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A Trip to the Ozarks #3

from the river to the outskirts of the city. The business portion
of Fort Smith is both solid and substantial, the buildings being of
brick or stone, and built in accordance with the present day models
of architecture of that class of buildings. Not only is the city
itself, but also for some distance into the suburbs, there are lines
on lines, stretches on stretches of beautiful gardens, amid which rise
handsome residences, which not only testify to the good taste of the
people of Fort Smith, but are mute witnesses and substantial evidences
of the fact that many of her citizens are well endowed with this
world's goods.

The mountainous country for miles and miles around is rich in coal and
wood, from which two commodities, either directly or indirectly, the
city derives a considerable revenue. The roads over which we traveled
thru Texas, Okla., and Ark., being made by the government or the state,
or by both combined, or under their immediate supervision, were models
not only of road-making, but also of the care which is taken to promote
the comfort and peace-of-mind of the traveler, as well as to make use
of such devices as may insure his safety and security. In order that
the traveler may, without bother or hindrance, pursue undeviatingly
his course to his desired destination, each road, as you know, has its
specific number, so that if one should be traveling by Road No. 10,
or II, or IoI, as the case may be, the frequent occurrence and recurrence
of sign boards along the way are his guaranty and assurance that he is
on the right road to his destination. Moreover, in these days, when the
automobile, like a mighty Juggernaut, is crushing by the hundreds and
thousands the lives of men, women, and children, by that recklessness
and carelessness, which is too often the cause of thsi Krishna-like, or
Moloch-like, sacrifice of human lives, every precaution is taken, if not
to prevent entirely, yet to minimize as much as possible, the dangers
incident to our present swift, speedy, and often furious and Jehu-like
methods of traveling.

If one, for instance, is approaching a sharp curve in the road, where
there is a possibility and a probability of meeting a car coming from
the opposite direction, a sign board, some little distance, from the
curve, has painted on it, the word, "Curve", or a curving piece of
wood or iron, "Only this and nothing more". If one is approaching
a narrow bridge, where it would be impossible for two cars to pass,
at the same time, the warning on the sign board reads "Narrow Bridge".
If one is approaching a railroad crossing, where so many fearful acci-
dents have occurred in the past, and frequently occurring in the present
and are bound to occur more or less frequently in the days to come, a
large sign by the R.R. Crossing, especially in the state of Arkansas
has on it the words: "Stop ! State of Arkansas. " But as I noticed
very few person pay any attention to the strict letter of this in-
junction, this law like some other laws of the land, is more honored in
the breach than in the observance.

By a recent compution there are 2, 500, 000 of these main crossings
which here and there and everywhere confront those who travel over the
public highways of the country. By those who are in a position to
know, and whose statement are as reliable as it is humanly possible
for any statement of the kind to be - by these it is asserted that
if the railways of the United States were required to do away with
these objectionable features of their construction, a compliance with
such a requirement would necessitate the expenditure, 19000000000
an expenditure so great that it could not fail to bankrupt every rail
system in the United States.

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