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A Lady's Life on a Farm in Manitoba HTML version

house men went through the form of opening two of our boxes and
inquiring into the age of our saddle, which had been used but
looked terribly new, hardly as if it had been in wear six months,
which is the given period for things to pass in free of duty. We
then steamed round New York through much shipping and under a most
marvellous new suspension bridge, which is to join New York and
Brooklyn, to the dockyard; where we had another most hearty
reception from our hostess. They had all been in a fidget at our
being so many days late, and directly the ship was telegraphed off
Sandy Hook the last night, in spite of the pouring rain, the
Commodore had gone down in the tug to the Quarantine Harbour to
try and get us off.
Since our arrival we have been "doing" New York, and are woefully
disappointed in the size of the streets. Fifth Avenue I expected
to find a Parisian Boulevard with trees lining the "side walks,"
instead of houses of all shapes and sizes, which are good inside,
judging by one of the large ones we went to see, but nothing much
from the outside. Day-light in the streets is almost shut out in
the "City" part of the town by the endless telegraph wires and
advertisements hung across, to say nothing of the elevated
railroads built on iron girders, which circulate round at the
height of second-floor windows. We have made a good deal of use of
the railroad; it is pleasanter than our under-ground, the
atmosphere being "rather" clearer, though at first it is startling
to see the twists and curves the trains give to get round the
corners of the streets, and to watch the moving of objects at
about forty feet below you.
I am not at all surprised people do not care to drive much, as
tramways pass through every street almost, and all are so badly
paved that paint and springs would suffer. The ferry-boats which
ply between the cities, starting every five minutes from different
wharves, astonished us most; waggons, carriages, &c., all drive on
twenty at a time, and three or four hundred foot-passengers, the
latter paying two cents per passage.
On the whole I think we have seen almost everything that is to be
seen. We spent an afternoon in the Central Park, lunched at both
of Delmonico's restaurants, dined at the invitation of our banker
at "Pinards," where the roses were lovely, the centre bouquet
measuring two feet across, and each lady having different-coloured
bunches on her serviette; a play at Walleck's, theatre both pretty
and well-ventilated, and a most splendid exit, the stalls on the
same level as the street--the whole place seemed to empty itself
in about five minutes; and a day's expedition to Statten Island,
from which we had a lovely view of New York, its surroundings, and
the whole harbour. To-morrow we are to go for three nights to
Washington, returning here to start westwards on Monday, though
everybody tells us we are going too early in the year. The spring
in Manitoba has been very late. A----, writing on the 26th of
April, says they are just starting work, but cannot do much at
present on account of the water from the melted snow not having
run off. The rivers have broken up. The Red River carried away one
of the two bridges at Winnipeg. He happened to be in town at the
time, and although he didn't see the bridge go, saw it afterwards
and the jam. The ice was blocked for about a mile above, tumbling
all over the place, making the river rise about ten feet an hour,
washing out all the neighbouring houses. It lasted about ten