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TRADES IN SKELETONS.
A PHILADELPHIA FRENCHMAN'S GREW SOME BUSINESS. A Dealer Who Hu Handled Over rive Thousand Skeletoui During His Lugu I brious Career—Hideous Decorations til I Bedroom—A llelns That Loves Bones. To deal in the bones of human being** would be an occupation repugnant to most men. Yet in the vicinity of Sixth •nd South streets lives an old French man who finds more pleasure in this oc cupation than anything else in his life. His store is a veritable den of skeletons. The weather beaten sign swinging over •the door, creaking dismally with every gnetof wind, bears this simple legend, "M. de Robaire, Parfuinerie," from which it is evident monsieur would have the world believe that he deals almost exclusively in those perfumed waters so dear to the feminine heart. Every fam ily has a skeleton in the closet, however, and monsieur's family, which consists only of himself, is no exception to the general rule. He has his skeleton—in fact he has scores of them—in closets and otherwise, the majority otherwise. The truth of the matter is, the old Frenchman deals in skeletons. The second floor boasts of only two email rooms, the rear one being used as a workshop, while the other, directly over the store and fronting on the street aerves the double purpose of bedcham ber and storeroom. Such another bedchamber as the one occupied by the old Frenchman prob ably does not exist, and how monsieur manages to sleep the sleep of the just among such grewsome surroundings is an insolvable mystery to the few who kave been admitted to it. The walls of the small room are orna mented with skulls and crossbones and real life size skeletons, or rather death size skeletons, in all sorts of grotesque positions. Four hideous skulls grin from their positions on top of the four posts of the bed, and close to the sides of the bed stands a skeleton with arms out stretched doing duty as a clothes rack. The whole is dimly lighted up by a faint glimmer of light emanating from a lamp made of a ghastly skull suspended from the middle of the ceiling with thongs of tanned human hide. THE SKELETON TRADE. De Rebaire himself is an odd looking man, and the resemblance between him and one of his own skeletons is decidedly striking. He has gaunt, wolflike fea tures, his thin upper lip and bony chin being adorned with an iron gray mous tache and imperial. For a score of years he has been carry ing on his business in the old place, ha v ing emigrated from France in 18iS5, coming direct to Philadelphia, where he established himself in business. For a time he had a hard struggle to keep body and soul together, owing to the number of competitors in the field, together with the dullness of business. It soon became necessary for him, in addition to his other trade, to set himself up as a drug gist, and he still runs his little shop, though principally as a decoy. Late in tLe sixties, when the Knights of Pythias were .organized in this state, the demand for skeletons increased, as they were used to a great extent in the lodgerooms. De Robaire prospered, as a consequence, since most of his compet itors had given np the business. Off and on during the following twenty yean business was dull and brisk by tnrns, but the old man had amassed a •mall fortune, and there is no reason why he should longer continue in the business except thac he has taken a lik ing to his work, such as every true artist does. He is an artist in the full sense of the word. There is undoubtedly no one who can articulate a skeleton as neatly as he, and it is no idle boast on his part when he claims that with eyes blind folded he can take amass of bones repre senting the human frame and build up the skeleton as it was originally, with out one bone out of place. WHAT THE "DOCTOR" SATS. The "doctor," while standing in his workshop a few days ago with his sleeves rolled up over his Bkinny IN arms, thus held forth on the subject nearest his heart: "This skeleton you see me operating on 1 have imported from France. You will notice the high polish on the bones, due to a method of preparation practiced only by the French. They clean the bones by a process of maceration with muriatic acid, the whole operation re quiring two or three months' time, while in this country the bones are hastily and carelessly boiled and come out rough and dirty, in all my twenty years' serv ice I have never come across a Chinese skeleton. This is due to the fact that a Chinaman believes he will not reach heaven unless his bones rest in the Flow ery Kingdom. ••The different prices of skeletons are based upon their degrees of hardness and whiteness, upon the devolopment of the bones and the amount of absence of fat in their extremities. For this reason the French article is decidedly of more value than the American or German. Up to this year over 2,600 skeletons have been imported into this country, but they have become scarce of late for some reason, and to supply the demand 1 find it necessary to manufacture them of paper. "Of course I have a stock of them in my bedrcom, but I would not part with any of these. Mon Dieu! 1 have come to look upon them as dear friends and com panions. Here you see my artificial skel etons, made of papier inache, with arti ficial teeth, and the whole covered with a white polish which gives the appear ance of the genuine article. 1 can make three of these each week, and they bring from ten to fifteen dollars, while the im ported genuine article costs from thirty to thirty-five dollars and thedomestie tweuty dollars. But then the imitations are night only by secret societies. 'Yes. 1 have grown old in the busi ness and love it I have articulated and handled oyer6,000 skeletons in my time," Iifff""fffl|l'liilliiII11 ,.if.Wl^^.h,„.i,.,,.^.„„r.I" inni'i jl j| ww' "'i ^p**,-w r*^ IN AN EGYPTIAN APARTMENT HOUSE. Interesting Scenes In a Lodging Place In tlie City of Cairo. The two rooms nearest us belonged to B1 Azhar students, 60 Mustapha said. He could speak no English, but he im parted the information in Arabic to our dragoman. Seeing that we were more interested in the general scene than in his red jugs, Mustapha left the Assiout ware to its fate, and lighting a cigarette seated himself on the railing with a dis engaged air, as much as to say: "Two more mad women! But it's nothing to me." One of the students was evidently an ascetic. His room contained piles of books and pamphlets, and almost noth ing else. Ilia one rug was spread out close to the front in order to get the light, and placed upon it we saw his open inkstand, his pens and a page of freshly copied manuscript. When we asked where he was, Mustapha replied that he had gone down to the fountain to wash himself, so that he could say his prayers. The second chamber belonged to a student of another disposition this ex travagant young man had three rugs clothes hung from pegs upon his walls, and he possessed an extra pair of lemon colored slippers in addition we saw cups and saucers upon a shelf. Only two books were visible, and these were put away in a corner instead of books he had flowers the whole place was adorned with them: pots containing plants in full blooin were standing 011 the floor round the walls of his largely exposed abode, and were also drawn up in two rows in the passageway outside, where he himself, sitting on a mat, was sewing. His blossoms were so gay that involuntarily we smiled. Whereupou ho smiled too, and gave us a salam. Opposite the rooms of the students there was a large chamber almost en tirely filled with white bales, like small cotton bales: in a niche between these high piles an old man kneeling at the threshold was washing something in a large earthenware tub of a pink tint. His body was bare from the waist up ward, and as he bent over his task his short chest, with all the ribs clearly visible, his long brown back with the vertebrae of the spine standing out, and his lean, seesawing arms looked skeleton like, while his head, supported on a small wizened throat, was adorned with such an enormous bobbing turban, dark green in hue, that it resembled vegeta tion of some sort—a colossal cabbage. Directly behind him, also 011 the thresh old, squatted a large gray baboon whose countenance expressed .1 fixed misan thropy. Every now and then this creature who was secured by long loose cord, ascended slowly to the top of the bales and came down on the other side, facing his master. He then looked deeply into the tub for several minutes, touched the water carefully with his small black hand, withdrew it and inspected the palm, and then returned gravely, and by the same roundabout way over the bales, to resume his position at the door sill, looking as if he could not under stand the folly of such unnecessary and silly toil. In another chamber a large very black negro, dressed in pure white, was seated upon the floor, with his feet stretched out in front of him, his hands placed stiffly on his knees, his eyes staring straight before him. He was motionless: he seemed hardly to breathe. "What is he doing?" I said to the dragoman. "He? Oh, he berry good man: he pray." In a chamber next to the negro two grave old Arabs were playing chess. They were perched upon one of those Cairo settees which look like square chicken coops. One often sees these seats in the streets, placed for messen gers and porters, and for some time 1 took them for actual chicken coops, and wondered why they were always empty. Chickens might well have inhabited the one used by the chess players, for the central court upon which all these cham bers opened was covered wish a layer of rubbish and dirt several inches thick, which contained many of their feathers. —Constance Fenimore Woolson in Har per's. Renting Bibles. The popular impression that every family possesses a Bible as well as a dic tionary and a copy of Shakespeare, like many other popular impressions, seems to be an erroneous one, for there is in town a firm that makes a business of renting out Bibles of an expensive and handsome kind, suitable to hand to a bishop or fashionable clergyman on the occasion of a christening, wedding or funeral in the family. If on the occa sion of these religious episodes in the family the high church dignitary should turn to the blank leaves between the Old and New Testaments he would find them devoid of genealogical records, to the consternation of the family. A de posit is demanded when the Bible i9 hired, and a charge of two dollars a night is the regular price.—New York •Sun. Reticent Red Men. No one knows where an Indian is go ing. Traveling across the plain in a stage or an army ambulance you will see him afar off galloping as if he had been sent for the doctor and was afraid he wouldn't find him at home. Approach ing you as the two paths cross he will usually rein up, exchange salutations, study your outfit closely, checking his pony to the slowest of walks, and with out asking a question will know just where you are going, what you are go ing to do and what food you will proba bly give him if he calls upon you at your evening fire. Then he is off again, ranging easily in the saddle, and soon disappearing from sight. The land from which he came is as empty as that into which he has vanished. There is not a sign of human habitation in either direction. He has probably come twenty miles since dawn, and will, unless he concludes to camp with you, make an other twenty before drawing rein.- 11 -)}n BRAUN'S STONE PENCE. A Howling Billiard Attempted to Raise It, hut Abandoned tlie Job. A few years ago an old Dutchman named Braun bought a quarter section just below mine. He came from Penn. sylvania, and was a hard worker and thrifty chap, as most all Pennsylvania Dutchmen are. My farm is fenced with barbed wire. The Dutchman didn't like wire fences, so in the spring he planted a willow hedge around his quarter sec tion. Summer passed, and the hedge was growing like a jimsen weed, when early in the fall a little black cloud which had been hangin around over in the northwest all the afternoon suddenly swooped^ down our way and went rippin and tearin across Braun's place. It didn't leave a dozen hedge plants* standin. Then the old man concluded that a fence which would stand agin a hard wind would be cheapest in the long run. and by the middle of October he had built a stout rail fence to replace tin hedge. It was a beauty—seven rails high, with locked corners and a heavy "rider" on eery length. Dut we hail hardly time to look over the old roan's handiwork and pronounoe it good before a blizzard struck it and scattered the rails over several neighboring townships. Rather reluctantly Braun then decided to follow my example and fence his place with barb wire. He put in place of the rail fence that was a wire fenct wliiuh could scarcely be beaten. It had large, sawed posts and five heavy wires, and should have lasted a lifetime. Il might have done so, perhaps, but for an unfortunate occurrence. One afternoon early in November another blizzard came sauntering along, pulled np every blamed fence post, carefully wrapped few miles of wire around them and sailed off toward Chicago with the whole outfit. When the hedge was destroyed the old Dutchman merely sighed when the rail fence went he said something hall under his breath when the wire fenct followed it he swore. Then he sat down, lighted his pipe and fell into a browr study. Bright and early the next spring he began another fence. It was somethin entirely new for our country, but it was a dandy and no mistake. The old man set his hired hands to work pickin np stones and liaulin bowlders together, and in a few weeks he had collected enough of 'em to build a stone wall. It was as strong as stone and cement could make it, and was four feet wide and three feet high. One afternoon, just after it was completed, Braun was pointin out to me the fine points of his new wall, when we noticed a black cloud over agin the western horizon. "There's trouble over thar, old man," said I. "That blamed thing is jest rolli:i up its sleeves and spittin on its hands and gettin ready for business. It'll'be along here, too, in about two minutes." "Veil, let it coorn." Then, as there wasn't anytliin else to do, we sat down to watch it. It cair.i zippin along, twistin off trees close to the ground or pullin 'em by the roots, cuttin the prairie grass a9 clean as a mower conld have done it and sweepin a clean path. When it reached that wall it just stopped a moment as if to look it over, and I could swear I heard a chuckle. Then it stopped and canght hold of the edge of the masonry. It held together well, but up it came, slowly and steadily. Jest when the wall had been turned half over the blizzard suddenly gave a groan, lost its grip and loosened its hold. The wall settled down upon its side and the blizzard jumped over it and went howh in out of sight. "Veil!" said Braun jubilantly. "Vot I told yon. Dot fence is a dandy, dou't it? It is von feet higher now as pefore dot vind coorn along." And he winked the other eye.—South Dakota Cor. Chi cago News. Proper Mastication. Proper mastication implies that the food be thoroughly chewed and mixed with the fluids of the mouth before be ing swallowed and that these functions be performed without haste. Most peo ple eat as though they were ignorant of the fact that the stomach has no teeth or means of ensalivating the food with which they fill it. The stomach is a most faithful servitor and makes a long and earnest struggle to preserve its owner from the inevitable consequences of imposing upon it functions which na ture intended should be performed by the teeth and the salivary glands but, like the indulgences of a faithful mother or any other self sacrificing friend, its services are only recognized when it is unable to respond to demands for them. Most people as they approach middle life lose many of their back teeth, which are the principal implements of mastica tion, but they fail to bear in mind that they should take more time at their meals in order to properly prepare their food fof swallowing. They should remember that nature makes no allowance for tbeir infirmities in this respect, but will hold them to a strict account for any neglect to observe the rules of health.—Wash ington Star. ALFRED STEEL, nwiiifim ^O-EIST T_ Jamestown, X. D. Fire, Cyclone. Life, Accident and Plate Glas insurance. Loans for LOUR or Sliort. 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HEU YORK, M.l EDGAR W. CAMP, ATTORNEY, -ANI Cou nsel lor-at- Law Office in Doolittle Block ROBERT LINDBLOM & CO. GRAIN —AND— PROVISIONMERS. Room 13-15, Board oi Trade CHICAGO. Northwestern Business Specially Solicited. Capital House, The traveling public will find good accommodations and prices reasonable. Good Sale and Feed Stable is Connection. Attentive Hostler day and niglit. W. Ingiaharo, Prop'r ATTENTION. 19 directed to the Wlnconnin Central Linen as the direct route to and from Milwaukee,Cliieagr. and all points East and South. Two through fast trains with Pullman Vestibuled Drawing Sleepers and tlie central's famous Dining Cars attached each way daily, between Minneapolis and St. Paul and Milwaukee and CliH-auo. For tickets, sleeping car reservation*, time tallies and other information, apply to :m ticket agent ill the tnited States or Canada, or at city olliees corr.er Washington and Nicollet Avenues and 1C2 East 3rd street, St, Paul, or to F. 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