Just at tlus time there is a lively competition ainong railroad ticket agente to secure travel over their respective lines. Ratea East havo been cut, travel has increased in consecuience, and each West ern road wants to have its full share, Yesterday a portly, pleasant-looking old gentleman carne m on the train froin the nortli, and started up Francia street, carpet-sack in hand. He was evidently a farmer, and probably belonged to the drangers. At this precise juncture L. M. Divnn, Ticket Agent of the St. Louia, Kansas City and Northern Line, happened to be glaucing out of his wiadow, and saw the traveler and lus carpet-sack. Ho met him half-way between Long Branch aud the Pacifie, and commenced as follows: " Going East, sir ?" "Yes," was the reply. "Ah ! Step right up to the Union Ticket Office. Great tlirough line, sir. Land you in New York sixteen honrs in advanoe of mij other route. Finest sleeping and dining cara in the world. Ohickens three times a day, and beds free from vermin. Butter on two platea, and moteases all over the table. Come right along, sir." The innocent countryman walked along a few steps, when Maj, J. B. Laughlin, Ticket Agent of the Hannibal and St. Joseph railroad, greeted him affectionately with : " Going Bost, sir?" "Yes," again. " Glad to meet you. Step right mto the office. Shortest line by thirty-three miles and a half to New York- put you there nine hours ahead of any other line. Finest eating-houses in the world. Soup three times a day, and fleas expelled from the sleepers daily. Com in, sir." Before the astonished countryman could recover from his bewilderment at these sudden and unexpected manifestations of interest in his welfare, Dan Mountain, of the Kansas City, St, Joseph and Council Bluffs, tackled him with : " (iomg Kast, sir r " D- n it, yes !" (ratlier curtly). "I'm just the man you want to see. ; Como along with me. Office ' not on the corner.' Best and shortest route by a long shot to any point. Put you througli in a iiify. Splendid sleepers, and codfish balls for breakf ast. Conduotors all of pious and respectable parentage, and fires kept up constantly. Come along, sir." . . The unfortunate man was completely dumbfounded. and before he could recover Laughlin had him by one arm, Mountain by the other, while Dunn clung tightly to the coat-tail, and he was hustled into the Hannibal and St. Joe office, where another parley took place. . " What point are you gomg to I was asked by three disintercsted individuáis simultaneously. " Gohi' to Maria." Instantly three ra-ilroad maps were ierked out, and for full fifteen minutes three pairs of eyes inspected them closely. Then each of said pairs of eyes looked at the other, and finally all centered on the gentleman from the rural districta. Then the question was asked by three persons : "Wliere is Maria?" ' ' Where's Maria '1 Why, I spose she s tu hum. Maria's my wife, and lives six miles east of town, and if I ditln't want to go to her, wliere the h- 11 would 1 want to go to 2" Three railroad maps ware put up quicker than lightuiug, and in less than ■wo minutes' time Duim was seated in his office consulting an abominable oíd pipe, Dan Mountain was busily engaged in admiring Lou Thompson's magnifaoont new four-story plug liat, and Maj. Lauglilin was calmly contemplating the prospective arrival of the next street The man bound fin " Maria " left in one of Fish & Hutchinson's sleighs.