Transcriber's Note: Inconsistent hyphenation in the original document has been preserved. Obvious typographical errors have been corrected; please see the end of the text for details.
The Pastime Series—Issued monthly. By subscription, $8.00 per annum. No. 108. June, 1893, Entered at Chicago P. O. as second-class matter.
LAIRD & LEE, Publishers
Their Observations and Triumphs
With Sixty Illustrations
LAIRD & LEE. Publishers
COPYRIGHT, 1893, BY LAIRD & LEE
(ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)
To UNCLE JEREMIAH AND FAMILY And to All those Interested in the WORLD'S COLUMBIAN EXPOSITION This Book Is Respectfully Dedicated
CHAPTER PAGE I. On the Way 7 II. Now for the Fair 20 III. Around the World for Twenty Cents 33 IV. Escort and Body Guard 38 V. Columbia Avenue 51 VI. Dancers of the Great City 63 VII. On Board the "Illinois" 76 VIII. La Rabida 87 IX. The Plaisance Prophecy 102 X. Plaisance Society 113 XI. A Startling Mystery 128 XII. Beauty Show 137 XIII. Sunday and Conscience 148 XIV. Sight-seeing Galore 163 XV. A Terrible Experience 174 XVI. To Buy a Dog 183 XVII. Cairo Street 194 XVIII. Uncle in the Lock-up 205 XIX. The Lost Found 220
UNCLE JEREMIAH AND FAMILY
AT THE GREAT FAIR
ON THE WAY
"Apples, pears, bananas, sweet oranges, five cents apiece."
"Last call for dinner in the dining car."
"Ah! this is comfortable," soliloquised Uncle Jeremiah. "All the nations of the earth contribute to our appetites, and millions are spent to transport us comfortably. Going to the World's Fair with Mary's two children, me and Sarah. Say, stranger, what time do you think we'll arrive?"
"In about two hours if we are on time, but so many people are crowding on, that I doubt if we can get there before six o'clock."
Uncle Jeremiah had addressed his question to a good-natured appearing young man just behind him who had been ostensibly reading a newspaper but really covertly watching with admiring glances Uncle Jeremiah's grand-daughter Fanny as she replaced the fragments of a lunch back into the basket. Uncle was in a communicative mood for he had just disposed of his share of one of Aunt Sarah's admirable lunches and squared himself round, as he called it, to talk with some one. Johnny was busy investigating a hole in the seat cushion and Aunt Sarah had laid her head against the window frame and was calmly viewing the flying scenery outside. The two seats turned together were occupied by Uncle Jeremiah and his family and a number of bundles and valises.
"Yes, this is a great country; and, as I have lived in it nigh onto sixty year and fit for it without seeing much of it but what I tramped over with Sherman to the sea, I concluded to take the whole world in at once by spending a month or so at the Exposition. I told Sarah we'd take Mary's two children along, for I didn't like to leave them so long with our hired help. Then they'd be company for us. Mary was our girl, but she's dead now, and so Johnny and Fanny must take her place. Me and Sarah has worked hard for many a year, and we're going to enjoy this trip ef it takes more 'n a dozen of my best Jerseys to foot the bill. We've got the best farm and Jersey herd in Park County, and I've made up my mind that we can afford it."
The stranger laid down his paper and seemed much interested in the talking farmer and his family. Fanny had stowed the lunch basket away under the seat and wearily laid her head against the back of the seat, unconscious of the respectful admiration bestowed upon her from the gentleman in conversation with her grandfather. Fanny was a very pretty miss, just reaching womanhood, and unsullied in thought or conduct by the usual desire for masculine attention. Her face was warm and full, and her light wavy hair reached her shoulders and turned up at the ends around her neck.
Johnny was too industrious in his varied investigations to notice much that was occurring about him. His keen eyes just a little turned inward gave him the appearance of shrewdness that well befitted him. He always investigated what he did not understand and the World's Fair opened a field directly in his line.
"As I was saying. I've brought along enough money to get everything we want and to enjoy life for once. I guess we can go back home then contented and have enough to talk about for the rest of our natural lives."
Uncle's new-found friend was evidently a well-to-do commercial traveler and there was something about him that won Uncle's heart at once. It was not long till Uncle had relieved his mind of all that bore on it about himself or his neighbors or his church. Uncle was a deacon and he had many original ideas about the social and religious economics of the world. The only pride he had was in his Jerseys and in Fanny, and his only ambition was to be considered a kind of Socrates by his neighbors.
The commercial traveler did not have much of a chance to talk, if he had been so inclined, but he listened with very respectful attention to the odd observations of Uncle Jeremiah. Uncle had not talked loud, but across the aisle were two young men who seemed to be listening more intently than befitted their opportunity to hear. They were faultlessly attired, and frequently exchanged observations with each other in low tones, covertly watching Uncle and his family as if they had become very interesting personages. Presently one moved to a seat a little nearer, and both apparently became absorbed in their own affairs.
"But maybe I should beg pardon, Mister. I've been talking to you all this time without introducing myself. I know it isn't just the thing, but I'm not used to sassiety. I'm Jeremiah Jones, and what is your name?"
"My name is Hezekiah Moses," said the traveling man, solemnly.
"Ah," remarked Uncle, warmly, "that sounds a right smart like a Jew name, but you don't look like a Jew. I Judge your parents were very good people."
"They were very pious people, and, of course, brought me up in the way I should go. You have quite a charming family."
"There now, I knew you had good judgments and I am glad for you to say so. Of course me and Sarah are too old to be charming and Johnny is too bad, but I take no exceptions to Fanny."
Mr. Moses thoroughly agreed with Uncle on the latter observation.
"Johnny is all right but only last week he was training one of my Jersey calves to walk a plank like he saw the lions In the circus and it fell off and broke its neck and that was not a month after it had took the prize at our county fair. And, after I had took him atween my knees and talked to him about his responsibility to his Creator, he didn't wait two days till he cut off the colt's tail so as to make it bobbed like the British and it kicked and broke its leg on the cross bar. But I do believe he's got the making of a man in him after all. I think he must be like his father, though I never seed him. You see Mary she run off to marry some man she fell in with when she went off to school, and I forbid her letting him come to see her, for you see he might be some city fortune hunter; but Mary said she knowed, and so one day when we went to town somebody drove up to our house in a buggy and I never seed her any more. I didn't think she ought to take that way to somebody I didn't know. I must have been hard hearted them days, but somehow I couldn't help it. Sarah she went to see them lots of times over in the big town across in Ohio but I couldn't leave Indiana and when Johnny was born Mary she died a senden good words to me but I couldn't help it."
The old man drew his sleeve across his eyes and continued, "You see Mary's man was all broke down, and he told Sarah to take the children and he'd go wandering around the world for a year or two. Mary was the only child we had living, and when she died I wanted to move away from where she used to play when she was a little girl, so in two years I got a good offer, and I sold out. All four of us went to see my sister in the city, and somehow didn't tell nobody where we were going, but I said I thought we would go on to California. Well, I found a stock farm in Illinois, and after a while we went back to our old home visiting, and the old neighbors told us a nice looking man had come soon after we left, and was nearly distracted to find us gone. He advertised and spent lots of money trying to find us, but at last went away broken-hearted. Then I sent Sarah right to Ohio, but Mary's man had sold his big clothing store, and some said he had gone to California, and others said one place and another, but he couldn't be found. He never came back to our old home place, nor to his old home place, for I've kept a writing ever since. Somehow he had to give us up. It broke me all down, and I've been doing all I could for the children. Fanny is getting a good education, for our town has got to be a big one now, and has a fine college in it; but I can't educate Johnny. He's always experimenting and doing damage. Howsumever, he's a great trader, and I'm going to give him a start some time. Why, I gave him a shote a month ago, and I don't believe there is a sled or a jack-knife in the hull neighborhood any more, for Johnny's got them in our garret, but the pig is gone.
"But say, Mr. Moses, you haven't said a word about your business yet, and I've been a bragging about my farm and stock for half an hour."
"Don't worry about that, Mr. Jones. I haven't got much to tell. I'm a traveling salesman for a Chicago house; and, like you, I intend to rest up for a couple of weeks and see the Fair. I am happy to say that I stand well with my firm, and I am to be taken in as the junior member soon. The head of the firm has been the friend to whom I owe all my advancement and advantage. I hope sometime to settle down into a quiet business life and enjoy a home once more. Your talk takes me back to my old Indiana home and its comforts."
"Ah, that's it, Mr. Moses, it is plain your parents have given your mind a good mold. Here, newsboy, just bring over to me and Mr. Moses two of your best five cent cigars and we'll go into the smoker and have a smoke. I don't never smoke cigars, but these are extra days, and we can afford the luxuries."
The idea seemed to amuse Mr. Moses, but he complied with the request of the friendly farmer, and, with a good-natured wink at the newsboy, took out a cigar and deftly stuck it into his pocket as he pulled out one of his own.
Uncle could find no change and without more ado took out a roll of bills from his breast pocket. The smallest bill was ten dollars but neither Mr. Moses nor the boy could change it. One of the young men across the aisle volunteered to help them out of the difficulty and counted the change into Uncle's hand. Just then the newsboy's heel struck Mr. Moses' foot sharply and there was a quick response. The change went into one of Uncle's trouser's pockets and the roll of bills into the other, when he and Mr. Moses went into the smoking car and were soon behind a cloud of smoke.
The newsboy came in presently and there were a few whispered words between him and Mr. Moses.
"Apples, pears, bananas, sweet oranges, here, five cents apiece."
There was no sale for anything eatable in the smoker just then and the boy returned to the rear cars.
"You didn't notice when the gentleman across the aisle made change for you that you got flim-flamed did you?"
"That I got what?" said Uncle.
"That you got flim-flamed. Did you count your change when that young gent gave it to you? This is a money making occasion you know and the gentry are on the make."
"Of course I counted the money. Nobody gets me that way."
"I'll bet a cigar that you haven't got over seven dollars of that ten dollar bill."
"It's a go," said Uncle as he thrust his hand into his pocket and drew out a handfull of coins. He laid his hat between his knees and counted the money into it. "Six dollars, six fifty, six seventy-five, seven, seven ten, seven fifteen."
"Ah, I've not got it all out of my pocket," and Uncle's hand dived hastily into his trousers but came out empty. A look of consternation came into his face as he looked at the laughing salesman.
"Well, by Jove! I don't often lose my bets, but here, Uncle, is the cigar, for I've lost the bet. You have fifteen cents more than seven dollars. I didn't watch that gent's counting as well as I thought," and Uncle mechanically took the cigar he had so generously given to Mr. Moses a few minutes before.
"It's worth it, Mr. Moses, it's worth it. I don't begrudge the fellow for his two dollars and six bits. I feel like I ought to go in and thank him for the lesson."
"Cigars, gentlemen, best Havanas. Here, old man, is the rest uv yer change. The chappie back there wanted to kick, but he couldn't stand me look. I don't 'low no working uv me customers dat way. You see I wur next to him in a minute."
"Ah, my boy, nobody can talk to me any more about dishonorable newsboys. You keep that money. I won't have a cent of it. I'm willin' to pay fer my teaching. And here's a dollar more for you to go right back there and supply my folks with whatever eating things you've got that they want.
"You see, Mr. Moses, I know before I get through with them Arabs and Esquimaux, and Indians and African savages at Chicago I'm going to know a good deal more than I do now, and I never in my life got something for nothing, and it's too late for me to begin now."
The first suburban station of the great World's Fair city was now passed and Mr. Moses said he must return to his seat and get his grip ready for leaving the train at the next station. He gave Uncle a card on which was printed:
William Warner With The Clarendon Company Wholesale Clothiers
As he did so, he said, "Now Uncle, remember never to give a chance to pickpockets or confidence men, watch your change and take directions only from those you know to be responsible officers; and if at any time you need a friend, don't fail to call at the office of the firm and present that card."
They returned to their seats and a frown came over Mr. Moses' face when he saw the companion of the disreputable money changer glibly talking to Aunt Sarah and Fanny. The young man bowed himself away very gracefully and went to his seat as Uncle and Mr. Moses came up.
Uncle gave Mr. Moses a hearty hand shake and God bless you as he started for the car door; but, to the astonishment of Mr. Moses Aunt Sarah and Fanny looked scornfully at him and did not in any way acknowledge his parting salute.
"Baggage, have your baggage checked?"
"Well, what a town Chicago is, anyhow. Here they've sent a man to take care of our baggage. Now, I call that all-fired hospital. Get the checks quick, Sarah."
"What hotel?" Inquired the agent.
"We're not overly pertiklar. I was talkin' some with a young fellow back here who said he was a hotel agent; but I don't mind if I go where you say. How high are your rates?"
"The Auditorium—as high as you want to go; the Northern, fourteen stories, and the Palmer, out of sight."
"Well, Mister, we don't want to go out of sight, and we don't know how high we do want to go so I guess you'd better make it fourteen stories."
The agent took the checks, gave him some tickets and passed on.
In a few minutes a uniformed young man came along and said:
"Mr. Jones, I'd like very much to book you for one of our down-town hotels. Every convenience, gas, baths, heat, and all the modern appliances; near car lines that land you right at the Exposition gates. Best place in the city. Take you right there free of cost."
"But how high is it?"
"Only one dollar a day apiece and up as high as you want to go."
"Ah, that's it, young man. I see your mother taught you United States. You see the baggage man said fourteen stories and I didn't understand the city way of charging."
"Shall I book you?"
"For how long?"
"O we may stay a month. May be less."
"Say two weeks."
"Here's your ticket with coupons. Fifty-six dollars please."
"But I haven't seen the place nor got the money's worth. I'm Deacon Jones and I always pay my debts."
"No difference, it's the rules."
"Mr. Moses said not to deal only with responsible officers. How may I be sure you are a responsible officer?"
"I'll prove it by the conductor."
The conductor was called and Uncle Jeremiah paid over his money and received his printed directions.
"Where are your baggage checks?"
"O, I've already attended to that. I'll see to that myself."
The hotel agent left and the two young men across the aisle watched with satisfaction as Uncle folded his big roll of bills and deposited them in his left trouser's pocket.
"There it is—there is the White City," some one yelled, and the people rose from their seats and looked at the most favored spot of the earth as long as it could be seen. Houses flew by, stations were passed; the placid lake, flecked with many boats, lapped the shore as with some friendly greeting. The great buildings of Chicago's business center appeared in view, and the end of their journey was near at hand.
"Chicago, all out!"
"Listen at 'em," said Uncle, "they've got our money and now they're goin' to put us off. But I guess we must be there."
All the people were standing as the magic words were yelled in at the front door by the brakeman. Uncle Jeremiah had not been as excited since he heard of the fall of Richmond.
With a valise, packed almost to bursting, in each hand, Uncle was preparing to do whatever he saw others do. The two young men from across the aisle had also arisen and pressed into the crowd. One was directly in front of Uncle, and the one who had made the false change had crowded himself between Uncle and Aunt Sarah. The train slowed up as the depot was reached, and all crowded toward the door. There was a low chirrup, and Uncle was being roughly jostled about by the two men, when there was a cry of "pickpockets," and the train-boy was seen swinging on to the wrist of one of the men behind Uncle and yelling "let 'er go; let 'er go."
The man held a wallet in his hand, but with a curse he dropped it, tore loose from the boy and rushed through the door, disappearing in the crowd.
"Here, Mister, is yer wad. Yer wants ter keep yer eye skinned fur them fellers."
Uncle warmly thanked the boy but he received this second lesson with a little less complacency than the first. Following the crowd to the outside he presented his tickets to the first hack driver he came to.
"You are pretty well supplied, aren't you dad. You have the right of way to two hotels. Which do you want?"
"Take us to the one I've paid fer."
"Which is that?"
"Well, I guess it must be the down town hotel."
"They are both down hotels. I see your baggage is booked for the Northern and I suppose you want to follow your baggage."
Without more ado all four were placed into the uncomfortably crowded hack and shortly unloaded at the Northern. An obsequious porter ushered them into the office and Uncle was astounded with a demand for twenty dollars down. "But I've paid," Uncle protested. The clerk looked at his card and assured him he was at the wrong hotel. It was now dark and Uncle concluded to pay the money and start out anew the next day. They were shown to their rooms by way of the elevator and more dead than alive, to use Aunt Sarah's expression, they flung themselves into chairs and Johnny yelled, "This is Chicago, what I've heard them talk about." They went to the windows and could not repress a shudder as they saw the street lights so far below. Aunt Sarah did not see how she could sleep so high up, but when their evening meal was done and the events of the day discussed they became as sleepy and they felt as safe as they did with the whippoorwill singing in the orchard and the hogs grunting lazily in the lane.
NOW FOR THE FAIR
The next morning Uncle Jeremiah was up as usual at four o'clock, chafing like a caged stable horse that could not get out to fresh air and the tempting pastures.
"These confounded people won't let a fellow have his meals only at their own convenience, and the feelin' of earthquakes keeps a growing on me every time I look down out of that window. I've got to quit it." Aunt Sarah shared the same feeling, but John and Fanny decided that it was not half as high as they wanted to go before they left Chicago.
In due time the city awoke, with a rush and a roar, to the business of the day. Uncle found the office of the boarding house syndicate a few doors away, and the family were soon safely housed in more congenial quarters.
"The Fair, Father, the Fair! When will we ever get to see the Fair? I just heard a man say that it's ten o'clock, and here we are a-fussing about in the rooms and missin' the sights."
Johnny was impatient, but not long after, the family hailed a passing street car and were on their way at last.
"Twenty cents is the fare for four of you."
The conductor rang the fares and passed on. The new scenes of the city absorbed their attention, but Uncle soon began shifting in his seat, and at last whispered to Aunt Sarah: "Say, I noticed that we went clear 'round a hull lot of blocks, and it 'pears ter me that we air goin' right backards to where we ought to go, or else this 'ere town has got two parts a blamed sight alike."
"Say, Mister, I've paid fare once on this tarnal machine. How often do you have to pay—every once in a while?"
"Are you riding around for your health, or do you want to go somewhere?"
"That's it, Mister, exactly. I wish you'd drive this riding machine at once to the World's Fair. You've got it pasted on the front of your engine, and yet you're takin' us right back past where we got on."
"Sure, old man, you're all right, only you got on a car going the wrong way, and so went on around the loop. But you're all right now. I'll land you at the grounds; but twenty cents, please."
Twenty cents were forthcoming, and shortly the family found themselves in a maze of booths, people, streets and vehicles. It was not difficult to follow the crowd, and in a few minutes the amazed family were walking the streets of the great White City.
"Guides, World's Fair Guides!"
Uncle stopped a moment as a boy planted himself in front of him, thus calling him from the amazement of the wonderful city down to the realities of the earth.
"Guides, Mister, only twenty-five cents. This little book contains all you want to know about yonder lovely city—for the price of one small quarter you have a key to all the doors of the Fair—with this book no Columbian guard can call you down—you are free and independent of everybody with this book in your hands—it's only a quarter, remember, only twenty-five cents! Illustrated, tells you everything."
"That's it Sarah, let's buy one of these books and go home. It tells us every thing and it is illustrated. What's the use of wearing our eyes out and our feet off when we can learn it all out of this feller's book. I feel all done up on the first sight. It's too big a job fer me to undertake. I didn't calculate on such a big show."
"No, my boy. I wish I could accommodate ye but you see I ain't got no time on the grounds for reading or I'd a brought the Scriptures along. I judge it prophesied this when it spoke of signs and wonders appearing."
"Only a quarter, sir."
Uncle shook his head, but Fanny produced a quarter and took one of the books.
Near by was a booth where camp stools were to be leased.
"That is what Sarah and I will need. These young ones can walk all day." Directly Johnny had a folded camp chair in each hand and they went on following the crowd toward the Administration building. They did not go inside as most of the people did but continued on around till the basin between the Peristyle and the Administration building appeared in view. Through the columns of the Peristyle at the far end of the basin they could see the blue lake meeting the summer clouds; above them rose the dome of the Administration building till it seemed almost to pierce the clouds. They were looking upon a scene never before excelled in grandeur by the art of man. The basin was filled with gondolas gracefully plied by Venetians, launches moving both by steam and by electricity and gay sailboats of every description. In the far end of the basin was to be seen the Statue of the Republic sixty-five feet tall and standing forty feet above the water on its great stone foundation. The MacMonnies fountain was roaring with the fall of water and the heroic figures of Columbia enthroned in her triumphal barge guided by Time and heralded by Fame was outlined against the Agricultural building. From the dome of that massive structure, exhibiting the produce of our land, Diana with her drawn bow seemed to be aiming directly at them.
"Let us sit down," said Aunt, as the first wave of the wonderful vision passed over them.
"I feel more like saying, let us kneel down," said Uncle.
Fanny read from the front of the Administration building the inscriptions there about Columbus and his work.
High over the north entrance were the words:
"Columbus received from Ferdinand and Isabel, Sovereigns of Spain, a commission as Admiral of an exploring fleet, April 30, 1492."
Over the east entrance she read:
"Columbus sailed from Palos with three small vessels, Aug. 3, and landed on one of the Bahama Islands."
What common-place facts so simply stated! But they brought forth thoughts and emotions greater and greater of the wonderful consequences to mankind.
"Grandpa, you see how we have come here to learn of the world and its progress to this greatness."
"Do not speak to me now, child; I want to think," and Uncle bowed his head in his hands.
No one said anything for a few minutes, when Johnny startled them by yelling "Gorgeous! gorgeous!"
"Of course it's gorgeous," said Fanny; "but you needn't yell that way. You must not forget that you are not in our barnyard now."
Johnny subsided. He had expressed his opinion, and he was ready to move on.
Uncle arose and said: "I guess we are able to go to the next scene now, and I warn you all that the word gorgeous is as high as we will be allowed to go in expressing ourselves, no matter what we see. There has got to be a limit somewhere, and I judge that gorgeous is far enough."
"Is that the statyure of Mrs. Columbus?" asked Johnny.
"No, it's the Statue of the Republic."
"I declare I've been watching them things on that Statue of the Republic, and I really believe they're men instead of being pigeons."
"They are men," said Fanny. "No wonder that they look so little, for the book here says her forefinger is four feet long. Look at that figure on the top of the big building yonder. That Is Diana, the huntress. How tall do you think she is?"
"Nine feet," said Johnny, promptly.
"Life-size," said Uncle.
"Both wrong. The book says she is eighteen feet tall."
"Well, well, my girl, this looks like a dream, but it ain't, is it?"
There was a band-stand in front of them, and beyond that was a massive building, which Fanny found was Machinery hall. As they went on to it, Fanny read to them that it covered over twenty acres of ground and cost nearly a million and a half dollars. As they entered the door they saw one awful mass of moving machinery.
Uncle said he thought they had better sit down again and think awhile before venturing further, but Johnny urged them to come on so they could see something and do their thinking afterward.
They came to one of the doors of the power house, and Uncle sat down.
"I can't stand this pressure," he said, "I tell you I've got to sit down and look at this thing." At his left he could see into the power house nearly five hundred feet long and full from one end to the other of great boilers with the red fires glowing underneath.
On the right he looked across the hall where the great power wheel was flying and saw five hundred feet of whirling wheels, while before him there was an unobstructed view of machines but little short of a thousand feet.
They went over to the middle aisle and on past the larger machinery.
"Why Grandma, you are walking by me with your eyes shut. What's the matter?"
"Well you see, Fanny, it's too much to look at so many millions of things so I just shut my eyes and think. What's the difference if I do miss a few thousand sights."
"That's so, Fanny, we aint got used to looking yet. It looks like they had everything a working here but my old shaving horse. I wouldn't be surprised any minute to see that it had walked away from the woodshed and come over to show itself off in this here exposition. I believe I'll go over and offer them my old barlow knife. It's a score of years old but it'll bore a hole for a hame string all right yet."
They came to the place where they were making watches with the complex, automatic machinery that defies the eye to detect its movements, then there was the sewing machine with a man riding it like a bicycle and sewing carpet in strips a hundred feet long. There were knitting machines and clothing machines, and carving and molding machines, and type-setting machines, till the day was spent and they had seen only how much there was to see.
"It takes taste to paint pictures, and art to make sculpture, and mind to write books, and genius to carry on war, but I tell you, my girl," said Uncle, "that it takes brains to make machinery."
Passing through a south door they went on around Machinery hall. Some working men were passing by singly or in twos and threes. One had a wrench in one hand and a queer looking bottle in the other. The ludicrous side of the exposition now began to appear. Nothing can become so great that amusing things will not occur. They are the relaxations of mental life. One of the guards saw the man and his bottle.
"Hi, there," he shouted. The workman came to a stop, the bottle being ostensibly concealed behind his apron. "What are you bringing beer into machinery hall for?"
"I ain't got any beer," replied the workman.
"Don't tell me any such stuff. You've got a bottle under your apron."
"No I haven't," and the culprit as if by accident let a portion of the bottle drop into sight. The guard made a grab for it and held it up before the seemingly confused workman.
"I'll just take you to the station-house," declared the officer. "What did you mean by telling me you had no beer?"
"It ain't beer. It's—it's—ginger ale."
The prisoner was lying. That was evident to the guard. At the same time he did not want to be placed in the position of disobeying orders against making trivial arrests. He knew by the color of the liquid it was not ginger ale. A brilliant thought came to him. He would test the beer and thus have the evidence. But here a difficulty was encountered. While the rule prohibiting employees from bringing intoxicants into the grounds is a strict one, there is a much severer regulation against guards tasting the stuff while on duty. What if his sergeant should see him with a bottle of beer to his lips! To meet this obstacle the guard led his prisoner to a secluded place behind a big packing case, and after looking fearfully around hastily uncorked the bottle and sent a huge swallow of the contents down his throat.
The result was unexpected so far as the blue coat was concerned. With a howl of anguish he dropped the bottle. Both eyes started from his head and his face turned to ashen paleness as he danced about the floor shrieking "I am poisoned." Finally he sank down with a moan and the men attracted by his cries carried him to a bench and laid him down. On the edge of the human circle about him the guard beheld the face of his prisoner. Beckoning him to his side the guard feebly said, "What was that stuff in the bottle?"
"Lard oil and naphtha," replied the workman.
The guard was removed to the hospital, while the workmen were laughing their heartiest. In an hour the stricken officer was back at his post.
That afternoon, as the family climbed the stairs to the station on their way back to the hotel, Uncle Jeremiah was a study to the student of human nature. The size of the Exposition had dazed and awed him. He wore a neat paper collar with an old-fashioned ready-made necktie pushed under the points. The slouch hat was down over his ears, as a heavy wind was tearing across the high landing. His manner was that of one oppressed by a great sorrow. He looked at the turrets and domes and the hundreds of dancing flags and shook his head solemnly. When the people around him gabbled and pointed their fingers and piled up the same old adjectives he glanced around at them timidly and then stepped softly away where he could gaze without being interrupted. After boarding the car he stood up between the seats and held on to the railing. At each curve of the track, as new visions swung into view, he shook his head again and again, but said nothing. He had been for a good many years taking in a daily landscape of stubble-field, orchard and straight country roads. His experience had taught him that a red two-story hay press was a big building. To him the huddle of huckster stands at the county fair made a pretty lively spectacle. Then he was rushed into Chicago. With the roar of wheels still in his ears and the points of the compass hopelessly mixed, he found himself being fed into the Exposition gate with a lot of strange people. The magnitude of the great enterprise was more than any intellect could fully grasp. His mind perceived so much that was strange and new that he became as that one who saw men as trees walking. His eyes were opened to a new world. He was now a living part of the intellectual vision and prophecy of the "Dream City."
AROUND THE WORLD FOR TWENTY CENTS
The next day, when the "Alley L" road let them off at the station next to the electric road, they decided to ride around and view the "White City" from that elevated position. The intramural road is about three miles around, and makes the trip in seventeen minutes. It was like going around the world in that time, so much was to be seen on either side.
The four made a fine picture of age and youth gathering mental breadth from this great exhibition of human wisdom and achievement. They passed around the west end of Machinery hall and along the south side of it, then between the Agricultural annex and the stock pavilion. Here they emerged into what seemed to be the waste yard of the Exposition, debris of all kinds, beer houses, lunch rooms, hundreds of windmills flying in the breeze and heavily loaded cars, back of which could be seen bonfires of waste materials, these making a striking contrast to the white beauty and massive art on the opposite side of the car.
The queer looking Forestry building flew by, the leather exhibit was passed, and the train ran around a station not far from the Krupp gun works. They had not yet made the grand tour of the grounds, but another investment in tickets sent them back again, the way they had come, on the parallel track. When they reached the west side they looked away from the massive buildings across Stony Island avenue at the amusing medley of hotels, booths for lunches, and tents for blue snakes, sea monsters, and fat women strung along the front. Little merry-go-rounds buzzed like tops in cramped corners between pine lemonade stands and cheap shooting-galleries. Looking eastward, the eye rests with satisfaction upon the gilded satin of the Administration dome, and then it may take an observation to the westward of a flaunting placard:
- Four Tintypes for Twenty-five Cents -
Back of the sandwich counters and fortune-telling booths are stored the World's Fair hotels, looking like overgrown store boxes, with holes punched in them.
The train flew on, and uncle saw little of the outside because of his interest in the strange machinery that was propelling them forward. The engineer pulled a lever and then there was a buzz and a whirr; another lever was turned, and the car would come to a standstill at some station. It was amazing to see such simple movements by one man control such unseen energy. From the farm to the Exposition grounds was as marvelous a change as from one world to another, and to the simple genius of rural work it was like going from the peaceful valley to the mysteries beyond the clouds.
Past the Esquimau village, the richly varied city of state and foreign buildings came into view. All the varieties of architectural genius from the different countries of the world appeared one after another and it was easy to imagine a flight of incredible speed all over the earth. The terminal station at the northeast was reached and uncle wanted to ride back again. In this way the panorama of the great Fair was quite well fixed in their minds when they descended from the southeast station at the entrance of Agricultural hall. For once Uncle felt at home when he walked into that paradise of grass and grain.
"Every body but me and Sarah can scatter and we'll all meet at the far end of this house, or if not there at the south side of the Sixty-third street gate at six o'clock." Fanny and Johnny took Uncle at his word and were soon strolling among the booths, but they were more intent upon watching the maneuvers of the various types of people than of observing what the earth is able to produce out of its soil. They heard a band playing somewhere in the distance and they moved on that way.
As a curious observer of this moving world, Fanny made note of the many interesting exhibitions about her of country ignorance and enthusiasm. At one place she stopped near a tall, lank farmer, whose cowhide boots had left their massive imprint on every roadway on the grounds. He stood chewing a wisp of hay plucked from an exhibit, while he gazed in delight at the harvesters, plows and sheaves of wheat which stretched away before him in an endless vista.
"Wall, I swan," he at length confided to the dignified guard, who stood like a sign-post near the door, "this 'ere's the only thing I've seed 'minded me of hum. Bin tramping raound these 'ere grounds, scence 7 o'clock, b'gosh, an' ain't seen a blamed thing did my ole heart so much good as this show right here. By George! wish I'd a struck this buildin' fust thing I come in. Would a saved me a power of walkin'. Say, had a great show out our way a spell ago. Had a corn palace—Sioux City, you know. Be they goin' to have a corn palace at this 'ere fair?"
The guard unbent enough to guess not.
"Sho! y' don't say so. Wall, that's curious. Corn palace out to hum was the biggest show ever give out that way. And crowd! Say, I'll bet a nickel I've seed as many as hundreds of people thar in one day. In one day, reclect, all just looking at that there corn palace. Wonder these fellows didn't think of that. Would a drawd all the folks from out in our section, shore. Tell you what I don't like about this show," he went on, waxing confidential, "Too much furrin stuff here. Don't see nothing from Keokuk, Sioux City, Independence or even old Davenport. But all London and Berlin and Paris, and all them other places where they's kings and things. Ought to a give the folks here more of a show, b'gosh, same as we did out to hum. Why, they wasn't none of this statoo stuff thar, I tell you. Wasn't no picters and the like of that. What good is them picters over there, I'd like to know? Why, some on 'em, the folks ain't got a stitch of clothes on 'em, and you couldn't hang them air picters in a barn. Ought to have more of these things here—oats and wheat and seedin' machines. Them's what people want to see. And say, I was daown here below this mornin', and by gum, I seed the damdest lookin' fellows I ever seen in all my born days. They was heathen Turks, I reckon, with rags round their heads and wimmin's clo'es on all o' 'em. I was a-scared to stay there, b'gosh, and I jest lit out, I tell ye. Well, I'm goin' through here and see what you've got, but I jest tell you this is the part of this show that'll do. Yes, sir." And the rural visitor stalked away.
In less than two hours the brother and sister had reached the west doorway, but uncle and aunt were nowhere to be seen. Then they went up into the gallery to hear the musicians again. It was very evident that Agricultural hall had swallowed their grandparents for that day and the grandchildren were left to shift for themselves. It was now past noon and they were both hungry enough to welcome the first lunch counter they could find. One o'clock found them again wandering listlessly about the gallery absorbed in the sights about them.
ESCORT AND BODY GUARD
"Hist, me boys," said one of a group of young men near the band-stand, who were watching the people moving about them, "Me eye has caught sight of something forbidden to all the rest of the world. You can look but you must mustn't touch. Give me your prayers boys." He sauntered away from them and came near to Fanny and Johnny as if intensely interested in all that was about him. Fanny was standing near the balustrade that was around the gallery, when the opportunity the young man was watching for soon came. Some rude man hurrying by struck her arm in such a way as to knock her hand-satchel out of her hand and it fell to the main floor far below. In an instant the young man lifted his hat, and bowing to her ran down the near flight of stairs; taking the satchel from some one near whom it had fallen, he hurried back and gave it to her with a profound bow. Seeming to recognize her all at once he made another bow and said, "Ah, pardon me but I see I have just had the honor of serving Miss Jones, whom I met on the train a few days ago." Hardly knowing just what to do, she thanked him and hesitated, but he was not slow to turn the tide in his favor and was soon chatting in such a very agreeable way about the many scenes that she soon forgot all doubts as to propriety. It was now three o'clock in the afternoon and she thought of her grandparents and what they would think; but the three hours till meeting time at 60th street gate flew by under the interesting guidance of the young man on whose card Fanny read
- Arthur Blair Attorney Masonic Temple [S.S.] -
He explained that (S. S.) was a sign that meant "Secret Service" as he had told her before how he had been sent out to shadow Mr. Moses. They rested for awhile on one of the seats in the gallery and Mr. Blair took great interest in showing Fanny his official papers and commissions. Surely he was a very honorable and talented man.
While he was pointing out his name on one of these papers, a gentleman came by who started on seeing them, as if in the most pained surprise.
"That man means her some harm," he said to himself, "and I feel as if I have no manhood if I do not undertake somehow to prevent it. But he has told her something terrible against me and I have no way to approach her."
The two arose to go and the gentleman walked not far behind.
"You do not know how it pains me, Mr. Blair, to know that such a noble looking young man as Mr. Moses, is a man under police surveilance. He has such an agreeable and gentlemanly appearance."
"That is true Miss Jones, but you have no idea how perfectly these criminals can assume an appearance of culture and high social standing."
Six o'clock had come swiftly and as they approached the gate Uncle and Aunt were seen sitting on their camp stools at the appointed place. The young man excused himself before reaching them and bowed himself away, but not before he had learned her address and that they came every day through the 60th street gates at nine o'clock in the morning.
"Where is Johnny?" anxiously inquired Aunt as Fanny came up alone.
For the first time Fanny seemed to realize that Johnny had not been with her for some time. She told Aunt that she had been for two or three hours with the young gentleman who had warned them on the train of Mr. Moses.
They waited and waited, growing more and more anxious about Johnny.
"Yer, yer, yer, all of you, come on out!" They knew Johnny's voice, and turned about just in time to see one of the guards holding Johnny fast by the ear as they disappeared around the corner of the wall and through the gates.
"There, you young scamp," as he gave Johnny an extra box on the ear, "let me see you trying to sneak through the gates again and you won't get off so easy."
"Well, ain't I been tellin' you fer an hour that the folks was a waitin' fer me inside and you wouldn't tell 'em fur me," and Johnny, with a disgusted shake of the head, joined the family as they came out.
"Where on earth have you been?" said Uncle, in a chiding tone of voice.
"Why, I came up to the gate about two hours ago and I seed Louis Burjois here a-peekin' through, an' I come out and we've been a-takin' in the circuses along Stony Island avenue. Say, Gran'pa, I've engaged Louis fer bodyguard fer next week when he comes back from his next run on the train. I gives him a salary of goin' wheresomever I go."
Uncle looked at the boy standing by Johnny and recognized him as the train-boy who had twice saved him from the loss of money.
"All right, Johnny," said Uncle, as he shook the train-boy's hand, "how much extra allowance will that take?"
"Just double and a half for a regular time of it. You ought to a seen us a doin' the side-shows. You see Louis knows 'em. The fat woman is there, but not an ounce bigger than Sal Johnson at Villaville, and she's part stuffed, for Louis stuck a pin in her while she was asleep, and she never flinched. The sea monster and the man with two bootblacks at each shoe, and just as tall as the shoetops, is not much bigger than Bill Mason to hum. And the four-legged woman is no good, fer Louis he pinched one of them and it didn't kick, and the show that's got a man with his body cut off just below his head is busted. You see Louis said ef I'd pay the way in of half a dozen kids whut he picked out and instructed, he'd bust the show and prove thet the man's hed had a body. I agreed, and we all got pea-shooters at my expense, and in we went. When they drawed the curtin up my blood run cold fer there was a hed humping itself about on a table and I could see clear under the table and there was no body around there. I forgot to shoot, but Louis give the sign, and all the rest just fired the peas at his head and he howled and the head it shook awful ghastly, and then they all fired again, and the head it jest raised right up and turned the table over and shook, and the whole thing raised up and shook his fists at us and then Louis said "jiggers," and you ought to have seen us a gittin' out from under the bottom of the tent and over behind Buffalo Bill's show. They was after us, but couldn't catch us."
"Johnny, Johnny," said Uncle sternly, "don't you know what I've told you about letting other people's business alone?"
"But you see, grandpa, that was a fake and you know it's everybody's duty to uproot the fakes."
"That's all right, Johnny," said Aunt, "You can uproot the things needing uprooting on the farm but you must let Chicago people uproot their own foolishness."
The sage advice was unheeded for Johnny was too full of the day's adventures with his body guard and guide.
So far they had seen little of the city of Chicago, and it was a great rest and pleasure for them to sit at the windows of their rooms or in the balcony and look out over the busy street before them or talk of the events of the day.
Uncle had gone ahead of the rest and taken his seat in a rocker at their room window.
"O grandpa, there you are," called out Fanny's clear voice as she entered the door and came quickly up to his side. "I ran ahead, and grandma and Johnny are coming."
In her face was the sweet look of guileless girlhood, and her dark hair waving back in the breeze coming through the window crowned her sweet face with the tenderest beauty. Her eyes were bright and sparkling with the interest and enthusiasm of young life. They told of a woman's soul that would one day shine out and help to make this bright world more bright and holy.
When the grandmother and Johnny joined them these four stood there with no petty jealousies or bad feeling of any description to mar their happiness as a family. The sinking sun came out from the western clouds and lit up their faces as if they all rested under God's smile of peace.
"Well, Fanny, I am closing my days on earth mighty satisfactory to me. I have been mighty alarmed about what the "Zion's Herald" said about the world's meanness, but I tell you what I have seed wasn't made by mean men. I believe I have felt more of the Lord in my soul in the last few days than I ever did before in so many years. I've seen ribbons, and threshing machines and wheat and corn for a long time but I never had any idea how much brains people had before this. I went to some of the farmer's meetings fer I felt oppressed myself and thought I was just about doing it all myself but when I come here I see I haint nowhere. I used to be afraid that the government was all a going to pieces and that my fighting for the union and that the blood of your Uncle Sam at Gettysburg was of no use but I ain't any more now afraid of the world a bustin' up. People that made the machinery that I've seen and all that have too much sense. My mind is at rest now about all such things. When I seed the big engine I didn't say nothing for I never had any use before to learn words that suited such things, so I just said nothing."
Fanny understood her grandfather's mood, and she smoothed back the hair on his forehead and gently stroked his cheeks with her hands.
"Papers, papers! 'Daily Columbian'!"
A childish voice at the door broke their reverie.
"Grandpa, you must be like city folks and read the papers."
"Here, little boy, is five cents for the morning 'Columbian' and one cent for your evening paper."
"Now, Grandpa, I want you to read. Let's see the headlines."
"I was one of that crowd," said Uncle, "but it was too big to be enthusiastic over."
"Many of the World's Distinguished People Present"
"That may be right, Fanny, but I don't believe they are very distinguished after they get inside. I know I felt like I had just got extinguished or something."
"The Colossal Manufacturers' Exhibit Amazes the Great Crowd of Visitors. The United States and the Foreign Nations join in Creating the Greatest Display in the World's History. Shown like a Jewel in a Frame of Light"
"Ah, my little girl, that's my Fanny when she comes between me and the window, a jewel in a frame of light."
Fanny put her hand over his mouth and said, "Grandpa, I don't want you to scold me so unless when I deserve it."
Uncle Jeremiah having read all that interested him, turned the paper over, when his eye fell on the columns of advertisements. He had never read any of them before, and it attracted his interest at once.
"Look hyar, Johnny! Here is a position you might git if you had only done as I have teached and learnt your lesson at school." And Uncle read, slowly:
Wanted.—A BRIGHT, HONEST, IN- telligent boy: good Christian; A No. 1 writer; quick at figures, not fond of play; never reads novels or smokes, or sets a bad example in any way before children. Address, * * * * *
"Grandpa, that is a sad reminder," said Fanny, as she came up and looked over his shoulder at the paper.
"Because God loves a shining mark, and all those boys are dead. On their tombs should be written: 'Here lies one who lived not wisely, but too well.'"
"Tut! tut! child, how you do talk!"
"Here, father, here is the one. You know I've always wanted a parrot."
Exchange.—WILL EXCHANGE FINE Parrot, good talker, for a pet monkey. Address, * * * * * *
"But, Fanny, where's the monkey to exchange?"
"Why, Johnny, of course. I know it would be a trade," she said, rapturously.
Johnny had come up in the meantime, and was leaning on Uncle's right shoulder. At Fanny's words he eyed her suspiciously for a moment, and then, pointing his finger at another advertisement, said: "Father, send Fanny to that place at once. Her first meal will take the people a month to digest, and that will be a big saving, for she won't have to make but one meal a month, and she will never be bothered about doing so much fixing up." The advertisement read:
Cook WANTED.—NEED NOT WASH. Address, * * * * * *
Uncle crumpled the paper up in his hand and said emphatically, "O you children git out."
But they felt more like talking as they were accustomed to do of evenings at the farm. Johnny had told his adventures and Uncle and Aunt had seen wonderful things which they knew were only interesting to them. What they had seen was to them an awful revelation of what the world was doing in the various lines of work while the farmers were busy with the cares of the farm and isolated from the great industries of life where genius subdues and achieves.
"Somebody brought a heap of wool all the way from New South Wales in Australia, and I felt ashamed of myself when I seed farm products that was brought all the way from the Cape of Good Hope and I hadn't brought nothing from Villaville. We seen farmers from Japan, and China, and Ceylon. I was shocked to see how them Japanese like to have snakes and hobgoblins a crawling round their pavilions but when I seed the Americans jammed all around when there was nicer products in the other places, I just concluded that maybe after all it was our people that liked 'em too, and so made 'em set the fashion here.
"The Canadians tried to beat everything with their twenty-two thousand pound cheese. There is lots of fool extravagance in that place but I guess it was necessary to show what we farmers can do when we make up our minds."
Fanny told about meeting Mr. Blair and how interestingly he explained everything. As she looked up at her Grandma, she saw a troubled look on her face.
"It's nothing," said Grandma, "but I didn't meet young folks that way when I was a girl, and I am afeard now for you; but I've always tried to teach you right, and I know no body can make you believe I haven't teached you just right. I will trust ye. I trusted your mamma when nobody else did, and she didn't do no wrong."
Fanny went over and laid her cheek against her grandma's face and whispered: "Grandma, any body can kill me, but nobody can make me wilfully do wrong."
Several unnoteworthy days were spent by Uncle and his family in which they saw through the official buildings of the states and nations; through the Forestry building, showing the forestry wealth of the world; through the leather exhibits, showing the wonders done to the skins of beasts; all over Wooded Island, with its curiosities of Davy Crockett's cabin and the Javanese Hooden; through the clam bakes and the Casino, with the miscellaneous objects of interest about them. Uncle thought he was entering the Liberal Arts building when he walked past the guard at the southeast entrance of the Casino. He wandered into a labyrinth of side-rooms, where he heard an amazing medley of excited voices in as many different languages. They were evidently quarreling over something that displeased them very much. Presently a guard caught him by the arm.
"Are you a musician, sir?"
"Well, I used ter play a Jew's harp a leetle."
"The Casino will open again at three o'clock. You are not allowed in here."
The rest of the family had remained on the outside, suspicious of Uncle's venture. As he returned, led out in rather an undignified way by the guard, Uncle did not relish the amused looks of his family and the casual observers.
"Ah, ha," yelled Johnny in glee, "Grandpa's the first of us to get took by the cop. I'll tell everybody at Villaville about you getting led out."
From here they went on around to the north end of the greatest building on the grounds where were stored the miscellaneous educational achievements of the world.
As they entered the Manufacturers and Liberal Arts building through one of the small entrances on the north, the greatness of that more than forty-four acres of exhibits did not impress itself upon them. The first objects that met their gaze were the graphophones or phonographs. Some nickles were soon in the slots and the family for the first time listening to music coming from some where by singers unseen. Johnny had a face covered with smiles as he listened to some loud-mouthed artist singing "Throw him down McClosky." Between each verse Johnny told the boy who stood in open-mouthed wonder near him that the "feller is a singer from way back." He could not realize that he was not in a concert hall and that all standing about were not hearing what he heard. When the music ceased and he withdrew the tubes from his ears he said to the boy, "Wasn't that out of sight?"
"Sure, and out of my hearing too, but I guess I got a nickle to try it on," and his nickle disappeared in the slot and the unwearied singer hid away in the machine told again his story of the great fight.
When Uncle took the tubes from his ears his eyes were full of tears.
"Why, Grandpa, what's the matter?" asked Fanny who had just listened to some selection by the Marine band.
"Well, you see, I heard something that I used to hear long time ago, and I couldn't tell just who was a singin' it to me. It was some woman, though, and I let myself think it was somebody else, and I was a thankin' God for lettin' me hear her once more. I thought it was Mary singin' "Old Folks at Home" for me, jest like she used to, and I thought for a while that she had come back to me. I wanted to talk to her, and it hurt me when I seed that I couldn't."
There was a stairway near by, and Fanny suggested that they should first go above. They came to the place where they could look out into the main floor. They were near the great clock tower just as the chimes began to peal forth their weird melodies.
"What's that?" cried Aunt, in awe-struck tones.
"It's the chime of the bells," cried Fanny, in delight, "listen! listen!"
Clear and plain through the vast building and to the streets on the outside came the slow measured notes of that nation-thrilling air, "My Country, 'tis of Thee."
All stood entranced before a scene never before reached by human means. When the chimes were done, Uncle said: "Let us go down to the main floor. I want to walk from end to tother of that aisle."
Johnny held in each hand a camp-stool for Uncle and Aunt, and he arranged the stools for them to sit awhile before that wonderful scene. Not long after, they were marching down that aisle called Columbia avenue. They felt themselves every inch as citizens of a great republic. It is not a very long thoroughfare—only a third of a mile—but they were two hours on the way. Uncle was a common, everyday American citizen when he started. At each step it seemed to him he swelled in his own estimation. At the clock tower he was proud enough to ascend that structure and make a Fourth of July speech. At the end of his walk he wanted to wear an eagle on his hat and shout till his throat should be stiff. It was not solely as an American that he was filled with exultation but as a member of the human race. He was lifted up with pride in the achievements of his fellow-man and in satisfaction that his own country was the host of such a splendid company.
Columbia avenue is the broad thoroughfare which traverses the center of the greatest building that ever was. It runs through the Manufactures and Liberal Arts building from the grand court to the plaza at the northern end. A walk down this thoroughfare is like a tour of the world in sixty minutes. Though, if you are to do it in sixty minutes, you must fifty times repress an impulse to linger beside some new marvel in the handiwork of man and go marching on. You cannot beat the record in a trip around the world and stop and see all the grand cathedrals and picturesque ruins and beautiful women and inviting galleries of art.
Columbia avenue is a picture never to be surpassed. It is a cleanly and an attractive thoroughfare for the world of tourists who throng the way. The path is no longer littered with lumber and boxes and kegs of paints. The horizon—for this vast enclosure has its horizon—is no more filled with a fine, white mist rising from the efforts of workmen to push and chisel blocks of staff into their appropriate places. It is a colossal field of process and a panorama of result. The world can not produce a more noble and inspiring place. It is the avenue down which the man on whom fate has fallen and whose steps in this world are few should choose to expend the last remaining atoms of his strength.
Uncle, as an American citizen, came in pride and exultation into the avenue from the central court. He had not been there before. The first thing he did was to stand fully five minutes gazing at the immensity of the enclosure trying to comprehend it, instinctively but vainly seeking adjectives with which to characterize it, and finally giving it all up, as a man gives up trying to measure the ocean or count the stars, conceding it to be too vast and wonderful for the range alike of his vision and his mind. No one told him which way to go, but away over his head, he couldn't guess how many hundred feet, was a line of pendent stars and stripes extending so far in a perspective of red and white that he could not see the fartherest. For aught he knew to the contrary the line led away to the sunny South. But knowing that where the stars and stripes led the way, he could go as he had done in the years of war, he passed on through a maze of wonders greater than even a Solomon could dream.
Not a word had been spoken for some time. Fanny had stopped at a millinery booth.
"Well, now come on Fanny, you wouldn't let me look at them harrows to my heart's content so come on, for you might get ideas into your head that would cost me lots of money and you know these times are expensive enough anyhow."
At the south end of the hall they ascended to the galleries again and soon, came past the educational exhibits that cover every department of human training. There was a booth of educational temperance. Here they read:
- The Star of Hope of the Temperance Reform stands over the School House -
These letters were on a banner of beautifully wrought silk, and near by was a map of the United States, with seven states distinguished from the rest by being in the darkest black.
"Those states," explained the ladies in charge, "have no school legislation for teaching temperance."
"Yes," soliloquized Uncle, "the school house, the pulpit and the press, are the three forces of freedom and progress in our welfare, but our lives and our natures are not alone molded by these. The fathers and mothers in the home holds greater destinies for the world than all the rest of the forces of the earth together." Then they went through a modeling department. Uncle could not see any use of these things.
"Now, Fanny, I'm tired of these mixing wax and realities together. Here's a man's head four feet across in this glass case. What does it mean?"
"O, that's just an enlarged figure to show the anatomy."
"Well, I didn't come here to see 'natomy, so let's pass on and leave it to other folks that like sich."
Just then some good country people came up and they were almost wild for knowledge as to where the Exposition people dug up that awful giant, and as to how long he lived before the flood, and if it might not be Goilah. Fanny could not stand such an error, and she pointed out to the little girl the card below explaining what the figure intended to show.
They went on past states and foreign countries, and booth after booth of books and papers of the great publishing companies.
"Come here, come this way, all of ye!"
Johnny was wildly motioning to his folks, who had stopped to examine some books in a booth near the north end of the Liberal Arts hall. As they came up to him, he said: "Say, you remember the Century plant, don't you, down in the Horticultural hall, wot's jest bloomed? Well, I've found a Century company, an' I want Fanny to go in thar an' ask the gurl wot hes charge if we kin see it bloomin'."
"They are the people who publish so much about the war and about Lincoln. Let us go in and I'll take some notes about what they have."
Fanny took out her pencil and notebook as they approached the entrance of the booth. All went in together, and the lady in charge, seeing Fanny with a notebook in her hand, came over to her from the opposite side of the room with a rush that almost took the young observer's breath away.
"Are you a reporter, Miss?"
"No, no," said Fanny.
"Oh! Just taking notes for your own amusement."
"Well, not exactly that. I may use them some time."
Fanny had in mind the things she would have to tell to her less fortunate friends at home.
"O I see, going to weave them into a book or a lecture. Just come this way;" and, followed by Johnny, Uncle and Aunt, Fanny went the rounds of the place listening attentively to the interesting talk of the lady in charge as she explained the processes in detail of making a great magazine, the evolution of the English dictionary and of dictionary making in all its phases. She showed them many interesting relics and among them the original letters and documents of the company's great war articles and their life of the martyred president. The lady never had more interested listeners or people more grateful for the trouble she had taken to instruct them.
"No, don't go till you have registered."
Fanny went over and registered for all of them and Uncle went away feeling as if he now had a literary education and could write anything from a war article to a dictionary.
They passed on down and out of the building more impressed than ever concerning the greatness of the world. Aunt rarely said much but now she remarked that she loved their farm and their Jerseys more than ever but she could see that God's mercies and blessings did not rest alone on them and their neighbors. There was indeed a world beyond what she had ever seen or been able to dream.
As they passed on to the gate a family evidently from off the farm passed them.
The eyes of Uncle and the farmer happened to meet and the farmer nodded to him.
"Now look at that," exclaimed Uncle. "How cityfied I'm getting. I didn't nod to that feller. The fust few days I was here I nodded to everybody who looked at me but when they stared back at me like I was an idiot, I quit."
As they came by the Administration building a gentleman passed near them and politely lifted his hat. Without response Aunt and Fanny went on but Uncle grasped the gentleman by the hand and said, "Mr. Moses, I am so glad to see you. I ain't been tuck up yet by the perlice nor lost any money but I guess I would if you hadn't give me such good advice."
"Uncle, I must tell you that my name is Warner, as you have it on my card and not Moses. I told you that name just for a joke because I didn't expect to see you again and you know we don't often tell our names and business to people we meet on the trains."
Uncle was very much troubled. He could not see any joke in a false name being given. He remembered then that Fanny said a young man on the train was shadowing Mr. Moses, and this false name made it look bad for Mr. Warner.
"Well Mr. Warner I am sorry you deceived me for I liked you very much and I aimed to call on you, but maybe I hadn't orter not."
Without another ward Uncle went on to join his waiting family, sadly shaking his head as he thought of the misplaced confidence he had bestowed.
"There," said Mr. Warner, "I have estranged the good opinion of the old man and in his mind made the words of the confidence man seem true. But somehow I feel sure that I shall meet her in a different way."
As he looked after her he said, "There goes the dearest girl on earth to me."
It was arranged that the next day the old people should rest at their hotel all day and at two o'clock Fanny would go to one of the big retail stores to do some needful shopping with Johnny as an escort.
DANGERS OF THE GREAT CITY
Johnny was listlessly walking along in front of Dearborn Station, on Polk street, when he saw some fine looking apples on one of the fruit stands. Instantly the old orchard at home came into his mind, and with it a hunger for apples that could not be downed. Fishing up a dime from his pocket, it was not long till two apples were his, one of them undergoing a carving that only a country boy hungry for apples could perform. As he turned the corner he passed a number of bootblacks tossing pennies to the edge of the curbing, the one lodging his penny nearest the edge winning all the other pennies. Johnny watched them long enough to understand their gambling game and then moved on.
"Hi ther, kids," said one, "watch me git a free lunch."
He came quickly up behind the unsuspecting boy and struck one of the apples out of his hand. But before he could pick it up, Johnny gave him a shove that sent him sprawling in the mud. Johnny stooped to regain his apple, but half a dozen of the other boys ran up and began striking him from all sides. His knife was open in his hand, and some one struck him a blow on the hand that knocked the knife into the gutter. Warding off the uncomfortable blows as fast as he could, he ran to get his knife. In an instant he was tripped down upon his face with half a dozen boys cuffing him about the head and shoulders.
"What you skates a-doin' there. Come off now; let a feller have a show!"
The boys were thrust back, and Johnny scrambled to his feet.
"Hello! If it ain't de kid wot's got de purty sister an' helped me to pepper de fake on Stony Island avenoo. Bin a-crapin', have ye, an' them fellers wuz a-doing ye up." It was the train-boy who had been of such service to Johnny's grandfather as they came into the city.
Johnny explained how it all happened, and they went away from the crowd. Johnny's clothes were soiled and his knife and apples were gone, but he was glad to get out of such a rough crowd.
"Where wuz ye goin'?"
"I've got an hour yet, when I am to meet Fanny at the north entrance to the store she's tradin' at. I couldn't stand taggin' after her, so she let me go."
Johnny had wandered from the store into the neighborhood of one of the most disreputable places in the city. He and his friend were coming up the street when the train-boy exclaimed: "Hi, thar, wot's yer sis doin' on dis devilish street wid dat thief yonder?"
Johnny looked where the boy was pointing, and, sure enough, Johnny saw his sister being escorted along the street by Mr. Blair, who had spoken to them of Mr. Moses on the train, and who had been with Fanny one day at the Fair.
"Why, ain't he all right," said John.
"Nary all right. Wusn't he helping to rob your grandad as he was a coming out of the train, and did'nt I nab his pal with the wad of stuff in his hand? He works with the feller what give yer old dad the short change."
Johnny would have started on a run after his sister but Louis said, "Hold on pard, I'm a running this. Ef your sis is all right, that feller is liable to git to travel over the road fer it. I've got it in fer that feller and you see if I don't git him pulled. I tell you if he gits your sis into one of them houses, she'll never come out alive fer she'll kill herself."
Johnny was white with fright but Louis laid his hand on Johnny's shoulder and said: "Now you watch the show."
A policeman was at the next corner and Louis walked up to him with the air of one who had a most important communication to make.
"Me name is Louis Burjois, and dis is de brudder of dat gal wot you see walkin' over dere. She is an innercent gal, which dat feller is a-tollin' of her off. He's a pickpocket, and I'm one wot kin swear to it. We want him arrested an' jugged. We'll see to all de responsibility."
"Ah, you Arabs don't take me in that way. Git out. The gal knows her biz."
By this time Louis saw that the confidence man had stopped at one of the most prepossessing houses on the street. It was also one of the vilest and most dangerous places in the city. The door-bell had been rung, and there was not a moment to lose.
"For God's sake run and yell!" and he gave Johnny a push in their direction, which was all he needed to send him flying up the street yelling and waving his hat and calling "Fanny! Fanny! Fanny!" like a boy gone mad.
The door had opened and Fanny was about to step inside, when she heard her name called. She turned around, but the young man crowded up behind her.
"Who is calling me?" she said. "It must be Johnny. Yes, it's his voice."
"No, it's only a bootblack," her companion said, harshly and excitedly.
"I know its Johnny," and she dodged by him out of the door. He tried to catch her by the arm, but, missing that, seized her dress, nearly tearing it off of her waist. At this moment Johnny dashed up, and, throwing his arms around her, cried: "O Fanny! Fanny! come quick! come away! don't wait a minute!" and he fairly dragged her to the sidewalk.
The young man disappeared through the door but not before he saw Louis come running up and shaking his fist at him yelling at the top of his voice, "O you horrible old cheese, I'll get your mug behind the bars some of these days in spite of yourself."
The policeman was placidly watching the scene, but concluding at last that something unusual was happening he came up and went into the house. A few minutes after he came out alone and walked measuredly on toward the end of his beat.
Fanny in the meantime had pinned her dress and was walking away with the two boys. She was not less excited than they were.
"What is the matter? I can't think. What has happened; there must be something awfully wrong."
"Well, you see, miss, that feller is the pall of the man what tried to rob your grandad and he was a taking of you to one of the worstestes places in Chicago."
"Why he showed me his detective star and also papers and business cards the other day at the Fair. I met him this time in the store. While we were talking there he showed me a blue book which he said was a list of the best society of Chicago, and he showed me his name and his sisters'. I didn't know anything how to trade at the big stores and he said it would please him so much to take me and introduce me to his mother and sisters, who lived only three or four blocks away, and one of his sisters would come back with me and I could do my trading in half the time and to so much better advantage. He talked so nicely that I didn't see how I could refuse to go."
"That's the chap exactly. He's a bad man, and I'm a going to run him in yet."
Louis gave a self satisfied toss of the head, clinched his fists and said, "Its lucky, awful lucky that I seed ye." Fanny shuddered and she whispered a fervent prayer of thankfulness.
They had now arrived at the store and Louis acted as ready escort to the various booths where Fanny desired to trade.
"Don't you forgit that you have to meet me at the Sixtieth street gate at nine o'clock next Monday morning for to be my body guard the whole week and I think I can get our grandpa to throw in about two dollars a day for ye for general services. Anyhow, I don't see how any of us can feel safe any more without you being around. I expect if you come out to our farm, I'd save your life about a dozen times a day for the first week, you'd need me around pretty bad for the first month."
"It's very glad I am that I struck you," said Louis, "for my dad got killed cause he stuck by his engine and I have to help the folks so much that I couldn't get into the Fair only by scheming somehow, and I might not hit the combination."
Fanny and Johnny, still bewildered over their adventures, now took a cable car and in a little while were telling their astonished grandparents about their day's experiences and Fanny's wonderful escape from the confidence man. Uncle could not remember Mr. Blair, but it was a good occasion for one of his impressive lectures on the providence of God.
It was an evening for the electric display at the grounds and at eight o'clock they were seated near the statue of the Republic on the south side of the basin waiting to see the crowning achievement of modern intellect.
No wonder that the papers of the next morning spoke of the "White City in a blaze of glory," and that "thousands viewed the sight, entranced with the marvelous exhibition." It was a sight to inspire the writers of the day, and of all the descriptions that Fanny culled none were more appropriate for recalling the memories of what she saw, and to record what she had experienced, than the reportorial sketches of this night. The hour approached for the most wonderful illumination since God said: "Let there be light."
Slowly night came on, and slowly night was turned back into day. A few stars came out and shone for a little while, and then disappeared from man because of the blaze of light he was in.
To the north and west a heavy pall of smoke brooded over the city. Above it a broad band of gorgeous crimson, shot with purple and yellow, marked the dying glories of the day. Overhead scattered clouds floated against a gray sky, and through them yellow stars were shining. Looking down into the grand basin the white walls of the palaces which bound it loomed gray and ghostly. On the southern horizon the chimneys of a blast furnace belched their red flames high into the darkness.
One by one white globes of light glittered about the graceful sweep of the basin. They cast deep black shadows on the walls behind them, and threw burnished, rippling ribbons over the dark water below. The broad avenue leading to the north between the Mines and Mining and the Electricity buildings grew brilliant on either side. At its far northern end a clump of tangled shrubbery lay in heavy shadow, and still beyond, stretching away for miles, a hundred thousand scattered yellow sparks told that the great city was awake. Far off on the dark lagoon, men were singing, and the echo of their voices rose faintly through the silence.
Suddenly a single beam of yellow light, like a falling star, flickered and grew bright on the high dome of the Administration building. Then lines of fire ran down its splendid sweep, and outlined in flame it stood out in splendor against the night. About its base circled a wheel of light, while above a hundred torches flared into the darkness. Within the great buildings about the basin electric coronas were ablaze and the giant pillars of the colonnades loomed white against the shadows. From their caps huge figures of the arts of peace leaned out over the black abyss beneath. Along the top of the peristyle flickered a yellow ribbon of flame, and above, dim and gray against the sky, senators and heathen gods look down upon the glory.
Between these lay the dark waters of the basin, seamed with faint, waving bars of light. Over them, like long black shadows, graceful gondolas slipped in silence, and electric launches with their fiery eyes crept across the vista.
From the roof of Music hall a wide pyramid of fierce white light was thrown upon the Administration dome. Its blazonry of yellow died away, and under the new glare the delicate, lace-like tracery of gold and white was brought into strong relief. From the roofs of the buildings of Manufactures and Agriculture twin search-lights beat down upon the MacMonnies fountain. Behind it the plaza was black with men, and its pure white figures shone as if carved from Parian marble.
Then the light was changed, and in a glory of crimson the ship Columbia, with its white-armed rowers, sailed on before the people. From his high pillar on either side, Neptune, leaning on his trident, looked down serenely. The search-lights swept the horizon, and for a moment graceful Diana loomed against the sky like a figure suspended in midair. At the east end of the basin the Golden Republic glittered against the night, lifting her golden eagle high above the crowd. Smoke from a passing engine rose about the dome of the Administration building, and its fiery outlines flickered and grew faint. The triumphant goddess seated high on the galley in the central fountain was bathed in a glory of green fire, and then yellow, changing again to its spotless white.
Under the great central entrance to Electricity building stood all the while the figure of an old-time Quaker. His eyes looked upward, and he held in his hand the feeble instrument which made possible the glories of this night. Franklin, with his kite, looked out upon the consummation of what he dreamt of when he drew lightning from the summer cloud. For two hours the "White City" blossomed in new beauty. The great basin was bathed in a flood of fairy moonlight. Outside the peristyle the lake beat its monotone against the walls. On the plaza the great orchestra of more than 100 men played patriotic music, and the people were filled and lifted with the spirit of the night.
The search light was a great surprise. It went dancing along the fronts of opposite buildings, climbed up the towers and brought out golden Diana. It flashed against the statue of the Republic, and kept it for a full minute resplendent as though carved from a block of flame and then flickered away, leaving the great figure in twilight uncertainty. After a time three irregular splashes of light were playing hide-and-seek along the basin and up the fronts of the big building. The lights changed their colors. Sometimes they were green and again they were blue or red.
While several thousand people were admiring this picture, a rocket of light shone out from one of the high corners of the agriculture building and flooded the MacMonnies fountain in a whiteness which made all the other light seem dim and lifeless. Under its focus the golden caravels and the draped figures showed strange contrasts of chalky pallor and deep shade. Only a moment later a second bar of light leaped out from a sky-high nook of the Manufactures building and swept the surface of the basin. It struck a moving gondola, and in a flash showed the gay Venetians bending to their long oars, the bright colors of the boat and the muffled forms of the passengers.
Johnny had left the others absorbed in their trance of delight. He sought other sights. Directly he came to the Electricity building, with its marvels of light. It burst on his childish mind, seeking for novelties, as greater than the scenes outside. It was something that Fanny and Uncle and Aunt must see. He ran in the greatest haste to bring them. When they came in, Johnny showed them where to sit to see the great illumination in the center of the building. It was then quite dark about them, but Johnny knew the marvelous sight he had said was there would soon appear.
Four rows of colored bulbs containing incandescent lights and placed on zig-zag frame works forty feet long in different directions are about a pillar around which are twined strings of two thousand electric bulbs of red, white and blue. The pillar is covered with bits of reflecting colored glass, thus making a magic intermingling of lights that almost rival the lightning in startling brilliancy and produce a pillar of fire scarcely surpassed even by that one which led the Israelites across the sea.
When the illumination came the weird ingenuity of the electric magicians struck Aunt Sarah with a sublimity almost more than she could endure. As the flashes of light struck out about the pillar and the ball of fire fell as if dropped from some creating hand she screamed, "O my God, what blasphemy is this that men have achieved. Can they snatch the fire from heaven and make the lightening a plaything?"
She sank upon a chair and gazed stupefied for some minutes at the awful scene. Then as they passed on she said, "I have seen the wonderful machinery great and small. I have seen the old relics which they say are the remains of men's hopes long gone by, but when man can take the light that comes out from the storms and put it up for show, it seems to me that I am seeing forbidden things and that the skill of men has gone too far."
At the next flash from the tower there was a shriek and a crowd began to gather about a man just across the hall. The cry came from a man who could receive the terrible grandeur but he did not have the strength of mind to sustain it.
He was gazing upon the incandescent globe-studded column, as in a trance, and again one of the electricians turned on the current and the shaft changed to living fire. The man seemed horrified by the unearthly beauty of the spectacle. It continued but a minute, when the current was turned off and the blinding light disappeared almost as suddenly as it had come.
A bystander whose attention happened to be directed toward him says that he stood gazing at the column for fully three minutes after the light had been turned off and that his countenance betrayed overwhelming bewilderment. Once or twice he raised a hand and drew it across his forehead. Then he was seen to press his temples with both palms, all the while gazing in an awe-stricken way at the great pillar. The attention of several visitors was attracted to the farmer, and one of them stepped to his side to inquire if anything was wrong with him. As the gentleman reached his side the latter threw his arms upward and, with a shriek that started the echoes, fell forward upon his face. Two or three guards rushed to the prostrate man's assistance, but before they reached his side he leaped to his feet and, screaming at the top of his voice, ran through the aisle toward the entrance facing the lagoon.
In a moment all was excitement, and the great crowd of visitors, becoming panic-stricken, ran in a dozen different directions or hid behind exhibits. The madman, pursued by a half-dozen guards, dashed down a side aisle and, leaping over boxes and machines, made a complete circuit of the General Electric company's exhibit and then paused again before the central column. Two guards seized him, but he threw them off as though they had been infants and again he started on a wild hurdle race through the building. He had not gone far when he tripped and fell, and in a moment three bluecoats were upon him.
Struggling and shrieking, the poor man was half led, half carried, to the north entrance of the building, where was waiting a patrol wagon. It required the combined strength of five guards to get the unfortunate man into the patrol wagon. Throughout the short drive to the patrol barn the prisoner fought like a wild animal and the officers had their hands full in keeping him aboard. When brought before the sergeant the prisoner became exceedingly quiet and spoke rationally while giving his name and address.