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uncouth figures of the hoosiers, as they strode about their waggons, puffing clouds of smoke from pipes, and even cigars, reminded me of the tall cavaliers and muleteers lounging about a Spanish bivouac. They (the hoosiers, not cavaliers) had sold the wheat they had collected through the country, to the corn-factors and speculators of Chicago, for six York shillings per bushel, realizing some two or three shillings per bushel more than they had paid for the same; and the empty sacks being piled upon the waggons, formed convenient beds, upon which some half-dozen hoosiers were already wrapped in the arms of Morpheus. Some of the rses were tall and well-shaped, combining blood, bone, and sinew enough for English carriage horses. I noticed particularly a span, or team, of well-matched roans, snorting about one of the waggons, till the Hoosier thrust his head from under the cover, and regarding the horses with a sour countenance, gravely asked them what they wanted-what they meant by keeping up" such a 'tarnal blowin' about the waggon?" The horses, thus rebuked, backed, till the Hoosier pulled in his head, and then they advanced, and began snorting and pawing as before. This roused the Hoosier's indignation, and this time his head, shoulders, and half his lank body, was thrust forth from under the waggon cloth: "Haven't ye had your oats?" he exclaimed, shaking his fist at the steeds-" a bushel between ye! and what do'ee want, zay?" The horses had recoiled as before; but now the off-wheeler advanced, stretched out his neck and stared at his master, while he shook himself so violently, that the heavy saddle (in which the Hoosiers ride like the French postilions) and harness rattled again. "Ho, is that all you want?" said the Hoosier, and speaking to a
boy at one of the fires, he bade him unsaddle the horse, and let him roll to h-l if he pleased. //
Here, as at Detroit, I am compelled to buy newspapers; though three or four of the eastern papers were in the bar-keeper's possession, he refused to lend them. Those bar-keepers are singular fish, full of airs; without the responsibility of landlord, they affect a superiority of tone, and dole out mint juleps and brandy-and-water, &c. as if they were conferring signal favours most reluctantly upon their very humble servants the boarders.
Here I record once more the obligation I am under to the Young Men's Association, for, sans ceremonie, I entered their reading-rooms several times during my sejour at Chicago, and read newspapers and periodicals to my heart's content. Chicago also furnishes a circulating library, where strangers will find the recent publications and standard works, novels, &c. of the day. Looking over books one day, I was rather amused to hear a tall, gaunt farmer from a distant prairie, ask for the last part of " Charles O'Malley, the Irish Dragoon." The man of books demurred; it was out he could not find it. "Well, I'll wait, and put up my team till you find farmer. "I'll not face the girls The Irish Dragoon."
him," quoth the at home without
The demand for "Ten Thousand a Year" was likewise made in my hearing, if not ten thousand times, often enough to shew how anxiously those works are looked for in the West.
Wisconsin-Racine-Falling house-Excursion-Unwelcome Visitor-Fox River-Luckless publican-Mount Pleasant Postoffice-Yankee pedlar-The Prairie Farms-New Englanders— Black Hawk Grove-Janesville-Rock River-Madison-Morrison's hotel-The Tomato feast-Rifle shooting-The Governor of Wisconsin-His equipage-Rare occurrence-Shooting en
"THIS is the first time I have set foot on American ground without being hailed by runners, as the hotel 'porters are called, and still there seems to be a very goodly hotel beside the pillared façade of yon courthouse," said I to myself, as the boat shoved off back again to the steam-boat, leaving myself and baggage on the deserted plank wharf of Racine.
Leaving my portmanteau and carpet-bag to the tender mercies of the winds and grasshoppers, I shouldered my umbrella, and marched up to the hotel; entered the bar, found the bar-keeper, and the boarders, the family, and all inmates seated at a long table, enjoying a most luxurious tea.
"Walk in, sir," said the landlady.
Madam," said I, "my baggage must walk first.” What is a man without baggage, without change of raiment, without wherewithal to make his exterior agreeable to himself, and amiable to the ladies?
"Jonathan! Ira! Thomas!" cried the landlady, turning from right to left, and from left to right, with un
expected vivacity, "fly down, and fetch this up gentleman's baggage.'
I like Racine; it is one of the prettiest little spots, without pretensions, I have seen for a long, long time. Standing on high banks, or bluffs, above the lake (Michigan), its little white villas and frame houses, backed with the dark green forest trees, the wild ravine, and the river, said to be the only inducement held out by the landowners to settlers who have got up the little town. Land is a drug everywhere; but water, and water power, has a mystic charm that draws men together in this country. The river I soon discovered to be a stagnant pool, or succession of stagnant pools, separated from the lake by a goodly barrier of sand, mayhap earth and rock. When this bar is cut away, and a convenient harbour established-what then? Then, sirs, Racine will become a place of note-the root, as its name betokens, of a flourishing city, rivalling Chicago, and its rival Milwakee.
Having secured a good bed-room I retired, and was roused from my slumbers at cock-crow in the morning, by a loud crash. "Pshaw!" said I, "'tis a dream." Anon, I slept, and dreamed of earthquakes. Bang-crash! Holloa! here is a pretty kettle of fish -the house is falling. I started from my bed, and in truth I had need-for, lo, and behold! there lay a vast piece of the ceiling upon my pillow, another, and yet another upon the floor, another wedge of the wall leaned upon the table, and, half smothered with dust, I pulled on my clothes and rushed to the door. The door was fast-that is, the upper and under sill held it firmly shut. I had some thoughts of leaping from the window. Heaven help your head-all the arms of Briareus could not open it one inch. The noise I
created soon brought the maids to my assistance. Bless the women!-they are ever and aye at hand to extricate me. I found the house filled with dust, and lime, and dirt. The reason was obvious; the house had been built upon wooden blocks, or piles; the new landlord conceived his hotel would stand all the better for being built on rocks and stone. He hires two or three desperate Irishmen, arms them with crowbars, sends them under his cellar, with instructions how to proceed; they begin by knocking away the blocks, and it is only by a miracle that the house remains in an upright position. The landlord blames the Irishmen, the Irishmen blame the whisky; and in the midst of creaking sounds, mortar, and brick-dust, sawdust, &c., we sit down to breakfast.
Rambling through the woods, I gathered some flowers new to me, and conceived the idea of forming a herbal of Wisconsin flowers. The tract through which I proceeded was little frequented by sportsmen, birds and squirrels exhibiting a tameness not at all "shocking to me." In fact, if I had carried a gun with me, I question if I should have shot or banged at the red, grey, and black squirrels, racing up and down the beech-trees, or quietly nipping off the beechnuts and acorns, the falling of which produced a sound like the pattering of rain, which, save and except the shrill chirp of the grasshopper, and scream of the redheaded woodpecker, disturbed the solemn silence of the woods.
Sometimes I paused beside a wild ravine, filled with tangle and brushwood, and thought of the tales I had heard of painters, or catamounts, or lynxes, springing forth from their dens, and rending the unwary, limb from limb. A more likely spot for such small deer is