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Vol. XV. —No. 30
O Captain! My Captain! (From President Lincoln s Burial Hymn by Walt Whitman.) O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done; The ship lias weathered every rack, the prize we sought is won; The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting; While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring: But O heart! heart! heart! O the bleeding drops of red. Where on the deck my Captain lies, Fallen cold and dead. O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells; Kise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills; For you boquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning; Here Captain! dear Father! This arm beneath your head; It is some dream that on the deck, You’ve fallen cold and dead. My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still: My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will; The ship is anchored safe and sound, its voyage closed and done From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won: Exult, O shores, and ring. O bells! But I, with mournful tread. Walk the deck my Captain lies, Fallen cold and dead. A SHORT STORY BY BARR. MOST writers who invade the premises of everyday life in search of material for fiction seem to take it for granted that because the subject is commonplace it does not require much investigation. Ordinarily such topics are uninteresting, but when clothed in the garb of romance they become par ticularly interesting to the general reader. Much space has been given to stories of everyday life in the periodicals re cently; some of the writers have dealt with the subject in a masterful man ner, while a few have been very flip pant and have shown a deficiency in knowledge upon the matter they have treated. Take for instance the short story written by Robert Barr, in the current issue of the Strand magazine entitled, “A Magnetic Attraction.” Mr. Barr has given us a great many stones that are much better than thi9. His tales of King James of Scotland that were published in the same magazine were gems of wit and fancy, but there is much about this latest offspring of his pen that is not worthy of his genius. It is too English and shows an almost entire lack of knowl dge of the sub ject with which he deals. The story is well told, indeed it is a very pretty ro mance, but the environments of the scene of action and the local charac teristics of the dramatis persona; are treated in a very flippant manner. Mr. Barr b ds for the sympathy of readers by stating that the hero, Tom Fenton, lost his position by going out on a strike and staying out longer than his associates. Tom Fenton was, ac cording to the author, an expert teleg rapher, and yet could find no work where he was known and where his ability was app>eciated. The other strikers had no difficulty in securing employment, but Fenton was forced to accept a position as operator on a branch road in the backwoods. All of this was necessary in order for the au thor to entwine the personality of his hero in the mystic web of romance. A man of Fenton’s ability naturally rebels against such an unjust discrimi nation of late. Fenton vents his acri mony upon his surroundings and speaks of the people he is forced to associate with in a highly irreverent manner. He says of the railroad em ployees, “1 see no one but a lot of igno rant freight brakemen.” Railroad traiumen are as a rule as intelligent as the usual run of operators, and no American would thiuk of making such a statemeut against- his fellow work- men. This might do in England, but in this country the line is not drawn so fine. Fenton tolerates the employees of a sawmill because they board at the same hotel he does. lie says of them, “Still, tho they’re rough chaps, they’re a good lot.” We don’t call men “chaps” over here, Mr. Barr, neither do we say “they’re a good lot.” This mode of speech is decidedly English and has no place in the vocabulary of American workingmen The baggageman who works at the station where Fenton is exiled is des ignated as “stationmaster, switchman, yardman and everything else.” Now he may be “everything else,” but he does not perform the duties of switchman. The train crew do their own switching on local freights. Mr. Barr says in speaking of this overworked jack of all trades that he also operated the sta tion semaphore. The way he did it would be highly amusing to practical railroad men: “He kicked a clutch out of the iron wheel to the west of the platform which caused a momentary rattle of chains and the uplifting of a red arm of a signal behind the depart ing train.” We don’t do signal work on American railroads that way and such important duties are left to the care of the operator who moves the signal arms from inside his office. “Kicking” signals into place is an ob solete method long done away with in this country. Mr. Barr puts the language of an English Jaborer into the mouth of an American backwoodsman when he has the station baggagemaster speak of Fenton’s predecessor’s good luck lie says, ‘“He’s got a raise, has Jim.” “Has Jim!” What nonsense. He would have said, “Jim’s got a better job.” The heroine of this tale is a young woman who has charge of a station seventeen miles down the same line Fenton works on. They talk over the wire and thus become well acquainted. Tom does not know that his acquaint ance is a young woman, she disguises her sex by telling him she is a boy sev enteen years old. One day she puts a railroad tricycle on the track and oper ates it alone for a distance of seven teen miles, just to see what kind of a looking fellow Tom is. The illustra tion of this feat shows the heroine clad in a tailor-made gown riding jaun tily along over the rails through the backwoods on a railroad tricycle of the old back-breaking, muscle-racking pat tern of twenty years ago. It would take ten men all day to work one of those tricycles seventeen miles. Fenton does not remain long in re tirement. The impossible happens. One day while Tom is dreaming of his former happy days, his fair friend down the line hears a “lap order” go STILLWATER, MINNESOTA, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 1902. “IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO IHEND.” over the wire; she wires Tom and he does things that no operator could possibly do; but nevertheless saves the train, and as usual the general manager is aboard it. Tom gets promoted and finally weds the girl he thought was a boy. To he properly appreciated this -Tory should be read slowly, very slow ly indeed. Pendennis. Small things make base men proud.— 2 Ilenry VI, iv. i. - Put meekness in thy mind, Love, charity, obedience and true duty. —Richard 111., ii. 2. What’s gone and what’s past help should be past grief.—Winter’s Tale, iii. 2. Definition of Conscience. IN the Prison Mirror of .Tan. 23 A. R. S. asks a number of ques tions about the conscience, and then undertakes to answer them himself. Perhaps it would be in teresting to A. It. S. and the readers of his article to have a different view of the subject. “What is conscience?” It is the voice of the soul. “Where in the human an atomy is it located?” In the spiritual body. “What functions, if any, does it perform ?” It is the monitor and guide of the inner man. “Is it abstruse, abstract or concrete in construc tion or principle?” One’s understand ing of it depends on the stage of. devel opment attained and how much one has listened to it in the past. It is both abstract and concrete, in that it exists in the mental body but is not separate from the individual. “Is it an embodi ment of something true and real or only a phantom of the brain?” It is true and real because it belongs to the evolving, immortal man. “Does such a thing exist as an inhabitant of the human body, or is it only a chimera of the imagination V” It is a very neces sary inhabitant of the human soul—the body is not the real man but merely his physical vesture during earth life. The imagination is one of the useful func tions of the mental body but is not the conscience. The conscience is a true guide, in so far as a man has had experience in this life or some previous one; it is in a state of evolution as well as the man himself and can be relied upon for what it has learned through expe rience; but when a new proposition is placed before it, it can only speak through its preconceived Knowledge of right and wrong, and by comparison of similar conditions. It is something more than a dream, as anyone knows who has committed a wrong and had to listen to its ceaseless accusations, or who has done a good deed and felt the sweet vibration of sympathetic approval welling up within him. It is truethat every man and wom an has a conscience of his or her own which is just what they mak“ it—a law in nature that ought to teiah the les son of self-cultivation as a measure of self-preservation. The div rsity in hu man life is largely due to he neglect of this important duty \ _:ich every person owes to himself: to make the most of opportunities and not fall be low the standard of moral and mental development to his own disadvantage. Because the conscience has failed to be infallible to one man does not prove it would be fallible to all men—that would not be logical in the face of the statement that the conscience is what the man makes it. The conscience has an intelligence of its own; indeed it is that part of our reason which makes decisions based on what it knows. Con science, reason, intelligence, mind, etc., are all instruments of the evolving man by which he grows in power and usefulness; they are the faculties by which be reaches through the senses to the outer world. The conscience is not dependent on the brain for its exist ence, but on the mind of which it is a part. The brain is its physical vehicle. If that part of the brain were removed through which it acts the connecting link between the inner and outer world NOTES OF TRAVEL. - - LEAVING Laredo on the Mexican National railroad one crosses the Rio Grande river into Mexico. The lirst place of any note is Monterey, 166 miles from Laredo. Monterey is a typical Mexican city of about 70.000 inhabitants, and is the capital of the state of Neuvo Leon. It is the headquarters of the Monterey and Mexican Gulf railway, a mining center of considerable importance, the metro polis of the state of Neuvo Leon and of a considerable portion of northeastern Mexico outside that state. There are probably more Americans in Monterey than in any other town in Mexico out side the City of Mexico. Two or three of the leading hotels are run by Americans, the Singer sewing machine people have a large distributing house there and some of the American bievele houses have branches in Monterey. A government band discourses music in the principal plaza, which is in the heart of the city, Sunday mornings, evenings and Thursday evenings as well as on the numerous holidays and other special occasions. Leaving Monterey, the next town of importance is Saltillo, 54 miles south. It has a population of about 20,000 and is a division point on the Mexican National railway. About midway between here and the City of Mexico is San Luis Polosi, a city of about 75,000, a railroad center of some importance and the capital of a state with a jaw breaking name. We will pass on from here to the City of Mexico. But now let us go back and view the other routes from Texas through Mexico. Starting from Eagle Pass on the Mexican International railway we cross the Rio Grande to Cindad Porfirio Diaz. Cindad Porfirio Diaz is a place of about 10,000 people and is the head quarters of the Mexican International railway. The oflicers and most of the employees of the road, numbering sever al hundred at this point, are Americans. There are a few railroad frame buildings here and with the exception of an occasional wooden railroad depot on two or three of the railroads, there is not another building in Mexico made of wood, the buildings in the cities being built of stone and those in the country of adobe. An enterprising American in Monterey started a brick yard there five or six years ago, and now there are a few brick buildings in that city and four or five in other towns. The Mexican International railroad runs from Cindad Porfirio Diaz to Durango, a distance of about 500 miles, its course being a little west of south. Durango has a population of some 40,000 or 50,000 and is a mining center of a consiuerable portion of western Mexico. The aforesaid railroad has two long and important branches, the one running to Monterey and the other into Mexico’s greatest coal fields. Passengers via this company’s line, bound for the City of Mexico and southeast interior points have to change to the Mexican Central railway at Torreon. Torreon is a thriving place of about 20,000 people. Its so-called American eating house is run by two Americanized Chinese. Here and at other towns in this section are cotton mills and other manufactories. Tor* would be destroyed but the conscience would still remain intact. The con science is a calm, impartial judge that stands above the emotional nature and is not swayed by it. When we act through our emotions we are guided by impulse not conscience. G. B. G. St. Paul, Minn. ROUTES TO MEXICO. reon is about 330 miles from Cindad Porfirio Diaz. Now, starting from El Paso on the Mexican Central: El Paso itself is a nice, enterprising, lively, up to date place, with a population of about 20,000, It has one of the best if not the best post office, of any city of its size in the world. The course of the Mexican Central from El Paso to the City of Mexico is southeast. Crossing the Rio Grande, the first place of any note is Chihuahua, with a population oi about 50,000, 225 miles from El Paso. Here also is a mining center for north west Mexico. An American brewery and a considerable number of Ameri cans are located here. Passing on from Chihuahua through Torreon the next important town is Zacatecas, a city *of some 70,000 inhabitants. All the Mexican towns mentioned in this paper appear ancient, but Zacatecas far outstrips them all in this respect. Stepping from a modern Pullman car and passing up through the streets of that city I thought I had suddenly been transplanted to the city of Jerusa lem. The soil from Texas to this point is mostly gray clay and more or less parched, but here, and for some distance south it is red, liks eastern Texas, northern Louisiana, Mississippi, Ala bama, Georgia and the Carolinas. From Zacatecas we pass on to Auguas Calientes, a place of about 30,000. This is a watering place of some note. Waters of hot springs here are supposed to be beneficial for various diseases. From this point a branch of the Mexican Central runs east through San Luis Potosi to Tampico on the Gulf of Mexico, a distance of more than 500 miles. Continuing on the main line, a few hours brings ns to Silao. This is a place of about 10,000 and division head quarters of the Mexican Central. From here a branch road runs to Guanajato, a great mining town of 50,000, about twenty miles northeast. Most of the railroad men at Silao are Americans. We are now a little less than 300 miles from the City of Mexico, and are in the midst of a rich agricultural district of dark soil. We next come to Irapuata, a small station nineteen miles from Silao, famous throughout Mexico, and to travelers as the straw berry town; for here strawberries grow and ripen perpetually. Every day, 365 days m the year, women and children line the station platform under the windows of passing trains and sell their strawberries to passengers. From here to the City of Mexico we pass through a rich agricultural country most of the way, and also pass several good sized towns but none larger than 30,000 population. Arriving in the City of Mexico one may take a car or a first, second, or third class carriage to the Sans, Iturbide or Zardin hotels. There are numerous other hotels but these are mote like American hotels than the others and are the best in the city. A. J. B. All delights are vain; but that most vain, Which with pain purchased doth inherit p^in.—Love’s Labour's Lost, i. I. Terms- i si-«oper year, in adv; nee e-mvia. , s , x Months 60 cents.