Newspaper Page Text
Established July I, 1859.
VOL, XXXV A Map of Busy Life ; Its Fluctuations and Its Vast Concerns. Subscription, $I .OO a Year, in Advance. BENTON. LOUISIANA. THURSDAY. <)( TOBER I. IH96. NO :»2. THE BROOK'S LAMENT. JL brook ran seeking on its way The swiit ami shifting swallow— How shall 1 gain The magic strain Thai rings from hill to hollow? The swallow song, so wild and gay, That. Hoots liot'orc mo. day by day, Though all day long I follow? Nay. foolish brook, a willow sighed That leaned the water over. Hast thou not guessed Thy song is best For thee, sweet meadow rover? Alt. better far thy babbling tide. By day and night to softly glide And murmur in the clover! —Kate Osgood in Youth's Companion. A TERRIBLE ADVENTURE. Although the experience related in following lines occurred a great many years ago. the incidents with which it deals are as froh in my recollection as if they happened Inti yesterday, nor do I suppose 1 hey will be ever be effaced from my mind. The astounding na ture of the details, their terrible vivid ness and reality, and the remem brance of those awful moments spent in the companionship of death, have left a mark on my memory that will last as long as life itself. It was tin 1 close of a day toward the end of tin- London season. I had been dite: , .. ■■ wit it some friends. and returning ........ "d into a fashionable club in the neighborhood of ('event Harden, where ! knew some kindred spirits were in the habit of congregating. My step led me to the canj room, less with the intention of playing than of whiling half an- hour pleasantly away. For a time I amused myself by ! watching the play at one or oilier of the many well-iilled tables, and was I tints employed when 1 was invited to a game by an individual who was unite a stranger to me. and who. 1 be came aware, had been eying me intent ly for several minutes. I respite a po lite and gentlemanly hearing, the mart had such an unprepossessing look j about him that I did not at once tie- i cede to his request, lie was pressing, however, and. after sente little licsi- ; tation. i yielded. lie wots a good player, handling his ; cards cleverly and w ith skill, and his j performance did not in tin* least bear out my half-formed idea that he was a possible sharper, tin the contrary, hjis play was perfectly square and above' board, and was not open to suspicion in the slightest particular. Luck however, was entirely agaiust him. and in less than tin hour's play he left ; off considerably in my debt. "Look here." lie said, at the liuisli of a game for increased stakes. "L owe you £5. Come round to my rooms, and I will pay you at once. My place is not far from here." Naturally somewhat anxious to get what was due to nie. I acquiesced, and followed him our of the club. I did not lake particular notice of the route we pursued, as my companion walked fast, and 1 experienced some difficulty in keeping up with him: but. after! passing through several by-streets, he suddenly pulled up before the door of a house in wlmt appeared to me quite! a deserted neighborhood. Takiug a latch key from his pocket, lie noiselessly opened the door, and led the wav up a fight of stairs into a long and scantily furnished room. which had more the appearance of a workshop than a dwelling. 1 was not a little surprised, and somewhat alarmed to lind that he locked the door immediately upon our entrance and pocketed the key. Noticing that I was watching his, movements, he smiled reassuringly, and drawing forward a eouple of chairs, which lie placed one on each side of a table that stood in the centre of the room, he bade tin* lx* seated. Mechanically I dropped into one of tin* chairs, while he went to a drawer, and opening it, produced a pack of cards. "We will play double or quits." said the stranger, in a polite but command ing tone. To this 1 demurred, as the idea did not. at all commend itself to my judg ment. "Indeed. I would rather not," I re plied. at once. "L do not care for that kind of play." "Oh, but 1 am sure you will oblige me." he said, insinuatingly, shuffling the cards as lie spoke. I do not know what it was. but some \ j j J ^ : ! ! ; i ' ; : thing in the man's manner seemed to warn me that 1 had better humor him. so. after a little protestation. 1 gave way. and permitted him to deal out the cards. We played, and he won. "The game is yours, and we are quits." 1 said, somewhat chagrined. getting up from my chair at the con elusion of the game and moving to ward the door. "If you will kindly undo this lock. 1 will now go about my business." "Ha! ha!" laughed the fellow, drop piug his polite bearing, and assuming o threatening ati initie, "you're not go nig to get off so easily as that. 1 as sure you! What do you suppose I have Drought, you here for?" "For no improper purpose. I trust," I replied, thrusting my hands into my pockets as the thought occurred te me that robbery was his game. "1 will tell you,'' said he. coming close to me and speaking in my ear, "1 am going to take your life." 1 gave a start, and looked at the man ! amazedly. wondering whether he was ! mad or a fool A strange look about j his eyes that 1 had not before noticed | strongly impelled me to the former j conclusion, though 1 endeavored to per- 1 snade myself that the latter was the j ea se. "You are joking." I accordingly said, with a sorry attempt at. a smile. "On the contrary. ! never was more serious in my life." lie replied. "I will give you a proof of it." As he siioke he drew a revolver from beneath his .jacket, and levelled it at my head. "I ' have only to pull this trigger and you j ,ire a dead man!" lie remarked, eoollv. ! I j i ; ; j ; ' 1 "But I don't, want to do the thing in tliar way. and. besides. I mean to give you a chance," he added. "Look here, 1 am fond of cards, and you play well. We will have one more game. If you win, you go free: lose, and I proceed with my purpose. What say you to that? You hesitate. Very well: l ^ «ill give you one minute in which to make up your mind. Unless you con sent. within that time. I will blow your brains out straightway!" That, sane or mad. the fellow meant what lie said there was no manner of doubt, for. wit ti pistol in one band and wateli in tin* other. In* began quietly to tick off the seconds. <tf course. I was not slow 1 o see the danger J was in. and looked round for a way out of : it. but saw none. The door which T had entered I knew was locked, so that 1 escape by means of it was out of the i ! question. There was one other exit j ! to the place, as I could sec. but lie- j ; tween it and myself stood this ruffian | with loaded pistol. For a moment I i thought of springing at the man and ' taking my chance, but lie was stronger ; built than 1. and, armed as in* was, 1 ; felt 1 should be no match for him. Thirty seconds have gone; what do : you sav?" His words sounded mockingly, and In* leered as he spoke. Once more prudeuee seemed to point out that the better course would be to make a pre tence of yielding, in the hope that a way out of the danger would yet pre sent itself. "1 consent." I said. "Ha! 1 thought you would." he re joined. "Now for an interesting game, j We don't want to make a long business of it. One cut each; highest card ; wins!" Replacing tin* revolver, lie shuffled; the pack and laid it face downward on t he table, offering me first play. 1 re-| moved a portion of the pack, and ex posed the card ! had drawn. It was ! the act* of diamonds! My heart beat freely, lor I knew that I could not he beaten. He followed and showed hi« card. It was the ace of spades, and we had tied! At once lie reshuffled the pack and laid it oil the table. "Mv first play this time." he said, taking a dip at the boards. Hi* drew tin* deuce of clubs, and 1 had the satis faction of knowing that it was impos sible for me to lose, i went low down tin* pack for my venture, and eagerly displayed it. It was the deuce of hearts, and again we had tied. "The third time will settle it!" said my opponent, rubbing his hands in en joyment of my suspense. With a few dexterous twists lie rearranged the pack, and once more placed it on the table. 'Your play," he said to me. and 1 reached out my hand hesitatingly. 1 drew the queen of clubs this time: he cap]>ed it with the king of spades, and — I had lost! With a yell of triumph the fellow pounced upon me, and hurled me to tin* ground. For several seconds 1 strug gled violently in his grasp, but. as I had anticipated, he proved more than a match for me. taken by surprise as 1 was. Notwithstanding my efforts to prevent it. he bound me band and foot with a rope he drew from his pocket, and then dragged me to thi* end of the room, where ho fastened the cord to tin iron ring projecting from the wall. "Villain!" I gasped, breathlessly, "if you intend to murder me. at least tell me your motive for 1lie atrocious act." "Have you so soon forgotten?" he said, fiercely. "You cheated nit* out of my estates, and so worked my ruin! Is not that enough? 1 have sworn to be avenged, and now the hour is come" It was in vain to protest that lie was mistaken. The fellow heeded nothing of what 1 said, and when, in despair. 1 raised my voice to shout for help, he put a gag over my mouth and offee tually silenced my cries. Helpless. breathless, and almost stifled, I could only watch the preparations for my murder. "This would do the thing quicker than I desire," said my self-appointed executioner, pointing to the revolver, ; which lit* again produced, "and I want to give you a chance of saying your prayers before you die! ' ! Grinning hideously as he spoke, he ; went to a cupboard at one end of the room, and dragged lrom it a keg. which, by dint of much exertion, be managed to get outo the table. Stand ing it on end. he speedily knocked off the top and exposed its contents. "Gunpowder," he said, explanatorily. j dipping his hand into tha barrel and ! ! j | j 1 j ' j 1 i j j | ; j ; ! allowing the material to run through his lingers. He then went back to tha cupboard :iml produced a candle, which he buried half its length in the sombre grains, and, striking a match, deliberately set light to the wick. "Not a bad idea, is it?" he said, ex ultiugly, addressing me. "The taper will burn for about half an hour, and you can amuse yourself in the mean time by watching tin* flame as it gets nearer and nearer the powder. When it tutu-iifs. gondliy to you. Ha! Ha! Wit it a fiendish laugh he glided out of the room, and the bauging of the outer door a few seconds later told me he was in the street, and I was left face to face with certain death. My brain reels as 1 recall the awful time that followed. Slowly, but sure ly, the caudle burned away, each flicker of it-, flame bringing me closer and closer to i lu* fa le I was powerless to avert. 1 writhed and twisted at the cords which bound me. until my veins were nigh to bursting, but without avail Hall for help 1 could not, for the gag that tin* wretch had placed over my month rendered breathing itself a matter of difficulty, and made shout ing an impossibility. Big beads of perspiration broke ont on my forehead as. more dead than alive. I walelied tin* receding light. Bit by bit the taper dwindled away, until half an inch of was separated me from my doom. The events of a lifetime crowded into those last few minutes, and transfixed me with horror. Before me was reflected, as in a mirror every scene in which 1 had ever playedapart for good or ill. Each particular of my career stood on the canvas, limned in distinctive outline, and the record of an entire existence was re-enacted with as much fidelity as if they were the original ai ts 1 was witnessing. En grossed. enchanted, my mind seemed held by some magnetic spell, from which there was no escaping. Suddenly a flickering at one of the windows arrested my attention, and, like the drowning man who catches at a straw. 1 looked toward it. half hop ing to get rescue from thence. But it was only a moth fretting at the win dow pane. and. sick at heart. 1 turned my gaze away. Yet. although at the moment I ex ]K*cted it not. it was from that insig nificant insect that deliverance came. There was a fracture in the glass, and through it tin* moth presently careered into the room. It flew aimlessly about for a few seconds, until, attracted l>y luring light, it sped toward the can dle. Hesitating an instant, it made a circle around the burning wick, and then, with the mail impetuosity of the species, dashed he.'dlong into the flame. The fatuous act cost the crea ture its own life, but it saved mine, the impact completely extinguishing the light at a time when it wauled but a few more moments to reach the pow der and explode it ! Tibs unexpected escape from what looked like certain death had such an effect ttpiiti my overwrought nerves that I swooned tight away, and when consciousness returned to me daylight was breaking into tin- room. With re newed strength i struggled at my bonds, and at last ihe ring that held them gave way. and I fell exhausted to the ground. Somehow t managed to crawl to tin* window, and. after a while succeeded in attracting atten tion. Soon after I was free. A clue to the identity of the wretch who had thus diabolically designed my death was furnisoed by a slieet of note paper found in bis room. It bore the impress of an address on tin* outskirts of Baris, and proceeding thither in due course, I found it to lie the locale of a private lunatic asylum. Inscription and inquiries established the fact that my assailant had formerly been an in mate of that place, but bad succeeded in making his escape some time pre viously. and was entirely lost sight of. It transpired that lie was an Eng lishman by birth, but had lived for a ; time in Farts, where he lost a large fortune in gambling. This fact had caused his mind to give way. A fea ture of his madness was the belief that some one had robbed him of his "es tates." and lbs one cry was for revenge for this supposed injury. Of course, there was no foundation for his wild fancy. His ruin was due solely to his ; own acts, and no one else was in any way responsible. But the fellow per sisted in liis tale, and evidently be lieved in it implicitly. Sane in all other respects, on that point, he was a dangerous madman. Nemesis finally overtook him. for some time later he met his death in a railway accident in Germany, whither lbs wandering steps ; seemed to have led him. and his ea ceet* is now forever closed. Tit-Bits. The Common Pea. The common pea. which is a favorite vegetable in its season, is not a native of the United States, but was brought from Europe by the early settlers. It was used by ancient Creeks and Ro mans. but was not introduced into England until tin* beginning of the I sixteenth century A Big Private Library. Prince Roland Bonaparte is a book lover and in bis superb home on Ave nue d'leua. Paris, are 1.800.000 vol umes. I be library is clear. light aa day. and is protected by an empty chamber, with lire extinguishing ap paratus directly underneath. j ! 1 j , I , j I j j NAVAL CADETS. Work which some of them 1*0 OX A CRUISE. They Ho Through Warship Drudgery by Way of Education—Routine ol Duties at the Annapo lis Academy. S to Ä NEW departure ha* ma le in the work of out young Faraguts fc has been turning tits for Uncle Sam's tine navy. The little 800 ton gnnboat Bancroft has been at the Brooklyn Navy Yard with thirty cadets on board, and the boys have been put through a system of school ing which should be of immense vaine to them when they are commissioned officers on some of the great warships of the Nation. The Bancroft also went cruising along New England, stopping at different points before it returned to Annapolis. The thirty cadets on the Bancroft are greatly envied by the hundreds left at the academy, but the thirty do not know whether they are lit subjects for envy or not. When they are on board the vessel they would be willing to swap places with those left behind. But when the Bancroft is in some port, they wouldn't make the exchange of j j i j ' ! j ; ; , j |N. i ; ; —t /X Yé m m & i » T'/ & Va 'A A V / m V? / i,h 'a $ i / NAVAL CADETS ALOFT IN A GAL I ; ! j ! ! ! i j ; " " for half a dozen worlds. Summed up, this cruise is the stillest and hardest work they have ever done, and it is also the finest holiday they have ever enjoyed. This paradox is easily explained. The Bancroft now carries but half of her regular crew, and all the drudgery of running a warship falls upon the cadets. This means that the boys have to take their turns in the stokehole shoveling coal on the fnrnaee tires, raking over smoking ash pit--, going aloft to furl sail in blnsterv weather, rff-L : T c m ms I i 58 6 *: ! IN THE STOKEHOTjF, oiling machinery, roe doing guard duty at night, swapping the decks and a host of other menial i tasks which are not over-pleasant in a | summer temperature of ninety de- | S rees - ! These thirty young men expect to j become engineers on the great war-! ships, a position of vast importance under the changed conditions of ma rine warfare. Fifteen of them belong to the first class and fifteen to the j second. As it is not probable that all ; of the thirty will become engineers, j on the Bancroft has been ; the work arranged to lit them for the "line" di vision, that they may become familiar with all the work of running a warship outside of the engine-rooms. The main object of the Bancroft's cruise was to give the young men a chance to see the great shipbuilding plants along the Atlantic seaboard, where they could learn something of the practical side of naval construction, The first place visited was the immense yards at Newport News, where three gunboats nnd two battleships are be- j ing built. A week was spent there,and j another week was spent in the yards of j the Cramps, at Philadelphia, where a ; number of ships are beingfconstructed. j roiling mills, foundries and other j large mechanical places in Philadel- * phia were also visited. Elizabethport, j |N. J., where a gunboat if being built in the Nixon shipyard, was visited, and then the Bancroft came to New i York, where many vessels of the North chances for observing the details of Me Atlantic squadron were, including the ; monster Indiana, the giant monitor I Amphitrite and innumable cruisers of ! all types. At the Brooklyn Navy j Yard many boats are undergoing re- ; pairs, and these afforded splended j warship construction. j The torpepo station and the War College at Newport have been visited, ! and after stopping at all the principal j mauufacturing towns along the New | England coast as far north as Bath, ! tho return voyage to Annapolis ; was begun. All over the land there are boys be tween the ages of fourteen and eight een who hope to win admission to the Annapolis Academy, but these boys should realize that life there is net a j continual round of pleasure. It means four long years of hard work, with j study, study, study a continual diet, j New appointees are admitted in Sep-1 tember. It is a difficult matter to gain admission to the academy and a harder thing to stay there. The young man who fails to maintain the high standard set is dropped with alarming suddenness. Briefly stated, life at Annapolis means eight hours of sleep, five and a half hours of study, three hours of recitations, two hours tor drills and four hours for recreation, leaving one hour and a half for meals. Practically there are ten hours and a half of work each day except Saturday, which is a half holiday. In tho four hours of recreation the cadet is not his own master by any means. He can only enjoy certain forms of amusement within certain limits, and is under a system oi strict surveillance all the time. Reveille arouses the cadet at 6 o'clock every morning in the year. He can take his time dressing it he de , sires, as the roil oali does not take place until 6.45. Then he marches to breakfast, and at 7.55 the studies of the dav begin. There is a recess from 10.10 to 10.20 o'clock and another at 12.35 for dinner. The afternoon studies begin at 1.50 and last, until 3.55. At 4.05 there is a drill or exer cise which lasts until 5.30. These drills are pretty to look at, but are not much fun for the cadets, They include the general branches of seamanship, gunnery, infantry drill, naval tactics, small arms, signaling, navigation, surveying and physical ex ercises, including boxing, swimming, rowing, fencing and dancing. The schoolroom work is arduous. In the first year the cadet studies algebra, geometry, English, history, rhetoric and French ; second year, trigonometry, descriptive geometry, analytical geometry, English, history, the Constitution, elementary physics, chemistry, French, and mechanical drawing ; third vear, marine engines and boilers, sound, light and heat, electricity, magnetism, calculus, me chantes and international law ; and fourth year, seamanship, naval con struction, naval tactics, ordnance, gunnery, astronomy, navigation, sur veying and physiology and hygiene, When the afternoon drills* are over the cadet does as he pleases until g.go, when supper is served, and he j^g another short rest until 7.30,when j le j s supposed to put in two hours of study. From 9.30 until 10.10 he can tinkle a banjo or sing songs, but he must stop everything when taps sound, put out the light and go to bed. MOVED BV AIR CURRENTS. Pneumatic Tubes Used for Filling and Emptying Steel (train Tanks. Steel storage tanks for grain are rapidly taking the place throughout the country of the old wooden eleva tors, and pneumatic tubes are used to convey the grain from the place of storage to the mill, whereas formerly it was wheeledin barrows over (bridges between the buildings or through un derground tunnels. The erection of air-tight steel stor age tanks or bins for grain in place of the old wooden structures not only does away with the danger from fire, but it is claimed that it preserves the grain for an indefinite period of timo and also makes impossible the presence of weevils or other vermin so destruc tive to grain storage. There being no inflammable material used in the con struction of these steel tanks there is no need for insurance and mill men claim that within six or seven years ; the saving on insurance alone will ; more than pay for the first cost of i construction. Two of these steel • storage tanks are now in operation at i Toledo, Ohio, where they have proved j even a greater success than was antici ' pated. I With the air-tight steel tank taking the place of the old-fashioned eleva tor, comes the new method of hand ling the grain. The steel bins are connected with the mill by immense steel tubes and air pressure moves the grain, as it is needed, from the storage tank to the mill. The system could not he put in operation with tho old style elevator, but the tubes are ! now in practical operation at Con nersviile, Ind. The machinery used in this pneu . matic system is extremely simple in j construction and requires very little ! power to operate it. By a system of | air currents, the grain is taken from J the storage tanks on a current of air ; exactly as a chip of wood is carried by a stream of water. The air current is j changed by manipulating two valves, ; one causing the blast, the other a suc I tion. A valve in the tank is opened ! allowing the grain to enter the pipe j or tube. When that valve is closed ; another at the end of the tube within j the mill is opened and the grain falls into a receiver. j Exactly the reverse operation is gone through in putting the grain into ! the air tight storage tanks. It is first j taken into the mill, then put in the re | ceiving bins and by pneumatic pres ! sure forced through the tubes into ; j j j ; ! ! j ; ( i j j ! ! -N**? ft STEEL* TANKS FOE STORAGE OF GRAIN. the tanks. The introduction of air tight storage tanks and the pneumatic system of transferring the grain, prac 1 tioally revolutionizes the manner of storage and milling, and ere long will probably be introduced into the big grain depots throughout the country. j | j The Japanese Government has or dered faur iron clads and four first class and two second-class cruisers from British ship builders. The tood an elephant eats in cap j turity costs about $25 n week.