pacific was a surprise; I had expected
to find it "semi-tropical." It is nothing of the kind. Women were
wearing furs every afternoon (in June) because of the chill wind that
springs up about three o'clock, and men walked about with great-coats
over their arms ready for use. The architecture of the city is not
so "semi-tropical" as that of suburban New York, while vegetation,
instead of being rampant, is conspicuously absent. Three women out
of every four wore very thick veils, but why they were so thick I
could not discover. In hot countries they do not wear them, nor in
"semi-tropical." Perhaps they were vestiges of some recent visitation
of dust, which appears to be sometimes as prodigious here as it is in
Pietermaritzburg. But they might, very properly, have been an armour
against the flies which swarmed in some parts of the town in hideous
multitudes. I went into a large restaurant, the "Palace" something it
was called, with the intention of eating, but I left without doing so,
a palled by the plague of flies. I found Beelzebub very powerful in
Washington, and at some of "the eating places" in the South his hosts
were intolerable; but San Francisco has streets as completely given
over to the fly-fiend as an Alexandrian bazaar.

Before I went to San Francisco, I had an idea that a "Chinese question"
was agitating the State of California, that every white man was excited
about the expulsion of the heathen, that it was the topic of the day,
and that passion ran high between the rival populations. I very soon
found that I had been mistaken, and that there is really no "Chinese
question" at all in California. At least, the one question now is,
how to evade the late bill stopping Chinese immigration; and it was
gleefully pointed out to me that though the importation of Celestials
by sea was prohibited, there was no provision to prevent them being
brought into the State by land; and that the numbers of the arrivals
would not probably diminish in the least!

I had intended to "study" the Chinese question. But there is not much
study to be done over a ghost. Besides, every Californian manufacturer
is agreed on the main points, that Chinese labour is absolutely
necessary, that there is not enough of it yet in the State, that more
still must be obtained. And where a "problem" is granted on all hands,
it is hardly worth while affecting to search for profound social,
political, or economical complication in it. There is not much more
mystery about it than about the nose on a man's face.

Of course those who organized the clamour have what they call
"arguments," but they are hardly such as can command respect. In the
first place they allege two apprehensions as to the future: 1. That
the Chinese, if unrestricted, will swamp the Americans in the State;
and 2. That they will demoralize those Americans. Now the first is, I
take it, absurd, and if it is not, then California ought to be ashamed
of itself. And as for the second, who can have any sympathy with a
State that is unable to enforce its police regulations, or with a
community in which parents say they cannot protect the purity of their
households? If the Chinaman, as a citizen, disregards sanitary bye-laws
why is he not punished, as he would be everywhere else: and if as a
domestic servant he misbehaves, why is he not dispensed with, as he
would be everywhere else?

Besides these two apprehensions as to the future, they have three
objections as to the present. The first is, that the Chinese send their
earnings out of the country; the second, that they spend nothing in San
Francisco; the third, that they underwork white men. Now the first is
foolish, the second and the third, I believe, untrue. As to the Chinese
carrying money out of the country--why should they not do so? Will
any one say seriously that America, a bullion-producing country, is
injured by the Chinese taking their money earnings out of the States,
in exchange for that which America cannot produce, namely, labour? Is
political economy to go mad simply to suit the sentiment of extra-white
labour in California?

As to the Chinese spending nothing in this country, this is hardly
borne out by facts, and, in the mouths Of San Franciscans, specially
unfortunate. For they have not only raised their prices upon the
Chinese, but have actually forbidden them to spend their money in
those directions in which they wished to do so. As it is, however,
they spend, in exorbitant rents, taxes, customs-dues, and in direct
expenditure, a perfectly sufficient share of their earnings, and
if permitted to do so, would spend a great deal more. A ludicrous
superstition, that the Chinese are economical, underlies many of the
misstatements put forward as "arguments" against them. Yet they are
not economical. On the contrary, the Chinese and the Japanese are
exceptional among Eastern races for their natural extravagance.

It is further alleged that they underwork white men. This statement
will hardly bear testing; for the wages of a Chinese workman, in the
cigar trade, for instance, are not lower than those of a white man,
say, in Philadelphia. They do not, therefore, "underwork" the white
man; but they do undoubtedly underwork the white Californian. For the
white Californian will not work at Eastern rates. On the contrary, he
wishes to know whether you take him for "a -- fool" to think that he,
in California, is going to accept the same wages that he could have
stopped in New York for! Yet why should he not do so? It will hardly
be urged that the Californian Irishman is a superior individual to the
Eastern American, or that the average San Franciscan workman is any
better than the men of his own class on the Atlantic coast? Yet the
Californian claims higher wages, and abuses the Chinese for working at
rates which white men are elsewhere glad to accept. He says, too, that
living is dearer. Facts disprove this. As a matter of fact, living is
cheaper in San Francisco than in either Chicago or New York.

How did I spend my time in San Francisco? Well, friends were very kind
to me, and I saw everything that a visitor "ought to see." But after my
usual fashion I wandered about the streets a good deal alone, and rode
up and down in the street-cars, and I had half a mind at first to be
disappointed with the city of which r had heard so much. But later in
the evening, when the gas was alight and the pavement had its regular
habitues, and the pawnbrokers' and bankrupts'-stock stores were all lit
up, I saw what a wild, strange city it was. Indeed, I know of no place
in the world more full of interesting incidents and stirring types than
this noisy, money-spending San Francisco.

One night, of course, I spent several hours in the Chinese quarter, and
I cannot tell why, but I took a great fancy to the Celestial, as he is
to be seen in San Francisco. Politically, nationally, and commercially,
I hate Pekin and all its works. But individually I find the Chinaman,
all the world over, a quiet-mannered, cleanly-living, hard-working
servant. And in all parts of the world, except California, my estimate
of Johnnie is the universal one. In California, however, so the
extra-white people say, he is a dangerous, dirty, demoralizing heathen.
And there is no doubt of it that, in the Chinese quarter of the city,
he is crowded into a space that would be perilous to the health of
men accustomed to space and ventilation, but I was told by a Chinaman
that he and his people had been prevented by the city authorities from
expanding into more commodious lodgings. As for cleanliness, I have
travelled too much to forget that this virtue is largely a question
of geography, and that, especially in matters of food, the habits of
Europeans are considered by half the world so foul as to bring them
within the contempt of a hemisphere. As regards personal cleanliness,
the Chinese are rather scrupulous.

But I wonder San Francisco does not build a Chinatown, somewhere in the
breezy suburbs, and lay a tramway to it for the use of the Chinamen,
and then insist upon its sanitary regulations being properly observed.
San Francisco would be rather surprised at the result. For the
settlements of the Chinese are very neat and cleanly in appearance, and
the people are very fond of curious gardening and house-ornamentation.
The Chinese themselves would be only too glad to get out of the centre
of San Francisco and the quarters into which they are at present
compelled to crowd, while their new habitations would very soon be
one of the most attractive sights of all the city. As it is, it is
picturesque, but it is of necessity dirty--after the fashion of Asiatic
dirtiness. Smells that seem intolerable assail the visitor perpetually,
but after all they were better than the smell from an eating-house
in Kearney Street which we passed soon after, and where creatures of
Jewish and Christian persuasions were having fish fried. I am not
wishing to apologize for the Chinese. I hate China with a generous
Christian vindictiveness, and think it a great pity that dismemberment
has not been forced upon that empire long ago as a punishment for her
massacres of Catholics, and her treason generally against the commerce
and polity of Europe. But I cannot forget that California owes much to
the Chinese.

Next to the Chinese, I found the sea-lions the most interesting feature
of San Francisco. To reach them, however (if you do not wish to indulge
the aboriginal hackman with an opportunity for extortion), you have to
undergo a long drive in a series of omnibuses and cars, but the journey
through the sand-waste outskirts of the city is thoroughly instructive,
for the intervals of desert remind you of the original condition of
the country on which much of San Francisco has been built, while the
intervals of charming villa residences in oases of gardens, show what
capital can do, even with only sea-sand to work upon. We call Ismailia
a wonder--but what is Ismailia in comparison with San Francisco! After
a while solid sand dunes supervene, beautiful, however, in places
with masses of yellow lupins, purple rocket, and fine yellow-flowered
thistles, and then the broad sea comes into sight, and so to the Cliff
House.

Just below the House, one of the most popular resorts of San Francisco,
the "Seal Rocks" stand up out of the water, and it is certainly one of
the most interesting glimpses of wild life that the whole world affords
to see the herds of "sea-lions" clambering and sprawling about their
towers of refuge. For Government has forbidden their being killed,
so the huge creatures drag about their bulky slug-shaped bodies in
confident security. It would not be very difficult I should think for
an amateur to make a sea-lion. There is very little shape about them.
But, nevertheless, it is such a treat as few can have enjoyed twice in
their lives to see these mighty ones of the deep basking on the sunny
rocks, and ponderously sporting in the water.

And looking out to sea, beyond the sea-lions, I saw a spar standing
up out of the water. It was the poor Escambia that had sunk there the
day before, and there, on the beach to the left of the Cliff House,
was the spot where the three survivors of the crew managed to make
good their hold in spite of the pitiless surf, and to clamber up out
of reach of the waves. And all through the night, with the lights of
the Cliff House burning so near them, the men lay there exhausted with
their struggle. It was a strange wreck altogether. When she left port,
every one who saw her careening over said "she must go down;" every
one who passed her said "she must go down;" the pilot left her, saying
"she must go down;" the crew came round the captain, saying "she must
go down." But the skipper held on his way awhile, and at last he too
turned to his mate; "she must go down," he said. Then he tried to head
her to port again, but a wave caught her broadside as she was clumsily
answering the helm; and while the coastguard, who had been watching her
through his glass, turned for a moment to telephone to the city that
"she must go down,"--she did. When he put up the glasses to his eyes
again, there was no Escambia in sight! She had gone down.

And the sight of that lonely spar, signalling so pathetically the
desolate waste of waves the spot of the ship's disaster, brought back
to my mind a Sunday in Ventnor, where the people of the town, looking
out across to sea, stood to watch the beautiful Eurydice go by in her
full pomp of canvas. A bright sun glorified her, and her crew, met for
Divine Service, were returning thanks to Heaven for the prosperous
voyage they had made. And suddenly over Dunnose there rushed up a dark
bank of cloud. A squall, driving a tempest of snow before it, struck
the speeding vessel, and in the fierce whirl of the snowdrift the folk
on shore lost sight of the Eurydice for some minutes. But as swiftly
as it had come, the squall had passed. The sun shone brightly again,
but on a troubled sea. And where was the gallant ship, homeward bound,
and all her gallant company? She had gone down, all sail set, all
hands aboard. And the boats dashed out from the shore to the rescue!
But alas! only two survivors out of the three hundred and fifty souls
that manned the barque ever set foot on shore again! And the news
flashed over England that the Eurydice was "lost." For days and weeks
afterwards there stood up out of the water, half-way between Shanklin
and Luccombe Chine, one lonely spar, like a gravestone, and those who
rowed over the wreck could see, down below them under the clear green
waves, the shimmer of the white sails of the sunken war-boat. She
was lying on her side, the fore and mizzen top-gallant masts gone,
her top-gallant sails hanging, but with her main-mast in its place,
and all the other sails set. The squall had struck her full, and she
rolled over at once, the sea rising at one rush above the waists of the
crew, and her yards lying on the water. Then, righting for an instant,
she made an effort to recover herself. But the weight of water that
had already poured in between decks drove her under. The sea then
leaped with another rush upon her, and in an awful swirl of waves the
beautiful ship, with all her crew, went down. The Channel tide closed
over the huge coffin, and except for the two men saved, and the corpses
which floated ashore, there was nothing to tell of the sudden tragedy.

And then back into the city and amongst its shipping. I have all the
Britisher's attraction towards the haunts of the men that "go down to
the sea in ships." Indeed, walking about among great wharves and docks,
with the shipping of all nations loading and discharging cargo, and men
of all nations hard at work about you, is in itself a liberal education.

But it can nowhere be enjoyed in such perfection as in London. There,
emphatically, is the world's market; and written large upon the
pavement of her gigantic docks is the whole Romance of Trade. A single
shed holds the products of all the Continents; and what a book it would
be that told us of the strange industries of foreign lands! Who cut
that ebony and that iron-wood in the Malayan forests? and how came
these palm-nuts here from the banks of the Niger? Mustard from India,
and coffee-berries from Ceylon lie together to be crushed under one
boot, and here at one step you can tread on the chili-pods of Jamaica
and the pea-nuts of America. That rat that ran by was a thing from
Morocco; this squashed scorpion, perhaps, began life in Cyprus or in
Bermuda. Queer little stowaways of insect life are here in abundance,
the parasites of Egyptian lentils or of Indian corn. The mosquito
natives of Bengal swamps are brought here, it may be, in teakwood
from some drift on the Burman coast. All the world's produce is in
convention together. Here stands a great pyramid of horned skulls, the
owners of which once rampaged on Brazilian pampas, or the prairies of
the Platte River, and hard by them lie piled a multitude of hides that
might have fitted the owners of those skulls, had it not been that
they once clothed the bodies of cattle that grazed out their lives in
Australia. Juxtaposition of packages here means nothing. It does not
argue any previous affinities. This ship happens to be discharging
Norwegian pine, in which the capercailzies have roosted, and for want
of space the logs are being piled on to sacks of ginger from the
West Indies. Next them there happens to-day to be cutch from India;
to-morrow there may be gamboge from Siam, or palm oil from the Gold
Coast. These men here are trundling in great casks of Spanish wine that
have been to the Orient for their health; but an hour ago they were
wheeling away chests of Assam tea, and in another hour may be busy with
logwood from the Honduras forests. One of them is all white on the
shoulders with sacks of American wheat flour, but his hands are stained
all the same with Bengal turmeric, and he is munching as he goes a
cardamum from the Coromandel coast. What a book it would make--this
World's Work!

And then back through this city of prodigious bustle, through fine
streets with masses of solid buildings that stand upon a site which,
a few years ago, was barren sea-sand, and some of it, too, actually
sea-beach swept by the waves!

The frequency of diamonds in the windows is a point certain to catch
the stranger's eye, but his interest somewhat diminishes when he finds
that they are only "California diamonds." They are exquisite stones,
however, and, to my thinking, more beautiful than coloured gems, ruby,
sapphire, or amethyst, that are more costly in price. But the real
diamond can, nevertheless, be seen in perfection in San Francisco.
Go to Andrews' "Diamond Palace," and take a glimpse of a jeweller's
fairyland. The beautiful gems fairly fill the place with light, while
the owner's artistic originality has devised many novel methods of
showing off his favourite gem to best advantage. The roof and walls,
for instance, are frescoed with female figures adorned on neck and arm,
finger, ear, and waist, with triumphs of the lapidary's art.

There is something very fascinating to the fancy in gems, for the one
secret that Nature still jealously guards from man is the composition
of those exquisite crystals which we call "precious stones." We can
imitate, and do imitate, some of them with astonishing exactness,
but after all is done there still remains something lacking in
the artificial stone. Wise men may elaborate a prosaic chemistry,
producing crystals which they declare to be the fac-similes of Nature's
delightful gems; but the world will not accept the ruddy residue of a
crucible full of oxides as rubies, or the shining fragments of calcined
bisulphides as emeralds. No crucible yet constructed can hold a native
sapphire, and all the alchemy of man directed to this point has failed
to extort from carbon the secret of its diamond--the little crystal
that earth with all her chemistry has made so few of, since first
heat and water, Nature's gem-smiths, joined their forces to produce
the glittering stones. They placed under requisition every kingdom
of created things, and in a laboratory in mid-earth set in joint
motion all the powers that move the volcano and the earthquake, that
re-fashion the world's form and substance, that govern all the stately
procession of natural phenomena. Yet with all this Titanic labour, this
monstrous co-operation of forces, Nature formed only here and there
a diamond, and here and there a ruby. Masses of quartz, crystals of
every exquisite tint, amethystine and blue, as beautiful, perhaps, in
delicacy of hue as the gems themselves, were sown among the rocks and
scattered along the sands, but only to tell us how near Nature came to
making her jewels common, and how--just when the one last touch was
needed--she withheld her hand, so that man should confess that the
supreme triumphs of her art were indeed "precious"!



CHAPTER XXIV.

    Gigantic America--Of the treatment of strangers--The
    wild-life world--Railway Companies' food-frauds--California
    Felix--Prairie-dog history--The exasperation of wealth--Blessed
    with good oil--The meek lettuce and judicious onion--Salads and
    Salads--The perils of promiscuous grazing.

I HAD looked forward to my journey from San Francisco to St. Louis
with great anticipations, and, though I had no leisure to "stop off"
on the tour, I was not disappointed. Six continuous days and nights of
railway travelling carried me through such prodigious widths of land,
that the mere fact of traversing so much space had fascinations. And
the variations of scene are very striking--the corn and grape lands of
Southern California, that gradually waste away into a hideous cactus
desert, and then sink into a furnace-valley, several hundred feet below
the level of the sea; the wild pastures of Texas, that seem endless,
until they end in swamped woodlands; the terrific wildernesses of
Arkansas, that gradually soften down into the beautiful fertility of
Missouri. It was a delightful journey, and taught me in one week's
panorama more than a British Museum full of books could have done.

Visitors to America do not often make the journey. They are beguiled
off by way of Santa Fe and Kansas City. I confess that I should myself
have been very glad to have visited Santa Fe, and some day or other I
intend to pitch my tent for a while in San Antonio. But if I had to
give advice to a traveller, I would say:--

"Take the Southern Pacific to El Paso, and the Texan Pacific on to St.
Louis, and you will get such an idea of the spaciousness of America as
no other trip can give you." You will see prodigious tracts of country
that are still in aboriginal savagery and you will travel through whole
nations of hybrid people--Mexicans and mulattoes, graduated commixtures
of Red Indian, Spaniard, and Negro--that some day or another must
assume a very considerable political importance in the Union.

Nothing would do Americans more good than a tour through Upper India.
Nothing could do European visitors to America more good than the
journey from San Francisco to St. Louis by the Southern-and-Texas
route. The Gangetic Valley, the Western Ghats, the Himalayas, are all
experiences that would ameliorate, improve, and impress the American.
The Arizona cactus-plains, the Texan flower-prairies, the Arkansas
swamps, give the traveller from Europe a more truthful estimate of
America, as a whole, by their vastness, their untamed barbarism, their
contrast with the civilized and domesticated States, than years of
travel on the beaten tracks from city to city.

And here just a word or two to those American gentlemen to whom
it falls to amuse or edify the sight-seeing foreigner. Do not be
disappointed if he shows little enthusiasm for your factories, and
mills, and populous streets. Remember that these are just what he is
trying to escape from. The chances are, that he would much rather see a
prairie-dog city, than the Omaha smelting-works; an Indian lodge than
Pittsburg; one wild bison than all the cattle of Chicago; a rattlesnake
at home than all the legislature of New York in Albany assembled. He
prefers canyons to streets, mountain streams to canals; and when he
crosses the river, it is the river more than the bridge that interests
him. Of course it is well for him to stay in your gigantic hotels,
go down into your gigantic silver-mines, travel on your gigantic
river-steamers, and be introduced to your gigantic millionaires. These
are all American, and it is good for him, and seemly, that he should
add them to his personal experiences. So too, he should eat terrapin
and planked shad, clam-chowder, canvas-back ducks, and soft-shelled
crabs. For these are also American. But the odds are he may go mad
and bite thee fatally, if thou wakest him up at un-Christian hours to
go and see a woollen factory, simply because thou art proud of it--or
settest him down to breakfast before perpetual beefsteak, merely
because he is familiar with that food. The intelligent traveller, being
at Rome, wishes to be as much a Roman as possible. He would be as
aboriginal as the aborigines. And it is a mistake to go on thrusting
things upon him solely on the ground that he is already weary of them.
As I write, I remember many hours of bitter anguish which I have
endured--I who am familiar with Swansea, who have stayed in Liverpool,
who live in London--in loitering round smelting works and factories,
and places of business, trying to seem interested, and pretending to
store my memory with statistics. Sometimes it would be almost on my
tongue to say, "And now, sir, having shown off your possessions in
order to gratify your own pride in them, suppose you show me something
for my gratification." I never did, of course, but I groaned in the
spirit, at my precious hours being wasted, and at the hospitality
which so easily forgot itself in ostentatious display. I have perhaps
said more than I meant to have done. But all I mean is this, that when
a sojourner is at your mercy, throw him unreservedly upon his own
resources for such time as you are busy, and deny yourself unreservedly
for his amusement when you are at leisure. But do not spoil all his
day, and half your own, by trying to work your usual business habits
into his holiday, and take advantage of his foreign helplessness to
show him what an important person (when at home) you are yourself. Do
not, for instance, take him after breakfast to your office, and there
settling to your work with your clerks, ask him to "amuse himself"
with the morning papers--for three hours; and then, after a hurried
luncheon at your usual restaurant, take him back to the office for a
few minutes--another hour; and then, having carefully impressed upon
him that you are taking a half-holiday solely upon his account, and in
spite of all the overwhelming business that pours in upon you, do not
take him for a drive in the Mall--in order to show off your new horses
to your own acquaintances; and after calling at a few shops (during
which time your friend stays in the trap and holds the reins), do not,
oh do not, take him back to your house to a solitary dinner "quite
in the English style." No, sir; this is not the way to entertain the
wayfarer in such a land of wonders as this; and you ought not therefore
to feel surprise when your guest, wearied of your mistaken hospitality,
and wearied of your perpetual suggestions of your own self-sacrifice on
his behalf, suddenly determines not to be a burden upon you any longer,
and escapes the same evening to the most distant hotel in the town. Nor
when you read this ought you to feel angry. You did him a great wrong
in wasting a whole day out of his miserable three, and exasperated
him by telling his friends afterwards what a "good time" he had with
you. These few words are his retaliation--not written either in the
vindictive spirit of reprisal, but as advice to you for the future and
in the interests, of strangers who may follow him within your gates.

From San Francisco to Lathrop, back on the route we came by, to
Oakland, and over the brown waters of the arrogant Sacramento--swelling
out as if it would imitate the ocean, and treating the Pacific as if
it were merely "a neighbor,"--and out into thousands and thousands of
acres of corn, stubble, and mown hay-fields, the desolation worked by
the reaper-armies of peace-time with their fragrant plunder lying in
heaps all ready for the carts; and the camp-followers--the squirrels,
and the rats, and the finches--all busy gleaning in the emptied fields,
with owls sitting watchful on the fences, and vigilant buzzards sailing
overhead. What an odd life this is, of the squirrels and the buzzards,
the mice, and the owls! They used to watch each other in these fields,
just in the very same way, ages before the white men came. The
colonization of the Continent means to the squirrels and mice merely
a change in their food, to the hawks and the owls merely a slight
change in the flavour of the squirrels and mice! So, too, when the
Mississippi suddenly swelled up in flood the other day, and overflowed
three States, it lengthened conveniently the usual water-ways of the
frogs, and gave the turtles a more comfortable amplitude of marsh.
Hundreds of negroes narrowly escaped drowning, it is true; but what an
awful destruction there was of smaller animal life! Scores of hamlets
were doubtless destroyed, but what myriads of insect homes were ruined!
It does one good, I think, sometimes to remember the real aborigines
of our earth, the worlds that had their laws before ours, those
conservative antiquities with a civilization that was perfect before
man was created, and which neither the catastrophes of nature nor the
triumphs of science have power to abrogate.

Oak trees dot the rolling hills, and now and again we come to houses
with gardens and groves of eucalyptus, but for hours we travel through
one continuous corn-field, a veritable Prairie Of Wheat, astounding in
extent and in significance. And then we come upon the backwaters of the
San Joacquin, and the flooded levels of meadow, with their beautiful
oak groves, and herds of cattle and horses grazing on the lush grass
that grows between the beds of green tuilla reeds. It is a lovely reach
of country this, and some of the water views are perfectly enchanting.
But why should the company carefully board up its bridges so that
travellers shall not enjoy the scenes up and down the rivers which
they cross? It seems to me a pity to do so, seeing that it is really
quite unnecessary. As it was, we saw just enough of beauty to make us
regret the boards. Then, after the flooded lands, we enter the vast
corn-fields again, and so arrive at Lathrop.

Here we dined, and well, the service also being excellent, for half a
dollar. Could not the Union Pacific take a lesson from the Southern
Pacific, and instead of giving travellers offal at a dollar a head at
Green River and other eating-houses, give them good food of the Lathrop
kind for fifty cents? As I have said before, the wretched eating-houses
on the Union Pacific are maintained, confessedly, for the benefit
of the eating-houses, and the encouragement of local colonization;
but it is surely unfair on the "transient" to make him contribute,
by hunger, on the indigestion, and ill-temper, to the perpetration
of an imposition. On the Southern and the Texas Pacific there are
first-rate eating-places, some at fifty cents, some at seventy-five,
and, as we approach an older civilization, others at a dollar. But no
one can grudge a dollar for a good meal in a comfortable room with
civil attendance; while on the Union Pacific there is much to make
the passenger dissatisfied, besides the nature of the food, for it is
often served by ill-mannered waiters in cheerless rooms. Avery little
industry, or still less enterprise, might make other eating-places like
Humboldt.

It was at Lathrop that some Californians of a very rough type wished to
invade our sleeping-car. They wanted to know the "racket," didn't "care
if they had to pay fifty dollars," had "taken a fancy" to it, &c., &c.;
but the conductor, with considerable tact, managed to persuade them to
abandon their design of travelling like gentlemen, and so they got into
another car, where they played cards for drinks, fired revolvers out of
the window at squirrels between the deals, and got up a quarrel over it
at the end of every hand.

California Felix! Aye, happy indeed in its natural resources. For we
are again whirling along through prairies of corn-land, a monotony of
fertility that becomes almost as serious as the grassy levels of the
Platte, the sage-brush of Utah, or the gravelled sands of Nevada. And
so to Modesta, a queer, wide-streeted, gum-treed place, not the least
like "America," but a something between Madeira and Port Elizabeth.
It has not 2000 people in it altogether, yet walking across the dusty
square is a lady in the modes of Paris, and a man in a stove-pipe hat!
Another stretch of farm-lands brings us to Merced, and the county of
that name, a miracle of fertility even among such perpetual marvels
of richness. If I were to say what the average of grain per acre is,
English farmers might go mad, but if the printer will put it into some
very small type I will whisper it to you that the men of Merced grumble
at seventy bushels per acre. I should like to own Merced, I confess.
I am a person of moderate desires. A little contents me. And it is
only a mere scrap, after all, of this bewildering California. On the
counter at the hotel at Merced are fir-cones from the Big Trees and
fossil fragments and wondrous minerals from Yosemite, and odds and ends
of Spanish ornaments. The whole place has a Spanish air about it. This
used to be the staging-point for travellers to the Valley of Wonders,
but times have changed, and with them the Stage-route, so Merced is
left on one side by the tourist stream. Leaving it ourselves, we
traverse patches of wild sunflower, and then find ourselves out on wide
levels of uncultivated land, waiting for the San Joacquin (pronounced,
by the way, Sanwa-keen) canal, to bring irrigation to them. How the
Mormons would envy the Californians if they were their neighbours, and
the contrast is indeed pathetic, between the alkaline wastes of Utah
and the fat glebes of Merced!

At present, however, a nation of little owls possesses the uncultivated
acres, and ground squirrels hold the land from them on fief, paying,
no doubt, in their vassalage a feudal tribute of their plump,
well-nourished bodies. To right and left lies spread out an immense
prairie-dog settlement, deserted now, however; and beyond it, on
either side, a belt of pretty timbered land stretches to the coast
range, which we see far away on the right, and to the foot-hills--the
"Sewaliks" of the Sierra Nevada,--which rise up, capped and streaked
with snow, on the left.

Wise men read history for us backwards from the records left by ruins.
Why not do the same here with this vast City of the Prairie-Dogs
that continues to right and left of us, miles after miles? Once upon
a time, then, there was a powerful nation of prairie-dogs in this
place, and they became, in process of years, debauched by luxury, and
weakened by pride. So they placed the government in the hands of the
owls, whom they invited to come and live with them, and gave over the
protection of the country to the rattlesnakes, whom they maintained as
janissaries. But the owls and the rattlesnakes, finding all the power
in their own hands, and seeing that the prairie-dogs had grown idle
and fat and careless, conspired together to overthrow their masters.
Now there lived near them, but in subjection to the prairie-dogs, a
race of ground-squirrels, a hard-working, thick-skinned, bushy-tailed
folk; and the owls and the rattlesnakes made overtures to the ground
squirrels, and one morning, when the prairie-dogs were out feeding and
gambolling in the meadows, the conspirators rushed to arms, and while
the rattlesnakes and the ground-squirrels, their accomplices, seized
possession of the vacated city, the owls attacked the prairie-dogs
with their beaks and wings. And the end of it was disaster, utter and
terrible; and the prairie-dogs fled across the plains into the woodland
for shelter, but did not stay there, but passed on, in one desolating
exodus, to the foot-hills beyond the woodland. And then the owls and
the rattlesnakes and the ground-squirrels divided the deserted city
among them. And to this day the ground-squirrels pay a tribute of their
young to the owls and the rattlesnakes, as the price of possession and
of their protection. But they are always afraid that the prairie-dogs
may come back again some day (as the Mormons are going back to Jackson
County, Missouri), to claim their old homesteads; and so, whenever
the ground-squirrels go out to feed and gambol in the meadows, the
rattlesnakes remain at the bottom of the holes, and the owls sit on
sentry duty at the top. Isn't that as good as any other conjectural
history?

And then Madera, with its great canal all rafted over with floating
timber, and more indications, in the eating-house, of the neighbourhood
of the Big Trees and Yosemite. For this is the point of departure now
in vogue, the distance being only seventy miles, and the roads good.
But of the trip to Clark's, and thence on to "Yohamite" and to Fresno
Grove--hereafter. Meanwhile, grateful for the good meal at Madera, we
are again smoking the meditative pipe, and looking out upon Owl-land,
with the birds all duly perched at their posts, and their bushy-tailed
companions enjoying life immensely in family parties among the short
grass. Herds of cattle are seen here and there, and wonderful their
condition, too; and thus, through flat pastures all pimpled over
with old, fallen-in, "dog-houses," we reach Fresno. This monotony of
fertility is beginning to exasperate me. It is a trait of my personal
character, this objection to monotonous prosperity. I like to see
streaks of lean. Thus I begin to think of Vanderbilts as of men who
have done me an injury; and unless Jay Gould recovers his ground with
me, by conferring a share upon me, I shall feel called upon to take
personal exception to his great wealth. And now comes Fresno, a welcome
stretch of land that requires irrigation to be fruitful, a land that
only gives her favours to earnest wooers, and does not, like the rest
of California, smile on every vagabond admirer. Where the ground is
not cultivated, it forms fine parade-ground for the owls, and rare
pleasaunces for the squirrels. But what a nymph this same water is!
Look at this patch of greensward all set in a bezel of bright foliage
and bright with wild flowers! In mythology there is a goddess under
whose feet the earth breaks into blossoms and leaves. I forget her
name. But it should have been Hydore. And now, as the evening gathers
round, we see the outlines of the Sierras, away on the left, blurring
into twilight tints of blue and grey--and then to bed.

California is blest in the olive. It grows to perfection, and the
result is that the California is no stranger to the priceless luxury of
good oil, and can enjoy, at little cost, the delights of a good salad.
How often, in rural England, with acres of salad material growing
fresh and crisp all round me, have groaned at the impossibility of a
salad, by reason of the atrocious character of the local grocer's oil!
But in California all the oil is good, and the vegetable ingredients
of the fascinating bowl are superb. But in America there is a fatal
determination towards mayonnaise, and every common waiter considers
himself capable of mixing one. So that even in California your hopes
are sometimes blighted, and your good humour turned to gall, by fools
rushing in where even angels should have to pass an examination before
admission. A simpler salad, however, is better than any mayonnaise, and
once the proportions are mastered, a child may be entrusted with the
mixture.

The lettuce, by long familiarity, has come to be considered the true
basis of all salad, and in its generous expanse of faintly flavoured
leaf, so cool and juicy and crisp when brought in fresh from the
garden, it has certainly some claims to the proud position. But a
multitude of salads can be made without any lettuce at all, and it is
doubtful whether either Greece or Rome used it as an ingredient of
the bowl in which the austere endive and pungent onion always found a
place. Now-a-days however, lettuce is a deserving favourite, It has
no sympathies or antipathies, and no flavour strong enough to arouse
enthusiasm or aversion. It is not aggressive or self-assertive, but,
like those amiable people with whom no one ever quarrels, is always
ready to be of service, no matter what company may be thrust upon
it, or what treatment it has to undergo. Opinions of its own it has
none, so it easily adopts those of others, and takes upon itself--and
so distributes over the whole--any properties of taste or smell that
may be communicated to it by its neighbours. An onion might be rubbed
with lettuce for an indefinite period and betray no alteration in its
original nature, but the lettuce if only touched with onion becomes at
once a modified onion itself, and no ablution will remove from it the
suspicion of the contact. The gentle leaf is therefore often ill-used;
but, after all, even this, the meekest of vegetables, will turn upon
the oppressor, and if not eaten young and fresh, or if slaughtered with
a steel blade, will convert the salad that should have been short and
sharp in the mouth into a basin of limp rags, that cling together in
sodden lumps, and when swallowed conduce to melancholy and repentance.
The antithesis of the lettuce is the onion. Both are equally essential
to the perfect salad, but for most opposite reasons. The lettuce must
be there to give substance to the whole, to retain the oil and salt and
vinegar, to borrow fragrance and to look green and crisp. It underlies
everything else, and acts as conductor to all, like consciousness in
the human mind. It is the bulk of the salad so far as appearances go,
and yet it alone could be turned out without affecting the flavour of
the dish. It is only the canvas upon which the artist paints.

How different is the onion! It adds nothing to the amount, and
contributes nothing to the sight, yet it permeates the whole; not,
however, as an actual presence, but rather as a reflection, a shadow,
or a suspicion. Like the sunset-red, it tinges everything it falls
upon, and everywhere reveals new beauties. It is the master-mind in
the mixed assembly, allowing each voice to be heard, but guiding the
many utterances to one symmetrical result. It keeps a strong restraint
upon itself, helping out, with a judicious hint only, those who need
it, and never interfering with neighbours that can assert their own
individuality. I speak, of course, of the onion as it appears in the
civilized salad, and not the outrageous vegetable that the Prophet
condemned and Italy cannot do without. Some pretend to have a prejudice
against the onion, but as an American humourist--Dudley Warner--says,
"There is rather a cowardice in regard to it. I doubt not all men and
women love the onion, but few confess it."

In simplicity lies perfection. The endive and beetroot, fresh bean,
and potato, radish and mustard and cress, asparagus and celery,
cabbage-hearts and parsley, tomato and cucumber, green peppers and
capers, and all the other ingredients that in this salad or in that
find a place are, no doubt, well enough in their way; but the greatest
men of modern times have agreed in saying that, given three vegetables
and a master-mind, a perfect salad may be the result. But for the
making there requires to be present a miser to dole out the vinegar,
a spendthrift to sluice on the oil, a sage to apportion the salt,
and a maniac to stir. The household that can produce these four, and
has at command a firm, stout-hearted lettuce, three delicate spring
onions, and a handful of cress, need ask help from none and envy
none; for in the consumption of the salad thus ambrosially resulting,
all earth's cares may be for the while forgotten, and the consumer
snap his fingers at the stocks, whether they go up or down. There is
no need to go beyond these frugal ingredients. In Europe it is true
men range hazardously far afield for their green meat. They tell us,
for instance, of the fearful joy to be snatched from nettle-tops,
but it is not many who care thus to rob the hairy caterpillar of his
natural food; nor in eating the hawthorn buds, where the sparrows have
been before us, is there such prospect of satisfaction as to make us
hurry to the hedges. The dandelion, too, we are told, is a wholesome
herb, and so is wild sorrel; but who among us can find the time to
go wandering about the country grazing with the cattle, and playing
Nebuchadnezzar among the green stuff? In the Orient the native is never
at a loss for salad, for he grabs the weeds at a venture, and devours
them complacently, relying upon fate to work them all up to a good
end; and the Chinaman, so long as he can only boil it first, turns
everything that grows into a vegetable for the table.

But it would not be safe to send a public of higher organization into
the highways and ditches; for a rabid longing for vegetable food,
unballasted by botanical ledge, might conduce to the consumption Of
many unwholesome plants, with their concomitant insect evils. Dreadful
stories are told of the results arising from the careless eating of
unwashed watercress; and in country places the horrors that are said
to attend the swallowing of certain herbs without a previous removal
of the things that inhabit them are sufficient to deter the most
ravenously inclined from taking a miscellaneous meal off the roadside,
and from promiscuous grazing in hedge-rows.



CHAPTER XXV.

    The Carlyle of vegetables--The moral in blight--Bee-farms--The city
    Of Angels--Of squashes--Curious Vegetation--The incompatibility of
    camels and Americans--Are rabbits "seals"?--All wilderness and no
    weather--An "infinite torment of flies."

THE cactus is the Carlyle of vegetation. Here, in Southern California,
it assumes many of its most uncouth and affected attitudes, puts on all
its prickles and its angles, and its blossoms of rare splendour. Those
who are better informed than myself assure me that the cactus is a
vegetable. I take their word for it. Indeed, the cactus itself may have
said so to them. There is nothing a cactus might not do. But it surely
stands among plants somewhere where bats do among animals, and the
apteryx among birds. Look for instance at this tract of cactus which
we cross before Caliente. There are chair-legs and footstools, pokers,
brooms, and telegraph-poles; but can you honestly call them plants?

But stay a moment. Can you not call them plants? Look! See those
superb blossoms of crimson upon that footstool of thorns, those golden
stars upon the telegraph-pole yonder, those beautiful flowers of rosy
pink upon that besom-head. Yes, they are plants, and worthy of all
admiration, for they have the genius of a true originality, and the
sudden splendour of the flowers they put forth are made all the more
admirable by the surprise of them and the eccentricity. And with them
grows the yucca, that wonderful plant that sends up from its rosette
of bayonets--they call it the "Spanish bayonet" in the West--a green
shaft, six feet high, and all hung with white waxen bells. I got out of
the train at one of its stoppages, and cut a couple of heads of this
wonderland plant, and found the blossoms on each numbered between 400
and 406. And there was a certain moral discipline in it too. For we
found these exquisite flower-hung shafts were smothered in "blight,"
those detestable, green, sticky aphides, that sometimes make rose-buds
so dreadful, and are the enemy of all hothouses. Looking out at the
yuccas as we passed, those splendid coronals of waxen blossoms--pure
enough for cathedral chancels--it seemed as if they were things of a
perfect and unsullied beauty. My arrival with them was hailed with
cries of admiration, and for the first moment enthusiasm was supreme.
But the next, alas for impure beauty! the swarms of clinging parasites
were detected. Hands that had been stretched out to hold such things
of grace, shrank from even touching them, known to be polluted, and
so, at last, with honours that were more than half condescension,
the yucca-spikes were put out on the platform, to be admired from
a distance. Passing through the cactus land we saw numbers of tiny
rabbits--the "cotton tails," as distinguished from the "mule-ears"
or jack-rabbits--dodging about the stems and grass; but in about an
hour the grotesque vegetable began to sober down into a botanical
conglomerate that defies analysis, and gives the little rabbits a
denser covert. The general result of this change in the botany was as
Asiatic, as Indian as it could be, but why, it were difficult to say,
unless it was the prevalence of the baboon-like "muskeet," and the
beautiful but murderous dhatura--the "thorn-apple" of Europe. Yet there
was sage-brush enough to make Asia impossible, while the variations
of the botany were too sudden for any generalizations of character.
And so on, past an oil-mill on the left--petroleum bubbling out of the
hillock--and a great farm "Newhall's," on the right; past Andrews and
up the hill to the San Fernando tunnel, 7000 feet in length, and then
down the hill again into San Fernando. Has any one ever "stopped off"
at San Fernando and spent any time with the monks at their picturesque
old mission, smothered in orangeries, and dozed away the summer hours
amongst them, watching the peaches ripen and the bees gathering honey,
and opening bottles of mellow California wine to help along the
intervals between drowsy mass and merry meal-times? I think when my
sins weigh too heavily on me to let me live among men, I will retire to
San Fernando, to the bee-keeping, orange-growing fathers, ask them to
receive my bones, and start a beehive and an orange-tree of my own. It
does not seem to me, looking forward to it, a very arduous life, and I
might then, at last, overtake that seldom-captured will-o'-the-wisp,
fleet-footed Leisure.

The bees, by the way, are kept on a "ranch," whole herds and herds of
bees, all hived together in long rows of hives, hundreds to the acre.
They fly afield to feed themselves, and come home with their honey to
make the monks rich. I am not sure that these fathers have done all
they might for the country they settled in, and yet who is not grateful
to the brethren for the picturesqueness of comparative antiquity? Their
very idleness is a charm, and their quiet, comfortable life, half in
cloisters, half in orange groves, is a delight and a refreshment in
modern America.

But the loveliness of their country, and the wonder of its
possibilities! Can any one be surprised that we are approaching the
city of Los Angeles? A bright river comes tumbling along under cliffs
all hung with flowering creepers, and between banks that are beautiful
with ferns and flowers, and the land widens out into cornfield
and meadow; and away to right and left, lying under the hills and
overflowing into all the valleys, are the vineyards, and orchards, and
orangeries that make the City of Angels worthy of a king's envy and a
people's pride. As yet, of course, it is the day of small things, as
compared with what will be when water is everywhere; but even now Los
Angeles is a place for the artist to stay in and the tourist to visit.
There is a great deal to remind you of the East, in this valley of
dark-skinned men, and in the "bazaars," with their long ropes of chilis
dangling on the door-posts, the fruit piled up in baskets on the mules,
the brown bare-legged children under hats with wide ragged brims, there
are all the familiar features of Southern Europe, hot, strong-smelling,
and picturesque. But Los Angeles shares with the rest of California
the disadvantage under which all climates of great forcing power and
rudimentary science must lie, for its fruits, though exquisite to look
upon, often prodigious in size, and always incredible in quantity,
fail, as a rule, dismally in flavour. The figs are very large,
both green and black, but they seem to have ripened in a perpetual
rainstorm; the oranges look perfection, and are as bad as any I have
had in America; the peaches are splendid in their appearance, for their
coarse barbaric skins are painted with deep yellow and red, but they
ought not to be called "peaches" at all. They would taste just as well
by any other name, and the traveller who knows the peaches of Europe,
or the peaches of Persia, would not then be disappointed.

So away from Los Angeles, with its groups of idle, brown-faced men,
in their flap brimmed Mexican hats, leaning against the posts smoking
thin cigars, and its groups of listless, dark-eyed women, with bright
kerchiefs round their heads or necks, sitting on the doorsteps; away
through valleys of corn, broken up by orangeries and vineyards, where
the river flows through a tangle of willow and elder and muskeet; past
the San Gabriel Mission, overtaken, poor idle old fragment of the past,
by the railroad civilization of the present, and already isolated in
its sleepiness and antiquity from the busier, younger world about it;
on through a scene of perpetual fertility, orange groves and lemon,
fields of vegetables and corn, with pomegranates all aglow with scarlet
flowers, and eucalyptus-trees in their ragged foliage of blue and brown.

The squash grows here to a monstrous size. "I have seen them, sir,"
said a passenger, "weighing as much as yourself." The impertinence of
it! Think of a squash venturing to turn the scale against me. Perhaps
it will pretend that it has as good a seat on a horse? Or will it play
me a single-wicket match at cricket? I should not have minded so much
if it had been a water-melon, "simlin," or some other refined variety
of or even a the family. But that a squash, the 'poor relation' of the
pumpkin, should--. But enough. Let us be generous, even to squashes.

Some one ought to write the psychology of the squash. There is a very
large human family of the same name and character. If you ask what
the bulky, tasteless thing is good for, people always say, "Oh, for
a pie!" Now that is the only form in which I have tasted it. And I
can say, from personal experience, therefore, that it is not good for
that. It never hurts anybody, or speaks ill of any one--an inoffensive,
tedious, stupid person, too commonplace to be either liked or disliked.
Economical parents say squashes are "very good for children,"
especially in pies. They may be. But they are not conducive to the
formation of character.

Some one, too, ought to visit these old Franciscan missions in Southern
California--some one who could write about them, and sketch them.
They are very delightful; the more delightful, perhaps, because they
are in the United States, in the same continent as "live" towns, as
Chicago, and Omaha, and Leadville, and Tombstone. Scattered about among
the rolling grassland are hollows filled with orchards, in which old
settlements and new are fairly embowered, while the missions themselves
are singularly picturesque; and San Gabriel's Church, they say, has a
pretty peal of bells, which the monks carried overland from Mexico in
the old Spaniard days, and which still chime for vespers as sweetly as
ever. What a wonder it must have been to the wandering Indians to hear
that most beautiful of all melodies, the chime of bells, ascending with
the evening mists from under the feet of the hills! No wonder they had
campanile legends, these poor poets of the river and prairie, and still
speak of Valleys of Enchantment whence music may be heard at nightfall!

Past Savanna and Monte, with its swine droves, and its settlement
of men who live on "hog and hominy," past Puente, and Spadra, and
Pomona, into Colton, where we dine, and well, for half a dollar,
enjoying for dessert a chat with a very pretty girl. She tells us of
the beauties of San Bernardino, and I could easily credit even more
than she says. For San Bernardino was settled by Mormons some fifty
years ago, and has all the charms of Salt Lake City, with those of
natural fertility and a profusion of natural vegetation added. But I
can say nothing of San Bernardino, for the train does not enter it.
And then, reinforced by another engine--a dumpy engine-of-all-work
sort of "help"--clambers up the San Gorgonio pass. All along the road
I notice a yellow thread-like epiphyte, or air-plant, tangling itself
round the muskeet-trees, and killing them. They call it the "mistletoe"
here but it is the same curious plant that strangles the orange trees
in Indian gardens, and the jujubes in the jungles, that cobwebs the
aloe hedges, and hangs its pretty little white bells of flower all
over the undergrowth. On the bare, sandy ground a wild gourd, with
yellow flowers and sharp-pointed spear-head leaves, throws out long
strands, that creep flat upon the ground with a curious snake-like
appearance. Clumps of wild oleander find a frugal subsistence, and
here and there an elder or a walnut manages to thrive. But the profuse
fertility of California is fast disappearing. And so to Gorgonio, at
the top of the pass; and then we begin to go down, down, down, till we
are not surprised to hear that we are far below the level of the sea.
The cactus has once more reasserted itself, and to right and left are
"forests" of this grotesque candelabra-like vegetable, with stiff arms,
covered apparently with some woolly sort of fluff. The soil beneath
them is a desperate-looking desert-sand, and here and there are bare
levels of white glistening sterility. But water works such wonders that
there is no saying what may happen. At present, however, it is pure,
unadulterated desert--wilderness enough to delight a camel, were it not
for the quantity of stones which strew the waste, and which would make
it an abomination to that fastidious beast. Camels were once imported
into the country, but the experiment failed--and no wonder. Imagine the
modern American trying to drive a camel! The Mexican might do it, but I
doubt if any other race in all America could be found with sufficient
contempt for time, sufficient patience in idleness, sufficient
camelishness in fact, to "personally conduct" a camel train. There is
a tradition, by the way, that somewhere in Arizona, wild camels, the
descendants of the discarded brutes, are to be met with to this day,
enjoying a life without occupations.

At present the most formidable animal in possession of these cactus
plains is the rabbit. But such a licence of ears as the creature has
taken! It must be developing them as weapons of offence: the future
"horned rabbit." They call these long-eared animals "mules," and deny
that you can make a rabbit-pie of them. This seems to me hardly fair
on the rabbit. But in England the small rodent suffers under even more
pointed injustice.

A certain railway porter, it is said, was once sorely puzzled by a
tortoise which the owner wished to send by train. The official was
nonplussed by the inquiry as to which head of the tariff the creature
should be considered to fall under; but, at last, deciding that it was
neither "a dog" nor "a parrot" (the broad zoological classification in
use on British railways) pronounced the tortoise to be "an insect," and
therefore not liable to charge. This profound decision was prefaced
by a brief enumeration of the animals which the railway company call
"dogs." "Cats is dogs, and rabbits is dogs, and so is guinea-pigs,"
said the porter, "but squirrels in cages is parrots!"

But please note particularly the porter's confusion of identity with
regard to the rabbit. This excellent rodent is emphatically called "a
dog." But the rabbit knows much better than to mistake itself for a
dog. It might as well think itself a poacher.

Meanwhile, other attempts have been made to confuse it as to its own
individuality; and if the rabbit eventually gives itself up as a
hopeless conundrum, it is not more than might be expected. Its fur
is now called "seal-skin" in the cheap goods market; the fluke has
attacked it as if it were a sheep; while in recent English elections,
when the Ground Game Bill was to the front, it was a very important
factor. All the same, everybody goes on shooting it just as if it
were a mere rabbit. This, I would contend, is hardly fair; for if its
skin is really sealskin, the rabbit must, of necessity, be a seal,
and, as such, ought to be harpooned from a boat, and not shot at with
double-barrelled guns. It is absurd to talk of going out "sealing"
in gaiters, with a terrier, for the pursuit of the seal is a marine
operation, and concerned with ships and icebergs and whaling line. A
sportsman, therefore, who goes out in quest of this valuable pelt
should, in common regard for the proprieties, affect Arctic apparel;
and, instead of ranging with his gun, should station himself with a
harpoon over the "seal's" blow-hole, and, when it comes up to breathe,
take his chance of striking it, not forgetting to have some water handy
to pour over the line while it is being rapidly paid out, as otherwise
it is very liable to catch fire from friction. By this means the rabbit
would arrive at some intelligible conception of itself, and be spared
much of the discomfort which must now arise from doubts as to its
personality. Nothing, indeed, is so precious to sentient things as a
conviction of their own "identity" and their "individuality," and I
need only refer those who have any doubt about it to the whole range
of moral philosophy to assure themselves of this fact. If we were not
certain who we were two days running, much of the pleasure of life
would be lost to us.

We entered the arid tract somewhere near the station of the Seven
Palms. They can be seen growing far away on the left under the
"foot-hills." About half way through we find ourselves at the station
of Two Palms, but they are in tubs. Of course there may be others,
and no doubt are. But all you can see from the cars is a limited
wilderness. Yet on those mountains there, on the right--one is 12,000
feet--there is splendid pine timber; and on the other side of them,
incredible as it seems, are glorious pastures, where the cattle are
wading knee-deep in grass! For us, however, the hideous wilderness
continues. The hours pass in a monotony of glaring sand, ugly rock
fragments, and occasional bristly cactus. And then begins a low
chapparal of "camel-thorn" or "muskeet," and as evening closes in we
find ourselves at the Colorado River and at Yuma, where the sun shines
from a cloudless sky three hundred and ten days in the year.

And the weather? I have not mentioned it as we travelled along, for I
wished to emphasize it by bringing it in at the end of the chapter.
Well, the weather. There was none to speak of, unless you can call a
fierce dry over-heat, averaging 96 in the shade, weather. And this is
all that we have had for the last twelve hours or so; heat enough to
blister even a lizard, or frizzle a salamander. A hot wind, like the
"100" of the Indian plains, blew across the desperate sands, getting
scorched itself as it went, and spitefully passing on its heat to
us. It was as hot as Cawnpore in June; nearly as hot as Aden. And
then the change at Yuma! We had suddenly stepped from Egypt in August
into Lower Bengal in September--from a villainous dry heat into afar
more villainous damp one. The thermometer, though the sun had set,
was at and, added to all, was such a plague of mosquitoes as would
have subdued even Pharaoh into docility. The instant--literally, the
instant--that we stepped from our cars our necks, hands, and faces were
attacked, and on the platform everybody, even the half-breed Indians
loafing outside the dining-room, were hard at work with both hands
defending themselves from the small miscreants. The effect would have
been ludicrous enough to any armour-plated onlooker, but it was no
laughing matter. We were too busy slapping ourselves in two places at
once to think of even smiling at others similarly engaged; and the last
I remember of detestable Yuma was the man who sells photographs on the
platform, whirling his hands with experienced skill round his head and
packing up his wares by snatches in between his whirls.



CHAPTER XXVI.

THROUGH THE COWBOYS' COUNTRY.

    The Santa Cruz Valley--The Cactus--An ancient and honourable
    Pueblo--A terrible Beverage--Are Cicadas deaf?--A floral
    Catastrophe--The Secretary and the Peccaries.

YUMA marks the frontier between California and Arizona. But it might
just as well mark the frontier between India and Beluchistan, for it
reproduces with exact fidelity a portion of the town of Rohri, in
Sind. A broad, full-streamed river (the Colorado) seems to divide the
town into two; on the top of its steep bank stands a military post,
a group of bungalows, single-storied, white-walled, green-shuttered,
verandahed. On the opposite side cluster low, flat-roofed houses,
walled in with mud, while here and there a white-washed bungalow, with
broad projecting eaves, stands in its own compound. Brown-skinned
men with only a waistcloth round the loins loaf around, and in the
sandy spaces that separate the buildings lean pariah dogs lie about,
languid with the heat. The dreadful temperature assists to complete the
delusion, and finally the mosquitoes of the Colorado river have all the
ferocity of those that hatch on the banks of the Indus.

Against our will, too, these pernicious insects board our train and
refuse to be blown out again by all the draughts which we tax our
ingenuity to create. So we sit up sulkily in a cloud of tobacco smoke
far into the night and Arizona--watching the wonderful cactus-plants
passing our windows in gaunt procession, and here and there seeing a
fire flash past us, lit probably by Papajo Indians for the preparation
of their abominable "poolke" liquor. But the mosquitoes are satisfied
at last, and go to sleep, and so we go too.

We awake in the Santa Cruz Valley, with the preposterous cactus
poles and posts standing up as stiff and straight as sentries "at
attention," and looking as if they were doing it for a joke. There is
no unvegetable form that they will not take, for they mimic the shape
of gate posts, semaphores, bee-hives, and even mops--anything, in
fact, apparently that falls in with their humour, and makes them look
as unlike plants as possible. I am not sure that they ought not to
be punished, some of them. Such botanical lawlessness is deplorable.
But, after all, is not this America, where every cactus "may do as
he darned pleases"? These cacti, by the way--the gigantic columnar
species, which throws up one solid shaft of flesh, fluted on each side,
and studded closely with rosettes of spines--are the same that crowd
in multitudinous impis on the side of the hills which slope from the
massacre-field of Isandula in Zululand, down to the Buffalo River. How
well I remember them!

If it were not for the cactus it would be a miserably uninteresting
country, for the vegetation is only the lowest and poorest looking
scrub, and water as yet there is none. But now we are approaching what
the inhabitants call "the ancient and honourable pueblo of Tucson,"
pronouncing it Too son, and ancient and honourable we found it--For
does it not dispute with Santa Fe the title of the most ancient town in
the United States? and was not the breakfast which it gave us worthy of
all honour?

It takes, reader, as you will have guessed, a very long journey indeed
to knock into a traveller's head a complete conception of the size
of North America. Mere space could never do it, for human nature is
such that when trying to grasp in the mind any great lapse of time or
territory, the two ends are brought together as it were, and all the
great middle is forgotten. Nor does mere variety of scene emphasize
distance on the memory, for the more striking details here and there
crowd out the large monotonous intervals. Thus a mile of an Echo canyon
obliterates half a state's length of Platte Valley pastures, and a
single patch of Arkansas turtle-swamp whole prairies of Texan meadow.
But in America, even though many successive days of unbroken travel
may have run into one, or its many variations--from populous states to
desert ones, from timber states to pasture ones, from corn states to
mineral ones, from mountain to valley, river to lake, canyoned hills to
herd-supporting prairies, from pine forest to oak forest, from sodden
marsh to arid cactus-land--may have got blurred together, there grows
at the end of it all upon the mind a befitting sense of vastness which
neither linear measurement in miles nor variety in the panorama fully
explain. It is due, I think, to the size of the instalments in which
America puts forward her alternations of scene. She does not keep
shifting her suits, so as to spoil the effect of her really strong
hand, but goes on leading each till she has established it, and made
each equally impressive. You have a whole day at a time of one thing,
and then you go to sleep, and when you wake it is just the same, and
you cannot help saying to yourself: "Twenty-four successive hours of
meadowland is a considerable pasturage," and you do not forget it ever
afterwards. The next item is twenty-four hours of mountains, "all of
them rich in metals;" and by the time this has got indelibly fixed
on the memory, Nature changes the slide, and then there is rolling
corn-land on the screen for a day and night. And so, in a series of
majestic alternations, the continent passes in review, and eventually
all blends into one vast comprehensible whole.

Apart from physical, there are curious ethnological divisions which
mark off the continent into gigantic subnationalities. For though the
whole is of course "American," there is always an underlying race, a
subsidiary one so to speak, which allots the vast area into separate
compartments. Thus on the eastern coast we have the mulatto, who gives
place beyond Nebraska to the Indian, and he, beyond Nevada, to the
Chinaman. After California comes the Mexican, and after him the negro,
and so back to the East and the mulatto again.

Here in Arizona, at Tucson, the "Mexican" is in the ascendant, for
such is the name which this wonderful mixture of nationalities prefers
to be called by. He is really a kind of hash, made up of all sorts of
brown-skinnned odds and ends, an olla podrida. But he calls himself
"Mexican," and Tucson is his ancient and honourable pueblo. It is a
wretched-looking place from the train, with its slouching hybrid men,
and multitudinous pariah dogs. Indians go about with the possessive
air of those who know themselves to be at home; and it is not easy to
decide whether they, with their naked bodies and ropes of hair dangling
to the waist, or the half-breed Mexican with their villainous slouch
and ragged shabbiness, are the lower race of the two. And the dogs!
they are legion; having no homes, they are at home everywhere. I am
told there is a public garden, and some "elegant" buildings, but as
usual they are on "the other side of the town." All that we can see on
this side, are collections of squalid Arabic-looking huts and houses,
made of mud, low-roofed and stockaded with ragged-looking fences. The
heat is of course prodigious for eight months of the year, and the
dust and the flies and the mosquitoes are each and all as Asiatic as
the heat--or any other feature of this ancient and honourable It has
its interest, however, as an American pueblo. It has its interests,
however, as an American "antiquity;" while the river, the Santa Cruz,
which flows past the town, is one of those Arethusa streams, which
comes to the surface a few miles above the town and disappears again a
few miles below it.

For the student of hybrid life, Tucson must have exceptional
attractions; but for the ordinary traveller, it has positively none.
Kawai Indians have not many points very different from Papajo Indians,
and mud hovels are after all only mud hovels. But it is an ancient and
honourable pueblo.

The only people who look cool are the Mexican soldiers in blue and
white, and that other Mexican, a civilian, in a broad-brimmed, flimsy
hat, spangled with a tinsel braid and fringe. Have these men ever
got anything to do? and when they have, do they ever do it? It seems
impossible they could undertake any work more arduous than lolling
against a post, and smoking a yellow-papered cigarette. Yet only a few
days ago these Mexicans, perhaps those very soldiers there, destroyed a
tribe of Apaches, and then arrested a force of Arizona Rangers who had
pursued the Indians on to Mexican ground! These Apaches had kept the
State in a perpetual terror for a long time, but finding the Federal
soldiers closing in upon them, they crossed the frontier line close to
Tucson, and there fell in with the Mexicans, who must at any rate be
given the credit for promptitude and efficiency in all their Indian
conflicts. The Apaches were destroyed, and the force of Rangers who
had followed them were caught by the Mexican general, and under an old
agreement between the two Republics, they were made prisoners of war,
disarmed, and told to find their way back two hundred and fifty miles
into the States as best and as quickly as they could. Some thirty years
ago a Mexican general, who captured some American filibusters in a
similar way at the village of Cavorca, paraded his captives and shot
them all down. So the Arizona men were glad enough to get away.

The cactus country continues, and the plants play the mountebank more
audaciously than ever. There is no absurdity they will not commit, even
to pretending that they are broken fishing rods, or bundles of riding
whips. But the majority stand about in blunt, kerb-stone fashion, as
if they thought they were marking out streets and squares for the
cotton-tail rabbits that live amongst them. Under the hill on the left
is the old mission church of "San'avere" (San Xavier); and over those
mountains, the "Whetstones," lies the mining settlement of Tombstone,
where the cowboys rejoice to run their race, and the value of life
seldom rises to par in the market. Then we enter upon a plain of the
mezcal all in full bloom, and a "lodge" of brown men, partly Indian,
partly Mexican, waiting it may be for the plant to mature and the time
to come round for distilling its fiery liquor. I tasted mezcal at El
Paso for the first time in my life, and I think I may venture to say
the last, so whether it was good of its kind or not, I cannot tell. I
am no judge of mezcal. But I know that it was thick, of a dull sherry
colour, with a nasty vegetable smell, and infinitely more fiery than
anything I ever tasted before, not excepting the whisky which the
natives in parts of Central India brew from rye, the brandy which the
Boers of the Transvaal distil from rotten potatoes, or the "tarantula
juice" which you are often offered by the hearty miners of Colorado. It
is almost literally "fire-water;" but the red pepper, I suppose, has as
much to do with the effect upon the tongue and palate as the juice of
the mezcal.

On a sudden, in the midst of this desolate land, we come upon a ranche
with cattle wading about among the rich blue grass; but in a minute it
is gone, and lo! a Chinese village, smothered in a tangle of shrubs all
overgrown with creeping gourds, with the coolies lying in the shade
smoking long pipes of reed.

Have you ever smoked Chinese "tobacco"? If not, be careful how you do.
A single pipe of it (and Chinese pipes hold very little) will upset
even an old smoker. For myself, can hardly believe it is tobacco, for
in the hand it feels of a silky texture, utterly unlike any tobacco
I ever saw, while the smell of it, and the taste on the tongue, are
as different to the buena yerba as possible. It is imported by the
Chinese in America for their own consumption, and in spite of duties
is exceedingly cheap. A single sniff of it, by the way, completely
explains that heavy, stupefying odour which hangs about Chinese
quarters and Chinese persons.

But this glimpse of China has disappeared as rapidly as the ranche had
done, and in a few minutes later a collection of low mud-walled huts,
overshadowed by rank vegetation, an ox or two trying to chew the cud
in an uptilted cart, some brown-skinned children playing with magnolia
blossoms, and lo! a glimpse of Bengal.

And then as suddenly we are out again on to the cactus plains with
cotton-tail rabbits everywhere, and cicadas innumerable shrilling from
the muskeet trees. Above all the noise of the train we could hear the
incessant chorus filling the hot out-of-doors, and, stepping on to the
rear platform, I found that several had flown or been blown on to the
car. Poor helpless creatures, with their foolish big-eyed heads and
little brown bodies wrapped up in a pair of large transparent wings.
But fancy living in such a hideous din as these cicadas live in! Do
naturalists know whether they are deaf? One would suppose of course
that the voice was given them originally for calling to each other in
the desolate wastes in which they are sometimes found scattered about.
But in the lapse of countless generations that have spent their lives
crowded together in one bush, sitting often actually elbow to elbow and
screaming to each other at the tops of their voices, it is hardly less
rational to suppose that kindly Nature has encouraged them to develop a
comfortable deafness. At any rate it is impossible to suppose that even
a cicada can enjoy the ear-splitting clamour in which its neighbours
indulge, and which now keeps up with us all the way as we traverse the
San Pedro Valley, and mounting from plateau to plateau--some of them
fine grass land, others arid cactus beds--reach another "Great Divide,"
and then descend across an immense, desolate prairie, brightened here
and there with beautiful patches of flowers, into the San Simon Valley.
And all the time we eat our dinner (at the Bowie station) the cicadas
go on shrilling, on the hot and dusty ground, till the air is fairly
thrilling, with the waves of barren sound. That sounds like rhyme,--and
I do not wonder at it,--for even the cicadas themselves manage to drift
into a kind of metre in their arid aimless clamour, and the high noon,
as we sit on our cars again, looking out on the pink-flowered cactus
and the mezcal with its shafts of white blossoms, seems to throb with a
regular pulsation of strident sound.

What a desolate land it seems, this New Mexico into which we have
crossed! But not for long. We soon find ourselves out upon a vast
plain of grassland, upon which the sullen, egotistical cactus will not
grow. "You common vegetables may grow there if you like," it says.
"Any fool of a plant can grow where there is good soil; but it shows
genius to grow on no soil at all." So it will not stir a step on to
the grass-land, but stands there out on the barren sun-smitten sand,
throwing up its columns of juicy green flesh and bursting out all over
into flowers of vivid splendour, just to show perhaps that "Todgers's
can do it when it likes." There is about the cactus' conduct something
of the superciliousness of the camel, which wades through hay with
its nose up in the air as if it scorned the gross provender of vulgar
herds, and then nibbles its huge stomach full of the tiny tufts of
leaves which is found growing among--the topmost thorns of the scanty
mimosa.

Here, on this plain, is plenty of the "camel thorn," the muskeet, and
a whole wilderness of Spanish bayonet waiting till some one thinks it
worth while to turn it into paper, and there is not probably a finer
fibre in the world. Nor, because the cactus contemns the easy levels,
do other flowers refuse to grow. They are here in exquisite profusion,
a foretaste of the Texan "flower-prairies," and when the train stopped
for water I got out and from a yard of ground gathered a dozen
varieties. Nearly all of them were old familiar friends of English
gardens, and some were beautifully scented, notably one with a delicate
thyme perfume, and another that had all the fragrance of lemon verbena.

Both to north and south are mountains very rich in mineral wealth,
and at Lordsburg, where we halted, I could not resist the temptation
of buying some "specimens." I had often resisted the same temptation
before, but here somehow the beauty of the fragments was irresistible.
Outside the station, by the way, under a heap of rubbish, were lying a
score or so of bars of copper bullion, worth, perhaps, twenty pounds
apiece. Such bulky plunder probably suits nobody in a climate of
everlasting heat, but it is all pure copper nevertheless--pennies en
bloc.

The plain continues in a monotony of low muskeet scrub, broken here
and there by flowering mezcal. It is utterly waterless, and, except
for one fortnight's rain which it receives, gets no water all the
year round. Yet beautiful flowers are in blossom even now, and what
it must be just after the rain has fallen it is difficult to imagine.
To this great flower-grown chapparal succeeds a natural curiosity of
a very striking kind--a vast cemetery of dead yuccas. It looks as if
some terrific epidemic had swept in a wave of scorching death over the
immense savannah of stately plants. Not one has escaped. And there they
stand, thousand by thousand, mile after mile, each yucca in its place,
but brown and dead. And so through the graveyards of the dead things
into Deming--Deming of evil repute, and ill-favoured enough to justify
such a reputation. Even the cowboy fresh from Tombstone used to call
Deming "a hard place," and there is a dreadful legend that once upon
a time, that is to say, about ten years ago, every man in the den had
been a murderer! No one would go there except those who were conscious
that their lives were already forfeited to the law, and who preferred
the excitement of death in a saloon fight to the dull formalities of
hanging. However, tempora mutantur, and all that I remember Deming for
myself is its appearance of dejection and a very tolerable supper.

And then away again, across the same flower-grown meadow, with its
sprinkling of muskeet bushes, and its platoons of yucca, but now all
radiant in their bridal bravery of waxen white. The death-line of the
beautiful plant seems to have been mysteriously drawn at Deming. I got
out at a stoppage and cut two more of the yuccas. The temptation to
possess such splendour of blossom was too great to resist. But alas!
as before, the dainty thing in its virginal white was hideous with
clinging parasites, and so I fastened them into the brake-wheel on the
platform, and sitting in my car smoking, could look out at the great
mass of silver bells that thus completely filled the doorway, and in
the falling twilight they grew quite ghostly, the spectres of dead
flowers, and touching them we find the flowers all clammy and cold.
"How it chills one!" said a girl, holding a thick, white, damp petal
between her fingers. "It feels like a dead thing."

And sitting out in the moonlight--an exquisite change after the
hateful heat of the day thfit was past--we saw the muskeet growth
gradually dwindle away, and then great lengths of wind-swept sand-dunes
supervened. And every now and then a monstrous owl--the "great grey owl
of California," I think it must have been--tumbled up off the ground
and into the sky above us. Otherwise the desolation was utter. But I
sat on smoking into the night, and was abundantly repaid after awhile,
for the country, as if weary of its monotony, suddenly swells up into
billows and sinks into huge troughs, a land-Atlantic that beats upon
the rocks of the Colorado range to right and left; and as we cut our
way through the crests of its waves, the land broke away from before
us into bay--like recesses; crowned with galleries of pinnacled rock
and curved round into great amphitheatres of cliff. But away on the
left it seemed heaving with a more prodigious swell, and every now and
then down in the hollows I thought I could catch glimpses of moon-lit
water glittering. And the train sped on, winding in and out of the
upper ridges of the valley brim, and then, descending, plunged into
a dense growth of willows, and lo! the Rio Grande, and "the shining
levels of the mere." It was it then, this splendid stream, that had
been disturbing the land so, thrusting the valley this way and that,
shaping the hills to its pleasure, and that now rolled its flood along
the stately water-way which it had made, with groves of trees for reed
beds and a mountain range for banks!

We cross it soon, seeing the Santa Fe line pass underneath us with
the river flowing underneath it again--and then with the Rio Grande
gradually curving away from us, we reach El Paso. And it is well
perhaps for El Paso, that we see it under the gracious witchery of
moonlight, for it is a place to flee from. Without one of the merits
of Asia, it has all Asia's plagues of heat and insects and dust. And
no one plants trees or sows crops; and so, sun-smitten, and waterless,
it lies there blistering, with all its population of half-breeds
and pariah dogs, a place, as I said, to flee from. And yet on the
other side of the river, a rifle-shot off, is the Mexican town of El
Paso--for the river here separates the States from their neighbour
Republic--and there, there are shade trees and pleasant houses,
well-ordered streets, and all the adjuncts of a superior civilization.

A brawl alongside the station platform, with a horrible admixture of
polyglot oaths and the flash of knives, is the only incident of El Paso
life we travellers had experience of. But it may be characteristic.

One of the party who had been incidentally concerned in the
disagreement travelled with us. He knew both New and Old Mexico well,
and among other things which he told me I remember that he said that
he had seen peccaries in New Mexico, on the borders of Arizona. I had
thought till then that this very disagreeable member of the pig family
confined itself to more southern regions.

Treed by pigs is not exactly the position in which we should expect
to find a Colonial Secretary--at least, not often. But when one of
the Secretaries in Honduras was recently exploring the interior of
the country, he was overtaken by a drove of peccaries, and had only
time to take a snap shot at the first of them and scramble up a tree,
dropping his rifle in the performance, before the whole pack were
round his perch, gnashing their teeth at him, grunting, and sharpening
their tusks against his tree. Now the peccary is not only ferocious
but patient, and rather than let a meal escape it, it will wait about
for days, so that the Secretary had only two courses--either to remain
where he was till he dropped down among the swine from sheer exhaustion
and hunger, or else to commit suicide at once by coming down to be
killed there and then. While he was in this dilemma, however, what
should come along--and looking out for supper too--but a jaguar.
Never was beast of prey so opportune! For the jaguar has a particular
fondness for wild pork, and the peccaries know it, for no sooner did
they see the great ruddy head thrust out through the bushes than they
bolted helter-skelter, forgetting, in their anxiety to save their own
bacon, the meal they were themselves leaving up the tree. The jaguar
was off after the swine with admirable promptitude, and the Secretary,
finding the coast clear, came down--reflecting, as he walked towards
the camp, upon the admirable arrangements of Nature, who, having made
peccaries to eat Colonial Secretaries, provided also jaguars to eat the
peccaries.

And so to sleep, and sleeping, over the boundary into Texas.



CHAPTER XXVII.

    American neglect of natural history--Prairie-dogs again; their
    courtesy and colouring--Their indifference to science--A hard
    crowd--Chuckers out--Makeshift Colorado.

"HAVE we struck another city?" I asked on awaking, and finding the
train at a standstill.

"No, sir," said the conductor, "only a water-tank."

"You see," I explained, "there are so many 'cities' on the Railway
Companies' maps that one hardly dares to turn one's head from the
window, lest one should let slip a few--so I thought it best to ask."

No, it didn't look like a country of many cities. It was Texas. And the
grazing land stretched on either side of us to the horizon, without
even a cow to break the dead level of the surface. It was patched,
however, with wildflowers. Yellow verbena and purple grew in acres
together. And then the breakfasting station suddenly overtook us. It
was called Coya, and we ate refuse. When we complained, the man and his
wife--knock-kneed folk--deplored almost with tears their distance from
any food supply, and vowed they had done their best. And while they
vowed, we starved on damaged tomatoes; and on paying the man I gave him
advice to go and buy some potter's field with the proceeds, and to act
accordingly.

What I hate about being starved is, that you can't smoke afterwards.
The best part of a good meal is the pipe afterwards, and the more ample
the meal the better the subsequent weed. But on a pint of bad tomatoes
no man can smoke with comfort to his stomach. But I ate bananas till
I thought I had qualified for tobacco, and with my pipe came more
kindly thoughts. Outside the cars the country was doing all it could to
soothe me, for the meadows were fairly ablaze with flowers. They were
in distracting profusion and of beautiful kinds. I knew most of them
as garden and hothouse flowers in England, but not their names; the
verbenas, however, were unmistakable, and so was the "painted daisy."
It suffices, however, that the country seemed a wild garden as far as
the eye could reach, yellow and orange being as usual the prevailing
colours.

This determination of wild flowers to these colours is a point worth
the notice of science. And why are the very great majority of Spring
flowers yellow?

One of my companions called this distraction of colour a
"weed-prairie," which reminds me to say that it is perfectly amazing
how indifferent the present generation of Western Americans are to the
natural history of their country. They cannot easily mistake a crow or
a rose. But all other birds, except "snipe" and "prairie chickens,"
seem to be divided into "robins" and "sparrows;" and all flowers, the
sunflower and the violet, into lilies and primroses. They have not had
time yet, they say, to notice the weeds and bugs that are about. But,
in the meantime, a most appalling confusion of nomenclature is taking
root. As with eatables and other things, the emigrants to the States
have taken with them from Europe the names of the most familiar flowers
and birds, and anything that takes their fancy is at once christened
with their names.

As the sun rose the population of these painted meadows came abroad,
multitudes of rabbits, a few "chapparal hens," and myriads--literally
myriads--of brilliant butterflies.

And so on for a hundred miles. And then Texas gets a little tired of
so much level land and begins to undulate. Dry river-beds are passed,
and then a muskeet "chapparal" commences, and with it a prodigious
city of prairie-dogs. But the inhabitants are partially civilized. The
train does not alarm them in the least. It does not even arouse their
curiosity. They sit a few feet off the rails, with their backs to the
passing trains. Perhaps they may look over their shoulders at it. But
they do not interrupt their gambols nor their work for such a trifle
as a train. They eat and squabble and flirt--do anything, in fact, but
run away. Now and then, as if out of good taste and not to appear too
affected, they make a show of moving a little out of the way. But the
motive is so transparent that the trivial change of position counts for
nothing. The jack-rabbit imitates the prairie-dog, just as the Indian
imitates the white man, and pretends that it too does not care about
the train. But there is an expression on its ears that betrays its
nervousness; and why, too, does it always manage to get under the shady
side of the nearest bush?

One thing more about the prairie-dog, and I have done with him. The
soil east of Colorado city changes for a while in colour, being
reddish. Before this it had been sandy. And the prairie-dog alters its
colour to suit its soil. You might say of course that the dust round
its burrows tinged its fur, just as dust will tinge anything it settles
on. But it is a fact that the fur itself is redder where the soil is
redder, and that in the two tracts the little animal assimilates itself
to the ground it sits upon. And the advantage is obvious. Dozens of
prairie-dogs sitting motionless on the soil harmonized so exactly with
their surroundings that for a time I did not observe them. Detecting
one I soon learned to detect all. Now one of the grey prairie dogs on
the red soil would have been very conspicuous, just as conspicuous in
fact as a red one would have been trying to pass unobserved on the
lighter soil.

The undulations now increase into valleys, and splendid they are, with
their rich crops of wild hay and abundant life. The train stops at
a "station" (I am not sure that it has earned a name yet), and some
cowboys, and dreadful of their kind, get on to the train. But it is
only for an hour or so. But during that hour the prairie-dogs had much
excitement given them by the perpetual discharging of revolvers into
the middle of their family parties. It is impossible to say whether any
of them were hit, for the prairie-dog tumbles into his hole with equal
rapidity, whether he is alive or dead. But I hope they escaped. For I
have a great tenderness for all the small ministers of Nature, in fur
and in feathers.

    "Their task in silence perfecting, Still working, blaming still our
    vain turmoil, Labours that shall not fail, when man is gone."

And yet I would be reluctant to say that their indifference to express
trains should be encouraged. I don't like to see prairie-dogs thus
regardless of the latest triumphs of science. And so if the cowboys'
revolvers frightened them a little, let it pass.

The train stopped again at another "station," and our cowboy passengers
got out, being greeted by two evil-looking vagabonds lying in the shade
of a shrub. The meeting of these worthies looked unmistakably like that
of thieves re-assembling after some criminal expedition. All alike
seemed eager to converse, but they evidently had to wait till the train
was gone. One man had a bundle which he held very tight (so it seemed
to us) between his legs. A few muttered sentences were exchanged, the
speakers turning their heads away from the train while they talked,
and the rest assuming a most ludicrous affectation of indifference
to what was being said. We started off, and looking out at them from
the rear platform of the car, I saw they were already in full talk.
Their animated gestures were almost as significant as words. Had I
referred to the conductor I might have saved myself all conjecture. For
mentioning my suspicions to him, he said, "Oh, yes! Those Rangers who
got off at Coya are after that crowd: and they're a hard crowd too."

They were, without doubt, a terribly "hard crowd" to look at, these
cowboy-men. In England they would probably have followed "chucking out"
as a profession. I remember in a police court, during election time,
seeing some hulking victims of the police charged with "rioting." But
they pleaded, in justification of turbulence, that they were "chuckers
out of meetings!" They had been captured when expelling the supporters
of a rival candidate from a public hall with the fag ends of furniture,
and made no attempt at concealment of their misdemeanour. They were
paid, they said, to chuck out, and chucked out accordingly, to the best
of their intelligence and ability, and when overpowered by the police
attempted no subterfuge. Their stock-in-trade were broad shoulders and
prodigious muscle. For any odd job of fancy work they would perhaps
provide themselves with a few old eggs or put a dead cat or two into
their pockets. But, as a rule, when they went out to business they took
only their fists and their hob-nailed boots with them, relying upon
the meeting room to provide them with table legs and chairs. As soon
as the signal for the disturbance was given, the chuckers-out "went
for" the furniture, and, armed with a convenient fragment, looked about
for people whom they ought to chuck. There were plenty to choose from,
for a meeting consists, as a rule, of several or more persons, and the
chuckers-out having marked down a knot of the enemy, would proceed
to eject them, individually if refractory, in a body if docile, and
would thus, if unopposed by police, gradually empty the room. There is
something very humorous in this method of invalidating an obnoxious
orator's arguments, for nothing weakens the force of a speech so much
as the total absence of the audience. Nevertheless, the chucker-out
sees no humour in his job. It is all serious business to him, and so he
goes through his chucking with uncompromising severity. Now and then,
perhaps, he expels the wrong man, or visits the political offences
of an enemy upon the innocent head of one of his own party; but in
political discussions with the legs of tables and brickbats, such
mistakes can hardly help occurring.

And the beautiful undulating meadows continue, sprinkled over with
shrub-like trees, and populous with rabbits and prairie-dogs and
chapparal hens. Here and there we come upon small companies of cattle
and horses, most contented with their pastures; but what an utter
desolation this vast tract seems to be! The "stations" are, as yet,
mere single houses, and we hardly see a human being in an hour. And
then comes Colorado, a queer makeshift-looking town, with apparently
only one permanent place of habitation in it--the jail.

Beyond the town we passed some Mexicans supposed to be working, but
apparently passing time by pelting stones at the snakes in the water,
and soon after stopped to take up some Texan Rangers for the protection
of our train during the night. These Rangers reminded me very much of a
Boer patrol, and there is no doubt that both cowboys and Indians find
them far too efficient for comfort. They are, as a rule, good shots,
and all are of course good riders. The pay is good, and, "for a spell"
as one of them said, the work was "well enough." And as the evening
closed in, and we began to enter a country of dark jungle-looking land,
the scene seemed as appropriate as possible for a Texan adventure. But
nothing more exciting than cicadas disturbed our sleep. Somebody said
they were "katydids," but they were not--they were much katydider.



CHAPTER XXVIII.

    Nature's holiday--Through wonderful country--Brown negroes a libel
    on mankind--The wild-flower state--The black problem--A piebald
    flirt--The hippopotamus and the flea--A narrow escape--The home of
    the swamp-gobblin--Is the moon a fraud?

IN the morning everything had changed. Vegetation was tropical. Black
men had supplanted brown. Occasional tracts of rich meadow, with
splendid cattle and large-framed horses wading about among the pasture,
alternated with brakes of luxuriant foliage concealing the streams that
flowed through them, while fields of cotton in lusty leaf, gigantic
maize, and league after league of corn stubble, showed how fertile the
negro found his land. And the wild flowers--but what can I say more
about them? They seemed even more beautiful than before.

There is something very striking and suggestive in these impressive
efforts of Nature to command, at recurring intervals, a recurring
homage. Thus, for one interval of the year the rhododendron holds an
undivided empire over the densely-wooded slopes of the great Himalayan
mountains in India. All the other beauties of mountain and valley
are forgotten for that interval of lovely despotism, and every one
who can, goes up to see "the rhododendrons in bloom." Nature is very
fond of such "tours de force," thinking, it may be, that men who see
her every-day marvels and grow accustomed to them require now and
then some extra-ordinary display, like the special festivals of the
ancient Church, to evoke periodically an extraordinary homage. Lest
the migration of creatures should cease to be a thing of wonder to us,
Nature organizes once in a way a monster excursion, sometimes of rats,
sometimes of deer, but most frequently of birds, to remind man of the
marvellous instinct that draws the animal world from place to place or
from zone to zone. For the same reason, perchance, she ever and again
drives butterflies in clouds from off the land out on to the open sea,
and, that the perpetual miracle of Spring may not pall upon us, she
gives the world in succession such breadths and tones of colour that
even the callous stop to admire the sudden gold of the meadows, the
hawthorn lying like snowdrifts along the country, the bridal attire of
the chestnuts, or the blue levels of wild hyacinth. As the priestess of
a prodigious cult, Nature decrees at regular intervals, for the delight
and discipline of humanity, a public festa, or universal holiday, to
which the whole world may go free, and wonder at the profusion of her
beauties.

The track was, in places, very poor indeed, the cars jumping so much
as to make travelling detestable and travellers "sea-sick." And
then Dallas, with an execrable breakfast, and away again into the
wonderful country, with cattle perpetually wandering on to the track
and refusing to hear the warning shriek of the engine. The country was
richly timbered with oak and willow and walnut, with park-like tracts
intervening of undulating grassland. Here the stock wandered about in
herds as they chose, and except for a chance tent, or a shanty knocked
together with old packing-cases and canvas, there was no sign of
human population. But in the timbered country every clearing had the
commencement of a settlement, the tumble-down rickety habitation with
which the African, if left to his own inclinations, is content. And
wonderfully picturesque they looked, too, these efforts at colonization
in the middle of the forests, with the creepers swinging branches of
scarlet blossoms from the trees, and the foliage of the plantains,
maize and sugar-cane brightening the sombre forest depths. But the heat
must be prodigious, and so must the mosquitoes.

It was Sunday, and after their kind the children of Ham were taking
"rest." Parties of negresses all dressed in the whitest of white, with
bright-coloured handkerchiefs on their heads, or hats trimmed with
gaudy ribands and flowers, and sometimes wearing, believe me, gloves,
were promenading in the jungle with their hulking, insolent-mannered
beaux. They looked like gorillas masquerading. In his native country
I sincerely like the negro. But here in America I regret to find him
unlovely. I am told that individual negroes have done wonders. I know
they have. But this does not alter my prejudice. I think the brownish
American negro of to-day is the most deplorable libel on the human
race that I have ever encountered. And I cannot help fearing that
America has a serious problem growing into existence in the South. The
brown-black population is there formulating for itself, apart from
white supervision, ideas of self-government, morality, "independence,"
and even religion, that may make any future intervention of a better
class a difficult matter, or may eventuate in the contemporary
growth of two sharply-defined castes of society. I find the opinion
universally entertained in America that the brownish-black man is not
a sound or creditable basis for a community, and now that I have seen
in what numbers and what prosperity he has established himself in the
South, I cannot but think that he may be found in the future an awkward
factor in the body politic and social.

The country in fact appears to be breeding helots as fast as it can for
the perplexity of the next generation.

To the north of us as we travelled was a large Indian reservation, and
at more than one station I saw them crouching about the building. But I
should not have mentioned them had it not been that I saw a white man
trying to buy a cradle from a squaw. He offered $20 for it, but she
would not even turn her head to look at the money. It is quite possible
that the mother thought he was bargaining for the papoose as well as
the cradle. But I was assured that these women sometimes expend an
incredible amount of labour and indeed (for Indians) of money also upon
their papoose-panniers. One case was vouched for of an offer of $120
being refused, the Indians stating that there were $80 worth of beads
upon the work of art, and that it had taken eleven years to complete.

How beautiful Texas is! And what a future it has! For half a day and
a night we have been traversing grazing-land, and for half a day
fine timber growing in a soil of intense fertility. And now for half
a day we are in a pine country, sometimes with wide levels of turf
spreading out among the trees, sometimes with oak and walnut so thickly
intermingled with the pines that the whole forms a magnificent forest.
Passion-flowers entangle all the lower undergrowth, and up the dead
trees climbs that fine scarlet creeper which is such an ornament of
well-ordered gardens of some English country houses. But here in Texas
the people, as usual, have not had time yet to think of adornments,
and their ugly shanties therefore remain bare and wooden. They are of
course only ugly in themselves, that is to say, in material, shape, and
condition, for their surroundings are delightful and location perfect.
There is of course a good deal of "the poetry of malaria," as I heard a
charming lady say, about some of these sites. For it is impossible to
avoid the suspicion of agues and fevers in those splendid clearings,
with the rich foliage mobbing each patch of cotton, grapes, or maize.

Whenever we happen to slacken pace near one of them an interesting
glimpse of local life is caught. Negroidal women come to the doors or
suddenly stand up in the middle of the crops in which, working, they
were unperceived. From the undergrowth, the ditches, and from behind
fences, appear dusky children, numbers of them, a swart infantry that
seems to me to fill the future with perplexity. Are these swarms going
to grow up a credit to the country? Have they it in their breed to be
fit companions in progress of the progeny of the best European stocks?

The abundance of wild life, too, is very noticeable. Wherever we stop
we become aware of countless butterflies and insects busy among the
foliage, and the voices of strange birds resound from the forest depths.

But other sites appear to me perfection. Take Marshall for instance,
or Jefferson. Which is the more beautiful of the two? Some of the
"commercial" settlements, just beginning life with a railway-station,
six drug stores, and seven saloons, have situations that ought to have
been reserved for honeymoon Edens. They are "hard" places. Law as yet
there is none except revolver law, and that is pitiless and sudden and
wicked. For Texas, the beautiful flower state, blessed with turf and
blessed with pines, has still the stern commencements of American life
before it--that rapid, fierce process of civilization which begins with
cards and whisky and murder, which finds its first protection in the
"Vigilantes" who hold their grim tribunals under the roadside trees,
but which suddenly one day wrenches itself, as it were, from its bad,
lawless past, and takes its first firm step on the high road to order
and prosperity and the world's respect. For every intelligent traveller
these ragged, half-savage, settlements should have a great significance
and interest. Before he dies they may be Chicagos or San Franciscos.
And these men, with their mouths full of oaths and revolvers on their
hips, are the fathers of those future cities. They will have no
immortality though in the gratitude of posterity. For they will shoot
each other of in those saloons, or the Rangers will shoot them down on
the flower prairies beyond the forests. But they will have done their
work nevertheless. Nature in every part of her scheme proceeds on the
same system of building foundations upon ruins. Whole nations have to
be killed off when they have prepared and preserved the ground as it
were for those that are to follow. Whether they are nations of men,
or of beasts, or of plants, she uses them in exactly the same way.
Everything must subserve the ultimate end.

But I did not intend to moralize. The negress waiter at Longview (where
we dine very badly) reminds me how practical life should be. She never
stops to moralize. On the contrary, she just stands by the window,
swallowing all the peaches and fragments of pudding that the travellers
leave on their plates. Two he negroes wait upon us. But it looks as if
they were there to feed the negress rather than to feed us. For they
keep rushing in with full dishes to us and rushing off with the half
empty ones to her. And there she stands omnivorous, insatiable, black.
Everything that is brought to her of a sweet kind she swallows. Not as
if she enjoyed it, but as if she must. It was like throwing things into
a sink. She never filled up.

And then, through the splendid tropical country, to Marshall. I must
return to Marshall, Texas, some day and be disillusioned, or else I
shall go down to my grave accusing myself of having passed Paradise in
the train, and not "stopped off" there. What an exasperating reflection
for a deathbed! I should never forgive myself. But perhaps it is not
so beautiful as it seems. In any case studies "from the life" would
be immensely interesting. I caught a few glimpses which entertained
me prodigiously. There was the negro dandy walking painfully in
patent-leather boots that were made for some man with ordinary feet,
with a fan in his hand and a large flower in his button-hole, an old
stove-pipe hat on his head, and a very corpulent handleless umbrella
under his arm. There was another, similarly caparisoned, escorting
three belles for a walk in the neighbouring jungle, the ladies all
wearing white cloth gloves and black cloth boots that squelched out
spaciously as they put their feet down. And alas! there was the black
coquette, with her bunch of crimson flowers behind her ear, her black
satin skirt and white muslin jacket, her parasol of black satin
lined with crimson--and how she flirts up the green slope, with a
half-acre smile on her face! She looks back at every other step to see
which, if any, of the black men, or the brown, or the yellow, on the
station platform is going to follow her expansive charms, and so she
disappears, this piebald siren, into the groves, her parasol flashing
back Parthian gleams of crimson as she goes. But every one, man, woman,
or child, black, brown, or yellow, was a study, so I must go back to
Marshall some day.

At present, however, we are whirling away again through the lovely
woodland, and the whole afternoon passes in an unbroken panorama of
forest views, with great glades of meadow breaking away to right and
left, and patches of maize and cotton suddenly interrupting the stately
procession of timber. And then Jefferson. Is Jefferson more prettily
situated than Marshall? I cannot say. But Jefferson lies back among
the trees with an interval of orchard and corn-land between it and the
railway line, and looks a very charming retreat indeed. A fat negro
comes on board on duty of some kind connected with the brake, and
a witty little half-breed boy comes on after him. The fat negro is
the brown boy's butt. And he nearly bursts with wrath at the hybrid
urchin's chaff, and threatens, between gasps, a retaliation that cannot
find utterance in words. But the brown boy is relentless, and though
the train is rapidly increasing in its speed, he clings to the step and
taunts the negro who dare not leave his look-out post. But he knows
very well where the fat man will get off, and suddenly, with a parting
personality, the little wretch drops off the step, just as a ripe apple
might drop off a branch. And then the fat man has to get off. The speed
is really dangerous, but he climbs down the steps backwards, thinking
apparently only of his tormentor, and still breathing forth fire and
slaughter; and then lets go. Is he killed? Not a bit of it. He lands on
his feet without apparently even jarring his obese person, and when we
look back, we see that he is already throwing stones at the small boy,
whose batteries are replying briskly. I wonder if the hippopotamus ever
caught the flea? And if he did, what he did to him?

And I remember how the Somali boys in Aden used to drive the bo'sun to
the verge of despair by clambering on to the ship and pretending not to
see him working his way round towards them with a rope's end behind his
back, and how at the very last moment, almost as the arm was raised to
strike, the young monkeys used to drop off backwards into the sea, like
snails off a wall.

But is this Bengal or Texas that we are traveling through? The
vegetation about us is almost that of suburban Calcutta, and the heat,
the damp steamy heat of low-lying land, might be the Soonderbuns. And
here befell an adventure. We were nearing Atalanta. The train was on a
down grade and going very fast indeed, perhaps half a mile a minute. I
was sitting on my seat in the Pullman with the table up in front of me
and reading. At the other end of the car was a lady with some children
sitting with their backs to me. Further off, but also with his back to
me, was the conductor. Each "section" of a car has two windows. The
one at my left elbow had the blind drawn down. The other had not. On a
sudden at my ear, as it seemed, there was a report as of a rifle; the
thick double glass of the window in front of me flew into fragments all
over me, and the woodwork fell in splinters upon my book. I instantly
pulled up the blind of the other window and looked out to see who had
"fired." But of course at the speed we were going, there was no one in
sight. I called out to the conductor that some one had fired through
the window. He had not heard the explosion, nor had the lady. So their
surprise was considerable. And while I was looking in the woodwork
for the bullet I expected to find, the conductor picked off my table
a railway spike! Some wretch had thrown it at the passing train, and
the great velocity at which we were travelling gave the missile all
the deadly force of a bullet. "An inch more towards the centre of the
window, sir, and you might have been killed," said the brakeman. A
look at the splintered woodwork, and the bullet-like groove which the
sharp-pointed abomination had cut for itself, was suffcient to assure
me that he was right. But think of the atrocious character of such
mischief. The man who did it probably never thought of hurting any one.
And yet he narrowly missed having a horrible crime on his head. "If
we could have stopped the train and caught him, we would have lynched
him," said the conductor. "A year or two ago a miscreant threw a corn
cob into a window, very near this spot too. It struck a lady, breaking
her cheek bone, and bursting the ball of her left eye. We stopped the
train, caught the man, and hanged him by the side of the track then and
there."

And then Atalanta, in a country that is very beautiful, but with that
poetry of malaria which suggests a peril in such beauty. And gradually
the land becomes swampy, and the old trees, hung with moss, stand
ankle-deep in brown stagnant water. The glades are all pools, and
where-ever a vista opens, there is a long bayou stretching down between
aisles of sombre trees. It is wonderful in its unnatural beauty, this
forest standing in a lagoon. The world was like this when the Deluge
was subsiding. There is a mysterious silence about the gloomy trees.
Not a bird lives among them. But in the sullen water, there are turtles
moving, and now and then a snake makes a moment's ripple on the dull
pools. Sunlight never strikes in, and as I looked, I could not help
remembering all the horrors of the slave-hunt, and the murder at the
end of it, in the dark depths of some such horrid brake as these we
pass. What a spot for legends to gather round! Has no one ever invented
the swamp-goblin?

For an hour and more we pass through this eerie country, and then
comes a change to higher land with a splendid growth of pine and
walnut and oak all healthily rooted in dry ground. But towards evening
we come again into the swamps, and the sun goes down rosy-red behind
the water-logged trees, till their trunks stand out black against
the ruddy sky and the pools about their feet take strange tints of
copper and purpled bronze. And suddenly we flash across the track
of the narrow-gauge line to New Orleans--and such a sight! The line
pierces an avenue, straight as an arrow, for miles and miles through
the belt of forest. On either side along the track lie ditches filled
with water. But to-night the ditches seem filled with logwood dye, and
the wonderful vista through the deep green trees is closed as with a
curtain, by the crimson west!

It was only a glimpse we got of it, but as long as I live I shall never
forget it, the most marvellous sight of all my life.

No, not even sunrise upon the Himalayas, nor the moonlight on the
palm-garden in Mauritius--two miracles of simple loveliness that are
beyond words--could surpass that glimpse through the Texan forest. It
was not in the least like this earth. Beyond that crimson curtain might
have been heaven, or there might have been hell. But I am not content
to believe that it was merely Louisiana.

And now comes Texakharna with its sweltering Zanzibar heat, but an
admirable supper to put us into good humour, and a beautiful moonlight
to sit and smoke in. If the sunset was weird, the moonlight was
positively goblinish. Such gloom! Not darkness remember, but gloom,
blacker than darkness, and yet never absolutely impenetrable. At least
so it seemed, and the fire-flies, flickering in thousands above the
undergrowth and up among the invisible branches, helped the fancy.
And the frogs! Was there ever, even in India in "the rains," such a
prodigious chorus of batrachians? And the katydids! Surely they were
all gone mad together. But it was a delightful ride. Sometimes in the
clearings we caught glimpses of negro parties, the white dresses of the
women glancing in and out along the paths, and the sound of singing
coming from the huts in the corners of the maize-patches.

Here at the corner of a clearing stands a cottage, a regular fairy-tale
cottage "by the wood," and in the moonlight it looked as if, "really
and truly," the walls were made of toffy and the roof was plum-cake. At
any rate there were great pumpkins on the roof, just such pumpkins as
those in which Cinderella (after they had turned into coaches) drove
to the Prince's ball. And I would bet my last dollar on it that the
lizards that turned into horses were there too, and the rats, and in
the marsh close by you might have a large choice of frogs to change
into coachmen.

And yet, I cannot help thinking, there is a good deal of false
sentiment expended upon the moon, the result of a demoralizing humility
which science has taught the inhabitants of "the planet we call Earth."
We are for ever being warned by our teachers against the sin of pride,
and being told that the universe is full of "Earths" just as good as
ours, and perhaps better. We are not, they say, to fancy that our own
world is something very special, for it is only a little ball, spinning
round and round in the firmament, among a number of other balls which
are so superior to it that if our own insignificant orange came in
contact with them we should get the worst of the collision. Nor are
we to fancy that the moon is our private property, and grumble at her
shabbiness, as our planetary betters have a superior claim to their
share of her, and this sphere of ours ought to be very thankful for as
much of the luminary as it gets.

Now, to my thinking, there is something distinctly degrading in this
view. Englishmen maintain patriotically that Great Britain is the
Queen of the Sea; why, then, should not we Earthians, with a larger
patriotism, say that our planet is the best planet of the kind in the
firmament, and, putting on one side all petty territorial distinctions,
boldly challenge the supremacy of the Universe itself? Depend upon it,
if any presumptuous moon-men or Jupiterites were to descend to Earth
and begin to boast, they would be very soon put down, and I do not see,
therefore, why we should not at once call upon all the other stars
and comets to salute our flag whenever we sail past them on the high
seas of the Empyrean. As it is, we are taught timidity by science, and
told that whenever a filibustering comet or meteor--the pirates and
privateers of the skies--comes along our way we are to expect instant
combustion, or something worse. Why are they not made to drop their
colours by a shot across their bows? or why, when we next see a meteor
bearing down upon us, should we not steer straight at it, and, using
Chimborazo or Mount Everest, or the dome of St. Paul's, or the Capitol
at Washington as a ram, sink the rascal? A broadside from our volcanic
batteries, Etna and Hecla, Vesuvius, Erebus, and the rest would soon
settle the matter, and we should probably hear no more for a long time
to come of these black-flagged craft who go cruising about to the
annoyance of honest planets. The same unbecoming apprehensions are
entertained with regard to the moon. Yet it is absurd that we should be
afraid of her. The Earth, by its velocity and weight, could butt the
moon into space or smash her into all her original fragments, could
bombard her with volcanoes, or put an earthquake under her and make a
ruin of her, or turn the Atlantic on to her and put her out. The moon
is really our own property, something between a pump and a night light,
and, if the truth must be told, not very good as either. Twice a day
she is supposed to raise the water of our oceans, but we have often
had to complain of her irregularity; and every night she ought to be
available for lighting people home to their beds, but seldom is. As a
rule, our nights are very dark indeed, owing to her non-attendance;
and even when she is on duty the arrangements she makes for keeping
clouds off her face are most defective. If the Earth were to be half as
irregular in the duties which she has to perform there would soon be
a stoppage of everything, collisions at all the junctions, accidents
at the level crossings, planets telescoped in every direction, and
passengers and satellites much shaken, if not seriously injured. But
the Earth is business-like and practical, and sets an example to those
other denizens of the firmament which are perpetually breaking out in
eruptions, getting off the track, and going about in disorderly gangs
to the public annoyance. Why, then, we ask, ought our planet to be
for ever taking off its hat to the flat-faced old moon, who is always
trying to show off with borrowed light, makes such a monstrous secret
of her "other side," is perpetually being snubbed by eclipses, and made
fun of by stars that go and get occultated by her?

But there are objections to discarding the luminary, for it is never a
graceful act to turn off an old dependant, and, besides, the moon is
about as economical a contrivance as we could have for keeping up the
normal average of lunatics, giving dogs something to bark at by night
when they cannot see anything else, and affording us an opportunity of
showing that respect for antiquities which is so becoming.

But what business the Man in the Moon has there, remains to be
decided; and who gave him permission to go collecting firewood in
our moon, remains to be seen. For it is well to remember that a very
distinguished French savant has proved that the moon is the private
property of the Earth. We used, he says, to do very well without a moon
once upon a time; but going along on our orbit one day, we picked up
the present luminary--then a mere vagabond, a disreputable vagrant mass
of matter, with no visible means of subsistence--"and shall, perhaps,
in the future pick up other moons in the same way." As a matter of fact
then, he declares the moon to be a dependant of our Earth, and says
that if we were selfishly to withdraw our "attraction" from it, the
poor old luminary would tumble into space, and never be able to stop
herself, or, worse still, might come into collision with some wandering
comet or other, and get blown up entirely. We ought, therefore, to
think kindly of the faithful old creature; but we should not, all the
same, allow any length of service to blind us to the actual relations
between her and ourselves--much less to make us frightened of the moon.

But the man in the moon should be seen to. He is either there or he is
not. If he is, he ought to pay taxes: and if he is not, he has no right
to go on pretending that he is.



CHAPTER XXIX.

    Frogs, in the swamp, and as a side-dish--Negroids of the swamp
    age--Something like a mouth--Honour in your own country--The Land
    Of Promise--Civilization again.

ARKANSAS remains on the mind (and the traveller's notebook) as a
vast forest of fine timber standing in swamps. There are no doubt
exceptions, but they do not suffice to affect the general impression.
And if I owned Arkansas I think I should rent it to some one else to
live in; especially to some one fond of frogs. For myself, I feel no
tenderness towards the monotonous batrachian. Even in a bill of fare
the tenderness is all on the frog's side. But on the whole, I like him
best when he is cooked. In the water with his "damnable iteration" of
Yank! yank! yank! I detest him--legs and all. But served "a cresson,"
with a clear brown gravy, I find no aggressiveness in him. It gets
cooked out of him: he becomes the gentlest eating possible. Butter
would not melt in his mouth, though it does on his legs. There is
none of the valiant mouse-impaling "mud-compeller" about him when you
foregather with him as a side dish. Aristophanes would not recognize
him, and the "nibbler of cheese rind" might then triumph easily over
him. Yet to think how once he shuddered the earth, and shook Olympus!
The goddess that leans upon a spear wept for him, and Aphrodite among
her roses trembled.

But here in Arkansas, on a hot night in "the Moon of Strawberries,"
what a multitudinous horror they are these "tuneful natives of the
reedy lake!" Like the laughter of the sea, beyond arithmetic. Like
the laughter of the sea, beyond arithmetic. Like the complainings of
the plagued usurers in Hell, beyond compassion. I cannot venture my
pen upon it. It is like launching out upon "the tenth wave," for an
infinite natation upon cycles of floods. It is endless; snakes with
tails in their mouths; trying to correct the grammar of a Mexican's
English.

But, seriously; was ever air so full of sound as these Arkansas swamps
"upon a night in June!" It fairly vibrates with Yank! yank! yank! And
yet over, and under, and through, all this metallic din, there shrills
supreme the voice of strident cicadas, without number and without
shame, and countless katydids that scream out their confidences to all
the stars. It is really astonishing; a tour de force in Nature; a noisy
miracle. I wonder Moses did not think of it, for such a plague might
have done him credit, I think. At all events, the ancestors of Arabi
Pasha would have been egregiously inconvenienced by such a hubbub. It
is no use trying to talk; yank--Katy did--yank--yank. That is all you
hear. So you may just as well sit and smoke quietly, and watch the
moon-lit swamps and wonderful dark forests go by, with their perpetual
flicker of restless fire-flies, twinkling in and out among the
brushwood. If they would only combine into one central electric light!
All the world would go to see them--the new "Brush-light." But there is
very little sense of utility among fire-flies. They flicker about for
their own amusement, and are of a frivolous, flighty kind; perpetually
striking matches as if to look for something, and then blowing them out
again. They strike only on their own box.

But here comes a station--"Hope." We are soon past Hope; and then
comes another swamp, with its pools, that have festered all day long
in the sun, emitting the odours of a Zanzibar bazaar, and standing in
the middle of them apparently are some clearings already filled with
crops, and a hut or two cowering, as if they were wild beasts, just on
the edge of the timber where the shadows fall the darkest. What kind
of people are they that live in this terraqueous land? No race that is
fit to rule can do it. No, nor even fit to vote. Some day, no doubt,
the wise men of the world will dig up tufts of wool, and skulls with
prognathous jaws, and label them "Negroids of the swamp age." Or they
may fall into the error of supposing that the wool grew all over their
bodies equally, and some Owen of the future discourse wisely of "the
great extinct anthropoids of Arkansas." For in those wonderful days
that are coming--when men will know all about the wind-currents, and
steer through ocean-billows by chart, when doctors will understand the
smallpox, and everybody have the same language, currency, religion,
and customs duties, and when every newspaper offce will be fitted with
patent reflectors, showing on a table in the editor's room all that
is going on all over the world, and special correspondents will be as
extinct as dodos, and when many other delightful means of saving time
and trouble will have come to pass--then, no doubt, as the Mormons say,
all the world will have become a "white and a delightsome people," and
the commentators will explain away the passages in the ancient English
which seem to point to the early existence of a race that was as black
as coals, and lived on pumpkins in a swamp.

And still we sit up, long past midnight, for never again in our lives
probably shall we have such an experience as this, so unearthly in
its surroundings--forests that crowded in upon the rails and hung
threateningly over the cars, pools that lay glistening in the moonlight
round the foot of the trees, the air as thick as porridge with the
yanking of brazen-throated frogs, and the screaming of tinlunged
cicadas, yet all the time alive with lantern-tailed insects--just
as if the clamour of frogs and cicadas struck fireflies out of each
other in the same way that flint and steel strike flashes, or as if
their recriminations caught fire like Acestes' arrows as they flew,
and peopled the inflammable air with phosphorescent tips of flame--a
battery of din perpetually grinding out showers of electric sparks.

And to make us remember this night the cars bumped abominably over
the dislocated sleepers and the sunken rails, as the Spanish father
whipped his son that he might never forget the day on which he saw a
live salamander; and the engine flew a streamer of sparks and ink-black
smoke, till it felt as if we were riding to Hades on a three-legged
dragon. But it came to sleep at last, and we went to bed, leaving the
moonlit country to the vagaries of the fireflies and the infinite
exultations of the frogs.

Awaking in the morning with "the grey wolf's tail" still in the sky,
what a wonderful change had settled on the scene! The same swamped
forests on either side of us: the same gloomy trees and the same
sulky-looking pools; but a dull leaden Silence supreme! Where were
the creatures that had crowded the moonlight? You might live a whole
month of mornings without suspecting that there were any such things in
Arkansas as frogs or katydids or fireflies!

I should have gone to sleep again if I had not caught sight of our new
porter, or brakeman. He happened to be laughing, and the corners of
his mouth, so it seemed to me, must have met behind. I need hardly say
he was a negro. But at first I thought he was a practical joke. I took
the earliest opportunity of looking at the back of his neck, to see
what kept his head together when he laughed. But I only saw a brass
button. I should not have thought that was enough to keep a man's skull
together, if I had not seen it. And he was always laughing, so that
there was nearly as much expression on the back of his head as on the
front. He laughed all round.

I felt inclined to advise him to get his mouth mended, or to tell him
about "a stitch in time." But he seemed so happy I did not think it
worth while.

Is it worth while saying that the swamp forest continued? I think not.
So please understand it, and think of the country as a flooded forest,
with wonderful brown waterways stretching through the trees, just as
glades of grass do elsewhere, with here and there, every now and again,
a broad river-like bayou of coffee stretching to right and left, and
winding out of sight round the trees, and every now and again a group
of wooden cabins, most picturesquely squalid, and inhabited by coloured
folk.

Does anybody know anything of these people? Are they cannibals,
or polygamous, or polyandrous, or amphibious? Surely a decade of
unrestricted freedom and abundant food in such solitudes as these, must
have developed some extraordinary social features? At all events, it is
very difficult to believe that they are ordinary mortals.

The hamlets are few and far between, and it is only once or twice
during the day that we strike a village nomine dignus. Looking at a
garden in one of these larger hamlets, I notice that the hollyhock and
pink and petunia are favourite flowers; and it is worth remarking that
it is with flowers as with everything else--the imported articles are
held in highest esteem. Writing once upon tobacco cultivation in the
East, I remember noting that each province between Persia and Bengal
imported its tobacco from its next neighbour on the west, and exported
its own eastward. It struck me as a curious illustration of the
universal fancy for "foreign" goods. So with flowers. It is very seldom
that the wild plants of a locality arrive at the dignity of a garden.
In England we sow larkspurs; in Utah they weed them out. In England we
prize the passion-flower and the verbena; in Arkansas they carefully
leave them outside their garden fences. And what splendid flowers these
people scorn, simply because they grow wild! Some day, I expect, it
will occur to some enterprising settler that there is a market abroad
for his "weeds;" and that lily-bulbs and creeper-roots are not such
rubbish as others think.

Then Poplar Bluff, a crazy-looking place, with many of its houses built
on piles, and a saloon that calls itself "the XIOU8 saloon." I tried
to pronounce the name. Perhaps some one else can do it. Then the swamp
reasserts itself, and the forest of oak and walnut, sycamore and plane.
But the settlements are singularly devoid of trees, whether for fruit
or shade. The people, I suppose, think there are too many about already.

And now we are in Missouri--the Mormons' 'land of promise,' and the
scene of their greatest persecutions. It is a beautiful State, as
Nature made it; but it almost deserves to be Jesse-Jamesed for ever for
its barbarities towards the Mormons. No wonder the Saints cherish a
hatred against the people, and look forward to the day when they shall
come back and repossess their land. For it is an article of absolute
belief among the Mormons, that some day or other they are going back to
Jackson County, and numbers of them still preserve the title-deeds to
the lands from which they were driven with such murderous cruelty.

It was here that I saw men working a deposit of that "white earth"
which has done as much to bring American trade-enterprise into
disrepute as glucose and oleomargerine put together. In itself a
harmless, useless substance, it is used in immense quantities for
"weighting" other articles and for general adulteration; and I
could not help thinking that the man who owns the deposit must feel
uncomfortably mean at times. But it is a paying concern, for the world
is full of rascals ready to buy the stuff.

And, after all, one half the world lives by poisoning the other.

A thunderstorm broke over the country as we were passing through it,
and I could not help admiring the sincerity of the Missouri rain.
There was no reservation whatever about it, for it came down with a
determined ferocity that made one think the clouds had a spite against
the earth. Moss Ferry, a ragged, desolate hamlet, looked as if it was
being drowned for its sins; and I sympathized with pretty Piedmont
in the deluge that threatened to wash it away. But we soon ran out
of the storm, and rattling past Gadshill, the scene of one of Jesse
James' train-robbing exploits, and sped along through lovely scenery of
infinite variety, and almost unbroken cultivation, to Arcadia.

But this is "civilization." In a few hours more I find myself back
again at the Mississippi, the Indus of the West, and speeding along its
bank with the Columbia bottom-lands lying rich and low on the other
side of the prodigious river, and reminding me exactly of the great
flat islands that you see lying in the Hooghly as you steam up to
Calcutta--past the new parks which St. Louis is building for itself,
and so, through the hideous adjuncts of a prosperous manufacturing
town, into St. Louis itself.

Out of deference to St. Louis, I hide my Texan hat, and disguise myself
as a respectable traveller. For I have done now with the wilds and the
West, and am conscious in the midst of this thriving city that I have
returned to a tyrannical civilization.

And I take a parting cocktail with the Western friend who has been my
companion for the last three thousand miles.

"Wheat," says he, with his little finger in the air.

And I reply, "Here's How."

THE END.



LONDON:

PRINTED BY GILDERT AND RIVINGTON, LIMITED, ST. JOHN'S SQUARE.





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