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The National tribune. (Washington, D.C.) 1877-1917, September 01, 1879, Image 1

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J SJonthln gourmtl devoted to the interests of the Soldiers und guilors of the htte wnr, nnd nil pensioners of the nited Me.
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Published by The
NATIONAL TRIBUNE COMPANY
T
Vol. inNo. 9. WASHLHGTOItf, D. 0., SEPTEMBER, 1879.
Snttred according to Act of Congren, in the year of our Lord, iS78, in the Office of the Ltorai (an oConprttt, at Waehtngton, D. 0.
TERMS, FIFTY CENTS PER YBAE.
Specimen Copies sent Free on Requost.
7flT,.xa;
A Grand Old Poem.
"Who shall judge a man from manners ?
"Who shall know him by his dross ?
Pniipors may bo lit for priucos,
Princes fit for something less ;
Orumplcd shirt and dirty jacket
May beclotho the golden ore
'Of tho deepest thought and fooling
Satin vests could do no more. '
There are springs of crystal nectar
Ever wolling out of stone ;
There aro purple buds and golden,
Hidden, crushed, and overgrown ;
God, who counts by souls, not drqssps,
.Loves and prospers you and me,
"JVhilo Ho values thrones tho highest
But as pebbles in tho sea. ;
-Man, upraised abovo his fellows,
Oft forgets his fellows then ;
Masters, rulers lords, remember
That your meanest hinds are men :
Mon by honor, men by fooling.
Mon by thought, and men by fame,
' Olaiming equal rights to sunshine
In a man's ennobling name.
There are foam-ombroiclerod oceans,
There aro little weed-clad rills ;
There are feoble inch-high saplings,
There are cedars on the hills j
God, who counts by souls, not statidns,
Loves and prospers you and me,
For to him all famed distinctions
Aro as pebbles iu the sea.
Toiling hands alone ure builders
Of a nation's wealth or fame.;
Titled laziness is pensioned,
Fed and fattencl on tho same ;
JJy the sweat of other's foreheads
Iilvlng only to rojoico,
While the poor man's outraged freedom
Vainly llfteth up its voice
Truth and Justice aro etornal. .,
Born with lovliness and light ;
Secret wrongs shall never prosper
"While thero is a sunny right ; .
God, whose world-hard voice is singing ,
Boundless lovo to you and me, St
Sinks opprossion, with its titles, ,
As the pebbles in tho sea.
A Midnight Struggle.
In tho early autumn of the year of 1849, about half an
hour of sunset, I drew rein in front of a large double log
house, on tho very summit of the Blue Ridge mountains
of Eastern Kentucky.
The place was evidently kept as a tavern, at least so a
sign proclaimed, and here I determined to demand ac
commodation for myself and servant Bose, a dark-skinned
body-guard. Bose and 1 had been playmates in child and
boyhood, and I need hardly say that tho faithful fellow
was attachod to me as I -was to him, and on more than
one occasion ho had shown his devotion.
There had beon a " shooting match" at the Mountain
House that day, and, as I dismounted, I saw through tho
o pen window of the bar-room a noisy, drunken, and evi
dently a quarrelsome set of backwoodsmen, each of -whom
-was swearing by all possiblo and impossible oaths that he
was not only the best shot, but that no could out-light,
out-jump, out-wrestle, run faster, jump higher, dive
deeper and come up dryer than any other man "on the
mountains."
f'T cfT Afovc TJnlrl " cnirJ T?ror i n lv. 4-rtnjs no T
handed him my bridle rein, "I don't liko the looks of dem
dai S'poso -wo goes on to tho next house ; taint fur."
''Nonsense, Bose," I replied, ' 'these follows are only on
a littlospree over their shooting. Wo have nothing to do
withithom nor they with us. Take tho horses round to
tho btables and soo to them yourself. You know they've
had a hard day of it."
And tho wing my saddle-bags over my shoulders, I
walked up the narrow path to tho house.
I found, as 1 have intimated, tho bar-room filled with a
noisy, turbulent crowd, who one and all stared at me with
out spoakiug as 1 went up to tho bar and inquired if I and
my servant could have accommodation for tho night.
Recoiving an atlirmative reply from the landlord, a little
red-headed, cadaverous-looking man, I dosirod at ouco to
bo shown to my room, hither I wont, but not until I had
boon compolled to declino a score of requests to " take a
drink," much to the disgust of the stalwart bacchana
lians. Tho room to which I was shown was at tho far ond of
along two story structure, ovidontly but recently added ou
to the main building, whtoh it intorsuctcd at right angles.
A gallory oxteudod along tho front, by moans of which tho
rooms wore reached.
I found my apartmont to be largo and comparatively
woll furnished, there being,, bosides tho bod, a comfortablo
cot, half a dozen "splint bottomed" chairs, a heavy clothes
press, and a bureau with gluss.
There were two windows, ono along side tho door, and
tho other in tho opposite and of tho room.
The first mentioned door was heavily barred with stout
oak strips, a protection I presumed, against intrusion
irom the porch, while across the latter aoor was arawu
heavy woolen curtain.
In the courso of a half an hour Bose entered and an
nounced that tho horses had been properly attended to,
and a few minutes later a bright-faced mulatto girl sum
moned us to suppor.
Supper over, I returned to my room, first requesting to
be roused for an early breakfast, as I desired to be on tho
road by sunrise.
Thoroughly wearied with my day's ride, I at once began
preparations for retiring, and had drawn off one boot,
when Bose came in rather hastily, looking furtively over
his shoulder, and then cautiously closing and locking the
door.
"Mars Ralph, dai-s gwiue to be trouble in dis house
afore morning," he said.
And I saw in a moment that something had occurred to
upsot tho faithful fellow's equilibrum.-
"Why, Bose, what is it? What do you mean?" I asked,
barely restraining a smile.
"Itoloyou, Mars Ralph, we'd bettor trabbel furder,"
was the rather mysterious reply. " You see dat gal dero
tole me dero would be a muss if we stayed in this old
house all night."
By close questioning I elicited the fact that the girl had
really warned him that four men whom I had noticed to
gether were a desperate set of villains, and probably had
designs upon our properyt, if not our lives.
The girl had seen two of them at the stable while 1 was
at supper, and by cautiously oreepiug into a stall, next the
one iu which they stood, had heard enough to convince
her that they meant mischief. Subsequently to this sue
also saw the landlord in close confab with the entire party,
and from his actions judged that ho was urging the men to
their nefarious work.
"I tell you. Mars Ralph, dem people ain't tarter no
I good now you heard me," persisted Bose.
I had began to think so mysolt ; but what was to be
done? The situation was full of embarrassment, and I
felt that nothing could be done save to wait and watch,
and, by being on the alert, defeat their plans by a deter
mined resistance.
I found that from the barred window, in whicb there
was a broken pane of glass, a good view of the stables
could be had.
Then for the other window.
I crossed the room, drew aside the heavy curtain, and
raising the sash, looked out.
A siuglc glance was sufficient to cause me a thrill of
surprise, aud I gave a low exclamation that instantly
brought Bose to my side.
Far bolow I could see the faint glimmer of water, the
low murmur of which came indistinctly up from tho
depths, while on a level with tbat should have been the
ground, I dimly saw the waving tree-tops, as they gently
swayed beforo the fresh night breeze, and knew that tho
window overlooked a chasm, the souudiugs of which I
could only guess at.
doo' arter do horses, shuah," brought me wide awake to
my feet.
Cautiously peeping out, I saw at a glanco that'Bose was
right in his conjecture thero were two of them ono
standing out in tho dear moonlight, evidently watching
my window, while the other and I fancied it was tho
landlord was in the shadow near the door which at that
moment slowly sprung open.
As tho mau disappeared within the building, a Iqw,
keen whistle cut the air, aud at the same instant I heard
the knob of my door cautiously tried.
A low hiss from Boso brought me to his side, from the
door where I had been listening.
"Doy's got de horses out in do yard," he whispered, as
ho drew aside to let me look out through the broken panfo
"Take tho door," I said "and fire through if they at
tack. I am going to shoot that fellow holding the
horses."
"Lordy, Mars Ralph, it's de tavern-keeper. He ain't no
count. Drop the big man I" was the sensible advice
which I determined to adopt.
Noiselessly drawing aside the curtain, I rested the muz
zle of my pissol on the sash where the light had been
broken away ; and drew a bead upon the tallest of the .
two men who stood, holding the three horses out in tho
bright moonlight.
The sharp crack of the weapou was instantly followed
by a yell of pain, and I saw the ruffian reel backward and
measure his length upon tho earth, affd then from the
main building there rang out :
"Murder 1 Murder ! Oh, help !
Like lightning it flashed across my mind. There were ?
thtg horses out iu the open lot ! There was, then, another,
traveler besides ourselves.
A heavy blow descended upon the door, and a voice
rsared :
"Quick ! Burst the infernal thing open, and let me get
at him. The scoundrel has killed Dave I7'
"Let them have it, Bose," Ivhisperecl, rapidly roloadT
bag my pistol. "The second panel."
With a steady hand tho plucky fellow leveled tho huge
weapon aud pulled the trigger.
A deafoning report followed, and again a shrill cry of
mortal anguish told them the shot had been wasted.
"Sabe us ! how it do kick 1" exclaimed Bose underhis
breath.
The blow had fallen like an unexpected thunderbolt
upon the bandits, and a moment later we heard their re
treating footsteps down the corridor.
"Dar'll bo more of 'em heah 'fore long, Mars Ralph,"
said Bose with an ominous shake of the head. "I 'spects
dose b'longs to a band, and if dey comes an' we still heah,
we gone coons for shuar."
This view of the case was new to me ; but I felt tho
force of it. I knew that such bands did exist in these
mountains.
Stunuen for a moment, I turned round and stared hope
lessly at Bose ; but he, brave fellow that he was, never
lost his head for a moment.
"Bound to leab here, Mars Ralph," he said, quite con
fidently. "An1 dar ain't no way gwine 'cept tro dat win
dow ;" and ho pointed to tho one overlooking the cliff.
I merely shook my head, and turned to watch asarn,
In other words, tho house, or that portion 0f it, , was h . to efc a shofc nt fcho rascal on ga
buift upon the vory verge of ttio clifl, and solid rock form- lej t0 his omi deviCQS. afc once we
ing a foundation more lasting than any that could bo heard 'him fttssinff around the bed for
made by the hands of man.
I leaned far out and saw that thero was not an inch of
space left between the heavy log on which tho structure
rested and tho odge of tho structure ; aud then I turned
away with full conviction that if escape mast bo made, it
certainly would not bo made in that direction. There
was nothing especially strauge in this ; there aro mauy
houses so constructed I had seen ono or two myself and
yet when I drew back into tho room and saw tho look in
Bose's face, I felt that danger quick and deadly was ho
vering in tho air,
"Wif lirMif. ernoTi,,rr T Ttrrf. f mil corlrllnlnvo nrrl rrri:
M muuim wmiiij, a. ,ni v- j Wiu.j,u ...aw. ,
went to work. I
heard him fussing around the bed for some time, but-
nevor looked to see what he was after until he spoke.
"Now den for de rope," I heard him say, ond in an in
stant I caught his meaning.
llo had stripped tho bed of its coyoring, dragged off tho
heavy tick and tho stout hempen rope with which it was
"corded."
In five miuutos he had krawu the rope through its many
turnings, and then, gathering the coil in his hands, he1
drew up tho sash and prepared to taice sounduigs.
i It failed to touch tho bottom ; but, no wise disheart
! onod, he seized the cotton coverlet and spliced on. This
i cnnr.nnrWl nnri fhn cord was drawn uu nrenaratorv to
out my pistols a superb pair of long double riflos, that I imnttin- it. in nlaco of eross-nieces.
know to bo accurate anywhoro under half a hundred t m,o mfumwliila tho silence without had been broken
yard.
"Dar
rmnn. A. shrill, keen whistle, such as wo had heard bo-
dom's what I liko to soo !" exclaimed Boso as he faro Was given by thp mau on tho watch, and replied to
t-lXvmrl r
pistol that had belonged to my grandfather, and which I j stops soft, cat-Uko ones on tho veranda outsido, show
knew was loaded to the muzzle with No. 1 buckshot. It jng timt tho robberr wow on the alert at all points,
was a terrible weapon at oloso quarters. Ah length Boso announced tho "ladder" ready. It
The stables in which our horses wore feodiug could bo
watched, and by evonts transpiring in that locality wo
would shape our actions. C found the door could bo locked
from tho insido, and iu addition to this, I improvised a
bar by moans of a chair-log wrenched off and thrust
through a hoavy iron staplo that had keen driven in tho
wall. Its fellow on tho opposite side was missing.
Wo thou lifted the clotho press boforo tho window, leav
ing just room enough on one side to e'oarly seo, and, if
necessary, fire through ; dragged tuo bureau against tho
door with as little noiso as possible, and felt thai every
thing that was possiblo had boon dpno.
A doath-liko stillnoss reigned ovor the place, broken on
ly onco by the voice of tho colored girl singing as sho
crossed tho stablo yard.
I had fallen into a half doze, seated in a chair near tho
window faoing tho stables, whore Bose was qu tho watch,
when suddenly I folt a slight touch upon my arm, and tho
voice ui uiu Jiuiuuu seuuuui m my oar.
mg
was again lowered from tho window, and the end was hold
and made last to tno oeu wo uau uraggeu ovor ior mu
purpose. , . ,
" jSTow, don, Mas'r Ralph, Igodownfust and seo if 'um
strong enough to bar us."
And ho was half way out of tho wiudow before I could.
speak.
".No, lioso ; you snail not," J- answereu, iinmy, araw-t
r him bach into tho room. " You must"
Tho words wore lost in tho dm ot a tunous and totally
unexpected attack upon tho door.
Tho dull hoavy strokes of the aso wero intermingled
with tho sharp, quick clatter of tho hatobots as thoy out
away at tho barrior, and onco in a while I could hear dedprf
oaths, as though they had been rendered doubly savage
by our resistance. , , -v
" Iloro, Boso, your pistol 1 Quick 1" I whisporeaud,
tho hoavy charge wont crashing through, followed hys
shrieks and curses ot pam anu rago.
'Wake up, Mars Ralph ; dey's foolin 'bout do stablo 1 "Now, then, out with you ! I will hold the place," I
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