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be evident that the expense of it, divided between all the tenants, must be so small as not to make a material addition to the rent of each. It must also be considered that the elevator is mainly for the benefit of tenants above the third story. Taking all these things into consideration, it will be seen that the introduction of elevators, which, to most people, seems simple enough, is a somewhat complex matter, and one of considerable risk to the owner as far as expense is concerned. When used in hotels and business houses the interests involved are large, and it has been demonstrated that for business purposes they "pay" well. It concerns us now to inquire how the community can be supplied with cheaper and better lodgings than they have been accustomed to, and any thing which increases their expense must be approached with caution. The steam elevator can only be employed with economy in an apartment house of the largest size, and in such it should be introduced, if only for the purposes of making the fifth, sixth, or seventh stories inhabitable. It is essential, too, that there should be four apartments to a floor, at least. The cost of a passenger elevator, including motive-power, is not less than $10,000, and the expense of running it is about $3,000 a-year, which, with interest on the investment, would make the total cost about $4,000 a-year. At this rate the rent of four apartments, or an entire floor, of such a building as we have described, would be required to pay for running it, or, considered in another way, if divided among twentyfour tenants, would cost each of them $166. In a smaller building this amount would be increased to such an extent as to make it an extravagant luxury.
It remains only to consider some of the conditions upon which the success of the apartment system will depend.
First. In order that tenants may have the assurance of a permanent home, it is essential that such houses be owned by parties who hold them as a permanent investment, and feel that the maintenance of the good name of the house is
necessary to its success as a business enterprise. Nothing is more dangerous to the whole system and better calculated to bring it into disrepute than the liability of an apartment house to being "run down." To prevent this will require more than usual watchfulness on the part of the owner or his agent. building must be kept clean and in good repair, and the porter must be compelled strictly to perform his various duties, so that the tenants may not be annoyed by his derelictions. The character of the owners of such houses will go far in determining the character of the tenants they get. No respectable family would live in a building owned by a speculator, who might sell out at any time to some person incapable of appreciating any degree of refinement or respectability.
Second. An apartment house must be built to accommodate a class of tenants who are in a nearly uniform social scale. It would make the lower stories very undesirable to divide the upper floors into small apartments, to be disposed of at cheap rents. Any one who does this will be quite certain to have his lower apartments quickly vacated. It would be the death-blow to the whole system in New York, certainly, however it might work in European cities. It was the dread of such a state of affairs that so long created a prejudice against the system. The possibility of it has been avoided in the Stuyvesant Apartment House, where all the apartments are of the same size and arranged and finished in the same matter, differing only in position. This is the true system, and the only one that will be successful in New York.
The third consideration is that the porter in such a house must be thoroughly competent for the performance of his duties. The qualifications required in such a person are rarely found, for he must be at times both a servant and a master, and must perform no inconsiderable amount of police duty. He should be responsible for his conduct to the owner of the house alone; his duties should be strictly defined, and he should receive no compensation or perquisites
from the tenants for the performance of his regular duties, or for the doing of any thing that would prevent their performance. The position of the porter is so important in its relation to the tenants that improper conduct on his part, if not rebuked by the owner, would result in depopulating the house in a very short time. Nothing would drive the tenants away so quickly as an attempt of the porter to practice petty impositions or to speculate on his office, either of which can be so easily done by an unprincipled person. Against such things the tenant can have no redress except through the landlord.
That the apartment system is a success, so far as it has been tried, there can be no manner of doubt. It is only to be wondered at that capitalists have been so slow in investing in a class of property
for which the public have clamored so long and lustily. Now that the experiment has been tried and has succeeded, let them no longer delay to meet the popular demand. It needs no argument now to prove that the money thus invested will speedily bring the desired return. Whole blocks of new houses in the city of New York now stand idle for want of tenants. Disgusted housekeepers who are tired alike of enormous rents and the annoyances attendant upon the care of a city-house, will not have them, but seek temporary rest, if such it can be called, in hotels and boardinghouses. The throngs who must soon return from their rural pastimes to plunge again into this vortex of city-life, will join in the universal cry. It is to be hoped they may soon find relief from their troubles.
ARCTIC TRAVELLING IN WINTER.
THE morning of December 13th dawned clear, cold, and still, with a temperature of thirty-one degrees below zero; but, as the sun did not rise until halfpast ten, it was nearly noon before we could get our drivers together, and our dogs harnessed for a start. Our little party of ten men presented quite a novel and picturesque appearance in their gayly-embroidered fur coats, red sashes, and yellow fox-skin hoods, as they assembled in a body before our house to bid good-by to the Ispravink and the Major. Eight heavily-loaded sledges were ranged in a line in front of the door, and almost a hundred dogs were springing frantically against their harnesses, and raising deafening howls of impatience as we came out of the house into the still, frosty atmosphere. We bade every body good-by, received a hearty "God bless you, boys!" from the Major, and were off in a cloud of flying snow, which stung our faces like burning sparks of fire. Old Paderin, the Chief of the Geezhega Cossacks, with white, frosty hair and beard, stood out in front of his little
red log-house as we passed, and waved us a last good-by with his fur hood as we swept out upon the great level steppe behind the town.
It was just mid-day; but the sun, although at its greatest altitude, glowed like a red ball of fire low down in the southern horizon, and a peculiar gloomy twilight hung over the white wintry landscape. I could not overcome the impression that the sun was just rising, and that it would soon be broad day. A white ptarmigan now and then flew up with a loud whir before us, uttered a harsh "querk, querk, querk" of affright, and, sailing a few rods away, settled upon the snow and became suddenly invisible. A few magpies sat motionless in the thickets of trailing pine as we passed, but their feathers were ruffled up around their heads, and they seemed chilled and stupefied by the intense cold. The distant blue belt of timber along the Geezhega River wavered and trembled in its outlines, as if seen through currents of heated air; and the white, ghost-like mountains, thirty miles away to the south
ward, were thrown up and distorted by refraction into a thousand airy, fantastic shapes, which melted imperceptibly, one into another, like a series of dissolving views. Every feature of the scenery was strange, weird, arctic. The red sun rolled slowly along the southern horizon, until it seemed to rest on a white, snowy peak far away in the southwest; and then, while we were yet expecting day, it suddenly disappeared, and the gloomy twilight deepened gradually into night. Only three hours had elapsed since sunrise, and yet stars of the first magnitude could already be plainly distinguished.
We stopped for the night at the house of a Russian peasant who lived on the bank of the Geezhega River, about fifteen versts east of the settlement. While we were drinking tea a special messenger arrived from the village, bringing two frozen blueberry pies as a parting token of regard from the Major, and a last souvenir of civilization. Pretending to fear that something might happen to these delicacies if we should attempt to carry them with us, Dodd, as a precautionary measure, ate one of them up to the last blueberry; and, rather than have him sacrifice himself to a mistaken idea of duty by trying to eat the other, I attended to its preservation myself, and put it forever beyond the reach of accidental contingencies.
On the following day we reached the little log yourt on the Malmofka, where we had spent one night on our way to Geezhega; and, as the cold was still intense, we were glad to avail ourselves again of its shelter, and huddle around the warm fire which Yagor kindled on a sort of clay altar in the middle of the room. There was not space enough on the rough plank-floor to accommodate all our party, and our men built a huge fire of tamarack logs outside, hung over their tea-kettles, thawed out their frosty beards, ate dried fish, sang jolly Russian songs, and made themselves so boisterously happy, that we were tempted to give up the luxury of a roof for the sake of sharing in their out-door amusements and merriment. Our thermometers, how
ever, marked 35° below zero, and we did not venture out of doors except when an unusually loud burst of laughter announced some stupendous Siberian joke which we thought would be worth hearing. The atmosphere outside seemed to be just cool enough to exert an inspiriting influence upon our lively Cossacks, but it was altogether too bracing for unaccustomed American constitutions. With a good fire, however, and plenty of hot tea, we succeeded in making ourselves very comfortable inside the yourt, and passed away the long evening in smoking Circassian tobacco and pine bark, singing American songs, telling stories, and quizzing our good-natured but unsophisticated Cossack Mereneff.
It was quite late when we finally crawled into our fur bags to sleep; but long afterward we could hear the songs, jokes, and laughter of our drivers as they sat around the camp-fire and told funny stories of Siberian travel.
We were up on the following morning long before daylight; and, after a hasty breakfast of black bread, dried fish, and tea, we harnessed our dogs, wet down our sledge-runners with water from the tea-kettle to cover them with. a coating of ice, packed up our camp equipage, and, leaving the shelter of the tamarack forest around the yourt, drove out upon the great snowy Sahara which lies between the Malmofka River and Penzhinak Gulf. It was a land of desolation. A great level steppe, as boundless to the weary eye as the ocean itself, stretched away in every direction to the far horizon without a single tree or bush to relieve its white, snowy surface. Nowhere did we see any sign of animal or vegetable life, any suggestion of summer or flowers, or warm sunshine to brighten the dreary waste of stormdrifted snow. White, cold, and silent, it lay before us like a vast frozen ocean, lighted up faintly by the slender crescent of the waning moon in the east, and the weird blue streamers of the aurora, which went racing swiftly back and forth along the northern horizon. Even when the sun rose, huge and fiery in a haze of frozen moisture at the
south, it did not seem to infuse any warmth or life into the bleak, wintry landscape. It only drowned, in a dull, red glare, the blue, tremulous streamers of the aurora, and the white radi ance of the moon and stars, tinged the snow with a faint color like a stormy sunset, and lighted up a splendid mirage in the northwest, which startled us with its solemn mockery of familiar scenes. The wand of the Northern Enchanter touched the barren, snowy steppe, and it suddenly became a blue tropical lake, upon whose distant shore rose the walls, domes, and slender minarets of a vast Oriental city. Masses of luxuriant foliage seemed to overhang the clear, blue water, and to be reflected in its depths, while the white walls above just caught the first flush of the rising sun. Never was the illusion of summer in winter, of life in death, more palpable or more perfect. One almost instinctively glanced around to assure himself, by the sight of familiar objects, that it was not a dream; but, as his eye turned again to the northwest across the dim blue lake, the vast, tremulous outlines of the mirage still confronted him in their unearthly beauty, and the "cloud-capped towers and gorgeous palaces" seemed, by their mysterious solemnity, to rebuke the doubt which would ascribe them to a dream. The bright apparition faded, glowed, and faded again into indistinctness, and from its ruins rose two colossal pillars, sculptured from rosequartz, which gradually united their capitals, and formed a Titanic arch, like the grand portal of heaven. This, in turn, melted into an extensive fortress, with massive bastions and buttresses, flanking towers and deep embrasures and salient and reëntering angles, whose shadows and perspective were as natural as reality itself. Nor was it only at a distance that these deceptive mirages seemed to be formed. A crow, standing upon the snow at a distance of perhaps two hundred yards, was exaggerated and distorted beyond recognition; and, once having lingered a little behind the rest of the party, I was startled at see
ing a long line of shadowy dog-sledges moving swiftly through the air, a short distance ahead, at a height of eight or ten feet from the ground. The mock sledges were inverted in position, and the mock dogs trotted along, with their feet in the air, but their outlines were almost as clear as those of the real sledges and real dogs underneath. This curious phenomenon lasted only a moment, but it was succeeded by others equally strange, until, at last, we lost faith in our eyesight entirely, and would not believe in the existence of any thing unless we could touch it with our hands. Every bare hillock or dark object on the snow was a nucleus around which were formed the most deceptive images, and two or three times we started out with our rifles in pursuit of wolves or black foxes, which proved, upon closer inspection, to be nothing but crows. I had never before known the light and atmosphere to be so favorable to refraction, and had never been so deceived in the size, shape, and distance of objects on the snow.
The thermometer at noon marked 35°, and at sunset it was 38°, and sinking. We had seen no wood since leaving the yourt, on the Malmofka River, and, not daring to camp without a fire, we trayelled for five hours after dark, guided only by the stars and a bluish aurora which was playing away in the north. Under the influence of the intense cold, frost formed in great quantities upon every thing which was touched by our breaths. Beards became stiff, tangled masses of frozen iron-wire, eyelids grew heavy with long white reins of frost, and froze together when we winked, and our dogs, enveloped in dense clouds of steam, looked like snowy polar wolves. Only by running constantly beside our sledges could we keep any sensation of life in our feet. About eight o'clock a few scattered trees loamed up darkly against the eastern sky, and a joyful shout from our leading drivers announced the discovery of wood. We had reached a small stream called the Ooseénova, seventy-five versts east of Geezhega, in the very middle of the
great steppe. It was like coming to an island after having been long at sea. Our dogs stopped and curled themselves up into little round balls on the snow, as if conscious that the long day's journey was ended, while our drivers proceeded to make, rapidly and systematically, a Siberian half-faced camp. Three sledges were drawn up together, so as to make a little semi-enclosure about ten feet square; the snow was all shovelled out of the interior, and banked up around the three closed sides, like a snow-fort, and a huge fire of trailing pine branches was built at the open end. The bottom of this little snow-cellar was then strewn to a depth of three or four inches with twigs of willow and alder, shaggy bearskins were spread down to make a warm, soft carpet, and our fur sleeping-bags arranged for the night. Upon a small table extemporized out of a candle-box, which stood in the centre, Yagor soon placed two cups of steaming hot tea and a couple of dried fish. Then stretching ourselves out in luxurious style upon our bearskin carpet, with our feet to the fire and our backs against pillows, we smoked, drank tea, and told stories in perfect comfort. After supper the drivers piled dry branches of trailing pine upon the fire until it sent up a column of hot, ruddy flame, ten feet in height; and then, gathering in a picturesque group around the blaze, they sang for hours the wild, melancholy songs of the Kamtchadals, and told never-ending stories of hardship and adventure on the great steppes and along the coast of the "icy sea." At last the great constellation of Orion marked bed-time. Amid a tumult of snarling and fighting the dogs were fed their daily allowance of one dried fish each; fur stockings, moist with perspiration, were taken off and dried by the fire, and, putting on our heaviest fur "kookhlankas," we crawled, feet first, into our bearskin bags, pulled them up over our heads, and slept.
A camp in the middle of a clear, dark winter's night presents a strange, wild appearance. I was awakened, soon
after midnight, by cold feet, and, raising myself upon one elbow, I pushed my head out of my frosty fur bag to see by the stars what time it was. The fire had died away to a red heap of smouldering embers. There was just light enough to distinguish the dark outlines of the loaded sledges, the fur-clad forms of our men lying here and there in groups about the fire, and the frosty dogs, curled up into a hundred little hairy balls, upon the snow. Away beyond the limits of the camp stretched the desolate steppe in a series of long snowy undulations, which blended gradually into one great white frozen ocean, and were lost in the distance and darkness of night. High overhead, in a sky which was almost black, sparkled the bright constellations of Orion and the Pleiads-the celestial clocks which marked the long, weary hours between sunset and sunrise. The blue mysterious streamers of the aurora trembled in the north, now shooting up in clear, bright lines to the zenith, then waving back and forth in great majestic curves over the silent camp, as if warning back the adventurous traveller from the unknown regions around the pole. The silence was profound, oppressive. Nothing but the pulsating of the blood in my ears and the heavy breathing of the sleeping men at my feet broke the universal full. Suddenly there rose upon the still night-air a long, faint, wailing cry, like that of a human being in the last extremity of suffering. Gradually it swelled and deepened, until it seemed to fill the whole atmosphere with its volume of mournful sound, dying away, at last, into a low, despairing moan. It was the signal-howl of a Siberian dog, but so wild and unearthly did it seem in the stillness of the arctic midnight, that it sent the startled blood bounding through my veins to my very finger-ends. In a moment the mournful cry was taken up by another dog upon a higher key, two or three more joined in, then ten, twenty, forty, sixty, eighty, until the whole pack of a hundred dogs howled one infernal chorus together, making the air fairly tremble