Some one has said - If you wish to be revenged of your enemy, induce him to write a book. My enemy is necessity. Something was to be done. My attendants, old age, ill health, ill luck, and lack of business capacity, indicated what that something should be, - Hinc illæ lacrimæ. It is not because I believe myself competent, but because of my relative position towards the things whereof I am about to speak. I am a living link between a dead and a living generation - I was part of the former, as I am part of the latter, and I tell of what I know, and saw. Thus I am induced to believe I can paint a true, if not artistic picture, of the scenes I attempt to describe in the following pages.
From the first scene, the explosion of the "Wild Cat" to the present time, fifty years and a great civil war have rolled down the alley-ways of eternity, obliterating nearly two whole generations, and almost their memory. Hence my excuse for introducing descendants to the ways and habits of their ancestors, which, I trust, will prove of sufficient interest, both to induce them to read my book, and excuse my temerity.
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