Established July I, 1859.
A Map of Busy Life ; Its Fluctuations and Its Vast Concerns.
Subscriotion, $ I .OO a Year, in Advance.
BENTON, LOUISIANA, THURSDAY. JUNE 4, 1896.
A COMEDY OF ERRORS.
BY HELEN FORREST GRAVES.
Squire Puckenham was very angry.
l3eiug a member of the cbtirclt, be
didn't swear. But be slammed the
kitchen door so violently when be
came in that Keturah, bis wife, com
prehended at once that something was
"Dear me, Abram," said she mildly,
looking up from the apples she was
slicing for pun-dowdy, "there ain't no
occasion to take the door off its
hinges! 'Vint'-, the trouble now?"
"It's Betsey Brigg»!" answered the
squire, seating bimsel r , with some
vehemence, on a cushioned chair.
"The airs that creetur gives herself
"Airs?" said Mrs. Packenkam. I
didn't know as them was Betsey
Briggs' weaknesses. "
"I dunno wlmt you'll call it," said
the squire. "She was out in the gar
den pickin' peas, au' I jest hollered to
her, as I come by, to see if she'd be
willin' to entertain the sewin' society
at her house next Thursday. And, if
you'll believe me, she didn't say a
word—neither yes nor no!"
"Well, I never!" said Mrs. Pack
enham. "But," with a gentle desire
for extenuation, "you mustn't forget,
Abram, that Betsey Briggs is near
"That don't prevent her hearin',
does it ? " the squire demanded,
"I didn't think o' that," said meek
Mra Packenham, rejecting a golden
summer apple, which had a bruise on
its mellowest side. "But I'm quite
sure Betsey didn't mean no harm.
Betsey never does."
"I dunno how that may be," said
the squire, morosely, "but I do know
I shan't put myself out to speak to her
ag'in, unless she sees fit to apolo
"I can't make it out at all," said
Mrs. Packenham, slowly shaking her
Miss Carter was the next person
who stopped at the Packenham house.
She was a spart* female, whose exact
age, like that of the obelisk, was
wrapped in mystery, and she was a
book-agent of the most rabid type
and deadly execution.
"P'raps you'd liko to subscribe to
the Housekeeper's Weekly Visitor,
Mis' Packenham?" said she, rounding
off her sentences with a prodigious
"Wal, no," said Mrs. Packenham.
"We aren't,much o' readers here.
"Or maybe your husband would
like to take a copy of the 'Ten Lead
iug American Patriots?'" suggested
Miss Carter, struggling with her ca
"Abram don't read nothin' but the
newspapers," said Mrs. Packenham.
"His eyesight ain't what it was."
"Who's your neighbor down under
the hill?" sharply interrupted Miss
Carter. "Just beyond the brook,
where the bridge is out of repair?"
"Her name is Briggs," said Mrs.
"Well, whoever she is," snorted
Miss Carter, "she hasn't no more man
ners than a mooly cow. Not to notice
me, even, and me 6tandin' there,
talkin' myself hoarse to her. Not even
to turn her head to look at me !"
"Dear, dear!" said Mrs. Packen
ham, "that's very strange ! Betsey's
a dreadful sociable creetur. That
don't 6eem like her a bit."
"Well, that don't signify," said Miss
Carter, seating herself, and opening
her leather packet. "But I'd just like
you to look at a few recent publica
tions I've got here."
"Oh, don't trouble to show 'em to
me!" said Mrs. Packenham,apprehen
sively. "I hain't no money to buy,
no time to read ; and the churn in's be
hindhand this moruiu', und I've got
soft-soap to make."
"It won't take a minute," persuas
ively argued Miss Carter.
And she sat two mortal hours in the
squire's kitchen and made Mrs. Pack
enham subscribe to the Housekeeper's
Weekly Visitor for a term of three
years before she departed.
"Betsey Briggs managed her the
best way," groaned Mrs. Packenham,
as she looked iuto the recesses of her
empty pocket book. "What will
The clergyman, a slender dyspeptic
young man of six-and-twenty, stopped
at the garden gate to give sister
Briggs a friendly goo 1 afternoon that
day, but she did not return his polite
greeting. He repeated it a little
louder and still she took no note of
his spectacled gaze and his new silk
"I hope I haven't offended her in
any way," said Mr. Sweetlands to
himself, and he tried to think back to
the sentences of his last sermon about
gossips and meddlers.
"I don't think I said anything which
she could, by any possibility apply to
herself. Miss Briggs—Miss Briggs, I
He waited a minute or so for a re
ply, which did not come; then he
sighed and walked on.
"These single sisters arc perhaps a
trifle difficult to manage," said he.
"But doubtless experience will smooth
my pathway in time."
And, naturally enough,
Mr. Sweetlands stepped in
Packenham's to ask her
thought he could possibly
fended Miss Betsey Briggs.
And just as he was detailing in
Mrs. Packenham's puzzled ears the
tale of his perplexity, a stout elderly
man, with a sea-faring aspect, rapped
at the door with a knobby stick.
"Ahoy, there!" said captain Giles
Gilliloe. "I hope I ain't intrudin',
but these is all strange waters to me.
I've just hailed a neighborin' craft.
Betsey Briggs by name, and she don't
lower no signals. P'raps I've sighted
the wrong coast ?"
"Miss Briggs lives at the next
house,''Mrs. Packenham said. "That's
"I'm her cousin," said captain Giles
Gilliloe. "She has invited me to
moor my craft in these parts for
awhile, but I ain't used to heave an
chor along side o'them as don't speak
to me civil. And I hope I've made
my log-book clear."
"I really can't account for it," said
Mrs. Packenham, with a troubled ex
pression of countenance. "Set down,
cap'n Gilliloe, I've often heard her
speak of you, and I'm sure she wouldn't
intend any incivility. Set down and
have a chat with Mr. Sweetlands, our
minister, and I'll step over to Betsey's
at once and see what all this means."
The sun had gone down in the crim
son bluze which belongs only to July
skies—a soft, purpling twilight was
brooding over the swamp meadow,
and the orange lilies glowed mysti
cally in the apple orchard, as Mrs.
Packenham hurried toward the old
Briggs homestead, whose chimney
stack rose out of a wilderness of tall
lilac bushes. There, sure enough,was
Miss Betsey in the vegetable garden,
her sunbounet flapping in the evening
breeze, but just as Mrs. Packenham
laid her hand on the latch of the
picket gate, Bowse, farmer Pond's big
red bull, knocked his horns against a
weak spot in the adjacent pasture fence
and came thundering iuto tho iuclos.
ure with his tail in tho air, his huge
head lowered almost to the ground
and a low-muttered note of defiance
breathed through his threatening nos
"La, me," cried Mrs. Packenham,
"there's that brute loose again ! And
not a man in sight! And Betsey
Bri ggs with her red caliker gown on.
She'll be killed as sure as the world.
Oh, dear, oh, dear!"
As the reflection eddied through
her mind, the animal made an intim
ated charge toward the figure darkly
outlined against tho hedge of silver
green pea-vines, uttering a savage
bellow as he rushed past, and Mrs.
Packenham hurried, screaming, down
"Abram! Mr. Sweetlands! Cap'n
Gilliloe!" she shouted. "Helpiheip!
Oh, why don't somebody come? Par
mer Pond's Bowse has knocked poor
Betsey Briggs down iuto the pea-vine
and is a-goriu' her awful! Help ! help !
help! She'll be killed as sure us the
world! Help! help!"
Just as she burst into tho door at
the end of the kitchen, the opposite
one opened, and in walked—Betsey
Briggs herself, cool, calm and com
posed, with a veil folded neatly over
her dove-colored silk hat, and a trav
eling bag in her hand.
Mrs. Packenham sat down and be
gan to laugh and cry hysterically;
Mrs. Sweetlands opened his pale blue
eyes like watery moons; the squire
stared; Captain Gilliloo held out his
two brown hands and waved a fore
Miss Betsey looked around in gentle
"Dear me!" said she. "What is
the matter? What is everybody look
ing at me so for? How d'ye do,
cousin Giles? Why don't you go on
to the house? I thought you was
coinin' to make me a visit!"
"I—I don't make out this here
reckonin' at all," said captain Gilliloe,
scratching his puzzled head. "Some
how the wrong signals have been
swung out. But it's all right now—
aye, aye, it's all right now! The fig
ure-head of the Betsey Briggs can't be
"I've just been up to Albany," ex
plained Miss Betsey, "to order a new
parlor carpet. I went up yesterday,
and come down on the evening train ;
"But, Betsey," cried Mrs. Packen
ham, clutching spasmodically at her
friend's arm, "who is that in your
back garden—gathering peas, yon
know ? For as true as you live and
breathe, farmer Pond's Bowse has
trampled her to death by this time."
"That!" said Miss Betsey. "Oh,
that's my wire dummy, as I had when
I worked at the dressmakin' trade! I
just dressed it up in some of my old
clothes, as a kind of scarecrow-like,to
keep the pigeons fro in stealing the
green peas right out of my pods.
They're the sauciest creeturs in all
the world. Why, you didn't never
take it for a live person did you? "
And everybody laughed the more
heartily as their folly became appar
ent to them.
"I declare to goodness I was clean
out of my lattitude and longitude,"
said the sea captain with a chuckle.
"Appearances are deceitful," said
mild Mr. Sweetlands, rubbing his
"I won't believe my own eyes
ag'in!" shouted the squire.
And then they all three went to
drivo the belligerent bull out of Miss
Briggs' vegetable garden, and to patch
up the defective pickets in the fence,
and Miss Betsey herself sat down to
drink a comfortable ciqa of tea with
"For I'm sure I need one after all
I've been through," said the squire's
"Well I declare," said sympathetic
Miss Betsey, "it must ha' been a trial.
I won't never put that dummy out
Derailed by a Buzzard.
As the mail train on the Pensacola
and Atlantic division of the Louisville
& Nashville railway was bowling along
between Bonifay and Gary ville, Fla.,
some heavy object struck the head
light, smashing the glass and knock
ing the burner off the lamp. Tho oil
caught fire, and in an instant the
front of the engine was in flames.
The engineer was alarmed, and re*
versed the lever so suddenly that the
cars bumped together with great force,
injuring several passengers and de
railing the engine.
By hard work the flames were ex
tinguished and then the engine wai
examined. It was found that a buz
zard had struck the headlight and
caused the trouble. The bird was
found wedged in the headlight, with
its feathers burned off and thoroughly
cooked. The accident cost the rail
road several hundred dollars andjraf- ;
tic was delayed for rive hours.— PhilA
THE NOBODY MAN.
I walked one day. a long, long way,
Down to Topsy-Turvy Town,
Where it's day all night, and it's night all
In the Land of Upside Down.
And who do you think was walking round?
Imagine it if you can ;
In the land of Upside Down I found
The Nobody Man !
His head was bowed, and ho groaned aloud,
With the burden that he bore ;
Misdeeds and mishaps, a wonderful crowd,
Till there seemed no room for more.
"And why are you so heavily tasked,
On such an unequal plan ?"
As I sat on a wayside seat, I asked
The Nobody Man.
He sat him nigh with a doleful sigh,
And he said : "It needs must be ;
What 'Nobody' does at home so sly
Is shouldered here by me,
The slips and mishaps that are, soon or late.
Denied by the careless clan.
In the Land of Upside Down all weight
The Nobody Man."
He passed along with a doleful song,
This overburdened wight,
And, bowed with the weight of other folk's
He hobbled out of sight ;
And I don't understand how it all can be,
Or why he should hear this ban,
But—well, 'twas a wonderful thing to see
The Nobody Man !
—Winthrop Packard, in St. Nicholas.
Eskimos live in the far north. They
Wear furs and skins to keep them
warm. They get these furs and skins
from the animals which they catch.
Their houses or huts are built of snow
and ice, as they cannot get any wood,
for trees will not grow in the frozen
ground. It is very cold there all the
time, and the sun for months is
never seen. Even in summer they
see ice many feet high ; they eat the
flesh of the animals which they catch
as they can raise no vegetable for the
ground is frozen all the time; the Es
kimos drink oil and eat fat ; they eat
most of their food raw ; the oil that
they get from the whale they use for
They drive dogs for horses aud use
sleds for wagons, aud go a long jour
ney across the ice and snow.
Are the Eskimos idle? No; they
are not idle for they hunt aud fish
most of the time.
The men aud women dress very
much alike ; they wear two suits ut
fur, one made with the fur side in and
the other with the fur side out.—
Trenton (N. J. )American.
DOGS AND WOODCHUCK.
A correspondent sends to the
Youth's Companion from Paris, Me.,
an entertaining story of three dogs
aud a woodchuck.
"Some years ago," he says, "I
owned a dog,Sport, who was a famous
woodchuck-hunter. In tho course of
one season, when woodchucks were
unusually numerous and troublesome,
Sport caught twenty-five by actual
"One day in Jane, when I was hoe
ing corn, I heard a good deal of bark
ing in an adjoining field, and knew
pretty well what must be going on.
On my wav to the cornfield after diu
ner, therefore, I went across lots to
Bee what Sport was about, and to help
him a bit, if need be, by removing a
stone or two from the wall in which
the quarry had taken refuge.
"A chorus of excited yelps and
barks guided me to the spot, and as I
drew near I saw that Sport had plenty
of help. Zip, a neighbor's dog, was
on one side of the wall with him, and
on the other side was Rover, a large
"Ail three dogs had their noses un
der the stones, and they were digging
and making the dirt fly with their
paws, and barking and yelping as dogs
will when game is almost won. From
within the wail I heard the wood
; ehuck > 8 pecullar) detiaat whi „ tlfc
"Just as I approached, Sport
jumped back and dragged iorth tae
woodchuck. At almost the same in
stant Zip withdrew his litad from the
wall and fixed his teeth in the game;
aud then began a struggle for su
premacy, each dog evidently setting
ui» a claim for the woodchuck.
'Rover, on the other side, with his
head in the wall, was so eagerly en
gaged that he did not at once compre
hend what had occurred ; then it
flashed upon him, and he sprang upon
the wall and for a moment looked
down upon tho struggling dogs,
"Like a whirlwind he launched him
self from the stones upon the wood
chuck, tore it from the mouths of the
other dogs and bore it off in his
"It happened so suddenly that
Sport aud Zip didn't know what to
make of it. They seemed dazed, and
looked this way and that as if to as
certain what had become of their
prey. As for Rover, he dissappeared
over the brow of a hill, and I do not
think the two dogs left behind ever
fairly realized what became of that
GREAT GRANDMAMMA S REMINISCENCES.
"When I hear you children talk so
much about tho wonders, of the kine
toscope, the horseless carriage aud the
X rays," remarked a certain great
grandmamma the other day, "I can't
help but think of the many years ago
when I w»s a little girl aud news came
to us one day that somebody had in
vented a new sort of wagon that in
stead of being drawn by horses or
mules or oxen ran all by itself. Of
course it sounded like a fairy story,
just ns if they had told mo that the
magic carpet in tho Arabian Nights
liad been suddenly discovered rolled
away in somebody's attic, but we were
assured that it was really true. There
was something about steam connected
with the mysterious carriage; it either
ran by it, or under it or with it, or
something, we weren't quite sure
which. When they explained it to us
children, people always added 'It's
upon the same principle as tho tea
kettle, you know,' and although we
didn't know in the least what the
'principle' was, we did know what a
tea kettle was and wo accordingly
pictured to ourselves a freakish vehicle
shaped like a tea kettle, spout, handle
and all, from which issued a white
banner of steam, aud which 'sung'
In what part of this new wagon peo
ple wore to ride we didn't under
stand, but supposed that they were
stowed away inside somewhere, like
the Greek soldiers in the wooden horse
that our history book bad made so
familiar to us. Just how the strange
carriage upon the same principle as
the tea kettle was able to movo we
were totally unaware. Tea kettles
never moved; they stood still in one
place upon the stove where they were
put. It took a' good stretch of the
imagination to fancy them or any
thing like them galloping along much
faster than anybody could walk—
faster, indeed, it was said, than a
horse could go. The grown-ups said
that thero were narrow rails upon
which tho strange carriage run,where
upon wo pictured all our country
roads and lanes ornamented with these
things. It all sounded very impracti
cal to us, however, as it did to many
of the grown-ups for that mutter. I
remember my father saying with much
emphasis: 'Well, there's one thing,
this new-fangled locomotive, or what
ever they call it, can never supersede
the stage coach.'" "Locomotive!"
cried one of the little listeners. "Why,
great-grandmamma, do you mean to
say that you're talking about railway
trains?" "Yes," replied great-grand
mamma, "when I was a little girl the
locomotive was just as much of a nov
elty to me as the X rays are to you to*
dav."—New York Sun.
Her Eloquent Language.
"This house," said the maiden just
from school, "is really too full of
"Who the Sam Hill is James Fisher?"
asked the old man pulling puzzledly
at his chin whiskers.
"Well jimeraoks then. '''—Indiana
There is only one sudden death
among women to eighty among men.
Dr. F. Shue says thero are forty va
rieties of edible turtles in the United
The planet Mars resembles the
earth more closely than any other of
tho solar systems that wo know any
A tricycle has been fitted with two
Maxim guns, each weighing twenty
five pounds and capable of firing 600
shots a minute. Tho machine carries
1,000 rounds of ammunition.
Astronomers calculate that the sur
face of the earth contains 31,625,625
squaro miles, of which 23,814,121
are water and 7,811,504 are land, tho
water thus covering are about seven
tenths of the earth's surface.
Trees are the great water lifters.
Tho wise men tell us that an oak tree
of average size, with seven hundred
thousand leaves, lifts from tho earth
into the air about 123 tons of water
during the five mouths it displays its
It is said that in consequence of ex
periments with the Roentgen rays, en
abling the reading of the contents of
letters,a Berlin obemist is experiment
ing with a substance for tho manu
facture of envelopes which will bo
impervious to tho rays.
The observations of Alva Clark and
Percival Lowell in Arizona have in
creased the number of canals visible
on Mars from 79 to 183, all in geome
trical proportions. The seas under
these observations have turned to
prairies and the lakes to oases.
The air is clear at Arequipa, Peru.
From the observatory at that plaoe,
8,050 feet above the sea, a black Bpot,
one inch in diameter, placed on a
white disc, has been seen on Mount
Cbarchani, a distance of eleven miles,
through a thirteen-inch telescope.
Tho new collector for supplying
current to overhead wires for trolley
cars is so constructed that it cannot
lose its place on the wire. It dispen
ses with the overhead wire-switch al
together, and is said to require no at
tention from the conductor in passing
switches or around curves.
English ticket collectors are now
supplied with small electric lamps,
which aro fastened to their overcoats,
the current being furnished from a
miniature battery carried in the
breast pocket. The new invention is
a great improvement upon the old
fashioned and cumbersome hand
Appendicitis,according to professor
Dieulafoy of Paris, is generally due
to the progressive formation of a cal
culus analogous to the Htones formed
in the liver aud kidneys. Ho thinks
his theory is confirmed by some re
cent experiments in which appendici
tis was produced by surgical means in
Missed the Point.
Tho Chicago Record recently print
ed a story touching the slowness—
real or imputed—of Englishmen in
catching the point of a joke. A party
of traveling men were talking about
phonographs as they sat around the
"I heard an amusing story about an
old farmer the other day," said one of
"Interest always attaches to the
doings of tho agricultural classes,"
said the Englishman, hitching up his
chair with a look of interest.
"The farmer had just driven into
town with his mules to sell a load of
pumpkins,and stopped in front of the
"What air them fellers doin'in
there with spout3 in their cars?" he
" 'Those aro talking-machines,'"
said a man in tho doorway.
"The farmer was a little incredu
lous, but finally left his mules and
"The tubes were placed in his ears,
he dropped the nickel in the slot,and a
brass band began to play.
* "Whoa,there 1' shouted the rustic,
darting out of the store. "Them
mules of mine won't stand no brass
At first the Englishman looked
anxious, as if he expected to hear the
rest of the story. Then suddenly he
burst out laughing.
"Great joke on the mules, eh?" he
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