Mr. Foreman, and Firemen all: During the weeks that we have been anticipating your coming, we have also been studying plans by which we might make your visit a pleasant one; for we designed, as we now do, to offer you our heartiest welcome. We welcome you to our municipality, our homes, our engine-houses, and as many agreeable sights and sounds as the city affords.

We are glad to welcome you as brothers in the cause of protection against the ravages of fire. Such a brotherhood as ours ought to be united, for it is a dangerous service, often requiring the utmost skill to prevent serious catastrophes, with unity of purpose and prompt obedience to the commands of our officers.

It is understood that you have brought with you your machine, and we judge from your appearance that you have also brought sterling material to man it. A little healthful emulation as to the merits of our respective engines and companies, on whichever banner victory may perch, we trust will result in cementing us still closer as members of our worthy profession.

We have heard something of your superiority in your own city, and we shall be proud to furnish you every facility for displaying your gallantry here. Indeed, our citizens purpose to give you a public reception to-morrow afternoon, in connection with a friendly contest between our local companies and yourselves.

In the meantime we have assigned you comfortable apartments and a free table at the Park House, where we shall be pleased to have you make yourselves entirely at home as friends and guests whom we greatly esteem.