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300            Rambling Notes of an Idle Excursion
We felt the lack of something in this community — a vague, an undefinable, an elusive something, and yet a lack. But after considerable thought we made out what it was — tramps. Let them go there, right now, in a body. It is utterly virgin soil. Passage is cheap. Every true patriot in America will help buy tickets. Whole armies of these excellent beings can be spared from our midst and our polls; they will find a delicious climate and a green, kind-hearted people. There are potatoes and onions for all, and a generous welcome for the first batch that arrives, and elegant graves for the second.
It was the Early Rose potato the people were dig­ging. Later in the year they have another crop, which they call the Garnet. We buy their potatoes (retail) at fifteen dollars a barrel; and those colored farmers buy ours for a song, and live on them. Havana might exchange cigars with Connecticut in the same ad­vantageous way, if she thought of it.
We passed a roadside grocery with a sign up, " Pota­toes Wanted." An ignorant stranger, doubtless. He could not have gone thirty steps from his place without finding plenty of them.
In several fields the arrowroot crop was already sprouting. Bermuda used to make a vast annual profit out of this staple before firearms came into such general use.
The island is not large. Somewhere in the interior a man ahead of us had a very slow horse. I suggested that we had better go by him; but the driver said the man had but a little way to go. I waited to see, wondering how he could know. Presently the man did turn down another road. I asked, " How did you know he would?"
" Because I knew the man, and where he lived."
I asked him, satirically, if he knew everybody in the