je AST2 III 1 I L$ It jU aUe nt¶t. PAGES 9-12
VOL. XXXI..-NO 836 HELENA. MONTANA, SUNDAY MORNING, JANUARY 24, 1892. PRICE FIVE OBCNT
THE AMERICAN CLAIMANT,
BY MARK TWAIN.
WRITTEN ESPECIALLY FOR THE HELENA INDEPENDENT.
HE EARL AND'
on the sorrowful
errand, talking as
"And as usual I"
"What, colonel ?"
"iever of them in
that hotel. Ac
tresses. And all
burnt out, of
"Any of them
burnt up ?"
"Oh, no; they escaped; they always do;
but there's never a one of them that knows
enough to fetch out her jewelry with her."
"Strange-it's thq most unaccountable
thing in the world. Experience teaches
them nothing; they can't seem to learn
anything except out of a book. In some
cases there's manifestly a fatality about it.
For instance, take what's-her-name, that
plays those sensational thunder-and-light
ning parts. SJhe's got a perfectly immense
reputation-draws like a dog fight-and it
all came from getting burnt out in hotels."
"Why, how could that give her reputa
tion as an actress ?"
"It didn't; it only made her name famil
iar. People want to see her play because
her name isfamiliar, but they don't know
what made it familiar, because they don't
remember. First, she was at the bottom of
the ladder and absolutely obscure-wages
$13 a week and find her own pads."
"Yes, things to fat up her spindles with
so as to be plump and attractive. Well,
she got burnt out in a hotel and lost $30,
000 worth of diamonds-"
"She? Where'd she get them?"
"Goodness knows-given to her, no doubt,
by spooney young fiats and sappy old bald
heads in the front row. All the papers
were full of it. She struck for higher pay
and got it. Well, she got burnt out again
and lost all her diamonds, and it gave her
sunch a lift that she went starring."
"Well, if hotel fires are all she's got to
depend on to keep up her name, it's a pretty
precarious kind of a reputation I should'
"'Not with her. No, anything bat that.
Because sae's so lucky; born lucky, I
reckon. Every time there's a hotel fire,
she's in it.. She's always there--and if, she
can't be there herself, her diamonds are.
Now you can't make anything out of that
but just sheeroluck."
"I never heard of such a thing. She
tust have lost quarts of diamonds."
"Quarts? she lost bushels of' them. It's
got so that the hotels are superstitious about
her. They won't let her in. They think
there will be a fire;' and besides, if she's
there it cancels the insurance. She's been
waning a little lately, but this Are will set
her up. She lost $60,000 worth last night."
"I think she's a fool. If I had $60,000
worth of diamonds I wouldn't trust them in
"I wouldn't either; but you' can't teach
an actress that. This one's been burnt out
thirty-five times. And yet if there's a hotel
Are in San Francisco to-night she's got to
bleed again, you mark my words. Perfect
ass; they nay she's got diamonds in every
hotel in the country."
When they arrivei at the scene of the
fire the poor old earl took one glimpse at
the melancholy morgue and turned away
his face, overcome by the spectacle. He
"It is too true. Hawkins-recognition is
impossible, not one of the five could be
identified by its nearest friend. You make
the selection, I can't bear it."
"Which one had I better-"
"Oh, take any of them. Pick out the best
However, the officers assured the earl
for they knew him, everybody in Washing
ton knew him-that the position in which
these bodies were found made it impossible
that any of them could be that of his noble
kinsman. They pointed out the spot where,
if the newspaper aceount was correct, he
Onust have sunk down to destruction; and
at a wide distance from this spot they
showed him where the young man must
have gone down in case he wassuffocated in
his room; and they showed him still a third
place, quite remote, where he might possi
bly have found his death if, perchance, he
tried to escape by the side exit toward the
rear. The old colonel brushed away a tear
and said to Hawkins
"As it turns out, there was something
prophetic in my fears. Yes, it's a matter of
ashes. Will you kindly step to a grocery
and fetch a couple more baskets?"
Reverently they got a basket of ashes
from each of those now hallowed spots and
carried them home to consult as to the best
manner of forwarding them to England,
and also to give them an opportunity to "lie
in state"-a mark of respect which the col
onel deemed obligatory, considering the
high rank of the deceased.
They set the baskets on the table in what
was formerly the library, drawing-room and
workshop-now the hall of audience-and
went upstairs to the lumber room to see if
they could find a British flag to use as a
part of the outfit prover to the lying in
state, A moment later Lady Rossmore
came in from the street and caught sight of
the baskets just as old Jinny crossed her
field of vision. She quite lost her patience,
"Well, what will you do next? What'n
the world possessed yon to clutter up the
parlor table with these baskets of ashes?"
"Ashes?" And she came to look. She
put up her hands in pathetia astoniahment.
"Well, I never see de likel"
"Did'nt you do it?"
"Who, me? Clah to goodness it's de fast
time I've sot eyes on 'em, Miss Polly. Dat's
Dan'l. Dat ole moke is losin' his mine."
But it wasn't Dan'l, for he was called and
"Dey ain't no way to 'splain dat won
Lit's one or dese yer common currences, a
body kin reckon maybe de cat--"
"Oh!" and a shudder shook Lady Hose
more to her foundations, "I see it all. Keep
away from them-they're his."
"Yos-youor yeoan Marses ellers from
England that's burnt up."
She was alone with the ashes-alone be
fore she could take half a breath. T'Ihen
she went after Mulberry Sellers, purposing
to make short work with hise programme,
whatever it might be; "for," said she,
"when his sintimencals are up, he's a numb
skull, and there's no knowing what ex
traval~ance he'll contrive, if you lqt him
alone." She found him. He had found the
rng, and was bringing it. When she heard
that his idea was to have the remains "lie
in state, and invite the government and the
publlioe," be broke it up. She said:
"Your intentions are all right; they al
ways are. You want to do honor to the
remains, and surely nobody ean ind any
fault with that, for he was your ki.; but
you are going the wrong way about it, and
you will see it yourself if you stop and
think. You can't fll around a basket of
ashes trying to look sorry for it, and makea
sight that is really solemn, because the
solomner it.is, the more it isn't-anybody
can see that. It would be so with one base
ket* it would be. three times so with three.
Well, it stands to reason that if it wouldn't
be solemn with one mourner, it wouldn't
with a procession-and there would be 5,000
people here. I don't know but i olo d be
pretty near ridiculous: I think' T would.
No, Mulberry, they can't lie in state; it
would be a mistake. Giye that up and
think of something else."
8o he gave it up; and not reluctantly,
when he had thought it over and realized how
light her interest was. He concluded
to merely sit up with the remains-just him
self and Hawkins. Even this seemed a
doubtful attention to his wife, but she of
fered no objection, for it was plain that he
had a quite honest and simple-hearted de
sire to do the friendly and honorable thing
by these forlorn poor relics which could
command no hospitality in this far-off land
of strangers but his. He draped the flag
about the baskets, put some crape on the
door knob and said with satisfaction:
"There-he is as comfortable now as we
can make him under the circumstances.
Except-yes, we must strain a point there
one must do as one would wish to be done
by-we must have it."
"Have what, dear?"
The wife felt that the house-front was
standing about all it could well stand, in
that way; the prospect of another stunning
decoration of that nature distressed her,
and she wished the thing had not occurred
to him. She said hesitatingly
"But I thought such honor as that
wasn't allowed to any but very, very near
"Right, you are quite right, my lady,
perfectly right; but there aren't any nearer
relatives than relatives by usurpation. We
cannot avoid it; we are slaves of aristo
cratic custom and must submit."
The hatchments were unnecessarily gen
erous, each being as large as a blanket, and
they were unnecessarily volcanic, too, as to
variety and violence of color, but they
pleased the earl's barbaric eye, and they
satisfied his taste for symmetry and com
pleteness, too, for they left no waste room
to speak of on the house front.
Lady Rossmore and her daughter assisted
at the sitting :up till near midnight and
r` ý I
"CLAH TO GOODNESS, IT'S DE FUST T.IME I'VE SOT EYEFS ON 'EM."
helped the gentlemen to consider what
ought to be done next with the remains.
Rossmore thought they ought to be sent
home-with a committee and resolutions
at once. But the wife was doubtful. She
"Would you send all of the baskets?"
"Oh, yes, all."
"All at ones?"
"l'ohis father? Oh, no; by no means.
Think of the shook. No, one at a time;
break it to him by degrees."
"Would that have that effect, father?"
"Yes, my daughter. Reemember, you are
youno and elastic, but he is old. To send
him the whole at once might well be more
than he could bear. But mitigated, one
basket at a time, with restful intervals be.
tween, he would be used to it by the time he
got all of him. And sending him in three
ships is safer, anyway on account of wrecks
"I don't like the idea, father. If I were
his father it would be dreadful to have him
coming in that-that-"
"On theinstalment plan," snggested Haw
kins, gravely, and proud of being able to
"Yoe-dreadful to have him coming in
that incoherent way. There would be the
strain of suspense upon me all time. To
have so depressing a thing as a funeral
impending, delayed, waiting, unaccom
"Oh, no, my child," said the earl, reassur
ingly, "there would be nothing of that
kind; so old a gentleman could not endure
a long.drawn suspense like that. There
will be three funerals."
Lady Rlossmo:e looked up surprised, and
"How is that going to make it easier for
him? It's a total mistake, to my mind. He
ought to be buried all at once; I'm sure of
"I should think so, too," said Hawkins.
"And certainly I should," said the
"You are all wrong," said the earl. "You
will see it yourselves, if you think. Only
one of these baskets has got him in it."
"Very well, then," said Lady Rossmore,
"the thing is perfectly simple-bury that
"Certainly," said Lady Gwendolen.
"But it is not simple," said the earl, "be
cause we do not know which basket he is in.
We know he is in one of them, but that is
all we do know. You see now, I reckon,
that I was right; it takes three funerals:
there is no other way."
"And three graves, and three monu
ments, and three inscriptional" asked the
daWell-yes-to do it right. That is what
I should do."
"It could not be done so, father. Each
of the insoriptions would give the same
name and the same facts and any he was
under each and all of these monuments,
and that would not answer at all."
The earl nestled uncomfortably in his
"No," he said, "that is an objection.
That is a serious objection. I see no way
There was a general silence for a while,
Then Hawkins said:
"It seems to me that if we mixed the
The earl grasped him by the hand and
shook it gratefully.
"It solves the whole problem," he said.
"One ship, one funeral, one grave, one
monument-it is admirably conceived. It
does you honor, Major Hawkins; it has re
lieved me of a most painful embarrassment
and distress, and it will save that poor,
stricken, old father much suffering. Yes,
he shall go over in one basket."
"When?" asked the wife.
"To-morrow-immediately, of course."
"I would wait, Mulberry."
"You don't want to break that ehildless
old man's heart."
"God knows I don't!"
"Then wait till he sends for his son's re.
mains. If you do that, you will never have
to give him the last and sharpest pain a
parent can know-I mean, the certainty
that his son is dead. For he will never
"Why wcn't he?"
"Because to send-and find out the truth
-would rob him of the one precious thing
left him, the uncertainty, the dim hope that
may be, after all, his boy escaped, and he
will see him again some day."
"Why, Polly, he'll know by the papers
that he was burned up."
"He won't let himself believe the papers.
He'll argue against anything and every
thing that proves his son is dead, and he
will keep that up and live on it, and on
nothing else till he dies. But if the re
mains should actually come, and be nut
before that poor old dim-hoping soul-"
"Oh, my God, they never shall! Polly,
you've saved me from a crime, and I'll
bless you for it always. Now we know
what to do. We'll place them reverently
awe'y, and he shall never know."
The young Lord Berkeley, with the fresh
air of freedom in his nostrils, was feeling
invincibly strong for his new career; and
yet-and yet-if the fight should prove a
very, very hard one at first, very discourag
ing, very taxing on untoughened moral
sinews, he might in some weak moment
want to retreat. Not, likely, of course, but
possibly that might happen. And so, on
the whole, it might be pardonable caution
to burn the bridges behind him. Oh, with
out doubt. He must not stop with adver
tising for the owner of that money, but
must put it where he could not borrow
from it himself meantime, under stress of
circumstances. So he went down town and
put in his advertisement, then went to a
bank and handed in the $500 for deposit.
He hesitated and colored a little; he had
forgotten to make a selection. He now
brought out the first one that suggested
When he was gone the clerks, marveling,
"The cowboy blushed."
The first step was accomplished. The
money was still under his command and at
his disposal, but the next step would dis
pose of that difficulty. He went to another
bank and drew upon the first bank for the
$500 by cheek. The money was collected
and deposited a second timeto the credit of
Howard Tracy. He was asked to leave a
few samples of his signature, which he did.
Then he went away, once more proud and,
of perfect courage, saying:
"No help for me now, for henceforth I
couldn't draw that money without identifi
cation, and that is become legally impossi
ble. No resources to fall back on. It is
work or starve from now to the end. I am
ready, and not afraid!"
Then he sent this cnblegram to his father:
"Escaped unhurt from burning hotel.
Have taken fictitious name. Goodby."
During the evening, while he was wan
dering about in one of theoutlyingdistricts
of the city, he came across a small brick
church, with a bill posted there with these
words printed on it:
"Mechanics' club debate. All invited."
He saw people, apparently mainly of the
working class, entering the place. and he
followed and took his seat. It was a hum
ble little churoh, quite bare as to ornamen
tation. It had painted pews without cush
ions, and no pulpit, properly speaking, but
it had a platform. On the platform sat
the chairman, and by his side sat a man
who held a manuscript in his hand, and
had the waiting look of one who is going
to perform the principal part. The church
was soon filled with a quiet and orderly
congregation of deeently dressed and mod
est people. This is what the chairman
"The essayist for this evening is an old
member of our club whom you all know,
Mr. Parker, assistant editor of the Daily
Democrat. The subject of his essay is the
American press, and he will use as his
text a couple of paragraphs taken from
Mr. Matthew Arnold's new book. He asks
me to read these texts for him. The first
is as follows:
"Goothe says somewhere that 'the thrill
of av e,' that is to say, reverence, is the
best thing humanity has."
Mr. Arnold's other paragraph is as fol
"I should say that if one were searching
for the bost means to efface and kill in a
whole nation the discipline of ioapect, one
could not do better than take the American
Mr. Parker rose and bowed, and was re
ceived with warm applause. He then began
to read in a good, round, resonant voice,
with clear enunciation and careful atten
tion to his pauses and emphasis. His points
were received wfith approval as he wont on.
The essavist took the position that the
most important function of a public journal
n any country was the propagating o na
tlonal feeling and pride i the national
name-the keeping the people "in love
with their country and its institutions, and
shielded from the allurements of alien and
inimical systems." He sketched the man
ner in which the reverent Turkish or Itus
elan fulfilled this funetion-the one as
aisted by the prevalent "discipline of re.
speet" for the bastinado, the other for 1ti
heri.. Continuing, he said:
"Th chief functionof an English journal
is that of all other journals the world over,
it must keep the public eye admiringly
upon certain things, and keep it diligently
diverted from certain others. For instance,
it must keep the public eye fixed admir
ingly upon the globles of England, a pro
cessional splendor stretching its receding
line down the hazy vistas of time, with the
mellowed lights of a thousand years glint
ing from iti banners; and it must keep it
diligently diverted from the fact that all
these glories were for the enrichment and
aggrandizement of the petted and privi
leged few, at cost of the blood and sweat
ASSISTANT EDITOR OF THE DEMOCRAT.
and poverty of the unconsidered masses
who achieved them but might not enter in
and partrke of them. It must keep the
public eye fixed in loving and awful rever
ence upon the throne as a sacred
thing, and diligently divert it
from the fact that no throne
was ever set up by the unhampered vote of
a majority of any natiJn: and that hence
no throne exists that has a right to exist,
and no symbol of it, flying from any flag
staff, is righteously entitled to wear any de
vice but the skull and crossbones of teat
kindred industry which differs from royalty
only business-wise-merely as retail differs
from wholesale. It must keep the citizen's
eye fixed in reverent docility upon that
curious invention of machine politics, an
established church, and upon that bald con
tradiction of common justice, a hereditary
nobility, and diligently divert it from the
fact that the one damns him if he doeesh't
wear its collar, and robs him under the
gentle name of taxation whether he wears
it or not, and the other gets all the honors
while he does all the work."
The essayist thought that Mr. Arnold,
'ith his trained eve and intelligent observa
tion, ought to have perceived that the very
quality which he so regretfully missed from
our press-respectfulness, reverence-was ex
actly the thing which would make our press
useless to us if it had it-rob it of the very
thing which differentiates it from all other
journalism in the world, and makes it dis
tinctively and preciously American, its
frank and cheerful irreverence being by
all odds the most valuable of all its quali
ties. "For its mission-overlooked by Mr.
Arnold-is to stand guard over a nation's
liberties, not its humbugs and shams." He
thought that if during fifty years the in
stitutions of the old world could be ex
posed to the fire of a flaunting and scoffing
press like ours, "monarchy and its attend
ant crimes would disappear from Christen
dom. Monarchists might doubt this; then
"why not persuade the czar to give it a
trial in ussia ?"
Concluding, he said:
"Well, the charge is, that our press has
but little of that old world quality, rever
ence. Let us be candidly grateful that it is
so. With its limited reverence it at least
reveres the things which this nation re
veres, as a rule, and that is sufficient; what
other people levers is fairly and properly
matter of light importance to us. Our
press does not reverence kings, it does not
reverence so-called nobilities, it does not
reverence established ecclesiastical slaver
ies, it does reverence laws which rob a
younger son to fatten an elder one, it does
not reverence auyfrand or sham or infamy,
howsoever old or rotten or holy. which sets
one citizen above his neighbor by accident
of birth, it does not reverence any law or
custom, howsoever old or decayed or
sacred, which shuts against the best man in
the land the best place in the land and the
divine right to prove property and go up
and occupy it. In the sense of the poet
Goethe--that meek idolator of provincial
three-carat royalty and nobility-our
press is certainly bankrupt in the 'thrill of
awe'-otherwise reverence; reverence for
nickle plate and brummagem. Let us sin
cerely hope that this fact will remain a fact
forever; for to my mind a discriminating
irreverence is the creator and protector of
human liberty-even as the other thing is
the creator, nurse and steadfast protector
of all forms of human slavery, bodily and
Tracy said to himself, almost shouted
to himself, "I'm glad I came to this coun
try. I was right. I was right to seek out
a land where such healthy principles and
theories are in men's hearts and minds.
Think of the innumerable slaveries im
posed by misplaced reverence! How well
he brought that. out, and how true it is.
There's manifestly prodigious force in rev
erence. If you can get a man to reverence
your ideals, he's your slave. Oh. yes, in
all the ages the people of Europe have been
diligently taught to avoid reasoning about
the shams of monarchy and nobility, been
taught to avoid examining them, oen
taught to reverence themu, and nw,
as a natural result, to reverence
them is second nature. In order to
shock them it is sufficient to inject
a thought of the opposite kind into their
dull minds. For ages any expression of so
called irreverence from their lips has been
sin and crime. The sham and swindle of
all this is apparent the moment one reflects
that he is himself the only legitimately
qualified judge of what is entitled to rover
ence and what is not. Come, I hadn't
thought of that before, but it is true, abso
lutely true. What right has Goethe, what
right has Arnold, what right has any dio
tionary to define the word irreverence for
me? What their idenis are is nothing to
me. eo long as I reverence my own ideals
my whole duty is done, and I commit no
profanation if I laugh at theirs. I may
scoff at other people's ideals as much as .1
want to. It is my right and my privilege.
No man has any right to deny it."
Tracy was expecting to hear the essay
debated, but this did not happen. 'The
chairman said, by way of explanation:
"I would say, for the information of the
strangers present here, that in accordanqe
with our custom, the subject of this meet
ing will be debated at the next meeting of
the club. This is in order to enable the
members to prepare what they may wish to
say upon the subject with pen and paper,
for we are mainly mechanics. and not ao
customed to speaking. We are obliged to
write down what we desire to say."
Many brief papers were now read, and
several off-hand speeches made in discus
sion of the essay read at the last meeting
of the club, which had been a laudation by
some visiting professor of college culture,
and the grand results flowing from it to the
nation. One of the papers was read by a
nan approaching middle age, who said he
.adn't bad a college education, that he had
oot his education in a printing oflioe, and
ad graduated from there into the patent
,fli, where he had been a clerk now for a
rteat many years. Then he continued to
"The essayist contrasted the America of
uo-day with the America of bygone times,
Ind certainly the-result is the exhibition of
amighty progress. But I think he a little
Overrated the collnge-cuiture share in the
production of that result. It can no doubt
2e easily shown that the colleges have con
tributed the intellectual part of this prog
ross, and that that part is vast, but that the
material progress has been immeasurably
vaster I think you will concede. Now I
have been looking over a list of inventors
the creators of this amazing material de
velopment--and I find that thoeybwere not
college-bred men. Of course there are ex
leptions-like Prof. Henry. of Princeton,
the inventor of Mi-. Morse's system of
telegraphy-but these exceptions are few.
It is not overstatement to say that the im
rgaination-stunning material development
of this country, the only country worth
living in since time itself was invented, is
the creation of mert not college-bred. We
think we see what these inventors have
done; no, we see only the visible vast
frontage of their' work; behind it
is their far vaster work, and
it is invisible to the careless
glance. They have reconstructed this na
tion-made it over, that is-and, metaphor
ically speaking, have multiplied its num
bers almost beyond the power of figures to
express. I will explain what I mean. What
constitutes the population of a land?
Merely the numerable packages of meat
and bones in it called by courtesy men and
women? Shall a m:tllion ounces of brase
and a million ounces of gold be held to be
of the same value? T'ake a truer standard:
the measure of a man's contributing capac
ity to his time and hie people-the work he
can do-and then number the population
of this country to-day, as multiplied by
what a man can do now, more than his
grandfather could do. By this standard ol
measurement, this nation, two or three
generations ago, consisted of mere cripples,
paralytics, dead men, as compared with the
men of to-day. In 1840 our population was
17,000,000. By way of rude but strikint
illustration let us consider, for argument's
sake, that four of thoese millions consisted
of aged people, little children and othei
incapables, and that the remaining 13,000,
000 were divided and, employed as follows
(ilnners of cotton .......... .........2.000.00(
Stocking knitters (wo. en) ..............6,000.00
Thread spinnoer (womenm)................2,000.00(
bcrew makters ....... ............. 5(00),00(
eoapers, binders, et .................... 400,00
'orn shellters ................. ............1,000,001
Weavers .................................. 40,00(
btitchere of shoe soles .................... 1,03
"Now the deductions which I am going tc
append to these figures may sound extrava
gant. but they are not. I take them from
miscellaneous dochments No. 50, second
session'Forty-fifth congress, and they are
official and trustworthy. To-day the wort
of those 2,000.000 cotton ginners is done by
2,000 men: that of thle 0,000,000 stockino
knitters is done by 3,000 boys; that of the
2,000,000 thread spinners is done by 1.000
girls: that of the 500,000 screw makers i:
done by 500 girls; that of the 400,000 reap
era, binders, etc., isdone by 4,000 boys: that
of the 1,000,000 corn shellers is. done'b
7,50() men; that of the 40,000 weavers ii
done by 1,200 men. atad that of the 1,001
stitchers of shoe soles is done by six men
To bunch the figures, 17,000 persons to-dae
do the above work, whereas fifty years agc
it would have taken 13,000,000 of persons tc
do it. Now, then, how %any or thataignor
ant race-our fathers and grandfathere
with their ignorant methods, would it take
to do our work tio-day? It would take 40,
000,000,000 - 100 times the swarminl
population of Ohina-twenty times the
present population of the globe. You lool
around you and see a nation of 60,000,000
apparently; but secreted in. their hands ane
brains, and invisible to your eyes, is the
true population of this republic, and i
numbers 40,000,000,000! It is the stupen
donus creation of those humble, unlettered
uncollegebred inventors-all honor to their
"How grand that is!" said Tracy, as he
wended homeward. "What a oivilization
it is, and what prodigious results these are
and brought about almost wholly by com
mon men: not by Oxford-trained aristo
crats, but men who stand shoulder to shoul
der in the humble ranks of life and earn th:
bread that they eat. Again. I'm glad
came. I have found a country at las
where one may start fair, and, breast t,
breast with his fellowman, rise by his ow:
efforts, and be something in the world ant
be proud of that something; not be some
thing created by an ancestor three hundret
[TO BE CONTINUED.]
WILLING TO OBLIGE.
An Amiable Professor Who Was Mistaken
for a Hairdresser.
Those curious personal resemblances,
which are not uncommon, have given rise
to the popular belief that every man has his
double somewhere in the world. It appeare
that the double of a well-known professor
of the Rush Medical college is a hairdresser,
whose shop is situated in the immediate
neighborhood of that institution, and who,
well aware of his likeness to the learned
doctor, carefully copies the latter in dress,
bearing and demeanor. A few days ago,
says the Chicago Inter Ocean, the pro
feenor was walking homeward from his lee
tare-room, when a gentleman entirely un
known to him, stopped him in the street,
"Follow me to my house. I want you to
cut my hair."
The amiable professor, one of whose
principles of life it has always been never
to withhod from a fellow creature any ser
vice that it might be within his power to
render, meekly accompanied the stranger
home, and there addressed himself to the
task thus imperatively prescribud to him.
Lacking professional scissors, he picked
up a pair of shears used for cutting paper
from a writing-table in the dressingroom to
which he had been conducted, and with
this implement proceeded most conscien
tiously to out his victim's hair down to the
When he had cleared about half the skull
he accidentally stuck the point of his shears
into the scalp of his patient, who, spring
ing to his feet in great pain and wrath, ex
"Can't you take care what you are about?
Do you call yourself a hairdresser?"
"A hairdresser!" returned the astonished
sage. "Certainly not. I am only Prof.
Blank very much at your service, as you
LEAP YEAR PROPOSALS.
The Odd Origin ot a Curious Courtshlip
Colin Shackleford said: "Some one asked
rue the other day what was the origin of
women proposing marriage during a loeap
.year. I looked it up, and while it may not
be new to all, I dare say it will interest
nmany. In the year 1288 a statute was pub
lished by the Scotch parliament, of which
the following is a copy, and is, to my mind,
the origin of the oustom or idea. I do not
know that it is a custom or ever was:
"'It is ordaint that during the reign of
her smaist blessit majestie Margaret, like
maiden, iadeo of baith high and low estate,
shall hae liberty to speak to the man she
likes. Gif he refuses to take her to be his
wyf he shale be mulct in the sum of anc
hundrodity pounds or loes, as his estait may
bee, except and alwais gif he canl make ii
appear that he is betroth to another woman,
then he shall be free.'
"After the dear old Margaret had passed
away the women became clamorous foi
their privileges, and to appease thens an
other oat of pat iament allowed them thl
privilege every fourth year."
F SHE WERE YERY POOR,
llen Osborn Tells What She Would
Do Under Such Unpleas
.o Effort Is Made to Square the
Circle of Living on
fihe Part That Color Plays in Inexpea
sive Dressing-Two Plaid Designs
Talk of Gowns.
'Special Correspondence of Tnr TNDEPoNDZNT.I
SEW YORK. JAN. 22.-IN PROCESs
of ripping open the letters that fell
to my share at the breakfaettable this
morning I came across the following:
Dear Miss, Mie. or Mr.: Whichever you
may be, I read your fashion letters always
with a great deal of interest, because they
are different from other people's; because
they seem to be written by a person and
not by a writing machine. Butthere is one
thing I wish you would tell me, and that is
what you would do for things to wear if
you had almost absolutely no money it was
right for you to spend for them. Yours in
puzzlement, X. E.
Why, of course, I should spend almost
absolutely no money. I should out paste
board soles to put inside my shoes if they
threatened to wear through at, the bottom
and leave my feet on the cold, cold ground.
1 should adjust the bows on my hat to cover
the place where the hat pin had pricked
through for months and left many little
round holes and one gaping wound. I
should sew up the rips in my gloves and
take the stains out of my dress with tan
bark soap, and I should-that is, once I did
-put a flyaway scrap of ribbon in a most
comical and inappropriate spot on my
waist, because just under the peculiar orna
ment I had burned a great gray scar. I
should do what three-quarters of the world"
does right along, and what there is a deal
of fun in doing if only you have a sense of
humor to enjoy the figure you out in your
own tumbles in your bouts with fortune. I
should make sure of the luxuries of life, in
love and laughter, and do without the ne
Whether I should or should not look
shabby in the eyes of the powrers that be,
my friends and neighbors, would decend, I
think, more on my color sense than on any
TWO PLAID DESIGNS.
other one thing. If when I had reconciled
it to my conscience and to John's shiny coat
and little John's frayed knickerbockers and
patched stocking knees to buy myself a new
jacket, I should yield to the fascinations of
the one I saw on the counter yesterday, of a
tan brown cloth, so neat and "stylish" and
altogether suited to my figure, trimmed with
just an edge of beaver far and, above all,
"marked down" about half the before
Christmas figure; if I should be tempted by
the "bargain" into forgetfulness that my
chief standby in the way of a dress was a
dark blue camel's hair purchased last
autumn, while my hat was black and my
gloves left over from last winter were dark
green, then indeed, while nobody would feet
an esuecial calling or election to stare after
me or to question my sanity, yet my non
descript apparel would betray frankly and
unblushingly the different dates of its pur
chase and the compulsion of poverty in it.
haphazard putting together as an ill
If I had my wits about me this is what I
think, as a wise woman, I should do: I
should perhaps spend an hour. perhaps a
day, more likely a week, deciding what was
of the shades practicable for a woman who
can buy little and seldom, my most becom
ing color. Then 1 should bind myself with
a woman's equivalent for a great oath to
clothe myself always and entirely in that
color or m colors in complete and amiable
IIE TIIIza MXITURI.
aooord with it. Then would the pickings
and leavinucs of last winter's millinery and
this winter's ribbons and the winter before
lest's frooks and next winter's heavy cloak
dove-tail together into one orderly and pur
posed wardrobe with the greatest possible
hrrmonv and economy.
But "X. E." is going to write me, so that
I shall find the protest besidelmy coffee eop
to-morow morning, thatwould be so "frilgt
fully monotonous. Ah well, msy alphabeti
cal friend, I don't guarantee to give the
world of womanhood a reoeipt for shining
glorious as the sun without money and
withount price in a Worth wardeobo, sates
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