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REVEL in sleeping-cars. I like to think of the original Mr. Pullman, or whoever it was whose mind first conceived the modern sleeping-car, as a philanthropist, a missionary who had a vision of the joy of life, and labored to bring it into our prosy existence. He looked upon his fellow-men, and found them civilized. Because some savage, gloriously dirty, had had the temerity to take a bath and had relished the sensation of cleanliness, cleanliness had become a convention of our century. Because another savage, a little later, had encircled his neck with a starched collar and had enjoyed the esteem which this invention drew from the collarless plebeians, he found the people of our enlightened age slaves to collars and all that collars stand for.
Now, he knew in his heart that his friend Jones would once in a while like to dispense with shaving, let his hair grow, and march to his office, unbathed, in his pajamas. Instead of satisfying this human craving for change in such a pleasantly normal way, Jones waited for his two-weeks' vacation, and then hied himself to the woods, where, with fishing or hunting or communion with nature as a pretext, he could be dirty and uncivilized to his heart's content.
But vacations, reasoned Mr. Pullman, are fleeting. And then he slapped his thigh and cried, "Eureka!
"I shall conventionalize discomfort," he said. "Everybody has to travel by night sometimes; Jones often does. I shall de
vise a form of travel utterly uncomfortable and barbarian. I shall invent a car in which there are no beds, but shelves reached only by a step-ladder or gymnastics. In it there shall be a wash-room in which washing is a difficult adventure and shaving a gamble with death. I shall man it with porters who leave the lights on and waken one at the wrong stations; I shall have the whole car in constant vibration, and shaken up like a medicinebottle once every hour; sleep will thus become as impossible as it is to the camperout on his bed of pointed balsam-twigs. When the traveler arrives at his destination he will feel as if he had n't slept or washed or consorted with the civilized for a fortnight. He will sing in his bath once more, and put on his starched collar with a thankful heart."
So Mr. Pullman drew his plans; and he looked upon the car of his making, and it was uncomfortable.
Those who travel in sleeping-cars may be divided into two classes: people with foresight and people without it. The former engage their accommodations two days in advance and are assigned lower berths, which have, for those resigned to wakefulness, a view. Members of this class tell me that to raise one's head from the pillow and see the moonlit country fly by, or to pass a train-yard and see the locomotives tossing their plumes of steam against the blackness of the sky, or to follow the progress of the dawn in an endlessly varying motion-picture, is a joy so
exquisite that it would drive poets to rhapsodies, But the poets belong to the second class; they are on their uppers.
On a sleeper, if at no other time, I fall in the same category with the poets. I never get to the ticket-office until the day of departure, and the answer is always the same.
"A lower on the midnight to New York," I say, just as if I expected to get it. The clerk consults a chart.
"Nothing but uppers to-night," he says. It is as inevitable as the tides.
But as I climb to my exalted place I have this consolation: I am one of the vagabond class, the army of the care-free and improvident. Those whose hats nod to the jolting of the train on the hooks about me are people like myself, who never can keep their accounts up, and never pack their trunks till the last moment, and know what it is to eat a whole restaurant dinner and then find they left their money in their other trousers. Below us the prudent lie behind their petticoat-curtains; we belong to the fellowship of unpreparedness.
The ascent to an upper is an art in itself; and as one would expect of an art, it is long. I do not mean the ascent by step-ladder. There are those who climb. mountains by railroad, who let minions put on their bait, who require caddies to tee their golf-balls, who hunt with beaters to drive the game toward them; there are also those who reach their uppers on carpeted steps. Yet the heroic breed, thank Roosevelt, is not extinct. Luxury has not yet completely sapped our national virility. Some of us are made of sterner stuff. We climb unassisted and alone.
The porter leads us down the green alley to our place. We open our bag, and select those articles which we shall need on our adventure. These we throw into the berth. The porter pushes our bag far into the twilight recesses behind the spittoon and the suitcase of the gentleman in the lower and the golf-bag of the gentleman in the next berth. We are ready for the adventure.
What follows happens very quietly.
There are no heroics. No rope is used in the ascent; no guides help us over the difficult places. There is even nothing distinctive about our attire to catch the casual eye: we wear a simple gray climbing-suit, stout, black climbing-shoes, an unostentatious climbing-collar, and a useful climbing-necktie. Quietly we bid good-by to our trusty guide.
"Nonsense, man, we say heartily, "there will be no accident. Still, if anything should go wrong, perhaps it would be easier for you to bear if you had something to remember us by." Tenderly we take off our shoes and hand them to him. His eyes fill with tears. "Keep these until we return. Carry them off with you to your little room; and if in the long night watches you should ever think of us, take out your little brush and black them. Farewell."
We are off. Quickly we assume position A, with both hands grasping the horizontal bar and with our right foot firmly planted on the chest of the old gentleman in the lower. We push off vigorously. If the old gentleman's chest be of a proper firmness and resiliency, this push brings us to position B, with the left knee in the sharp knee-hold on the edge of the upper berth and the right leg at large. The right leg is then brought convulsively upward and forward and laid carefully in the upper berth, and the left leg is at liberty to follow it. From this point on all is plain squirming.
Perfect technic under proper climatic conditions will now have brought us to position C, that is, balancing on the ninth vertebra, with the feet waving gently above us. We have arrived. We are at liberty to enjoy the unrivaled scenic effects which our fatiguing journey has enabled us to secure. And then-we discover that we have left behind an important half of our pajamas.
Let us pass hurriedly over the humiliation of our descent and reascent. Let us modestly draw the curtains-and button them-over the busy scene which follows. Let us suppose the battle ended; the victor prone upon his berth, panting with
stealthily, and then yanks repeatedly and
Later, when morning comes, you will
The train arrives. Dirty, mussy, sleepy, covered with a fine cinder-dust that the porter has brushed to and fro, but not removed, you go to your club. What a soul-satisfying shave! Hot-water faucets that give hot water; real soap, instead of the kind that squirts; a porcelain basin that you 're not in danger of falling into bodily. Your bath is entrancing; each clean garment you put on with a separate delight. And as you go to breakfast you offer a little prayer of thanks to the good Mr. Pullman, who put back the savor in the salt of civilization.
triumph; the defeated underwear hanging limply in their little hammock. Now begins the true joy of the Pullman life.
Sleep? Bless you, no, I don't mean that. Sleep is too prosaic. Why, at home you can sleep any night in a civilized bed; anybody who would want to sleep on a sleeper would be a stupid. I mean lying with the light shining in your eyes and feeling yourself quiver like a chocolate blanc-mange with the vibration of the car. I mean listening to the person in the next upper, who made the ascent in his evening clothes, gasp with the exertion of trying to throw the claw-hammer without stepping out of the circle. I mean poking your head out through the curtain like an African dodger and watching the porter make up a berth, which reminds you of that little game where you say, “Think of a number, and add so-and-so to it, and subtract so-and-so, and add so-and-so, and subtract the number you first thought of, and that leaves 5" (Cheers, and cries of, "I don't see how he does it. Do you, Mr. Nesbit?"). The porter starts with all the blankets and things in one berth, and transfers virtually all of them to the other, and then transfers virtually all of them back again, and so on indefinitely; and the answer is two beds. I mean tasting the excitement of the trainmen's car-shunting gymkhana, which takes place at every station along the journey, and the object of which is to see which can be more successful in waking the porter whom the lady in Upper 12 has been ringing for steadily during fifteen minutes: Team A, which draws off its locomotive to a distance and then charges your car, relying for its success on one prodigious bump; or Team B, which attaches its locomotive to your car
Drawn by GEORGE MORROW
THE LITTLE BAT-LIKE BEAST: "I hear there is to be a grand procession to-morrow. Are you going?" DIPLODOCUS: "Am I going? Why, I am the procession."
THE STEGOSAURUS, to his friends, who have been complimenting him on his striking appearance: "Despite all you say, I am not to be envied. Alas! I find it almost impossible to lead that life of obscurity and peaceful retirement which I have always ardently desired."
The Foreign Loans
By H. V. CANN
HERE might have been no war if European governments and diplomats could have foreseen how great and permanent would be the material gains in America from the waste in Europe.
The new conditions have transferred across the Atlantic an enormous amount of wealth, and rapidly created in the United States enough surplus capital to place its bankers in the forefront of the world's international money-lenders.
Since the autumn of 1914 loans aggregating nearly seventeen hundred million dollars have been negotiated here by European governments, syndicates of bankers, Latin-American countries, the Dominion of Canada, and a number of its provinces and municipalities. These loans were made in various forms; on secured and unsecured bonds, special credits, and short-term notes. A few were current less than one year, but the usual terms were from one to five years, excepting several issues of municipal bonds.
The largest debtor is the United Kingdom, with France a close second, followed, in the order of indebtedness, by Canada, Russia, Argentina, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Yucatan, Norway, Greece, Chile, Sweden, Panama, Bolivia, and Uruguay.
A broad public market for foreign securities has not yet developed here, but a certain volume of trading is carried on, and prices of the leading issues are published daily. It is probable that in time the flotation of foreign loans will become a matter of course, and then underwriters will reach a larger market among private investors. Great blocks of Anglo-French bonds were taken by two industrial corporations engaged in the manufacture of war-supplies. One of these companies originated an able policy by distributing the bonds to shareholders in lieu of cash dividends.
Probably not more than two thirds of the whole seventeen hundred millions was outstanding at any one time, as a number of the shorter loans have already been liquidated. Ninety per cent. of the amount current will mature and likely require long-term refunding within the next five years.
In nearly every case where loans were