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enlivened her face with a shiner, and running to my Nimrod, gave him a hunch of bread, which he munched, saying it was very sticky; and when he had finished it, told him I had begged it on his account. He was very wroth, but I told him we were quits now; for if he had begged melons for me, I had begged bread for him.
Prairieville-Forest road-Norwegians - Milwaukee-The rival editors-German settlers-The gunsmith-Norwegian songsMy keys-Lebanon slope-Pigeon shooting-Captain of the Yankee-Bravoes-Storm-Doctor and his lady-Voyage to Makinaw-Man drowned-Apathy of the men of Makinaw— Indian missionary-Voyage to Green Bay.
PRAIRIEVILLE: here we halt for the night, and find the public-house crammed full of emigrants and residents-great politicians, great wranglers. Leaving those disputants in the bar-room, I was fortunate enough to get into a single bed in a long bed-room, in which beds for seventeen were laid down. Woke up from my slumbers at a very early hour by the deep concert of the snorers in every direction, and found the fog boiling into the room through the open windows. In this place, and, indeed, all along the little Fox river, the fever and ague may be traced. Breakfast upon the game we brought in ourselves, and pursue our journey through a densely-wooded country. We have left the pure air of the prairie behind us, and now we progress very slowly over the worst road I have ever travelled-in fact, the trees have been just cut down and pulled aside, and the stumps, rocks, and ruts, render it almost impossible for the horses to tug the waggon along. This being Sunday, we have put up our guns and rifles, and walk before the waggon,
perspiring at every pore and panting for breath. From time to time we pass groups of Norwegians, who have emigrated from their own forests to locate themselves in the only difficult and impracticable belt of woods in Wisconsin; they have already made some little clearing, but I think their labour and time quite thrown away. At last, Dieu merci, we catch a glimpse of the blue waters of Lake Michigan, at the end of the long avenue of dismal woods and infamous roads through which we have been wending our way for hours from Prairieville to Milwaukee. Even in that short route of fifteen miles I suffered more from heat and fatigue than I have yet experienced in America ; for what with the closeness of the air, absence of water, and--but here we are at last, crossing a good wooden bridge into quite a gay looking town-white stoops, sign boards over stores, houses and villas perched on high banks and cheerful aspects—our waggon proudly drawn up at the door of the Milwaukee House. We are invited to enter and prepare for dinner by one host, while the other (for there are a pair of them) recognises one of our party as an old friend, and invites him into the bar.
From the stoop in front of our hotel, we look down upon the river-the lake a la distance the wooded point, on which white villas already begin to risethe marsh, through which a road has been made and lots conveyed-and the main street. In another direction we see the light-house, the episcopal church, the presbyterian and methodist chapels, and sundry gay white cottages rising out of a scrubby sort of jungle which grows on the high bluff above the lake. Altogether, it is not an unpleasing picture; and when we reflect that seven years ago there was only a single
farm-house in the place and a few Pottowattomie wigwams, we must acknowledge that the Yankees possess the locomotive power of getting towns along faster than the Canadians, and to better purpose.
Many of the store-keepers, clerks, and single-men lodgers, editors of newspapers, and clericos, board at our house: certes, the charge for bed-room, board, breakfast, dinner, tea, and supper is not very exorbitant-only six York shillings a-day, and everything in very good style. Finding my host civil, though not at all communicative, I resolved to stay a few days at Milwaukee, to watch the progress of men and things in this singular place. It is no easy matter to pick information out of the denizens here; in other countries, a man may pick up some knowledge, even at a table d'hôte; but here every man seems wide awake-all eyes, no ears, hands and mouth generally full of his own affairs-his meals are dispatched with impatient haste, bordering on voracity—after meals, he swingeth upon his chair, squirting tobacco juice, hands thrust deeply in pockets, or whittling toothpicks he swallows a gin-sling, and flings out of the door-he's gone, like a streak of oiled lightning. Whosoever thinks he receives information from one of these slick gentlemen, I say, has been, to use their own singular expression, "sucked"-left clean as an empty egg-shell, for the rule is to gammon a stranger" who persists in asking questions, telling him something "awfully musical," and receiving as much of his plain history and adventures as he is ass enough to communicate.
The rival editors of the Whig and Loco-foco papers board in the house, and lash one another daily in the columns of their papers. One has inserted a para
graph, saying, "that his rival has not paid his board bills;" the other demands the author of that base calumny, and openly declares his intention to shoot the author of it on the spot, whenever he finds him, and goes about armed for this purpose. Matters in this position, it is somewhat amusing to see the editors sitting balanced on their chairs in the bar, grinning defiance at each other; one picking his teeth and squirting tobacco-juice and blood on the floor; the other, fiercely whiffing a cigar with his heels in the air; while mutual friends and admirers lounge round, reading their lucubrations and red-hot articles aloud, from the columns of their favourite papers. D
Several Germans have built houses and settled down here. One of them, a very intelligent, hard-working fellow, was a gunsmith; he had plenty to do, repairing old rifles and fowling-pieces. As he did a small job for me, I generally spent half-an-hour in his shop every day, inspecting the singular armoury, old French, Dutch, German, and English guns and pistols, for every man westward-bound thinks he must bring a rifle or fowling-piece with him, which presently gets out of repair, and is sent unto my friend, the gunsmith, and either forgotten, or "left till called for" in his custody.
I found the Indians generally loafing about his house; they seemed to take particular delight in looking at the guns, and watching the gunsmith as he laboured at the bench. Same time, he assured me those Indians, (Pottawattomies, from whom the town lands were bought,) were never troublesome; they preferred the ground in front of his house because it was the highest spot about the town, (except our hotel,) from which they could look down upon the