And They Attack The Earth With Toothed,
Cogged, And Spiked Engines That Would Be Monstrous In The Shops, But
Here Are Only Speckles On The Yellow Grass.
Even the locomotive is
A train of freight cars is passing along a line that comes out of
the blue and goes on till it meets the blue again. Elsewhere the train
would move off with a joyous, vibrant roar. Here it steals away down the
vista of the telegraph poles with an awed whisper - steals away and sinks
into the soil.
Then comes a town deep in black mud - a straggly, inch-thick plank town,
with dull red grain elevators. The open country refuses to be subdued
even for a few score rods. Each street ends in the illimitable open, and
it is as though the whole houseless, outside earth were racing through
it. Towards evening, under a gray sky, flies by an unframed picture of
desolation. In the foreground a farm wagon almost axle deep in mud, the
mire dripping from the slow-turning wheels as the man flogs the horses.
Behind him on a knoll of sodden soggy grass, fenced off by raw rails
from the landscape at large, are a knot of utterly uninterested citizens
who have flogged horses and raised wheat in their time, but to-day lie
under chipped and weather-worn wooden headstones. Surely burial here
must be more awful to the newly-made ghost than burial at sea.
There is more snow as we go north, and Nature is hard at work breaking
up the ground for the spring.
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