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of the fittings and furniture of his looking stream which connects it with church, as likely to keep away the poor, the Mississippi. Up and down this of whom I saw none present at either stream run steamers of somewhat oldof the services. To which he replied fashioned build it seemed to us, on the that as to the soft carpets and cushions look-out, of course, as we all were, for they were put there by his congregation, the “Prairie Bell.” I doubt whether I who built and fitted the church at their should put my money on Galena if I own expense, and after their own fancy, were bound for settlement in the West; and were proud of having it as com- but the citizens, to judge by the one or fortable
money could make it, two we met, are not of this advice, and and he had no 'voice in the matter ; believe in the future of their own city and as for the poor, two-thirds of his with a faith which seems to go a long people lived on weekly wages, and were way towards making its forecastings come in fact the poor of Chicago. " What !
out true. those men and women I see now, going It is undoubtedly the centre of a rich away from church ?”
“ Certainly," he mineral district, indeed one may say said. There was not a man amongst them exceptionally rich, for it would seem who was not at least as well dressed as that silver grows there. A shaft near either of us. Can it be that there are the town was abandoned for some years. really no poor in such a city? was the When opened again lately, an old chain, problem which occurred to me, and to which had been left hanging by the which my short stay did not enable me former explorers, was found coated with to get an answer satisfactory to myself. silver instead of the futile rust of the But it did give me enough insight into Old World! I ventured to cross-examine the character and habits of the people the mining engineer (a matter-of-fact, to make their splendid rally after the successful person) who told me the great fire
a matter of no surprise. story, and was convinced he was not Probably Mr. Collyer's congregation joking, and believed himself that all have lost everything, and have had to
But the most amusing begin life again; but I venture to pre
case of faith in Galena that we came dict that, in another eighteen months or across, was that of one, whom I may so, the visitor to Chicago will find that perhaps call a typical Western adventhey have put him back in at least as turer. He came out young, and had fine a church as that in which I had the tried many ways of life, including that privilege of worshipping with them a of undertaker, encouraged to this paryear ago.
ticular branch of business by a serious epidemic. As the ordinary funeral ap
paratus was scarce in Illinois at that GALENA proved to be, like most border time, he converted a light waggon he had towns, a city with a great future history. into a hearse by the help of some black As yet it presents no feature of greater trappings, and in it he drove a famous interest than the solid red-brick house, old trotter which he had brought from with green latticed blinds to the windows, the east.
The trade throve with him, standing on one of the hills over which until one day, when he was called on to the town straggles, which the citizens convey a well-known settler, and justice have presented to General Grant. But of the peace, to his last resting-place. there are fine big public schools—the There would seem to have been a conuniversal feature of Western towns, siderable gathering of waggon-owning where the biggest and best building is neighbours to the ceremony in question, always the school — and comfortable- and, when the procession started, one or looking residences on the hills, and two of them kept pressing up on the manufactories more or less developed, flanks of the hearse. Somehow the and wharfs for lumber and other pro- pace would keep quickening, till at last, duce by the side of the rather doleful. about a mile from the cemetery, in order
to hold his place at all, the undertaker base of the last of the range of Illinois was obliged to drop his hands, shove hills and turned northward, the Presiout his feet, and cry "g-lang” to his dent pointed across to the west, and old trotter. He brought up at the said, "There's the river.” We looked, cemetery with a clear lead, though the and saw a mighty swamp, but not a chief mourner made pretty good time; river, miles and miles of trees, some of but, possibly in consequence of an acci them large ones, standing in stagnant dent which happened to the coffin, or water and covered with creepers. The because the epidemic abated, soon after river was luckily high, so we got this left his mournful occupation. Turning sight of a forest growing out of water his attention to mining and land invest to perfection. Then for a mile or two ment, he became the convert of an in the land would just manage to assert genious mining speculator and theorist, itself, sometimes becoming sound enough who has established, to his own satisfac for a few cattle to pick about in a desotion, that Galena and the immediate late kind of way, and then again mere neighbourhood are the heaviest part of swamp, only fit for alligators and wild the known world, and will, therefore, fowl. The former we did not see, as prove the richest in metals. From a there are none; but numbers of the cursory perusal of the pamphlet in latter, including canvas-back ducks on which the proofs are given, I gather the their migration south wards, and what I argument to be, that the present rota took for a beautiful white heron. The tory motion of the earth makes it certain creepers were getting their autumn tints, that the weight is pretty evenly divided, and, in places, the fine purple tint of the and that America is, in fact, about as shumack bushes, and the bright yellow heavy as the three old continents taken of a tall plant like our golden-rod, which together. But, having regard to the grew in great masses, lighted up the immense disproportion between the ag dismal swamp, and made it almost gregate superficial area of Europe and cheerful. Presently we began to catch Asia, and that of North America, it is glimpses of the main river, and of what clear that the latter must be composed in the distance looked like a bridge of of vastly heavier material; otherwise gossamer, over which we were to cross the world would be lopsided, and its into Iowa. It is a marvel of lightness motion entirely different from what we and strength, 1,700 feet of iron truss experience. This extra weight can only work, consisting of light bars and bolts, be caused by an immense preponderance resting at long intervals on stone piers. of metals on the American side, and ab There were only two to this Dunluth struse calculations show that Galena is bridge, though the river is nearly half a the precise spot where the greatest mass mile broad. In the centre of the bridge of them will be found to exist. I give is a moveable"
is a moveable "draw,” working on a the information for what it may be pivot, to allow of the passage of steamers. worth to intending investors. There The draw is 320 feet in length, and so are wilder crotchets about in the West nicely balanced that a single man can by scores.
swing it in fine weather.
Soon we “We shall be on the Mississippi now dived into a tunnel cut through a rocky in about half an hour,” said the Presi bluff, and came out suddenly on the dent, as we moved out of Galena. The bridge itself, over the centre of which a intelligence set us all on the qui vive large iron eagle with spreading wings for the first glimpse of the father of keeps watch over the Mississippi. And waters, and we swarmed out on the a most glorious view he has of it, or, platform in front of our saloon car, as at any rate, we had, up and down the the Champaign” spun cheerily along broad stream, flowing between high the north bank of the sluggish Galena wooded bluffs, majestic and clear, not stream. Our first glimpse was a dis yet sullied by Missouri sand, and at this appointment. As we ran round the point 1,600 miles from the sea. The
optimist was evidently impressed as we world put out. Perhaps he saw this; steamed slowly over the bridge.
at any rate he rattled on:“Well," he said at last, “I feel bound “Well, now, you mustn't grudge us to own that your disagreeable bird up our Mississippi. It's something like our there has a right to scream and clap his backbone, you see, and whenever we wings over this bridge."
think of it we feel big. We all do so, “I guess you may,” said the potentate. I tell you. I remember when I was at “This is ever so much the best thing in Singapore I used to go to a tavern down bridges you can see on this, or any other by the port, which was the house of call continent."
of the merchant captains. Your skip"Come, that's a large order. I've been pers always mustered strong there, and at Montreal."
one day after dinner they got over their “And you did the Victoria bridge grog to canvassing the navies of all the there, of course ?”
world. They soon made a clean sweep, “Yes; and I don't say it's graceful. I tell you, of all the rest, and left the You may call it ugly, if you like. But British navy riding alone on the bosom those superb granite piers, and the
of the ocean. There was a long yellow covered iron-way, are about the most chap in one corner, a tough, silent, remarkable engineering work in the double-jointed fellow. I could see in a world. I felt that our respectable moment he hailed from somewhere British beast had a right to roar then.” within sight of Plymouth Rock. Well,
“Did you? Then I guess he ought he sat there hitching and wincing, till to roar on the wrong side of his mouth.” first he couldn't drink, and then he “How do you mean?”
couldn't chaw, and at last up he jumped, Why, what did that bridge cost ?" slapped his cap on to his head, and “Well, several millions. I don't re- roared out, ‘By thunder, you Britishers, member the figures.”
I jest tell you this. Thar’s steamers “Nor I. But I kno that if the
enough on our Mississippi to tow your Grand Trunk would knock their great cussed thundering little island across the stupid pipe to pieces and sell it, they Atlantic without your knowing it.' And might build a better bridge on this truss then he made sail for the door. And system for the cost of the old iron." now here we
are at Dubuque, and "A truss bridge there ! pooh, pooh, you're going to get prairie chicken remember the snow.”
for tea.” “So I do. We've got nearly as much So we landed, and walked into the snow here."
town while tea was being prepared at “Well-but-confound it, if you have the railway restaurants. The prairie heavy snows, you must keep them off the chickens, for which the Vice-President bridge ; you must have a cover, and the had wired on, had to be split and cover must be strong enough.”
broiled, the delicious fashion in which “You don't want any cover at all. they are served ; so we had a spare halfWhy can't you just let it through, as we hour to inspect our first half-settled do here?”
town. And quaint, pushing, go-ahead, The potentate was triumphant for the slip-shod places they are, one and all. moment. Neither of us were prepared Dubuque streets are laid out as wide as for
any reasonable criticism on his last Portland Place, and have street cars proposal; and, as we passed over the open running in the middle of them, but the iron-work of the bridge, and looked rest of the carriage-way is a slough of down through it to the water below, and despond, often axle-tree deep in mud. up to the sky above, it certainly was The side pavements are of wood. In not easy to see what was to be said the main street there was a wholesale against his plan of “letting it through.” silversmith's store with a splendid show I think we felt for the moment some- of goods, and several great dry-goods what crestfallen, and the least bit in the and grocery stores; then a lot of dirty
wooden hovels, or a blank lot with holes look here. The Vice has been telling us full of water; then a newspaper office that the ground about this place has (there are three dailies in Dubuque, and been found to be one mass of gypsum, in the copy of an evening paper which and the station itself is built of solid we bought were quotations from that morning's London Morning Post). Every Gypsum ! What's gypsum, optihouse, big or small, was placarded in mist?” huge letters with the owner's name and "Something to do with plaster of trade; amongst others, greatly to the Paris, isn't it? But I'm past the age confusion of our English notions, “H. for examination questions.
Ask the Tuttle, Justice of the Peace and Notary struggler." Public,” announced himself over a door “Gypsum is a mineral consisting of from which projected a barber's pole, sulphate of lime mixed with twenty-one and a darkie invited us to be shaved, per cent. of water,” said the struggler Here, too, we saw for the first time with mock solemnity. “The Vice told trains of emigrants starting for the me so, and he always speaks like an prairies, in their long covered waggons Encyclopædia, you know. And crushed loaded with lumber for their first houses, gypsum makes a very fine manure ; and women, children (in plenty, and healthy, Fort Dodge is going to stuff its own and happy-looking little folk), and a few the railway company's pockets by selling household goods. The teams were it; and finally this station-house will be mostly of serviceable well-bred horses, ground up, and utilized as a tonic for and a few cattle followed each waggon. over-worked and exhausted prairie soils. We got back to the station hotel much Not just yet, though, luckily for us. interested, and just in time to fall We're to be on genuine unadulterated heavily upon our chickens and beef- prairie before breakfast is over." steak. After tea we went “aboard,” “ Yes, sir," broke in the Vice, comand received the M.C. of Dubuque and ing up at this moment from a visit of several of the principal citizens for a inspection of station buildings and rollsmoke in our saloon. Our talk till late ing stock, such as he never failed to in the night was of the wonders of the make at every halting-place,-"before West, and of the certainty of Dubuque this year Fort Dodge was the terminus becoming before long the chief of these of civilization and the Illinois Central wonders. Then our guests went “ashore,” in this location. But we wanted to tap and we turned in, while the “Champaign” the Upper Missouri : so this summer we got up steam and travelled away west got a track pushed out right across ward into the night.
country, a matter of near a hundred and It was early morning when we drew forty miles, to Sioux City on the river, up at Fort Dodge. Not many years and the route is hardly so settled up yet have passed since the spot was merely but what you'll find some pretty known as one where a garrison of a natural prairie on it, I guess,
if hundred men were kept to serve as a
for that sort of thing." breakwater against Indian forays; but I, for one, owo many a pleasant hour the settler and the locomotive have to Messrs. Cooper and Mayne Reid, so pushed on so fast that it is no use look no wonder that I cared enough for “that ing for a red man now-a-days on the sort of thing” to cut breakfast very short east side of the Missouri.
this morning, and take my cigar out Stepping off the “ Champaign" on to upon that best of travelling observatories, the station platform, I saw the optimist the front car platform. and the struggler intently staring at the The look of the country changed little station-house, a very ordinary rapidly as we left Fort Dodge behind looking building of rough hewn whitish us. Steaming past an emigrant party stone,
just breaking up night-quarters and " I say," called out the struggler, “just starting their file of bullock teams west
wards along a black cozy trail, and past mustard on a piece of wet flannel. a thoroughly Irish-looking colony of Towns can't be, in fact, on these shanties, that no doubt owed existence prairies till the railroads are built.” to the navvies employed on the new “Why not ?" line, we ran out upon a dreary, treeless, “What are you to build them of ? undulating plain, where the only signs Dame Nature laid out the soil for large of man's work and life were the thread- farming, and hasn't provided an ounce like track of the railroad, and here and of stone, or clay, or timber on it. Look there in the distance the outline of some there to the left; there's a specimen of solitary settler's home. We were the what we call a sod-shanty,—turf walls, centre of a huge circular disk of tangled you see, and grass thatching,—the only grass, of which the rails, stretching on sort of living-place a settler can put up both sides with mathematical straight- in pre-locomotive days; and a rough ness to the horizon, formed a diameter. time some of them have, I tell you. Rank weeds and grass everywhere, up Afterwards, when we railroad people to the very edges of the unfenced track, come along, about the first loads we and not even a prairie chicken on the carry West are lumber from Wisconsin wing to give animation to the dull ex and Michigan. And then the tide of panse of downs. And this was 'rolling settlers does begin flowing, if you
like. prairie’! Well, of all the uninterest Whole families come out, each with ing places
their frame-house, in numbered pieces, “Guess you want a friend to play stowed in the baggage-cars like other showman,” said the Vice cheerily, traps, and a lot-certificate from our land behind me.
"Open prairie is just like office in their pockets, and almost before one of those school-books that must you've time to turn off steam a whole have a commentator to make one ap prairie has vanished into arables and preciate them, that's a fact. The bare streets. We shall be at one of our new text don't go down well, eh? Own up, towns, warranted this season's growth, now."
in a few minutes, and
shall see for I confessed that I had begun to think yourself whether I'm romancing.” the scenery a trifle monotonous.
“Perish the thought, O most sober “ Monotonous ? Ah, I see you're and attractive of Vices. But don't I looking at the track. Well, it is rather see a clump of young trees in front straight perhaps. We're now running there?” over a fifty-mile stretch, that, bar one “ Another importation. You
see, trifling curve, is as dead straight a line when it rains or blows in these parts,
can be drawn on this continent. it isn't a one-horse kind of raining or But what would you have ? In Eng blowing by any means.
So, as there is land, you first let your country towns no natural shelter for man or beast, the and villages get built up just where settler just makes one, by planting a they'd a mind, and then had to run good thick screen of cotton-wood alongyour railroads in the awkwardest in side his farm buildings. But I must go convenientest zigzags to suit them all. in and scheme out to-morrow's run with Out here in the West we've a different the President. Guess you'll right down plan, which the old countries would hate the prairie if I lecture you any follow too, I warrant, if they could only more about it.” clear the table and have a fresh deal all “On the contrary; your talk has had round. We fix on a likely route for on me that most notable effect of a cold settlers and traffic, build a bee-line tub, out of which, someone wisely says, track along it—for there is seldom any you never take the same ideas that you thing to go out of the direct way for carried into it." open depôts (what you call stations) The slamming of the car door anat intervals, and raise a healthy crop nounced that my friend had lost the of towns as fast as young 'uns grow compliment of my last remark. Feel