Page:Travels in Mexico and life among the Mexicans.djvu/561

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XXVII.

 

BY RAIL TO NORTHERN MEXICO.

 

I AWOKE, one morning, on the banks of the Rio Grande, the great river separating the two republics of the North, with twenty-five hundred miles between me and the city from which I had departed five days before. I had left it in the gloomy twilight of an evening in May, on the first day of that month of disappointments.

O the kaleidoscopic changes of that ride by rail! We left New York with hardly a tree in blossom; in Western Pennsylvania, the cherries, peaches, and pears were bursting into bloom; in Ohio, they had hidden their skeletons of branches in sheets of pink and white; and in Indiana and Illinois, as the great road trended southward, foliage and flower vied in its display of verdure and efflorescence.

Night fell about us in the centre of the famous Horseshoe Curve, partially veiling its glories and its beauties; but before the second day had drawn to a close we had reached the Mississippi, had crossed its miracle of a bridge, and had entered the city which stands at the confluence of our mightiest rivers,—St. Louis. Thirty-six hours and a thousand miles parted us from the great metropolis of the coast; but we did not stop here, for a train was in waiting in the great Union Depot, and it was but a step from Eastern to Western track; another iron steed was harnessed into our carriage, and in another hour we were dividing the mists that lay above the Missouri prairies. At daylight, next morning, we were half-way across the State, at ten o'clock we sliced off a corner of Kansas, and at noon were in the Indian Territory. When I sought my berth that night, the third of the journey, we were still speeding across the boundless Indian prai-