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towards the “innocents,” humoring all start on their way south, hugging the their fancies and often appearing to carry Pacific Coast the entire journey. Still out the realization of some of their wild others, like the brant, will start northward, ideas.
but alight at the great chain of lakes and There is the ludicrous side to it all, but seek food. After spending some weeks there is also the pitiful; while the tender- there they will take wing again for other ness, the tact and good will shown to these regions, and, without any leader or any simple-minded folk, who are free from all well-conceived ideas where they are going, restraint, astonish all who visit the town to will wander around and finally spend the inspect its system on behalf of other asy- winter between the temperate and arctic lums of Europe.
There are economic questions connected
with the migrations of birds that ornitholMigration of the Wild Goose and Otherogists, as yet, cannot answer. Why do Birds.
birds' leave habitations where compara
tively plenty of food awaits them and go “Honk! Honk! Honk!”
thousands of miles to another country?
Away up among the clouds, feet pointing toward Why do birds follow straight lines of latithe north; head and bill pointing toward
tude from north to south, instead of turn. the south; wings Alapping to the music of
ing eastward or westward and settling in the heart, swish, swish, day and night; no sleep, no rest, no food.
What is that V-shaped figure of birds that we see in the skies these days, with a leader just a little in advance of the others? It is a flock of the Branta Canadensis, or Canada goose. They are leaving their feeding grounds. The snow and frost have driven them away, and now they have undertaken a journey of several thousand miles for fresh fields in the everglades of Florida, and the warmer climates of Mexico and the South.
These migrations have been going on from time immemorial. Our fathers saw them when the country was a wilderness, when our fathers were settling along the borders of the great lakes, and no recollections of our boyhood days are keener than those of the sight of wild geese flying south. We used to marshal our artillery of bows and arrows, and when a flock made its appearance shoot into their midst, fully expecting to bring down a goose, but they all passed right on, disdainful of our little popguns.
Spring and autumn always find these birds ou the wing. In the spring they go north; in the fall they go south. Who taught them where to find subsistence?
Son of Bro. Ed. L. Parlett, member of Div. 273, Who gave them instinct to select a proper
Baltimore, Md. time, choose a leader, and then dart into the heavens so far up that they look like very desirable locations, where they would specks? The same God that never "lets a be free from the hunter's gun and find sparrow fall without his notice, who is plenty to eat? We cannot tell. Here is a good to all, and who giveth all their meat broad and open field for students of birds. in due season."
Man will migrate with his family to other Ornithologists have grouped together countries, settle among the people, adapt many birds that migrate, but no other himself to their habits and customs, and in birds are so remarkable or interesting as time become mobilized into the body polithose of the Branta Canadensis. Some, tic. Not so with the birds. They are clanlike Hutchins' goose, go down the Missis- nish, and remain so. They are loyal to the sippi Valley and find their way into Texas instincts of their nature wherever they are.
and Mexico. Others, again, like the cack- A Canada goose never “cackles,” and a ling goose, are seen in the valley of the Hutchins goose never “honks." Neither
Yukon River, and when fall approaches will fraternize with the other, or with the
goose kind anywhere outside of their own laws of this country should be more strict tribe. And what is true of them is equally and the people should become more inter true of the blackbird, the bluejay, the ori- ested in their enforcement.-D. Alden ole and the greenlets. All are fulfilling a Loomis, M. D. distinct mission of their own, and unconsciously working out the will of Him who created them. And they should be pro
Politeness in Mexico. tected; every ordinance enacted in their favor should be enforced, and violators of
Gentlemen in Mexico do some things these game laws should be made to understand that the states and nation are their
which would look rather queer here. For masters, and every one of them pun
example, they tip hats whenever they see ished.
each other; they shake bands whenever Upon general principles, there are two
they meet and part; they do not consider exciting forces for bird migration. One is
it bad form to stand in line on the sidea desire to nest and rear their young, and
walks and stare at the ladies; they wear
their hats in a theater until the curtain the other is a desire for food adapted to their strong and predatory natures. They rises, and, moreover, they put them on belove the regions of the north, they love to
tween the acts and stand up to look at the dive through the blinding storms of snow
audience, and after a separation they emand frost, and if their food were not cov
brace and pat each other on the back if ered would doubtless remain much longer.
they happen to be intimate friends. The climate seems to give them strength everywhere,
even in some theaters. They
They never chew tobacco but smoke and vigor, and their capacious and rapacious natures can be better satisfied. All
never carry bundles in the street, but each through these regions, extending from the
is attended by a servant who carries even coast of Labrador on the east to the coast
the smallest package. They are wonderof the Pacific on the west, hovering over
fully courteous to each other, and two the sounds and bays of the British posses
friends will spend a good deal of time in sions, large flocks of these birds may be deciding which shall enter a room or carseen feeding, nesting, flying, sailing-the riage first. natural scavengers of the great water
Finally, every Mexican gentleman, when marshes, and the natural food of untutored
strolling on a street, insists on giving the inhabitants who live and die in those un
inside of the walk to his companion as a civilized countries.
mark of politeness. This point is quickly But birds have their enemies. Those
decided if there is a difference in station or that are swift on the wing, like the swal
age, but if there is not and the two friends lows, can keep out of the way. All timid
go down a street and cross often, so that birds, weak in nature and weak in Alight,
the relative positions are changed, a new select the night for their migrations, and
discussion as to which shall occupy the inunder cover of darkness manage to elude
side becomes necessary at every corner. their enemies, and finally appear among the leaves and forests of the south to which their instinct leads them.
How to Relieve Choking. The birds are our natural allies. Wherever they are they become useful aids to civilization, and their value to farmers and Raising the left arm high as you can will horticulturists cannot be computed in dol- relieve choking much more rapidly than lars and cents. It matters not what are by being thumped on the back. . And it is the species, all come in for their share of well that every one should know it, for good. The yellow-billed cuckoo will kill often a person gets choked while eating and eat hundreds of caterpillars and worms when there is no onc near to thump him. in one day. Terns and gulls scenting the Very frequently children get choked while cod fisheries on Matinicus Island, many eating, and the customary manner of remiles away, will gather by the hundreds, lieving them is to slap them sharply on the and eat the cut and torn livers as they are back. The effect of this is to set the obthrown into the sea. Wild geese will de- struction free so that it can be swallowed. vour rodents and lizzards, while the crow The same thing can be brought about by and turkey buzzard will appropriate all the raising the left hand of the child as high carrion within the boundaries of their as possible, and the relief comes much domains. Horace Greeley used to say more rapidly. In happenings of this kind “Never kill a crow.” We say, further, there should be no alarm manifested, for if never kill a blackbird or a yellow-billed a child sees that older persons or parents cuckoo or a flicker. Flies and insects get excited it is very liable to get so also. would ruin the world were it not for the The best thing is to tell the child to raise birds. They prevent these dangerous pests its left arm, and immediately the difficulty from overrunning the land, and the game
All contributions to our Correspondence and Technical columns must be in not later than the Toth of the month to insure insertion.
Articles must be written on one side of the paper only. Noms de plume may be used, but every ar. ticle must be signed with full name and address of the writer to insure insertion.
We shall be glad to receive articles on any subject of general interest to the fraternity.
All communications are subject to revision or rejection, as the Editor may deem proper.
The Editor does not assume responsibility for the opinions expressed by contributors in this department. C. H. SALMONS, Editor and Manager.
Than join the pertinacious crowd
who, upward with their rolling eyes, Beg favors, full of wailings loud,
To give them here and o'er the skies. I'll take my chance with broad-gauged chaps;
I'll trust to your forgiving heart.
To cause regret when life I part.
And keep it up hereafter, too.
An Engineer Forty Years.
An Evening Prayer.
Tonight, Oh Lord, my heart is sick,
And every sigh I upward heave, Makes others follow fast and thick,
Until I naught can do but grieve To think of all life's heavy grades,
And every struggle which I make, Until my strength with toiling fades,
And weakness does my eyeballs shake. I'm told that for the likes of me
There is a ceaseless fire below, Which burns for all eternity,
With flames that most terrific glow, Because I don't on bended knees
Fire pious guff both night and day, To greet you, borne on every breeze,
And while most precious time away. I doubt it, Lord! You wouldn't strike
A chap like me below the belt? Indeed, it would be coward-like,
If by a pugilist 'twas dealt, Not talk of you, the King of all!
Whose very self is boundless love,
To dwell for evermore above.
And do not question where they go;
To soothe a fellow-creature's woe. I toil from dawn till midnight, too,
To keep the wolf of want away; What more can any mortal do,
Except neglect such work and pray? His reverence says that when I die
My weary bones will ne'er be found Where orthodox believers lie
Entombed in consecrated ground. I don't care nor believe him, Lord;
His heart is good, he's just and true; A shepherd's fear is in each word
That my poor soul would stray from you. Most gracious Lord, I'm now too old
To change the tenor of my life. Id rather stand the chronic scold
I get each Sunday from my wife,
BRO, CHARLES M. SPAFFORD,
Member of Div. 43.
graph represents. Brother Spofford began running an engine in 1858, on the Terre Haute, Alton & St. Louis Railroad. He held this position for three years, resigning because of the trouble he experienced in getting his pay. At that time there was but a small quantity of circulating medium in the West, and the employees were obliged to accept scrip in payment for
their services. Brother Spofford sold his in service for this movement. The first holdings for 40 per cent of their face value stage was to Knoxville, 112 miles over the and returned to the East, when, on May East Tennessee & Virginia Railroad. The 17, 1863, he began running an engine on magnitude of the movement will be realthe old Atlantic & Great Western Railroad, ized in a measure when I state that in runnow a part of the Frie system. He has an ning back to Chattanooga from Knoxville, exceedingly fine record, never having been 112 miles, in a group of thirteen sections, injured, nor has he ever injured any of his we niet forty trains carrying troops and train crews.
supplies. Most of the sidings were short, Brother Spofford became a member of and we had plenty of exercise in “sawing Div. 43 in 1864, and a member of the by." Insurance Association in 1868. So you see When the movement was well under he is one of the oldest members, and is a way, I was again dispatched to the front man that does not know the taste of liquor, with the pioneer corps. When Longstreet therefore he is a firm believer in our motto. left the vicinity of Knoxville and rejoined He will be 70 years of age on March 16 of Lee, his return was urgent. He did not the present year.
take time to destroy much of the track, Brother Spofford is pulling trains 5 and 6 confining the work of destruction to imbetween Meadville, Pa., and Youngstown, portant bridges. We proceeded cautiously, 0., the Erie's fast New York & Cleveland guarded by a regiment of cavalry marchVestibule Express, and he also looks good ing abreast of the train. The bridge over for many years to come; and, as will be the Holston, a short distance from Knoxseen, on May 17 of the present year, he ville, was repaired, and except an occawill have been running here continuously sional missing rail or burned culvert there for forty years. Yours fraternally, was little to impede our progress until we W. E. NICHOLS, C. E., Div. 43. reached the extreme eastern part of the
state, not many miles from Bristol, on the United States Military Railway.
Virginia state line, where we found the
end of the rails, on the bank of the HolRECOLLECTIONS OF A RETIRED ENGINEER.
ton, at its headwaters. (The stream known
as the “Holston” River, by a recent act Hood having been disposed of so as to of the Legislature, has been declared the be no longer considered a menace, the main head of the Tennessee River, and line of the Tennessee River was strongly may be so designated on late maps.) Our guarded between Chattanooga and Deca- corps of mechanics made preparations to tur, and the bulk of the army which had span the stream, but for some cause unbeen in pursuit of the retreating Confed- known to the rank and file the work was erates was collected with all possible dis- soon suspended. patch and transferred to east Tennessee. At this juncture great events were transIf the reader will glance at a map of the piring beyond the Alleghanies—events long States and consider the situation at that hoped for and prayed for by a distracted time in other parts of the great field of and stricken nation. I need not speak of action, he will easily comprehend the these events; their import is known to all. meaning of this movement.
Suffice it to say that these events were so Grant was hammering away on the east shaped and timed that the grand moveand north of Richmond. Sherman was ment of which I have written ended in its driving Johnson north through the Caro
first stage. linas. It was evidently the intention of This trip through eastern Tennessee was the enemy to die in the last ditch around full of interest and novelty to both the their capital. It might be necessary for trainmen and the inhabitants of the region. Thomas to cross the Blue Ridge to close The latter had been deprived of railroad the last gap and be in at the death.
accommodation for many months, and Every available car and engine was put now, for the first time, saw Northern crews
and Northern equipment. They Aocked to the stations to meet us, and were doubtless greatly surprised to see a culvert built in an hour and a bridge over a considerable stream built in a day, or less.
With the exception of the Georgia "cracker" down at Marietta, who requested one of our engineers to “toot his kear horn” so his “ wife could hear it," I never saw such verdant, unsophisticated people anywhere as I did in east Tennessee. They were outlandish in manner and in speech. A young lady with whom I
she about the same stature, with sun bonnet and a check apron; a hand of each lovingly joined and swinging, while their free hands grasped a huge piece of gingerbread, which, I suppose, was used up there by the swain in place of ice-cream as a cement to bind their affections together.
When we arrived at the second crossing of the Holston, or perhaps one of its tributaries, near Carter's Station, knowing that we were well guarded, I asked for and obtained permission from the chief of corps to let my fire die and go to bed in the
shared my tobacco informed me that “bread co'an was mighty sca'ce up he'a this he'a yere.” The people lived mostly on squirrels and corn bread. There was no lack of meat supply, but the exigencies of war had hindered the planting and cultivating of the other staple, hence the “sca'cety" of "bread co'an.” We would see standing in the groups that gazed in wonderment at our train a young man and a young woman of perhaps 20. He six feet tall and over, with attenuated body;
caboose with the conductor. We had enjoyed a good supper, and had prospects of a good night's sleep, which was a rarity those days. At to all were in the land of dreams except myself. Much picket duty in the presence of the enemy and much hazardous duty since had caused an alertness of the senses and a habit of not allowing all my faculties to become dormant at the same time. I was sleeping with my ears open, and I heard the sound of a locomotive whistle in the distance. Presently