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Camp-Fire and Cotton-Field eBook

Thomas W. Knox
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 377 pages of information about Camp-Fire and Cotton-Field.

Having narrowly escaped death, he concluded not to run a second risk.  He returned to St. Louis by way of New York.  Wishing to visit New Orleans some time later, he sailed from New York on the Electric Spark, and enjoyed the luxury of a capture by the pirates of the “Confederate” steamer Florida.  After that occurrence, he concluded there was little choice between the ocean and river routes.

CHAPTER XXXVII.

IN THE COTTON MARKET.

New Orleans and its Peculiarities.—­Its Loss by the Rebellion.—­Cotton Factors in New Orleans.—­Old Things passed away.—­The Northern Barbarians a Race of Shopkeepers.—­Pulsations of the Cotton Market.—­A Quarrel with a Lady.—­Contending for a Principle.—­Inharmony of the “Regulations.”—­An Account of Sales.

The first impression that New Orleans gives a stranger is its unlikeness to Northern cities.  It is built on ground that slopes downward from the Mississippi.  As one leaves the river and walks toward the center of the city, he finds himself descending.  New Orleans is a hundred miles from the mouth of the Mississippi and only six miles from Lake Pontchartrain, which is an arm of the sea.  The river at the city is ten feet above Lake Pontchartrain, so that New Orleans is washed by water from the Mississippi and drained into the lake.  The water in the gutters always runs from the river, no matter what may be its height.  The steamers at the foot of Canal Street appear above the spectator, when he stands a mile or two from the landing.

There is no earthy elevation of any kind, except of artificial construction, in the vicinity of New Orleans.  The level surface of the streets renders the transportation of heavy bodies a work of the utmost ease.  The greatest amount of merchandise that can be loaded upon four wheels rarely requires the efforts of more than two animals.  The street-cars, unlike those of Northern cities, are drawn by a single mule to each car, and have no conductors.  The cemeteries are above ground, and resemble the pigeon-holes of a post-office, magnified to a sufficient size for the reception of coffins.  There is not a cellar in the entire city of New Orleans.

Musquitos flourish during the entire winter.  In the summer there are two varieties of these insects.  The night-musquito is similar to the insect which disturbs our slumbers in Northern latitudes.  The day-musquito relieves his comrade at sunrise and remains on duty till sunset.  He has no song, but his bite is none the less severe.  He disappears at the approach of winter, but his tuneful brother remains.  Musquito nettings are a necessity all the year round.

The public walks of New Orleans are justly the pride of the inhabitants.  Canal Street is probably the prettiest street in America.  Along its center is a double row of shade-trees, a promenade, and the tracks of the street railway.  These shade-trees are inclosed so as to form a series of small parks for the entire length of the street.  On each side of these parks is a carriage-way, as wide as the great thoroughfare of New York.  Canal Street is the fashionable promenade of New Orleans.  In the days of glory, before the Rebellion, it presented a magnificent appearance.

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