Ben Goodkind.

A poor American in Ireland and Scotland online

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Class of 1887









Copyright, 1913, by BEN GOODKIND
Published in February, 1913



Chapter Page

I Billy and 1 5

II -Ho for California 25

III As Regards Hoboes 40

IV On to Frisco 49

V 3an Francisco 65

VI Doing Frisco 68

VII Billy and I Chat 78

VIII Beating It Overland 94

IX Niagara Falls 127

X My Buffalo Sweetheart 130

XI New York City 134

XII Henrietta 139

XIII I Secure a Job 143

XIV Steerage to Glasgow 148

XV The Debut in Scotland 170

XVI Glasgow 175


CONTENTS (Continued)

Chapter Page

XVII Getting a Square Meal 184

XVIII Looking for a Furnished Room 188

XIX Doing Glasgow 193

XX Dancing in the Green .196

XXI Taking in a Show 202

XXII "Ta-ta, Glesgie" 209

XXIII Edinburgh 217

XXIV Holyrood Palace 227

XXV I Seek Work in Edinboro 233

XXVI Sir Walter Scott 239

XXVII Stirling Castle 246

XXVIII Perth, Dundee, Arbroath 252

XXIX Off for Ireland 257

XXX Belfast 263

XXXI Portrush 274

XXXII Londonderry 279


Stranger, will you please permit me to give you an in-
troduction to a very particular friend of mine Little Billy?

Little Billy and I had been on the bum togeth?r a lonjr
while, and had prospected for gold and other things in Uta,h,
Nevada, Mexico, Arizona and several other states and territor-
ies, but somehow we never struck it rich. We had lots of ad-
ventures, though, some of which were pretty lively and inter-
esting, but I cannot stop to relate them here, for this book is
written for another purpose.

One adventure we had, however, I will relate, for as it
proved mighty interesting to us it may also prove so to others.
It concerned two young girls, and it took Billy and I a long
time to get over it, for adventures of that kind were few
with us.

One beautiful October morning Billy and I started out to
walk from Ogden to Salt Lake City, a distance of about thirty-
seven miles, and as we had a little money in our pockets,
which we had earned by laboring in the harvest fields, we felt
happy and independent, for what we had earned we had come
by fairly and were beholden to nobody for. The weather was
fine, cool and sunny, and it infected our spirits to a high de-
gree. We talked and laughed aloud, whistled or sang as the
mood came over us. The country through which we were
walking was fine, for it was dotted with grain fields, meadows,
orchards, snug farm-houses, and here and there along the
road side, by shade trees.

"Say Billy," said I to my chum, "these Mormon fellows
have got good taste. See the snug farm-houses they've got,

will you; the fine orchards, the splendid fields and all the
other nice things. W^sh I was a Mormon. I wouldn't mind
liviai?. in a ^ou-atry like this. It's mighty snug and cosy."

"It surely is fine. Windy," retorted Billy, "but I don't
1 i < \ '\ .it -ili- - \\\ like to-be a Mormon or not. Does a fellow
have to marry a lot of women if he is a Mormon?"

"I don't know, Billy. If he does, then I wouldn't want
to be one. I wouldn't mind marrying a girl or two, one for
every day and one for Sunday, but two is company and three
is a crowd. Two will do me. But how about the mother-in-
laws? Is a mother-in-law thrown in every time a fellow mar-
ries a girl?"

"Search me, Windy; I don't know. If the mother-in-law
is thrown in every time, it's tough. No Mormonism in .mine,
thank you. They say Brigham Young had twenty-eight wives.
He must have been "a lustful, liquorish old codger, and if one
fellow has so many I wouldn't think there'd be enough to go
around. I've heard that the Mormons are dead stuck on
apples, cider and ladies. I wonder if that's so."

"I guess there's some truth in it, Billy, but I don't see what
one chap wants so many wives for. Ain't two or three, or
half a dozen enough?"

"Does he have to support them all, Windy?"

"Sure thing, son. The women can't live on air and scen-
ery, can they?''

"Well, hardly," responded Billy. "Guess I won't join the
Mormon Church just yet."

"Wait till you make a strike and get some money ahead,
then you can sail in and try your luck with a few wives."

"All right, Windy. Let it be understood though, that I
don't take in the mother-in-laws. I like peace and quietness
in my home, I do."

Talking thus in a joking or blustering way, we walked
along until about noon-time when we came to a clump of
trees along the road-side which afforded a pleasant resting
place. Between the trees rushed a deep irrigating ditch which,
was spanned by a substantial stone viaduct.

We unslung our blankets from our shoulders, dropped them
on the sward beside iis and sat down on the convenient
stump of a tree. There were no houses in the immediate
vicinity, though there was an orchard not far away, in about
the center of which stood a commodious old farm-house. On
the other side of the road were fields from which the corn
had just been harvested and was shocked up on the ground.

After regarding our surroundings for a moment or two,
we brought forth a generous lunch which we had brought
with us, had a royal feast, and washed it down with draughts
of water from the irrigating ditch. The ditch-water was clear
and cool, but it looked as if there might be some earthen
sediment in it. For this, though, we did not care. A little
dirt more or less never harmed us.

After we had eaten and drank our fill we pulled forth
our pipes and indulged in a smoke, chatting in the mean-
while; soon afterward we lay down and indulged in a sleep
for an' hour or two. It was about three o'clock in the after-
noon when we awoke, and we concluded then to continue our
journey toward Salt Lake. Just as we were getting ready to
leave we noticed two girls coming toward us from the direc-
tion of Salt Lake. We sat down again and took notice im-
mediately. We wondered why two young ladies would be
wandering all alone along the public road. "Are they farm-
ers' wives, school girls, farmers' daughters, or what?" thought

"Say Billy, I guess we may be in for a little joy. Let's
brace them," suggested I.

"What for?" petulantly responded Billy. "We might get
into trouble."

"Trouble?" echoed I in derision. "What trouble could we
get into by talking to two girls? If they don't want to talk
to us they can keep a moving, can't they? I'm going to brace
them. You keep mum, if you like."

As the young ladies came nearer to us we observed that
they were about seventeen or eighteen years of age, that
they were dressed in calico garments and that they carried

books in their hands. Their skirts, which reached to their
shoe tops were slightly blown aside occasionally by the
breeze as they walked, revealing glimpses of sturdy ankles.
The taller one of the two was a blonde with an abundance
of yellow hair and features that were charming. She had
blue eyes, a milk-white complexion, fine teeth and a shape
that was alluring.

The other girl was somewhat shorter in stature and was
what might be called a demi-blonde, for her hair was of a
chestnut hue; her eyes were hazel in hue, her ears small and
her countenance round and full like a harvest moon, but,
she too, was graceful in build, and showed in every form and
feature, like her companion, that she was country-bred. Both
were strong, sturdy and healthy.

The young ladies were talking and laughing aloud as they
advanced toward us, and the one with the hazel eyes, when
she laughed, squealed like a young colt. A lively and merry
lass was she, a romp and a hoyden, I thought, and if she is
not a born coquette and heart-smasher, then I miss my guess.

As I regarded these two visions of lovliness my heart
went pit-a-pat, and I was smitten. I really don't know which
one I liked the best, though they were both enticing. I am
dark and fancy blondes, but, other colors fascinate me, too.

I sure was somewhat frustrated, and as to Billy, I don't
know how he felt, for my eyes were rivited on the girls and
not on him. I have always been a susceptible chap as regards
the girls, and it never took me long to lose my head com-
pletely or to make a fool of myself when in their company.
Billy, though, was reserved, cold and distant (at first), but
when once he got started he showed himself to be a bigger
fool than I am. He just threw up his hands and surrendered
unconditionally. A girl could do anything she liked with him.

When the girls reached the spot where we were sitting,
I pulled off my hat by way of salute and timidly said, ''good
day, ladies!"

"How de do," responded the demi-blonde heartily, with a
smile, for she saw that I was flustrated.

"This is a lovely day?" queried I.

'Indeed it is," responded she.

"Fine country around here," volunteered I.

"Yep," responded she.

The ice being broken and the conversation fairly started,
it was kept up, until finally at a shy hint from me, the girls
sat down near us, the demi-blonde near me and the blonde
near Billy.

Bye-and-bye Billy and the blonde moved some distance
away from us, where they were soon absorbed in conversation,
so I had the other charmer all to myself. This is what we
had to say to each other:

"Do you live around here?" queried I.

"About half a mile from here," answered she.
* "Just coming from school?"

"Yep," laconically responded she.

"What do your folks do?"

"Ranch," she said.

"Do you like living on a ranch?"

"No, I don't," she snapped. "I hate it. What fun is there
on a ranch? Nothing to see, nowhere to go, the same old
thing all the time."

"Why, don't they give any dances or parties around here 9 "
asked I.

"Oh, only once in a while," responded she in a tired way.
"Once in a great while I go to a dance in Ogden or Salt Lake,
or to the skating rink, and that's about all the fun I have.
Wish I could live in Salt Lake or Ogden. I'm sick of this old
place." '

"Well, it must be kind of lonely for you. May I ask what
your name is?"

"My name is Annie. What's yours?"

"My name is Windy Bill."

The young girl looked at me to see if I were trifling with
her, but when she saw that I was not, she turned her head
aside, snickered and then broke out into peals of laughter. I


didn't know that I had said anything funny, so I asked her
what she was laughing at.

"That name of yours, of course. It's a horrid one. Where
did you get it?"

"Oh, I'm a great talker and when I get started I don't
know enough sometimes to stop, so as my front name is
William, or Bill, somebody nick-named me Windy Bill, and
that name has clung to me ever since."

"If it were mine, I think I'd a changed it. It isn't a nice
name at all."

"How am I going to change it? That's been my name for
years and that's what every one calls me. May be it will be
changed some day when I get married," said I, jokingly.

"I don't think any one would marry a man with such a
name as that. I am quite sure I wouldn't."

"Pardon me for asking; are you ladies Mormons?"

"Yes, we both are; and so is almost every one else
around here. Utah is a Mormon state, you know."

"Is every one in Utah a Mormon?"

"No indeed," replied the young lady. "There are more
gentiles than Mormons."

"Is it true that a Mormon can have all the wives he
wants ?"

"No, it isn't. It is against the law to have more than
one wife, and the Mormons are a law-abiding people."

"I've heard that some Mormons have several wives on the
sly. Is that true?"

"No, it is not," responded the young lady, reddening with
anger. "Some people have very little to do, telling stories
about the Mormons. If those kind of people were to mind
their own business they would get along much better than
they do. It has always been the fashion with some people
to fib about the Mormons and to run them down, and to say
ill-natured things about them, but the Mormons go along and
mind their business and don't interfere with anyone, so I
don't see why others can't attend to theirs!"

"Well, miss, please forgive me. I am only asking for in-


formation. I don't know much about the Mormon business.
I'm told that when a Mormon marries a girl she gets sealed
to him. Is that so?"

"I'd advise you to get married yourself and find out, 1 ' an-
swered the girl sharply.

"Oh, don't get mad. I don't mean any harm," said I.

"I'm not angry," replied the young lady, "but I do hate
to hear the Mormons fibbed about."

"I've been told," persisted I, "that when Mormons get
married they get sealed to each other in the Temple at Salt
Lake in a secret chamber. Is that so?"

"Young man, you're far too inquisitive, and I think you
had better look for information some where else," angrily ex-
claimed the young lady.

With that she arose and declared that she would have
to go home.

"Christeenah," shrilled she to her companion, "it's get-
ting late and we'd better be going!"

"All right," shrieked back Christeenah. "I'm a coming!"

I had grieviously offended Miss Annie, but I knew not how,
for I was only seeking information and did not know that I
had said any thing to hurt her feelings. I felt heartily sorry
now, for the girl's good looks and cleverness had made an
impression upon me and I hated to see her depart. I wanted
to draw her out more, and to indulge in a little love making-
had she permitted, but I had spoiled it all. I felt down-hearted
for a few moments, but this feeling soon gave- way to anger,
for if the girl wanted to get mad about nothing, she was wel-
come to do so and be blowed to her.

Billy had to break away from his charmer, too, and he
was mighty loth to do'it. He told me afterward that Chris-
teenah was a loving girl, and that she had let him squeeze her
hand and kiss it, but that was as far as she would let him go.
She was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen he said.

"Say, Billy, let's us join the Mormon Church and marry
them two girls," said I, to see what Billy would say.


"Join nothing," responded Billy. "I aint no Mormon and
I don't intend to become one. That girl was mighty tempt-
ing, though," reflectively added he, with a grave countenance
and far-away gaze. "Darned if I wouldn't like to marry her."

The dear creatures had gone and left us. We thought-
fully continued our journey toward Salt Lake, thinking-
thoughts unutterable and not saying much, but, bye-and-bye
our gay spirits returned to us, for what was the '.ise of feel-
ing blue.

As we were good walkers it did not take us long to reach
Salt Lake City, and we did not have to walk all the distance
either, for a hay wagon came along with the driver perched
on a high seat in the front part of the wagon, and he stopped
his team and asked us if we wanted a ride. We told him,
yes, and climbed up on the seat beside him. He was going
to Salt Lake, he told us, and during the two hours that we
spent in his company we had quite a chat with him.

When asked the question, he informed us that he was a
Mormon, and from the information he gave us, we could un-
derstand that he was quite well-to-do and pretty high up in
the Church. Some of the questions we put to him made him
smile, but he answered them frankly and good-naturedly. He
was a handsome man, about thirty-five or there-about, had a
black mustache, agreeable features and manners, and was a
farmer. He was going to Salt Lake to make some purchases,
he told us.

It was about seven o'clock when we got into Salt Lake,
and as we were hungry, the first thing we did was to hunt
up a restaurant where we had a satisfactory meal for fifty
cents for the both of us. After a smoke and a little saunter
through the streets, we hunted up a rooming house. There
we obtained a large, well-furnished room with a large bed in
it for the two of us for four bits fifty cents.

We awoke bright and early the next morning feeling
happy as clams at high tide and soon we were ready for put-
ting in a day of sight-seeing and enjoyment.


Salt Lake is a pretty large city, the capitol of Mormon-
dom, and lies in a snug valley, surrounded by fairly lofty, but
rather bare mountains. The streets are wide and well shaded,
through some of them run brooks of clear mountain water,
it contains many business streets, and fine residences. A
great many of the people are Mormons, but there are many
who are not. All, however, seem to get along together ami-
cably enough. The Mormons have learned long ago that they
cannot have the whole state of Utah to themselves, so they
treat the gentile courteously. Utah is a large state covering
a great deal of territory, but today (1913) it does not contain,
all told, half a million of people about 400,000 is nearer the

There is a great deal of space fenced in about the won-
derful Mormon Temple in Salt Lake, the grounds of which
are laid out tastefully in trees, shrubs and flowers, but as it
requires some red tape to get into the Temple, Billy and I
concluded not to go in. There is a Tithing House connected
with the Temple, we were informed, in which every Mormon
is obliged to go occasionally to offer up a tithe of his earnings
to help support the Church. This is a duty which no Mormon
must fail in, for if he does he will be regarded with disfavor
and soon get into bad standing with his co-religionists. There
is a Tithing House in Ogden, too, and in every other Mormon
settlement, however small or large, I believe.

The Mormons are clever people, and in almost every way
are like others, except in the matter of religion and in a few
other respects. They follow the strict text of the old testa-
ment, which says that they can have all the wives and concu-
bines they want, but the United States law steps in and says
that they can have only one wife, for if they have more than
one, that constitutes polygamy which is contrary to the sta-
tutes made and provided. Under these circumstances the
poor Mormons are in a quandary, for if they follow the strict
teachings of their bible, they will get into trouble with the
United States authorities, and if they do not follow the teach-
ings of the good book, then they are acting in a reprehensible


manner, too. What are the poor fellows to do under these
circumstances ?

I am going to tell you a little secret. Don't give me away,
please! They have all the wives they want, who get "sealed"'
to them on the sly. Sh! Don't say I told you. How do I
know it? Why, almost every one in Salt Lake who is not a
Mormon will tell you so. Where there is smoke there is fire,
but the Mormons deny strenuously . and emphatically that
there is any thing unlawful going on in their midst.

Some people think that Mormonism is dying out. It is
not. It is spreading. Today there are Mormon settlements
an Idaho, Montana and other western states and territories,
and more are being established. Proselyting is going on.
The Mormons are into all kinds of enterprises, such as banks,
railroads, trusts, commercial affairs, agriculture, manufactur-
ing, etc., and many of them are wealthy. Some of them can
support a mighty big harem, if they chose, and many of them
do so, no doubt.

There was Brigham Young, for instance. He is dead
now, but when he was alive he was into all kinds of enter-
prises, and was a leader and organizer in many. He was a
man of wonderful genius and the true founder of Mormon-
ism, one may say. Mormonism and Brigham Young are
synonomous terms, and Brigham's name will live when that
of every other Mormon leader will have been forgotten.

Billy and I meandered around Salt Lake a great deal
during the few days that we spent there, and in the saloons
especially did we learn a great deal about Mormonism, some
of which may have been true and some not. We were told
that the Mormon women like finery as well as any one else,
and that they were right up-to-date in that regard.

Ogden is another Mormon town of some consequence, and
there we went next. It lies at the base of the Wahsatch
range of mountains and is thirty-seven miles distant from
Salt Lake.

Ogden is a railroad center and full of restaurants, over-
land lunch places, rooming houses, hotels, and the like. It


contains several fine streets which are full of handsome, up-
to-date stores. This burg, too, is alive with Mormons, and the
tabernacle there is a sight to see. It is an immense egg-
shaped building, capable of holding ten thousand or more peo-
ple, the interior being so constructed that if one drops a pin
upstairs, downstairs, or anywhere else in the building, one
can distinctly hear the noise of its fall anywhere within its
precincts. When Billy let a pin drop, he standing at one end
of the building and I at the other, we were mystified.

As our money was pretty nearly all gone by this time, we
slept out several nights under a cosy shed in a brick-yard
with our warm blankets over us. We liked this way of
sleeping just as well as snoozing in a bed, and better, for
rooms are sometimes rather stuffy. The outdoor life strength-
ens and hardens one, and we felt fit for anything. We were
strong and hardy as mules and could work like them arid eat
like them, too.

It may not be a bad idea if I were to give a short de-
scription of my little partner, Billy, here, so that you may
get a better idea of what sort of an individual he was like.
As regards myself I need not say much, for you will per-
ceive what kind of an individual I am as this narrative pro-

Billy was an English chap, born in the town of York,
Yorkshire, after which the the little old town of New York
City is named, and a place famous for Yorkshire puddings.
Maybe you've heard of these puddings? I'd like to taste
one to see what they're like. They must be good since they're
so famous.

Billy was what might be called a strawberry blonde, for
his hair was somewhat like the color of a strawberry, and
so was his moustache. The little fellow was not more than
about five feet two in height, but he was as strong and tough
as wire, and his powers of endurance were great, greater than
mine, who was taller than he. Billy was much enamoured
of that moustache of his, for it was the cutest little one ever
seen. It was not one of the straggly kind with hairs sticking


out all over it, but well shaped, neat and compact, with just
the cutest little spit-curls at either end imaginable. It was
a darling moustache and no mistake. Maybe Billy wasn't
proud of it! He admired it hugely, and whenever an oppor-
portunity offered would pull forth his lookingglass from his
pocket, curl and fondle the moustache, and admire it to
his heart's -content. Many a time I bantered him about it
and told him that I wished I had something like that; how
much he'd take for it, etc., but Billy took no heed of such
pleasantries. He just contemplated himself in the glass and
grinned. And yet I cannot say that the little fellow was
vain, for he was not stuck on the girls and would rather avoid
than meet them. Whether this was diffidence or reserve,
I don't know.

Billy had blue eyes, a fair complexion, and small hands
and feet, which were in proportion to his size, I suppose.
Some people called him "Shorty," but Billy did not like the
appelation, so I never used it. He considered himself as
big as anybody else. And so he was, too. I, his partner, who
know him well, can cheerfully testify that he was a man,
every inch of him, even if his inches were not so many.
Neither was he a bad-looking chap, nor had he a bad temper.
His disposition was an equable one, and he never grew angry
unless I teased him too much. Altogether, he was as nice a
little fellow as one could find in a day's travel.

In different places that we had been in, we had heard
miners speak of Virginia City, and what a great old mining
camp it had been, so we concluded to go there and have a look
at it. Virginia City was a long way from Ogden, but that did
not matter to us, for there were railroads running in that
direction that we could beat, therefore, distance had no ter-
rors for us.

But I did not finish my description of Billy, wholly, so I
had better do so before I proceed with my tale.

Billy was born and raised in York, which lies somewhere
north of London, he told me, and attended school in his
native city until he was nearly twenty years of age. His

. 17

parents, who were not educated, saw the advantages of an
education, and concluded to give Billy the best there was
going. Had they been able financially, they would have sent
him to college, but as they could not afford to do so, Billy
had to get along as well as he could without the higher edu-

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Online LibraryBen GoodkindA poor American in Ireland and Scotland → online text (page 1 of 23)