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AUSTIN'S HAWAIIAN WEEKLY.
J"- Mr. Bowser's ' By George, but there's a chance for some fun!" sud denly exclaimed Mr. Bowser, as he looked up from his evening paper. "What is it?" asked Mrs. Bowser. "Why, the First Baptist Church, right around the corner from here, is to hold a festival Saturday evening, and a gold headed cane is to be voted to the most popular man in town." "But where is the fun?" "In getting the cane. Say, now, but we'll be on hand, and if I don't get that cane over all other candidates, you may call me a goati it 8 a ntteen uonar cane and just what I want. You the festival, as you go to that church must have known about very' often?" "But you see " herself. "What do I see? began Mrs. Bowser, and then checked The cane goes to the most popular man in town. That conceited old Brown will think he's sure of it, and that assified Jackson will smile and grin and tumble over himself, but they won't be in it with me. It will be just like rolling off a log to win that cane." "I I hadn't thought of going," stammered Mrs. Bowser, after a while. "Well, you can make up your mind to go. I should think you'd be proud to have me bear of) the prize. Won't it please you to discover that I'm the most popular man in town?" "Y-e-s, of course, but suppose it shouldn't turn out that way?" "But it's got to turn out that way got to do it. Haven't I contributed to the free ice and sick baby funds? Don't we give to every charity and don't all the children on the street run after me? Why, I gave $25 in cash to help build that very edifice.- If there's a more popular man in town than I am, I'd like to know him." "But if you shouldn't get the cane then you'd you'd " "Then I'd what? It looks to me as if you didn't want me to get it. Perhaps you had intended to vote for some other candidate. Well, you go ahead and vote for whom you please, but I'll walk home with that cane just the same. We go to the festival on Saturday evening." That settled it, and Mr. Bowser took hold oi the matter in his enthusiastic way. He let it be known that he was in the hands of his friends, and that his friends were expected to vote early and often and pull him through. For four days and evenings he went about talking of the matter, with the result that "popular candi dates" appeared in all directions. Mrs. Bowser had fears and doubts, but whenever she threw out a hint, Mr. Bowser drew himself up and replied: "I shall get that cane, and don't you worry about it. It looks as if there might be a dozen candidates, but I'll smash 'em to squash as soon as the voting begins. I've had no less than seven men ask me if I would run for mayor next year, and I believe I'll take a nomination." When the fateful evening finally arrived, the Bowsers were on hand at an early hour. It didn't take Mr. Bowser ten minutes to discover that things were not exactly as he had expected. In the first place it was ten cents a vote, and in the next he was a stranger to most of the church people and none of them seemed to have marked him down as a candidate. He soon came upon a stern, severe looking woman, who made inquiry of him: "I understand that you are Mrs. Bowser's husband, and how does it come that we never see you here of a Sunday with her ?" "I I am not much of a churchgoer," he stammered in ex planation. "That is, you don't feel it a duty to set a good example to others?" "I hope I am not a bad man." "Did it ever occur to you that you had a soul?" "Of course." "I am afraid it hasn't. Poor Mrs. Bowserl We often talk about and pity her. I don't think our minister has quite done his duty. He should call on you and have a serious talk." A little later on Mr. Bowser met a 'male acquaintance who expressed a great surprise at seeing him there and asked if he in tended to rent a family few. "I'm after that cane," was the reply. "But you you can't expect to win it." "I'd like to know why not." The man looked at him with a pitying expression but had no explanations to make. A doubt crept into Mr. Bowser's mind for the first time, and he hunted up Mrs. Bowser to say: "I believe this crowd has put up a job to beat me out of that cane." "I don't think so," she replied, "but suppose we go home? It's crowded and uncomfortable, and I know you are not enjoying yourself." "When I go home that cane goes with me!" he announced, as he set his jaw. "I'm either the most popular man in town or I'm not, and it's a good time to find out how I stand." When the voting for the cane began Mrs. Bowser stood all alone. He saw that he was out of it, and Mrs. Bowser made another effort to get him home, but his mind was made up to die game. He bought a hundred Bowser tickets at one sweep and deposited them in the box, and these put him up far ahead of any other candidate. His period of exultation was a brief one, how ever. It was the crowd against Bowser, but he was a fighter. He had $90 in his wallet and not till the last cent was gone did he abandon the struggle. When the ballots were counted up he found he had lost by over 200 votes. "I'm so sorryl" whispered Mrs. Bowser, as she followed him out of the church. He made no reply. "It was awful that you paid out $90 and didn't get the cane after all." She heard him gritting his teeth, but he answered never a word. "You are probably the most popular man in town, but they combined against you." Still not a word. Side by side they walked home and entered the house. Mr. Bowser turned up the hall gas, hung up his hat, and as Mrs. Bowser sank down into a chair, he towered o'er her and shouted: "Woman, this is the end!" "W what do you mean?" she asked. "You worked your little game and got me downed, and no ex cuses or explanations will go." "But what did I do?" "My lawyer will be here by 10 o'clock in the morning. You can doubtless have yours meet him at the door. It won't take long to arrange matters." "But I I" "That is all, Mrs. Bowser all except the divorce and alimony. As I have some papers to prepare for the business tomorrow I will bid you good night "good night." "But can't" "Good night, Mrs. Bowser!" he repeated as he bowed and waved his hand and retired to the library "good night!" X. Ho Tai. (A Story of the Plague.) The dead line was drawn about that quarter of the city where the plague had committed its worst ravages and soldiers patrolled the street crossings and stood at the door of every store and dwelling that had been officially pronounced infected. In the unclean district, which embraced the greater part of Chinatown, whole blocks of buildings were closed and shuttered tight. There was a Sunday stillness in the once bustling thoroughfares and the scene was as sombre as the tomb. No one knew how long the . y$t ! M