Discriminating Storm

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A DISCRIMINATING STORM

 

Had the arch-fiend himself directed the course of the tornado he could have scarcely guided it so as to have done more damage. Those who gazed upon the scene of desolation that was wrought were almost inclined to hint that it was guided by a strategist, so marvelous was its perspicacity. The forces at its command were handled with the skill and judgment a general of power might conceive. Carefully avoiding obstacles that might seriously scatter its concentrated power, it passed lightly over certain places in its path and smote others hip and thigh. Now and then it divided, but the divisions were strong in destructiveness, and where the main storm did not wreak its full force there was damage done in spots by wandering skirmishing blasts that appal and horrify. It switched and twisted and dodged with the skill of a wrestler. And after inflicting damage sufficient to wear Out any but the mightiest tempest, it still had strength enough to cross a great sheet of water like the Mississippi and spread ruin and desolation with a lavish hand. Though the tornado ravished the people of lives and property, they respect it for its power and ingenuity.

The rain. and darkness of the night bad the effect of bringing to the minds of those who worked in the afflicted districts the thought that experience shows what looks bad and terrible in the dark, generally turns out to be an exaggerated fancy in the morning. Butthe sun that rose smiling on St. Louis and her stricken sister city across the river the following morning, brought to light new horror with every ray that penetrated the atmosphere, It was not until the earth was bright and warm and the sky was clear and glad that the true situation dawned upon the, people. The awful work of the devastating army of the elements stood out in all its naked hideousness. From the west to the east in the southern central portion of the town a wide streak was blazed, lined on each side with wreckage that represented to those who owned it when it was useful, a loss total and stunning.

 

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