Life in Mississippi - Encyclopedia of Popular Arts and Culture (2023)

From the Encyclopedia of Folk Arts and Culture

Pair of chickens:Navigation,search for

"Every town and village along this vast stretch of river with two fronts had the finest house, the finest house, the mansion - the home of its richest and most respected citizen. It is easy to describe: large grassy yard with light fence painted white - in good condition; brick walkway from door to door; large square house, two-storeyed, painted white, with a portico like a Greek temple - except that the imposing pillars were fluted and the Corinthian capitals were a pitiful forgery, made of white pine and painted; iron door knocker; Brass Handle - Discolored from not being polished. Inside, a corridor without carpet, made of planed boards; living room 15 feet by 5 - in some cases 5 or 10 feet larger; woodchip carpet; Mahogany coffee table; lamp above, shade of green paper -- standing, as it were, on a grate, made of colored threads, by the young ladies of the house, and called the lamp carpet; several books, stacked and arranged, with cast-iron precision, according to an inherited and immutable plan; including Tupper, much written in pencil; Also, 'friendship offer,' e 'Garland of Affection', with its muddy nonsense illustrated in deadly mezzotints; Also,Ossian; 'Alonzo and Melissa:' possibly 'Ivanhoe:' Also 'Album, 'full of original 'poetry' of the you-hurt-the-spirit-that-loved-you-race; two or three good works—Shepherd of Salisbury Plain, etc.; current edition of the chaste and harmless Godey's 'Lady's Book', with a painted print of wax figures of women with mouths all alike - lips and eyelids the same size - each woman 1.50m tall and with a two inch wedge which under which protrudes and leave it in the middle of the foot."--To life, not to Mississippi(1883) by Mark Twain

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Leonardo da Vinci's rhombicuboctahedron

To life, not to Mississippi(1883) is a novel byMark Twain.


full text


Por Mark Twain


CHAPTER I. The Mississippi is worth reading. – He is remarkable. – Instead of widening towards its mouth, it becomes narrower. – It dumps four hundred and six million tons of mud. – It was first seen in 1542. - -It's older than a few pages of European history.--De Soto has the appeal.--Older than the Atlantic Seaboard.--Some mestizos get in the way.--La Salle acha who will help.

CHAPTER II. La Salle reappears and also a catfish. - Buffalo too. – Some Indian paintings can be seen on the rocks. – “The Father of the Waters” does not flow into the Pacific. – More history and Indians. - Some strange introductions - not Old English. - Natchez, or the website of it, is about.

CHAPTER III. A little history. – Early trading. – Coal fleets and wooden rafts. – We start a journey. - I'm looking for information. - Some music. --The Trouble Begins.--Ground and Lofty Tumbling.--The Wash-up.--Business and Statistics.--Mysterious Band.--Donner und Blitz.--The Captain Speaks.--Allbright Weeps.--The Mystery Solved.--Chaff.--I'm discovered.--Some artwork suggested.--I give an account.--Released.

CHAPTER IV. The ambition of the boys.--Village scenes.--Pictures of steamships.-A strong swell.-A runaway.

CHAPTER V. A traveler - a lively talker - a wild victim

CHAPTER VI. Besiege the pilot. - Taken away. - Spoiling a nap. - Fish a plantation. – “Spots” on the river. – A beautiful pilot house.

KAPÍTULO VII. River Inspectors.--Cottonwoods and Plum Point.--Hat-IslandCrossing.--Touch and Go.--It's a Go.--A Lightning Pilot

CHAPTER VIII. A heavy big gun.--Sharp vision in the dark.--Abandoned to its fate.--Scrape the banks.--Learn it or kill it.

CAPÍTULO IX. Shake the Reef.-Razão dethroned.-The face of the water.-An enchanting scene.-Romance and beauty.

CHAPTER X. Play airs. - A little taken down. - Learn it like it is. - The River Rising.

CHAPTER XI. In this tract shop. – Effects of Ascension. – Plantations disappeared. – An immense sea. – A somnambulistic pilot. – Supernatural pilots. - No one there. - All saved.

CHAPTER XII. Low tide.-Dinghies calling.-Buoys and lanterns.-Boys and soundings.--The sunken boat.--Searching for the wrecks.

CHAPTER XIII. Remembering a Pilot.--Increase in Wages.--The Universal Grip.--Ability and Nerve.--Test a "Young".

CHAPTER XIV. Pilots and Captains. – High-priced pilots. – Sought-after pilots. - The Whistlers. - A cheap deal. - Two hundred and fifty dollar speed.

CHAPTER XV. New pilots are undermining the pilots' association. – Crutches and Wages. – Placement of Airs. - Captains are getting weaker. – The association laughs. – The secret sign. – An admirable system. - Tough on outsiders .--no loopholes.--the railroads and the war.

CHAPTER XVI. All aboard.--A glorious start.--Loaded to victory.-Ribbons and bugles.--Boats and boats.--Racers and races.

CHAPTER XVII. Cut-offs.--Ditching and Shooting.--Mississippi Changes.--Wild Night.--Xing and Gussing.--Stephen in debt.--He's confusing his creditors.--He's making a new deal.--Will Number them alphabetically.

CHAPTER XVIII. Sharp training. - The shade. – I am being inspected. - Where did you get the shoes? - Pull her down. - I want to kill Brown. – I try to run away from her. – I am praised.

CHAPTER XIX. A matter of truth. - A little uncomfortable. - I have an audience with the Captain. – Mr. Braun is retiring.

CHAPTER XX. I have become a passenger. - We heard the news. - A thunderous crash. – They are at their posts. - In the blazing sun. - A dreadful spectacle. – Your time has come.

CHAPTER XXI. I get my driver's license. - The war starts. – I will be a jack of all trades.

CHAPTER XXII. I try pseudonyms. – Goatee Region – Boots start to appear. - Fluxman is missing. – Young man is desperate. – water sample. – A fine smoke quality. - - a big mistake. – We overlook the city. – Devastation of road traffic. - The lumberyard.

CHAPTER XXIII. Old French settlements.--Let's go to Memphis.--Young ladies and Russia leather bags.

CHAPTER XXIV. I get some information. – Alligator Boats. - Alligator Talk. – She was a Rattler to go. - I was spotted.

CHAPTER XXV. The Devil's Oven and Table.--A Bomb Drops.--In the Whitewash.--Thirty Years on the River.-Mississippi Uniforms.--Accidents and Losses.--Two Hundred Shipwrecks.--A Loss to Literature. - -Sunday- schools and masons.

CAPÍTULO XXVI. War talk.--I'm falling backwards.--Quinze bullet holes.--A simple story.--Wars and feuds.--Darnell vs. Watson.-A gang and a woodpile. .--Nova Madrid.--Inundações e quedas.

CHAPTER XXVII. Tourists and their notebooks. -Captain Hall. --Mrs. Trollope.--Hon. Charles Augustus Murray's sentiment. – Captain Marryat's sentiments. – Alexander Mackay's feelings. – Mr. Parkman reports

CHAPTER XXVIII. Swinging down the river.--Named after me.--Plum Point again.--Lights and hookboats.--Endless changes.--A lawless river.--Changes and jetties.--Uncle Mumford Witness.--Peggingthe River. – What the government is doing. - The Commission. – Men and theories. - "Had them badly." - Jews and prices.

CAPÍTULO XXIX. Murel's gang. - A consummate villain. - Get rid of witnesses. – Stewart transforma Traitor. - I'm starting a rebellion. - I'm getting a new suit. - We cover our tracks. – Courage and Capacity. --A GoodSamaritan City.--O Velho e o Novo.

CHAPTER XXX. A melancholy picture.--On the Road.--River Gossip.--Shewent By a-Sparklin'.--Comforts of Life.--A World of Misinformation.--Eloquence of Silence.--Hiting a Catch.- - Photographically Accurate.--PlankSide-Hiking.

CHAPTER XXXI. Rebellious language.--The house of the dead.--Iron German and fluent English.--Confession of a dying man.--I am bound and gagged.--I break free.--I begin my search.-- The man with the Thumb. – red paint and white paper. – he fell on his knees. – fear and gratitude. – I fled through the forest. - a terrible sight. - scream, man, scream. – – A surprised and triumphant look. – The muffled bubbling of a mocking laugh. – How strange things happen. – The hidden money.

CHAPTER XXXII. Knight's tale.-A question of money.--Napoleon.--Someone means business.--Where the prettiest girl once lived.

CHAPTER XXXIII. A question of division. – A place where there was no license. - The Calhoun Land Company. – A cotton planter's appraisal. – Halifax and watermelons. – Jeweled bartenders.

CHAPTER XXXIV. A strict man.--a mosquito policy.--suits in tights.--a swollen left ear.

CAPÍTULO XXXV. signs and scars. – Cannon thunder rages. – cave dwellers. - A continuous Sunday. – A ton of iron and no glass. – The zeal is saved. – Mule Meat – A National Cemetery. - -A Dog and a Shell.--Railroads and Wealth.-Wharfage Economy.--Vicksburg versus The "Gold Dust."--A Narrative in Anticipation.

CHAPTER XXXVI. The professor weaves a thread. - A cattle lover. – He makes a suggestion. – He loads cattle in Acapulco. - He wasn't bred for that. - He's tied up. – His dull eyes lit up. - -Four aces, you donkey!--He doesn't care about the wedges.

CHAPTER XXXVII. A terrible catastrophe. - The “Gold Dust” explodes in their cauldrons. - The end of a good man.

CHAPTER XXXVIII. Mister. Dickens has a word. – The most beautiful apartments and their furnishings. – Albums and music. – Slippers and shells. – Sugar bunnies and photographs. – Horsehair sofas and snoopers.

Chapter XXXIX. troublemaker and beauty. – Ice as jewelry. – Ice making. - More statistics. - Some drummers. – Oil margarine versus butter. – Olive oil against cottonseed. - The answer was not captured.--A sulphurous canopy.--The demons of war.--The terrible gauntlet.

CHAPTER XL. In flowers, like a bride. – A whitewashed castle. – A southern prospect. - Nice pictures. – An alligator meal.

CHAPTER XLI. The Approaches to New Orleans. - The Stirring Street. – Sanitary improvements. – Journalistic achievements. — Cistern Sand Wells.

CAPITULO XLII. Nice cemeteries. – Chameleons and panaceas. – Burial and infection. – mortality and epidemics. – The cost of funerals.

Chapter XLIII. I know an acquaintance. – Coffins and Swell Houses. - Mrs. O'Flaherty Goes One Better. – Epidemics and Embaming. – Six hundred for a good case. - Happy high spirits.

Chapter XLIV. French and Spanish Quarters.--Mr. Cable and the Ancient Quarter.--Coubbages and Bouquets.--Cows and Children.--The Shell Road. The West End.--A Good Meal.--The Pompano.--Broom Brigade.--Historical Painting.--Southern Speech.--Lagniappe.

CAPITULO XLV. “Vaw” talk. – Cockfights. - Too much to bear. - Fine writing. – Mule races.

CAPITULO XLVI. Mardi-Gras.--The Mystic Crewe.--Rex and Relics.--SirWalter Scott.--A World Set Back.--Titles and Awards.--A Change.

Chapter XLVII. Uncle Remus. – The disappointed children. - We read aloud. --Mr. Cable e Jean au Poquelin.--Involuntary trespassing.--The Gilded Age.--An impossible combination.--The owner materializes and protests.

Chapter XLVIII. Firm curls and bouncy steps. – steam plows. - "No. I."

Sugar. – A Frankenstein laugh. - Spiritual seal. – A place where there is

they are not butchers or plumbers. - Idiot convulsions.

Chapter XLIX. experimental farmers. – Working in actions. - Consequences. – Men who hold on to their posts. – He saw what he would do. – One day after the fair.

CHAPTER L. A Patriarch. - Leaves from a diary. – The tongue cork. - The old sailor. – Pilloried in print. - Petrified Truth.

CHAPTER LI. A new "youngster" behind the wheel. - A valley storm. – Some notes on construction. – Sock and Buskin. - The man who never played Hamlet. - I'm thirsty. – Sunday statistics.

CHAPTER LII. Giving an idea. – A graduate of Harvard University. - A thief of penitents. – His pulpit story. – Something symmetrical. – A literary artist. – An exemplary letter. The "nub" of the note.

CAPITULO III. A Masterful Retreat.-A City at Tranquility.-The Pranks of Childhood.--Friends of My Youth.-The Refuge of the Imbecile.--My Measure is Presented to Me.

CHAPTER LIV. A special dish. - Heavenly interest. - A torturous night. - Another bad attack. – I have recovered. – I am speaking to a Sunday school. - A model boy.

CHAPTER LV. A second generation.--A hundred thousand tons of saddles.--A terrible, dark secret.--A large family.--The golden-haired darling.--The mysterious cross.--My idol is broken.-- A bad season with chills and fever. - An interesting cave.

CHAPTER LVI. Perverted story - a guilty conscience. - a suspected case. - a habit to be cultivated. - I give up my burden. - time difference.

CHAPTER LVII. A model city.--a city that explodes in summer.--the scarecrow dean.--spitting smoke and flames.--an atmosphere that tastes good.--the land of sunsets.

CAPITULO LVIII. An Independent Race.--Twenty-Four Hour Cities.--Enchanting Scenery.--The Home of the Plow.--Black Hawk.--Floating Stocks.--A Contrast.--Electric Lights.

CHAPTER LIX. Indian traditions and rattlesnakes. – The three-ton word. - Chimney skirt. – The panorama man. - A good jump. – The immortal head. – Peboan and Seegwun.

CHAPTER LX. The Head of Navigation.--From Roses to Snow.-Climate Vaccination.--A Long Ride.--Bone of Poverty.--The Pioneer of Civilization.--Pug of Empire.--Siamese Twins.--The Sugar- - Busch .--He wins his bride.--The secret under the covers.--A town that is always new.--Home again.


The "Body of the Nation"

BUT the Mississippi Basin is the _Body of the Nation_. All other parts are just links, important in their own right, even more important in their relation to this one. Excluding the lake basin and the 300,000 square miles in Texas and New Mexico that are in many ways part of it, this basin covers about 1,250,000 square miles. In extent it is the second largest valley in the world, surpassed only by the Amazon. The frozen Obi Valley approaches it in its expanse; that of La Plata comes next in space and probably in habitable capacity, at about eight-ninths its area; then comes the Yenisei with about seven ninths; the Lena, Amoor, Hoang-ho, Yang-tse-kiang and Nile, five ninths; the Ganges, less than half; the Indus, less than a third; the Euphrates, a fifth; the Rhine, a fifteenth. It surpasses all of Europe except Russia, Norway and Sweden. _It would include Austria four times, Germany or Spain five times, France six times, the British Isles or Italy ten times. those formed from the barren basins of the great rivers of Siberia, the plateaus of Central Asia, or the mighty expanses of the swampy Amazon are best suited. Latitude, elevation, and rainfall combine to make each part of the Mississippi Valley capable of supporting a dense population. _As a home for civilized people, it is by far the first on our globe_.



The river and its history

Mississippi is worth reading. It is no ordinary river, on the contrary, it is remarkable in every way. Considering the Missouri as its main branch, it is the longest river in the world - four thousand three hundred miles. It is safe to say that it is also the crookedest river in the world, for on part of its journey it travels thirteen hundred miles to traverse the same ground over which the crow would fly in six hundred and seventy-five. It drains three times as much water as the St. Lawrence, twenty-five times the Rhine, and three hundred and thirty-eight times the Thames. No other river has such a large catchment area: it draws its water from twenty-eight states and territories; from Delaware on the Atlantic Seaboard, and all the country between east and Idaho on the Pacific slope - a span of forty-five degrees of longitude. The Mississippi receives and discharges water into the Gulf from fifty-four minor rivers navigable by steamboat and from a few hundred navigable by boats and keels. Its catchment area is as large as the combined areas of England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Austria, Italy and Turkey; and most of this vast region is fertile; The Mississippi Valley itself is unique.

In this it is a remarkable river: instead of widening towards the mouth, it narrows; it becomes narrower and deeper. From the mouth of the Ohio to a point halfway across the sea the average width at high tide is about a mile: from there to the sea the width decreases steadily until it is scarcely more at the passes over the mouth. half a meter. Mile. At the confluence of the Ohio, the depth of the Mississippi is eighty-seven feet; The depth gradually increases, reaching one hundred and twenty-nine just above the mouth.

The difference in ascent and descent is also noticeable - not at the top, but at the bottom of the river. Up to Natchez (five hundred and sixty miles above the mouth) the elevation is fairly even - about fifty feet. But at Bayou La Fourche the river rises only twenty-four feet; only fifteen in New Orleans and just two and a half just across the estuary.

An article in the New Orleans Times-Democrat, based on reports by competent engineers, states that the river dumps four hundred and six million tons of mud annually into the Gulf of Mexico - reminiscent of the rude name Captain Marryat for the Mississippi - " the big sewer. This solidified mud would form a mass one square kilometer and two hundred and forty-one feet high.

The mud-deposit is gradually expanding the land—but only gradually; he has not added a third mile to it in the two hundred years that have elapsed since the river took its place in history. The scientists believe that the mouth used to be at Baton Rouge, where the hills end, and that the two hundred miles of land between there and the Gulf were farmed by the river. That gives us the age of this piece of land, no problem - one hundred and twenty thousand years. However, it is the youngest batch in the country out there.

The Mississippi is remarkable in another way - its willingness to make tremendous leaps, cutting through narrow stretches of land, thereby straightening and shortening. More than once he's cut thirty miles in a single bound! These cuts had odd effects: they threw several riverside towns into rural areas, building sandbars and forests in front of them. The town of Delta was three miles below Vicksburg: a recent cut has radically changed the position, and Delta is now two miles above Vicksburg.

Both river towns were pushed onto the land by this incision. Retrenchment devastates borders and jurisdictions: for example, a man lives in the state of Mississippi today, tonight there is a retrenchment, and tomorrow that man finds himself with his land on the other side. side of the river, within the limits and subject to the laws of the State of Louisiana! Something like this that happened earlier up the river could have moved a slave from Missouri to Illinois and made him a free man.

Mississippi doesn't just change location by cuttings: it's constantly changing its habitat _physically_ - it's always bodily_moving_sideways_. In Hard Times, Louisiana, the river is two miles west of the region it used to be. As a result, the original location of this settlement is no longer in Louisiana but across the river in the state of Mississippi. _Nearly all the thirteen hundred miles of old Mississippi which la salle floated in his canoes two hundred years ago is now good firm dry land_. In some places the river runs to his right, in others to his left.

Although slowly making land, the Mississippi mud forms a mound of land at the mouth, where gulf waves disrupt its work, in more sheltered regions higher up: for example, thirty years ago Prophet's Island comprised 1,500 acres of land; since then the river has gained 700 acres.

But enough of these examples of the eccentricity of the mighty current—I'll give a few more later in this book.

Let's put Mississippi's physical history aside and say a word about its historical history—so to speak. We can get a glimpse of her early sleepy days in a few short chapters; more alert in your second period; in its brightest and most awakened age in many consecutive chapters; and then, in what remains of the book, talk about their comparatively quiet presence.

The world and books are so accustomed to using and exaggerating the word “new” in relation to our country that from an early age we have and maintain the impression that there is nothing old about it. We know, of course, that there are many comparatively early dates in American history, but the bare numbers only give our mind an idea, not a clear perception of the period they represent. saw the Mississippi, saw it in 1542, is an observation that states a fact without interpreting it: it is something like giving the dimensions of a sunset by astronomical measurements and cataloging colors by their scientific names; fact of the sunset, but you don't see the sunset. It would have been better to paint a picture of it.

The date 1542 in itself means little or nothing to us; but when you group some neighboring historical dates and facts around it, it adds perspective and color, and then you realize that this is one of the American dates that is quite age appropriate.

For example, when the Mississippi was first seen by a white man, less than a quarter of a century had elapsed since the defeat of Francis I at Pavia; Raphael's death; the Death of Bayard, _Sans Peur Et Sans Reproche_; the expulsion of the Order of St. John from Rhodes by the Turks; and the poster with the 95 proposals - the act that started the Reformation. When de Soto first saw the river, Ignatius Loyola was an unknown name; the Jesuit order was not yet a year old; At the Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo's ink was not yet dry; Mary Queen of Scots was not yet born but would be before the end of the year. Catherine de Medici was a child; Elizabeth of England was not yet a teenager; Calvin, Benvenuto Cellini and Emperor Charles V were at the height of their fame, each fabricating history in his own way; Margaret of Navarre wrote the Heptameron and some religious books - the first survives, the others are forgotten, wit and rudeness are sometimes better protectors of literature than holiness; The loose morals of the court and the absurd business of chivalry were in full swing, and tournaments and tournaments were the frequent pastimes of noble lords, who knew better fights than they could spell, while religion was the passion of their ladies and their children ranked high Position children and children for short your pastime.

In fact, religion was everywhere in a particularly flourishing state: the Council of Trent was convened; the Spanish Inquisition roasted and tortured and burned with their free hand; in other parts of the continent nations were persuaded by sword and fire into holy living; in England Henry VIII. He had suppressed the monasteries, burned Fisher and one or two other bishops, and effectively began his English reform and harem. When De Soto lay on the banks of the Mississippi, Luther's death was two years away; eleven years to the fire of Servetus; thirty years before the slaughter of St. Bartholomew; Rabelais has not yet been published; Don Quixote had not yet been written; Shakespeare was not yet born; A hundred long years must pass before the English hear the name of Oliver Cromwell.

Undoubtedly, the discovery of the Mississippi is a datable fact, which greatly softens and modifies the glittering novelty of our country, and gives it a very respectable exterior of rust and antiquity.

De Soto only caught a glimpse of the river, then died and was buried in it by his priests and soldiers. One would expect priests and soldiers to multiply the river's dimensions by ten - the Spanish custom of the time - enticing other adventurers to set out immediately to explore. On the contrary, their stories when they got home did not arouse so much curiosity. Mississippi has not been visited by white people in years, which seems incredible in our energetic days. One can sort of "feel" the gap in his mind by breaking it down this way: After de Soto saw the river, a fraction of less than a quarter of a century elapsed, and then Shakespeare was born; lived a little over half a century and then died; and as he lay in his grave more than half a century, the second white saw the Mississippi. Today we don't let a hundred and thirty years pass between glimpses of a miracle. If someone discovered a creek in the county near the North Pole, Europe and America would launch fifteen expensive expeditions there: one to explore the creek and the other fourteen to hunt each other down.

There have been white settlements on our Atlantic coasts for over 150 years. These people were closely associated with the Indians: in the south they were robbed, massacred, enslaved and converted by the Spanish; higher up, the English traded beads and blankets with them for money, and played civilization and whiskey "for Lagniappe"; and in Canada the French raised them in a rudimentary manner, conducted missions among them, and lured entire populations at once to Quebec and later to Montreal to buy furs for them. Inevitably, then, these various groups of whites must have heard of the great river of the far west; and indeed they had vaguely heard of it - so vague and vague that its course, proportions, and location were scarcely guessed at. The sheer mystery of the subject should have aroused and provoked curiosity; but that didn't happen. Apparently nobody wanted such a flow, nobody needed it, nobody was curious about it; thus Mississippi remained unemployed and undisturbed for a century and a half. When De Soto found him, he wasn't looking for a river, and he didn't need to find one; As a result, he didn't appreciate it and didn't pay any special attention to it.

But finally the Frenchman La Salle had the idea to search and explore this river. It always happens that when one man takes up an important and neglected idea, people everywhere are fired up by the same idea. That's what happened in this case.

Of course, the question arises: Why do these people want the river now, when no one wanted it five generations ago? for it was believed that the Mississippi emptied into the Gulf of California and therefore provided a shortcut from Canada to China. It was once thought to have flowed into the Atlantic or the Virginia Sea.


The river and its discoverers

LA SALLE himself sued for certain high privileges, and they were graciously bestowed on him by Louis XIV with inflated memento. Chief among them was the privilege of exploring far and wide, building fortresses and delimiting continents, and delivering them to the king and paying the expense himself; receive some small benefits of one kind or another in return; including the monopoly of buffalo skins. He spent several years and most of his money making perilous and painful voyages between Montreal and a fort he had built in Illinois before he was finally able to get his expedition in shape for the Mississippi attack.

And meanwhile, other parties have had better luck. In 1673 Joliet the merchant and Marquette the priest crossed the country and reached the banks of the Mississippi. They passed the Great Lakes; and from Green Bay by canoe via Fox River and Wisconsin. Marquette had solemnly agreed on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception that if the Virgin allowed him to discover the great river, he would name it Conception in her honor. He kept his word. On this day, all explorers traveled with a team of priests. De Soto had twenty-four with him. La Salle also had several. Expeditions often ran out of meat and clothing, but always had the furniture and other requirements for the fair; They were always ready, as one of the chroniclers of the time said, "to explain hell to the savages."

On June 17, 1673, the canoes of Joliet and Marquette and their five subordinates reached the junction of Wisconsin and Mississippi. Mister. Parkman says, "Before them flowed a broad and swift stream at the foot of high heights shrouded in dense forests." He continues, "They turned south and rowed downstream through a solitude betrayed by not the slightest trace of man was relieved."

A large catfish collided with Marquette's canoe, startling him; and reasonable enough, having been warned by the Indians that he was on a reckless and even fatal journey, as the river contained a demon "whose roar was heard far away, and which would devour them in the abyss where he dwelt." .' I saw a Mississippi catfish that was over seven feet long and weighed two hundred and fifty pounds; and when it came to Marquette's fish, he had every right to believe that the river demon's roar had arrived.

“Finally the buffaloes appeared, grazing in herds in the great meadows that lined the river; and Marquette describes the old bulls' wild and foolish looks as they glared at intruders through matted manes that almost blinded them.'

Travelers moved cautiously: “They landed at night and made a fire to cook their supper; then he put it out, got back in, rowed a little farther, and anchored in the bay, watching over a man until morning.

They did it day after day and night after night; and after two weeks they had seen no one. The river was a terrible loneliness then. And it is now for most of its extent.

But one day, near the end of the fortnight, they found tracks of men in the mud of the West Bank - a Robinson Crusoe experience that gives an electric chill to stumble across in print. They had been warned that the River Indians were as fierce and ruthless as the River Devil and would annihilate all who came without waiting for provocation; Regardless, Joliet and Marquette have invaded the country to hunt down the clues' owners. Little by little they found her, and were hospitably received and treated well—if it is hospitably to be received by an Indian chief who has discarded his last rag to show himself at his best; and when he is treated liberally with fish, porridge, and other game, including dogs, and these things stuffed into his mouth by the ungloved fingers of Indians, he is treated well. In the morning the chief and six hundred men from his tribe escorted the French to the river and bade them a friendly farewell.

On the rocks above the present-day town of Alton they found some crude and fantastic Indian paintings that describe them. A short distance below, "a torrent of yellow mud raced furiously through the calm blue Mississippi current, boiling, rising and sweeping uprooted trunks, branches and trees in its course." This was the mouth of the Missouri, 'that wild river' which 'descended after its mad career through a vast unknown of barbarism, and emptied its murky waters into the bosom of its gentle sister.'

Gradually they passed the mouth of the Ohio; guided through sugar cane fields; fought mosquitoes; they drifted day after day across the deep stillness and solitude of the river, dozing in the meager shade of makeshift awnings and burning with heat; they met and exchanged pleasantries with another group of Indians; and finally they reached the mouth of the Arkansas (about a month short of their point of departure), where a tribe of warlike savages swarmed out to meet and kill them; but they appealed to the maiden for help; so instead of a fight there was a feast and a lot of pleasant talks and role-playing.

They had proved to their satisfaction that the Mississippi does not flow into the Gulf of California or the Atlantic. They believed it flowed into the Gulf of Mexico. They have now returned bringing their great news to Canada.

But belief is not proof. The evidence fell to La Salle. He was vexedly delayed by one misfortune after another, but finally, towards the end of 1681, he made his way to his expedition, lieutenant, embarked on the Illinois with an escort of eighteen New England Indians and twenty-three Frenchmen. They descended on foot in procession to the surface of the icy river, pulling their canoes on sleds.

At Lake Peoria they encountered open water and from there rowed to the Mississippi and turned their bows south. They fought their way through the floating ice fields beyond the mouth of the Missouri; beyond the mouth of the Ohio, little by little; 'and, slipping through the dregs of the frontier swamp, they landed on February 24th near Third Chickasaw Bluffs', where they halted and built Fort Prudhomme.

"One more time," says Mr. Parkman, they got in; and at every stage of their adventurous progress the secret of this vast new world was more and more revealed. More and more they entered the spring realms. The misty sunlight, the warm sleeping air, the delicate foliage, the blossoming flowers all pointed to the life-giving life of nature.'

Day after day they swooped through the big bends in the shadow of the dense forests, and in time they reached the mouth of the Arkansas. At first they were greeted by the natives of that place as they had greeted Marquette before--with the pounding of war drums and the bang of guns. The Virgin added to the difficulty in the case of Marquette; the peace pipe did the same job for La Salle. The white man and the red man held hands and enjoyed themselves for three days. Then, to the admiration of the savages, La Salle erected a cross with the coat of arms of France, and took possession of the whole country for the king—the legal fashion of the time—while the priest devoutly sanctified the theft with a hymn. . The priest explained the mysteries of the faith "by signs" to save the savages; in this way they are compensated with possessions that are possible in heaven for certain people on earth who have just been robbed of them. And by signs, too, La Salle elicited from these humble sons of the forest pledges of allegiance to Louis the rotten above the water. Nobody smiled at this colossal irony.

These performances took place on the grounds of Napoleon's future city, Arkansas, and it was there that the first confiscation cross was erected on the banks of the great river. Marquette and Joliet's voyage of discovery ended in the same place - the site of Napoleon's future city. When de Soto caught a glimpse of the river there in those early dark days, he took it from that very spot—the site of Napoleon's future city, Arkansas. So three out of four memorable events related to the discovery and exploration of the mighty river happened to happen in one and the same place. It's a very odd distinction when you look at it and think about it. France stole this vast country at this point, the future Napoleon; and little by little Napoleon himself would return the country!

The travelers continued their journey, playing here and there; "walked through the historic sites of Vicksburg and Grand Gulf" and visited an imposing Indian monarch in Teche country, whose capital was a sizable city of sun-baked brick mingled with thatch - better houses than many that are there to-day. The chief's house contained a forty square foot audience chamber; and there he received Tonty into the state, surrounded by sixty old men in white robes. In the city there was a temple with an earthen wall decorated with the skulls of enemies sacrificed to the sun.

The travelers visited the Natchez Indians near the present-day town of the same name, where they found "religious and political despotism, a privileged class descended from the sun, a temple and a sacred fire." It must have been like coming home; In fact, he was home with an advantage as Louis XIV was absent.

A few more days passed quickly, and La Salle stood in the shadow of its decaying cross, where the waters of Delaware and Itaska and the mountain ranges near the Pacific meet the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, its task accomplished, its miracle .accomplished. Mister. As Parkman concludes his fascinating narrative, he sums it up like this:

"On this day the kingdom of France parchment received an amazing accession to the throne. The fertile plains of Texas; the vast Mississippi Basin, from its frozen northern sources to the sultry rims of the Gulf; from the forested ranges of the Alleghania to the bare peaks of the Rocky Mountains - a region of savannas and forests, sun-drenched deserts and grassy prairies, watered by a thousand rivers, surrounded by a thousand warring tribes living under the scepter of the Sultan of Versailles; and all because of a faint human voice that cannot be heard within half a mile.'


frescoes from the past

Apparently the river was now operational. But no, spreading a population along their shores was as calm, deliberate, and time-consuming as discovering and exploring.

Seventy years elapsed after exploration before the banks of the river had a white population worth considering; and nearly fifty more before the river had trade. Between the mouth of the river at La Salle and the time when it can be said to have become the vehicle of regular and active commerce, seven sovereigns occupied the throne of England, America became an independent nation, Louis XIV and Louis XV. had rotted and died, the French monarchy had perished in the red storm of revolution, and Napoleon was a name that came up. Verily, there were snails then.

The oldest trade on the river was on large barges - keel boats, broadhorns. They swam and sailed from the upper rivers to New Orleans, where they changed cargo and were laboriously hand bent and retracted. A round trip sometimes lasted nine months. In time this trade increased until it employed hordes of coarse and hardy men; coarse, illiterate, courageous, enduring terrible privations with a sailor's stoicism; inveterate drinkers, rude pranksters in moral pigsties like the Natchez-under-the-Hill of that time, inveterate fighters, ruthless fellows, all, elephant-like cheerful, bad-tempered, profane; extravagant with their money, bankrupt at the end of the journey, connoisseur of barbaric ornaments, amazing show-offs; yet on the whole honest, trustworthy, true to promises and duties, and often magnanimous.

Gradually the steamer pushed in. So these men ran their keelboats downriver for fifteen or twenty years, and the steamers did all the upriver business, the boatmen sold their boats in New Orleans and came home as deck passengers on the steamers.

But after a while the steamers increased in number and speed so much that they could take up all the trade; and then the keelboat died a permanent death. The boatswain became seaman or mate or pilot of the ship; and when there were no moorings for steamboats, he was lodged in a Pittsburgh colliery or on a pine raft being built in the woods near the headwaters of the Mississippi.

In the heyday of steamship prosperity the river was full from end to end of coal fleets and wooden rafts, all hand-manned, and employing a host of rough characters which I have tried to describe. I remember the yearly processions of mighty rafts that glided over Hannibal when I was a boy-an acre or more white fragrant planks on each raft, a crew of two dozen men or more, three or four wigwams spanning the Scattered about were raft flats places for storm shelters - and I remember the gruff manners and mighty talk of their great crews, the ex-keelboatmen and their admired standardized successors; for we swam a quarter or a third of a mile and got on these rafts and drove.

To illustrate the conversations and manners of the keelboat, and that life on the raft now deceased and scarcely remembered, I will insert at this point a chapter from a book I have been working on intermittently during the last five years. . or six years, potentially ending in another five or six years. The book is a story describing some passages in the life of an ignorant village boy, Huck Finn, son of the town who has been drunk out west since my days. He ran away from his persecuting father and a persecuting good widow who wants to make a good, honest, decent boy out of him; and with him escaped the widow's slave. They have found a fragment of a wooden raft (it is high tide and dead summer) and are drifting down the river at night and hiding in the willows during the day - on their way to Cairo - from where the Negro will seek freedom in the heartland of freedom States free . But in the fog they pass Cairo without knowing it. Gradually, they begin to suspect the truth, and Huck Finn is persuaded to break the sombre tension by swimming to a giant raft they see ahead of them in the distance, climbing aboard under cover of darkness and providing the necessary information collects through espionage: - -

But you know that a young man is not very good at waiting when he is impatient to find out something. We talked about it, and little by little Jim said that it was such a dark night now that there was no risk in swimming out to the Biggraft and crawling on board and listening - they were talking about Cairo because they were going to do the math. maybe to go ashore there for a feast, or they would send boats ashore anyway to buy whiskey or fresh meat or something. Jim had a wonderfully level head for a Negro: he could almost always come up with a good plan when you wanted one.

I got up, shrugged off my rags, jumped into the river and ran towards the light of the raft. Gradually, as I approached her, I relaxed and walked slowly and carefully. But everything was fine - nobody on the scan. So I swam along the raft until I was almost next to the fire in the middle, then I crawled on board and crawled forward and between some bundles of bricks on the side of the fire. There were thirteen men there - the deckhands, of course. And a lot of rough looks too. They had a jug and tin cup and kept the jug moving. A man was singing—roaring, you might say; and it wasn't nice music - at least for one hall. He bellowed through his nose, stretching out the last word of every very long line. When he was done, everyone took up some sort of Native American war cry and another was sung. It began:--

'There was a woman in our town, In our town She lived, She loved her husband, darling, But another man who was temporarily married.

Sing too, riloo, riloo, riloo, ri-too, riloo, rilay - She loved her man, dear, but another man twisted how she married.

And so on - fourteen lines. It was pretty bad, and when he was about to start the next verse, one of them said it was the song the old cowboy was singing; and another said, 'Oh, give us a break.' And another told him to go for a walk. They made fun of him until he got angry and jumped up and started swearing at the crowd, saying he could limp any thief in the parking lot.

They were about to give him a break, but the tallest man there jumped up and said:

"Hold on to where you are, gentlemen. leave it to me; he is my flesh.'

He then jumped into the air three times, kicking his heels together each time. He pulled off a fringed suede coat and said, "Lie down to say the mess is over." and threw down his hat, which was all covered with ribbons, and said, 'Lie down to say that his suffering is over.'

Then he jumped in the air and hit his heels again and cried:

'Hoop! I'm the old original corpse maker with the iron jaws, bronze and copper belly of the Arkansaw wilderness! Look at me! I am the man they call sudden death and general desolation! Created by a hurricane, dammed up by an earthquake, half brother to cholera, on the mother's side almost related to smallpox! Look at me! I'd have sixteen crocodiles and a cask of whiskey for breakfast if I was in good health, and a bushel of rattlesnakes and a corpse if I shipped! I split the eternal rocks with my eyes and quench the thunder when I speak! Wow! Step aside and give me space according to my strength! Blood is my natural drink, and the screams of the dying are music to my ears! Cast your eyes on me gentlemen! And shut up and hold your breath 'cause I'm about to break free!

The whole time he took it off he shook his head and looked wild and puffed himself up in a little circle, flexed his bracelets and every now and then he would straighten up and bang his fist on his chest and say, ' Look for me, gentlemen! As he passed, he jumped up and slapped his heels three times, roaring "Whoo-oop!" I am the bloodiest son of a wildcat alive!'

Then the man who had started the fight put his old wide-brimmed hat over his right eye; then he bent forward, back slumped and south end protruding, and his fists pounded back and forth in front of him, and then he went around in a small circle about three times, swelling up and breathing heavily. Then he got up, jumped up and kicked his heels three times before lighting himself up again (this made them cheer) and started yelling like this:

'Hoop! Bow your neck and open yourself, for the reign of sadness is coming! Hold me firmly to the earth, because I can feel my powers at work! wow oop! I'm a child of sin, don't make me start! Smoked glass, here, for everyone! Don't try to look at me with the naked eye, gentlemen! When I play, I use the longitude and latitude for a wade and scan the Atlantic for whales! I scratch my head with the lightning and purr to sleep with the thunder! When I'm cold, I breathe in the Gulf of Mexico and bathe in it; when I'm hot, I fan myself with an equinoctial storm; when I'm thirsty, I reach out and suck a cloud dry like a sponge; If I walk the earth hungry, hunger will follow in my footsteps! Wow! Bow your neck and spread out! I lay my hand on the face of the sun and make night on earth; I bite off a piece of the moon and hasten the seasons; I shake and crumble the mountains! Look me through leather - don't look with the naked eye! I'm the man with a petrified heart and iron guts! The massacre of isolated communities is the pastime of my idle moments, the annihilation of nationalities the serious business of my life! The boundless expanse of the great American desert is my fenced property, and I bury my dead in my own quarters!' He jumped up and banged his heels three times before lighting himself (they fired at him again), and when he came down he yelled, "Ouch! Bow your neck and open yourself, for the pet of mischief is coming!'

Then the other one began to swell and explode again—the first—the one they called Bob; then the son of mischief shattered again, greater than ever; then they both started at the same time, puffing themselves up and hitting their faces with their fists and screaming and wailing like Indians; then Bob cursed the child, and the child cursed him again: then Bob cursed him with many of the crudest names, and the child cursed him with the worst terms; then Bob dropped the kid's hat, and the kid picked it up and kicked Bob's band hat about six feet; Bob went and got it and said never mind this warning won't be the end of this thing because he was a man who never forgot and never forgave so the kid better watch out, there would come a time that was just as safe like him living man who would have to answer him with the best blood in his body. The child said that no man was more willing than he in this coming time, and he would now give Bob a fair warning never to cross his path again, for he could never rest until he was dipped in his blood for such a thing the case, his nature, though he now spared him for the sake of his family, if he had any.

They both walked off in different directions, growling and shaking their heads and chatting about what they were going to do; but a fellow with black whiskers jumped up and said:

"Come back you scared cowards, I'll beat you both up!"

And he did. He grabbed her, pulled her, kicked her, threw her to the ground faster than they could get up. It wasn't even two minutes before they were begging like dogs - and like the other group screaming and laughing and clapping their hands the whole time and shouting, 'Sails, Corpse Makers!' 'Hey! to him again, child of misfortune!' 'Bullies for you, little Davy!' Well, for a while, it was a perfect pow-wow. Bob and the kid had red noses and black eyes as they passed. Little Davy made them confess that they were sneaky and cowardly, unable to eat with a dog or drink with a nigger; so Bob and the child shook hands very solemnly and said they would always respect each other and were ready to put the past behind them. Then they washed their faces in the river; and at that time there was a loud order to wait for a crossing, and some of them went forward to order the sweeps there, and the rest went aft to look about for the sweeps.

I said nothing and waited fifteen minutes, smoking a pipe that one of them left within reach; then the crossing ended and they staggered back and drank a little and began to talk and sing again. Next they took an old fiddle, and one played and another patted the mane, and the rest came loose in a regular, old-fashioned breaking of a keelboat. They couldn't keep this up long without running out of breath, so they slowly settled back down around the pitcher.

They sang “jolly, jolly raftman's the life for me” with a rousing chorus and then started talking about the differences between pigs and their different habits; and next about women and their different methods: and next about the best methods of putting out burning houses; and next about what was to be done with the Indians; and then about what a king had to do and how much he earned; and then how to catfight; and then about what to do when a man has seizures; and then to the differences between clear and muddy rivers. The man they called Ed said muddy Mississippi water is healthier than clean Ohio water; He said if you let a gallon of this Mississippi water settle, you'd have about a half to three-quarters of an inch of mud at the bottom, depending on the level of the river, and then it wouldn't be any better than Ohio water - what you wanted to do was, it to keep it going - and when the river was low, have mud ready to settle and thicken the water the way it should.

The son of misfortune said it was so; he said there were nutrients in the mud, and a man who drank Mississippi water could grow corn in his stomach if he wanted to. He says--

“You look at the cemeteries; that tells the story. Trees don't grow in a Cincinnati cemetery, but they grow over 200 feet tall in a Sent Louis cemetery. It's all because of the water people drank before bed. A body from Cincinnati is worthless.

And they talked about Ohio water not liking mixing with Mississippi water. Ed said if you take the Mississippi uphill when the Ohio is low you will find a broad strip of clear water along the east side of the Mississippi for a hundred miles or more, and as soon as you come out a quarter of a mile from shore and pass the line it's all thick and wider the rest of the way. Then they talked about how to prevent tobacco from getting moldy, and from then on they went in spirits and related many things that other people had seen; but Ed says...

"Why don't you tell me something you saw yourself? Now let me speak. Five years ago I was on a raft as big as this and right here it was a clear moonlit night and I was watch and head of the tow oar at the head and one of my friends was a man named Dick Allbright and he came over to me where I was sitting, forward - he gaped and stretched - and got on the edge of the raft and washed his face in the river and came and sat down beside me and took his pipe and had just filled it out when he looked up and said:

"Look," he says, "isn't that Buck Miller's house over there around the bend."

"Yes," I said, "it is - why". He put down his pipe, rested his head on his hand and said...

"I thought we were further down." I say--

"I thought so too when I got off shift" - we were stopped at six and six o'clock - "but the boys told me," I say, "that the raft didn't seem to be going. 'Difficulty, for an hour,' said me, "though she's sneaking out now," I said. He let out a groan and said:

"I've seen a raft like this around here before," he says. "It seems to me that the current above this curve has almost died out in the last few years," he says.

"Well, he got up two or three times and looked away and around the water. That's what got me into it too. A body always does what it sees someone else do, even though it may not make sense to do so. Soon I see a black thing swimming in the water to stab and smack at us. I see he looked too. I say--

'"What is that?" He says pretty mean, -

"It's nothing but an old empty bar."

"An empty bar!" I say, "because," I say, "binoculars are a fool in your eyes. How can you tell it's an empty bar? He says--

""I don't know; I don't think it's a Bar'l but I thought it might be"

is said.

“Yes,” I say, “it could be, and it could be anything; no one can say anything about that from such a distance,” i say.

' We had nothing else to do, so we just kept looking. Gradually Isays--

"Look, Dick Allbright, this thing is getting close, I think."

'He never said anything. The thing won and won, and I figured it must be a dog that was almost tired. Well we pulled into the intersection and the thing floated in the bright moonbeam and by George it was bar'l. I say--

"Dick Allbright, what makes you think this thing is a Bar'l when it's half a mile away," I said.

'"I don't know." I say--

"Tell me, Dick Allbright." He says--

“Well, I knew it was a Bar'l; I've seen this before; many have already seen it; They say it's a haunted bar.

"I called the rest of the watch and they came and stood there and I told them what Dick said. He was now floating side by side and was no longer winning. It was about twenty feet away. Some wanted him on board, some didn't. Dick Allbright said that the rafts that fooled him were unlucky with him. The captain of the guard said he didn't believe it. He said he thought the bar would catch us because he had a slightly better current than us. He said he would be leaving soon.

"So we started talking about other things, and we had a song and then a breakdown; and after that the captain of the guard asked for another song; but now it was cloudy and the pole got stuck in the same place and the song somehow didn't seem to have much warm up time so they didn't finish and then I don't feel any applause but it kind of fell off and nobody said anything for a while. Then everyone tried to talk at the same time and one started a joke but it didn't work, they didn't laugh and even the guy making the joke didn't laugh which is not usual. We all sat sadly watching the bar and we felt cool and comfortable. Well, sir, it's dark and still, and then the wind begins to howl, and then the lightning begins to play and the thunder rumbles. And soon there was a real storm, and in the middle of it a man running at the stern tripped and fell and sprained his ankle so he had to lie down. That made the boys shake their heads. And every time lightning struck, there was this Bar'l with the blue lights flashing around it. We were always aware of that. But slowly, towards dawn, she was gone. When the day came, we couldn't see them anywhere, and we weren't sorry either.

“But the next night, around nine-thirty, when songs and games were being played, she comes back and has taken her old place at the side of the podium. There are no more games. All were solemn; nobody spoke; They couldn't get anyone to do anything but pout and stare at the Bar'l. It started to get cloudy again. When shifts changed, the off-duty stayed awake instead of turning around. The storm raged and raged all night, and in the middle of it another man tripped, sprained his ankle and had to stop. The bar left today and no one saw him leave.

“Everyone has been sober and open-mouthed all day. I don't mean the kind of sobriety that comes from leaving alcohol alone - not that. They were quiet but everyone was drinking more than usual - not together - but everyone walked away and was alone.

“After dark, the rest shift didn't return; nobody sang, nobody spoke; the boys did not scatter either; they huddled up somehow please; and for two hours they lay perfectly still, staring in one direction and sighing now and then. And then here comes the Bar'l again. She has taken her old place. She stayed there all night; nobody showed up. The storm returned after midnight. It was getting terribly dark; the rain fell; hail too; Thunder rumbled and roared and roared; the wind blew a hurricane; and the flashes spread in great streaks of light over all, showing the whole raft as clear as day; and the river ran for miles, as far as you could see, milky white, and there was this rocking Bar'l, the same as always. The captain ordered the lookout to hold the later sweeps for a crossing and no one would go - no more sprained ankles, they said. They didn't even go backwards. Well, then the sky broke up with a roar and the bolt killed two men on the eight-shift and crippled two others. How did he cripple her you say? He sprained his ankles!

'The bar is deserted in the dark between dawn flashes. Well, nobody ate anything for breakfast that morning. Then the men lounged in twos and threes and talked quietly. But none of them hooked up with Dick Allbright. They all give you a cold shake. If he approached any of the men, they would break apart and walk away. You wouldn't equip the sweeps with it. The captain had all the boats towed onto the raft beside his tent, and would not allow the dead to be brought ashore to be planted; he did not believe that a man who had landed would return; and he was right.

“As night came it was plain to see that there would be trouble if this pub came back; there was a murmur. Many wanted to kill Dick Allbright because he had seen the bar on other trips and it looked ugly. Some wanted to bring it to shore. Some said let's all land in one heap when the Bar'l comes back.

“These whispers still went on when the men were rounded up to guard the Bar'l, and lo and behold, here it comes again. It sinks slowly and steadily and resumes its old ways. You may have heard a pin drop before. Then the captain comes and says: –

“Boys, don't be a bunch of kids and fools; I don't want this bar chasing us to Orleans and you don't; well then what is the best way to stop it? Burn it - that's the way. I'll pick you up on board," he says. And before anyone could say a word, he entered.

"He swam to her and as he pushed her onto the raft the men jumped aside. But the old man got in and banged his head in, and there was a baby in there! Yes sir, a fully naked baby. It was Dick Allbright's baby; he confessed and said it.

' 'Yes,' he says, leaning over him, 'yes, it is my dear, dear, my poor lost Charles William Allbright who is deceased,' he says, - for he could use his tongue for the most aggressive words in tongue rolling when he thinks of it, and put it everywhere without beginning. Yes he said he lived at the end of that bend and one night he choked his son who was crying with no intention of killing him which was probably a lie and then he got scared and buried him in a bar 'l before his wife came home and he went, took the north trail and went rafting; and this was the third year that the Bar'l pursued him. He said bad luck always started out mild and lasted until four men were killed, and after that the Bar'l didn't come back. He asked if the men could last another night - and so he went on - but the men had had enough. They were going to get out of a boat to bring him ashore and lynch him but suddenly he grabbed the child and jumped into the sea while she hugged his chest and shed tears and we'll never see him again in this life, poor old man Alas, nor Charles William.'

'_Who _shed tears?' says Bob; 'Was it Allbright or the baby?'

'Well, Allbright, of course; I didn't tell you the baby was dead. He's been dead for three years. How can you cry?

"Well, no matter how he could cry, how could he go on like that all the time?" says Davy. 'You answer that for me.'

"I don't know how that happened," says Ed. "But it happened... that's all I know about it.

"Tell me... what did you do with the Bar'l?" says the son of evil.

"Well, they threw him overboard and he sank like a piece of lead."

'Edward, did the child look like it was choking?' says one.

"Did you have a parting?" says another.

"What brand was that bar, Eddy?" says a guy they called Bill.

"Have you got your statistical papers, Edmund?" says Jimmy.

"Tell me, Edwin, were you one of the men who got killed by lightning?" says Davy.

'He? Oh no, he was both,” says Bob. Then everyone hesitated.

"Say Edward, don't you think you should take a pill? You look bad... don't you feel pale? says the son of evil.

"Oh, come on, Eddy," says Jimmy, "come out; You must keep a portion of this Bar'l to prove the point. Show us the hole... do it... and we'll all believe you.

"Say guys," says Bill, "less shared. Thar is thirteen of us. I can swallow a thirteenth of the wool if you can take care of the rest.

Ed got up angrily and said they could all go somewhere he was ripping off really wild and then backed off cursing to himself and they were yelling and taunting him and yelling and laughing so you could hear them for a mile could .

"Boys, let's share a watermelon with this," says the son of mischief; I was warm and soft and naked; then he says 'Ouch!' and jumped back.

“Bring a lantern or a piece of fire, boys. Here is a snake the size of a cow!

Then they ran over with a lantern and crowded around me and looked at me.

'Stop it, you beggar!' says one.

'Who are you?' says another.

'What do you want here? Speak immediately or you'll overdo it.

"Great guys. Grab him by the heels.

I started begging and crawled between them, trembling. They looked at me in wonder and the son of evil said...

"A cursed thief! Help us and throw it overboard less!'

"No," says Big Bob, "except take the paint pot and paint it sky blue from head to toe, and then pick it up!"

'That's it. Go to the painting, Jimmy.

When the paint came and Bob took the brush and was about to start, the others were laughing and rubbing their hands, I started crying and it kind of affected Davy and he said...

Huge there! He's nothing but a puppy. “I will paint the man who etchesIs!'

So I looked at them and some of them grunted and growled and Bob dropped the ink and the others didn't pick it up.

"Come over to the fire and look less at what you're doing here," says Davy. “Now sit down and give an account. How long have you been on board here?

"Not more than fifteen minutes, sir," I said.

'How did you dry it so quickly?'

'I don't know, sir. I'm always like this, most of the time.

"Oh, it's you, it's you. What's your name?'

I won't say my name. I didn't know what to say, so I just said...

"Charles William Allbright, County."

Then they roared - the whole crowd; and I was very glad I said it, because maybe laughing would put her in a better mood.

When they stopped laughing, Davy said...

"It won't work, Charles William. You couldn't have grown that much in five years, and you were a baby when you left the pub, you know, and you were already dead. Come on, tell an honest story, and nobody's gonna hurt you if you up to no good. What's your name?'

– Aleck Hopkins, Senhor. Aleck James Hopkins.'

"Well, Aleck, where are you from, here?"

' From a commercial frown. There she turns. I was born into Dad has traded here all his life; and he told me to swim over here because when you came by he said he wanted some of you to go to Cairo with Mr. Jonas Turner and tell him...

'Oh come on!'

'Yes indeed; it is as true as the world; Dad, he says—”

'Ah, your grandmother!'

Everyone laughed and I tried to speak again but they cut me off and stopped me.

"Look here," says Davy; "You're scared, so you talk wildly.

"Yes sir, in a businesslike frown. She lies down at the beginning of the curve. But I wasn't born into it. It's our first trip.

'Now you're talking! Why did you come on board here? Steal?'

"No sir, not me. – It was just to ride the raft. All boys do that.

"Well, I know that. But why were you hiding?

"Sometimes they throw the boys out."

“They do. You can steal. Look here; If we let you escape this time, will you avoid this kind of trouble in the future?'

I'll finish, boss. You prove it to me."

"Then it's alright. You are not just a few meters from the shore. At sea with you, and don't be so ridiculous again. - Blastite, boy, some rafters would hide you 'til you're black and blue!'

I didn't wait to kiss her goodbye but went overboard and made my way to the beach. When Jim appeared, the big raft at the head was out of sight. I swam out and got in and was so happy to see my home again.

The boy did not get the information he was looking for, but his adventure provided the insight into the ferryman and the departing boatswain that I would like to offer at this point.

I come now to a period of life on the Mississippi, in the heyday of steamships, which seems to me to merit thorough study—the wonderful science of pilotage as exhibited there. I don't think there was anything comparable in other parts of the world.


The boys' ambition

WHEN I was a boy there was but one abiding ambition among my comrades in our village {footnote [1. Hannibal, Missouri]} on the west bank of the Mississippi. That is, to be a steamboat. We had other kinds of temporary ambitions, but they were temporary. When a circus came and went, it made us all burn to be clowns; The first black minstrel show to come into our department made us all ache to try that kind of life; From time to time we hoped that if we lived and were good, God would allow us to be pirates. These ambitions disappeared one by one; but the ambition to become a steamer always remained.

Once a day, a cheap, colorful package came from St. Louis and another from Keokuk. Before these events, the day was filled with anticipation; after them the day was dead and empty. Not only the boys, but the whole village felt it. After all these years, I can picture that time exactly as it was then: the white city dozing in the sun of a summer morning; the streets empty or nearly; a clerk or two sat outside the shops on Water Street, with their double-bottomed chairs against the wall, chins on chests, hats slung over their faces, asleep -- with enough tile chips to show what they broke had; a sow and a litter of pigs loitering on the sidewalk making lots of watermelon rinds and seeds; two or three small single heaps of cargo scattered about the 'dyke'; a stack of skates by the side of the cobbled quay and the fragrant town drunk asleep in their shade; two or three wooden dwellings at the head of the pier, but no one to hear the peaceful lapping of the waves against them; the great Mississippi, the majestic, the glorious Mississippi that rolled its tide a mile wide and shone in the sun; the dense forest on the other side; the "point" above the city and the "point" below delimit the view of the river, turning it into a kind of sea, and at the same time very calm, bright and solitary. A dark film of smoke is currently appearing over one of these remote "spots"; immediately a black carter, known for his quick eyesight and amazing voice, raises the cry: 'S-t-e-a-m-boat a-comin'!' and the scene changes! The drunks of the city get excited, the officers wake up, an angry rumble of cars ensues, every house and shop pours out a human contribution, and in no time at all the dead city is alive and moving.

Wagons, wagons, men, boys, all rush from different neighborhoods to a common center, the wharf. The people gathered there stare at the approaching boat as if at a miracle they are seeing for the first time. And the boat _is_ a pretty sight too. She is long, slender, elegant and beautiful; it has two tall, elegant chimneys, between which hangs a kind of gilded device; an imaginative wheelhouse, a glass and a "gingerbread" perched on the "Texas" deck behind them; Rowing boxes are beautiful with a picture or with golden rays above the boat name; the boiler deck, hurricane deck and Texas deck are fenced and adorned with clean white railings; a flagellum flies from the mast; the oven doors are open and the fire blazes bravely; the upper decks are black with passengers; the captain stands by the big bell, calm, stately, everyone's envy; great quantities of blackest smoke roll and fall from the chimneys - a cultivated splendor created with a piece of pine, just before they reach a town; the crew is grouped in the forecastle; the wide stage stretches across the port bow, and at its end stands picturesquely an envied sailor with a roll of rope in his hand; the wheels stop; then they go back, stir the water until it foams, and the steamer rests. So there is a rush to board, disembark, receive cargo and unload cargo at the same time; and a yelling and swearing like the buddies make it easy! Ten minutes later the steamer is on the move again, with no flag on the mast and no black smoke from the funnels. After another ten minutes the city is dead again and the city has fallen asleep drunk again.

My father was a justice of the peace and I assumed he had the power of life and death over all people and could hang anyone who offended him. In general, that was distinction enough for me; but the desire to become a boatswain kept coming up. First I wanted to be a cabin boy, so that I could go out in a white apron and wave a tablecloth where all my old comrades could see me; later I thought I'd rather be the sailor standing at the end of the stage, reel of rope in hand, because he was particularly remarkable. But those were just daydreams—too celestial to consider as real possibilities. One by one one of our guys left. Nothing was heard from him for a long time. Eventually he appeared as an apprentice engineer, or "carrier" on a steamship. This thing rocked all of my Sunday School teachings. This boy was notoriously worldly and I was the complete opposite; yet he was raised to that eminence, and I left him in darkness and misery. There was nothing generous about this fellow in his grandeur. He always managed to scrub a rusty bolt while his boat stayed in our town and he would sit on the inside watch and rub at it where we could all see him and envy and hate him. And when his boat stopped, he would come home and walk about the town in his blackest and filthiest clothes, so that no one could help remembering that he was a boatswain; and he used all sorts of steamship techniques in his lecture, as if he were so used to them that he forgot that ordinary people could not understand them. He spoke of the "laboratory board" side of a horse in a simple and natural way that made you wish he were dead. And he always spoke of "St.Looy" as an old citizen; he casually referred to times when he was "walking down Fourth Street" or when he was "passing the Planter's House" or when there was a fire and he banged on "old Big Missouri"; and then he went on to lie about how many cities our size were burned that day. Two or three of the boys were of long standing among us, having once been in St. Louis, and had a vague general knowledge of its wonders, but the day of its glory was past. They fell into a humble silence and learned to disappear as the implacable "puppy" engineer approached. This guy also had money and hair oil. Also an ignorant silver watch and a flashy brass watch chain. He wore a leather belt and no suspenders. If ever a young man was both warmly admired and hated by his comrades, it was this one. No girl could resist his charm. He 'cut' all the boys in the village. When his boat finally exploded, it spread a quiet contentment among us we haven't known in months. But when he returned home the following week, alive, famous, and showing up at church bruised and bandaged, a shining hero whom everyone looked up to and admired, it seemed to us that providence had provided for an unworthy reptile reaches a climax. . . point at which it was subjected to criticism.

This creature's career could only produce one result, and he was quick to follow. Boy after boy made it into the river. The minister's son became an engineer. The doctor's and postmaster's sons became "mud scribes"; the liquor wholesaler's son became a bartender on a boat; four sons of the chief merchant and two sons of the district judge became pilots. Pilot was the greatest position of all. Even in those meager wage days, the pilot had a princely salary—from one hundred and fifty to two hundred and fifty dollars a month—and no pension to pay. Two months of his salary would pay a preacher's salary for a year. Now some of us are heartbroken. We couldn't go into the river - at least our parents wouldn't let us.

So, little by little, I ran away. I said I would never come home again until I was a pilot and could come into glory. But somehow I couldn't. I humbly stepped aboard some of the boats huddled like sardines on the long pier of St. I needed to make the most of this kind of treatment for now, but I had comforting dreams of a future in which I could be a great, honorable pilot with a lot of money and could kill some of those pilots and employees and pay for them .


I want to be a Cub pilot

MONTHS later, hope reluctantly fought to my death and I found myself without ambition. But I was ashamed to go home. I was in Cincinnati and started working towards a new career path. I had read about the recent exploration of the Amazon by an expedition sent by our government. It was said that because of difficulties the expedition had not fully explored a part of the country lying near the headwaters, some four thousand miles from the mouth of the river. It was only about fifteen hundred miles from Cincinnati to New Orleans, where no doubt I could get a ship. I had thirty dollars left; I would go and complete the Amazon exploration. That's all I thought about the matter. I've never paid much attention to details. I packed my suitcase and took a ticket to New Orleans in an antique bathtub that said "Paul Jones." For the sum of sixteen dollars I had the scarred and battered splendor of "her" main hall mostly to myself, for she was not a creature to attract the attention of wiser travelers.

As we began to sail across the wide Ohio, I became a new being and an object of my own admiration. I was a traveller! Never had a word tasted so good in my mouth. I had an exhilarating feeling of traveling to mysterious lands and distant climes that I haven't felt to such an enhanced degree since. I was in such a glorious state that all unworthy feelings had vanished from me and I was able to look down on the untravelled and feel pity with a compassion that contained scarcely a trace of contempt. But when we stopped at villages and lumberyards, I couldn't help but lean carelessly over the railings of the boiler deck to delight in the envy of the shore-boys on shore. If they didn't seem to see me, I would immediately sneeze to get their attention or put myself in a position where they couldn't help but see me. travel.

I took my hat off the whole time and stayed where the wind and sun could hit me because I wanted to look tanned and weatherbeaten like an old traveler. Even before the second day was over I felt a joy that filled me with the purest gratitude; as I saw the skin begin to blister and peel off my face and neck. I wish the boys and girls back home could see me now.

We made it to Louisville on time - at least on the outskirts. We got stuck on the rocks in the middle of the river and stayed there for four days. I began to feel a strong sense of belonging to the boat's family, sort of like the captain's little son and the officers' younger brother. I cannot estimate the pride I felt in this greatness, or the affection that began to grow within me for these people. I could not know how the master of the steamship despises that kind of arrogance in a common man of the land. I was particularly desirous of attracting the slightest attention from the boisterous great fellow, and looked out for an opportunity to do him a service for that purpose. Finally arrived. The forecastle was frantically trying to define a spar, and I went down and stood on the path—or was about to jump out—until the mate suddenly bellowed out a general order for someone to bring him a pole winch. I jumped next to him and said, 'Tell me where it is - I'll get it!'

If a ragpicker offered to perform diplomatic service for the Emperor of Russia, the monarch would be no more surprised than the first mate. He even stopped swearing. He got up and looked at me. It took him ten seconds to piece his disjointed remains back together. Then he said impressively, 'Well, if that isn't better than hell!' and he approached his work with the air of one faced with a problem too complex to solve.

I withdrew, vying for solitude for the rest of the day. I didn't go to dinner; I walked away from dinner until everyone was done. I didn't feel as much of a member of the boating family now as I used to. However, my spirits returned in tranches as we made our way down the river. I'm sorry that I hated my partner so much because it wasn't human nature (young) not to admire him. He was huge and muscular, his face was bearded and he had whiskers all over; he had a red woman and a blue woman tattooed on his right arm, one on each side of a blue anchor with a red rope; and in matters of obscenity he was sublime. Whenever he came off a landing, I was always where he could see and hear. He felt the full majesty of his great position and made the world feel it too. If he gave even the simplest command, he would discharge it like lightning, sending a long, reverberating rumble of curses after her. I couldn't help but compare the way the average man gives an order to the way the pilot carries it out. If the country man wished the plank to be pushed forward another foot, he would probably say, "James or William, one of you please push that plank forward." but put the mate in his place and he roared: "Here, now, launch the gangplank forward! Excited now! _what_ are you about! Take it! Take it! There! There! Back again! after again! you do not listen to me. Dash to run! you will _sleep on it! '_Big_gasp. “Big gasp, I tell you! will you withdraw it _Where_ are you going with that barrel! _For'ard_ with him, 'before I let you swallow it, you sprint-dash-dash-_dashed _torn between a weary mud-turtle and a crippled funeral horse!'

I wish I could talk like that.

When the pain of my adventure with the mate had subsided a little, I cautiously began to make amends with the boat's humblest official, the night watchman. At first he refused my advances, but I soon dared to offer him a new chalk whistle; and it softened him. So he allowed me to sit next to the big bell on the hurricane deck and in time he struck up a conversation. He couldn't have been of much help, I hung on his words so much and showed so clearly that I was honored by his warning. He gave me the names of dark cloaks and gloomy islands as we passed them in the solemnity of the night under the twinkling stars, and little by little he began to talk about himself. He seemed overly sentimental for a man who made six bucks a week—or rather, he would have seemed that way to someone older than me. But I drank in his words greedily and with a faith that could move mountains if used judiciously. What did it matter to him that he was dirty, dirty and smelled like gin? What did I care if his grammar was bad, his construction worse, and his swear words so artless that they were an element of weakness rather than strength in his conversation? He was a wronged man, a man who had seen trouble, and that was enough for me. As he lulled himself into his melancholic tale, his tears dripped onto the lantern in his lap, and I, too, wept with sympathy.

He said he was the son of an English nobleman - an earl or an alderman, he could not remember, but he thought he was both; his father, the nobleman, loved him, but his mother hated him from the cradle; and so when he was a little boy he was sent to "one of those old, old colleges" - he couldn't remember which one; and gradually his father died and his mother took over the property, "shaking" him, as he put it. After his mother shook him off, members of the nobility he knew used her influence to get him the position of 'silly boy on a ship'; and from that point my Guardian threw away all obstacles of date and place and branched out into a narrative peppered with incredible adventures all along; a tale so full of bloodshed and so full of hair outbursts and the most compelling and unconscious personal villains that I was left speechless, enjoying, shuddering, imagining, adoring.

It was a shame to discover later that he was a vile, vulgar, ignorant, sentimental, stupid impostor, an inexperienced native of the Illinois wilderness who had absorbed wild literature and appropriated its wonders until, in time, he wove probabilities . and the confusion ends in this story, and so he kept telling it to newcomers like me until he believed it himself.


The experience of a wolf pilot

With four days of waiting in Louisville and some other delays, poor old "Paul Jones" lost about two weeks traveling from Cincinnati to New Orleans. I met one of the pilots who taught me how to steer the boat and made the fascination of life on the river stronger than ever for me.

It also gave me the opportunity to meet a young man who had gone on deck - which is a shame; for he easily loaned me six dollars with a promise to return to the boat and pay me the day after we arrived. But he probably died or forgot since he never came. No doubt it was the first option since he had said his parents were wealthy and he only traveled down the deck passage because it was cooler.

I soon discovered two things. One was that a ship less than ten or twelve years old was unlikely to sail to the mouth of the Amazon; and the other was that the nine or ten dollars I still had in my pocket would not suffice for such a grand exploration as I had planned, even if I could have waited for a ship. Consequently, I should invent a new career. The "Paul Jones" was now for St. Ludwig. I planned a siege against my pilot and after three difficult days he surrendered. He agreed to take me the Mississippi River from New Orleans to St. Louis for five hundred dollars, paid on my first paycheck after graduation. I got into the small business of "learning" 12 or 1,300 miles of the great Mississippi with the easygoing confidence of my life. If I really knew what I would ask of my skills, I wouldn't have the courage to start. I figured a pilot just had to keep their boat in the river and I didn't think that could be a big trick given it's so wide.

The boat left New Orleans at four o'clock in the afternoon, and "our shift" was until eight. Mister. Bixby, my boss, 'straightened them out', led them along the stern of the other boats lying on the causeway, and said, 'Here, take them; Scrape these steamships as close as an apple. I took the wheel and my heart beat in hundreds; for it seemed to me that we were scraping every ship in line against the ship's side, so close we were. Holding my breath, I began to pull the boat out of harm's way; and I had my own opinion of the pilot, who knew nothing better than to put us in such danger, but I was too clever to express it. In half a minute I had a large margin of safety between the 'Paul Jones' and the ships; and in another ten seconds I was thrown aside in disgrace, and Mr. Bixby got into danger again, and skinned me alive, taking advantage of my cowardice. his wheel and trimmed the ships so tightly that catastrophe seemed incessantly imminent. When he had cooled a bit he told me that the light water was close to the beach and the current out and therefore we had to hug the shore upstream to enjoy the former and stay far away downstream to benefit from it literally . In my opinion, I decided to be a downstream pilot and leave the upstream to sane people.

From time to time Mr. Bixby has made me aware of certain things. He said, 'This is the Six Mile Point.' I nodded. It was pleasant information, but I could not understand its meaning. I wasn't aware that it was a subject that interested me. On another occasion he said, 'This is Nine-Mile Point.' Later he said, 'Here is the Twelve Mile Point.' They were almost level with the water; they all looked the same to me; they were monotonously unpicturesque. I expected Mr. Bixby to change the subject. But not; He huddled around a point, hugged the shore affectionately, and then said, 'The still water ends here, side by side with this clump of cinchona trees; now we cross.' So he crossed. He gave me the steering wheel once or twice but no luck. Either I was about to uproot a sugar plantation or I was straying too far from shore and I fell out of favor again and was mistreated.

The vigil finally ended, we had dinner and went to sleep. At midnight a lantern shone in my eyes and the night watchman said:

'Come! turn out!'

And then he left. I could not understand this extraordinary procedure; so I gave up and fell asleep. Soon the guard was back, and this time he was rude. I was irritated. I said:--

"Why do you want to come here in the middle of the night? Now you probably won't be able to sleep tonight.

The guard said...

"Well, if that's not good, I'm blessed."

The off-watch started and I heard brutal laughter from them and comments like "Hello Wardens! The new puppy hasn't appeared yet? He's probably tender. Give him some sugar in a rag and let the maid sing rock-a-by-baby for him.

At that time Mr. Bixby appeared on the scene. About a minute later I climbed the steps to the wheelhouse with a few clothes and the rest in my arms. Mister. Bixby was close behind, commenting. Here was something new—this waking up in the middle of the night to go to work. It was a pilot detail that had never occurred to me. I knew the boats ran all night, but somehow I never thought someone would have to get out of a warm bed to drive them. I began to worry that flying wasn't as romantic as I had imagined; there was something very real and work-like about this new phase.

It was a pretty gloomy night, although quite a few stars were out. The big guy was driving and he had the old bathtub pointed at a star and he was holding it right in the middle of the river. The shores on either side were no more than half a mile apart, but they looked wonderfully distant and always very vague and indistinct. The attendant said:--

"We need to land on Jones' plantation, sir.

The vengeful spirit within me rejoiced. I said to myself, I wish you much happiness in your work, Mr. Bixby; You'll have a great time, Mr. Jones, on a night like this; and i hope you never meet him as long as you live.

Mister. Bixby said to the mate:--

'Top of the plantation or the bottom?'


'I can't do it. The stumps there are without water at this point: it is not far to the lowest one, and you must be content with that.'

- Alright sir. If Jones doesn't like it, enough is enough, Ireckon.

And then the guy left. My jubilation began to cool and my admiration increased. Here was a man who, on a night like this, set out not only to find this plantation, but to find one of the destinations he favored. I was dying to ask a question, but I had as many short answers as my hold would allow, so I shut up. All I asked Mr. Bixby was a simple question if he was dumb enough to really imagine finding that crop on a night when all the crops were exactly alike and all the same color. But I held back. I used to be very circumspect then.

Mister. Bixby walked to shore and soon after was scratching as if it were day. And not only that, but singing...

'Father in heaven, the day is waning' &c.

It seemed to me that I had placed my life in the care of a particularly ruthless outcast. Then he turned to me and said:

"What's the name of the first dot over New Orleans?"

I was glad that I could reply promptly, and I did. I said I didn't know.

'I do not know_?

This path moved me. In no time I was back on the ground. But I had to say exactly what I said before.

'Well, you're clever,' said Mr Bixby. "What's the_next_point called?"

Again I didn't know.

"Well, that trumps everything. Tell me the name of any place or place I have given you.”

I studied a little and decided I couldn't.

'Look here! Above Twelve-Mile Point, where do you start the traverse?

"I...I...don't know."

"You... you... don't know?" to imitate my slurred speech. 'What do you know?'

"I…I…nothing, that's for sure.

"By the spirit of the great Caesar, I believe you! You're the dumbest idiot I've ever seen or heard, so help me Moses! The idea that you are a pilot - you! You don't know enough to herd a cow down a path.

Oh, but your anger has increased! He was a nervous man, shuffling from side to side of the bike as if the ground were hot. It boiled for a while, then boiled over and scalded me again.

'Look here! Why do you think I told you the names of these places?

I thought it was trembling for a moment, and then the demon of temptation provoked me to say:

'Well... to... have fun, I thought.'

That was a red rag for the bull. He got so angry and attacked (he was crossing the river at the time) that I think it blinded him because he was going over the oar of a merchant's wife. Of course, the traders sent a flood of red-hot curses. Never was a man so grateful as Mr. Bixby: because it was full to the brim, and here were subjects that would answer. He opened a window, stuck his head out, and there was an eruption unlike anything I'd heard before. The weaker and further away the cowards' curses reached, the higher Mr. Bixby would raise her voice and her adjectives would grow heavier. When he closed the window, it was empty. You could have pulled a net through your system and not caught enough curses to upset your mother. Soon he said to me in the kindest way -

"Son, you must take a notepad with you, and whenever I say something to you, put it away immediately. There's only one way to be a pilot, and that's to memorize the entire flow. You have to know exactly how to do A B C.'

This was a grim revelation for me; for my memory was never loaded with anything but blanks. However, I was not discouraged for long. I thought it best to make some concessions because Mr. Bixby was "stretching". Soon he was pulling a string and rapping the big bell a few times. The stars were gone now and the night was inky black. I could hear the wheels turning on the shore, but I wasn't sure if I could see the shore. The unseen lookout's voice called from the deck of the hurricane -

"What is it, sir?"


I told myself I'd like to make a little bet that it's not. But I didn't tweet. I just waited and watched. Mister. ' and the next moment we were standing upstream again, quite calm. I thought deeply for some time and then said - but not aloud - 'Well, the discovery of this plantation was the luckiest accident that ever happened; but it could not be repeated in a hundred years. And I also firmly believed that it was an accident.

When we had sailed seven or eight hundred miles upriver I had learned to be a reasonably brave helmsman upriver in broad daylight, and before we st. a trifle. I had a notebook filled with the names of cities, "points", bars, islands, curves, tracks, etc.; It pained my heart to think that only half the river had been drained; for since our shift was four hours off and four hours off, day and night, there was a long four-hour break in my book for every time I had slept since the beginning of the trip.

My boss was hired to go out on a big boat from New Orleans, and I packed my backpack and went with him. She was a big case. When I was in her wheelhouse, I was so far above the water it seemed like I was sitting on a mountain; and her decks stretched so far fore and aft below me that I wondered how I could think little 'Paul Jones' a great ship. There were other differences too. The wheelhouse of "Paul Jones" was a cheap, filthy, shabby trap of little space: but here was a splendid temple of glass; enough space to dance; bright red and gold curtains; an imposing sofa; leather cushions and a backrest for the high seat where guest pilots sit to tell stories and "look at the river"; bright and imaginative 'spitters' instead of a wide wooden box full of sawdust; a nice new cloth on the floor; a large hospitable stove for the winter; a wheel as high as my head, costly of inlaid work; a wire rope; bright brass buttons for the bells; and a handsome black, white-skirted "Texas tender" to bring cake, ice cream and coffee during the night shift, day and night. It was "something like that" and so I began to regain my courage that flying was a romantic activity after all. The moment we set off I started hanging around the big steamer and was filled with joy. She was as clean and delicate as a living room; looking into her long golden hall was like looking through a magnificent tunnel; she had an oil painting on each cabin door by a gifted sign painter; he shone with prism-fringed candelabra; the clerk's office was elegant, the bar was wonderful and the bar owner had had his hair shaved and reupholstered at an incredible expense. The boiler deck (so to speak, the second floor of the boat) was as roomy as a church, it seemed to me; so with the forecastle; and below was not a miserable handful of sailors, firemen, and laborers, but a whole battalion of men. Fires blazed in a long row of furnaces, and above them were eight huge cauldrons! That was indescribable pomp. The powerful engines - but enough of that. I've never felt so good. And when I found the regiment of smart servants respectfully serving me as 'master', my satisfaction was complete.


A brave act

WHEN I returned to the wheelhouse, St. Louis was gone and I was lost. Here was a stretch of river that was totally immersed in my book, but I couldn't see the head or the tail: you see, it was upside down. I'd seen it coming up the river, but I'd never turned to see what it looked like behind me. My heart broke again when it became clear that I had to learn this difficult flow both ways.

The wheelhouse was full of pilots going down to the "river view". The so-called "upper river" (the two hundred miles between St. Louis and Cairo where the Ohio flows) was low; and the Mississippi is so constantly changing channels, that the pilots always found it necessary to go to Cairo to make a new appearance whenever their boats were to be in port for a week; that is, when the water was low. Much of this "river watching" was done by poor people who seldom had a berth and whose only hope of getting one was by always being freshly kitted out and therefore ready to settle into a respectable pilot's seat for a single voyage dropped, due to such pilot's sudden illness or other necessity. And many of them were constantly running up and down the river to inspect the river, not because they really expected to get a mooring, but because it was cheaper (as guests on the boat) to "watch the river" than to stay ashore and pay their board. . Over time, these fellows became sensitive to their tastes and only infested ships that had an established reputation for serving good tables. All of the guest pilots were helpful as they were always ready and willing to go out on the dinghy winter or summer, night or day and help with the canal toning or assist the boat pilots in any way they could. They were equally welcome as all pilots are tireless talkers when they are together and as they only talk about the flow they are always understood and always interesting. Its true pilot cares for nothing but the river, and his pride in his profession surpasses the pride of kings.

We had good company from these river inspectors on this trip. It was eight or ten; and there was plenty of room for them in our big pilot house. Two or three of them wore shiny silk hats, ornate shirt fronts, diamond breastpins, velvet gloves, and patent leather boots. pilots. The others wore more or less loose clothing and had high felt cones on their heads, reminiscent of the Commonwealth era.

I was a cipher in this august company and I felt overwhelmed, not to say deaf. I wasn't important enough to help behind the wheel if it was necessary to put the rudder down hard in a hurry; the next guest did so when the occasion called for it - and because of the curvature of the canal and the scarcity of water, they almost always did. I stayed in a corner; and the conversation I overheard took away all hope. One visitor said to another:

"Jim, how did you manage to get to Plum Point?"

“It was there at night and I did it like one of the 'Diana' boys told me to; I started about fifty feet above the woodpile at the wrong point, and held on to the shack below Plum Point until I had raised the reef—a quarter to two—then raised myself to the middle beam until I was right next to the old cotton stood a member timber in the bow so I stuck my stern into the poplar and my bow into the low point over the point and hit a roaring nine and a half.'

"Nice square intersection, isn't it?"

"Yes, but the top bar goes down quickly."

Another pilot spoke and said:

"I've had better water than that, and I turned it down; started from the wrong spot - Mark Twain - lifted the second reef next to the big hook in the turn and had a quarter less than two.'

One of the beauties commented--

“I don't mean to criticize your guides, but that's a lot of water for Plum Point I think.

There were nods of approval all around as that silent grin fell on the show-off, "soothing" him. And so they kept talking. Meanwhile, something was going through my mind: 'Now, if my ears can hear properly, I must not only memorize the names of all the towns and islands and junctions and so on, but I must even acquire a warm, personal knowledge of them all the ancient logs, single-limbed cotton plants, and obscure piles of wood that adorn the banks of that river for twelve hundred miles; and more than that, I really must know where these things are in the dark, unless these guests are gifted with eyes that can penetrate two miles of deepest darkness; I wish the pilot business was in Jericho and I never would have thought about it.'

At dusk, Mr. Bixby knocked three times on the big bell (the signal for landing) and the captain came out of his living room on the Texas front and looked up questioningly. Mister. bixby said...

"We'll be here all night, Captain.

"Very good, sir.

That's all. The boat reached shore and was moored for the night. It seemed a good thing to me that the pilot could do whatever he wanted without asking permission from such a great captain. I ate my dinner and went straight to bed, discouraged by my day's observations and experiences. The records of my last trip were nothing more than a jumble of meaningless names. He would tangle me up every time I looked at him during the day. I now expected a sleep break; but no, it played out again in my head until sunrise, a restless, hectic nightmare.

The next morning I felt pretty rusty and despondent. We kept walking, taking many risks as we were anxious to “get out of the river” (as the exit to Cairo was called) before night overtook us. But Mr. Bixby, the other pilot, soon ran the boat aground and we wasted so much time trying to land it that it was clear darkness would catch up with us well over the estuary. This was a great misfortune, especially for some of our guest pilots whose boats had to wait for their return no matter how long it took. That made the conversation about the wheelhouse pretty serious. Upstream, the pilots didn't mind low tide or darkness; nothing held them back but the fog. But the work downstream was different; one boat was almost adrift, with a strong current pushing behind it; Therefore, it was not common to walk down the river at night when the tide was low.

However, there seemed to be a small hope: if we managed to cross the complicated and dangerous crossing of Hat Island before nightfall, we could venture the rest, as we would have easier navigation and better waters. But it would be crazy to try Hat Island at night. So we spent the rest of the day looking at the clocks and constantly calculating how fast we were going; Hat Island was the eternal theme; Sometimes the hope was high and sometimes we were too late with a bad crossing and it went under again. For hours every hand lay under the weight of this pent-up excitement; it was even shared with me, and I began to care so much about Hat Island, and under such terrible pressures of responsibility, that I wished I had five minutes on land to take a good, deep breath and relax and off to start in front. We didn't have regular security guards. Each of our pilots rode the stretches of river that he had traveled up the river because he was more familiar with them; but both stayed in the wheelhouse at all times.

An hour before sunset, Mr. Bixby took the wheel and Mr. W ---- stepped aside. For the next thirty minutes all the men held the clock in their hands and were restless, still and restless. Finally someone said with a heavy sigh:

"Well, that's Hat Island... and we can't get there." All the clocks clicked, everyone sighed and murmured something about "what a shame - oh, if only we had been here half an hour earlier!". and the place was filled with an atmosphere of disappointment. Some began to walk, but lingered and heard no landing bells. The sun disappeared behind the horizon, the boat drove on. Questioning looks went from guest to guest; and someone who had his hand on the knob turned it, waited, then withdrew his hand and let the knob turn again. We drove steadily down the curve. More looks were exchanged and nods of surprise and admiration - but not a word. Imperceptibly, the men gathered behind Mr. Bixby as the sky darkened and a faint star or two appeared. The dead silence and the feeling of waiting became oppressive. Mister. Bixby plucked the string and two deep, gentle tones of the great bell floated out into the night. Then a rest and another note was played. The lookout's voice followed from the deck of the hurricane—

"Lab director, there! stay stabbed

The guides' shouts began to rise in the distance, echoing harshly in the exchanges on the Hurricane's deck.

'M-a-r-k three!... M-a-r-k three!... A quarter less three!... Half past two!... A quarter less two!... M-a-r-k two!... A quarter less...'

Mister. Bixby pulled two bell ropes and was answered by a faint clank far below in engineering, and our speed dropped. Steam began hissing from the faucets. The screams of the leaders continued - and it's always a strange sound, at night. All the drivers in the parking lot were now watching, staring at each other and speaking softly. No one was calm and still except Mr. Bixby. He lowered the oar and stood on a beam, and when the steam rolled in marks quite invisible (to me) - for we seemed to be in the midst of a vast and murky sea - he would find it and fasten it there. Amidst the murmur of barely audible conversation, a coherent phrase would occasionally be heard, such as...

'There; she's right on the first reef!'

After a pause, another muffled voice—

"Your stern comes off perfectly, by George!"

'Now she's on the tracks; there she goes!'

Someone else mumbled...

'Oh, it was beautiful... beautiful_!'

Now the engines stopped completely and we were swept away by the current. Not that I could see the drifting boat, because I couldn't as the stars were gone now. This Drift was the darkest work; kept someone's heart calm. I soon discovered a darkness blacker than that which surrounded us. It was the head of the island. We approached him. We entered its deepest shadow, and danger seemed so imminent that I was likely to suffocate; and I had the strongest impulse to do anything to save the ship. But still Mr. Bixby stayed behind the wheel, still, alert as a cat, and all the drivers stood shoulder to shoulder behind him.

'She won't make it!' someone whispered.

The water got shallower and shallower as the guide called until it...

"Eight and a half! … E-i-g-h-t-feet! …. E-i-g-h-t-feet! …. Seven-e--"

Mister. Bixby warned the technician through his voice tube...

'Wait now!'

"Yes, yes, sir!"

'Seven and a half! Seven feet! Know, if...'

We've hit the bottom! Immediately Mr. Bixby rang a few bells and yelled through the tube, "NOW, make them eat - every ounce you've got!" then to her partner: "Put her down! Take it! grab you!' The boat scraped through the sand, hovered over the climax of the cataclysm for a single, tremendous moment, and then it went under! And a yell like Mr. Bixby's had never come off a wheelhouse roof before!

After that there were no more problems. Mister. Bixby was a hero that night;

To understand the wondrous accuracy required to set the great ship on its tracks in this muddy wasteland of water, one must know that it is not just weaving its tortuous path through obstacles and blind reefs and then the island's head like that has to shave close to brush her stern against the overhanging foliage, but at one point she has to pass almost within range of an invisible sunken wreck that would rip off the hull beams from under her if she hit it, and a quarter of a million dollars in a boat would ruin ... steam and freight in five minutes and maybe a hundred and fifty lives in the business.

The last remark I heard that evening was a compliment to Mr. Bixby, delivered in monologue and anointed by one of our guests. He said--

"By the shadow of death, but he's a lightning pilot!"


Amazing Lessons

After a seemingly arduous time, I managed to fill my head with islands, cities, bars, "dots" and curves; and it was also a strangely inanimate mass of wood. However, to the extent that I could close my eyes and spin a good long string of these names without missing all thirty ten+ miles of river, I began to think I could take a boat to New Orleans if I could Skip those little gaps. But of course, my smugness was barely enough to get my nose up in the air a little before Mr. Bixby thought of something to bring him down again. One day he suddenly hit on me with this settler -

"What shape is Walnut Bend?"

He might as well have asked my grandmother for her opinion on protoplasm. I considered it respectfully and then said I didn't know it was a specific shape. My gunpowder boss shot hard, of course, and then kept loading and firing until he ran out of adjectives.

I had learned long ago that it could only carry a certain number of rounds of ammo and would definitely turn into a very forgiving and even remorseful old smoothbore once they were all gone. That word "old" is just affectionate; he was no more than thirty-four. I waited. Gradually he said -

“My son, you must know exactly the shape of the river. It's all that's left to navigate a very dark night. Everything else was erased and gone. But you see, it doesn't have the same shape at night as it does during the day.

'How the hell am I supposed to learn it then?'

“How do you trace a hallway at home in the dark? Because you know its shape. you can't see it

"You mean I know all the millions of insignificant variations of shape on the banks of that endless river as well as I know the shape of my entrance hall?"

"On my honor, you must know her better than any man knew the outlines of the halls of his own house.

'I wish I was dead!'

"I don't want to discourage you, but..."

'Well, heap it on me; I might as well have it now or some other time.

“You see, this has to be learned; there is no way around. A clear starry night casts shadows so heavy that if you didn't know the exact shape of a beach you'd rip out every piece of wood, mistaking its black shadow for solid cover; and you see that every fifteen minutes by the clock you would have been scared to death. You would be fifty yards from shore at any time if you were less than fifty yards from it. You can't see an obstacle in one of these shadows, but you know exactly where it is and the shape of the river will tell you when to approach it. Then there is your pitch black night; The river has a very different shape on a pitch black night than on a starry night. All edges then appear as straight lines and also as strong dark lines; and you would lead them along straight lines that only you know best. You boldly steer your boat straight into what appears to be a solid, straight wall (you know full well there's actually a turn there), and that wall falls back, clearing a path for you. Then there's your gray haze. There's a night when there's one of those awful, drizzling gray hazes, and then there's no particular shape for a beach. A gray mist would envelop the head of the oldest man who ever lived. Well then, different types of moonlight change the shape of the river in different ways. Do you see -"

"Oh please don't say anything more! Do I have to learn the shape of the river in all these five hundred thousand different ways? If I tried to carry all that weight on my head, I would be left with slumped shoulders.

'_NO_! you only learn _the _form of the river, and you learn with such absolute certainty that you can always guide yourself from the form that is_in your head_ and it doesn't matter what is in front of your eyes.'

“Well, I'll try; but after learning it, I can trust him. Will he keep the same shape and not walk around?'

before Mr. Bixby might reply, Mr. W ---- came in to get the watch and said...

"Bixby, you gotta keep an eye on President's Island and all that clean land over Old Hen and Chickens. The banks collapse and the shape of the banks changes like everything else. Well, you wouldn't know the point about 40. You can now climb into the old plane tree. {footnote [1. It may not be necessary, but it still doesn't hurt to explain that "within" means between the obstacle and the shore.--M.T.]}

So this question is answered. Miles of coastline changed shape here. My mood was in the mud again. Two things seemed pretty obvious to me. One was that to be a pilot a man had to learn more than anyone else should know; and the other was that he had to relearn it in a different way every twenty-four hours.

That night we had the night watch until twelve o'clock. It was now an old river custom for the two pilots to chat a little when the clock changed. As the replacement pilot put on his gloves and lit his cigar, his partner, the outgoing pilot, said something like this:

“I think the top bar at Hale's Point is going down a bit; had a quarter of two with the bottom lead and a mark of two {footnote [Two threads. "A quarter of two" is two fathoms and a quarter, thirteen feet and a half. 'Three March' is three fathoms.]} with the other.'

"Yeah, I thought I'd slow down a bit, last ride. did you find a boat

"I found one side by side with 21's head but she was far away hugging the bar and I couldn't see her fully. I thought it was SunnySouth - it didn't have skylights in front of the chimneys."

Etc. And when the backup driver took the wheel, his partner {footnote ['partner' is a technical term for 'the other driver'.]} mentioned that we were in this corner and that and said we were side by side with so and so - the lumber yard or plantation of such a man. That was courtesy; I felt it was a necessity. But Mr. W----arrived at the station on this particular night twelve minutes late, a egregious breach of etiquette; In fact, it's the unpardonable sin among pilots. So Mr. Bixby did not greet him in any way, but simply handed over the helm and silently marched out of the wheelhouse. I was shocked; It was a dreadful night for darkness, we found ourselves in a particularly wide and blind part of the river where nothing had form or substance, and it seemed incredible that Mr. Bixby had left that poor fellow to kill the boat to find out where he was. But I decided that I would still support him. He was to find out that he wasn't entirely friendless. So I got up and waited for them to ask me where we were. But Mr. W ---- serenely dove through the solid firmament of black cats representing an atmosphere and never opened his mouth. Here is a proud demon, I thought; here is a member of satan who would rather doom us all than pledge to me because i am not yet one of the salt of the earth and have the privilege of snubbing captains and of all living and dead in a boat steamer to rule . climbed onto the bench; I figured it wasn't safe to sleep while that lunatic was on guard duty.

However, I must have fallen asleep over time because the next thing I knew, when day broke, Mr W... was gone and Mr Bixby was back at the wheel. So it was four o'clock and that was fine - except me; I felt like a skin full of dry bones and everyone was trying to hurt at the same time.

Mister. Bixby asked me why I stayed there. I confessed that I was Mr. W, tell him where he was. It took five minutes for the whole absurdity of it to sink into Mr. Bixby, and then, I think, it filled him almost to the chin; because he complimented me - and not much either. He said,

"Well, looking at you as a whole, you really seem like more species of donkeys than any creatures I've seen before. What do you think he wanted to know?

I said I think it could be an advantage for him.

'D Nation Comfort! Didn't I tell you that a man must know the river at night as he knows his own entrance hall?

“Well, I can follow the Entrance Hall in the dark knowing it's the Entrance Hall; but suppose you put me in the middle of the dark and don't tell me which room it is; how will I know?'

'Well, you _must _to, into the river!'

'Everything's ok. So I'm glad I'm Mr. W ----'

"I should say that. He would have thrown you against the window and ruined a hundred dollars' worth of window frames and stuff.

I was glad this damage was avoided as I would have made myself unpopular with the owners. You always hated anyone with a reputation for being careless and messing things up.

I now began to work to learn the shape of the river; and of all the elusive and elusive objects I have ever tried to put in my mind or in my hands, this was the most important. I would fix my eyes on a sharp, wooded point jutting into the river a few miles in front of me and began laboriously photographing its shape in my brain; and just as I was beginning to succeed to my satisfaction we would approach it and the annoying thing would begin to unravel and fold back into the bank! Had a dead tree been visible at the very end of the cape, when I reached it I would have blended it unobtrusively into the general forest and found it in the middle of a straight escarpment! No prominent hillock would hold its shape long enough to decide what its shape really was, but it was as resolved and shiftable as if it were a mountain of butter in the hottest corner of the tropics. Nothing ever had the same shape going down the river as it did when going up. I mentioned these minor difficulties to Mr. Bixby. He said--

— This is the main advantage of the thing. If the shapes didn't change every three seconds, they would be useless. Take this place where we are now, for example. As long as that hill over there is just a hill, I can shoot just as I walk; but the moment it splits at the top and forms a V, I know I must scrape starboard quickly, or I'll smack this boat's brains against a rock; and then, as soon as one end of the V swings behind the other, I must roll to port again, or have a misunderstanding with some obstruction that would tear the keel from that steamer as cleanly as if it were a splinter in his hand . If this hill didn't change shape on bad nights, in a year there would be a terrible steamship graveyard here.

It became clear that I had to learn the river shape every which way I could - upside down, wrong side first, inside out, back and forth and thorships - and then know what to do and when on gray nights is it had no form. So I decided. As time went on I began to make the best of this complicated lesson and my complacency kicked in again. Mister. Bixby was all fixed and ready to backstart it again. He opened up to me in this way –

"How much water did we have halfway through the hole-in-the-wall trip before the last one?"

I thought it was cheeky. I said--

“On every ride, up and down, the leaders sing for 45 minutes at a time in this confused place. How do you think I can remember such a mess?

"My son, you must remember that. You must remember the exact spot and marks where the boat was when we found the shallowest water in all the five hundred shallows between St. Louis and New Orleans; Also, you should not confuse the bearings and shoals of one voyage with the bearings and shoals of another, as they are often not identical. You must keep them separate.

When I came to I said...

"If I can do that, I can raise the dead and not have to pilot a steamboat for a living. I want to retire from this business. I want a bucket of mud and a brush; I only serve a shopkeeper. I don't have enough brains to be a pilot; and if he had he would not have the strength to carry them unless he used crutches.'

"Now leave it! When I say I'm going to learn a riverman {footnote ['teaching' is not in river vocabulary.]} I mean it. And you can trust that, I'll learn him or I'll kill him.'


constant confusion

There was no use arguing with such a person. I immediately strained my memory so much that little by little I even remembered the sandbank water and the countless tracks of crossings. But the result was the same. I could never learn more than one complicated thing before another presented itself. Well, I often saw pilots looking at the water and pretending to read it as if it were a book; but it was a book that meant nothing to me. At last, however, there came a moment when Mr. Bixby seemed to think I was advanced enough to take a lesson in reading water. Then he started-

"See that long sloping line on the water? Well that's a riff. Also, it's a cliff reef. Underneath is a solid sand bar about as straight as a house wall. There is a lot of water nearby but very little above it. the boat is sophisticated. See where the line at the top ends and starts to fade?

'Yes indeed.'

“Well, that's a low place; this is the head of the reef. You can climb there and not hurt anything. Now cross and follow close to the reef - easy water there - not much current.'

I followed the reef until I neared the lined end. So Mr. Bixby said...

"Get ready now. Wait till I give the floor. She won't want to ride there; A boat hates shallow water. Wait - wait - wait - keep under control. tighten NOW! Take it! grab you!'

He grabbed the other side of the wheel and helped turn it until it was secure and then we held it. The boat bucked and refused to react for a while, then came to starboard, climbing the reef and sending a long, angry crest of foaming water off its bow.

“Now watch her; watch her like a cat or she will run away from you. If it struggles hard and the rudder slips a little in a greasy, uneven way, loosen it a little; so at night she tells you that the water is too shallow; but keep climbing, little by little, towards the point. You are now directly at the bar; There is a bar at each point because the water sinking around it creates a whirlpool and causes the sediment to sink. See those fine lines on the water's surface that branch out like the ribs of a fan? Well, these are small reefs; You just want to miss their tips but meet them up close. Now watch out – watch out! Don't fill in that slippery, greasy-looking spot; there are not nine feet; she doesn't take it. She begins to smell; Look sharp I tell you! Oh flames, let's go! Stop the starboard wheel! Fast! Send it to the back! Put it back!

The engine bells rang and the engines responded promptly, shooting white plumes of steam out of the exhaust pipes, but it was too late. The boat had seriously 'sniffed' the pole; the foamy crests radiating from her bow suddenly disappeared, a great dead wave rolled on and swept in front of her, she turned to port and sailed towards the far bank as if terrified. We were a good mile from where we should have been when we finally got the upper hand on them again.

During the afternoon watch the following day, Mr. Bixby stopped and asked me if I knew how to run the next few miles. I said--

'Enter the first obstacle above the point, outside the next, start at the bottom of Higgins' wood yard, make a square cross and...'

'All is well. I'll get back to you before you complete the next point.

But it wasn't him. It was still down there when I rounded it and entered a stretch of river I had some doubts about. Little did I know he was hiding behind a chimney to see how I was doing. I happily followed him, growing more and more proud because he had never left the boat in my care for so long before. I even went so far as to "adjust" it and let go of the wheel entirely while boastfully turning my back and inspecting the bar tracks and humming a tune, a kind of light-hearted indifference I greatly admired in Bixby and other great pilots. I looked at it for a long time once, and when I looked ahead again, my heart jumped into my mouth so suddenly that I would have lost it had I not chattered my teeth. One of those scary bluff freefs stretched right over our bows with its deadly length! My head was gone in no time; I didn't know which side I was on; I gasped and couldn't breathe; I turned the wheel down so fast it tangled like a spider's web; The boat reacted and pulled away from the reef, but the reef followed! I fled, and still he followed, yet he stayed - right in front of my bow! I never looked where I was going, I just ran away. The terrible accident was imminent - why didn't this villain show up! If I committed the crime of ringing a bell, I could be thrown overboard. But that's better than killing the boat. So in blind desperation I started a 'Shivaree' down there, thundering like I've never surprised an engineer in this world I imagine. Amid the roar of the bells, the engines began to back up and fill up angrily, and my reason for the throne took over—we were about to tumble into the woods across the river. Only then did Mr. Bixby appeared calmly on the Hurricane's deck. My soul went out to him in gratitude. My fear vanished; I'd join Mr. Bixby on the hurricane deck on the Niagara Coast. He took the toothpick out of his mouth gently and sweetly between his fingers as if it were a cigar - we were about to climb a big overhanging tree and the passengers were running backwards like mice - and very gently gave me these commands--

"Stop to starboard. Stop the port. Put it back in both.'

The boat hesitated, stopped, at a critical moment stuck its nose between the branches and reluctantly began to back away.

“Stop the port side. light up. Stop on starboard. light up. Point it at the bar.

I sailed with the serenity of a summer morning. Mister. Bixby walked in and said with false simplicity...

(Video) Mississippi Encyclopedia | Conversations | MPB

"In hail, my boy, you have to hit the big bell three times before landing, so the drivers can get ready."

I blushed at the sarcasm and said I didn't have hail.

'Ah! So for wood I suppose. The officer on watch will tell you when to go for firewood.

I continued consuming and said I wasn't after wood.

'As a matter of fact? Well, what are you doing here in the curve? Have you ever heard of a boat following an upstream curve on this part of the river?

'No, sir, and I wasn't trying to follow you. I ran away from a reef of cliffs.

“No, it wasn't a cliff reef; There are none within a five kilometer radius of your whereabouts.

"But I saw it. It was a bluff like this.

'Nearly. Run over him!'

"Are you giving it like an order?"

'Yes. go over it

"If I don't do that, I want to die."

'Everything's ok; I take responsibility. I was now as intent on killing the boat as I had been trying to save it before. I memorized my orders to use in the investigation and ran straight to the reef. As he disappeared under our bows, I held my breath; but we glide over it like oil.

"Can't you see the difference now? It was nothing more than a reef of wind. That's what the wind does.

'Well, I saw it. But it's just like a cliff reef. How am I supposed to tell them apart?

'I can't tell you that. It's an instinct. Gradually you will just know each other _by nature_ but never be able to explain why or how you differentiate them.

It turned out to be true. The Face of the Water grew into a wondrous book—a book that was dead language to the uneducated passenger, but told me its unreserved spirit and revealed its dearest secrets as clearly as if it were expressing them in one voice. And it wasn't a book you read once and then threw away, it had a story to tell every day. In the long twelve hundred miles there was not a page that was uninteresting, not one that you could leave unread without losing it, not one that you wanted to skip because you thought something else would give you more pleasure. There has never been such a wonderful book written by man; never anyone whose interest was so gripping, so relentless, so brilliantly renewed with each rereading. The passenger who couldn't read it rejoiced at a peculiar kind of dimple in its surface (on the rare occasions when he didn't completely ignore it); but to the pilot it was a passage in italics; in fact it was more than that, it was a legend of the greatest capitals, with a series of gaudy exclamation marks at the end; for it meant burying a shipwreck or a rock capable of tearing life from the strongest ship that had ever walked the water. It's the weakest and simplest expression water has ever produced, and in the eyes of a pilot the most abominable. Indeed, the passenger who could not read this book saw nothing but all sorts of beautiful pictures painted in it by the sun and shadowed by clouds, while to the trained eye they were no pictures at all, but the darkest and deadliest reading . Object.

Now that I had mastered the language of that water, and knew every insignificant detail that lined the great river as familiarly as I knew the letters of the alphabet, I made a valuable acquisition. But I also missed something. I had lost something that all my life could not be restored to me. All grace, beauty, poetry had come from the majestic flow! I still remember a beautiful sunset I saw when I was new to steamboat sailing. A wide stretch of the river turned to blood; in the middle distance the red hue turned to gold, through which floated a lone trunk, black and conspicuous; at one point a long, sloping mark glittered above the water; in another the surface was broken by boiling rings variegated as an opal; where the blush was faintest there was a smooth spot, covered with graceful circles and radiant lines, so delicately drawn; the bank on our left was thickly wooded, and the somber shadow that fell from that wood was broken at one point by a long undulating path that shone like silver; like a flame in the unhindered radiance emanating from the sun. There were graceful curves, reflected images, wooded heights, smooth distances; and over the whole scene, far and near, the dissolved lights flowed continually, enriching it with new marvels of color with each passing moment.

I was enchanted. I drank in wordless ecstasy. The world was new to me and I had never seen anything like it at home. But, as I said, there came a day when I lost sight of the splendor and magic that moon, sun, and twilight had cast upon the river's face. ; Another day came when I stopped looking at her in full. So if this sunset scene had been repeated, I should have looked at it without ecstasy and should have commented on it inwardly: This sun means that we will have wind tomorrow; This floating log means the river is rising, small thanks to him; that slanting mark in the water refers to a jagged reef that will one of these nights kill someone's steamship if it keeps stretching like this; these falling 'fireplaces' show there a dissolving bar and channel shift; the lines and circles in the slippery water are a warning that this trouble spot is dangerously forming; that silver streak in the shadow of the forest is the "breaking point" of a new obstacle, and he placed himself in the best place he could find to fish for steamboats; that tall dead tree with a single living branch shall not long stand, and how shall a body pass that blind place at night without the friendly old landmark?

No, romance and beauty have gone out of the river. The only value any feature of it had to me now was the utility it could offer, to include safely piloting a steamboat. Since then I have felt sorry for the doctors from the bottom of my heart. What does the beautiful blush on a beauty's face mean to the doctor if not a "pause" spreading over a deadly disease? Are not all his visible charms sown with what are to him the signs and symbols of occult decay? Does he ever see her beauty, or is he just not looking at her professionally and commenting on her unhealthy condition for himself? And doesn't he sometimes wonder if he gained more or lost more by learning his craft?


completion of my education

ANYONE WHO has shown me the kindness of reading my chapters prior to this one may be wondering why I am so deeply involved in piloting as a science. It was the main aim of these chapters; and I'm not done yet. I want to show in the most patient and meticulous way what a wonderful science it is. The ship's fairways are marked and lighted, and thus navigating them is a comparatively easy task; Rivers with clear water and gravel bottoms change their channels very gradually and therefore only need to be learned once; but piloting becomes a different matter when applied to vast creeks like the Mississippi and Missouri, whose alluvial banks are ever crumbling and changing, whose stumps are always looking for new neighborhoods, whose sandbars are never settled, whose channels always dodge and dodge, and whose obstacles must be encountered without the aid of a single beacon or buoy any night and in any weather; for there is no light or buoy anywhere in these three or four thousand miles of rogue rivers. {Footnote [True at the time]. regarding; now isn't it (1882).]} I feel entitled to extend this great science because I am sure that no one who has piloted a steamboat and therefore has a thorough knowledge of the subject has ever written a paragraph on it. If the subject were commonplace, I would be obliged to be gentle with the reader; but since it's brand new, I felt comfortable taking up a lot of space with it.

As I learned the name and location of every visible feature of the river; when I had so mastered his form that I closed my eyes and took him from St. Louis to New Orleans; when I learned to read the face of the water, how to sort news from the morning paper; and finally, having trained my dull memory to hoard and record an endless series of soundings and cross-marks, I considered my training complete: so I began tipping my cap to the side of my head and sticking a toothpick in my mouth behind the wheel. Mister. Bixby kept tabs on those airs. One day he said -

"How high is that bench over there at Burgess' house?"

"How do I know that, sir?" It's three quarters of a mile away.

'Eye very bad - very bad. take the cup

I took the glass and said, 'I can't say that. I estimate the bench was about a foot and a half high.

"Foot and a half! That's a six foot stool. How high was the bench here last trip?

'I don't know; Never noticed.

'You didn't? Well, you must always do that from now on.'


“Because you have to know a lot of what it tells you. On the one hand it tells you the state of the river - it tells you if there is more or less water in the river than on the last trip."

"The clues tell me so. I preferred to believe I had an advantage over him.

"Yes, but suppose the clues lie?" The bank would tell you that, and then you would shake those leaders a little. There was a three meter lead here on the last run and now it's only two meters. What does that mean?

“That the river is a meter higher than the last trip.

'Very good. Does the river rise or fall?


"No it is not."

'I think I'm right, sir. Driftwood is drifting down the river over there.”

“A surge gets the driftwood going, but it continues to float for a while after the river has stopped rising. Now the bank will talk about it. Wait until you get to a spot where there is a small shelf. Nowhere; See that narrow belt of fine sediment that was deposited when the water was higher? You will see that the driftwood is also starting to run aground. The bank helps in other ways. Do you see the stump in the wrong tip?

"Yes, yes, sir.

“Well, the water is only up to the roots. You have to write that down.


"Because that means there's seven feet in the 103 chute."

"But the 103 is quite a way upriver."

“This is where the benefit of the bank comes into play. There's enough water at 103 _now_, but maybe not more when we get there; but the bank will keep us updated at all times. You don't run upstream near gullies in a falling river, and there are very few of those you are allowed to run downstream. There is US law against it. The river might rise when we get to 103, in which case we walk. We take... how much?

"Six feet aft, six and a half feet forward.

"Well, you seem to know something.

"But what I particularly want to know is, should I measure the banks of this river, twelve hundred miles, month after month forever?"


My feelings were too deep for words for a while. Actually, I said-"

And as for those parachutes. Are there many of them?

"I should say that. I suppose we won't be running anything from the river on this trip like you've seen before - sort of. When the river begins to rise again, we'll climb behind the railing you always saw coming out of the river, high and dry as a house roof; We cut low places you never noticed, amid bars covering three hundred acres of river; We'll crawl through cracks where you always thought it was solid ground; we shall rush through the woods, leaving twenty-five miles of river on a side; We will see the back side of all islands between New Orleans and Cairo.

"So I have to work and learn as much more about the river as I already know."

"Only about twice as much, as close as possible."

"Well, you live to find out. I guess I was a fool when I got into this business.

'Yes, that's right. And you still are. But you won't be once you learn it.

'Oh, I can never learn.'

'I'll make sure you _do_.'

Gradually I dared again -

"Do I have to learn all this knowing the rest of the river - shapes and all - so I can walk at night?"

'Yes. And you have to have good grades from one end of the river to the other, so the bank can tell you when there's enough water at each of those myriad spots—like that tree stump, you know. When the river starts to rise, you can half run a dozen deeper; If he climbs a foot more, you can walk a dozen more; for if you begin at one of these fissures, there is no turning back, as in the great river; You must pass or stay there for six months if caught in a tumbling river.

"This new lesson is a joyous prospect."

'Happy enough. And remember what I just told you; If you start at one of these places, you have to go through. They are too narrow to tack, too crooked to draw back, and the water in the shoals is always a man's height; never anywhere else. And it's likely that their heads will gradually fill up, so the marks you use to calculate your depth at this station may not match the next.'

"Then learn a new set every year?"

'Exactly. Squeeze her to the bar! Why are you standing in the middle of the river?

The next few months showed me strange things. On the same day that we had the aforementioned conversation, we found a large rise leading down the river. The whole wide wall of the creek was black with floating dead logs, broken branches, and large trees that had collapsed and been washed away. The best oar was needed to make a way through this hasty raft, even during the day going from one point to another; and at night the difficulty increased mightily; every now and then a huge tree trunk lying at the bottom of the water would suddenly appear directly under our bow, coming from the front; then there is no use in avoiding it; We could just turn the engines off and a wheel went end to end across that trunk, maintaining a rumbling sound and tipping the boat in a way that was very uncomfortable for the passengers. Every now and then we'd hit one of those sunken logs with a bang, right in the middle, full steam ahead, and it stunned the boat like it'd hit a continent. Sometimes that log got stuck and lay right in our nose and drove the Mississippi back in front of it; We would then have to catch some crabs to escape the constipation. We often encountered white tree trunks in the dark, as we could not see them until we were directly overhead; but a black tree trunk is a very distinct object at night. A white hurdle is an ugly customer when daylight is gone.

Of course, swarming the big climb were massive timber rafts from the upper Mississippi, coal barges from Pittsburgh, small merchant barges from everywhere, and broad horns from "Posey County," Indiana laden with "fruit and furniture"—the usual term to describe it , although the cargo so upgraded was in plain language Hoop Sticks and Pumpkins. Pilots had a deadly hatred for these planes; and was returned with usury. The law required all these helpless merchants to keep a light burning, but it was a law that was often broken. Suddenly, on a dark night, a light appeared almost directly beneath our arches, and a tormented voice with the 'whang' of the hinterland cried out...

'Where are you going! You see nothing, you son of a stuffed monkey son of a one-eyed stuffed monkey!

Then, as we whistled, the red glow of our stoves revealed for a moment the scowl and figure of the gesticulating speaker as if under a flash of lightning, and at that moment our firemen and sailors sent and received a storm of rockets. and cursing, one of our wheels would fly off with the crashing splinters of a rudder oar and total darkness would fall again. And this boatswain went to New Orleans on purpose and sued our boat, vehemently swearing that he had his lights on at all times, when in fact his gang down there had the lantern on to sing, lie down, drink and play, without watching the deck. .

One night, in one of those crevices at the edge of the woods (behind an island) that steamboats vividly describe with the phrase "as dark as a cow's inside," we should have eaten a Posey County family. fruit, furniture and everything else. , but that they happened to be playing downstairs and we heard the sound of the music just in time to take a detour, unfortunately without doing any serious harm but getting close enough that we had good hopes for a moment. These people, of course, raised their lanterns; and when we fell back and tried to flee, the precious family stood in her light—both sexes and different ages—and cursed until everything turned blue. A Collier once put a bullet through our wheelhouse when we borrowed an oar from him in a very narrow spot.


the river rises

DURING this great uplift, these small vehicles were an unbearable nuisance. We ran ramp after ramp - a new world to me - and if there was a particularly narrow spot on a ramp we were sure to find a broad horn there; and if he were not there we should find him in an even worse place, at the head of the trough on the water's edge. And then there would be no end to exchanging mundane pleasantries.

Sometimes, as we cautiously picked our way through a mist on the great river, the deep stillness would suddenly be broken by shouts and the tinkle of tin pots, and suddenly a raft of logs would appear dimly through the woven veil not far away. us. us; and then we didn't wait to change knives, we just plucked our bluebells by the roots and collected all the steam we needed to get out of the way! Nobody drives a steamboat onto a rock or a solid wooden ship if he can be excused.

You will hardly believe it, but many steamship writers always carried the most diverse religious tracts with them in the old days of steamships. Indeed they did. Twenty times a day we huddled around a bar while a line of these little buggers descended a few miles above us to the bottom of the turn. Now a boat shot away from one of them and struggled through the water desert. He would "make it easy" in the shade of our forecastle, and the panting rowers would shout, "Give me a pa-a-per!" as the boat drifted swiftly to the stern. The clerk handed him a file of New Orleans diaries. If they had been taken away without comment, you would have known that a dozen more coffins were now rushing down on us without a word. See, they waited to see how #1 would do. 1 without comment, everyone else would now bend in front of their oars and go forward; and as soon as they arrived the clerk threw bundles of religious tracts tied to tiles over them. The amount of obscenity that twelve packs of religious literature evoke when evenly divided between twelve ferry crews towing a heavy boat two miles behind them on a hot day to get them is simply unbelievable.

As I said, the great ascension brought a new world into view. When the river flooded we had left our old paths, and hourly climbed through gullies ten feet from the water; Before; We traversed ramps like the one on 82, where the opening at the bottom was a solid wooden wall, until our nose was almost right there. Some of these ramps were absolute solitudes. Thick, untouched forest loomed on either side of the small, crooked crevice, and it was hard to believe that no human creatures had ever entered there. The swaying vines, the grassy nooks and crannies we glimpsed in passing, the flowering vines shaking their red blossoms from the tops of dead stems, and all the spent wealth of forest foliage was there wasted and discarded. Parachutes were nice places to ride; they were deep to the head; the current was smooth; Under the "spikes" the water was absolutely dead, and the invisible banks were so abrupt that where the tender willows jutted out, you could bury the side of your boat in it as you walked, and then it seemed like you were flying .

Beyond other islands we find wretched little farms and still wretched little log cabins; There were crazy fences sticking out a foot or two above the water with a miserable man or two in jeans, shivering and yellow faced, perched on the top rail, elbows on knees, jaws in hands, tobacco ground and dumped the result in shavings that floated through gaps left by missing teeth; while the rest of the family and the few farm animals huddled in an empty grove and rode past their nearby boathouse. On this flat boat, the family had to cook, eat, and sleep for a lesser or greater number of days (or possibly weeks) until the river dropped two or three feet, leaving them back in their log cabin and their cold. - Chills is a merciful providence of an omniscient providence to enable them to move effortlessly. And that kind of water camping was something these folks had a few times a year: on Ohio's December Rise and Mississippi's June Rise. And yet these were benevolent dispensations, for they at least occasionally caused poor beings to rise from the dead and come to life when a steamer passed. They also appreciated the blessings as they opened their mouths and eyes wide and made the most of those opportunities. So what could these banished creatures do to keep from dying of grief during the low tide?

Once, on one of those beautiful island ramps, we found our course completely halted by a large fallen tree. This will serve to show how narrow some of the slides were. Passengers had an hour's respite in the pristine desert while sailors cruised across the bridge; 'Cause there was no turning back, you see

From Cairo to Baton Rouge, when the river is on its banks, you have no particular problems at night, as the thousand-mile wall of dense forest guarding the two banks is only opened at intervals by a farm or courtyard. , and so it is not much easier to get out of the river than out of a fenced lane; but from Baton Rouge to New Orleans is another matter. The river is over a mile wide and very deep, reaching 200 feet in places. a scattered sapling or row of ornamental Chinese trees. The timber is cut far behind the plantations, two to four miles. When the first frost threatens, the farmers hastily tear up their crops. Once the sugar cane is ground, the remains of the stalks are piled up (which they call bagasse) and set on fire, although in other sugar-producing countries bagasse is used as fuel in the mills' ovens. Now the heaps of wet pulp slowly burn and smoke like Satan's own kitchen.

A levee ten or fifteen feet high protects both banks of the Mississippi to the lower end of the river, and this levee is set back from the bank's edge from ten to perhaps a hundred feet, according to circumstances; Let's say thirty or forty feet in general. Fill this whole region with an impenetrable blackness of smoke from hundreds of miles of burning heaps of bagasse when the river is over its banks, and drop a steamer there at midnight and see how it feels. And see how you will feel too! You find yourself in the midst of a blurred and somber shoreless sea that fades and gets lost in the dim distances; for you cannot discern the fine veining of the bank, and you always fancy you see a scattered tree when you do not. The plantations themselves are transformed by the smoke and look like part of the sea. All your waking hours you are tormented with the delicious misery of uncertainty. You expect to be on the river, but you don't know it. All you're sure of is that if you think you're a good half mile from shore, you're probably less than five feet from shore and destruction. And you're also sure that if you happen to bump into the shore and throw your chimneys overboard, you'll have the small consolation of knowing exactly what you were expecting. One of the big packages from Vicksburg went to a sugar plantation one night, at such and such a time, and had to stay there for a week. But there was nothing new about it; many times this has been done before.

I thought I had finished this chapter, but I wanted to add an odd thing while I'm thinking about it. It's only relevant because it's related to piloting. There was an excellent pilot on the river, a Mr. X, who was a sleepwalker. It was said that when his mind was occupied with a bad stretch of river, he would surely get up, walk around in his sleep, and do strange things. He was once a flight attendant on a trip or two with George Ealer on a large passenger package from New Orleans. For a considerable part of the first voyage George was restless, but this was gradually overcome as X seemed content to remain in his bed while he slept. Late at night the boat approached Helena, Arkansas; the water was low, and the crossing over the city in a very muddy and confused state. X. had been watching the intersection for as long as Ealer, and as the night was particularly rainy, sullen, and dark, Ealer considered phoning X. to help him run the house when the Door opened and X. entered. Now, on very dark nights, light is a pilot's sworn enemy; You are aware that on a night like this in a lighted room you cannot see anything on the street at all; But if you turn off the lights and stay in the dim light, you can see objects on the road very well. So on very dark nights, pilots don't smoke; they will not permit a fire in the wheelhouse stove if there is a crack which might allow the smallest jet to escape; They order the herd to be covered with huge canvases and the skylights tightly closed. So no light comes out of the boat. The indefinable figure now entering the wheelhouse had the voice of Mr. X. It said--

“Let me take you George; I've known this place since you've known it, and it's so crooked that I think I can handle it myself more easily than I could tell you how.

"That's kind of you, and I swear I'm ready. I don't have a drop of sweat on me anymore. I rode my bike around like a squirrel. It's so dark I can't tell which way it's spinning until it starts spinning like a whirlwind.

Then Ealer sat down on the bench, panting and out of breath. The black phantom took the helm without a word, balanced the waltz-steamer with a turn or two, and then was calmed, caressed her back and forth a little, as gently and sweetly as if it were noon. As Ealer watched this marvel of driving, he wished he hadn't confessed it! He looked and wondered and finally said...

"Well, I thought I knew how to pilot a steamboat, but that was another mistake of mine.

X. said nothing, but calmly continued his work. He named the clues; he tapped to reduce the steam; he carefully and precisely worked the boat into invisible markings, then stood at the center of the wheel and peered cautiously back and forth into the darkness to check his position; As the sandbars got higher and higher, he cut the engines completely, and the dead stillness and excitement of "drifting" ensued as the shallowest water was hit, he let off the steam, gracefully discharged it, and then cautiously set to work on the next shoal began tag system; the same patient and careful handling of cables and motors followed, the boat glided without touching the bottom and entered the third and final complexity of the crossing; imperceptibly she moved through the darkness, crawling inches in her tracks, drifting laboriously until the shallowest water was driven away, and then under a huge plume of steam she lurched over the reef and off to deep water and safety!

Ealer exhaled in relief and said:

"This is the cutest part of horseback riding ever done on the Mississippi! I wouldn't believe it was possible if I hadn't seen it."

There was no reply and he added...

"Hold on to her for five more minutes, partner, and let me go downstairs and get a cup of coffee."

A minute later, in Texas, Ealer was eating cake and comforting himself with a cup of coffee. At that moment the night watchman entered and was about to leave when he noticed Ealer and exclaimed:

"Who's behind the wheel, sir?"


'Go to the wheelhouse, faster than lightning!'

The next moment the two men were flying down the path to the wheelhouse, three steps in one jump! No one there! The great steamer whistled of her own accord in the middle of the river! The guard rushed off the scene again; Ealer grabbed the rudder, cranked an engine, and held his breath as the boat reluctantly pulled away from a 'towhead' she was about to meet in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico!

Gradually the guard came back and said:

"Didn't that madman tell you he was asleep when he first came here?"


'Well, he was. I found him walking the railing as carelessly as any man would walk the sidewalk; and I put him to bed; now, right now, he was back, at the stern, walking such a tightrope, trying the same thing as before.'

"Well, I guess I'll stick with it the next time he has one of those fits. But I hope he has them often. You should have seen him take that boat across Helena Crossing. I've never seen anything so striking. And if he can fly in his sleep in gold leaf, velvet gloves, and a diamond brooch, what could he not do when dead!'


sound end

WHEN the river is very low and the steamer pulls 'all the water' out of the canal - or a few inches too much as it used to - care must be taken when navigating. When the water level was very low, we "sounded out" some particularly bad spots on almost every trip.

Sound is made this way. The boat docks on the shore just above the shallow crossing; The off-duty pilot takes his 'pup' or helmsman and a select crew (sometimes an officer) and sets out on the dinghy - provided the boat does not have that rare and lavish luxury of a regularly scheduled 'drill boat'. - and continues to search for the best water while the pilot on duty observes his movements through binoculars and in some cases assisted by signals from the boat's whistle, meaning "try higher" or "try lower"; ' because the water surface, like an oil painting, is more expressive and understandable from a short distance than from close up. However, whistle signals are rarely needed; never maybe, except when the wind confuses the significant ripples on the water surface. the rudder obeys the command “hold to starboard”; or 'put them down to port'; but it was always used in flow in my day]} or 'steady - steady as you go.'

When the measurements indicate that the yacht is approaching the shallowest part of the reef, the command is given: "Calm down!". Then the men stop rowing and the sailboat swims with the current. The next order is: "Wait with the buoy!" At the moment when the shallowest point is reached, the pilot gives the order: "Lay down the buoy!". and there she goes. If the pilot is not satisfied, he will re-sound the site; If you find better water further up or down, move the float to that spot. Satisfied at last he gives the order, and all the men raise their oars high in line; a boat whistle indicates that the signal has been seen; then the men 'put in' their oars and put the yacht beside the buoy; the steamer crawls down cautiously, aims directly at the buoy, saves its strength for the oncoming battle, turns on all its steam at the crucial moment and drags and rolls over the buoy and the sand, gaining the upper hand over the water behind. Or maybe not; perhaps she "beats and swings." So she has to fight for several hours (or days).

Sometimes no buoys are set, but the sailboat goes ahead, chasing after the best water, and the steamer follows. Sound reinforcement is often a lot of fun and excitement, especially if it's a glorious summer day or a stormy night. But in winter, the cold and danger take away most of the fun.

A buoy is nothing more than a board four or five feet long with one end pointing up; It is an inverted school desk with one of the supports left and the other removed. It is anchored to the shallowest part of the reef with a rope with a heavy stone attached to the end. Without the resistance of the inverted end of the inverted bank, the current would pull the swimmer underwater. At night, a paper lantern with a candle inside is tethered to the top of the buoy and it can be seen for a mile or more, a tiny spark of light in the immensity of darkness.

Nothing pleases a pup like an opportunity to probe. It has an air of adventure; there is often danger; it is so conspicuous and like a warship to sit in the stern sheets and steer a fast sailboat; there's something good about jumping out of the boat in jubilation when a seasoned crew of old sailors throws their souls into the oars; it's nice to see the white foam flowing out of the bow; there is music in the sound of the water; In the summer, cruising fast across the dull expanses of the river as the world of waves dances in the sun is delightfully exciting. It's also such a size for the pup to have the ability to command; for often the pilot will simply say, "Let him go!" and leave the rest to the pup, who will immediately yell in his sternest tone of command, "Stand aside on starboard!" Strong to port! starboard yield! In the mood, men! The cube also likes to sound so much because during the day the eyes of the passengers follow every movement of the yacht with captivating interest; and when it is night he knows that those same curious eyes are fixed on the sailboat's lantern as it glides through the darkness, dimming in the distance.

On one voyage, a beautiful sixteen year old girl spent her time in our wheelhouse with her aunt and uncle, all day and all day. i fell in love with her Just like Mr. Thornburg, Tom G ----. Tom and I were close friends up to this point; but now a chill was beginning to creep in. I told the girl many of my adventures on the river and made myself a hero; Tom also tried posing as a hero and partially succeeded, but he always had a knack for embroidery. However, virtue is its own reward, so I was just a tiny bit ahead of the competition. About this time something happened that promised me a lot: the pilots decided to sound the crossing at the bow of the 21. This was to be done around nine or ten o'clock at night, when the passengers were still awake; would be Mr. Thornburg, so my boss would have to do the investigation. We had a perfect love for a ringing boat - long, slender, graceful and swift as a greyhound; she carried twelve oarsmen; One of the mates was always sent to convey orders to his crew as our ship was a ship with no "style" boundaries.

We moored about 21 ashore and got ready. It was a rainy night, and the river was so wide there that the untutored eye of a peasant could not see the opposite bank in that darkness. The passengers were attentive and interested; everything was satisfactory. As I sped through the engine room, picture perfect in the midst of the storm, I met Tom and couldn't help but indulge in a nasty rant -

"Aren't you glad you don't have to investigate?"

Tom walked past, but he quickly turned around and said...

"Well, just for that, you can get the resonance mast yourself. I was going to leave afterwards, but I'd like to see you in Halifax now before I do.

"Who do you want to get? I'm not. He's on the sounding boat.

- It isn't either. It has been repainted; and it has been in the hands of the guards in the women's box for two days now, drying up.

I flew back and soon arrived in the crowd of watching and amazed ladies, just in time to hear the command:

"Make way, men!"

I looked over and there was the gallant drillship roaring, the ruthless Tom at the helm and my boss sitting by with the drill rod I had sent on a silly errand to retrieve. Then this young lady told me...

'Oh, what a horror to have to go out in that little boat on a night like this! Do you think there is a danger?

I would rather have been stabbed. I went out full of poison to help in the wheelhouse. Gradually the boat's lantern disappeared, and after a pause a small spark shone on the water's surface a mile away. Thornburg whistled in confirmation, turned the steamer over and steered towards it. We flew for a while, then lowered the steam and carefully glided toward the spark. Soon Mr. exclaimed Thornburg...

'Hello, the lantern wagon is out!'

He switched off the engines. A moment or two later he said:

'Why, there he is again!'

Then he revved up the engines and headed out onto the runway. Gradually the water rose and then started to get deeper again! Mister. Thornburg mumbled...

"Well, I don't understand. I think the buoy has moved away from the reef. It seems a little too far to the left. It doesn't matter, it's safer to climb over it anyway.

So in this solid world of darkness we crawled towards the light. Just as our bows passed just over them, Mr. Thornburg seized the bell-ropes, struck a startling chime, and called:

'My soul, it's the drillship!'

A sudden chorus of wild alarms exploded from below - a pause - and then came the creaking and cracking sound. Mister. exclaimed Thornburg—

'There! the paddlewheel has landed the drillship for lucifermatches! Run! Look who got killed!'

I was on the main deck in no time. My chief, my third mate, and most of the men were safe. They discovered danger when it was too late to get out of the way; When the big guards covered them a moment later, they were prepared and knew what to do. At my boss's orders, they jumped out just in time, grabbed the guard and were hoisted aboard. The next moment the sailboat flew aft to the wheel and was hit and shattered into atoms. Two of the men and the pup, Tom, were missing - a fact that spread around the boat like wildfire. Passengers streamed into the foyer in droves, ladies and all, worried eyes, pale faces, speaking in astonished voices of the dreadful thing. And many times I've heard them say, 'Poor fellows! poor boy, poor boy!'

By this time, the boat's yacht was occupied and gone to search for the missing. Now a faint cry could be heard on the left. The sailboat had disappeared in the other direction. Half the people ran to the side to cheer the swimmer with their shouts; the other half ran the other way to yell at the sailboat to turn back. The shouts made the swimmer approach, but some said the sound showed a lack of power. The crowd crowded against the railings of the boiler deck, leaned in, and gazed into the darkness; and every faint, faint cry elicited such words from them as, 'Oh, poor fellow, poor fellow! is there no way to save it?

But the screams went on and drew nearer, and soon the voice said boldly:

'I can do this! Wait with a rope!'

What exciting pleasure they gave him! The mate positioned himself in the light of a basket of torches, pulley in hand, and his men gathered around him. The next moment the swimmer's face appeared in the circle of light, and the next moment its owner was being hauled on board, limp and drenched as the mood soared. It was that devil Tom.

The dinghy crew searched everywhere but found no sign of the two men. They probably failed to catch the guard, fell back and were hit by the steering wheel and killed. Tom had never jumped the guard before, but he dove headfirst into the river and dove under the wheel. It was nothing; I could have done and said it easily enough; but everyone just went ahead and did a wonderful job on that ass like he'd done something great. This girl didn't seem to get enough of this pathetic "hero" for the rest of the trip; but I didn't care; I despised them anyway.

So we ended up confusing the drillship's flashlight with the buoy light. My boss said that after putting the buoy on he fell and watched until he seemed safe; so he stationed himself a hundred yards below and a little to one side of the steamer's course, steered the sounding boat upriver, and waited. After waiting some time, he and the officer began to talk; he looked up to find that the steamer was close to the reef; he saw that the buoy was gone, but assumed the steamer had already passed it; he went on with his lecture; he noticed that the steam came very close to him, but that was it; it was her job to shave him well so that he could be taken on board comfortably; he expected her to withdraw until the last moment; then he realized she was trying to run him over, mistaking his flashlight for the buoy light; then he sang: 'Men, get ready to jump to the guard!' and in the next moment the jump was done.


needs of a pilot

BUT I deviate from what I intended, which is to present some of the unique requirements of pilot science more clearly than may have appeared in the previous chapters. First, there is a skill that the pilot must ceaselessly cultivate until he has brought it to absolute perfection. Nothing less than perfection will do. That ability is memory. He can't stop just thinking that one thing is this and that; he must know; because this is eminently one of the "exact" sciences. With what contempt people used to look at a pilot who dared to say instead of a strong “I know! It is not easy to understand what a tremendous thing it is to know every trivial detail of twelve hundred miles of river, and to know it with absolute accuracy. If you take New York's longest street and walk up and down it, patiently passing its features until you know every house, every window, every door, every street lamp, every sign big and small by heart and know them so well that you can to be able to name immediately, by the way, if you happen to be placed on this road in the middle of an inky black night, you will then have quite a sense of how much and how accurate is the knowledge of a pilot carrying the Mississippi. And if you then continue until you know each street crossing, the character, the size and position of the crossing stones, and the different depths of mud in each of these myriad places, you will have an idea of ​​what the pilot needs to know to hold a Mississippi -Steamers out of trouble. Next, if you take half the signs on this long road and change locations once a month and still manage to know exactly their new positions in the dark nights and follow these repeated changes without fail, you will understand what is required. . from a pilot's incomparable memory through the ever-changing Mississippi.

I think a pilot's memory is the most beautiful thing in the world. Know the Old and New Testaments by heart and be able to recite them fluently, forwards or backwards, or start randomly anywhere in the book and recite both ways and never stumble. or making a mistake is neither an extravagant mass of knowledge nor a wonderful ability compared to a pilot's massive knowledge of the Mississippi River and his wonderful ability to handle it. I make this comparison conscious and believe that I am not expanding the truth with it. Many will think that my character is too strong, but pilots are not.

And how easily and comfortably the pilot's memory does its job; how gentle is his way; how _unconscious_ he accumulates his vast stores, hour after hour, day after day, and never loses or misplaces a single valuable packet of it! Take an example. Have a leader yell, "Half past one! half past one! half past one! half past one! half past one!' until it becomes as monotonous as a clock ticking; Let the conversation go on all the time, and the pilot contributes his part to the conversation and no longer consciously listens to the guide. and leave a single "quarter of two" in the middle of that endless succession of half twos! be inserted, without intonation, and then the cry goes on from one-thirty, just as before: two or three weeks later this pilot can accurately describe the position of the boat on the river when a quarter of two was uttered, and give him many head-marks , stern markers and side markers to guide you that you should be able to get the boat there and drop it off again in the same spot! The call "block" didn't really distract him from his lecture, but his trained faculty immediately photographed the bearings, noting the change in depth and noting the important details for future reference, without his needing his help in the matter. If you were walking and talking with a friend and another friend next to you kept up a monotonous repetition of the vowel sound A for a few blocks and then dropped an R in the middle, like this A, A, A, A, A, R, A, A, A, etc., and not emphasizing the R, two or three weeks later you would not be able to tell that the R was placed, nor would you be able to tell what objects you were over the moment it was made became. But you could if your memory had been patiently and laboriously trained to do such a thing mechanically.

First of all, give a man a decent memory, and piloting will turn him into a colossus of skills. But _only in the subjects in which he is taught daily_. There would come a time when man's faculties would inevitably notice landmarks and probings, and his memory would inevitably hold them with iron might; but if you ask that same man at lunchtime what he had for breakfast, there's a ten chance he can't tell you. Amazing things can be done with human memory if it is diligently devoted to a particular line of business.

Back when wages were skyrocketing down the Missouri River, my boss, Mr. Bixby, climbed up there and, with surprising ease and speed, learned over a thousand miles of that creek. After seeing each department once a day and once at night, his training was so nearly complete that he took a "day leave"; A few trips later he got a full license and started flying day and night - also qualifying as an A1.

Mister. Bixby put me at the wheel for a while under the command of a pilot whose memory skills never ceased to amaze me. But his memory was born in him, I think, not built. For example, someone would say a name. Immediately Mr. Brown would interrupt...

"Oh, I knew _him_. Red-haired, pale-faced guy with a small scar on the side of his neck, like a splinter under the flesh. He worked in southern trade for only six months. That was thirteen years ago. I took a trip with him. At that time there were five feet in the upper river; the Henry Blake ran aground at the foot of Tower Island in a four-and-a-half tie; the "George Elliott" unloaded its rudder on the wreck of the "Sunflower" -'

'Well, the 'sunflower' didn't sink until...'

“I know when she went down; it was three years before, on December 2nd; Asa Hardy was her captain and her brother John was her first clerk; and it was also his first ride with it; Tom Jones told me these things a week later in New Orleans; he was the mate of the "Girassol". Captain Hardy drove a nail through his foot on July 6th the following year and died of trismus on the 15th, his brother died two years later on March 3rd - erysipelas. I never saw any of the Hardys—they were Alleghany River men—but people who knew them told me all these things. And they said that Captain Hardy wore wool stockings summer and winter alike, and his first wife's name was Jane Shook -- she was from New England -- and his second wife died in a lunatic asylum. It was in the blood. She was from Lexington, Kentucky. The name was Horton before she married.

And so on, hour after hour, the man's tongue would go. He couldn't forget anything. It was just impossible. The most trivial details remained in his memory, after lying there for years, just as vividly and vividly as the most memorable events. His wasn't just a pilot's memory; its reach was universal. If he were talking about a meaningless letter he received seven years ago, I'm sure he'd give you the whole address from memory. And then, not realizing that he deviated from the true line of his speech, most likely he would put in brackets a long biography of the writer of this letter; and you were very lucky if he didn't take this writer's relatives one by one and also gave you their biographies.

Such a memory is a great misfortune. For them, all deposits are the same size. Its owner cannot distinguish an interesting circumstance from an uninteresting one. As a speaker, he is doomed to clutter up his narrative with tiresome details and become an unbearable bore. Also, he can't stay on topic. It picks up every nugget of memory it finds on its way, and so it becomes distracted. Mister. Brown would begin with the honest intention of telling you a very funny anecdote about a dog. He would be "so full of laughter" that he could hardly begin; then your memory would begin with the dog's breed and personal appearance; drifts into a story of its owner; of its owner's family, with descriptions of weddings and funerals that took place in it, along with recitations of congratulatory verses and obituary poems provoked by him: thus would this memoir commemorate that one of these events took place during the celebrated "hard winter" of this and that year, and a detailed description of that winter would follow, along with the names of the people who froze to death and statistics showing the high numbers pork and hay reached. Pork and hay would suggest corn and fodder; Corn and fodder would suggest cows and horses; Cows and horses would suggest the circus and certain famous bareback riders; the transition from circus to zoo was easy and natural; from elephant to equatorial Africa was but a step; then it is clear that pagan savages would propose religion; and at the end of three or four hours of laborious amazement the clock changed and Brown emerged from the wheelhouse murmuring excerpts of sermons he had heard years before on the efficacy of prayer as a means of grace. And the first original mention would be everything you learned about this dog after all the waiting and starving.

A pilot must have a memory; but there are two superior qualities he must have as well. He must have good and quick judgment and decision, and a cool and calm courage which no danger can shake. Give a man the slightest courage from the start, and when he becomes a pilot no danger that a steamboat can meet can disarm him; but the same cannot be said for the court. Judgment is a matter of the brain and a man must start with a good supply of this item or he will never be successful as a pilot.

The growth of courage in the pilothouse is constant all the time, but it does not reach a heightened and gratifying state until some time after the young pilot has "taken his own turn" alone and under the overwhelming burden of all the responsibilities involved. the position. When an apprentice is sufficiently familiar with the river, he goes out day and night in his steamer so fearlessly that he soon begins to imagine that it is his courage that drives him; But when the pilot leaves the first time, leaving him to his own devices, he discovers it was the other man's. He discovers that the item was left out of his own cargo. The whole river is full of demands in a moment; he is not prepared for it; he doesn't know how to find her; all his knowledge leaves him; and within a quarter of an hour he is white as a sheet and scared half to death. Therefore, pilots carefully train these puppies through various strategic tricks to face dangers with a little more composure. A favorite method of theirs is to play a friendly cheat against the contestant.

Mister. Bixby served me that way once, and for years after that I even blushed in my sleep just thinking about it. I had become a good driver; so good that I had to do all the work under our supervision day and night; Mister. Bixby rarely proposed to me; all he did was take the helm on a particularly bad night or particularly bad crossing, bring the boat ashore when it had to go ashore, play the gentleman of leisure at nine-tenths of the watch, and tuck his paycheck collect. The lower section of the river was nearly full, and if anyone had questioned my ability to make a crossing between Cairo and New Orleans without assistance or guidance, I would have been injured beyond repair. The idea of ​​being afraid of every intersection in the parking lot during the day was too absurd to entertain. Well, on a summer's day like no other, I was cornering Island 66, smug and with a nose as high as a giraffe's, as Mr. bixby said...

"I'm going down a bit. I assume you know the next intersection?

That was almost an affront. It was the easiest and easiest crossing of the entire river. Nobody could be hurt, right or wrong; and as for depth, there never was depth. I knew all that.

"Do you know how to run it? I can run with my eyes closed.«

"How much water is in it?"

"Well, that's a strange question. I couldn't get down there with a steeple.

"You think so, don't you?"

The very tone of the question shook my confidence. That's what Mr. Bixby waited. He left without saying anything else. I started imagining all sorts of things. Mister. Bixby, who was of course unknown to me, sent someone to the forecastle with mysterious instructions for the leaders, another messenger was sent to whisper among the officers, and then Mr. Bixby hid behind a funnel where he could observe the results . . Shortly thereafter, the captain jumped onto the hurricane deck; then the mate appeared; then employee. Every moment or two a latecomer was added to my audience; and before I got to the top of the island I had fifteen or twenty people gathered under my nose down there. I began to wonder what the problem was. As I started to cross, the captain looked at me and said with a false uneasiness in his voice:

'Where's Mr Bixby?'

"It's gone down, sir."

But that did the job for me. My imagination started building dangers out of thin air, and they multiplied faster than I could outrun them. Suddenly I imagined seeing a shoal of water in front of me! The wave of cowardly torment that swept through me dislocated almost all of my joints. All my confidence in this crossing vanished. I grabbed the bell rope; drop it, ashamed; grabbed him again; I dropped him again and grabbed him again, pulling so hard I could barely hear the smack. Captain and mate immediately sang, and both together -

"Starboard leads there! is fast!'

That was another shock. I began to climb onto the oar like a squirrel; only to find hazards on the starboard side and go crazy trying to get back to the port side. Then came the leader's grave cry -

'D-e-e-p vier!'

Deep Four on a Bottomless Crossroads! The horror of it took my breath away.

'M-a-r-k three!... M-a-r-k three... Quarter minus three!... Half past one!'

That was terrifying! I grabbed the bell ropes and turned off the engines.

"Room two! Room for two! _Mark Twain!'

I was helpless. I didn't know what to do in the world. I was shaking from head to toe and I could have hung my hat over my eyes, they were so bulging.

"Four _minus _two! Nine and a half _!

We _draw _nine! My hands flapped nervously. I couldn't ring them intelligibly. I flew to the microphone and yelled at the engineer...

"Oh, Ben, if you love me then support her! Quick Ben! Oh, take her immortal_soul!'

I heard the door close softly. I looked around and there was Mr. Bixby smiling a soft, sweet smile. Then the audience on the Hurricane's deck let out a humiliating laugh. I saw everything now and felt more cruel than the cruelest person in human history. I laid the line, put the boat on the spots, continued with the engines and said...

"It was a nice prank playing on an orphan, wasn't it? I don't think I'll ever hear again how stupid I was to take the lead in the '66 lead.

“Well, no, you might not. In fact, I hope not; because I want you to learn something from this experience. Didn't you know that this crossroads has no bottom?

"Yes sir, I have.

- Very well, then. You should not have allowed me or anyone else to shake your confidence in this knowledge. Try to remember that. And one more thing: if you enter a dangerous place, don't back down. It won't help at all.

It was a good lesson, but hardly learned. The hardest part, however, was that for months I had to keep hearing a phrase I had developed a particular dislike for. It was, 'Oh, Ben, if you love me, support her!'


Rank and dignity of pilotage

In the preceding chapters I have tried, by going into the details of the science of the pilot, to lead the reader, step by step, to an understanding of what the science consists of; and at the same time I have tried to show you that it is also a very strange and wonderful science, very worthy of your attention. If I seemed to love my field, it's not surprising, as I loved the job far more than any I've pursued since, and I was immensely proud of it. The reason is clear: back then, a pilot was the only free and completely independent person living on earth. Kings are but disabled servants of Parliament and the people; Parliaments sit in chains forged by their constituencies; the editor of a newspaper cannot be independent, but must work with a hand tied by party and patrons, content to express only half or two-thirds of his opinion; no minister is a free man and can speak the whole truth, regardless of the opinions of his congregation; Writers of all stripes are handcuffed servants of the public. We write openly and fearlessly, but “modify” before printing. In fact, every man, woman, and child has a master and cares and cares in bondage; but as of this writing, the Mississippi pilot has none. The captain, in the pomp of a very brief authority, could stand on the Hurricane's deck and give him five or six orders while the ship retired into the creek, and then that captain's reign was over.

The moment the boat entered the river it was under the sole and unquestioned control of the pilot. He could do with her what he liked, drive her whenever and wherever he pleased, and tie her to the bank whenever he judged best. His movements were completely free; he consulted no one, took orders from no one, and willingly resisted even the simplest suggestions. In fact, United States law forbids him from listening to orders or suggestions, as he rightly considers that the pilot inevitably knows how to steer the boat better than anyone can tell him. Here, then, was the news of a king without a guardian, an absolute monarch who was absolute in sober truth and not by any fiction of words. I have seen an eighteen-year-old boy calmly leading a large steamer to what seemed certain destruction, and the old captain standing mutely to one side, concerned but powerless to interfere. Your interference may have been an excellent thing in this particular case, but to allow it would be to set a very damaging precedent. Given the pilot's unqualified authority, it's easy to guess that he was a big figure in the steamboat days of yore. He was treated with pronounced courtesy by the captain, and with marked deference by all the officers and servants; and that respectful spirit was quickly instilled in the passengers as well. I think pilots were the only people I knew who didn't show any embarrassment in the presence of traveling foreign princes. But people in your own life plane are not generally embarrassing objects.

Out of old habit, the pilots began to formulate all their wishes in the form of commands. To this day, framing my will in the weak form of a request rather than in the clear language of a command "crushes" me. To a steamboat in those olden times in St. The round trip to New Orleans and unloading took an average of about twenty-five days. Seven or eight of those days the boat passed the wharves at St. Louis and New Orleans, and all the souls on board worked hard except the two pilots; They did nothing but play gentlemen and received the same wages as if they were on duty. When the boat touched the dock in both cities, they were on land; and would probably not be seen again until the last bell rang and everything was ready for another journey.

When a captain got hold of a pilot of particularly high standing, he would do anything to keep him. When wages in the upper Mississippi were four hundred dollars a month, I knew a captain who kept this idle pilot on full pay for three months straight while the river froze. And it must be remembered that four hundred dollars was a salary of almost unimaginable splendor in those cheap days. Few men on land received such pay, and when they did, they were highly respected. As riders from both ends of the river entered our little Missouri village, the best and fairest sought them out and treated them with great respect. Staying in port for a paycheck was something many pilots loved and appreciated; especially if they belonged to the Missouri River at the height of that trade (Kansastimes) and made nine hundred dollars a trip, which worked out to about eighteen hundred dollars a month. Here is a conversation from that day. A fella from the Illinois River with a little tailwheel tub mounts some ornate and gilded Missouri River pilots -

"Gentlemen, I have a nice trip to the country and need you in a month. How much will it be?'

"Eighteen hundred dollars each."

"Heaven and Earth! You take my boat, give me your wages and I share!

As a side note, Mississippi boaters were important in the eyes of country folk (and to some extent theirs too) commensurate with the dignity of the boat in which they sat. For example, it was a source of pride to be part of the crew of imposing ships like the Aleck Scott or the GrandTurk. Black firefighters, sailors, and barbers who belonged to these boats were celebrities in their lives, and they too were well aware of it. A diehard diehard who was once offended at a Negro ball in New Orleans and took on many airs. Finally one of the managers approached him and said:

'Who are you actually? Who are you? I want to know!'

The perpetrator wasn't the least bit concerned, but he was filled with pride and put into his voice what showed he knew he wasn't performing all these airs with limited capital.

'Who am I? Who am I? I'll let you know who I am very quickly! I want you black people to understand that I take the middle of the '{footnote [door]}' where 'Aleck Scott!'

That was enough.

The barber of the "Grand Turk" was an elegant young black man who flaunted his importance with amiable smugness and was much courted in the circles in which he moved. The young black people of New Orleans were very flirtatious, at dusk, at the banquets in the back streets. Someone saw and heard something like the following in one of these places one night. A middle-aged black woman stuck her head through a broken window pane and yelled (with a strong desire to hear and envy the neighbors): "You, Mary Ann, come into the house at once! and the barber from the Gran' Turk wants to talk to you!'

My reference just now to the fact that a pilot's particular official position placed him beyond the reach of criticism or orders reminds me, of course, of Stephen W. -----. He was a talented pilot, a good comrade, a tireless talker, and had wit and humor in him. He, too, had an irreverent independence and was delightfully relaxed and comfortable in the face of age, official dignity, and even the loftiest wealth. He was always busy, he never saved a penny, he was a very persuasive borrower, he owed a debt to every river pilot and most captains. He could shed a sort of splendor around a little harum scarum, a careless piloting that made him almost intriguing - but not for everyone. He once went on a trip with good old Captain Y---- and was "relieved" from duty when the boat reached New Orleans. Someone expressed surprise at the increase. Captain Y ---- shuddered at the mere mention of Stephen. Then his poor old squeaky voice said something like this:

"Well, bless me! I wouldn't have such a wild animal on my boat for the world - not for the world! He swears, he sings, he whistles, he shouts - I've never seen an Indian who likes to shout so much. All hours of the night - he didn't mind. He just screamed like that, not for anything in particular, just because it gave himself devilish comfort. I never got a good night's sleep, but he dragged me out of bed in a cold sweat with one of those terrible war cries. A strange being - a very strange being; no respect for anything or anyone. Sometimes he called me "Johnny". And he kept a violin and a cat. He played abominably. This seemed to worry the cat, and then the cat howled. No one could sleep where this man - and his family - was. And ruthless. There has never been anything like it. Well, you may believe it or not, but sure as I sit here, he brought my boat through those dreadful obstacles at Chicot under a roaring head of steam, and the wind, to boot, blew like the nation itself! My officers will tell you that. They saw. And sir, while he was tearing down those barriers and I was shaking in my shoes and praying, I would never speak again if he didn't grimace and start whistling! Yes indeed; whistling "Buffalo girls, you can't go out tonight, you can't go out tonight, you can't go out tonight;" and do it as calmly as if we were attending a funeral and had no relation to the corpse. And when I scolded him about it, he smiled at me like I was his son and told me to go inside and try to be good and not interfere with my superiors!'

A very bad captain once caught Stephen in New Orleans out of work and, as usual, out of money. He besieged Stephen, who was in a "very tight position", and eventually persuaded him to contract him for one hundred and twenty-five dollars a month, only half the salary, with the captain agreeing not to reveal the secret, and such the entire guild fell upon the poor fellow with scorn. But the boat was no more than a day from New Orleans when Stephen found the captain boasting about his accomplishments and that all the officers had been briefed. Stephen flinched but said nothing. About mid-afternoon the captain went out onto the hurricane deck and looked around and seemed quite surprised. He looked at Stephen questioningly, but Stephen calmly whistled and went about his business. The captain stood for some time in evident discomfort, and once or twice seemed about to make a suggestion; but river etiquette taught him to avoid such recklessness, and so he managed to keep his cool. He raged and brooded for a few more minutes, then retired to his chambers. But soon he was out again, apparently even more amazed than ever. Soon he dared to remark deferentially:

"Good run of the river now, isn't it, sir?"

"Well, I should say it! Bank full _is_ a very liberal stage.'

“There seems to be a lot of electricity here.

"Good deal, don't describe it! It's worse than a run of the mill.

"Isn't it easier towards the coast than here in the middle?"

"Yes I think so; but a body can never be too careful with a steamship. It's pretty safe here; can't bottom out here, rest assured.'

The captain left looking quite contrite. At this rate, he would likely die of old age before his boat reached St. Louis. Ludwig. The next day he appeared on deck and found Stephen again standing faithfully in the middle of the river fighting all the immense might of the Mississippi and whistling the same calm tune. It was getting serious. Nearer the bank was a slower boat, gliding in the calm water and making steady progress; she started building a ramp island; Stephen got stuck in the middle of the river. The speech was forced by the captain. He said--

'Mister. W----, doesn't that parachute cut a good distance?'

"I think so, but I don't know.

'I don't know! Now, isn't there enough water in there to go through?'

"I think so, but I'm not sure."

"Give me your word, that's weird! Those pilots on that boat over there will try. You mean you don't know as much as they do?

'_She_! They are two hundred and fifty dollar pilots! But don't worry; I know as much as a hundred and twenty-five can afford!

The captain surrendered.

Five minutes later, Stephen bowled down the slide and showed the competing boat a pair of $250 jumps.



One day aboard the 'Aleck Scott', my boss, Mr. Bixby, was crawling carefully through an enclosed space on Cat Island, both lanes of traffic going, and everyone holding their breath. The captain, a nervous and worried man, stood still as long as he could, finally collapsing and shouting from the hurricane deck:

'For God's sake,' steam her up, Mr. Bixby! give her steam! She will never raise the reef that way!

For all the effect on Mr. Bixby, one would assume that no remark was made. But five minutes later, when the danger was past and the clues laid, he immediately exploded into a consuming rage and hurled the most admirable curse I have ever heard at the captain. There was no bloodshed; but this because the captain's cause was weak; for he was not normally a man to take reproof discreetly.

Having set out in detail the nature of pilotage science and also the position that the pilot held in the steamship profession, this seems a fitting place to say a few words about an organization which pilotage formed to protect their trade . . . It was curious and remarkable that it was perhaps the most compact, complete, and powerful commercial organization ever formed among men.

For a long time the wages were two hundred and fifty dollars a month; but, curiously enough, as the number of steamers multiplied and business increased, wages gradually began to decline. It was easy to figure out why. Many pilots were "made". It was nice to have a "puppy", a helmsman, who would do all the hard work for free for a few years while his master sat on a high bench and smoked; All pilots and captains had children or nephews who wanted to be pilots. Gradually it turned out that almost every pilot on the river had a helmsman. If a pilot had made satisfactory progress to any two pilots in the vehicle, they could obtain a pilot's license for him by signing an application addressed to the US Inspector. Nothing else was needed; usually no questions asked, no proof of competency required.

Well, this growing swarm of new pilots soon began undercutting salaries to get seats. Too late - apparently - the rowers noticed their mistake. Something clearly had to be done, and quickly; but what would be necessary. A closed organization. Nothing else would answer. Getting around him seemed an impossibility; so it was talked about, talked about and then dropped. It would very likely ruin anyone who dared touch it. But eventually a dozen or so of the boldest – and some of them the best – river travelers jumped into the water and took advantage of every opportunity. They received a special charter with wide powers from the legislature called the Pilots' Benevolent Association; they elected their officers, completed their organization, contributed capital, raised the salaries of the "Association" to two hundred and fifty dollars at once - and then retired to their homes, being promptly relieved of their jobs. But there were two or three unnoticed little things in their statutes that contained the seed of procreation. For example, all idle members of the association in good standing were entitled to a pension of twenty-five dollars a month. This began in the dreary season (summer) to bring one straggler after another out of the ranks of the newly minted pilots. Better have twenty-five dollars than starve; The admission fee was only twelve dollars and no fee was charged from the unemployed.

In addition, widows of deceased members in good standing could receive twenty-five dollars a month and a certain amount for each of their children. In addition, the deceased would be buried at the expense of the association. These things have revived every retired and forgotten pilot in the Mississippi Valley. They came from farms, they came from rural villages, they came from everywhere. They came on crutches, on crutches, in ambulances anyway, so they got there. They paid their twelve dollars and immediately began withdrawing twenty-five dollars a month and calculating their funeral bills.

Gradually, all the useless and helpless pilots and a dozen first-class pilots were in the union, and nine-tenths of the best pilots came out and laughed at it. It was the laughingstock of the whole river. Everyone joked about the statutes, which required members to pay 10 percent of their salary each month to support the association, while all members were excluded and off-limits and no one would hire them. All were mockingly grateful to the Union for getting rid of all the useless riders and leaving the whole field to the excellent and deserving; and all were merrily grateful not only for this, but also for an outcome which naturally followed, namely, the gradual increase in wages as the high season drew near. Wages had risen from a low $100 a month to $125 and in some cases $150; and it was very amusing to glorify the fact that this delightful thing was being done by a group of men, none of whom benefited in the slightest from it. A few pranksters would visit the guild halls and amuse themselves by joking with the members and offering them the charity of taking them on a voyage as helmsmen so they could see what the forgotten river was like. However, the club was satisfied; Or at least it didn't show the opposite. From time to time he would snag an "unlucky" pilot and add him to his list; and these later additions were very valuable, being good pilots; the unfit had previously been absorbed. As business recovered, wages gradually rose to two hundred and fifty dollars—the membership fee—and were fixed there; and yet of no use to a member of that body, as no member was hired. Laughter at the expense of association has now crossed all bounds. The fun that the poor martyr endured never ended.

However, it is a long stretch with no bends. Winter was approaching, business doubled and tripled, and an avalanche of boats from the Missouri, Illinois, and Upper Mississippi rivers scrambled to risk trade in New Orleans. Pilots were suddenly in high demand and correspondingly scarce. The time for revenge had come. It was a bitter pill to finally accept FA pilots, but captains and owners agreed that there was no other way. But none of these outcasts volunteered! So there was an even more bitter pill to swallow: they should be sought out and asked for their services. Captain ---- was the first man to feel the need to take the dose and he was the one who mocked the organization the most. He went to one of the best pilots at the club and said...

"Well you guys prefer to overpower us for a while so I'll relent as best I can. I came to hire you; Get your suitcase right away. I want to leave at twelve o'clock.

'I know nothing about it. who is your other pilot

"I have I.S----. Why?'

"I can't go with him. He doesn't belong to the club.


'It's so.'

"Are you telling me that you will not spin the wheel of one of the best and oldest pilots on the river because he is not a member of your association?

'Yes I do.'

"Well, if that isn't an excuse! I thought I was kind to you; but i'm starting to think i'm the part that wants to do a favor. Are you acting in accordance with the Interest Act?'



So they entered the conference rooms, and the secretary soon satisfied the captain, who said:

"Well, what should I do? I have Mr. S---- for the entire season.'

"I'll arrange it for you," said the secretary. "I will assign you a pilot who will be on board at twelve o'clock.

"But if I fire S---- he'll charge me for the whole season's wages."

"Of course it's between you and Mr. S----, Captain. We cannot interfere in your private affairs.

The captain attacked, but to no avail. He ended up having to fire S----, pay him around a thousand dollars, and hire a member pilot in his place. The laughter now began to slap in the other direction. After that, a new victim fell every day; Every day, an outraged captain, amid tears and profanity, dismissed a strange pet and installed a hated male associate in his bunk. It wasn't long before there were plenty of idle non-associationists, no matter how active the business and how much their services were sought. The laughter moved more clearly to the other side of her mouth. These victims, along with the captains and owners, soon stopped laughing and began to rage at the revenge they would take once the "bust" of the business abated.

Soon all the laughs that remained were the owners and crews of boats that had two unassociated pilots. But his triumph did not last long. For this reason: It was a strict rule of the association that its members were not allowed to pass on information about the station to "outsiders" under any circumstances. At this point about half the boats had only club pilots and the other half only outsiders. At first glance, one would assume that these two parties could equally play the game in banning information about the river; But it was not so. In every major city, from one end of the river to the other, there was a "wharf boat" to disembark rather than a wharf or pier. Cargo was stored in it for transport; Waiting passengers slept in their cabins. On each of these shipyard boats, Union officials placed a special-bolted cashbox, used in no other service than one—the United States Postal Service. It was the lock on the trunk, a government sacred thing. With many requests, the government was persuaded to allow the association to use this castle. Each guildman carried a key that would open these chests. This key, or rather a peculiar way of holding it in the hand when a stranger asked its owner for directions to the river - for the success of the association St. the membership mark and the certificate of the association man; and if the stranger did not answer by producing a similar key and holding it in a certain prescribed manner, his question was politely ignored.

From the secretary of the association each member received a packet of more or less fine blank sheets, printed on letterhead, on fine paper, properly lined in columns; a lawyer wrote something like this -

These empty fields were filled in day by day during the journey and deposited in the various dock boxes. For example, once the first crossing from St. Louis was completed, the articles would be inserted in the gap, under the appropriate headings, like this...

'st Ludwig. Nine and a half (feet). Bow into the yard, go into the dead cotton forest above the wooden yard until you lift the first reef, then pull up. Then under the heading Remarks: “Get out of the rubble; This is important. New obstacle right where you are right; go beyond that.'

The pilot who filed this empty field in the Cairo box (after adding details of each crossing from St. Louis) took half a dozen new reports (from steamers going up) on the river between Cairo and Memphis, full stationed, picked it up and read it himself, put it back in the box, and boarded his boat again, so armored against accident that he could not have disturbed his boat without bringing the most ingenious negligence to his rescue.

Imagine the benefits of such an admirable system on a 1,200 or 1,300 mile stretch of river whose channel changes every day! keen eyes watching it for him now, and bushels of clever minds telling him how to handle it. His information about it was seldom twenty-four hours old. If the reports in the last box left him in any doubt of a treacherous crossing, he had his remedy; he blew his steam whistle in a peculiar way whenever he saw a boat approaching; and then the two steamers lined up, and all uncertainty was swept away by new information, transmitted verbally and in minute detail to the questioner.

The first thing a pilot did when he was in New Orleans or St. Louis was to take his final, drafted report into the conference room and post it there—after that he was free to visit his family. A crowd always gathered in these halls, discussing the changes in the channel, and as soon as a new one came, everyone stopped talking until that witness told the latest news and cleared up the last uncertainty. Other artisans can sometimes "sink the shop" and deal with other issues. Not so with a pilot; he must devote himself entirely to his profession and talk about nothing else; for it would be a small gain to be perfect one day and imperfect the next. He has neither time nor words to waste if he wants to stay "up to date".

But the outsiders had a hard time. No specific place to find and share information, no boat reports at the port, nothing but random and unsatisfying ways to get news. As a result, a man would sometimes have to walk five hundred miles across the river based on information from a week or ten days ago. With a fair flow phase, that could have reacted; but when the dead water came it was destructive.

Now came another perfectly logical result. Outsiders began to run aground and sink steamships and get into all sorts of trouble, while accidents seemed to keep the guildmen completely out of the picture. and free to console themselves with smugness and laughter, they began to feel rather uneasy. Even so, they put on a show by keeping up the swagger until one dark day each captain of the bunch was officially ordered to fire his outsiders immediately and take Union pilots in his stead. And who had the bold presumption to do so? Unfortunately, it came from a power behind the throne greater than the throne itself. It was the Subscribers!

This was no time to "swap knives". Any outsider had to take his suitcase ashore immediately. Of course it was assumed that there was collusion between the association and the underwriters, but that was not the case. The latter, understanding the excellence of the club's 'reporting' system and the security it offered, made their decision among themselves and based on simple business principles.

Now there was howling and howling and gnashing of teeth in the foreigners' camp. But it didn't matter, there was only one way for them, and they took it. They performed in pairs and groups, offering their twelve dollars and asking to attend. They were surprised to learn that several new statutes had been added long ago. For example, the admission fee was increased to fifty dollars; that amount should be offered, and also ten percent. the salary that the applicant has received each month since the association was founded. In many cases these amounted to three or four hundred dollars. However, the association did not want to grant the application until the money was available. Still, a single rejection killed the app. Each member had to vote "yes" or "no" in person and in front of witnesses; it took weeks before a decision was made about a candidacy, because many pilots had been away for a long time. Penitent sinners, however, pooled their savings and one by one they were added to the fold through our lengthy voting process. Finally there came a time when only about ten remained outside. They said they would starve before applying. They stood still for a long time because of course nobody would dare to use them.

Gradually, the association published the fact that at a certain point salaries would be increased to five hundred dollars a month. All branches were now strengthened, and the Red River one had raised salaries to seven hundred dollars a month. Reluctantly, the ten foreigners gave in to these things and applied. At that time there was still a new statute which obliged them to pay contributions not only for all wages they had received since the association was founded, but also for what they would have received if they had not paid until the time of their registration would have continued to work. , instead of relying on poutin idleness. Choosing her turned out to be a difficult task, but it was eventually mastered. The most vicious sinner in this group sat out and let the "odds" pile up against him so long that he had to submit his application for six hundred and twenty-five dollars.

The club was now well banked and very strong. There was no longer a stranger. A law was added prohibiting the admission of further puppies or apprentices for five years; Thereafter, a limited number would be admitted not by individuals but by association, subject to the following conditions: the applicant must be at least eighteen years old, come from a respectable family and be of good character; He must pass an education exam, pay $1,000 upfront to become an apprentice, and remain under the rule of the association until a large proportion of the members (more than half, I think) are willing to sign his application for entry. . a pilot's license.

All apprentices articulated so far have now been taken away from their masters and adopted by the association. The president and secretary assigned them duty on one boat or another at will, and transferred them from boat to boat according to certain rules. If a pilot could show that he was in poor health and needed help, one of the pups would be ordered to go with him.

The list of widows and orphans grew, but so did the financial resources of the association. The association attended and paid for its own state funerals. When occasion required, she would send members downriver to search for the bodies of brothers lost in steamboat accidents; such a search sometimes costs thousands of dollars.

The association acquired a concession and also entered the insurance business. In addition to insuring the lives of its members, it also took risks on steamships.

The organization seemed indestructible. It was the strictest monopoly in the world. Under United States law, no one could become a pilot unless two properly licensed pilots signed his application. and now there was no one outside the competent association to sign. Consequently, the production of pilots was coming to an end. Each year some died and others were crippled by old age and disease; there would be no new ones to take their places. Over time, the association could increase salaries to any amount it desired; and unless he was wise enough not to take matters too far and provoke the national government into changing the licensing system, the steamboat owners would have to comply, as that was not possible.

Owners and captains were the only obstacle between union and absolute power; and eventually this was removed. Amazingly, the owners and captains did this on purpose. When the Pilots' Association announced months earlier that wages would be raised to five hundred dollars a month on the first day of September 1861, the owners and captains immediately raised the rates by pennies and explained the need to the farmers along the river by drawing their attention to the onerous wage rates that were about to be set. It was a weak argument, but the farmers didn't seem to notice. It seemed reasonable to them that, under the circumstances, it was reasonable to add five cents freight on a bushel of corn, apart from the fact that this advance on a load of forty thousand sacks was far more than was required to cover the new wages.

So the captains and owners immediately formed their own association and proposed raising the captains' wages to five hundred dollars as well, and asking for another advance on the cargo. It was a new idea, but of course an effect that had been produced before could be produced again. The new association decreed (for this was before all outsiders were accepted into the pilots association) that any captain who employed an unaffiliated pilot should be forced to fire him and also pay a five hundred dollar fine. Several of these heavy fines were paid before the captaincy became strong enough to exercise full authority over its members; but all that soon stopped. The captains attempted to get the pilots to decree that no member of their corps should serve under a non-associate captain; but this proposal was rejected. The pilots realized that they would be supported by the captains and consortium leaders anyway and therefore wisely avoided complicated alliances.

As I observed, the Pilots' Association was now perhaps the world's strictest monopoly, and it seemed simply indestructible. And yet the days of his glory were numbered. First, the new railroad stretching through Mississippi, Tennessee, and Kentucky to the northern railroad centers began to divert passenger traffic from the steamers; the cost of living is constantly increasing; then the Treasurer of St. Louis put his hand in the treasury and went out with every dollar from the plentiful treasury; and finally, with railroads encroaching everywhere, there was little for steamships to do when the war was over but to carry cargo; then a genius on the Atlantic Seaboard immediately came up with the idea of ​​towing a dozen steamers to New Orleans on the stern of an ordinary little tug; and lo and behold, in an instant, as it were, associations and the noble science of flight belonged to the dead and miserable past!


race days

It was always customary for boats to leave New Orleans between four and five in the afternoon. From three o'clock they burned pitch and pine (the sign of preparation), and then we had the picturesque spectacle of a line, about two or three miles long, of tall rising columns of coal-black smoke; a colonnade supporting a gable roof, from the same smoke mingled and spread over the whole city. Each boat departing had its flag on the mast and sometimes a duplicate on the edge of the aft mast. Two or three miles of pilots commanded and swore with more force than usual; Innumerable columns of casks and cargo crates whirled over the dike and flew onto the stage planking, late passengers dodged and dodged among these frenzied things, hoping to reach the forecastle's mate alive but doubting it; Women with bags and bandages tried to keep up with their husbands, laden with sleeping bags and crying babies, and failed, going insane in the whirlpool, the roar, and the general distraction; Cars and luggage trolleys rattled here and there in wild haste, now and then jammed and squeezed against one another, and then for ten seconds, because of the obscenity, no one could see her except faintly and faintly; each winch connected to each forward hatch, from one end of that long line of steamers to the other, gave rise to a deafening hum and buzz as the cargo was lowered into the hold, and the half-naked crews of sweaty black men who worked it , songs like 'Bag Of Las! From Las 'Sack!' - buoyed to unimaginable high spirits by the chaos of turbulence and noise that drove everyone insane.

By this time the steamships' hurricane and boiler decks were crowded with passengers and blackened. The “last bells” started ringing over the line, and then the powwow seemed to double; In a moment or two, the final warning came - a simultaneous clatter of Chinese gongs with the cry, "None of this is happening, please git asho!" - and lo and behold, the powwow quadruples! People disembarked in a flood, knocking over excited stragglers trying to climb aboard. Another moment later, a series of stage planks were being pulled, each end of which the last usual passenger was clinging to with teeth, nails and all, and the last usual procrastinator made a wild leap towards the beach above his head.

Now several boats are slipping back on the current, leaving large gaps in the tight line of steamers. Citizens crowd the decks of boats not scheduled to depart to see the scene. Steam after steam rallies, gathers all their strength and soon passes under a tremendous plume of steam, flag waving, black smoke and their entire crew of firefighters and seamen (usually swarthy blacks) gathered on the forecastle, the best ' Voice' in the crowd, which rises from the center (mounted on the winch), waves their hat or a flag and everyone roars a mighty chorus while the farewell cannons reverberate and the numerous spectators wave their hats and hoozza! Steam after steam joins in, and the majestic procession continues upstream.

It used to be inspiring to hear the crews singing as two speedboats set out to race in front of a large crowd, especially when night fell and the forecastle was lit by the red glow of the torch baskets. The race was really fun. The public has always had the notion that running is dangerous; while the reverse was true—that is, after the laws were passed restricting any boat to only a few pounds of steam per square inch. No engineer became drowsy or distracted when his heart was racing. He was constantly alert, trying to tap and observing things. The dangerous place was on slow drudgery boats, where engineers dozed off and dumped shavings into the "doctor" and shut off the water supply to the boilers.

In the "times of the current" of steamships, a race between two famous fleet steamers was an event of great importance. The date was set several weeks in advance, and from that moment the entire Mississippi Valley was in a state of consuming excitement. Politics and weather were abandoned, the only talk was about the next race. As the hour approached, the two steamers "undressed" and made ready. Any loading that exposed extra weight or a wind or water resistant surface was removed if the boat could do without it. The "spars" and sometimes even their supporting cranes were sent ashore and there was no longer any way of floating the boat when it ran aground. If "Eclipse" and "A. L. Shotwell' made his grand race many years ago, it is said that efforts were made to scrape the gilding from the fantastic contraption which hung between the funnels of the 'Eclipse,' and that the captain for the voyage took off his kid gloves left and had his head shaved. But I've always doubted these things.

If the boat was known to reach its best speed when pulling five and a half feet forward and five feet backward, it was carefully loaded to that exact number - after that she would not put a dose of homeopathic pills on her list. Almost no passengers were taken along because not only do they add weight, but they never "put the boat out". They always walk to the side when there is something to see, while a conscientious and experienced steamerman stands in the middle of the boat, parting his hair in the middle with a spirit level.

Unhanded cargo and unhandled passengers were allowed, as drivers would only stop in the largest cities, and then there would only be touch and go. Coal and wood steamers were hired beforehand and these were kept ready to attack the flying steamers at any moment. Double teams were flown in so that all the work could be completed quickly.

As the chosen date has arrived and all things are ready, the two great steamers return to the creek and stand there, vying for a moment, seemingly watching the slightest movement of the other, like sentient creatures; fallen flags, the trapped steam hissing through the safety valves, the black smoke rolling and falling from the chimneys, darkening all the air. people, people everywhere; the beaches, the roofs of the houses, the steamers, the ships are full of them, and you know that the borders of wide Mississippi twelve hundred miles north of there will be lined with people to receive these pilots.

At the moment, high columns of steam erupt from the exhaust pipes of both ships, two cannons fire a farewell, two capstan-mounted heroes in red shirts wave their little flags over the crews assembled on the forecastles, two melancholy solos linger in the air for a few moments. Waiting seconds, two mighty choirs erupted - and here they come! Marching bands roar Hail Columbia, huzza after huzza thunders from the banks, and the imposing creatures whistle like the wind.

These boats don't stop a moment between New Orleans and St. They should be on board when they take some of these wooden boats in tow, and put a swarm of men in each; Once you've cleaned and put on the glasses, you'll wonder what happened to that wood.

Two well-matched steamships will be in sight day after day. You can even race side by side, but due to the fact that drivers are not all the same, the smartest drivers will win the race. If one of the boats has a "lightning" pilot whose "partner" is slightly inferior to him, you can determine which is on duty by noting whether that boat gained or lost ground during each four-hour leg. The smartest pilot can slow down a boat if he doesn't have good piloting skills. Driving is a very fine art. You shouldn't drag an oar across the bow of a boat if you want to go upriver quickly.

There is of course a big difference in boats. I've been on a boat for a long time that was so slow that we often forgot what year we left port. But of course that happened at rare intervals. Ferries used to miss valuable trips as their passengers aged and died waiting for us to pass. This happened at even rarer intervals. I had the documents of these incidents, but through carelessness they were lost. This boat, the John J. Roe, was so slow it took five years for the owners to find out when it finally sank at Madrid Bend. This has always been a confusing fact to me, but it's on record nonetheless. She was terribly slow; Nevertheless, we often had a very exciting time with islands, rafts and such. But we did pretty well on one trip. We went to St. Louis in sixteen days. But despite that noisy floor, I think we changed our clocks three times at Fort Adamsreach, which is five miles long. A "stretch" is a straight stretch of river, and of course the current flows through such a place in a very lively way.

On this voyage we traveled from New Orleans to Grand Gulf in four days (340 miles); the 'Eclipse' and 'Shotwell' made it a single entity. We were nine days on parachute 63 (700 miles); the 'Eclipse' and 'Shotwell' were there in two days. A little over a generation ago, a boat called the “J. M. White drove from New Orleans to Cairo in three days, six hours and forty-four minutes. In 1853, the "Eclipse" made the same voyage in three days, three hours and twenty minutes. {Footnote [time disputed. Some authorities add 1 hour and 16 minutes.]} In 1870 the 'R. E. Lee did it in three days and_one_hour. The latter is said to be the fastest ride ever recorded. I will try to show that it is not so. For this reason: The distance between New Orleans and Cairo when the 'J. M. White' ran was about one thousand one hundred and six miles; Consequently, his average speed was just over 24 miles per hour. In the days of 'Eclipse' the distance between the two ports was reduced to 180 miles; consequently his average speed was a little under fourteen-three-eighths of a mile an hour. In the 'R. By the time of E. Lee the distance had dwindled to about one thousand and thirty miles; accordingly, his average was about fourteen and eighth miles an hour. So the 'Eclipse' was clearly the fastest time ever driven.


Cortes and Stephen

THESE dry details are especially important. They offer a tenuous opportunity to introduce one of Mississippi's strangest quirks—that of shortening its length from time to time. If you sling a long, flexible apple razor over your shoulder, it fits perfectly into a middle section of the Mississippi; that is, the nine hundred or thousand miles stretching south from Cairo, Illinois to New Orleans, are the same wonderfully crooked, with a short straight here and there at wide intervals. The 200-kilometer stretch from Cairo north to St.

The water cuts the alluvial banks of the "lower" river in deep horseshoe curves; so deep, in fact, that in some places, landing at one end of the horseshoe and traversing the neck half or three-quarters of a mile, one could sit and rest for some hours while its vapor rounded the long elbow, at a rate of ten miles per hour to get you back on board. When the river rises rapidly, any scoundrel whose crops are inland, and therefore of lesser value, need only bid his chance, on a dark night, to cut a little channel in the narrow strip of land, and transform the water in it, and a In a marvelously short time A miracle happened: namely, all Mississippi took possession of this little ditch, and put the farmers' crops on its bank (and quadrupled their value), and the old valuable crops of that other part are there far away on a great island; The old watercourse around it will soon become a shoal, boats cannot approach it more than ten miles, and its value will fall to a quarter of what it used to be. Clocks are kept on these narrow necks at necessary times, and if a man is caught digging a ditch through them, he probably never gets a chance to dig a ditch again.

Please note some of the implications of this abandonment deal. Across from Port Hudson, Louisiana, there was once a gorge that was only half a mile wide at its narrowest point. You could get there in fifteen minutes; but if you were to make the circumnavigation of the Cape on a raft you would cover thirty-five miles to reach the same thing. In 1722 the river tumbled through this neck, leaving its old bed and thus shortening thirty-five miles. Likewise, in 1699, he shortened twenty-five miles at Black Hawk Point. Below Red River Landing the Raccourci cut was made (forty or fifty years ago I think). This shortened the river by twenty-eight miles. Today, if one travels the river from the southernmost point of these three borders to the northernmost point, one covers only 110 kilometers. To do the same thing 176 years ago, you had to travel 188 miles! - Shortening of eighty-eight miles at this poor distance. via Vidalia, Louisiana; on island 92; on the island 84; and at Hale's Point. These shortened the river by a total of seventy-seven miles.

Since my Mississippi days, Hurricane Island has been cut; on island 100; in Napoleon, Arkansas; in WalnutBend; and in Council Bend. These shortened the river by a total of sixty-seven miles. In my day a cut was made at American Bend that shortened the river by ten miles or more.

Thus, one hundred and seventy-six years ago, the Mississippi River was twelve hundred and fifteen miles long between Cairo and New Orleans. . Lost sixty-seven miles since. Consequently, its length is currently only nine hundred and seventy-three miles.

Well, if I wanted to be one of those thoughtful scientists and prove what happened in the distant past by what happened at some point in the recent past, or what's going to happen in the distant future by what in the happened last few years, what an opportunity! Geology never had that chance, never that accurate data to argue with! Also no “species development”! Ice ages are great things, but they're vague—vague. Regard:--

In one hundred and seventy-six years, the lower Mississippi has shortened two hundred and forty-two miles. That's an average of just over a mile and a third a year. Therefore, any quiet person who is not blind or stupid can see that in the Silurian Neolithic, “only a million years ago this coming November, the lower Mississippi was over a million three hundred thousand miles long, stretching across the Gulf of Mexico like a fishing rod. And likewise everyone can see that in seven hundred and forty-two years the lower Mississippi will be but three-quarters of a mile long, and Cairo and New Orleans will link their streets, and operate comfortably under a single mayor and a common council of aldermen. There is something fascinating about science. You get a great return on guesswork from a paltry investment in facts.

When water flows through one of those ditches I've talked about, it's time for people to move. The water cuts through the banks like a knife. When the ditch is four or fifteen feet wide, the calamity is as good as complete, for no power on earth can stop it now. When the width reaches a hundred yards, the banks begin to break off in slices half an acre wide. Previously, the current flowing around the bend covered only five miles an hour; it is now immensely increased by the shortening of the distance. I was on board the first boat attempting to round American Bend but we couldn't. It was almost midnight and it was a wild night - thunder, lightning and downpours. The average current was estimated at about fifteen or twenty miles an hour; twelve or thirteen was the best our boat could do, even in fairly calm water, so maybe we were stupid to try the cut. However, Mr. Brown was ambitious and kept trying. The eddy on the bank, below the "peak", was almost as fast as the current in the middle; So we went up the coast like a lightning fast express train, riding up on a big vapor wave and "waiting for a wave" when we hit the swirling current near the top. But all our preparations were in vain. As soon as the current hit us, it whirled us around like a spinning top, water sloshed over the forecastle and the boat tilted so that we could hardly stand. In a moment we were downriver, struggling to stay out of the forest. We tried the experiment four times. I stayed on the back side to check. It was amazing to watch the boat twist and turn suddenly as it emerged from the eddy and the current caught its nose. The severe concussion and tremors would have been about the same if she had crashed into a sand bar at full speed. In the flash one could see the plantation huts and the good mornings plunging into the river; and the rumble they made was not a bad effort in the thunder. Once, as we turned, we passed a house about twenty feet high, with a light on in the window; and immediately the house sank into the sea. No one could stay on our forecastle; the water flowed freely every time we dived against the current. At the end of our fourth effort we reached the forest two miles below the cut; the whole country was of course overcrowded. A day or two later the cut was three-quarters of a mile wide, and boats passed it without much difficulty, saving ten miles.

The old Raccourci cutting reduced the river's length by twenty-eight miles. There used to be a tradition associated with it. A boat was said to have passed this way during the night, going around the giant elbow in the usual manner, unbeknownst to the pilots that the cut had been made. It was a horrible and abominable night, and all forms were vague and distorted. The old curve had already started to fill up, and the boat began to run away from mysterious reefs, occasionally hitting one. The stunned pilots started cursing and finally expressed a completely unnecessary wish that they would never be able to leave this place. As always in such cases, that particular prayer was answered and the others neglected. To this day, this ghost steamer circles this deserted river, trying to find its way out. More than one tomb keeper has sworn to me that on gloomy and rainy nights he has gazed anxiously down that forgotten river as he passed the tip of the island and saw the faint glow of the ghost ship's lights floating in the distant darkness and heard the muffled sound of coughing from his exhaust pipes and the melancholy screams of its guides.

In the absence of more statistics, I would like to close this chapter with one more reminder of "Stephen".

Most captains and pilots had Stephen's promissory notes for borrowed amounts of two hundred and fifty dollars and up. Stephen never paid any of these bills, but he was very quick and eager to renew them every twelve months.

Of course, there finally came a time when Stephen could no longer borrow from his former creditors; so he had to ambush new men who did not know him. That victim was young Yates, kindhearted and simple (I'm using a fictitious name, but his real name, like that, began with a Y). Young Yates trained to be a pilot, got a seat, and when the month was up and he went to the clerk's office and got his two hundred and fifty dollars in brand new bills, Stephen was there! His silver tongue began to wiggle, and soon Yates' two hundred and fifty dollars changed hands. The fact soon became known at the pilot's headquarters, and the amusement and satisfaction of the old creditors was great and bountiful. But the innocent Yates never knew that Stephen's promise to pay on time by the end of the week was futile. Yates asked for his money at the appointed time; Stephen sweetened it and pushed it back a week. He then called as agreed and left sweetly again, but with another delay. So things went on. Yates futilely pursued Stephen week after week and finally gave up. And then Stephen immediately started stalking Yates! Wherever Yates went, there was the inevitable Stephen. And not just there, but full of affection and overflowing with excuses for not being able to pay. Gradually, when poor Yates saw him coming, he would turn and fly away, dragging his company with him if he had company; but it was useless; his debtor would run him over and corner him. Breathless and red-faced, Stephen would come, hands outstretched and eyes eager, plunge into the conversation, shake both of Yates' arms loosely at their joints, and begin...

“Wow, what a race I had! I saw that you didn't see me, so I clapped my hands for fear of missing you completely. And here you are! there, just stay like that, and let me look at you! just the same old noble visage.' [To Yates' friend:] "Just look at him! _Look at him! It's not good to look at him! _Not now? He's not just a photo! _Some_ call it a photograph; I call it panoramas! That's it - a complete picture. And now I remember! How I wish I had seen you an hour earlier! I saved that two hundred and fifty dollars for you for twenty-four hours; look for you everywhere I waited at the Planter from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. yesterday, with no rest or food; My wife says, "Where have you been all night?"

I said, "This debt weighs heavily on me." She says: "All my periods I have

I've never seen a man take debt as seriously as you do. I said, “It's in my nature; How can I change that?" She says, "Well, go to bed and get some rest." I said, "Not until this poor noble young man has his money."

So I rode all night, and this morning I shot, first man

I was shocked and told myself that you went to New Orleans aboard the Grand Turk. Well sir, I had to drive by a building and cry. So help me, my God, I couldn't help it. The owner of the house came out and cleaned it with a rag and said he doesn't like it when someone cries against his building and then it seemed to me like the whole world had turned against me and there was no point in it anymore life ; and when he arrived an hour ago, and no one knows what pain he must have endured, he found Jim Wilson and gave him the two hundred and fifty dollars deposit; and to think that now you're here and i don't have a penny! But as sure as I'm here on this ground, on this particular brick - I scribbled a mark on the brick to remind myself - I'm going to borrow this money and pay you back by twelve o'clock. sharp, tomorrow! Now stay like this; let me just look at you one more time.'

Etc. Yates' life became a burden to him. He could not escape his debtor and his debtor's terrible sufferings because he could not pay. He was afraid to turn up on the street, afraid to see Stephen waiting for him on the corner.

Bogart's Billiards Hall was then a large recreation area for pilots. They met there as often to exchange news about the river as to play games. Yates was there one morning; Stephen was there too, but stayed out of sight. But little by little, when all the pilots who were in town arrived, Stephen suddenly appeared in the middle and ran to Yates like a lost brother.

'_Oh_ I'm so glad to see you! Oh my soul, the sight of you is a comfort to my eyes! Gentlemen, I owe you all the money; between you I probably owe forty thousand dollars. I want to pay for it; I intend to pay every last penny. You all know, without my telling you, the sadness it has cost me to remain in such deep obligation to such patient and generous friends; but the greatest pain I suffer - by far the greatest - is the debt I owe to this noble young man here; and I came here this morning to announce that I've finally found a method to clear all my debts! Yes, my faithful friend, my benefactor, I have discovered the method! I found the method to settle all my debts and you will get your money! Hope flickered in Yates' eyes; then Stephen, smiling benevolently and putting his hand on Yates' head, added, "I'll pay them alphabetically!"

Then he turned and disappeared. The full meaning of Stephen's "Method" went unnoticed by the confused and thoughtful crowd for about two minutes; and then Yates murmured, sighing -

“Well, the Y has a great chance. He won't get any further than the Cs in this world, and I think after a good chunk of eternity is lost in the next, I'll still be up there as "the poor ragged pilot who came here from St. Louis "Refers to .Louis in the beginning!"


I'm doing some extra hours

In the two or two and a half years of my training I have served many pilots and gained experience with many kinds of boats and steamers; for it was Mr. Bixby would have me with him, and in those cases he would send me with someone else. To this day, I benefit a little from that experience; for in that brief and precise apprenticeship I came to know personally and intimately all the different kinds of human nature to be found in fiction, biography, or history. The fact strikes me daily that the average occupation on land takes up to forty years to endow a man with this kind of education. When I say I still benefit from it, I don't mean that it made me a judge of people - no, it didn't; for judges of men are born, not made. My profit varies in type and amount; but the quality I appreciate most is the enthusiasm that this early experience gave to my later reading. When I meet a well-drawn character in a novel or biography, I usually take a personal interest in him because I've known him before - I met him by the river.

The character that comes to mind most in the shadows of that bygone era is that of Brown, the steamship "Pennsylvania" - the man mentioned in an earlier chapter whose memory was so good and so tiresome. old, long, gaunt, bony, clean-shaven, horse-faced, ignorant, petty, vicious, snarling, nagging, motto-raising tyrant. From a young age I made it a habit to stand guard with fear in my heart. in my body as soon as I approached the wheelhouse.

I still remember the first time I stepped into this man's presence. The boat had departed from St. Louis and "pointed"; Member of the management family of such a fast and famous boat. Brown was driving. I stopped in the middle of the room, ready to bow, but Brown didn't look back. I thought he stole a glance at me out of the corner of his eye, but since not even that warning was repeated, I figured I was wrong. Meanwhile he worked his way through some dangerous gaps beside the lumberyards; therefore it would not be appropriate to interrupt him; so I took a gentle step to the high stool and sat down.

For ten minutes there was silence; then my new boss turned around and, it seemed to me, consciously and meticulously examined me from head to toe for about a quarter of an hour. After that he took off his face and I didn't see him for a few seconds; there rose again, and this question greeted me -

"Are you Horace Bigsby's puppy?"

'Yes indeed.'

After that there was a break and another inspection. Then--

'What's your name?'

I said him. he repeated after me. It was probably the only thing he forgot; for although I was with him for many months, he never addressed me other than 'Here!' and then his command was obeyed.

'Where were you born?'

"In Florida, Missouri."

A break. Then--

'The prospect is better to stay there!'

He elicited my family history from me through about a dozen very direct questions.

At the first intersection, the lanes now started. This stopped the investigation. Once the clues were in place, he continued...

"How long have you been on the river?"

I said him. After a pause--

'Where did you get these shoes?'

I gave him the information.

"Lift your foot!"

I did. He withdrew, examined the shoe minutely and disdainfully, scratched his head thoughtfully, tipped his high sugarloaf far forward to facilitate the operation, and then uttered, "Well, I'll be dead!" and returned to his wheel back.

What reason should be given for this is a mystery to me today, as it was then. It must have been fifteen minutes - fifteen minutes of longing, bare stillness - before that long horse's face turned back to me - and then what a change! It was red as fire and all its muscles were working. Now came this scream –

'Here! Are you going to sit there all day?'

We lit in the middle of the floor and got hit by electric surprise there. Once I regained my voice, I said apologetically, "I wasn't taking orders, sir."

"You had no _orders_! Wow, what a beautiful bird we are! We must have_orders_! Our father was a _gentleman_ slave owner - and we went to _school_. Yes, _we _are gentlemen, _too_, and we must have _orders! orders_, don't we? _Orders_is what you want! Dod dern my skin, _will_learn You here swell and burst under your dodderned _orders_! Keep your hands off the bike! (I spoke to him without knowing it.)

I took a step or two back and stood as if in a dream, all my senses numbed by the frantic onslaught.

"Why are you standing there? Take that pitcher of ice down to the Texas tender-come on, go away and don't do it all day!

When I got back to the pilot's house, Brown said...

'Here! What were you doing there all that time?

'Could not find Texas tender; I had to go to the pantry.

'Bloody probable story! Fill the stove.

I continued to do so. He watched me like a cat. Then he screamed...

"Drop the shovel! The deadliest asshole I've ever seen. You don't even have the brains to carry a stove.

This continued throughout the shift. Yes, and subsequent watches were very similar for a few months. As I said, I soon got used to going into service with fear. The moment I was in the present I could feel those yellow eyes on me even in the darkest of nights, and I knew their owner was waiting for an excuse to spit some poison at me. At first he would say...

'Here! Take the bike.'

Two minutes later--

'_Where_in the nation, where are you going? pull it down pull her down!'

After another moment--

'Say! Will you hold her all day? Let her go - get to know her! you meet!'

Then he jumped out of the seat, snatched the steering wheel from me and looked at her himself, all the while pouting at me.

George Ritchie was the other pilot's puppy. He was having a good time now, for his boss, George Ealer, was as kind-hearted as Brown was not. Ritchie had been preparing for Brown the previous season; Consequently, he knew exactly how to entertain and torment me, all in one go. Whenever I took over the wheel for a moment on Ealer's watch, Ritchie would be sitting on the bench throwing Brown with constant yells of "Get her!" Take it! The biggest mud cat I've ever seen! 'Here! Where are you going now_? Will you run over this obstacle? "Pull her _down_! you didn't listen to me _Pull her down!_' 'There she goes! _Well _as I expected! I_disse_ for you not to squeeze that riff. Keep your hands off the bike!

So I always had a hard time no matter whose watch it was; and at times it seemed to me that Ritchie's good-natured insistence was almost as irritating as Brown's impatience.

Many times I wanted to kill Brown, but that didn't answer. A puppy had to accept whatever his boss gave him in the form of harsh comments and criticism; and we all believed that there was a law in the United States that made it a criminal offense to attack or threaten a pilot on duty. However, I could imagine killing Brown; there was no law against it; and I always did that when I went to bed. Instead of mentally diverting the flow, as was my duty, I set aside business for pleasure and killed Brown. I killed Brown every night for months; not in the old, outdated, usual way, but in a new, painterly way;

Brown always looked for an excuse to find fault; and when he could not find a plausible excuse, he invented one. He would scold him for scratching an edge and for not scratching it; for hugging a pole and for not hugging it; 'pull down' uninvited and not pull down uninvited; firing without orders and waiting for orders. In a word, it was your unchanging rule to find fault with everything you did; and another invariable rule of his was to cast all his remarks (to you) in the form of an insult.

One day we approached New Madrid, tied and laden. Brown sat on one side of the wheel and drove; I was on the other, waiting to "pull down" or "push up." Now and then he would glance at me. I had learned long ago what that meant; that is, he was trying to invent a trap for me. I wondered what form it would take. Gradually he stepped away from the wheel and said in his usual snarling manner:

'Here! See if you have enough courage to round it up.'

This had to be a success; nothing could stop him; for he had never allowed me to round the boat; Consequently, however I would do the thing, he might find groundless flaws in it. He stayed back there with his eager gaze on me, and the result was what could have been predicted: I lost my head in fifteen minutes and didn't know what I was doing; I started turning the boat too soon, but I caught a green twinkle of pleasure in Brown's eyes and corrected my mistake; I started walking around very high again, but corrected myself in time; I made other wrong moves and still managed to save myself; but in the end I was so confused and scared that I made the worst mistake of all - I went too deep before I started turning the boat. Brown's chance had come.

Her face flushed with passion; he jumped up, threw me across the house with a wave of his arm, turned the wheel down, and began pouring out a torrent of insults that lasted until he was out of breath. During this tirade he called me every harsh name he could think of, and once or twice I thought he was going to swear—but this time he didn't. 'Dod dern' was the closest thing to the luxury of swearing, having been raised with a healthy respect for future fire and brimstone.

It was an uncomfortable hour; for there was a large audience on the deck of the hurricane. Going to bed that night I killed Brown seventeen different ways - all new.


Brown and I exchanged compliments

Two trips later I had serious problems. Brown drove; I 'pulled down'. My younger brother appeared on the hurricane deck and yelled for Brown to stop at a dock about a mile down. Brown gave no indication that he had heard anything. But that was his way: he never deigned to look out for a secretary of state. The wind blew; Brown was deaf (though he always pretended he wasn't) and I highly doubted he heard the order. If I had two heads I would have spoken; but since I only had one, it seemed sensible to take care of him; so i was quiet

In fact, we were soon sailing through this plantation. Captain Klinefelter appeared on deck and said...

"Leave her, sir, leave her." Didn't Henry tell you to land here?

'_No sir!'

"I sent you to it."

'He went up; and that's all the good he's done, the crazy fool. He never said anything.'

"Didn't you hear him?" the captain asked of me.

Of course I didn't want to get involved in this business, but there was no way around it; so I said--

'Yes indeed.'

I knew what Brown's next remark would be before he even said it; it was--

'Shut your mouth! you've never heard anything like this.

I closed my mouth as instructed. An hour later, Henry entered the wheelhouse, unaware of what was going on. He was a perfectly harmless boy and I was sad to see him coming, knowing Brown wouldn't feel sorry for him. Brown immediately began -

'Here! Why didn't you tell me we had to land on that plantation?

"I told you, Mr. Braun.

'It is a lie!'

I said--

“You're lying yourself. He told you.

Brown looked at me with unaffected surprise; and for a moment he was speechless; then he yelled at me...

'I'll take care of your case in half a minute!' then to Henry: 'And you come out of the wheelhouse; go with you!'

It was the pilot's law and had to be obeyed. The boy got out and had his foot on the top step outside when Brown, in a sudden fit of anger, grabbed a ten-pound lump of coal and sprang after him; but I was in the middle, with a heavy stool, and I lashed out at Brown with an honest punch, which lengthened it.

I had committed the crime of crimes - I raised my hand against a pilot on duty! I assumed that I was certainly in prison, and I could not be safer in going ahead and settling my long score with this person while I had the chance; consequently I clung to him and hit him with my fists for a considerable time - I don't know how long, lust probably made it seem longer than it really was; the rudder: a very natural apprehension, for the whole time there was this steamer cutting the river at fifteen miles an hour, and nobody at the helm! However, at this point Eagle Bend was two miles wide at full bank and correspondingly long and deep; and the boat sailed straight into the middle and took no chances. Still, it was just luck - a body _might_ have found her running into the woods.

Brown, realizing at a glance that the 'Pennsylvania' was in no danger, grabbed the large War Club-style binoculars and, with more than Comanche fanfare, ordered me out of the wheelhouse. But now I wasn't afraid of him anymore; So instead of leaving, I lingered and criticized his grammar; I reformed his vehement speeches for him and rendered them into good English, pointing out to him the advantage of pure English over the bastard dialect of the Pennsylvania coal mines from which it was mined. , Naturally; but he was not equipped for this kind of controversy; then he soon put down his glass and got behind the wheel, mumbling and shaking his head; and I retired to the bench. The commotion brought everyone to the hurricane deck, and I shuddered to see the old captain look up from the crowd. I said to myself: 'Now I'm lost!' - For though he was usually so fatherly and forgiving of the boat family, and so patient with small mistakes, he could be severe enough when the mistake was worth it.

I tried to imagine what he would do to an inexperienced pilot guilty of a crime like mine, committed on a boat full of expensive cargo and full of passengers. Our shift was almost over. I figured I'd hide somewhere until I got a chance to slide ashore. So I fled the cockpit, down the steps and around the door to the Texas - and slid in when the captain confronted me! I bowed my head and he stood over me in silence for a moment or two, then he said impressively:

'Follow me.'

I fell in his wake; he led the way to his living room on the front end of texas. We were alone now. He closed the back door; then he slowly moved forward and closed it. He sat; I was before him. He looked at me for a while and then said:

“So you have against Mr. Braun?

I answered sheepishly -

'Yes indeed.'

"Do you know that this is a very serious matter?"

'Yes indeed.'

"Are you aware that this boat cruised the river for a full five minutes without anyone at the helm?"

'Yes indeed.'

"Did you hit him first?"

'Yes indeed.'

"With what?"

"A stool, sir."


'Average, sir.

"Did that blow your mind?"

"He... he fell, sir."

"Did you follow? did you do anything else

'Yes indeed.'

'What did you do?'

"You hit him, sir."

"Did you hit him?"

'Yes indeed.'

"Did you hit him often?" I mean seriously?

'You might call it that, sir.

'I'm very glad about that! Listen, never mention that I said that. You are guilty of a great crime; and never be guilty of it again, on this boat. _But_- lie down with him on shore! Give him a good spanking, ya hear? I pay the expenses. Now go - and remember, don't tell anyone about this. Go away! You're guilty of a great crime, you little dog!'

I slipped out, glad of the feeling of a close shave and a powerful release; and I heard him giggle to himself and slap his fat thighs after I closed the door.

As Brown left the watch, he went straight to the captain, who was talking to some passengers on the boiler deck, and demanded that I go ashore in New Orleans - adding -

"I'll never spin a wheel on that boat again as long as this pup stays."

The captain said...

"But he doesn't have to appear if you're on guard duty, Mr. Braun.

"I'm not even going to be in the same boat as him. One of us has to get off.

'Very good,' said the captain, 'be yourself;' and resumed the conversation with the passengers.

During the short remaining journey I experienced what an emancipated slave feels like; for I myself was a freed slave. As we lay on the landing I heard George Ealer's flute; or to the readings of his two Bibles, that is, Goldsmith and Shakespeare; or I played chess with him - and sometimes I would have beaten him, only he always backed out on his last move and played the game differently.


a disaster

We stayed in New Orleans for three days, but the captain could not find another pilot; so he suggested I keep watch during the day and let George Ealer do the night watch. But I was afraid; I had never done any surveys on my own and figured I would certainly run into problems with the head of any parachute or the boat would run aground in a cut next to one pole or another. Brown stayed in his seat; but he didn't want to travel with me. Then the captain gave me an order about the captain of the 'A. T. Lacey', for a ticket to St. Louis. Louis, and said I would find a new pilot there and then my helmsman's post could be resumed. The 'Lacey' was to depart a few days after the 'Pennsylvania'.

The night before the '_Pennsylvania_' sailed, Henry and I sat in a pile of cargo on the dock and talked until midnight. The topic of the chat in particular was one we don't think we've explored before - steamboat disasters. One was then on the way to us, little as we suspected; right time and place. We doubt whether people without authority would be of much use in disasters and the resulting panic; yet they may be of _some _use; So we decided that if, in our experience, disaster struck, we would at least stay on the boat and do whatever minor service might get in the way. Henry later recalled when the disaster struck and acted accordingly.

The 'Lacey' started upriver two days behind the 'Pennsylvania'. We were playing in Greenville, Mississippi, a few days ago, and someone was yelling...

"The 'Pennsylvania' is blown up on Ship Island and a hundred and fifty people die!"

In Napoleon, Arkansas, we received an extra that same evening, issued by a Memphis newspaper, which gave some details. Mentioned my brother and said he wasn't hurt.

Further upstream we got a later extra. My brother was mentioned again; but this time beaten as helpless. We didn't learn the full details of the disaster until we got to Memphis. That's the sad story -

It was six o'clock on a hot summer morning. The 'Pennsylvania' was towing north of Ship Island, some sixty miles below Memphis, with half a column of steam, dragging a lumberyard which was swiftly emptied. George Ealer was alone in the wheelhouse, I think; the second machinist and a striker had the clock in the engine room; the second mate was on deck watch; George Schwarz, Mr. Wood, and my brother, the clerks, slept, as did Brown and the chief engineer, the carpenter, the helmsman, and a forward; Captain Klinefelter sat in the barber's chair and the barber prepared to shave him. There were many cabin passengers on board and three or four hundred deck passengers - it was said at the time - and not many of them were awake. With the wood now mostly clear of the plane, Ealer played at full throttle to 'go ahead' and the next moment four of the eight boilers exploded with a thunderous bang and the entire forward third of the boat was lifted into the sky! The main part of the mass with the chimneys fell back onto the boat, a mountain of chaotic, riddled debris - and then, after a while, the fire broke out.

Many people were thrown considerable distances and fell into the river; among them were Mr. Holz, my brother, and the carpenter. The carpenter was still stretched out on his mattress when he hit the water 22 meters from the boat. Brown, the pilot, and George Black, the chief of staff, were never seen or heard from again after the explosion. The barber's chair, on which Captain Klinefelter sat unharmed, was left with a bare back - everything in front of it, the floor and everything, was gone; and the astonished barber, who was also unhurt, remained with one toe sticking out, still unconsciously stirring the lather and not saying a word.

When George Ealer saw the chimneys collapse ahead of him, he knew what the problem was; then he covered his face with the lapels of his cloak and clasped both hands tightly to hold this shield in place lest vapor could reach his nose or mouth. He had plenty of time to take care of these details on the way there and back. He soon landed on the unexploded boilers, forty feet below the old wheelhouse, accompanied by his steering wheel and a shower of other things, and enveloped in a cloud of boiling steam. All the many who inhaled that vapor died; none escaped. But Ealer breathed none of it. He made his way outside as fast as he could; and when the steam had cleared he returned and climbed back into the cauldrons, patiently chasing each of his chess pieces and the several knuckles of his flute.

At this point, the fire began to threaten. Screams and moans filled the air. Many people were scalded, many crippled; The blast went through the body of a man with an iron crowbar - I think they said he was a priest. He did not die immediately and his sufferings were terrible. A young French naval cadet, fifteen years old, the son of a French admiral, was horribly scalded but bravely endured his torture. Both mates were severely scalded but remained at their posts. They pulled the wooden boat aft and she and the captain fought off the frantic herd of frightened migrants until the wounded could be taken there and taken to safety first.

as Mr. Wood and Henry fell into the water, they made their way to shore, which was only a few hundred yards away; but Henry soon said he thought he was unhurt (what an inexplicable mistake!) and would therefore swim back to the boat and help rescue the wounded. Then they parted and Henry came back.

(Video) A glimpse of teenage life in ancient Rome - Ray Laurence

By this time the fire was raging fiercely and several people trapped under the ruins were desperately asking for help. All efforts to extinguish the fire were unsuccessful; then the buckets were thrown aside, and the officers fell with axes, trying to cut the prisoners. One attacker was one of the prisoners; he said he was not injured but could not extricate himself; and when he saw that the fire would drive the workers away, he asked someone to throw him and thus save him from the most terrible death. The fire drove the men away from the axe, and they had to listen helplessly to this poor fellow's pleas until the flames put an end to their misery.

The fire broke into every wooden dwelling that could be accommodated there; it was then cut off by the drift, and he and the burning steamer drifted downstream toward Ship Island. They moored the dwelling at the tip of the island, and there the half-naked residents, exposed from the scorching sun, were forced to remain the rest of the day without food, stimulants, or help for their wounds. At last a ship arrived and took the unfortunate to Memphis, where the most generous aid was immediately offered. At this point, Henry was unconscious. Doctors examined his wounds and found them fatal, naturally turning their attention to patients who could be saved.

Forty of the wounded were laid on cots on the floor of a large public hall, and among them was Henry. Thither the ladies of Memphis came every day with flowers and fruit and sweets and delicacies of all kinds, and there they stayed tending the wounded. All the doctors stood guard there, and all the medical students; and the rest of the city provided money or whatever was needed. And Memphis knew how to do all those things well; for many such disasters as that of 'Pennsylvania' occurred near her ports, and she was tried before all other river towns in the gracious Office of the Good Samaritan.'

The sight I saw as I entered this great hall was new and strange to me. Two long lines of prostrate figures—more than forty in all—and each face and head a misshapen bundle of loose rawcotton. It was a terrible spectacle. I watched there for six days and six nights and it was a very melancholy experience. There was one daily incident that was particularly depressing: it was the taking of the convicts to a separate chamber. This was done so that the morale of the other patients would not be damaged if they saw one of them in agony. a wall of helpers; and all eyes looked longingly at him, and a shudder followed him like a wave.

I saw a lot of poor guys being taken to the "room of death" and I didn't see them after that. But I have seen our companion taken there more than once. His wounds were terrible, especially his burns. Dressed to the waist in linseed oil and raw cotton, he didn't look human at all. and then his pain made him rage and scream and sometimes scream. Then, after a period of silent exhaustion, his wild imagination suddenly transformed the large dwelling into a forecastle, and the hurried throng of attendants into a crew; and he got into a sitting stance and yelled, "Kick yourself, _hunch__you, petrified, snail-bellied pallbearers! Will you spend all day taking off the hat full of cargo? and complement that explosion with a firmament-shaking incursion or obscenity that nothing could stop or stop until the crater was empty. And from time to time, when this frenzy got the better of him, he would tear off handfuls of the cotton and expose their cooked flesh. It was terrible. It was bad for the others, of course – that noise and those displays; So the doctors tried to give him morphine to calm him down. But, in his head or not, he wouldn't have it. He said his wife was killed by this insidious drug and he would die before he took it. He suspected the doctors were hiding it in their usual medicines and water - so he stopped putting both on his lips. Once, when he had been without water for two sultry days, he took up the ladle, and the sight of the clear liquid and the misery of his thirst tempted him almost beyond his strength; but he overpowered himself and threw it away, and after that he would not have any more brought to him. Three times I saw him being carried unconscious and supposedly dying to the death room; but each time he revived, he cursed his assistants and demanded to be taken back. He lived to be a steamship mate again.

But he was the only one who went into the death room and came back alive. dr Peyton, a leading physician and rich in all the attributes of high and blameless character, did all that educated judgment and trained skill could do for Henry; but, as the newspapers had said at the outset, his wounds were inaccessible. By the evening of the sixth day, her wandering mind was occupied with distant things, and her nervous fingers "troubled her quilt." His time had come; We put him in the death room, poor boy.


A section in my bio

In due time I got my driver's license. I was now a pilot, fully trained. I fell into odd jobs; with no resultant misfortune, intermittent work gave way to constant and tedious commitments. Time flowed smoothly and successfully, and I assumed - and hoped - that when my mission was complete I would follow the flow for the rest of my days and die at the wheel. But gradually the war came, trade ceased, my employment ended.

I had to look for another livelihood. So I became a silver prospector in Nevada; later newspaper reporter; then a prospector in California; then reporter in San Francisco; then special correspondent in the Sandwich Islands; then a traveling correspondent in Europe and the East; then an instructing torchbearer on the lecture platform; and eventually I became a book writer and a stalwart figure among the other New England rocks.

In so few words I have described the twenty-one slow years that have passed since I last looked out of a wheelhouse window.

Let's go back now.


I go back to my sheep

After an absence of twenty-one years I felt a very strong desire to see the river, the steamboats, and the remaining boys again; so i decided to go there. I hired a poet for company and a stenographer to "bring him down" and left for the West in mid-April.

As I wanted to make notes for the print, I thought a little about how to do it. I reasoned that if I were recognized on the river, I would not be as free to come and go, talk, question, and spy as if I were unknown; I remembered that it used to be the habit of seafarers to fill the odd confidant with the most colorful and admirable lies and throw the cultured friend off track with boring and ineffective facts: so iconocclusive, from a commercial point of view it would be beneficial to camouflage our party with fictitious names. The idea was certainly good, but it generated endless trouble; for although Smith, Jones, and Johnson are names easily remembered if there is no opportunity to recall them, if one searches for them they are almost impossible to recall. How do criminals manage to remember a new alias? This is a big mystery. I was innocent; and yet I seldom succeeded in getting my new name when it was necessary; and it seemed to me that if I had a crime on my conscience to confuse me further I could never have kept the name to myself.

We left the Pennsylvania Railroad at 8am. April 18th.

'NIGHT. Speaking of dress. Grace and quaintness fade as you travel away from New York.'

I can find this in my notes. It doesn't matter which direction you go, the fact remains the same. Whether you're going north, south, east or west, it doesn't matter: you can get up in the morning and guess how far you've come, noting how much grace and imagery is missing from the clothes at that moment the new passengers, - - No, I only mean women, but both sexes. It could be that the carriage is at the bottom of the thing; and I think it is; for there are many ladies and gentlemen in provincial towns whose clothes are all made by the best tailors and seamstresses in New York; However, this does not appreciably affect the big fact: the trained eye never mistakes these people for New Yorkers. No, there's an ungodly grace, poise and style about a born and raised New Yorker that mere clothing can't sway.

"April 19. This morning I hit the region with a full goatee - sometimes accompanied by a moustache, but only occasionally."

It was strange to find this stout crop of an antiquated and disagreeable fashion; it was like suddenly meeting a forgotten acquaintance who had been thought dead for a generation. The goatee covers a vast expanse of land; and it is accompanied by an ironclad belief in Adam and the biblical story of creation that has not been challenged by scientists.

'AFTERNOON. At train stations, loafers are worn with both hands in pockets; until then it could be observed that a hand was sometimes out of bounds - never here. This is an important fact in geography.'

Of course, if moccasins defined the character of a country, that would be even more important.

“Until now, at all times, the train-station-loafer was frequently observed scratching his shin with his other foot; here these activity remnants are absent. It looks spooky.”

Little by little we entered the region of chewing tobacco. Fifty years ago, the Tobacco Region comprised the Union. It's very limited now.

Then the boots appeared. However, not in great strength. Later, back in Mississippi, they became the norm. They disappeared with the mud from other sectors of the Union; no doubt they will disappear from the riverside villages too, when the right sidewalks come along.

We arrived in St. Louis at ten o'clock at night. At the hotel reception I offered a hastily made up fictitious name in a pathetic attempt at carefree ease. The clerk paused and eyed me with the same sympathy one inspects a decent man in a precarious position; Then he said--

'All is well; I know what kind of room you want. I used to work at the St. James in New York.

A hopeless start to a fraudulent career. We went to the dining room and found two other men that I had met elsewhere. How strange and unfair: wicked tricksters go about lecturing under my _NomDe Guerre_, and no one suspects them; but when an honest man attempts a scam he is immediately exposed.

One thing seemed clear: if people showed up at this rate and couldn't be fooled, we were to start downstream the next day: a major disappointment, as we were hoping to spend a week in St. Louis. Ludwig. The Southern was a good hotel and we could have had a comfortable stay there. It's big and well-run, and its decor won't make you cry like Chicago's massive Palmer House. It is true that billiard tables dated from the ancient Silurian, and cues and balls from the post-Pliocene; but there was refreshment in it, not discomfort; for in the contemplation of antiquities there is rest and healing.

The most notable absence from the billiard room was the absence of the river man. If he was there, he'd seen his signal, he was in disguise. I saw nothing of his elegant airs and graces, the ostentatious display of money, and his pompous extravagance that used to distinguish the crowd of steamboats from the crowd of land in the crowded billiard halls of St. Louis. Ludwig. In those days the main halls were always full of rivermen; Given fifty players in attendance, there would probably be thirty or thirty-five from the river. But I suspected that the ranks were thin now and the skippers were no longer aristocracy. Now, in my day, they called the "bartender" Bill or Joe or Tom and patted him on the back; But none of these people did that. Obviously, in those twenty-one years, any glory that was there has dissolved and gone.

When I went to my room, I found a young man named Rogers crying. Rogers wasn't his name; not Jones, Brown, Dexter, Ferguson, Bascom or Thompson; but he replied to both that a body would come in handy in an emergency; or indeed any other name if he realized you meant him. He said--

“What can you do here if you want to drink water? Drink that mud?'

"Can't you drink?"

"I could if I had other water to wash it with."

Here was one thing that hadn't changed; twenty years had not in the least harmed the mulatto complexion of this water; a dozen centuries might not be better. It hails from tumultuous, crumbling Missouri, and each cup of it contains nearly an acre of soil in solution. I heard this fact from the bishop of the diocese. If you let your glass stand half an hour, you could separate land and water as easily as Genesis; and then you will find both good: one good to eat, the other good to drink. The earth is very nutritious, the water is totally healthy. The first satisfies hunger; the other thirst. But the natives do not take them separately, but together, as nature has mixed them together. If they find an inch of mud at the bottom of a glass, they stir it up and then slurp it up like mush. It is difficult for a stranger to get used to such a mass, but once he gets used to it, he will prefer to water it. This is indeed the case. It is good for steamboat trips and good for drinking; but it is useless for all other purposes except baptism.

The next morning we drove through the city in the rain. The city didn't seem to have changed much. A lot has changed, but it didn't seem like it; because in st. Louis, as in London and Pittsburgh, you can't make a new thing look new; Coal smoke transforms it into antiquity the moment you take your hand off it. The place has practically doubled in size since I've lived there and is now a city of 400,000 people; still it felt like it used to on the solid commercial parts. However, I'm sure there isn't that much smoke in St. Louis. Louis now as much as before. The smoke used to gather in a dense, billowing black canopy over the city, darkening the sky. This protection is now much thinner; Still, there's quite a bit of smoke in there I think. I haven't heard a complaint.

On the periphery, however, changes were fairly evident; especially residential architecture. The beautiful new houses are classy, ​​beautiful and modern. They, too, stand alone, surrounded by green lawns; while the dwellings of earlier days are grouped in blocks and all patterned, with windows all alike set in an arched structure of twisted stone; a kind of house that was pretty enough when it was rarer.

There was one more change - Forest Park. That's new to me. It is beautiful and very voluminous, and has the excellent virtue of being created chiefly by nature. There are other parks and beautiful ones, mainly Tower Grove and the Botanical Gardens; Prince. Louis took an interest in these improvements earlier than most of our cities.

The first time I saw St. Louis, I could have bought it for six million dollars, but not doing it was the biggest mistake of my life. It was bitter now to look at that domed, towering metropolis, that vast expanse of brick and mortar stretching out on all sides for opaque and immeasurable distances, and to remember that I had let that opportunity slip. Of course, why I shouldn't have done it seems silly and inexplicable at first glance; but there were reasons at the time to justify that course.

A Scotsman, the Hon. Charles Augustus Murray, wrote some forty-five or fifty years ago: "The streets are narrow, ill-paved, and ill-lit." These streets are still narrow, of course; many of them still poorly paved; but the charge of poor lighting cannot now be repeated. The "New Catholic Church" was then the only building of note, and Mr. Murray was confidently invited to admire it, with its "kind of Greek portico, surmounted by a sort of steeple, very small in its proportions, and surmounted by various ornaments, "which the unimaginative Scotsman found himself 'entirely unable to describe'; and was therefore grateful when a German tourist helped him by exclaiming - 'Bis-, they look just like the bedposts!' St. Louis today is well endowed with stately and lavish public buildings, and the little church that people used to be proud of is long gone. Still, Mr. Murray would if he could come back; because he prophesied the coming greatness of St. Louis with strong confidence.

The further we got on our sightseeing tour, the more I realized how the city had grown since I last saw it; Changes in detail also became more and more obvious and frequent than at the beginning: Changes that testified uniformly to progress, energy, prosperity.

But the change of changes was in the "dyke". A deviation from the rule this time. Half a dozen steamers asleep where I used to see a solid mile of wide awake boats! That was melancholic, that was pathetic. The absence of the ubiquitous and cheerful boatswain from the billiard room was explained. He was absent because he is no more. His job is over, his power is over, he has merged into the common herd, he grinds at the mill, a shorn and discreet Samson. wide and silent void where serious commercial entertainers used to compete with each other! {Footnote [Capt. Marryat wrote 45 years ago: “St. Louis has 20,000 inhabitants. _The river beside the town is crowded with steamboats, arrayed in two or three rows_.'] Here was desolation indeed.

'The old, old sea, like one in tears, Comes murmuring with foaming lips, And knocks at the empty shipyards, Calls for its multitude of long-lost ships.'

The tugboat and the railroad had done their job, well and completely. The mighty bridge that spanned our heads had done its part in the killing and looting. Remains of former steamers told me with faint satisfaction that the bridge wasn't worth it. Still, there can be no compensation for a corpse to know that the dynamite that knocked him out wasn't of as good quality as was assumed.

The sidewalks along the riverbank were poor: the sidewalks were badly damaged; there was a rich abundance of mud. All of this was familiar and satisfying; but the old armies of wagons, bands of combatants, and heaps of cargo were gone; and the Sabbath reigned in its place. The age-old mile of dirty cheap dogs stayed, but the business was boring to them; the crowd of poison-drinking Irish had gone, and in their place were a few ragged negroes, some drinking, some drunk, some dozing, some asleep. St. Louis is a large, thriving, developing city; but the riverbank seems dead after the resurrection.

The Mississippi steamboat was born about 1812; by the end of thirty years it had grown to gigantic proportions; and in less than thirty years he was dead! A strangely short life for such a majestic creature. He's not quite dead, of course, nor is he a crippled octogenarian who could once leap twenty-two feet over flat ground; but, contrary to what she was in her primeval strength, the Mississippi steamer may be regarded as dead.

This killed the old-fashioned keelboat and cut the cargo voyage to New Orleans to less than a week. Railroads ended steamship passenger service, doing in two or three days what it took steamships a week to do; and fleets of tugboats cut through the freight traffic, towing six or seven loads of goods downriver at a time, and at such negligible cost that competition from steamships was out of the question.

Freight and passenger traffic remains for steamers. This is in the hands - along the two thousand miles of river between St. Paul and New Orleans - by two or three well-funded companies; and through capable, thoroughly entrepreneurial management and system, they are making enough money from what remains of the once amazing steamship industry. I'm guessing St. Louis and New Orleans didn't suffer materially from the move, but what a shame for the lumberjack!

He walked along the river the whole time; his narrow wares stretched from town to town, along the banks, and he sold innumerable strings of them every year for hard cash; but all the scattered boats that remain are now burning coal, and the rarest sight in Mississippi to-day is a pile of wood. Where is the former lumberyard man now?


travel incognito

MY idea was in every city between St. Louis and New Orleans. This would require getting from one place to another on short packet lines. It was a simple plan that would have been easy to implement twenty years ago - but not anymore. Nowadays there are big gaps between boats.

I wanted to start with the old and interesting French settlements of St. Genevieve and Kaskaskia, sixty miles below St. Genevieve. Ludwig. Only one boat was advertised for this leg - a Grand Tower package. Even so, one boat was enough; so we went down to see them. She was a venerable pile of trash and a fraud at that; for she gambled for personal property, while good honest filth was so thick about her that she was rightly taxed as real estate. There are places in New England where your hurricane deck would be worth $150 an acre. The ground on her forecastle was quite good - the new crop of wheat is already springing up from cracks in sheltered spots. The hatch had a dry sandy character and would have been suitable for grapes, facing south and having some subsoil. The ground on the boiler deck was fine and rocky, but good enough for grazing. A colored boy was on guard here - no one else to be seen. We learn from him that this quiet ship would depart as announced 'if she got her voyage;' if she didn't get it, she would wait for it.

"Did she get anything from the trip?"

“God bless you, no boss. She's not fired, yes. She just walks in desperately.

He wasn't sure when she could travel, but he thought it might be tomorrow or maybe the day after. It wouldn't answer at all; so we had to abandon the novelty of sailing downstream on a farm. We still had an arrow in our quiver: At 5 p.m. a package from Vicksburg, the "Gold Dust", was to depart. We drove it to Memphis and gave up the idea of ​​stopping here and there as it was impractical. It was neat, clean and comfortable. We camped on the boiler deck and bought cheap literature to pass the time. The seller was a venerable Irishman, with a benevolent countenance and a tongue that worked lightly in the tongue, and from him we learned that he had been in St. Louis for thirty-four years and had never crossed the river in that time. He then began a very flowing speech, full of classic names and allusions, which was wonderful for the flow of speech until it was pretty clear that this wasn't the first, maybe not the fiftieth, time the speech had been given. He was a good character and much better company than the mushy literature he sold. A chance observation linking Irish and beer brought to light this morsel of information from him -

You don't drink, sir. You can't drink, sir. Give an Irishman camp a month and he's a dead man. An Irishman is covered in copper and beer corrodes them. But whiskey polishes copper and this is his salvation, sir.

At eight o'clock sharp we withdrew and crossed the river. As we crept to shore in the thick darkness, a blinding splendor of white electric light suddenly erupted from our forecastle, illuminating the water and the warehouses as with midday light. Another big change, this one - no more flickering, smoky, dripping, ineffective flashlight baskets, now: your day is over. Then, instead of yelling a few hands to set the stage, a couple of men and a steaming hat lowered her from the crane where she was hung, launched her, set her down in the right spot, and it was over and done . com before a guy in the olden days could shut down his oath mill to begin prep services. Why this new and simple way of handling stages was not thought of when the first steamship was built is a mystery that helps to see what a dumb snail the average man is.

We finally left at two in the morning, and when I left at six we skirted a rocky point on which stood an old stone warehouse - at least the ruins of it; two or three derelict tenements were nearby, sheltered by the leafy hills; but there was no evidence of human or other animal life. I wondered if I had forgotten the river; for I had no memory of that place; the shape of the river was also unusual; there was nothing to see anywhere that I could remember seeing before. I was surprised, disappointed and angry.

We disembarked a well dressed lady and gentleman and two well dressed and elegant young women, along with several leather handbags from Russia. A strange place for this kind of people! No carriage was waiting. The group set off as if expecting nothing, and set off on foot down a winding country road.

But the secret was explained when we left; for these people were evidently going to a large town lying a few miles below this wharf beyond a towhead (ie, a new island). I couldn't remember this city; I couldn't find him, I couldn't call his name. So I lost some of my temper. I suspected it might be St. Genevieve - and it was. Notice what this eccentric river had been: it built this huge, useless promontory just in front of this city, cutting off its river connections, completely surrounding it, and making it a "country town." It's also a beautiful old place and deserves a better fate. Colonized by the French, it is a relic of a time when you could travel from the Mississippi Estuary to Quebec and be in French territory and rule the whole time.

I was soon climbing onto the storm deck and glancing anxiously at the wheelhouse.


My incognito mode has exploded

After carefully studying the face of the duty pilot, I was satisfied I had never seen him before; so i went up there The pilot inspected me; I inspected the pilot again. After these usual preparations were over, I sat down on the high stool and he looked around and went on with his work. All the details of the wheelhouse were familiar to me, with one exception: a wide mouth pipe under the breastplate. I've been thinking about this thing for a long time; then he gave up and asked what it was for.

"To hear engine noise."

It was another fine device that should have been invented half a century earlier. So I thought when the pilot asked...

"Do you know what this rope is for?"

I managed to work around this problem without endangering myself.

"Was this your first time in a wheelhouse?"

I crawled underneath.

'Where do you come from?'

'Or England.'

"The first time you were in the west?"

I climbed this one.

"If you are interested in these things, I can tell you what all these things are for."

I said I would.

"That," placing his hand on the rope of a supporting bell, "is intended to set off the fire alarm; that,” he placed his hand on a green light bell, “is to announce the Texas pageant; this,” pointing to the lever of the whistle, “shall call the captain”—and so he went on, touching one object after another and unwinding his soft roll of lies.

I have never felt so much like a passenger. I thanked him with emotion for each new fact and wrote it down in my notebook. The pilot took the opportunity and started loading me up the old-fashioned way. Sometimes I feared he would ruin his invention; but he always endured the hardships, and he endured them well. He slipped into revelations of the wonderful eccentricity of flow of one kind or another in simple steps, and backed them up with some rather gargantuan illustrations. For example--

"See that little rock sticking out of the water over there? Well, when I first got to the river, it was a solid rock ridge, over 60 feet high and two miles long. Washed everything but that. [This with a sigh.]

I had a strong urge to destroy him, but it seemed to me that killing him in the ordinary way would be too bad for him.

Once, in the distance, floating a strange-looking ship with a huge sloping bucket of coal at the end of a beam, he casually pointed to it as to a subject dulled by familiarity, and found that it was about an "alligator boat" acted.

"An alligator boat? What is it for?'

"To take out alligators."

"Are they so fat that they can be a nuisance?"

“Well, not now because the government is suppressing them. But they used to be. Not everywhere; but in favorite places, here and there, where the river is wide and flat, like Plum Point and Stack Island and soon—places they call crocodile beds.

"Did they really interfere with navigation?"

“Years ago, yes, in very low water; there was hardly a trip on which we didn't run into crocodiles.

It seemed to me that I should definitely pick up my hatchet. However, I held back and said:

"It must have been awful."

“Yes, that was one of the main difficulties in driving. It was so hard to say anything about the water; Damn things change like this - never sit still for five minutes at a time. A wind reef can be recognized directly by its appearance; You can say pause; you can say a sandy reef - everything is simple; but an alligator reef doesn't show up, it's worth nothing. Nine times out of ten you can't tell where the water is; and when you see where it is like it's not there when you get there the demons have switched places so meanwhile. Of course, there were some pilots who could judge alligator water almost as well as any other species, but they had to have a natural talent for it; it wasn't something a body could learn, you had to be born with it. Let me see: There was Ben Thornburg, Jolly Beck, Squire Bell, Horace Bixby, Major Downing, John Stevenson, Billy Gordon, Jim Brady, George Ealer and Billy Youngblood - all A-1 alligator pilots. _They _could tell alligator water just like any other Christian whisky. Read? - Ah, but they couldn't_! I only wish I had as many dollars as they could read crocodile water a mile and a half away. Yes, and they also paid for it. A good alligator pilot always makes fifteen hundred dollars a month. Other people had to guard alligators at night, but these guys never guarded alligators; they never guarded anything but fog. They could smell the best crocodile water, they said; I don't know if that was the case or not, and I think a body has its hands full just going by what it knows without running around supporting what other people say, though there is a lot that is. not declining as long as they have something wonderful to tell. That's not Robert Styles' style, three fathoms down, maybe a quarter."

[My! Was that Rob Styles? - That majestic figure with the mustache? - Pretty skinny pup, in my day. How he has improved in beauty and in the noble art of inflating his facts in twenty-five years.] After this reflection I said aloud:

"I don't think dredging the crocodiles would have done much good because they might come right back."

"If you had as much experience with crocodiles as I have, you wouldn't say that. You dragged an alligator once, and it's _cocky_. It's the last you'll hear from him. He wouldn't come back for cake. If there's one thing an alligator is more into than another, it's going to be dredged up. Also, they weren't just thrown out of the way; most of the shell was collected on board; they emptied them into the basement; and when they went on a journey they took them to Orleans for government work.'

'Through which?'

"Well, to make soldiers' shoes out of their skins. All government shoes are made of alligator leather. Makes the best shoes in the world. They last five years and do not absorb water. Alligator fishing is a government monopoly. All crocodiles are state property - just like oak trees. You fell an oak tree and the government fined you fifty dollars; You kill a crocodile and get charged with treason with jail time - lucky bastard if they don't hang you too. And they will if you're a Democrat. The vulture is the sacred bird of the South and you cannot touch it; The alligator is the government's sacred bird and you must leave it alone.

"Have you run into alligators now?"

'Oh no! that hasn't happened in years.

"Well, then why are they still keeping the alligator boats in service?"

“Only for the police service – nothing more. They just pace up and down from time to time. Today's generation of crocodiles knows them as easily as a thief knows a spy; when they see one coming, they break camp and go into the forest.'

Having closed, finished, and polished the crocodile deal, he easily and comfortably lapsed into the historical vein, and recounted some mighty exploits of half a dozen old steamers of his acquaintance, dwelling especially on a certain extraordinary feat of his chief favorite excellent fleet—and then add to -

"That boat was the '_Cyclone_', the last voyage she made, she sank, on the same voyage, the captain was Tom Ballou, the most immortal liar I ever saw. He could never tell the truth, in any weather. Why, he would make you shudder. He _was_the most scandalous liar! I finally left him; I could not bear it. The proverb says: “Like master, like man”; and if you stay with such a man, you will soon come under suspicion of life. He paid first class wages; but I said what's the pay when your reputation is in jeopardy? So I cut my salary and froze my reputation. And I've never regretted it. Reputation is everything, isn't it? That's how I see it. He had more selfish organs than all seven men in the world - all in the stern layers of his skull, of course, where they should be. People thought it was vanity, but it wasn't, it was evil. If you saw his foot you would say it was nineteen feet tall, but it wasn't; it was because his foot wasn't in the drawing. He would no doubt have been nineteen feet tall if his foot had been done first, but he didn't get there; he was only five foot seven. He was and he is. You take away his lies and he shrinks to the size of your hat; You take away his malice and he disappears. This "Cyclone" was a take-along rattlesnake and the cutest thing to ride that ever walked the water. Put him in the middle of the ship, in a big river, and let him go; was all you had to do She would stay on a star all night if you leave her alone. You could never feel her helmet. Running it was no more work than counting the Republican vote in a South Carolina election. One morning at daybreak, the last voyage she made, the rudder was brought on board to be repaired; I knew nothing about it; I took her away from the lumberyard and calmly walked down the river. After a journey of 23 miles and four hideously crooked crossings...

"No rudder?"

"Yeah, old Captain Tom showed up on the roof and started criticizing me for walking around on such a dark night..."

"Such a dark night? -Why did you say-"

"Despite what I said, now it was as dark as Egypt, although the moon would rise soon, and..."

"You mean the _sun_ - because you just started in the area of ​​- look here! Was that before you left the captain for lying, or...

"That was before... oh, a long time ago. And like I said, he...

“But was that the journey she took, or was it—”

'Oh no! - Months later. And then the old man, he…”

"So she took _two _last trips because you said..."

He stepped away from the wheel, wiped his sweat and said...

'Here!' (calls me by name), '_you_take it and lie down for a while - you're better at it than I am. Trying to impersonate an innocent stranger! I knew you before you spoke seven words; and decided to find out what his little game was. It should _draw_ me. Well I did, didn't I? Now get behind the wheel and finish the clock. and next time play fair and you don't have to edit your pass.'

That ended the fictitious name business. And not six hours outside of St. Ludwig! But I still got an advantage because I was looking forward to getting my hands on the wheel from the start. I seemed to have forgotten the river, but I hadn't forgotten how to navigate a steamship or how to enjoy it.


Do Cairo for Hickman

The landscape, from St. Louis to Cairo - two hundred miles - is varied and beautiful. The hills were now covered with the fresh foliage of spring, making a graceful and dignified backdrop to the broad river that flowed between them. Our journey started promisingly, with a perfect day, with a breeze and sunshine, and our boat covered the miles at a satisfying speed.

We found a railroad entering Chester, Illinois; Chester is now in prison too and moving on. There was also a railway at the Grand Tower; and another at Cape Girardeau. The ancient city takes its name from a huge, squat pillar of rock that rises out of the water on the side of the Missouri River - a fantastic work of nature - and one of the most picturesque features of the region's landscape. For neighbors nearer or farther, the Tower has the Devil's Oven - so named perhaps because it doesn't look like anyone's oven; and the devil's tea-table—the latter a great mass of smooth-faced rock with the stem of a descending wineglass, perched some fifteen or eighteen feet above the river, beside a chasm ornamented with flowers and garlands, and sufficiently like a tea-table for any one to answer, devil or christian Further down the river we have Devil's Elbow and Devil's Race-course and many other properties of his that I can't remember now.

The city of Grand Tower was obviously a busier place than in the old days, but it seemed to need a few repairs here and there and a fresh coat of whitewash everywhere. Still, it was nice for me to see the old coat again. 'Uncle' Mumford, our second mate, said the place was suffering from the flood and was not looking as good as a result. But he said it was not surprising that he did not waste lime on himself, since more lime is produced there and of better quality than anywhere else in the West; adding: “You never get milk for your coffee at a dairy, nor sugar for your coffee at a sugar plantation; and it is absurd to go to a lime town to hunt lime.' From my own experience I knew that the first two points were true; and also that people who sell candy don't care about candy; hence Uncle Mumford's concluding remark was plausible that "people who practice whitewash run more to religion than whitewash." Uncle Mumford went on to say that Grand Tower was a large coal center and a prosperous place.

Cape Girardeau is on a hill and looks beautiful. At the foot of the town, by the river, there is a large Jesuit school for boys. Uncle Mumford said it had as high a reputation as any similar institution in Missouri! On a lofty ridge stood another college - a shiny new building with a turret and a curious and peculiar spire - a kind of gigantic scrolls, with all the pitchers. Uncle Mumford said Cape Girardeau was the Athens of Missouri, and had several colleges besides those already mentioned; and all of them on one religious basis or another. He drew my attention to what he called "the strong and pervasive religious image of the city," but I failed to see that it looked more religious than the other hilltop villages on the same slope and built of the same type of brick. Prejudices often let people see more than is really there.

Uncle Mumford has been a sidekick by the river for thirty years. He is a man of practical mind and a sensible head; written down; had a lot of experience of one kind or another; has opinions; He also has only a discernible trace of poetry in his composition, a gift of lightness of speech, a strong growl in his voice, and an oath or two he can take when the demands of his office call for spiritual elevation. He's a blessed old-timer; and leaves hard to swear when there is work to be done, to soften the former steamer's heart with sweet and gentle longing for days gone by and never to come. Will it last all day? Why didn't you say you were petrified on your hind legs before boarding?

He's a consistent man with his team; friendly and fair, but firm; so they like him and stay with him. He still wears the sloppy clothes of the old generation of buddies; but on the next voyage the Anchor Line will put him in a uniform - a smart blue naval uniform with brass buttons, along with all the officers of the line - and then he will have a very different backdrop than now.

Uniforms in Mississippi! It trumps all other changes combined, much to the surprise. Still, there's another surprise - it wasn't made fifty years ago. It makes such obvious sense that it could have been thought of earlier, one might suppose. For fifty years the innocent passenger out there in need of help and information has been mistaking the mate for the cook and the captain for the barber - and making fun of it. But your troubles are over now. And the significantly improved looks of the boat crew is another benefit gained from the clothing makeover period.

Down the curve below Cape Girardeau. They called it "Steersman's Bend"; smooth sailing and plenty of water, always; almost the only place on the Upper River where a new calf could be booted at low tide.

Thebes at the top of the Great Chain and Commerce at its foot were cities easily remembered, having undergone no appreciable change. Not even the chain - it's in the nature of things; for it is a chain of submerged rocks admirably arranged for catching and killing steamers on a bad night. Many steamboat corpses are buried there out of sight; among others my first friend, the 'Paul Jones'; she dropped her bum and fell like a pot, so the historian told me - Uncle Mumford. He said she had a gray mare on board and a preacher. To me, that explained the catastrophe sufficiently; as of course happened to Mumford who added -

"But there are many ignorant people who would scoff at such a thing and call it superstition. But you will always notice that these are people who have never traveled with a gray mare and a preacher. I once went down the river in such a company. We docked at Bloody Island; we're stuck in Hanging Dog; we land directly under the same Commerce; we rocked the Beaver Dam Rock; We hit one of the worst breaks in the 'Graveyard' behind Goose Island; we had a worker killed in a fight; we burn a cauldron; broke an axle; collapsed a chimney; and sailed into Cairo with nine feet of water in the hold - it could have been more, it could have been less. I remember like it was yesterday. The men went insane with fright. They painted the mare blue within sight of the city and threw the preacher overboard, or we wouldn't have made it. The preacher was caught and rescued. He himself admitted that it was his fault. I remember everything like it was yesterday.

That this combination of preacher and gray mare should bring about mischief seems strange and, at first glance, unbelievable; but the fact is backed up by so much indisputable evidence that to doubt it dishonors reason. I myself remember a case where a captain was warned by several friends not to take a gray mare and a preacher with him, but in spite of all that could be said persisted in his plan; and on the same day - it may have been the following, and some say it was, although I believe it was the same day - he got drunk, fell through the hatch, and was carried home like a corpse. This is literally true.

There is now no trace of Hat Island; every piece of him washed away. I don't even know what part of the river it was on, other than that it was somewhere between St. Louis and Cairo. It was a bad area - around Hat Island in the early days. A farmer who lived there on the Illinois coast said twenty-nine steamboats left his bones hanging within sight of his home. Enter St. Louis and Cairo, wrecks of steamships averaging one per mile; - a total of two hundred shipwrecks.

I could see big changes from Commerce down. Beaver Dam Rock was now in the middle of the river, throwing an amazing "break"; It used to be close to the shore and boats sank in front of it. A large island that used to be in the middle of the river has retreated to the Missouri coast, and boats no longer come near it. The island, named Jacket Pattern, is now reduced to a wedge and set aside for destruction soon. Goose Island is gone, but only the size of a small steamer. The dangerous "cemetery" through which countless rubble we used to choose our way so slowly and carefully is now far away from the canal and scares no one. One of the islands, formerly called the Two Sisters, has completely disappeared; the other, which formerly was near the Illinois coast, is now on the Missouri side, a mile distant; it's firmly attached to the shore, and you have to look closely to see where the crack is — but it's still Illinois land, and the people who live on it have to commute and work Illinois roads and steer in Illinois numbers: a single state of affairs!

Several islands were missing near the mouth of the river - washed away. Cairo was still there - clearly visible through the long, flat spit of land on the extreme shore of which it stands; but we had to walk a long way to get to him. Night fell as we left the 'Upper River' and faced the floods of Ohio. We run without fear; for the hidden rock which used to be directly in the way went far upstream out of the channel; or rather, about a county went into the river from the tip of Missouri, and the tip of Cairo was "brought down" and added accordingly to its long headland. The Mississippi is a fair and fair river; Never cut down a man's farm without building a new farm just like this for that man's neighbor. It holds resentment.

When we went to Cairo, we almost killed a steamboat that ignored our whistle and tried to cross our bows. With strong support we saved it; which was a great loss as it would have made good literature.

Cairo is now a vibrant city; and it is heavily built up and has a town-like appearance, contrasting remarkably with its earlier estate, as in the portrait of Mr. Dickens. However, it was already built of bricks the last time I saw it - when Colonel (now General) Grant was training his first commando there. Uncle Mumford says the libraries and Sunday schools in Cairo did a good job, as did the masons. Cairo has strong rail and river trade, and its location at the confluence of the two great rivers is so advantageous that it can only thrive.

When I left in the morning we had passed Columbus, Kentucky and were approaching Hickman, a beautiful town on a beautiful hill. Located in a tobacco-rich region, Hickman once enjoyed a large and lucrative trade in this staple - he collected it there from his warehouses across much of the country and shipped it by boat; but Uncle Mumford says she built a railroad to facilitate that trade a little more, and he thinks it made it easier going the wrong way—she took most of the trade out of her hands by taking it along the stretch rolled without collecting it at the ends'.


Under fire

TALK now started talking about the war as we reached the top of the old battle track at this point. Columbus was right behind us, so much has been said of the famous Battle of Belmont. Several of the ship's officers had seen active service with the Mississippi Navy. I came to the conclusion that, unfortunately, at first they were not in their element in this type of business, but then they got used to it, reconciled and became more or less comfortable with it. One of our pilots had his first experience of war in the Battle of Belmont while piloting a Confederate boat. I have often wondered what a green hand would feel like in its maiden fight, sitting lonely and alone on a wheelhouse, a target for Tom, Dick and Harry, and no one at his elbow to shame him. show the white feather . when it got hot and dangerous around you; So for me the story was valuable - it filled a gap for me that all the stories up to that point had left empty.


He said--

It was November 7th. The fight started at seven in the morning. I was on the 'R. H. W. Hill.” Accepted a cargo of troops from Columbus. He returned and took over an artillery battery. My partner said he would watch the fight; wanted me to come along. I said no, I'm not afraid, I would watch from the cockpit. He said I was a coward and left.

That fight was a terrifying sight. General Cheatham had his men strip off their coats and throw them in a heap, saying, "Now follow me to Hell or to Victory!" I heard him say that from the wheelhouse; and then he galloped away at the head of his troops. Old White-haired General Pillow, mounted on a white horse, also sailed and led his troops with a boy's vivacity. Gradually the Federals chased the rebels back, and here they came! kill, each for himself and the devil who remains! and below under the bank they crept and took shelter. I sat there with my legs hanging out of the wheelhouse window. Suddenly I noticed a hissing sound that went past my ear. I thought it was a sphere. I didn't stop to think about anything, I just fell backwards and landed on the floor and stayed there. The bullets exploded. Three cannonballs went down the chimney; a ball hit the corner of the wheelhouse; Projectiles screamed and exploded everywhere. Very hot times - I wish I hadn't come.

I lay on the cockpit floor as the shots came faster and faster. I crept behind the large stove in the center of the wheelhouse. Soon a mini Ebola went through the oven, grazed my head and cut my hat. I thought it was time to get out of there. The captain was on the roof with a red-haired major from Memphis - a handsome man. I heard him say he wanted out of here but "that pilot died". I crawled over to the starboard side to pull the bell to retract; got up and looked out and saw about fifteen bullet holes in the panes; They came so excited that I didn't notice them. I looked at the water and the spray looked like a hailstorm. I thought it best to leave this place. I went head first into the pilothouse guy - not feet first but head first - I slipped - before I hit the deck the captain said we should get out of there. So I climbed on the guy and went back to the ground. At that time they arrested my partner and took him to the wheelhouse between two soldiers. Someone said I was killed. He stuck his head in and saw me lying on the floor reaching for the support bells. He said, "Oh damn, he wasn't shot," and he broke away from the men who grabbed his collar and ran downstairs. We stayed there until three o'clock in the afternoon and then we went well away.

The next time I saw my partner I said, 'Now get out there, be honest and tell me the truth. Where did you go when you saw that battle?' He said, 'I went to the basement.'

During this whole fight I almost died of fear. I hardly knew anything, I was so scared; but you see, no one knew that but me. The next day, General Polk sent for me and commended me for my bravery and bravery. I never said anything, let it be. I thought no, but it wasn't my place to contradict a general officer.

Soon after, I became sick and exhausted and had to go to Hot Springs. When I was there I got a lot of letters from commanders saying they wanted me to come back. I declined because I wasn't feeling well or strong enough; but I kept silent and preserved the reputation I had made for myself.

A simple story told directly; but Mumford told me the pilot "gilded his fear in some places"; that his later career in the war was a testament to that.

We went down the slide on island #8, I got out and spoke to a passenger, a handsome man, easy-going and intelligent-faced. We were nearing island number 10, a place so celebrated during the war. This gentleman's house was on the main outskirts of his neighborhood. I spoke to him about times of war; but the conversation soon turned to the subject of feuds, for nowhere in the South did vengeance flourish more vigorously or last longer among warring families than in this particular region. This gentleman said...

"There used to be more than one feud here, but I think the worst was between the Darnells and the Watsons. Nobody knows now what the first fight was about, it's been so long; the Darnells and the Watsons don't know if either of them are alive, which I don't think. Some say it was a horse or a cow - either way it was a bit of trouble; Money was not an issue - none in the world - both families were wealthy. The thing could easily have been repaired; but no, that wouldn't work. Harsh words were spoken; and so nothing but blood could mend it afterward. That horse or cow, whatever it was, took sixty years to be slaughtered and crippled! About every year someone was shot in one way or another; And it's just like I say; They shot at each other year after year - and made it sort of like a religion, you know - until long ago they forgot what it was all about. Wherever Darnell caught a Watson, or a Watson caught a Darnell, one of them got hurt - the question was who would beat the other. They would shoot at each other right in front of the family. They didn't chase each other, but when they found each other, they snorted and started. Men would shoot boys, boys would shoot men. A man shot a 12-year-old - it happened to him in the woods and didn't give him a chance. If he had given him a chance, the boy would have shot him. Both families belonged to the same church (here everyone is religious); through all that excitement of fifty or sixty years both tribes were there to worship every Sunday. They lived on either side of the line, and the church was on a landing called the Compromise. Half of the church and half of the nave were in Kentucky, the other half in Tennessee. On Sundays the families would be seen arriving, all in their Sunday clothes, men, women and children, and walking down the aisle and country quietly and orderly, one property on the Tennessee side of the church and the other on the Kentucky side. ; and the men and boys laid their weapons against the wall with their hands, and then all hands joined in prayer and praise; although the man next to the aisle is not said to have knelt with the rest of the family; Art stood guard. I don't know; I have never been to this church in my life; but I remember that being said earlier.

"Twenty or twenty-five years ago one of the rival families took a nineteen-year-old boy and killed him. I don't remember if it was the Darnells and Watsons or one of the other feuds; but still this young man arrived - a steamer was there then - and the first thing he saw was a whole band of enemies. He jumped behind a woodpile, but they circled and charged at him, he fired back, and they galloped and jumped and screamed and hit as hard as they could. I think he hurt some of them; but they surrounded him and chased him into the river; and as he swam down the river they walked along the bank and kept firing at him; and by the time he reached shore he was dead. Windy Marshall told me about it. He saw it. He was the captain of the boat.

"Years ago the Darnells were so thin that the old man and his two sons decided to leave the country. They proceeded to take a steamboat directly across No. 10; but the Watsons knew of it; and they arrived just as the two young Darnells, with their wives in their arms, mounted the stairs. Then the fighting began, and they never advanced - both died. After that, old Darnell got into trouble with the man who ran the ferry, and the ferryman got the worst of it - and died. But his friends shot old Darnell through and through, filled him with bullets and finished him off.

The landlord who told me these things were made with ease and comfort was a man of good qualities, and educated in college. His loose grammar was the result of careless habit, not ignorance. This habitat among educated men in the West is not universal, but it is prevalent - certainly prevalent in towns, if not towns; and to such an extent that one cannot help but notice and marvel. I heard a Westerner, who would be considered a highly educated man in any country, say, "Never mind, it doesn't matter." A longtime resident who was present heard this, but it made no impression on her. She could remember it later, when reminded; but she confessed that the words had not hurt her ears at the time - a confession which suggests that when educated persons hear such blasphemous grammar from such a source and cannot perceive the act, the crime must be quite common - so it is common for the common ear to be deadened by familiarity with it, and no longer alert, no longer susceptible to such insults.

Nobody in the world speaks perfect grammar; no one ever wrote it - no one, in the world or out (taking Scripture as proof of the last point); therefore it would not be fair to demand grammatical perfection from the people of the valley; but they and all other peoples may justly be urged not to consciously and deliberately mock his grammar.

I found the river on island #10. The island I remembered was about three miles long and a quarter of a mile wide, heavily forested, and off the coast of Kentucky—about two hundred yards, I would say. But now it was time to look for it with binoculars. Nothing was left of it but a small insignificant tuft, and that was no nearer the Kentucky coast; It was light on the opposite shore a mile away. In wartime the island had been an important site, dominating the situation; and as it was strongly fortified there was no getting through. It stood between the upper and lower divisions of the Union forces, keeping them separate until finally a connection was achieved on the Missouri strip of land. but the island itself is now connected to that neck, the wide river is free.

In this region, the river flows from Kentucky to Tennessee, back to Missouri, then back to Kentucky, and then back to Tennessee. So a mile or two from Missouri extends to Tennessee.

The city of New Madrid looked pretty bad; but otherwise unchanged from its former condition and appearance. His wooden blocks still stood on the same old flat plain and surrounded by the same old forests. It was as peaceful as before, and apparently it had neither grown nor shrunk. It was said that the recent flood had invaded and spoiled its appearance. This was surprising news; for at low tide the bank of the river is very high (fifty feet), and in my day overrunning was always considered impossible. The current flood of 1882 will no doubt be celebrated in the river's history for generations to come before a deluge of equal magnitude is seen. He submerged the whole unprotected lowlands, from Cairo to the mouth; levees broke in many places on both sides of the river; and in some southern regions, when the tide was at its height, the Mississippi was seventy miles wide! several lives were lost and property destruction was horrific. Crops were destroyed, homes were destroyed, and homeless men and cattle were forced to take refuge on mountain ridges scattered here and there in the countryside and forest, waiting in danger and suffering for those ordered by the national and local governments and the newspaper company rented boats it could come. and save her. Scores of people had their homes flooded for months and the poorest must have starved by the hundreds if help had not been offered immediately. {Footnote [For a detailed and interesting description of the great flood, written aboard the New Orleans_Times-Democrat_ lifeboat, see Appendix A]} The water had been falling for a considerable time, but generally we found the banks still submerged.


some imported items

We found two steamboats in New Madrid. Two steamboats in sight at the same time! a rare spectacle now in lonely Mississippi. The solitude of this solemn and mighty flood is awe-inspiring - and depressing. League after league, and still league after league, it pours its chocolate tide between its solid forest walls, its almost deserted shores, rarely using a sail or moving object of any kind to disturb the surface and break the monotony of the void, watery solitude. ; and so the day passes, the night comes, and again the day - and still the same, night after night and day after day - majestic, unchanging equality of serenity, rest, calm, lethargy, emptiness - symbol of eternity, fulfillment of o Heaven represented by priests and prophets, coveted by the good and the frivolous!

Immediately after the War of 1812, tourists from England began to come to America; First he scattered a few, then a kind of procession of them - a procession that continued its slow, patient march across the land for many, many years. Each tourist took notes, went home, and published a book—a book that was generally calm, honest, sensible, and kind; which seemed to our soft-footed ancestors to be just the opposite. A look at these tourist books tells us that in some respects Mississippi has not changed since the foreigners visited, but is much the same today as it was then. The emotions generated by these aspects in these alien breasts were not all patterned, of course; Initially, there had to be several because the first tourists had to bring out their emotions, while in older countries you can always borrow emotions from predecessors. And remember, emotions are some of the most difficult things in the world to create; It's easier to create seven facts than one emotion. Captain Basil Hall. R.N., writing fifty-five years ago, says:

“Here I had my first glimpse of the object I had wanted to see for so long, and I felt richly rewarded in that moment for all the effort I put into getting this far; and stared at the river flowing by until it was too dark to make out. But it was only after visiting the same place a dozen times that I got a real understanding of the magnitude of the scene.”

The following are Mrs. Trollope's emotions. She writes a few months later, in the same year, 1827, arriving at the mouth of the Mississippi -

"The first indication that we were approaching land was the appearance of this mighty river pouring out its muddy waters and mingling with the deep blue of the Gulf of Mexico. I've never seen a landscape so utterly desolate as this Mississippi Bay. If Dante had seen it, he might have taken pictures of another Borgia of its horrors. A single object rises above the turbulent waters; this is the mast of a ship that sank long ago trying to cross the Bar, and still stands, a sad witness to the destruction that has already taken place and an omen of things to come. '

Emotions of the Hon. Charles Augustus Murray (near St. Louis), seven years later -

"It is only when one travels eighty or a hundred miles up the mighty river, using the eye of imagination as well as that of nature, that one begins to understand its full power and majesty. You see it fertilizing a boundless valley, bearing in its course the trophies of its thousand victories over the shattered forest - bearing here great masses of earth with all its growth, and forming islands there destined to be in a future time the dwelling place of the Man. ; and while you meditate on this prospect, it is time to reflect that the current has traveled two or three thousand miles before you, and must travel another thirteen hundred before it reaches its destination in the ocean.'

Now receive the emotions of Captain Marryat, R.N. Author of the Seatales, wrote in 1837, three years after Mr. Murray--

“Perhaps never in the record of nations has there been a crime so unvarying and absolute as that which can be gathered from the history of turbulent and bloodstained Mississippi. The river itself seems appropriate for the actions committed. It is not beautiful to behold like most rivers, and it gives fertility to its course; It's not something the eye likes to see while walking along, nor can you wander its banks or rest assured that there is no danger in its flow. It is a torrent, swift, desolate, laden with alluvium; and few of those who are taken up into its waters ever come up again to the surface.]} or they can long stay on their surface without the aid of a friendly proboscis. It contains the rudest and most inedible fish, like the catfish and the like, and as you descend its banks are occupied by the stinking alligator, while the panther basks on its brim in the reed reins, almost immune to man. Its rushing waters through wild paths overgrown with trees of little value but firewood, it sweeps with it in its course whole forests that vanish in stormy confusion, eddying in the current now laden with the masses of earth that hold its roots having nurtured, often blocking and shifting, once the channel of the river, which, as if angry at its defiance, floods and devastates all the land around; and as it weaves its way through its former channel, it plants in all directions the uprooted monarchs of the forest (on whose branches the bird will never sleep again, or raccoon, skunk, or squirrel will climb) as traps for the adventurous navigators of its waters Steam, who, carried away by these hidden dangers that pierce the boards, often do not have time to steer and reach the shore before sinking to the bottom. There are no pleasant associations with the common great sewer of Western America, which spills its mud into the Gulf of Mexico and pollutes the clear blue sea many miles beyond its mouth. It's a river of desolation; and instead of reminding yourself, like other beautiful rivers, of an angel descending for the good of mankind, you picture him as a demon whose energies were only surpassed by the wondrous power of steam.'

It is rather crude literature for a man accustomed to handling a pen; Nonetheless, it has value as a panorama of the emotions that the appearance and lore of the "great common sewer" welled up from the chest of this remarkable visitor. A value that is statistically hampered by inaccuracies; for the catfish is a good fish for everyone, and there are no panthers that are "impenetrable to man."

Still later, Alexander Mackay of Middle Temple, Barrister at Law, comes on board with better digestion and no catfish supper, and feels this -

'The Mississippi! With indescribable emotions I felt myself floating in its waters for the first time. How often did my imagination picture in my student dreams, and afterwards in my waking visions, the mighty stream, rolling in a tumultuous current through the boundless region to which it has given its name, and gathering in its course to the river ocean, the backwaters almost all latitudes in the temperate zone! Here he was in his reality, and I ended up sailing against his current. I looked at him with that awe with which one must contemplate a great feature of outer nature.'

So much for the thrill. All tourists comment on the deep, brooding loneliness and desolation of the vast river. Captain Basil Hall, who saw it in the flood phase, says...

"Sometimes we drove twenty or thirty miles without seeing a single dwelling. An artist looking for clues for a flood painting would have found them here in abundance.'

The first shall be last, &c. Only two hundred years ago did the ancient great-first and gallant of all foreign tourists, pioneer, leader of the procession, finish his wearisome and arduous journey along the solemn stretches of the great river - La Salle, whose name will endure as long as the river itself lasts . We quote Mr Parkman -

“And now they were nearing the end of their journey. On April 6, the river divided into three wide channels. La Salle followed west and D'Autray east; while Tonty took the middle pass. As the murky current tumbled down between the low, swampy banks, the brackish water turned to brine, and the breeze grew cooler with the salty breath of the sea. Then the wide bosom of the great gulf opened up to him, casting its restless waves, limitless, voiceless, lonely, as if born out of chaos, without sails, without signs of life.'

Then, on a point of solid ground, La Salle erected a column bearing the coat of arms of France; the French were assembled to arms; and as the New England Indians and their Indian wives looked on in awed silence, they sang the _Te Deum, the Exaudiat_, and the _Domine Salvum Fac Regem_.

Then, as the volleys of muskets and shouts of joy broke out, the victorious explorer erected the pillar and loudly proclaimed that he was taking formal possession of the river and the vast lands through which it flows in the king's name. The pillar bore this inscription:


New Orleans intended to celebrate the bicentennial of this illustrious event this year; but when the time came, all their energies and excess money were needed in other directions, for the Flood was then upon the earth, wreaking havoc and havoc far and wide.


Unloaded Tuna Tio Mumford

We cruised down the river all day and had the creek pretty much to ourselves. Previously, at such a water level, we would have had to pass several hectares of wooden rafts and dozens of large coal barges; also the occasional small commercial boats peddling from farm to farm, with the peddler's family on board; possibly an accidental frown that a humble Hamlet and Co. on a dramatic walking tour. But these were all missing. All day we saw a steamboat; just one and nothing else. She lay in the shade, in the wooded estuary of the Obion River. The binoculars revealed the fact that it was named after me - or_it_ was named after me, whichever you prefer. As this is the first time I have encountered this type of honour, it seems excusable to mention it while also drawing the authorities' attention to the delay in my recognition.

I noticed a big change in the flow on island 21. It was a very large island and it was in the middle of the river; but is now connected to the main coast and has gone out of business as an island.

Darkness fell as we neared the famous and awe-inspiring Plum Point, but there was nothing to fear - in these modern times. For now, the national government has turned Mississippi into something of a two-thousand-mile torchlight procession. At the beginning of each intersection and at the foot of each intersection, the government placed a lighted lamp. You are never completely in the dark now; there is always a lighthouse in sight, in front of you, behind you or next to you. You could almost say that the lightbulbs were wasted there. Dozens of crosses are illuminated, which were not shoals when they were made and have never been shoals since; Crossings so flat and also so straight that a steamer, having passed once, can pass them unaided. Lamps in such places are obviously not wasted; it is much more convenient and convenient for a pilot to hold them than in a expanse of formless darkness that does not stand still; and at the same time money is saved for the boat because of course it can travel more miles with the rudder amidships than with the rudder positioned and restrained at the stern.

But this thing took the romance out of riding to a great extent. That and a few other things together took all the romance away from him. For example, the danger of obstacles isn't what it used to be. Government fishing boats patrol up and down these ordinary days, pulling the river's teeth; they eradicated all the old clusters that made many places so impressive; and they do not allow new ones to be collected. When your boat used to cast off from you on a dark night and headed into the forest, that was a time of fear for you; the same thing happened when one groped one's way through the frozen darkness on a narrow ramp; but now everything is different - you turn on your electric light, turn night into day in the blink of an eye, and your dangers and fears are gone. Horace Bixby and George Ritchie mapped the crossings and planned routes with a compass; They invented a lightbulb that went with graphene and patented the whole thing. With these tools one can now walk in the fog with considerable confidence and with a confidence unknown in earlier times.

With those numerous beacons, no obstructions, plenty of daylight in a box that can be turned on at any time, and a chart and compass to fight the fog, steering in good water is now almost as safe and easy as a navigating phase and is scarcely more than three times as romantic.

And now, in these new days, these days of endless change, AnchorLine has put the captain ahead of the pilot and given him the higher salary of the two. It went a long way, but they didn't stop there. They decreed that the pilot must remain at his post and keep watch whether the boat is in motion or moored to shore. We who were once the aristocrats of the river cannot now go to bed and sleep as we used to while a hundred tons of cargo are loaded on board; no, we must sit in the wheelhouse; and stay awake too. In fact, we're treated like a bunch of guys and engineers. The government has taken romance out of our calling; the company stripped him of his status and dignity.

Plum Point looked as it always did at night, except that there were now lighthouses marking the crossings, and also many other lights on the Point and along its shore; The latter shines in the United States River Commission's fleet and in a mansion that officials built on land for offices and service personnel. The commission's military engineers undertook the task of rebuilding the Mississippi River - a task surpassed in scope only by the original task of building it. They build dams here and there to divert the flow; and dikes to confine it to narrower limits; and other dikes to make your stay there; and innumerable miles along the Mississippi they tear down the timber front fifty yards backward, to cut the bank with the pitch of a house roof to the ebb, and weigh it down with stones; and in many places they protected the devastated banks with rows of pilings. Those who know the Mississippi will readily affirm—not aloud, but to themselves—that ten thousand River Commissions, with the mines of the world at their backs, cannot tame, dam, or restrict that lawless river. Go here or go there and make him obey; it cannot save a shore that has condemned it; he cannot block his way with an obstacle which he will not throw down, dance and laugh. But a man of understanding will not put these things into spoken words; because West Point engineers have no bosses anywhere; they know everything that can be known from their obscure science; and once they understand that they can tie up and tie up that flow and control it, it is only wisdom for the unscientific man to be still, be still and wait until they do. Captain Eads has done a job with his piers on the Mississippi Estuary that clearly seemed impossible; therefore we do not now dare to prophesy against similar impossibilities. Otherwise, one would argue that the Commission might as well bully the comets in their courses and undertake to make them behave rather than attempt to force Mississippi to behave properly and sanely.

I have consulted Uncle Mumford on this and related matters; and I give here the result, which is given in shorthand and must therefore be considered complete and correct; except that I left comments here and there aimed at men, like 'Where are you going with that keg now?' and which seemed to me to break the flow of the written statement without compensating for it with additional information or clarity. Not that I dared to eliminate all these heckling; I only removed those that were obviously irrelevant; Whenever something happened that I had my doubts about, I thought it safer to let it go.


Tio Mumford this...

"Ever since I was mate on a steamer - thirty years - I have watched and studied this river. Maybe I could have learned more about it at West Point, but if I believe that, I'd like _why are you sucking your fingers there? You'll learn a lot from a man I think, but you won't learn the flow. They give this commission one of those little European rivers with its hard bottom and clear water, and it would just be a vacation job for them to wall it up, heap it up, dam it, tame it and tame it and make it go where they wanted him and to stay where they put him and do exactly what they said every time. But that's not that kind of flow. They started here with a lot of confidence and the best intentions in the world; but they stay on the left. What does Ecclesiastes vii mean. say 13? Says enough to knock over _your_little gamegalley-west, doesn't it? Now look at their methods. Down on Devil's Island, in the Upper River, they wanted the water to flow one way, the water to flow the other way. So they built a stone wall. But what does the river mean for a stone wall? When it was done it was a little swollen. Maybe they can build another one that stays; that is, up there - but not down here, they can't. Down here on the Lower River they are driving stakes to keep the water off the bank and keep it from cutting through the bank; All right, don't you go straight ahead and cut someone else's bench? Surely. Will they pair all banks? You could buy land and build a new Mississippi cheaper. They are now recording Bulletin Tow-head. It won't do any good. If the river has a mortgage on this island it will be safe enough, pilings or no pilings. Far away they drove two rows of stakes right through a half-mile long dry pole, which sticks out forty feet at low tide. What do you think it's for? If I knew how, I wish I could land on - - run, you undertaker's son! - with that coal oil, now, hooray, hooray! _ And see what they're trying to do over there at Milliken's Bend. There was a cut in that section and Vicksburg was sidelined. It is now a country town. The river flows beneath; and a boat can enter the city only at high tide. Well, they'll build at the opposite bend at the bottom of the 103 dams and drain the water and cut off the bottom of the island and dig an old ditch where the river used to be; and they think they can get the water to go that way and have it rush over Vicksburg like it used to and bring the city back to the world again. That is, they take the entire Mississippi, turn it, and run it upriver for several miles. Well, one has to admire men who can negotiate ideas of this magnitude and carry them around without crutches; but you don't have to think they can _do_ such miracles, do you! And yet you absolutely don't have to think that you can't. I think the safest way where a man can afford it is to fund the operation while also buying enough real estate in Vicksburg to frame it if they win. The government is making a deal for Mississippi -- they're spending a lot of money on it. When there were four thousand steamers and ten thousand acres of coal barges, rafts, and merchant ships, there was no lantern from St. Paul to New Orleans, and the obstacles were thicker than the bristles on a pig's back; and now that there are three dozen steamers, and no barges or rafts, the Government has removed all obstacles, and lights up the banks like Broadway, and a boat is as safe on the river as it is in the air. And I think when there are no more boats, the commission will remodel, dredge, fence and tidy up the whole old thing to a degree that makes sailing just perfect and absolutely safe. and profitable; and every day will be a Sunday, and all the lads will be Sunday schools—why the hell are you playing there, children of iniquity, heirs of perdition! Will it take a year for the barrel to come ashore?'_

During our trip to and from New Orleans, we had many conversations with river people, ranchers, journalists, and River Commission officials—with conflicting and confusing results. Knowledge:--

1. Some believed in the Commission's plan to arbitrarily and permanently restrict (thus deepen) the canal, preserve endangered beaches, etc.

2. Some felt that the Commission's money should only be spent on building and repairing the major levee system.

3. Some believed that the higher you built your dam, the higher the river bottom would rise; and that consequently the dike system is a mistake.

4. Some believed in the plan to relieve the river at high tide by diverting its excess water to Lake Borgne, etc.

5. Some believed in the northern lake reservoir program to fill up the Mississippi at low tide.

Wherever you find a man down there who believes in one of these theories, you can reach out to the nearest man and structure your conversation around the assumption that he doesn't believe in that theory; and when one has experience one goes down that road not with doubt or hesitation, but with the confidence of a dying murderer—a convert, I mean. For you will know with a deep and reassuring certainty that you will not find two people in a row fed up with the same theory. No, there will always be one or two with other diseases in between. And as you go along, you'll discover a different thing or two. You will find that batch disease does not exist, but it is contagious; and you can't go where it is without picking it up. You can vaccinate yourself with any deterrent facts - it doesn't help; it seems to "take" but doesn't; The moment you encounter one of these theorists, you decide it's time to wave your yellow flag.

Yes, you are his sure victim: yet his work is not entirely harmful to you - just part of it; for he is like your family doctor who comes and cures the mumps and leaves the scarlet fever behind. For example, if your husband is a Lake Borgne Relief theorist, he will be broadcasting a cloud of deadly facts and statistics that will surely leave him with this disease; but at the same time it will heal you of any other of the five theories that may have entered your system before.

I had all five; and had them "bad"; but do not ask me in sad numbers which of them has tormented me most, or who has counted the longest list of sick people, for I do not know. In fact, nobody can answer the last question. Mississippi improvement is a strong theme down there. Everyone on the riverbanks south of Cairo talks about it every day, in those moments when they can spare themselves talking about the war; and each of the several leading theories has its band of zealous supporters; but, as said, it is not possible to determine which cause attracts more recruits.

On one point, however, everyone agreed: if Congress were to tap enough funds, it would result in a colossal benefit. Very good; since then the appropriation has taken place - possibly enough, certainly not too much. Let's hope that the prophecy is largely fulfilled.

One thing the reader will readily admit; that an opinion of Mr. Edward Atkinson comes as close as authority to any major national trade issue, as well as the opinion of every individual in the Union. What he has to say about the improvement of the Mississippi can be found in the appendix. {Footnote. [See Appendix B.]}

Sometimes a half-dozen numbers reveal, as in an instant, the importance of a subject that ten thousand labored words with the same goal had finally left, but obscure and uncertain. Here is a case like this - paragraph from the "Cincinnati Commercial" -

"The tug "Jos. B. Williams" is en route to New Orleans with a trailer of thirty-two barges containing six hundred thousand bushels (seventy-six pounds per bushel) of coal solely for their own fuel, the largest trailer ever brought to New Orleans or anywhere else, any other place in the world. His freight bill, at 3 cents a bushel, is $18,000. It took eighteen hundred cars, three hundred and thirty-three bushels a car, to move that amount of coal. At $10 per ton or $100 per car, which would be a fair price for the rail route, the freight bill would be $180,000, or $162,000 more by rail than by water. Towing will be from Pittsburg to New Orleans in fourteen to fifteen days. It would take one hundred eighteen-car trains to move this 600,000-bushel-coal trailer, and even if it reached the normal speed of fast-load lines, it would take an entire summer to move it by rail.

When a river in good condition saves over $162,000 on a single charge all summer long, the wisdom of taking action to keep the river in good condition is clear to even non-business people.


Some sample stones

We traverse the Plum Point region, turning Craighead's Point and gliding unchallenged past the once-impressive Fort Pillow, remembered for the massacre that took place there during the war. it is almost the only one found in American history; perhaps it is the only one that reaches a size commensurate with this vast and sombre title. We have the "Boston Massacre," which killed two or three people; but we must piece together the Anglo-Saxon story to find the subject of the Fort Pillow tragedy; and no doubt we still have to travel back to the days and performances of Coeur de Lion, this handsome "hero", before we've made it.

More from the river freaks. In the past the channel cut off above Island 37 near Brandywine Bar and descended towards Island 39. It then changed course and descended from Brandywine through the Vogelman Trough at Devil's Elbow to Island 39 - part of that course , with the old order reversed; the river ascends four or five miles instead of descending, and cuts in a distance of about fifteen miles. That was in 1876. The whole region is now called Centenary Island.

There is a tradition that Island 37 was one of the main residences of the once famous "Gang of Murel". This was a colossal combination of thieves, horse thieves, black thieves and counterfeiters doing business along the river some fifty or sixty years ago. As our journey across the country to St. Louis continued, we had no end of Jesse James and his gripping story; for he had just been assassinated by an agent of the Missouri governor, and was consequently taking up much space in the newspapers. Cheap stories about him were sold by train boys. After that he was the most wonderful creature of his kind that ever lived. That was a mistake. Murel matched him in boldness; in courage; in greed; in cruelty, brutality, cruelty, treason, and general and all-encompassing meanness and shamelessness; and far superior in some important respects. James was a retail scoundrel; Murel attacked. James' humble genius dreamed of no higher flight than planning attacks on cars, buses, and rural banks; Murel carried out black rebellions and the conquest of New Orleans; and besides, this Murel could step up into a pulpit from time to time and edify the church. of ten hundred men swore to do his evil will!

Here's a paragraph or two about this great operator from a now-forgotten book that was published half a century ago -

He seems to have been a very skilled and accomplished villain. When traveling he usually disguised himself as an itinerant preacher; forgot to take care of his horses, which were taken away by his allies while he was preaching. But stealing horses in one state and selling them in another was only a small part of their business; The most profitable thing was to lure slaves away from their masters so they could sell them in another neighborhood. This was arranged as follows; They would tell a nigger that if he ran away from his master and allowed them to sell him, he would get part of the money paid for him, and that on his second return they would send him to them in a free state, where he would be safe.

The poor fellows complied, hoping for money and freedom; they would be sold to another master and flee again to their employers; sometimes they were sold in this way three or four times, until they fetched three or four thousand dollars; But thereafter, fearing that they would be discovered, it was customary to get rid of the only witness who could be brought against them, namely the Negro himself, by murdering him and dumping his body in the Mississippi. Even if it was proved that they had robbed a Negro before he was murdered, they were always ready to evade punishment; for they hid the escaped nigger till he was reported and a reward offered to whoever caught him. Such an indication guarantees that the person will keep the found property. And then the nigger becomes escrow, so when they sold the nigger it just became a breach of trust, not theft; and for a breach of trust the owner of the property can only be compensated by a civil suit, which has been in vain as damages have never been paid. One might wonder how Murel escaped Lynch's law under such circumstances. when it says that he had _more than a thousand sworn confederates_, all ready at any moment to support any member of the gang who might get into trouble. The names of all of Murel's leading allies were obtained from him in a manner that I will now explain. The band consisted of two classes: the Chiefs, or Council as they were called, who planned and concerted but seldom acted; counted about four hundred. The other class were active agents, called strikers, numbering about six hundred and fifty. These were the tools in the hands of others; they took all the risks and got only a small part of the money; They were owned by the gang leaders, who would sacrifice them at any moment, hand them over to justice, or dump their bodies in the Mississippi. The general haunt of this band of evildoers was on the Arkansas side of the river, where they hid their blacks in the swamps and sugar cane fields.

The ravages of this extended combination have been painfully felt; but his plans were so well arranged that although Murel, who was ever active, was everywhere suspected, no proof could be obtained. It so happened, however, that a young man named Stewart, who had been taking care of two slaves whom Murel had betrayed, joined him and gained his trust, was sworn in and accepted into the gang as a member of the General Council. This was how everything was discovered; for Stewart became a traitor even though he had sworn the oath, and after getting all the information, he laid out the whole affair, the names of all parties, and finally brought home enough evidence against Murel to get her convicted and sentenced to the prison (Murel was sentenced to fourteen years in prison); so many persons who ought to be honest, and who were of respectable names in various states, were found in Stewart's published Grand Council list that every attempt has been made to discredit his claims—his character has been slandered, and more than one attempt has been made was made to assassinate him. As a result, he had to leave the southern states. However, it is now firmly determined that it was all true; and although some have accused Mr. Stewart of breaking his oath, they no longer seek to deny that his revelations were accurate. I'll share a portion or two of Murel's confessions to Mr. Stewart, made for him when they traveled together. I should have remarked that by their own account the ultimate intentions of Murel and his companions were far-reaching; with nothing less than turning the blacks against the whites to take over and plunder New Orleans and own the territory. Below are some excerpts:--

“I gathered all my friends from New Orleans at the house of one of our friends in this place, and we met for a council three days before we had all completed our plans; We therefore decided to rebel at all costs and to win as many friends as possible for this purpose. With all business in his hands, I walked to Natchez after selling my horse in New Orleans with the intention of stealing another once I started. I rode for four days and had no chance of getting a horse. On the fifth day, around noon, I was tired and stopped at a stream to get some water and rest a little. As I sat on a log and looked down the road I had come, a man appeared on a handsome horse. The moment I saw him I was determined to keep his horse when he was in traveler's costume. He drove, and I saw in his carriage that he was a traveller. I got up, pulled out a sleek rifle pistol for him, and ordered him down. He obeyed and I took his horse's bridle and pointed to the creek and ordered him to go in front of me. He walked a few hundred yards and stopped. I tied his horse up and then had him stripped down to his shirt and trousers and told him to turn his back on me. He said, 'If you are determined to kill me, give me time to pray before I die.' I told him I didn't have time to listen to him pray. He rolled over and fell to his knees and I shot him in the back of the head.

I ripped open his stomach, took out his insides and dunked him in the stream. So I rummaged in his pockets and found four hundred dollars and thirty-seven cents and several papers I didn't have time to go through. I dumped his wallet, papers and hat in the creek. His boots were brand new and fit me perfectly; and I put them on and dipped my old shoes in the brook to atone for them. I rolled up his clothes and put them in his suitcase as they were new clothes of the best quality. I mounted a horse as fine as I have ever ridden, and rode my course to Natchez in much better style than I had for the past five days.

'Me and a fellow named Crenshaw got four good horses together and went to Georgia. We made contact with a young man from South Carolina just before we reached Cumberland Mountain, and Crenshaw soon learned all about his business. He had gone to Tennessee to buy a herd of pigs, but when he got there the pork was more expensive than he had calculated and he refused the purchase. We came to the conclusion that he was a prize. Crenshaw blinked at me; I got his idea. Crenshaw had walked the road before, but I had never; we had traveled several kilometers up the mountain when it passed close to a great chasm; just before we passed him, Crenshaw asked for my whip, which had a pound of lead in the butt; I handed him over and got to South Carolina's side, hit him on the side of the head and knocked him off his horse; we jump off our horses and touch their pockets; we have twelve hundred and sixty-two dollars. Crenshaw said he knew a place to hide it, and he took it under the arms and I by the feet, and carried it into a deep cleft at the brink of the chasm, and threw it in, and it was out of sight; then we fell into his saddle and picked up his horse, which was worth two hundred dollars.

"We were detained for some days, and during that time our friend went to a small village nearby and saw the advertised nigger (a nigger in our possession) and a description of the two men who had bought it and his suspicions to express to men. It's been stormy times enough, but every port's in a storm: we caught the nigger that night on the bank of a creek flowing past our friend's farm, and Crenshaw shot him through the head. We took out his intestines and dunked him in the stream.

“He sold that other nigger a third time on the Arkansaw River for over five hundred dollars; and then he stole it and gave it into the hands of his friend, who led him into a swamp, watched over the tragic scene, and obtained the last gleaning and the sacred promise of secrecy; such a game is no good unless it ends with a riddle for everyone but the Brotherhood. He sold the Negro first and last for nearly two thousand dollars, and then put him forever out of reach of all pursuers; and they can never graze on it unless they find the black one;

We were approaching Memphis, the city across the street witnessed by its residents where the most famous river battle of the Civil War took place. Two men with whom I served in my time on the river took part in this battle: Mr. Bixby, Chief Pilot, Union Fleet, and Montgomery, Commodore, Confederate Fleet. Both saw much active service during the war and gained a high reputation for bravery and skill.

As we neared Memphis, we began to look for an excuse to stay with the Gold Dust to the end of her course - Vicksburg. We were so conveniently located that we didn't want to change. I had an important errand to run in Napoleon, Arkansas, but maybe I could get it done without giving up Gold Dust. I said that; Therefore, we decided to stick with current quarters.

The boat was to remain in Memphis until ten the next morning. It is a beautiful town, nobly situated on an imposing cliff overlooking the river. The streets are straight and spacious, though not paved in a way that inspires undue admiration. No, admiration must be reserved for the city's sewers, which are said to be perfect; a recent reform, because until a few years ago it was just the opposite - a reform born of the lesson of a heartbreaking yellow fever visit. In those terrible days, people were swept away by the hundreds, by the thousands; and so great was the decrease caused by flight and death combined, that the population decreased by three quarters, and remained so for a time. Shops were almost at a standstill and the streets looked like an empty Sunday.

Here is a picture of Memphis at that catastrophic time, drawn by a German tourist who seems to have been an eyewitness to the scenes he is describing. It comes from Chapter VII of his book "Mississippi-Fahrten, von Ernst von Hesse-Wartegg", which has just been published in Leipzig.

“Yellow fever peaked in August. Hundreds of people fell victim to the terrible epidemic every day. The city became a mighty graveyard, two thirds of the population had left the place, and only the poor, old and sick remained, safe prey for the insidious enemy. The houses were closed: small lamps were burning in front of many - a sign that death had come here. Often several lay dead in a single house; black crepe hung from the windows. Shops were closed because their owners were either gone or dead.

'Terribly evil! In no time he was knocking and sweeping away even the most energetic victim. A slight malaise, then an hour's rest, then the hideous delirium, then... the Yellow Death! On the street corners and in the squares lay sick, suddenly seized by the disease; and even corpses, contorted and rigid. The food failed. Meat will spoil and blacken in a few hours in the stinking, polluted air.

“Cries of fear come from many houses; then after a while they stop and all is quiet: noble and selfless men come with the coffin, nail it up and take it to the cemetery. At night there is peace. Only doctors and undertakers roam the streets; and in the distance, at intervals, the muffled roar of the railway train, which flies at wind speed and as if pursued by furies without stopping through the plague-stricken city.'

But there is enough life there now. The population exceeds 40,000 and is increasing, and commerce is in a thriving state. We drove through town; visited the park and the gregarious horde of squirrels there; saw the beautiful residences, clad in pink and otherwise attractive to the eye; and had a good breakfast at the hotel.

A prosperous place is the Good Samaritan town of Mississippi: it has a large wholesale trade; foundries, machine workshops; and factories for wagons, carriages, and cottonseed oil; and soon there will be cotton mills and elevators.

Its cotton earnings reached 500,000 bales last year – a 60,000 increase from the previous year. From its healthy commercial heart five major railroad lines branch; and a sixth is added.

This is a very different Memphis than the lost and forgotten procession of foreign tourists they wrote in their books long ago. In the days of the now-forgotten but once famous and fiercely hated Mrs. Trollope, Memphis seems to have consisted mostly of one long block-house street, with a few secluded cottages scattered toward the woods; and now and then a pig and endless mud. That was fifty-five years ago. She stopped at the hotel. It was clearly not the one who gave us breakfast. She says--

“The table was set for fifty people and almost full. They ate in utter silence and at such a surprising speed that dinner was literally over before ours began; the only noises heard were those made by the knives and forks, with the incessant chorus of coughing, _etc_.'

'cough etc.' The 'etc.' it means a bad word there, a word that she does not always embellish in a benevolent way, but sometimes prints. You will find it in the following description of a supper on a steamer, which she took in the company of many aristocratic planters; rich, high-born and ignorant of what they were, decked out in the usual harmless military and legal titles of those old days of cheap swindles and windy pretensions...

'The utter absence of all the usual table courtesies; the insatiable speed at which delicacies were caught and devoured; the strange and crude phrases and pronunciations; the disgusting spit, from the contamination of which it was absolutely impossible to protect our clothes; the frightening way he ate with his knives until the whole blade seemed to go into his mouth; and the still more frightening art of brushing one's teeth afterwards with a switchblade soon compelled us not to feel surrounded by the generals, colonels, and majors of the old world; and this dinner should be anything but an hour of fun.'


Sketches by the way

It was a great river below Memphis; overflowing banks everywhere, and often more than full, the water spilled over the land, flooding the woods and fields for miles inland; and in some places to a depth of fifteen feet; signs are everywhere that people's hard work has been ruined and everything must be done all over again, with limited resources and weakened courage. A melancholy and continuous image; Hundreds of miles away from her. Sometimes the lighthouses stood in three feet of water, at the edge of dense forests that stretched for miles, with no farms, lumberyards, clearings, or any breaks; which meant that the Guardian of Light had to travel a great distance on a stretcher to fulfill his trust - often in inclement weather. However, I have been told that the work is carried out conscientiously, whatever the weather; and not always by men, sometimes by women when the man is ill or absent. The government provides oil and pays $10 to $15 a month for lighting and maintenance. A government boat distributes oil and pays wages once a month.

The Ship Island area was as wooded and uninhabited as ever. The island ceased to be an island; it was closely linked to the main coast, and the carriages now ply where the steamers used to go. No trace of the wreck of the "Pennsylvania". One day some farmer will surely turn over the bones with his plow and be amazed.

We descended now into the region of black migrants. These poor people could never travel when they were slaves; so now they're making up for the deprivation. They stay on a plantation until wanderlust overtakes them; So they pack their bags, hail a steamer and set off. Not to a specific place; no, answers are given almost everywhere; they just want to move. The amount of money available will solve the rest of the puzzle for them. If it's to go eighty miles, very well; let it be fifty If not, a shorter flight will suffice.

For a few days we frequently responded to these calls. Sometimes there was a cluster of derelict shacks, water-stained, crowded with coloreds and no whites visible; here and there dry patches without grass; a few felled trees with skeletons of cattle, mules and horses eating leaves and gnawing the bark - no other sustenance for them in the flood-ravaged land. Sometimes there was a single landing cabin; next to her the colored family who greeted us; small and large, old and young, perched on the meager heap of household items; These consisted of a rusty gun, some cots, chests, cans, stools, a crippled mirror, a venerable armchair, and six or eight yellow dogs born rogue and mindless, tied to the family with ropes. They must have their dogs; can't go without their dogs. However, dogs are never ready; they always resist; then they are dragged aboard one by one in a ridiculous procession; all four feet spread and sliding across stage, head about to be ripped off; but the hauler marched forward purposefully, hunched over their work, the rope slung over his shoulder for support. Sometimes a child is forgotten and left on the sidelines; but never a dog.

The usual river gossip in the wheelhouse. Island #63 - an island with a beautiful "slide" or walkway behind it in olden times. They said Jesse Jamieson, in the "Skylark," had a guest driver on a trip -- a poor old beat-up retired chap -- and left him behind the wheel, at foot 63, to get away from the clock. The old sailor climbed up the slide outside and down the river; and up the trough and down the river again; and yet again and again; and handed the boat over to the backup pilot after three hours of honest effort in the same ancient foothills where he originally took the helm! A black man on the shore, who saw the boat go by about thirteen times, said, "Sure, graceful, I wouldn't be surprised if there were a whole bunch of skylarks!"

Anecdote illustrating the influence of reputation on changing opinions. The 'Eclipse' was known for her speed. One day she died; A dark-skinned old man on shore, absorbed in his own business, did not recognize which ship it was. Recently someone asked--

"Any boats coming up?"

- Yes indeed.

"Was she fast?"

'Oh, more or less... hanging around'.

"Do you know what kind of boat that was?"

- No sir.

"Why, uncle, that was 'Eclipse.'

'NO! And even? Well, I bet it was... because she was passing... Spark!

A piece of history that illustrates the violent style of some people here. During the first few weeks of the flood, A's fence rails fell into B's land, and B's rails were carried away by the eddies and landed on A's land. A said, 'Let it be; I'll use your tracks and you'll use mine. But B disagreed - he didn't want it that way. One day, A landed on B's land to record his tracks. B said: 'I will kill you!' and approached him with his revolver. A said: "I am not armed". Then B, wanting only to do what was right, dropped his revolver; then he drew a knife and slit A's throat all the way around, but focused his attention on the front and failed to sever the carotid artery. Struggling, A managed to get his hands on the discarded revolver and shot B - and recovered from his own wounds.

More gossip; after that they all went down to breakfast and left me alone at the helm. Something reminded me of our last class in St. I was joined by a stranger who began to converse with me - a vivacious young man who said he was born in a rural Wisconsin town and had never been until a week ago seen a steamship. He also said that when he came down from La Crosse he inspected and examined his boat with such care and with such passionate interest that he was overwhelmed from bow to rudder. He asked me where I'm from. I replied New England. "Oh, a Yankee!" he said; and chattered straight on without waiting for proper assent. He immediately suggested showing me around the boat and telling me the names of the different parts and teaching me how to use them. Before I could protest or apologize, he babbled on about this benevolent work; and when I saw him misname things and amuse himself in an inhospitable manner at the expense of an innocent stranger from a far-off land, I shut my mouth and let him do as he pleased. He gave me a world of misinformation; and the farther he went, the more his imagination expanded, and the more he enjoyed his cruel work of deception. Sometimes, after telling me a particularly fantastic and outrageous lie, he would "laugh" so much that, on one excuse or another, he had to stand back for a minute to keep me from getting suspicious. I faithfully stayed by his side until his comedy ended. Then he remarked that he had tried, and did, to "teach" me all about a steamship; but if he forgot something just ask him and he would make up for it. 'Anything about this boat whose name or purpose you do not know, come to me and I will tell you.' I said yes and left; disappeared and approached him from the other side where he couldn't see me. There he sat, all alone, bending and squirming and laughing inexorably. He must have been ill; because he was not visible to the public for several days afterwards. In the meantime, I got the episode out of my head.

What reminded me of that now, sitting alone at the wheel, was the sight of this young man standing in the cockpit door, doorknob in hand, staring at me silently and sternly. I don't know when I've seen someone hurt like he did. He said nothing - he just stood there and looked; looked reproachful and brooded. Finally he closed the door and left; stopped in Texas for a minute; he walked back slowly and stood in the doorway again with that sad expression on his face; looked at me with slight reproach for a while and then said:

"You let me learn all about a steamboat, didn't you?"

"Yes," I admitted.

"Yes, you did - didn't you?"


"You're the guy who--"

speech impediment. Pause - helplessly struggling for more words - then he gave up, let out a low, strong curse and was gone for good. After that I saw him downstairs several times during the drive; but he was cold - he didn't want to look at me. Idiot, if he hadn't been so sweaty in the beginning to play his stupid prank on me, I would have lured his mind in a different direction and prevented him from committing this wanton and stupid rudeness.

I myself got a call at 4 a.m. because you don't see many sunrises in Mississippi in the summer. You are charming. First there is the eloquence of silence; for deep broods of silence everywhere. Then there is the haunting sense of loneliness, isolation, retreat from the worries and turmoil of the world. Dawn stealthily approaches; the solid walls of the Black Forest soften to grey, and long stretches of the river open and reveal themselves; the water is smooth as glass, it emits ghostly little wreaths of white mist, there is not the slightest breath of wind, not the slightest movement of a leaf; Rest is profound and infinitely satisfying. Then one bird begins to sing, another follows, and soon the whistles turn into a jubilant frenzy of music. You don't see any of the birds; They simply move through an atmosphere of music that seems to sing itself. When the light gets a little stronger, you get one of the clearest, smoothest images imaginable. You have the intense green of thick, dense foliage nearby; you see him pale shadow by shadow before you; over the next overhanging cape, a mile or more away, the hue has lightened to the tender young green of spring; the cape beyond has almost lost its color, and the far rock, miles below the horizon, sleeps on the water like a faint haze, scarcely separable from the sky above and around it. And that whole stretch of river is a mirror, and you've rendered in it the dark reflections of the foliage and the crooked banks and the receding cables. Well that's all nice; smooth, rich and beautiful; and when the sun rises, spreading a rosy blush here, and a golden dust there, and a veil of purple there, you admit you've seen something worth remembering.

We had an early morning Kentucky Bend Country - Scene of a Strange and Tragic Accident In the old days, Captain Poe had a small sternwheel boat that was his and his wife's home for years. One night the boat hit a snag at the head of Kentucky Bend and sank with surprising suddenness; The water was well above the cabin floor when the captain climbed aft. Then he broke into his wife's box from above with an axe; she slept on the top bunk, the roof was more fragile than expected; the first blow went through the rotten boards and pierced his skull.

This curve is now completely filled - the result of a cut; and the same agent took the great and once-busy Walnut Bend and led it into a solitude far from the usual trail of passing ships.

We visited Helena and also a city I had never heard of before as it is newborn - Arkansas City. It was born of a railroad; the LittleRock, the Mississippi River and the Texas Railroad touch the river there. We asked a passenger belonging to this place what that place was. exactly: "It's a hell of a place." A description photographed for accuracy. There were rows and clusters of worn wooden houses and a store of mud sufficient to keep the city safe from famine for a hundred years; for the overflow had recently abated. Here and there there were stagnant ponds in the streets, and a dozen rough, scowling faces lay scattered about, stranded wherever they might be, when the water ran out and people could walk again to do their shopping and visiting. Still, it's a prosperous place, with a rich land behind it, an elevator in front, and also a large mill for the production of cottonseed oil. I had never seen a mill like this before.

Cottonseed was comparatively worthless in my day; but now it's worth $12 or $13 a ton, and none of it goes to waste. Oil made from it is colorless, tasteless, and almost, if not completely, odorless. It is claimed that with proper handling, it can be made to resemble all oils and play the role, and it can be made at a cheaper price than the cheapest of the originals. Clever people shipped it to Italy, adulterated it, labeled it, and brought it back as olive oil. This trade became so massive that Italy was forced to levy an prohibitive tax on it to prevent it from causing serious damage to its oil industry.

Helena occupies one of the most beautiful situations in Mississippi. Herperch is the last, southernmost group of hills visible on this side of the river. In its normal state it is a beautiful city; but the flood (or possibly seepage) had lately devastated it; Whole blocks of streets had been inundated by the muddy water, and the facades of the buildings still bore a wide stain extending from the foundations. Stranded and discarded boats lay everywhere; Boardwalks on stilts four feet high still stood; the ground floor wooden walkways were loose and tumbledown - a few men trudging down them could fool a blind man into thinking a cavalry charge was imminent; everywhere the mud was black and deep, and in many places there were puddles of standing water caused by malaria. A Mississippi flood is the next most devastating and heartbreaking infliction after a wildfire.

We had a pleasant time here on this sunny Sunday: two full hours of freedom on land while the boat unloaded its cargo. There were few whites on the side streets, but there were many blacks—mostly women and girls; and almost invariably upholstered in shiny new clothes of lavish style and cut - a stark and hilarious contrast to the sad mud and thoughtful puddles.

Helena is the second largest city in Arkansas in terms of population - five thousand. The surrounding land is exceptionally productive. Helena trades well in cotton; moving from forty to sixty thousand bales annually; she has a large timber and grain trade; It has a foundry, oil mills, workshops and railroad car factories - in short, it has invested $1,000,000 in manufacturing. It has two railways and is the commercial center of a large and prosperous region. His annual gross from all sources is estimated by the New Orleans Times-Democrat at $4,000,000.


A fingerprint and what came out of it

We were nearing Napoleon, Arkansas. So I started thinking about my mission there. hour, noon; and bright and sunny. That was bad - not the best, anyway; because mine was (preferably) not a lunchtime assignment. The more I thought about it, the more this fact forced itself on me – sometimes like this, sometimes differently. Eventually it took the form of a separate question: It's common sense to get the job done during the day when, for a small sacrifice in comfort and inclination, you can have the night to do it, without prying eyes around. That solved everything. Simple question and simple answer solves most confusions.

I took my friends to my cabin and said that I was sorry to cause trouble and disappointment, but that, coming to think of it, I really thought it better to disembark our luggage and stop at Napoleon's. Her disapproval was immediate and loud; his mutinous language. Your main argument in such cases, since the beginning of time, has always been the first to appear: “But you have decided and agreed to keep this boat, etc.; as if, having resolved on one careless thing, one is forced to do two careless things in order to fulfill that resolve.

I tried various tactics of appeasement on them, with reasonable success: Encouraged by this reason, I increased my efforts; and to show them that I had not created this tiresome mission and was in no way responsible for it, I soon delved into their story - essentially as follows:

At the end of last year I spent a few months in Munich, Bavaria. In November he lived in Fraulein Dahlweiner's boarding house at Karlstrasse 1a; but my rooms were a mile away, in the house of a widow who supported herself by entertaining guests. She and her two small children used to drop by every morning and chatted in German - on request. Walking through town one day, I visited one of the two facilities where the government keeps bodies and guards them until the doctors decide they are permanently dead and not in a trance. It was a terrible place, this spacious room. There were thirty-six adult corpses on display, lying flat on their backs on slightly inclined planks in three long rows - all with stiff, waxy faces and all wrapped in white shrouds. On the sides of the room were deep niches, like bay windows; and in each of them lay several marble-faced babies, entirely hidden and buried under beds of fresh flowers, all but their faces and folded hands. Around a finger of each of these fifty motionless forms, large and small, was a ring; ever vigilant and ready to help any of this pale company who, awakened from death, makes a move - for any move, even the slightest, will gather the thread and ring that dreadful bell. I felt like a sentinel of death slumbering there alone, far away in the long watch of a stormy, howling night, and how my whole body was turned to quivering jelly in an instant by the sudden noise of that dreadful summons! So I asked about it; asked what usually resulted? when the Warden died and the restored corpse came and did what it could to ease its last moments. But I was rebuked for trying to gratify an idle and frivolous curiosity in a place so solemn and so sad; and went my way with a humble coat of arms.

The next morning I was recounting my adventure to the widow when she exclaimed:

'Come with me! I have a tenant who will tell you everything you want to know. There he worked as a night watchman.

He was a living man, but he didn't look like it. He lay with his head propped on pillows; her face was haggard and colorless, her sunken eyes were closed; his hand resting on his chest was like a claw, so bony and long-fingered. The widow began to introduce me. The man's eyes opened slowly, glaring evilly in the twilight of his sockets; he frowned with a black frown; he raised a thin hand and waved imperiously at us. But the widow kept going until she found out I was a foreigner and an American. The man's face changed instantly; brightened, became even more restless - and the next moment he and I were alone.

I opened in Iron German; he replied in fairly flexible English; after that we gave the german language a lasting rest.

This consumptive man and I became good friends. I visited him every day and we talked about everything. At least about everything but wives and children. Have any woman or child mentioned, and three things always followed: The most gracious, loving, tender light shone for a moment in the man's eyes; it vanished on the next, and in its place was that fatal look that burned there when I first saw her eyelids flutter open; third, he stopped talking that day; he lay still, distracted and engrossed; apparently he didn't hear anything I said; took no notice of my farewells and obviously knew neither by sight nor by hearing when I left the room.

When I was with this Karl Ritter every day for two months and only intimately, one day he suddenly said:

"I'll tell you my story."


Then he continued as follows:

I never gave up until now. But now I've given up. I'm going to die. I decided last night that it has to be, and very soon. You say you will visit your river again soon if you find an opportunity. Very good; this, together with a certain strange experience that came over me last night, compels me to tell you my story—for you will see Napoleon, Arkansas; and for my sake you'll stop there and do a certain thing for me - a thing you'll be happy to do after you've heard my tale.

Let's shorten the story whenever we can as will be necessary as it is long. You already know how I came to America and how I came to settle in this desert region of the South. But you don't know that I had a wife. My wife was young, beautiful, loving and oh so divinely good, innocent and kind! And our little girl was her mother in miniature. It was the happiest of happiest families.

One night - it was near the end of the war - I awoke from a sodden lethargy to find myself bound and gagged and the air contaminated with chloroform! I saw two men in the room and one said to the other in a hoarse whisper, 'I told her I'd do it if she made a fuss, what about the kid...'

The other man interrupted him in a low, rather tearful voice...

“You said we would only muzzle and rob them, not harm them; or I would not have come.

'Keep your mouth shut; they had to change plans when they woke up; you did everything to protect her, now let that satisfy you; come help search.'

Both men wore masks and coarse, tattered "nigger" clothing; They had a lantern in the shape of a target, and by its glow I noticed that the gentlest thief had no thumb on his right hand. For a moment they searched my poor cottage; said the chief bandit in his stage whisper -

"It's a waste of time - he has to say where it's hidden. Ungag and revive him.

The other said -

"Okay, as long as there are no punches.

"Then no club as long as he stays."

They approached me; At that moment there was a noise outside; a sound of voices and pounding hooves; the thieves held their breath and listened; the noises were slowly approaching; then came a scream –

'_Hello_, the house! Turn on the light, we want water.

'The captain's voice, at G--!' said the bully in a whisper, and the two thieves fled out the back door, running toward the middle of the bullseye.

The strangers called a few more times, then they passed - there seemed to be a dozen horses - and I heard nothing more.

I struggled but I couldn't free myself from my bonds. I tried to speak, but the gag had no effect; I couldn't make a sound. I heard the voices of my wife and son - I listened long and hard but no sound came from across the room where their bed was. This silence grew more horrible, more ominous every moment. You could have endured that for an hour, you think? So it's a shame I had to endure three. Three hours--? there were three ages! Every time the clock chimed, it felt like years had passed since I had last heard it. All the time I struggled in my bonds; and finally, at dawn, I managed to free myself, stood up, and stretched my stiff limbs. I could distinguish details very well. The floor was littered with things thrown there by thieves looking for my savings. The first item that particularly caught my attention was a document of mine that I had seen the rude of the two thugs look at and then throw away. There was blood on it! I staggered across the room. Oh, poor harmless, helpless, there they are, their troubles are over, mine have begun!

I turned to the law - I? Does it quench the poor man's thirst when the king drinks for him? Oh, no, no, no - I didn't want any outrageous interference from the law. Laws and gallows could not pay the debt owed me! Leave the law in my hands and don't be afraid: I would find the debtor and collect the debt. how do you say How could he do that and be so sure of it when he hadn't seen the thieves' faces, heard their natural voices, and had no idea who they might be? Still, I was sure, fairly sure, fairly confident. I had a clue - a clue you wouldn't have appreciated - a clue that wouldn't have helped even a detective much, since he lacked the secret of how to use it. I should get to that now - you'll see. Now let's proceed by putting things in their proper order. There was one circumstance which initially inclined me in a certain direction: these two thieves were evidently soldiers disguised as vagabonds; and not new to the military, but old in it - regulars maybe; they didn't acquire their military bearing, their gestures, their bearing in a day, or in a month, or in a year. I thought so, but said nothing. And one of them said, "The voice of the captain, by G--!" - the one whose life I would have. Several regiments and two companies of American cavalry were camped two miles away. When I heard that Captain Blakely of C Company had passed us with an escort that night, I said nothing, but I decided to look for my husband in that company. In conversation, I carefully and persistently described the thieves as vagabonds, followers of the camp; and among this class the people searched in vain, nobody except me suspected the soldiers.

Working patiently at night in my dreary house, I made myself a disguise from several articles of clothing; In the next village I bought blue glasses. Gradually, as the military camp was disbanded and C Company ordered a hundred miles north to Napoleon, I hid my little hoard of money in my belt and set off at night. When C Company reached Napoleon, I was already there. Yes, I was there with a new fortune teller. In order not to appear partial, I made friends and saw the fate of all the companies stationed there; but I gave most of my attention to C Company. I have made myself immensely helpful to these special men; they couldn't ask me for a favor, take a risk that I would refuse. I became the butt of their jokes; it perfected my popularity; I became a favorite.

I soon discovered a soldier who had no thumb - what a joy for me! And when I found that out of all the company he alone had lost a thumb, my last fear vanished; I was sure that I was on the right path. This man's name was Krüger, a German. There were nine Germans in the company. I watched to see who his familiar might be; but he didn't seem to have any particular intimacies. But I was intimate with him; and I made the intimacy grow. Sometimes I wanted revenge so badly that I could hardly keep myself from falling to my knees and begging him to name the man who had murdered my wife and child; but I managed to control my tongue. I bided my time and continued divination when the opportunity arose.

My apparatus was simple: some red ink and some white paper. I drew the tip of the client's thumb, took an imprint on paper, studied it that night and revealed his fortune to him the next day. What was my idea with this nonsense? It was this: When I was young, I knew an old Frenchman who had been a prison guard for thirty years, and he told me that there is one thing about a person that has never changed from cradle to grave - the lines on the ball of the thumb; and he said that those lines on the thumbs of two people were never exactly alike. Today we're taking pictures of the new criminal and posting his picture in the Rogues' Gallery for future reference; but this Frenchman took an impression of the thenar of a new prisoner at the time and saved it for later reference. He always said the photos were useless - future disguises might render them useless; "The thumb is the only sure thing," he said; 'you can't hide it.' And he also proved his theory on my friends and acquaintances; it has always worked.

I kept guessing. Every night I locked myself in the house alone and studied the day's fingerprints under a magnifying glass. Imagine the consuming zeal with which I bent over those labyrinthine red spirals, with this document at my side, bearing the thumb and finger prints of this unknown assassin's right hand, stamped with the dearest blood that - for me - was ever shed. on this land! And over and over I had to repeat the same old disappointed remark: 'You'll _never_fit!'

But my reward is finally here. It was the thumbprint of the forty-third man in C Company I'd tried it on - Private Franz Adler. An hour earlier I had not known the killer's name, his voice, his figure, his face, his nationality; but now I knew all these things! I thought I was safe; the repeated demonstrations of French are a good guarantee. Still, there was a way to be sure. I had a cast of Kruger's left thumb. In the mornings I called him aside when he wasn't on duty; and when we were out of sight and hearing of the witnesses I said emphatically -

"Some of your fortune is so serious I thought it would be better for you if I didn't tell publicly. You and another man whose fate I studied last night, Private Adler, murder a woman and child! You are being pursued: within five days you are both murdered.

Startled, he fell to his knees; and for five minutes he rattled off the same words, like a madman, and in the same half-tearful way that was one of my memories of that murderous night in my cabin -

'I did not do it; I swear on my soul I didn't; and I tried to stop him; I did that because God is my witness. He did it himself.

That's all I wanted. And I tried to get rid of the fool; but no, he clung to me and begged me to save him from the killer. He said--

“I have hidden money—ten thousand dollars—the fruit of plunder and theft; Save me - tell me what to do and you'll get it, every penny. Two-thirds are from my cousin Adler; but you can take anything We hid it when we got here. But I hid it in a new place yesterday, and I didn't tell him - I won't tell him. I wanted to go to the desert and get away with it all. It's gold and too heavy to carry while running and dodging; but a woman who has crossed the river two days to prepare my way will follow me with it; or send it to her and she would understand. At the bottom of the box is a note that says it all. Here, take the guard... tell me what to do!

He was trying to press his watch for me, laying out the paper and explaining when Adler appeared about ten yards away. I told poor Kruger...

- Turn down the clock, I don't want to. You will not suffer any harm. Go now; I have to tell Adler the future. Now I will tell you how to escape from the killer; In the meantime, I need to double-check your fingerprint. Don't tell Adler about it, don't tell anyone.

He walked away full of fear and gratitude, poor devil. I said good luck to Adlera - intentionally so long I couldn't finish it; I promised to come to him that night and tell him the really important part - the tragic part, I said - so it must be out of reach of prying eyes. They always picketed the city—mere discipline and ceremony—no occasion, no enemy around.

Around midnight, equipped with the counter-signal, I made my way to the lonely area where Adler was supposed to be keeping watch. It was so dark that I tripped over a vague figure almost before I could utter a protective word. The guard called and I answered, both at the same time. I added, 'It's just me, the fortune teller.' So I slipped over to the poor devil's side and wordlessly thrust my dagger into his heart! _Ya well_, I laughed, _was _the tragedy part of his fortune indeed! As he fell from his horse he clung to me and my blue glasses stayed in his hand; and the animal rushed off, dragging him with it, foot in stirrup.

I fled through the forest and managed to escape, leaving the accusing glasses in the hands of this dead man.

That was fifteen or sixteen years ago. Since then I have wandered aimlessly through the world, sometimes at work, sometimes idle; sometimes with money, sometimes without; but always weary of life, and wishing it were over, for my errand here was ended with that night's deed; and the only joy, comfort, satisfaction I had through all those boring years was the daily reflection, 'I killed him!'

Four years ago my health started to deteriorate. I had wandered around Munich in my own aimless way. Being penniless, I looked for work and got it; I faithfully performed my duty for about a year, and then I was assigned the post of night watchman at the death house you recently visited. The place suited my mood. I would like. I liked being with the dead - I liked being alone with them. I used to wander among these stiff corpses and stare at their grave faces every hour. The later, the more impressive it was; I preferred the late hour. Sometimes I dimmed the lights: there was perspective, you know; and the imagination could play; The vague ranks of the departing dead have always inspired strange and intriguing fantasies. Two years ago - a year ago I was there - I sat alone in the guard room on a stormy winter night, frozen through, numb, disconsolate; gradual falling asleep in unconsciousness; the hiccups of the wind and the banging of distant shutters falling fainter and fainter into my numb ear every moment as shrill and sudden that bell sounds a bloody alarm overhead my head! Shock nearly paralyzed me; because I heard it for the first time.

I pulled myself together and flew into the morgue. About halfway down the outer row, a cloaked figure sat upright and slowly shook its head from side to side - a terrifying sight! His side was turned to me. I ran to him and looked him in the face. Heavens, it was eagle!

Can you guess what my first thought was? In words it was this: 'So it seems that you eluded me once: this time there will be a different result!'

Apparently, this creature was suffering from unimaginable horrors. Imagine what it must have been like to wake up in that silent stillness and behold that dark gathering of the dead! What gratitude shone on his thin white face as he saw a living figure before him! And how the fervor of that silent gratitude increased as his eyes rested on the life-giving drinks I carried in my hands! So imagine the horror shown on that contorted face as I put the drinks behind me and mockingly said:

“Speak, Franz Adler – name these dead. Doubtless they will hear and have pity; but no one wants to here anymore.'

He tried to speak, but the part of the shroud that covered his jaws held tight and wouldn't let go. He tried to raise his hands in supplication, but they were crossed and tied across his chest. I said--

“Scream, Franz Adler; Let the sleepers in the distant streets hear you and bring you help. Scream - and waste no time, because there is little to lose. What you can not? That's a shame; but no matter - it does not always help. When you and your cousin murdered a woman and a helpless child in a cabin in Arkansas - my wife and my son! - They called for help, you remember; but it was no use; you remember it didn't work, right? Your teeth are chattering - why can't you scream then? Loosen the bandages with your hands - that's it. Ah, I see your hands are tied, they can't help you. How strangely things repeat themselves after long years; 'Cause my hands were tied that night, remember? Yes, bound as yours is now - how strange. I couldn't let go. It didn't occur to him to untie me; I can't think of solving it. Sh--! there is a late step. It happens. Listen how close it is! You can count the steps - one - two - three. There - it's outside. Now is the time! Scream, man, scream! - it is the only chance between you and eternity! Ah, you see, it's been too long - it's over. There is death. It's gone! Think about it - think about it - you last heard a human footstep. How strange it must be to hear such an ordinary noise and know we'll never hear that guy again."

Oh, my friend, the agony in that covered face was an ecstasy to see! I thought of a new torture and applied it - helped me with a little lying invention -

'That poor Krueger was trying to save my wife and child and I thanked him when he did. I persuaded him to rob you; and I and a woman helped him desert, and led him unsteadily away.' A look of surprise and triumph flickered vaguely through the agony on my victim's face. I was worried, uneasy. I said--

"Then what... he didn't escape?"

A negative head shake.

'NO? What happened then?'

The contentment in the covered face was even clearer. The man tried to splutter out a few words - he couldn't; tried to express something with clogged hands - failed; He paused for a moment, then bowed his head meaningfully to the corpse lying closest to him.

'Dead?' I asked. "Can't you escape?" Caught in the act and shot?

Negative head shake.

"How then?"

Again the man tried to do something with his hands. I watched closely but couldn't guess the intent. I leaned forward and took a closer look. He had sprained his thumb and was tapping his chest weakly with it. "Ah… stabbed you mean?

A nod of agreement, accompanied by a ghostly smile of such odd evil it ignited a light in my numb brain, and I cried...

"Did I stab him because I mistook him for you?" Because that punch was meant for no one but you.

The remorseful rascal's nod of agreement was as serene as his feeble strength could express.

"Oh, miserable, miserable me, to kill the compassionate soul who was a friend to my loved ones when they were helpless and would have saved them if I could! miserable, oh, miserable, miserable me!'

I thought I heard the muffled gurgle of mocking laughter. I took my face from my hands and saw my enemy sink into his sloping board.

He was dying for quite a long time. He had wonderful vitality, an amazing constitution. Yes, he spent a lot of time on it. I took a chair and a newspaper, sat next to him and read. Now and then I would have a sip of brandy. This was necessary because of the cold. But I did so partly because I saw that when I took the bottle, he always thought at first that I was going to give him something. I read aloud: mostly imaginary accounts of people being plucked from the grave's threshold and brought back to life and vigor with a few spoonfuls of liquor and a warm bath. Yes, he died a long, hard death - three hours and six minutes after ringing the bell.

It is believed that in all the eighteen years that have passed since the morgue was established, not a single hooded inmate at the Bavarian asylum has ever rung the bell. Well, it's a harmless belief. let him stay like this

The cold of this dying room had penetrated my bones. He revived and healed within me the sickness that had plagued me, but which was steadily disappearing up to that night. This man murdered my wife and child; and in three days he will have me added to his list. It doesn't matter - God! What a joy to remember! I caught him escaping his grave and threw him back.

After that night I was bedridden for a week; but as soon as I could I went to the morgue books and got the number of the house where Adler had died. It was a miserable retirement. 'seffects of being his cousin; and I wanted Kruger's watch if I could. But while I was ill, Adler's belongings were sold and scattered, except for a few old letters and a few worthless trinkets. However, through these letters I have located a son of Kruger, the only remaining relative. He is now a man of thirty, a trained shoemaker, and lives in Mannheim, Koenigstrasse 14 - a widower with several small children. Without explaining to you why, I have since provided two-thirds of your support.

Well, as for this watch - see how strange things are happening! I tracked him down all over Germany for over a year, which cost a lot of money and irritation; and i finally got it. I understood and was indescribably happy; opened and found nothing! I should have known that piece of paper wasn't going to stay there for so long. Of course I gave up that ten thousand dollars; I gave up and put it out of my head: and very sadly because I wanted it for Kruger's son.

When I finally agreed last night that I had to die, I began to prepare. I started burning all the useless papers; And indeed, the long-awaited piece came from an Adler batch that had not previously been examined in detail! I recognized him immediately. Here it is - I translate:

“Brick barn, stone foundation, downtown, corner of Orleans and Market. Corner to the courthouse. Third stone, fourth row. Watch out there and say how many will come.'

There - take it and keep it. Kruger explained that the stone was removable; and which was on the north wall of the foundation, in the fourth row from the top, and on the third stone to the west. There is money behind it. He said the last sentence was blind to mislead in case the paper fell into the wrong hands. He probably held this office for Adler.

I would now urge you to look for this hidden money on your intended voyage downriver and send it to Adam Kruger, in custody at the Mannheim address I have given. It will make him a rich man, and I will sleep more soundly in my grave knowing that I did what I could for the man's son who was trying to save my wife and child - even though my hand was holding him unknowingly met while the impulse of my heart would have protected and served him.


The Alienation of a Gold Mine

"THAT was how Ritter's stories were," I said to my two friends. There was a deep and impressive stillness that lasted for a considerable time; then the two men erupted in a flurry of excited and admiring exclamations at the strange occurrences of the story; and this, together with a roaring fire of questions, continued until all hands were almost out of breath. Then my friends began to calm down and withdraw, under cover of occasional volleys, in silence and deep reverie. It's been quiet for ten minutes now. Then Rogers said dreamily—

'Ten thousand dollars.'

After a considerable pause I added:

'Ten thousand. It is a lot of money.

Then the poet asked...

"Will you send it to him right away?"

'Yes, I have. "It's a strange question."

No Answer. After a while, Rogers hesitantly asked:

"_All_of it? - This is - I mean -"

"Sure, everything.

I wanted to say more, but held myself back - I was stopped by a train of thought that was beginning within me. Thompson spoke, but I was distracted and didn't understand what he was saying. But I heard Rogers' reply...

"Yes, it seems so to me. It should suffice; for I do not see that he has done anything.'

Then the poet said:

"If you look at it, it's more than enough. Look at it: five thousand dollars! Why, he couldn't spend it in his whole life! And that would hurt him too; maybe ruin - you want to look at that. Soon he would throw away his last, close his shop, maybe start drinking, abuse his orphaned children, stray into other evil ways, get worse and worse-"

"Yes, it is," Rogers interrupted fervently, "I've seen it a hundred times - yes, more than a hundred times. You put money in the hands of such a man if you want to destroy him, that's all; just give him money, that's all you have to do; and if that doesn't knock him out and take away all his usefulness, all his self-respect and everything else, then I don't know human nature - you, Thompson? give him a third of it; Why, in less than six months...'

'Less than six _weeks_, you better say!' I said, warmed up and entered. "If he didn't have those three thousand dollars in safe hands where he couldn't touch them, he wouldn't last six weeks longer than..."

"Of course not," Thompson said; “I've edited books for that type of person; and the moment they get their hands on the royal house, it's maybe three thousand, maybe two thousand...

"What's that shoemaker got to do with two thousand dollars, I wonder?" Rogers seriously interrupted. “A man who is perhaps perfectly content now, there in Mannheim, surrounded by his own class, eating his bread with an appetite that only wearisome industry can give, and enjoying his life humbly, honestly, uprightly, with a pure heart; e_blest_! – yes, I say blessed! Blessed above all the myriads who walk in robes of silk and walk in the empty artificial circle of social madness - but you tempted him once! Just hand a man like that fifteen hundred dollars and say...

'Five hundred demons!' I exclaimed: "Five hundred would spoil his principles, paralyze his industry, drag him to the tobacconist, thence to the gutter, thence to the asylum, thence to-"

'_Why _put this crime upon us, gentlemen?' interrupted the poet with seriousness and attraction. "He's happy where he is and how he is. Every feeling of honor, every feeling of charity, every feeling of high and holy benevolence exhorts us, bids us, bids us leave it undisturbed. That's true friendship, that's true friendship. We could follow other courses that would be more noticeable; but no one who is really kind and wise depends on it.'

After a few more conversations, it became clear that, deep in our hearts, each of us had some doubts about the resolution of the matter. It was obvious that we all felt that we should send something to the poor shoemaker. There was a long and careful discussion on this point; and we finally decided to send you a chrome.

Now that everything seemed to be arranged to everyone's satisfaction, a new problem arose: I discovered that these two men expected to split the money equally with me. It wasn't my idea. I said if they can get half of it they'll be lucky. Rogers said...

'Who would have _anything_ if it wasn't for me? I gave the first tip, but for that everything would have gone to the cobbler.

Thompson said he thought about it at the exact moment Rogers originally spoke.

I replied that the idea had come to me very quickly and without outside help. It might have taken me a while to think, but I was sure.

This matter turned into a fight; then into a fight; and every man was treated very badly. As soon as I had recovered somewhat, I went onto the Hurricane's deck in a rather sour mood. There I met Captain McCord and said, as pleasantly as my mood would permit...

"I came to say goodbye, Captain." I want to get off Napoleon.

'Where to go to the beach?'


The captain laughed; but realizing I wasn't in the mood, I stopped and said:

"But are you serious?"

'Serious? I definitely am.”

The captain looked into the wheelhouse and said...

"He wants to come down on Napoleon!"


"That's what he says."

'The spirit of the great Caesar!'

Uncle Mumford approached from the deck. The captain said...

"Uncle, here's a friend of yours who's after Napoleon!"

"Well, why...?"

I said--

"Come on, what is all this? Can't a man land on Napoleon if he wants to?

"Why, hang it up, don't you know? There is no more Napoleon. It hasn't been there for years. The Arkansas River crossed it, ripped it to pieces and emptied into the Mississippi!

"The whole city? - Banks, churches, prisons, newspaper offices, courthouses, theatres, fire stations, stables - everything?'

'All. just a 15 minute job. or something like that. It left no leather or hair, no rags or gravel, save for the end of a hut and a brick chimney. This boat now rows where the center of this city used to be; There's the brick chimney - all that's left of Napoleon. Those thick woods on the right used to be a mile out of town. Look behind you - upstream - now you're starting to see this country, aren't you?

"Yes, I recognize it now. It's the most wonderful thing I've ever heard of; by far the most wonderful - and unexpected.'

Mister. However, Thompson and Mr. Rogers arrived with backpacks and umbrellas and listened in silence to the captain's news. Thompson handed me half a dollar and said softly,

"For my share of chrome."

Rogers followed him.

Yes, it was amazing to see the Mississippi River rolling past deserted beaches and rolling right into where twenty years ago I had seen a large, smug city. village which was the county seat of a large and important county; city ​​with a large US naval hospital; City of Untold Battles - one request every day; town where I knew the most beautiful and talented girl in the entire Mississippi Valley; City where we received the first printed news about the sad disaster of "Pennsylvania" a quarter of a century ago; no more city - devoured, gone, gone to feed the fish; nothing was left but a fragment of a hut and a crumbling brick chimney!


refreshments and ethics

Regarding the island 74, which is not far from the ancient Napoleon, a deviation of the river here confused the laws of the people, turning them into a vanity and a joke. When the state of Arkansas was formed, it controlled "to the middle of the river" -- a very shaky line. The state of Mississippi has laid claim to “to the canal” — another shaky and sly line. No. 74 belonged to Arkansas. Gradually a cut drove this great island out of Arkansas, but not into Mississippi. "Middle of the river" on one side, "Canal" on the other side. That's how I understand the problem. Whether I understand the details rightly or wrongly, this fact remains: that here is this great and most precious island of four thousand acres, exposed to cold, and owned neither by state nor by state; pay no taxes, owe allegiance to neither. One man owns the whole island and by rights he is "the man without a country".

Island 92 belongs to Arkansas. The river moved it and connected it to the Mississippi. One guy opened a whiskey shop there without a Mississippi license and got rich through Mississippi Customs under the protection of Arkansas (where a license wasn't required at the time).

We glide down the river in the usual privacy - a steamboat or something else in motion that is rarely seen. Scenery as always: stretch after stretch of almost uninterrupted forest, on both sides of the river; silent solitude. Here and there a hut or two stood in small openings in the gray, grassless banks-huts that once stood a quarter or half a mile away, and were gradually being pulled further and further back as the banks collapsed. The point, for example, where the huts were moved back three hundred yards in three months, we were told; but the brink of collapse had already caught up with them, and they were being driven back again.

Napoleon had little of Greenville, Mississippi, in the olden days; but behold, Napoleon has gone to the catfish, and here Greenville is full of life and activity, and doing considerable flowering in the valley; it is said to have a population of three thousand and gross annual sales of $2,500,000. A growing city.

There was a lot of talk on the boat about the Calhoun Land Company, a company that is expected to do well. Colonel Calhoun, the statesman's grandson, went to Boston and formed a union that bought a large tract of riverside land in Chicot County, Arkansas—about 10,000 acres—to plant cotton. The aim is to work on a cash basis: buy first hand and handle your own product; supply your colored laborers with supplies and necessities at a paltry profit, say 8 or 10 per cent; Offer them comfortable accommodation etc. and encourage them to save money and stay put. If that turns out to be a financial success, which seems fairly certain, they propose setting up a bank in Greenville and lending money at a no-hassle 6 percent interest rate. is spoken.

The problem so far - I quote comments from farmers and boatmen - was that although the farmers owned the land, they had no cash capital; had to mortgage land and crops to continue the business. Consequently, the commission trader providing the money takes some risk and charges high interest - typically 10% and 2%. to negotiate the loan. The planter must also buy their supplies through the same dealer and pay commissions and profits. When he then ships his crop, the trader adds his commissions, insurance, etc. So in general, the trader's share of that crop is generally about 25 percent.' ., and are also forced to buy their crops at these prices even before they are planted in order to have the privilege of buying 100 percent of all their supplies. Profit?'--_EdwardAtkinson_.]}

A cotton planter's estimate of the average profit margin on planting in his section: A man and a mule will plant ten acres of cotton, yielding, say, $500 worth of ten bales of cotton; Production cost, say $350; Net Income, $150 or $15 per acre. There is also now profit from cottonseed, which used to be of little value - none where much transportation was required. In sixteen hundred pounds of raw cotton four hundred fluff is worth, say, ten cents a pound; and twelve hundred pounds of seed, valued at $12 or $13 a ton. Maybe in the future even the stalks won't be thrown away. Mister. Edward Atkinson says that for every bale of cotton there are fifteen hundred pounds of stalks, and these are very rich in lime and potassium phosphate; that the stalk mixture, when ground and mixed with silage or cottonseed meal (which is too rich to be used as fodder in large quantities), produces an excellent fodder rich in all the elements necessary for the production of milk, Meat and bones are necessary. Stems were perceived as a nuisance.

He laments that the landowner still holds grudges against the former slave since the war; will have nothing but a cold business relationship with him, no feelings to interfere, will keep no "shop" for himself, and will supply the Negro's needs, and thus protect the Negro's pocket, and make him able and willing, on the spot to stay, and it is to his advantage to do so, but he concedes that privilege to a thrifty Israelite who encourages the thoughtless negro and his wife to buy whatever things they could do without—buy on credit, too high prices, month-by-month credit based on black portion of growing crop; and at the end of the season the Negro's share belongs to the Israelite, besides the Negro is in debt, discouraged, dissatisfied, restless, and both he and the planter are injured; for he will take a steamer and emigrate, and the planter must put in his place a stranger who does not know him, cares not for him, will fatten the Israelite for a time, and follow his predecessor on the steamer.

The Calhoun Company is expected to demonstrate by its humane and protective treatment of its workers that its method is the most profitable for both the farmer and the black man; and it is believed that general acceptance will follow this method.

And with so many saying what they say, shouldn't the bar owner testify? He is attentive, attentive, never drinks; strives to earn his wages and would earn them if there were enough customs. He says people here in Mississippi and Louisiana will go upriver to buy vegetables instead of growing them, and they'll board the docks and buy fruit from the saloon owner. Thinks he knows nothing but cotton; believes they don't know how to grow vegetables and fruits - "at least most of them do". It says "A nigger will go to H to buy a watermelon" ["H" is all I can find in the stenographer's report - it probably means Halifax, although it seems like a good way to buy a watermelon buy). The bartender buys watermelons upriver for five cents, brings them down and sells them for fifty cents. "Why does he make such elaborate and colorful drinks for the black people on the boat?" Because they won't have any other. “You want a big drink; No matter what you do, they want to get their money's worth. You give a nigga half a dollar brandy for five cents - will he touch it? NO. Not big enough for that. But you put a liter of all sorts of worthless junk in it and throw in some red stuff to make it pretty - red is the main thing - and he wouldn't put the jar down to go to a circus.

All bars on this anchor line are leased and owned by one company. They supply their own drinks and hire the bartenders "on salary". Good spirits? Yes, on some boats where there are the kind of passengers who want it and can afford it. On the other boats? NO. Nobody but sailors and firefighters to drink.' 'Brandy? Yes, I have brandy, plenty of it; but you don't want any of it unless you've made your will.” It's not like it used to be. So everyone rode the steamboat, everyone drank, and everyone treated everyone. "Now almost everyone rides the train, and the rest don't drink." Formerly the bartender was the bartender himself, “and he was cheerful, smart, talkative, and all jeweled, and he was the most elegant aristocrat on the ship; He used to earn $2,000 on a trip. A father who left his son a steam bar left him a fortune. Now he leaves you board and lodging; Yes, and wash, if it's a shirt, then one trip will do. Yes indeed, times have changed. Because there are no bars on the Upper Mississippi Main Boat Line! It sounds like poetry, but it's the petrified truth.


Resistant wires

STACK island. I remembered Stack Island; also Lake Providence, Louisiana - the first distinctly Southern town you visit when you head downhill; it lies flat and low, overhanging deciduous trees with venerable gray beards of Spanish moss; "Relaxed, thoughtful, Sunday look at the place," comments Uncle Mumford with emotion - truth too.

A certain Mr. H. provided some insignificant details about this region which I would not believe had I not known that he was a steamer's mate. He was our passenger, a resident of Arkansas City, and he was going to Vicksburg to board his boat, a little bunch of sunflowers. He was a stern man and had a reputation for being uniquely unworldly for a riverman. Among other things, he said that Arkansas has been hurt and held back by the generational hype about mosquitoes here. One could smile, he said, and ignore the matter as if it were a trifle; but if you look at the effects achieved in terms of discouraging immigration and diminished property values, it was the polar opposite of a small thing or a thing to be spat out or ridiculed. These mosquitoes were persistently portrayed as formidable and lawless; while "the truth is they are weak, of insignificant size, too suspicious, touchy" - and so on; You would have assumed he was talking about his family. But if he was gentle with the Arkansas mosquitoes, he was tough enough on the Providence Lake mosquitoes to make up for it—"those Providence Lake behemoths," as he aptly called them. He said that two of them could whip a dog and that four of them could hold down a man; and if help didn't come, they would kill him - "kill him," as he put it. Somewhat casually - yet tellingly - pointing out "life insurance in its simplest form is unknown in Lake Providence - they also take out a mosquito policy." He told many remarkable things about these lawless insects. Among other things, he said he saw them trying to vote. Realizing that this statement seemed to carry a lot of weight for us, he modified it a bit: he said he might have been wrong on that point, but he knew he had seen them "hunting" around the ballot boxes had.

There was another passenger - H.'s friend - who supported the strong evidence against these mosquitoes and detailed some exciting adventures he had with them. The stories were pretty big, just pretty big; however Mr. H. kept interrupting him with a cold, unrelenting "Wait - drop twenty-five percent." for this; now idiot;' or: “Wait – you're getting too strong; cut it, cut it - you made your statements a little too outlandish: always wear a suit with tights, never a coat;' or, "Sorry, again: if you have anything else to take away from that statement, you'll want to get some lighters and lug the rest because you're already pulling all the water out of the river; stick to the facts – just stick to the cold facts; What these gentlemen want in a book is the frozen truth, isn't it, gentlemen? He privately stated that it was necessary to watch this man at all times and keep him within bounds; It would do no good to neglect this precaution, for he, Mr. H., 'knew his grief.' He said, “I will not deceive you; he once told me a lie so egregious that it swelled and spread my left ear so that I really wasn't able to look around; it stayed that way for months, and people came from far away to see me fan myself with it.'


Vicksburg during the troubles

We used to go downstream past Vicksburg, the city on the high hills; but we can't do that now. A cut made it a country town like Osceola, St. Genevieve and some others. There is still water in front of Vicksburg - also a large island. You go down the river on the other side of the island, then turn around and go up into town;

Traces and scars remain as reminders of Vicksburg's tremendous war experiences; Earthworks, trees damaged by cannonballs, escape caves in clay chasms, etc. The caves served well during the six-week bombardment of the city from May 8 to July 4, 1863. They were used by non-combatants - mainly women and children; not to live in constantly, but to fly to safety from time to time. They were just holes, tunnels carved into the vertical bank of clay and then branching out into the hill in a Y-shape. Life in Vicksburg, maybe for the six weeks - but wait; Here are some materials to reproduce it:--

population, twenty-seven thousand military personnel and three thousand non-combatants; the city utterly cut off from the world - walled up within, gunboats in front, soldiers and batteries behind; hence there is no buying and selling with the outside world; without going from side to side; no printed acres of world news to be read at breakfast each morning—instead, a tedious, tedious absence of such subjects; neither running to see the steamers, steaming in the distance above or below, rushing toward the city—for none came, the river was empty and undisturbed; from noisy crowds of hackers - all quiet there; Flour $200 a barrel, Sugar thirty, Corn Tendollars a bushel, Bacon $5 a pound, Rum $100 a gallon; other things in proportion: consequently no rumble and clatter of wagons and carriages rushing through the streets; nothing for them to do among that handful of weary non-combatants; at three o'clock in the morning silence; so dead a silence that the metered step of a sentry can be heard at a seemingly impossible distance; When one hears that lonely sound, perhaps the stillness is absolute: in one moment, artillery thunder resounds, shaking the ground, the sky is covered in cobwebs, with criss-crossing red lines flowing from high-flying bomb shells, and a rain of iron splinters falls to earth city; down onto the empty streets: streets which a moment later are not empty but stained with indistinct figures of desperate women and children rushing from home and bed towards the cave dungeons - encouraged by the good-natured soldiers shouting, "Rats , stop". your holes! ' and laugh.

The thunder of the cannons roars, the shells screech and crack above us, the iron rain falls, one o'clock, two o'clock, three, maybe six, then it stops; Silence follows, but the streets are still empty; the silence lasts; the silence still lingers, bodies follow heads, and weary, half-suffocated creatures huddle together, stretching their aching limbs, gulping the grateful fresh air, chatting with the neighbors in the nearest cave; maybe get out of the house right away or take a walk around town if the calm persists; and it will run back into the holes bit by bit when the storm of war hits again.

Since there were only three thousand of these cave dwellers - just the population of a village - they would not become familiar after a week or two; so that everyone's happy or unhappy experiences matter?

These are the materials that the story provides. Almost none of them can reproduce the life of that time in Vicksburg for themselves? Could you, who didn't try, get any closer to reproducing it in the mind of another non-participant than a Vicksburger who did? It seems impossible; and yet there are reasons why it might not really be so. When someone embarks on their first voyage on a ship, it is an experience full of amazing new things; Novelties that stand in such sharp contrast to all of that person's previous experiences as to capture their imagination and memory in a seemingly immortal way. By tongue or pen he can make a man of the land take with him this strange and exciting journey; let him see everything and feel everything. But what if he waits? If he makes ten trips in a row – what happens? Well, the thing lost its color, it broke, it surprised; and it became commonplace. The man would have nothing to say that would quicken the pulse of an earthling.

(Video) History Is Lunch: Charles Reagan Wilson, "The Southern Way of Life"

Years ago I spoke to some civilians from Vicksburg - a man and his wife. These people had to tell their story in their own way, they told it without fire, almost without interest.

A week of their wonderful life there might have allowed their languages ​​to speak forever; but they had six weeks of it, and that used up all the novelty; they got used to being bombed and rammed into the ground from their homes; The topic has become commonplace. After that, the possibility of them being surprisingly interesting in their conversations about it is gone. What the man said was this:

"It always has to be Sunday. Seven Sundays a week - at least for us. We had nothing to do and time was pressing. Seven Sundays, and all were interrupted at some point, day or night, by a few hours of terrible storms of fire, thunder, and iron. what we did afterwards. The first time I forgot about the children and Maria took them both. Once safely inside the cave, she passed out. Two or three weeks later, while running to the holes one morning through a hail of shells, a large shell exploded near her, covering her all over with dirt, and a piece of iron took her game bag with synthetic hair. . from the back of your mind. Well she stopped to get the game bag before she left! I've just gotten used to things, you know. We all have to talk a lot about shells; and after that we didn't always take cover when it rained. We men walked and talked; and a man would say, 'There she goes!' and name the kind of shell it was and go on - if there was no danger in it. If a shell exploded near us, we would stop talking and stand; uncomfortable, yes, but it wasn't safe for us to move. When he let go, if nobody got hurt, we kept talking - maybe we said, 'That was a Ripper!' or a general comment before we continue; or perhaps we saw a projectile take up position high in the air overhead. Then it suddenly broke out from all the companions: "Goodbye, gentlemen!" and pushed. Again and again I saw crowds of ladies strolling through the streets, looking as cheerful as one wanted, looking out for bombs; and I have seen them stop when unsure of what a projectile would do, and wait and be sure; and after that they wandered again or took shelter, according to judgment. The streets of some cities are strewn with scraps of paper and trinkets of one kind or another. Ours aren't; they had iron litter. Sometimes a man would gather all the shrapnel and unexploded shells around him and pile them up in some sort of memorial in his yard—sometimes a ton. Not a glass was left; the glass could not withstand such a bombardment; everything was shaking. The windows of empty houses looked like holes for a skull's eyes. _Whole panels were as rare as news.

“We had church Sundays. Not many at first; but very good holdings from time to time. I have seen the service stop for a minute and everyone was silent - no voices could be heard, much like at a funeral - and all the more so because there was a horrible rumbling and rumbling going on outside and above; and very soon, when a corpse was heard, the service would resume again. Organs and sacred music mixed with a bombardment is an oddly powerful combination - together at first. One morning as we were leaving church, we had an accident - the only one that happened near me on a Sunday. I just gave a warm greeting to a friend I haven't seen in a while and said, 'Come to our cave tonight after the bombing; we have half a liter of wh--” Whiskey, I wanted to say, you know, but a grenade interrupted me. A piece of it cut off the man's arm and left it dangling from my hand. And you know what will stay in my memory the longest and will outlast everything, big and small, I think is the evil thought I had at the time? It was 'the whiskey _is saved_'. And yet, don't you see, it was kind of excusable; for it was as scarce as diamonds, and we had but little; During the siege I never tried it again.

“Sometimes the caves were desperately overcrowded and always hot and cramped. Sometimes twenty or twenty-five people were crammed into a cave; no place for anyone; Air that is sometimes so dirty that you couldn't have burned a candle in it. In one of these caves a child was born one night. Think about it; It was like being born in a suitcase.

“Twice we had sixteen people in our cave; and several times we had a dozen. Very suffocating in there. We always had eight; eight belonged there. Hunger, misery, sickness, fear and sadness and I don't know what else burdened them so much that none of them were what they were after the siege. All but three of us died within a few years. One night a grenade exploded in front of the hole, gave way and stopped. It was lively digging for a while. Some of us almost suffocated. After that we did two openings - that should have been the first thing to think about.

"Mule meat. No, we've only gotten around to this in the last day or two. Of course it was good; everything is fine when you are hungry.

This man kept a diary for six weeks? No, only the first six days. Eight sites were closed on the first day; the second, five; the third, a freely written one; the fourth, three or four lines; a line or two on the fifth and sixth day; seventh day, diary abandoned; Life in fantastic Vicksburg has now become commonplace and natural.

The war history of Vicksburg is of more interest to the general reader than that of any riverside town. It is varied, full of events, full of images. Longer than any other great river city, Vicksburg has endured and seen war in all its phases, both on land and sea - siege, mine, assault, setback, bombardment, disease, captivity, famine.

Here is the most beautiful of all national cemeteries. Above the great portal is this inscription:--


The site is noble; He is very tall and commands a wide perspective of land and river. They are tastefully arranged in wide terraces, with winding streets and paths; and there is lush adornment in the form of 'semi-tropical shrubs and flowers', and in one section is a piece of native wild wood, left exactly as it grew and therefore perfect in its charm. Everything about this cemetery points to the hand of the national government. The work of the government is always distinguished by excellence, solidity, rigor and cleanliness. The government first does its job well and then takes care of it.

Through winding streets—often cut so deep between vertical walls that they were mere roofless tunnels—we drove a mile or two and visited the memorial that stands on the spot where General Pemberton surrendered Vicksburg to General Grant. Its metal will save it from the blows and splinters that so disfigured its predecessor, who was of marble; but the brick foundations are crumbling and it will soon collapse. It overlooks the scenic region of forested hills and gorges; and is not without painters, as it is well covered with flowering weeds. The damaged remains of the marble monument were moved to the National Cemetery.

On the road a quarter mile into town, an old colored man proudly showed us a dud that had lain in his yard since the day it went down there during the siege.

“I stood still and the dog stood still; the dog went to get the conch to make noise with; but I didn't; I say: “Jes' makes you at home, heah; Keep calm as you are or ravage the place as you wish, but I've got work to do in the forest, really!'

Vicksburg is a city with important shopping streets and pleasant residential buildings; commands trade on the Yazoo and Girassol rivers; It drives railroads in many directions through rich agricultural regions and has a bright future of prosperity and importance.

Almost all riverside towns, large and small, seem to have decided that henceforth they must look primarily to the railroads for wealth and edification. You act on that idea. It is becoming apparent that the next twenty years will bring some notable changes to the Valley, toward increasing population and wealth, and the intellectual advancement and liberalization of opinion that naturally accompany these changes. And yet, judging by the past, river towns will manage to find and seize an opportunity here and there to cripple and delay their progress. They stayed away in the days of steamship rule by a system of port dues so stupidly tiered that it banned the so-called small retail trade of cargo and passengers. The boats were laden with a dock so heavy they could not afford to disembark for a passenger or two or a small load of cargo. Instead of encouraging trade to come to their doorsteps, cities have studiously and effectively discouraged it. You could have many boats and low fares; but his policy was few boats and high fees. It was a policy stretching from New Orleans to St. Paul.

We had a strong desire to climb the Yazoo and the Girassol - interesting land at any time, but even more interesting at the time because the great tide was still visible up there - but we were pretty sure we would had to wait a day or more by boat from New Orleans for our return; so we were forced to abandon the project.

Here's a story I heard on board the boat that night. I'm just putting it here because it's a good story, not because it belongs here—because it doesn't. It was narrated by a passenger - a college professor - and emerged in the course of a general conversation that started with a conversation about horses, progressed to a conversation about astronomy, and then broke into a conversation about the lynching of gamblers in Vicksburg at half past twelve Century. . , then talk about dreams and superstitions; and ended after midnight in a dispute over free trade and protection.


the teacher's thread

It was in the beginning. I wasn't a university professor then. I was a humble young surveyor with the world in front of me - to survey if anyone wanted to. I had an assignment to survey a route to a large mining pit in California, and I was going there by sea - a three or four week voyage. There were many passengers, but I had very little to say to them; Reading and dreaming were my passions, and I avoided conversation to sate that appetite. There were three professional players on board - rude, obnoxious guys. I never spoke to them, but I couldn't help but see them often, as they played day and night upstairs in a hut, and I often glimpsed them through their slightly ajar door on my walks. to let them in. excessive tobacco smoke and profanity. They were an evil and hateful presence, but of course I had to put up with

One other passenger in particular caught my eye as he seemed determined to be kind to me and I could not have gotten rid of him without risking hurting his feelings and I didn't want to. There was also something captivating about his rural simplicity and radiant good nature. The first time I met this Mr. John Backus, I suspected from his dress and appearance that he was a rancher or farmer in an upstate western state—Ohio no doubt—and later when he fell into his personal history and discovered Knowing that he was a rancher in upstate Ohio, I was so pleased with my own penetration that I turned to him to check my instincts.

He appeared by my side every day after breakfast to help me walk; and so, over time, his supple chin told me all about his affairs, his prospects, his family, his relationships, his politics—in fact, anything pertaining to Backus, living or dead. And in the meantime, I think he managed to squeeze out of me everything I knew about my job, my tribe, my goals, my perspectives, and myself. He was a gentle, persuasive genius, and this thing showed it; because I didn't like to talk about my affairs. I once said something about triangulation; the stately word tickled his ear; he asked what it meant; I explained; after that he silently and harmlessly ignored my name and always called me Triangle.

What a cattle lover he was! At the mere name of a bull or cow, his eyes sparkled and his eloquent tongue loosened. While I walked and listened, he walked and spoke; he knew all races, he loved all races, he caressed them all with his loving tongue. I walked about in silence and fear while the cattle question was in progress; when I couldn't take it anymore, I skilfully inserted a scientific topic into the conversation; then my eye shot and his faded; my tongue fluttered, his stopped; Life was a joy for me and a sadness for him.

One day, hesitantly and with a certain suspicion, he said:

"Triangle, would you mind coming to my cabin for a minute and talking a little bit about a specific topic?"

I went with him right away. Once there, he stuck his head out, cautiously looked up and down the hallway, then closed the door and locked it. He sat on the couch and said...

"I'll make you a little proposition, and if you like it, it'll be average for both of us. You don't go to California to have fun, at least I don't, it's a business right? Well, you can give me a good helping hand, and so can I, if we see fit. I have collected, scraped and saved for many considerable years and I have it all here. He unlocked an old hair chest, tossed aside a shabby mess of clothes and laid a short, thick pouch in plain view for a moment, then buried it again and locked the chest again. He lowered his voice to a low, cautious tone and continued, "It's all there - about ten thousand dollars in yellow boys; now my little idea: What I don't know about animal husbandry is not worth knowing. There are coins in there, California. Well, I know, and you know, along a searched line, there are small patches of land that they call "Crushes."

which fall to the surveyor free of charge. all you have to do

Your side is to make the survey so that the "splashes" fall on good and fat land, then deliver them to me, I feed them cattle, the money in buns, I plan your share the normal dollars, direct and...

I was sorry to quash his growing enthusiasm, but I couldn't help it. I stopped and said sternly -

“I'm not that surveyor. Let's change the subject, Mr. Backus.

It was pathetic to see their confusion and hear their awkward and embarrassed apologies. I was just as distraught as he was - especially since he seemed far from suspecting anything inappropriate about his proposal. So I hastened to comfort him and make him forget his mishap in an orgy of chatter about cattle and butchery. We were in Acapulco; and when we came on deck, fortunately, the crew were just beginning to haul some oxen on board in slings. Backus' melancholy vanished instantly, and with it the memory of his last mistake.

'Look at that!' he cried; "Oh my god, Triangle, what would they tell him in _Ohio_. Wouldn't their eyes widen to see "that they were so handled? - it is not?'

All the passengers were on deck to watch - even the players - and Backus knew them all and had plagued them with his favorite topic. As I walked away, I saw one of the players approach and approach him; then another of them; then the third. I stopped; waited; looked Conversation continued among the four men; it got serious; Backus gradually withdrew; The players followed him and stayed by his side. I felt uncomfortable. However, as they passed me, I heard Backus say in a tone of tortured irritation:

“But it's no use, gentlemen; I'm telling you again, as I've told you half a dozen times, I didn't stand up for it and I won't ask for it.

I felt relieved. "Your cool head will protect you enough," I said to myself.

Several times during the fortnight's drive from Acapulco to San Francisco, I saw the players speak earnestly to Backus, and once I gently warned him. He chuckled comfortably and said...

'Oh yeah! They often rush me - they want me to play a little bit, just for fun they say - but laws, if my parents told me to look for that kind of cattle once, they said a thousand times I think.

Gradually, in due course, we approached San Francisco. It was a black and ugly night with a strong wind but not much sea. I was alone on deck. I started walking around ten. A figure emerged from the player's cave and disappeared into the darkness. I was shocked when I was sure it was Backus. I flew through the hatch, looking for him but couldn't find him, so I got on deck just in time to catch a glimpse of him as he entered that messy rascal's nest again. Has he finally given in? I feared it. Why did he go there? Your bag of coins? Possibly. I approached the door full of anticipation. It snapped and I looked in and saw a vision that made me bitterly wish I had turned my attention to saving my poor cattle friend instead of my foolish time reading and dreaming. He has played. Worse, he was stuffed with champagne, and that was already having an effect. He praised the "cider," as he called it, and said now that he's tasted it, he almost thinks he'd drink it if it were distilled, that it's so good and so far better than anything he's made ever seen before. A sly smile passed from one rascal to the other, and they filled all the glasses, and while Backus honestly emptied his to the bottom, they pretended to do the same but tossed the wine over his shoulder.

I couldn't stand the scene, so I moved on, trying to get interested in the sea and the voices of the wind. But no, my restless mind kept dragging me back every fifteen minutes; and I've always seen Backus drink his wine - fair and honest, and the others throw the wine away. It was the most painful night I have ever experienced.

The only hope I had was that we could reach our anchorage quickly and it would be game over. I helped the ship as much as I could with my prayers. We finally made it through the Golden Gate and my pulse was racing with joy. I ran back to that door and looked inside. Unfortunately, there was little room for hope — Backus' eyes were heavy and bloodshot, his sweaty face was crimson, his speech muddy and thick, his sawn-up body intoxicated by the ship's sweeping motion. He emptied another glass onto the floor as the cards were dealt.

He took her hand and looked at her, and his bleary eyes lit up for a moment. The players watched and showed their satisfaction with almost imperceptible signals.

"How many cards?"

'None!' said Backus.

A villain named Hank Wiley discarded one card, the others three each. The betting has started. So far the stakes had been insignificant—a dollar or two; but Backus started with an eagle now, Wiley hesitated a moment, then "looked" and "was ten bucks better". The other two raised their hands.

Backus was twentieth best. Wieley said...

'I see it, and you go a hundred better!' then he smiled and took the money.

"Never mind," Backus said with drunken seriousness.

'What! do you think you will cover it?

'Cover, cover that? Well, I guess so... and I'll throw in a hundred more.

He reached into his coat and pulled out the amount needed.

"Ah, that's your little game, isn't it? I see your rise and rise five hundred! said Wiley.

"Five hundred better." said the foolish bull rider, taking out the sum and throwing it on the heap. The three conspirators barely tried to hide their jubilation.

All diplomacy and hypocrisy was abandoned now, and the shrill shouts came thick and fast, and the yellow pyramid grew higher and higher. At least ten thousand dollars were in sight. Wiley tossed a bag of coins on the table and said with mock friendliness:

"Five thousand dollars better, my friend from the country counties - what do you say _now_?"

'I'll call you!' said Backus and threw his golden bag on the heap. 'What's wrong with you?'

"Four Kings, you idiot!" and Wiley played his cards and wrapped his arms around the stakes.

'Four _aces_, donkey!' Backus thundered, covering his man with a cocked revolver. '_I'm a professional gamer myself and I bet the whole journey on you idiots!'_

Dropped anchor, rumbledy-dum-dum! and the long journey ended.

Well, well, it's a sad world. One of the three players was "friends" with Backus. It was he who dealt with the fateful hands. According to an agreement with the two victims, he should have given Backus four queens, but unfortunately he didn't.

A week later, I found Backus—dressed up fashionably—on Montgomery Street. He said happily when we parted...

"By the way, you don't have to worry about those bloodsuckers. In fact, I know nothing about cattle other than what I learned on a week-long training course in Jersey just before leaving. It's my turn to beef culture and my passion for cattle - I don't need them anymore."

The next day, we reluctantly parted ways with the Gold Dust and her officers, hoping to one day see this boat and all those officers again. Something that fate would tragically make impossible!


The End of "Gold Dust"

Three months later, on August 8th, as I was writing one of the preceding chapters, the New York papers ran this telegram:



“NASHVILLE, August 7th. - A cable from Hickman, Kentucky, says -

“The steamer Gold Dust exploded her boilers at three o'clock today, just after leaving Hickman. 47 people were scalded and 17 are missing. The boat landed in the whirlpool just above the city, and through the efforts of the townsfolk, cabin passengers, officers and part of the crew and deck passengers, they were brought ashore and taken to hotels and residences. Twenty-four of the wounded lay in Holcomb's grocery store at the same time, where they were given full attention before being moved to more comfortable locations.

A list of names followed, according to which one of the seventeen dead was the owner of the bar; and among the forty-seven wounded were the captain, mate, second mate, and second and third clerks; also Mr. Lem S. Gray, pilot, and several members of the crew.

In response to a private telegram, we learned that none of them were seriously injured except Mr. Gray. Letters received later confirmed this news and said that Mr. Gray was on the mend and doing well. Later letters spoke less hopefully of her case; and finally someone came to announce his death. A good man, a very sociable and manly man, and deserving of a kinder fate.


to the beautiful house

We took a boat from Cincinnati to New Orleans; or on a Cincinnatiboat - both are correct; the former is the Eastern, the latter the Western mode of expression.

Mister. Dickens refused to agree that the Mississippi steamers were "magnificent" or "floating palaces"—terms always applied to them; Terms that did not express the admiration with which people looked at them.

The position of Mr. Dickens was possibly unassailable; the position of the people was in any case unassailable. If Mr. Dickens likened these boats to the crown jewels; or with the Taj or with the Matterhorn; or some other priceless or wonderful thing he had seen, they weren't great - he was right. People compared them to what they had seen; and, as measured, as judged, the boats were magnificent - the term was spot on, nothing too strong. People were as right as Mr. Dickens. Steamboats were better than anything else on land. Compared to upscale residences and first class hotels in the valley, they were undoubtedly grand, they were "palaces". For some people living in New Orleans and St. Louis, they might not have been great; no palaces; but for the vast majority of these populations, and for all populations on either bank between Baton Rouge and St. Louis, there were palaces; they fulfilled and fulfilled the commoner's dream of splendor.

Every town and village along this vast double-sided stretch of river had the finest dwelling, the best abode, the mansion - the home of its richest and most respected citizen. It is easy to describe: large grassy backyard with a crisp white fence - in good condition; brick walkway from door to door; large, square, two-story, half-timbered house, painted white and porticoed like a Greek temple - except that the imposing fluted columns and Corinthian capitals were a pathetic farce, being made of white pine and painted; iron knocker; Brass handle - discolored because not polished. Inside, an uncarpeted corridor of planed planks; Beyond that opened a living room five feet by fifteen feet—five or ten feet larger in some cases; grain carpet; Mahogany coffee table; Lamp above it, with a shade made of green paper - standing as it were on a lattice made of colored threads, called the lamp mat by the maids of the house; several books, stacked and arranged, with iron rigour, according to an inherited and immutable plan; including Tupper, much written in pencil; also "Offering of Friendship" and "Crown of Affection" with their sentimental nonsense illustrated in deadly mezzotints; also Ossian; 'Alonzo and Melissa: 'maybe 'Ivanhoe:' also 'Album', full of original 'poetry' of the you-hurt-the-spirit-that-loved-you-race; two or three good works—Shepherd of Salisbury Plain, etc.; current edition of the chaste and harmless Godey's 'Lady's Book', with a painted print of wax figures of women with mouths all alike - lips and eyelids the same size - each five-foot-tall woman with a two-inch wedge that protrude from under her dress and let it stay in the middle of the foot. Polished airtight oven (deadly new invention), with a tube running through a board enclosing the good old discarded hearth. At each end of the wooden mantel, above the hearth, a large basket of peaches and other fruit, life-size, all roughly plaster or wax and painted to look like the originals - which they are not. Engraving in center of fireplace - Washington Crossing the Delaware; on the wall by the door, a copy of it made by one of the young women in Lightning and Thunder—a work of art that made Washington hesitant to cross it if he had foreseen what benefit it would derive from it. Piano - kettle in disguise - with music, bound and released, stacked on top and on a stand beside: Battle of Prague; bird waltz; Arkansas Traveler; bow rosin; Anthem of Marseille; On a LoneBarren Island (St. Helena); The last link is broken; The night we last met she wore a wreath of roses; Go forget me, Why does sorrow cast a shadow on this bondage; There were lessons for Memory Dearer; A long time ago; absence days; A life in the waves, a home in RollingDeep; bird in the sea; and open on the shelf where the wailing singer left him _ro_-holl on, silver _moo_-hoon, guide o_trav_-el-lerr your _way_, etc. Leaning thoughtfully against the piano, a guitar - a guitar that's in the Being able to play Spanish fandango all by itself once you start. Angry artworks on the wall - devout motto, made locally, sometimes in brightly colored yarn, sometimes in faded grass: forerunners to the 'God bless our home' of modern commerce. Framed in black frames on the wall are other works of art that were conceived and executed by the young women on site; be gloomy black and white crayons; Landscapes, mainly: lake, lonely sailboat, petrified clouds, pregeological trees on the shore, anthracite cliff; the criminal's name prominently displayed in the corner. Lithograph, Napoleon crossing the Alps.Lithograph, The tomb of St. Helena. Sheet Steel, Trumbull's Battle of Bunker Hill and Sally of Gibraltar. Copper Plates, Moses Smiting the Rock, and the Return of the Prodigal Son. In large gilt frame, oil family sheet: Papa holding a book ['Constitution of the United States']; Guitar leaning against mom, blue bows fluttering around her neck; the young ladies, like children, in slippers and low-cut slippers, one embracing a toy horse, the other a seductive kitten with a ball of yarn, and both grinning at Mother, who smiles back. These humans are all fresh, raw, and red - apparently skinned. Opposite, golden, grandfather and grandmother, thirty-two years old, stiff, old-fashioned, with high collars, puffed sleeves, shimmering pale against the thick Egyptian night. Under the glass dome of a French clock is a large bouquet of rigid white body wax flowers. Pyramid, which is not in the corner, the shelves mainly occupied by jewels of the time, arranged with the aim of obtaining the best effect: Shell, with the Pater Noster carved on it; another shell - of the nature of a long oval, a narrow and straight hole, three inches long, running from end to end - Washington's portrait was engraved in it; poorly made; The shell originally had Washington's mouth - the artist should have built it for that. These two are memorials to the long-ago honeymoon to New Orleans and the French Market. Other bells and whistles: California 'specimens' - quartz, gold tipped; old gold medallion from Guinea, with diadem of ancestral hair; Indian flint arrowheads; a pair of beaded slippers from the uncle who crossed the prairie; three 'alum' baskets of various colors - skeletonized wire frames coated with cubes of crystallized alum in a rock candy style - artwork created by the young women; its duplicates and duplicates are found in everything that does not exist on earth; Convention of dried insects and butterflies pinned to a card; painted toy dog, sitting on a mounting bellows - drops the jaw and squeaks when pressed; Sugar Bunny - Limbs and facial features mixed, not prominent; Pewter Presidential Campaign Medal; Miniature cardboard sawmill attached to stovepipe and powered by heat; small Napoleon, made of wax; candid daguerreotypes of obscure children, parents, cousins, aunts, and friends, in all but the usual settings; no ornate portico at the back and a fabricated landscape stretching into the distance - that came later with photography; all these vague figures, richly chained and surrounded by metal, suggested and protected from doubt by streaks and spatters of vividly gilded bronze; all very combed, very neat; and all are uncomfortable in unyielding Sunday clothes with a pattern which the beholder cannot see might have been fashionable; Husband and wife would normally huddle together—husband seated, wife standing, hand on her shoulder—and both retained, through all those fading years, a traceable impact of the powerful "Now please smile!" In square brackets about what isn't - place of special sacredness - a watercolor outrage done by the young niece who came to visit and died long ago. Too bad too; because she might have regretted it in time. Horsehair armchairs, horsehair sofas that keep slipping under your skin. Venetian blinds of oil stamped in bright colors with milkmaids and castle ruins. Lambrequins dependent on gaudy, gilded, hammered pewter boxes. rooms with fabric carpets; bedsteads with cord, with a crease in the middle, cords need to be tightened; smelly duvet - not aired often enough; wicker chair, swing with cotter floor; Wall mirror, blackboard format, veneered frame; old desk; bowl and jug, possibly - but not sure; Brass candlestick, tallow candle, spectator. Nothing else in the room. No bathroom in the house; and probably no visitor who has ever seen one.

This was the residence of the chief citizen, from the suburbs of New Orleans to the outskirts of St. Ludwig. When he boarded a great steamer, he entered a wondrous new world: the top of the funnel has been cut off to simulate a wreath of scattered feathers - and perhaps painted red; imaginative pattern work; golden acorns on the towers; golden stag antlers above the big bell; glaring symbolic image on rudder box possibly; large and spacious boiler deck, painted blue and furnished with Windsor chairs; inside a distant snow-white "hut"; Porcelain doorknob and oil painting on all cabin doors; curving filigree designs touched with gold, stretching across the entire converging view; large chandeliers in every corner, each with an April shower of glittering glass drops; lovely rainbow light falling from the colored panes of the skylights everywhere; the whole glittering, elongated tunnel, a bewildering and soul-satisfying spectacle! In the ladies' box, a pink and white Wilton rug, soft as porridge and adorned with a sweeping pattern of huge flowers. whose pretentious claim inevitably overwhelmed the now flagging intellect of this Hosanna citizen. Each cabin had its neat, snug bunks, and perhaps a mirror and snug closet; and sometimes there was even a bowl and jug, and part of a towel, distinguishable by a professional by a mosquito net—though these things were usually absent and passengers in shirtsleeves wiped themselves in a long line of bowls stationary in the barber shop, where it there were also public towels, public combs and public soaps.

Take the steamer I have just described and you will have her in her highest, most beautiful, most pleasant, most comfortable, and most satisfying condition. Now cover it in a layer of old stubborn dirt and you have the aforementioned Cincinnati steamboat. Not everywhere - only inside; for she was ably commanded in all departments except that of the butler.

But wash this boat and repaint it, and it would be almost the opposite of the most vaunted boat of the old days: for the architecture of Western steamships has not changed; None of the furniture and ornaments on the steamboats went in vain.


manufacturers and culprits

WHERE the river in the Vicksburg area used to be a corkscrew, it is now comparatively straight - through a notch; an earlier distance of seventy miles is reduced to thirty-five. It's a move that brought Vicksburg's neighbor Delta, Louisiana, to the countryside and ended its career as a river town. Its entire riverfront is now occupied by a vast sandbar densely covered with young trees - a growth that will gradually expand into a dense forest, completely hiding the exiled city.

In due course we passed Grand Gulf and Rodney, a wartime glory, and reached Natchez, the last of the beautiful mountain towns—for Baton Rouge, to come, is not on a hill, but only on a knoll. Famous Natchez-under-the-hill hasn't changed much in twenty years; in appearance - judging by the descriptions of the ancient procession of foreign tourists - it has not changed in sixty years; for it is still small, irregular and poor. In the old days of keel boats and early steamers, it had a desolate moral reputation - there was a lot of drinking, feasting, beating and killing among the river rabble. But Natchez-on-top-of-the-hill is appealing; it has always been attractive. Even Mrs. Trollope (1827) had to confess her charms:

"At a point or two the tiring plain is relieved by cliffs, as they call the short intervals of elevation. The city of Natchez is beautifully situated on one of these high points. The contrast that its bright green hill makes with the sombre line of the Black Forest stretching out on all sides, the lush growth of papaya, palm and orange trees, the rich variety of fragrant flowers that bloom there, all make it close an oasis in the desert. Natchez is the northernmost point where oranges ripen outdoors or winter without shelter. With the exception of this sweet spot, I thought every little town and village we passed looked extremely miserable.

Natchez, like its riverside neighbors near and far, now has and builds on railroads -- shuffling them back and forth in all the wealthy fringes that are inherently tributary to it. And like Vicksburg and New Orleans, it has its own ice factory: it produces thirty tons of ice a day. In Vicksburg and Natchez, ice cream was a gem in my day; nobody but the rich could use it. But anyone and everyone can have it now. I visited one of the ice factories in New Orleans to see what the polar regions would look like if they were pushed to the edge of the tropics. But the appearance of the place was not impressive. It was just a spacious house with an innocent steam engine at one end and a few big china pipes running here and there. No, they weren't porcelain - they just looked like it; They were iron, but the ammonia breathing through them had covered them in solid, milky-white ice up to the thickness of his hand. It should have melted; for nobody needed winter clothes in this atmosphere: but they did not melt; The inside of the tube was very cold.

Set into the floor were numerous tin boxes, a foot square and two feet long, and open at the top. These were filled with clear water; and salt and other suitable things were put round each chest; moreover, ammonia gases were applied to water in a way that will always remain a mystery to me because I could not understand the process. As the water in the boxes began to freeze, the men occasionally stirred them with a stick—to release air bubbles, I guess. Other men kept lifting boxes whose contents were frozen. They dipped the box once in a vat of boiling water to melt the block of ice from the tin coffin, then dumped the block onto a flat wagon and it was ready for market. These large blocks were hard, strong and crystalline. Large bouquets of bright, fresh tropical flowers were frozen in some of them; in others, beautiful French dolls dressed in silk, and other pretty objects. These blocks should be placed on a slab in the middle of dining tables to freshen the tropical air; and also to be decorative, for the flowers and things enclosed within could be seen as though through glass. I was told that this factory could sell its ice cream by the truck throughout New Orleans in the most modest household quantities at $6 or $7 a ton and make a reasonable profit. So there are shops for ice factories in the north; for we cannot get ice there on such terms if any one gets less than three hundred and fifty pounds in a consignment.

The Rosalie Yarn Mill in Natchez has a capacity of 6,000 spindles and 160 looms and employs 100 workers. The Natchez Cotton Mills Company started operations four years ago in a two-story building measuring 50 feet by 190 feet with 4,000 spindles and 128 looms; Principal $105,000, all underwritten in town. Two years later, the same shareholders increased their capital to $225,000; added a third story to the mill, increased its length to 317 feet; Machines added to increase capacity to 10,300 spindles and 304 looms. The company now employs 250 people, many of whom are Natchez residents. "The factory produces 5,000 bales of cotton a year, and manufactures the best standard grades of shirts and linen and brown twill, making 5,000,000 yards of these products a year." {Footnote [New Orleans Times-Democrat, August 1882.]} - Shares held at $5,000 a share but none on the market.

The changes in the Mississippi are big and strange, but to be expected; but I didn't expect to see Natchez and these other river towns grow into industrial hotspots and railroad centers.

When I talk about manufacturing, it reminds me of a lecture I heard - overheard - on board the boat from Cincinnati on the subject. I awoke from a restless sleep with a dull babble of voices in my ears. I listened - two men were talking; apparently exposed to the great flood. I looked through the open tray. The two men ate a late breakfast; sit facing each other; nobody else around. They ended the tide with a few words — having obviously only used them as icebreakers and friend-makers — then they got to work. It quickly turned out that they were drummers - one came from Cincinnati, the other from New Orleans. Energetic men, vigorous in movement and speech; the dollar, your god, how to get it, your religion.

"Well, as for that article," said Cincinnati, cutting off the conspicuous butter and holding a chunk of it on the blade of her knife, "it's from our house; look - smell - taste. Take any test you want. Take your time - take your time - make it complete. Well... what do you say? It's not butter. Not for a thunderous vision - it's sole margarine! Yes sir, that's right, oleomargarine. You can't tell it apart from butter; from George, an _expert _can't. It's from our house. We supply most boats in the West; there's barely a pound of butter in it. We crawl - _jumping_rightalong is the word. We'll have all this trade. Yes, and the hotel industry too. You will see the day very soon when you will not be able to find a gram of butter to bless yourself with in any hotel in the Mississippi and Ohio valleys outside of the big cities. Now we produce margarine oil _now_ by the thousands of tons. And we can sell it so cheap that the whole country has to get it - we can't get away with that, you know. Butter doesn't stand up to any show - competition doesn't stand a chance. Butter has had her _day_ - and henceforth Butter goes on the wall. There's more money in margarine oil than - you have no idea what kind of business we're in. I've stopped in every city from Cincinnati to Natchez; and I've already shipped large orders from each of them.'

And so on for another ten minutes, with the same fervor. Then New Orleans walked in and said...

Yes, it's a top imitation, that's for sure; but it's not the only one that's top notch. For example, nowadays they make olive oil from cottonseed oil, so you can't tell them apart.

"Yes, that's right," Cincinnati replied, "and for a while it was a lot. They shipped it and brought it back from France and Italy with the United States customs mark to certify it as genuine, and there was no money in it; but France and Italy split the game - of course they did. Cracked at a tax so loud Cottonseed Oil could not bear the increase; I had to hang up and leave.'

'Oh, it _did_ didn't it? Wait here a minute.

Goes to his cabin, brings back two long bottles and pulls out the corks - says:

“Okay, smell them, taste them, examine the bottles, check the labels. One of them is from Europe, the other has never left this country. One is European olive oil, the other is American olive oil. Are you saying I'm separated? Naturally. Nobody can. Those who wish can take the trouble to send their oils to Europe and back - it is their privilege; but our company knows a trick that's worth six times as much. We make everything—clean from the ground up—in our New Orleans factory: labels, bottles, oil, everything. Well, no, no labels: I bought abroad - buy cheap there. See, there's just a little speck, an essence or whatever in a gallon of cottonseed oil that gives it a smell or a taste or something - take that away and you're fine - perfect. It is easy , then, to change the oil to any oil, and there is no one who can tell true from false. Well, we know how to get that little stain out - and we're the only company that does. And we produce a simply perfect olive oil - undetectable! We do a good deal too - as I can easily show you from my order book for this voyage. You may soon be buttering everyone's bread, but we'll put cottonseed in his salad from the Gulf to Canada, and that's for sure.

Cincinnati glowed and glowed with wonder. The two villains exchanged business cards and stood up. As they left the table, Cincinnatis said...

'But you must have customs marks, right? How do you manage it?'

I didn't understand the answer.

We pass Port Hudson, scene of two of the war's most terrifying episodes - the night battle between Farragut's fleet and Confederate batteries on April 14, 1863; and the memorable land battle two months later, which lasted eight hours—eight hours of extraordinarily fierce and persistent fighting—and finally ended in the repulsion of Union forces in great carnage.


castles and culture

BATON ROUGE was dressed in flowers, like a bride—nay, much more; like a greenhouse. For now we were in the absolute south - no modifications, no concessions, no interim measures. The magnolias on the Capitol grounds were lovely and fragrant, with their lush, dense foliage and huge snowball blossoms. The scent of the flower is very sweet, but one would like to distance oneself from it because it is very strong. They don't make good indoor flowers - they can suffocate someone in their sleep. At last we were in the south; for here begins sugar country, and the plantations—wide green plains, with sugar mills and black quarters in the middle—were in full view. And above them was a tropical sun and a tropical heat in the air.

And this is also where a pilot's paradise begins: a wide river from there to New Orleans, lots of water from coast to coast and no barriers, obstacles, sawmills or rubble on the road.

Sir Walter Scott is probably responsible for the Capitol; for it is inconceivable that this fake little castle would ever have been built if, a few generations ago, he had not driven people insane with his medieval romances. The South has not yet recovered from the debilitating influence of his books. The admiration for his fantastic heroes and for his grotesque “chivalrous” deeds and romantic youth lives on here, in an environment where you can already smell the wholesome and practical smell of 19th-century cotton mills and locomotives; and traces of his pompous language and other windy forgeries survive along with him. It's pathetic enough that in this otherwise honorable place a whitewashed castle with towers and gizmos - inside and out totally fake materials pretending to be what they aren't - was ever built; but it is far more pathetic to see this architectural untruth being restored and perpetuated in our day, when it would have been so easy to let dynamite finish what a benevolent fire began, and then devote that restoration money to building something real .

However, Baton Rouge has no patents on imitation locks and no monopoly on them. Here's a picture from Columbia's 'Female Institute' ad; Tennessee. The following note is from the same ad -

“The institute building has long been known as a prime example of impressive and beautiful architecture. Visitors are enchanted by its resemblance to the ancient castles of music and history, with its turrets, turreted walls and ivy-covered balconies.'

Keeping the school in a castle is a romantic thing; as romantic as a hotel in a castle.

In itself, the imitation of the castle is undoubtedly harmless and quite good; but as a symbol, creator and keeper of the cloying romance of the Middle Ages, here in the midst of the simplest and most robust and infinitely greater and dignified of all the centuries the world has ever seen, it is necessarily a painful thing and a mistake.

Here is an excerpt from a prospectus for a women's college in Kentucky. women's college sounds good enough; but since the sentence was made in this unwarranted way merely for the sake of brevity, it seems to me that she-college would have been even better - because shorter and means the same: that is, if either sentence means something - -

“The President is a Southerner by birth, education, culture and sentiment; The teachers are all Mediterranean and, with the exception of those born in Europe, were born and raised in the South. refinement, femininity, religion and decency; So we're offering the South a world-class women's college and soliciting South sponsorship.'

{Footnote [Illustrations thoughtlessly omitted by the advertiser:

KNOXVILLE, Tenn., Oct. 19 -- A few minutes after 10 a.m. this morning, General Joseph A. Mabry, Thomas O'Connor and Joseph A. Mabry, Jr. were killed in a firefight. Trouble began yesterday afternoon when General Mabry attacked Major O'Connor and threatened to kill him. That was at the fairground, and O'Connor told Mabry that wasn't the place to resolve their difficulties. Mabry then told O'Connor that he should not live. It appears Mabry was armed and O'Connor was not. The cause of the trouble was an old dispute over the transfer of property from Mabry to O'Connor. Late in the afternoon, Mabry sent word to O'Connor that she would kill him immediately. This morning Major O'Connor stood in front of the Mechanics' National Bank, of which he was President. General Mabry and another gentleman were walking down Gay Street on the opposite side of the bank. O'Connor waded to shore, picked up a shotgun, aimed deliberately at General Mabry, and fired. Mabry dropped dead and was shot in the left side. As he fell, O'Connor fired again, and the shot caught Mabry's thigh. O'Connor then reached into the bank and retrieved another shotgun. About this time Joseph A. Mabry, Jr., General Mabry's son, came running down the street unseen by O'Connor for about forty feet when the boy fired a pistol and the shot in O'Connor's right breast became effective »Connor, which goes through the body near the heart. The moment Mabry fired, O'Connor turned and fired, the round hitting young Mabry's chest and right side. Mabry went down, pierced by twenty shotgun pellets, and almost immediately O'Connor went down dead without a fight. Mabry tried to get up but fell dead. The whole tragedy unfolded in two minutes and none of the three spoke after being shot. General Mabry had about thirty shotgun pellets in his corps. A spectator was injured by a buckshot in the thigh and another in the arm. Four other men had shot through their clothing. The case caused a great stir, and Gay Street was filled with thousands of people. General Mabry and his son Joe were acquitted a few days ago of the murder of father and son Moses Lusby and Don Lusby, whom they killed a few weeks ago. Will Mabry was killed by Don Lusby last Christmas. Major Thomas O'Connor was here President of the Mechanics' National Bank, and was the richest man in the State.--_Associated Press Telegram_.

One day last month, Professor Sharpe of Girls' College in Somerville, Tennessee, "a quiet and chivalrous man" was informed that his brother-in-law, Captain Burton, had threatened to kill him. As it turned out, Burton had already killed one man and stabbed the knife into another. The professor armed himself with a double-barreled shotgun, went in search of his brother-in-law, found him playing pool in a bar and blew his head off. The 'Memphis Avalanche' reports that the teacher's course has met with fairly general approval in the community; Knowing that the law was powerless to protect him in the current public mood, he protected himself.

Around the same time, two North Carolina guys got into a fight over a girl and "hostile messages" were exchanged. Friends tried to reconcile her, but they had her work cut out because of her grief. On the 24th, young people gathered on the public street. One of them had a heavy club in his hand, the other an axe. The man with the club fought desperately for his life, but it was a losing battle from the start. A well-placed blow threw his mace out of range, and in an instant he was a dead man.

Around the same time, two young "highly connected" Virgos, clerks at a Charlottesville hardware store, got into a fight while they were "larks." Peter Dick peppered Charles Roads' eyes; The streets called for analogy; Dick refused to give it, and it was agreed that a duel was inevitable, but a difficulty arose; The parties did not have pistols and it was too late to obtain them. One of them suggested that butcher knives would do the job and the other accepted the suggestion; The result was that Roads fell to the ground with a laceration to his abdomen that may or may not prove fatal. If Dick was arrested, word didn't reach us. He "expressed deep regret" and we were told by a Staunton correspondent for the _Philadelphia Press_ that "every effort was made to hush up the matter."--_Extracts From The Public Journals_.]}

What, guard, ho! the man who can blow so smugly is probably doing it from a castle.

From Baton Rouge to New Orleans, the great sugar cane plantations line both sides of the river to the end, stretching the length of a mile to the dark walls of the bearded cypress forest at the back. The shores are no longer lonely. Many dwellings on both banks, which stand so close together for long stretches that the wide river that lies between the two rows becomes a kind of spacious street. A very cozy and cheerful looking region. And every now and then you see a stately mansion with columns and arcades, framed by trees. Here is the testimony of a foreign tourist or two who moved here half a century ago. Woman. Trolope says...

“The unbroken plain on the banks of the Mississippi continued undisturbed for many miles beyond New Orleans; but the graceful and luxuriant palm, the dark and noble holm oak, and the bright orange were everywhere, and many days passed before we grew tired of looking at them.'

Captain Basil Hall...

The rural district in the lower parts of Louisiana, bordering the Mississippi, is densely populated by sugar planters, whose colorful houses, cheerful squares, trig gardens, and numerous slave villages, all neat and tidy, exuded an extremely prosperous atmosphere. . to the river landscape.

The whole procession draws the attractive picture in the same way. Descriptions from fifty years ago need not change a word to describe the exact same region as it appears today - apart from the "trigonality" of the houses. There is no more lime in the huts of the blacks; and many, perhaps most, of the great mansions that were once so white have worn their paint and look dilapidated and neglected. It's the plague of war. Twenty-one years ago the "coast" was all clean and shiny, just as it was in 1827, as described by these tourists.

Dissatisfied Tourists! People fooled them with stupid and stupid lies and then laughed at them for believing and printing the same thing. They told Mrs. Trollope that alligators—or crocodiles, as she calls them—were terrible creatures; and backed up the statement with a harrowing account of how one of these maligned reptiles crawled into a crew hut one night and ate a woman and five children. The woman alone would have satisfied any normally impossible crocodile; but no, these liars must make him swallow the five children. No one would have guessed that pranksters from this hardy breed were sensitive—but they were. Today it is difficult to understand and impossible to justify how the serious, honest, intelligent, gentle, manly, charitable and well-meaning Captain Basil Hall was received.


The southern metropolis

The approaches to New Orleans were familiar; the general aspects remained unchanged. Flying over London on a railway supported by high arches in the air, miles of upper rooms can be seen through open windows, but the lower half of the houses are below his level and cannot be seen. Likewise, in the upper tier of the river in the New Orleans area, the water reaches the top of the levee edge, the flat region beyond becomes low—representing the bottom of a slab—and as the boat sails, at the top of the levee high water, one looks out over the houses and down on the upper windows. There is nothing but that thin wall of earth between the people and the destruction.

The old brick salt warehouses in the upper part of town looked the same as ever; warehouses, which meanwhile have had something of an Aladdin lamp experience since I've seen them; for when the war broke out the owner went to bed one night and left them with thousands of sacks of common salt, worth a few dollars a sack, and when he got up in the morning he found that his mountain of salt had turned into a mountain of salt gold was transformed, so suddenly and so dizzily did the war news drive up the price of the item.

The vast expanse of planked quays remained unchanged, and there were as many ships as ever: but the long line of steamers was gone; not quite, of course, but there wasn't much left.

The city itself hadn't changed - to the naked eye. It had greatly increased in size and population, but the city's appearance had not changed. Dust covered with used papers still lay high on the streets; the deep, gully-like gullies along the curbs were still half full of water with a dusty surface; the sidewalks were quiet—in sugar and bacon country—occupied by vats, vats, and casks;

Canal Street was more elegant, attractive, and busier than before, with its roving crowds, its various processions of frenzied streetcars, and—at dusk—its wide second-floor balcony crowded with suitably dressed gentlemen and ladies with the latest trends. Mode.

Not that there is "architecture" on Canal Street: by and large there is no architecture in New Orleans except in the cemeteries. It seems strange to say something about a prosperous, far-sighted, energetic city of a quarter of a million people, but it's true. There is a huge granite American customs house - quite expensive, quite real, but as a decoration it is inferior to a gasometer. It looks like a state prison. But it was built before the war. It can be said that architecture in America has been born since the war. I think New Orleans was lucky - and in a way unlucky - not to have had a major fire in recent years. Must be. If it were the other way around, I think it would be possible to identify the "burnt neighborhood" by the radical improvement in its architecture compared to the old methods. You can do that in Boston and Chicago. Boston's "burned neighborhood" was common before the fire; but now in no city in the world is there a business district that can surpass it in beauty, elegance and good taste, or perhaps even rival it.

But New Orleans began – in that moment, so to speak. When completed, the new cotton exchange will be a majestic and beautiful building; massive, substantial, full of architectural grace; no pretense or false pretense or ugliness about it anywhere. It will be worth many times its cost to the city as it raises its own kind. What is missing so far is a model to build on; something to educate the eye and the palate; a _stimulus_ so to speak.

The city is well endowed with progressive men - thinking, clever, long-headed men. The contrast between the spirit of the city and the architecture of the city is like the contrast between being awake and being asleep. -Creator; but the gutters are now washed twice or thrice a day by mighty machines; in many channels the water never stands still, but has a constant flow. Other sanitary improvements were made; and with such effect that New Orleans claims (during the long intervals between occasional attacks of yellow fever) one of the healthiest cities in the Union. Now there's enough ice cream for everyone, made in town. It is an economically busy place and has large river, sea and railway companies. At the time of our visit, it was electrically the best-lit city in the Union. The electric lights in New Orleans outnumbered and far better than those in New York. This noon was changed not only on the canal and some neighboring main roads, but along an eight-kilometer river bank. There are now good clubs in the city - some of them, but reorganized - and welcoming modern style leisure resorts in the West End and Spanish Fort. The telephone is everywhere. One of the most notable advances is journalism. Newspapers weren't a defining feature, as far as I remember. Now they are. Money is spent on them with a free hand. You get the news, whatever the cost. Editorial work is not hacking, but literature. As an example of New Orleans' journalistic achievement, the Times-Democrat of August 26, 1882, contained an account of the year's affairs in the cities of the Mississippi Valley from New Orleans to St. Louis. -Two thousand miles. This edition of the newspaper consisted of forty pages; seven columns for the page; a total of two hundred and eighty columns; fifteen hundred words for the column; a total of four hundred and twenty thousand words. That is, not much less than three times as many words as in this book. Unfortunately, this can be compared to the architecture of New Orleans.

I was only talking about public architecture. The New Orleans household item is beyond reproach, although it remains as it always was. All apartments are made of wood - in the American part of town, Imean - and all have a cozy feel. Those in the affluent neighborhoods are spacious; usually painted snow white and usually have wide porches or double porches supported by ornamental pillars. Set in the center of a large compound, these mansions rise adorned with roses amidst soaring masses of bright green foliage and brightly colored flowers. No home could be more in tune with its surroundings, more beautiful to the eye, cozier and more comfortable.

Even with the cistern one is reconciled nowadays; this is a huge barrel, painted green and sometimes two stories high, that stands on stilts against the corner of the house. There is an air of mansion and brewery in the combination that at first seems very incongruous. But people can't have wells, so they get rainwater. Nor can they have cellars or tombs, {Footnote [The Israelites are buried in tombs - by permission, I understand, not by demand; but no one else, save the destitute, who are buried at public expense. The graves are only three or four feet deep.]} The city is built on "made" ground; so they live without either, and few of the living complain and none of the others.


hygiene and feeling

THEY bury their dead in above-ground graves. These vaults resemble houses - sometimes temples; they are generally built of marble; they are architecturally graceful and shapely; they overlook the sidewalks and sidewalks of the cemetery; and moving among a thousand or so of them, and seeing their white roofs and gables stretching out on all sides, the expression "City of the Dead" immediately has meaning for him. Many of the cemeteries are beautiful and kept in perfect order. Walking from the embankment or the commercial streets near a cemetery, one finds that the people down there would find many advantages in living as well as they did after death; In addition, your neighborhood would be the wonder and admiration of the business community. Fresh flowers in water jars are seen in the portals of many vaults: placed there by the pious hands of grieving parents and children, husbands and wives, and renewed daily. A milder form of sadness finds its cheap and enduring memory in the crude and ugly but indestructible 'immortelle' - which is a wreath or cross or similar emblem of black linen rosettes, sometimes with a yellow rosette in the middle of the beams of the cross - - a kind of sad chest pin, so to speak. The Immortelle requires no attention: just hang up and go; just leave him alone, he will take care of your pain for you and remember you better than you; it withstands first class weather and holds up like boiler iron.

On sunny days, beautiful little chameleons - the most graceful of the long-legged reptiles - crawl along the marble fronts of the vaults and catch flies. Its color changes -- for variety -- don't live up to the creature's reputation. They change color when a person approaches and hangs an immortelle; but that's nothing: any sane reptile would do that.

I will gradually abandon this topic of cemeteries. I've tried everything to get the sentimental part of it, but I can't. I don't think there's a really sentimental part to it. It's all grotesque, spooky, horrible. Cemeteries may have been justified in days gone by, when no one knew that for every dead man buried, to fill the earth and plant roots and air with germs of disease, five or fifty or maybe a hundred people had to die before he died. right time; but they are hardly justifiable now that even children know that a dead saint begins a centuries-long career of murder once the earth encloses his corpse. It's a kind of dark thinking. The relics of St. _made _several thousand sick. Therefore, these miraculous performances are only compensation, nothing more. St. Anne is a rather slow wage for a saint, it is true; but better a debt paid after nineteen hundred years, and forbidden by statute of limitations, than unpaid; and most Halo drivers pay nothing. Where can you find one that pays - like St. Anne - you will find a hundred and fifty that benefit from the statute. And none of them pay more than the principal amount owed - they pay neither simple nor compound interest. A saint, however, can never _fully _ return the patron; for their corpses kill men, while their relics only heal - they never raise the dead to life. This part of the account always remains open.

'DR. F. Julius Le Moyne, after fifty years of medical practice, wrote: “The burial of human bodies that have died of infectious diseases results in a constant pollution of the atmosphere and pollution of the waters, not only with germs arising from simple putrefaction, but also with the specific germs of the diseases leading to death.”

"The gases (from buried corpses) rise to the surface through two to three feet of gravel, just like coal gas, and there is virtually no limit to their exit force.

"During the New Orleans epidemic of 1853, Dr. E. H. Barton reported that the mortality rate in the fourth ward was four hundred and fifty-two per thousand—more than double that of the others. There were three large cemeteries in this district, where more than three thousand bodies had been buried in the past year. In other parts of the city, proximity to cemeteries seemed to exacerbate the disease.

“In 1828, Professor Bianchi demonstrated how the terrible reappearance of the plague in Modena was caused by excavations in the ground where plague victims had been buried three hundred years previously. Mister. Cooper, in explaining the causes of some epidemics, states that the opening of the plague graveyards at Eyam led to an immediate outbreak of the disease." -_North American Review, No. 3, Vol. 135._

In a speech to the Chicago Medical Society in defense of cremation, Dr. Charles W. Purdy made some apt comparisons to show the burden burial of the dead places on society:

“In the United States, for the fourth time in a year, more money is spent on funerals than the government spends on public schools. Funerals in 1880 cost this country enough money to pay off the debt of all business failures in the United States that year and give each bankrupt $8,630 of capital with which to resume business. Funerals cost more money annually than the combined value of US gold and silver production in 1880! from cemeteries.'

For the rich, cremation would be just as good as a funeral; for the ceremonies connected with it could be made as sumptuous and ostentatious as a Hindu suttee; while for the poor cremation would be better than burial because it is so cheap {footnote [Four or five dollars is the minimum price]} - so cheap that the poor began to imitate the rich, which they gradually did. Introducing cremation would rid us of many lame funeral jokes; but on the other hand it would revive a bunch of musty old cremation jokes that have been dormant for two thousand years.

I have a black acquaintance who does odd jobs and hard manual labor for a living. He never makes more than $400 a year, and since he has a wife and several small children, it will take a lot of savings to get through the 12 months of being debt-free. For such a man, a funeral is a colossal financial disaster. When I was writing one of the previous chapters, this man lost a young son. He was walking around town with a friend trying to find a coffin that was within reach. He bought the cheapest he could find, plain wood, stained. It cost him twenty-six dollars. It probably would have cost less than four if it was built to hold something useful. He and his family will feel that they will spend many months.


The Art of Burial

About the same time I met a man on the street I hadn't seen for six or seven years; and something like this conversation ensued. I said--

“But you used to look sad and old; not you now Where did you get all that bubbling youth and joy? Give me the address.'

He laughed happily, took off his shiny tile, pointed to a circle of carved pink paper taped to his crown with something written on it, and kept laughing as I read, "J. B----, _Undertaker_.' He then put his hat on his head, disrespectfully tipped it at Lee and exclaimed:

'That's what happened! It used to be tough for me when you knew me - insurance agency business, you know; strongly irregular. Bigfire, okay - fast trading for 10 days while people are scared; then boring politics until the next fire. Cities like this don't burn often enough - one guy has so many boring weeks in a row that he gets discouraged. But you bet that's the deal! People don't wait for role models to die. No, sir, you go straight - there is no dull spot in the undertaker's queue. I started with two or three old caskets and a rented hearse, and now look at this! I have created a business here that would please any man, no matter who he is. Housed in an attic five years ago; Now he lives in a large house with a mansard roof and all modern conveniences.

“A coffin pays off so well. Is there much gain in a coffin?

'Go away! How do you speak!' Then with a confidential wink, a lowered voice and an impressive laying on of my arm; 'Look here; There's one thing in this world that never comes cheap. This is a coffin. There is one thing in this world where a person never tries to humiliate you. This is a coffin. There's one thing in this world you don't say, "I'll look around and if I find I can't do better, I'll come back and get it." That's a coffin. There is one thing in this world that a person will not accept as a pine tree if he can become a walnut tree; and will not accept walnut when mahogany can be used; and he will not accept mahogany when he can take an iron coffin with a silver top and bronze handles. This is a coffin. And there's one thing in this world that you don't have to worry about after you've gotten a person to make them pay. And that's a coffin. Company? —yes, it is the surest business in Christendom, and the noblest.

'Look at him. A rich man will only have his best; and you can also just stack - stack and hit him - he'll never scream. And you take a poor man, and if you work him right, he'll be torn to pieces in one piece. Or especially a woman. For example: Mrs. O'Flaherty enters - widow - wiping her eyes and half groaning. Opens one eye, tearfully slaps it on the shaft; it says--

"And what can you ask for it?"

“'Thirty-nine dollars, ma'am,' I said.

"It's a steep price, of course, but Pat will be buried like a farmer, even if I have to work hard for it. I will have that wish, ser.

'Yes, ma'am,' said I, 'and it is very good too; not expensive but in this life we ​​have to cut our clothes on our clothes as the saying goes. And as she began, I said, rather casually, "That's a beauty with the white satin lining, but I'm afraid... well, sixty-five dollars is a little... a lot... but never, mind you, I've felt it." I'm obliged to tell Mrs. O'Shaughnessy...

"You think Bridget O'Shaughnessy bought the sidekick for that box of Joo-ul to send that huddled devil to purgatory?"

'"Sim Madame."

' 'Then Pat will go to heaven in his twin if he takes the last punch the O'Flaherties can deal; And say throw in a few extras and I'll give you another dollar.

"And while I was at the rent stables, of course, I don't forget to mention that Mrs. O'Shaughnessy rented fifty-four dollars' worth of hacks and played Dennis' funeral in style as if he were a duke or an assassin. And of course she sails and goes to the O'Shaughnessy, about four carriages and one better carriage. It used to be like that, but now it's all played out; that is, in that particular city. The Irish began accumulating so much money at their funerals that one funeral left them ragged and hungry for two years; then the priest came in and broke everything. He doesn't allow them now to only have two hacks, and sometimes only one."

"Well," I said, "if you're so carefree and cheerful in normal times, what must you be in an epidemic?"

He shook his head.

"No, you're out there. We don't see an epidemic. An epidemic doesn't pay off. Well, that's not exactly what I mean, of course; but it doesn't pay off in proportion to the normal thing. Can't think of why?



'I can't imagine. What is it?'

"It's just two things."

"Well, what are they?"

'Man embamming.'

"And what is the other one?"


'How is that?'

“Well, in normal times a person dies and we put them on hold; a day two days maybe three to wait for the arrival of friends. It takes a long time - it melts quickly. We charge jewelry prices for the ice and war prices for the service. Don't you know, when there's an epidemic, when the air runs out, they immediately run to the graveyard. In an epidemic there is no market for ice cream. The same goes for embedding. You take a family that knows how to get started and you've got a soft thing. You can name sixteen different ways to do it — although there's not just one or two ways if you dig deeper into the facts — and you'll choose the most expensive way each time. It's human nature - human nature in grief. There's no reason, you see. At the moment it doesn't matter. All he wants is physical immortality for the deceased, and they are willing to pay for it. All you have to do is be careful and stack them - they will take the noise. Well, man, you can get an extinct that couldn't _give _away; and set your stew traps around you and get to work; and in a few hours he's worth a cool six hundred - that's what _he_ is worth. There is nothing like trading mice for diamonds in times of famine. You see, when there's an epidemic, people don't wait for it to go away. No not true; and it hurts like hell, as we say - it hurts like hell, _Health_, see? - Our little joke in trade. Well I have to go. Call me whenever you want... I mean when you come by, anytime.

In his cheerful elation he even overdid it, if anything was done. I didn't zoom in.

With the above brief references to burial, we leave the subject. As for me, I hope to be cremated. I once made that remark to my pastor, who said what he seemed to think was an impressive way -

"I wouldn't worry if I had the chance." He knew a lot about it - the whole family was against it.


City sights

The old French part of New Orleans - formerly the Spanish part - bears no resemblance to the American end of the city: the American end, which is behind the mall in the middle of the brick strip. The houses are concentrated in blocks; they are austerely plain and dignified; regular pattern, deviating here and there with pleasant effect; All are plastered on the outside and almost all have long balconies with iron railings along the different floors. Its main beauty is the deep, warm, multicolored stain with which the plaster has been enriched over time. It blends into its surroundings and has a look as natural as the glow of sunset clouds. This enchanting decoration cannot be successfully imitated; nor is it found elsewhere in America.

Iron railings are also a specialty. The pattern is often extremely light and delicate, airy and graceful - with a large cipher or monogram in the center, a delicate spider web of bewildering and intricate shapes, forged from steel. Antique railings are made by hand and are now comparatively rare and relatively valuable. They became _bric-a-brac_.

The group had the privilege of touring this old New Orleans neighborhood with the South's greatest literary genius, the author of The Grandissimes. The South found in it a masterful outline of its inner workings and its history. Indeed, I have found through experience that the untrained eye and the vacant mind can examine, know, and judge him more clearly and profitably by his books than by personal contact.

with Mr. Along cables for you to see and describe, explain and illuminate, a walk through this old quarter is a living pleasure. And you have a keen sense of things that are unseen or faintly visible - vivid yet erratic and obscure; one glimpses salient features, but misses the subtle shadows, or imperfectly captures them through the vision of the imagination: a case, so to speak, of an ignorant myopic stranger traversing the edge of the vast and vague horizons of the Alps with an inspired and enlightened native of sight.

We visit the old St. Louis Hotel, now occupied by city offices. There's nothing surprising about that; but it may be said of him, as of the New York Academy of Music, that if a broom or spade was ever used on him there is no circumstantial evidence to support it. It's strange that cabbage, hay and other things don't grow in the music academy; but no doubt it is due to the interruption of light by the benches and the impossibility of weeding except in the corridors. The fact that the hostesses grow their bouquets of buds on site shows what could be possible if they had the right farmer spirit for the establishment.

We also visited the venerable cathedral and the pretty square in front of it; one subdued with a religious light, the other bright with a secular character and enchanting with orange trees and flowering bushes; then we drive in the hot sun through the desert of houses and out into the wide dead plain beyond, where stand the villas, the water-wheels that drain the city, and the commons teeming with cows and children; past an old cemetery where we were told the ashes of an old pirate lay; but we trusted him and did not visit him. He was a pirate with a powerful and bloodthirsty history; and while in retreat he kept unsullied the dignity of his name and the greatness of his former calling, homage and awe were his from above and below; but when he finally entered politics and became a junior alderman, the public "shook" him, turned away and wept. When he died they erected a monument to him; and little by little he was respected again; but it's respect for the pirate, not the councilman. Today, the loyal and generous only remember what they were and charitably forget what they have become.

From there we drove a few miles through a swamp, along an elevated gravel road, with a canal on one side and dense forest on the other; and here and there, in the distance, a jagged, angular, moss-covered cypress, its top silhouetted against the sky, and as unique as the apple-trees in Japanese paintings—such was our course and the surroundings . . . Occasionally a crocodile would leisurely swim down the canal, and a colorful person on the bank, tossing their frozen reflection like a statue over the still water, waiting for a bite.

And little by little we came to the West End, a cluster of hotels of the usual light summer resort standard, with wide verandas all around and the waves of wide blue Lake Pontchartrain lapping at the thresholds. We had dinner on a terrace overlooking the water, with the famous pompano fish for main course, as delicious as the less criminal forms of sin.

Thousands of people come every night by train and carriage to the West End and Spanish Fort to dine, listen to bands, walk outdoors under electric lights, sail on the lake and do many, many other things enjoyment.

We had the opportunity to test the Pompano on other days and in other places. Especially at an editorial dinner in one of the city's clubs. There he was in his ultimate perfection, justifying his glory. In his suite stood a tall pyramid of scarlet crayfish—big, as big as a thumb—tender, tasty, appetizing. Also leaved whitebait; also selected quality shrimp; and a plate of small soft-shell crabs of a superior breed. The other courts were found at Delmonico's or Buckingham Palace; The ones I was talking about can only be had in New Orleans with similar perfection, I suppose.

In the west and south they have a new institution - the Broom Brigade. It consists of young people who dress in uniform and do infantry drills with a broom instead of a musket. It is a very beautiful sight in private view. When they perform on the stage of a theater in the light of colorful fireworks, it must be a beautiful and mesmerizing spectacle. I watched them follow their complex manual with grace, spirit, and admirable precision. I've seen them do everything a man can do with a broom, except sweep. I haven't seen them sweep. But I know they could learn. What they have already learned proves it. And if they ever learned and took the warpath through Tchoupitoulas or one of those other streets over there, those alleys would be looking a whole lot better in a few minutes. But not the girls themselves; then nothing would really be gained.

The exercise took place in the Washington Artillery building. In this building we saw many interesting war relics. Also a beautiful oil painting depicting Stonewall Jackson's final interview with General Lee. Both are on horseback. Jackson has just stood up and is approaching Lee. The photo is very valuable because of the authentic portraits. But like many other historical images, it means nothing without its label. And one label fits as well as the other...

First interview between Lee and Jackson.

Last interview between Lee and Jackson.

Jackson introduces himself to Lee.

Jackson accepts Lee's invitation to dinner.

Jackson politely declines Lee's invitation to dinner.

Jackson apologizes for a heavy defeat.

Jackson reports a big win.

Jackson asks Lee for a match.

It tells a story, and a story enough; because it says clearly and satisfactorily, 'Here's Lee and Jackson together.' The artist would have said this is Lee and Jackson's last interview if he could have done it. But he couldn't because there was no way to do it. A legible label is usually worth a lot of meaningful attitude and expression in a historical image for information. In Rome, sympathetic people stand and cry in front of the famous "Beatrice Cenci the day before her execution". It shows what a record label can do. If they did not recognize the photo, they would look at it impassively and say, "Girl with hay fever; young man with his head in a sack.'

I found the half-forgotten southern intonations and elisions as pleasing to the ear as ever. A southerner talks about music. For me it's music at least, but I was born in the south. The educated Southerner uses r only at the beginning of a word. He says 'honah' and 'dinnah' and 'gove'nuh' and 'befo' the waw' and then. Printed words may not be appealing to the eyes, but they are to the ears. When did the r disappear from the southern language and how did it disappear? The custom of dropping it was neither borrowed from the North nor inherited from England. Many Southerners—most Southerners—put a y in occasional words that begin with the k sound. For example, they say Mr. K'yahtah (Carter) and talk of playing k'yahds or riding k'yahs. And they have a pleasant custom, long in decline in the North, of frequently using the respectful 'sir'. Instead of the short yes and the abrupt no, they say "Yes, Suh", "No, Suh".

But there are some misfortunes. Like "like" for "as" and adding an "at" where it's not needed. I heard a polite gentleman say, 'Like the flag officer.' His cook or butler would have said, 'Like the flag officer.' You hear gentlemen say, "Where have you been?" And here is the sharpened form - I heard a ragged Arab say this to a lad: 'I asked Tom what you do.' The elect themselves casually say "shall" when they mean "shall"; and many of them say, "I didn't mean to do that," meaning "I didn't mean to do that." The Norse word "guess" - imported from England, where it was once in use, and now regarded by satirical Englishmen as a Yankee original - is little used among Southerners. You say "consider". They don't have "no" in their language; they say "no" instead. Rude people often use 'foi' for 'foi'. It's almost as bad as the North's "shouldn't". It reminds me that here in my neighborhood (in the North) a few days ago a remark of a very strange kind was made: 'He shouldn't have gone.' How is that? Isn't that a great triumph? The combined orders in this mestizo architecture are readily known: one of the parents is northern, the other southern. Today I heard a teacher ask, 'Where did John go?' This form is so common - so almost universal in fact - that if she had used "wohin" instead of "wohin" I think it would have sounded like an affectation.

We chose a great word - a word worth traveling to New Orleans for; a beautiful, flexible and expressive word - 'lagniappe'. They pronounce it lanny-yap. It's Spanish - they said. We spotted him on the first day at the top of a decorative pillar in Picayune; we heard twenty people use it in the second; asked what the third meant; adopted it and found it easy to swing in the bedroom. It has a narrow meaning, but I think people expand it a bit if they want to. It is the equivalent of the thirteenth roll in a "Baker's Dozen". It's something released for free to good measure. The custom originated in the Spanish Quarter of the city. When a kid or an employee buys something in a store - or even the mayor or the governor as far as I know - he ends the operation by saying:

"Give me something for Lagniappe."

The shopkeeper always replies; gives the child a piece of licorice root, gives the servant a cheap cigar or a spool of thread, gives the governor - I don't know what he gives the governor; support, probably.

When you get asked out for a drink, and that happens every now and then in New Orleans -- and you're like, 'What, again? - no, that's enough;' the other part says "But just one more time - this is for Lagniappe." When the friend realizes that he has praised a little too much, and sees from the young woman's facial expression that the building would have been better without the lavish praise, he puts his "I'm sorry - no offense intended" in the shortest form from "Oh, that's Forlagniappe". If the waiter stumbles in the restaurant and spills a sip of coffee on the back of your head, he'll say "For Lagniappe, Sah" and give you another cup for free.


southern sports

In the north you hear about the war once a month in social talk; sometimes even once a week; but as a topic of conversation in its own right it has long since been removed from office. There are enough reasons for this. With six gentlemen having a dinner party tonight, it could easily happen that four of them - and possibly five - were off the field. So the odds are four to two or five to one that war will not be a topic of conversation at any point during the night; When you add six ladies to the company, you have added six people who saw so little of the horrific realities of war that years ago they did not speak of it and now would soon tire of the subject of war if you mentioned it.

Things are very different in the south. There every man you know was at war; and every woman you know has seen war. War is the main topic of conversation. Interest in him is lively and constant; Interest in other subjects is fleeting. The mention of war will stir up a dull society and get their tongues speaking when almost any other topic would fail. War is down south what A.D. is elsewhere: you date her. All day you hear things "putting up" as if they happened from the beginning; or you'in' the Vav; or before the vav; or just after thewaw; or about two sims or five sims or ten sims before the waw orafah the waw. It shows how deeply each individual was personally touched by this powerful episode. It gives the inexperienced outsider a better idea of ​​what a massive and all-encompassing disaster invasion is than he can ever get from reading books by the fireplace.

One night at a club a gentleman approached me and casually said:

“Of course you noticed that we almost always talk about the war. Not because we don't have anything else to talk about, but because nothing else interests us that much. And there's another reason: in war, each of us seems to have lived through all different varieties of human experience; so you can't mention a strange thing, but it will surely remind some listeners of something that happened during the war - and they can get away with it. Of course, this brings the conversation back to war. You can try anything to keep other things in front of the house, and we can all join in and help, but there can only be one result: Any man would be struck with war memories and silenced too; and the conversation would probably stop at once, for you cannot speak of vague trivia when you have some crimson fact or fantasy in your head that you are anxious to discover.

The poet sat a little away; and soon he began to talk about the moon.

The gentleman who spoke to me commented in an "incidentally": "There the moon is quite far from the center of the war, but you will find that it will tell someone something about the war; in ten minutes the moon will be submitted as a topic.'

The poet claimed to have noticed something that surprised him; he had the impression that down here, near the equator, the moonlight was much stronger and brighter than in the north; When you visited New Orleans many years ago, the moon shone...

Interruption from across the room –

"Let me explain. Reminds me of an anecdote. Everything has changed since the war, for better or worse; but you will find people grumbling here who see no change but a change for the worse. There was an old black woman like that. A young New Yorker said in his presence, "What a beautiful moon you have down here!" She sighed and said, "Ah, bless you darling, you should have seen that moon before the dew!"

The new theme was already dead. But the poet revived it and gave it a new beginning.

A brief discussion ensued as to whether the difference between northern and southern moonlight really existed or was only imagined. The talk in the moonlight easily turned into talk of artificial methods of driving out the darkness. Then someone recalled that when Farragut was advancing on Port Hudson on a dark night - and he didn't want to help the Confederate gunners aim - he didn't carry battle lanterns, but painted the decks of his ships white, creating a dark environment, but valuable. Light that allowed his own men to grope with considerable ease. At this point the war had spoken again - the ten minutes were not yet up.

I wasn't sorry, because war talk from men who've been to war is always interesting; whereas talk of the moon by a poet who has not been to the moon is likely to be boring.

We went to a cockpit in New Orleans on a Saturday afternoon. I had never seen a cockfight before. There were men and boys of all ages and colors and of many languages ​​and nationalities. But I noticed one rather conspicuous and surprising absence: the traditional brutal faces. There were no brutal faces. Without the cockfight, you could have thrown the meet at a stranger for a prayer meeting; and after it had begun, to a revival - assuming you're blindfolded, stranger - for the shouting was an amazing thing.

A black and a white were in the ring; everyone else out there. Roosters were brought in sacks; and when the time was up, they were taken out of the two bottle holders, stroked, stroked, pushed against each other and finally released. The big black rooster immediately dived on the little gray one and hit it on the head with its spur. Thegray responded vigorously. Then the Babel of cries of many tongues erupted and has not stopped since. After the roosters had been fighting for some time, I expected them to drop dead, as they were both blind, red with blood, and so exhausted that they often fell over. However, they would not give up, nor would they die. The black and white would pick them up every few seconds, dry them, blow cold water out in a thin stream, and put their heads in their mouths and hold them there for a moment—perhaps to warm the perishing life; I don't know. Then, as they were lowered back to the ground, the dying creatures staggered, groping, dragging their wings, found each other, delivered a guessed hit or two, and fell to the ground again, exhausted.

I didn't see the end of the fight. I forced myself to hold on as long as possible, but it was too pathetic a sight; so I made an open confession and we backed off. We later hear that the black rooster died in the ring and fought to the end.

Obviously, this "sport" holds a great fascination for those who already have some level of familiarity with it. I've never seen people enjoy anything more than enjoying this meeting and this fight. The same was true of gray old men and ten-year-old boys. They lost themselves in the madness of lust. The 'cocking main' is undoubtedly an inhuman form of entertainment; yet it seems a far more respectable sport, and far less vicious than fox-hunting—for such cocks; they experience and bestow joy; which is not the case with the fox.

One day - in the French sense - we watched a mule race. I think I enjoyed this competition more than any other mule. I liked it more than I remember liking any other breed of animal I've ever seen. The grandstand was filled with the beauty and chivalry of New Orleans. This sentence is not mine. It's from the Southern Reporter. He has used it for two generations. He uses it twenty times a day, or twenty thousand times a day; or millions of times a day - as required. He must use it a million times every day when he has the opportunity to speak so often of decent men and women; for he has no other term for such service than this. He never tires of it; always has a good sound. There's a sort of medieval tyrant and trimmings about him that tickles his motley barbarian soul. If he had been in Palestine in the early days, we would have no evidence of "many people" about him. No, he would have said "the beauty and chivalry of Galilee" gathered to hear the Sermon on the Mount. It's likely that Southern men and women are now sick of that phrase and want a change, but there's no immediate chance of getting it.

The New Orleans editor has a strong, compact, direct and unfussy style; wastes no words and does not splash. Not so with the average correspondent. In the appendix I quoted a good letter, written by a practiced hand; but the average correspondent launches a style that differs from it. For example--

The Times-Democrat sent a relief ship to one of the bayous last April. This ship docked in a village somewhere up there, and the captain invited some village ladies to take him on a little trip. They accepted and climbed aboard, and the steamboat proceeded upstream. That was all there was to it. And that's all the Times Democrat editor would get out of it. There was nothing on the thing but statistics, and that's all he could have learned. He would probably have tabulated them, partly to ensure the clarity of the statement and partly to save space. But your special correspondent knows other methods of manipulating statistics. It simply throws away all limitations and wallows in -

"On Saturday morning, early in the morning, the beauty of the place graced our cabin, and proud of her fair cargo the brave little boat glided across the bay."

To say twenty-two words that the ladies climbed on board and pushed the boat upstream is a waste of ten good words and also destroys the compactness of the statement.

The problem with the Southern Reporter is... women. they bother you; They throw you off balance. It's simple, reasonable, and satisfying to the point of making a woman throw up immediately. Then it breaks; his mind falters, he becomes flowery and idiotic. Reading the excerpt above, you might imagine that this student of Sir Walter Scott is an apprentice and knows next to nothing about handling a pen. On the contrary, he amply proves in his long letter that he knows how to deal with it very well when the women are not there to bring him complaints about artificial flowers. For example--

"At 4 o'clock ominous clouds began to gather in the south-east, and soon a blow came from the Gulf, increasing in intensity moment by moment. It was unsafe to leave the landing at the time and there was a delay. The oaks shook the long locks of their moss-covered beards in the force of the wind, and the bayou in its ambition created miniature waves that mocked much larger bodies of water. A lull allowed a start and we made our way home, a dark sky overhead and a strong wind blowing. As night fell, there were few on board who didn't wish they were closer to home.

Nothing wrong with that. It's a good description in a compact form. But here the temptation was great to fall into dark writing.

But let's get back to the mule. Since leaving it I've been digging around and found a full race report. In this I find confirmation of the theory I just raised - namely that the problem with the Southern Reporter is women: women augmented by Walter Scott and his knights and beauty and chivalry and so on. This is an excellent report as long as women stay out of it. But when they invade, we get this frantic result...

“It will probably be a long time before the ladies' stand presents a sea of ​​sparkling beauty like yesterday. The women of New Orleans are always enchanting, but never more so than at this time of year, when in their delicate spring dresses they carry with them a touch of balmy freshness and a scent of indescribable holiness. The tribune was so full of them that many men, walking at their feet and seeing no way of approaching them, appreciated like never before the feeling of Peri at the gates of heaven and wondered what priceless boon he was bringing to theirs would admit holy presence. On their white-clad breasts or shoulders shone the colors of their favorite knights, and if the brave heroes did not appear in unromantic mules, one could easily imagine one of King Arthur's gala days.”

There were thirteen mules in the first battery; all kinds of mules they were; all kinds of builds, gaits, dispositions, aspects. Some were beautiful creatures, some were not; some were shiny, some had not been brushed recently; some were innocently cheerful and playful; some were full of wickedness and all unrighteousness; judging by appearances, some of them thought it was a matter of war, some of a joke, some of a religious cause. And every mule acted according to his belief. The result was a lack of harmony that was well compensated for by a conspicuous presence of diversity - diversity of a picturesque and amusing kind.

All knights were young gentlemen of high society. If the reader is wondering why New Orleans ladies participate in an orgy as humble as a mule race, the matter is now explained. It's a fad; Everyone associated with her is a fashion person.

It's great fun and heartily appreciated. The mule race is one of the defining events of the year. Brought forward some very fast mules. One of them had to be scrapped because it was so fast it turned the thing into a mule race and robbed it of one of its best qualities - variety. But every once in a while someone camouflages him with a new name and a new physique and calls him back.

Riders wear full jockey outfits made of colorful silk, satin and velvet.

The thirteen mules fled en masse after a few false starts and fled in an amazing spirit. For every mule and rider had his own opinion as to how the race should be run, which side of the track might be best, how often the track should be crossed, and when and when a collision should be avoided . These twenty-six conflicting opinions created a fantastical and picturesque confusion, and the resulting spectacle was deadly comic.

mile heat; Time 2:22. Eight of the thirteen mules escaped. I had a concrete, a mule, that would have won if the procession had been reversed. The second run was great fun; and also the later "Consolation Run for Defeated Mules"; but the first run was the best in that regard.

I think the steamboat race is the funnest of all races; but besides that I prefer the merry, merry mule race. Two red-hot steamers sail neck to neck, straining every nerve, that is every rivet in the boilers, trembling and shuddering and groaning from bow to stern, pouring white steam from pipes, pouring black smoke from chimneys, sparks raining down the river splitting into long intervals of sizzling foam - this is the sport that makes a body's liver squirm with pleasure. A horse race is rather tame and bland in comparison. Still, a horse race could be pretty good, maybe in its own way, if it weren't for those pesky false starts. But after all, no one ever gets killed. At least nobody was ever killed when I was at a horse race. They were crippled, that's true; but that is little for the purpose.


Enchantments and Wizards

The biggest annual event in New Orleans is something we're too late for - the Mardi Gras celebrations. I saw there twenty-four years ago the procession of the Comus Mystic Crew - with knights and nobles and so forth, clad in beauties of silk and gold, made in Paris, planned and bought for use that one night; and in his retinue all sorts of giants, dwarves, monstrosities, and other amusing grotesques—a startling and marvelous spectacle as he solemnly and silently paraded down the street in the light of his flickering, smoking torches; but it is said that in these last days the spectacle has increased mightily in cost, magnificence, and variety. There is one main character - "Rex"; and if I remember correctly, neither this king nor any of his major subordinate retainers are known to an outsider. All these people are lords of rank and importance; and it is a pride to belong to the organization; So the mystery in which they hide their personalities is only for romance and not for the police.

Mardi Gras is, of course, a relic of French and Spanish occupation; but I think the religious aspect has been pretty much eliminated now. Sir Walter has the advantage over the Lords of the Cowland Rosary and he will stay. Its medieval business, supplemented by the monsters and curiosities and agreeable creatures of fairyland, is fairer to behold than the meager inventions and fanciful performances of the festive crowds of the priesthood, and perhaps very well suited to punctuate the day and exhort the people, that the grace line between the secular and the holy season has been reached.

This Mardi Gras pageant was until recently the exclusive property of New Orleans. But now it has spread to Memphis, St. Louis and Baltimore. You've probably reached your limit. It's something that could hardly exist in the practical North; it would certainly last only a very short time; as short as it would take in London. Because the soul of it is the romantic, not the funny and grotesque. Take away the romantic mysteries, the kings and knights and the pompous titles, and Mardi Gras would die in the South. The very quality that keeps him alive in the South - girl romance - would kill him in the North or in London. Puck and Punch and the general press would pounce on it and mock it mercilessly, and its first performance would also be its last.

Two compensating benefits can be attributed to the crimes of the French Revolution and Bonaparte: the revolution broke the chains of the old regime and the Church and transformed a nation of wretched slaves into a nation of free men; and Bonaparte introduced the establishment of merit above birth, and also stripped the divinity of kingship so completely that crowned heads in Europe, though previously gods, are since then only men and can never again be gods, only figures. and responsible for their actions. like ordinary clay. Improvements like these make up for the temporary damage done by Bonaparte and the revolution, and leave the world indebted for those great and enduring services rendered to liberty, humanity, and progress.

Dann kommt Sir Walter Scott mit seinen Verzauberungen, und mit seiner einzigen Kraft hält er diese Welle des Fortschritts auf und dreht sie sogar zurück; verlässt die Welt verliebt in Träume und Geister; mit dekadenten und schweinischen Formen der Religion; mit zerfallenden und degradierten Regierungssystemen; mit den Torheiten und Lücken, falschen Größen, falschem Gaud und Ritterlichkeit einer hirnlosen und wertlosen Gesellschaft, die schon lange vorbei ist. Er hat unermesslichen Schaden angerichtet; vielleicht ein realerer und dauerhafterer Schaden als jeder andere, der jemals geschrieben hat. Der größte Teil der Welt hat einen Großteil dieses Schadens überstanden, wenn auch nicht alles; aber in unserem Süden gedeihen sie noch recht stark. Vielleicht nicht so stark wie vor einer halben Generation, aber immer noch stark. Dort wird die echte und gesunde Zivilisation des 19. Jahrhunderts merkwürdig verwirrt und mit Walter Scotts falscher Zivilisation des Mittelalters vermischt; und so haben Sie praktischen, gesunden Menschenverstand, fortschrittliche Ideen und fortschrittliche Werke; gemischt mit dem Duell, der aufgeblasenen Rede und dem Jejunomantismus einer absurden Vergangenheit, die tot ist und durch Nächstenliebe begraben werden sollte. Wäre Sir Walter nicht krank, wäre der Charakter des Südstaatlers – oder Südstaatlers, in Sir Walters strengster Ausdrucksweise – ganz modern, statt eine Mischung aus Moderne und Mittelalter, und der Süden wäre ganz und gar fortschrittlicher Generation als es ist. . Es war Sir Walter, der vor dem Krieg jeden Gentleman im Süden zum Major oder Colonel oder General oder Richter machte; und er war es auch, der diese Herren diese falschen Dekorationen schätzen ließ. Denn er war es, der dort unten Rang und Kaste schuf, und auch Ehrfurcht vor Stand und Kaste, Stolz und Freude an ihnen. Es wird genug auf die Sklaverei gelegt, ohne darauf jene Schöpfungen und Beiträge von Sir Walter zu erzeugen.

Sir Walter had such a large part in creating the Southern character as it existed before the war that he is largely responsible for the war. It seems a little hard for a dead man to say that we never would have had a war if it weren't for Sir Walter; and yet perhaps something of a plausible argument could be advanced in support of this wild claim. The American revolutionary Southerner owned slaves; likewise the Southerner of the Civil War: but the former resembles the latter as an Englishman resembles a Frenchman. The character change can be attributed to Sir Walter's influence rather than any other thing or person.

One can see by a sign or two how deep this influence has penetrated and how strong it remains. If you pick up a literary journal from the North or South forty or fifty years ago you will find it full of wordy, windy and flowery "eloquence", romance, sentimentality - all imitated by Sir Walter and done badly enough - indeed innocent gimmicks of his style and methods. Since this type of literature was fashionable in both parts of the country, there was an opportunity for fairer competition; and consequently the South had as many well-known literary names relative to population as the North.

But a change has taken place and there is now no opportunity for fair competition between North and South. For the North has jettisoned that old pompous style, while the Southern writer still clings to it - clings to it and as a result has a restricted market for his wares. Of course, there is as much literary talent in the South today as ever; but their work can find but little acceptance under present conditions; Authors write for the past, not the present; They use outdated forms and dead language. But when a Southern genius writes in modern English, his book no longer rests on crutches but on wings; and they spread it quickly throughout America and England, and through the great English publishers in Germany—like Mr. Cable and Uncle Remus, two of the few Southern writers who do not write in the Southern style. Instead of three or four well-known literary names, the South should have a dozen or two - and will have when Sir Walter's time is up.

A curious example of the power of a single book for good or ill is seen in the effects of Don Quixote and Ivanhoe. The former has drawn the world's admiration for the folly of medieval chivalry; and the other restored it. As far as our South is concerned, the good work of Cervantes is practically a dead letter, so effectively has Scott's pernicious work undermined it.


Uncle Remo and Mr. Cable

MISTER. JOEL CHANDLER HARRIS ['Uncle Remus'] would be arriving from Atlanta at 7 am Sunday morning; so we got up and took it. We were able to spot him in the crowd of people arriving at the hotel reception based on his correspondence with a description of him given to us from a reliable source. He was said to be short, red-haired, and slightly freckled. He was the only man in the group whose appearance matched this list of details. He is said to have been very shy. He's a shy man. There is no doubt about it. It may not show on the surface, but the shyness is there. After days of intimacy, it's a wonder she's still as strong as ever. Behind this hides a refined and beautiful nature, as anyone who has read the book Uncle Remo knows; and also an excellent genius, as all under the same sign know. I seem to be quite frank about this neighbor; but when I speak to the public, I only speak to your personal friends, and such things are permissible among friends.

He deeply disappointed a number of children who rushed to Mr. Cable for a glimpse of the famous sage and oracle of the nation's kindergartens. Said--

'Why, he's white!'

They were sad about it. So, to comfort them, the book was pulled out so they could hear the story of Uncle Remus Tar-Baby from Uncle Remus' own lips - or what, in his outraged eyes, was left of him. But it turns out he had never read to anyone before and was too shy to try now. Mister. Cable and I read some of our books to show him what a simple trick was; but his immortal shyness was proof even against this clever strategy, so we had to find out about BrerRabbit ourselves.

Mister. Harris should be able to read Negro dialect better than anyone else, for as far as writing goes, he is the only master the country has produced. Mister. Cable is the only master of writing the French dialects that the country has produced; and he reads them perfectly. It was a great pleasure to hear him talk about Jean-ah Poquelin and about Innerarity and her famous "Pigshoo" depicting "Louisihanna _rif_-Merging in Hanter the Union" along with well-shaded German dialect passages from a novel that always has nor does was in manuscript.

In conversation, it turned out that Mr. Cable got himself into grotesque trouble by using almost impossible French names in his books, which nonetheless were used by lively, sensible citizens of New Orleans. Their names were inventions or borrowed from the ancient and outdated past, I don't remember which now; but in any case their living bearers came along and were very saddened that they and their business were so publicly advertised.

Mister. Warner and I had a similar experience while writing The Gilded Age. In it there is a character called "Salesman". I don't remember what his first name was at the beginning; but still, mr. Warner didn't like it and wanted it improved. He asked me if I could think of a person named Escol Sellers. Of course I said I couldn't do without stimulants. He said that once in the west he met, saw and actually shook hands with a man with that impossible name - "Eschol Sellers". He added--

'That was twenty years ago; his name probably took him before; and if he doesn't, he'll never see the book anyway. Let's confiscate his name. The name you used is common and therefore dangerous; there are probably a thousand vendors carrying it, and the whole horde will be after us; but Sellers School is a safe name - it's a rock."

So we borrowed that name; and when the book came out about a week ago, one of the most regal, handsomest, most aristocratic white men who ever lived emerged with the most formidable libel suit of all time under his belt — well, in short, we got his permission to suppress a ten -Million Edition {Footnote [Numbers taken from memory and probably incorrect. I think there were more.]} copies of the book and will change this name to 'Mulberry Sellers' in future editions.


sugar and postage

One day, on the street, I met the man I most wanted to see of all men - Horace Bixby; Former pilot below me - no, above me - now captain of the big steamer "City of Baton Rouge", the newest and fastest addition to the anchor line. The same slender figure, the same tightly curled tresses, the same springy stride, the same alertness, the same determined gaze and responsive hand decision, the same upright military bearing; not an inch gained or shed, not a gram gained or shed, not a hair upset. It's strange leaving a man at thirty-five and coming back at the end of twenty-one to find him still only thirty-five. I don't think I've ever experienced anything like this. There were some crow's feet but they were almost nothing as they were unobtrusive.

His boat just arrived. I had been waiting for her for several days with the intention of going to St. Ludwig. The captain and I joined a group of ladies and gentlemen, guests of Major Wood, and we traveled 84 miles down the river in a fast tug to ex-Governor Warmouth's sugar plantation. Below the town lay a number of derelict, run-down, and outdated steamships I had never seen before. They've all been built and worn out and scrapped since I was last here. This gives a sense of the fragility of a Mississippi boat and the brevity of its life.

Six miles below town, a large battered brick chimney rose above the magnolias and oaks and was touted as the memorial erected by a grateful nation to celebrate the Battle of New Orleans - Jackson's victory over the British on January 8, 1815 The war was over, the two nations were at peace, but the news had not yet reached New Orleans. Had we then had the cable telegraph, this blood would not have been spilled, these lives would not have been wasted; and better yet, Jackson would probably never have become President. We have overcome the damage done to us by the War of 1812, but not some of what the Jackson presidency did.

Warmouth Plantation covers a vast area and Warmouth Manor's hospitality is rated on the same scale. We saw steam plows at work here for the first time. The traction motor turns on its own wheels until it reaches the desired point; then he stops and pulls the huge plow towards him on a steel cable two or three hundred meters across the field, between the rows of pipes. The thing cuts a foot and a half deep into the black shape. The plow looks like a front and rear strut on a Hudson River steamer, inverted. When the black helmsman is seated at one end, that end bends low to the ground while the other protrudes into the air. This big seesaw rolls and rocks like a ship on the high seas, and not every circus rider can stand on it.

The plantation covers two thousand six hundred acres; six hundred and fifty are in prison; and there is a fertile orange grove of five thousand trees. The cane is cultivated by a modern and complicated scientific method, too laborious and complex for me to attempt to describe; but lost $40,000 last year. I forget the other details. However, this year's crop will reach ten or twelve hundred tons of sugar, so last year's loss doesn't matter. These laborious and costly scientific methods attain a yield of a ton and a half, and of this up to two tons per acre; that's three or four times the yield of an acre in my day.

Drainage ditches were full of little crabs - "fiddlers" - everywhere. If they heard a disturbing noise, they could be seen running sideways in all directions. Expensive vermin, those crabs; for they pierce the dikes and destroy them.

The big sugar house was a jungle of barrels and tanks and barrels and filters and pumps and pipes and machinery. The sugar making process is extremely interesting. First you put your sugar cane in the centrifuges and grind the juice; Then run it through the evaporation pan to extract the fiber. then through the bone filter to remove the alcohol; then through the clarifiers to drain the molasses; then through the granulating tube to condense it; then through the vacuum pan to extract the vacuum. It is now ready for the market. I wrote down these details from memory. Thing looks simple and easy. Make no mistake. Making sugar really is one of the hardest things in the world. And getting it right is almost impossible. If you examine your own supply from time to time over a period of years, and tabulate the result, you will find that not two men out of twenty can make sugar without putting sand in it.

We could have gone down to the mouth of the river, and visited Captain Eads' great work, the 'Quays,' where the river was compressed between the walls, and so deepened to twenty-six feet; but it was thought useless to walk, for at that height in the water all would be covered and invisible.

We might have visited that quaint old town, pilot town, standing on stilts in the water - so they say; where almost all communication is by boats and canoes, even to attend weddings and funerals; and where the boys and girls are as adept at rowing as the non-amphibious children are at tricycles.

We could have done many other things; but due to limited time we went back home. Navigating the merry, sparkling river was an enchanting experience and would have been satisfactorily sentimental and romantic had it not been for the interruption of the tug's parrot, whose tireless commentary on the scenery and guests was always banal and often profane. He also had an abundance of the metallic, dissonant, deafening laugh common to his race - a machine-generated laugh, a Frankenstein laugh with the soul left out. He cackled "Home, home again from a strange shore" with hideous energy and said he "wouldn't give a damn about a pull of such rot". Romance and sentiment cannot long survive this kind of discouragement; then the singing and talking stopped; which delighted the parrot so much that he cursed himself until he was hoarse with joy.

Then the male members of the group went to the forecastle to smoke and clap. With me were several old boatswains, and from them I learned much about what had happened to my former friends on the river during my long absence. I learned that a pilot I was flying for had become a spiritualist and for more than fifteen years now he has been receiving a weekly letter from a deceased relative through a spirit medium in New York named Manchester - postage with distance staggering: from the local post office - Office from Paradise to New York, five dollars; from New York to St. Louis, three cents. I remember very well Mr. Manchester. I visited it once ten years ago with some friends, one of whom wanted to know about an uncle who had passed away. This uncle had lost his life half a dozen years ago in a particularly violent and unusual way: a cyclone had blown him about three miles away, taking down a tree five feet high and sixty feet high at the top. He did not survive this triumph. At the session just mentioned, my friend questioned his late uncle about Mr. Manchester, and the late uncle wrote down his answers, calling Mr. Manchester to that end. What follows is a good example of the questions asked and also the sloppy babble in the answers Manchester provided under the pretense of being off the spectrum. If this man isn't the most insignificant scammer there is, I owe him an apology...

ASK. Where are you?

ANSWER. Not spirit world.

Q. Are you happy?

A. Very happy. Perfectly happy.

Q. How do you have fun?

A. Conversations with friends and other spirits.

Q. What else?

A. Nothing else. Nothing else is needed.

Q. What are you talking about?

A. About how lucky we are; and about friends left behind on earth and how to influence them for their good.

Q. When all your friends on Earth arrive in Spirit Land, what will you need to talk about? Nothing but how happy are you all?

No Answer. It is explained that the spirits do not answer frivolous questions.

Question: How is it that spirits, content to spend an eternity in frivolous pursuits and accepting this as happiness, are so meticulous in frivolous questions on the subject?

No Answer.

Q. Would you like to come back?

On a.

Question: Would you say that under oath?

R. Sim.

Q. What do you eat there?

A. We don't eat.

Q. What are you drinking?

A. We don't drink.

Q. What do you smoke?

A. We don't smoke.

Q. What are you reading?

A. We don't read.

Q. Do all good people go to your house?

R. Sim.

Q. You know my current way of life. Can you suggest any additions to this, along the crime trail, that would reasonably justify my going elsewhere?

A. No answer.

Q. When did you die?

A. I didn't die, I died.

Q. All right, when did you die? How long have you been in ghost land?

A. We don't have timekeeping here.

Q. Although you may be indifferent and uncertain about dates and times in your current condition and environment, this has nothing to do with your past condition. You were dating back then. One of them is what I'm asking. You left on a specific day in a specific year. That is not true?

R. Sim.

F. Then name the day of the month.

(Very clumsy with the pencil on the part of the medium, accompanied by violent jerking of his head and body for some time. Finally, explanation to the effect that spirits often forget dates as such things are meaningless to them.)

Q. So this one really forgot the date of its translation into Ghostland?

This has been conceded.

Q. This is very strange. So what year was it?

(More embarrassing convulsions, convulsions, idiots on the part of the medium. Finally, an explanation that the ghost forgot the year.)

Q. This is really amazing. Let me ask one more question, one last question, before we part to not see each other again; forget me and my name: did you die a natural death or were you cut off by a cataclysm?

A. (After much hesitation and much pain and spasm.) _Natural death_.

That ended the interview. My friend told the medium that when his relative was in this poor world he was gifted with an exceptional intellect and an absolutely impeccable memory, and it seemed a pity he was not allowed to use a fragment of it for his entertainment in the realms of to keep forever. . satisfaction and to the astonishment and admiration of the rest of the population present there.

This man had many customers - still has many. He receives letters from spirits from all parts of the spirit world and delivers them across the country by US mail. These letters are full of advice - advice from "ghosts" who don't know as much as an adpol - and that advice is scrupulously followed by the recipients. One of those customers was a man who was taught by the spirits (if that's the plural of ingenious Manchester) how to invent an improved railroad car wheel. It's hard work for a mind, but it's a higher and healthier activity than endlessly talking about "how lucky we are."


Episodes from the life of the pilot

In the course of the tugboat gossip, I discovered that out of five of my former friends who left the river, four chose farming as their career. Of course, this was not because they were particularly gifted for agriculture and therefore more successful as farmers than in other industries: the reason for their choice must be attributed to another source. Undoubtedly they chose farming because this life is private and protected from the intrusion of unwanted strangers - like the hermitage in the wheelhouse. And no doubt they chose it because, in a thousand nights of black storm and danger, they watched the twinkling lights of lonely farmhouses as the boat passed and imagined the calm, security, and warmth of such havens. and so they did. gradually dream of this peaceful retirement life as the only desirable thing you can desire, expect, deserve and ultimately enjoy.

But I didn't know that any of those pilot farmers had surprised anyone with their successes. They don't support their farms: they support their farms. The pilot farmer disappears from the river every spring and is not seen again until the next frost. Then he reappears in tattered homemade fabric, combs the hayseed out of his hair, and settles into the cockpit for the winter. In this way he pays off the debts that his farm has incurred during the agricultural season. So your river easement is half broken; He's still the river slave during the toughest half of the year.

One of these men bought a farm but did not retire to it. He knew a trick worth two of them. He had no intention of impoverishing his farm by using his personal ignorance to work on it. No, he put the farm in the hands of a farmer to work on quotas - from every three deliveries of corn, the specialist received two, and the pilot - the third. But at the end of the season, the pilot received no corn. The specialist explained that his part was not achieved. The farm only produced two batches.

Some of the pilots I've met have had adventures, sometimes with happy endings, but not always. Captain Montgomery, for whom I had commanded as pilot, commanded the Confederate fleet at the great battle of Memphis; When his ship sank, he swam ashore, fought his way through a squadron of soldiers, and narrowly escaped. He was always a nice man; nothing could disturb his rest. Once, when he was captain of the "Crescent City," I brought the boat into New Orleans harbor and for a moment I awaited orders from the hurricane deck, but received none. I had stopped the wheels and with that my authority and responsibility ended. It was night - twilight - the captain's hat was on the big bell, and I assumed the captain's spiritual end was in it, but that wasn't the case. The captain was very strict; so I knew better than to ring the bell without orders. My duty was to keep the boat on its disastrous course and let the consequences take care of themselves - which I did. So we passed the stern of the steamers and came nearer and nearer - the rumble was about to come - and still that hat didn't move; because unfortunately the captain in Texas was taking a nap...Things got extremely nervous and uncomfortable. It seemed to me that the captain would not come in time to see the fun. But he did. Just as we were getting into the stern of a steamship he came on deck and said with heavenly composure, 'Put it back in both' - which I did; but a little late, the next moment, we shattered the fragile outer structures of that other boat with a tremendous noise. The captain never said a word to me on the matter thereafter, except to remark that I had done well and that he hoped I would not hesitate to do the same again under similar circumstances.

One of the pilots I met while on the river died a very honorable death. His boat caught fire and he stayed at the helm until he got it safely to shore. Then he jumped over the breastplate with his clothes on fire and was the last to disembark. He died of his wounds within two or three hours, and his life was the only thing lost.

The history of pilots in Mississippi gives six or seven cases of this kind of martyrdom, and half a hundred cases of flight from a similar fate, occurring a second or two before the fatal delay; to save his life, while by remaining and sacrificing it he was able to save other lives from destruction._ This noble fact is worth noting and italicizing.

The "pup" pilot is warned from an early age to despise all dangers inherent in the pilot's profession, and to prefer any kind of death to the deep shame of leaving his post while there is an opportunity of making himself useful there. And these admonitions are so effectively embossed that even young and inexperienced pilots can be assured of taking the helm and dying there when the occasion calls for it. Buried in a Memphis cemetery is a young man who died many years ago while driving in White River saving the lives of other men. He told the captain that anyone could be saved if the fire gave him time to reach a sandbar some distance away, but that landing on the river bank would mean the loss of many lives. He reached the bar and beached the boat in shallow water; but by this time the flames had closed about him, and escaping through them he was mortally burned.

'I will not go. If I go, no one will be saved; If I stay nobody will lose but me. I will stay.'

There were two hundred people on board and no one was killed except the pilot. A memorial to this young man used to stand in the cemetery in Memphis. While we stayed in Memphis on our journey I began to look for him, but our time was so short that I was forced to turn back before my destination was reached.

Hauler gossip informed me that Dick Kennet was dead - blown up near Memphis and dead; that several others I knew had died in the war—one or two of them shot at the wheel; that another very private friend, for whom I had directed many trips, left his New Orleans home one night years ago to raise some money in a remote part of town, and was never seen again—he was murdered and thrown into the Flow. , one thought; that BenThornburgh was long dead; also her wild 'puppy' with whom I fought all day. He was a carefree and reckless creature, and always in trouble, always in mischief. One day, a passenger from Arkansas brought a giant bear on board and chained it to a lifeboat on the hurricane's deck. Thornburgh's "cub" didn't rest until he went there and released the bear to "see what he would do". He was immediately satisfied. The bear chased him for miles across the deck, with two hundred frightened faces smiling through the railing at the audience, and finally he ripped the boy's tail from his coat and went to Texas to chew it up. The off guard walked out enthusiastically, leaving the bear in sole possession. He soon became lonely and began enjoying himself. He walked all over the boat - visited every part of it, with a vanguard of fleeing men in front of him and a silent wave behind him; and when his master finally captured him, these two were the only creatures anywhere to be seen; everyone was hidden and the boat was lonely.

I was told that in 1869 one of my pilot friends dropped dead at the wheel of heart disease. The captain was on the roof at the time. He saw the boat go to the beach; he cried and got no answer; ran and found the pilot dead on the ground.

Mister. Bixby was blown up on the corner of Madrid; was not injured, but the other pilot was lost.

George Ritchie had been blown up near Memphis - thrown off his bike into the river and incapacitated. The water was very cold; he was clinging - mostly with his teeth - to a bale of cotton and drifting almost to exhaustion when he was rescued by some sailors who were on a piece of the wreck. They tore the bundle apart and wrapped it in cotton, warmed it to life and brought it safely to Memphis. He is now one of the Bixby drivers in Baton Rouge.

There was a little romance in the life of a late steamboat clerk--quite a grotesque romance, but romance nonetheless. When I first knew him, he was a prodigal and lazy young man, boisterous, good-natured, full of reckless generosity, and blatantly promising to cut his opportunities short and come to nothing. In a western town lived a rich, childless old foreigner with his wife; and in their family there was a beautiful young woman - a kind of friend, a kind of servant. The young officer of whom I speak - whose name was not George Johnson, but who will be called George Johnson for the purposes of this narrative - met this young woman and they sinned; and the old stranger discovered them and rebuked them. Embarrassed, they lied and said they were married; that they had married privately. Then the old stranger's wound was healed, and he forgave and blessed her. After that, they could go on sinning without hiding. Gradually the foreigner's wife died; and soon he followed her. Family friends gathered to mourn; and among the mourners were the two young sinners. The will was opened and solemnly read. He bequeathed every penny of this old man's great estate _Mrs. George Johnson!_

And there was no such person. The young sinners then ran away and did a very stupid thing: they got married in front of an obscure magistrate and got him to backdate the matter. It was no use. The distant relatives swarmed in and uncovered the fraudulent date with extreme speed and surprising ease, and took away the fortune, leaving the Johnsons very legitimately, legally and irrevocably chained together in an honorable marriage, but not even a penny to themselves bless . These are the real facts; and not all novels are based on such an instructive situation.


The 'Original Jacobs'

We were talking about Captain Isaiah Sellers, who died many years ago. He was a good man, a man of high spirit, and respected both on land and on the river. He was very tall, well built and handsome; and at his age - as far as I remember him - his hair was as black as an Indian's, and his eyes and hands were as strong and firm, and his courage and judgment as firm and clear as anyone's, young or old of pilots . He was the patriarch of the craft; he had been a keelboat pilot before the day of steamships; and one steamboat pilot who survived at the time I speak of had ever turned a wheel before any other steamboat pilot. Consequently, his brothers treated him with the kind of awe that distinguished survivors of a bygone age are always shown by their associates. He knew how he was looked upon, and perhaps that fact lent a little stiffness to his natural dignity, which had been stiff enough in its original state.

He left a diary; but it apparently did not date from his first steamboat journey, which is said to have been in 1811, the year the first steamship churned up the Mississippi waters. At the time of his death, a correspondent for 'St. Louis Republican” selected the following journal entries:

"In February 1825 he embarked at Florence, Alabama, on board the steamer Rambler and made three voyages to and from New Orleans that year - this in "Gen. Carrol", between Nashville and New Orleans. While on that boat, Captain Sellers introduced the ringing of the bell as a signal to release the lead before it was customary for the pilot to speak to the men below when soundings were required. The proximity of the forecastle to the wheelhouse undoubtedly made the task easier; but how different in one of our palaces today.

"In 1827 we find him aboard the President, a boat of 285 tons sailing between Smithland and New Orleans. in the trade of St. Ludwig; Its first shift stretched from Herculaneum to St. Genevieve. On May 26, 1836, he completed and left Pittsburgh as commander of the steamer "Prairie," a boat of four hundred tons and the first state-cabin steamer ever seen in St. Louis. Ludwig. In 1857 he introduced the signal for the rendezvous boats which, with some minor modifications, is still common today; In fact, it becomes mandatory by an act of Congress.

"As general elements of the history of the river we quote the following marginal notes from its general record—

"In March 1825, General Lafayette left New Orleans for St. Louis on the low-pressure steamship Natchez.

"In January 1828, twenty-one steamers left the New Orleans docks to commemorate General Jackson's visit to that city.

"In 1830 the 'American' made the journey from New Orleans to Memphis in six days - the best time recorded up to that date. It has since been done in two days and ten hours.

“In 1831 the Court of Rio Vermelho was founded.

"In 1832 the steamer 'Hudson' made the voyage from White River to Helena, a distance of seventy-five miles, in twelve hours. This has been the source of much discussion and speculation among directly interested parties.

“In 1839 the Great Horseshoe Cut was established.

'To the present time, a thirty-five year period, we note from the journal that he has made four hundred and sixty round trips to New Orleans, making a distance of one million one hundred four thousand miles, or an average of eighty-six miles a day.'

Whenever Captain Sellers approached a group of gossip pilots, a shiver was felt and the conversation broke off. For this reason: when six riders were assembled, there were always one or two newborns in the square, and the older ones always "showed off" to these poor fellows; making them feel sad at how immature they were, how new their nobility and how low their rank, talking long and vaguely of old experiences on the river; always careful to date everything as far back as possible, so that the new people feel their novelty as keenly as possible and envy the old stages in equal measure. And how these smug bald men puffed themselves up, boasted, lied, and went back—ten, fifteen, twenty years—and enjoying the effect that was being exercised on the astonished and envious young people!

And perhaps just at this happy stage of the process, hovering solemnly in the midst was the majestic figure of Captain Isaiah Sellers, that real and only true son of antiquity. Imagine the size of the stillness that would result in that moment. And imagine the feelings of these bald men, and the cheers of their youngest audience, when the former captain began making casual, indifferent remarks of a reminiscent sort - about disappearing islands and cuts made a generation before the older bald man. - Company boss has already entered a pilot house!

Again and again this ancient sailor appeared in the above way and spread mischief and humiliation around himself. If the pilot is to be believed, he always dated his islands early in the history of the river; and he never used the same island twice; and he never employed any islands that still existed, or gave any of them a name that any of those present were old enough to have heard of. If you can believe the pilot, he was always meticulous about the small details; For example, he never spoke of "the state of Mississippi" - no, he said, "when the state of Mississippi was where Arkansas is today," and he never spoke of Louisiana or Missouri in general, giving him the wrong impression, mind you - no, he would say, "when Louisiana was upstream" or "when Missouri was on the Illinois side."

The old gentleman was neither literary nor gifted, but he used to jot down short paragraphs of simple practical information about the river, sign them 'Mark Twain' and give them to the New Orleans Picayune. They related to the level and condition of the river and were accurate and valuable; and hitherto they contained no poison.But speaking to-day of the level of the river, the captain was at a certain point quite inclined to make a little remark that this was the first time he had seen the water so high or so low at that particular point for forty-nine years; and now and then he would mention Iceland So-and-so, adding some parenthetical remarks, such as "Disappeared in 1807, if I remember correctly". There was poison and bitterness in those ancient heckles for the other old pilots, and they used to tease the "Mark Twain" heels with unsparing mockery.

Coincidentally, one of these paragraphs - {Footnote [The original manuscript of this, written in the Captain's own hand], was sent to me from New Orleans. It reads like this--

VICKSBURG May 4, 1859.

“My opinion for the good of the citizens of New Orleans: The water has been higher than it has been in 8. The Turner Plantation at the tip of the Big Black Island is completely submerged and has not been since 1815.

'I. Salesperson.']}

became the text of my first newspaper article. I've burlesqued it way, way, way, stretching my fantasies to eight hundred or a thousand words. I was a "puppy" then. I showed my performance to a few pilots and they rushed it into the New Orleans True Delta. It was a pity; for he did no one a worthy service and caused a good man a deep pain in the heart. There was no malice in my trash; but laughed at the captain. He laughed at a man to whom this was new and strange and horrible. I didn't know then, although I know now, that there is no suffering quite like what a deprived person feels when first pilloried.

Captain Sellers has done me the honor of hating me deeply since that day. When I say that he gave me the honor, I don't use empty words. It was a great honor to be in the mind of a man as important as Captain Sellers, and I was intelligent enough to appreciate and be proud of it. It was a distinction to be loved by a man like that; but it was a far greater distinction to be hated by him because he loved dozens of people; but he didn't stay up all night hating anyone but me.

He never printed another paragraph as long as he lived, and he never signed anything "Mark Twain" again. I was on the Pacific coast when the telegraph broke the news of his death. I was a new journalist and needed a nom de guerre; So I confiscated the discarded old sailor and did my best that in his hands he remained what he was - a sign and symbol and a guarantee that whatever was found in his company could be staked as the petrified truth; I would not be modest to say how I managed to do it.

The captain had an honorable pride in his profession and an abiding love for it. He commissioned his memorial before his death and kept it close to him until his death. It now stands over his grave, in Bellefontainecemetery, St. Ludwig. It is his marble image that serves at the pilot's helm; and worthy of criticism, for it represents a man who, while alive, would have stayed there until reduced to ashes, if duty had called for it.

The best we saw of our entire Mississippi trip was when we approached New Orleans by steam tug. This was the curved facade of the crescent city, lit by the white glow of five miles of electric lights. It was a wonderful sight and very beautiful.



WE drive to St. the city's social life that I didn't get more than five-minute talks with a few dozen tradesmen.

I sat on the wheelhouse bench as we pulled back and 'straight' for the start - the boat stopped to be 'well looked after', old-fashioned, and black smoke rose from the funnels just as old-fashioned. Then we began to pick up speed and soon we were on our way and moving forward. Everything was so natural and familiar - as was the view of the coast - as if my life on the river had not been interrupted. There was a "puppy" and I thought he was going to take the wheel now; And he did. Captain Bixby entered the wheelhouse. Soon the pup approached the line of steamers. He made me nervous because he let a lot of water get in between our boat and the ships. I knew very well what was going to happen because I could go back into my own life and look at the records. The captain waited half a minute's silence, then took the helm himself and grabbed the boat until it was barely a hand's breadth from the ships. He did that very favor for me at that very spot almost a quarter of a century ago, the first time I left the port of New Orleans. It was a very great and heartfelt joy for me to see the thing repeated - with someone else as the victim.

We did Natchez (500 km) in twenty-two and a half hours - the fastest crossing I have ever made on this body of water.

I arrived at four o'clock the next morning and watched Ritchie successfully navigate half a dozen intersections through a fog using the marked map developed and patented by Bixby and himself as a guide. This sufficiently proved the great value of the graphic.

Gradually, as the fog began to lift, I noticed that the reflection of a tree in the still water of a flooded shore 300 meters away was stronger and blacker than the spooky tree itself. The faint spooky trees, fading through the fog were seen, were very beautiful things to see.

We've had a bad storm in Natchez, another in Vicksburg, and another fifty miles down from Memphis. They had an old-fashioned energy that I hadn't known for a long time. This third storm was accompanied by a strong wind. We tied up on the bank when we saw the storm coming and everyone but me left the wheelhouse. The wind tossed the young trees, exposing the pale undersides of the leaves; and eruption after eruption followed in quick succession, shaking the branches violently up and down and to and fro, producing rapid waves of alternating green and white according to which side of the leaf was exposed, and these waves ran as one one after the other of their kind across a windswept oat field. No color anywhere visible was entirely natural - all hues carried with a leaden sheen from the solid bank of clouds overhead. The river was leaden; all distances are equal; and even the rows of white caps, fanning and fanning, were overshadowed by the rich, dark atmosphere through which his fanning legions were marching. The thunder was constant and deafening; Explosion after explosion with insignificant intervals between, and the bang became clearer and higher and harder to hear; Lightning was as industrious as thunder, producing effects that delighted the eye and sent electric ecstasies of mixed joy and apprehension through every nerve in the body in uninterrupted procession. The rain fell in incredible quantities; the deafening thunder rumbled nearer and nearer; the wind rose in rage and began tearing branches and tops from the trees and throwing them far across space; the wheelhouse began to sway and stretch and crack and rise, and I went down into the hold to see what time it was.

People brag a lot about alpine storms; but the storms I was fortunate to see in the Alps were not like some I have seen in the Mississippi Valley. I may not have seen the Alps do their best, and if they can beat Mississippi, I don't want that.

On this voyage I saw a small towhead, half a mile long, which had been formed during the last nineteen years. With so much time left that one could spend nineteen years building a bare straw, what was the original purpose of rushing across this entire globe in six days? It's likely that the world would have been corrected if it had taken longer from the start, and that incessant improvement and repair wouldn't be necessary now. But if you hurry up a world or a house, you'll almost certainly find that you've missed a straw here and there, or a broom closet, or some other small convenience that needs to be provided no matter how much effort and hassle it may take.

We had a series of black nights driving up the river, and it was observed that every time we landed and the trees were suddenly flooded with the intense sunlight of the electric light, there was always a certain curious effect: hundreds of birds took off at once up from the masses of bright green foliage and darted back and forth across the white beams, and often a songbird joined in and began to sing. We think you mistook this great artificial tag for the real item. We had a wonderful trip on this absolutely well organized ship and we are sorry that it went so quickly. Through diligence and activity, we managed to track down almost all old friends. However, one was missing; he went for his reward, whatever it was, two years ago. But I found out about him. Her case helped me see how lasting an impact a minor event can have. When he was an apprentice blacksmith in our village and I was a student, some young Englishmen came into town and stayed for a while; and one day they dressed in cheap royal clothes and performed Richard III's sword fight with manic energy and amazing powwow in the presence of the village boys. That smith's pup was there, and the theatrical poison seeped into his bones. This huge, clumsy, ignorant, dumb redneck got hit off the stage and irretrievably. He disappeared and soon turned up in St. Ludwig. I gradually found him there. He was standing on a street corner, left hand on hip, right thumb on chin, face hunched and scowling, wide-brimmed hat pulled low over his forehead - imagining he was Othello or some similar character, and posing imagined that the passing crowd noticed his tragic attitude and was stunned.

I joined him and tried to pull him out of the clouds but I couldn't. However, at that moment he casually informed me that he was a member of the Walnut Street theater company - and he tried to say it casually, but the indifference was weak and a mighty cheer shone through it. He said he was cast in Julius Caesar that night and if so I would go see him. _If_ I should come! I said I wouldn't miss it if it were dead.

I walked away in amazement and said to myself, "How strange! _We_ always thought that fellow was a fool; However, once he arrives in a great city where intelligence and appreciation abound, the talent concealed in that worn napkin is immediately discovered and promptly welcomed and honored.'

But I left the theater that evening disappointed and offended; for I had not seen my hero, and his name was not on the accounts. I found him on the street the next morning and before he could say anything he asked:

'You saw me?'

"No, you weren't there.

He looked surprised and disappointed. He said--

'Yes, I was. In fact I was. I was a Roman soldier.


"Why didn't you see the Roman soldiers lined up back there and sometimes marching in procession around the stage?"

"You mean the Roman army?" Those six workmen in sandals in nightgowns, with tin signs and helmets, marching on each other's heels to attend to a consumptive man with spider legs who was dressed like them?

'And the! and the! I was one of those Roman soldiers. I was penultimate. Half a year ago I was always last; but I got promoted.'

Well, they tell me the poor fellow stayed a Roman soldier to the end - a matter of thirty-four years. Sometimes they cast him in a "voice role," but not a polished one. He could be relied upon to say, "My lord, the carriage is waiting," but if they dared add a sentence or two, his memory would feel the strain and he would likely miss the shot. And yet, poor devil, he patiently studied the part of Hamlet for over thirty years, and he lived and died believing that one day he would be asked to play it!

And that is the result of that fleeting visit by these young Englishmen to our village so many, so many years ago! What noble horseshoes could this man have made, if not for these Englishmen; and what an inadequate Roman soldier he became!

A day or two after our arrival in St. with deep brusqueness—

"Look, _do you have the drink yet?_"

A madman, I thought at first. But I recognized him in no time. I tried to blush, which stretched every muscle in me, and I replied as sweetly and lovingly as I always knew:

“I was a bit slow but at this moment I am approaching where they keep it. Come in and help.

He softened and said to make a bottle of champagne and he agreed. He said he saw my name in the papers and put all his business aside and went out, determined to meet me or die; and let me answer that question satisfactorily, or kill me; although most of his late bluntness had been more wrong than anything else.

This meeting brought me back to St. Louis about thirty years ago. I spent a week there in a boarding house and I had this young man across from me. We've seen some fights and killings; and little by little we went one night to an armory where two hundred young men had assembled to arm themselves and, under the command of a soldier, proceed against the rioters. We trained until about ten o'clock at night; then came the news that the mob in the lower part of the city was in great strength and was sweeping everything in front of them. Our column moved immediately. It was a very hot night and my musket was very heavy. We marched and marched; and the closer we got to the battlefield, the hotter and thirstier I got. I was behind my friend; So I finally asked him to hold my musket while I went out and drank. So I broke up and went home. I didn't feel worried about him, of course, knowing he was well armed enough by now to fend for himself. If I had doubted that, I would have lent him another musket. I left town early the next morning, and if that grey-haired fellow hadn't put my name in the St. Louis paper the other day and felt compelled to seek me out, I'd have a nagging suspicion that he'd managed to escape the riots safely , taken to the grave. I should have asked thirty years ago; I know that. And I would have asked if I had the muskets; but given the circumstances, he seemed better equipped than I to conduct the investigation.

On a Monday just prior to our visit to St. and 23,102 children were attending Sunday School. 142,550 people, out of a total of 400,000 inhabitants of the city, worshiped the day religiously. I found and preserved these statistics in condensed form on an Associated Press cable. They made it clear that St. Louis was in a higher state of grace than they could have claimed in my day. But now that I've examined the numbers closely, I suspect the Telegraph garbled them. There can't be more than 150,000 Catholics in the city; the other 250,000 are classified as Protestants. Of those 250,000, according to this questionable telegram, only 26,362 attended church and Sunday school, while of the 150,000 Catholics, 116,188 attended church and Sunday school.


A burning brand

_Suddenly it occurred to me, 'I don't have to look for Mr. Braun.'

With this text I would like to leave the direct line of my topic and make a small digression. I want to unravel a secret that I've been carrying around with me for the past nine years and that has become a burden.

On one occasion, nine years ago, I had said with a strong feeling, 'When I St.'

The occasion and circumstances were as follows. A friend of mine, a minister, came one night and said:

"I've got a remarkable letter I'd like to read to you if I can do it without breaking down. However, I must precede it with an explanation. The letter is written by an ex-thief and ex-vagrant of the lowest birth and education, a man tainted with crime and sunk in ignorance; but, thank God, with a mine of pure gold hidden within, as you will see. Her letter was written to a thief named Williams, who is serving a nine-year sentence in a certain state penitentiary for burglary. Williams was a particularly daring thief and practiced this trade for several years; but he was eventually caught and arrested to await trial in a town where he broke into a house one night, gun in hand, forcing the owner to give him $8,000 in government bonds. Williams was by no means an ordinary person; he was a graduate of Harvard College and of good New England descent. His father was a clergyman. In prison, his health deteriorated and he was threatened with tuberculosis. That fact, along with the opportunity for reflection that solitary confinement offered, had its effect—its natural effect. He fell into serious thought; His early training took hold with power and had a powerful impact on his mind and heart. He left his old life behind and became a fervent Christian. Some ladies of the town heard about it, visited him and supported him with their encouraging words in his good intentions and strengthened him for his new life. The trial ended with his conviction and sentence to nine years in state prison, as I said. In prison he met the poor fellow I mentioned at the beginning of my talk, Jack Hunt, the author of the letter I'm about to read. You will see that this knowledge has paid off for Hunt. When Hunt's time was up, he emigrated to St. Louis. Louis; and from there he wrote his letter to Williams. The letter, of course, went no further than the jailer; Prisoners are often not allowed to receive letters from outside. The prison authorities read the letter but did not destroy it. They didn't have the courage to do that. They read it to several people, and eventually it fell into the hands of the ladies I was talking about. The other day I met an old friend of mine - a minister - who had seen this letter and was full of it. Just remembering it moved him so much that he couldn't bring himself to talk about it without his voice breaking. He promised to get me a copy; and here it is - an exact copy, retaining all the imperfections of the original. It has many slang terms - thieves' slang - but its meaning has been bracketed by prison authorities.

St. Ludwig, June 9, 1872.

Mister. W ---- Friend Charlie, if I may call it that: no, you're surprised to get a letter from me, but I hope you're not upset that I wrote to you. I want to say thank you for the way you spoke to me when I was in prison - it made me try to be a better man; I guess you thought I didn't fall because of your words and the first time I didn't, but I realized you were a man who had done a great job with good men and didn't want a chump and didn't want me don't puke and all the boys knew that.

I used to think about what you said at night and so I stopped swearing months before my time was up because I saw it wouldn't do any good anyway - the day my time was up you did told me if I would shake the cruz (_desistir to steal_) and live on the court for months it would be the best job I've ever had in my life. The civil servant gave me a ticket here, and in the car I thought more about what you told me, but I couldn't decide. When we got to Chicago with the back-and-forth cars, I skinned an old woman;

(_Steel his wallet_) I'd only taken it when I wished I hadn't, a while before I'd decided to be a decent guy, on his word for months, but I forgot when I saw that leather was a grip (_easy to catch_) -- but I kept close to her, and as she got out of the cars at a distant point I said, 'marm, you missed something.' & she fell (_found_) her fur war off ( _war_) -- that's what I mean to give her - well, if you're not being honest, she says, but I didn't have enough courage to endure those kinds of conversations, so I put her in leave hurry. When I got here I had $1 and 25 cents left and couldn't find a job for 3 days as I'm not strong enough to haul in a steamer (_off deck hand_) - In the afternoon of the third day I spent mine last 10 cts foroons (_big, round sea cracker_) & cheese & I was feeling pretty rough & thought I'd have to dive back into (_bump pocket_) thinking about what you once said about a guy calling the Lord , when he was unlucky, and I thought I'd give it a try anyway, but when I tried, I got stuck at first, and all I could do was, lord, give a poor guy a chance, try it for 3 months to do right For goodness sake, amen; & I thought about this over and over as I walked on - about an hour later I was on 4th Street. I have finished writing. As I was walking along the herd, a big noise and I saw a horse run away with a carriage with 2 children in it, I grabbed a box from the sidewalk and ran into the middle of the street and when the horse appeared I hit him so hard I was able to get on its head - the board broke into pieces and the horse stopped a little & I grabbed the reins and pulled his head down until it stopped - the gentleman who owned it came running and as soon as he saw it the kids were fine he shook my hand and gave me back $50 and i asked the lord to help me get into my head and i was so flabbergasted i couldnt let go of the reins or say anything - he saw that something was awake, &

When I came to, he said: My boy, are you hurt? & at that moment it occurred to me to ask him for work; & i asked him to take the bill back & give me a job - he said go here & we'll talk about it but keep the money - he asked me if i could look after horses & i said yes because i used to hang Running around the stables in livery and often helping to groom and lead horses, he told me he wanted a man for the job and he would give me $16 a month and lend it to me. You bet I took the risk right away. That evening I sat in my little room above the stable for a long time and thought about my previous life and what had just happened. I got ready and the next morning I did it again and got some new clothes and a Bible because I chose what the Lord had done for me. I read the Bible every night and every morning and asked him to keep an eye on me. When I was there about a week, Mr. Brown (that's his name) came into my room one night and saw me reading the Bible - he asked me if I was a Christian and I said no - he asked me how I read the Bible instead of newspapers and books – well, Charlie , I thought I should make a fair deal with him first, so I told him all about my arrest and about you, and how I almost gave up looking for work , and how God got me the job when I asked him for it ; and the only way to repay him was to read the bible and tweak it and i asked him to give me a chance for three months - he talked to me like a father for a long time and told me i could stay and then I felt better than ever in my life because I gave Mr. The next morning he called me into the library and gave me another talk and advised me to study a little every day and he helped me every night or two hours, and he gave me an arithmetic book, a spelling book, a geography book, and an essay book, and he gives them to me every night -- he lets me in for prayer every morning, and he sends me to a Bible class at the Sunday school which I really enjoy because it helps me understand my Bible better.

Well Charlie the 3 months on the pitch ended 2 months ago and like you said it's the best job I've ever had in my life and I immediately started another one of the same kind only god me helps last a lifetime charlie - i wrote this letter to tell you i really believe god has forgiven my sins and prayed for you like you told me to pray for me - no, i love to read your word and tell him all my problems and he help me i know because i have many opportunities to steal but i don't feel like i used to and now i prefer to go to church than to the theater , and that was not the case before - our pastor and others used to speak to us. I wanted a month ago that I would join the church, but I said no, not now, I may be wrong in my feelings I will become one Waiting a while, but now I feel that God has called me to join the church on the first Sunday of July- -dear friend, I would like to be able to write to you about how I am doing, but I still can't - you can't, I learned to read and write in prison & I wasn't developed enough to write as I would speak; no I didn't write all the words written in it and many other mistakes but you will excuse me no not for you I grew up in a poor house until I ran away and I never found out who my father is and mother were. I don't know my name properly and I hope you don't get angry with me, but I have as much rite with one name as with another and I took your name because you won't use it when you go, and you are the man i think more in the world; so hope you don't get mad - i'm fine, i put $10 a month in the bank with $25 out of $50 - if you want any or all of it just let me know and it's yours. I wish you would let me send some now. I am sending you a receipt for a year of Littles Living Age, I didn't know what you would like and I said Mr Brown & he said he thought you would like it - I wish I was around so I could see you could send chayote (_soft_drinks_) on vacation; would spoil the mood here, but I'll send you a box next Thanksgiving anyway - next week Mr. attacked - I forgot to tell you about my missionary school, Sunday school class - school is Sunday afternoon, I went out two Sunday afternoons and got seven Children (boys_) picked up and brought them in. two of them were new like me and put them in a class where they could learn something. I don't read much myself, but since these kids can't read, I can get along with them. I make sure they go after them an hour before school time every Sunday, I also have 4 girls who come. tell Mack and Harry about me if they come here, when their time is up I'll get them a job right away. I hope you forgive this long letter and all the mistakes, I wish I could see you because I can't write like I would talk - I hope the warm weather is good for your lungs - I was afraid that, when you let yourself bleed to die - give my regards to all the boys and tell them how I'm doing - I'm fine and everyone here is treating me the best they can - mr. Brown will write to you some day - I hope you will write to me some day, this letter is from your true friend

C---- W----

whom you know as Jack Hunt.

I send you Mr. Brown. Send him my letter.

Here was true eloquence; irresistible eloquence; and without a single grace or adornment that could help him. Rarely has a text touched me so deeply. The reader stopped all the time in a limp and broken voice; However, he attempted to strengthen her feelings with several private readings of the letter before venturing into her company. He practiced with me to see if there was any hope that he would be able to read the document in his prayer meeting with something like a decent command about his feelings. The result was not promising. However, he decided to take a risk; and did. He's done pretty well; but his hearing soon failed, and he remained in that condition to the end.

The letter's fame spread throughout the city. A minister came and borrowed the manuscript, put it in a sermon, delivered the sermon to twelve hundred people on a Sunday morning, and the letter drowned them in their own tears. So my friend put it into a sermon and presented it to his congregation on Sunday morning. He scored another triumph. The house cried as an individual.

(Video) Glimpse Into a Book: The World Encyclopedia of Calligraphy

My friend went to the fishing areas of our northern neighbors in Britain for the summer holidays and took this sermon with him as he could have used a sermon. One day he was invited to preach. The little church was full. Among those present were the late Dr.J. G. Holland, the late Mr. Seymour of the New York Times, Mr. Page, the philanthropist and temperance advocate, and, I believe, Senator Frye of Maine. The wonderful letter did its usual work; all people were moved, all people wept; Tears fell in a steady stream over Dr. Holland, and similar for everyone who was there. Mister. Page was so taken with the letter that he said he would not rest until he had made a pilgrimage to that prison and spoken to the man who had managed to inspire an unfortunate fellow to write such an invaluable treatise.

Ah, that unfortunate page! - and another man. Had they been in Jericho, that letter would have rang through the world for a thousand years, touching every heart of every nation, and no one could ever have discovered that it was the most bewildering, bold, and sophisticated piece of fraud and farce. that was once invented to fool unsuspecting mortals!

The letter was pure fraud and that is the truth. And overall, it was unrivaled among scammers. It was perfect, it was round, symmetrical, complete, colossal!

The reader learns at this point; but we do not learn of it until some miles and weeks after this stage of the case. My friend returned from the forest, and he and other ministers and lay missionaries began again to flood the audience with their tears and the tears of said audience; I asked many permission to print the letter in a magazine and tell the watery tale of their triumphs; Several people received copies of the letter with permission to distribute them in writing but not in print. Copies were sent to the Sandwich Islands and other distant regions.

Charles Dudley Warner was at church one day when the worn letter was read and mourned. At the church door, he threw a strangely cold iceberg in the back of the priest and asked:

"Do you know that this letter is genuine?"

It was the first suspicion ever raised; but it had that nauseating effect which the first suspicion voiced against the idol always has. Some conversations followed -

"Well... what would make you think it's not real?"

"Nothing I know except that it is too clean, compact, flowing, and well put together for an ignorant, untrained hand. I think it was made by an educated man.

The literary artist has discovered the literary machinery. If you look at the letter now, you will see it for yourself - it can be seen in every line.

Immediately the minister went out, that seed of suspicion welling up in him, and wrote to a minister who lived in the town where Williams had been arrested and converted; asked for light; and also asked if someone in the literary direction (i.e. me) could print the letter and tell his story. He currently received this reply -


MY DEAR FRIEND - As to this "Letter of the Damned" there can be no doubt as to its authenticity. "Williams," to whom it was written, was in our jail and admitted to being converted, and Rev. Herr. ----, the chaplain, had great faith in the authenticity of the change - as much as can be had in such a case.

The letter was sent to one of our ladies who is a Sunday school teacher by Williams himself or probably by the chaplain of the state penitentiary. She was very upset at having so much publicity, fearing it might look like a breach of trust or harm Williams. I cannot give permission for their publication; although if names and places were left out, and especially if they were shipped out of the country, I think you could take the responsibility and get it done.

It is a wonderful letter that no Christian genius, let alone an unsanctified one, could ever have written. Showing the work of grace in a human heart, and in a heart greatly humbled and perverted, it proves its own origin and censures our feeble faith in its power to deal with every form of wickedness.

'Mister. Brown' of St. Louis, someone said, was a Hartford man. Does everything you send from Hartford also serve your master?

PS - Williams is still in state prison serving a long sentence - nine years I believe. He was ill and dying of consumption, but I haven't asked about him lately. This lady of whom I speak corresponds with him, I presume, and will certainly look after him.

This letter came a few days after it was written - and Mr. Williams rose again. Mr. Warner's secret suspicions were laid in the cold, cold grave where she apparently belonged. It was a suspicion anyway, based on purely internal evidence; and when you come to the internal evidence, it is a broad field and a game for two to play: as this other internal evidence discovered by the author of the note quoted above attests, "It is a wonderful letter—that no Christian genius, let alone one who is not sanctified, could ever have written.'

Now I was allowed to print - provided I suppressed names and places and sent my story out of the country. So I chose an Australian magazine that was far enough out of the country as my vehicle and got to work on my article. And the ministers got the pumps running again with letters to work on the handles.

But by now Brother Page was excited. He did not visit the penitentiary, but sent a copy of the illustrious letter to the chaplain of this institution, enclosing what appeared to be inquiries. He received a reply dated four days after the other brother's reassuring epistle; and before my article was ready, it ended up in my hands. I now have the original and have attached it here. It is very well filled with internal evidence for the most solid description --


_Dear brother. Page_,--Here is the letter you kindly lent me. I'm afraid its authenticity cannot be established. It is here to be addressed to any prisoner. Such a letter has never reached a prisoner here. All letters received are carefully read by prison officials before they reach the hands of the convicts, and none of these letters can be forgotten. Again, Charles Williams is not a Christian man, but a dissolute and cunning spendthrift whose father is a minister of the gospel. your name is wrong Nice to meet you. I am preparing a lecture on life through bars and would like to give it in your neighborhood.

And so this little drama ended. My poor article went into the fire; for though the material for it was now more plentiful and infinitely richer than before, there were groups around me who, though longing for earlier publication, were in this stage and aspect a unit of oppression. about the game. They said: 'Wait – the wound is still very fresh.' All copies of the famous letter, except mine, suddenly disappeared; and from then on the same old drought set in in the churches. As a rule, the city smiled broadly for a while, but there were places where the smile did not appear and where it was dangerous to consult the ex-convict's letter.

A word of explanation. "Jack Hunt", the stated author of the letter, was an imaginary person. Robber Williams - Harvard graduate, son of a minister - wrote the letter to himself: managed to smuggle it out of prison; managed to pass it on to people who supported and encouraged him in his conversion - knowing that two things would happen: the authenticity of the letter would not be doubted or questioned; and then some of it would be noticed and have a valuable effect - actually the effect of starting a movement to get Mr. Williams out of prison.

This "knot" is so ingeniously, so casually, thrown in and immediately left carelessly at the end of the letter that an indifferent reader would never suspect that it is the heart and gist of the letter, even if he had noticed it . anyway, that's the 'nub'--

"I hope the warm weather is good for your lungs - I was scared to death when you bled - pay my respects" etc.

That's all - just tap and go - no waiting. However, it was intended for an eye that would see it quickly; and it should move a kind heart to try to bring about the liberation of a poor reformed and purified lad lying in the clutches of tuberculosis.

When I first heard this letter read nine years ago, I found it to be the most remarkable I had ever encountered. And that got me so much for Mr. Braun of St. Well, I visited St. Louis, but I'm not to Mr. Braun; because unfortunately! Longest investigation proved that the benevolent Brown as "Jack Hunt" was not a real person, but a pure invention of this talented rascal, Williams - thief, Harvard graduate, son of a minister.


my childhood home

We took one of the St. Ludwig and St. Paul Packet Company speedboats and started upstream.

When I first saw the mouth of the Missouri River as a boy, it was twenty-two or twenty-three miles above St. Louis, according to the pilots' estimates; Shore erosion has since moved it eight miles; and riders say that within five years the river will cut the mouth and shift another five miles, bringing it ten miles from St. Louis. Ludwig.

At dusk we pass the great and prosperous city of Alton, Illinois; and the next day, before sunrise, the city of Louisiana, Missouri, in my day a sleepy village, but now a busy railroad center; But all the cities out there are railroad junctions now. I couldn't see the place clearly. This struck me as odd, because when I retired from the rebel army in 1961, I retired to Louisiana in good standing; at least fine enough for a person who hasn't yet learned to retire by the rules of war and had to rely on native genius. It seemed to me that it wasn't badly done for a first attempt at rehab. I hadn't made any progress that matched this whole campaign.

Here was a railway bridge over the river, well strewn with bright lights, and it was a very pretty sight.

At seven in the morning we arrived in Hannibal, Missouri, where I spent my childhood. I had a glimpse of him fifteen years ago and another glimpse six years ago, but both were so brief they barely counted. The only image I remember of the city was how I knew it when I first left it twenty-nine years ago. This image was still as clear and vivid as a photograph to me. I left feeling like someone from a dead and lost generation was returning. I had some idea of ​​what the prisoners of the Bastille must have felt when they went out and saw Paris after years of imprisonment, and I noticed how oddly the familiar and the foreign were mixed before them. I saw the new houses - I saw them clearly - but they did not affect the older picture in my mind, for through their solid bricks and mortar I saw with perfect clarity the vanished houses that once existed.

It was Sunday morning and everyone was already in bed. So I walked the empty streets, still seeing the city as it was, not as it is, and metaphorically recognizing and shaking the hand of a hundred familiar objects that no longer exist; and finally climbed Holiday's Hill for a wide view. The whole city stretched out under me at the time, and I could mark and fix every place, every detail. Of course I was quite moved. I said, “Many of the people I knew in that peaceful oasis of my childhood are in heaven now; some I think are elsewhere. Things around me and in front of me made me feel like a boy again - convinced me that I was a boy again and that I had just dreamed an extraordinarily long dream; but my reflections undid all that, for they compelled me to say: 'I see fifty old houses down there, each of which I could enter and find a man or woman who was a baby or not yet born when I found these houses last noticed. , or a grandmother who was then a buxom young bride.

From this privileged property the view far upriver and downriver and far across the wooded expanses of Illinois is very fine - one of the finest in Mississippi, I think; That's a bold statement, since the five-hundred-mile river between St. Ludwig and St. Paul provides an uninterrupted stream of beautiful images. It may be that my affection for the person in question influences my judgment in their favour; I can not say that. Never mind, it was satisfyingly beautiful to me, and it had this advantage over all the other friends I'd be welcoming back in a moment: it hadn't undergone any change; he was as young and fresh and graceful as ever; while the faces of others would be old, scarred by life's campaigns, and scarred by its sorrows and defeats, and would bring no joy to me.

An old gentleman came by on a morning walk and we chatted about the weather and then turned to other things. I couldn't remember his face. He said he lived here for twenty-eight years. Then he came after my period and I had never seen him before. I asked him several questions; first about a classmate of mine in sunday school - what happened to him?

"He graduated with honors from an Eastern college, wandered the world somewhere, had no success, lost his knowledge and memory years ago, and allegedly went to the dogs."

"He was bright and promising as a boy."

"Yes, but what happened is what happened with all of this."

I asked for another boy, the smartest in our village school when I was a boy.

“He also graduated from an Eastern college with honors; but life flogged him in every battle, directly, and he died years ago in one of the territories, a defeated man.

I asked for another of the bright boys.

"He's a success, always has been, always will be I think."

I asked about a young man who came to town to learn one of the trades when I was a boy.

“He went on to something else before he was done – went from medical to law or from law to medical – then to something else new; left for a year, returned with a young wife; started drinking, then played behind the door; eventually brought his wife and two young children to their father's house and departed for Mexico; It got progressively worse and ended up dying there without a penny to buy a shroud and without a friend to attend the funeral.'

'It's a shame because he was the kindest, brightest and most hopeful young man who ever lived.'

I called another boy.

'Oh, he's fine. still lives here; he has a wife and children and is doing well.'

The same judgment in relation to other boys.

I named three school girls.

“The first two live here, are married and have children; the other died a long time ago, never married.

With emotion I named one of my first friends.

'She is fine. He was married three times; Two husbands buried, third divorced, and I hear she's getting ready to marry an old guy somewhere in Colorado. She has children scattered here and there, almost everywhere.

The answer to several other questions was short and simple -

"Killed in War."

I called another boy.

"Well, his case is strange! There wasn't a person in this town who didn't know that this boy was a complete idiot; perfect dummy; just stupid ass, as you can say. Everyone knew it and everyone said it. Well, if that boy isn't the best attorney in the state of Missouri today, then I'm a Democrat!'

'Is that so?'

' It really is. I am telling you the truth.'

"How do you explain that?"

'Does that count? There's no explanation for that, except that if you bring a goddamn idiot to St. Louis and don't tell them he's a goddamn idiot, they'll never find out. One thing is for sure - if I were an idiot I would know what to do with him: Send him to St. Louis - is the highest quality market in the world for this type of real estate. Now, when you start looking around, chewing and thinking about it, doesn't it beat everything you've ever heard of?'

"Well, yes it does. But don't you think maybe it was Hannibal's people who misunderstood the boy and not St. Ludwig?

"Nonsense! People here have known him since he was born - they knew him a hundred times better than the idiots in St. Louis could have known him. No, if you've got a damn idiot you want to get involved with, take my advice: send him to St. Ludwig.

I mentioned a large number of people I knew before. Some were dead, some were gone, some thrived, some came to nothing; but considering a dozen or more of them, the answer was reassuring:

'Prospero... still lives here... town full of children.'

I asked for Miss ----.

Died in the asylum three or four years ago - never left since she entered; and he always suffered too; never lost his head back.'

If he was telling the truth, this was indeed a great tragedy. Thirty-six years in a madhouse for some young fools to enjoy! I was a little boy then; and I saw these giddy young women tiptoe into the room where Miss. ---- sat in the light of a lamp at midnight and read. The girl at the head of the line, wearing a shroud and putty face, crawled behind the victim and touched her shoulder and she looked up and screamed, then collapsed in convulsions. She didn't recover from her fright, but she freaked out. Nowadays it seems incredible that people believed in ghosts so recently. But they did.

After asking about other people I could remember, I finally asked about myself:

"Oh, he did very well - another case of a bloody idiot. If they took him to St. Louis he would have done it sooner.

It was with great satisfaction that I recognized the wisdom of telling this open gentleman at the outset that my name was Smith.


past and present

Left alone upstairs, I continued to seek out old houses in the distant city, calling back their former occupants to the musty past. Underneath I recognized the house of LemHackett's father (name changed). It took me back more than a generation at a time, and placed me in the midst of a time when the events of life were not the natural and logical results of great general laws, but of particular orders, and charged with very precise purposes .. and distinct. - partly punitive on purpose, partly admonishing; and usually locally in the application.

When I was little, Lem Hackett drowned - on a Sunday. He fell out of an empty boat in which he was playing. Burdened with sin, he fell to the ground like an anvil. He was the only boy in the village who slept that night. The rest of us all stayed awake and repentant. We didn't need the information transmitted from the pulpit that night that Lem was a special trial—we already knew that. That night there was a violent storm that lasted continuously until almost dawn. The wind blew, the windows rattled, the rain lashed the roof in slapping sheets, and in no time at all the blackness of the night was gone, the houses along the way glowed white and blinding for a trembling moment, then total darkness fell away, closed again. and a clap of thunder followed that seemed to rip everything nearby to shreds and splinters. I sat on the bed, shaking and shaking, waiting and waiting for the destruction of the world. To me, there was nothing strange or incongruous about Heaven making such a fuss about Lem Hackett. Apparently that was right and proper. No doubt it occurred to me that all the angels were gathered, discussing the case of this boy, and watching with satisfaction and approval the terrible bombardment of our wretched little village. There was one thing that worried me most seriously; this was the thought that this centralization of heavenly interests in our village must draw the observers' attention to individuals among us who might otherwise have gone unnoticed for years. I felt that I was not just one of those people, but the one most likely to be discovered. There could only be one result of this discovery: I should have been by the fire with Lem before the cold of the river had left him. I knew this would be fair and just. I was braced against myself the whole time, feeling a secret bitterness towards Lem for drawing such fatal attention to me, but I couldn't help it - that sinful thought slammed into my chest in spite of me. Every time the lightning flashed I would hold my breath and think it was gone. In my fear and sadness, I began suggesting other boys and mentioning their deeds that were worse than mine and that needed special punishment - and I tried to pretend to myself that I was doing this casually and with no intention of distraction. . . heavenly attention to get rid of them yourself. With profound perspicacity I framed these mentions in terms of sad memories and false left-handed pleas that these boys' sins might go unnoticed - 'Perhaps they might repent.' "It's true that Jim Smith smashed a window and lied about it - but maybe he didn't mean it badly. And although Tom Holmes swears more than any other boy in the village, he probably intends to regret it - although he never said he would. And while it is a fact that John Jones once caught a little Sunday, he really caught nothing but a useless little mudcat; and maybe it wouldn't have been so terrible if he had thrown it back - as he says he did, but he didn't. Too bad, but they would regret those terrible things... and maybe they still will.

But while I shamelessly tried to draw attention to these poor fellows—who were no doubt drawing celestial attention to me at the same moment, though I never suspected it—I carelessly let my candle burn. This was no time to neglect even minor precautions. There was no need to add anything to the installation to draw attention to me - so I turned off the light.

It was a long night for me and maybe the most harrowing I've ever experienced. I suffered pangs of repentance for sins I knew I had committed and for others I was unsure of, but I was sure they were committed by an angel wiser than I and matters so important had been thrown against me in a book I did not trust. I was beginning to realize that I was making a very stupid and fatal mistake in one respect: undoubtedly I had not only brought about my own downfall by drawing attention to these other boys, but I had already committed their own! – Without a doubt, by that time the lightning had already laid them all dead in their beds! The anguish and terror of that thought made my past suffering seem insignificant in comparison.

It had gotten really serious. I decided to turn to a new leaf immediately; I also decided to connect to the church the next day if I survived to see their sunrise. Determined to quit sin in all its forms and live a high and blameless life forever. He would be on time for church and Sunday school; visiting the sick; Bringing baskets of food to the poor (just to meet the terms of the ordinance, although I knew we had no such poor among us, but they would break the basket over my head because of my pain); I would teach other boys the right thing and humbly take the resulting beatings; I would subsist solely on tracts; I would break into the rum shop and warn the drunks - and finally, if I could escape the fate of those who are about to become too good to live, I would look for a missionary.

The storm calmed by daybreak, and I gradually drifted off to sleep, with a sense of obligation to Lem Hackett for having so abruptly plunged me into perpetual misery and thus averting a far more terrible catastrophe—my own loss.

But as I gradually got up, refreshed, to find that the other boys were still alive, I had a vague feeling that maybe the whole thing was a false alarm; that all the fuss had been about Lem and nobody else. The world seemed so bright and safe that there seemed no real need to turn over a new leaf. I was a little overwhelmed that day, and maybe the next; After that, my intention to reform slowly faded from my mind, and I again had a peaceful and comfortable time until the next storm.

This storm came about three weeks later; and it was the most inexplicable thing I have ever experienced; for in the afternoon of that day 'Dutchy' was drowned. Dutchy was in our Sunday school. He was a German boy who didn't know enough to get out of the rain; but he was insanely good and had an amazing memory. One Sunday he became the envy of all the young people and the talk of the whole village in awe when he recited three thousand verses of the Holy Scriptures without losing a word; so he left the next day and drowned.

The circumstances gave his death a peculiar impression. We all bathed in a muddy stream that had a deep hole, and in that hole the coopers had dropped a heap of green walnut rings for dipping, about fifteen feet deep. We dived and 'see who could stay the longest'. We managed to stay down and hold the rim sticks. Dutch had so little success that he was greeted with laughter and derision whenever his head popped above water. Eventually he looked hurt by the taunts and begged us to stand on the shore and be fair to him and count him honestly - "Just this once, be kind and nice and don't count badly so we can have fun, to laugh at him. .' Sneaky winks were exchanged and everyone said, 'Okay Dutch – go ahead, let's play fair.'

Dutchy dove, but the boys, instead of starting to count, followed the lead of one of them and ran into a line of nearby brambles and hid behind them. They imagined Dutchy's humiliation when, after a superhuman effort, he got up to find the place silent and empty, with no one applauding. They were "so full of laughs" at the performance that they burst out in muffled laughter.

'Why, he hasn't come yet!'

The laughter stopped.

"Guys it's a lovely dive," said one.

'Never mind,' said another, 'the joke about him is better for that.'

There were another comment or two, and then a pause. The conversation died down and everyone began peering through the vines. It wasn't long before the boys' faces looked uncomfortable, then scared, then scared. The still water still didn't move. Hearts began to beat faster and faces grew pale. We all slipped out in silence and stood on the shore, our horrified eyes darting between each other's faces to the water.

"Someone has to come down and see!"

Yes, that was clear; but nobody wanted this terrible task.

'Pull straws!'

So we did it - with hands so shaky we hardly knew what we were doing. Luck fell for me and I fell. The water was so muddy I couldn't see a thing, but I groped between the tire posts and soon grabbed a limp wrist that gave me no answer—and if it did, I shouldn't have known, I suddenly let go in such fear.

The boy had been pinned between the tire posts and tangled there helplessly. I escaped to the surface and told the terrible news. Some of us knew that the boy could be resuscitated if he was taken out immediately, but we never thought about it. We thought of nothing; We didn't know what to do, so we did nothing - except the smaller boys cried pitifully and we all struggled desperately to put our clothes on, put on everything that was useful, and put them like a rule back and forth to permit. So we ran and sounded the alarm, but none of us came back to see the end of the tragedy. We had one more important thing to do: we all flew home and didn't waste a moment preparing for a better life.

The night is over. Then came this massive and totally inexplicable storm. I was completely stunned; I couldn't understand. It seemed to me that there had to be a mistake. The elements were let loose and they rattled and cracked and shimmered in the most blind and frantic way. All heart and hope left me, and the dark thought floated in my head: 'If a boy who knows three thousand verses by heart does not satisfy, what chance does anyone else have?'

Of course I never questioned for a moment that the storm was caused by Dutchy, or that he or any other insignificant animal was worthy of so majestic a display from on high; the lesson from it was the only thing that bothered me; for it convinced me that if Dutchy, in all his perfection, were not a joy, it would be in vain for me to turn over a new leaf, for I must infallibly be hopelessly lagging behind this boy, no matter how hard I try. I changed it anyway—a highly developed fear compelled me to do so—but successive days of joy and sunshine tormented me, and within a month I had withdrawn enough to feel as lost and comfortable as before.

Breakfast time was approaching as I pondered these thoughts and recalled past events; So I returned to the present and walked down the hill.

On the way from town to the hotel I saw the house that had been my home when I was a boy. At the current rate, the people who occupy it now are no more valuable than me; but in my day they would be worth no less than five hundred dollars. They are colored.

After breakfast I went off alone again with the intention of tracking down some of the Sunday Schools and seeing how this generation of students would compare to their ancestors who sat with me in those places and probably looked up to me as a role model - although I did it doesn't remember - if that now. Near the public square in my day stood a poor little brick church called Zion's Old Ship, which I attended as a Sunday school student; and I found the site easy enough, but not the old church; It was gone and in its place was an exciting and rather hilarious new building. The students were better dressed and prettier than in my day; consequently they did not resemble their ancestors; and consequently there was nothing familiar in their faces. Yet I watched her with deep interest and wistful longing, and had I been a girl I would have cried; for they were the offspring and represented and filled the places of boys and girls, some of whom I loved to love and some loved to hate, but all were dear to me for one reason or another, so many years have passed - and, Lord, Where are you now!

I was deeply moved and would have been grateful if I could appear unmolested and content; but a bald overseer who had been my Sunday school chum in that place in the early days recognized me, and I spoke much wild nonsense to these children to hide the thoughts that were in me which could not have been said without one Emotional betrayal that would have been recognized as atypical for me.

Giving speeches without preparation is not my gift; and I was determined to run away from every new opportunity, but at the next and greatest Sunday school I found myself at the bottom of the meeting; so I was more than willing to step onto the platform for a moment to take a good look at the scholars. In the heat of the moment, I couldn't remember any of the old silly conversations visitors used to taunt me with when I was a student there; and I was sorry for that, for it would have given me time and excuse to linger and take a long and satisfying look at what I may say, a variety of fresh youthful beauty unequaled in any other Sunday school in the world same size. As I spoke just to have a chance to inspect it; and since I was only prolonging the random nonsense to prolong the inspection, I saw fit to admit these base motives, and so I did.

If the model boy was in one of those Sunday schools, I haven't seen him. The model boy of my time - we never had just one - was perfect: perfect in manners, perfect in dress, perfect in demeanor, perfect in filial piety, perfect in outward piety; but deep down he was an Aprig; and as for the contents of his skull, they could have traded places with the contents of a pie and none would have been worse off except the pie. This guy's lack of reproach was a constant reproach for all the boys in the village. He was the admiration of all mothers and the hatred of all their children. I was told what happened to him but since it was such a disappointment to me I won't go into detail. He was successful in life.


A revenge and other things

During my three days in the city I woke up every morning feeling like a boy - for in my dreams all the faces were young again and looked like old times - but I fell asleep at a hundred years old, all the nights - because by now I saw those faces as they are now.

Of course, I experienced a few surprises before I could adjust to the new circumstances. I met girls who didn't seem to have changed at all; but it turned out to be the daughters of the young women I had in mind - sometimes their granddaughters. When you're told a fifty-year-old stranger is a grandmother, that's not surprising; but if, on the contrary, she is a person you knew as a child, it seems impossible. You say to yourself, 'How can a little girl be a grandmother?' It takes some time to accept the fact and to realize that even though you've gotten older, your friends haven't sat quietly on the subject.

I noticed that the biggest observable changes occurred in women, not men. I saw men whose thirty years had changed but little; but their wives grew old. These were good women; it takes too much effort to be good.

There was a saddler I wanted to see; but he's gone Dead many years, they said. Once or twice a day the saddler would go out into the street and put on his coat as he went; and then everyone knew a steamer was coming. Everyone also knew that John Stavely wasn't expecting anyone on the boat - or even cargo; and Stavely must have known they all knew that, but he didn't mind; he seemed happy to expect himself a hundred thousand tons of saddles for that boat, and so he continued throughout his life, enjoying being faithfully available to take and fetch those saddles should they come by some miracle. A malicious Quincypaper used to derisively refer to this town as "Stavely's Landing". Stavely was one of my first admirers; I envied his haste in imaginary business and the display he could make of it in front of strangers as he fidgeted down the street in his flapping coat.

But there was one carpenter who was my main hero. He was a powerful liar, but I didn't know it; I believed everything he said. He was a romantic, sentimental, melodramatic con artist and I was impressed by his attitude. I vividly remember the first time he confided in me. He planned a plank and every now and then he would pause and take deep breaths; and sometimes they murmur clipped sentences - muddled and unintelligible - but sometimes an exclamation came out of their midst that made me shudder and feel good: One was, 'Oh God, it's his blood!' I sat on the toolbox and admired it with humility and a shudder; for I thought him full of crimes. Finally he said in a low voice -

'My little friend, can you keep a secret?'

I eagerly said I could.

'A dark and terrible one?'

I have satisfied him on this point.

“So I'm going to tell you a few passages from my story; for oh, I _must_ relieve my burdened soul, or I shall die!'

He admonished me again to "keep silent as the grave"; then he told me he was a "red-handed murderer". He landed on the plane, stretched out his hand in front of him, looked at her sadly and said:

"Look, with these hands I took the lives of thirty people!"

The effect on me was an inspiration to him and he pursued the subject with interest and energy. He stopped generalizing and went into detail - it started with his first murder; described him, told what measures he had taken to avoid suspicion; then it was on to the second murder, the third, the fourth, and so on. He used to do his murders with a bowie knife, and he would make all my hair stand on end and suddenly pull it up and show it to me.

At the end of that first session, I returned home with six of her terrifying secrets in my carry-on and found them to be of great help to my dreams, which had been slow for a while. During my Saturday holidays I kept visiting him; in fact I spent the summer with him - all of that was precious to me. His fascination never waned as he brought something new and moving in the form of horror to each successive murder. He always gave names, dates, places - everything. This gradually allowed me to realize two things: that he had killed his victims in all corners of the world and that these victims were always called Lynch. The destruction of the lynches continued calmly, Saturday after Saturday, until the original thirty had multiplied to sixty - and more were heard; So my curiosity overcame my shyness and I asked how it was possible that all these justly punished people had the same name.

My hero said that he had never revealed this dark secret to any living being; but he felt that he could trust me and so he wanted to bring me the story of his sad and devastated life. He had loved a woman "too fair for the earth," and she had returned him "with all the sweet affection of her pure and noble nature." But he had a rival, a "base master" named Archibald Lynch, who said the girl must be his or he would "stain his hands with the best blood in his heart." The carpenter, "innocent and happy in the dream of love of youth," ignored the threat, but led his "golden-haired darling to the altar," and there the two became one; stretched out in blessing over their heads, the cruel deed was done - with a knife - and the bride fell dead at her husband's feet. And what did the husband do? He took that knife and, kneeling beside his stepdaughter's corpse, swore to "dedicate his life to the destruction of all human scum that bears the hated name of Lynch."

That was it. He had hunted down the lynches and slaughtered them, from this day to this day - twenty years. He had always used the same hallowed knife; he used it to slay his long list of lynch victims, leaving a peculiar mark on the forehead of each victim - a deeply carved cross. He said--

“The Cross of the Mysterious Avenger is known in Europe, in America, in China, in Siam, in the tropics, in the polar seas, in the deserts of Asia, all over the world. Wherever a lynch has invaded the farthest reaches of the earth, the mysterious cross has been seen, and those who saw it shuddered and said, "It's his mark, he was here." Have you heard of the mysterious avenger - look at him, because there is no less than one person in front of you! But be careful - don't say a word to any soul. Be still and wait. One morning this city will be horrified at the sight of a bloody corpse; on his forehead will be the terrible sign, and people will tremble and whisper: "He was here - it is the sign of the mysterious avenger!" You'll come here, but I'll be gone; you won't see me anymore.'

That donkey was no doubt reading the 'Jibbenainosay,' and had turned his poor romantic head from him; but not having seen the book, I believed his inventions to be true and did not suspect him of being a plagiarist.

However, we had a Lynch living in the city; and the more I reflected on his impending death, the more I couldn't sleep. It seemed my duty to save him, and an even clearer and more important duty to myself to get some sleep, so I finally ventured to go to Mr. Lynch and tell him what was about to happen to him - in strict confidence. I advised him to 'fly' and I certainly hoped he would. But he laughed at me; and he didn't stop there; he took me into the carpentry shop, gave the carpenter a mocking and scornful lecture on his foolish pretensions, slapped him across the face, made him kneel down and beg - then went off and left me to contemplate the cheap and pitiful ruin of what , in my eyes, had recently been a majestic and incomparable hero.

The carpenter raged, brandishing his knife and condemning this lynch in his usual Vulcan style, with most of his fateful words intact; but all was in vain for me; he was no longer a hero to me, but just a poor, stupid, exposed fraud. I was ashamed of him and of myself; I was no longer interested in him and never went into his shop again. He was a great loss to me as he was the greatest hero I have ever known. The guy must have talent; for some of his imaginary murders were described so vividly and dramatically that I can still remember all the details.

The people of Hannibal haven't changed any more than the city. It is no longer a village; It's a city with a mayor, a council, a water company, and probably debt. It has a population of fifteen thousand, is a prosperous and energetic place, and is cobbled like the rest of the West and South—where a well-cobbled street and a good sidewalk are things so seldom seen that one doubts it when one sees them. The usual half-dozen railroads are now concentrated in Hannibal, and there's a new station that cost a hundred thousand dollars. In my day the city had neither specialty nor commercial size; the daily pack usually disembarked with one passenger and bought a catfish, taking with them another passenger and a hat full of cargo; but now a vast timber trade has grown up, and a large mixed trade is one of the results. A lot of money is changing hands there now.

Bear Creek - perhaps so named because it has always been particularly bear-free there - is now hidden beneath islands and continents of stacked wood, and no one but an expert can find it. I used to drown in it regularly every summer and get drained, bloated and re-started by a random enemy; but it is not empty enough to drown a man. He was a famous creator of chills and fevers in his time. I remember one summer when everyone in town got this disease at the same time. Many chimneys were knocked down and all houses were so destroyed that the city had to be rebuilt. Scientists believe that the chasm or gorge between Lover's Leap and the hill to the west was caused by glacial action. This is an error.

There's an interesting cave a mile or two below Hannibal, between the cliffs. I would like to do it again, but I didn't have time. In my time the owner turned it into a mausoleum for his fourteen year old daughter. The poor child's body was placed in a copper cylinder filled with alcohol and this was hung in one of the gloomy avenues of the cave. The upper part of the cylinder was removable; and it was said that it was customary for the common tourist to draw the dead face into view, examine it, and comment on it.


A legal question

The slaughterhouse has disappeared from the mouth of Bear Creek, as has the small prison (or "calaboose") that once stood near it. Citizen asked, "Remember when Jimmy Finn, the town drunk, was burned in the dungeons?"

Now watch as the story gets tainted over time and with the help of people's bad memories. Jimmy Finn was not burned in the dungeon but died of natural causes in a tanning tank from a combination of delirium tremens and spontaneous combustion. When I say a natural death, I mean it was a natural death for Jimmy Finn to die. The dungeon victim was not a commoner; he was a poor stranger, a harmless whiskey drinker. I know more about his case than anyone; I knew too much about it in the past day to talk about it. This tramp was wandering the streets on a cold night with a pipe in his mouth begging for a match; he got no matches or courtesy; on the contrary, a bunch of naughty little boys followed him around and enjoyed teasing and teasing him. I observe; but at length a plea of ​​indulgence from the traveler, accompanying him with a listless hint of his helpless and friendless condition, touched the sense of shame and what was left of right feeling that remained in me, and I went away and bought him some matches, and then he carried me home and to bed, heavy in conscience and despondent in spirit. An hour or two later the man was arrested and locked in the dungeon by the marshal—a big name for a cop, but that was his title. At two o'clock in the morning the church bells rang for the fire and of course everyone was there - me with the others. The tramp had used his matches disastrously: he had set fire to his straw bed and the room's oak ceiling had caught fire. When I hit the ground, two hundred men, women, and children were huddled in horror, staring at the bars of the prison windows. Behind the iron bars, who were frantically tugging at them and screaming for help, was the tramp; he looked like a black object against a sun, so white and intense was the light on his back. That marshal was nowhere to be found, and he had the only key. A ram was quick to improvise, and the crash of his bangs on the door was such an encouraging sound that the spectators erupted in cheers, believing the merciful fight was won. But it was not like that. The forests were very strong; they didn't move. It was said that the man's death grip was still attached to the bars after he was dead; and that in this position the fires enveloped and consumed him. I don't know about that. What was seen after recognizing the face pleading through the wands was seen by others, not me.

I saw that face in that position every night long after; and I felt as guilty for the man's death as if I had deliberately given him the matches to burn himself with. I had no doubt that if my connection to this tragedy was discovered, I would be hanged. The events and impressions of that time are burned into my memory, and their study amuses me as much now as they disturbed me then. When anyone spoke of this dreadful subject I was for a moment all ears and alert to hear what might be said, for I was always afraid and expecting suspicion; and so fine and delicate was the perception of my bad conscience that it often detected suspicion in the most useless remarks and in looks, gestures, glances that meant nothing, but which nevertheless made me tremble in panic with fear. And how disgusted I was when someone remarked, however carelessly and unintentionally, "Murder will end!" For a ten-year-old boy I was carrying quite a heavy burden.

Luckily, all along, I forgot one thing—the fact that I was a die-hard talker in my sleep. But one night I woke up to find my bedfellow - my younger brother - sitting in bed looking at me in the moonlight. I said--

'What is the problem?'

"You talk so much I can't sleep."

I immediately achieved a sitting position, my kidneys in my throat and my hair standing on end.

'What did I say. hurry up... let's go... what did i say?

'Nearly nothing.'

— It's a lie, you know everything.

"All about what?"

- You know very well. About it_.'

"About _what_? - I dont know what you are talking about. I think you're sick or crazy or something. But anyway, you're awake and I'll sleep while I can.

He fell asleep and I lay in a cold sweat, turning this new terror into the turmoil of chaos that acted as my mind. The weight of my thinking was: How much have I given away? how much does he know What torment is this uncertainty! But gradually I developed an idea: I would wake up my brother and question him with a hypothetical case. I shook him and said...

"Suppose a man comes to you drunk..."

"That's silly - I never get drunk."

"I'm not talking about you, idiot. I'm talking about the man. Suppose a drunk man comes to you and borrows a knife, hatchet or pistol and you forget to tell him that it was loaded and...

"How can you carry an axe?"

“I don't mean the axe, and I didn't say axe; I said pistol. Don't keep breaking like that now, because this is serious. A man was killed.

'What! in this city?'

"Yes, in this town.

'Well go ahead, I won't say a single word.'

"Well then imagine you forgot to tell him to be careful with it because it was loaded and he went out and shot himself with that pistol - he was playing with it, you know, and probably he accidentally did it because he was drunk. Well, would it be murder?

"No... suicide."

"No no. I don't mean his act, I mean yours: Would you be a murderer if you left him with that gun?

After careful thought, this answer came:

"Well, I think I'm guilty of something... maybe murder... yes, probably murder, but I'm not sure.

I was very uncomfortable. However, it was not a decisive verdict. I was supposed to represent the real case - there seemed to be no other way. But I would do that with caution and watch for suspicious effects. I said--

“I guessed a case, but now I'll get to the real case. Do you know how the man was burned in the dungeon?


"You haven't the slightest idea?

"No less important."

"Would you like to die halfway if you do?"

"Yes, I wish I could die on the way."

"Well, the way was as follows. The man wanted some matches to light his pipe. A boy bought it for him. The man set fire to the dungeon and burned himself with the same matches.”

'Is that so?'

'And yes. Now this boy is a killer you think?

'Let me see. Was the man drunk?

"Yes, he was drunk.

'Too drunk?'


"And the boy knew about it?"

- Yes, he knew.

There was a long pause. Then came this heavy judgment -

'If the man was drunk and the boy knew, the boy murdered that man. That's right.'

Weak, sickening sensations ran through every fiber of my body, and I seemed to know how a person feels when they hear their death sentence pronounced in court. I waited for what my brother would say next. I thought I knew what it would be, and I was right. He said--

"I know the boy.

I have nothing to say; so I didn't say anything. I just shuddered. Then drove...

“Yes, before you told the story, I knew very well who the boy was; it was Ben Coontz!

I came out of my breakdown like someone who rose from the dead. I said in awe...

"Well how the hell did you guess that?"

"You told it in your sleep.

I said to myself, 'How wonderful is that! It's a habit that needs to be cultivated.”

My brother innocently babbled about...

“When you were talking in your sleep you mumbled something about matches, which I didn't catch; but just now, as you began to tell me about the man and the dungeon and the matches, I remembered that in your sleep you mentioned Ben Coontz two or three times; So I put this and that together, you know, and I knew right away that it was Ben who burned that man.

I praised his wit profusely. Then he asked...

"Are you going to hand him over to the law?"

'No I said; "I think that will teach him a lesson. I'll keep an eye on him, of course, because that's the right thing to do; but if he stops where he is and mends himself, it will never be said that I betrayed him.'

'How good you are!'

"Well, I try to be. That's all a person can do in a world like this.

And now that my burden was shifted to other shoulders, my terror soon vanished.

The day before we left Hannibal, something strange struck me - the amazing extent of longitudinal time there. City. He was supposed to pick me up at the Park Hotel at 7:30pm and take me outside. But he missed it significantly - he didn't come until ten. He apologized and said...

“Time passes more than an hour and a half slower in the country than in the city; You'll be there on time, boss. Sometimes we go to church early on Sunday and pick the right plum in the middle of the sermon. difference in time. A body cannot perform "boutit" calculations.

I had lost two and a half hours; but I had learned a fact worth four.


an archangel

OF ST. Louis, to the north, there are all encouraging signs of the presence of active, energetic, intelligent, prosperous and practical nineteenth-century populations. People don't dream, they work. The happy result is manifested everywhere in the substantial outward appearance of things and in the hints of healthy living and comfort that appear everywhere.

Quincy is a notable example - a lively, beautiful, well-ordered city; and was still interested in art, letters and other noble things.

But Marion City is an exception. Marion City has inexplicably gone backwards. This metropolis promised so much that the projectors confidently put “City” in its name right from the start; but it was a bad prophecy. When I first saw Marion City thirty-five years ago, it consisted of one street and almost six houses. It now only contains one house, and this one in a state of disrepair prepares to follow the previous five by the river. Without a doubt, Marion City was very close to Quincy. It had another disadvantage: it lay on a flat, muddy bottom below the water mark, while Quincy sits high on a hill.

In the beginning, Quincy had the look and feel of a model New England town: and it still has: wide, clean streets, neat, manicured townhouses and lawns, beautiful mansions, stately office buildings. And there are numerous amusement parks, one well maintained park and many attractive rides; Library, reading rooms, some faculties, some beautiful and expensive churches, and a large courthouse with a lot. The city's population is thirty thousand. There are some large factories here, and manufacturing of many kinds is carried out on a large scale.

La Grange and Canton are growing cities, but I missed Alexandria; I was told it was underwater but would blow out in the summer.

Keokuk was easily recognizable. That's where I lived in 1857 - an exceptional year there in real estate matters. The "Boom" was a wonderful thing. All bought, all sold - except widows and preachers; they always hold back; and when the tide goes out they stay on the left. Anything resembling urban land, no matter the location, was for sale and at a value that would still be high if the land had been landscaped.

The city now has a population of 15,000 and is progressing with healthy growth. It was night and we couldn't see the details which we regret as Keokuk has a reputation for being a beautiful town. It was nice to live in a long time ago, and it has undoubtedly moved forward, not backward, in that regard.

A great work in progress in my day is now finished. This is the channel above the rapids. It is eight miles long, 300 feet wide and at no point less than 6 feet deep. Its stonework is of the majestic sort to which the War Office is accustomed, and will hold up like a Roman aqueduct. The work cost four or five million.

After an hour or two spent with old friends, we made our way back up the river. Long ago, Keokuk was a casual haunt for the unpredictable genius Henry Clay Dean. I think I only saw him once; but he was talked about a lot when I lived there. This was said about him -

He began his life poor and uneducated. But he formed himself - on the sidewalks of Keokuk. He would sit on a curb with his book, heedless or unaware of the din of commerce and the passing crowd, and immersing himself in his studies every hour or so without changing his position except bending his knees now and then . when a dray may pass unhindered; and when his book was finished, its contents, however obscure, were engraved in his memory and were his permanent possession. In this way he acquired a vast store of knowledge of all kinds and accumulated it in his head where he could lay his intellectual hand upon it whenever the need arose.

His attire was in no way different from that of a "kairatte" except that it was more ragged, disordered and discordant (and therefore more flamboyantly painterly) and several layers dirtier. No one could guess the mastermind on this building from the building itself.

He was a speaker - first by nature and later through training experience and practice. When he was campaigning, his name was a magnet, drawing farmers to his stump within fifty kilometers. His subject was always politics. He didn't use notes, a volcano doesn't need notes. In 1862 a son of the notable citizen of Keokuk, Mr. Claggett, related to me this incident of Dean...

In Keokuk (1961) the war mood was strong and on a certain day a great mass meeting was to be held in the new Athenaeum. A respected stranger should make his way to the house. After the building was filled to capacity with suffocating people of both sexes, the stage nonetheless remained empty - the distinguished stranger failed to connect. The crowd grew impatient and gradually became outraged and rebellious. Around this time, a distraught manager spotted Dean on a curb, explained the dilemma to him, took his book from him, rushed him to the Secret Annex and told him to go on stage and save his life.

Suddenly, a sudden hush fell over the rumbling audience and all eyes focused on a single point – the wide, empty, carpet-less stage. There appeared a figure whose appearance was familiar to almost a dozen of those present. It was the scarecrow Dean - in fox shoes, on heels; oddly colored socks, also 'fluff'; worn trousers, relics of antiquity and a world that is too short, showing a few inches of bare ankles; open shirt chest; long black scarf wrapped around the neck like a bandage; blue coat with a short tail that reached to the lower back, with sleeves that left four inches of bare forearm; a small, hard-brimmed soldier's cap hanging from a corner of the bulge of—whatever bulge it was. This figure moved gravely across the stage and descended with slow, measured strides to the front, where he stood and dreamily surveyed the house without saying a word. The silence of surprise lasted a moment, then it was broken by a barely audible wave of joy that swept across the sea of ​​faces like the wave of a wave. The figure remained as before, gazing thoughtfully. Another wave hit - this time laughter. Another followed, then a third – the latter tumultuous.

And now the stranger stepped back, took off his soldier's cap, threw it into the ward and began to speak, slowly, without anyone listening, all laughing and whispering. The speaker spoke without embarrassment and then fired a shot that landed squarely, causing silence and attention. He quickly followed it up with other revealing things; warmed to his work and began to spill his words instead of dripping them; it grew hotter and hotter, and began to thunder and lightning—and now the house began to erupt in applause, to which the speaker paid no heed but banged on; unrolled his black bandage and threw it away, still thundering; then he took off his short-tailed cloak and threw it aside, all the while shooting higher and higher; finally threw the waistcoat behind the coat; and then he stood there for an indefinite time, like a second Vesuvius, spewing smoke and flame, raining lava and ash, pumice and ash, shaking the moral earth with bang after bang, blast after blast, while the insane crowd stood idly by in a solid body and responds with a ceaseless hurricane of applause through a blizzard of billowing scarves.

"When Dean came in," Claggett said, "people thought he was a cracked maniac; but when he left they thought him a fugitive archangel.'

Burlington, home of the glitzy Burdette, is another mountain town; and also a beautiful one; undoubtedly; a beautiful and prosperous city with a population of 25,000 and surrounded by bustling factories of almost every imaginable type. It was also a very sober city - for now - as a very sober bill was pending; a bill prohibiting the making, exporting, importing, buying, selling, lending, lending, stealing, drinking, smelling, or possession in the state of Iowa of any harmful substance by conquest, inheritance, intent, accident, or otherwise, in the state of Iowa known to mankind except water. This measure was approved by all sane people in the state; but not from the bench.

Burlington is fully equipped with modern and advanced city equipment for right and intelligent government; including a paid fire department, something the great city of New Orleans lacks but still employs that relic of antiquity, the independent system.

In Burlington, like all these Upper River towns, there's an atmosphere of anticipation that tastes good on the nose. An opera house was recently built there, in stark contrast to the shabbydens that usually function as theaters in towns the size of Burlington.

We didn't have time to disembark in Muscatine but we did have a view from the boat during the day. I lived there for a while many years ago but now the place looks quite strange; so I assume it has outgrown the city I knew. In fact, I know it does; because I remember it was a small place - which it isn't now. But I remember best a madman who caught me in the field one Sunday and pulled a butcher knife from his boot and suggested I cut myself with it unless I admitted he was the devil's only son. I tried to compromise by acknowledging that he was the only family member I knew; but that did not satisfy him; he would not have things by halves; I must say he was the devil's only son - he sharpened his knife in his boot. It didn't seem worth making trouble over such a small matter; So I turned to his point of view and saved my whole ass. Shortly thereafter he visited his father; and since he hasn't appeared since then, I believe he's still there.

And I remember - even more pleasantly - Muscatine for its summer twilight. I've never seen one on either side of the ocean to match them. Colour, from the speckled delicacies and delicacies of opal, through cumulative intensities, to the dazzling crimson and crimson fires that pleased the eye but were intensely experienced at the same time. The entire Upper Mississippi region offers these extraordinary sunsets as a family spectacle. It's the real Sunset Land: I'm sure no other country has such a good claim to the name. It is also said that the sunrise is extremely good. I don't know.


not high flow

The great cities appear now, dense and swift: and between long processions of thrifty farms, not desolate solitude. Hour after hour the boat sinks deeper and deeper into the great and populous Northwest; and with each successive section revealed, the amazement and respect gain momentum and grow. Such a people and such achievements as theirs call for reverence. This is an independent race that thinks for itself and is able to do so because it is educated and enlightened; they read, keep up with the latest and greatest thoughts, fortify every weak spot in their country with a school, college, library, and newspaper; and they live under the law. Loneliness for the future of such a race is not appropriate.

This region is new; so new that it can be said that it is still in its infancy. From what he accomplished while still teething, one can foresee the wonders he will perform in the power of his maturity. It is so new that the foreign tourist has not heard of it; and not visited. For sixty years, the foreign tourist commuted between St. Louis and New Orleans and then returned home and wrote his book because he thought he saw all the river that was worth seeing, or had something to see. In none of these books are these upper Rio cities mentioned - because the five or six tourists who invaded this region did so before these cities were designed. The last tourist of all (1878) made the same old regulated trip - he hadn't heard there was anything north of St. Louis. Ludwig.

However, there was. There was this incredible region full of great cities, designed the day before yesterday and built the next morning, so to speak. A score from them varies between 1,500 and 5,000 people. Then we have Moscatino, ten thousand; Winona, ten thousand; Moline, ten thousand; Rock Island, twelve thousand; La Crosse, twelve thousand; Burlington, twenty-five thousand; Dubuque, twenty-five thousand; Davenport, thirty thousand; St. Paul, fifty-eight thousand, Minneapolis, sixty thousand or more.

The foreign tourist has never heard of them; there is no mention of it in your books. They came at night while he was sleeping. This region is so new that, being relatively young, I am even older than it. When I was born, St. Paul had a population of three people, Minneapolis had only a third. The then population of Minneapolis died out two years ago; and when he died he saw himself going through an increase of fifty-nine thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine persons in forty years. He had the fertility of a toad.

I should explain that the numbers given above, like the population of St. Paul and Minneapolis, are for several months. These cities are now much larger. In fact, I just saw a newspaper estimate that puts the first seventy-one thousand and the second seventy-eight thousand. This book will not be released for six or seven months; none of the numbers will then be worth much.

We catch a glimpse of Davenport, another beautiful city that sits on a hill - a term that applies to all these cities; for they are all beautiful, all well built, clean, orderly, pleasing to the eye, and cheerful to the mind; and they all lie on hills. So let's give that sentence a break. The Native Americans have a tradition that in 1673 Marquette and Joliet camped where Davenport stands today. The next white man to camp there did so some 170 years later - in 1834. Davenport has gathered its 30,000 people over the past 30 years. . It now sends more children to its schools than its entire population counted twenty-three years ago. It has the usual Upper River share of factories, newspapers, and educational institutions; it has telephones, local telegraphs, an electric alarm, and an admirable paid fire department, consisting of six hook-and-ladder companies, four steam fire-engines, and thirty churches. Davenport is the official residence of two bishops - Episcopalian and Catholic.

Across from Davenport is the thriving town of Rock Island, nestled in the foothills of the Upper Rapids. A major railroad bridge connects the two cities - one of thirteen that spans the Mississippi River and the Pilots between St. Ludwig and St. Paul.

The charming island of Rock Island, three miles long and half a mile wide, belongs to the United States, and the government has turned it into a beautiful park, enhanced its natural attractions with art, and cleared a path among its beautiful forests with many miles of streets. Near the center of the island, ten huge four-story stone buildings can be seen through the trees, each covering an acre of land. These are government agencies; for the Rock Island establishment is an arsenal and a national arsenal.

We went up the river - always through lovely countryside, no other on the Upper Mississippi - and passed Moline, a center of vast manufacturing industries; and Clinton and Lyons, major logging centers; and are currently arriving in Dubuque which is located in a mineral rich region. Lead mines are very productive and large. Dubuque has a large number of manufacturing facilities; including a plow factory whose customers come from all over Christendom. At least that's what a company agent who was on the boat told me. He said--

“You show me every country under the sun where they really know how to plough, and if I don't show you our mark on the plow they use, I'll eat that plough; and I won't ask for Woostershyre sauce for flavor either.

This entire part of the river is rich in Indian history and traditions. Black Hawk's was once a big name here; as well as that of Keokuk below. A few miles below Dubuque is the Tete de Mort - Skull Rock or Crag - to the top of which the French led a band of Indians in the early days and imprisoned them there to certain death, and only along this path is a matter of choice - starve or jump in and kill yourself. Towards the end of his life, Black Hawk adopted the customs of the whites; and when he died he was buried near Des Moines in the Christian manner modified by Indian custom; that is, dressed in a Christian military uniform and holding a Christian stick, but laid in the tomb in a seated posture. In the past, a horse was always buried with a chief. The stick replacement shows that Black Hawk's haughty nature was genuinely humble and he looked forward to walking when he was over it.

We noticed that the Mississippi water above Dubuque was olive green - rich, beautiful and semi-transparent through which the sun shone. Of course the water wasn't as clear and didn't look as pretty as at some other times of the year; it was initially in the flood stage and was therefore clouded and polluted by the mud that had formed on the edges of the cave.

The majestic cliffs that dominate the river along this region enchant with the grace and variety of their shapes and the gentle beauty of their decorations. The sheer, green slope, which bases on the water, is crowned by a towering rock face, broken into spiers that are exquisitely rich and muted in color - mainly dark brown and dull green, but mottled with other hues. And then you have the gleaming river, winding here and there and there, its course broken at intervals by clusters of wooded islands interspersed with silver canals; and of secret rafts gliding in the shadow of the forest walls; and white fumes that disappear in secluded places. And it's all as peaceful and restful as dreamland, and there's nothing out of this world - nothing to worry or fret about.

Until the unholy train pulls in – which it is currently doing, ripping the holy solitude to shreds and shreds with its fiendish war cry and the roar and thunder of its speeding wheels – and immediately you are back in this world, and with some of its scraps yours available for your entertainment: for you remember that this is the same street whose stocks always fall after you buy them and rise again when you sell them. To this day I shudder when I think about the fact that I once almost didn't part with my stash. It must be awful holding a train in your hands.

The locomotive is from the steamboat deck almost all the way from St. Ludwig to St. Paul - eight hundred miles. These railroads wreaked havoc on the steamship trade. The clerk on our boat was a clerk on a steamboat before these roads were built. The influx of people was so great that day and the cargo business so heavy that the ships could no longer withstand the demands on their carrying capacity; Consequently, the captains were very independent and airy - quite "big", as Uncle Remus would say. The official summed up the contrast between the past and the present as follows:

'Boat used for landing - Captain on roof of hurricane - Strongly stiff and straight - Iron rod for spine - Velvet gloves, clapboard fittings, hair parted back - Man on shore takes off his hat and says -

' 'I have twenty-eight tons of wheat, Captain - it would be a great favor if you could have it.

"Captain said—

"I'll take two of these" - not even deigning to look at him.

"But these days the captain sheds his old sloppiness and smiles behind his ears and takes a bow he hasn't got a stick to meddle with and says...

"Glad to see you Smith, glad to see you - you look well - haven't seen you this well in years - what have you got for us?"

"Nuth'n," says Smith; and keeps his hat on his head, turns around and starts talking to someone else.

“Oh yes, eight years ago the captain was at the top; but now it's Smith's turn. Eight years ago a boat went up the river with full cabins and people crowded five or six on the cabin floor; and a solid batch of immigrants and combines down there to top it off. To get a first-class cabin you had to have sixteen quarters of nobility and four hundred years of ancestry, or know the black man who polished the captain's boots personally. But now everything has changed; lots of huts upstairs, no harvesters downstairs - there's a patent now, and they don't have any harvesters anymore; they went where the vines grow... and they didn't go by steamer either; drove by train.

In this region we find vast acres of wooden rafts descending - but not lazily floating, the old-fashioned way, crewed by merry, ruthless crews of rogue fiddlers, singers, whiskey drinkers and dancers; nay, the whole thing was propelled swiftly by a powerful modern outboard craft, and the small crews were quiet, orderly men with a quiet business aspect, without a hint of romance.

Around here, on a dark night, we descended some extremely narrow and complicated ramps with the help of electric lights. Beyond was deep darkness - a sharp bank of it; before us a narrow arc of water, curving between dense walls of foliage, almost touching our bow on either side; and here every single leaf and undulation stood out in its natural color and was bathed in a bright noonday glow. The effect was strange, beautiful and very impressive.

We passed Prairie du Chien, another of Father Marquette's camps; and after a few hours of driving through varied and beautiful landscapes, we arrived at La Crosse. Here is a city of 12,000 or 13,000 people, with electrically lit streets and blocks of buildings imposing enough and also architecturally beautiful enough to deserve respect in any city. It is an excellent city and we made good use of our allotted hour to wander about, although the weather was wetter than necessary.


Legends and Scenarios

We added several passengers to our list at La Crosse; among others an old gentleman who came with the first settlers to this northwestern region and was familiar with all parts of it. Forgively proud of that. He said--

“You can find an area between here and St. Paul that can award Hudson points. You will have Queen's Bluff - 200 meters high and as impressive a spectacle as you will find anywhere; and Trempeleau Island, which I believe is like no other island in America, for it is a huge mountain with steep slopes, full of Indian traditions and formerly full of rattlesnakes; If you capture the sun right there, you'll have a photo that will stay with you. And above Winona you will have beautiful prairies; and then come the Thousand Islands, too beautiful for everything; Green? Why have you never seen the foliage so green and so dense? it's like a thousand plush pillows floating in a mirror - when the water is still; and then the monstrous cliffs on either side of the river - jagged, jagged, swarthy - just the setting one desires; You always need a strong frame, you know, to emphasize and emphasize the fine points of a delicate picture.

The old gentleman also told us one or the other touching but not very powerful Indian legend.

After this foray into history, he returned to the crime scene and described it detail by detail from the Thousand Islands to São Paulo; -Ton-word, here and there, with such a smug air of "it's nothing, I can - anytime - do what I want to do" and dropping nice surprises of sinister eloquence at such reasonable intervals that I actually started to assume...

But no matter what I began to suspect. listen to him--

Ten miles beyond Winona we come to Fountain City, snuggling gently at the foot of cliffs that lift their terrible brows like Jupiter to the blue depths of heaven, and bathe them in maiden atmospheres that have known no other contact than the wings of angels . . .

"And next we glide some 20 miles through silvery waters, amidst glorious and wondrous aspects of nature that stir our hearts with wonder and adoration, and we reach Mount Vernon, 180 meters high, with romantic ruins of a once first class hotel deep in the Cloud shadows staining its dizzying heights - the only remnant of once thriving Mount Vernon, the city of the earliest days, now desolate and utterly deserted.

' And so we moved on. We passed Chimney Rock, a noble fountain 600 feet high; then, just before we land in Minnieska, our attention is drawn to an impressive headland rising over five hundred feet—the ideal pyramid of the mountain. Its conical shape - densely wooded surface girding its sides, and its cone-like apex make the viewer marvel at the workings of nature. From its dizzying heights, magnificent views of forests, streams, cliffs, hills and valleys below and for miles beyond come into focus. What grander riverscape can one imagine when we view this enchanting scenery from the highest point of these cliffs overlooking the valleys below? The primitive savagery and terrible solitude of these sublime creations of nature and the god of nature arouse feelings of boundless admiration, the memory of which can never be erased from memory if we look at them in any direction.

“Next we have the lion's head and the lion's head, carved by the hand of nature to adorn and rule the fair brook; and then the river widens, and an enchanting and splendid view of the valley before us suddenly appears; craggy hills covered from top to bottom with verdant forests, flat prairies holding in their bosom the fair Wabasha, the city of healing waters, the mighty foe of Bright's disease, and this grand representation of the works of nature, the incomparable Lake Pepin - this makes for an image upon which the tourist gaze can gaze for countless hours with insatiable and insatiable ecstasy.

“And so we slipped; to find, in due course, those majestic domes, the mighty Sugar Loaf, and the lofty Pedra da Maiden—to which romantic superstition gave a voice; and often, as the birch canoe glides past in the twilight, the somber rower fancies he hears the soft, sweet music of the long-dead Winona, darling of Indian music and history.

'So Frontenac comes in sight, delightful resort of weary summer tourists; then progressive Red Wing; and Diamond Bluff, awe-inspiring and overwhelming in its solitary grandeur; then Prescott and St. Croix; and soon we see the domes and bell towers of São Paulo explode overhead, huge young chief of the North marching with long strides of seven miles at the vanguard of progress, standard-bearer of the highest and newest civilization opening his beneficent way with the hatchet of commercial enterprise, sounding out the war-cry of Christian culture, tearing off the stinking fur of laziness and superstition to plant there the steam plow and the school - always in their front lines and lawlessness, ignorance, crime, despair; always the prison, the gallows and the pulpit flourish behind him; and always--'

"Have you ever traveled with a Panorama?"

"I have previously served in that capacity."

My suspicions were confirmed.

"Are you still traveling with him?"

“No, she is bedridden until the start of the fall season. I am now helping to prepare materials for a tourist guide, the St. Ludwig and St. Paul Packet Company will be launching this summer for the benefit of travelers transiting this line.

“When you were talking about Maiden's Rock, you were talking about the long-dead Winona, darling of Indian song and story. Is she the rock maid? And are the two linked by legends?

“Yes, and very tragic and painful. Perhaps the most famous, but also the most pathetic of all Mississippi legends.

We asked him to tell. He gave up his conversation and went back to his effortless lecture walk and rolled like this -

“A short distance above Lake City is a famous spot called Maiden's Rock, which is not only a scenic spot, but is also filled with romantic interests due to the event that gave it its name. Sioux Indians because of the excellent fishing and hunting practiced there and large numbers of them have always been found in this area. Among the families that used to come here was one that belonged to the Wabasha tribe. We-no-na (Firstborn) was the name of a girl who had sworn allegiance to belonging to the same gang. But her strict parents had promised their hand to another, a famous warrior, and insisted that she marry him. The day was set by her parents, much to her pain. She seemed to accept the suggestion and accompany them to the rock to pick flowers for the party. When she reached the rock, We-no-na ran to its summit and, standing on the edge, rebuked her parents below for their cruelty, then sang a dirge, threw herself over the chasm and smashed them on the rock below. '

'Did who tear... her parents?'


"Well, it was certainly a tragic affair, as you say. And on top of that, there's a surprising kind of dramatic surprise that I wasn't looking for. It's a marked improvement over the tattered form of Indian legend. There are fifty love jumps down the Mississippi from which disappointed Indian girls have jumped, but this is the only one of many that has turned out correctly and satisfactorily. What happened to Winona?

'She was quite shaken and shaken: but she composed herself and disappeared before the coroner reached the fatal spot; and 'Tissa said that she sought and married her true love, and wandered with him to a far country, where she lived happily ever after, her gentle spirit tempered and chastened by the romantic incident which had so early brought her to sweet guidance God's bereft love, one mother and one love. my father's protecting arm and cast them friendless upon the cold mercy of a blameworthy world.'

I was glad to hear the docent's description of the area as it helped me appreciate what I was seeing of it and allowed me to imagine what we lost to the night's intrusion.

As the speaker noted, this entire region is steeped in indigenous stories and traditions. But I reminded him that people usually just mention that fact - in a delicious way - and sensibly stop. Why? Because the impression remained that these stories were full of events and fantasy - a pleasant impression that would quickly dissipate as the stories were told. I showed him much of this sort of literature that I had collected, and he confessed that it was bad material, most deplorable rubbish; and I ventured to add that the legends which he himself related to us were of this nature, with the sole exception of the admirable story of Winona. He admitted these facts, but said that if I looked up Mr. Schoolcraft, published nearly fifty years ago, and now no doubt out of print, I should find in it some Indian inventions, far from barren of incident and imagination; that the stories at Hiawatha were of this nature and derived from Schoolcraft's book; and that there were others in the same book as Mr. Longfellow might have turned it into verse to good effect. For example, there was the legend of The Undying Head. He couldn't tell because many details had vanished from his memory; but he would recommend me to meet him and increase my respect for the Indian imagination. He said that this story and most of the others in the book were current among the Indians in that part of the Mississippi when he got here; and that the contributors to Schoolcraft's book took them straight from Indian lips and wrote them down with strict accuracy and without their own embellishment.

I found the book. The speaker was right. There are several legends on it that confirm his statement. I will offer two of them - The UndyingHead and Peboan and Seegwun, An Allegory of the Seasons. The latter is used in Hiawatha; but it is worth reading in its original form, if only to see how effective a genuine poem can be without the aid and grace of poetic measure and rhythm -


An old man sat alone in his hut by a frozen creek. It was the end of winter and their fire was almost out. He looked very old and very desolate. His hair was white with age and he was shaking in every joint. Day after day passed in solitude and he heard nothing but the roar of the storm sweeping the freshly fallen snow before it.

One day, when her fire was dying, a handsome young man approached her and entered her house. Her cheeks were flushed with the blood of youth, her eyes sparkled with excitement, and a smile curled her lips. He walked with light, quick steps. His forehead was tied with a wreath of sweet grass instead of a warrior's, and he carried a bouquet of flowers in his hand.

"Oh, my son," said the old man, "I'm glad to see you. Between. Come and tell me about your adventures and which foreign countries you have visited. let's spend the night together I will tell you about my exploits and exploits and what I can achieve. You will do the same and we will have fun.

Then he took from his pocket a curiously worked antique pipe, and after filling it with tobacco smoothed by a mixture of certain leaves, he handed it to his guest. When this ceremony was over, they began to speak.

"I blow out the air," said the old man, "and the flow stops. The water becomes rigid and hard like clear stone.'

'I'm breathing,' said the youth, 'and the flowers are blooming over the plain.'

"I shake my hair," replied the old man, "and the snow covers the earth. Leaves fall from the trees at my command and my breath washes them away. Birds rise from the water and fly to a distant land. Animals hide from my breath and the ground itself becomes rock hard.'

"I shake my locks," replied the youth, "and warm showers of gentle rain fall on the earth. Plants raise their heads from the ground, like children's eyes beaming with joy. My voice is reminiscent of birds. The heat of my breath opens the streams. Music fills the woods I walk through, and all nature rejoices.'

Finally the sun started to rise. A gentle warmth flooded the place. The old man's tongue fell silent. At the top of the hut, the thrush and the thrush began to sing. The brook began to murmur outside the door, and the scent of the herbs and flowers that grew wafted gently in the spring breeze.

Daylight revealed to the young man the character of his artist. When he looked at him, he had Peboan's icy look. {Footnote [Winter]} Currents began to flow from his eyes. As the sun rose, it became smaller and smaller and soon disintegrated completely. In place of its cabin fire nothing remains but the false symbol, {Footnote [The Arbutus at right.]} a small white flower edged with pink, which is one of the earliest species of northern plants.

The Immortal Head is quite a long story, but what it lacks in brevity it makes up for with strange concepts, fairytale wonders, variety of events, and energy of movement. {Footnote [See Appendix D.]}


speculation and conclusions

We arrived in St. Paul, at the head of the Mississippi Navigation, and there ended our 2000-mile voyage from New Orleans. It's about a ten-day steam voyage. The train is probably faster. I judge this because I know that the train from St. Louis to Hannibal - a distance of at least one hundred and twenty miles - takes seven hours. This is better than walking; unless someone is in a hurry.

As the time of year was very late when we were in New Orleans, the roses and magnolia blossoms were falling; but here in st. here in st. Paul, it seems we caught a common numbness from a glacier.

But I digress from my topic. St. Paul is a wonderful city. Built of solid blocks of honest brick and stone, it gives the impression that it wants to stay. His post office was established thirty-six years ago; That's the legend. Two wooden houses were built that year and the population expanded by several people. A recent issue of St. Paul, the Pioneer Press, gives some statistics which provide a vivid contrast to the old state of affairs, namely: population, autumn of that year (1882), 71,000; Number of letters processed in the first semester 1,209,387; number of houses built during three quarters of the year, 989; its cost, $3,186,000. The letter increase in the corresponding six months of the previous year was fifty percent. Last year new buildings added to the city cost over $4,500,000. São Paulo's strength lies in its commerce - I mean in its commerce. It's an industrial city, of course - like all cities in this region - but it's particularly strong in commerce. Last year his job trade was over $52,000,000.

It has a custom house and is building an expensive capitol building to replace the recently burned one - for it is the state capital. He has endless churches; and not the cheap, poor kind, but the kind the rich Protestant can muster, the kind the poor Irish 'employee girl' is happy to pick up. What a passion for building majestic churches the Irish contract girl has. This is good for our architecture, but we often enjoy its imposing fans without giving it a grateful thought. Instead of thinking that "every brick and stone in this beautiful building represents an ache or an ache and a handful of sweat and hours of great weariness contributed by the back and forehead and bones of poverty" is actually our habit of these things to forget altogether, and to glorify only the mighty temple itself, without giving a praiseworthy thought to its humble builder, whose rich heart and withering purse it symbolizes.

This is a land of libraries and schools. St. Paul has three public libraries containing about forty thousand books in all. It has one hundred and sixteen schools and pays over seventy thousand dollars a year in teachers' salaries.

There is an exceptionally good train station; it's so big, in fact, that at first it seemed a bit oversized as far as size is concerned; but after a few months it became clear that the error was clearly the opposite. The error must be corrected.

The city is on a hill; it is about two hundred meters above sea level. It is so high that you have a wide view of the river and the floodplain from its streets.

It really is a wonderful city and it's not finished yet. All the streets are clogged with building material, and that's being compacted into houses as quickly as possible to make room for more - as other people eagerly build once they can use the streets to pile up their bricks and stuff. In.

How solemn and beautiful is the thought that the first pioneer of civilization, the leader of civilization, is never the steamer, never the railroad, never the newspaper, never the Sabbath school, never the missionary - but always the whiskey! This is the case. Examine the story; you'll see. The missionary comes after the whiskey - I mean, he comes after the whiskey has already arrived; then comes the poor immigrant with axe, pickaxe and shotgun; then the merchant; then the different race; then the gambler, the desperate, the highwayman and all his sinful relatives of both sexes; and next the smart guy who bought an old endowment that covers the whole country; that brings the tribe of lawyers; The watchdog committee brings in the undertaker. The newspaper brings all these interests; the newspaper inaugurates politics and railways; All hands turn and build a church and a prison - and lo and behold, civilization is forever established on earth. But Whiskey, as you can see, was at the forefront of this charitable work. Its ever. It was like a foreigner - and excusable in a foreigner - to ignore this great truth and stray into astronomy to borrow a symbol. But if he were familiar with the facts, he would have said...

In the west, the Jug of Empire is making its way.

This great van arrived in the land that now occupies St. Paul in June 1837. Yes, that day Pierre Parrant, a Canadian, built the first cabin, opened his jug and began selling whiskey to the Indians. The result is before us.

Anything I can say about the novelty, vibrancy, rapid progress, wealth, intelligence, refined and solid architecture, and general style and energy of St. Paul will apply to its immediate neighbor Minneapolis—with the addition that the latter is the larger of the two cities.

These extraordinary cities were ten miles apart a few months ago, but they have been growing so fast that they may now be united and thrive under a single mayor. In any case, in five years there will be at least such a strong connection of buildings stretching between them, connecting them that an outsider cannot tell where one conjoined twin ends and the other begins. a population of two hundred and fifty thousand if they keep growing as they are growing now. Thus, this population center at the head of the Mississippi navigation will begin a numerical rivalry with the population center at its foot - New Orleans.

Minneapolis is on St. the Damage of the Falls as a spectacle or as a background for your photo.

Thirty grain mills annually produce two million barrels of the finest flour; twenty sawmills produce two hundred million feet of timber annually; then there are wool mills, cotton mills, paper and oil mills; and frames, nails, furniture, casks and other stuff, so to speak without number. The big flour mills here and in St. Paul use the "new method" and roll knead the wheat instead of grinding it.

16 railroad lines meet in Minneapolis, and 65 passenger trains arrive and depart daily. In this place, as in São Paulo, journalism thrives. There are three major daily newspapers here, ten weekly and three monthly.

There is a university with four hundred students - and better yet, their good efforts are not limited to shedding light on gender. There are sixteen public schools that cost $500,000 to build; there are six thousand students and one hundred and twenty-eight teachers. There are also seventy existing churches and many more that have been designed. Banks add capital of $3,000,000 and wholesale business in the city totals $50,000,000 per year.

There are several attractions in the vicinity of St. Paul and Minneapolis - Fort Snelling, a fort perched atop a 100-foot cliff; Minnehaha Falls, White-bear Lake and so on. The beautiful Minnehaha Falls are quite celebrated - they don't need a ride from me going that direction. The Urso Branco Lake is less known. It is a beautiful body of water and is used as a summer resort for the wealth and fashion of the state. It has its clubhouse and hotel with modern improvements and conveniences; their beautiful summer residences; and plenty of fishing, hunting and pleasant walks. There are a dozen small summer resorts near St. Paul and Minneapolis, but White-bearLake is the resort. Associated with White-bear Lake is a silliest Indian legend. I would resist the temptation to print it here if I could, but the task is beyond my limits. The guide names the keeper of the legend and praises his "light pen". So, without further comment or delay, let's throw the simple pen at the reader -


Every spring, for perhaps a century or as long as there has been a nation of Red Men, an island in the middle of Lake Urso Branco is visited by a group of Indians to produce maple sugar.

Tradition has it that many springs ago when there was a young warrior on this island, his chief's daughter was loved and courted, and it is also said that the maiden loved the warrior. He was repeatedly rejected by his parents, the old boss claimed that he was not brave, and his former wife called him a woman!

The sun had set again over the sugar bowl and the bright moon was rising high in the brilliant blue sky as the young warrior picked up his flute and went out alone to sing the story of his love once more, the gentle breeze gently moving the two colorful ones Feathers in his headdress, and as he climbed the trunk of a leaning tree, wet snow fell heavily from his feet. As he raised the flute to his lips, his blanket slipped off his shapely shoulders, falling partially onto the snow below. He began his strange, wild love song, but soon he felt himself cold, and as he reached for his blanket, an unseen hand laid it gently on his shoulders; it was the hand of his love, his guardian angel. She took her place beside him, and for the time being they were happy; for the Indian has a heart for love, and in that pride he is as noble as in his own freedom, which makes him a child of the forest. According to legend, a great white bear made its way south, perhaps thinking that the polar snows and grim winter lay far and wide. Eventually he approached the north shore of the lake that now bears his name, walked down the shore, and made his way silently through the deep, heavy snow towards the island. In the same spring, the lovers met. They had left their first retreat and were now sitting between the branches of a large elm tree that towered high above the lake. (The same tree still stands, arousing general curiosity and interest.) They spoke almost in whispers, for fear of being discovered, and now, in order to return to camp in time and thus avoid suspicion, they only set about returning when the girl uttered a cry which was heard in the camp, and sprang towards the brave youth, she threw up her blanket, but missed the direction of her foot and fell, taking the blanket with her and falling into the great arms of the wild monster . Immediately every man, woman and child of the gang was ashore, but all unarmed. Screams and wails rose from every mouth. What was to be done? Meanwhile, this wild white beast held the panting girl in its huge hands and caressed its precious prey as if used to such scenes. A deafening scream from the warrior-lover is heard above the screams of hundreds of his tribe, and as he runs to his tent, he seizes his trusty knife, almost in a single bound returning to the scene of fear and terror, he runs along the crooked tree up to the place where his treasure fell, and with the fury of a mad panther he sprang at his prey. The animal turned and with a swipe of its huge paw drove the lovers from heart to heart, but the next moment the warrior opened the crimson locks of death with a swing of his knife blade and the dying bear relaxed his grip.

That night there was no more sleep for band or lover, and as young and old danced over the carcass of the slain monster, another feather was bestowed upon the brave warrior, and before another moon set he had a living treasure, yours body was added. Heart. Her children played for many years on the fur of the white bear - from which the lake takes its name - and the girl and the brave long remembered the horrific scene and the rescue that made her one, for kiss-se-me-pa and Ka-go-ka could never forget her terrifying encounter with the huge monster that came so close to sending her to the happy hunting ground.

It's a confusing business. First she fell from the tree - she and the blanket; and the bear took her and stroked her - she and the blanket; then she fell back into the tree, leaving the blanket behind; meanwhile the lover goes home screaming war and comes back 'jump', climbs the tree, jumps on the bear, the girl jumps after him - apparently when she was up in the tree - she takes her place again in the together with the blanket Arms of the bear, the lover sticks his knife into the bear and saves - who, the blanket? No... none of that. You get excited and excited by that blanket, and then suddenly, just as a happy climax seems imminent, you're let down - nothing but the girl. Since no one is interested in the girl; it is not the salient feature of the legend. But there you are, and there you must stay; because if you live a thousand years, you'll never know who took the blanket. A dead man could invent a better legend than this. I don't mean a recently deceased either; I mean a man who's been dead for weeks.

We were now on our way home and in a few hours we were in this amazing Chicago - a city where they are always rubbing the lamp, looking for geniuses and inventing and achieving new impossibilities. It's useless for the casual visitor to try to keep up with Chicago—it's exceeding his prophecies faster than he can make them. She is always a novelty; 'Cause it's never the Chicago you saw when you last walked by. The Pennsylvania Road got us to New York without missing the scheduled ten minutes anywhere along the route; and there ended one of the most pleasant 5000-mile journeys I have ever had the privilege of undertaking.





It was nine o'clock on Thursday morning when the "Susie" left the Mississippi and entered the Old River, or what is now called the mouth of the Red. At upper left, a tide flowed through and over the levees of Chandler Plantation, the northernmost point of PointeCoupee Township. The water completely covered the site, although the dikes had given way shortly before. The herd had been herded into a large flat-bottomed boat where, without food, the animals huddled as we passed, waiting for a boat to tow them away. On the right bank of the river is Turnbull Island and on it is a large plantation that was once considered one of the most fertile in the state. Until then the water had allowed it to flow freely in the usual floods, but now large expanses of water only gave away where the fields were. Here and there the top of the protective dike could be seen, but most of it was under water.

The trees have gotten greener foliage since the water hit and the woods look bright and fresh, but that eye-pleasing aspect is offset by the endless wastage of water. Mile after mile goes by and it's nothing but trees sticking out of the water to their branches. Now and then a water turkey gets up and flies down the long avenue of silence. Sometimes a canoe flies out of the bushes and crosses the Red River on its way to the Mississippi, but the sad rowers never turn their heads to look at our boat. The breath of the boat is music in this twilight, affecting us in a very strange way. It is not the gloom of dense forests or dark caves, but a special kind of solemn silence and awe that compels us to recognize him. We passed two colored families on a raft tied to the willows this morning. They obviously belonged to the wealthy class, having with them a supply of food and three or four pigs. Their rafts were about six square meters and in front of an improvised shelter they laid earth on which they built their campfire.

The current down the Atchafalaya was very rapid, the Mississippi showing a preference in that direction, which need only be seen to strengthen the opinion of that river's desperate effort to find a shortcut to the Gulf. Small boats, skiffs, pirogues, etc. are highly sought after and many have been stolen by black pirates who take them where they will fetch the highest price. From what Mr.C. P. Ferguson, a planter near Red River Landing whose home just went under, there is much suffering behind that place. The blacks had given up thinking of a breach there, since the upper dike had stood so long, and when it arrived they were at its mercy. .

No one appreciates the sight of land until they've weathered a flood. It is neither expected nor sought at sea, but here, with flapping leaves, shadowy forest walkways, roofs barely visible, it is expected. In fact, a cemetery would be desirable if the hills were above water. The river here is only known because there is an opening in the trees and that's all. It is about sixty miles in latitude from Fort Adams on the left bank of the Mississippi to the bank of Rapides Parish. Much of it was cultivated, mainly along the Mississippi and downstream of the Red. When the actual Red River was entered, a strong current flowed right through it, following the same direction as the Mississippi.

After a few hours of driving, Black River was reached. As soon as you entered, the signs of suffering became visible. All the willows along the shore have been defoliated. A man your correspondent spoke to said he had a hundred and fifty cattle and a hundred pigs. At the first sign of water he began to herd them into the Avoyelles highlands fifty kilometers away, but lost fifty cattle and sixty pigs. The Black River is quite picturesque even though its banks are flooded. Dense vegetation of ash, oak, eucalyptus and walnut trees makes the banks almost impenetrable, and where an avenue can be seen between the trees, only the vague outlines of distant trunks can be made out in the twilight.

A few miles upstream the water was eight feet deep along the banks and the roofs of the huts could be seen on all sides, still resisting the strong current. Here and there a historical site was surrounded by logs that formed the core of a possible future island.

To save coal, since it was impossible to touch this fuel during the expedition, a pile of wood was looked for. A canoe, skilfully rowed by a young man, rounded a headland and at its prow sat a clear-faced girl of fifteen, with beautiful black eyes and a modest demeanor. The boy asked for a piece of paper, which was thrown to him, and the couple pushed their small boat into the boat's swell.

Soon a little girl, certainly no more than twelve, was rowing in the smallest canoe, steering it with the skill of an old traveller. The little girl looked more like an Indian than a white child, and she laughed when asked if she was scared. She grew up in the Apirogo and could go anywhere. She went to gather willow leaves for safekeeping and pointed to a nearby house where the water was three inches deep in the ground. At the back door was anchored a raft about thirty square feet, with a sort of fence built over it, and in it were about sixteen cows and twenty pigs. The family made no complaints other than running out of supplies and promptly brought a supply of lumber to an apartment.

From that point to the Mississippi there is no land over water for fifteen miles, and to the west there is naught but the flood of the river for thirty-five miles. Black River was up 1{three quarters} of an inch on Thursday the 23rd and was still up in the evening. As we progress, river dwellings become more common, but they're still miles away. Almost all are deserted and the outhouses have floated. To add to the gloom, almost every living thing seems to have disappeared, and neither the whistle of a bird nor the bark of a squirrel can be heard in this solitude. Sometimes a grumpy Gar will toss its tail in the air and disappear into the river, but beyond that all is still—the stillness of dissolution. Now a perfectly whitewashed chicken coop floats down the river, then a collection of perfectly parted fence rails or a door and a bloated carcass, solemnly guarded by a pair of vultures, the only bird seen, feasting on the carcass as it carries them . together. A picture frame, in which there was a cheap lithograph of a swimming soldier on horseback, spoke of a chimney that had entered water and from which this ornament was taken.

As darkness fell, a spot was found at the edge of the forest, as it was not advisable to run, and the boat was moored to a tall eucalyptus tree for the night.

A beautiful quarter of the moon cast a pleasing light over the forest and river, creating an image that would make a delightful piece of landscape study if only an artist could capture it on his canvas. The engines had stopped moving, the escaping steam had stopped, and the enveloping silence had fallen over us, and what silence! limbs fall; but here nature was silent. The dark alcoves, these corridors in this cathedral make no sound, and even the ripple of the river disappears.

In daylight on Friday morning all hands were up and we started with Black. The morning was fair, and the river, which is extraordinarily straight, was clad in its finest clothes. The rose hips smelled delicious in the air and a few birds chirped happily on the bank. The trees were taller and the forest looked older than below. More fields were passed than near the mouth, but the picture was the same - smokehouses drifting in the pastures, black shacks anchored confusedly to some oaks, and the humble residence with only its eaves above the water showed. The sun rose in crimson splendor and the trees shimmered in their various shades of green. There is not an inch of land anywhere, and the water seems to get deeper and deeper as it reaches the branches of the tallest trees. Meanwhile, the neighboring pastures were being defoliated, showing how long people worked to gather this fodder for their livestock. An old man in a pirogue was asked how willow leaves suited his cattle. He stopped working and replied with an ominous shake of his head: "Well, sir, it's enough to keep the heat in their bodies and that's all we hope for, but it's tough on the pigs, especially on the small. They fall fast. But what can you do? That's all we have.

Thirty miles above the mouth of the Black River the waters stretch from Natchez, Mississippi, to the pine hills of Louisiana, a distance of seventy-three miles, and there is scarcely a point which is not ten feet under. The trend of the current up the Black is westward. So much so, in fact, that the waters of the Red River were urged towards the land of Calcasieu, and the waters of the Negro join the Red some fifteen miles above the confluence of the former, a thing which even the elders had never before known have seen. . Steam. The water we see now is all of Mississippi.

As far as Trinity, or rather Troy, which is a little further down, people have almost all moved away, the rest have enough for their present personal needs. However, their livestock suffer and die quickly as they are confined on rafts and the food they receive causes disease.

After a brief stop we set off and soon came to a stretch of open fields and densely scattered huts. More images of fear were seen here. In the houses, the prisoners had built scaffolding on boxes, where they put the furniture. The headboards of the bed were sawed off at the top since the ceiling was no more than five feet from the makeshift floor. The buildings looked very unsafe and threatened to float at every turn. Cattle stood motionless in the water near the houses. They didn't move from their seats, but patiently waited for help to come. The sight was harrowing, and the poor creatures will surely die if not rescued quickly. Cattle differ from horses in this special characteristic. A horse that cannot find relief will swim about in search of food, while an ox will stand still until it falls exhausted into the water and drowns.

At half past twelve a signal was given from a flatboat within the shoreline. As we walked around, we ran alongside and General York got on. He advocated reducing inventory and enthusiastically welcomed the Times-Democrat boat, saying there was a great need for it. He said the fear was not in the least exaggerated. The people were in a condition that was difficult to imagine. The water was so high that there was a great risk that their houses would be washed away. It had already risen so high that it was nearing the eaves, and when it reaches that point there is always the immediate danger of being washed away. When this happens there will be a great loss of life. The general spoke of the valiant work of many people trying to save their stocks, but he took that for a full twenty-five percent. had perished. Twenty-five hundred people had already received rations from Tróia on the Rio Negro, and he had raised large numbers of cattle, but a very large number remained and were in great need. The water was now eighteen inches higher than it had been in 1874, and there was no land between Vidalia and the Catahoula Hills.

At two o'clock the "Susie" reached Troy, sixty-five miles above the mouth of the Black River. Here the Rio Pequeno enters on the left; right behind the Ouachita and on the right the Tensas. These three rivers form the Rio Negro. Troy, or part of it, rests on and around three great Indian mountains of circular shape, rising about twelve feet above the present water. They are about 150 feet in diameter and spaced about 200 meters apart. The houses are all built between these hills, and are therefore all flooded on their floors to a depth of eighteen inches.

Built by Aboriginal people hundreds of years ago, these mounds are the only refuge for miles. When we arrived we found them full of cattle, all thin and barely able to stand. They were mixed, sheep, pigs, horses, mules and cattle. One of these mounds was used as a burial ground for many years, and today we saw weakened cows lying by the marble tombstones, contently chewing the cud after a meal of corn provided by General York. Here, as below, the remarkable skill of the women and girls in handling the smaller pirogues was noted. The children rowed in these finer trades with all the indifference of the adepts.

General York has set up a perfect system as far as relief goes. He makes a personal inspection of the place where he is asked, sees what needs to be done, and then promptly dispatches them on two chartered boats with flats to where the cattle are loaded and towed into the pine forests and uplands of Catahoula. . He has made Troy his headquarters, and even here the boats arrive to tend the cattle. Across the Little River, which branches off to Black's left, and between him and the Ouachita, lies the perilous city of Trinity. It is much lower than Tróia and the water is 2.5 meters high in the houses. A strong current runs through them, and it is noteworthy that not all of their houses have disappeared before then. The residents of Troy and Trinity have been taken care of, but some of their stock needs to be taken care of with food.

As soon as the "Susie" arrived in Troy, she was handed over to General York and made available to him to carry out the relief work more quickly. Almost all of her supplies were landed on one of the hills to relieve them, and she went down the river to relieve those below. At Tom Hooper's house, a few miles from Troy, a large dwelling was taken with about fifty head of cattle on board. The animals were fed and soon regained some strength. Today we go to Rio Pequeno, where the suffering is greatest.


Saturday evening, March 25th.

Under General York's direction, we went down the Black River very early to bring in as much stock as possible. A flat trailer was left at a central point downstream, and from there the men dragged it back to the end of the fields, collecting the animals wherever they found them. Seventeen heads were found in the attic of a liquor store, and after a passageway had been made, they were led into the apartment without difficulty. the water was half a meter on the ground. In one of the large rooms the native horses and cows crouched, while in the other the widow Taylor and her son sat on a scaffold raised from the floor. One or two shelters were floating around in the car, ready to be put into operation at any moment. As the dwelling was raised, the side of the house was cut off to get the animals out, and the cattle were herded aboard the boat. In this, as in all cases, General York asked if the family wished to go and informed them that Major Burke of The Times-Democrat had sent the "Susie" for that purpose. Woman. Taylor said she thanked Major Burke but would try to resist. The remarkable tenacity of the people here at home is incomprehensible. Immediately below, at a point sixteen miles from Troy, information was received that Mr. Tom Ellis was in danger and his family was implicated. We sailed there at once, and it was a sad picture. Looking out the half window to the left over the water was Mrs. Ellis, who is in poor health, while at the door stood her seven children, the eldest of fourteen. One side of the house was devoted to the farm animals, about twelve heads, in addition to the pigs. The family lived in the next room, the water reached five centimeters under the bed rail. The hearth was under water and cooking was done over the fire. The house threatened to collapse at any moment, it sank on one side, and indeed the building looked like a shell. As the boat turned, Mr. Ellis got into a dugout, and General York told him he had come to his relief; that the boat "The Times-Democrat" was at his service and his family would move back to the hills immediately, and on Monday a flat would withdraw their supplies as they would be occupied by then. Family was, Mr. Ellis didn't want to leave. He said he was considering waiting until Monday and risking his house collapsing. The children around the door looked perfectly content and didn't seem to care about the danger they were in. These are just two examples of many. After weeks of deprivation and suffering, people still cling to their homes and only leave when there is no space between the water and the roof to build scaffolding to support themselves. It seemed incomprehensible, but love for the old place prevailed over security.

After they left the Ellis house, the next location played was Oswaldplace. Here was plastered the flat next to the gin house where fifteen heads stood in the water; and yet while they were on scaffolds their heads were over the top of the entrance. It turned out to be impossible to remove them without cutting off part of the front; and soaxes were requested and a loophole was made. After much effort, the horses and mules were safely placed on the plain.

At each place we stop, three, four or more shelters always arrive, bringing information about the stock at other needy places. There is still a large amount left, which General York, working with unbridled energy, will land in the pine hills on Tuesday.

Along the Black River, the "Susie" was visited by dozens of farmers, whose stories echoed the grief and loss already heard. An old farmer who has lived on the river since 1844 said there had never been such an increase and he was content with more than a quarter of the lost stock. Luckily, people tended to their work supplies first, and if they could find it, horses and mules were put in a safe place. The ascent, which is still ongoing, and was two inches last night, forces her to take her to the hills; that is why General York's work is of such great value. From daylight to late at night he paces back and forth, encouraging with his kind words and directing what needs to be done with calm judgment. Along the river, an uncomfortable story is told about a certain merchant in New Orleans. It seems that planters have been dealing with this person for a number of years, and many of them have had scales on their hands. When the overcrowding hit, they wrote asking for coffee, food and indeed essentials. There was no reply to these letters, and others were written, and yet these old clients with submerged crops were not denied even what was necessary to survive. Needless to say, he is currently unpopular in Back River.

Mentioned as a refuge for people and cattle on the Rio Negro, the hills are in the parish of Catahoula, twenty-four miles from the Rio Negro.

After stocking the dwelling with cattle, we took on board T. S. Hooper's family, seven in number, who could no longer remain in their dwelling, and are now taking them to Little River in the hills.


Troy: March 27, 1882, noon.

The tide rises about three and a half inches here every twenty-four hours, and the rains are a contributing factor. General York now believes our efforts must be directed towards saving lives as rising waters have endangered many homes. We intend to cruise up the Tensas in a few minutes, then turn around and cruise down the Rio Negro to pick up families. There is a lack of steam transport here to meet the emergency. The General has three chartered boats with Flats in tow, but the demand for them to tow supplies is greater than they can easily supply. Everyone works day and night, and "Susie" rarely stays in one place for more than an hour. The surge has put Trinity in a dangerous situation and some of the homes are expected to float temporarily. Troy is slightly larger, but everyone is in the water. Reports came in that a woman and child were dragged here, floating two cabins. Its inhabitants are the same ones who refused to leave the day before yesterday. Nobody would believe in the absolute passivity of humans.

There is no news of the steamer 'Delia', which is said to have sunk in yesterday's storm on Lake Catahoula. He should have been here by now, but he wasn't. Even the correspondence here is very unreliable, and I'll ship it by boat for Natchez to deliver to you. It is impossible to get accurate data on past harvests etc. as those who know much about the subject have left and those who remain are not well versed in the production of this section.

General York wants me to say that the amount of rations previously sent should be doubled and sent out immediately. It is impossible to make any estimates as people flee to the hills, so rapid is the ascent. The residents here are in a state of excitement that can only be seen, and complete demoralization has set in.

If rations are withdrawn for a specific section here, there is no guarantee that they will be distributed, so everything must be sent to a Troys hub and the General will see to it that it is properly disposed of. He sent for a hundred tents, and if everyone goes to the hills that are moving now, two hundred are needed.



The condition of this prosperous lower Mississippi Valley immediately after and after the war was one of the most deplorable disastrous effects of the war. Not only was the fictional property of slaves rightfully destroyed, but much of the work that depended on slave labor was also destroyed or severely impaired, particularly the levee system.

Those who have not investigated the matter might expect that improvements as important as the construction and maintenance of the levees would be undertaken immediately by the various states. But what can the state do when people are subject to interest rates of between 18 and 30 percent and are also required to mortgage their crops at those rates before planting for the privilege of buying all your supplies at 100 percent. benefit?

It took little attention to make perfectly evident that control of the Mississippi, if undertaken, must be carried out by the national government and cannot be controlled by the states. The flow must be treated as a unit; its control cannot be embedded in a shared or separate management system.

The particularly affected states are also not authorized to take the necessary measures among themselves. Work must start upstream; at least as far as Cairo, if not beyond; and must be managed along the course of the river according to a uniform overall plan.

It takes no technical or scientific knowledge to understand the elements of the case, given a little time and attention to the matter, and when a Mississippi River Commission, like the existing Commission, has been formed of thoroughly able men from diverse walks of life , shouldn't it be suggested that your judgment should be accepted as conclusive in this case, inasmuch as any a priori theory of construction or control can be considered conclusive?

It must be remembered that on this council are General Gilmore, General Comstock, and General Suter of the United States Engineers; Professor Henry Mitchell (the most competent authority on the question of hydrography) of the United States Coastal Survey; B. B. Harrod, the State Engineer of Louisiana; Yes. B. Eads, whose success with Piers in New Orleans is a testament to his competence, and Judge Taylor of Indiana.

It would be presumptuous on the part of any man, however skillful, to challenge the verdict of such a council as this.

The method of improvement proposed by the Commission corresponds both to the results of engineering experience and to observations of nature whenever they meet our desires. Just as in nature the growth of trees and their tendency to fall along the slope and support the banks in some places guarantee a good channel depth and a certain degree of permanence, so in the engineer's project the use of wood and weeds and promoting forest growth are the main features. It is proposed to reduce the width as scrub dikes make them initially low but progressively taller as the river mud settles under their shelter, eventually tilting them back at the angle that willows are free to grow. There are many details in this work regarding the forms of these protective dikes, their arrangement to present a series of decantation basins, etc., which would only complicate the design to describe. Conduit works are not required on most of the river, but almost all banks on the concave side of the soles require maintenance against river wear and most of the opposite banks at critical points must be defended. this conservative object can generally be described as a panel work; and these too will be made largely of brushwood, woven into continuous mats, or woven into meshes of wire. This veneering process was used successfully on the Missouri River; and in some cases they have become so overgrown with silt and willow that they may be considered permanent. To protect these mats, rubble stones must be used in small quantities, and in some cases the treated slope between the upper and lower reaches must be more or less paved with stones.

Anyone who has been on the Rhine will have observed operations not unlike those just mentioned; and indeed most of the rivers in Europe, flowing between their own alluvial plains, required similar treatment in the interests of navigation and agriculture.

The dike is the culmination of the bank overlay, though not necessarily directly related. Can be set back a short distance from the inverted edge; but it is indeed the necessary parapet. The high flow and the low flow cannot be registered and obliged to unite in the excavation of a single permanent channel without having complete control over all phases; and even an abnormal rise must be prevented, as that would endanger the dike, and once in place behind the casing works would pull them out too.

Under the general principle that the local gradient of a river is the result and measure of the resistance of its bed, it is evident that a narrow and deep stream must have a smaller gradient, because it has a smaller area of ​​friction in proportion to its capacity; that is, less perimeter relative to cross-sectional area. The net effect of levees and housing stemming flood waters and recording all phases of flow is to deepen the channel and lower the slope. The first effect of dikes is to raise the surface; but this, in inducing a greater rate of flow, inevitably causes a widening of the section, and if this widening is prevented at the expense of the banks, the bottom must give way, and the shape of the stream must be improved to permit this flow with less increase. Actual experience of levees on the Mississippi has been favorable with no attempt to preserve the banks, and no one can doubt, on the basis of the evidence furnished in the Commission's reports, that the first levees were accompanied by embankments, should we now be completed have a river navigable at low tide and adjacent land safe from flooding.

Of course, it would be illogical to conclude that the restricted river can always reduce its flood gradient to make dikes unnecessary, but it is believed that by this lateral restriction the river as a channel can improve its shape so much that even these rare floods, which find ventilation through the simultaneous increase of many tributaries without destroying the normal level of elevation. That the real capacity of a canal throughout the alluvial plain depends on its operation during floods has often been shown, but this capacity does not include abnormal but recurring floods.

Projects to alleviate the Mississippi River flooding by creating new drains are not worth considering, since these sensational proposals were recommended only to irrational minds and have no support among engineers. If the river bed were cast iron vents for excess water might be a necessity; but as the ground gives way and the best way out is a single deep channel, since it realizes the smallest ratio of circumference to cross-sectional area, there could be no less philosophical treatment than the multiplication of escape routes.

The foregoing statement has attempted to summarize, in as limited a space as the importance of the subject would permit, the general elements of the problem and the general characteristics of the proposed method of improvement adopted by the Mississippi Commission.

The author cannot help feeling that it is rather presumptuous of him to present facts about an enterprise which requires the highest scientific ability; but it is a matter that concerns every citizen of the United States, and it is one of the methods of reconstruction that must be approved. It is a war claim that does not imply any private gain and no compensation except in one of the cases of war destruction that can be well redressed by the people of the whole country.


Boston: 14. April 1882.



As we near the end of our journey, I feel compelled to reiterate, before closing, what I consider to be one of the most remarkable traits of American national character; namely her exquisite sensibility and pain regarding everything said or written about her. Perhaps the most notable example of this is the effect the publication of Captain Basil Hall's Travels in North America has on almost all classes of readers. In fact it was a sort of moral earthquake, and the tremor it set in the nerves of the Republic from one end of the Union to the other had not yet ceased when I left the country in July, 1831, a few years after the shock .

I was in Cincinnati when these volumes were published, but did not receive a copy until July 1830. A bookseller I applied to told me he had a few copies before he understood the nature of the work, but once he knew, nothing could persuade him to sell another. Others of his profession, however, must have been less conscientious; for the book was read in town, village, town and village, steamer and mail-coach, and a sort of war-cry was uttered on every occasion, utterly unheard of in my memory.

A burning desire for approval and a subtle sensibility under reproach have always, I believe, been regarded as endearing traits; but the state into which the publication of Captain Hall's work has thrown the Republic plainly shows that these sentiments, when exaggerated, produce a weakness which amounts to stupidity.

It was totally surprising to hear men who had some discernment in other matters give their opinions on them. I have never heard of a case where the common sense normally found in national criticism has been so overthrown by passion. I am not talking about a lack of justice and a fair and liberal interpretation: these might hardly be expected. Other nations have been labeled insensitive, but Union citizens don't seem to have insensitivity; they shudder when a breeze blows on them unless it is flavored with flattery. It was not very surprising, then, that the Traveler's sharp and forceful remarks, which they knew would be heard, were met with anger. The extraordinary characteristics of the business were, first, the excess of rage into which they threw themselves; and secondly, the childishness of the inventions with which they tried to explain the severity with which they felt they were being treated.

Not content with declaring that the volumes contained not a word of truth from beginning to end (a statement I heard almost as often as it was mentioned), the whole country went to work to explain the reasons for the Captain Hall's visit to the United States to find out states. States and why he published his book.

I have heard it said with as much precision and solemnity as if the declaration had been conveyed through an official report, that Captain Hall had been sent by the British Government for the express purpose of observing England's growing admiration for the Government of the United States States, - - that he came by an order from the Treasury Department, and that he only objected in obedience to orders.

I don't take this as circle gossip; I am convinced that this is the belief of a significant part of the country. The conviction of this unique people is so deep that one cannot look at them without being admired, that they cannot admit the possibility that anyone would honestly and genuinely dislike anything about them or their country.

Many of the American Reviews are, I believe, well known in England; I need not therefore quote them here, but I sometimes wonder if they, none of them, ever thought of translating Obadiah's curse into Classical American; If they had done that by putting (he, BasilHall) in square brackets instead of (he, Obadiah), it would have saved them a lot of trouble.

I can scarcely describe the curiosity with which I sat to read these vast volumes; still less can I do justice to my amazement at its contents. To say that I did not come across an exaggerated statement throughout the work does not say enough. It's impossible for anyone familiar with the country to fail to see that Captain Hall was earnestly searching for things to admire and praise. When he praises, it is with obvious pleasure; and if he finds fault with it, it is with evident reluctance and moderation, unless purely patriotic motives urge him to state clearly what is for the good of his country.

Indeed, Captain Hall considered the country with the greatest possible advantage. Furnished, of course, with letters of introduction to the most eminent personages, and with the more influential recommendation of his own reputation, he was received from one end of the Union to the other in salon and booth style. He saw the land in all its glory and had little or no opportunity to judge it as homeless, unanointed, unhealed, with all its imperfections to the head, as my family and I have often done.

Captain Hall certainly had excellent opportunities to become acquainted with the form of government and the laws; and, moreover, to get the best oral commentary on it in conversation with the most respected citizens. He made excellent use of these opportunities; he found nothing important in her eyes that did not receive the kind of analytical attention that only a seasoned and philosophical traveler can give. This made his volumes extremely interesting and valuable; but I am deeply convinced that if a man of equal penetration visited the United States with no other means of familiarizing himself with the national character than with ordinary everyday life, he would form an infinitely smaller conception of the moral atmosphere of the United States would make land as Captain Hall seems to have done so; and the inner conviction in my opinion is strong, that if Captain Hall had not firmly restrained himself, he must have expressed an indignation far deeper than any he has uttered against many points of the American character with which he has it appears from other circumstances he was well known. His rule seems to have been to tell as much truth as would leave a proper impression on the minds of his readers in order to cause the least pain to the sensitive people he was writing about. He explains his own opinions and feelings and suggests that he has good reason to hold them; but he spares the Americans the bitterness that a detail of the circumstances would have produced.

If someone chooses to say that some perverse antipathy to twelve million strangers is the origin of my opinion, I have to endure it; and if the question were but idle speculation, I certainly should not face the insults I must suffer for having asked it. But it is not like that.

. . . . . . .

The frankness he expresses and evidently feels is either taken for irony or outright distrust; his reluctance to inflict pain on those from whom he has received kindness they dismiss with contempt as affectation, and though they must know in their own secret hearts how infinitely more are at his mercy than he has chosen to betray; they even pretend to themselves that he exaggerated the bad points of their character and institutions; whereas, in truth, he left her with a degree of tenderness that was quite appropriate to him but little deserved; while at the same time diligently expanding his earnings whenever he could find something cheap.



In a remote part of the north lived a man and his sister who had never seen a human being. Rarely, if ever, did the man have reason to leave the house; for since his needs called for food, he had only to go a little way from the hut and place his arrows with splinters in the ground at a certain point. She told her sister where they had been placed and went in search every morning and she never failed to find each one embedded in a stag's heart. All she had to do was drag them to the barracks and prepare their food. This is how she lived until she reached adulthood, when one day her brother, whose name was Iamo, said to her: “Sister, the time is coming when you will be sick. take my advice If you don't, it will probably be the cause of my death. Take the implements we use to light our fires. Move a little away from our lodge and make a separate fire. If you need food, I'll tell you where to find it. You have to cook for yourself and I will do it for me. If you are ill, do not attempt to approach the inn or bring any paraphernalia that you use. Make sure you always have the supplies you need strapped to your belt as you don't know when the time will come. As for me, I have to do my best.' His sister promised to obey whatever he said.

Shortly thereafter, her brother had reason to leave the house. She was alone in her hut, combing her hair. She had just unbuckled the belt to which the devices were attached when the event her brother had alluded to suddenly occurred. She ran out of the barracks, but in her haste forgot her belt. Afraid to go back, she spent some time thinking. Eventually she decided to go to the store and get it. Because, she thought, my brother isn't home and I'll just stay a moment to catch up with him. she came back She suddenly ran, grabbed him and was about to leave when her brother appeared. He knew what the problem was. 'Oh,' he said, 'I didn't tell you to be careful. But now you killed me." She wanted to leave, but her brother said to her, "What can you do there now? The accident happened. Enter and stay where you always were. And what will become of you? You killed me

He then laid aside his hunting gear and supplies, and shortly thereafter both of his feet began to turn black so that he could not move. Nevertheless, he instructed his sister where to place the arrows so that she always had something to eat. The inflammation continued to build up and has now reached her first rib; and he said, 'Sister, my end is near. You must do as I say. You see my medicine bag and my war staff strapped to it. It contains all my medicine, my war feathers and my paints of every color. As soon as the inflammation hits my chest, you will carry my war club. It's got a sharp point and you're going to cut my head off. When you're rid of my body, pick it up, put its neck in the pocket that you have to open at one end. Then hang it up in its old place. Don't forget my bow and arrows. One of the last ones you take to get food. I tie the rest in my pocket and then hang it up so I can look at the door. I will speak to you from time to time, but not often. Her sister again promised to obey.

In a short time her chest was affected. "Now," he said, "take the club and cut off my head." She was scared, but he told her to take heart. "Strike," he said, a smile on his face. Gathering up all her courage, she struck and severed the head. "Now," said the head, "sit me where I told you." And out of fear, she obeyed all his commands. Remaining in good spirits, he looked around the store as usual and ordered his sister to go to places he thought would get her the meat of the various animals she needed. One day the chief said: “The time is not far off when I will be freed from this situation and will have to go through many painful sufferings. So decides the upper cloak, and I must endure it all patiently.' In this situation we have to leave the head.

In a certain part of the country there was a village inhabited by a large and warlike band of Indians. In this village lived a family of ten young people - brothers. It was in the spring of the year when the youngest blacked out his face and fasted. His dreams were auspicious. After he finished his fast, he secretly went to fetch his brothers at night so that no one in the village could hear or discover which way they were going. Although their drumming could be heard, this happened frequently. After the usual formalities, he related how auspicious his dreams were and that he had called her to inquire if she would accompany him on a war trip. All answered yes. The eldest's third brother, known for his oddities, got up with his war club when his brother had finished talking and jumped to his feet. 'Yes,' he said, 'I will, and this is how I will treat those I will fight.' And he banged the post in the middle of the hut and let out a cry. The others spoke to him and said: 'Slow down, slow down, Mudjikewis, when you are in other people's houses.' So he sat down. Then they took turns picking up the drum, singing their songs and closing with a feast. The youngest told them not to whisper their intentions to their wives, but to prepare secretly for their journey. All promised obedience, and Mudjikewis was the first to say so.

The time of departure drew near. Orders were given to assemble on a certain night when they would depart immediately. Mudjikewis was loud in his demands for his loafers. His wife repeatedly asked him why. 'Besides,' she said, 'you're wearing a good pair.' 'Quick, quick,' he said, 'because you must know we're going on a war tour; so be quick.' With that, he revealed the secret. That night they met and left. Snow was on the ground and they traveled all night so others would not follow them. When morning came, the leader took snow and made a ball out of it, then threw it in the air and said, "So in a dream I saw snow falling, so that I could not be followed." And he told them to stay close together for fear of getting lost as the snow started falling in very large flakes. As they walked, they could only see each other with difficulty. The snow fell all day and into the next night, making it impossible to track them.

They had been out for several days and Mudjikewis was always at the back. One day he suddenly ran forward, gave o_saw-saw-quan_, {footnote [War-whoop.]} and struck a tree with his warclub, and it broke into pieces as if struck by lightning. "Brothers," he said. , 'Thus will I serve those against whom we shall fight.' The leader replied: 'Slowly, slowly, Mudjikewis, he whom I am leading you should not be taken lightly.' He fell back again, thinking to himself, "What! What! to whom is he taking us?' He was afraid and kept silent. Day by day they traveled until they came to a vast plain bordered by human bones fading in the sun. The leader spoke: "These are the bones of those who came before us. No one has ever returned to tell the sad tale of their fate.' Again Mudjikewis became restless and charged forward, uttering his usual shout. As he advanced towards a large rock towering above the ground, he hit it and it fell to pieces. "See, brothers," he said, "this is how I will treat those we shall fight." "Nevertheless," said the leader again; 'The one I lead you to is not like the rock.'

Mudjikewis withdrew thoughtfully, saying to himself, "I wonder who he's going to attack." and he was afraid. Even so, they continued to see the remains of ancient warriors who had been where they were going now, some of whom had returned to the place where they first saw the bones, beyond which no one had ever gone. At last they came to a rise, from which they clearly distinguished a mammoth sleeping on a distant mountain.

The distance between them was very large, but the size of the animal made it clearly visible. 'Here,' said the leader, 'I'll take you to him; This is where our troubles begin as he is an Amishemokwa and a Manito. It is he whom we cherish so dearly (i.e. wampum), to obtain it the warriors whose bones we saw sacrificed their lives. Don't be afraid: be male. We find him sleeping. Then the leader stepped forward and touched the belt on the animal's neck. "That," he said, "we must get. It contains wampum.” Then they asked the elder to try to put the girdle on the bear's head, which seemed fast asleep as he was not the least bit bothered by trying to get the girdle. All his efforts were in vain until he reached the next, youngest. He tried and the belt almost went over the monster's head, but he couldn't go any further. So the youngest and the leader made his attempt and succeeded. He put it on the elder's back and said, "Now we have to run," and they went. When one was tired from his weight, another relieved him. So they ran until they had passed the bones of all the ancient warriors and were a little behind when they turned and saw the beast slowly rising. He stayed for some time before losing his wampum. Soon they heard his mighty howl, which slowly filled the whole sky like distant thunder; and then they heard him speak, and say: 'Who can it be that dared steal my wampum? the earth is not so big that I cannot find it;' and he came down from the hill in pursuit. The earth trembled like a spasm with every jump he made. Soon he was approaching the party. However, they kept the belt, swapping it among themselves and encouraging one another; but he quickly caught up with her. "Brothers," said the leader, "when fasting, hasn't any of you ever dreamed of a friendly spirit that would help you as a protector?" Dead silence followed. 'Well,' he said, 'when I was fasting, I dreamed that I was in imminent danger of death, when I saw a little hut with smoke rising from the top. There lived an old man and I dreamed he was helping me; and have it checked soon,' he said, hurrying forward and giving that peculiar shriek and howl as if the sounds were coming from the depths of his stomach, and what is called chechudum. Come to a piece of high ground, lo! A shack came into view, smoke rising from the bus stop. This gave everyone new strength and they ran and entered. The leader spoke to the old man sitting in the hut and said: “Nemesho, help us; we claim your protection, for the great bear will kill us.' 'Sit down and eat, my grandchildren,' said the old man. "Who is a Big Manito?" he said. “There is no one but me; but let me see', and he opened the door of the hut, when, behold! at a short distance he saw the angry animal approaching with slow but powerful bounds. He closed the door. 'Yes,' he said, 'he really is a big manito: my grandchildren, you will be the cause of my losing my life; You asked for my protection and I gave it; So whatever happens, I will protect you. When the bear gets to the door, you have to go through the other door of the hut.” Then he put his hand on the side of the shop where he was sitting and took out a bag, which he opened. He took out two small black dogs and placed them in front of him. "I use that when I fight," he said; and he began to strike the sides of one of them with both hands, and it began to swell so that it soon filled the space with its bulk; and he had big strong teeth. When it reached its full size, it growled, and from that moment on, instinctively, it jumped out the door and found the bear, which with one more jump would have reached the barracks. A terrible struggle ensued. The sky vibrated with the howling of wild monsters. The remaining dog soon entered the field. The brothers initially followed the old man's advice and escaped through the opposite side of the hut. They hadn't gone far when they heard the dying cry of one of the dogs, and then the other. 'Well,' said the leader, 'the old man will share your fate: then run; he will soon be behind us. They set out with renewed vigour, having been fed by the old man: but the bear soon appeared and again approached them rapidly. Once again the leader asked the brothers if there was nothing they could do to ensure his safety. Everyone was silent. The leader rushed forward and did as before. “I dreamed,” he exclaimed, “that an old man, who was a little man, was helping me in great need; Soon we will see your accommodation. They took courage and went on. After going a short distance, they saw old Manito's hut. They entered immediately and claimed his protection, telling him there was a manito behind them. The old man put the meat in front of her and said, "Eat! Who is a handle? besides me there is no manito; there is none I fear;' and the earth shook as the monster advanced. The old man opened the door and saw him coming. Slowly he closed them and said, 'Yes, my grandchildren, you have brought me trouble.' He grabbed his medicine bag, pulled out his little black stone war clubs, and told the youths to run to the other side of the barracks. As he handled the clubs, they grew very large, and the old man was walking just as the bear reached the door. Then it struck it with one of the clubs and broke into pieces; the bear stumbled. Tried again with the other war club, which also broke, but the bear fell unconscious. Every punch the old man landed rang out like thunder, and the bear's howl echoed until it filled the sky.

When they looked back, the youngsters had already walked a distance. You could see the bear recovering from the beating. First he moved his paws, and soon they saw him stand up. The old man shared the fate of the former, for now they heard his screams as he was ripped to pieces. Once again the monster chased her and quickly caught up with her. Not yet discouraged, the young men set out; but the bear was now so near that the leader once more took refuge in his brothers, but they could do nothing. 'Well,' he said, 'my dreams are about to end; He walked on and invoked his guardian spirit to help him. “Once,” he said, “I dreamed that I came under great pressure to a large lake, on the shore of which stood a canoe, partially out of water, with ten oars ready. Fear not,' he cried, 'we shall have it soon.' And so it was, as he had said. When they got to the lake, they saw the ten-oared canoe and immediately got into it. They barely reached the middle of the lake when they saw the bear reach its shore. It stood on its hind legs and looked around. Then he went into the water; then he lost his footing, turned around, and began circling the lake. Meanwhile, the group stayed in the middle to watch their movements. He traveled far and wide until he finally reached the place from which he had set out. Then he began to drink the water and they saw the rapid current approaching his open mouth. The leader encouraged her to row hard to the other shore. When they were close to land the current increased so much that they were drawn to it and all their efforts to reach it were in vain.

Then the leader spoke again, urging them to face their fate with courage. 'Now is the time, Mudjikewis,' he said, 'to show your skill. Take courage and sit on the bow of the canoe; and as it approaches your mouth, experience the effect your club will have on your head.' He obeyed and prepared to strike; while the leader who was steering steered the canoe into the monster's open mouth.

They advanced quickly and were about to enter his mouth when Mudjikewis hit him with a massive blow to the head and o_saw-saw-quan_. The bear's limbs buckled under him and he fell, stunned from the blow. But before Mudjikewis could renew it, the monster emptied all the water it had drunk with a force that hurled the canoe at great speed to the opposite bank. They immediately left the canoe, fled again, and continued until they were completely exhausted. The ground shook again and soon they saw the monster behind them. Their spirits dropped and they felt discouraged. The leader tried to cheer them up with deeds and words; and once more he asked if they thought of nothing, or could do nothing to save them; and as before, all fell silent. 'Then,' he said, 'this is the last time I can invoke my guardian spirit. If we don't succeed now, our fate is decided.' He rushed forward, calling upon his spirit with great earnestness, and uttered the cry. "We will soon arrive," he said to his brothers, "at the place where my last guardian spirit dwells. I have great confidence in him. No, do not be afraid, or fear will seize your limbs. We'll reach your cabin soon. Run, run,” he shouted.

Now, to return to Iamo, he had spent the whole time in the same condition we had left him in, his head directing his sister to look for food, where to put the magic arrows, and talking at long intervals . One day the sister saw the head's eyes light up as if with joy. Finally he spoke. 'Oh, sister,' he said, 'what a miserable distress you have caused to put me in! Soon, very soon, a group of young people will come and ask for my help; but unfortunately! How can I give what I would have loved to do? However, take two darts and place them where you are used to placing the others and have the meat prepped and cooked before they arrive. If you hear them coming and calling my name, go out there and say, "Ouch! it has been a long time since an accident happened to him. I was the cause of this. If they do approach, invite them in and introduce them to meat. And now you must strictly follow my instructions. If the bear is near, go out and find him. You will take my medicine bag, bow and arrow and my head. Then you must unbuckle the pouch and spread before you my paints of every color, my war eagle feathers, my tufts of dry hair, and whatever else it contains. When the bear approaches, pick up all of those items one by one and say to him, "This is my late brother's ink," and so on with all the other items, throwing each one as far as you can. The virtues it contains will make you falter; and to complete your destruction you will take my head and also throw it as far as you can, crying out, "Behold, this is my dead brother's head." He will then fall unconscious. By this time the boys will have eaten and you will call them for help. Then you must cut the carcass into pieces, yea, into small pieces, and scatter them to the four winds; for if you don't, he will rise again.' She promised to do everything as he said. She had just time to prepare the meat when the leader's voice was heard asking for Iamo's help. The woman came out and said what her brother had said. But the war party, closely pursued, reached the barracks. She invited them in and laid the meat out for them. As they ate, they heard the bears approaching. After untying the medicine bag and picking her head up, she was ready for his approach. When he appeared she did as she was told; and before she had used up her paints and feathers, the bear began to stagger, but still approached the woman. She said as she was told, then grabbed her head and threw it as far as she could. As he rolled on the ground, blood spurted from his nose and mouth, aroused by the head's feelings at that horrific scene. The staggering bear soon fell with a mighty crash. Then she called for help, and the young people, having partially recovered their strength and courage, ran away.

Mudjikewis approached, let out a yell, and hit him on the head. He repeated this until it looked like a bunch of brains while the others cut him into very small pieces as quickly as possible, which they then scattered in all directions. As they worked and looked around where they had thrown the meat, they saw, wonderful to behold, little black bears coming out and spinning in all directions, just as you see them today. The land was soon littered with these black beasts. And it was from this monster that today's bear race derived its origin.

Having thus defeated their pursuer, they returned to their hut. Meanwhile, the woman gathered the utensils she used and her head and put them back in her bag. But the head stopped talking, probably because of the great effort it took to defeat the monster.

Having spent so much time and having traversed so much land in their escape, the young men gave up the idea of ​​returning to their own country, and as game was plentiful they decided to remain where they were now. One day they went a little way from the hut to hunt and left the wampum with the woman. They were very successful and enjoyed the way all young people talk and joke when they are alone. One of them spoke up and said, “We have this whole sport to ourselves; Let's ask our sister if she won't allow us to bring her head here since she's still alive. It can be a joy to hear us speak and to be in our company. In the meantime, bring some food to our sister. They went and asked for the head. She told them to get him and they would take him to their hunting grounds and try to amuse him, but only sometimes would they see his eyes light up with joy. One day, while busy in their camp, they were unexpectedly attacked by unknown Indians. The battle was hotly contested and bloody; Many of their enemies were killed, but it was still thirty to one. The youths fought desperately until they were all killed. The attacking party then retreated to high ground to gather their men and count the missing and dead. One of his young men had run away and, trying to catch up, had reached the spot where the head was hanging. Seeing that she alone maintained her vivacity, he watched her for a while in fear and surprise. However, he took it and opened the bag and was very pleased to see the beautiful feathers, one of which he placed on his head.

She began to swing gracefully over him until he caught up with her group as he threw his head and bag on the ground telling her how he found her and that the bag was full of paint and feathers. Everyone looked at her head and mocked her. Several young men took the paint and painted themselves, and one of the participants took his head by the hair and said:

'Look, you ugly thing, and see your images on the faces of the warriors.'

But the feathers were so beautiful that many put them on their heads. So again they bore all kinds of humiliations on their heads, for which they were repaid with the death of the bearers of the feathers. So the chief ordered them to throw away everything except the head. 'We'll see,' he said, 'when we get home what we can do with it. Let's try to get him to close his eyes."

When they got home they took it to City Hall and hung it in front of the fire, tying it up with sodden rawhide that would shrink and harden in the fire. "We'll see then," they said, "if we can't get him to turn a blind eye."

Meanwhile, the sister waited several days for the young people to bring the head; until finally she got impatient and went looking for him. The youths, whom she found some distance apart, were dead and covered in wounds. Several other bodies were scattered around them in different directions. She looked for the head and the bag, but they were nowhere to be found. She raised her voice and cried, and her face turned black. Then she went in different directions until she reached the spot where the head had been removed. Then she found the magic bow and arrows where youth, not knowing their qualities, had left them. Thinking to herself that she would find her brother's head, she came to a rise where she saw some of his ink and quills. She placed these carefully and hung them on the branch of a tree until her return.

At dusk she reached the first hut in a very large village. Here she used a spell common among Native Americans when they wished a friendly welcome. When she spoke to the old man and woman in the shop, she was greeted warmly. She made her mission known. The old man promised to help her and told her that the head was hung in front of the council fire and that the village chiefs with their young men were constantly watching over it. The former are considered manitos. She said she just wanted to see him and would be glad if she could get to the barracks door. She knew she didn't have enough strength to take him by force. "Come with me," said the Indian, "I'll take you there." They went and sat by the door. The town hall was full of warriors, who amused themselves with games and constantly made a fire to incense their heads, as they said, for dried meat. : 'Oh! There are! It's starting to feel the effects of the smoke." The sister looked up from the door and her eyes met her brother's and tears rolled down her cheeks. "Well," said the boss, "I thought we would finally get you to do something. See! look at this - shedding tears," he said to those around him; and everyone laughed and told their jokes about it. The chief, looking around and watching the woman, said after a while to the man who came with her: "Who do you have there? I have never seen this woman in our village before." .She is staying in my accommodation and has asked me to allow her to come with me to this place.' In the middle of the shop sat one of those young men who are always brave and like to show off and brag to others."Well," he said, "I've seen her often, and I go to this inn almost every night to give her the." Everyone else laughed and continued their games, the young man not knowing that he was wasting a lie on the woman who thus escaped.

She returned to the man's quarters and immediately departed for her own country. Arriving at the spot where the bodies of her adoptive brothers lay, she folded them with her feet facing east. Then she took an ax she had and threw it in the air and cried, 'Brothers, get out from under him or he will fall on you.' She repeated this three times, and the third time all the brothers stood up.

Mudjikewis began rubbing his eyes and stretching. 'Why,' he said, 'I overslept.' 'No,' said one of the others, 'don't you know that we were all killed and that our sister brought us to life?' The youths took the corpses of their enemies and burned them. Soon after, the woman was looking for women for her in a distant country, they didn't know where to go; but she returned with ten young men, which she gave to the ten young men, beginning with the eldest. Mudjikewis paced, concerned that he might not get what he liked. But he was not disappointed, for she fell on his lot. And they matched well, because she was a sorceress. They then all moved into a very large hut, and their sister told them that the women now had to take turns going to their brother's head every night and trying to untie him. All said they would like to do this. The eldest made the first attempt, and with a hasty sound she fled through the air.

At daybreak she returned. She was unsuccessful as she only managed to untie one of the knots. Everyone took turns regularly and each managed to untie only one knot at a time. But when the youngest left, she started work as soon as she got to the store; Although it was always occupied, the Indians could never see anyone. It was now ten nights since the smoke had not risen but filled the barracks and driven them away. That last night, everyone was driven out and the young woman carried her head.

The youth and the sister heard the young woman rise into the air and she said, 'Prepare our brother's body.' And as soon as they heard it, they went to a small hut where Iamo's black body lay. His sister began to cut off the part of the neck from which the neck had been cut off. She cut so deep it bled; and the others who were present rubbed the body and applied medicine, dispelling the darkness. Meanwhile, the one who brought it had the neck of the head cut off and also let it bleed.

As soon as she arrived they placed her close to the body and with the help of medicines and various other means managed to restore Iamo to all her former beauty and masculinity. Everyone was rejoicing at the happy ending to their troubles and was happily spending some time together when Iamo said, "Now I'm going to share the wampum," and he took the belt that contained it and began with the eldest, which he shared equally gave away . . . the youngest had the richest and finest, while the lower part of the girdle contained the richest and rarest.

They were told that once they died and were brought back to life, they were no longer mortals but spirits, and were given various positions in the unseen world. However, only the location of Mudjikewis was mentioned. He should drive the west wind, hence mostly called Kebeyun, to stay there forever. They were commanded to do good to the inhabitants of the land and to forget their sufferings in obtaining the wampum and to give as generously as they could. And they were also commanded that it should also be kept holy by them; Those grains or shells with a pale hue would symbolize peace, while those with a darker hue would lead to evil and war.

The spirits then flew amidst songs and cries to their respective abodes on high; while Iamo descended into the deep with her sister Iamoqua.

Unless otherwise stated, the text of this article is based onWikipedia article "Life in Mississippi"or any other Wikipedia page in any other language used under the TermsGNU Free Documentation License; or in researchJasonianand friends. See Popular Arts and CultureCopyright ©perceive.

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