Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
good fortune to meet a wealthy manufacturer who happened to be a great horse-lover, and he
immediately offered to take charge of one of my horses. As Gato had been the unlucky one in
I made my stay in St. Louis as short as possible, and although I missed Gato's company, I
was much relieved when I crossed the Mississippi by one of the long bridges. With one anim-
al I could travel much easier and faster where traffic was bad, and I had less work in finding
fodder and accommodation.
St. Louis is not an attractive town, the industrial quarters being gloomy and dirty; even
the main streets have something depressing about them. Some of the parks and surroundings
make up for what the town lacks, but above all, I noticed one thing about it, and that is the
extraordinary number of good-looking girls I came across everywhere. Now I am not going
to claim that St. Louis has the prettiest women in the world, but although I have extensively
travelled many countries, and this not only in the American continent, I must say that I have
never seen so many attractive and neatly dressed girls as I did there. When I remarked this
in one of the clubs where I was entertained, somebody got up and said that New Orleans had
St. Louis 'beat' in this respect. As I did not know the former place, I was unable to give my
opinion, but I have an idea that that enthusiast was a native of New Orleans and, of course,
there is no place like home!
If I were a painter I would find it impossible to put a woman or man as a typical American
on canvas, and I do not think that such a type exists, physically speaking; there is too great a
mixture of blood of all nationalities, and in many cases even of races, not sufficiently boiled
down or crystallised to allow the production of a type that can be said to be representative.
Many Americans are of the Teutonic and Scandinavian types, others distinctly Anglo-Saxon
or Latin, and all are slowly being mixed in this melting-pot of nations, much as in the Argen-
tine which is beginning to be a veritable Babylonia.
Thefurthereastweadvanced, theclosertogether didwefindthetowns,andthelesspleas-
ant did riding become.
In most hotels in the U.S., a society called The Gideons places a Bible in each room, and
on the other hand, the management of the establishment thoughtfully hangs corkscrews on
chains, and fixes bottle-openers on the walls, and whilst the clauses of the prohibition law are
in a frame under glass inside the door, a crystal jug and tumblers are placed on a tray on the
table alongside the Bible, the iced water and other incidentals being as easy to obtain as they
are likely to be poisonous.
Notoriety and publicity seekers abound in the States, and at the same time that I rode
through the country a coast-to-coast foot-race was in progress, which was merely a novel ad-
vertising stunt, and an effort to pick up a few dollars. I came across all sorts of people who
were on transcontinental publicity stunts, and the way they advertised, and the thrilling ac-
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