I have not the necessary personal magnetism to look a cyclone in the eye and make it quail. I am stern and even haughty in my intercourse with men, but when a Manitoba simoom takes me by the brow of my pantaloons and throws me across Township 28, Range 18, west of the 5th principal meridian, I lose my mental reserve and become anxious and even taciturn. For years I had yearned to see a grown-up cyclone, of the ring-tail-puller variety, mop up the green earth with huge forest trees and make the landscape look tired. On the 9th day of September, A.D. 1884, my morbid curiosity was gratified.
As the people came out into the forest with lanterns and pulled me out of the crotch of a basswood tree with a tackle and fall, I remember I told them I didnt yearn for any more atmospheric phenomena.
The old desire for a hurricane that could blow a cow through a penitentiary was satiated. I remember when the doctor pried the bones of my leg together, in order to kind of draw my attention away from the limb, he asked me how I liked the fall style of zephyr in that locality. I said it was all right, what there was of it. I said this in a tone of bitter irony.
My brother and I were riding along in the grand old forest, and I had just been singing a few bars from the opera of Whoop em up, Lizzie Jane, when I noticed that the wind was beginning to sough through the trees. Soon after that I noticed that I was soughing through the trees also, and I am really no slouch of a sougher either when I get started.
I did not see my brother at first, but after a while he disengaged himself from a rail fence and came where I was hanging wrong end up, with my personal effects spilling out of my pockets. I told him that as soon as the wind kind of softened down I wished he would go and pick the horse. He did so, and at midnight a party of friends carried me into town on a stretcher. It was quite an ovation. To think of a torchlight procession coming way out there into the woods at midnight, and carrying me into town on their shoulders in triumph! And yet I was once a poor boy!
The cyclone is a natural phenomenon, enjoying the most robust health. It may be a pleasure for a man with great will-power and an iron constitution to study more carefully into the habits of the cyclone, but as far as I am concerned, individually, I could worry along some way if we didnt have a phenomenon in the house from one years end to another.
As I sit here, with my leg in a silicate of soda corset, and watch the merry throng promenading down the street, or mingling in the giddy torchlight procession, I cannot repress a feeling toward a cyclone that almost amounts to disgust.