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Reminiscence of Niagara.

( F rora the -Si'. Louis Globe Democrat. )

I remember when I was but a boy that a man got into the rapids here, having been curried down in a boat, which. was broken to pieces. He had the good for-' tune to be dashed on a rock, to which he dung. It was at the height of the. sea* son—August, if I recollect—and he clung there for fully 116 hours. Everybody streamed out of the hotels, and thgimis lago; the banks of the river, particularly the west aide, were thronged with people anxious to do something to save him. Dozens of plans were suggested ; some attempted, but they all failed. Thousands of dollars were offered to anybody who would rescue him. The desperate situation of the man had been telegraphed over the country, and every trainbrought crowds of passengers hither to witness it with their own eyes. He was then encouraged by shouts from the banks, but whether he could understand anything said it is doubtful. The world is said to be sympathetic. It is, pr.appears to be unsympathetic when the object for which sympathy is asked is abstract. When it is tangible, visible, all is changed.; , There was an exemplification. This poor wretch could be seen. He was an ordinary uneducated man ; but he was a man, and the brotherhood and sisterhood of hia race went out to him in pity, and intense eagerness to rescue him. Women of fashion, “blase” club men, selfish worldlings,, grew pale as they watched the unhappy wretch, so vivid was their sympathy. Many persons sat up all night looking, across the boiling, seething, roaring waterp at the small dark figure still clinging to the rock. The morning, came, renewed efforts were made, but they all miscarried. The crowd had increased; it was immense, Everybody was excited. Tears were inwomen’s eyes ; the palor gleamed through the rouge of some of their cheeks." Can't something be done? Must the poor fellow perish before our faces ? Is there no,; way to rescue him ? Such questions were incessantly asked; but alas; no reply, could be given. The man had good courage and great strength. He clung to the rock with the desperation of a dying soul. To lose his hold was to be dashed over the cataract. Appliances and contrivances ai rived from Buffalo. New experiments and new failures,! Hoarse shouts still rang across the rapids to hold on, .to be of good heart. The heart that ever tlu-obbed could not fri that rock forever. It was wonderft 1 ow he had endured. A fresh, idea had come to the minds of half a dozen mechanics. They were laboring to throw a hawser; every muscle was strained ; every eye was bent upon their work. Suddenly the man slipped away. He was exhausted; ho threw up his arms ; he dashed toward the cataract. A low groan its from one breast quaked through the throng ; the thousands shivered with terror. A black object for a moment longer in the hell of waters, and then disappeared for ever. No one moved; no < -no spoke for a while. All looked in the direction where the figure had been swallowed up. It was the enc hantment of terror; it was the chill of tragedy distinctly wrought which froze e very one - for it moment to the spot. The old" resident —he has lived heie forty yearssays that on an average about six personsare carried over the falls every year, and ; that four of the six are wholly or partially intoxicated and lose their lives by carelessness or recklessness in lowing above the rapids, going beyond the line of dan-, gur. But for liquor, not more than two lives, he says, would he lost annually.

A RfIFUGB I'Oll TUI! UNFORTUNATE. The Aimed Constabulary seems to be a sort of Cave of Adullam for unfortunates., A William Robert Christie, described by! the Wellington papers as a “ gentleman," was had up for vagrancy. The R.M. said" he had made inquiries, and found that it was simply misfortune that had placed 1 prisoner in the position lie then occupied;'; The R.M. interested him Self iii the mattetl and found a place for the gentleman “ilk extremis'’ in the Armed Constabulary. 35

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18791129.2.23

Bibliographic details

Reminiscence of Niagara., Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 28, 29 November 1879

Word Count
708

Reminiscence of Niagara. Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 28, 29 November 1879

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