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THE NATIONAL TRIBUNE: WASHINGTON, D. C, JANUARY 28, 1882.
LOVE'S WILD IMAGINING.
E. W. GOSSE.
To-day the winter woods are wet,
And chill with nirs that miss the sun ;
The autumn of the year is done,
Its leaves all fallen, its flower stars set,
Its frosty hours begun.
Should last year's gold, narcissus yearn
For next year's roses, oh ! how vain !
No brief dead flowers, arise again,
But each sweet little life in turn
Must shoot and bloom and wane.
Sweet, had the years that slip so fast
Brought you too soon or me too late,
How had we gnashed our teeth at fate,
And wandered down to death at last
Forlorn, disconsolate !
Surely before the stars were sure,
Before the moon was set in Heaven, j.
Your unborn soul to me was given,
Your clear, white spirit, rare and pure,
For me was formed and shriven.
Ah ! surely n time ever was
"When we were not, and our souls, light
Made these cold places infinite
That lie between the years like glass,
Seen only in God's light.
Howe'er it be, my own desire,
If chance has brought us face to face,
Or if the scheme of things found place
To store our twin hearts' light and fire
In strange, foreseeing grace
Howe'er it be, for us at least,
The woodland pathways are not dark,
New lights are on the boughs and bark,
And in the rainless sunshot east
We hear a mountain lark.
THE TREASURE AT GRAN QUIVIRA,
On the following morning, Gerald duly set out
in company with Jose, after a settlement with
Tate, who had at first professed a contemptuous
indifference as to whether he received any money
or not; more than hinting that he was satisfied
to have got rid of his inmate on any terms.
Gerald, however, was not to he goaded into a
quarrel; and he found, when the critical moment
came, that Tate was quite as rapacious as any of
the more regular hosts it had heen his lot to en
counter, whether East or West After Mr. Tate
had received payment on a liheral scale, he
"bluntly asked Elkley to give him his rifle a re
quest promptly refused. Mr. Tate then offered
to buy it. This the young man also declined,
adding : " You would not do it yourself, Mr. Tate.
You would not travel through the Territory with
out a rifle, I am sure."
"Me! Guess I would not. But I
there's a difference between a man like me, and
a boy that scarcely knows what a rifle is."
"Don't he too sure of that," said Elkley, allow
ing himself a solitary retort "I hope you will
jjever nor any of your friends presume too
much on my ignorance in that way."
The entrance of Jose to announce that the
wagon was ready, stopped what might have heen
an angry rejoinder; and the parting moment
having arrived, Gerald asked for Miss Annie.
To his surprise, he learned she had just ridden off
to a ranch some five miles distant, and was not
expected home for several hours. Gerald was
greatly vexed at this, as he was compelled to
leave without saying " farewell" to the girl, and
without assuring her once more how deeply he
felt all the kindness, and courage too, she had
shown in his behalf.
The wagon started, Jose driving at a decidedly
quicker rate than was customary on that difficult
road. He was certainly an excellent Jehu; but
Gerald gave him a hint that there was no need
of such a hurry.
"I don't seem like feeling sure about that,''
said the Mexican. " Guess the sooner we are out
of the canon, the better for everybody." So he
kept up his speed, and they reached the open
country without adventure.
Gerald decided upon remaining at Three Waters
City a collection of about forty houses until
the mail came through on the next day, when he
would travel by it to Santa Fe. He did not for
get Sy Tate's advice. At Santa Fe, he would
meet his friends ; and before his arrival there he
hoped his foot would be nearly as strong as ever.
Jose was dealt with as liberally as Tate had been,
hut in a far pleasanter manner. The Mexican,
indeed, threw out some distinct intimations of
his willingness to take service with the young
man; but the latter, although he would have'
heen pleased to secure so trustworthy a follower,
thought of Annie Tate, and of the undoubted
protection she must find in the Mexican's pres
ence; so he did not encourage the idea.
He reached Santa Fe in safety, and found his
friends already there, with the preparations for
their excursion already well advanced. They had
provided saddle-horses for themselves and their
six assistants. "We may not say servants, as three
of them were United States citizens, who reject
the appellation ; the others were Mexicans. In
addition to these, two men had already started
with a wagon fitted for the carriage of water
casks. These avant-couriers were to meet them
with their load at Gran Quivira ; and afterwards
to keep traveling between the' Gallinas Spring
and the ruins, or such other spot as should be
chosen for their operations. These springs were
about twenty mile from Gran Quivira itself.
They had also provided several wagons laden
with blankets, buffalo robes, provisions, mining
tools, and the like ; and it need scarcely be said
that every man was fully armed with rifle and
A great sensation was created in the city by
the expedition. A few of the more adventurous
spirits offered to join them on the condition that
their expenses were paid ; but the majority ridi
culed the idea. Not that they doubted the exist
ence of the treasure nobody doubted that ; but
they doubted the possibility of discovering it.
Several of the residents had before joined in
parties for the same purpose, and they were
unanimous in opining that the absence of all
signs and landmarks, with the extent and vague
ness of the ruins, made the attempt hopeless.
They and others had dug in every possible foot
of ground in the ruins proper, unavailingly.
No one knew how far the monastic gardens or
fields might have extended, and therefore they
saw no great hope of a favorable result.
In spite of all these sinister forebodings, the
jrarty started, Gerald now riding one of the horses,
and suffering but little from the weakness of his
foot. All went well. The weather was delight
ful, so that "camping-out" was a treat, not a pri
vation. The ruins were reached, and the water
bearers were there already. Great was the as
tonishment of these latter, and of the six hired
assistants, to find the party push on for several
hours after their supposed goal was reached.
As mile after mile was traversed, the astonish
ment of the staff increased ; and when about sun
down, the cortege came to a halt in the shade of
a mesa, or low, flat hill, and it was announced
that this was their destination, their surprise
broke out in muttered sarcasms.
The bustle of getting supper, tethering the
horses, and the like, soon occupied the assistants
too much to admit of much discussion; and
while they were so engaged, the principals saun
tered, aimlessly enough to all appearance, to a
spot some third of a mile from the camp, where
a ravine of no great length separated two mesas,
and in which they were completely screened
from observation. Their decision would of course
become known to their assistants, but some of
the latter were to quick-witted to be intrusted
with all the information and details that led to a
decision which might most probably would
have to be changed. One of the party produced
a rough sketch-map, with notes and landmarks,
.round which the others crowded.
"This is the place, I make no question," said
Gerald, after a while. "This is what he meant by
" a gulch ;" for here are the two mesas, which are
now, however, quite separated. Yonder is the
hollow covered with bushes; and exactly in a
line with the northern points of the mesas, we
sight the peak of that distant mountain."
"Eight! Elkley," said one of the party. "Then
fifty paces from the mouth of this ravine must
have been the boundary-wall of the chapel. If
so, and we can decide exactly where it was, we
can easily fix on the centre, as we know the di
mensions of the building, and so ought to be able
to find the treasure with little trouble."
Some more discussion, with a further examina
tion of the maps, ended in a unanimous assent to
these views ; and there being still light enough
for the purpose, three members of the party sepa
rately stepped the distance in the directions they
respectively thought most in accordance with
their instructions. Although, speaking broadly,
they took the same course, yet they diverged a
little : and the remainder, who had watched them,
gathered round to decide which was most likely
to be the correct point.
At last it was agreed that the centre of a small
square bounded by arroyos or water-courses
which are dry, save in times of floods must
have been the site of the chapel. Floods soon cut
for themselves the requisite chann els in the soft soil
of new Mexico ; but, as a matter of course, if they
find channels ready made, they will follow them ;
and there was a regularity in these arroyos, which
seemed to mark their origin as from the hand of
man, rather than from chance. They might have
been used for irrigation, especially if as was as
serted a stream had once existed in the vicinity.
At anyrate, the decision was come to a spade
ful of earth thrown out to mark the spot ; and
then the party, in high glee at finding their in
formation verified so far, returned to the camp,
where a savory odor of fried buffalo-meat and
hot coffee intimated that supper was prepared.
The men were equally glad to know that all was
well, and that digging would commence in ear
nest on the next day ; for, in addition to their
liberal wages, each expected a bonus in the event
of success; and master and man took glasses of
whisky together in celebration of so auspicieus
As all were experienced "campers," their ar
rangements, even on this first night, were almost
complete. Tents were fixed, the wagons drawn
up as a fence, watches arranged, and every pre
caution taken to prevent a surprise of the camp
by any of the dangerous hangers-on to frontier
society who abound in New Mexico. These were
more to be feared than the Indians, who usually
get the credit of such deeds.
The next day, operations were actively com
menced, several holes being made at the same
time. For any sign which appeared to the con
trary, the earth there might have lain undis
turbed from the day on which the sea, which
must once have covered it, had rolled away on its
upheaval. But the party were not to be daunted.
They intended to dig, and deeply too, in fifty
places if necessary, until they had thoroughly ex
plored the whole of the area in which it seemed
possible the treasures might be ; so although no
trace of the prize was obtained on this first day,
they were in excellent spirits.
The wagon had left for a fresh supply of water,
and one of the hired men having climbed to the
top of the mesa for work was closed for the day
was watching the slow progress of the vehicle,
as it grew more and more indistinct on the far
stretching plain, when, turning his glance in
another direction, he uttered an exclamation of
surprise, if not of alarm, which at once drew the
attention of those beneath him.
"What is the matter, Bob?" cried one of them.
"Matter!" returned the man; "why here's a
mule wagon right close on us, and we never saw
it ; and as I'm a living sinner, it's full of women !"
At this, every man sprang to his feet : for most
of the party had been lolling on the dry grass,
lazily waiting the call to supper, and looked
eagerly in the direction indicated by the look
out. There, sure enough, was a wagon, within
half a mile of them, and clearly making straight
for their encampment. Sure enough too, if not
quite filled with women, it contained two, with
two men. One of the latter, the driver,, made
signals to the party when he saw they were
observed. The vehicle being forced to make a
circuitous approach, owing to the deep arroyos,
there was sufficient time for speculation in the
camp as to the errend of the new-comers ; and it
was decided that the strangers must be inter
lopers, who were resolved to have a share in the
at length discovered treasures of Gran Quivira.
Yet why women? Such a thing was never heard
Gerald had been as ready with his conjectures
as any of the party, and was speaking at the
moment when the wagon turned a curve of the
last arroyo, and so could be driven straight in.
As this happened, he abruptly ceased in his speech,
and stared at the approaching visitors with an
astonishment exceeding tenfold his previous sur
prise. The driver was his nurse Jose of Blue
Creek ! And Jose had seen and recognised him,
and was waving his broad hat in recognition ;
while the women were now so close that he could
see one of them was smiling, yet looking some
what confused; close enough to recognize her
dark, resolute eye, and the clear though bronzed
cheek close enough to see and know her to be
His first feeling was one of embarrassment,
instantly succeeded by a conviction that the visit
heralded some serious revelation ; and in this he
was not entirely mistaken. As the wagon drew
up to where the explorers wrere gathered, the
utmost surprise was exhibited by the party at
seeing first Jose, then Annie, leap from the vehicle
and shake hands with Gerald, as with an old
friend. All looked at him for an explanation, of
which, truth to say, he was as much in need as
any of them. Pulling himself together, Gerald
introduced Annie and Jose to his comrades; and
then the former, like the fearless huntress she
looked and really was, in her turn unfalteringly
introduced her companions, who were, she said,
"Mr. Jonathan Sanny and lady from Blue Creek.
Yes ; Mr. Sanny had concluded to leave his loca
tion; and hearing of their party as being on the
prospect in Socorro County, had also concluded
to join them. That is so."
Mr. Sanny at this left the wagon, as did his
better-half, and each of them shook hands all
round. With every desire to be tnendly with
those who were friends of Gerald Elkley who
was certainly looked upon as in some respects the
leader of the expedition and to give them wel
come, it was nevertheless impossible not to feel
that they were intruders, poachers in a sense,
and that their arrival was anything but welcome.
They might have tolerated Annie, who was young
and handsome; but Mr. Jonathan Sanny was a
buckskin-clad, tobacco-chewing drover in appear
ance ; while his lady, Mrs. Sanny, was a hard
featured, camp-followerish sort of woman, in no
"I am afraid we have not arranged for a water
supply sufficient to include any strangers, Mr.
Elkley," said one of the party, deeming this the
most politic way of introducing an objection to
their presence ; " you know we are on short allow
ance as it is."
" That don't signify an item, Cunnel," said Mr.
Sanny. "We have a full cask in the wagon;
and I reckon we know how to provide ourselves
in the wilderness, as well as any people in these
" Mr. Elkley, and you gentlemen," interposed
Annie, " I have traveled under the escort of Mr.
Sanny and his lady, on purpose to join you. I
don't estimate you will find any gold or silver ;
but we may be of some help for all that, we
Mr. Elkley!" she said, with an abrupt change of
tone, " you have known me, and I hope you can
trust me. Believe me when I say that the trea-
ures have not
us here: and
friends from Blue Creek are honest
friends, who have come at my desire."
There w - :neJ:o ne girl's earnestness
which can ' n& '' her listeners. They
. were all y r. vn - -asily impressed by
such a girl, so tin t ku. -. ious spokesman de
clared that they were welcome, and should be so,
as long as they chose to stay.
The reply to this was practical, but prosaic
"Then," returned the girl, "we had better see
after our fixings for the night."
An immediate offer of help was made ; and
supper being announced, an invitation to join in
the meal was given and accepted ; Annie being
at once recognized as a kind of prairie belle, and
every one being anxious to help, or at anyrate to
converse with her.
Jose, who smiled his approval at the turn
events had taken, followed in silence until he
found himself by the side of Gerald. "Let me
tell you something, Senor Elkley," said he, in a
hurried whisper. "I suppose Senorita Annie
not like to tell everybody. Come behind this
Gerald obeyed, and stepped to a spot where
the Mexican and he were hidden from the re
mainder of the party.
" Now you sabe very well," continued Jose in
the same hurried whisper ("you sabe" being
commonly usedinthe Territory for "you know")
" Senorita Annie no good friend with Senor Sy
Tate. He hate her. and much 'fraid of her.
She hate him, but not 'fraid of him one bit. I
think he let Injuns kill her mother and rob the
ranch. He save Annie because she his son's
papoose. Old Pablo tell her all about it when
he get drunk ; and so she hate Sy Tate. Esta
baslante, that quite enough. After you gone,
two three dog-garned desperadoes come in, so
did them loafing Injuns; and all have secret
talk with Sy Tate. Not in the shanty ; not in
doors no! He been white Injun, and too cun
ning for that ; but Annie guess, and me guess
too, there mucho mischief going on. I bet my
sweet life if you not have gone so early that
day, and me not have driven so fast, you never
get out of the canon at all. Some of these scal
lywags up at creek before I get back from Three
Waters. Senorita Annie tell me all about them,
and I see lot more come in day or two. Well,
Senor, I know one desperado very well Squint
ing Bill, of Deadman's Ranch, where the mur
ders was and I make him drunk. You never
see one man drink so much whisky before him
drunk, as Dick ! and then he not say much,
and so 'cute, I not dare to ask him much; but
he tell me something. But Senorita Annie !
she is the wonder! She have eyes and ears
quicker than mountain lion: step as light as
Injun; can hide like snake; and she go after Sy
Tate and them scallywags. She overhear lot
everything! I think, when she tell me what
would happen if Sy Tate had find her ! I think
she would shoot him ; for she is grand with pis
tol, and she hate him. But we learn quite
enough. Old Sy Tate has been trying for this
treasure for years, and has been digging at Gran
Quivira every fall this long time. He think he
know where the right place is after all ; and he
almost crazy think you and your pardners have
made up mind to stop here till you get it. He
die first, he swear. So he set off next morning.
Say he was going for two week's hunt. We
know where he going. So Senorita Annie go
and tell old man Sanny and Senora Sanny. The
Senora mucho good woman ; you like her when
you know her. Both of them like Senorita An
nie, and die for her. Senorita Annie she declare
she will ride all way to Gran Quivira by herself,
to warn you of the attack on your camp. It will
be attacked that sure, and every one murdered by
old Sy Tate and his desperadoes. She say so;
and she do it, Senor Elkley. Senora Sanny she
say directly, she go too; so does old man Sanny;
and of course Jose fight like death for Senorita
Annie. That's why we come, Senor; and you
can tell Senorita Annie you know all about it, as
she perhaps feel awkward. Have plenty good
guard to-night. I bring Bodon my big dog with
me, as I think you wouldn't have no dogs; he
soon tell if any fellow loafing about near camp.
But, Senor, don't tell your helps what you
know; keep it quiet with them."
Elkley was completely dumfounded by this
hurried revelation. He was convinced that every
syllable was true; yet, appaling as it was, close
and terrible as might be the danger, all other
feeling was at first overwhelmed in admiration
of and gratitude to Annie, whose courage and
energy had probably saved his life and the lives
of all who were with him. He hastened to the
headquarters, where his absence had already oc
casioned some wonder, and to which Annie and
her friends had just returned, after, it is pre
sumed, seeing to their " fixings."
She looked up as Elkley joined the group, and
the expression of his eye told that he knew all.
Annie's own lashes drooped, although her eyes
were as fearless as any in that company, while
her brown cheek glowed with a deeper hue.
Gerald took a seat which placed him between the
girl and Mrs. Sanny; and before he spoke to the
former, shook the good lady's hand warmly, and
expressed his gratitude to her in a few words.
It took him longer to convey his thanks to Annie,
who was a good deal embarrassed at hearing
them, exhibiting less self-possession than might
have been expected from such a heroine.
In accordance with Jose's caution, Gerald
spoke privately to each one of the party ; who
all regarded the intelligence as ominous, and who
all sought Annie to thank her, adding greatly to
the confusion of that young lady. The staff
could of course see that something fresh and im
portant was afoot ; but from their inquiries, and
from the remarks in which they indulged quite
as freely as their employers, they evidently im
agined that the new-comers had brought some
information as to the true site of the chapel.
Fresh arrangements for watching seemed to
grow naturally out of the increase in their num
bers, and no suspicion was raised by the change.
Yet, as Gerald was about to lie down in his tent
for the night he had taken his watch on the first
evening Jose made his appearance, and in his
previous manner, whispered: "Senor Elkley, I
not like your Mesicans" that being his pronun
ciation of the word "not all of them, anyway.
That fellow with the yellow belt you sabe
which one I mean? he is bad one. I think he
know too much. You keep good eye on him to
morrow. If I see anything wrong with that
Mesican, I set Bodon on him: he never play any
more tricks then."
To be continued.
PETTI BONE'S BURGLAR,
Edwin L. Bynner, in Boston Courier.
I am a large man, malicious people may call
me fat, and I will not deny that I am somewhat
inclined to corpulence. Now I know not how it
may be with other stout people, but personally,
I am bound to say I like my sleep. I like it, too,
undisturbed, or, rather, it would be more correct
to say, that I think I should like it undisturbed,
for I have come to look upon an unbroken night's
sleep as an ideal blessing.
Jane, on the contrary, is spare in figure and
eminently nervous in temperament. She may
occasionally take a little sleep. I say " may,"
for, as a matter of positive proven fact, I have
never known her to sleep a wink in my life.
Now, when I add that she is addicted to hearin"
noises in the night, I leave it to any married man
to estimate the probable number of times I have
been awakened in the course of twenty-five years
of married life, and told in a tragic whisper that
"there is somebody in the house." I refrain
from making the estimate myself, as I am aware
I should not be believed.
Early in my connubial experience, I was, on
several occasions, induced by confident assertions
and accurate localization of the midnight intruder,
to rise and make a tour of the house; look in the
closets and under the bed. Of late years, I have
firmly declined to indulge in such unseasonable
and unwholesome exercise.
Every experienced married man knows that
there are certain planks in every floor, certain
bureaus, bookcases, and doors in every house,
that habitually crepitate; that, furthermore, they
always choose the night to do it in. I have often
speculated on the cause of this. I have thought
that it might be the avenging voice of the ancient
Naiad of the oak ; I have thought other things need
less to mention, but I have arrived at no satisfac
tory conclusion. The fact, however, remains. Per
sonally, I have no objection whatever to these
harmless squeakings and creakings ; they do not
disturb me. But wife, she is different; she is of
an inquiring turn, and eminently practical. She
receives my theorizing with a scepticism that
borders closely upon contempt. She says that
planks and boards don't squeak in the daytime,
and that I "needn't tell her." Therefore. I have
ceased to tell her. I only mildly but pertina
ciously decline to rise and investigate.
As a consequence of this long experience of
these repeated false alarms, it will not be thought
strange that I had come to look upon "burglars"
as more or less mythical monsters things to be
talked about, excellent material for sensational
newspaper items, but as beings rather possible
than probable. I had, indeed, come to regard
the whole subject so lightly that I never gave it
a serious thought, that I omitted the commonest
precautions, in which feeling of security and
indifference I was surely somewhat justified,
after being an unmolested householder for a
quarter of a century.
But there is a first time for everything. A
man may be struck by lightning after having
enjoyed a lifetime of thunder storms; so I was
destined to have my first experience of burglars,
an experience, be it said, that has given my wife
an advantage over me, which that merciless
woman will, I fear, maintain unimpaired to the
end of life.
It was several years ago that the circumstances
I am about to relate occurred, so that I can now
speak of it quite calmly and with a temperance
and caution that insure accuracy. I should pre
mise that there had been many accounts in the
newspapers at the time of the doings of burglars
in our quarter of the city; in fact, the air was
so filled with the sensational reports that it fur
nished the staple of conversation.
Of course all this came to the ears of my wife
as also to the ears of a robust but excitable
Swedish young woman whom we had ia the
kitchen. This latter personage, indeed, had be
come so abnormally alarmed upon the subject
that it was only with the greatest difficulty that
we could keep her from escaping back to her
It was one cold, dark night in winter. I re
member it well. I had been in bed two or three
hours. I was sunk in that first deep, refreshing
sleep of the night, every moment of which is
worth its weight in gold a charm, a spell,
which once broken, lost, or disturbed, could not
be recalled in all the after night. I was revelling,
I say, in the sweet, precious oblivion, when I sud
denly felt my wife's elbow I may say in pass
ing I do not know much of anatomy but my
wife's elbow has always seemed .to me phenom
enally sharp. Aroused to semi-conciousness, I
threw out in silence defense guards of insensi
bility, deafness and phlegmatic indifference,
which, as usual, proved of no avail. Eepeated
and vigorous applications of a pointed bone to
any part of the person must, in time, overcome
any such jmrely negative resistance as feigned
unconsciousness. I was forced at last. to ac
knowledge the signal by an articulate groan.
" Get up, quick ; there's somebody in the room !"
" There is, I tell yon ! "
"If you don't get right straight up, 111
scream ! "
"There! 'd hear that?"
To my astonishment I did hear a faint sound
like the rustling or moving of clothes. For the
first time in many years I started up and sprang
out of bed.
By a powerful imagination my feelings. may
perhaps be feebly conceived, when I say that I
struck full against the form of a living man
groping his way along by the side of my bed.
The shock knocked the burglar down; he
uttered an involuntary groan as he sank under
the weight of my avoirdupois, and my wife
uttered screams that with a favorable direction of
the wind might have been heard at the city hall.
The situation was now critical. I may say I
am not a coward, but I have nerves and sensi
bilities that are susceptible to outside influences.
I have prejudices against being chased hy a
mad bull, run away with by a frantic horse or
against storming a battery. There are things I
would rather do than fight a duel, or have a
tooth out, and so I will at once admit that I
did not find it at all agreeable tackling a bur
glar in the dead of night, in the confusion inci
dent upon a sudden awakening from sleep, and
with the expectation of feeling every moment
an upward thrust of cold steel on some part
of my exposed person.
For a few moments I did what was certainly
the wisest and safest thing to do I sat still upon
the struggling burglar, holding him clutched
firmly with both hands.
Directly my courage and presence of mind
returned ; I became sensible that I was stronger
than he. I accordingly turned about, throttled
him and overpowered his hands.
I now felt that he was a slighter, much less
powerful man than I, and at once I became as
tonishingly bold. I plumped him down in a
chair, I shook him ; I gave him some vigorous
advice, and then set about dressing myself pre
paratory to taking him in triumph to the station
house. I had got as far as my trousers ; I had
thrust one leg into that bifurcated garment; I
poised the other to follow suit. The burglar saw
his chance. He jumped up and darted from the
room. He was right. If there was an awkward,
ridiculous, helpless, exasperating moment for
haste in a man's life, it was when half way into
his trousers I kicked and plunged with the other
leg. I tried to get the garment on. I tried to
get it off. In my moment of desperation which
seemed an age I made a rash mental oath that
I would adapt petticoats for the rest of my life.
I trust that vow is not registered against me. I
at length got ready and started in pursuit, ex
pecting I had lost my prey. But he had met an
unforseen obstacle. Scandinavian Bertha, awaken
ed from her midnight sleep by my wife's screams,
and having but one thought in her mind, and
that thought "burglars," rose in quaking trepi
dation, put on her Sunday bonnet and shoes, seiz
ed her valuables in her hand, and started down
stairs. She reached the landing just as the hap
less burglar darted from my room. They collided.
The sturdy Skald, driven at bay, seized her enemy
with desperate clutch, held him like an iron vice,
and made the weUrin ring with shrieks of terror.
For several moments he made futile attempts
to escape. With one hand clutched firmly in his
hair and the other in his cravat, she held him
fast. At length, by a frantic effort, he freed him
self just as I darted out of my chamber door.
He started wildly down the stairs, but by this
time my blood was up. I forgot my size. I
scorned ordinary means of descent. I sprang
over the railing and slid down the balusters like
a ray of light. I struck the midnight marauder
like a catapult. I propelled him against the wall.
I seized and shook him till I was breathless. I
called to my wife to come and light the gas.
Trembling in every limb she obeyed. Her cries
from the window had already collected a row of
impatient policemen on the front steps. With
nervous haste she struck a light ; we turned with
eagerness to behold the bold invader of our do
We gasped, we stared with unavailing horror;
to speak was useless.
It was little deaf-and-dumb Mr. Tucker, who
boarded next door, who was absent-minded and
who had a fatally similar latch-key.