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SLIDING DOWN HILL
IN THE GOOD OLD TIMES. WHEN I was a boy I Jived in a small village built on the side of a great hill. Stretching across the slope, beginning at its torow and en-ling at the valley helow, with a course shaped muoh like a gigan tic letter 8, was a country road. The village was located at the second re verse curve. This track was about two miles in length. The hill ascended in a straight line trom the foot thereof to the top, but that was too steep for safe coast ing; the incline of tho road, however, Fun For Old-Fashioned Youngsters. owing to its windings, was admirably suited to that sport. Consequently the villagers and the residents of the farm houses roundabout were confirmed coasters. Ry this I do not mean the boys only, but the girls and the men and women also, save a very few who were too deficient In appreciation of in nocent fun. I ought also to say, before I begin my little story, that no one there at that time had over heard of coasting bobs, and not one called the sport coasting. A few who read hooks knew that :t was so termed in other places, but to US it was always "riding down hill." EXCITING SPORT. Most of our coasting was done on home-made sleds. Some of the boys made 'their own. but those Who were financially able had them built by the village wagonmaker, who worked out the runners and the knees as carefully as he did the felloes and spokes of the buggies he bulß for the village beaux and the lumber wagons he constructed for the farmers. It was a great occasion to a boy of that village when he was able to give the wagonmaker an order for a sled, and many and earnest were the In junctions always laid upon the artisan to get the curve of the runners just right for speed and to make the whole structure as light as possible without sacrificing strength. With regard to this latter the boys of our village were quite as insistent as the modern bicycle rider is with regard to the weight of Ms wheel; for while the ride down the snake-like, two-mile hill road occupied only a few minutes, the haul hack again was a matter of from three-quar ELLEN OSBORN'S FASHION LETTER. New York, Jan. 28.—Just enough snow fell this morning to leave the ave nue slimy. Cab horses and carriage horses slipped and slid, displaying wor ried and Wild-eyed countenances. A lit tle Old Frenchman in a ragged black coat tottered about with a barrel-or gan, singing the Marseillaise ln a high cracked voice, strained with trying to penetrate the closely curtained and in hospitable windows. The women who were abroad had excuse to lift their skirts boldly, giving full effect to the of bright silk frilling and flutter ing about their ankles. The sun had come out and it touched a bank of white hyacinths in a florist's window and an old, old woman who was coveting them and an up-to-date girl who tilted on her toes and tried to look happy while doing so. The girl was in black, with two brilliant color patches, like a blackbird with red crest and wings. The black of her was rough black, almost shaggy. It was tailor black, perfect in fit and curve. Six nar row ruffles broke the line of it, ruffles that every person on the block respect ed and turned to gaze after. The ruf fles represented hundreds of dollars, which accounted for the reverence that was paid them; dollars enough to ab solve the little Frenchman from sing ing the Marseillaise again until sum mer and to keep the Old woman in white hyacinths till she dies, and to do any number of other things. The ruffles were made of braid. The braid was woven in elaborate scroll figures, which gave a quaint raised design upon its surface and filled the lower edge of it just enough to make a wavy natural ruffle of It, so that it could be set upon the skirt without gathering. To wear natural ruffles of this sort is the ambi tion of five women out of six at the present time. The girl with tho tilt and the ruffles wore a Russian blouse jacket and a big black hat covered with plumes. Aside from the ruffles, what made her tors of an hour to am hour, and a heavy sled detracted enormously from the pleasure of the sport. After the wagomnaker had finished the wood-work, the blacksmith was sought for the iron. He, too, waa Im plored to save weight dn bracing the knees, but when M came to the shoes he was Instructed simply to make sure that the sled was so shod that It would distance every other. The boys in that village and their fathers were divided into two camps with reference to sled shoes. One camp believed in shoes of cast-iron, while the other was wedded to shoes of steel; and many and heated were the discus sions that took place In the village stores and on the school ground regard ing the relative merits of the two met als. There was probably no one in the whole village who did not hold pro nounced views ln this matter, though there were some who said that steel shoes were best in rather moderate weather, while cast-iron shoes were_ beat when the mercury in tho thermom- - eter was away down near the bulb. It may have been just the other way—my memory is not clear upon that point— but such a class certainly existed, and its members held their views with as much tenacity as the others, in spite of the fact that both "steel-shoers" and "cast-lroners" sometimes Impuned their moral courage, declaring that they were afraid 'to side one way or the other un equivocally. TEN WEEKS OF SPORT. This village was located in the north ern tier of states, and so far in the di rection of the Arctic zon? that snow always lay there at least three months and sometimes nearly four. It was pretty safe to count on ten week 3 of uninterrupted riding down hill. Although, as I have said, the older members ot the community joined in the sport,with as much enthusiasm as the youngsters, yet a party of grown ups coasting alone was a rarity; and so was a party of daylight riders. There were two reasons for this latter: First, the road was likely to be pretty well crowded with teams in the daytime; and, second, the youngsters were at school five days in the week during most of the daylight hours. There was some daylight coasting on Saturdays, though it was counted extra hazardous and indulged in hy the most foolhardy only. On moonlight nights it was not at all unusual for from fifty to a hundred sleds to be on the hill. We all used to start from the village together, and wait at the top until the last rider for the evening made his appearance. It a feature In the streetscaipe Was the emphatic contrast of her shaggy black with her two touches of burnt orange. Her "drop skirt," showing at the street crossings, and the long scarf tie at her throat were of the vivid new color, just making its spring bow in the shops, Which is perfectly described by its name "burnt orange." A block farther along a closed car riage drew up to the curb, and out of it stepped a woman, who. throwing back her wrap to the footman, crossed the pavement to a bric-a-brac shop, and for a minute only was one of the sights of the day. Her light tan cloth dross was covered from (hem to waist with Vandyke designs in black satin stripes, woven into the cloth and run ning round the skirt horizontally. Near the bottom these stripes were set far enough apart to be emphasized by nar row black velvet ruffles placed between them, ln Vandykes also. Higher up the stripes crowded each other as closely in their deep points as proper contrast with the tan made possible. The blouse waist fitted with a high corselet or Spanish bodice, Vandyked like the skirt; the blouse itself was of an Orien tal silk in shades of tan, orange and given. Black satin revers, turned back from a puffed front of white chiffon. The sleeves, of the blouse material, had no epaulettes to cap them, but a black satin ruffle was set in at the top—a de vice adopted by many women who ex pect to see plain shoulders almost im mediately, and are having late winter dresses made with small sleeve orna ments that can be ripped out in three minutes. A young matron went past with head held erect and showing the satisfied look that Is, to me, more charscteris- tic than any other one thing of the well-to-do New York woman who has reached 25. Her dress was of royal blue cloth, with a deep flounce at the bottom, and above that the skirt was s/hlrred- to the walat line. Bands of folttok velvet ribbon set oft tha shirring. LOS ANGELES HERALD< SUNDAY MORNING, FEBRUARY 6, 1898. was ruleable that the first sled start ing should be allowed to get well round 'the first curve before the second fol lowed, and the leader was wont to an nounce his rounding of the curve by a long, shrill whoop. We used to reach great speea on the comparatively straight stretches, and I haven't the slightest douibt that we could have made the run at a sixty-mile an hour rate, or two minutes from top to bot tom, had the course been in a beeline. As it was, six minutes was a slow trip, and I have known well guided sleds to reach the valley in three minutes and thirty seconds. Naturally it took a skilful steersman to conduct a Bled the entire length of the long hill, and many of the young sters rode only from the top of the Incline to the village, where there Was a long stretch of nearly level road which made it easy to stop there. In fact, boys under fourteen were forbid den by a sort of unwritten law to make the entire run without special permis sion. There were three ways of steer ing in vogue. The first was "straddle," which needs no description. The sec ond was called "kernts" (I never saw it spelled before, but that is the way it is pronounced), was the most popu lar. The "kernts" steerer sat well back on his sled with one leg doubled under him. using the other as a rudder. If he had a passenger—and he generally had, 1n the shape of a bright-eyed, red cheeked village girl—she sat In front of him. Passengers taken down the hill by a straddle steerer sat behind him. The third method is sufficiently de scribed by its somewhat comic designa tion, "belly-whopper." Boys who rode that way never took passengers, of course. They did, however, fake their lives in their hands, so to speak, and one poor chap, a bright chum of my own, lost control of his sled and broke his neck by running into a fence-post beside the road. It was years after that before anybodyelse took the long hill in that reckless fashion. "PUNGS" FOR THE OLD FOLKS. The grown-ups among the women folk were usually taken down the hill in "pungs," as we used to term the long, low sleighs with boxes that were " Features in the Streetscape." Behind her an older v, an stopped to look at an embarrass, : dandelion used by farmers for such'purposes as spring wagons serve for in the summer time. The pungs were not brought out many times each winter for coasting purposes, and when they were, they were generally hauled up the hill by a team of horses, the women who were to ride down being token up seated on bundles of straw, as passengers. It was no easy task to steer a pung down the long hill, and the biggest, strongest, most self-possessed young men of the village were selected to perform it. They always lashed a big sled to the front end of the tongue or pole to which the horses were harnessed when drawing the pung up, and the steering was done on this sled. It was rare, in deed, that one young man assayed this task alone. Even with the most skil ful talent on the steering sled, there were sometimes most disheartening oversets, but serious accident were not often met with. It was well worth a whole evening of any one's time to wi' ness the jollity of a cargo of pung rid ers, and to hear the chorus of femi nine screams from the crowd as a clumsy old sleigh, guided by two husky country lads, with clenched teeth and every nerve set, swung down the long curves of the hillside road. HIDING OF THE CRUST. Sometimes it would rain for a few hours and afterwards freeze. Then tho snow on the hillside fields, ordinarily too soft for coasting, would furnish a most enticingly enameled crust. The hill was so steep, however, that a ride from top to bottom on the crust was almost never attempted. Rut one win ter a lot of us went a mile east of the village where there was no mad in the way, took down lengths o£ every fence that could obstruct the course, and en- Joyed a more exciting and at the same time more perilous sport than we ever had known before. We began with our small sleds only, but later we built a special sled for crust riding. We took two pieces of Joist, smoothed one edge of each, and rounded one end. Then we connected tho two by cross pieces. We put no Iron shoos on the runners, fearing that if we did so our sled would get the better of us on the stoop Incline and glaring crust. When completed, we had a sled upon which jten or fifteen could find places; and af ifer making several experimental trips, we induced a lot of the young women of the village to become our passengers. The two best steerers were put In front, and we started down the hill with bright prospects for a safe and speedy ride. But about half way be tween the -top and bottom one of the runners struck a stone that was Just below the surface and had not been ob served. This slewed us clear around, and tho sled continued its way back ward and somewhat to the left of the course marked out. Of course there was a tremendous lot of screaming and yelling, for every one was frightened, and some rolled off upon the crust half way down the hill. Before the mis guided coasting craft had gone far it struck a sturdy oak tree and split asunder, —one runner continuing its in dependent course on one side of the tree, and the other on the other side. Of course everybody was spilled, and sorao were slightly bruised, but no one was seriously hurt. There were those among the girls, however, who de clared the whole scheme a put up job; which it was not, by any means. But that trip ended crust riding from the top to the bottom of the hill that win ter, and very likely for all time. Copyright, IS9R, by Bacheller Syndicate. A Shoplifter's Skirt, "Did you ever see a shoplifter's skirt?" asked a detective who is em ployed In a large department store of an acquaintance, and then produced a singular-looking garment which had been taken off a shoplifter. "The wo man who had this skirt—'this kick, as they call it—on had forty-eight differ ent articles in her possession, stolen from this store. She was walking in the street about two blocks away when ■we overtook her. Here is a list of the things she had managed to secrete: Nine pairs of kid gloves, 6 pocketbooks, 5 pairs of mitts, 6 pairs of stockings, pins, 1 pully for a wash lino, a lock, 3 knife rests, 2 plates, 4 bells, 2 pairs of scissors, 1 can-opener, 1 gloss pitcher, earrings, 1 small basket, 1 small clock, 1 mouse trap, and 2 oil burners; $16 worth in all." The skirt was simply a black Calico walking skirt, with a double lining fast ened firmly to the outside at the bot tom and secured at tho waist with two strong belts. There were capacious openings at convenient points, and the skirt was worn beneath an outside skirt, which had a long slit in the full pleats to correspond with the opening in the garment beneath. 11 flower that poked up in a door yard and i' wondered what to do about the mis ONE MILLION EVERY DAY. Pennies Tfiat Go Into the In Exchange For Larger Coin. ATTIMESNONECONE THE little penny Is the most agile coin thait bears the fare of the goddess of liberty. If all the pen nies that are now in circulation In the United States were piled one upon another, when the pile was finished it would be one hundred times as big as the giant Goddess of Liberty that enlightens a small part of the world in New York harbor. If those same pennies were laid edge to edge they would extend from San Francisco to St. Petersburg. It is also true that the tall pile of them referred to would be 4,000 times the height of the Eiffel Tower, the tallest in the world. All the pennies In I'ie United States aro stamped at the Philadelphia mint, but they are not, as most people sup pose, made there. The government buys the blank coppers on which the design is stamped from a western firm, each thousand cents costing $1.25. So one hundred cents, with a face value of $1, cost the government les3 than one-fifth of that sum. As a result of all this. Uncle Sam makes a profit on his pennies that would drive a pawn broker to suicide with envy. This would not be true if all of the pennies that are coined were presented for redemption. They never are. however, for fully one-fifth of them seemingly go out of existence in mys terious ways. All the ways in which the pennies are lost are as multifari ous as the sins of the usurer. If the lost pennies were weighed, It is esti mated that they would tip the scale at 2,500 pounds. "When the blanks from -which' the cents are made reach the mint they are first cut Into long strips. These strips are run through a stamping ma chine Which cuts them out, imprints the design and drops them into boxes. ' Then they are run through a sorting machine, which throws out any that are imperfectly made and the rest pass on to a broad table, where they are counted, not by hand, but by means of a grooved case into which they fall five hundred at a time. Then they are tied up in canvas bags ready to be shipped away as they are called for. One would think that the penny would be the last coin to be counter feited, but as a matter of fact there are more spurious cents than there are of dollars or dimes. A pound of copper, enough to make 100 cents, can be bought for 11 cents, so that the coun terfeiters can make a good profit if they are skilful enough. So many bad pennies come to the United States treasury that some of the Secret Ser vice men are at work all 'the time look ing for the men who make them. "The hardest working member of the whole coin family is the penny," said Sunt. Milman of the New York Sub- Treasury, the other day, as he watched the unloading of an express wagon piled hligh with canvas bags of the copper coins. "It Is the errand boy of the money world and a remarkably spry youngster, too, who covers a lot of ground in the course of a year. It is also pre-eminently the children's coin, though I dare say there are a lot of interesting things about it that those whose sticky fingers help to keep it un der motion do not know. "For Instance, cents often come to us at the rate of a million a day. The Sub-Treasury is the clearing-house of these coins for the metropolitan district and we handle an Immense number of them in the course of the year. That lot just coming in contains $5,000 worth and represents a day's collection from a single big slot-machine company. "Perhaps before the day Is over a delivery truck from one of the great department stores will be down here after $10,000 worth—l.ooo,ooo pieces. That often happens, and it shows the take it had made in the season. The older woman's dress was of smooth dark blue cloth, with nine rows of nar row green ribbon about the skirt; each band finished its circle under a little I flat cravat bow at the left sido of the ' front, A Russian Mouse jacket of the way they come and go. Here," leading the way to the room occupied by what is known as the minor ooin division, "you see th' way we handle them." The part of the room which held the money was protected by a railing of heavy iron bars, and behind those bars clerks wore busily at work. In one corner, piled as high as tho men's heads, were the canvas bags, each with its 1,000 coins, just as they hud beet) brought in. On the opposite aide three clerks were busily counting off from a great heap of loose pennies. "Perhaps there are r.0.000,000 one-cent pieces here now," continued the Su perintendent, "possibly more. Tho stock is growing now, has boon since the beginning of the year. That Is to say, there are more people who have pennies which they want to exchange for bills than there are who bring us large denominations and get cents for thorn. The pennies are as good as cal endars for us. "For several weeks before Christmas wo didn't tako in many; the children were saving thorn up to buy presents. All those that passed into the hands of the candy men, toy dealers and other shop-keepers about Dec. 2~> are coming back to us now. But they will go out again by and by. Every fall when school opens the pennies begin to come in fast. Tho children are spending more for candy and such things. Dur ing the summer months they accumu late on our hands, for then the young sters are not spending so many. When ever there is a storm, a spell of bad weather, or anything that keeps the penny-spending population at home, we can see the difference in the numbers that come to us. "So there are many ways in which we can trace the connection between the children and the cents, and It may interest the youngsters to know that they have a great deal to do with the circulation of this particular coin. Fer haps the two things %vhioh have had most to do with the great increase in This Is the Way to Build Your Dog Kennel. tbe circulation of pennies in recent years are the slot-machines and the bargain stores. "The craze for 49-cent and 99-cent bargains requires a great many pen nies in the way of change, and, as I have said, it is no unusual thing for the big department stores to take $10, --000 worth at a time. Most of these come back to us by the way of the slot-machines, Which have come to be wonderful in number and variety. "There are kinetescope views, phono graphs, automatic music boxes, candy and chewing-gum sailers, weighing ma chines, lifting machines, and a hundred and one others standing at every hand and coaxing the pennies from their, owners' pockets. The result of all this has been that the Government has hard work some of the time in maintaining the supply and can't hardly make pen nies fast enough to keep up with the growth in the demand for them." Copyright, 1898, by Bacheller Syndicate. dress material was trimmed with green also. The lady wore a dark blue hat, trimmed with black and green. A dress of reddish brown cloth was covered with extremely narrow ruffles to the waist line. Another dross of a purplish slate color was finished at bottom with an enormously deep fringe of jet and 'black chenille. At tlie waist was a glint of orange. I do not remember that ln a walk of an hour and a half, covering some of the most fashionable streets in the city, I saw more than three or four skirts umtrimmed; these were tailor gowns of severe model. Dresses that have been made for February and March wear In the South are ilounoed and shirred and puffed and braided without any of the reserve that in the early winter feared too much lavishness in such matters, as greatly as it feared lack of ornamentT tion. The earliest spring models that are being Imported point to a far r.-.ore general and a bolder use of draperies. A dress for Asheville that was shown to me yesterday was of pale reseda faced cloth, hemmed with sable fur. The upper skirt opened upon the foun dation skirt in front, bands of applique embroidery in dark green, reseda and burnt orange outlining the opening. The bodice had a blouse front of white satin, covered with lace of a beautiful design. The sides of the bodice and the sleeves were embroidered in the col ors of the skirt applique. From under a high Medici collar of sable came long scarf ends of burnt orange satin, fast ening with steel ornaments. There was a large black hat with dark green and reseda feathers, and rosettes of orange. Another dress, prepared for a trip to Florida, is of pale tan cloth. The skirt has a wide flounce, headed by a wavy ruffle and trimmed with very narrow jet cords. The waist has a guimpe neck of turquoise blue satin, covered with lace and outlined with the narrow jet trimming. Below the guimpe come three circular frills of the tan cloth and, below these, the waist in the mid dle of the front only Is arranged to pouch over the belt and is Jet trimmed. BL.I/EN OS BORN. Copyright, 1888, by Bache'ler Syndicate., MAKE A KENNEL FOR YOUR DOG. If You Foffow These Di rections It is An Easy Tasf;. HALF DAY'S WORK. A Few Boards, Some Naifs ant] Paint, the Ontu Materi als Needed. iffsrt* are undoubtedly any number of boys who have a dog hut no kennel to keep him 3n. Almost any kind of ken nel, people think, will do for a dog, so long as it affords him a place to sl««p In and protection from rain and cold. If he gets a big dry goods box with a hole in one end large enough for him to go through, he Is better off than the average of his race; but a kennel made especially for his use is much better, and it can easily be built in half a day. The drawing shows such am af fair, very neat in appearance, which anybody can construct from a few boards tongued and grooved edges, j ■ ' ie- Its size will depend, of course, on the size of your dog; but for a canine of medium size a box thirty-six inches long, twenty-two inches wide, and thirty-two inches high from the ground to top of the roof peak, will give ample room. If it is made larger or smaller, the same relative proportions should bo maintained. First make the front and back with peaked tops, then the side and bottom. In the front cut the entrance hole, and be sure to have it large enough; don't force your dog to squeeze and scrape every time he crawls in or out. This opening should be marked with a com pass and cut with a keyhole saw to ob tain the curved line. Above it, in the peak, bore four holes, and with the same saw cv t away the wood between them as shown in the picture, so as to make a ventilator; for dogs as well as other animals need pure air. The back can be treated in a similar manner, so that a circulation of air can be had. Now nail the sides to the bottom, and tlie front and back to the bottom and sides. Between the two peaks nail a strip of wood to form a ridge pole, against which the upper ends of the boards forming the roof are to be nailed. Next put on the top, nailing it securely to the ridge pole, the top edges of the front and back, and also to the upper edge of the sides. Under the front and back nail a piece of joist to raise the floor of the kennel from the ground; when this is done look inside and see that there are no nail ends vis ible to tear the clog's skin or stick into him when he lies down. A staple with a chain, attached to the end of which may be a snap, can be driven in at one side of the front, if It is desired to keep the dog fast ened. If necessary, a door may be fit ted to close the hole in the front at Bight, so as to keep the dog warmer in winter, but you must never forget to open it in the morning, as it w-ould be very disagreeable for a dog to be shut in so small a place when he is awake. If it is thought desirable to paint the kennel, the nail holes should be puttied up and the entire outside treated to several successive coats; a light colored paint is best. Always place plenty of straw on tha floor of a kennel to make a soft bed for your dog; he will be more grateful to you in his canine way than you hava any Idea of. HARRY ADAMS. Copyright, 1898, by Bacheller Syndicate. A Museum of Newspapers, A museum of journals at Aix-la- Ohapelle, Germany, founded In ISB6 by M. Oscar Forkenbeck, is sold to con tain 500,000 newspapers in all lan guages. The founder devoted his whole fortune for forty years to the acquisi tion of rare" and curious specimens, and to subscriptions to journals In all parts of the world. He received and read every day a considerable nuimlber of the papers In thirty different languages. Having started the museum with 10,000 full collections he addressed a circular letter to the press of the globe asking co-operation in his enterprise, and a large number, of journals responded fa vorably ■ • -~- ——..