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Outriding The Storm

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Willis, in one of liis letters from the West, describes a race between a train of cara and a tbunder-storm: "To overtako a thunder showur, wlml through it and outrun it, was the first of the dav's exoiting novelties. We saw it ahead of us, on the prairie, as you sea a single black cloud in the sky, with sunshine all around it. It was inoving in the same direotion as ourselves, probably at about twenty milos au hour; and we soon bogan to overtake it with our better harnessed thnnder and ligktriing. Tbe conductor pointed the dark mass out to me, somo teu or fiftcen minutes before wo entered tho outor skirt of the shower ; and we were ín a pelting raiü, with lightning and peals of thunder, for perhaps ten minutes - emerging in fair weatber on the other sido, and loaving the storm to lag after us, like a "slow coach" that it was! But, oertaiuly, it was very queor thus to give thunder and liglituing tho go by. It seeined to mo, somehow, anticipatory of anothor state of things. Wheu wo go tolegraphing about, at the beginning of' our spirit travels in tho next lifi?, I am suro I shall hare a VMgue impression of having dono something of that sort, beforo - thisexperienca oí distancing a wclltrained thundor-cloud being laid aw.iy in my memory. Kut it is to the wild animáis of tbo prairie that the swiftness of the rail-train is most inexplicable. Ages upun ages havo cstablishcd certain ralative ratea of speed between man and the subject ráeos of creation - the mountain hunter being the faster pursuer for which the elk and reiudeer, the bear and prairie wolf, the fox and tho wild-cat, the skunk, otter and mar ten, aro all prepared. The small line of tho rail-traok, noarly hiddeu in grass, is not recognized by theso wanderers over the rast plains of tho West, and, while thinking themselves still s.-fo in thoir Oirá horizou-edgod wilduruess, they suddetdy see the coming of tho new monster. It is a daily experienca of tho trains on tliis railroad aoross Illinois, to overtake somo one or moro of them; and it is curious (.so the different conductors aud brakemen all told me) how none of them seem to have the sagacity to escape by running off at right angles. Almost invariably they fleo bofo re the pursuer, and aro run down, at last, to fall fainting with terror and exhaustion in tho neigh borhood of the track."