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A hard Fight
Chapter the Last.
Contributors to this Volume.
ARCHER, E. M.
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A WEEK IN THE WEST.
FROM A VAGABOND'S NOTE-BOOK.
name the lords, as surely as it yields
hotelWe were due at Chicago at 7 A.M., but clerk form." were not destined to be 66
“What do you say then to the youngThat hour had already passed when we sters who volunteered to officer black came to a dead stop, still a considerable regiments, knowing that they would get distance short of Lake Michigan. My no quarter if taken; and to the men fellow-countrymen were of course off at and women who organized and worked once to see what was the matter. The our Sanitary commission, and Christian natives generally retained their seats, commission, in the war ?" tranquilly chewing, or eating pop-corn. Yes ; that's a form of nobility to There is a fatalism about the Americans which I take off my hat with pleasure. at home which fills me with respect as No nation can show purer nobles than a vagabond. In travelling in their own these; we must pass the rest for their country they take all manner of breaks sakes.” down, delays, bursting of boilers, and Well, I reckon they're strong the like, as well as all manner of imposi- enough to carry the shoddy aristocracy, tion, insolence, ill-usage of luggage, and and all the rest, on their backs yet heartless indifference on the part of awhile.” officials, as a dispensation of Providence At first I had resolved to hold on which is to be accepted as part of the philosophically like my neighbours, but play, and not to be resented or struggled my patience gave way after a quarter of with by any self-respecting citizen. an hour, and I followed my friends to “ They are our aristocracy,” the poten- discover the cause of the delay. I found tate jocosely explained to us, “these them in the midst of a small group officials, especially the clerks in the big which had gathered round the hind hotels : the only class here that toil wheel of one of the Pullman cars, into not, neither do they spin. You don't the wheel-box of which a grim, silent expect your lords to behave like common mechanic was driving an iron spoke. folk, you know."
Again and again it refused to hold, and “Surely not,” answered the optimist, leapt out at the last stroke. The poten“nor like lilies of the field. So these tate, who stood by, speculated ominously are your lords ! I remember Emerson, on the future of these luxurious Pullin his chapter on Aristocracy in the man's cars, which have been introduced * English Traits,' says that “a race yields on all the main lines. They are constantly a nobility in some form, however you breaking down, it would seem, owing to
No. 145.-VOL. XXV.
their enormous weight; and the wear selves in the outskirts. But such a and tear to the permanent way which horse” policy did not suit the views of the they cause is enormous. No doubt Mr. promoters of the Illinois Central, amongst Pullman, or rather the company which whom one is proud to number several represents him, will be found equal to Englishmen, including Mr. Cobden. the occasion, and, with the usual inven Into the heart of the city they were tiveness of his nation, will place some resolved to come ; so, as underground car on the rails which shall still offer the railways had not been invented, and luxuries of a good hotel to all travellers other access by land was out of the ready to pay for them, while it meets question, they entered by water, and the requirements of the railway powers shares standing at a premium, and divias to weight. At last the Pullman dends at ten per cent., have rewarded was sufficiently doctored to proceed, but
One great railway it was nearly three hours after our depôt is much like another, and Ameriappointed time when we struck Lake cans differ from English only in the Michigan, and ran along the southern greater freedom which is allowed to and western shore, on which a very every one to do as he pleases (taking the respectable sea was breaking. We were responsibilities of going by the wrong rapidly nearing the first, if not the trains, being left behind, or run over, on greatest, wonder of the West, and be his own shoulders), and in the tolling of came aware of the neighbourhood of the great bells which the engines carry. Chicago by the number of fine villas The horrible shriek of the English locoand carefully tended gardens which motive is happily unknown in the New skirted the line. Suddenly we ran out World ; a soft, low note, which is heard into the lake, and did our last two miles as far, being substituted for it. And or so on a good sound permanent way the shriek means nothing after all, being supported on piles. On our left, between emitted quite as often when the engine us and the beach before the town, lay a is standing still as when it is in motion, strip of lake, averaging, I should guess, whereas the engine bell does really a hundred and fifty yards in breadth, warn all concerned. It begins to toll as “a first-rate course for a sculling match," soon as the American engine moves, or the struggler remarked to me in passing, whenever it approaches a station, or as it certainly would be, for the piles crossing. “Look out for the engine and girders of the line break the force when the bell tolls," inscribed on a of the waves, and leave the surface of board, is all the protection given to the this inner strip smooth enough for the public at half the railway crossings, lightest outrigger. On our right was the even in New England. In the West great lake, glistening in the morning even this warning is omitted. However, sun, with the new waterworks which in our five minutes' stop at the great supply the city standing up out of it at central depôt of Chicago, I was certainly three miles' distance, and nothing else struck by one thing. In a conspicuous but some fine screw steamers, and mer place on the platform was a noticechant brigs and schooners plying their board, and on the board the following,– trade, between us and the horizon. This
NOTICE. approach to Chicago is eminently characteristic of the place. The city had already risen into solid blocks, four or five stories high, and was selling by the The optimist was staring at it in square foot at fabulous prices, before blank astonishment when I joined him. railways were strong or sagacious enough We looked at one another, and then to get a footing in the best quarters. No again at the notice, and then burst out place was left for a great depôt near the laughing centre of business, and most of the com « What the douse does it mean ?” he panies were content to establish them asked.
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