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In Kansas the early governors barely got off alive, while fire-eaters from Missouri fought with jayhawkers from Connecticut. A pioneer wrote, "I, Andrew H. Reeder, in danger of being murdered by a set of wild ruffians and outlaws who are below the savages in all virtues of civilization, . . . in view of my death, which may happen to-day or tomorrow, make this last will and testament." But if the Middle West smelled of tar and feathers and bristled with bowie-knives, pepper-box pistols, squirrelguns, and Sharpe's rifles, it also resounded with hymn-tunes. Circuit-riders galloped hither and yon. Slab churches popped

up. In Ohio a pious coterie, "lamenting the deplorable condition of our perishing world," renounced tea, coffee, meat, tobacco, and tight-lacing. Presently violence subsided. Fur-traders, Indianfighters, stump-grubbers, and hardy empire-builders settled down to a humdrum. monotony punctuated with revivals.

It was easy then to heed Greeley's advice and go West. One reaped where others had sown. The ambitious went; likewise the discouraged. To-day, while your Middle-Westerner may perhaps be descended from a bravo who slept in a log cabin and made his bed with a hoe, it is as possible that he traces his lineage to some third-assistant bookkeeper whose services in Albany were "no longer required."

Furthermore, the chatter about "firstrate raw material" raises the question, "Material for what?" What, indeed, Easterners? The Middle West, thank you, is not posing as a half-drilled imitation of the East. Like Private McFadden, it has "a shtep iv its own," and has forged a civilization distinctively Middle-Western. The thing is there. It is not finished; no civilization ever is. Yet do you call an Englishman raw because he is not a Frenchman, never set up to be, and would blow out his brains if he felt it coming on? Methinks "raw," when applied to Middle-Westerners, betrays a singular crudity in Easterners, who hark back to a Middle West long since extinct

or judge the Middle West of to-day by its speech.

"What vulgarians!" exclaimed a NewEnglander. "When they mean 'dawla,' they say 'dollar,' and Elbert Hubbard pronounced Ali Baba ‘Alla Babba'! They fish in 'cricks,' smash baggage in 'deepos,' fill lamps with 'coal-oil,' 'drop' eggs instead of poaching them, eat 'pie-plant' for rhubarb, and 'fried cakes' for doughnuts." Worse things happen; beautiful foreign names become "Deetroyt" and "Dummoyn," and in Boston a girl from the Middle West glanced across the trolleycar, read a head-line, blurted, "O Ma, the Cam-pa-nyle has fallen!" and burst into tears. Nothing I ever saw or heard more completely explained "rawness." It is merely rusticity. There was a MiddleWesterner who split rails and wrote the Gettysburg address. Another could say "Campanyle," and weep.

In the East rusticity occurs so seldom that no one takes pains to understand it. You look out from your Pullman upon cities, with brief interludes of rocky hillside, wild forest, and meadow-lands where dwellings lie far apart. In the Middle West it is the other way about. The prairie grows wearisome in its endless, unremitted productivity. Cities you find, but few and relatively small. For one Chicago, dozens where the inhabitant whispers, "Don't let on that I told you, but this town is just a great, big overgrown village." Retired farmers abound there. In a state capitol my guide said, "Every man here was born on a farm.' A magazine edited for communities of two thousand souls each has a circulation of two million. It is not cities that have prompted the phrase, "Out in the Middle West, where the people are," and the politician's cry of "Wait till the Middle West has spoken!" It is the country.

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Mining regions there are, and timbered regions where "moss-back," "habitaw," and lumber-jack" still flourish. Nor do I intend any slight to the cities. They roar. In Chicago, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Buffalo black cinders grace my nose. A collar lasts fifteen minutes, generally

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less. But what are mining, logging, and manufacturing, all told? Islets of exception in an ocean of rule. Corn is king. The hog, a corn-field on legs, made Chicago. Scratch a Middle-Westerner, and you find a farmer. Either he lives on a farm or in a farming village or in a city that was a farming village only yesterday. To catch the most broadly typical MiddleWesterners, drop off at some painfully prosaic-seeming way-station where a grainelevator looms gaunt and hideous next to the tracks and passenger says to passenger, "How'd you like to live in that town?"

Whereas life in "that town" is a perfect sizzle of hilarities, festivities, jocosities, and cultural fandangoes. On Hallowe'en youngsters patiently rearrange gates and sometimes cows. A marriage courts a visitation "via the hay-ladder route" and "an old-fashioned charivari." Elks, Owls, Eagles, Woodmen, Red Men, and Odd Fellows have badged every male. A humorous organization, obviously, is the Ancient and Honorable Horse-Thief Detective Society; not so the Young Old Timers and those feminine enthusiasts, the Elysians and the Sonatina Club. Lo! what reference works on Browning in Elysium, what instructive papers at "the Sonatina"! Wrote Mrs. "Lafe" Sawyer, "The febrile unrest, the neurotic striving of the hour all find their musical equivalent in Richard Strauss." Additional felicities rain in from outside. The porta

ble roller-rink comes. Medicine troupes bring comedians, acrobats, and sure cures for "what ails you." Strolling players erect a huge tent; in their own inspired verbiage, "The show goes over big." For a week every summer the populace of half a country assembles for the feast of tabernacles and of reason known as a Chautauqua. Never were there orators more silver-tongued, yodelers more instructive, fiddlers with longer hair, or vocalists more divine! And how biddable! You merely organize a committee and write to the National Lincoln System, jobbers in sweetness and light.

Nevertheless, I should hardly advise. Professor Granville to take up his abode in "that town." It abhors "frills." Despite its "automobile for each child," its dapper, billboard-looking, ready-to-wear young men, and its dames arrayed in accordance with the latest fashion number of the woman's magazine, democracy stalks unchecked. No one puts on airs. Says a Middle-Western newspaper, "Our idea of an ideal man is one who does n't wear a wrist watch and carry a cane." A cane is a symptom of frills, as troublous to a plainsman as "the dying words of Ward MacAllister, 'Everything that can be eaten with a fork must be.'

A few Middle-Western cities, to be sure, have gone in desperately for frills. Their clergy wear gowns. Silk hats increase and multiply. A college commence

ment blazes with academic regalia. Domestic architecture sings high tenor, not to say falsetto. And behold the new passion for ancestors! "Ours came by the first prairie-schooner." "Ours by the first train." Tribal crests gleam resplendent, while there rages an "exclusiveness" at once bellicose and scared. Aristocracy feels anything but secure when, save for the dignity of old French families in Detroit and St. Louis and old Southern families in Cincinnati, it bases its pretensions on new-made wealth. Notice, please, I am not telling which cities have gone in desperately for frills. I am not holding the Middle West responsible for those cities. They belong a hundred and fifty leagues east of the Atlantic seaboard. The real Middle West excludes no one, not even Granville.

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Thanks to cut-rate excursions on Sunday, even the least adventurous MiddleWesterners have "been about some.' Many tour the Grand Cañon. Many go East, hungering for clam-chowder, freshopened oysters, "broiled live," and a glimpse of the Great White Way. Now and then a Middle-Westerner feigns delight in Eastern scenery. It is a chivalrous concession; prairie-dwellers prefer the prairie. I tramped the White Mountains with an Iowan. His indifference was superb. A Kansan in New England admitted that the East might perhaps be "a fine country," but complained that it "could not be seen." It was "all hidden" under a malignant growth known as trees. As for Eastern ways-ridiculous! A distinguished Middle-Westerner went home and wrote a confession entitled "Rubbering around the Hub," and concluding, "All right for a visit, but live there-nit! nit!"

Nothing Middle-Western tends to kindle the fancy. In nature there is a blunt and almost eager frankness. No mysteries lurk in a prairie-land. Overhead the sky, beneath it sheer realism. One lives in the here and the now. Indians have fled, the bison likewise, and even the prairie-dog. As a rule, what was old, and therefore suggestive, has either vanished of its own

accord or been ruthlessly demolished. St. Louis destroyed its prehistoric mound. Log cabins have perished. Quaint sayings, quaint customs, and quaint countingout rhymes, beloved by Eastern children, failed to survive the stress of pioneer hardship. Life sloughed them off, along with all merely playful superfluities. Fact reigned. It still reigns, even in fiction. To commend a novel, declare, "It photographs a Middle-Western small town; is crowded with characters you instantly recognize."

Wholly natural, this self-centered, selflimited posture of farmers and farmers' sons; harmless, too, except in a crisis, when they cannot think either internationally or nationally. Talk of coast defense, of a merchant marine, or of America's duty in a world at war, and they are in somewhat the mood of the philosopher who said, "I object to going down cellar at midnight without a candle to look for a black cat that is n't there." What a hysterical race, the Easterners, to want coast defense when there is no risk at all that foreign dreadnoughts will bombard the Middle West! How "sectional" of the East to want ships when there is not one drop of salt water in the entire Middle West! How "narrow" to side feverishly with the Allies in a war as remote as a flood in China or a famine in India! A Middle-Westerner could hardly imagine the Allies. He could vividly imagine Germans, having lived with Germans in the Middle West, and liked them. So he suspended judgment or ignored the whole matter. That was easy. West of Buffalo and outside Chicago the Middle-Western press was printing only a column of war news a day, sometimes less, and without colossal head-lines. It was the Easterner in me, not the Middle-Westerner, that declared, "In 1914 America discovered the world."

Thus far the Middle West has discovered only the Middle West, and is abundantly satisfied. An Iowan, Mr. Herbert Quick, writes confidently, "In the gradual ascent to the apex of perfections, in uncovering the varied regions to His chil


"Medicine troupes bring comedians, acrobats, and sure cures " dren, the All-Father's masterpiece is Iowa." those same Easterners will sentimentalize over Mistral's affection for his native Provence. Whereas, Mistral was a fairly late comer in Provence. He had not made it. He had not seen it made. In the

While there are Easterners who find a certain "smugness" in this rapturous laudation of la petite patrie, I notice that

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Middle West pioneers and sons of pioneers still glory in the fruit of their labors. They made the Middle West. They have not ceased making it, nor has the third generation. What passes for smugness is an incitement to further exertion. For "Halleluiah!" read "Giddap!" In MiddleWestern parlance it is the outward sign of an inward grace. The grace they call "boost"; its opposite, "knocking." Says a Middle-Western editor, "Any man who knocks the town he feels at home in would find fault with his own mother's cherrypie."

In Cincinnati note the daily column, "Cincinnati's Industries Grow." In Springfield hear the phrases, "Onward sweep" and "Forging ahead." In Wichita observe how the disinterested realestate barons have set out to "make Wichita known as the Hub of"-I forget just what. From the window, as your train pulls up at some severely monohippic "tank town," read the notice, "This piece of land free to any concern that will build a factory here."

Taught by his chamber of commerce, the citizen volunteers information wondrous, joyous, and effulgent. Welcome to our city! She boasts the biggest this in the world, the largest that in the world, the grandest the other in the world, and three times her own population. Thinking in italics, talking in capitals, he knows only cosmic superlatives. One such town boasts "the shortest mile-track in the world." Chicago, when termed the wickedest of cities, replied, "We 're bound to lead." Chicago even brags of her suburbs-"with one exception." That is St. Louis! In the usual prairie town the newspapers never allow people to die. Instead, they "pass." Anything as depressing as a death. would be a form of applied "knocking."

Throughout the Middle West the citizen memorizes interminable statistics proving the "onward sweep" of his community during the last three years, the last five, the last ten. At this rate a mere dullard can calculate how suddenly it will overhaul New York City and joggle the universe. In six dozen particulars

he names them offhand-it has already joggled Christendom and dismayed the marts of Ormus and of Ind.

At first glance "boost" appears to exhibit imagination, but it is in reality prosaic. It takes facts, then proceeds as in multiplication. Nevertheless, it exhibits sentiment, and America has as yet pro

duced no more charmingly sentimental

creature than the plainsman. His surroundings, his education, his religion, his secretiveness, and his jocosity unite to kill sentiment. Nothing can. Horrible droughts may burn sentiment to a cinder; plagues of locusts may devour it; floods may drown it; tornadoes, misnamed "cyclones," may blow it flat. Invariably it comes up smiling.

To be candid, these pranks of water, wind, sun, and the "insect youth" amount to relatively little. Locusts nibbled Kansas bare once; they are gone; and while an occasional hot wind scorches that eventful region till farmers perceive clearly that Congress is to blame, consider the Kansas crops, how they grow, and the Kansans, how they prosper. Dayton has its flood, to be sure, and here and there a village that was on one bank of the Mississippi yesterday is on the other bank to-day; yet the average Middle-Westerner never sees the "Big Muddy" or, for that matter, the Ohio. Cyclones, when by some rare chance they collide with a city, wreak havoc incalculable; as a rule, they waste their vivacity in the rural glades. All his life a distinguished Middle-Western meteorologist has been ambitious to get in with a cyclone. All his life he has failed. There is a wistful melancholy about the man as he shows you other people's snap-shots of cyclones or relates his observations along a cyclone's trail. Alas! the play of "Cæsar" with Casar left out-chickens defeathered on one side only, straws stuck into oaken posts, mud from Jones's swamp nicely plastered over the First Baptist Church, a locomotive standing on end in a rose garden and a single rose left petal-perfect, but the cyclone itself gone kiting. By dint of much patience I have found cyclone sur

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