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Vol. XXV—No. 27, PICTURES OF MINE. In gentle apathy, sweet dreams that come and go Clear streams that flow and ebb across my heart, Spring up bright pictures of ethereal art. In sunshine radiant green meadows spread before My open door, dew drenched and faintly sweet. — An arcady where mating skylarlcs iheet. Neath shad’wy glimmering, acrystal pool in sleep Gay fairies leap and dance about it's brim And sport on one another pleasure’s whim. In living silences, a narrow, dim-lit glade. Where young deer wade knee deep in swaying fern. Or speed away in frolic and return. A garden, flower-strewn, where little children play The summer day through, laughing with the breeze That lips sweet songs of pleasure to the trees. A maiden’s trusting heart that nurtures thoughts of love. The blue above is not more pure than she. — What walls can close this gallery to me? THE LAND Of HEART’S DESIRE Paver Read Before the Chaulaueiua Circie I am going to speak to you this afternoon about the “Land of Heart’s Desire,” a name of recent origin for a country which was for merly identified as the “Land ,that God forgot.” It has been about a score of years since Richard Harding Davis wrote his interesting little book “The West From a Car Window,” in which he devoted a chapter to Southwestern Texas. He paid his respects to it by describiqg it as the most boundless, barren wilderness of chaparral and underbrush, and the most worthless waste in all America. He dealt at length on the fact that it was the last stand for most of the bad men of two great nations, the United States and Mexico; for the almost impenetrable thicket was pathless and higher than a man’s head. The fugitive who reached that rendezvous was practically safe from pursuit, notwithstanding the fact that army posts dotted the re gion and that a regiment of Texas Rangers patroled its precincts. The portion of Texas referred to reached from a point fifty miles south of San Antonio to the Rio Grande near Eagle Pass, and on the south from Brownsville to Corpus Christi; a territory larger than the Massachusetts and of which lie might well have said: Somber and vast your stretches, Bathed the pioneers, Aud by thy tragic menace They moistened your wilds with tears. World of wilderness everywhere, Level and dim and wide, Wide as the horizon’s verges, Pathless on every side. The years have added to Richard IT anting Davis’ fame as a writer and have likewise proven him an utter failure as a land scout, for the desolate domain he so graphically described is today “The Land of Heart’s Desire.” The tangled wild wood that deceived him continued its unholy work up to less than eight years ago, and it is only very recently that this section' of our country, known as the Rio Grande Valley—the Nile of America —has come into its own. A railroad contractor working in the region in 1903 observed that the country east of the Rio Grande was cut at intervals by old dry creek EDITED AND PUBLISHED WEEKLY BY THE INMATES OF THE MINNESOTA STATE PRISO m Teau Esprita STEELE BARD beds, indicating that the river had at one time flowed to the sea through innumerable small chan nels. His profile maps showed that these former waterways were lower than the present bed of the river, hence the thought occurred to his trained engineering mind that it would only be necessary to turn a part of the river water into these old channels when it would flow by gravity over a wide expanse of ter ritory, and be available for irriga tion. Since the waters of the Rio Grande carry nearly fifteen per cent, of precious salts and other soil enrichening materials, it is plain that such a plan meant more than the ordinary sense in which the word irrigation is used. A corporation was formed, the connecting canal cut and the rich yellow flood flowed as per schedule and the lowly sneaking sage brush slunk away before the harvest of waters, and the chaparral desert: be- came a garden. In those days you could have bought a million acres of that land for half as many dollars. Today, even the uncleared an unirrigated lands in the Rio Grande country sell for from fifteen to twenty dol lars an acre, and if accessable to an irrigation ditch, from two hundred dollars to six hundred dollars an acre. Three railroads have built into the region and two more are headed that way. Thirty thousand people came in last year and more than that number this year. One country, that in 1908 cast a thou sand votes has been cut into two counties, each with more than five thousand people. Four years ago when I came through the Rio Grande Valley I saw a sign board which one planter had erected on his farm bearing this legend: “Two thousand miles from Broadway and Glad of It,” and this feeling of satisfaction seems to pervade the whole of Southwestern Texas, and to grow with the advent of the years. Indeed, even in those early days of the Valley’s develop i ment it seemed to me Kipling might i have had the region in mind when i he wrote: “Here’s to the cool of your deep verandas, • Here’s to the plays of your jewelled mam, To the night, to the palms in the moonlight, And the fire flies in the cane.” For the succulent sugar cane is the standard crop in this country of content where an acre produces three times as much profit with less labor than the best sugar land in Louisiana, and where the residue from the sugar mills is safely stored away in big four-footed warehouses in the form of hogs. Here they telephone for rain and raise a crop every month in the year. Fifteen-hundred miles nearer the main markets than California and with a spring time production six weeks earlier than Florida and a climate that produces nearly everything that grows in Cuba or Jamaica, is it any wonder that the Rio Grande country is looming large on the map of agricultural America? Perhaps I paint the picture with the brush of an idealist but it is still —“ XT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO MEND. STILLWATER, MINNESOTA, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 8,1912. has yet to be visited with a killing: frost or crop failure, intolerable heat, tornadoes or pests; so yon may well imagine the satisfaction of the south Texas farmer when the train rolls away to the north with his February cucumbers, beans, can taloupes and other out-of-season products, well may he wear the smile that’s there to stay for he has made good in the land where beauty weds bounty % and comfort clasps hands with prosperity. He is a prisoner of happiness in a mighty domain of golden future. But it is the lowly onion that is piling up the great fortunes in the Rio Grande region. Here the Bur muda grows in reckless abundance and to a size that puts its island an cestry to shame. Water is the pil lar of prosperity for the onion grower and the riches that are rooted in the Rio are easily trans ferred by irrigation to the onion bed. Six hundred dollars an acre from this crop is not unusual and the land is used three quarters of the year for growing alfalfa, which in turn is converted into cheese and butter, for as a dairying country the region is rapidly coming to the Perhaps I might quote a newspaper poet and say that it is here front. “The cows are fairly achin’ to go on record breakin’, And the hogs are raising bacon by the keg.” Two navigable streams traverse this American Egypt, and the irri gation ditches are large enough for transporting by small boats, all the farm products to the railway sta tions, while two gulf ports are with in easy reach.• A dozen towns have come into being within a few years and they are models of all a town should be. In nearly every case the town has been built deliberately, all planned out ahead, then lots sold at auction to be followed by a friendly contest in rapid and substantial building. A system of one hundred miles of electric railroad already connects all these towns, so that every farmer is practically a city man. In fact, the old fashioned country farmer is an unknown quantity in Southwestern Texas. There is still room down there for half a million people. Only ten per cent, of the country has been cleared and irrigated. It is still golden with opportunity; its lap overflows with inexhaustible chances to make good and its wel come is as big and as broad as the mighty state in which it lies. It is the fabled isle of the old nursery wonder rhyme come true, the rock-a-bye sugar-plum land of visions realized, of hopes fulfilled. < The President of the Chinese Re public is the sensation of the day — a Sun-Yat-Sensation. i Have you been Riotisced? Biofis cing has done away with posing. If it would do away with posers, there are quite a number of people and questions we would like to see Bio fisced at once. You cannot waste time without wasting opportunity as well, and opportunities once wasted do not re turn. —NIL DESPERANDUM. 1 MEXIGO. * N. M. Paper Read, Before the Chautauqua Circle: Mexico, the land of “Manana,” it is sometimes called, and I would hdd the words, “quein sabe?” Mahan a, in English means tomor row and quien sabe is, don’t know. These words one hears uttered by the Mexican Peon more frequently than all the rest in his vocabulary,, which, by the way, is very limited. I am speaking of Mexico as I knew it a decade ago,, but it is un doubtedly the same to-day. The population is divided into two classes,, the wealthy, who are mostly of pure Spanish extraction, and the Peons, who are part Span ish and part Aztee Indian. There is no middle class. /The Peons comprise about ninety per cent, of the population. I found them to> fee small of stature and very dark skinned. Their features are coarse and show plainly the Indian blood. They are deplorably ignor ant, very few being able to read and write, and they have no conception, of personal responsibility; also they are devoid of any ambition, except perhaps to possess a horse. There may be virtues in them, according to their ideas and customs, but they are not in accord with our standards. They love pleasure and excitement and are extremely lazy. The only possible way to keep them m one’s employ is to allow them to be continually over-drawn, as the Mexican law forbides an employee from quitting your service while he is your debtor. This is an old Span ish law and most of the laws in the land to-day are on a par with it. The wants of the Peon are few; a pair of cotton trousers, a shirt and a hat constitute his wardrobe and his diet is mainly corn and beans. Those who do not live in the cities never pay rent. 'A few poles and a lot of mud thrown together make his shelter, and mother earth his bed. The greater part of their wages, when, they earn any, goes for pulque and the gambling table. Pulque is to the Mexican what beer is to the German, but the former knows no moderation, except perhaps in work. Pulque is the fermented juiee of the maguey plant, looks very much like city milk, has a sour smell and its intoxicating powers multiply with age. The first odor to greet one on entering a village and the last to bid farewell is pulque. Its one virtue is its cheapness and that is a curse. This vile stuff which has been the national beverage of Mexico for five centuries, has, without a doubt been the cause of making the Peon w hat he is to-day. This country, for over a score of years, has held its place with the other nations of the world, by being ruled by an iron hand. The govern* ment has been republic in name, but imperial in force. Ex-president Diaz, who was first of all a soldier, demanded obedience. His greatest stength existed in his knowing the weaknessess of the people over which he ruled. Had be given a part of his time to the uplifting and advancement of his countrymen, his name would go down in history as one of the great men of this genera- tion. * _ ( sl:OOa,V*ar TERMB*) GMonths Fifty Cits. 'Unless another Diar, takes com mand Mexico, will soon become'an other week-end republic like her sisters farther south. She needs to be kept under the lash until every citizen haslearned his-duty as a citi zen, than she might be paroled* but parolbd only. The country is-unusually well favored by nature and by develop ing its- resources* should soon be come one of the rich nations of the world. It has- vast forests of valuable timbers; but a- very small per cent, of its-minerals have been uncovered and it has-the soil of both temperate and tropic zones* produc ing most everything from corn to bananas. So far, the fault has been that foreign capital has done the only developing, and consequently the wealth has gone abroad. Tbe great masses- are as poor to-day as they were a hundred years ago, while most of the necessaties of life have doubled in price. Work* ten hours of it, six days in every week is what they need. That and that alone will bring about their salvation. At present there are ever one hundred holidays in their yearly calendar, not counting Sundays; in total almost one-half the days of the year and nothing will tempt a Peon to labor on a holiday. They should be taught modern methods and the use and benefits of modern implements. I have seen a hundred 1 laborers in a railroad con struction gang, fill their wheel bar rows with dirt, lift tbe whole thing to their backs and carry it to the damp. Ask one of them why he does this and he will answer “quien saber’ A few words about their mounted police and lam done: They are called, Rnralies, and no boast of any better. Sometime in the eighties President Diaz issued a proclamation to all uncaptured ban dits and outlaws. This edict stated that, upon their immediate surrend er, they would be given a full par don and placed upon the pay roll of the government as mounted police. They responed “almost to a man.” By this one act, the country was purged of its desperate criminals and given a force of men who know no fear, are at home in the saddle and are familar with every hiding place in the land. When an order is given them to bring in a man, they never fail, though many times it’s only a corpse. So much for the wisdom of Proferrio Diaz. Let us be of good cheer, remem bering that the misfortunes hardest to bear are those which never come. —Lowall There is no end to the sky, And there stars are everywhere, And time is eternity, And Here is over There; For the common deeds of the common day Are ringing bells in the far away. “One may get unliminted credit at the Bank of faith.” “It is by presence of mind in un» tiied emergencies that the native metal of a man is toasted” —Lowell Every good thought we think lifts us up into its own world.