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SMITH IN TROUBLE.
' C7"ES, I Consider him a tip-top fcl
, I low, in almost every respect;
ho has but one fault," I said in a reply
to a question from Bob Smith.
"Nonsense," said Bob. "How can
you make such a foolish statement as
that? The man is not alivo who has but
one fault ; wo all have scores of faults.
It is only when a man practices one par
ticular vice that we put all other frolics
out of sight, and say, " he has but one
fault." I myself used to be one of these
first-rate fellows who had but one fault,
and a most unlovely course of sprouts
did I have to go through to elfect a cure,
the rock upou which I split was a dar
ling sin that did most easily beset ine.
From boyhood I was afflicted with an al
most irresistible propensity for indulging
in practical jokes ; many a troublesome
scrape did I get myself into, and many a
friend did I lose by this means. But
nothing, however serious might bo the
result, could deter mc, when an opportu
nity offered, for practicing my absurd
sport. If the victims were nngry and
indignant, I only laughed the louder, and
wondered that they could not see the
fun of the thing. But at length one of
my most exquisite jokes recoiled on my
self with so much forco that I can never
even think of a practical joke without a
squirm at the disagreeable recollections
the thought suggests.
" As I was ascending the steps of the
Exihangc reading room, one day about
two years ago, I saw, a little in advance
of mo, my intimate friend Dick Jones.
Accelerating my pace to overtake him, I
observed the corner of a large pocket
hook protruding from his coat pocket.
" ' What a careless fellow that Dick
Jones is!" I said to myself. 'I'll give
him a lesson that will make him more
careful in future. And coming close be
hind him, I adroitly transferred the well
filled wallet from his coat pocket to my
breeches pocket ; then falling back among
the crowd that is always coming and go
ing 'change hour, I entered the room by
another door, waiting the moment when
he should discover his loss, to step for.
ward and give him hia wallet, and a
strong lecture at the same time.
"I had some little difficulty keeping
him in sight, as ho rushed hastily hither
and thither, bowing to this man shaking
hands with that, and having a few words
with another. I managed to follow him,
however, taking care that ho should not
recognize me, and chuckling at the con
sternation it would occasion him to find
his pocket-book missing. Presently he
put his hand behind him, started, and
turned round, for the first time giving
mo a view of hia face. Great Jupiter !
it was not Dick Jonca at all, but a gentle
man I had never seen before in my life.
Here was a predicament. Aa the enor
mity of the act of which I had been guilty
presented itself before me, I was com
pletely overwhelmed; the blood rushed
to my head as though I woa about to have
an attack of apoplexy, and for a moment
everything swam beforo my eyes. He
covering myself with an effort, I started
forward, but only to see the gentleman I
had robbed vanish through the door at a
high rate of speed, and almost instantly
become lost in the hurrying crowd.
" What was to be done ? Why return
the gentleman his pocket-book at once,
of course. But how? I didn't know
who be was ? True, the contents of the
wallet might reveal that, but with what
face could I seek out the injured man
and say, " My dear sir, hero is your pock
et book which I stole from you a short
time since. I am sorry for the theft, and
now return the property. The only
apology I can offer, is, that I mistook
you for another gentleman, whom I sup
posed I might rob with impunity ?' What
would the deeply-injured and badly
frightened gentleman say? and, above
all, what would he do? Would ho not,
with righteous and just indignation say,
" You confounded, contemptible thief,
and pick-pocket, you have been the cause
of my having a note protested to-day;
you have occasioned me a shocking loss
of valuable time ; you have prevented a
splendid bargain ; in short, there ia no
end to the cvila that have resulted from
your atrocious crime. Your story of the
mistake is a palpable humbug and you
only return the property because you
feci certain of being detected before you
leave tho city. This sort of crime is be
coming too common, and I feel it my du
ty to give you in charge of the police.'
Yes undoubtedly, that is what he would
Bay ; he would then open the door, beck
on to an officer and have me arrested ; I
should be dragged to prison, examined
and committed without bail. At my
trial, the plea of insanity would bo
setup, of course; tho intelligent jury
would consider the defense knio, and
shake their heads gravely at the story of
the mistake; tho judge would say that
every other pick-pocket might plead a
mistake if this was admitted; and I should
bo found guilty, and every body would
exclaim, " How easy tho fellow got off I
only three years in tho State Prison 1"
" With these and similar thoughts run
ning through my head, I paced back and
forth across the hall with agitated steps,
endeavoring to think of some method of
extricating myself from my unpleasant
" ' What tho deuce am I to do?' t I
kept repeating to myself, as I fingered
tho confounded wallet, which felt like
lead in my pocket, and weighed much
heavier than lead upon my mind. ' How
can I get the infamous calfskin back to
its lawful owner ?" Such things have
been done ; we often read of similar res
titution in the papers. Let mo see how
is it thieves and pick-pockets manage such
things without being discovered? Ah, I
have it !' I exclaimed, almost aloud, in
my intense satisfaction at the idea. 1 I'll
just do tho thing up in a neat package
and send it by mail. What & goose I
was not to think of that before !'
" With a heart much lightened I ea
gerly started to leave the hall. Horror
of horrors ! At the entrance 1 beheld
the gentleman I had robbed, engaged in
conversation with a couple of policemen,
who stationed themselves at each door,
narrowly watching every person who left
or entered the hull. Words cannot ex
press the utter hopeless despair into
which I was thrown at this terrifying
siglit. Any attempt at restoring the
property under these circumstances would
bo sure to be considered the effect of fear
and not of honesty. Here I was, as it
were, imprisoned with the most convin
cing and damning proof of my guilt
about my person, and with a conplo of
lynx-eyed detectives barring the entrance
from which I kept as far as possible,
pretending to be absorbed in tho perusal
of a paper, for I was conscious my flush
ed and agitated countenance would be
tray me at the first glance. What would
I not give to have been as free from
guilt and as much at liberty to go and
come where I choose, liko other honest
men, as I was an hour before! But no ;
there I was, a trembling, skulking thief,
watched by the police, and liablo at any
moment to be arrested, with the evidence
of my crime. 0, that accursed pocket
book f how I searched the hall with my
eyes for some place where, unobserved, I
might hide it f But an instant's thought
convinced me that such a proceeding
would only render matters worse, doubt
less I was already watched, and would bo
seized upon tho first suspicious movement.
" And Buppose they do arrest mo ?" I
said to myself, making a desperate effort
to reason myself into a calmer and bold
er frame of mind, 'suppose they
do arrest mo ? I am well-known in
the city ; no one would suspect me of
being a pick-pocket. I can produce any
quantity of evidence as to my character;
1 can prove that I am a gentleman and
an honest man ; only it so happens that I
havo got another gentleman's wallet in
my breeches pocket, and cannot deny
that I stole it from him an hour or two
ago. Mighty honest and . gentlemanly,
that is, certainly ; No ; I'm a thief be
yond all remedy. No one would believe
me; it is so improbable that I scarcely
credit it myself.
" At this moment, a heavy hand was
laid upon my shoulder. 1 felt the blood
leave my face and rush back upon my
heart; my knees trembled and smote to
gether, and involuntarily I stretched out
my wrists for tho expected handcuffs.
" 'Why, what in the world ia the mat
ter with you, Smith ?' asked a familiar
voice; and with an inexpressible sense of
relief, I perceived that it was not a po
licemau, but an old acquaintance.
"'Good heavens, Spencer!" I exclaim
ed, frantically clutching his hand ; I havo
got myself into tho most . deplorable
scrape. Will you give me your advice,
and assist me to get out of it '("
" 'What kind of a scrapo? going to
have a note protested or anything of that
kind? I'm a littlo short myself to-day;
but I suppose I might make a raise if it
isn't too heavy."
,"'No; it's worse than that; a thou
sand times worse."
" ' Worse than that! Why, what in tho
name of wonder can be worse than a pro
test?" " 'Spence,' I said, blushing clear to
the tips of my ears with shame and con-'
fusion, I havo got another man's wallet
in my pocket. I thought to play a good
joke upon Dick Jones, but found when'
too late, that I had picked tho pocket of
an entire stranger. Now what shall I
do?" , . .
" 'Why return it, of course' replied
Spencer, coldly, bestowing upon mo a
glance of contempt.
" 'It is too late to do that,' I groaned.
' There are a couple of policeman watch
ing the door, and I cannot pass them with
out being detected.'
" 'It's a very awkward affair certainly
very awkward,' he returned, glancing
uneasily toward the door. ' For my part
I don't see how you are to get out of it.
I don't know as there is anything I can
do; and as matters will probably take a
serious turn, you must bo aware that I
am rendering myself liablo to suspicion
by stopping here talking with you. So
good-morning, Mr. Smith. I wish you
well, and out of your trouble.'
" 'For Heaven's sake, Spencer ' I ex
claimed observing his look of contempt
and suspicion, 1 you don't suppose that I
am guilty of this thing, that I did it in
tentionally, and for the purpose of rob
bing tho man ?"
" ' Why, really, Smith, I do not wish
to be either judge or jury; but it does
look somewhat singular that you should
pick any man's pocket of a large sum of
money, whether you happened to know
him or not. You say it was done for a
joke ; perhapa it waa though I must con
fess I cannot see the point."
" 'At all events, you'll not betray me ?"
I asked, in an imploring tone.
" 'No,' ho replied,' I'll not betray
you.' Then with a severe look, he added :
That is, not if you follow up your pres
ent intention of restoring the property.'
And ho turned away and left tho room.
" 'Good heavens, I am lost !" I mutter
ed, while tho perspiration poured down
my face. ' He believes me guilty, and
to will everybody else. What can I do ?
I shall never be able to faco those con
founded policemen. Without doubt I
shall pass this very night within the walls
of a jail, in company with other felons.
What will my friends, and, above all,
what will Mar ion think when she learns
that I am a common pickpocket and
" Almost fainting from excess of emo
tion, I leaned against a pillar and gazed
vacantly about me. 'Change hour was
nearly over, and the crowd that had
thronged the hall was rapidly thinning
out. In a few minutea there would be
scarcely a dozen persons present, when
the officers would have no difficulty in
ferreting me out. I strove to nerve my
self for the event that waa inpending by
walking rapidly back and forth across the
hall. Presently some one entered the
door ; it waa Dick Jones.
" 'Dick !' I almost screamed, beckoning
him toward me.
'"Why, Bob!" he exclaimed, aa he
came toward me and grasped my hand
' what is the matter ? You look as if you
had got the yellow fever. Are you sick ?"
" 'Yes very sick,' I replied ; and with
a sense of the deepest humiliation, I re
counted the circumstances. Dick heard
mc to the end in silence, looking very
" 'Sure you do not think I intended
any evil?" I ejaculated, an agony of
spirit, us ho continued to gaze upon the
floor, silent and thoughtful.
" ' No, Bob,' he returned, very gravely ;
' knowing as I do, your unfortunate pro
pensity, I cannot but believe your state
ment, though the case certainly looks bad
and I fear it would bo difficult to con
vince strangers of your innocence.'
" ' But you will do something for mo ;
won't you Dick ?" I said.
" ' Why, yes ; I'll do all I can,' ho re
plied. ' What ia tho name of the gentle
man you plundered ? I will go to him
and Bee what sort of an arrangement I '
can make; we shall havo to do it quick,
too, for I see tho officers are watchiug ua.
What's tho name.
" ' I havo not the slightest idea who
he was. I Bhall havo to exauiino the
wallet to discover that. Do you suppoHo
I can do so without being discovered V
" Well, you will havo to take that
risk anyway. Go into that corner and
examine. I will stand before you to pre
vent notice aa much as possible Bo
spry, now, for there's no time to lose.'
" With trembling fingers I drew tho
accursed wallet from my pocket, and read
tho name upon the clasp.
'"It belongs to Jenkins, of South
street,' I whispered to Dick.
" 1 Tho deuce it does !' he replied ;
'then I'm afraid wo fchull have some diffi
culty in arranging the business, for ho
has the reputation of being a Bteru, hard
man to deaj with. However, wait where
ou arc, ana i win go ana see what can i
e done. And I sav. Bob.' ho continued.
lowering hia voice, , if anything should I
happen before I get back, I will come up
to the Tombs and bco you this evening,
or in the morning,' and he hastened out
of the hall. ,
" People may talk of shipwrecks and
disasters at sea of tho solemn hour be
fore a battle, or the breathless interval
before tho word to fire is given in a duel ;
but I'll be hanged if I believe I should
suffer the one-hundreth part so much in
any one of these situations as I did for
half an hour after Dick left me. Dinner
hour was fast approaching, and tho crowd
rapidly dispersed, until there waa not
twenty people in the hall. That I might
not render myself conspicuous by wander
ing about with un evident want of pur
pose, I bent over a desk and pretended to
bo reading, while I kept my eyes upon
the door, watching and dreading tho en
trance of the formidable detectives. O,
how long seemed the minutes that I stood
there waiting and and trembling hoping
every minute to see Dick returning, and
yet conscious that he had not been gone
long enough to accomplish anything!
" At length, as I turned for tho hun
dredth time before the door, I saw the
officers come in and walk up the room;
they passed and repassed me several times,
and though I did not raise my eyes from
the paper, I was conscious that they were
examining me attentively. Presently one
of them came, and leaning over the desk
by my side, began carelessly turning tho
papers while hia searching gaze was bent
fixedly upon me. My heart was in my
mouth, and my breath came and went
" 1 Can you give me small bills for a
twenty ?" ho asked abruptly laying his
hand upon my arm.
"'No no, sir, I cannot; I haven't it
about mc,' I stammered without raising
my eyes from the paper.
" 'Haven't it about you ! Why, what's
that?" and he rapped his knuckles against
my pocket, which the fat wallet caused to
bulge as only a rich man's pocket should
" That that is only a bundle of pa
pers." " Papers, eh ? Well, let's have a look
" 'What do you mean, sir !' I exclaim
ed, making a frantic effort to appear in
dignant, though not daring to raiso my
eyes to his face.
" 'You'll soon find out what I mean,"
he replied, seizing me firmly by the arm
and beckoning to his brother officer, who
appeared to be expecting the summons.
" 'I cast a despairing glance towards
the door. Could it be that fate had at
last relented ? Yes there waa Dick and
tho gentleman 1 had robbed coming up
the steps. They called tho officers asido,
and a long conversation ensued. Jen
kins and Dick appearing to be urging
something upon tho officers, with which
they seemed reluctant to comply, for they
occasionally looked at me and shook their
heads. But at length tho argumonta of
my friends seemed to prevail, for the offi
cers walked away toward the door and
the former approached tho spot where I
"'Give the gentleman hia property
said Dick, very gravely.
"Sheepish and blushiug, I produced
the diabolical pocket-book, and returned
it to its owner.
" 'Young man,' said tho gentlcmau,
very severely, " I am doing wrong very
wrong iu allowing you to go ut largo. It
is my duty to deliver you up to justice.
Your story of tho mistake and intended
joko is absurd, people have but one ob
ject iu picking pockets. But in . consid
eration of this being your first offeuse,
and more in consequence of tho entreat
ies of your friend, I have consented to
allow you to depart, and I sincerely hope
my mistaken knulncsn may not bo tho
means of bringing you to the gallows.'
And with a bow to Dick, ho left tho
" 'There, Hob,' said Dick, in a grave
and serious tone, ' let this bo u warning
to you. No one but myself knows what
a narrow escape you have had, another
timo you may not bo so fortunate.' And
ho, too, left tho place.
" With the deepest sense of humilia
tion, I slunk out of tho room and sneak
ed homo a much wiser man than I was
in tho morning."
A hog entered a grocery store iu
Brunswick, Missouri, recently, when a
knowing dog attacked him, bit off his
tail, then seized tho hog by the ear and
Id d it shrieking back to its quarters in
the rear. Tho dog then returned to the
store, picked up tho tail and carried it to
tho pig. .
tt8 A wise head hath a still tongue ;
there tiro niuny men who can talk a great
deal, jet they may know but little.
The Mobilo Register of tho third inst.,
tella tho following remarkablo Btory:
For several days past there have been
mysterious and vague rumora of the
most remarkable meteorological phenome
non out nt the Catholic graveyard on
Stone street, above tho Three-mile creek.
It is asserted by those who say they have
seen it, that for the last five days a gen
tlo shower has fallen continuously on tho
lot of the Lemoine family, in which are
buried Mr. Victor Lemoine and many
others of the family. With a view of
getting at the facts of tho most extraordi
nary affair, wo had last night an interview
with Mr. Louis B. Lcmoiue, employed at
Asa Holt's, a son of the deceased Victor
Lomoine, who died in 1851, who related
the following startling particulars :
Having heard that it waa reported that
it had been raining for several days on
the enclosed ground which forms my
family burying ground in the Catholio
burying ground on Stone street, above the
Three-mile creek, I drove out there last
evening to Batiify myself, and, to my
intense astonishment, I saw that a col
umn of rain was coming down without
ceasing, which although hardly powerful
enough to lay the dust was enough to wet
tho hands or any article, and at timea
rained quite hard. The volume of rain
fell inside of tho enclosure, and nowhere
else, aa the weather was and has been
bright and clear all the time during the
five days the raiu has been falling on
these graves. There are thirteen of my
family buried in the lot of ground upou
which it had been raining. My mother,
brother and sister visited the spot yester
day and the day before to satisfy them
selves about this matter, and declare that
they too saw this wonderful phenomenon
It has also been seen by over two hundred
persons. I took a friend with mo when I
visited the spot, who also saw the rain
falling as described. Mr. John Iiossct,
the keeper of the cemctry, told me that
the rain had commenced falling in heavy
drops about five days ago. I nm willing
to take my oath as to tho truth of this
So incredible did this extraordinary
affair seem, that those who saw it several
days ago refrained from stating or asser
ting what they had seen, for fear that
not only their veracity but their sanity
would bo questioned, and it was only until
a number of gentlemen of the first respec
tability had seen and reported the result
of their personal observations that cred
ence was attached to the truth of the
matter. Tako it altogether, it is certainly
the most astounding and miraculous at
mospheric wonder that has ever been
witnessed in this part of the world, and
will doubtless afford abundaut food for
thought, research, and observation, not
only among scientific men, but among all
classes. There are so many who vouch
for the truth of Mr. Lcmoine'a statement
and his character for veracity is such,
that there can no longer bo any doubt of
the fact that it has been raining for the
past five days on the grave of his kindred.
The Secret of It.
An old farmer being asked why his
boys stayed at home when others did not,
replied it was owing to tho fact that he
always tried to make home pleasaut to
them. He furnished them with useful
and attractive reading; and when night
comes, and the day's labor is ended, in
stead of running with the other boys to
tho railway stations and adjoining towns,
they gather around the great lamp and
become absorbed in their books and
papers. My boys were still at home
when the eldest boy was 21, while thoso
who were furnished with no reading at
home sought city lifo and city dissipation
as soon as they were 17 or 18. All will
do well to heed this testimony of a far
mer who has known how hard it ia to
struggle for footing on a free Boil without
capital, and how valuable and coinpari
tivcly cheap are the aids which good
reading briugs to him. In this age of
general intelligence, the mind must be
catcrod to and books and papers fur
nished ; and not ouly this, but in this age
of cheap and artistic ehromo picturft can
also bo bought to bo used in makiDg
home attractive. The farmer's lifo is the
most independent of any, and there is no
reason why it may not be as attractively
A tcrriblo earthquake recently
occurred in Asia, involving a region of
nearly two hundred miles in extent, ou
the confines of Thibet, China, and Bur
mah. Over 8,000 human lives were lost..
In one place a mountain fell, and a new
one was suddenly upheaved. Many vil
lages were destroyed.