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Author: Various
Title: The Wit and Humor of America, Volume VI. (of X.)
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Title: The Wit and Humor of America, Volume VI. (of X.)

Author: Various

Editor: Marshall P. Wilder

Release Date: September 18, 2006 [EBook #19324]

Language: English

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Library Edition

THE WIT AND HUMOR OF AMERICA

In Ten Volumes

VOL. VI




[Illustration: FINLEY PETER DUNNE (MR. DOOLEY)]




THE WIT AND HUMOR OF AMERICA

EDITED BY MARSHALL P. WILDER

_Volume VI_


Funk & Wagnalls Company
New York and London

Copyright MDCCCCVII, BOBBS-MERRILL COMPANY
Copyright MDCCCCXI, THE THWING COMPANY




CONTENTS


                                                                  PAGE
  Abou Ben Butler                        John Paul                1167
  Advertiser, The                        Eugene Field             1101
  After the Funeral                      James M. Bailey          1146
  Apostasy of William Dodge, The         Stanley Waterloo         1084
  Ballad of Grizzly Gulch, The           Wallace Irwin            1073
  Banty Tim                              John Hay                 1173
  Bear Story, The                        James Whitcomb Riley     1047
  Book-Canvasser, The                    Anonymous                1113
  Bully Boat and a Brag Captain, A       Sol Smith                1208
  Bumblebeaver, The                      Kenyon Cox               1145
  Casey at the Bat                       Ernest Lawrence Thayer   1148
  Chad's Story of the Goose              F. Hopkinson Smith        993
  Colonel Carter's Story of
      the Postmaster                     F. Hopkinson Smith       1052
  Comic Miseries                         John G. Saxe             1121
  Coquette, The                          John G. Saxe             1127
  De Gradual Commence                    Wallace Bruce Amsbary    1164
  Evening                                Oliver Wendell Holmes    1175
  Fairport Art Museum, The               Octave Thanet            1062
  Famous Mulligan Ball, The              Frank L. Stanton         1103
  Genial Idiot Discusses the Music
      Cure, The                          John Kendrick Bangs      1105
  Grains of Truth                        Bill Nye                  985
  Her Valentine                          Richard Hovey            1117
  It Pays to be Happy                    Tom Masson               1170
  James and Reginald                     Eugene Field             1171
  Jones                                  Lloyd Osbourne           1007
  Latter-Day Warnings                    Oliver Wendell Holmes    1168
  Lost Chords                            Eugene Field             1080
  Love Sonnets of an Office Boy          S.E. Kiser               1056
  Martyrdom of Mr. Stevens, The          Herbert Quick            1151
  Merchant and the Book-Agent, The       Anonymous                1124
  Modern Farmer, The                     Jack Appleton            1083
  Mosquito, The                          William Cullen Bryant    1199
  Mr. Dooley on the Game of Football     Finley Peter Dunne       1059
  My First Cigar                         Robert J. Burdette       1204
  My Philosofy                           James Whitcomb Riley     1076
  Octopussycat, The                      Kenyon Cox               1112
  Old Settler, The                       Ed. Mott                 1177
  Owl-Critic, The                        James T. Fields          1196
  Paintermine, The                       Kenyon Cox               1100
  Shonny Schwartz                        Charles Follen Adams     1206
  Society Upon the Stanislaus, The       Bret Harte               1078
  So Wags the World                      Anne Warner              1092
  Spring Feeling, A                      Bliss Carman             1129
  Talking Horse, The                     John T. McIntyre         1185
  Thompson Street Poker Club, The        Henry Guy Carleton       1140
  Thoughts fer the Discuraged Farmer     James Whitcomb Riley     1081
  "Tiddle-iddle-iddle-iddle-bum! bum!"   Wilbur D. Nesbit         1202
  Unconscious Humor                      J.K. Wetherell            998
  Up and Down Old Brandywine             James Whitcomb Riley     1003
  Verre Definite                         Wallace Bruce Amsbary    1183
  Wasted Opportunities                   Roy Farrell Greene       1132
  Weddin', The                           Jennie Betts Hartswick   1134
  Welsh Rabbittern, The                  Kenyon Cox               1120
  When the Allegash Drive Goes Through   Holman F. Day            1214
  Wild Boarder, The                      Kenyon Cox               1163

COMPLETE INDEX AT THE END OF VOLUME X.




GRAINS OF TRUTH

BY BILL NYE


A young friend has written to me as follows: "Could you tell me
something of the location of the porcelain works in Sevres, France, and
what the process is of making those beautiful things which come from
there? How is the name of the town pronounced? Can you tell me anything
of the history of Mme. Pompadour? Who was the Dauphin? Did you learn
anything of Louis XV whilst in France? What are your literary habits?"

It is with a great, bounding joy that I impart the desired information.
Sevres is a small village just outside of St. Cloud (pronounced San
Cloo). It is given up to the manufacture of porcelain. You go to St.
Cloud by rail or river, and then drive over to Sevres by diligence or
voiture. Some go one way and some go the other. I rode up on the Seine,
aboard of a little, noiseless, low-pressure steamer about the size of a
sewing machine. It was called the Silvoo Play, I think.

The fare was thirty centimes--or, say, three cents. After paying my fare
and finding that I still had money left, I lunched at St. Cloud in the
open air at a trifling expense. I then took a bottle of milk from my
pocket and quenched my thirst. Traveling through France one finds that
the water is especially bad, tasting of the Dauphin at times, and
dangerous in the extreme. I advise those, therefore, who wish to be well
whilst doing the Continent, to carry, especially in France, as I did, a
large, thick-set bottle of milk, or kumiss, with which to take the wire
edge off one's whistle whilst being yanked through the Louvre.

St. Cloud is seven miles west of the center of Paris and almost ten
miles by rail on the road to Versailles--pronounced Vairsi. St. Cloud
belongs to the canton of Sevres and the arrondissement of Versailles. An
arrondissement is not anything reprehensible. It is all right. You,
yourself, could belong to an arrondissement if you lived in France.

St. Cloud is on the beautiful hill slope, looking down the valley of the
Seine, with Paris in the distance. It is peaceful and quiet and
beautiful. Everything is peaceful in Paris when there is no revolution
on the carpet. The steam cars run safely and do not make so much noise
as ours do. The steam whistle does not have such a hold on people as it
does here. The adjutant-general at the depot blows a little tin bugle,
the admiral of the train returns the salute, the adjutant-general says
"Allons!" and the train starts off like a somewhat leisurely young man
who is going to the depot to meet his wife's mother.

One does not realize what a Fourth of July racket we live in and employ
in our business till he has been the guest of a monarchy of Europe,
between whose toes the timothy and clover have sprung up to a great
height. And yet it is a pleasing change, and I shall be glad when we as
a republic have passed the blow-hard period, laid aside the
ear-splitting steam whistle, settled down to good, permanent
institutions, and taken on the restful, soothful, Boston air which comes
with time and the quiet self-congratulation that one is born in a Bible
land and with Gospel privileges, and where the right to worship in a
strictly high-church manner is open to all.

The Palace of St. Cloud was once the residence of Napoleon I in
summer-time. He used to go out there for the heated term, and folding
his arms across his stomach, have thought after thought regarding the
future of France. Yet he very likely never had an idea that some day it
would be a thrifty republic, engaged in growing green peas, or pulling a
soiled dove out of the Seine, now and then, to add to the attractions of
her justly celebrated morgue.

Louis XVIII also put up at the Palace in St. Cloud several summers. He
spelled it "palais," which shows that he had very poor early English
advantages, or that he was, as I have always suspected, a native of
Quebec. Charles X also changed the bedding somewhat, and moved in during
his reign. He also added a new iron sink and a place in the barn for
washing buggies. Louis Philippe spent his summers here for a number of
years, and wrote weekly letters to the Paris papers, signed "Uno," in
which he urged the taxpayers to show more veneration for their royal
nibs. Napoleon III occupied the palais in summer during his lifetime,
availing himself finally of the use of Mr. Bright's justly celebrated
disease and dying at the dawn of better institutions for beautiful but
unhappy France.

I visited the palais (pronounced pallay), which was burned by the
Prussians in 1870. The grounds occupy 960 acres, which I offered to buy
and fit up, but probably I did not deal with responsible parties. This
part of France reminds me very much of North Carolina. I mean, of
course, the natural features. Man has done more for France, it seems to
me, than for the Tar Heel State, and the cities of Asheville and Paris
are widely different. The police of Paris rarely get together in front
of the court-house to pitch horseshoes or dwell on the outlook for the
goober crop.

And yet the same blue, ozonic sky, if I may be allowed to coin a word,
the same soft, restful, _dolce frumenti_ air of gentle, genial health,
and of cark destroying, magnetic balm to the congested soul, the
inflamed nerve and the festering brain, are present in Asheville that
one finds in the quiet drives of San Cloo with the successful squirt of
the mighty fountains of Vairsi and the dark and whispering forests of
Fon-taine-_bloo_.

The palais at San Cloo presents a rather dejected appearance since it
was burned, and the scorched walls are bare, save where here and there a
warped and wilted water pipe festoons the blackened and blistered wreck
of what was once so grand and so gay.

San Cloo has a normal school for the training of male teachers only. I
visited it, but for some cause I did not make a hit in my address to the
pupils until I began to speak in their own national tongue. Then the
closest attention was paid to what I said, and the keenest delight was
manifest on every radiant face. The president, who spoke some English,
shook hands with me as we parted, and I asked him how the students took
my remarks. He said: "They shall all the time keep the thinkness--what
you shall call the recollect--of monsieur's speech in preserves, so that
they shall forget it not continualle. We shall all the time say we have
not witness something like it since the time we come here, and have not
so much enjoy ourselves since the grand assassination by the guillotine.
Come next winter and be with us for one week. Some of us will remain in
the hall each time."

At San Cloo I hired of a quiet young fellow about thirty-five years of
age, who kept a very neat livery stable there, a sort of victoria and a
big Percheron horse, with fetlock whiskers that reminded me of the
Sutherland sisters. As I was in no hurry I sat on the iron settee in the
cool court of the livery stable, and with my arm resting on the shoulder
of the proprietor I spoke of the crops and asked if generally people
about there regarded the farmer movement as in any way threatening to
the other two great parties. He did not seem to know, and so I watched
the coachman who was to drive me, as he changed his clothes in order to
give me my money's worth in grandeur.

One thing I liked about France was that the people were willing, at a
slight advance on the regular price, to treat a very ordinary man with
unusual respect and esteem. This surprised and delighted me beyond
measure, and I often told people there that I did not begrudge the
additional expense. The coachman was also hostler, and when the carriage
was ready he altered his attire by removing a coarse, gray shirt or
tunic and putting on a long, olive green coachman's coat, with erect
linen collar and cuffs sewed into the collar and sleeves. He wore a high
hat that was much better than mine, as is frequently the case with
coachmen and their employers. My coachman now gives me his silk hat when
he gets through with it in the spring and fall, so I am better dressed
than I used to be.

But we were going to say a word regarding the porcelain works at Sevres.
It is a modern building and is under government control. The museum is
filled with the most beautiful china dishes and funny business that one
could well imagine. Besides, the pottery ever since its construction has
retained its models, and they, of course, are worthy of a day's study.
The "Sevres blue" is said to be a little bit bluer than anything else in
the known world except the man who starts a nonpareil paper in a pica
town.

I was careful not to break any of these vases and things, and thus
endeared myself to the foreman of the place. All employes are uniformed
and extremely deferential to recognized ability. Practically, for half a
day, I owned the place.

A cattle friend of mine who was looking for a dynasty, whose tail he
could twist while in Europe, and who used often to say over our glass of
vin ordinaire (which I have since learned is not the best brand at all),
that nothing would tickle him more than "to have a little deal with a
crowned head and get him in the door," accidentally broke a blue crock
out there at Sevres which wouldn't hold over a gallon, and it took the
best part of a carload of cows to pay for it, he told me.

The process of making the Sevres ware is not yet published in book form,
especially the method of coloring and enameling. It is a secret
possessed by duly authorized artists. The name of the town is pronounced
Save.

Mme. Pompadour is said to have been the natural daughter of a butcher,
which I regard as being more to her own credit than though she had been
an artificial one. Her name was Jeanne Antoinette Poisson Le Normand
d'Etioles, Marchioness de Pompadour, and her name is yet used by the
authorities of Versailles as a fire escape, so I am told.

She was the mistress of Louis XV, who never allowed her to put her hands
in dishwater during the entire time she visited at his house. D'Etioles
was her first husband, but she left him for a gay but rather
reprehensible life at court, where she was terribly talked about, though
she is said not to have cared a cent.

She developed into a marvelous politician, and early seeing that the
French people were largely governed by the literary lights of that time,
she began to cultivate the acquaintance of the magazine writers, and
tried to join the Authors' Club.

She then became prominent by originating a method of doing up the hair,
which has since grown popular among people whose hair has not, like my
own, been already "done up."

This style of Mme. Pompadour's was at once popular with the young men
who ran the throttles of the soda fountains of that time, and is still
well spoken of. A young friend of mine trained his hair up from his
forehead in that way once and could not get it down again. During his
funeral his hair, which had been glued down by the undertaker, became
surprised at something said by the clergyman and pushed out the end of
his casket.

The king tired in a few years of Mme. Pompadour and wished that he had
not encouraged her to run away from her husband. She, however, retained
her hold upon the blase and alcoholic monarch by her wonderful
versatility and genius.

When all her talents as an artiste and politician palled upon his old
rum-soaked and emaciated brain, and ennui, like a mighty canker, ate
away large corners of his moth-eaten soul, she would sit in the gloaming
and sing to him, "Hard Times, Hard Times, Come Again No More," meantime
accompanying herself on the harpsichord or the sackbut or whatever they
played in those days. Then she instituted theatricals, giving, through
the aid of the nobility, a very good version of "Peck's Bad Boy" and
"Lend Me Five Centimes."

She finally lost her influence over Looey the XV, and as he got to be an
old man the thought suddenly occurred to him to reform, and so he had
Mme. Pompadour beheaded at the age of forty-two years. This little
story should teach us that no matter how gifted we are, or how high we
may wear our hair, our ambitions must be tempered by honor and
integrity; also that pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit
before a plunk.




CHAD'S STORY OF THE GOOSE

BY F. HOPKINSON SMITH


I nodded my head, and Chad closed the door softly, taking with him a
small cup and saucer, and returning in a few minutes followed by that
most delicious of all aromas, the savory steam of boiling coffee.

"My Marsa John," he continued, filling the cup with the smoking
beverage, "never drank nuffin' but tea, eben at de big dinners when all
de gemmen had coffee in de little cups--dat's one ob 'em you's drinkin'
out ob now; dey ain't mo' dan fo' on 'em left. Old marsa would have his
pot ob tea: Henny use' ter make it for him; makes it now for Miss Nancy.

"Henny was a young gal den, long 'fo' we was married. Henny b'longed to
Colonel Lloyd Barbour, on de next plantation to ourn.

"Mo' coffee, Major?" I handed Chad the empty cup. He refilled it, and
went straight on without drawing breath.

"Wust scrape I eber got into wid old Marsa John was ober Henny. I tell
ye she was a harricane in dem days. She come into de kitchen one time
where I was helpin' git de dinner ready, an' de cook had gone to de
spring house, an' she says:

"'Chad, what ye cookin' dat smells so nice?'

"'Dat's a goose,' I says, 'cookin' for Marsa John's dinner. We got
quality,' says I, pointin' to de dinin'-room do'.

"'Quality!' she says. 'Spec' I know what de quality is. Dat's for you
an' de cook.'

"Wid dat she grabs a caarvin' knife from de table, opens de do' ob de
big oven, cuts off a leg ob de goose, an' dis'pears round de kitchen
corner wid de leg in her mouf.

"'Fo' I knowed whar I was Marsa John come to de kitchen do' an' says,
'Gittin' late, Chad; bring in de dinner.' You see, Major, dey ain't no
up an' down stairs in de big house, like it is yer; kitchen an'
dinin'-room all on de same flo'.

"Well, sah, I was scared to def, but I tuk dat goose an' laid him wid de
cut side down on de bottom of de pan 'fo' de cook got back, put some
dressin' an' stuffin' ober him, an' shet de stove do'. Den I tuk de
sweet potatoes an' de hominy an' put 'em on de table, an' den I went
back in de kitchen to git de baked ham. I put on de ham an' some mo'
dishes, an' marsa says, lookin' up:

"'I t'ought dere was a roast goose, Chad.'

"'I ain't yerd nothin' 'bout no goose,' I says, 'I'll ask de cook.'

"Next minute I yerd old marsa a-hollerin':

"'Mammy Jane, ain't we got a goose?'

"'Lord-a-massy! yes, marsa. Chad, you wu'thless nigger, ain't you tuk
dat goose out yit?'

"'Is we got a goose?' said I.

"'_Is we got a goose?_ Didn't you help pick it?'

"I see whar my hair was short, an' I snatched up a hot dish from de
hearth, opened de oven do', an' slide de goose in jes as he was, an' lay
him down befo' Marsa John.

"'Now see what de ladies'll have for dinner,' says old marsa, pickin' up
his caarvin' knife.

"'What'll you take for dinner, miss?' says I. 'Baked ham?'

"'No,' she says, lookin' up to whar Marsa John sat; 'I think I'll take a
leg ob dat goose'--jes so.

"Well, marsa, cut off de leg an' put a little stuffin' an' gravy on wid
a spoon, an' says to me, 'Chad, see what dat gemman'll have.'

"'What'll you take for dinner, sah?' says I. 'Nice breast o' goose, or
slice o' ham?'

"'No; I think I'll take a leg of dat goose,' he says.

"I didn't say nuffin', but I knowed bery well he wa'n't a-gwine to git
it.

"But, Major, you oughter seen ole marsa lookin' for der udder leg ob dat
goose! He rolled him ober on de dish, dis way an' dat way, an' den he
jabbed dat ole bone-handled caarvin' fork in him an' hel' him up ober de
dish an' looked under him an' on top ob him, an' den he says, kinder sad
like:

"'Chad, whar is de udder leg ob dat goose?'

"'It didn't hab none,' says I.

"'You mean ter say, Chad, dat de gooses on my plantation on'y got one
leg?'

"'Some ob 'em has an' some ob 'em ain't. You see, marsa, we got two
kinds in de pond, an' we was a little boddered to-day, so Mammy Jane
cooked dis one 'cause I cotched it fust.'

"'Well,' said he, lookin' like he look when he send for you in de little
room, 'I'll settle wid ye after dinner.'

"Well, dar I was shiverin' an' shakin' in my shoes, an' droppin' gravy
an' spillin' de wine on de table-cloth, I was dat shuck up; an' when de
dinner was ober he calls all de ladies an' gemmen, an' says, 'Now come
down to de duck pond. I'm gwineter show dis nigger dat all de gooses on
my plantation got mo' den one leg.'

"I followed 'long, trapesin' after de whole kit an' b'ilin', an' when we
got to de pond"--here Chad nearly went into a convulsion with
suppressed laughter--"dar was de gooses sittin' on a log in de middle of
dat ole green goose-pond wid one leg stuck down so, an' de udder tucked
under de wing."

Chad was now on one leg, balancing himself by my chair, the tears
running down his cheek.

"'Dar, marsa,' says I, 'don't ye see? Look at dat ole gray goose! Dat's
de berry match ob de one we had to-day.'

"Den de ladies all hollered, an' de gemmen laughed so loud dey yerd 'em
at de big house.

"'Stop, you black scoun'rel!' Marsa John says, his face gittin' white
an' he a-jerkin' his handkerchief from his pocket. 'Shoo!'

"Major, I hope to have my brains kicked out by a lame grasshopper if
ebery one ob dem gooses didn't put down de udder leg!

"'Now, you lyin' nigger,' he says, raisin' his cane ober my head, 'I'll
show you'--

"'Stop, Marsa John!' I hollered; ''t ain't fair, 't ain't fair.'

"'Why ain't it fair?' says he.

"''Cause,' says I, 'you didn't say "Shoo!" to de goose what was on de
table'."

Chad laughed until he choked.

"And did he thrash you?"

"Marsa John? No, sah. He laughed loud as anybody; an' den dat night he
says to me as I was puttin' some wood on de fire:

"'Chad, where did dat leg go?' An' so I ups an' tells him all about
Henny, an' how I was lyin' 'case I was 'feared de gal would git hurt,
an' how she was on'y a-foolin', thinkin' it was my goose; an' den de ole
marsa look in de fire for a long time, an' den he says:

"'Dat's Colonel Barbour's Henny, ain't it, Chad?'

"'Yes, marsa,' says I.

"Well, de next mawnin' he had his black horse saddled, an' I held the
stirrup for him to git on, an' he rode ober to de Barbour plantation,
an' didn't come back till plumb black night. When he come up I held de
lantern so I could see his face, for I wa'n't easy in my mine all day.
But it was all bright an' shinin' same as a' angel's.

"'Chad,' he says, handin' me de reins, 'I bought yo' Henny dis arternoon
from Colonel Barbour, an' she's comin' ober to-morrow, an' you can bofe
git married next Sunday.'"




UNCONSCIOUS HUMOR

BY J.K. WETHERILL


Perhaps unconscious humor does not appeal to the more amiable side of
our sense of mirth, for it excites in us a conceited feeling of
superiority over those who are making us laugh,--but its unexpectedness
and infinite variety render it irresistible to a certain class of minds.
The duly labeled "joke" follows a certain law and rule; whereas no
jester could invent the _grotesqueries_ of the unconscious humorist.

As a humble gleaner after the editorial scythe,--or, to be truly modern,
I should say mowing-machine,--I have gathered some strange sheaves of
this sort of humor. Like many provincial newspapers, that to which I am
attached makes a feature of printing the social happenings in villages
of the surrounding country, and these out-of-town correspondents "don't
do a thing to" the English language. One of them invariably refers to
the social lights of his vicinity as "our prominent socialists," and
describes some individual as "happening to an accident." To another,
every festal occasion is "a bower of beauty and a scene of fairyland."
Blue-penciling they resent, and one of them wrote to complain that a
descriptive effort of his had been "much altered and deranged." The
paper also publishes portraits of children and young women, and it is in
the descriptions accompanying these pictures that the rural
correspondent excels himself. One wound up his eulogy in an apparently
irrepressible burst of enthusiasm: "She is indeed a _tout ensemble_." A
child of six months was described as "studious"; and another
correspondent went into details thus: "Little Willie has only one large
blue eye, the other having been punched out by his brother with a stick,
by accident." A small child was accredited with "a pleasing disposition
and a keen juvenile conception."

The following are some of the descriptive phrases applied to village
belles: "She is perfectly at home on the piano, where her executions
have attained international celebrity." ... "She possesses a mine of
repartee and the qualities which have long rendered illustive her noble
family." ... "Her carriage and disposition are swan-like." ... "Her eyes
can express pathetic pathos, but flash forth fiery independence when her
country's name is traduced." ... "She has a molded arm, and her
Juno-like form glides with a rhythmic move in the soft swell of a
Strauss." ... "Her chestnut hair gives a rich recess to her lovely,
fawnlike eyes, which shine like a star set in the crown of an angel."
... One writer becomes absolutely incoherent in his admiration, and
lavishes a mixture of metaphors upon his subject: "She portrays a
picture worthy of a Raphael. She dances like the fairies before the
heavenly spirits. She looks like a celestial goddess from an outburst of
morning-glories; her lovely form would assume a phantomlike flash as she
glides the floor, as though she were a mystic dream."

Scarcely less rich in unconscious humor are some of the effusions of
those who have literary aspirations. A descriptive article contains a
reference to "a lonely house that stood in silent mutiny." "Indians who
border on civilization, an interesting people in their superstitious
way," infested the vicinity, and one of the points of interest was the
Wild Man's Leap, "so called from an Indian who is said to have leaped
across to get away from some men who were trying to expatriate him." An
aspirant made this generous offer: "I will write you an article every
week if you so wish it, as I have nothing to do after supper." Modest
was the request of another, concerning remuneration: "I do not ask for
money, but would like you to send me a small monkey. I already have a
parrot."

But no finer specimen of unconscious humor has ever fallen under the
sub-editorial eye than "The Beautiful Circus Girl." In these
enterprising days rising young authors sometimes boast in print of their
ignorance of grammar and spelling, but the author of the aforementioned
bit of fiction surpasses them all in that respect. It seems only just
that such a unique gem should be rescued from the dull obscurity of the
waste-basket.


THE BEAUTIFUL CIRCUS GIRL

Some years ago the quaint but slow little village of Mariana was all on
the qui-of-eve with excitement. Pasted on every tree and sign was
announcements of Hall's circus, and the aperence of pretty Rose Floid in
the pearless feets of tight-rope dancing, and Seignor Paul Paulo as her
attendent. All the vilage was agog, for in their midst had old Hall and
his Wife whome he always (spoke of as the Misus) taken a small but
quaint cotage, so as to make quiet and please Rose whose guardien he
was.

In the distanse was seen an advancing teem, and mounted on its box
driving was W. Alexander, distinguished as to aperence, tallent, and
that charm, _money_. He was of the most patricien aristocrats of the
place. Placed on the summit of one of those hils that spring up in the
most unexpected ways and degrees was the quaint old Tudor mansion of the
Alexanders called Waterloo, in rememberence of the home of his ancestors
which now rests on the banks of the Potomack; a legend as to war and
romance. Though bearing with him all the honners that Cambridg could
confere, W. Alexander was a faverite in the vilage, being ever ready
with a kind enquiry as to Parent, or peny for marbles, not forgetting
his boyhoods days. Though the beau par excelant of the vilage, and
posessing vast landed estate and a kind retinu, he was not haughty.

Every one was eger to see Rose perform. She in her pasage too and frow
had won by her sweet manners (many likings) ere she exhibited her skill.

The eventful hour of promis came and what a crowd was there. Rose came
fourth, asisted by Paul Paulo. His form was molded even as an Apolo, and
his eger eye was fixed on the bony girl. She ballanced her pole, saught
her equiliberum, and every heart was at her desposal, not accepting W.
Alexander. Seeing this, the dark pashonate eye of the Italian scowled.

So droped the curtain of the first performance. And W. Alexander stroled
on towards his home, heart and head full of the beautiful circus girl,
thoughts were very conflicting, love at first sight.

(We will skip, for want of space, the exquisite passages descriptive of
the mutual love of Rose and W. Alexander, and pass on to the finale.)

There was a paus, a sencation, and Rose came fourth to meander in
mid-air. Admeration was at its hight, as she swayed too and frow as it
were a winged egle from some etherial climb.

Low! a paus--the rope snaps--and Rose falls to erth a helpless mass of
youth and beauty. The venerable man of medicin closed her star-lit eyes
now forever dimed to this world. And all knew she had walked the last
rope that bound her to this erth.

What, who, was her murderer?

The rope seemed to be cut with some jaged instrument so that when her
tiny feat pressed its coils it became her destroyer.

Suspician pointed at the Italian.

W. Alexander's old Father of sympathy now the strongest, entreted our
Hero to sale for distent shores, there asisted by that balm time and
change, there assuage his grefe.

Well, came the last evening, and with the sadest of hearts and a bunch
of sweet violets W. Alexander went to bid a long fare well.

But as he neared the sacred spot his heart seemed deadened. Prone on her
grave changing the snowy whiteness of the flowers with its crimson die
was the body of Paul Paulo. Who by his own hand caused his life blood to
floe as an attonement.




UP AND DOWN OLD BRANDYWINE

BY JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY


    Up and down old Brandywine,
      In the days 'at's past and gone--
    With a dad-burn hook-and-line
      And a saplin'-pole--i swawn!
        I've had more fun, to the square
        Inch, than ever _any_where!
        Heaven to come can't discount mine
        Up and down old Brandywine!

    Haint no sense in _wishin'_--yit
      Wisht to goodness I _could_ jes
    "Gee" the blame world round and git
      Back to that old happiness!--
        Kindo' drive back in the shade
       "The old Covered Bridge" there laid
        Crosst the crick, and sorto' soak
        My soul over, hub and spoke!

    Honest, now!--it haint no _dream_
      'At I'm wantin',--but _the fac's_
    As they wuz; the same old stream,
      And the same old times, i jacks!--
        Gim me back my bare feet--and
        Stonebruise too!--And scratched and tanned!
        And let hottest dog-days shine
        Up and down old Brandywine!

    In and on betwixt the trees
      'Long the banks, pour down yer noon,
    Kindo' curdled with the breeze
      And the yallerhammer's tune;
        And the smokin', chokin' dust
        O' the turnpike at its wusst--
        _Saturd'ys_, say, when it seems
        Road's jes jammed with country teams!--

    Whilse the old town, fur away
      'Crosst the hazy pastur'-land,
    Dozed-like in the heat o' day
      Peaceful' as a hired hand.
        Jolt the gravel th'ough the floor
        O' the old bridge!--grind and roar
        With yer blame percession-line--
        Up and down old Brandywine!

    Souse me and my new straw-hat
      Off the foot-log!--what _I_ care?--
    Fist shoved in the crown o' that--
      Like the old Clown ust to wear.
        Wouldn't swop it fer a' old
        Gin-u-wine raal crown o' gold!--
        Keep yer _King_ ef you'll gim me
        Jes the boy I ust to be!

    Spill my fishin'-worms! er steal
      My best "goggle-eye!"--but you
    Can't lay hands on joys I feel
      Nibblin' like they ust to do!
        So, in memory, to-day
        Same old ripple lips away
        At my cork and saggin' line,
        Up and down old Brandywine!

    There the logs is, round the hill,
      Where "Old Irvin" ust to lift
    Out sunfish from daylight till
      Dew-fall--'fore he'd leave "The Drift"
        And give _us_ a chance--and then
        Kindo' fish back home again,
        Ketchin' 'em jes left and right
        Where _we_ hadn't got "a bite!"

    Er, 'way windin' out and in,--
      Old path th'ough the iurnweeds
    And dog-fennel to yer chin--
      Then come suddent, th'ough the reeds
        And cat-tails, smack into where
        Them-air woods-hogs ust to scare
        Us clean 'crosst the County-line,
        Up and down old Brandywine!

    But the dim roar o' the dam
      It 'ud coax us furder still
    Tords the old race, slow and ca'm,
      Slidin' on to Huston's mill--
        Where, I 'spect, "The Freeport crowd"
        Never _warmed_ to us er 'lowed
        We wuz quite so overly
        Welcome as we aimed to be.

    Still it peared-like ever'thing--
      Fur away from home as _there_--
    Had more _relish_-like, i jing!--
      Fish in stream, er bird in air!
        O them rich old bottom-lands,
        Past where Cowden's Schoolhouse stands!
        Wortermelons--_master-mine!_
        Up and down old Brandywine!

    And sich pop-paws!--Lumps o' raw
      Gold and green,--jes oozy th'ough
    With ripe yaller--like you've saw
      Custard-pie with no crust to:
        And jes _gorges_ o' wild plums,
        Till a feller'd suck his thumbs
        Clean up to his elbows! _My!_--
        _Me some more er lem me die!_

    Up and down old Brandywine!...
      Stripe me with pokeberry-juice!--
    Flick me with a pizenvine
      And yell "_Yip!_" and lem me loose!
        --Old now as I then wuz young,
        'F I could sing as I _have_ sung,
        Song 'ud surely ring _dee-vine_
        Up and down old Brandywine!




JONES

BY LLOYD OSBOURNE


I

I could have taken "No" like a man, and would have gone away decently
and never bothered her again. I told her so straight out in the first
angry flush of my rejection--but this string business, with everything
left hanging in the air, so to speak, made a fellow feel like thirty
cents.

"It simply means that I'm engaged and you are not," I said.

"It's nothing of the kind," she returned tearfully. "You're as free as
free, Ezra. You can go away this moment, and never write or anything!"

Her lips trembled as she said this, and I confess it gave me a kind of
savage pleasure to feel that it was still in my power to hurt her.

It may sound unkind, but still you must admit that the whole situation
was exasperating. Here was five-foot-five of exquisite, blooming,
twenty-year-old American girlhood sending away the man she confessed to
care for, because, forsooth, she would not marry before her elder
sister! I always thought it was beautiful of Freddy (she was named
Frederica, you know) to be always so sweet and tender and grateful about
Eleanor; but sometimes gratitude can be carried altogether too far, even
if you _are_ an orphan, and _were_ brought up by hand. Eleanor was
thirty-four if a day--a nice enough woman, of course, and college bred,
and cultivated, and clever--but her long suit wasn't good looks. She was
tall and bony; worshipped genius and all that; and played the violin.

"No," repeated Freddy, "I shall never, never marry before Eleanor. It
would mortify her--I know it would--and make her feel that she herself
had failed. She's awfully frank about those things, Ezra--surprisingly
frank. I don't see why being an old maid is always supposed to be so
funny, do you? It's touching and tragic in a woman who'd like to marry
and who isn't asked!"

"But Eleanor must have had heaps of offers," I said, "surely--"

"Just one."

"Well, one's something," I remarked cheerfully. "Why didn't she take him
then?"

"She told me only last night that she was sorry she hadn't!"

Here, at any rate, was something to chew on. I saw a gleam of hope. Why
shouldn't Eleanor marry the only one--and make us all happy!

"That was three years ago," said Freddy.

"I have loved you for four," I retorted. I was cross with
disappointment. To be dashed to the ground, you know, just as I was
beginning--"Tell me some more about him," I went on. I'm a plain
business man and hang on to an idea like a bulldog; once I get my teeth
in they stay in, for all you may drag at me and wallop me with an
umbrella--metaphorically speaking, of course.

"Tell me his name, where he lives, and all."

"We were coming back from Colorado, and there was some mistake about our
tickets. They sold our Pullman drawing-room twice over--to Doctor Jones
and his mother, and also to ourselves. You never saw such a fight--and
that led to our making friends, and his proposing to Eleanor!"

"Then why in Heaven's name didn't she" (it was on the tip of my tongue
to say "jump at him") "take him?"

"She said she couldn't marry a man who was her intellectual inferior."

"And was he?"

"Oh, he was a perfect idiot--but nice, and all that, and tremendously in
love with her. Pity, wasn't it?"

"The obvious thing to do is to chase him up instantly. Where did you say
he lived?"

"His mother told me he was going to New York to practice medicine."

"But didn't you ever hear from him again? I mean, was that the end of it
all?"

"Yes."

"Then you don't even know if he has married since?"

"No!"

"Nor died?"

"No."

"Nor anything at all?"

"No."

"What was his first name?"

"Wait a moment ... let me think ... yes, it was Harry."

"Just Harry Jones, then, New York City?"

Freddy laughed forlornly.

"But he must have had antecedents," I cried out. "There are two ways of
doing this Sherlock Holmes business--backward and forward, you know.
Let's take Doctor Jones backward. As they say in post-office
forms?--what was his place of origin?"

"New York City."

"He begins there and ends there, does he, then?"

"Yes."

"But how sure are you that Eleanor would marry him if I did manage to
find him and bring him back?"

"I'm not sure at all."

"No, but Freddy, listen--it's important. You told me yourself that
she--I want the very identical words she used."

Freddy reflected.

"She said she was almost sorry she hadn't accepted that silly doctor!"

"That doesn't seem much, does it?" I remarked gloomily.

"Oh, from Eleanor it does, Ezra. She said it quite seriously. She always
hides her feelings under a veil of sarcastic humor, you know."

"You're certainly a very difficult family to marry," I said.

"Being an orphan--" she began.

"Well, I'm going to find that Jones if I--!"

"Ezra, dear boy, you're crazy. How could you think for a moment that--"

"I'm off, little girl. Good-by!"

"Wait a second, Ezra!"

She rose and went into the next room, reappearing with something in her
hand. She was crying and smiling both at once. I took the little case
she gave me--it was like one of those things that pen-knives are put
in--and looked at her for an explanation.

"It's the h-h-hindleg of a j-j-jack-rabbit," she said, "shot by a
g-g-grave at the f-f-full of the moon. It's supposed to be l-l-lucky. It
was given to me by a naval officer who got drowned. It's the only way I
can h-h-help you!"

And thus equipped I started bravely for New York.


II

In the directory I found eleven pages of Joneses; three hundred and
eighty-four Henry Joneses; and (excluding seventeen dentists)
eighty-seven Doctor Henry Joneses. I asked one of the typists in the
office to copy out the list, and prepared to wade in. We were on the eve
of a labor war, and it was exceedingly difficult for me to get away. As
the managing partner of Hodge & Westoby, boxers (not punching boxers,
nor China boxers, but just plain American box-making boxers), I had to
bear the brunt of the whole affair, and had about as much spare time as
you could heap on a ten-cent piece. I had to be firm, conciliatory,
defiant and tactful all at once, and every hour I took off for Jonesing
threatened to blow the business sky-high. It was a tight place and no
mistake, and it was simply jack-rabbit hindleg luck that pulled me
through!

My first Jones was a hoary old rascal above a drug store. He was a hard
man to get away from, and made such a fuss about my wasting his time
with idle questions that I flung him a dollar and departed. He followed
me down to my cab and insisted on sticking in a giant bottle of his
Dog-Root Tonic. I dropped it overboard a few blocks farther on, and
thought that was the end of it till the whole street began to yell at
me, and a policeman grabbed my horse, while a street arab darted up
breathless with the Dog-Root Tonic. I presented it to him, together with
a quarter, the policeman darkly regarding me as an incipient madman.

The second Jones was a man of about thirty, a nice, gentlemanly fellow,
in a fine office. I have usually been an off-hand man in business,
accustomed to quick decisions and very little beating about the bush.
But I confess I was rather nonplussed with the second Jones. How the
devil was I to _begin_? His waiting-room was full of people, and I
hardly felt entitled to sit down and gas about one thing and the other
till the chance offered of leading up to the Van Coorts. So I said I had
some queer, shooting sensations in the chest. In five minutes he had me
half-stripped and was pounding my midriff in. And the questions that man
asked! He began with my grandparents, roamed through my childhood and
youth, dissected my early manhood, and finally came down to coffee and
what I ate for breakfast.

Then it was my turn.

I asked him, as a starter, whether he had ever been in Colorado?

No, he hadn't.

After forty-five minutes of being hammered, and stethoscoped, and
punched, and holding my breath till I was purple, and hopping on one
leg, he said I was a very obscure case of something with nine syllables!

"At least, I won't be positive with one examination," he said; "but
kindly come to-morrow at nine, when I shall be more at leisure to go
into the matter thoroughly."

I paid him ten dollars and went sorrowfully away.

The third Jones was too old to be my man; so was the fourth; the fifth
had gone away the month before, leaving no address; the sixth, however,
was younger and more promising. I thought this time I'd choose something
easier than pains in the chest. I changed them to my left hand. I was
going to keep my clothes on, anyhow. But it wasn't any use. Off they
came. After a decent interval of thumping and grandfathers, and what I
had for breakfast, I managed to get in my question:

"Ever in Colorado, Doctor?"

"Oh, dear me, no!"

Another ten dollars, and nothing accomplished!

The seventh Jones was again too old; the eighth was a pale hobbledehoy;
the ninth was a loathsome quack; the tenth had died that morning; the
eleventh was busy; the twelfth was a veterinary surgeon; the thirteenth
was an intern living at home with his widowed sister. Colorado? No, the
widowed sister was positive he had never been there. The fourteenth was
a handsome fellow of about thirty-five. He looked poor and threadbare,
and I had a glimpse of a shabby bed behind a screen. Patients obviously
did not often come his way, and his joy at seeing me was pitiful. I had
meant to try a bluff and get in my Colorado question this time free of
charge; but I hadn't the heart to do it. Slight pains in the head seemed
a safe complaint.

After a few questions he said he would have to make a thorough physical
examination.

"No clothes off!" I protested.

"It's essential," he said, and went on with something about the
radio-activity of the brain, and the vasomotor centers. The word motor
made me feel like a sick automobile. I begged to keep my clothes on; I
insisted; I promised to come to-morrow; but it wasn't any good, and in a
few minutes he was hitting me harder than either of the two before.
Maybe I was more tender! He electrocuted me extra from a switchboard,
ran red-hot needles into my legs, and finally, after banging me around
the room, said I was the strongest and wellest man who had ever entered
his office.

"There's a lot of make-believe in medicine," he said; "but I'm one of
those poor devils who can't help telling a patient the truth. There's
nothing whatever the matter with you, Mr. Westoby, except that your skin
has a slightly abrased look, and I seem to notice an abnormal
sensitiveness to touch."

"Were you ever in Colorado, Doctor?" I asked while he was good enough to
help me into my shirt.

"Oh, yes, I know Colorado well!"

My heart beat high.

"Some friends of mine were out there three years ago," I said. "Wouldn't
it be strange if by any chance the Van Coorts--"

"Oh, I left Denver when I was fifteen."

Five dollars!

The fifteenth Jones was a doctor of divinity; the sixteenth was a
tapeworm specialist; the seventeenth was too old, the eighteenth was too
old, the nineteenth was too old--a trio of disappointing patriarchs. The
twentieth painted out black eyes; the twenty-first was a Russian who
could scarcely speak any English. He said he had changed his name from
Karaforvochristophervitch to something more suited to American
pronunciation. He seemed to think that Jones gave him a better chance. I
sincerely hope it did. He told me that all the rest of the Jones family
was in Siberia, but that he was going to bomb them out! The
twenty-second was a negro. The twenty-third--! He was a tall, youngish
man, narrow-shouldered, rather commonplace-looking, with beautiful blue
eyes, and a timid, winning, deprecatory manner. I told him I was
suffering from insomnia. After raking over my grandfathers again and
bringing the family history down by stages to the very moment I was
shown into his office he said he should have to ask me to undergo a
thorough physical--! But I was tired of being slapped and punched and
breathed on and prodded, and was bold enough to refuse point-blank. I'd
rather have the insomnia! We worked up quite a fuss about it, for there
was something tenacious in the fellow, for all his mild, kind, gentle
ways; and I had all I could do to get off by pleading press of
business. But I wasn't to escape scot-free. Medical science had to get
even somehow. He compromised by stinging my eye out with belladonna.
Have _you_ ever had belladonna squirted in _your_ eye? Well, don't.

He was sitting at the table, writing out some cabalistic wiggles that
stood for bromide of potassium, when I remarked casually that it was
strange how well I could always sleep in Colorado.

He laid down the pen with a sigh.

"A wonderful state--Colorado," I observed.

"To me it's the land of memories," he said. "Sad, beautiful, irrevocable
memories--try tea for breakfast--do you read Browning? Then you will
remember that line: 'Oh, if I--' And I insist on your giving up that
cocktail before dinner."

"Some very dear friends of mine were once in Colorado," I said.
"Morristown people--the Van Coorts."

"The Van Coorts!"

Doctor Jones sprang from his chair, his thin, handsome face flushing
with excitement.

"Do you mean to say that you know Eleanor Van Coort?" he gasped.

"All my life."

He dropped back into the chair again and mumbled something about cigars.
I was only to have blank a day. In his perturbation I believe he limited
me to a daily box. He was trying--and trying very badly--to conceal the
emotions I had conjured up.

"They were talking about you only yesterday," I went on. "That is, if it
_was_ you! A Pullman drawing-room--"

"And a mistake about the tickets," he broke out. "Yes, yes, it's they
all right. Talking about me, did you say? Did Eleanor--I mean, did Miss
Van Coort--express--?"

"She was wondering how she could find you," I said. "You see, they're
busy getting up a house-party and she was running over her men. 'If I
only knew where that dear Doctor Jones was,' she said, and then asked
me, if by any possible chance--"

His fine blue eyes were glistening with all sorts of tender thoughts. It
was really touching. And I was in love myself, you know.

"So she has remained unmarried!" he exclaimed softly. "Unmarried--after
all these years!"

"She's a very popular girl," I said. "She's had dozens of men at her
feet--but an unfortunate attachment, something that seems to go back to
about three years ago, has apparently determined her to stay out of the
game!"

Doctor Jones dropped his head on his hands and murmured something that
sounded like "Eleanor, Eleanor!" Then he looked up with one of the most
radiant smiles I ever saw on a man's face. "I hope I'm not presuming on
a very short acquaintance," he said, "but the fact is--why should I not
tell you?--Miss Van Coort was the woman in my life!"

I explained to him that Freddy was the woman in mine.

Then you ought to have seen us fraternize!

In twenty minutes I had him almost convinced that Eleanor had loved him
all these years. But he worried a lot about a Mr. Wise who had been on
the same train, and a certain Colonel Hadow who had also paid Eleanor
attention. Jones was a great fellow for wanting to be sure. I
pooh-poohed them out of the way and gave him the open track. Then,
indeed, the clouds rolled away. He beamed with joy. In his rich gush of
friendship he recurred to the subject of my insomnia with a new-born
enthusiasm. He subdivided all my symptoms. He dived again into my
physical being. He consulted German authorities. I squirmed and lied
and resisted all I could, but he said he owed me an eternal debt that
could only be liquidated by an absolute cure. He wanted to tie me up and
shoot me with an X-ray. He ordered me to wear white socks. He had a
long, terrifying look at a drop of my blood. He jerked hairs out of my
head to sample my nerve force. He said I was a baffling subject, but
that he meant to make me well if it took the last shot in the scientific
locker. And he wound up at last by refusing point-blank to be paid a
cent!

I waltzed away on air to write an account of the whole affair to Freddy,
and dictate a plan of operations. I was justified in feeling proud of
myself. Most men would have tamely submitted to their fate instead of
chasing up all the Joneses of Jonesville! Freddy sent me an early
answer--a gay, happy, overflowing little note--telling me to try and
engage Doctor Jones for a three-day house-party at Morristown. I was to
telegraph when he could come, and was promised an official invitation
from Mrs. Matthewman. (She was the aunt, you know, that they lived
with--one of those old porcelain ladies with a lace cap and a
rent-roll.) However, I could not do anything for two days, for we had
reached a crisis in the labor troubles, and matters were approaching the
breaking point. We were threatened with one of those "sympathetic"
strikes that drive business men crazy. There was no question at issue
between ourselves and our employes; but the thing ramified off somewhere
to the sugar vacuum-boiler riveters' union. Finally the S.V.B.R.U. came
to a settlement with their bosses, and peace was permitted to descend on
Hodge & Westoby's.

I took immediate advantage of it to descend myself on Doctor Jones. He
received me with open arms and an insomniacal outburst. He had been
reading up; he had been seeing distinguished confreres; he had been
mastering the subject to the last dot, and was panting to begin. I hated
to dampen such friendship and ardor by telling him that I had completely
recovered. Under the circumstances it seemed brutal--but I did it. The
poor fellow tried to argue with me, but I insisted that I now slept like
a top. It sounded horribly ungrateful. Here I was spurning the treasures
of his mind, and almost insulting him with my disgusting good health. I
swerved off to the house-party; Eleanor's delight, and so on; Mrs.
Matthewman's pending invitation; the hope that he might have an early
date free--

He listened to it all in silence, walking restlessly about the office,
his blue eyes shining with a strange light. He took up a bronze
paper-weight and gazed at it with an intensity of self-absorption.

"I can't go," he said.

"Oh, but you have to," I exclaimed.

"Mr. Westoby," he resumed, "I was foolish enough to back a friend's
credit at a store here. He has skipped to Minnesota, and I am left with
three hundred and four dollars and seventy-five cents to pay. To take a
three days' holiday would be a serious matter to me at any time, but at
this moment it is impossible."

I gave him a good long look. He didn't strike me as a borrowing kind of
man. I should probably insult him by volunteering. Was there ever
anything so unfortunate?

"I can't go," he repeated with a little choke.

"You may never have another opportunity," I said. "Eleanor is doing a
thing I should never have expected from one of her proud and reserved
nature. The advances of such a woman--"

He interrupted me with a groan.

"If it wasn't for my mother I'd throw everything to the winds and fly to
her," he burst out. "But I have a mother--a sainted mother, Mr.
Westoby--her welfare must always be my first consideration!"

"Is there no chance of anything turning up?" I said. "An appendicitis
case--an outbreak of measles? I thought there was a lot of scarlatina
just now."

He shook his head dejectedly.

"Doctor," I began again, "I am pretty well fixed myself. I'm blessed
with an income that runs to five figures. If all goes the way it should
we shall be brothers-in-law in six months. We are almost relations. Give
me the privilege of taking over this small obligation--"

I never saw a man so overcome. My proposal seemed to tear the poor devil
to pieces. When he spoke his voice was trembling.

"You don't know what it means to me to refuse," he said. "My
self-respect ... my--my...." And then he positively began to weep!

"You said three hundred and four dollars and seventy-five cents, I
believe?"

He waved it from him with a long, lean hand.

"I can not do it," he said; "and, for God's sake, don't ask me to!"

I argued with him for twenty minutes; I laid the question before him in
a million lights; I racked him with a picture of Eleanor, so deeply
hurt, so mortified, that in her recklessness and despair she would
probably throw herself away on the first man that offered! This was his
chance, I told him; the one chance of his life; he was letting a piece
of idiotic pride wreck the probable happiness of years. He agreed with
me with moans and weeps. He had the candor of a child and the torrential
sentiment of a German musician. Three hundred and four dollars and
seventy-five cents stood between him and eternal bliss, and yet he waved
my pocketbook from him! And all the while I saw myself losing Freddy.

I went away with his "no, no, no!" still ringing in my ears.

At the club I found a note from Freddy. She pressed me to lose no time.
Mrs. Matthewman was talking of going to Europe, and of course she and
Eleanor would have to accompany her. Eleanor, she said, had ordered two
new gowns and had brightened up wonderfully. "Only yesterday she told me
she wished that silly doctor would hurry up and come--and that, you
know, from Eleanor is almost a declaration!"

Some of my best friends happened to be in the club. It occurred to me
that poor Nevill was diabetic, and that Charley Crossman had been boring
everybody about his gout. I buttonholed them both, and laid my
unfortunate predicament before them. I said I'd pay all the expenses. In
fact, the more they could make it cost the better I'd be pleased.

"What," roared Nevill, "put myself in the hands of a young fool so that
he may fill his empty pockets with your money! Where do _I_ come in?
Good heavens, Westoby, you're crazy! Think what would happen to me if it
came to Doctor Saltworthy's ears? He'd never have anything more to do
with me!"

Charley Crossman was equally rebellious and unreasonable.

"I guess you've never had the gout," he said grimly.

"But Charley, old man," I pleaded, "all that you'd have to do would be
to let him _talk_ to you. I don't ask you to suffer for it. Just
pay--that's all--pay my money!"

"I'm awfully easily talked into things," said Charley. (There was never
such a mule on the Produce Exchange.) "He'd be saying, 'Take this'--and
I'm the kind of blankety-blank fool that would take it!"

Then I did a mean thing. I reminded Crossman of having backed some bills
of his--big bills, too--at a time when it was touch and go whether he'd
manage to keep his head above water.

"Westoby," he replied, "don't think that time has lessened my sense of
that obligation. I'd cut off my right hand to do you a good turn. But
for heaven's sake, don't ask me to monkey with my gout!"

The best I could get out of him was the promise of an anemic
servant-girl. Nevill generously threw in a groom with varicose veins.
Small contributions, but thankfully received.

"Now, what you do," said Nevill, "is to go round right off and interview
Bishop Jordan. He has sick people to burn!"

But I said Jones would get on to it if I deluged him with the misery of
the slums.

"That's just where the bishop comes in," said Nevill. "There isn't a man
more in touch with the saddest kind of poverty in New York--the decent,
clean, shrinking poverty that hides away from all the dead-head coffee
and doughnuts. If I was in your fix I'd fall over myself to reach
Jordan!"

"Yes, you try Jordan," said Charley, who, I'm sure, had never heard of
him before.

"Then it's me for Jordan," said I.

I went down stairs and told one of the bell-boys to look up the address
in the telephone-book. It seemed to me he looked pale, that boy.

"Aren't you well, Dan?" I said.

"I don't know what's the matter with me, sir. I guess it must be the
night work."

I gave him a five-dollar bill and made him write down 1892 Eighth Avenue
on a piece of paper.

"You go and see Doctor Jones first thing," I said. "And don't mention my
name, nor spend the money on _Her Mad Marriage_."

I jumped into a hansom with a pleasant sense that I was beginning to
make the fur fly.

"That's a horrible cold of yours, Cabby," I said as we stopped at the
bishop's door and I handed him up a dollar bill. "That's just the kind
of a cold that makes graveyards hum!"

"I can't shake it off, sir," he said despondently. "Try what I can, and
it's never no use!"

"There's one doctor in the world who can cure anything," I said; "Doctor
Henry Jones, 1892 Eighth Avenue. I was worse than you two weeks ago, and
now look at me! Take this five dollars, and for heaven's sake, man, put
yourself in his hands quick."

Bishop Jordan was a fine type of modern clergyman. He was
broad-shouldered mentally as well as physically, and he brought to
philanthropic work the thoroughness, care, enthusiasm and capacity that
would have earned him a fortune in business.

"Bishop," I said, "I've come to see if I can't make a trade with you!"

He raised his grizzled eyebrows and gave me a very searching look.

"A trade," he repeated in a holding-back kind of tone, as though
wondering what the trap was.

"Here's a check for one thousand dollars drawn to your order," I went
on. "And here's the address of Doctor Henry Jones, 1892 Eighth Avenue. I
want this money to reach him via your sick people, and that without my
name being known or at all suspected."

"May I not ask the meaning of so peculiar a request?"

"He's hard up," I said, "and I want to help him. It occurred to me that
I might make you--er--a confederate in my little game, you know."

His eyes twinkled as he slowly folded up my check and put it in his
pocket.

"I don't want any economy about it, Bishop," I went on. "I don't want to
make the best use of it, or anything of that kind. I want to slap it
into Doctor Jones' till, and slap it in quick."

"Would you consider two weeks--?"

"Oh, one, please!"

"It is understood, of course, that this young man is a duly qualified
and capable physician, and that in the event of my finding it otherwise
I shall be at liberty to direct your check to other uses?"

"Oh, I can answer for his being all right, Bishop. He's thoroughly
up-to-date, you know; does the X-ray act; and keeps the pace of modern
science."

"You say you can answer for him," said the bishop genially. "Might I
inquire who _you_ are?"

"I'm named Westoby--Ezra Westoby--managing partner of Hodge & Westoby,
boxers."

"I like boxers," said the bishop in the tone of a benediction, rising to
dismiss me. "I like one thousand dollar checks, too. When you have any
more to spare just give them a fair wind in this direction!"

I went out feeling that the Episcopal Church had risen fifty per cent.
in my esteem. Bishops like that would make a success of any
denomination. I like to see a fellow who's on to his job.

I gave Jones a week to grapple with the new developments, and then
happened along. The anteroom was full, and there was a queue down the
street like a line of music-loving citizens waiting to hear Patti.
Nice, decent-looking people, with money in their hands. (I always like
to see a cash business, don't you?) I guess it took me an hour to crowd
my way up stairs, and even then I had to buy a man out of the line.

Jones was carrying off the boom more quietly than I cared about. He wore
a curt, snappy air. I don't know why, but I felt misgivings as I shook
hands with him.

Of course I commented on the rush.

"The Lord only knows what's happened to my practice," he said. "The
blamed thing has gone up like a rocket. It seems to me there must be a
great wave of sickness passing over New York just now."

"Everybody's complaining," I said.

This reminded him of my insomnia till I cut him short.

"What's the matter with our going down to the Van Coorts' from Saturday
to Tuesday," I said. "They haven't given up the hope of seeing you
there, Doctor, and the thing's still open."

Then I waited for him to jump with joy.

He didn't jump a bit. He shook his head. He distinctly said "No."

"I told you it was the money side of it that bothered me," he explained.
"So it was at the time, for, of course, I couldn't foresee that my
practice was going to fill the street and call for policemen to keep
order. But, my dear Westoby, after giving the subject a great deal of
consideration I have come to the conclusion that it would be too painful
for me to revive those--those--unhappy emotions I was just beginning to
recover from!"

"I thought you loved her!" I exclaimed.

"That's why I've determined not to go," he said. "I have outlived one
refusal. How do I know I have the strength, the determination, the
hardihood to undergo the agonies of another?"

It seemed a feeble remark to say that faint heart never won fair lady. I
growled it out more like a swear than anything else. I was disgusted
with the chump.

"She's the star above me," he said; "and I am crushed by my own
presumption. Is there any such fool as the man that breaks his heart
twice for the impossible?"

"But it isn't impossible," I cried. "Hasn't she--as far as a woman
can--hasn't she called you back to her? What more do you expect her to
do? A woman's delicacy forbids her screaming for a man! I think Eleanor
has already gone a tremendous way in just hinting--"

"You may be right," he said pathetically; "but then you may also be
wrong. The risk is too terrible for me to run. It will comfort me all my
life to think that perhaps she does love me in secret!"

"Do you mean to say you're going to give it all up?" I roared.

"You needn't get so warm about it," he returned. "After all, I have some
justification in thinking she doesn't care."

"What on earth do you suppose she invited you for, then?"

"Well, it would be different," he said, "if I had a note from her--a
flower--some little tender reminder of those dear old dead days in the
Pullman!"

"She's saving up all that for Morristown," I said.

For the first time in our acquaintance Doctor Jones looked at me with
suspicion. His blue eyes clouded. He was growing a little restive under
my handling.

"You seem to make the matter a very personal one," he observed.

"Well, I love Freddy," I explained. "It naturally brings your own case
very close to me. And then I am so positive that you love Eleanor and
that Eleanor loves you. Put yourself in my place, Doctor! Do you mean
that you'd do nothing to bring two such noble hearts together?"

He seized my hand and wrung it effusively. He really _did_ love Eleanor,
you know. The only fault with him was his being so darned humble about
it. He was eaten up with a sense of his own inferiority. And yet I could
see he was just tingling to go to Morristown. Of course, I crowded him
all I could, but the best I could accomplish was his promise to "think
it over." I hated to leave him wabbling, but patients were scuffling at
the door and fighting on the stairs.

The next thing I did was to get Freddy on the long-distance 'phone.

"Freddy," I said, after explaining the situation, "you must get Eleanor
to telegraph to him direct!"

"What's the good of asking what she won't do?" bubbled the sweet little
voice.

"Can't you persuade her?"

"I know she won't do it!"

"Then you must forge it," I said desperately. "It needn't be anything
red-hot, you know. But something tender and sincere: 'Shall be awfully
disappointed if you don't come,' or, 'There was a time when you would
not have failed me!'"

"It's impossible."

"Then he won't budge a single inch!" I replied.

"Ezra?"

"Darling!"

"Suppose I just signed the telegram Van Coort?"

"The very thing!"

"If he misunderstood it--I mean if he thought it really came from
Eleanor--there couldn't be any fuss about it afterward, could there?"

"And, of course, you'll send the official invitation from Mrs.
Matthewman besides?"

"For Saturday?"

"Yes, Saturday!"

"And _you'll_ come?"

"Just watch me!"

"Ezra, are you happy?"

"That depends on Jones."

"Oh, isn't it exciting?"

"I have the ring in my pocket--"

"But touch wood, won't you?"

"Freddy?"

"Yes--"

"What's the matter with getting some forget-me-nots and mailing them to
Jones in an envelope?"

"All right, I'll attend to it. Eighteen ninety-two Eighth Avenue, isn't
it?"

"Be sure it _is_ forget-me-nots, you know. Don't mix up the language of
flowers, and send him one that says: 'I'm off with a handsomer man,' or,
'You needn't come round any more!'"

"Oh, Ezra, Eleanor is really getting quite worked up!"

"So am I!"

"Wouldn't it be perfectly splendid if--Switch off quick, here's aunt
coming!"

"Mayn't I even say I love you?"

"I daren't say it back, Ezra--she's calling."

"But _do_ you?"

"Yes, unfortunately--"

"Why unfortun--?"

Buzz-buzz-swizzleum-bux-bux!--Aunt had cut us off. However, short as my
talk with Freddy had been, it brightened my whole day.

Late the same afternoon I went back to Doctor Jones. I was prepared to
find him uplifted, but I hadn't counted on his being maudlin. The fellow
was drunk, positively drunk--with happiness. His tongue ran on like a
mill-stream. I had to sit down and have the whole Pullman-car episode
inflicted on me a second time. I was shown the receipt-slip. I was shown
the telegram from Eleanor. I was shown with a whoop the forget-me-nots!
Then he was going on Saturday? I asked. He said he guessed it would take
an earthquake to keep him away, and a pretty big earthquake, too!... Oh,
it was a great moment, and all the greater because I was tremendously
worked up, too. I saw Freddy floating before me, my sweet, girlish,
darling Freddy, holding out her arms ... while Jones gassed and gassed
and gassed....

I left him taking phenacetin for his headache.


III

The house-party had grown a little larger than was originally intended.
On Saturday night we sat down twelve to dinner. Doctor Jones and I
shared a room together, and I must say whatever misgivings I might have
had about him wore away very quickly on closer acquaintance. In the
first place he looked well in evening dress, carrying himself with a
sort of shy, kind air that became him immensely. At table he developed
the greatest of conversational gifts--that of the appreciative and
intelligent listener. I heard one of the guests asking Eleanor who was
that charming young man. Freddy and I hugged each other (I mean
metaphorically, of course) and gloried in his success. In the presence
of an admirer (such is the mystery of women) Eleanor instantly got
fifteen points better looking, and you wouldn't have known her for the
same girl. Freddy thought it was the two-hundred-and-fifty-dollar gown
she wore, but I could see it was deeper than that. She was thawing in
the sunshine of love, and I'll do Doctor Jones the justice to say that
he didn't hide his affection under a bushel. It was generous enough for
everybody to bask in, and in his pell-mell ardor he took us all to his
bosom. The women loved him for it, and entered into a tacit conspiracy
to gain him the right-of-way to wherever Eleanor was to be found. In
fact, he followed her about like a dog, and she could scarcely move
without stepping on him.

Sunday was even better. One of the housemaids drank some wood-alcohol by
mistake for vichy water, and the resulting uproar redounded to Jones'
coolness, skill and despatch. He dominated the situation and--well, I
won't describe it, this not being a medical work, and the reader
probably being a good guesser. Mrs. Matthewman remarked significantly
that it must be nice to be the wife of a medical man--one would always
have the safe feeling of a doctor at hand in case anything happened at
night! Eleanor said it was a beautiful profession that had for its
object the alleviation of human pain. Freddy jealously tried to get in a
good word for boxers, but nobody would listen to her except me. It was
all Jones, Jones, Jones, and the triumphs of modern medicine. Altogether
he sailed through that whole day with flying colors, first with the
housemaid, and then afterward at church, where he was the only one that
knew what Sunday after Epiphany it was. He made it plainer than ever
that he was a model young man and a pattern. Mrs. Matthewman compared
him to her departed husband, and talked about old-fashioned courtesy and
the splendid men of her youth. Everybody fell over everybody else to
praise him. It was a regular Jones boom. People began to write down his
address, and ask him if he'd be free Thursday, or what about Friday, and
started to book seats in advance.

That evening, as I was washing my hands before dinner and cheerfully
whistling _Hiawatha_, I became conscious that Jones was lolling back on
a sofa at the dark end of the room. What particularly arrested my
attention was a groan--preceded by a pack of heartrending sighs. It
worried me--when everything seemed to be going so well. He had every
right to be whistling _Hiawatha_, too.

"What's the matter, Jones?" said I.

He keeled over on the sofa, and groaned louder than ever.

"It isn't possible--that she's refused you?" I exclaimed. He muttered
something about his mother.

"Well, what about your mother?" I said.

"Westoby," he returned, "I guess I was the worst kind of fool ever to
put my foot into this house."

That was nice news, wasn't it? Just as I was settling in my head to buy
that Seventy-second Street place, and alter the basement into a garage!

"You see, old man, my mother would never consent to my marrying Eleanor.
I'm in the position of having to choose between her and the woman I
love. And I owe so much to my mother, Westoby. She stinted herself for
years to get me through college; she hardly had enough to eat; she...."
Then he groaned a lot more.

"I can't think that your mother--a mother like yours, Jones--would
consent to stand between you and your lifelong happiness. It's
morbid--that's what I call it--morbid, just to dream of such a thing."

"There's Bertha," he quavered.

"Great Scott, and who's Bertha?"

"The girl my mother chose for me two years ago--Bertha McNutt, you know.
She'd really prefer me not to marry at all, but if I must--it's Bertha,
Westoby--Bertha or nothing!"

"It's too late to say that now, old fellow."

"It's not too late for me to go home this very night."

"Well, Jones," I broke out, "I can't think you'd do such a caddish thing
as that. Think it over for a minute. You come down here; you sweep that
unfortunate girl off her feet; you make love to her with the fury of a
stage villain; you force her to betray her very evident partiality for
you--and then you have the effrontery to say: 'Good-by. I'm off.'"

"My mother--" he began.

"You simply can not act so dishonorably, Jones."

He sat silent for a little while.

"My mother--" he started in again finally.

"Surely your mother loves you?" I demanded.

"That's the terrible part of it, Westoby, she--"

"Pooh!"

"She stinted herself to get me through col--"

"Then why did you ever come here?"

"That's just the question I'm asking myself now."

"I don't see that you have any right to assume all that about your mother,
anyway. Eleanor Van Coort is a woman of a thousand--unimpeachable social
position--a little fortune of her own--accomplished, handsome, charming,
sought after--why, if you managed to win such a girl as that your mother
would walk on air."

"No, she wouldn't. Bertha--"

"You're a pretty cheap lover," I said. "I don't set up to be a little
tin hero, but I'd go through fire and water for _my_ girl. Good heavens,
love is love, and all the mothers--"

He let out a few more groans.

"Then, see here, Jones," I went on, "you owe some courtesy to our
hostess. If you went away to-night it would be an insult. Whatever you
decide to do later, you've simply got to stay here till Tuesday
morning!"

"Must I?" he said, in the tone of a person who is ordered not to leave
the sinking ship.

"A gentleman has to," I said.

He quavered out a sort of acquiescence, and then asked me for the loan
of a white tie. I should have loved to give him a bowstring instead,
with somebody who knew how to operate it. He was a fluff, that fellow--a
tarnation fluff!


IV

It was a pretty glum evening all round. Most of them thought that Jones
had got the chilly mitt. Eleanor looked pale and undecided, not knowing
what to make of Jones' death's-head face. She was resentful and pitying
in turns, and I saw all the material lying around for a first-class
conflagration. Freddy was a bit down on me, too, saying that a smoother
method would have ironed out Jones, and that I had been headlong and
silly. She cried over it, and wouldn't kiss me in the dark; and I was
goaded into saying--well, the course of true love ran in bumps that
night. There was only one redeeming circumstance, and that was my
managing to keep Jones and Eleanor apart. I mean that I insisted on
being number three till at last poor Eleanor said she had a headache,
and forlornly went up to bed.

Jones was still asleep when I got up the next morning at six and dressed
myself quietly so as not to awake him. It was now Monday, and you can
see for yourself there was no time to spare. I gave the butler a dollar,
and ordered him to say that unexpected business had called me away
without warning, but that I should be back by luncheon. I rather overdid
the earliness of it all. At least, I hove off 1892 Eighth Avenue at
eight-fifteen A.M. I loitered about; looked at pawnshop windows; gave a
careful examination to a forty-eight-dollar-ninety-eight-cent complete
outfit for a four-room flat; had a chat with a policeman; assisted at a
runaway; advanced a nickel to a colored gentleman in distress; had my
shoes shined by another; helped a child catch an escaped parrot--and
still it wasn't nine! Idleness is a grinding occupation, especially on
Eighth Avenue in the morning.

Mrs. Jones was a thin, straight-backed, brisk old lady, with a keen
tongue, and a Yankee faculty for coming to the point. I besought her
indulgence, and laid the whole Eleanor matter before her--at least, as
much of it as seemed wise. I appeared in the role of her son's warmest
admirer and best friend.

"Surely you won't let Harry ruin his life from a mistaken sense of his
duty to you?"

"Duty, fiddlesticks!" said she. "He's going to marry Bertha McNutt!"

"But he doesn't want to marry Bertha McNutt!"

"Then he needn't marry anybody."

She seemed to think this a triumphant answer. Indeed, in some ways I
must confess it was. But still I persevered.

"It puts me out to have him shilly-shallying around like this," she
said. "I'll give him a good talking to when he gets back. This other
arrangement has been understood between Mrs. McNutt and myself for
years."

She was an irritating person. I found it not a little difficult to keep
my temper with her. It's easier to fight dragons than to temporize with
them and appeal to their better nature. I appealed and appealed. She
watched me with the same air of interested detachment that one gives to
a squirrel revolving in a cage. I could feel that she was flattered; her
sense of power was agreeably tickled; my earnestness and despair
enhanced the zest of her reiterated refusals. I was a very nice young
man, but her son was going to marry Bertha McNutt or marry nobody!

Then I tried to draw a lurid picture of his revolt from her
apron-strings.

"Oh, Harry's a good boy," she said. "You can't make me believe that two
days has altered his whole character. I'll answer for his doing what I
want."

I felt a precisely similar conviction, and my heart sank into my shoes.

At this moment there was a tap at the door, and another old lady bounced
in. She was stout, jolly-looking and effusive. The greetings between the
pair were warm, and they were evidently old friends. But underneath the
new-comer's gush and noise I was dimly conscious of a sort of gay
hostility. She was exultant and frightened, both at once, and her eyes
were sparkling.

"Well, what do you think?" she cried out explosively.

Mrs. Jones' lips tightened. There was a mean streak in that old woman. I
could see she was feeling for her little hatchet, and was getting out
her little gun.

"Bertha!" exploded the old lady. "Bertha--"

(Mysterious mental processes at once informed me that this was none
other than Bertha's mother.)

Mrs. Jones was coolly taking aim. I was reminded of that old military
dictum: "Don't shoot till you see the whites of their eyes!"

"Bertha," vociferated the old lady fiercely--"Bertha has been secretly
married to Mr. Stuffenhammer for the last three months!"

Another series of kinematographic mental processes informed me that Mr.
Stuffenhammer was an immense catch.

"Twenty thousand dollars a year, and her own carriage," continued Mrs.
McNutt gloatingly. "You could have knocked me down with a feather.
Bertha is such a considerate child; she insisted on marrying secretly so
that she could tone it down by degrees to poor Harry; though there was
no engagement or anything like that, she could not help feeling, of
course, that she owed it to the dear boy to gradually--"

Mrs. Jones never turned a hair or moved a muscle.

"You needn't pity Harry," she said. "I've just got the good news that
he's engaged to one of the sweetest and richest girls in Morristown."

I jumped for my hat and ran.


V

You never saw anybody so electrified as Jones. For a good minute he
couldn't even speak. It was like bringing a horseback reprieve to the
hero on the stage. He repeated "Stuffenhammer, Stuffenhammer," in tones
that Henry Irving might have envied, while I gently undid the noose
around his neck. I led him under a tree and told him to buck up. He did
so--slowly and surely--and then began to ask me agitated questions about
proposing. He deferred to me as though I had spent my whole life
Bluebearding through the social system. He wanted to be coached how to
do it, you know. I told him to rip out the words--any old words--and
then kiss her.

"Don't let there be any embarrassing pause," I said. "A girl hates
pauses."

"It seems a great liberty," he returned. "It doesn't strike me as
r-r-respectful."

"You try it," I said. "It's the only way."

"I'll be glad when it's over," he remarked dreamily.

"Whatever you do, keep clear of set speeches," I went on. "Blurt it out,
no matter how badly--but with all the fire and ginger in you."

He gazed at me like a dead calf.

"Here goes," he said, and started on a trembling walk toward the house.

I don't know whether he was afraid, or didn't get the chance, or what
it was; but at any rate the afternoon wore on without the least sign
of his coming to time. I kept tab on him as well as I could--checkers
with Miss Drayton--half an hour writing letters--a long talk with the
major--and finally his getting lost altogether in the shrubbery with
an old lady. Freddy said the suspense was killing her, and was terribly
despondent and miserable. I couldn't interest her in the Seventy-second
Street house at all. She asked what was the good of working and
worrying, and figuring and making lists--when in all probability it
would be another girl that would live there. She had an awfully mean
opinion of my constancy, and was intolerably philosophical and
Oh-I-wouldn't-blame-you-the-least-little-bit-if-you-did-go-off-and-marry-somebody-else!
She took a pathetic pleasure in loving me, losing me, and then weeping
over the dear dead memory. She said nobody ever got what they wanted,
anyway; and might she come, when she was old and ugly and faded and
weary, to take care of my children and be a sort of dear old aunty in
the Seventy-second Street house. I said certainly not, and we had a
fight right away.

As we were dressing for dinner that night I took Jones to task, and
tried to stiffen him up. I guess I must have mismanaged it somehow, for
he said he'd thank me to keep my paws out of his affairs, and then went
into the bath-room, where he shaved and growled for ten whole minutes. I
itched to throw a bootjack at him, but compromised on doing a little
growling myself. Afterward we got into our clothes in silence, and as he
went out first he slammed the door.

It was a disheartening evening. We played progressive uchre for a silly
prize, and we all got shuffled up wrong and had to stay so. Then the
major did amateur conjuring till we nearly died. I was thankful to sneak
out-of-doors and smoke a cigar under the starlight. I walked up and
down, consigning Jones to--well, where I thought he belonged. I thought
of the time I had wasted over the fellow--the good money--the hopes--I
was savage with disappointment, and when I heard Freddy softly calling
me from the veranda I zigzagged away through the trees toward the lodge
gate. There are moments when a man is better left alone. Besides, I was
in one of those self-tormenting humors when it is a positive pleasure to
pile on the agony. When you're eighty-eight per cent. miserable it's
hell not to reach par. I was sore all over, and I wanted the balm--the
consolation--to be found in the company of those cold old stars, who had
looked down in their time on such countless generations of human asses.
It gave me a wonderful sense of fellowship with the past and future.

I was reflecting on what an infinitesimal speck I was in the general
scheme of things, when I heard the footfall of another human speck,
stumbling through the dark and carrying a dress-suit case. It was Jones
himself, outward bound, and doing five knots an hour. I was after him in
a second, doing six.

"Jones!" I cried.

He never even turned round.

I grabbed him by the arm. He wasn't going to walk away from me like
that.

"Where are you going?" I demanded.

"Home!"

"But say, stop; you can't do that. It's too darned rude. We don't break
up till to-morrow."

"I'm breaking up now," he said.

"But--"

"Let go my arm--!"

"Oh, but, my dear chap--" I began.

"Don't you dear chap me!"

We strode on in silence. Even his back looked sullen, and his face under
the gaslights--

"Westoby," he broke out suddenly, "if there's one thing I'm sensitive
about it is my name. Slap me in the face, turn the hose on me, rip the
coat off my back--and you'd be astounded by my mildness. But when it
comes to my name I--I'm a tiger!"

"A tiger," I repeated encouragingly.

"It all went swimmingly," he continued in a tone of angry confidence.
"For five seconds I was the happiest man in the United States. I--I did
everything you said, you know, and I was dumfounded at my own success.
S-s-she loves me, Westoby."

I gazed inquiringly at the dress-suit case.

"We don't belong to any common Joneses. We're Connecticut Joneses. In
fact, we're the only Joneses--and the name is as dear to me, as sacred,
as I suppose that of Westoby is, perhaps, to you. And yet--and yet--do
you know what she actually said to me? Said to me, holding my hand, and,
and--that the only thing she didn't like about me was my _name_."

I contrived to get out, "Good heavens!" with the proper astonishment.

"I told her that Van Coort didn't strike me as being anything very
extra."

"Wouldn't it have been wiser to--?"

"Oh, for myself, I'd do anything in the world for her. But a fellow has
to show a little decent pride. A fellow owes something to his family,
doesn't he? As a man I love the ground she walks on; as a Jones--well,
if she feels like that about it--I told her she had better wait for a De
Montmorency."

"But she didn't say she wouldn't marry you, did she?"

"N-o-o-o!"

"She didn't ask you to _change_ your name, did she?"

"N-o-o-o!"

"And do you mean to say that just for one unfortunate remark--a remark
that any one might have made in the agitation of the moment--you're
deliberately turning your back on her, and her broken heart!"

"Oh, she's red-hot, too, you know, over what I said about the Van
Coorts."

"She couldn't have realized that you belonged to the Connecticut
Joneses. _I_ didn't know it. _I_--"

"Well, it's all off now," he said.

It was a mile to the depot. For Jones it was a mile of reproaches,
scoldings, lectures and insults. For myself I shall ever remember it as
the mile of my life. I pleaded, argued, extenuated and explained. My
lifelong happiness--Freddy--the Seventy-second Street house--were
walking away from me in the dark while I jerked unavailingly at Jones'
coat-tails. The whole outfit disappeared into a car, leaving me on the
platform with the ashes of my hopes. Of all obstinate, mulish,
pig-headed, copper-riveted--

I was lucky enough to find Eleanor crying softly to herself in a corner
of the veranda. The sight of her tears revived my fainting courage. I
thought of Bruce and the spider, and waded in.

"Eleanor," I said, "I've just been seeing poor Jones off."

She sobbed out something to the effect that she didn't care.

"No, you can't care very much," I said, "or you wouldn't send a man like
that--a splendid fellow--a member of one of the oldest and proudest
families of Connecticut--to his death."

"Death?"

"Well, he's off for Japan to-morrow. They're getting through fifty
doctors a week out there at the front. They're shot down faster than
they can set them up."

I was unprepared for the effect of this on Eleanor. For two cents she
would have fainted then and there. It's awful to hear a woman moan, and
clench her teeth, and pant for breath.

"Oh, Eleanor, can't you do anything?"

"I am helpless, Ezra. My pride--my woman's pride--"

"Oh, how can you let such trifles stand between you? Think of him out
there, in his tattered Japanese uniform--so far from home, so lonely, so
heartbroken--standing undaunted in that rain of steel, while--"

"Oh, Ezra, stop! I can't bear it! I can't bear it!"

"Is the love of three years to be thrown aside like an old glove, just
because--"

Her face was so wild and strained that the lies froze upon my tongue.

"Oh, Ezra, I could follow him barefooted through the snow if only he--"

"He's leaving Grand Central to-morrow at ten forty-five," I said.

She fumbled at her neck, and almost tore away the diamond locket that
reposed there.

"Take him this," she whispered hoarsely. "Take it to him at once, and
say I sent it. Say that I beg him to return--that my pride crumbles at
the thought of his going away so far into danger."

I put the locket carefully into my pocket.

"And, Eleanor, try and don't rub him the wrong way about his name. Is it
worth while? There have to be Joneses, you know."

"Tell him," she burst out, "tell him--oh, I never meant to wound
him--truly, I didn't ... a name that's good enough for him is good
enough for me!"

The next morning at nine I pulled up my Porcher-Mufflin car before
Jones' door. He was sitting at his table reading a book, and he made no
motion to rise as I came in. He gave me a pale, expressionless stare
instead, such as an ancient Christian might have worn when the call-boy
told him the lions were ready in the Colosseum. Resignation, obstinacy
and defiance--all nicely blended under a turn-the-other-cheek exterior.
He looked woebegone, and his thin, handsome face betrayed a sleepless
night and a breakfastless morning. I could feel that my presence was the
last straw to this unfortunate medical camel.

I threw in a genial remark about the weather, and took a seat.

Jones hunched himself together, and squirmed a sad little squirm.

"Mr. Westoby," he said, "I once made use of a very strong expression in
regard to you. I said, if you remember, that I'd be obliged if you'd
keep your paws--"

"Don't apologize," I interrupted. "I forgot it long ago."

"You've taken me up wrong," he continued drearily. "I should like you to
consider the remark repeated now. Yes, sir, repeated."

"Oh, bosh!" I exclaimed.

"You have a very tough epidermis," he went on. "Quite the toughest
epidermis I have met with in my whole professional career. A paper
adequately treating your epidermis would make a sensation before any
medical society."

Somehow I couldn't feel properly insulted. The whole business struck me
as irresistibly comical. I lay back in my chair--my uninvited chair--and
roared with laughter.

I couldn't forbear asking him what treatment he'd recommend.

He pointed to the door, and said laconically: "Fresh air."

I retorted by laying the diamond locket before him.

"My dear fellow," I said, as he gazed at it transfixed, "don't let us go
on like a pair of fools. Eleanor charged me to give you this, and beg
you to return."

I don't believe he heard me at all. That flashing trinket was far more
eloquent than any words of mine. He laid his head in his hands beside
it, and his whole body trembled with emotion. He trembled and trembled,
till finally I got tired of waiting. I poked him in the back, and
reminded him that my car was waiting down stairs. He rose with a
strange, bewildered air, and submitted like a child to be led into the
street. He had the locket clenched in his hand, and every now and then
he would glance at it as though unable to believe his eyes. I shut him
into the tonneau, and took a seat beside my chauffeur.

"Let her out, James," I said.

James let her out with a vengeance. There was a sunny-haired housemaid
at the Van Coorts' ... and it was a crack, new, four-cylinder car with a
direct drive on the top speed. Off we went like the wind, jouncing poor
Jones around the tonneau like a pea in a pill-box. But he didn't care.
Was he not seraphically whizzing through space, obeying the diamond
telegram of love? In the gentle whizzle and bang of the whole
performance he even ventured to raise his voice in song, and I could
overhear him behind me, adding a lyrical finish to the hum of the
machinery. It was a walloping run, and we only throttled down on the
outskirts of Morristown. You see I had to coach him about that Japanese
war business, or else there might be trouble! So I leaned over the back
seat and gently broke it to him. I thought I had managed it rather well.
I felt sure he could understand, I said, the absolute need of a
little--embellishing and--

"Let me out," he said.

I feverishly went on explaining.

"If you don't let me out I'll climb out," he said, and began to make as
good as his word over the tonneau.

Of course, there was nothing for it but to stop the car.

Jones deliberately descended and headed for New York.

I ran after him, while the chauffeur turned the car round and slowly
followed us both. It was a queer procession. First Jones, then I, then
the car.

Finally I overtook him.

"Jones," I panted. "Jones."

He muttered something about Ananias, and speeded up.

"But it was an awfully tight place," I pleaded. "Something had to be
done; you must make allowances; it was the first thing that came into
my head--and you must admit that it worked, Jones. Didn't she send you
the locket? Didn't she--?"

"What a prancing, show-off, matinee fool you've made me look!" he burst
out. "I have an old mother to support. I have an increasing practice. I
have already attracted some little attention in my chosen field--eye,
ear and throat. A nice figure I'd cut, traipsing around the battlefields
in a kimono, and looking for a kindly bullet to lay me low. If I were
ever tempted by such a thing--which God forbid--wouldn't I prefer to
spread bacilli on buttered toast?"

"I never thought of that," I said humbly.

"I have known retail liars," he went on. "But I guess you are the only
wholesaler in the business. When other people are content with ones and
twos, you get them out in grosses, packed for export!"

He went on slamming me like this for miles. Anybody else would have
given him up as hopeless. I don't want to praise myself, but if I have
one good quality it's staying power. I pleaded and argued, and
expostulated and explained, with the determination of a man whose back
is to the wall. I wasn't going to lose Freddy so long as there was
breath in my body. However, it wasn't the least good in the world. Jones
was as impervious as sole-leather, and as unshaken as a marble pillar.

Then I played my last card.

I told him the truth! Not the _whole_ truth, of course, but within ten
per cent. of it. About Freddy, you know, and how she was determined not
to marry before her elder sister, and how Eleanor's only preference
seemed to be for him, and how with such a slender clue to work on I had
engineered everything up to this point.

"If I have seemed to you intolerably prying and officious," I said,
"well, at any rate, Jones, there's my excuse. It rests with you to give
me Freddy or take her from me. Turn back, and you'll make me the
happiest man alive; go forward, and--and--"

I watched him out of the corner of my eye.

His tread lost some of its elasticity. He was short-circuiting inside.
Positively he began to look sort of sympathetic and human.

"Westoby," he said at last, in a voice almost of awe, "when they get up
another world's fair you must have a building to yourself. You're
colossal, that's what you are!"

"I'm only in love," I said.

"Well, that's the love that moves mountains," he said. "If anybody had
told me that I should...." He stopped irresolutely on the word.

"Oh, to think I have to stand for all that rot!" he bleated.

I was too wise to say a word. I simply motioned James to switch the car
around and back up. I shooed Jones into the tonneau and turned the knob
on him. He snuggled back in the cushions, and smiled--yes smiled--with a
beautiful, blue-eyed, far-away, indulgent expression that warmed me like
spring sunshine. Not that I felt absolutely safe even yet--of course I
couldn't--but still--

We ran into Freddy and Eleanor at the lodge gates. I had already
telephoned the former to expect us, so as to have everything fall out
naturally when the time came. We stopped the car, and descended--Jones
and I--and he walked straight off with Eleanor, while I side-stepped
with Freddy.

She and I were almost too excited to talk. It was now or never, you
know, and there was an awfully solemn look about both their backs that
was either reassuring or alarming--we couldn't decide quite which.
Freddy and I simply held our breath and waited.

Finally, after an age, Jones and Eleanor turned, still close in talk,
still solemn and enigmatical, and drew toward us very slowly and
deliberately. When they had got quite close, and the tension was at the
breaking point, Eleanor suddenly made a little rush, and, with a loud
sob, threw her arms round Freddy's neck.

Jones fidgeted nervously about, and seemed to quail under my questioning
eyes. It was impossible to tell whether things had gone right or not. I
waited for him to speak.... I saw words forming themselves hesitatingly
on his lips ... he bent toward me quite confidentially....

"Say, old man," he whispered, "is there any place around here where a
fellow can buy an engagement ring?"




THE BEAR STORY

THAT ALEX "IST MAKED UP HIS-OWN-SE'F"

BY JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY


    W'y, wunst they wuz a Little Boy went out
    In the woods to shoot a Bear. So, he went out
    'Way in the grea'-big woods--he did.--An' he
    Wuz goin' along--an' goin' along, you know,
    An' purty soon he heerd somepin' go "_Wooh_!"--
    Ist thataway--"_Woo-ooh!_" An' he wuz _skeered_,
    He wuz. An' so he runned an' clumbed a tree--
    A grea'-big tree, he did,--a _sicka-more_ tree.
    An' nen he heerd it ag'in: an' he looked round,
    An' _'t'uz a Bear_!--_a grea'-big shore-nuff Bear!_--
    No: 't'uz _two_ Bears, it wuz--two grea'-big Bears--
    _One_ of 'em wuz--ist _one's_ a _grea'-big_ Bear.--
    But they ist _boff_ went "_Wooh_!"--An' here _they_ come
    To climb the tree an' git the Little Boy
    An' eat him up!

                  An' nen the Little Boy
    He 'uz skeered worse'n ever! An' here come
    The grea'-big Bear a-climbin' th' tree to git
    The Little Boy an' eat him up--Oh, _no_!--
    It 'uzn't the _Big_ Bear 'at dumb the tree--
    It 'uz the _Little_ Bear. So here _he_ come
    Climbin' the tree--an' climbin' the tree! Nen when
    He git wite _clos't_ to the Little Boy, w'y nen
    The Little Boy he ist pulled up his gun
    An' _shot_ the Bear, he did, an' killed him dead!
    An' nen the Bear he falled clean on down out
    The tree--away clean to the ground, he did--
    _Spling-splung!_ he falled _plum_ down, an' killed him, too!
    An' lit wite side o' where the _Big_ Bear's at.

    An' nen the Big Bear's awful mad, you bet!--
    'Cause--'cause the Little Boy he shot his gun
    An' killed the _Little_ Bear.--'Cause the _Big_ Bear
    He--he 'uz the Little Bear's Papa.--An' so here
    _He_ come to climb the big old tree an' git
    The Little Boy an' eat him up! An' when
    The Little Boy he saw the _grea'-big Bear_
    A-comin', he 'uz badder skeered, he wuz,
    Than _any_ time! An' so he think he'll climb
    Up _higher_--'way up higher in the tree
    Than the old _Bear_ kin climb, you know.--But he--
    He _can't_ climb higher 'an old _Bears_ kin climb,--
    'Cause Bears kin climb up higher in the trees
    Than any little Boys in all the Wo-r-r-ld!

    An' so here come the grea'-big Bear, he did,--
    A-climbin' up--an' up the tree, to git
    The Little Boy an' eat him up! An' so
    The Little Boy he clumbed on higher, an' higher,
    An' higher up the tree--an' higher--an' higher--
    An' higher'n iss-here _house_ is!--An' here come
    Th' old Bear--clos'ter to him all the time!--
    An' nen--first thing you know,--when th' old Big Bear
    Wuz wite clos't to him--nen the Little Boy
    Ist jabbed his gun wite in the old Bear's mouf
    An' shot an' killed him dead!--No; I _fergot_,--
    He didn't shoot the grea'-big Bear at all--
    'Cause _they 'uz no load in the gun_, you know--
    'Cause when he shot the _Little_ Bear, w'y, nen
    No load 'uz any more nen _in_ the gun!

    But th' Little Boy clumbed _higher_ up, he did--
    He clumbed _lots_ higher--an' on up _higher_--an' higher
    An' _higher_--tel he ist _can't_ climb no higher,
    'Cause nen the limbs 'uz all so little, 'way
    Up in the teeny-weeny tip-top of
    The tree, they'd break down wiv him ef he don't
    Be keerful! So he stop an' think: An' nen
    He look around--An' here come th' old Bear!

    An' so the Little Boy make up his mind
    He's got to ist git out o' there _some_ way!--
    'Cause here come the old Bear!--so clos't, his bref's
    Purt 'nigh so's he kin feel how hot it is
    Ag'inst his bare feet--ist like old "Ring's" bref
    When he's ben out a-huntin' an's all tired.
    So when th' old Bear's so clos't--the Little Boy
    Ist gives a grea'-big jump fer _'nother_ tree--
    No!--no he don't do that!--I tell you what
    The Little Boy does:--W'y, nen--w'y, he--Oh, _yes_--
    The Little Boy _he finds a hole up there
    'At's in the tree_--an' climbs in there an' _hides_--
    An' _nen_ th' old Bear can't find the Little Boy
    At all!--But, purty soon th' old Bear finds
    The Little Boy's _gun_ 'at's up there--'cause the _gun_
    It's too _tall_ to tooked wiv him in the hole.
    So, when the old Bear find' the _gun_, he knows
    The Little Boy's ist _hid_ 'round _somers_ there,--
    An' th' old Bear 'gins to snuff an' sniff around,
    An' sniff an' snuff around--so's he kin find
    Out where the Little Boy's hid at.--An' nen--nen--
    Oh, _yes_!--W'y, purty soon the old Bear climbs
    'Way out on a big limb--a grea'-long limb,--
    An' nen the Little Boy climbs out the hole
    An' takes his ax an' chops the limb off!... Nen
    The old Bear falls _k-splunge_! clean to the ground
    An' bust an' kill hisse'f plum dead, he did!

    An' nen the Little Boy he git his gun
    An' 'menced a-climbin' down the tree ag'in--
    No!--no, he _didn't_ git his _gun_--'cause when
    The _Bear_ falled, nen the _gun_ falled, too--An' broked
    It all to pieces, too!--An' _nicest_ gun!--
    His Pa ist buyed it!--An' the Little Boy
    Ist cried, he did; an' went on climbin' down
    The tree--an' climbin' down--an' climbin' down!--
    _An'-sir_! when he 'uz purt'-nigh down,--w'y, nen
    _The old Bear he jumped up ag'in_!--an' he
    Ain't dead at all--ist '_tendin_' thataway,
    So he kin git the Little Boy an' eat
    Him up! But the Little Boy he 'uz too smart
    To climb clean _down_ the tree.--An' the old Bear
    He can't climb _up_ the tree no more--'cause when
    He fell, he broke one of his--he broke _all_
    His legs!--an' nen he _couldn't_ climb! But he
    Ist won't go 'way an' let the Little Boy
    Come down out of the tree. An' the old Bear
    Ist growls 'round there, he does--ist growls an' goes
    "_Wooh!--woo-ooh!_" all the time! An' Little Boy
    He haf to stay up in the tree--all night--
    An' 'thout no _supper_ neether!--On'y they
    Wuz _apples_ on the tree!--An' Little Boy
    Et apples--ist all night--an' cried--an' cried!
    Nen when 't'uz morning th' old Bear went "_Wooh_!"
    Ag'in, an' try to climb up in the tree
    An' git the Little Boy.--But he _can't_
    Climb t'save his _soul_, he can't!--An' _oh_! he's _mad_!--
    He ist tear up the ground! an' go "_Woo-ooh_!"
    An'--_Oh, yes!_--purty soon, when morning's come
    All _light_--so's you kin _see_, you know,--w'y, nen
    The old Bear finds the Little Boy's _gun_, you know,
    'At's on the ground.--(An' it ain't broke at all--
    I ist _said_ that!) An' so the old Bear think
    He'll take the gun an' _shoot_ the Little Boy:--
    But _Bears they_ don't know much 'bout shootin' guns:
    So when he go to shoot the Little Boy,
    The old Bear got the _other_ end the gun
    Ag'in' his shoulder, 'stid o' _th'other_ end--
    So when he try to shoot the Little Boy,
    It shot _the Bear_, it did--an' killed him dead!
    An' nen the Little Boy clumb down the tree
    An' chopped his old woolly head off:--Yes, an' killed
    The _other_ Bear ag'in, he did--an' killed
    All _boff_ the bears, he did--an' tuk 'em home
    An' _cooked_'em, too, an' _et_'em!
                                  --An' that's all.




COLONEL CARTER'S STORY OF THE POSTMASTER

BY F. HOPKINSON SMITH


"Take, for instance, the town of Caartersville: look at that peaceful
village which for mo' than a hundred years has enjoyed the privileges of
free government; and not only Caartersville, but all our section of the
State."

"Well, what's the matter with Cartersville?" asked Fitz, lighting his
cigar.

"Mattah, suh! Just look at the degradation it fell into hardly ten years
ago. A Yankee jedge jurisdiction our laws, a Yankee sheriff enfo'cin'
'em, and a Yankee postmaster distributin' letters and sellin' postage
stamps."

"But they were elected all right, Colonel, and represented the will of
the people."

"What people? Yo' people, not mine. No, my dear Fitz; the Administration
succeeding the war treated us shamefully, and will go down to postehity
as infamous."

The colonel here left his chair and began pacing the floor, his
indignation rising at every step.

"To give you an idea, suh," he continued, "of what we Southern people
suffe'd immediately after the fall of the Confederacy, let me state a
case that came under my own observation.

"Coloner Temple Talcott of F'okeer County, Virginia, came into
Talcottville one mornin', suh,--a town settled by his ancestors,--ridin'
upon his horse--or rather a mule belongin' to his overseer. Colonel
Talcott, suh, belonged to one of the vehy fust families in Virginia. He
was a son of Jedge Thaxton Talcott, and grandson of General Snowden
Stafford Talcott of the Revolutionary War. Now, suh, let me tell you
right here that the Talcott blood is as blue as the sky, and that every
gentleman bearin' the name is known all over the county as a man whose
honor is dearer to him than his life, and whose word is as good as his
bond. Well, suh, on this mornin' Colonel Talcott left his plantation in
charge of his overseer,--he was workin' it on shares,--and rode through
his estate to his ancestral town, some five miles distant. It is true,
suh, these estates were no longer in his name, but that had no bearin'
on the events that followed; he ought to have owned them, and would have
done so but for some vehy ungentlemanly fo'closure proceedin's which
occurred immediately after the war.

"On arriving at Talcottville the colonel dismounted, handed the reins to
his servant,--or perhaps one of the niggers around de do'--and entered
the post-office. Now, suh, let me tell you that one month befo', the
Government, contrary to the express wishes of a great many of our
leadin' citizens, had sent a Yankee postmaster to Talcottville to
administer the postal affairs of the town. No sooner had this man taken
possession than he began to be exclusive, suh, and to put on airs. The
vehy fust air he put on was to build a fence in his office and compel
our people to transact their business through a hole. This in itself was
vehy gallin', suh, for up to that time the mail had always been dumped
out on the table in the stage office and every gentleman had he'ped
himself. The next thing was the closin' of his mail bags at a' hour
fixed by himself. This became a great inconvenience to our citizens, who
were often late in finishin' their correspondence, and who had always
found our former postmaster willin' either to hold the bag over until
the next day, or to send it across to Drummondtown by a boy to catch a
later train.

"Well, suh, Colonel Talcott's mission to the post-office was to mail a
letter to his factor in Richmond, Virginia, on business of the utmost
importance to himself,--namely, the raisin' of a small loan upon his
share of the crop. Not the crop that was planted, suh, but the crop that
he expected to plant.

"Colonel Talcott approached the hole, and with that Chesterfieldian
manner which has distinguished the Talcotts for mo' than two centuries,
asked the postmaster for the loan of a three-cent postage stamp.

"To his astonishment, suh, he was refused.

"Think of a Talcott in his own county town bein' refused a three-cent
postage stamp by a low-lived Yankee, who had never known a gentleman in
his life! The colonel's first impulse was to haul the scoundrel through
the hole and caarve him; but then he remembered that he was a Talcott
and could not demean himself, and drawin' himself up again with that
manner which was grace itself he requested the loan of a three-cent
postage stamp until he should communicate with his factor in Richmond,
Virginia; and again he was refused. Well, suh, what was there left for a
high-toned Southern gentleman to do? Colonel Talcott drew his revolver
and shot that Yankee scoundrel through the heart, and killed him on the
spot.

"And now, suh, comes the most remarkable part of the story. If it had
not been for Major Tom Yancey, Jedge Kerfoot and myself, there would
have been a lawsuit."

Fitz lay back in his chair and roared.

"And they did not hang the colonel?"

"Hang a Talcott! No, suh; we don't hang gentlemen down our way. Jedge
Kerfoot vehy properly charged the coroner's jury that it was a matter
of self-defense, and Colonel Talcott was not detained mo' than haalf an
hour."

The colonel stopped, unlocked a closet in the sideboard, and produced a
black bottle labeled in ink, "Old Cherry Bounce, 1848."

"You must excuse me, gentlemen, but the discussion of these topics has
quite unnerved me. Allow me to share with you a thimbleful."

Fitz drained the glass, cast his eyes upward, and said solemnly, "To the
repose of the postmaster's soul."




LOVE SONNETS OF AN OFFICE BOY

BY S.E. KISER


I

    Oh, if you only knowed how much I like
      To stand here, when the "old man" ain't around,
      And watch your soft, white fingers while you pound
    Away at them there keys! Each time you strike
      It almost seems to me as though you'd found
    So me way, while writin' letters, how to play
      Sweet music on that thing, because the sound
    Is something I could listen to all day.

    You're twenty-five or six, and I'm fourteen,
      And you don't hardly ever notice me--
      But when you do, you call me Willie! Gee,
    I wisht I'd bundles of the old long green
      And could be twenty-eight or nine or so,
      And something happened to your other beau.


VI

    When you're typewritin' and that long-legged clerk
      Tips back there on his chair and smiles at you,
      And you look up and get to smilin', too,
    I'd like to go and give his chair a jerk
      And send him flyin' till his head went through
    The door that goes out to the hall, and when
      They picked him up he'd be all black and blue
    And you'd be nearly busted laughin' then.

    But if I done it, maybe you would run
      And hold his head and smooth his hair and say
      It made you sad that he got dumped that way,
    And I'd get h'isted out for what I done--
      I wish that he'd get fired and you'd stay
      And suddenly I'd be a man some day.


VIII

    This morning when that homely, long-legged clerk
      Come in he had a rose he got somewhere;
      He went and kind of leaned against her chair,
    Instead of goin' on about his work,
    And stood around and talked to her a while,
      Because the boss was out,--and both took care
      To watch the door; and when he left her there
    He dropped the flower with a sickish smile.

    I snuck it from the glass of water she
      Had stuck it in, and tore it up and put
      It on the floor and smashed it with my foot,
    When neither him nor her was watchin' me--
      I'd like to rub the stem acrost his nose,
      And I wish they'd never be another rose.


XIII

    Last night I dreamed about her in my sleep;
      I thought that her and me had went away
      Out on some hill where birds sung 'round all day,
    And I had got a job of herdin' sheep.
    I thought that she had went along to keep
      Me comp'ny, and we'd set around for hours
      Just lovin', and I'd go and gather flowers
    And pile them at her feet, all in a heap.

    It seemed to me like heaven, bein' there
      With only her besides the sheep and birds,
      And us not sayin' anything but words
    About the way we loved. I wouldn't care
      To ever wake again if I could still
    Dream we was there forever on the hill.


XXVII

    It's over now; the blow has fell at last;
      It seems as though the sun can't shine no more,
      And nothing looks the way it did before;
    The glad thoughts that I used to think are past.
    Her desk's shut up to-day, the lid's locked fast;
      The keys where she typewrote are still; her chair
      Looks sad and lonesome standin' empty there--
    I'd like to let the tears come if I dast.

    This morning when the boss come in he found
      A letter that he'd got from her, and so
    He read it over twice and turned around
      And said: "The little fool's got married!" Oh,
    It seemed as if I'd sink down through the ground,
      And never peep no more--I didn't, though.




MR. DOOLEY ON THE GAME OF FOOTBALL

BY FINLEY PETER DUNNE


"Whin I was a young man," said Mr. Dooley, "an' that was a long time
ago,--but not so long ago as manny iv me inimies'd like to believe, if I
had anny inimies,--I played fut-ball, but 'twas not th' fut-ball I see
whin th' Brothers' school an' th' Saint Aloysius Tigers played las' week
on th' pee-raries.

"Whin I was a la-ad, iv a Sundah afthernoon we'd get out in th' field
where th' oats'd been cut away, an' we'd choose up sides. Wan cap'n'd
pick one man, an' th' other another. 'I choose Dooley,' 'I choose
O'Connor,' 'I choose Dimpsey,' 'I choose Riordan,' an' so on till there
was twinty-five or thirty on a side. Thin wan cap'n'd kick th' ball, an'
all our side'd r-run at it an' kick it back; an' thin wan iv th' other
side'd kick it to us, an' afther awhile th' game'd get so timpischous
that all th' la-ads iv both sides'd be in wan pile, kickin' away at wan
or th' other or at th' ball or at th' impire, who was mos'ly a la-ad
that cudden't play an' that come out less able to play thin he was whin
he wint in. An', if anny wan laid hands on th' ball, he was kicked be
ivry wan else an' be th' impire. We played fr'm noon till dark, an'
kicked th' ball all th' way home in the moonlight.

"That was futball, an' I was a great wan to play it. I'd think nawthin'
iv histin' th' ball two hundherd feet in th' air, an' wanst I give it
such a boost that I stove in th' ribs iv th' Prowtestant minister--bad
luck to him, he was a kind man--that was lookin' on fr'm a hedge. I was
th' finest player in th' whole county, I was so.

"But this here game that I've been seein' ivry time th' pagan fistival
iv Thanksgivin' comes ar-round, sure it ain't th' game I played. I seen
th' Dorgan la-ad comin' up th' sthreet yesterdah in his futball
clothes,--a pair iv matthresses on his legs, a pillow behind, a mask
over his nose, an' a bushel measure iv hair on his head. He was followed
by thee men with bottles, Dr. Ryan, an' th' Dorgan fam'ly. I jined thim.
They was a big crowd on th' peerary,--a bigger crowd than ye cud get to
go f'r to see a prize fight. Both sides had their frinds that give th'
colledge cries. Says wan crowd: 'Take an ax, an ax, an ax to thim.
Hooroo, hooroo, hellabaloo. Christyan Bro-others!' an' th' other says,
'Hit thim, saw thim, gnaw thim, chaw thim, Saint Alo-ysius!' Well,
afther awhile they got down to wur-ruk. 'Sivin, eighteen, two, four,'
says a la-ad. I've seen people go mad over figures durin' th' free
silver campaign, but I niver see figures make a man want f'r to go out
an' kill his fellow-men befure. But these here figures had th' same
effect on th' la-ads that a mintion iv Lord Castlereagh'd have on their
fathers. Wan la-ad hauled off, an' give a la-ad acrost fr'm him a punch
in th' stomach. His frind acrost th' way caught him in th' ear. Th'
cinter rush iv th' Saint Aloysiuses took a runnin' jump at th' left lung
iv wan iv th' Christyan Brothers, an' wint to th' grass with him. Four
Christyan Brothers leaped most crooly at four Saint Aloysiuses, an'
rolled thim. Th' cap'n iv th' Saint Aloysiuses he took th' cap'n iv th'
Christyan Brothers be th' leg, an' he pounded th' pile with him as I've
seen a section hand tamp th' thrack. All this time young Dorgan was
standin' back, takin' no hand in th' affray. All iv a suddent he give a
cry iv rage, an' jumped feet foremost into th' pile. 'Down!' says th'
impire. 'Faith, they are all iv that,' says I. 'Will iver they get up?'
'They will,' says ol' man Dorgan. 'Ye can't stop thim,' says he.

"It took some time f'r to pry thim off. Near ivry man iv th' Saint
Aloysiuses was tied in a knot around wan iv th' Christyan Brothers. On'y
wan iv thim remained on th' field. He was lyin' face down, with his nose
in th' mud. 'He's kilt,' says I. 'I think he is,' says Dorgan, with a
merry smile. 'Twas my boy Jimmy done it, too,' says he. 'He'll be
arrested f'r murdher,' says I. 'He will not,' says he. 'There's on'y wan
polisman in town cud take him, an' he's down town doin' th' same f'r
somebody,' he says. Well, they carried th' corpse to th' side, an' took
th' ball out iv his stomach with a monkey wrinch, an' th' game was
rayshumed. 'Sivin, sixteen, eight, eleven,' says Saint Aloysius; an'
young Dorgan started to run down th' field. They was another young la-ad
r-runnin' in fr-ront iv Dorgan; an', as fast as wan iv th' Christyan
Brothers come up an' got in th' way, this here young Saint Aloysius
grabbed him be th' hair iv th' head an' th' sole iv th' fut, an' thrun
him over his shoulder. 'What's that la-ad doin'?' says I. 'Interfering'
says he. 'I shud think he was,' says I, 'an' most impudent,' I says.
''Tis such interference as this,' I says, 'that breaks up fam'lies'; an'
I come away.

"'Tis a noble sport, an' I'm glad to see us Irish ar-re gettin' into it.
Whin we larn it thruly, we'll teach thim colledge joods fr'm th' pie
belt a thrick or two."

"We have already," said Mr. Hennessy. "They'se a team up in Wisconsin
with a la-ad be th' name iv Jeremiah Riordan f'r cap'n, an' wan named
Patsy O'Dea behind him. They come down here, an' bate th' la-ads fr'm
th' Chicawgo Colledge down be th' Midway."

"Iv coorse, they did," said Mr. Dooley. "Iv coorse, they did. An' they
cud bate anny collection iv Baptists that iver come out iv a tank."




THE FAIRPORT ART MUSEUM

BY OCTAVE THANET


After the war was over, the Middle West addressed itself to Culture.
Perhaps the husbands and brothers and fathers might still be busy making
money; but the women of the West, whose energies and emotions had been
mightily roused, found life a little tame when there were no more
sanitary commissions, no more great fairs or little fairs for the
soldiers, no more intense emotions over printed sheets. Then it was that
the Woman's Club lifted a modest finger at the passing car of progress,
and unobtrusively boarded it.

Fairport was conservative, as always, but she had no mind to be left
behind in the march of feminine fashion. She did not rush to extremes,
but she had women's clubs in 1881. The chief of these were the Ladies'
Literary Club and the Spinsters' Alliance. Both clubs tackled the same
great themes of ethics and art, and allotted a winter to the literature
of a nation, except in the case of Greek and Roman literatures, which
were not considered able to occupy a whole winter apiece, so they were
studied in company. The club possessed a proper complement of officers,
and their meetings went from house to house. They were conducted with
artless simplicity, in a pleasant, conversational manner, but with due
regard to polite forms; and only at a moment of excitement was the chair
addressed by her Christian name.

Naturally, the women's clubs were deeply stirred by the first great
World's Fair in America. But the whole West was moved. It turned to art
with a joyous ardor, the excited happiness of a child that finds a new
beauty in the world. Why had we not thought of the artistic regeneration
of our sordid life before? Never mind, we would make amends for lost
time by spending more money! In very truth the years following the
Centennial witnessed an extraordinary awakening of worship of beauty,
almost religious in its fervor. Passionate pilgrims ransacked Europe and
the Orient; a prodigal horde of their captives, objects of luxury and of
art, surged into galleries and museums and households. No cold, critical
taste weeded out these adorable aliens. The worst and the best
conquered, together. Our architecture, our furniture, our household
surroundings were metamorphosed as by enchantment. And the feature of
mark in it all was the unparalleled diffusion of the new faith. Not the
great cities only; the towns, the villages, the hamlets, caught fire.

Of course, Fairport went to Philadelphia; and Fairport was converted. It
followed, at once that the women's clubs of the place should serve most
zealously at the altar; and nothing could be more inevitable than that
in course of time there should be a concrete manifestation of zeal.
Hence the memorable Art Museum, the fame of which to this day will
revive, when there is a meeting of the solid and gray-haired matrons who
were the light-footed girls of the Alliance, and the talk falls on the
old times.

The art collection would give its admirers shivers to-day, but it
excited only happy complacency then. The mood of the hour was not
critical. The homes of the Fairport gentry held innumerable oil copies
of the great masters of different degrees of merit, which they loaned
secure of welcome; with them came family treasures so long held in
reverence that their artistic value (coldly considered) had been lost to
comparison, and the gems of accomplished amateurs who painted flowers on
china cups, or of rising young artists who had not as yet risen beyond
the circle of trusting friends in town.

In general, the donors' expectation of gratitude was justified, but even
so early as 1881 there were limits to artistic credulity; and some
offerings drove the club president, Miss Claudia Loraine, and the club
secretary, Miss Emma Hopkins, to "the coal hold." This was a wee closet
under the stairs, where the coal scuttles were ranged, until they should
fare forth to replenish the "base burners" which warmed the Museum home.
In real life the name of the Museum's lodgings was Harness Block, and
Mr. Harness had proffered the cause of art two empty stores, formerly a
fish market and a grocery. As there was no private office (only a wire
cage), when Miss Hopkins felt the need of frank speech she signaled
Claudia to the coal hole.

She was closeted with her thus on the morning of the second day. The
subject of the conference was the last assault on the nerves of the
committee, perpetrated by the Miller twins--not in person, but with
their china. The china, itself, had the outward semblance of ordinary
blue earthen ware of a cheap grade; but the Miller twins were convinced
(on the testimony of their dear old minister, who never told a lie in
his life, and who had heard the Millers' grandmother say--and everybody
knows that _she_ was a saint on earth, and she was ninety years old at
the time, and would she be likely to lie almost on her dying bed?--you
might call it her dying bed, averred Miss Miller, since she was
bedridden for two years before her death, on that same old four-poster
bedstead which belonged to her mother, and at last died on it) that the
blue ware had been the property of George the Third, had been sold and
was on board the ship with the tea which was rifled in Boston Harbor.
They had insisted in pasting these royal claims upon the china in the
blackest and neatest lettering. The awkward fact that earthenware does
not usually grace a royal board, or that the saintly old grandmother
mixed up dates and persons in a wonderful way during her latter days,
made no difference to her loyal descendants. Each platter with the black
chipping betraying plainly its lowly origin, each tea-cup mended with
cement, bore the paper-claim pasted securely upon it.

"It took up a whole afternoon," said Miss Tina Miller, "but it's _so_
precious and there might be other blue ware and it _might_ get
mixed--you'll insure it, Miss Hopkins? not that money could replace such
things, but, at least"--Miss Tina Miller always left her sentences in
the air, seemingly too diffident to complete them, once the auditors
were assured of their import.

The Millers kept a tiny little house on a tiny little income; but gave
of all they had to give, themselves, without stint. They were
public-spirited women, if Fairport ever held any such. Although they had
neither brothers nor cousins to go to the war, they had picked lint and
made bandages and trudged with subscription papers and scrimped for
weeks to have money to spend at the patriotic fairs. In consequence they
were deeply respected, so respected that it was simply impossible to
refuse their unselfish offering of their dearest god.

"I think it just _noble_ of you," said Miss Tina. "Sister and I felt we
_must_ help; so we brought the King George china and a little pencil
head our sister Euphrosyne did. The one who died, you know. I'm sorry
all your--art things--aren't in yet. No, I can't come to-morrow; I
shall be very busy--sister may come--_thank_ you."

       *        *       *       *       *

Both the keen young listeners knew why Miss Tina could not come; it was
neither more nor less than the admission fee.

"But I'll take care of that," said Emma to Claudia in the coal hold.
"Elly is going to give her and Miss Ally each a season ticket."

"Then we're _in_ for the King George china!" groaned Claudia softly.

"We are," said Emma. "I've put it in a good but not too good a place,
and Mr. Winslow is inspecting it now."

"And he _knows_ about china; he's sent lovely things," mourned Claudia.

"Oh, well, he knows about the Miller girls, too," said Emma, smiling; "I
think he'll forgive us."

"You'd better go explain," urged Claudia, "and throw in that landscape
with the cow that seems to have five legs and belongs to Mr. Harness.
Perhaps he'll forgive that, too."

Emma went,--she was an amiable girl. She was not pretty like her sister,
Mrs. Raimund, who had married the great railway man and was a power in
Chicago society; but there was something in the radiant neatness and
good humor of the plain sister which made her pleasant to look upon.

Winslow's mouth and eyes relaxed at her greeting, and he smiled over her
official quotation of the Millers' claims.

"King George's table? H'mn; which table, second or third?" His eyes
twinkled at Emma, whose own eyes twinkled back.

"They're awfully good women," said she, in a kind of compunction.

"None better," said he.

As he passed on, with his little son at his side, she thought: "He isn't
nearly so grim as I used to think."

Mrs. Winslow and Mrs. Winter were a few paces behind. They halted before
the china, which Mrs. Winter examined; but Mrs. Winslow's weary eyes
lingered hardly a moment before they found some other object on which to
rest and leave as briefly.

"It is to be hoped this priceless relic won't be damaged in any way,"
said Mrs. Winter. "Still"--she bent confidentially toward Emma--"if such
a calamity should occur, I know a shop in Chicago where you can get
plenty for three dollars and ninety-nine cents."

"I hope nothing will happen to it," said Emma, with stolid reticence.

Mrs. Winslow had not listened, her listless face had been transformed;
it was illumined now by the loveliest of smiles; she half put out her
hand as a little boy snuggled up to her silken skirts, with a laugh.

"Papa letted me come," he said gaily, "and Peggy's here, too,--there!"

Peggy was attired with great care, her long red curls were shining and
her eyes sparkled.

Immediately both children were immersed in the beauties of a collection
of rejected models which had been obtained from the patent office, and
which, surely, were the most diverting toys imaginable.

"Poor things, to them they _are_ most valuable!" sighed Mrs. Winslow.
She was making conversation about the Miller china; but Johnny-Ivan and
Peggy not unreasonably conceived that she spoke of the beautiful churns
and hayraking wagons and cars and wheeled chairs and the like marvels
which Miss Hopkins was amiably explaining for them.

"The least chip would be irreparable, I suppose," continued Mrs. Winter,
"thousands couldn't pay if one were broken!"

"Imagine the feelings of the custodian," said Emma. "I'm in a tremble
all the time."

"I pity you," said Mrs. Winter, as the two ladies passed on to Mrs.
Winter's great-grandmother's blue and white embroidered bedspread.

"Oh, Peggy, _do_ be careful!" whispered Johnny-Ivan; Peggy was sending a
velocipede in dizzy circles round the counter.

Now fate had ordered that at this critical instant the children should
be unguarded. Miss Hopkins had stepped aside at the call of an agitated
lady who had lost one of her art treasures in carriage; for the moment,
there was no one near save a freckled boy in shabby overalls, who eyed
the toys wistfully from afar. He was the same little boy whom
Johnny-Ivan had bribed with a jack-knife to close the gate a few weeks
before; and he was in the Museum to help his mother, the scrub-woman of
the store.

Peggy grew more pleased with her play. The velocipede described wider
and wider gyrations with accelerating speed; its keen buzz swelled on
the air.

"It'll hit somepin!" warned Johnny-Ivan in an access of fear.

But Peggy's soul was dauntless to recklessness. "No, it won't," she
flung back. Her shining head was between Johnny and the whirling wheels.
He thought a most particularly beautiful little swinging gate in peril
and tried to swerve the flying thing; how it happened, neither of the
children knew; there was a smash, a crash, and gate and velocipede lay
in splinters under a bronze bust. The glass of the show-case was etched
with a sinister gray line.

"_Now_ look what you've done!" exclaimed Peggy, with the natural
irritation of disaster. "Oh, my!" squeaked the shabby little boy, "won't
you catch it!" Peggy's anger was swallowed up in fright and sympathy;
she pushed Johnny-Ivan ahead of her. "That Miss Hopkins is looking,"
cried she, "get behind these folks down the aisle!"

She propelled the little boy out of the immediate neighborhood of the
calamity; she forced a wicked, deceitful smile (alas! guile comes easy
to her sex) and pointed out things to him, whispering, "Look pleasant!
Don't be so scared! They'll never know we did it." Already she was
shouldering her share in crime, with a woman's willingness; she said
"we" quite unconsciously; but she added (and this was of direct
volition): "I did it more'n you; you were just trying to keep the nasty
thing straight; I was a heap more to blame. Anyhow, I guess it ain't so
awful bad. Just those wooden things."

Johnny-Ivan shook a tragic head; even his lips had gone bluish-white.
"She said thousands wouldn't repair the damage," moaned he.

"You can't make me believe those mean little wooden tricks are worth any
thousand dollars!" volleyed Peggy; nevertheless, her heart beat
faster,--grown people are so queer. "Are you sure she meant _them_?
Maybe it was those things in the next glass case; they're her own
things! They're some kind of Chinese china and cost a heap." Peggy's
sturdy womanly wits were rising from the shock.

"And the show-case is broked!" sniffed Johnny-Ivan, gulping down a sob.

"It ain't broke, it's only cracked; 'sides, it was cracked a right smart
befo'!"

"But this was a new place--I know, 'cause I cut my finger on the other,
scraping it over."

"Well, anyhow, I reckon it didn't be much value," Peggy insisted.

"I saw that young lady come back,"--Johnny-Ivan had switched on to a new
track leading to grisly possibilities--"maybe _she'll_ find it!"

"Well, we're gone, all right."

Peggy gave an unprincipled giggle; "Maybe she'll think it was _him_."

"Then we _got_ to tell," moaned Johnny.

"No, we ain't. He'll run off and so she won't ask him questions."

"But she'll _think_ it's him. It'll be mean."

"No it won't."

"It's mean to have somebody else take your blame or your punishment;
mamma said so."

The small casuist was too discreet to attack Johnny's oracle; she only
pouted her pretty lips and quibbled:

"'Tain't mean if the people who get blamed are mean themselves--like
him. I don't care _how_ blamed he gets; I wouldn't care if he got
licked."

But Johnny's conscience was not so elastic. "I don't care, either," he
protested. "I--I wouldn't care if he was _deaded_"--anxious to
propitiate--"but it would be mean just the same. I got to tell papa,
Peggy, I truly have."

Peggy grew very cross. "You are just the foolest, obsternatest little
boy I ever did see," she grumbled; "you're a plumb idiot! I'd like to
slap you! Your papa'll be awful mad."

Johnny-Ivan essayed an indifferent mien, but his eyes were miserable.

"Say, Jo'nivan,"--her voice sank to a whisper that curdled his
blood--"were you ever spanked?"

"Only Hilma sorter kinder--not really _spanking_, you know," confessed
Johnny with a toss of his head. "I just made faces at her; I didn't
cry!" he bragged.

"Never your mamma or your papa?"

"Course not," said Johnny with a haughty air; "but, Peggy," he said very
low, "were you--did--"

"Oh, my, yes! Mammy did when I was little. I'm too big now."

"I'm too big, too, now, ain't I?"

"I don't know," said Peggy. "Wulf Greiner was licked by teacher, and
he's thirteen. It's whether it's mighty bad, you know."

Johnny-Ivan caught his breath and his legs shook under him; the horror
of his father's "licking" him came over him cold; it was not the pain;
he had never minded Hilma's sturdy blows and he had let Michael cut a
splinter out of his thumb with a pocket-knife, and never whimpered; it
was the ignominy, the unknown terror of his father's wrath that looked
awful to him. As he looked down the crowded room and suddenly beheld
Winslow's face bent gravely over Miss Hopkins, who was talking
earnestly, he could hardly move his feet. Yet he had no thought of
wavering. "I _got_ to tell," he said, and walked as fast as he could,
with his white face, straight to the group.

Winslow looked down and saw the two children; and one could discover the
signals of calamity in their faces: Peggy's a fine scarlet and
Johnny-Ivan's grayish-white.

"What's the matter, Johnny?" asked Winslow.

Johnny's eyelids were glued tight--just as they were when he pulled
Peggy's tooth--he blurted everything out breathlessly: "I've done
something _awful_, papa! It'll cost thousands of dollars."

Emma Hopkins had considered Winslow an unattractive man, of a harsh
visage, but now, as he looked at his little son, she changed her mind.

"What did you do, son?" said he quietly; his hand found Johnny's brown
curls and lay on them a second.

"He didn't do it, really; it was _me_," Peggy broke in, too agitated for
grammar. "I was playing with the little tricks on the table, the models,
sah, and I was making the v'losipid run round and he was 'fraid I'd
break it; but _I_ did it, really, sah."

"And the model fell on to something valuable? I see."

"But he wasn't playing with it, he was only trying to keep me from
breaking--"

"Well, young lady, you two are evidently in the same boat; but you
aren't a bit sneaky, either of you. Let's see the wreckage; I suppose
you got into trouble because you wanted to see how things worked, and
Johnny, as usual, couldn't keep out of other folks' hot water. Where's
the ruin?"

"The show-case is broked, too," said Johnny-Ivan in a woeful, small
voice.

"But it was cracked before," interjected Peggy.

Winslow looked at her with a little twist. "That's a comfort," said he,
"and you have horse sense, my little Southerner. I guess you didn't
either of you mean any harm--"

"Indeed, no, sah, and Johnny was just as good; never touched a thing--"

"But you see your intentions didn't protect you. Distrust good
intentions, my dears; look out for the possible consequences. However, I
think there is one person to blame you haven't mentioned, and that is
one Josiah C. Winslow, who let two such giddy young persons explore by
themselves. Contributory negligence is proved; and said Winslow will pay
the bill and not kick."

So saying, he took Peggy's warm, chubby little fingers in one of his big
white hands and Johnny-Ivan's cold little palm in the other, and nodded
a farewell to Emma.




THE BALLAD OF GRIZZLY GULCH[1]

BY WALLACE IRWIN


    The rocks are rough, the trail is tough,
      The forest lies before,
    As madly, madly to the hunt
      Rides good King Theodore
    With woodsmen, plainsmen, journalists
      And kodaks thirty-four.

    The bob-cats howl, the panthers growl,
      "He sure is after us!"
    As by his side lopes Bill, the Guide,
      A wicked-looking cuss--
    "Chee-chee!" the little birds exclaim,
      "Ain't Teddy stren-oo-uss!"

    Though dour the climb with slip and slime,
      King Ted he doesn't care,
    Till, cracking peanuts on a rock,
      Behold, a Grizzly Bear!
    King Theodore he shows his teeth,
      But he never turns a hair.

    "Come hither, Court Photographer,"
      The genial monarch saith,
    "Be quick to snap your picture-trap
      As I do yon Bear to death."
    "Dee-lighted!" cries the smiling Bear,
      As he waits and holds his breath.

    Then speaks the Court Biographer,
      And a handy guy is he,
    "First let me wind my biograph,
      That the deed recorded be."
    "A square deal!" saith the patient Bear,
      With ready repartee.

    And now doth mighty Theodore
      For slaughter raise his gun;
    A flash, a bang, an ursine roar--
      The dready deed is done!
    And now the kodaks thirty-four
      In chorus click as one.

    The big brown bruin stricken falls
      And in his juices lies;
    His blood is spent, yet deep content
      Beams from his limpid eyes.
    "Congratulations, dear old pal!"
      He murmurs as he dies.

    From Cripple Creek and Soda Springs,
      Gun Gulch and Gunnison,
    A-foot, a-sock, the people flock
      To see that deed of gun;
    And parents bring huge families
      To show what _they_ have done.

    In the damp corse stands Theodore
      And takes a hand of each,
    As loud and long the happy throng
      Cries, "Speech!" again and "Speech!"
    Which pleaseth well King Theodore,
      Whose practice is to preach.

    "Good friends," he says, "lead outdoor lives
      And Fame you yet may see--
    Just look at Lincoln, Washington,
      And great Napoleon B.;
    And after that take off your hats
      And you may look at me!"

    But as he speaks, a Messenger
      Cries, "Sire, a telegraft!"
    The king up takes the wireless screed
      Which he opens fore and aft,
    And reads: "The Venezuelan stew
      Is boiling over. TAFT."

    Then straight the good King Theodore
      In anger drops his gun
    And turns his flashing spectacles
      Toward high-domed Washington.
    "O tush!" he saith beneath his breath,
      "A man can't have no fun!"

    Then comes a disappointed wail
      From every rock and tree.
    "Good-by, good-by!" the grizzlies cry
      And wring their handkerchee.
    And a sad bob-cat exclaims, "O drat!
      He never shot at me!"

    So backward, backward from the hunt
      The monarch lopes once more.
    The Constitution rides behind
      And the Big Stick rides before
    (Which was a rule of precedent
      In the reign of Theodore).

[Footnote 1: From "At the Sign of the Dollar," by Wallace Irwin.
Copyright, 1905, by Fox, Duffield & Co.]




MY PHILOSOFY

BY JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY


    I ain't, ner don't p'tend to be,
    Much posted on philosofy;
    But thare is times, when all alone,
    I work out idees of my own.
    And of these same thare is a few
    I'd like to jest refer to you--
    Pervidin' that you don't object
    To listen clos't and rickollect.

    I allus argy that a man
    Who does about the best he can
    Is plenty good enugh to suit
    This lower mundane institute--
    No matter ef his daily walk
    Is subject fer his neghbor's talk,
    And critic-minds of ev'ry whim
    Jest all git up and go fer him!

    I knowed a feller onc't that had
    The yeller-janders mighty bad,--
    And each and ev'ry friend he'd meet
    Would stop and give him some receet
    Fer cuorin' of 'em. But he'd say
    He kindo' thought they'd go away
    Without no medicin', and boast
    That he'd git well without one doste.

    He kep' a-yellerin' on--and they
    Perdictin' that he'd die some day
    Before he knowed it! Tuck his bed,
    The feller did, and lost his head,
    And wundered in his mind a spell--
    Then rallied, and, at last, got well;
    But ev'ry friend that said he'd die
    Went back on him eternally!

    Its natchurl enugh, I guess,
    When some gits more and some gits less,
    Fer them-uns on the slimmest side
    To claim it ain't a fare divide;
    And I've knowed some to lay and wait,
    And git up soon, and set up late,
    To ketch some feller they could hate
    Fer goin' at a faster gait.

    The signs is bad when folks commence
    A-findin' fault with Providence,
    And balkin' 'cause the earth don't shake
    At ev'ry prancin' step they take.
    No man is grate tel he can see
    How less than little he would be
    Ef stripped to self, and stark and bare
    He hung his sign out anywhare.

    My doctern is to lay aside
    Contensions, and be satisfied:
    Jest do your best, and praise er blame
    That follers that, counts jest the same.
    I've allus noticed grate success
    Is mixed with troubles, more or less,
    And it's the man who does the best
    That gits more kicks than all the rest.




THE SOCIETY UPON THE STANISLAUS

BY BRET HARTE


    I reside at Table Mountain, and my name is Truthful James;
    I am not up to small deceit, or any sinful games;
    And I'll tell in simple language what I know about the row
    That broke up our society upon the Stanislow.

    But first I would remark, that it is not a proper plan
    For any scientific man to whale his fellow-man,
    And, if a member don't agree with his peculiar whim,
    To lay for that same member for to "put a head" on him.

    Now, nothing could be finer or more beautiful to see
    Than the first six months' proceedings of that same society,
    Till Brown of Calaveras brought a lot of fossil bones
    That he found within a tunnel near the tenement of Jones.

    Then Brown he read a paper, and he reconstructed there,
    From those same bones, an animal that was extremely rare;
    And Jones then asked the Chair for a suspension of the rules,
    Till he could prove that those same bones was one of his lost mules.

    Then Brown he smiled a bitter smile and said he was at fault,
    It seemed he had been trespassing on Jones's family vault;
    He was a most sarcastic man, this quiet Mr. Brown,
    And on several occasions he had cleaned out the town.

    Now, I hold it is not decent for a scientific gent
    To say another is an ass--at least, to all intent;
    Nor should the individual who happens to be meant
    Reply by heaving rocks at him to any great extent.

    Then Abner Dean of Angel's raised a point of order, when
    A chunk of old red sandstone took him in the abdomen,
    And he smiled a kind of sickly smile, and curled up on the floor,
    And the subsequent proceedings interested him no more.

    For, in less time than I write it, every member did engage
    In a warfare with the remnants of a palaeozoic age;
    And the way they heaved those fossils in their anger was a sin,
    Till the skull of an old mammoth caved the head of Thompson in.

    And this is all I have to say of these improper games,
    For I live at Table Mountain, and my name is Truthful James;
    And I've told, in simple language, what I know about the row
    That broke up our society upon the Stanislow.




LOST CHORDS

BY EUGENE FIELD


    One autumn eve, when soft the breeze
      Came sweeping through the lattice wide,
      I sat me down at organ side
    And poured my soul upon the keys.

    It was, perhaps by heaven's design,
      That from my half unconscious touch,
      There swept a passing chord of such
    Sweet harmony, it seemed divine.

    In one soft tone it seemed to say
      The sweetest words I ever heard,
      Then like a truant forest bird,
    It soared from me to heaven away.

    Last eve, I sat at window whence
      I sought the spot where erst had stood
      A cord--a cord of hick'ry wood,
    Piled up against the back yard fence.

    Four dollars cost me it that day,
      Four dollars earned by sweat of brow,
      Where was the cord of hick'ry now?
    The thieves had gobbled it away!

    Ah! who can ever count the cost,
      Of treasures which were once our own,
      Yet now, like childhood dreams are flown,
    Those cords that are forever lost.




THOUGHTS FER THE DISCURAGED FARMER

BY JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY


    The summer winds is sniffin' round the bloomin' locus' trees;
    And the clover in the pastur is a big day fer the bees,
    And they been a-swiggin' honey, above board and on the sly,
    Tel they stutter in theyr buzzin' and stagger as they fly.
    The flicker on the fence-rail 'pears to jest spit on his wings
    And roll up his feathers, by the sassy way he sings;
    And the hoss-fly is a-whettin'-up his forelegs fer biz,
    And the off-mare is a-switchin' all of her tale they is.

    You can hear the blackbirds jawin' as they foller up the plow--
    Oh, theyr bound to git theyr brekfast, and theyr not a-carin' how;
    So they quarrel in the furries, and they quarrel on the wing--
    But theyr peaceabler in pot-pies than any other thing:
    And it's when I git my shotgun drawed up in stiddy rest,
    She's as full of tribbelation as a yeller-jacket's nest;
    And a few shots before dinner, when the sun's a-shinin' right,
    Seems to kindo'-sorto' sharpen up a feller's appetite!

    They's been a heap o' rain, but the sun's out to-day,
    And the clouds of the wet spell is all cleared away,
    And the woods is all the greener, and the grass is greener still;
    It may rain again to-morry, but I don't think it will.
    Some says the crops is ruined, and the corn's drownded out,
    And propha-sy the wheat will be a failure, without doubt;
    But the kind Providence that has never failed us yet,
    Will be on hands onc't more at the 'leventh hour, I bet!

    Does the medder-lark complane, as he swims high and dry
    Through the waves of the wind and the blue of the sky?
    Does the quail set up and whissel in a disappinted way,
    Er hang his head in silunce, and sorrow all the day?
    Is the chipmuck's health a-failin'?--Does he walk, er does he run?
    Don't the buzzards ooze around up thare jest like they've allus done?
    Is they anything the matter with the rooster's lungs er voice?
    Ort a mortul be complanin' when dumb animals rejoice?

    Then let us, one and all, be contentud with our lot;
    The June is here this mornin', and the sun is shining hot.
    Oh! let us fill our harts up with the glory of the day,
    And banish ev'ry doubt and care and sorrow fur away!
    Whatever be our station, with Providence fer guide,
    Sich fine circumstances ort to make us satisfied;
    Fer the world is full of roses, and the roses full of dew,
    And the dew is full of heavenly love that drips fer me and you.




THE MODERN FARMER[2]

BY JACK APPLETON


    Observe the modern farmer! In the shade
      He works his crops by letters-patent now:
    Steam drives the reaper (which is union-made),
      As in the spring it pushed the auto-plough;
      A patent milker manages each cow;
    Electric currents guide the garden spade,
    And cattle, poultry, pigs through "process" wade
      To quick perfection--Science shows them how.
    But while machinery plants and reaps, he rests
      Upon his porch, and listens to the quail
    That pipe far off in yonder hand-made vale,
      With muscles flabby and with strength gone stale,
    Until, in desperation, he invests
      In "Muscle-Building Motions Taught by Mail"!

[Footnote 2: Lippincott's Magazine.]




THE APOSTASY OF WILLIAM DODGE

BY STANLEY WATERLOO


Billy Dodge rose from a seat near the door, and gave the two ladies
chairs. Kate looked at him and smiled. The voice of the speaker seemed
far away as she thought of the boy and his enthusiasms. Of all the
earnest and sincere converts in the Lakeside House none could compare
with Master William Dodge, the only son of the mistress of the place. He
might be only eleven years old, he might be the most freckled boy in the
block, but he had received new light, and he had his convictions. He had
listened, and he had learned. He had learned that if you "hold a
thought" and carry it around with you on a piece of paper, and read it
from time to time throughout the day, it will bring you strength and
give you victory in all the affairs of life. He thought the matter over
much, for he had great need. He wanted help.

Of Master William Dodge, known as Billy, it may be said that in school
he had ordinarily more fights on his hands than any other boy of his age
and size, and it may be said, also, that as a rule, where the chances
were anywhere near even, he came out "on top." But doggedly brave as the
little freckled villain was, he had down in the bottom of his heart an
appreciation that some day Jim McMasters might lick him. Jim McMasters
was a boy only some six months older than Billy, of North of Ireland
blood--than which there is none better--a lank, scrawny, reddish-haired
youngster, freckled almost as profusely as Billy. Three times had they
met in noble battle, and three times had Billy been the conqueror, but
somehow the spirit of young McMasters did not seem particularly broken,
nor did he become a serf. Billy felt that the air was full of portent,
and he didn't like it.

It was just at this time that to Billy came the conviction that by
"holding the thought" he would have what he called "the bulge on Jim,"
and having the energy of his convictions, he promptly set to the work of
getting up texts which he could carry around in his pocket and which
would make him just invincible. He talked cautiously with Mandy Make as
to good watch-words, in no way revealing his designs, and from her
secured certain texts which she had herself unconsciously memorized from
many hearings of Jowler preachers. They were:

"Fight the good fight."
"Never give up."
"He never fails who dies in a good cause."
"Never say die."

For a time Billy was content with these quotations, written in a
school-boy hand upon brown paper, and carried in his left-hand trousers
pocket, but later he discovered that most of the scientists in the house
who "held a thought" themselves prepared their own little bit of
manuscript to be carried and read during the day, and that the text was
made to apply to their special needs. Billy, after much meditation,
concluded this was the thing for him, and with great travail he composed
and wrote out the new texts which he should carry constantly and which
should be his bulwark. Here they are:

"Ketch hold prompt and hang on."
"Strike from the shoulder."
"A kick for a blow, always bestow."
"When you get a good thing, keep it--keep it."
"When you get a black cat, skin it to the tail."

Only a week later one William Dodge and one Jim McMasters again met in
more or less mortal combat, and one William Dodge, repeating the shorter
of his texts as he fought, was again the victor.

"Gimme Christian Science!" he said to himself, as he put on his coat
after the fray was over.

       *        *       *       *       *

Billy Dodge was fast drifting, although unconsciously, toward a crisis
in his religious and worldly experiences. At school, during the last
term, and so far in the summer vacation, his scheme of fortifying his
physical powers with mental stimulants in the form of warlike "thoughts"
had worked well. His chief rival for the honors of war, an energetic
youngster, whose name, Jim McMasters, proclaimed his Irish ancestry, he
had soundly thrashed more than once since adopting his new tactics. So
far Billy had found that to hold the thought, "Ketch hold prompt and
hang on," while he acted vigorously upon that stirring sentiment, meant
victory, and he had more than once tried the efficacy of, "Strike from
the shoulder," under adverse conditions and with success.

It was during this summer of anxiety to the more important personages of
this story that Billy Dodge was called upon to prove the practical value
of his belief in the supremacy of mind over matter, and although Billy
emerged from the trial none the worse for his experience, it effected a
radical change in his views.

Jim McMasters returned one summer's day from a short camping excursion
in the Michigan woods. He had been the only boy in a party of young men,
and during their spare hours, as the members of the fishing party were
lying around camp, they had instructed Jim in a few of the first
principles of the noble science of self-defense. This unselfish action
on the part of his elders was brought about by Jim's bitter complaints
of Billy's treatment of himself in a fair fight, and by his dire thirst
for vengeance.

And so Jim McMasters came back to the city a dangerous opponent, and he
looked it. Even Billy, secure in the prestige of former victories, and
armed with hidden weapons--namely, the "thoughts" he so tenaciously
held--felt some misgivings when he saw Jim and noted his easy,
swaggering mien.

"I've got to lick him again," thought Billy, "and I've got to be good
and ready for him this time. I must get a set of thoughts well learned
and hold 'em, or I'll be lammed out of my life."

The youngsters met one day, each with his following of admirers, in a
vacant lot not far from the Lakeside House. There was a queer look in
Jim's eye when he hailed Billy, and there was instant response in
language of a violent character from the young disciple of Christian
Science. As the two stood in a ring of boys, each watching the other and
alert to catch some advantage of beginning, Billy was certainly the most
unconcerned, and he appeared to advantage. He was occupied throughout
every nerve and vein of his being, first in "holding the thought" he had
fixed upon for this special occasion, and second, by his plan of attack,
for Billy made it a point always to take the initiative in a fight.

As for Jim, that active descendant of the Celts failed to exhibit that
alarm and apprehension which should appertain to a young gentleman of
his age when facing an antagonist who had "whaled" him repeatedly. His
face was neither sallow with long dread, nor white with present fear
before his former conqueror. In fact, it must be said of him that he
capered about in a fashion not particularly graceful. He rose upon the
ends of his toes and made wild feints which Billy did not understand. It
was hard, under such disquieting circumstances, to hold a thought, and
Billy found himself struggling in mind for equilibrium while he stood
forward to the attack. He aimed a wild blow at his capering opponent,
and drove into soundless air only, and before he could recover himself
the capering opponent had "landed" on Billy's cheek in a most surprising
but altogether unrefreshing manner.

The concussion made the cheek the color of an old-fashioned peony, and
the jar caused the nose to bleed a little as the astonished Billy
staggered back under the impact of a clenched fist.

Then the real fight began, but Billy, though he made a strong effort to
rally, was beaten, and he knew, or thought he knew, why he was beaten.
"It was holding the thought that done it," he faltered, as he fell after
a quick stroke from Jim. He lay quiet on the grass, and his one wish was
to die. He fixed his mind resolutely upon this wish, but failed to die
at once; indeed he felt every moment the reviving forces of life
throbbing through his tough young body. How could he look up and face
his victorious foe? He decided rather to continue his efforts to die,
and forthwith stiffened out into such rigidity as can be observed only
in the bodies of those who have been dead forty-eight hours.

This manoeuver frightened the lads around him. "See here!" said Johnny
Flynn, "Billy's hurt bad, an' we ought to do something."

"He looks dead!" whimpered little Davy Runnion, the smallest boy
present, and he ran off to tell Jim McMasters, who stood at ease, at a
short distance, arranging his disordered dress.

The victor faltered as he looked upon Billy's stiffened limbs.

"We must take him home," he said, ruefully.

Four boys lifted Billy, two at his shoulders, two at his feet. In the
center he sagged slightly, despite his silent efforts to be rigidity
itself. The small procession was preceded by a rabble of white-faced
small boys, while the rear was guarded by Jim McMasters, meditating on
the reflection that victory might be too dearly bought. Just as they
reached the front steps of Mrs. Dodge's house, and were beginning the
tug up toward the door, Jim burst into a loud bawl, and this so much
disconcerted the youngsters who were carrying Billy that they almost
dropped him on the white door-stone.

Johnny Flynn gave a mighty ring at the door-bell, and then fled down the
steps and ran to the street corner, where he stood, one foot in the air,
ready to run when the door opened. The neat maid who answered the bell
gave a little shriek when she saw Billy's inanimate form. The boys
pushed by her, dumped their burden upon the big hall sofa, and rushed
out before any questions could be asked. It was plain enough, however,
that Billy had got the worst of the fight. "And sure enough he deserves
it," mentally pronounced the servant maid as she ran to call her
mistress.

Mrs. Dodge gave a dismal shriek when she saw Billy. She sent the maid
for Dr. Gordon, and sat down on the sofa with Billy's head in her lap.
This was ignominious, and Billy decided to live. He opened his eyes, and
in a faint voice asked for water.

When the man of medicine arrived he ordered the vanquished to bed. In
the goodness of his heart, pitying the household of women, he even
carried Billy upstairs and assisted in undressing him. The doctor
noticed during this process various small folded papers flying out of
Billy's pockets, but he did not know their meaning. It was left for Cora
and Pearl, later in the day, to pick them up and examine them. Alas for
Billy's faith!

In his own boyish handwriting were his inspiring "thoughts," "Never say
die," "Ketch hold prompt," etc. Billy turned his face to the wall with a
groan as the twins laid the slips of paper on his pillow.

That evening, after Billy had held a long session of sweet, silent
thought, for he could not sleep, and had eaten a remarkably good supper,
he opened his mind to his mother.

"No more of these for me," he began, brushing the texts from his bed
onto the floor.

"Of what, Willy?" questioned Mrs. Dodge.

"No more holdin' the thought, and all that," said Billy. "I'm through.
Had too much. That's what did me up. If I hadn't been trying to think
that blamed thought, I'd 'a' seen Jim a-comin'."

"But, Willy," expostulated Mrs. Dodge, "you must hold fast."

"Hold nothin'!" said Billy. He arose and sat up very straight in the
bed. "I tell you I am goin' to have no more nonsense. Gimme quinine,
hell, a gold basis, and capital punishment! That's my platform from this
on. I'm goin' to look up a good Sunday-school to-morrow, in a church
with a steeple on it, and a strict, regular minister, and all the
fixin's. Remember, mother, after this I travel on my muscle weekdays,
and keep Sunday like a clock!"

The twins picked up the scattered thoughts from the floor--Billy was
lying in his mother's room--and their eyes were big with wonder.

"Burn 'em!" commanded Billy. Then, on second thought, he relented
slightly. "Keep 'em yourself if you want to," he said to the twins.
"Holdin' the thought may be all right for girls, but with boys it don't
work!"




SO WAGS THE WORLD

BY ANNE WARNER

(With apologies to Samuel Pepys, Esquire)


_February first_

My birthday and I exceedingly merry thereat having in divers friends and
much good wine beside two pasties and more of all than we could eat and
drink had we been doubled. Afterwards to the play-house and a very good
play and hence to a supper the which most hot and comforting with a butt
of brandy and divers cocktails and they being very full did make great
sport and joke me that I had never taken a wife to which replied neatly
saying that for my part in my twenties did feel myself too young and in
my thirties did never chance upon one comely and to my taste at which
great applause and pretty to see me bow to right and left although in
mortal fear lest something give way, I being grown heavier of late and
the quality of cloth suffering from the New York Custom House. The
applause being over did continue my speech and say that in my forties
had had little time to think of aught but my own personal affairs, but
that now being come to my fifties was well disposed to share them and
they did all drink to that and smash their glasses with right good cheer
prophesying my marriage and drinking long life to Her and me and Lord
but it did like me to hear speak of Her the which brought tears to mine
eyes, considering that they did speak of my wife, and so did weep freely
and they with me. My mind then a blank but home in some shape and the
maid did get me to my room and what a head this morning! Misliketh me
much to bethink me how I did comport myself, but a man is fifty but
once.

To mine office where did buy and sell as usual.


_February third_

Comes H. Nevil in a glass coach to take me to drive and did talk much of
his niece, she being fresh from France and of a good skin and fair
voice. Was of a great joy to ride in a glass coach and pleasant to look
constantly out backward, but great rattling and do think my modest
brougham sufficeth me well, but H. Nevil very disdainful of the brougham
and saith a man is known by the company he keepeth, the which strange in
mine eyes we being alone together in the coach but did go with him to a
horse dealer's.

To mine office as usual and there did buy and sell.


_February eighth_

To dine with H. Nevil and his wife and she a monstrous pleasant lady and
the dinner good only the wine poor and my vest too tight which vastly
misliked me, I being loth to grow stout and yet all at odds with my
belts, the which trying me sadly for I do pay my tailor as many do not.
And the niece a striking fine girl modest and not raising her eyes the
which much to my taste and drinking only lambs-wool and at cards knowing
not tierce from deuce. H. Nevil making great ado over my new coach did
have it out with pride and we to the Country Club for a late supper,
the which well-cooked but my vest much tighter and so home and to bed.

Railway stocks risen two points.


_February twentieth_

Did take a box at the Play and ask H. Nevil, his wife and niece and a
supper afterwards and pretty to see how miss did refuse mine eyes and
hardly speak two words, the which greatly to my admiration and after
supper did lead her to the coach and press her hand with curious effect
to mine own hair, the which strange and prickly and home and much
thinking on the merry talk at my birthday before sleep.

Stocks falling somewhat.


_March nineteenth_

Much agitated and all trembling and of a cold sweat. The Lord have mercy
and me all unwitting until in some strange way do find myself today
betrothed the which I do heartily pray to be for the good of all
concerned, although expensive and worse to come.

No heart for stocks, but the same arising.


_April sixteenth_

Do find the being betrothed more to my taste than anticipated and tell
H. Nevil he shall be remembered with pointers when the market turns
again. We to the park to drive each afternoon and many admiring of her
beauty, she desiring often to drive but I firm in refusing for I will be
master in my own house.

Comes one Lasselle and makes a great tale of a mine and I with no time
for him, but do set the office boy to look him up in Bradstreet.

These be busy days with a corner on parsnips.


_May tenth_

The business of being director in Lasselle's mine ended this day and to
a great dinner that he giveth in my honor and my portrait on all the
cards the which pleaseth me mightily and I all complimented and
congratulationed and sly hints on my approaching marriage to the which I
all smiles for Lord the thing being done one must be of good courage.

Quotations low, beshrew them.


_June seventh (the Mountains)_

Married this day and to do in a turmoil wheat being all a-rage and me
forced to go home to dress before noon. Did scarce know where I was with
Extras being cried outside the church window and H. Nevil giving the
bride away and on the wrong side of the market by my advice. The bride
hystericky in the carriage and at the station wept so that I was fair
beside myself. Did bethink me to kiss her in the train, but small
comfort to either. What will become of my affairs I know not, this place
being all without stock reports and I half mad and with naught to pass
the time.

Comes my wife as I write and will have the key to her largest trunk the
same it doth appear is lost, the which on discovery she layeth at my
door and weepeth afresh. Did strive to cheer her but with a heavy
heart.


_August tenth_

This do be the hottest summer in many years and lest I forget to set it
down more mad dogs than can well be handled. My wife very hystericky and
forever in a smock and declareth she would be dead and married life a
delusion, the which opinion I take small issue with having my hands full
of business and Lasselle forever at my heels with our affair of the mine
not to speak of H. Nevil which waileth continually over how he was
caught short in the month of June. Beshrew me if I repent not of June on
mine own behalf but am determined to live properly and so have
despatched a messenger to my cousin Sarah Badminton asking that she come
to keep mine house.


_August twentieth_

Comes Sarah Badminton this day and Lord but a plain woman, being flat
like unto a board from her heels up unto her head, but curiously shaped
in and out in front. Still she do seem a worthy jade and good at heart
and ever attentive when I will to converse and sitteth with me of a
breakfast my wife being ever asleep till ten.

Last night to the Play where comes Lasselle and makes very merry and
telleth jokes the which of great amusement to my wife while I find no
mirth therein. Later to supper at the coffee house and my wife
exceedingly witty and me all of a wonder at the change in her in public
and on reflection do find it passing strange that one ugly like Mistress
Badminton will effort her to be gracious at home while one so handsome
as my wife sleeps ever.

To my office where did buy and sell as usual.


_September sixteenth_

My wife not well and strangely indisposed towards me yawning unduly and
complaining that life is dull, yet gay enough for others and of a great
joy over riding horseback with Lasselle. Last night did chide her in bed
for upwards of an hour and misliked me greatly when I had done to find
that she slept for some while before. Will have the doctor to her for
there be surely something amiss in a woman who is not happy with me.

To my office and H. Nevil all excitement over his margins.


_October twenty-ninth_

Returned this day from a trip to the Coast and find my wife no better
although the doctor hath been with her each day. She saith the doctor
adviseth quiet until spring. Comes Mrs. Badminton her face all awry and
will that I go with her to Carlsbad and my affairs so many as never was
and never any lover of the sea. That which causeth me great vexation
that I have a wife and say flatly to Mrs. Badminton to ask the doctor if
he can not take her to Carlsbad any money being wiser than to travel
with oats where they be now and chicken feed going up to beat the band,
at which the good woman raiseth her hands aloft and maketh such
demonstration that I clean out of patience and basted her with the fire
shovel the same being not courteous but sadly necessary to all
appearance.


_November sixth_

My wife most nervous and there being no peace with Her did discuss the
same with Lasselle to-day and although unmarried yet did sympathize
much and advise for me with a right good will telling me of a place in
southern France where he hath been and the same beyond all else for the
nerves only lonely but that not so bad since he proposeth going there
this winter himself and can see after my wife somewhat the which greatly
to my relief and so home and did discourse thereon with Mistress
Badminton the which drew a long face and plain to see was dead against
the plan the which putting me in a fine temper with what a woman hath
for brains.

Wheat rising and A. B. & C. going down comes H. Nevil short to borrow
the which crowneth my fury his niece being so far from making me happy
and he being the cause of all. But did indorse two notes for him and so
home and to bed with a bad grace and glad that my wife has betaken
herself to another room.


_December ninth_

From the dock and my wife do be gone and now we may look for some peace
the which sad enough needed.


_December tenth_

Comes H. Nevil all distraught to say that it is about at the clubs that
my wife will have a divorce and marry the doctor, on the which hearing I
much annoyed and summon Mrs. Badminton who denyeth the doctor but
asserteth Lasselle whereupon we in a great taking and much brandy and
soda but at last reflection and do decide not to sue but to pity
Lasselle for of a verity she be forever out of temper and flounceth when
questioned.

To mine office and D. & E. going up comes H. Nevil to borrow again the
gall of which doth take me greatly.


_January seventeenth_

Am all of a taking for that the papers in my wife's divorce do be filed
into me this day and great to do when I learn that the cause she
declareth is Sarah Badminton a woman as little comely as never was and
mine own cousin. Verily the ways of a wife be past understanding.


_April eleventh_

Free this day and being free comes Mrs. Badminton weeping and declareth
she be ruined if I marry her not next the which doth so overcome me that
ere I have time to rally she hath kissed me and called me hers.

To my office with a heavy heart having no assurance of how this second
marriage will turn out and little hope but seeing H. Nevil with a long
face did refuse to give him any inside information the which led to his
going under about noon to my great joy for it was he who did get me in
this marrying habit.


_February first_

My birthday and Lord what eating and drinking the which being good
beyond compare my wife staying in the pantry to keep the whole in trim
and all my friends discoursing on my joy the which is truly great she
being so plain that a man will never look at her and so loving that she
adoreth me come smiles come frowns.

But that which doth astonish me much is that H. Nevil telleth me that
she that was once my wife is of exceeding content with Lasselle a piece
of news which I can scarce credit comparing him with myself.

But so wags the world.




THE PAINTERMINE[3]

BY KENYON COX


    Its innocence deserves no jibe--
      Pity the creature, do not mock it.
    'Tis type of all the artist tribe;
      Its trousers haven't any pocket!

[Footnote 3: From "Mixed Beasts," by Kenyon Cox. Copyright 1904, by Fox,
Duffield & Co.]




THE ADVERTISER

BY EUGENE FIELD


    I am an advertiser great!
      In letters bold
      The praises of my wares I sound,
    Prosperity is my estate;
      The people come,
      The people go
      In one continuous,
      Surging flow.
    They buy my goods and come again
    And I'm the happiest of men;
    And this the reason I relate,
    I'm an advertiser great!

    There is a shop across the way
      Where ne'er is heard a human tread,
      Where trade is paralyzed and dead,
    With ne'er a customer a day.
      The people come,
      The people go,
      But never there.
      They do not know
    There's such a shop beneath the skies,
    Because _he_ does not advertise!
    While I with pleasure contemplate
    That I'm an advertiser great.

    The secret of my fortune lies
      In one small fact, which I may state,
      Too many tradesmen learn too late,
    If I have goods, I advertise.
      Then people come
      And people go
      In constant streams,
      For people know
    That he who has good wares to sell
    Will surely advertise them well;
    And proudly I reiterate,
    I am an advertiser great!




THE FAMOUS MULLIGAN BALL

BY FRANK L. STANTON


    Did ever you hear of the Mulligan ball--the Mulligan ball so fine,
    Where we formed in ranks, and danced on planks, and swung 'em along
        the line?
    Where the first Four Hundred of the town moved at the music's call?
    There was never a ball in the world at all--like the famous Mulligan
        ball!

    Town was a bit of a village then, and never a house or shed
    From street to street and beat to beat was higher than Mulligan's
        head!
    And never a theater troup came round to 'liven us, spring or fall,
    And so Mulligan's wife she says, says she: "Plaze God, I'll give a
        ball!"

    And she did--God rest her, and save her, too! (I'm liftin' to her
        my hat!)
    And never a ball at all, at all, was half as fine as that!
    Never no invitations sent--nothin' like that at all;
    But the whole Four Hundred combed their hair and went to the Mulligan
        ball.

    And "Take yer places!" says Mulligan, "an' dance till you shake the
        wall!"
    And I led Mrs. Mulligan off as the lady that gave the ball;
    And we whirled around till we shook the ground, with never a stop at
        all;
    And I kicked the heels from my boots--please God--at the famous
        Mulligan ball.

    Mulligan jumped till he hit the roof, and the head of him went clean
        through it!
    The shingles fell on the floor pell-mell! Says Mulligan: "Faith, I
        knew it!"
    But we kept right on when the roof was gone, with never a break at
        all;
    We danced away till the break o' day at the famous Mulligan ball.

    But the best of things must pass away like the flowers that fade and
        fall,
    And it's fifty years, as the records say, since we danced at
        Mulligan's ball;
    And the new Four Hundred never dance like the Mulligans danced--at
        all,
    And I'm longing still, though my hair is gray, for a ball like
        Mulligan's ball!

    And I drift in dreams to the old-time town, and I hear the fiddle
        sing;
    And Mulligan sashays up and down till the rafters rock and ring!
    Suppose, if I had a woman's eye, maybe a tear would fall
    For the old-time fellows who took the prize at the famous Mulligan
        ball!




THE GENIAL IDIOT DISCUSSES THE MUSIC CURE

BY JOHN KENDRICK BANGS


"Good morning, Doctor," said the Idiot as Capsule, M.D., entered the
dining-room. "I am mighty glad you've come. I've wanted for a long time
to ask you about this music cure that everybody is talking about and get
you if possible to write me out a list of musical nostrums for every day
use. I noticed last night before going to bed that my medicine chest was
about run out. There's nothing but one quinine pill and a soda-mint drop
in it, and if there's anything in the music cure I don't think I'll have
it filled again. I prefer Wagner to squills, and compared to the
delights of Mozart, Hayden and Offenbach those of paregoric are nit."

"Still rambling, eh?" vouchsafed the Doctor. "You ought to submit your
tongue to some scientific student of dynamics. I am inclined to think,
from my own observation of its ways, that it contains the germ of
perpetual motion."

"I will consider your suggestion," replied the Idiot. "Meanwhile, let us
consult harmoniously together on the original point. Is there anything
in this music cure, and is it true that our Medical Schools are
hereafter to have conservatories attached to them in which aspiring
young M.D.'s are to be taught the _materia musica_ in addition to the
_materia medica_?"

"I had heard of no such idiotic proposition," returned the Doctor. "And
as for the music cure I don't know anything about it. Haven't heard
everybody talking about it, and doubt the existence of any such thing
outside of that mysterious realm which is bounded by the four corners of
your own bright particular cerebellum. What do you mean by the music
cure?"

"Why, the papers have been full of it lately," explained the Idiot. "The
claim is made that in music lies the panacea for all human ills. It may
not be able to perform a surgical operation like that which is required
for the removal of a leg, and I don't believe even Wagner ever composed
a measure that could be counted on successfully to eliminate one's
vermiform appendix from its chief sphere of usefulness, but for other
things, like measles, mumps, the snuffles, or indigestion, it is said to
be wonderfully efficacious; What I wanted to find out from you was just
what composers were best for which specific troubles."

"You'll have to go to somebody else for the information," said the
Doctor. "I never heard of the theory and, as I said before, I don't
believe anybody else has, barring your own sweet self."

"I have seen a reference to it somewhere," put in Mr. Whitechoker,
coming to the Idiot's rescue. "As I recall the matter, some lady had
been cured of a nervous affection by a scientific application of some
musical poultice or other, and the general expectation seems to be that
some day we shall find in music a cure for all our human ills, as the
Idiot suggests."

"Thank you, Mr. Whitechoker," said the Idiot gratefully. "I saw that
same item and several others besides, and I have only told the truth
when I say that a large number of people are considering the
possibilities of music as a substitute for drugs. I am surprised that
Doctor Capsule has neither heard nor thought about it, for I should
think it would prove to be a pleasant and profitable field for
speculation. Even I who am only a dabbler in medicine, and know no more
about it than the effects of certain remedies upon my own symptoms, have
noticed that music of a certain sort is a sure emollient for nervous
conditions."

"For example?" said the Doctor. "Of course we don't doubt your word, but
when a man makes a statement based upon personal observation it is
profitable to ask him what his precise experience has been merely for
the purpose of adding to our own knowledge."

"Well," said the Idiot, "the first instance that I can recall is that of
a Wagner Opera and its effects upon me. For a number of years I suffered
a great deal from insomnia. I could not get two hours of consecutive
sleep and the effect of my sufferings was to make me nervous and
irritable. Suddenly somebody presented me with a couple of tickets for a
performance of Parsifal and I went. It began at five o'clock in the
afternoon. For twenty minutes all went serenely and then the music began
to work. I fell into a deep and refreshing slumber. The intermission
came, and still I slept on. Everybody else went home, dressed for the
evening part of the performance, had their dinner, and returned. Still I
slept and continued so to do until midnight when one of the gentlemanly
ushers came and waked me up and told me that the performance was over. I
rubbed my eyes and looked about me. It was true, the great auditorium
was empty, and was gradually darkening. I put on my hat and walked out
refreshed, having slept from five twenty until twelve, or six hours and
forty minutes, straight. That was one instance. Two weeks later I went
again, this time to hear _Die Goetherdammerung_. The results were the
same, only the effect was instantaneous. The curtain had hardly risen
before I retired to the little ante-room of the box our party occupied
and dozed off into a fathomless sleep. I didn't wake up this time until
nine o'clock the next day, the rest of the party having gone off without
awakening me, as a sort of joke. Clearly Wagner, according to my way of
thinking, then deserves to rank among the most effective narcotics known
to modern science. I have tried all sorts of other things--sulfonal,
trionel, bromide powders, and all the rest and not one of them produced
anything like the soporific results that two doses of Wagner brought
about in one instant, and best of all there was no reaction. No
splitting headache or shaky hand the next day, but just the calm, quiet,
contented feeling that goes with the sense of having got completely
rested up."

"You run a dreadful risk, however," said the Doctor, with a sarcastic
smile. "The Wagner habit is a terrible thing to acquire, Mr. Idiot."

"That may be," said the Idiot. "Worse than the sulfonal habit by a great
deal I am told, but I am in no danger of becoming a victim to it while
it costs from five to seven dollars a dose. In addition to this
experience I have also the testimony of a friend of mine who was cured
of a frightful attack of the colic by Sullivan's Lost Chord played on a
Cornet. He had spent the day down at Asbury Park and had eaten not
wisely but too copiously. Among other things that he turned loose in his
inner man were two plates of Lobster Salade, a glass of fresh cider and
a saucerful of pistache ice-cream. He was a painter by profession and
the color scheme he thus introduced into his digestive apparatus was too
much for his artistic soul. He was not fitted by temperament to
assimilate anything quite so strenuously chromatic as that, and as a
consequence shortly after he had retired to his studio for the night
the conflicting tints began to get in their deadly work and within two
hours he was completely doubled up. The pain he suffered was awful.
Agony was bliss alongside of the pangs that now afflicted him and all
the palliatives and pain killers known to man were tried without avail,
and then, just as he was about to give himself up for lost, an amateur
cornetist who occupied a studio on the floor above began to play the
Lost Chord. A counter-pain set in immediately. At the second bar of the
Lost Chord the awful pain that was gradually gnawing away at his vitals
seemed to lose its poignancy in the face of the greater suffering, and
physical relief was instant. As the musician proceeded the internal
disorder yielded gradually to the external and finally passed away
entirely, leaving him so far from prostrated that by one A.M. he was out
of bed and actually girding himself with a shotgun and an Indian Club to
go upstairs for a physical encounter with the cornetist."

"And you reason from this that Sullivan's Lost Chord is a cure for
Cholera morbus, eh?" sneered the Doctor.

"It would seem so," said the Idiot. "While the music continued my friend
was a well man ready to go out and fight like a warrior, but when the
cornetist stopped--the colic returned and he had to fight it out in the
old way. In these episodes in my own experience I find ample
justification for my belief and that of others that some day the music
cure for human ailments will be recognized and developed to the full.
Families going off to the country for the summer instead of taking a
medicine-chest along with them will go provided with a music-box with
cylinders for mumps, measles, summer complaint, whooping-cough,
chicken-pox, chills and fever and all the other ills the flesh is heir
to. Scientific experiment will demonstrate before long what composition
will cure specific ills. If a baby has whooping-cough, an anxious
mother, instead of ringing up the Doctor, will go to the piano and give
the child a dose of Hiawatha. If a small boy goes swimming and catches a
cold in his head and is down with a fever, his nurse, an expert on the
accordeon, can bring him back to health again with three bars of Under
the Bamboo Tree after each meal. Instead of dosing kids with cod liver
oil when they need a tonic, they will be set to work at a mechanical
piano and braced up on Narcissus. There'll Be a Hot Time In The Old Town
To-Night will become an effective remedy for a sudden chill. People
suffering from sleeplessness can dose themselves back to normal
conditions again with Wagner the way I did. Tchaikowski, to be well
Tshaken before taken, will be an effective remedy for a torpid liver,
and the man or woman who suffers from lassitude will doubtless find in
the lively airs of our two-step composers an efficient tonic to bring
their vitality up to a high standard of activity. Nothing in it? Why,
Doctor, there's more in it that's in sight to-day that is promising and
suggestive of great things in the future than there was of the principle
of gravitation in the rude act of that historic pippin that left the
parent tree and swatted Sir Isaac Newton on the nose."

"And the Drug Stores will be driven out of business, I presume," said
the Doctor.

"No," said the Idiot. "They will substitute music for drugs, that is
all. Every man who can afford it will have his own medical phonograph or
music-box, and the drug stores will sell cylinders and records for them
instead of quinine, carbonate of soda, squills, paregoric and other
nasty tasting things they have now. This alone will serve to popularize
sickness and instead of being driven out of business their trade will
pick up."

"And the Doctor? And the Doctor's gig and all the appurtenances of his
profession--what becomes of them?" demanded the Doctor.

"We'll have to have the Doctor just the same to prescribe for us, only
he will have to be a musician, but the gig--I'm afraid that will have to
go," said the Idiot.

"And why, pray?" asked the Doctor. "Because there are no more drugs must
the physician walk?"

"Not at all," said the Idiot. "But he'd be better equipped if he drove
about in a piano-organ, or if he preferred an auto on a steam
calliope."




THE OCTOPUSSYCAT[4]

BY KENYON COX


    I love Octopussy, his arms are so long;
    There's nothing in nature so sweet as his song.
    'Tis true I'd not touch him--no, not for a farm!
    If I keep at a distance he'll do me no harm.

[Footnote 4: From "Mixed Beasts," by Kenyon Cox. Copyright 1904, by Fox,
Duffield & Co.]




THE BOOK-CANVASSER

ANONYMOUS


He came into my office with a portfolio under his arm. Placing it upon
the table, removing a ruined hat, and wiping his nose upon a ragged
handkerchief that had been so long out of the wash that it was
positively gloomy, he said,--

"Mr. ----, I'm canvassing for the National Portrait Gallery; very
valuable work; comes in numbers, fifty cents apiece; contains pictures
of all the great American heroes from the earliest times down to the
present day. Everybody subscribing for it, and I want to see if I can't
take your name.

"Now, just cast your eyes over that," he said, opening his book and
pointing to an engraving. "That's--lemme see--yes, that's Columbus.
Perhaps you've heard sumfin' about him? The publisher was telling me
to-day before I started out that he discovered--no; was it Columbus that
dis--oh, yes, Columbus he discovered America,--was the first man here.
He came over in a ship, the publisher said, and it took fire, and he
stayed on deck because his father told him to, if I remember right, and
when the old thing busted to pieces he was killed. Handsome picture,
ain't it? Taken from a photograph; all of 'em are; done especially for
this work. His clothes are kinder odd, but they say that's the way they
dressed in them days.

"Look at this one. Now, isn't that splendid? That's William Penn, one of
the early settlers. I was reading t'other day about him. When he first
arrived he got a lot of Indians up a tree, and when they shook some
apples down he set one on top of his son's head and shot an arrow plump
through it and never fazed him. They say it struck them Indians cold, he
was such a terrific shooter. Fine countenance, hasn't he? face shaved
clean; he didn't wear a moustache, I believe, but he seems to have let
himself out on hair. Now, my view is that every man ought to have a
picture of that patriarch, so's to see how the fust settlers looked and
what kind of weskets they used to wear. See his legs, too! Trousers a
little short, maybe, as if he was going to wade in a creek; but he's all
there. Got some kind of a paper in his hand, I see. Subscription-list, I
reckon. Now, how does that strike you?

"There's something nice. That, I think is--is--that--a--a--yes, to be
sure, Washington; you recollect him, of course? Some people call him
Father of his Country. George--Washington. Had no middle name, I
believe. He lived about two hundred years ago, and he was a fighter. I
heard the publisher telling a man about him crossing the Delaware River
up yer at Trenton, and seems to me, if I recollect right, I've read
about it myself. He was courting some girl on the Jersey side, and he
used to swim over at nights to see her when the old man was asleep. The
girl's family were down on him, I reckon. He looks like a man to do
that, don't he? He's got it in his eye. If it'd been me I'd gone over on
a bridge; but he probably wanted to show off afore her; some men are so
reckless, you know. Now, if you'll conclude to take this I'll get the
publisher to write out some more stories, and bring 'em round to you,
so's you can study up on him. I know he did ever so many other things,
but I've forgot 'em; my memory's so awful poor.

"Less see! Who have we next? Ah, Franklin! Benjamin Franklin! He was
one of the old original pioneers, I think. I disremember exactly what he
is celebrated for, but I think it was a flying a--oh, yes, flying a
kite, that's it. The publisher mentioned it. He was out one day flying a
kite, you know, like boys do nowadays, and while she was a-flickering up
in the sky, and he was giving her more string, an apple fell off a tree
and hit him on the head; then he discovered the attraction of
gravitation, I think they call it. Smart, wasn't it? Now, if you or me'd
'a' ben hit, it'd just made us mad, like as not, and set us a-ravin'.
But men are so different. One man's meat's another man's pison. See what
a double chin he's got. No beard on him, either, though a goatee would
have been becoming to such a round face. He hasn't got on a sword, and I
reckon he was no soldier; fit some when he was a boy, maybe, or went out
with the home-guard, but not a regular warrior. I ain't one myself, and
I think all the better of him for it.

"Ah, here we are! Look at that! Smith and Pocahontas! John Smith! Isn't
that gorgeous? See how she kneels over him, and sticks out her hands
while he lays on the ground and that big fellow with a club tries to
hammer him up. Talk about woman's love! There it is for you. Modocs, I
believe; anyway, some Indians out West there, somewheres; and the
publisher tells me that Captain Shackanasty, or whatever his name is,
there, was going to bang old Smith over the head with a log of wood, and
this here girl she was sweet on Smith, it appears, and she broke loose,
and jumped forward, and says to the man with a stick, 'Why don't you let
John alone? Me and him are going to marry, and if you kill him I'll
never speak to you as long as I live,' or words like them, and so the
man he give it up, and both of them hunted up a preacher and were
married and lived happy ever afterward. Beautiful story, isn't it? A
good wife she made him, too, I'll bet, if she was a little
copper-colored. And don't she look just lovely in that picture? But
Smith appears kinder sick; evidently thinks his goose is cooked; and I
don't wonder, with that Modoc swooping down on him with such a
discouraging club.

"And now we come to--to--ah--to--Putnam,--General Putnam: he fought in
the war, too; and one day a lot of 'em caught him when he was off his
guard, and they tied him flat on his back on a horse and then licked the
horse like the very mischief. And what does that horse do but go
pitching down about four hundred stone steps in front of the house, with
General Putnam lying there nearly skeered to death! Leastways, the
publisher said somehow that way, and I once read about it myself. But he
came out safe, and I reckon sold the horse and made a pretty good thing
of it. What surprises me is he didn't break his neck; but maybe it was a
mule, for they're pretty sure-footed, you know. Surprising what some of
these men have gone through, ain't it?

"Turn over a couple of leaves. That's General Jackson. My father shook
hands with him once. He was a fighter, I know. He fit down in New
Orleans. Broke up the rebel legislature, and then when the Ku-Kluxes got
after him he fought 'em behind cotton breastworks and licked 'em till
they couldn't stand. They say he was terrific when he got real mad,--hit
straight from the shoulder, and fetched his man every time. Andrew his
fust name was; and look how his hair stands up.

"And then here's John Adams, and Daniel Boone, and two or three pirates,
and a whole lot more pictures; so you see it's cheap as dirt. Lemme have
your name, won't you?"




HER VALENTINE

BY RICHARD HOVEY


    What, send her a valentine? Never!
    I see you don't know who "she" is.
    I should ruin my chances forever;
    My hopes would collapse with a fizz.

    I can't see why she scents such disaster
    When I take heart to venture a word;
    I've no dream of becoming her master,
    I've no notion of being her lord.

    All I want is to just be her lover!
    She's the most up-to-date of her sex,
    And there's such a multitude of her,
    No wonder they call her complex.

    She's a bachelor, even when married,
    She's a vagabond, even when housed;
    And if ever her citadel's carried
    Her suspicions must not be aroused.

    She's erratic, impulsive and human,
    And she blunders,--as goddesses can;
    But if _she's_ what they call the New Woman,
    Then _I'd_ like to be the New Man.

    I'm glad she makes books and paints pictures,
    And typewrites and hoes her own row,
    And it's quite beyond reach of conjectures
    How much further she's going to go.

    When she scorns, in the L-road, my proffer
    Of a seat and hangs on to a strap;
    I admire her so much, I could offer
    To let her ride up on my lap.

    Let her undo the stays of the ages,
    That have cramped and confined her so long!
    Let her burst through the frail candy cages
    That fooled her to think they were strong!

    She may enter life's wide vagabondage,
    She may do without flutter or frill,
    She may take off the chains of her bondage,--
    And anything else that she will.

    She may take _me_ off, for example,
    And she probably does when I'm gone.
    I'm aware the occasion is ample;
    That's why I so often take on.

    I'm so glad she can win her own dollars
    And know all the freedom it brings.
    I love her in shirt-waists and collars,
    I love her in dress-reform things.

    I love her in bicycle skirtlings--
    Especially when there's a breeze--
    I love her in crinklings and quirklings
    And anything else that you please.

    I dote on her even in bloomers--
    If Parisian enough in their style--
    In fact, she may choose her costumers,
    Wherever her fancy beguile.

    She may box, she may shoot, she may wrestle,
    She may argue, hold office or vote,
    She may engineer turret or trestle,
    And build a few ships that will float.

    She may lecture (all lectures but curtain)
    Make money, and naturally spend,
    If I let her have _her_ way, I'm certain
    She'll let me have _mine_ in the end!




THE WELSH RABBITTERN[5]

BY KENYON COX


    This is a very fearsome bird
      Who sits upon men's chests at night.
    With horrid stare his eyeballs glare:
      He flies away at morning's light.

[Footnote 5: From "Mixed Beasts," by Kenyon Cox. Copyright, 1904, by
Fox, Duffield & Co.]




COMIC MISERIES

BY JOHN G. SAXE


I

    My dear young friend, whose shining wit
      Sets all the room ablaze,
    Don't think yourself "a happy dog,"
      For all your merry ways;
    But learn to wear a sober phiz,
      Be stupid, if you can,
    It's such a very serious thing
      To be a funny man!


II

    You're at an evening party, with
      A group of pleasant folks,--
    You venture quietly to crack
      The least of little jokes:
    A lady doesn't catch the point,
      And begs you to explain,--
    Alas for one who drops a jest
      And takes it up again!


III

    You're taking deep philosophy
      With very special force,
    To edify a clergyman
      With suitable discourse:
    You think you've got him,--when he calls
      A friend across the way,
    And begs you'll say that funny thing
      You said the other day!


IV

    You drop a pretty _jeu-de-mot_
      Into a neighbor's ears,
    Who likes to give you credit for
      The clever thing he hears,
    And so he hawks your jest about,
      The old, authentic one,
    Just breaking off the point of it,
      And leaving out the pun!


V

    By sudden change in politics,
      Or sadder change in Polly,
    You lose your love, or loaves, and fall
      A prey to melancholy,
    While everybody marvels why
      Your mirth is under ban,
    They think your very grief "a joke,"
      You're such a funny man!


VI

    You follow up a stylish card
      That bids you come and dine,
    And bring along your freshest wit
      (To pay for musty wine);
    You're looking very dismal, when
      My lady bounces in,
    And wonders what you're thinking of,
      And why you don't begin!


VII

    You're telling to a knot of friends
      A fancy-tale of woes
    That cloud your matrimonial sky,
      And banish all repose,--
    A solemn lady overhears
      The story of your strife,
    And tells the town the pleasant news:--
      You quarrel with your wife!


VIII

    My dear young friend, whose shining wit
      Sets all the room ablaze,
    Don't think yourself "a happy dog,"
      For all your merry ways;
    But learn to wear a sober phiz,
      Be stupid, if you can,
    It's such a very serious thing
      To be a funny man!




THE MERCHANT AND THE BOOK-AGENT

ANONYMOUS


A book-agent importuned James Watson, a rich merchant living a few miles
out of the city, until he bought a book,--the "Early Christian Martyrs."
Mr. Watson didn't want the book, but he bought it to get rid of the
agent; then, taking it under his arm, he started for the train which
takes him to his office in the city.

Mr. Watson hadn't been gone long before Mrs. Watson came home from a
neighbor's. The book-agent saw her, and went in and persuaded the wife
to buy a copy of the book. She was ignorant of the fact that her husband
had bought the same book in the morning. When Mr. Watson came back in
the evening, he met his wife with a cheery smile as he said, "Well, my
dear, how have you enjoyed yourself to-day? Well, I hope?"

"Oh, yes! had an early caller this morning."

"Ah, and who was she?"

"It wasn't a 'she' at all; it was a gentleman,--a book-agent."

"A what?"

"A book-agent; and to get rid of his importuning I bought his book,--the
'Early Christian Martyrs.' See, here it is," she exclaimed, advancing
toward her husband.

"I don't want to see it," said Watson, frowning terribly.

"Why, husband?" asked his wife.

"Because that rascally book-agent sold me the same book this morning.
Now we've got two copies of the same book,--two copies of the 'Early
Christian Martyrs,' and--"

"But, husband, we can--"

"No, we can't, either!" interrupted Mr. Watson. "The man is off on the
train before this. Confound it! I could kill the fellow. I--"

"Why, there he goes to the depot now," said Mrs. Watson, pointing out of
the window at the retreating form of the book-agent making for the
train.

"But it's too late to catch him, and I'm not dressed. I've taken off my
boots, and--"

Just then Mr. Stevens, a neighbor of Mr. Watson, drove by, when Mr.
Watson pounded on the window-pane in a frantic manner, almost
frightening the horse.

"Here, Stevens!" he shouted, "you're hitched up! Won't you run your
horse down to the train and hold that book-agent till I come? Run! Catch
'im now!"

"All right," said Mr. Stevens, whipping up his horse and tearing down
the road.

Mr. Stevens reached the train just as the conductor shouted, "All
aboard!"

"Book-agent!" he yelled, as the book-agent stepped on the train.
"Book-agent, hold on! Mr. Watson wants to see you."

"Watson? Watson wants to see me?" repeated the seemingly puzzled
book-agent. "Oh, I know what he wants: he wants to buy one of my books;
but I can't miss the train to sell it to him."

"If that is all he wants, I can pay for it and take it back to him. How
much is it?"

"Two dollars, for the 'Early Christian Martyrs,'" said the book-agent,
as he reached for the money and passed the book out of the car-window.

Just then Mr. Watson arrived, puffing and blowing, in his
shirt-sleeves. As he saw the train pull out he was too full for
utterance.

"Well, I got it for you," said Stevens,--"just got it, and that's all."

"Got what?" yelled Watson.

"Why, I got the book,--'Early Christian Martyrs,'--and paid--"

"By--the--great--guns!" moaned Watson, as he placed his hands to his
brow and swooned right in the middle of the street.




THE COQUETTE

_A Portrait_

BY JOHN G. SAXE


    "You're clever at drawing, I own,"
      Said my beautiful cousin Lisette,
    As we sat by the window alone,
      "But say, can you paint a Coquette?"

    "She's painted already," quoth I;
      "Nay, nay!" said the laughing Lisette,
    "Now none of your joking,--but try
      And paint me a thorough Coquette."

    "Well, cousin," at once I began
      In the ear of the eager Lisette,
    "I'll paint you as well as I can
      That wonderful thing, a Coquette.

    "She wears a most beautiful face,"
      ("Of course!" said the pretty Lisette),
    "And isn't deficient in grace,
      Or else she were not a Coquette.

    "And then she is daintily made"
      (A smile from the dainty Lisette),
    "By people expert in the trade
      Of forming a proper Coquette.

    "She's the winningest ways with the beaux,"
      ("Go on!"--said the winning Lisette),
    "But there isn't a man of them knows
      The mind of the fickle Coquette!

    "She knows how to weep and to sigh,"
      (A sigh from the tender Lisette),
    "But her weeping is all in my eye,--
      Not that of the cunning Coquette!

    "In short, she's a creature of art,"
      ("Oh hush!" said the frowning Lisette),
    "With merely the ghost of a heart,--
      Enough for a thorough Coquette.

    "And yet I could easily prove"
      ("Now don't!" said the angry Lisette),
    "The lady is always in love,--
      In love with herself,--the Coquette!

    "There,--do not be angry!--you know,
    My dear little cousin Lisette,
    You told me a moment ago
    To paint _you_--a thorough Coquette!"




A SPRING FEELING

BY BLISS CARMAN


    I think it must be spring. I feel
      All broken up and thawed.
    I'm sick of everybody's "wheel";
      I'm sick of being jawed.

    I am too winter-killed to live,
      Cold-sour through and through.
    O Heavenly Barber, come and give
      My soul a dry shampoo!

    I'm sick of all these nincompoops,
      Who weep through yards of verse,
    And all these sonneteering dupes
      Who whine and froth and curse.

    I'm sick of seeing my own name
      Tagged to some paltry line,
    While this old _corpus_ without shame
      Sits down to meat and wine.

    I'm sick of all these Yellow Books,
      And all these Bodley Heads;
    I'm sick of all these freaks and spooks
      And frights in double leads.

    When good Napoleon's publisher
      Was dangled from a limb,
    He should have had an editor
      On either side of him.

    I'm sick of all this taking on
      Under a foreign name;
    For when you call it _decadent_,
      It's rotten just the same.

    I'm sick of all this puling trash
      And namby-pamby rot,--
    A Pegasus you have to thrash
      To make him even trot!

    An Age-end Art! I would not give,
      For all their plotless plays,
    One round Flagstaffian adjective
      Or one Miltonic phrase.

    I'm sick of all this poppycock
      In bilious green and blue;
    I'm tired to death of taking stock
      Of everything that's "New."

    New Art, New Movements, and New Schools,
      All maimed and blind and halt!
    And all the fads of the New Fools
      Who can not earn their salt.

    I'm sick of the New Woman, too.
       Good Lord, she's worst of all.
    Her rights, her sphere, her point of view,
      And all that folderol!

    She makes me wish I were the snake
      Inside of Eden's wall,
    To give the tree another shake,
      And see another fall.

    I'm very much of Byron's mind;
      I like sufficiency;
    But just the common garden kind
      Is good enough for me.

    I want to find a warm beech wood,
      And lie down, and keep still;
    And swear a little; and feel good;
      Then loaf on up the hill,

    And let the Spring house-clean my brain,
      Where all this stuff is crammed;
    And let my heart grow sweet again;
      And let the Age be damned.




WASTED OPPORTUNITIES[6]

BY ROY FARRELL GREENE


    The lips I might have tasted, rosy ripe as any cherry,
      How they pair off by the dozens when my memory goes back
    Across the current of the years aboard of Fancy's ferry,
      Which shuns the shores of What-We-Have and touches What-We-Lack.
    The girl I took t' singin'-school one night, who vowed she'd never
      Before walked with a feller 'thout her mother bein' by,
    I reckon that her temptin' mouth will haunt my dreams forever,
      The lips I might have tasted if I'd had the nerve t' try!

    I recollect another girl, as chipper as a robin,
      Who rode beside me in a sleigh one night through snow an' sleet,
    An' both my hands I kept in use a guidin' good ol' Dobbin--
      One didn't need them any mor'n a chicken needs four feet.
    Too scared was I to hold her in, or warm her cheeks with kisses,--
      I know, now, she expected it, for once I heard her sigh--
    To-day I'd like t' kick myself for these neglected blisses,
      The lips I might have tasted if I'd had the nerve t' try.

    I never kissed Rebecca, she was sober as a Quaker,
      I never kissed Alvira, though I took her home one night,
    That city cousin of the Smiths, a Miss Myrtilla Baker,
      Though scores of opportunities slipped by me, left an' right.
    It makes me hate myself to-day when I on Fancy's ferry
      Have crossed the current of the years to olden days gone by,
    T' think of all the lips I've missed, ripe-red as topmost cherry,
      The lips I might have tasted if I'd had the nerve t' try.

[Footnote 6: Lippincott's Magazine.]




THE WEDDIN'

BY JENNIE BETTS HARTSWICK


Well, it's over, it's _all_ over--bein' the last to leave I know
_that_--and I declare, I'm that full of all the things we had to eat
that John and me won't want any supper for a good hour yet, so I just
ran in to tell you about it while it's on top of my mind.

It's an everlastin' shame you had to miss it! One thing, though, you'll
get a trayful of the good things sent in to you, I shouldn't wonder. I
know there's loads left, for I happened to slip out to the kitchen for a
drink of water--I was that _dry_ after all those salty nuts, and I
didn't want to trouble 'em--and I saw just _heaps_ of things standin'
round.

Most likely you'll get a good, large plate of cake, not just a pinchin'
little mite of a piece in a box. The boxes is real pretty, though, and
they did look real palatial all stacked up on a table by the front door
with a strange colored man, in white gloves like a pall-bearer, to hand
'em to you.

How did I get two of 'em? Why, it just happened that way. You see, when
I was leavin' I missed my sun-shade and I laid my box down on the
hatrack-stand while I went upstairs to look for it. I went through all
the rooms, and just when I'd about given it up, why, there it was, right
in my hand all the time! Wasn't it foolish? And when I came downstairs I
found I'd clean forgot where I'd laid that box of cake. I hunted
_everywhere_, and then I just had to tell the man how 'twas, so he
handed me another one, and I was just walkin' out the front door when,
would you believe it! if there wasn't the _other_ one, just as innocent,
on the hatrack-stand where I had laid it. So now I have three of 'em,
countin' John's.

I just can't seem to realize that Eleanor Jamison is married at last,
can you? She took her time if ever anybody did. They do say she was real
taken with that young college professor with the full beard and
spectacles that visited there last summer, and then to think that, after
all, she went and married a man with a smooth face. He wears glasses,
though; that's one point in common.

Eleanor's gone off a good deal lately, don't you think so? You hadn't
noticed it? But then you never was any great hand at noticin', I've
noticed you weren't. Why, the other day when I was there offerin' to
help 'em get ready for the weddin' I noticed that she looked real
_worn_, and there was two or three little fine lines in her
eye-corners--not real _wrinkles_, of course--but we all know that lines
is a forerunner. Her hair's beginnin' to turn, too; I noticed that
comin' out of church last Sunday. I dare say her knowing this made her
less particular than she'd once have been; and after all, marryin' any
husband is a good deal like buyin' a new black silk dress pattern--an
awful risk.

You may look at it on both sides and hold it up to the light, and pull
it to see if it'll fray and try if it'll spot, but you can't be sure
what it'll do till after you've worn it a spell.

There's one advantage to the dress pattern, though--you can make 'em
take it back if you mistrust it won't wear--if you haven't cut into it,
that is--but when you've got a husband, why, you've _got_ him, to have
and to hold, for better and worse and good and all.

Yes, I'm comin' to the weddin'--I declare, when I think how careless
Eleanor is about little things I can't help mistrusting what kind of a
housekeeper she'll turn out. Why, when John's and my invitation came it
was only printed to the church--there wasn't any reception card among
it.

Now I've supplied Eleanor's folks with butter and eggs and spring
chickens for thirty years, and I'd just have gone anyway, for I knew it
was a mistake, but John held out that 'twasn't--that they didn't mean to
have us to the house part; so to settle it I went right over and told
'em. I told Eleanor she mustn't feel put out about it--we was all
mortal--and if it hadn't been for satisfyin' John I'd never have let her
know how careless she'd been--of course I'd made allowance, a weddin'
_is_ upsettin' to the intellect--and so 'twas all right.

I had a real good view of the ceremony; but 'twasn't _their_ fault that
I had; it just happened that way.

When John and me got there I asked the young man at the door--he was a
yusher and a stranger to me--to give us a front seat, but he said that
all the front places was reserved for the relations of the bride and
groom, and then I noticed that they'd tied off the middle aisle about
seven pews back with white satin ribbons and a big bunch of pink roses.
It seemed real impolite to invite folks to a weddin' and then take the
best seats themselves.

Well, just then I happened to feel my shoelacin' gettin' loose and I
stepped to one side to fix it; and when I got up from stoopin' and my
gloves on and buttoned--I had to take 'em off to tie my shoe--and
straightened John's cravat for him, why, there was the families on both
sides just goin' in.

Of course we had to follow right along behind 'em, and when we came up
to the ribbons--would you believe it?--the big bow just untied
itself--or seemed to--I heard afterward it was done by somebody pullin'
a invisible wire--and we all walked through and took seats. I made John
go into the pew ahead of me so's I could get out without disturbin'
anybody if I should have a headache or feel faint.

When John found we was settin' with the family--he was right close up
against Eleanor's mother--he was for gettin' up and movin' back. But I
just whispered to him, "John Appleby, do sit still! I hear the bridal
party comin'!"

Of course I didn't just _hear 'em_, but I was sure they'd be along in a
minute, and I knew it wouldn't do to move our seats anyway, as if we
weren't satisfied with 'em.

The church was decorated beautiful. Eleanor's folks must have cleaned
out their green-house to put into it, besides _tons_ of greens from the
city.

Pretty near the whole of Wrenville was there, and I must say the church
was a credit to the Wrenville dressmakers.

I could pick out all their different fits without any trouble.

There was Arabella Satterlee's--she shapes her backs like the top of a
coffin, or sometimes they remind me more of a kite; and Sallie Ann
Hodd's--she makes 'em square; and old Mrs. Tucker's--you can always tell
hers by the way the armholes draw; she makes the minister's wife's. But
they'd every one of 'em done their level best and I was proud of 'em.

Well, when the organ--it had been playin' low and soft all the
time--changed off into the weddin' march and the bridesmaids, eight of
'em, marched up the aisle behind the eight yushers, I tell you, Miss
Halliday, it was a _sight_!

They was all in pink gauzy stuff--I happened to feel one of 'em as she
went by but I couldn't tell what 'twas made of; it seemed dreadful
_flimsy_--and big flat hats all made of roses on their heads, and
carryin' bunches pf long-stemmed roses so big that they had to hold 'em
in their arms like young babes.

Eleanor came behind 'em all, walkin' with her father. He always was a
small-built man, and with her long trail and her veil spreadin' out so,
why, I declare, you couldn't hardly see him.

I whispered to John that they looked more as if Eleanor was goin' to
give her pa away than him her.

Eleanor's dress was elegant, only awful _plain_. It was made in New York
at Greenleaf's. I know, because when I was upstairs lookin' for my
sunshade--I told you about that, didn't I?--I happened to get into
Eleanor's room by mistake, and there was the box it came in right on the
bed before my eyes.

Well, when they was all past, I kept lookin' round me for the groom and
wonderin' how I had come to miss him, when all at once John nudged me,
and there he was right in front of me and the minister beginnin' to
marry 'em, and where he had sprung from I can't tell you this livin'
minute!

Came in from the vestry, did he? Well, now, I never would have thought
of that!

Well, when they was most married the most ridiculous thing happened.

You see, Eleanor's father in steppin' back after givin' her away had put
his foot right down on her trail and never noticed, and when it came
time for the prayer Eleanor pulled and pulled--they was to kneel down on
two big white satin cushions in front of 'em--but her pa never
budged--just stood there with his eyes shut and his head bowed as
devout as anything--and before Eleanor could stop him, her husband--he
was most her husband, anyway--had kneeled right down on to the cushion,
with his eyes shut, too, I suppose, and the minister had to pray over
'em that way. I could see Eleanor's shoulders shakin' under her veil,
and of course it _was_ ridiculous if it hadn't been so solemn.

And then they all marched down the aisle, with the bride and groom
leadin' the procession. Eleanor's veil was put back, and I noticed that
she was half-laughin' yet, and her cheeks were real pink, and her eyes
sort of bright and moist--she looked real handsome. Good gracious, Miss
Halliday, don't ever tell me that's six o'clock! And I haven't told a
thing about the presents, and who was there, and Eleanor's clothes, and
what they had to eat--why, they didn't even use their own china-ware!
They had a colored caterer from New York, and he brought everything--all
the dishes and table-cloths and spoons and forks, besides the
refreshments. I know, because just after he came I happened to carry
over my eleven best forks--John broke the dozenth tryin' to pry the cork
out of a bottle of raspberry vinegar the year we was married--I never
take a fork to pry with--and offered to loan 'em for the weddin', but
they didn't need 'em, so I just stayed a minute or two in the butler's
pantry and then went home--but I saw the caterer unpackin'.

There! I knew I'd stay too long! There's John comin' in the gate after
me. I must go this blessed minute.




THE THOMPSON STREET POKER CLUB

SOME CURIOUS POINTS IN THE NOBLE GAME UNFOLDED

BY HENRY GUY CARLETON


When Mr. Tooter Williams entered the gilded halls of the Thompson Street
Poker Club Saturday evening it was evident that fortune had smeared him
with prosperity. He wore a straw hat with a blue ribbon, an expression
of serene content, and a glass amethyst on his third finger whose
effulgence irradiated the whole room and made the envious eyes of Mr.
Cyanide Whiffles stand out like a crab's. Besides these extraordinary
furbishments, Mr. Williams had his mustache waxed to fine points and his
back hair was precious with the luster and richness which accompany the
use of the attar of Third Avenue roses combined with the bear's grease
dispensed by basement barbers on that fashionable thoroughfare.

In sharp contrast to this scintillating entrance was the coming of the
Reverend Mr. Thankful Smith, who had been disheveled by the heat,
discolored by a dusty evangelical trip to Coney Island, and oppressed by
an attack of malaria which made his eyes bloodshot and enriched his
respiration with occasional hiccoughs and that steady aroma which is
said to dwell in Weehawken breweries.

The game began at eight o'clock, and by nine and a series of two-pair
hands and bull luck Mr. Gus Johnson was seven dollars and a nickel ahead
of the game, and the Reverend Mr. Thankful Smith, who was banking, was
nine stacks of chips and a dollar bill on the wrong side of the ledger.
Mr. Cyanide Whiffles was cheerful as a cricket over four winnings
amounting to sixty-nine cents; Professor Brick was calm, and Mr. Tooter
Williams was gorgeous and hopeful, and laying low for the first jackpot,
which now came. It was Mr. Whiffles's deal, and feeling that the eyes of
the world were upon him, he passed around the cards with a precision and
rapidity which were more to his credit than the I.O.U. from Mr. Williams
which was left over from the previous meeting.

Professor Brick had nine high and declared his inability to make an
opening.

Mr. Williams noticed a dangerous light come into the Reverend Mr.
Smith's eye and hesitated a moment, but having two black jacks and a
pair of trays, opened with the limit.

"I liffs yo' jess tree dollahs, Toot," said the Reverend Mr. Smith,
getting out the wallet and shaking out a wad.

Mr. Gus Johnson, who had a four flush and very little prudence, came in.
Mr. Whiffles sighed and fled.

Mr. Williams polished the amethyst, thoroughly examining a scratch on
one of its facets, adjusted his collar, skinned his cards, stealthily
glanced again at the expression of the Reverend Mr. Smith's eye, and
said he would "Jess--jess call."

Mr. Whiffles supplied the wants of the gentleman from the pack with the
mechanical air of a man who had lost all hope in a hereafter. Mr.
Williams wanted one card, the Reverend Mr. Smith said he'd take about
three, and Mr. Gus Johnson expressed a desire for a club, if it was not
too much trouble.

Mr. Williams caught another tray, and, being secretly pleased, led out
by betting a chip. The Reverend Mr. Smith uproariously slammed down a
stack of blue chips and raised him seven dollars.

Mr. Gus Johnson had captured the nine of hearts and so retired.

Mr. Williams had four chips and a dollar left.

"I sees dat seven," he said impressively, "an' I humps it ten mo'."

"Whar's de c'lateral?" queried the Reverend Mr. Smith calmly, but with
aggressiveness in his eye.

Mr. Williams sniffed contemptuously, drew off the ring, and deposited it
in the pot with such an air as to impress Mr. Whiffles with the idea
that the jewel must have been worth at least four million dollars. Then
Mr. Williams leaned back in his chair and smiled.

"Whad yer goin' ter do?" asked the Reverend Mr. Smith, deliberately
ignoring Mr. Williams's action.

Mr. Williams pointed to the ring and smiled.

"Liff yo' ten dollahs."

"On whad?"

"Dat ring."

"_Dat_ ring?"

"Yezzah." Mr. Williams was still cool.

"Huh!" The Reverend Mr. Smith picked the ring up, examined it
scientifically with one eye closed, dropped it several times as if to
test its soundness, and then walked across and rasped it several times
heavily on the window pane.

"Whad yo' doin' dat for?" excitedly asked Mr. Williams.

A double rasp with the ring was the Reverend Mr. Smith's only reply.

"Gimme dat jule back!" demanded Mr. Williams.

The Reverend Mr. Smith was now vigorously rubbing the setting of the
stone on the floor.

"Leggo dat sparkler," said Mr. Williams again.

The Reverend Mr. Smith carefully polished off the scratches by rubbing
the ring a while on the sole of his foot. Then he resumed his seat and
put the precious thing back into the pot. Then he looked calmly at Mr.
Williams, and leaned back in his chair as if waiting for something.

"Is yo' satisfied?" said Mr. Williams, in the tone used by men who have
sustained a deep injury.

"Dis is pokah," said the Reverend Mr. Thankful Smith.

"I rised yo' ten dollahs," said Mr. Williams, pointing to the ring.

"Did yer ever saw three balls hangin' over my do'?" asked the Reverend
Mr. Smith. "Doesn't yo' know my name hain't Oppenheimer?"

"Whad yo' mean?" asked Mr. Williams excitedly.

"Pokah am pokah, and dar's no 'casion fer triflin' wif blue glass 'n
junk in dis yar club," said the Reverend Mr. Smith.

"I liffs yo' ten dollahs," said Mr. Williams, ignoring the insult.

"Pud up de c'lateral," said the Reverend Mr. Smith. "Fo' chips is fohty,
'n a dollah's a dollah fohty, 'n dat's a dollah fohty-fo' cents."

"Whar's de fo' cents?" smiled Mr. Williams, desperately.

The Reverend Mr. Smith pointed to the ring. Mr. Williams rose
indignantly, shucked off his coat, hat, vest, suspenders and scarfpin,
heaped them on the table, and then sat down and glared at the Reverend
Mr. Smith.

Mr. Smith rolled up the coat, put on the hat, threw his own out of the
window, gave the ring to Mr. Whiffles, jammed the suspenders into his
pocket, and took in the vest, chips and money.

"Dis yar's buglry!" yelled Mr. Williams.

The Reverend Mr. Smith spread out four eights and rose impressively.

"Toot," he said, "doan trifle wif Prov'dence. Because a man wars
ten-cent grease 'n' gits his july on de Bowery, hit's no sign dat he kin
buck agin cash in a jacker 'n' git a boodle from fo' eights. Yo's now in
yo' shirt sleeves 'n' low sperrets, bud de speeyunce am wallyble. I'se
willin' ter stan' a beer an' sassenger, 'n' shake 'n' call it squar'. De
club'll now 'journ."




THE BUMBLEBEAVER[7]

BY KENYON COX


    A cheerful and industrious beast,
      He's always humming as he goes
    To make mud-houses with his tail
      Or gather honey with his nose.

    Although he flits from flower to flower
      He's not at all a gay deceiver.
    We might take lessons by the hour
      From busy, buzzy Bumblebeaver.

[Footnote 7: From "Mixed Beasts," by Kenyon Cox. Copyright 1904, by Fox,
Duffield & Co.]




AFTER THE FUNERAL

BY JAMES M. BAILEY


It was just after the funeral. The bereaved and subdued widow, enveloped
in millinery gloom, was seated in the sitting-room with a few
sympathizing friends. There was that constrained look so peculiar to the
occasion observable on every countenance. The widow sighed.

"How do you feel, my dear?" said her sister.

"Oh! I don't know," said the poor woman, with difficulty restraining her
tears. "But I hope everything passed off well."

"Indeed it did," said all the ladies.

"It was as large and respectable a funeral as I have seen this winter,"
said the sister, looking around upon the others.

"Yes, it was," said the lady from next door. "I was saying to Mrs.
Slocum, only ten minutes ago, that the attendance couldn't have been
better--the bad going considered."

"Did you see the Taylors?" asked the widow faintly, looking at her
sister. "They go so rarely to funerals that I was surprised to see them
here."

"Oh, yes! the Taylors were all here," said the sympathizing sister. "As
you say, they go but a little: they are _so_ exclusive!"

"I thought I saw the Curtises also," suggested the bereaved woman
droopingly.

"Oh, yes!" chimed in several. "They came in their own carriage, too,"
said the sister, animatedly. "And then there were the Randalls and the
Van Rensselaers. Mrs. Van Rensselaer had her cousin from the city with
her; and Mrs. Randall wore a very black heavy silk, which I am sure was
quite new. Did you see Colonel Haywood and his daughters, love?"

"I thought I saw them; but I wasn't sure. They were here, then, were
they?"

"Yes, indeed!" said they all again; and the lady who lived across the
way observed:

"The Colonel was very sociable, and inquired most kindly about you, and
the sickness of your husband."

The widow smiled faintly. She was gratified by the interest shown by the
Colonel.

The friends now rose to go, each bidding her good-by, and expressing the
hope that she would be calm. Her sister bowed them out. When she
returned, she said:

"You can see, my love, what the neighbors think of it. I wouldn't have
had anything unfortunate to happen for a good deal. But nothing did. The
arrangements couldn't have been better."

"I think some of the people in the neighborhood must have been surprised
to see so many of the uptown people here," suggested the afflicted
woman, trying to look hopeful.

"You may be quite sure of that," asserted the sister. "I could see that
plain enough by their looks."

"Well, I am glad there is no occasion for talk," said the widow,
smoothing the skirt of her dress.

And after that the boys took the chairs home, and the house was put in
order.




CASEY AT THE BAT

BY ERNEST LAWRENCE THAYER


    It looked extremely rocky for the Mudville nine that day:
    The score stood four to six with just an inning left to play;
    And so, when Cooney died at first, and Burrows did the same,
    A pallor wreathed the features of the patrons of the game.

    A straggling few got up to go, leaving there the rest
    With that hope that springs eternal within the human breast;
    For they thought if only Casey could get one whack, at that
    They'd put up even money, with Casey at the bat.

    But Flynn preceded Casey, and so likewise did Blake,
    But the former was a pudding, and the latter was a fake;
    So on that stricken multitude a death-like silence sat,
    For there seemed but little chance of Casey's getting to the bat.

    But Flynn let drive a single to the wonderment of all,
    And the much-despised Blaikie tore the cover off the ball;
    And when the dust had lifted, and they saw what had occurred,
    There was Blaikie safe on second and Flynn a-hugging third!

    Then from the gladdened multitude went up a joyous yell,
    It bounded from the mountain-top, and rattled in the dell,
    It struck upon the hillside, and rebounded on the flat;
    For Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat.

    There was ease in Casey's manner as he stepped into his place,
    There was pride in Casey's bearing, and a smile on Casey's face;
    And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,
    No stranger in the crowd could doubt 'twas Casey at the bat.

    Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt,
    Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt;
    Then, while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
    Defiance glanced in Casey's eye, a sneer curled Casey's lip.

    And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,
    And Casey stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there;
    Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped:
    "That ain't my style," said Casey. "Strike one," the umpire said.

    From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar,
    Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore;
    "Kill him! Kill the umpire!" shouted some one in the stand.
    And it's likely they'd have killed him had not Casey raised his hand.

    With a smile of Christian charity great Casey's visage shone;
    He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;
    He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the spheroid flew,
    But Casey still ignored it; and the umpire said, "Strike two."

    "Fraud!" cried the maddened thousands, and the echo answered, "Fraud!"
    But the scornful look from Casey, and the audience was awed;
    They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
    And they knew that Casey wouldn't let that ball go by again.

    The sneer is gone from Casey's lip, his teeth are clenched with hate;
    He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate;
    And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
    And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey's blow.

    Oh, somewhere in this favoured land the sun is shining bright,
    The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
    And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
    But there is no joy in Mudville--mighty Casey has struck out.




THE MARTYRDOM OF MR. STEVENS[8]

BY HERBERT QUICK

_Pietro:_        Th' offense, it seemeth me,
Is one that by mercy's extremest stretch
Might be o'erpassed.

_Cosimo:_                       Never, Pietro, never!
The Brotherhood's honor untouchable
Is touch'd thereby. We build our labyrinth
Of sacred words and potent spells, and all
The deep-involved horrors of our craft--
Its entrance hedg'd about with dreadful oaths,
And every step in thridding it made dank
By dripping terror and out-seeping awe,
Shall it be said that e'en Ludovico
May break our faith and live? Never, say I!

--_Vision of Cosimo._


The Bellevale lodge of the Ancient Order of Christian Martyrs held its
meetings in the upper story of a tall building. Mr. Alvord called for
Amidon at eight, and took him up, all his boldness in the world of
business replaced by wariness in the atmosphere of mystery. As he and
his companion went into an anteroom and were given broad collars from
which were suspended metal badges called "jewels," he felt a good deal
like a spy. They walked into the lodge-room where twenty-five or thirty
men with similar "jewels" sat smoking and chatting. All seemed to know
him, but (much to his relief) before he could be included in the
conversation, the gavel fell; certain ones with more elaborate "jewels"
and more ornate collars than the rest took higher-backed and more highly
upholstered chairs at the four sides of the room, another stood at the
door; and still another, in complete uniform, with sword and belt, began
hustling the members to seats.

"The Deacon Militant," said the wielder of the gavel, "will report if
all present are known and tested members of our Dread and Mystic
Conclave."

"All, Most Sovereign Pontiff," responded the Deacon Militant, who proved
to be the man in the uniform, "save certain strangers who appear within
the confines of our sacred basilica."

"Let them be tested," commanded the Sovereign Pontiff, "and, if
brethren, welcomed; if spies, executed!"

Amidon started, and looked about for aid or avenue of escape. Seeing
none, he warily watched the Deacon Militant. That officer, walking in
the military fashion which, as patristic literature teaches, was adopted
by the early Christians, and turning square corners, as was the habit of
St. Paul and the Apostles, received whispered passwords from the two or
three strangers, and, with a military salute, announced that all present
had been put to the test and welcomed. Then, for the first time
remembering that he was not among the strangers, so far as known to the
lodge, Amidon breathed freely, and rather regretted the absence of
executions.

"Bring forth the Mystic Symbols of the Order!" was the next command. The
Mystic Symbols were placed on a stand in the middle of the room, and
turned out to be a gilt fish about the size of a four-pound bass, a jar
of human bones, and a rolled-up scroll said to contain the Gospels. The
fish, as explained by the Deacon Militant, typified a great many things
connected with early Christianity, and served always as a reminder of
the password of the order. The relics in the jar were the bones of
martyrs. The scroll was the Book of the Law. Amidon was becoming
impressed: the solemn and ornate ritual and the dreadful symbols sent
shivers down his inexperienced and unfraternal spine. Breaking in with
uninitiated eyes, as he had done, now seemed more and more a crime.

There was an "Opening Ode," which was so badly sung as to mitigate the
awe; and an "order of business" solemnly gone through. Under the head
"Good of the Order" the visiting brethren spoke as if it were a
class-meeting and they giving "testimony," one of them very volubly
reminding the assembly of the great principles of the order, and the
mighty work it had already accomplished in ameliorating the condition of
a lost and wandering world. Amidon felt that he must have been very
blind in failing to note this work until it was thus forced on his
notice; but he made a mental apology.

"By the way, Brassfield," said Mr. Slater during a recess preceding the
initiation of candidates, "you want to give Stevens the best you've got
in the Catacombs scene. Will you make it just straight ritual, or throw
in some of those specialities of yours?"

"Stevens! Catacombs!" gasped Amidon, "specialties! I--"

"I wish you could have been here when I was put through," went on Mr.
Slater. "I don't see how any one but a professional actor, or a person
with your dramatic gifts, can do that part at all--it's so sort of
ripping and--and intense, you know. I look forward to your rendition of
it with a good deal of pleasurable anticipation."

"You don't expect me to do it, do you?" asked Amidon.

"Why, who else?" was the counter-question. "We can't be expected to play
on the bench the best man in Pennsylvania in that part, can we?"

"Come, Brassfield," said the Sovereign Pontiff, "get on your regalia for
the Catacombs. We are about to begin."

"Oh, say, now!" said Amidon, trying to be off-hand about it, "you must
get somebody else."

"What's that! Some one else? Very likely we shall! Very likely!" thus
the Sovereign Pontiff with fine scorn. "Come, the regalia, and no
nonsense!"

"I--I may be called out at any moment," urged Amidon, amidst an outcry
that seemed to indicate a breach with the Martyrs then and there. "There
are reasons why--"

Edgington took him aside. "Is there any truth in this story," said he,
"that you have had some trouble with Stevens, and discharged him?"

"Oh, that Stevens!" gasped Amidon, as if the whole discussion had hinged
on picking out the right one among an army of Stevenses. "Yes, it's
true, and I can't help confer this--"

Edgington whispered to the Sovereign Pontiff; and the announcement was
made that in the Catacombs scene Brother Brassfield would be excused and
Brother Bulliwinkle substituted.

"I know I never, in any plane of consciousness, saw any of this, or knew
any of these things," thought Florian. "It is incredible!"

Conviction, however, was forced on him by the fact that he was now made
to don a black domino and mask, and to march, carrying a tin-headed
spear, with a file of similar figures to examine the candidate, who
turned out to be the discharged Stevens, sitting in an anteroom,
foolish and apprehensive, and looking withal much as he had done in
the counting-room. He was now asked by the leader of the file, in a
sepulchral tone, several formal questions, among others whether he
believed in a Supreme Being. Stevens gulped, and said "Yes." He was then
asked if he was prepared to endure any ordeal to which he might be
subjected, and warned unless he possessed nerves of steel, he had better
turn back--for which measure there was yet time. Stevens, in a faint
voice, indicated that he was ready for the worst, and desired to go on.
Then all (except Amidon) in awesome accents intoned, "Be brave and
obedient, and all may yet be well!" and they passed back into the
lodge-room. Amidon was now thoroughly impressed, and wondered whether
Stevens would be able to endure the terrible trials hinted at.

Clad in a white robe, "typifying innocence," and marching to minor music
played upon a piano, Stevens was escorted several times around the
darkened room, stopping from time to time at the station of some
officer, to receive highly improving lectures. Every time he was asked
if he were willing to do anything, or believed anything, he said "Yes."
Finally, with the Scroll of the Law in one hand, and with the other
resting on the Bones of Martyrs, surrounded by the brethren, whose drawn
swords and leveled spears threatened death, he repeated an obligation
which bound him not to do a great many things, and to keep the secrets
of the order. To Amidon it seemed really awful--albeit somewhat florid
in style; and when Alvord nudged him at one passage in the obligation,
he resented it as an irreverence. Then he noted that it was a pledge to
maintain the sanctity of the family circle of brother Martyrs, and
Alvord's reference of the night before to the obligation as affecting
his association with the "strawberry blonde" took on new and fearful
meaning.

Stevens seemed to be vibrating between fright and a tendency to laugh,
as the voice of some well-known fellow citizen rumbled out from behind a
deadly weapon. He was marched out, to the same minor music, and the
first act was ended.

The really esoteric part of it, Amidon felt, was to come, as he could
see no reason for making a secret of these very solemn and edifying
matters. Stevens felt very much the same way about it, and was full of
expectancy when informed that the next degree would test his obedience.
He highly resolved to obey to the letter.

The next act disclosed Stevens hoodwinked, and the room light. He was
informed that he was in the Catacombs, familiar to the early Christians,
and must make his way alone and in darkness, following the Clue of Faith
which was placed in his hands. This Clue was a white cord similar to the
sort used by masons (in the building-trades). He groped his way along by
it to the station of the next officer, who warned him of the deadly
consequences of disobedience. Thence he made his way onward, holding to
the Clue of Faith--until he touched a trigger of some sort, which let
down upon him an avalanche of tinware and such light and noisy articles,
which frightened him so that he started to run, and was dexteriously
tripped by the Deacon Militant and a spearman, and caught in a net held
by two others. A titter ran about the room.

"Obey," thundered the Vice-Pontiff, "and all will be well!"

Stevens resumed the Clue. At the station of the next officer to whom it
brought him, the nature of faith was explained to him, and he was given
the password, "Ichthus," whispered so that all in that part of the room
could hear the interdicted syllables. But he was adjured never, never to
utter it, unless to the Guardian of the Portal on entering the lodge, to
the Deacon Militant on the opening thereof, or to a member, when he,
Stevens, should become Sovereign Pontiff. Then he was faced toward the
Vice-Pontiff, and told to answer loudly and distinctly the questions
asked him.

"What is the lesson inculcated in this Degree?" asked the Vice-Pontiff
from the other end of the room.

"Obedience!" shouted Stevens in reply.

"What is the password of this Degree?"

"Ichthus!" responded Stevens.

A roll of stage-thunder sounded deafeningly over his head. The piano was
swept by a storm of bass passion; and deep cries of "Treason! Treason!"
echoed from every side. Poor Stevens tottered, and fell into a chair
placed by the Deacon Militant. He saw the enormity of the deed of shame
he had committed. He had told the password!

"You have all heard this treason," said the Sovereign Pontiff, in the
deepest of chest-tones--"a treason unknown in all the centuries of the
past! What is the will of the conclave?"

"I would imprecate on the traitor's head," said a voice from one of the
high-backed chairs, "the ancient doom of the Law!"

"Doom, doom!" said all in unison, holding the "oo" in a most
blood-curdling way. "Pronounce doom!"

"One fate, and one alone," pronounced the Sovereign Pontiff, "can be
yours. Brethren, let him forthwith be encased in the Chest of the
Clanking Chains, and hurled from the Tarpeian Rock, to be dashed in
fragments at its stony base!"

Amidon's horror was modified by the evidences of repressed glee with
which this sentence was received. Yet he felt a good deal of concern as
they brought out a great chest, threw the struggling Stevens into it,
slammed down the ponderous lid and locked it. Stevens kicked at the lid,
but said nothing. The members leaped with joy. A great chain was brought
and wrapped clankingly about the chest.

"Let me out," now yelled the Christian Martyr. "Let me out, damn you!"

"Doom, do-o-o-oom!" roared the voices; and said the Sovereign Pontiff in
impressive tones, "Proceed with the execution!"

Now the chest was slung up to a hook in the ceiling, and gradually drawn
back by a pulley until it was far above the heads of the men, the chains
meanwhile clanking continually against the receptacle, from which came
forth a stream of smothered profanity.

"Hurl him down to the traitor's death!" shouted the Sovereign Pontiff.
The chest was loosed, and swung like a pendulum lengthwise of the room,
down almost to the floor and up nearly to the ceiling. The profanity now
turned into a yell of terror. The Martyrs slapped one another's backs
and grew blue in the face with laughter. At a signal, a light box was
placed where the chest would crush it (which it did with a sound like a
small railway collision); the chest was stopped and the lid raised.

"Let the body receive Christian burial," said the Sovereign Pontiff.
"Our vengeance ceases with death."

This truly Christian sentiment was received with universal approval.
Death seemed to all a good place at which to stop.

"Brethren," said the Deacon Militant, as he struggled with the resurgent
Stevens, "there seems some life here! Methinks the heart beats, and--"

The remainder of the passage from the ritual was lost to Amidon by
reason of the fact that Stevens had placed one foot against the Deacon's
stomach and hurled that august officer violently to the floor.

"Let every test of life be applied," said the Sovereign Pontiff.
"Perchance some higher will than ours decrees his preservation. Take the
body hence for a time; if possible, restore him to life, and we will
consider his fate."

The recess which followed was clearly necessary to afford an opportunity
for the calming of the risibilities of the Martyrs. The stage, too, had
to be reset. Amidon's ethnological studies had not equaled his reading
in _belles-lettres_, and he was unable to see the deep significance of
these rites from an historical standpoint, and that here was a survival
of those orgies to which our painted and skin-clad ancestors devoted
themselves in spasms of religious frenzy, gazed at by the cave-bear and
the mammoth. The uninstructed Amidon regarded them as inconceivable
horse-play. While thus he mused, Stevens, who was still hoodwinked and
being greatly belectured on the virtue of Faith and the duty of
Obedience, reentered on his ordeal.

He was now informed by the officer at the other end of the room that
every man must ascend into the Mountains of Temptation and be tested,
before he could be pronounced fit for companionship with Martyrs.
Therefore, a weary climb heavenward was before him, and a great trial of
his fidelity. On his patience, daring and fortitude depended all his
future in the Order. He was marched to a ladder and bidden to ascend.

"I," said the Deacon Militant, "upon this companion stair will accompany
you."

But there was no other ladder and the Deacon Militant had to stand upon
a chair.

Up the ladder labored Stevens, but, though he climbed manfully, he
remained less than a foot above the floor. The ladder went down like a
treadmill, as Stevens climbed--it was an endless ladder rolled down on
Stevens' side and up on the other. The Deacon Militant, from his perch
on the chair, encouraged Stevens to climb faster so as not to be
outstripped. With labored breath and straining muscles he climbed, the
Martyrs rolling on the floor in merriment all the more violent because
silent. Amidon himself laughed to see this strenuous climb, so
strikingly like human endeavor, which puts the climber out of breath,
and raises him not a whit--except in temperature. At the end of perhaps
five minutes, when Stevens might well have believed himself a hundred
feet above the roof, he had achieved a dizzy height of perhaps six feet,
on the summit of a stage-property mountain, where he stood beside the
Deacon Militant, his view of the surrounding plain cut off by
papier-mache clouds, and facing a foul fiend, to whom the Deacon
Militant confided that here was a candidate to be tested and qualified.
Whereupon the foul fiend remarked "Ha, ha!" and bade them bind him to
the Plutonian Thunderbolt and hurl him down to the nether world. The
thunderbolt was a sort of toboggan on rollers, for which there was a
slide running down presumably to the nether world, above mentioned.

The hoodwink was removed, and Stevens looked about him, treading warily,
like one on the top of a tower; the great height of the mountain made
him giddy. Obediently he lay face downward on the thunderbolt, and
yielded up his wrists and ankles to fastenings provided for them.

"They're not going to lower him with those cords, are they?"

It was a stage-whisper from the darkness which spake thus.

"Oh, I guess it's safe enough!" said another, in the same sort of
agitated whisper.

"Safe!" was the reply. "I tell you, it's sure to break! Some one stop
'em--"

To the heart of the martyred Stevens these words struck panic. But as he
opened his mouth to protest, the catastrophe occurred. There was a snap,
and the toboggan shot downward. Bound as he was, the victim could see
below him a brick wall right across the path of his descent. He was
helpless to move; it was useless to cry out. For all that, as he felt in
imagination the crushing shock of his head driven like a battering-ram
against this wall, he uttered a roar such as from Achilles might have
roused armed nations to battle. And even as he did so, his head touched
the wall, there was a crash, and Stevens lay safe on a mattress after
his ten-foot slide, surrounded by fragments of red-and-white paper which
had lately been a wall. He was pale and agitated, and generally done
for; but tremendously relieved when he had assured himself of the
integrity of his cranium. This he did by repeatedly feeling of his head,
and looking at his fingers for sanguinary results. As Amidon looked at
him, he repented of what he had done to this thoroughly maltreated
fellow man. After the Catacombs scene, which was supposed to be
impressive, and some more of the "secret" work, everybody crowded about
Stevens, now invested with the collar and "jewel" of Martyrhood, and
laughed, and congratulated him as on some great achievement, while he
looked half-pleased and half-bored. Amidon, with the rest, greeted him,
and told him that after his vacation was over, he hoped to see him back
at the office.

"That was a fine exemplification of the principles of the Order," said
Alvord as they went home.

"What was?" said Amidon.

"Hiring old Stevens back," answered Alvord. "You've got to live your
principles, or they don't amount to much."

"Suppose some fellow should get into a lodge," asked Amidon, "who had
never been initiated?"

"Well," said Alvord, "there isn't much chance of that. I shouldn't dare
to say. You can't tell what the fellows would do when such sacred things
were profaned, you know. You couldn't tell what they might do!"

[Footnote 8: From _Double Trouble_. It should be explained that Mr.
Amidon is suffering from dual consciousness and in his other state is
known as Eugene Brassfield. As the supposed Brassfield he has gone,
while in his Amidon state of consciousness, to a meeting of the lodge to
which as Brassfield he belongs.]




THE WILD BOARDER[9]

BY KENYON COX


    His figure's not noted for grace;
    You may not much care for his face;
      But a twenty-yard dash,
      When he hears the word "hash,"
    He can take at a wonderful pace.

[Footnote 9: From "Mixed Beasts," by Kenyon Cox. Copyright 1904, by Fox,
Duffield & Co.]




DE GRADUAL COMMENCE

BY WALLACE BRUCE AMSBARY


    Oui, Oui, M'sieu, I'm mos' happee,
      My ches' wid proud expan',
    I feel de bes' I evere feel,
      An' over all dis lan'
    Dere's none set op so moch as me;
      You'll know w'en I am say
    My leddle daughter Madeline
      Is gradual to-day.

    She is de ver' mos' smartes' gairl
      Dat I am evere know,
    I'm fin' dis out, de teacher, he
      Is tol' me dat is so;
    She is so smart dat she say t'ings
      I am no understan',
    She is know more dan any one
      Dat leeve on ol' Ste. Anne.

    De Gradual Commence is hol'
      Down at de gr'ad beeg hall,
    W'ere plaintee peopl' can gat seat
      For dem to see it all.
    De School Board wid dere presi_dent_,
      Dey sit opon front row,
    Dey look so stiff an' dignify,
      For w'at I am not know.

    De classe dat mak' de "gradual"
      Dey're on de stage, you see,
    In semi-cirque dat face de peop',
      Some scare as dey can be;
    Den wan of dem dey all mak' spe'k,
      Affer de nodder's t'roo,
    Dis tak' dem 'bout t'ree hour an' half
      De hull t'ing for to do.

    Ma Madeline she is all feex op,
      Mos' beautiful to see,
    In nice w'ite drass, my wife he buy
      Overe to Kankakee.
    An' when she rise to mak' de spe'k
      How smart she look on face,
    Dey all expec' somet'ing dey hear,
      Dere's hush fall on de place.

    She tell us how to mak' de leeve,
      How raise beeg familee;
    She tell it all so smood an' plain
      Dat you can't help but see;
    An' how she learn her all of dat
      Ees more dan I can say,
    But she is know it, for she talk
      In smartes' kind of way.

    W'en all is t'roo de presi_dent_
      De sheepskin he geeve 'way;
    Dey're all nice print opon dem,
      An' dis is w'at dey say:
    "To dem dat is concern' wid dese
      Pres_ents_ you onderstan'
    De h'owner dese; is gradual
      At High School on Ste. Anne."

    An' now dat she is gradual
      She ees know all about
    De world an' how to mak' it run
      From inside to de out;
    For dis is one de primere t'ings
      W'at she is learn, you see,
    Dat long beeg word I can pronounce,
      It's call philosophee.

    An' you can' blame me if I am
      Ver' proud an' puff op so,
    To hav' a daughter like dis wan
      Dat's everyt'ing she know.
    No wonder dat I gat beeg head,
      My hat's too small, dey say--
    Ma leddle daughter Madeline
      Is gradual to-day.




ABOU BEN BUTLER

BY JOHN PAUL


    Abou, Ben Butler (may his tribe be less!)
    Awoke one night from a deep bottledness,
    And saw, by the rich radiance of the moon,
    Which shone and shimmered like a silver spoon,
    A stranger writing on a golden slate
    (Exceeding store had Ben of spoons and plate),
    And to the stranger in his tent he said:
    "Your little game?" The stranger turned his head,
    And, with a look made all of innocence,
    Replied: "I write the name of Presidents."
    "And is mine one?" "Not if this court doth know
    Itself," replied the stranger. Ben said, "Oh!"
    And "Ah!" but spoke again: "Just name your price
    To write me up as one that may be Vice."

    The stranger up and vanished. The next night
    He came again, and showed a wondrous sight
    Of names that haply yet might fill the chair--
    But, lo! the name of Butler was not there!




LATTER-DAY WARNINGS

BY OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES


    When legislators keep the law,
      When banks dispense with bolts and locks,--
    When berries--whortle, rasp, and straw--
      Grow bigger _downwards_ through the box,--

    When he that selleth house or land
      Shows leak in roof or flaw in right,--
    When haberdashers choose the stand
      Whose window hath the broadest light,--

    When preachers tell us all they think,
      And party leaders all they mean,--
    When what we pay for, that we drink,
      From real grape and coffee-bean,--

    When lawyers take what they would give,
      And doctors give what they would take,--
    When city fathers eat to live,
      Save when they fast for conscience' sake,--

    When one that hath a horse on sale
      Shall bring his merit to the proof,
    Without a lie for every nail
      That holds the iron on the hoof,--

    When in the usual place for rips
      Our gloves are stitched with special care,
    And guarded well the whalebone tips
      Where first umbrellas need repair,--

    When Cuba's weeds have quite forgot
      The power of suction to resist,
    And claret-bottles harbor not
      Such dimples as would hold your fist,--

    When publishers no longer steal,
      And pay for what they stole before,--
    When the first locomotive's wheel
      Rolls through the Hoosac tunnel's bore;--

    _Till_ then let Cumming blaze away,
      And Miller's saints blow up the globe;
    But when you see that blessed day,
      _Then_ order your ascension robe!




IT PAYS TO BE HAPPY[10]

BY TOM MASSON


    She is so gay, so very gay,
      And not by fits and starts,
    But ever, through each livelong day
      She's sunshine to all hearts.

    A tonic is her merry laugh!
      So wondrous is her power
    That listening grief would stop and chaff
      With her from hour to hour.

    Disease before that cheery smile
      Grows dim, begins to fade.
    A Christian scientist, meanwhile,
      Is this delightful maid.

    And who would not throw off dull care
      And be like unto her,
    When happiness brings, as her share,
      One hundred dollars per ----?

[Footnote 10: Lippincott's Magazine.]




JAMES AND REGINALD

BY EUGENE FIELD


Once upon a Time there was a Bad boy whose Name was Reginald and there
was a Good boy whose Name was James. Reginald would go Fishing when his
Mamma told him Not to, and he Cut off the Cat's Tail with the Bread
Knife one Day, and then told Mamma the Baby had Driven it in with the
Rolling Pin, which was a Lie. James was always Obedient, and when his
Mamma told him not to Help an old Blind Man across the street or Go into
a Dark Room where the Boogies were, he always Did What She said. That is
why they Called him Good James. Well, by and by, along Came Christmas.
Mamma said, You have been so Bad, my son Reginald, you will not Get any
Presents from Santa Claus this Year; but you, my son James, will get
Oodles of Presents, because you have Been Good. Will you Believe it,
Children, that Bad boy Reginald said he didn't Care a Darn and he Kicked
three Feet of Veneering off the Piano just for Meanness. Poor James was
so sorry for Reginald that he cried for Half an Hour after he Went to
Bed that Night. Reginald lay wide Awake until he saw James was Asleep
and then he Said if these people think they can Fool me, they are
Mistaken. Just then Santa Claus came down the Chimney. He had Lots of
Pretty Toys in a Sack on his Back. Reginald shut his Eyes and Pretended
to be Asleep. Then Santa Claus Said, Reginald is Bad and I will not Put
any nice Things in his Stocking. But as for you, James, I will Fill
your Stocking Plum full of Toys, because You are Good. So Santa Claus
went to Work and Put, Oh! heaps and Heaps of Goodies in James' stocking,
but not a Sign of a Thing in Reginald's stocking. And then he Laughed to
himself and Said I guess Reginald will be Sorry to-morrow because he Was
so Bad. As he said this he Crawled up the chimney and rode off in his
Sleigh. Now you can Bet your Boots Reginald was no Spring Chicken. He
just Got right Straight out of Bed and changed all those Toys and Truck
from James' stocking into his own. Santa Claus will Have to Sit up all
Night, said He, when he Expects to get away with my Baggage. The next
morning James got out of Bed and when He had Said his Prayers he Limped
over to his Stocking, licking his chops and Carrying his Head as High as
a Bull going through a Brush Fence. But when he found there was Nothing
in his stocking and that Reginald's Stocking was as Full as Papa Is when
he comes home Late from the Office, he Sat down on the Floor and began
to Wonder why on Earth he had Been such a Good boy. Reginald spent a
Happy Christmas and James was very Miserable. After all, Children, it
Pays to be Bad, so Long as you Combine Intellect with Crime.




BANTY TIM

REMARKS OF SERGEANT TILMON JOY TO THE WHITE MAN'S COMMITTEE OF SPUNKY
POINT, ILLINOIS

BY JOHN HAY


    I reckon I git your drift, gents,--
      You 'low the boy sha'n't stay;
    This is a white man's country;
      You're Dimocrats, you say;
    And whereas, and seein', and wherefore,
      The times bein' all out o' j'int,
    The nigger has got to mosey
      From the limits o' Spunky P'int!

    Le's reason the thing a minute:
      I'm an old-fashioned Dimocrat too,
    Though I laid my politics out o' the way
      For to keep till the war was through.
    But I come back here, allowin'
      To vote as I used to do,
    Though it gravels me like the devil to train
      Along o' sich fools as you.

    Now dog my cats ef I kin see,
      In all the light of the day,
    What you've got to do with the question
      Ef Tim shill go or stay.
    And furder than that I give notice,
      Ef one of you tetches the boy,
    He kin check his trunks to a warmer clime
      Than he'll find in Illanoy.

    Why, blame your hearts, jest hear me!
      You know that ungodly day
    When our left struck Vicksburg Heights, how ripped
      And torn and tattered we lay.
    When the rest retreated I stayed behind,
      Fur reasons sufficient _to_ me,--
    With a rib caved in, and a leg on a strike,
      I sprawled on that cursed glacee.

    Lord! how the hot sun went for us,
      And br'iled and blistered and burned!
    How the Rebel bullets whizzed round us
      When a cuss in his death-grip turned!
    Till along toward dusk I seen a thing
      I couldn't believe for a spell:
    That nigger--that Tim--was a crawlin' to me
      Through that fire-proof, gilt-edged hell!

    The Rebels seen him as quick as me,
      And the bullets buzzed like bees;
    But he jumped for me, and shouldered me,
      Though a shot brought him once to his knees;
    But he staggered up, and packed me off,
      With a dozen stumbles and falls,
    Till safe in our lines he drapped us both,
      His black hide riddled with balls.

    So, my gentle gazelles, thar's my answer,
      And here stays Banty Tim:
    He trumped Death's ace for me that day,
      And I'm not goin' back on him!
    You may rezoloot till the cows come home,
      But ef one of you tetches the boy,
    He'll wrastle his hash to-night in hell,
      Or my name's not Tilmon Joy!




EVENING

_By A Tailor_

BY OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES


      Day hath put on his jacket, and around
    His burning bosom buttoned it with stars.
    Here will I lay me on the velvet grass,
    That is like padding to earth's meager ribs,
    And hold communion with the things about me.
    Ah me! how lovely is the golden braid
    That binds the skirt of night's descending robe!
    The thin leaves, quivering on their silken threads,
    Do make a music like to rustling satin,
    As the light breezes smooth their downy nap.

      Ha! what is this that rises to my touch,
    So like a cushion? Can it be a cabbage?
    It is, it is that deeply injured flower,
    Which boys do flout us with;--but yet I love thee,
    Thou giant rose, wrapped in a green surtout.
    Doubtless in Eden thou didst blush as bright
    As these, thy puny brethren; and thy breath
    Sweetened the fragrance of her spicy air;
    But now thou seemest like a bankrupt beau,
    Stripped of his gaudy hues and essences,
    And growing portly in his sober garments.

      Is that a swan that rides upon the water?
    O no, it is that other gentle bird,
    Which is the patron of our noble calling.
    I well remember, in my early years,
    When these young hands first closed upon a goose;
    I have a scar upon my thimble finger,
    Which chronicles the hour of young ambition.
    My father was a tailor, and his father,
    And my sire's grandsire, all of them were tailors;
    They had an ancient goose,--it was an heirloom
    From some remoter tailor of our race.
    It happened I did see it on a time
    When none was near, and I did deal with it,
    And it did burn me,--O, most fearfully!

      It is a joy to straighten out one's limbs,
    And leap elastic from the level counter,
    Leaving the petty grievances of earth,
    The breaking thread, the din of clashing shears,
    And all the needles that do wound the spirit,
    For such a pensive hour of soothing silence.
    Kind Nature, shuffling in her loose undress,
    Lays bare her shady bosom;--I can feel
    With all around me;--I can hail the flowers
    That sprig earth's mantle,--and yon quiet bird,
    That rides the stream, is to me as a brother.
    The vulgar know not all the hidden pockets,
    Where Nature stows away her loveliness.
    But this unnatural posture of the legs
    Cramps my extended calves, and I must go
    Where I can coil them in their wonted fashion.




THE OLD SETTLER

_His Reasons for Thinking there is Natural Gas in Deep Rock Gulley_

BY ED. MOTT


"I see by the papers, Squire," said the Old Settler, "that they're
a-finding signs o' coal ile an' nat'ral gas like sixty here an' thar in
deestric's not so terrible fur from here, an' th't konsekently land they
usety beg folks to come an' take offen their hands at any price at all
is wuth a dollar now, jist for a peep over the stun wall at it. The
minute a feller finds signs o' ile or nat'ral gas on his plantation he
needn't lug home his supplies in a quart jug no more, but kin roll 'em
in by the bar'l, fer signs o' them kind is wuth more an inch th'n a
sartin-per-sure grass an' 'tater farm is wuth an acre."

"Guess yer huggin' the truth pooty clus fer wunst, Major," replied the
Squire, "but th' hain't none o' them signs ez likely to strike anywhar
in our bailiwick ez lightnin' is to kill a crow roostin' on the North
Pole. Thuz one thing I've alluz wanted to see," continued the Squire,
"but natur' has ben agin me an' I hain't never seen it, an' that thing
is the h'istin' of a balloon. Th' can't be no balloons h'isted nowhar,
I'm told, 'nless thuz gas to h'ist it with. I s'pose if we'd ha' had gas
here, a good many fellers with balloons 'd ha' kim 'round this way an'
showed us a balloon raisin' ev'ry now an' then. Them must be lucky
deestric's that's got gas, an' I'd like to hev somebody strike it 'round
here some'rs, jist fer the sake o' havin' the chance to see a balloon
h'istin' 'fore I turn my toes up. But that's 'bout ez liable to happen
ez it is fer to go out an' find a silver dollar rollin' up hill an' my
name gouged in it."

"Don't ye be so consarned sure o' that, Squire," said the Old Settler
mysteriously, and with a knowing shake of his head. "I've been
a-thinkin' a leetle sence readin' 'bout them signs o' gas, b'gosh! I
hain't been only thinkin', but I've been a-recollectin', an' the chances
is th't me an' you'll see wonders yet afore we paddle over Jurdan. I'm
a-gointer tell ye fer w'y, but I hadn't orter, Squire, an' if it wa'n't
fer makin' ye 'shamed o' yerself, an' showin' th't truth squashed in the
mud is bound to git up agin if ye give her time, I wouldn't do it. Ye
mowt remember th't jist ten years ago this month I kim in from a leetle
b'ar hunt. I didn't bring in no b'ar, but I fotched back an up-an'-up
account o' how I had shot one, on' how th' were sumpin' fearful an'
queer an' amazin' in the p'formances o' that b'ar arter bein' shot.
Mebby ye 'member me a-tellin' ye that story, Squire, an' you a-tellin'
me right in my teeth th't ye know'd th't some o' yer friends had took to
lyin', but th't ye didn't think any of 'em had it so bad ez that. But I
hain't a-holdin' no gredge, an' now I'll tell ye sumpin' that'll s'prise
ye.

"Ez I tol' ye at the time, Squire, I got the tip ten year ago this
month, th't unless somebody went up to Steve Groner's hill place an'
poured a pound or two o' lead inter a big b'ar th't had squatted on tha'
farm, th't Steve wouldn't hev no live-stock left to pervide pork an'
beef fer his winterin' over, even if he managed to keep hisself an'
fam'ly theirselfs from linin' the b'ar's innards. I shouldered my gun
an' went up to Steve's to hev some fun with bruin, an' to save Steve's
stock, an' resky him an' his folks from the rampagin' b'ar.

"'He's a rip-snorter,' Steve says to me, w'en I got thar. 'He don't
think nuthin' o' luggin' off a cow,' he says, 'an' ye don't wanter hev
yer weather eye shet w'en you an' him comes together,' he says.

"'B'ars,' I says to Steve, 'b'ars is nuts fer me, an' the bigger an'
sassier they be,' I says, 'the more I inj'y 'em,' I says, an' with that
I clim' inter the woods to show bruin th't th' wa'n't room enough here
below fer me an' him both. Tain't necessary fer me to tell o' the
half-dozen or more lively skrimmages me an' that b'ar had ez we follered
an' chased one another round an' round them woods--how he'd hide ahind
some big tree or stumps, an' ez I went by, climb on to me with all four
o' his feet an' yank an' bite an' claw an' dig meat an' clothes offen me
till I slung him off an' made him skin away to save his bacon; an' how
I'd lay the same way fer him, an' w'en he come sneakin' 'long arter me
agin, pitch arter him like a mad painter, an' swat an' pound an' choke
an' rassel him till his tongue hung out, till I were sorry for him, an'
let him git away inter the brush agin to recooperate fer the next round.
'Tain't wuth w'ile fer me to say anything 'bout them little skrimmages
'cept the last un, an' that un wa'n't a skrimmage but sumpin' that'd 'a'
skeert some folks dead in their tracks.

"Arter havin' a half-dozen or so o' rassels with this big b'ar, jist fer
fun, I made up my mind, ez 'twere gettin' late, an' ez Steve Groner's
folks was mebby feelin' anxious to hear which was gointer run the farm,
them or the b'ar, th't the next heat with bruin would be for keeps. I
guess the ol' feller had made up his mind the same way, fer w'en I run
agin him the las' time, he were riz up on his hind legs right on the
edge o' Deep Rock Gulley, and were waitin' fer me with his jaws wide
open. I unslung my gun, an' takin' aim at one o' the b'ar's forepaws,
thought I'd wing him an' make him come away from the edge o' the gulley
'fore I tackled him. The ball hit the paw, an' the b'ar throw'd 'em both
up. But he throw'd 'em up too fur, an' he fell over back'rd, an' went
head foremost inter the gulley. Deep Rock Gulley ain't an inch less'n
fifty foot from top to bottom, an' the walls is ez steep ez the side of
a house. I went up to the edge an' looked over. Ther' were the b'ar
layin' on his face at the bottom, whar them queer cracks is in the
ground, an' he were a-howlin' like a hurricane and kickin' like a mule.
Ther' he laid, and he wa'n't able to rise up. Th' wa'n't no way o'
gettin' down to him 'cept by tumblin' down ez he had, an' if ever
anybody were poppin' mad I were, ez I see my meat a-layin' at the bottom
o' that gulley, an' the crows a-getherin' to hev a picnic with it. The
more I kept my eyes on that b'ar the madder I got, an' I were jist about
to roll and tumble an' slide down the side o' that gulley ruther than go
back home an' say th't I'd let the crows steal a b'ar away from me, w'en
I see a funny change comin' over the b'ar. He didn't howl so much, and
his kicks wa'n't so vicious. Then his hind parts began to lift themse'fs
up offen the ground in a cur'ous sort o' way, and swung an' bobbed in
the air. They kep' raisin' higher an' higher, till the b'ar were
act'ally standin' on his head, an' swayin' to and fro ez if a wind were
blowin' him an' he couldn't help it. The sight was so oncommon out o'
the reg'lar way b'ars has o' actin' that it seemed skeery, an' I felt ez
if I'd ruther be home diggin' my 'taters. But I kep' on gazin' at the
b'ar a-circusin' at the bottom o' the gulley, an 't wa'n't long 'fore
the hull big carcase begun to raise right up offen the ground an' come
a-floatin' up outen the gulley, fer all the world ez if 't wa'n't more'n
a feather. The b'ar come up'ards tail foremost, an' I noticed th't he
looked consid'able puffed out like, makin' him seem lik' a bar'l
sailin' in the air. Ez the b'ar kim a-floatin' out o' the dep's I could
feel my eyes begin to bulge, an' my knees to shake like a jumpin'
jack's. But I couldn't move no more'n a stun wall kin, an' thar I stood
on the edge o' the gulley, starin' at the b'ar ez it sailed on up to'rd
me. The b'ar were making a desper't effort to git itself back to its
nat'ral p'sition on all fours, but th' wa'n't no use, an' up he sailed,
tail foremost, an' lookin' ez if he were gointer bust the next minute,
he were swelled out so. Ez the b'ar bobbed up and passed by me I could
ha' reached out an' grabbed him by the paw, an' I think he wanted me to,
the way he acted, but I couldn't ha' made a move to stop him, not if
he'd ha' ben my gran'mother. The b'ar sailed on above me, an' th' were a
look in his eyes th't I won't never fergit. It was a skeert look, an' a
look that seemed to say th't it were all my fault, an' th't I'd be sorry
fer it some time. The b'ar squirmed an' struggled agin comin' to setch
an' onheerdon end, but up'ard he went, tail foremost, to'ard the clouds.

"I stood thar par'lyzed w'ile the b'ar went up'ard. The crows that had
been settlin' round in the trees, 'spectin' to hev a bully meal, went to
flyin' an' scootin' around the onfortnit b'ar, an' yelled till I were
durn nigh deef. It wa'n't until the b'ar had floated up nigh onto a
hundred yards in the air, an' begun to look like a flyin' cub, that my
senses kim back to me. Quick ez a flash I rammed a load inter my rifle,
wrappin' the ball with a big piece o' dry linen, not havin' time to tear
it to the right size. Then I took aim an' let her go. Fast ez the ball
went, I could see that the linen round it had been sot on fire by the
powder. The ball overtook the b'ar and bored a hole in his side. Then
the funniest thing of all happened. A streak o' fire a yard long shot
out o' the b'ar's side where the bullet had gone in, an' ez long ez
that poor bewitched b'ar were in sight--fer o' course I thort at the
time th't the b'ar were bewitched--I could see that streak o' fire
sailin' along in the sky till it went out at last like a shootin' star.
I never knowed w'at become o' the b'ar, an' the hull thing were a
startlin' myst'ry to me, but I kim home, Squire, an' tol' ye the story,
jest ez I've tol' ye now, an' ye were so durn polite th't ye said I were
a liar. But sence, I've been a-thinkin' an' recollectin'. Squire, I
don't hold no gredge. The myst'ry's plain ez day, now. We don't want no
better signs o' gas th'n th't, do we, Squire?"

"Than what?" said the Squire.

"Than what!" exclaimed the Old Settler. "Than that b'ar, o' course!
That's w'at ailed him. It's plain enough th't thuz nat'ral gas on the
Groner place, an' th't it leaks outen the ground in Deep Rock Gulley.
Wen that b'ar tumbled to the bottom that day, he fell on his face. He
were hurt so th't he couldn't get up. O' course the gas didn't shut
itself off, but kep' on a-leakin' an' shot up inter the b'ar's mouth and
down his throat. The onfortnit b'ar couldn't help hisself, an' bimby he
were filled with gas like a balloon, till he had to float, an' away he
sailed, up an' up an' up. Wen I fired at the b'ar, ez he was floatin'
to'ard the clouds, the linen on the bullet carried fire with it, an'
w'en the bullet tapped the b'ar's side the burnin' linen sot it on fire,
showin' th't th' can't be no doubt 'bout it bein' gas th't the b'ar
swallered in Deep Rock Gulley. So ye see, Squire, I wa'n't no liar, an'
the chances is all in favor o' your seein' a balloon h'isted from gas
right in yer own bailiwick afore ye turn up yer toes."

The Squire gazed at the Old Settler in silent amazement for a minute or
more. Then he threw up his hands and said:

"Wal--I'll--be--durned!"




VERRE DEFINITE

BY WALLACE BRUCE AMSBARY


    It' verre long, long tam', ma frien',
      I'm leeve on Bourbonnais,
    I'm keep de gen'rale merchandise,
      I'm prom'nent man, dey say;
    I'm sell mos' every t'ing dere ees,
      From sulky plow to sock,
    I don' care w'at you ask me for,
      You'll fin' it in my stock.

    Las' w'ek dere was de _petite fille_
      Of ma frien', Gosse, he com'
    Into ma shop to get stock_ing_,
      She want to buy her som';
    She was herself not verre ol',
      Near twelve year, I suppose;
    She com' to me an' say, "M'sieu,
      I wan' to buy som' hose."

    I always mak' de custom rule,
      No matter who it ees,
    To be polite an' eloquent
      In transack of ma beez;
    I say to her, "For who you wan'
      Dese stockings to be wear?"
    She say she need wan pair herself,
      Also for small bruddere.

    She say her bruddere's eight years ol'
      An' coming almos' nine,
    An' I am twelve, mos' near t'irteen,
      Dat size will do for mine:
    An' modder she will tak' beeg pair,
      She weigh 'bout half a ton,
    She wan' de size of forty year
      Go_ing_ on forty-one.




THE TALKING HORSE

BY JOHN T. McINTYRE


Upon a fence across the way was posted a "twenty-four sheet block
stand," and along the top, in big red letters, it read:

"_H. Wellington Sheldon Presents_"

Then followed the names of a half dozen famous operatic stars.

Bat Scranton sat regarding it silently for a long time; but after he had
placed himself behind his third big cigar he joined in the talk.

"In fifteen years dubbing about this great and glorious," said he, "I
never run across a smoother piece of goods than old Cap. Sheldon. To see
him, now, in his plug hat, frock coat and white English whiskers, you'd
spot him as the main squeeze in a prosperous bank. He's doing the
Frohman stunt, too," and Bat nodded toward the poster, "and he handles
it with exceeding grace. When I see him after the curtain falls upon a
bunch of Verdi or Wagner stuff, come out and bow his thanks to a house
full of the town's swellest, and throw out a little spiel with an
aristocratic accent, I always think of the time when I first met him.

"Were any of you ever in Langtry, Ohio? Well, never take a chance on it
if there is anywhere else to go. It's a tank town with a community of
seven hundred of the tightest wads that ever sunk a dollar into the toe
of a sock. There was a fair going on in the place, and I blew in there
one September day; my turn just then was taking orders for crayon
portraits of rural gentlemen with horny hands and plenty of chin fringe.
I figure it out that about sixty per cent. of the parlors in the middle
west are adorned with one or more of these works of art, but Langtry,
Ohio, would not listen to the proposition for a moment; as soon as they
discovered that I wasn't giving the stuff away they sort of lost
interest in me and mine; so I began to study the time-table and kick off
the preliminary dust of the burg, preparatory to seeking a new base of
operations.

"As I made my way to the station I caught my first glimpse of Cap.
Sheldon. He had a satchel hanging from around his neck and was winsomely
wrapping ten dollar notes up with small cylinders of soap and offering
to sell them at one dollar a throw.

"'How are they going,' says I.

"'Not at all,' says he. 'There's nothing to it that I can see. The breed
and seed of Solomon himself must have camped down in this section; they
are the wisest lot I ever saw herd together. Instead of chewing straws
and leaning over fences after the customary and natural manner of
ruminates, they pike around with a calm, cold-blooded sagacity that is
truly awesome. It's me to pull out as soon as I can draw expenses.'

"The next time Cap. dawned upon my vision was a year afterward, down in
Georgia. He was doing the ballyho oration in front of a side wall circus
in a mellifluous style that was just dragging the tar heels up to the
entrance.

"'It's a little better than the Ohio gag,' says he, 'but I've seen
better, at that. I had a good paying faro outfit in Cincinnati since I
met you, but the police got sore because I wouldn't cut the takings in
what they considered the right place, so they closed me up.'

"During the next five years I met Cap. in every section of the country,
and handling various propositions. In San Francisco I caught him in the
act of selling toy balloons on a street corner; in Chicago he was
disposing of old line life insurance with considerable effect; at a
county fair, somewhere in Iowa, I ran across him as he gracefully
manipulated the shells.

"But Cap. did not break permanently into the show business until he
coupled up with the McClintock in Milwaukee. Mac was an Irish
Presbyterian, and was proud of it; he came out of the Black North and
was the most acute harp, mentally, that I had ever had anything to do
with. The Chosen People are not noted for commercial density; but a Jew
could enter Mac's presence attired in the height of fashion and leave it
with only his shoe strings and a hazy recollection as to how the thing
was done.

"Now, when a team like Cap. and Mac took to pulling together, there just
naturally had to be something doing. They began with a small show under
canvas, and their main card was a twenty-foot boa-constrictor, which
they billed as 'Mighty Mardo.' Then they had a boy with three legs, one
of which they neglected to state was made of wood; also a blushing
damsel with excess embonpoint to the extent of four hundred pounds. With
this outfit they campaigned for one season; in the fall they bought a
museum in St. Louis and settled themselves as impresarios.

"Now, in my numerous meetings with Cap. I had never thought to ask his
name, so when I saw an 'ad' in the _Clipper_ stating that Sheldon &
McClintock was in need of a good full-toned lecturer that doubled in
brass, I just sat me down in my ignorance and dropped them a line. They
sent me a ticket to where I was sidetracked up in Michigan, and I
hurried down.

"'Oh, it's you, is it?' says Cap., as I piked into the ten by twelve
office and announced myself. 'Well, I've heard you throw a spiel and
think you'll do. But I didn't know that you played brass. What's your
instrument?'

"Now, I had a faint sentiment from the beginning that this clause in
their bill of requirements would get me into trouble, for I knew no more
about band music than a he goat knows about the book of common prayer.

"'I do the cymbals,' says I.

"'What!' snorts Cap., rearing up; 'I thought you wrote that you played
brass?'

"'Well,' says I, 'ain't cymbals brass?'

"It must have been my cold nerve that won Cap.'s regard, for he placed
me as 'curio hall' lecturer and advertising man at twenty a week.

"The museum of Sheldon & McClintock proved to be a great notch. More
fake freaks were thought out, worked up and exhibited during the course
of that winter season than I would care to count. Then there was a small
theater attached in which they put on very bad specialties and where
painful-voiced young men and women warbled sentimental ballads about
their childhood homes and stuff of that character. These got about ten
dollars a week and had to do about thirty turns a day; they lived in
their make-up and got so accustomed to grease paint before the end of
their engagements that they felt only half dressed without it.

"The trick made money, and in about a year McClintock cut loose and went
into a patent promoting scheme.

"Shortly afterward the first 'continuous house' was opened in St. Louis,
and the novelty of the thing was a body blow to Cap. He made a good
fight, but lost money every day; and at last he imparted to me in
confidence that if business did not improve he could see himself getting
out the shells and limbering up on them preparatory to going out and
facing the world once more.

"'The bank will stand for three hundred thousand dollars' worth more of
my checks,' says he, 'and after they're used up I'm done.'

"He began to cut down expenses with the reckless energy of a man who saw
the poor-house looming ahead for him; the results was that his bad shows
grew worse, and the attendance wasn't enough to dust off the seats. The
biggest item of expense about the place was 'Mighty Mardo,' the
boa-constrictor; his diet was live rabbits, and a twenty-foot snake with
a body as thick as a four-inch pipe can dispose of good and plenty of
them when he takes the notion. Cap. began to feed him live rats, and the
mighty one soon began to show the effects of it.

"'He'll die on you,' says I to Cap. one day.

"'Let him,' says he; 'the rabbits stay cut out.'

"One day a fellow came along with a high-schooled horse that he wanted
to sell. He had more use for ready money just then than he had for the
nag, so he offered to put it in cheap. But Cap. waved him away.

"'I'll need the money to buy meals with before long,' says he to the
fellow, 'so tempt me not to my going hungry.'

"This little incident seemed to make the old man feel bad; he locked
himself up in the office for four hours or so communing with his inner
self; but when he came out he was looking bright and gay.

"'Say,' says he, 'I've changed my mind and just bought that horse.'

"'I didn't see the man come back,' says I.

"'I made the deal over the 'phone,' says Cap. Then he pushes a thick wad
of penciled stuff at me. 'Here's some truck I want you to take over to
the printing house,' he goes on. 'When it's out and up the brute will be
well known.'

"I takes a look over the copy, and my hat was lifted two inches straight
off my head. The first one read something like this:

ADMIRAL

THE TALKING HORSE

TALKS LIKE A HUMAN BEING
VOCAL ORGANS DEVELOPED LIKE THOSE OF
A MAN
HEAR HIM SING THE BASS SOLO
"DOWN IN THE DEPTHS"

TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS

TO ANY ONE PROVING THESE CLAIMS
FAKE IN THE SLIGHTEST DEGREE

"'Reads good, don't it?' asks Cap., sort of beaming through his
nose-pinzes. 'But give a look at the others.'

"The next one was as bad as the first:

ADMIRAL!!!

THE HORSE WHO RECITES
THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
IN A DEEP BASS VOICE
AND WITH PERFECT ENUNCIATION

"'I didn't hear the fellow say the skate could do that kind of stuff,'
says I, just a bit dazed, after looking over a lot more of it.

"'He only handed it to me as a sort of last card,' says Cap., 'and
that's what made me change my mind about buying him. Get five thousand
twelve sheets in yellow and red; ten thousand three sheets; fifteen
thousand block one sheets with cut of the horse. And you can place an
order for as many black and white dodgers as they can turn out between
this and the end of the week. It's a big card and we're going into it up
to our eyebrows.'

"If I had had time to consider anything but hustling, I might have
thought the thing was a fake. But it was the old man's game and I left
him to do the worrying. I threw rush orders into the printers and soon
had the presses banging away on the stuff desired.

"Next day Cap. started a four-inch double-column notice in every paper
in town. I hired an army of distributers and began to put out the
dodgers as they came hot off the bat; then I got a couple of Guinea
bands, put them in open wagons, done up with painted muslin
announcements, and sent them forth to tear off the melody and otherwise
delight the eye and ear of the town. As the big stuff came off the press
it was slapped up on every blank wall and fence in the city that wasn't
under guard; and when the job was finished, St. Louis fairly glared with
it. If there was a person who hadn't heard of the Talking Horse by the
end of the week, they must have been deaf, dead or in jail.

"The nag was to make his first appearance on Monday, and the last sheet
of paper had been put up and the last hand bill disposed of by Saturday
afternoon.

"'How does she look?' says Cap. to me when I came in.

"'Great,' says I. 'If they ain't tearing the place down to get in on
Monday, why my bump of prophecy has a dent in it.'

"'Let 'em come,' says Cap., looking very much tickled. 'We need the
money and we ain't turning nobody away. The horse has reached town and
will be brought around to-morrow morning; so you make it a point to be
on hand to let it and the handler in.'

"I was around bright and early on Sunday morning, and along comes the
horse. He was got up in the swellest horse stuff I ever saw--beaded
blankets of plush and silk, with his name embroidered on them, and all
that kind of goods. The handler was a husky with one lamp and a bad one
at that.

"'Where do I put him?' says he.

"'On the top floor,' says I. 'We've got planks on the stairs and a
rigging fixed to haul him up by.'

"When we got him safely landed and the glad coverings off, I looked him
over.

"'His intellect must sort of tell on him, don't it?' asks I.

"'Why, he is some under weight,' says the fellow in charge.

"'He don't look over-bright to me,' I goes on.

"'He never does on Sundays,' the husky comes back. 'It's sort of an off
day with him.'

"Then I went out to lunch and stayed about two hours; when I got back I
found a gang of cops and things buzzing all over the place. Cap. was in
the office, his plug hat on the back of his head and a cigar in his
mouth.

"'What's the trouble?' says I.

"'Had a hell of a time around here,' says he. 'I was called up on the
'phone and got down as soon as I could. Just take an observation of that
fellow over there.'

"The fellow referred to was the handler of the Talking Horse. His left
arm was done up in splints and bandaged from finger-tips to shoulder,
and he had a clump of reporters around him about six feet thick.

"'What hit him?' asks I.

"'About everything on the top floor,' says Cap., solemnly. 'The Talking
Horse is dead. Mighty Mardo broke out of his showcase about an hour ago,
took a couple of half hitches around the Admiral and crushed him to
death.'

"'Go 'way!' says I.

"'Sure thing,' says Cap. 'Come up stairs and have a look.'

"We went up and did so. The place was a wreck; the horse was the deadest
I ever saw and the constrictor was still twined about him.

"'Why, the snake's passed out, too,' says I.

"Cap. folds his hands meekly across his breast in a resigned sort of
way.

"'Yes,' says he; 'he, too, was killed in the dreadful struggle. He must
have went straight for the Admiral as soon as he got loose. The handler
was down in the office, alone, when the uproar started; he came jumping
upstairs six steps to the jump and when he sees Mardo putting in that
bunch of body holds on his intelligent charge, why, he took a hand. The
result was a dead snake for me and a crippled wing for him. When I got
here, Doc. Forbes was tying him up,' Cap. goes on rather sorrowful like;
'and when I sees what's happened, I know that I'm a ruined man. So I
'phones for the police and reporters to come down and view my finish.'

"From the way he talked I expected to see him carted home before the
hour was up; but he wasn't. As soon as the newspaper fellows cleared out
with all the facts of the case in their note-books, Cap. sends for a
fellow and puts him right to work fixing up the horse and snake so's
they'll keep, and then lays them out.

"Next morning the newspapers slopped over with scare headlines telling
of the battle. According to their way of looking at it, the struggles in
the arena of old Rome were scared to death in comparison, and modern
times did not come anywhere near showing a parallel of the combat
between the terrible constrictor and the horse with the human voice. The
result of this was that when the time came to open the doors at noon we
had to have a squad of police to keep the mob from blocking traffic for
squares around. Cap. had changed and doubled the size of his ads. over
night.

"The horse was done up in a big black coffin covered with flowers; and
the lid with his name, age and wonderful accomplishment engraved upon a
plate stood beside him. The remains of Mighty Mardo, stuffed with baled
hay and excelsior, were embracing the dead Admiral with monster coils;
and the crowds came, gazed, and marveled; then they went forth to tell
their friends that they might come and do likewise.

"For weeks the coin came into the box like a spring freshet in the hill
country, and Cap. must have kept the bank working after hours; at any
rate, he sat around and smoked with a smile so angelic, that, to look at
him, one wondered how he could wear it and not drift away into the
ethereal blue. It was a good month before the thing lost its pulling
power, and when it stopped Cap. had planted the stake that boosted him
into the company he now keeps and set him to handling voices that cost
thousands of simoleons an hour.

"When all was over, I found time to take the husky, with the damaged
fin out and throw a few drinks into him. Then he told me the whole
story.

"'The old man didn't think you could do the thing justice if you were
wise,' says he, 'so he kept you out. This ain't the horse the fellow
offered to sell him, at all. He bought it at a bazar for ten dollars,
the day before I brought it around. When you went out for lunch Cap. he
comes in. We done for the plug in a minute, and as Mighty Marda was all
but gone, on account of his rat diet, we finished him, too. Then we
wrecked the place up some, took a couple of turns about the horse with
Mardo, called in Doc. Forbes, who stood in, to fix up the fictitious
fracture, and then rung in the show.'

"Yes," observed Bat, thoughtfully, after a pause, "I've made up my mind
that H. Wellington Sheldon is a wise plug."




THE OWL-CRITIC

BY JAMES T. FIELDS


    "Who stuffed that white owl?" No one spoke in the shop,
    The barber was busy, and he couldn't stop;
    The customers, waiting their turns, were all reading
    The "Daily," the "Herald," the "Post," little heeding
    The young man who blurted out such a blunt question;
    Not one raised a head, or even made a suggestion;
              And the barber kept on shaving.

    "Don't you see, Mr. Brown,"
    Cried the youth, with a frown,
    "How wrong the whole thing is,
    How preposterous each wing is
    How flattened the head is, how jammed down the neck is--
    In short, the whole owl, what an ignorant wreck 'tis!
    I make no apology;
    I've learned owl-eology.
    I've passed days and nights in a hundred collections,
    And can not be blinded to any deflections
    Arising from unskilful fingers that fail
    To stuff a bird right, from his beak to his tail.
    Mister Brown! Mister Brown!
    Do take that bird down,
    Or you'll soon be the laughing-stock all over town!"
              And the barber kept on shaving.

    "I've _studied_ owls,
    And other night-fowls,
    And I tell you
    What I know to be true;
    An owl can not roost
    With his limbs so unloosed;
    No owl in this world
    Ever had his claws curled,
    Ever had his legs slanted,
    Ever had his bill canted,
    Ever had his neck screwed
    Into that attitude.
    He can't _do_ it, because
    'Tis against all bird-laws.
    Anatomy teaches,
    Ornithology preaches,
    An owl has a toe
    That _can't_ turn out so!
    I've made the white owl my study for years,
    And to see such a job almost moves me to tears!
    Mr. Brown, I'm amazed
    You should be so gone crazed
    As to put up a bird
    In that posture absurd!
    To _look_ at that owl really brings on a dizziness;
    The man who stuffed _him_ don't half know his business!"
              And the barber kept on shaving.

    "Examine those eyes.
    I'm filled with surprise
    Taxidermists should pass
    Off on you such poor glass;
    So unnatural they seem
    They'd make Audubon scream,
    And John Burroughs laugh
    To encounter such chaff.
    Do take that bird down;
    Have him stuffed again, Brown!"
              And the barber kept on shaving.

    "With some sawdust and bark
    I could stuff in the dark
    An owl better than that.
    I could make an old hat
    Look more like an owl
    Than that horrid fowl,
    Stuck up there so stiff like a side of coarse leather.
    In fact, about _him_ there's not one natural feather."

    Just then, with a wink and a sly normal lurch,
    The owl, very gravely, got down from his perch,
    Walked round, and regarded his fault-finding critic
    (Who thought he was stuffed) with a glance analytic,
    And then fairly hooted, as if he should say:
    "Your learning's at fault _this_ time, anyway;
    Don't waste it again on a live bird, I pray.
    I'm an owl; you're another. Sir Critic, good day!"
              And the barber kept on shaving.




THE MOSQUITO

BY WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT


    Fair insect! that, with thread-like legs spread out,
      And blood-extracting bill, and filmy wing,
    Dost murmur, as thou slowly sail'st about,
      In pitiless ears, fall many a plaintive thing,
    And tell how little our large veins should bleed
    Would we but yield them to thy bitter need.

    Unwillingly, I own, and, what is worse,
      Full angrily, men listen to thy plaint;
    Thou gettest many a brush and many a curse,
      For saying thou art gaunt, and starved, and faint.
    Even the old beggar, while he asks for food,
    Would kill thee, hapless stranger, if he could.

    I call thee stranger, for the town, I ween,
      Has not the honor of so proud a birth:
    Thou com'st from Jersey meadows, fresh and green,
      The offspring of the gods, though born on earth;
    For Titan was thy sire, and fair was she,
    The ocean-nymph that nursed thy infancy.

    Beneath the rushes was thy cradle swung,
      And when at length thy gauzy wings grew strong,
    Abroad to gentle airs their folds were flung,
      Rose in the sky and bore thee soft along;
    The south wind breathed to waft thee on thy way,
    And danced and shone beneath the billowy bay.

    Calm rose afar the city spires, and thence
      Came the deep murmur of its throng of men,
    And as its grateful odors met thy sense,
      They seemed the perfumes of thy native fen.
    Fair lay its crowded streets, and at the sight
    Thy tiny song grew shriller with delight.

    At length thy pinion fluttered in Broadway,--
      Ah, there were fairy steps, and white necks kissed
    By wanton airs, and eyes whose killing ray
      Shone through the snowy veils like stars through mist;
    And fresh as morn, on many a cheek and chin,
    Bloomed the bright blood through the transparent skin.

    Sure these were sights to tempt an anchorite!
      What! do I hear thy slender voice complain?
    Thou wailest when I talk of beauty's light,
      As if it brought the memory of pain.
    Thou art a wayward being--well, come near,
    And pour thy tale of sorrow in mine ear.

    What say'st thou, slanderer! rouge makes thee sick?
      And China Bloom at best is sorry food?
    And Rowland's Kalydor, if laid on thick,
      Poisons the thirsty wretch that bores for blood?
    Go! 'twas a just reward that met thy crime;
    But shun the sacrilege another time.

    That bloom was made to look at,--not to touch;
      To worship, not approach, that radiant white;
    And well might sudden vengeance light on such
      As dared, like thee, most impiously to bite.
    Thou shouldst have gazed at distance, and admired,--
    Murmured thy admiration and retired.

    Thou'rt welcome to the town; but why come here
      To bleed a brother poet, gaunt like thee?
    Alas! the little blood I have is dear,
      And thin will be the banquet drawn from me.
    Look round: the pale-eyed sisters in my cell,
    Thy old acquaintance, Song and Famine, dwell.

    Try some plump alderman, and suck the blood
      Enriched by generous wine and costly meat;
    On well-filled skins, sleek as thy native mud,
      Fix thy light pump, and press thy freckled feet.
    Go to the men for whom, in ocean's halls,
    The oyster breeds and the green turtle sprawls.

    There corks are drawn, and the red vintage flows,
      To fill the swelling veins for thee, and now
    The ruddy cheek and now the ruddier nose
      Shall tempt thee, as thou flittest round the brow;
    And when the hour of sleep its quiet brings,
    No angry hand shall rise to brush thy wings.




"TIDDLE-IDDLE-IDDLE-IDDLE-BUM! BUM!"

BY WILBUR D. NESBIT


    When our town band gets on the square
    On concert night you'll find me there.
    I'm right beside Elijah Plumb,
    Who plays th' cymbals an' bass drum;
    An' next to him is Henry Dunn,
    Who taps the little tenor one.
    I like to hear our town band play,
    But, best it does, I want to say,
    Is when they tell a tune's to come
    With
        "Tiddle-iddle-iddle-iddle-
                                  Bum-Bum!"

    O' course, there's some that likes the tunes
    Like _Lily Dale_ an' _Ragtime Coons_;
    Some likes a solo or duet
    By Charley Green--B-flat cornet--
    An' Ernest Brown--th' trombone man.
    (An' they can play, er no one can);
    But it's the best when Henry Dunn
    Lets them there sticks just cut an' run,
    An' 'Lijah says to let her hum
    With
        "Tiddle-iddle-iddle-iddle-
                                  Bum-Bum!"

    I don't know why, ner what's the use
    O' havin' that to interduce
    A tune--but I know, as fer me
    I'd ten times over ruther see
    Elijah Plumb chaw with his chin,
    A-gettin' ready to begin,
    While Henry plays that roll o' his
    An' makes them drumsticks fairly sizz,
    Announcin' music, on th' drum,
    With
        "Tiddle-iddle-iddle-iddle-
                                  Bum-Bum!"




MY FIRST CIGAR

BY ROBERT J. BURDETTE


    'Twas just behind the woodshed,
      One glorious summer day,
    Far o'er the hills the sinking sun
      Pursued his westward way;
    And in my safe seclusion
      Removed from all the jar
    And din of earth's confusion
      I smoked my first cigar.

        It was my first cigar!
        It was the worst cigar!
    Raw, green and dank, hide-bound and rank
        It was my first cigar!

    Ah, bright the boyish fancies
      Wrapped in the smoke-wreaths blue;
    My eyes grew dim, my head was light,
      The woodshed round me flew!
    Dark night closed in around me--
      Black night, without a star--
    Grim death methought had found me
      And spoiled my first cigar.

        It was my first cigar!
        A six-for-five cigar!
    No viler torch the air could scorch--
        It was my first cigar!

    All pallid was my beaded brow,
      The reeling night was late,
    My startled mother cried in fear,
      "My child, what have you ate?"
    I heard my father's smothered laugh,
      It seemed so strange and far,
    I knew he knew I knew he knew
      I'd smoked my first cigar!

        It was my first cigar!
        A give-away cigar!
    I could not die--I knew not why--
        It was my first cigar!

    Since then I've stood in reckless ways,
      I've dared what men can dare,
    I've mocked at danger, walked with death,
      I've laughed at pain and care.
    I do not dread what may befall
      'Neath my malignant star,
    No frowning fate again can make
      Me smoke my first cigar.

        I've smoked my first cigar!
        My first and worst cigar!
    Fate has no terrors for the man
        Who's smoked his first cigar!




SHONNY SCHWARTZ

BY CHARLES FOLLEN ADAMS


    Haf you seen mine leedle Shonny,--
                              Shonny Schwartz,--
    Mit his hair so soft und yellow,
    Und his face so blump und mellow;
    Sooch a funny leedle fellow,--
                              Shonny Schwartz?

    Efry mornings dot young Shonny--
                              Shonny Schwartz--
    Rises mit der preak off day,
    Und does his chores oup righdt avay;
    For he gan vork so vell as blay,--
                              Shonny Schwartz.

    Mine Katrina says to Shonny,
                              "Shonny Schwartz,
    Helb your barents all you gan,
    For dis life vas bud a shban:
    Py und py you'll been a man,
                              Shonny Schwartz."

    How I lofes to see dot Shonny--
                              Shonny Schwartz--
    Vhen he schgampers off to schgool,
    Vhere he alvays minds der rule!
    For he vas nopody's fool,--
                              Shonny Schwartz.

    How I vish dot leedle Shonny--
                              Shonny Schwartz--
    Could remain von leedle poy,
    Alvays full off life und shoy,
    Und dot Time vould not annoy
                              Shonny Schwartz!

    Nefer mindt, mine leedle Shonny,--
                              Shonny Schwartz;
    Efry day prings someding new:
    Alvays keep der righdt in view,
    Und baddle, den, your own canoe,
                              Shonny Schwartz.

    Keep her in der channel, Shonny,--
                              Shonny Schwartz:
    Life's voyich vill pe quickly o'er;
    Und den ubon dot bedder shore
    Ve'll meet again, to bart no more,
                              Shonny Schwartz.




A BULLY BOAT AND A BRAG CAPTAIN

_A Story of Steamboat Life on the Mississippi_

BY SOL SMITH


Does any one remember the _Caravan_? She was what would now be
considered a slow boat--_then_ (1827) she was regularly advertised as
the "fast running," etc. Her regular trips from New Orleans to Natchez
were usually made in from six to eight days; a trip made by her in five
days was considered remarkable. A voyage from New Orleans to Vicksburg
and back, including stoppages, generally entitled the officers and crew
to a month's wages. Whether the _Caravan_ ever achieved the feat of a
voyage to the Falls (Louisville) I have never learned; if she did, she
must have "had a _time_ of it!"

It was my fate to take passage in this boat. The Captain was a
good-natured, easy-going man, careful of the comfort of his passengers,
and exceedingly fond of the _game of brag_. We had been out a little
more than five days, and we were in hopes of seeing the bluffs of
Natchez on the next day. Our wood was getting low, and night coming on.
The pilot on duty _above_ (the other pilot held three aces at the time,
and was just calling out the Captain, who "went it strong" on three
kings) sent down word that the mate had reported the stock of wood
reduced to half a cord. The worthy Captain excused himself to the pilot
whose watch was _below_ and the two passengers who made up the party,
and hurried to the deck, where he soon discovered by the landmarks that
we were about half a mile from a woodyard, which he said was situated
"right round yonder point." "But," muttered the Captain, "I don't much
like to take wood of the yellow-faced old scoundrel who owns it--he
always charges a quarter of a dollar more than any one else; however,
there's no other chance." The boat was pushed to her utmost, and in a
little less than an hour, when our fuel was about giving out, we made
the point, and our cables were out and fastened to trees alongside of a
good-sized wood pile.

"Hallo, Colonel! How d'ye sell your wood _this_ time?"

A yellow-faced old gentleman, with a two weeks' beard, strings over his
shoulders holding up to his armpits a pair of copperas-colored
linsey-woolsey pants, the legs of which reached a very little below the
knee; shoes without stockings; a faded, broad-brimmed hat, which had
once been black, and a pipe in his mouth--casting a glance at the empty
guards of our boat and uttering a grunt as he rose from fastening our
"spring line," answered:

"Why, Capting, we must charge you _three and a quarter_ THIS _time_."

"The d--l!" replied the Captain--(captains did swear a little in those
days); "what's the odd _quarter_ for, I should like to know? You only
charged me _three_ as I went down."

"Why, Capting," drawled out the wood merchant, with a sort of leer on
his yellow countenance, which clearly indicated that his wood was as
good as sold, "wood's riz since you went down two weeks ago; besides,
you are awar that you very seldom stop going _down_--when you're going
_up_ you're sometimes obleeged to give me a call, becaze the current's
aginst you, and there's no other woodyard for nine miles ahead; and if
you happen to be nearly out of fooel, why--"

"Well, well," interrupted the Captain, "we'll take a few cords, under
the circumstances," and he returned to his game of brag.

In about half an hour we felt the _Caravan_ commence paddling again.
Supper was over, and I retired to my upper berth, situated alongside and
overlooking the brag-table, where the Captain was deeply engaged, having
now the _other_ pilot as his principal opponent. We jogged on
quietly--and seemed to be going at a good rate.

"How does that wood burn?" inquired the Captain of the mate, who was
looking on at the game.

"'Tisn't of much account, I reckon," answered the mate; "it's
cottonwood, and most of it green at that."

"Well, Thompson--(Three aces again, stranger--I'll take that X and the
small change, if you please. It's your deal)--Thompson, I say, we'd
better take three or four cords at the next woodyard--it can't be more
than six miles from here--(Two aces and a bragger, with the age! Hand
over those V's.)."

The game went on, and the paddles kept moving. At eleven o'clock it was
reported to the Captain that we were nearing the woodyard, the light
being distinctly seen by the pilot on duty.

"Head her in shore, then, and take in six cords if it's good--see to it,
Thompson; I can't very well leave the game now--it's getting right warm!
This pilot's beating us all to smash."

The wooding completed, we paddled on again. The Captain seemed somewhat
vexed when the mate informed him that the price was the same as at the
last woodyard--_three and a quarter_; but soon again became interested
in the game.

From my upper berth (there were no staterooms _then_) I could observe
the movements of the players. All the contention appeared to be between
the Captain and the pilots (the latter personages took it turn and turn
about, steering and playing brag), _one_ of them almost invariably
winning, while the two passengers merely went through the ceremony of
dealing, cutting, and paying up their "anties." They were anxious to
_learn the game_--and they _did_ learn it! Once in a while, indeed,
seeing they had two aces and a bragger, they would venture a bet of five
or ten dollars, but they were always compelled to back out before the
tremendous bragging of the Captain or pilot--or if they did venture to
"call out" on "two bullits and a bragger," they had the mortification to
find one of the officers had the same kind of a hand, and were _more
venerable_! Still, with all these disadvantages, they continued
playing--they wanted to learn the game.

At two o'clock the Captain asked the mate how we were getting on.

"Oh, pretty glibly, sir," replied the mate; "we can scarcely tell what
headway we _are_ making, for we are obliged to keep the middle of the
river, and there is the shadow of a fog rising. This wood seems rather
better than that we took in at Yellow-Face's, but we're nearly out
again, and must be looking out for more. I saw a light just ahead on the
right--shall we hail?"

"Yes, yes," replied the Captain; "ring the bell and ask 'em what's the
price of wood up here. (I've got you again; here's double kings.)"

I heard the bell and the pilot's hail, "What's _your_ price for wood?"

A youthful voice on the shore answered, "Three _and_ a quarter!"

"D--net!" ejaculated the Captain, who had just lost the price of two
cords to the pilot--the strangers suffering _some_ at the same
time--"three and a quarter again! Are we _never_ to get to a cheaper
country? (Deal, sir, if you please; better luck next time.)"

The other pilot's voice was again heard on deck:

"How much _have_ you?"

"Only about ten cords, sir," was the reply of the youthful salesman.

The Captain here told Thompson to take six cords, which would last till
daylight--and again turned his attention to the game.

The pilots here changed places. _When did they sleep?_

Wood taken in, the _Caravan_ again took her place in the middle of the
stream, paddling on as usual.

Day at length dawned. The brag-party broke up and settlements were being
made, during which operation the Captain's bragging propensities were
exercised in cracking up the speed of his boat, which, by his reckoning,
must have made at least sixty miles, and _would_ have made many more if
he could have procured good wood. It appears the two passengers, in
their first lesson, had incidentally lost one hundred and twenty
dollars. The Captain, as he rose to see about taking in some _good_
wood, which he felt sure of obtaining now that he had got above the
level country, winked at his opponent, the pilot, with whom he had been
on very bad terms during the progress of the game, and said, in an
undertone, "Forty apiece for you and I and James (the other pilot) is
not bad for one night."

I had risen and went out with the Captain, to enjoy a view of the
bluffs. There was just fog enough to prevent the vision taking in more
than sixty yards--so I was disappointed in _my_ expectation. We were
nearing the shore, for the purpose of looking for wood, the banks being
invisible from the middle of the river.

"There it is!" exclaimed the Captain; "stop her!" Ding--ding--ding! went
the big bell, and the Captain hailed:

"Hallo! the woodyard!"

"Hallo yourself!" answered a squeaking female voice, which came from a
woman with a petticoat over her shoulders in place of a shawl.

"What's the price of wood?"

"I think you ought to know the price by this time," answered the old
lady in the petticoat; "it's three and a qua-a-rter! and now you know
it."

"Three and the d--l!" broke in the Captain. "What, have you raised on
_your_ wood, too? I'll give you _three_, and not a cent more."

"Well," replied the petticoat, "here comes the old man--_he'll_ talk to
you."

And, sure enough, out crept from the cottage the veritable faded hat,
copperas-colored pants, yellow countenance and two weeks' beard we had
seen the night before, and the same voice we had heard regulating the
price of cottonwood squeaked out the following sentence, accompanied by
the same leer of the same yellow countenance:

"Why, darn it all, Capting, there is but three or four cords left, and
_since it's you_, I don't care if I _do_ let you have it for
_three_--_as you're a good customer_!"

After a quick glance at the landmarks around, the Captain bolted, and
turned in to take some rest.

The fact became apparent--the reader will probably have discovered it
some time since--that _we had been wooding all night at the same
woodyard_!




WHEN THE ALLEGASH DRIVE GOES THROUGH

BY HOLMAN F. DAY


    We're spurred with the spikes in our soles;
      There is water a-swash in our boots;
    Our hands are hard-calloused by peavies and poles,
      And we're drenched with the spume of the chutes;
    We gather our herds at the head,
      Where the axes have toppled them loose,
    And down from the hills where the rivers are fed
      We harry the hemlock and spruce.

    We hurroop them with the peavies from their sullen beds of snow;
    With the pickpole for a goadstick, down the brimming streams we go;
    They are hitching, they are halting, and they lurk and hide and dodge,
    They sneak for skulking-eddies, they bunt the bank and lodge;
    And we almost can imagine that they hear the yell of saws
    And the grunting of the grinders of the paper-mills, because
    They loiter in the shallows and they cob-pile at the falls,
    And they buck like ugly cattle where the broad dead-water crawls;
    But we wallow in and welt 'em, with the water to our waist,
    For the driving pitch is dropping and the drouth is gasping "Haste"!
    Here a dam and there a jam, that is grabbed by grinning rocks,
    Gnawed by the teeth of the ravening ledge that slavers at our flocks;
    Twenty a month for daring Death--for fighting from dawn to dark--
    Twenty and grub and a place to sleep in God's great public park;
    We roofless go, with the cook's bateau to follow our hungry crew--
    A billion of spruce and hell turned loose when the Allegash drive goes
        through.

        My lad with the spurs at his heel
          Has a cattle-ranch bronco to bust;
        A thousand of Texans to wheedle and wheel
          To market through smother and dust;
        But I with the peavy and pole
          Am driving the herds of the pine,
        Grant to my brother what suits his soul,
          But no bellowing brutes in mine.

    He would wince to wade and wallow--and I hate a horse or steer!
    But we stand the kings of herders--he for There and I for Here;
    Though he rides with Death behind him when he rounds the wild stampede,
    I will chop the jamming king-log and I'll match him deed for deed;
    And for me the greenwood savor, and the lash across my face
    Of the spitting spume that belches from the back-wash of the race;
    The glory of the tumult where the tumbling torrent rolls,
    With half a hundred drivers riding through with lunging poles;
    Here's huzza, for reckless chances! Here's hurrah for those who ride
    Through the jaws of boiling sluices, yeasty white from side to side!
    Our brawny fists are calloused, and we're mostly holes and hair,
    But if grit were golden bullion we'd have coin to spend and spare!

    Here some rips and there the lips of a whirlpool's bellowing mouth,
    Death we clinch and Time we fight, for behind us gasps the Drouth;
    Twenty a month, bateau for a home, and only a peep at town,
    For our money is gone in a brace of nights after the drive is down;
    But with peavies and poles and care-free souls our ragged and roofless
        crew
    Swarms gayly along with whoop and song when the Allegash drive goes
        through.





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