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The Western advance. [volume] (Worthington, Minn.) 1872-1874, July 25, 1874, Image 1

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85033535/1874-07-25/ed-1/seq-1/

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fckfttd Mli^cclhiniK
IT in ii fact, an I've been told.
That nuoule, in the davit of old,
(lot rich in Bihi-r and in gold,*
No mutter wluit they bought or sold,
ity minding their o»u business.
They did not try to wound one's fame,
Or Wander nnybodj's name
The cured not when you went or came
hey |leii»rd flieinseheH—you (lid the same,
II it was jour own business.
And ii a man did what \\m riilit
In hi» own mind, and in the eight
OICocl and I.MVV, bj dav lllld night,
lie went ahead and tought the tight,
Determined on his businesi.
Hut in di'gen'nite modern ilnv»
There"H quite change in people"* ways,
And what a person does orniivs
Must be held tin unto the gu/e
Ofoerj busybody.
And if jou do not tell them, too,
When- you are going, and what to do,
They get in such an awful stew,
They II e\en watch and follow \ou—
These very bt«»ybodies.
And then they surely think they know
.liis-t UIUMI w»u come and when'vou go,
And tliev will whisper, so and sot
To e\ r\ friend and v#ry foe—
Ttiese wry busybodies.
But if wc take the pains to see
Who these same busvbodies his,
We tlnd there's not ii he or she
Who bus ti decent uistnry.
Among these busybodies.
Hut b-t IIH no more notice lake
Ut evil rongiiex but. for their sake,
U'.-'ll lioj.e una |)r.,v th-j soon may wake
1'iom wlckedneuK. and money make
Jly minding their own business.
—Chicago Tribune.
Mas. WOODCOCK sat in the middle of
the room, vv itli her feet on the rug of the
chair and her fingers in her ears.
I like to hear thunder well enough
I don't know hut what I do. I am not
any afraid of that. But 1 be some scart
of the lightning," said she, starting as the
heavens blazed over with a sheet of
flame in instant glory, with a crash and
roar that found its way through her fat
lingers and through two wads'of cotton,
biii-ting her ears like the trump of
Mercy on me!" shrieked Mrs. Wood
cork, that stru:k. Now you may rely
upon it, as true as you arc a living creat
ure, that struck!"
Mr. Spofferd's old sorrel horse, the
only living creature in sight, made no rc
p!\, but kept on nibbling away at the
vvhitc clmer on the green before the
door. JIc only turned his back to the
dri\ ingrain, that flew from the west to
the cast so fast and so heavy that it was
more like a bank of fog than moving
drops of water and gave a passing shiver
when the rainfall changed to hail, and
rattled down in stones as large as birds'
But Mrs. Woodcock was above the
blind trust of the beast so, pale and
trembling, she pressed her hands tighter
over her ears, and looked at a spider's
web in the darkest corner of the room as
steadfastly as if she was sitting for her
The thunder growled itself to sleep at
lai-t, the lightning flashed its life away
and the sun broke out like a sudden
smile on a baby's face. Still the uncon
scious Mrs. Woodcock held on to her
ears and gazed at the spider's web until
the outer door was flung open, and the
chore boy shuttled in. He was a hempen
haired, buttermilk-eyed lad of fifteen,
Mho Mas either half-witted or half
crazed—possibly both.
"Ho! Aunt Prissy," he cried, "what
ai'O you keeping Independence for, the
day after the Fourth? It has all come
ofl as clear as new cider, and you are
wasting your time sitting there like a
statue. You better be mending my
As he spoke a sudden sunbeam darted
through the western iudow and flashed
athwart the corner.
"If there isn't a cobweb right in my
kitchen!" quoth Mrs. Woodcock,deliber
ately putting down her fingers and her
feet, and going for a wing—a gray goose
wing that hung by a strip of red calico
on a nuil behind the door.
Oh, you come, Orson? Where did It
strike?" she continued, appearing to dis
cover the grinning boy.
"The hail struck everywhere, particu
larly on Dr. Seacrest's grape-vines. I
haven't heard as the thunder struck at
all, not even on some folks' ears," re
turned Orson, who was mainly composed
of a pair of overgrown bare feet, blue
cotton frock and overall, a set of broad,
white teeth and a weather-beaten hat,
with wide, slouching brim.
"You don't mean to say the doctor's
grape-vines are hurt essentially, do you?"
queried Mrs. Woodcock, deaf to the im
pertinence as she had been to the thun
Don't know nothing about no es
sences," replied Orson, who was fond of
long words, but not clear as to their use.
Hut I can tell you one thing, though.
You ought just to see the doctor's new
grape-vines he sets so much by. The
tendous and young grapes are fairly
chewed to bits. Yes'ih. I don't expect
$500 in gold would put it back to where
it was an hour ago."
"How you talk!" gasped Mrs. Wood
cock, who liked to have things happen,
and the worse they happened the better
she liked it. She was a very -kind
hearted soul, but something to talk over
was worth as much as her dinner.
But is it so?" she continued, doubt
fully. Really and truly, Orson? Now
speak the truth just exactly as it is."
Orson had as much idea of tlic truth
as he had of geology.
Yes'm," said he, getting bolder. "The
doctor said tome, 'Orson Larely,' said
he, I wouldn't have this damagement
done to my vintonage not if you had of
fered me a five hundred dollar bill right
in my hand.' And then he looked as
sober as anything and walked straight
into the house. I saw Mrs. Seacrest
through the oriol window, and she was
crying like fury. You ought to take a
look at it yourself, Aunt Prissy, if you
don't believe me," he concluded, in an
aggrieved tone.
Mrs. Woodcock did not believe him en
tirely, to be sure, but there might be
something worth seeing so, after a lit
tle reflecting, she decided it would be
handy to have a dose of salts and senna
in the house, and she might as well step
up to the doctor's and get it then as any
There was no need to wait for the
grass'to dry, for Mrs. Woodcock's choco
late andjwhite calico, guiltless of a pan
ier and innocent of a trail, did not even
brush the broad plantain leaves and the
firry speedwell blossoms bordering the
well-trodden footpath that led from her
doorstep straight into the world. And
her heavy calf-skin shoes squeaked to
scorn the idea of wetting through.
So she tied on her log-cabin sunbonnct
that had a pert calico bow prospecting
from the top, took her crooked-handled
green gingham umbrella, to act the
double part of supporter and protector,
and set out—not to seek her fortune, but
seek somebody's misfortune.
1 lie way to Dr. Seacrest's was across
the green away from the black cotton
mills down by the river away from the
street of stiff white cottages, where the
mill operators lived away from the
commonplace, two-story dwellings clus
tering around the church, the store, the
blacksmith's shop and the postofti.ee, to
a bit of level slightly removed from
"Th Hollow" by a sloping hill. Here
was scattered a group of houses where
the doctor, the mill-owner, the minister
and two or three prosperous farmers
lived. Lived, so the Hollow people said,
stuck up" and apart from their neigh
But the aristocratic isolation was all
the work of the Hollow, for, as Mrs.
Woodcock often said:
Folks can choose their own place in
the world. If they have a mind to hold
up their heads and be something they can
be, or they can be nobody or nothing.
Either one."
Accordingly she held up her head and
made herself somebody, equally in the
kitchen of Mary Duffy, the Irish laun
dress, in Speck Lane, at the lowest dip of
the Hollow, and in the parlors of the spa
cious mansion that crowned the top of
Quality Hi..
So now she went up the wide, flower
bordered walk leading to Dr. Seacrest's
stately doorway with the assurence of a
welcome guest, and, tapping confidently
on the open door, stepped in with a little
nod and courtesy as much of respect to
herself as of deference to Mrs. Seacrest
and her daughter, Miriam, sitting sewing
and looking as tranquil as thouglwio storm
had ever passed over either vineyard or
Dear me! Is it you, Mrs. Woodcock?
How you started me! Come in. We
were speaking of you not half an hour
ago," cried Mrs. Seacrest, who was a live
ly, cordial woman, as round and flushed
as a poppy, and always sitting in the
sunshine, no matter what clouds there
might be in the sky.
Mrs. Woodcock came in. "Quite a
shower we have had," said she, dropping
upon a velvet sofa with an air of being
much at home on velvet. I noticed,
as I came along, Mr. Hurlbert's oats are
beaten flat, and I shouldn't wonder if
a good deal of injury was done by the
"Very likely," replied Mrs. Seacrest,
serenely. "The hailstones wcic very
large. But it has come off beautifully
now, and the air seems so much purer
after the storm."
Some people might nave felt put aside
at this, but not Mrs. Woodcock. She
perceived that something lay under this
placid surface, and, never being troubled
by excess of delicacy, proceeded at once
to send out her blood-hounds.
"How was it here?" said she, bold
ly. "Anything damaged about your
The dahlias, some of them were
broken off—didn't father say?" responded
Mrs. Seacrest, appealing to her daughter.
And I think some glass was broken in
the hot-house. The doctor has just or
dered a different style of sash, so these
are out of the way just in time."
Everything was always tish that came
to Mrs. Seacrest's net.
'Tisn't that," said Mrs. Woodcock to
herself. Something heavier than hail
stones is on her mind."
So she started another trail.
"Heard from Earnest lately?" she
"Not very long since," replied Mrs.
Seacrest, carelessly, but with the faint
est shadow of a shade slipping across her
sunny face for an instant.
"That is it," said the visitor, inwardly
nodding approvingly to herself. For it
is not everybody who would have had
the skill to touch upon the sore spot so
But before she had decided on her next
question Mrs. Seacrest spoke again.
W are expecting him home soon,
Mrs. Woodcock, with his wife."
His wife!" cried Mrs. Woodcock.
Even with her discerning foresight
she was not prepared for this announce
ment, Earnest Seacrest being yet a jun
ior in the State University.
Miriam looked steadily upon her work,
flushing with a look of painful annoy
ance, but her mother's tone was as
blithe as ever.
"Yes," said she "Earnest is young,
isn't he? But, after all, he is as old as I
was when I married. Our children take
us by surprise coming to be men and
women so much sooner than we expect."
"When do you look for him—them?"
faltered Mrs. Woodcock, too much be
wildered for her usual aptness of ques
"Almost at anytime I shall not be
surprised if they come to-day," answered
Mrs. Seacrest, not able to conceal some
nervous dread.
Not a dread that the married pair
might arrive before Mrs. Woodcock
should go away with her long ears, deep
eyes and broad tongue. Oh, no! Mrs.
Woodcock would have scorned herself
with contemptuous scorning if such an
unworthy jealousy had crossed her self
assured mind.
So she sat, and sat, and sat, while Mrs.
Seacrest sewed, and sewed, and sewed
and sewed.
Miriam, evidently unable to bear the
slow torture, soon found an errand to
her chamber, and found no reason for
Wasn't your son's marriage a little
sudden to you?" asked Mrs. Woodcock,
as soon as she had collected her ideas.
Somewhat. But it is so much better
for a young man to settle upon some one
than to fall into the habit of flirting," re
plied Mrs. Seacrest, with cheerful satis
faction. "And I have always been in
favor of early marriages. When people
wait till their habits are crystallized it is
much harder adapting themselves—"
Mrs. Seacrest's sentence was brought
to an untimely end by the stoppage of a
carriage at the gate—the doctor's car
riage, too, with the doctor himself to
So it seems she knew all the time
they were coming this very day, though
she made it so vague. And there was I,
as my good fortune would have it, right
in the midst of the home-coming," said
Mrs. Woodcock afterward, in relating
the story to Mademoiselle Widger.
Mademoiselle Widger was the milliner
who lived only three doors fpom Mrs.
Woodcock's, and said "Mon Dieu," to
appear like a French woman. She was
equally fond of a cup of tea and a dish of
gossip, and made all Mrs. Woodcock's
bonnets for nothing.
So there I sat and saw it all," pur
sued Mrs. Woodcock. And what do you
think, Mademoiselle, but Earnest came
in with a lady on his arm older than his
mother. 'My wife,' said he, and you
might have knocked me over with one of
your feather poppies. There never was
such a surprise in Throckmorton before."
"Mon Dieu!" cried mademoiselle, with
a little foreign scream. "Did you learn
how it happened?"
No more than the dead," replied Mrs.
Woodcock, solemnly. "Mrs. Seacrest
tried to pass it oft with her smooth-it
away manner, but she couldn't deceive
me. I could see she had hard work to
keep her feeling in. But there she poured
the tea and passed the cake to that old
thing as smiling as a moon. She is such
a hand to cover up and make as every
thing is iust right that happens to her."
So you staid to lunch?" queried mad
emoiselle, helping herself to a third cup
of beverage from Mrs. Woodcock's round
black pot as she spoke.
Yes, they asked me and I didn't wait
to be dcened. I thought it would be a
good chance to see the bride, how she
looked and how she appeared."
"Well, how was it?" asked the milli
ner, between her sips of tea.
"She appeared well enough, as far as
that went, if she hadn't seemed old
enough to be his grandmother. You know
Earnest is master young-looking for his
years, and I don't suppose he is a day
over twenty."
But didn't you have any surmise how
it happened to take place?" pursued
"Well, I suppose she must have been
worth property," returned Mrs. Wood
cock, who, like a wise general, never ac
knowledged a defeat. But for all that
I don't commend it in him, and I had as
lief tell him so at his dinner-table."
While thus the hidden affairs of the
doctor's family were being discussed and
stirred up in the Hollow, as a hen stirs
among dead leaves, on the hill they were
being covered over like the lost babes in
the wood. It was never the Seacrest
fashion to parade the family skeletons
like the family jewels. So they ate and
drank and laughed, and tried to look at
the elderly bride without shuddering.
But the age was not the worst of it.
She was homely. And her homeliness
was not the worst she was stiff and unat
tractive in person. And it was hardly
the consolation that perhaps it should
have been to perceive the unlimited fond
ness that the boy bridegroom had for his
aged companion. For it is really a com
fort, though a small one, to see our
friends chafe under degradation. Accept
ing slavery with contentment makes the
captive twice a slave.
However, the less the family felt like
saying sweet things, the more they
pressed the sugared cake, the ice-cream
s^nd strawberries upon their new member.
But all this time there was something in
the background waiting to be brought
forward, and it was the bride who had the
courage first to touch it.
"Earnest," she began, with the domi
nant air of an elderly aunt, an explana
tion is due your father and mother—and
sister," she added, glancing sharply at
Miriam, who was fairly seasick with dis
gust and sorrow and mortification.
Yes, Lily, tell them," answered Earn
est, looking at her as though she were
sugar candy.
The idea of calling that old, black,
greasy thing Lily."
"The truth is, then," said Lily, turn
ing her withered face away from
Earnest as though it cost her an
effort, by the will of the uncle
from whom I had my money, un
less I married before a certain date I lost
it all. And a kinsman, who was heir-at
law, wras very anxious to inherit it."
"The old cur wanted Lily himself," in
terposed Earnest, "and he thought if he
got her money he would be sure to get
her. At any rate, he was resolved to
have that. This was why we had to be so
Miriam fairly groaned and even fairy
hearted Mrs. Seacrest dropped her nap
kin-ring on the floor, and came up from
stooping for it with wet eyelashes. To
think that Earnest has sold himself for
this woman's gold! So Mrs. Woodcock
down in the Hollow was right after all.
But, as though she suspected the nature
of their thoughts, Lily went on.
I had some trouble in persuading
Earnest," she said, looking at him fondly
through her blue glasses, while she pat
ted her gray curls and settled her cap.
I knew you had," ejaculated Miriam,
inaudibly.) He had a foolish notion of
waiting till after I had lost my property.
But I had a right to it and I wanted to
keep it."
W had a jolly time, though, dodg
ing old Drymar. He is about discover
ing now, Lily, that he isn't so smart as
he thought he was," said Earnest, burst
ing into a joyous laugh, and nobody felt
the heart to join in.
Then he took from his pocket the mar
riage certificate, dated that very day. It
seemed he had telegraphed to his father
to meet him and his wife at the station
not more than five minutes after she be
came his wife.
We had to turn pretty sharp corners
to keep out of Drymar's way," continued
Earnest, still chuckling. "He thought
he had Lily safely locked in her room,
while he sent for a justice, thinking he
would frighten her into a marriage with
him, or, at any rate, keep her away from
other men till the day had gone by. But
Lily was better at picking locks than he
thought and she came to me, poor
thing, so out of breath and frightened."
Earnest's voice grew tenderer and
pitiful at the thought, and he took Lily's
hand in his with a caressing gesture.
I loved her ever since I have been in
college, and she knew it, but we had to
keep it to ourselves on old Drymar's ac
count. And I was dying to marry her,
but I didn't like the idea of marrying
for money exactly. However, there
wasn't any help for it then, mother, you
see. Drymar was her legal guardian
until she married, or was of a certain
age. So chum and I fixed her up in her
bridal dress, and here Ave are!"
Upon that the irrepressible bridegroom
got up and kissed his bride, then led
her from the room, saying over his
We will be back directly."
When they were gone, a sorrowful sigh
bubbled out of the mother's soul.
"Poor boy!" said she "his heart is
all right, and I cannot blame him."
I blame him for falling in love with
his grandmother, in the first place," said
Miriam, severely. "And her having the
money makes it all the more horrible. It
seems so sordid, even though we may
know better."
Almost before they had done speaking
they heard Earnest's step on the stairs,
and his voice in such loving, happy tones
that it sent fresh pain through the listen
ers. Then he appeared with his bright,
curling head and his sunny eyes like his
mother's. But with him came, instead
of the wrrinkled old bride, a fair-faced,
blushing girl, with a shower of golden
hair, and all the beauty of youth and
happiness on her sweet face. A lily truly,
beautiful and pure.
We had to fix her up that way, chum
and I, for fear old Drymar would meet
us," cried Earnest, with a burst of boy
ish delight at the astonished and relieved
faces of the family "and it has been
such fun to watch Miriam this evening.
Father and mother keep in better."
"Mon Dieu! Do you call that little
creature old enough to be Earnest's
grandmother?" whispered Mademoiselle
Widger to Mrs. Woodcock, leaning over
her pew railing on the ^next Sabbath, as
the Seacrests came into church.
Mrs. Woodcock looked, took off her
glasses, wiped them, and looked again
Mercy on me! And I sat as near
her on that clay as I am to the minister
now! How a body's eyes will deceive
them!" she cried.
Hippophagy In Paris.
A FRENCH savant furnishes, in a recent
number of the Economise Francais, much
curious information respecting the use
of horse-flesh in Paris. In France this
edible is used to a much greater extent
than in Germany, though in that country
its use is steadily increasing. It is
dressed in as many different ways as
beef—roast, baked, hashed, stewed and
fried as steak. But it is in the form of
sausage that it is most largely consumed,
and in this shape its use is by no means
confined to Paris. Indeed, one of the larg
est factories for the making ofsausages
from horse-flesh is situated at Beau
caire, in the Gard. During the year no
fewer than 500 horses were manufactured
into sausages at that establishment. Be
sides the flesh, the tongue, brain and
liver of horses are sold as delicacies, and
even the fat, we are told, is converted
into a kind of butter. In consequence of
the growth of the taste for horse-flesh,
the price of worn-out horses has risen
enormously of late, miserable animals
which a few years ago the knackers were
able to buy for £1 now costing £2.
Animals fit for food fetch from
£5 to £6. Of course it must not
be said that it is only horses which
are past work that are slaughtered
for the butcher's shop. At the same
time, however, every precaution is taken
to prevent unsound beasts from being
used as food. In Paris the horses must
be slaughtered either at the municipal
abattoir in the Boulevard de l'Hopital or
ft a private abattoir at Pantin, and each
of them is inspected by a veterinary sur
geon before being slaughtered, and again
before the flesh is allowed to be ottered
for sale. Mules and asses arc also eaten,
and their flesh, though firmer than that
of the horse, is said to be more delicate.
On the first day of the present yesir there
were in Paris forty-eight shops open for
the sale of the flesh of horses, mules and
asses. Most of the butchers slaughtered
the animals they sold, but some few buy
the meat by the piece, like Jhe smaller
dealers in other kinds of meat. The cus
tomers of these shops belong neither to
the well-to-do nor to the indigent classes.
Generally speaking they are either clerks
with small salaries or work-people with
families. As a rule, the price of the
meat is about half the price of beef. The
inferior parts fetch from twenty to thirty
centimes to the half-kilogramme, which
but very slightly exceeds the pound avoir
dupois, and the best parts range from a
franc to a franc and a quarter. Even
these prices, high as they seem, have
lately been passed and yet so dear are
beef and mutton that the demand for
horse-flesh continues to increase.
How to Take a Pictnrei
HE artist, having secured a customer,
js supposed to seat the happy individual
in the skylight room in the proper posi
tion. He then gets out his portrait lens
and after carefully wiping the surfaces
of the glasses with a clean silk handker
chief or chamois leather screws it on to
the portrait camera and places them
both on the heavy camera stand oppo
site to the subject to be taken. He then
lays the focusing-cloth on the camera
and puts his head under the cloth in or
der to see more clearly the image on the
ground-glass. He slides in or out the
inner body of the camera until the image
is seen quite distinctly and then fixes
the camera with the screw provided.
The ground-glass frame is then removed
from the camera and the dark side in
serted in its place. The lens is then
covered, the shutter of the dark slide is
raised and the lens cap gently removed so
as not to shake the camera thus the
light will be admitted to the sensitive
plate. The time of exposure varies, but
an average of tec seconds may be
allowed. At the end of that time
the cap is replaced on its lever,
the shutter of the slide is shut down and
taken into the dark room. The door be
ing closed so as to exclude all white
light, the'plate is carefully removed from
the dark slide. The nitrate solution
which has accumulated at the bottom is
drained off. An ounce of developing so
lution is put into a measuring glass, and
while holding the plate horizontally by
the bare corner, collodion side upward,
enough of the solution is poured along
the bottom edge of the plate to easily
cover it. The plate is gently inclined to
allow the solution to flow uniformly
backward and forward. The image
quickly appears. When its shaded por
tion* are fully out, the solution is turned
off and the plate washed by allowing
water to flow over it for not less than
one minute. The plate is then laid in a
shallow dish kept for the purpose, and
there is quickly poured over it enough
of the fixing solution to cover it. As
soon as the yellow film of iodide of silver
is dissolved, the plate is lifted out and
washed. The plate is then dried and the
collodion surface varnished, after which
the picture is complete. This is the proc
ess for taking simply glass pdsitives.
There is some variation, but not of mate
rial interest to the reader, in taken nega
tives.—Chioigo Times.
—A rich bachelor in Providence de
clares he must marry a girl who ends her
name with ie," and all the Fannies
and Josies and Minnies are thinking
what they will do about it.
What becomes of dogs when they
die?" was what a juvenile in Boston
a6ked his pa. "They go to the happy
land of canine," his parent quickly re»
The follies of superstition and creduli.
ty, instead of dying out with advancing
knowledge, seem of late to have received
an impetus and to be pervading all class
es of people. The notions ridiculed by
Addison a century and a half ago a
still prevalent. A screech-owl hooting
at night alarms the hearer as the roar of
a lion would do. A rusty nail or a
crooked pin is invested with prodigious
powers. The ticking of the "death
watch" is a prognostic of the death of
some one dear to us. The loud cracking
of furniture in a room or the breaking of
a looking-glass—both of which accidents
are often caused by a sudden change of
temperature—is horrifying, and causes
us to expect the death of a
near relative. Sudden chills com-"
ing over us signify that an enemy is at
that moment moving on the place where
our grave will be some time.
The practice of seeking for water by
means of magic applications is very com
mon in all parts of the world. The
process employed by these practitioners
(usually reverend-looking old men,
whose appearance is calculated to allay
mistrust) is to take in their hands in a pe
culiar manner a triangular branch of
witch-hazel or willow, with which they
pass over the ground until the wand
turns in their grasp, with the angle point
downward, under which exact spot
they promise that water will be
found. These Water-witches assure
you that when they come to
the right places they cannot con
trol the wand, the strength of the in
fluence on it being various, and accord
ing to the depth of the water from the
surface operated on. In many mining
regions the same methods are applied to
find mineral deposits, the wand employed
being usually made ol a thin and flexible
metal prepared for the purpose, for
which magical virtues are claimed.
To discover lost articles it is usual to
spit on the palm of "the left hand, and
strike the deposit a sharp blow with the
fore-finger of the right hand. Then by
following the direction in which the
farthest particle of the spittle has been
splashed we shall find the thing sought.
This means, however, can be used only
within the circumscribed limits of a
room or playground.
With regard to charms, here are some
which are still in common use: If when
walking you get a pain in your side, lift
a stone, spit where it lay, replace it and
go on, neither speaking nor looking back,
and the pain will leave you. Are you
afraid of spooks or any supernatural hob
goblins, press your thumbs into the
palms of your hands and the ghosts will
not come near you. To make your vine
gar sour write on a piece of paper the
names of the three most vixenish women
you know, throw the paper into the cask
and the vinegar will become as acid as
you can desire. Purslain placed in your
bed will prevent visions, especially of ill
omen or discomfort. Sew a four-leaved
clover in any portion of your wearing
apparel and good luck will follow you
wherever you go.
Our farmers sow theii flax on the one
hundredth day of the year their clover
seed in March, when the almanac sign is
in the Crab, so that the roots may spread
and hold fast, and the frosts of winter
cannot draw them out. Fences must be
made when the sign is up, else they will
sink down in the ground. Houses must
be shingled in the down sign to keep the
nails from coming up. I know a very
fine old woman, a believer in signs
for planting garden-truck, who once
planted her potatoes in a down sign, and
when she came to dig them declared that
she would never plant them so again, for
they got down so deep that she could
scarcely find them. Timber must be cut
in certain signs to keep it from rotting.
Cattle and hogs must be slaughtered
when the sign is up, so that the meat
may swell when cooked. Potatoes must
be planted in Libra, so that they will
weigh heavy or grow large. They can
also be planted in the Lion, to make
them grow strong and large. Peas and
beans must have their poles stuck when
the sign is. So with hops, or they will
never climb. Cucumbers must be planted
on the 1st of May for the first crop
for the second crop plant on Whitsuntide,
when there will be a tremendous yield,
because there is always a large crowd of
people keeping that holiday.
The belief in lucky and unlucky days
and numbers is equally widespread.
Whoever happens to have been born on
any of the unlucky days, unless provided
with a talisman to ward off the evil, must
take pot luck" and play a grab game
all the days of his life. No business of
importance must be commenced on Fri
day, save that of hanging, trimming the
nails or cutting the hair. Do not move
on Saturday, for if you do you will not
stay long. Saturday is also an especially
unlucky day to be married on.
These superstitious beliefs are kept up
in the same manner in which they were
transmitted to us from our Scandinavian
ancestors—by teaching them to children
too young to question their truth. Old
people sit by firesides and tell ghost
stories until every listening child's eyes
row large and glistening with fear,
'hus impressions are made on the plastic
mind which years of study and intelli-
ent reasoning do not always eradicate,
many persons are afraid to go into
the dark alone or to pass a graveyard in
the night! How many neighborhoods
on this continent, as well as in Europe,
have their haunted houses, with local
traditions, which are related with at
least the affectation of belief! My inter
est in the subject has led me to investi
gate the causes of the noises and visions
more than once represented to haunt
certain places. In several instances
where I have expressed this intention I
have been met with earnest arguments
to dissuade me from making the attempt.
Several of these explorations were made
in secret, without any previous announce
ment. Such inquiries have brought me
to the conclusion that the ordinary
noises heard about the so-called haunted
houses are produced by rats, mice, flying
squirrels, owls, hawks, bats and other ani
mals which usually harbor in deserted
buildings. The extraordinary noises are
made by cracking or decaying timbers,
falling plaster, bricks, etc., but sometimes
by thieves who resort to these places for
the purpose of hiding their plunder, and
who seek to make the suspected places
avoided by the people of the vicinity.
The lights seen hovering and flitting
around haunted places, whether houses
or dark, dismal retreats, are often car
ried by the persons referred to, and their
occasional appearance strikes terror
into the hearts of the beholders. An
other and more common cause of these
luminous appearances is found in the
tissues of all kinds which abound in such
In one famous haunted house on the
road between Yellow Springs and Xenia,
Ohio, these exhibitions were specially
noted. The people throughout that re
gion hesitated to speak about •the place,
and its peculiarities were mentioned in
whispers. Hence my curiosity was
aroused, and after preparing myself to
resist any danger that might occur from
the presence of desperate characters 1
proceeded to the place and provided an
excellent point for viewing the premises
It would have been a tedious business
to wait until midnight, the time when
ghosts are said to appear. But I did not
have to wait so long. About eleven
ciock a warm stream of air blew up
from the south over a creek and a quar
ter of a mile or more of rich, black,
warm bottom-land. As the vapor struck
the hillside it condensed, and little flving
balloons of mist flew hither and thither.
The warm air lingered over and ferment
ed an old pile of compost, decaying straw
and a few old boards that were lying
about. Then there arose a vaporous^
luminous body, which, with its base on
the ground and conical or round, fiery,
cloud-like head in the air, took the shape
of a woman. Crimson and livid blood
like spots and streaks were about her neck
and scattered over her dress. She waved
her hands, and her hair floated about in
clouds of light, while her eyes glittered
like the cold moon. Rising slowly from
her hideous bed, the specter moved hith
er and thither, as if the wind toyed with
her and she cared not whither she was
taken. At last she started as if to visit
me in my retreat then turning a corner
of the stable she nearly disappeared,
there being nothing left visible but a
long, dirty-white trail. In a moment the
phantom turned again and crept into the
broken doorway, stooping as she re
tired. Several minutes elapsed, and con
cluding that she had collapsed or worn
out her vaporous strength I was in the
act of leaving the place when she came
through the opening of the door-way and
crevices between the logs. Then, after
walking or floating about a while her
light went out and she became thinner,
and finally disappeared. The shape of
the apparition was such that It was easy
for an imaginative person to see in it the
form of a sad-faced or angry-eyed, rest
less woman. Then how easy to create a
legend filled with details of a mysterious
murder, and make this the unhappy vic
tim, whose shadow must haunt the place
of her taking off until her manes are ap
peased in some legal and effective man
ner! But my evidence makes this base
less fabric of a vision the mere
result of the vaporous exhalations
of a compost-pile. I had a very
fine pair of field-glasses, and could see
clearly the effects produced by the stream
of air when it came in contact with the
compost. The vapor began at that mo
ment to arise, and the result would oc
cur in all seasons Then the luminous
lets and variegated colors sprang up
from the warm laboratory wherein Na
ture's chemistry was at work, and finally
the thin, vaporous cloud which really had
not any definite shape was carried at the
caprice of the soft zephyr winds which
flitted about, but did not blow sufficient
ly strong to carry this heavier body out
of the regular draughts through the
openings of the dilapidated house.
One of the most noted haunted places
in Lancaster County, Pa., once attracted
my special attention. The locality, house
and surroundings were famous because
of the strange noises and lights which
had given the place its bad reputation.
Many persons had seen and fled from
these visions, and affrighted people con
stantly reported the strangest and most
unaccountable circumstances concerning
what had occurred to them while passing
by or near the obnoxious place. A trip
thither one night disclosed to me the fact
that it was the resort of party
of gamblers, who employed certain
means and appliances to frighten
away the curious and prevent them from
exposing the mysteries of the place.
Among their paraphernalia was an in
strument known by boys under the name
of a locust. The hideous scraping noise
which this makes when in operation is
calculated to made any one fly from the
vicinity where it is set in motion, espe
cially when this occurs at midnight in a
suspected place. These persons were
also provided with hideous masks made
of parti-colored paper, pumpkins, hair,
cowtails and other articles. Colored
lights were also presented, sometimes
suddenly, and again to illuminate the
apertures through which these mysterious
appearances were made visible to the
scared community.
After this exposure of the follies of
superstition it may prove an amusing
confession on my part when I acknowl
edge to having a tinge of the same
leaven in my composition. A special
instance in which this crops out is with
regard to a ring which I wear, and whose
appearance I often consult with a certain
weak faith in its indications. It was
given to me by a crack-brained chemist
who ruined himself with drink and the
search for the philosopher's stone. The
jewel it encircles was made by him in
his laboratory, and he assured me it con
tained parts of the iron employed in
making certain famous articles that are
held in high veneration throughout the
world sand from the Dead Sea,.and clay
from the pits of Baradetha, on the banks
of the river Jordan and ashes of the
bones of a suicide—all cemented with
the blood o'f the chemist himself. The
stone is certainly a singular composition
in appearance and peculiarities. Often
I find it grayish or black, dull and gloomy
to the apprehension. The lines on its
surface and the shadows in its depth are
hidden and almost invisible. Anon the
colors become light and lively as the
tints on a fresh painting. The green be
comes a glittering emerald, the brown a
bright russet, the gray sparkles with in
numerable points of stellated fractures,
the veins and flacculent clouds appear
floating in its depths, and the blood
marks are bright and clear as the crim
son tide whence it had its origin. To
day it is all brightness. But a few days
ago it was as dark as the brow of a
tempest. All its lines and shadows were
gathered into a thick gray cloud, and
the surface was black like the grained
texture of crape. I did not like to look
on the jewel, for there was no hope or
comfort in its utterances. The sky was
gloomy, the rains descended, cold winds
were blasting all they touched, and the
demons of the storm held the glamour
of their might over the stone and myself.
I well know that the stone is affected
by the electrical conditions of my per
son so when I am bilious and the weath
er is productive of melancholy feelings
the nng absorbs my mood and is as dull
phosphoric exhalations arising from the as my own torpidity. In the sunshine
I compost-rile decaying timbers and and brightness of my own vivacity it
takes from me the light and reflects the
warmth of_my heart. Thus I explain the
philosophy of this strange stone, yet a
latent faith in superstition makes me
wear it as a charm.—/. E. Nagle, in Lip
pincotfs Magazine.
—In a little town out West a lady teach
er was exercising a class of juveniles in
mental arithmetic. She commenced the
question, If you buy a cow for ten dol
lars—" when up came a little hand.
What is it, Johnny?" Why, you can't
buy no kind of a cow for ten dollars
father sold one for sixty dollars the oth
er day, and she was a regular old scrub
at that."
Pet Spiders.
A writer in the American Naturalist
gives an interesting account of his expe
rience in taming a pair of spiders of the
genus Lycosa. These spiders never build
a web, but wander for their prey, hiding
under stones or burrowing in the ground.
They are large and stout, and covered
with hair and some of them, as the ta
rantula, are formidable insects indeed.
The pair in question were confined in a
cigar-box, covered with a pane of glass,
through which their proceedings were
watched. Spiders do not ordinarily man
ifest social qualities but these, after
their first fear of each other was over
come, became exceedingly friendly. In
the beginning of their acquaintance botli
were timid and shy, but in the course of
a week they had established a most ami
cable intimacy. They would chase each
other about the box, first one and then
the other being the pursuer. They
would meet together in a mimic battle,
rearing on their hind legs with the fore
legs of each resting on the other's head
and body, and distending their iaws,
seeming on dire mischief intent. And
after a moment's harmless encounter
they would drop their feet again and run
away from each other, like *a couple of
playful kittens.
The only time they exhibited absolute
ill-temper was when their daily draft of
water was given them. In their eager
ness to quench their thirst they would
often crowd and jostle each other, and
then one would, like enough, turn mad
and drive the other away. Their owner
upplied them with water by means of as
whalebone fringed into a brush at one
end. This would hold a drop or two.
After the first two or three times of drink
ing from this fountain the spiders would
run for it the instant it was introduced
into the box, and, rising on their hind
ffl gs, resting their fore legs on the whale
bone, they would suck it drv. Spideis
are supposed capablo of enduring long
fasts from food and drink but, in this
instance, they were always ready to slake
their thirst at least once a day
They were amply supplied with flies,
which they would capture something as
a cat catches a bird. They would creep
to within an inch of their victim then,
standing motionless a moment, throw
the body forward the length of the hind
legs, which would remain fixed. They
seldom missed on the first effort but i"f
they did they would repeat the attempt
until successful. After eating they would
clean themselves oft' with great precision,
first brushing ofl the body with the 1PO\S,
and then the legs with the jaws and
palpi. When all was done, the minute
heap of dirt which they had accum
ulated in front of them would be pushed
away with the fore-legs.
On one occasion a common house
spider was put in the box with them. It
was mlWh smaller than they, yet they
were greatly afraid of it, keeping as far
from it as possible. In the night the
liousc-gpidcr spun a web covering most
of the box. Next morning they were
found in one corner completely cowed.
On removing the house-spider they re
covered their spirits and were as lively as
ever. Earth was provided for them in
which to burrow and hide, if they chose.
But civilization had probably deranged
their natural instincts for, though they
dug holes in it, they were irregularly
constructed, and were never used for
purposes of concealment.
Bradbury's Mistake.
In Philadelphia there are whole blocks
of houses exactly alike, and sometimes
there is such a quantity of them in a
square that a man who lives near the
middle has to begin counting at the cor
ner in order to ascertain which is his
house. Mr. Bradbury a few nights ago
came home late, and as he was thinking
of something else he forgot to count.
When about two doors from homo he
ran up the front steps of Mr. Petty's res.
idence with a conviction that it was his
own. His dead-latch key opened the
door readily, and Bradbury, after grop
ing around in the dark for the hat-rack,
knocked against it and upset it. Mr.
Petty was up-stairs just about to go to
bed. When he heard the noise be went
to the head of the staircase and listened.
He discovered that there was a man in
the hall below and he knew at once it
was a burglar. So he went back to his
room and got his revolver. Then he shut
his eyes and fired at random. The noise
waked Mrs. Petty and she began to
scream violently. Then Bradbury felt
certain that there was a band of robbers
up-stairs engaged in butchering Mrs.*
Bradbury and the children. As he
started to creep softly up the staircase to
reconnoitre Petty began to steal quietly
down the staircase to look after the burg
lar he had killed. They met on the first
landing, and although both were terribly
frightened they grappled, for both knew
it would be a struggle to the death. After
fighting desperately the combatants
rolled down the stairs to the floor be
neath, while Mrs. Petty sprang the rattle
for a policeman. Just as Petty got the
upper hand of Bradbury and was mutilat
ing his nose with his fist, the police burst
the front door open and struck a light.
Then an explanation ensued and Brad
bury went home. You have perhaps seen
a prize egg plant at an agricultural fair'
Well, Bradbury's nose resembled that in
size and color and shape, and now he not
only counts from the corner when he
comes home, but he has the front of his
house painted white, with a locomotive
headlight over the front door.—Max
—A couple of neighbors became so in
imical that they would not speak to each
other, but one of them, having been con
verted at a camp-meeting, on seeing his
ormer enemy held out his hand, saying
How d'ye do, Kemp? I am humble
enough to shake hands with a dog!"
—A lady in Winnipauk recently left
the following note for tlie milkman:
Mr. pleas to put in wun quart,
and leve me some more tikets and ef this
note shud bio away and yo kant fine it,
plese le?e me the tlket all the earn."

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