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In the midst of the shadows we crossed towering heights and isolated rocks, at the top of which one like an eyebrow opened the way on a smooth wall, and through that eyebrow, swaying; Over the abyss, the locomotive and the powerful train pass … the lights of the lanterns as if they are lowered to illuminate the immensity of the abyss, dying in its terrifying shadows …
The wind wailed with long echoes, the snow fell, whipping the windows of the wagon, the passengers were profoundly silent.
Several friends took refuge in the smoking room: the conversation turned uncertain on several subjects, noticing the last in the history of the Pacific Railroad and the progress of the steam.
—It seems incredible, I said, that an invention made only in 1831, had produced such stupendous results.
Gland, they exceed all pondering; It seems that it was a duel to the death between the audacity of the Yankee and the difficulties of nature.
—If we had been able to arrange in Sacramento, Lorenzo told me, at least half an hour, he would have already taken you. and would have placed him in front of house no. 54.
You would see. a plain-looking store with a time-worn sign; which simply says: “Hunkington and Hop-Kins.” The establishment is a hardware store and its owners managed, by dint of activity and honesty, to accumulate a regular fortune. In that house the Pacific Railroad was projected.
Although these proprietors were simple merchants, they took care of politics: they were first Free soilers and later Republicans: the house was a meeting point for their co-religionists; Stanford, later the popular governor of California, and the two Crokers, one of them a judge and both intelligent and business men, frequently attended on this occasion.
A glass of beer in hand, and with the love of the fireplace, they discussed politics, the conversation always falling on the immense advantages of a railroad that crossed those deserts, connecting the Atlantic with the Pacific.
—You already. You know, interrupted one of the bystanders, how these businesses begin here: two or three arbitrators, with a name that gives some indication to their forehead, get a concession, form their fund (stock), true or imaginary, and go bankrupt.
The macho capitalists, who know this game, stalk and wait, the lines of the road are shown, they have
vulgarized the business. The capitalists make disastrous proposals, which are finally accepted, shouting enthusiastically: “The spoils belong to the winner.”
This game has been made or tried in Mexico; but the innocence of our governments has made so that all the losses have been for the nation, being the arbitristas owners and lords of the field … still today …
—The Pacific Railroad was not like that: the five merchants we have mentioned, put down the business and did not let go of the hand, despite the conspiracy of the men and the elements.