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Here, as in all other cities around, the sacredness even of human life is only just beginning to be recognised; there is not the slightest difference between Sunday and any other day: railways are in full operation, special arrangements are made for pleasure excursions, newspapers are published, shops are open, and human nature loses nearly all the refining safeguards of civilisation. Nearly every one carries fire-arms. It was matter of no remark for gentlemen to fire at prairie dogs, as the train passed them, from the platform of the cars; while the quarrels of boon companions frequently end in murder. During my stay here, a story appeared in a neighbouring paper, to the effect that a working man, somewhat the worse for liquor, entered one of the railway cars without a ticket. In due course the conductor came round, and on asking the man where he wished to go, received the reply that he did not quite know. "Well," said the conductor, "I must give you a ticket for somewhere, so just say where you are going." "Well, then," stammered the traveller, "I suppose I am going to "Very good," said the official; "then I will give you a ticket for Pueblo." In all western cities, jealousy and rivalry are two of the most conspicuous features of civil life; every village almost issues its daily paper, and the personalities circulated through them are often of the coarsest kind. And while I have no doubt that this little episode is purely fictitious, and was invented by a rival editor to take a rise out of Pueblo, yet it must be admitted that in this instance the invention might have been much farther from the truth. It was the only place I visited in which I felt the sense of insecurity; and I moved onwards to the pleasure resort of Colorado Springs and Manitou with a feeling of unspeakable relief.

Colorado is the great health resort of Central America. Even the prairies stand at an elevation of 6000 feet. The climate is extremely dry; in the winter snow frequently falls, but never remains long on the ground; in summer the heat is almost tropical, the loveliest cacti bloom on the plains, humming-birds hover over the flowers and dart like rays of golden light through the pine-trees, and yet in spite of the heat the air is fresh and bracing. To persons suffering from heart disease, Colorado, from its altitude, is certain death; whereas to the consumptive it is an unfailing cure. Nine out of every ten persons one meets with

here, are either invalids or people who came hither in search of health and have been completely restored. In this State there are no game laws-from humming-birds to eagles, and from squirrels to bears and mountain lions, game is found in abundance, and for one fortnight I lived like a backwoodsman never losing sight of my gun from sunrise to evening shade.

The greater part of my time here was spent at a ranch about twelve miles from Colorado Springs. The railway ran within about three miles of my temporary home. There was no station; but with the good-nature common to the "setting-up" of a new country, and the absence of "red tape," the train pulled up by previous arrangement to set me down, and stopped by my own signal on the return journey. During my stay here I was introduced to many novel phases of human life. In the ranch where I stayed, away from the busy strife of the world, in the heart of the mountains, where no traveller was seen from one week to another, and which was built for the "raising" of cattle, I found a home-not like a good farm-house in England, rough, damp, spacious, and comfortless, but built with every modern appliance, and luxuriously furnished. The hostess was young, possessed of good fortune, accomplished, and as a musician would have taken high rank even among professionals. Her husband had died soon after their marriage, and with her mother, one little boy, and a negro servant, she spent the summer every year in this lonely but beautiful home, shutting it up and returning to town in winter. How I managed to secure a temporary home there was mere matter of accident. I had been recommended to a boarding-house, really a hospital for consumptive patients, before leaving Chicago, situated in the same district; but when I reached there, I found it quite full, and I discovered myself like an emigrant, with my trunk, alone under the open sky. Sitting down to meditate, I was joined by the host of the establishment, who told me of this ranch three or four miles away, and, touched by my appearance perhaps, he very kindly offered to give me one night's accommodation. Introduced to the company, I found them all invalids in different degrees of convalescence. They were from all parts of the States. One I discovered had come from Dublin, and he assured me that during the two months he had been there his progress was almost incredible. In the evening

the doctor called. I found he first came here in search of health, and, having been cured of consumption himself, and dreading a relapse if he ventured back to his Eastern home, he had settled down in the locality in pursuit of his own profession. Fortunately for me, he was visiting the ranch professionally, and, armed with one or two letters of introduction, he very graciously commended me to the hostess, and through his intervention I was received the next day as a guest.

It may perhaps be asked if it is safe or respectable for ladies to live alone in homes so far removed from civilisation. In England it might perhaps be doubtful, but it is not so in America. It is perfectly safe for any lady to travel alone in America, and the wilder the country the safer she becomes. In the unsettled districts, there exists a gallantry amongst even the roughest men which amounts almost to chivalry. Women are placed at a high premium, and any discourtesy is regarded as a mortal offence. Ladies travel here as often without as with gentlemen; they go long distances by night and day; and although they seem "free and easy" and sometimes even outré to our prim notions, yet the slightest blush of rudeness would be resented quite as promptly as by the more retiring daughters of our own land.

While here, I met with another phase of American life, which, if not positively romantic, is at least new and singular. Wandering among the hills in search of birds and insects, I came upon a tent on the bank of a small brook, and overshadowed by cotton trees. A tall, fine, handsome, venerablelooking man, with long flowing beard, slouch Mexican hat, white flannel jersey, breeches and top boots, sat at the tent door. I ventured to accost him; my courtesy was returned in reassuring accents, and after a brief interchange of commonplaces I was offered a seat and invited to be at home. To my great astonishment, I discovered that this tent-dweller was as rich as Abraham; that he possessed many herds of cattle on the prairies; that he was engaged in raising stock for the market; and that withal he was a scholar and gentleman. Brought up in an eastern city and educated at a university, he had said to himself many years before, "I must move to the West, the beautiful West; there is no scope for me in the crowded home of my childhood," and away he went with a

'prairie schooner," otherwise a waggon and pair of horses, carrying with him a small library, a cooking stove, and a few of the commonest necessaries, encamping when and where he chose, shooting game as he moved forwards, and taking a close survey of the best localities for cattle feeding and farm purposes generally. Making money by service in frontier cities, he next purchased a few cattle, branded them with his own initials, and turned them adrift on the unenclosed lands. In due time these were hunted up and sold. More young stock was bought in their place, and again turned on the prairies, to find their own living and further enrich their owner. At last, having cattle sufficient to engage his whole attention, the owner turned "stockman," and became a tent-dweller, like the patriarchs of old, prosperous, rich, and happy, and moving from place to place tending his vast herds of cattle intended for the markets of the East.

Such, I found, was the career of this ranchero, or cow-puncher, as they are sometimes called, enjoying the shade of the cottontrees at his tent door, in the foot-hills of the Rocky Mountains. Living a bachelor's life for many years, he at last got married. I was introduced to his wife and two children, whom I found perfectly happy, and having no desire to share the excitement or dull routine of city life. I visited my new friend on several successive days. He told me that he had crossed the great prairie seven times, and that he shot whatever food he required. in the form of meat. His larder was just then running very short, and if time had been no object, I should have gone with him into the mountains, where he said he would find deer and mountain sheep in abundance. His experience was full of wild adventure, and yet, said he, "I would rather cease to live altogether than give up my tent, and be forced to reside in a stuffy city and a fixed house where one cannot breathe."

Here also was the home of the celebrated and dreaded pest in the now familiar Colorado beetle. It is very small, comparatively speaking, not more than half an inch long, of a dark yellow, and prettily marked with parallel lines of black. It feeds upon the tops of the potato, and in its own territory it is comparatively rare, its food-plant not yet being under extensive cultivation. As in all insect pests, the damage is done not by the perfect insect, but by the larvæ or caterpillars. I saw them


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almost everywhere, and their ravages are almost incredible. They swarm over the potato haulm in myriads, from the slimylooking slug just emerging from the egg, to the smart, handsome insect with hard elytra; and in a few days the green foliage of a whole potato field will be utterly destroyed, leaving nothing but the stumps a few inches long. At present the only known cure is Paris green, a deadly and costly poison; and in many cases the loss of the whole crop is preferred to the expense of applying the remedy. Every precaution has been taken to exclude it from England; but so far as I can judge of its nature, if it were to be imported it would never thrive. Our climate is too wet and cold. It seems to do the best in bright sunshine and hot weather; and if this is so, we may thank our most trying climate for ridding us of one of the direst scourges of the insect world. ROBERT R. RODGERS.

(To be continued.)


THE central fact of Christianity is, that the Lord Jesus Christ Himself is the Head of His Church, and the Light of His people. Should this fact be ignored, and some ruler other than the Lord Jesus Christ be regarded as supreme in the Church, or some other source of spiritual illumination be recognised as superior to Him, then the function of the Church must become seriously impaired, and its complete disintegration, indeed, as a Church, as a means of conducing towards the spiritual elevation of mankind, be only a matter of time. The Lord says: "I am the First and the Last" (Rev. i. 17), therefore undivided worship is to be rendered Him, and supreme obedience shown Him. He says again: "I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness;" or, as it is elsewhere expressed: "I am the light of the world; he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life" (John xii. 46, viii. 12). Therefore He ought to be approached as the chief authority in all matters relating to the things which concern His kingdom. His testimony, as that of the very truth itself (John xiv. 6), is to be deemed as far outweighing that derivable from any other source.

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