In his mind the traveler holds of Illinois a tiresome picture, the kitchen garden of a great people, a flat and unromantic necessity. The greatest of men have trod the level ground, but it is hard to mark history upon a plane; there is no rugged place on which to hang a wreath, and on the prairie the traveling eye is accommodated by no inn whereat it may halt to rest. Such is the Illinois as remembered by the hastening tourist. But in the southern part of the State there are mountains, and in the north, the scene of this story, there is a spread and a roll of romantic country—the green billows of Wisconsin gently breaking into Illinois; lakes scattered like a handful of jewels thrown broadcast, quiet rivers singing low among the rushes.
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