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life is the method by which the politicals con- word-spaces is obviated by a rule that such vey secret intelligence to their relatives and spaces shall be disregarded unless the final friends in open letters forwarded through offi- stroke of the terminal letter is upward, as in cial hands. When a political offender has been the word “of” in the first line of the foregoing subjected to final examination and the papers illustration. That sign indicates that the wordin his case are ready for submission to the space which follows it is also a cipher-space Department of Justice, he is generally allowed and is to be taken into account in determining to exchange letters with his relatives. All such the limits of the cipher-groups. This method letters, however, must be sent to the procureur of conveying information is now known to the or the local chief of gendarmes for examina- "cipher bureau" of the gendarmerie, but for a tion, and they are not only carefully scrutinized, long time it was practiced successfully, and it but are often subjected to heat and to the ac- is still resorted to occasionally in remote protion of chemical re-agents, in order to ascertain vincial prisons. whether or not they contain invisible writing Nothing has done more than this sort of in sympathetic ink. In spite, however, of such intercommunication to prevent suicide and measures of precaution, the political prisoners insanity among political prisoners in solitary manage, with the aid of the checker-board confinement. Complete isolation is perhaps cipher, to transmit contraband information the most terrible punishment that can be inthrough the hands and under the very eyes ficted upon an educated human being, and of the most subtle and experienced officials. when to such isolation are added perfect stillAs an illustration of the way in which this is ness, limitation of vision by four bare walls, accomplished, take the following extract from and deprivation of all means of employment the letter of a prisoner:

for the intellectual powers, life soon becomes

very glad

I have received

your welcome letter of
The nineteenth insłant and am
To learn from it that

Я you

are all well ał home and that you received safely the letter which I wrote

you on the Twenty Third of last month. I wish I could hear from you oftener.

There is apparently nothing unusual or sus- unendurable and the prisoner either commits picious either in the language or in the chirog- suicide, goes insane, or sinks into an apathetic raphy of this letter - it would probably be stupor which terminates in dementia. The approved and passed by nine officials out of possibility of intercommunication of sharing ten,- and yet it contains the words, “ Tell one's thoughts and emotions with another Alexe to fly — arrest threatened.” A close and lends some interest even to the dreariest excareful examination of the writing will show istence, and the contrivance of schemes to that the letters are segregated into groups by baffle official vigilance and secure such interminute and almost imperceptible spaces. The communication affords the mental faculties first words are spaced as follows: "Ihav- exercise enough to keep them from decay. erece-i-vedyo-urw-el-com-el." The number of Scores of political offenders have gone insane letters in each group is regarded as a figure and in Russian prisons, but the number of lives every two figures constitute a number, whose thus wrecked is much smaller than it would alphabetical equivalent is to be found in the have been if the imprisoned revolutionists had cipher square. The numbers in the above not contrived, by ingenious methods of intergroups are 45 15 32 32, which the checker- communication, to support, encourage, and board resolves into the letters, “T-e-1-1.” The comfort one another in hours of despair. embarrassment which would be caused by the

George Kennan.

POST-MERIDIAN.

I. AFTERNOON,

THEN in thy glass thou studiest thy face,

Not long, nor yet not seldom, half repelled
And half attracted; when thou hast beheld

Of Time's slow ravages the crumbling trace
(Deciphered now with many an interspace

The characters erewhile that Beauty spelled),
And in thy throat a choking fear hath swelled

Of Love, grown cold, eluding thy embrace:
Could'st thou but read my gaze of tenderness

Affection fused with pity — precious tears

Would bring relief to thy unjust distress;
Thy visage, even as it to me appears,

Would seem to thee transfigured; thou would'st bless
Me, who am also, Dearest, scarred with years!

II. EVENING.

Age can not wither her whom not gray hairs

Nor furrowed cheeks have made the thrall of Time;
For Spring lies hidden under Winter's rime,

And violets know the victory is theirs.
Even so the corn of Egypt, unawares,

Proud Nilus shelters with engulfing slime;
So Etna's hardening crust a more sublime

Volley of pent-up fires at last prepares.
O face yet fair, if paler, and serene

With sense of duty done without complaint !

O venerable crown !-a living green,
Strength to the weak, and courage to the faint-

Thy bleaching locks, thy wrinkles, have but been
Fresh beads upon the rosary of a saint !

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THE UPPER MISSOURI AND THE GREAT FALLS.

T was a CENTURY expedition in to keep a ferry chiefly for getting his hay

its plan, and its object was to de- across to his barns from his fields on the farscend the Missouri River in a ther side of the river. There was a road that skiff from some point near He- ran up into the foot-hills of the Belt Range, lena, Montana, to the Great but no one could tell where it went to or why

Falls, to make a portage around anybody should travel it. Stubbs's Ferry is the falls and follow the river down to Fort about a hundred miles below the junction of Benton, and thence, by some sort of land the three rivers which form the Missouri — the transportation, to cross the country to the Jefferson, Madison, and Gallatin. For much Yellowstone through the cattle and sheep of that distance a railroad follows the course ranges. When it came to start from Helena, of the stream and the banks are sparsely inhabhowever, a number of citizens joined it for the ited by ranchmen, but below the ferry the river purpose of making the trip to the falls, so rushes through a series of profound cañons, and that there were two skiff-loads instead of one. until it gets out of the Belt Range and into the The pilot, whose old title of colonel had lately great plains of eastern Montana, the country it been changed to commodore by the Helena traverses is singularly savage and desolate. newspapers, by reason of his having seven In the division of the party between our times braved the perils of the rapids and the two boats, the artist and the writer took the passage through the Gate of the Mountains, smaller one, which had been pirated from the was a man of resources. He had provided but governor, and recruited for its crew a wanderone boat, and, in the free Western fashion, he ing Californian and a Helena journalist. The laid hands upon a small craft that the governor artist took the steering-oar, reassuring his comof the Territory had constructed with the view panions as to his ability to run rapids successof making a voyage, put it on wheels, and fully with the information that in his younger started it for the river in the wake of the days he had navigated lumber-rafts on the larger skiff. The governor was to have gone Alleghany River; the writer sat in the bow, to with the expedition, but was hindered by some give warning of breakers ahead and shove the public duties. If he could not go his boat boat off when she grounded on shoals; the Calcould, the commodore reasoned; and go it ifornian proved almost a Hanlan at the oars, did, never to return, for there is no such thing and the Helena journalist was detailed to work as getting up the river with any sort of craft. the pumps, which consisted of an old tin can

Now, Helena, where the boats were built, and a cup. The remainder of the party, numis some twelve miles from the Missouri, and bering eight, embarked in the long-boat, and the departure of the expedition was not so as they had with them the cook, the “grubimpressive an affair as its members might stake," and the tents, their craft was an object have wished. The appearance of the two of much interest, about meal-times and at skiffs on wheels, loaded with provisions and nightfall, to the occupants of the smaller skiff. camp equipage, with the company following, At other times each of the boats kept its own some on foot and some in a jerky," was by course, and the skill of the commodore was no means heroic. Nevertheless, the people only required to manage his own craft. By of the town, accustomed to seeing all sorts the camp-fire, however, when the day's run of queer “outfits," witnessed our departure was over, the tents were pitched, and the supwithout any vociferous demonstrations of per was eaten, he came out strong with tales hilarity, restrained, perhaps, by the blue pen- of Indian fights, of Vigilante hangings, and nant which the commodore had set up on of all manner of wild frontier adventures. He the prow of his flagship.

had been through the civil war and numerous The day was the 16th of September, and Indian campaigns, and carried two bullets in though the high mountains of the main di- his body. At one time he had held a promivide of the Rockies were white with new nent Federal office in Montana. In later snow, the oats were not yet harvested on the years he has taken a great fancy to the wild ranches in the Valley of the Prickly Pear, rapids and gorges of the Upper Missouri and through which we passed, so late is the ma- delights to conduct parties of adventurous turing of grain in the high latitudes and on the travelers through them. The business cannot high altitudes of Montana. At Stubbs's Ferry be profitable, but there is lots of fun in it for we put the boats into the water. Stubbs seemed the old gentleman ; and his bronzed face, silvery hair and whiskers, and scarlet handker-· Occasionally there was a little stretch of grassy chief light up the dark cañons of the river bottom along one or the other bank, fringed two or three times every season.

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with a thicket of wild-rose bushes, the branches In floating down the stream there was a all beaded with coral-red berries; but most of quiet exhilaration which grew upon the travel the way huge cliffs of reddish rock or steep ers as they became accustomed to the moods mountains, thinly clad with pines, rose abruptly and ways of the strong green river, and were from the water's edge. The strata in the cliffs convinced that it meant no harm when it were bent and twisted in curious ways. Occawhirled them around a rocky promontory or sionally broad green bands ran through the swept them swiftly, through a seething rapid; gray or red rocks, indicating the presence of convinced, too, that with stout arms and oars copper. A solitary ranch was passed the first they were the masters in any case, and could day of the voyage, and for many miles there keep off from half-hidden rocks and away from was a vestige of former human occupancy in the dangerous shores. The water was clear and shape of a long-abandoned flume, that once cold, and as good to drink as any spring water. furnished water for placer-mining. It had cost

Vol. XXXV.-57.

a hundred thousand dollars, the commodore When enlisted for THE CENTURY expedition said, and had never paid back the money. he was newly out of jail, a fact that did not Montana, and all the mining Territories, in the least put him out of countenance. He abound in such monuments of misplaced en- regarded himself as a victim of Chinese cheap terprise. The old adage about mining for the labor. When in Missoula, cooking in a hotel, precious metals, that more money is put into he could not get on well with the Chinese asthe ground than is taken out, would probably sistant in the kitchen, and therefore knocked not hold good for universal application, but him down. The landlord took the Chinait fits most mining districts. The solitude and man's part, which so enraged Nick against silence on the river grew oppressive as twi: the Mongolian element in general, that he

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light began to fall. There was no sound save rushed into the street and proceeded to run the rippling and gurgling of the water. The amuck against all the Celestials he met. Beboat slipped along as quietly as the funeral fore the police could secure him, he had prosbarge in Tennyson's "Lancelot and Elaine." trated three or four by vigorous kicks and Weird profiles and masks looked down from fisticuffs. He was an amiable fellow in the the rocky walls. The talk and laughter, and main, however. His coffee was good, but his the shouting for echoes, that had made the views on the Chinese question were a little voyage a merry one so long as the sun shone, too aggressive. had ceased, and there came upon the wan- The second day's run took the boats through derers a sense of loneliness and mystery, as the Gate of the Mountains, a narrow cleft in though they had set out to penetrate an un- the Belt Range, through which the river runs known wilderness. It was a relief to all to tie at moderate velocity after the preliminary rush up to the bank at dark, to light a camp-fire, of a rapid. The precipices are of grayish rock, pitch the tents, and unload the boats; and about fifteen hundred feet high, and the riven the efforts of the party to eat supper on the mountains are covered with pines. The sheer ground, in darkness made visible by the flick- cliffs and the warped strata show that the pasering fire, were amusing enough to restore good sage has not been worn by the action of the humor all around.

water, but was opened by some great convulNick, the cook, was a droll frontier charac- sion which tore the solid mountains apart. ter. For twelve years he had cooked for ex- Very grand and impressive is this deep cañon, ploring parties, engineers, and railway build- but with the bright blue sky above and the suners all the way from Minnesota to Oregon. light on the pea-green river below, it did not

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