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HER CHRISTMAS GIFT,
Jloxc Frau Cordcs Preserved Her
Pitting In his shabby studio in Tv>nth-st fri.'
rounded by his mates, a poor young artist told
"A lot of stuff hns been written abrmt the
Strai ■■•>■ people in our quarter," he began, "and
a lot of lies have been spoken. We're no differ
ent from anybody else, save that perhaps wear*
poorer, more sympathetic and look out for one
another more than they do uptown.
"T;.ke Frau Cordes, for instance, who keeps a
little basement bakery and coffee house two
doors up the 6treet. Born in Hanover, where
> one is absolutely honest, schooled in Hol
t graduating to become a sort of companion
1 Ithy English travelling folk, she finally
feai ■ lure to make us omelets — the finest ome
lets n the world. Because they cost only 15
t' we f> llowa have all turned egg-arians."
"We f,'o d:>wn to Frau's to get omelets— that's
tru but we co there for other reasons. She
tri its us as if we were her own children, and
that sort of thing gnes a long way in a town like
this, when a chap's people live two thousand
mill s west, and he never haa the money to take
t::.. there to see if his owu mother ia any dif-
Xci< nt from the Frau.
"We go in there feeling all down and dia-
Ei: ted, and we come out whistling. It's always
that way. always singing, laughing, show
jokca In the papers; always asking about
bur work, wluther we've sold anything and In
quiring when we are going to bring around our
li' kings to be mended, and little things like
"I've seen her take tough looking tramps from
Eullivan-st. into her kitchen and dose them up
0.1 hot soup till tney perspired, and then turn
them out in the cold with extra rolls in their
pockets. That's charity! Burning coal in Win
ter iur a down and out loafer to warm up by,
and .^he not clearing a dollar and a half a day
Irom her business— isn't that a heart for you?
"Well, one day a mighty smooth looking chap
came in with liia wife and asked the Frau tor
t. me milk for a kitten they'd just got. They
looked liKe 'honeymooners'— were dressed 'way
up. and apparently neither had to worry about
work or the emoluments which How therefrom.
'lh< ir whole present and future seemed to be
wrapped up in getting the little white cat some
milk. We liked the picture became everything
looked straight, and the Frau, recognizing the
1 a a once- upon-a- time omelet eater, got out
to much milk that the thickheaded kitien fell
Uito the pan and was nearly drowned.
"i happened to be in the next time the chap
tsune. He wanted an omelet, a four-egt; one,
fthich was an unheard of luxury. lie took a
i ng while to get it down, because he wanted to
■Uilk ..ii the time about his wife, whom he'd just
J .iii nd, as I had supposed; what a winner she
v. as, how wealthy her people wire, and other
; nt things which never make rich artists
lin.e myself ut all envious. When he puid his
iiO cents to the Frau he went away smoking oiii
of her 10-cent cigars— the only one so high
. she had, and she only had it for exhibi
tion purposes. In a few minutes he came sw«i;
l in and took the Frau all alack by telling
Li-r he had owed her a quarter for two years foe
uu 1 inelet he'd bought before he got prosperous,
and that he wanted to pay her.
;:. cause the Fiau seemed to surprised and
8v.0.e she didn't remember it, I go; suspicious
right away. I don't know why, but from that
d .. on I believed in my bones that he was a
r. 1 didn't say anything, though.
"J-ast month, one morning when three of us
v. re in there with the lame sculptor who lives
< 1 in Tenlh-st., who should blow in with the
draught but the chivalrous, knightly kitten
c....v:i-, this time dressed in a fur collared coat.
We stopped talking a bit when we heard him
aslc the Frau if she wouldn't please cash a check
lor him. lie was so awfully polite, and he told
auch a good yarn about his bank being so far
upti srn and that his wife was waiting for him
to bring utr some money for her morning shop
ping, that the Frau dug down in her stocking
and gave Liui a handful of small bills.
"We planned then and there to watch the
elioi', because we were cocksure the check
Would Le protested. But, hearing nothing from
the Frau, we forgot all about the incident.
"Not long ago we dropped In again for dinner,
and found the poor Frau, her face down on a
Coi !tr table, crying her heart out. The check
1 >n;e back protested, and her landlord, to
whom she had given it in payment for rent,
had just left her, leaving behind him the note
a:, i a demand for protest fees. What do you
1 uf that? She clearing $1 bO v day, and
ii. , the ink off an n. g. check for $'10 that
that fellow passed off on her.
"We fcJt mighty sore over it, but all we could
co was to go over and sit still and listen to her
t le stopped, because every time ary of us
tri. d to say anything St made her feel worse.
Arid you oucrht to have scon those omelets that
night! I think she made them out of fried wood.
•The man who'd done such a trick to a woman
like the Frau was no friend of ours, so we
started on a still hunt for him. All four of us
were out till late every night last week, when
It v.lls co blooming cold, you remember, but we
couldn't find his last address. Every address
seemed to be his last, but it wasn't; toera was
CoDtlon«d on tliir.l »^c«k.
NEW-YORK TRIBUNE ILLUSTRATED SUPPLE^rENT.
A MICHIGAN SKEE JUMPEB.
Reproduced from the Christmas annual of •'Country Ufa in A: I -übllshera.
WINTER SPORT WITH SKEES OX THE SNOW.
now Treadling Is Made Easy and Rapid Advantages of Sheet Over
Snowshoe*- Wearer Can Take Long Jumps-.
To be shot through the air for a distance <f
one hundred feet is an experience which at
first thought the ordinary citizen would decline.
"All right for a circus performer." be would
doubtless say to himself, and then he would
sn;ile to think that he was not u.uite us much a
fool as others.
Such a man, however, hrts never teamed how
to skee. He has never slipped his feet into goat's
hair socks and strapped them fast to a couple
of long, narrow, smooth wooden runners. He
has never stood on the brow of the bill with a
long descending stretch of snow below 'aim and
let his Bkees go. And as his speed increases
till the landscape grows hazy and the wind
sucks his breath out of his iunga. he has never
felt himself rise Into the air bedily, and for 0
timOk sail through s^nre as if en wings. In a
word, he has never taken a "jump with akecs."
The sport of ski eing has returned to the
Adirondack^ this winter after several ye;irs in
which this form of recreation reemed to L>o dying
out. Dealers in sporting gcods in this city say
that they are receiving unusually large orders
for skees frcm up State, where the snow lies
deep, and where the wooden foot runner Is best
able to quicken the traveller's "V i. At the
same time the demand for the more cumber
some Indian snowshoe has decreased. Lumber
men in the big logging camps are buying skees
not only for their convenience in crossing path-
SKER JUMPER HIGH IN AIR.
Photograph »uade «t a European carnival. Reproduced here from the Chriatmas annual of "Owmtry
Ufo la America," by courtesy of the publishers.
less tracts of sn».w. but also for holding skpe
carnivals at which the crack Jumpers from va
rious camps meet to demonstrate the champion
ship. Winter visitors to the woods are buying
them for the fun ».f it.
a;> r»g with the large immigration •■ Scandi
navians to the Northwestern States came the
skee from Its native land of Norway and
Sweden. Th« brawny descendants of the Norse
men mingled v\ ith the Canadians v, ho came over
the h:! on their snowshos, and they filled them
with envy at the way they glided all around
them on ih-ir king; thin skeeai The Scandir.a
viana who i.!so settled across the Canadian bor
der !.•<!•. their sk .■; with th<Mn, and when the
winter came these Northmen heW their skee
tournarr.enJs, ju?t a3 th*-y were wont to do in
thtir own frozen peninsula. Gradually the skee
travelled eastward, acd now it is to be seen by
hundreds sliding neLsetessly throosh the wild
erness oi' the North Weeds.
The advanU ge of the Norwegian ikec over the
Bnoxrshoe of the Indian is that it moves faster.
When the average man stands solidly on both
feet his weight rests on about sixty square
inches. When he stands on skecs hia weight Is
distributed over ten times the area. He may
venture on the fluffy surface of nc.v fallen snow
and jret not sink more than a couple of Inches.
With pnowshoes he would not sink so far, yet,
nevertheless, he would find hl3 progress more
Impeded. The sno-vrshoe. because of Its *!/)■
flanging toe. when compared with the long;
narrow ekee, resembles the canalboat beside the
waspish torpedo boat. When his musolea prow
accustomed to the wooden runner to which his
foot Is fastened the skeeman can travel with
ease one-third more rapi<!!y than he could walk
over a hard country road In summer time. H o
can make four miles an hour without any extra
exertion, and, should rieo-siii'y arise, he can
increase his speed to eight miles an hour. Be
cause of Its smooth bottaa the sk.-e slips for
ward nearly a foot with every step, thus la.
creasing the natural stride nearly double. These
are the dimensions of a typical skee;
Length Seven fert.
Width— Four inches.
Thickness— One inch in centre, thr»e-nan r t<.--
Inch rear end, three-eighths inca fro::t ea<£
In order that the runn-r may r:j<- over L>.
stead of dig into th snow it 13 ty.-nt up at the
front end like the "prow" of a tob'-^n.-.
the end of a journey the skeeman ai.va
back the front en : so that they 1:. .
straighten out while tiuy (iry. Th-.j an I
made of ash or oak, aj.d a £ix>d pair costs „
Should one attempt to tie on a pair or s',:<^ s
to a pair of ordinary walking ?*v,«-3 he wouiij
be compelled to give up hi 3 attempt to ■ 4
after only a few st^ps. 11..-, .ga would b*
weighted down, and the rnusi lea ol ;..s ■ . ,
would Boon a 1a 1 he as if he had r ; >ne Uknngfc %
"setting up stunt" at a mffltaf] 1 . .-..?. i; ut
as soon as he se»-3 ho.v th»: veteran SI
e«iui-' -> hi:s fett he understar.'i.i }...
In Norway, the expert si ..- h k.i oj
goat's hair, which a:- o::e and nhitf tnrtHstTlli fc
Nevertheless, an towfcta ■ v ;..>.j rig
hirnstlf out with a pur or . -. , ._. : .
of so:::*; wool and some leather ar.d a f-w b . . :i
of originaiity. In addition to his 0 . y ; . -
of woollen souks, he need pull nttt
of still greater thi. kr.t-3. 00l el a strip el
ble leather, he need make himself a . ;
casts* without a sole. U:. l>.r the heel cf (fch
bottomless shoe he must fastm a .. | ;
of leather, which should project cut on e.t.Vr
side to fasten to the back straps of '.L sl.-.-^ The
leather had boat o>j pigskin, w*U Oili i. so :;. .;
it may bend as easily aa the vtoo:..:i bqcll 1.-.? a
the foot is bound to the skee by :i.-::i-.:, c' (M
straps, one over the toe a:. I fa.-:- :.•■ : | mnsja a
hole bored horizontally through the s^ee. .mi
the other made bat 111 the iieri a:. I '.-1 to the
skee in front of the boot by means of sere*3 in
the top of the runner. These backjtrap3 should
be made of bamboo wound around with copper
wir»-, and then wrapped in strong leather. The
amateur had better tarry a long pal a: orst, to
use as a brake should a stu::., su . : :.j .cc.t .
up before him while he Id counting. The :■
Norwegian skt-eman disdains a Rafl -is
nate, although he most likely used aai v»_^^ -
was a beginner.
After the amateur has learned how to .-». !e
alon? on his skees vttbOQt nndirij h:s muscica
sore the next day. he 13 ready to take lessons la
jumping Near the bottom oi a h... :. .■ L ... ij
mound o* pine bouyha, upon which ue lays a
bank of snow. He rounds off l:. k, ua»
til it lcoka like a natural knoll I I .. .:.. giaciaj
lime& .W'.v be la ready for a "try."
Bf crus^;;^ Lid akcea at ricnXanclea hetihsba
some few feel up the hU] u:.d bracc.-j ;.
against a Jncenl witll hia pole. A3 scon ac
summons up courage he drcps the i>..e. Hl3
runners move faster and faster :... tLey strike
the hummock. At tha: instant he fetis himself
shoot into the air and land with a TrMrtU PH
on the snow beyond. He has travel. -d a dis
tance of seme thirty feet, or one-half a foot
further than the world's ciiompicii for the run
ning jump with weights.
Before his second attempt from further s; tha
hill his Instructor will tell him to bend hia knees
more when he strikes the hummock. la such a
posture he will alight with leas Jar. Li:::- by
little the skee jumper increases Ma "run" Otfl
he stands at the top of the hill, a. i tak^s a
Jump of ninety or more feet with wincing.
Yet in that swoop through the air he \\;l. . :
lose its strange thrill, for the oldest sketi.^ji
feels it as keenly as the novice.
"A strar.se lightness a: . feebleness take pos
session of your limbs," snys John A. Gade, in
"Country Life in America," "anl your ?;.:::
shares the intoxication cf soaring into =;
Then you are suddenly call-1 back to earth, for
half a second softly, but th- o bard as iror.; an
electric shock parses up your spine to the back
of your head; you wabble belplesarj ban its&l
to left, each foot seems glued :o the ground, Let
you have kept your balance and are shoot. n<j
forward, while the 10-I measuring st^kea
rush kaleidoscoplcally by you. At last you
catch your breath with a hiccough, then a hBSEI
one. You are master of the tit 1J with a juc:p cf
a hundred feet or more to jroa credit, sad c:..sh
the victorious course in a Matt) rounded
DIDN'T 11 A} 'E TO STICK TO TEXT.
Thomas Nelson Page brought a good exa:r;. \?
of the negro's peculiar and particular Kbcotocl ftl
bent to town with him. and retailed it :..<s
other night at the Southern Society dinner.
There was an old darky preacher who would
never become ordained, he said, but was con
tent to remain Just an exhorter. This nimtJ
rather strange to same of his congregation. ail
one day they asked him about it
"Well, it's dl 3 way." said he. "When you's a
preacher, you*3 g/itter have a tex', an' itick
right close to It. but if you's only a exhorts^
you kin branch."