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Strong and Steady
By HORATIO U.GER. JR.
CHAPTER XVll.— (Continued.)
He began, to replace the book .in its
brown paper covering.
"I s don't know One I might give you
twenty-live cents more. Come, now, Ili
give you two dollars and a quarter."
"I can't take it," said Walter, shortly
"Three dollars and a half is the price,
and I will not take a cent less." f .
"You won't get it out of me, then,"
retorted the lady, slamming the door in
Walter had already made up his ramd
to this effect, and had started on his way
♦o the gate.
"I wonder if I shall meet many people
like her?" he thought, and he felt some
Walter began to think that selling
books would prove a harder and more dis
agreeable business than he had antici
pated, lie had been brought face to fa«,e
with meanness and selfishness, and they
inspired him with disgust and indigna
tion. ITot that he expected everybody
to buy his books, even if they could af
ford it. Still, it was not necessary to in
sult him by offering half price.
He walked slowly up the street, won
dering if he should meet any more such
customers. On the opposite side of the
street he noticed a small shoemaker's
"I suppose it is of no use to ao in
there," thought Walter. "If they won't
buy at a big house, there isn't much
Still he thought he would go in. He
had plenty of time on his hands, and
might as well let slip no chance, however
small. He pushed open the door, and
found himself in a shop about twenty-hve
feet square, littered up with leather shav
ings and finished and unfinished shoes. A
bo.v of fourteen was pegging, and his
father, a man of middle age, was finish
ing a shoe.
"Good-mornine." said Walter.
"Good-morning." said the shoemaker,
turning round. "Do you want a pair of
shoes this morning?"
"No," said Walter, "I didn't come to
buy, but to sell."
"Well, what have you got to sell?"
"A subscription book, finely illustrat
"Let me look at it."
He wiped his hands on his apron, and.
taking the book, began to turn <jver the
"It seems like a good book," he said.
"Does it sell well?"
"Yes, it sells largely. I have only just
commenced, but other agents are doing
well on it."
"That's the way to talk. How much
do you expect to get for this book?"
"The price is three dollars and a half.''
"It's rather high."
"But there are a good many pictures.
Those are what cost money."
"Yes, I suppose they do. Well, I've a
great mind to take one."
"I don't think you'll regret it., A good
book will give you pleasure for a long
"That's so. Well, here's the money."
Walter was all the more pleased at ef
fecting this sale, because it was unex
pected. He had expected to sell a book
at the great house he had just called at,
but thought that the price of the book
might deter the shoemaker, whose income
probably was not large.
During the next hour Walter failed to
cell another copy. At length he managtd
to sell a second. As these were all he
had brought with him, and he was feel
ing somewhat tired, he went back to the
tavern, and did not come out again till
Walter found a good dinner ready lor
him at 12 o'clock, which he enjoyed the
more because he felt that he had earned
it in advance. He waited till about 2
o'clock, and again set out, this time in
a different direction. In some places he
was received politely; in others he was
treated as a humbug. But Walter was by
this time getting accustomed to his posi
tion, and found that he must meet dis
agreeable people with as good humor as
he could command. One farmer was will
ing to take the book if he would accept
pay in apples, of which he offered him
two barrels; but this offer he did noir for
a moment entertain, judging thai he
would find it difficult to carry about the
apples, and probably difficult te dispose
of then*. However, he managed to sell
two copies, though he had to call at twen
ty places to do it. Nevertheless, he felt
well repaid by the degree of success he
"Five books sold to-day!" thought Wal
ter, complacently, a3 he started on his
walk home. 4*That gives me six dollars
and a quarter profit. I wish I could
keep that up."
But our young merchant found that he
was not likely to keep up such sales. Tho
next day he sold but two copies, and the
day succeeding three. Still, for thrw
days and a half the aggregate sale was
eleven copies, making a clear profit oH
thirteen dollars and seventy-five cents. At
the end of the week he had sold twenty
(opies; but to make up this number he
had been obliged to visit one or two neigh
He now prepared to move en. The
next place at which he proposed to stop
for a few days we will call Bolton. He
had already written to Cleveland for a
fresh supply of books to be forwarded
to him there. He had but two books left
end his baggage being contained in a
small valise, he decided to walk the dis
tance, partly out of economy, but princi
pally because it would enable him to see
the country at his leisure. During the
first five miles he succeeded in seilin~
both books, which relieved him of the
burden of carrying them, leaving him only
Walter was strong and stoat, end en-
Joyed his walk. Thsre was a frsstmess
and novelty about his present made of
I \ Wh!^ hhelike<L He did not imagine
he should like to be a book agent all his
He stopped under the shade of a large
plm and ate the lunch which he had
brought with him from the inn. The
sandwiches and apples were good, and,
with the addition of some water from a
stream near by, made a very acceptable
lunch. When he resumed his walk after
resting a couple'of hours, the weather had
changed. In the morning it was bright
sunshine. Now the clouds had gathered,
and a storm seemed imminent. To make
matters worse, Walter had managed to
stray from the road. He found himself
walking in a narrow lane, lined on eitlier
side by thick woods. Soon the rain came
pattering down, at first in small drops,
but quickly poured down in a drenching
shower. Walter took refuge in the woods,
congratulating himself that he had sold
the books, which otherwise would jave
run the risk of being spoiled.
"I wish there were some house nearby
in which I could rest," thought Walter.
The prospect of being benighted in the
woods in such weather was far fiom
Looking around anxiously, he espied a
small footpath, which he followed, hoping,
but hardly expecting, that it might lead
to some place of refuge. To his agree
able surprise he emerged after a few min
utes into a small clearing, perhaps half
an acre in extent, in the middle of which
was a rough cabin. It was a strange
place for a house, but, rude as it was,
Walter hailed its appearance with ioy.
At all events it promised protection from
the weather, and the people who occu
pied it would doubtless be willing to give
him, for pay, of course, supper and lodg
ing. Probably the accommodations would
not be first class, but our hero was pre
pared to take what he could get, and be
thankful for it. Accordingly he advanced
fearlessly and pounded on the door with
his fist, as there was neither bell nor
The door not being opened immediately,
he pounded again. This time a not par
ticularly musical voice was heard i'rom
"Is that you. Jack?"
"No," answered Walter, "it isn't Jack."
His voice was probably recognized as
that of a boy, and any apprehension that
might have been felt by the person with
in was dissipated. Walter heard a bolt
withdrawn, and the door opening, reveal
ed a tall, gaunt, bony woman, who ••ved
him in a manner which could not be con
sidered very friendly or cordial.
"Who are you?" she demanded abrupt
ly, keeping the door partly closed.
"I am a book agent," said Walter.
"Do you expect to sell any books here?"
asked the woman, with grim humor.
"No," said Walter, "but I have been
caught in the storm, and lost my way.
Can I stop here over night if the storm
should hold on?"
"This isn't a tavern," said the woman,
"No, I suppose not," said Walter; "but
it will be a favor to me if you will tak?
me in, and I will pay you whatever you
think right. I suppose there is no tavern
He half hoped there might be, for he
had already made up his mind that this
would not be a very agreeable place to
"There's one five miles off," said the
"That's too far to go in such weather.
If you'll let me stay here, I will pay you
whatever you ask in advance."
"Humph!" said the woman, doubtfvl
ly, "I don't know how Jack will like it."
As Walter could know nothing of the
sentiments of the Jack referred to, he re
mained silent, and waited for the woman
to make up her mind, believing that she
would decide in his favor. He proved to
"Well," she said, half unwillingly, "I
don't know but I'll take you in, though
it isn't my custom to accommodate tiav
"I will try not to give you much trou
ble," said Walter, relieved to find that
he was sure of food and shelter.
"Humph !" responded the woman.
She led he way into the building,
which appeared to contain two rooms on
the first floor, and probably the &ame
number of chambers above. There was
no entry, but the door opened at once
into the kitchen.
"Come up to the fire if you're wet,"
said the woman.
The invitation was hospitable, but the
manner was not. However, Walter v/as
glad to accept the invitation, without
thinking too much of the manner in which
it was expressed, for his clothes were
pretty well saturated by the rain. There
was no stove, but an old brick fireplace,
on which two stout logs were burning.
There was one convenience, at least, atx>ut
living in the woods—fuel was abundant,
and required nothing but the labor of cut
"I think I'll take off my shoes," said
"You can if you want to,' said his grim
He extended his wet feet toward the
fire, and felt a sense of comfort stealing
over him. He could hear the rain fall
ing fiercely against the sides of the cabin
and felt glad that he was not compelled
to stand the brunt of the storm.
He looked around him guardedly, not
wishing to let his hostess see that he was
doing so, for she looked like one who
might easily be offended. The room seem
ed remarkably bare of furniture. There
was an unpainted table, and there were
also three chairs, one of which had tost
its back. These were plain wooden chairs,
and though they appeared once to have
been painted, few vestiges of the original
paint now remained. On a shelf were n
few articles of tin, but no articles of
crockery were visible, except two cracked
caps. Walter had before this visited thr
dwellings of the poor, bat he had never
seen a home so poorly provided with
what are generally regarded as the neces
saries of life.
"I wonder what Lem would say if he
should see me now," thought Walter, his
thoughts going back to the Essex Clansi
cai Institute, and the friend whose studies
he shared. Tney seemed far away, -jk»»
days of careless happiness, when as yet
the burdens of life wer unfelt and soaree
ly even dreamed of. Did Walter sigh
for their return? I think not, except on
one account. His father was then alive,
and he would have given years of his own
life to recall that loved parent from the
grave. But Ido not think he would hsve
cared, for the present at least, to give
up his business career, humble though it
was, and go back to his studies. He on
joyed the novelty of his position. He
enjoyed even his present adventure, in
spite of the discomforts that attended it,
and there was something exciting in look
ing about him, and realizing that he v/as
a guest in a rough cabin in the midst of
the woods, a thousand miles away from
Guarded as he had been in looking
around him, it did not escape without
"Well, young man, this is a poor piace,
isn't it?" asked the woman, suddenly.
"I don't know," said Walter, wishing
to be polite.
"That's what you're thinking, I'll war
rant," said the woman. "Well, yoa'.e
not obliged to stay, if you don't want
"But I do want to, and I am very
much obliged to you for consenting to
take me," said Walter, hastily.
"You said you would pay in advance,"
said the woman.
"So I will," said Walter, taking out
his pocketbook, "if you will tell me how
much I am to pay.
"You may give me a dollar," said the
Walter drew out a roll of bills, and,
finding a one-dollar note, handed it *o
She took it, glancing covetously at the
remaining money which he replaced in his
pocketbook. Walter noticed the glance,
and, though he was not inclined to be sus
picious, it gave him a vague feeling of
(To be continued.)
KING HARNESSED A HORSE.
Meanwhile, ltm Owner Sat By,
Watching the Monarch's Work.
Much-traveled people will testify
that the most stupid people in the
whole world are found in Mecklenburg,
Germany, says the Kansas City Star.
Natives of that district are said to be
even more dense than the inhabitants
of the county of Wiltshire, England,
and that is saying a good deal. The
in/habitants of both of these places will
admit the Impeachment, but they do
not call It stupidity; they have anoth
er name for it. They have exalted it
into a virtue and call it "imperturba
bility." In the United States, if a
country yokel didn't know the way to
a town fifteen miles away, he would be
accounted a fool. But in Mecklenburg
the peasant one meets on the highways
doesn't know, has never been there and
never wants to go. That is imperturb
It is a mistake, however, to think
that the country dullard never "scores,"
as the king of Wurteinburg has discov
ered. Recently that royal individual
went to shoot with the Grand Duke
Adolphus of Mecklenburg. Accompan
ied by the grand duke's eldest son they
drove in a luxurious motor car to the
famous deer park at Neustrelitz. On
the way they came upon a country
tilt-cart drawn at a snail's pace along
the nairow road by a white horse.
Perched on the seat were a peasant
and his good wife. The chauffeur blew
his horn and much to the royal party's
surprise the horse began to prance
As the peasant made no attempt to
pull the horse and cart out of the road
the chauffeur repeated the "honk,
honk." The horse reared and jumped
about, but strange to say, the peasant
and his wife sat stolidly on the seat
without any signs of excitement. Final
ly the horse flopped over on its side
and lay quite still.
Immediately out jumped the king,
the grand duke and the son of the
grand duke and came running up to
the fallen horse. The grand duke made
a dive at the horse's head, his son
grabbed the bridle and the king nar
rowly escaped serious injury in unfas
tening the traces while the horses's
hind legs were working like flails. All
this while the peasant and his good
wife sat calmly on their seat and
watched the royal trio perspire at their
self-imposed task. Finaly after a great
deal of pulling and coaxing the white
horse scrambled to its feet and patient
ly submitted to being reharnessed by
the three pairs of hands which prob
ably never before had done such hum
ble work. When everything was in
order again, the grand duke handed
the peasant a piece of money.
"There, there, my good man," be
said. "It's all right this time, anyhow.
Now you can tell your cronies that the
grand duke and his son picked up your
horse, and the king of Wurtemburg
The Retort Courteous.
An official of the Department of the
Interior tells of an incident at one of
the government schools for the In
A patronizing young'woman of Cin
cinnati was being shown thr«ugh toe
institution, when she came upon a fine
looking Indian girl of perhaps 16 years
of age. The Indian girl was hemming
napkins, which the girl from Cincin
nati watched for some moments in si
lence. Then she said to the Indian,
"Are you civilized?"
The Sioux raised her head slowly
from her work and glanced coldly at
her interrogator. MNo," she replied, as
her eyes agaifl sank to her napkins;
The man* who tells tiresome stories
usually has a big strong • voice, - lots
of (determination, and gets to the' en<?
iSfwtte of interruptions. .
SCENES AT THE GOTNESS "DEATH FARM" HEAB IA POBTE, DTO.
THE LA FORTE MURDER FARM.
Like a Story- of the Mid-Centuries.
Like a chapter from the bloody rec
ords of the mid-centuries is the ter-
rible story unfolded by the authorities
of La Porte, Ind., where wholesale mur
der was done for years without anyone
knowing or suspecting It. Criminal rec
ords contain nc parallel of the grew
some story revealed in the finding of
the clearing house for murders kept by
Mrs. Belle Gunness near the Indiana
town. Just how many persons met
their fate in connection with the bloody
business carried on there will perhaps
never be known. The skeletons dis
covered on her premises and the fact
that expressmen had many times de
livered to her boxes and trunks now
believed to contain human bodies form
the chief materials for the construction
of the strange story of her career. She
is supposed to have lured rich men to
Jier den by matrimonial advertisements
and then made away with them for
their money, and also to have run a
murder "fence" for the benefit of her
partners in the awful trade of human
slaughter, the latter operating in Chi
cago and sending the bodies of their
victims to her for burial. It is the
theory of the prosecution that Mrs.
Gunness deliberately lured men to
her farm by means of an advertisement
in a Chicago newspaper, in which she
represented herself as an attractive and
amiable widow looking for a mate. She
alleged that she was the owner of a
valuable farm and sought a well-to-do
farmer as a husband. After a visit
from such a candidate she generally in
duced him, it appears, to sell his farm
and come to her with the proceeds of
the sale, at which time she would de
liberately murder him and bury his
V>dy en the premises.
For years this strange woman Is
»«al(1 to have conducted her murder mill.
while her neighbors remarked upon her
good humor and her children mingled
with others of their age in the neigh
borhood. And the end of this record
of. crime and mystery is shrouded In
2*2 JI2I. WIL LIJS/I /TETTER^.
uncertainty. A fire which destroyed
the Gunness borne also disclosed the
fact that her three children had either
been murdered before the fire or that
they had perished in the flames.
In some respects the methods of Mrs.
Belle Gunness seem similar to those
of the infamous Bender family in Kan
sas. Yet it is doubtful if the blood
thirsty Kate Bender in her palmiest
dnjTß was over equal to the awful
crimes that are laid at the door of the
Gunness woman. The story of the La
Porte murder farm recalls the noto-
rioos doings of the Bender family in
Montgomery County, Kan., about forty
years ago, and the famous case of
Henry H. Holmes, who swindled insnr
ino» companies and was held respon-
CHECK. .FHOWIHtf TH»T HLL^rta
P "WITHIXfcEIi/ 2LL OP HIS" S!AVIXt&. |
jible for the murder of quite a long list
3f persons. He was hanged in Phila
delphia. The Benders, husband and
wife and son and daughter, were sap.
posed to have murdered nine or tea
persons and buried the bodies In the
vicinity of their home, robbery being
their motive. The Benders mysteri
ously disappeared and their fate is un
known, although rumora were abroad
at the time that Indignant citizens put
an end to their infamous careers.
COFFEE A3 WEDDING GUT.
Peculiar Custom Which la General
. In Coffee-Raising Countries.
**We have a custom in the coffei
raising countries," said Senor Joaquim
Nabucco, the Brazilian ambassador to
the United States, "which Is unknown
in other parts of the world. When
a child is born in the coffee country,
a sack of the best grain is get aside
as part of the inheritance, to be re
ceived on attaining its majority. Usu
ally the sack is the gift from some
close friend or relative, and it Is
guarded as sacredly as If it were i
gift of gold or bonds. No stress would
induce a Brazilian parent to use cof
fee which was made the birth gift of
a child. As a rule It is sealed with
the private seal of the owner and bean
a card giving all particulars about the
variety of grain, its age on being sack
ed and the birth of the child to whom
It is given, and other details wbicb
are very interesting when the gift ii
"Generally the coffee is opened for
the first time when the child marries.
The coffee for :.the reception or mar
riage feast ;is made 'from the legacy,*
and, according to precedent, this must
be the first time;i the sack Is' opened/;
After the coffee Is made for the wed
ding feast the sack is carefully closed
and sent to the > new home of the young
couple, and should keep them In this
staple for : a year at least. When both
bride and bridegroom have the birth]
gift Si of coffee they have started lift
under very hopeful f conditions, so far:
as one necessary is concerned. Few
IKiople 1 know : that ■-t he older the un
parched grain of coffee Is the better
the ! flavor. Like v wine it grows witii
age,;? and that which r ls over twenty
years '■ mellowing under ■ \ proper condi
tions will bring :'i from $1.50 to $3 a
pound from connoisseurs. The giving
of pounds of green coffee Is a com
mon practice in the coffee belt Friends
exchange; these gifts i and compare re-,,
suits.; When one cannot afford to giro
'a j sack of coffee It k frequently is the
case that ten pounds of the best green
is packed |injj a fancy case and bestow
ed on a newly born child, wtih direc
tions that it must not ■ be opened until '
the wedding day."—New York Pre»
- Practice Makes Perfect. ;
• At \ the appointed time Edwin Jon"
had called at his] best girl's home, but
; somehow Miss Wrinkle was not there ,
to greet him. - '',; '
He seated himself in the .drawing
room and anxiously awaited her >M
Presently the door opened; but, ala»!
It was i only her eight-year-old broth*
"Hello!" exclaimed Edwin. "Is 7°*
sister busy?" . £
"She seems so," replied the you*
ster, "but I don't know just what
thinks she's doing. She's standlnfji
front of the mirror, blushing Just a***
and whispering to It. "Oh, 5 Mr. Jon*
this is so suddenr\
——————— — —
■•;■••• -:?•■■-;Tke Situation.
"Are jot able to keep a girl?... I
: "Financially, ;• yes. . Diplomatic^
When a woman buys sometninf ■*
cannot , really - afford, she condone* »
fault by doing without something *j
did not Intend to buy, anyway.
a'l\ '*' " * :I: ', ~."\ l ,* ;