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Bronze John

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The drivtr of a ohanty wagon, wüile passing a house ou Poydras street, New Orleans, heard a suriek of agony within, and, entering the premiees, quickly ascended a flight of riekety stairs leading to a side alley. He hurried into a back bedroom, and was startled to behold the yellow corpse of a cnild lying upon a filthy bed. Seated in a rocking chair and clutching a palmotto fan in one hand and resting heavily upon the bed sat a woman, whom, upon closer inspection, he was shocked to see was stark and stiff. The cries continucd, and ho hurried to the front apartment, into which the room opened. Thore upon the floor lay a mothor and daughtor dead. The older woman had evidently thrown hereelf on the door in a frenzy of delirium. Upon the only bed in the room, wrilhing with fever, lay the man whose cali attracted attention, and a child 18 months old had at the timo crawled over her dead sister and was puiling the dress from off her dead mother's breast. In the loft of an old dilapidated building on Bienville street, New Orleans, was discovered a fomily of seven, flveof whom were delirious; one, a child of 2 years, dead, and a mother prostrate upon a pallet with a new-born babe. The mother, with many tears, statedthat, utterly unassisted and unable to move, she lay in the pangs of childbirth and saw her Tittle daughter die. One of the visitors of the Hownrd Assooiation, in Memphis, encountered a scène of horror upon entering a house on Commereo street. Upon a bed lay the living and the dead; a hueband cold and stiff, and a wife in the agony of dissolution. On the floor, tossing in delirimn, were two children of this pair, and beside them their two cousins, two little iris, themselves sick. To complete the saduess of the scène, and give it a touch of disgusting horror, a dranken man and a drunken womnn, parcnts of the little baked girls, were reeling, and cursin, and stumbling over the dying and the dead. A lady who recently arrived in St. Louis from Grenada, Miso., says: "The scène was terrible. The dead were buried in the clothes in which they died. j Sometimes the hearse hurried away, leaving tfie remains on the ground, no grave being dug. Food was terribly scarce for over a week. Sho had eaten j only bread. The atmosphere was heavy with poison. It conld be tastcd in the air, and it was impossible to remove it with disinfectants. " "Inhuman deeds, some of the most atrocious," says a Memphis paper, "hourly come to notiie. Undertaker Walsli, who buries the paupers, has for some days collected the bodies in piles ' at a livery stablo, allowing them to lie until he has enough to make up a wagonload before hauling them to the potter's field. A yonng man named Hndsonleft his mother and sister low with fever, with only strangérs tocare for them, and fled the city. A man named Charles Bennett has a wife and children sick on Bobinson street. A darkey nurso from the Howards is alone in attendance. The husband and father goes each morning to look over the fence, and inquires how they are, but des not venture nearer." A charity wagon containing two dead bodies, in rough, unpainted pine cofflns, drove ud to the office of tliñ Tlpnnrdfir nf Deaths, in New Orleans, for a burial permit. One, contaimng a woman, was piled upon the top of the other, and surmounling the ghastly heap sat a faithful dog and the woman's husband, who accompanied her to the potter's field to note the spot wheretheylaid her. Empty coffins had been brought f'rom the workhouse and driven around to the scènes of death as one might drive around and gather up so much garbage. The driver started on a round through the rain, and after abont an hour returned with two other bodies for two permita. The clerk on duty said that this was his fif th visit, and three other wagons perform the same office. It is of conrse understood that these instances are exclusively confined to the miserably poor. They have indeed suffered terribly, Instances do sometimes oceur which are extremely j sad. A little girl of 11 years was so i unfortnnate as to be attacked in the house of a cousin on Magazine street, where two children died and two were sick. The evening she expired another of the household was attacked and the nDfortunate girl's body layinthe undertaker's warehouse during the night, and was not buried till the next day. Of the horrors of the plague in Mempliis, a correspondent graphically writes : " When I look out on the dark, silent street, and these vapors are wafted throngh the open window, I feel the oppressivenessof thepresence of death with that horrible odor of carbolic acid which arises from the little saucers beneath the coffin. It is a city without a people, i this. The echo of my music, as I whistle to keep my courage up, comes bLck with ! a sort of a waii which jars on my ear. It is almost as bad as a midnight stroll in a graveyard, one's imagination I ing to picture the hand of death i ing out from the corner of every 1 smelling alley. To have lived in j pliis for the past ten days is almost to liave grown gray with fright. The wild panic which seizeu the city, the blo for foothold on stoamboat-deck or car-platform, the agony of fright pictured everywhere, on every one's face, were trying enongh to the stoutest. More trying, however, it has been to see the death-rate gradualiy crawl up, to 6%e familiar ñames on the deatli-roll and ) in the reoord of the smif.ten, to witness the monster fingers of death relaxing and fcretching forth to grasp a wider hold i on the doomed city. Then the hearses begin to go by on a trot, and a man I mathematically inclined could sit I down and figure on his chancee, and i from the ratio of ' deaths' to ' new i oases' learn that if attacked by fever he would hold the chance of one out of two ; principáis in a duel where but one pistol j was loaded with ball, the space being over a hauderehief, and he must choose big weapon blindfolded. TJgh !I am but human, and I shiver myself at the i thought. No wonder, then. that so few are left, held by necessity or a higher purpose, noble and philanthropic. No wonder tli:it fivo physicians have turned patients themselves, and on their owu prescriptioLB sought a cooler clime. The i panic that made ours a silent, slcepiug city, however, was a godsend. It '■ snatched from the monster the human j lives upon which he feeds. To increase the exodus has been the aim of the benevolent soeieties. You have read of the Government's charity, of its thcusands oí tenis and its thousands of rations, a gratis preeentation to ourdistressed city. Tho tents are pitched on high hills in regularly-governed campsaboutthe city. "The benevolence of a hundred cities is sending food for their poor unemployed occupants, and ' leave the city or die,' is the cry of the true men who ; are fighting with all of human strength ■ this awful scourge. Strange to say, many will not accept their offer of saf ety, I but cling to their hovel homes though death grins npon them from every crack in the wall. "I could 'a tale unfold' which wonld harrow the soul of evety person who read this - a long, pathetic tale, made up of dark chapters of human suffering, where death has played his horrible part in hundreds of domestic tragedies. j It touches the heart, it makes the i pathetic soul bloed, the sight of such things as are being euacted in this city to-night. Terrible deattm of delirium, horrible ravings of fpver, widowhood bom, orphanage brought into life - I great God ! what miseries, "yhatanguish, what sorrows! I could write you of families buried from the same 'hearse the same day; of waifs picked up tryirg in baby way to kies tho pale, vomitsplasued features of a mother back into life - butthen I cannot. The man who livea through these BiirrouncHng scènes turns with horror from their descriptíon." Considerable excitement was raised on Secoiul street, Memphis, by the appearance of a patiënt, wüo, in the delirium of fever, escaped frorn liis nurse and walked into a saloon, ealling for a drink of whisky and a glass of ice water. The bar-tender did not notice the man's eondition until he had dl nuk the whisky, when the nurse rushed in, aecompanied by two or tliree others, and, securing the patiënt with gi(!at difficulty, rehirned to his room. He proved to bo J. B. Barker, a compositor on the Appeal.


Old News
Michigan Argus