The narrowest escape was that of young Mr. Oberman. He is a small man, all except his heart and feet, and when the air began to fill with patriotic missiles, he started to run. On passing the News office he had to jump over an old coal stove that stood there, and while he was in the air, six feet from the sidewalk, a sky rocket stick passed through his coat tail and pinned him to the building, where he hung suspended, while other rocket sticks were striking all around him, Roman candle colored balls were falling on his unprotected head, etc. and one of these nigger chasers that run all over the ground, climbed up the side of the building and tried to get in his pants pocket.
Mr. Oberman begged Mr. Wright, the postmaster, to cut him down, but Mr. Wright, who was using both hands and his voice trying to disengage a package of pin-wheels from the back portion of his coat, which were on fire and throwing out colored sparks, said he hadn’t got time, as he was going down to the river to take a sitz bath for his health.
The man that keeps the hotel next door to the News office came out with a pail of water, yelled “fire,” and threw the water on Mr. Curt Treat’s head. Mr. Treat was very much vexed, and told the hotel man if he couldn’t tell the difference between an auburn haired young man and a pin-wheel, he’d better go and hire somebody that could. Friends of Mr. Treat say that he would be justified in going into the hotel and ordering a bottle of pop, and then refusing to pay for it, as the water took all the starch out of his shirt.
Those who saw the explosion say it was one of the most magnificent, yet awful and terrible sights ever witnessed, and the only wonder is that somebody was not hurt. What added to the terror of the scene was when they went to the artesian well to get water to put out the fire and found that the well had ceased flowing. On investigation they found that Mr. Sage, the assembly man, had crawled into the pipe.
By the way, Mr. Oberman finally got down from his terrible position by the aid of the editor of the Journal, to whom Mr. Oberman promised coal enough to run his engine for a year. Very few men displayed any coolness except Mr. Treat and Mr. Sage.
It is the great ambition of our life to bring to the notice of the people of the world the curative powers of the La Crosse water, that all who may be suffering from any disease, however complicated, may be cured, and all men may become healthy, and women too, and doctors will have to go out harvesting. The La Crosse artesian well, was begun last fall, and completed as soon as the contractor found he couldn’t make any money at it. It was rumored that he struck granite, and in fact several little specks of granite were found in the stuff that come from the hole, but it is pretty generally believed now that the granite particles got in from the top, unknown to the contractor. The water came to within ten feet of the surface, and struck. It never would come any further, and the world would have remained in ignorance of its curative powers, only for Powers, who put in a hydraulic ram, and the blockade was broken, the water now flows to the surface, and all is well.