Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/200

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Between the thirty-fourth and thirty-sixth degrees of north latitude the elevated plateaus have the further advantage that their climate equalizes the contrasts of the season: it mitigates the summer more than it aggravates the winter. Southerly winds predominate, and melt the snow with the same breezes that cool the midsummer weeks, for in the dog days the Mexican table-lands are considerably cooler than our Northern prairie States. In the Alps of North Carolina, Tennessee, and Northern Georgia land and labor are so cheap that even people of moderate means can build a sanitarium of their own. It has been often observed that the moral effect of a residence at a place where consumptives congregate is not favorable to the cure of the disease; and, moreover, a private establishment lessens the danger of contagion. The cheapness of living may be inferred from the fact that at the Chalybeate Springs of Benton, Tennessee, where board-rates vary from fifty to seventy-five cents a day, the visitors from the surrounding country towns, nevertheless, prefer to board on the co-operative plan: the proprietor of a kitchen-garden furnishes vegetables, a stock-farmer fresh meat, the owner of a carriage free transportation, and every family has a little cottage of its own. Summer-guests who come to drink mountain air can build their cabins wherever they find a convenient plateau, and contract with the next farmer for all the comestibles they may need in addition to their canned provisions. They can cook at their own fireplace. A log-house can be made as airy as any tent, and is out and out more comfortable. A rough-hewed porch-roof, projecting like the veranda of a Swiss chalet, will keep the cabin both dry and airy; square holes in the center of each wall can serve as windows in fine weather, and during a storm can be shut with a sliding-board. Between May and November the winds in the Southern Alleghanies come from the south or southwest, nine days out of ten, and, in order to get the full benefit of the pure air, the house should face one of the thousand promontories of the southwestern slope that rises in terraces from the "Piedmont counties" of North Carolina and Northern Georgia, with a free horizon toward the plains of the Gulf-coast. Have the door on the south side, and keep it wide open all night, as well as the windows or louvers in the opposite wall. If the windows do not reach to the ground, spread your bedclothes upon a hurdle-bedstead rather than on the floor, in order to enjoy every afflatus of the night-breeze. Night and day one can thus breathe mountain airs that have not been tainted by the touch of earthly things since they left the pine-forests of the Mexican Sierras. Every inspiration is a draught from the fountain-head of the atmospheric stream.

There is no need of living on oiled sardines where the brooks are full of speckled trout. Those who must break the commandment of Brahma (and the highland air confers certain immunities), may devour their humble relatives in the form of wild-turkeys, quails, and