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Vol. 1. Mo. 2L&. Stillwater, Minn., Wednesday, Feb. 15, ISSB.
STIfKa.LF UPWARD. Better to straggle and toil up hill. Though heart grows faint, and fingers bleed. Than rushing go—like the mountain rill— Downward, with eager, headlong speed. Stem the swift tide; never idly drift: In life’s great conflict strive to win; Cling to the oar, in the rapids swift. And fight your way from their roaring din, Pull with a will, strength conquers all; Keep up the stream, beware the sauds! Row for your life —out from the fall — Keep to tlie right with steady hands. Who can say that you shall not win? Watch the beam of the guiding star; Steer from the quicksand shoals of sin— There, just there, is the harbor bar. A Friend Oil tlie Outside. Editer Mirror Will a word from the outside world be admitted in your paper? One of my friends “within the gates” kindly sends me The Mikroii every week, and 1 am deeply in terested in its columns. 1 find much that is true anil beautiful, as well as some articles that bring the quick tear of sympathy. Frequently 1 find some article that it is hard to resist the temptation of answering. 1 have learned through your little paper, as ■well as by personal acquaintance with some of the inmates, that there are noble minds and deep thinkers in the prison, but I find also, what is not to be wondered at, that you grow morbid, and take a little darker view of life than is actually necessary. In your last issue i was deeply interested in “Junius Juvenalis’ ” journey through the cell room, and give him cordial commisera tion in his failure to obtain acane. But one thing he says convinces me that while the convict may be misunderstood, and thought of much more harshly than there is any occasion for. he, too, is capable of doing in justice to friends on the outside. I have two ot those beautiful boxes made by friends within the walls. Do 1 prize them merely as works of art and beauty? I assure yon, no. To me they are treasures no money could purchase. The work is line and beautiful. One was made me by a friend who has gone out into the tempta tions of the world. He was long months making it, and I never look at its beautiful tracery of leaves, tlowers and words, “A Token of ltegard,” without his face is be fore me, and many a bitter tear has fallen on its polished surface for the noble young life, blighted by sin. To me that box is sacred as a shrine. I never see it without a thought of prayer goimr up to the dear Father who knows where Harry is, and what he is doing, and who is able to save, even to the uttermost. My other treasure was a present from one still with you, and brings ever to my mind earnest, noble words of hope and faith he spoke when 1 talked with him in the prison. No. dear Mirror. do not think that because a person is free it necessarily follows that he or she is heart less, unsympathetic, or cold. 1 honestly be lieve there are some as noble minded people behind the bars as any at liberty, only as frost is needed to bring out the sweetness of fruit, so trouble often brings to light truly good traits that lie hidden beneath the sur face. I fear lam making this too long, but I want to tell “Flioenix” that I was much in terested in his “Criticisms.” No. he does not need “some member of the W. C. T. U.” to help him “stand.” There is so lit tle one can do for another, there so soon comes a limit, beyond which even the most devoted friends cannot go to help one, but there is One who was tempted in ali. roiXTS like as we are who suffered impris onment, desertion of friends, poverty and death, just so he might be able to enter into our feelines —One who is willing and able to help us—and it can be no humiliation even for a strong, ambitious young man to accept of the Divine friendship. 1 wish I could speak a word of comfort and cheer to all who need it. but as I have already taken up so much space I will only say in conclusion: We have not an high priest who cannot be touched with a feeling of our infirmities, but a Savior who, him self having suffered, understands add our needs and truly cares for us. Your friend, Mrs. L. M. Smith. Supt. jail work W. 0. T. U.. St. Cloud, Minn. Feb. 0, ISSS. Editor Mirror No doubt you and your staff will be sur prised to hear from me, as you know 1 solemnly vowed, after writing a prayer some time atro, which was published by a Minne apolis paper, giving a description of the supposed author, ringing me in as a wife murderer, a religious fanatic, the father of two daughters just blooming into woman hood, and an all-round bad man. Well, we’ll let that be buried, for I am blessed with the happy knowledge of knowing I am a single man, and am therefore conscious that lam not so bad as painted. Knowing you to be a sympathetic dispenser of “choc”—l mean of balm to the oppressed— I will state my grievances (which are heavy for my little self to carry; and seek comfort and consolation. On my arrival in this in stitution, and after going through the ‘•mill”, I was put in a cell, which I after wards learned was in the row called the “Dudes’ Alley.” Why I was put there I have not as yet found out. It will remain an enigma, for 1 am no more that species ot an animal than you are. Well, J got along swimmingly for the first two or three days, and was just getting acclimated. 1 sat down one even ing, being tired, and took a view of my sur roundings. I remarked upon the awful stillness that pervaded this place, when 1 jumped to my feet with my hair standing on end (what little I had left, being a “fresh fish,”) upon hearing the most awful noise 1 believe my ears were ever assailed with. The man directly over me was either taken with a fit, or was trying to execute a Co manche war-dance. As the roof of my abode was separated from his by a sheet of iron, it acted as a good conductor for the performance which he was going through, and of which I was a helpless listener. The next day I asked a fellow-clerk if there were any wild men in this place. He said. “Not that I know of; why?” Thinking 1 had an interested listener. I took him into my confidence and related my experience. He looked at me awhile and burst out laughing, and said, “That is the way of in troduction in this place, and you’ll soon get onto the ropes.” heaving me with this comforting assurance, I communed with myself and said if that is the way a man ba comes acquainted here, 1 want to know very few. Well, tlie glorious Fourth of July was soon to be celebrated, and before the memorable day 1 succeeded in obtaining the name of the individual over me, witii the intention of politely introducing myself and by way of a feeler ask him if be was taken that way often. His name did not belie his actions, for his sobriquet is Happy . When the g. f. arrived I singled him out, introduced myself and asked him if his health was not good. I guess lie took a grand tumble to himself, for with a smile lurking at tlie corner of his mouth, said, “Do you ask for the reason that I am so quiet?” L gave him a withering look and replied “Yes.” (Oh, what a lie!) He told me that he had a game leg which for some time he had been trying to limber up. I replied that the truth of that I doubted not. 1 suggested a gymnasium would be a desirable acquisition to this place in which he nodded acquiescence. 1 left him then, and in a far corner spent the rest of tlie day brooding over the thought of what I would suffer that night. I could tell by his actions while conversing with him, that he would have no mercy. After we were locked up he began to “limber.” But why pour into your ears what I endured. Probably you. —Selected “ IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO MEND.” A Guileless Victim. on an introduction before and after, have suffered. If so I will not open the wounds •which are healed. Even while writing this I forget that 1 am still a sufferer and am every minute expecting a dull thud and a crash followed by silence, to see what effect it will have on me. Hoping this will meet with your sym pathy, and that your condolence is heart felt I must close. Yours in Stiil(wann)- water, Ed. Brown. P. S.—lf you would like to hear from me again, I will write upon “A Cup of Choco late; or. The Basket,” and “An Antiquated Hand Saw.” E. B. Observations By An Observer. Editor Mirror: May 1 again have my say? If so. 1 will ask, was not The Mirror to uphold truth, condemn falshood, praise virtue, denounce vice, encourage honesty and censure wrong, in all its guises? Not only this, hut that we, tlie inmates, would have the privilege of helping, through the columns of The Mirror, our brother unfortunates known as the criminal class, to the extent of our power, or rather capability, in raising them from their evil ways and placing them upon a plane which would benefit them mentally, morally, and religiously? How are we to do this I ask? By hypocrisy, or by going down to the bed rock and speaking plain truths regardless of whose toes we may tread on? We who furnished the money to start this paper were fully aware that we were wear ing striped clothes, and that in condemning wrong-doing we were condemning what we ourselves were guilty of. We have all fall en short in our duty; none of us are good —no. not one —hut inside of our walls we have a little world similar to the great world outside. Every prison in the United States can say the same. The same difference ex ists in our temperament as is found outside; the same feelings, the same impulses, the same natures are found in this as well as every other prison, that are found outside. This being the case, should there not be some one at each prison, and in connection with the prison officials whose business it should be to make a study of tlie inmates and classify them according to their moral, men tal and physical capabilities; ascertain what we are here for, and what led us to commit the crime? Whether through ignorance, poverty or accident? Whether our down fall was due to whisky, bad company or surrounding circumstances, or whether we are professional crooks? I believe there are men here who had no intention of com mitting tlie crime which sent them here; that some are here through ignorance, some through poverty, and others through bad company and the natural consequences— whisky. There is great hope for the above named. Tlie writer of this article does not believe that whisky caused or made a man a pro fessional crook of any sort. It takes a shrewd man, with an active brain to he a professional. Whisky deprives one of shrewdness, and muddles his brain and robs him of his powers to plan and successfully carry out iiis schemes. Those, too, could be classified, for they spring from every path in life; from educated and refined families, down to the low-born and illiterate. It takes a smart man (in a worldly way, I mean), to become a successful crook, and these are the hardest to reform. But every man lias a soft spot that can he reached. The trouble is in finding it. In the first of those named the W. C. T. U., the C. T. A. XL, and Y. M. C. A. have a fine field for their work. In speaking of professional crooks Deputy Abe Hall once said to me, “Their only stock in trade is deception, and tlie only science they study is that of the writing pen, jimmies, drills and lying. They have no confidence in the honesty of men nor in the virtue of women.” If this be so, lie doubts his God. Wliat.’succor can a man expect who doubts all men, ail wo men, and his God? Echo answers. In conclusion may God help all of us. Texas. Five Gents. Our Borrwing Friend. Editor Mirror It is very easy to find a worse person than the man who is always in debt, but very hard to find one more uncomfortable. Ly ing is as easy as making debts; in fact it is very similar to it, for it consists in making promises that cannot be fulfilled. The man who is continually in debt, is in most cases a good and jolly fellow, for his money is easily made and spent in the same manner; his intentions are to he honest and he would not like to defraud anybody, but his great fault is, lie can never say no to himself, or anyone dear to him. He. will promise any thing to gain his point, hut his promises are forgotten as quickly as they are made. He wears tlie best of clothes, and frequents only first-class theaters, while his friends, who earn the same wages, have to be satis fied with a free concert or an occasional cheap excursion. Tlie reasons for asking a loan are generally plausible -and untruth ful—for lie is not going to deny himself for tlie sake of telling the truth. Sometimes he will repay what lie borrows, hut only to en able him to borrow more on some future oc casion. If any one should have the audac ity to sue him, lie will get very indignant, as if lie, instead of the creditor, had been badly treated. If he is an honorable church member lie could make a prayer that would raise you almost to the gates of heaven, but will sneak out before the meeting is over for fear somebody will ask him for his long overdue pew rent. He is very kindly dis posed, and sometimes people will place their property or money in his care, but when they want it they will find out In* has taken a flying trip to Canada, for the bene fit of his health. Often lie is a philanthro pist; men who do not attend properly to their own affairs always have time to con cern themselves witii other people's busi ness; but if iiis fingers are allowed to get within reaching distance of tlie treasury, tiie enterprise soon begins to languish for lack of funds. Tlie man who is always in debt is really a confidence man, hut he would feel insulted if you were to tell him so. Those who have suffered by him —and who lias not? —will understand why the old Homans allowed a creditor to sell a debtor into slavery, and no doubt wish that much of Roman law had come down nil*- changed to our time. G. M. This With A Grain Of Sail. Tlie biggest authentic blizzard story of the season comes from Aurora county. When the great storm of the 13th inst. swept over that county, Eric Johnson, a farmer near Plankington, was watering his cattle some distance from his buildings. He used liis utmost exertions to drive the cat tle home, but without avail, as very shortly they as well as himself were exhausted. Among tlie cattle was a very large ox. which soon became bewildered and laid down to die close to where Johnson was floundering in tlie snow. At this moment, Johnson, who was making frantic efforts to save himself, was seized with an inspiration which impelled him to quickly kill the ox, disembowl him and crawl inside. After drawing the sides of the stomach together, he was completely sheltered from tlie ter rific storm by the warm carcass of tlie ox, and passed a night in warmth and comfort When morning dawned, however, anil he endeavored to crawl out of his peculiar hab itation, lie discovered to liis horror that the ox was frozen solid, his knife outside, and himsel a secure prisoner. He kept up a shouting at intervals until 3 o’clock in the afternoon, when his cries were heard by parties who were searching for his frozen body, and he was helped out of his hole, none the worse for his peculiar experience. —Sioux City Telegram. Our Lord God doth work like a printer, who settetli the letters backward: we see anil feel well his setting, hut we shall see and print yonder in tlie life to come. —Mar- tin Luther.