See America First, By Orville O. Hiestand

 -  Some distance ahead the country
appeared more rolling, the trees higher and the undergrowth less
dense. Vistas opened up, revealing - Page 160
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Some Distance Ahead The Country Appeared More Rolling, The Trees Higher And The Undergrowth Less Dense.

Vistas opened up, revealing an occasional farmstead. Suddenly the scene changed for, instead of the emerald hues of thrifty vegetation, there were seen the brown, seared forms as of the desert; the charred ruins of buildings, the ashy outlines of fences and blackened stumps.

The reason for this devastation was soon discovered, as exclamations arose simultaneously from all sides - "Forest Fire." Upon penetrating the ruined district a little farther the cause of this widespread destruction was soon learned. On a large bulletin board by the roadside were stenciled these words Forty thousand acres of timber, besides crops, fences and buildings destroyed by fire, started from a cigarette stub carelessly thrown away. Coupled with expressions of sincere regret over the country's irreparable loss were heard strong denunciations of the criminally careless smoker who caused it. A terrible indictment cumulative in character is being drawn against the cigarette habit, not only as being responsible for the sad scene just witnessed, but for the useless waste of money, the undermining of health, yea even to the destruction of life itself, for that day was not destined to close until there had been seen the ghastly ruins of the hotel in Hoboken where twelve lives were snuffed out by fire started from a cigarette.

It is not good, however, to dwell for a considerable time in the valley of the shadow of death, even to adorn a tale or point a moral, so the journey was continued toward fairer fields and happier surroundings.

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