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together by the horns. The Brigadier walk into the hall, fresh from meethallooed right out, though it was Sabbath, ing, with the doctor from Cambridge. but all the men were away at meeting. Madam had thought to bring him Look again, and there was the Ver- home to get his dinner with them, monter's bull driving his bull back on and fix up the Brigadier, so as he his haunches. Brigadier Ruggles was might be well enough to get to Boston a brave man, so he throws open the fair next day.” gate he was leaning over, and lays “ Not a bad tableau for a Sabbath on to the Vermonter's bull behind with morning scene in the old Puritan the prong, just as the brute drives home,” said the optimist. “ Haven't down his own bull, and breaks his you got a painter who could do it? neck in the corner of the pen. Then But, I say, my belief is, that if you the Vermonter's bull turns round on told the whole truth, that Vermonter's the Brigadier, and after one good look bull was English bred." at him, puts down his head with a sort “No more than I am," said the of low whistle, and scrapes with his potentate. fore hoof, meaning mischief. The “The Vermonters are mostly smart Brigadier didn't wait, but made off for men,” said the President, gravely. the house, slamming the pen gate and “Right - smart, I guess, many of the garden gate behind him. But he them,” added the Vice, “though if that hears two crashes, and then the whistle Vermonter had been right-smart he of the Vermonter's bull coming after wouldn't have left the Brigadier behind him, as he reaches his open front door, at meeting-time.” and bolts through the hall to the Now, what's the difference between kitchen, slamming the second door smart and right-smart ?" put in the behind him. “Perhaps the cuss won't critically-minded struggler. come into the house,' thought the “I should say now, the potentate Brigadier, as he stood panting behind here was a right-smart man," said the the kitchen door ; but next minute optimist; "a kind of fellow who is he hears the Vermonter's bull stalk always catching your fingers in a tree, into the hall. Then silence for a or dropping you in some hole." minute, and then the whistle and “No, no ; I guess I'm too loose in the scraping again. “What's he up to jaw," said the accused party, “but I'll now?' thought the Brigadier, as he show you the difference better than you just peeped through a crack. There could touch it off in words in a week. stood the bull, right opposite his You saw the notices up at Storm Lake own image in Madam Ruggles's mir- there, in the middle of the prairie, that
A king's arm always hung on the Ex-M. C. and candidate for the the hooks, over the kitchen fire. district was coming down to make a place, loaded with ball, and the
speech." Brigadier caught it down, and made Yes, and I was glad to see it, as a two steps across the floor, and right proof that wild life doesn't take your out into the hall, just in time to see settlers away from politics.” the Vermonter's bull down his head “I won't say anything about that. and go crash into the mirror. The Any way the candidates come after them, shock seemed to stagger him, and before and it's a caution the sort of stuff they he could turn round, the Brigadier- serve out to the sovereign people when that mad that he would have faced all they're on the stump in such out-of-thethe bulls of Bashan-steps up to his side, way places. Well, when Illinois was and lets drive just behind his shoulder. settling up, a candidate came down to The Vermonter's bull goes over amongst just such a wild place as Storm Lake, the broken glass, the Brigadier stands where I was stopping with the postover him, king's arm still smoking, master, who kept the biggest store, and when the waggon draws up, and was the boss of the town.
The can. Madam Ruggles and the Vermonter didate kept on talking for well on to
three hours; and as it was just before build wharves. While they hunted up onr war, and he didn't seem to quite the official representatives of the proknow which way the cat was going to posed vendors to lay down their terms, jump, why his talk wasn't altogether we strolled along the levee of the meaty—you couldn't get much of a meal Missouri. That it is the longest river off it either side. As we went back we in the world is a thing that everybody came up with a settler, a pawky, queer knows, but the geography books omit old man, crumpled up with the shakes. to add that it is perhaps the ugliest Good evening, Uncle Josh,' said my and most depressing. What we saw friend. •Evenin', Jack,'said the old boy was a sluggish and unutterably muddy (my friend's name was John).
stream, crawling through a channel of you step in and take a drink, uncle ?' some 200 yards across. · Waal, Jack, if ever I do take anythin' peered up here and there from the it's just at this hour.' 'Come in, then. yellow current, ugly and dangerous to Now, how'll you have it, uncle ? About look at. There were some half-dozen half-and-half?' 'Waal, yes, Jack- lumber steamers aground under the that'll du. But ef you du give either bank below where we stood, and on 'em a trifle advantage, let it be the on the opposite side was a strip of whiskey. “And now, uncle,' went on sand-here dry, there quaky-twice my friend, when he had got the old the breadth of that part of the bed man's brew to his mind, tell us what which was under water. The Missouri you think of the new candidate.' Waal, has an almost continuous margin of he seemed to get off his talk easy this kind along this part of its course, enough. Kep us at it near upon three sometimes on one side, sometimes on hours, I reckon. A fair-spoken, leaky the other : and every now and then, and kind o' young man ; but, Jack, ef he'd not unfrequently, takes a caprice to been a smart man he'd hey said all that change its bed, and does it almost in five-and-twenty minutes; and ef he'd without notice, and quite without paybeen a right - smart man, Jack, he ing the least attention to the interests wouldn't hev said it at all.'"
of the enterprising persons who have “Good again," said the optimist, settled on its banks. Within the laughing : "you're in undeniable form memory of several of the citizens whom to-day. But now we must get out, and we met, the Missouri had flowed half a do Sioux city. I must own my first mile west of the present site of Sioux impressions of the Missouri are not city, and there seemed no sort of reason favourable.”
why it should not go back to its old bed So we descended from the platform any day. Meantime, and until they are of the Champaign, and looked about us. left high and dry again, the people of We had pulled up in the middle of an Sioux city are eating and drinking, open space on the left bank of the
marrying and giving in marriage, pretty river, on to which our line seemed to much like the folk before the Flood. have strayed by accident, as we had Not that I would for a moment suggest passed what was intended for the ter- that the dwellers on the Upper Missouri minus some quarter of a mile behind. are specially like the antediluvians, or The other line from the south, which indeed worse than their neighbours, or had preceded ours by some months, than the ordinary run of folk in the was the only other occupant of this older States, or elsewhere. But their vacant space at present, and boasted opportunities and temptations have been of a considerable temporary station. peculiar; and although I do not believe The potentate and his colleagues were that they have done more than develop instantly in close and earnest colloquy. their natural share of the old Adam, I It must be a sine qua non, if they were must own they have done this diligently. to take to the new line, that their ter- In a town which has passed its childhood minus should be brought right down hundreds of miles away from any conto the river-bank, so that they could siderable settlement of human beings,
and incleed never heard the whistle of light sand, so we found our friends a locomotive before last year, one might refreshing themselves-washing the dust fairly look for some traces of primitive- out of their throats, they called it by ness and simplicity. Such a search courtesy-with draughts of the most would, I fear, be disappointing. On repulsive-looking water, straight from the other hand, the flashy, devil-may- the Missouri. care life and lawless licence, which Bret “You don't get at water like this Hart describes so vividly in his sketches every day," said the potentate, as he of outlying Californian mining villages, finished his draught with apparent if it ever existed in any perfection here, zest. “Try it.” has migrated further west, leaving no- I think I should have suspected a thing more than a strong taint behind. practical joke, but that the grave Vice The place has become a commercial added his testimony to the merits of centre-a place of big stores, and banks, Missouri water, assuring us that all who and ledgers, and financial persons. Never- lived near the river not only tolerated it theless, two days before our arrival, a for drinking purposes, and found it notorious evil-doer had ridden up and wholesome, but actually preferred it to down the main streets on his pony, any other. Even with this recommenopenly defying the authorities to seize dation, appearances remained so strongly him. Fortunately for the law and order against the fluid, and it looked so sug. party, he took so many straight drinks gestively like Gregory's mixture, that I during his ride, that he was carried to could not bring myself to do more than the State prison, in a helpless state, in swallow about a mouthful, which I the course of the evening, where he was am bound to say had no objectionable waiting his trial. Our informant, a local taste. It would do well enough for a journalist, who had assisted at the cap- meal in the dark, to wash down (say) ture, seemed to treat the incident as by charcoal biscuits. no means an unusual one. A safer index, A lounge through the streets, and a however, of the social condition and pre- drive in a sort of tilt, called a prairievalent tastes of the city lies in its pos- waggon, to a bluff overhanging the town, sessing, to meet the wants of a population filled up the hours till sundown. For of something under 4,000, seventy-three driving across country commend me to drinking and billiard saloons, and four the prairie-waggon. It isn't a thing of regular gambling-houses. On the other
On the other beauty, exactly, or a thing of comfort, hand, it possesses two daily and four but its power of travelling over any weekly papers and a magazine, a quite kind of ground at any angle without adequate number of places of Worship, upsetting is extraordinary. Ours passed and a monster free-school, lately finished safely half-a-dozen times through posiat an outlay of upwards of 40,000 tions of most unstable equilibrium, as if dollars, towards the cost of which the determined to rival the sure-footedness saloons and gambling-houses had been of the lean, sinewy beasts that drew it. mulcted heavily.
From the bluff there was a fine open When we had satisfied ourselves with view of a long series of wave-like sandthe inspection of the stranded steamers, hills rolling away to the horizon, and and of the few pigs who were rooting two black dots on a distant ridge, about the open space between the river which, in all probability either horses or and the town, we turned in pursuit of bullocks, were by common consent set our friends, whom we ran to ground in down as buffaloes. For it would never a temporary booking office, where the do, of course, to come back from the three railway magnates were putting Far West without having seen a buffalo. their ideas together as to the conditions Disappointing enough that there is not upon which they would be prepared to a single Sioux Indian to be seen in negotiate for the line we had just Sioux city, though some painted phototravelled. The day was hot, and the graphs of rather stagey and overdressed latter part of our run had been through warriors, labelled “Great Elk,” “Red
Deer," and so on, are for sale in the puffing away with the air of a man shop windows here and there.
resolved not to be pumped. “And they Towards dusk we were all assembled told meaboard the Champaign, which as usual “ This gentleman,” broke in the pohad been backed into a siding for the tentate, with a wave of his arm towards night, when suddenly a stranger in geedy the struggler, “is the Honourable Lord black velveteen, and with a suspiciously William O'Doodle, native of the Carribig note-book in his hand, appeared in bee Highlands, in the kingdom of Scotthe open doorway, and, after a hasty look land, and Member of the British Parliaround, introduced himself with, "Good ment, and thisevening, gentlemen. Would you favour "Exactly, sir,” said Charley, goodus with the object of this visit?” humouredly; and, turning to George,
As the question was not addressed who was still fidgetting on his feet in to anyone in particular, and sounded the background, " Better put it down in slightly vague, there was an awkward that note-book of yours," he suggested, silence for a minute or so, till the poten- in a tone unmistakeably expressive of tate, without removing his cigar, laconi- half-sarcastic pity for his rival's awkward cally retorted, “Why?”
approaches and rebuff. “Sir, I represent the Sioux City I suppose the optimist must have Morning Intelligencer," was the stranger's looked more accessible than the rest of us,
“So if any gentleman will be for, after a short silence, Charley singled so kind as to give me names and de him out for his first question. scriptions of the party, and your ideas sir, and what do you think of our city?” and intentions relative to our city, I “ Covers plenty of ground,” said the and he completed the sentence by pro- optimist. “But what struck me as odd ducing a pencil from his waistcoat this afternoon was, that half the best pocket and unclasping the big note-book. building plots, right in the heart of the
It was plain enough what the object place, and down on the river-bank, have of our friend's visit was, at any rate. been left to the weeds and the pigs, We were to be “interviewed," and might while further off the houses stand as just as well submit to the operator with thick as need be." a good grace at once. The potentate, “Ah, I'll just tell you how that is. however, made one faint effort to divert It's near ten years ago now, there was the attack by inquiring, with an air of a talk of a railroad being brought interest, “You represent the Morning through this city, which was in a Intelligencer, did you say? Does this smallish way of business then. So at place keep a daily, then ?”
once we all reckoned we were bound to “Two, sir—the Intelligencer and the be bigger than Chicago in no time, and Times. And here's the gentleman who building lots along all the likeliest represents the Times coming down the streets jumped up to a thousand dollars track.-Come up, Charley.”
apiece. Well, the track didn't come, And up came Charley, sure enough, a and the settlers who dropped in from jolly, round-faced fellow, of easy con the East by stage or prairie - waggon, fidential address, and, with a lift of his mostly didn't bring a thousand dollars hat to the company generally and a nod in their pockets. Somehow, though, to his professional rival, took up a the price of lots stuck pretty much masterly strategic position in a vacant where it was—guess I can't tell you arm-chair.
just why." "Well, George ?" he began at last, “ The same reason perhaps that keeps with a familiar nod to the seedy your clothes, and wine, and victuals at stranger.
the prices they rose to in '63—just to "I was just asking these gentlemen spite the political economists," intertheir intentions with reference to our posed the struggler. city,” replied George, with rather an “I don't know about that, sir. We uneasy look at the potentate, who was don't take much account of such cusses
out West. But in Sioux city here the amused, half-malicious look, that told upshot was, that people couldn't afford its tale in a moment. He was bent on to buy the best lots, and so the place teaching the benighted Britisher a lesson, has got built up stragglewise. But now and it was the benighted Britisher's this new track is open, we shall mend bounden duty to refuse him that satisall that quick. I guess my paper's faction. So, by a severe muscular bound to be a handsome property now.” effort, I strangled all outward facial
“ It doesn't pay, then, just at signs of pain, and slowly chewed my present ?”
agonizing mouthful before my torturer's “Not exactly. I calculate to lose a eyes till it was fairly swallowed. At matter of three hundred dollars a month last he said, rather impatiently, 'How by it, more or less ; but just let me do you find the peppers, sir?' 'A hold on till the city turns the corner, little warm,' I answered, calmly; but and it'll be another story. Our people (forgive me the fib!) a nice kind of like vim, sir. They're very good about vegetable, decidedly.'' You needn't be advertising, our people here, and they afraid of the next world, then,' he jerked do their best for George and me; but out, and, though evidently disappointed, there's not enough of them just yet, you treated me with decided respect from see; that's about the fact. It's hard that moment.” work to make out one's dozen or four- By this time Charley was quite at home teen columns of intelligence, too, for with all the party aboard the Chamthey won't look at it unless it's as spicy paign, and he now offered to escort any as red pepper."
of us who would accompany him on “Does that delectable vegetable an evening stroll through the town, flourish in Sioux city ?” put in the suggesting that he was well known at struggler.
the "kino" houses. “Never ate them, did you ?” said the Our railway friends declined the potentate.
chance of seeing round Sioux city at “Haven't I ? and I promise you I night. They had heard of a proposed shan't forget them in a hurry. One visit on business from the municipal day when we were in New York I authorities, and would not risk being turned into the Fifth Avenue Hotel, out of the way. The optimist sat with on the prowl for something for my his heels up on the platform, in true inner man, and, feeling the gregarious Yankee fashion, watching the afterglow instinct strong upon me, went and sat of the sunset across the Missouri, cigar down by the only other occupant of the
in mouth and coffee at elbow. He was saloon, à long, cadaverous Yankee, just immovably bent on letting well alone. that sort that Tenniel always puts into So the struggler and I started, one on his cartoons, with stripy trousers and a each side of the voluble Charley, on starry shirt, to typify Cousin Jonathan.
our voyage of observation.
A more I had come across a good many strange amusing or hospitable guide I never vegetables since we landed in the
wish to encounter. His perfect openStates, but a dish of reddish some- ness, on all subjects connected with the things, which my gaunt neighbour was city, and the works and ways of its devouring with apparent relish, struck citizens, relieved us of all embarrassment. me at once as a novelty. “May I ask We visited first a beer garden, not unwhat they are ?' 'Red peppers—try like those at Munich, though of course them.' Innocently I accepted the in- smaller, where we sat at one of many vitation, and the moment I bit one of little tables, under a maple tree, and the things, felt-how shall I describe drank reasonably good beer, served by the sensation ?--- well, as if a red-hot a very pretty and not particularly forpoker had been laid upon my tongue. ward damsel, one of several who were Luckily, just before screaming out, I flitting about on like errands. There caught the
cadaverous were arrangements for musical enterenemy fixed upon me with a queer, tainments, and dancing, and a billiard