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TRUE FRIENDS. Mary Ann stood on the back porch Churning. Her dress was neatly tucke<l away from the contact of splashing buttermilk, and her eyes rested on the blue flecks of sky, show ing through the leaves of a Virginia creeper which covered the lattice; but her thoughts were remote enough front flecks of sky. green leaves or splash ing buttermilk. Inside the dim sitting room her mother nodded to the musical rythm of the churn, and the buzzing of two flies, high on the window pane. The needle, stuck half way through the cross stitches in the heel of Mary Ann's stocking, was held perilously close to the gray head bending over it, and bobbing up again at regular intervals. The warm, languorous June day courted sleep, the churn dasher outside rose and fell monotonously, and its cadence mingled with Mrs. Smitlier's dreams. Presently there came a rap of bony knuckles at the front door. Mrs. Siuithers's head give a final jerk up ward and her eyes blinked open. She rose and hastened to the door, the stocking still in her hand. "Oh, is it you, Liza?" she said. "Conic right in. I was half asleep when you knocked—these long summer days make one so drowsy." Liza gave her . *ts a shake. "It's awful hard . jt people to keep clean in Kansas," she complained, "with the wind blowin' the dust all over creation." She seated herself and glanced smilingly about her. "It's nice in here, though," she added, "and I'm mighty glad 1 found you at home, because I came on special business." "I hope you diiiln't come beggin' for the church," said Mrs. Smithers. "There ain't a red cent in the house, and won't be until Mary Ann finishes the churnin' and sells the butter." "That's her churnin' now, ain't It?" asked Liza. "Yes. Why?" "I've got sometliln' to say I don't want her to hear, that's all." She took off her mittens and smoothed them out across her lap. "Sarah," she began solemn]*', after an awkward pause, "I've always been a good friend to you, haven't 1?" "'Bout as good as any friend I've got," unswered Mrs. Smithers. with a curious Intonatiou Which was lost on Liza, so intent was she upon the sub ject in hand. "Well, I've come to do yon a friend's turn now." Here she paused again, and Mrs. Smithers, drawing her nee dle through, held it suspended, waiting to hear. "Sometimes," Liza went on, "people's own kinfolks Is the very last ones to hear things that's goin' on— ta-lk, 1 mean—and that ain't right. If there's talk goin' on the ones nearest of kin ought to be the first to hear It. Leastways that's my opiuion. Ain't it yours, Sarah?" "It depends," said Sarah dryly. Liza rolled the mittens neatly to gether and turned the hem of one over both. "Now, supposin'," She said, at a slight loss for words for once, "that I had a girl like Mary Ann—" Mrs. Smithers involuntarily started. For a second she shook as If with a chill. "And people was goin' roun' talkin' about her? Wouldn't it be your duty to come and tell me?" Mrs. Smithers did not reply. Her wrinkled face had turned a palish yel low under tho tan of the Kansas winds. The stocking had fallen into her lap. "Of course it would," continued Liza, "and so I'm goiu' to tell you this, because I think you ought to know it." She coughed twice behind her hand before she began again. "As near as I can make out." she said, "it was this way: Jake Saun ders was comiu' along the road from Mulvane Saturday night—l think it was; yes, I'm sure it was Saturday night—and be saw two young people driving towards him in a lmggy in the shadow of the trees. It was bright moonlight, you know, and when they came out from under the shadow the young follow throw his arms around the girl's neck and kissed her! Kissed her right there in the moonlight where Jake Saunders could see, where any body could 'er seen what had a mind to look! Why, in the name of common sense didn't he kiss her when they were In the shadow of the trees? That's what I'd like to know. Sarah, thill young fellow was Charlie Sulli van. and the girl—well, the girl was- Mary Ann!" Mrs. Smithers had mechanically taken up her work and was slowly running the long needle tliroug|i the heel of Mary Ann's stocking. She pressed the threads down with her thumb na.il and snipped off n stray end with her scissors. Her face was" emo tionless. as if carved in stone, hut the fingers flint held the scissors trembled a very little. "You know Jake Saunders," Liza went on. "He can't keep nothin'. Thai was Saturday night, and before moru la' the whole town was alive with It. Everybody knew It, even the little Children. Such things go like wild fire, once they get started, and the Cimtmbian. worst of it is they keep add in" and addiu'. You wouldn't 'er known the story by Sunday, they'd put so mauy frills and furbelows to it." She looked hard at Mrs. Smithers, searching in her stony features for some slight encouragement to proceed, but, finding none, Sim proceeded any way. "Now. sec In' I'm your best friend, Sarah. I thought *♦ would be a kind ness lo come and tell you what they were say in'. It seemed sort of pitiful like to hear everybody talkin' about Mary Ann. and you siuiliu' arouud unbeknownst—em 111 o' maybe at the very people what was doin' the worst talkin'." She fidgeted a moment, while the sound of the churn filled up the si lence. "As I said to .Tane Hawkins," she wound up lamely, "it wasn't right. If nobody else would come and tell you, I said, I would." Mrs. Smithers cleared her throat. "I see by the mornln" paper," she said, "that's wheat's gone up. That'll lie a good tiling for Kansas—that is, if the railroads don't charge mor'n it's worth to haul It away. This ought to lie a good year for Kansas with such big wheat crops and the corn so line." "Yes; the corn's line enough right now," retorted Liza, "hut there's no telling what it'll lie before the sea son's over. Like as not the hot winds will kill it, or the chiuch bugs'll eat it all up." She flipped a speck of dust from her sleeve and took up the old sub ject where she had left off. "If I was -a lone widder with one daughter, and people was talkin' about her, I'd thank somebody to come and tell me. That's what I would do." "I try not to think of the chinch bugs," said Mrs. Smithers. "If they come, let 'em come. Any way, half a crop in Kansas is better fliau a whole crop in any other state. That's what the matter with Kansas. Her own people run her down." Liza suddenly left her chair and stood erect, her starched skirts rust ling with indignation. "You're a queer creature, Sarah Smithers," she said. "You never were like other people, and you never will be, I guess. When n friend comes to do you a kindness you ain't got a civil word in your head for her. This is the last time I'll go out of my way to ac commodate you—the very last time!" Mrs. Smithers remained seated. "Y'ou'll excuse me not goin' to the door with you, I hope." said she, with out offering any special reason for not doing so; and her visitor flaunted out of the house and down the walk alone, heedlessly brushing against the inof fensive rows of phlox and sweet Wil liams as she went. When the gate hiul closed upon hef with a loud click, Mrs. Smithers rais ed her head and listened for the sound of the churn. It had ceased. "Mary Ann!" she called softly. "Ma'am," answered Mary Ann from the pantry where slid stood, moulding a shining pat of butter. "Come here a minute." Mary Ann printed a clover leaf on the butter, laid it on a plate, and ap peared in the doorway, holding it out upon the palm of her hand. "Look at this," she said, "ain't it yellow as gold?" "Yes," smiled her mother, "but put it down and come here." She put the plate on tho table and approached her mother, her face flushed with the exercise of her work. She knelt down by her. "There's something I want to tell you," she said, clasping the olil wo man's waist with her strong young arms, and throwing back her sunny head with an estatie gesture, her eyes aglow. "Walt," said Mrs. Smithers. "Maybe 1 can guess what it is. Let me see!" She pondered, her finger on her lip. "Saturday night you and Charley Sul livan were out driving along In the shadow of the trees. You were driv ing towards Mulvane. He asked you to be his wife and yon said you would. What a naughty girl, to promise with out her mother's consent! Just then you drove out of the shadow Into the moonljght, and lie threw his arms around you—and kissed you!" The girl smiled and dimpled. "Why, mother!" she cried. "How did you know?" "I'm a mind reader," Mrs. Smithers answered; then, seeing the puzzled look on Mary Ana's face, she added: "No, dear, I'm not a mind reader, hut I've got so many friends—good, true friends who come and tell me things they think I ought to know." "I hear one of them coming now," said Mary Ann, rising from her knees. "You go to the door, mother. My face burns so." Mrs. Smithers put down her work and went to the door. She half op ened it and looked out Entering the gate was a middle aged woman of ample proportions. As S(he approached the house her wide skirts filled up the narrow walk, bending the slender stalks of the bow ers to the right and to the left. She BLOOM SB URG, PA., THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 1898. ! panted as she ellmbea me steps, a broad smile further expanding liet face across which the skin was stretched, drum like, to its utmost ten sion. "How pretty your flowers always are, Mrs. Smithers," she gasped. "How do you over get tliem to grow like that In Kansas?" "I suppose stayin' at home and tendln' to 'cm has sometliln' to dc with It," answered Mrs. Sin tillers grimly. At tho same time she fast ened the hook on the inside of the screen door. Mrs. Hawkins stood outside, like a book agent, meekly waiting to be ad mitted. "Ain't you goin' to let me in?" she asked. Mrs. Smithers answered the ques tion with another. "Are you one of my friends?" "Yes." "Have you come to tell mo some thing you think 1 ought to know?" "Yes." answered Jane Hawkins. "Well, then, I'm not at home," said Mrs. Smithers. and she slammed the | door, drew the bolt and went hack lo her darning—Peterson's Magazine. ETIQUETTE OF THE TOILET. Peculiar Method of the Russians In Ar ruitglnK tlio Hair. "The etiquette of the toilet varies j iu different countries." says a contrlb i utor of Onssell's Magazine. "I can re- I member reaching a khan in Armenia j onh\ accompanied by a big party of fellow travellers. Our party had wan | dered about for miles, and lost our i way. and it was so late that we were I too sleepy to eat. We were ushered into a long, low room, with beds on the ground about a yard from each other. I was the lirst to be awakened the next morning by a sunbeam danc ins en my face, and ou looking up, found that the occupants of the lied next to mine consisted of a man and his wife and a little girl of about three, who had apparently gone to lied In their clothes. In this instance the husband simply got up, shook himself and put ou his boots; the lady braided her linir and put on her boots and the little child had gone to bed in its boots. They proved to be native (Christians, who have a rooted hatred for soap and water, more Intense even than that of Itusslan pilgrims, whom I remember on board a vessel going from Constantinople to Joippa. On fine days a barrel of water was brought up to that portion of the deck roped off for the accommodation of the Itusslan Pilgrims, who occupied them selves in singing hymns and making tea In a samovar, a utensil much be loved by an old aunt of mine, who in formed me. in all seriousness, that she much preferred tea a la Kusse, 'in a semaphore,' althongh she did not ex plain how she was going to get It there. The Russian pilgrim's toilet re sembles the way in which the Chinese laundrymen dampen linen, for they would approach the barrel, suck up a mouthful of water, and carefully blow It over the head of some companion whose hair they were arranging." A\ Incoimln'M Fuiront Dnughter. J Miss Elizabeth Stephenson, who was selected to christen the battleship Wisconsin at San Francisco, is one MISS ELIZABETH STEPHENSON', of the fairest daughters of the Badger state. She is the child of ex-Oongress man Isaac Stephenson of Marinette, and is just 21 years old. The Wiscon sin sponsor was born in Marinette anil was educated at Milwaukee-Dower College and LaSalie College, near Boston. Sit,, was graduated from the latter institution wl-tn nigh honors. Miss Stephenson is a magnificent spec imen of young womanhood. She is al most six feet -tall and slender. She has dark eyes and a bright, attractive face. Her father i* Quite wealtbv. Deacrvfid H Credit. "Tommy," said the teacher to a pupil in the juvenile class, "what is syntax?" "I guess it must be a tax on whis key," replied Tommy. And the teach er thought he was entitled to a credit of 100 per cent.—Etica Press. It has been calculated that ordinary gunpowder, on exploding, expands about nine thousand times, or fills a space this much larger as a gas than I when in solid form. _ HOMESICKNESS IN THE ARMY. ~ The Cause of a Number Deaths In the Civil War. | Illustrative of how nostalgia becomes 1 a serious matter the following instances are related: One man from the colored troops on ! the lighting line who came with the til st detachment was not wounded, hut only stunned by the explosion of a shell which had fallen near him. There was nothing the matter with liiui but the shock to his nerves and j homesickness. He spoke to no one. He would take no food, and he sat [ huddled together on his cot, looking j out front the open flies of the hospital tent with a face full of unspeakable loneliness. Every morning when she came to the hospital Mrs. Marsh would bring him some little thing which she had prepared for him at •home; little by little she wakened Ills interest and finally he was dismissed from the hospital happy and well. One of the doctors and the writer were speaking of this case—Ward his name was—when a physician offered an il lustration of homesickness. "When I was assistant surgeon in the army during the last war," he said, with an amused nod to the young assistant listening, "I had an idea that I knew more than the surgeon major. I suppose all assistants think so at j one time or another, but I believe that |in this .case it was true. Our major j was a hard man and there was one 1 case in camp that he hud no patience with. It was a poor c-hap who was simply dying of homesickness. I stopped by him one day where he was sitting with his face in his hands, and I put my hand on his shoulder and spoke a word or two, and he looked up, and I shall never forget ills look as he said: "You're the ttrst one that has spoken a kind word to me since I came.' I told the surgeon about it af terwards ami he said it was all non sense, aud that the man was simply too lazy to work. I said, 'He's not lazy; he's sick.' But the major had his mind made up. and he hunted the poor chap out and set him to loading stuff in the commissary department. That afternoon I came across him sitting on a sack of grain with ills head down, and I noticed the way he'd sluni|>ed forward. I laid hold of him and found that he was dead. Plenty of them died that way—of homesick ness." There was an odd look on the faces of some of the men on the cots when the doctor had told his story, as if the brief service in Santiago had already taught them what that sickness meant. —I-'rank Leslie's Weekly. Winnie Dutl. 1 I.eft Hnnd Work. Apropos of the death of Winnie Da vis. there is a story told of her by a resident of Philadelphia, which shows why she was held so dear by the vet erans of the Confederate army. The man who tells it was a colonel under the stars and liars, and is now a rich man. "But live years ago 1 wasn't." he says. "I'd lost every penny I had before the war and 1 had not made many since. A h;g slump in tiie West had done for ni.n and I pur up at a New York hotel with just enough to pay my ldll and no more. My nerves gave way and I was taken !!1. The doctor said 1 must have a log rest and a complete change of scene. I said 1 might rest in the grace and change this scene for that of the next world, but that i had no money or friends and would new leave the city any way hut feet first. Well. Miss Davis was stopping at 'that iioud. She knew I wouldn't accept money from her. so she got the doctor to pretend he was lending liie his own. I went abroad and came home cured and al ready on the way to health. It was only then that 1 found out whom I owed my life to. You know her book. 'The Veiled Doctor?' Well, for me there is an equivocal significance in that name."—Philadelphia Press. Somn fVAtcli HlntN. "It is a had practice to be eontlnu ally setting a watch by the stem set ter." observed a watch repairer, "for it lias a tendency to wear out the baud that attaches the hands to the pinion. The hands are tightened to the pinion as firmly as they can lie. and every setting liaisons them some what. There is a class of persons who set their watches every day rather than give a little attention to the mat ter of regulating thorn. They find that the watch gains or loses a min ute or a few minutes In each twenty four hours, and instead of curing this by the regulator, which is put In the watch for that express purpose, and no other, they force back or forward tho hands by the stem setter or-by a key. "If the hand pinion wears out. which It frequently does, it is con eidernble of a joli to put in a new one or plnee new bands on it. and the work necessarily costs something, for watch repairers have to charge for t licit work. If a person knows that a watch gains or loses a certain amount i;i each day. it is better to calculate ! ::•!: qr forward lhan to bo continually set ting It. A little study of the regulator will do the work much better. with out the rask of wearing out anything." —Washington Star. HAKE UP YOUR HIND To Buy Your Suit, Overcoat, Storm Coat, Reefer, Hats, Underwear, Gloves, Sweaters, and Boots and Shoes isrow While the assort= mentis large. This stock must be cleaned outentire= ly in a very short time. Gidding & Co. LONG-DISTANCE FIGHTING. Impossible to Tell Infantry from Cavalry at 2,004) YurdN. "Unless they have hart experience," remarked an urmy officer, "people are very liable to have a very imperfect Idea as to distances In army held op erations, and as a result they get things terribly mixed. When they read that armies are eugaging with each other at 2,000 yards between them, they may think that they can see each other, but the reality is far different. At that distance, to the naked eye, a man or a horse does not look any thing larger than a speck. It is im possible to distinguish at that distance between a man and a horse, and at boo yards less, 1,200 yards, especially where there is any dust, it requires the best kind of eyes to tell infantry from cavalry. At 000 yards the move ments become clearer, though it is not until they get within 750 yards of each other that the heads of the col umns can be made out with anything like certainty. "Infantry can be seen in the sun light much easier-than cavalry or ar tillery for the reason that less dust is raised. Besides that, infantry can be distinguished by the glitter ox their muskets. At 2,000 yards, however. <v erythlng is unsatisfactory, even with the aid of field glasses, for a march ing column In dry weather raises a great deal of dust. At our recent en gagements at Santiago the heavy rains of course kept down the dust, but the falling rain shut out from view the op posing forces as effectually us would tin* dust. Even a glass would not penetrate it. "There is no doubt that the rifles of the present day do service at a much greater distance than those formerly used, but no general is going to waste ammunition at a greater distance than his men can see to properly use It. Any first class arm will shoot and do good service at a greater distance than men can clearly see, but the chances are that no battles will be fought at such distances. —Washing- ton Star. A STRANGE LAKE OF DARK FLUID. California's Mont Unnatural Natural Curiosity. Without doubt the moso remarkable body of water in the world lies in the vicinity of the Colorado river, In south ern California. In this region of ugly volcanoes, desolate wastes and slimy swamps, the strangest phenonemou of all is what the naturalists call a "lake of Ink." No other description fits so well. _ NO. 47 j. u,^srningo^t)inc^iiui(rimxe^i W ..' | the lake boars no resemblance to wa ; tor. Tt must some day have been a I "hike of tire," and even now It tallies exactly with the familiar description of the infernal regions. Thick and vicious and foul smelling, it seems al ! together unfit that it should deface the surface of the earth. | The pool of ink is situated about half a mile from a volcano. It Is about an acre m area. The surface is coated with gray ashes from the volcanoes to Hie thickness of about six inches, thus concealing its real nature. A traveler not prepared to avoid its treacherous depths might easily walk Into it. I Experiment has proved that the black fluid of the lake is not poison ous. It acts as a dye, and cotton goods soaked in It keep their color for months, even when exposed to the suu. They also acquire a stiffness similar to that produced by weak starch. The fluid has been analyzed, but its component pnrts have not been [ made known. As to the nature of the supply of flic lake nothing definite has been ascertained. It is undoubtedly of volcanic origin, but nothing more definite is known.—Salt I.ake Herald. CHRONOGRAPH WATCHES, . Thoy Are lined by Nurset* an Well us IKportftiueii anil Ar About Perfect, The properly equipped trained nurse, whether at the seat of war wearing the 1 badge of the Red Cross or waiting | upon the afflicted at home, carries a chronograph watch; not the large, split-second timing piece associated with the sports of the turf and field, but a handsome little single chrono . graph, cased like other gold watches designed for women's use. These watches are especially made to enable , trained nurses to take accurately the pulse of their patients. The moment . the pulse has boon taken the large sweep second hand can be Instantly stopped by a slight pressure upon the , stem of the watch; If there Is fluetu j ation In the pulse, the second hand I enn be thrown quickly back to the I starting point and the pulse taken over again without in any way inter fering with the other mechanism of the watch. So much depends upon ac curate knowledge of the pulse that these chronographs are an invaluable auxiliary In the work of the sickroom. I While these watches are an entirely [ recent idea, many physicians and sur- I geons carry regular chronographs for j the the same purpose. The watch** j for nurses sell at $5O; those for ph*A clans range from $lOO upward.—-;ew York Sun.