Newspaper Page Text
THE TIMES, SUNDAY, AUGUST II, 1895.
IN R HOLLOW-
BY BRET HAItTE,
Author of tho "Luck or Roaring Camp,'
' Two Men of Sandy Bar," &c.
Copyright, 1605, by Bret Harto,
It "was very dark, and tho -wind "was In
creasing. The lastgust had been preceded
by an ominous roaring down the whole
mountain Bide, -which continued for some
time after the trees in the little valley
had lapsed into silence. The air was filled
with a faint, cool, sodden odor as of
6tfrred forest depth. In thoso intervals
of silence the darkness seemed to increase
In proportion and grow almost palpable.
1'ctoutof this sightless and soundless void
now came the tinkle of a spur's rowels,
the dry crackling of saddle leathers, and
the muffled plunge of a hoof in the thick
carpet of dust and desiccated leaves.
Then a voice, which, in spite of its matter-of-fact
reality, the obscurity lent a certain
mystery to, said:
"I can't make out anythingl "Where tho
devil have we got to, anyway? It's as
black as Tophet here ahead!"
"Striko a light and make a flare with
something," returned a second voice.
"Look-whereyou're shoving to now keep
your horse off, will ye?"
There was more muffled plunging, a si
lence, the rustle ot paper, the quick spurt
of a match, and then the uplifting of a
flickering flame. But It revealed only the
heads and bhoulders of three horsemen
framed within a nebuiouB ring of light
that still left their horses and even their
the flame leaped up and died out with a
few zigzagging sparks that were falling
to the ground, when a third voice that was
low but somewhat pleasant in Its cadence
"Be careful where you throw that. You
were careless last time. "With this wind
and the leaves like Under you might Eend
a furnace blast through the woods."
"Then at least we'd ecc where we were."
Nevertheless he moved his horse, whose
trampling hoofs beat out the last fallen
spark. Complete darkness and silence fol
io wl. FreseuUy the first speaker con
tinued: "I reckon we'll have to wait here till tho
next squall clears away the scud from the
sky. Hello!. "What's that?" - -
OutoJ the obscurity before them appeared
a faint light a dim, but perfectly defiiied
square of radiance which, however, did
not appear to illuminate anything around
"Thut's a bouse it's a light in a win
dow," said the second voice.
'House nothing!" retorted tho first
speaker. "A houee with a window on
Galloper's Ridge, fifteceu miles from any
where? You're crazy!"
Nevertheless from the muffled plunging
and uukling that followed they seemed
to bo moving in the direction where tho
Ughthad appeared. Then there was a pause.
"There's nothing but a rocky outcrop
here, whero a house couldn't fctand, and
we're off the trail again," said the first
"Stop! theie it is againl"
The same Equare of light appeared onco
more, but the horsemen had evidently di
verged in the darkness, for Itseemed tobeina
different direction. But it was more dis
tinct, and as they gazed a shadow appeared
upon its radiant surface the outlined
profile of a human face. Then tho light
suddenly weut out and the faco vanished
"It is a window, and thorr was some ono
behind it," said tho seaond speaker, em
"It was a woman's face," said tho pleas
"'"Whoever it is, just hail them, so that
wo can get our bearings. Bmg out. All
The three voices rose In a prolonged
shout, in which, however, the distinguishing
quality of tho pleasant voico was sustained.
But there was no response from the darkness
beyoud. The shooting was repeated niter
an interval, with tho same result; the si
lence and obscurity remained unchanged.
"Lot's get out of this," said the first
speaker, angrily; "house or no house, man
or woman; we're not wanted, and we'll
'make nothing waltzing round here!"
"Hushl" said the second voico. "S-s-h!
The leaves of the nearest trees were trill
ing audibly. Then came a 6Udden gust
that swept tho fronds of the taller ferns
into their faces, and laid the thin, lithe
whips of alder ever their horses' flanks
sharply. It was followed by tho distant
tea-liko roaring ot the mountain side.
"That's a little more liko it," said tho
first speaker. Joyfully. "Another blow
like that and we're all right. Look!
There's a llghtenln' up over the trail wo
There was Indeed a faint glow In that di
rection, liko the first suffusion of dawn
permitting the huge shoulder of the moun
tain, along whose flanks they had been
journeying to be distinctly seen. The sod
den breath of the stirred forest depths
was slightly tainted with acrid fume.
"That's the match you threw away
two hours ago," said the pleasant voice,
deliberately. "It's caught the dry brusli
in tho trail round the bend."
"Anyhow, hit's given us our bearings,
boys," said the flrbt speaker, with satis
fied accents. "We're all right now. And
the wind's lifting tho sky ahead there.
Forward, now, all together, and let's get
out of this hell-hole while we can."
It was so much lighter that the bulk of
each horseman could be seen as they moved
forward together. But there was no
thinning ot the obscurity on either side of
them. Nevertheless the profile of tho
horseman with Uie pleasant voice seemed
to be occasionally turned backward, and
he suddenly checked his horse.
'There's tho window again," be said.
"Xook there! It's gone againl"
"Lrt it go," returned the leader, "cooib
on." They spurred forward in silence.
It was notlong before the wayside trees
began to dimly show spaces between them,
and the ferns to give way to lower, thick
set shrubs, winch In turn yielded to a
velvety moss, with long, quiet intervals
of netted and tangled grasses. The regu
lar fall of the horses' feet became a moro
rhythmic throbbing. Then suddenly a
tingle hoof rang out sharply on stone, and
the first speaker reined In slightly.
"Thank the Lord, wo'ro on "the ridge
now. and Uie rest is easy. Tell you what,
though , boys, now we're all right, I don't
mind saying that I didn't take no stock In
that blamed corpse light down there. If
there ever was a will-o'-the-wisp on a
square-up mountain that" was one. It
wasn't no window. Borne of ye thought
ye saw a face, too, ch?"
"Yes, and a rather pretty one," said
the pleasant voice, meditatively.
"That's tho way they'd build that Eort
of tiling, of course. It's lucky ye had to
eati6fy yourself with looking! Guthl I
feel crerpy ylt, thinking of it! "What are
you looking back for, now7 Blamed if I
don't think that face bewitched ye."
"I was only thinking about that firo
you started," returned the other quietly.
MI don't see it now."
""Well, If you did?"
"I was wondering whether it could
reach that hollow.'
"I reckon that hollow could take carp
of any casual nat'rel fire that come boomlri
along, and go two better every tinicl "Why,
I don't bcllevo there was auy fire it was
all a piece of that infernal ignis fatuus
phantasmagorinna that was played upon
as down tlierel"
"With the laughter that followed tlicy
started forward again, relapsing into si
lence of tired men at the end of a journey.
Even their Tow remarks were lnterjcc
tional or reminiscent of torlcs whoso fresh
ness bad beon exhausted with tho day.
The gaining light which seemed to come
from tho ground about, them rather than
from the still, overcast sky above, defined
)lr inrHrlrlnnHtv more dlstincllv. Tho
l&a -T" ha& flrat spoken and who seemed
OF THE HILLS
to be their leader, wore the virgin un
shaven beard, nnibtacho, and flowing hair
of the Califoriiiau pioneer, and might have
been tho eldebt; the Eccoud speaker was
close shaven, thin and energetic; the third
with the pleasant voico, in height, lilheuess,
and supp:eueB of figure, appeared to bo
the youngest of tho party. Tho trail hud
now become a grayish fatreak along tho
level tableland they were following, which
also had the Mngular effect of appearing
lighter than the surrounding landscape, yet
of plungltg into utter darkness on either
side of its precipitous walls. Nevertheless,
at the end of au hour tho leader rose in his
stirrups with a sigh of fatisfuctiou.
"There's the light In Collinson's Mill!
that, boys, eh? No, sir! It's a square,
honest beacon that a man can steer by.
"We'll be there in twenty minutes." He
was pointing into the darkuess below the
already descending trail. Only a ploueer's
eye could have detected the lew pinpricks
ot light in the impenetrable distance, and
it was a signal proof if his leadership that
the others accepted it without seeing it.
"It's Just 10 o'clock," he continued,
holding a huge silver watch to his eye;
"we've wasted an hour on those blamed
"We weren't off the trail more than ten
minutes, Uncle Dick," protested the pleas
"All right, my son; go down there If you
like and fetch out your Witch ut Endor,
but as for me, I'm going to throw myself
the other side of Collinson's lights. They're
good enough for me, and a blamed sight
The grade was very steep, but they took
it, California fashion, at a gallop, being
genuinely good riders, and using their brains
as well as their spurs iu the understanding
of their horses, and of certain natural laws,
which the more artificial riders of civil
ization are apt to overlook. Hence there
was no hesitation or Indecision commu
nicated to the nervous creatures they be
strode, who swept over crumbling stones
and slippery ledges with a momentum that
took away halt their weight, and made a
stumble or false stop, or indeed anything
but an actual collision, almost impos
sible. Closing together they avoided the
latter, and holding each other well up,
became one Irresistible wedge-shaped mass.
At times they yelled, not from conscious
ness nor bravado, but rrom the purely
animal instinct of warning and to combat
the breathlessness of their descent, until,
reaching the level, they charged across the
gravelly bed or a vanished river, and pulled
up at Collinson's Mill. The mill itself
had long since vanished with the river, but
the building that had once stood for it
was used as a rude hostelry for travelers,
which, however, bore no legend or invl-
tatory sign. Those who wanted it knew it;
those who passed it bj ve it no offense.
Collioson himself stood by the door smok
ing a contemplative pipe. As they rode up
lie disengaged bimseir from the doorpost
listlessly, walked slowly toward them, said
reflectively to the leader, "I've been think
ing with ynu that a vote for Thompson is a
vote thrown away," and prepared to lead
the horses toward tho water lank. He
had parted with them over twelve hours be
fore, but his air of simply renewing a re
cently interrupted conversation was too
common a circumstance to attract their
notice. They know and he knew Uiatnoono
else had pasFcd that way since he had last
spoken: that the same sun had swung si
lently above him and the unchanged land
scape, and there had been no interruption
nor diversion to his monotonous thought.
The wilderness nnnihilattlme and spaco
with the grim pathos of patience.
Nevertheless he smiled. -" l'e don't seem
to have got through coming down yet," ho
continued, as a few small bowlders,
loosened in their rapid descent, came more
deliberately rolllug and plunging after
the travelers aloug the gravelly bottom.
Then be turned away with the horses, and,
after they were watered, he re-entered the
house, nis guests had cvlrteutly not wailed
for his ministration. They had already
taken one or two bottles from the shelves
behind a wide bar and helped themselves,
aud, glasses in hand, wero now satisfy
ing the more imminent cravings of hunger
with biscuits from a liarrel aud slices of
smoked herring from a box. Their equally
singular host, accepting their conduct as
not unusual, Joined Uie circlo they had com
fortably drawn round the fireplace, and,
medltaUvely kicking a brand back at Uio
fire, said, without lookiug at them:
""Weill" returned the leader, leaning
"back in hie chair, after carefully unloos
ing the bjckle of his belt, but wtih his eyes
also on the fire. ""Well! we've pros
pected every yard of outcrop along the
Divide, and there ain't the ghost of a silver
"Not a smell," added the close-shaven
guest, without raising his eyes.
They all remained silent, looking at the
fire, as if It were the one thing they had
taken into their confidence. Collinson
also addressed himself to the blaze as he
said presently: "Itallus seemed to me that
there was something shiny about that ledgo
just round the shoulder of the spur, over
the long canon."
" The leader ejaculated a short laugh.
"Shiny, eh? shiny! Ye think that a sign?
"Why, you nifght as well reckon that be
cause Key6 head, over thar, is gray and
silvery, that he's got sane aud experience."
As he spoke he looked townrd the man wtih
a pleasant voice. The firo shining full
upon him revealed Uie singular fact that
while his face was still young, and his
mustache quite dark, his hair was per
fecUy grny. The object of this attention,
far from being disconcerted by tne compari
son, added with a smile.
" Or that he had any silver In bis pocket."
Another lapse ot silence followed. The
wind tore round the house and. rumbled in
the short adobe chimney.
"No, gentlemen," said tho leader reflect
ively, "this sort o thing Is played out. I
don't take no moro stock in that cock-and-bJll
story about the lost Mexican mine. I
don't catch onto that Sunday school yarn
about the pious, scienUfic Sharp who col
lected leaves and vegetables all over the
Divide, all the while he knew the rango
was solid silver, only ho wouldn't soil his
fingers with God-forsaken lucre. I ain't
saying anything ngin that fine-spun the
ory that Key believes in about volcauio
upheavals that set up on end argentiferous
rock, but I simply say that I don't see it
with the naked eye. And I reckon it's about
time, boys, as thegame'sup, tnatwehanded
in our checks and left the board."
There was another silence around tho
fire, another whirl and turmoil without,
there was no attempt to combat tho
opinions ot their leader; possibly the fame
sense ot disappointed hopes was felt by all
only they preferred to let the man of
greater experience voice it. He went on:
""We've had our little game, boys, ever
since we lert Rawlin's a week ago; we've
had our ups and downs; we've been starved
and parched, snowed up and half drowned,
shot at by road agents and horse thieves,
kicked by mules, and played with by
grizzlies. "Wc'vo had a heap of fun, boys,
for our money, but I reckon the picnic is
all round and call it square, and go on our
"And what do you think you'll do.TJnclo
Dick?" said bin dose-shaven compauion,
"I'll make tine!. for a square meal, a
bed that a man could comfortably take off
his boots and die in. and eouu violet-eceuted
soap. Civilization's good enough for mel
I even reckon I wouldn't mind the sound
ot the church-going bell ef there was a
theater handy, as there likely would be.
But Uie wilderness is played out."
"You'll be back to it again In six
rooHUis, Undo Dick," retorted Uie oUicr
Uncle nick did not reply. It was o pe
culiarity of the party that in their isolated
companionship they had already exhausted
discussion and argument. A silence fol
lowed, in which thoy all looked at the fire
as it it was its turn to make a suggesUon.
"Collinson," said tho pleasant voice ab
ruptly, "who lives in the hollow this sldo
ot tho Divide, about two miles from Uie
first spur above the big canyon?"
"Nary soul." -
"Are you sure?"
"Sartln. Thar ain't no ono but mo
betwixt Bald Top and Skinner's twenty-
"Or course you'd know if bdj one had
cotno there lately?" persisted Uie pleasant
"I reckon. It ain't a week ago that I
tramped the whole distanco Uiat you
fellers Just rode over."
"There ain't," said tho leader, deliber
ately, "any enchanted castle or cabin that
goes waltzing round tho road with re
volving windows and fairy princesses
lookjng out ot 'em?"
But Collinson, recognizing this as purely
Irrelevant humor, with possibly a trap or
pitfall in it, moved away from tho fire
place without a word and retired to Uio
adjoining kitchen to prepare supper. Pres
ently ho reappeared.
"The pork barl'a empty, boys, so I'll
hev to fix ye up with Jerked beef, potatoes,
and flapjacks. Ye see, thur ain't anybody
ben over from Skinner's store for a week."
"All right, only hurry up," said Undo
Dick, cheerfully, settling himself back
in his chuir. "1 reckon to turn In as soon
as I've rastled with your hash, for I've
got to turn out ngin and -bo off at sun-up."
They were all very quiet again, so quiet
that they could not help noticing that
the sound of Collinson's preparations for
their supper had ceased too. Undo Dick
arosesoftly and walked to the kitchen door.
Collinson was sitting before a small
kitchen stove , wit h a fork in his hand gazing
abstractedly before him. At the bound
of the guest's footsteps he started, and the
noise of preparation recommenced. Uncle
Dick returned to his chair before the fire.
Leaning toward the chalroftheclose-shaven
man, he said in a lower voice:
"He was off ngin."
"Thiukin' ot that wife of his."
"What about his wife?" asked Key,
lowering his voice also.
The three men's heads wero close to
gether. "When Collinson fixed up this mill he
sent for his wife in the States," said Undo
Dick, in a halt whisper, "waited a year
for her, hanging around and boarding every
emigrant wagon that camcthroughthePass.
She didn't come only the news that sho
was dead." He paused and nudged his
chair still closer the heads were almost
touching. "They say over in the bar,"
his voice had sunk to a complete whisper
"that it was-a lie! That she ran away
with the man that was fetchln her out.
Three thousand miles and threo weeks
with another man upsets some women. But
he knows nothing about it, only he some
Unics kinder goes oft loony-like, tuinkin'
ot her." He stopped; the heads sepa
rated. Collinson had appeared at the
doorway, his melancholy patience appar
"Grub's on, gentlemen; sit by and eat."
The humble meal was dispatched with
zest and silence. A few interjeetional
remarks about the uncertainties of pros
pecting only accented the other pauses.
In ten minutes they wore out again by the
fireplace with their lit pipes. As there
were only three chairs Collinson stood bo
side tho chimney.
"CollitiBon," said Undo Dick, after the
usual pauso, taking his pipe from his lips,
"aswo'vegot togetupaudgetatsun-up, we
might as well tell you now that we're dead
broke. We ve been living for the last rew
weeks ou Preblo Key's loose change
and that's gone. You'll have to let this
llttlo account and damage stand over."
Colllusou's brow slightly contracted, with
out, however, altering his general expres
sion of resigned patience.
"I'm sorry for you , boys," he said, slowly,
"aud" diffidently "kinder torry for my
self, too. You see, I reckoned on goiu over
to Skinner's to-morrow to fill up the pork
But Skiuncr can't let mebavcanythluginore
until I've paid sutbln' on account, as he
"D'ye mean to say thar'sany mountain
man as low flung and mean as that?" said
Undo Dick, indignantly.
"But it isn't his fault," said Collinson
gently; "you see they won't eend him goods
from Sacramento if he don't pay up, and he
can't if I don't. Sabo?"
"Ah! that'sauother thing. Theyaremean
In Sacramento," said Uncle Dick, some
Tho other guests murmured an assent to
this generous proposition. Suddenly Undo
Dick's face brightened.
"Look here! I kuow Skinner, and I'll stop
there. No, blank it all! I can't, for it's otf
my route! Well, then, we'll fix It this
way. Koy will go there and tell Skinner
tnat I say that I'll eeud the money to that
Sacramento hound. That'll fix it!"
Collinson's brow cleared; the solution ot
the difficulty seemed to satisfy everybody,
and the close-shaven man smiled.
"And I'll secure it." ho said, "and give
Collinson a sight draft on myself at San
"What's that for?" said Collinson, with
a sudden suffusion on each cheek.
"In case of accident."
"Wot accident?" persisted Collinson,
with a dark look or suspicion on his usually
"In case we should forget it," said the
closely-shaven man, with a laugh.
"And do you suppose that ir you boys
went and forgot it that I'd have anything
to do with j-our paper?" said Collinson, a
murky cloud coming into his eyes.
"Why, that's only business, Colly," In
terposed Uncle Dick quickly; "that's all
Jim Parker means; he's a business man,
don't you see9 Suppose we got killed!
I'ou've that draft to show."
"Show who?" growled Collinson.
"Why hang it our friends, our heirs,
our relations to get your money," hesi
"And do you kalkilate," cald Collinson,
with deeply laboring breath, "that If you
got killed, that I'd be coming on your folks
ror the worth of the truck I giv ye? Go
away! Lemme git out o' thi3. You're
makin me tired." He stalked to the door,
lit his pipe, and began to walk up nnddown
the gravelly river bed. Uncle Dick followed
him. From time to time the two other
guests heard tho sounds of alternato pro
tests and explanation as they passed and
repassed the windows. Preble Key smiled,
Parker 6hrugged his shoulders.
"He'll be thiukin' you'v begrudged him
your grub if you don't that the way with
theso business men," said Uncle Dick's
voice in one of these intervals. Presently
they re-entered the house, Uncle Dick say
ing casually to Parker: "You canleavo that
draft on the bar when you're ready to go
to-morrow," and tho incident was pre
sumed to have been ended. But Collinson
did not glance in tho direcUon of Parker for
the rest of the evening, and, indeed, stand
ing with his back to the dilmney, more
than once foil into that stolid abstracUon
which wa3 supposed to be Uie contcmpla
Uon of his absent wife.
From this silence, -which became in
fectious, tho three guests were suddenly
aroused by a furious clambering down the
steep descent of the mountain along tho
trail they had Just ridden! It came
near, Increasing in sound, unUl it oven
seemed to scatter the fine gravel of tho
river bed against tho sides of the houee,
and then passed In a gust of wind that
shook the roof and roared in the chimney.
With one common impulGo Uio three trav
elers roso and went to the door. They
opened it to a blackness that seemed to
stand as another and an iron door before
them. But to nothing elso.
"Somebody went by, then," said Undo
Dick, turning to Collinson. "Didn't you
"Nary," said Collinron, patlenUy, with
out ruovi ng from the chimney .
"What in God's name was it, then?" -
"Only some of them boulders you loosed
coming down. It's touch and go with them
for days after. When I first came here I
used to start up and rush out into tho
road liko as you would ycllin' and
screechin' after folks that never was there
and never went by. Then it got kinder
monotonous, and I'd lie still and let 'cm
Elide. Why, one night I'd a sworn that
some one pulled up with a yell and shook
the door. But I sort of allowed to myself
that whatever it was, it wasn't wantin' to
cat, drink, Bleep, or it would come in
and I hadn't any call to interfere. And
in tho mbrnin' I found a rock as big as
that box lying chock-a-blocltagln the door.
Then I'd knowed Iwas right.
Preble Koy remained looking from Uie
"There's a glow In tho sky over Big
Canon," he said with a meaning glanco at
"Saw It an hour ago," said Collinson.
"It must bo the v.rooda afiro just around
the bend above the canon. Whoever goes
to Skinner's had better give it a wide
Key turned toward Collinson, as if to
speak, but apparently changed his mind,
and presently joined his companions, who
were already rolling themselves in their
blankets, in a series ot wooden bunks or
bertha, ranged as in a ship's cabin around
the walls of a rdslnous, sawdnsty apartmon t
that had been tho measuring room 01 uhj
I mill. CoUlosou disappeared no ono kaeF
or seemed to care where and in less than
ten mluutca frorn-tbe time that they had
returned from Uio door the hush of sleep
and reat seemed to po'sseS3 the whole house.
There was no light hut that of tho fire In
the front room, Whldi threw f Ilckoring and
gigantic shadows" on the walls of the three
empty chairs beforoMt. An hour later it
seemed as ifoneoftiiechairs were occupied,
and a grotesqit6 profile of Collinson's
slumbering of meditating faco and figure-
was projected grimly ou the rafters,
as though it were tho hovering guardian
spirit of tho house. But even that passed
presently aud faded out, aud the beleaguer
lngdarkncssthathadencompasscdthehouso all the evnlng began to 6lowly creep in
through every chink and cranny of tho
rambling ill-Jointed structure, until it
at last obliterated even the faint embers on
the hearth. Tho cool fragFance of the wood
land depths crept in with it until tho steep
of human warmth, tho reek of human cloth
ing, and the lingering odors of stalo human
victual were swept away in that incor
ruptible and omnipotent breath. An hour
later and the wlldoruess had repossessed
itself of all.
Key, tho lightest sleeper, awoke early,
so early that tho dawn announced itselt
only in two d.m squares of light that
seemed to grow out ot the darkness at
the end of tho room where the windows
looked out- upon tho valley. This re
minded him of his woodlaud vision of
the night before, and ho lay and watched
them until they brightened and began to
outline the figures ot his still sleeping
companions. But there wero faint stir
rings elsewhere the soft brushing ot a
squirrel across the shingled roof, tho tiny
flutter of invisible wings iu tho rafters,
the "peep" aud "squeak" of baby llfo
below the Tloor. Aud then he fell into a
deeper sleep, and 'awoke only when it
was broad day.
Tho sun was shining upon the empty
bunks; his companions were already up
and gone. They had separated as they
bad come together with the light-hearted
irresponsibility ot animals without re
gret, and scarcely reminiscence; bearing
with cheerful philosophy and the hopeful
ness of a future unfettored by their past
the final disappointment ot their quest.
If they ever met again they would laugh
and remember; if they did not, tbey would
forget without a sigh. Ho hurriedly dressed
himself and went outside to dip his faco
and handB in the bucket that stood beside
the door; bat the clear air, tho dazzling
sunshine, and tho unexpected prospect
half Intoxicated him.
The abandoned mill stretched beside
him in nil the pathoa of its premature
decay. Tho rlba of .-the- water-wheel ap
peared amid a tangle ot shrubs and drift
wood, and were twined with long grasses
and straggling vines; mounds of sawdust
and heaps ot "brush'"' had taken upon
themselves a velvety moss where the
trickling slime of the A'anlshcd river lost
itself in sluggish pools, discolored with
the dyes of redwood. But on the other
side of tho rocky ledgo dropped the whole
length ot the valley, alternately bathed
in sunshine or hidden in drifts of white
and clinging smoko. Tho upper end ot
the long canon, and tho crests of tho
ridge abovo him,-were lost in this fleecy
cloud, which at times seemed to overflow
tho summits and fall in slow leaps, like
lazy cataracts, down the mountain side.
Only tiic range before the ledge was clear;
there the green ntics seemeu to swen
onward and upward in long mounting
billows, until at last they broke against
In the knen Btlmulous of the hour and the
air Key felt the mountaineer's longing for
action, and scarify noticed that Collin
son had pathetically brought out his pork
barrel to scrapo together a few remnants
for his last meal.", It was not until he had
fjulsjied his coffee and Collinson had brought
up hl3 horse that' a slight senwj of shatno
at hts own and his1 comrades' selfishness
embarrassed his 'parting with his patient
host. ' He himself was going to Skinner's
to plead for him jHoJcnew thatParkerhad
left the draft ho had seen it lying in tho
bar but a new sense of delicacy kept lilm
froth alluding to.it now. It was better to
leave him with Ills own peculiar ideas
ot the responsibilities of hospitality un
changed. He shook his hand warmly and
galloped up 'ttiortttky Blope But when
he had finally reached the hlghr level and
fancied ho could even now sec the dust
raised by his departing comrades on their
two diverging paths, although he knew that
they had already gone their different ways,
perhaps never to meet again, his thoughts
and Ills eyes reverted only to the ruined
mill "below him and its lonely occupant.
He could see him quite distinctly in that
dear air still standing before hisdoor. And
Uieu he appeared to make a parting ges
ture with his hand, and something like snow
fluttered in tho air above his head. It
was onlv the torn fragments of Parker's
draft, which this homely gentleman of the
Sierras, standing beside his empty pork
barrel, had scattered to the four winds.
(To bo continued.)
1-nssy Swam to 3Ior Kittens.
Albert Stetson, who" has" been superin
tending tho unloading of the Wnshtenaw,
is telling cat stories along t'uo water
front. On the steamer Saturn there was
for a long time a black cat that was the
pet of the peamen. When the Saturn -was
last in port she went every day to the
dock, whero thehad installed a litter ot
kittens among the freight. The Saturn
left the dock o few days ago on the way
to Liverpool, tho mother on board. The
kittens were on the wharf. The steamer
got about two hundred yards away from
the pier, when the mother realized that a
parting was taking place, and that her
kittens would bo left to starve if she did
not do something. So she sprang iuto the
cold waters and swam back to tho wharf.
She climbed up a pile, dripping wet, and
dashed for her babies. The freight clerks
took her and her kittens to the Washtenaw,
where they have quarters in the captain's
cabin. San Francisco Examiner.
A TJnujjbter'H Crnol Joke.
A story is being told of a young lady who
found a package of love letters that had been
written to her mother by her father before
they were married. The daughter saw that
she could have a HtUe sport, and read them
to her mother, substituting her own name for
that of her mother and a f me young man for
that of hor father. The mother Jumped up
and down in her chair, shifted her feet and
seemed terribly disgusted, and forbade her
daughter to have anyUilng to do with tho
young man who would writo such sickening
and nonsonsiral stuff to a girl. When the
young lady banded tho letter to her mother
to read tho house became so still that one
could hear tho grass growing in tho back
yard. Wilkesbarre' Evening Leader. t
ii a a
y " i-ShP ItL
Jhmm : M ' !
The king ot Eidunnovehr had declared,
war against his powerful rival, the mon
arch of Seldomphoundland. The localities
aro slightly mythical, I will freely admit;
tho period is modern "fin-do-siedelsh,"
ludced, but still, alas, the andent and bar
barous practlco of war waB not yet obso
lete in theeo happy countries, and my
Lords Bertram and Coltondyke and otuu
warlike chiefs wero holding a solemn
conclave as to ways and means for the
By asluglo stroke ot the pen thousands
of nion were tcie thrown here, there and
everywhere. Human beings to be torn
from children, wives and mathers to bo
murdered, maimed, or imprisoned, with
no moro concern than it they had been
chessmen in a glgantio game played by
their chiefs at home. And all for what?
Ah, great heavenal What cause, since
tho world began, has been worth a drop
ot tho precious blood spilled in Its defense?
Certaiuly Eidunnevehr was a free coun
try, wuoreiu no man was forced to become a
soldier agaiust hia will, but even that did
not JusUfy or ntono for the iniquity of
Suddenly the generals' conference was
interrupted by the unannounced entrance
ot a strange?. With military unanimity
these genUenfen rose and inquired:
"What Is the meaning ot this intrusion?"
"Pardon mo, but my business Is so urgent
and ray time so short that I could not stand
on ceremony. Permit me to Introduce ray
self. My name Is Phlladelpho, and I am a
"A pacific who?" asked Gen. Cottqndyke,
with moro incredulity than grammatical ac
"Patriot, my lord. Patriots aro usually
remarkable for shedding blood. In Justice
to these excellent men, It must be admitted
that they are indifferent as to whether the
blood be their own or other people's. My
mission, on the other hand, is to prevent
bloodshed, and in the name of humanity I
beg of you now, on the eve of this war, to
"Ah! striko while the iron is hot. Just
.what we aro going to do," said Gen. Ber
tram. "Not so, but striko yourselves."
"An unnecessary and painful proceed
ing," remarked Gen. Cottondyke, "which,
If attended with fatal consequences,
would certainly lead to verdicts of sui
cide while ot unsound mind."
"You misunderstand me. I mean that
you must strike as toilers do when they
wish the conditions of their labor to bo
bettered. You must politely but peremp
torily decllno to go out to battle."
"It cannot be. It is our duty to fightand
our hoaor is involved."
"Duty! Honorl Bah, gentlemen! These
are the most vilely prostituted of terms.
Can it be auy Christian's duty to slay his
fellow men for I suppose you are Chris
tians?" All these officers looked indignant at the
suggestion that they might not be, although
of a truth nosoldlercan be a true Christian.
"Now, 1 ask you, gentlemen," Phlladel
phocontinued, "are you fond of danger?"
And they all replied in chorus:
"We freely admit that we entertain no
personal affection for danger, and, our
lives being precious, we usually prefer to
see others bear the brunt of periL"
"Then must it not be all the easier for
you to decline the performance of a duty
which is unpleasant to you?"
"Permit me to remark," said Cottondyke,
"that this is all nonsense. The country's
reputation Is at stake. If wo are not pre
pared the enemy will "
"Never mind the enemy. Leavo him to
me. Leave him to me, thank you. There
is no dispute under tho sun that cannot be
arranged by arbitration. Oh, my lord, 'Put
up thy sv.ord. Be that taketh tho sword
shall perish by the sword.' With all rev
erenco I quote these words. Two thou
sand years have passed since they wero
spoken and how miserably have the pre
tended followers forgotten their Divine
Master's precepts. Once more, gentlemen,
I beseech you to join in a universal military
"You would, then, put an end to the army
"It is certainly moro ornament than use,
besides being so very expensive to the
poor taxpayer. It may yet be poesible
for tho working claese3 to find more remun
erative employment ihan as common sol
diers. And as for you, you do not do this
eort ot thing exactly for a living, I pro
sumo?' "Gentlemen," said Cottondyke, de-'
cisiveiy, "Mr. Philadelpho has spoken
truly. I desire to cast no aspersion upon
Uie royal knowledge of arlthmeUc."
"I have no doubt you mean well, sir,
said Bertram; "but you waste your timo.
You have not considered the stigma which
would rest upon officers who drew back
on tho eve of batUe.'
"A purely military stigma, not a moral
one; so, if you all strike, who 1b there left
Then they began to think, and all 13
choruB echoed: "Who, indeed?"
"I have Been others and they consent;
thoso beneath you and Uioae above. The
duko ot Granta agrees to strike.'
"If our nobis chief agrees to strike,'
said Cottondyke, "it is our duty to do so,
And they all echoed: "It is our duty!"
"But tho prince, tho heir apparent?" in
"Tho prince,' said the patriot, "does
not go personally into action, although he
ia a general. He fightB vicariously. He,
therefore, does not count.'
I say the princo does not nay, cannot
count. Wo will strikel"
And the chorus ot off leers repeated:
Philadelpho had set himself a high
ideal, but he knew ho muatreckon with hu
manity on its own levd; not too lofty a
"real." When he told the generals he
had obtained tho acquiescence both ot
their inferiors and superiors, he told a
KWFr d mSMrjz
1 1 yi T Sr -3"" r-vfttiElrW ,4rH t T1 V
lie a Ho surely as white as snow. He
knew that men's chief instinct is, sheep
like, to go wUh the common herd. Thug
ho gained his point and instigated tho
great military strike. , ,
On the nlorrow the troops were to start
They were to be Inspected by the king, who
was to see them off at the port of embar
kation. Peter IX ot Eidunnovehr was a good
sort ot fellow enough as kings go, which
is not saying too much in his favor. He
did all thinga vicariously, through agents
and officers, even to the payment of hia
household expenses, which wero defrayed
for him by tho broad-backed taxpayer.
It is quite a wonder be did not eat hia
meals through -tho mouth of some high
court official -kept Tor that purpose. As
an instance of how far this sort of thing
can be carried, it is only necessary to cite
tho well-known case of tho youthful mon
arch for whoso behoof a whipping boy
was kept to receive tho flagellations
which under ordinary circumstances
would have fallen to the august individ
ual's lot. Thus it was that Peter merely
wished his arms godspeed, and went out to
conquer nnd win glory vicariously, for his
life was precious, kings being few and tho
The troops were drawn up in martial
array, and Peter, supported by his son,
the heir-apparent, sat upon his noble charg
er, who had never charged any one, ex
cept the nation. The monarch was begin
ning to marvel why soldiers and officers
alike stood so calm and impassive, mak
ing no attemt to start upon their march,
when a group ot generals, headed by the
commander-in-chief, the Duke of Granta,
came leisurely up to blm.
"Your majesty," said the latter, who
had been chosen spokesman, "it 1b my
duty to tell you that we, Uie whole army,
have decided to strike "
"A blow for victory," suggested Peter.
"That is welL"
"Not so, sire. Our true duty has been
pointed out to us by a humanitarian and
pacific patriot, and we have resolved, po
litely but firmly, not to go out to tho
The king started back aghast and his
steed ndghed disapproval.
"Ha!" exclaimed the former. "This ia
treason! No, stay; the term is obsolete.
All the strikers shall go to prison and be
tried by court-martial!"
A long, melodious, scornful laugh broke
from the entire army, and the duke spoke
"Your majesty must permit me to com
ment upon the absurdity of that remark.
Thereis no one to imprison us but yourself,
and as you are used to doing things vicari
ously I don't think you'd be able to manage
us ail. Tho only alternaUve, then. Is to
walk ourselves into Jail and hold court
martials upon ourselves an Idea so com
plicated as to require the mind of a William
Schweuk Gilbert to grasp it."
"But where are the police, my faithful
myrmidons, whose number is legion and
whose name is Robert?"
"They are not supposed to interfere In
purely military disputes. Their sympathies
are with us. The people are with ua. Be
sides, If you put u3 In prison we can't fight
at the same time, sc-ff.t comes to the same
"Would a slight rise in pay do?" Peter
suggested feebly. "Say a penny a week
"No, it would not do. You forget that
you pay them vicariously, and the taxpayer
saya he won't have it settled that way.
We have asked him. He won't have hia best
blood shed for visionary quarrels abroad
that be doesn't half understand and doesn't
want to. He'll welcome us on the native
soil to defend our own homes should they
bo attacked. He wants peace perpetual,
neither more nor less."
"Great heavens! Then to resort to a
familiar colloquialism, I am cornered'!
"Yes, I think we may fairly be said to
have placed your majesty in the apex
of an august rectangle."
So the whole army marched in due order
back to the various barracks, and King
Peter rode home to his palace, sad and
thoughtful, for it seemed that troubles and
difficulties were gathering thick and fast
around him. . '
Peter knew he should get into trouble on
reaching home. First there was the
queen to face, who, like all ladies, knew
how it would be. She wished she had been
there; she'd have managed them, Duke of
Granta and all the rest. Strike, in
deed! She'd have given them strike in a
way they didn't bargain for. Then there
was Gomcellor, the prime minister, a gen
tleman ot remarkable firmness obsti
nacy hia opponents called it who was pop
ularly supposed to be the people's idol, al
though the people themselves were divided
upon this point, but who had made more
than one grave blunder in his time, as wa3
owned even by tho newspapers which pro
fessed adherence to hia political views.
Even thia astuto statesman was nonpluss
ed by tho present turn of events.
A universal military strike was some
thing without parallel in the world's his
tory. War was dedared, but there were no
means ot carrying it on. The matter waa
urgent, so a privy coundl was convened
for that very night, atwhlch Uie king, Gom
cellor, and Lillyborn, the foreign minis
ter, were present, and even Granta waa
summoned to give his advice.
"Tho circumstances," said Gomcellor,
"are so unprecedented that had I heard
them from less august and veracloua lips
I should not hesitate in declaring that they
came within measureable distance of Uie
highly improbable. My mind la, therefore,
a blank on the subject, capable, however,
ot receiving ideas and forming views. I
think I would suggest a royal commission
to luqulro at full length into the cause "
"Life ia too short for royal commis
sions," said the practical Lillyborn. "Wo
must act this time-for a change. Here
are the facts: We have no army and can
not make war. We may make perpetual
peace the fashion in lime. Tho nations
want peace; let them pay for it. Every
man in Uio world has his price. That is
an action ot diplomacy. The King ot Sel-
doraphonndland, whoso palace is replet
with every modern luxury, cannot be with
out that- commodity. He must be asked to
name it. Our position must not bo shown
up too plainly, but we must resort to arbi
tration withoat loss ot prestige. Your
majesty la personally acquainted with his
"Yea, rather," Peter answered. "He
is ono of tho best billiard players I ever
"Then your best plan would be to go
and see him and arrange matters. Yoa
will do so?" '
"Certainly vicariously, ot course. Yon
would represent me, Lillyborn?"
"I think your Majesty had better go
yourself this time."
"But 1 have not been used I thero
might be dangerl"
"You don't think of that when you send
us," said Granta. "I don't speak for my
self, because I always take jolly good cara
to keep out of too great peril, but for thoso
under me, whose part I am taking by way
of a change. Send on a flag of truce first
a table cloth or clean pocket handkerchief
will do. Be sure it is a clean one or tho
enemy may doubt your intentions. A table
cloth or handkerchief la au emblem or peaco
which no truesoldier would willlingly txeati
. So Peter was finally prevailed upon to
pay au amic-able visit to Seldomphoundland,
a step which, it must be confessed, the
worthy monarch took all the more readily
from eatertalning hopes of august "larks"
at Uie foreign court, when far from thereach,
of coajugal supervision. g-
The progress ot Peter through the do
mlniona ot Gobo "Six, ot Seldomphound
land, wua a pleasant one enough, the for
mer monarch bemjj accommodated with
Pullman cara, sumptuous repasts, light,
literature and other demonstrations of.
friendship and good will. '
He noted, however, that no warlike
preparations were to be seen here any moro
than in hia ov-a country. This made him.
suspect treachery, and he began to fear
lest hia white handkerchief should not have
met with that respect which he had been
assured that thia useful article would nee
essanly Inspire. But all these feara wero
soon dispelled by the genial and hearty re
ception which he met with at the hands of.
his old friend Gobo XI2C. i
"I am delighted to Eee you, Peter,''
the latter exclaimed, shaking him by tea
"Happy to meet you once more, dear
brother. You received my envoy, of
"Yea, although hia flag was red by thd
time he got here."
"Red! Good heavenal Why, the Queea
herself got out a dean "
"Well, it seems he lost that one on hb
way, and at the village where he rmssed
it there were only colored hacdkrtcLiefa
sold, so he had to purchase a red ohe Bat
when he explained this we knew what yoc
meant, so It came to Uie same thins And
now will you tell me what has pr t -red
ua the honor of your brotherly visit?" r.
"Well, to come to business without na
necessary preamble, Uie fact la that I
wished to see if we could not settleoar dif
ferences by friendly arbitration instead
of by war."
"My dear Peter, I am pleased. It Is th
very thing I wanted to propose myself,.
"You so warlike and boldl"
"I was warlike and bold, like you, vtca
riously, but that is all past now."
"May I ask why this remarkable
"May I not have Uie distinguished hono?
ot putting the same-query first to you?" g
"Well, we thought I mean, I vicartv
oualy that for two such great nations a.3
ours to come to blows was setting a bad
example to the rest ot mankind and c j !.u
lated to upset the even balance and 5Adar.
Ity of the world'a pohty, and that tn-- amo
results might be obtained by mutual con
cessions of such a nature as to insure a
"Gammon, my dear brother; In the con
cise philosophy ot Bacon. I repeat, em
phatically but respectfully, gan.mon. A
truce to diplomacy. We pay others to to
our diplomats. Why keep a dog and barfc
yourself? I will tell the tretn lEStead. I
may a3 well, for it is common talk at ou
court, and you would soon hear it foryour4
self. We are having a universal military
"How singularl" m v
"Organized by a man named Pbiladel
"A pacific patriot?" t
"The same. Do you know him?"
"Of course. He has been serving ray
army in the same strikinc manner." i
"Then we are on a perfect equality.'
And the two kings shook hands.
"We are, and the only thing remaining
is for our foreign ministers to meet and tall:
over the terms." 4
This time tho worthy monarehs em,
braced, and that evening, as tbey sat b
the palatial hearth, drinking imperial To- j
kay. while Peter the Younger flirted as .
siduously with the Princess of SeIdom-3
phoundland, in the embrasure or the mull
ioned window, tho King ot Eldunnovent
began to think that alter all peace was beJ
ter than war. v
And fervently do weproy tbatallinterna.
tional disputes may be as easily arranged,?
and that war, which has been the bitterest
of al! curses in the agca past andgone, may
forever be abolished In the better years to
(Copyright, 1695, by L. E. H. Stephens.)
" Only a Transfer Ticket. v
"Smith," a well known Treasury of ,
tidal, had a HtUe experience a few even-1
lngs ago at th Fifteenth street transfer
staUon, a repeUUon of which, he snya-J
would convert him into a gibbering idiot. j
He had been down town and was on h!3
way to hia Twenty-first street residence-
Alighting from an orange-colored Four
teenth street car at the juncUon he hasUIyV
procured a transfer slip from, the caged
He had reached the center ot the streeti
again when another north bound cablaj
train rolled up and Smith mechanicallt
boarded It. Then it was that Smith re ,
membered he had left hia gold-headed
So engrossed waa he with the thougho
thnh hin Kii-rnnndincs were forgotten until
the conductor rudely aroused him from, J
tho Introspection by a rough punch;
on the shoulder. The little yellow slip!
ot cardboard waa handed over to tho
blue-coated monarch and Smith loo&ed,
"Where am I?" he ejaculated.
? "On Fourteenth street," answered th5
Snatching tho transfer slip from ttta
other's hand the official scrambled from
the moving car and walked back: threo'
squares to the railway Intersection, wherct
he found a Georgetown car. With a sigh!'
of relief he sank Into a forward Heat. Af re?
a while the conductor came around and
waa given the slip. ;j
; "Wrong transfer, sir," yelled the con
ductos. "It's for a Fourteenth street car,
: sir. Some mis" v
I The -yellow pasteboard was quickly scru
tinized by the gentleman, and then with,
a gesture ot chagrin and disgust he threv,
It into the outer air. His hands founcT
their way into pockets in a vain quest of
change. He had none. 5
A stranger politely offered to make a
5-cont loan but the kindness was declined;'
and Smith, with a countenance as red as &4
lobster's 'back, dropped from the carW
walk home, muttering dire vengeance
against fortune, cable systems and trans
ter agents. f