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New-York tribune. [volume] (New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924, December 23, 1906, Image 26

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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
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
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
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.
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
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
"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
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.

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