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The Helena independent. [volume] (Helena, Mont.) 1875-1943, September 16, 1891, Morning, Image 7

Image and text provided by Montana Historical Society; Helena, MT

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83025308/1891-09-16/ed-1/seq-7/

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Recent Developments in the KENWOOD district, comprising the Bradford,
Brooke and Syndicate Additions to Helena, make the above statement almost
absolutely true.
But there are other features of this part of Helena that out
weigh the probability of finding gold in paying quantities, and
those are the freedom from smoke and dust that
Enjoys beyond any other suburb, the direct water service, insur
ing purity and freshness, the fine view, the rich soil, school facil
ities, street car service, good drives and numerous other advantages.
Prices are now reasonable, and the present is the time to buy. My list com
prises many very choice locations.
bservations of a Philadelphia
Sealer Who Has Had Twenty
Years' Experience.
:1, Do obuire's Quarters in Phila
d~pcisl a Veritable Cham
ber of Horrors.
ver 2,000 Skeletons Imported Into This
Country, but the Supply Is
tuanning Short.
To deal in the bones of human beings
ould be an occupation repugnant to most
en, says the Philadelphia Record. Yet in
he vicinity of Sixth and South streets lives
n old Frenchman who finds more pleasure
in this occupation than anything else in
is life. His store is a veritable den of
keletons. The weather-beaten sign
winging over the door, creaking dismally
with every gust of wind, bears
his simple legend: "M. de Robaire,
Parfumerie." From which it is evident
monsieur would have the world believe that
he deals almost exclnsively in those per
fumed waters so dear to the feminine heart.
Every family has a skeleton in the closet.
however, and monsieur's family, which
consists only of himself, is no exception to
the general rule. He has his skeleton, in
fact he has seoree of them in closets and
otherwise-the majority otherwise. The
truth of the matter is, the old Frenchman
deals in skeletons.
Living as he does in a neighborhood
thickly populated by ignorant negroes, who
are, as a rule, very superstitions, lDe Be
baire has found it necessary to ply his
queer trade as secretly as possible. The
"doctor" has occupied his present head
quarters for the last quarter of a century,
and enjoys quite a large practice among the
colored people, who would have nothing to
do with him did they suspect the weird do
ings about the lt tle shop.
The second floor boa.e of only two small
rooms, the rear one being used as a work
shop, while the other, directly over the
store and fronting on the .Svest, serves the
double purpose of bedohamber and store
buch another bedohamber as the one oc
oupied by the old Frenchman probably does
not exist, and how monsieur manages to
sleep the sleep of the just amongesuch grew
some surroundings is an insolvable mystery
to the few who have been admitted to it.
The walls of the small room are orna
mented with skulls and crossbones, and
real life-sized skeletons, or, rather, death
like skeletons, in all sorte of grotesque po
sitions. Four hideous skulls grin from
their positions on top of the four posts of
the bed, and close to the sides of the bed
stands a skeleton with arms outstretched
doing duty as a clothes rack. The whole is
dimly lighted up by a faint glimmer of
light emenating from a lamp made of a
ghastly skull suspended from the middle of
th4 cilling with thongs of tanned human
De Robaire himself is an odd-looking man
and the resemblance between him and one
of his own skeletons is decidedly striking.
He has gaunt, wolf-like features, his thin
upper lip and bony chin being adorned with
an iron-gray mooustache and imperial, His
head is entirely bald save for a few bristly
fed hairs standing up on his forehead like a
small bonfire, and under a pair of bushy
eyebrows of the same fiery hue his small
black eyes glitter like coals of fire.
For a score of years he has been carrying
on his business in the old place, having
emigrated from France in 1865, coming di
eses to Philadelphia, where he established
himself in bnsiness. For a time he had a
hard struggle to keep soul and body to
gether. owing to the number of competitors
in the field, together with the dullness of
business. It soon became necessary for
him, in addition to his other trade, to set
himself up as a druggist, and he still runs
his little shop, though principally as a de
cLate in the '60's, when the Knights of
Pythias were organized in this state, the
demand for skeletons increased, as they
were used to a great extent in the lodge
rooms. De Iobaire prospered as a conse
quence, since most of his competitors had
given up the business.
Off and on during the following twenty
years business was brisk and dull by turns,
but the old man has amassed a small fortune
and there is no reason why he should longer
continue in the business, except that he has
taken a likint to his work, such as every
true artist does. He is an artist in the full
Pense of the word. There is undoubtedly
no one who can articulate a skeleton as
neatly as he, and it is no idle boast on his
part when he claims that with eyes blind
folded he can take a mass of bones repre
senting the human frame and build up the
skeleton as it was originally, without one
bone out of place.
Again, he can by merely touching a bone
tell to a certainty what part of the frame of
man or beast it belongs. There is no nossi
ble way of determining the nationality of
the person who existed around a certain
skeleton during life except that in the case
of a negro the aperture in the skull once
covered by the nose is not so narrow and
sharpened as a white man.
The "doctor" while standing in his work
shop a few days ago with his sleeves rolled
up over his skinny arms, thus held forth on
the subject nearest his heart. "This skeleton
you see me operating on I have imported
from France. You will notice the high
polish on the bones, due to a method of
preparation practiced only by the French.
They clean thebones by a process of macer
ation with muariatic acid, the whole opera
tion requiring two or three months' time,
while in this country the bones are hastily
and Carelessly boiled and come out rough
and dirty. In all my twenty years' service
I have never come across a Chinese skele
ton. Th isis due to the fact that a China
man believes he will not reach heaven
unless his bones rest in the Flowery King
"The different prices of skeletons are
based upon their degrees of hardness and
whiteness, upon the development of the
bones, and the amount or absence of fat in
their extremities. For this reason the
French article is decidedly of more
valhd than the American or German.
Up to this year over 2,000 skeletons
have been imported into this country,
but they have become scare of late
for some reason, and to supply the demand
I find it necessary to manufacture them of
paper. Of course I have ia stock of them in
my bedroom, but I would not part with
these. Mon dieul I have' come to look
upon them as dear friendsand companions.
are yon see my artificial skeletons made of
papier msache, with artificial teeth and the
whole covered with a white polish which
gives the appearance of the genuine article.
I can make three of these each week, and
they bring from $10 to $15, while the im
/ported genuine article costs from $130 to $35.
and the domestic $20. But then the imita
tions are boughs only by secret societies.
"Yes, I have grown old in the business
and love it. I have articulated and handled
over 5,000 skeletons in my time."
AWtemafle eacners.
3ut time ehanges minds as well as mas
aere, thorgh even now when makini
changes from one circle to another, it often
requires that adaptability whlch could be
auld found in one who has automatic man.
enre. However, such radical changes not
only appear in drawing room repartee,
street dress, ate., among people, but also Iq
the oonveniences and lanzuri afordea
mankind. Railroad travel is one instance.
A few years ago, comparatively, one had to
consume meek valable time in as uncem.
,nmtsbei way to make what is new thoughi
enoihin of ia a niHkt's journey in a sleeper.
Tb mosat amodern equipment and troas
Petation fatolities can be found on the
last treins of the Minneapolis 4 ISt. Lonli
railway to Chicago AR Louis, iHof prings,
lanaes Oity, et, Inq'iroe of aniy aent of
the company, or . Pratt, general ticket
sad psm eogUr e MinoaoIa, Mitis.
Clarke, Conrad & Curtin,
We offer a very complete line
_ I of all kinds of
. lleatinl and CookiniStoves
( -For either Wood or Coal and
at prices that will astonish
Ner everybody.
t1 }ltý.o --- G-ENCY FOR
Gilden Sunsh'n Steel Ranges,
,, Acora Line of Heaters adt Cooks,
"'-- '"' Sup~eiior Stoves and Rangess
THE COOK AMALG.AMATOR may take the plaee of the ordinar? mill
tables and operate close up to the batteries, or it works with splendid results on
th4 tailings from other amalgamatiag devices. It is
and will save nicety-nine per aent. of all the metale whichb will amalgamate, no
matter how fine, and the loured quirk in tho tailinllgs from other, amlalgamatling
sapparatus. here are very many plaOce in Montana where the Cook Amalgamator
will pay for itsell every mouth.
I Will Guarantee Satisfaotion Where I Advise the Purchase.
G. C. Swallow, Helena, Sole Agent for Montana.
Ra.ing deolined tM pr+o of State ,,ine Inspeotor. I am now prepared to
examrine and report en wines, aud altd in buying aud .elling the scans. I have had
orty.flrve years' exlperie.an in minun, G. C. BwArI.,ow.
oee Amalgamator at my Offloe from 9 to 12 A. M.
After an extraordinary rush upon.our
stock of Wines, Cigars and Liquors, after
our positive announcement that we must
close out, we have now on hand that must
be closed out immediately
Fifty-Five Barrels of Bond & Lillard
Spring of 1887 Whiskies,
Besides numerous other brands, that we
will close out either in part, by the gallon
or barrel, or the entire outfit, at
Cigars, Wines and Fancy Liquors are
still being offered at PRICES NEVER
We wish to announce to the family
trade that we are able to stock their cel
lars and pantries with the most delicious
Whiskies, Wines and Fancy Liquors at
prices never before heard of.
We still wish to impress upon the
minds of the public that when we say that
we must positively olose out WE MEAN
BUSINESS. Give us a call.
. .. .

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