Newspaper Page Text
Wakeman Wandering Among
Other Curious People.
The Ilablts. Artifices and Ingenious
Vagabondism of British Game Ma
rauders, With New Incidents Illus
trative of Their Character and
[Special Correspondence of the Record-
Union. Copyright, 1891.]
Carlisle (Eng.), June 8,1891.
My first introduction to a Britis
poacher was in the ancient city of Gal
way on a summer's morning in 1888. I
wandered out of Elle Madigan's quaint
little inn before sunrise, and after a few
moments on the quay among the fish
wives of Claddagh had started for a stroll
out Oughterard way. As I was crossing
Queen's bridge my attention was at
tracted by hundreds upon hundreds of
salmon in tho shallow waters of the Cor-
rib beneath. They lay, bunched in groups
of scores and more, in little pockety
pools of tho greatest depth, their noses
pointing up stream, but all the shoals ap
parently as motionless as the rocky bed
of tho river beneath them. It was early
for Galway, save at the Claddagh-side, as
tho sleepy old town is hardly astir before
9o'clock. But I had stood thero scarcely
fFininute when a man in corduroy high
lows, jockey-cap and visor and bearing a
huge club in his hand, approached me
from the city sido. He gave me a sharp
look of scrutiny, touched his hat apolo
getically, and walking smartly away,
crossed the bridge and scrambled along
the opposite shore, looking closely hero
and there in odd corners and shadowy
nooks along the bank. Finally he disap
peared in the vicinity of tho Salmon Leap
of the Corrib above. He was one of tho
Royal Fishery' Board water bailiffs, and
was in quest of salmon poachers.
lie was hardly out of sight before a
barefooted man followed upon the bridge,
lie in turn scrutinized mo closely and
passed. A moment later the man's arm
slid along the waist-high stone coping of
tins bridge. Then there was a gentle
splash in the water below. The man
kopt straight on, increasing the speed of
his walk. Diroctly I saw his arm jerked
back, as if by a sudden grasp from the
bridge-side over the coping. Then he
Beamed to exert very great strength,
while there was some little commotion in
the Btream beneath. But the man kept
straight along, his arm now in a position
as it dragging a hall'-lloating burden.
When near the end of the bridge he
turned, put his elbows upon the coping
in an attitudo of contemplation, and
waited thus for a few minutes. Finally
he passed uli" the bridge end and turned
toward the bay. Without seeming to
watch him, I soon saw him reappear
near an old fulling-mill several rods
below. With him was now a maugy
headed lad who was hastily unrolling the
bottoms of his trousers with one hand,
while carrying his jacket in a singularly
heavy and baggy way with the other.
The barefooted man had within three
minutes' time captured
TWO HUGE SALMON
With a murderous "drag-hook" armed
with six huge hooks ; and the lad with
the pouchy jacket who had rejoined him
was in waiting beneath the bridge-end to
care for fish, hooks and line, in rifteen
minutes more the two salmon were
dressed and in tho "herring-skibs" of the
fishwives, being hawked about the city;
and the Corrib poacher had secured eight
shillings for his deft morning's work.
The entire procedure was so amazingly
audacioua and olever, that on meeting the
poacher later in the day I taxed him with
his performance. lie knew I would not
betray him. i found that he was of re
al i • family, a brother being a repu
table contractor in New York City,
where h< had himself held a decent wage
position; but he confessed that poaching
and poverty were more fascinating in
Galway than contracts and a career in
America. My next experience was while
a guest during a pheasant-shoot on the
demesneof a young nobleman in one of
the English Midland counties. Some
time during the day's murderous on
slaught upon the birds, I had lost a di
minutive, but to me valuable, note-book.
It so worried me that 1 arose the next
morning dressed and stole down into
and out of tho castle-yard through
the huge open gato facing tho
side next the demesne, before a soul was
astir about the entire place. The de
tne, which covered fully two miles
square of "park"—tiny lakes, magnifi
cent carriage and drive-ways, dense
patches of young lir interspersing hugo
beech trees and oak—was altogether ono
of the finest pheasant preserves in Eng
land. I felt sure of my ability to discover
the locality of the previous day's battue,
by following to tho right the demesne
wall which must lead to tho little patch
of low, open copse whore the pheasants
had been driven by the'"beating" of tho
attendants, a number of whom, noted for
their woodcraft, and who were loungers
at the near village, had been pressed into
The wall surrounding the demesne was
of rough stone and rubble, conical at the
top, its crest being rendered seemingly
impassable by murderous pieces of
broken j^lass Imbedded in the mortar. It
was hardly daylight, and a thick mist
rendered ordinary objects still more in
distinct. I therefore simply folio wed the
wall closely , now and then touching it
with a stout walking-stick I had talion
with mo from my chamber, but oftener
touching it gently at intervals with my
CAt'OHT A POACHER.
T was not long in passing the line of
heavier forest and reaching the open place
where I felt sure the previous day's
slaughter of pheasants had occurred; and
just as my hand left the wall, following
my impulse t search over the shooting
ground, my fingers came in contact with
tho bushy hair of a man's head. lam
not exactly an athlete, but that hair and
the man under it came up alongside of
that demesne wall to nearly my own
higlit, as the Germans say, "lm augon
-1 .v k!" and I instantly saw I had taken,
ru 1-handed, a tin" specimen of tho Kn
£tish poacher. The net was all the more
interesting as I recognized in the precious
.1 one of the "beaters" employed by
milord's gamekeepers during the pre
vious day'> sport. He was a nandsome,
dirty, chunky fellow Of twenty or there
its, and he know how to beg as well
Not being specially interested
afordng the game laws of England, it
irredtome 1 could utilize this par
th-ular "misplaced matter" both on the
line>. of acquiring information and in the
recovery of my note-book. A proper
compact had do sooner been agreed upon
tha;! two of the poacher's companions,
agreeable to his signal, appeared. One
w:v-< a v. - azened old man, spry as a crick
et, and the other was a lad of perhaps 15
on*. Ibe iatter at once produced what
i had made pay quest for, and got half a
crown for his trouble, '['hen in n few
moments'hasty explanation I scoured a
good idea oi what had been going on in
that quarter during the night. All three
had been employed by the gamekeepers
the previous day as "beaters** and "help
ers," the latter to watch for the lalling
birds and carry them back to "the bags."
A largo number were thus stowwl away
in secure coverts for the following night**
work. The poachers well know that after
tho evening's tips, boer, pipes and boast
ful stone. ,n the sei vants' hall and har
nnqn room, every gamekeeper would
sleep soundly that night if not another in
the year. They were therefore over the
demesne wall and at work long before
Was simple and inexpensive. A strong
rope about twelve- feet long with triple
nooses, one in the middle well bound for
securing a fastening on the japreod wall
copinu, ftnd another at each end,
answered for a ladder. A hand-cart, the
SACRAMENTO DALLY BECORD-tnSTION, SATURDAY, JUNE 20, 1891.—EIGHT PAGES;
wheels wound with straw and rags to
prevent noise and lessen the trail, with a
fourth man beside it as a sentinel, was
brought along for carrying away the
plunder. The three who entered the
grounds had long, lithe poles, each a -
"bull's-eye" lantern, and between them ]
sulphur or some such stuff and matches
for making smudges. They knew every '
inch of ground "beaten" the day before: '
and also that the clamor and fright had
broken up the rucks or coveys into de
tached tiles of pheasants, and that these
would retreat as high as possible among
the branches of larch and fir. The
fog, too, was in their favor. All
night long they had methodically
hunted out certain trees, discovered
the pheasants within them, smudged
thefn into half insensibility and delib
erately knocked them from their
perches, dispatching them the moment
they fell ov sinking their beastly
thumbs in the brain of the befuddled
birds. The work of gathering those
which had been stolen from the "bag"
the previous day was left until the break
of day, and was just about completed as I
had come upon the scene. Dozens went
over the wall into the waiting cart in the
few minutes of my investigation. The
poles, the lad and the little old man fol
lowed. As the burly fellow I had caught
followed these, and he was still astride
the wall where he had pounded the glass
away and daubed a covering of hard clay,
I asked him how many they had prob
ably taken. "Hus doa'nt rightly know,"
was his modest and hoarsely whispered
rejoinder; " 'likes there be nigh onto
forty brace!" Then pulling his forelock
and winking wisely, he disappeared. Tho
noosed rope slid gently after him, and I
heard the swishy sound of the straw
wrapped wheels grow fainter, and finally
silent, as I set out on my return to the
castle the way I come; the meanwhile
ruminating on the many ways still open
to the nobility of this land to be, without
etfort to themselves, of vast humanitarian
service to the gentle English peasant of
the poems and books.
Few people in America, or for that
matter hero, have any adequate idea of
the tremendous sums annually expended
in the preservation and taking of game
in England, Ireland and Scotland. On a
former occasion I had need to secure the
figures for Scotland alone. Hunting and
fishing with attendant expenses annually
cost British sportsmen in Scotland $20,
--000,000! What must the sum total con
sequently be for the three kingdoms?
Here then is at once found the real origin
of poachers and poaching. Every Briton
is a born sportsman. Hence with every
square rod of ground under lease as a
"shooting," anil every lineal rod of shore
of beck, burn, river, loch or harbor under
lease to somebody as a "fishing," mill
ions are debarred by the severest game
laws in the world from any use whatever
of the rod and gun, save by stealth and
illegality. Almost every one of these
millions becomes a quasi poacher, on op
portunity, as against the few thousands
of privileged class, and not unwilling
poachers' agents in the disposition or
'consumption of the illegally secured
booty. Low as is the scale of the profes
sional poacher, it must not bo supposed
that he is a prescribed outlaw. British
newspapers always discuss him from his
humorous side. His vocation is every
where known among villagers and coun
tryside folk, and there are none so das
tardly as to give him into the hands of
officers. I personally know of many in
stances where poacher graduates have
become gamekeepers. Other gamekeep
ers often seek their friendship, rather
than their enmity, thus reducing ravages
to the lowest limit. And there are well
authenticated cases where milord himself
has hobnobbed with them for lessons in
CUNNING AND WOODCRAFT.
Two of the most noted and incorrigible
of British poachers infest the lochs and
deer forests in the vicinity of Fort Will
: lam, Scotland. One is named Macewan,
and the other, a confirmed tramp poacher,
is known about tho region of Loch Eil, as
"Drousy Mogins." Slacewan seems un
vanquishable. In 1888 Lord Abinger of
Inverlochy House obtained an interdict
against him. He immediately secured its
removal for £15, a part only of the pro
ceeds of two days' shooting in Lord Ab
inger's preserves, since which time his
operations have not been interfered with.
His greatest revenues are however se
cured by night "sweeping" by seines of
the pools of the river Lochy, hundreds of
grilse or young salmon and some sea
trout always being secured. "Drousy
Mogins" is more of a poacher angler, and
less of a pirate. He wanders at will
among the Grampian trout-streams sup
plying the tables of tho nobility with the
choicest trout from their own streams; t
and has been offered fabulous sums for a*
I glimpse of his marvelous "flies." But a
year since Lord Morton sent a young
poacher resident on his Ardgour estate,
to Cameron of Loch Eil, begging him to
employ him as a gillio in order to sup
j press his genius for poaching. An entire
j volume might be filled with similar inci
dents and illustrations.
Poaching is carried on among tho vast
deer-forests, and in stream and pool
"sweeping" by net in a most lawless and
defiant manner. It is simply impossible
to provide sufficient garnjekeepers and
gillies to protect the forests from the in
roads of poacher "stalkers"; and the
poachers of fish aro bo thoroughly organ
ized and in sudden conflicts with water
bailiffs handle the latter so mercilessly,
that tho bailiffs usually seek seclusion
rather than the marauders.
Genuine cunning, patience with mar
velous moor and woodcraft are therefore
more often found in those poachers who
hang about the out-skirts ol well-stocked
"shootings" and preserves, alert as spar
row-hawks or moor-buzzards for poults
of every description which have market
value. Pheasant and grouse poaching
bring the most profitable returns. Aside
from the night raids described above, the
Ingenious device is resorted to of fitting a
gamecock with artificial spurs, and
stealthily placing him alongside the
pheasant covert. The pugnacious pheas
ant-cocks instantly respond to the game
cock's crowing challenge, and often three
or lour brace of pheasants are thus taken.
Again in tho highways near where pheas
ants are bred they may often be seen
scratching and rolling in the dust of the
road. The poacher provides himself with
corn kernels into which short bristles
have been inserted. These are greedily
devoured, and the birds, choking to
death in the hedges, are quickly and
Grouse are taken by being shot from
behind stone walls, an entire brood often
being picked olf at a timo, if the poacher
keep himself out of sight: with fine hair
snares set on the moor hillocks, in tho
"runs" around them, and between the
"rests" among tho heathor; and just be
fore daybreak, by silk drag-neta with
glazed bottoms, on moors which are
systematically burnt, an entire covey
often being baggtjd at one sweep. But
the most detestable of all British poachers
is that wholesale thief, who has no soul
for nature love, whose artifices are never
marvelously ingenious for tho sake of the
art in them, and who never possesses
even the slight attractiveness of sunny
and genial vagabondism. This Is that
poucher or mourner who rents for from
twenty to eighty shillings, fro in some
moorland farmer or yoeman, a tiny
lie will see that it has a moorland
stream and patches of swent heather and
! that it is sunny and sheltered. This is
all that is required to comprise a favorite
resort for moor game. It will also fur
nish a few hares and perhaps somo black
game among the bracken. To this spot
covey after covey of moor-birds will
come for heather and water. They co:ni<
in well-defined flights and alight in the
very same placo every morning. The
moueher simply notes all these flights,
courses, "dips" of flight and alighting
grounds, and sets his fly-nets before day.
They are heavy birds, fly straight and
swift, and on striking the net oocoiuo
hopelessly entangled or drop stunned
into tho bag beneath. A moueher rent
ing a "hillside shooting" at forty shil
lings, will thus often without discharging
a gun take moro game than can bo shown
us bagged at the end of a shooting season
on the largest and best conducted game
preserves of Britain.
Edgar L. Wak.km.vn.
Beeciiam's pills curebilious, nervous
A MILITARY INCIDENT.
Yes! I will write it down at last! For
years and years I have kept to the resolve
that none should ever know the history
of an event which was the turning point
of my life, but to-day a change has come
over me. To-day has been for me a
happy day; one of the happiest, indeed, I
have ever known.
I am an old fellow now and have served
my Queen for many a long year, in many
a distant land. It has pleased God to
bless my career, and to have enabled me
to do my duty to the satisfaction of my
superiors. I have met with far greater
rewards for my services than they merit,
and to-day has come my crowning tri
umph. My gracious sovereign (whom
God ever bless and preserve) has this
day sent me, with a letter so kindly and
30 sweet that it made my old eyes dim to
read it, the Grand Cross of tho Hath—the
soldier's blue ribbon of fame!
As I sit in my quiet room it hangs over
my mantelpiece in the place of honor
over the little glass-protected case where
hang my other decorations, my rive war
medals and, most prized of all, the bronze
Victoria cross I won at Delhi. It hangs,
glittering in its silvery pride, where my
sweet daughter Effie placed it this evening
amid tho shouts of her curly-headed lit
Then how my darling addressed the
pretty mob about grandfather's new
honor! How her face, her figure, the tones
of her voice, reminded me of her dead
mother, my dear wifo, whose absence was
the one thing which dimmed tho happi
ness of the day.
Could I help that feeling of choking in
the throat as I listened to my Erne's
words as, in tones which trembled now
and again with her love for her old sol
dier father, she told them of the honor he
had won. and bade the two sturdy blue
eyed lads, who gazed up at her with
parted lips as she spoke, follow his foot
steps ana gain, like him, tho love of all
round him, the admiration of his coun
try and the approbation of his Queen?
Much she said—tar too much for my
humble deserts—but she spoke with the
partial feeling of a loving daughter. She
told them once more the story they had
so often heard, of how tho Victoria Cross
on the little sheif was won, and then, as
she hung the last glittering trophy on the
wall, she called on the little throng to
give three cheers for their dear old grand
father; and the little childish trebles, as
they cried out in my honor, moved me
more than the cheers of the thousands
who wore welcoming back the defenders
of llarounabad, and I could only clasp
my Erne to my heart as she cried with
her kindly emotion. And now the old
house is quiet; the nursery banquet is
over and the little revellers are in bed. I
sit alone in my room, and think, and
think. And more vividly than for many
years comes up in my mind the memory
of that evening, now so long ago, when,
but for God's mercy—for never will 1 call
it or think it chance—l should not have
been living now. enjoying an honorable
old age, surrounded by loving children.
Many a time since then have I looked
death in tho face, but it was honorable
death. Numerous have been my perils
and hairbreadth my escapes, but never
was I nearer death, and shameful death,
than that oveuing.
I have said none has ever heard the
story, and none shall ever know it while
I am alive, but I shall seal this and place
it in my desk, so that it will not be read
until after my death. I could not bear to
tell Eiiie of it, but I know she will forgive
me anything after I am gone from her.
Here is my story; it may be that some
may learn a lesson from it:
When I was a lad I joined as an ensign
the —nd Regiment of Foot. My father
was not a rich man, but was yet able to
give me an allowance which should have
been ample for my needs. I had a happy
home, my mother was one of the best of
women, though it may be she had been a
little over-indulgent to me. I was a lad
of a somewhat impetuous temperament,
excitablo and headstrong: I bud never
learned the value of self-control and was
too much givon to self-indulgence. ( lifted
with a strong imagination, thero was a
romantic vein in my nature which led
me to find the keenest enjoyment in ad
venture. Tho youngsters of the regi
ment were rather a loose lot and were
considered by the othor corps in the
garrison as being a decidedly "fast" set
of men, but even among these I soon ac
quired a "bad eminence," and, with one
exception, I was looked upon as the worst
of the lot.
This exception, Claude Helmsdorf was
my most intimate friend. He was a Ger
man by blood, but his parents were nat
uralized English people. There was that
in Claude's disposition which endeared
him to me above all my companions. His
tastes were the same, and he had the same
half-sentimental, half-grotesque sort of
philosophy which made me something of
an enigma to my other more matter-of
Wo were neither of U3 happy -without
excitement. The dull monotony of gar
rison lifo at Gibraltar, where the regiment
was quartered, gave us scant openings,
hut what we could do we did. Drinking,
gambling and other kindred vices, so fur
as means were available, we indulged in
without stint. Occasionally we used to
go on short leave into Spain, where, in a
somewhat less strict (society, wo could
plungo more deeply into our favorite
vices. We got into numerous scrapes,some
of them very serious ones. More than
once we nearly lost our lives in mad es-.
capadea after women. On these occasions
each had found the other as true as steel,
and our mutual affection grew daily
stronger and stronger. Pleasures such
as those which alone had any zest for us
cannot be obtained for nothing, and after
two years of this life money troubles be
gan to harass us. Now and then a lucky
coup at the gaming-table would keep
matters straight for a short while, but tho
luck would soon turn, and again the
clamoring of creditors would assail us.
No troubles wear down a man's courage
and patience like money troublos, and
on my excitable and emotional nature
the long strain began to tell. I grew
morose and gloomy, and had fits of ter
riblo mental depression, which did not
escape the notice of those about me. I
knew it WM whispered that Ilelmsdorf
and I were getting into serious difficul
ties, and this knowledge was gall and
worm wood to mo. At last I wrote, in
desperation, to my father. I sent him a
peuiteut letter, stating Ithat I was in
great straits for money, finally imploring
help, hinting that my reputation and the
retention of my commission dopended on
a favorable answer. Once before, in a
less serious crisis of my affairs, I had
made an appeal which was successful, but
my father, while granting my request,
had written in terms which mado me
feel far from hopeful when writing the
My forebodings proved true; one dull,
dark afternoon Helmsdorf found me in
my room in tho casemate barracks read
ing my father's answer. It had come
overland, and, as was not unusual in the
dilatory Spanish post of that time, was
some days overdue*. I looked up as
Claude entered. I remember his face as
well as if it had all takon place yester
day; it was drawn, haggard and pinched:
his eyes wore unnaturally bright and
restloss, while a hectic spot flamed on
"Bad hows, eh?" he asked quietly, but
with a kind of bitter laugh.
1 handed him the letter, which he read
"My dear Edward: The last time you
wrote to me, to say you were in diffi
culties, I managed at considerable incon
venience to myself to send you the sum
you asked for. At tho same time I
warned you that you must not oxpect
me to help you again. lam a poor man,
as you well know, and such money as I
havo I need for myself, your mother and
your sister. You cannot expect that I
am going to cause them discomfort in
order to supply you with luxuries. Your
being placed iv the army (contrary to my
judgment" cost mo a larger sum of money
than 1 felt justified in spending. I gave
you an allowance which 1 had land still
have) good reason to believo sufficient for
young ollicers of your standing, even
without stinting themselves extraordi
"I regret that I must refuse your re
auest. Were 1 richerAitio not kiiow.that
I should bo wise to grant it; as it is I can
not. You have bitterly disappointed
"Pshaw !" cried Helmsdorf, throwing
the letter on the floor, "never mind the
sermonizing/part. The main thing is, he
refuses to help. Now. what are you
going to do? w
I did not answer. My mind was full of
the blackest despair.
"You gave a check for your mess bill
to Holmes, didn't you?" asked Helms
"And another to the Quartermaster,
who cashed it; didn't you ?"
I did not answer.
"And one or two besides to other fel
lows, I think. Have they been honored,
do you suppose?"
I laughed—a bitter, joyless laugh—in
answer to tjhe cold, sardonic smile on
"As far as I can calculate," went on
Claude, "them checks will be returned,
protested, by sthe mail due to-day or to
I groaned, as the horror of shame so
near at hand oppressed my mind.
"Garrison Orders, Gibraltar, 19th of
June," murmtured'Helmsdorf, as if quot
ing to himseli!.
"A general court-martial will assemble
I sprang up> with au oath. "What do
mean by playing tho fool with mo?
"Gently, gently, old boy!" said Helms
dorf, raising his hand depreeatingly.
"Thero will be two prisoners tried at that
court-martial ; that is, if there are any!"
"What do yioumean?" 1 asked, look
ing earnestly :5l him.
"We have Ibeen through all sorts of
troubles together before now!" he said,
"and I shan't desert you in this. lam in
the same sort orf fix as you are; the charge
will run much the same that is, if there
is a charge!" Jae added in tho same slow
"I don't know what you mean, Claude!"
I said at length,
Helmsdorf Lajujghed again.
"My dear boy T> you know I have been
acting Paymaster for Dolby while he was
"Yes!'' I said.
"Well! Dolby^s leave is up, and he is
due buck by the mail expected to-day—
the mail which brings your checks back,
"Yes!" I said again.
"lie will look in the treasury chest for
£15U which ought to be th-j-re."
1 looked fixedly at Helmsdorf.
"Well! He won't lindthem."
There was a long silence.
At first a horror of what he had done
made mo feel sf.ok, but with a rush tho
reflection came upon me with awful
fone that I was no loss a thief than he!
"What are you going to do?" asked
Helmsdorf at length.
I did not answer. A sullen despair
was lilling my heart.
'1 have made, up mind!" went on
1 looked up inqvriringly.
Helmadorx poitted to" my pistol case
which lay on a table near the wall. I
started, as I seei aed to see the embodi
ment of dark idcan which hud of late ilit
ted like baleful shadows over my mind.
He proceeded quietly:
"They shall not' have more than one
prisoner to try—"
"They shall not have any!" I broke in
Hi husdorf laugJtfud loudly—a wild, dis
"What! Willycni come too, Ned?"
"Ay, let us go' together! I care for
nothing, then! You aro the only being
in this accursed wbrld for whom I care a
snap of the finger^:"
He seized my ha ud with a grasp of iron
and wrung it.
"We've been through all sorts of things
tegether, old i'elknv; wo won't part now!
We don't leave much. There are too
many blanks in the? lottery of this world
to make it worth living in. Life is a
Dead-sea Apple alt 1 least! Slvall we stay
to face tho shame, the disgrace, the pity,
The boom of a g.un came sullenly over
the quiet harbor.
The mail was in.
I uttered au oath*j?.:nd strode toward the
pistol case. Heimscforf stopped me.
"Steady, old fellow," said he. "Let's
go to work quietly. Look here!"
He led me by tnoj tarm to the window,
which looked out irrtb a large courtyard.
"See! There is old' pensioner Williams
lighting tho lamps, lie's a very method
ical old chap, and wMI be ten minutes at
least lighting them round the court. I
know his habits perfectly; ho will light
all round the co.trt first, and last of all he
will light the two lamps on that post in
the center of the yard."
"Now, Ned, old fellow, listen to me. I
shall go to my room and get my pistol
ready. I shall write a few lines to say it
is nobody's fault but my own, and to tell
Dolby lam sorry I let him in. By that
time tho lamps will bo nearly all lighted.
I shall watch old Williams, and when he
lights the right hand tamp of those two
in tho center I shall gi,-. When ho lights
tho left hand lamp you will come too.
We might have a bet," ho added with
ghastly merriment, "which lamp he will
There was a pause.
"Is that sacred?" askod Helmsdorf.
Oh, tho black despair in my young
"Yes," I answered, calmly, and we
shook hands once more. V/e felt we
should not meet on earth; again.
"You remember the Btory of Clives"
cried Helmsdorf. whoso spirits seemed
wildly excited. "How he snapped a pis
tol twice at his head, and when it failed
to go off the second timo ho took it as a
sign from heaven that ho> was preserved
for something famous! Perhaps some
thing of the kind may happen to one of
His manner changed suddenly. He
seized me by the shoulder and looked
straight into my eyes. I have never for
gotten his look, and never shall. It comes
to my recollections over the mists of
years with the reality of life.
"A RACE WITH DEATH!"
Among the nameless heroes, none
are more worthy of martyrdom than
he who rode down the vallteyof the
Conemaugh, warning the people
ahead of the Johnstown flood.
Mounted on a powerful horse, faster
and faster went the rider, but the
flood was swiftly gaining, until it
caught the unlucky horseman and
swept on, grinding, crushing, anni
hilating both weak and strcsig.
In the same way is disease lurking
near, ready to fall, without Awarning,
on its victim, who allows his system
to become clogged up, and h:"ts blood
poisoned, and thereby his health en
dangered. To eradicate these poisons
from the system, no matter what their
name or nature, and save yoiarself a
spell of malarial, typhoid or bilious
fever, or eruptions, swellings, tumors
and kindred disfigurements, keep the
liver and kidneys healthy and vigor
ous, by the use of Dr. Pierce"* Gold
en Medical Discovery. It's the only
blood-purifier sold on trial. Your
money is returned if it doesn't do
exactly as recommended. Sold by
drucffists. in large bottles, at^l.OO.
" Good by, Ned," ho said at length,
He left tho room and closed the door. I
heard him walk down the corridor to his
room, which was only four or five from
me. I heard his door shut and all was
quiet. 1 looked out into the courtyard
through my window. It was a dull,
murky evening. The signs of the life
and movement of the barracks some dis
tance beyond reached mo faintly, making
the surrounding stillness more marked.
The old pensioner was moving his ladder
to begin lighting the second side of the
court. I felt I must prepare. Never in
my life was I calmer. I went to my pis
tol case and loaded my pistols with scru
pulous care. That finished I took pen
and paper and sat down to write to my
How often in after years, when the tor
turing remembrance of that horrible
evoning conies before me, have I shud
dered to think of the black wickedness
of my heart at the time! No thought of
my kind mother seemed to como over
me. I only seemed to teel a sort of sellish
satisfaction in punishing my father for
his refusal to assist me, and a kind of re
lief at the near prospect of release from
"My dear father," I wrote, "by the
time you get this you will have heard
that I am dead. 1 gave checks on the
agents thinking you would be sure to
heln me, as I was in trouble, and, as I
had told you, I wanted tho money ur
gentlj'. As I find from your letter that
you have not placed any money to my
credft, these checks will bo dishonored. "
"Of course you know this means the
loss of my commission, my honor, and
all that makes life worth having.
"I do not blame you, as I suppose you
are saying what is true when you tell me
you cannot afford to help me. I see no
way out of my trouble but this. I can
not face the shame before me. Give my
love to my dear mother and Eeffi.
"Ever your affectionate son,
I laid down the pen and looked out of
the window. Old Williams had just fin
ished lighting the last lamp in the court
and was advancing with his iadder to the
lamp post in the center. My heart gave
one throb. I took up my pistol and
waited. He began with tho right hand
There was a sort of buzzing in my ears
as I idly watched. My hour was then
postponed a brief space. I saw him ar
range the wick, and then, with his taper,
light tho lamp. Hardly had the flame
shone forth when I heard a sound like the
slamming of a distant door. The singing
in my ears grew louder. Old Williams
I descended his ladder, placed it against the
opposite rest and ascended to light the
second lamp, that on the left. I placed
the muzzle of my pistol between my
teeth. What was tho old man fumbling
about? Would it never light? I was
quito calm and motionless. I recollect
that I could think quite distinctly. I de
termined 1 would not touch the trigger
till the lamp was alight, and I sat grimly
But it never did light. After handling
it for some time tho old man lifted the
lamp out of its socket. It was evidently
out of repair. He took it down with
him, shouldered his ladder and went
away, leaving one lamp burning only.
Then came upon me a sudden and vio
lent reaction. I laid down the pistol and
sat trembling in every limb. Ido not
know how long I satin the dark helpless,
half stunned with shuddering thoughts
which I felt powerless to give shapo to.
At length I was roused by a knock at the
"Mail letters, sir," said the voice of the
Postsergeant through the gloom.
I rose mechanically and opened the
door. There were two letters for me, I
took them and dismissed him. I lit a
candle and tore open the first. It was
from my agents:
"Sir: Wo beg to acquaint you that a
draft lor £-iOO has been placed this day at
"We have honored the drafts payable
to Captain Holmes, Quartermaster Bra
ham, Messrs. Saecone A: Co., and Messrs.
Dc Larios, leaving your account with the
balance of £127 4s -id iv your favor. We
"Your obedient servants,
"Hammond & Co."
I opened the other letter. It was from
"Why, dearest Ned, did you not write
and tell me of your troubles? You know,
my darling, how dearly I love you, and
that I would gladly starve myself rather
than you should want.
•'1 wish, dear, you had written tome
as well as to your father. Of course
young men will be young men and do
foolish things, though I know you are too
g^ood to do anything really wrong. Your
father is a little stern, but he loves you
dearly. When your letter came it made
him dreadfully unhappy.
"I soon saw something was wrong
about you, though he did not want to tell
me anything about it.
"But it is no use trying to conceal any
thing from mothers, and I soon got at it,
though not till his answer had been sent
"I can guess how his refusal must have
disappointed you, but he really had not
got the money. He let me go to Aunt
Kaby, and after a tremendous interview
with the old lady, I got her to lend U3
£400 on your father's security. There
was such a scene! She declared at first she
would not do it. She abused you tor your
extravagance, my dear, so much that I
very nearly lost my temper; but I knew
it would spoil my chance, so I was as
patient as could be, and did not leave her
till I got out of her a nice check, with
which I at once rushed oil' to Hammonds
and got it put to your credit. My poor
darling, I can well imagine how unhappy
you have been! I have been picturing
you tossing about, getting no sleep and
looking thin and ill!
"I am not going to scold you, dear. I
know that the trouble you have had is
severe punishment enough. I feel, some
how, quite sure that you are going to bo
wiser in future, and not be quite so ex
travaeant. I could not scold you, my
darling, for I am too happy when I think
how happy you will be when you hear
your worries are over.
"I wish so much, oh, so much, that you
would ask your Colonel to let you come
home on leave for a little. You have been
away so long, and I do so long to sco you
again. I am sure a change would be so
good for you in every way. Do, do try
and get leave.
" With much love from your father, and
heaps of kisses from little (who is grow
ing so pretty and young ladyish), and
from me. (Oh, my darling, you can
never know how dear you are to me.)
Believe me, ever your loving mothor,
"P. S. Old Stimsou, the carpenter, was
here to-day. He asked after you, and
says he wants so much to see you again.
He seems to think you will be a General,
at least when you get back!"
As I read the letter, in the dear famil
iar hand, the thought of the old home
life came to me like the breath of the
sweet country air of England amidst the
glow of barren tropical rocks. As I read
the gentle words, telling of love, patience,
trustfulness and forgiveness, could I do
olso than fall on my knees, with tears
raining down my face, and try, ah, how
feobly, from my long unpracticed lips, to
thank God again and again, and to ask
for His blessing on my kind parents, so
unsuspecting of the hideous fate that was
so nearly mine?
But, suddenly, like a lurid dash of
lightning, came the thought of that awful
room, so near and what it held.
It may have been the sound of feet on
the stairs, the murmur of many voices
which recalled me.
They were coming toward my room. In
an instant my in hid was made up. I
would never divulge to living boul what
had passed between Helmsdorf and my
self. I rapidly shut and replaced the pis
tol case. The door iiew open; two offi
cers with scared and white faces came in
"Good God!" cried one to me, "Helms
dorf has shot himself."
I uttered an exclamation of horror.
"Where? When?" I cried.
"In his room! Anstico went in and
found him dead! Come and see!"
No one will ever know what it cost me
I passed, feeling as if I were dreaming,
through the little crowd of officers and
soldier servants which stood, scared and
silent, outside HelmsdorFs door, and en
tered the room.
There ho was, sitting in his chair, at
/^^i All over
*P|| the House
and satisfaction reign
y<^"oW * \>*K w^ere James Pyle's Pearline is
a\\ yj l\ used. House cleaning and
>Np\ V'if l\ \ aun<^ry york is not dreaded.
I s^l \^V/ vs f l The china, glassware and win-
/P^ J^ \ ows are bright and not cloud-
A^s^ifc^ '/J^£^a\ ec^ —servant, mistress and the
( t^^Om^ £ ho oes her 25
VX >L ~- L -Hlitt: m AW wor^-— 311 :u'c better satisned,
y/ft^^Mc^ and this is wn y—Pearline
/ \ vW P rO(iuces perfect cleanliness—
/ /\ w^tn ess labor than anything
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97 Manufactured only by J-JIME3 PYLE, New York.
the tablo by the window which looked
into tho courtyard, quite dead, hi> luad
and shoulders on tho table, tho pistol
resting beside them.
A thin stream of blood oozed from his
mouth, and had run to the edge of tho
table, whence it fell slowly, drop by drop,
on to tho floor.
"Here is a paper, sir, with writing."'
said HehnsdorTs soldier servant, who
was standing by crying.
This was what was written there:
"CJood by, dear boys! Sorry to leave
vow, but there is no way out of it. I
have come to grief, and nothing can put
me right in this world. 1 don't know
aboul the next.
"Tell Dolby I am sorry about the
money! I don't know exactly how much
"l got my accounts wrong soon after I
took over and never could get them right
again. Good by] How slow old Will
iams is! He is lighting my lamp first.
Ido not remember anything for some
days after thi.s.
ft seems that I swooned alter reading
the letter, and was carried to my room.
It surprised no one that I should )»<• so
much moved by the terrible end of one
who was well known to have been my
The first sabsequent event I recollect
is lyins on the sola in my room, the kiml
old lc^iniontal surgeon by my side, bath"
ins my head.
"Tho Colonel agrees -with mo; a trip
homo will *lo you good, my boy. You
have boeu too long out here, and you
know you have not been unite so steady
in your habits as you might have been,''
he added, with a look Coll of meaning,
though full of kindness.
"You're to bo put on board to-morrow;
the shock has tried you a good deal.''
"But, doctor,'' I added with a shudder,
"is he?— Have they—? I mean tho fu
The old surgeon's face grew very sad.
"There was no funeral, poor h\d," he
said gravely. "The coroner's inquest
which sat found a verdict of felo de se. I
tried to show that he could not ha\ o been
in his right niiud at tliu timo. Indeed, 1
don't think he was. The letter was very
incoherent, and I pointed this oat to the
court when I gave my evidence. No
sane man would write about tho lamp
lighter being slow at such a time: and
talking about his lamp being lighted!
What could he moan? But no ono will
ever know what the poor fellow meant
now," lie added, sighing.
After a pause he continued: "I did my
best, but it was useless. The money was
wrong beyond a doubt, and we could not
get any evidence to show he was not Bane
except tho letter, so far as it went, and
they said they could not conscientiously
give a verdict other than the one they
"What have they done, then?" I
gasped. "What does it mean—their ver
"It explains," said the old doctor,
sadly, "why there was no funeral. Poor
lielnisdorf did a felon's deed, and ho lies
in a felon's grave. They carried him out
last night at midnight and buried him
beyond the lines— But what a fool I
am," ho burst out excitedly, as he saw
how terribly I was agitated. "Calm your
self, my dear boy, calm yourself!" And
no woman could have soothed me more
kindly or more patiently.
My story is done. I need not go on to
say how, when I reached home, I found
the love I so little deserved awaiting me
unchanged: nor how, to escape terrible
memories, I exchanged to another regi
ment, and, a changed man in heart and
soul, strove to live a noblor and a worthier
It has stirred me, as I have written this,
moro than I havo ever been stirred since
the awful day itself, but it may be for my
I look up onco more at the outward
signs of honors and successes of life. I
see the miniatures of the little faces of my
children's children, and every sign anil
symptom of a happy and honorable old
age, but the pages 1 have just written,
still wet with tears (for I havo wept as I
have written), remind mo of what, but
for God's mercy and goodness to me,
might havo been. —The Cornhill.
of mercury and potash mixtures.
They aggravate the disease instead
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Life A Burden.
"I suffered for five years with mercurial
rheumatism, which was the result of potash
and mercurial treatment by physicians for
constitutional blood poison. They not only
tailed to cure me, but made me a physical
wreck and my life a burden. I then com
menced taking Swift's Specific (S.S.S.,)and
after taking a few bottles was entirely
cured both of the rheumatism and blood
poison. I cheerfully commend S. S. S., to
any one similarly afflicted.
John H. Lyles, Sorento, 111.
Books on Blood and Skin Diseases Free.
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