Submitted by scott on Tue, 02/21/2017 - 11:50

Passing through a few wretched shanties called Troy-- last insult to the memory of hapless Pergamus-- and Syracuse (here we are in the third or classic stage of United States nomenclature), we made, at 3 PM,  Cold Springs, the junction of the Leavenworth route. Having taken the northern road to avoid rough ground and bad bridges, we arrived about two hours behind time. The aspect of things at Cold Springs, where we were allowed an hour's halt to dine and to change mules, somewhat dismayed our fine-weather prairie travelers. The scene was the rale "Far West." The widow body to whom the shanty belonged lay sick with fever. The aspect of her family was a "caution to snakes:"  the ill-conditioned sons dawdled about, listless as Indians, in skin tunics and pantaloons fringed with lengthy tags such as the redoubtable "Billy Bow-legs" wears on tobacco labels;  and the daughters, tall young women, whose sole attire was apparently a calico morning -wrapper, color invisible, waited upon us in a protesting way. Squalor and misery were imprinted upon the wretched log hut, which ignored the duster and the broom,  and myriads of flies disputed with us a dinner consisting of doughnuts, green and poisonous with saleratus, suspicious eggs in a massive greasy fritter, and rusty bacon, intolerably fat. It was our first sight of squatter life,  and, except in two cases, it was our worst. We could not grudge 50 cents a head to these unhappies; at the same time we thought it a dear price to pay - the sequel disabused us - for flies and bad bread, worse eggs and bacon.


Burton, Richard. 1861. The City Of The Saints. London: Longman, Green, Longman, and Roberts.