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THIEVES OF MEXICO.
The Wily Rateros Will Steal the Coal
Off Your Back.
Kansas City Star.
There are no burglars in lexico
and for a very simple reason-the
daytime and the public street afford
the adroit ratero such easy opportun
ities for appropriating other people's
property that it really is not wortii
his while to bother with night raids
or to take the risk of forcing an eit
trance into private houses.
Other countries. other customs
the ratero is an institution in Nlexico
and like the rest of the Mexican in
stituti6ns he is indigenous to the soil.
The sneak thief in other countries '
a product of civilization's hunan mill:
the burglar is a poison separated
somewhere in the process of milling
The ratero is nothing of the sort. it
is iust as legitimate a produc:. just
as much a part of the regular ouput,
as any other member of society. e
is withoui shame or reproach in his
calling and is :uite at peace with
There is a diversity in the methods
of these thieves, ranging from the
audacity of a moment's impulse to the
most elaborately plotted trap. Bola
specimens attack a victim suddenly
and rely upon the surprises for an es
cape. A man descending from a street
car has the diamond snatched from
his scarf before h feet have fairly
touched the ground. a,nd by the time
he has caught his breath the thiei is
lost in a crowd. A woman stops to
gaze in a shop window in busy San
Francisco street in the capital city.
and her richly embroidered cloak is
jerked from her shoulders. and the
nimble footed ratero disappears be
*fore a nearby gendarme gets the
A crowd gathers in the street -to
watch a horse fallen on the slippery
asphalt pavement. or a procession on
a fiesta day. and the very hats are
not safe on the heads of respectably
dressed people, or it may be on Sun
day. when al the suburdan trains
are crowded. and the little stations as
well. that a long arm is thrust into
the open window of a starting elec
tric car and several hats gathered be
iore any one knows what has hap
The more wily and considerate of
the calling avoid giving these rude
shocks to their 'prey. These are the
-ones who- annex pocketbooks ana
watches so quietly that the loss is
only gradually appreciated and who
teach women the folly of wearing
dangling ornaments in . the street.
Often they are s- elegantly dressed
that no one could -AbJect to being
-elbowed by them. while the plausi
ble situations they create attest their
lively wits. Certainly they suppiy
an ever fresh tow of stories. many
of them to'' wildly impossible to be
told of any other country.
Some years since a travelipg fakir
of the po'pular loud mou.thed type ai
rived in. the capital and set uip his
booth in the Plaza mayor. The ex
~tractio.n of teeth without pain was the
'lure that drew a throng . and several
successful performances made good
the promise. His rather primitive
method was to lire a pistol close to
the patient's head at the moment 01
gripping the molar. The shock of the
nloise, sufficed to ditract the suiffer
er's attention. andl on the whole there
At last a well dressed \Mexican
pushed his way through the crowd.
and. moaning over his aching tooth.
seated himself in the chair.
"WVhich one?" asked the dentist
The man hesitated a moment.
"The smallest on the left side." he
"But the tooth appears perfectly
soung' said the dentist, after a ,smi
"But it has ached for three days. 1
tedl you, and I want it out."
"You'll pay in advance?"~ was the
"Certainly. Will it take long?"
The fakir. a dollar in his palmi
smiled reassuringly and pulled out
a handsome gold watch. "It will be
over before the second hand can go
half wvay round." he boasted.
"All right." said the patient resign
TIhe dentist got -a good grip on the
tooth wvhile the man lay qnietly ir
the chair. There wvas a loud crack oj
the pistol, and the dentist held tipa
sound and bloody tooth.
"It wvas a mistake to part with that,
enr But did you feel anything?"
"No. Did you?"
"No." was the puzzled response.
"Then we're even," said the Mexi
can. getting up and disappearing in
A few minutes later the dentist
clapped his hand to his empty watch
pocket in dismay. It was then that
he appreciated the jest of his pa
A st-ory almost too perfectly round
ed to an amusing close is neverthe
less vouched for among the racon
teurs of Mexico. It is said that a cer
tain Judge found himself at the open-1
ingof court one morning without his
watch. which he remembered to have
left under his pillow. His remark to
that effect was overheard by a
l--iterer. and presently a messenger
arrived at the iudge's casa and assert
ed that the judge wanted the watch
which had been left in the bed. Fur
therm re, the judge had sent the 11ne
turker tlh man was carr%iy ano
wV,ic it coo'ked fir supper. as he
Such plausi!e statemients cu1I
*qt fail t-1 wii, ciindence. Th-e varcli
was exchandge fir the bird by the
ladv he h- -le e herself, and the
messenger went on his way rejoicing.
li,me came the judge at noon f-jr
the midday meal and the afternoon
siesta. and with his first inquiry for
his watch the trick was exposed. The
judge. however, while lamenting the
watch. appreciated the thief's ingen
uitv and pronounced him needlessly
generotis in the n itter of the turkey.
lut. since the ratero had made the
suggestion. why not bring some
friends for supper after all?
The judge returned to court. ind
Ithe worthv sen -ra saw that the tu -ev
was prepared in the manner so ac
ceptable to Mexican palates-cooked
with rich. dark chile sauce. It was
done to a turn when a man came in
breathless haste to say that the scamp
who stole the judge's watch that
morning had been apprehended ana
the watch recovered. but the judge
needed the turkey. sent as evidence in
disposing of the case.
"Ilut the turkey is already cooked."
pr.-tested the distressed housewife.
with n,, thwught but for her supper.
i "St. senqpra: but the judge saye to
send it as it is. and he'll send it back
again before it's cool."
So the judge's wife sped the turkey
on its way. and within a few minutes
her husband appeared with his
"I hope vou didn't forget to cook
that turkey. Matilde." lie said cheer
fully. "I can almost forgive the ras
cal that's g,t my watch for the sake
f miile de gtuaiolate."
S,h.s checked Matilde's mortined
respoIse as she realized that she had
twice been victimized. and the party
supped frugally. thotih not without
mirth tn the part ,f the guests.
The methods of the ratero who en
ters your oiftice to' sell yoti something
r t 4 tTer his service are qiet an(l
A merchant dealing in curios wvas
attracted by a tiger skin serape drap
ed tover the shoulders of a stupid, low
country Indian passing along the
street. He caled him into his oRice.
examined the skin and began to dicker
for a trade.
"i'll giv'e you $5 for it."
"No. senor. I do not wish to sell."
"Well, the thing isn't worth that:
too many tigers caught in traps tor
the skins to he worth much anyway.
However, it's a fine skin, and I'll give
you ten for it. just double what you'll
get anywhere else."
"Pumes. no. senor: T do not want to
sell. I wouldn't take a hundred for
this skin. It's all I have to cover me
-Now~ wvhat do you tell me such a
lie for? Y'ou kni'w vou can 'Any threeI
srapes with the money. I you won't
be decent and make a trade. why
then get out of here and stop taking
up room and my time."
So the meek and obedient native:
set for': tinder the very eve and
wrath of the proprietor. Nevertheless
as he went he swept tip a fime 'new'
typewriter from a table that lay
athwrt his path, covering the whole
mtvement by a skillful readjusting
swing of his tiger ski.t. and lhe
emerged intot the street with his
prize folded to him tunder the all.
lie was nev'er found. The fences~
If the thieves are too nuimerouts and
too much on to the game for pursuit
to be easy. The unfathomable serape.
like charity, covers gracefully a mul
titude of sins, which the haven of the
pawn shop afterward forgives out
An American woman whose stockI
of household linen had been steadily
dwindling was driven at last to at
cuse a long trusted chambermaid.,
with unpleasant results. INtihin an
hour after the girl had gone in a
tempest (if indignant tears a group o:
American neighbors gathered at the;
house, believing that the lady was
desperately ill. (lying or dead. it ap
peared that the outraged damsel had
made the rounds of the neighborhood.
getting money from me woman to
til a prescription for her suddenly
stricken mistress. borrowing sheets
fr(im another for the dead and the
articles of clothing for her burial.
even white silk eniugh to make the
But in spite ,f all that can truth
fullv.he said of the rater-) and his con
freres the City f .l exico is by no
means a nest of thieve.. It is the care
leSs and the easiTV (!tiped who uiffer.
and there are many .\mericans l,)ng
resident there who have never missed
in re than a ffew article *f c'f lting
leantime the vi.ilance "f the pl1)1 iice
is doing much too make the paths of
dish.,nesty less easy t4) tread. Any
common Mexican in the street carr,.
ing si)mething that (li,es not libviouslv
beling to him is liable to be stopped
by a gendarme. and if lie cannot sat
isfactorily account for his pissession
if the article lie is marched. to the
comiseria. ir station house. until the
matter can be investigated. For this
reason it is customary to provide a
cargad,,r with a card explaining how
he came iby what lie carries. which
card must be signed upon delivery
of his package.
Awful Rage of the Pretty Girl.
The pretty girl (who enunciated
the doctrine that you mustn't love
anything that you can't hug) was not
at church Sunday. and for reasons.
too! She had selected her new hat.
(ves. she had spentR most of the week
a-picking it out from the millinery
stores.) but her god luck woula
so have it. she had not taken the hur
ra's-nest home. so on Friday she was
down-town-when. l and behold.
she saw a' muchly c(lired cook a
wearing a dead match to her Easter
let! That made her so mad that she
like to have had a fit. She wouldn't
gO to the "Bonnet show." and she
even turned down a note from her!
right particular man!
THE CHRISTIAN churches at
Constantinoble. Turkey. and Yokaho
ma. Japan. have long used the Long
man & Martinez Paints for painting
Liberal contribution-s of L. &. M..
will be given for such purpose where
ever a church is located.
F. M. Scofneld. Harris :prings. S.
C.. writes: "I painted ou. 31d home
stead with L. & M.. twenty-six y'ears
ago. Not painted since: looks better
than houses painted in the last four
W\. B. Barr. Charleston. W. Va..
writes: "Painted Frankberg Block
with L. & M.. shiows better than any
buildings here have ever done: stands
out as though varnished, and actual
cost of paint was less than St.2o per
gallon. W\ears aind covers like
These Celebrated Paints are sold by
the Newberry Hdwe. Companiy.
COLD TIRE SHRINKER.
We have now purchased a Cold
Tire Shrinker. It will shrink buggy
and wagon tires cold, without re
movitg (ire or bolts from wheeIs,
Satisfaction guaranteed. Also buggy
and wagon repairing and horse shoe
ig a specialty. Work done on short
Call and give us a trial, and be con
Next (door to Beer Dispensary.
Prices per set of Wagon or buggy
Johnson & Shealv.
Are my long suit. I make any kind +
except bad ones. I furnish a new +
stamp and an indellible pad for mark- g
ing linen for 40 cents. I have some
other good things. J. WILSON8GIBBES, +
Typewriters', Office Supplies. etc.
+ 1334 Main Street, Columbia, S. C.
HUDGENS BROS., LAURENS, S. C.
Foundry, Machine Shops and
We are selling agents for the Rapid Fill Hay
Press, which has proven to be the best press
on the market at the price. These Presses
can be seen at Mr. G. M. B. Epting's cotton
-VW V 3 .ArTM.
We now employ one of the best Architects in the
South, and are prepared to furnish Plans and Specifi
cations to any who contemplate building.
Full line of Castings and supplies kept in
The mail puts you next door to us.
HUDGENS BROS............ LAURENS, S. C.
STOP ND READ
Wanted purchasers at our store for the cheapest line of new
+ and up-to-date furniture and house furnishing goods ever
+ opened in this city. Room suits; Beds, Dressers, stoves, pipe *
* and all kinds of stoveware, Crockery, Glassware, Lamps,
+ Window glass from 8xio to 36 inches. Don't fail to see our
+ stock of wall paper, feather beds and feather pillows. We will +
sell you these goods cheaper than any one in Newberry.
i Shlley, Dean & Summer,
Newberry Hardware Co's. Old Stand, Main St.
...MILLINERY .. .
We beg to call your attention to the
*fact that we have just opened up anew*
+ line of Millinery
+ DRESS GOODS.+
+ Our line of Dress Goods is complete
*in every respect.
+ We are "Up-to-date" on Notions,*
+ We invite the public to call and in-*
* spect our line of goods before buying.
SMRS. S. W. CALMES,
* PROSPERITY, S. C.+
Sotheasterni Litte & Cement Co.
CH AR LESTON, S. C.
Building Material of all kinds. High Grade
Roofing "RU BEROID."
Write for prices.
Lime, - Cement, -- Plaster,
Terra Cotta Pipe, Roofing Paper.
Car Lots, Sma 1 Lots. Write
Carolina Portland Cement Co., - - Charlesto! 3. C.
Whisey - Mrhie" - ~ Cigarte - _ All Drugad Tobacco
Curedjb Keeley Institute of South Carolina
..2 L ad St (o P. 0 n. -o c , Columbia. 5. C. Confidential correspondende sclicited.