THROUGH the long-lingering half-light of the most superb of evenings we returnd to Denver, where I staid several days leisurely exploring, receiving impressions, with which I may as well taper off this memorandum, itemizing what I saw there. The best was the men, three-fourths of them large, able, calm, alert, American. And cash! why they create it here. Out in the smelting works, (the biggest and most improvd ones, for the precious metals, in the world,) I saw long rows of vats, pans, coverd by bubbling-boiling water, and filld with pure silver, four or five inches thick, many thousand dollars worth in a pan. The foreman who was showing me shoveld it carelessly up with a little wooden shovel, as one might toss beans. Then large silver bricks, worth $2000 a brick, dozens of piles, twenty in a pile. In one place in the mountains, at a mining camp, I had a few days before seen rough bullion on the ground in the open air, like the confectioners pyramids at some swell dinner in New York. (Such a sweet morsel to roll over with a poor authors pen and inkand appropriate to slip in herethat the silver product of Colorado and Utah, with the gold product of California, New Mexico, Nevada and Dakota, foots up an addition to the worlds coin of near or toward a hundred millions every year.)
A city, this Denver, well-laid outLaramie street, and 15th and 16th and Champa streets, with others, particularly finesome with tall storehouses of stone or iron, and windows of plateglassall the streets with little canals of mountain water running along the sidesplenty of people, business, modernnessyet not without a certain racy wild smack, all its own. A place of fast horses, (many mares with their colts,) and I saw lots of big greyhounds for antelope hunting. Now and then groups of miners, some just come in, some starting out, very picturesque.
One of the papers here interviewd me, and reported me as saying off-hand: I have lived in or visited all the great cities on the Atlantic third of the republicBoston, Brooklyn with its hills, New Orleans, Baltimore, stately Washington, broad Philadelphia, teeming Cincinnati and Chicago, and for thirty years in that wonder, washd by hurried and glittering tides, my own New York, not only the New Worlds but the worlds citybut, newcomer to Denver as I am, and threading its streets, breathing its air, warmd by its sunshine, and having what there is of its human as well as aerial ozone flashd upon me now for only three or four days, I am very much like a man feels sometimes toward certain people he meets with, and warms to, and hardly knows why. I, too, can hardly tell why, but as I enterd the city in the slight haze of a late September afternoon, and have breathd its air, and slept well o nights, and have roamd or rode leisurely, and watchd the comers and goers at the hotels, and absorbd the climatic magnetism of this curiously attractive region, there has steadily grown upon me a feeling of affection for the spot, which, sudden as it is, has become so definite and strong that I must put it on record.
So much for my feeling toward the Queen city of the plains and peaks, where she sits in her delicious rare atmosphere, over 5000 feet above sea-level, irrigated by mountain streams, one way looking east over the prairies for a thousand miles, and having the other, westward, in constant view by day, draped in their violet haze, mountain tops innumerable. Yes, I fell in love with Denver, and even felt a wish to spend my declining and dying days there.