|Newspaper Title||The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933)|
|Trove Title||A Cool Proceeding.|
A Cool Proceeding.
If you look up tito cataloguo of our public library you will soo the names of sixty-nine hooks that tell of tho delights of suburban life. Tho bookB have all ono defect. They aro written in summer. 1 could add an interesting chapter to thom on tho winter sido of the question. This winter is a firat-rato season to put a porson's enthusiasm for rural life to the loBt. One morn- ing last week I starlod for the city. It had been snowing all night, and when tho snow «topped the weather became intensely cold. The rivor was covei od with ico except here und thr-i o whero thero were littlo strotchcB of opon water, from the Burfaco of which aroso vapour that waved uko plumes in tho wind. The fences were hidden from sight hy tho snow, and the whistling gale drove clouds of snow along tho ridges of the drifts. A hill of whilo 12ft. high, molo or less, kept tho place of tho open gate. Into this snow- bank the horne valiantly plunged and disap- peared. After waiting a reasonable time I said
to the drivor :
" I guess the horse baa gol through and gone
John pulled on the lines aud risked the opinion that thoro was still a horse at the end of them.
This iuBlantly recalled to mo those well-known lines of Dryden
Liest Ilion mlccp beneath those li Ills of »no« ? Slietch out thy lu/y limbs ; awiiko 1 awake I And win ter fiom thy fun y mantle shake.
(Poetical Quotations-Ali ¡bone, pago 037.]
" All right," Baid I, " this train is cancelled. It you can back up the locomotivo and get it into the engine-houBo again, you may havo what you can save of tho cars. I'll walk down town."
I climbed on a fonce that went tluough the drift, and managed to get over the hill of bnow. It was a Bort of cheap excursion across the White Mountains. I walked on the topmost board of tho fonco until I was noinly up to tho neck iu the drift, and then precipitated myself down the declivity on the othor Bide aud rolled to the street amid a cloud of snow. There was aoino thiug in tho spectacle that no doubt would have made giddy unthinking persona laugh, but I then Baw nothing funny about the opisodo, and don't yet.
I then started for a two-and-a-half milo walk on a road that skirted the rivor, with tho wind blowing a galo over forty miles of frozen lake and stream. The road waa swept as if by a broom, and instead of a fence was a rango of white hills with the drifting snow flying like a banner from tho summit.
Cold ? Never did the English language seem so poor. There is no woid to describo the feel- ings of a suburban resident that morning. I trotted along tho crunching packed snow and covered as much of my eais as my banda could shelter from the biting frost.
Cold ? Why tho wind fairly shrieked across the ice and drove sharp particlei of snow like needles into tho unfortunate wayfarer. But though it was so sharp at first it Hoon seemed to moderate, and, instead of tho painful feeling of the outset, came a sense of warmth and almost of pleasure. I vta.1 getting accustomed to the blizzard and remembered the familiar line from Shakspeare, " How use doth breed a habit in a man"-(Bartletts quotations, pago 19). Just then I mot a stranger. Ile Brid, "I don't wish to seem obtrusive, nor to force myself on a person without an introdustion ; but allow me to call your attention to the fact that the whole northern hemisphere of your f ice i3 frozen and tho other side U rapidly following nuif."
It was too true. I had a cheek like a light- ning-rod agent.
We adjourned into a wayside inn. I said no- thing about thero being a coolness between us ; neither did he, and so we were friends from the Btart. A tub of snow was brought iu, and then the boys laid out to have some fun. Two
stalwarts rubbed my ears with snow, and the"" task gave them all they wanted to do. .
" I believe," said the proprietor, as he stood admiringly by, with his thumbs in the armholeB of bia vest, aud feet apart, viewing me with his head critically to one side, " yes, I really believe that that ia one of the nicest caaes of freezing I
luve over seen."
" Oh, phsaw !" said the man with his boots ou the edgo of tho stove, " remember when I froze my feet that cold New Yean i" This waa said in a tone of merit overlooked.
" Yes, your feet were badly frozen," admitted the first speaker, "but I look on it in this way: Suppose your feet had to be amputated and his head had to bo amputated, which would be the
worst case 1"
This settled the controversy. Meanwhile a halo of suow Burrounded me. Through my chattering teeth I murmured tho familiar verne from Emerson which you will at once recall :
Announced by all tho trumpets of the Bky
Auives the snow ; and diiviug o'or the fields Seems nowliero to alight The vrliited air
nidos hills nnd woods : tho rher and tho heaven.
[Smith's Dietioimry of Verso, pago 5. J
The boys had more fun jabbiug the snow into my eyes and ears than they will ever havo in reading anything I write. At first the rubbing wns not felt ; but by-and-by the eirs began to tingle and smart, and then they began to glow and pinch and pain by turns. At last they shone out liko danger signals on a railroad, and the red betokened that the terrible crisis wns past, No one knows how nice it is to be frozen till he experiences tho sensation.
I would run in another familiur quotation here, only my next door neighbour has just
borrowed tho books,
-Luke Bhaiip, in Detroit