Caesar's Column eBook

Ignatius Donnelly
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 287 pages of information about Caesar's Column.

Gabriel Weltstein.

CHAPTER II.

Myadventure

My Dear Heinrich: 

I little supposed when I wrote you yesterday that twenty four hours could so completely change my circumstances.  Then I was a dweller in the palatial Darwin Hotel, luxuriating in all its magnificence.  Now I am hiding in a strange house and trembling for my liberty;—­but I will tell you all.

Yesterday morning, after I had disposed by sample of our wool, and had called upon the assayer of ores, but without finding him, to show him the specimens of our mineral discoveries, I returned to the hotel, and there, after obtaining directions from one of the clerks at the “Bureau of Information,” I took the elevated train to the great Central Park.

I shall not pause to describe at length the splendors of this wonderful place; the wild beasts roaming about among the trees, apparently at dangerous liberty, but really inclosed by fine steel wire fences, almost invisible to the eye; the great lakes full of the different water fowl of the world; the air thick with birds distinguished for the sweetness of their song or the brightness of their plumage; the century-old trees, of great size and artistically grouped; beautiful children playing upon the greensward, accompanied by nurses and male servants; the whole scene constituting a holiday picture.  Between the trees everywhere I saw the white and gleaming statues of the many hundreds of great men and women who have adorned the history of this country during the last two hundred years—­poets, painters, musicians, soldiers, philanthropists, statesmen.

After feasting my eyes for some time upon this charming picture of rural beauty, I left the Park.  Soon after I had passed through the outer gate,-guarded by sentinels to exclude the ragged and wretched multitude, but who at the same time gave courteous admission to streams of splendid carriages,—­I was startled by loud cries of “Look out there!” I turned and saw a sight which made my blood run cold.  A gray-haired, hump-backed beggar, clothed in rags, was crossing the street in front of a pair of handsome horses, attached to a magnificent open carriage.  The burly, ill-looking flunkey who, clad in gorgeous livery, was holding the lines, had uttered the cry of warning, but at the same time had made no effort to check the rapid speed of his powerful horses.  In an instant the beggar was down under the hoofs of the steeds.  The flunkey laughed!  I was but a few feet distant on the side-walk, and, quick as thought, I had the horses by their heads and pushed them back upon their haunches.  At this moment the beggar, who had been under the feet of the horses, crawled out close to the front wheels of the carriage; and the driver, indignant that anything so contemptible should arrest the progress of his magnificent equipage, struck him a savage blow with his whip, as he was

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Caesar's Column from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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