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MR. TEASER'S DILEMMA
Bu WILLIAM WALLACE COOK
Mr. Teaser was tt burglar.
One Christmas eve he went a-burgling
and, in the drawing-room of the entered
house, the rays from his bull's-eye lantern
fell across sundry presents laid out in a neat
array on a table. There was a box of cigars.
Mr. Teaser was on the point of setting the
lantern down and putting the cigars into
a capacious bag which he was carrying when
he discovered a card with these words writ
ten in a feminine hand: "For Charlie, from
his loving wife." He dropped the box as
though it were something hot. "Two-fers,"
he muttered; "friend-killers for Charlie."
Placing the bull's-eye on a neighboring
chair, its beams directed upon the scene of
operations, he dropped into his bag a gold
watch, in a plush case, marked: "Ella, from
Charlie." He followed the watch with a
set of silver spoons and various other knick
knacks. Then, as he was about to lower himself
out of the window by which lie had en
tered, he heard a sharp, metallic "click"
behind him. Turning with more haste than
grace, he found himself looking into the
threatening barrel of a revolver.
"Not a move!" commanded a middle-aged
man in pink pajamas.
"Now look at that!" 'whimpered Mr.
Teaser, dropping back against the wall. "It
looks like a grafter hadn't no right to make
himself a Christmas present; none wotever.
It's up to you, boss. You've got the dead
wood sure this time, pard, and I cave grace
ful." "Not so loud! You'll wake my wife," said
the man in the pink pajamas.
"Wot's the racket," whispered Mr. Tea
ser. "I've been watching you ever since you
came in," said the other, "and I want to
say that your sins of omission are greater
than those of commission."
"Come again?" said Mr. Teaser.
"We'll let it pass," answered the man in
the pink pajamas. "You may replace those
presents on the table."
"Yes sir," and Mr. Teaser did so. "Now
that I've done the han'some thing by you,
you might let me go."
"You have not done the handsome thing
"You have left that box of cigars. They
are a present to me from my wife and "
here the man's voice quivered "she will
undoubtedly expect me to smoke them.
Now, then, sir," and the voice grew stern
and determined, "if you do not rob me of
that box of cigars I will turn you over to the
"You don't expect me to smoke 'em?"
"No; I would not advise any man to com
mit suicide, even a burglar. You're in a
fix and so am I. Take that box of cigars,
write something on the card that will clear
me, and go away."
"Sure!" and Mr. Teaser took the box and
wrote this on the card:
"Knowing how superfine are the cigars
which a doting wife presents to her lov
ing husband at Christmas time, .1 leave all
other booty, and in rapture make oil with
this box of Pcrfectos.
"Tom Teaser, Burglar."
"How's that?" asked Mr. Teaser, read
ing the words aloud.
"You're a humorist," ventured the man
in the pajamas.
"I'm a plain liar, if there ever was one,"
returned Mr. Teaser.
"That's good enough. Now climb out of
the window and make off."
Mr. Teaser was not slow in doing so. As
the man in the pink pajamas closed the
window, Mr. Teaser whistled softly to him
self and skulked along the fence towards
the rear of the next house. Detroit Free
A SURPRISE ON SANTA CLAUS.
Bu FRANK B. WELCH.
Some time ago old Santa Claus
Was sound asleep one night:
Within his distant northern home
Was not a single light,
When through the tangled wood clou by
A throng of children stole,
Intent upon a big surprise
To give the Jolly soul.
'Twas not the Christmas time, for then
He never is at home
He's sailing 'round the world, you know,
O'er cot and palace dome
But Christmas was not far away,
And all the little folk
Had come to play on Santa Claus
A Merry Christmas Joke.
From far and near they came, and all
With mischief were aglow;
They scrambled over fences and
They floundered through the snow;
Until at last with cautious steps
They came to Santa's door
Where, hushed and listening, they heard
The good old fellow snore.
Soon by the aid of sundry keys
They made their way inside.
And crept from room to room until
They sleeping Santa spied;
Upon a couch of furry robes
In slumber deep he lay,
And through the windows shone the moon
As brightly as the day.
Each one n extra stocking brought,
And holding them on high
The roguish youngsters 'round his couch
Woke Santa with the cry:
'Oh Santa Claus, awake, awake)
'Tia Christmas morn, you know.
And you must fill our stockings now
Before we homeward go I"
The waking saint up-started then
And chuckled loud with glee.
The shouting children 'round him were
A funny sight to see;
He took the stockings, every one,
And piled them on his bed,
Then with a merry laugh and shout
- Unto the children said:
"Bo off I be off I you little rogues,
Back home and wait the day'
You'll find when Christmas con. my dears,
Old Nick will come your way;
There's not a single toy at hand,
My pack Is stored away.
My reindeer roam the distant hills.
So, to your homes, 1 say!"
With some a pat and some a kiss
He bade them ail adieu.
And with reluctant steps the throng
Soon faded from his view;
"The little elves I the darling rogues I"
Laughed Santa, in his bed,
"Cod save and keep each little soul
And crown each shining head."
COMING OF THE NEW YEAR,
We Should Enter It With Courage, Hope
The homely maxim about not crying over
spilt milk contains one of the best sug
gestions as to the proper spirit with which
we may enter the New Year. We cannot
change the past, but we can bend all our
energies toward making the future better
than the past. The frame of repining and
discouragement is fatal to good achieve
ment, birt the temper of courage, hope and
resolution almost guarantees it. We are
all of us tempted to a dismal mood when
we reflect how different things would have
been with us if we had not made this or
that mistake, or met this or that misfor
tune. It seems as if only a narrow margin
prevented our being to-day in much hap
pier conditions. But there always is an
illusion about such reasonings. The error
we made was probably the outcome of a
natural temper or of a long course of habit
ual action. We could not have done other
wise without being different in personality
and character. The aflliction that came to
us did not rise out of the dust; it was a part
of the providential ordering of life. Except
as to deliberate sin, our regrets about the
past have little foundation in reason. Many
things must have been different to have
their outcome other than it is. We have
less to reproach ourselves with than we
often, think for. The main thing is not to
quarrel with our conditions, but to keep
our purposes high and pure. Watchman.
A New Year's Programme.
"Well," remarked Mr. Jolliwell, "I sup
pose you are going to make a lot of good res
olutions for the New Year?"
"No, I'm not," said Mr. Sirus Barker,
with characteristic acrimony, "I'm going
to make a lot of bad ones."
"That's an unheard-of proceeding."
"Yes. It's an idea of my own. If I am
as successful in breaking my bad resolu
trons as I have been in breaking my good
ones, I'll manage to become a pretty high
toned and estimable citizen." Washington
SAVED BY NEW YEAR'S DAY.
How a Prisoner Escaped Punishment bu
Proving an Alibi.
January 1 is the beginning of the new
year, according to present day reckon
ing of time, but before 1752 New Year's day
was the 23th of December. Scotland adopt
ed the new style of reckoning before Eng
land, and this led to endless confusion. It
is on record that a murderer once escaped
the clutches of the law by this difference
of dates. The crime was committed in
Edinburgh on the 27th of December, and
the murderer fled across the border. He
was captured and eharged with having
caused the death of an innkeeper in Edin
burgh on "the second day of the year of
Our Lord 1747." The prisoner was able to
prove that on that very day he was in Eng
land, and hundreds of miles away from the
scene of the murder. Upon this excuse he
actually escaped, and bis captors did not
discover how they bad been deceived until
after they bad released him. In 1752 the
1st of January was declared by law to be
the first day o' the new year throughout
the three kingdoms, but until then records
made in December and January generally
bore two dates to prevent the possibility of
To the New Year.
Up to the great heights lead.
With gentlest dream and deed:
Sow thou the perfect seed
Bind the deep wounds that bleed,
And lift, from darkest night,
Earth to eternal light!
"I don't know what to get my best girl
"What do you mean!"
"Just what I say. She'll be awful mad,
there'll be a terrible quarrel, and then you'll
have all the delightful sweetness of a mak
ing up without it costing you a cent." N.