left to read, also one from Dillon Mapother to his folks at home, dating
nigh a year back. Copy of Parton�s �Life Illustrated� from N Y, with
parts of my last letter to Alf Waud in it.
15. Thursday. A letter from Hannah, in honor of my birthday.
In-doors all day, mostly writing.
16. Friday. In-doors till evening. Wrote letter to Hannah.
At night to Sams, and there in company with him and Minnie, till
12 1/2 . When leaving, and reaching the street, I saw in the sky the
reflection of a great conflagration, so set off for the spot, in com-
pany with a young Londoner, who was bound on the same crowd.
As we reached the Blackfriars Road, we find a great desultory
crowd assembled, overhead a volume of smoke and flame drifting
westwards, and a hail of fire sparks falling. The fire was
raging in the rear of the block of buildings to the right of the Surrey
side of the bridge, as you pass city-wards. A timber merchants
yards, factories, and saw-mill, engine and boiler houses, grainaries
and flour warehouses were all blazing, water freezing in the hose-
pipes, and a fierce deathly cold wind blowing. From the Bridge
the view was magnificent. The whole city was lit up; the red glare
fell on tower and steeple, on distant spire and weathercock, on
St Pauls cross and hall, on the distant bridges and on the mon-
strous snow covered ice flakes hiding the surface of the river, here and
there only a sluggishly shifting pool being visible. A steam boat with
fire engine on board lay at the wharf fronting the scene, in the
space thawed by the conflagration, but it�s efforts availed little, and
indeed the crowd cried out more than once that it had caught fire.
They were a very good-humored orderly lot, over increasing in numbers,