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The ranch. (North Yakima, Wash.) 1894-189?, March 03, 1894, Image 12

Image and text provided by Washington State Library; Olympia, WA

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/2007252175/1894-03-03/ed-1/seq-12/

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12
THE POPCORN MAN.
Clinton ScolJtird in St. Nicholas.
There's a queer little man hvos dowu the
street
Where two of the broadest highways meet,
In a queer little house that's half of it glass,
With windows open to all who pass,
Antl a low little roof that's nearly flat,
And a chimney us black as papa's best hat.
Oil, the house is built on this funny plan
Because it's the home of the popcorn man !
How does he sleep, it he sleeps at all ?
He must roll up like a rubber ball,
Or like a squirrel, and store himself
All huddly cuddly under the shelf.
If he wanted to stretch he'd scarce have
space
In his bare little, spare little, square little
place.
He seems like a rat cooped up in a can,
This brisk little, frkk little popcorn man.
I know he's wise by the way he looks,
For he's just like the man I've seen in
books,
With his hair worn off ami hissquinty eyes,
And his wrinkles too—oh, I know he's
wise !
Ami then just think of the way he makes
The corn all jump into snowy flakes
With a "pop ! pop ! pop !" in a covered pan,
This queer little, dear little popcorn man!
THE ABDUCTION OF. A KING.
The abdnrtion of Stanislaus Augustus,
kiner of Poland, in the very midst of War
saw, his own capital, was probably as au
dacious an exploit as any body of con
spirators ever conceived or accomplished.
Perhaps I should say "nearly" accomp
lished, since at the last moment the king
effected his escape, but in its earlier
stages the attempt was completely suc
cessful. The instigators of the offense
were the confederate Polish nobles, who
had never recognized Stanislaus as law
fully elected, and, not without reison,
looked upon him as the mere tool of Rus
sian tyranny.
The man who planned the details of the
abduction was the celebratad Polish pa
triot Pulaski. He it was who engaged a
body of forty adventurers to carry it out,
under the leadership of three daring men,
Lukowski, Strawinski and Kosinski'
whom he hud won over, and who had
sworn to deliver up to him the kin*, dead
or alive.
Making their way by stealthy journeys
from Czitschokow, in Great Poland, they
entered Warsaw on the 2d of November,
without being discovered. They were
disguised as peasants in charge of carts
loaded with bay, under which were con
cealed their saddles, weapons and ordi
nary dress.
They did not all penetrate into the
heart of the city ; some remained at the
gates. The others, on the following even
ing, collected, with due precautions, in
the street of the Capucins ; for they cal
culated, "from information received,"
that the king would pass that way on re
turning to his palace at the accustomed
hour.
And so it happened.
Between nine and ten o'clock, leaving
the residence of his uncle, Prince Czar-
THE RANCH
toriski, to whom he had been paying a
visit, the king drove into the trap pre
pared for him. His escort did not exceed
some fifteen or sixteen grooms and troop
ers, and an aid-de-camp rode with him in
his carriage.
Suddenly a number of well-armed men
sprang out of the darkness, and surround
ed both the carriage and escort, ordering
the coachman to pull up. Before he could
obey, a shower of bullets clattered against
the vehicle and struck down an equerry
who had posted himself on the doorstep
to defend his master. The escort had fled
at the first shot; even the aid-de-camp
was gone; the king was all alone. It was
a pitch-dark night, and he attempted to
profit by the darkness; but before he had
taken half-a-dozen steps, a rough hand
clutched hold of his hair. "We have you
now," cried the man who had stopped
him; "your hour is come!" and a pistol
was discharged so close to his face that he
afterwards said he could feel the heat of
the flame. At the same time a sabre
stroke was aimed at his head, and cut
through his hat and hair to his skull.
Meanwhile the conspirators had remount
ed their horses; two of them seized his
collar and dragged him on behind them,
while they rode at full gallop five hun
dred paces through the streets of Warsaw.
The alarm had by this time been given
in both the palace and the city. The
guards hastened to the scene of the out
rage, but discovered only the King's hat,
soaked in his blood. It was at once con
cluded that he had been killed, and his
dead body carried off by the murderers;
the city was filled with all kinds of
dreadful rumors.
The King was soon breathless and ex
hausted with the cruel treatment to which
he had been subjected. He was unable
to stand, and his captors were obliged to
mount him on horseback. Then they
proceeded at a still more rapid pace. On
reaching the city gate they found it
closed, so that the only means of escape
was by leaping the ditch. They did not
hesitate. The King was of course com
pelled to follow their example. He push
ed his horse forward, but he fell in the
middle. A second attempt, a second
failure, and the poor animal broke his
leg. Stanislaus was dragged out covered
with mud and greatly disordered; an
other horse was provided, and the desper
ate ride resumed. But not before they
had relieved him of all his valuables,
leaving only his handkerchief and tablets.
Even Lukowski shared in the plunder,
snatching the ribbon of the King's black
eagle, with the diamond cross attached
to it.
Most of thecoDspiritors now dispersed ;
no dobut in order to warn their chiefs of
the captive's approach. Only seven
remained, undor the command of Kosin
ski. The night had grown so heavy that
they had lost their bearings, and knew
not where they were. Moreover, their
horses were spent with fatigue, and would
not budge a step further. The party were
compelled to alight, and forced the King
to do the same —though he had but one
boot, the other having stuck in the mud
of the city ditch.
For some time they continued to wand
er about the fields, unable to discover any
regular road, or to get out of the neigh
borhood of Warsaw. At length they re
mounted King Stanislaus, two of them
holding him up in the saddle with their
hands, while a third led the horse by the
bridle. Thus they stumbled on, until
the King, perceiving that they had struck
into a path which led to the village called
Burskow, warned them »hat some Rus
sian soldiers were stationed there, who
would probably attempt his rescue.
Strange advice, you will say, for the
King to have given his abductors; but
it was really dictated by consummate
prudence. fie was reasonably afraid
that on seeing the Russian guard the
conspirators might have killed him and
taken to flight; whereas by informing
them of the danger to which they were
exposing themselves, he to some extent
gained their confidence. And, as a mat
ter of fact, thenceforward they treated
treated him with great lenity. Finding
himself unable to endure any longer the
painful posture they had forced upon him
he begged them to provide him with a
boot and another horse. To this they
assented; and then resumed their journey
over the pathless tracts, frequently re
tracing their course without knowing it,
until they finally found themselves in the
wood of Bielany, not more than a league
from Warsaw.
Meanwhile the capital was a scenfi of
consternation and perplexity. The guards
were afraid that if they pressed the pur
suit of the captors, the latter, in their
rage, might put the King to death under
the cover of darkness. On the other
hand, by delaying, they gave them time
to convey their victim to some secure
retreat, whence it might not be possible
to rescue him. At last, several nobles
mounted their horses and followed up
the traces of the conspirators until they
reached the point where the King had
crossed the ditch. There they picked up
his pelisse, which the King had lost in
the scuffle, and as it was blood-spotted
and shot-torn, it confirmed them tn their
belief that the kintg was no more.
Stanislaus and his captors were still
wandering in the wood of Bieluny, when
they were suddenly alarmed by the
sounds of the Russian patrol. After hold
ing a short conference together four of
them disappeared, leaving Konsinski and
two other guards with the king. A quar
ter of an hour later they came upon a
second Russian guard, and the two men
fled, so that the king was alone with
Kosinski. Both had abandoned their
horses and were on foot. Exhausted by
all he had undergone, Stanislaus begged

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