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Farm, Garden, and Household,
CONDUCTED BY PUTNAM SIMONTON. «#-dur friends who may have communications, oh* bcrvations, facts, suggestion,0, or anything of interest, pertaining to this department, are requested to commn mcatt* the same to Dr. Putnam Simonton, Searsport, who , '-.ill prepare the same for publication, if <>t sufficient im portance. i xnenDii ib,'vi.vo. Last week we spoke of sonic of the advan tages of underdraining: tills week, how. where, &.c How to drain—at what depth, what mated-1 uls, &c., are questions of much debate, Some | experience, and more thinking and reading, , have revealed to us some truths on this sub wet. One Is that a few deep drains are better | than a great many shallow ones, for the reason Lhat, if laid below the frost line, as they always , should be, If possible, freezing cannot injure j .tud close them up, as it often does shallow ones; and that the draining benefits extend ver an area directly proportional to the depth. | For all drains must have a certain amount of I fall to deliver the water; and the artificial drain Is only to iorm an outlet to the millions j of natural ones already in the soil, In the form j ui the countless pores or cells, all communi cating with one another,-just as ihe spaces in a pile of rocks or pebbles are continuous passages through which water will pass to any depth with free exit from the bottom. Hence the deeper the artificial drain, the great er the fall to the myriad natural ones, and so the greater the surface they will draiu. With out pretending to be mathematically exact, it -. safe to say that nnedrain four feet deep will wuefit us much surface as four drains one foot deep; thus With the same amount of digging ! ii both cases ! here is a saving of the raateri ils of three drains. Many object to deep drains, fearing the surface water will not reach them, especially In compact soils like clay: (nit provide for its escape at the bottom, and we will warrant good draining at any depth— five, ten or a hundred feet; down in torrents trough the larger pores, and up again through :u: minute ones by capillary attraction, as ex . lined last week. For drained soil is the •rt oi the world, with two circulation:—the fid, impure blood passing away through the • ourse veins to he utili/ d elsewhere in springs j and rivers: the life-giving juices ascending in) the more d : ate tubes or arteries to give veg- j <*uo!c growui. Drain materials. These are many; tiles, bricks, ston % wood. Where tiles are to be .mid readily, they are no doubt the best thing. But with most people who will, or might to drain, the cost of tiles Is .1 fatal fact. Hence lor the million, stone or wood must be the ma terial. To stoue, while it is the cheapest, 'here Is this great objection;—unless laid en • 11 oIy below frost, and with great care, a single ■irk getting displaced will close it up am! ren ler it. perfectly valueless. Our garden, spoken ut last week, had drains laid deeply and care mlly with stone; but every few years they would close up from that cause. A dozen years ago, we took up the ston.1 and laid It with three round poles, four to six inches in diam eter ; two for the sides—one to drop in between them, about a fourth part of its size, for a cov ring,—tilling lu solid behind the side pieces prevent spreading, and carefully chinking all 1 oles where dirt might enter. From that day ■ ■ this It has been in perfect condition; and :ipy neighbors who have tried this method, on ii. »■ nnmeiitlatiou, will bear ample testimo ny, both as to Its cheapness and excellence. Uid it matters but Utile what the wood is; for we have seen those perishable kinds—spruce and fir- taken from old cellar drains, where hey had lain forty years, sounder than when bin d there, because petrified, seemingly, In .eli underground home. Vet where as con cnient, cedai and hacmetack may be the best: but let none delay tills useful work for the want of them,—for any of the common woods will last tor generations. Nor is straight tim ber essential; for where crooks occur, saw In to them at those places and they become straight. I B'/ev. to drain is essential. In 1 lie first place, I ‘ I then, as health, life, comfort and decency are ! t-as high above all others, let It be done ; .round the- dwelling and all the buildings. For. as we have several times shown in these col umns, nothing conduces so much to sickness and death us the stagnant, putrid waters around the homestead, besides all the discom 'it's of such a nuisance. Beginning at some i■1 w spot In the street or other good outlet, dig up, four or live feet deep, if' lie* ground will permit, into the door yard, or oilier wet place, is your main, into which similar drains can • ntcr from all the wet places round about. Af ter this Improvement, instead of "ihe con loumled old place” which you have been try ig In vain to sell, it will be a delight to you When this shall have been done, as we trust 1 will be tills very year, lucre aie the wet e'livv gardens, and elsewhere spungy places, keeping, by their How, the Helds wet, and ren dering their cultivation so late and so imper > et as to be profitless. And then how many 'dgh bogs and meadows and sloping swales do we see everywhere, tcrliie as tin* most, famous prairies, with the rich deposits of countless •ges; as worthless now as were those prairies 1 lore nature drained off fWr useless waters. Ami vvIiimi, by these means, your prairies shall have become dry land, put In the plow deeply as the sward c.111 be handsomely turn ed; and into the seams of every other furrow put sugar beet seed, and thin the plants to a loot in tlie row. For, under just such circum stances we iiave known them to be, at maturi ty, nine inches in diameter; so that at a fool apart they would lap by some inches, produc ing a vast amount to the acre. At present these can be converted with great profit into milk anil butter; at present—for we want to ’-‘•11 all who have a spot of land, that heH root •uyar-makinj is rapidly oil its sweet way through the world; is already an interest of great magnitude in some of the old countries, and In a year or two, at most, will be here at our doors. Let 11s see then that we are not ihe foolish virgins with no oil in our lamps when the bridegroom cometh; but have them trimmed and burning by having the ground duly prepared, and by all the helps which prac tice, science and the arts can bestow, to learn its best modes of culture. THE POTATO-UN OHIUi\'4)|, IM. POHT1XCE. Like tobacco anil maize or Indian corn, the potato is an American production. The civil ized world first had knowledge of it through Columbus, who found it in use among the na tives of Cuba, 1494 ; aud the early discoverers of South America found it growing wild there. Its introduction and use among European na tions was very slow, and was. attended with much opposition, by the French especially; and It was not till a time of great scarcity, during their revolution—some 70 years ago—had forc ed It upon them, that its culture and use be came general. Now it is almost universally cultivated, has added millions to the popula- 1 tion of Europe, and has there rendered almost nnknown those famines which formerly were so frequent and so distressing. In this country, the extent to which this root is cultivated would appear amazing, if fully known; out-rivaling king Cotton in his palmi est days. As some approach to the amount, the Department of Agriculture, at Washington, reports ns the production of I860—Maine, five million three hundred and live thousand and forty-five bushels, (5,305,045) being the third potato State In the Union—the great State of1 New York producing about six times, and Pennsylvania three times as much. In all the ! States, 107,200,070 bushels. In our own county (Waldo) it lias come to be the great staple production; and add to the amount cosunmed by the people the countless bushels sent from our shores, the sum would be astonishing. This city alone lias exported of the last crop probably not fewer than CO,000 bushels—one dealer, 20,000. And in an interest of so much magnitude and importance, it behooves ail, both producers 1 and consumers, to foster and enlarge this pro duction by obtaining a larger knowledge of the facts, means and conditions which apply to it. That tills information is very essential is seen in the tact that scarcely any two persons will recommend the same kind of potato for culti-1 ration. Desiring, before the planting season, to lay before our readers some reliable Infor mation on this subject, we have taken pains to learn the views of many cultivators of this root, as to the best kinds, Ac. One of large experi ence says tlie Seliee Early is just the thing— excellent for the table, productive, and free from rot •. another, in the same neighborhood perhaps, says the Sebec Is worthless—yields j poorly, rots badly, and is watery and good for notiiing when sound. And we find the same ; contradictions in the other varieties. Now we have no doubt all these opposite ! opinions are reasonable and true; some differ ence in the soil, dressing and mode of culture, j making all the difference. How important then i that these conditions should be widely known, : if we would guard against serious loss, and still more develop, as we ought, this great in terest. Hence, while we are endeavoring to' collect valuable lacts on this point by consult ing all the farmers we meet, we trust that many i who may see these remarks , will not fail to j send us, in writing, by the first of May, their experience in these things. The best kind of potatoes as to flavor, its productiveness, free dom from disease, and market value; kind of soil, higher low, wet or dry; what kind of dressing and how used: the method of cultiva tion, Ac. Also as to corn, peas, beans and all the eatables which you cultivate. In this way alone can the farm and thenar den take their true places among the most prof-j Stable and desirable callings of men. In the i professions, the arts, mercantile pursuits, or; in all the sciences,—the, members of them all not only feel a just pride but And their true in- j terest, in imparting for the good of the whole 1 whatever information they may possess. Let Agriculture awake, though late, and turn at j once into this only true path ot improvement 1 and profit. » l’l.VV V WAV OS' EATIXt. Everything, equally in the vegetable and an imal kingdom, is endowed with the life prtnci-: pie, and to live and grow, must have food and drink. Among ail animals, the mouth,—among all vegetables, the rootlets—the minute ends of I the roots—are the organs for that purpose, j But as we pass around, we notice that a great majority of the people feed their vegetable creatures just as they would their stock if they left tiie crib empty and placed ail the food at the other end of the stall. In applying dressing to fruit trees they place it at the trunk. Just as well put the hay at the horses heels, and ex pect him to eat and grow. If the tree is large, ail its thousand mouths are a rod or two away from its trunk; there is the crib end of the stall, and there the food must be placed. All plants growing naturally—such as have ; not been excessively pruned—will show at a glane, cisely riiere their rootlets or mouths are. For, as everything in nature exists on the principle oi balancing, so the roots, having a top to balance, will spread out, as a general rule, as far under the surface as the branches do above it. If an entire tree could be stood above ground, where all its parts could he seen, it would much resemble a pair of cart-wheels on their axle, set on end ; the lower wheel, the roots ; the upper one, the top, or branches ; the axle connecting them, the trunk. Tiles facts are highly important to be borne in mind in setting out trees,—on which subject1 we shall speak in an early No.—to have a plenty of good soil at the ends of the roots, ! and abundant room for their extension. t ISI l.Y (d 15 X I lie corn-planting season will soon be upon us, ami no time should be lost in the prepara- \ iion o( the ground ; and in this previous prep- i aration lies tlie secret of success. The soil j should be ploughed, cross-ploughed, harrowed ! ami cross-harrowed, until the ground is redue- 1 ed to the finest possible tilth, and the surface ! made as mellow as an ash bank; blit in plant iug, “make haste slowly,” should be our motto, 1 and yet a departure from thU maxim is a futal < and common errbr. Wait until the ground is \ mar,a, and then your grain will sprout at once, and grow oti' without a check until it reaches maturity. Many farmers, impatient to be done with their planting, are content with a hurried plowing, and then commit the seed to a bed so cold as to destroy its vitality before it can sprout; or If it does come up, it is with such irregularity as to require replanting, and the plants, feeble, spindling and yellow, like dedi cate, sickly infants, rarely reach a vigorous maturity. We remember an old gentleman in Maryland, the most successful corn-grower in his county, who was generally ten days behind his neighbors in getting his seed in. While were striving to finish, the old fellow was giving his corn land an extra working, which theirs never got. Ills crop invariably matured as soon as theirs; and instead of being obliged, as they were, to do more or loss replanting, he had, on the contrary, to thin out his crop. The ground being warm, the seed never rotted ; nor did the crows and blackbirds annoy him, for he took cart; to give them their share upon the surface of the ground, and thus relieve them from the temptation to dig his planted grain. No directions of general application can be given for the selection of seed corn, because of variations in soil and climate, and because, in spite ol the most careful selection, the corn will gradually, by hybridizing and othercauses, assimilate itself to that cultivated in the same neighborhood. The fact is, that though grains and vegetables may be bred to run into excess, as well as animals, in particular points and qualities, climate will not, after all, be forced to adopt what any curious experimentalist may choose to transplant from one region to anoth er. [Turf, Field and Farm. I AT TWILIGHT The sunset darkens in the West, The sea gulls haunt the bay, And far and high the swallows fly, To watch the dying day. Now where is she that once with me The rippling waves would list? And O for the song I loved so long. And the darling lips I kist! Yon twinkling sail may whiter gleam Than falcon’s snowy wing. Her glances far the evening-star Beyond the waves may fling; Float on, ah float, enchanted boat, Bear true hearts o’er the main, But I shall guide thy helm no more, Nor whisper love again ! The Secret of the Two Plaster Oasts. Years before the accession of her Maj esty, Queen Victoria, ami yet at not so re mote a date as to be utterly beyond the pe riod to which our middle-aged readers ex tend, it happened that two English geutle men sat at the table on a summer's evening, after dinner, quietly sipping their wine, and engaged in desultory conversation. They were both men known to fame. One of them was a sculptor whose statues adorned the palaces of princes, and whose chiselled busts were the pride of half the nobility of his nation ; the other was no less renowned as an anatomist and surgeon. The age ol the anatomist might have been guessed at fifty, but the guess would have erred on the side of youth by at least ten years. That of the sculptor could scarcely be more than five-aud-thirty. A bust of the anatomist, so admirably executed as to present, al though in stone, the perfect similitude of life and flesh, stood upon a pedestal oppo site the table at which sat the pair, and at once explained at least one connecting link of companionship between them. The an atomist was exhibiting for the criticism of bis friend, a rare gem which he had just drawn from his cabinet; it was a crucifix, magnificently carved in ivory, and incased in a setting of pure gold. ‘‘The carving, my dear sir,” observed Mr. Fiddyes, the sculptor, “is, indeed, as you say, exquisite. The muscles are ad mirably made out, the flesh well modeled, wonderfully so for the size and material : and yet—by-the-by, on this point you must know more than I,—the more I think upon the matter, the more l regard the artistic conception as utterly false and wrong.” i on speak in a riddle,” replied Dr. Car nell ; “but pray go on and explain.” ■‘It is a fancy I first had in my student days,” replied Fiddyes. “Conventionality, not to say a proper and becoming reverence, prevents people by no means ignorant from considering the point. But once think up cm it, and you, at least of ail men, must at ouce perceive bow utterly impossible it must be lor a victim nailed upon a cross by bauds and feet, to preserve the position in variably displayed in figures of the cruci fixion. Those who thus portray it, fail in what should be their most awful aud agon izing effect. Think for one moment, and imagine, if you can, what would be the al titude of a man, living or dead, under this frightful torture.” “You startle me,” returned the great surgeon, “uot only by the truth of your remarks, but by their obviousness. It is strange, indeed, that such a matter should have so long been overlooked. The more 1 think upon it, the more the hare idea of actual crucifixion seems to horrify me, though heaven knows I am accustomed to scenes of suffering. How would you rep resent such a terrible agony?” “Indeed, I can’t tell,” replied the sculpt or: “to guess would be almost vain. The fearful strain upon the muscles, their utter helplessness and inactivity, the frightful swellings, the effect of weight upon the racked and tortured sinews, appall me too much even for speculation.” “But this,” replied the surgeon, “one might think a matter of importance, not only to art, but, higher still, to religion it self.” “Maybe so,” returned the sculptor. “But perhaps the appeal to the senses through a true representation might be too horrible for either the one or the other." “Still,” persisted the surgeon, “I should like—say for curiosity, though I am weak enough to believe in my motive as a high er one—to ascertain the effect from actual observation.” “So should I, could it he done, and, of course, without pain to the object, which, as a condition, seems to present, at the out set. an impossibility.” “Perhaps not,” mused the anatomist ; “I thiuk 1 have a notion. Stay, we may con trive this matter. I will tell you my plan, and it will be stange indeed if we too can not manage to carry it out.” The discourse, here, owing to the rapt attention of both speakers, assumed a low and earnest tone, but had, perhaps, better be narrated by a relation of events to which it gave rise. Suffice it to say the sovereign was more than once mentioned during its progress, and in a manner which plainly told that two speakers each possessed suffi cient influence to obtain the assistauce of royally, and that such assistance would be required iu their schemes. The shades of evening deepened while the two were still conversing; and, leaving this scene, let us cast one hurred glimpse at another, taking place contemporaneously. Between Pimlico and Chelsea, and across a canal the bed of which has since been used for the railway terminating at Victo ria station, thete was, at the time of which we speak, a rude timber footway, long since replaced by a more substantial and conven ient erection, but was known as the wood en bridge. It was named, shortly ufter ward, Cutthroat, linage, and lor this reason. While Mr. Fiddyes and Dr. Carnell were discoursing over their wine, as we have al ready seen, one Peter Starke, a drunken pensioner, was murdering his wife upon the spot wo have last mentioned. The coinci dence was curious. In those days the punishment of crimi nals followed closely upon their conviction. The Chelsea prisoner whom we have men tioned was found guilty on Friday, and sen tenced to die on the following Monday. He was a sad scoundrel, impenitent to the last, glorying in the deeds of slaughter which lie had witnessed and acted duriu" the scries of campaigns which had just euded previ ously at Waterloo. He was a tall, well built fellow enough, of middle age, for his class was not then, as now, composed chief ly cf veterans, but comprised many young men, just sufficiently disabled to be unfit for service. Peter Starke, although but slight ly wounded had nearly completed his term of service, and had obtained his pension and presentment to Chelsea hospital. With his life we have little to do, save as re gards its elose. which we shall shortly en deavor to describe far more vcrnciously and at some greater length thau set forth in the brief account which satisfied the public of his own day, and which as embodied in the columns of the few journals then ap pearing, ran thus: “Ou Monday last, Peter Starke was ex ecuted at Newgate, for the murder at the wooden bridge, Chelsea, with four others for various offences. After he had been j hanging for a few minutes a respite arrived ;1 but although he was promptly cut down, life was pronounced to he extinct. His body was buried within the prison walls.” Thus far for history. But the concise ness of history far more frequently embed ies falsehood than truth. Perhaps the fol- * lowing narration may approach more near-1 ly to the facts : A room wituin tne prison nau been, up* j on that special occasion, aud by high au thority, allotted to the use of l)r. Caruell and Mr. Fiddyes, the famous sculptor, for \ the purpose of certain investigations con nected with art aud science. Iu that room i Mr. Fiddyes, while wretched Peter Starke was yet swinging between heaven and earth, was busily engaged iu arranging a variety of implements and materials, consisting of a large quantity of plaster of Paris, two large pails of water, some tubs, and other necessaries of the molder’s art. The room contained a large deal table, aud a wooden cross,—not neatly planed aud squared at the angles, hut of thick, narrow, riulely sawu oaken plank, fixed hv heavy nails. And while Mr. Fiddyes was thus occupi ed, the executioner entered, bearing upon his shoulders the body of the wretched Pe ter, which he filing heavily upon the table. “You are sure lie is dead?” asked Mr. Fiddyes. “Dead as a herring,” replied the othei ; “aud just as limp as if he had only fainted.” “Then go to work at once,” replied the sculptor, as turning his hack upon the hang man, lie resumed his occupation. The “work” was soon done. Peter was stripped and uailed upon the timber, which was instantly propped against the wall. “As fine a one as ever 1 saw,” exclaimed the executioner, as he regarded the defunct murderer with an expression of admiration, as if in his own handiwork, in having ab ruptly demolished such a magnificent ani mal. “Drops a good bit for’ard, though. Shall I tie him up round the waist, sir?” “Certainly not, returned the sculptor. “Just rub him well over with this oil, espe cially his head, aud then you can go. T)r. Carnell will settle with you.” “All right, sir.” The fellow did as ordered, aud retired without another word, leaving this strau»e | couple—the living and the dead—in that dismal chamber. Mr. Fiddyes was a man of strong nerve in such matters. He had been too much ac customed to taking posthumous casts to trouble himself with h'<v sentiment of re pugnance at his approaching task of taking what is called a “piece mold” from a body. He emptied a number of bags of the white, powdery plaster of Paris into one of tho larger vessels, poured into it a pail of wa ter, aud was carefully stirring up the mass, when a sound of dripping arrested his ear. Drip, drip. “There’s something leaking,” he mutter ed, as he took up a second pail and emptied it, again stirring the composition. Drip, drip, drip. “It’s strange,” he soliloquized, half aloud. , “There’s so more water, and yet-” The sound was heard again. He gazed at the ceiling; there was no sign of damp. He turned his eyes to the body, and something suddenly caused him a violent siart. The murderer was bleed log. Tiie sculptor, spite of his command over himself, turned pale, At that moment the head of Starke moved,—clearly moved. It raised itself convulsively for a single mo ment ; its eyes rolled, and it gave vent to a subdued moan of intense agony. Mr. Fiddyes fell fainting on the floor, as Dr. Caruell entered. It needed but a glance to tell the doctor what had happened, even had not Veter just then given vent to another low cry. The surgeon’s measures were taken. Locking the door, he bore a chair to the wall which supported tlie body of the malefactor, lie drew from his pocket, a ease of glittering instruments, and with one of these, so small and delicate that it scarcely seemed larger than a needle, he rapidly, but dexterously and firmly, touched Veter just at the back of the neck. There was no wound larger than the head of a pin, and ye! the head fell instantly, as though the heart had been pierced. The doctor had divided the spinal cord, and Veter Starke was dead indeed. A few minutes sufficed to recall the sculptor to his senses. He at first gazed wildly upon the still suspended body, so painfully recalled to life by the rough vene section of the hangman, and the subsequent friction of anointing his body to prevent the adhesion of the plaster. “You need not fear now,” said Dr. Car uell ; “I assure you he is dead.” “But he wan alive, surely !” “Only for a moment, and even that, scarcely to be called life ; mere muscular contraction.” The sculptor resumed his labor. The body was girt at various circumferences with fine twine, to be afterwards withdrawn through a thick coating of plaster, so as to separate the various pieces of the mould, which was at last completed; and, after this, Dr. Carnell skillfully flayed the body, to enable a second mould to be taken of the entire figure, showing every muscle of the outer layer. The two moulds were thus taken. It is difficult to conceive more ghastly appear ances than they presented. For sculptor’s work they were utterly useless; for uo artist, except the most daring of realists, would have ventured to indicate the horrors which they presented. Fiddyes refused to receive them. Dr. Carnell, hard aud cruel as he was, for kindness’s sake iu his profession, was a gentle, geuial father of a family of daught ers. lie received the casts, aud at once consigned them to a garret, to which he forbade access. His youngest daughter, one unfortunate day, during her father’s absence, was impelled by feminine curios ity—perhaps a little increased by the pro hibition—to enter the mysterious chamber. Whether she imagined in the palled fig ure upon the cross a celestial rebuke for her disobedieuce, or whether she was over come by the mere mortal horror of one or both of those casts, can now never be known ; but this is true, she became a ma niac. The writer of this has more than once seen, as, no doubt, have many others, the plaster effigies of Peter Starke, after their removal from Dr. Carnell’s to a famous stu dio near Regent’s Park. It was there that he heard whispered the strange story of their origin. Sculptor and surgeon are now both long since dead, and it is no longer necessary to keep the secret of the two plaster casts. Tho Texan Duel, “Put down that knife or the consequence be upon your own head. Put it down, I say !” and the hand of the speaker slowly and deliberately raised a revolver. It was a very anxious moment for the lookerson. One of the combatants was a brawny ruffian, upon whose face was stamp ed all the evil passions of the human race. Black haired, black bearded, black eyed and strong enough was he to have felled an ox with a single blow of las fist. The other was a pale, slender, intellectual looking young man, boy almost, with light curls and complexion and blue eyes. The scene was in the little town of Wash ington, on the Brazos river in Texas, and the time midnight. “Do you know who yer talking to, boy?” was the coarse and uneducated answer of Luke Benton, than w’hom no gambler in the i vicinity was more detested and feared. A man to whom (and not without reason) was imputed every crime—even that of murder ; who was an unfailing shot with the pistol and rifle and unmatched in skill with that strictly border weapon—the bowie knife. A short residence in that locality and given him a reputation as a duellist, for the long grass of the Tempas covered the forms of two who had fallen by his hand. Where he came from no one knew, and he was particularly reticent about his former life. Still it was whispered—behind his back, for no one was foolhardy enough to ! say it to his face—that he was one of the very few who escaped from the terrible justice of “Natchez under the hill,” when the outraged citizeus awoke in their wrath and took .speedy vengeance in their own hands. Be that as it might, he had already earned a name sufficiently bad to need no additions even where the great majority of crimes wene looked upon lightly—making Texas iu its infancy the paradise of scound rels. On the other, his hoy antagonist even less was known. It was but two days since his arrival, and he had come on horseback and alone. Of his business he had nothing to say, but his suave manner and quiet, gentlemanly deportment had already made him friends among the better portion of the sparse population. Very much to their surprise, therefore, was it that they had seen him enter into a contest at cards with the professional game ster Bouton, confident that he would either he cheated or bullied out of his money, in case he should be successful, which was almost beyond the range of possibility. But for two hours the game had been pro gressing, the gambler getting more angry at every deal, and the youth keeping per fectly cool and breathing taunting words, as if his object was still further to provoke him. If it was his purpose to do so, he was more than successful, for Benton had suddenly sprung to his feet and drawn his i knife with oaths upon his lips and murder flashing from his eyes. “Put down that knife," again repeated | the young man, Mark Whiteman, as he had I given all to understand was his name. “Put it down. No one but a coward and a cheat | would attempt to use such fatal arguments in a simple game of chance.” “Er cheat—coward !” thundered Benton, with all his wrath aroused. “By heaven, | I’ll make yer eat yer words.” j “For fear you do not fully understand, 1 ! will repeat them.” “Yer dare not!” was hissed from the | more than tightly compressed lips. “Coward ! cheat! I dare say anything to I one like you.” “Coward er gin !” and his knife flashed ; still more wildly around. In vain the others interfered. They cared | little for the professional and brutal gamester s but they did tor young Whiteman, aud could : not but be surprised at the almost sublimity : his coolness and bravery, even though he was courting his own death. Something in the manner of the young man, too. appeared to deeply impress his antagonist, who had never before restrain I ed his hand from a swift vengeance. The delicate frame trembled not; the sweet, almost girlish expression upon those mobile lips remained unaltered; the cheeks were unblanched, and the mild, blue eyes never swerved from their steady gaze upon the fiery black ones. It appeared as if the serpent and the bird had changed places, and the fierce charmer became the charmed. “Pshaw!” at length continued Luke Bolton, “I am a fool to take any notice of er boy that I could crush between my thumb and lingers. Take yer money, ef yer such er sneak ; go back ermong the women and never dare ter show yer face ermong men ergaiu.’’ “I care nothing lor the money, was still the calm response. “It’s nothing to me.” “What do yer want then?” “To prove that you are a coward at heart.” “No man ever lived that dared ter say such er thing.” “Simply because you murdered them, Luke Bouton.” “Murdered? But, no, I’ll not fight er boy.” “Because you dare not. But you shall have no excuse,” and Mark AArhiteman spat full in the face of the blood-stained gamb ler. In an instant all was confusion. Benton sprang forward with liis knife upraised, and would have cut down his insulter with a blow. But others did the same. They realized that blood must be shed, but they insisted upon “fair play.” Even in the horrible code of Texas duelling they de manded that the rules of honor ( ?) should be strictly adhered to. “If you must fight,” said an old ranger, “and I sco ne way to avoid it now, it shall be all open and above board. It’s your choice, llentou. Pick your weapon and stand up and fight it out like men. “Pistols then—ten paces—word !” was the gruff answer. “Are you satisfied?” was asked of White man. “i'es—perfectly. Let him take his re volver—I have mine. We will commence [firing at the word and continue to advance ; and do so until one or both falls.” A few steps from the house brought [them to a spot where the green grass and .bright flowers had more than once been [stained in such encounters. The men were ; placed—the weapons prepared and the fatal | word was about to he given when Whiteman ; called the Ranger (who was acting as his second) and. taking Ids hand within his ; own, whispered : : “\ou appear to he a true-hearted man and I wish to ask a favor of you.” “Speak on. Anything I can do shall he done. Just say the word and I’ll take your : place. j “No, not that. But it’ 1 should chance ' to fall, promise that you will see me buried as f am. Do not let my dress be disturbed in the least. Roll me up in a blanket and let no one pry around me after I am dead, i Will you promise me that ?” | “It is a strange thing to ask, but I’ll do 1 it.” | “Then I am ready.” i “Yes, I’ll do it,” repeated the Ranger, as he slowly retreated, muttering to himself, j “and if you do fall I’ll send a bullet through . the skull of him that kills you, and may the good Lord forgive me if it is murder.” ! “Now, Luke Benton,” continued White ' man, “I am ready. Yet one word,” and he . | stepped to his side and handed him a minia ture. “If 1 die look at this." | “I’ll do it now and with trembling fingers he undid the clasp—then let it drop i from his hands as if it had been a serpent, exclaiming, “No I’ll not fight you. Take him awray, some one—take him away, for God’s sake.” “Not fight ! then you will (lie like a dog and Whiteman raised his weapon and mo tioned for the word to be given. It was some time, however, before his request was complied with. The sinewy fame of the gambler trembled like a dry leaf in the autumn wind ; all the color had left his face ; his lips were like ashes ; his pistol was pointed downwards and shook in his hands. At length he succeeded, by a mighty eft'ort, in calming himself. He braced his nerves—glared wildly around, and with all the calmness of despair, stood upon his guard. “Are you ready—both ready'” was ask ed. “Yes,” came simultaneously from two pair of lips. “One—two—three—fire 1" The report of the pistols out the last word in twain. The seconds rushed forward and lifted the men up again, for both had fallen. One, however, would never breath more. Luke Benton had fought his last duel—had gone to his final account with his heart bul let cleft. Whiteman, too, was dangerously wounded. With his breath bubbling forth through blood he called tlie Ranger to him and asked him for the miniature. It was given him—the fair face of a young man. He covered it with bloody lingers—whis pered, “Bury it witli me,” and lie to, had ceased to live. With tearful eyes that form was prepar ed tor the grave, the Ranger insisting that his promise to the dead should he fulfilled to the letter But all saw sufficient to sat isfy them that he who called himself White man was a young woman. And years later they found a clue to the mystery. It was a wife who had tlieu revenged the murder of her husband—murdered for saving her from dishonor! From a bloody grave in the ehapparel, she had gone to join him she had loved so well in the land that lies be yond the dark river. Was her last act one of sin? Ft is not for us to judge of such a tiling. We know nothing of the maddened heart and insane brain—know nothing of the long days and longer nights of suffering—nothing of how we would act under such circumstances. Better leave judgment*to Him who can read both the mind and the heart, and whose will directed the avenging bullet. None other is without sin, aud who will dare to cast the first stone? Letter from a Southern "Filliliuster.” [ A correspondent of the Savannah Advertiser, writing “In the Field, near Bayaino, Cuba, April G,” says The armed and unarmed patriots spting up from the ground as did Marion’s men in days I gone by upon the Pedee, and their success is inevitable. The arrival of Hamilton's Brigade ! at Port Naranjo was an event. They came in ' detached companies, and only since they have taken the field has any appreciation oi their ' strength of numbers or their strength in arms been had. From their arrival they went to WGrfc. in earnist—a large number were mount ed within twelve hours of their arrival and i away, scouting the country as though to the manor born, Hamilton is uot yet with them— i he may be in Cuba ere this reaches you, though. Old familiar faces are here, though last seen at Shiloh or at the Wilderness pressing through the smoke of battle, am! these veterans of the great Rebellion make short, work and speedy of the thiu skinned Andalusians. Von can readily imagine what chance a conscript Spaniard, fresh from a voyage, reduced by the horrors of ; an aggravated sea sickness, and green to the : war, has with these powder burned tigers. I Some of them have recently been seen in and : around Bayamo, Mayart and Bitciry, and where ; ever they have been seen will long lie remem i bored. Thornton is at Palma Doria to-day— ! to-morrow about Villa del Colire ever ready. Broughton is invalided with a wound received within twelve hours after landing. Van Horn, j who says he Is an original Alabama Rebel, : leaves me to day for La Guanaja and the viciui- j ty of Gen. Quesada's command. Little ot this is of interest to you who listen ; for stirring news, for great battles whereon ; you can indite many words; for changes and assaults, upon which to build long blaca head I lines; but to us these little skirmishes, temper- i ed as they are by the most bloodylhirsty spirit upon the part of the Spaniards, and by tiie des perate, soul-nerved resolution oil the part of the Liberals—these things to us are not void of \ 1 excitement nor danger. It is not permitted | i me to go into details—suffice it to say that each | day adds to our force, strength, unanimity and j prospects. Each day brings to the ports we ! hold men, munitions, stores, money and hope. The issue is no longer doubtful. Blockade running continues to increase. If the hatches could be lifted oil', half the vessels I i in the Gulf to-day would show something con- \ traband of war. We are working rapidly! against the day when the grand cordon will be I placed around us, which fire and iron alone can ! remove. Now is the time for the adventurous ' either in persons or purse, to come forward. Fortune and fame come easily in such days as these. The prospects is cheering to every Cuban— to every lover of liberty. We have gotten be yond the stage when al! desire to bo generals. We 1) ave reached the stage when all are willing to work in whatever sphere they may be placed, and to work whole-hearted when that time Is reached, as you will know success is no longer problematical. We are eating the country up, inch by inch—overcoming prejudice—creating patriots, not only by moral suasion, bat by or thodox blows, ami win we must. Letter from the West. Correspondence ol'tlie Jounisl. Omaha City. Xeb., April la.ispfl. Mr. Editor Leaving Dixon, 111., the Omaha Express, (which in consequence of the rapid in crease ol Western emigration, has added five ov six passenger coaches to its usually heavy train) arrived at the Mississippi in two hours. At this point the river is three-fourths ol a mile in width, and the train is thirteen minutes crossing the main bridge. Beneath the bridge the river is quite rur bulent and rapid, hut from the ear windows its broad surface seemed calm and unruffled as a forest lake. Studded with numerous islands, which arc mirrored on its bosom with all their rueged vesture of tree, shrub and boulder, it flows majestically ou through a section of country vast in resource, un equaled in fertility, literally the garden of the world. Reaching ihe Iowa shore a change iu the atmos phere is at cnce apparent. The snow, which In northern Illinois lay in many places four inches in depth, is here no longer visible. The verdure of spring begins to manifest itself; the broad expanse of brown prairie gras? is relieved by llcqueat plat of green', and cultivation is in its advanced stages. Throughout Eastern Iowa, the land is rolling and the most eligible for agricultural purposes; in the central part of the State it is flat, irriguous and less arable, and in the Western portion hilly nud almost moun tainous. The high lands are cov ered with buffalo grass, and afford superior pastur age. These vast tracts of laud, unsurpassed for richness and vegetation, so eminently qualified for culture and tillage, cannot remain long as they arc, almost untouched. The West, replete as it is with everything requisite and desirable for the designs of husbandry, is destined to become the farming region of the world. Central and Western low a are extensively timbered, hut in the former u speies of granite rock, (in western parlance, “hard head " predominates. I tie habitation of the farmer is constructed on j the most provident and frugal principles, usual!.. . consisting of a small, isolated building, which every waft of wind threatens to demolish; but oftimes j the more secure but less pretentious mud hut, i which nestles peacefully beneath some little bluff, ! its wreath of smoke ascending gracefully upon the placid air, and its cheerful faces peering forth to | see the “iron horse” hiss by, the only connecting [ link with the world! | Oxen are used here to break the new land, three yoke being used upon cue plow. Prarie fires are kindled to burn the decayed stubble and give a new start to vegetation. On every side they are slowly | burning, creeping along the track, and tilling the air with smoke and cinders. Cattle and horses browse upon the incipient buffalo grass, but slieep are almost unknown. A few miles west of Boone, commences a range j of lofty bluffs, or sand hills, beneath which the road winds to Council Bluff's. The scenery here Is ; sublime. Vast trees whose scabrous trunks are j clothed with the moss of ages, grow from the hill ! side, and threaten every moment to crush the rush ing train, while streams of water gush down the rugged sides, and flocks ofbirds sail grandly from peak to peak. Reaching Council Bluffs you find yourself iu a city of eight or ten thousand inhabi tants, situated four miles from the. Missouri river and Omaha. In many respects it is superior to the - hitler city, especially in its society. Tliencc cross ing the foaming turbid Missouri by ferry, you are fairly in Nebraska. Ten years ago but one temporary sbantee mark ed the spot where now stands the city of Cmaha At this time it was a mere trading post, whence the adjacent tribes of Indians, the Ornnhas, Pot towatomies, Oto s. Punchas, Pawnees, and Kick apoos brought their furs and rude articles of mech anism, to exchange for trinkets and “firewater." The eminent A. ,1. Poppletou, attorney for the Union Pacific Railroad, fourteen years ago lived in a cave near the cite of the present city, carrying on ' traffic with the Indians Omaha at the present time contains eighteen thousand inhabitants, of whom a moiety are Sean danavians. Its population has increased many hundred per cent within two years. The mush room like rapidity with which it has grown, has been little conducive to its commercial interests, lor it contains more inhabitants than it possesses means to support. To the Union Puciflc Railroad it owes its rapid advancement, and upou that is it dependent for its sustenation. The default ot that company m paying its em ! ployees, lias been exceedingly detrimental to the present business prosperity of the place. Mon ay readily commands twenty-five per cent, but there . is none in circulation. Property is rapidly depre ciating in value. A crash is inevitable ifthe Rail road delays payment two weeks longer Two hundred and fifty persons arrive daily from, tne East, in search of employment, the return trains bring nearly empty, but where they go to remain is inexplicable, fur cities west enjoy no ] immunity, from the general stagnation. Not many Indians remain in the city, except a lew hall breeds expatriated from their trbes. Occasionally however, some ilinerair bund of braves pause here a lew hours from their almost ceaseless pert-griua tions to view the wonders of the “pale face" town' To day I saw two Pawnee warriors fresh from the West, who were oil the War-path, belonging to an expedition of that tribe for the extermination i of ihe Sioux, their inveterate enemies. They stood upon the pier silently watching the removal of tin cargo of a Missouri steamer, ami among the mov iug mass of human beings who jostled and hurried unheedingly by them, they presented a wierd and fantastic spectacle, with their tall war feather* floating in the breeze. They were nearly nude with only blankets ot piebald colors thrown about i them in “careless abandon.” anti short skiu leg gings and n occasins, to protect them from the cold chill wind which has boon blowing all day. Theij j countenances were plentifully besmeared with ochre and Vermillion, and their beads shaved close ly with the exception of the “scalp lock.1’ .Several negroes who were at work upon lb. deck of the steamer seemed to b'- objects ofgreat curiosity lothem and the goodnatured“yah,yah.' of the formei, provoked them to such merriment as an Indian docs not often indulge in. Of the agricultural character of the state of .\Y I braska 1 will say briefly, that the lands along the line ot the Union Pacific Railroad for two hundred miles west of the Missouri river, have a fertility almost unequalled in all the rich productive field of the West. These are situated in the valleys ot | the Platte, Elkhorn. Loop Fork and Papillioii 1 rivers. Owing to the looseness of the soil, the farmer need not sutler from drought or excessive J rains, as in dry weather evaporation draws moist ure to the surface, and the loose friable soil absorbs excessive water in rainy seasons. Oats produce from sixty to one hundred bushels. It is said the wheat of Nebraska commands in the st. Louis markets ten cents above any other wheat. The average crop is twenty-six bushels to the acre" and forty are not uneommon. Apples and peaches promise success. The native trees are cottonwood, a light poroub, yellowish white wood, the red and white elm. the black jaek, red and burr oak, black walnut, huckle berry, hickory, willow and cedar. The buffalo grass will remain sweet and juicy under the snow all winter and is very nutritious. Coal is found m abundance. These facts I have obtained partly from personal observation and from the most reli able sources. Many have written me from the East for information upon this subject, and for ad vice in reference to coming to Nebraska. I do not wish to counsel, but I know of no better point in the west, and certainly no state affords better natural facilities for farming. A. H. n.