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DEEP in the earth, in the moth-*
er-rock, where nothing, abso
lutely nothing, could be seen,
because it was 500 feet deep
under the grass and the flowers and
the sunlit plain and the hills, and
where nothing could be heard, or
ever, ever had been heard, except the
sound of waters rushing hither and
thither and up and down, each search
ing for a place of escape, three pieces
of iron ore sat and talked to each
Their conversation was exceedingly
intelligent; for two of them talked
about themselves, and if a person can
not talk intelligently about himself it
isn't likely that he can ever talk in
telligently about anything else.
"Really," said the top piece of ore,
"really, it is quite ridiculous. Here
am I, the finest quality of magnetic
iron, as I think" I have told you be
fore, wasting ray talents in holding
the crushing weight of the earth on
my shoulders. I shudder to imagine
what would become of the rest of
you if my wonderful strength were to
give out. It is awful."
"As for that," said the piece of ore
just below, "I am holding my share.
Sometimes I feel sure that I will have
to yield just a bit; but if I did, do
you know what would happen? There
would be an earthquake and houses
and churches would fall helter-skel
ter. That is what would happen.
But I agree with you that we are
wasting our time. I have within me
the ability to do a great deal for the
world; it is something that cannot be
done in a dark place like this, where
there is not even a toad to admire one
or to learn from the wisdom that one
has acquired by steady thought
through the ages."
The third piece of ore said nothing.
It was the lowest of all, and it was
actually holding all the weight. The
great pressure had made it so strong
and solid that it was really the very
finest ore of all. But it lacked the
power of expression.
It thought, however, that if it could
speak as eloquently as its two friends
it wrould declare that it was quite
sufficient for a piece of iron ore, how
ever excellent, to sit tight and do its
duty, whether it be in the blackness
of a mine or the sun of the upper air.
But it did not say so; and the other
two pieces continued to wish for de
liverance and a chance to show their
Suddenly one day they heard a new
sound; the first sound except the rush
ing of waters that they had heard
from the time they were born. They
wondered what it was, but they could
not guess, for, of course, they could
not recognize the sound of pickaxes,
since they had never heard of such
That is what it was, however; and
every day it became louder, until, all
at once, one day there came the loud
est stroke of all, and the three ores
were blinded by the finst beam of
"Hurrah!"' cried a voice. "We have
struck the finest strata of ore that I
"A strata!" said the top ore to it
self. "So that is what I am. Thank
goodness, I always knew that I had
But soon all thoughts were driven
out of its head, for a terrible pain
shot through its very center. That
was a steam drill, boring chug! chug!
"I am afraid that the world is com
ing to an end," said the ore to its
two friends, who were still undis
turbed in the lower layers of the
mine. "I have such a violent pain
that I am sure things cannot last."
But the drill stopped after a time
Dorothy Ficken's Funny People
IVr" -^ —1
This fearful creature is the Thump
wog. It is his savage habit to thump
on the floors of theatre, lecture rooms,
and even churches when he deems
something worthy of applause. He
often dies young, and when he sur
vives to grow old, he lives universally
and something black was poured into
the wound and pounded in.
"I wonder what they are doing
now?" whispered the ore." "One cer
tainly has strange experiences when
one is a strata of the finest ore. You
may be glad that you are not as tal
ented as I am. It brings its own
troubles with it."
Just then a miner lit a fuse that
led into the black stuff in the wound.
And in another minute all the ores in
the mine thought that surely the top
ore had been correct when it prophe
sied the end of the world; for there
was a tremendous roar and then a
withering blast of fire and then every
thing was filled with choking fumes.
But when these cleared away, the
world was still just as solid as it ever
had been; the only sufferer was the
top piece of ore, which had been
blown into a thousand pieces.
However, its conversational ability
had not been at all injured by the ex
perience. Indeed, it had been in
creased, for each fragment spoke for
"We have moved!" they cried. "We
have moved. Now we only hope that
you will not be crushed by the weight
of the earth, for we cannot hold it up
any longer. We are going on our
travels, and we shall achieve some
Go on its travels it did. With rum
ble and roar the black ore-cars came
thundering dow m from the daylight
to the dark and carried the broken
ore away to the surface, where it was
seized by human hands and steel hands
and beaten and crushed and melted
and fused and rolled and welded until
it felt quite certain that the whole
round earth was doing nothing ex
cept to work over it.
So it stretched and stiffened itself
and shone with vanity until one day
it heard a voice say:
"This is fine steel. We will take it
for our pen factory."
"Well, well!" said the ore, which
was now steel, to itself: "How quick
ly true merit is recognized. To think
that I am to go to the pen factory
and to become a writer. How the
other ores would envy me if they
This was said so pompously that the
men said: "Listen to the fine temper
of this steel. It actually sings."
So the ore, which was now steel,
went in state to the pen factory and
was made into a million times a mil
lion steel pens. These went abroad
into the world —Greenland and Wall
Street and Paris and Hoboken and
even into the palace of the Emperor,
where one must be well recommended
Immediately all these millions of
pens began to write. Unluckily, how
ever, most of them were in such a
hurry that they did not stop to think,
but imagined that it was quite enough
to be full of ink. So it was not long
before the world was full of poor
The hydrographic office in San
Francisco has always found the Paci
fic Coast skippers willing helpers in its
work of discovering new currents and
rendering more accurate the marine
navigation charts. One of the most
active observers among the master
marines was Capt. Calhoun of the bark
Ceylon. On his trips to Honolulu and
Tahaiti he would often cast over
board a bottle containing a piece of
paper upon which would be inscribed
the latitude and longitude of the ship's
position when the bottle was thrown
He did this one day down in the
South Seas. The paper in the bottle
"This was thrown overboard from
the bark Ceylon on Jan. 10, 1901, in
lat. and long. . The finder
will please return to Capt. Calhoun at
Honolulu or San Francisco."
About two and a half years after the
bottle with this inscription had
been thrown over in midocean two
roughly clad sailors came aboard the
Ceylon in San Francisco and knocked
at the cabin door. The steward ap
"Is the captain in?" asked one of
the seamen in strong Scandinavian ac
"Yes, but he isn't up yet," replied
"Den give him dis," said one of the
strangers, ftnd he gave the steward a
package done up in a newspaper.
When the captain arose he undid
the package and found the bottle he
had thrown overboard two years pre
viously. He looked at the paper, but,
to his disappointment, found no rec
ord of when or where it had been
found. Then he turned it over and
"Yure botel is retorned as request
ed. But next time you trow botel
overboard have*something in beside
de smell a,nd a piece of paper."
BUNDAY MOIUSIXU, JLNE 2tt, 1904.
poetry and of something that the pens
called philosophy, though it really and
truly was only particularly opaque
Other pens wrote wills and con
tracts: and these in turn gave abund
ant'employment to pens that had en
tered the law. The pens that went
into Wall Street had a responsible po
sition. Every time they wrote some
thing it was sure to make one man
as poor as it made another rich. So
they said that they were keeping
things balanced exactly.
The pen that went into the Emper
or's palace reached the very greatest
and finest achievement of all. It sign
ed a declaration of war, and lived uni
versally respected thereafter on a
crimson velvet cushion in the Imper
And this declaration of war was the
thing that led to the deliverance of
the second piece of ore. Men entered
the mine and said:
"Ah, here is a grand layer of iron,
the very finest kind. It is just what
we need for our cannon. Hurry,
hurry, and get it out."
"Do you hear that, old stick-in-the
mud?" cried the ore to the lower one,
which was as silent as ever. "Do
you hear that? They are going to
make a military character of me. That
is what it is to have true genius and
to be born to command. But you are
lucky to be stupid and dull for I can
feel in my bones that my unusual
powers of mind will bring me much
And so it was. The second ore was
treated even more painfully than the
first piece; but when it was all done,
it passed through the streets in tri
umph with ten thousand people wav
ing their hats and cheering, for the
layer of ore had become a hundred
immense cannon, each with a fierce
mouth, wide open.
The Archbishop himself blessed
them and then they went forth on
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ships and became sailors. Every time
they spoke, other ships went down
into the ocean, never to be seen again.
At last they all lay with their angry
mouths fronting the land, where arm
ies of men lay behind forts and earth
One morning they all spoke at
once; and the earthen mounds seemed
to melt #way in dust, while all the
men who had been behind them were
Soon the forts and cities began to
suffer. The walls crumbled away, one
by one. Church steeples toppled.
Houses fell into ruins. Fires sprang
up wherever a cannon sent its mes
So far did they send out their de
struction that the bare eye could not
perceive all the ruin; men had to use
telescopes to see how much the can
non had destroyed.
"This," said the biggest cannon of
all, "is achievement indeed. Suppose
that our old friend could see us now."
"Yes, indeed," the other cannon
thundered and roared and barked,
with voices graduated according to
their sizes, "we are, indeed, "*ing
great and worthy deeds. Did yon see
us knock the town hall down? It had
stood for five hundred years and
never a storm of all the storms that
ever were loosed could move it. But
we did ft with one word."
"Did you see how beautiful the land
was when we appeared?" boomed the
big cannon. "Look at it now. This
is, indeed, the proud—"
Just then something seemed to
choke it. It could not utter another
"Cracked, by Jove!" said a man's
voice. "Our best gun is out of ac
tion. We must withdraw the ship."
"What's this?" cried the lesser guns
on the other ships. "Why are we
suddenly doing so much less dam
"Because your big partner is burst,"
cried the guns of the land, with fresh
courage. "He did all the work. We
will show you little barkers now what
we can do."
"This is terrible!" said the guns.
"Too much is too much. We cannot
fight with people of twice our size."
One by one, they ceased talking;
some cracked, like the big cannon, be
cause they thought it was fashionable;
and others were struck by balls from
the land and rendered insensible. At
last the ships had to turn around and
run away to the sea.
Once there, the father of all the
storms came along and began to
dance with them. He danced* till they
were not only out of breath, but dizzy.
So, to save themselves, they began to
throw the guns overboard, letting
them plunge straight down into the
deep green sea. And there they sit
to this day, talking about their deeds.
The mouth of the biggest gun of all
is turned straight upwards, and a
beautiful blue and green lobster lives
there in magnificence.
He loves to hear the cannon speak
of its career as a military character.
"Ah, yes,'' he sighs on such occa
sions. "One must be born with tal
ent. My brother was that way. He
had the artistic temperament and he
went into the upper world, where I
hear that he entered society as a
salad. But I have never been able to
rise beyond my sphere. I love, how
ever, to hear about those who do. It
is very improving."
Now all the land was blackened.
The cities were ruined. All over the
world, wherever the Emperor's pen
had sent its declaration of war and
the cannon had spoken with other
cannon, people were miserable, and,
worst of all, they were hungry; for
the fields that had been full of crops
were blasted and there was nothing to
The Emperor called his generals
and colonels who had advised him to
"Can you feed my people?" he
"You will have to accept our resig
nations," they replied haughtily. "Lit
tle did we think that we should live,
to be insulted by you after our faith
ful service. You should know that
we have been trained to kill people
and not to feed them."
So the Emperor called his finan
ciers, and they explained to him that
they could feed the people if, first,
they could get money enough to buy
True Fish Stories
In' no division of the animal king
dom are found more curious creations
than among fishes. The flying fish is
so well known that almost every one
has seen either a dried specimen in a
museum or a flock of live ones skim
ming over the surface of the sun-lit
tropic waters which they inhabit. Yet
even to those most familiar with fly
ing (fishes it is always interesting to
see these little creatures change
themselves into birds, as it were, and
go flying over the sea with great
swiftness, soaring frequently as high
as a ship's deck.
Their broad and filmy fins become
veritable wings as they rise from the
water, and remain so as long as they
are wet. But as soon -as the fins be
come dry they shrivel up and then
down fulls Mr. Flying-fish on deck or
back into the water.
These fish are very numerous in
West Indian waters and are excellent
to eat, the people of the island of
Barbadoes especially priding them
selves on their skill in cooking them.
A great many thousand years ago
there used to be a fish which prob
ably had the power of flying as the
flying fish of to-day has. It has van
ished from among living things now,
but workmen, breaking their way
through ancient rocks, sometimes
come upon the bodies of these fishes
turned into stone, and scientific men
have called the species by the hard
name of Pterichthys, which is only
the Greek for winged fish.
These same scientific men say that
these fish were so formed that they
never could have made their way
through the water by swimming, but
must either have flown over the sur
face or crawled about on the bottom
of the great Devonian sea.
In this they were not so fortunate
as the flying fish of to-day, which can
swim as fast as they can fly and as
Both the Pterichthys and the mod-
food, and if, secondly, it were possi
ble to buy food even if they had the
money. They then withdrew to live
on their incomes.
The Emperor tried everybody he
knew —statesmen and diplomats, and
at last even the court jester. But none
of them could imagine how one could
So he gave it up and issued procla
mations. These did not. however,
provide many meals in the Empire.
All this time the third and lowest
piece of ore, patiently supporting the
weight of the earth, sat and wished
that it could do something noble and
romantic like its two friends. And
one day, when the people of the world
were so hungry that they were talk
ing of eating the Emperor himself,
men tapped its broad back, and said:
"Goodness! Here is a better layer
of iron than any that ever came out
of the mine. What a fine thing this
would have been for our cannon.
Then we should have won the war;
for this surely would not have crack
The piece of o*e felt its rusty red
heart leap at the words; but the next
moment it was overcome with disap
pointment, for the voice went on:
"Well, there is no need for cannon
now. But we can make this into steel
"Alas!" said the ore to itself,
"Alas! My brilliant friends were right
when they said that 1 was dull. I
shall never become anything now, but
must burrow blindly into the earth."
Still, the ore did not forget its duty,
though it was sadly disappointed. It
stretched itself and became limber
and hard, elastic and stiff by turns un
der the hammers and rolls and fires
that men applied to it, until it was
the most perfect of steel; so perfect
that it was put on exhibition, and men
came from all countries to study it.
Even the Emperor came to see it,
because his Professor of Metallurgy
told him that the country had regain
ed its old place in the industrial world
by turning out such a magnificent
piece of metal.
The ore that-was now steel did not
become vain, for it still thought of its
companions who had become writers
and military characters, while it was
only good enough for farming.
"Such ploughshares were never
seen," said people, when the steel was
at last fashioned into more than ten
thousand implements. "It is well, in
deed; for we need strong ploughs to
break up the withered land, that i>
full of cannon balls and stones from
the ruined walls." ,
"It is true that we are but plough
shares," said the biggest ploughshare
to the rest, "but it is our duty. See
that you do your best."
"How we wish we were pens or
cannons," replied the ploughshares in
chorus. "But there is no use in la
menting. We will furrow the earth
as it has never been furrowed before.''
"Ah. children!" said the earth. "1
have been waiting long for you. Drive
in deep and wipe out the cannon scars
and the misery of the battle. Of all
my children, you are the only ones
who will do anything glorious."
"What!" said the ploughshares all
together, so that the farmers >aid
"Hear them ring."
"What!" they cried. "We thought
that we were the stupid ones. D^d
not the other two ores become writ
ers and military persons?"
"Yes," said the earth. "But the
pens only talked and the cannon only
destroyed. You are going to pro
"Hurrah!" said the ploughshares,
cutting the earth swiftly into long,
straight furrows. "Hurrah!"
And they have never said another
word since; for they are so busy do
ing things that they have never again
had time to waste in conversation.
Iho t c&t> bough •
As, you c^n.
pl^Valy See- v-
I c^nnoT bou§'h <^S
m^ny *Hcne 5 &$
once, a^ ce^n
em flying fish may fairly be called
Thqre is another sort of fish that
might be called the "flower fish," for
the individuals of the species grow up
from the sea bottom as a plant would
grow and look like lilies on a stem,
wherefore they are called sea-lilies.
But they are real fish nevertheless,
with mouths and digestive organs and
all the other attributes of animal life,
though they look so like plants that
the unscientific person would be de
ceived when he saw one.