Infomotions, Inc.The Wit and Humor of America, Volume VII. (of X.) / Various

Author: Various
Title: The Wit and Humor of America, Volume VII. (of X.)
Publisher: Project Gutenberg
Tag(s): carrington; presidio; pendleton; dat; howard; git
Contributor(s): Wilder, Marshall Pinckney, 1859-1915 [Editor]
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Rights: GNU General Public License
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Title: The Wit and Humor of America, Volume VII. (of X.)

Author: Various

Editor: Marshall P. Wilder

Release Date: September 18, 2006 [EBook #19325]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ASCII


Produced by Suzanne Lybarger, Brian Janes and the Online
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Library Edition


In Ten Volumes


[Illustration: GEORGE ADE]



_Volume VII_

Funk & Wagnalls Company
New York and London



  Alphabet of Celebrities             Oliver Herford               1243
  Assault and Battery                 Joseph G. Baldwin            1391
  Associated Widows, The              Katharine M. Roof            1338
  Bill Nations                        Bill Arp                     1368
  Brakeman at Church, The             Robert J. Burdette           1323
  Breitmann and the Turners           Charles Godfrey Leland       1217
  By Bay and Sea                      John Kendrick Bangs          1367
  Camp-Meeting, The                   Baynard Rust Hall            1265
  Critic, The                         William J. Lampton           1336
  Cupid, A Crook                      Edward W. Townsend           1220
  Dubious Future, The                 Bill Nye                     1298
  Educational Project, An             Roy Farrell Greene           1264
  Fable                               Ralph Waldo Emerson          1358
  Goat, The                           R.K. Munkittrick             1247
  Happy Land, The                     Frank Roe Batchelder         1389
  He and She                          Ironquill                    1250
  Holly Song                          Clinton Scollard             1260
  How Mr. Terrapin Lost His Beard     Anne Virginia Culbertson     1328
  How Mr. Terrapin Lost His Plumage
      and Whistle                     Anne Virginia Culbertson     1360
  In Defense of an Offering           Sewell Ford                  1248
  It is Time to Begin to Conclude     A.H. Laidlaw                 1294
  Jack Balcomb's Pleasant Ways        Meredith Nicholson           1309
  Lost Inventor, The                  Wallace Irwin                1385
  Margins                             Robert J. Burdette           1297
  My Cigarette                        Charles F. Lummis            1292
  Nonsense Verses                     Gelett Burgess               1244
  Notary of Perigueux                 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow   1251
  Nothin' Done                        Sam S. Stinson               1296
  Omar in the Klondyke                Howard V. Sutherland         1387
  Prayer of Cyrus Brown, The          Sam Walter Foss              1398
  Rhyme for Christmas, A              John Challing                1290
  Siege of Djklxprwbz, The            Ironquill                    1246
  Skeleton in the Closet, The         Edward Everett Hale          1371
  Songs Without Words                 Robert J. Burdette           1261
  Talk                                John Paul                    1307
  Triolets                            C.W.M.                       1262
  Two Cases of Grip                   M. Quad                      1239
  Utah                                Eugene Field                 1305
  Wicked Zebra, The                   Frank Roe Batchelder         1322
  Winter Fancy, A                     R.K. Munkittrick             1308
  What She Said About It              John Paul                    1263
  Woman-Hater Reformed, The           Roy Farrell Greene           1359
  Women and Bargains                  Nina R. Allen                1352




    Hans Breitmann choined de Toorners
      Novemper in de fall,
    Und dey gifed a boostin' bender
      All in de Toorner Hall.
    Dere coomed de whole Gesangverein
      Mit der Liederlich Aepfel Chor,
    Und dey blowed on de drooms und stroomed on de fifes
      Till dey couldn't refife no more.

    Hans Breitmann choined de Toorners,
      Dey all set oop some shouts,
    Dey took'd him into deir Toorner Hall,
      Und poots him a course of shprouts,
    Dey poots him on de barrell-hell pars
      Und shtands him oop on his head,
    Und dey poomps de beer mit an enchine hose
      In his mout' dill he's 'pout half tead!

    Hans Breitmann choined de Toorners;--
      Dey make shimnastig dricks;
    He stoot on de middle of de floor,
      Und put oop a fifdy-six.
    Und den he trows it to de roof,
      Und schwig off a treadful trink:
    De veight coom toomple pack on his headt,
      Und py shinks! he didn't vink!

    Hans Breitmann choined de Toorners:--
      Mein Gott! how dey drinked und shwore
    Dere vas Schwabians und Tyrolers,
      Und Bavarians by de score.
    Some vellers coomed from de Rheinland,
      Und Frankfort-on-de-Main,
    Boot dere vas only von Sharman dere,
      Und _he_ vas a _Holstein_ Dane.

    Hans Breitmann choined de Toorners,
      Mit a Limpurg' cheese he coom;
    Ven he open de box it schmell so loudt
      It knock de musik doomb.
    Ven de Deutschers kit de flavor,
      It coorl de haar on dere head;
    Boot dere vas dwo Amerigans dere;
      Und, py tam! it kilt dem dead!

    Hans Breitmann choined de Toorners;
      De ladies coomed in to see;
    Dey poot dem in de blace for de gals,
      All in der gal-lerie.
    Dey ashk: "Vhere ish der Breitmann?"
      And dey dremple mit awe and fear
    Ven dey see him schwingen py de toes,
      A trinken lager bier.

    Hans Breitmann choined de Toorners:--
      I dells you vot py tam!
    Dey sings de great Urbummellied:
      De holy Sharman psalm.
    Und ven dey kits to de gorus
      You ought to hear dem dramp!
    It scared der Teufel down below
      To hear de Dootchmen stamp.

    Hans Breitmann choined de Toorners:--
      By Donner! it vas grand,
    Vhen de whole of dem goes a valkin'
      Und dancin' on dere hand,
    Mit de veet all wavin' in de air,
      Gottstausend! vot a dricks!
    Dill der Breitmann fall und dey all go down
      Shoost like a row of bricks.

    Hans Breitmann choined de Toorners,
      Dey lay dere in a heap,
    And slept dill de early sonnen shine
      Come in at de window creep;
    And de preeze it vake dem from deir dream,
      And dey go to kit deir feed:
    Here hat' dis song an Ende--



The first night assignment Francis Holt received from his city editor
was in these words: "Mr. Holt, you will cover the Tenderloin to-night.
Mr. Fetner, who usually covers it, will explain what there is to do."

Fetner, when his own work was done that night, sought Holt to help him
with any late story which might be troublesome to a new man. They were
walking up Broadway when Fetner, lowering his voice, said: "Here's
Duane, a plain-clothes man, who is useful to us. I'll introduce you."

As the reporters, in the full flood of after-theater crowds, stood
talking to the officer, a young man hurrying past abruptly stopped and
stepped to Duane's side.

"Well, Tommy, what's up with you?" the officer asked. Holt noted that
Tommy, besides being breathed, was excited. His coat and hat had the
provisional look of the apparel of house servants out of livery, and his
trousers belonged to a livery suit. Tommy hesitated, glancing at Duane's
companions, but the officer said: "Tell your story: these are friends of

"I was just on my way to the station house to see the captain, but I'm
glad I met you, for we don't want the papers to say anything, and
there's always reporters around the station."

Holt would have stepped back, but Fetner detained him, while Duane said
cheerfully: "You're a cunning one, Tommy. Now, what's wrong?"

"Well," began the youth in the manner of a witness on the stand, "I was
on duty in the hall this evening and noticed one of our tenants, Mr.
Porter H. Carrington, leave the house about ten o'clock. I noticed that
he had no overcoat, which I thought was queer, for I'd just closed the
front door, because it was getting chilly."

At the mention of the name Holt started, and now paid close attention to
the story.

"I was reading the sporting extra by the hall light," Tommy continued,
"when, in about twenty minutes, Mr. Carrington returned--that is, I
thought it was Mr. Carrington--and he says to me, 'Tommy, run up to my
dressing-room and fetch my overcoat.' 'Yes, sir,' I says; 'which one?'
for he has a dozen of 'em. 'The light one I wore to-day,' he says, and I
starts up the stairs, his apartment being on the next floor, thinking
I'd see the coat he wanted on a chair if he'd worn it to-day. I'd just
got to his hall and was unlocking the door, when he comes up behind me
and says, 'I'll get it, Tommy; there's something else I want.' So in he
goes, handing me a dime, and I goes back to the hall. In about fifteen
minutes he comes downstairs wearing an overcoat and carrying a bundle,
tosses me the key and starts for the door. He's the kind that never
carries a bundle, so I says to him, 'Shall I ring for a messenger to
carry your package?' 'No,' says he, and leaves the house."

Tommy paused, and there was a shake of excitement in his voice when he
resumed: "In five minutes Mr. Carrington comes back without any
overcoat, and says, Tommy, run upstairs and get me an overcoat.' I
looks, and he was as sober as I am at this minute, Mr. Duane, and I
begins to feel queer. It sort of comes over me all of a sudden that the
voice of the other man I'd unlocked the door for was different from this
one. But I'd been reading the baseball news, and didn't notice much at
the time. So I says, hoping it was some kind of a jolly, 'Did you lose
the one you just wore out, sir?' 'I wore no coat,' he says, giving me a
look. Well, he goes to his apartment, me after him, and there was things
flung all over the place, and all the signs of a hurry job by a
sneak-thief. Mr. Carrington was kind of petrified, but I runs downstairs
and tells the superintendent, and he chases me off to the station. The
superintendent was mad and rags me good, for there never was a job of
that kind done in the house. But the other man was the same looking as
the real, so how was I to know?"

Duane started off with Tommy, and winked to the reporters to follow. At
the Quadrangle, a bachelor apartment house noted for its high rents and
exclusiveness, Duane was met at the entrance by the superintendent, who
told the officer that there was nothing in the story, after all. It was
a lark of a friend of his, Mr. Carrington had said, and was annoyed that
news of the affair had been sent to the police. The superintendent was
glad that Tommy had not reached the station house. Duane looked
inquiringly at the superintendent, who gravely winked.

"Good night," said Duane, holding out his hand. "Good night," replied
the other, taking the hand. "You won't report this at the station?"
"No," said Duane, who then put his hand in his pocket and returned to
the reporters. He told them what the superintendent had said.

"What do you make out of it?" asked Fetner.

"Nothing," the officer replied. "If I tried to make out the cases we are
asked not to investigate, I'd have mighty little time to work on the
cases we are wanted in. If Mr. Carrington says he hasn't been robbed, it
isn't our business to prove that he has been. You won't print anything
about this?"

Fetner said he would not. To have done so after that promise would have
closed a fruitful source of Tenderloin stories. The reporters left the
officer at Broadway and resumed their interrupted walk to supper. "Lots
of funny things happen in the Tenderloin," Fetner remarked, in the
manner of one dismissing a subject.

"But," exclaimed Holt, quite as excited as Tommy had been, "I know

"So does every one," answered Fetner, "by name and reputation. He's just
a swell--swell enough to be noted. Isn't that all?"

"He was a couple of classes ahead of me at college," continued Holt. "I
didn't know him there--one doesn't know half of one's own class--but his
family and mine are old friends, and without troubling himself to know
me, more than to nod, he sometimes sent me word to use his horses when
he was away. Before I left college and went to work on a Boston paper,
Carrington started on a trip around the world. My people heard of him
through his people at times, and learned that he was doing a number of
crazy things, among them getting lost in all sorts of No-man's-lands.
His people were usually asking the State Department to locate him,
through the diplomatic and consular services."

"Then this is one of his eccentricities," commented Fetner.

"How can you treat it like that?" exclaimed Holt. "I think it is a
fascinating mystery, and I'm going to solve it."

"Not for publication," warned Fetner.

"For my own satisfaction," declared Holt, with great earnestness.

       *        *       *       *       *

When the superintendent of the Quadrangle had shaken hands with the
officer he turned to Tommy and said: "You go up to Mr. Carrington. He
wants to see you."

"Tommy," said Mr. Carrington, "I think this is a joke on you."

This view of the event was such a relief to Tommy that he grinned

"It is certainly a joke on you. Now, Thomas, did my friend make himself
up to look so much like me that you could not have told the difference,
even if you were not distracted by the discomfiture of the New York nine
this season?"

"I can't say how much he looked like you, and how much he didn't. I
naturally thought he was you--that's all."

"Not all, Thomas: nothing is all. He asked in an easy, nice voice for a
coat, so you thought he was somebody who had a coat here. How did you
know whose coat he preferred?"

"Because I thought he was you."

"If I had not been the last tenant to leave the house before that, would
you have thought so? If Mr. Hopkins had just left, and that man had come
in and asked for 'My coat,' wouldn't you have got Mr. Hopkins' coat?"

"Mr. Hopkins did go out after you," Tommy admitted, reluctantly.

"Oh, he did, eh? Well, Hopkins is always going out. I never knew such a
regular out-and-outer as Hopkins. He should reform. It's a joke on you,
Thomas, and if I were you I wouldn't say anything about it."

"I ain't going to say anything," declared Tommy. "If I don't lose my job
for it, I'll be lucky."

"I'll see that you do not lose your job. What police did you see?"

"Only a plain-clothes man I know, and a couple of his side-partners.
They won't say anything, for the superintendent fixed them."

       *        *       *       *       *

Mr. Carrington secured his college degree a year after his class. The
delay resulted from an occurrence which he never admitted deserved a
year's rustication. By mere chance he had learned the date of the
birthday of one of the least known and least important instructors, and
decided that it would be well to celebrate it. So he made the
acquaintance of the instructor and invited him to a birthday dinner. A
large and exultant company were the instructor's fellow guests at the
St. Dunstan, and there was jollity that seemed out of drawing with the
dominant lines of the guest of honor; yet the scope of the celebration
was extended until it included the burning of much red fire and
explosion of many noisy bombs at a late hour, as the instructor was
making a speech of thanks in the yard, surrounded by the dinner guests,
heartily encouraging him. It seemed that upon the manner in which the
affair was to be presented to the Faculty depended the dismissal of the
instructor or the rustication of Mr. Carrington; and the latter managed
to present the case so as to save the instructor. If he had foreseen all
the consequences of taking all the blame for an occurrence promptly
distorted in report into the aspect of a riotous carousal, perhaps Mr.
Carrington would not have sacrificed himself for a neutral personality
which had so recently swum into his ken. One consequence was a letter
from Mr. Draper Curtis, of New York, commanding Mr. Carrington to cease
correspondence with Miss Caroline Curtis; and a note from Caroline, in
which a calmer man than a distracted lover would have seen signs of
parental censorship, wherein that young lady said that she had read her
father's letter and added her commands to his. She had heard from many
sources, as had numerous indignant relatives and friends, the
particulars of the shocking affair which had compelled the Faculty to
discipline Mr. Carrington; and she could but agree with her family that
her happiness would rest upon insecure ground if trusted to the inciter
and principal offender in such a terrible transaction. He was to forget
her at once, as she would try to forget him.

Caroline and her mamma sailed for Europe the next day, and several
letters Carrington wrote to her, giving a less censurable version of the
little dinner to the little instructor, were returned to him unopened.

After receiving his delayed degree Carrington began a tour around the
world. In the court of the Palace Hotel, the day of his departure from
San Francisco, a commonplace-looking man stepped up to him briskly, and
said, placing a hand on his shoulder: "Presidio, you've got a nerve to
come back here. You, to the ferry; or with me to the captain!"

Carrington turned his full face toward the man for the first time as he
brushed aside the hand with some force. The man reddened, blinked, and
then stammered: "Excuse me, but you did look so--Say, you must excuse
me, for I see that you are a gentleman."

"Isn't Presidio a gentleman?" Carrington asked, good-naturedly, when he
saw that the man's confusion was genuine.

"Why, Presidio is--do you mind sitting down at one of these tables? I
feel a little shaky--making such a break!"

He explained that he was the hotel's detective, and had been on the
city's police force. In both places he had dealings with a confidence
man, called Presidio--after the part of the city he came from. Presidio
was an odd lot; had enough skill in several occupations to earn honest
wages, but seemed unable to forego the pleasure of exercising his wit in
confidence games and sneak-thievery. Among his honest accomplishments
was the ability to perform sleight-of-hand tricks well enough to work
profitably in the lesser theater circuits. He had married a woman who
made part of the show Presidio operated for a time--a good-looking
woman, but as ready to turn a confidence trick as to help her husband's
stage work, or do a song and dance as an interlude. They had been warned
to leave San Francisco for a year, and not to return then, unless
bringing proof that they had walked in moral paths during their exile.

"And you mistook me for Presidio?" asked Carrington, with the manner of
one flattered.

"For a second, and seeing only your side face. Of course, I saw my
mistake when you turned and spoke to me. Presidio is considered the
best-looking crook we've ever had."

"Now, that's nice! Where did you say he's gone?"

"I don't know."

Carrington found that out for himself. He first interrupted his voyage
by a stop of some weeks in Japan. Later, at the Oriental Hotel in
Manila, the day of his arrival there, he saw a man observing him with
smiling interest, a kind of smile and interest which prompted Carrington
to smile in return. He was bored because the only officer he knew in the
Philippines was absent from Manila on an expedition to the interior; and
the man who smiled looked as if he might scatter the blues if he were
permitted to try. The stranger approached with a bright, frank look, and
said, "Don't you remember me, Mr. Carrington?"


"I was head waiter at the St. Dunstan."

"Oh, were you? Well, your face has a familiar look, somehow."

"Excuse my speaking to you, but I guess your last trip was what induced
me to come out here."

"That's odd."

"It is sort of funny. I'd saved a good deal--I'm the saving sort--and
the tenner you gave me that night--you remember, the night of _the_
dinner--happened to fetch my pile up to exactly five hundred. So
I says to myself that here was my chance to make a break for
freedom--independence, you understand."

"We're the very deuce for independence down our way."

"Yes, indeed, sir. I was awfully sorry to hear about the trouble you got
in at college; but, if you don't mind my saying so now, you boys were
going it a little that night."

"Going it? What night? There were several."

"The red-fire night. You tipped me ten for that dinner."

"Did I? I hope you have it yet, Mr.--"

"James Wilkins, sir. Did you see Mr. Thorpe and Mr. Culver as you passed
through San Francisco?"

"I did. How did you happen to know that I knew them?"

"I remember that they were chums of yours at college. We heard lots of
college gossip at St. Dunstan's. I called on them in San Francisco, and
Mr. Thorpe got me half-fare rates here. I've opened a restaurant here,
and am doing a good business. Some of the officers who knew me at the
St. Dunstan kind of made my place fashionable. Lieutenant Sommers, of
the cavalry, won't dine anywhere else."

"Sommers? I expected to find him here."

"He's just gone out with an expedition. He told me that you'd be along,
and that I was to see that you didn't starve. I've named my place the
St. Dunstan, and I'd like you to call there--I remember your favorite

"That's very decent of you."

Mr. Wilkins looked frequently toward the entrance, with seeming anxiety.
"I wish the proprietor of this place would come in," he said at last.
"Lieutenant Sommers left me a check on this house for a hundred--Mr.
Sommers roomed here, and left his money with the office. I need the cash
to pay a carpenter who has built an addition for me. Kind of funny to be
worth not a cent less than five thousand gold, in stock and good will,
and be pushed for a hundred cash."

"If you've Mr. Sommers' check, I'll let you have the money--for St.
Dunstan's sake."

"If you could? Of course, you know the lieutenant's signature?"

"As well as my own. Quite right. Here you are. Where is your

"You cross the Lunette, turn toward the bay--ask anybody. Hope to see
you soon. Good day."

Some officers called on Carrington, as they had been told to do by the
absent Sommers. When introductions were over, one of them handed a paper
to Carrington, saying gravely: "Sommers told me to give this to you. It
was published in San Francisco the day after you left, and reached here
while you were in Japan."

What Carrington saw was a San Francisco newspaper story of his encounter
with the Palace Hotel detective, an account of his famous dinner at the
St. Dunstan, some selections of his other college pranks, allusion to
the fact that he was a classmate of two San Franciscans, Messrs. Thorpe
and Culver, the whole illustrated with pictures of Carrington and
Presidio--the latter taken from the rogues' gallery. "Very pretty, very
pretty, indeed," murmured Carrington, his eyes lingering with thoughtful
pause on the picture of Presidio. "Could we not celebrate my fame in
some place of refreshment--the St. Dunstan, for instance?"

They knew of no St. Dunstan's.

"I foreboded it," sighed Carrington. He narrated his recent experience
with one James Wilkins, "who, I now opine, is Mr. Presidio. It's not
worth troubling the police about, but I'd give a pretty penny to see Mr.
Presidio again. Not to reprove him for the error of his ways, but to
discover the resemblance which has led to this winsome newspaper story."

The next day one of the officers told Carrington that he had learned
that Presidio and his wife, known to the police by a number of names,
had taken ship the afternoon before.

"I see," remarked Carrington. "He needed exactly my tip to move to new
fields. He worked me from the article in the paper, which he had seen
and I had not. Clever Presidio!"

       *        *       *       *       *

When Tommy, the hall-boy, on the night of Mr. Holt's first Tenderloin
assignment, went to inform the police, Carrington, looking about the
apartment to discover the extent of his loss, found on a table a letter
superinscribed, "Before sending for the police, read this." He read:

"Dear Mr. Carrington: Since we met in Manila I have been to about every
country on top of the earth where a white man's show could be worked.
It's been up and down, and down and up, the last turn being down. In
India I got some sleight-of-hand tricks which are new to this country;
but here we land, wife and me, broke. Nothing but our apparatus, which
we can't eat; and not able to use it, because we are shy on dress
clothes demanded by the houses where I could get engagements. In that
condition I happened to see you on the street, and thought to try a
touch; and would, but you might be sore over the little fun we had in
Manila. I heard in South Africa that you wouldn't let the army officers
start the police after me; and wife says that was as square a deal as
she ever heard of, and to try a touch. But I says we will make a forced
loan, and repay out of our salaries. We hocked our apparatus to get me a
suit of clothes which looked something like those you wear, and the rest
was easy: finding out Tommy's name and then conning him. I've taken some
clothes and jewelry, to make a front at the booking office, and some
cash. You should empty your pockets of loose cash: I found some in all
your clothes. Give me and wife a chance, and we will live straight after
this, and remit on instalment. You can get me pinched easy, for we'll be
playing the continuous circuit in a week; but wife says you won't
squeal, and I'll take chances. Yours, sincerely as always, Presidio."

So Carrington told the superintendent to drop the matter.

The Great Courvatals, Monsieur and Madame, showed their new tricks to
the booking agent and secured a forty weeks' engagement at a salary
which only Presidio's confidence could have asked.

Presidio liked New York, and exploited it in as many directions as
possible. With his new fashionable clothing and his handsome face, he
was admitted to resorts of a character his boldest dreams had never
before penetrated. He especially liked the fine restaurants. None so
jocund, so frank and free as Presidio in ordering the best at the best
places. Mrs. Presidio did not accompany him; she was enjoying the more
poignant pleasure of shopping, with a responsible theater manager as her
reference! At a restaurant one midday, as Presidio was leisurely
breakfasting, he became aware that he was the object of furtive
observation by a young lady, seated with an elderly companion at a table
somewhat removed. Furtive doings were in his line, and he made a close
study of the party, never turning more than a scant half-face to do so.
The manner of the young lady was puzzling. None so keen as Presidio in
reading expression, but hers he could not understand. That she was not
trying to flirt with him he decided promptly and definitively; yet her
looks were intended to attract his attention, and to do so secretly. The
elderly companion, when the couple was leaving the restaurant, stopped
in the vestibule to allow an attendant to adjust her wrap, and Presidio
seized that chance to pass close to the young lady, moving as slowly as
he dared without seeming to be concerned in her actions. Her head was
averted, but Presidio distinctly heard her breathe, rather than whisper,
"Pass by the house to-morrow afternoon."

       *        *       *       *       *

Presidio pondered. He was supposed to know where her house was; he was
unwelcome to some one there; he was mistaken for some one

When he told his wife about it she was in a fever of romantic
excitement. Bruising knocks in the world, close approaches to the shades
of the prison house, hardships which would have banished romance from a
nature less robustly romantic, had for Mrs. Presidio but more glowingly
suffused with the tints of romance all life--but her own! "Mr.
Carrington has done us right, Willie," she declared; "once in Manila,
when we simply _had_ to get to Hong Kong; and here, where we wouldn't
have had no show on earth if he hadn't lent you the clothes and cash for
the start. There's something doing here, Willie; and I'm all lit up with

Presidio, who, of course, had followed the young lady to learn where she
lived, passed the house the next day, the sedatest looking man on the
sedate block. Presently a maid came from the house, gave him a beckoning
nod, and hurried on round the corner. There she slipped him a note,
saying as she walked on, "I was to give you this, Mr. Carrington."

Presidio took the note to his wife, and she declared for opening it. It
was sealed, and addressed to another person; but to let such an
informality as opening another's letters stand in the way of knowing
what was going on around them would have been foreign to the nature of
Presidio activities. This was the note:

     "Dear Porter: Your letters to papa will not be answered. I heard
     him say so to mamma, yesterday. He is angry that you wrote to him
     on the very day I returned from Europe. He will send me back there
     if you try to see me, as you say you will, but dear, even at that
     cost I must see you once more. I have never forgotten, never ceased
     to love; but there is no hope! A companion accompanies me always,
     the one you saw in the restaurant; but the maid who will hand you
     this is trustworthy, and will bring me any message you give to her.
     If you can arrange for a moment's meeting it will give me something
     to cherish in my memory through the remainder of my sad and
     hopeless life. Only for a moment, dear.


Mrs. Presidio wept. Here was romance sadder, and therefore better, than
any she had ever read; better, even, than that in the one-act dramas
which followed their turns on the stage. "Have you ever studied his
writing?" she asked her husband; and, promptly divining her plan, he
replied, "I made a few copies of his signature on the Manila hotel
register. You never know what will turn up." After a pause, he added
eagerly, "Better yet!--there was some of his writing in the overcoat I
borrowed from his rooms."

"Write to her; make an appointment, and have him on hand to keep it."

Here was work right in Presidio's line; his professional pride was
fired, and he wrote with grave application:

     "Darling Caroline: Thank you, sweetheart, for words which have kept
     me from suicide. Love of my life, I can not live until we meet! But
     only for a moment? Nay, for ever and ever!"

"That's beautiful!" declared Mrs. Presidio, looking over Willie's
shoulder. He continued:

     "I shall hand this to your maid; but you must not meet me there; it
     would be too dangerous. Leave your house one-half hour after
     receiving this, and go around the corner where you will see a lady,
     a relative of mine, who will drive with you to a safe tryst. Trust
     her, and heaven speed the hour! With undying love. Porter."

This was all written in a good imitation of Carrington's rather unusual
handwriting, and approved by Mrs. Presidio; who, however, thought there
should be some reference to the young lady's home as a beetled tower,
and to her father as several things which Presidio feared might not be
esteemed polite in the social plane they were operating in. He passed
the house the next day, and the maid soon appeared. He learned from her
that her mistress's companion was not at home; and then, hopeful because
of this opportune absence, hurried off, leaving Mrs. Presidio round the
corner in a carriage. He went to a club where, he had ascertained,
Carrington usually was at that hour, and sent in the card of "M.
Courvatal," on which he wrote, "Presidio." Carrington came out to him at
once. "My dear Mr. Presidio, this is so kind of you," he said, regarding
his caller with interest. "We've not met since Manila. I hope Mrs.
Presidio is well, and that your professional engagements prosper. I went
to see you perform last night, and was delighted."

"Thank you," the caller said, much pleased with this reception. "I'll be
sending the balance of my little debt to you as soon as the wife has her
dressmaking bills settled."

"Pray do not incommode the wife. The amount you have already sent was a
pleasant--surprise. Can I be of any service to you to-day?"

"Well, it's like this, Mr. Carrington: I have an appointment for you
this afternoon."

"For me?"

"With Miss Caroline Curtis."

"What do you mean?"

"Don't be offended, sir. Come with me, and see what you'll see. If I try
any game, pitch into me, that's all."

The man's manner was now so earnest that Carrington, without a word,
started with him. In the club entrance Presidio whispered, "Follow;
don't walk with me. There's not much chance that any one here will
recognize me, but if I was pinched on any old score you'd better not be
in my company." He went ahead, and Carrington followed. They had walked
down Fifth Avenue several blocks when Mr. Francis Holt cut in between
them, and shadowed Presidio with elaborate caution. Carrington saw this,
and mused. "I think I know that young man who has so plainly got friend
Presidio under observation. Surely, it's Holt, a year or two after me.
What can he--Hello, I say!"

Holt saw the intention of Presidio to turn off the avenue toward a
little church round the corner, and advancing suddenly, laid a strong
hand on Presidio's shoulder, saying, "Come quietly with me, and I'll
make no fuss; but if you don't, I'll call a policeman."

Carrington overtook them. Holt was excited, wild-eyed, disheveled, and
seemed not to have slept for a week. Presidio coolly awaited events.

"Hello, Holt!" exclaimed Carrington. "How are you, old chap? Haven't
seen you for years."

"Good heavens, this is lucky!" cried Holt. "Carrington, since the night
your rooms were plundered I've been on the track of this villain. I was
bound to explain the mystery of that night; determined to prove that I
could unravel a plot, detect a crime! Do you understand? This is the
fellow who rifled your room. Robbed you!"

"Yes, I know, old fellow," Carrington replied soothingly, for he saw
that Holt was half hysterical from excitement. "He's always robbing me,
this chap is. It's a habit with him. I've come rather to like it. Walk
along with us, and I'll tell you all about it."

They turned the corner and walked down the side street, but only Holt
talked: of his sleepless nights and tireless days solving his first
crime case. A carriage drove up to the curb and Mrs. Presidio stepped
out. At a wink from Presidio Carrington stepped in.

"Betty," said Presidio to his wife, "shake hands with an old friend of
mine and of Mr. Carrington's. I want you to know him. Mr. Holt, shake
hands with Madame Courvatal, my wife."

"Why, Mr. Holt, glad to meet you personally!" exclaimed Betty. "This is
the gent, Willie, I've told you about: comes to the show every night
just before our turn, and goes out as soon as we are off."

"Glad you like the turn so much," Presidio said, smiling oddly. Holt,
with his hand to his brow was gasping. The carriage door opened and
Carrington's head emerged: "Oh, Holt, come here."

Holt, with a painfully dazed expression, went to the carriage. "My
dear," Carrington said to some one inside who was struggling to hide,
"this is Mr. Francis Holt; one of my oldest and dearest friends. He's
the discreetest fellow I know and will arrange the whole matter in a
minute. You must, darling! Fate has offered us a chance for life's
happiness, and as I say--Holt, like a good fellow, go into the parsonage
and explain who I am, and who Miss Caroline Curtis is. Your people know
all the Curtises, and we're going to get married, and--don't protest,
darling!--like a good chap, Holt, go and--for God's sake, man, don't
stare like that! You know us, and can vouch for us. Tell the parson that
the Curtises and Carringtons are always marrying each other. Holt! will
you move?"

An hour later a little banquet was served in the private dining-room of
a hotel, and Mrs. Carrington was explaining, between tears and laughter,
how good, kind Madame Courvatal had told her that everything was ready
for a wedding, and that she would be a cruel woman, indeed, not to make
such a loving lover happy; and she couldn't make up her mind to say yes,
and it was hard to say no--just after receiving Porter's despairing

"My note, dear?" asked Carrington, but Presidio coughed so loudly she
did not hear her husband's question. Holt drank to the bride and groom
several times before he began soberly to believe he was not in a dream.
Mr. and Mrs. Presidio beamed broadly, and declared that life without
romance was no kind of a life for honest folk to live.

"Holt!" exclaimed Carrington, when the train carriage was announced,
"you've been a brick about all this. I don't know how to show my

"I'll tell you how," suggested Presidio. "Let Mr. Holt be the one to
tell Mr. Curtis. He deserves the privilege of informing the governor."

"The very thing, Holt, old chap!" cried Carrington. "Will you do it?"

"You're awfully kind," answered Holt, "but I think this old friend could
do it with more art and understanding."

"What, my Willie?" cried Willie's wife. "He'll do it to the Queen's
taste. Won't you, Willie?"

"I will, in company with Mr. Holt--my friend and your admirer. He sits
in front every night," he added, in explanation to Carrington.

As the carriage with the happy pair drove away to the station, Presidio,
with compulsive ardor, took the arm of Mr. Francis Holt; and together
they marched up the avenue to inform Mr. Curtis of the marriage of his



"What's this! What's this!" exclaimed Mr. Bowser, as he came home the
other evening and found Mrs. Bowser lying on the sofa and looking very
much distressed.

"The doctor says it's the grip--a second attack," she explained. "I was
taken with a chill and headache about noon and--"

"Grip? Second attack? That's all nonsense, Mrs. Bowser! Nobody can have
the grip a second time."

"But the doctor says so."

"Then the doctor is an idiot, and I'll tell him so to his face. I know
what's the matter with you. You've been walking around the backyard
barefoot or doing some other foolish thing. I expected it, however. No
woman is happy unless she's flat down about half the time. How on earth
any of your sex manage to live to be twenty years old is a mystery to
me. The average woman has no more sense than a rag baby."

"I haven't been careless," she replied.

"I know better! Of course you have! If you hadn't been you wouldn't be
where you are. Grip be hanged! Well, it's only right that you should
suffer for it. Call it what you wish, but don't expect any sympathy from
me. While I use every precaution to preserve my health, you go sloshing
around in your bare feet, or sit on a cake of ice to read a dime novel,
or do some other tomfool thing to flatten you out. I refuse to
sympathize with you, Mrs. Bowser--absolutely and teetotally refuse to
utter one word of pity."

Mrs. Bowser had nothing to say in reply. Mr. Bowser ate his dinner
alone, took advantage of the occasion to drive a few nails and make a
great noise, and by and by went off to his club and was gone until
midnight. Next morning Mrs. Bowser felt a bit better and made a heroic
attempt to be about until he started for the office.

The only reference he made to her illness was to say:

"If you live to be three hundred years old, you may possibly learn
something about the laws of health and be able to keep out of bed three
days in a week."

Mrs. Bowser was all right at the end of three or four days, and nothing
more was said. Then one afternoon at three o'clock a carriage drove up
and a stranger assisted Mr. Bowser into the house. He was looking pale
and ghastly, and his chin quivered, and his knees wabbled.

"What is it, Mr. Bowser?" she exclaimed, as she met him at the door.

"Bed--doctor--death!" he gasped in reply.

Mrs. Bowser got him to bed and examined him for bullet holes or knife
wounds. There were none. He had no broken limbs. He hadn't fallen off a
horse or been half drowned. When she had satisfied herself on these
points, she asked:

"How were you taken?"

"W-with a c-chill!" he gasped--"with a c-chill and a b-backache!"

"I thought so. Mr. Bowser, you have the grip--a second attack. As I have
some medicine left, there's no need to send for the doctor. I'll have
you all right in a day or two."

"Get the doctor at once," wailed Mr. Bowser, "or I'm a dead man! Such a
backache! So cold! Mrs. Bowser, if I should d-die, I hope--"

Emotion overcame Mr. Bowser, and he could say no more. The doctor came
and pronounced it a second attack of the grip, but a very mild one. When
he had departed, Mrs. Bowser didn't accuse Mr. Bowser with putting on
his summer flannels a month too soon; with forgetting his umbrella and
getting soaked through; with leaving his rubbers at home and having damp
feet all day. She didn't express her wonder that he hadn't died years
ago, nor predict that when he reached the age of Methuselah he would
know better than to roll in snow-banks or stand around in mud puddles.
She didn't kick over chairs or slam doors or leave him alone. When Mr.
Bowser shed tears, she wiped them away. When he moaned, she held his
hand. When he said he felt that the grim specter was near, and wanted to
kiss the baby good-by, she cheered him with the prediction that he would
be a great deal better next day.

Mr. Bowser didn't get up next day, though the doctor said he could. He
lay in bed and sighed and uttered sorrowful moans and groans. He wanted
toast and preserves; he had to have help to turn over; he worried about
a relapse; he had to have a damp cloth on his forehead; he wanted to
have a council of doctors, and he read the copy of his last will and
testament over three times.

Mr. Bowser was all right next morning, however. When Mrs. Bowser asked
him how he felt he replied:

"How do I feel? Why, as right as a trivet, of course. When a man takes
the care of himself that I do--when he has the nerve and will power I
have--he can throw off 'most anything. You would have died, Mrs. Bowser;
but I was scarcely affected. It was just a play spell. I'd like to be
real sick once just to see how it would seem. Cholera, I suppose it
was; but outside of feeling a little tired, I wasn't at all affected."

And the dutiful Mrs. Bowser looked at him and swallowed it all and never
said a word to hurt his feelings.



    E is for Edison, making believe
    He's invented a clever contrivance for Eve,
    Who complained that she never could laugh in her sleeve.

    O is for Oliver, casting aspersion
    On Omar, that awfully dissolute Persian,
    Though secretly longing to join the diversion.

    R's Rubenstein, playing that old thing in F
    To Rollo and Rembrandt, who wish they were deaf.

    S is for Swinburne, who, seeking the true,
    The good, and the beautiful, visits the Zoo,
    Where he chances on Sappho and Mr. Sardou,
    And Socrates, all with the same end in view.

    W's Wagner, who sang and played lots,
    For Washington, Wesley and good Dr. Watts;
    His prurient plots pained Wesley and Watts,
    But Washington said he "enjoyed them in spots."




    The Window has Four little Panes:
      But One have I;
    The Window-Panes are in its sash,--
      I wonder why!


    My Feet they haul me 'round the House;
      They hoist me up the Stairs;
    I only have to steer them and
      They ride me everywheres.


    Remarkable truly, is Art!
    See--Elliptical wheels on a Cart!
      It looks very fair
      In the Picture up there;
    But imagine the Ride when you start!


    I'd rather have fingers than Toes;
    I'd rather have Ears than a Nose
      And as for my hair,
      I'm glad it's all there,
    I'll be awfully sad when it goes!


    I wish that my Room had a floor;
    I don't so much care for a Door,
      But this walking around
      Without touching the ground
    Is getting to be quite a bore!



    Before a Turkish town
      The Russians came,
    And with huge cannon
      Did bombard the same.

    They got up close
      And rained fat bombshells down,
    And blew out every
      Vowel in the town.

    And then the Turks,
      Becoming somewhat sad,
    Surrendered every
      Consonant they had.



    Down in the cellar dark, remote,
    Where alien cats the larder note,
    In solemn grandeur stands the goat.

    Without he hears the winter storm,
    And while the drafts about him swarm,
    He eats the coal to keep him warm.



Gracious! You're not going to smoke again? I do believe, my dear, that
you're getting to be a regular, etc., etc. (Voice from across the
reading table.)

A slave to tobacco! Not I. Singular, the way you women misuse nouns. I
am, rather, a chosen acolyte in the temple of Nicotiana. Daily, aye,
thrice daily--well, call it six, then--do I make burnt offering. Now
some use censers of clay, others employ censers of rare white earth
finely carved and decked with silver and gold. My particular censer, as
you see, is a plain, honest briar, a root dug from the banks of the blue
Garonne, whose only glory is its grain and color. The original tint, if
you remember, was like that of new-cut cedar, but use--I've been smoking
this one only two years now--has given it gloss and depth of tone which
put the finest mahogany to shame. Let me rub it on my sleeve. Now look!

There are no elaborate mummeries about our service in the temple of
Nicotiana. No priest or pastor, no robed muezzin or gowned prelate calls
me to the altar. Neither is there fixed hour or prescribed point of the
compass towards which I must turn. Whenever the mood comes and the
spirit listeth, I make devotion.

There are various methods, numerous brief litanies. Mine is a common and
simple one. I take the cut Indian leaf in the left palm, so, and roll it
gently about with the right, thus. Next I pack it firmly in the censer's
hollow bowl with neither too firm nor too light a pressure. Any fire
will do. The torch need not be blessed. Thanks, I have a match.

Now we are ready. With the surplus breath of life you draw in the
fragrant spirit of the weed. With slow, reluctant outbreathing you loose
it on the quiet air. Behold! That which was but a dead thing, lives.
Perhaps we have released the soul of some brave red warrior who, long
years ago, fell in glorious battle and mingled his dust with the
unforgetting earth. Each puff may give everlasting liberty to some dead
and gone aboriginal. If you listen you may hear his far-off chant.
Through the curling blue wreaths you may catch a glimpse of the happy
hunting grounds to which he has now gone. That is the part of the
service whose losing or gaining depends upon yourself.

The first whiff is the invocation, the last the benediction. When you
knock out the ashes you should feel conscious that you have done a good
deed, that the offering has not been made in vain.

Slave! Still that odious word? Well, have it your own way. Worshipers at
every shrine have been thus persecuted.



    When I am dead you'll find it hard,
        Said he,
    To ever find another man
        Like me.

    What makes you think, as I suppose
        You do,
    I'd ever want another man
        Like you?



     Do not trust thy body with a physician. He'll make thy foolish
     bones go without flesh in a fortnight, and thy soul walk without a
     body a sennight after.


You must know, gentlemen, that there lived some years ago, in the city
of Perigueux, an honest notary-public, the descendant of a very ancient
and broken-down family, and the occupant of one of those old
weather-beaten tenements which remind you of the times of your
great-grandfather. He was a man of an unoffending, quiet disposition;
the father of a family, though not the head of it,--for in that family
"the hen over-crowed the cock," and the neighbors, when they spake of
the notary, shrugged their shoulders, and exclaimed, "Poor fellow! his
spurs want sharpening." In fine,--you understand me, gentlemen,--he was

Well, finding no peace at home, he sought it elsewhere, as was very
natural for him to do; and at length discovered a place of rest, far
beyond the cares and clamors of domestic life. This was a little _Cafe
Estaminet_, a short way out of the city, whither he repaired every
evening to smoke his pipe, drink sugar-water, and play his favorite game
of domino. There he met the boon companions he most loved; heard all the
floating chitchat of the day; laughed when he was in merry mood; found
consolation when he was sad; and at all times gave vent to his
opinions, without fear of being snubbed short by a flat contradiction.

Now, the notary's bosom-friend was a dealer in claret and cognac, who
lived about a league from the city, and always passed his evenings at
the _Estaminet_. He was a gross, corpulent fellow, raised from a
full-blooded Gascon breed, and sired by a comic actor of some reputation
in his way. He was remarkable for nothing but his good-humor, his love
of cards, and a strong propensity to test the quality of his own liquors
by comparing them with those sold at other places.

As evil communications corrupt good manners, the bad practices of the
wine-dealer won insensibly upon the worthy notary; and before he was
aware of it, he found himself weaned from domino and sugar-water, and
addicted to piquet and spiced wine. Indeed, it not unfrequently
happened, that, after a long session at the _Estaminet_, the two friends
grew so urbane that they would waste a full half-hour at the door in
friendly dispute which should conduct the other home.

Though this course of life agreed well enough with the sluggish,
phlegmatic temperament of the wine-dealer, it soon began to play the
very deuse with the more sensitive organization of the notary, and
finally put his nervous system completely out of tune. He lost his
appetite, became gaunt and haggard, and could get no sleep. Legions of
blue-devils haunted him by day, and by night strange faces peeped
through his bed-curtains, and the nightmare snorted in his ear. The
worse he grew, the more he smoked and tippled; and the more he smoked
and tippled,--why, as a matter of course, the worse he grew. His wife
alternately stormed, remonstrated, entreated; but all in vain. She made
the house too hot for him,--he retreated to the tavern; she broke his
long-stemmed pipes upon the andirons,--he substituted a short-stemmed
one, which, for safe-keeping, he carried in his waistcoat-pocket.

Thus the unhappy notary ran gradually down at the heel. What with his
bad habits and his domestic grievances, he became completely hipped. He
imagined that he was going to die; and suffered in quick succession all
the diseases that ever beset mortal man. Every shooting pain was an
alarming symptom,--every uneasy feeling after dinner a sure prognostic
of some mortal disease. In vain did his friends endeavor to reason, and
then to laugh him out of his strange whims; for when did ever jest or
reason cure a sick imagination? His only answer was, "Do let me alone; I
know better than you what ails me."

Well, gentlemen, things were in this state, when, one afternoon in
December, as he sat moping in his office, wrapped in an overcoat, with a
cap on his head and his feet thrust into a pair of furred slippers, a
cabriolet stopped at the door, and a loud knocking without aroused him
from his gloomy revery. It was a message from his friend the
wine-dealer, who had been suddenly attacked with a violent fever, and
growing worse and worse, had now sent in the greatest haste for the
notary to draw up his last will and testament. The case was urgent, and
admitted neither excuse nor delay; and the notary, tying a handkerchief
round his face, and buttoning up to the chin, jumped into the cabriolet,
and suffered himself, though not without some dismal presentiments and
misgivings of heart, to be driven to the wine-dealer's house.

When he arrived, he found everything in the greatest confusion. On
entering the house, he ran against the apothecary, who was coming down
stairs, with a face as long as your arm; and a few steps farther he met
the housekeeper--for the wine-dealer was an old bachelor--running up
and down, and wringing her hands, for fear that the good man should die
without making his will. He soon reached the chamber of his sick friend,
and found him tossing about in a paroxysm of fever, and calling aloud
for a draught of cold water. The notary shook his head; he thought this
a fatal symptom; for ten years back the wine-dealer had been suffering
under a species of hydrophobia, which seemed suddenly to have left him.

When the sick man saw who stood by his bedside, he stretched out his
hand and exclaimed,--

"Ah! my dear friend! have you come at last? You see it is all over with
me. You have arrived just in time to draw up that--that passport of
mine. Ah, _grand diable_! how hot it is here! Water,--water,--water!
Will nobody give me a drop of cold water?"

As the case was an urgent one, the notary made no delay in getting his
papers in readiness; and in a short time the last will and testament of
the wine-dealer was drawn up in due form, the notary guiding the sick
man's hand as he scrawled his signature at the bottom.

As the evening wore away, the wine-dealer grew worse and worse, and at
length became delirious, mingling in his incoherent ravings the phrases
of the Credo and Paternoster with the shibboleth of the dram-shop and
the card-table.

"Take care! take care! There, now--_Credo in_--Pop! ting-a-ling-ling!
give me some of that. Cent-e-dize! Why, you old publican, this
wine is poisoned,--I know your tricks!--_Sanctam ecclesiam
catholicam_--Well, well, we shall see. Imbecile! to have a
tierce-major and a seven of hearts, and discard the seven! By St.
Anthony, capot! You  are lurched,--ha! ha! I told you so. I knew
very well,--there,--there,--don't interrupt me--_Carnis resurrectionem
et vitam eternam_!"

With these words upon his lips, the poor wine-dealer expired. Meanwhile
the notary sat cowering over the fire, aghast at the fearful scene that
was passing before him, and now and then striving to keep up his courage
by a glass of cognac. Already his fears were on the alert; and the idea
of contagion flitted to and fro through his mind. In order to quiet
these thoughts of evil import, he lighted his pipe and began to prepare
for returning home. At that moment the apothecary turned round to him
and said,--

"Dreadful sickly time, this! The disorder seems to be spreading."

"What disorder?" exclaimed the notary, with a movement of surprise.

"Two died yesterday, and three to-day," continued the apothecary,
without answering the question. "Very sickly time, sir,--very."

"But what disorder is it? What disease has carried off my friend here so

"What disease? Why, scarlet fever, to be sure."

"And is it contagious?"


"Then I am a dead man!" exclaimed the notary, putting his pipe into his
waistcoat-pocket, and beginning to walk up and down the room in despair.
"I am a dead man! Now don't deceive me,--don't, will you? What--what are
the symptoms?"

"A sharp, burning pain in the right side," said the apothecary.

"O, what a fool I was to come here!"

In vain did the housekeeper and the apothecary strive to pacify him;--he
was not a man to be reasoned with; he answered that he knew his own
constitution better than they did, and insisted upon going home without
delay. Unfortunately, the vehicle he came in had returned to the city,
and the whole neighborhood was abed and asleep. What was to be done?
Nothing in the world but to take the apothecary's horse, which stood
hitched at the door, patiently waiting his master's will.

Well, gentlemen, as there was no remedy, our notary mounted this
raw-boned steed and set forth upon his homeward journey. The night was
cold and gusty, and the wind right in his teeth. Overhead the leaden
clouds were beating to and fro, and through them the newly-risen moon
seemed to be tossing and drifting along like a cock-boat in the surf;
now swallowed up in a huge billow of cloud, and now lifted upon its
bosom and dashed with silvery spray. The trees by the road-side groaned
with a sound of evil omen; and before him lay three mortal miles, beset
with a thousand imaginary perils. Obedient to the whip and spur, the
steed leaped forward by fits and starts, now dashing away in a
tremendous gallop, and now relaxing into a long, hard trot; while the
rider, filled with symptoms of disease and dire presentiments of death,
urged him on, as if he were fleeing before the pestilence.

In this way, by dint of whistling and shouting, and beating right and
left, one mile of the fatal three was safely passed. The apprehensions
of the notary had so far subsided, that he even suffered the poor horse
to walk up hill; but these apprehensions were suddenly revived again
with tenfold violence by a sharp pain in the right side, which seemed to
pierce him like a needle.

"It is upon me at last!" groaned the fear-stricken man. "Heaven be
merciful to me, the greatest of sinners! And must I die in a ditch,
after all? He! get up,--get up!"

And away went horse and rider at full speed,--hurry-scurry,--up hill and
down,--panting and blowing like a whirlwind. At every leap the pain in
the rider's side seemed to increase. At first it was a little point like
the prick of a needle,--then it spread to the size of a half-franc
piece,--then covered a place as large as the palm of your hand. It
gained upon him fast. The poor man groaned aloud in agony; faster and
faster sped the horse over the frozen ground,--farther and farther
spread the pain over his side. To complete the dismal picture the storm
commenced,--snow mingled with rain. But snow, and rain, and cold were
naught to him; for, though his arms and legs were frozen to icicles, he
felt it not; the fatal symptom was upon him; he was doomed to die,--not
of cold, but of scarlet fever!

At length, he knew not how, more dead than alive, he reached the gate of
the city. A band of ill-bred dogs, that were serenading at a corner of
the street, seeing the notary dash by, joined in the hue and cry, and
ran barking and yelping at his heels. It was now late at night, and only
here and there a solitary lamp twinkled from an upper story. But on went
the notary, down this street and up that, till at last he reached his
own door. There was a light in his wife's bedroom. The good woman came
to the window, alarmed at such a knocking, and howling, and clattering
at her door so late at night; and the notary was too deeply absorbed in
his own sorrows to observe that the lamp cast the shadow of two heads on
the window-curtain.

"Let me in! let me in! Quick! quick!" he exclaimed, almost breathless
from terror and fatigue.

"Who are you, that come to disturb a lone woman at this hour of the
night?" cried a sharp voice from above. "Begone about your business, and
let quiet people sleep."

"Come down and let me in! I am your husband! Don't you know my voice?
Quick, I beseech you; for I am dying here in the street!"

After a few moments of delay and a few more words of parley, the door
was opened, and the notary stalked into his domicile, pale and haggard
in aspect, and as stiff and straight as a ghost. Cased from head to heel
in an armor of ice, as the glare of the lamp fell upon him, he looked
like a knight-errant mailed in steel. But in one place his armor was
broken. On his right side was a circular spot, as large as the crown of
your hat, and about as black!

"My dear wife!" he exclaimed with more tenderness than he had exhibited
for many years, "Reach me a chair. My hours are numbered. I am a dead

Alarmed at these exclamations, his wife stripped off his overcoat.
Something fell from beneath it, and was dashed to pieces on the hearth.
It was the notary's pipe! He placed his hand upon his side, and, lo! it
was bare to the skin! Coat, waistcoat, and linen were burnt through and
through, and there was a blister on his side as large as your hand!

The mystery was soon explained, symptom and all. The notary had put his
pipe into his pocket without knocking out the ashes! And so my story

       *        *       *       *       *

"Is that all?" asked the radical, when the story-teller had finished.

"That is all."

"Well, what does your story prove?"

"That is more than I can tell. All I know is that the story is true."

"And did he die?" said the nice little man in gosling-green.

"Yes; he died afterwards," replied the story-teller, rather annoyed by
the question.

"And what did he die of?" continued gosling-green, following him up.

"What did he die of? why, he died--of a sudden!"



    Care is but a broken bubble,
      Trill the carol, troll the catch;
    Sooth, we'll cry, "A truce to trouble!"
      Mirth and mistletoe shall match.

        _Happy folly! we'll be jolly!
          Who'd be melancholy now?
        With a "Hey, the holly! Ho, the holly!"
          Polly hangs the holly bough._

    Laughter lurking in the eye, sir,
      Pleasure foots it frisk and free.
    He who frowns or looks awry, sir,
      Faith, a witless wight is he!

        _Merry folly! what a volley
          Greets the hanging of the bough!
        With a "Hey, the holly! Ho, the holly!"
          Who'd be melancholy now?_



    I can not sing the old songs,
      Though well I know the tune,
    Familiar as a cradle song
      With sleep-compelling croon;
    Yet though I'm filled with music
      As choirs of summer birds,
    "I can not sing the old songs"--
      I do not know the words.

    I start on "Hail Columbia,"
      And get to "heav'n-born band,"
    And there I strike an up-grade
      With neither steam nor sand;
    "Star Spangled Banner" downs me
      Right in my wildest screaming,
    I start all right, but dumbly come
      To voiceless wreck at "streaming."

    So, when I sing the old songs,
      Don't murmur or complain
    If "Ti, diddy ah da, tum dum,"
      Should fill the sweetest strain.
    I love "Tolly um dum di do,"
      And the "trilla-la yeep da"-birds,
    But "I can not sing the old songs"--
      I do not know the words.



    She threw me a kiss,
      But why did she throw it?
    What grieves me is this--
    She threw me a kiss;
    Ah, what chances we miss
      If we only could know it!
    She threw me a kiss
      But why did she throw it!

    Any girl might have known
      When I stood there so near!
    And we two all alone
    Any girl might have known
    That she needn't have thrown!
      But then girls are so queer!
    Any girl might have known,
      When I stood there so near!



    Lyrics to Inez and Jane,
      Dolores and Ethel and May;
    Senoritas distant as Spain,
      And damsels just over the way!

    It is not that I'm jealous, nor that,
      Of either Dolores or Jane,
    Of some girl in an opposite flat,
      Or in one of his castles in Spain,

    But it is that salable prose
      Put aside for this profitless strain,
    I sit the day darning his hose--
      And he sings of Dolores and Jane.

    Though the winged-horse must caracole free--
      With the pretty, when "spurning the plain,"
    Should the team-work fall wholly on me
      While he soars with Dolores and Jane?

    _I_ am neither Dolores nor Jane,
      But to lighten a little my life
    Might the Poet not spare me a strain--
      Although I am only his wife!



    Since schools to teach one this or that
      Are being started every day,
    I have the plan, a notion pat,
      Of one which I am sure would pay.
    'Twould be a venture strictly new,
      No shaking up of dusty bones;
    How does the scheme appeal to you?
      A regular school for chaperones!

    One course would be to dull the ear,
      And one would be to dim the eye,
    So whispered love they'd never hear,
      And glance coquettish never spy;
    They'd be taught somnolence, and how
      Ofttimes closed eye for sleep atones;
    Had I a million, I'd endow
      A regular school for chaperones!

    There's crying need in West and East
      For graduates, and not a source
    Supplying it. Some one at least
      Should start a correspondence course;
    But joy will scarce o'errun the cup
      Of maidenhood, my candor owns,
    Till some skilled Mentor opens up
      A regular school for chaperones!



The camp was furnished with several stands for preaching, exhorting,
jumping and jerking; but still one place was the pulpit, above all
others. This was a large scaffold, secured between two noble sugar
trees, and railed in to prevent from falling over in a swoon, or
springing over in an ecstasy; its cover the dense foliage of the trees,
whose trunks formed the graceful and massive columns. Here was said to
be also the _altar_, but I could not see its _horns_ or any _sacrifice_;
and the pen, which I _did_ see--a place full of clean straw, where were
put into fold stray sheep willing to return. It was at this pulpit, with
its altar and pen, the regular preaching was done; around here the
congregation assembled; hence orders were issued; here, happened the
hardest fights, and were gained the greatest victories, being the spot
where it was understood Satan fought in person; and here could be seen
gestures the most frantic, and heard noises the most unimaginable, and
often the most appalling. It was the place, in short, where most crowded
either with praiseworthy intentions of getting some religion, or with
unholy purposes of being amused; we, of course, designing neither one
nor the other, but only to see philosophically and make up an opinion.
At every grand outcry a simultaneous rush would, however, take place
from all parts of the camp, proper and improper, towards the pulpit,
altar, and pen; till the crowding, by increasing the suffocation and
the fainting, would increase the tumult and the uproar; but this, in the
estimation of many devotees, only rendered the meeting more lively and

By considering what was done at this central station one may approximate
the amount of spiritual labor done in a day, and then a week in the
whole camp:

1. About day-break on Sabbath a horn _blasted_ us up for public prayer
and exhortation, the exercises continuing nearly two hours.

2. Before breakfast, another blast for family and private prayer; and
then every tent became, in camp language, "a bethel of struggling Jacobs
and prevailing Israels," every tree "an altar;" and every grove "a
secret closet;" till the air all became religious words and phrases, and
vocal with "Amens."

3. After a proper interval came a horn for the forenoon service; then
was delivered the sermon, and that followed by an appendix of some half
dozen exhortations let off right and left, and even _behind_ the pulpit,
that all might have a portion in due season.

4. We had private and secret prayer again before dinner;--some
clambering into thick trees to be hid, but forgetting in their
simplicity, that they were heard and betrayed. But religious devotion
excuses all errors and mistakes.

5. The afternoon sermon with its bob-tail string of exhortations.

6. Private and family prayer about tea time.

7. But lastly, we had what was termed "a precious season," in the third
regular service at the _principia_ of the camp. This season began not
long after tea and was kept up long after I left the ground; which was
about midnight. And now sermon after sermon and exhortation after
exhortation followed like shallow, foaming, roaring waters; till the
speakers were exhausted and the assembly became an uneasy and billowy
mass, now hushing to a sobbing quiescence, and now rousing by the groans
of sinners and the triumphant cries of folks that had "jist got
religion"; and then again subsiding to a buzzy state, occasioned by the
whimpering and whining voices of persons giving spiritual advice and
comfort! How like a volcanic crater after the evomition of its lava in a
fit of burning cholic, and striving to resettle its angry and
tumultuating stomach!

It is time, however, to speak of the three grand services and their
concomitants, and to introduce several master spirits of the camp.

Our first character, is the Reverend Elder Sprightly. This gentleman was
of good natural parts; and in a better school of intellectual discipline
and more fortunate circumstances, he must have become a worthy minister
of some more tasteful, literary and evangelical sect. As it was, he had
only become what he never got beyond--"a very smart man;" and his aim
had become one--to enlarge his own people. And in this work, so great
was his success, that, to use his own modest boastfulness in his sermon
to-day,--"although folks said when he came to the Purchase that a single
corn-crib would hold his people, yet, bless the Lord, they had kept
spreading and spreading till all the corn-cribs in Egypt weren't big
enough to hold them!"

He was very happy at repartee, as Robert Dale Owen well knows; and not
"slow" (inexpert) in the arts of "taking off"--and--"giving them their
own." This trait we shall illustrate by an instance.

Mr. Sprightly was, by accident, once present where a Campbellite
Baptist, that had recently taken out a right for administering six doses
of lobelia, red pepper and steam to men's bodies, and a plunge into
cold water for the good of their souls, was holding forth against all
Doctors, secular and sacred, and very fiercely against Sprightly's
brotherhood. Doctor Lobelia's text was found somewhere in Pope
Campbell's _New_ Testament; as it suited the following discourse
introduced with the usual inspired preface:


"Well, I never rub'd my back agin a collige, nor git no sheepskin, and
allow the Apostuls didn't nither. Did anybody ever hear of Peter and
Poll a-goin' to them new-fangled places and gitten skins to preach by?
No, sirs, I allow not; no, sirs, we don't pretend to loguk--this here
_new_ testament's sheepskin enough for me. And don't Prisbeteruns and
tother baby sprinklurs have reskorse to loguk and skins to show how them
what's emerz'd didn't go down into the water and come up agin? And as to
Sprightly's preachurs, don't they dress like big-bugs, and go ridin
about the Purchis on hunder-dollur hossis, a-spunginin on poor
priest-riden folks and a-eatin fried chickin fixins so powerful fast
that chickins has got skerse in these diggins; and then what ain't fried
makes tracks and hides when they sees them a-comin?

"But, dear bruthrun, we don't want store cloth and yaller buttins, and
fat hossis and chickin fixins, and the like doins--no, sirs! we only
wants your souls--we only wants beleevur's baptism--we wants
prim--prim--yes, Apostul's Christianity, the Christianity of Christ and
them times, when Christians _was_ Christians, and tuk up thare cross and
went down into the water, and was buried in the gineine sort of baptism
by emerzhin. That's all we wants; and I hope all's convinced that's the
true way--and so let all come right out from among them and git
beleevur's baptism; and so now if any brothur wants to say a word I'm
done, and I'll make way for him to preach."

       *        *       *       *       *

Anticipating this common invitation, our friend Sprightly, indignant at
this unprovoked attack of Doctor Lobelia, had, in order to disguise
himself, exchanged his clerical garb for a friend's blue coatee
bedizzened with metal buttons; and also had erected a very tasteful and
sharp coxcomb on his head, out of hair usually reposing sleek and quiet
in the most saint-like decorum; and then, at the bid from the
pulpit-stump, out stepped Mr. Sprightly from the opposite spice-wood
grove, and advanced with a step so smirky and dandyish as to create
universal amazement and whispered demands--"Why! who's that?" And some
of his very people, who were present, as they told me, did not know
their preacher till his clear, sharp voice came upon the hearing, when
they showed, by the sudden lifting of hands and eyebrows, how near they
were to exclaiming: "Well! I never!"

Stepping on to the consecrated stump, our friend, without either
preliminary hymn or prayer, commenced thus:

"My friends, I only intend to say a few words in answer to the pious
brother that's just sat down, and shall not detain but a few minutes.
The pious brother took a good deal of time to tell what we soon found
out ourselves--that he never went to college and don't understand logic.
He boasts, too, of having no sheepskin to preach by; but I allow any
sensible buck-sheep would have died powerful sorry, if he'd ever thought
his hide would come to be handled by some preachers. The skin of the
knowingest old buck couldn't do some folks any good--some things salt
won't save.

"I rather allow Johnny Calvin's boys and 'tother baby sprinklers,'
ain't likely to have they idees physicked out of them by steam logic,
and doses of No. 6. They can't be steamed up so high as to want cooling
by a cold water plunge. But I want to say a word about Sprightly's
preachers, because I have some slight acquaintance with that there
gentleman, and don't choose to have them all run down for nothing.

"The pious brother brings several grave charges; first, they ride good
horses. Now don't every man, woman and child in the Purchase know that
Sprightly and his preachers have hardly any home, and that they live on
horseback? The money most folks spend in land these men spend for a good
horse; and don't they _need_ a good horse to stand mud and swim floods?
And is it any sin for a horse to be kept fat that does so much work? The
book says 'a merciful man is merciful to his beast,' and that we mustn't
'muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn.' Step round that fence
corner, and take a peep, dear friends, at a horse hung on the stake;
what's he like? A wooden frame with a dry hide stretched over it. What's
he live on? Ay! that's the pint! Well, what's them buzzards after?--look
at them sailing up there. Now who owns that live carrion?--the pious
brother that's just preached to us just now. And I want to know if it
wouldn't be better for him to give that dumb brute something to cover
his bones, before he talks against 'hunder-dollur hossis' and the like?

"The next charge is, wearing good clothes. Friends, don't all folks when
they come to meeting put on their best clothes? and wouldn't it be wrong
if preachers came in old torn coats and dirty shirts? It wouldn't do no
how. Well, Sprightly and his preachers preach near about every day; and
oughtn't they always to look decent? Take, then, a peep at the pious
brother that makes this charge; his coat is out at the elbow, and has
only three or four buttons left, and his arm, where he wipes his nose
and mouth, is shiny as a looking glass--his trousers are crawling up to
show he's got no stockings on; and his face has got a crop of beard two
weeks old and couldn't be cleaned by 'baby sprinklin''; yes, look at
them there matters, and say if Sprightly's preachers ain't more like the
apostles in decency than the pious brother is.

"A word now about chickin-fixins and doins. And I say it would be a
charity to give the pious brother sich a feed now and then, for he looks
half-starved, and savage as a meat-ax; and I advise that old hen out
thare clucking up her brood not to come this way just now, if she don't
want all to disappear. But I say that Sprightly's preachers are so much
beliked in the Purchase, that folks are always glad to see them, and
make a pint of giving them the best out of love; an' that's more than
can be said for some folks here.

"The pious brother says he only wants our souls--then what makes him
peddle about Thomsonian physic? Why don't he and Campbell make steam and
No. 6 as free as preaching? I read of a quack doctor once, who used to
give his advice free gratis for nothing to any one what would _buy_ a
box of his pills--but as I see the pious brother is crawling round the
fence to his anatomical horse and physical saddle-bags, I have nothing
to say, and so, dear friends, I bid you all good-by."

Such was Rev. Elder Sprightly, who preached to us on Sabbath morning at
the Camp. Hence, it is not remarkable that in common with many worthy
persons, he should think his talents properly employed in using up
"Johnny Calvin and his boys," especially as no subject is better for
popularity at a camp-meeting. He gave us, accordingly, first, that
affecting story of Calvin and Servetus, in which the latter figured
to-day like a Christian Confessor and martyr, and the former as a
diabolical persecutor; many moving incidents being introduced not found
in history, and many ingenious inferences and suppositions tending to
blacken the Reformer's character. Judging from the frequency of the deep
groans, loud amens, and noisy hallelujahs of the congregation during the
narrative, had Calvin suddenly thrust in among us his hatchet face and
goat's beard, he would have been hissed and pelted, nay possibly been
lynched and soused in the branch; while the excellent Servetus would
have been _toted_ on our shoulders, and feasted in the tents on fried
ham, cold chicken fixins and horse sorrel pies!

Here is a specimen of Mr. S.'s mode of exciting triumphant exclamation,
amens, groans, etc., against Calvin and his followers: "Dear sisters,
don't you love the tender little darling babes that hang on your
parental bosoms? (amen!)--Yes! I know you do--(amen! amen!)--Yes, I
know, I know it.--(Amen, amen! hallelujah!) Now don't it make your
parental hearts throb with anguish to think those dear infantile
darlings might some day be out burning brush and fall into the flames
and be burned to death! (deep groans.)--Yes, it does, it does! But oh!
sisters, oh! mothers! how can you think your babes mightn't get religion
and die and be burned for ever and ever? (O! forbid--amen--groans.) But,
oho! only think--only think, oh! would you ever a had them darling
infantile sucklings born, if you had a known they were to be burned in a
brush heap! (No, no!--groans--shrieks.) What! what! _what!_ if you had
_foreknown_ they must have gone to hell?--(hoho! hoho--amen!) And does
anybody think He is such a tyrant as to make spotless, innocent babies
just to damn them? (No! in a voice of thunder.)--No! sisters! no! no!
mothers! No! _no!_ sinners, _no!!_--He ain't such a tyrant!
Let John Calvin burn, torture and roast, but He never foreordained
babies, as Calvin says, to damnation! (damnation!--echoed by
hundreds.)--Hallelujah! 'tis a free salvation! Glory! a free
salvation!--(Here Mr. S. battered the rail of the pulpit with his fists,
and kicked the bottom with his feet--many screamed--some cried
amen!--others groaned and hissed--and more than a dozen females of two
opposite colors arose and clapped their hands as if engaged in
starching, etc., etc.) No-h-o! _'tis_ a free, a free, a _free_
salvation!--away with Calvin! 'tis for all! _all!_ ALL! Yes! shout it
out! clap on! rejoice! rejoice! oho-oho! sinners, sinners, sinners,
oh-ho-oho!" etc., etc.

Here was maintained for some minutes the most edifying uproar of
shouting, bellowing, crying, clapping and stamping, mingled with
hysterical laughing, termed out there "holy laughing," and even dancing!
and barking! called also "holy!"--till, at the partial subsidence of the
bedlam, the orator resumed his eloquence.

It is singular Mr. S. overlooked an objection to the divine Providence
arising from his own illustration. That children do sometimes perish by
being burnt and drowned, is undeniable; yet is not their existence
prevented--and that in the very case where the sisters were induced to
say _they_ would have prevented their existence! But, in justice to Mr.
S., we must say that he seemed to have anticipated the objection, and to
have furnished the reply; for, said he, in one part of his discourse,
"God did not _wish_ to foreknow _some_ things!"

But our friend's mode of avoiding a predestined death--if such an
absurdity be supposed--deserves all praise for the facility and
simplicity of the contrivance. "Let us," said he, "for argument's sake,
grant that I, the Rev. Elder Sprightly, am foreordained to be drowned,
in the river, at Smith's Ferry, next Thursday morning, at twenty-two
minutes after ten o'clock; and suppose I know it; and suppose I am a
free, moral, voluntary, accountable agent, as Calvinists say--do you
think I'm going to be drowned? No!--I would stay at home all day; and
you'll never ketch the Rev. Elder Sprightly at Smith's Ferry--nor near
the river neither!"

Reader, is it any wonder Calvinism is on the decline? Logic it _can_
stand; but human nature thus excited in opposition, it can not stand.
Hence, throughout our vast assembly to-day, this unpopular _ism_, in
spite of Calvin and the Epistle to the Romans, was put down; if not by
acclamation, yet by exclamation--by shouting--by roaring--by groaning
and hissing--by clapping and stamping--by laughing, and crying, and
whining; and thus the end of the sermon was gained and the _preacher_

The introductory discourse in the afternoon was by the Rev. Remarkable
Novus. This was a gentleman I had often the pleasure of entertaining at
my house in Woodville; and he _was_ a Christian in sentiment and
feeling; for though properly and decidedly a warm friend to his own
sect, he was charitably disposed toward myself and others that differed
from him ecclesiastically. His talents were moderate; but his voice was
transcendently excellent. It was rich, deep, mellow, liquid and
sonorous, and capable of any inflections. It could preserve its melody
in an unruffled flow, at a pitch far beyond the highest point reached by
the best-cultivated voice. His fancy naturally capricious, was indulged
without restraint; yet not being a learned or well-read man, he mistook
words for ideas, and hence employed without stint all the terms in his
vocabulary for the commonest thoughts. He believed, too, like most of
his brotherhood, that excitement and agitation were necessary to
conversion and of the essence of religion; and this, with a proneness
to delight in the music and witchery of his own wonderful voice, made
Mr. Novus an eccentric preacher, and induced him often to excel at
camp-meetings, the very extravagances of his clerical brethren, whom
more than once he has ridiculed and condemned at my fireside.

The camp-meeting was, in fact, too great a temptation for my friend's
temperament, and the very theater for the full display of his
magnificent voice; and naturally, this afternoon, off he set at a
tangent, interrupting the current of his sermon by extemporaneous bursts
of warning, entreaty and exhortation. Here is something like his
discourse--yet done by me in a _subdued tone_--as, I repeat, are most
extravaganzas of the ecclesiastical and spiritual sort, not only here,
but in all other parts of the work.

"My text, dear hearers," said he, "on this auspicious, and solemn, and
heaven-ordered occasion, is that exhortation of the inspired apostle,
'Walk worthy of your vocation.'

"And what, my dear brethren, what do you imagine and conjecture our holy
penman meant by 'walking?' Think ye he meant a physical walking, and a
moving, and a going backward and forward thus? (represented by Mr. N.'s
proceeding, or rather marching, _a la militaire_, several times from end
to end of the staging). No, sirs!--it was not a literal walking and
locomotion, a moving and agitating of the natural legs and limbs. No,
sirs!--no!--but it was a moral, a spiritual, a religious, ay! yes! a
philosophical and metaphorically figurative walking, our holy apostle

"Philosophic, did I say? Yes: philosophic _did_ I say. For religion is
the most philosophical thing in the universe--ay! throughout the whole
expansive infinitude of the divine empire. Tell me, deluded infidels and
mistaken unbelievers! tell me, ain't philosophy what's according to the
consistency of nature's regular laws? and what's more onsentaneous and
homogeneous to man's sublimated moral nature, than religion? Yes! tell
me! Yes! yes! I am for a philosophical religion, and a philosophical
religion is for _me_--ay! we are mutually made and formed for this
beautiful reciprocality!

"And yet some say we make too much noise--even some of our respected
Woodville merchants--(meaning the author). But what's worth making a
noise about in the dark mundane of our terrestrial sphere, if religion
ain't? People always, and everywhere in all places, make most noise
about what they opine to be most precious. See! yon banner streaming
with golden stars and glorious stripes over congregated troops, on the
Fourth of July, that ever-memorable--that never-to-be-_forgotten_ day,
which celebrates the grand annual anniversary of our nation's liberty
and independence! when our forefathers and ancestors burst asunder and
tore forever off the iron chains of political thraldom! and rose in
plenitude, ay! in the magnificence of their grandeur, and crushed their
oppressors!--yes! and hurled down dark despotism from the lofty pinnacle
of its summit altitude, where she was seated on her liberty-crushing
throne, and hurled her out of her iron chariot, as her wheels thundered
over the prostrate slaves of power!--(Amen)--Yes!--hark!--we make a
noise about that! But what's civil liberty to religious liberty, and
emancipated disenthraldom from the dark despotism of yonder terrific
prince of darkness! whose broad, black, piniony wings spread wide o'er
the aerial concave like a dense cloud upon a murky sky?--(A-a-men!)--And
ain't it, ye men of yards and measures, philosophical to make a noise
about this?--(Amen!--yes!) Yes! _yes!_ and I ain't ashamed to rejoice
and shout aloud. Ay! as long as the prophet was ordered to stamp with
his foot, I will stamp with my foot;--(here he stamped till the platform
trembled for its safety)--and to smite with his hand, I will _smite_
with my hand--(slapping alternate hands on alternate thighs.)--Yes! and
I will shout, too!--and cry aloud, and spare not--glory!
for--ever!--(and here his voice rang out like the sweet, clear tones of
a bugle).

"And, therefore, my dear sisters and brethren, let us walk worthy of our
vocation; not with the natural legs of the physical corporation, but in
the apostolical way, with the metaphysical and figurative legs of the
mind--(here Mr. N. caught some one smiling).--Take care, sinner, take
care! curl not the scornful nose--I'm willing to be a fool for
religion's sake--but turn not up the scornful nose--do its ministers no
harm! Sinner, mark me!--in yon deep and tangled grove, where tall,
aspiring trees wave green and lofty heads in the free air of balmy
skies--there sinner, an hour ago, when the sonorous horn called on our
embattled hosts to go to private prayer! an hour ago, in yonder grove I
knelt and prayed for you!--(hooh!)--yes! I prayed some poor soul might
be given for my hire!--and he promised me one!--(Glory! glory!--ah! give
him one!)--laughing sinner!--take care!--I'll have you!--(Grant
it--amen!--ooohoo!) Look out, I'm going to fire--(assuming the attitude
of rifle-shooting)--bang!--may He send that through your heart!--may it
pierce clean home through joints and marrow!--and let all people say
amen!--(and here amen _was_ said, and not in the tame style of the
American Archbishop of Canterbury's cathedral, be assured; but whether
the spiritual bullet hit the chap aimed at, I never learned; if it did,
his groans were inaudible in the alarming thunder of that amen).

"Ay! ay! that's the way! that's the way! don't be ashamed of your
vocation--that's the way to walk and let your light shine! Now, some
wise folks despise light, and call for miracles: but when we can't have
one kind of light, let us be philosophical, and take another. For my
part, when I'm bogging about these dark woods, far away in the silent,
somber shadows, I rejoice in sunshine; and would prefer it of choice,
rather than all other celestial and translucent luminaries: but when the
gentle fanning zephyrs of the shadowy night breathe soft among the
trembling leaves and sprays of the darkening forests, then I rejoice in
moonshine: and when the moonshine dims and pales away, with the waning
silvery queen of heaven in her azure zone, I look up to the blue concave
of the circular vault, and rejoice in starlight. No! _no!_ NO! any
light!--give us any light rather than _none_!--(Ah, do, good--!) Yes!
yes! we are the light of the world, and so let us let our light shine,
whether sunshine, or moonshine, or starlight!--(oohoo!)--and then the
poor benighted sinner, bogging about this terraqueous, but dark and
mundane sphere, will have a light like a pole star of the distant north,
to point and guide him to the sunlit climes of yonder world of bright
and blazing bliss!"--(A-a-amen!)

Such is part of the sermon. His concluding prayer ended thus--(Divine
names omitted).

"Oh, come down! come, come down! _down!_ now!--to-night!--do wonders
then! come down in _might_! come down in _power_! let salvation _roll_!
_Come_ down! _come!_ and let the earthquaking mighty noise of thy
thundering chariot wheels be heard, and felt, and seen, and experienced
in the warring elements of our spiritualized hearts!"

During the prayer, many petitions and expressions were so rapturously
and decidedly encored, that our friend kindly repeated them; and
sometimes, like public singers, with handsome variations; and many
petitions by amateur zealots were put forth, without any notice of the
current prayer offered by Mr. N., yet evidently having in view some
elegancy of his sermon. And not a few petitions, I regret to say, seemed
to misapprehend the drift and scope of the preacher. One of this sort
was the earnest ejaculations of an old and worthy brother, who, in a
hollow, sepulchral, and rather growly voice, bellowed out in a very
beautiful part of the grand prayer: "Oohhoo! take away _moonshine_!"

But our first performance was to be at night: and at the first _toot_ of
the tin horn we assembled in expectation of a "good time." For, 1. All
day preparation had been making for the night; and the actors seemed
evidently in restraint, as in mere rehearsal: 2. The night better suits
displays and scenes of any kind: but 3. The African was to preach; and
rumor had said, "he was a most powerful big preacher, that could stir up
folks mighty quick, and use up the ole feller in less than no time."

After prefatory prayers and hymns, and _pithy_ exhortations by several
brothers of the Circassian breed, our dusky divine, the Rev. Mizraim
Ham, commenced his sermon, founded on the duel between David and

This discourse we shall condense into a few pages; although the comedy
or _mellow_-drama--for it greatly mellowed and relaxed the
muscles--required for its entire action a full hour. There was, indeed,
a prologue, but the rest was mainly dialogue, in which Mr. Ham
wonderfully personated all the different speakers, varying his tone,
manner, attitude, etc., as varying characters and circumstances
demanded. We fear much of the spirit has evaporated in this
condensation; but that evil is unavoidable.


"Bruthurn and sisturn, tention, if you pleases, while I want you for to
understand this here battul most partiklur 'zact, or may be you
moughtn't comprend urn. Furst place, I gwyin to undevur to sarcumscribe
fust the 'cashin of this here battul: second place, the 'comdashins of
the armies: third place, the folkses as was gwyin for to fite and didn't
want to, and some did: and last and fourth place, I'm gwyin for to show
purtiklur 'zact them as fit juul, and git victry and git kill'd.

"Tention, if you please, while I fustly sarcumscribe the 'casion of this
here battul. Bruthurn and sisturn, you see them thar hethun Fillystines,
what warn't circumcised, they wants to ketch King Sol and his 'ar folks
for to make um slave; and so, they cums down to pick a quorl, and begins
a-totin off all their cawn, and wouldn't 'low um to make no hoes to hoe
um, nor no homnee. And that 'ar, you see, stick in King Solsis gizurd;
and he ups and says, says he, 'I'm not gwying to be used up that 'ar
away by them uncircumcis'd hethun Fillystines, and let um tote off our
folkses cawn to chuck to thar hogs, and take away our hoes so we can't
hoe um--and so, Jonathun, we'll drum up and list soljurs and try um a
battul.' And then King Sol and his 'ar folks they goes up, and the
hethun and theirn comes down and makes war. And this is the 'cashin why
they fit.

"Tention, 'gin, if you pleases, I'm gwyin in the next place secondly, to
show the 'comdashins of this here battul, which was so fashin like. The
Fillystines they had thar army up thar on a mounting, and King Sol he
had hissin over thar, like, across a branch, amoss like that a one
thar--(pointing)--and it was chuck full of sling rock all along on the
bottom. And so they was both on um camp'd out; this a one on this 'ar
side, and tother a one on tother, and the lilly branch tween um--and
them's the 'comdashins.

"Tention once more agin, as 'caze next place thirdly, I'm a gwyin to
give purtiklur 'zact 'count of sum folkses what fit and sum didn't want
to. And lubly sinnahs, maybe you minds um, as how King Sol and his
soljurs was pepper hot for fite when he fust liss um; but now, lubly
sinnahs, when they gits up to the Fillystines, they cool off mighty
quick, I tell you! 'Caze why? I tell you; why, 'caze a grate, big, ugly
ole jiunt, with grate big eyes, so fashin--(Mr. Ham made giant's eyes
here)--he kums a rampin' out a frount o' them 'ar rigiments, like the
ole devul a gwyin about like a half-starv'd lion a-seeking to devour
poor lubly sinnahs! And he cum a-jumpin and a-tearin out so
fashin--(actions to suit)--to git sum of King Solsis soljurs to fite urn
juul; and King Sol, lubly bruthurn and sisturn, he gits sker'd mighty
quick, and he says to Jonathun and tother big officers, says he, 'I
ain't a gwyin for to fite that grate big fellah.' And arter that they
ups and says, 'We ain't a gwying for to fite um nuther, 'caze he's all
kiver'd with sheetirun, and his head's up so high we muss stand a hoss
back to reach um!'--the jiunt he was _so big_!!

"And then King Sol he quite down in the jaw, and he turn and ax if
somebody wouldn't hunt up a soljur as would fite juul with um; and he'd
give um his dawtah, the prinsuss, for wife, and make um king's
son-in-law. And then one old koretur, they call him Abnah, he comes up
and says to Sol so: 'Please, your majustee, sir, I kin git a young
fellah to fite um,' says he. And Abnah tells how Davy had jist rid up in
his carruge and left um with the man what tend the hossis--and how he
heern Davy a quorl'n with his bruthers and a wantun to fite the jiunt.
Then King Sol, he feel mighty glad, I tell you, sinnahs, and he make um
bring um up, and King Sol he begins a-talkin so, and Davy he answers

"'What's your name, lilly fellah?'

"'I was krissen'd Davy.'

"'Who's your farder?'

"'They call um Jesse.'

"'What you follur for livin?'

"'I 'tend my farder's sheep.'

"'What you kum arter? Ain't you affeerd of that 'ar grate ugly ole jiunt
up thar, lilly Davy?'

"'I kum to see arter my udder brudurs, and bring um in our carruge some
cheese and muttun, and some clene shirt and trowser, and have tother
ones wash'd. And when I cum I hear ole Golliawh a hollerin out for
somebody to cum and fite juul with um; and all the soljurs round thar
they begins for to make traks mighty quick, I tell you, please your
majuste, sir, for thar tents; but, says I, what you run for? I'm not
a-gwyin for to run away--if King Sol wants somebody for to fite the
jiunt, I'll fite um for um.'

"'I mighty feer'd, lilly Davy you too leetul for um--'

"'No! King Sol, I kin lick um. One day I gits asleep ahind a rock, and
out kums a lion and a bawr, and begins a-totin off a lilly lam; and when
I heern um roarin and pawin 'bout, I rubs my eyes and sees um gwyin to
the mountings--and I arter and ketch'd up and kill um both without no
gun nor sword--and I bring back poor lilly lamb. I kin lick ole Goliawh,
I tell you, please your majuste, sir.'

"Then King Sol he wery glad, and pat um on the head, and calls um 'lilly
Davy,' and wants to put on um his own armur made of brass and sheetirum
and to take his sword, but Davy didn't like um, but said he'd trust to
his sling. And then out he goes to fite the ole jiunt; and this 'ar
brings me to the fourth and last diwishin of our surmun.

"'Tention once more agin, for lass time, as I'm gwyin to give most
purtikurlust 'zactest 'count of the juul atween lilly Davy and ole
Goliawh the jiunt, to show, lubly sinnah! how the Lord's peepul without
no carnul gun nor sword, can fite ole Bellzybub and knock um over with
the sling rock of prayer, as lilly Davy knocked over Goliawh with hissin
out of the Branch.

"And to 'lusterut the juul and make um spikus, I'll show 'zactly how
they talk'd, and jaw'd, and fit it all out; and so ole Goliawh when he
sees Davy a kumun, he hollurs out so, and lilly Davy he say back so:

"'What you kum for, lilly Jew?--'

"'What I kum for? you'll find out mighty quick, I tell you--I kum for
fite juul--'

"'Huhh! huhh! haw!--t'ink I'm gwyin to fite puttee lilly baby? I want
King Sol or Abnah, or a big soljur man--'

"'Hole your jaw--I'll make you laugh tother side, ole grizzle-gruzzle,
'rectly--I'm man enough for biggust jiunt Fillystine.'

"'Go way, poor lilly boy! go home, lilly baby, to your mudder, and git
sugar plum--I no want kill puttee lilly boy--'

"'Kum on!--don't be afeerd!--don't go for to run away!--I'll ketch you
and lick you--'

"'You leetul raskul--I'll kuss you by all our gods--I'll cut out your
sassy tung--I'll break your blackguard jaw--I'll rip you up and give um
to the dogs and crows--'

"'Don't cuss so, ole Golly! I 'sposed you wanted to fite juul--so kum on
with your old irun-pot hat on--you'll git belly full mighty quick--'

"'You nasty leetle raskul, I'll kum and kill you dead as chopped

Here the preacher represented the advance of the parties; and gave a
florid and wonderfully effective description of the closing act partly
by words and partly by pantomime; exhibiting innumerable marches and
counter-marches to get to windward, and all the postures, and gestures,
and defiances, till at last he personated David putting his hand into a
bag for a stone; and then making his cotton handkerchief into a sling,
he whirled it with fury half a dozen times around his head, and then let
fly with much skill at Goliath; and at the same instant halloing with
the frenzy of a madman--"Hurraw for lilly Davy!" At that cry he, with
his left hand, struck himself a violent slap on the forehead, to
represent the blow of the sling-stone hitting the giant; and then in
person of Goliath he dropped _quasi_ dead upon the platform amid the
deafening plaudits of the congregation; all of whom, some spiritually,
some sympathetically, and some carnally, took up the preacher's triumph

"Hurraw! for lilly Davy!"

How the Rev. Mizraim Ham made his exit from the boards I could not
see--perhaps he rolled or crawled off. But he did not suffer
decapitation, like "ole Golly": since in ten minutes, his woolly pate
suddenly popped up among the other sacred heads that were visible over
the front railing of the rostrum, as all kept moving to and fro in the
wild tossings of religious frenzy.

Scarcely had Mr. Ham fallen at his post, when a venerable old warrior,
with matchless intrepidity, stepped into the vacated spot; and without a
sign of fear carried on the contest against the Arch Fiend, whose great
ally had been so recently overthrown--i.e., Goliath, (not Mr. Ham). Yet
excited, as evidently was this veteran, he still could not forego his
usual introduction, stating how old he was; where he was born; where he
obtained religion; how long he had been a preacher; how many miles he
had traveled in a year; and when he buried his wife--all of which
edifying truths were received with the usual applauses of a devout and
enlightened assembly. But this introduction over--which did not occupy
more than fifteen or twenty minutes--he began his attack in fine style,
waxing louder and louder as he proceeded, till he exceeded all the old
gentlemen to "holler" I ever heard, and indeed old ladies either.


"... Yes, sinners! you'll all have to fall and be knock'd down some time
or nuther, like the great giant we've heern tell on, when the Lord's
sarvints come and fight agin you! Oho! sinner! sinner!--oh!--I hope you
may be knock'd down to-night--now!--this moment--and afore you die and
go to judgment! Yes! oho! yes! oh!--I say judgment--for it's appinted
once to die and then the judgment--oho! oh! And what a time ther'll be
then! You'll see all these here trees--and them 'are stars, and yonder
silver moon afire!--and all the alliments a-meltin and runnin down with
fervent heat-ah!"--(I have elsewhere stated that the _unlearned_
preachers out there (?) are by the vulgar--(not the _poor_)--but the
_vulgar_, supposed to be more favored in preaching than man-made
preachers; and that the sign of an unlearned preacher's inspiration
being in full _blast_ is his inhalations, which puts an ah! to
the end of sentences, members, words, and even exclamations, till
his breath is all gone, and no more can be _sucked_ in)--"Oho!
hoah! fervent heat-ah! and the trumpit a-soundin-ah!--and the dead
arisin-ah!--and all on us a-flyin-ah!--to be judged-ah!--O-hoah!
sinner--sinner--sinner--sinner-ah! And what do I see away
thar'-ah!--down the Mississippi-ah!--thar's a man jist done a-killin-ah
another-ah!--and up he goes with his bloody dagger-ah! And what's that I
see to the East-ah! where proud folks live clothed in purple-ah! and
fine linen-ah!--I see 'em round a table a drinkin a decoction of Indian
herb-ah!--and up they go with cups in thar hands-ah! and
see--ohoah!--see! in yonder doggery some a dancin-ah! and
fiddlin-ah!--and up they go-ah! with cards-ah! and fiddle-ah!" etc.,

Here the tempest around drowned the voice of the old hero; although,
from the frantic violence of his gestures, the frightful distortion of
his features, and the Pythonic foam of his mouth, he was plainly blazing
away at the enemy. The uproar, however, so far subsided as to allow my
hearing his closing exhortation, which was this:

"... Yes, I say--fall down--fall down all of you, on your
knees!--shout!--cry aloud!--spare not!--stamp with the _foot_!--smite
with the _hand_!--down! _down!_--that's it--down brethren!--down
preachers!--down _sisters_!--pray away!--take it by storm!--_fire_ away!
fire _away_! not one at a time! not two together-ah!--a single shot the
devil will _dodge-ah_!--give it to him _all at once_--fire a _whole
platoon_!--at him!!"

And then such platoon firing as followed! If Satan stood that, he can
stand much more than the worthy folks thought he could. And, indeed, the
effect was wonderful!--more than forty thoughtless sinners that came for
fun, and twice as many backsliders were instantly knocked over!--and
there all lay, some with violent jerkings and writhings of body, and
some uttering the most piercing and dismaying shrieks and groans! The
fact is, I was nearly knocked down myself--

"You?--Mr. Carlton!!"

Yes--indeed--but not by the hail of spiritual shot falling so thick
around me; it was by a sudden rush towards my station, where I stood
mounted on a stump. And this rush was occasioned by a wish to see a
stout fellow lying on the straw in the pen, a little to my left,
groaning and praying, and yet kicking and pummelling away as if
scuffling with a sturdy antagonist. Near him were several men and women
at prayer, and one or more whispering into his ear; while on a small
stump above stood a person superintending the contest, and so as to
insure victory to the right party. Now the prostrate man, who like a
spirited tom-cat seemed to fight best on his back, was no other than our
celebrated New Purchase bully--Rowdy Bill! And this being reported
through the congregation, the rush had taken place by which I was so
nearly overturned. I contrived, however, to regain my stand, shared
indeed now with several others, we hugging one another and standing on
tip-toes and our necks elongated as possible; and thus we managed to
have a pretty fair view of matters.

About this time the Superintendent in a very loud voice cried out--"Let
him alone, brothers! let him alone sisters! keep on praying!--it's a
hard fight--the devil's got a tight grip yet! He don't want to lose poor
Bill--but he'll let go soon--Bill's gittin the better on him fast!--Pray

Rowdy Bill, be it known, was famous as a gouger, and so expert was he in
his antioptical vocation, that in a few moments he usually bored out an
antagonist's eyes, or made him cry _peccavi_. Indeed, could he, on the
present occasion, have laid hold of his unseen foe's head--spiritually
we mean--he would--figuratively, of course--soon have caused him to ease
off or let go entirely his metaphorical grip. So, however, thought one
friend in the assembly--Bill's wife. For Bill was a man after her own
heart; and she often said that "with fair play she sentimentally allowed
her Bill could lick ary a man in the 'varsal world, and his weight in
wild cats to boot." Hence, the kind-hearted creature, hearing that Bill
was actually fighting with the evil one, had pressed in from the
outskirts to see fair play; but now hearing Bill was in reality down,
and apparently undermost, and above all, the words of the
Superintendent, declaring that the fiend had a tight grip of the poor
fellow, her excitement would no longer be controlled; and, collecting
her vocal energies, she screamed out her common exhortation to Bill, and
which, when heeded, had heretofore secured him immediate
victories--"Gouge him, Billy!--gouge him, _Billy!--gouge_ him!"

This spirited exclamation was instantly shouted by Bill's cronies and
partizans--mischievously, _maybe_, for we have no right to judge of
men's motives, in meetings:--but a few--_friends_, doubtless, of the old
fellow--cried out in very irreverent tone--"Bite him! devil--_bite_
him!" Upon which the faithful wife, in a tone of voice that beggars
description, reiterated her--"Gouge him," etc.--in which she was again
joined by her husband's allies, and that to the alarm of his invisible
foe; for Bill now rose to his knees, and on uttering some mystic jargon
symptomatic of conversion, he was said to have "got religion";--and then
all his new friends and spiritual guides united in fresh prayers and
shouts of thanksgiving.

It was now very late at night; and joining a few other citizens of
Woodville, we were soon in our saddles and buried in the darkness of the
forest. For a long time, however, the uproar of the spiritual elements
at the camp continued at intervals to swell and diminish on the hearing;
and, often came a yell that rose far above the united din of other
screams and outcries. Nay, at the distance of nearly two miles, could be
distinguished a remarkable and sonorous _oh_!--like the faintly heard
explosion of a mighty elocutional class, practising under a master. And
yet my comrades, who had heard this peculiar cry more than once, all
declared that this wonderful _oh_-ing was performed by the separate
voice of our townsman, Eolus Letherlung, Esq.!


A camp-meeting of _this sort_ is, all things considered, the very best
contrivance for making the largest number of converts in the shortest
possible time; and also for enlarging most speedily the bounds of a
Church _Visible_ and _Militant_.



Publication delayed by the author's determined but futile attempt to
find the rhyme

    If _Browning_ only were here,
    This yule-ish time o' the year--
    This mule-ish time o' the year,--
    Stubbornly still refusing
    To add to the rhymes we've been using
    Since the first Christmas-glee
    (One might say) chantingly
    Rendered by rudest hinds
    Of the pelt-clad shepherding kinds
    Who didn't know Song from b-
    (Haply the old Egyptian _ptah_--
    Though I'd hardly wager a baw-
    Bee--or a _bumble_, for that--
    And that's flat!)....
    But the thing that I want to get at
    Is a rhyme for _Christmas_--
    Nay! nay! nay! nay! not _isthmus_--
    The t- and the h- sounds covertly are
    Gnawing the nice auracular
    Senses until one may hear them gnar--
    And the terminal, too, for m_a_s, is m_u_s,
    So _that_ will not do for us.
    Try for it--sigh for it--cry for it--die for it!
    O _but_ if Browning were here to apply for it,
    _He'd_ rhyme you _Christmas_--
    _He'd_ make a _mist pass_
    Over--something o' ruther--
    Or find you the rhyme's very brother
    In lovers that _kissed fast_
    _To baffle the moon_,--as he'd lose the _t_-final
    In fas-t as it blended with _to_ (mark the spinal
    Elision--tip-clipt as exquisitely nicely
    And hyper-exactingly sliced to precisely
    The extremest technical need): Or he'd _twist glass_,
    Or he'd have a _kissed lass_,
    Or shake neath our noses some great giant _fist-mass_--
    No matter! If Robert were here, _he_ could do it,
    Though it took us till Christmas next year to see through it.



    My cigarette! The amulet
      That charms afar unrest and sorrow;
    The magic wand that far beyond
      To-day can conjure up to-morrow.
    Like love's desire, thy crown of fire
      So softly with the twilight blending,
    And ah! meseems, a poet's dreams
      Are in thy wreaths of smoke ascending.

    My cigarette! Can I forget
      How Kate and I, in sunny weather,
    Sat in the shade the elm-tree made
      And rolled the fragrant weed together?
    I at her side beatified,
      To hold and guide her fingers willing;
    She rolling slow the paper's snow,
      Putting my heart in with the filling.

    My cigarette! I see her yet,
      The white smoke from her red lips curling,
    Her dreaming eyes, her soft replies,
      Her gentle sighs, her laughter purling!
    Ah, dainty roll, whose parting soul
      Ebbs out in many a snowy billow,
    I, too, would burn if I might earn
      Upon her lips so soft a pillow!

    Ah, cigarette! The gay coquette
      Has long forgot the flames she lighted,
    And you and I unthinking by
      Alike are thrown, alike are slighted.
    The darkness gathers fast without,
      A raindrop on my window plashes;
    My cigarette and heart are out,
      And naught is left me but the ashes.

[Footnote 1: By permission of Life Publishing Company.]



    Ye Parsons, desirous all sinners to save,
      And to make each a prig or a prude,
    If two thousand long years have not made us behave,
      It is time you began to conclude.

    Ye Husbands, who wish your sweet mates to grow mum,
      And whose tongues you have never subdued,
    If ten years of your reign have not made them grow dumb,
      It is time to begin to conclude.

    Ye Matrons of men whose brown meerschaum still mars
      The sweet kiss with tobacco bedewed,
    After pleading nine years, if they still puff cigars,
      It is time you began to conclude.

    Ye Lawyers, who aim to reform all the land,
      And your statutes forever intrude,
    If five thousand lost years have not worked as you planned,
      It is time to begin to conclude.

    Ye Lovers, who sigh for the heart of a maid,
      And forty-four years have pursued,
    If two scores of young years have not taught you your trade,
      It is time you began to conclude.

    Ye Doctors, who claim to cure every ill,
      And so much of mock learning exude,
    If the _Comma Bacillus_ still laughs at your pill,
      It is time to begin to conclude.

    Ye Maidens of Fifty, who lonely abide,
      Yet who heartily scout solitude,
    If Jack with his whiskers is not at your side,
      It is time to begin to conclude.



    Winter is too cold fer work;
    Freezin' weather makes me shirk.

    Spring comes on an' finds me wishin'
    I could end my days a-fishin'.

    Then in summer, when it's hot,
    I say work kin go to pot.

    Autumn days, so calm an' hazy,
    Sorter make me kinder lazy.

    That's the way the seasons run.
    Seems I can't git nothin' done.

[Footnote 2: Lippincott's Magazine.]



    My dreams so fair that used to be,
      The promises of youth's bright clime,
    So changed, alas; come back to me
      Sweet memories of that hopeful time
    Before I learned, with doubt oppressed,
    There are no birds in next year's nest.

    The seed I sowed in fragrant spring
      The summer's sun to vivify
    With his warm kisses, ripening
      To golden harvest by and by,
    Got caught by drought, like all the rest--
    There are no birds in next year's nest.

    The stock I bought at eighty-nine,
      Broke down next day to twenty-eight;
    Some squatters jumped my silver mine,
      My own convention smashed my slate;
    No more in "futures" I'll invest--
    There are no birds in next year's nest.



Without wishing to alarm the American people, or create a panic, I
desire briefly and seriously to discuss the great question, "Whither are
we drifting, and what is to be the condition of the coming man?" We can
not shut our eyes to the fact that mankind is passing through a great
era of change; even womankind is not built as she was a few brief years
ago. And is it not time, fellow citizens, that we pause to consider what
is to be the future of the American?

Food itself has been the subject of change both in the matter of
material and preparation. This must affect the consumer in such a way as
to some day bring about great differences. Take, for instance, the
oyster, one of our comparatively modern food and game fishes, and watch
the effects of science upon him. At one time the oyster browsed around
and ate what he could find in Neptune's back-yard, and we had to eat him
as we found him. Now we take a herd of oysters off the trail, all run
down, and feed them artificially till they swell up to a fancy size, and
bring a fancy price. Where will this all lead at last, I ask as a
careful scientist? Instead of eating apples, as Adam did, we work the
fruit up into apple-jack and pie, while even the simple oyster is
perverted, and instead of being allowed to fatten up in the fall on
acorns and ancient mariners, spurious flesh is put on his bones by the
artificial osmose and dialysis of our advanced civilization. How can
you make an oyster stout or train him down by making him jerk a health
lift so many hours every day, or cultivate his body at the expense of
his mind, without ultimately not only impairing the future usefulness of
the oyster himself, but at the same time affecting the future of the
human race who feed upon him?

I only use the oyster as an illustration, and I do not wish to cause
alarm, but I say that if we stimulate the oyster artificially and swell
him up by scientific means, we not only do so at the expense of his
better nature and keep him away from his family, but we are making our
mark on the future race of men. Oyster-fattening is now, of course, in
its infancy. Only a few years ago an effort was made at St. Louis to
fatten cove oysters while in the can, but the system was not well
understood, and those who had it in charge only succeeded in making the
can itself more plump. But now oysters are kept on ground feed and given
nothing to do for a few weeks, and even the older and overworked
sway-backed and rickety oysters of the dim and murky past are made to
fill out, and many of them have to put a gore in the waistband of their
shells. I only speak of the oyster incidentally, as one of the objects
toward which science has turned its attention, and I assert with the
utmost confidence that the time will come, unless science should get a
set-back, when the present hunting-case oyster will give place to the
open-face oyster, grafted on the octopus and big enough to feed a hotel.
Further than that, the oyster of the future will carry in a hip-pocket a
flask of vinegar, half a dozen lemons and two little Japanese bottles,
one of which will contain salt and the other pepper, and there will be
some way provided by which you can tell which is which. But are we
improving the oyster now? That is a question we may well ask ourselves.
Is this a healthy fat which we are putting on him, or is it bloat? And
what will be the result in the home-life of the oyster? We take him from
all domestic influences whatever in order to make a swell of him by our
modern methods, but do we improve his condition morally, and what is to
be the great final result on man?

The reader will see by the questions I ask that I am a true scientist.
Give me an overcoat pocket full of lower-case interrogation marks and a
medical report to run to, and I can speak on the matter of science and
advancement till Reason totters on her throne.

But food and oysters do not alone affect the great, pregnant future. Our
race is being tampered with not only by means of adulterations,
political combinations and climatic changes, but even our methods of
relaxation are productive of peculiar physical conditions, malformations
and some more things of the same kind.

Cigarette smoking produces a flabby and endogenous condition of the
optic nerve, and constant listening at a telephone, always with the same
ear, decreases the power of the other ear till it finally just stands
around drawing its salary, but actually refusing to hear anything.
Carrying an eight-pound cane makes a man lopsided, and the muscular and
nervous strain that is necessary to retain a single eyeglass in place
and keep it out of the soup, year after year, draws the mental stimulus
that should go to the thinker itself, until at last the mind wanders
away and forgets to come back, or becomes atrophied, and the great
mental strain incident to the work of pounding sand or coming in when it
rains is more than it is equal to.

Playing billiards, accompanied by the vicious habit of pounding on the
floor with the butt of the cue ever and anon, produces at last optical
illusions, phantasmagoria and visions of pink spiders with navy-blue
abdomens. Baseball is not alone highly injurious to the umpire, but it
also induces crooked fingers, bone spavin and hives among habitual
players. Jumping the rope induces heart disease. Poker is unduly
sedentary in its nature. Bicycling is highly injurious, especially to
skittish horses. Boating induces malaria. Lawn tennis can not be played
in the house. Archery is apt to be injurious to those who stand around
and watch the game, and pugilism is a relaxation that jars heavily on
some natures.

Foot-ball produces what may be called the endogenous or ingrowing
toenail, stringhalt and mania. Copenhagen induces a melancholy, and the
game of bean bag is unduly exciting. Horse racing is too brief and
transitory as an outdoor game, requiring weeks and months for
preparation and lasting only long enough for a quick person to ejaculate
"Scat!" The pitcher's arm is a new disease, the outgrowth of base-ball;
the lawn-tennis elbow is another result of a popular open-air amusement,
and it begins to look as though the coming American would hear with one
overgrown telephonic ear, while the other will be rudimentary only. He
will have an abnormal base-ball arm with a lawn-tennis elbow, a powerful
foot-ball-kicking leg with the superior toe driven back into the palm of
his foot. He will have a highly trained biceps muscle over his eye to
retain his glass, and that eye will be trained to shoot a curved glance
over a high hat and witness anything on the stage.

Other features grow abnormal, or shrink up from the lack of use, as a
result of our customs. For instance, the man whose business it is to get
along a crowded street with the utmost speed will have, finally, a hard,
sharp horn growing on each elbow, and a pair of spurs growing out of
each ankle. These will enable him to climb over a crowd and get there
early. Constant exposure to these weapons on the part of the pedestrian
will harden the walls of the thorax and abdomen until the coming man
will be an impervious man. The citizen who avails himself of all modern
methods of conveyance will ride from his door on the horse car to the
elevated station, where an elevator will elevate him to the train and a
revolving platform will swing him on board, or possibly the street car
will be lifted from the surface track to the elevated track, and the
passenger will retain his seat all the time. Then a man will simply hang
out a red card, like an express card, at his door, and a combination car
will call for him, take him to the nearest elevated station, elevate
him, car and all, to the track, take him where he wants to go, and call
for him at any hour of the night to bring him home. He will do his
exercising at home, chiefly taking artificial sea baths, jerking a
rowing machine or playing on a health lift till his eyes hang out on his
cheeks, and he need not do any walking whatever. In that way the coming
man will be over-developed above the legs, and his lower limbs will look
like the desolate stems of a frozen geranium. Eccentricities of limb
will be handed over like baldness from father to son among the dwellers
in the cities, where every advantage in the way of rapid transit is to
be had, until a metropolitan will be instantly picked out by his able
digestion and rudimentary legs, just as we now detect the gentleman from
the interior by his wild endeavors to overtake an elevated train.

In fact, Mr. Edison has now perfected, or announced that he is on the
road to the perfection of, a machine which I may be pardoned for calling
a storage think-tank. This will enable a brainy man to sit at home, and,
with an electric motor and a perfected phonograph, he can think into a
tin dipper or funnel, which will, by the aid of electricity and a new
style of foil, record and preserve his ideas on a sheet of soft metal,
so that when any one says to him, "A penny for your thoughts," he can go
to his valise and give him a piece of his mind. Thus the man who has
such wild and beautiful thoughts in the night and never can hold on to
them long enough to turn on the gas and get his writing materials, can
set this thing by the head of his bed, and, when the poetic thought
comes to him in the stilly night, he can think into a hopper, and the
genius of Franklin and Edison together will enable him to fire it back
at his friends in the morning while they eat their pancakes and glucose
syrup from Vermont, or he can mail the sheet of tinfoil to absent
friends, who may put it into their phonographs and utilize it. In this
way the world may harness the gray matter of its best men, and it will
be no uncommon thing to see a dozen brainy men tied up in a row in the
back office of an intellectual syndicate, dropping pregnant thoughts
into little electric coffee mills for a couple of hours a day, after
which they can put on their coats, draw their pay, and go home.

All this will reduce the quantity of exercise, both mental and physical.
Two men with good brains could do the thinking for 60,000,000 of people
and feel perfectly fresh and rested the next day. Take four men, we will
say, two to do the day thinking and two more to go on deck at night, and
see how much time the rest of the world would have to go fishing. See
how politics would become simplified. Conventions, primaries, bargains
and sales, campaign bitterness and vituperation--all might be wiped out.
A pair of political thinkers could furnish 100,000,000 of people with
logical conclusions enough to last them through the campaign and put an
unbiased opinion into a man's house each day for less than he now pays
for gas. Just before election you could go into your private office,
throw in a large dose of campaign whisky, light a campaign cigar,
fasten your buttonhole to the wall by an elastic band, so that there
would be a gentle pull on it, and turn the electricity on your
mechanical thought supply. It would save time and money, and the result
would be the same as it is now. This would only be the beginning, of
course, and after a while every qualified voter who did not feel like
exerting himself so much, need only give his name and proxy to the
salaried thinker employed by the National Think Retort and Supply Works.
We talk a great deal about the union of church and state, but that is
not so dangerous, after all, as the mixture of politics and independent
thought. Will the coming voter be an automatic, legless, hairless
mollusk with an abnormal ear constantly glued to the tube of a big tank
full of symmetrical ideas furnished by a national bureau of brains in
the employ of the party in power?



    Bowed was the old man's snow-white head,
      A troubled look was on his face,
    "Why come you, sir," I gently said,
      "Unto this solemn burial place?"

    "I come to weep a while for one
      Whom in her life I held most dear,
    Alas, her sands were quickly run,
      And now she lies a sleeping here."

    "Oh, tell me of your precious wife,
      For she was very dear, I know,
    It must have been a blissful life
      You led with her you treasure so?"

    "My wife is mouldering in the ground,
      In yonder house she's spinning now,
    And lo! this moment may be found
      A driving home the family cow;

    "And see, she's standing at the stile,
      And leans from out the window wide,
    And loiters on the sward a while,
      Her forty babies by her side."

    "Old man, you must be mad!" I cried,
      "Or else you do but jest with me;
    How is it that your wife has died
      And yet can here and living be?

    "How is it while she drives the cow
      She's hanging out her window wide,
    And loiters, as you said just now,
      With forty babies by her side?"

    The old man raised his snowy head,
      "I have a sainted wife in Heaven;
    I am a Mormon, sir," he said,
      "My sainted wife on earth are seven."



    It seems to me that talk should be,
    Like water, sprinkled sparingly;
    Then ground that late lay dull and dried
    Smiles up at you revivified,
    And flowers--of speech--touched by the dew
    Put forth fresh root and bud anew.
    But I'm not sure that any flower
    Would thrive beneath Niagara's shower!
    So when a friend turns full on me
    His verbal hose, may I not flee?
    I know that I am arid ground,
    But I'm not watered--Gad! I'm drowned!


(_Little Tommy Loq_)


    My father piles the snow-drifts
      Around his rosy face,
    And covers all his whiskers--
      The grass that grows apace.

    And then he runs the snow-plough
      Across his smiling lawn,
    And all the snow-drifts vanish
      And then the grass is gone.



There comes a time in the life of young men when their college
fraternity pins lie forgotten in the collar-button box and the spiking
of freshmen ceases to be a burning issue. Tippecanoe was one of the few
freshwater colleges that barred women; but this was not its only
distinction, for its teaching was sound, its campus charming and the
town of which it was the chief ornament a quiet place noted from the
beginning of things for its cultivated people.

It is no longer so very laudable for a young man to pay his way through
college; and Morris Leighton had done this easily and without caring to
be praised or martyrized for doing so. He had enjoyed his college days;
he had been popular with town and gown; and he had managed to get his
share of undergraduate fun while leading his classes. He had helped in
the college library; he had twisted the iron letter-press on the
president's correspondence late into the night; he had copied briefs for
a lawyer after hours; but he had pitched for the nine and hustled for
his "frat," and he had led class rushes with ardor and success.

He had now been for several years in the offices of Knight, Kittredge
and Carr at Mariona, only an hour's ride from Tippecanoe; and he still
kept in touch with the college. Michael Carr fully appreciated a young
man who took the law seriously and who could sit down in a court room
on call mornings, when need be, and turn off a demurrer without
paraphrasing it from a text-book.

Mrs. Carr, too, found Morris Leighton useful, and she liked him, because
he always responded unquestioningly to any summons to fill up a blank at
her table; and if Mr. Carr was reluctant at the last minute to attend a
lecture on "Egyptian Burial Customs," Mrs. Carr could usually summon
Morris Leighton by telephone in time to act as her escort. Young men
were at a premium in Mariona, as in most other places, and it was
something to have one of the species, of an accommodating turn, and very
presentable, within telephone range. Mrs. Carr was grateful, and so, it
must be said, was her husband, who did not care to spend his evenings
digging up Egyptians that had been a long time dead, or listening to
comic operas. It was through Mrs. Carr that Leighton came to be well
known in Mariona; she told her friends to ask him to call, and there
were now many homes besides hers that he visited.

It sometimes occurred to Morris Leighton that he was not getting ahead
in the world very fast. He knew that his salary from Carr was more than
any other young lawyer of his years earned by independent practice; but
it seemed to him that he ought to be doing better. He had not drawn on
his mother's small resources since his first year at college; he had
made his own way--and a little more--but he experienced moments of
restlessness in which the difficulties of establishing himself in his
profession loomed large and formidable.

An errand to a law firm in one of the fashionable new buildings that had
lately raised the Mariona sky-line led him one afternoon past the office
of his college classmate, Jack Balcomb. "J. Arthur Balcomb," was the
inscription on the door, "Suite B, Room 1." Leighton had seen little of
Balcomb for a year or more, and his friend's name on the ground-glass
door arrested his eye.

Two girls were busily employed at typewriters in the anteroom, and one
of them extended a blank card to Morris and asked him for his name. The
girl disappeared into the inner room and came back instantly followed by
Balcomb, who seized Morris's hand, dragged him in and closed the door.

"Well, old man!" Balcomb shouted. "I'm glad to see you. It's downright
pleasant to have a fellow come in occasionally and feel no temptation to
take his watch. Sink into yonder soft-yielding leather and allow me to
offer you one of these plutocratic perfectos. Only the elect get these,
I can tell you. In that drawer there I keep a brand made out of car
waste and hemp rope, that does very well for ordinary commercial
sociability. Got a match? All right; smoke up and tell me what you're
doing to make the world a better place to live in, as old Prexy used to
say at college."

"I'm digging at the law, at the same old stand. I can't say that I'm
flourishing like Jonah's gourd, as you seem to be."

Morris cast his eyes over the room, which was handsomely furnished.
There was a good rug on the floor and the desk and table were of heavy
oak; an engraving of Thomas Jefferson hung over Balcomb's desk, and on
the opposite side of the room was a table covered with financial
reference books.

"Well, I tell you, old man," declared Balcomb, "you've got to fool all
the people all the time these days to make it go. Those venerable
whiskers around town whine about the good old times and how a young
man's got to go slow but sure. There's nothing in it; and they wouldn't
be in it either, if they had to start in again; no siree!"

"What is your game just now, Jack, if it isn't impertinent? It's hard to
keep track of you. I remember very well that you started in to learn the
wholesale drug business."

"Oh tush! don't refer to that, an thou lovest me! That is one of the
darkest pages of my life. Those people down there in South High Street
thought I was a jay, and they sent me out to help the shipping clerk.
Wouldn't that jar you! Overalls,--and a hand truck. Wow! I couldn't get
out of that fast enough. Then, you know, I went to Chicago and spent a
year in a broker's office, and I guess I learned a few up there. Oh,
rather! They sent me into the country to sell mining stock and I made a
record. They kept the printing presses going overtime to keep me
supplied. Say, they got afraid of me; I was too good!"

He stroked his vandyke beard complacently, and flicked the ash from his

"What's your line now? Real estate, mortgages, lending money to the
poor? How do you classify yourself?"

"You do me a cruel wrong, Morris, a cruel wrong. You read my sign on the
outer wall? Well, that's a bluff. There's nothing in real estate, _per
se_, as old Doc Bridges used to say at college. And the loan business
has all gone to the bad,--people are too rich; farmers are rolling in
real money and have it to lend. There was nothing for little Willie in
petty brokerages. I'm scheming--promoting--and I take my slice off of
everything that passes."

"That certainly sounds well. You've learned fast. You had an ambition to
be a poet when you were in college. I think I still have a few pounds of
your verses in my traps somewhere."

Balcomb threw up his head and laughed in self-pity.

"I believe I _was_ bitten with the literary tarantula for a while, but
I've lived it down, I hope. Prexy used to predict a bright literary
future for me in those days. You remember, when I made Phi Beta Kappa,
how he took both my hands and wept over me. 'Balcomb,' he says, 'you're
an honor to the college.' I suppose he'd weep again, if he knew I'd only
forgotten about half the letters of the Greek alphabet,--left them, as
one might say, several thousand parasangs to the rear in my mad race for
daily sustenance. Well, I may not leave any vestiges on the sands of
time, but, please God, I shan't die hungry,--not if I keep my health.
Dear old Prexy! He was a nice old chump, though a trifle somnolent in
his chapel talks."

"Well, we needn't pull the planks out of the bridge we've crossed on. I
got a lot out of college that I'm grateful for. They did their best for
us," said Morris.

"Oh, yes; it was well enough, but if I had it to do over, Tippecanoe
wouldn't see me; not much! It isn't what you learn in college, it's the
friendships you make and all that sort of thing that counts. A western
man ought to go east to college and rub up against eastern fellows. The
atmosphere at the freshwater colleges is pretty jay. Fred Waters left
Tippecanoe and went to Yale and got in with a lot of influential fellows
down there,--chaps whose fathers are in big things in New York. Fred has
a fine position now, just through his college pull, and first thing you
know, he'll pick up an heiress and be fixed for life. Fred's a winner
all right."

"He's also an ass," said Leighton. "I remember him of old."

"An ass of the large gray and long-eared species,--I'll grant you that,
all right enough; but look here, old man, you've got to overlook the
fact that a fellow occasionally lifts his voice and brays. Man does not
live by the spirit alone; he needs bread, and bread's getting hard to

"I've noticed it," replied Leighton, who had covered all this ground
before in talks with Balcomb and did not care to go into it further.

"And then, you remember," Balcomb went on, in enjoyment of his own
reminiscences, "I wooed the law for a while. But I guess what I learned
wouldn't have embarrassed Chancellor Kent. I really had a client once. I
didn't see a chance of getting one any other way, so I hired him. He was
a coon. I employed him for two dollars to go to the Grand Opera House
and buy a seat in the orchestra when Sir Henry Irving was giving _The
Merchant of Venice_. He went to sleep and snored and they threw him out
with rude, insolent, and angry hands after the second act; and I brought
suit against the management for damages, basing my claim on the idea
that they had spurned my dusky brother on account of his race, color and
previous condition of servitude. The last clause was a joke. He had
never done any work in his life, except for the state. He was a very
sightly coon, too, now that I recall him. The show was, as I said, _The
Merchant of Venice_, and I'll leave it to anybody if my client wasn't at
least as pleasing to the eye as Sir Henry in his Shylock togs. I suppose
if it had been _Othello_, race feeling would have run so high that Sir
Henry would hardly have escaped lynching. Well, to return. My client got
loaded on gin about the time the case came up on demurrer and gave the
snap away, and I dropped out of the practice to avoid being disbarred.
And it was just as well. My landlord had protested against my using the
office at night for poker purposes, so I passed up the law and sought
the asphodel fields of promotion. _Les affaires font l'homme_, as old
Professor Garneau used to say at college. So here I am; and I'm glad I
shook the law. I'd got tired of eating coffee and rolls at the Berlin
bakery three times a day.

"Why, Morris, old man," he went on volubly, "there were days when the
loneliness in my office grew positively oppressive. You may remember
that room I had in the old Adams and Harper Block? It gave upon a
courtyard where the rats from a livery stable came to disport themselves
on rainy days. I grew to be a dead shot with the flobert rifle; but
lawsy, there's mighty little consideration for true merit in this world!
Just because I winged a couple of cheap hack horses one day, when my
nerves weren't steady, the livery people made me stop, and one of my
fellow tenants in the old rookery threatened to have me arrested for
conducting a shooting gallery without a license. He was a dentist, and
he said the snap of the rifle worried his victims."

The two typewriting machines outside clicked steadily. Some one knocked
at the door.

"Come in!" shouted Balcomb.

One of the typewriter operators entered with a brisk air of business and
handed a telegram to Balcomb, who tore it open nonchalantly. As he read
it, he tossed the crumpled envelope over his shoulder in an
absent-minded way.

"By Jove!" he exclaimed, slapping his leg as though the news were
important. Then, to the girl, who waited with note-book and pencil in
hand: "Never mind; don't wait. I'll dictate the answer later."

"How did it work?" he asked, turning to Leighton, who had been looking
over the books on the table.

"How did what work?"

"The fake. It was a fake telegram. That girl's trained to bring in a
message every time I have a caller. If the caller stays thirty minutes,
it's two messages,--in other words I'm on a fifteen-minute schedule. I
tip a boy in the telegraph office to keep me supplied with blanks. It's
a great scheme. There's nothing like a telegram to create the
impression that your office is a seething caldron of business. Old Prexy
was in town the other day. I don't suppose he ever got a dose of
electricity in his life unless he had been sorely bereft of a member of
his family and was summoned to the funeral baked meats. Say, he must
have thought I had a private wire!"

Leighton sat down and fanned himself with his hat.

"You'll be my death yet. You have the cheek of a nice, fresh, new
baggage-check, Balcomb."

"Your cigar isn't burning well, Morris. Won't you try another? No? I
like my guests to be comfortable."

"I'm comfortable enough. I'm even entertained. Go ahead and let me see
the rest of the show."

"Oh, we haven't exactly a course of stunts here. Those are nice girls
out there. I've broken them of the chewing-gum habit, and they can
answer anxious inquiries at the door now without danger of

"They seem speedy on the machine. Your correspondence must be something

"Um, yes. It has to be. Every cheap skate of a real estate man keeps one
stenographer. My distinction is that I keep two. They're easy
advertising. Now that little one in the pink shirt-waist that brought in
the message from Mars a moment ago is a wonder of intelligence. Do you
know what she's doing now?"

"Trying to break the machine I should guess, from the racket."

"Bah! It's the Lord's Prayer."

"You mean it's a sort of prayer machine."

"Not on your life. Maude hasn't any real work to do just now and she's
running off the Lord's Prayer. I know by the way it clicks. When she
strikes 'our daily bread' the machine always gives a little gasp. See?
The rule of the office is that they must have some diddings doing all
the time. The big one with red hair is a perfect marvel at the
Declaration of Independence. She'll be through addressing circulars in a
little while and will run off into 'All men are created equal'--a
blooming lie, by the way--without losing a stroke."

"You _have_ passed the poetry stage, beyond a doubt. But I should think
the strain of keeping all this going would be wearing on your sensitive
poetical nature. And it must cost something."

"Oh, yes!" Balcomb pursed his lips and stroked his fine soft beard. "But
it's worth it. I'm not playing for small stakes. I'm looking for
Christmas trees. Now they've got their eyes on me. These old Elijahs
that have been the bone and sinew of the town for so long that they
think they own it, are about done for. You can't sit in a bank here any
more and look solemn and turn people down because your corn hurts or
because the chinch-bugs have got into the wheat in Dakota or the czar
has bought the heir apparent a new toy pistol. You've got to present a
smiling countenance to the world and give the glad hand to everybody
you're likely to need in your business. I jolly everybody!"

"That comes easy for you; but I didn't know you could make an asset of

"It's part of my working capital. Now you'd better cut loose from old
man Carr and move up here and get a suite near me. I've got more than I
can do,--I'm always needing a lawyer,--organizing companies, legality of
bonds, and so on. Dignified work. Lots of out-of-town people come here
and I'll put you in touch with them. I threw a good thing to Van Cleve
only the other day. Bond foreclosure suit for some fellows in the East
that I sell stuff to. They wrote and asked me the name of a good man. I
thought of you--old college days and all that--but Van Cleve had just
done me a good turn and I had to let him have it. But you'd better come
over. You'll never know the world's in motion in that musty old hole of
Carr's. You get timid and afraid to go near the water by staying on
shore so long. But say, Morris, you seem to be getting along pretty well
in the social push. Your name looks well in the society column. How do
you work it, anyhow?"

"Don't expect me to give the snap away. The secret's valuable. And I'm
not really inside; I am only peering through the pickets!"

"Tush! Get thee hence! I saw you in a box at the theater the other
night,--evidently Mrs. Carr's party. There's nothing like mixing
business with pleasure. Ah me!"

He yawned and stroked his beard and laughed, with a fine showing of
white teeth.

"I don't see what's pricking you with small pins of envy. You were there
with about the gayest crowd I ever saw at a theater; and it looked like
your own party."

"Don't say a word," implored Balcomb, putting out his hand. "Members of
the board of managers of the state penitentiary, their wives, their
cousins and their aunts. Say, weren't those beauteous whiskers! My eye!
Well, the evening netted me about five hundred plunks, and I got to see
the show and to eat a good supper in the bargain. Some reformers were to
appear before them that night officially, and my friends wanted to keep
them busy. I was called into the game to do something,--hence these
tears. Lawsy! I earned my money. Did you see those women?--about two
million per cent. pure jay!"

"You ought to cut out that sort of thing; it isn't nice."

"Oh, you needn't be so virtuous. Carr keeps a whole corps of rascals to
spread apple-butter on the legislature corn-bread."

"You'd better speak to him about it. He'd probably tell Mrs. Carr to ask
you to dinner right away."

"Oh, that will come in time. I don't expect to do everything at once.
You may see me up there some time; and when you do, don't shy off like a
colt at the choo-choos. By the way, I'd like to be one of the bright
particular stars of the Dramatic Club if you can fix it. You remember
that amateur theatricals are rather in my line."

"I do. At college you were one of the most persistent Thespians we had,
and one of the worst. But let social matters go. You haven't told me how
to get rich quick yet. I haven't had the nerve to chuck the law as you

"Well," continued Balcomb, expansively, "a fellow has got to take what
he can when he can. One swallow doesn't make a summer; one sucker
doesn't make a spring; so we must catch the birdling _en route_ or _en
passant_, as our dear professor of modern languages used to try to get
us to remark. Say, between us old college friends, I cleared up a couple
of thousand last week just too easy for any use. You know Singerly, the
popular undertaker,--Egyptian secret of embalming, lady and gentleman
attendants, night and day,--always wears a spray of immortelles in his
lapel and a dash of tuberose essence on his handkerchief. Well, Singerly
and I operated together in the smoothest way you ever saw. Excuse me!"
He lay back and howled. "Well, there was an old house up here on High
Street just where it begins to get good; very exclusive--old families
and all that. It belonged to an estate, and I got an option on it just
for fun. I began taking Singerly up there to look at it. We'd measure
it, and step it off, and stop and palaver on the sidewalk. In a day or
two those people up there began to take notice and to do me the honor to
call on me. You see, my boy, an undertaking shop--even a fashionable
one--for a neighbor, isn't pleasant; it wouldn't add, as one might say,
to the _sauce piquante_ of life; and as a reminder of our mortality--a
trifle depressing, as you will admit."

He took the cigar from his mouth and examined the burning end of it

"I sold the option to one of Singerly's prospective neighbors for the
matter of eleven hundred. He's a retired wholesale grocer and didn't
need the money."

"Seems to me you're cutting pretty near the dead-line, Jack. That's not
a pretty sort of hold-up. You might as well take a sandbag and lie in
wait by night."

"Great rhubarb! You make me tired. I'm not robbing the widow and the
orphan, but a fat old Dutchman who doesn't ask anything of life but his
sauerkraut and beer."

"And you do! You'd better give your ethical sense a good tonic before
you butt into the penal code."

"Come off! I've got a better scheme even than the Singerly deal. The
school board's trying to locate a few schools in up-town districts. Very
undesirable neighbors. I rather think I can make a couple of turns
there. This is all strictly _inter nos_, as Professor Morton used to say
in giving me, as a special mark of esteem, a couple of hundred extra
lines of Virgil to keep me in o' nights."

He looked at his watch and gave the stem-key a few turns before
returning it to his pocket.

"You'll have to excuse me, old man. I've got a date with Adams, over at
the Central States Trust Company. He's a right decent chap when you know
how to handle him. I want to get them to finance a big apartment house
scheme. I've got an idea for a flat that will make the town sit up and

"Don't linger on my account, Jack. I only stopped in to see whether you
kept your good spirits. I feel as though I'd had a shower bath. Come

Several men were waiting to see Balcomb in the outer office and he shook
hands with all of them and begged them to come again, taking care to
mention that he had been called to the Central States Trust Company and
had to hurry away.

He called peremptorily to the passing elevator-car to wait, and as he
and Leighton squeezed into it, he continued his half of an imaginary
conversation in a tone that was audible to every passenger.

"I could have had those bonds, if I had wanted them; but I knew there
was a cloud on them--the county was already over its legal limit. I
guess those St. Louis fellows will be sorry they were so
enterprising--here we are!"

And then in a lower tone to Leighton: "That was for old man Dameron's
benefit. Did you see him jammed back in the corner of the car? Queer old
party and as tight as a drum. When I can work off some assessable and
non-interest bearing bonds on him, it'll be easy to sell Uncle Sam's
Treasury a gold brick. They say the old man has a daughter who is finer
than gold; yea, than much fine gold. I'm going to look her up, if I ever
get time. You'd better come over soon and pick out an office. _Verbum
sat sapienti_, as our loving teacher used to say. So long!"

Leighton walked back to his office in good humor and better contented
with his own lot.



    The zebra always seems malicious,--
      He kicks and bites 'most all the time;
    I fear that he's not only vicious,
      But guilty of some dreadful crime.

    The mere suggestion makes me falter
      In writing of this wicked brute;
    Although he has escaped the halter,
      He wears for life a convict's suit.

[Footnote 3: Lippincott's Magazine.]



One bright winter morning, the twenty-ninth day of December, Anno Domini
1879, I was journeying from Lebanon, Indiana, where I had sojourned
Sunday, to Indianapolis. I did not see the famous cedars, and I supposed
they had been used up for lead-pencils, and moth-proof chests, and
relics, and souvenirs; for Lebanon is right in the heart of the holy
land. That part of Indiana was settled by Second Adventists, and they
have sprinkled goodly names all over their heritage. As the train
clattered along, stopping at every station to trade off some people who
were tired of traveling for some other people who were tired of staying
at home, I got out my writing-pad, pointed a pencil, and wondered what
manner of breakfast I would be able to serve for the ever hungry
"Hawkeye" next morning.

I was beginning to think I would have to disguise some "left-overs"
under a new name, as the thrifty housekeeper knows how to do, when my
colleague, my faithful yoke-fellow, who has many a time found for me a
spring of water in the desert place--the Brakeman, came down the aisle
of the car. He glanced at the tablet and pencil as I would look at his
lantern, put my right hand into a cordial compress that abode with my
fingers for ten minutes after he went away, and seating himself easily
on the arm of the seat, put the semaphore all right for me by saying:

"Say, I went to church yesterday."

"Good boy," I said, "and what church did you attend?"

"Guess," was his reply.

"Some Union Mission chapel?" I ventured.

"N-no," he said, "I don't care to run on these branch roads very much. I
don't get a chance to go to church every Sunday, and when I can go, I
like to run on the main line, where your trip is regular, and you make
schedule time, and don't have to wait on connections. I don't care to
run on a branch. Good enough, I reckon, but I don't like it."

"Episcopal?" I guessed.

"Limited express!" he said, "all parlor cars, vestibuled, and two
dollars extra for a seat; fast time, and only stop at the big stations.
Elegant line, but too rich for a brakeman. All the trainmen in uniform;
conductor's punch and lanterns silver-plated; train-boys fenced up by
themselves and not allowed to offer anything but music. Passengers talk
back at the conductor. Trips scheduled through the whole year, so when
you get aboard you know just where you're going and how long it will
take you. Most systematic road in the country and has a mighty nice
class of travel. Never hear of a receiver appointed on that line. But I
didn't ride in the parlor car yesterday."

"Universalist?" I suggested.

"Broad gauge," the Brakeman chuckled; "does too much complimentary
business to be prosperous. Everybody travels on a pass. Conductor
doesn't get a cash fare once in fifty miles. Stops at all way-stations
and won't run into anything but a union depot. No smoking-car allowed on
the train because the company doesn't own enough brimstone to head a
match. Train orders are rather vague, though; and I've noticed the
trainmen don't get along very well with the passengers. No, I didn't go
on the broad gauge, though I have some good friends on that road who are
the best people in the world. Been running on it all their lives."

"Presbyterian?" I hinted.

"Narrow gauge, eh?" said the Brakeman; "pretty track; straight as a
rule; tunnel right through the heart of a mountain rather than go around
it; spirit level grade; strict rules, too; passengers have to show their
tickets before they get on the train; cars a little bit narrow for
sleepers; have to sit one in a seat and no room in the aisle to dance.
No stop-over tickets allowed; passenger must go straight through to the
station he's ticketed for, or stay off the car. When the car's full,
gates are shut; cars built at the shops to hold just so many, and no
more allowed on. That road is run right up to the rules and you don't
often hear of an accident on it. Had a head-on collision at Schenectady
union station and run over a weak bridge at Cincinnati, not many years
ago, but nobody hurt, and no passengers lost. Great road."

"May be you rode with the Agnostics?" I tried.

The Brakeman shook his head emphatically.

"Scrub road," he said, "dirt road-bed and no ballast; no time-card, and
no train dispatcher. All trains run wild and every engineer makes his
own time, just as he pleases. A sort of 'smoke-if-you-want-to' road. Too
many side tracks; every switch wide open all the time, switchman sound
asleep and the target-lamp dead out. Get on where you please and get off
when you want. Don't have to show your tickets, and the conductor has no
authority to collect fare. No, sir; I was offered a pass, but I don't
like the line. I don't care to travel over a road that has no terminus.

"Do you know, I asked a division superintendent where his road run to,
and he said he hoped to die if he knew. I asked him if the general
superintendent could tell me, and he said he didn't believe they had a
general superintendent, and if they had, he didn't know any more about
the road than the passengers did. I asked him who he reported to, and he
said, 'Nobody.' I asked a conductor who he got his orders from, and he
said he didn't take no orders from any living man or dead ghost. And
when I asked the engineer who gave him orders, he said he'd just like to
see any man on this planet try to give him orders, black-and-white or
verbal; he said he'd run that train to suit himself or he'd run it into
the ditch. Now, you see, I'm not much of a theologian, but I'm a good
deal of a railroad man, and I don't want to run on a road that has no
schedule, makes no time, has no connections, starts anywhere and runs
nowhere, and has neither signal man, train dispatcher or superintendent.
Might be all right, but I've railroaded too long to understand it."

"Did you try the Methodist?"

"Now you're shoutin'!" he cried with enthusiasm; "that's the hummer!
Fast time and crowds of passengers! Engines carry a power of steam, and
don't you forget it. Steam-gauge shows a hundred and enough all the
time. Lively train crews, too. When the conductor shouts 'All
a-b-o-a-r-d!' you can hear him to the next hallelujah station. Every
train lamp shines like a head-light. Stop-over privileges on all
tickets; passenger can drop off the train any time he pleases, do the
station a couple of days and hop on to the next revival train that comes
thundering along with an evangelist at the throttle. Good, whole-souled,
companionable conductors; ain't a road on earth that makes the
passengers feel more at home. No passes issued on any account;
everybody pays full traffic rate for his own ticket. Safe road, too;
well equipped; Wesleyanhouse air brakes on every train. It's a road I'm
fond of, but I didn't begin this week's run with it."

I began to feel that I was running ashore; I tried one more lead:

"May be you went with the Baptists?"

"Ah, ha!" he shouted, "now you're on the Shore line! River Road, eh?
Beautiful curves, lines of grace at every bend and sweep of the river;
all steel rail and rock ballast; single track, and not a siding from the
round-house to the terminus. Takes a heap of water to run it, though;
double tanks at every station, and there isn't an engine in the shops
that can run a mile or pull a pound with less than two gauges. Runs
through a lovely country--river on one side and the hills on the other;
and it's a steady climb, up grade all the way until the run ends where
the river begins, at the fountain head. Yes, sir, I'll take the River
Road every time for a safe trip, sure connections, good time, and no
dust blowing in when you open a window. And yesterday morning, when the
conductor came around taking up fares with a little basket punch, I
didn't ask him to pass me; I paid my fare like a little
Jonah--twenty-five cents for a ninety-minute run, with a concert by the
passengers thrown in. I tell you what it is, Pilgrim, never mind your
baggage, you just secure your passage on the River Road if you want to
go to--"

But just here the long whistle announced a station, and the Brakeman
hurried to the door, shouting--

"Zions-VILLE! ZIONS-ville! All out for Zionsville! This train makes no
stops between here and Indianapolis!"



The "cook-house" stood at some little distance from the "big house," and
every evening after supper it was full of light and noise and laughter.
The light came from the fire on the huge hearth, above which hung the
crane and the great iron pots which Eliza, the cook, declared were
indispensable in the practice of her art. To be sure, there was a
cook-stove, but 'Liza was wedded to old ways and maintained there was
nothing "stove cooked" that could hope to rival the rich and nutty
flavor of ash cake, or greens "b'iled slow an' long over de ha'th, wid a
piece er bacon in de pot."

The noise and laughter came from a circle of dusky and admiring friends,
for Aunt 'Liza was a great favorite with everybody on the plantation,
and though hunchbacked and homely, had, nevertheless, had her pick, as
she was fond of boasting, of the likeliest looking men on the place; and
though she had been twice wedded and twice widowed, aspirants were not
wanting for the position now vacant for a third time. Indeed, not long
before, a member of the family, on going to the cook-house to see why
dinner was so late, had discovered one Sam, the burly young ox-cart
driver, on his knees, pleading very earnestly with the elderly and
humpbacked little cook, while dinner simmered on and on, unnoticed and
forgotten. When remonstrated with she said that she was "'bleeged ter
have co'tin' times ez well ez de res' er folks," and intimated that in
affairs of the heart these things were apt to happen at any time or
place, and that if a gentleman chose an inopportune moment "'twan't her
fault," and no one could, with any show of reason, expect her not to pay
attention to him. She ruled everybody, her white folks included, though
just how she did it no one could say, unless she was one of those
commanding spirits and born leaders who sometimes appear even in the
humblest walks of life. It is possible that her uncommonly strong will
compelled the affections of her male admirers, but it is also possible
that she condescended to flatter, and it is certain that she fed them

One night, between supper and bedtime, the children heard the sound of a
banjo proceeding from the cook-house. They had never ventured into Aunt
'Liza's domain before, but the plinketty-plunk of the banjo, the sound
of patting and the thud of feet keeping time to the music drew them
irresistibly. Aunt Nancy was there, in the circle about the embers, as
was also her old-time foe, Aunt 'Phrony, and the banjo was in the hands
of Tim, a plow-boy, celebrated as being the best picker for miles
around. Lastly, there were Aunt 'Liza and her latest conquest, Sam,
whose hopes she could not have entirely quenched or he would not have
beamed so complacently on the assembled company.

There was a hush as the three little heads appeared in the doorway, but
the children begged them to go on, and so Tim picked away for dear life
and Sam did a wonderful double-shuffle with the pigeon-wing thrown in.
Then Tim sang a plantation song about "Cindy Ann" that ran something
like this:

    _I'se gwine down ter Richmond,
    I'll tell you w'at hit's for:
    I'se gwine down ter Richmond,
    Fer ter try an' end dis war._

    _Refrain: An'-a you good-by, Cindy, Cindy,
        Good-by, Cindy Ann;
        An'-a you good-by, Cindy, Cindy,
        I'se gwine ter Rappahan._

    _I oon ma'y a po' gal,
    I'll tell de reason w'y:
    Her neck so long an' skinny
    I'se 'feared she nuver die._


    _I oon ma'y a rich gal,
    I'll tell de reason w'y:
    Bekase she dip so much snuff
    Her mouf is nuver dry._


    _I ru'rr ma'y a young gal,
    A apple in her han',
    Dan ter ma'y a widdy
    Wid a house an' a lot er lan'._


At the reference to a "widdy" he winked at the others and looked
significantly at Sam and Aunt 'Liza. Then he declared it was the turn of
the ladies to amuse the gentlemen. Aunt Nancy and Aunt 'Phrony cried,
"Hysh! Go 'way, man! W'at ken we-all do? Done too ol' fer foolishness;
leave dat ter de gals!" But 'Liza was not inclined to leave the
entertainment of gentlemen to "gals," whom she declared to be, for the
most part, "wu'fless trunnel-baid trash."

"Come, come, Sis' 'Phrony, an' you, too, Sis' Nancy," said she, "you
knows dar ain' nu'rr pusson on de place kin beat you bofe in der marter
uv tellin' tales. I ain' nuver have de knack myse'f, but I knows a good
tale w'en I years hit, an' I bin gittin' myse'f fixed fer one uver sence
you comed in."

The children added their petitions, seconded by Tim and Sam. Aunt Nancy
looked as if she were feeling around in the dusk of half-forgotten
things for a dimly remembered story, perceiving which the nimbler-witted
Aunt 'Phrony made haste to say that she believed she knew a story which
might please the company if they were not too hard to suit. They
politely protested that such was far from being the case, whereupon she
began the story of how the Terrapin lost his beard.

"Um-umph!" snorted Aunt Nancy, "who uver year tell uv a tarr'pin wid a

"Look-a-yer, ooman," said 'Phrony, "who tellin' dis, me er you? You
s'pose I'se talkin' 'bout de li'l ol' no-kyount tarr'pins dey has dese
days? Naw, suh! I'se tellin' 'bout de ol' time Tarr'pin whar wuz a gre't
chieft an' a big fighter, an' w'ensomuver tu'rr creeturs come roun' an'
try ter pay him back, he jes' drord his haid in his shell an' dar he
wuz. Dish yer ain' no ol' nigger tale, neener, dish yer a Injun tale
whar my daddy done tol' me w'en I wan't no bigger'n Miss Janey. He say
dat sidesen de by'ud, Tarr'pin had big wattles hangin' down beneaf his
chin, jes' lak de tukkey-gobblers has dese days. Him an' Mistah Wi'yum
Wil'-tukkey wuz mighty good fren's dem times, an' Tukkey he thought
Tarr'pin wuz a monst'ous good-lookin' man. He useter mek gre't 'miration
an' say, 'Mistah Tarry-long Tarr'pin, you sut'n'y is a harnsum man. Dar
ain' nu'rr creetur in dese parts got such a by'ud an' wattles ez w'at
you is.'

"Den Tarr'pin he'd stroke down de by'ud an' swell out de wattles an'
say, 'Sho! sho! Mistah Tukkey, you done praise dese yer heap mo'n w'at
dey is wuf,' but all de same he wuz might'ly please', fer dar's nuttin'
lak a li'l bit er flatt'ry fer ilin' up de j'ints an' mekin' folks
limbersome in der feelin's.

"Tukkey git ter thinkin' so much 'bout de by'ud an' de wattles dat seem
ter him ez ef he kain't git long no-hows lessen he have some fer
hisse'f, 'kase in dem days de gobblers ain' have none. He study an' he
study, but he kain't see whar he kin git 'em, an' de mo' he study de mo'
he hone atter 'em. Las' he git so sharp set atter 'em dat he ain' kyare
how he git 'em, jes' so he git 'em, an' den he mek up his min' he gwine
tek 'em 'way f'um Tarr'pin. So one day w'en he met up wid him in de road
he stop him an' bob his haid an' mek his manners mighty p'litely, an' he
say, sezee, 'Mawnin', Mistah Tarry-long, mawnin'. How you come on dis
day? I ain' hatter ax you, dough, 'kase you done look so sprucy wid yo'
by'ud all comb' out an' yo' wattles puff' up. I wish, suh, you lemme
putt 'em on fer a minnit, so's't I kin see ef I becomes 'em ez good ez
w'at you does.'

"Ol' man Tarr'pin mighty easy-goin' an' commodatin', so he say, 'W'y,
sut'n'y, Mistah Tukkey, you kin tek 'em an' welcome fer a w'iles.' So
Tukkey he putts 'em on an' moseys down ter de branch ter look at hisse'f
in de water. 'Whoo-ee!' sezee ter hisse'f, 'ain' I de caution in dese
yer fixin's! I'se saw'y fer de gals now, I sut'n'y is, 'kase w'at wid my
shape an' dish yer by'ud an' wattles, dar gwine be some sho'-'nuff
heart-smashin' roun' dese diggin's, you year me sesso!'

"Den he go struttin' back, shakin' de by'ud an' swellin' put de wattles
an' jes' mo'n steppin' high an' prancin' w'ile he sing:

    _'Cle'r outen de way fer ol' Dan Tucker,
    You'se too late ter git yo' supper.'_

"Den he say, sezee, 'Mistah Tarr'pin, please, suh, ter lemme keep dese
yer? I b'lieve I becomes 'em mo'n w'at you does, 'kase my neck so long
an' thin seem lak I needs 'em ter set hit off mo'n w'at you does wid dat
shawt li'l neck er yo'n whar you keeps tuck 'way in yo' shell half de
time, anyways. Sidesen dat, you is sech a runt dat you g'long draggin'
de by'ud on de groun', an' fus' news you know hits 'bleeged ter be wo'
out. You bes' lemme have hit, 'kase I kin tek good kyare uv hit.'

"Den Tarr'pin say, sezee, 'I lak ter 'commodate you, Mistah Tukkey, but
I ain' see how I kin. I done got so use ter runnin' my fingers thu de
by'ud an' spittin' over hit w'en I'se settin' roun' thinkin' er talkin'
dat I dunno how I kin do widout hit, an' I kain't git long, no-how,
widout swellin' up de wattles w'en I git tetched in my feelin's. Sidesen
dat, I kin tek kyare er de by'ud, ef I _is_ a runt; I bin doin' it a
good w'ile, an' she ain' wo' out yit. So please, suh, ter han' me over
my fixin's.'

"'Not w'iles I got any wind lef' in me fer runnin',' sez de Tukkey,
sezee, an' wid dat he went a-scootin', ol' man Tarr'pin atter him,
hot-foot. Dey went scrabblin' up de mountains an' down de mountains, an'
'twuz pull Dick, pull devil, fer a w'ile. Dey kain't neener one uv 'em
climb up ve'y fas', but w'en dey git ter de top, Tukkey he fly down an'
Tarr'pin he jes' natchully turn over an' roll down. But Tukkey git de
start an' keep hit. W'en Tarr'pin roll to de bottom uv a mountain den
he'd see Tukkey at de top er de nex' one. Dey kep' hit up dis-a-way
'cross fo' ridges, an' las' Tarr'pin he plumb wo' out an' he see he
wan't gwine ketch up at dat rate, so he gin up fer dat day. Den he go
an' hunt up de cunjerers an' ax 'em fer ter he'p him. He say, 'Y'all
know dat by'ud an' wattles er mine? Well, I done loan 'em to Mistah
Wi'yum Wil'-tukkey, 'kase he wuz my fren' an' he done ax me to. An' now
he turn out ter be no-kyount trash, an' w'at I gwine do? You bin knowin'
I is a slow man, an' if I kain't git some he'p, I hatter say good-by
by'ud an' wattles.'"

"What are 'cunjerers,' Aunt 'Phrony?" said Ned.

"Well now, honey," said she, "I dunno ez I kin jes' rightly tell you,
but deys w'at de Injuns calls 'medincin'-men,' an' dey doctors de sick
folks an' he'ps de hunters ter git game an' de gals ter git beaux, an'
putts spells on folks an' mek 'em do jes' 'bout w'at dey want 'em to.
An' so dese yer cunjerers dey goes off by derse'fs an' has a confab an'
den dey come back an' tell Mistah Tarr'pin dat dey reckon dey done fix
Mistah Tukkey dis time.

"'W'at you done wid him?' sezee.

"'We ain' ketch 'im,' dey ses, 'we lef' dat fer you, dat ain' ow'
bizness, but we done fix him up so't you kin do de ketchin' yo'se'f.'

"'W'at has you done to him, den?' sezee.

"'Son', dey ses, 'we done putt a lot er li'l bones in his laigs, an' dat
gwine slow him up might'ly, an' we 'pends on you ter do de res', 'kase
we knows dat you is a gre't chieft.'

"Den Tarr'pin amble long 'bout his bizness an' neener stop ner res'
ontwel he met up wid Tukkey onct mo'. He ax fer his by'ud an' wattles
ag'in, but Tukkey jes' turnt an' stept out f'um dat, Tarr'pin atter him.
But seem lak de cunjerers thought Mistah Tarr'pin wuz faster'n w'at he
wuz, er dat Mistah Tukkey 'z slower'n w'at _he_ wuz, 'kase Tarr'pin ain'
nuver ketch up wid him yit, an' w'ats mo', de tarr'pins is still doin'
widout by'uds an' wattles an' de gobblers is still wearin' 'em an'
swellin' roun' showin' off ter de gals, steppin' ez high ez ef dem li'l
bones w'at de cunjerers putt dar wan't still in der laigs, an' struttin'
lak dey wuz sayin' ter ev'y pusson dey meets:

    _'Cle'r outen de way fer ol' Dan Tucker,
    You'se too late ter git yo' supper.'"_



    The Critic, bold and cold,
    Who sits in judgment on
    The twilight and the dawn
    Of literature,
    And, eminently sure,
    Informs his age
    What printed page
    Is destined to be great.
    His word is Fate,
    And what he writes
    Is greater far
    Than all the books
    He writes of are.
    His pen
    Is dipped in boom
    Or doom;
    And when
    He says one book is rot,
    And that another's not,
    That ends it. He
    Is pure infallibility,
    And any book he judges must
    Be blessed or cussed
    By all mankind,
    Except the blind
    Who will not see
    The master's modest mastery.
    His fiat stands
    Against the uplifted hands
    Of thousands who protest
    And buy the books
    That they like best;
    But what of that?
    He knows where he is at,
    And they don't. And why
    Shouldn't he be high
    Above them as the clouds
    Are high above the brooks,
    For God, He made the Critic,
    And man, he makes the books.
    Gee whiz,
    What a puissant potentate the Critic is.



The confirmed bachelor sat apart, fairly submerged by a sea of Sunday
papers; yet a peripheral consciousness of the ladies' presence was
revealed in his embryonic smile.

He folded over a voluminous sheet containing an account of the latest
murder, and glanced at a half-page picture, labeled, "The Scene of the

"Was there ever yet a woman that could keep a secret," he demanded,
apparently of the newspaper. "Now, if this poor fellow had only kept his
little plans to himself--but, of course, he had to go and tell some

"Looks like the man didn't know how to keep his secret that time,"
returned Mrs. Pendleton with a smile calculated to soften harsh
judgments against her sex.

"There are some secrets woman can keep," observed Elsie Howard. Her gaze
happened to rest upon Mrs. Pendleton's golden hair.

"For instance," demanded the confirmed bachelor. (His name was Barlow.)

"Oh--her age for one thing." Elsie withdrew her observant short-sighted
eyes from Mrs. Pendleton's crowning glory, and a smile barely touched
the corners of her expressively inexpressive mouth. Mrs. Pendleton
glanced up, faintly suspicious of that last remark.

Mr. Barlow laughed uproariously. In the two years that he had been a
"guest" in Mrs. Howard's boarding-house he had come to regard Miss Elsie
as a wit, and it was his habit--like the Italians at the opera--to give
his applause before the closing phrases were delivered.

"I guess that's right. You hit it that time. That's one secret a woman
can keep." He chuckled appreciatively.

Mrs. Pendleton laughed less spontaneously than usual and said, "It
certainly was a dangerous subject," that "she had been looking for
silver hairs amongst the gold herself lately." And again Elsie's eyes
were attracted to the hairs under discussion. For three months now she
had questioned that hair. At night it seemed above reproach in its
infantile fairness, but in the crude unkind daylight there was a garish
insistence about it that troubled the eye.

At that moment the door opened and Mrs. Hilary came in with her bonnet
on. She glanced around with frigid greeting.

"So I'm not late to dinner after all. I had thought you would be at
table. The tram was so slow I was sorry I had not walked and saved the
fare." She spoke with an irrational rising and falling of syllables that
at once proclaimed her nationality. She was a short, compact little
woman with rosy cheeks, abundant hair and a small tight mouth. Mrs.
Hilary was a miniature painter by choice and a wife and mother by
accident. She was subject to lapses in which she unquestionably forgot
the twins' existence. She recalled them suddenly now.

"Has any one seen Gladys and Gwendolen? Dear, dear, I wonder where they
are. They wouldn't go to church with me. Those children are such a

"But they are such happy children," said gentle little Mrs. Howard, who
had come in at the beginning of this speech. In her heart Mrs. Howard
dreaded the long-legged, all-pervasive twins, but she pitied the
widowed and impoverished little artist. "So sad," she was wont to say
to her intimates in describing her lodger, "a young widow left all alone
in a foreign country."

"But one would hardly call America a foreign country to an
Englishwoman," one friend had interpolated at this point.

"Yes, I know," Mrs. Howard had acknowledged, "but she _seems_ foreign.
Her husband was an American, I believe, and he evidently left her with
almost nothing. He must have been very unkind to her, she has such a
dislike of Americans. She wasn't able to give the regular price for the
rooms, but I couldn't refuse her--I felt so sorry for her."

Mrs. Howard liked to "feel sorry for" people. Yet she was apt to find
herself at sea in attempting to sympathize with Mrs. Hilary. She was a
sweet-faced, tired-looking little woman with a vague smile and dreamy
eyes. About five years ago Mrs. Howard had had "reverses" and had been
forced by necessity to live to violate the sanctity of her hearth and
home; grossly speaking, she had been obliged to take boarders, no
feasible alternative seeming to suggest itself. The old house in
Eleventh Street, in which she had embarked upon this cheerless career,
had never been a home for her or her daughter. Yet an irrepressible
sociability of nature enabled her to find a certain pleasure in the life
impossible to her more reserved daughter.

As they all sat around now in the parlor, into which the smell of the
Sunday turkey had somehow penetrated, a few more guests wandered in and
sat about provisionally on the impracticable parlor furniture, waiting
for the dinner signal. Mrs. Howard bravely tried to keep up the
simulation of social interchange with which she ever pathetically
strove to elevate the boarding-house intercourse into the decency of a
chosen association.

Suddenly there came a thump and a crash against the door and the twins
burst in, their jackets unbuttoned, their dusty picture hats awry.

"Oh! mater, mater!" they cried tumultuously, dancing about her.

"Such sport, mater. We fed the elephant."

"And the rabbits--"

"And a monkey carried off Gwendolen's gloves--"

"Children," exclaimed Mrs. Hilary impotently, looking from one to the
other, "where _have_ you been?" (She pronounced it bean.)

"To the park, mater--"

"To see the animals--"

"Oh, mater, you should see the ducky little baby lion!"

"What is it that they call you?" inquired a perpetually smiling young
kindergartner who had just taken possession of a top-floor hall-room.

Mrs. Hilary glanced at her slightingly.

"What is it that they _call_ me? Why, mater, of course."

"Ah, yes," the girl acquiesced pleasantly. "I remember now; it's
English, of course."

"Oh, no," returned Mrs. Hilary instructively, "it's not English; it's

The kindergartner was silent. Mrs. Pendleton suppressed a chuckle that
strongly suggested her "mammy." Mr. Barlow grinned and Elsie Howard's
mouth twitched.

"They are such picturesque children," Mrs. Howard put in hastily. "I
wonder you don't paint them oftener."

"I declare I just wish I could paint," Mrs. Pendleton contributed
sweetly, "I think it's such pretty work."

Mrs. Hilary was engrossed in the task of putting the twins to rights.

"I don't know what to do with them, they are quite unmanageable," she
sighed. "It's so bad for them--bringing them up in a lodging-house."

Mrs. Howard flushed and Mrs. Pendleton's eyes flashed. The dinner bell
rang and Elsie Howard rose with a little laugh.

"An English mother with American children! What do you expect, Mrs.

Mrs. Hilary was busy retying a withered blue ribbon upon the left side
of Gladys' brow. She looked up to explain:

"They are only half-American, you know. But their manners are getting
quite ruined with these terrible American children."

Then they filed down into the basement dining-room for the noon dinner.

"Horrid, rude little Cockney," Mrs. Pendleton whispered in Elsie
Howard's ear.

The girl smiled faintly. "Oh, she doesn't know she is rude. She is

Mrs. Howard, over the characterless soup, wondered what it was about the
little English artist that seemed so "different." Conversation with Mrs.
Hilary developed such curious and unexpected difficulties. Mrs. Howard
looked compassionately over at the kindergartner who, with the
hopefulness of inexperience, started one subject after another with her
unresponsive neighbor. What quality was it in Mrs. Hilary that
invariably brought both discussion and pleasantry to a standstill?
Elsie, upon whom Mrs. Howard depended for clarification of her thought,
would only describe it as "English." In her attempts to account for this
alien presence in her household, Mrs. Howard inevitably took refuge in
the recollection of Mrs. Hilary's widowhood. This moving thought
occurring to her now caused her to glance in the direction of Mrs.
Pendleton's black dress and her face lightened. Mrs. Pendleton was of
another sort. Mrs. Pendleton had proved, as Mrs. Howard always expressed
it, "quite an acquisition to our circle." She felt almost an affection
for the merry, sociable talkative Southern woman, with her invariable
good spirits, her endless fund of appropriate platitude and her ready,
superficial sympathy. Mrs. Pendleton had "come" through a cousin of a
friend of a friend of Mrs. Howard's, and these vague links furnished
unlimited material for conversation between the two women. Mrs.
Pendleton was originally from Savannah, and the names which flowed in
profusion from her lips were of unimpeachable aristocracy. Pendleton was
a very "good name" in the South, Mrs. Howard had remarked to Elsie, and
went on to cite instances and associations.

Besides those already mentioned, the household consisted of three old
maids, who had been with Mrs. Howard from her first year; a pensive art
student with "paintable" hair; a deaf old gentleman whose place at table
was marked by a bottle of lithia tablets; a chinless bank clerk, who had
jokes with the waitress, and a silent man who spoke only to request

Mr. Barlow occupied, and frankly enjoyed the place between Miss Elsie
and Mrs. Pendleton. He found the widow's easy witticisms, stock
anecdotes and hackneyed quotations of unfailing interest and her obvious
coquetry irresistible. Mr. Barlow took life and business in a most
un-American spirit of leisure. He never found fault with the food or the
heating arrangements, and never precipitated disagreeable arguments at
table. All things considered, he was probably the most contented spirit
in the house.

The talk at table revolved upon newspaper topics, the weather, the
health of the household, and a comparison of opinions about plays and
actresses. At election times it was strongly tinged with politics, and
on Sundays, popular preachers were introduced, with some expression as
to what was and was not good taste in the pulpit. Among the feminine
portion a fair amount of time was devoted to a review of the comparative
merits of shops.

Mrs. Pendleton's conversation, however, had a somewhat wider range, for
she had traveled. Just what topics were favored in those long undertone
conversations with Mr. Barlow only Elsie Howard could have told, as the
seat on the other side of the pair was occupied by the deaf old
gentleman. There were many covert glances and much suppressed laughter,
but neither of the two old maids opposite were able to catch the drift
of the low-voiced dialogue, so it remained a tantalizing mystery. Mrs.
Pendleton, when pleased to be general in her attentions, proved to be,
as Mrs. Howard had said, "an acquisition." She spoke most entertainingly
of Egypt, of Japan and Hawaii. Yet all these experiences seemed tinged
with a certain sadness, as they had evidently been associated with the
last days of the late Mr. Pendleton. They had crossed the Pyrenees when
"poor Mr. Pendleton was so ill he had to be carried every inch of the
way." In Egypt, "sometimes it seemed like he couldn't last another day.
But I always did say 'while there is life there is hope,'" she would
recall pensively, "and the doctors all said the only hope _for_ his life
was in constant travel, and so we were always, as you might say, seeking
'fresh fields and pastures new.'"

Then Mrs. Howard's gentle eyes would fill with sympathy. "Poor Mrs.
Pendleton," she would often say to Elsie after one of these distressing
allusions. "How terrible it must have been. Think of seeing some one
you love dying that way, by inches before your eyes. She must have been
very fond of him, too. She always speaks of him with so much feeling."

"Yes," said Elsie with untranslatable intonation. "I wonder what he died

"I don't know," returned her mother regretfully. She had no curiosity,
but she had a refined and well-bred interest in diseases. "I never heard
her mention it and I didn't like to ask."

"Poor Mrs. Howard," Mrs. Pendleton was wont to say with her facile
sympathy. "_So_ hard for her to have to take strangers into her home. I
believe she was left without anything at her husband's death; mighty
hard for a woman at her age."

"How long has her husband been dead?" the other boarder to whom she
spoke would sometimes inquire.

Mrs. Pendleton thought he must have been dead some time, although she
had never heard them say, exactly. "You never hear Elsie speak of him,"
she added, "so I reckon she doesn't remember him right well."

As the winter wore on the tendency to tete-a-tete between Mrs. Pendleton
and Mr. Barlow became more marked. They lingered nightly in the chilly
parlor in the glamour of the red lamp after the other guests had left.
It was discovered that they had twice gone to the theater together. The
art student had met them coming in late. As a topic of conversation
among the boarders the affair was more popular than food complaints. A
subtile atmosphere of understanding enveloped the two. It became so
marked at last that even Mrs. Hilary perceived it--although Elsie always
insisted that Gladys had told her.

One afternoon in the spring, as Mrs. Pendleton was standing on the
door-step preparing to fit the latch-key into the lock, the door opened
and a man came out uproariously, followed by Gladys and Gwendolen, who,
in some inexplicable way, always had the effect of a crowd of children.
The man was tall and not ill-looking. Mrs. Pendleton was attired in
trailing black velveteen, a white feather boa, and a hat covered with
tossing plumes, and the hair underneath was aggressively golden. A
potential smile hovered about her lips and her glance lingered in
passing. Inside the house she bent a winning smile upon Gwendolen, who
was the less sophisticated of the two children.

"Who's your caller, honey?"

"That's the pater," replied Gwendolen with her mouth full of candy. "He
brought us some sweets. You may have one if you wish."

"Your--your father," translated Mrs. Pendleton with a gasp. She was
obliged to lean against the wall for support.

The twins nodded, their jaws locked with caramel.

"He doesn't come very often," Gladys managed to get out indistinctly. "I
wish he would."

"I suppose his business keeps him away," suggested Mrs. Pendleton.

Gladys glanced up from a consideration of the respective attractions of
a chocolate cream and caramel.

"He says it is incompatibility of humor," she repeated glibly. Gladys
was more than half American.

"Of _humor_!" Mrs. Pendleton's face broke up into ripples of delight.
She flew at once to Mrs. Howard's private sitting room, arriving all out
of breath and exploded her bomb immediately.

"My dear, did you know that Mrs. Hilary is _not_ a widow?"

"Not a widow!" repeated Mrs. Howard with dazed eyes.

"I met her husband right now at the door. He was telling the children
good-by. He isn't any more dead than I am."

"Not dead!" repeated Mrs. Howard, collapsing upon the nearest chair with
all the prostration a news bearer's heart could desire. "And she was
always talking about what he _used_ to do and _used_ to think and _used_
to say. Why--why I can't believe it."

"True as preachin'," declared Mrs. Pendleton, adding that you could have
knocked her down with a feather when she discovered it.

Elsie Howard came into her mother's room just then and Mrs. Pendleton
repeated the exciting news, adding, "Gladys says they don't live
together because of incompatibility of humor!"

Elsie smiled and remarked that it certainly was a justifiable ground for
separation and unkindly went off, leaving the subject undeveloped.

The next day Mrs. Howard had a caller. It was the friend whose cousin
had a friend that had known Mrs. Pendleton. In the process of
conversation the caller remarked casually:

"So Mrs. Pendleton has got her divorce at last."

Mrs. Howard smiled vaguely and courteously.

"Some connection of our Mrs. Pendleton? I don't think I have heard her
mention it. Dear me, isn't it dreadful how common divorce is getting to

The guest stared.

"You don't mean to say--why, my dear Mrs. Howard--is it _possible_ you
don't know? It _is_ your Mrs. Pendleton."

Mrs. Howard remained looking at her friend. Once or twice her lips moved
but no words came.

"Her husband is dead," she said at last, faintly.

The caller laughed. "Then he must have died yesterday. Why, didn't you
know that was the reason she spent last year in Colorado?"

"For her husband's health," gasped Mrs. Howard, clinging to the last
shred of her six months' belief in Mrs. Pendleton's widowhood. "I always
had an impression that it was there he died."

The other woman laughed heartlessly. "Did she tell you he was dead?"

Mrs. Howard collected her scattered faculties and tried to think.

"No," she said at last. "Now that you speak of it, I don't believe she
ever did. But she certainly gave that impression. She seemed to be
always telling of his last illness and his last days. She never actually
mentioned the details of his death--but then, how could she--poor

"She couldn't, of course. That would have been asking too much." Mrs.
Howard's guest went off again into peals of unseemly laughter.

When her caller had left, Mrs. Howard climbed up to the chilly skylight
room occupied by her daughter and dropped upon the bed, exclaiming:

"Well, I never would have believed it of Mrs. Pendleton!"

Elsie, who was standing before her mirror, regarded her mother in the

"What's up. Has she eloped with Billie Barlow at last?"

Mrs. Howard tried to say it, but became inarticulate with emotion. After
five minutes of preamble and exclamation, her daughter was in possession
of the fact.

"That explains about her hair," was Elsie's only comment. "I am so
relieved to have it settled at last."

"Why didn't she tell me?" wailed Mrs. Howard.

"Oh, people don't always tell those things."

Mrs. Howard was silent.

As they passed the parlor door on their way down to dinner, Mrs.
Pendleton's merry laugh rang out and Elsie caught a glimpse of the
golden hair under the red lamp and the fugitive glimpse of Mr. Barlow's
bald spot.

About two days later, as the girl came in from an afternoon's shopping,
and was on her way upstairs, her mother called to her. Something in the
sound of it attracted her attention. She hurried down the few steps and
into her mother's room. Mrs. Howard was sitting over by the window in
the fading light, with a strange look upon her face. An open telegram
lay in her lap. Elsie went up to her quickly.

"What is it, mother?"

Mrs. Howard handed her the telegram.

"Your father," she said.

Elsie Howard read the simple announcement in silence. Then she looked
up, the last trace of an old bitterness in her faint smile.

"We will miss him," she said.

"Elsie!" cried her mother. It was a tone the girl had never heard from
her before. Her eyes fell.

"No, it wasn't nice to say it. I am sorry. But I can't forget what life
was with him." She raised her eyes to her mother's. "It was simply hell,
mother; you can't have forgotten. You have said it yourself so often. We
can not deny that it is a relief to know--"

"Hush, Elsie, never let me hear you say anything like that again."

"Forgive me, mother," said the girl with quick remorse. "I never will. I
don't think I have ever felt that death makes such things so different,
and I didn't realize how you would--look at it."

"My child, he was your father," said Mrs. Howard in a low voice. Then
Elsie saw the tears in her mother's eyes.

       *        *       *       *       *

"_Such_ a shock to her," Mrs. Pendleton murmured, sympathetically, to
Elsie. "I know, Miss Elsie; I can feel for her--" Elsie mechanically
thought of the last hours of Mr. Pendleton, then recalled herself with a
start. "Death always _is_ a shock," Mrs. Pendleton finished gracefully,
"even when one most expects it. You must let me know if there is
anything I can do."

Later in the evening she communicated the astonishing news to Mrs.
Hilary, who ejaculated freely: "Only fancy!" and "How very

"Didn't you think he had been dead a hundred years?" exclaimed Mrs.

"One never can tell in the states," responded Mrs. Hilary
conservatively. "Divorce is so common over here. It isn't the thing at
all in England, you know."

Mrs. Pendleton stared.

"But they were not divorced, only separated. Do you never do that--in

"Divorced people are not received at court, you know," explained Mrs.

Mrs. Pendleton's glance lingered upon the Englishwoman's immobile face
and a laugh broke into her words.

"But when you are in Rome, you do as the Romans--is that it, Mrs.
Hilary?" But the shot glanced off harmlessly from the thick armor of
British literalness.

"In Rome divorce doesn't exist at all," she graciously informed her
companion. "The Romish church does not permit it, you know."

The American woman looked at the Englishwoman more in sorrow than in

"How," she reflected, "is one to be revenged like a lady upon an

It was about a week later that Mrs. Pendleton, finding herself alone
with Mrs. Howard and Elsie, made the final announcement.

"I hope you-all will be ready to dance at my wedding next month. It's
going to be very quiet, but I couldn't think of being married without
you and Miss Elsie--and Mr. Barlow, he feels just like I do about it."



Show me the woman who in her heart of hearts does not delight in a
bargain, and I will tell you that she is a dead woman.

I who write this, after having triumphantly passed bargain counters of
every description, untempted by ribbons worth twenty-five cents but
selling for nineteen, insensible to dimities that had sold for nineteen
cents but were offered at six and a fourth cents a yard, and--though I
have a weakness for good cooking utensils--blind to the attractions of a
copper tea-kettle whose former price was now cut in two, at last fell a
victim to a green-and-white wicker chair.

This is how it happened. I asked the price. Eight dollars, replied the
shop-keeper. No. It was a ten-dollar chair. But he had said eight. It
was a mistake. Nevertheless he would keep his word. I could have it for
eight. What heart of woman could resist a bargain like this? Besides, I
thought such honesty ought to be encouraged. It is but too uncommon in
this wicked world. And--well, I really wanted the chair. How could a
woman help wanting it when she found that the salesman had made an error
of two dollars? It was a ten-dollar chair, the shop-keeper repeated. I
saw the tag marked "Lax, Jxxx Mxx." There could be no doubt of it.

I gazed and gazed, but finally went on, like the seamen of Ulysses,
deafening myself to the siren-voice. And though I had hesitated, I
might not have been lost; but returning by the same route, I saw a
neighboring druggist rush into that store bareheaded, as I now suppose
to change a bill. Need I say that I then thought he had come for my
chair? Need I say that I then and there bought that chair?

Thus have I brought shame on a judicious parent--not my mother--who has
conscientiously labored to teach me that the way of the bargain-hunter
is hard.

As well might man attempt to deprive the cat of its mew or the dog of
its bark as to eliminate from the female breast the love of bargains. It
has been burned in with the centuries. Eve, poor soul, doubtless never
knew the happiness of swarming with other women round a big table piled
with remnants of rumpled table-linen, mis-mated towels and soiled
dresser-scarfs, or the pleasure of carrying off the bolt of last fall's
ribbon on which another woman had her eye; nor had she the proud
satisfaction of bringing home to her unfortunate partner a shirt with a
bosom like a checker-board, that had been marked down to sixty-three
cents. But history, since her day, is not lacking in bargains of various
kinds, of which woman has had her share, though no doubt Anniversary
Sales, Sensational Mill End Sales, and Railroad Wreck Sales are
comparatively modern.

A woman's pleasure in a good bargain is akin to the rapture engendered
in the feminine bosom by successful smuggling. It is perhaps a purer
joy. The satisfaction of acquiring something one does not need, or of
buying an article which one may have some use for in the future, simply
because it is cheap or because Mrs. X. paid seventeen cents more for the
same thing at a bargain-sale, can not be understood by a mere man.

Once in a while some stupid masculine creature endeavors to show his
wife that she is losing the use of her money by tying it up in
embroideries for decorating cotton which is still in the fields of the
South, or laying it out in summer dress-goods when snow-storms can not
be far distant. The use of her money forsooth! What is money for except
to spend? And if she didn't buy embroideries and dimities, she would
purchase something else with it.

So she goes on hunting bargains, or rather profiting by those that come
in her way, for generally it is not necessary to search for them. These
little snares of the merchant are only too common in this age, when
everything from cruisers to clothes-pins and pianos to prunes may often
be had at a stupendous sacrifice.

A man usually goes to a shop where he believes that he will run little
or no risk of being deceived in the quality of the goods, even though
prices be higher there than at some other places. A woman thinks she
knows a bargain when she sees it.

She is aware that the store-keeper has craftily spread his web of
bargains, hoping that when lured into his shop she will buy other things
not bargains. But she determines beforehand that she will not be cajoled
into purchasing anything but the particular bargain of her
desire,--unless--unless she sees something else which she really wants.
And generally, she sees something else which she really wants.

Most women are tolerably good judges of a bargain, and therefore have
some ground for their confidence in themselves. I have seen a Christmas
bargain-table containing china and small ornaments of various wares,
completely honeycombed of its actual bargains by veteran
bargain-hunters, who left unpurchased as if by instinct goods from the
regular stock, offered at usual prices.

Bargains are a boon to the woman of moderate means. The deepest joys of
bargain-hunting are not known to the rich, though they by no means
disdain a bargain. To them is not given the delight of saving long, and
waiting for a bargain sale, and at last possessing the thin white china
or net curtains ardently desired and still out of reach at regular
prices. But they have some compensation. They have the advantage not
only of ready money, which makes a bargain available at any time, but
also that of leisure.

While my lady of the slender purse is still getting the children ready
for school, or exhorting Bridget not to burn the steak that will be
entrusted to her tender mercies, they can swoop down upon a bargain and
bear it away victoriously.

A fondness for bargains is not without its dangers, for with some people
the appetite grows with what it feeds on, to the detriment of their
purses as well as of their outlook on life. To them, all the world
becomes a bargain-counter.

A few years ago in a city which shall be nameless, two women looked into
the windows of a piano-store. In one, was an ancient instrument marked
"1796"; in the other, a beautiful modern piano labeled "1896." "Why,"
said one of the gazers to her companion, indicating the latter, "I'd a
good deal rather pay the difference for this one, wouldn't you?"

This is no wild invention of fiction, but a bald fact. So strong had the
ruling passion become in that feminine heart.

Upon a friend of mine, the bargain habit has taken so powerful a hold
that almost any sort of a bargain appeals to her. She is the owner of a
fine parrot, yet not long ago she bought another, which had cost fifteen
dollars, but was offered to her for ten. Its feathers were bedraggled
and grimy, for it had followed its mistress about like a dog; it proved
to be so cross that at first it had to be fed from the end of a stick;
and though represented as a brilliant talker, its discourse was found to
be limited to "Wow!" and "Rah! Rah!"--but it was a bargain.

To be sure, she didn't really need two parrots, but had she not saved
five dollars on this one?

The most elusive kind of bargain is that set forth in alluring
advertisements as a small lot, perhaps three, four, or two dozen
articles of a kind, offered at a price unprecedentedly low.

When you reach the store, you are generally told that they--whatever
they may be--are all gone. The other woman so often arrives earlier than
you, apparently, that finally you come to doubt their existence.

Once in a while, if you are eminent among your fellows by some gift of
nature, as is an acquaintance of mine, you may chase down one of these

He--yes, it is he, for what woman would own to a number ten foot even
for the sake of a bargain?--saw a fire sale advertised, with men's shoes
offered at a dollar a pair. He went to the store. Sure enough, a fire
had occurred somewhere, but not there. It was sufficiently near,
however, for a fire sale.

A solitary box was brought out, whose edges were scorched, as by a match
passed over them; within was a pair of number ten shoes. Number tens
alone, whether one pair or more, I wot not, represented their gigantic
fire sale. And I can not say how many men had come only to be confronted
with tens, before this masculine Cinderella triumphantly filled their
capacious maws with his number ten feet, and gleefully carried off what
may have been the only bargain in the shop.

In spite of the suspicions of some doubting Thomases who regard all
bargains as snares and delusions, it is certain that many real bargains
are offered among the numerous things advertised as such; but to profit
by them, I may add, one must have an aptitude, either natural or
acquired, for bargains.

P.S.--I have just learned that my wicker chair would not have been very
cheap at six dollars.



    The mountain and the squirrel
      Had a quarrel,
    And the former called the latter "Little Prig";
    Bun replied,
    "You are doubtless very big;
    But all sorts of things and weather
    Must be taken in together,
    To make up a year
    And a sphere,
    And I think it no disgrace
    To occupy my place.
    If I'm not so large as you,
    You are not so small as I,
    And not half so spry.
    I'll not deny you make
    A very pretty squirrel track;
    Talents differ; all is well and wisely put;
    If I can not carry forests on my back,
    Neither can you crack a nut."



    He said to sue for maiden's heart
    And hand required too much of art
    In framing phrases, making pleas,
    And swearing vows on bended knees
    "Till death (or court decree) doth part."

    One's oh, so apt to get the cart
    Before the horse, and at the start
    Break down. It's torture by degrees,
      He said, to sue!

    Yet when sweet Susan, coy but smart,
    Safe landed him, and Cupid's dart
    Went through his breast as through a cheese,
    And pierced his heart with perfect ease,
    He--well, I'll not the words impart
      He said to Sue!



"Well," said Janey, as Aunt 'Phrony finished telling of the loss of Mr.
Terrapin's beard, "I saw a terrapin the other day, and it didn't look as
though it ever had had a beard or wattles. I thought it was real ugly."

"Law, chil'," answered the story-teller, "you kain't tell w'at one'r
dese yer creeturs bin in de times pas' jes' by lookin' at 'em now. W'y,
de day's bin w'en ol' man Tarr'pin wuz plumb harnsum. He done bin trick'
out er mo'n jes' his by'ud an' wattles, I kin tell you."

"Oh, please _do_ tell us!" cried Janey, and little Kit came and leaned
on her knees and looked up into her face and echoed, "'Es, please to
tell us."

Thus besieged, Aunt 'Phrony consented to tell how the Terrapin lost his
plumage and his whistle.

"I done tol' you," said she. "Tarr'pin wuz onct a harnsum man, an' dat
de sho'-'nuff trufe, fer he had nice, sof' fedders all over his body an'
a fine, big, spreadin' tail, an' his eyes wuz mighty bright an' his
voice wuz de cle'res' whustle you uver yearn. He wuz a gre't man in dem
days, I tell you _dat_, an' his house wuz chock full er all sorts er
fine fixin's. He had sof' furs ter set on an' long strings er shells fer
money, an clo'es all imbroider' wid dyed pokkypine quills, an' he had
spears an' bows an' arrers an' deer-hawns, an' I dunno w'at all sidesen

"In dem days de Quail wuz a homely, no-kyount creetur, wid sca'cely any
fedders, an' a shawt, stumpy tail, an' no voice wuf speakin' uv. He wuz
po', too, an' nob'dy tuck much notuss uv him, jes' call him 'dat 'ar ol'
Bob White,' an' he go wannerin' up an' down de kyountry all by his

"One day he come 'long pas' Mistah Tarr'pin's house, an' he peek in thu
de do', he did, an' w'en he see all de fine doin's, seem lak he kain't
tek his eye 'way f'um de crack. Den he seed Tarr'pin comin' down de road
home, an' he 'low ter hisse'f, he did, dat dish yer de harnsumes' man
w'at he uver seed, an' he be puffickly sassified ef he cu'd look jes'
lak dat. He git mo' an' mo' enviable uv 'im an' tuck ter hangin' 'roun'
de naberhood, peekin' an' peerin' in at Tarr'pin w'enuver he git de
chanct. Las' he say ter hisse'f dat he jes' natchully 'bleeged ter have
dem fedders an' tail an' whustle, but he ain' knowin' jes' how ter git
'em, so he g'long off ter ax de he'p uv a wise ol' Wolf whar live 'way,
'way up on de mountain an' whar wuz one'r dem cunjerers I done tol' you
'bout. Ez he went 'long he wuz fixin' up a tale ter tell Wolf, an' w'en
he git ter de kyave whar de cunjerer live he knock an' Wolf 'spon',
'Come in!' in sech a deep, growly voice dat li'l Quail felt kind er
skeery, an' he feel mo' skeery yit w'en he go hoppin' in an' see Wolf
settin' dar wid bones strowed all roun' him, an' showin' dem long, white
toofs er his ev'y time he open his mouf. But he perch hisse'f up in
front er Wolf, an' he say in a voice dat wuz right trim'ly, 'Howdy,
Uncle Wolf, howdy! I done comed all de way up yer ter ax yo' he'p, 'kase
I knows dar ain' nair' nu'rr man on dis mountain whar knows half ez much
ez w'at you does. Please, suh, tell me w'at ter do.'

"'Bob White, you is a li'l ol' fool,' sez Wolf, sezee, 'how kin I tell
you w'at ter do w'en you ain' tol' me w'at 'tis you wants?'

"Den Quail he git li'l mo' pearter, an' he try ter mek Wolf feel
please', so he say, 'Laws-a-mussy! Uncle Wolf, I done fergit dat, but I
reckon I do so 'kase you is dat smart I thought you mought know widout
me tellin'.'

"'Drap dat foolishness,' sez Wolf, sezee, 'an' lemme know w'at you comed
atter.' But all de same he wan't too smart ner too ol' ter feel please'
wid de flatt'ry; show me de man whar is; lots uv 'em gits ketched by
dat, nuttin' mo' ner less," and here Aunt 'Phrony cast a scornful glance
at Nancy, who answered it by a toss of the head.

"Well, den," she resumed, "Quail start inter de meanness he bin hatchin'
up, an' he say, sezee, 'Uncle Wolf, deys a man down dar below whar
gittin' ter be dangersome. He's rich an' goodlookin', an' a gre't chieft
an' a sho'-'nuff fighter, an' he kin do 'bout w'at he please wid tu'rr
creeturs. A man lak dat boun' ter wu'k mischief. Now, suh, ef you sesso,
'pears ter me hit be mighty good notion ter tek 'way his good looks an'
dat pleasin' voice whar he uses ter 'suade de people wid, an' gin 'em
ter some er de quiet an' peace'ble folks whar ain' all de time stickin'
derse'fs ter de front an' tryin' ter lead de people. Now yer I is, you
bin knowin' me dis good w'ile, an' you knows my numbility an'
submissity, an' ef you mek me de one ter do de deed an' den give me de
fixin's fer my trouble, I gwine feel dat I kain't ve'y well refuge 'em.'
Right dar he putt his haid on one side an' look up at Wolf mighty meek
an' innercent.

"Wolf he say he gwine think 'bout hit, an' he tell Quail ter come back
in seven days an' git de arnser. So Quail he go hippitty-hoppin' down de
mountains, thinkin' he bin mighty smart, an' wunnerin' ef he kin stan'
hit ter wait seven mo' days befo' he rob po' ol' Tarr'pin.

"Wolf he went off higher yit, ter de top er de mountain fer ter ax de
'pinion er seven urr wolfs mo' older an' wiser dan w'at he wuz. Dey
talked an' dey 'sputed toge'rr fer seven days an' nights. Den Wolf came
back an' Quail made has'e up ter see him ag'in. He say Quail mus' go ter
Tarr'pin's house at midnight an' do jes' lak he tell 'im to, er hit be
wusser fer him, stidder better. Quail lissen an' say he gwine do jes'
lak he tell 'im, an' wid dat he g'long off. Jes' at de stroke er
midnight, w'en de bats wuz a-flyin' an' de squinch-owls hootin' an' de
jacky-my-lanturns trabellin' up an' down, he knock on Mistah Tarr'pin's
do' an' gin out dat he wuz a trabeller whar comed a fur ways an' wuz
pow'ful tired an' hongry.

"Tarr'pin wuz a kin' man, so he 'vited him in an' gin him sump'n ter eat
an' drink an' made him set down on de sof' furs, 'kase he felt saw'y fer
any pusson so po' an' ugly ez w'at Quail wuz. Den he say, 'You mus' be
tired atter yo' journeyin', lemme rub you a w'iles.' He rub de ugly,
rough creetur fer so long time, an' den Quail sez, sezee, 'You sut'n'y
is kin', but I ain' wanter tire you out. I is res'ed now, so please,
suh, ter lemme rub _you_ a li'l.' He rub an' he rub Tarr'pin wid one
han', an' all de time he wuz rubbin' hisse'f wid de urr. Dat-a-way he
rub all de fedders offen Tarr'pin onter his own se'f. Den he rub down
Tarr'pin's tail 'twel 'twan't nuttin' but a li'l roun', sharp-p'inted
stump, an' at de same time he wuz rubbin' his own tail wid tu'rr han'
an' puttin' Tarr'pin's fine, spreadin' tail onter his own li'l stump.
Hit wuz plumb dark, so't Mistah Tarr'pin ain' see w'at bin done, an'
sidesen dat he wuz pow'ful sleepy fum de rubbin'. Den Quail say he
'bleeged ter lay down 'kase he mus' git him a early start in de mawnin'.

"Befo' sun-up he wuz stirrin' an' he say he mus' be gittin' 'long.
Tarr'pin go ter de do' wid him an' den Quail say, sezee, 'Mistah
Tarr'pin, I year you has a monst'ous fine whustle, I lak mighty well ter
year hit befo' I go.'

"'W'y sut'n'y,' sez de Tarr'pin, sezee, an' wid dat he whustle long an'
loud. Quail lissen at him wid all his years, an' den he say: 'Well, dog
my cats, ef I ain' beat! Yo' voice is de prezack match er mine.

"'You don't sesso! lemme year you whustle,' sez Tarr'pin, sezee.

"'Dat I will,' sez Quail, 'but lemme go off li'l ways an' show you how
fer I kin mek myse'f yearn,' sezee. He sesso 'kase he'z gittin' mighty
'feerd dat Tarr'pin gwine fin' out his fedders wuz gone. So he go 'way
off inter de bushes an' whustle, an' sho' nuff, 'twuz jes' lak Mistah
Tarr'pin's voice. Den Tarr'pin try ter whustle back, but lo, beholst
you! his voice clean gone, nuttin' lef' but a li'l hiss, an' hit done
stay dat-a-way clean ontwel dis day. 'Twuz gittin' daylight, an' he look
down uv a suddint an' dar he wuz! wid nair' a smidgin' uv a fedder on
his back. He feel so bad he go inter de house an' cry ontwel his eyes
wuz so raid dat dey stayed dat-a-way uver sence.

"Den Mis' Tarr'pin she say, 'Is you a chieft, er is you a ol' ooman?
Whyn't you go atter dat man an' gin him a lambastin' an' git back w'at
b'long to you?' He feel kind er 'shame', so he pull hisse'f toge'rr an'
go out ter see w'at he kin do. 'Fo' long he fin' out dat de cunjerers
bin at wu'k, so he know he gotter have he'p, an' he go an' git all tu'rr
tarr'pins ter he'p him. Dey went ter de ol' wolfs, de cunjerers, an' dey
ses: 'We is a slow people an' you is a swif people, but nemmine dat, we
dyar's you-all to a race, an' ef you-all wins, den you kin kill we-all;
an' ef we-all wins, den we gwine exescoot you. An' ef you ain't dast ter
tek up dis dyar', den ev'yb'dy gwine know you is cowerds.'

"Co'se de wolfs tucken de dyar' up, an' hit wuz 'greed de race wuz ter
be over seben mountain ridges, an' dat hit wuz ter be run 'twix' one
wolf an' one tarr'pin, de res' ter look on.

"Wen de day come, ol' Tarr'pin he tuck an' fix up dis trick; he git six
urr tarr'pins whar look jes' lak him, an' he hide one away in de bresh
on top uv each er de six mountains, an' he hide hisse'f away on top er
de sebent'. Jes' befo' Wolf git ter de top er de fus' mountain, de
tarr'pin whar wuz hidin' dar crawl outen de bresh an' git ter de top
fus' an' gin a whoop, an' went over a li'l ways an' hid in de bresh
ag'in. Wolf think dat mighty cur'ous, but he keep on, an' 'twuz jesso at
ev'y one, an' at de las' ridge co'se Tarr'pin jes' walk hisse'f outen de
bresh an' gin a gre't whoop ter let ev'yb'dy know he done won de race.

"Den de tarr'pins mek up der min's ter kill de wolfs by fire, so dey pen
'em all in a big kyave on de mountain an' dey bring bresh an' wood an'
pile in front uv hit, a pile mos' ez high ez de mountain, an' den dey
set fire to hit, an' de wolfs howl an' de fire hit spit an' sputter an'
hiss an' crack an' roar, an' all de creeturs on de mountain set up a big
cry an' run dis-a-way an' dat ter git outen de fire; dey wuz plumb
'stracted, an' hit soun' lak all de wil' beas'es in creation wuz turnt
aloose an' tryin' w'ich kin yell de loudes'. But de tarr'pins jes' drord
inter der shells an' sot dar safe an' soun', an' watched de fire burn
an' de smoke an' de flame rollin' inter de kyave.

"De wolfs dey howled an' dey howled _an'_ dey howled, an' de li'l ones
dey cried an' dey cried _an'_ dey cried, an' las' de ol' ones felt so
bad 'bout de chillen dat dey 'gun ter kill 'em off so's't dey ain'
suffer no mo'. Wen de tarr'pins see dat, dey wuz saw'y, an' dey mek up
der min's ter let de res' off, so dey turnt 'em aloose f'um de kyave.
But lots uv 'em had died in dar, an' dat huccome dar ain' so many wolfs
now ez dey useter be. Some wuz nearer ter de fire dan tu'rrs an' got
swinged, an' some got smoked black, an' dat w'y, ontwel dis day, some
wolfs is black an' some gray an' some white, an' some has longer,
bushier tails dan tu'rrs. Dey got so hoarse wid all dat cryin' dat der
voices bin nuttin' but a howl uver sence.

"Quail he year w'at gwine on, an' he tucken hisse'f outen dat kyountry
fas' ez his laigs cu'd kyar' him, so Tarr'pin nuver got back de fedders
ner de whustle, an' ef you goes out inter de fiel' mos' any day you kin
see Quail gwine roun' in de stolen fedders an' year him whustle:

    _'Bob White, do right! do right!
    Do right! do right, Bob White!'_

jes' ez sassy ez ef _he_ bin doin' right all his days, an' ez ef he bin
raised wid dat voice stidder stealin' hit way f'um ol' man Tarr'pin."



    The little rills of poesie
      That flow from Helicon
    Sometimes escape into the sea
      And rest there all unknown.

    While others, finding surer guides,
      Fall into happier ways,
    And go to swell the rising tides
      That make the Poet's bays.



You never knowd Bill, I rekun. Hes gone to Arkensaw, and I don't
know whether hes ded or alive. He was a good feller, Bill was, as
most all whisky drinkers are. Me and him both used to love it
powerful--especially Bill. We soaked it when we could git it, and when
we coudent we hankered after it amazingly. I must tell you a little
antidote on Bill, tho I dident start to tell you about that.

We started on a little jurney one day in June, and took along a bottle
of "old rye," and there was so many springs and wells on the road that
it was mighty nigh gone before dinner. We took our snack, and Bill
drained the last drop, for he said we would soon git to Joe Paxton's,
and that Joe always kept some.

Shore enuff Joe dident have a drop, and we concluded, as we was mighty
dry, to go on to Jim Alford's, and stay all night. We knew that Jim had
it, for he always had it. So we whipped up, and the old Bay had to
travel, for I tell you when a man wants whiskey everything has to bend
to the gittin' of it. Shore enuff Jim had some. He was mity glad to see
us, and he knowd what we wanted, for he knowd how it was hisself. So he
brought out an old-fashend glass decanter, and a shugar bowl, and a
tumbler, and a spoon, and says he, "Now, boys, jest wait a minit till
you git rested sorter, for it ain't good to take whiskey on a hot
stomack. I've jest been readin' a piece in Grady's newspaper about a
frog--the darndest frog that perhaps ever come from a tadpole. It was
found up in Kanetucky, and is as big as a peck measure. Bill, do you
take this paper and read it aloud to us. I'm a poor hand to read, and I
want to hear it. I'll be hanged if it ain't the darndest frog I ever
hearn of." He laid the paper on my knees, and I begun to read, thinkin'
it was a little short anticdote, but as I turned the paper over I found
it was mighty nigh a column. I took a side glance at Bill, and I saw the
little dry twitches a jumpin' about on his countenance. He was mighty
nigh dead for a drink. I warent so bad off myself, and I was about half
mad with him for drainin' the bottle before dinner; so I just read along
slow, and stopped two or three times to clear my throat just to consume
time. Pretty soon Bill got up and commenced walkin' about, and he would
look at the dekanter like he would give his daylights to choke the corn
juice out of it. I read along slowly. Old Alford was a listnin' and
chawin' his tobakker and spittin' out of the door. Bill come up to me,
his face red and twitchin', and leanin' over my shoulder he seed the
length of the story, and I will never forgit his pitiful tone as he
whispered, "Skip some, Bill, for heaven's sake skip some."

My heart relented, and I did skip some, and hurried through, and we all
jined in a drink; but I'll never forgit how Bill looked when he
whispered to me to "skip some, Bill, skip some." I've got over the like
of that, boys, and I hope Bill has, too, but I don't know. I wish in my
soul that everybody had quit it, for you may talk about slavery, and
penitentiary, and chain-gangs, and the Yankees, and General Grant, and a
devil of a wife, but whiskey is the worst master that ever a man had
over him. I know how it is myself.

But there is one good thing about drinkin'. I almost wish every man was
a reformed drunkard. No man who hasn't drank liker knows what a luxury
cold water is. I have got up in the night in cold wether after I had
been spreein' around, and gone to the well burnin' up with thirst,
feeling like the gallows, and the grave, and the infernal regions was
too good for me, and when I took up the bucket in my hands, and with my
elbows a tremblin' like I had the shakin' ager, put the water to my
lips; it was the most delicious, satisfyin', luxurius draft that ever
went down my throat. I have stood there and drank and drank until I
could drink no more, and gone back to bed thankin' God for the pure,
innocent, and coolin' beverig, and cursin' myself from my inmost soul
for ever touchin' the accursed whisky. In my torture of mind and body I
have made vows and promises, and broken 'em within a day. But if you
want to know the luxury of cold water, get drunk, and keep at it until
you get on fire, and then try a bucket full with your shirt on at the
well in the middle of the night. You won't want a gourd full--you'll
feel like the bucket ain't big enuf, and when you begin to drink an
earthquake couldn't stop you. My fathers, how good it was! I know a
hundred men who will swear to the truth of what I say: but you see its a
thing they don't like to talk about. It's too humiliatin'.

But I dident start to talk about drinkin'. In fact, I've forgot what I
did start to tell you. My mind is sorter addled now a days, anyhow, and
I hav to jes let my tawkin' tumble out permiskuous. I'll take another
whet at it afore long, and fill up the gaps.



(This paper was first published in the _Galaxy_, in 1866.)

I see that an old chum of mine is publishing bits of confidential
Confederate History in Harper's Magazine. It would seem to be time,
then, for the pivots to be disclosed on which some of the wheelwork of
the last six years has been moving. The science of history, as I
understand it, depends on the timely disclosure of such pivots, which
are apt to be kept out of view while things are moving.

I was in the Civil Service at Richmond. Why I was there, or what I did,
is nobody's affair. And I do not in this paper propose to tell how it
happened that I was in New York in October, 1864, on confidential
business. Enough that I was there, and that it was honest business. That
business done, as far as it could be with the resources intrusted to me,
I prepared to return home. And thereby hangs this tale, and, as it
proved, the fate of the Confederacy.

For, of course, I wanted to take presents home to my family. Very little
question was there what these presents should be,--for I had no boys nor
brothers. The women of the Confederacy had one want, which overtopped
all others. They could make coffee out of beans; pins they had from
Columbus; straw hats they braided quite well with their own fair hands;
snuff we could get better than you could in "the old concern." But we
had no hoop-skirts,--skeletons, we used to call them. No ingenuity had
made them. No bounties had forced them. The Bat, the Greyhound, the
Deer, the Flora, the J.C. Cobb, the Varuna, and the Fore-and-Aft all
took in cargoes of them for us in England. But the Bat and the Deer and
the Flora were seized by the blockaders, the J.C. Cobb sunk at sea, the
Fore-and-Aft and the Greyhound were set fire to by their own crews, and
the Varuna (our Varuna) was never heard of. Then the State of Arkansas
offered sixteen townships of swamp land to the first manufacturer who
would exhibit five gross of a home-manufactured article. But no one ever
competed. The first attempts, indeed, were put to an end, when Schofield
crossed the Blue Lick, and destroyed the dams on Yellow Branch. The
consequence was, that people's crinolines collapsed faster than the
Confederacy did, of which that brute of a Grierson said there was never
anything of it but the outside.

Of course, then, I put in the bottom of my new large trunk in New York,
not a "duplex elliptic," for none were then made, but a "Belmonte," of
thirty springs, for my wife. I bought, for her more common wear, a good
"Belle-Fontaine." For Sarah and Susy each I got two "Dumb-Belles." For
Aunt Eunice and Aunt Clara, maiden sisters of my wife, who lived with us
after Winchester fell the fourth time, I got the "Scotch Harebell," two
of each. For my own mother I got one "Belle of the Prairies" and one
"Invisible Combination Gossamer." I did not forget good old Mamma Chloe
and Mamma Jane. For them I got substantial cages, without names. With
these, tied in the shapes of figure eights in the bottom of my trunk, as
I said, I put in an assorted cargo of dry-goods above, and, favored by a
pass, and Major Mulford's courtesy on the flag-of-truce boat, I arrived
safely at Richmond before the autumn closed.

I was received at home with rapture. But when, the next morning, I
opened my stores, this became rapture doubly enraptured. Words can not
tell the silent delight with which old and young, black and white,
surveyed these fairy-like structures, yet unbroken and unmended.

Perennial summer reigned that autumn day in that reunited family. It
reigned the next day, and the next. It would have reigned till now if
the Belmontes and the other things would last as long as the
advertisements declare; and, what is more, the Confederacy would have
reigned till now, President Davis and General Lee! but for that great
misery, which all families understand, which culminated in our great

I was up in the cedar closet one day, looking for an old parade cap of
mine, which, I thought, though it was my third best, might look better
than my second best, which I had worn ever since my best was lost at the
Seven Pines. I say I was standing on the lower shelf of the cedar
closet, when, as I stepped along in the darkness, my right foot caught
in a bit of wire, my left did not give way in time, and I fell, with a
small wooden hat-box in my hand, full on the floor. The corner of the
hat-box struck me just below the second frontal sinus, and I fainted

When I came to myself I was in the blue chamber; I had vinegar on a
brown paper on my forehead; the room was dark, and I found mother
sitting by me, glad enough indeed to hear my voice, and to know that I
knew her. It was some time before I fully understood what had happened.
Then she brought me a cup of tea, and I, quite refreshed, said I must go
to the office.

"Office, my child!" said she. "Your leg is broken above the ankle; you
will not move these six weeks. Where do you suppose you are?"

Till then I had no notion that it was five minutes since I went into
the closet. When she told me the time, five in the afternoon, I groaned
in the lowest depths. For, in my breast pocket in that innocent coat,
which I could now see lying on the window-seat, were the duplicate
despatches to Mr. Mason, for which, late the night before, I had got the
Secretary's signature. They were to go at ten that morning to
Wilmington, by the Navy Department's special messenger. I had taken them
to insure care and certainty. I had worked on them till midnight, and
they had not been signed till near one o'clock. Heavens and earth, and
here it was five o'clock! The man must be half-way to Wilmington by this
time. I sent the doctor for Lafarge, my clerk. Lafarge did his prettiest
in rushing to the telegraph. But no! A freshet on the Chowan River, or a
raid by Foster, or something, or nothing, had smashed the telegraph wire
for that night. And before that despatch ever reached Wilmington the
navy agent was in the offing in the Sea Maid.

"But perhaps the duplicate got through?" No, breathless reader, the
duplicate did not get through. The duplicate was taken by Faucon, in the
Ino. I saw it last week in Dr. Lieber's hands, in Washington. Well, all
I know is, that if the duplicate had got through, the Confederate
government would have had in March a chance at eighty-three thousand two
hundred and eleven muskets, which, as it was, never left Belgium. So
much for my treading into that blessed piece of wire on the shelf of the
cedar closet, up stairs.

"What was the bit of wire?"

Well, it was not telegraph wire. If it had been, it would have broken
when it was not wanted to. Don't you know what it was? Go up in your own
cedar closet, and step about in the dark, and see what brings up round
your ankles. Julia, poor child, cried her eyes out about it. When I got
well enough to sit up, and as soon as I could talk and plan with her,
she brought down seven of these old things, antiquated Belmontes and
Simplex Elliptics, and horrors without a name, and she made a pile of
them in the bedroom, and asked me in the most penitent way what she
should do with them.

"You can't burn them," said she; "fire won't touch them. If you bury
them in the garden, they come up at the second raking. If you give them
to the servants, they say, 'Thank-e, missus,' and throw them in the back
passage. If you give them to the poor, they throw them into the street
in front, and do not say, 'Thank-e.' Sarah sent seventeen over to the
sword factory, and the foreman swore at the boy, and told him he would
flog him within an inch of his life if he brought any more of his sauce
there; and so--and so," sobbed the poor child, "I just rolled up these
wretched things, and laid them in the cedar closet, hoping, you know,
that some day the government would want something, and would advertise
for them. You know what a good thing I made out of the bottle corks."

In fact, she had sold our bottle corks for four thousand two hundred and
sixteen dollars of the first issue. We afterward bought two umbrellas
and a cork-screw with the money.

Well, I did not scold Julia. It was certainly no fault of hers that I
was walking on the lower shelf of her cedar closet. I told her to make a
parcel of the things, and the first time we went to drive I hove the
whole shapeless heap into the river, without saying mass for them.

But let no man think, or no woman, that this was the end of troubles. As
I look back on that winter, and on the spring of 1865 (I do not mean the
steel spring), it seems to me only the beginning. I got out on crutches
at last; I had the office transferred to my house, so that Lafarge and
Hepburn could work there nights, and communicate with me when I could
not go out; but mornings I hobbled up to the Department, and sat with
the Chief, and took his orders. Ah me! shall I soon forget that damp
winter morning, when we all had such hope at the office. One or two of
the army fellows looked in at the window as they ran by, and we knew
that they felt well; and though I would not ask Old Wick, as we had
nicknamed the Chief, what was in the wind, I knew the time had come, and
that the lion meant to break the net this time. I made an excuse to go
home earlier than usual; rode down to the house in the Major's
ambulance, I remember; and hopped in, to surprise Julia with the good
news, only to find that the whole house was in that quiet uproar which
shows that something bad has happened of a sudden.

"What is it, Chloe?" said I, as the old wench rushed by me with a bucket
of water.

"Poor Mr. George, I 'fraid he's dead, sah!"

And there he really was,--dear handsome, bright George Schaff,--the
delight of all the nicest girls of Richmond; he lay there on Aunt
Eunice's bed on the ground floor, where they had brought him in. He was
not dead,--and he did not die. He is making cotton in Texas now. But he
looked mighty near it then. "The deep cut in his head" was the worst I
then had ever seen, and the blow confused everything. When McGregor got
round, he said it was not hopeless; but we were all turned out of the
room, and with one thing and another he got the boy out of the swoon,
and somehow it proved his head was not broken.

No, but poor George swears to this day it were better it had been, if it
could only have been broken the right way and on the right field. For
that evening we heard that everything had gone wrong in the surprise.
There we had been waiting for one of those early fogs, and at last the
fog had come. And Jubal Early had, that morning, pushed out every man he
had, that could stand; and they lay hid for three mortal hours, within I
don't know how near the picket line at Fort Powhatan, only waiting for
the shot which John Streight's party were to fire at Wilson's Wharf, as
soon as somebody on our left centre advanced in force on the enemy's
line above Turkey Island stretching across to Nansemond. I am not in the
War Department, and I forget whether he was to advance _en barbette_ or
by _echelon_ of infantry. But he was to advance somehow, and he knew
how; and when he advanced, you see, that other man lower down was to
rush in, and as soon as Early heard him he was to surprise Powhatan, you
see; and then, if you have understood me, Grant and Butler and the whole
rig of them would have been cut off from their supplies, would have had
to fight a battle for which they were not prepared, with their right
made into a new left, and their old left unexpectedly advanced at an
oblique angle from their centre, and would not that have been the end of

Well, that never happened. And the reason it never happened was, that
poor George Schaff, with the last fatal order for this man whose name I
forget (the same who was afterward killed the day before High Bridge),
undertook to save time by cutting across behind my house, from Franklin
to Green Streets. You know how much time he saved,--they waited all day
for that order. George told me afterward that the last thing he
remembered was kissing his hand to Julia, who sat at her bedroom window.
He said he thought she might be the last woman he ever saw this side of
heaven. Just after that, it must have been, his horse--that white
Messenger colt old Williams bred--went over like a log, and poor George
was pitched fifteen feet head-foremost against a stake there was in that
lot. Julia saw the whole. She rushed out with all the women, and had
just brought him in when I got home. And that was the reason that the
great promised combination of December, 1864, never came off at all.

I walked out in the lot, after McGregor turned me out of the chamber, to
see what they had done with the horse. There he lay, as dead as old
Messenger himself. His neck was broken. And do you think I looked to see
what had tripped him? I supposed it was one of the boys' bandy holes. It
was no such thing. The poor wretch had tangled his hind legs in one of
those infernal hoop-wires that Chloe had thrown out in the piece when I
gave her her new ones. Though I did not know it then, those fatal scraps
of rusty steel had broken the neck that day of Robert Lee's army.

That time I made a row about it. I felt too badly to go into a passion.
But before the women went to bed,--they were all in the sitting-room
together,--I talked to them like a father. I did not swear. I had got
over that for a while, in that six weeks on my back. But I did say the
old wires were infernal things, and that the house and premises must be
made rid of them. The aunts laughed,--though I was so serious,--and
tipped a wink to the girls. The girls wanted to laugh, but were afraid
to. And then it came out that the aunts had sold their old hoops, tied
as tight as they could tie them, in a great mass of rags. They had made
a fortune by the sale,--I am sorry to say it was in other rags, but the
rags they got were new instead of old,--it was a real Aladdin bargain.
The new rags had blue backs, and were numbered, some as high as fifty
dollars. The rag-man had been in a hurry, and had not known what made
the things so heavy. I frowned at the swindle, but they said all was
fair with a peddler,--and I own I was glad the things were well out of
Richmond. But when I said I thought it was a mean trick, Lizzie and
Sarah looked demure, and asked what in the world I would have them do
with the old things. Did I expect them to walk down to the bridge
themselves with great parcels to throw into the river, as I had done by
Julia's? Of course it ended, as such things always do, by my taking the
work on my own shoulders. I told them to tie up all they had in as small
a parcel as they could, and bring them to me.

Accordingly, the next day, I found a handsome brown paper parcel, not so
very large, considering, and strangely square, considering, which the
minxes had put together and left on my office table. They had a great
frolic over it. They had not spared red tape nor red wax. Very official
it looked, indeed, and on the left-hand corner, in Sarah's boldest and
most contorted hand, was written, "Secret service." We had a great laugh
over their success. And, indeed, I should have taken it with me the next
time I went down to the Tredegar, but that I happened to dine one
evening with young Norton of our gallant little navy, and a very curious
thing he told us.

We were talking about the disappointment of the combined land attack. I
did not tell what upset poor Schaff's horse; indeed, I do not think
those navy men knew the details of the disappointment. O'Brien had told
me, in confidence, what I have written down probably for the first time
now. But we were speaking, in a general way, of the disappointment.
Norton finished his cigar rather thoughtfully, and then said: "Well,
fellows, it is not worth while to put in the newspapers, but what do
you suppose upset our grand naval attack, the day the Yankee gunboats
skittled down the river so handsomely?"

"Why," said Allen, who is Norton's best-beloved friend, "they say that
you ran away from them as fast as they did from you."

"Do they?" said Norton, grimly. "If you say that, I'll break your head
for you. Seriously, men," continued he, "that was a most extraordinary
thing. You know I was on the Ram. But why she stopped when she stopped I
knew as little as this wineglass does; and Callender himself knew no
more than I. We had not been hit. We were all right as a trivet for all
we knew, when, skree! she began blowing off steam, and we stopped dead,
and began to drift down under those batteries. Callender had to
telegraph to the little Mosquito, or whatever Walter called his boat,
and the spunky little thing ran down and got us out of the scrape.
Walter did it right well; if he had had a monitor under him he could not
have done better. Of course we all rushed to the engine-room. What in
thunder were they at there? All they knew was they could get no water
into her boiler.

"Now, fellows, this is the end of the story. As soon as the boilers
cooled off they worked all right on those supply pumps. May I be hanged
if they had not sucked in, somehow, a long string of yarn, and cloth,
and, if you will believe me, a wire of some woman's crinoline. And that
French folly of a sham Empress cut short that day the victory of the
Confederate navy, and old Davis himself can't tell when we shall have
such a chance again!"

Some of the men thought Norton lied. But I never was with him when he
did not tell the truth. I did not mention, however, what I had thrown
into the water the last time I had gone over to Manchester. And I
changed my mind about Sarah's "secret-service" parcel. It remained on
my table.

That was the last dinner our old club had at the Spotswood, I believe.
The spring came on, and the plot thickened. We did our work in the
office as well as we could; I can speak for mine, and if other
people--but no matter for that! The third of April came, and the fire,
and the right wing of Grant's army. I remember I was glad then that I
had moved the office down to the house, for we were out of the way
there. Everybody had run away from the Department; and so, when the
powers that be took possession, my little sub-bureau was unmolested for
some days. I improved those days as well as I could,--burning carefully
what was to be burned, and hiding carefully what was to be hidden. One
thing that happened then belongs to this story. As I was at work on the
private bureau,--it was really a bureau, as it happened, one I had made
Aunt Eunice give up when I broke my leg,--I came, to my horror, on a
neat parcel of coast-survey maps of Georgia, Alabama, and Florida. They
were not the same Maury stole when he left the National Observatory, but
they were like them. Now I was perfectly sure that on that fatal Sunday
of the flight I had sent Lafarge for these, that the President might use
them, if necessary, in his escape. When I found them, I hopped out and
called for Julia, and asked her if she did not remember his coming for
them. "Certainly," she said, "it was the first I knew of the danger.
Lafarge came, asked for the key of the office, told me all was up,
walked in, and in a moment was gone."

And here, on the file of April 3d, was Fafarge's line to me:

"I got the secret-service parcel myself, and have put it in the
President's own hands. I marked it, 'Gulf coast,' as you bade me."

What could Lafarge have given to the President? Not the soundings of
Hatteras Bar. Not the working-drawings of the first monitor. I had all
these under my hand. Could it be,--"Julia, what did we do with that
stuff of Sarah's that she marked _secret service_?"

As I live, we had sent the girls' old hoops to the President in his

And when the next day we read how he used them, and how Pritchard
arrested him, we thought if he had only had the right parcel he would
have found the way to Florida.

That is really the end of this memoir. But I should not have written it,
but for something that happened just now on the piazza. You must know,
some of us wrecks are up here at the Berkeley baths. My uncle has a
place near here. Here came to-day John Sisson, whom I have not seen
since Memminger ran and took the clerks with him. Here we had before,
both the Richards brothers, the great paper men, you know, who started
the Edgerly Works in Prince George's County, just after the war began.
After dinner, Sisson and they met on the piazza. Queerly enough, they
had never seen each other before, though they had used reams of
Richards' paper in correspondence with each other, and the treasury had
used tons of it in the printing of bonds and bank-bills. Of course we
all fell to talking of old times,--old they seem now, though it is not a
year ago. "Richards," said Sisson at last, "what became of that last
order of ours for water-lined, pure linen government calendered paper of
_surete_? We never got it, and I never knew why."

"Did you think Kilpatrick got it?" said Richards, rather gruffly.

"None of your chaff, Richards. Just tell where the paper went, for in
the loss of that lot of paper, as it proved, the bottom dropped out of
the Treasury tub. On that paper was to have been printed our new issue
of ten per cent., convertible, you know, and secured on that up-country
cotton, which Kirby Smith had above the Big Raft. I had the printers
ready for near a month waiting for that paper. The plates were really
very handsome. I'll show you a proof when we go up stairs. Wholly new
they were, made by some Frenchman we got, who had worked for the Bank of
France. I was so anxious to have the thing well done, that I waited
three weeks for that paper, and, by Jove, I waited just too long. We
never got one of the bonds off, and that was why we had no money in

Richards threw his cigar away. I will not say he swore between his
teeth, but he twirled his chair round, brought it down on all fours,
both his elbows on his knees and his chin in both hands.

"Mr. Sisson," said he, "if the Confederacy had lived, I would have died
before I ever told what became of that order of yours. But now I have no
secrets, I believe, and I care for nothing. I do not know now how it
happened. We knew it was an extra nice job. And we had it on an elegant
little new French Fourdrinier, which cost us more than we shall ever
pay. The pretty thing ran like oil the day before. That day, I thought
all the devils were in it. The more power we put on the more the rollers
screamed; and the less we put on, the more sulkily the jade stopped. I
tried it myself every way; back current, I tried; forward current; high
feed; low feed; I tried it on old stock, I tried it on new; and, Mr.
Sisson, I would have made better paper in a coffee-mill! We drained off
every drop of water. We washed the tubs free from size. Then my
brother, there, worked all night with the machinists, taking down the
frame and the rollers. You would not believe it, sir, but that little
bit of wire,"--and he took out of his pocket a piece of this hateful
steel, which poor I knew so well by this time,--"that little bit of wire
had passed in from some hoop-skirt, passed the pickers, passed the
screens, through all the troughs, up and down through what we call the
lacerators, and had got itself wrought in, where, if you know a
Fourdrinier machine, you may have noticed a brass ring riveted to the
cross-bar, and there this cursed little knife--for you see it was a
knife by that time--had been cutting to pieces the endless wire web
every time the machine was started. You lost your bonds, Mr. Sisson,
because some Yankee woman cheated one of my rag-men."

On that story I came up stairs. Poor Aunt Eunice! She was the reason I
got no salary on the 1st of April. I thought I would warn other women by
writing down the story.

That fatal present of mine, in those harmless hourglass parcels, was the
ruin of the Confederate navy, army, ordinance, and treasury; and it led
to the capture of the poor President, too.

But, Heaven be praised, no one shall say that my office did not do its



    Patriotic fellow-citizens, and did you ever note
    How we honor Mr. Fulton, who devised the choo-choo boat?
    How we glorify our Edison, who made the world to go
    By the bizzy-whizzy magic of the little dynamo?
    Yet no spirit-thrilling tribute has been ever heard or seen
    For the fellow who invented our Political Machine.

    Sure a fine, inventive genius, who has labored long and hard,
    Till success has crowned his research, should receive a just reward.
    The Machine's a great invention, that's continually clear,
    Out of nothing but corruption making millions every year--
    Out of muck and filth of cities making dollars neat and clean--
    Where's the fellow who invented the Political Machine?

    Hail the complex mechanism, full of cranks and wires and wheels,
    Fed by graft and loot and patronage, as noiselessly it reels.
    Press the button, pull the lever, clickety-click, and set the vogue
    For the latest thing in statesmen or the newest kind of rogue.
    Who's the man behind the throttle? Who's the Engineer unseen?
    "Ask me nothin'! Ask me nothin'!" clicks that wizard, the Machine.

[Footnote 4: From "At the Sign of the Dollar," by Wallace Irwin.
Copyright, 1905, by Fox, Duffield & Co.]



    "This Omar seems a decent chap," said Flapjack Dick one night,
    When he had read my copy through and then blown out the light.
    "I ain't much stuck on poetry, because I runs to news,
    But I appreciates a man that loves his glass of booze.

    "And Omar here likes a good red wine, although he's pretty mum;
    On liquors, which is better yet, like whisky, gin, or rum;
    Perhaps his missus won't allow him things like that to touch,
    And he doesn't like to own it. Well, I don't blame Omar much.

    "Then I likes a man what's partial to the ladies, young or old,
    And Omar seems to seek 'em much as me and you seek gold;
    I only hope for his sake that his wife don't learn his game
    Or she'll put a chain on Omar, and that would be a shame.

    "His language is some florid, but I guess it is the style
    Of them writer chaps that studies and burns the midnight ile;
    He tells us he's no chicken; so I guess he knows what's best,
    And can hold his own with Shakespeare, Waukeen Miller, and the rest.

    "But I hope he ain't a thinkin' of a trip to this yere camp,
    For our dancin' girls is ancient, and our liquor's somewhat damp
    By doctorin' with water, and we ain't got wine at all,
    Though I had a drop of porter--but that was back last fall.

    "And he mightn't like our manners, and he mightn't like the smell
    Which is half the charm of Dawson; and he mightn't live to tell
    Of the acres of wild roses that grows on every street;
    And he mightn't like the winter, or he mightn't like the heat.

    "So I guess it's best for Omar for to stay right where he is,
    And gallivant with Tottie, or with Flossie, or with Liz;
    And fill himself with claret, and, although it ain't like beer,
    I wish he'd send a bottle--just one bottle--to us here."



    In the Land of Steady Incomes,
      Where they get their ten per cent.,
    There is never need to worry
      As to how to pay the rent;
    There they never dodge the grocer,
      And in winter never freeze,
    In the Land of Steady Incomes,
      Where the dollars grow on trees.

    In the Land of Steady Incomes,
      Where the cash is ready-made,
    No one ever thinks of going
      To the almoner for aid,
    For the coal-bin's never empty,
      And the Gray Wolf dare not lurk
    In the Land of Steady Incomes,
      Where the check-books do the work.

    In the Land of Steady Incomes,
      Where the watches all have fobs,
    You will see no haggard fathers
      Pleading, in despair, for jobs;
    You will hear no hungry children
      Crying, while their mothers pray,
    In the Land of Steady Incomes,
      Where there's dinner every day.

    In the Land of Steady Incomes,
      It is easy to forget
    All about that far-off country
      Where are hunger, cold, and debt;
    And the woes of other people
      It is easy to dismiss
    In the Land of Steady Incomes,
      Where inheritance is bliss.

[Footnote 5: Lippincott's Magazine.]



A trial came off, not precisely in our bailiwick, but in the
neighborhood, of great comic interest. It was really a case of a good
deal of aggravation, and the defendants, fearing the result, employed
four of the ablest lawyers practicing at the M. bar to defend them. The
offense charged was only assault and battery; but the evidence showed a
conspiracy to inflict great violence on the person of the prosecutor,
who had done nothing to provoke it, and that the attempt to effect it
was followed by severe injury to him. The prosecutor was an original. He
had been an old-field school-master, and was as conceited and pedantic a
fellow as could be found in a summer's day, even in that profession. It
was thought the policy of the defense to make as light of the case as
possible, and to cast as much ridicule on the affair as they could. J.E.
and W.M. led the defense, and, although the talents of the former were
rather adapted to grave discussion than pleasantry, he agreed to doff
his heavy armor for the lighter weapons of wit and ridicule. M. was in
his element. He was at all times and on all occasions at home when fun
was to be raised: the difficulty with him was rather to restrain than to
create mirth and laughter. The case was called and put to the jury. The
witness, one Burwell Shines, was called for the prosecution. A broad
grin was upon the faces of the counsel for the defense as he came
forward. It was increased when the clerk said, "_Burrell_ Shines, come
to the book;" and the witness, with deliberate emphasis, remarked, "My
Christian name is not _Burrell_, but _Burwell_, though I am vulgarly
denominated by the former epithet." "Well," said the clerk, "Bur-_well_
Shines, come to the book, and be sworn." He _was_ sworn, and directed to
take the stand. He was a picture!

He was dressed with care. His toilet was elaborate and befitting the
magnitude and dignity of the occasion, the part he was to fill, and the
high presence into which he had come. He was evidently favorably
impressed with his own personal pulchritude; yet with an air of modest
deprecation, as if he said by his manner, "After all, what _is_ beauty,
that man should be proud of it; and what are fine clothes, that the
wearers should put themselves above the unfortunate mortals who have
them not?"

He advanced with deliberate gravity to the stand. There he stood, his
large bell-crowned hat, with nankeen-colored nap an inch long, in his
hand; which hat he carefully handed over the bar to the clerk to hold
until he should get through his testimony. He wore a blue
single-breasted coat with new brass buttons, a vest of bluish calico,
nankeen pants that struggled to make both ends meet, but failed, by a
few inches, in the legs, yet made up for it by fitting a little better
than the skin everywhere else. His head stood upon a shirt collar that
held it up by the ears, and a cravat, something smaller than a
table-cloth, bandaged his throat; his face was narrow, long, and grave,
with an indescribable air of ponderous wisdom, which, as Fox said of
Thurlow, "proved him _necessarily_ a hypocrite; as it was _impossible_
for _any_ man to be as wise as _he_ looked." Gravity and decorum marked
every lineament of his countenance and every line of his body. All the
wit of Hudibras could not have moved a muscle of his face. His
conscience would have smitten him for a laugh almost as soon as for an
oath. His hair was roached up, and stood as erect and upright as his
body; and his voice was slow, deep, in "linked sweetness long drawn
out," and modulated according to the camp-meeting standard of elocution.
Three such men at a country frolic would have turned an old Virginia
reel into a dead march. He was one of Carlyle's earnest men. Cromwell
would have made him ensign of the Ironsides, and _ex-officio_ chaplain
at first sight. He took out his pocket-handkerchief, slowly unfolded it
from the shape in which it came from the washerwoman's, and awaited the
interrogation. As he waited, he spat on the floor, and nicely wiped it
out with his foot. The solicitor told him to tell about the difficulty
in hand. He gazed around on the court, then on the bar, then on the
jury, then on the crowd, addressing each respectively as he turned: "May
it please your honor, gentlemen of the bar, gentlemen of the jury,
audience: Before proceeding to give my testimonial observations, I must
premise that I am a member of the Methodist Episcopal, otherwise called
Wesleyan, persuasion of Christian individuals. One bright Sabbath
morning in May, the 15th day of the month, the past year, while the
birds were singing their matutinal songs from the trees, I sallied forth
from the dormitory of my seminary to enjoy the reflections so well
suited to that auspicious occasion. I had not proceeded far before my
ears were accosted with certain Bacchanalian sounds of revelry, which
proceeded from one of those haunts of vicious depravity located at the
cross-roads, near the place of my boyhood, and fashionably denominated a
doggery. No sooner had I passed beyond the precincts of this diabolical
rendezvous of rioting debauchees, than I heard behind me the sounds of
approaching footsteps, as if in pursuit. Having heard previously sundry
menaces, which had been made by these preposterous and incarnadine
individuals of hell, now on trial in prospect of condign punishment,
fulminated against the longer continuance of my corporeal salubrity, for
no better reason than that I reprobated their criminal orgies, and not
wishing my reflections to be disturbed, I hurried my steps with a
gradual accelerated motion. Hearing, however, their continued advance,
and the repeated shoutings, articulating the murderous accents, 'Kill
him! Kill Shadbelly, with his praying clothes on!' (which was a profane
designation of myself and my religious profession), and casting my head
over my left shoulder in a manner somehow reluctantly, thus, (throwing
his head to one side), and perceiving their near approximation, I
augmented my speed into what might be denominated a gentle slope, and
subsequently augmented the same into a species of dog-trot. But all
would not do. Gentlemen, the destroyer came. As I reached the fence, and
was about propelling my body over the same, felicitating myself on my
prospect of escape from my remorseless pursuers, they arrived, and James
William Jones, called by nickname, Buck Jones, that red-headed character
now at the bar of this honorable court, seized a fence rail, grasped it
in both hands, and, standing on tip-toe, hurled the same, with mighty
emphasis, against my cerebellum, which blow felled me to the earth.
Straightway, like ignoble curs upon a disabled lion, these bandit
ruffians and incarnadine assassins leaped upon me, some pelting, some
bruising, some gouging,--'everything by turns, and nothing long,' as the
poet hath it; and one of them,--which one unknown to me, having no eyes
behind,--inflicted with his teeth a grievous wound upon my person;
where, I need not specify. At length, when thus prostrate on the ground,
one of those bright ideas, common to minds of men of genius, struck me.
I forthwith sprang to my feet, drew forth my cutto, circulated the same
with much vivacity among their several and respective corporeal systems,
and every time I circulated the same I felt their iron grasp relax. As
cowardly recreants, even to their own guilty friendships, two of these
miscreants, though but slightly perforated by my cutto, fled, leaving
the other two, whom I had disabled by the vigor and energy of my
incisions, prostrate and in my power. These lustily called for quarter,
shouting out 'Enough!' or, in their barbarous dialect, being as corrupt
in language as in morals, 'Nuff!' which quarter I magnanimously extended
them, as unworthy of my farther vengeance, and fit only as subject of
penal infliction at the hands of the offended laws of their country, to
which laws I do now consign them, hoping such mercy for them as their
crimes will permit; which, in my judgment (having read the code) is not
much. This is my statement on oath, fully and truly, nothing extenuating
and naught setting down in malice; and if I have omitted anything, in
form or substance, I stand ready to supply the omission; and if I have
stated anything amiss, I will cheerfully correct the same, limiting the
averment, with appropriate modifications, provisions, and restrictions.
The learned counsel may now proceed more particularly to interrogate me
of and respecting the premises."

After this oration, Burwell wiped the perspiration from his brow, and
the counsel for the state took him. Few questions were asked him,
however, by that official, he confining himself to a recapitulation in
simple terms, of what the witness had declared, and procuring Burwell's
assent to his translation. Long and searching was the cross-examination
by the defendant's counsel; but it elicited nothing favorable to the
defense, and nothing shaking, but much to confirm, Burwell's statement.

After some other evidence, the examination closed, and the argument to
the jury commenced. The solicitor very briefly adverted to the leading
facts, deprecated any attempt to turn the case into ridicule, admitted
that the witness was a man of eccentricity and pedantry, but harmless
and inoffensive; a man, evidently, of conscientiousness and
respectability; that he had shown himself to be a peaceable man, but
when occasion demanded, a brave man; that there was a conspiracy to
assassinate him upon no cause except an independence, which was
honorable to him, and an attempt to execute the purpose, in pursuance of
previous threats, and severe injury by several confederates on a single
person, and this on the Sabbath, and when he was seeking to avoid them.

W.M. rose to reply. All Screamersville turned out to hear him. William
was a great favorite,--the most popular speaker in the country,--had the
versatility of a mocking-bird, an aptitude for burlesque that would have
given him celebrity as a dramatist, and a power of acting that would
have made his fortune on the boards of a theater. A rich treat was
expected, but it didn't come. The witness had taken all the wind out of
William's sails. He had rendered burlesque impossible. The thing as
acted was more ludicrous than it could be as described. The crowd had
laughed themselves hoarse already; and even M.'s comic powers seemed,
and were felt by himself, to be humble imitations of a greater master.
For once in his life M. dragged his subject heavily along. The matter
began to grow serious,--fun failed to come when M. called it up. M.
closed between a lame argument, a timid deprecation, and some only
tolerable humor. He was followed by E., in a discursive, argumentative,
sarcastic, drag-net sort of speech, which did all that could be done
for the defense. The solicitor briefly closed, seriously and confidently
confining himself to a repetition of the matters first insisted, and
answering some of the points of the counsel.

It was an ominous fact that a juror, before the jury retired, under
leave of the court, recalled a witness for the purpose of putting a
question to him: the question was how much the defendants were worth;
the answer was, about two thousand dollars.

The jury shortly after returned into the court with a verdict which
"sized their pile."



    "The proper way for a man to pray,"
      Said Deacon Lemuel Keyes,
    "And the only proper attitude
      Is down upon his knees."

    "No, I should say the way to pray,"
      Said Rev. Dr. Wise,
    "Is standing straight, with outstretched arms,
      And rapt and upturned eyes."

    "Oh, no; no, no," said Elder Slow,
      "Such posture is too proud;
    A man should pray with eyes fast closed
      And head contritely bowed."

    "It seems to me his hands should be
      Austerely clasped in front,
    With both thumbs pointing toward the ground,"
      Said Rev. Dr. Blunt.

    "Las' year I fell in Hodgkin's well
      Head first," said Cyrus Brown,
    "With both my heels a-stickin' up,
      My head a-pinting down.

    "An' I made a prayer right then an' there--
      Best prayer I ever said.
    The prayingest prayer I ever prayed,
      A-standing on my head."

"Well told and dramatically strong, it breathes again the spirit of
Dumas and Bulwer-Lytton."--_Portland Oregonian._

The Palace of Danger



_Author of "Stars of the Opera," "Miserere," etc._

     "There have been few groups of characters who have been used more
     frequently in fiction than the members of the court of Louis XV.,
     and there have been few attempts to make romance of their lives
     that are quite so delightful as this story. Around the heroine and
     hero Miss Wagnalls has spun a tale that has the quality of holding
     the reader's attention from first page to last. _It is charged with
     dramatic movement and a wealth and charm of style._"--_New York

     "A powerful novel, exciting, interesting, and well worked
     out."--_San Francisco Examiner._

     "The author has shown skill in the use of her materials."--_Boston

     "It is a thoroughly human story, and so well constructed that the
     interest holds one to the end."--_The Review of Reviews_, New York.

     "The author gives a splendid picture of that magnificent court and
     the conditions which eventually brought about the revolution. The
     precarious position of every member of that court from La Pompadour
     down to the meanest lackey, whose very lives were in constant
     danger from the whims of the weak but self-indulgent king, is made
     very real by the author."--_Globe-Democrat_, St. Louis.

_Illustrations by John Ward Dunsmore. 12mo, Cloth. $1.50_




_Author of "Stars of the Opera," &c._

A brief, but beautiful romance in which the discovery of a rich and
powerful voice leads ultimately to a climax as thrilling as the death
scene in "Romeo and Juliet." The story is told with simple grace and
directness, and is singularly pathetic and forceful.

     "It is perfectly delightful. The theme is new and
     interesting."--_Ella Wheeler Wilcox._

     "It is a story of tender and pathetic interest--the story of a
     woman with a wonderfully beautiful voice. A dainty and fascinating
     romance which will appeal to music lovers."--_Chicago News._

     "It vibrates with musical sentiment. There is a good deal of
     artistic skill displayed in its description."--_Boston Watchman._

     "A story unique in theme, delightfully told with many delicate
     touches."--_The Arena_, Boston.

_Small 12mo, Cloth. Illustrated. 40 Cents, net_


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