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THE EXPRESS TRAIN.
BY THK AUTHOR OF "THE SECOXD .LIFE," Two or three of us had lounged out of the club one night, into Santley's office, to find out the news corning in by cable, "which the sleeping town would not hear until the paper would be out to-morrow. Santiey was editor of the Courier. He was scribbling away at driving speed, his hat on, an unlighted cngar in his mouth. You'ie at it late, Ben." "Accident on a Western road. Sixty lives lost,'" without looking up. We seized the long white slips which lay coiled over the table, and read the dispatch. Tut, tut!" Infamous!" Nobody to blame, of course." I tell you the officers of a road where such an accident is possible should be tried tor murder!" cried Ferrers. Santly shoved his copy to the boy, and lighted his cigar. I think you're wrong, Ferres. Instead of being startled at such casualties, I never travel on & railway that I am not amazed at the security of them. Just think of it. Thousands of trains running yearly on each, with but a minute to spare between safety and de struction, the safety of the trains depend ing on conductors, telegraph clerks, brakesmen, men of every grade of intel lect, the brains subject to'every kind of moods and disease and tempers. The engineer takes a glass of liquor the con ductor sets his watch half a minute too fast the flagman falls asleep, and the train is dashed into ruin! It is not the accident that is to be wondered at it is the escape that is miraculous!'' We all had dropped into seats by this time. The night was young, and one after another told some story of adven ture or danger. Presently Santiey said, "There was an incident which occurred on the Erie road a few years ago, which made me feel as I do in the matterI happened to be an eye-witness to the whole affair." "What was it, Ben?" "It's rather a long story'' "No matter. Go on. You can't go home until your proof comes in, any how." "No. Well, to make you understand, about five years ago I had a bad break downnight-work, hack-writing and poor pay. You know how fast it all wears out the machine. The doctor talked of dis eases of the gray matter of the brain, etc., and prescribed, instead of medicine, ab solute rest and change of scene. I would have swallowed all the nostrums in a drug shop rather than have left the office for a week. 'I'll take country board and send in my editorials,' I said. 'No you must drop office and work utterly out of your life for a month, at least. Talk and think of planting pota toes, or embroideryanything but news papers and politics.' "Well, I obeyed. I started on a ped estrian tour through Pennsylvania, stud ied oil stock in Alleghany County, and ate sauer-kraut in Berks. Finally I brought upfootsore and bored beyond bearingin Williamsport. While there, I fell into the habit of lounging about the railway station, studying the con struction of the engines, and making friends with the men. The man with whom I always fraternize most readily is the skilled l.ici hauic. He has a degree ot common-sense a store of certain facts which your young doctor or politician is apt to lack. Besides he is absolutely sure of his social standing ground, ami has a grave selfrrespect which teaches him to respect you. The professional lad just started oa his career is uneasy, not sine of his positiou he tries to climb perpetu ally. I tell you this to explain my in timacy with many of the officials on the road, especially with an engineer named Blakely. "This man attracted me first by his ability to give me the information I want ed in a tew direct sharp words Like most reticent men he knew the weight and value of words. I soon became per sonally much interested in him. He was about forty, his hair streaked with gray, with a grave worn face, which hinted at a youth of hardship and much suffering. However, Biakeley had found his way to the uplands at last. Three years before he had married a bright, cheerful woman. They had one childa boy. He had work and good wages, and was, I found, high in the confidence of the company. On one occasion, having a Sunday off, he took me up to Jersey Shore, where his wife and boy lived. He was an excep tionally silent man, but when with them was garrulous and light-hearted as a boy. In his eyes Jane was the wisest and fair est of women, and the boy a wonder of in tellect. One great source of trouble to him was, as I found, that he was able to see them but once in three woeks. It was necessary for the child's health to keep them in the country air, and, in deed, he could not afford to have them elsewhere but this separated him from them almost totally. Jane was in the habit of coming with Charley down to a certain point of the road every day, that Blakely might see them as he dashed by. "And when I found out this habit, it occurred to me that I could give Blakely a great pleasure. How often have I cursed my meddling Kindness since. January 25th was the child's birthday. I proposed to Mrs. Blakely that she and Charley should board the train which her husband drove, unknown to him, and run up to Harrisburg, where he had the night off. There was to be a little supper at the Lochiel House. Charley was to appear in a new suit, etc., etc. Of course the whole affair was at my expensea mere trifle, but an affair of grandeur and distinction which fairly took Jane's breath. She was a most innocent, happy happy creature one of those women who are wives and mothers in the cradle. When Blakely found her she was a thin pale little tailoressa machine to grind out badly-made shoddy clothes. But three years of marriage and pettinc of Charley had made her rosy and plump and pretty. "The little Highland suit was brought complete, to the tiny dirk and feather, and very pretty the httie fellow looked in it. I wrote down to order a stunning supper to be ready at eight. Jane and the boy were to go aboard the train at Jersey Shore, a queer little hill village near which they lived. Biakeley ran the train from Williamsport down to Harris burg that day. His wife being in the passenger car before he took charge of the engine, of course he would see and know nothing of her until we landed at Harrisburg at seyen. I had intended to go down in the smoking-car as usual, but another fancy, suggested I suppose by the originator of all evil, siezed me. No need to laugh. Satan, I believe, has quite as much to do with accidents and misesy and death, as with sin. Why not? How ever, my fancy, diabolical or not, was to go down on the engine with "Biakeley. I hunted up the fireman and talked to him for an hour. Then I went to the engineer. 'Biakeley,' I said, Jones (the fireman) wants to night off.' 'Off! O, no doubt! He's taking to drink, Jones. He must have been drink ing when he talked of that. It's impos sible.' I explained to Blakely that Jones had a sick wife, or a sweetheart or something, and finally owned that I had an uncon qurable desire to run down the road on the engine, and that knowing my only chance was to take the fireman's place, had bribed him to give it to me. The fact was that in my idleness and the overworked state of my brain I craved excitement as a confirmed drunkard does liquor. Blakely, I saw, was angry and exceed ingly annoyed. He refused at first, but finally gave way with a grave civility, which, almost made me ashamed of my boyish whim. I promised to be the price of firemen. Then you'll have to be treated as one Mr. Santiey,' said Blakely, curtly. I can't talk to gentlemen aboard my en gine. It's different from here, on the platform, you'll remember. I've got to order and you to obey, in there, and that's all there's of it.' '"O, I understand,' said, thinking that it required little moral effort to obey, in the matter of shovelling coal. If I could have guessed what that shovelling coal was to cost me! But all day I went about thinking ot the fiery ride through the hills, mounted literally on the iron horse. '.'It was in the middle of the afternoon when the train rushed into the station. I caught a glimpse of Jane on the passen ger car, with Charley, magnificent in his red green plaid, beside her. She nodded a dozen times and laughed, and then hid behind the window, fearing her husband should see her. Poor girl! It was the second great holliday of her life, she had told me, the first being her wedding day. "The train stopped ten minutes. It was neither an express nor an accommo dation train, but one which stopped at the principal slations on the route Sel insgrove, Sunbury, etc. 'I had an old patched suit on, fit, as I supposed, for the service of coal-heaver but Biakeley, when I came up, eyed it and my hands sardonically. He was in no bettertemper. evidently, with amateur firemen then he had been in the morning. 'All aboard!' he said, gruffly. 'You take your place there,Mr. Santiey. You'll put in coal just as I call for it, if you please, and not trust to your own judg ment "His tone annoyed me. 'It cannot re quire much judgmont to keep up a lire under a boiling pot, and not make it too hot. Any woman can do that in hct own kitchen.' "He made no reply, but took his place ou the little square box where the greater part of his lite was passed. I noticed that his face was fluahed, and his irrita tion at my foolish whim was certainly more than the occasion requuod. 1 watched him with keen, curiosity, won dering if it were possible that he could have been drinking as he had aa used poor Jones of doing." "It strikes me as odd," interrupted Fer rers, "that you should not only made an intimate companion of this feliow,SUnley, but have taken so keen an intereet in hi^ tempers and drinking bouts. You would not be likely to honor any of us with such attention." "No. I have something else to do. I was absolutely idle then. Biakeley and his family for the time made up my world. As for the friendship, this was an exceptional man, both as to integrity and massive hard sense. The knowledge that comes from books counts with me but for little, compared with the exper ience and contact with facts for forty years. I was honored by the friendship of tnis grimy engineer. But the question of his sobriety that day was a serious one. A man in charge of a train with hundreds of souls aboard, I felt ought to be sober, particularly when I was shut up in the engine with him. "Just as we started a slip of paper was handed to him, which he read and threw down. "Do you run this train by teleg-aph?' I asked, beginning to shovel vigorously. 'Yes. No more coal' 'Isn't that unusual?' "Yes. There are two special trains on the road this afternoon.' 'Is it difficult to run a train by tele graph? I said presently, simply to make conversation. Staring in silence at the narrow slit in the gloomy furnace or out at the village street, through which we slowly passed, was monotonous. 'No, not difficult. I simply have to obey the instructions which I receive at each station.' 'But if you should happen to think the instructions not right?' 'Happen to think! I've no business to think at all! When the trains run by telegraph the engineers are so many ma chines in the hands of one controller, who directs them all from a central point. He has the whole road under his eye. It they don't obey to the least tittle their orders, it is destruction to the whole.' 'You seem to think silent obedience the Srst and last merit in a railway man 'Y'es,' dryly. "I took the hint and was dumb. We are out of town now. Biakeley quickened the speed of the engine. I did not speak to him again. There was lit tle for me to do, and I was occupied in looking out at the flying landscape, The fields were covered with a deep fall of snow, and glanced whitely by, with a strange, unreal shimmer. The air was keen and cutting. Still the ride was tame. I was disappointed. The excitement would by no means equal a dash on a spirited hoise. I began to think I had little to pay for my grimy hands and face, when we slowed at the next station. One or two passengars came abord the train. There was the inevitable old lady with bundles, alighting, and the usual squable about her trunk. I was craning my neck to hear, when the boy ran along side with the telegram. The next moment I heard a smother ed exclamation from Blakely. Go back,' said he to the boy. Tell Sands to have the message repeated. There's a mistake.' The boy dashed off, and Blakely sat waiting, coolly polishing a bit of the shining brass befoi* him. Back came the boy. 'Had it repeated. Sands is raging at you. Says there's no mistake, and you'd be&t get on,' thrusting the second "mes sage up. "Blakely read it, and stood hesitating for half a minute. I never shall forget the dismay, the utter perplexity that gathered in his lean face as he looked at the telegram, and then at the long train behind him. His lips moved as if he were calculating chances, and his eyes suddenly quailed, as it he saw death at the end of the calculation. 'What's the matter? What are you going to do?' I asked. 'Obey.' "The engine gave a long shriek of hor ror, that made me start as if it were Blakeley's own voice. The next instant we rushed out of the station, and dashed through the low-lying farms at a sp eed which seemed dangerous to me. 'Put in more coal,' said Blakely. "I shovelled it in. 'We are going very fast, Biakeley,' I ventured. "He did not answer. His eye was fix ed on the steam gauge his lips closely shut. 'More coal!' "I threw it in. "The fields and houses began to fly past but half seen. We were nearing Sunbury. Blakeley's eye went from the gauge to the face of the timepiece and back. He moved like an automaton. There was little more meaning in his face. 'More,' without turning his eye. "I took up the shevelhesitated. Blakely! We're going eery fast. We're going at the rate of sixty miles an hour.' 'Coal!' "I was alarmed at the stern, cold rigid ity of the man. His pallor was becoming frightful. "I threw in the coal. "At least we must stop in Sunbury. He had told me that was the next halt." "The little town approached. As the lirst house came into view, the engine sent out its shriek of warning it grew louder, louder. We dashed into the street, up to the station, where a group of passengers wraited, a and past it without the halt of an instant. I caught a glimpse of the appalled faces of the waiting crowd. Then we were ia the fields again. "The speed now became literally breath less the furnace glared red-hot. The heat, the velocity, the terrible nervous strain of the man beside me, seemed to weight the air. I found myself drawing ong stentorous breaths,like one drowning. I heaped in the coal at interval^, as he bade me. 'I'd have done nothing of the kind!' interrupted one of the listeners. 'The man was rnad.1 "I did it because I was oppressed by an old sense of duty, which 1 never had in my ordinary brain-work. I had taken this mechanical task on uiyselt, and I felt a stricture upon me to go through with it at any cost. I know now how it is that dull,ignorant men without a spark of enthusiasm, show such heroism some times, as soldiers, engineers, captains of wrecked- vessels. It is tins overpowering sense of routine duty. It is a finer thing than sheer bravery, to my notion. How ever, began to be of your mind,Wright, th.it Biakeley was mad, laboring under some sudden iren/y from drink, though I had never seen him touch liquor. "He did not move hand or foot, except in the mechanical control of the engine his eye going from the gauge to the time piece with a steadiness that was more terrible and threatening than any gleam of insanity would have been. Once he glanced back at the long train sweeping after the engine, with a headlong speed that rocked it from side to side. You would catch glimpses of hundreds of men and women talking, reading, smoking, unconscious that their lives were all in the hold of one man, whom I now strong ly suspected to be mad. I knew by his look that he remembered their lives were in his hand. He glanced at the clock. 'Twenty miles,' he muttered. 'Throw on the coal, Jones. The lire is going out.' "I did it. Y'es, I did it. There was something in the face of that man that I could not resist. Then I climbed for ward and shook him by the shoulder. "'Biakeley!'I shouted, "you are run ning this train into the jaws of death!' 'I know it,' quietly. 'Your wife and child are on it.' 'My God!' "He staggered to his feet. But even then he did not move his eye from the gauge. 'In a minute' 'Make up the tire,' he said, aiid push ed in the throttle valve. 'I will not.' 'Make up the fire, Mr. Santiey,' very quietly. 'I will ltot. You may murder your self and your wife and boy, but you "shall not murderlme.' "He looked at me. His kindly eyes glared like those of a wild beast. But he controlled himselt in a moment. 'I could throw you out of this door, and make short work of it. Butlook here do you see the station yonder?" I saw a thin whisp of smoke against the sky, about five miles in advance. I was told to reach the station by six o'clock. The express train meeting us is due now.( I ought to havelaidjby for,it at Sunbury. I was told to come on. The track is a single one. Unless I can make the siding at the station in three minutes, we will meet it yonder in the hollow.' 'Somebody blundered!' Y'es, I think so.' And you obeyed?' He said nothing. I threw on coal. If I had had petroleum, I would have put it on. But I never was calmer in my life. When death has a man actually by the throat it sobers him. Blakely pushed in the valve still farther. The engine began te give a strange panting sound. Far off to the south I could see the bituminous black smoke of a train. I looked at Blakely inquiringly. He nodded. It was the express. I stooped to the fire. No more," he said. "I looked across the clear, wintry sky at the gray smoke of the peaceful little village, and beyond, that black line com ing closer, closer, across the sky. Then I turned to the watch. "In one minute more "Gentlemen, I confess I sat down and buried my face in my hands. I don't think I tried to pray. I had a confused thought of a mass of mangled, dying men and women, mothers and their babies, and, vaguely, of a merciful God. Lit tle Charley with his curls and pretty suit "There was a terrified shriek from the engine, against which I leaned. Anoth er in my face. A hot tempest swept past me. I looked up. We were on the siding, and the express had gone by. The hind most cars touched in passing. "Thank God! You've done it, Biake ley Biakeley!' I cried. "But he did not speak. He sat there immovable, and cold as a stone. I went to the cars and brought Jane and the boy to him, and when he opened his eyes and tcok his little woman's hands in his I came away. An engineer named Fred, who was at the station, ran the train into Harrisburg. Blakely was terribly shaken. But we went down and had our little feast, after all. Charley, at least, enjoyed it." What was the explanation? A blund er of the directior, or the telegraph opera- tor?" I don't know. Blakely made light of it afterward, and kept the secret. These railway men must have a strong esprit de eorp$. All I know is that Blakely's salary was raised soon after, and he received that Christmas a very handsome testi monial for services rendered,' from the company. _. THE BEST GIFT. Around the cradle that thy childhood bare Came God's own angels, with their pitying eyes, And ga/.ed upon thee in still surprise To see beyond Ueaven's portal aught so fair. They brousrht thee precious gifts. One gave to thee The gift of beauty for thy body's grace, Deep-smiling eyes to light a dreamy face, And perfect limbs as young Apollo's be. One set the crown of Genius on thy head And one bestowed a heart like woman's own, Strong as the sea, and trembling at a breath. Last, a. veiled figure bent above the bed. And said, '"I give thee everything in one. "In Heaven I am named Love men call me Death. "So shalt thou never tread the weary ways lhat lead men up the dusty slopes of Hie, Nor feel the fierceness ot the noonday strife, Knowing alone the morning of thy days. For thee the dew shall linger on the flower The light that never was on land or sea Shall have no momentary gleam for thee, But brighten iato Love's immortal hour. Thy beauty's grace shall never know decay, Nor Sorrow lay her hand upon thy heart Neither shall chill mistrust thy spirit slay, But like a star thy life shall pass away, Its light still shining, though itself depart, Until all stars are lost in one eternal day." Kate Hillard in Harper' Magazine. THE OLD HAG. M. K. STONE. I can remember ever since I was a very little girl, hearing the people of my native village make this remark, (when anything happened out of the usual order) "As queer as the old hag!" It puzzled me at first, but I soon solved the meaning. The school house stood a quarter of a mile outside our little village, and the first time my youthful feet wended their way toward it, I was enlightened by my sister AII'CP and another girl, who were leading me. "You must be a good girl to-day, Met- ta," said Alice, "and not whisper, or the old hag will get you to-night. Sec" (and she poinled to a log hut in the middle of a field) "that's where she lives." "Yes, that she will!" exclaimed the other girl "she's a witch, and once turned a little girl, who was naughty in school, into a great big stone, folks say. Jim Cressy, he's seen it with his own eyes says 'she keeps it for a door- step.' I was very much alarmed at this har rangue, and scarcely breathed a loud word during the whole day. And for months afterward, if 1 had committed the slight est misdemeanor in school, I would run past the old hut on my way home at night. But, as the years rolled by, I gradually lost all faith in the witch story, and be came possessed with the desire to behold this human being, so isolated from the world, upon whom mankind had bestow ed the hideous appellation of "old hag." I had often had stray glimpses of a bent figure, hobbling around the hut. Tvvas rare, indeed, that she ever ventur ed beyond her domain, which was in closed by an old tumble-down rail fence, while I dared risk no nearer approach, not relishing the idea of being turned in toperhaps a hearthstone for an old witch to boil her porridge-kettle on. I have remarked that, as the years rolled by my fears subsided, while my curiosity increased. And one bright Sat urday afternoon I started out with the secret determiuation. "live or die," I would make a heroic attempt to get a nearer view of the "old hag," before the day was done. I took the path through the wood-,and after a short walk found myself emerging from the leafy covert, in exact range with the hut, which stood about forty rods distant in the field. Here I stopped and indulged in several swooping surveys of the lanpscape, to discern if the coast was clear. No one being in sight, I bokLy struck out, and by making swift transits to friendly raspberry oushes, which grew at intervals all along, I felt tolerably cer tain I had not been observed. Yet it was with a shaky feeling around my heart that I crept into the shadow of a clump of elders and peered through the rails. My perseverance was not to go unre warded for soon the door opened, and she appeared on the threshold. Oh, what a sight! to my dying day I shall never for get my first look at her. A poor, bent figure,carrying a great burden on her back, as if the burden of life were not enough. One shoulder being higher than the other gave her a queer, one-sided look, as if just readyJto totter over. Her long gray hair hung in straggling locks around the pale, haggard face, which was furrowed and seemed with the marks ot age or sor row. On her left temple just above the eye, as if to brighten the4wierd affect, was plainly marked a fiery red cross. I can remember this thought dimly presenting itself to my childish imagination: Was it not a symbol of her life?" ft& II She glanced sharply around her as it in search of some one. I drew back deeper into the shadows in momentary fear of of her keen vision penetrating through the "hick bushes, to my hiding place, i was certain she had discovered my approach and had come out for the express purpose of searching for me. There I lay trembling and meditating on rash plans of escape vainly wishing sister Alice was with me: oifthat I was anywhere else, when|I heard a low, musical voice exclaim" How are you to-day, my sweets?" Ah! here was a discovery, indeed! Company? I had never known a single soul who visited her. Who could it be? At the period of immediate discovery I could not resist the temptation to peep. Poor, lone soul! looking"out of your wretched tenement. Y'es, poor, lone soul! whom all the world had forsaken. You were seeking comfort in the Master's lowly gifts. There 6he was, the wretched old hag, kneeling in the long grass, caressing lov ingly the wild flowers that grew in great luxuriance about the hut. I heard her say"Oh, my sweets my pretty crimson clovers, butter-cups and daisies. You're all out to-day, full blown. I saw you the first thing this morning shaking your bonny heads in the sunshine as the wind9 went tossing by. And you're here for a whole sum mer, my precious ones how came you to come and blossom so sweet just to "please old Margery? but you ain't afraid of her, oh, no! Margery wouldn't hurt you, for the world! She only looks at you, and you kinder help her from being all alone. You don't know, my pretties, what an awful thing it is to be all alone always all alone, with no one to care whether you lived or died. No, you can't know how it is, when you're gone and the wind howls around the hut, or how I keep pray ing the good Lord to hasten the summer and send you back. Twas always so no one culd ever bear old Margery her poor old shoulder and the great hump on her back were always against her. "The old hag," they call me. even the little children, my sweets. I wish they wouldn't for I love them sowhy, crim son clover I would be ready to die to-mor row for very joy if one would come and kiss me, and say "how d'ye do, Margery?" But oh no! that can't be they are afraid of me afraid of me! Reader, I was a sinless little child then I had been older I should probably have stifled under the cloak of pride and selfishness the noblest impulse of ray life. But thank God! I did not, for without a moment's hesitation I climbed the fence and with tears of sympathy streaming down my cheeks, I caught the old crea tures hand in mine, and said, as I bent and kissed her, "How do you do, Mar- gery?" Great God forgive us! how shall we ever answer for these poor, neglected souls that the kiss of a child can so overcome i She gazed upon me for several moments in mute astonishment, then burst out sob bing and laughing alternately, paying over and over to the senseless flowers: "She did it my sweets! just think, can you believe? Some one has really kissed Margery, and said, 'how d'ye do!" She has been dead this many a year the old hut tumbled in ruins long a'o the people of the village have ceased to speak of her. She was always a wonder to them, "the queer old hag." They looked at her outwardly, no one ever dreamed a beautiful soul lay hid in such a rough casket. But I knew it and learn ed to love her well. The day she diedoh, such a beautiful daythe daisies, buttercups and clovers how they swung their heads and peeped in at the old door! All day long she lay with one hand locked fast *mine. At sunset, when the yellow rays streaked the crimson banner? hung in the west, the angels came (thev were not ashamed. She heard them, the beautiful soul came up and looked'out of its prison windows with such a glad look, such as the prison er wears when, after dreary years ot darkness, the iron bars fall and the door of his cell swings back, letting in the blessed sun-light once more. I drecsou the poor, wore, body for the grave, smoothed back the tangled hair, tilled the tired hands lull of her flower's. In a stony corner of the graveyard, overgrown with briars and nettles, they made her grave. No one had been buried in that part for years, it was so desolate, and nothing would grow there, but it good enough for an old hag." A I en mark was erected and many scol when I begged them to put Margci it. I was called away soon after her ieath and did not return until the following sem mer. One morning I entered the grave yard for the express purpose of placing a few flowers on the grave in the desolale corner. What was my surprise to behold it! There above, and all around it her sweets were growning,tO'sing their crim son,white and yellow haads,saying plainly "We've followed you Margery!" My poor flowers were not needed, I saw in a minute, so I placed them on rich old granny Markham's yrave which looked singularly bare for all the costlv monu ment which cast its shadow over it, think ing to myself, Gcd was Margery's only friend while she was on earth. He sent the simple wild flowers to cheer her here and now He has sent them to cover her grave. Y"ear after year they come, more luxur iant each time. A sweet-briar rose has been added, blue and white viotets peep up, the seeds of rare plants are wafted that way until the desolate old corner is a glowing Arcadia. Tfhe birds sing the sweetest there, the sunbeams are the brightest, the children love to play long est near the grave. Once, one more wise than the average, cailed it "God's corner" and it has borne the name ever since. About seven o'clock the other frosty morning, a farmer and his wife drove up to a store on Woodwward avenue, and he hitched the horses and started off on an errand, leaving her on the seat. He had gone but a few steps when he halted and returned to the vehicle. Taking the two old blankets off her lap he carefully 6pread thesn over the horses, leaving the wife without any protection from the cutting air. As he started off again he looked over his shoulder and said, "If ary of them blankets blow off you want to" hop down and pull 'em on again, for this is a cold morning on hossefc!"Detroit Free Prett, Jack's Prayer, It was the one his mother taught him. One guesses that without being told of it, so universally the same is the -ourte whence children first learn the language of devotion. But good mothers are some times weary and discouraged. Th'*y need the reawrring cheer of every fact and story that esliibits anew the immortality of their pious influence. Like that in fluence, like the first tidings of tin- grace of God, such stories never grow od. If the influence of a jfood mothei ever could be lost, it would have been lust on a boy named Johnny, who grew up to be called wicked, "Blackjack" Hi, mo ther was an in\ alid, and died when he was very young. One evening near the time of her death, the child knelt beside her as usual at bedtime, and uttered his simple supplication: "Pray God bless me, and make me a good boy, and pardon all my sins, and take me to Heaven when I die, for Jesus. Christ's sake. Amen." When he rose from his knees he was grieved to see his mother weeping, and asked the cause. She told him she was thinking what would become of him if he should forget his prayers when she was gone, and forget God. But Johnny said he would surely re member. It was the last time his mother had strength to speak to him. lie cried to see her laid in the grave but lie did "remember"not long. There is no need to trace all the step^ by which the bereaved, neglected child became familiar with the evil ways. Hip growth in recklessness was swift, and showed in deplorable maturity when his mother had been forty years asleep in Jesus. Physically he was a fine specimen ot manhood. His strength and si/e weie al most gigantic, and he often boasted that he had never been sick a day in his life. But in character he was a person whom the good dieudid, whom the weak feared and hated, and whom the young never came in contact with unarmed. He drank, and gambled, and blasphenied,and delighted in lawless mischief. His dark countenance and immense black beard gave the name of "Black Jack," by which he was alvvavs known. He had no fam-~ iiy of his own, as many of his compan ions had, and he spent his earnings on his vices, and his bail example and influ ence made woe for many wives and chil dred, whose natural providers would else have saved their wages for them. At length, while engaged in a wild midnight adventure, he was tired upon by some men who^e property he had plund ered, and got away with several charges of small shot in his body. He did not mind the wounds, but, endeavoring to leap across the stream during his flight in the darkues he fell and broke his leg. The pain and injury mad him helpless to crawl up the bank, and he lay there in the mud and water, in that lonely place, undi^tovend for two nights and three da)^. His sufferings were lVrailuI, but his horror of mind was more than all. The strong man who had detiid danger and accident, and death, and defied God himself, wa- brought low. When his strength was speut with shouting, and stiuggling, and the 'ong fasting, and he had abandoned all hope of being found and rescued, there came vividly before him the scene of his mother's death, forty yearn ago. and half-uueon'-ciously he was repeating again. "Pray God bless me, and nrike me a good boy. and pardon all my sins, and take me to Heaven when I die, for Jesus Christ sake. Amen." Then he fainted away. Near the clone of the third dayghe was discovered and i ar ried to the hospital. It was wondeiful that he lived but his iron constitution resisted death, lie recovered, uc-rippic,ioi it had been necessary to amputate J.is leg. The months ot his long eonvah ence in the hospital had been montt ot thought and praver, and the child-peti tion, "forgive all my sins," was hcaidnnd answered. Blackjack lived many years afterward to be a blessing where he had been a curse. Dili not his mother share rn the joy in Heaven over the simn that iepented i Youth'* Companion,. Pictures Of Death. In the temple of Juno at ElLs, Sleep and his twin-brother. Death, were ier re sented as children reposing in the arms of Night. On various funeral monuments of the ancients the Genius of Death is sculptured as a beautiful youth, leaning on an inverted torch, in the attitude cf reposing, his wings folded and his leet crossed. In such peaceful and at active forms did the imagination of ancient poets and sculptors represent death. And these were men in whose souls the relig ion of nature was like the light of utars: beautiful, but faint and cold Stiange that in later days this angel of God, which lead us with a gentle hand into the "land of the great departed, info the silent land,' should have been transform ed into a monstrous and terrific thing! Such is the spectral rider cm the white horse such the ghastly skeleton with scythe and hour-glass the Reaper, whose name is Death! One of the most popular themes of poetry in the middle age, and continuing down even into modern times, was the Dance of Death. In almost all languages is it writtenthe apparition of the grim spectre putting a sudden stop to all business, and leading men away into the "remarkable retirement" of the grave. It is written in an ancient Spanish jxiem, and painted on a wooden bridge in Switzerland. The designs of Holbein are well known. The most striking among them is that where, from a group of children sitting round a cottage hearth,. Death has taken one by the hand and is leading it out of the door. Quietly and unresistingly goes the little child, and in its countenance no grief, but wonder only while the other children are weep ing and stretchiug forth theii hands in vain towards ther departing brother. It is a beautiful design in all save the skele ton. An angel had been better, with folded wings and torch inverted.Long fellow. There may be no such word as tail ru the bright lexicon of youth, but when a young man, wandering home at one a. m. tries to put out a street-lamp by stepping on it with his foot, he very soon learns, there are some things that even youth* cant doBurlington JIaick-Eye.