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Chapter VII.

I wish I could persuade myself that I was capable of picturing the events of the week after we reached Chicago.

We arrived, if I remember rightly, on a Wednesday and put our cattle and horses in the stockyards near the Michigan Street depot. As I have related, we sold on and Friday about three-fifths of the cattle. I wanted to sell all, but followed the judgment of the Boss and sold three hundred head and put a little over five thousand dollars in my banking account.

On Saturday night the alarm bells began to ring and awoke me. I slipped into my breeches, shirt and boots and a youthful curiosity exciting me, I raced down-stairs, got Blue Devil from the stable and rode out to the fire. I was infinitely impressed by the rapidity with which the firemen acted and the marvellous efficiency of the service. Where in England there would have been perhaps half a dozen fire-engines, the Americans sent fifty, but they all found work and did it magnificently. At one o'clock the fire was out and I returned to the hotel through two or three miles of uninjured streets. Of course, I told Reece and Ford all about it the next day. To my astonishment, no one seemed to pay much attention;