Newspaper Page Text
there were no physical discomforts attendant upon it, such as the pangs of hunger, the twinges of my rheumatic knee, the occasional j inch upon the nerves, the martyrdom of a wisdom tooth, not wise enough to differentiate between one's cheek and i lin the process of mastication, or any other of the hundred and one lancinating ills that the human flesh is heir to. Hut every once in awhile my roam ing spirit would be brought back to earth again by the dread uncertainty as to the whereabouts of my mortal self, and the depression that ensued was not compensated for by any of the privileges of my pneumatic condition. It was in one of these tits of depression that I came back to the pavement in front of one of the big department stores, and as I did so I saw him — or me — or it — as it entered the revolving doors of the vast emporium whither, at Christmas holiday time, shoppers most do congregate. Immediately I projected myself after him as fast as my will could carry me. He was laden with bundles, which sat upon him as lightly as though they were not there, and, merciful Heavens! how easily he penetrated those crowds! One moment he was to be seen carried along in that incessant stream of fluent humanity, hopelessly apart from the bargain counters, and the next he would bob up serenely to the fore, make .; purchase, and depart. Ouiekly as I, unimpeded 1 y limbs and shoulders, could move, he seemed to move even faster, and what literally appalled me was to see him pay, pay. pay! for the things he bought, things far beyond my modest means, the most expensive things in sight, from a huge roll of yellow backed bills that ran into the thousands of dollars. Where did I get it? What new species of high. way robbery had I been guilty of to enable me to do these things' What Monte Christan sources of wealth was I now tapping, that I should pay out. without a murmur, such sums as he, I, or i f . passed that day over the counter? Or was it counterfeit? I tried to cry our a warning, but my cries fell silently upon the ear*- of those I wished to pro tect — only lie seemed to hear, and as he recognized my presence he merely grinned mockingly and plunged all the more deeply into his orgy of acquisi tion. Finally, after following him about for hours, now mutely a] 'pealing to him to desist from his wild extravagance, now, in a surging access of rage, de nouncing him as a villain and a thief, I rled at the moment when he was paying into the coffers of Bar, Le Due & Co.. jewelers, five thousand dollars in crisp one thousand dollar notes, for a diamond necklace and pendant. This was too much for me, who had never had tive thousand cents to squander on such baubles in .ill my life, anil, quivering with anger and appre hension at what might be the consequences of these purchases, I retired to my room. In an hour he also returned, looking like an express man, he was ALL THE WORLD IN SHOES AMERICAN shoes A^L are the very best in the world, admittedly. " Parisian slippers," or "dainty boots from Vienna," sound well, but for real beauty as well as comfort American foot wear inevitably bears away the prizes. In witness of this fact American shoe stores now do a flourishing business in most large European cities, while wise and experienced Ameri can travelers, no matter what else they may proudly purchase in Europe, are careful to be well supplied with boots and shoes before leaving the United States. Like many other fine and remarkable things, however, the wonderful American shoe is so com mon that its superlative excellence receives com paratively little attention at home. Practically everybody wears shoes in America, the uncon ventional bliss of going barefoot being enjoyed only by the youthful country citizen. And out of the uncounted millions who daily don and wear Ameri can shoes, it is safe to assert that few know how many parts of the world, how many natural king doms, have contributed to the virtues scarcely given a passing thought. Examine a man's high grade shoe, for instance, a shoe with patent leather vamp and dull leather top. The vamp is made of Russian horse hide, tanned in New Jersey with bichromate of potash. The top in all probability is of goat skin, grown in South America, tanned in Philadelphia with gambler brought from the East Indies. Wool oil from Michigan renders it soft and pliable. The brilliance of the patent leather was obtained by polishing with a composition containing lampblack and tur pentine from North Carolina, linseed oil from Ohio, "darner" from New Zealand, "couchone" and asphalt from South America, wood naphtha from Michigan, benzoin from Sumatra, benzine from Pennsylvania, amber from the shores of the Baltic SUNDAY MAGAZINE FOR DECEMBER 23. I9Od so covered with bundles; and when we were alone I resolved to have it out with him. "Well!" 1 said, when he entered. "What the blazes have you to offer as an explanation for these high handed jinks of yours ? Who are you, anyhow \ ". " You." said he. "Me?" I roared wrathfullv. " Astrally speaking, you, " said he calmly. " You're an ungrateful cuss." "I like that!" I retorted. "Why should I be grateful to a man who comes here in the dead of the night, steals my body without so much as a by your leave, and then goes off into such a riot of expenditure with counterfeit money as Slight land me in jail for the rest of my life-" "Tut!" he replied. "Haven't I relieved YOU of the burden ol your Christmas shopping? rJaven't I brought you gifts for your family that a princess might envy- Look at that!" And he cut the strings of the packages he carried slung over his shoulders, tied about his waist, and hidden in the deep recesses of my pockets. '"Ever see a nan lot of gifts than that?" he added. Truly I had not. There were superb mechanical tli 11- for the little girls that could not have cost less than a hundred dollars apiece; the rarest and cost liest collections of postage stamps, rifles, and other firearms galore for the boys; furs of the most ex pensive kind for various female relatives; wallets and pocket books, gold and silver mounted, for each member of the family; pearl studs, ruby brooches, diamond necklaces, for everybody, from my wife down to the youngest member of the family; writ ing desk paraphernalia in gun metal and gold; bronze ornaments for the house, of priceless value — ■ in short, about everything that a man, having two insurance companies and a dozen national banks, plus a hundred thousand shares of Standard Oil back of him, might feel warranted in purchasing, but not I. "How much of that could you have got with your measly little balance of ninety-eight doUaiS and fourteen cents'" he demanded as I Hasted my eyes upon this wondrous array <>f gorgeous things. "That's just the point," 1 cried. "I can't pay for them." " Well, what of that ' You don't have to. I didn't put any of them on your bill, you idiot!" he said. "But the money where did I get it — or where did you get it"' Counterfeit?" I persisted "Not at all." he answered with a grin; "astral — all astral, every dollar of it. We astral people can draw on a celestial bank account, and that's what I. your astral self. did. You're deucedlv un grateful, old man. Here I let you sleep until eight o'clock, took upon myself the discomforts of travel ing around in this old haik of a body of yours all day, with its rheumatic tires and wobbly knees and twinging toes — Say, you have the gout! Did you know that"'" "Yes," said I. By JANET BREWSTER Sea. sandarac from Africa, mastk from the bland of Scio, Greece, "flemi" from Asm. and Cuban be. The outer sole was furnished by the back ol a Texas steer; bark from Tennessee tans it m Ken tucky. The inner sole is made of the home tanned hide of California cattle. The lilts fbf the heel are made from the skin of the Calcutta buffalo of East India. The dextrine which holds them to gether came from Illinois corn fields, while the leather was partially preserved, before leaving India, with "chenang." From Scotland. Brazil, and Siam •"PHi:! sole of heavy oak is stitched to the welt, the * welt to the insole and upper, with linen thread spun in Scotland This Unread is lubricated and strengthened with was made from rosin and tar ex tracted from the pines of North and South Carolina. The cement which holds the thread i hanne] around the edge of the s«>le owes its origin to Brazilian rubber tree sap. The feather for the box toe was hardened by shellac hailing in its crude >t.;te from Siam. The Australian kangaroo furnished the hide log the tongue. The cork which keeps out moisture came from the cork oak tree of the rortugal forests. The bright polish of the sole is due to a coal ktv berry tallow made from the fruit <>t thi Indian bay tree, mixed with native honey lees' wax and t-ar- • Well. I've bOTBt i' ill day long, j!': nerv.us syste::i. " :.i '.. thanks to tobacco and you've got Krewed of so tight thai I ; ever loosens up again, I lus that fed <■: a i ■!■ i tooth ol your-, whkh Ml me RO) f i: -• I my mouth, plus yCM writer* cramp and eyed astigmatism, and relieved ;. ■ . f 1 stunt of buying Christmas Brcsenl ..• ■ . • year, wi*h mr.e*v-nine thou-and men, '■'.■• •" and children all trying to buy the same dung . ■ Meanwhile, you've been enjoying the freed the spin r . hurdbng skyscrapers, » oping everywhere your v. him inclined yon I ing your head against the ffoo* of :.•■.. having a royal § 1 time general : I 1 gel is abu.-e. I am heartily ashamed "Well," I muttered ih«epinhly, I didn'l V Hoy. was I to hnmi ? It's a new • ■■■ ■ra i to wake up in the morning and na . ing — off on its own hook, as it wet*. Ton a m me.' "Of course, I didn'v You never would :. . agreed." he replied. ' That's the troobh material people. You have r.o confidci D astral sel ■•<, and when we try to do an I b g you, you (.en! ns as if we were pickpockei Hcr< take your old body back agjmw I '■'•■ :':•". Mven cents for a million of them." And with that he must have emerged ffU I • mortal figure; for, even as he Spoke, my physical self fell flat on t!ie rloor and lay there sprawling, a inert as a marionette. You may be sore I wad no! long in resuming my rightful place \i r :.in :'. and an hour later, when my wife. wne. had bee", risking her mother in the country tor a couple or d.r - re turned, n>> one would ever have guessed "■ ■ I dire and desperate straights I had been reduced all that livelong da y. Well, dear di«l you get your Christmas -':.• ; t ing done'" she asked, as we sat down to dinner. "Yes. nid I. "Have much trouble?* 1 she asked " Not a bit, " said I. "What did yon get?" she i nntiwinwl "oh, a dosetful of stuff." I answered " * 111 keen it locked up until Christmas, and mvpcJM you with it." And so it •• »3 agreed; bul when Christmas non> ing came and i unlocked the f lwnl door, there -...s absolutely nothing there. I suspect thai the pres ents, like the money thai had been paid foe them, were ,tl>o astral In any event, r.o material evident c of their having existence was to be :'• and ■•:■ fwber«; and, or the whole. lam rather glad of it Con sidering the SUM of my balance in the tank, I am sure we should have had tV übll in living •.:• '<) such royal gifts, and. after all, na particular ham was done, roe the family certair.lv v.ere surprised to tmd that I had nothing for them, and half the hap] mess in lif-_- fr m out enjoyment of the unexpected pentine. Tragacar.th from Persia cleaned the top and tongue. The twill for the inside lining is made from cotton grown in Texas, woven in Massachusetts, stif fened in Philadelphia with paste made from Kansas wheat ■ n Thread spun from Sea Island cotton sup plies the top stitch ing. The felt heel pads are made from the wool of Ohio sheep, felted in a New York town, distributed m Boston, glued to place with gum arabic from Egypt. The shoe Lice is made from native cotton thread colored with logwood from Yucatan, analine blacks, and other ingredients. Silk from China provides the maker with the tag on w!.:?h is embroidered his name. Iron ore dug in Sweden supplied the na:ls that fasten heel and shoe together. A special steel, specially made for the purpose in Pitts burg, is used for the nails which hold the top layer on the heel. The lacing hooks and eyelets were fashioned in Connecticut; a combination of zinc from the mines of Joplin and copper from the Lake Superior deposits of that metal providing their foundation material. Agatine. an ebonylike substance composed of eight distinct and separate constituents gathered in South America. Asia, and the United States, covers and gives them their darkened gleam. _ The shoe may be put together in St. Louis or any of the recognized shoe centers of America. Ame i can wheat straw and the cottonwoods of the Mis sissippi delta furnish the cardboard for packing cartons and the cases in which the finished shoe paragons are stored or shipped away. The making of a woman's shoe entails a proems similarly complicated and far reaching. And fro::i these facts it readily will be seen that the American shoe, quite aside from the mechanical marvels and the numerical strength of its construction, well deserves its high place and rank.