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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesSamantha At The St. Louis Exposition - Chapter 13
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Samantha At The St. Louis Exposition - Chapter 13 Post by :oukhanova Category :Long Stories Author :Marietta Holley Date :May 2012 Read :2748

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Samantha At The St. Louis Exposition - Chapter 13

CHAPTER XIII

The Japan exhibit is on a beautiful hill south of Machinery Palace. There are seven large buildin's besides the small pagodas and all filled with objects of interest. It seems as if the hull kingdom of Japan must have taken hold to make this display what it is. And how they could do it with a big war goin' on in their midst is a wonder, and shows beyend words what wonderful people the Japans are.

There are two kinds of exhibits, one by the allied business interests or Government and the other by individuals. But they all seem to work in harmony, havin' but one idee, to show off Japan and her resources to the best advantage, and the display wuz wonderful, from a royal pavilion, rich in the most exquisite and ornate decorations down to a small bit of carving that mebby represented the life long labor of some onknown workman.

In the Transportation Buildin' is a map one hundred feet long, showing the transportation facilities of the Empire, a perfect network of railways and telegraph and telephone wires, showin' they have other ways of gettin' 'round there besides man-carts and jinrikshas, yes, indeed! it is a wonder what they have done in that direction in fifty years.

The postal exhibit shows they delivered eight hundred and sixteen million pieces of mail last year, and every post-office has a bank, the school children have deposited in them eleven millions. I wish our country would do as well. The exhibit of the steamships show jest as much enterprise, and how world-wide is their commerce. The saloon of one of the steamships is a dream of beauty and luxury.

The Temple of Nikko is ornamented by wonderful carving in catalpa, chrysantheums, etc., and in it in glass cases are the most beautiful specimens of their embroidery, tapestry, pottery. One pair of vases are worth ten thousand dollars. As you leave this Temple you see on each side the finest specimens of Japanese art, painted and embroidered screens, all kinds of metal, laquear and ivory work; exquisite vases and priceless old delft wear, and there is a model Japanese house, you feel that you'd love to live in it. There is one spring room in it that holds the very atmosphere of spring. The tapestry and crape hangings are embroidered with cherry blossoms, its one picture is a sweet spring landscape. Low green stools take the place of stuffy chairs and sofas. And there wuz an autumn room, autumn leaves of rich colors wuz woven in the matting and embroidered in the hangings, the screens and walls white with yellow chrysantheums.

Then there wuz a gorgeous Japan room with walls of exquisitely carved laquear wood, massive gilt furniture, rich embroidered silk hangings, and the ceiling wuz a beautifully carved flowery heaven with angels flying about amidst the flowers. This one room cost forty-five thousand dollars.

And we see lovely embroidered cloths, porcelain, shrines, urns, cabinets, chairs all wrought in the highest art, silks of every description, and sights and sights of it. Fans, parasols, lanterns, fireworks of all kinds, mattings, straw goods, cameras, etc., etc.

In the mining display is a model of one of their copper mines, and you see they have the largest furnace in the world, and they not only mine on land but under the sea, it beats all how them Japanese do go ahead. There are tall gold and silver bars showing how much they have mined in these metals.

Their educational exhibit shows the same wonderful energy and advancement. There is a compulsory educational law and twenty-two per cent. of the children attend school. There are schools for the blind, deaf and feeble-minded, and a display of all their excellent methods of education, from kindergarten to the imperial university.

In the Palace of Electricity on a map thirty feet high and twenty-five feet wide, you see pictures of Japan's great engineering work, Lake Biwa Canal, connecting the Lake with Kioto. Irrigating, electricity making, electrical apparatus invented by them, they have nearly twenty-five thousand telephones, long and short distance.

In the tea exhibit you see everything relating to this beverage, tea houses, experimental farms and over one hundred different kinds of tea are shown. Rice is shown in every stage of its growth, tobacco, fruit, canned goods.

You can enter the Forestry and Fish departments through a temple built of twenty different kinds of wood. Here you see all the native forest woods, bamboo takin' the lead. Their fish and their methods of fishing are shown off, charts of their fishing grounds and boats. The Japanese section of the Palace of Fine Arts has the best samples of sculpture, painting and pottery.

But the crownin' beauty of the Japanese display is the Enchanted Garden (well-named). A charmin' little lake lies in the midst of flower beds and hedges, dotted by aquatic flowers. Beds of hydrangeas and chrysantheums and other bright flowers glow in the sunlight. A pretty summer house stands on a little island and bending over the water are dwarf pine trees brought from Japan. At one end is a waterfall, and there is a pleasant tea house where pretty Japan girls serve tea on the broad galleries.

Beyend the lake you see a model Japanese house and not fur off is the headquarters of the Japanese commission. Near the top of the hill is a large pavilion made of wood and bamboo. It is used as a reception room, and here you see Japanese costooms from the earliest day to the present. Here are pictures of the Emperor and Empress. There is a display here also of the Red Cross society, medical boxes of army and navy, etc. This is the only hint this courteous country gives of the great war going on at home that would stop the exhibit of most any other country. They are a wonderful people and are making swift strides to the front in every direction. I took sights of comfort here and so did Josiah.

I said a big war would stop the exhibit of most every country--it has stopped Russia--she don't have much show here to the Fair, they wanted to, and laid out to, but couldn't on account of havin' to go to war. It is dretful busy this year, killin' off men, and sendin' out men all the time to be killed, so of course, it can't devour the same time in more peaceful occupations.

I wuz really sorry, for I always liked the Zar. Of course, we don't visit back and forth, he havin' the misfortune to not live neighbor to us. But I always thought he wuz likely, real smart and good-natered, lovin' his wife and babies devotedly, settin' a splendid example in this direction to other high potentates who act and behave more or less.

And his Peace Proclamation, like a tall white monument riz up for men and angels to admire. How its pure luminous light lit up this dark earth and streamed clear up to heaven, the blessed influence it shed abroad wuz so beneficient and divine. How much I and the hull world thought on't.

And here it is all broke to smash, for of course, it wuz right in his way and he had to tromple on over it, he and the squadrons he called to war.

I don't know exactly the right or wrong on't, it is hard sometimes to keep track of ethics in a Jonesville quarrel, and when two big Empires git to cuttin' up and actin' and sassin', and dastin' each other to do thus and so, I can't be expected to know all the ins and outs of their dispute.

But I do know this, that the beautiful Peace Monument is smashed all to pieces under the feet of the thousands and thousands of men sent out to murder and be murdered, and it is doubtful to me if the Zar can ever contoggle it up agin to be as strong as it wuz before. You know he will nachully git his muscles and will and temper kinder stiff jinted leadin' the armies and gittin' so awful mad.

But, there they be, these two great nations, Japan and Russia, sendin' out their peaceable and well-behaved sons by the thousands and hundreds of thousands to cut each other to-pieces, shoot, maim and murder each other, for that is what war is, it is on purpose to kill men, the greatest crime in the civil calendar.

As I told Josiah one night to Miss Huff's, as I laid down a paper givin' the details of a bloody battle which wuz headed "A Great Victory."

Victory! the idee! hundreds of men borne bleeding from the field suffering tortures worse than death and every pang they felt twice suffered by them that loved 'em, watching and waiting at home in agonized suspense, hundreds more layin' with their white, dead faces upturned to heaven as if in mute appeal and wonder that such a horror as war could be in a world where the words of the gentle Christ had been hearn.

Sez I, "I can't understand it, Josiah, John Jones gits mad and kills one man, a small boneded man too, and weakly, couldn't live long anyway, and John had been abused by him shameful and wuz dretful mad at him. A horrified state law clutches John Jones and kills him. Public Opinion sez good enough for John, it will keep other murderous-minded men at bay mebby.

"But I always loved justice, and if a king gits mad and kills or causes to be killed hundreds of thousands of men I can't see why he if successful should be admired for it, have a monument riz up to show forth his nobility and school boys be taught to emulate his greatness."

Josiah said, "That wuz different, a war between nations wuz planned ahead, it wuzn't murder."

"But," sez I, "if John Jones had planned killin' his man he would git hung the sooner."

"Well," sez Josiah, "great national quarrels has to be settled some way. Nations wouldn't go to war unless they wuz aggravated."

Sez I, "John Jones wuz aggravated. Murders hain't generally planned or committed in class meetin's, and love feasts."

"Well," sez Josiah, scratchin' his head, "it is different."

But I sez, "How different, Josiah, they are both murders."

Sez Josiah, "I guess I'll go down to Grandpa Huff's room and borry the World." But I kep' thinkin' on't after he left about war and what it wuz. Rivers of human blood flowin' through ruined countries, follered by the horrible specters of pestilence, disease and famine, moral and financial ruin. Acres and acres of graves filled with forms once full of throbbing life and hope and dreams of future happiness, cut down like grass before the mower. Wives, mothers, sisters, sweethearts see the sun of their life's joy go down in blackness, their heaven of love and happiness changed into a hell of misery by somebody's quarrel, somebody's greed and ambition. How many of the common soldiers who make up the great body of the army know or care about the right or wrong of their cause. They go into the fight like dumb-driven cattle, suffer and die and make their loved ones die a hundred deaths jest because they are hired to do it, hired to murder their fellow men, jest as you would hire a man to cut down a grove of underbrush. They go out to this wholesale slaughter to kill or be killed, to meet all the black awful influences that foller the armies, go gayly to the sound of bugle and drum.

It is the common people who bleed and die, it is the hearts of the common people that are wrung; it is their wives and orphan children who have to struggle along and strive and die, or live and suffer by this cause.

And who can tell the moral, physical and financial ruin, the sickenin' and terrible effects of evil habits formed there, the sin and woe that like a black cloud follers the army? The recordin' angel himself can't do the sum till the day of judgment, not till then can he add up the broad, ever-widenin' effects of evil and sorrow that follers a great war and that shall go on and on till time shall be no more.

Calm judicial eyes lookin' back at this problem from the happy days when Peace and Love shall rule the world, from the era when Courts of Arbitration will settle national differences, will look back on the bloody godless warfare of to-day with more horrow than we do on the oncivilized doin's of our savage ancestors.

It is strange, hain't it, to think eighteen centuries of Christian teaching hain't wiped the blood stains off the face of the earth, as it would like to? Yes, indeed! our Lord's words are luminous with Charity, Peace and Love. But the vengeful black clouds of war sweep up between the nations and the Sermon on the Mount and hides its words so they can't, or don't heed 'em.

And I d'no what's goin' to be done. I guess them that don't believe in war must keep on givin' in their testimony, keep peggin' away at Public Opinion and constant droppin' will wear away stun.

But to resoom backwards. We stayed so long in Japan that I couldn't devote so much time to France as I wanted to, for they too had a fine display. The most beautiful exhibit we saw was the reproduction of the Grand Trienon, the favorite home of Napoleon, brought from all appearances from Versailles with its famous garden and sot down here in St. Louis.

There is a big central pavilion and on each side wings, each terminating in a pavilion joined by tall marble columns. The ruff is surrounded by a balustrade ornamented by vases and beautiful statutes. The same balustrade extends the hull length of the building below, five hundred and thirty-four feet.

And below it stretches the beautiful garden, terraces, lake, fountains, statutes, rare flowers, shrubs and trees. Winding walks in which the great Conqueror might have walked with his brain teemin' with ambitious plans. I didn't want to leave the garden it was so beautiful, but time wuz passin' and we went inside and went through room after room, each one seemin'ly more beautiful than the one we had seen last. The picture-room wuz specially beautiful filled as it is with treasures of French art. And all the rooms wuz gorgeous with tapestries, elaborate carving, sculpture, painting, the most exquisite decorations of all kinds showing what a beauty and pleasure-loving race can gather about it of beauty and grandeur if it sets out to.

And France shows off well also in manufactures, electricity, machinery, transportation, etc. All together this is the best exhibit she has ever made, and she has reason to be proud on't.

England makes a good show in products and processes in every Exposition building. In the Palace of Varied Industries she gives a model of one of her charming country houses, a model indeed of comfort and luxury.

Her national pavilion is built of red brick and stone and is a reproduction of the Orangery, a building two hundred years old. It wuz Queen Ann's favorite home, and I didn't blame Ann a mite for lovin' it. As I walked through the beautiful and stately rooms I thought I would have loved to neighbor with Ann and spend some time with her.

The gardens outside are so beautiful you don't want to leave 'em, shaded avenues, terraces, flower beds, yew and box shrubs trained into shapes of lions and big birds. Josiah wuz entranced here, and as he stood lost in admiration of them green animals growin' right out of the ground, he sez:

"My first job in Jonesville is cut out, Samantha."

As first chaperone I looked at him tenderly and sez, "Don't jar your mind too much, Josiah, don't dwell on tuckerin' things."

"But," sez he, pintin' to the green form of the lion growin' right out of the ground, "do you see what a impressive and noble figger the old mair is goin' to cut when Ury and I sculp her out of the pig-nose apple tree? We can do it by odd jobs, and the apples hain't good for nothin' anyway."

But I sez, "You can't prune apple trees into figgers, Josiah, it takes different trees, and that is too big anyway."

"That's a woman's way of talkin'; I want her in heroic size, she's worthy on't. I expect," he went on, "the road will be jest lined with Jonesvillians, and we'l see 'em hangin' over the orchard fence lookin' on and admirin' the beautiful statter, I think I can see her now, head up, tail out, mane a flutterin'--you'll see, Samantha."

"Oh, dear!" sez I, "I expect I will see more than I want to."

But goin' on a little furder we see what put such vain and onpractical idees out of his head. We wandered into a spot where there wuz old-fashioned flowers, such as grow in the green meadows and hedges of old England, and there wuz some old wimmen wrinkled and gray, poorly clad, lookin' at them daisies and cow-slips and laughin' and cryin' over 'em.

They wuz fur from the old home and the summer time of youth and love, a half century of years and dreary wastes of sea and land lay between 'em, but these cow-slip blows and daisies took them back to their youth and the sunny fields they wandered in with the young lover whose eyes wuz as blue as the English violets, while their own cheeks wuz as rosy as the thorn flowers.

When the hull world lay hid in a rosy mist, and they wuz the centre of it, and life wuz new, and hope and happiness gilded the future, and the Fairy land of America wuz beckonin' to 'em out of the rosy mist.

Fifty years of dusty, smoky tenement life, hard work, child-birth, rearing children, toil, disappointment, pain--where wuz they? They had all gone. They wuz eighteen agin; they wuz pickin' the rosy blooms in the dear home land, and love wuz whisperin' to 'em that they wuz sweeter than the flowers.

I took out my snowy handkerchief and almost cried myself, the tears just run down my face, and Josiah blowed his nose on his bandanna, and I believe furtively wiped his eyes. But men never love to betray such sentimental emotion, and most immegiately he asked me in a gruff tone for a fried cake, and I handed him one absently and as one who dreams, and we went on and met the girls at the rondevoo appointed.

I'd had my supper and wuz restin' in my room, Molly and Blandina had gone for a walk accompanied by Billy Huff, and Josiah had gone down to set with grandpa Huff a spell, when Aunt Tryphena come in and said a lady wuz there to see me; I asked her who it wuz, and she said:

"I don't know, but guess it is some 'big bug trash,' 'tennyrate she come in a antymobile that stands to the door without hitchin'."

I knowed in a minute it wuz Jane Olive Perkins and told her to bring her up to my room. And she entered with more than her usual gushin' warmth of manner, and told me the first thing that I grew better and younger lookin' every year.

But I kinder waved the idee off and told her, I didn't feel so young as I did twenty or thirty years ago.

I acted well. (But then I spoze I do look remarkable young for one of my years, and I admired her good horse sense in seein' it so plain.) But she looked real mauger, and I sez:

"You look kinder beat out, Jane Olive, hain't you well?"

Yes, she said she wuz well, but had so many cares that they wore on her.

"Why," sez I, "you don't try to do your housework alone, do you?"

No, she said she had ten servants.

So I knowed she didn't have to do the heaviest of her work, but her face looked dretful tired and disappinted and I knowed it wuz caused by her efforts to git into fashionable society, for I'd hearn more about it since I come here, Miss Huff knowed a woman that lived neighbor to her, she said that in spite of all Sam Perkinses money and Jane Olive's efforts she couldn't git so fur into the circle of the first as she wanted to, though she had done everything a woman could do.

Went off summers where the first went and winters too. When it wuz fashionable to go to springs and seasides she went and ocean trips and south and north, and when it wuz the fashion to go into the quiet country she come to Jonesville.

And now she wuz tryin' a new skeem to git into the first, she got up a name for bein' very charitable. That took her in, or that is part way in, for her money went jest as fur and wuz jest as welcome to heathens and such as if it wuzn't made out of pork. It went jest as fur as the money that wuz handed down from four fathers or even five or six fathers who wuz small farmers and trappers in Manhattan years and years ago. Her money went jest as fur as though it had descended onto her from the sale of the mink skins and cabbages of the grandpas of the 400.

Well, as I say, this did more than all her other efforts put together, and took her inside furder, for givin' as much as she did they had to invite her to set down on the same charitable boards where these genteel females wuz settin'. And when a passel of wimmen are settin' down on one board they have to be more sociable and agreeable like, than if they wuz settin' round on different piles of lumber.

So Jane Olive wuz highly tickled and gin money freely. And now I don't want it understood that Jane Olive done every mite of this work and gin every cent of money for the speech of people or to git on in fashionable life. No, she wuz kinder good hearted and felt sorry for the afflicted. Her motives wuz mebby about half and half, half goodness and half ambition, and that is I spoze a little worse than the average, though motives will git dretfully mixed up, evil is worse than Canada thistles to git mixed with good wheat.

When some good object rises up and our souls burn within us aginst wrong and injustice and bigotry and such, we may think in our wropped moments that our motives are all good. But most always some little onworthy selfish motive will come sneakin' in by some back door of the heart and wiggle its way along till it sets down right by the side of our highest whitest motives and stays there onbeknown to us. It is a pity that it is so, but human nater is human nater and we are all on us queer, queer as dogs. Once in awhile you'll see some rare soul that seems as if all onworthy motives have been driv out by the angels of divine Purity and Endeavor, but they're scurce, scurce as hen's teeth.

Jane Olive wuz highly tickled with her success, and then, as is the way of human creeters, when she'd done well she wanted to do better. She wanted to outdo the other females settin' on the boards with her, she wanted her board to tip higher than theirn, so she took it into her head to build a Home for Fallen Wimmen in that end of the city where she lived. She said that there wuz sights and sights of wimmen that had fallen round there, and sights that wuz fallin', and I spozed there wuz. I spozed that anywhere that Sam Perkins lived there would be apt to be, and she took the idee of buildin' a home for 'em, it wuz a first rate thought, but in my opinion it didn't go fur enough, it didn't cover the hull ground.

Well, Jane Olive had gin of her own money ten thousand dollars and had raised nine thousand more, twenty thousand would build it, and she wuz collectin' round even in St. Louis when she met anybody she thought would give; she knowed how the welfare of humanity, specially female humanity, lay down on my heart, therefore she tackled me.

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CHAPTER XIVShe talked real eloquent about it, and kinder begun to shed tears. She's a capital hand to git money, she could always cry when she wanted to when she went to school, did it by holdin' her breath or sunthin'. And when I say that I don't want it understood that I believe she did all her cryin' that way. No, I spoze she could draw on her imagination and feelin's to that extent and git 'em so rousted up that she did actually shed tears, wet tears jest like anybody, some of the time, and some she made, so
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CHAPTER XIIWell, for the next week we had a busy time, goin' to the Fair most every day, sometimes all together, but not stayin' together long, for most always we'd meet Professor Todd somewhere and he and Blandina would pair off together (I jest as willin' as anybody ever wuz). Molly had a young schoolmate who lived in St. Louis, and sometimes they would spend the day together at some reception or other. But most of the time Josiah and I paid our two attentions to the Fair stiddy, a travelin' about and seein' all we could. And one mornin' Josiah
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