His left leg was a trifle lame as he strolled leisurely down Main Street yesterday afternoon. Beyond that there was nothing in the appearance of the small, lithe youth to indicate that he had reached a goal to attain which over 1200 long weary miles had been traversed on foot.

It was early in July when the hot, stifling sun was beating down on the great expanses of Nebraska; when the usually fertile soil was sere and yellow under the blistering rays of old Sol and here and there tiny crevices appeared in the hard baked soil; when the corn in the fields and stretches of grain hung their heads and seemed to gasp for air and moisture, that a youth on whose shoulders twenty-two years rested all too heavily, sought to find a shaded place in the city of Lincoln.

Behind him the pages had just been closed on a wearisome year in the Law Department of the University of Nebraska and before him was the great wide, wonderful world and the assurance that his physical condition made the future anything but rosy in its aspect. The doctors said he must recuperate in some way and that he must take plenty of outdoor exercise and eat particularly things which would kindle anew the glimmering fires of strength and vitality.

Down the shaded streets and foliage bedecked vistas of the city there came no breeze to fan the burning brow of the young man and the paper which he held in his hand told again and again of the drought and heat that everywhere were mowing down vegetable life throughout the Middle West and making human life more of a burden than otherwise. If he could only get away from the stifling heat and bask in the cool breezes of other places, he thought that life would take on a far more tinted coloring; but then there came the thoughts that he had gone through a pleasant winter, a delightful spring and a June as ideal as the one which caused James Russell Lowell to dip his pen into the pot of eloquence and write upon the rarity of those sweet days of early summer.

He had gone through these and surely if climate were all that he needed he should not have come to this warmer time with his health comparatively shattered. The mind of a student is a peculiar piece of mechanism and its movements are as peculiar as they are inexplicable and it would be foolish to surmise what thoughts coursed through the head of this Nebraska youth that led to the action which he finally took. That it was peculiar appears almost on the surface of the undertaking and that it would have appeared foolhardy to the mind of most people can not be denied. Its results, however, pay their tribute to that wisdom which governs the action of a youth.

Away off in the East, hundred and hundred of miles, was a fanciful city. Its days filled with vision of roseate loveliness of artistic conception, its nights filled with a radiant glow of countless lights beckoned on to the mysterious realm which people called the "Rainbow City," and the world knew as the Pan-American Exposition. Through the waves of heat, lifting up from the hot pavements of the Lincoln streets, and beyond the heavy atmosphere of the intervening country there came the roars of waters, the dash of spray, the wild torrents through green valleys and cool gorges and like a mirage breaking on the gray sky there came a picture of Niagara Falls and all its beauties unfolding on the leaves of the youth's fancy.

Minds generally are actuated to deeds by pictures which their matter conjure up, and it is the fanciful conception of the mind that leads everyone to action. The Nebraska student had painted his picture and was fascinated. All the hardships that lay between him and his picture was lost in the glow of the coloring at the final goal just as the glass is lost to sight through the rays of light that gleam inside a window through which the outsider looks from the darkened night. It requires no stretch of the imagination to comprehend that the pictures in the mind of the young man at Lincoln were highly attractive to him or that their very painting should rouse him to action, and no one could be surprised to know that a few days later the pictures were leading the young man on the way to their realization.

It was on the 17th day of July that Mr. Joseph Cronin, the young man, stood in front of the office of the Commoner -- William Jennings Bryan's personal organ -- in Lincoln, ready to begin his journey eastward. He had been popular in school and in his university and his leaving was the occasion of the gathering of several friends who wished him "bon voyage." The sun was breaking full and fair over the tree tops on the eastern horizon and the clock in the city hall was sounding out seven labored strokes, as though wishing to keep back the noon day heat as long as possible, when the word "go" was given and the law student was under way.

Now Lincoln, though hundreds of miles distant from Buffalo, is easily accessible to this city and the trains that ply between the two places are such as to make the trip rather a pleasure than a bore; but nothing was farther from Cronin's mind than were trains when he began his long journey. As has been said the student mind works curiously and Cronin's was no exception to the general rule, so he set out to walk to the Pan-American Exposition. That, of course, is not remarkable in itself in itself, for men have encircled the globe on foot and many are the tales of long pedestrian tours; but when Cronin set out he faced many things which would have routed the ordinary person.

His general health was in a state of collapse; his left leg was lame from the effects of a sprain in a football game of last year; the thermometer was standing at 110 in the shade -- in fact had been for two weeks -- and there appeared to be no hopes of change; drinking water was scarce on the route he had chosen; and he was dieting on the prescription of his physician. Peculiarly it was not and experiment which actuated Cronin, but a well determined opinion that if he walked to Buffalo, and reached there alive, he would have benefited himself in numerous ways.

He set out with the intention of reaching his goal, no matter how long it should take, and there was no other thought in his mind. Cronin, exactly 22 years old, five feet four inches in height and weighed 103 pounds when he left Lincoln. He carried no baggage with him except a small flask in which to carry water and some paper showing who he was. On his feet he wore a heavy pair of walking shoes and golf stockings. A red and white sweater, gray checked golf trousers, a gray checked coat and a wide straw hat completed the outfit.

Exactly sixty days after he started he had covered the intervening 1,200 miles and was in Buffalo. He wore the same clothes with the exception of the hat and shoes, which had been replaced. He weighed exactly 115 pounds, having gained twelve pounds on his long walk. When seen by a representative of this paper he was in a highly delighted mood. "Everything has come out better than I expected," he said, "and pleasing surprises are always satisfactory."

Cronin is a remarkably clever young man and his vivid imagination and pronounced enthusiasm immediately takes his conversation out of the plane of the ordinary globe trotter's talk. "My left leg is just a little lame," he said, "but not nearly so much as it was when I started out, because I hurt it almost a year ago and ever since have been bothered with it. As for health, why I never knew what it was to be healthy before. I'm small, it's true, but no big man ever was stronger in accordance with his relative size and I can tell you that these last two months have held more of life for me than I thought would be contained in the whole of my allotted existence."

"Out there in Nebraska, I put in a wearisome time in college last year and when spring came I was very nearly used up. Well, I went to a physician and he said that I was in a bad way. Just so, I said, and what am I to do to get out of it? He then told me that I should take plenty of exercise and prescribed a diet for me and said that if I would follow out his instructions I would be all right. His prescription for my appetite was limited to four things; Shredded Wheat biscuits, eggs, milk and fruit. I had always been something of an epicure and I confess that beefsteak and pie were very dear to my heart. I think I actually lost a pound in complementing the prospect of living on the diet which had been prescribed and at any rate my nerves received a severe shock when I contemplated giving up the hundred and one things which my appetite especially favored."

"Indeed the outlook was mighty gloomy and finally I decided that if I was to live on a diet it would be the best thing to hustle around and work up an appetite. If you work hard enough you will get hungry and if you are hungry enough you can eat anything. That was one of my first thoughts and then I sat down and tried to figure out what sort of work would make me the hungriest, and of course I turned almost every occupation over in my mind. The more I thought, the more convinced I became that outdoor exercise was the best for me to take and would probably increase my appetite more than any other kind."

"Then, of course, I came to deciding what sort of outdoor exercise would be the best and after a great deal of cogitation I decided that walking would be the right thing. Out in Nebraska we have a great deal of excitement now and then, and the country is comparatively new, so that things are not in the least effete, but somewhere there was a longing with me to go East again and see that part of our country. Besides that, I had a strong desire to see the Pan-American Exposition, about which I had heard so much."

"Besides that I would be undergoing new experiences all the time and the more I planned the more determined I became to make the trip. When I started, I reached a point of determination where I had resolved to walk the whole distance even if I had to take all summer. I secured the certificate of the chief of police of Lincoln to the time I started, and was off. I had mapped out the route which I was going to take and had decided to follow the way of the highways from Lincoln to Omaha, then over the Burlington route, C. & R.I. to Chicago and down the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad to Buffalo."

"I left Lincoln at 7:00 in the morning and the thermometer was then standing at 85 in the shade, and the roads were covered with dust almost three inches deep. The day was sweltering and before I had walked a mile I began to realize that I was up against a real proposition, but I never thought of giving up. It was 11:30 that morning when I reached Waverly, a small place on my route, and for once in my life I was happy to get into a country town, I can assure you. I was dusty, my throat was parched, I was hungry and more than all, I was thoroughly tired. I sought out a little hotel there was in the town and after washing up went into dinner and gave my order. The proprietor had to send out to the grocery for some Shredded Wheat, as I insisted on having it, and as I sat there waiting, I began to realize that after all, dieting was not so bad on the appetite, at last."

"When the meal was finally brought in, I had decided that I had at least solved the proposition of appetite, for I could have eaten anything that came into sight. What I ate was four soft boiled eggs, four Shredded Wheat biscuits and a pint of milk, and when I had finished, I really felt that I was a new man once more. I stayed around looking over the town until 2:00 in the afternoon, and then started out. My legs moved rather painfully when I resumed my journey and some way the more I walked, the more painful became the efforts."

"I had never done a pedestrian act of such long continuance and when it came 4:00 in the afternoon I was wondering how long it was going to take me to get to Buffalo, because I had about concluded that I would be able to walk only half a day on a stretch without resting for two days. Of course I moved very slowly most of the time and I finally reached Greenwood at 7:00 in the evening. I was not nearly so hungry as I expected, but if you have never seen a weary, tired individual you should have seen me when I struck the hotel at Greenwood. My legs were almost paralyzed and I did not care much whether I would ever be able to feel in them again."

"I had a terrible thirst all during the day and had drank so much water that I was almost sick, so that I did not eat anything but some toasted Shredded Wheat that night. And when I went to bed I expected to sleep more soundly that I had ever done before; but I didn't. I ached that night; that was all I did. Of course I slept some, but every few moments I'd have to jump out of my bed and dance the cramps out of my legs and when I finally got the muscles straightened out and fell into a sound sleep toward morning , I was thankful. However, when I woke up I had passed the stage of thankfulness. I actually couldn't move without thinking I was going to break into many pieces, and it took an hour of hard work and a bottle of witchhazel before I could finally get my legs limbered enough to carry me down to breakfast."

"I ate that morning and then and there I forgot that I was on a diet and I do not think that at any time since I have had any desire to eat anything but my regular menu. All that day I walked through the wheat fields that spread out through Nebraska between Lincoln and Omaha and which break the monotony of the endless stretches of corn which is such a mighty factor in the agricultural products of that section. I guess I got my first interest in wheat on that day, because when I came on a wheat field where the men were at work harvesting the crop I always stopped to get a drink of water. You know the harvesters always have a supply in the field, and I grew to look on the wheat fields as watering places."

"In many of the sections through which I passed I was importuned to go to work in the fields to help harvest the crops, but I had my plans all laid out, so very gratefully of course, declined all offers. One of the peculiar things that early came to my notice was the great number of tramps that I encountered. Of course in one sense of the word I was a tramp, and to appearances I certainly was one. However, I paid for what I ate and always put up in a hotel when I could get near enough to one and I always walked along the railroad tracks. At stations where the freight trains stopped for a supply of water, I met many knights of the road, and really they actually treated me contemptuously when they discovered the manner in which I was traveling. They rode on freight trains and apparently without any particular destination view. Either way the trains might be moving, there was always the full quota of hobos on board."

"On Friday morning, my third day out, I was pretty nearly used up, owing to the stiffness and soreness of my entire body, and I dreaded to start out again for another long day's walk. A lounger in the station gave me a dog that morning, and I was positively delighted to have a traveling companion. He did not last long, however, and before we had made a hundred miles, four days later, he lay down beside the railroad track and dropped out of the race. I reached Omaha on Saturday afternoon of the 20th, and the shoes with which I had started out had completely given out, so the first thing I did was buy a new pair of extra heavy ones. I have had them resoled and reheeled three times. You can see how badly used up the fourth pair of shoes are now. They would not last twenty-five miles more."

"The most of my suffering came in the first week that I was out and after that I really enjoyed the walk. When I first went out I drank quantities and quantities of water, and I think that was bad for me. Then, too, I was not used to the work and the fatigue was especially exacting on my strength. I had started off feeling poorly, and in addition to all else, I had completely changed the food which I had been in the habit of eating. During the first week I lost exactly six pounds of flesh. I suppose that the loss was but natural, because in addition to all the other reasons why I might expect to lose, the heat ranged as high as 120 at some way stations that I passed. I did not, however, suffer from the heat at any time as badly as I did the first two days."

"After I had accustomed myself to my diet, I scarcely ever suffered from hunger. Four Shredded Wheat biscuits, four eggs and a pint of milk at each of my daily meals, completely routed my craving of appetite. Toward the latter end of my walk I have been on the road for eight hours without eating, and then gone to the hotel and the same meal has satisfied my hunger. As I was out longer I also found that my thirst did not bother me nearly so much as at first, and frequently I have walked ten miles without taking a drink of any liquid."

"After the first three days out I began to grow stronger and to walk easier and faster. Besides that I could remain on the walk longer without getting tired. The longest stretch that I covered in one day was fifty-one miles from Brooklyn, Iowa, to Iowa City. Of course I walked a great deal later than usual, but I wished to make Iowa City that night and its was after 2:00 in the morning when I finally struck the first hotel in the city. As I went on, of course doing more work than I had ever tried to do before, I found that I kept feeling better and better, and after the first week out I had no headaches -- a very common complaint of mine in the past."

"I had some funny experiences along the route getting served when I went in for my meals. In some places they did not have Shredded Wheat and in others they didn't have eggs. When either was lacking I mearly took the other. But as I came East I found no trouble in getting service. I met a peculiar vegetarian over in Ohio and I laughed good and hard when he told me of an experiment which he was undertaking. He is endeavoring to hybridize milkweed and egg plants to produce a plant that will grow custard. I spent several days of my time visiting in some of the cities through which I passed, as Omaha, Chicago and Sandusky. At this latter place I had to stop from the exactions of circumstances. I was walking along a trestle across the bay and saw a train coming toward me. I immediately stepped over onto the other track and then from behind me I heard the rumble of another train. It was rather sudden, but there was nothing for me to do but jump, so I dropped into the bay and swam ashore. Then I had to proceed to a secluded spot and dry out my clothes -- a task that required seven hours, as the day was rather damp."

"I had three dogs while I was on my trip and none of them was able to follow me more than 100 miles, which struck me as rather peculiar. I understand, however, that a man can always outwalk animals and these dogs could not stand the cinders on the railroad tracks very long before their feet became sore. The trip has been worth all the effort that it has taken and although I have not been out to the Exposition yet, I am sure that I will have a great time there during the next two or three days. I am going from here to Niagara Falls to view the wonders there and also, incidentally, the new plant of the Natural Food Company, which manufactures Shredded Wheat. I've become interested in that commodity now and I wish to see how it is made."

"I expect to leave the latter part of this week for Lincoln to resume my studies at the University of Nebraska. I'm going back by train though, because I have walked all I care to for a while, although I am going to continue the same diet right along as a steady thing."

Mr Cronin will walk from Buffalo to Niagara Falls some afternoon, after he has visited the Exposition and will take the train home from there.