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I ■ I
E LANDED, my travel
ing companion and I, just
as the Christmas holidays
were approaching, at the
dirty little port of Steal,
and alter following a half
staked fellow driving two bullocks attached
to a truck cart loaded With rawhides about I
half a mile, at last found ourselves in tin
"Meson de San Igmvcio." It was a dirty
hovel, built of the unburnt brick or
"adobes" ot that country, and used for
every purpose pertaining to the occupation
of mine host in that civilized land. It had
but one room, long, narrow and without
light except from the door, and in one cor
ner waa built a little Are, where a short fat
woman in white chemise and red flannel
petticoat was making tortillas, while we
were ahown to the other end and told to
make ourselves at home on a long bench
covered with sheepskins.
The major domo tumbled two of the raw
hides down at our feet, and with many
carrachos tramped the wrinkles out to
make them lie flat and then piled the rest
of them in the middle of the room. Coffee,
tortillas and dried mutton furnished our
repast, nnd soon afterward we wrapped our
"scrapes" around us and betook ourselves
to tbe sheepskins, having previously made
arrangements for seats in the diligenciu for
Merida on the following day.
About daybreak we were roused by a tre
mendous lumbering at the door, and after
a volley of quaint Spanish curses addressed
to several mules, each of which he ad
dressed by the name of some saint, a little
parchment faced fellow, with jingling spurs,
a brood sombrero, v thick blanket and a
heavy whip, made his appearance, calling
for his breakfast.
By this time O'Farrell, my companion,
was dressed and out to inspect our convey
"Como se llama estn, senor?" he asked of
the major domo in Spanish, which, as ho
said, was reasonable, considering,
"I'll diligencia, senor," replied the host,
"Is t hut. the Spanish for cart?" said Jer
ry, turning to me
"In this case, certainly," I replied,
"though not usually, I believe."
Further comments were prevented by an
Imposing summons from our host, and iv
10 minutes we hod disposed of a reasonable
quantity of the goat's flesh and tortillas,
washed it down with some strong coffee,
and returned to the street, where by this
time were assembled several senores, with
their blankets covering half their faces and
tbeir sombreros the other half, gravely in
specting whfct Jerry Irreverently insinuat
ed should be called a cart.
"Tree reales, senor," said the don to my
question for his bill, and he received tho
money with a lofty bow, which no doubt
was meant to impress upon us the height
from which he condescended to accommo
date us at all.
"Cheap enough," said I, handing him the
"And dear enough, too," said Jerry,
jumping into the "cart."
" 'lata, mulasl Santa Maria! Santa
Cut huriua! Santa Dreulal" etc., screamed
the little courier. The crowd of senors
gravely raised their hats, the major domo
bowed like a hidalgo and we were off. I j
looked back and saw the crowd close eager
ly round "mine host" to Inquire about the
strangers, and the noble keeper of tbe
"meson" drew himself proudly up to give
an account of his "illustrious guests." A
turn in the road hid them from view, anil
we were trotting merrily upon the road to
Our journey to the capital afforded no
incident worthy of narration, unless indeed
two "breerkdowns" aud Antonio's dexterity
in patching up be deemed so. and about
hulf an hour after sunset we drove into the
deserted streets of "the city." All our
friend Antonio's "'lsta, mulas," and "San
tas" were not sufficient to raise a trot,
and iv a "most musical, most melancholy"
walk we creaked through the wide oak
door of the "Meson Santiago," or "St.
James hotel." Mother I'epa, whose lati
tude and longitude differed but little in
degree, stood iv the paved court, and with
jisny abortive, courtesies received the
guests, who in this country are always
Jerry took her hand and saluted her fat
cheek, telling her be was "devilish glad to
see her," and I followed the cordial pair
into the best room, where a table was al
ready set with red beans, goat's flesh, tor
tillas and coffee. Jerry stopped at the door
and held a short colloquy with the "mad re,"
while I listened to the music—the "diligen
cia" and the "carrachos" being stilled at
last—l was enabled to bear from au upper
room on the other side of the court.
"Why, Jerry," said I us he eutered, sen !
ing the old abbess off in a quick wadd 1
"you seem to know where you are."
"Know where I am? Certainly 1 do!" he
exclaimed. "I've been here before —spent
two months here once. And, by the by,
we're just in town. Don't you hear the
"Yes, but I'd know we were in town
without that ," I answered.
"Not so deep tn town, though," he re
joined, "for there is a'fandango' up there,
my boy. See," he continued, slapping me '
on the back, "see what a thing it is to trav
el in good company. We have the entree
"Good!" I exclaimed, entering into the
spirit of the thing, fur pleasure was what
we were after.
"Or," said Jerry, "as they say here, 'Mu
cho bueno.' Speak Spauish, my boy, or
you will never get along here, for d the
word do any of these people know of Eng
"Well, well, don't swear, Jerry I I'll rub
up my Spanish."
"Yes, and be a little more Irish and a ti
tie less nice," he rejoined. "Thut's quite
necessary as Spanish."
Jerry was au Irishman himself by bin
as his name indicates. So my readers \
excuse him. At any rate, I did, for in I
than half an hour his energetic, then
somewhat equivocal, Spanish had given
the entree into the room where was asset
bled the elite of the city of Merida.
"Here, Tom," said he, dragging me across
the room; "come this way, my hoy, aud let
me introduce you."
They were dancing some cross between
a cotillon aud a reel, as Jerry said, and us
>we made our way round the figur» wa
passed a group stauding in one of the win
Idows, wbich were all embayed and grated
with iron, but contained no glass. A young
man with a profui.ion of gold coins on
the outside seam of his slashed pantaloons
and a very heavy rtngon his forefinger step
ped out and was extremely glad to see
Jerry, shaking him by the hand and seem
ing inclined even to embrace bim. Jarry
was glad to see 'him also und introduced
me with a go-xl deal of impress! vene=s. "Don
Benito de la Torre," ho called bim and
treated htm with tar more respect than I
thought his sinister look warranted.
"Ohde rata Carlotta?" Jerry asked. And
slight frown contracted the don's face,
ut Jerry hurried on, inquiring for his m
ler, Don Francisco, and his mother. Donna
alia, in his rapid Irish way, hardly giving
im time to answer.
"Thank you mnny times," Be.id Benito;
they are nil well."
Jerry went on inquiring further, but his
questions were all answered coldly though
politely. It seemed to me that the subject
was unpleasant, and I pulled Jerry's arm.
We passed on.
"Thenuinnerlesschurl," Jerry cxclnimed,
"not to invite us to his father's house; the
finest place and the prettiest girl in Me
rida! I havo no patienc.! with him!"
We stopped before a refreshment table,
icliind which sat an old fat woman, scrv
ng the gusts with wines, liquors, nuts,
akes, cigaritns or oof Tee, ns suited their
ari«)U3 tastes, aud receiving the reals
rhich each paid for his entertainment,
tn* wae (ho only ball bill to pay. l»aob
avalier, after dancing, took his partner to
he table, If she desired refreshment, drank
omething himself or took a cignritn, and
mid his money. "Those who danced paid
he bill," including music, too, I suppose,
or those who did uot dnnce hud nothiug to
>ey unless they chose. We took a glass of
ho wine of the country—a white wine,
nadc from a smnll, yellow grapes—and were
eavtng the table when Jerry turned ,d
--lenly to the light, having been tapp' t a
"By Jove, Tom, hero she is now!' \
ilaimed, aud sailed the small, thin .ita
land of n very beautiful girl wit had
•ailed his nttention. She smiled very s reet
y, and her large black eyes teemed to
imile even more than her small, whito
eeth. O'l'mrell lowered his voice and
noderated the boisterounness of his mau
ler, for, like all Irishmen, ho was constitu
tionally v gentleman.
"When did you come to Merida again?"
ihensked iv those sweet, liquid tones which
inly a southern beauty is mistress of.
"Only tonight; not an hour ago," said
3'Farrell. "Hut we are going to stay us
ong ns you will let us."
"We!" she exclaimed, looking steadily at
"My young friend and travelingcompun
on, Tom Conover," said Jerry, dragging
no nearer. "Da Seuora Carlotta de la Torre,
ihe prettiest girl in Merida," he added In a
whisper, which of course; ahe heard, us he
nteuded. She gave me her hand in the
most artlc s manner possible. I took it
md pressed it wurmly.
"I hope his visit to our city will be pleas
int," said she.
"If 1 meet you often, it certainly will,"
said I boldly; at least I thought it boldly
tor then but 18 summers had rolled over
"Oh, that you shall do certainly," she
said, and in live minutes more we bad joinci
Lhe waltzers nnd were whirling around the
long room in the graceful gyrations of tha
This lasted a longtime, until I was dizzy
md then we went to a window. Openinf
the grating, we found ourselves upon n bol
rjony without, where the moon was shining
lown calm nnd still, and the city lay be
neath us as quietas the "City of the Dead.'
We walked away from the window till the
hum and hustle of the fandango Were liurd
ly audible, and tho liquid notes of a flageo
let came up iv the quiet street from an
Drange grove, through which was visible a
little stream, shining in the moonlight
imong the dark green foliage like a silver
We listened a long time and talked in
Bubdued tones, like two romantic children
as we were. And she showed me her un
cle's residence, dimly visible iv the moon
light across the tops of the low, flat, roofer
bouses. Thegardeus around it were full o
trees, whose tropical foliage looked like a
deep shade upon an exquisite picture. Shfc
told me she lived with her uncle, and in
vited me to home there often, and of course
I promised tit do so, und then dimly con
scions perhaps thut she was "gcttln|
along" very fast, ahe apologized by s ijim,
that I was a friend of Senor O'Furrull, ui;<
therefore her friend.
But when I questioned her about her ac
quaintancc with him she only suid she hat
known him the year before and proposes,
to return to the dancing room. Return we
did and danced another figure, la turun
SHR IHVITBD ME TO OOMB TIIKIJE OFTEN',
tula and la eochucba, and then she essayed
to teach me the bolero nnd laughed sweet
ly when I (ailed In the steps. At last I no
ticed Benito scowling at her in reproach
and became suddenly conscious tbat I hud
been with her nearly four hours,
"Come, TOW," said O'Farrell, "we must
go. You have hud a good time, I hope, with
We both blushed—neither knew why.
But Jerry and BenitO both suspected why,
for while the former pulled nt me the lat
ter come abruptly up to Carlotta and drew
her arm within his. She turned her head
and gazed nt me ns we left, with a long,
sweet, inviting look, us if she regretted to
be parted nnd wished to meet again, us I
believe she did and am certain I did.
"You're young and green," said Jerry
when we reached our room. "The Brat thing
you know that fellow will he hiring seme
one to assassinate you, as he served me last
year, the puppy! Carlotta is his cousin and
lives with his father. Her parents are dead,
and she was nffluuced In Infancy, according
to the custom of the country. So, you see,
she is just as gocd us Benito's wife."
"Better, I think," said I. But Jerry
turned over mid was asleep before I could
ask bim more. I followed his example,
and of co ns • dreamed of v light, fairy form
with white teeth nnd black eyes.
Love sought is good, but given unsought Is
We were employed on the following day
until afternoon in settling ourselves in our
new quarters und making arrangements
for a month's sojourn. After dinner I sal
lied forth into the town, and, as might have
been expected, took my way first down the
street upon wbich Carlotta lived. It was
tho hour of the siesta, a luxurjt in wl lob
all indulge in this luxuriouseUmatc, and
tho streets were entirely deserted. Si! — re
reigned unquestioned, and one might 1' 'c
Supposed that not o living thing wti c
found in oil this desert. I could her
echo of my footsteps against the
as 1 passed, and involuntarily I end..
to walk more lightly.
The streets were like enormous ditches,
bordered on each side by walls of sun dried
brick aud alsnost filled up. _Thoy sloped
LOS ANGELES HERALD: MOWAY MORNING, DECEMBER 25. 1893.
from each side to the center, and sidewalks
were never dreamed of by that simple peo
ple. Here and there a little path ran along
the uneven ground under tbo walls to avoid
the pools of water in the rainy season.
These I followed from habit more than
necessity, tor the strc t was dry and clean.
But walking in the middle of a street nev
er did look right—to irte. I was r.ot cer
tain of the place Carlottabnd pointed out (a
place looks so differently by (lay to what it
does at night), but I p.-iuird and walked
more slowly when I supposed I had come
A high wall ran along the street for a
long distance, and over it were visible the
tops of Orange aod 1 fig trees. A nnrrowdoor
(how 1 longed to stop and look through its
r.revicw!) pierced it about the middle, and
near the corner was a smaller door, which
had no crevices. 1 pnnsed on and looked
down tho croas btreet, upon which atood a
large atone house. This I was sure WM the
house, nnd 1 wasnhout to turn down, when
the little door opened and a boy rau out, ]
beckoning mc to follow bim in. I did so
without a moment hesitation, and he
locked the door stealthily and took out tho
"This way, sc.nor," said he, and started
at a quick pace down one of the shell walks
which traversed the Burden in every direc
tion. He hurried mc ao fast and I wa» to
agitated tbat I had hardly time to notice
the beauties of oue of tbe most charming
rctrenta I ever beheld. The grounds were
not extensive, containing perhaps not more
than ihree acres, but within that small
space were Crowded charms which would
have beautified ten times tbe extent.
Over all this scene of enchantment hung
a veil of repose, end the air was as st ill us
we sec it on n summer day in the country.
Tho sib-nee was broken only by the hum
ming of bees and the murmuring of the
streamlets as t.icy laved the vines which
hung iv the ripples, swinging lazily up and
down. When I placed my foot upon n flat
stono, which led across one of these, I heard
the echo come brick from the wall, and the
boy held up his finger to enjoin caution.
I followed him in silence almost to the
end of the garden, when, crossing a stream
and turning suddenly to the left, he pointed
mc to a rustic summer house nnd turned
back. Two viueß were so bent aa to
form an opening, and a mass of matted
vines hung swinging over it for a shutter.
I drew this aside and found myaelf in the
presence of Curl/itta.
She sut half reclining in a hammock of
silk cord, swung across from tree to tree,
and was dressed iv the usual afternoon
costume of tbo country; v loose flowing
robe of white muslin, uot confined at the
waist, but left loose alternately to hide and
disclose the sweeping contour of her form.
Her hair was arranged in heavy madonna
plaits, only confined at the end and falling
loosely over her spot less neck. She wore
small red morocco slippers, but when I en
tered one of them had fallen oil aud was i
lying on the ground, and the foot |
which it had fallen was hanging coquet
tishly over the cord of tbe hammock, and
alas! covered by no stocking. She had
large, swimming black eyes, a small, pout
ing mouth, red lips and a clear though
somewhat bruuette complexion.
"Buenos turdi, seuor," she said, at the
same time throwing a fold of her robe over
her blue veined foot, uot, however, until it
was plain that she wished me to see it first.
"Scntarse, senor," she continued, draw
ing up I. -.r feet and pointing to the end of
the hammock, where L. was uot long in
seating myself. Reaching over the side of
the hammock, she took up a small muquey
basket filled with oruuges, figs und grupes
and presented it to me with oue of those
smiles which only a southern coquette
knows how to use. I took an orauge, and '
we began to talk.
"How long will you lie in Merida?" she
"As long as I can enjoy myself," I re
plied, "and that promises a long visit."
1 She turned those largo eyes upon me
sc-Hichingly and asked:
"Is there anything in Merida to interest
"Oh, much!" I exclaimed; "more, much
1 more than I had imagined."
"Until when?" she inquired quickly, still
gazing at me.
"Until lust night," I replied, returning
the look with interest.
"At the fandango?" she pursued.
"Yes; and on the balcony, in the moon
light," I answered.
She turned the conversation most abrupt
ly, but in such a manner as to let me see
that it cost her an effort. We talked for an
hour of indifferent things, she always turn
ing awuy from personal topics as soon aa
we hud approached them nearly enough to
feel that we were upon uncertain ground.
I was too near her. Her glances and tones
were too ardent for this to last long. I was
young, impulsive, giddy headed and full
beurted. I threw my arm around her
waist and poured out, I fear, a very ineo
i hereut medley of English, French aud
! Spanish. She hid her face, blushing aud
] trembling, but us I proceeded she timidly
; raised her eyes and listened quietly, mak
ing uo effort to escape my arm.
Indeed 1 could see plainly enough that
! she was pleased. I knew that, in a minute
I should press my lips lo hers unresisted. 1
i was just about to do so, when a noise bc
j bind like the jumping of a heavy man
| from the top of Ihe wall mado me start
I and spring to the ground. Before 1 could
j reuch the door, however, the vines were
I jerked aside, anil O'Tarrell strode hastily in.
"Tom, my boy!" he exclaimed without
I noticing Cnrlotta, "you must come away
j from litre, quick. I huven't even lime to
tell you why till we get luto the atreet.
i Come," he continued, dragging me ulmost
i oil my feet,"this way ovcrthe wall. Qaiokl"
Scarcely knowing what 1 was about, 1
j leaped down into the street. Jerry fol
lowed, and seizing my arm he hurried me
awuy down a small narrow street aud by ;
a circuitous route to the incsou.
"You are young and imprudent!" he ex
claimed almost, breathless, as we at last
slackened our pace. "1 wouldn't have you
killed lor ull old He la Torres wealth."
"Killed!" said 1. "What do you mean?"
"Mean! Why, 1 mean if you hud staid
there 15 minutes longer you would have
been a (lend man! [saw the skulking rus
■ cal Benito talking to the same cutthroat
Ihe hired last year to shoot at me. I man
aged to listen, and you can guess what 1
heard from what 1 did. You must be
more careful. You are young aud green."
He was right. I was green.
CHAPTER 111. * -
Time rolled on very pleasantly. Tlie
scenes were nil new, and I was nt precisely
the ago when our enjoyment is keenest.
Jerry wan pursuing his own schemes of
pleasure iv bis wild way, and I was left
almost alone to find what, enjoyment I
might. Several times I had met Carlotta
in the garden, but the knowledge that Be
nito watched us closely made our inter
views short and stolen. She had told me
all her history; how she hud been affianced
by her parents to her cousin when both
were children: how time had revealed to
her the dark and unlovable traits of his
character; how with many tears she had
mode up her mind to the sacrifice; how
love for tho memory of her dead parents
bad induced her to do so. But she aaid she
had now determined that no power should
force her to It. She did not nnd could not
lovo him. I pressed her timidly to say
whether she loved another, but either she
was unwilling to speak or we were always
interrupted aud I forced to make a precip
Things were in this state on the evening
before Christmas. I still lingered on with
out more plainly declaring whea l ffik (jou
see by this time that I was deeply in love),
end she was unwilling to forestall my dec
laration. On that night I went to the
Church of the Incamacion to hear mass at
With a light Spanish mantle thrown
over my shoulders, I stood omong the
kneeling throng, I confess not overdevout.
A crowd of women came rustling in. As
they passed mo I felt my mantle slightly
pulled, and on turning saw the bright eyes
of Carlotl:. bent oa in.' fern moment and
"Aqua, mndre," she whispered to her
aunt, whom she called mother, and they
both knelt very near me. I stepped lightly
around them nnd seated myself on v kind
of dels which ran along the side of the
church, very near to Carlotta. I had not
been there more than Aye minutes when
she looked up with ono of those long, fur
tive looks whicli are so charming from a
dark, liquid eye. It was dusky where wo
J were, but there was sufficient light for mo
J to sco a smoll note pinned to the corner.of
; her mantilla, and to that she directed mc
Iby a glaric. Changing her posture, sha
! threw the mantilla close to mc. Covering
WITH A WILD SCREAM SHE SPRANG FROM
MY ARMS AND FELL TO TBE GROUND.
it with my cloak, I unpinned the note and
after a moment left the church. My lodg
ings were only a few steps off, so hurrying
over I opened the note. It ran thus:
My mother, father and Benito will be In the
procession tomorrow at 3p. m. I shall have a
headache, dQtthat I cannot go, but will be at
home. Santiago will bring you the key.
I went back, caught her eye resting in
, quiringly on me, nnd slightly nodding as a
! token that I would be there retired from
When I got back to my lodgings, I
' searched for the note for the purpose of de
stroying it or reading it again perhaps, but
it was nowhere to be found. I hastened
i back to the church, supposing I might have
dropped it there, but I could see nothing
: of it.
Benito was standing near where I had
sat, but he did not move, only glancing at
me and withdrawing his gaze. He seldom
noticed me now; Indeed never, except by
: one of those sinister looks which promise
no good feeling. It was but a few months
, before the day fixed for his marriage with
I Carlotta, and he watched his prize with a
jealousy truly Spanish.
The note was not to be found.
On the following day, Christmas, the pro-
Of—lull was formed at the Church of tho
Incarnacion and moved for the cathedral at
j 3 o'clock. About the same time the peou '
j boy entered the "meson" and handed me a
I small key, to which was attached a strip of
paper with these words, "Enter by the door
on St. Martin street."
I went down immediately on the march
ing of the procession. The streets were en
| tirely deserted, so that I had no trouble iv
entering Unobserved. The little postern on
St. Martin street opened directly on the
rear of the summer house, into which I was
not long in going.
In precisely the costume I have before de
scribed, she sat swinging in tbe hammock,
beauty, grace and vivacity combined.
"Ah, amigo mio!" she cried playfully as
I entered. "You have kept me waiting too
lougl" I stepped forward, and seating my
self at her feet took her extended hand and
"The hour you named is not yet past,"
"Well, well," she replied, running her
hand through my hair. "You are here now
at all events. I will not complain since
you have come."
"Did you wish to see me very much in
deed?" said I.
"Can you ask?" And she gave me a look
Which said more plaiuly than any words
could that she wanted to see me alone of
all the world. What could I do? I took I
her hand in one of mine, and placing tho
other round her waist drew her gently to
"Do you love me. then?" I whispered.
She gazed in my face a moment, and
then throwing her arm over my shoulder
abandoned herself to my caresses.
The crack of a rifle resounded through
the garden, and wit h a wild scream she
sprang from my arms and fell to the
ground. I jumped from the hammock,
I and drawing a pistol rushed out upon the
walk. Another crack resounded among
the trees, aud a bail whistled by close to
my head. Immediately afterward I heard
footsteps hurrying away. I pursued, but
as I came in sight of tbe ante on the Calle
Real it was closed und locked from the out
side. I climbed to the top of the wall, but
no one was visible ou the street. Tho pro
cession and high mass had assembled
almost all the inhabitants of the city. As
far as the eye could reach not a human
being was visible
I returned to the arbor and found Santi
ago andapeon woinira liftingCarlottnupon
a bench. The ball intended for me hud en
tered her temple, and she was dead. Her
face was turned upward, and the blood was
slowly dripping from the wound to the
ground. Young, innocent, passionate and
beautiful, her warm affections had led her
to a premature and violent end.
"You had better not stay," said Santiago,
ns I stood gazing upon the ruin before me.
II "My master wi?l be home soon, and you
must not let him find you here Juanna
»nd I will tell him."
He was right. I could do no good by stay
ing and might do harm. Telling the ooy to
•ay to his master that 1 would call upon
him on the following day and explain my
connection with her death, I looked for
the last time upon the lifeless form and
slowly left the place.
The remainder of my story is soon told.
Her uncle never knew by whose hand she
had died, but the disappearance of his sou
led him to suspect Benito. The latter left
the city immediately after the procession.
He was observed to talk a moment with»u
Mexican, and then disappearing down a
street near by he was seen no more.
Yet his own hand had not dono the deed,
for he was in the procession at the time
and throughout the mass. The explanation
I suppose to lie in the fact that he had got
information in some way of tbe appoint
ment, probably by finding the note which 1
had dropped, and having hiied.two assas
sins purposely showed himself in the pro
cession in order to escape the suspicion o(
having, murdered me, for whom the shot
was intended. All efforts to arrest liitn
were unsuccessful, probably because they
were discouraged by his friends.
We staid in the city long enough to wit
n«o«.tr-e m<urrmce!?t.funeral sssrvioe ut* U«a
Catholic church, with what feelings I will
uot stop to stay. I called to see her uncle,
but I urn now net surprised that he refused
to see me. On the following day we went
to Sisal. Hern 1 took shipping for La Ha
bona aud huvc not been iv Merida since.
Oscai! C. Hamlin.
'~~ CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS.
How to Arrange Flowers nntl Greens on
the Dinner Table.
Much careful thought and attention
ihould be given to the home table on Christ
mas day. as a happy arrangement of greens
or plateau of flowers wiil bo found .o give
tho needful touch that makes the Christ
mas dinner the bright and cheery meal it
should be. When greens also are desired
for decoration, a large branch of mistletoe is
effectively placed over its chandelier, and
a basket of holly, with its berries, iv the
renter of the table. English mistletoe is
preferable to the American, both on ac
count of its richer coloring and the larger
Size of tho berries.
Place several sprays of either holly or
mistletoe about the table, tying the larger
ones with scarlet ribbon. If other greens
are used, try to carry out the same sugges
tion, adding to them above the chandelier
lire aches of the brilliant hued sumac, plac
ing a mass of bittersweet in tbe center of
the table and sprays carelessly here aud
there on the cloth. The resnlt will prove
to you that even without the holly and the
mistletoe your table may be daintily aud
effectively decorated. Sometimes ferns
alone are used; sometimes ferns with lilies
of the valley.
When both greens and flowers are desired
the former is more effective on or above the
chandelier, the flowers placed in the center
of the table. A pretty addition would be
the placing of a small spray of holly, with
its berries, tied with a tiny scarlet ribbon,
at each person's place. Ono could add little
appropriate Christmas mottoes to these if
The flowers used may be either orchids,
roses, Roman hyacinths, violets or lilies of
the valley. Tiny bunches of violets or a
few detached roses, if such are used as a
centerpiece, may be carelessly thrown here
and there about the table, having an eye
always to effect. When very elaborate dec
oration is attempted, fine, feathery bits of
foliage placed at intervals about the table
: are seemingly caught together with a few
j roses, violets or lilies of the valley in small
bunches. The napery, glass and china will
lof necessity be on Christmas day of the
I finest the house can boast. In completing
tho table decorations do not forget to place
a sprig of holly in the Christmas pudding.
—Ladies' Home Journal.
A IHcrry Christmas.
Hark) throughout Christendom joy bells are
From mountain and valley, o'er land and o'er
Sweet choral melodies pealing and thrilling.
Echoes of ages from far Galilee.
Christmas is here, merry old Christmas,
Gift bearing, heart toucbing, joy bringing
Day of grand memories, king of the year.
The Christmas chimes are pealing, softly
: pealing; the joyous sounds are ringing,
ever louder and clearer, ever nearer and
nearer, like a sweet toned benediction fall
ing on the ear. Glad ringers are palling
the ropes, and in one grand swell of melody
Christmas, with its old yet ever new and
marvelous mysteries, bursts triumphantly
I upon the world once more.
The cattle have turned their heads to the
! east and knelt down to worship the King
cradled in the manger; the houses are
decked with holly; the yule log burns
! brightly; the gray shadows sweep away;
the sun is up, and the bright eyed children,
' who have lain awake all night listening for
the patter of old St. Nick's tiny steeds on
| tbe roof, only to fall asleep at the event
ful moment, wake hurriedly to find the
stockings running over with toys and
Beautiful and right it is that gifts and
good wißhes should fill the air like snow
flakes at Christmastide. And beautiful is
the year in its coming and in its going—
most beautiful and blessed because it is al
ways the year of our Lord.
I do not know a grander effect of music
on the moral feelings than to hear the full
choir and the pealing organ performing a
Christmas anthem in a cathedral and fill
ing every part of the vast pile with trium
phant harmony.—Washington Irving.
Christmas In Mew York Slums.
"Dat remin's me w'en I wuz a little bit
uv a goirl," said Kitty Toole, "der blokies
[ yused to tell me 'bout hangin up derstock
in and den some big stuff wid long w'iskers
all over his mug wood bj round wisitin
down der bouses' chim'leeß.
"Dat his w'iskers' name wuz Sandie
Clans. He wood be loaded full of good
tings, and dey yvood be put inter der stock
in's of der kids.
"Well—say! I went ter bed dat nite and
banged up me stockin. Yersee I'm tellin
'bout w'en I wuz a kid, not now—l nose
better—and I slept away, dreamed uv der
good tings I wuz goiu ter get in der mora
in. W'en I woked up, I looks at der
stockin, and wot do yer tink der wuz in it?
Narthin. I felt sore. So I puts on me
stockin's and goes out ou der streets, meets
der whole gang. Den I asked dem wot dey
got fer Christmus. Der kids all sed 'Narth
"Scz dey ter me, 'Wot did youse get,
Kitty?' Says I, 'Dat Sandie Claus is a fuke
—a grate big stuff. I hanged up ma stockin,
and ull I cood fin in me stockin is mo fut.
Dare it is, see.' De gangscd I wuz guyin,
hutdat's dtf trute. I ain't seed Sandie
Claus yit!"—New York Herald.
Christmas Customs In Franco.
It is not unlike Voltoire's statement re
garding the keeping of Christmas in somo
•French cities: First a young mun appears
with wings on his shoulders and recites
the "Hail Maryl" to which a girl responds
"Fiat," after, which the make believe an
gel kisses her on tho mouth. Then a boy in
side a pasteboard cock shrieks,"Puer natus
est," a fat ox growls "Übi?" a lamb bleats
"Bethlehem," an uss brays "Hihamus" in
stead of "Eamus"—and then the affair is
fully under way.—Selected.
The Christmaa Festival.
Pope Telesphorus, who died before the
middle of the second century, deserves can
] onizing, if for nothing else, for instituting
Christmas as a festival. It has been cele
| brated ever since in all Christian lauds und
bus given more huppiness to children than
any day in the calendar. Making children
happy is the essence of Christianity.
SlgnJfJeSliou of Christmas.
Christinas was formed, in the era of the
ology, from Curist and mass. In these
practical find luxurious days it might sig
nify that we should try to imitate Christ
in dealing with the muss of mankind, who
are usually more or less unfortunate. By
so dealing with them we should make all
days Christinas days.
Christmas is always associated with the
good Jesus, who, whether regarded us God
or man, was the purest, kindest, noblest |
being that has walked tho earth. He has
inspired love in saint and sinner, in de
votee and skeptic alike. Men may wrangle
about creeds, but abort -fesus and his
beautiful life there can hardly be any dif
ference of opinion, for he pitied ull who
suffered und strove to heal every achiug
m" JOHN LAW.
Tho sun lay like a red ball In tho foggy
sky, high up übove the London houses.
One could not see across the street or recog
nize, the faces of passersby, for tho yellow
fog blinded one's eyes and confused one's
Tbere. in a garret, two littie boys (stood
with their faces pressed to a pane of gias3,
watching the red ball and wondeiing.
A knock at the door made the children
draw their faces quickly awuy from tho
" 'Ush!" whispered Tim to his brother.
"I guess it's school board after us."
The knock came again. Tiih went softly
to the door and peeped through the key
"It's Sally!" ho cried. "I'll unlock the
"I thought you wos school board," he
explained as an old woman cumo into the
100111 carrying n jug. "Mother's took our
boots, and 'er said if school board corned
we WOm't to let 'lm in. What 'aye you got
in that jug?"
"Wos motk er drunk?" inquired the vis
itor, without heeding his question.
"Well, 'er slept 'eavy lust night."
" 'Aye yer had any breakfast?"
"Nothlnk. Baby's cried 'isself to sleep,
and Bill and me's been lookin at the har
vest moon, what you and me seed when wo
" 'Ere's summat for tbe fire," she said,
opening her apron, which she held together
with a horny hand, and showing Tim some
bits of paper and a few cinders. "Got any
"Now I'll be off," she said when a fire
burned in the grate. "If any one comes
after me, just ycr say, 'Does yer want rags
sorted?'and if the party says'Yes,'then
yer say, 'Well, Sally wuu't be 'ome for a
"All right," said Tim. "When will you
"Not before 1, sonny."
Saying this, the old woman left the
room, casting a glance at the fire that
gleamed through the fog, and a hasty look
at the red ball in the sky which Tim called
the "'urvest moon." She knew it was the
sun, but why should she confuse the minds
of the children?
After the door was shut the boys went to
the fire and crouched down on the hearth.
Yellow fog filled the room, hiding the old
bed where the baby lay under a dirty blan
ket and throwing a curtain over the broken
chairs and boxes. Tim held his hands up
before the burning sticks. He looked won
drous wise in the firelight. Gleams fell ou
bis small white face, showing his wizened
features, from which all traccsof childhood
seemed to have vanished. He had been sole
protector of his two little brothers for the
spuce of a Tear aud a half—ever since his
father found a home in the cemetery. His
mother drank, und when drunk she was
sometimes violent. He had seen a good
deal of life, although he was only 8, for he
lived in a lodging house. Fights, murders,
suicides and deaths made epochs in his ex
istence, and he talked of "when I wos
young" as though the time lay for back in
Presently the baby began to cry, and Tim
went to fetch it from tbe bed. He brought
it to the fire and fed it with some of the tea
which old Sally had given him for bis
breakfast. While be was busy with the
baby, Bill crawled to the window.
"Oh, Tim," ho said, "the red ball 'as
gone out o' the sky."
"I guess," said Tim, " 'er's gone back to
Then Tim's thoughts wandered to the
days when he had gone hopping with old
Sally, to tbe harvest moon and the hop
fields. He would have been perfectly happy
then if he had not "worrited" about the
"Wheu I wos young," he said aloud,
"I never worrited about nothinkl"
Just as the words were said a shrill cry
came from the window.
"What's the matter?" asked Tim.
"I's cut me thumb wid a bit o' glass,"
"Come to the light and let me see," satd
The little boy came howling to the
hearth, holding out his thumb and point
ing to the blood upon it.
"Whatever will I do!" exclaimed Tim.
"It's lockjaw he's got, I knows it."
Only the week before v man had died
from lockjaw in the room below the garret,
and Tim had heard his mother discussing
the matter with her neighbors. "If they'd
stuck his jaws open directly he cut his
thumb, he'd have pulled through," some
one hod said, "but all the doctors in Lon
don couldn't force his jaws open after he
got to tbe hospital."
Tim laid tbe baby oa the bed, where it
lay crying as loud us it could cry, because
it was cold and famished. Then be weut
back to the fireplace, and found a square
piece of stick.
'"Old yer mouth open," he said to BIIL
Tho little boy stopped crying and opened
Tim slipped the stick between his teeth.
"Now," said Tim, "come along to the 'os
"What is it?" inquired the hospital por
ter as be passed through the gate.
"Lockjaw, sir!" panted Tim.
Loud peals of laughter made him stare
at the doctors and students who had gath
ered round Bill.
"Ain't it lockjaw?" he whispered to a
nurse, who was standing by.
"No," said the woman, "of course it
For a moment Tim could not believe his
senses. Then an awful vision floated be
fore him, a vision of hismother. Supposing
she came home while he was away and
found tho baby alone, crying? What would
happen then? It is but a step, they say,
from the sublime to the ridiculous, but
sometimes that step is across a precipice.
Tim shuddered when he heard the students
laughing at his mistake. He had meant to
savt Bill's life, and ull he had done was to
make himself a laughing stock.
Without a word ho took his brother's
hand and loft the hospital. Bill trotted by
his side through the foggy street, pointing
to the sticking plaster ou his thumb, and
chattering about the penny ho had received
from one of the medical students.
"P'raps mother ain't come home,"
thought Tim, "or p'raps 'er's so drunker
wun't see us!"
An hour later tho doors of the hospital
receiving room were pushed open by old
Sally, trio rug sorter. She hurried through
them, carry 1 iig little Tim, whose head lay
against her rugged dress, while his arms
and legs dangled down und blood streamed
from his forehoad.
"Why, this is the boy who came here an
hour ago with the lockjaw case," said the
doctor when Sally laid Tim on the table.
Tho students crowded round to look, but
they did nor, laugh at Tim now, for they
thought be was dead. They listened to the
doctor's questions and watched old Sally's
face while she explained that the boy had
fallen on the beurth In the garret.
"Is he your grandson?" inquired i be doc
tor while he felt Tim's pulse.
"No, be ain't. I'm a lone woman. I've
got no children. I fend for myself."
"Weil, it's a matter for tbe police," the
doctor said. "I believe the buy has been '
knocked down o.- kicked. Kis head's j
The fog had lifted by the time Pally loft
the hospital. She went Ijatit 10 tiie lodg
ing house, up tlie staircase aud into ncr
room. Rags covered toe floor. A lnnre
heap of rags mode a bed. another heap
served as a test. A horrid steuch filled the
place, bat Sally was accustomed to the
smell, and she never opened the window,
saying that Hhe liked lo be "warm and
comfortable." While she was raking tha
cinders together tn the grate and patting a
black cat tnut had raised its baok to wel
come its mistress, the door was opened and
Tim's mother cams in with the baby in her
arms and Bill hanging to her skirt.
"Sally," ahe said, "I was drunk when I
"Yes, ycr wos." said Sally, "and yer'd
best make verse! f scarce, for tho p'lecce 'as
been told, and if ycr dent take yerstlf oil
yer'il awing for it!"
"Will he die!"
"The doctor says 'c nil."
"Will you mind the children a bit?"
"Yes, till Christmas ."
The woman placed the baby on the heap
of rags and vanished.
Ai last on Christmaa eve when Sally
went to the hospital at about 7 o'clock she
found Thu himself again.
She aat down beside him, smoothing out
her ragged dress und trying to make her
crapo bonnet sit straight upon her head.
Tim's white face frightened her and she
could not speak. She did not want him to
sco that she was crying.
A great fire blazed opposite Tim's bed,
and around the fire sat boys and men, read
ing, playing games and discussing politics.
Nurses flitted about, decorating the walls
with ivy and holly, while they chatted to
one another and laughed with the patients.
No one seemed to be very ill except Tim,
i but a single glance at his face told Sally
I that he was dying.
"Tim, my son," she said at last, "this is
I a beautiful place, ain't it?"
"Yes," answered Tim faintly; "it's like
Neither spoke again for a few minutes.
Then Tim pointed to some toys on the bed. '
"Take 'em 'omo to the children," hesaid.
"When I wos young, I set my 'cart on a top
like this un 'ere what I've got for Christ-:
mas. Take it'ome to Bill."
The old woman pretended to admire the
toys, while her tears dropped on the blan
"Sally," said Tim presently, "does you
remember when we went 'opping?" 1
"Yes, my son."
"Well, that wos like this 'ere 'ospital; it
wos like 'eaven."
Tim lay with his eyes shut, thinking of
the time when be had gone hopping. Then
he saw old Sally beside his bed, dressed in
the same ragged dress and the same old
crape bonnet she had worn when they went
into the country together. Sally had al
ways been good to him, and he knew that
she never broke a promise.
"Sally," he said, "when I'm goneyer'U
look after the children?"
"Yes, my son," said Sally, "I ull."
Tim gave a sigh of relief. He closed his
eyes again, and by the time the nurse had
fluished singing he was asleep, with one
hand under his cheek and the other in Sal
ly's horny fingers.
The next morning when the sun was shin
ing and the Christmas bells were ringing
Sally went again to the hospital.
"Don't go up stairs," said the porter aft
er Sally had climbed the hospital steps,
"your little lad's not there any longer."
"Where may 'c be?"
"I'll show you."
She followed the porter along the passages
and down a staircase.
"Is 'c dead?" she asked when the porter
stopped to unlock an iron door.
"Yes; I've just brought him down here,"
said the porter.
Old Sally went into the mortuary, and
stood crying while the man uncovered a
little coffin. There lay Tim, with a smile
on his face and his hands holding a bit of
holly, "because it was Christmas."
For a minute Sally looked silently at
him. Then she bent down to kiss his fore
beod. "Tim, my son," she whispered, "I
won't forget my promise."
It is several years since little Tim went
home to the cemetery. His mother has not ,
been heard of since. The children live in ,
Sally's room, with the cat. Bill has de
veloped a genius for sorting rags, and the
baby has been taught to pick out the pa
pers from the rubbish Sally finds in the
Somehow or other the old woman man- |
ages to pay tbe rent aad to provide food for
the children. How she doss this is only .
known to herself. She has not forgotten lit
tle Tim. Often at dusk, before she lights
the dip caadie, she calls the boys to the
Ure ana says: j
1 "Now, my sons, I Ull just tell yer 'ew yer
brother Tim kept, 'is last ChristmaeP I
~~' CHRISTMAS IN THE ARCTIC. □
Hungry Explorers Celebrate With a Feast
or Seal Meat snd Blubber.
"I think Christmas, 1883, was my most
memorable one," said General Greely, the
famous arctic explorer. "With my com
mand I was proceeding smith ward in the
hope of obtaining help, and about the 20th
of October we ensconced ourselves In a lit
tle hut at Cape Sabine. Our supply of food
was running very low, and wo were on very
short rations, every one being allowed just
enough food tn each 24 hours to sustain life.
Under these depressing circumstances aud
amid the awful silence of tho polar ulr lit
the cheerfulness that we contrived to main
tain was remarkable. As the Christmas
season approached we all looked forward
to it with eager anticipation, not only ac a
festal day whose associations and memories
would to some extent vary the wearisome
monotony of our lives, butiecause we know
that thu winter solstice wowhl fall about ;
Dec. 23 and that then the sun would return
and the long dreary night be at on end.
"Christmas day came at last. Christinas
in the arctic regions! At 6 o'clock we had
our breakfast—thin.,soup made of peas,
carrots, blubber and-jjetateee. Our Christ- j
mas dinner was servetits,t 1 o'clock. Bark
en to our menu. First course, a stew of
seal meat, onions, blubber, potatoes and !
bread crumbs. Second oourse, served ene
hour after tho hrst, a stew of raisins, blub
ber and milk. Dessert a cup of hot choco
late. The best and most Christuiaatike
feature of this meal waa that wo were al
lowed a sufficient quantity of it to satisfy
the pangs of hunger.
"Our enjoyment of. the dessert—one cup
of chocolate—wo tried to prolong as much
as possible. Over it we told each other
Christmas stories; we exchanged reminis
cences of bygone Christrnases at home with
the loved ones so far away. Wodiscussed the
probability of our ever reaching our own
lire-ides again, and we entered into nn
agreement that if we got back to civiliza
tion before another Christmas we would
pass tho day together in memory of that
awful Christmas we were then spending in
the realm of the relentless ico kiug. Aius,
many of those brave fellows never lived to
see another Christmas.
"Then we had some singing. There wrr©
some good singers among us, and of differ
ent nationalities, too, so we, had songs in
English, French, Danish and German. And
then we reocived the only Christmas pres
ent that was vouchsafed to us that year.
Ono of our party—Kisltngbury by name
had some tobacco still left., and knowing
that most of the men were destitute, of it be
very kindly made a cigarette for each of
cur little party. I will wither that i;: all
Christendom that day uot a present was
given or received that gave such intense,
delight to tho recipient ns did those little
rolls of tobacco und paper. They were
quickly allamc ami .- ..-ing pufltU array at
for dear life, aad ; ■ my uio».t luumorab'nt
Christmas—a Cfcn .; us near the north
j pole-tcdmi iv smoke."—Buftlu Express,
Horse blankets and lap rot*e», Toy's oi l ro.
1 uati'.d asadlery eouie, Klo N. bos Angel..-.