Following the Equator: A Journey around the World - Vol. 1

By Mark Twain | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER XXXV

The Autocrat of Russia possesses more power than any other man in the earth; but he cannot stop a sneeze.-- Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar.

W ANGANUI, December 3. A pleasant trip, yesterday, per Ballarat Fly. Four hours. I do not know the distance, but it must have been well along toward fifty miles. The Fly could have spun it out to eight hours and not discommoded me; for where there is comfort, and no need for hurry, speed is of no value--at least to me; and nothing that goes on wheels can be more comfortable, more satisfactory, than the New Zealand trains. Outside of America there are no cars that are so rationally devised. When you add the constant presence of charming scenery and the nearly constant absence of dust--well, if one is not content then, he ought to get out and walk. That would change his spirit, perhaps; I think so. At the end of an hour you would find him waiting humbly beside the track, and glad to be taken aboard again.

Much horseback-riding in and around this town; many comely girls in cool and pretty summer gowns; much Salvation Army; lots of Maoris; the faces and bodies of some of the old ones very tastefully frescoed. Maori Council House over the river-- large, strong, carpeted from end to end with matting,

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