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The Indian advocate. ([Sacred Heart, Okla.]) 1???-1910, March 01, 1906, Image 13

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/45043535/1906-03-01/ed-1/seq-13/

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THE INDIAN ADVOCATE 76
phenomenon of a total solar eclipse is employed with most
happy and dramatic effect as'far as the story is concerned, but
with a perfect disregard of astronomical details which in its
audacity is almost startling. Here, again, as in so muny other
cases, the difficulty of the young moon comes in, and the sun
has scarcely set before the "fine crescent" rises in the east.
Within a wonderfully short space of time after this curious
event the moon is full, and only a day later the total eclipse
of the sun takes place, despite the astronomical fact that it
is at "no moon" (or, more accurately speaking, the last few
seconds of the new) that a total solar eclipse alone is possible
But perhaps the most interesting feature of this altogether
remarkable eclipse, is that the total darkness lasts for nearly
an hour. Alas, under the rarest and most favorable condi
tions, seven minutes alone is the utmost limit of time during
which the sun's face is totally obscured and the observer un
der ordinary circumstances counts himself lucky if he is re
warded for a journey of some thousands of miles by an unin
terrupted view of the corona for three minutes, two or even
less.
Some years ago one of the magazines contained a story
calIed"The Portent, "the motif of which was a certain strange
seeming in the heavens which, whenever it appeared, boded
ill to a particular family. This prophetic sign was none ot
her than the appearance of the crescent moon with a star be
tween the two horns. Nor was this a particularly novel idea
for it will be remembered that in Coleridge's "Ancient Mari
ner" that veracious seaman relates how at one period of his
adventures there rose.
above the eastern bar
The horned moon, with one bright star
Within the nether tip.
In a purely miraculous and fanciful creation like this fa
mous poem it would be ridiculous to cavil at such a detail,
though in the case of the story it might well be questioned
how the star could manage to appear in such a position. We
may perhaps refer to the line in "The Burial of Sir John
Moore" where the great soldier is represented as being inter-

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