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WILLARD LOOKS IN ?By Sewell Ford
At FIKST I thought it might be a hold-uw. for I'd been breez ing along in rnv afternoon walk through Central Park without noticing much where 1 was ffcing until 1 found myself up on that out-of-the-way knoll that's dec orated. more or less, by the Gari baldi statue. And suddenly I discov ered that I was being trailed. Being such a brisk day. there wasn't even a nursemaid in sight?Just Oar 1 bald I and me. and this mat. in the heavy t gray ulster. Well, old Garibaldi might have been useful in his time, hut he wasn't go ing to be much use to me then, and as there was no path down except the one behind me, where this parly of the second part was blocking the way, It seemed to be up to me to make some kind of a snappy move if 1 was going to save my silver fox scarf and wrist watch. So with my usual shrinking modesty I whirls on him abrupt and gives him the scornful double O. "Say. old Rubber Heels!" says 1. "who do you think you're sleuthing, anyway T' That stops him all right. He makes a couple of fishy motions with hi? mouth, as if he was gasping for breath, and then he comes out with the glad hail. "Why, Trilby May!" says he. "I just knew it must be you. but 1 wasn't quite sure until you spoke. You re member me. of course?" "Eh?" says I, taking another squint between the high points of the ulster collar, for as a matter of f.;et I'd been too nervous to r-ally see an> thing before. "Why?it's?er?Willard Bigler. isn't it?" "Yes," says he, beaming. "From Duluth," I added, just to make talk. * * ? * ttE NODS enthusiastic. As though there could be a Willard Bigler from anywhere else!. Not that Duluth makes a specialty of Willard Blglers. but he lan't exactly the type you'd expect to find duplicated anywhere. No, Willard Is in a class by himself? I hope. "I've been following you for the last half hour," says he. "trying to get near enough to make sure before I spoke. I didn't want to make any mistake and get in troubie, you know." "I know. Willard." says I. " 'Cau tion is your middle name.' " "Well," says he, "you got to be careful in a strange town. Especially a place like New York. What you doing?Just taking a walk?" "You've guessed It, Willard," says I. "And you?I suppose you're measur ing Central Park for building lots or something like that?" "No." says he. "I'm on a business trip, though. Client of mine back home sent me on to close a lease with one of these chain store concerns for j a corner property on Superior street. Big thing for me?expenses paid and all." "I'll bet that item of expense was thoroughly understood before you started," says I. Willard stiffens his neck at that. Just as he used to, and does a shoul der pivot to stare at me, but when I spring my crooked smile on him he thinks better of It. "You're Just the same Trilby May, aren't you?" he says. "Absolutely not." says I. "Oh. yes, you are." he insists. "And., say. couldn't we find a place to sit down somewhere and have a good, long talk?" "Think it's perfectly safe, do you?" I asks. "Oh, come!" he protests. "Nobody in this town knows me. Besides, I? I've been thinking a lot about you since you left." Which ought to give you the situa tion. Yes, from out the dead and buried past I'd gone and dug up an old admirer. 1 expect I can call him that without kidding myself much, even If he did manage to keep it such a dark secret back In Duluth. In fact, he used to be so quiet and subtle about It that I might have missed most of it myself If there had been any other entries. But when a girl has to struggle along with such un allurlng hair and eyes as mine you can gamble she deesn't overlook any friendly glance* from the hlppocket ?ex. * * * * ?vrOU see. It wa? when Inez and I were doing our zippy waitress act In Druot's, Juggling plates of ice cream and dealing soft drinks off the arm that I got to know Willard Bigler real well. Some kind of a lawyer, I understood Willard to be; not one of the leading legal lights of Duluth or anything like that, with big corpora tions paying him an annual fee. No. I believe he and his partner speclal i?ed in rent cases, leases and other real estate doings. 1 was told that Willard was rather well off, too. with a good bank balance and a half In terest In a business block that had been left to him and his aister. You'd never guess It. though, to watch him lunching off a chocolate milkshake and one of our thin ham aandwlches. That's how I first got a line on his thrifty habits. Say, when yon see 'em squeeze two dimes and a nickel out of a change purse and then tip you with a smile you can guess the rest. Uh-huhl Willard was just as free with his money as If he had glue on his fingers. He shed It as easy as a catfish does Its 6kin. Why he should pick me out as the target for his shifty eye-rolling was always a puzzle, when there was Inez and a lot more flossy waitresses on the force. Maybe he misunderstood that friendly smile of mine and didn't notice that I spread It around care less on all the customers. But the first thing I knew Willard was plant ing himself regularly every noon at one of my tables and getting chummy In his stiff, shy way. He'd try to hold my hand when I passed him the check and he'd ask In a husky whisper, "Well, how Is Trilby today, eh?" Course, that was nothing at all to what the average young hick pulled when he dropped in for a sundae or a box of mixed chocolates. Stella, our wash blonde at the candy counter, used to get pouty if she wasn't called Dearie by some of 'em at least once every ten minutes or dated up for an Armory dance or a show at the Orpheum. But Willard was no dashing young apart- In fact, he was a good deal of ?n old bach, well along in the thir ties, I should Judge. And you wouldn't exactly call him a he-vamp either. No. he didn't have patent leather hair or the profile of a collar ad chappie. Perhaps the slightly popped eyes and the stiff Joint in his neck disqualified him from the quick action Romeo class, too. So I didn't work up a high cheek color and a fluttery heart when he gave me a sly finger squeeze and called me Trilby. Sft?lde**a WWtrioBrrtaMk One of lh?se subtle, shifty workers. | Willartl was. who never took a chance : of getting eavght. Even when we j ?<ot well enough acquainted for him j to ask me out for a Sunday night ! drive in the old roadster^ he'd' iwher- | ited he would arrange to pick me up on a <iark i-ornev, and he'd never Tiit I anything but back streets and dirt! roads. * * * * i OF COURSE, when I got -wise to. these little tricks I didn't do aj thing but call for a diagram. I asked , him what was the Idea of all this, secrecy stuff, why we didn't edge into Lakeside amusement park v. ith the, other .Sunday night revelers and how . about taking me to Chin Longs for a, chow main banquet. Say. 1 got some I C s^imi* out of that session, but mighty little else.. For the best part of an hour _ he ducked and stalled around but I finally made him sketch out his ob jections to being seen In public with roe. And I'll say they were rich Not that Willard put em crude or brutal He didn't hnve that much courage Eut here's what It amounted to He was Willard Yates Bigler aj member of the Minnesota bar, and a professional man of a certain stand-| lnBslder^U?at?C'how "would It look to ^fo" hUfHends or relative^ he was seen going around with well somebody they'd newf iseen 'or heard of Or perhaps they had ?een me fn the soda shop. Suppose some of h"s clients found out. Or his married Sister? Surely I could see how he( '"you bet I do. Willard," I told him^ "You're standing at the kitchen door trying to kid along the hired girl, ^t say it's all off! You better beat ft before she gets careless and pushes you Into the ash can. Get me. "er' let me out on this next corner jhere I can catch a street car home Sur I mean it. And from now on, W illard, remember we're perfect strangers. I may have said a lot more, that's all I remember now. Anywa>. that was the finish of my little affair WUIard. At least. I thought It was He shifted his trade to a quick lunch joint, and from then on I only saw him occasionally as he "'"ed past A few months later Inez and ro"de our Quick exit from Duluth and did a wild dash for New York to hunt for her Uncle Nels. and Willard Big er faded Into the background as a serio comic memory that got fainter and f&Yet'here he bobs up again, blg as life, staring mushy at me out of those near-pop eyes from the other end of a Central Park bench. "I say. Trilby," he begins, "you you're looking mighty fine." "Like the bobbed hair, do you. stunning," says he; "very be coming to you." "Same old carrotty red. though, says L "There's less of It than be fore. I couldn't do anything to change my green eyes, however." ??You don't need to, says he. I always did like your eyes, Trilby. There's so much life and snap to em. And you're dressing rather smart now. aren't you? Real New Yorky. What?what are you doing?* "Oh. working, as usual." says L | "H-m-m-m!" says Willard. "Must| have a good Job. You-you get an afternoon off occasionally, do you. ??My work is mostly on the night ?fw.. s?? <??* in* You see, I've got to stay around town several days-maybe a week more. And it's pretty dull and lone some poking about by yourself. So I didn't know but what you might like to?er " * * * * <irr->AKE In the art museum with you i on ? free day," says I, "or visit a auarlum or Grant's Tomb. "Oh come now!" protests Willard. ?Tm not such a tight-wad as all that. What about vaudeville or hunting up one of these tea dancing places?" "How reckless. Willard!" Bays I. "Suppose someone from homo nhould ;"Va? ? his head hold. "Besides, this isn't Duluth. and I can do what I please." I shook my head. "I don't think you should, Willard," says I. "It wouldn't be worth while." "But it would be to me." he insists. I "1 guess you never knew how much X liked you. Trilby May. F;;et' You're | so different from most girls?always so lively and cheerful. 01 course, I while you wore in that ice cream | place 1 eouldn'i tyke you around as f | wanted to. Tt wuultlT^'f 1i:ive looked ! veil. You understand that. Cut 1 here " Wiilard finishes with a j careless wave of his hand, j I suppose I should have laughed in his face and left him sitting there, j Ilut I couldn't help stringing him along and watchin? that wonderful ego of his develop itself. "You're taking an awful chance, i Willard," says I. "but since you're bound to be a tourist cut-up, I think I'll just go you once. I'd love to have a few dances, and I wouldn't mind a little tea and cinnamon toast to go with it. I know a bully place, too." : "Then let's go," says he. We went. And if Willard was ex- j pectlng me to tow him to some cut-i rate jazz hall, where you buy so many dance tickets for a dollar, he missed his guess. For my first move after we got out of the park was to hail a taxi and tell the driver to take us to the Plutoria. Perhaps you know what they nick you for when you stray in there and ask for a table in the Pompeiian grill? So far as I know, it's the stiffest afternoon cover charge in town. But, then, wasn't I thoughtful enough to slip into the ladies' cloak room while Willard was getting over the first shock? And when I came out after renewing that schoolgirl complexion and a slight contact with the lip-stick I did my best to make him forget what had happened to his pocketbook. "Isn't tills a gorgeous room, Wil lard?" I asked. "It ought to be," gasps Willard. "And such a perfectly corking dance orchestra," I goes on. "It's said to be the best in town." "I believe It," says he. "They just sold it to me." "They're playing 'Mon Homme,'" Says I, "my favorite fox trot. Shall we try It?" "All right," says Willard. "I'm afraid, though, that my dancing is a bit rusty." He hadn't overstated the case. Rusty was the word. Or else corroded. Yes, Wlllard's fox trotting was obsolete as a day coach on an Erie local. He did the one-two, one-two, turn. Just as they did when I first saw It per formed in Hed Men's Hall up in j Coleraine, Minn., four yeaj-s ago. Only Willard never did have any spHng In his knees or the least notion of keep ing time to the musla He simply bobbed around, bumping and getting bumped, holding me firmly but re spectfully at arm's length. Anyway,; we finished without any casualties except that I'd had both feet stepped on and Willard's collar was limp at the edges. * * * ? ttE would have tackled the second encore, but 1 suggested that we sit It out and after he'd ordered tea and fancy toast he had time to watch what the other dancers were doing. I suppose he'd been so dased | when he first came in that he hadn't noticed some of the new stunts that were being pulled by various couples. But he saw now, and his mouth came open. "I say, Trilby," he whispers, "is? Is that the fox trot they're dancing?" "Oh, yes," says I, "with a few varia tions, such as the "Frisco shiver, the triple pivot and the scandal walk.' "But?but I don't know how to do any of those things," says he. "Bo I noticed," cays. I. "They'll I -SAY. OLD Hl'BBKR HKKLS," SAYS I. "WHO DO YOU THINK YOU'RE SLEUTHING ANYHOW, AND WHIT h one-step next. Perhaps you'll be better at that." "1?Ithink I'd like to see liow It Koes first." says WlUaril. But after a few minutes of watching he concluded tha.t he didn't care to j dance any more. In fact. just think* | Ing of his first exhibition on the floor of the Plutoria grill got him pink in the ear* "Why," says he, "I must have made 1 a show of myself. I?I didn't know il uas such a back number, Trilby." | "Oli. what's the difference?" says I. i "Y..U dun't know any of these people. : What do you care for a lot of [ strangers?" ; Willard wouldn't l*e cwnsuled.! though. He's a sensitive plant, all I right, and if he hadn't just ordered | about three dollars' worth of tea and toast I believe he would have sneaked lout then and there. As it was he j slumped in his chair and watched I the dancing fascinated. | "I^ook at those girls:" he gasped. ! "What bold, hard faces they have. Hut 1 suppose most of them are pro fessionals?chorus girls and actresses, aren't they?" "Just flappers," says I. "Oh, I'm sure some of them must be actresses," Insists Wlllard. "Well, what then?" says I. "Are you actress shy?" "Why, not exactly," says he. "Only I wouldn't care to get mixed up with ?with that sort of persons, you know." "How quaint!" says I. "People used to talk like that, but I thought such ideas had gone out. Perhaps, though, you've had a bitter personal experi ence, Willard?" "No." sayo he promptly. "But it isn't just an old-fashioned prejudice of mine, either. Maybe you never heard of Freddie Benson? No? Well, he was in my class at Northwestern and one of my best friends. Bright, clever young fellow: good family and all that. Went into his father's busi ness after he graduated and was sent on as assistant manager of the New York branch. Tou know Benson blankets. Freddie got mixed up with an actress. Spent a fortune on her. Had to forge checks to keep up the pace. Simply ruined him. Of course, all actresses are not like that, but they?they're expensive acquain tances." "Really," says I, smothering a chuc kle. "Perhaps you think I'm an ex pensive friend, too?" And I glanced at the waiter's check Wlllard was fin gering. "Oh, you!" says he. "Tou're differ ent, Trilby. And I guess I can stand i this sort of thing?er?once in a i while. Anyway, I want to see a lot of you while I'm here. Got to make up for lost time. How about getting oil for one evening and going to a play with me? Something good." "Sorry," says I, "but Sunday night is the only one I have off." "A little late supper somewhere, then?" he goes on. 'Til tell you," says X, getting a sudden hunch. "If you're bound to be a real sport I'll meet you at 11 to night at the Sheridan Square subway station, uptown side. And I'll stake you to a theater ticket myself. Oh, It isn't going to cost me anything. It's a play written by a friend of mine. The Prince and the Flapper.' They say it's rather good. It's down ' in Greenwich village, J'ou know, and all you have to do is call at the box office. I'll arrange to have the ticket waiting for you. Then afterwards? the little supper. Eh? It sounded good to Wlllard. He fell for It. And when I got to my dress ing room that night I sent word to the office to have a front row aJsle seat saved for a Mr. BIgler, who would call. So at precisely 8:63 that evening, when I dashed on as the Flapper. Willard got the prise jolt of his whole career. * * ? ? tTJST how soon ho recognised me J ' after X came on j oouldn't judge, THE RAMBLER VISITS A FAMOUS OLD MANSION IN PRINCE GEORGES COUNTY A FRAME house of unusual size , stands among old oaks, ur.?l; the trees guard the house ;ir> stoutly and wrap their sum- j mer leaves around it so closely that' It is hard to set a picture of it except | when frost and cold winds have put the oaks to sleep and unleaved them. From the Muirklrk road, just cast of where it crosses the Washington Baltimore boulevard and the steam i railroad tracks, an avenue of oaks, I or an avenue bordered by oaks, leads to the house. From the railroad sta tion at Muirkirk a curving roadway, bordered by maples, leads to the house, but the main way is through the ranks of oaks. In this park, where the oaks, be cause of their number and size, j-ule all the other trees, there are some! pyramids and round-pointed towers of j green. These are cedars. A holly ? tree here and there helps the cedars ; to give the rural picture touch, s nnd trimmings of evergreen. The ground j is ankle-deep under dry, brown leaves, fallen from the oaks, and under the dead leaves Is :i widespread, heavy mat of honeysuckle. Here, where the wind has blown away the dead leaves, heaping them In drifts and ridges, patches of honeysuckle lay fresh and green, winter not yet having been rough and cold enough to turn the hardy foliage to red and purple. Tile big house sits on a hillock above the boulevard and tiie Kiea( way of steei rails, ties Mid l?r->ken rock, and near the house tiii:' ln!!o:k has been t? rraced. and over th. *e' terraces honeysuckle grows. Wide porches are at the east and west fronts of the house. The house is rectangular, three stories high, and it la four stories if you count the brick walled basement as one story. The weatherboarding has been painted a tawny color, the roof is red. the win dow blinds are green, and four red chimneys point above the roof and reach as high as the top branches of the old. tall oaks. There are many windows In the house on all four sides, and they look out upon the gray anad wintry world in a cordial and contented way. * * * * ?p?ID It ever seem to you that win-| dows have expression? To the! Rambler some windows sei-m to stare i in a hopeless way. as thouuh they j were without friends, without love nnd without prospects of seeing bet-i ter days. Some are full of pathos in their warped and paintless frames, broken and patched panes and cracked and twisted shutters. Some windows arc prim and prudish, and you feel that you dare not look at them too long, and dare not smile at them or wink at them, lest they blush and take offense. Other windows, trimmed about with merry curtains and hav ing flowers in them, as if wearing a nosegay In their hair, have a flirta tious look, and you are almost prompted to walk up and pat them on a pane or chuck them under the window sill. Sotne windows have an auBte.re and cold, aristocratic look, and to men who \vr,!k along they seem to say, "Tliou tramp! Knowcst not that you and I belong to different sets?" Other windows look at you in a cordial way. and seem to say. "Weil. I can't quite make out who you are. but I'm right glad to see. jou. Just the same." Other windows! have a Jovial look: that is. they did; have a jovial look a few years ago.! You might have seen lights in these j windows and have heard within the' tinkle of glasses and the voices of| men telling stories, uproariously j laughing, and singing, "For we are. Jolly good fellows, we are jolly good ; fellows." or something like this: Give us a rmise, then, in Maytime. For life tlmt known no for; I Turn nighttime into daytime. With the ?unslt*ht of good <he.-. | For Ifi always fair weatlier Wlien food U Ilows get together With a ateln on the table and a - ? .wag i ringing clear. | When the wind comei from Cuba. And the blrda are on the wins. And our hearts are patting juha To the banjo of the spring. Then lt*s no wonder whether The boys will set together, With a ateln on the table and a cheer for ] erervtlilnr. Fur we know the w>>r<i U xtoriuu*. And the coal a golden thing. And that God is not et-naoriouH When his children have their fling. And life slips its tether When the boys get together. With a stein on tiie table in the fellowship j of luring. But most of those old windows have I a blue and dejected look now. Ah, I dear me! Those are three verses of' the old "Stein Song" that came to me. It is the "Stein Song" which Richard Hovey ("Dick" Hovcy) wrote, and which Frederick Field Bullard (just "Fred" Bullard) set to a glorious melody. Does it awaken memories? Poor Dick Hovey has been sleeping under the sod for a good many years now In the family burying ground at Andover, Mass.. and Us father, Gen. Charles Hovey, and 1? good mother, being too busy getting over my lines J and business, but by the time I could locate him there was no doubt that he had sustained the full shock. His mouth was open and his eyes popped. He had discovered that the Trilby May he had known as a waitress In Druot's, Duluth, and the Trilby May Dodge on the program were one and the same. Whether he was admitting that I was a real actress or not is something else again, but if he'd been wondering what sort of a Job X had that kept me busy every evening he had the full particulars. I don't know t when I've enjoyed my work so much or put more real pep Into a perform ance. As usual, I found Barry Piatt wait ing back stage after the curtain. "Sorry, old dear," says I, "but I'm dated up for a supper party tonight." "Who's the favored one, I'd like to know?" says Barry. "As old flame of mine from back home," says L "But you might see me as far as the qubway entrance." Barry grumbled a bit, but he came along.And there was no Willard in sight. We waited fully ten minutes for him, too. "Huh!" says Barry. "What's hap pened to this old flame of yours?" "Jarred out, I'm afraid," says I. "Now isn't that just my luck! I'll bet he's back at his hotel by this time, packing his bag for Duluth. Oh well! Perltftps I can survive the blow." "How about my subbing in on that [supper date. Trilby May?" asks Barry. "What a clever thought, Barry boy!" says I, taking his arm. "And I think a broiled lobster would be moat soothing." (CwTlght 1*M, br ImU M) A RAMBLE to Home of the Coffin Family at : Muirkirk?Owner of House Operated Muirkirk Iron Furnace for Seventy Years?A "Talk" With a Persian Cat, and Something About Cattish Ancestors?Concerning Win dows and Their Outlook on Life?A Word | About Poets of Another Day. rOLORKD CHAPEL AT BOSSVI1XE. "Aunt Hat," whom the boys loved to1 cali ihr "Mother of Poets," are at j rest in ArHngton. I have lost track ! of Fred Bu'lard, but Bliss Carman, | who was a chum of Dick Hovey, is still writing good poetry, holds a j h?gh place in American letters, and recently was made poet laureate of Canada. Many bright fellows con gregated, ate and slept at the old Hovey home, 125 Indiana avenue, to i was an arched contour to his back which discouraged great familiarity. I am not ski'led in the translation of cattese, catalonian or catalepsy, ca talpa. catarrh, cataract, category, or whatever is the name of the language cats .-peak, but if I should be called on to set down the thoughts of that ??at as i rtad thern from his eyes, whiskers, ears and tail, I would offer this as. my translation: "I perceive | recipo for which I shall Home time beg. j But I forgot to introduce Felix, lie is a collie, brought up at Muir kirk, long- resident there, known to every dog and man for miles around, and of such good manners and good sense that I would recommend him as a tutor to many persons I have met? if Felix would car* to undertake such a task of Hercules. Well, this great frame house is the Mansion of Muirkirk. Jt Is the home of th" Coffin family, who built the -Muirkirk Iron furnace, operated ?. nigh on to seventy years, and Muirkirk on the map. It wa*? T# home of the late Charles E. CcfPb rind is the home of his widow a.id fi?? children. ETiIerj' F. and Matt<* Coffin. There are other children??ilrs. Cassard of Muirkirk, Miss Rachel of Washington and Mrs. Beltield of Swarthmore. It is a beautiful old home, v/iih many rare portraits, pieces of furniture and obpects of art among its furnishings, and some day I will tell you of them. Many of you knew Charles E. Cof I fin. but some of you did not. and I ! will hand you a little piece published ! in the American Economist, May 31. j 1912: "With deep sorrow and regret, we i announce that Hon. Charles E. Coffin i of Muirkirk. Md., a member of the ' board t'f managers of the American Protective Tariff League, died at his home on Friday night, May 21. Mr. <"oi!;ii b chin* a in. mb? r of t :??- tariff league April 5. l.v*r:. H wis el? cied a member ??r the brcrd of managers .Tu'iuary 1u 189S. and rem- ined in th ?t relation until the time of his death. The < a us -? of protection has never j known a truer friend or a more un flinching supporter than Charles K. Coffin. Mr. Collin was born in Boston July 18, 1841, and was educated in the Boston grammar and high schools. He removed to Maryland in 1863, and made his home at Muirkirk. on the Baltimore and Ohio railroad. In Prince Georges county. Mr. Coffin ! took charge of the iron works at i Muirkirk, known as Muirkirk Fur nace, whi~h was erected by the Elli cotts in 1817. and be has since con ducted the same. He has always been a republican in politics, was elected to the house of delegates of Maryland in 18S4. arid was elected a member of the state senate in 1890. serving for four ye**rs. He was a delegate to the national republican convention at Minneapolis in 18i>2; was elected to ?Hr&3S?! ^ Vai TIIK Ml'IRKVRK MANSION. which house the Hoveys moved from their home near the southeast corner of 1st and B streets northeast, the site of that house being covered by the Senate office building ? ? * * \ NOTHKR of the young eliaps who frequented the Hovey home and who has become distinguished in let ters was Charles G. P. Roberts. With these thoughts in my mind. I have dug o?t of my bookcase three volumes of poems, "Sonjrs from Vapa? bonriia," "More Songs from Vaga bond in." and "Last Songs from Vaga bondia." being tlie joint work of Dick Hovey and Bliss Carmen. And as I open these little volumes, which had a great run In their day, and look at the illustrations, I am reminded that another member of the gang that gathered in the Hovey home was Tom B. Meteyard, artist, whose name we pronounced "Tom Meechard." Tom was a Yankee from up Boston-way, and I think his tome was Scltuate, and I also think he came down to Washington with Dick from Dart mouth. But I am getting past my windows. The windows of the big yellow house with the red brick basement walls, the* red roof and the four tall red chimneys seemed to have a cordial! countenance. The Rambler thought, ' "Perhaps here I can land a story for my readers." His first encounter was with a long-haired Persian cat, who | came out of some shrubbery to inves tigate. This cat was no longer a youth. Time had thinned and frazzled his fur, but he was still a manly looking cat. As he examined the Rambler there was a question mark in each eye, and his tail was an c.i- J clamation point. "Here," thought the Rambler, "is a fellow who has used' his paws as often and as valoriously as D'Artagnan did his sword, and in i his time has drawn blood from many a Jussac and Bernajoux among the cats. Here is a flllow who, if there is a Monsieur de Trevllle in the world of cats, would be picked on sight for a place in the mouse-quetalr'es." But as I looked at the cat closely, I thought, "No, thou art not a Gascon; thou art a Persia#" Then the Rambler said to the cat, "I bot you, Tom, you have liad so many love affairs and midnight duels that should I write them down it would make a scandal to shake the foundations of cat society and set agog the cat population of Laurel, Contee, Mulrktrk, Ammendale, Belts ville and Branchville, and perhaps some of the proudest families of cats as far away as Hollywood,'Sunnyslde, Riverdale, Hyattsvilie and Bladens burg." ( The cat honored the E(ambler by observing him very attentively. He did not purr a welcome. There was a haughtiness in the expresion of his whiskers, mm and tail. kn*. these ' r. 9 . ; that you are not a member of my household! You are not even related to the family which it has fallen to my lot to rule. You are a stranger. I I have never seen you before. The ; i rest of the family are to church at i Beltsville. and in their absence I am the custodian here. You are intrud- ' ing, sir. and ( resent it that you walk ; across my bed of honeysuckle and' I rumple my oak leaves under your feet. Perhaps you would even tres pass on my catnip prove! How rude, crude and ungraceful in movement | you are! You make a great noise asj I you walk, while I tread swift and j silent as a ghost. Know you. thou | tall, coarse monster, that my ances- j tors were official mousers under j Zoroaster, Cyrus and Cambysis, and that many of my kindred were royal j Bengal tigers, Nubian lions, panthers of the Libyan desert and sacred cats in the temples of Isis and Osiris when j Thebes and Memphis, Karnak and Luxor, Hermopolis and Abydus were young and struggling cities? Why, J sir, my ancestors were keeping Egyp- ! tian rats out of the palaces of Cheops and Rammeses before Pharaoh and Ptolemy were born; ar.d all this, sir, while thf ancestors of the proudest old families of men and women in this county were tattooing their skins and eating hunks of raw meat without aid from knife or fork!" * * # * nUT, I said to the cat: "Tom, I know you are a proud cat, albeit somewhat boastful. I have an old cat i at home who is not one generation j removed from the alley and the gar bage can, and who gives me the same line of talk. I feed her cream, liver, crabmeat and shrimp, yet if she can find a stale and fragrant fish head on the back lot she will carry it proudly i in her mouth, as if it were a jewel above price. I hold it to be unman nerly in cats to prate about their an cestors. Let men and women rant that their grandfather was high sheriff of the courtty, that he received a royal patent from King Charles to a thousand acres of land at 2 shillings I per acre, and that he had a thousand j slaves. Let people rant about such' things, Tom, dear, but cats should | have more sense!" This address seemed to touch the old cat in a receptive- spot, and he rubbed against me and purred his content, and I stroked his long and fraszled fur. Then we walked together up the broad steps of the front porch of the big frame house with the red chim neys and,sat down to wait until Miss Mattie, Ellery and Mrs. Coffin came home from St. John's Church at Belts ville. I told Tom- that then he and I and Felix would have dinner, and j that there would be chicken and j mushrooms?mushrooms fresh-plucked j from the quiet groves of Muirkirk?j broiled as only* Ellery can broil them and set tortfi in..* secret sauce, the the Fifty-third Congress as a repub lican in 1894 to lill the unexpired term of lion. Barnes Compton, re signed, and was elected t?> tne Fifty fourth Congress, receiving 15.52a votes against 3H.421 votes for Rogers, democrat; ~>SZ votes for Silk, prohibi tionist. and C55 votes for Durchard, populist." The Muirkirk furnace was bought from the Ellicotts in 18G3 by William E. Cofiin of Boston, father of Charles E. Coffin. The latter assumed charge of the works, inherited them, and passed them on to his son, Ellery F. Coffin, who was for many years man agar of the works before the death of his father. When "Specs" Were Nev*. tX the days when spectacles were in troduced the world was not all wise. Glasses became so fashionable that people did not wait until neces sity compelled tliem to adopt the new custom. "Whether their eyesight was bad or good, those who would be styl ish wore spectacles. In Spain they formed part of the cos.ume of every well dressed person. The object of the wearer in putting on glasses was to increase the grav ity of his appearance and render him self more directly imposing. A young monk, who had, through the assist ance of his family, caused his order to succeed in an important lawsuit, felt himself liberally rewarded when the prior, having embraced him warm ly, testified his gratitude by saying, "Brother, put on spectacles." The glasses of spectacles were pro portioned in size not to the eyes, but to the rank of the wearer, those worn by the Spanish nobles being as large as one's ha*d. The of Astorga, vieroy of Naples, aftef hav ing had his bust sculptured in mar ble, particularly enjoined the artist not to forget his beautiful spectacles. A Stone From the Sky. rjN'E of the interesting exhibits In ^ the National Museum is a meteor ite which fell on Thomas Hill, in Al legan, Mich., some years ago. The fall occurred at 8 o'clock in the morn ins. Observers noticed a slight bluish tinge and a hazjr ap pearance in the tract of the descend ing stone. Some reported that they heard a rumbling and rushing noise. The meteorite probably weighed originally seventy pounds, but tt was shattered by its fall, the largest piece weighing sixty-two and a half pounds. It buried itself eighteen inches in the ground, and was picked up while yet warm. It is friable and contains finely disseminated me tallic iron, olivine in the form of black glass and some undetermined sulphides.