Page:1880. A Tramp Abroad.djvu/275

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things. Some sounds are hatefuller than others, but no sound is quite so inane, and silly, and aggravating as the "hoo'hoo" of a cuckoo clock, I think. I bought one, and am carrying it home to a certain person; for I have always said that if the opportunity ever happened, I would do that man an ill turn. What I meant, was, that I would break one of his legs, or something of that sort; but in Lucerne I instantly saw that I could impair his mind. That would be more lasting, and more satisfactory every way. So I bought the cuckoo clock; and if I ever get home with it, he is "my meat," as as they say in the mines. I thought of another candidate,—a book reviewer whom I could name if I wanted to,—but after thinking it over, I didn't buy him a clock, I couldn't injure his mind.

We visited the two long, covered wooden bridges which span the green and brilliant Reuss just below where it goes plunging and hurrahing out of the lake. These rambling, swaybacked tunnels are very attractive things, with their alcoved outlooks upon the lovely and inspiriting water. They contain two or three hundred queer old pictures, by old Swiss masters,—old boss sign painters, who flourished before the decadence of art.

The lake is alive with fishes, plainly visible to the eye, for the water is very clear. The parapets in front of the hotels were usually fringed with fishers of all ages. One day I thought I would stop and see a fish caught. The result brought back to my mind, very forcibly, a circumstance which I had not thought of before for twelve years. This one:


When my odd friend Riley and I were newspaper correspondents in Washington, in the winter of '67, we were coming down Pennsylvania Avenue one night, near midnight, in a driving storm of snow, when the flash of a street lamp fell upon a man who was eagerly tearing along in the opposite direction. This man instantly stopped, and exclaimed,

"This is lucky! You are Mr. Riley, ain't you?"