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THE SHADOW IN THE WELL-b, I
C L ' ' If (Oor-'rtrM W? -h. V-- TnrV Ir.i!(t Co All rlgbts referred.) i1 TRX?5"""rt:Vr'"5 ' "nii publli shacic, 'Pi-fP "id every Old woman iu &i T i j i o village felt like- goingl ir$ Fy?j ii wrinkled - I I B n llflsBik Bcharl and tolling liim so l&iLJ&Sfc&i (o j)S fac( ifri. si 1)1? daughter, !M 1 1 ri n i--. -a . ;n:cd vcven torn and unmarried a most disgrace m fill state nf affairs for a Bengal! girl Bti face. Her forlorn condition could not I be due to a lark of comeliness, for she 4 was a beaut v of the statuesque type. It conld not be traced to auy luck of do mestic virtues, for all Bhairo knew- that her fathers properly was due main:; her management of hi-! pilgrims' 1 . 1 sr 1 1 house. Nrr could it possibly lie due to a lick of suitor?, for ecn Benares knew I that a dowry of considerable proportional Ttnigh'. be wormed out of mi-crly old Bepin by a young aspirant of skill. Bc- eides, the persistence of Bani Singh bad 1been bazaar talk for at least two yean That dowry was the heart of the mat ter Old Bepin loved hi" rupees beyond a LI earthly things, and did not look with I favor upon the ieea of hastily parting , with them as a marriage portion and it the same time losing the main prop of tthii business. ! "By no manner of mean-'" Sssei ed (Ram Singh, who had n:nn p:ieed the Bnsty road that leads out from Benares to Bhairo. '-Thou art old, and il is uot Beet that the care of thy household should :onie upon tbec, or upon mqio I wench brought in for hue." II The old Hindu gave a grunt of ilisgusl I But sent the smoke back through the I ; bowl of his hookah, which Hatu diplo I pnabcally . kept filled with Calcutts M tobacco, while he himself puffed H ettes lise the son of a sahib. 5 "If thou wilt but give her unto me, ' Mas id Ram, blandly, "all will be well. Jilunnec-sa and 1 will lodge in the hot . .land she will roniinue i.. prepare- food for th hungry who .-an pny." A Matter of Business, U It was not the first nor the fifth limci that Bam had hrld out ihis flail, nug m-( Kduccment to bis would be lather-in i( But Bepiu alrcxdy knew well enough that, Kaoi would become a nonpayiug boarder, 3and that with him would probably come laeveral improvident members of h:s family. I Jt The daughter In the case hud, of coutw , JBo voice in that matter. Her marrli ifcvas a question of business to be settled jjfty the bead of the family, The fact that Jluoncssa detested Ram Singh from the Hop of his dirty turban to the soles of bis feel bad no bearing ou the negotiations, U "lu that esse, what shall the portion J be'.'' aked B. pin. pla-in; -b . o.U iu T the bow I of his hookah. g iv ..n r." plain.' Bam, "I should .i.v . . .. bundled and tifty rupees. uIBul siu-e i am .o live m luy liouie, let Ui ( aj uii'. iiULidl d I "1 have uot ibe balf," protested the old 3k miser. Ji Baui waved bis bund iu dissent. "All Btfie village knows, and Benares ulo( that Uiou ha t live huudie-i' iu Debcudm Natb t Ibuuk. ' Uii- -as stri- tly true, sud it was OfUiu Wu"-..-.d. ihdi b.id in -i rough! Ram 'Mb Long aud aiguincu Jiivc was the lalk Bpii i followed, for the persuasiveness ot phc suitut and the ubsl-iivj ol the inrsi lfipuouiu,Li father bud met so many limes jat the - "" point thai each had acquired the perfection ol diplomacy. At leiigih fflktam nrosv, light" nt-d bis lorn cloth about kirn and walked j.muuly away toward J0 Biuai'-r i. 1 j ' v . r later Ihe- K.'.' uk I Lancing girls iu ibc Dalkiinandi quarter I knew tiiat ihe marriage bad practically I Ibecu arranged, ihcrc being now onll ' 0 it. ,eio e- oi i' n rupees b tween " hat W Rtaiu demanded and what Uepi.i ' ' '' Istn' 1 'I I" I'a .' 1 ' '"' 1 1 '"' "' 1 Uii I bsurauce, the -!"' hou-in-law ol I Rhe inn keeper ua, allowed to contract I Hertain small debts that night. 9 v ih- rroini of mud hum known Ihe village of Bhniro is a place of great ISUCtlty anions i he Hindis. Ages ago a Buddhist ruler erected hen- a h'ftr pillar; toward ihe decline of Buddhism in Ben I ares the Hindu- buill S temple near bj r.ator came Aurungxebc, ibe Mohatt nieilan. to tear 'i down and build a inoi-iie. Miif li bitterness of feelinr was patched up by a compromise which ended ,oii A day when a fOJISt of the Moslems coincided with a feast of the Hindus Two mill prooos.ion! met and there was milCh breaking nf he-id The fohnnt nir.bin nprooted ihe Bdddhlsl pillar (which by ibis time the Hindus . re wor hipping a. liugam nf Shiv.it and lim it in pieces. The riotons followers if the Prophet then nsshed Into Benares, dragged one of the sacred cows down to jtbe holy Ganges and pellute-d the- sacred !rcani with iis blood It was a fearful 'desecration and would have ended in the j massacre of the entire Moslem populatiouj (had not the British stepped in with Sepoy 'and loaded rifles. Then the Bhairo IprleetSJ sullenly selected ihe largest piece of the broken pillar, covered it over with slvet copper, painted it red aud invited1 the Bengalis to resume their pilgrimages to it And the veneration for Ibis relic of a rival faith was the chief source of I obi Bepin's prosperity, tor pilgrimages I bring guests. The day following Bain Siugh'u visit was an idle one, but as the sun was siuk Ing behind the plppal trees that enterpris ing suitor came tramping iulo Bepin s place, followed by a group of pilgrims. Hire be eight uiiu fol ibe uigbl." he said, "and tbey hove not brought food.' "CaD they pay ?" demanded Bepiu, wUuse soul bad long been callous agaiuel tbi ap- peal of pilgrims who could not, J - Yeu, and u large price. Tbey dl eai j much." "Whence come tbey';" I "From Bauagbai, by trsiu. They arc laborers on ibo railway, auU ibe tastviu jlieogal pSys much money.' i It is well. Tbey may leep iu the j Courtyard, where tliere la room tor all. 1 I will tell SlUnbsSMM lo eovk fenXl." "But my eomuiistsieius ; ' aiU ibe piloi. "Thai is a matter tor llic morrow -altei they lijve palel," u Us A' v red UlS euullou- iuukeepei 'Were Good Katlroad Men. j The mi.'O ol lUiiut;u.iv Ueu Up lo the (reputation ol railruuO meu ibe woild ovei.l I lUey called tor tod e.1 lUe bei and luj .... il iileuty. They smoked boukuiis audi CulcutlH cigarettes and lold merry tales' I of iitvou lUe hiasteru Ueugal Bailway tbut' .kept Bepiu awake tar Into the uigbl And Munnessa vsa a weary bundmaldeu ; urben she- was buaiiy permitted to sueich out ou a roll of putting and tali sslesp llarly ou ibe morrow there came lrautb calls tor more food, uud Uepui began lo ' have uue-asiuess lel they depart with a 'large- and unpaid bill. But at the proper ' time ihe railway pilgrims drew lorili baj-v L of popper pie-, and silver money aud paid iu full without haggling Then tbey act off for the temple of the pillar, tj One of them, a tall Bengali of about ' twenty, liugtred at tin doorway and beck oned to Benin. Tbi old man came to ibe ilt. I 'i am Haaari Ial Ghnaarl," aid the I pilgrim, "section workman on the State Railway between Rannghal snd Bo- gool.n " Bepin bowed but wn disi reetjy silent "Tlie girl who served food is she j hired r ! "Nay be is my daughter." "is yiie promised ?" Vav tbnl i & , the in.ilter is riot yet fin ished " "Then T would sp,eak concerning the mailer when I return from (he temple" "1 will listen.' said Bcpio simply "My friends go into Benares to-nighi." explained (Is sari "but I return to lodge with line," "It ia well " said i he innkeeper. The village well had Ihe news soon afi- crward. and here il was that Munnessa first heard il, a- -he cairn- to draw water at the sign of the squeaking windlass. Ir was but natural that ahs should wonder! which of the right pilgrims wa her pro spective husband. There were two, she! remembered, who had regarded her clo-c-1 ly One was a sturdy youth In a blue tur- ban, the other was an older man with bul One eve She feared il might be the latier But she dared not question old Bepin. nor did be mention the mallei to her. It wa.s obviously not one of lo-r affair. Bin 'as the evening shadows began lo lengthen she went to the village well oflener than was absolutely necessary, and each time looked down the road that leads to the temple of the broken pillar Trunks of Marrying. j Nightfall brought the pilgrim and it wai lie blue turban. Muum.-sa brought water for bim t bathe aud bis food was ready by the time he had fiuisbed And it WM of Bepin's best. He ale ulone and iu silence, watching the girl keenly every time she appeared, which was frequently enough. Then be smoked. At last old i Bepiu bioiigbt out bis hookub, tilled it, called for SdundcSSS to briug hitn a OOel, laud puffed away in silence under the briU- i laut stars. I When the Incense of tobacco bad eleared awav the- mists trum the ave-uue-s of thought, ibe man of Bauaguat spoke-. He was regularly employed ou the railway, he said, aud iu favor with the Sahib superin Iteudeui ol construction. A biaucb liue was shortly to be buill Bridges and eul-i veris were lo be made. Many workinvu: would be employed for many mouth. He,' Hazarl Bal. had accumulated the sum ofl Ittty rupees, They were- no iu a bag around his neck 4Wc ten rupvc bills aud1 their existence COUld be proven. It was' BOW his thought to lake a wife. With IbcJ ntiy rupees and the- wife and ihe rupees' ol tne wMe'S dowry he- would ope-u a lodg mg house Dear unto the camp of couslruc-j I lion, li is ibe habit of railway meu to I spend Ireely. ai. Bepiu perhaps kntW, I The innkeeper nodded with satisfaction. I The- llansghst youth continued, BcpluV : daughter was a comely girl, industrious, j and pleased him well. Moreover, sbe Ikuew the manner of conducting an Inn. 'Willi her be would shortly become a ujju Lf consequence. Bepm n-ked bow much capita Uaxari 'Lai proposed to mvist iu the enterprise. I With a hundred rupees 1 shall soon gam another, hundred,' be answered 1 Bepin made a lightning calculation. The Ranaghel man had already fifty. It was erident, Ihc-rcfore, that he would fjpis-i io receive only fifty in return for ihe h r of becoming th husband of an un married daughter. Re Singh's lowest figure had been seventy rupees. Besides, there w on M be Bam s relatives to feed, doubtless On the Other han.l here was a iikelv routh with a mind in n business of his own S place where I'.epm might pas bis closing yea re in peace without i:r:iinQ upon lb" fi hundred in Deben dra N'nlh's hank. Business i- business, however, and so Bepin protested that forly rupees was the uttermost limit of his resources. Hiari Ial, being s railroacl mao. was !rot to lei ten rupees coma between him and what be w.ini'd I he bargain was therefore closed on the basis of forty m neei definitely and finally. Then Bepiu went w ithin and sent Muum sa out to get scquaitrted with her betrothed. Hazari Bal made no love talk with the future mi-ire-v of In, liou-c -hold. Thai is u-t tlo- ay of the Bengali. Instead, be took up, lb. business sidr of (he f 1 1 r 1 1 r and painted the prospect iu Such vivid colors that Mun necaa, who had never known aught butt drudgery and abuse, also began t" dream dreams. Besides, theft was a world of differenie belween Ihis resolute strangi-r1 and that patron of all (he dissolute boles) of Benares, Bam Singh. But while Hazari Bal was unfolding ibe future of Muuneaaaj Bam arrived at' the mu to colled hie commissions on the I i guests w hom be bad piloted to Bhairo I he evening before. Bepin grudgingly couut--l out ihe coppers to which be was en-i titled, after which the Beuurv.s suitor set-) ile-d himself to lake up tbe dowry negotia ; lions where they had been left the night ! before To bis consternation and auger! he h-nned thai I In.- s'Tl had a ready been betrothed lo one of the very guests whom' ihe bad brougul to ibe door He expressed jbis feelings iu vigorous Bengali, but, B. pin placidly puffed away at In; hookah and lei the young man exhaust his breath. I And how much is tbe portion." Dually-; .vKh.r,j il,, disappointed suitor. 'That is a matter between him and1 (me," answered Ueplo, ' "Wbioh of the eight is be?" The Shadow on the Water. "lie sits iu ihe courtyard,'' auswe-red the inukeeper complacently. Bam took a long look at the ambitious youth in the blue lurban, thru trodc in dignantly out of the hut without even speaking to the man .shrouded in smoke. Thru be hastened to the JJalkiuiaudi girls with the slory of his wrongs aud there learned that the man wbe keea receives small sympathy from dancing girls. The neii day Hazari Lai I ramped into Benares to visit the famoius shrines and invoke tbe favor of the gode upou his eu terprise lueideuiall.v be hoped to rejoin 'bis compauious from Bauagbai. At ihe Well ol Knowledge, which is one ot the dwelling places of Shiva, whose colossal ItOUC oull crouches uear by, he im-i iam jsingh. It was near midday, iud he- did not know lhal Bam s obsen.uit eye had 'never left bim from the moment he eaiue down tbe Bhairo highway. The young railroader was Dot displeased lo sec one f.inliliar face in tbe great crowd. "To which of the sacred plaee have yon made pilgrimage''" a.skr-d Ram, with a show- of friendly interest. Hatarl named ibe-m the Sfanikarnlka Well, which is filled with the perspiration of Vishnu, the Golden Temple (he Shrine of Gsnesho and the Well of Knowledge. J "Then you have not gone to the Well of Tate?" i "And what i.s thst?' asked Hazari j "Oh every pilgrim goes to Ral-Kup," WSJ ibe answer. "It is beside the temple that li near nnto ihe I'own Hatl." "And w hot is ibs viri UI ? ' ' It haf n laru-e Opening in Ihe covering. When the town clock -trike the hour of twelve the pilgrim looks through thi jopening to diseom the frill of the gods jlf all be well he will svi his shadow on !lhe water If he ces not his shadow i lien mnt be die within the balf yesr. It ia very certain.'' I Hazari reflected A man shoot to n- jgage in an Important business hpiiil not lightly disregard sn OppoTtnnlty to learn if he shall live to see it through I "Is the oost great"'" he oaked. I ,rN'nT The priest of rhe temple Is known trie. I Can arraiig" it for a few 'annas fVitne," and he uteered toward the Kal-Kup as he had gui-led many a s-nnple pileriin before j When tbey reached the we!' they found J.i group of other pilgrim wading to peer' jinto their future Rsm tvk the priest! I :;nd .iii n fr-w worihl to him in s! low i-iie Thr priest's uleek- face lighted' jnp and Bam came back to ETatirl j T have arranged with him for half aj Irupf-e, as i mstter of friendship." he ej : j plained confidentially "Others are hre before tbee, bllt Ihe priest promises to admit thre firsft of all '' The Will of the Cods Hazari transferred the half rupee toi Ham's waiting palm and they stood in I silence to await the hour of nexin As the firM stroke of the be-il sounded Ihe priest pushed aside ihe Uiore urgent f the pilgrims and motioned io Hasarl H I showed him Where to -viand so th.it his shadow- would naiurally fall ihrongb the Opening aid lobl him to look intently Hatarl looked inlently Then lie lor, more ioteutly. A clammy perspiration broke ont on his forehead and he leaned forward in his anxi.ly He could see the dim reflection of sunlight upon putrid priei was patient HaaarTs gloom deep ened as Ihe second man gave n grrat out cry of joy and pointed to his distinet shadow in the water below. As riaz.iri stood gazing despondently m 'the direction of the WCllf which had been to him the Well of Doom, Bam drew neir in the cnise of ii comforter. I "The gods of the Benares are many and grarious," he 6aid consolingly "There may be i wst in which to avert the j calamity " A look of appeal and hope came into ihe eyes of (lie man of Banaghnt. "Wail thou here until I have speeeh again with the priesl If there be a door of -. ipe i t l ill show it to me for frb-r.d , ship's sake " Another whispered conversation foi- Jowed and Bam came back gloomily, i ' There ia a way." he said, "but the cost thereof is too high." ' "How high''" n-ked the railroad man. I , grasping at the straw Pilgrims hae paid unto the temple as much as live hundred rupCSS tO break the j spell of doom," said Ihe shrewd Rani, w iii hing Ihe other's fare. "I could seeuro ii r,r one hundred, bnt a sum like t'nat is 'beyond thee."' This was said in a tone of finality, ts one bids farewell lo another 'at the gate of death. I "I have but tifty rupees," said Hajari "I will wpe.ik again with tne priest, but I fe.ir there is no hope " When Bun and the prT put theirj beads together a long anrl whispered argument resulted. As oon as the priest' had beeD told of tbe pilgrim's hasty betrothal lo the daughter of five hundred rupees h! gambling instiuct suggested dels Bepin, himself in mortal fear of do- probably would supply another fifty and the doomed man would duly ap pear at the temple on the morrow- with the full hundred Bam favored immediate acceptance of the fifty on the ground that 8 bird in the hand is worth many flying, ami even offered to reduce bis own com uiiitMon on tho transaetiou. But the priest was nrm. There was no other temple in Indi:. I bat could set aside the verdict of Kal-Kup. aud an extra fifty rupees wa worth a day s wait. Bam regretfully explained to Hazari thai the ritual of averting death was very OS tly, and the priesl could not rediie'e the ,in e. eveu for friendship to Bam. Then ic blandly suggested that Hazari return to Bhairo and solicit the other lift) from Bepin, Bnt this was not Hn alluring prospect to Hazari. He was standing amid the ruins of his air castle, for ihe payment of even ISlllf ... " water, but there wa not a vestige of shadow He called aloud to ihe pries! and bade him also look. The priest peered iulo the well and ihen sadly shook bis head. It is tbe will of the gods," he said. The death will coine within six months But thyself bo readinoss to meet it." Great consternation spread among the pilgrim at this announcement, and thej made way for Uaiari to pass through their midst Just as if il ere his 'funeral procession already passing. It (was some minutes before another pilgrim 'ventured io approach the well, but the tifty rupees woubl leave him penniless. He itheu told Bam Singh about tbe railroad lodging house which was lo be at Baua- Ighat, and the recital gave the rejected isuitor inward satisfaction. He knew that Bepin w-ould m-w regard the matter oA the marriage in a very different light Then he sel Hazari on the way to Bhairo, prom ising lo see liim at the- ion thai evening. I On the steps of the temple had been standing au intereMted observer of Bain's 1 negotiatons, a tail Hiudu wilh a lurban that marked him as a man of a differeni faith. It was Sailer Bui Shaik, the Mohammedan, drofesslonal guide, and, I therefore, a business rival Of Bam. Sailer Bui had recently lost the patronage of some Bnglish ladies from Calcutta through Eti the chicanery of Ram Singh, and his soul rankled. The Mohammedau decided that RV-' V' heaven had sent bim a chance to get even. BV Keeping Hazari in sight a he wended m'' ' Ins sorrowful way through tbe crowd, mt-X i 8aller Bin waited until he nearcd the out- ' K?'-'.' I Rkirt of the nalive city and then bore BL'V . down upon him. Little by little he ex- M' 'j traeted an account of Hazards life and of PU' the (rouble at the Well of Fate, which was Wf ' whit he had guessej it to be. I With the zeal ,,f a true son of the B I prophet, backed Up by the satisfaction of K evening Ins score with IUm, Sailer Bui R I Shed a great light on the matter B "Kal Knp is not well, bnt a trap tc It": ' catch pilgrims and skin their eve teeth," declared the Mohammedan. "Did you see W I l priest who was not fat? ' ; Hazari rememJrot th)lt ,bc pr!est flt E .ihe WeJ did not show traces of emacia- B tion. Jfj? "Why are thry far"'" demanded Sailer Bux. "Because tbey reed on (he rupees of . fl pilgrims who ee no shadow in the well." W'' Bui d,e second man saw his shadow " jf .protested Hazari bitterly. j Trick of the Priests. "w "He wbnld not have .eeD it had he been S " the first to look." said the Mohammedan. . "f.isten to rne. Tijo h0e , go placed that f ihe shadow e8n Ke exactly at noon a not a minute before. But the clocks of k . Benares are all set with Madras time a railroad man ongb -o know that and t i Madras time, is several minutes slow. You j looked into the well the clock began to f ; strike twelve, Madras rime, and you could f i not possibly see anything. It is an old trick of the priest's." f Wb.n Bailer Bui saw rhM Hazari still bad lingering fear he bade himself ? to f, lb railway sutloo and assure bimef f.' with regard to the Bonn res clocks. The V man of Ra-oaghat starred on the trot, for f be well knew that the feab!b station mas- I ter woubl seak w-rd of treth. P; Half an hour later Hasarl was on his 't ' way '-.ward Bhairo with n great load lifted from his soul, but with hot indig- if-.' nation against the perpetrator of the F triek, who had so nearly brought bim to p , ruin. To Bepin he told the story, and p- , Bepin confirmed the fact abont BeDares v ' time, H As twi light fell np,,n the Tillage Ram V Singh sauntered into Bepin's place, buoy- X in- md hopeful. He inquired for Hazari. Beriin, purring away at his hookah, silently F pointed to the courtyard, Ram went out . to s"ek the man of Ranashat L ' And he found him. And the man -if 1 Ranaghat arose- In :he sir. ugth with which if' he was wont to pound the spikes. He 1 fell upon Bam Singh and smote hini with 1 increasing delight until Ram broke from his clutches and went fleeing in the direc- t. tion Of Benares. IfeanWhile Bepin calmly f puffed away without sbakiug 3D ash from fc his hookah. If you chance to pass Ranghat. on the If-" Eaatera Bengal, perhaps your eye may li-rbt nimn n nenf rrmd boosp i-orered wilh red tiles ;ind decorated with a sign which D the Bengali tongue- offers high grade lodging for man and beast. IuMdc you 'will lind a prosperous young Bengali .H listening to (ales told by the bridge build- ILH i-rs on the branch road, while, a sleek young f matron is singing a lullaby between inter- vaN of sharp directions to servants who ;are bending over the cooking in the court- nd In side the tire, with his legs crossed H under him, is a worn and wrinkled Bengali, J who will tell you that he was once keeper i -of a pilgrims' inu nigh unto Benares And the rings of smoke that rise from bis inseparable hookah remind him of the 'round rupees that repose safely in tbe strong bos of Debeudra No'h. I Virginia Farmers Reject Yellow Baclu When Mr. Perkins Offers Temptation. j C EN their adamant prejudice agnnst L taking au sctivc Interest in anything mumJanc was overcome by the (ail di nts of Bamont, Va , some time ago M ben eicorge l'erkins' private car, Hit Hecate, was drawn onto the siding liar the railroad station. H Scarcely had the brakes stopped the . a la t ia 1 car when Mr. l'erkins stepped H onto li"' platform and looked about for a 1 ! horse and carriage which he had ordered by telegraph to meet him. No such telegram bad been received ib ' K.sruont. aud the operator in that thriv ing community "reckoued" that nons I w.uild be rec-eived until Monday morning, 'ihe wires were not iu ibe babit of beiog , worked on Sundays Tbe agent at the I Motion where Mr. Perkins had wrkten the telegram had no power to hold up a 1 al train, but be could fail to scad jibe despatch. Mr Perkins' destmatlcn was a consider oblc distance from tbo railroad station nod be did not feel like walking When 1 the heard it rumored among tbe onlookera pybo had gothcri-d to 'npect the Hecate .i- a tug ro'igio.is meeting was to be j held at ion Hall oe took iiart, for that I wouid mean that muuy horses and car riages would pass bj th station So, fortified with a generous roll of t' p:iper money, he waited for the preces- .sion of vehicles. When at last they ap peared all were travelling in the wrong direction, but Mr Terkins did all in his power, with a display of green and yel- II low bills, to persuade souie farmer to r turn round aud take bim to hi desti- j None would accept pay on Sunday, uor I would they, in rfspouae to verbal ap :peabs that might have wrung the heart of a stone, give tbe man who had millions If- 1 61 dollars at his disposal a gratuitous "lift." He seemed to have business to I transact, and this was a violation of Sab- H bath propriety in which noue would par- J ticipate, however remotely i At last a young German, who was ac- customed to a Continental Sunday, took j Mr Perkins to bis destination, and as a L Ljuoas to the whole- affair refused with f Ign it indignation to accept mouey for I Upon bis return to tbe Hecate Mr. IVrkins discharged his debt to Hie com- I ,,,; v nt ,;p. by having the chef serve I raspbern I lbroUsh lhe wrni, 1 to tbJ children snd g.e a case of beer to tbe station master.