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|THE HARRIS-INGRAM EXPERIMENT||1|
Chapter I The Harrises in New York
Mr. Hugh Searles of London Arrives
A Bad Send-off
Aboard the S.S. Majestic
Discomfitures at Sea
Half Awake, Half Asleep
Life at Sea a Kaleidoscope
Colonel Harris Returns to Harrisville
Capital and Labor in Conference
Knowledge is Power
In Touch with Nature
The Strike at Harrisville
Anarchy and Results
Colonel Harris Follows his Family Abroad
Safe Passage, and a Happy Reunion
A Search for Ideas
The Harrises Visit Paris
In Belgium and Holland
Paris, and the Wedding
Aboard the Yacht “Hallena”
Two Unanswered Letters
Colonel Harris’s Big Blue Envelope
Gold Marries Gold
The Magic Band of Beaten Gold
Workings of the Harris-Ingram Experiment
THE HARRISES IN NEW YORK
It was five o’clock in the afternoon, when a bright little messenger boy in blue touched the electric button of Room No. —— in Carnegie Studio, New York City. At once the door flew open and a handsome young artist received a Western Union telegram, and quickly signed his name, “Alfonso H. Harris” in the boy’s book.
“Here, my boy, is twenty-five cents,” he said, and tore open the message, which read as follows:—
Alfonso H. Harris,
Carnegie Studio, New York.
We reach Grand Central Depot at 7:10 o’clock
tomorrow evening in our
new private car Alfonso. Family greetings; all well.
Alfonso put the telegram in his pocket, completed packing his steamer trunk, wrote a letter to his landlord, enclosing a check for the last quarter’s rent, and ran downstairs and over to the storage company, to leave an order to call for two big trunks of artist’s belongings, not needed in Europe.
A hansom-cab took him to the Windsor Hotel, where he almost forgot to pay his barber for a shave, such was his excitement. A little dry toast, two soft boiled eggs, and a cup of coffee were quite sufficient, since his appetite, usually very good, somehow had failed him.
It was now fifteen minutes to seven o’clock. In less than half an hour Alfonso was to meet his father, mother, and sisters, and after a few days in the metropolis, join them in an extended journey over the British Isles, and possibly through portions of Europe.
Alfonso was the only son of Reuben Harris, a rich manufacturer of iron and steel. His father, a man naturally of very firm will, had earnestly longed that his only son might succeed him in business, and so increase and perpetuate a fortune already colossal. It was a terrible struggle for Harris senior to yield to his son’s strong inclination to study art, but once the father had been won over, no doubt in part by the mother’s strong love for her only boy, he assured Alfonso that he would be loyal to him, so long as his son was loyal to his profession. This had given the boy courage, and he had improved every opportunity while in New York to acquaint himself with art, and his application to study had been such that he was not only popular with his fellow artists, but they recognized that he possessed great capacity for painstaking work.
Alfonso jumped into a coupe, having ordered a carriage to follow him to the Grand Central Station. It was ten minutes yet before the express was due. Nervously he puffed at his unlighted cigar, wishing he had a match; in fact, his nerves were never more unstrung. It was a happy surprise, and no doubt his youthful vanity was elated, that his father should have named his new palace car “Alfonso.” At least it convinced him that his father was loyal.
As the coupe stopped, he rushed into the station, just in time to see the famous engine No. 999 pull in. She was on time to a second, as indicated by the great depot clock. A ponderous thing of life; the steam and air valves closed, yet her heavy breathing told of tremendous reserve power. What a record she had made, 436-1/2 miles in 425-3/4 minutes! Truly, man’s most useful handiwork, to be surpassed only by the practical dynamo on wheels! It was not strange that the multitude on the platform gazed in wonder.
There at the rear of the train was the “Alfonso,” and young Harris in company with his artist friend, Leo, who by appointment had also hastened to the station, stepped quickly back to meet the occupants of the new car.
First to alight was Jean, valet to the Harris family. Jean was born near Paris and could speak French, German, and several other languages. His hands and arms were full to overflowing of valises, hat boxes, shawls, canes, etc., that told of a full purse, but which are the very things that make traveling a burden.
By this time Alfonso had climbed the car steps and was in his mother’s arms. Mrs. Harris was more fond, if possible, of her only son than of her beautiful daughters. She was a handsome woman herself, loved dress and was proud of the Harris achievements. Alfonso kissed his sisters, Lucille and Gertrude, and shook hands warmly with his father, who was busy giving instructions to his car conductor.
Alfonso in his joy had almost forgotten his friend Leo, but apologizing, he introduced him, first to his mother, then to Gertrude and finally to his sister Lucille, and their father. All seemed glad to meet their son’s friend, as he was to take passage in the same steamer for his home near Rome.
Leo Colonna was connected with the famous Colonna family of Italy. From childhood he had had access to the best schools and galleries of his peninsular country. He also had studied under the best masters in Paris and Berlin, and was especially fond of flesh coloring and portrait painting. He had studied anatomy, and had taken a diploma as surgeon in the best medical college in Vienna, merely that he might know the human form. Alfonso, aware of all this, had invited Leo to join their party in making the tour over Ireland, England, and through the Netherlands.
As Lucille left the car, Leo offered aid, taking her blue silk umbrella with its wounded-oak handle, the whole rolled as small as a cane. Lucille never appeared to better advantage. She was tall, slender, and graceful. Excitement had tinged her cheeks and lips, and her whole face had a child’s smooth, pink complexion. Wavy black hair and blue eyes revealed the Irish blood that had come from the mother’s veins. She wore a traveling suit of navy-blue serge. Her hat, of latest style, was made of black velvet, steel ornaments, and ostrich tips. What artist could resist admiring a woman so fair and commanding! The dark eyes of Leo had met those of Lucille, and he at once had surrendered. In fact, a formidable rival had now conquered Leo’s heart.
Together they led the way to the front entrance of the station, while Harris senior delayed a moment to exhibit the car “Alfonso” to his son. “I had this private car built,” said the father, “that the Harris family might be exclusive. Napoleon once said:—’Let me be seen but three times at the theatre, and I shall no longer excite attention.’ Our car is adapted for service on any standard gauge road, so that we can travel in privacy throughout the United States. You notice that this observation room is furnished in quartered English oak, and has a luxurious sofa and arm chairs. Let us step back. Here on the right are state and family rooms finished in mahogany; each room has a connecting toilet room, with wash stand and bath room, hot and cold water being provided, also mirrors, wardrobe and lockers. The parlor or dining room is eighteen feet long and the extension table will seat twelve persons. Here also is a well selected library and writing desk.”
“But where is the kitchen?” asked Alfonso.
“Beyond,” said the father. “The pantry, china closet, and kitchen are finished in black walnut. Blankets, linen, and tableware are of best quality. Here are berths for attendants and porter’s room for baggage. Carpets, rugs, draperies, and upholstery were especially imported to harmonize. Nobody amounts to much in these days, Alfonso, unless he owns a private car or a steam yacht. Henceforth this car, named in your honor, may play an important part in the history of the Harris family.”
Mrs. Harris, Leo, and Lucille, took seats in the carriage; Gertrude and her mother were on the back seat, while Lucille and her artist friend faced Mrs. Harris and daughter.
Jean sat upright with the coachman. Colonel Harris and Alfonso rejoined their friends and together entered the coupe. Reuben Harris once served on the governor’s staff for seven weeks, ranking as colonel, so now all his friends, even his family, spoke of him as “the Colonel.” It was well, as it pleased his vanity.
The coachmen’s whips left their sockets, and coupe and carriage dashed along 42nd Street and down Fifth Avenue. The ten minutes’ drive passed as a dream to some in the carriage. Mrs. Harris’s mind revelled in the intricate warfare of society. She had often been in New York, and in the summers was seen at the most fashionable watering places with her children. Her mind was burdened trying to discover the steps that lead to the metropolitan and international “four hundred.” She was determined that her children should marry into well regulated families, and that the colonel should have a national reputation. So absorbed was she that her eyes saw not, neither did her ears hear what transpired in the carriage. Gertrude was equally quiet; her thoughts were of dear friends she had left in Harrisville. The occupants of the front seats had talked in low tones of recent society events in New York, and a little of art. Lucille herself had dabbled in color for a term or two in a fashionable school on the Back Bay in Boston.
The colonel had become enthusiastic in his talk about his own recent business prosperity. Suddenly coupe and carriage stopped in front of the main entrance of the Hotel Waldorf. How fine the detail of arch and columns! How delicate the architect’s touch of iron and glass in the porte-cochere!
The Harris family stepped quickly into the public reception-room to the left of the main entrance adjoining the office, leaving Jean and the porter to bring the hand-baggage. The decorated ceiling framed a central group of brilliant incandescent lights with globes. Leo directed attention to the paintings on the walls, and furniture and rugs.
The colonel excused himself and passed out and into the main offices. The sight about him was an inspiring one. The architect’s wand had wrought grace and beauty in floor, ceiling, column, and wall. Gentlemen, old and young, were coming and going. Professional men, not a few, bankers and business men jostled each other. Before the colonel had reached the clerk’s desk, he had apologized, twice at least, for his haste. The fact was that metropolitan activity delighted his heart, but it disturbed just a little his usual good behavior. Nervously, he wrote in the Waldorf register plain Reuben Harris, wife and two daughters. He wanted to prefix colonel. His son added his own name. Colonel Harris, at his request, was given the best apartments in the Waldorf.
Leo excused himself for the night, Lucille saying the last words in low tones, and then, liveried attendants conducted the Harris family to their suite of rooms. It was half past eight when the Harrises sat down to their first meal in their private dining-room. As Mrs. Harris waited for her hot clam soup to cool a little, she said, “Reuben, this exclusiveness and elegance is quite to my liking. After our return from Europe, why can’t we all spend our winters in New York?”
“No, mother,” said Gertrude, “we have our duties to the people of Harrisville, and father, I am sure, will never stay long away from his mills.”
But Lucille approved her mother’s plan, and was seconded by her brother. Colonel Harris was interested in the views expressed, but with judicial tone, he replied, “The Harrises better wait till the right time comes. Great financial changes are possible in a day.”
The dinner, though late, was excellent. Before ten o’clock all were glad to retire, except the head of the family, who hoped the night would be short, as the next day might witness very important business transactions.
Colonel Harris took the elevator down to the gentlemen’s cafe, adjoining the beautiful Garden Court. For a moment he stood admiring the massive fire-place and the many artistic effects, mural and otherwise. The cafe was furnished with round tables and inviting chairs. Guests of the hotel, members of city clubs, and strangers, came and went, but the colonel’s mind was in an anxious mood, so he sought a quiet corner, lighted a cigar, and accidently picked up the Evening Post. Almost the first thing he read was an item of shipping news:
“No word yet from the overdue steamship
‘Majestic;’ she is already
forty-eight hours late, and very likely has experienced bad weather.”
The “Majestic” is one of the largest and best of the famous White Star Line fleet. Colonel Harris expected an English gentleman to arrive by this boat, and he had come on to New York to meet him, as the two had business of great importance to talk over. “I wonder,” thought the colonel, “if such a thing could happen, that my cherished plan of retiring with millions, might possibly be frustrated by ship-wreck or any unlooked-for event?” Whereupon he pulled from his pocket a cablegram, to make himself doubly sure that his was not a fool’s errand, and again read it in audible tones:
London, May 24, 18—.
Col. Reuben Harris,
Hotel Waldorf, New York.
Hugh Searles, our agent, sails May twenty-fifth
on Majestic. Meet him
at Hotel Waldorf, New York.
Guerney & Barring.
The signers of the cablegram were young bankers and brokers, occupying sumptuous quarters on Threadneedle Street, in sight of the Bank of England, the Exchange, and the Mansion House or official residence of the Lord Mayor of London. The fathers of each member of the firm had been at the head of great banking houses in London for many years, and after herculean efforts, their banks had failed. These young men had united families and forces, and resolved to win again a financial standing in the world’s metropolis. Shrewdly they had opened a score of branch offices in different parts of London and county; besides they had added a brokerage business, which had drifted into an extensive specialty of promoting syndicates in America and the colonies. Their success in handling high grade manufacturing plants had been phenomenal. Already at this business they had netted two million pounds. Reliable and expert accountants were always sent by them to examine thoroughly a client’s ledgers. Already, bonds that carried the approval of Guerney & Barring, found ready market on Lombard, Prince, and other financial streets near the Bank of England.
Colonel Harris relighted his cigar and queried to himself, “What ought I to charge these Englishmen for a property that cost barely two millions, but that has brought to the Harris family, annually for ten years, an average of 30%, or $600,000?” At first he had fixed upon six millions as a fair price, and then finally upon five million dollars. While he thus reflected, he fell asleep. It was after eleven o’clock when the Waldorf attendant caught him, or he would have fallen from his chair to the floor. Colonel Harris gave him a piece of silver, and retired for the night.
HUGH SEARLES OF LONDON ARRIVES
The next day was Sunday, and the Harris family slept late. Jean was first to rise, and buying the morning papers left them at Colonel Harris’s door.
It was almost nine o’clock when the family gathered in their private dining-room. The night’s sleep had refreshed all. The mother was very cheerful over her coffee, and heartily enjoyed planning for the day. She liked New York best of the American cities. Brown stone and marble fronts, fine equipage and dress, had charms for her, that almost made her forget a pleasant home and duties at Harrisville. She was heart and soul in her husband’s newest scheme to close out business, and devote the balance of life to politics and society. Naturally therefore the table-talk drifted to a discussion of the possible causes of the steamer’s delay.
Lucille looked up, and said, “Father, the Tribune says, ’Fair weather for New England and the Atlantic coast.’ Cheer up! The ‘Majestic’ will bring your Englishman in, I think. This is a lovely day to be in the metropolis. Come father, let me sweeten your coffee. One or two lumps?”
“Two, my dear, if you please. Now what will give you all the most pleasure to-day?”
Alfonso answered, “Why not take a drive, and possibly attend some church?”
This plan was approved. Breakfast over, the Harris family entered a carriage, and the coachman, with Jean by his side, drove through Washington Square, under the American Arch of Triumph, and out Fifth Avenue, the fashionable street of New York. Alfonso acted as guide. “This white sepulchral looking building on the left at the corner of 34th street is where A.T. Stewart, the Irish merchant prince, lived.”
Gertrude remarked, “How true in his case, the proverb ’Riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away, as an eagle towards heaven.’”
“You should quote Scripture correctly, my child,” said the mother. “‘Riches take wings.’”
“No, no, mamma—I am sure that I am right. ’Riches make themselves wings’ and the proverb is as true to-day as in Solomon’s time.”
“Well, Gertrude, we will look at the hotel Bible on our return.”
“Yes, mamma, if the hotel has one.”
Colonel Harris responded, “I think Gertrude is right. Stewart’s millions have changed hands. Dead men have no need of dollars. No wonder Stewart’s bones were restless.”
“Here at West 39th Street is the sumptuous building of the Union League Club. It has over 1500 members, all pledged to absolute loyalty to the Government of the United States, to resist every attempt against the integrity of the nation, and to promote reform in national, state, and municipal affairs. The club equipped and sent two full regiments to the front in the Civil War.”
Alfonso pointed out Jay Gould’s old residence, more club houses, libraries, the Windsor Hotel, Dr. Hall’s handsome Presbyterian Church, and the brown stone and marble palaces of the Vanderbilt family, two miles of splendid residences and magnificent churches before you reach Central Park at 59th Street.
The walks were thronged with beautiful women and well dressed men. It was now 10:30 o’clock. The chimes had ceased their hallowed music. People of all nationalities were jostling each other in their haste to enter St. Patrick’s Cathedral, a copy of the Gothic masterpiece in Cologne, and the most imposing church building in America.
The Harris carriage stopped; Lucille’s heart suddenly began to beat quickly, for she saw Leo Colonna hastening from the Cathedral steps towards the carriage. “Good morning, Mrs. Harris! Glad you have come to my church,” Leo said; then taking her hand cordially, he added, “And you have brought the family. Well, I am pleased, for you could not have come to a more beautiful church or service.”
As Leo conducted his friends up the granite steps, all were enthusiastic in their praise of the Fifth Avenue facade; white marble from granite base to the topmost stones of the graceful twin spires.
All passed under the twelve apostles, that decorate the grand portal, and entered the cathedral. The interior is as fine as the exterior. The columns are massive, the ceiling groined; the style is the decorated or geometric architecture, that prevailed in Europe in the thirteenth century. The cardinal’s gothic throne is on the right. The four altars are of carved French walnut, Tennessee marble and bronze. Half of the seventy windows are memorials, given by parishes and individuals in various parts of America. The vicar-general was conducting services. His impressive manner, aided by the sweet tones of singers and organ, and the sun’s rays changed to rainbows by the stained-glass windows, produced a deep religious feeling in the hearts of the several thousand persons present.
As the party left the church, Leo said, “In 1786, the Kings of France and Spain contributed to the erection of the first cathedral church, St. Peter’s, in New York.” The Harrises having invited Leo to dinner, said good-bye to him, and in their carriage returned to the Waldorf for lunch.
While the colonel waited near the reception-room, he chanced to look at the stained-glass window over the entrance to the Garden Court. Here was pictured the village of Waldorf, the birthplace of the original John Jacob Astor. This pretty little hamlet is part of the Duchy of Baden, Germany, and has been lovingly remembered in the Astor wills. Here formerly lived the impecunious father of John Jacob Astor and his brother. Both gained wealth, very likely, because the value of money was first learned in the early Waldorf school of poverty. It was not an ill north wind that imprisoned young Astor for weeks in the ice of the Chesapeake Bay, as there on the small ship that brought him from Germany, he listened to marvelous tales of fortunes to be made in furs in the northwest. Shrewdly he determined first to acquire expert knowledge of skins, and on landing he luckily found employment in a fur store in New York at two dollars per week. This knowledge became the foundation of the vast fortune of the Astor family. The colonel was told that the Waldorf occupies the site of the town-house of John Jacob Astor, third of the name, and was erected by his son, William Waldorf, ex-minister to Italy.
It was two o’clock when the Harrises entered the main dining-room for their lunch. The colonel led the party, Alfonso conducting his sister Lucille, the light blue ribbon at her throat of the tint of her responsive eyes. Mrs. Harris came with Gertrude. The mother wore a gray gown, and her daughter a pretty silk. This first entrance of the family to the public dining-room caused a slight diversion among some of the guests at lunch, where not a few rightly surmised who they were.
Few markets in the world rival that of New York. The coast, streams, and valleys of New England and the Central States, send their best food by swift steamers and express, that the exacting cosmopolitan appetite may be satisfied.
Before the lunch was over and while Reuben Harris was making reference to the delay of his English visitor, the waiter placed a white card by his plate. The color in the colonel’s face suddenly deepened, as he read upon the card the name of Mr. Hugh Searles, representing Messrs. Guerney & Barring, London.
“What’s the matter, Reuben?” anxiously inquired Mrs. Harris.
“Oh, nothing,” said the colonel, “only that our overdue English visitor, Hugh Searles, has sent in his card.”
“How surprising,” said Lucille; “you remember, father, that I said at breakfast, that the weather was to be fair. Probably the ‘Majestic’ quickened her speed, and stole in unobserved to the docks.”
“I will send him my card;” and upon it Mr. Harris wrote in pencil, “I will soon join you in the reception room.”
The black coffee disposed of, it was agreed that all should accompany Colonel Harris, and give Mr. Searles a cordial welcome to America.
The English agent was a good sailor, and had enjoyed immensely the ocean voyage. Mr. Searles, of late over-worked in England, was compelled on board ship to rest both mind and body. A true Englishman, Mr. Searles, was very practical. He comprehended fully the importance of his mission to America, and possessed the tact of getting on in the world. If the proposed deal with Reuben Harris was a success, he expected as commission not less than five thousand pounds. Before the “Majestic” left the Mersey, that his mind might be alert on arrival at New York, he had measured with tape line the promenade deck of the steamer, and resolved to make enough laps for a mile, both before and after each meal, a walk of six miles per day, or a total of forty-eight miles for the voyage.
A sturdy Englishman, taking such vigorous and methodical exercise, created some comment among the passengers, but it was excused on the ground that Englishmen believe in much outdoor exercise. Searles came from a good family, who lived north of London in Lincolnshire. His father, the Hon. George Searles, had a competency, largely invested in lands, and three per cent consols. His rule of investment was, security unquestioned and interest not above three per cent, believing that neither creditors nor enterprise of any kind, in the long run, could afford to pay more. His ancestors were Germans, who crossed the German Ocean, soon after the Romans withdrew from England.
A large area of Lincolnshire lies below the level of the sea, from which it is protected by embankments. This fenny district gradually had been reclaimed, and to-day the deep loam and peat-soils, not unlike the rich farms of Holland, are celebrated for their high condition of agriculture. What mortgages the Hon. George Searles held were secured upon Lincolnshire estates, some of England’s best lands.
Hugh Searles, his son, however, had known only London life since he graduated from Cambridge. His office was in Chancery Lane, and his surroundings and teachings had been of the speculative kind, hence he was a fit agent for his firm. Already he had acquired a sunny suburban home in Kent, and was ambitious to hold a seat in Parliament. As he walked the steamer’s deck, he looked the typical Englishman, five feet ten inches in height, broad shoulders and full chest; his weight about two hundred pounds, or “fifteen stones” as Searles phrased it.
His face was round and ruddy, his beard closely cut, and his hair light and fine, indicating quality. His step was firm, and he seemed always in deep study. When addressed by his fellow passengers however, he was courteous, always talked to the point in his replies, and was anxious to learn more of America, or as he expressed it, “of the Anglo-Saxon confederation.” He was very proud of his Anglo-Saxon origin, and Empire, and believed in the final Anglo-Saxon ascendancy over the world.
On board ship were several young Englishmen, who were on their return to various posts of duty. Three were buyers for cotton firms in Liverpool and Manchester, and they were hastening back to Norfolk, Va., Memphis, and New Orleans. Two of the passengers were English officers, returning to their commands in far away Australia. Others, like Searles, were crossing the Atlantic for the first time in search of fame and fortune. These adventurous Englishmen thought it fine sport as the “Majestic” sighted Fire Light Island to join the enthusiastic Americans in singing “America.” So heartily did they sing, that the Americans in turn, using the same tune, cordially sang “God save the Queen.”
At first Hugh Searles was a little disconcerted, when the whole Harris family approached him in the Waldorf reception-room. Colonel Harris cordially extended his hand, and said, “Mr. Searles, we are all glad to meet you, and bid you hearty welcome to America. Please let me make you acquainted with my wife, Mrs. Harris, my daughters, Gertrude and Lucille, and my son, Alfonso.”
“An unexpected greeting you give me, Colonel Harris,” said Hugh Searles, as he gave each person a quick hand-shake, thinking that to be an American he must grasp hands cordially.
The family were much interested in the details of Mr. Searles’s voyage, as they expected soon to be en route for Europe. Mr. Searles said, “The cause of the ‘Majestic’s’ delay was a broken propeller in rough seas off the Banks of Newfoundland. I am glad to reach New York.” He had arrived at the Hotel at ten o’clock and already had been to lunch.
Mr. Searles gladly accepted an invitation from Colonel Harris for a drive, Mrs. Harris and Lucille to accompany them. Searles expressed a wish to see the famous Roebling suspension bridge, so the coachman drove first down Broadway to the post office, then past the great newspaper buildings, and out upon the marvelous highway or bridge suspended in the air between New York and Brooklyn. When midway, Mr. Searles begged to step out of the carriage, and putting his arms around one of the four enormous cables, inquired of Colonel Harris how these huge cables were carried over the towers.
Colonel Harris explained that each cable was composed of over five thousand steel wires, and that a shuttle carried the wire back and forth till the requisite strength of cables was obtained. The expense of the bridge was about $15,000,000, which the two cities paid. Its great utility had been abundantly proved by the repeated necessity of enlarging the approaches.
The drive to the Central Park was up Fifth Avenue, home of America’s multi-millionaires. An unending cavalcade of superb family equipages was passing through the entrance at 59th Street. Colonel Harris explained that “Central Park had been planted with over half a million trees, shrubs and vines, and that which was once a waste of rock and swamp, had by skill of enthusiastic engineers and landscape gardeners blossomed into green lawns, shady groves, vine-covered arbors, with miles of roads and walks, inviting expanses of water, picturesque bits of architecture, and scenery, that rival the world’s parks.”
The ride and comments of Mr. Searles afforded the Harris family an opportunity to study their guest, and on returning to the hotel, all agreed that Hugh Searles was thoroughly equipped to protect his English patrons in any deal that he might decide to make. It was planned that all should dine together at eight, and Leo was to join the party by invitation of Lucille.
Evidently the Harrises were well pleased with their English visitor, but their pleasure was also quickened with the bright prospect of several millions of English money for their manufacturing interest. Then after their visit to Europe might follow the long looked-for residence in delightful New York. Already rich Americans, famous authors and artists gravitate as naturally to this new world metropolis, as the world’s elite to London and Paris.
A BAD SEND-OFF
It was almost eight o’clock when the dinner party assembled in the reception-room of the Waldorf. Leo was first to arrive, and Lucille was there to receive him. At ten minutes of eight, solicitor Hugh Searles came; then entered Colonel Harris and his daughters, Alfonso following with his mother. Mrs. Harris wore a black satin dress with jet trimmings and Van Dyke lace. Lucille’s dress of light blue faille silk, garnished with pearls and guipure lace, was very becoming. Leo so told Lucille, and she thanked him but hid behind her lips the thought that Leo never before seemed half so manly. Mr. Searles evidently admired Leo, and he talked to him of Italy’s greatness in literature and art. He sat at Colonel Harris’s right, opposite Mrs. Harris. Leo and Lucille occupied seats at the end of the table, and at their right and left sat Alfonso and Gertrude.
Guests of the hotel and their friends chatted in low conversation at the many tables of the model dining-room. Electric lights shone soft in the ceiling, and under pretty shades at each table, which added much to the general effect.
Long before the sweets and fruits were reached, the conversation had drifted from one conventional topic to another, until Mrs. Harris asked Hugh Searles what he thought of higher education for women.
“Yes, yes, Mr. Searles,” said Gertrude, “please tell us all about the English girl.”
“Does she go to college, and does she ride a bicycle!” queried Lucille.
Mrs. Harris was eager to listen to the Englishman’s reply for often she had earnestly talked the matter over in her home. Mr. Searles was very frank in his views, and surprisingly liberal for an Englishman, and well he might be, for his own mother was a power, and his sisters were strong mental forces in Lincolnshire. Aided by tutors and their scholarly mother, they had pursued at home, under difficulties, about the same course of studies, that Hugh, their brother, had followed in the university.
Searles believed that absolute freedom should be given to women to do anything they wished to do in the world, provided they could do it as well as men, and that nobody had any right to assert they should not.
Colonel Harris, even for a business man, was also advanced in his ideas. He had advocated for his daughters that they should possess healthy bodies and minds, and be able to observe closely and reason soundly.
Lucille said that she favored an education which would best conserve and enlarge woman’s graces, her delicate feeling and thought, and her love for the beautiful.
Then Leo and Alfonso both declared that Lucille had expressed fully their own opinions.
Colonel Harris added, “Come, Gertrude, tell us what you think.”
Her face flushed a little as she replied, for she felt all that she said, “Father, I like what Mr. Searles has told us. I think higher education for women should develop purity of heart, self-forgetfulness, and enlarged and enriched minds.”
“Well spoken, daughter,” said Colonel Harris. “Now, dear, what have you to say?”
Mrs. Harris had listened well, as she had been a slave in the interests of her children, especially of her daughters. She thought that the last twenty-five years had proved that women in physical and intellectual capacity were able to receive and profit by a college education. Often she had longed for the same training of mind that men of her acquaintance enjoyed. The subject was thus discussed with profit, till the Turkish coffee was served. Closing the discussion, Searles thought that America led England in offering better education to woman, but that England had given her more freedom in politics; the English woman voted for nearly all the elective officers, except members of Parliament. He believed that the principle of education of woman belonged to her as a part of humanity; that it gave to her a self-centered poise, that it made her a competent head of the home, where the family is trained as a unit of civilization.
He felt that woman possessed the finest and highest qualities, and that it was her mission to project and incorporate these elevating qualities into society. He thought man had nothing to fear or lose, but much to gain; that to multiply woman’s colleges everywhere, was to furnish the twentieth century, or “Woman’s Century” as Victor Hugo called it, with a dynamic force, that would beget more blessings for humanity than all previous centuries.
Gertrude thanked Mr. Searles for what he had said, and the party withdrew to the Winter Garden Cafe, pretty with palms, where Lucille, Leo, and Alfonso talked of society matters, of art and music.
Gertrude read to her mother, while Hugh Searles and Colonel Harris stepped outside into the gentlemen’s cafe for a smoke, as both were fond of a cigar. There the conversation naturally drifted upon the tariff question.
Mr. Searles asserted that he favored free trade, and that he was sorry America was not as far advanced and willing as Great Britain to recognize the universal and fundamental principle of the brotherhood of mankind, and the inborn right of everybody to trade as he liked in the world’s cheapest markets. He added that he sometimes felt that Americans were too selfish, too much in love with the vulgar dollar.
Colonel Harris, wounded in his patriotism, now showed that he was a little disturbed. He thanked Searles for his deep interest in Americans, adding, “We are glad you have come to study Americans and America.” Then looking the Englishman full in the face he said, “Mr. Searles, you will find human nature much the same wherever you travel. Nations usually strive to legislate, each for its own interest. You say, ’Americans work for the almighty dollar.’ So they do, and earnestly too, but our kith and kin across the sea worship with equal enthusiasm the golden sovereign. Look at the monuments to protection in your own city.”
“What monuments?” asked Searles.
“Monuments to protection on all your streets, built under British tariff laws. Every stone in costly St. Paul’s Church, or cathedral, was laid by a duty of a shilling a ton on all coal coming into London. A shilling a ton profit on coal, mined in America, would create for us fabulous fortunes. Selfishness, Mr. Searles, and not brotherly love, drove your country to adopt free trade.”
“I do not agree with you,” said Mr. Searles.
“’Tis true, and I can prove it,” answered Harris. By this time several patrons of the hotel stood about enjoying the tilt between tariff and free trade.
“Give us the proof then,” replied Searles.
“To begin with,” said Harris, “I must reply to your first assertion, for I deem your first statement a false doctrine that ’everybody has a right to trade in the world’s cheapest markets.’ Nobody has a right to trade in the world’s cheapest markets, unless the necessary and just laws of his own country, or the country he dwells in, permits it. Now as to the much abused ‘brotherhood argument’ let me assert that, like England, any nation may adopt free trade, when it can command at least four important things: cheap labor, cheap capital, and cheap raw material. Now Mr. Searles, what is the fourth requisite?”
Searles did not answer. Clearly, he was interested in Harris’s novel line of argument for free trade.
“Well,” said Harris, “England is inhabited by a virile people, who evidently believe in God’s command to ’Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it.’ England, with her centuries of rising civilization, her charm of landscape, and her command of the world’s affairs, offers at home magnificent attractions for her sons and daughters, that make them loyal and law-abiding citizens.
“It is true that annually many thousands seek fame and fortune in new countries, but most of her citizens prefer poverty even, and, if need be, poverty in the gutters of her thriving cities, to a home of promise in distant lands. Hence, a rapidly increasing and dense population obtains in all the British Isles, and labor becomes abundant and cheap, and often a drug in the market. The repeal of the Corn Laws first became a necessity, then a fact, and the cheaper food made cheaper labor possible. Lynx-eyed capital, in the financial metropolis of the world, was quick to discover surplus labor.
“Already English inventors had made valuable inventions in machinery for the manufacture of iron, cotton, woolen and other goods, which further cheapened labor and the product of labor.
“England with cheap capital and cheap labor, now had two of the four things needed to enable her to go forward to larger trade with the world. The third requisite, cheap and abundant raw material, she also secured. Material, not furnished from her own mines and soils, was brought in plentiful supply at nominal freights, or as ballast, by her vessels, whose sails are spread on every sea.
“For three centuries Great Britain has vigorously and profitably pursued Sir Walter Raleigh’s wise policy: ’Whosoever commands the sea, commands the trade, whosoever commands the trade, commands the riches of the world, and consequently the world itself.’
“On the ceiling of the reading-room of the Liverpool Cotton Exchange is painted the pregnant words:—’O Lord, how manifold are thy works, in wisdom hast thou made them all; the earth is full of thy riches.’ Under divine inspiration, therefore, English capital seeks investment everywhere, and with cheap capital, cheap labor, and cheap raw materials, she finds herself able to compete successfully with the world. It is possibly pardonable then that the British manufacturer and politician should seek earnestly the fourth requisite, viz., a large market abroad. Hence the necessity of free trade.
“To advocate publicly that other nations should adopt free trade, that England might have an increased number of buyers, and consequently greater profit on her products, perhaps would not be judicious; so the principle of free trade for the world at large must be sugar-coated, to be acceptable. Therefore your philanthropic and alert Richard Cobden, and John Bright, and your skilled writers, both talked and wrote much about the ‘brotherhood of mankind,’ hoping that the markets of the world might willingly open wide their doors to British traders. Of course, advocates of free trade reason that the larger the number of buyers the larger the prices.
“Mr. Searles, whenever America can command, as Great Britain does to-day, cheap capital, cheap labor, and cheap raw materials, she too may vociferously advocate free trade, and that other nations shall open wide their markets for the sale of American products.
“Don’t you see, Mr. Searles, that protection and free trade are equally selfish and not philanthropic principles?”
“Mr. Harris you are right,” shouted several of the by-standers.
But Hugh Searles did not reply. Possibly because it was late or, it may be, he did not wish to further antagonize Colonel Harris with whom he hoped in the morning to drive a good bargain, and it may be that he hoped some time in America to operate mills himself and make money under a protective tariff.
Both Searles and Harris retired for the night with an agreement to meet at nine o’clock in the morning and talk over business. Searles rose with the sun, and after eggs, bacon, and tea, he walked to the Battery and back, before nine, the appointed hour for his first business conference with Reuben Harris.
A good sleep had refreshed Colonel Harris and at breakfast he appeared in a joking mood. While he smoked, he glanced at the Tribune and again examined Searles’s letter of introduction from Messrs. Guerney & Barring. At nine o’clock promptly, Mr. Searles came and Colonel Harris exhibited to him a brief statement of the business of the Harrisville Iron & Steel Co., extending over the last ten years, and showing the company’s annual profits.
“A very good business your company did, and you made large profits, Colonel Harris,” said Searles. “And am I to understand that you have made in your statement a proper allowance for depreciation of values in buildings and machinery, also for all losses and cost of insurance, and that after these deductions are made the company’s net profits annually amounted to an average of over one hundred thousand pounds, or a half million dollars?”
“Yes,” replied the colonel.
And Mr. Searles remarked, “Colonel Harris, if your arguments last evening did not fully convert me to the decided advantage which Americans gain by protection, this statement of the Harrisville Iron & Steel Co. does. A year ago, some Americans in London called our attention to your profitable plant, hence our first letter of inquiries. Your replies confirmed the report and so we cabled for this initial meeting between us.
“Messrs. Guerney & Barring have been most successful in financiering some of the largest business interests in the world, and thus they have achieved a splendid reputation. It was their wish that I should secure for them your most favorable terms with an option of purchase of your plant, the same to hold good for two months, or for a sufficient length of time to allow them to organize a syndicate, and float necessary debentures to buy the stock, or a controlling interest in your company, and so continue the business.”
“Mr. Searles, we Americans are not anxious to sell, especially to foreigners, our best paying concerns. We ought to keep them under our own control. However, of late, I have been inclined to indulge my family in a little foreign travel, and myself in more leisure for books, and possibly for politics, believing that not enough of our good citizens enter Congress. I might, on certain conditions, name a price for all the stock of the Harrisville Iron & Steel Co.”
“Please state the price and the conditions.”
“Well, let me think a moment. The capital stock of the company is not now as large as it should be.
Total Capital Stock $2,000,000
Par value of shares 100
Present Value per Share, 300
“The entire property and good-will of the Company is worth at least $6,000,000, and my “fixed price,” as the English say, is $5,000,000.”
Mr. Searles looked puzzled, for he had hoped to get the stock for less money. He hesitated, as if in deep study, but not long, for he believed that, if the Harrisville Iron & Steel Co. for ten successive years could pay $500,000 or an average annual dividend of 25% on its stock of $2,000,000, the plant re-organized could easily be marketed at a neat advance, say for L1,400,000 or $7,000,000, in London, where even sound 3% investments are eagerly sought; so Mr. Searles inquired again: “Colonel Harris, you omitted to state your conditions.” Harris answered, “I must have cash enough to guarantee the sale, and short time payments for the balance.”
“Well, Colonel Harris, how would the following terms please you?
One-eighth cash $625,000
One-eighth 30 days 625,000
One-fourth 60 days 1,250,000
One-fourth 90 days 1,250,000
One-fourth, Preferred Shares,
6% dividends guaranteed 1,250,000
Total price named 5,000,000
“Colonel Harris, before you answer, please let me outline our London plan. Suppose I should take for Messrs. Guerney & Barring a contract, or option of purchase on the property with payments as named, the purchase to be conditioned upon a verification of the correctness of your statements. Our experts can examine and report soon on your accounts for ten years back, and on buildings, machinery, stock on hand, land, etc.”
“Mr. Searles, please explain further your ‘London plan’ of reorganization.”
“Colonel Harris, we would modify the old firm name, so as to read—’The Harrisville Iron & Steel Co., Limited, of London, England,’ and capitalize it at L1,400,000, or $7,000,000.
Par value of shares L20 or $100
Number of shares 70,000
“When our experts shall have verified your statements at Harrisville, then the option of purchase is to be signed by us and forwarded to London, where it will be signed by Messrs. Guerney & Barring, the first payment made, and the contract underwritten or guaranteed by the Guardian, Executor & Trust Association, Limited, of London, whose capital is $5,000,000. The association will also underwrite the bonds and preference shares. This will practically complete the purchase.”
“But what about the last one-fourth payment in preferred shares of $1,250,000?”
“Pardon me, Colonel Harris, that is just what I desire to explain further. The new company will issue debentures or bonds, running 30 years, at 4%, for L800,000 or $4,000,000; preference shares L400,000 or $2,000,000; with dividends 6% guaranteed, and a preference in distribution of property, if company is dissolved. Ordinary shares L1,200,000 or $6,000,000. And our London prospects will show that the ordinary shares can earn at least 5%. For the last one-fourth we wish you to take 12,500 preferred shares, or $1,250,000.
“London holders, of course, will elect all the officers, a managing board of directors, with general office in London. For a time they will expect you to advise in the management of the business at Harrisville.”
After some further explanations, Harris agreed to sign a contract or option of purchase, drawn as specified, if after investigation, he should become satisfied with the responsibility of the London parties. On Tuesday morning, contracts in duplicates were presented for Colonel Harris’s inspection. After twice carefully reading the contract, he gave his approval and wrote Mr. Searles a letter of introduction to Mr. B.C. Wilson, his manager at Harrisville, requesting the latter to permit Mr. Searles and his experts to examine all property and accounts of the Harrisville Iron & Steel Co. for ten years back.
It was also arranged that on Wednesday, at 12 o’clock noon, Mr. Searles should see the Harrises off to Europe, then Mr. Searles and his experts were to go to Harrisville in Colonel Harris’s private car. Later Mr. Searles and Colonel Harris were to meet in London, and then, if everything was mutually satisfactory, all parties were to affix their signatures to the agreement, and the cash payment was to be made at the London office of Guerney & Barring.
Wednesday, Colonel Harris rose early as had been his habit from childhood. He was exacting in his family, and also as a manager of labor. Every morning at six o’clock all the family had to be at the breakfast table. Colonel Harris always asked the blessing. Its merit was its brevity: sometimes he only said—“Dear Lord, make us grateful and good to-day. Amen.” Thirty minutes later, summer and winter, his horses and carriage stood at his door, and punctually at fifteen minutes of seven o’clock he would reach his great mills. His first duty was to walk through his works, as his skilled laborers with dinner pails entered the broad gates and began the day’s work. Devotion like this usually brings success.
After breakfast, Mrs. Harris and her daughters walked down Fifth Avenue to make a few purchases. Alfonso and Leo hurried off to get their baggage to the “Majestic,” while Jean busied himself in seeing that a transfer was made to the steamer of all the trunks, valises, etc., left at the depot and hotel.
At ten o’clock Jean called at the dock to learn if the half-dozen steamer chairs and as many warm blankets had arrived, and he found everything in readiness. It was 10:30 o’clock when the Waldorf bill was paid, and the good-bye given. The young people were jubilant, as the long hoped-for pleasure trip to Europe was about to be realized.
The carriages for the steamer could not go fast enough to satisfy the old, or the young people. Several schoolmates, artists, business and society friends met them on the dock. Many fashionable people had already arrived to say “Bon Voyage” to the Harrises and to Leo. Hundreds of others had come to see their own friends off. It was all excitement among the passengers, and carriages kept coming and going.
Not so with the English officers and sailors of the “Majestic.” They were calm and ready for the homeward passage.
The last mail bag had been put aboard, and the receipts to the government hurriedly signed. Mr. Searles had said good-bye, and last of all to Colonel Harris. As the colonel went up the gangway, the bell rang and the cries “All aboard” were given. For once, Colonel Harris felt a sense of great relief to thus cut loose from his business, and take his first long vacation, in twenty-five years from hard work.
“Now, I shall have a good time, and a much needed rest,” he said. But just as he stepped into the steamer’s dining-saloon, Mr. Searles, who had hastily followed, touched him on the shoulder and said. “Here, Colonel Harris, is a telegram for you.”
Harris quickly tore it open. It was from Wilson, his manager, and it read as follows:—
Harrisville, June 9, 18—.
Colonel Reuben Harris,
Steamer Majestic, New York.
Our four thousand men struck this morning
for higher wages. What shall
Harris was almost paralyzed. His wife and daughters ran to him. The steamer’s big whistle was sounding. All was now confusion. There was only a moment to decide, but Harris proved equal to the situation. He stepped to the purser, surrendered his passage ticket, kissed his wife and two daughters, saying to his son, “Alfonso, take charge of the party as I go back to Harrisville.”
Gertrude, insisting, accompanied her father, and remained ashore. On the dock stood Colonel Harris, Gertrude, and Mr. Searles, all three waving their white handkerchiefs to Mrs. Harris, Lucille, Alfonso, and Leo. What a bad send-off!
The best laid schemes o’ mice an’
Gang aft a-gley,
And leave us nought but grief and pain,
For promised joy.
The Harrises on the steamer, and the Harrises on the pier had heavy hearts, especially Colonel Harris and Gertrude so suddenly disappointed. It was soon agreed that the three should start that evening for Harrisville.
ABOARD THE S.S. MAJESTIC
Mrs. Harris was naturally a brave woman, but the telegram, and the sudden separation perhaps forever from her husband and Gertrude, unnerved her. She sank back into an easy chair on the steamer, murmuring, “Why this terrible disappointment? Why did I not turn back with my husband? This is worse than death. Mr. Harris is in great trouble. Why did I not at once sacrifice all and share his misfortunes? How noble in Gertrude to go ashore with her father. It is just like the child, for she is never happy except when she forgets self, and does for others.”
Mrs. Harris sobbed as if her loved ones had been left in the tomb. Lucille tenderly held her mother’s hand, and spoke comforting words: “Cheer up, mother, all will yet be well. Father can now take Mr. Searles to Harrisville.”
“To see what, child—men misled and on a strike and the mills all closed down! It means much trouble, and perhaps disaster for the Harrises.”
“Oh, no, mother, all will soon be well. Let us go on the deck.”
Alfonso led his mother, and Leo took Lucille up among the passengers.
They were just in time to see the white cloud of fluttering handkerchiefs on the pier. Leo said that he could distinguish with his field-glass Colonel Harris and Gertrude, and tears again came into Mrs. Harris’s eyes.
European steamers always leave on time, waiting for neither prince nor peasant. A carriage with foaming horses drove in upon the pier as the tug pulled the steamer out upon the Hudson. Its single occupant was an English government agent bearing a special message from the British embassador at Washington to Downing Street, London.
“Now what’s to be done?” the British agent sharply inquired.
“Two pounds, sir, and we will put you and your luggage aboard,” shouted an English sailor.
“Agreed,” said the agent, and to the surprise of everybody on the pier, two robust sailors pulled as for their lives, and each won a sovereign, as they put the belated agent on board the “Majestic.”
This race for a passage caught the eye of Mrs. Harris. At first she thought that the little boat might contain her husband, but as the English agent came up the ship’s ladder, she grasped Alfonso’s arm, and said, “Here, my son, take my hand and help me quickly to the boat; I will go back to Mr. Harris.”
“No! No!” said Alfonso, “Look, mother, the little boat is already returning to the dock.” Later the purser brought to Mrs. Harris an envelope containing the steamer tickets and a purse of gold, which the colonel thoughtfully had sent by the English agent.
Mrs. Harris re-examined the envelope, and found the colonel’s personal card which contained on the back a few words, hastily scribbled: “Cheer up everybody; glad four of our party are on board. Enjoy yourselves. Gertrude sends love. Later we will join you in London perhaps. God bless you all. R.H.”
Sunshine soon came back to Mrs. Harris’s face, and she began to notice the people about her, and to realize that she was actually on shipboard. Foreign travel had been the dream of her life; and she felt comforted to have Alfonso and Lucille beside her.
“Mrs. Harris,” said Leo, “see the stately blocks that outline Broadway, the Western Union Telegraph Building, the Equitable Building, the granite offices of the Standard Oil Company, the Post Office, and the imposing Produce Exchange with its projecting galley-prows. Above its long series of beautiful arches of terra cotta rise a tall campanile and liberty pole from which floats the stars and stripes.”
Leo’s eyes kindled in brilliancy, and his voice quickened with patriotism, as he made reference to his adopted flag. “Lucille, behold our glorious flag that floats over America’s greatest financial and commercial city. I love the stars and stripes quite as much as Italy’s flag.
“Annually over thirty thousand vessels arrive and depart from this harbor. New York is America’s great gateway for immigrants. In a single year nearly a half million land at Castle Garden. Sections of New York are known as Germany, Italy, China, Africa, and Judea. The Hebrews alone in the city number upwards of one hundred thousand, and have nearly fifty synagogues and as many millionaires. The trees, lawns, and promenades along the sea-wall, form the Battery Park. The settees are crowded with people enjoying the magnificent marine views before them.”
Alfonso pointed to the Suspension or Brooklyn Bridge beneath which vessels were sailing on the East River. Its enormous cables looked like small ropes sustaining a vast traffic of cars, vehicles, and pedestrians.
To the right of the steamer’s track on Bedloe’s Island stands Bartholdi’s “Liberty, Enlightening the World,” the largest bronze statue on the globe. From a small guide book of New York, Lucille read aloud that the Bartholdi statue and its pedestal cost one million dollars; that the statue was presented by the French people to the people of the United States. The head of Liberty is higher than the tall steeple of Trinity Church, which is 300 feet high, or twice that of the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the seven ancient wonders.
“Look,” said Lucille, “at the uplifted right hand holding an electric torch. How magnificently the statue stands facing the Narrows, the entrance from Europe, and how cordial the welcome to America which Liberty extends.”
“Yes,” said Leo, “if you wish to see Bartholdi’s noble mother, observe the face of the statue. Bartholdi owed much to his mother’s constant encouragement.”
“How true it is,” said Mrs. Harris, “that most great men have had splendid mothers.”
Many on the deck thought of loved ones at home, of their country, and wondered if they would return again to America. This was true of many aboard who were now starting on their first ocean voyage, and their thoughts no doubt were akin to those that filled the minds of Columbus and his crew when they left Palos.
Craft of every kind kept clear of the giant “Majestic” as she plowed down the Narrows. Historic but worthless old forts are on either side, and far down into the lower bay the pilot guides the wonderful steamer. Sandy Hook lighthouse, the low shores, and purple mountains of New Jersey are left behind, as the “Majestic” is set on her course at full speed.
The gong for the one o’clock lunch was sounded, and Alfonso, glad of the change, as his mother seemed unhappy, led the way below. Colonel Harris, when he bought the tickets, had arranged that his family should sit at the captain’s table. As Alfonso entered the saloon, the steward conducted him and his friends to their seats. The captain’s seat was unoccupied as he was busy on deck. The grand dining-room of the “Majestic” is amidships on the main deck. At the three long tables and sixteen short side tables, three hundred persons can be accommodated.
The sea was smooth, so every chair was taken. The scene was an animating one and interesting to study. A single voyage will not suffice to reveal the heart histories and ambitions of three hundred cosmopolitan passengers. Everybody was talking at the same time; all had much to say about the experiences in reaching and boarding the steamer. Everybody was looking at everybody, and each wondered who the others might be.
So many new faces which are to be studies for the voyage, arrested the attention of Mrs. Harris. Her appetite was not good, so she ate little, but closely watched the exhilarating scenes about her. Many wives had their husbands by their sides, and this pained her, but she resolved to keep brave and to make the most of her opportunities. Lucille and the young men were so interested in the pretty faces all about them, that they had little time for an English luncheon, and most of their eating was a make-believe.
Amidship the movement of the boat is reduced to a minimum, and in fair weather it is difficult to realize that you are out upon the ocean. Each passenger at the table is furnished with a revolving chair. Choice flowers, the gifts of loving friends left behind, were on every table, and their fragrance converted the dining-saloon into a large conservatory. The Corinthian columns were fluted and embossed, the walls and ceiling were in tints of ivory and gold; the artistic panels abounded in groups of Tritons and nymphs; the ports were fitted with stained glass shutters, emblazoned with the arms of cities and states in Europe and America. Behind the glass were electric lights, so that the designs were visible both night and day.
Surmounting this richly appointed saloon was a dome of artistic creation, its stained glass of soft tints, which sparkled in the warm sunlight and shed a kaleidoscope of color and design over the merry company of passengers. Mirrors and the gentle rolling of the steamer multiplied and enlarged the gorgeous colorings and perplexing designs.
In the midst of this new life aboard ship, so novel and so beautiful, Mrs. Harris’s heart would have been happy had her over-worked husband and Gertrude sat beside her at the table. Very little of this life is enjoyed without the unwelcomed flies that spoil the precious ointment.
After the lunch Alfonso and his friends had time to examine a little further the great steamer that was to float them to the Old World. When his party hurriedly entered the dining-saloon, the grand staircase was entirely overlooked. How wide and roomy it was, and how beautifully carved and finished, especially the balustrade and newel posts, the whole being built of selected white oak, which mellows with age, and will assume a richer hue like the wainscoting in the famous old English abbeys and manor houses.
Again the Harris party was on deck, final words hastily written were in the steamer’s mail bag, and a sailor stood ready to pass it over the ship’s side to the pilot’s little boat, waiting for orders to cut loose from the “Majestic.”
The engines slacked their speed, the pilot bade the officers good-bye, and accompanied the mail bag to his trusted schooner. No. 66 was painted in black full length on the pilot’s big white sail. All the passenger steamers which enter or leave New York must take these brave and alert pilots as guides in and out the ever-changing harbor channels.
The gong in the engine-rooms again signaled “full speed” and the live, escaping steam was turned through the triple-expansion engines, and the “Majestic” gathered her full strength for a powerful effort, a record-breaking passage to Queenstown.
The life on board the transatlantic ferry is decidedly English, and Mrs. Harris closely studied the courtesies and requirements. She soon came to like the ship’s discipline and matter-of-fact customs. The young people, some newly married, and some new acquaintances like Leo and Lucille, had moved their steamer chairs on the deck, that they might watch the return of the pilot’s boat.
Loving letters were read, the leaves of latest magazines were cut, and many words were exchanged before the big “66” disappeared entirely with the sun that set in gold and purple over the low New England shores.
Quite apart from the young people sat Mrs. Harris and Alfonso. They talked earnestly about the ill-timed strike of the millmen at home. “Why did the men strike at the very time when father wanted his mills to glow with activity?” queried Mrs. Harris.
“Oh, mother,” said Alfonso, “that is part of labor’s stock in trade. Some labor organizations argue that the ‘end justifies the means.’ Our men were probably kept advised of father’s plans, and strikes often are timed so as to put capital at the greatest disadvantage, and force, if possible, a speedy surrender to labor’s demands. ‘Like begets like,’ mother, so the college professor told us when he lectured on Darwin. It was Darwin, I think, who emphasized this fundamental principle in nature.
“See, mother, how this labor agitation works. Labor organizations multiply and become aggressive, and so capital organizes in self-defense. One day our professor told the class that he much preferred citizenship in a government controlled by intelligent capital, to the insecurity and uncertainty of ignorant labor in power. The professor inclined to think that the British form of government rested on a more lasting basis than that of republics.
“Usually the more of values a person possesses, the more anxious he is for stable government. Labor has little capital, and so often becomes venturesome, and is willing to stake all on the throw of a die. But labor in the presence of open hungry mouths can ill afford to take such chances. Labor with its little or no surplus should act reasonably, and on the side of conservatism, or wives and little ones suffer.”
Mrs. Harris listened to her son’s comments on capital and labor, but the independence of her race asserted itself and she said with emphasis, “Alfonso, I hope Mr. Harris will insist on his rights at Harrisville.”
“Very likely he will, mother, as he is that kind of a man, and the New England independence that is born in him is sure to assert itself.”
For a few moments neither mother nor son spoke. Suddenly both were awakened from their reveries by the call for dinner. The waters were still smooth, and the ocean breezes had sharpened appetites, so the grand staircase was crowded with a happy throng, most of whom were eager for their first dinner aboard ship. The Harrises were delighted to find Captain Morgan already at the table.
Long ago Captain Morgan had learned that wealth is power. His own ship had cost a million or more, and England’s millions enabled his government to control the globe. Not only was he keenly alive to the fact that capital and brains guided most human events, but naturally he possessed the instincts of a gentleman, and besides he was a true Briton. His ancestors for generations had followed the sea for a livelihood and fame. Some had served conspicuously in the navy, and others like himself had spent long lives in the commercial marine.
In Lucille’s eyes Captain Morgan was an ideal hero of the sea. He was over six feet in height, and robust of form, weighing not less than 250 pounds. His face was round and bronzed by the exposure of over three hundred ocean passages. His closely cropped beard and hair were iron gray, and his mild blue eyes and shapely hands told of inbred qualities. That he was possessed of rare traits of character, it was easy to discover. Loyalty to the great trusts confided to him, was noticeable in his every movement. “Safety of ship, passengers, and cargo,” were words often repeated, whether the skies above him were blue or black.
Captain Morgan addressing Mrs. Harris said, “We shall miss very much your husband’s presence aboard ship. Nowadays managers of great enterprises ashore, involving the use of large amounts of capital, encounter quite as many stormy seas as we of the Atlantic.”
“Yes,” replied Mrs. Harris, “and the causes of financial disturbances are fully as difficult to divine or control.”
“It was fortunate, however, Mrs. Harris,” said the captain, “that word reached the steamer in time to intercept the Colonel so that he could return at once and assume command of his business. Aboard our ship, you must all dismiss every anxiety as to matters at home or on the “Majestic.” With your permission, Colonel Harris’s family shall be mine for the passage. Please command my services at all times.”
“Thank you,” said Alfonso, and the captain’s cordial words, like sunshine, dispelled the clouds.
“Captain,” inquired Leo, “do you think we shall have a pleasant voyage?”
“Yes, I hope so, for the sake of those aboard who are making this their first voyage, otherwise we may not have the pleasure of much of their company.”
“Captain Morgan, then you really promise a smooth passage?” said Lucille.
“Oh no, Miss Harris, we never promise in advance good weather on the ocean. Smooth water for us old sailors is irksome indeed, yet I always consider it very fortunate for our passengers, if Old Probabilities grant us a day or two of fair skies as we leave and enter port. With gentle breezes the passengers gradually get possession of their ‘sea legs’ as sailors term it, and later brisk breezes are welcomed.”
“Captain, have you a panacea for seasickness?” inquired Mrs. Harris.
“Oh, yes,” he replied, “take as vigorous exercise on the ship as is taken ashore, eat wisely, observe economy of nerve-force, and be resolved to keep on good terms with Old Neptune. Don’t fight the steamer’s movements or eccentricities, but yield gracefully to all the boat’s motions. In a word, forget entirely that you are aboard ship, and the victory is yours.”
“This is Wednesday, Captain, and do you really think you will land us in the Mersey by Monday evening?” Lucille enquired earnestly.
“Monday or Tuesday if all goes well,” the captain answered. Captain Morgan drank his coffee, excused himself, and returned to his duty on the bridge.
“What a gallant old sea-dog the captain is,” said Mrs. Harris. “We shall feel perfectly safe in his keeping. How cheery he is away from home.”
“How do you know he has a home, mother?”
“Perhaps not, my dear, for he seems really married to his ship.”
The Harrises and Leo joined the passengers who had now left the dining saloon. The light winds had freshened and the skies were overcast and gave promise of showers, if not of a storm. After walking a few times around the promenade deck, most of the passengers went below, some to the library, some to the smoking room, and some to their staterooms, perhaps thinking discretion the better part of valor. The steamer’s chairs were taken from the deck and only a few persons remained outside. Some of them were clad in warm ulsters. They walked the usual half-hour. Most of these promenaders were men of business who were required to make frequent ocean passages. They were as familiar with moistened decks, cloudy skies, and heavy seas as the land-lubbers are with stone pavements and hotel corridors.
DISCOMFITURES AT SEA
The green and red lights on the starboard and port sides and the white light on the foremast now burned brightly. The boatswain’s shrill whistle furled the sails snugly to every spar, leaving the sailors little time or spirit for their usual song, as barometer-like they too sensed the approaching storm. The ship’s watch forward was increased as the wind grew strong, and the weather ahead had become thick and hazy.
The captain quickly left the table when the steward placed in his hand a bit of writing from the first officer, which read, “The barometer is falling rapidly.” Captain Morgan and an officer paced the bridge with eyes alert. Heavy clouds of smoke from the triple stacks revealed that a hundred glowing furnaces were being fed with fuel, assistant engineers were busily inspecting, and oilers were active in lubricating the ponderous engines that every emergency might be promptly met.
Ports were closed and every precaution taken. The anxiety of officers and sailors and the increased agitation of the sea was soon noticed by the ship’s gay company. Before ten o’clock most of the passengers were glad of the good-night excuse for retiring. The smoking room, however, was crowded with devotees to the weed. Old-timers were busy with cards, or forming pools on the first day’s run from Sandy Hook, or speculating as to the time of arrival at Queenstown.
The atmosphere of the room was as thick as the weather outside. It is no wonder that a club man of New York, making his first trip to Europe, inquired of his Philadelphia friend, “Why do Americans smoke so continually?”
He answered, “It is easier to tell why the English drink tea and why Americans drink coffee. But to answer your question, I suppose the mixture of races quickens the flow of blood and produces the intense activities we witness. Besides, the enlarged opportunities offered in a new and growing country present attractive prizes in the commercial, political, social, and religious world. To attain these the Anglo-Saxon blood rushes through arteries and veins like the heated blood in a thoroughbred horse on the last quarter. After these homestretch efforts Americans feel the need often of stimulants, or of a soporific, and this they try to find in a cigar.”
“Your views are wrong, I think. One would naturally infer that the use of tobacco shortens life. Let me relate to you an incident.
“I was once in Sandusky, Ohio, and spent an evening at a lecture given by Trask, the great anti-tobacconist. In his discourse he had reached the climax of his argument, proving as he thought that tobacco shortened life, when a well dressed man in the audience rose and said, ’Mr. Trask, will you pardon me if I say a few words?’
“‘Oh, yes’ said the lecturer, ‘give us the facts only.’
“’Well, Mr. Trask, there is living to-day in Castalia, southwest of here, a man nearly a hundred years old and he has been a constant user of tobacco since early childhood.’
“For a moment Mr. Trask stood nonplussed. To gain time for thought he fell back upon the Socratic method, and began asking questions. ’Stranger, won’t you stand up again so that the audience can see you? Thank you! Evidently you are an intelligent citizen and reliable witness. Did you say you knew the man?’
“‘O yes, I have known him for over fifty years.’
“’Did you ever know of his favoring schools or churches by gifts or otherwise?’
“‘No,’ said the stranger.
“‘There,’ said Trask to the audience, ’this man’s testimony only strengthens what I have been attempting to prove here this evening, that tobacco shortens life. This Castalia centenarian is dead to all the demands of society and humanity, and his corpse should have been buried half a century ago.’ So the laugh was on the voluntary witness.”
“Hold on, my friend, your Castalia centenarian proves just what I said at the outset, that the use of tobacco prolongs life, but I am half inclined myself to feel that the less tobacco active Americans use, the better.” Then throwing his cigar away, he said good-night and left the smoking room.
Others stacked their cards, smoked cigarettes, and then sought their staterooms, and finally the ship’s bell rang out the last patron and announced the midnight hour; the steward was left alone. He had been unusually busy all the evening furnishing ale, porter, and beer, a few only taking wine. The steward was glad to complete his report of sales for the first day out, and turn off the lights and seek his berth for the night.
The “Majestic” shot past Cape Cod and was plowing her way towards the banks of Newfoundland. The strong winds were westerly and fast increasing to a moderate gale. The north star was hidden and now failed to confirm the accuracy of the ship’s compasses.
The first and fourth officers were pacing the bridge. The latter was glad that the engines were working at full speed, as every stroke of the pistons carried him nearer his pretty cottage in the suburbs of Liverpool. Captain Morgan had dropped asleep on the lounge in his cozy room just back of the wheel. Most of the passengers and crew off duty slept soundly, though some were dreaming of wife and children in far away homes, and others of palaces, parks, and castles in foreign countries.
It was difficult for Mrs. Harris to get much rest as the waves dashing against the ship often awakened her, and her thoughts would race with the Cincinnati Express which was swiftly bearing her husband and Gertrude back to Harrisville and perhaps to trouble and poverty. While Mrs. Harris knew that her husband was wealthy, she was constantly troubled with fears lest she and her family should sometime come to want. Her own father had acquired a fortune in Ireland, but changes in the British tariff laws had rendered him penniless, and poverty had driven her mother with seven other children to America.
A rich uncle in Boston enabled her to get a fair education, and the early years of her married life had been full of earnest effort, of economy and heroic struggle, that her husband and family might gain a footing in the world. The comforts of her early childhood in Ireland had given her a keen relish for luxury. The pain inflicted by poverty that followed was severely felt, and now, the pleasures of wealth again were all the more enjoyed.
Mrs. Harris was not a church member, but woman-like she found her lips saying, “God bless the colonel and my precious children.” Then putting her hand over upon Lucille, and satisfied that she was there by her side and asleep, she too became drowsy and finally unconscious. Alfonso and Leo occupied the adjoining stateroom, but both were in dreamland; Alfonso in the art galleries of Holland and Leo in sunny Italy.
Before morning the storm center was moving rapidly down the St. Lawrence Valley, and off the east coast of Maine. Long lines of white-capped waves were dashing after each other like swift platoons in a cavalry charge. The “Majestic,” conscious of an enemy on her flank, sought earnestly to outstrip the winds of AEolus. When Captain Morgan reached the bridge, the sea and sky were most threatening. The first officer said, “Captain, I have never seen the mercury go down so rapidly. We are in for a nasty time of it, I fear.”
Early the sailors were scrubbing the ship while the spray helped to wash the decks, and they tightened the fastenings of the life-boats. The firemen too were busy dropping cinders astern. Fires in the cook’s galley were lighted, and the steerage passengers were aroused for breakfast, but few responded.
Mrs. Harris often tried to dress, but every time she fell back into her berth, saying, “Stewardess, I shall surely die. Isn’t the ship going down?”
“No, no, madam,” the stewardess replied, “I will return with beef tea, and you will soon feel better.”
Lucille was helped to put on a dark wrapper; and after repeated efforts at a hasty toilet, she took the stewardess’s arm and reached an easy chair in the library. Alfonso and Leo, who were both members of a yacht club in New York, came to the library from a short walk on the deck. It required much urging with Lucille before she would attempt an entrance into the dining-room. Several men and a few ladies were present.
“Good morning, Miss Harris, how brave you are,” were words spoken so encouragingly by Captain Morgan that Lucille’s face brightened and she responded as best she could.
“Thank you, captain, I believe I should much prefer to face a storm of bullets on the land than a storm at sea; you courageous sailors really deserve all the gold medals.”
Leo, who was fond of the ocean, said to Alfonso, “Why can’t we all be sailors? What say you to this? Let us test who of our party shall lose the fewest meals from New York to Queenstown. You and your mother or Lucille and I?”
“Agreed,” responded Alfonso, thinking it would help to keep the ladies in good spirits.
“But what shall count for a meal?” inquired Alfonso.
“Not less than ten minutes at the table, and at dinner, soup at least.” Lucille thought Leo’s idea a capital one. It was agreed that the contest should commence with the next lunch, and that Alfonso and Leo should act as captains for the two sides.
By this time Lucille had eaten a little toast and had sipped part of her chocolate. A tenderloin steak and sweet omelet with French fried potatoes were being served, when suddenly the color left her face. Another lurch of the steamer sent a glass of ice water up her loose sleeve, and, utterly discomfited, she begged to be excused and rushed from the table.
“Oh dear, mother, how terribly I feel; let me lie down. Oh dear! I wish I were home with father and Gertrude.”
“If the colonel were only here to help,” murmured Mrs. Harris. “Stewardess, where are you? Why don’t you hurry when I ring? Go for the doctor at once.” It was now blowing a gale and the steamer was rolling badly.
It was a long half-hour before the doctor entered the stateroom of Mrs. Harris. Dr. Argyle was perfect in physical development and a model of gentlemanly qualities. His education had been received in London and Vienna, and he had joined the service of the “Majestic” that he might enlarge his experiences as practitioner and man of the world. He had correctly divined that here he was sure to touch intimately the restless and wandering aristocracy of the globe.
While Dr. Argyle was ostensibly the ship’s doctor, he was keenly alert for an opportunity that would help him on to fame and fortune. Of the two he preferred the latter, as he believed that humanity is just as lazy as it dares to be. Therefore stateroom No. —— was entered both professionally and inquisitively. The doctor was half glad that the Harrises were ill, as he had seen the family at Captain Morgan’s table and desired to meet them. Captain Morgan had incidentally mentioned to the doctor the great wealth of the Harris family, and this also had whetted his curiosity. Before him lay mother and daughter, helpless, both in utter misery and the picture of despair.
“Beg pardon, ladies,” said the doctor as he entered, “you sent for me I believe?”
“Yes, yes,” replied Mrs. Harris, “we thought you had forgotten us, as the half-hour’s delay seemed a full week. My daughter, Lucille, and I are suffering terribly. How awful the storm! Last night, doctor, I thought I should die before morning, and now I greatly fear that the ship will go down.”
“Do not fear, ladies,” the doctor replied, “the wind is only brisk; most people suffer a little on the ocean, especially on the first voyage.”
“What is the cause of this terrible seasickness, doctor, and what can you do for us?”
“Frankly, Mrs. Harris, no two physicians agree as to the cause. Usually people suffer most from seasickness who come aboard weary from over-work or nervous exhaustion. Most people waste vital forces by too much talking or by over-exertion. Americans, especially, overcheck their deposits of vitality, and as bankrupts they struggle to transact daily duties. Wise management of nerve forces would enable them to accomplish more and enjoy life better.”
“I am a bankrupt then,” said Mrs. Harris, “but how about my daughter Lucille?”
“Your child, I fear, is the daughter of bankrupts and doubtless inherits their qualities.”
“But, doctor, can’t you do something now for us?”
“Oh yes, madam, but first let me feel your pulse, please.”
“Ninety-eight,” he said to himself, but he added to Mrs. Harris, “you need the very rest this voyage affords and you must not worry the least about the storm or affairs at home. Our vessel is built of steel, and Captain Morgan always outrides the storms. Ladies, I want you to take this preparation of my own. It is a special remedy for seasickness, the result of the study and experience of the medical force of the White Star Line.”
The faces of mother and daughter brightened. They had faith. This was noticed by Dr. Argyle. Faith was the restorative principle upon which the young doctor depended, and without it his medicine was worthless. The White Star panacea prescribed was harmless, as his powders merely inclined the patient to sleep and recovery followed, so faith or nature worked the cure. Soon after the door closed behind the doctor, Lucille was asleep, and Mrs. Harris passed into dreamland.
The winds veered into the southwest, and, reinforced, were controlled by a violent hurricane that had rushed up the Atlantic coast from the West Indies. The novice aboard was elated, for he thought that the fiercer the wind blew behind the vessel, the faster the steamer would be driven forward. How little some of us really know! The cyclone at sea is a rotary storm, or hurricane, of extended circuit. Black clouds drive down upon the sea and ship with a tiger’s fierceness as if to crush all life in their pathway.
Officers and crew, in waterproof garments, become as restless as bunched cattle in a prairie blizzard. All eyes now roam from prow to stern, from deck to top mast. The lightning’s blue flame plays with the steel masts, and overhead thunders drown the noise of engines and propellers. Thick black smoke and red-hot cinders shoot forth from the three black-throated smoke-stacks.
The huge steamer, no longer moving with the ease of the leviathan, seems a tiny craft and almost helpless in the chopped seas that give to the ship a complex motion so difficult, even for old sailors, to anticipate. Tidal wave follows tidal wave in rapid succession. Both trough and crest are whipped into whitecaps like tents afield, till sea and storm seem leagued to deluge the world again.
Captain Morgan, lashed to the bridge, has full confidence in himself, his doubled watch ahead, his compasses, and the throbbing engines below. Dangers have now aroused the man and his courage grows apace. Moments supreme come to every captain at sea, the same as to captains who wage wars on the land.
The decks are drenched, great waves pound the forward deck and life-boats are broken from their moorings. Battened hatches imprison below a regiment of souls, some suffering the torments of stomachs in open rebellion, others of heads swollen, while others lose entire control of an army of nerves that center near and drive mad the brain.
To the uninitiated, words are powerless to reveal the torments of the imprisoned in a modern steel inquisition, rocking and pitching at the mercy of mighty torrents in a mid-ocean cyclone. Mephistopheles, seeking severest punishment for the damned, displayed tenderness in not adopting the super-heated and sooted pits where stokers in storms at sea are forced to labor and suffer.
All that terrible second day and night at sea, the Harrises and others tossed back and forth in their unstable berths, some suffering with chills and others with burning heat. Some, Mrs. Harris and daughter among them, lay for hours more dead than alive, their wills and muscles utterly powerless to reach needed and much coveted blankets.
The dining saloon was deserted except by a few old sea-travelers. Before dinner, Leo ventured above and for a moment put his head outside. The gale blowing a hundred miles an hour hit him with the force of a club. When he went below to see Alfonso, his face was pale, and his voice trembled as he said, “Harris, before morning we shall all sink to the bottom of the Atlantic with the ‘Majestic’ for our tomb.” Half undressed, Leo dropped again into his berth where he spent a miserable night.
Few persons find life enjoyable in a great storm at sea, for the discomfitures of mind and body are many. The ship’s officers and crew are always concerned about the welfare of the passengers and the safety of steamer and cargo.
True, Leo, with the instincts of an artist, had stood for hours on the deck, partially sheltered by a smoke-stack, to study wave motions and the ever-changing effects of the ocean. Never before had he known its sublimity. When the sea was wildest and the deck was wave-swept, he in his safe retreat made sketches of waves and their combinations which he hoped sometime to reproduce on canvas. At other times, conscious of storm dangers in mid-ocean, Leo’s conscience troubled him. For a year he had been much in love with a pretty Italian girl, daughter of an official, long in the service of the Italian government at the port of New York.
Rosie Ricci was fifteen years old when she first met Leo. Dressed in white, she entered an exhibition of water colors on W. 10th street with her mother one May morning, as Leo had finished hanging a delicate marine view sketched down the Narrows.
Glances only between Leo and Rosie were exchanged, but each formed the resolution sometime, if possible, to know the other. Rosie’s father had died when she was only fourteen years old, and existence for Mrs. Ricci and her little family had been a struggle. For the last year, a happy change had come in their condition. A letter had been received from a rich senator by Mrs. Ricci, which was couched in the tenderest language. The senator explained in his letter that at a musicale, given on Fifth Avenue, he had heard a Rosie Ricci sing a simple song that revived memories of an early day. This fact, coupled with Rosie’s charming simplicity and vivacity of manner, fixed her name in his mind; later he was reading the New York Tribune, and the name Ricci arrested his attention.
The item mentioned the death of Raphael Ricci, ex-consul, and the senator’s object in writing was to inquire further as to the facts. Did he leave a competency? If not, would the family receive such assistance as would enable the daughter, if Rosie Ricci was her daughter, to obtain a further musical education?
The senator’s letter dropped from the mother’s hands; she was overcome with the good news. Rosie picked it up saying, “Mother dear, what is the matter? What terrible news does it contain?”
“Not bad news, child! possibly good news; a letter from a stranger who offers aid in our distress, a letter from one holding a high position. I wonder what it all means? Has the senator been prompted by the spirit of your anxious father, or is there evil in the communication?”
“Tell me, mother, tell me all about it!” But before the mother could speak, Rosie was reading the letter aloud. She threw up her hands in delight and flew into her mother’s arms. “How good the Lord is to us!” Rosie exclaimed. She had been eager for a musical education and to win fame on the stage.
In June, by appointment, Mrs. Ricci and daughter met the Senator at the Fifth Avenue Hotel. It was arranged that Rosie should have the best musical education obtainable in Boston, and further that the senator should pay her expenses in Boston and New York, and that the mother’s rent should be included in his liberality. At times, the mother questioned the senator’s motives, but he always seemed so kind and fatherly that she spurned the thought as coming from the Evil One.
The senator as he left, put several bills in Mrs. Ricci’s hand, saying, “You and Rosie will find need of them for clothes for the daughter and for other expenses.”
Never was a girl happier than Rosie the morning she and her mother left the Grand Central Depot for New England. Rarely, if ever, did a girl work harder than Rosie at her studies. Her soul often had burned with ambition for fame and for money so that she could assist her mother. The way was now open and success was possible. At the sunset hour she often walked with a friend among the historic elms on Boston Common and in the beautiful flower gardens.
Often young men longed for her acquaintance, but they could never get the consent of her pretty eyes. She was petite, her hair black, her eyes dark brown, her lips ruby-red, and her nose and chin finely chiselled. She had a cameo-like face and complexion of olive tint that told of the land of vines and figs in sunny Italy. Her step was elastic, her manner vivacious and confiding. Her dress was always tidy and stylish. Usually she carried a roll of music in one hand as she left the conservatory, and lovely flowers in the other that had been expressed either by the senator or Leo.
On the completion of her course in the conservatory, Leo had pressed his suit so devotedly that Rosie consented to an engagement without her mother’s knowledge. The ring of gold contained a single ruby, and Leo had had engraved on the inside of the ring, “Et teneo, et teneor.” When Rosie saw the old Roman motto she said, “I hold, and am held. How appropriate, Leo! Your love for me, devotion to the beautiful, and our bright memories of artistic Italy shall bind us together forever.
“But Leo, why do you put the ring on the third finger before marriage?”
Leo answered, “Because I have read somewhere that many centuries ago the Egyptians believed that the third finger was especially warmed by a small artery that proceeded directly from the heart. The Egyptians also believed that the third finger is the first that a new born babe is able to move, and the last finger over which the dying lose control.”
“Nonsense,” replied Rosie, “once the wedding ring, studded with precious stones, was worn on the forefinger; Christianity moved it to the third finger. Its use was originated in this way: the priest first put it on the thumb, saying ‘In the name of the Father’; on the forefinger, adding, ‘in the name of the Son;’ on the second finger, repeating, ’in the name of the Holy Ghost;’ and on the third finger, ending with ‘Amen,’ and there it staid.”
Abelard and Heloise were not happier in their unselfish affection than Leo and Rosie in their love. Colors on Leo’s canvas now sought each other in magic harmony. At single sittings in his studio Leo made Madonna faces, and glowing landscapes, that evoked words of warm praise from his fellow artists, who were blind to the secret of Leo’s remarkable power.
For a Christmas present Leo brought Rosie a picture of his own of Rosie’s beautiful hand holding lilies of the valley; and while she thanked him in sweetest words, he pinned at her throat a Florentine cameo once worn by his mother. All these things, and more, came flashing into Leo’s mind as he struggled on the ship’s deck to keep his footing in the storm.
A week before the steamer left New York Leo and Rosie had quarreled. Leo’s invitation to accompany the Harrises had come to him from Alfonso only three days before the “Majestic’s” departure, and such was his momentary ill-humor toward Rosie that he sailed from New York without even advising her of his new plan, or saying good-bye. Leo, alone on the sea, often severely rebuked himself that he could have been so unkind to the woman to whom he had given his heart and his mother’s favorite bit of jewelry.
A thousand times he wished he could ask Rosie’s forgiveness, for it was in a fit of anger that Rosie had snatched the ruby ring off her hand and the cameo from her throat, and had thrown them into Leo’s lap saying, “Take them, Leo, you will easily find another girl to share your family name and your poverty as an artist while I have need of wealth.” Leo had turned from Rosie’s home without the power to reply, he was so taken by surprise.
Leo was never so happy as when Rosie was present in his studio to encourage him by word or song, but now all was changed.
Sometimes Leo in his secret thoughts feared that Rosie’s beauty and charming manner would command riches, and sometimes he dared to think that possibly his talent and fame might command a handsome dowry. Then his mind turned to Lucille. She was taller than Rosie, not so vivacious, but like Rosie enjoyed a happy time. He even ventured at times to say mentally of Lucille that “it is she or none on earth,” and then as he recalled the ring given to Rosie, the old love would assert itself and he would shut his eyes, ashamed of an affection that was false hearted. It was fortunate for Leo that he was a good sailor, as it enabled him to do many thoughtful things for the Harrises, and thus show his appreciation of their great kindness to him.
On the third day out from New York, the storm moderated somewhat and the passengers at breakfast visibly increased in number, but before the lunch hour was over the fury of the gale returned. The steamer in her course had crossed the center of the cyclone where the force of the storm was diminished for a short time only. All that afternoon and night the gale increased in force till it seemed as if volcanic powers under the sea were at work turning the ocean upside down.
Pent up forces in the west were loosed, and Neptune, deity of the ocean, with his three-pronged trident stalked abroad. The bombardment of waves was terrific, and the twin propellers raced so fiercely that speed was reduced to a minimum.
In the morning the terrible cyclone had moved to the north, smoother seas were reached by lunch time, and most of the tables were again filled. Many of those who were making a first voyage also put in their appearance, and they were subjected to much chaffing from the veterans of ocean travel. Captain Morgan and Doctor Argyle were the recipients of many complimentary words for their skill.
At dinner Leo and Alfonso mustered full forces, and each side scored every point, for both Mrs. Harris and Lucille entered the dining room, and everybody enjoyed the menu after a three days’ fast. Captain Morgan spoke of the storm as “the late unpleasantness,” and hoped his friends would not desert him again. Mrs. Harris was silent, but Alfonso and Lucille promised loyalty for the future, and Leo said, “Captain Morgan, I believe I haven’t missed a meal.”
“Bravo, Colonna!” the captain replied, “you really seem to have inherited the sailing qualities of your great countryman Columbus, and I sincerely hope that you may render the world equally valuable services.”
Lucille added, “I am sure he will, captain; during the gale, he rendered signal services to suffering humanity.”
“To-morrow,” continued Captain Morgan, “is the 21st of June, when the day and night will be of equal length, the sun rising and setting promptly at six o’clock.”
“Why not,” said Lucille, “set our watches by the steamer’s chronometer, and have the steward call us at 5:30 o’clock and all test the accuracy of the almanac?” Mrs. Harris and several others entered heartily into the plan.
The pure sea-air was so fresh and restful that when three bells or 5:30 o’clock in the morning was heard, the Harris party were easily awakened and they hastily prepared to witness at sea the sunrise on June 21st.
Leo and Alfonso were first on deck. Mrs. Harris, Lucille, and the Judge, an acquaintance made on the ship, soon joined them. Their watches agreed that it was ten minutes to six o ’clock. The decks had been washed and put in order, engines were running at full speed, the eastern sky was flushed with crimson and golden bands that shot out of the horizon, and fan-like in shape faded up in the zenith. With watches in hand, all eyes were fixed on a pathway of intensely lighted sea and sky in the east. Suddenly, as the sailor rung out “four bells,” or 6 o’clock, Lucille shouted, “There! See that drop of molten gold floating on the horizon. Captain Morgan was right as to time. See, judge, how the gold glows with heat and light as the globe turns to receive the sun’s blessings!”
“Yes,” said the judge who now for the first time since the storm became really enthusiastic, “another page of the record book is turned, and the good and bad deeds of humanity will be entered by the recording angel. The mighty sun, around which we revolve at fabulous speed is, in its relations to us mortals, the most important material fact in the universe. If I ever change my religion I shall become a sun-worshiper. The Turk in his prayers, five times a day, faces the sun.”
An early brisk walk on the deck sharpened appetites, and our sun-worshipers were among the first at breakfast. Gradually others entered, and again the dining room was cheerful with sunny faces. After breakfast the decks were astir with pretty women, children, and gentlemen lifting their hats. The promenade was as gay as on Fifth Avenue. Doctor Argyle gave his arm to Mrs. Harris, Lucille walked between Alfonso and Leo, and doctors of divinity and men of repute in other professions kept faithful step. Actors and actresses moved as gracefully as before the footlights. A famous actor carried on his shoulders a tiny girl who had bits of sky for eyes, a fair face, and fleecy hair that floated in the sea breeze, making a pretty picture.
Business men with fragrant cigars indulged in the latest story or joke. By degrees the promenade disappeared as passengers selected steamer chairs, library, or smoking room, and congenial souls formed interesting and picturesque groups. At the outset of the voyage you wonder at the lack of fine dress, and hastily judge the modest men and women about you to be somewhat commonplace, but after days at sea and many acquaintances made, you discover your mistake and learn that your companions are thoroughly cosmopolitan. In fair weather the decks are playgrounds where children at games enliven the scene, and sailors’ songs are heard.
When the old clipper ship took from four to six weeks to cross the Atlantic, a weekly paper was printed. On some of the swift liners of to-day on the fourth day out a paper is issued, when perhaps the steamer is “rolling in the Roaring Forties.” The sheet is a four-page affair, about six inches wide and nine inches long. It gives a description of the ship signed by the Captain; the daily runs of the ship follow, the distance still to go is stated, and the probable time it will take to make port; under “General Information” you learn about seasickness, what you have not already experienced, the necessity of exercise aboard ship, also much about the handling of luggage in Europe; some of the prose and poetry is sure to be good, and is contributed by skilled writers among the passengers. A column of “Queries” and a few brief stories and jokes brighten the sheet. The price is fifteen cents, and every copy of “The Ocean Breeze” is highly prized. On the whole, people at sea enjoy most the enforced rest, for they escape newspapers, telegrams, creditors, and the tax-gatherer.
At 11 o’clock on the deck, every pleasant day, a large, well-dressed man, attended by his valet, generously opened a barrel of fresh oysters for the passengers. This benevolent gentleman proved to be a famous Saratoga gambler. In this way he made many acquaintances and friends, and each day he increased his winnings at cards and in bets on the vessel’s run, till finally, not he, but the guileless passengers paid for the oysters.
Gambling was the business of the man who advertised by his oysters; with the actor, who romped with the pretty child, gambling was a passion. So intense was this passion with the actor that he would attempt to match silver dollars or gold sovereigns with everybody he met when ashore; between acts on the stage he would telegraph his bet to distant cities. Crossing parks or walking down Broadway his palm concealed a coin, ready for the first possible chance. He would match his coat or his home or even his bank account. On ship he matched sovereigns only.
Occasionally the “Majestic” passed in sight of some other ship, or “tramp-steamer,” and by signal exchanged names and location. Rarely do the great passenger steamers meet on the Atlantic, as the course outward is quite to the north to avoid collisions. Half-awake, half-asleep, the days on shipboard go by as in a dream, and you gladly welcome back restored health. Perhaps a sweet or strong face wins your interest or heart, as the case may be, and life-long friendships are formed. Confidence thus bestowed often begets the same in others, and you are thankful for the ocean voyage.
LIFE AT SEA A KALEIDOSCOPE
In a shady retreat on the ship after lunch sat the Harrises, Leo, the judge, and Dr. Argyle, the latter reading a French novel. Leo had just finished a new novel entitled “A Broken Promise,” Alfonso had read three hundred pages in one of Dickens’s novels that tells so vividly how the poor of London exist.
Dr. Argyle said, “Judge, what do you think of novels anyway?”
The matter-of-fact judge gruffly replied, “I never read the modern novel because I don’t care to waste my time.”
Whereupon Alfonso said, “Give me the novel of an idealist that has a purpose. Colonel Ingersol spoke the truth in a recent lecture when he said that a realist can be no more than an imitator or a copyist. His philosophy makes the wax that receives and retains an image of an artist. Realism degrades and impoverishes. The real sustains the same relation to ideal that a stone does to a statue, or that paint does to a painting.”
“No,” replied Leo, “a novel proper should be a love story spiced with the beauties of nature and exciting adventures. A novel with a purpose, Alfonso, should advertise under another name for it is a cheat. It is often written with a deliberate attempt to beguile a person into reading a story which the writer deliberately planned to be simply the medium of conveying useful or useless information. Possibly a social panacea, or the theme may include any subject from separating gold from the ocean, to proving the validity of the latest theory on electricity.”
“Leo, you go too far,” said Mrs. Harris, “the modern novel that appears in press and magazine, and later in book form, entering all our homes, should teach high morality and contain only proper scenes and passages.”
“But, mother,” said Lucille, “you would thus debar many of the world’s masterpieces in literature. It seems to me that the morality of character and scene has little to do with the artistic value of the book. The realist must depict life as it is. ‘Art, for art’s sake,’ is what commends a novel to artistic minds.”
“The modern novel is too much like modern architecture,” said the judge, “a combination of classical and subsequent styles thrown together to satisfy groups of individuals rather than to conform to well accepted rules or ideas of art. Modern novels and modern architecture are sure to give way to nobler thoughts that shall practically harmonize the useful and the beautiful.”
Dr. Argyle, having asked for opinions on the modern novel, obtained them. He was an earnest listener as he had wished more knowledge of the Harris family, which would enable him the better to lay plans; he hoped to win Lucille’s favor.
It was now a quarter to six o’clock and many passengers, including the Harris group, moved to the port side of the ship to observe if the sun, at the expiration of twelve hours, would again touch the water. This twenty-first day of the month had been one of Lowell’s rare June days. It had been ushered in by beautiful cloud coloring.
The ocean was now free from mist, the blue clouds overhead darkened the sea to the horizon, and it looked as if the sun would set behind clouds. Unexpectedly, however, the clouds near the water separated, and the sun again appeared in all his glory, sending a weird light out over the water, gilding the “Majestic,” flooding the faces of the passengers with an unnatural light, and bringing into strong relief a sailing craft hovering on the starboard horizon.
“Perfectly beautiful,” exclaimed several ladies. “There,” said the purser, as four bells rang out and the gong for dinner sounded, “the sun is kissing the waves.” Before any one could answer, the gorgeous sun was slowly sinking into the blue waters of the Northern Atlantic. Passengers held their watches and in three minutes the sun had said farewell.
The dinner was much enjoyed. After an evening of charming moonlight, midnight found all, save those on duty, asleep in the “Majestic,” which was speeding rapidly towards the safe granite docks at Liverpool.
Moonlight at sea is so bewitching, the wonder is that pleasure-seekers ever consent to land except when denied the companionship of the silver goddess of night. Whether she races with the clouds, silver tips the waves, or with her borrowed light floods the world with fairy-like beauty, it is only that her admirers may exchange sorrow for joy and conflict for peace.
The sixth day out, the sun illumined a clear sky, and those that loved the sea were early on deck for exercise and fresh air. These early risers were well repaid, as the steamer was passing through a great school of porpoises that sometimes venture long distances from the British Islands. Alfonso ran to rap at Lucille’s door and she hurried on deck to enjoy the sight. Hundreds of acres of the ocean were alive with porpoises or sea hogs as sailors often call them.
Porpoises average five feet in length and are the size of a small boy and quite as playful. These animals are smooth, and black or gray in color, except the under side which is pure white. They are gregarious and very sociable in their habits. Porpoises race and play with each other and dart out of the sea, performing almost as many antics as the circus clown. They feed on mackerel and herring, devouring large quantities. Years ago the porpoise was a common and esteemed article of food in Great Britain and France, but now the skin and blubber only have a commercial value. The skins of a very large species are used for leather or boot-thongs.
The early risers were standing on the prow of the steamer where the cutwater sent constantly into the air a nodding plume of white spray. Suddenly the watch shouted, “Whale ahead, sir!” Officers and sailors were astir. Just ahead, and lying in the pathway of the steamer lay a whale, fifty feet in length, seemingly asleep, for he was motionless. The officer’s first thought was that he would slack speed, but presence of mind prompted him to order full speed, planning no doubt, if the whale was obstinate, to cut him in halves.
Lucille and others, fearful of consequences, turned and ran, but the leviathan suddenly dropped down out of sight, his broad tail splashing salt water into the faces of the young people who were bold enough to await events. With a sense of relief, Leo exclaimed, “Narrow escape, that!”
“Narrow escape for whom?” Alfonso inquired.
“For both the steamer and the whale,” replied Lucille.
On the way to breakfast, Lucille asked an officer if similar instances frequently happened.
“Rarely,” he replied, but added, “very likely we may see other whales in this vicinity.” Sure enough, after breakfast, children ran up and down the deck shouting, “Whales! Whales!” and several were seen a mile or two north of the ship’s course, where they sported and spouted water.
About four o’clock, the temperature having fallen several degrees, the passengers sighted to the northeast a huge iceberg in the shape of an arch, bearing down on the steamer’s course, and had it been night, possibly freighted with all the horrors of a ship-wreck. As it was, Captain Morgan deemed it wise to lessen the speed as the ship approached the iceberg.
“This is wonderful, Leo,” said Mrs. Harris; “can you tell us where and when icebergs are formed?”
“Oh yes, Mrs. Harris, icebergs that float down the Atlantic are born on the west coast of Greenland. Up there great valleys are filled with snow and ice from hill-top to hill-top, reaching back up the valleys, in some instances from thirty to forty miles. This valley-ice is called a ’Mer de Glace,’ and has a motion down the valley, like any river, but of three feet more or less only per day. If time enough is allowed, vast quantities of this valley-ice move into the gulf or sea. When the sea is disturbed by a storm the ice wall or precipice is broken off, and enormous masses, often a hundred times larger than a big building, fall and float away with the report of the firing of a park of artillery, and these floating mountains of ice are lighted in their lonely pathways by the midnight sun.”
Before dinner, came the regular promenade which presented many contrasts. A pretty bride from the Blue Grass Region of Kentucky walked with her young husband whom she had first met at a New England seaside. She was glad to aid in bridging the chasm between north and south. Her traveling dress of blue was appropriately trimmed with gray.
The gorgeously dressed gambler walked on the deck alone. Then came two modest nuns dressed in gray and white. Alfonso and his mother, the judge and Lucille, and a group of little children followed. Dr. Argyle and a Philadelphia heiress kept step. Everybody walked, talked, and laughed, and the passengers had little need of the ship’s doctor now. If the weather is fair the decks are always enlivened as a steamer approaches land. The next day, by noon at latest, Ireland and Fastnet Rock would be sighted, if the ship’s reckoning had been correct.
After dinner, Dr. Argyle was walking the deck with Lucille in the star-light. He had told her much of his family, of his talented brother in the Church, and of another in the army; he had even ventured to speak of Lucille’s grace of manner, and she feared what might follow. The call of Mrs. Harris relieved Lucille of an unpleasant situation.
Secretly, Lucille was pleased to escape from Dr. Argyle. Something in his manner told her that he was not sincere; that he was a schemer, perhaps a fortune-seeker, and she gladly rejoined her mother.
Mrs. Harris and her children often wondered how matters were progressing at home. Alfonso had faith in his father’s ability to cope with the strike, but Mrs. Harris and Lucille were much worried. “Don’t let us trouble,” said Alfonso, “till we reach Queenstown, as there we shall surely get a cablegram from father.”
Just then Leo joined the family, and Lucille taking his arm, the two walked the deck, and later they found quiet seats in the moonlight. The moon’s welcome rays revealed fleece-like clouds overhead and changed the waters astern into acres of diamonds. Gentle breezes fanned the cheeks of two troubled lovers who thus far had kept well their heart secrets. Lucille’s warm and sensitive nature yearned for some confidant in whom she could find consolation. Mrs. Harris never quite understood her daughter. Lucille was noble, generous, and true in her affection. Her ideal of marriage was that the busy shuttle of life must be of Divine guidance, and often she was at a loss to understand some of the deep mysteries that had clouded her own life. Of this world’s blessings her life had been full, except she could not reconcile some of her late experiences. Of this, of course, Leo knew nothing. He too had had a cup of bliss dashed suddenly to the ground. A moment of anger had destroyed his plans for life. The moon’s soft light changed Leo’s purpose never to speak to Lucille of his affection for Rosie Ricci, and he now frankly told her the whole story.
At first Lucille did not wish to believe that Leo had ever been in love, as her own heart had turned to him in the silent hours of the night when the pain in her heart forbade sleep.
Trembling she said, “Leo, you have given Rosie up forever then?”
“Oh no, Miss Harris, it was Rosie who said to me, ’Good-bye, Leo, forever.’ She accepted my attentions for a year. Alas! Rosie’s love for the rich man’s gold I fear was more powerful than her love for me, a poor artist, and so she threw back the ruby ring and my mother’s cameo, and crushed my heart and hopes. In accepting the kind invitation of your brother to accompany your family on this trip, I hoped that the journey might heal my suffering soul.”
“I am delighted,” said Lucille, her voice and hand still trembling a little, “that your own vow was not broken.”
Leo’s olive complexion was softened in the moon’s rays, his face was saddened by the recital of his deep affliction, and his dark eyes were lowered, as he looked out upon the troubled pathway of the steamer. For a moment Lucille earnestly gazed at Leo who seemed to her to be handsome and noble, but he appeared lost as in a dream. Every man is thought to be noble by the woman who loves him. Then she took both his hands in hers in pity and said, “Leo, be brave as your ancestors were brave. You will be a success in the world because you have remaining your intense love for art.”
“Yes, Lucille, and I think I shall marry art only.”
“Don’t be rash, Leo, we frail human beings know little in advance as to heaven’s plans.”
Few forces work truer in nature than the principle that like begets like. Leo confided in Lucille, and now Lucille confided in Leo; she slowly told in low voice the story of her own great disappointment.
“I too, once had an ideal lover. Our souls were one; the day of wedding even had been fixed; orders for an expensive trousseau had been sent to Paris; the details of the marriage had been arranged, a long journey abroad planned, and the city for our future home was selected. These things had become part of my dreams, and the joy of anticipation was filling my cup to the brim.
“One evening, in the moonlight, such as now smiles upon us, I asked Bernard if he would read a short note which I had just received, and tell me if its contents were true. Bernard removed the letter from the envelope, looked at the signature, and reading turned pale. The note was from a lady who asked if I was aware that he had offered himself to another.
“A second time I pressed the question to know if the contents were true, and he answered, ‘Yes’, and added that it was not his fault that he did not marry the lady.
“‘Then you love her still, Bernard?’
“‘Yes, Lucille, but I love you also.’
“In anger and disappointed love I left him. Of course all plans for the marriage were cancelled at once. ‘First love or none,’ was then written on my heart, where it still remains.”
Lucille wept while Leo sat surprised. He knew not what to say, for her heart-story and heart edict, “First love or none,” had opened his own wounds afresh, and had shut the door to Lucille’s heart perhaps forever.
“Come, Lucille,” a call of Mrs. Harris, aroused the courage of Leo, and he said to Lucille, who with a flushed face looked more beautiful than ever, “At least we should be friends.” “Yes,” she murmured, and Mrs. Harris and her daughter retired.
The night before, the second officer had told Lucille that land would probably be seen early next day on the port-side. All the morning, Mrs. Harris was awaiting anxiously more news about the great strike at Harrisville.
“Land, on the port-side, sir!” shouted the forward lookout, just as four bells struck the hour of ten o’clock. The officer on duty, pacing the bridge, raised his glass and in a moment he answered, “Ay! Ay! The Skelligs.”
“What do they mean?” inquired Mrs. Harris of a sailor passing. “The officer has sighted land, madam. Don’t you see the specks of blue low down on the horizon to the northeast? That’s the Skelligs, three rocky islets off the southwest coast of Ireland, near where I was born, and where my wife Katy, and the babies live. That’s where my dear old mother also keeps watch for her Patsie.”
“Is your name Patsie?” Alfonso asked.
“Yes, sir, Patsie Fitzgerald, and I’m proud of my name, my family, the Emerald Isle, and the fine steamer that’s taking us safely home, and may God bless all you fine people, and keep my wife and babies and my dear old mother!”
“Thank you!” said Alfonso, “here, Patsie, is a little money for the babies,” and the sailor tipped his hat and bowed his thanks.
The signal officer on Brea Head, Valentia Island, was soon exchanging signals with the “Majestic,” and five minutes later the sighting of the “Majestic” was cabled to the Lloyds of Liverpool and London and back to New York, via Valentia Bay, and it was known that evening in Harrisville that the Harris family were safely nearing Queenstown.
Travelers experience delightful feelings as the old world is approached for the first time. All that has been read or told, and half believed, is now felt to be true, and you are delighted that you are so soon to see for yourself the “Mother Islands,” and Europe which have peopled the western world with sons and daughters.
With the precision of the New York and Jersey City ferries the ocean steamers enter the harbors of the old and new world. On the southwestern coast of Ireland is Bantry Bay, memorable in history as having been twice entered by the French navy for the purpose of invading Ireland. In sight is Valentia, the British terminus of the first Atlantic cable to North America, also the terminus of the cables laid in 1858, 1865, and 1866, and of others since laid. The distance is 1635 miles from Valentia Bay to St. John, Newfoundland.
From the deck of the steamer, Ireland seems old and worn. Her rocky capes and mountainous headlands reach far into the ever encroaching Atlantic like the bony fingers of a giant. Fastnet Rock lighthouse on the right, telling the mariner of half-sunken rocks, and Cape Clear on the left, soon drop behind.
Approaching Queenstown, the green forests and fields and little white homes of fishermen and farmers are visible along the receding shore. Roach’s Point, four miles from Queenstown is reached, where the mails are landed and received, if the weather is bad, but Captain Morgan decided to steam into Queenstown Harbor, one of the finest bays in the world, being a sheltered basin of ten square miles, and the entrance strongly fortified. Within the harbor are several islands occupied by barracks, ordnance and convict depots, and powder magazines. This deep and capacious harbor can float the navies of the world. In beauty it compares favorably with the Bay of Naples.
Cove, or Queenstown, as Cove is called, since the visit of Queen Victoria in 1849, has a population of less than ten thousand. It is situated on the terraced and sheltered south side of Great Island. Here for his health came Rev. Charles Wolfe, author of “Not a drum was heard, not a funeral note.”
In the amphitheatre-shaped town on parallel streets rise tiers of white stone houses, relieved by spire and tower. On neighboring highest hills are old castles, forts, and a tall white lighthouse.
One or more of Her Majesty’s armored warships may always be seen within the bay. The “Majestic” dropped anchor in the quiet harbor, and the company’s lighter came along side with passengers for Liverpool, and to take ashore the Queenstown passengers, and the mails which, checked out, numbered over 1600 sacks. The transatlantic mail is put aboard the express and hurried to Dublin, thence from Kingston to Holyhead, via a swift packet across St. George’s Channel, and to its destination, thus saving valuable hours in its delivery throughout Europe.
Several small boats appeared bringing natives who offered for sale fruit, Irish laces, and canes made of black bog oak, with the shamrock carved on the handles. Mrs. Harris was much pleased to renew her acquaintance with the scenes of her girlhood, having sailed from Queenstown for Boston when she was only ten years old.
The baggage was left on the steamer to go forward to Liverpool, and Alfonso led the way aboard the lighter, and from the dock to the Queen’s Hotel. Each carried a small satchel, with change of clothing, till the trunks should be overtaken.
At the hotel Alfonso found the longed-for cablegram from his father which read as follows:—
Mrs. Reuben Harris,
Queen’s Hotel, Queenstown, Ireland.
Employees still out. Mills guarded.
Will hire new men. Searles visits
Australia. All well. Enjoy yourselves. Love.
“It’s too bad that father and Gertrude couldn’t be with us,” said Mrs. Harris.
The lunch ashore of Irish chops, new vegetables, and fruit was a decided improvement on the food of the last few days. The Harrises after a stormy sea voyage were delighted again to put foot on mother earth, to enjoy the green terraces, ivy-clad walls, cottages, and churches, and also to see the shamrock, a tiny clover, which St. Patrick held up before the Irish people to prove the Holy Trinity. Lucille found the pretty yellow furz, the flower which Linnaeus, the famous Swedish botanist, kissed.
Alfonso suggested that they take the part rail and part river route of a dozen miles to Cork, the third city of Ireland. En route are seen beautiful villas, green park-like fields, rich woods, and a terrace that adorns the steep banks of the River Lee. A ruined castle at Monkstown is pointed out, which a thrifty woman built, paying the workman in goods, on which she cleared enough to pay for the castle, except an odd groat, hence the saying, “The castle cost only a groat.”
A delightful day was spent at Cork, an ancient city, which pagans and Danes once occupied, and which both Cromwell and Marlborough captured. Here Rev. Thomas Lee, by his preaching, inclined William Penn, “Father of Pennsylvania,” to become a Quaker. Here was born Sheridan Knowles, the dramatist, and other famous writers.
After visiting the lakes of Killarney and Dublin, the Harris family took a hasty trip through England.
COLONEL HARRIS RETURNS TO HARRISVILLE
The strong will of Reuben Harris was to meet its match, in fact its defeat. His plans for a well rounded life were nearing a climax when the telegram from his manager Wilson changed all his plans, and standing on the pier, as his family steamed away, he experienced the horrors of a terrible nightmare.
Mechanically he shook his white handkerchief, saw his family carried far out to sea as if to another world, and he longed for some yawning earthquake to engulf him. He stood transfixed to the dock; the perspiration of excitement, now checked, was chilling him when Gertrude caught his arm and said, “Father, what is the matter?”
Colonel Harris’s strong frame trembled like a ship that had struck a hidden rock, and then he rallied as if from a stupor, and taking Mr. Searles’s arm was helped to a carriage.
He said, “You must pardon me, Mr. Searles, if for a moment I seemed unmanned. It is a terrible ordeal to be thus suddenly separated from my family.”
“Yes, Colonel Harris, I had a similar experience recently on the docks in Liverpool when my family bade me adieu, and I came alone to America. Separation for a time even from those we love is trying.”
The heroic in Colonel Harris soon enabled him to plan well for the afternoon. He telegraphed Mr. Wilson of his decision to return, and then said, “We will leave New York at 6 o’clock this evening for Harrisville. Mr. Searles, we will try to use the afternoon for your pleasure. Driver, please take us to the Windsor Hotel, via the Produce Exchange.” The colonel having left the Waldorf did not wish, under the circumstances, again to enter his name on its register.
The ride down West Street, New York, at midday, is anything but enjoyable, as few thoroughfares are more crowded with every kind of vehicle conveying merchandise from ship to warehouse, and from warehouse to ship and cars. However, the ride impressed Searles with the immensity of the trade of the metropolis. West Street leads to Battery Park, the Produce, and Stock Exchanges, which Colonel Harris desired Mr. Searles and his daughter Gertrude to see in the busy part of the day.
Colonel Harris explained that here in Battery Park terminated the Metropolitan Elevated Railway. A railway in the air with steam-engines and coaches crowded with people interested Mr. Searles greatly.
“In London,” he said, “we are hurried about under ground, in foul air, and darkness often.”
“Here at Battery Park, Mr. Searles, November 25, 1783, Sir Guy Carleton’s British army embarked. Our New Yorkers still celebrate the date as Evacuation Day. Near by at an earlier date Hendrick Christianson, agent of a Dutch fur trading company, built four small houses and a redoubt, the foundation of America’s metropolis. In 1626 Peter Minuit, first governor of the New Netherlands, bought for twenty-six dollars all Manhattan Island.”
Mr. Searles visited the tall Washington Building which occupies the ground where formerly stood the headquarters of Lords Cornwallis and Howe. He told Gertrude that he had read that, in July, 1776, the people came in vast crowds to Battery Park to celebrate the Declaration of Independence, and that they knocked over the equestrian statue of George III., which was melted into bullets to be used against the British.
“Yes,” replied Colonel Harris, “in early days, Americans doubtless lacked appreciation of art, but we always gave our cousins across-sea a warm reception.”
“Colonel Harris,” said Mr. Searles, “it has always puzzled me to understand why you should have built near Boston the Bunker Hill Monument.”
“Mr. Searles, because we Americans whipped the British.”
“Oh no, Colonel, that fight was a British victory.”
“Father,” said Gertrude, “Mr. Searles is right; the British troops, under General Gage, drove the American forces off both Breed’s Hill and Bunker Hill. The obelisk of Quincy granite was erected at Charlestown, I think, to commemorate the stout resistance which the raw provincial militia made against regular British soldiers, confirming the Americans in the belief that their liberty could be won.”
Mr. Searles thanked Miss Harris for her timely aid and added that a patriot is a rebel who succeeds, and a rebel is a patriot who fails. He observed also the witty sign over the entrance of a dealer in American flags, “Colors warranted not to run.”
The party drove to the Produce Exchange, one of the most impressive buildings in New York. It is of rich Italian Renaissance architecture. Beneath the projecting galley-prows in the main hall, the fierce bargaining of excited members reminded Mr. Searles of a pitched battle without cavalry or artillery.
Gertrude was anxious to climb the richly decorated campanile that rises two hundred and twenty-five feet, which commands an unrivalled bird’s-eye view of lower New York, the bay, Brooklyn, Long Island, and the mountains of New Jersey. All hoped to catch a glimpse of the “Majestic,” but she was down the Narrows and out of sight.
Mr. Searles desired to see Trinity Church, so he was driven up Broadway to the head of Wall Street. Its spire is graceful and two hundred and eighty-four feet high. The land on which it stands was granted in 1697 by the English government. There were also other magnificent endowments. Trinity Parish, or Corporation, is the richest single church organization in the United States, enjoying revenues of over five hundred thousand dollars a year. In Revolutionary times the royalist clergy persisted in reading prayers for the king of England till their voices were drowned by the drum and fife of patriots marching up the center aisle.
It was now past two o’clock and the Harris party was driven to the Hotel Windsor for lunch. Promptly at six o’clock the conductor of the fast Western Express shouted, “All aboard,” and Colonel Harris, Gertrude, and Mr. Searles in their own private car, left busy New York for Harrisville.
The Express creeps slowly along the steel way, under cross-streets, through arched tunnels, and over the Harlem River till the Hudson is reached, and then this world-famed river is followed 142 miles to Albany, the capital of the Empire State. This tide-water ride on the American Rhine is unsurpassed. The Express is whirled through tunnels, over bridges, past the magnificent summer houses of the magnates of the metropolis that adorn the high bluffs, past wooded hill and winding dale, grand mountains, and sparkling rivulets. Every object teems with historic memories. This ride, in June, is surpassed only when the forests are in a blaze of autumnal splendor.
For twenty miles in sight are the battlemented cliffs of the Palisades. Mr. Searles was familiar with the facile pen of Washington Irving, and from the car caught sight of “Sunny Side” covered with nourishing vines, grown from slips, which Irving secured from Sir Walter Scott at Abbottsford.
Passing Tarrytown Colonel Harris said, “Here Major Andre was captured, and the treachery of Benedict Arnold exposed, otherwise, we might to-day have been paying tribute to the crown of Great Britain.”
“Yes,” replied Mr. Searles, “George Washington, patriot, hung Major Andre, the spy. You made Washington president, and we gave Andre a monument in Westminster Abbey.”
Sing Sing and Peekskill were left behind, and the Express was approaching the picturesque Highlands, a source of never failing delight to tourists. West Point, the site of the famous United States Military Academy, is on the left bank of the Hudson in the very bosom of the Highlands.
The sun set in royal splendor behind the Catskills;
“And lo! the Catskills print the
And o’er their airy tops the faint clouds driven
So softly blending that the cheated eye
Forgets or which is earth, or which is heaven.”
“Mr. Searles,” said Colonel Harris, “before leaving America you must climb the Catskills. Thousands every summer, escaping from the heat and worry of life, visit those wind-swept ‘hills of the sky.’ There they find rest and happiness in great forests, shady nooks, lovely walks, and fine drives.
“There are several hotels in the vicinity. From one hotel on an overhanging cliff you behold stretched out before you a hundred miles of the matchless panorama of the Hudson. The Highlands lie to the south, the Berkshire Hills and Green Mountains to the east, and the Adirondacks to the north. The latter is a paradise for disciples of Nimrod and of Izaak Walton, and a blessed sanitarium for Americans, most of whom under skies less gray than yours do their daily work with little if any reserve vitality.”
Gertrude, who had excused herself some minutes before, now returned. She had been visiting in an adjoining Pullman a friend of hers, whom she had met for a moment in the Grand Central Station before the train started. Calling Colonel Harris aside, she said, “Father, Mrs. Nellie Eastlake, my classmate at Smith College, is going with friends to the Pacific Coast; shall I ask her to dine with us?”
“Certainly, child, invite her, and I am sure, Mr. Searles, that you concur in my daughter’s plan to increase our party at dinner, do you not?”
“Most assuredly, Colonel.”
A little later charming Mrs. Eastlake followed Gertrude into the “Alfonso,” and soon dinner was announced. The steward, thoughtlessly, had forgotten in New York to purchase flowers for the table, but they were not missed.
There are women in this world whose presence is so enjoyable that they rival the charm of both art and flowers. Their voices, their grace of manner, their interest in you and your welfare, laden the air with an indescribable something that exhilarates. Their presence is like the sunshine that warms and perfumes a conservatory; you inhale the odors of roses, pinks, and climbing jessamines. Such a woman was Nellie Eastlake. She was tall and winning. The marble heart of the Venus of Milo would have warmed in her presence. Shakespeare would have said of her eyes, “They do mislead the morn.”
Mrs. Eastlake was in sympathy with the Harrises in their keen disappointments. She possessed the tact to put Mr. Searles in the happiest frame of mind, so that he half forgot his mission to America. The Colonel also forgot, for the hour, that his family were absent, and that his workmen in Harrisville were on a strike.
Mrs. Eastlake in her girlhood had converted all who knew her into ardent friends. While at school on the Hudson, she met the rich father of a schoolmate. Later she was invited to travel with this friend and her father, Mr. Eastlake, a widower, among the Thousand Islands and down the St. Lawrence River. She so charmed the millionaire that after graduation at Smith College she accepted and married him. She was now journeying to her palatial home on the Pacific Coast. She skilfully helped to guide the table-talk, avoiding unwelcome topics. The dinner over, a half-hour was spent with music and magazines, and the party retired for the night.
Breakfast was served as the Express approached Lake Erie. It was agreed that Mr. Searles should accompany Mrs. Eastlake and Gertrude in the car “Alfonso,” and spend a day or two at Niagara Falls.
Colonel Harris kissed Gertrude, said good-bye to all, and taking a seat in a Pullman, continued alone on his journey to Harrisville. Returning home he hoped, if possible, to set matters right at the steel mills before Mr. Searles arrived.
Left to himself, he now had opportunity for reflection. The time was, when he was as proud of his ability to do an honest day’s work at the forge as he was to-day proud of his great wealth and growing power in the manufacturing world. Then he was poor, but he was conscious of forces hidden within which if used on the right things and at the right time and place he believed would make him a man of influence.
He was able then with his own hands to fashion a bolt, a nail, or horseshoe, unsurpassed in the county. He was handy in shaping and tempering tools of every kind. When he ate his cold dinner, reheating his coffee over the forge coals, he often thought of the dormant fires within him, and he wondered if they would ever be fanned to a white heat. For years he had toiled hard to pay the rent of his forge and home and his monthly bills. His wife was saving and helpful in a thousand ways, but life was a hard struggle from sun to sun.
One summer’s day when work was slack, there came to his shop a tall Englishman to get a small job done. So well was the work performed by Harris that the Englishman, whose name was James Ingram, said to Harris, “I believe you are the mechanic I have long been looking for. In early life I was apprenticed in England to a famous iron-master, and when the Bessemer patents for converting iron into steel were issued, it was my good fortune to be a foreman where the first experiments were made by Henry Bessemer himself, and so I came to have a practical knowledge of Bessemer’s valuable invention; but my health failed, and for six months I have been in your country in search of it, and now being well again, I plan to start if possible a Bessemer steel plant in America. Can you help me?”
Reuben Harris was quick to see that great profits might be realized from Bessemer’s patents and Ingram’s ideas, and promptly said, “Yes, but I must first know more about these patents and their workings.” Before a week had passed, he had learned much from Ingram concerning the practical working of the Bessemer process of converting iron into steel. Bessemer claimed that his steel rails would last much longer than the common iron rail then in use.
Reuben Harris easily comprehended that the profits would be large. It was verbally agreed between Harris and Ingram that they would share equally any and all profits realized. Ingram had contributed reliable knowledge, Harris was to enlist capital, and both were to make use of all their talents, for they were both skilled mechanics.
It was not an easy matter for Harris to secure capital, for capital is often lynx-eyed, and usually it is very conservative. It was especially cautious of investment in Harris’s schemes, as the practical workings of the Bessemer process were not yet fully understood in America.
The profits promised by both Harris and Ingram to capitalists were great, and this possibly made capital suspicious. Finally enough ready money was obtained to make a successful experiment, which so convinced a few rich men that more money was immediately advanced, and the steel plant was soon furnishing most satisfactory steel rails at greatly reduced cost for both the manufacturer and consumer.
Harris’s ability to manage kept pace with the rapid growth of the new enterprise, while Ingram’s knowledge and inventive talents proved that as superintendent of the steel plant he was the right man in the right place.
At first Harris found great difficulty in convincing railway managers that the steel rail would render enough more service to compensate for the additional cost. The most anybody could say in favor of the steel rail was largely theoretical. The Bessemer steel rail had had only a few months of actual service, long enough, however, to demonstrate that at the joints it would not batter and splinter like the iron rail. This was, indeed, a desideratum and many orders came in. Not only was the steel mill kept running day and night, but orders accumulated so rapidly that large additions were made to the mills.
Money for all these improvements and the capital necessary to carry on the increasing business were matters of vital importance to the success of the company. To manage a business with greatest advantage quite as much ready cash is needed as is invested in the plant, otherwise the banker’s discount becomes a heavy lien on the profits, and the stockholders grumble at small dividends.
Possibly Reuben Harris overestimated the value of his service in financiering the business; at least he came to believe that he earned, and ought to have a larger interest than James Ingram. Ingram, became so cramped by assessments and money obligations that he was obliged to sell to Harris most of his interest in the steel plant. Harris’s interests increased, till practically he was the owner of the Harrisville Iron & Steel Works, and much property besides. He was quoted as a millionaire, while James Ingram was superintendent of only a department of the steel works, and his income was nominal. Often he felt that great injustice had been done him. Several times he had talked the matter over with Colonel Harris, but with little satisfaction.
The great wrong done to James Ingram, to whom Harris was so largely indebted for the initial and practical knowledge of successfully manufacturing steel rails was uppermost in Reuben Harris’s mind as the express hurried him back to Harrisville.
CAPITAL AND LABOR IN CONFERENCE
Colonel Harris’s awakened conscience was considering seriously the question, “How can I right this wrong done to Ingram?” when the Express stopped at a station thirty miles out of Harrisville, and into his car came the son of James Ingram, George Ingram who was now superintendent of the Harrisville Iron & Steel Co.’s plant. Somebody, perhaps Gertrude, had telegraphed from Buffalo to the superintendent to tell him on which train Colonel Harris expected to return.
George Ingram was visibly affected as he took the proffered hand of Reuben Harris, and inquired about his health and the whereabouts and welfare of his family. Harris implored young Ingram to tell him all about the strike, its latest phases, and what the municipal authorities were doing for the protection of his property. George Ingram gave him a brief history of the troubles up to the time of his leaving Harrisville. He told how the manager aided by the company’s general counsel, Mr. Webster, had used every possible argument with the workingmen’s committee; that a statement even had been submitted, showing that very small or practically no profits had resulted from recent contracts, which were now being completed by the company. The effort to arrive at a satisfactory adjustment with the employees was thus far absolutely fruitless. Since daylight the four thousand men had been parading the streets with music and clubs, forcing employees of other establishments to quit work, and threatening to destroy the steel plant.
The color in Colonel Harris’s face came and went as he listened, showing a white heat of indignation. Ingram sat facing his employer, watching the emotions of a strong man, and not then daring to offer any suggestion, for he felt strongly in behalf of the employees, who always looked upon him as their friend.
Colonel Harris was a man of powerful build, wide forehead, overhanging brows, broad chest and shoulders, short thick neck, and strong arms developed at the anvil. His superintendent from boyhood had studied him, but never before had he seen the lion in his employer so aroused.
Arriving at Harrisville the wealthy iron-master, accompanied by his superintendent, stepped into his own private carriage, and immediately drove to the general offices of the Harrisville Iron & Steel Co. The directors of the company were in special session to devise means of protecting their threatened property and of crushing the strike.
B.C. Wilson, the manager, rose to greet Colonel Harris, who shook hands with him and the directors, and then the meeting was resumed, Harris acting as chairman of the board. Colonel Harris soon grasped the situation, and he approved of all that his directors and manager had done.
Rising to his feet, in a firm tone, he made a vigorous talk to his board: “Gentlemen, my views as to the best method of dealing with the important question before us are known to some of you. Four years ago a similar trouble perplexed our company, and our failure then to act decisively resulted in prolonging the discontent among our employees. Their purposes are as apparent to-day as then, viz., to rule or ruin our gigantic enterprise. Capital and labor should be the best of friends. Unfortunately, trusts and labor organizations are alike avaricious and selfish.
“Centuries ago, in Belgium, weavers dictated terms to capital, and hurled rich men from balconies to death upon spears below. This unnatural revolution lasted for a short time only; brains and wealth again acquired control, and they always will control. To yield to our employees the privilege of fixing their own wages, and a voice in directing the affairs of our company is to cloud or mortgage our capital. This is a most unreasonable demand. Why should they expect us to share with them our property, title to which the United States has guaranteed?
“If our state, or national government cannot or will not defend us in the title to our property, on which they yearly levy taxes, then we will place our interests beneath a flag that can and will give ample protection. This terrible uncertainty as to titles and values in the United States will yet wreck the republic.”
It was natural that the directors should heartily approve Colonel Harris’s utterances, as he was the owner of five-sixths of the stock of the company. He then asked Mr. Webster their general counsel, to read to the board the position which the company proposed to take before the public.
Mr. Webster was a tall, elderly man, who had served five years on the supreme bench of his state, an attorney of few words, but well versed in the laws of his country, especially in corporation laws. Holding a sheet of paper in his hands he read, “The Harrisville Iron & Steel Company claims the fundamental right to manage its own business in its own way, in accordance with and under the protection of the laws of the land.”
The board voted its approval of the attorney’s position, and also voted that a petition be drawn and immediately sent to the mayor of the city asking protection for their property. The board then adjourned.
Colonel Harris, his manager, and Mr. Webster entered a carriage, and drove rapidly to the mayor’s office, while superintendent George Ingram drove back to the steel works to execute his orders, though he did not believe in harsh measures. Harris presented the petition to the mayor, who hastily examined it. Bands of music were now audible on the street, and a long procession of workingmen, bearing national banners, was seen marching towards the city hall. Citizens on the streets held their breath, and policemen feared the outcome.
Colonel Harris rose to go, but the Mayor seized his arm and said, “No! you and your friends must stay here and meet a committee of your employees who have an appointment with me at three o’clock.
“Already I have said to the same committee, who called at ten o’clock this morning, that I should expect them to influence your employees to keep the peace, to aid in protecting your property, to disperse quietly and remain in their homes. Colonel Harris, please be seated, you and your friends must remain.”
“Well, Mr. Mayor, since you insist, we will remain, but our company demands the protection of all our property, and the preservation of peace and lives in our midst. You are the city’s executive officer. The payment annually by our corporation of thousands in taxes, calls for an equivalent, therefore we ask that you maintain the dignity of the city and her laws.”
The mayor stepped to the telephone and called Major Strong, the chief of police. “Send at once a captain and twenty-five policemen in patrol wagons to the city hall. Hold fifty more men in readiness.”
A great throng of people occupied the sidewalks and the windows of adjoining buildings. Thousands of workmen crowded the pavement from curb to curb. The vast crowd below, though impressive was not new to Colonel Harris nor did it alarm him.
Four years before, his employees were out on a strike for several months. Then the issue was, “Will the company recognize the demands of the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers of America?” The reply of the company was, “No!” The struggle then was severe, but the strike failed. The present issue was, “Will the company pay an increase of wages?”
The committee of five of the employees soon entered the mayor’s office. They were much surprised to find that Colonel Harris had returned to the city; it was believed that he had actually set sail for Europe. The committee unfortunately was a radical one, and did not represent the average thoughtful and conservative type of workingmen. Evidently the committee had been selected for the purpose of intimidating capital, as their manner did not indicate a conciliatory policy.
Mr. Burns, acting as spokesman, said, “Mr. Mayor, it is 3 o’clock, and we are back again promptly, as you requested, and you see that our committee is increased by several thousand workingmen on the street below who have come to demand bread of a soulless corporation. Mayor Duty, what do you advise us to do?”
The Mayor was nervous as he replied, “Mr. Burns and members of the committee, I confess that so many thousands of honest and upturned faces of workingmen move my heart. If I were able it would give me pleasure first to ask you all to partake of a good meal, for more satisfactory business is usually accomplished after people are well fed. You ask my advice. Here, gentlemen of the committee, is Colonel Harris, your employer, let him speak to you.”
Memories of a wife and three babies at home, dependent for bread upon his own earnings at the forge, flashing upon the mind of Colonel Harris, sweetened his spirit and softened his voice, so that he spoke briefly and kindly to the committee, repeating, however, what his manager had told the committee at ten o’clock, viz., “that the present bad condition of the steel market would not permit the company to grant the advance of wages they asked.”
The committee, aware of the large profits of former years, sullenly retired, and after the company’s decision had been communicated to the anxious thousands below, the employees of the Harrisville Iron & Steel Co. slowly returned to their homes. The mayor ordered his chief of police to dispatch immediately in patrol wagons fifty men to the steel works, to guard the property and keep the peace.
After the committee retired, the mayor said, “Well, Colonel Harris, what will be the outcome?”
“Mr. Mayor, we cannot foretell anything. You never know what workingmen in their lodges will do. There, as a rule, the ‘Walking delegate’ and a few agitators rule with despotic power. If a workman, whose large family forces him to take conservative views, dares in his lodge to suggest peaceful measures, an agitator rises at once in indignation and demands that traitors to the cause of labor be expelled. This throttles freedom of action in many labor unions, so that often what appears on the surface to be the unanimous action of the members of workingmen’s leagues, is but the exercise of despotic power by a few men who have nothing to lose, and whose salary is paid from the slim purses of honest labor.
“Usually those who talk much and loudly think little and unwisely, and the opposite to their advice is safest to follow. The greatest need to-day in most of our labor organizations is wise leadership, and this will result when the best element in the labor lodges asserts itself.
“The despotism of ill-advised labor is to be dreaded by civilization more than the reign of intelligent capital. This is especially true in the United States, where under wise laws, wealth cannot be entailed, and where most large fortunes soon disappear among the heirs.
“A simple pair of shears illustrates perfectly the relationship that capital and labor should sustain each to the other. Capital is one blade of the shears, and labor is the other blade; either blade without the other is useless, and the two blades are useless unless the rivet is in place. Confidence is to capital and labor what the rivet is to the two blades. The desideratum to-day in the business world is full and abiding confidence between capital and labor.” Thus speaking Colonel Harris and his friends left the mayor and returned to their homes.
* * * * *
After a visit to Niagara Falls, Mr. Searles and his party went on to Harrisville, where Mrs. Eastlake rejoined some friends and continued her long journey to the Pacific Coast. Colonel Harris met his daughter and Mr. Hugh Searles at the station, the latter, under the circumstances, being the last person he cared to see. The carriage was driven at once to Reuben Harris’s beautiful home that overlooked Harrisville and blue Lake Erie.
After dinner Colonel Harris explained to Mr. Searles all about the inopportune strike; also that it was impossible to say when the steel plant would be started again. Mr. Searles decided next morning that after a short ride through Harrisville he would continue his journey through the States to California, and possibly to Australia, where he had another important interest to attend to in behalf of a London client.
It was further arranged that he would return to London via Harrisville in about six months, if so desired by Colonel Harris, otherwise he would complete the journey around the world, returning to England by way of the Suez Canal.
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER
The Ingrams lived not far from the steel mills in one of two wooden houses, each two stories in height, which Reuben Harris and James Ingram had built for their families, when they began in a modest way to manufacture steel. As Reuben Harris grew rich he moved his family into a beautiful home in the fashionable part of the city, and good society accepted them as their equals.
The large family and small income of James Ingram forced him to continue his residence in the same brown house near the steel mills. The Ingram family kept much to their English ways and knew little or nothing of society. The English and Germans cling tenaciously to their old habits and customs which they carry across seas and over mountains. Generations must elapse before it will be safe to predict what the national type of an American citizen will be. One discovers on the British Isles the mixture of centuries of European blood which has developed a virility of body and brain that dominates the globe. “More honor to be a British subject to-day than to have been a Roman in Rome’s palmiest days,” thought James Ingram, who was proud of his race and his family blood.
James Ingram came from a well-bred English household. His environment now hedged him in. In England ill-health, and now, in America, ill-treatment made him miss golden opportunities. Except good qualities are inbred, it is almost as impossible for a person in one stratum of society to be lifted up into another as it is for the geological strata of the earth to change positions.
The grandmother of James Ingram had good blood in her veins; she came from a family that had performed valiant deeds in war and in peace. James Ingram’s father had erred in judgment, and a large estate, partially inherited, had been swept away as by a flood. He died, leaving James the eldest son to aid in supporting his mother and several children.
James Ingram was now over fifty years of age. Could he, or his children, retrieve their family prestige was a question he often asked himself. He still had energy, unconquerable determination, and faith in himself. These are some of the essential elements in a successful character; but the fates thus far had decreed adversely. His early education was not of the best, but by carefully devoting not less than two hours a day to good reading, he had not only kept pace with current history, but had also acquired a helpful knowledge of the sciences.
When his oldest son George was born, he planned to give his children the best education possible. Two of his three daughters were teaching in the public schools; May Ingram taught music. Two of his sons worked in the mills, one as chemist and one as an electrician; a third son was conductor on a passenger train, and a fourth was studying to be a physician.
The father and his son, George, after the day’s work at the mills was over, spent much time over a problem which, if solved, would revolutionize many things. Twice they thought they were on the eve of a solution of the subject, but unforeseen obstacles were encountered, and still they struggled on.
It is no wonder that the father was proud of George, now chemist of the vast steel works, for he was manly and respected by all the employees. When a boy, George worked nights, Saturdays, and during his vacations in the mills, and the men came to know and love his genial ways and fair methods, and thus he gained a good knowledge of steel-making.
His father was urgent that his son should not miss a single day in his schooling. At length he graduated at the high school with the esteem of his teachers and his class. During the twelve years spent in public schools he had acquired a fine discipline of mind, a love of the sciences, and enough of Latin and Greek to aid him in determining the derivation and exact meaning of words. Co-education too had refined his nature, and enabled him to estimate correctly his own abilities, but best of all he had come to know at the high school the second daughter of Reuben Harris, Gertrude, who graduated in his own class. During the senior year he had frequently walked and talked with her, and came to know somewhat of her plans.
Gertrude’s parents, especially Mrs. Harris, were anxious that both their daughters should go to private schools, and Lucille was easily persuaded to attend a young ladies’ seminary, where aesthetic accomplishments were emphasized and considered essentials and a passport into good society. But Gertrude decided in favor of a public school education.
Lucille and Gertrude as sisters were fond of each other, but Lucille lived more for self, while Gertrude preferred others to self. Gertrude had learned early how by a smile or bow to retain an old friend or to win a new one. She spent very little time thinking about her own needs, preferring to take flowers or fruit, even when given her, to some sick or aged person. Nothing pleased her more than to visit the Old Ladies’ Home with a few gifts and read the Bible or comforting stories to the inmates.
Mrs. Harris when east chanced to spend a June day at Wellesley College near Boston. By early moonlight several hundred Wellesley girls and thousands of spectators had assembled on the banks of Lake Waban to enjoy the “Float.” Gaily uniformed crews in their college flotilla formed a star-shaped group near the shore for their annual concert. Chinese lanterns, like giant fire-flies, swung in the trees and on many graceful boats. The silver notes of the bugle and the chant of youthful voices changed the college-world into a fairyland.
Both mother and daughter were charmed and Lucille gladly decided to enter Wellesley. Hard study, however, and the daily forty-five minutes of domestic work then required, did not agree with her nature, and after a few weeks she decided upon a change, and continued her education at one of the private schools on the Back-Bay in Boston.
Gertrude, possessing a more active mind and ambition, resolved to obtain an education as good as her brother Alfonso had had at Harvard. She had read of a prominent benefactor who believed that woman had the same right as man to intellectual culture and development, and who in 1861 had founded on the Hudson, midway between Albany and New York, an institution which he hoped would accomplish for women what colleges were doing for men.
So Gertrude applied for enrollment and was admitted to Vassar College. Rooms were assigned her in Strong Hall. She liked Vassar’s sensible way of hazing, a cordial reception being given to freshmen by the sophomores. She was glad to be under both men and women professors, for this in part fulfilled her idea of the education that women should receive.
At Vassar were several girls from Harrisville whom Gertrude knew, but no boys. She wrote her mother that she would be better pleased if Vassar had less Greek and more boys. She could not understand why co-education at the high school in Harrisville, that worked perfectly, should stop at the threshold of Vassar, or other women’s and men’s colleges.
The two following years on the beautiful Hudson were happy years for Gertrude. She conquered mathematics, stood well in Latin, and was enthusiastic in the study of psychology, the science of mind, which teaches the intimate relation of mental phenomena to the physical organism. German was an elective study with Gertrude, which she had studied at the high school, but at Vassar she learned to write and talk the language with accuracy and freedom, which is not usual, unless one lives in a German family.
Gertrude was already planning to study history and some of the sciences in original German text-books, if occasion offered. She cared little for music, though she was extremely fond of poetry and now and then contributed verses for publication. Her essay on architecture at the close of the second year elicited applause from the students and praise in red ink across the first page of the composition.
Self-government of the Vassar girls develops self-respect and self-control. A Vassar girl is bound on her honor to retire every night at ten o’clock, with three exceptions a month, to exercise in the gymnasium three hours a week, and to take at least one hour of outdoor exercise daily. Regular exercise, regular meals, nine hours of sleep, and plenty of mental work were rapidly preparing Gertrude to fill some noble position in the world.
At Vassar other sources of mental rest and physical strength are, tennis-court tournaments, basket ball, rowing and skating on the lake, bicycling, or five-mile tramps, studying birds, photographing scenery, or gathering wild flowers. The Vassar girl is also enthusiastic over the “Tree and Trig Ceremonies” and amateur dramatic entertainments.
Gertrude closed her second and last year at Vassar with regret. The farewell “fudge” party was for Gertrude, and given in her own room by a score of her warm personal friends. The rule for “fudge-making” is, two cups of sugar, milk, two rolls of butter melted with chocolate in a copper kettle over a gas stove. The fused compound is poured into paper plates and cut into tiny squares. So eager is the Vassar girl for “fudge” that the struggle is earnest for the first taste, and for the cleaning of the big spoon and kettle. The Vassar girl has a sweet tooth, and “fudge” parties always evolve love stories and fun in abundance.
After a pleasant vacation in the Adirondacks with friends, Gertrude resolved to complete her education at Smith College on the lovely Connecticut River, which winds through western Massachusetts. To educate a whole family of boys and girls at the “dear old alma mater” is now an exploded fancy. A better plan is to educate the half dozen brothers and sisters at a half dozen good colleges. What faculty of educators can lay claim to all the best methods of evolving characters?
The industry and economy of James Ingram had enabled him to send his son George for two years to the Polytechnic Institute at Troy. Suddenly financial troubles made it impossible for him longer to assist his son. Mrs. Harris, very likely by Gertrude’s suggestion, offered to provide funds for the third and last year at the institute, and George was delighted to complete his course.
By invitation, George had spent the last days of his vacation with Gertrude in the Adirondacks, and he had accompanied Mrs. Harris and her daughters back to Albany, while the mother continued the journey leaving Gertrude at Smith College, Northampton, and Lucille at Boston. Mrs. Harris was justly proud of her girls. Their figure and dress often caused people to stop in their conversation or reading, as mother and daughters entered a car or a hotel.
George Ingram returned to the institute with high hopes. A few of his plans were revealed to Gertrude on the last night of his vacation. He told her some things he never dared mention before to any one. They were on Saranac Lake and the moon seemed to change the water to silver. Their birch canoe drifted along the shore and George, dropping his oars, reversed his seat and faced the girl he loved as he told her much of his plan for life. Gertrude dipped her oars lightly in the water, George guiding the canoe beneath the forest overhanging the pebbly shore.
Thus far his education had been a struggle. Time which his mates employed in recreation he had used in the steel mill. Thus he gained a trade and a knowledge of the value of time. Early he had learned that knowledge is power and that intellect and wealth rule the world. He told Gertrude that she had kindled within him the spark of ambition, and that he proposed to make life a success. “Gertrude, you must be my friend in this struggle,” he added.
“Yes, George, always your friend,” she replied.
He felt that Gertrude meant all she said. Long ago her sincerity had captured his heart. Her sympathy, her unselfishness, and her words of helpfulness had been the light by which he was shaping his course.
Another school year went by swiftly, and both Lucille and Gertrude were present in June at Troy to see George Ingram graduate. It was a pity that his own father and mother, who had sacrificed so much for him, could not attend. How often his noble mother had prayed for her first-born son, and Gertrude had prayed too, but George did not know this.
At times he was conscious of a strong force within, impelling him forward, whose source he could not divine, neither could he free himself from it. Fortunate person whose sails are filled with breezes from heaven, for craft of this kind go forward guided rightly, almost without the rudder’s aid!
George pursued at the institute a three years’ course, leading up to the degree of Bachelor of Science. After the first two years he took less higher mathematics and more natural history, chemistry, and geology. The institute is within easy access of engineering works and manufacturing plants of great diversity, which afforded young Ingram opportunities for valuable investigation and observation. His graduating thesis was entitled, “A Design for an Electrical Steel Plant with Working Details, Capacity One Thousand Tons per Diem.” It was much complimented, especially the detail drawings for the plant.
His books and clothes had been packed and shipped to Harrisville. Reluctant good-byes were given to all the professors, class-mates, and many townspeople, who were fond of him. Life in Troy had been a constant inspiration, for he was in touch with young men from cultivated families which in itself is an education. George had the usual experience of the student world, for to him all the professors were very learned men.
After George had locked the door of his old study-room to go to the train, he stopped in the hallway in serious thought, then turning back he unlocked the door and again entered the dear old rooms. He reseated himself at the desk, where he had so often studied far into the night. He took another look into the bedroom, into the little store-room, and pleasant memories crowded his mind, as for the last time he gazed from the window towards the Berkshire Hills, beyond which Gertrude was being educated, and then as he finally re-locked the door, he recalled his afternoon engagement to meet Gertrude and Lucille at 4:30 o’clock at the Albany station to take the Boston & Chicago Special for Harrisville.
George had entered the institute with a light heart and much zest, because three years of progressive work were marked out for him. His mental journey had now ended and his heart was heavy. No road opened before him except the one that led back to the dingy old Harrisville mills. In the last three years his sky had lifted a little, but the intelligence gained only made him all the more conscious of the small world in which he and his family lived. How was he ever to earn a living for two, if Gertrude should possibly say “yes?”
Just as he put his foot on the platform of the railway station a letter was placed in his hand by a fellow classmate. The envelope bore the printed address of the Harrisville Iron & Steel Co. George, thinking the letter was from his father, instantly tore it open and began reading. At first his face flushed and then it was lit with joy.
“Good tidings, I hope,” said Gertrude, as she with her sister approached.
“Yes, Gertrude, read for yourself. A friend at court is a friend indeed.”
The two sisters were delighted and heartily congratulated George. “Of course, you will accept the position?” inquired Gertrude.
“Your father, Gertrude, is very kind to me, and I believe I could fill satisfactorily the position of chemist now offered by the steel company. Later, Gertrude, we can talk this matter over.” Three happy young people bought tickets for home and took seats in a Pullman car.
After a week’s rest, George Ingram assumed the duties of assistant chemist for the Harrisville Iron & Steel Co. Two weeks’ initiation by the old chemist, whose health was failing, sufficed to give young Ingram efficiency and confidence in his desirable position.
IN TOUCH WITH NATURE
The school vacation of the Harris young ladies came and went on wings. The mother was too ill to leave her home; she stood in her door-way, and gave her farewell, “God keep and bless you, children!” The father had gone to Chicago, so George Ingram saw the daughters off touching Gertrude’s hand, with a hearty good-bye as she stood in the car door.
As George returned slowly to his task at the steel mills, he resolved to use his evenings in post-graduate work. The more he studied iron ores and steel-making, the more he felt that he must conquer the whole intricate subject, if he would be of greatest service to his employers. The intense competition in the trade demanded it.
The Empire State Express, the fastest train in the world, carried Gertrude and Lucille through New York state with speed and ease to delightful New England. Secretly Gertrude loved George, and she resolved to study chemistry and electricity and keep pace with his studies, and if ever asked to become his wife, to aid him in every possible way. She thought that she discovered in him the material for a noble man, a statue which she hoped to chisel. Too often marriageable young women and their anxious mothers demand the complete statue at the outset, and are not content to accept and chisel granite.
At Smith College the months sped rapidly, as earnest study and bright expectations occupied Gertrude’s time and satisfied her heart. Every week brought a letter and a reply was promptly sent. George wanted to write twice a week, but Gertrude checked him, saying that both needed their time, and that too frequent correspondence, like too much intimacy, often brings disfavor.
“More details of the doings at the steel mills,” wrote Gertrude. She cared more about the welfare of her father’s employees and their families and George Ingram’s plans than to know the latest fad in society. George was equally anxious to keep her informed, and to learn of her intellectual advancement, what books she read, and her views on the leading topics of the day.
Her first letter began, “My Coatless Friend,” a reference to the loss of a linen coat or duster, when the last ride at Harrisville was taken. The second letter began “Friend George,” and the third, “My dear Friend.” Gertrude and George never addressed each other twice alike in their whole correspondence. The weekly letters were always torn open by each in haste, and both noticed a gradual increase of warmth in these addresses. The fact that Gertrude was an heiress neither hindered nor helped his devotion. His heart was attracted by her many charms.
At Smith College Gertrude occupied rooms in the Morris Cottage among the apple tree blossoms. Much of her spare time was spent in the scientific library and laboratory of Lilly Hall, or with the professor and his telescope in the observatory.
On clear nights, aided by the telescope, Gertrude gazed into the immensity of space, whispering sometimes to her own soul, “How grand this vast world-making, this frightful velocity of the giant dynamos in their elliptical pathways through space!”
Often unable to sleep, she continued her thoughts and wondered if space were not interlaced with electrical currents that move the earth, the sister planets, and the myriads of suns and their planets. She thought she saw, as never before, the necessity for an eternal existence of the mind, if God is to be studied and known in his infinite variety.
Four years in college had developed Gertrude into a beautiful character. Regular work in the gymnasium, much outdoor exercise, and care as to ventilation in her rooms, especially at night, had kept her in perfect physical health. Her intimates shared her glow of vitality, for her presence at “Lawn, or Character Teas,” at tennis-courts, or at basket-ball always brought sunshine and enthusiasm.
The Saturday before commencement, her mother and Lucille came to enjoy the charming festivities of Smith College. A representation of Racine’s “Athalie,” with Mendelssohn’s music, was the evening attraction at the Academy of Music, which the class had rented for the occasion.
Groups of ushers, with white satin wands, conducted students in tasteful dresses, and invited guests to their seats. When the curtain rose it was difficult to decide which one most admired, the stage with its artistic setting, its young faces, sweet voices, and graceful movements, or the sympathetic audience of students and their friends. The stage and press of the future guided in part by college-bred men and women will preach, it is hoped, purity, truth, and the beautiful.
Mrs. Harris and Lucille were very happy that Gertrude was to graduate, and Lucille who had just finished her education in Boston, half regretted that she too had not entered a woman’s college. Gertrude never looked more beautiful than she did in the white-robed procession, as, on Baccalaureate Sunday, the several classes passed down the aisles of the church.
George Ingram had hurried to Northampton to see Gertrude graduate. She met him at the station, and took his hand warmly in both of hers. George had brought from New York a box of white roses for her room, and a big bunch of the star-flower, the pretty English blue forget-me-not. He also had in his valise a tiny case of which he made no mention to anybody.
Hundreds of young women in white walked across the campus and were massed on the college steps for their Ivy Exercise. Never before was George so proud of Gertrude. She and Nellie Nelson, afterwards Mrs. Eastlake, had been chosen by the class for their beauty and sweet ways to head the procession of the white-gowned graduates. The evening of Class-day is a fitting close of the gay festivities at Smith College.
At the evening reception, George was introduced to many of Gertrude’s class-mates, and some of her intimate friends whispered, “Mr. Ingram and Gertrude must be engaged! What a handsome pair they will make.” George offered his arm to Gertrude, and they walked about the campus under the classical trees that glowed with hundreds of colored paper lanterns; everywhere a throng of pretty happy girls with their relatives and friends. Music by the glee clubs on the college steps, and refreshments, closed pleasantly Gertrude’s last night of college life on the beautiful Connecticut.
She went to bed tired, but very happy. That evening her mother and sister had left for New York, and in the morning she and George were to spend the day at Mt. Holyoke. Twice in the night, Gertrude awoke, looked at her watch, and longed for daylight, and then went back to dream of flowers and music.
While she slept, warm southern breezes spread a coverlet of silver gray mist over the homes of energy and thrift up and down the Connecticut Valley. In the morning when Gertrude opened the blinds, and saw the fog against the window panes and over the valley, she exclaimed, “It is too bad, I so wanted George to drive to Mt. Holyoke to-day, and see nature at her best! I hoped this would be the happiest day of my life.”
It was a quarter to 8 o’clock when a pair of spirited black roadsters, hitched to a buckboard, were driven in front of the hotel for George Ingram. As he appeared on the porch he looked every inch a gentleman. He was twenty-five years old, had received a practical education, and was filling acceptably the important position of assistant chemist of the Harrisville Iron & Steel Co., to which, six months before, he had been promoted. He had fine physique, dark hair and eyes, and a military bearing that made him the natural commander of men. His firmness, tempered with great kindness of heart, always won for him the respect of both men and women.
He handled the team with skill for he was a member of the driving club at home. At a college window sat Gertrude who was eagerly watching for him, and now she ran down the gravel walk with a sunny face, greeting her manly lover with such sweet voice and grace, that a college girl in passing whispered to her companion. “Look, Bessie, there are true and handsome lovers such as we read about in novels, but seldom meet.”
Gertrude insisted, since the fog was lifting, that George should hitch his horses and for five minutes go with her up on the college tower. As they looked out, Gertrude said, “Here, George, on the west are our half dozen cozy college houses; on the smooth green lawn below you see our tennis-courts, and an abundance of shade.
“Now, George, turn to the east and see how kindly the sun has removed the mist and made for us a glorious day. How bright the colors in our flag that floats over the high school yonder! There stands the Soldiers’ Memorial Hall, the Edwards Church with graceful spire, and across the green meadows, with its winding stream of silver, rise the ranges of Mt. Tom and Mt. Holyoke, outlined in curves against the blue sky.”
“Beautiful!” responded George, “and yet, Gertrude, nothing in nature is half so lovely as your own dear self.” Without warning he kissed her rosy cheek, her whole face changing to crimson as she said, “George, we must be going.”
Two happy young souls drove away from Smith College out under the Gothic elms, where the birds were mating and building their nests. The plan for the day was to drive to the mountain, and follow the mother and sister on the evening express to New York. The hotel clerk had pointed out the best road to Mt. Holyoke, and following his directions they drove southeast, leaving behind them shady Northampton, Smith College, and delightful memories of Jonathan Edwards, George Bancroft, and others.
A single white parasol was quite enough to protect two lovers from the sun’s rays. Circular shadows, photographs of the sun, frolicked with each other in the roadway as gentle breezes swayed the overhanging boughs.
Milk wagons with noisy cans were returning home, herds of black and white Holstein-Friesian cattle, famous for their yield of milk, were cropping sweet grasses in the pastures. Farmers were guiding their cultivators and mowing machines, while wives and daughters were shelling June peas, hulling strawberries, and preparing for dinner. The large white houses, with roomy barns in the shade of big elms, were the happy homes of freemen. Gertrude wanted the horses to walk more, but George was unwilling to take the dust of wagons returning from the market, so he kept the horses moving at a brisk pace.
At length the Hockanum Ferry with its odd device was reached. George got out and led the horses into the middle of the small river craft. Then the boat was pushed off and a strong man and boy pulled at the wire rope. The ferryman’s shanty, the willows, and tangled driftwood on the shore, fast receded, and soon the middle of the Connecticut River was reached, where the current is swiftest. In sight were several canoes with light sails, scudding before the wind. It seemed as if the tiny rope of the ferry would break, but the rope is of steel wire and the boat moved slowly till the opposite bank was reached. Gertrude held the lines, the sun shining full in her face, and talked to the boatman, to George, and the horses, but George said little as he was busy quieting the excited animals and studying the primitive rope-ferry.
To the regular ferrage, Gertrude added a dime for Tim, the helper, who watered the horses. As George was about to start his team, a twelve-year old farm boy ran aboard the boat with a string of fine speckled trout strung on a willow twig. All the spring the boy’s anticipations for “a day off” had now been fully realized. Since daylight the little fellow had tramped up and down the brook, his feet were bruised and sore, and his face and hands were bitten by mosquitos. But what of that? He had caught a string of fine fish and was happy. Gertrude, for a silver dollar, bought the trout, and the boy danced with joy.
It was half past eleven before the Half-way Station up the mountain was reached, and the steep ascent to Prospect House on the top of Mt. Holyoke was made by the car on the inclined railway. The morning ride and the thought of a dinner of brook trout on the mountain had sharpened the appetites of the lovers. George and Gertrude needed but a single announcement of dinner from the clerk to make them hasten for seats at so inviting a meal. They sat near an open window, and never did they enjoy a dinner more. College work was now over, and on the threshold of life, apart from the busy world in sight below, two souls could plan and confide in each other. As the two walked the broad porch, a panorama unfolded before them of almost unsurpassed beauty.
Charles Sumner who, in 1847, stood on Mt. Holyoke, said, “I have never seen anything so unsurpassingly lovely as this.” He had traveled through the Highlands of Scotland, up and down the Rhine, had ascended Mont Blanc, and stood on the Campagna in Rome. Gertrude with her college mates had often climbed Mt. Holyoke, and she was very familiar with this masterpiece of nature in western Massachusetts. So she described the grand landscape to her lover who sat enchanted with the scene before him.
“This alluvial basin,” she said, “is twenty miles in length and fifteen in width, and is enclosed by the Mt. Holyoke and Mt. Tom ranges, and the abrupt cones of Toby and Sugar Loaf, while the Green Mountains lie to the north, whence the rich soils have been brought by thousands of vernal floods. Grove-like masses of elms mark well the townships of Northampton, Easthampton, Southampton and Westhampton, Hatfield, Williamsburg and Whately, Hadley, Amherst, Leverett and Sunderland.
“In twelve miles, the Connecticut River turns four times to the east and three times to the west, forming the famous ‘Ox-Bow.’
“This beautiful river receives its life from springs in adjacent forests and mountains, and, forcing a passage between Mt. Holyoke and Mt. Nonotuck, flows far south into Long Island Sound. Its banks are fringed with a tanglewood of willows, shrubs, trees, and clambering vines. Bordering on the Connecticut River and near thrifty towns are thousands of acres of rich meadows and arable lands, without fence, which are interspersed with lofty trees and orchards and covered with exquisite verdure.
“These countless farms seen from this mountain top resemble garden plots, distinguishable from each other by vegetation varying in tints from the dark green of the maize to the brilliant gold of barley, rye, and oats. Over the billowy grain, cloud shadows chase each other as if in play. Grazing herds are on every hillside and in all the valleys.”
Gertrude’s words were music to George’s ear. Her voice and the magnificent landscape charmed him. When released from the spell he said, “Yes, dear, you have this day hung a never-to-be-forgotten picture in my memory. I shall always remember the arching elms, white gables, college towers, and spires pointing heavenward that mark the towns in this historic and lovely intervale. I seem to hear far off sounds of busy people, thrifty mills, and successful railways. These reveal the secret of New England’s power at home and abroad. The greatness of this people springs from their respect for, and practice of, the virtues so long taught in their schools and churches; viz., honesty, industry, economy, love of liberty, and belief in God. Here can be found inspirations for poet, painter, and sculptor.”
How glorious the picture as the two young lovers looked out upon the world of promise! It was well thus, for much too soon in life, humanity experiences the same old story of unsatisfied ambitions and weary struggles after the unattainable.
Thus a happy summer afternoon was enjoyed till the sun hid his face behind the western hills. Clouds floated low on the horizon, revealing behind the gold and purple to ambitious souls the indistinct outlines of a gorgeous temple of fame; and birds of rich plumage among the mountain foliage were lulled to sleep by their own sweet songs.
“Life without Gertrude,” thought George, “would prove a failure.” Then taking her white hand in his, he whispered, “I love you, dearest, with all my heart, and you must be my wife.”
“George,” she replied, “in a thousand ways you have shown it. I have known your heart ever since we studied together at the high school. My own life has been ennobled by contact with yours.” Her voice and hand trembled as she added, “Yes, George, my life and happiness I gladly place in your sacred keeping, and I promise purity and loyalty for eternity.”
Then George opened the little case which he had brought from New York, and gave Gertrude a ring containing two diamonds and a ruby, which surprised and delighted her. She placed it on her first finger, saying, “George, we will advance this crystal pledge to the third finger just as soon as we get the consent of father and mother.”
Gertrude had found on a former trip some purple crystals on the mountainside, and had had two unique emblems of their love made in New York City. George pinned upon Gertrude a gold star set with a purple amethyst, a tiny cross and a guard chain being attached, and she gave George a gold cross set with an amethyst, the guard pin being a tiny star and chain. Before midnight the two happy lovers had joined the mother and Lucille in New York, and at the close of the week all had returned to Harrisville.
THE STRIKE AT HARRISVILLE
Labor strikes are terribly disagreeable things to encounter whether in the daily routine of steel mills and railways, or in the kitchen before breakfast on blue Monday. Especially inconvenient are strikes in steel mills when the order books are full as were those of the Harrisville Iron & Steel Co. That the company had large orders could not possibly be concealed. Vast quantities of ore, limestone, and coke were being delivered daily at the mills. Never were more men on the pay-roll, and all the machinery of the gigantic plant was crowded to its utmost night and day. That business had improved was evident to everybody.
In love and war all things are fair, and the same principle, or lack of it, seems to control most modern strikes. No doubt what young Alfonso Harris told his mother on the steamer was true, that the labor agitators were advised of Reuben Harris’s plan to sell the steel plant to an English syndicate. Souls of corporations decrease as the distance between labor and capital increases, and naturally American employees oppose foreign control of every kind.
For more than a year the employees had accepted reduced wages with the understanding that the old scale should be restored by the company as soon as times improved and the business warranted. That the employees had timed their strike at an opportune moment was apparent even to stubborn Reuben Harris. It was galling indeed to his sensitive nature and proud spirit that his project of selling the steel plant for millions should have failed.
As he kissed his wife good-bye on the steamer in New York, her last words were, “Reuben, stand up for your rights.” Her avaricious spirit had always dominated him.
Before Reuben Harris left his city office for his home he had arranged, in addition to the precaution taken by the mayor, to dispatch to the mills and homes of his employees twenty-five special detectives in citizens’ clothes, who were to keep him fully advised as to the doings of his employees about the mills and in their public and private meetings. He had given his men no concessions in a previous strike which lasted for months. He would neither recognize their unions nor their demand for shorter hours.
It was true he had risen to be a millionaire from the humble position of a blacksmith, but he was always severe in his own shop. Every horse must be shod, and every tire set in his own way. He heated, hammered, and tempered steel just as he liked, and if anybody objected he replied, “Go elsewhere then.” To have one’s own way in life is often an expensive luxury. In his first great mill strike Colonel Harris lost most of his skilled labor and the profits of half a year. His own hands and those of James Ingram became callous in breaking in new employees.
Gertrude had arrived on the evening of the third day of the strike, and had busied herself in unpacking her trunk. She knew her father too well to talk much to him about the strike. While waiting in the drawing-room for her father, knowing that George was too busy to come to her, she had written to her lover as follows:—
My Darling George,—
I wish you were here safe by my side. How I hate strikes, they are so like a family quarrel on the front porch. Everybody looks on in pity, husband and wife calling each other names, and breaking the furniture, and innocent little children fleeing to the neighbors for protection. Strikes are simply horrid. Can’t you stop it? Labor and capital are like bears in a pit with sharpened teeth tearing each other’s flesh. Of what use is our so-called civilization if it permits such brutal scenes? George, the lion in father is again aroused. There is no telling what he will do this time.
It was cruel of the employees to stop his sale to the English syndicate. Something terrible is going to happen. I feel it. I dreamed about it last night before I left Niagara. You must counsel moderation. I am so glad mother is not here to counsel severity. In the morning I shall put my hand on father’s arm, and say, “Father, I have been praying for God to help you.”
I read in the Evening Dispatch that the employees claimed an increase of their pay because promised by the company when times improved; that the company now flatly refused to restore the old wages; that the mayor of the city had sent fifty policemen to guard the mills, and that the 4000 employees in an enthusiastic public meeting had resolved to continue the strike.
George, you are in a very trying position. The company of course depends on your loyalty, and the employees also have great confidence in your fairness. What can you do? If disloyal to the Company, you lose your position. What more can I do, except to pray!
Above all, my dear, be loyal to your conscience
and do right. Be just.
Come and see me at your earliest possible moment.
Your own loving
Gertrude’s brave letter reached George before ten o’clock the next morning, and greatly cheered him. He was never more occupied, but he snatched a moment to say in reply:
Office of The Harrisville Iron & Steel Co.
Glad for your heroic letter. It sings the peace-song of the angels. I shall be guarded in my words and actions. Good things, I hope, will result from all this terrible commotion. I confess I see only darkness ahead, save as it is pierced by the light of your love.
We have a thousand men this morning building a fence eight feet high around our works. It looks like war to the knife under the present policy. Of course I can’t say much till my opportunity comes, if it ever does.
Believe me, darling Gertrude,
The note was dispatched by special messenger. Its receipt and contents gave comfort to Gertrude.
Colonel Harris left his breakfast table almost abruptly. One egg, a piece of toast, and a cup of coffee were all he ate. It was an earlier meal than usual which the Swiss cook had prepared, and by half past six Colonel Harris started from home to his office, Gertrude from her chamber window kissing her hand to him, saying, “Keep cool, father!”
By seven o’clock he and his capable manager were busily using the two office telephones. Before nine o’clock, all the teams of several lumber firms were engaged in hauling fence posts, two by four scantling, and sufficient sixteen foot boards to construct a fence eight feet high about the entire premises of the Harrisville Iron & Steel Co.’s plant.
This early action of the company for a time confused the strike managers, as they could not divine whether Colonel Harris in a fit of despair planned to fence in and close down his mills, or, perhaps, once getting his plant enclosed, purposed to eject all members of labor organizations, and again as in a former strike, attempt to start his plant with non-union labor.
The leader of the strike was a brawny man with full beard, unkempt hair, and a face far from attractive. “Captain O’Connor,” as the labor lodges knew him, was the recognized leader of the strike. He was not an employee at the steel mills, but an expert manager of strikes, receiving a good salary, and employed by the officers of the central union. At 2:30 o’clock a secret meeting of the officers of the several labor lodges and Captain O’Connor was held behind closed doors. All were silent, when suddenly O’Connor rose and began to denounce capital, charging it with the robbery of honest labor.
“Behold labor,” he said, “stripped to the waist, perspiring at every pore in the blinding heat of molten iron, shooting out hissing sparks. Pleasures for you laborers are banished; your wives and children are dressed in cheap calicoes; no linen or good food on your tables, and most of you are in debt.”
This and more Captain O’Connor said in excited language. Finally he shouted, “Slaves, will you tamely submit to all this indignity and not resent it? The managers of the Harrisville Iron & Steel Co. are tyrants of the worst sort. They are fencing you out to-day from the only field on which you can gain bread for your starving wives and children.
“Reuben Harris cares more for his gold than for your souls. Since you refuse him your labor on his own terms, he purposes by aid of the high fence and bayonets to forbid every one of you union men from earning an honest living.”
The strike committee decided to call a public meeting of all the employees of the steel works on the base-ball grounds at 7 o’clock the next morning. All the saloons that night were crowded, and loud denunciation of capital was indulged in by the strike leaders. Early the next morning a band of music marched up and down the streets where the employees resided, and by 7 o’clock nearly four thousand men had gathered.
The chief spokesman was Captain O’Connor whose words evoked great cheering. He said, “Friends, we meet this morning to strike for our freedom. How do you like being fenced out from your work? What will your families do for a roof when the snows come and you have no bread for your children? We are assembled here not for talk, but for action. I hold in my hand a resolution which we must pass. Let me read it: ’Resolved, that we, the employees of The Harrisville Iron & Steel Co., having been driven out of our positions by a soulless corporation which promised a return to former wages when the times improved, will not re-engage our services to the Harrisville Iron & Steel Co. till the promised restoration of wages is granted.” This resolution was unanimously carried, with hurrahs and beating of the drums.
“Bravo men! Here is another resolution for your action,” and Captain O’Connor read it as follows: “American citizens! In the spirit of brotherly love we appeal to you citizens and taxpayers of Harrisville for fair play. Four years ago the employees of the Harrisville Iron & Steel Co. bowed before the law, and we should continue to do so had we not discovered that the law, the judges, and the government seem to be for the rich alone. But we prefer liberty to slavery, and war to starvation. Again we lay down our tools and seek to arouse public sympathy in our behalf. Again we plead the righteousness of our cause, and may the God of the poor help us.”
This resolution was carried with shouts and the throwing up of hats. The band began playing, and the procession headed by Captain O’Connor and his assistants moved forward.
A third of the sober-minded of the employees soon dropped out of the procession, while three thousand or more, many of them foreigners, were only too glad to escape the everyday serfdom of a steel plant. All were armed with clubs and stones. When O’Connor from the hill-top looked back upon the mob that filled the street down into the valley and far up the opposite hill, his courage for a moment failed him.
“What shall I do with this vast army?” he said to himself. Just then the employees made a rush for the company’s furnaces by the riverside, filling the yards and approaches, shouting “Bank the fires! Down with capital!”
The big engines were stopped and the furnaces were left to cool. Frightened faces of women and children filled the door-ways and windows of the many little brown houses on the hillside. Success emboldened the strikers whose numbers were now greatly augmented. Again the band played and the strike managers shouted, “Forward!”
The route taken was along an aristocratic avenue where the wealthy resided. Windows and doors were suddenly closed, and the terrified occupants forgot their riches, their diamonds, and their fine dress, and thought only of safety. Vulcans of the steel works, each armed with a club, occupied the avenue for two miles. Evidences of hunger and vengeance were in their faces and sadly worn garments were on their backs.
Prominent citizens now hurried to the mayor’s office, where the chief executive was found in conference with some of the labor leaders. The mayor was told that unless he acted promptly in restoring peace and protecting property, a citizens’ committee of safety would be organized, that he would be placed under arrest, and the mob driven back. At once the mayor sent one hundred policemen in patrol wagons in pursuit of the rioters. The latter had already battered down the great doors of the screw-works, and hundreds of employees, men, women, and children, were driven out of the factory. The president of the company was beaten into insensibility. Adjacent nail works were ordered to close and all employees were driven into the streets. Finally, near night, the strikers were subdued by platoons of police and forced to return to their homes.
The mayor issued his riot act, which was printed in all the evening papers and read as follows:
TO THE CITIZENS OF HARRISVILLE AND THE PUBLIC GENERALLY.
In the name of the people of the State of Ohio, I, David A. Duty, Mayor of the City of Harrisville, do hereby require all persons within the limits of the City to refrain from unnecessary assemblies in the streets, squares, or in public places of the City during its present disturbed condition, and until quiet is restored, and I hereby give notice that the police have been ordered, and the militia requested to disperse any unlawful assemblies. I exhort all persons to assist in the observance of this request.
David A. Duty.
The mayor telegraphed to the governor for troops. The governor responded promptly, and ordered the First Brigade to be in readiness, and to report at 5 A.M. next morning in Harrisville, with rifles, cannon, Gatling and Hotchkiss guns and ammunition. Orderlies went flying through the city with summons that must be obeyed. The signal corps flashed their green and red lights from the tower to distant armories. Ambulance corps hastened their preparation, packing saws, knives, lint, and bandages.
Imperative orders from general to colonels, to majors, to captains, to corporals tracked the militia men to their homes, and to their places of amusement. By midnight every military organization in Harrisville was under arms. The general with his staff was at his headquarters and ready for action.
Before sunset Colonel Harris had his steel mills enclosed by a high fortress-fence; many agents were dispatched to other cities to advertise for, and contract with, skilled labor for his mills. On his way home, he called again on the mayor, also at brigade headquarters, and satisfied himself that his property would be protected. In forty-eight hours five hundred new workmen had arrived, and in squads of from twenty-five to fifty they were coming in on every train.
Colonel Harris, experienced in strikes, knew just what to do. A great warehouse in the board enclosure was converted into barracks and supplied with beds, and kitchens, and an old army quartermaster was placed in charge. The new men on arrival were taken under escort of the soldiers to the barracks, and were rapidly set to work under loyal foremen.
In a single week Colonel Harris had secured over fifteen hundred new men. Smoke-stacks were again pouring forth huge volumes of smoke. The renewed and familiar hum of machinery was audible beyond the high board fence. This activity in the mills was to the old employees like a red flag flaunted before an enraged bull. Inflammatory speeches were the order of the hour. It was three o’clock on the eighth day of the strike, when three thousand of the old employees left their halls and marched directly to the steel mills. Hundreds of women and children joined the long procession.
The strike leaders in advance carried the American flag, and their band played the “Star Spangled Banner.” Most of the men, and some of the women, carried clubs and stones. Radicals concealed red flags and pistols within their coats. Detectives reported by telephone the threatening attitude of the strikers to Colonel Harris at his home, to Manager Thomas at the mills, and to the mayor who ordered more police in patrol wagons to proceed immediately to the steel works. Following the police rode the Harrisville Troop, one hundred strong. Gertrude would not let her father go to the steel plant, so he sat by the telephone in his own house.
Captain Crager in charge of the fifty police on guard in and around the steel plant at once concentrated his force at the great gateway leading into the fenced enclosure. His men were formed in three platoons, the reserve platoon being stationed fifty feet in the rear. Captain Crager himself took position in the center of the first line. He had time only for a few words to his men. “The city expects each policeman to do his duty. No one is to use his revolver till he sees me use mine. Stand shoulder to shoulder, use your clubs, and defend the gateway.”
Probably not one of his fifty men had ever read of the 300 Spartan heroes at Thermopylae, who for three days held at bay the Persian army of five millions. To pit fifty policemen against three thousand enraged strikers was too great odds. Captain Crager’s orders were “to defend the property of the steel company.” The reserve police force and troops en route might or might not reach him in time. The strikers purposed driving out of the mills all the non-union men, and taking possession. Nearer came the mob, determined to rule or ruin, O’Connor in the lead holding the Stars and Stripes. The last fifty feet of approach to the gateway, the mob planned to cover by a rush. On they came swinging their clubs and filling the air with stones.
Captain Crager and his platoons used their short iron-wood clubs vigorously. The strikers’ flag was captured. O’Connor fell bleeding. Right and left, heads and limbs were broken. Women screamed and strong men turned pale. The whole mob was soon stampeded and the rioters fled like animals before a prairie fire. Those strikers who looked back saw the approach of more patrol wagons loaded with police, heard the clatter of horses’ hoofs, and the heavy rumbling of artillery, and they knew that the city’s reserve forces had arrived. A battery of Gatling guns at once wheeled into a strategic position. The police and troop occupied points of advantage, and soon the victory was complete.
Within thirty days over four thousand employees, mostly new men, were at work in the steel mills. Policemen and detectives, however, were still kept on duty. Colonel Harris was frequently congratulated on his second triumph, and orders for steel rails were again being rapidly filled.
Most of the strike leaders left the city, some threatening dire revenge. Many of the employees, who had lost their situations, were already searching for work elsewhere. All who were behind in their payments of rents due the company, were served with notices of evictment, as the tenements were needed for the new employees. Wives and children were crying for bread. In sixty days labor had lost by the strike over two hundred and fifty thousand dollars, and capital even more.
* * * * *
It was in August. The moon had set beyond the blue lake, and the myriad lights of heaven were hung out, as George and Gertrude alighted from their carriage in front of Colonel Harris’s residence. They had been to the Grand Opera House, where they had witnessed Shakespeare’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream,” beautifully played by Julia Marlowe and her company. Between the acts, George and Gertrude talked much of the strike, of labor troubles in general, and earnestly discussed the possible remedies.
Reuben Harris, who had awaited their return, hearing the carriage drive up, extended a cordial welcome. His hand was on the knob of the front door, which stood half open, when the sky above the steel mills suddenly became illuminated and deafening reports of explosions followed. The door, held by Harris, was slammed by the concussion against the wall, the glass in the windows rattled on the floor, the ground trembled, Harris seized George’s arm for support, and Gertrude’s face was blanched with fear. Fire and smoke in great volumes were now seen rising above the steel plant.
George ran to the telephone, but before he could shout “Exchange,” a call came for Colonel Harris from his night superintendent, who announced that the engines and batteries of boilers had been blown up, and that all the mills were on fire. The chief of police telephoned that he had sent one hundred more police to the mills; the chief of the fire department telephoned that ten steamers had been dispatched. George dropped the telephone, kissed Gertrude, and on the back of her Kentucky saddle horse flew into the darkness to direct matters at the mills as best he could.
The next morning’s Dispatch contained two full pages, headed,
“The Deadly Dynamite!
Frightful Loss of Life,
Destruction of Property
The Harrisville Iron & Steel Plant.
“One hundred employees were killed outright, and hundreds more were wounded. All the mills were either burned or wrecked. Many women and children were also injured. Five hundred tenement houses were damaged, and the windows of most of the buildings within a half mile of the mills were badly broken.”
Next morning the citizens of Harrisville were wild with excitement. Ringing editorials appeared in all the morning and evening journals declaring that “Lawlessness is anarchy,” and that “Law and order must prevail.”
TRIAL OF ANARCHY AND RESULTS
George Ingram had scarcely disappeared in the darkness, when Colonel Harris fully comprehending the terrible situation at his works telephoned the exchange to summon at once to his mills every physician and ambulance in the city.
The Colonel then ordered his carriage, and taking Gertrude, rapidly drove to the scene of the disaster. Great crowds had gathered, but the policemen, and the Harrisville Troop, already had established lines about the burning steel mills, beyond which the people were not permitted to pass. The police and fire departments were doing all in their power to save life and property.
Colonel Harris drove directly towards his office at the mills, but this he could not reach as policemen guarded every approach. The two story brick office had been completely wrecked by a huge piece of one of the fly-wheels, that had fallen through the roof.
The night watchman whose duty it was to enter the office hourly was killed, and his bleeding body was now being moved to a temporary morgue, which had been established in an adjoining old town-hall. Already over fifty mangled forms had been brought in and laid in rows on the floor, and more dead workmen were arriving every moment.
The mayor and Colonel Harris were everywhere directing what to do. Scores of the wounded were hurried in ambulances to a large Catholic Church, an improvised hospital. Here were sent physicians, volunteer nurses, beds, and blankets. Fortunately the seats in the church, being movable, were quickly carried into the streets, and on beds and blankets the suffering men were placed, and an examination of each wounded person was being made. Names and addresses were taken by the reporters, and ambulances began to remove the severely injured to the city hospitals.
Colonel Harris left Gertrude to minister to the wounded in the church, and sought out Wilson his manager, and George Ingram. Everybody worked till daylight. Many wounded and dead men, and women and children were brought up to the morgue and hospitals from the wrecked tenements that stood near the exploded mills. Several bodies of the dead workmen, and the wounded who could not escape from the burning works were consumed. When the sun rose on that dreadful scene, thousands of workmen and their families and tens of thousands of sympathizers witnessed in silence the awful work of anarchists. At daylight Colonel Harris rode with George and Gertrude home to breakfast.
In the evening press a call for a public meeting at 8 o’clock next morning of the prominent citizens resulted in the forming of an emergency committee of one hundred earnest men and women to furnish aid to the afflicted and needy work-people. The most influential people of Harrisville were enrolled on this committee, which to be more thoroughly effective was subdivided. Every house occupied by the mill-people was visited, and every injured person was cared for.
The women on the committee visited the hospitals and for a time became nurses ministering to every want. Money and abundance of food were also contributed, and such kindness on the part of the rich the work-people had never known before.
The evening papers gave the authoritative statement that the total number of those killed outright by the explosions at the steel mills was one hundred and twenty-seven. Of this number eighty-six were workmen, fourteen were men who lived in the vicinity, but were not employed in the mills, ten were women, and seventeen were children. The total number of wounded was sixty-eight.
A public funeral was decided upon by the committee. The Harrisville Iron & Steel Co. sent their check for $5000 to the committee and many others contributed money. The time fixed for the public services was Sunday at 2 o’clock. Ten separate platforms for the clergy and church choirs of the city had been erected on the same open fields where the great strike meetings had so often been held. By 1 o’clock people began to assemble. Workmen came from all parts of the city, till over fifty thousand laborers with their wives were on the ground. Most wore black crepe on their arm.
Fifteen minutes before 2 o’clock solemn band music gave notice to the crowd of the approach of an imposing procession. Platoons of police led the column who were followed in carriages by the mayor, his cabinet, and the city council; then another platoon of police, followed by a long line of hearses, the black plumes of which seemed to wave in unison with the solemn tread of over a thousand workmen, acting as pall-bearers, walking in double file on either side of their dead comrades.
It was some moments before the speaking could begin. By concerted action all the clergy preached on the “Brotherhood of Mankind,” the text used being, John XV.-12. “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” The speakers were moved by the Holy Spirit. The services closed with the hymn, “Nearer my God to Thee.”
The funeral procession was several miles in length. Public and private buildings along the route to the cemetery were draped with the emblems of mourning. Twenty-five of the bodies were given private burial. Over one hundred of the victims of the dynamite disaster were buried in one common grave. Together they had died, and together they were buried. The mantle of charity covered them.
Soon after the funeral, the press contained an account of a great meeting held by the surviving workmen of the Harrisville Iron & Steel Co., and of resolutions that were unanimously adopted:—
“Resolved, That we, the surviving workmen of the Harrisville Iron & Steel Co., hereby desire to express our deep sympathy with the bereaved families of our late comrades in toil.
“That further we desire to contribute from the pay-roll due us the wages received for two days’ services, the same to be paid to the emergency committee, one-half the proceeds of which is to apply to the relief of the bereaved workmen’s families, the balance to be used for the purpose of erecting suitable monuments over the graves of our unfortunate comrades.
“Resolved, That we, employees of the Harrisville Iron & Steel Co., extend our sympathy to the company in their great financial loss.
“That we hereby declare ourselves as law-abiding citizens, and that we neither directly, nor indirectly, were connected in any manner with the late dynamite explosions and fires which destroyed the plant of The Harrisville Iron & Steel Co., and we denounce those acts as dastardly and inimical to the best interest of labor and civilization.”
Following the resolutions were appended the signatures of over four thousand workmen. It was also voted that the resolutions, and names attached, should be printed in the press of the city, and that a copy should be delivered to the president of the steel company. This action freed the atmosphere of distrust, and business in Harrisville returned to its accustomed ways.
At a meeting of the directors of the Harrisville Iron & Steel Co. it was voted “Not to rebuild our mills at present.” Manager Wilson was instructed at once to so advise the employees, also to dispose of all the manufactured stock and raw material on hand, and to clean up the grounds of the old mill site.
Colonel Harris remembered the action of Herr Krupp of Germany when a letter once reached him, threatening to destroy with dynamite his vast works at Essing. Herr Krupp immediately called a meeting of his tens of thousands of workmen, and read the letter to them, and then said, “Workmen, if this threat is executed, I shall never rebuild.” This settled the matter.
The city council of Harrisville and the county commissioners offered rewards for the arrest and conviction of the dynamiters. The sum was increased to $10,000 by the steel company, and notices of these rewards were mailed far and wide.
By aid of an informer of the band of conspirators, Mike O’Connor and his confederates were arrested as they were about to embark for South America. In the hotly contested trial it was disclosed that O’Connor had directed the placing of dynamite beneath engines and boilers before the high board fence was constructed about the works, that electric wires to ignite the dynamite had been laid underground from the mills to an old unused barn, nearly half a mile distant, and that O’Connor was seen to come from the barn just after the explosion. Within two months after the arrest, the whole band were convicted and sentenced for life to hard labor in the penitentiary.
It was decided that Colonel Harris and Gertrude should soon sail to rejoin Mrs. Harris and party in England, and notice of this decision was cabled next day to them at London. The colonel was busy examining carefully George Ingram’s detailed drawings of a new, enlarged, and much improved plan for a huge steel plant. The improvements were to be up to date, and his plans involved an entirely new process of converting ores into steel. It was agreed that George and his father, James Ingram, should perfect their inventions on which both for a long time had been zealously at work, and that later George and the colonel should make a tour of observation of leading iron and steel works in Europe.
Gertrude was now very happy. The selled together, concerning the proper relations of capital and labor, and since the explosion they studied the question more earnestly than ever. Their scheme involved not only improved works in a new location, but also a plan to harmonize, if possible, capital and labor, which they hoped might work great good to humanity. Gertrude told George Ingram that his golden opportunity had come, and she resolved to render him all the assistance possible.
COLONEL HARRIS FOLLOWS HIS FAMILY ABROAD
Gertrude’s receipt for growing oranges in a northern climate was as follows: Let a child hold a large and a small orange in her hands, and give away the large orange, and the smaller will begin to grow until, when eaten, it will look bigger and taste sweeter than the large fruit given away. “Try it!” Gertrude often said.
That was the principle by which Gertrude Harris was always acting. If she had flowers, fruit, books, pretty gifts, or money, her first thought always was, “How can I make somebody happy?” With such a generous soul, part nature’s gift and part acquired by self-sacrifice, the life of Gertrude was as buoyant and happy as the birds in a flower garden.
The decision of Gertrude’s father to take her and meet his family in Europe was not known in Harrisville except to a few. Most of the colonel’s friends supposed that he was busy planning some new business adventure, in which he might employ his surplus capital and his undoubted business abilities. Because of the recent calamity, and the hardships of the employees in connection with their strike, he thought it unwise to make public mention of his future projects.
The more Gertrude meditated upon her father’s plan, the more dissatisfied with herself she became. The idea of going to Europe and leaving George behind was unendurable. He needed rest more than she. True, he was to follow later, but she wanted him to cross the ocean on the same steamer, and she earnestly desired that the one she loved best should share all of her enjoyments. It was, perhaps, a test of her love that she constantly longed to lose herself in him, or better, possibly, to find herself in him.
Two days before the date fixed for their sailing, as George left the Harris home, Gertrude was urging him to accompany her and her father, when he ventured to say, “Gertrude, this is what would please me immensely, take my sister May with you. I will gladly pay her expenses. And when your summer’s travel is over, I want May to study music abroad.”
“Capital!” said Gertrude. “Both you and your sister May shall join our party. Please don’t say another word on the subject, nor tell father, till we meet tomorrow evening,” and she kissed him an affectionate good-night.
The next evening before the stars shone; Gertrude sat on the piazza anxiously awaiting him, for she had good news for her lover. Gertrude’s white handkerchief told him that she recognized his coming, though he was still two blocks away. How light and swift the steps of a lover; though miles intervene, they seem but a step. An evening in Gertrude’s presence was for George but a moment. The touch of her hand, the rustle of her dress, and the music of her voice, all, like invisible silken cords, held him a willing prisoner. The love he gave and the love he received was like the mating of birds; like the meeting of long separated and finally united souls.
“George, this is your birthday and the silver crescent moon is filled to the brim with happiness for you and May. Yesterday I had a long talk with father, and I asked him to let me stay at home and to take your sister May to Europe. What do you think he said, George? Never did my father so correctly read my heart. He drew me closely to him, and while I sat upon his knee, said: ’Daughter, I have decided that it is wise, even in the interests of my business, to take George with us.’ He also said that I might invite your sister May to go, and that he would pay all the expenses. Oh, how I kissed him! I never loved my father so much before. Here, George, is a kiss for you. Aren’t you glad now, that you, and your sister May are going with us? No excuses, for you are both going surely.”
“If it is settled, Gertrude, then it is settled, I suppose, but how do you think May and I can get ready in so short a time to go to Europe?”
“Well, George, you can wear your new business suit, and in the morning, I will go with May and buy for her a suitable travelling dress and hat. In Europe we can procure more clothes as they are needed.”
Gertrude was now very happy. The dream of her life was to be realized. She wanted George near her as she traveled, so each could say to the other, “Isn’t it beautiful?” That is half of the pleasure of sight-seeing. The small orange kept by Gertrude had doubled in size, and she never before retired with so sweet a joy in her soul. That night she slept, and her dreams were of smooth seas, her mother, Lucille, and George.
It is needless to say that May Ingram was overjoyed. She had been fond of music from her childhood, and had given promise of rare talents. She had taken lessons for two years in vocal and instrumental music in the best conservatories in Boston, George paying most of her expenses. For six years May had been the soprano singer in the highest paid quartette in Harrisville. Though she occasionally hoped for a musical education abroad, yet these hopes had all flown away. Her parents could not aid her, and she had resolved not to accept further assistance from her generous brother. At first she could not believe what George told her, but when the reality of her good fortune dawned upon her, taking George’s hand in both of hers, she pressed it to her lips and fell upon his shoulder, her eyes flooding with tears.
“Well, May,” said George, as he kissed her, “can you get ready by noon tomorrow?”
“Ready by noon? Ready by daylight, George, if necessary.”
That night was a busy, happy time for the Ingrams. So much of ill-luck had come to the father, and so much of household drudging to the faithful mother, that work and sacrifice for the children had ploughed deep furrows across the faces of both Mr. and Mrs. Ingram. Opportunities for advancement now opening for their children, both parents found the heavy burdens growing lighter.
Before sunrise George and May had packed two small trunks, by ten o’clock Gertrude and May had made necessary purchases, and the two o’clock express quickly bore the second contingent of the Harris family towards New York, which was reached the night before their steamer’s date of sailing.
For some reason, perhaps because the elements of superstition still lurked in the mind of Colonel Harris, he decided not to stop any more at the Hotel Waldorf. It had brought him ill-luck, so his party was driven to the tall Hotel Plazza which overlooks the Central Park.
Fortunately George had inherited a talent for untiring investigation and the power of close observation. His reasoning faculties also were excellent. Besides his education, gained in a practical school at Troy, George, with, his father, James Ingram, had made many experiments, mostly after business hours; each experiment was numbered and the various results had been carefully noted. Before leaving Harrisville his investigations were all drifting towards great possible changes in the production of iron and steel. He was glad to take this trip to Europe, as it might afford him opportunity to verify or change some of his conclusions. He resolved to use every moment for the enlargement of his powers.
After bidding May and Gertrude good-night, he told the colonel that he should now take the Elevated Railway for the steamer “Campania,” as he wished to observe at midnight the firing of the great battery of boilers of the steamer; and that he would return in time for breakfast with the party. “Let eight o’clock then be the hour, George,” and the capitalist and his trusted superintendent separated for the night.
The elevated railway was not swift enough to carry George Ingram to Pier No. 40, so anxious was he to see the midnight fires started in the hundred furnaces of one of the two largest steamers afloat. It was fifteen minutes to twelve o’clock when he reached the dock, and provided with a letter of introduction to the chief engineer, he hurried as fast as possible to the officer’s cabin.
The young engineer’s night ashore had been spent at the opera, and, advised of George Ingram’s visit, he had promptly returned to the steamer. Mr. Carl Siemens, engineer, was a relative of Siemens Brothers & Co., Limited, the great electrical and telegraph engineers of London. His education had been thorough, and he was very proud of his steamer the “Campania,” especially of the motive power, which he helped to design. He gave young Ingram a cordial greeting.
For two hours they examined and talked of mechanism for ships and mills, and they even ventured to guess what the earth’s motive power might be. It was now five minutes of midnight. The chief furnished Ingram an oversuit and the young engineers dropped through manholes and down vertical and spiral ladders into the cellar of the steamer, the bottom of which was thirty feet below the water level.
“The ‘Campania,’” said Siemens, “has a strong double bottom that forms a series of water-tight compartments which, filled with water, furnish ballast when necessary. On the second steel or false bottom of the steamer, fore and aft, are located the boilers, furnaces, and coal-bunkers. We have fourteen double-ended boilers, fitted longitudinally in two groups, in two water-tight compartments, and separated by huge coal-bunkers. Each boiler is eighteen feet in diameter and seventeen feet long. The thickness of the steel boilerplate is 1-17/32 inches. Above each group of boilers rises 130 feet in height a funnel nineteen feet in diameter, which, if a tunnel, would easily admit the passage of two railway trains abreast.”
George saw the fires lighted, and when the furnaces required more coal, suddenly a whistle brought fifty stokers or firemen, the automatic furnace doors flew open, and a gleam of light flooded everything. Long lances made draft-holes in the banks of burning coal, through which the air was sucked with increasing roar. The round, red mouths of the hundred craters snapped their jaws for coal, which was fed them by brawny men whose faces were streaked with grimy perspiration, and their bodies almost overcome by heat. The hundred furnaces are kept at almost white heat from New York to Liverpool.
“Four hours on, and four hours off, and the best quality of food are some of the recent improvements,” said Siemens.
George Ingram shook his head, and his heart ached as he witnessed the stokers, and resolved to do his utmost to mitigate the hardships of labor. “What are the duties of the stokers?” inquired George.
“Our stokers,” replied Siemens, “must be men of strength and skill, for they both feed and rake the fires. The ashes and slag must be hoisted and dumped into the ocean, and twice an hour, as the gauges indicate, fresh water is let into the boilers. Daily the boilers convert into steam over a hundred tons of water, which, condensed, is used over and over again.”
“What quantity of coal do you use?”
“About three hundred tons per day, or an average of nearly two thousand tons per voyage. The coal carrying capacity of the “Campania,” however, when needed as an armed cruiser, can be greatly increased.”
Siemens led Ingram to see the gigantic cranks, and propeller shafts. Each of the several cranks is twenty-six inches in diameter and weighs 110 tons; the shafts made of toughest steel are each twenty-four inches in diameter, and each weighs over 150 tons. The propellers are made of steel and bronze, and each of the six blades of the two screws weighs eight tons. It was now past two o’clock and George thanked Mr. Siemens and said he should be pleased to examine further his department when at sea. It was past three o’clock when George turned off his gas at the hotel.
At eight o’clock the next morning the Harrises met promptly at breakfast. Promptness was one of Reuben Harris’s virtues, and fortunately all his party were agreed as to its absolute necessity, especially when several journey together, if the happiness of all is considered.
“George’s eyes look like burnt holes,” whispered May to Gertrude.
Overhearing his sister’s remark, George added: “Yes, May, and they feel worse after my two hours last night in the stokehole of the ‘Campania.’”
“We thought after our long railway ride and the concert yesterday, that you would gladly welcome a little sleep,” said Gertrude.
“I did sleep four hours, Gertrude, but my owl-visit to the steamer was highly instructive, and when we get to sea, you all will be delighted to help me complete the study of the marine engines on the ‘Campania.’”
A SAFE PASSAGE AND A HAPPY REUNION
Gertrude and May never knew what happiness was before. One maiden had her lover, and the heart of the other was pledged to music. George too was happy in Gertrude’s happiness and joyous in his own thoughts that perhaps he had already entered upon his life work, the development of plans which would bless humanity. Colonel Harris’s chief joy was that he had earned a rest, was soon to see the absent members of his family, and to behold the work of men in Europe.
People crowded the gangway, the same as on a previous occasion when duty forced him suddenly to leave the “Majestic.” It was almost two o’clock; visitors were no longer admitted to the steamer, except messengers with belated telegrams, mail, packages, and flowers for the travelers. On the bridge of the “Campania” stood the uniformed captain and junior officers. The chief officer was at the bow, the second officer aft. The captain, notified that all was ready, gave the command, “Let go!” and the cables were unfastened. The engineer started the baby-engine, which partially opens the great throttle-valves, the twin-screws began to revolve, and the “Campania,” like an awakened leviathan slowly moved into the Hudson River. Hundreds on both the pier and steamer fluttered their handkerchiefs, and through a mist of tears good-byes were exchanged, till the increasing distance separated the dearest of friends.
For twenty-four hours George Ingram was seen but little on deck. Most of his time he spent with Carl Siemen, the engineer. The colonel took great delight as the escort of two appreciative young ladies. Before the voyage ended every available part of the “Campania” was explored.
Gertrude was surprised to find an engineer so cultivated a gentleman. He was surrounded in his oak-furnished office by soft couches, easy chairs, works of art, burnished indicators and dials. Mr. Siemen received his orders from the captain or officer on the bridge by telegraph.
“It’s mere child’s play,” said May, “and as easy as touching the keys of a great organ.”
Mr. Siemen now conducted his friends into the engine-room. “It is not easy to imagine the tremendous force of the two swiftly turning screws or propellers exerted against the surging waters of the Atlantic,” he said. “Our 30,000 horse power engines, a horse power is equal to six men, equal 180,000 strong men pulling at the oars, or twice the number of men that fought at Gettysburg to perpetuate the American Union.”
“Wonderful!” said Colonel Harris.
“Steam guided by command of the officer on the bridge, with slightest effort, also steers our immense steamer.”
“Mr. Siemen, tell us please how the steamer is lighted?” said George.
“We have fifty miles of insulated wire in the “Campania” for the electric current generated by our two dynamos, which give us 1350 sixteen-candle power lights, equal to a total of 22,000 candle power, absorbing 135 horse-power. We also use large electric reflectors and search lights to pick up buoys on a dark night. All our machinery is in duplicate.
“At night when the broad clean decks of hardwood are illuminated with electric lights and filled with gay promenaders, you easily imagine that you are strolling along Broadway.”
The accommodations and appointments of staterooms, of all the large public rooms, and especially the dining-room, are perfect. A week on the Atlantic, with the joyous bracing sea-air of the summer months, and surrounded as you are by a cosmopolitan group of people, passes as delightfully as a brief stay at the ocean side.
The passage of the “Campania” from Sandy Hook Light to Queenstown was made in less than five and one-half days, 5 days, 10 hours, and 47 minutes, or at an average speed of 21.82 knots per hour, the highest day’s run being 548 knots. At Queenstown Colonel Harris received telegrams and letters from his family saying that they would meet him at Leamington, and that Alfonso would meet his father at Liverpool.
Reuben Harris wired his wife when his party expected to arrive. It was ten o’clock in the morning when the S.S. “Campania” arrived in the Mersey off Alexandra dock, and the company’s tender promptly delivered the passengers on the Liverpool Landing Stage.
Gertrude was first to single out Alfonso, whose handkerchief waved a brother’s welcome to the old world. Alfonso was the first to cross the gangway to the tender, and rushed to his friends. The greeting was mutually cordial. The father embraced his boy, for he loved him much and still cherished a secret hope that his only son might yet turn his mind to business. Alfonso seemed specially pleased that George and his sister May had come, for he had frequently met May Ingram and her singing had often charmed him.
May was about his own age. As Alfonso helped her down the gangway to the deck, he thought he had never seen her look so pretty. She was about the size of his sister Lucille; slender, erect, and in her movements she was as graceful as the swaying willows. May’s face was oval like that of her English mother. She had an abundance of brown hair, her eyes were brilliant, and her complexion, bronzed by the sea-breezes, had a pink under-coloring that increased her beauty. If Alfonso’s eyes were fixed on her a moment longer than custom allows, perhaps he was excusable, for portrait painting was his hobby, and he fancied that he knew a beautiful face.
Alfonso was all attention to his friends in clearing the baggage through the customs and getting checks for Leamington. After lunch, at the fine railway hotel, the two o’clock express from Lime Street station was taken, and Colonel Harris and party became loud in their praises of John Bull’s Island, as they sped on, via Coventry with her three tall spires, to the fashionable Spa, where the Harris family were again to be reunited. It was six o’clock when Alfonso alighted on the platform. “Here they are, mother, I have brought them all; father, Gertrude, George, and May.”
The Leamington meeting was a happy one. The sorrow of separation is often compensated by the joys of reunion. Mrs. Harris embraced her husband as if he had returned a hero from the wars. In fact, he had emerged from a conflict that brought neither peace nor honor to capital or labor.
Lucille too was enthusiastic. She, who was haughty, rarely responsive, and often proud of her father’s wealth, for the time assumed another character and warmly welcomed her sister Gertrude and Gertrude’s intended husband as “brother George.” Leo too was glad to make new acquaintances. Eight joyous people attracted the attention of many at the station.
Fortunately, the next day was Sunday, which gave time for rest, for review of the past few exciting weeks, and for the development of future plans of travel. Much was told of the Harris trip through Ireland and of the last week spent in the south of England.
Lucille described to Gertrude and May Stonehenge, hanging stones,—the wonder of Salisbury Plain, where stand the ruins of the Druid temple—three circles of upright moss-grown stones with flat slabs across their tops, in which it is supposed the sun was worshiped with human sacrifices. Many burial mounds are scattered about. A broad driveway, a mile in extent, surrounds the temple, where possibly great processions came to witness the gorgeous displays. In early Britain the Druid priests held absolute sway over the destinies of souls. These priests were finally overpowered by the Romans, and some of them burned upon their own altars.
“But, Lucille, you wrote that you planned to visit Osborne House.”
“Yes, dear, we did go to the Isle of Wight, and saw Osborne House, Queen Victoria’s home by the sea, as Balmoral is her summer home among the mountains of Scotland. Her Majesty’s palace is surrounded by terraced gardens, nearly five thousand acres of forests, pastures, and fertile meadows. Osborne House is furnished with much magnificence, mosaic flooring, costly marbles, statuary, paintings, books, and art souvenirs.
“There the queen and Prince Albert painted, sang, and read together. Those were happy days indeed for the young rulers of a kingdom. Each of their children had a garden. The Prince of Wales worked in a carpenter’s shop, and the royal princesses learned housework in a kitchen and dairy prepared for them.” This was a revelation to Lucille, who had been reared with little or nothing to do.
Lucille told Gertrude and May that she had just been reading the early life of the queen, who said, “If one’s home is happy, then trials and vexations are comparatively nothing.” The queen also said, “Children should be brought up simply and learn to put the greatest confidence in their parents.” Lucille continued, “The queen often visited her people, bringing toys for the children—a promise to a child she never forgets—and gifts of warm clothing for the aged, to their great delight.”
At a conference of the Harris family, it was decided to go to London after spending Monday in a carriage drive to Warwick and Kenilworth castles and Stratford-on-Avon. So Monday promptly at eight o’clock two carriages stood waiting at the hotel. Colonel Harris took Mrs. Harris, May Ingram, and Alfonso with him, and George Ingram took Gertrude, Lucille, and Leo in the second carriage.
There are few, if any, more magnificent drives in England than the one through the beautiful Stratford district. It is recorded that two Englishmen once laid a wager as to the finest walk in England. One named the walk from Coventry to Stratford, the other from Stratford to Coventry.
It was a delightful day and both the colonel and George entirely forgot business in their enjoyment of the loveliest country they had ever seen. A drive of two miles, from Leamington and along the banks of the historic Avon, brought them to Warwick Castle which Scott calls “The fairest monument of ancient and chivalrous splendor uninjured by the tooth of time.” It is said that Warwick Castle was never taken by any foe in days gone by.
Our visitors drove over the draw-bridge through a gateway covered with ivy, and still guarded as of old, by an ancient portcullis. In the hall of the castle, pannelled with richly carved oak, are religiously guarded the helmet of Cromwell, the armor of the Black Prince, and many historic relics and art treasures. The drawing-room is finished in cedar. In former days guests were summoned to the great banqueting hall by a blare of trumpets. In the gardens is seen the celebrated white marble Warwick vase from Adrian’s villa. Interwoven vines form the handles, and leaves and grapes adorn the margin of the vase. Superb views were had from the castle towers. In the Beauchamp chapel in the old town of Warwick repose the remains of Dudley, Earl of Leicester, one of Queen Elizabeth’s favorites. She gave Leicester beautiful Kenilworth Castle, which is five miles distant.
As the carriages drove over the smooth road, beneath the venerable elms and sycamores, artists along the way were sketching. Both Alfonso and Leo tipped their hats, as members of a guild that recognizes art for art’s sake, a society that takes cognizance of neither nationality nor sect.
Gertrude and George had read Scott’s novel in which he tells of the ancient glories of Kenilworth, which dates back to the twelfth century, and to-day is considered the most beautiful ruin in the world. Ivy mantles the lofty ruined walls; the sun tinges in silver the gray old towers, and sends a flood of golden light through the deep windows of the once magnificent banqueting hall.
For years Kenilworth Castle was a royal residence, and later it was the scene of bloody conflicts between kings and nobles. Today sheep peacefully graze within the ruins and about the grounds. Visitors from all parts of the world look in wonder upon the decay of glories that once dazzled all Europe. Here the earl of Leicester entertained his virgin queen hoping to marry her. As Elizabeth crossed the draw-bridge a song in her praise was sung by a Lady of the Lake on an island floating in the moat. Story writers have never tired of telling of the magnificence of these entertainments that cost the ambitious earl $20,000 per day for nineteen days.
Returning, Warwick Arms Hotel was reached for lunch, after which the party drove eight miles to Stratford-on-Avon, a model town on the classic Avon. Here in Henley Street, in a half-timbered house recently carefully restored, Shakespeare was born. The walls and window panes are covered with the names of visitors, while inside are kept albums for the autographs of kings, queens, of Scott, Byron, Irving, and others. One of the three rooms below is an ancient kitchen, where by the big open chimney the poet often sat. Climbing a winding, wooden stairway, George and Gertrude in the lead, our Harrisville friends entered the old-fashioned chamber, where, it is said, on St. George’s Day, April 19, 1564, William Shakespeare was born. A bust of the poet stands on the table.
“We know little of his mother,” said Gertrude, “except that she had a beautiful name, Mary Arden. If it is true, as a rule, that all great men have had great mothers, Mary Arden must have been a very superior woman.”
“The reverse, Gertrude, must be equally true,” said George, “that all great women must have had great fathers.”
Gertrude who had made a special study of Shakespeare and his works did much of the talking. She said, “All that is definitely known of the life of the great poet can be put on half a page. It is thought that William was the son of a well-to-do farmer who lost his property. William, not above work, assisted his father as butcher, then taught school, and later served as a lawyer’s clerk. When he was eighteen, like most young people, he fell in love.”
Saying this, Gertrude led to the street, and the party drove to Shottery, a pretty village a mile away, where is Ann Hathaway’s thatched cottage. “Here the beardless William often came,” said Gertrude, “and told his love to the English maiden. Ann Hathaway was older than William, she was twenty-six, but they were married, and had three children.
“When Shakespeare was twenty-five he was part owner of the Blackfriar’s Theatre in London. There he spent his literary life, and there he was actor, dramatist, and manager. He became rich and returned occasionally to Stratford where he bought lands and built houses.
“If we can trust statues and paintings and writers, William Shakespeare had a kingly physique, light hazel eyes and auburn hair.”
“What about his death?” inquired Colonel Harris.
“Of his death,” said Gertrude, “we know little, save that the Vicar of Stratford wrote that Shakespeare, Drayton, and Ben Johnson had a merry meeting, possibly drank too much, and that Shakespeare died of a fever then contracted, on the anniversary of his birth, when he was fifty-two years old.”
“And where was he buried?” inquired Lucille.
“In the Stratford church,” answered Gertrude, and the carriages were driven up an avenue of arching lime trees. The old church, with its tall and graceful spire, reflected in the waters of the Avon, is a restful place for the body that contains the mightiest voice in literature. Near by also lie buried his wife and their children. A plain slab in the floor covers his remains.
Recently a new grave was dug near Shakespeare’s and the intervening wall fell in. A workman ventured to hold a lighted taper in death’s chamber, which revealed that the ashes of the immortal Shakespeare could be held in the palm of the hand. The Harris party drove back to Leamington to spend the night.
A SEARCH FOR IDEAS
Later on the Harrises spent considerable time in London staying at the Grand Hotel which occupies the site of the old Northumberland House on Trafalgar Square. They soon learned that the English matrons are devoted mothers, that they take long walks, dress their children simply, and that their daughters have fair complexions, are modest in manner, and are the pictures of health.
Many of the English women find time to study national questions, to organize “Primrose” and “Liberal Leagues,” and to vote on municipal affairs. Miss Helen Taylor and other cultivated women have been elected members of the London school board, and aided in temperance reform.
While Alfonso, Leo, Lucille, and May were absent studying the artistic life of the metropolis, Mr. and Mrs. Harris, Gertrude, and George spent most of the day planning for the future. Reuben Harris and his wife had repeatedly talked over the Harrisville affair, and their trips in London where so many generations had lived and passed away had given both clearer ideas of life.
“At best,” thought the colonel, “life seems short indeed.” More than once he admitted to his wife that his early privations had made his life in Harrisville selfish and inconsiderate, that the questions of higher civilization were involved in the vigorous efforts of humanity for a closer brotherhood, and that if God permitted him he would lend a helping hand.
Mrs. Harris, naturally proud, was slow to respond to the colonel’s new ideas, but he felt that under Gertrude’s generous influences his wife would prove a help rather than a hindrance. Mrs. Harris knew that Gertrude and George, who had received a broad education, were ambitious to do good, and besides she trusted and loved them both.
It was clear to George and Gertrude that little or no hindrance would be offered to wise plans of usefulness. It was finally agreed that Colonel Harris and George should spend a week or two visiting some of the great industrial centers of Europe, and that Alfonso and Leo should accompany the ladies to Paris, and then visit the haunts of the old portrait painters of the Netherlands.
It was also decided by George and Gertrude that they would be married in Paris. This made the two lovers happy; for soon the two diamonds and ruby would be advanced to the ring finger, as promised by Gertrude on Mt. Holyoke. Each felt that an inexpensive marriage in Paris would be a fortunate escape from possible criticisms at home. Colonel Harris had promised Gertrude a special gift of a thousand dollars for the approaching nuptials, she to do what she desired with the money. So she decided to use only one-fourth of the gift for herself, to send one-half of it to the Relief Society, and the balance to two ladies’ benevolent societies of Harrisville.
The discussion of these plans made the last night in London a happy one. Happiness comes when we warm the hearts near us. When selfishness leaves the heart, the dove of peace enters. Early next morning at the Victoria Station, Colonel Harris and George saw their friends off for Paris. The route taken was the one via the London, Chatham & Dover Railway, an hour’s run to Dover, thence in the twin steamer “Calais-Dover,” an hour and a half’s ride across the English Channel to Calais, and from Calais via railway to Paris, capital of the French Republic.
Then Reuben Harris and George Ingram left Victoria Station to pay their respects to Henry Bessemer, civil engineer, who lived at Denmark Hill south of London. They desired to study the conditions which make the British people powerful. Both were aware that England was richly stored with the most serviceable of all minerals, coal and iron, in convenient proximity; that her large flocks of sheep supplied both wool and leather; that Ireland had been encouraged in the cultivation of flax; that the convenience of intercourse between mother country and her neighbors, especially America, had enabled England to engage largely in the manufacture of the three textile staples, wool, flax, and cotton. But material resources are only one element in great industrial successes. Both labor and capital are equally essential.
Englishmen have strength and skill. In delicate and artistic manipulation, however, the Englishman may be surpassed, but he possesses in a rare degree great capacity for physical application to work, also tremendous mental energy and perseverance. Most of the world’s valuable and great inventions, as successfully applied to the leading industries, were made by the English.
Though England has neither gold nor silver mines, yet for centuries she has commanded vast capital. Her trading enterprise, which has made the Englishman conspicuous round the world, existed long before the Norman conquest. Helpful and consistent legislation has also favored British industries. Besides, England enjoyed a good start in the race with foreigners. Surplus English capital of late has been employed in promoting foreign industry, and the interests of England as a rival may suffer.
Reaching the station at Denmark Hill, the colonel and George drove at once to Bessemer’s home. It is doubtful if England has forty acres, owned by a private citizen, more tastefully laid out and adorned, with forests, lawns, and flowers.
Henry Bessemer was tall and well formed, and looked the ideal Englishman, as he gave cordial welcome, in his large drawing room, to Colonel Harris and George Ingram. Evidences of his constructive skill and exquisite taste were seen on every hand, notably in his billiard room, conservatory, and astronomical observatory. The last contained a reflector telescope of his own design, that rivals the world-famed telescope of Lord Rosse. Both were soon charmed with Bessemer’s manners and conversation.
George had read of this wonderful man who was born in 1813; between 1838 and 1875 he had taken out 113 patents, and the drawings of his own work made seven thick volumes. This record of Bessemer indicates an almost unrivalled degree of mental activity and versatility as keen observer, original thinker, and clever inventor.
His drawings showed patents in connection with improvements in engines, cars, wheels, axles, tires, brakes, and rails. Fifteen patents for improvements in sugar manufacture, patents for motors and hydraulic apparatus, for the manufacture of iron and steel, the shaping, embossing, shearing, and cutting of metals, for marine artillery, ordnance, projectiles, ammunition, armor plates, screw propellers, anchors, silvering glass, casting of type, patents for bronze powder, gold paint, oils, varnishes, asphalt pavements, waterproof fabrics, lenses, etc.
Mr. Bessemer’s greatest invention, announced to the British Association at Cheltenham, in 1856, is his method of the manufacture of iron and steel without fuel, which started a new era in the iron trade. His name will be forever associated with the rapid conversion of pig iron into malleable iron and steel. By this process the price of steel per ton has been reduced from $160 to $25, a price less than was formerly paid for iron. Mr. Bessemer received the Telford and Albert gold medals and honors from sovereigns and societies round the world.
George said to Mr. Bessemer that he thought Lord Palmerston’s definition, “dirt was matter out of place,” was especially applicable to the undesirable elements in ores.
“Very true,” replied Mr. Bessemer, “and the man who can clean the dirt from our ores, and produce the most desirable steel, at the least cost, is a great benefactor of humanity.”
Mr. Bessemer’s own story of his most important invention was very interesting. Practical iron men had said that it was an impossible feat to convert molten pig iron in a few minutes into fluid malleable iron, and then into available steel, and all this without additional fuel. But the genius and perseverance of Mr. Bessemer, aided by his practical knowledge of chemistry and mechanics, did it. It had long been known that, if a horseshoe nail were tied to a cord and the point heated to whiteness, the iron nail could be made to burn in common air by being whirled in a circle. The ring of sparks proved a combustion. Mr. Bessemer was the first however to show that if air was forced, not upon the surface, but into and amongst the particles of molten iron, the same sort of combustion took place.
Pig iron, which is highly carbonized iron from the blast furnace, was laboriously converted into malleable iron by the old process of the puddling furnace. Bessemer conceived the process of forcing air among the particles of molten iron, and by a single operation, combining the use of air in the double purpose of increasing temperature, and removing the carbon. The carbon of the iron has a greater affinity for the oxygen of the air than for the iron. When all the carbon is removed, then exactly enough carbon is added by introducing molten spiegeleisen to produce steel of any desired temper with the utmost certainty.
With the ordinary kinds of pig iron early in use, Bessemer’s process was powerless. The old puddling process was more capable of removing phosphorus and sulphur. But with pig iron produced from the red hematite ores, practically free from phosphorus, Bessemer’s process was a surprising success.
At once exploration began to open vast fields of hematite ores in the counties of Cumberland and Lancashire of England, in Spain, in the Lake Superior regions of North America, and in other countries. Bessemer wisely made his royalty very low, five dollars per ton; capital rapidly flowed into this new industry, and Bessemer won a fortune. Mushroom towns and cities sprung up everywhere and fortunes were made by many.
Mr. Bessemer himself vividly described his process in action: “When the molten pig iron is poured into mortar-like converters, supported on trunions like a cannon, the process is brought into full activity. The blast is admitted through holes in the bottom, when small powerful jets of air spring upward through the boiling fluid mass, and the whole apparatus trembles violently. Suddenly a volcano-like eruption of flames and red-hot cinders or sparks occurs. The roaring flames, rushing from the mouth of the converter, changes its violet color to orange and finally to pure white. The large sparks change to hissing points, which gradually become specks of soft, bluish light as the state of malleable iron is approached.”
This very brilliant process, which includes the introduction and mixture of the spiegeleisen, may occupy fifteen minutes, when the moulds are filled, and the steel ingots can be hammered or rolled the same as blooms from a puddling furnace.
Mr. Bessemer explained many things, and offered many valuable suggestions. A remark of Mr. Bessemer to George Ingram led the latter to tell Bessemer a story which he heard in the smoking-room of the S.S. “Campania.”
“Two Irishmen once tried to sleep, but could not for Jersey mosquitoes had entered their bedroom. Earnest effort drove the mosquitoes out, and the light was again extinguished. Soon Mike saw a luminous insect, a big fire-fly approaching. Quickly he roused his companion saying, ’Pat, wake up! Quick! Let’s be going! It’s no use trying to get more sleep here, there comes another Jersey mosquito hunting us with a lantern.’”
Mr. Bessemer was amused, and he ventured the assertion that when electricity could be as cheaply produced directly from coal as the light by the fire-fly, and successfully delivered in our great cities, the smoke nuisance would be effectually abated, all freight charges on coal would be saved, and coal operators could utilize all their slack at the mines.
“Do you think this possible?” inquired Colonel Harris.
“Oh, yes, quite possible,” answered Bessemer, “our necessities beget our inventions and discoveries. Thorough investigation in the near future on this and kindred lines must be fruitful of astonishing results in the interests of a higher civilization.” The colonel and George took their leave. Truly the fire-fly, like the whirling hot nail, is suggestive of great possibilities, thought George.
That evening it was planned to visit on the morrow the extensive telegraphic works of Siemens Brothers & Co., Limited. George retired to sleep, but his mind was never more active. On warm summer evenings he had often held in his hand glow-worms and studied them as they emitted bright phosphorescent light. He had learned that this faculty was confined to the female which has no wings, and that the light is supposed to serve as a beacon to attract and guide the male. The light proceeds from the abdomen, and its intensity seems to vary at will. He had also read of a winged, luminous insect of South America, which emits very brilliant light from various parts of its body.
When George reflected that under even the most favorable conditions there was realized in mechanical work of the energy stored in coal only 10%, he was convinced that the extravagant waste of 90% of energy was in itself sufficient argument against the present method as being the best possible. Ever since his graduation, he had believed that the greatest of all technical problems was the production of cheaper power. That it was the great desideratum in cities in the production of food, and in food transportation from farms to trunk lines, on railways and on the ocean.
While in America he had discussed the matter of cheaper power with Edison, Thompson, Tesla, and others.
George and his father, James Ingram, experimenting with chemical energy, had already discovered a galvanic element which enabled them to furnish electrical energy direct from coal and the oxygen of the air, but this important discovery was kept a secret. The chief object of George Ingram’s visit abroad was to follow the footsteps of other great scientists and manufacturers to the edge or frontier of their discoveries and practical workings.
It was two o’clock that night before George could close his eyes, but promptly at 6:30 o’clock next morning he was ready for his bath and shave, and later he and the colonel ate the usual European breakfast of eggs, rolls, and coffee. The eight o’clock train was taken for the great works of Siemens Brothers & Co., Limited, which are located at Woolwich, down the Thames.
This firm, the pioneers of ship lighting by electricity, has already fitted out hundreds of vessels with electric lights. They also manufacture submarine and land telegraphs in vast quantities, having aided largely in enclosing the globe in a network of cables. All the Siemens brothers have shown much ability. Charles William was born at Lenthe, Hanover, in 1823, and has received high scientific honors. The world recognizes the valuable services that Dr. Siemens has rendered to the iron and steel trade by his important investigations and inventions.
Dr. Siemens, like Mr. Bessemer, labored to make iron and steel direct from the ores. By the invention of his regenerative gas furnace, which makes the high grade and uniform steel so desirable in the construction of ships, boilers, and all kinds of machines, Dr. Siemens has rendered signal service. This visit at Siemens Brothers & Co.’s works was of great interest, and many valuable ideas were gained.
Several days were next spent in Birmingham, and at the centers of steel making in northwest England. Birmingham is called the “Toy Shop of the World” for there almost everything is manufactured from a cambric needle to a cannon.
Colonel Harris and George Ingram studied the workings of the English “Saturday half-holiday,” which employees earn by working an extra half-hour on the five previous days. A visit was made to the Tangye Bros. Engine Works at Soho, near Birmingham, which absorbed the engine works of Boulton and Watt. It was Boulton who said to Lord Palmerston visiting Soho, “Sir, we have here for sale what subjects of his Majesty most seek, viz., Power.”
The Tangyes employ thousands of men, manufacturing engines and other products. Steam engines of all sizes, in enormous quantities are stored, ready at a moment’s notice to be shipped broadcast. It was the invention of the powerful Tangye jack-screw that finally enabled the famous engineer Brunel to launch his “Great Eastern” steamship which he had built on the Thames, and which had settled on her keel.
Today the Tangye Brothers are fond of saying, “We launched the ’Great Eastern,’ and the ‘Great Eastern’ launched us.” One of the Tangye Brothers took the two Americans through James Watt’s old home, and into his famous garret, where Watt invented the parallel motion and other parts of the steam engine. So important were Watt’s engine inventions that he alone should have the honor of inventing the modern engine which has so elevated the race.
George was greatly interested in what the Tangye Brothers were doing for their employees. Instructive lectures by capable men were given weekly to their workmen, while they ate their dinners. Medical aid was furnished free, and in many ways practical assistance was rendered their working force.
After a most interesting journey among the steel firms, including Bocklow & Vaughn of Middleborough, John Brown at Sheffield, and others, Reuben Harris and George crossed over into busy Belgium, and thence they journeyed via historic Cologne to Westphalia, Germany. Here are some of the most productive coal measures on the earth, which extend eastward from the Rhine for over thirty miles, and here one wonders at the dense network of railways and manufacturing establishments, unparalleled in Germany.
At Essen are the far-famed Krupp Works, one of the greatest manufacturing firms on the globe. These works are the outgrowth of a small old forge, driven by water power, and established in 1810 by Frederick Krupp. His short life was a hard struggle, but he discovered the secret of making cast-steel, and died in 1828. Before his death, however, he revealed his valuable secret to his son Alfred, then only 14 years of age. After many years of severe application, Alfred Krupp’s first great triumph came in 1851 at the London World’s Fair, where he received the highest medal. At the Paris Exposition of 1855, as well as at Munich the year before, he also won gold medals.
Abundant orders now flowed in for his breech-loading, cast-steel cannons. In severe tests which followed, the famous Woolwich guns were driven from the field. The Krupp guns won great victories over the French cannon at Sedan, which was an artillery duel. At Gravelotte and Metz the Krupp guns surpassed all others in range, accuracy, and penetrating power, and Herr Alfred Krupp became the “Cannon King” of Europe. Americans remember well his gigantic steel breech-loading guns at the expositions held in Philadelphia, and Chicago.
Alfred Krupp, however, delighted more in improving the condition of his army of employees. He provided for them miles of roomy, healthful homes. He formed a commissariat, where his employees could secure at cost price all the necessaries of life. He also established schools where the children of his employees could receive education if desired in technical, industrial, commercial, and mechanical pursuits, and in special and classical courses as well. He devised a “Sick and Pension Fund,” for disabled workmen, which scheme Emperor William II. has made a law of the German Empire. He likewise created life insurance companies, and widow and orphan funds. The golden rule has been Alfred Krupp’s guiding star. He was always kind and considerate, and never dictatorial.
When asked to accept a title, he answered, “No, I want no title further than the name of Krupp.” Alfred Krupp died July 14, 1887, in the 75th year of his age. His request was that his funeral should take place, not from his palatial mansion, but in the little cottage within the works, where he was born, which is to-day an object of great reverence to the 25,000 workmen who earn their daily bread in the vast Krupp foundries.
Alfred Krupp lived to see Essen, his native village, grow from a population of 4,000 to a busy city of 70,000, where annually hundreds of engines and steam hammers produce thousands of tons of steel castings and forgings. Alfred Krupp built his own monument in the vast mills and benevolences of Essen, a monument more useful and enduring than marble or bronze. His son Frederick Alfred Krupp, his successor, married the beautiful Baroness Margarette von Ende. Colonel Harris and George visited other great works in Europe, and finally started to rejoin their friends in Paris.
THE HARRIS PARTY VISITS PARIS
The distance is two hours from London to Dover. Half-way is Gad’s Hill, famous as the residence of the late Charles Dickens. Further on is Canterbury, which is celebrated as the stronghold of Kentishmen and the first English Christian city. Its prime attraction of course is its fine cathedral, which in 1170 was the scene of Becket’s murder.
Dover on the English Channel lies in a deep valley surrounded by high chalk hills. On one of these, which is strongly fortified, may be seen evidences of Norman, Saxon, and Roman works.
Every morning and evening the royal mail steamers leave Dover for Calais. The channel ride of twenty-one miles was made by the Harrises without the dreaded mal de mer. In the railway restaurant at Calais, Lucille volunteered to order for the party, but she soon learned, much to the amusement of her friends, that the French learned in Boston is not successful at first in France.
The express to Paris is through Boulogne, an important sea town of fifty-thousand inhabitants, which combines much English comfort with French taste. From there hundreds of fishing boats extend their voyages every season to the Scotch coast and even to far-off Iceland.
The scenery in the fertile valley of the Somme is beautiful. The route lies through Amiens, a large city of textile industries, thence across the Arve; the Harrises reached the station of the Northern Railway, in the Place Roubaix, in northern Paris as the sun faded in the west.
Carriages were taken for the Grand Hotel, Boulevard des Capucines, near the new opera house, which is centrally located, and offers to travelers every comfort. The carriages enter a court, made inviting by fountains, flowers, and electric light.
The first day or evening in Paris is bewildering. Early in the morning the Harrises drove along the inner and the outer boulevards that encircle Paris. Many miles of fine boulevards were built under Napoleon III. Most from the Madeleine to the July Column are flanked with massive limestone buildings, palatial mansions, and glittering shops, the architecture of which is often uniform, and balconies are frequently built with each story. Early every morning the asphalt and other pavements are washed. At midday a busy throng crowds all the main streets.
Parisians favor residence in flats, and they enjoy immensely their outdoor methods of living. At sundown the wide walks in front of brilliant cafes are crowded with well dressed men and women, who seek rest and refreshment in sipping coffee, wine, or absynthe, scanning the papers for bits of social or political news, and discussing the latest fad or sensation of the day. The English hurry but the French rarely.
Paris under electric light is indeed a fairyland. The boulevards are brilliant and the scenes most animating. Everybody is courteous, and all seen bent on a pleasurable time. Cafes, shops, and places of entertainment are very inviting, and you easily forget to note the passage of time. Midnight even overtakes you before you are aware of the lateness of the hour. This is true, if you chance to visit, as did the Harris party, some characteristic phases of Parisian life.
Near the east end of the Champs-Elysees, under the gas light and beneath the trees, they found open-air theaters, concerts, crowded cafes, and pretty booths supplied with sweets and drinks. Every afternoon if the weather is favorable, tastefully dressed children appear in charge of nursemaids in white caps and aprons, and together they make picturesque groups in the shade of elm and lime trees.
At breakfast, Leo proposed a study of Paris, as seen from the Arc de Triomphe de l’Etoile, so named from the star formed by a dozen avenues which radiate from it. The location is at the west end of the Avenue des Champs-Elysees. This monument is one of the finest ever built by any nation for its defenders. It is 160 feet in height, 145 in width, was begun in 1806 by Napoleon and completed thirty years afterwards by Louis Philippe. Figures and reliefs on the arch represent important events in Napoleon’s campaigns. Arriving at the arch, Leo led the way up a spiral staircase, 261 steps to the platform above which commands fine views of Paris.
The Champs-Elysees, a boulevard one thousand feet in width, extends east over a mile from the monument of the Place de la Concord. Handsome buildings flank the sides, and much of the open space is shaded with elm and lime trees. Grand statues, fountains, and flowers add their charm. Between three and five o’clock every pleasant afternoon this magnificent avenue becomes the most fashionable promenade in the world. Here you will behold the elite in attendance at Vanity Fair; many are riding in elegant equipages, many on horseback, and almost countless numbers on foot.
The popular drive is out the Avenue du Bois de Boulogne, 320 feet in width, to the Bois de Boulogne, a beautiful park of 2250 acres, containing several lakes and fringed on the west side by the River Seine. In the southwest part of this park is located the Hippodrome de Longchamp, which is the principal race-course near Paris, where races attract vast crowds, especially when the French Derby or the Grand Prix of twenty thousand dollars is competed for early in June.
The Harrises standing on the monument, looked eastward, and Leo pointed out the River Seine shooting beneath more than a score of beautiful stone and iron bridges, and making a bold curve of seven miles through Paris. Then the Seine flows like a ribbon of silver in a northwesterly direction into the English Channel. On the right bank is seen the Palais du Trocadero of oriental style, which was used for the International Exposition of 1878. On the left bank stands the Palais du Luxembourg, rich in modern French art, the Hotel des Invalides, where rests Napoleon, and the Church of St. Genevieve, or the Pantheon, where Victor Hugo is buried.
Beyond the Place de la Concord are the Royal Gardens of the Tuileries, where Josephine and Eugenie walked among classic statues, vases, fountains and flowers; the Louvre filled with priceless art treasures, the beautiful Hotel de Ville or city-hall, majestic Notre Dame, and the graceful Column of July. Paris is truly an earthly Paradise. For centuries it has been the residence of French rulers, and the mecca of her pleasure loving citizens. Fire, famine, foreign invasion, civil war, and pestilence have often swept over this, the fairest of cities, yet from each affliction, Phoenix-like, Paris has risen brighter and gayer than ever.
Gertrude, May, and Lucille were charmed with the fair vision before them, and were anxious to leave the Arch of Triumph and become a part of the gay city. The carriages drove back to the Place de la Concord, one of the finest open places in Europe. Around this place the chief cities of France are represented by eight large stone figures. That of Strasburg the French keep in mourning. In the center stands the Obelisk of Luxor, of reddish granite, which was brought at great expense from Egypt and tells of Rameses II. and his successor. Other ornaments are twenty rostral columns, bearing twin burners. On grand occasions this place and the avenue are illuminated by thirty thousand gas lights.
In the Place de la Concord the guillotine did its terrible work in the months between January 21st, 1793, and May 3rd, 1795, when thousands of Royalists and Republicans perished. Two enormous fountains adorned with Tritons, Nereids, and Dolphins beautify the court. No wonder the brilliant writer Chateaubriand objected to the erection here of these fountains, observing that all the water in the world could not remove the blood stains which sullied the spot.
How beautiful the vista up the broad and short Rue Royale, which conducts to the classic Madeleine! Alfonso was entranced with the beauty of this rare temple, which was begun and finally dedicated as a church, though Napoleon earnestly hoped to complete it as a temple of glory for his old soldiers. Its cost was nearly three million dollars. A colonnade of fifty-two huge fluted Corinthian columns and above them a rich frieze surround the church. The approach is by a score and more of stone steps and through enormous bronze doors on which the Ten Commandments are illustrated.
Entering the Madeleine, one sees an interior richly adorned, floors of marble, and lofty columns supporting a three-domed roof, through which light enters. On either side are six confessionals of oak and gilt, where prince and peasant alike confess their sins. Beyond is the altar of spotless marble. How beautiful the group of white figures, which represents Madeleine forgiven, and borne above on angels’ wings! This artistic group cost thirty thousand dollars.
On Sunday morning Leo and his friends came to the Madeleine which is the metropolitan church of Paris. Here every Sunday exquisite music is rendered, and here come the elite to worship and to add liberal gifts. It is a broad policy that no Catholic Church on the globe, not even splendid St. Peter’s of Rome, is considered too good for rich and poor of all nationalities to occupy together for the worship of the Master.
All the Parisian churches are crowded on Sunday mornings, but Sunday afternoons are used as holidays, and all kinds of vehicles and trains are burdened with well dressed people in pursuit of pleasure.
Traveling by omnibus and tramway in Paris is made as convenient to the public as possible; nobody is permitted to ride without a seat, and there are frequent waiting stations under cover. This is as it should be. Nearly a hundred lines of omnibuses and tramways in Paris intersect each other in every direction. Inside the fares are six cents, outside three cents. A single fare allows of a transfer from one line to another. Railways surround Paris, thus enabling the public to reach easily the many pretty suburbs and villages.
Both Mrs. Harris and Gertrude on their return to the Grand Hotel were glad to find letters from the men they loved. George wrote Gertrude that he was amazed at the enormous capacity of the manufacturing plants which he and Colonel Harris were visiting; that both labor and capital were much cheaper than in America. His closing words were, “Learn all you can, darling, I shall soon come to claim you.”
Gertrude had read of the laundries on the Seine, so she left the hotel early with her mother and Alfonso to see them, while Leo, Lucille, and May went to study contemporaneous French masterpieces in the Luxembourg palace and gallery. The public wash houses on the Seine are large floating structures with glass roofs, steaming boilers, and rows of tubs foaming with suds. Hard at work, stand hundreds of strong and bare armed women, who scrub and wring their linen, while they sing and reply to the banter of passing bargee or canotier.
If the sun is shining and the water is clear, the blue cotton dresses of the women contrast prettily with white linen and bare arms busily employed. Though they earn but a pittance, about five cents an hour, yet they are very independent; mutual assistance is their controlling creed, and few, if any, honor more loyally the republican principle of liberty, equality and fraternity. The women seemed to do all the hard work, while the men in snowy shirts and blue cotton trousers, with scarlet girdles about their waists, pushed deftly to and fro the hot flat or box irons over white starched linen.
Each ironer has a bit of wax, which he passes over the hot iron when he comes to the front, the collar, or the wrist-bands, and he boasts that he can goffer a frill or “bring up” a pattern of lace better than a Chinaman.
Alfonso and his party drove along the handsome Rue de Rivoli, with its half-mile of arcades, attractive shops, and hotels of high grade, and up the Rue Castiglione, which leads to the Place Vendome. Here in one of a hundred open places in Paris rises the Column Vendome in imitation of Trajan’s column in Rome. The inscription records that it is to commemorate Napoleon’s victories in 1805 over the Austrians and Russians. On the pedestal are reliefs which represent the uniforms and weapons of the conquered armies. The memorable scenes, from the breaking of camp at Boulogne down to the Battle of Austerlitz, are shown on a broad bronze band that winds spirally up to the capital, and the shaft is surmounted by a bronze statue of Napoleon in his imperial robes.
Fortunately Alfonso’s carriage overtook Leo’s party, and they visited together the pretty arcades and gardens of the Palais Royal. In the open courts are trees, flowers, fountains, and statues, and on the four sides are inviting cafes and shops which display tempting jewelry and other beautiful articles. On summer evenings a military band plays here. Returning, the ladies stepped into the Grand Magasin du Louvre. At a buffet, refreshments were gratis, and everywhere were crowds, who evidently appreciated the great variety of materials for ladies’ dresses, the fine cloths, latest novelties, exquisite laces, etc. The ladies planned to return here, and to make a visit to the famous Au Bon Marche, where cheap prices always prevail. Most of the afternoon was spent in the Louvre, a vast palace of art, and the evening at the Theatre Francais, the ceiling of which represents France, bestowing laurels upon her three great children, Moliere, Corneille, and Racine. The Theatre Francais occupies the highest rank. Its plays are usually of a high class, and the acting is admirable. The government grants this theatre an annual subsidy of about fifty thousand dollars.
Early next morning, the Harrises took carriages to the Halles Centrales, or union markets. These markets consist of ten pavilions intersected by streets. There are twenty-five hundred stalls which cover twenty-two acres, and cost fifteen million dollars. Under the markets are twelve hundred cellars for storage. The sales to wholesale dealers are made by auction early in the day, and they average about a hundred thousand dollars. Then the retail traffic begins. The supplies, some of which come from great distances along the Mediterranean, include meat, fish, poultry, game, oysters, vegetables, fruit, flowers, butters, cream cheese, etc. Great throngs of people, mostly in blue dresses and blouses, with baskets and bundles constantly surge past you. The whole scene is enjoyable. Everything they offer is fresh, and the prices usually are reasonable. When you make a purchase, you are made to feel that you have conferred a favor and are repeatedly thanked for it.
The few days that followed in Paris were days of rest, or were spent in planning for the future. The art galleries and the shops on the boulevards were repeatedly visited, theaters and rides were enjoyed, and on Friday morning, the ladies went to the railway station to take leave of Alfonso and Leo, who left Paris for the study of art in the Netherlands. Colonel Harris and George Ingram were expected to arrive in Paris on Saturday evening.
IN BELGIUM AND HOLLAND
Reluctantly Alfonso and Leo left Lucille and May in Paris. Both were well educated and beautiful women. It is possible that Alfonso might have loved May Ingram had he been thrown more into her company, and so known her better in early life, but the Harrises and Ingrams rarely met each other in society. As for Leo, he loved Lucille, but she had erected an impassable barrier in her utterance on the steamer, “First love or none.”
Leo in a thousand ways had been kind to her, because he hoped eventually to win her favor, and possibly because he fully appreciated the value of money. Fortunes in Europe are not so easily made, but once won, the rich of the old world as a rule husband their resources better then they of the new world. On the whole Alfonso and Leo were glad to cut loose from society obligations and be free to absorb what generations of art development in the Netherlands had to offer.
Leaving Paris they took the express via Rheims for Brussels. Entering this beautiful capital of the Belgians in the northern part of the city, they took a cab that drove past the Botanic Garden down the Rue Royale to the Hotel Bellevue which is near the Royal Palace and overlooks a park, embellished with sculptures, trees, flowers, and smooth lawns. One of the most enjoyable and profitable things for tourists to do in their travels is to climb at least one tower or height, as the views and correct information thus obtained will cling longest to the memory.
Brussels is Paris in miniature. The royal palace and park may be compared to the Tuileries. The beautiful drive down the Boulevard de Waterloo and up Avenue Louise leads directly to the Bois de la Cambre, a lovely forest of four hundred and fifty acres, which resembles the Bois de Boulogne of Paris. Nearly six miles of old and new boulevards encircle Brussels, passing through the upper and lower portions of the city. The pleasing variety of some of the more handsome buildings is due to the competition for large premiums offered for the finest facades. The resemblance of Brussels to Paris is perhaps more apparent in the cafes, shops, and public amusements along the busy boulevards. West of the Royal Palace is the picture gallery owned by the state, and by judicious and repeated purchases, the collection of pictures is considered superior to that of the famous gallery in Antwerp. In this gallery the two young artists spent several pleasant half-days comparing the early Flemish and Dutch schools. Especially did they study portrait work by Rubens, Frans Hals, and Van der Helst. All the work by the blacksmith artist Quinten Matsys in color or iron proved of great interest to the young Americans.
Finally Leo, who knew much of the old masters of Europe, took Alfonso to see the Musee Wiertz, which contains all the works of a highly gifted and eccentric master. In a kind of distemper Wiertz painted Napoleon in the Infernal Region, Vision of a Beheaded Man, A Suicide, The Last Cannon, Curiosity, and Contest of Good and Evil, Hunger, Madness and Crime, etc. As Brussels is located near the center of Belgium, the city is very convenient to several cities that contain many works attractive to painters and architects.
On arrival at Antwerp Alfonso and Leo rode to one of the stately cathedrals, near which a military band was playing. Before the church stood a bronze statue of Peter Paul Rubens. The scrolls and books, which lie on the pedestal, with brush, palette, and hat, are allusions to the varied pursuits of Rubens as diplomatist, statesman, and painter. The two young artists hastened into the cathedral to see Rubens’s famous pictures, The Descent from the Cross, and The Assumption. His conception and arrangement were admirable, his drawing carefully done, and his coloring harmonious and masterly.
Rubens, the prince of Flemish painters, was knighted. He was handsome and amiable, and his celebrity as an artist procured for him the friendship and patronage of princes and men of distinction throughout Europe.
Not far from the cathedral the young artists came to the museum, in front of which rises a statue to Van Dyck, pupil of Rubens. “Here, Alfonso,” said Leo, “is encouragement for you, for Van Dyck like yourself was the son of a wealthy man or merchant of Antwerp. He was educated in Italy, where he executed several fine portraits which I saw in Genoa as I journeyed to Paris.” Charles I. of England appointed Van Dyck court-painter and knighted him. Van Dyck’s ambition was to excel in historical works, but the demand upon him for portraits never left him much leisure for other subjects. How often “man proposes, but God disposes.”
Alfonso and Leo reached Dort or Dordrecht, which in the middle ages was the most powerful and wealthy commercial city in Holland. Huge rafts float down from the German forests, and at Dordrecht the logs are sawed by the many windmills. The Dutch province of Zealand is formed by nine large islands on the coast of the North Sea, and it has for its heraldic emblem a swimming lion with a motto Luctor et Emergo.
Most of the province, which is created by the alluvial deposits of the Scheldt, is below the sea-level, and is protected against the encroachments of the sea by vast embankments of an aggregate length of 300 miles. Willows are planted along the dykes, the annual repairs of which cost $425,000. An old proverb says, “God made the land, we Dutch made the sea.”
This fertile soil produces abundant crops of wheat and other grain. Near Dort is a vast reed-forest, covering more than 100 islands, which is also called, “Verdronken land,” drowned land. This area of forty square miles, once a smiling agricultural tract, was totally inundated on the 18th of November, 1421. Seventy-two thriving market towns and villages were destroyed, and 100,000 persons perished. Leo made a sketch of the tower of Huis Merwede, the solitary and only relic of this desolate scene.
The two artists visited Rotterdam, the second commercial city in Holland, which is fourteen miles from the North Sea and on the right bank of the Maas. An attractive quay a mile in length is the arriving and starting point for over 100 steamboats that connect Rotterdam with Dutch towns, the Rhine, England, France, Russia, and the Mediterranean.
Alfonso and Leo studied the collection of portraits at Boyman’s Museum, and sketched in the River Park the happy people who were grouped under trees, by the fish ponds, and along the grassy expanses. Alfonso bought a photograph of the illustrious Erasmus. It is about ten miles to Delft, once celebrated for its pottery and porcelain, a city to-day of 25,000 inhabitants. Here on the 10th of July, 1584, William of Orange, Founder of Dutch independence, was shot by an assassin to secure the price set on William’s head by Farnese.
Our two artists visited a church in Delft to see the marble monument to the memory of the Prince of Orange, which was inscribed “Prince William, the Father of the Fatherland.” Not far is Delft Haven which Americans love to visit, and where the pious John Robinson blessed a brave little band as it set sail to plant in a new world the tree of Liberty.
At length the artists reached The Hague, which for centuries has been the favorite residence of the Dutch princes, and to-day is occupied by the court, nobles, and diplomatists. No town in Holland possesses so many broad and handsome streets, lofty and substantial blocks, and spacious squares as The Hague.
Alfonso and Leo hastened to Scheveningen, three miles west of The Hague, on the breezy and sandy shores of the North Sea, a clean fishing village of neat brick houses sheltered from the sea by a lofty sand dune. Here bathing wagons are drawn by a strong horse into the ocean, where the bather can take his cool plunge. Scheveningen possesses a hundred fishing boats. The fishermen have an independent spirit and wear quaint dress. A public crier announces the arrival of their cargoes, which are sold at auction on the beach, often affording picturesque and amusing scenes, sketches of which were made. The luminous appearance of the sea caused by innumerable mollusca affords great pleasure to visitors, twenty thousand of whom every year frequent this fashionable sea-bathing resort.
The second evening after the artists’ arrival at Scheveningen, as they sauntered along on the brick-paved terrace in sight of white sails and setting sun, Alfonso was agreeably surprised to meet in company with her mother, Christine de Ruyter, a young artist, whose acquaintance he had made in the Louvre at Paris.
Christine’s father, prominent for a long time in the vessel trade, had recently died, leaving a fortune to his wife and two daughters, one of whom, Fredrika was already married. They were descended from the famous Admiral de Ruyter, who in 1673 defeated the united fleets of France and England off the coast of Scheveningen, which fact added much of interest to their annual visit to this resort. While Leo talked with the mother, Alfonso listened to Christine, as she told much about the historic family with which she was connected, and in return she learned somewhat of young Harris’s family and their visit to Europe.
Christine, who was about Alfonso’s age, had fair complexion, light hair, and soft blue eyes. Her beauty added refinement that education and wide travel usually furnish.
It was seen in Alfonso’s face and in his marked deference that Christine filled his ideal of a beautiful woman. Christine and her mother and the young artists were registered at the Hotel de Orange, so of necessity they were thrown into each other’s company. They drove to The Hague, compared the statues of William of Orange with each other; rode along the elegant streets, south through the Zoological and Botanical Gardens, through the park, and to the drill grounds. A half-day was spent in visiting the “House in the Woods,” a Royal Villa, one and one-half miles northeast of The Hague. This palace is beautifully decorated, particularly the Orange Salon, which was painted by artists of the school of Rubens.
Alfonso and Leo enjoyed their visits to the celebrated picture gallery, which contains among many Dutch paintings the famous pictures by Paul Potter and Rembrandt. Paul Potter’s Bull is deservedly popular. This picture was once carried off to Paris, and there ranked high in the Louvre, and later the Dutch offered 60,000 florins to Napoleon for its restoration.
Christine, who was well conversant with art matters, knew the location and artistic value of each painting and guided the young Americans to works by Van Dyck, Rubens, the Tenniers, Holbein, and others. She was proud of a terra-cotta head of her ancestor, Admiral de Ruyter. The party soon reached Rembrandt’s celebrated “School of Anatomy,” originally painted for the Amsterdam Guild of Surgeons. Tulp is in black coat with lace collar and broad-brimmed soft hat, dissecting a sinew of the arm of the corpse before him. He is explaining, with gesture of his left hand, his theory to a group of Amsterdam surgeons. No painter ever before succeeded in so riveting the attention of spectators in the presence of death. The listeners appear altogether unconscious of the pallid corpse that lies before them on the dissecting table.
Invited by Christine’s mother, the young artists accompanied the De Ruyters to Amsterdam, the commercial capital of Holland, with 300,000 inhabitants. They live on ninety islands formed by intersecting canals, which are crossed by three hundred bridges. The buildings rest on foundations of piles, or trees, which fact gave rise to Erasmus’s jest, that he knew a city where the people dwelt on tops of trees, like rooks.
Alfonso took Leo into the suburbs to see diamond polishing. The machinery is run by steam, and the work is done largely by Portuguese Jews. These precious stones are cut or sawed through by means of wires covered with diamond dust, and the gems are polished by holding them against rapidly revolving iron disks moistened with a mixture of diamond dust and oil.
Christine’s people lived in a red brick mansion, the gable of which contained a portrait in relief of Admiral de Ruyter, and fronted a shaded street on a canal. Here the American artists were handsomely entertained. They were driven to the picture galleries and the palace or town-hall in the Dam Square, where Louis Napoleon and Hortense once resided. From the tower which terminates in a gilded ship the artists obtained fine views of Northern Holland. Christine pointed out the Exchange and other objects of interest in the city, which abounds in narrow streets and broad canals, the latter lined with fine shade trees. Many of the tall, narrow houses have red tile roofs, quaint fork-chimneys, and they stand with gables to the canals. The docks show a forest of masts.
The environs of the city are covered with gardens; trees adorn the roads, while poplars and willows cross or divide the fields, which are studded with windmills and distant spires, and everywhere are seen fertile corps, black and white cattle, and little boats creeping slowly along the canals.
A Hollander’s wealth is often estimated by his windmills. If asked, “How rich?” The reply comes, “Oh, he is worth ten or twelve windmills.” Holland seems alive with immense windmills. They grind corn, they saw wood, they pulverize rocks, and they are yoked to the inconstant winds and forced to contend with the water, the great enemy of the Dutch. They constantly pump water from the marshes into canals, and so prevent the inundation of the inhabitants. The Hollander furnishes good illustration of the practical value of Emerson’s words, “Borrow the strength of the elements. Hitch your wagon to a star, and see the chores done by the gods themselves.”
To the west are seen the church spires of Haarlem, and its long canal, which like a silver thread ties it to Amsterdam. To the east the towers of Utrecht are visible, and to the north glitter in the morning sun the red roofs of Zaandam and Alkmaar.
Far away stretched the waters of the Zuider Zee, which Holland plans to reclaim by an enbankment from the extreme cape of North Holland, to the Friesland coast, so as to shut out the ocean, and thereby acquire 750,000 square miles of new land; a whole province. At present 3,000 persons and 15,000 vessels are employed in the Zuider Zee fisheries, the revenues of which average $850,000 a year. It is proposed to furnish equivalents to satisfy these fishermen. It is estimated that this wonderful engineering feat will extend over 33 years and cost $131,250,000.
Christine now conducted her artist friends out of the Palace and over to the Rijks Museum to see Rembrandt’s largest and best work, his “Night Watch.” It is on the right as you enter, covering the side of the room. It represents a company of arquebusiers, energetically emerging from their Guild House on the Singel. The light and shade of the Night Watch is so treated as to form a most effective dramatic scene, which, since its creation, in 1642, has been enthusiastically admired by all art connoisseurs.
Rembrandt was the son of a miller, and his studio was in his father’s wind-mill, where light came in at a single narrow window. By close observation he became master of light and shade, and excelled in vigor and realism. At $50 a year he taught pupils who flocked to him from all parts of Europe, but, like too many possessed of fine genius, he died in poverty. Later, London paid $25,000 for a single one of his six hundred and forty paintings. The Dutch painters put on canvas the everyday home-life and manners of their people, while the Flemish represented more the religious life of the lower Netherlands.
These journeys in Belgium gave Alfonso and Leo enlarged ideas as to the possibilities of portrait painting. In Alma Tadema, of Dutch descent, and Millais they saw modern examples of wonderful success, which made clear to them that the high art of portrait painting once acquired, both fame and fortune are sure to follow.
Christine de Ruyter had taken lessons of the best masters in Holland, Italy, and France. Few, if any women artists of her age, equalled or excelled her. Her conversations on art in the Netherlands charmed her two artist friends. She said, “The works of art of the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries in the Netherlands seemed to grow out of the very soil of the low countries. Our old artists revelled in the varied costumes and manifold types that thronged the cities of the Hanseatic League. The artist’s imagination was fascinated by the wealth of color he saw on sturdy laborers, on weather-beaten mariners, burly citizens, and sagacious traders.
“Rubens delighted often in a concentrated light, and was master of artistic material along the whole range. He painted well portraits, landscapes, battles of heroes, gallant love-making of the noble, and the coarse pleasures of the vulgar. Nearly a thousand pictures bear the name of Rubens.
“The artistic labor of Frans Hals of Haarlem extended over half a century. He possessed the utmost vivacity of conception, purity of color, and breadth of execution, as shown in his latest works, and so well did he handle his brush that drawing seems almost lost in a maze of color tone. The throng of genre painters, who have secured for Dutch art its greatest triumph, are well nigh innumerable.”
Christine was very fond of flower-pieces, and had painted lovely marguerites on Gertrude’s white dress, in Alfonso’s full length picture of his sister, which he was soon to carry to Paris as his wedding present.
Leo and Alfonso much wished to extend their journey north to Copenhagen and Stockholm, the “Venice of the North,” but letters urging a speedy return to the marriage of George and Gertrude in Paris, forced the two artists to shorten their journey, say good-bye to their kind friends of Amsterdam, and hasten back to Paris, taking portraits of their own skill as wedding gifts.
PARIS AND THE WEDDING
Friday morning, Alfonso and Leo were missed at the table, and during the day as guides. Early every day while in Paris, Alfonso had bouquets of fresh flowers sent to the rooms of his mother, sisters, and May Ingram. After his departure the flowers did not come, so Gertrude and May before breakfast walked down the boulevard to the flower show, near the Madeleine, where twice a week are gathered many flower carts in charge of courteous peasant women. The flowers of Paris are usually cheap. A franc, eighteen cents, buys a bunch of pansies, or roses in bud or full bloom, or marguerites. The latter are similar to the English ox-eyed daisy, a favorite flower with the French, also with Gertrude, who often pinned a bunch on May Ingram. In mid-winter Parisian gardeners delight in forcing thousands of white lilac blossoms, which are sold in European capitals for holiday gifts.
Gertrude and May hurried back to the hotel as happy as the birds in the trees of the boulevard. When Gertrude reached her mother, a telegram was given her from George which read:
City of Brussels.
We expect to arrive in Paris Saturday
evening 6 o’clock. Alfonso and
Leo here. All well. Grand trip. Love to all.
Mrs. Harris and her young ladies planned to give most of the day to the purchase of Gertrude’s trousseau and other needed articles. May Ingram thought it was “just lovely” to be with Gertrude in Paris, and help her select the wedding outfit. Earlier than usual on Friday morning the Harrises left the hotel. All four women were somewhat excited, as Mrs. Harris and Gertrude led the way, Lucille and May following, to M. Worth’s establishment, located at Rue de la Paix 7.
Lucille said, “It is strange indeed that, in view of the French ridicule made of the English on account of their lack of taste in dress, the best dressmakers in Paris should be Englishmen.”
Chief among all the Parisian dressmakers is Charles Frederick Worth, who was born in 1825, at Bourne, Lincolnshire. He came to Paris in 1858, and opened business with fifty employees combining the selling of fine dress material and the making of it. Worth now employs twelve hundred persons, and turns out annually over six thousand dresses and nearly four thousand cloaks; his sons ably assist him.
Rare fabrics and designs in silk and other choice material are woven, and artistic ornaments are made especially for M. Worth. Paris, as the center of fashion, is greatly indebted to him, who gained in his line world-wide fame, and for nearly half a century he has been universally recognized by his competitors and the fair sex as master of his art. Kingdoms, empires, republics, and cabinets in swift succession followed each other, but the establishment of M. Worth maintained its proud position against all changes and rivals. He was helped to the highest pedestal of dictator of fashions by Mme. de Pourtales and Princess Pauline Metternich, both of whom possessed a keen sense of the fitness of texture, color, and cut, and with delicate hands could tone and modify till perfection was reached. The former introduced M. Worth to Empress Eugenie, for whom, and for the ladies of whose court, he designed state, dinner, and fancy costumes.
That M. Worth possessed rare artistic taste aside from dressmaking is evidenced in the beauty of his rural home at Suresnes on the Seine, seven and a half miles from Paris. It is a superb work of harmony and is like a charming mosaic, every piece fitting into every other piece. He was his own architect, designer, upholsterer, and gardener. His villa lies beneath Mt. Valerien, one of the finest sites near Paris, and the outlook on the Seine, the Bois de Boulogne, and Paris, is a dream of beauty.
Hurriedly passing down the Rue de la Paix, the stately Column Vendome in the vista, the Harris party entered M. Worth’s establishment, to which women, from actress to empress, make pilgrimages from the end of the world.
What a medley of people were already assembled! English duchesses, Russian princesses, Austrians, Spanish and Levantine aristocracy; wives and daughters of American railroad kings, of oil magnates, and of coal barons; brunette beauties from India, Japan, South America, and even fair Australians, all unconsciously assuming an air of ecstasy as they revelled in the fabric and fashion of dress; and stalking among them, that presiding genius, M. Worth, who in his mitre-shaped cap of black velvet, and half mantle or robe, strikingly resembled the great painter Hogarth.
Mrs. Harris sent forward her letter of introduction from her husband’s New York banker, and soon she and her friends were ushered into the presence of M. Worth himself. He seemed very gracious, asking about several good friends of his in America, and added, “Americans are my best clients, though we dispatch dresses to all parts of the world.”
Gertrude inquired as to the origin of fashion. M. Worth answered cautiously, “When new fabrics or designs of material are invented, some require a severe style, and some are adapted for draperies, puffings, etc., and then the stage has great influence over fashion.”
May Ingram said, “Mr. Worth, how do you arrange designs?” He answered, “All my models are first made in black and white muslin, and then copied in the material and coloring which I select. In a studio our models are photographed for future reference.”
Saying this, he excused himself to welcome new arrivals, first having placed the Harrises in charge of a competent assistant. M. Worth’s many rooms were plainly furnished with counters for measuring materials. The floors were covered with a gray and black carpet, in imitation of a tiger’s skin, with a scarlet border. Several young women dressed in the latest style of morning, visiting, dinner, and reception toilets, passed up and down before clients to enable them to judge of effects. Mrs. Harris explained that one daughter desired, at an early date, a wedding dress and that the other members of her party wanted gowns.
Friday and Saturday were occupied at Worth’s in selecting dresses, and elsewhere in search of gloves and other essentials. A delightful hour was spent among the many makers of artificial flowers. Skilled fingers make from wire and silk stems and stamens and dies, shape leaves and petals which are darkened by a camel’s hair pencil, or lightened by a drop of water. Capable botanists and chemists are employed, and nature herself is rivaled in delicate construction and fragrance even.
In their round of shopping, the Harrises saw an ideal robe being made for an American belle. It was composed entirely of flowers, a skirt of roses of different tints, with a waist of lovely rose buds, and over all a veil with crystal drops in imitation of the morning dew. “A gem of a dress for some fairy,” thought Lucille.
Promptly at six o’clock Gertrude and Lucille drove to the railway station, and welcomed back George and Colonel Harris, and after dinner all went to the opera. Between the acts Gertrude and George told much of their late experiences. George said that Colonel Harris had become greatly interested in their scheme to build in America an ideal plant and town, and that he was anxious to return home as he felt that one’s work must be done early, as life was short at best.
Gertrude explained to George all that had been done in preparing for the wedding, and said that she would be ready soon, that her mother and Lucille approved of their wedding trip of two weeks in Switzerland, and then Gertrude added, “I shall be ready, George, when you are, to return to America and to aid you all I can.”
Colonel Harris suggested a ride to Versailles, and Monday morning at nine o’clock Gaze’s coach and four drove to the Grand Hotel, and six outside seats which had been reserved for the Harris party were filled. The coachman drove down the Avenue de l’Opera and into the Place du Carrousel, stopping a moment that all might admire the artistic pavilions of the Louvre, and the statue to the memory of Leon Gambetta, “Father of the Republic.” Thence they rode out of the Court of the Tuileries, across the Place de la Concord, and down the charming Champs Elysees. On the left stands the Palais de l’Industrie, where the salon or annual exhibition of modern paintings and sculptures occurs in May and June. On the right is the Palais de l’Elysee, the official residence of the French president.
George recalled that in these gardens of Paris, in 1814, Emperors Alexander and Francis, King Frederick III., and others sang a Te Deum, in thanksgiving for their great victory over Napoleon I.; that here the English, Prussian, and Russian troops bivouacked, and that in the spring of 1871, Emperor William and his brilliant staff led the German troops beneath the Arc de Triomphe, while the German bands played “Die Wacht am Rhine.”
The coach passed through the Bois de Boulogne, in sight of lovely lakes, quaint old windmills, and across famous Longchamps, where after the Franco-German War under a bright sky, in the presence of the French president, his cabinet, the senate and chamber of deputies, in full dress, and a million of enthusiastic citizens, Grevy and Gambetta presented several hundred silk banners to the French army. Thence the drive was along the left bank of the river till the ruins of St. Cloud were reached, where Napoleon III. Unwittingly signed his abdication when he declared war against Prussia.
Climbing the hills through fine old forests after fourteen miles of travel southwest of Paris, the coach reached Versailles. Here that magnificent monarch, Louis XIV. lavished hundreds of millions on palaces, parks, fountains, and statues, and here the Harrises studied the brilliant pictorial history of France. In the Grand Gallery, which commands beautiful views of garden and water, are effective paintings in the ceiling, which represent the splendid achievements of Louis XIV. In this same Hall of Glass, beneath Le Brun’s color history of the defeat of the Germans by the French, occurred in 1871 a bit of fine poetic justice, when King William of Prussia, with the consent of the German States, was saluted as Emperor of reunited Germany. After visiting the Grand Trianon the home of Madame de Maintenon, the coach returned via Sevres, famous for its wonderful porcelain, and reached Paris at sunset. The day was one long to be remembered.
The Paris mornings were spent either in visits to the Louvre or in driving. George and Gertrude walked much in Paris. Monday morning all resolved to enjoy on foot the Boulevards from the Grand Hotel to the Place de la Republique. It was a field-day for the women, for every shop had its strong temptation, and the world seemed on dress-parade. Boulevard des Italiens in Paris is the most frequented and fashionable. Here are located handsome hotels and cafes, and many of the choicest and most expensive shops. Several of these were visited, and many presents were sent back to the hotel for friends at home.
At noon the Harrises took a simple lunch at one of the popular Duval restaurants. While the ladies continued their purchases, Colonel Harris and George visited the Bourse, or exchange, a noble building. Business at this stock exchange opens at twelve o’clock and closes at three o’clock. The loud vociferations of brokers, the quick gestures of excited speculators, and the babel of tongues produced a deafening noise, like that heard at the stock exchange in New York.
By appointment the ladies called at the exchange, and a coach took the party to the Place de la Republique, where stands a superb statue of the Republic, surrounded with seated figures of Liberty, Fraternity, and Equality. Colonel Harris had often noticed these remarkable words cut into many of the public buildings of Paris, and he remarked that the lesson taught by them was as injurious as that taught in the Declaration of Independence, which declares, that “all men are created equal.”
Along the broadest parts of some boulevards and in public parks many chairs are placed for hire. On all the boulevards are numerous pillars, and small glass stalls, called kiosques, where newspapers are sold. The pillars and kiosques are covered with attractive advertisements. In these kiosques are sold, usually by women and children, many of the 750 papers and periodicals of Paris. Fifty of these papers are political. The Gazette
To study better the important revolution for liberty which occurred on the ever memorable 14th of July, 1789, the Harrises drove along the boulevard till they approached the Bastille, formerly the site of a castle, or stronghold, used for a long time as a state prison for the confinement of persons who fell victims to the caprice of the government.
The graceful bronze July Column is 154 feet in height, and it commemorates the destruction of the Bastille, symbol of despotism. A strong desire for independence raised the cry “Down with the Bastille,” and the advancing tide of revolution overcame the moats, the walls, the guns, and the garrison, and freedom was victorious. On the column the names of the fallen “July Heroes” are emblazoned in gilded letters. In large vaults beneath are buried the heroes of 1789, with the victims of the later revolution of 1848. The capital of the column is crowned with an artistic Genius of Liberty standing on a globe, and holding in one hand the broken chains of slavery, and in the other the torch of enlightenment.
All the boulevards were crowded with artisans in blue blouses, hurrying to their homes, as the Harrises drove along the quays to Notre Dame. They were in time to witness the sun burnish with his golden rays the graceful spire, the majestic tower, and elegant facade, and to enjoy the harmony of its grand organ within. To know Notre Dame, founded seven centuries ago, is to learn well the history of Paris, and to study the monuments of Paris alone, is to acquire the history of France.
Every day some of the Harris party visited the vast Louvre, the most important public building of Paris, both architecturally and on account of its wonderful art treasures which are the most extensive and valuable in the world. Thus two weeks went swiftly by in sight-seeing, and in preparation for the marriage.
The private parlors, banquet hall, and several rooms for guests of the Grand Hotel had been secured for Gertrude’s wedding, which was to take place on George’s birthday. Though superstition for ages had placed birthdays under a ban, yet Gertrude herself preferred this day, and all concurred. Beautiful presents had already arrived from America, and letters from schoolmates and friends, several of whom, however, had sent their presents to Harrisville. Nearly a thousand invitations in all, mostly to friends in America, had been mailed, including a hundred to friends traveling on the British Isles, and on the continent. May Ingram had met in London Claude Searles, son of Hugh Searles, and a graduate of Oxford University. She had an invitation mailed to Claude, and he promised to come.
Alfonso and Leo arrived from Holland the night before, and each brought paintings of their own skill as presents. Alfonso had done an exquisite full-length portrait of Gertrude in white, the dress, the same that she wore at Smith College graduation. All wondered about Leo’s gift. Gertrude herself cut the strings, and pushed back the paper, while her sister Lucille looked first at her own beautiful likeness and then at Leo. Her face grew crimson, as she said, “Leo, this is just what I most wanted for Gertrude. Thank you! Thank you!” and she came near kissing the handsome artist.
The mother had bought a plentiful supply of those things which daughters most need. The father’s gift was the promised check for $1000, and a mysterious long blue envelope sealed, with the name “Mrs. Gertrude Ingram” written on the outside. Underneath her name were the tantalizing words, “To be opened when she reaches New York.”
“Oh, I so wonder what is inside,” said Gertrude.
May Ingram’s gift was unique; a mahogany box, inlaid with the rare edelweiss, encasing a Swiss phonograph, that was adjusted to play “Elsa’s Dream Song” from Lohengrin on Gertrude’s marriage anniversary, till her golden wedding should occur.
Next morning after the sun had gilded the domes and spires of Paris, the Harrises sat at breakfast in a private room, fragrant with fresh cut flowers. Gertrude wore at her throat her lover’s gift, and she never looked prettier or happier. All the morning till 11 o’clock everybody was busy, when the ushers and friends began to arrive. Soon came the American ambassador, his wife and children. At 11:45 a bishop of New York City, Claude Searles of London, and intimate friends of the Harrises and George Ingram followed, till the private parlors were full.
The orchestra of twenty pieces of Grand Opera House, stationed in the reception hall, played the “Largo” of Handel. In the third parlor from the ceiling were suspended ropes or garlands of smilax and bride’s roses, which formed a dainty canopy. White satin ribbons festooned on two rows of potted marguerites made a bridal pathway direct from the foot of the stairway to the dais beneath the canopy.
On the low platform stood the bishop and the manly bridegroom expectant, when a voice at the foot of the stairway, accompanied by three instruments, sang the Elsa’s Dream Song. The wedding party came downstairs as the orchestra played Wagner’s Wedding March. The bride was dressed in duchess satin of soft ivory tone, the bodice high and long sleeves, with trimming of jewelled point lace. The bridesmaids wore pale yellow cloth, with reveres and cuffs of daffodil yellow satin and white Venetian point. Mrs. Harris wore a gown of heliotrope brocaded silk, trimmed with rich lace and a bodice of velvet.
The wedding party took their places and Mme. Melba accompanied by piano, harp, and violin sang Gounod’s “Ave Maria.”
The bishop addressed a few earnest words to the couple before him, spoke of responsibilities and obligations, and then the formal questions of marriage, in distinct voice, were put to George and Gertrude.
Mr. and Mrs. George Ingram received hearty congratulations. The guests retired to the banquet hall where breakfast was served. One table with marguerites was reserved for bride and bridegroom, ushers, and bridesmaids. Before the breakfast was ended the bride and bridegroom had escaped, but soon returned, the bride in a traveling gown of blue cloth. Volleys of rice followed the bridal pair, and more rice pelted the windows of the coach as it drove to the express train which was to convey the happy pair to Fontainebleau for a day, and thence into Switzerland. In the evening Colonel Harris entertained a large party of friends at the new opera house. The Harrises next morning left for southern France.
Before the marriage day George and Gertrude had carefully provided in Paris for the welfare of May Ingram whom both loved. And well they might, for May had a noble nature, and her music teachers in Boston, who had exerted their best efforts in her behalf, believed that she possessed rare talents, which, if properly developed, would some day make her conspicuous in the American galaxy of primadonnas.
They had secured for May sunny rooms at a pension in the Boulevard Haussmann, where a motherly French woman resided with her two daughters. In beautiful Paris, May Ingram was to live and study, hoping to realize the dreams of her childhood, a first rank in grand opera.
ABOARD THE YACHT “HALLENA”
Before leaving Paris Colonel Harris was solicitous that his son Alfonso should accompany him to Rome, and Leo urged the artistic advantage of a trip to Italy, but Alfonso had attractions in Holland of which the father knew not. Leo, of course, had his suspicion, but did not wish to betray his friend, and so Alfonso returned to the Netherlands ostensibly to study art.
Before leaving New York it was frequently stated by Leo that when he reached Rome he hoped to be able to even up favors with Alfonso by a series of visits among his relatives, the famous Colonna family. While Leo regretted seriously to lose this opportunity, he was quick to see that the change of plans would leave him much in Lucille’s company, the thing that gave him most pleasure. Lucille before leaving Harrisville had a severe attack of the grip, and Mrs. Harris hoped the journey abroad would prove beneficial to her health.
The ocean voyage had brought the roses back to her cheeks, but the railway trips, the over-work of sight-seeing, and especially the excitement of the Paris wedding, had renewed frequent complaints of heart difficulty, and at night Lucille was restless and failed to secure satisfactory sleep. Of course the mother was anxious, and was glad when the express arrived at Nice, on the Mediterranean. Fortunately this was not the fashionable season, so quiet quarters were secured overlooking the terraced promenade, the small harbor open to the southeast, and the smooth sea beyond. Here Mrs. Harris hoped that her daughter would speedily recover her health.
Nice is charmingly situated in a small plain near the French frontier at the foot of the triple-ridged mountains, which shelter the city on the north and east against northern winds, while the river Paglion bounds Nice on the west. Far beyond stretch the snow-clad peaks of the Maritime Alps.
In the cold season thousands of foreigners, especially the English, visit this winter paradise. On the high background are Roman ruins and an old castle enclosed by bastioned walls; leading to two squares, one of which is surrounded with porticoes, are streets embellished with theater, public library, baths, and handsome homes that are frescoed externally. In Nice the patriot Garibaldi first saw the light, and just above the town on a sunny hillside lies buried the illustrious Gambetta.
Lucille was soon able to sit on the portico and watch the vessels in the harbor come and go, also parties of excursionists in pleasure boats, and well dressed people in the shade of the great palms on the adjacent promenade. Thus hours went pleasantly by while Leo often played delightfully on his guitar.
Few if any places in the world are like the Riviera where in winter months royalty and aristocracy gather. Here come the gay world of fashion and the delicate in health to beg of death a respite of a few more days. The physician in attendance upon Lucille advised much outdoor air, and frequent coach rides along the shore were taken to Cannes, to Monaco, and Mentone.
In the seaport town of Cannes, a bright gem set in groves of olives and oranges, Napoleon landed from Elba on the first of March, 1815. The tri-color of France was again thrown to the breeze, and en route to Paris Napoleon received on every hand the renewed allegiance of officers and garrisons. The French were wild with excitement, but Europe was filled with amazement. Again France was conquered without the shedding of blood, a victory unparalleled in history.
Lucille particularly enjoyed the ride of eight miles east along the peaceful Mediterranean, also the visit to Monaco, capital of the principality of its own name, with an area of about 34,000 acres. Monaco is beautifully situated on a promontory in the sea, and has an attractive palace and cultivated terraces. The ruling prince resides here six months and at Paris the other six months.
Monte Carlo is a veritable bit of paradise so far as nature and art can work wonders. Around this famous gambling resort grow aloes, orange trees, and tufted palms. Within the handsome casino weak humanity of all nationalities is allured by glittering promises of wealth. No wonder a dozen or more suicides occur every month.
It was three o’clock on the sixth day of the stay at Nice, when Colonel Harris sitting on the porch of the hotel and using a marine glass, discovered to the southwest a tiny craft rapidly approaching Nice. For three days he had been anxiously watching and waiting for the arrival of the “Hallena,” built at Harrisville for the son of his special friend Mr. Harry Hall.
Before leaving Paris, Harry Hall Jr. had invited the colonel’s family to coast along the Mediterranean in his new yacht. It was arranged that the “Hallena” should touch at Nice and take aboard the colonel’s family. Young Mr. Hall was to rejoin his yacht at Gibraltar, and doubtless he was now aboard.
The colonel grew nervous as he observed the approach of the little boat. It had been agreed between Harris and Hall that the yacht would fly the Union Jack at the bow, the national banner at the flag-staff, and a streamer bearing the yacht’s name at the mast-head.
As the colonel again wiped the dust from his glasses, Lucille said, “Father, please let me try the glass, perhaps my eyes are better.” While Lucille eagerly looked toward the yacht, Leo watched every motion, as the mention of young Hall’s name in connection with his great wealth had awakened jealousy in his heart.
Suddenly Lucille shouted, “There she is! I can see the stars and stripes; how welcome is the dear old flag, we see it abroad so rarely!”
“Hasten, Leo,” said the colonel, “and ask the hotel proprietor to raise the stars and stripes over his hotel.”
Colonel Harris had promised Mr. Hall to do this, and so advise him where the Harris family were stopping. No sooner was the red, white, and blue given to the breeze above the hotel, than a puff of white smoke was seen on the yacht, and then came the report of a gun in response to Harris’s flag signal. Bills were paid at once, and the Harrises took carriage down to the landing. As the “Hallena” glided in between the piers, she was as graceful as a swan, or as Leo expressed it, “as pretty as a pirate.”
Harris himself when at home saw the yacht launched, and he was as proud of her behavior then as were the officers of the Harrisville Ship Building Company.
The yacht had now approached so near that Colonel Harris and Harry Hall saluted each other, and in five minutes the Harris and Hall parties were exchanging cordial greetings on the deck of the “Hallena.” “Captain Hall,” as Harry was known at sea, was very cordial to all. Colonel Harris was glad again to meet some of his old Harrisville business friends.
Luke Henley and wife were of the Hall party. He was stout, resolute, and ambitious; his wife womanly and well dressed. Henley early learned that money was power. Combining what he fell heir to with his wife’s fortune, and what he had made by bold ventures in the steel, ore, and coal trade, he was enabled to live in a fine villa, overlooking the water, and to carry on an immense business on the inland lakes.
His business, however, was used as a cover to his real designs in life. Influential in the local politics of Harrisville he had experienced the keen pleasure of wielding the silver sceptre of power, and he longed not only to be the “power behind the throne,” but to sit on the throne itself and guide the Ship of State.
Major Williams also was one of the “Hallena” party. He was young, slender, and had a cheerful smile for everybody. He had climbed to the presidency of the Harrisville Bank which had thousands of depositors, and which wielded a gigantic financial power.
It was decided not to start for Genoa till the next morning. Dinner was soon announced and Captain Hall offered his arm to Lucille, whom he placed at his right hand, and Mrs. Harris at his left. The dinner hour and part of the evening were spent in pleasant reminiscences of what each had seen since leaving Harrisville. The marriage of George Ingram and Gertrude was also a suggestive topic, and many agreeable things were spoken. Captain Hall was present at the Paris wedding, and it was the stately beauty of Lucille more than all else that prompted him to invite the Harrises to take the Mediterranean cruise.
Some of the mothers of fine daughters in Harrisville had exhausted their wits in trying to entrap Harry Hall, who was impartially attentive to all, but was never known to pay marked attention to any young lady. That Captain Hall should overlook the other women on the yacht, and place Lucille at his right hand was so marked that Major Williams after dinner, lighting his cigar, said, “Henley, why wouldn’t Harry and Lucille make a good match?” “Lucille is a beautiful girl,” was all Henley said, and as the lights of Nice disappeared, the “Hallena” party retired for the night.
An early breakfast was ordered as everybody wished to be early on deck to witness the yacht’s departure for Genoa. As the “Hallena” responded to her helm, the United States consul at Nice hoisted and lowered the flag thrice, as a bon voyage to the American yacht, and the consul queried whether the American statesman was yet born who was wise enough to introduce and maintain such a national policy as would multiply his country’s commerce and flag on the sea. Patriotic Americans stopping at Monaco also responded with flag and gun, as the “Hallena” steamed swiftly away.
The sun had reached the zenith, when Captain Hall sighted Genoa, and he called Lucille to stand with him on the bridge. “Superb Genoa! Worthy birthplace of our Columbus,” said Lucille.
“Yes,” said Harry, “Genoa is older than Borne; she was the rival of Venice, and the mother of colonies.”
As the “Hallena” approached this strongly fortified city of northern Italy, the capacious harbor was a forest of masts, and a crazy-quilt of foreign flags, but not one ship was flying the stars and stripes, a fact which saddened the hearts of the tourists. The “Hallena” steamed past the lighthouse and moles that protect the harbor, and all the guests of Captain Hall stood on the forward deck admiring the city with its palaces, churches, white blocks, and picturesque villas that occupy land which gradually rises and recedes from the bay.
On landing, the officials were very courteous, and gave Captain Hall and his party no trouble when it was learned that that “Hallena” brought travelers only. The Genoese are very proud of their city and its past history, and they are courteous to Americans, especially so since the Columbian World’s Fair.
The tourists found the streets in the older part of Genoa narrow, seldom more than ten feet wide, with lofty buildings on either side. But in the new portions, especially on the wide Strada Nuova and the Strada Balbi, the palaces and edifices present fine architecture.
Nearly a day was spent in driving about Genoa with its flower-crowned terraces. It was after five o’clock when the party stood before the noble statue of Columbus recently dedicated in a prominent square filled with palms and flowering shrubs, and near the principal railway station. Here the statue welcomes the coming and speeds the parting guest. Its design is admirable. Surmounting a short shaft is Columbus leaning upon an anchor, and pointing with his right hand to the figure of America; below him are discerned encircling the shaft ornaments symbolic of Columbus’s little fleet, while other statues represent science, religion, courage, and geography; between them are scenes in bass-relief of his adventurous career.
Dinner was taken aboard the yacht as it steamed away from Genoa. The flowers that Harry had bought for Lucille’s stateroom she thoughtfully placed on the table, and with the porcelain they added artistic effect. The day’s experiences were reviewed, and, as the appetizing courses were served, the conversation drifted back to the World’s Columbian Fair which all had attended. Many of the wonders of the “White City” were recounted, and Henley in his off-hand manner repeated a compliment which was paid by a cultivated Parisian who visited the Fair. The Frenchman said that at the last Paris Exposition, he saw immense and unsightly structures, such as one might expect to find in far-off Chicago, but that at the Columbian World’s Fair, he beheld buildings such as his own artistic Paris and France should have furnished; that the Columbian Fair was an artistic triumph that had never been paralleled except in the days of imperial Rome by her grand temples, palaces, arches, bridges, and statues.
“The Parisian is right, and he pays America a most deserved compliment. Never was so elegant a panorama enrolled as at Chicago,” responded Colonel Harris.
“You are correct, Colonel,” said Captain Hall, “the triumph of our Exposition was largely due to the masterly supervision which evoked uniformity of design and harmonious groupings by employing only those of our architects, sculptors, painters, and landscape gardeners, who possessed the highest skill.”
Leo ventured to add that the “White City” seemed to him dream-like and that under the magical influence of Columbus, as patron-saint, all nationality, creed, and sex, were harmoniously blended in ideal beauty and grandeur.
Lucille, who had just sipped the last of her chocolate, also bore testimony, and Harry watched her admiringly as she said, “At times, especially in the evening, when thousands of incandescent lights outlined the Court of Honor with its golden Goddess of the Republic and the facades, turrets, and domes, it seemed to some of us as if we had stepped out upon a neighboring planet, where civilization and art had been purified, or that the veil was lifted and we were gazing upon the glories of the New Jerusalem.”
The ladies now sought the deck of the “Hallena,” and were soon followed by the gentlemen, who smoked their fragrant Havanas, enjoying every moment’s vacation from business anxieties at home. The yacht, like a slender greyhound, in charge of the first officer was swiftly running towards the Isle of Elba, en route to Naples. The stars never shone more brilliantly in the Italian sky, and land breezes were mingling their rich odors with the salt sea air.
The spell of Columbus’s great discovery stirred the soul of Harry Hall. Holding his half-smoked cigar, he repeated the familiar couplet,
“Man’s inhumanity to man
Makes countless thousands mourn.”
“Strange that four centuries go by before even Genoa erects his monument, which we have admired to-day; though monuments to the memory of Columbus have been erected in many cities, yet, how tardy the world was to appreciate the value of Columbus’s discovery, a third of the land of the globe. How pitiful the last days of Columbus, who, old and ill, returning in 1504 from his fourth voyage to the new world, found his patroness Isabella dying, and Ferdinand heartless. With no money to pay his bills, Columbus died May 20th, 1505, in poor quarters at Valladolid, his last words being, ‘Into thy hands, O Lord, I commit my spirit.’ It is now natural perhaps that many cities should claim his birth and his bones.”
“Yes,” said Lucille, “how encouraging some of the world’s kind epitaphs would be if they were only spoken before death came. Two hemispheres now eagerly study the inspiring story of Columbus’s faith, courage, perseverance, and success.”
Henley said, “Captain Hall, you are young yet, but by the time you reach my age you will have little use for the sentiment young people so often indulge in. When New York tries her hand with expositions she will doubtless deal with facts. The truth is, Columbus was human like the rest of us, and followed in the wake of others for his own personal aggrandizement. He was not the first man to discover America. The Norsemen antedated him by five centuries.”
“What if the Norsemen did first discover America?” said Colonel Harris. “The discoveries of the vikings were not utilized by civilization. It is held by the courts that a patent is valid only in the name of the inventor who first gives the invention a useful introduction. Columbus’s discovery was fortunately made at a time when civilization was able with men and money to follow up and appropriate its advantages.”
“The true discoverer of America,” said Henley, “I believe to be Jean Cousin, a sea captain of Dieppe, France, who crossed the Atlantic and sailed into the Amazon River in 1488, four years before Columbus reached San Salvador. Then Spain, Portugal, the States of the Church, Ferdinand, Isabella, and Columbus attempted to rob Cousin of his bold adventure. In brief these are the facts: Jean Cousin was an able and scientific navigator. In 1487 his skill so contributed in securing a naval victory for the French over the English that the reward for his personal valor was the gift of an armed ship from the merchants of Dieppe, who expected him to go forth in search of new discoveries.[A]
[Footnote A: The True Discovery of America. Captain R.N. Gambier. Fortnightly Review, January 1, 1894.]
“In January, 1488, Cousin sailed west out into the Atlantic, and south, for two months with Vincent Pinzon a practical sailor, second in command. He sailed up the Amazon River, secured strange birds, feathers, spices, and unknown woods, and returned to the coast of Africa for a cargo of ivory, oil, skins, and gold dust. Pinzon quarreled with the natives, fired upon them, and seized some of their goods, so that they fled and would not come back to him. He thus lost a valuable return cargo. At Dieppe the merchants were enraged; Pinzon was tried by court martial for imperilling the trade of Africa, and banished from French soil. He thirsted for revenge and went back to Palos to tell his brothers Alonzo and Martin, shipowners, of the mighty Amazon; often they speculated as to the vast lands which the Amazon drained.
“Columbus, discouraged, ridiculed, and begging his way, started out to meet at Huelva his brother-in-law and secure promised help, so that he could visit France. Suddenly he changed his route, stopped at the little convent La Rabida, met Juan Perez, who knew Queen Isabella, and Fernandez the priest, the latter a close friend of the three Pinzon brothers. Columbus got what he wanted at court, returned to Palos, and with the Pinzon brothers sailed west, with Vincent Pinzon, Cousin’s shipmate, as pilot. The conclusion that Jean Cousin, and not Columbus first discovered America, seems irresistible. Pope Alexander VI., by Papal bull, had already divided all the new discoveries made, between Catholic Spain and Portugal. Dieppe and France were in the Pope’s black books. What chance of recognition had Cousin against Columbus, the protege of this Pope?”
“You seem to win your case,” said Major Williams, “what romance in history will be left us? William Tell is now a myth, and Washington’s little hatchet story is no more.”
Lucille quieted Leo with a smile, cigars were thrown overboard, the light on the Isle of Elba was visible, and all retired for the night, while the alert yacht, like a whirring night-hawk, flew on towards Naples.
On the yacht “Hallena” early to bed and early to rise was an unwritten law. By six o’clock next morning, breakfast had been served, and the tourists were on deck with glasses, each anxious to discover objects of interest. During the night busy Leghorn on the coast, and Pisa, and Florence up the Arno, were left behind. Leo was proud of sunny and artistic Italy and he much desired that Lucille should see at Pisa the famous white marble leaning tower, with its beautiful spiral colonnades; its noble cathedral and baptistry, the latter famous for its wonderful echo, and the celebrated cemetery made of earth brought from the Holy Land. At Florence she should see the stupendous Duomo, with the Brunelleschi dome that excited the emulation of Michael Angelo; the bronze
Lucille had studied art in Boston, and she was fond of Leo because he passionately loved art and could assist her. She began to comprehend what Aristotle meant when he defined art as “the reason of the thing, without the matter,” or Emerson, “the conscious utterance of thought, by speech, or action, to any end.”
TWO UNANSWERED LETTERS
During the night the yacht “Hallena” had steamed down through the Channel Piombino, and the Tuscan Archipelago, studded with islands, and had passed Rome, the Eternal City.
“Naples cannot be far off,” thought Leo, for to the southeast is seen the smoking torch of Mt. Vesuvius, southwest is the island of Ischia with its extinct volcano, and beyond is Cape Miseno. The “Hallena” cautiously felt her way among the luxuriant islands that guard the broad and beautiful Bay of Naples and the Siren City. Her passengers had ample opportunity to study the attractions of this justly celebrated locality.
Vesuvius, reflected in the smooth waters of the bay, lifts high her peak, the ascending smoke coloring the white clouds above. At her feet lies ancient Hurculaneum, submerged on the 24th of August, A.D. 79, by a flood of molten lava.
Nearer the bay and only five miles from the volcano, is ancient Pompeii, which was overwhelmed by the same eruption of Vesuvius. Pompeii was buried, not with lava, but with tufa, ashes and scoriae, and since 1755 has thus been the more easily and extensively uncovered. This ancient Roman city was enclosed by walls and entered by several gates. Its numerous streets were paved with lava. The traveler of to-day beholds uncovered the one story and terraced houses, shops, mansions, the market place, temples, theatres, and baths. In some of the houses were found furniture, statues, paintings, books, medals, urns, jewels, utensils, manuscripts, etc., all less injured than one would suppose.
Today more modern towns are located about the curved shore of this unrivaled bay. The sparkling waters, the winding shore, the bold cliffs, the threatening lava cone, the buried cities, all combine under the bluest skies to make the Bay of Naples a Mecca for worshipers of the beautiful.
On the deck of the “Hallena” stood the group of American tourists, enchanted with the picturesque environment of historic Naples. The city is built along the shore and up the sides of adjacent mountains. A mole, with lighthouse, projects into the bay and forms a small harbor.
The sun had climbed towards the zenith, and shone full upon this fair city, as the yacht entered the harbor. Many of the buildings are white, five or six stories in height, with flat roofs covered with plants and shrubbery. If the weather is favorable the inmates resort at sunset to their roof-gardens to enjoy lovely views and the cool breezes from the bay.
The Spiaggia, a popular thoroughfare, is adorned with statues, and extends along the shore to the Tomb of Virgil, and the mole. It is crowded every evening with Neapolitans in equipages, some elegant, and some grotesque.
Two or three days were spent in studying the palaces and art galleries of Naples. Of special interest is the national Museo Borbonico, which is remarkable for its collection of antiquities. In the palmy days of Borne, Naples was a luxurious retreat for emperors and wealthy citizens of the great empire. Naples was the scene of a most disgraceful outrage in May, 1848, when it was plundered by the Lazzaroni, or Begging Community, and fifteen hundred lives were lost.
When the sight-seeing in Naples was completed Captain Hall offered to take the Harrises in his yacht back to Rome, but his offer was declined. Good-byes were cordially exchanged and the “Hallena” steamed south to Palermo, en route to Athens and other Levantine cities, while the Harrises took the express for Rome.
Leo was glad to see the “Hallena” steam away, and to be with Lucille aboard a train moving towards Rome. When the station in the eastern part of the city was reached, a carriage conveyed the Harrises along the Corso which at the hour of their driving was enlivened by many vehicles and foot-passengers.
Leo told Lucille of the popular festivals at Rome, especially of the Carnival that extends over several days, which consists of daily processions in the Corso, accompanied by the throwing of bouquets and comfits; the whole concluding with a horse race from the Piazza del Popolo to Piazza di Venezia, upwards of a mile. On the last, or the Moccoli evening, tapers are lighted immediately after sunset. Balconies most suitable for observing these animated scenes are expensive, but always in great demand, especially by tourists.
Colonel Harris took his family and Leo to an excellent hotel on the Piazza de Popolo. The weather being uncomfortably warm, it was decided to spend only a few days in the city, and go as soon as possible to the country. Leo was very familiar with Rome, ancient and modern, and he felt that weeks were absolutely necessary to study and comprehend the grandeur of a city that for so many centuries had been mistress of the world. He agreed with Niebuhr, “As the streams lose themselves in the mightier ocean, so the history of the people once distributed along the Mediterranean shores is absorbed in that of the mighty mistress of the world.”
Leo back again in Rome was in an ecstasy of joy. Here Greece had laid at the feet of Rome her conqueror, the accumulated art treasures of ages. Here Leo could have keenest delight, where he moved among the noblest examples of antique sculpture, which filled the galleries and chambers of the Vatican and Capitol. Most of the night he lay awake, planning how he could in so short a time exhibit to his American friends Rome and her wealth of art. At breakfast he said, “A whole day is needed to inspect the Forum Romanum, a day each, for the Capitoline Hill, the Appian Way, and many other historic localities in this seven-hilled city.”
Leo, acting as guide, took his party to the Pincian Hill near the northern wall, a fashionable resort with fine boulevards and frequent band music. From the summit, he pointed out the yellow Tiber, which winds for seventeen miles to the sea. The larger part of modern Rome lies on the left bank of the Tiber, and covers three historic hills. Towering above the tops of the buildings are the domes and spires of nearly four hundred churches of which the dome of St. Peter’s is the most imposing. In sight beyond are the Capitol, the ruins of the Colosseum, and ancient tombs along the Appian Way. To the west on the Palatine Hill are the ruins of the palace of the Caesars, and outside the walls, on the broad Campagna, are the remains of several aqueducts converging on the city, some of which, restored, are in use to-day.
The day’s ride included a visit to Agrippa’s Pantheon, now denuded of its bronze roofing and marble exterior. A circular opening in the huge dome admits both light and rain. Leo standing with Lucille by the tomb of Raphael in one of the recesses, for a moment was silent. Then he said, “Lucille, it is impossible to fully appreciate the many and beautiful works of this ‘prince of painters.’ He was born on Good Friday, 1483, and lived exactly thirty-seven years. He was of slight build, sallow, and had brown eyes. Over nine hundred prints of his works are known. Besides his works in fresco at the Vatican, for a time he had charge of the construction of St. Peter’s, and he also painted masterpieces now at Bologna, Dresden, Madrid, Hampton Court, and executed numerous commissions for Leo X.; and Madonnas, holy families, portraits, etc., for others. Raphael stands unrivaled, chiefly in his power to portray lofty sentiments which persons of all nationalities can feel, but few can describe. He also excelled in invention, composition, simplicity and grandeur. For moral force in allegory and history, and for fidelity in portrait, Raphael was unsurpassed. His last and most celebrated oil picture, the transfiguration, unfinished, stood at his head as his body lay in state.”
Colonel Harris was interested in the restored Triumphal Arch of Titus erected to commemorate the defeat of the Jews A.D. 70, also in the beautiful Arch to Severus. At the end of the Rostra, or Orators’ Tribune was the Umbilicus Urbis Romae, or ideal center of Rome and the Roman Empire. True it was that all roads led to Rome. Leo and Lucille visited by moonlight the ruins of the great Colosseum, and the lights and shadows in the huge old stone and brick amphitheater, made it look all the more imposing and picturesque.
On the morning of the second day Leo Colonna guided his friends down the Via di Ripetta, stopping at the Mausoleum of Augustus, which in the middle ages was used by the Colonnas as a fortress. Then continuing down the left bank of the Tiber, the Ponte S. Angelo was reached. This ancient bridge of five arches leads directly to the Castello S. Angelo, the citadel of Rome, which originally was a tomb erected by Hadrian for himself and successor. The tomb is 240 feet in diameter, and must have been very beautiful, as it was once encrusted with marble. Statues stood around the margin of the top, and above all a colossal statue of Hadrian himself. Later the Goths, veritable iconoclasts, converted this tomb of the emperors into a fortress, hurling the marble statues down on the besiegers. For centuries this castle-tomb was used as a stronghold by the party in power to maintain their sway over the people. In 1822 Pius IX. refortified the castle. In it was seen the gloomy dungeon where Beatrice Cenci and others were incarcerated.
The Harrises drove down the Borgo Nuovo to the church of St. Peter. Its approach is through a magnificent piazza ornamented on the right and left by two semicircular porticoes of 284 columns, which are surmounted by an entablature, and 192 statues, each eleven feet in height. It is claimed that the origin of the Cathedral of St. Peter is due to the impulse given by Pope Julius II. who decided to erect a grand monument for himself in his life-time, and the new edifice was needed to shield it. St. Peter’s was begun in 1506 and dedicated in 1626.
Bramante’s wonderful plans were accepted, and both Michael Angelo and Raphael aided in its construction. From a Greek cross rises a gigantic dome, which is one of the boldest and most wonderful efforts of architecture. Lucille recalled Byron’s description,
“The vast and wondrous dome,
To which Diana’s marvel was a cell.”
Entering this mighty cathedral, Colonel Harris was bewildered with its grand and harmonious interior. The height from the pavement to the cross rivals the height of the Washington monument. The nave is 607 feet in length, and the transept is 445 feet. St. Paul’s at London covers only two acres, St. Peter’s five acres. The cost of the former was $3,750,000, the cost of the latter from $60,000,000 to $80,000,000.
The Harrises visited St. John Lateran, the mother-church of the Eternal City, where Popes were crowned, and where on Ascension Day, from one of its balconies, the Pope’s benediction to the people is pronounced.
They also visited the restored St. Paul’s Church outside the walls. Its interior is of vast dimensions. It was built of valuable materials, and the whole is very imposing. Especially was Lucille impressed with the long series of portrait medallions of all the Popes from St. Peter to Leo X. worked in mosaic above the polished columns.
Many monuments in St. Peter’s were erected to the memory of several of the famous Popes. The Vatican, the largest palace in Europe, is where the Popes came to reside after their return from Avignon, France, in 1377, for here they felt much security in the vicinity of the Castle S. Angelo, with which it communicated by a covered gallery. For a time the Popes vied with each other in enlarging and embellishing the Vatican, which covers an immense space, and is a collection of separate buildings; the length is 1150 feet, and the breath 767 feet. The Vatican is said to contain 20 courts, and 11,000 halls, chapels, salons, and private apartments, most of which are occupied by collections and show-rooms, while only a small part is set apart for the papal court.
The Harrises visited the most celebrated portions of the Vatican; the Scala Regia, covered with frescoes of events in Papal history, the Sistine Chapel, adorned with fine frescoes by Michael Angelo, including the Last Judgment. Here the Cardinals meet to elect the Pope, and here many of the most gorgeous ceremonies of the Roman Catholic Church are performed.
Equally enthusiastic were Leo and Lucille over Raphael’s superb frescoes in the Loggie, and in the chambers adjoining. The few pictures in the gallery are scarcely surpassed. The museum contains some of the noblest treasures of art, including the Laocoon, and Apollo Belvidere. The library is very valuable. The superb palace of the Quirinal has beautiful gardens.
Besides the several elegant public palaces in Rome, there are in and near the city over sixty private palaces or villas; the finest of which is the Barberini Palace. Several of the villas are located above terraces amid orange and citron groves, and they are ornamented with statues and fountains. Leo with pride took his friends to see the Colonna Palace, which contained many old portraits of his family.
After dinner a drive was taken outside the Porta del Popolo to the magnificent Villa Borghese and the Pincian Hill. It was planned to visit on the morrow the gallery Borghese, next to the Vatican, the most important in Rome. It was dark as Leo returned with his party to the hotel. The landlord handed him a gentleman’s card which read,
Mr. Ferdinand Francisco Colonna.
Piazza Colonna, Rome.
The landlord said that this gentleman was waiting for Leo in the reception-room. Leo at once recognized the card as that of his cousin, who was an attorney in Rome, and he hurried to meet his relative. They grasped hands warmly, and soon were in earnest conversation.
Ferdinand, taking a large official envelope from his pocket, opened it and began reading what he called a very important paper. It was a copy of the will of their rich uncle, who had just died, while inspecting his possession in Sicily. Leo Colonna bore the name of this uncle, his father’s oldest brother, who was fond of art, and who was never married. He had always been attached to Leo, his nephew, and in his will Leo was made his sole heir. Great was Leo’s surprise to learn that he was now not only the owner of a fine palace southeast of Rome, but of large possessions in Rome, Sicily, and South America.
Leo leaned back in his chair, his eyes closed, his face changed color and the muscles of his hands and face twitched as if he were in pain. Suddenly he recovered possession of himself and said, “Ferdinand, you almost paralyze me by the news you bring. Am I dreaming, or not?”
“No, no, Leo. This is a copy of the will of our uncle. The original will is in my safe. By this same will I am to have 100,000 lira for assisting you. I am now at your service.”
“Ferdinand, you bring sad and glorious news. What is your advice?”
“That we file the original will at once in the proper court, and that you proceed with me immediately to Marino to take possession there of your palace and property.”
“Agreed, Ferdinand. We will leave Rome for Marino at noon tomorrow. Meet me here, as I may have friends to join us.”
Leo hastened at once to tell the good news to the Harrises, who were nearly as much elated as himself, and it was agreed that all would join Leo in his proposed trip. It was late that night when Leo and Lucille separated in the parlor below. Each had dreamed of castles in Spain, but now it looked as if Leo and possibly Lucille, might actually possess castles in Italy.
That night Leo told Lucille much about the princely Colonna family of Italy, which originated in the 11th century. Pope Martin V., several others who took part in the contest between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines, and many others of the Colonna family had attained to historical and literary distinction.
Lucille was interested in the story of the great naval battle of Lepanto in which Marc Antonio Colonna aided Don Juan of Austria to gain a world-renowned victory for Christianity against the Turks, the first effective triumph of the cross over the crescent. Leo recited the story of the life of the illustrious Vittoria Colonna, pictures of a bust of whom Lucille had seen that day in Rome.
Vittoria, and the son of the Marquis of Pescara, when children four years old, were affianced, and in their seventeenth year they were married. The young bride bravely sent her husband to the wars with a pavilion, an embroidered standard, and palm leaves, expressing the hope that he would return with honors, for she was proud of the Colonna name.
Vittoria full of genius and grace, idealized her young showy cavalier, who was gallant and chivalrous. Her brave knight Pescara, among other victories, won the battle of Pavia, and finally died of his wounds in Milan before she could reach his side. Vittoria Colonna buried her love in Pescara’s grave at Naples. Her widowhood was a period of sorrow, song, friendship, and saintly life. She was tall, stately, and dignified; of gracious manners, and united much charm with her culture and virtue. She is considered the fairest and noblest lady of the Italian Renaissance.
Vittoria Colonna was on intimate terms with the great men and women of her day, and in close sympathy with the Italian reformers. Michael Angelo was warmly her friend. His strong verses full of feeling to Vittoria were replied to in gentle, graceful strains. She died as the sun sank in the Mediterranean on the afternoon of February 25, 1547, Michael Angelo regretting as he saw her, lying on her death-bed, that he had not kissed her forehead and face as he had kissed her hand.
As Lucille retired that night she felt the force of Vittoria’s noble life, and longed to emulate one so related to her friend Leo. She felt her own heart drawing nearer to Leo’s, and in the silent hours of the night, she sometimes wondered if she should ever bear the honored name of Colonna.
Next day at 12 o’clock promptly, Leo’s cousin came, and the Harrises and Leo took the Rome and Naples line for Marino, located sixteen miles southeast of Rome, where Vittoria Colonna had lived, and where Leo expected to find and take possession of his own palace and property.
The Roman tombs of the Via Appia on the right were soon left behind. A dozen miles out and Frascate a summer resort was conspicuous with its many lovely villas. Later the party left the train and enjoyed a beautiful drive of three miles to Marino, a small town famous for its wine, and located on the Alban Mountains. In the middle ages, the Orsini defended themselves here in a stronghold against their enemies the Colonna, but the latter under Martin V. captured Marino, which with the surrounding country has remained a fief of the Colonna family to the present day.
Ferdinand had already attended to much of the detail at Marino, so that Leo, as owner of the vast Colonna estate, was loyally received by the villagers, the tenants, and the old servants. Leo made his friends, the Harrises, most welcome at his unexpected and palatial home. The Harrises were delighted at what they saw. Leo and Lucille took several drives together over the large estate. Once they drove along the shady roads, commanding extensive views, through the beautiful park of Colonna, and down a well wooded valley to the clear waters of the Alban Lake. Often Leo wished that Alfonso had accompanied him.
For some time before leaving Rome, Lucille had complained of a dull headache and chills at night. In France Mrs. Harris was fearful that the summer trip to Italy was not wise, but Leo and her family thought the yacht voyage to Naples would be charming. On the morning of the third day at Marino, Lucille was unable to leave her bed. Leo hastily called a physician who found her pulse very low. She experienced great thirst and nausea, and the heat of her body was much increased. When the doctor learned that Colonel Harris’s daughter had slept in Rome with the window open, he at once declared to the family that Lucille had Roman fever, that dreaded malaria which is engendered in summer months near the marshes of Italy. Leo summoned to Marino the ablest physicians of Rome, who were in constant attendance, and heroic treatment was adopted.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Harris were half crazed with the fear of losing their beautiful daughter, and Leo himself was nearly frantic. Lucille grew rapidly worse. Her strength and courage failed her, she became unconscious, and as the tall white lily in the midday sun loses its beauty and life, so Lucille passed from earth, her agonizing mother holding the dead daughter’s slender white hands.
Leo fell insensible and was removed from the death-chamber by his servants. Womanly courage returned to the mother after a few moments of intense grief, and aided by others the necessary preparations were made for the removal of Lucille to America.
Captain Harry Hall with his yacht en route to Athens had called at Brindisi to get a reply from a most important letter of his mailed to Lucille at Palermo. As he stepped ashore a telegram was handed him announcing the sudden death of the woman he loved. He was so shocked that his friends were alarmed. After a short conference Harry wired Colonel Harris the use of his yacht to carry back to America the remains of beautiful Lucille.
While Colonel Harris was writing an acceptance of Captain Hall’s services, a second telegram came announcing the death, by drowning, of his only son Alfonso in the Zuider Zee at Amsterdam. How true that misfortunes never come singly!
Beneath the pillow on which Lucille died, were found two unanswered letters, proposals of marriage, one from Leo and one from Captain Hall. The broken hearted mother took charge of these letters, and before the metallic coffin was sealed, the unanswered letters were placed in Lucille’s white hand, over the heart that could not now decide.
Later the casket was put on board the yacht “Hallena” at Rome, and Captain Hall with his flag at half-mast steamed towards America with the woman, who could never on earth accept the tribute of his heart. Leo, now Marquis Colonna, true chevalier that he was, insisted that he be permitted to accompany Colonel Harris to Amsterdam in search of his son Alfonso.
COLONEL HARRIS’S BIG BLUE ENVELOPE
The honeymoon of George and Gertrude included not only the two delightful weeks in Switzerland, but also the ten or twelve days on a slow steamer returning to New York. The weather at sea was all that could be desired. The longer a smooth sea-voyage, the better lovers are pleased. Return ocean passages usually furnish the much needed rest after a so-called vacation abroad. Overworked Americans need, not so much an entire cessation of activities, as a change of occupation, which usually, brings the desired results.
George and Gertrude made but few acquaintances on the steamer. The thought that each possessed the other was enjoyment that satisfied, and both were happy. Each lived as in dreamland, and scarcely observed even the daily runs made by the steamer. The death by accident of a sailor, and his strange burial at sea, served only for a brief time to arrest a happiness made complete by each other’s voice and presence. The two weeks on the ocean came and went as softly as flowers unfold and disappear. Thus far, married life had been ideal.
It was after eleven o’clock, and anxious passengers were pacing the decks, hoping to sight native land before retiring. Suddenly the officer on the bridge discerned the dim Fire Island Light, bearing north by west, twenty miles distant. Ten minutes later, five points on the port bow, a pilot boat was sighted. Her mast-head light was visible, also the torch, which soaked in turpentine, burnt brightly at intervals.
The steamer signals, “We want a pilot,” by burning a blue light on the bridge, and bears down on the pilot schooner. The moon reveals enormous figures, with a heavy dot beneath, on the mainsail of the schooner. Over the rail goes the yawl, followed by the oarsman and pilot, whose turn it is to go ashore. The pilot carries a lantern, which in the egg-shaped yawl dances on the white wave crests up and down like a fire-fly. The yawl is soon under the steamer’s lee, and a line from the big ship pulls the little boat to the ladder, and the pilot nimbly climbs to the steamer’s bridge, bringing the latest papers. The schooner drifts under the steamer’s stern, takes in the yawl, and again sails to the eastward in search of another liner.
The entrance to the port of New York is patrolled night and day by a pilot-fleet of thirty boats, which cost from $10,000 to $20,000 each. They are staunch and seaworthy, the fastest schooners afloat. Often, knocked down by heavy seas, for a moment they tremble, like a frightened bird, then shaking the water off their decks, they rise, heave to, perhaps under double reefed foresail, and with everything made snug, outride the storm, and are at their work again. Pilots earn good pay, and this they deserve, as they often risk their lives in behalf of others.
Sandy Hook Light was now in sight, and long before the sun began his journey across the heavens, the steamer lay at anchor at quarantine, waiting for a certificate from the health officer. As the steamer proudly sped through “The Narrows,” a jubilant crowd of passengers on the promenade deck sang,
“My country ’tis of thee
Sweet Land of Liberty,
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died;
Land of the pilgrim’s pride;
From ev’ry mountain side
Let freedom ring.”
The hymn was sung to the tune of “God Save the Queen,” and several enthusiastic Englishmen joined with their kith and kin.
On Bedloe’s Island Bartholdi’s Statue of Liberty waved her torch, outward bound steamers exchanged salutes, the Brooklyn Bridge and all the ferries were thronged with people hurrying to the labor marts of the metropolis, as the steamer with George and Gertrude aboard moved up the harbor and was safely docked on the North River.
In the lead down the gangway Gertrude hastened George to secure a carriage for their hotel, so anxious was she to reach rooms on American soil, where she might honorably break the seal of her father’s mysterious big blue envelope. It had rarely been out of her mind since the day of her wedding in Paris.
After breakfast, served in true American style, the Ingrams glanced at the big morning papers crowded with American news, and wondered why European papers printed so little about the States. Then they retired to their rooms to break the seal of the blue envelope.
George was all attention as his young wife with the flush of health and excitement in her cheeks tore apart the envelope, and stepping to the window for better light, she began to read Reuben Harris’s letter.
Dear George and Gertrude,—
The accumulation of my fortune, now largely
invested in prime
securities, has been a surprise and often a burden to me, and with it
came, as I now clearly see, great responsibilities.
Money is power, and most people zealously seek it. Many fail to get it, and often those who do succeed, fail to keep it. Wealth unsought comes only to a few, while others, with perhaps hereditary financial instincts, pursue with certainty of success the golden fleece.
My early experiences with poverty, and now with wealth, and my late extensive observations have impressed upon me, as never before, the common brotherhood of mankind. The great problem of our age is the proper administration of wealth, so that the ties of brotherhood may still bind together the rich and poor in harmonious relations. What shall be the laws of accumulation and distribution? To decide this wisely the discretion of our present and future legislators will be heavily burdened.
The condition of many races is better to-day on the foundations on which society is built, than on the old ones tried and abandoned. What were yesterday’s luxuries are to-day’s necessities. The poor enjoy to-day what yesterday even the rich could not afford. Mankind always has exhibited great irregularities. In every race some are born with an energy and ability to produce wealth, others not. Invention and discovery have replaced scarcity and dearness with abundance and cheapness. The law of competition seems to cheapen comforts and luxuries.
Both labor and capital are organizing, concentrating, competing. The idealist may dream of what is attainable in the future, but our duty is plainly with what is practicable now. My prayer is for wisdom and ability to administer wisely our wealth, during my life-time. I am therefore resolved to act as follows:—
1st. To retain for my family only
what will provide modestly for them
all. I do not wish to leave much property for my relatives to use
prodigally, or to quarrel over.
2nd. I plan not to wait till I die and then leave behind for public purposes money which I cannot take with me. I shall consider myself as an agent, or trustee, in charge of certain surplus funds to be expended in behalf of my poorer brethren.
On our return to America, Mrs. Harris and I will make our wills in accordance with the above. It is our desire that, when you reach home, you both enter at once upon the development of your plans, of a cooperative manufacturing corporation, in accordance with the views which you have so frequently mentioned. In the execution of these plans, you may use, if necessary, five millions. With best wishes for your happiness.
The writing of this letter gave Colonel Harris more pleasure than any act of his life; in fact it was for him the beginning of a new life; a life for others.
The reading of the letter also gave George and Gertrude much happiness, for it furnished them abundant means for the execution of their beneficent plans, which had been thoroughly considered by the Harris family. This important letter was returned to the blue envelope and given to Gertrude for safe keeping, and it was agreed to leave for Harrisville next day at 1 o’clock on the Chicago Special.
Among the personals in the Harrisville Sunday paper appeared the following:
Arrived from Europe Saturday morning, Mr. and Mrs. George Ingram. It is needless to say that their many friends will give them cordial welcome. Colonel and Mrs. Reuben Harris, their son and daughter, Alfonso and Lucille, will remain in Europe for several weeks.
This notice, though brief, was of much interest to rich and poor in Harrisville. Society, of course, was interested in the marriage of Gertrude, business men in the return of so skilled a manufacturer as George Ingram, and many workmen, still unemployed, hoped that their old superintendent whom they loved would find or make positions for them.
The continued absence of Colonel Harris the financier aided George Ingram in certain important negotiations which he proceeded quietly to make, viz., the purchase in the suburbs of Harrisville, in fifty parcels, of 4,000 acres of contiguous land, that had both a river and a lake front. While these purchases were being made, agents were dispatched into several Ohio counties, and more than 20,000 acres of well tested coal lands were secured. When it was learned that all these lands were bought in the name of George Ingram, and paid for in cash, the wisacres of the city began to say, “I told you so; these monopolists having visited England have adopted foreign ideas, and now they have returned to buy and hold our valuable lands.” George Ingram was reticent, as most successful business men are, for he gave attention to business. “Talkers are no great doers,” wrote Shakespeare.
The offices of the old Harrisville Iron & Steel Co. had been rented to other parties, so a suite of rooms near by was occupied by George Ingram and his five assistants. It had leaked out, however, that Ingram had given orders for twenty millions of brick and a large quantity of structural iron and copper tubes, all to be delivered within four months. The order for copper tubes puzzled even the wisest in Harrisville. Later, when a thousand laborers were set at work on the river front of his purchase, building extensive foundations, it dawned upon the expectant that a gigantic plant for some purpose was to be erected near Harrisville. Newspaper reporters found it difficult to reach George Ingram, even with a card, which would be returned with the reply “Busy to-day. Please excuse me.”
In the meantime Harrisville agreed to create a more available harbor, and to establish dock lines, not less than 500 feet apart, and in three years to dredge the river to a depth of 25 feet for five miles back from the lake.
George Ingram in his own mind had settled three vital points; that Harrisville was one of the most favorable producing and distributing centers in America; that he would so design and build a manufacturing plant as to minimize the cost of production; that he would attempt to harmonize capital and labor. Important provisions of the Company’s charter were:
The capital stock of this Corporation
shall be Five Million Dollars
($5,000,000) to be divided into Five Hundred Thousand Shares at Ten
Dollars each, fully paid, and non-assessable.
The private property of stockholders shall
be exempt from any and all
debts of this Corporation.
Two thousand of the four thousand acres purchased were set apart for manufacturing purposes. Most of the land sloped gradually, and the surface-water naturally drained into the river. George Ingram’s plans for an enormous steel-plant had been most carefully worked out in detail. Night and day the construction went forward. In eight months the plant was in full operation. He had obtained the latest important labor-saving devices and improved facilities in use throughout America and Europe. The whole was supplemented by the inventions already perfected by his father and himself.
The Harris-Ingram Steel Co. was provided with every modern device that could in any manner contribute economy and rapidity from the time the ores left the ship, till the finished product was loaded for market. All ores and limestone were delivered on a tableland of the same height, and adjacent to a series of several enormous blast-furnaces. The melted iron from the blast-furnaces was tapped into ladles mounted on iron cars, and provided with mechanism for tipping the ladles. The molten iron of the cars was next transferred to improved converters in an adjoining building, constructed entirely of iron. Nearby were the spiegel cupolas. The greatest possible accuracy was thus attainable in delivering definite quantities of molten iron into the converter for a given blow, also of spiegeleisen. This was easily accomplished by standing the ladle cars upon scales.
The metal was cast into ingot moulds, standing upon cars, and then transferred to the mould stripper; afterwards the ingots were weighed and sent to the soaking-pit furnaces. After a “wash heat” the ingots, or blooms, entered the rolls, and were drawn and sized in shape to fill orders from every part of the world.
The marvel at the Harris-Ingram Steel Co.’s mills was that electricity, developed in vast quantities at the coal mines and conveyed on patented copper tubes, furnished all the power, heat, and light used in the entire plant. Electricity hoisted and melted all the ores; it worked Sturtevant fans and blowing engines, which supplied necessary air for cupolas and converters. Electricity furnished all the power requisite to handle innumerable cranes and cars. As easily as a magnet picks up tacks, electricity also handled ingots or finished steel. Five thousand tons of finished steel per day were made and the labor and fuel account had been reduced over one-half.
While the huge steel plant at Harrisville was being constructed, a large force of men were building a conduit to protect copper tubes, from the steel plant to the coal fields. At the mines hundreds of miners were set at work, several shafts were sunk, and tunnels, levels, and winzes were developed.
George Ingram believed that all the force in the world available for man’s use was derived from the sun; so he heroically resolved to hitch his wagon, if not to a star, to the mighty sun. With this purpose in view, he had bought the 20,000 acres of coal land. Half of this area was located in Jefferson, Harrison, and Belmont counties on the Ohio River, and thus title was secured to vast quantities of fossil power in the upper coal measures, which ignites quickly and burns with a hot fire. The other 10,000 acres were valuable because nearer to Harrisville. This coal came from lower measures or seams.
George Ingram had made a thorough study of coal, or fossil fuel, its formation and value. The coal of the carboniferous age is derived almost entirely from the family of plants called Lycopods, or club mosses, and the ferns, which back in high antiquity attained gigantic size. The microscope has clearly developed this vegetable origin of coal. The great Appalachian and other coal fields are without doubt, the long continued and vigorous forest growths, and subsequent fossilization of the same in the marginal swamps of ancient gulfs or seas.
The agency of transfer for solar energy is the vegetable kingdom. The vegetable cell has the surprising property through the sun’s agency of being able to live and multiply itself on air alone. The carbon of carbonic acid, a constituent of the atmosphere, is so liberated and appropriated, as to become fixed in the forming tissues of plants. Thus the plant is a storer of light and heat, a reservoir of force. It mediates between the sun’s energy and the animal life of the world. Thus coal seams are the accumulations of the sun’s energy for thousands of centuries, requiring the patient growth and slow decay of hundreds of immense forests. One secret of the unprecedented late growth of cities is discovered in the steam engine, or the coal which feeds it.
A pound of good coal, used in a good engine, stands for the work of six horses for an hour; a ton of coal for the work of thirteen hundred horses for a day of ten hours; ten thousand tons of coal, used in a day by single lines of railways, stand for the work of thirteen million horses, working ten hours a day. In 1894 the English mines produced 188,277,525 tons of coal. In Great Britain alone, coal does the work of more than a hundred millions of men, and adds proportionately to the fabulously increasing wealth of those fortunate islands.
The Ingrams had solved two important problems, and on their practicable application depended the success of the great Harris-Ingram experiment. The more important of the two was the unlocking of the sun’s stored energy, electricity, at the coal mines. The second was a device for conveying this energy from the mines to the steel plant, and it had been patented to protect it.
Since electricity possibly travels on the surface of wires or metals, the Ingrams patented a valuable device of small corrugated copper tubes, strengthened in the center by steel wires, and thus the carrying capacity of electricity was greatly increased, and the amount of costly copper much decreased. These corrugated tubes enclosed in cheap glass, and surrounded with oil, were laid in properly prepared conduits of vitrified fire-clay sewer pipes. Without the intervention of the steam engine, by a surprisingly simple process, electrical force was liberated chemically at the mines and transferred for multiple uses at the steel plant. Expensive coal-freights were thus saved. All the slack coal was utilized, and instead of the waste of nine-tenths of the stored energy of the coal, only one tenth was now lost. To husband properly the fruits of so great a discovery, it was decided not to patent this latter invention, which if disclosed would give too great publicity to the details.
The electrical works at the mines were constructed of safe-steel walls and roof, and so built that the operations of generating electricity directly from coal were conducted in secret in several separate apartments, so that no single operator without the knowledge of all the initiated employees would be able to successfully work the inventions. The dozen initiated employees had made life long contracts with the company in consideration of liberal and satisfactory rewards. The Harris-Ingram Steel Co. thus equipped began operations.
“GOLD MARRIES GOLD”
Alfonso Harris was content to leave his friends to continue their journey, as they were willing that he should return to the Netherlands, or to Amsterdam, where lived the beautiful woman who had won his heart.
Christine de Ruyter cordially welcomed Alfonso back to study art as he expressed it to her on the first evening after his arrival. Alfonso was much in Christine’s society, at art exhibits, in carriage drives, and on pleasure boat excursions down the bay. Weeks went by before he could summon courage enough to ask Christine’s hand in marriage.
In the game of hearts Alfonso thought himself an able combatant. He had studied Christine in action and in repose, in society, and when alone under his protection at Scheveningen, and at home, and he prided himself that he knew at least one woman thoroughly. She loved art, flowers, music, and fine dress, and was very ambitious. The latter trait was doubtless inbred from her distinguished naval relatives.
Christine had many acquaintances among the best families of Holland. Her beauty, coupled with the fact that she was an heiress, made her the object of much attention from artists and members of clubs, but possibly her love, or affection for art, might have sprung from the desire to gain more knowledge of how to make herself attractive in dress, manner, and conversation. Christine was not offensively vain, but she was passionately fond of admiration. Alfonso had never dreamed that Christine was not genuine at heart. She appeared to him to make much of her American acquaintance, introducing him to her many friends, young ladies as well as young gentlemen, and always seemed to prefer his company to others.
She manifested even tenderness for him, expressed her strong liking for America, and Alfonso believed that Christine was truly fond of him. No arguments or persuasions could have convinced him otherwise. The contrary wishes of his own family, the eloquence of a Webster, winds from the poles, all combined, could not have cooled his ardor. Alfonso had firmly resolved to wed Christine, come what would.
He had often dreamed of her smiles, her pretty blue eyes, and her fleecy hair floating in the breezes of the Zuider Zee. He had also dreamed of a brilliant wedding in Holland, of a large reception at Harrisville, and had even heard the plaudits of his fellow artists in New York, as they lauded his master piece “Admiral De Ruyter’s Great Naval Victory.”
Fortified with these proofs of Christine’s devotion, he sought the company of his blond sweetheart on a balcony that overlooked the moon-lit harbor of Amsterdam.
Here Alfonso offered his hand and heart—to a coquette—who rejected him. He was astonished, almost stunned. Recovering from his dazed condition, she again chilled his heart by the utterance, “You have not learned in this practical world of ours that gold marries gold; that society plays for equivalents. You once admitted to me that your father wanted you at the head of his large business, and disapproved of your choice of a profession. As an artist you seek fame. How can you divide it with me? In asking my hand you seek to divide my gold, thus securing both fame and gold. Alfonso we have enjoyed each other’s company as friends.”
“Yes, Christine, though you have been cruel we can separate as friends. Sometime I may be able to match gold with gold. Till then, adieu.”
Saying this Alfonso left the De Ruyter mansion all the more resolved, however, to win Christine. For a moment her deceptive heart rebuked her as she watched Alfonso’s departure. In the papers of the following evening an announcement frightened Christine. The head lines read: “Mr. Alfonso Harris, a young American artist, drowned this morning in the harbor.”
Later the police brought to the De Ruyter home detailed news. Christine gave instructions to use every possible effort to recover Alfonso’s body, and at once sent her servant with a telegram for Colonel Reuben Harris, Grand Hotel, Paris, the only address she knew.
The next day, with her mother, she accompanied the police to Alfonso’s room, where she gathered up several of her love letters. A new suit of clothes hung in the closet, a package of returned laundry lay on the table, also pen, ink and paper. Evidently Alfonso expected to return soon to the hotel. His clothes, watch, and money had been found in the boat that drifted ashore.
Christine concluded that Alfonso had gone for a boat-ride and swim, as was his custom; very likely this time to free his mind, if possible, from recent trouble, and was seized with cramp and drowned before aid could reach him. Vigorous search in the harbor and along the shore instituted by the police department and the American consul failed to locate his body or to furnish further facts to Christine as to the cause of the accident.
* * * * *
Alfonso Harris meant all he said to Christine in his last words, “Sometime I may be able to match gold with gold.” He might be blind in love matters, but his mind after a storm always righted itself. That night when Alfonso reached his hotel, he planned to leave the impression on Christine’s mind that he was dead. To make the deception complete, his trunk and all effects in his room were left as found by Christine. Even his watch, pocket book and clothes were left behind in the little pleasure boat, while he donned an extra suit. A Norwegian captain, who was about leaving Amsterdam with a cargo for Canada, agreed for fifty dollars to pick up Alfonso down the harbor and to land him in Quebec.
Fine family, beauty, and gold were powerful incentives to effort to an ambitious young man like Alfonso, and he was resolved, incognito, to explore the Great West in search of riches, and once found, he would lay all at Christine’s feet, and again claim her hand.
Jans Jansen, the Norwegian captain, was a jolly good ship-master, and the fair weather voyage across the Atlantic proved enjoyable. Alfonso always took his meals with the captain. Jans Jansen’s wife and children lived in Christiania, and his constant talk was that he hoped some day to get rich and quit the sea. Alfonso made a warm friend of Captain Jansen, who pledged secrecy as to his escape from Amsterdam.
The captain was robust and his big flowing red beard, blue eyes, and bravery made him a worthy successor of the ancient vikings of the Norseland. Jans Jansen enjoyed his pipe, and with his good stories whiled away many an hour for Alfonso, so that when the ship, under full sail, entered the Strait of Belle Isle and sailed across the Gulf towards the River St. Lawrence, both the captain and young Harris regretted that their sea-voyage was so soon to close.
The entrance of the St. Lawrence River is so broad that the navies of the world abreast might enter the river undiscovered from either bank. Two hundred miles up the river, Trinity House, an association of over three hundred pilots, put aboard a pilot, and at noon next day Captain Jansen docked his vessel at Quebec.
This old French city is located on a high promontory on the left bank of the St. Lawrence. Its citadel, one of the strongest fortresses in America, commands a varied and picturesque beauty. Alfonso walked up to the obelisk, which stands in one of the squares of the Upper Town, in joint memory of the brave generals Wolfe and Montgomery.
Next morning he was off on the Canadian Pacific Railway for Duluth, the zenith city. Thence the journey west was through. Dakota in sight of occasional tepees, where the brave Sioux patiently waits his call to join the buffalo in the happy hunting grounds. Alfonso did not agree with the popular sentiment, “The best Indian is a dead Indian,” for the Sioux seemed to him to belong to a noble race of red men.
Alfonso’s enthusiasm for mining was greatly quickened by a fellow traveler, who was the owner of a large block of stock in the famous Homestake Mining Co. of Lead City, Black Hills, So. Dakota. This company possesses one of the largest gold mines and mills in the world. The ore bodies show a working face from two to four hundred feet in width, and sink to a seemingly inexhaustible depth. The Homestake has produced over $25,000,000 in bullion, and has divided over six millions in dividends to stockholders.
Three days’ journey brought young Harris to Montana, an inland empire state, which lies on both sides of the Rocky Mountains. The Pacific Express was laden with a motley crowd of men and women in search of fame and fortune. Alfonso soon caught their enthusiasm, and visions of castles with gilded domes floated in his imagination.
It was 1:35 P.M. when No. 1, the Pacific Express, pulled into thrifty Helena, capital of Montana, a commercial metropolis metamorphosed from a rude mining camp of twenty-five years ago.
The electric cars carried Alfonso to the Hotel Helena on Grand St., which he thought quite as good as any in his own city. Here he was fortunate in meeting Mr. Davidson, a gentleman of large experience as owner, organizer, and locator of some of the best gold and silver properties in Montana and adjoining states. Irrigating canals and water-rights were a special branch of Mr. Davidson’s business. He never failed to make the round of the leading hotels after the arrival of the Overland. In this way he met Alfonso Harris. Davidson knew when to tell a good story, and when to be serious. He took Alfonso to the Club, located in elegant quarters, and the secretary gave him a complimentary visitor’s card. Davidson quickly discerned that Harris needed a week’s rest, and so took him on the motor line two miles out to the Hotel Broadwater and Natatorium. No wonder the citizens of Helena take pride in their fine health resort, the Helena Hot Springs.
Mr. Davidson introduced Alfonso to Colonel Broadwater, who extended the hospitalities of his hotel on which he had expended a fortune. The verandas were long and wide, the park was dotted with fountains, and the interior of the hotel was luxurious in all its furnishings. The mammoth plunge bath was the largest in the world under a single cover. Curative mineral waters, steaming hot, flowed in abundantly from the grotto. In the natatorium fun-loving men and women slid down the toboggan planks, or jumped from the spring boards, while spectators in the gallery enjoyed the aquatic sports. Elegantly appointed bathrooms in the hotel offered at one’s pleasure the double spray plunge, vapor, and needle baths.
Alfonso was not prepared to find in the mountains elegance surpassing what he had seen abroad. Here he luxuriated for a week, and recovered his health, which had been somewhat impaired by the unfortunate experiences in Amsterdam, and the long journey from Holland.
Davidson visited Harris every day. At first he only sought to entertain and awaken enthusiasm. He recited the familiar story of the Last Chance Gulch, how in 1864, four half-starved and disheartened miners, on their homeward journey from a prospecting tour among the gulches of the Blackfoot country in search of the precious dust, had settled down to work their last chance to make a stake, and had found gold in abundance.
Davidson said, “Here, where to-day runs the main street of Helena, was the ‘Last Chance Gulch,’ and the output of its placers was not less than fifteen millions. From 300 feet square, where now stands the Montana Central Railway depot, two miners took out over $330,000.” Davidson told of the great successes at the “Jay Gould,” and “Big Ox Mine,” and, that in five years the output of the Drum Lummon Mine was six millions.
All this pleased young Harris, and whetted his appetite for mining investments. Finally, as a result of several trips to examine prospects and mines, Alfonso bought two prospects one hundred miles west of Helena at a place called Granite.
At Drummond west of Helena, a line branches south of the Northern Pacific to Rumsey. From Rumsey, Alfonso rode four miles to Granite, which was located high up among huge granite boulders. Here, for a year he isolated himself and labored hard for silver that was to be exchanged into gold and laid at the feet of Christine. His mines had been named “Hidden Treasure” and “Monte Christo.” Possibly these mystical names influenced Alfonso to make the purchase, and no doubt they often renewed his courage.
The United States patents for his two lode mining claims finally came, and were examined by legal experts, who pronounced them perfect. In the purchase of the properties and in the development work, Alfonso and his two associates expended $50,000. On the showing, which the development made, together with the Annual Report of the adjacent Granite Mountain Mining Company, young Harris hoped to form a syndicate and profitably work his mines.
The facts in the report which Alfonso emphasized, were that the Granite Mining Co. had paid dividends as follows:
Twelve dividends ending
July 31st, 1889 $1,900,000
Total of fifty-five dividends,
an aggregate of, $6,700,000
In eight years these mines had produced and sold of pure silver 10,989,858 ozs.
Of pure gold 6,521 ozs.
Realizing a gross sum $10,988,800
Total gross expenditures $ 4,092,512
Alfonso felt free to use the facts of the Granite Reports, as his property was supposed to be a continuation of the same lode or metallic vein. His syndicate was finally organized, and with the money thus made available, all possible work was done for the next twelve months, on shaft, levels, cross-cuts, drifts, winzes, and raises. For two long years he pursued underground promising indications of wealth, which like the will-with-the-wisp evaded him, until every prospect of silver and gold in the “Hidden Treasure,” and “Monte Christo” disappeared, and the mines were abandoned.
THE MAGIC BAND OF BEATEN GOLD
The demonetization of silver by the government in 1873, and its great production, had reduced the value of the white metal one-half, so young Harris resolved to seek for gold, and began a search, which proved to be a most romantic success.
At first he hesitated to leave Montana, as its quartz veins and sluice boxes in twenty-five years had poured out $400,000,000, and its mineral resources were yet almost wholly unknown. The area of this single mountainous state could not be blanketed by the six New England States, and New York, or covered by England, Wales, Ireland, and Scotland combined.
Finally Alfonso determined to follow the great mineral belt in a southwesterly direction even to the Sierra Nevada Range if need be. At Livingston he went south by railway through a gateway of the mountains, and up the fertile Paradise Valley, following the cool green waters of the Yellowstone alive with trout and equally gamesome graylings.
At Cinnabar Alfonso joined a merry party of tourists, who mounted a Concord coach, and the four grays were urged to a brisk pace over a smooth government road towards the great National Park. How exhilarating this six miles’ ride, and how imposing the scenery, as the coach enters this Geologist’s Paradise!
The Yellowstone or National Park contains 2,288,000 acres, and is fifty times the size of France’s greatest park at Fontainebleau. Its altitude is a half mile higher than the summit of Mt. Washington, and the whole park is encircled by snow-clad peaks and majestic domes from three to five thousand feet high. This reservation by Congress in 1872, of 3575 square miles of public domain in perpetuity for the pleasure of the people, was a most creditable act.
Alfonso found that the park abounded in wild gorges, grand canyons, dancing cascades, majestic falls and mountains, picturesque lakes, curious hot springs, and awe-inspiring geysers. He and his party pushed through the Golden Gate, marveled at the wonders of the Norris and Firehole Basins, stood entranced before the mighty Canyon then bathed in the transparent Yellowstone Lake, and by nine o’clock were lulled to sleep in the shade of fragrant pines.
After breakfast next morning, while Alfonso and the hotel guests sat on the porch, a retired army captain, who had served in the Seventh U.S. Cavalry, said he wished a party could be organized to visit General Custer’s monument east of the National Park on the Little Big Horn River. There the Government had marked the historic battleground, where on the morning of the 24th of June, 1876, two hundred of the famous Seventh Cavalry and their brave leader, were overwhelmed and slaughtered by 2,500 Indians under the famous chief, Sitting Bull. Custer was tall and slender, with blue eyes and long light hair. He had fought at Bull Run and Gettysburg, and was present at Lee’s surrender at Appomattox. He was promoted to brigadier general when he was twenty-three years old, and became major general when he was twenty-five. Eleven horses were shot under him. Once he saved the flag by tearing it from its staff and concealing it in his bosom. What Napoleon said of Ney is also true of Custer, “He was the bravest of the brave.”
The recital of Custer’s deeds nerved Alfonso to renewed efforts to win Christine’s hand. He declined with thanks to join the captain’s excursion party, and early next day rode south into the upper basin of the Park, which contains over 400 springs and geysers; many of the springs in their peculiar shapes, translucent waters, and variety and richness of color, are of exquisite beauty. Alfonso visited emerald and sapphire springs, where it is said nymphs, elfs, and fairies came to bathe, and don their dainty dress of flowers and jewelled dew drops.
Many bronzed tourists had assembled, and their faces showed amazement as they watched giant geysers in action. Suddenly the solid earth is tremulous with rumbling vibrations, like those that herald earthquakes. Frightful gurgling sounds are audible in the geyser’s throat. Sputtering steam is visible above the cone, the water below boils like a cauldron, and scalding hot, the eruption becomes terribly violent, belching forth clouds of smoke-like steam, and hurling rocks into the air as though a mortar of some feudal stronghold had been discharged. The stupendous column of hot water is veiled in spray as it mounts towards heaven. Boiling water is flowing in brooks to the Firehole River, which is soon swollen to a foaming torrent washing away the bridges below. The valley is filled with dense vapors, and the air is laden with sulphurous fumes, while the hoarse rumblings and subterranean tremors chill the heart. Beneath your feet are positive evidences of eternal fires, and all about you the might of God. Alfonso was glad to leave this region of the supernatural.
He hastened across the Snake River, which winds through Idaho, and pushed on towards the Teton Range, one of many that form the Rocky Mts. In sight are snow-touched sentinel peaks kissed by earliest and latest sun. The Rocky Mts. or Great Continental Divide is a continuation of the famous Andes of South America, and jointly they form the longest and most uniform chain of mountains on the globe. Amid the gorges of this system of mountains, over 3000 miles in length, America’s largest rivers have their birth, and find their outlet into the Atlantic, Arctic, and Pacific Oceans.
These mountains are vast vaults that will hold in trust for centuries to come untold supplies of precious metal for the American nations. This general fact did not concern Alfonso. He was ambitious to unlock for his own use only a single box of the huge vault. He was familiar with the wonderful story of Mackay, Fair, Flood, and O’Brien, Kings of the Comstock Lode, and owners of the Big Bonanza, who paid their 600 miners five dollars per day in gold, for eight hours’ labor a third of a mile below the earth’s surface. The Comstock Lode yielded over $5,000,000 per month, or a total output of silver and gold of over $250,000,000.
For six long weary months Alfonso and his companion searched for gold down the Green River and along the river bottom of the Grand Canyon of the Colorado, till they reached the Needles on the A. & P. Railway. Thence they rode west to Kern River. This stream they followed on horseback into the Sierra Nevada Mountains, all the time searching for precious metals, especially gold. The mountains were crossed over to Owen’s Lake, and a river traced north. Alfonso was prospecting in new fields, but his search thus far was fruitless. His companion sickened and died, but Alfonso bravely climbed among the mountains hoping to cross the crest and reach the cabins of friendly government officials on duty in the park of the big trees in Mariposa County.
It was late in the fall, grasses and leaves had browned, Alfonso’s horse had grown thin, and being too weak and lame to go forward, finally died. His provisions had given out; his own strength and courage had failed; he needed water for his parched tongue and lips, but none was at hand; fever quickened his pulse. Sitting alone in the shadow of a giant boulder that afforded partial protection from the gathering storm, his mind reverted to his home at Harrisville where abundance could be had, to his family that thought him dead, and to Christine across the sea, whom he had vowed to win with gold. All seemed lost. Alfonso’s head reeled, he fell back upon the ground, and the early snows seemed to form for him a shroud.
Good fortune guided this way a party of Yosemite Indians, who were returning from an extended hunt for deer and elk. They had also slain a few bears and a couple of mountain lions. The dead horse first arrested their attention, and then the exhausted miner was found asleep covered with snow. The Indians wrapped the sick man at once in a grizzly bear skin, fastened him to a pony, and carried him to their camp near the big trees. It was morning before Alfonso was conscious of his surroundings. Standing by him was a shy Indian maiden with a dish of hot soup. His bed, he discovered was in a burned-out cavity of one of the big trees. Near by were several tepees, the tops of which emitted smoke. Straight, black-haired Indians in bright blankets moved slowly from tent to tent.
Alfonso scarcely conscious had strange dreams. Sometimes he thought he was in the Hodoo Region, or Goblin Land, the abode of evil spirits, where he saw every kind of fantastic beast, bird, and reptile, and no end of spectral shapes in the winding passages of a weird labyrinth on a far-off island. Then his dreams were of rare beauty. Green foliage was changed to pure white, the trees became laden with sparkling crystals, roadways and streams were laid in shining silver, and geyser-craters enlarged in strange forms resembled huge white thrones in gorgeous judgment halls. Such fleeting beauty suggested to Alfonso’s feverish brain the supernatural, the abode perhaps of spirit beings. For days the medicine man and Mariposa, daughter of the Indian chief, watched and cared for Alfonso, whose life hovered over the grave.
Mariposa, Spanish for butterfly, was a fit name for the pretty Indian maiden. She paid great deference not only to her tall father, Red Cloud, but to the pale faces whenever in their presence. For four years Mariposa, unusually bright, attended the Indian school at Carlisle, Pa.; when she returned to her wild home in the forest she was able to speak and read the language of the pale face, and beside she loved history and poetry.
One day, Alfonso’s health having slowly improved, Mariposa put in his hands a small pine cone, the size of a hen’s egg, and said, “Three years go by from the budding to the ripening of the seed of the sequoias, or big trees.”
Alfonso did not know, till Mariposa told him that the big trees were called sequoia in honor of a Cherokee chief, Sequoyah, who invented letters for his people. She also told Alfonso that there were at least ten groves of big trees on the northern slope of the Sierra Nevada range; that some of the trees were thirty feet in diameter, and 325 feet in height; that sixteen Yosemite braves on their ponies had taken refuge from a terrible storm in the hollow of a single sequoia. Alfonso prized highly a cane, fashioned by the Indian maiden from a fallen Big Tree. The wood had a pale red tint, and was beautifully marked and polished.
Part of the Indian hunting party went forward with the game, while Mariposa, Red Cloud, and three Yosemite braves with their ponies, waited for the handsome pale face to recover partially. Then they rode with Alfonso among the Big Trees, past Wawona, toiling up long valleys, stopping now and then to cook simple food. The Indians followed a familiar trail up dark gulches, along steep grades, through heavy timber, skirting edges of cliffs and precipitous mountains, the ruggedness constantly increasing, till suddenly Mariposa conducted Alfonso to a high point where his soul was filled with enthusiasm. Mariposa, pointing to the gorge or canyon of extraordinary depth, which was floored with forest trees and adorned with waterfalls, said, “Here in the Yosemite (grizzly) Valley is the home of my people. Here we wish to take you until you are well. Will you go?”
Alfonso, still weak and pale, but trusting the Indian girl, replied “Yes.” The young artist-miner had never seen such stupendous masonry; the granite walls that surrounded the valley were a succession of peaks and domes, from three thousand to four thousand feet high, all eloquent in thought and design. Alfonso began sketching, but Mariposa motioned him to put his paper aside, and the six Indian ponies with their burdens carefully picked their way into the paradise below.
Red Cloud, Mariposa, Alfonso, and the braves were received with expressions of joy unusual for the stolid red men, and Alfonso was given a tent to himself near the chief’s big tepee, close by a broad clear stream, and in the shadow of large old oaks. Here for several days Alfonso tarried, grew stronger, and often walked with pretty Mariposa. She taught him a novel method of trapping trout which thronged the river. She had him sketch the reflection in Mirror Lake of cathedral spires and domes, of overhanging granite rocks, and tall peaks of wildest grandeur.
He also sketched several waterfalls fed by melting snow. Mariposa’s favorite falls at the entrance to the valley made a single leap of hundreds of feet, and when the white spray was caught by the breezes and the sun, the lace-like mist, sparkling like diamonds, swayed gracefully in the winds like a royal bridal veil. “The highest of a series of cascades,” Mariposa said, “was called ‘The Yosemite Falls.’”
Here eagles soar above the Cap of Liberty and other granite peaks. Robins, larks, and humming birds swarm in the warm valley, and abundance of grass grows in the meadows for the Indian ponies.
As Alfonso’s strength increased, he walked more frequently with Mariposa along the banks of the river, by the thickets of young spruce, cedar, and manzanita with its oddly contorted red stems. At times, each vied with the other in bringing back echoes from the lofty granite walls of the valley.
One sunset, as Alfonso and Mariposa sat by the river bank, Alfonso holding the light redwood cane, the gift of the maiden, he took the shapely hand of Mariposa in his own and said, “Mariposa, I owe my life to you, and if I am ever rich I will come back and reward you.”
“I shall miss you,” said the maiden shyly, “I want no money; I am happy because you are well again.”
“Mariposa, I have long searched for gold,” said Alfonso, “but finally I lost courage, became sick, and you know the rest. You have a ring of beaten gold on your finger, did it come from near here?”
“My father gave it to me,” was all that Mariposa would say about the ring as they separated for the night.
It was past midnight when Alfonso felt someone pulling at his shoulder. There in the moonlight stood Mariposa beckoning him to come. Quickly dressing, Alfonso left his tent without speaking as the maiden put her fingers to her lips, and quietly following Mariposa they walked by the silver stream into a wild gorge. Graceful pines afforded cover for Mariposa and Alfonso, as swift of foot, they scaled high cliffs, till the Indian girl held aloft her hand, and above in a cleft of white quartz the yellow gold shone brightly in the moon’s rays.
When the time came for Alfonso to leave the Yosemite Valley, one of nature’s masterpieces, tears filled the eyes of lovely Mariposa. He earnestly thanked Red Cloud and his daughter, and, saying good-bye, mounted his pony, a gift from Mariposa, when the girl ran to him and whispered, “Here, Alfonso, is the ring; bring it back to me when you are rich, but you will forget Mariposa.”
“No! no!” replied Alfonso, “I will bring back the ring, and you shall give it to the one who makes you his bride.” Then the Indian girl turned her face toward the Bridal Veil Falls, and Alfonso rode sadly out of the valley.
After several years, still wearing the magic band of beaten gold, having developed the Mariposa Gold Mines into property worth millions, Alfonso left the far west to seek beautiful Christine.
WORKINGS OF THE HARRIS-INGRAM PLAN
A telegram received at Liverpool by Reuben Harris from Marquis Leo Colonna, who at the Colonel’s request went on to Amsterdam, verified the facts as to Alfonso’s death by drowning. Colonel and Mrs. Harris’s journey back to America under leaden and unsympathetic skies was sad indeed.
George and Gertrude met them on the pier at New York. The next day at noon, in deep mourning, they received the remains of Lucille from the yacht “Hallena.”
Ten days with Lucille on the pitiless ocean, and unable to exchange with her a word of love, had sunk deeply the iron of affliction into the soul of Harry Hall. He often wished that he had never been born. He dreaded every new sunset, as the darkness that gathered about his catafalque-yacht whispered to him of cruel fates, of rest in the deep sea, and of angels’ songs. Like the silent vigils of certain watchful plants, Captain Hall carefully observed his compasses, studied the weather, and often wished that he too might cross over and rejoin Lucille.
* * * * *
Ten days went by before Colonel Harris visited the offices of the Harris-Ingram Steel Co. Then followed several meetings of the directors, at which it was finally decided to issue the following circular:
Official Notice, No. 27. Offices of The Harris-Ingram Steel Co., 400 to 410 Brough Building, Harrisville, O.—
To Whom, it may Concern,—
For the purpose of better promoting the harmonious workings of capital and labor, The Harris-Ingram Steel Co., Limited, has been organized, and its scope of co-operation has been planned on the following basis.
Capital Stock of the Harris-Ingram Steel Company $5,000,000 Total number of shares 500,000 Par value each share $10
The liability of each stockholder is limited to the amount of stock held. Half of the entire stock of the corporation shall be owned by so-called “capital,” and half by the employees of the company, or so-called “labor.” The stock issued shall represent the actual cash expended upon the plant, and employed as a working capital. It is the wish of the management that each employee in the steel company shall own at least ten shares of the stock, and more, if he so desires.
All the stock bought is to be paid for in cash. A loan at 4% interest, equal to the par value of the stock, can be made by employees, when necessary, to purchase a limited amount of the stock. Ten per cent of the wages of all such employees will be retained as needed, which, with dividends actually earned by the stock, will be applied on the amounts due for the purchase of stock and real estate for a home. The new model town will be known
Page 138as Harris-Ingram.
Two thousand acres of land near the mills will be properly allotted and improved by the company for homes for the employees, and practical architects have been secured. It is further the wish of the steel company that each employee shall own a good home. The size of each lot is 50 ft. x 200 ft. and the price per lot is $50 which is in proportion to the original cost and improvement of the allotment, so that the employees in advance will thus secure all the profits that result from any increased value of the lots. This is only just.
A Stock and Building Bureau will be established, and money, at 4%, will be furnished the employees to build comfortable homes. This bureau created and officered by the employees will attend to the purchase and sale of stock, lots, the construction of homes, and the payment for the same. When for any reason, an employee desires to sever his connection with the steel company, his stock in the company and his home, if sold, must first be offered at a fair price to the Stock and Building Bureau.
By this scheme capital and labor will have equal interests in the Harris-Ingram Steel Co., also an equal voice in the management of the steel company’s welfare. Should capital and labor disagree, then the matter in dispute, with all the facts, and before any strike on the part of labor shall occur, shall at once be submitted to arbitration, and the decision of the arbitrators shall be final.
President of The Harris-Ingram Steel Co.
In eight months George Ingram had spent of the five millions at his disposal three million dollars on the steel plant. A working capital of $500,000 was deposited in four banks, and the balance of one and a half millions was invested in call loans, and so held ready to loan in small amounts at 4%, to aid employees in securing their quota of stock, a lot and house.
In twelve months, the $2,500,000 stock of the company, allotted to labor, had been subscribed for by the employees, over a thousand pretty cottages, costing from $1,000 to $2,500 each, were built or in process of construction, and nearly three thousand lots had been bought by the workmen.
A Co-operative Supply Bureau was organized and managed in the interests of the workmen, to furnish food, clothing, and all the necessary comforts of life at about cost prices. The profits of the bureau, if any, were to be divided annually among purchasers, in proportion to purchases made.
Women in Harris-Ingram voted on several matters the same as the men. Saloons, all forms of gambling, and corruption in politics were tabooed. Sewerage was scientifically treated by the use of chemicals and machinery. Storm water only was sent to the lake. The valuable portions of the sewerage were utilized on adjacent vegetable farms. At Harris-Ingram electrical energy supplied water free for streets, lawns, and gardens, and filtered water was delivered free for family purposes. All the public buildings and homes were heated and lighted by electricity.
A Transportation Bureau was organized to manage the electric railways in the interests of the people, and the fare was reduced to two cents. Everybody rode, and the receipts were astonishingly large and quite sufficient to meet expenses and leave a profit, which went into the town treasury. Thus the people received large benefits from the electric railway, conduits for wires, gas privileges, and other franchises.
Electricity also propelled the pleasure launches and fishing boats. The smoke nuisance was a vexatious trouble of the past. Life for the laborer and his family ceased to be a burden. Eight hours were given to conscientious labor, eight hours to physical, mental, and moral improvements, and eight hours to rest.
By the Harris beneficences all the employees became personally interested in the profitable workings of the steel plant. The profits of the business also were greatly increased by the valuable inventions of the Ingrams.
The money advanced to the employees was rapidly returned through the company’s treasurer to Colonel Harris, and by him, and later by his heirs, was again invested in other lines of practical benevolence. The act which gave Colonel Harris most comfort was his righting the great wrong done James Ingram, his early joint-partner, and father of George, his son-in-law. Colonel Harris held $2,500,000 of the steel company’s stock. He disposed of this stock as follows:—
To George and Gertrude, each $250,000 or $500,000
To James Ingram, early partner 1,000,000
Retaining for himself only 1,000,000
Since his return Reuben Harris had aged rapidly, his hair having whitened, caused probably by the loss of his only son and lovely daughter. His joy on account of the success of the Co-operative Steel Mills could not banish his intense grief. He had performed his life work, and the cares and burdens of the new enterprise he had placed upon George Ingram in whom he had full confidence. He had seen much in his travels abroad; and now he had learned a most valuable lesson, taught by the Savior himself, that it is more blessed to give than to receive.
At the close of a long summer day, as the golden sun dropped into blue Lake Erie, the life of Reuben Harris passed from sight. It was a strange coincidence that the papers Monday morning should contain parallel obituary notices of both Reuben Harris and James Ingram. Together they had labored earnestly for humanity, each in his own way, and now reconciled, together they entered,—
“The undiscovered country from whose
No traveller returns.”
The four thousand employees, in a body, attended the double funeral. Each man had been the recipient of tangible assistance from both Harris and Ingram, and each laborer felt that he had lost a personal friend. It was a touching scene as the four regiments of employees, each wearing evidence of mourning on his arm, filed past the two open caskets. Each employee left a rose on the caskets till both were hidden from sight. The thousands of roses were more eloquent than marble or bronze. During the week, the employees each contributed the wages of two days for bronze statues of their late employers.
George and Gertrude felt keenly the loss of their fathers. They also become conscious of increased responsibilities, but each had courage, and good cheer was imparted if either faltered or stood beneath gray skies. Their home life was delightful. Each possessed the art of controlling trifles; thus troubles were minimized and joys were magnified.
Later twins, a boy and girl, entered their home, and the mother said, “If you call our son George Ingram, Jr., I shall call our daughter Gertrude Ingram, Jr.,” and so there lived under the same roof George I. and George II., Gertrude I. And Gertrude II.
Gertrude proved a model wife and mother. The mystery of woman’s love and purity is no longer a secret when we watch the mother in touch with innocent children. Gertrude gave home duties prominence over all others, with the blessed result that George found more attractions in his own home than in clubs or in the homes of his friends.
To do daily some little favor for his wife, as in lover days, gave him much pleasure. Every night George came home with a new book, rare flowers, or fruit, the first of the season, or some novel plaything for his “Two G’s” as he often called the little twins. Gertrude occasionally rebuked her husband for spending the money foolishly, as she said, but then remembrance of his family when down town gratified her. Wives miss and long for appreciation more than for better dress or money. If, on return to tea, the bread is good, the thoughtful husband speaks of it. If the table-cloth is white or if the arrangement of the meal is artistic, he speaks of it. A single word of honest approval makes the wife happy.
Sometimes Gertrude wondered why the marriage ceremony so often untied lovers’ knots, and why after marriage love and esteem did not increase. She never forgot the advice of an old lady, too poor to make her a wedding present, who told her that if she wished to be happy in marriage she must always keep two bears in her home, bear and forbear.
George and his wife were human, and not unlike other people. Now and then George would say to his intimate friends. “The Ingrams like most New Englanders did not come over in the Mayflower as the passenger list was full, neither do the Ingrams belong to that very large number of families who feel the necessity of saying, ’We have never had an unkind word in our home.’ Gertrude and I both have strong wills, and we often differ in opinions, but as often we agree to disagree. In this manner we avoid sunken rocks that might wreck our ship.”
One day, Irene, George’s youngest sister, asked Gertrude for a painting of herself and of George. “Too expensive, Irene,” replied Gertrude, “couldn’t think of it for a moment.”
“No, Gertrude, I want only a tiny picture of your thumb and George’s.”
“What in the world do you want of our thumbs?”
“Because, Gertrude, George tells me privately that he has you completely under his thumb, and you always act as if you thought you had George under your thumb.”
Gertrude and George were strong and helpful, both educated, unselfish and ambitious; why should they not succeed? Gertrude had learned that good and great people are also sometimes selfish. When a little girl, she was present with her father who was invited to take dinner with a distinguished divine. The good doctor of divinity did the carving, and adroitly managed to keep for his own plate the tenderest piece of steak. Colonel Harris observed the fact, and enjoying a joke, casually observed, “Doctor, how well you carve!” The good man saw his breach of hospitality and blushed, remarking, “Colonel, you must forgive me for I believe I was born with a delicate stomach.”
Business cares were locked up in the office desk down town, and Gertrude forgot home annoyances as soon as George was seen coming up the lawn, and she and the twins ran to meet “papa.” He always brought home the latest literary and scientific magazines and journals, while the reviews of America and London kept the family up-to-date on the latest books and leading topics. George’s vacations were sometimes taken with his own employees, all of whom in the heated months, had two weeks off, some camping along the shores of the lake, others taking boat excursions to neighboring groves, or enjoying the outdoor band concerts which were furnished every other evening on the public park.
What concerned his employees, concerned him. When any of his workmen were injured or sick, the company at once sent a surgeon or physician. Rightly, he thought it more important that an employee should be kept in good working order than even his best piece of machinery.
George Ingram was once heard to say that eleven letters covered a large part of his religion, and that he wished he could write across the blue dome in letters of gold the word “Helpfulness.” To assist an unfortunate individual permanently to help himself, is preaching a gospel that betters the world.
The community of Harris-Ingram had little or no poverty. Everybody had money in the savings bank, or accumulations going into pretty homes, and mill stock, and all respected law and order, hence few if any policemen were ever seen on the streets. Everybody was well dressed, courteous, and daily growing more intelligent. Taxes were light, and general improvements were economically and promptly made.
Both George and Gertrude believed that the tendency of the age was towards more practical education for the people. London publishes millions of penny books, penny histories and biographies, penny arithmetics, astronomies and dictionaries, and penny books to teach good behavior, honor, and patriotism. In London and elsewhere, the people were organizing workmen’s clubs, colleges, and institute unions, for mutual improvement, and glimpses were already caught of Morris’s “Earthly Paradise that is to be.”
“Then a man shall work and bethink
him, and rejoice in the deeds of his
Nor yet come home in the even too faint and weary to stand.
Men in that time a-coming shall work and have no fear
For to-morrow’s lack of earning and the hungry-wolf a-near.
Oh, strange, new, wonderful justice! But for whom shall we gather the
For ourselves and for each of our fellows, and no hand shall labor in
Free night schools over the country, for the child of eight to the man of eighty, will go a long way in solving the troublesome socialistic problem.
George was familiar with the generous gifts and deeds of the Pratts of Baltimore, and of Brooklyn, of Carnegie, of Lorillard & Co., of Warner Brothers of Connecticut, and of the Messrs. Tangye of Birmingham, England. The latter firm provides for its thousands of workmen a library, evening classes, and twice a week, while the employees are at dinner in a great hall, a twenty minutes crisp talk by capable persons on some live topic.
George Ingram organized an Educational Bureau for the improvement of his employees and others by evening schools and public entertainments. As requisite for the success of such a bureau as he planned, he published the conditions as follows:—
1. Several study rooms and good teachers.
2. A large and cheerful hall, church
or opera house for lectures, that
the prices may be low, the audience must be large.
3. A capable committee or manager,
enthusiasm, good temper, fertility
of resource and sympathy with the people. Common sense coupled with
determined perseverance works wonders.
4. Variety and quality in the entertainment,
with no wearying pauses
between the parts. The movement must be swift and sure.
5. Punctuality and business-like thoroughness in the management. Begin and end on the minute. Give exactly what you promise; or, if that be impossible, what will be recognized as a full equivalent. Ideas, not words, old or new on every helpful subject in the universe, spoken or illustrated. Music that rests or inspires, and is understood.
6. Sell 5,000 season tickets at $1.00
in advance to secure a guarantee
fund; this is sound business, as success is then assured, and it will
not depend upon the weather.
7. Have prominent citizens preside at each entertainment, but pledge them to crisp introduction. High grade entertainments wisely managed, prove themselves of benign influence, and an agency more potent than many laws in the preservation of peace and the reform of public morals.
When Colonel Harris’s will was probated, two-thirds of the balance of his fortune was left in trust with Mrs. Harris, George, and Gertrude, to be used for the public welfare, as they deemed wisest. The trustees used $100,000 to build for the Workmen’s Club a large and attractive Central Hall, that had steep double galleries, and five thousand opera chairs.
Several necessary committees were organized and George Ingram’s gospel of Helpfulness found another practical expression. The Educational Bureau was not a gratuity in any of its departments, as small fees were charged in all the evening classes, which were crowded with old and young. For twenty consecutive Saturday evenings in the winter season, a four-fold intellectual treat was furnished at $1.00 for tickets for the entire course.
By 7:30 o’clock in the evening the Central Hall was packed to the walls, no reserved seats were sold, and the rule was observed “First come, first served,” which brought promptly the audience. Season ticket-holders had the exclusive right to the hall till 7:25 o’clock, when a limited number of single admission tickets were sold. A large force of polite ushers assisted in seating the people, and in keeping order. At 7:30 all the entrance doors were closed, so that late comers never disturbed the audience.
The musical prelude, or orchestra concert of thirty minutes closed at 7:30 with a grand chorus by the audience standing; following this, precisely at 7:30 was the half-hour lecture-prelude on some scientific or practical subject. Among the topics treated were “Wrongs of Workingmen, and How to Right Them,” “The Terminal Glacier,” “Sewerage and Ventilation,” “The Pyramids,” “Wonders of the House we Live in,” “Architecture Illustrated,” etc.
From 8:00 to 8:15 followed the popular Singing School, in which five thousand persons heartily joined, aided by an enthusiastic precentor, and orchestra, in singing national hymns and other music. During the singing school everybody stood, and with windows lowered, fresh air and music swept through the hall and the hearts of the audience.
From 8:15 to 9:30 was given the principal attraction of the evening, a popular lecture, dramatic reading, debate on some burning question, or a professional concert. The entertainments always closed promptly at 9:30, as many electric cars were in waiting. During the season, free lectures on “The Art of Cooking,” “How to Dress,” “The Care of Children,” “Housekeeping in General,” “The Culture of Flowers,” etc., etc., were given at 3 P.M. in the great hall to the wives and friends of all the ticket holders.
The circulation of useful literature was another important feature of the Educational Bureau work. At each entertainment five thousand little books of forty pages each, a wagon-load, were given to the owners of course tickets, as they entered the hall. These pamphlets included “A Short History of France,” or “History of the United States,” “Story of the Steam Engine,” “A Brief History of Science,” an “Essay on Early Man,” “Great Artists,” “Secrets of Success,” etc. Each little book contained the evening’s programme, the words and music of at least two national hymns, and “Owl Talks,” a single page of crisp thoughts, to whet one’s wits. At the close of each season
Workmen went home sober with their week’s earnings in their pockets, as there were no saloons in the town, a bright book to read, and a home of their own for shelter and rest. Thus also an improved citizenship was obtained and the nation was made stronger.
George Ingram thought that all our cities should have large, cheerful halls, people’s forums, where clear and simple truths on important questions should be taught. He believed that it would prove an antidote to various forms of anarchy and communism, which under the aegis of liberty are being advocated in our cities.
The trustees of the Harris estate set aside $250,000, to be known as “The Reuben Harris Fund,” to assist in providing regular courses of free public lectures upon the most important branches of natural and moral science, also free instruction to mechanics and artisans in drawing, and in practical designing, in patterns for prints, silks, paper hangings, carpets, furniture, etc. Free courses of lectures were given to advanced students in art, also lectures in physics, geology, botany, physiology, and the like for teachers, and the public.
Gertrude felt that the perpetuity and usefulness of such a fund or monument dedicated to her father would outrival the pyramids. She greatly encouraged among the wives of the workmen the growth of kindergartens for children, and the cultivation of flowers, in and out of their homes, offering valuable prizes at annual flower shows. Harrisville voted to annex the village of Harris-Ingram, hoping that the gospel of helpfulness that had worked such wonders might leaven their whole city.
George Ingram was now forty years of age. His great ability and practical good sense had arrested the attention and admiration of not only his own employees, but of the citizens of Harrisville, who demanded that he should be chosen mayor of the city.
Christine De Ruyter had long contemplated a visit to the new world. She was familiar with the history of the Dutch West India Company, a political movement organized under cover of finding a passage to Cathay, to destroy the results of Spanish conquest in America.
No doubt, love of discovery and of trade also stimulated the Dutch in making explorations. In the vessel “Half Moon” they sailed up the Hudson, and after building several forts, they finally established themselves in New Netherlands. Peter Minuit for a trifle bought from the Indians the whole of Manhattan Island. In locating on Manhattan Island, the Dutch secretly believed that they had secured the oyster while the English settlements further north and south were the two shells only. The development of almost three centuries and the supremacy of New York to-day, as the new world metropolis, verifies the sound sense of the Dutch.
Christine was alive to the important part which her countrymen had early played across the Atlantic. Her mother had died, and Christine still unmarried, controlled both her time and a goodly inheritance. She resolved to visit her sister Fredrika, whose husband was agent in New York of a famous German line of vessels.
En route from Holland to New York she spent two weeks with friends in London, and on Regent Street replenished her wardrobe, enjoyed Irving and Terry in their latest play, attended an exciting Cambridge-Oxford boat-race on the Thames, and with a great crowd went wild with delight at the English races at Epsom Downs.
Saturday at 9:40 A.M. at the Waterloo Station several friends saw Christine off for America on the special train, the Eagle Express, of the South Western Railway, which makes the journey of 79 miles to Southampton in one hour and forty minutes.
At Southampton the passengers were transferred on the new express dock, direct from the train to the steamers, which are berthed alongside. By this route passengers escape exposure to weather on tenders and landing stage, and avoid all delays at ports of call, and waiting for the tides to cross the bar.
Promptly at 12 o’clock, hawsers and gangways vanishing, the great steamer moved down the bay, the fertile Isle of Wight in sight. Officers made note of the time as the Needles were passed, as the runs of the steamers are taken between the Needles and Sandy Hook. It was a bright breezy afternoon and after lunch the passengers lounged on the decks, or in the smoke room; some inspected their rooms, some read the latest French or English novel, and others in groups gossiped, or walked the decks to sharpen appetite.
The second steward, of necessity a born diplomat, had succeeded in convincing most who were at lunch that he had given them favored seats, if not all at the Captain’s table, then at the table of the first officer, a handsome man, or at the table with the witty doctor.
Christine did not appear at lunch, as she was busy in her stateroom. She had given careful instructions that one of her trunks should be sent at once to her room. An hour before dinner there appeared on the promenade deck a beautiful young woman dressed in black, who attracted attention and no little comment. She wore a dress of Henrietta cloth, and cape trimmed with black crepe and grosgrained ribbons in bows with long ends. Her tiny hat with narrow band of white crepe was of the Marie Stuart style; her gloves were undressed kid, her handkerchief had black border, and her silk parasol was draped in black.
Hers was the same pretty face and blue eyes that had won Alfonso’s heart. She supposed him dead; her dress of mourning was not for him, but for her mother, whom she idolized. At first Christine hesitated about wearing black on the journey, but she soon learned that it increased her charms, and that it gave protection from annoyance. Many supposed she was a young widow. So thought a handsome naval officer whom she had met in London. When Christine returned to her room, she found that a messenger boy had brought her his card, with compliments, and a request that she occupy a seat at his table for the voyage. With a black jacket on her arm, Christine was conducted to her seat at dinner by the chief steward. She wore a plain black skirt and waist of black and white, with black belt and jet buckle.
An up-to-date liner is a sumptuous hotel afloat. The safety, speed, and comfort of the modern steamer does not destroy but rather enhances the romance of ocean voyage. The handsome young officer and pretty Christine, as they promenaded the decks, added effect to the passing show. Her mourning costume gradually yielded to outing suits of violet tints with white collar and cuffs, and a simple black sailor’s cap with white cord for band.
Artist that Christine was, and lover of the ocean, she and the officer watched the sea change from a transient green to a light blue and back again, then to a deep blue when the sun was hidden in a cloud, then, when the fogs were encountered, to a cold grey.
Christine took great interest in the easy navigation of the steamer; she watched the officers take observations, and verify the ship’s run. Frequently she was seen with the young officer on the bridge, he pointing out the lighthouse on the dangerous Scilly Islands, the last sight of old England off Land’s End, she enjoying the long swell and white crested billows, as the shelter of the British coast was left behind.
A charming first night aboard ship it was, the moon full, the sky picturesque, the sea dark, except where the steamer and her screws churned it white; at the bow, showers and spray of phosphorus, and at the stern, rippling eddies and a long path of phosphorus and white foam.
Christine wished she could transfer to canvas the swift steamer, as she felt it in her soul, powerful as a giant and graceful as a woman; at the mast-head an electric star, red and green lights on either side, long rows of tremulous bulbs of light from numerous portholes; the officers on the bridge with night glass in hand, walking to and fro, dark figures of sailors at the bow and in the crow’s nest, all eyes and ears. “All’s well” lulls to sleep the after-dinner loungers in chairs along the deck, while brave men and fair women keep step to entrancing music.
With a week of favorable weather, and unprecedented speed the record out was won; officers, sailors, passengers, all were jubilant. On Pier 14, North River, Fredrika and her husband met Christine, and drove to their fine home overlooking the Central Park.
* * * * *
Alfonso Harris had come on to New York to spend a week of pleasure; already he had secured his ticket for Amsterdam via Antwerp by the Red Star Line. He was prepared to keep his promise to Christine. “To match gold with gold!”
In his rounds among the artists he happened to step into the Art Student’s League, and there learned that his old artist-chum, Leo, was in New York, and stopping at the Plaza Hotel. At once he took cab, and, surely enough, there on the hotel register was the name Leo Colonna, Rome. Alfonso sent up his card, and the waiter soon returned with the reply, “The marquis will see Mr. Harris at once in his rooms.” It is needless to say that the marquis was both shocked and delighted to see alive a friend whom he supposed long ago dead.
After dinner Alfonso and Leo drove to their old club, and as ever talked and confided in each other. Alfonso told the marquis the romantic story of his life, of his pecuniary success, and that he should sail in a few days to wed Christine, if possible.
The marquis hesitated in his reply, as if in doubt whether to proceed or not. Observing this, Alfonso said, “Speak freely, tell me what you were thinking about.”
“Nothing, Alfonso, only a report I heard at the club last night.”
“What report, marquis?”
“A report or story concerning a beautiful widow, who had just arrived from Amsterdam. From the minute description given—she had fair face, blue eyes, fleecy hair and loved art—I suspected that the woman in black might be Christine De Ruyter.”
“You surprise me, Leo, but what was the report?”
“Alfonso, pardon me, I have said too much already.”
“No, go on and tell me all.”
“Alfonso, since the report is concerning a woman’s character, my lips should be sealed, and would be, except you my friend are the most interested party. The club story is that a handsome young officer, who left his newly wedded wife in Bristol, England, was so much enamored of the charming widow aboard ship that suspicions were aroused, and in fact confirmed, by an additional report that valuable diamonds had been sent by the same officer from Tiffany’s to the lady, who is stopping somewhere on Central Park. There, Alfonso, I have given you the story and the whole may be true or false.”
It was now Alfonso’s turn to be shocked; he could not believe what the marquis had told him. Next day he visited the office of the American Line, found that Christine De Ruyter was a passenger on the last steamer, and the purser gave him her New York address. Then the marquis volunteered to call, in Alfonso’s interests, upon Miss De Ruyter who seemed glad to see him, and was amazed with the story which he had to tell, not only of himself, and his good fortune, but that of Alfonso. That the latter was alive and wealthy was news almost too good to believe.
The marquis reported to Alfonso that Christine was overjoyed to have a bygone mystery so fortunately cleared up, and that she sent him an urgent invitation to call at once.
Christine congratulated herself over her good luck at the very threshold of the new world. “Strange romance, indeed, it would be,” she mused to herself, “if, after having refused the poor artist, he having gained riches should prove loyal, and lay his heart and fortune at my feet! Would I reject him? No, indeed! He has gold now.” Thus musing to herself before the mirror, she gave final touches to her toilet, and stepped down into her sister’s sumptuous parlor to wait for a lover, restored from the depths of the sea.
Promptly at 9 o’clock Alfonso was ushered into Fredrika’s parlor. For a second, Christine stood fixed and pale, for Alfonso it really was, and she had believed him dead; then extending her hand she gave him greeting. For a full hour Alfonso and Christine talked, each telling much of what had transpired in the intervening years. Alfonso said he was quite as much surprised to find that she was still unmarried, as she seemed surprised that he was still alive.
“Alfonso, I have waited long for you,” Christine replied.
“Ah, yes, Christine, but have you been true all these years?”
As Alfonso spoke these words, he sat with Christine’s hand in his own, looking inquiringly into her blue eyes for her answer. Her face flushed and she was speechless.
Alfonso, dropping her hand, said in a kindly voice, “For years I have kept pure and sought to be worthy of you, and fortune has smiled upon me; I could now match gold with gold, but when I demand purity for purity your silence and your blushes condemn you, and I must bid you a final farewell.”
Christine could not answer, and as Alfonso left the house, she fell weeping upon the sofa, where her sister Fredrika found her, long past midnight. The terrible sorrow of that evening remained forever a mystery to Fredrika.
It was 10 o’clock next morning when the marquis called upon Alfonso Harris at the Hotel Holland. He found him busy answering important letters from the coast. The marquis was not long in detecting that Alfonso lacked his usual buoyancy of spirits, and so rightly concluded that the meeting with Christine the night before had resulted unfavorably.
Alfonso explained all that transpired, and the two artists, who had flattered themselves that they knew women well, admitted to each other their keen disappointment in Christine’s character. Both lighted cigars, and for a moment or two unconsciously smoked vigorously, as if still in doubt as to their unsatisfactory conclusions.
Soon Alfonso said, “Leo, how about your own former love, Rosie Ricci? To meet Rosie again was possibly the motive that prompted you to leave your estate in Italy.”
“Yes, Alfonso, I loved Rosie, as I once frankly stated to your sister on the ocean, but in a moment of peevishness she returned the engagement tokens, and the lovers’ quarrel resulted in separation. But after the death of Lucille I found the smouldering fires of the old love for Rosie again easily fanned into a flame, so I crossed the sea in search of my dear country-woman.”
“And did you find her!”
“Yes, Alfonso, that is, all that was left of the vivacious, happy songster, as we once knew her. Her new world surroundings proved disastrous.”
“Look, here is a picture in water color, that tells the story.” Saying this the Marquis slowly removed a white paper from a small sketch which he had made the week before. It was a picture in the morgue on the East River, with its half hundred corpses, waiting recognition or burial in the Potter’s Field. Upon a cold marble slab lay the body of a young girl, her shapely hands across her breast. Alfonso recognized Rosie’s sweet face and golden tresses that artists had raved over.
The marquis in sad tones added a few words of explanation. “The senator who educated Rosie proved a villain. When she acted as Juliet at the Capitol, fashionable society gave hearty approval of her rare abilities. Rosie’s genius, like a shooting star, flashed across the sky and then shot into oblivion.”
A few days afterwards, Alfonso on the pier with his white handkerchief waved adieu to Leo who had resolved to wed art in sunny Italy. Sad memories decided Alfonso to leave New York at once. For a short time he was inclined to give up a new purpose, and return to his own family at Harrisville, but the law of equity controlled his heart, he journeyed back to the Pacific Coast, and again approached the Yosemite Valley.
Seated again on Inspiration Point, he gazed long and earnestly into the gorge below. He could discern neither smoke nor moving forms. All had changed; not the peaks, or domes, or wonderful waterfalls; all these remained the same. But where were Red Cloud and kind-hearted Mariposa? Alfonso’s own race now occupied the valley for pleasure and for gain.
Mariposa might not be of his own race, but she had a noble heart. Education had put her in touch with civilization, and she was as pure as the snow of the Sierras. He wondered if she ever thought of him. He remembered that, when he rode away, her face was turned toward the Bridal Veil Falls. Did she thus intend to say, “I love you?”
At midnight, as the moon rose above the forest, the tall pines whispered of Mariposa, of wild flowers she was wont to gather, of journeys made to highest peaks, of weeks of watching and waiting, and of the burial of Red Cloud at the foot of an ancient sequoia; then the language of the breezes among the pines became indistinct, and Alfonso, half-asleep, half-awake, saw approaching a white figure. Two dark eyes full of tears, gazed into his face, at first with a startled look, and then with a gleam of joy and trust.
Alfonso exclaimed, “Mariposa!” He sought to clasp her in his arms, but the graceful figure vanished, and the pines seemed to whisper, “Alfonso, I go to join the braves in the happy hunting grounds beyond the setting sun. You will wed the fairest of your people. Adieu.”
When Alfonso awoke, the ring of beaten gold was gone, where, he knew not. The tourist-coach was rumbling down the mountain road, and he joined it. After an inspection of his mines, he sadly left the Sierras for San Francisco.
The prophetic words of Mariposa, whispered among the pines, proved true. Alfonso again met Gertrude’s best friend, beautiful Mrs. Eastlake, now a young widow, and later he married her, making their home on Knob Hill, the most fashionable quarter of the city by the Golden Gate.
What is of more value to civilization, or what commands a greater premium in the world than successful leadership? Successful leaders are few, and the masses follow. Honor, fame, power, and wealth are some of the rewards of great leadership. The confidences bestowed and the responsibilities assumed are often very great. A betrayal of important trusts, or a failure to discharge responsibilities, usually brings swift and terrible punishment, poverty, prison, disgrace, and dishonor to descendants.
George Ingram had proved himself a successful leader, and those who knew him best, by study of his methods and his works, saw his capacity for leadership. Hence the popular demand for him to stand as candidate for mayor of Harrisville. His practical intelligence, and his acuteness in observation of character, had served him well in organizing, developing, and controlling the greatest model steel-plant of his generation, which for quality, quantity, and minimum cost of products had attracted the attention of manufacturers and scientists. Politicians soon discovered in George Ingram natural prudence and tact in behavior. The strong religious element of the city conceded that he possessed, as a certain doctor of divinity said, “a nice sense of what is right, just and true, with a course of life corresponding thereto.”
The alert women of the city were in hearty approval of conferring the honor of Mayor upon George Ingram. They knew that the completeness of his character resulted in no small degree from the influence of his gifted wife. The practical business men of the city saw that the proposed candidate for mayor had good common sense. So all party spirit was laid aside, as it should be in local politics, and George Ingram was nominated and elected unanimously as the mayor of Harrisville. His cabinet, composed of the heads of several departments, was filled with able men, who with zest took up their portfolios not with the thought of personal gain but with the lofty purpose of securing the utmost good to every citizen.
Fortunately the city had adopted the just principle of paying its servants liberally for all services rendered. By the so-called “Federal Plan” the number of members of the Cabinet, of the Board of Control, of the Council, and of the School Board, has been so reduced that at their meetings speeches and angry discussions were tabooed; each associate member was respected, if not on his own account, then on behalf of his constituency, and all business was discussed and consummated with the same courtesy and efficiency, as at a well regulated board of bank directors.
Never before were streets so well paved, cleaned and sprinkled; never were city improvements so promptly made without increase of debt, and never did public schools prosper better. Men of experience on all lines were drafted on special committees and commissions, and vigorous work toward practical ends went forward on river, harbor, and other improvements.
Electricity, supplied by the city, furnished power, heat, and light. High pressure water relegated the steam fire-engine to the Historical Society, and low pressure water, at minimum cost, was supplied to the people in such abundance that during the summer season, before sunrise, all paved streets were cleansed by running water and brush brooms. All sewerage and garbage were promptly removed, and used to enrich the suburban market-gardens.
Every country road leading into the city had its electric railway with combination passenger and freight cars, and farm products for the people were delivered in better condition, earlier at the markets, and at much reduced prices. The advantages enjoyed by rich and poor in Harrisville were soon noised abroad, and the influx of new comers constantly increased the growth of the city. Mayor Ingram had been given a re-election. Prosperity in his own business had brought great returns, and the mayor’s chief concern was, what to do with his accumulations.
One day the County Commissioners, the City Government, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Board of Education were equally surprised to receive from George Ingram the announcement that he would build for the people at his own expense a court house, a city hall, a public library, and public baths. He had often wondered how it was possible that other millionaires could overlook and miss such opportunities to distribute surplus funds among the people. Gertrude early observed the city’s needs, and had pointed out the opportunity to George, urging that part of her father’s money should be united with their own increasing wealth to supply funds for the execution of their plans.
The four committees appointed by city and county acted speedily in the consideration of details. It was decided to construct a group of buildings on the park. The architecture adopted for all four structures was Romanesque in style; granite was used for wall work, and darker stone for ornamentation. The plans accepted exhibited less massiveness than the original Romanesque, and showed a tendency towards the lightness and delicacy of finish which modern culture demands.
The new court house located on the park enabled the architect to connect it by an historical “Bridge of Sighs” with the prison and old court house across the street. The city hall was properly made the most prominent of the group of buildings. Its first floor and basement were combined in a great assembly hall, capable of seating 10,000 people with an abundance of light, fresh air, and eight broad entrances for exit. As the belfry or tower was a leading feature of most mediaeval town-halls, so the artistic feature of the Harrisville city hall was its lofty tower, containing chimes, above which was to be placed an appropriate bronze statue. The library and the baths were built on the park.
The Romanesque style of all the buildings gave fine opportunity to introduce elaborate carvings about the entrance arches, and across the facades to chisel quaint faces above the windows, and grotesque heads out of corbels at the eaves.
The group of public buildings was finally completed and dedicated with much formality. The city government unanimously adopted resolutions as follows:—
“Resolved,—That the City of Harrisville accepts, with profound gratitude, from Mayor George Ingram, the munificent gift of buildings for a City Hall and Public Library as stated in his letters of ——; That the City accepts the three noble gifts upon the conditions in said letter, which it will faithfully and gladly observe, as a sacred trust in accordance with his desire.
“Resolved,—That in gratefully accepting these gifts, the City tenders to Mayor George Ingram its heartfelt thanks, and desires to express its deep sense of obligation for the elegant buildings, for years of wise counsel and unselfish service, and for the free use of valuable patents. The City recognizes the Christian faith, generosity, and public spirit that have prompted him to supply the long felt wants by these gifts of great and permanent usefulness.”
Similar resolutions were adopted by the county commissioners.
Nearly three millions were thus disposed of by the mayor and his wife. Close attention to business, and the severe labors in behalf of the city, undermined the health of George Ingram, and his physical and mental strength failed him at the wrong time, for his ship was now approaching a cyclone on the financial sea.
Tariff matters had been drifting from bad to worse, politicians were seeking to secure advantages for their constituents by changes in the tariff schedule, speculation was running wild in the stock exchanges of the country, cautious business men and bankers in the larger cities discovered an ominous black cloud rising out of the horizon. Bank rates of interest increased, more frequent renewals were made, deposits dwindled, country bankers weakened, and financiers in the metropolis were calling loans made to the interior. With the financial cyclone at its height, the demands were so great upon The Harris-Ingram Steel Co. that creditors threatened to close the steel plant.
The cry for help went up from the Harris-Ingram mills, but their trusted leader was powerless. George Ingram lay insensible at death’s door, the victim of pneumonia. For a week, the directors of the steel company struggled night and day with their difficulties. Gertrude could neither leave the bedside of her dying husband, nor would she give her consent to have the Harris-Ingram Experiment wrecked. She had already pledged as collateral for the creditors of the steel company all their stock and personal property, and had telephoned the directors to keep the company afloat another day, if in their power.
The ablest physicians of the city were standing at George Ingram’s bedside in despair, as all hope of his recovery had vanished. Gertrude stepped aside into her library, and was in the very agony of prayer for help, when in rushed her brother Alfonso, whom the family believed dead. He had come from California with his wife, and stopping at the company’s office, had learned of the terrible trouble of his family.
Lifting up his broken-hearted sister, who for a moment thought that she had met her brother on the threshold of the other world, he kissed Gertrude and said, “Be brave, go back to your husband, and trust your brother to look after the steel company’s matters.”
Alfonso learned that one million dollars were needed at once to tide over the company’s affairs; he drew two checks, for five hundred thousand dollars each, upon his banks in San Francisco and requested the creditors to wire to the coast. Before two o’clock replies came that Alfonso Harris’s cheeks were good, and the only son of Reuben Harris had saved the “Harris-Ingram Experiment.” Mariposa’s band of beaten gold had worked its magic.
* * * * *
A public funeral was given George Ingram. He was a man the city could ill afford to lose, and every citizen felt he had lost a personal friend. All business was suspended, and the mills were shut down. For two days the body of the dead mayor lay in state in the city hall he had built and given to the people. The long line of citizens that filed past the coffin continued through the night till dawn, and even then, great throngs stood in the rain with flowers for his casket.
As a token of their high regard the people voted to change the name of the city of Harrisville to Harris-Ingram, the suburb which was annexed, and to place a bronze statue of George Ingram on the tower above the city hall, which now became his fitting monument. Labor and capital united in electing for the head of the great Harris-Ingram Steel Company, Alfonso, the millionaire and artist-son of Reuben Harris.