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THE NATIONAL TRIBUNE: WASHINGTON, D. C, SEPTEMBER 10, 1881.
THE BOSUN'S SONG. You may talk of your prima donnas "Who move vast crowds to tears, You may talk of the song of the woodland birds And the music of the spheres; But I've listened to sweeter music Than ever you have heard Prom throat of man or woman, From angel or from bird. Yet the singer was Pipes the bosun, And it never before was known, Though he hummed a sea song now and then, That his voice had a musical tone. "We'd been cruising in the West Indies For many a weary day, "With nothing to do but think of home And loved ones far away Of sweethearts, wives, and little ones That we might ne'er sec more; For hurricanes were rife at sea, And Yellow Jack on shore. "We hnd dropped in at Samana Bay, And were waiting quietly there For orders from the admiral To go we knew not where. But we'd laid two weeks at anchor Under a broiling sun, Listlessly thinking that any change Must needs be a better one ; "When we sighted the flagship's tender. Spelled her signals word by word, But they only said, what we knew before. "We've orders for you on board." The orders came, and the captain Glanced over them a while, And then his weatherbeaten face Grew bright with a joyous smile. He called the first lieutenant And whispered a word in his ear, And then we saw the same glad smile On the first lutf's face appear; As he told the bosun to man the bars And station his minions three, But he whispered something else to Pipes That made him grin with glee. At length the mates were stationed, The call rang loud and clear, And fore and aft the bosun's song Was echoed with a cheer. For little you know you landsmen. Who never are called to roam How sweet were the words the bosun sung: "All hands, up anchor for home ! " Caspar Schencl; U. S. X., in United Service. THREE REVOLVER SHOTS. I. Naturally, considering the nature of my call- j ing, I have been always particularly attracted by j the scores of stories not, I am inclined to think, ! always based upon actual occurrences which tell of the ingenious plots contrived by scoundrels to gain possession of other people's jewels, especially diamonds. In many cases such stories are, of course, but pure fiction. But as to those which profess to narrate facts, whether plain or colored, I have only too much reason, from personal ex perience, to suspect that the real owners of jewels j have, very often, more to do with their disap- pearance than easily imagined brigands, swindlers or thieves. Nevertheless, there is enough sub- stratum of truth to make even purely invented j stories of this kind probable. Mine is not an in vented story: but my reason for telling it is not so much its truth as its supremely extraordinary character. Its like, in any single detail, never happened to anybody else in the world. Were it not for this, I would assuredly refrain from add ing to the pile of jewel stories in which some J jewelers agent plays the part ol Hero or victim. prove important that I should see her; and cer For I was myself agent to a great firm of iewelers 1 tainly no possible harm could come of my seeing in London I need not say to whom when there ' her in a large and crowded hotel, happened to myself that terrible experience, ter- " Mademoiselle waits in the salon;' said the rible almost beyond the power of words to de- ! scribe, which I am, for the first time in my life, about to try to tell in words. i I remember, as if it were yesterdaj', how one of our partners called me into his private room and said to me : "Moms, I must ask you to be good enough to start for Paris this very evening that is to say, by the very first possible train. You know that parure of the Princess Mouranov that we had put into new settings?" "Of course I do." "Well, you know the Princess as a customer; she is rather flighty, but she's too big a gun for j ns to disregard her whims. The parure is just out of hand, and was to have been delivered to j her in Portland Place to-morrow morning; but j it's just like her she's taken it into her head to set off on a voyage to America, and an hour after she took the whim into her head she was off, so I hear. It's just like her, anyhow. I believe she goes to Patagonia, where her diamonds that is to say, her parure she thinks, will be indis pensable to her. I shouldn't have thought so myself, but I suppose she knows. Anyhow, she's going to spend the whole of to-morrow in Paris, and her diamonds must be delivered to her there and paid for you understand. If we don't de liver the parure she'll never forgive us ; and if ! she doesn't pay before going off heaven knows ! where why, we shall never forgive ourselves, You'll have to be sharp, for it doesn't follow that she'll stay in Paris a whole day because she says 8he will, and you'd better avoid having to follow .her if you possibly can. "Naturally! Where is Madame to be found?" "At a place called Les Bosquets. It's outside Paris: but here's the address written down. 1 nieedn't tell you to be cautious " " Why ? " asked I. " It all seems simple enough. I've only got to give the parure to the Princess into her own hands, of course, receive the money, pve and take a receipt, and' come away. There -will be no difficulty about the Princess's money, 2 suppose?" "No. But, don't you see, I'm afraid you're still a trifle young, Morris. Those Mouranov dia monds are as well known to all the diamond hunters in Europe and they swarm abroad as they are to me. Better than they are to you, by a long way. By some means or other, you may. take your oath, one of those gentry will know you to have the charge of them. It's no good taking precautions against that; they'll know all the same, and precautious are only a way of putting people on the trail. Take care you go to the right house, my friend. Take care you see the right lady. Don't eat and don't drink, however much you maybe pressed, till you're safe back at your hotel. Don't shut your eyes till it's all over. If a strange woman speak to you, cut her dead ; if a strange man, knock him down. And " " Well, what else? But Fll take care of myself, never fear." "You're an unusually handsome man, you know," said he, with a wink and a knowing smile, " and, I suppose, like all handsome men, you're a bit of a lady killer without mean ing it, you know. A nod's as good as a wink, you know; and you're not a blind horse, whatever you may be. Paris is a lively place, you know, for a man of your make, with diamonds next his heart worth thousands of pounds. It isn't the men I'm afraid of in your case; it's the women." Every man likes that sort of chaff; and I was really weak enough in those days to take an especial pride in what I could not help knowing to be my personal advantages. So I was in the best temper as I answered, modestly : " "Well, sir, nobody knows everything about all women ; but I do think I know enough about a few to guess a good deal about what the rest may be up to. I don't think I'm likely to be come over that way. And I should think this little fellow," I added, showing him a new revolver, " will be enough for common odds, not in petticoats." " Don't put yourself in a position that'll oblige you to use it," said my employer. "And you won't, if you keep clear of the common odds in petticoats, you know. I must be off now. Call at my house for the parure in an hour." Full of confidence in my own resources, proud of the trust that had. been placed in me, and alto gether in a well-satisfied and fearless frame of mind, I started with the Mouranov parure by the very next train for Dover. The magnificent par ure was safely packed by my employer himself before my own eyes, and I placed the packet se curely in a case which I fastened around my neck and waist under my clothes with a couple of light but strong steel chains. In effect, the parure was absolutely safe from secret theft effectually from any violence short of downright murder. I had bidden my mother and sisters a hurried good-by, without telling even them of the valuable charge I carried about me. And I arrived at one of the first hotels in Paris without the smallest advent ure of any sort or kind. To imagine that any of the fraternity of diamond hunters, male or female, had. been watching my journey or could even be aware of it, was simply absurd. To all with whom I came into any slight contact en route I must have been an ordinary Englishman, making an ordinary trip to Paris nothing more. And, for that matter, except with booking clerks and so forth, I don't think I had exchanged a word with a fellow-creature all the way. That I had never once closed my eyes, I know. I ir. I had just ordered some refreshments after my journey before proceeding to Les Bosquets, when "Monsieur Alfred Morris, from London?" asked one of the waiters. "Yes," said I, though wondering how my name could possibly be known to him, seeing that I had but just arrived, and had not even written my name in the list of persons staying at tlo 10tel. Was my "Yes" a piece of imprudence? I hardly know to this hour. "A young lady," he said in English, "has been waiting for one hour to see Monsieur." A young lady in Paris waiting to see me! What could that mean ? My employer's warn ing came instinctively to my mind. But I could not very well refuse to see her indeed, it might waiter. So to the salon I went, more curious than anxious about who the young lady might be who j expected me in Paris, and who knew my name ' so well blie was a stranger, a young r French woman, . Everything was all right, of course; and yet I rather pretty and exceedingly well dressed, and ! could not help wishing that the Princess Mou yet with something about her that showed she j ranov had received me at Les Bosquets by the did not wholly belong to the beau monde, if that i light of at least one candle, if not of day. And be the right term to use, for I don't pretend to j though I was but a tradesman's employee, common be a French scholar. ; French courtesy should not have kept me quite so " Monsieur Alfred Morris, from London ? " j long waiting for a light, even though a fine lady asked she, in precisely the same words as the might not be ready to see me the very instant I waiter, but with a voice and accent which made j the words sound very different indeed, and the ! girl herself looked really instead of only passably pretty. Indeed, hers Avas one of the very sweetest voices I had ever heard. "At your service, Mademoiselle, said I with a bow. She smiled; and her smile was very sweet in deed. "I am truly fortunate," she said. " I was beginning to fear you would never come." "And may I ask, Mademoiselle, with whom " "Assuredly, Monsieur. I am Mademoiselle Lenoir, principal Demoiselle de Chamhre of Madame la Princesse de Mouranov " "Ah!" sighed I, a little disappointed. It was no adventure, then only the affair of the parure, after all. Still well considering everything, that was perhaps all the better. Adventures, till the receipts are exchanged, would certainly be mal a projios. " Yes ; of Madame la Princesse de Mouranov," repeated she. "I am in all the confidence of Madame's toilet you comprehend?" She was speaking in very good English, with an accent that improved my native language, it seemed to me. "Madame received a telegram from London, from your firm, saying you would be here to-day. It was a careful telegram, Mon sieur and that was well. It is not prudent to let all the world know what you carry without doubt nearest to your heart, Monsieur ! Have I j not reason I? But Madame has changed her j plans that is the habitude of Madame. I always i know what Madame will not do next, for it is j always what she shall not say. She was for I America last night; to-day she is for Biarritz. I But she will want the pa the affair Monsieur knows of all the same all the more. Even so, she was going to Les Bosquets ; in fine, she is not at Les Bosquets, but at the Villa Stefania, her own little house where she goes to be alone. Ah, Madame will love to be alone at times some times for one whole half hour, Monsieur ! But she must have the parure on the instant, and in her own hands, so I come from Madame myself to conduct you to Villa Stefania without delay." All this was fully in accord with all that I had ever heard of the eccentric restlessness of this great Russian lady, nor had 1 the faintest reason, alter hearing of the telegram from my employers, to doubt the simple good faith of so pretty and altogether attractive a young lady as Mademoi selle Lenoir. Still there was one obvious pre caution that I ought to take, and did take it ; for I wish to make it absolutely clear that I acted in all respects as the most prudent of men could have done. "Mademoiselle will permit me to ask," said I, " simply as a matter of business form, if she has the written authority ." "Of Madame la Princesse? Assuredly," said she, with a bright smile. " It is good to treat with a Monsieur of the prudence of Monsieur!" She handed me at once a little sealed note, perfumed and gracefully written, that 'ran as follows: Villa Stefania, January 12. Monsieur Alfred Morris, on the part of Messrs. , will have the goodness to accompany the bearer, Mademoiselle Lenoir, to the "Villa Stefania, without any delay, there to execute the commis sion with which he is charged. Stephanie de Mouranov. I have that note still, to remind me of. But the end is not yet come. Suffice it that doubt, under the circumstances, never entered my mind; nor, I dare to swear, would it have entered the reader's, had he to judge before the event, as I had to do. I found Mademoiselle Lenoir an exceedingly pleasant companion on the way to Villa Stefania, which fancifully-named residence we reached in about an hour and a half, partly by rail and partly en voiture. I supposed it some eccentricity on the part of the Princesse that she did not, as she certainly might have done, send a carriage to convey us the whole way. Perhaps she was one of those people who take a pleasure in little mys teries and pointless conspiracies. Mademoiselle Lenoir talked the whole time about all sorts of things and places, and I found her sympathetic, intelligent, and singularly well informed, as well as charming. I even began to flatter myself that I had made a by no means unsatisfactory impres sion upon Mademoiselle. Villa Stefania, where we arrived after dark ness had fallen, I could not very distinctly see; but I made out that it was a small house, probably not long built, standing alone and apart from all other dwellings in a sort of shrubbery, and approached through a tiny court past the lodge of the concierge. We were at once ad mitted, without any ringing or waiting. Made moiselle conducted me up a staircase and along a passage, both scarcely half lighted, into a room so dark that I could scarcely see where I was, or anything at all. " Imbeciles ! " cried Mademoiselle Lenoir. " Xot a light in the salon, not even a candle ! That is how one is served when one has twenty servants, Monsieur, each with his duties ; we must have a twenty-first to do nothing but see that the sconces shall not be empty in the salon unless, perhaps, it shall be some fancy of Madame for nobody to know you are here. I will see. Monsieur is a brave man? He is not afaid of being left alone in the dark till Madame shall arrive ? It will be in a moment, Monsieur. Madame is anxious, very anxio,c tnr the " I thougl i '. .., asked to wait in pitch darkness a it I could only sa-: "It is n L' nee I believed in Bog', Mademoisc "Bicn xv oiiaix iiul be long." And she was gone, closing the door behind her, if my ears told truly. Without believing in Bogy, it is not a pleasant thing to be left alone in a strange room in the dark, all the same: fancies will come into one's head, especially when the seconds grow into minutes without counting themselves on a visible watch-face, and when one has on one's person diamonds worth many thousands of pounds. I arrived. I felt my way to a very comfortable sofa, on which I sat down, and waited on, waxing impatient, and feeling rather like a prisoner con demned to the dark cell. Manners forbade me to doze or whistle, and But impatience was soon to change into some thing more. in. Was that sound of voices in the room or no ? I If not in the room, close to the room it must have j been, for I heard them plainly sometimes dark ness itself will strangely sharpen our ears, and there are certain words which once heard sharpen them yet more keenly. I heard three A-oices. One was Mademoiselle Lenoir's. One Avas a strange woman's. The third Avas a man's. "Neatly trapped enough," said the last, so sloAvly, in the German manner, that they brought their whole significance home to my dull British j ears. " But for the rest," said Mademoiselle Lenoir, " Avhat ought one to do ? " If he goes back to Eng land" " He must not go back to England," said the A-oice of the other Avoman it Avas singularly cold, firm, and clear. "He must not leave France; he must not leave Paris till avc are safely gone. Those diamonds " " If the Avorst comes to the Avorst," said the man, " what then ? We are man to man. If he does not behave himself he Avill have to reckon Avith me. These things are awkward, because of the police. But " "HeAvill not resist," said Mademoiselle Lenoir. "And if he does" I thought I heard a sigh, so sharp had my ears grown. But from whom came the sigh ? Whether from Mademoiselle Lenoir or that other Avoman I could not tell. " If he does," said the man, " be it on his own head, Avhatever comes. You understand me, my friend. I do not like too much blood; but if there be resistance, there must be Avhat there must be. He must not trace the diamonds, nor you." It had all passed through my ears to my sink ing heart long ago. Fool that I had been to listen to a Avoman's story, however plausible it might seem ! Some plot, invented and carried out with fiendish cunning, had brought me into a den of robbery and murder. I was to wait for death in that lonely house and that horrible dark chamber! What, in the name of heaven, in the name of desperate helplessness, was I to do? The voices-' grew confused, then ceased altogether. I was alone. Nobody knew me in Paris ; nobody would miss me there. If I did not return, my employ ers would set me down as having run off with the jewels; my mother and sisters themselves would believe me guilty and break their hearts and starve. Could I escape from the house? Im possible through unknown passages and a locked door! Instinctively I felt for my revolver, useless as it must be in a dark room. The murderer or murderers, knowing the premises, could be upon me at any moment and have me down before I could know of their approach; and one must have some faint light for an aim. I had known that all sorts of atrocities are even more common in Paris than in London; but how could I dream that such a doom as this, all for believing in the smooth tongue of a pretty servant, would ever be mine? I say I felt for my revolver, though knowing all the while how vain a toy it would be now. A knife for close quarters would have been ten times its value; and that, too, would have been vain. I don't think myself less brave than other men, yet I could not help a groan of despair at the thought that I was about to be murdered so helplessly, so hopelessly. How soon would it be ? I drew out my revolver, and in doing so a little fusee-box, with a few wax matches in it, fell on the floor. One moment's light would be some thing, though the last gleam I was ever to see. I groped for the box, found it at my feet, and struck one of the matches. Heaven ! what met my eyes? The gleam of flame had. indeed, come not a moment too soon. Straight in front of me, coming toward me through an open door, was as evil looking a ruf fian as I had ever seen ; a murderous ruffian, if ever there was one, hideously livid, and with eyes that glared toward mine. Thank heaven for that one gleam of light! It might be enough for a straight aim. No time must be lost I am no fighting man, heaven knows. But I fired. For a moment the smoke clouded my eyes. But I heard a cry. The flame from my match had not wholly died. And by its light I saw great heavens! I had not one murderer to deal with. A whole gang of brigands were upon me and my diamonds. What was to be done? Five more brigands at least were there. Well, I dared not pray for so hopeless a thing as life ; but I would at least be true to my trust, and sell it dearly. My name, my honor might yet be saved. First to right, then to left, I fired, and fired again twice three times. And then the match went out, and left me to the mercy of the robbers and cut-throats into whose hands I had been drawn by a woman's words. IV. Suddenly a blaze of light filled the room, so bright that my eyes, till now blinded by dark ness, were more blinded still. " What madman is here ? " cried 'a woman's voice that other woman's, not Mademoiselle Lenoir's. "0! O! O! My poor, dear, beautiful boudoir! Send for the gen d'armes!" Was I alive? I suppose so, since I could still hear and see. And how can I describe the scene that I beheld? I was in an elegantly furnished room. On my left hand, with clasped hands, gazing at me with a face full of amazement, was Mademoiselle Le noir. On my right, looking on me Avith looks of mingled anger, despair, and terror, was a hand- some lady, who resembled a queen of tragedy. "0 Amelia!" cried the latter. "0 Madame la Princesse!" echoed Mademoi selle Lenoir. "My favorite clock," moaned the right-hand lady. "And three whole mir " Mademoiselle was beginning, when I felt my arms grasped tightly behind my back, and a man's stern voice in my ear : " Who are you ? Are you madman or brigand ? What does this mean ? Who are you that make havoc with the boudoir of Madame la Princesse de Mouranov ? Who, I say ? " I must confess it at last! I am a little near sighted, and, by the dim light of a match, had mistaken the sixfold reflection of myself in the panels of an octagonal room, lined with large mirrors, for a band of murderers. And that talk of death and diamonds behind the wall? Well, as I learned afterward, the Princess Mouranov Avas, as it seemed half the ! Avorld kueAv, busily occupied in flying from the pursuit of a husband from Avhom she Avas trying to keep not only herself, but her famous diamonds, ner eccentric movements had baffled him for long ; but the temporary sojourn of her parure Avith our firm had nearly put him on the traces. Read the talk by the light of this, and you Avill understand even the big talk of Madame's last champion, a German baron avIio did meet the Prince in mortal fight Avith swords, and came off second best, Avith a gash that Avent through his sword arm. Who has got the diamonds uoav I neither know nor care. But as for revolvers Avell, if you must keep such aAvkAvard things at all, you can't spend three shots from one better than in obeying the precept, Brise le miroir iniidele Qui vous cache la verite. Smash every looking-glass, Avhether it tells you you are a murderer, or Avhether, as is more corn- mon, it tells you, as my own once upon a time used to tell me, that I Avas a handsome as well as a near-sighted man. Alas, since that terrible night no looking-glass dares to tell me that I am hand some any more; for I never saw an uglier ruffian in my life than my own double seen by the light of that fusee. Zonrfon Society. The story of human life, Avith its lights and shadows, its strength and Aveakness, will be an interesting story so long as the human race shall endure. Henry Vincent. Pleasures are like poppies spread : We nip the flower the bloom is fled ; Or like the snow-flake on the river A moment white, then gone brever. Burns. HISTORICAL DRUMSTICKS. Col. Morrow, of Niles, Mich., has a great curi osity in the shape of a couple of drumsticks which have a unique and wonderful history. They were found by the side of a dead British drummer, at the battle of Saratoga, in 1777. They were handed over to a drummer in the Continental army, by whom they were used during the remainder of the Revolutionary war. A son of the American owner was a drummer in the war of 1812, and was with Gen. Jackson on the memorable 8th day of January, 1815, when the British, under Packen ham, sustained their terrible defeat at New Or leans. These drumsticks beat "The Americans to Arms," and were used to express the joy of the victors after the battle was over. A grandson was a drummer in Scott's army in the battles before the City of Mexico, and these sticks were used at the head of the column which made its triumphal entry into the city. A great-grandson was a drum mer in the Twenty-fourth Michigan Infantry, of which Col. Morrow was the colonel, and these drumsticks were used in the great war of the Re bellion until 1864, when they came into the pos session of their present owner. They were in the hands of a Michigan drummer at the head of the famous Iron Brigade, composed of Michigan, In diana, and Wisconsin troops, in the grand review in Washington at the close of the war. They have played a wonderful part in the history of the United States. They have sounded the reveille and the retreat for four generations of American soldiers. They are older than the present Gov ernment. What was their history in the British army we have no means of knowing. They may have been with Marlborough at Blenheim, or it is possible they sounded the death knell of the pretensions of Prince Charles Edward to the throne of England, on the fatal field of Culloden. One of these sticks is made of camwood, the other is of mahogany. These old drumsticks will be placed in the hands of brave William Bullard, one of the heroes of the Rebellion, and be used at the Reunion of soldiers and sailors of Southwest ern Michigan, at Buchanan, on the 25 inst. It ought not to be difficult for the old soldiers to keep step when the music of the Union is beaten by a pair of drumsticks which have come down to us from Burgoyne's defeat, more than a hundred years ago. Niles Mirror. RARE PRESENCE OF MIND. It was during the siege of Wagner, and the Union parallels were but a few hundred yards away from the grim black tubes that ever and anon "emboweled with outrageous noise the air, disgorging feul their horrid glut of iron globes." A line of abattis was to be built across a clear space in point-blank range of the rebel gunners and sharpshooters in front. "Sergeant," says the officer in charge, "go pace that opening and give me the distance as near as possible." Says the Sergeant (for we will let him tell the rest of the story) : "I started right off. When I got to the open ing I put er like a ship in a gale of wind. What with grape, canister, round-shot, shell, and a regular bee's nest of rifle balls, I just think there must have been a fearful drain of ammunition on the Confederate government about that time. I don't know how it was, but I didn't get so much as a scratch, but I did get powerfully scared. When I got under cover I couldn't er told for the life of me whether it was a hundred or a thousand paces. I should sooner er guessed a hundred thousand. "Says the Captain: 'Well Sergeant, what do yon make it?' "Soon's I could get my wind, says I, 'Give a guess, Captain.' "He looks across the opening a second or two. and then says: 'A hundred and seventy-five paces, say.' "Thunder, Captain," says I, "you've made a pretty close guess; it's just a hundred and seventy-one." "And," concluded the Sergeant, after the laujrh had subsided, " that's how I got my shoulder straps." FATALITY OF MODERN WARFARE. A comparison between the losses of armies in the battles of the First Empire with those re sulting from engagements Avhere improved fire arms haA-e been employed Avill show humanita rians that the old buck-and-ball cartridges, fired from "Brown Bess," Avere much more deadly than rifled cannon, needle-guns, and chassepots. Sadowa 400,000 men engaged ; 33,000 killed and Avounded ; about 8 per cent. Marengo 53,000 combatants; number of killed ail(1 wounded 13m' thjlt . 25 per cent. Austerlitz Loss, 23,000 out of 170,000 ; over 13 per cent. Jena 24,000 out of 280,000 combatants: nearly 9 per cent. Borodino S0,000 killed and wounded out of 250,000 engaged; about 32 per cent. ' Leipzig 50,000 out of 450,000; between 11 and 12 per cent. At Magenta the French lost 9 per cent, the Austrians 10 per cent, of their forces. At Sol ferina, Avhere the French alone used rifled can non, their loss amounted to 13 per cent., while the Austrians lost but 11 per cent. PAPER CONSUMPTION. It is estimated that nearly 2,000,000,000 pounds of paper is produced annually, one-half of Avhich is used in printing, a sixth for Avritiug, and the remainder is coarse paper for packing and other purposes. The United States alone- produces yearly 100,000 tons of paper, averaging seventeen pounds per head for its population. The English man comes next, with about twelve pounds per head; the educated German takes eight pounds, the Frenchman seven pounds, Avhile the Italian. Spaniard, and Russian take respectively three pounds, one and one-half pounds, and one pound annually, the consumption of paper being roughly in proportion to the education and political activity of the people. THE GRAIN GAMBLERS, The Cincinnati clique, represented in Chicago by Truman Handy, closed its great wheat deal August 30, and the clearing up has, it is believed, shown a profit of $2,000,000. r