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title: 'The Soldiers' journal. (Rendevous of Distribution, Va.) 1864-1865, September 14, 1864, Image 2',
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Image provided by: Library of Virginia; Richmond, VA
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And here Jet the curtain drop on till mflfji-*
choly scene, while we follow the
black valise No. 2.
When the train stopped at Camden, four gen
tlemen got off, and walked arm-in-arm, rapidly
and silently up one of the by-streets, and struck
Off into a foot-path leading to a secluded grovo
outside the town. Of the first two, one was our
military friend in a blue coat, apparently the
loader of the party. Of the second two, one was
a smiling, rosy little man, carrying a black va
lise. Their respective companions walked with
hasty, irregular steps, were abstracted, and ap
parently ill at ease.
Tho party stopped.
" This is tho place," said Captain Jones.
" Yes," said Doctor Smith.
The Captain and Doctor conferred together.—
The other two studiously kept apart.
" Very well. I'll measure the ground, and do
you place your man."
It was done.
" Now for the pistols," whispered the Captain
to his fellow-second.
" They are all ready, in the valise," replied the
Tho principals were placed, ten paces apart,
and wearing that decidedly uncomfortable air a
man has who is in momentary expectation of
" You will fire, gentlemen, simultaneously,
When I give the word," said the Captain. Then,
in an undertone to the Doctor, " Quick, the pis
The Doctor, stooping over and fumbling at the
valise, appeared to find something that surprised
"Why, what is this?"
"What's tho matter?" asked the Captain,
striding up. " Can't you find the caps ?"
" Deuce a pistol or cap, but this !"
He held up—a lady's night-cap !
"Look here—and here—and here!"—holding
op successively a hair brush, along white night
gown, a cologne bottle, and a comb.
They were greeted with a long whistle by the
Captain, and a blank stare by the two princi
"Confound the luck!" ejaculated the Captain,
" if we haven't made a mistake, and brought the
Tho principals looked at the seconds. The
seconds looked at the principals. Nobody vol
unteered a suggestion. At last the Doctor in
" Well, what's to be done?"
"Quito unlucky," again ejaculated the Cap
tain. " The duel can't go on."
"Evidently not," responded the Doctor, " un
less they brain each other with the hair brush,
or take a pop at each other with the cologne bot
" You are quite sure there are no pistols in tho
valise?" said one of the principals with suppress
ed eagerness, and drawing a long breath of evi
"We might go over to tho city and get pistols,"
suggested tho Captain.
"And by that time it will be dark," said the
" Quite unlucky," said the Captain again.
" We shall be the laughing stock of the town,"
oonsolingly remarked the Doctor, "if this gets
" One word with you, Doctor," here interposed
- his principal,
tTie Doctor, advancing to the Captain, conferred
with him. Then tho Captain conferred with his
principal. Then the seconds conferred with each
other. Finally, it was formally agreed between
the contending parties that a statement should
be drawn up in writing, whereby Principal No.
1 tendered the assurance that the offensive words
' You are a liar,' were not used by him in any
personal sense, but solely as an abstract proposi
tion, in a general way, in regard to the matter of
fact under dispute. To which Principal No. 2
appended his statement of his high gratification
at this candid and honorable explanation, and
unqualifiedly withdrew the offensive words
' You are a scoundrel,' they having been used by
him under a misapprehension of the intent and
purpose of the remark which preceded them.
There being no longer a cause of quarrel, the
duel of course was ended. The principals shook
hands first with each other, and next with the
seconds, and were evidently very glad to get out
"And now that it is so happily settled," said
the Doctor, chuckling and rubbing his hands,
" it proves to have been a lucky mistake, after
all, that we brought the wrong valise. Wonder
what the lady that owns it will say when she
opens ours and finds the pistols."
" Very well for you to laugh about," growled
the Captain; " but it's no joke for me to lose my
pistols. Hair triggers—best English make, and
gold mounted. There arn'ta finer pair in Amer
" Oh, we'll find 'em. We'll go on a pilgrimage
from house to house, asking if any lady there
has lost a night-cap and found a pair of duelling
In very good spirits, tho party crossed the riv
er, and inquired at tho baggage-room in refer
ence to each and all black leather traveling bags
arrived that day, took notes of where they were
sent, and set out to follow them up. In due
time they reached the Continental, and, as luck
would have it, met the unhappy bridal pair just
coming down stairs in charge of the policeman.
" What's all this?" inquired the Captain.
" Oh, a couple of burglars, caught with a va
lise full of stolen property."
" A valise !—what kind of a valise ?"
"A black leather valise. That's it, there."
" Here!—Stop!—Hallo!—Policeman [—Land
lord : It's all right. You're all wrong. That's
my valise. It's all a mistake. They got changed
at the depot. This lady and gentleman are inno
cent. Here's their valise, with her night-cap in
Great was the laughter, multifarious tho com
ments, and deep the interest of the crowd in all
this dialogue, which they appeared to regard as
a delightful entertainment, got up expressly for
" Then, you say this 'ere is yourn?" said the
policeman, relaxing his hold on the bridegroom,
and confronting the Captain.
" Yes, it's mine."
" And how did you come by the spoons?"
" Spoons, you jackanapes !" said the Captain.
Pistols! —dueling pistols!"
"Do you call these pistols ?" said the police
man, holding up one of the silver spoons marked
'T. B. "
The Captain, astounded, gasped, " It's the
wrong valise again, after all!"
" Stop! Not so fast J" said the police function
ary, now invested with great dignity by the im
portance of the affair he found himself engaged
in. "Ifsobe as how you've got this 'ere lady'a
valise, she's all right, and can go. But, in that
case, this is yourn, and it comes on you to ac
count for them 'are stole spoons. Have to take
you in charge, all four of ye."
" Why, you impudent scoundrel!" roared the
Captain; "I'll see you in —. I wish I had my
pistols here; I'd teach you how to insult gentle
men !" shaking his fist.
The dispute waxed fast and furious. The out
siders began to take part in it, and there is nc
telling how it would have ended, had not an ex
plosion, followed by a heavy fall and a scream of
pain, been heard in an adjoining room.
Tho crowd rushed to the scene of the new at
The door was fast. It was soon burst open,
and the mystery explained. The thief, who had
carried off the Captain's valise by mistake for
his own, had taken it up to his room, and open
ed it to gloat over the booty he supposed it to
contain, thrusting his hand in after the spoons.
In so doing he had touched one of the hair trig
gers, and the pistol had gone off, the bullet
making a round hole through the side of the va*
lise, and a corresponding round hole in the call
of his leg.
The wounded rascal was taken in charge, first
by the policoman, then by the Doctor; and the
duelists and tho wedded pair struck up a friend*
ship on the score of their mutual mishaps, which
culminated in a supper, where fun was abund
ant, and where it would be hard to say who was
in the best spirits,—the Captain for recovering
his pistols, the bride for getting her night-cap,
the bridegroom for escaping the station house,
or the duelists for escaping each other. All re*
solved to " mark that day with a white stone,"
and henceforth to mark their names on their
black traveling bags, in white letters.
Moral —Go thou, and do likewise.
m 4 m
The Wealth op Mexico.—ln Mexico thero
are over one thousand silver mines, yielding be
tween thirty-five and forty millions of dollars a
year. The value of these mines is increased by
the fact that there are twenty-five mines of quick*
silver, which yield from two hundred and fifty
to three hundred thousand pounds weight an
nually. Gold is also found in considerable
quantities, stated variously at from three mil
lions of dollars upwards. The mines are gen
erally located either on the top or on the wes*
tern slope of the Cordilleras, and have been
wrought for ages. Gold and silver vases of
great value and beauty of workmanship were
sent back to Spain by the first conquerors as
spoils of war. Iron and copper are also produ
ced in great abundance. One great hindrance
to the realizing of this mineral wealth is the
difficulty of transporting it to tho seaboard,
there being neither railroads nor navigable
rivers in tho country, and the only means of
transportation being the backs of mules. Tho
commercial inertness and want of mechanical
enterprise of the people, and the small extent to
which the combination and division of labor aro
carried, have also contributed, with the general
insecurity of property, to prevent the various
natural riches of the country from their full
i t i
An Ohio editor recently took a contemporary
to task for copying choice scraps from his edi
torial columns and not giving credit for them.—
The contemporary replied by saying he "did
not do a credit business !"