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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 29.djvu/635

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would add twenty cents to the above cost, and give them an average durability of fourteen years.

Twenty-eight hundred ties at seventy cents = $1,960, which would be the cost for seven years, and, for fourteen years, twice this $3,920. Twenty-eight hundred ties at ninety cents = $2,520, and these would last fourteen years.

The difference in first cost is $560, and the simple interest on this at five per cent for fourteen years is $392, and this added to the $2,520 makes $2,912, a difference of $1,008 for the treated ties per mile for fourteen years. Local conditions would vary the results, but not the principle.

In the present extensive use of timber and lumber, only the roughest approximate estimate is possible of the annual loss by fungi; and the amount of loss can be indicated in only a few items. The cost of replacing decayed ties by the railways of the United States for 1885 exceeded $30,000,000. Repairs of station-buildings and road-crossings, $19,500,000. Repairs of wooden and wood parts of bridges, $6,250,000 (estimated). Repairs of freight-cars, $22,500,000 (estimated). Repairs of passenger-cars, $7,500,000 (estimated). The renewal of telegraph poles and fixtures on 160,000 miles of line constitutes a large item. The loss to the agricultural interests is much greater. The tenth census reports the cost of fencing in 1879 at $77,763,473, the most of which was for repairs. The loss caused by fungi on the 9,000,000 dwellings, with their accompanying buildings, and the $406,520,055 worth of agricultural implements which appear in the census reports, and that on the 6,654,997 tons of marine, and on wharves above water, form other large items. The lumber interests are also a great loser through the quantities of timber that are destroyed in store. The mere mention of these facts makes it evident that the regular annual loss from this source must be rated at many million dollars.



THE majority of people have possessed pets of some description or other, but few are able to say that they have owned a couple of tame lions, for tame they were when I owned Leo and Juno, and I can vouch that more interesting pets were never the property of any individual. How I became their possessor I will endeavor to the best of my ability to inform my readers.

In those happy days, now some years past, when war had not broken out between the Boers of the Transvaal and Great Britain, I was hunting large game to the north of the Crocodile River, where the country of Lubengulo, King of the Matebeles, abuts on that of Kama, King of