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New York dispatch. [volume] (New York [N.Y.]) 1863-1899, September 25, 1887, Image 6

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6
THE MYSTIG MUSIC.
BY ALEXANDER LAMONT.
Bright crimson bars flecked all the west
With deeper glow than molten ore;
The soothing, sober hour of rest
Crept o’er the haven on the shore.
O’er cliff and vale athwart the land
Floated the sound of evening bells,
While all along the shining strand
Glad children gathered shells.
A simple, laughing child of three
Long held one to its eager ear.
What glowing, wondrous mystery
Did it in soothing murmurs hear ?
Was there recalled the dream oi heaven
Which its pure spirit knew of yore,
But which at its birth-hour was riven,
Here to be seen no more ?
A sailor’s rosy boy of nine
Placed to bis ear the self-same shell.
What made his face so gladly shine ?
What tale of wonder did it tell ?
He saw fair isles in emerald seas.
And felt the fragrance of the air.
And bright song-birds on stately
He sighed and wished him there*
Aiohg the margin of the sea
A youth with shining face there came.
His soul steeped in love’s mystery,
And breathing oft a dear one’s name*
The shell sang to his yearning
That song which all the spirit fills;
And on his soul her voice fell clear
From o'er the sundering hills.
An aged man. with silvery hair,
Came slowly o’er the gleam ng strand;
With faint smile on his face ot care
He took a smooth shell in his hand.
No song for him of emerald seas
It sang, but breathed of woe and pain;
Ho heard sad voices in each breeze,
And sighed for youth again I
AN AUGUST AFTERNOON.
BY OLIVE BELL.
Ths narrow, dusty country road lay like arib
bon ol dun gold in the glittering sunlight of an
August afternoon. Birds fluttered in the alder
coppices twittering faintly, for the heat was ex
cessive and the sun’s burning rays pierced the
coolest coverts, and the air, heavy with mid
summer fragrance, brought no freshening vigor
to the tall, slim girl who, walking steadily along
the highway, sought the deepest shadows, and
at length, footsore and weary, paused at the
gate of the Wycoff homestead and looked up
the avenue of stately elms with an odd mixture
of love, fear and perplexity on her lovely, tired
face.
“ What a dear old place !” she murmurs, with
a faint smile ou her lips as she unlatched the
gate, and stood still a moment under the grate
ful shade of one of the elms.
The scene before her left an indelible impres
sion on her memory, for the square stone house
with its narrow windows reflecting the golden
sunshine, century-old creepers flecked with
great bunches oi scarlet blossoms running riot
over its gray walls, and English ivy wreathing
its tall gables with masses ol glossy green foli
age was so quaint and picturesque in its sturdy
homelike beauty that every fibre ot the girl’s
artistic nature quivered with delight.
No signs of lite were visible about the house,
yet Christine Meilis knew that somewhere with
in the cool shadows of the dusky rooms an old
man was eagerly awaiting the grandchild whoso
existence he had so long ignored. Tears filled
the hazel eyes—tears of doubt and sorrow, for
Christine dreaded the untried future—and she
walked slowly up the avenue, the great clump
of white lilies almost sickening her with their
fragrance. The heavy oaken door was sheltered
by honeysuckles, whose scented blossoms drop
ped on the stone steps, worn smooth by the feet
of dead-and-gone Wycofts, and as Christine
mounted them the oaken door swung back, as
if unseen eyes had been watching for her com
ing, and she stood face to face with Donald Wy
coft, a man whose name had always given her
young heart a chill, lor had not his parental
wrath broken her dead mother’s heart 1
“ Christine my little Christine,” he mur
mured, with outstretched hands—“come to
oomfort my last hours, for I am dying, child I”
Christine stared, dumb with surprise; for he
was a hale, healthy-looking man of seventy,
with a youthful flush on his fair full face; his
blue eyes were as clear as crystal, and but few
silvery threads werevisblein his golden hair—a
man physically a giant, but mentally as weak as
a woman. And the young girl’s heart almost
failed her when she glanced into the future, ev
idently so full of trials, and gave a few regret
ful thoughts to the past—the dear dead past,
With its poverty, but tranquil peace.
“ You—you look so well,” she stammered,
drawing back, as he attempted to embrace her.
“ I ?” he gazed curiously into the pale, lovely
face. A faint crimson bloom was on the smooth
cheeks, and the long curled lashes halt-vailed
the beautiful hazel eyes. The intensity of his
gaze sent a magnetic thrill through Christine,
and she mechanically raised her eyes to his,
and was amazed, and bewildered, at the fer
vency in the crystal-clear orbs. “I?” he re
peated, “ have been awaiting death for some
months. But our marriage must go on, while
I have strength to go through the ceremony.”
“ Our marriage,” gasped Christine, sinking
into one of the low chairs that lined the great
cool hall; “ why, grandfather ”
“Grandfather,” he muttered wrathfully.
“You are no grandchild of mine, Christine Gor
don. Call me Donald.”
Christine was mute. She saw in a moment
that the man’s mind was unsettled, and that
her resemblance to her grandmother was
the cause of the present hallucination.
She glanced helplessly around her, but the
house was as silent as the grave; and the great
cool shadowy hall was unpeopled save by her
self, and this strange being. Was he really
Donald Wycoff? Christine grew faint, and her
brain reeled tor a second, as a thousand impos
sible fears rushed through her mind. She was
weary with her long journey by rail, her hot
dusty walk along the country road, and her odd
welcome to the home of her ancestors bad com
pletely overpowered her. Was this the sorrow
full and repentant man who had written such
a pathetic appeal for aid and comfort?
“ Come and comfort my old age, Christine,”
he had written; “1 never knew how unjust 1
had been to your mother, until after her death.
Come to me, my dear child; you are my only
heir. Come, and comfort me.”
And Christine, homeless, unskilled in the
ways of the world, innocent and guileless as a
little child, had sought the refuge, so peni
tently offered, and this was her welcomel
Fainter and fainter grew her spirits, for she felt
the eager burning glance of the blue eyes.
“ I am so tired,” she said meekly, “ can I not
have some tea ?”
But Donald Wycoff never removed his eyes
irom her face.
“Presently,” he says, seating himself be
tween Christine and the door. “ Parson Drake
will be here in a few minutes. After the cere
mony, we will have some refreshments.”
“ Merciful Heavens,” murmured Christine,
"what manner of madness is this 1”
Her satchel fell with a dull thud on the pol
ished floor, and her black crape hat was sud
denly lifted from her head by one of Donald
Wycoff’s shapely hands. The nut-brown curls
fell about the pale face in a silken mass, and as
her little hands were nervously clasped and
unclasped in her lap, Donald gazed at her with
all the fire and passion of youth m his blue
eyes.
“lam so glad you have come, Christine,” his
mournful voice broke the solemn stillness. “1
had given up all hopes of you. You see, Cousin
Donald loves you so, and he is rolling in wealth.
I thought you would marry him, for women
love money and gew-gaws, and an easy life. I
have nothing, Christine—nothing but my love
for you. Yes, it was good of you to come when
Donald wanted you for himself.”
“But I am going away again,” ventured
Christine. “Imust got ready for our mar
riage.”
“1 will just take you as you are; you are as
good as gold, Christine, and need no fine clothes
to make you lovely.”
Christine Meilis listened in mute despair. If
she could not outwit him, she was his prisoner
for unknown hours, for the house seemed de
serted, and the village of Wycoff lay half a mile
distant. Her little hands went up to her face,
and she began to cry softly.
“ What are you doing?” cried Donald Wycoff,
in an excited manner. “Crying? Well, women
are curious creatures. You ought to be glad,
not sorrowful—no woman should be sorrowful
on the day ol her marriage.”
“I—l—won’t marry you !” said’ Christine, in
a spirit of desperation, half rising to her feet.
“Sit down 1” thundered the voice, and the
giant rose up with a look an his face that sent
Christine back into the depths ot fear. “ You
will marry me Christine Gordon. Sooner than
let that milksop of a cousin of mine have you, I
would strike you dead at my feet. If you do not
marry me, you will never marry him; and it is
he and his accursed money you want.”
"0, 1 want nobody—nobody,” moaned Chris
tine.
“ Well, you will marry me before nightfall,
want me or not,” was the grim reply. “My
days are numbered, Christine, but I mean to
make you my wile before I go. It was good of
you to come, Christine—l am grateful to you for
that I”
Christine sat still, listening intently. Once
she thought she heard a door open and close, in
the distance, and a muffled sound of voices. But
no help appeared, the silence grew oppressive,
a:>d she gave herself up to hopeless waiting.
The August afternoon wore on; the sun’s glar
ing rays mellowed into dull crimson shadows,
ami a faint breeze sprang up, and stirred the
damp curls on her forehead. Her eyes were
darkened with unspeakable terror, and the
tired, hungry, desolate girl almost cried out in
hopeless despair.
“ Parson Drake will be here shortly. Ah! I
wish he would come—l feel as if death was
drawing near.” Donald Wyckoff laid his head
back against the carved back of his chair and
Christine was startled at the pallor of the fair
full face. Would death indeed stop in and re
lease her?
Longer grew the shadows on the lawn the
dusk deepened in the great hall, and the birds
ceased their musical chatter. The silence with
out was as unbroken as the silliness within
Christine felt powerless to move, for the stead
fast gaze of the crystal-clear eyes almost mes
merized her. She longed for darkness, that she
might make an effort to escape. Now and then
a smile would break over Donald Wycoff’s face
and the smile only added to her terror.
Night fell at length—a still, moonless, August
night The figure opposite Christine had not
moved tor an hour, and the heavy lids had
9Yer Ujs wwh _ Qkrieluw wgj il9w-
ly to her feet. She stole quietly to the door,
and with one swift bound she was out in the
perfumed darkness. But suddenly her limbs
gave way, and she sank down with her head on
the cold stone steps, in a dead faint. And
there the real Donald Wycoff found her a’ter
his return from Wycoff station, where, by some
strange mischance, he had missed Christine.
“ Hold up your lamp, Perkins,” he said to his
coachman ; “ here is a woman dead, or faint
ed.” Perkins obediently held the light over
the pallid face. “It’s my grandchild 1” he ex
claimed. “She has her dead grandmother’s
face. What can be wrong, Per Kins? The
house seems deserted. Come, we will carry
her into the hall.”
They carried Christine into the hall, and the
light of Perkins’s lamp fell on another face—the
lair, rigid face of a man, who sat upright in a
great carved chair, with a smile on his set lips.
“Donald Wycoff, escaped from his keepers,”
exclaimed Mr. Wycoff, “He Is dead, poor fel
low ! Perkins, search for the servants.”
But the hall was suddefljy flooded with light
as half-a-dozen excited men and women oamd
into their master’s presence, -each striving to
excel the other in donations.
After Mr. Wycoff’s foi‘ Uie village
ol Wycoff, his insane cousin, Donald, nad stolen
into the house and acted so strangely that they
had fled to the stables. They saw the young
girl, but were too frightened to aid her.
In the meantime, Perkins had been vigorously
chafing Christine’s cold bands.
“Grandfather,” muttered the young girl,
slowly coming back to her senses; “ I can never
marry grandfather.”
Perkins thoughtfully carried her into the li
brary and laid her on a couch. When the dead
body of Donald Wycoff was carried away to be
prepared for the grave, his living namesake
sought his grandchild.
“Tell me your story, Christine,” he said
gently. And Christine, gazing into the kind old
face, wondered how he could ever have commit
ted a cruel act. She told the story ot that
August afternoon with pathetic sweetness.
“For I was so disappointed and so desolate.
I have not a relative in the world but you. O 1
you can never understand what I felt when I
found you—as 1 supposed—insane,” sighed
Christine Meilis, letting her tired eyes rest on
the old man’s sympathetic face.
Donald Wycoff bent over her and tenderly
stroked the nut-brown hair. He sighed once
or twice.
“Listen to me, Christine, and judge me as
leniently as you can. If 1 errred, like too many,
I erred through my loving. Donald Wycoff and
I were full cousins and playmates. He was five
years my senior, tall, robust, handsome as a
Greek god ; clever and well educated, but poor
as Lazarus, while I was small and wiry, homely,
dull and commonplace, but rich as a Jew. Well,
we both loved Christine Gordon. She played
fast and loose with us for months, and I pes
tered her with attentions, I knew it worried
Donald—for he suspected she loved him best —
and I took a selfish pride in showing him my
power over Christine. She loved wealth and
luxury. J flattered her tastes and surfeited her
with costly gists. Finally she yielded, and
promised to be my wife. Donald reproached,
plead, remonstrated, but in vain. She laughed
at him ; and, since 1 have learned the truth, I
can understand how she suffered. Strange,
how you women inflict pain on others, only to
reproduce the pain more keenly in your own
hearts.
“After our marriage, Donald’s mind became
unsettled, and before a year he was hopelessly
insane. I placed him in a private asylum, and
did all in my power for his comfort. But,
Christine, I never pitied him—l despised his
weakness ; for had he won Christine Gordon, I
would not have lost my senses. Yet I idolized
her. Her wish was my law, and I gave her her
heart’s desire in all things. But she seemed
cold and unloving at times, and when your
mother was born all her love and tenderness
seemed centred in her child. At eighteen your
mother eloped with a man we disliked, and one
mouth after I found my wife dead in her bed.
I never forgave your mother, as I blamed her
for causing your grandmother’s death. But
after the grass had been growing on her grrve
for many a year, and your mother was under
the sod, I found in an old diary the true cause
of my wife’s death. Christine, she died of re
morse. Her heartless treatment of Donald Wy
koff had sapped the well-springs of life, for she
had sold herself for gold. And to-day, Chris
tine, you have seen the end. Can you forgive
me for my hardness to your mother ?”
Christine sat upright, her hazel eyes glow
ing with indignation; for the selfish nature of
the man galled her generous spirit.
“‘The iniquities of the parents shall be
visited upon the children, even unto the third
and fourth generations,’ ” was the severe com
ment. “It may be lawful, but it is not just;
for I have innocently suffered for your sin.”
“It I sinned, I also suffered, ’’ cried Donald
Wycoff, bowing his white head on the little
hands he had clasped in his own. “Let by
gones be bygones, Christine, and be a comfort
to my old age.”
“I w:ll think the matter over,” was Chris
tine’s thoughtful reply. “At present lam too
nearly famished to think rationally on any sub
ject.’'
When the morning broke Christine’s conflict
with herself was over, and she met her aged
relative with a loving kiss.
“Grandfather,” she says, softly, “you and I
need each other. Let us be friends.”
“Amen 1” is Donald Wycoff’s brief but hearty
response; and when in the peaceful future,
Christine’s children—with their mother’s hazel
eyes and nut-brown hair—gather about his
knees, as he sits in his great arm-chair, under
the honeysuckles, he tells them the story of
that August afternoon.
HUMOR oFtHE EUJUR,
BY THE DETROIT FREE PRESS FIEVD.
HE WISHES HE HAD NOT SAID IT.
He—“ What a lovely fan you have. Miss
Edith?”
She—“ Yes, I like it. My papa gave it to me.
It came from Paris, and is hand painted.”
He—“ Indeed ! And how nicely it matches
your complexion.”
HE KNEW.
“Fall is at hand,” he remarked, as the ser
geant at the Woodbridge street station regis
tered him for a drunk.
“ What do you know about Fall ?” exclaimed
the officer.
“ I know all er is to be known, sir. Fell three
times ’fore the officer got me, and twice on er
way up here.”
AN HONEST MAN.
“Beg pardon,” he said, as he hurriedly re
entered the car, “ but did you find my wallet on
the seat?”
“ I did, sir,” was the prompt reply. “ This is
the one, I presume?”
“Ah ' thanks. You are an honest man.?’
“Oh, no thanks—no thanks. The fifteen
cents, two shirt buttons and a recipe for malting
hair wash were no temptation to my principles.”
NOT THE WORK.
“ How much will you charge to go up to my
house and black a small—a very small—stove ?”
he asked of one of the colored brigade at the
market.
“ diet as much as I would to black a large—a
very large—stove, sah.”
“But it won’t take so much blacking nor rub
bing.”
“No, sah; but dose tings doan’ count. It’s
gittin’ me away from de market an’ deprivin’
me of de chance fur religious discussion dat I
charge fur.”
NONE WANTED.
“Eh! Going on a journey?” he queried, as
he halted a friend with a gripsack.
“ Only a short ride. Going out to the
county lair.”
“Got anything to exhibit there ?”
“Oh, no. I’m down to make the big speech
of the opening day.”
“ You ! What in flaxseed do you know of ag
riculture ?”
“Nothing. It will all be abont the Bevolu
tionary War—George Washington—old pioneers
and my patent stump-puller. They don’t want
any agriculture in it.”
WAS EXCUSED.
“ Have you any — any strawberries she
asked, as she suddenly entered a hardware
store.
“Not to-day, madam, sorry to say,” courte
ously replied the proprietor,
“ Great Soot 1 but is the woman crazy ?” ex
claimed a customer, as she went slowly out.
“No, sir, not a bit of it,” said the proprietor.
“She was down town without her husband
knowing it. She saw him on the street and
dodged in here to escape meeting him. She
was quite contused, and she asked for straw
berries. Happens three or four times a week,
sir, and the poor things are quite excusable.”
NO FLIES.
He had been driving a stranger around in his
hack for a couple of hours, and finally left him
in iront of the City Hall.
“How much?” asked the man as ho got out.
“ Well, let’s see. You got in ”
“ Come, now, I’m on to your little tricks 1”
interrupted the stranger. “They told me at
the hotel what it ought to be. Here’s four dol
lars, and if you think you can get any more,
come down and see me 1”
“ Well, I’ll have to take it, I suppose.”
“ You bet you will. I’m from a back county,
but there are no flies on me.”
“ How much ware you going to charge him ?"
asked a citizen of the driver, alter the other had
left.
“Not over two and a half at the outside, and
only two dollars if he had kicked 1” cackled
Jehu as he gathered up the ribbons.
(CHAFFED THE WRONG MAN.
A citizen who had just laid down nine hun
dred dollars for a span of carriage horses, was
driving out Woodward avenue the other day,
when he met a farmer coming in with a load of
apples. Desiring to chaff the stranger a bit, ho
drew up and inquired :
“ Say, how’ll you trade teams ?”
The farmer halted, got down from his vehicle,
looked the team over and slowly remarked-
“ Waal, by gosh !”
“ What’s the matter ?”
“If you hadn’t stopned me I wouldn’t have
knowed the team.”
“Did you ever see these horses before ?”
“Did i? Why, I raised’em ! Sold ’em both
to a horse trader in town three weeks ago.
That nigh one has the heaves, and the other is
a cribber and has two spavins. I’ll trade with
you fur seventy-five dollars, and that’s allowing
twenty-five dollars apiece more on your horses
than I got.”
The owner of the “spankers” hasn’t seen a
jtftWltU hour since that meeting.
NEW YORK DISPATCH, SEPTEMBER 25, 1887.
MR. MATHIAS.
A VERY FRENCHY STORY.
Everybody in the little town of Lyre-sur-Ys
was astonished when it became known that Mr.
Mathias was dead.
He was barely forty-fivo years of age, and
was a robust man, as straight as an arrow.
About three years before, he had become the
busband of a young girl ot twenty, a niece of
the tax collector, and whom he had loved with
frenzy.
Of course, once dead, Mr. Mathias was cred
ited with having been, during his lifetime, the
possessor of every virtue. It would have gone
hard with the one who should have dared speak
of him as having been a usurer or miser, as
popplo termed him while living.
No one would have dreamed of publishing
anew the account of that celebrated marriage,
Which certainly did him no honor, and which
would have brought back to mind the remem
brance how all had feared that tall, artful,
avaricious and rich blah, whom people sup
posed to occupy his spare moments in concoct
ing poisons, with which he experimented on
dogs. It was no time to talk Went that then.
He was dead. Peace to his ashfes 1
After all, in thinking the matter over, was
there anything so very extraordinary in this
death ? It was plain that Mr. Mathias had had
forebodings ol its approach, for, had he not, but
a short time before, sent to Paris lor workmen,
to erect in the cemetery the mortuary chapel
that was at that moment waiting to receive his
mortal remains'! Beside, it had been noticed
that ot late he had prowled about his house, as
if fear ng mysterious robbers. Ho sequestered
his wife and closed himself up, for weeks at a
time, in his laboratory, the chimney of which
seemed in a blaze every night.
“ AH these were the premonitory symptoms
of a brain trouble,” had said Dr. Labarre, who
had decided that death had resulted from apo
plexy.
Mr. Mathias had had a splendid funeral. One
third ol the population of the town had followed
his remains to the graveyard, and it may even
be said that there were a few moist eyes, when
the coffin was lowered into the crypt of the
chapel, a real monument in itself, where two
men of his size might have slept at their ease.
The mourners returned from the funeral,
wondering what the widow would do.
Now, the truth of the matter is that Mr. Ma
thias was not dead.
Two hours alter the ceremony, any one who
might have been in the vault where the coffin
rested would have certified to the truth of this
statement. Two sharp clicks, like the snap of
a spring, resounded, and the coffin opened like
a closet. Mr. Mathias eat up, stretching his
limbs like a man just waking up. Through a
grating in the ceiling a little light entered. Mr.
Mathias stood up, slowly rubbing his slightly
benumbed knees.
Taking all in all, he felt comfortable—quite
comlortable. The dose ot the narcotic, which
he had carefully measured himself before tak
ing, had had the exact effect he desired. People
had supposed him dead, and had buried him—
so much the better.
Since a long while Mr. Mathias had marie his
preparations. The vault had been fitted up
with great care. In it there were suitable cloth
ing, food, and a few bottles of good wine. As
nothing stimulates the appetite more than a
funeral, even if it is one’s own, Mr. Mathias
seated himself comfortably on his coffin, broke
his fast, and drank good luck to the future.
It is about time to say why, of his own free
will, Mr, Mathias was at that moment six feet
below the surface ot the grounds
As usual, there was a woman mixed up in the
matter. Unmoved by feminine charms until
the age of forty, Mr. Mathias, formerly an
apothecary, who had made a fortune with anti
spasm pills, fell in ilove with pretty Anne
1 iedeler, the niece of the tax-gatherer at Lyre
sur-Ys. He had bluntly proposed to the young
girl, who had just as bluntly refused to become
Mrs. Mathias, in consequence ot which he tell
in love like a fool—l beg pardon—l should say
like a man of forty who allows himself to fall in
love. Not being of an over-honest nature, he
had weaved such a subtle web about the tax
gatherer that, in less than a year’s time, know
ing that the government’s cash did not count
up right, the unfortunate man was seriously
considering the advisability of committing sui
cide. It was ai this moment that Mr. Mathias
appeared in the guise of a savior, and made his
terms. The niece offered herself np as a sacri
fice to save an uncle who had been a father to
her, although her affections were already
pledged to a clerk In the office of a notary in a
neighboring town. As a sad victim on the altar
of duty, Anne became Mme. Mathias.
She soon felt all the consequences of the catas
trophe. Mr. Mathias—and perhaps he was not
far wrong—was convinced that his wife hated
him. From this conviction to the belief that she
was deceiving him, there was but one step.
Ever tormented by this suspicion, he became a
monomaniac. His wife never put her foot out
of doors, and nobody came to see her. Still,
Mr. Mathias imagined that the reason he did not
catch his wife wrong doing was on account ot
his awkwardness, and in his own mind he voted
himself an ass.
It was then that a brightidea struck him. He
would pretend that he was going on a journey,
not to Versailles or Havre, as do comedy bus
bands, but on a long, long journey, from which
it would seem very difficult for him to return.
And then, some night, he would coms back as
much alive as ever, to the great confusion of the
guilty one.
Ho allowed himself three days’ time, and he
was quite pleased with himself as he thought of
all of this, in stretching himself out comforta
bly in his coffin once more.
Mr. Mathias was getting impatient as the third
day drew to a close. He waited until the ceme
tery clock struck 11, the hour he had chosen to
begin operations.
His plans had been all well laid. The wall of
the graveyard bounded his property. He had
on hand a complete suit of black clothes in
which to array himself as a phantom druggist.
In the graveyard only would he wear his shroud,
to be in keeping with the predominating color
ot the locality. Once over the wall, he would
hie straight to his wife’s apartment. Then the
fun would begin.
Mr. Mathias dressed himself, and everything
being all right, he tilted over the marble slab
covering the vault, climbed up into the mortu
ary chapel, opened the doorand walked outinto
the graveyard with his winding-sheet on his
arm.
As soon as he got into ths alley ho unfolded
the ample shroud and tried to cast it around his
shoulders. But the sheet was quite heavy, and
he tailed in bis attempt. Just as he was about
to try it over he heard a voice behind him say:
“ Hold on ! 11l give you a hand.”
Not to realize what a disagreeable surprise
this was, would be a certain proof that one had
never been, at midnight, in a graveyard trying
to put on one’s shroud.
The voice that had addressed Mr. Mathias
came from the sexton of the graveyard, Old
Grimbot, an odd fish, well known in all the
neighboring taverns. He drew near, and look
ing Mr. Mathias full in the face, exclaimed:
“ Hello !is that you, Mr. Mathias. Already !”
Mr. Mathias, not a little embarrassed, kept on
trying to wind his shroud about him, hoping
that a ghostly appearance would rid him of his
inopportune companion. It did not, however.
On the contrary, Grimbot kindly assisted him
in putting on the sheet, and arranged it so that
the folds fell gracefully.
“I have just left my tomb,” began Mr. Ma
thias, in a hollow voice.
“Sol see,” said Grimbot, interrupting him.
“You seem to be in a much greater hurry than
the others.”
Mr. Mathias did not listen to him. He was
now taking long strides, walking on tiptoe, just
like a ghost.
Grimbot kept up with him, and continued :
“The idea does not come to the others so
soon. They generally let a month or two go
by.”
Mr. Mathias suddenly turned toward him and
extended both arms, exclaiming :
“ Begone, profane man ! Begone !”
“Tush ! Tush !” said Grimbot, in a fatherly
tone. “Don't mind me. After all, I suppose
you want only to take an airing like the other
fellows.”
Mr. Mathias kept on straight ahead, not deem
ing it worth his while to answer. He soon per
ceived, through the darkness, the gate of the
cemetery. Being always prepared for the worst,
he had a few louis in his pocket.
“Come,” said be, offering a couple of gold,
pieces to Grimbot, “ let’s waste no time in talk.
Here, let me have the key.”
Grimbot stepped back, exclaiming :
“ What ! the key 1 You want to go out !
That’s a tunny notion ! But, I say, none of
that 1”
“ I will give you four louis 1” groaned Mr.
Matbias.
“Say, now, stop that,” replied Grimbot, “or
else I shall knock you on the head. 1 have no
objection to your leaving your tomb and walk
ing about. The others do so, too.”
“The others! What others?”
Grimbot gave a wide sweep around with his
hand, as he replied:
“ Why, the dead of course !”
“The dead—who is talking to you about the
dead? Why, man, lam alive, still living, don’t
you see?”
“Phew! that is an awful joke ! but, see here,
lam a good fellow. Come along and take a
drink with me.”
Like a pair of pincers, his hand grasped Mr.
Mathias’s wrist. He dragged him to a small
building, where he lived, and made him enter a
room on the ground-floor,
Mr. Mathias was literally dumbfounded. After
closing the door, Grimbot got a bottle from a
shelf, and filling two glasses, he took one and
held it up, saying:
“ Here’s to you, Mr. Mathias.”
“Listen to me, good man,” said Mr. Mathias.
“You want to have your little joke at my ex
pense. Well and good. But there is a time for
all things. For a reason that concerns me only,
I have allowed myself to be buried. Now, bus
iness of groat importance requires my presence
outside. Let me go, and, I assure you, I shall
pay you well.”
While he was speaking Grimbot had slowly
walked around the table and taken a position,
standing, his back against the door.
“ You are a good talker,” sneered he. “ So,
you are alive, eh? Well, you are not the first
that has told me that. You see, I hear such
strange stories. lam quite fond of my subor
dinates. Every night one or two of them come,
without ceremony, to take a drink with me.
Last night it was the notary. You know whom
I mean; your neighbor, Radel, the one that has
the broken column. The night before last I had
.» oaU ftoffl Mme, a juigh tj fige Jqqß-
ing woman, I tell you. lam a good fellow. I
let them walk about at night and chat with them
—but as to letting them go outside, that is quite
another thing.”
Mr. Matbias began to feel uncomfortable. And
no wonder, for Grimbot spoke with perfect com
posure, like a functionary who understood the
responsibilities of his office.
He was a medium-sized, thick-set man, with
hands like a gorilla’s. His eyes were black and
glistening. A shiver ran through Mr. Mathias’s
frame as the idea struck him that the man was
crazy.
Yes, that must be it. He must be a visionary
fellow who believed his graveyard peopled with
ghosts. He lived in a iaworld, the crea
tion of a drunkard’s brain.
Mr. Mathias began talking, pleading promis
ing, supplicating. Why, how could he, th®
good, kind, intelligent Grimbot, make such a
mistake as to take him for a dead man, and he
burst into a laugh.
“Here!” said Grimbot, curtly; “enough of
this I So long as you won’t behave reasonably,
you will have to go in again.”
“Go in again I Go in where?”
“Into your liofiie, Of cbtir&d I At the corner
of the third division.”
“ Into the tomb I Never 1”
“You won’t? Once 1 twice 1”
Mr. Mathias looked at the enormous hands.
Overcome with terror, he glanced around, look
ing for an opening to escape through. There
was but one—the door—and there was Grimbot
propped up against it. Anyhow, he had to
pass, coat what it may 1 So he rushed forward
with a scream.
Grimbot quietly put forward his open hand,
into which the throat of his assailant fitted
cloaely: Mr. Mathias hiccoughed and tried to
struggle. The hand closed more tightly. Mr.
Mathias slid down to the floor, kicked about lor
a little while and then remained motionless,
Grimbot, like one used to occurrences of this
kind, picked him up, and, walking with tho
dignified step of a man conscious ot having done
hia duty, he carried him back to the tomb,
where tie cast him into the crypt. He then
kicked the slab back into its place, closed the
grated door and resumed his walk among the
tombs, muttering:
“Did you ever seethe like? Wanted to go
out, eh ? And me lose my situation I Not
much.”
This is why Mr. Mathias’s widow was able,
shortly after, to marry the one she had always
loved.— New Orleans Times-Democrat,
UNCLE JAKE?
BY KRIS KYLE.
Ho was bowed by many a year of service—ho
was white-wooled, thick-lipped, and a true son
of Africa, yet a grand and knightly soul ani
mated that dusky breast—a soul that many a
scion of the bfood-roval might envy.
The children loved him, the neighbors re
spected him, hie own color looked up to him as
to a superior being, and they, whose goods and
chattels he had formerly been, were sure to
heed hie counsels in all important family mat
ters. Aye, he had an honorable record. If his
skin was black, his soul was as white as tbe
whitest, and Irom lusty boyhood until tho pres
ent there had been no need of “ stripes” for
Uncle Jake.
He had been the playmate of “Young Mars
ter,” tbe boon companion in all possum hunts
and fishing frol cs, and when each had arrived at
man’s estate, the good fellowship contracted in
youth knew no surcease.
When the tocsin ot war resounded through
the South, and the call for volunteers was
made, “ Marster” was eno oi tbe first to buckle
on his armor and hasten to tbe front—doing so
with greater heart as Uncle Jake was left in
charge ol those dearer than life to him.
And royally did tbe poor, unlettered African
fulfill tho trust committed to bis keeping! He
took upon himself the burden of all plantation
matters, and sooner than one hair on the heads
of “Missus or de chillun” should be injured ho
would have sacrificed his life freely any day.
And when ths war was over he positively refused
to join in the hegira ot his brethren, preferring
rather to live on in the same old place that had
witnessed his birth and tbe strength of his man
hood’s prime.
In grateful recognition of his long servitude a
comfortable cottage was built for him in a se
cluded nook of the plantation, in which, with
his faithlnl old wife, he lived a peaceful and
contented life, tilling the lew acres which had
been granted him, and doing all sorts of odd
jobs out of tbe pure love he bore ole marse.
But Uncle Jake was getting old now—more
and more heavily the weight of years fell upon
him the whiter grew his locks, until at last the
time came when he could no longer pursue his
accustomed duties, and all reluctant and un
willing he took to his bed, never to rise again.
For weeks and months he lingered on the
"Border Land,” attended by loving hands and
his slightest wish gratified—indeed, so long he
hovered between life and death that those who
loved him best began to cherish a taint hope
that he would be spared to them.
But the liat had gone forth—Uncle Jake must
die I
One evening just as the setting sun was flood
ing the lair landscape with his golden beams, a
tearful group wore assembled at his bedside,
who had been hastily summoned thither to bid
farewell to one who had been so true a friend to
them all.
There were marster and misses and their
children and Jake’s own wife and children,with
a few ot his fellow servants, all united in a dem
ocracy of grief that knew no distinction of caste
m that supreme moment.
No sound was heard save a half-suppressed
sob now and then—the tick-tick of the cloak on
the rude mantel and the labored breathing of
the dying man.
For hours he had lain in a sort of stupor,
broken only at intervals by delirious mutter
ings, when suddenly his eyes, in which was a
preternatural brightness, opened and fixed
themselves long and earnestly in turn upon
each one of the faces bent so sorrowfully over
him.
Then in a feeble, fluttering voice, like the last
effort of an expiring taper, he addressed his
master, who was tenderly wiping the moisture
from his brow:
“ Ole marse, Use been a good and faithful
servant to yer all dese years, has I not ?”
“ Yes, Jake.”
“ Eber sin’ we was boys togedder I’se lubbed
yer and stuck to yer through thick and thin,
and now dat Jake is goin’ home yer dean’ treas
ure up not’ing agin him, do yer,"marse ?”
“No, no, Jake.”
“Ole missus, come nearer, honey. Jake’s
eyes gittin’ mighty dim, and he can’t see yer.
Yer’ll neber forgit how Jake took keer ot yer
an’ de chilluns when ole marster go to de war ?
An’ yer’ll be kind to my wife an’ chilluns for
my sake, won’t yer ?”
“ Yes, yes, Jake, I’ll be kind to them, and I
will never forget your fidelity, old friend.”
“Tank de Lawd 1 I kin die happy now,
when I know dat yer and marster will ’member
me an’ be kind to dem I leave behind. An’ de
chillun—whar’s de chillun? I wants to tell
’em all good-by, and say a few las’ words to
dem, too.”
And in his eagerness, with a strength born of
death, the old man half arose upon his elbow
and laid a trembling hand upon the head of
each of the awe-struck children.
“ God bless yer, chillun, one an’all! I luba
my own little picaninnies, but I lubs ole mars
ter’s jes’ as well. I doan’ want none o’ yer to
lorgit how Uncle Jake has trotted yer on his
knee an’ toted yer on his back an’ kep’ a watch
ful eye on yer, les’ yer git into mischief by yer
pranks. Promise me, chillun, dat you’se neb
ber lorgit dese t'ings. It pleases Uncle Jake
to t’ink yer’ll 'member him arter he’s gone from
yer sight forebber.”
As well as they wore able for their tears the
little ones gave the required promise, and,
greatly pleased, the old man sank baok exhaust
ed upon his pillow.
Alter lying for a few moments with closed
eyes, as it in sleep, he suddenly whispered:
“Dinah, wliar is you? I wants yer ter cum
closer ter me, honey, an’ put yer arms around
my neck, an’ lay yer cheek ter mine like yer s
usen ter <lo when we was courtin’ down in de
buckleberry patch. I wants ter die in yer arms,
ole wifie. Yer is black, an’ de white folks
moot uot be able ter see any booty in yer, but
Jake knows what a true an’ faithlul wile you’se
bin ter him, an’ he kin see de booty dat’s hid
den out ob sight. I’se gwine to cross eber de
great wide ribber dey call Death, into a kintry
wbar dere’ll nebber be any mo’ black skins—
whar I’se wear de white robe and de golden
crown, au’ I’se wait fur yer dere. Dinah, my
lub 1 my lub ! Hark, honey ! doan’ ver hear
de bells ob heben a-ringin’? An’doan’yer see
de pearly gates a-openin’ to let ole black Jake
gothrough? I’se a-comin’, holy angels-I’se
a-comin’, blessed Lawd ! Glory, hallylewger !
Ole Jake’s most got ober de ribber. His feet is
touehin’ de watter—but its gittin’ so cold, Di
nah, honey—l can’t feel de clasp ob yer arms
any mo’. I’se ”
And with a last, long, fluttering sigh, as
knightly and true a soul as ever. dwelt inhu
man breast took its flight to a realm where
there is indeed neither black nor white, nor
bond nor free, but all are like unto the angels.
A SPIDER KILLS A SNAKE.
A REGULAR PRIZE FIGHT.
“Stand back, boys, and give him a chance,”
said a tall, bronze-hued ranchero in Pasadena,
Cal., waving his sombrero to keep back a few
friends who were crowding about a small in
closure. “Make your bets, gentlemen,” he
continued, in imitation ot the votaries of the
ring.
The cause of all this was a snake about a foot
long, beautifully marked with stripes of black
and white, gliding slowly around an inclosure
about five feet in diameter, while in the centre
stood or couched’ a gigantic spider—a hairy,
many-legged monster, with mandibles like sa
bres; so large and formidable, in fact, that few
would care to face it without a weapon of some
kind.
If placed in tbe centre of a saucer its legs
would hang over the side. Altogether it was as
ugly a creature as the imagination could well
picture. The attempt was being made to settle
a dispute as to whether the spider could whip a
snake, and the spectators were not long in find
ing out.
The man in the sombrero backed his snake
ship, and a short, thick-set gentleman, with
enormous spurs of Mexican make, performed a
like office for tho spider and helped things along
by encouraging the combatants with various
punches with sticks.
The snake was evidently aware of the nature
of the mass of hair, and showed its fear in
every movement, keeping as near as possible to
Ul9 »U 9 91 tb9 ja9jOTUJ9«
Finally the spider was pushed upon the rep
tile and the latter made a vicious strike at it. A
second later a bunch of hair and a confused
mass of stripes were all there was to be seen,
tho two rolling over and over in what was ap
parently a death struggle.
A moment of this and the coiling of the snake
suddenly ceased; its head was raised several
inches in the air, and, with mouth partly open,
it seemed either completely terrified or injured.
The latter was the case, as now it was seen that
the terrible spider had buried its fangs in the
reptile and was clinging to it with the tenacity
of a bulldog.
In the popular parlance of the prize-ring, the
snake had thrown up the sponge, and, com
pletely paralyzed, was quivering like an aspen
leaf, and in a few seconds dropped limp and
lifeless upon the ground.
Even then the monster that had accomplished
this = would not release its hold, and the
iwd,"the conquer? l “ n(1 victim, were dropped
into a bottle of alcohoi, f he spider dying game
end maintaining its grip.
A DOCTOR’S INVENTIONS.
A New " Milk-Shake” Patent—How Hy
podermic Syringe Needles are Made.
(Irom the Indianapolis Journal.)
Among the many inventors df Indiana there
are few who have worked in such various lines
or succeeded in obtaining so many valuable re
sults as Dr. George W. Lutz, of this city, and
yet his innate modesty and his insatiate desire
to contrive some new thing have kept him,
comparatively speaking, a great unknown His
doctor’s gigs—dignified by tho name of physi
cian’s visiting cart—are often seen bearing
medical men about tbe streets. His half dozen
medical appliances are known to physicians
and sufferers everywhere. If you wish to see
the doctor himself, the chances are that you
will find him in his curiosity shop in the upper
part ot the old State Bank building, working on
some novel project.
When a Journal reporter dropped in, a day
or two since, he found the inventor in the par
ticularly complacent state of mind that indi
cates a new victory, and without ado put the
question:
“ What is it now, doctor?”
“Something that every man, woman and child
in tho country is crying for,” was tho reply—“a
new milk shaker.”
“ Where is it?”
“Right before your eyes.”
“I don’t see anything bnt the glass.”
“ That is about all there is of it.”
And so it was. On the glass was a cover such
as is commonly used in the milk-shake process,
except that through the center of it there ran a
spindle, and on this spindle, within the glass,
were two spiral plates, making ol it a screw such
as is ordinarily used for propelling vessels.
“And how does it work?” queried the re
porter.
The doctor picked up a bow and string,
twisted the string around a grooved chuckwheel,
slipped the wheel on the top of the spindle and
pushed the bow forward and back. The screw
revolved rapidly, and the water in the glass
went whirling and bubbling in every direction.
“ You see the principle,” he said. “ When a
screw revolves, something has to move. If the
screw cannot, then whatever is around it, must.
When lhe bow goes forward everything at the
bottom of the glass is forced to the top. When
it comes back, everything at the top is forced to
the bottom. One move forward and back makes
twenty-two revolutions of tbe screw, and mixes
your shake completely in every direction. When
through, I lift this top off, dip the screw in
water and sot it on the next glass. I can set six
glasses in a row and mix them in less than a
minute,”
The proposition needed no argument. It was
self-evident. The invention is one of those
simple little things that makes the uninventive
man wonder why he didn’t think of it and pat
ent it.
“ What is that man doing ?” asked the report
er, nodding toward an assistant who was work
ing with a long sheet of metal.
“ Making hypodermic syringe needles.”
“ Why, I supposed they were made of wire.”
“ That is a very common delusion. Nearly
every physician that I have talked with on the
subject thought that the holes through these
needles were drilled through them. If you were
to undertake to drill a holo small enough for
the uses of a hypodermic syringe through a
piece ot steel wire, your syringe needle would
cost you about SSO. Consequently we take a
hole and build a needle around it. That sheet
metal is cold-rolled steel, 1.200th part of an
inch in thickness. If you will watch the work
man you will see it transformed to hollow
needles.”
The workman carefully ent off a etrip of the
metal about an eighth of an inch in width and
ten feet long, which he ran through a grooving
maebiue and converted it into a narrow gutter.
Sharpening one end of this with the scissors, he
passed the point through a die-hole, seized it
with a pair of pliers and pulled the entire strip
through, thereby rounding it until it was almost
a tube. This process was repeated, through
die-holes constantly decreasing in size, until the
tube became perlect, the edges of the strip be
ing so tightly pressed together that their joint
was not perceptible, The slender tube was then
laid aside and a new strip was taken.
“ What else has to be done with it?” asked the
reporter.
“ First, it is straightened by heat. I cannot ex
plain that to you, because it is a secret projess
of my own. Then it is cut into pieces of proper
length for a needle, and each piece is tempered,
sharpened, polished and nickel-plated.”
" How many times is a piece of metal handled
in all these processes ?”
“ Forty-four times ?”
The hypodermic syringe in which these nee
dles are used, by the way, is another patent of
the doctor’s, the special feature being an ex
panding, self-lubricating plunger, which avoids
all difficulty arising from the plunger becoming
loose in the tube. It can be tightened or loos
ened by turning the end of the piston rod.
Perhaps the most extraordinary article in the
Doctor’s laboratory is the oastle engine. Its
unique character will be largely revealed to
any one familiar with machinery when it is
stated that it has no valves, no eccentric, no
steam chest, and only eight moving parts. It
is of so peculiar construction that its principle
could not be explained without a diagram or
the engine itself before the person who wishes
to understand it. In fact, its chief feature is a
new mechanical movement. Whenjcomplete a
four-horse power engine occupies a’floor space
of 15x24 inches and stands two feet high. The
engine proper is inclosed in an iron case, and
works in a mixture of water and oil. This is a
necessity on account of the high speed which it
attains. They are ordinarily run 700 revolu
tions per minute, but one has been run 3,700
revolutions per minute. With such a speed a
constant application of water and oil is required
to prevent an intense heating of the parts. It
is constructed throughout with counter-bal
ances for the moving parts, and consequently
runs noiselessly and steadily.
When not fastened to tbe floor it may be run
at full speed, without showing the slightest dis
turbance of place. When running, the only
motion visible is that of the combined fly-wheel
and band-wheel. A smaller stylo of this engine,
only one foot high, and yet of equal power, is
now being made to run electric head-lights for
locomotives. It is also expected to be used in
boats, and will be especially valuable in that
use from the fact that it can be reversed in
stantly, no matter at what speed it may be run
ning.
Another patent of the doctor’s which has been
received with favor, is an apparatus for gen
erating gas, to be used in Bergeon’s treatment
for consumption. This is the method which
was investigated a few weeks since by Dr. Max
well, of this city, and reported in tho newspa
pers at the time. The apparatus consists of
two flasks with tubing, acid buckets, etc., in
which the combined carbonic acid and gas and
sulphuretted hydrogen gas used in this treat
ment can be generated without danger ot explo
sion.
NARROW MINDS.
THEY ENTERTAIN BUT ONE IDEA,
AND THAT NOT WELL.
(Irom Chambers’s Journal.)
With the men who are apt to look at every
thing from a pecuniary standpoint, and whose
whole aim in life is to amass money, we are all
familiar. As the worship ot Mammon has been
condemned by writers and divines ot all ages,
and as this phase of our subject is decidedly
hackneyed, we shall content ourselves with re
lating a story of one of these men of one idea.
General Skobeleftj according to tbe story, was
working one evening in his tent near the Dan
ube, or near a pond, when a Turkish bomb
dropped at the threshold of bis tent. The Gene
ral bad just time to see the sentry outside stoon
down and throw the shell into the water. Sko’-
beleff approached the soldier, and said:
“Do you know you have saved my lite?”
“I have done my best, General,” was the re
ply.
“Very well. Which would you rather have,
the St. George’s Cross or 100 roubles ?”
The sentinel hesitated a moment and then
said:
“ What is tho value of St. George’s Cross, my
general ?”
“ What do you mean ? The cross itself is of
no value; it may be worth five roubles, perhaps,
but it is an honor to possess it.”
“ Well, my general, said tho soldier, “ifit is
like that, give me ninety-five roubles and the
Cross of St. George 1” Tho sentry, it should be
noted, was a Jew, with a fine Semitic profile.
Another class of men of one idea are those
who have little or no knowledge of modern
literature, and who think that all the “ wit and
wisdom of the world are concentrated in some
fifty antique volumes." Take an illustration
from an anecdote told regarding Thackeray.
Before the great novelist could deliver his lec
ture on “ English Humoriteta,” at Oxford, it
was necessary to obtain the license of the au
thorities. The Deputy Chancellor at Oxford,
upon whom Thackeray waited, knew nothing
about such trifles as “ Vanity Fair.”
“ Pray, what can I de to serve you ?” said this
bland functionary.
“ My name is Thackeray.”
“ So I see by this card.”
“ I seek permission to lecture within the pre
cincts.”
“Ahl You are a lecturer. What subjects do
you undertake—religious or political?”
“Neither. lam a literary man.”
“Have you written anything?”
“ Yes, I am the author of • Vanity Fair.’ ”
“I presume, a dissenter. Has'that anything
t 9 49 With fiunyau’s hook?”
'* Not exactly. I have also written * Pen
dennis.”*
“ Never heard of those works, but do not
doubt they are proper books.”
“ I have also contributed to Punch”
Punch I I have heard of that. Is it not a
ribald publication ?”
There are many other classes of men of one
idea, to enumerate the whole of which is not our
intention. A person does not need a wide circle
of acquaintance to know at least one man who
is absorbed in but one subject. When two men
of one idea are thrown together—in a railway
carriage, for instance—and both endeavor to
r.de their favorite hobby, the result is amusing
—to a third party. The men themselves may,
however, be anything but amused, and may
part with scarcely a flattering idea of each
other’s abilities.
* w sr—. « « w a
A Loyal Bird.—Colonel F. 8. Russel,
of the British army, in his recently-published
memoir, tells the following anecdote of the
romantic Earl of Peterborough and Monmouth
(Charles Mordaunt). The gallant Mordaunt
had been entertaining his lady-love atone ot the
coffee-houses near Charing Cross where there
was a very fine piping canary. The youm*
took a great fancy to the bird, and implored her
admirer to get it for her, L'fl“ o rtiinately how
ever, the owner happened, to be a widow in
affluent circumstances, who positively refused
to part with her favorite at any price, although
an enormous one was offered her. Mordaunt
was at his wits’ end; his lady-love would take no
refusal, and the widow would take no price. At
last a brillant idea struck him; he succeeded in
procuring another canary exactly similar in
color and size to the much-coveted songster,
but unfortunately voiceless. The difficulty was
how to change the birds, as the landlady usually
sat in a room behind the bar and never lost
sight of her pot. One day however Mordaunt
succeeded in enticing her out of her room with
out her canary, and, while she was away, manag
ing to substitute one bird for the other, carried
off the poor landlady’s favorite to his fair flame.
Shortly alter the Revolution, while again fre
quenting the same coffee-house, he inquired of
the landlady after the canary, and asked her if
she did not now regret having refused^the large
sum he had previously offered for it. “ Most
certainly not !’’ she replied. “I would not take
any money for him now, since—would you be
lieve it?—lrom the time our good king was
forced to go abroad and leave us, the dear crea
ture has not sung a note 1”
A Toad in a Tree.—A correspondent
writes to the Newcastle (Eng.) Chronicle: On
the 16th of July, 1845, it was my fortune, with a
fellow workman, to go into Fallowden Wood,
then belonging to the late Sir George Grey, to
tell three oak trees, out of which we were in
structed to make a mill wheel for Fallowden
Mill, at that time occupied by one of the name
ot Hall. It was also our duty to saw the above
named trees into suitable planks, the largest
one of the three being about three feet in diam
eter. In this tree we found, when opened up,
a toad, near about the centre, and about three
feet from the ground. The wood from the
ground to about an inch and a half above the
bod of the toad, and about eight inches diame
ter, was quite black, soft and unfit for use. We
carefully set to work to cut out the toad, and
found it to be in life. It was large and black,
nnd not very seemly to look on. Its back was
slightly scratched with the teeth of the saw, and
blood was manifest. We placed it in a damp
place, where there was a little water. Its con
dition was feeble, it moved slowly, aml lived
for about two hours afterward.
Blissful Ignorance.—An amusing in
cident recently occurred in a Melbourne build
ing society. Some two years ago, says the
Australian Building Societies Gazette, a man
took up a number of inventing shares, and in a
few months ceased paying. The other day he
called and explained that he had been away
somewhere in New South Wales, and would
now withdraw his shares. The amount duo was
stated, upon which the investor evinced great
surprise, saying he had regularly kept up his
payments each fortnight. This was denied,
when he offered to produce receipts tor every
payment in substantiation of his affirmations.
He was challenged to do so, as it was impossi
ble the society could have made such a serious
mistake. Accepting the challenge, he immedi
ately produced a roll of post office orders as re
ceipts. He had never once written or forwarded
a post office order, but had regularly paid hie
money into the local post office, and had relig
iously kept the post office orders as his receipt,
implicitly believing the money would be as reg
ularly forwarded without further trouble to
him; and this is the boasted nineteenth cen
tury.
History of Kissing.—Women will be
interested in hearing that the history of kissing
shows that among primitive men this art is un
known because they are incapable of appreciat
ing it. To the ancient civilized nations its
charms were revealed ; but, as usual in the in
toxication of a new discovery, they hardly knew
what to do with it, and applied it to all sorts of
stupid ceremonial purposes. The tendency of
civilization, however, has been to eliminate pro
miscuous kissing and restrict it more and more
to its proper function as an expression of the
affections. And even within this sphere the
circle becomes gradually smaller. Although in
some parts of Europe men still kies one another
as a token of relationship, friendship or es
teem, yet the habit is slowly dying out, the pre
cedent having been set in England, where it
was abandoned toward the close of the seven
teenth century. The senseless custom which
women to-day indulge in, ot kissing each other
on the slightest provocation—often when they
would rather slap one another in the face—is
also doomed to extinction.
A Natural Washtub.—ln the Yel
lowstone country a large hotel is erected upon
a great geyser terrace, and a dormant water
crater is the receptacle for all the house drain
age, and in;the same romantic region the Chinese
laundryman attached |to one of the hotels gets
through his labors by throwing the clothes into
a bubbling, frothy pool, and fishing them out
when they have been tossed about enough.
Eggs are often boiled iu the island geysers, and
bacon is fried on the Hawaiian lava streams.
In the Rotorua area of New Zealand the banks
of the lake are so perforated with springs that
every native hut has its own natural boiler,
which is used as a kitchen. The Kuira spring
is strongly alkaline, and, on account of its sapo
naceous qualities, is utilized as a general wash
tub. In Iceland to cook food in the geysers is a
regular portion of the tourist programme. Tea
is infused with water from the Great Geyser,
and trout are boiled in the Blesi, or hot-water
pond. They require to be immersed for about
twenty minutes to be cooked to a turn.
The Oyster’s Relentless Foe.—Rev.
J. G. Wood says, in “Longman’s Magazine":
“No one would have thought, on placing an
oyster and a five-finger aide by side, that the
star-fish is a relentless foe of the oyster. Those
who can remember the first fruitless endeavors
to open an oyster, may naturally wonder bow a
star-fish can accomplish such a feat. As I have
repeatedly seen, it proceeds as follows : Clasp
ing the oyteer in its rays, it brings its mouth
opposite the hinge. From the mouth it pours
a secretion which paralyzes the hinge-muscles
and causes the shells to open. It cannot, like
a dog-whelk, extract its prey and put it into its
stomach, so it reverses the process, and puts
its stomach into, or rather over, the oyster,
protruding the stomach from its mouth, sur
rounding the oyster with its coats, digesting it
and then withdrawing the stomach into its
body. The wildest fancy of Oriental legends
never equalled in grotesque imagination this
perfectly true history of the oyster and the star
fish."
Belief in Charms.—Superstition is
not dead, nor is it confined to the savage tribes.
Several noted ball-players carry charms about
them for good luck in hits and catches, and
some professional gamblers attach all their
hopes of winning to the possession of a certain
ring or gem. Beliefs of this kind are, in truth,
well-nigh universal There is an Indian iu the
Western country who carries about with him at
all times, a round, smooth stone, taken from the
inside of a buffalo. It weighs four pounds, and
is, of course, extremely inconvenient on a hunt
ing expedition: but nothing will induce him to
leave it at home. It is his “ big medicine,” and
if ho should lose it or lay it aside, he believes
that the evil spirit would have power to spoil*'
his aim and frustrate all bis enterprises. White
men do not usually confess to a belief in such
charms. They only go sc far as to say, “ There
man be something in them, and it is just as
well to be ou the sale side." Man is an odd
compound of sense and folly.
Intellectual Affinities.—Says the
San Francisco Chronicle : I don’t believe much
in intellectual affinity between women and men.
It is very deceptive. It is like icecream. It is
sweet and pleasant, but it doesn’t fill up. Of
course you have an intellectual affinity, my
lady, a fellow who likes the same books as you,
who agrees with you on all intellectual subjects,
orsays he does. He doesn’t at all; butthat
doesn’t matter as long as he doesn’t contradict
you. Intellectual affinity cannot stand contra
diction. Love is the only thing that thrives by
contradiction. You get up an intellectual affin
ity with a clever woman, and you have pleasant
hours discussing books, and authors, and ideas,
and you are getting along all right until some
fellow comes who has never read anything at
all, and doesn’t know Rosetti or Browning, or
occult Buddhism, or anything else, and before
you know where you are she has forgotten all
about them, too, and about you into the bar
gain.
Curious Fate of a Cask of Wine.—
The following incident, says the Boston Post,
is vouched for by scientific persons: An Eng
lish gentleman was presented with a cask of
Malmsey sweet wine, which he ordored to be
placed in an inner room in his wine collar. He
was absent from home for a long time, and on
his return directed bis butler to open the wine
to his guests. His astonishment may well be
imagined when he was informed that the en
trance io the room was closed by an enormous
fungus growth. Au entrance was effected with
difficulty by chipping the fungus with an ax.
The cask was found empty, pressed against the
ceiling, supported upon and surrounded by this
vegetable matter, which almost entirely filled
up the remairirg apact jn the apartment.
Getting Rid of a Wife.— It is not
often that we hear of such remarkable and per
il, stent effort to get rid of a recalcitrant wile as
those made by a Parisian workman narrel
Barthes, who was recently tried at the Assizes.
Gue fine day he invited his better half to look
down a well which was near his house, in the
suburbs of the city. When she did so he coolly
pushed her in. The woman having gone below
the surface of the water for a considerable dis
tance, owing to the length of her fall, came to
the top and shrieked for help. Her husband
let down a bucket by means of a chain, and to
this she clung with tenacity, believing that she
was about to be saved. Her amiable lord and
master, however, ruled otherwise, and when ha
had raised his wife and the bucket near the top
of the well he let go the rope, and the woman
was once more precipitated into a cold bath.
As she reappeared above the water, Barthes
threw large stones on her, to make her sink, as
people do cats which they wish to drown. Then
the neighbors, attracted by the repeated cries
of the unlucky Madame Barthes, appeared.
One went to fetch a ladder, which he put down
to the woman, who was saved alter some diffi
culty, owing to the continued opposition of her
husband. The gentle hero o( this exploit has
been condemned to fifteen years’ penal servi
tude.
Saved by an Echo.—A scientist, while
out in a boat one night on a river in Florida,was
caught in a fog so dense that he could not sea
twenty feet ahead. The boatmen stopped row*
ing, and said they would have to wait lor day*
light or until the fog cleared away, as they did
not know in what direction to steer. The sci
entist showed them what science can do for &
man in an emergency. He says: “I at onca
stood up in the boat and halloed. Soon the
echo came back. Pointing in the direction from
which the echo came, I said, ‘ There is the near
est land.’ Rowing half a mile in the direction
of the echo we soon reached the land and
‘coasted ’ home. The boatmen expressed great
surprise that they bad been on the river all their
lives and had never thought of so simple and
easy a plan to find the shore when lost in a fog.
During a fog the air is so Saturated with mois
ture that it is a much better conductor of sound
than when dry. Two results follow—first, sound
travels faster, and honce the echo returns more
speedily; and, second, the sound is heard more
distinctly. Remembering these two facts, a
son with a little practice can soon determine the
approximate distance of the nearest land o>
woods.”
How to Eat Wisely.—As a universal
rule in health, and with very rare exceptions in
disease, that is best to be oaten which the ap«
petite craves or tho taste relishes. Persons
rarely err in the quality of food eaten; Nature’s
instincts are the wisest regulators in this re
spect. The great sources of mischief from eat?
ing are three, quantity, frequency, rapidity; and
from these come the horrible dyspepsias which
make human life a burden, a torture, a living
death. By eating fast, the stomach, like a bottle
being filled through a funnel, is full and over
flowing before we know it. But the most import
tantreason is, the food is swallowed before time
has been allowed to divide it into sufficiently
small pieces with the teeth; for, like ice in a.
tumbler of water, the smaller the bits are, th#
sooner they are dissolved. It has bben seen
with the naked eye that, if solid food is cut up
into pieces as small as halt a pea, it digests
almost as soon, without being chewed at all, aa
if it had been well masticated. The best plan
therefore is for all persons thus to comminute
their food; for, even if it is well chewed, the
comminution is no injury, while it is of very
great importance in case of hurry, forgetfulness,
or bad teeth.
Influence of Food Subtly.—A veil
table plague of Brazil, according to Von Iher
ing, results from the singular increase of bur
rowing mice of the genus Hesperomye, which,
ordinarily very rare, become alarmingly abun
dant at irregular periods coinciding with flow
ering seasons of the herbaceous nlant which
furnishes their chief food. This plant—a Ores
cinma—reaches maturity and flowers only at
regular intervals, varying from six to thirty
years. In May and June, 1876, the mice ap
peared in prodigious numbers at Lourenco,
where in a tew days they totally demolished the
fields of corn, potatoes, rye and barley, invaded
houses and destroyed everything not too hard
for their teeth, and even ate fat swine, and re
moved the wooden shoes from the eows. At
the natural rate of increase, the progeny of a
pair of mice would reach twenty-three thousand
individuals in a season, and if their multiplica
tion was favored by an abundant seeding ot
their favorite plant every year, they would
soon drive all other living creatures Irom tlia
country.
How an Alligator Catches its Prey.
—An observer “ down South," says an alliga
tor's throat is an animated sewer. Everything
which lodges in his open mouth, goes down.
He is a lazy dog, and instead of hunting for
something to eat, ho lets his victuals hunt for
him. That is, he lies with his great mouth
open, apparently dead, like the ’possum. Soon
a beetle crawls into it, then a fly, then several
gnats and a colony of mosquitoes. The alliga
tor does not close his mouth yet. He is waiting
for a whole drove of things. Ho does hie eat
ing by wholesale. A little later a lizard will
cool himself under the shade of the upper jaw.
Then a few frogs will hop up to catch the mos
quitoes. Then more mosquitoes and gnats will
alight on the frogs. Finally, a whole village of
insects and reptiles settles down for an after
noon picnic. Then, all at once, there is an
earthquake. The big jaw falls, the alligator
blinks one eye, gulps down the entire menag
erie and -opens his great front door again lot
more visitors.
A School Teacher’s Experience.—
School teachers have many funny experiences
in the interior districts of Kentucky. One peda*
gouge says: “ One of my scholars was taken out
of school because I endeavored to persuade him
the world is round. His father thought he was
in danger of being made an infidel by being
taught such nonsense. I saw the man, and.
tried to impress the fact upon him. We had a
public debate, which lasted two weeks, before
crowded houses. He admitted that there were
too many hills and mountains lor the earth to
be exactly flat, and finally went so far as to say
that the earth might be reund ‘ this ’ere way
(meaning east and west), ’cause the people
might fall off, but it is not round this ’ere way,*
meaning north and south.”
Cyprus.—There are no isolated build
ings of any kind in rural Cyprus; there is not
even a roadside inn in the whole country. Be
yond a few farms—huge buildings, always un
tidy, now ruinous, where Turkish landlords
used to live in the days when exceptional im
munities enabled Turkish landlords to live at
all—there is not a farmstead, not a homestead,
not a detached cottage in the island. There are
no country gentry, great or small; there are no
substantial yeomen, and all the peasants live in
poor and unlovely villages. And between one
village and another, often a considerable dis
tance, there is not a house to be seen, not »
shed, not a tree, not a hedge, not a road—usu
ally not a single human being.
We Should Think So.—ln their
search for the philosopher’s stone, the old al
chemists left untried no mixture of familiar or
unfamiliar ingredients. An ancient work, enti
tled “The Gold-Maker’s Guide,” furnished this
promising formula. “Takeout the gall of &
black tomcat, killed when the night approach
es, one part; of tho brains of a night owl, ta
ken from out its head when the morning dawn
eth, five parts; mix in the hoof of an ass when
the tide turneth; leave it till it doth breed mag
gots; place it on the breast-bone when the moon
shinoth bright—and—thou will see a sight
which the eye ot mortal man ne’er beheld
afore.”
Chinese Coinage.—Ch'na will shortly
be supplied with stamped coins of her own, for
the first time in her history. Hitherto the coins
mainly in circulation have been small bras®
tokens, roughly cast in sand, about the size of a
hal penny, and perforated with a sqnare hole,
by which they are strung together. They ara
of infinitesimal value, being equal to the one
thousandth part of the dollar. The currency ot
higher value is silver in tho form of balls and
bars, tbs value of which is calculated by weight.
There is also some paper currency, and Mexican,
dollars have circulated freely.
Want of Sleep
Is sending thousands annually to th«
insane asylum ; and the doctors say this
trouble is alarmingly on the increase.
The usual remedies, while they may
give temporary relief, are likely to do ■
more harm than good. YVhat is needed
is an Alterative and Blood-purifier.
Ayer’s Sarsaparilla is incomparably
the best. It corrects those disturbances!
in the circulation which cause sleepless
ness, gives increased vitality, and re
stores the nervous system to a healthful
condition. 4
Bev. T. G. A. Cotfi, agent of the Mass.
Home Missionary Society, writes that
his stomach was out of order, his sleep
very often disturbed, and some im
purity of the blood manifest; hut that
a perfect cure was obtained by the use
of Ayer’s Sarsaparilla, p
Frederick W. Pratt, 424 Washington'
street, Boston, writes: .“My daughter
was prostrated with nervous debility.
Ayer’s Sarsaparilla restored her to
health.” 1
William F. Bowker, Erie, Pa., was
cured of nervousness and sleeplessness
by taking Ayer’s Sarsaparilla for about
two months, during which time his
weight increased over twenty pounds
Ayer’s Sarsaparilla,
PREPARED BY
Dr. J. C. Ayer & Co., Lowell, Mass.
gold by all Druggists, Price $1; sU bQHJtgt

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