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and having found shelter behind a hay-stack, they put up their shelter
tents over their wheels and slept comfortably in the storm all night.
The next morning repairs were effected, and by fast riding the
stragglers overtook their companions.

The foraging was a source of about as much fun to the boys as the
cooking. The first evening of the trip the foragers brought back to camp
among other things a bag of oatmeal. A special order was given to the
guard that night to notify the three-o'clock detail to put the oatmeal
on the fire to cook slowly at 3.30 A.M. The guard obeyed his
instructions as far as they went, but, not being a cook, and having
received no further orders, he did not look at the oatmeal again, with
the result that this particular breakfast dish was not much of a
success. But sleeping in the open air sharpens the appetite, and burnt
as it was, the oatmeal was entirely consumed. On another occasion - this
time it was for luncheon - foragers were, as usual, detailed to supply
the commissariat. All who had been sent out returned to camp within a
reasonable time, except two, and it was soon deemed expedient by the
Major to send a corporal's guard in search of these. The guard remaining
absent very much longer than seemed necessary, the Major himself mounted
his wheel and started to gather in the delinquents. He found them,
corporal's guard and all, comfortably seated behind a hay-stack eating
pork and beans and cold chicken, and drinking fragrant hot coffee from a
generous earthen pot. The farmers all along the route were most generous
to the bicyclists. In a number of cases they absolutely refused to
accept any pay for provisions furnished. At a place near Bloomington the
country people were notably hospitable. One man brought to the camp
seven dozen eggs, another six spring chickens, and another a pail of
milk, while one thoughtful mother sent all the pies she had in the
house. Then the good natives sat around on the grass and watched the
boys cook and eat.

[Illustration: A QUIET CAMP BY THE WAY.]

Wherever it was possible to do so, camp was pitched near water. One of
the prettiest spots found was on the shore of the Kankakee River, near
Wilmington, where the corps brought up late one afternoon after a hot
and dusty ride. Tents were never before so quickly raised, and a minute
later the quiet stream was being churned into foam by the swimmers. At
Lincoln the camp was on State property, and the boys had the use of the
National Guard's swimming pool. But this was not the only courtesy they
received at the hands of the militia. At this same Camp Lincoln the
Adjutant-General's department had provided good-sized tents for the
bicyclists, with extra blankets, and a cooking-stove, on which hot
coffee was steaming when the corps arrived. Further on in the run the
same hospitality was shown. At Streator a good-natured merchant
distributed free soda-water checks to all, and as many as each wanted.
One lady invited the cadets into her house and gave them cake and
lemonade, and had all the girls of the neighborhood in to serve it. The
notes of the "Assembly Call" were mighty unwelcome sounds that

But besides the fun and the exercise and healthfulness of the journey, a
good deal of useful information was absorbed. On the run out from
Chicago the road followed the line of the new drainage canal, giving all
a good opportunity to witness the blasting and the working of the giant
machine shovels. At Springfield the corps visited the Legislature, then
in session, and the home of President Lincoln. They were also received
by the Governor. At Joliet they were taken through the penitentiary, and
among other souvenirs of the place, each one carried away a piece of
striped cloth from the tailor shops. These pieces did important duty
later in the journey, most of them returning to Chicago in the form of
patches to the well worn uniforms.

On the whole the trip proved most successful, and there is not much
those boys don't know to-day about the handling of bicycles.



For a number of years I have been a traveller on the North River
ferry-boats running between New York and Jersey City. One of the
pleasures of these short trips has been in my interest and admiration
for the skilful way in which such huge, unwieldy boats are handled by
their pilots. The tides in the river are at times very strong, and
especially so near the ferry slips. To prevent mishaps it requires the
most careful manoeuvring, as a small error of judgment might send the
heavily laden boat crashing into the bulkheads. Such an accident would
endanger the lives of the people on board.

When the heavy gong sounds, and the rumble of the paddle-wheels stops,
and the boat glides silently over the water, it is then that the pilot
and his engineer are on the alert - one with his hand on the wheel,
moving it this way and that, and the other with his hand on the lever
bar, ready to back water or go ahead, according to his signals.

I remember a story that a pilot told me, of which he was the hero. He
did not tell it boastingly, but in a simple, quiet way, and not before a
great deal of persuasion was brought to bear upon him. We were standing
at the time on the lower deck of a ferry-boat belonging to the line upon
which he was then employed. Pointing to a grimy young bootblack who was
industriously polishing away, he said: "At one time I polished boots the
same as that youngster is doing there. I loved the boats and the crowds,
but more especially I loved to watch the pilot and the engineer at work.
To see the latter polishing and oiling his machinery as carefully as a
mother would dress a baby was my chief enjoyment. I dare say I knew
every part of the engine as well as he did, or at least I thought so,
and many a shine I let pass simply to see him work the boat in and out
of the slip. This curiosity, or rather interest, on my part stood me in
good stead at one time, as you will see. We were unusually crowded on
the trip when my stroke of good luck took place, both gangways running
past the engine-room being choked up with horses and wagons.

"Most of the drivers had gone forward, and I sat in my usual place on
the ledge at the engine-room door alone. Bang! the first bell sounded to
reduce her to half speed, and I glanced around to watch the engineer
shut off steam. He was sitting facing the engine in his arm-chair, his
chin in his hand, and his arm resting on the side of the chair. I was
surprised to see that he made no move, and, thinking he was asleep, I
ran in to shake him. By this time the pilot evidently thought something
was wrong, and the big bell sounded twice, meaning, as you probably
know, to stop the engine. I could not make the engineer move, and,
without hesitating, I stepped across to the engine, and grasping the
wheel, I shut off the steam and disconnected the eccentrics.

"Of course the engine stopped, and the pilot, thinking everything was
all right, commenced to send down his signals. I was a little
frightened - more at the idea of my working the big engine than at making
any mistakes, for I knew exactly what to do. Well, we had some trouble
making the slip, and I had to back her out. I can tell you, working that
lever bar was no easy job. Then came the sharp tinkle for full speed,
and shortly I had her well out into the river. Then came the bells to
stop her, and again to reverse and go ahead under half speed.

"By that time I was very tired, but no longer nervous, and when we again
neared the slip and the welcome bell to stop the engine sounded, I was
very glad. The double signal to back water came, and I pushed the lever
bar up and down twice before I got my last signal to stop. When I heard
the rattle of the chains as they tied her in the slip I was worn out,
and it seems to me I must have fainted, for when I came to it was in the
presence of the pilot and some of the officers of the line. They told me
the engineer had died of heart-disease; and in recognition of my
services they placed me at school and gratified my ambition to become a
pilot, as you see."

Hubert Earl.


A Story of the Riots.



Ten minutes later, while police and firemen, both protected by the First
Battalion, were devoting their energies to checking the flames that were
rapidly sweeping through the great repair shops, and the other two
battalions of the regiment were clearing the blazing freight-yards of
the last skulkers of the mob, the surgeon had established a temporary
field-hospital in the open enclosure between the main entrance and the
yards. Thither had been driven the two ambulances, conspicuous by the
red cross of Geneva. Here, feebly moaning, lay poor Jim, kicked and
clubbed into most unrecognizable pulp. Here beside him knelt Fred, still
praying for tidings of his father. Slinking away from the scene of their
recent triumph the rioters fled before the solid ranks of the troops,
only to regather, though in smaller force, and resume the work of
pillage and destruction farther along the line. And now the Colonel
began to appreciate the full effect of orders to serve under police
instruction. First he had to send Major Flint with his battalion to
report to Police Captain Murray a mile away in one direction. Then Major
Allen with the second was despatched far out to Prairie Grove. Ten
minutes more and a third detachment was demanded to assist Police
Sergeant Jaeger, now struggling with the strikers at the elevators along
the canal, and when ten o'clock came the Colonel with his staff, his
hospital, and something like a dozen officers and men, whose heads were
cut by stones and coupling-pins, had just one company left in his
immediate command. "B" had gone to the Prairie Avenue crossing, where a
mail-train was stalled, and "L," Fred's own, was posted at the storage
warehouse, half a mile northward. Fred himself still remained by his
brother's side, while police and firemen, lantern-bearing, were
searching through what was left of the long line of repair shops in vain
quest of the old foreman. With Fred, too, by this time were his mother
and sister Jessie. Poor little Billy, led home by sympathizing women,
had told his story, and the brave wife and mother, leaving to the elder
daughter the duty of caring for the house, had taken Jess and made her
way through the now scattering crowd, through the still blazing yards,
through the friendly lines of National Guardsmen, over the well-known
pathway to the shops, there to take her place by her stricken
first-born's side, tearfully, prayerfully waiting for tidings of the
husband and father, even while devotedly tending the son. By 10.15 the
flames about the buildings were extinguished, and the firemen turned
their attention to the blazing ruins in the yards. And now the searching
parties were raking through the burned-out sections of the shops in the
belief that there, and only there, could old Wallace be found. Time and
again, as some one came out from the grimy gateway, the sorrowing woman
lifted her white, piteous face in mute appeal. Jessie, weeping sorely,
was clasping Jim's blood-stained, nerveless hand. Fred had gone to join
the searchers. Far down the tracks toward Prairie Grove the glare of new
conflagrations reddened the skies. From up the yards near the warehouses
came stories of fresh gatherings of the mobs. The police thought more
soldiers should be sent there, and the Colonel said he had but one
company left. Out in front of the shops an elevated iron foot-bridge
crossed the freight-yards. It had been red hot in places until the
firemen turned their streams and cooled it off. Then Fred's friend, the
signal sergeant, with a couple of men, had mounted it, and sent their
night torches swinging. "Hurrah for Colton," said the Colonel. "That
boy's worth his weight in gold," for presently a bugler came running up
to report the sergeant had established communication with Prairie Grove,
and soon after with Captain Wagner's post far up the tracks. The first
message from below told of fresh fires and outbreaks, as was to be
expected. The first from above set the Colonel's eyes adancing.

"Police report rioters gathering in force about the Amity Wagon-Works.
Twelve loaded cars on their tracks there. Think they mean mischief."

"Hullo!" cried the Colonel. "Where's Corporal Wallace?"

And poor, sad-faced Fred, just back from unsuccessful searching, and now
kneeling by his mother's side, promptly sprang to his feet and
approached his commander.

"What's in those cars at the Amity Works, corporal?

"New wagons, sir. Loaded yesterday and ought to have started last night,
but they couldn't get anything out."

"I can't bear to take you away from your mother, my lad, until we hear
of your father; but I feel sure, somehow, that he is safe, and the
doctors tell me your brother will recover, though he may be laid up some
time. It is more than likely we'll be called on for more duty presently,
and if we are" - and here he glanced keenly at the young fellow from
under the brim of his scouting hat.

"I'm ready, sir," said our corporal, grimly. "I'd welcome a chance," he
added, as he glanced back at the group about his brother's battered
form, at his mother's white face, and Jessie's weeping eyes; and just
then Jim feebly rolled his bandaged head from side to side, and his
swollen lips were seen to be striving to form some words. Eagerly the
mother bent her ear to catch them. All others ceased their low-toned
chat; all eyes seemed fastened on them - anxious mother and stricken son.
Only she to whom his earliest baby lispings were intelligible,
inexpressible music could understand his meaning now.

[Illustration: "DID FATHER - GET HOME SAFE?"]

"Did father - get home safe?"

Then Jessie's sobs broke forth afresh, and a young railway man, whose
bruises the surgeon had been dressing, could stand it no longer. He was
one of the striking trainmen, and knew Jim well.

"Mrs. Wallace," he cried, struggling to his feet and coming towards her,
"I'm a Brotherhood man and bound to them in every way, but I can't stand
this. I know what's happened, though I had no hand in it, as God's my
judge! The old man's safe, ma'am - safe and out of harm's way, though I
don't know where. Jim wrapped him in his own coat with our badge on it,
and run him out through the south gate when they burst in here. I saw
him. There were only a few fellows down there, and he got him out all
right, and made him promise to keep away. I saw the old man cross the
street into the lumber-yards, and gave Jim my word I wouldn't peach. I'm
no traitor to our fellows, but I couldn't see the old man hurt." (And
here his eyes wandered to where Jessie crouched beside her brother.) "I
tried to keep 'em off from Jim, but he would go back and brave them, and
there were men among them no one could influence after old Stoltz said
his say. I got these," he added, half in shame, "battling against our
own people, trying to save him, but they were far too many for both of
us. They were madlike, and most of them were black-guards we'd not be
seen with any other time. They downed him, and nearly kicked the life
out of him, because he wouldn't say which way the old man went or where
he'd hid him."

Then, at least, the old foreman was not in the ruins - might, indeed,
have escaped from the rioters. Yet Mrs. Wallace was not much comforted.
Again and again she implored Jim to say whether he had designated any
particular place as his father's refuge; but Jim had drifted off again
into the borderland between the other world and this. His ears were deaf
to her appeal. If father had been spared, she said, surely he would have
made his way home to reassure them. In vain Fred pointed out that to do
so he must again venture through the mile-long yard of rioters, firing
cars, and mad with glut and triumph. He would surely have been
recognized, and by that time every striking switchman and trainman knew
it was he who held the throttle of the first engine to essay to break
the morning's blockade - more than enough to ruin him. They might not
themselves use violence, but they or their women would point him out to
the bloodhounds in the mob - men who were ready for any deed of violence,
no matter how brutal or cowardly, and the brave old fellow would have
met the martyr's fate at their hands.

"He never would have gone and left poor Jim to go back and face them all
alone," cried Mrs. Wallace, breaking down at last; and then Fred had to
tell her that Jim was himself a leader in the strike, a personal friend
of Steinman, and completely influenced by him. Neither father nor Jim
believed that they would assault one of their own Brotherhood, the man
whose contributions had exceeded those of any other, and whose heart had
been hot for action days before. They did not realize that men are
turned to tigers at the touch of blood or riot, and that for lack of
other material - just as the mob of Paris guillotined their own leaders
when gentler blood was all expended - so would these mad dogs turn for
victims upon their kind.

"Go you and search," said Inspector Morrissey to two of his bluecoats.
"You know every hiding-place about here. Find him, or trace of him quick
as you can."

And the wearied officers turned away. They had had a wretched time of
it, for over thirty hours, and not a wink of sleep. Scattered by twos
and threes they had been expected to preserve the peace even though
repeatedly cautioned not to use force. An important election was close
at hand. The city officials, now seeking re-election, had forfeited long
since the respect of the educated classes of the community, and their
only hopes lay now with the great mass of the populace in which the
strikers were largely represented, and from which their supporters and
sympathizers were without exception drawn. It would not do to club or
intimidate, and thereby offend these thousands of voters, and the
police, brave and determined individually, and long schooled in handling
the "tough" element, now found themselves absolutely crippled and
hampered, first by a feeling of personal friendship for many of the
railway men themselves, second by absence of either support or approval
when it came to handling the rioters. Not until the mob had burst all
bounds, and the safety of the great city was at stake did the officials
realize the tone of the torrent they had turned loose, and then gave
reluctant, half-hearted orders to suppress the riot even though somebody
had to be hurt. When at last the city troops were marched to the several
scenes, the wearied police took heart again, and many of them went to
work with their old-time vim.

Just before eleven o'clock Jim was tenderly lifted into one of the
regimental ambulances, and with his mother and Jess carefully driven
over home, where sympathizing neighbors gathered and ministered to one
and all. Half a dozen of Jim's associates, strikers themselves, but
appalled and disgusted now at the contemplation of the result of their
folly, established themselves as a guard at the cottage, while others
eagerly, fearfully joined in the search for the honored old Scotchman
who, with too good reason, many feared, had fallen a victim to the fury
of the rioters. Farley, Jim's brakeman, had not been seen for hours, and
this was significant. Fred, leaving his brother safely stowed away in
bed, with all possible comfort secured for the night, kissed his
mother's tear-stained face and told her he must go. She clung to him
shuddering a moment, yet could not say no. He was a man now, just
twenty-one, and knew his duty. Had not the Colonel said there was
further work ahead?

It came, quickly enough. A man in a buggy with a prancing, frightened
horse, was eagerly importuning the imperturbable gray-mustached Colonel,
as Corporal Fred returned to his post, and the conversation was more
than interesting.

"I _have_ appealed to the police. They say they're powerless. They've
got all they can do now. There's two companies of your regiment right
there near them within four squares. Colonel, if you will only order
them to go with me we can disperse that mob, and save the plant, cars,
and all."

"How many rioters are there, Mr. - Mr. Manners?"

"There must be five hundred; five hundred at least, and they've set fire
to the cars twice, and driven off the firemen and police."

"But, Mr. Manners, two companies of _tin_ soldiers can't drive away five
hundred strong men; and I understand you spoke of my men to-day as

"Don't kick a man when he's down, Colonel. I may have said something
foolish - any man's liable to make mistakes; but four hundred thousand
dollars' worth of property is burning up there, and my watchmen are
being stoned and killed. We discharged some bad characters last week,
and they're heading the mob now."

"Yes, this does seem to give your discharged men a chance. Now there
were two or three given their walking papers to-day," continued the
Colonel, with provoking coolness, his lips twitching under his handsome
gray mustache.

"Oh, for heaven's sake, Colonel, don't rub it in! I'll make it all right
with those men. Just think what's happened to the Amity Works all the
time you've been keeping me waiting and begging."

"I know what's been happening, Mr. Manners," said the veteran officer,
calmly, "and you don't know what wouldn't have happened but for the
prompt action of the very regiment you saw fit to ridicule, and the very
men you kicked out of their clerkships because they obeyed the order to
turn out, as _it_ turned out, to save you and your works. I ordered two
companies there twenty minutes ago. The mob scattered at their coming,
and not a dollar's worth have you lost. I only kept you here out of
danger for a while, and now, if you please, Corporal Wallace of my
headquarters party - with whom possibly you're acquainted - will conduct
you safely back. Jump into the gentleman's buggy, corporal. Your uniform
will pass him through our lines without detention. Good-night, Mr.
Manners. Next time we send a summons to the works, it'll probably be for
Sergeant Wallace, and I hope to hear of no further objection on your

And despite sorrow for Jim and anxiety about his father, Corporal Fred
couldn't help feeling, as he drove with his abashed employer swiftly
through the dim yet familiar streets, that life had some compensation
after all.



[1] Begun in HARPER'S ROUND TABLE No. 821.



"I tell you the steamship is a wonderful machine."

That was the exclamation of Mr. Powers as he sat on the deck of the _St.
Petersburg_. Away above him towered the three funnels from which the
brown smoke went swirling away to leeward. Away below him throbbed the
giant quadruple-expansion engines, turning the twin screws over nearly
ninety times a minute, and hurling the massive fabric forward through
the sea of sapphire and silver twenty-one knots an hour. Little Harry
Powers, who sat beside his grandfather, thought the steamer a fine thing
too, but he was not quite so much impressed with it as was the old man,
because he had not lived in the days when there were no steamers.

"No buffeting head winds and head seas for months at a time now,"
exclaimed Mr. Powers. "Steam is invincible."

"Um - yes, generally," said Captain Ferris, who was going over as a
passenger to bring out from Gourock a new yacht.

"Why not always?" asked Mr. Powers.

"Well, in order to answer that question," replied the Captain,
thoughtfully, "I must tell you that some steamers are not as large and
powerful as others."

"Of course I know that," said Mr. Powers, rather impatiently, "but they
all manage to get across in defiance of the winds."

"Perhaps I'd better tell you of an instance I have in mind," said the

"Do so by all means," answered Mr. Powers; and Harry leaned forward
attentively, because he perceived that a yarn of the sea was
forth-coming. Captain Ferris settled himself comfortably in his chair,
cast a look around the horizon, and then launched into his story.

"Three years ago," he said, "I was in Hamburg in command of the
steamship _Bristow_. She is a vessel of about 1200 tons, and is in the
carrying trade, though she occasionally takes half a dozen passengers at
low rates. I was ready to get under way for New York when a man,
accompanied by a boy about the age of your grandson there, came aboard
and applied for passage. He said that he had come to Europe on business,

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Online LibraryVariousHarper's Round Table, August 27, 1895 → online text (page 2 of 7)