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THE MOURNFUL MINSTREL.
The Minstrel had a harp that rang
.Attuned to bold, tiiumphant words:
The wild-flower blossomed where he sans,
Or -watch-rlre glinted bright on swords,
Of bcautious dames and puissant loids
He carroled many a lightsome lay,
But now, howe'er ho strikes, the chords.
Each ditty ends in Woll--aday"
The burthen still is "Well-a-day."
He sings of Warimpetuous foes
Like thunderclouds resounding meet,
But ever at the conflict's close
His harp seems wailing for defeat
Oflove he sings a prcude sweet
As zephyrs pipe to bucl& of May,
But Autumn winds regietful beat
Their cadence soon of "Well-a-day!"
Lovi ends, like war, "Woll-a duj
Fai echoed Pride's imperious tone,
High soared Devotion's voice divine
Now dirges falter round the throne,
And Pi aver sinks sobbing at the shrine,
Rathe Nature's bloom, Art's deft design,
In melancholy strains decay,
Life's early light has (eased to shine,
And darkness falls, with Well-a-day"'
Night comes to mate with "Well-a-day!"
And while thus chants the Minstrel strange,
Of strength or lsdom, grace or gold,
Interpictmg each mournful change,
A scjtho beside him I behold
The mists that wrapped his form unfold
A Mind-glass dim, a forelock gray,
Ah' now I know thatharpei old,
'Tis Time who's singing, "Well-a day!"
Time's old and singeth Well-a-day!"
A UNLUCKY DAY.
Nell had come down to breakfast with
hei "grief muscles" in lull play. Per
haps you do not happen to KHOW what
the "grief muscles" are, though. They
are, on the authority of Mr. Darwin, those
muscles which, in some faces, act upon
the inner corners of the eyebrows, draw
ing them up in apathetic little curve,
and giving to the whole face an expres
sion of pathos which nothing else can im
part. I have never seen a face which
these same muscles act as perfectly as in
Nell's and as I know the signs of the
times, I ask what is the mattei, as an
affectionate brother should.
This is going to be an unlucky day,"
says Nell, with a deep sigh, and a more
rueful expression than ever upon her pret
I is a very pretty little face, round and
fair, rose-tinted, and dimpled a ravir,
lighted up by two deep blue innocent
eyes, and crowned by crisp waves of
bright brown haira very pretty little
face, and generally a bright and cheeiful
one. When Nell makes her little speech
about the "unlucky day," I know what has
brought the cloud upon it.
"My dear," I say, sagely, "you arc too
old for such follies. Have your repeated
youthful perusals of Rosamond instilled
no wisdom into your mind? Do you not
know that whether a day is lucky or un
lucky depends upon ourselves?"
"I wish you wouldn't be' so deadly
wise," says Nell with a deep sigh. That
is the last and bitterest drop in the cup
otadyersity. None of my ill luck this
morning was of my own makingso,
That "so, now!" is delivered so vicious
ly, and reminds me so forcibly of our
childish days, tbat I laugh.
"Suppose you tell me what these dread
ful tribulations were?" I say, soothingly,
for pathos is extremely unbecoming to
Nell's style, and I am proud enough of my
little sister to like to see her always at
"Well," says Nell slowly, "in the first
place, I left my pet begonia on the win
dow-sill, as I often do. I is abroad sill,
you know, and I thought it safe but the
wind came up in the night and blew it
down, and broke the pot."
"Shall I go and see about it?" I asked,
"No," said Nell, shakibg her head I
did it myself. But don't you think, Cyril,
there was a great earth-worm in the pot.quarter
Of all things on earth, I hate earth-worms
and there was the great slimy thing wrig
gling about on the floor of my room. I
had to take it up myself on the dust-pan,
and throw it out of the window. Ugh!"
"If the begonia was not seriously in
jured," I say, as Nell pauses for a little
shudder, "it was a very good thing that
the pot did break. The worm would
have killed the plant, sooner or later, if it
had stayed there. Then just think how
uncomfortable the poor thing must have
been, all cramped up in that little place.
As far as I can see, your first piece of ill
luck was very good for all three of you
the begonia, the worm, and you."
"Or, he worm!" says Nell, scornfully
"But that is only the beginning- I
thought I ncvei should be ready for
breakfast, for every thing went wron"-.
In the fiist place, I dropped one of my
jet eai-rings, spent a quarter of an houi
in hunting for it, and only found it at
last by setting my foot on it and smash
ing it. And only think ,Cynl," cries Nell,
in .1 brisker tone, "while I was looking
for it I found toy pearl ring that I thought
I had lost while we were out boating last
week It was under a corner of the carpet,
where it might ,iv staid until we clean
liause again, if I hadn't just happened to
"Good luck out of ill again," I say.
"Besides, as this is a furnished house, it
niight.haAe lain there forever, if we leave
it ne\r spring What else?"
(1 ring is worth ten times as much
as tlv lnoken ear-ring, and I know that
Nell values it still more on other grounds
but of that I say nothing.)
"Then I could not get my hair up
right, do what I would," says Nell. I
took it clown six times, and at last had to
let it go as it would."
"Which happens to be the most be
coming way in which I ever saw you
wear it," I say. "Take advantage of the
accident, and never wear it otherwise."
Nell's face dimples a littlea very lit
tle- at that but the look of care comes
down as she goes on.
"I told a boy yesterday to come this
morning to do a little weeding," she
says. "He came earlier than I expected,
and began on his own account. When 1
went down to look after him, I found
that he had pulled up about half mv
"Admirable I" I say. "You never have
the heart to thin out your flowers suffi
ciently yourself. You will see that the
mignonette he left will be the finest you
"I wish you'd hush!" wails Nell, dis
consolately. "Can't you let me be miser
able if I want to? Tnere is nothing more
maddening than to have people persist in
being cheerful ov your misfortunes. It's
my ill luck and I don't see why you need
meddle with it."
"It will be my ill luck if you don't
give me my breakfast pretty soon," I say,
laughing, for Nell's eyes are twinkling
in spite of her savage words.
Nell pours out coffee while I carve
our favorite dishbeefsteak and mushs
rooms. Nell just tastes hers, and lay
down her knife and fork.
"That is the climax!" she says, with
the calmness of despair.
I taste, and tuen lay down my knife
and for* also.
"What is it?" I ask.
"Bridget has put sugar upon the steak
instead of salt," she says. "Perhaps you
will bo kind enough to evolve a little good
luck out of this also."
"No," I say, deciedly. "It is beyond
my power to see any good luck in having
your breaktat spoiled."
"I thought so," says Nell, laughing.
"It is easy enough to be philosophical
over other people's woes, but when it
comes to your own it is a different mat
ter. Suppose you see bow you like it
yourself! I prophesy that somebody will
invite you to lunch at De'monico's, and
you will have all the more appetite for
not having had any breakfast. Oh! I
forgot, though. You can't lunch at
I lapse into thoughts of the little girl
AY ho is waiting patiently up among the
New England hills, in the old college town
where I studiedthe little girl at whose
existence Nell has never guessed. Nell,
at home, is dreaming of Miles Gaston,
whom she is to meet at the picnic this
afternoon. I must not be late for the
picnia, by-the-way, so I rouse myself,
shake off my dreaming, and go to work
with a will.
When reached home again, tired in
mind and body from the effect of crowd
ing along day's work into less than a
half a day, Nell is not watching for me,
as I fully expect to find her. Vainly do
I search every room of our tiny .domi
cile, vainly do I shout Nell's name from
the top to the bottom of the house. I is
very strange, for I made sure that Nell
would be ready and waiting for me, wor
rying herself, after her habit, with vain
fears that I had missed the train. We
are to start for the picnic at half past
three o'clock, and it is now lacks only a
of three. I am just about to start
out on a wild search through the neigh
borhood when, from the window, I see
her hurrying up to the door. She has
come, evidently, from one of the neigh
bors' houses, and her face has a flushed,
frightened look, which for the moment
"Oh, Cyril!" she cries, at sight of me,
"I had no idea that it was so late, but I
couldn't help it. Oh, Cyril! After all,
it was the luckiest thing. Those poor
children! If Bridget had not made that
mistake, we should have eaten them, and
there would have been no picnic nor any
thing else for us."
"Children? Bridget?" I exclaim, in ut
ter bewildeiment. "Is Bridget one of
the 'children* you are talking about? And
why on eaith should we eat her?"
I laughed as the vision of that stuidy,
red-faced Milesian rises before me. What
a dainty meal the "poor child" would
make, to be sure! But Nell is half cry
ing with vexation at my stupidity and
her own inability to explain
"Not BridgetMrs. Lounsbury's chil
dren. They have been so sick! And just
think, only for Bridget's blunder we
should have taken them, and then"
"My dear Nell, do consider what you
are saying," I cry, aghast. I never eat
babiesnever. I do assure you. And if
you are in the habit of doing so privately,
pray don't expose yourself in this way.
Public opmon will never sustain you.
You have evidently been reading Swift,
but pray remember that he is long since
dead, and his advice upon the subject
was never adopted indeed it was never
meant for anything but a canard. lam
sorry to learn that you took the whole
thing in good faith."
"Are you mad, Cyril?" asked Nell,
looking up at me in round-eyed amaze
ment. "What do you mean by your
'swifts' and your
home early to go to* the picnic. You
I promise and then, as the whistle
sounds, I catch up my hat, and rush off
to the station, which is only five minutes'
run from our house.
Nell and I, as you may judge from the
above conversation, are brother and sister,
and we live alone together, the jolliest,
cosiest couple that evei was seen. So
every one says, and if there is a little pri
vate worm gnawing at the heart of one
of us, it is never confessed to any one,
least of all to the other. The state of the
case is this: I am a lawyer with a tolerable
practice for a young man. Nell is a
"tocherless lass," and the income which
I make, just avails, with care and econo
my, for the support of two. with no
amount of figuring or calculating can I
force myself to believe that it will avail
for more. Nell has never guessed my
secret, never shall guess it until the day
comes when it need be a secret no longer.
But though she has never guessed mine,
I have divined hers long ago. I know
that the pearl ring which Nell treasures
so fondly is the gift of young Dr. Gaston,
and I know that Neil's eyes are brighter
and her smiles shyer aud sweeter when
he is here. He does not cme very often,
for the town where he is striving to build
up a practice is ten miles away, and a
young doctor must be always upon the
spot. The prospect before Nell and him
is vagueindeed, as vague as my
There is just one possible spot of light In
in our future. Aunt JaneAunt Jane
Rumseyis an old, a very old lady.
She is infirm, she is irritable, she is ca
pricious, but she is rich. We scarcely
know her, for she has never manifested
any affection for us, hardly betraying a
consciousness of our existence, anct Nell
and I are no toadies. We are her only
living relations, though, and even? body
says that sooner or later her money must
come to us. We never talk about it, never
build upon it, never mention the possi
bility to any one. Why should we talk
of what may come to nothing? Onlyif
it ever does!
lcanardsV Swifts are
swallows, I believe, and canards is the
French for duck. I know, but what of
that? Did you have duck for lunch? But
you couldn't have had swallows. May
be you swallowed the duck, though?"
"What a horrible pun, Nell!" I say,
severely: "and not even fresh but Nell
laughs, and went on:
"Now let me tell you straight ahead,
and without any more nonsense, what I
mean, and then I must run up and dress.
About eleven o'clock I saw the doctor go
ing into Mrs. Lounsbury's, and of course
I ran over to see what was the mattei. I
found that Teddy and Mamie had both
been taken suddenly and violently ill.
Wo en the doctor came he asked what
taey had been eating. I seems that Mrs.
Lounsbury bought all that I left of the
lot of mushrooms which a man brought
to our doois yesterday. You know how
delighted I was to get them, and how
vexed we both were that Bridget spoiled
the steak by her stupid blunder."
Nell's face is quite white as she ends
and for mewell, there are pleasanter
ways of departing is life, even if you
are ready to do so, toan by means of
"How are the children?" I
reflecting for a few minutes
"Oh, they are out of danger now," says
Nell. I left Bridget oyer there to help
them, for they have all been more or less
sick. Now I must go up and dress. I'm for Nell's accident we should have gone,
going to dazzle you when I come down This picnic was gotten up by a small
but ysu need not be alarmed. My cos
tume combines economy and splendor.
You will be dazzled, but not ruined."
"Perhaps some one else may be even
more dazzled than I," I say and Nell
laughs and runs away, blushing very
Ten minutes afterward there is a crash
and a shriek overhead. I fly up, four
steps at at a time, to find Nell lying on
the floor beneath the ruins of a ward
robe, which she has somehow managed
to pull over on herself. The wardrobe is
in such a state of universal smash that it
is very easy to clear away the wreck and
raise Nell in my arms. She opens her
eves as I lay her upon her bed, and asks,
faintly: "What is it? Has the world
come to an end?"
"Not just yet," I reply "but what
have you been doing?"
Then her senses come back to her, and
she raises herself upon her right elbow.
"It was the wardrobe," she says. I re
member now. The door stuck, and
was in a hurry, and tried to jerk it open.
Then the whole thing seemed to jump at
me, and I was so frightened that I
screamed, and, I suppose, fainted. I'm
all right now, though, and there's noth
ing to hinder our starting."
"Look at your dress," is my only re
Nell looks, and nearly faints again
for the lovely dress is soiled and torn be
yond all hope of restoration.
"It is better for your dress to be torn
than for your bones to be broken," I say,
consolingly but Nell shakes her head
in dubious dissent.
"Bones will grow together again, but
clothes won't," she says, ruefully. "If
you only knew the time and thought I
have spent on that dress, Cyril. I twas
made out of three old ones, and cost ab
solutely nothing, except time and pains,
yet it was fresh, and pretty, and becom
ing. And my hat matched it precisely
straw-color and blue,you see and Oh!"
cries Nell, as she catches sight of herself
in the glass.
I have not had the heart to tell her
that the hat is an even more hopeless
than the dress. Such a forlorn,
battered, dissipated-looking object it is,
with one wheat ear perking up jocosely
ovei the left ear, ana one forget-me-not
drooping dejectedly over the right eye,
that even Nell herself is forced to laugh.
"It is hopeless," sighs Nell and just
then toe whistle sounds and we realize
that the last chance of the picnic is over
"The end of an unlucky day," says Nell,
as the sun touches the horizon.
It is net quite the end, though, for the
evening mail is still to come in. It brings
a paper for me and a letter for Nell, both
of which bear the same postmark. I
open the paper, while Nell is still study
ing the direction of her tetter, after the
manner of all of us. The first thing up
on which my eye falls is a paragraph
around which some careful hand has
drawn broad blacn lines.
"Aunt Jane is dead I exclaim and
then, as I look at the date of the paper, I
add, "Buried too, by this time."
Nell looks up with a start.
"Aunt Jane she cries. "And my let
ter is from Lanny Blatchford, who "lives
next door to her."
She studies the direction no longer, but
tears the letter hastily open.
"Just what we might expect, coming
on this day," she says at last. "Say what
you will, Cyril, it is an unlucky day,"
"More than unlucky if your letter con
tains the news that I suppose it does," I
How the dim years stretch away before
me as I speakthe years that it will take
Dr. Gaston to build up his practice, the
years that it will take me to build up
mine and all the time the dear little
girl, of whom Nell knows nothing, wait
ing patiently in the shadows of the New
England hills! I wrench myself away
from such thoughts with an effort, and
listen to what Nell has to say.
"Isn't it a shame?" she is saying, when
I come to myself. "If we never loved
Aunt Jane, it was because she never gave
us a chance and if she never cared any
thing for us, at least we were her only
living relations. We could hardly have
expected her to remember us in her will,
I suppose but the least she could have
done, for the credit of the family, was to
die without one. Ti en we should have
had it in the course of nature and law.mind.
But to go and leave it all to this man"
"What man?" I ask, for, as I have said,
my thoughts have been wandeiinu while
"I don't know." Nell says, consulting
her letter again. "Fanny does not men
tion his name perhaps she did not know
it. 'They say that your aunt, Miss Rum
sey, has left all her money to the son of a
man whom she jilted when she washead
young. No doubt she flattered herself
that it was a touch of "poetic justice,"
but I must say I think the plain prosaic
ustjee of leaving it to her relations would
have been nearer the right thing.' Of
course it is all left to some Crcesus, to
whom it will be but a drop in the bucket,"
says Nell bitterly. "That's the way things
always go in tt.is world, while we Oh,
Cyril, why don't you say something? Isn't
it too bad, and isnH it an unlucky day?"
"I suppose it is," I say moodily. I
confess I cannot see ho we aie to find
any good in this."
We spend our evening gloomily enough,
in spite of our efforts to cheer up and for
get I read a little to Nell from dear
old Fha, and wc try a game of cribbage,
of which Nell soontires. At nine o'clock
we bid each other good-night in sheer
We are a little more cheerful over the
breakfast table. Things can not look
they did i,n the evening's shadows. Nell
laughs a little as she ventures a hope
that to-day will not be such a chain of
misadventures as yesterday proved, and
I forbear to rebuke ner. Bridget is bring
ing in the hot cakes in installments, and
as she sets the plate containing the third
batch upon the table, we notice that she
is looking at us curiouslv. Evidently
she would fain speak, but respect restrains
"What is it. Bridget?" Nell asks, kind
Tim the Irish tongue breaks bounds.
"Surof miss," she cries, "and haven't you
heard An'wasn't it a blessed thing in
tirely that you tore your dress an'couldn't
go to the picnicbad cess to it and its
like! The milkman was just after telling
me all about it. Ivery one o'thim'niver
a one savedthe purty dears! O wirra,
Bridget is on the point of breaking into
a genuine Irish cry, but Nell's words,
quick and eager,, nip it in bud
"What do you mean,Bridget? What is it?
What have you heard?"
Bridget's tale is not easy to understan
diversived as it is by comments, and em
bellished with interjections. By dint of
painful and skillful questionings, how
ever, we elicit the truth at last. That
truth concerns the picnic to which but
J, i JJJ.
V? JXSS!J**. S *JT "Me rer. instead of the uh-
pai ty of friends from our own town. We
were to have gone by rail to a spot five
miles distant, there to pick up Dr. Gas
ton, and transfer ourselves to a huge
wagon whuSh was to meet us. This part
of the programme seems to have been
carried out, in spite of Nell's and my de
fection. The excursion came to an ab
rupt conclusion, however for, barely
half a mile from the station, the horses
took fright, ran violently down a steep
hill and upset the wagon at the bottom.
Two of the occupants were killed outright,
so Bridget reports, but who they were
she cannot say. Of the rest nbt one
escaped without injuries more or less
I looked at Nell. She was white to the
lips, and her eyes looked big and wild.
"Another incident of your 'unlucky
day' which turns out the best of good
luck," I say, not having as yet taken in
the full sense of the catastrophe. "Ain't
you rather glad than otherwise now that
you pulled down the waidrobe?"
"Cyril!" cries Nell, in a shrill voice,
which I hardly recognized as hers. "How
can I be glad*" Two were killed outright,
and Miles Gaston was there."
I pause in horror. Then I begin to
argue. The names of those who were
killed are not known. Surely a rising
young physician like Dr. Gaston would
be one of the first to be mentioned if he
were one of the victims. But even as I
speak my heart sinks for I remember that
Dr. Gaston and another young man were
the only two that were not from our town,
the two, therefore, whose names were
least likely to be known.
Nell seems frozen to a statue. She
scarcely speaks. Only her dry lips whis
per: "You will go and find out, will you
not, Cyril dear?"
Of course I will go but just as I reach
the door I meet Dr Gaston himself rush
ing down the street from the station.
"You here? Thank God!" he cries.
"But Nellis she hurt? Is she" He
pauses, unable to articulate the last word,
but I hasten to put him out of his misery.
"Nell is here, all right. Wre
to the picnic. An accident prevented.
"I did not go either," says Dr. Gaston.
"I was called out unexpectedly for a pro
fessional visit. It was a critical case, and
I could not leave until too late for the
train. I only heard of the accident this
morning, and came down at once."
It is gooa to see the rosy glow which
chases away Nell's pallor as I usher Dr.
Gaston into the dining-room. I is good
to see the light of love and gratitude
which shines from his eyes as he sees her.
I leave them alone as I catch up my hat
and make my usual frantic rush for the
train, which again as usual I barely suc
ceed in catching.
Somehow I cannot work to-day. My
nerves are unstrung, my brain hangs fire.
Thoughts of the accident, wonder as to
the real state of the case, fear as to which
of our friends may have suffered, crowd
my mind. A remembrance of Aunt
Jane's cruel will intrudes now and then
but I put it away. "No use crying over
spilled milk," no use in brooding over
what can not be helped. Let the matf,
whoever he may be, enjoy Aunt Jane's
fortune. For us, for all four of us, it is
only afewyeais more of working and
waiting, and then Well, what then?
Success and happiness? Failure and
separation? Or a quiet grave in some
lonely church-yard before the race is run
and the goal is" reached? Bah! no use in
sitting in my office thinking such drivel
ling thoughts as tnese. Better to go home,
set my mind at ease, and take the rest
which my nerves demand. To-morrow I
shall come back all the fresher to my
Nell meets me at the door of our
house. On her face is a glow, in her eyes
a tender light such as I have never seen
there before. She kisses me softly, then
follows me into the house, and hovers
about me daintily with wistful looks and
broken, half-whispered words.
"Cyril," she says at last, and then
"What is it little sister?" I ask, for the
shy radiance of her face moves me some
how to fresh tenderness.
"Cyril," she begins again, "Do you
want to get of mcf
I stop short, and look at her in amaze
men feeling half guilty in my own
"Get rid of you?"*i say. "Wh
has been putting notions into your head,
child? What should I do without my
"That is iust what I have been think-
ing," says Nell, shyly. "Just what I
told Miles when he wanted"
"Well, what did 'Miles' want?" I ask,
as Nell stops.
"He wants," said Nell, hanging Ler
low and speaking in a voice hich
seems half stifled by her blushes"he
wants me to marry him in the fall."
"Marry him!" I shout, in my first
amazement, "Marry him on his present
income? Do you meditate a diet of locusts
and wild honey? You will find even
those beyond your reacli in winter,
"No, but, Cyril," says Nell, softly.
"Dont be angry, butit was to Miles
that Aunt Jane left her money. It was
his father that she jilted when they were
both young. And soyou don't" mind,
Mind? Why should I mind'1
not the money that I cared about. My
income will still be enough for A o, and
Nell will be happy, and
"And do you know, Cyril," Nell goes
on, Miles says that he never would have
married me to live on my money. Only
for Aunt Jane's will we should have had
to wait still and weren't you right? and
wasn't yesterday the dearest, blessedest
lucky one that I, like a little goose, call
ed it? And so, if you can find a nice
motherly old housekeeper to take care of
you until you can'put some sweet girl,
sued as you deserve, in my place"
I laugh out. I cannot help it
"Never you mind, Miss Nell," I say.
"I will make shift to take care of myself.
Go your way, and never worry you little
head about your stupid old brother."
Well, there is little more to tell. The
report of the accident had been exagger
ated, as reports always are. The two who
were killed were the horses, while the
passengers escaped miraculously, There
was one broken collar-bone, and bruises,
scratches, and sbrams innumerable
enough to break up the picnic, and make
us thankful that wc were not there (especi
ally as Dr. Gaston was also absent), but
hardly enough to cloud our happiness
The days of waiting are over now for
all of usfor Nell and Dr. Gaston, for
my little girl and me. Not the least
talked over of our memories is the episode
of the unlucky day, whith, we fancy,
brought about the happiness of all four
Montevideo Ventilator: Track laying
west of us is progressing at the rate of
about one mile per day, and if the prepara
tory work does not interfere the'iron rail
will stretch from this plaee to the foot of
Big Stone Lake by the 1st of September.
Far, on the brink of day,
Thou standest as the hearld of the dawn
Ere fades the night's last flickering spark away
In the rich blaze of morn.
Above the eternal snows.
By winter scattered on the mountain height
To shroud the centuries thy visage glows
With a prophetic light.
Calm is thine awful brow
As when thy presence shrined divinity
Between the flaming cherubim, so now
Its shadow clings to thee.
Yet, as an angel mild,
Thou,in the ton id noon, with sheltering wing.
Dost o'er the earth, as on a weary child,
A soothing influende bring.
And when the evening dies,
Still too thy fiinged vesture cleaves the light,
The last sad glimmer of her tearful eyes,
On the dark verge of night.
So, soon thy glories wane!
Thou, too, must mourn the rose of morning
Cold creeps the fatal shadow o'er thy train,
And settles on my head.
My heait as years go by
Yearns for the chaim that woedits ravished
The sympathy of natuic wakes a sig h,
And thus its thoughts betrays.
Thou, like the cloud, my soul,
Dost thy self, of beauty naught possess
Devoid the light of Heaven, a vapor foul,
The veil of nothingness.
I Harper's Magazine.
"David, d'ye think it's comin' on to a
It looks like it up in the no'theast.
Seems to be a-fillin' in to leeward, too."
"Yes, it looks bad all 'round. I guess
we'd better count on bunking at the sta
"Well, s'pose we must, if you say so.
Sarah has been a-watching the weather
all the afternoon. Seems as though she
knows when I've got to go on station
'fore I go myself. She don't like to have
me leave her alone with the children
and to tell the ?ruth, cap'n, I don't really
like to do it myself. If I was a young
feller without a family. I wouldn't mind
"Neither would I, David and yet I
don't want recklesss young chaps in my
ere w. Boys that think it's kind of a lark
to spend the night at the etation will do
very well in ordinary times, but if it
comes to going off in the boat I'd rather
rest my life with steady men, who know
just what the danger is and are wil lin'
to face it men who go because it's a
Christian duty and if there some one
praying for 'em at home, so much the
"Of course I'm ready to go, cap'n. Do
you think we'd better muster the whole
"Better notify 'em to come down if it
turns out a rough night, David. If the
wind off shoro is shifting to nor'ward,
we shall catch it heavy before mid
"Very well, I'll send Steve Hendnck
son 'round to tell the men."
"Yes and let him come down to the
station and get my mare. I'll go and
saddler her for him. Tell him to come
ready to stay all night, for we may want
him if anything happens."
"Steve is too good a boy to lose," mused
Capt. Wooley, as he turned back to the
life-saving station of which he was the
keeper. "He is doing all he can to sup
port his mother, and will make a true
man. I'll keep him in the house to-night,
and not put him to rough service. He
had a narrow escape in the last storm,
and some one else can take the chances
The keeper was as good as his word,
and when Stephen returned from bis
round among the crew of t-e station he
found his orders were to take charge of
the house, keep up the fires and have hot
coffee ready when the men came off duty.
This was dull music for an active, daring
boy, accustomed to exposure and eager
for adventure but Capt. Wooley's crew,
although volunteers, always obeyed orders
The storm came down heavily during
the night, and a watch was detailed to
patrol the beach, about half the men go
ing out. Toward midnight a call came
for help from station No. 7, the next sta
tion up the beach. There was a wreck
ashore near the line between the two dis
tricts, and Capt. Wooley went up with
the remainder of the crew.
Stephen was left alone, with only the
fire for company. He round the hours
passed very slowly. He had been hurt
in a pievious storm, and laid up at home
for several weeks. Money bad run low
the while, and the time was near at hand
when the interest of a mortgage on his
mother's place would fall due.
His thoughts, as he sat by the fire, were
not pleasant, for his mother had no one
but him to depend on, and he puzzled
over all sorts of vain plans for raising the
needed money before quarter-day.
He was only a lad of fifteen years.
This caie weighed upon him heavily.
Besides the fear of trouble in case tnc in
terest was not forthcoming, he had an
old-fashioned feeling of honor adout pay
ing a debt when it was due.
With this anxiety on his mind he
dropped into a dose, and dreamed of see
ing a mm bow over the sea, with one end
jesting on the beech. He remembeied
in his dream the couplet:
"Wheie a lainbow touches ground
A pot of money may be found."
He thought: "Of course there isn't
any money there, but I'll just dig down
a little ways for fun and he was straf
ing for tue spot when he heard voices
'Here, Steve! Here's the money over
He sprang up, hardly knowing whether
he was asleep or awake, and presently
heard Dave Throckmorton's voice hail
"Here, Steve! show a light, can't
He ran and threw open the door, and
Dave came in with another of the crew
bearing the lifeless form of a man on a
stretcher, with a tarpaulin thrown over
"He's gone, I guess," said David.
"We dragged him out of the surf, but a
baoken spar struck him, and I'm afraid
he's past help
They laid the bruised figure carefully
in a bunk, and then hastened back to
the scene of the wreck. But Stephen,
after examing the injured man, came to
the conclusion tbat life was not extinct,
and he therefore set to work, applying
such restoratives as t'ie station afforded.
The limp form was that of a young
man, whose fair skin and soft hands told
that he was not a sailor. Brown curls
were matted over the pallid face. The
lips were drawn tight over clenchetiwhite
teeth, but Stephen saw, with anew sense
of pity, that the fea ures were cast in a
pleasant winsome mold.
The lad worked industnously and in
telligently, experience having taught him
what to do, and after a time he had the
satisfaction of seeing his patient's eyes
slowly open. Having succeeded in re-
ji i War
storing consciousuess, Stephen adminis- neighbors'kitchen chimneys. Hastening
tered stimulants and nourishment accor- down to the station, he found Capt.
ding to his best judgment- Wooley standing in the door, in angry
The night wore slowly away, and still discussion with a low-browed, black-vis-
no one came from the wreck. aged man in sailor togs.
The "rescue," as those are called who 'Longshore pirates'." the man was
have been rescued from the sea, breathed saying as Stephen came up.
enough to show that life still lingered,
and no more.
After a time the fire burned low' anddred
Stephen rose to put on more wood.
While drawing the coals together, he
was startled by a cry from the bunk, and
turning toward it, he saw his ward trying
tc raise himself from the bed,
"Help! help!" called the "rescue."
"Help me up!"
"No, no!" cried Stephen in alarm.
"Lie still it may be the death of you to
"I'm going fast. Lift me up!" and as
he gasped the words, the young man ac
tually succeeded in drawing himself up
into a sitting posture though the struggle
to do so was evidently terrible.
"Cut open my shirt," he said faintly
and as Stephen hastened to comply, he
"Now unfasten my belt."
Drawing the belt from around his
waist, he handed it to Stephen, saying:
"Take this and"
The sentence was never finished. The
words expired on the speaker's lips. He
sank forward and his hands dropped
heavily on the bed.
Stephen hurriedly thrust the belt into
his guernsey, caught the falling form in
his arms, and endeavored once more to
revive the fading spark of life. He labor
ed earnestlv and long' using every means
he could think of, but in vain.
Convinced at last that his task was
hopeless, Stephen turned from the bunk
worn out and sad at heart. He fqund bis
neglected fire bad burned to ashes on the
hearth, and while he was rebuilding it the
crew of the station returned from the
wreck. They brought with them several
"rescues" the room at station No. 7 being
Among those they brought was a wom
an and child, whom Capt. Wooley con
signed to Stephen's care, asking him to
take them home to his mother, who would
provide for their wants and make them
The lad took the little one on his arm
and carrying a ship's lantern, he led the
way home. His mother was up waiting
for him, fast asleep in his arm-chair. He
gave the shipwrecked mother and baby
into her charge, and then wearily went to
his own room for a few hours' test.
On taking off his guernsey, the belt fell
to the floor.
"There," he said to himself, "how stu
pid That is a money-belt probably, and
I ought to have turned it over to Captain
Then thinking there might be wet pa
pers in the belt, he decided to open it,
and spread the contents on the floor to
He knelt down, unfastened the straps,
and turned back the lappets.
There was a paper in the wallet quite
dry, the belt being waterproof. He
picked up the paper, and under it lay a
package of money.
He placed the light on the floar, and
regarded the package with curious inter
est. As 'e looked he saw to his amaze
ment on the top f the package a thous
He had never seen so much money in
his life, and had not known befor that
there was a thousand-dollar bank-bill
in the world.
He stared at it as if fasinated, and
poured over it with intense scrutiny until
every line was stamped upon his mind.
After a time the thought came.
"Whose money is this?"
He had been cold, kneeling on the floor
partly undressed, but now a feverish heat
flashed over him, as a thought came of all
he could accomplish with this money ly
ing before his dazzled eyes if it were only
And why not his own? To whom did
it belong it not to him? Wasn't the belt
a fair prize cast up by the sea, with no
one to claim it?
No living soul piobably had any knowl
edge of the belt or the money, and all he
had to do wasto do nothing. The belt
had been given to himwhy should he
give it to some one else who had no more
claim to it than he.
But then Capt. Wooley was very scru
pulous to have everything of value turned
over to the proper officials and duly ac
Well, perhaps the belt ought to be
given up but then two of those wonder,
ml big bills would pay off the mortgage
There were other bills in the package,
and two of them would hardly be missed
two out of so many would be no move
than a fair salvage, and no one need ever
know a word about it.
As these suggestions whirled through
his mind the boy took up the belt, put it
under his pillow, and crawled into bed.
He was sorely tired, but so desperately
wide awake that it seemed as though he
could never sleep again. He tossed from
one side of the bed to the other, and
rolled over and over, unable to be still an
A tnousand projects came to his mind
for quietly buying up the mortgage
without anyone being the wiser, not even
His thoughts seem to run like lightn
ing and his head throbbed violently.
His eyes were burning hot and the lids
refused to close. Ever before them he
could see that thousand dollar bill, as if
in a picture of fire.
His mouth and throat were parched,
and his lips were dry, and at last he bad
to sit up in bed, so intense were his feel
ings. Then, in his distress, it occurred
to him that he had neglected to say the
prayer his mother had taught him to
repeat every night on goingtobed.
Stephen was not a religious boy
thinking about as much and about as lit
tle of religious matters as active, driving
boys of his age usually dobut he loved
his mother, and had always beyed her
wishes as well as her commands."
Half mechanically and by force of
habit he now slipped out of his bed and
knelt beside it, to render thanks and im
plore protection in the simple form of
words he had learned at his mother's
He felt strangely uncomfortable as he
bowed his head upon his hands. His
mind was in such a turmoil that he hardly
realized what he was saying but when
the words, "Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us srom ev\l," rose to his lips,
a sharp sense of their mighty meaning
came upon him.
So strong was this that he saw the
right as he had not felt it before, and
sprang to his feet, hurried on his clothes,
seized the belt in one hand and his boots
in e' other, and ran down stairs in his
As he opened the door the gray light of
early morning stole in, and through the
rain that was still falling he could see
the smoke curling over the tops of the
Pirates!" shouted the captain, hot
with wrath. "We've saved many a hun
thousand dollars first and last, and
no one ever lost a dollar by us since I've
been on this shore!"
"Cap'n said Stephen, "Here's a belt
the poor fellow in the bunk had on last
night. I ought to have turned it in when
you came back from the wreck, but I
forgot it at the mament."
"There!" cried the captain "Whatdid
I tell you? I knew money would turn
up if it was on our shore?"*
"Yes, yes!" said the dark-looking man
"that's it. Give it here I'll take charge
"Not much!" answered Capt Wooley.
"You may be the young man's brother,
as you claim, but if so your looks belie
you. 1*11 put the seal of the United States
Life-Saving Service on his effects, and
his relatives *ill get posession in due
course, and if you are one, you'll then get
The black-browed sailor turned away
looking blacker than ever, and was no
more seen at station No. 6. When he
was gone, the captain commended Steph
en for bringinar back the money bnt the
boy, red with shame and contrition,
stopped him, and humbly confessed how
he had been tempted and how saved.
The captain was troubled with a little
fit of coughing just then, and somehow he
could hot see very well for a few minutes.
Then he was quite grave, and for a long
time silent but he never seemed to think
any the less of Stephen after all.
He told the story of the belt to the
friends of the deceased when tney came
down from New York a day or two later,
and for years afterward, until the mort
gage was paid off, a check for the amo nt
of the interest regularly came by mail to
Mrs Hendrickson just before quarter
THE SONG OF THE FIDDLER MAN.
BY MAKY E C. WYETH.
The fiddler man was old and gray,
The fiddler man was thin
And his fiddle it had a gruesome crack
All up and down its poor old back,
And it let a discoid in.
But wheiever he went, or wherever he came,
The fiddler's welcome was ever the same
And the song that he sang had a cheery
All day as he tiaveled his weary iound
"The sun may shine, and the ram may fall,
But the good God ruleth over all,"
Sang the fiddler old and gray.
The fiddlei man had neither lands,
Nor flocks, nor herds, nor gold,
He earned what he had of meat and drink,
And lodging, and clothes, and a bit of chink
With his fiddle so cracked and old
As up and down through each street and
In the sultry sun or the chilling rain,
With twanging string, but with cheery
He fiddled, and sang the old refrain
"The sun may shine, and the rain may fall,
But the good God ruleth over all,
And all are fed by his hands."
The fiddler man had wealth untold,
Ay, sure he had great gain
For he came and went, as free as air,
And his blows were bent with no brooding
As he trudged through street and lane.
And o'er city pavements hot and dry.
Or in grassy lanes, 'neath the open sky,
As he toiled along on his busy feet
The childien hastened his steps to greet,
As he cheerily sang to the great and small
Of the God who ruleth over ail.
And whose love is better than gold.
Ah, fiddler man, the grass is green
Above the giaveyard hill
And the fiddle that had such a gruesome
All up and down its poor old back
Forevertoore is still
But wherever they name the fiddler's name,
Its kindly welcome is ever the same
In the rose-edged lane or the city's street,
Wheie oft went straying his weary feet,
Fond hearts re-echo the cheery sound
Cf the fiddler's song, with us faith profouud
"Though the sun may shine or the ram mav
Yet the dear God ruleth over all"
So they keep hio memorj green
How He Got Rid of Rats.
A gentleman residing near the waters
of the raging canal was pestered with
rats. He was a plasterer. His shop, and
house adjoining, were overrun with rats.
His flour barrel, his bread basket and his
pantry were invaded by them, and he de
termined to be rid of the pests. He tried
several remedies, but the rats did not di
minish perceptibly, while his provisions
did envaribly diminish. The tats would
come out of their haunts in the canal bank
on fine days and go through company drill.
They would even stand up on their hind
feet and throw kisses at the hired girl
when she turned afresh pan of cold piec
es into the swill tub, and would then im
mediately start for the tub. Tiie man of
the house grew restless and impatient.
He tried the shotgun, aud by the time he
had killed a few with that, the great re
mainder baa learned how to dodge the
gun. He could not sit up nights to kill
those rats wit I a club, so what should he
do? He would feed the rats with what he
thought he could best afford. He thought
he would kill them with kindness, if he
could ho it in no other way. So he mixed
wheat flour and plaster of Pans, half and
half in liberal quantity, and set it down
where it would be convenient for the rat
to get at it. Be it remembered, just hero
that any place was convenient for them
to get at. The rats gathered around the
festive board as numerously as sisters
gather at a free lunch, and they ate their
fill, leaving nothing. I twas rather a dry
meal, but the canal was ever so handy,
and to it they went to drink. The plas
terer, when he found the mixture all
eaten, made up his mind that if the ro
dents could flourish on that kind of food
they could digest anything and every
thing. The next day the rats were around
as usual, but they did not appear to have
much appetite. They did not make bold
to go into the cellar or snap up every
thing that was thrown out. They ap
peared rather dozy. On the second day
all the rats were dead, and the plasterer
was thenceforth bothered with them no
more. A post m examination showed
that the plaster had set within them.
SHAD I N ARKANSAS,-For the third sea
son, genuine shad have appeared in the
Washita River, Ark. The first season few
were caught last year only about thirty or
forty were taken to market but this spring
the ran has been tremendous, and the river
dwellers are in a high state of jubilation
over the new supply of brain food There
have been shad and rumors of shad time
and again in the Valley of Hot Water, but
the fish have invariably turned out to be
gizzard shad and a gizzard shad is no
more a shamd thanS a is a cat. This
additione. to the food fishes of Arkansas is
^uts of the labor
of the United States Fish Commisson, upon
which Professor Balrd and his able corps of
assistants axe to be congratulated.