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IN CAMBRIDGE AND THE LAST
OPERA NIGHT IN LONDON
LONDON, Eng., June 7.— So much has
been said and written in praise of
"Shamus O'Brien" — the drama, the
music, the inteipretation by the excel
lent company — that echoes of all the ap
plause and enthusiasm have long since
reached San Francisco. Nevertheless it
may be of interest to hear of the effect of
the vivid, picturesque little opera in the
gray old university town, the quiet, the
reserved, the dignified Cambridge.
For the benefit of the few who have not
read of it, it may be well to explain that
"Shamus O'Brien" is a romantic comic
O p era — distinctly more romantic than
comic— in two acts. The story is founded
on the poem byJoseph Sheridan Le Farm.
The composer is Charles Villiers Stanford,
and George H. Jessop has written the book.
The success of the opera has been a great
encouragement to those who have the de-
Fire at heart to fosier national music — and
Dr. Stanford has found his inspiration in
the wild, sweet harmonies so peculiar to
Ireland. Irish ballads and Irish songs are
heard in every drawing-room, and for this
the ideal impersonation of Shamus by
Denis O'Suilivan is not a little responsible.
People are inclined to grow a little hys
terical in speaking of his fine presence, his
beautiful voice and his really remarkable
acting. The story is intensely stirring—
not for an instant does the interest abate.
The period of the play is immediately
after the suppression of the rebellion of
1798. Shamus O'Brien is an outlaw, he
has played an important part in the re
bellion and there is a price on his head.
The scene opens in the poor village
street of Ballyhamis. in the mountains of
Cork. Shamus' cottage occupies t! c left
of the stage. Other cabins, veritable Irish
hovels, are to be seen all along the road
which winds up the mountain and fades
away in the distance. The aspect of the
country is rather forbidding, in spite of
the vivid green of occasional stretches
of grass. The chorus rushes on from both
Bides of the stage; there is a rumor that
the soldiers are after Shamus with dogs.
Through all the confusion of voices the
repeated wail "Ochone, and it's cruel,
cruel, wicked, wicked," is distinctly audi
ble. The appearance of Father O'Flynn,
the parish priest, is the signal for renewed
excitement. He can but confirm the
rumor, and appeals to them to protect
Shamus by enumerating all his virtues:
111 give ye to next Michaelmas to name us
A gossoon so presentable and fatuous,
So loveJ iv all the neighborhood, as Shamus—
Faith, ye wouldn't find his match in twice as lone.
At hur.ing, it's give in he bates the devil;
He'll lep yez either high or on ttie level:
He's the fairest, hardest drinker at a revel,
And an illigant performer at a song.
The chorus then joins in:
If Romulus and Kamns
Had lived along with Sham us
They'd be like two puppy jackals with a lion.
Spake up, now. can you blame us
If the boys of Ballyhamis
Shout '•Faughahallagh, shamus the O'Brien I" eta
(Clear the road!)
The villain of the play is Mike Murphy,
impersonated by Joseph O'Mara, who,
actuated by jealousy and revenge, betrays
iShamus to the English captain who is
searching for him. Kitty OToole, the
Bister of Shamus' wife, overhears the in
terview, manages to delay the captain by
employing all the arts and graces of a vil
lage coquette and warns Shamus of his
danger. The villagers are aroused by the
sign of the "creel," or basket upon the
roof, and when the soldiers finally appear
there is but slight resistance. Shamus, in
the disguise of the "village nateral," in
duces the soldiers to take him as guide
across the bog where Shamus himself is
supposed to be in hiding. After tbe dis
appearance of the soldiers the villagers in
dulge in a revel, the Diper has come and
■plays them a reel, and the dance is carried
on with delightful spirit and enjoyment.
Nora, the wife of Shamus, is unable to
dismiss her fears, and confides to the vil
lage priest the reason of her terrors —
for two nights she has heard the ban
shee wail. The reappearance of Shamus
puts a momentary end to her misgivings,
but her terror is turned to despair when
she hears a third cry, the long and melan
choly wail of the banshee. To Shamus
and Nora it is the knell of doom, and the
act closes with the sudden descent of the
soldiers, who have been assisted to return
by Mike Murphy, and who, In spite of the
resistance of Shamus and the villagers; in
spite of the pleadings and shrill cries of
the women, finally effect the capture.
The second act opens on the court yard
of the barracks, closed by a great iron
gate, showing when it is opened a charm
ing bit of scene painting, the fresh and
vivid Irish landscape, KittieO'Toole, who
has fascinated the English captain, comes
to plead with him to allow her poor sister
Nora to have a last interview with Shamus,
her husband. The scene between the rebel
and his wife is touching in the extreme,
and during the court-martial, when the
terror-stricken woman interrupts the pro
ceedings constantly in order to put in a
good word for her husband, the humor is
perilously close to tears. He is sentenced
to be hanged the following morning before
sunrise, and the curtain falls with the
soldiers beating back the infuriated vil
lagers, and Shamus struggling to reach his
wife, who has fallen forward upon her face
with a cry that is the last rite in a scene
almost too poignant in its dramatic in
tensity. The second scene of this act
opens upon the morning of the execution;
the appearance of tbe villagers raising
their arms in a fire movement and giving
vent to strange, unearthly wails of sor
row, has the impressiveness of a Greek
chorus. Shamns is brought to execution
in a cart, and the procession is stopped in
order to give the wife an opportunity to
say farewell and the village priest an op
portunity to confess the hapless Shamus.
Shamus' bearing is that of a hero, and he
delivers a "last speech" full of defiant
courage — until he suddenly perceives his
wife and child — when his great voice
breaks and he turns his head aside in
order to hide his overwhelming emotions.
Father O'Flynn in a sudden impulse seizes
the moment when he is listening to the
confession to cut the cords and set Shamus
free. The soldiers fire, but Mike Murphy,
who has thrown himself in the way of the
escaping rebel, receives the shots and
Shamus disappears, shouting: "Good-by
to you, captain ! Good-by to your men !
When you next want a guide you'll em
ploy me again!" while the villagers burst
into a repetition of the rousing chorus of
the first act:
Oh, boys, listen to BbMBMb
Sarcb, boys, sarch after Sharaus!
And the curtain falls on the tumultuous
chorus and the wild, involuntary dance,
as the peasants toss up hats and sticks and
seize each other and weep and laugh and
ghout with that irrepressible desire to
find a vent for strong emotion that makes
of Irish men and women a race of impetu
A peculiar interest attached itself to the
presentations of the opera in Cambridge.
Dr. Stanford is a Cambridge man, and the
audience to which he was to submit his
work was composed almost entirely of col
legemen, notoriously reserved and critical,
and out of respect to them Dr. Stanford
was to conduct the opera himself.
The whole company went down to Cam
bridge together in a large private car, not.
unlike a Pullman, that is to say the prin
cipals and the composer, the manager, the
librettist, etc. So there was Dr. Stanford
and "Shamus," Mr. Denis O'Suilivan , and
Mrs. Stanford and Mrs. O'Suilivan. Miss
Louise Kirkly Lunn, who is Nora O'Brien
in the play, arrived with Miss Davies, who
makes a sharD, pert and coquettish figure
of the part of Kitty O'Toole. That ragged
and disreputable rascal, Mr. Mike Mur
phy, is hardly recognizable in the irresist
ibly good-humored Mr. Joseph O'Mara;
nor does the big blonde boy, with the fiery
blue eyes and the fresh complexion, sug
gest the old village priest in sober gar
ments and white hair. The "bi™ soldier
man" is introduced as a civilian in the
person of Mr. Stephens; there is Mr. Jes
sop, who will be remembered by members
of the Bohemian and Union clubs in San
Francisco, Mr. Esmond, who is the mana
ger, and the humble scribe.
Dr. Stanford has the head of a musician
'■ J'tl live for my country,
I'll live for my Nora,
I'll live for my gorsoon,
My little Paudeen. v
and a manner somewhat shy and reserved, '
but most unaffectedly cordial. Ha might
have been a kindly tutor taking a set of
unruly children out for a holiday— his
dignity was assumed in order to preserve
order, but underneath it was something
almost like uelißht in the gayety and
good humor of his companions.
The villain and the village priest, the
hero and his mortal enemy, the soldier,
played shuffleboard with pennies in the
most amiable manner or discussed the
new operas and the merits or demerits of
their brother and sister artists with dis
tinguished generosity. The fifty-all miles
from London in the rushing train, through
the green and level country — that is some
times like an admirable setting to an old
fashioned play in its quiet simplicity of
fields and cottages and clustered, round,
well-ordered trees — was all too short, and
very soon the entire company were scat
tering in hungry croups, "seeking what
they might devour."
Such a quaint little town is Cambridge,
with the narrow little River Cam ram
bling all over— the only irresponsible force
' in all Cambridge. I use the word "quaint,"
but it is too trivial to describe anything
but the old houses, the curious corners,
the arches of old doorways. The colleges
are impressive not only through their
associations, and the old churches add a
touch of ancient severity almost like the
somber dignity of a cathedral town.
What a place in which to pass the most
impressionable years of a life! To be a
| King's College man; to have grown fa-
I miliar with every detail of that magnificent
J building; to pass at will into that wonder-
I ful chapel, the finest example of perpen
dicular Gothic in England! The roof is
unsupported by pillars and contains
twelve divisions of exquisite lacework
tracery in stone. To listen to beautiful
music in the rich light from the twenty
four stained-glass windows, and then to
issue forth into those silent quadrangles;
to see the preat fields between the arches
that are overshadowed by tall elms, and
everywhere ivy and wisteria waved over
the blackened stone.
We wandered into Christ's College,
proud of its memories of Milton, with the
far-famed mulberry tree in the gardens,
j and the fine quadrangle rebuilt by Inigo
Jones; into Trinity, with its three quad
rangles around and closing in the noble
gardens, like parks. King Harry the
Eighth did more than marry numerous
wives— he founded Trinity.
It was nearly 2 and we hurried to the
new opera-house, the only really modern
building in Cambridge, ovtr the old
market place, passing the old village inns
with their little squares of latticed win
dows and their curious signs swinging on
A crowd surrounded the theater, and it
was with some difficulty that we pushed
to the door. A stem guardian of the
peace, magnificently stalwart and stern as
a Roman, barred the way. Mr. O'Suili- J
van suggested mildly that as he was the I
THE SAX FRANCISCO CALL, SUNDAY, JUNE 21, 1896.
hero of the play perhaps it might be well
to let him pass; he wished to speak to
Mr. Esmond. The dignity of his office
was maintained, however, by the guard
ian, who remarked coldly that there was
no free list and that his "horders are that
no one shall pass."
Mr. Esmond, the manager, now ap
peared behind us, and for a moment it
seemed unlikely that even he would be
allowed to enter the theater he had hired.
English officials have a stern conception
of their duty.
The scene within the theater was one
most generally likely to warm the man
agerial heart. Row above row the people
sat, a mass of black coats and white shirt
fronts, with the vivid dots here and there
of scarlet and blue and green in the hats
and dresses of the women.
When Dr. Stanford appeared there was a
shout of welcome Bnd then the breathless
silence of the deepest attention. The
transition was very sudden between this
quiet old English town, with the sober
people in the streets and the rough little
Irish village clinging to the mountain
side, the passionate intensity of the play,
the swift rush of emotion, the painful cli
max and the last shout of joy in the final
surprise of the liberation of the hero.
The applause after the first numbers was
restrained with characteristic reserve, but
as the hearers warmed to the action of the
play, the freshness of the young voices —
which has been generally and warmly
commented upon — and to the mild beauty
of the music the enthusiasm grew until at
last it burst into a loud applause and recalls
and shouts for Shamus and Nora, hisses
for Mike Murphy and call after call for
Dr. Stanford. Mr. O'Mara plays the try
ine part ot the villain with such remarK
able force, that although his numbers are
musically the most popular in the opera,
he is greeted upon every act with a storm
of hisses; a rather thorny wreath of ap
plause to assume nightly, however flatter
ing to his powerful acting.
During the last scene of the second act
there was an involuntary acrobatic per
formance. The pony who dragged in the
cart for the execution was a most unwill
ing steed. The unhappy hero, with his
hands bound behind him, exhibited re
markable nerve, even when the pony stood
up on its hind legs, butted at the soldiers
and made every possible effort to overturn
the cart and to pitc the cero headfore
most upon the brass instruments of the
orchestra. It was a trying moment and
not a little relief to the strained nerves of
the audience when the little brute was
finally brought to stand upon his four legs
and the interrupted defiant "last speech"
could be brought to its touching close.
The general verdict of the younger men
was that it was a "jolly good opera"; the
women remarked tearfully that it was
"too awfully sad," and even the graver
and older men could not say enough in
praise of the music, the orchestration or
the singing. The day was finished in the
train. The company, tired and hungry,
but triumphant, were regaled with an ex
cellent dinner. The golden sunset and
the golden wines received impartial atten
tion. The villain ana the banshee wail
clinked glasses in harmony, and gayety
and good humor were the order of the day
at tbe end, as they had been at the begin
The last performance in London was
given on Saturday, May 23, before an audi
ence as large and as enthusiastic as on the
first night. The play appears to appeal
direct^ to the emotions of the people.
When the English captain demanded of
an imaginary listener what lie was to do —
if he allowed Shamus to escape he would
sacrifice Mb sword, if he did not he would
sacrifice Kitty — one deeply interested spec
tator shouted, "Marry her! marry her!"
and hopelessly upset the gravity of the sit
uation. When Mike Murphy offered to
free Shamus, to refuse to give evidence
against him, if his colleen, Nora, would
but go with him next morning to Amer
ica, an infuriated voice from the pit
groaned, "Ye d villain!"
Never were an audience and a company
of "play actors" so entirely at one — the
chorus was in irrepressible spirits and the
dance wns something to witness. The
real Irish piper piped as though he were
on his native heath, and the suiden shouts
and the toss'ng of arms, the swaying of
the swift figures, made a dance of almost
reckless color and animation.
Every number was recalled, every noble
sentiment of the hero : his courage, his
dare-devil defiance, his gay deception of
the soldiers, were applauded to the roof,
and after the first act, when great bunches
of Mowers were lifted over the heads of the
orchestra, the house rang. Even Mike
Murphy, for once, had the usual hisses
drowned in applause.
Van Dyck Brown.
HOW IT FEELS TO
BE A LADY BURGLAR.
Some of the Tribulations of an
The Horrible Uncertainty in Search
ing tbe Pockets of a Man
Who Is Married.
"Yes," said the lady burglar, as she ran
a dainty gold-tipped jimmy through her
back hair and toyed idly with a dark lan
tern, "it was somewhat of an innovation,
1 confess, and I rather pride myself that I
am the first real lady who has ever made a
serious study of the science of burglary.
Other ladies have tried it, but it was a
mere fleeting fad, like roller-skating and
hoopskirts. They never took up the call
ing in earnest, and I believe I am correct
in my assertion that I am positively the
only lady who has adopted the profession
as a means of livelihood.
"How did I happen to enter it? No,
don't say what was the first misstep. That
is mere sentimental gush. There was
no misstep. I took up burglary deliber
ately, and, if I may say it, with malice
aforethought. All the legitimate profes
sions were overcrowded, and I was lar too
proud to ever think of becoming a house
maid or a waitress in one of those quick
and dirty lunch places. And there was no
money in typewriting.
"Once"— and the lady burglar laughed
a merry, reminiscent laugh — "I remember
entering a gentleman's house by way of
the second story window — he was a per
sonal friend of mine.
"Oh, no; I never let such trifles stand in
the way of business; in fact, if lam not
much mistaken, he was an old sweetheart
or something on that order. Well, I was
just gazing in the glass to see if my hat
was on straight preparatory to going
through his jeans and what other articles
of furniture he had, when he awoke with
a violent, 10, 20 and 30 per cent popular
"'My Gawd, Mag, is it you?' he ejacu
lated in a low, Fad voice, 'what are you do
ing here at such an hour. Think of what
the neighbors will say !'
" 'I am here to rob,' I replied, in a hard
boiled Barbary Coast voice. He seemed
surprised, but contained himself with re
markable self-possession. 'If you will
promise to go home and shed those bloom
ers forever you can have anything I have
got,' and he gave me the key to his wife's
bureau drawer on the spot.
"Yes. I have found that, as a rule, men
are gallant. I always make it a point to
disturb them as little as possible, bat
whenever I do arouse them they receive
me in a courteous and kindly manner. I
recall an instance of my early days, when
I was little better than a second-story
novice. I had entered a bachelor's apart
ment and was hastily separating the wheat
from his unpaid bills, when he unexpect
edly opened his eyes and gazed long and
earnestly at me.
"'Do you find anything that striken
your fancy?' he asked in a gentlemanly
" 'Nothing,' l replied. 'that will enable
me to live in ease and luxury.'
"'Well,' he answered, 'in that lower
drawer you will find a pair of pink-^ilk
pajamas. If you will oe so good as to take
them, I think you can use them when
your bloomers have gone into dryoock. 1
"Oh, no; I wa3 not offended. We lady
burglars have to put up with a great deal of
risque remarks and besides the pajamas, I
found, made excellent shirt waists for the
"Would I recommend other young
women to follow ir. my footßteps? No, not
unless they were willing to put up with ail
manner of unconventional things. Some
times I almost envy Billie Fly, little Davy
Dare Devil and those other ladies who
hang by their toes from eighteen-story
buildings at $7 a column.
"It is a great deal more genteel than to go
through a pair of gentleman's trousers
with the horrid dread in your heart that
his wife has already been through them."
Saved in a Neck.
A s tbe lithe fingers of the assassin closed
about his thrna; the manacled hero felt
his brain turn siefc. He struggled vainly
for breath. To die at the hands of a com
mon strangler! It was horrible!
He felt his senses fast leaving him. He
thought of horne — of a loved one whose
heart would break when the news reached
A lump came into his throat
The strangler felt it swelling beneath his
clutch, and redoubled his efforts. In vain.
The lump grew larger.
With a yell of baffled rage and fury he
sprang to his feet and fled. The hero was
At the Concert.
She— What charming teeth Mrs. Highsae
He— You flatter me, madam.
She— Oh, pardon, you are her husband?
He— Oh, no, only her dentist. — Judy.
The Last Word.
Vinegar — If you don't quit calling me
names I'll tell my mother !
Champagne — That's all right. Yon
haven't got any pop!
Hot Weather at the Zoo.
The elepnant opened his trunk in a close
And got out his light-weight underclothes.
The yak perspired himself quite thin,
Tbe boa-constrictor shed his skin.
The monkey hoarsely called for a ball,
Ani used the skin for a parasol.
The polar bear swallowed a cake of Ice,
And remarked, -Oh, my! that curry is nice:"
MY ANCIENT MARINER
I halted and queried this son of the sea
(A son of a gun he seemed most to me);
I told him his numbers were breezy and free-
Too breezy and free for even the sea.
I observed that his ditty
Was misleading — a pity,
For the sailor man now is the pink
Of undoubted sobriety,
And 'twas rankest impiety
To assume that his soul is a-drink—
Yo, ho— yo, ho!
Or his body is tainted with drink.
I took this old shellback clear down through a course
Of sprouts, and bore on him with logical force.
I told him "slumgullion," "slop bullion," "salt horse"
Or rum or "tobaccy" were terms rather coarse.
I inferred that abstaining
Was not in his training,
And his morals I judged were awry;
I grew quite sarcastic
And was saying things drastic
When he said my "jaw" made him durn dry —
Yo, ho— yo, ho!
Yes, it made him uncommonly dry.
He said he'd contracted a sort of disease;
He thought it must be that the wet of the seas
Had soaked deeply into his lungs and his knees-
He seemed to enjoy it— this man of disease.
The doctor had said liquor
Would help him the quicker,
And whenever he had a bad spell
The thought of the water
Would make his legs totter,
And he felt even now quite unwell —
Yo, ho— yo, ho!
He was sure he was feeling unwell.
Then he came to an anchor down by my side,
And his troubles were such as seldom betide
The sailor, he said— and I knew that he lied,
This sodden marine fast moored by my side;
As he wandered away in a dismal key
I heard the low moan of a death-haunted sea,
And he kept his Svengalic sidelights on me
And his siren-like song in its dismal key.
l filled up this fellow with buckets of gin,
Some whisky, some brandy, some wine I poured in;
Some ale and some porter to loosen his skin,
And likewise some lager to mix with the gin.
He said then with sighing,
With sobbing and crying,
That his life was a sad martyrdom;
He'd feel 'twas worth living
If he could be giving
Himself daily swims in blue rum—
Yo, ho— yo, ho!
Daily plunges in blooming blue rum.
Evils of Civilization.
"It is true," answered the savage, "that
civilization has taught us many sins of
which we previously knew nothing. Rum ?
Oh, yes. And then there are many of our
people who say done for did."— Detroit
Tourist (in Oklahoma)— l should not
think that piano-tuning would be a very
lucrative occupation in this, region — pianos
are not very plentiful here, are they?
Piano-tuner— Well, no; but I make a
pretty fair income by tightening up
barb-wire fences on the side.— Puck.
lime Flies All Too Quickly When Love Talks-and Works.
BHe was old and worn and wrinkled and
BAs he lurched along the shore of the
BHe sang in a pitchy, nautical way
| A roundelay— this mariner gray:
"Away wi' slumgullion,
Salt horse and slop bullion,
An' away wi' the duff they call plum;
What more wants the Jacky
Than hunks of tobaccy
An' 'is belly awash wi' blue rum —
Yo, ho — yo, ho!
Awash wi' the bloornin' blue rum."
And from the deep waitings
Regarding his ailings
I gathered this seafarer had
More woes in a minute —
Even Job wasn't in it
With him — and he made my soul sad —
Yo, ho — yo, ho!
Oh, his pathos and lies made me sad.
The sunlight went fading
And in a weird shading
I saw only his blear eyeballs gleam;
A place most unhallowed
He sailed for— l followed,
For my senses were walking a-dream —
Yo, ho— yo, ho!
He had set all my senses a-dream.
Reefer — Jones looks awfully down in the
mouth. What's the matter with him ?
Banks — Well, the other evening he was
doing the sweet to his wife, don't you
know, petting her, and all that, and he
absentmindedly called her Kitty.
Reefer— Well, what of that?
Banks— Her name's Eva.— Weekly Tele
Is There Any Design in Posters ?
Tommy— Paw, what is a designing vil
Mr. Figg— Oh, the description would ap
ply to one of these poster artists about as
well as anything. — Indianapolis Journal.
A Bad Break.
THE BACK NUMBER
OF MARIPOSA COUNTY.
Has Lived in the Mountains for
Never Siw a Telephone, a Bicycle or
an Electric Light, and Does Not
Believe in Them.
Far back in the mountains of Mariposa
County lives an old man who in many
ways is a curiosity. He is an honest old
soul, but he doesn't believe anything he
never saw, and .he has seen very little for
the past twenty years except the everlast
ing mountains that loom up on all sides of
his cabin. He is an Irishman by birth,
Michael Dugan by name ana a miner by
profession. He has lived forty years
among the mountains of Mariposa County,
and never was absent except for eighteen
months, and then he was in Nevada, and
of course saw but little of the outside
That event took place back in the six
ties. He had heard that a war was in
progress, and having a strong desire to do
some fighting somewhere, he volunteered
in the Union army. He thought he would
be sent East to lambaste rebels on the
Shenandoah and Ra^pahaunock. t>ut in
stead of that he was packed ofi to Nevada
to tussle with the bloody red men of the
desert. Nevertheless there was plenty of
lighting to be done, and that was all he
wanted, and he followed the quartermas
ter's wagon with unrlae^ing persistency
for eighteen months. 15/ that time the
red men of the wilderness had joined tneir
fathers in the spirit land, and the Mari
posa County Ir sbman V«B sent home.
He crossed the Sierras and CUM down
into the familiar scenes of Marposa, and
from that day to this he has not been out
side of the county. Ho never saw a tele
phone nor a hammerless sh >ijnin, nor an
electric light, nor a bicycle, and he does
not believe such things exist. Bfl has a
vague idea that something in the shape of
a bammerless shotgun may exist, but he
is decidedly skeptical. As for a tele
phone, he does not believe it at all.
After his return from tbe far off land of
Nevada, he kept up his righting habits
until every man's hand in t.ia: neck
of creation was against him. He finally
got enough of it and moved off to him
self. When visited a few days ago he
gave as his reason for turning his back
upon humanity that he had been im
posed upon. "One bloothy scullion,"
said he, "come into meown house and
broke meown j awn with meown ax, and £
would not sthand thot insult."
He has a placer mine and pans out
enough gold to buy bacon and beans, and
so he lives from year to year.
HE ATE TOO MUCH
OF THE DEAD COW.
A Monster Vulture That Was
Too Full to Fly.
Captured in the Hills South of Chino.
A Bird Bigger Than a
A bird of prey as tall as a man! Such
is the prize captured by the superintend
ent of Richard Gird's ranch in the hills
south of Chino, San Bernardino County.
The prisoner is a magnificent specimen of
the California vulture, without doubt the
largest ever taken captive. From the
crown of his ferocious-looking, red-wattled
head to its strong, scaly talons, it meas
ures six feet. Its plucky captor is an inch
or two shorter in his cowhide boots. The
man has the advantage in weight, for
the bird weighs 100 pounds. Sull that
is a fair righting weight to carry through
the rarefied air. In order to accomplish
this feat the vulture is providea with
wings that have a spread of twelve feet.
The local ornithologists who have seen the
bird say that it is merely a youngster, says
the San Luis Obispo Breeze.
Allured by the palatable flavor of a dead
cow recently the bird devoured nearly
every particle of fle.«h from its bones, which
so oppressed him that, however vigorously
he flapped his wings, he was unable to soar
away to his eyrie among the distant moun
tain fastnesses. In this humiliating pre
dicament he was lassoed and drageed, rlut
terine ponderously but helplessly, to Mr.
General and One Narrative
Written by C. M. Fitzgerald.
The writer— manager Cuba Water and Min
ing Company, Georgetown, El Dorado County —
has lived for many years in El Dorado County,
in some portions of which rattlesnakes are
quite numerous, and has observed that this
species of snake is seldom found in regions
wholly covered with timber, but loves to bask
in the warm sunshine on rocky hillsides,
where the numerous crevices among the rocks
afford it a secure retreat when danger threat
ens, and where the heat from the sun's rays,
absorbed by the rocks during the day, is given
off during the night by radiation, thus insur
ing a more equable temperature than prevails
In places shaded during the day by heavy
It is the experience and observation of the
writer that the danger from rattlesnakes, the
only poisonous snake known in this country,
is greatly exaggerated. This snake seldom if
ever attacks a human being except when
trodden upon or when it is itself attacked, but
will invariably retreat if given an opportunity
to do so.
After a residence of nearly twenty years at
an altitude of 2750 feet in the Sierras ana fol
lowing a business requiring him to traverse
many parts of this section every year up to an
altitude of over 6000 feet, and having had
every year more or less men under his charge
in the survey of new and the repair and main*
tenance oi old ditches extending over a sec
tion of country ninety miles in extent, mostly
wild and uninhabited, he only knows of one
human being having been bitten Dy a rattle
snake in that time. That person was a China
man, who was bitten in the arm and who had
no medical attention other than that from a
Chinese doctor, to whom he was conveyed
many hours after the occurrence. Yet he re.
covered in time, though the arm remained in
a shriveled condition forever after.
Up to Date.
The Eastern potentate clipped his
hands. "Ho, guards!" he cried, "call out
my corps of Ethiopian light infantry and
behead them instantly!"
His glance bespoke his fiery resolution.
"Never shall it be said that we lag be
hind the Western civilizations!"
He mused reflectively.
"How fortunate that I saw that New
Jersey newspaper stating that the black
burying season was on !"
There may be two sides to every ques
tion, but not two right sides.