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TtieSirange Adventures |
| of Christopher Poe | i Stories of Strange Cases Solved inf e&eihyp Banker-Detecth* $ | iBROWN I W. v W (Copyright, 1915, by w. G. Chapman.) * y y I THE NEEDLE | Christopher Poe sat in a Pullman on his way to Mexico, reading about the town of Catorce In his red, flexible covered guide book. He had left New Orleans after setting the Twlrley Twins on the right track, expecting to spend two weeks in old Mexico before returning to New York. As the train raced along through for ests of cacti and acres of century plants, Poe re-read the following in formation with much interest; Catorce, point of departure for the mining town of the same name in the adjacent hills. The sta tion is about one mile from the foothills, where the train begins. Real de Catorce, about 14 ki loms. from the railway station, is poised on the slope of a precip itous mountain 9,043 feet above sea level, in the center of one of the richest silver-producing re gions in the world. No wheeled vehicle was ever seen in the narrow, precipitous streets of the town, and good hotels are just as scarce. The only maison Is that of Senor Rafael Saleido. The region roundabout is fairly bursting with mineral wealth, and there are many mines. Catorce (fourteen)) derives its name from 14 infamous outlaws who once in fested -that region. The puff-eyed conductor, ali obsequi ous Mexican with sun-shrunk skin, stopped beside the American traveler and asked in English: “Well, senor, have you made up your mind to leave us at Catorce?” “1 believe so,” answered Poe. “You say you can recommend it because it isn’t tourist-ridden?” “Yes. You will find few English speaking people there. It is quite a wild place. You will sleep in a hole, and have difficulty in getting anything fit to eat!” “Sounds tempting! I’ve an old friend, a mining engineer; I believe he’s up here pulling silver out of the earth somewhere. I think I’ll stop off, If you’ll be good enough to vise this ticket to Mexico City.” A minute later the dusty train came to a stop at a little adobe village con sisting of a hollow square of baked mud houses glaring in the sun; a scat tering of maimed, ragged natives run ning along beside the train, begging piteously in high-pitched voices, “Un centissime, senor, un centissime!” and a handful of native women with large, shapely, small-necked water bottles of pottery, catching scalding water from the waste-pipe of the high shouldered steam engine. Poe stepped down and beckoned to a twisty, frog-faced fellow standing beside a group of moth-eaten burros on the caked earth station platform. "Cargador—-Catorce?” cried the guide messenger, taking the suit case from the traveler’s hand, and pointing to the trail twisting up the mountain to Real de Catorce. The tourist nodded his head, and mounted a scrubby little sand horse which a boy with a guitar and black sun glasses brought from a cool black stable near by. Half an hour later a gay little file of burros was winding through the foot hills up the trail to the raining town, beaded by Poe on one horse, a five foot Spanish sword jangling at the side of his saddle; behind came the black-spectacled boy astride a patient burro, his long legs dangling to the ground at either side of the animal, his guitar swung on a gay ribbon slid ing across his thin high shoulders; next a pleasant-faced old woman sit ting sidewise on a braided fiber pad strapped to a wabbly-legred burro; the woman carried a large natural lin en umbrella, and fanned herself slow ly with a palm leaf. Behind came a dozen burros carrying casks, packages, the traveler's suit case and a load of sombreros; all being urged ahead by the little guide walking along, frog legged, shouting “Buhrrroooo!” and “Stuuuuh!” at the stupid little sand animals. The dusty caravan mounted the steep trail at a monotonous pace, stopping only once for a drink of wa ter beside a wayside sepulcher mark ing the resting place* of a weary trav eler who never reached Real de Ca torce. As they scrambled over the pebbly road, the burro boy pushed his black glasses high on his forehead, and leaning back on his little mount strummed a drowsy Spanish tune. Poe dropped back beside the boy, and watched him play... As the boy fin ished, the banker smiled his apprecia tion, and leaning over, touched a ring on the boy's finger, asking in Span i sh: “Where did you get that?’ The boy glanced at it with con scious Biride, and flashed the white stone in the sun. At first he was re luctant to reply, then he said quickly In his native tongue: “An American gave it me for quick ride down she mountain.” "When?”‘*asked the traveler. Idly Inspecting the cheap imitation, dia mond. “jUast night” ,Jhe boy swung the guitar back to its place across his shoulders, slipped off the burro in front of a lane between two mud walls, and waved his hand. "Adios.” he saidj “I spend the night here with a frlendr: S The continued for half a mile .furj&ef. rhteep Streets paved by Band with small pebbles, the s moothnesftiPlffthat ros ftj^wnturies Senor Rafael Saleido the> banker dis mounted, paid his guide, and asked the direction to a great stiver mine where be hoped to find his friend. Having reached the office of the 'i. ... . streets, Poe opened the door and asked a black-haired Mexican youth if Mr. Reichmann were in. The boy di rected him Into a second room, and there a short, stout, blonde German- American stared at the traveler, and rushed up to him, grasping his hand firmly and crying: "My old friend Chris Poe. by all that’s strange!” “Yes. What’s the matter, Billie?” asked Poe, as he glanced from a low browed Mexican with saggy stomach and pouchy eyelids to an open safe in the corner, and then completed the triangle by bringing his gaze back to Reichmann, who he noticed for the first time was perspiring profusely. “Oh, confound it!” said Reichmann quickly. “There’s the devil to pay here!” “Will you please speak in Spanish, so I can understand?” said the pouchy little Mexican firmly, stepping up be side Reichmann. “I was only telling my friend I was in a hole,” said Reichmann, knowing that Poe could speak enough Spanish to get along. “Senor Terranova, allow me to introduce my friend, Senor Christopher Poe, the New York bank er.” Senor Terranova took two military steps forward, bowed formally, and put out his hand limply, as though of fering a dish rag. “Who robbed the safe?” asked Poe in Spanish, looking idly at the big, old fashioned American safe, yawning empty. “That’s just it!” cried Reichmann. “It was done last night. Senor Ter ranova, I am afraid, Is under the im pression that I robbed it.” “I have not accused,” said the Mexi can quickly. “May I ask what was in it?” Poe turned to Reichmann. “I haven’t a notion what was In the silver and crystal casket The safe is the personal property of Senor Terra nova, president of our mine.” ‘There is no use concealing the con tents longer!” cried the Mexican, standing back dramatically, and point ing his finger at a mass of debris in the corner, among which Poe recog nized slabs of crystal, bones, dust, and the glint of silver. “That safe con tained the remains of Cortes, together with a priceless chalchituitl put in his mouth, as a heart, on burial ac cording to the old custom.” ‘Cortes, the Great Conqueror?” cried Reichmann. “No other,’ answered Senor Terra nova. “Then you are a relative of the duke of Terranova, who was supposed to have taken the remains of Cortes to Palermo for safe burial when the mob of 1823, mad with the centennial cele bration of their independence, wanted to break open his tomb and scatter the ashes of the great commander,” shid Poe, deeply interested. “Exactly. My name tells that. In stead of taking the body to Palermo, however, it was brought here at night from Mexico City, and here it has re mained ever since, unknown to the world.” “But why should anybody steal the skull of Cortes?” queried Reichmann, perspiring. “They left his bones, all but the head.” The little Mexican cast a suspicious glance at the mine manager, and an swered: “Ah, that’s the only important part; in the mouth lies a chalchituitl, a green jade stone, prized above all gems by the Aztecs. It was stolen for that.” “But I am no Aztec, I don’t prize any historic jewels of Mexico,” cried Reichmann excitedly. “Yet you say you think an American did it.” “I think an American stole the skull for the jewel that was in it and the gold which surrounded all,” answered Senor Terravona decisively. “Besides, there are few Mexicans around here clever enough to open such a safe.” “It is not, however, a very good safe,” remarked Christopher Poe, who had stooped to examine the door of the massive steel structure. "It’s an antique pattern. Most any clever crook with a knowledge of tumblers could open it in half an hour’s time.” The mine president drew himself up with dignity. “I do not believe it coaild .tye opened by anyone who did not have the com bination, and Mr. Reichmann here had access to the company safe in which a duplicate of the combination of this casket container was filed.” “My dear sir,” said Poe, picking a shining little article out of a crack in thp floor and testing the point of it with his forefinger as he addressed the Mexican directly, “your suspicions are absurd. You are only excited beyond your self-control by this great loss. If you will allow me, I think with this fine needle here In my fingers I can prick a little hole in the black veil that will throw a light on this mys tery.” He held up an exceedingly fine em broidery needle. The other two men stared at it wronderlngly. "What do you argue from that?” asked Senor Terranova anxiously. “It is something accidentally drop ped by the person who robbed your safe of Its historic treasure. Look at It carefully." He dropped fie needle on his palm and held It out plainly be fore the wondering eyes of the anxious pair. “What would ypu argue trbm thjst needle?” Ofm Neither spoke, bpt both, stood str ing silently at the thin hair of steel j J dOh't use a needle in any part ol do you?” - “No,” answered Reichmann slowly. "11l give you this much of a hint. This is the finest make of embroidery needle; it is made in Japan,” said Poe. smiling grimly. "Doesn’t that suggest "That it was a Ja pa d^Ob^ bed the safe?” cried Se^^tjSrraK^ shrewdy. a \ J9IJ3 "Maybe one of those -profSaiSors that come to study the mines!" cried Relch mann illuminatingly. "Yes, was It?” added the anxless Mexican. ■- • r %ro: * "Few men, even Japanese, -dsSe fiae little embroidery needles Ilka, this,” smiled Poe. “I don’t believe any~Jap anese man ever carried Ofik *HUMit with him.” _ "A woman, then? A . Japanese woman?" cried Reichmann. ' "I leave that to your vivid imagina tion,” answered Poe. "Meantime I would like to assure Senor Terranova,” he bowed to that gentleman, “that his suspicions are quite false, and that if he will agree to keep the matter quiet I will guarantee to give him news of the real thief within five days.” “But what guaranty have I?” asked the Mexican sullenly. “You have done business with our bank,” said Poe steadily. “You have heard of me, and know I have no other purpose than helping out you and Senor Reichmann. I have a letter from your consul at Washington In troducing me to you, if you like.’’ “Oh, I know. You are right. I was so excited. If you have any idea at all who stole the skuil, please act upon It at once, I beseech you, Senor Poe.” The Mexican’s attitude changed abruptly; he dropped into a chair, and looked up at Poe helplessly. “What about the needle and the Jap woman? How did she do it?" "I’ll explain when I have the facts to back up my theories,” answered Poe. "For the present, is there any train into Mexico City tonight?" “There’s the one at seven o’clock,” answered Reichmann. "But why go to Mexico City? This safe was opened only last night; we didn’t discover it until I unlocked the office at noon to day. Whoever turned the trick must still be in town.” "I don’t know so,” replied Poe. “The mozo who came along with our burros had a false diamond ring he said somebody gave him for a quick trip down the mountain to the train last night. I’ll go hunt up this boy again, question him, and then take the seven o’clock to Mexico City.” “But why to Mexico?” repeated Reichmann. “Because that is the center, a city so important that you people who live here just say ‘Mexico’ when you speak IS* 1%. -# of it, the same as we in America say simply ‘New York.’ Mexico City is the safest place for a thief to market stolen goods. Besides, there’s the car nival on now, and I’ve always heard that clever criminals of every class like to take in all the good times there are to be had. Come! I’ll have to make a quick trip down the mountain myself if I want to catch that train.” “I will loan you a good horse!” of fered Senor Terranova, jumping to his feet, evidently impressed by the en ergetic manner of the New York bank er. Christopher Poe managed to find the place where the burro boy with the guitar and black spectacles had left the caravan. On questioning the youth he learned that the person who had given him the glass ring was a man, an American, with a sombrero, a suit-case, and a red water-bottle. “Could the person have been a Japa nese?” asked Senor Terranova, who had accompanied Poe. “No, senor.” “Or a woman disguised as a man?” "No, senor.” "There!” cried the Mexican. "That upsets your theory at the very start.” Christopher Poe only smiled, thrust the fine needle he had found at the mine office under his coat lapel, and set out alone, but for a servant to re turn with Terranova’s horse. By reckless riding down the stum hly stony trail Poe managed to just make the train. Settling himself com fortably in a day coach.. he occupied the time till midnight reading a novel, then he-dozed until nearly three o’clock, when the train pulled in at Mexico City. Having left bis suit-case with a ho tel runner at the station. Poe sum moned a cab 'ahcT asked the driver in Spanish; "Where is most of the fun at the Carnival?” Xhe-Metropole is the place, Every body is there *lt Is Just beginning. ■All Uip girls dancqn, seqor, dancqn— the beautiful ‘. "Yes. That’s exactly where I want to go,” decided Poe. Is it a masked ball tonight?” “It is carnival time. Everybody in Mexico is masked,” answered the cab man. clucking to his bony* horse. THE SEA COAST ECHO, BAT ST. LOUIS, MISSISSIPPI to be sure; and we wcnpthe tdplate for the fun?”- : R grv I J&oi It is Just beginning. they began to come anlftHfcy* will be doing great things at four/’ Christopher Poe leaned back in the blue-flagged conveyance, and enjoyed enatches of song coming to. him occa sionally from merry-making peasants Aefeeward bouifd, and took in dbol vistas of palm-fringed parks. It was a fine fresh night, much the best part of the day in the city, and when the carriage came at last to the gay quar ter where the Metropole was located there was much excitement afoot Dismissing the cab at the door* Christopher Poe paid his peso for ad mission, and stepped into a wild swirl of gayety. A macked ball in that quar ter at carnival time was a mill of wild, reckless, profligate folly running ram pant All those of the demi-monde were there, thieves and gamblers, pros titutes and politicians, bull-fighters, reckless miners, ranchmen and sol diers of fortune. Poe purchased a clown suit from a vender, climbed into it drew a mask down over his face, and plunged into the reckless whirlpool of dancers, grasping a grisette by the waist and dancing off with her at a wild gallop. At a signal from the floor manager, who pounded with an ornate staff on the floor, the dancers joined hands and swung around in a mad circle, kicking, singing, punctuating coarse jests with ribald peals of laughter, snatching off one another’s dominos and running in and out through the mob on the dance floor. Poe found himself flung into the center of a band of devils, dressed in flaring red and doing fantastic tricks with their tails. He w r hirled about with them, cutting clown capers, and dancing fantastically by himself in the center of the red devils until the staff pounded on the floor, announcing the end of the dance. Poe rushed for a drinking-table, and dragged the group of devils along, treating thbm lavishly to beer and pulque. Then the floor w r as cleared, and the Spanish band struck up a barbarous, fascinating, luring can-can, to which the dancers swayed in unison, work ing up to a pitch of passion, the cli max of which was denoted by a blur of cymbals and drum-sticks. During this performance Poe strolled about on the outer edge of the dan cers, entering into the play, pulling off wigs, throwing confetti into mouths recklessly stretched in laughter, pinch ing playful people w r ho chased him, carrying on the carousal as crazily as the rest. There was one girl creating a sen sation in that dance. She was a finely formed little woman costumed as a water-carrier of Tehuantepec: the peasant-girl costume exactly suited her, and she carried a small-mouthed red W'ater-bottle gracefully on her shoulder throughout the undulating, rhythmic dance in time to the sensu ous, tropical music of the band. “Cleopatra!” cried Poe apprecia tively. The girl turned, and tossed him a kiss. Those who were watching laughed. She caught her partner, an other attractive girl, dressed in short circus-girl skirts and wearing only an eye-mask, more firmly about the waist, and began anew series of sinu ous swayings to the delight of the gleeful onlookers. Just then the dance-master’s staff came down in three rapid thumps, and the whole hall-full dashed at a large, lurld-hued papier-mache pear, hanging from the center of the ceiling by many-colored ribbons. They leaped and struck at it, trying to break it open that its store of can dies, fruits, and favors might be corn ucopiaed out and caught in the strain ing hands. The two girls, being near the center of the hall, leaped to a position direct ly beneath the pear. The more attrac tive one, in the peasant-girl’s costume, caught her companion by the leg, and helped her to an instant’s unsteady perch on her shoulder. The girl in circus skirts made a frantic grasp,, and struck the pear, breaking it open so that the goodies dropped out among the scrambling dancers,.. For a moment she remained poised, crying in the pure, ringing CastJiian*soiigue; ... t shall have the chalchihuitl!” i^Postf w*ho Sad tushed in to fight for the f&Vhfis, Jtdlpbd hepf aa she <jhmped down the we ter-carrler girl and was quick to hear a whispered, “Yes, you win it,” from the one in peasant's garb. v The scramble fo£ favors having finished, another series of thumps wlrf Wp/Mpt the . big stick in th£ dajocAiawer’s hands called them all tq aWfarious reel. It became 'more of Veei each minute, for all had drunk their fill of beer and pulque, and the last; exhilarating hour was at band. Christopher Poe leaped in, and snatched £he girl with the circus skirts away from her partner in spite of the objection of both. By clever twisting and weaving in and out among the dancers, he managed to evade the peasant-girl, who pursued frantically. He danced his partner about until she was dizzy and plead with him to stop. Then he dropped her in a corner seat, and pressed a glass of pulque on her, asking at the same moment: "Did you get the chalchihuitl ?” "No. Not yet!” cried the girl, pant ing. "Find my partner. We mustn’t get lost. We must go home together.” “Your partner’s safe,” answered Poe, bobbing up to stand in front of the circus-riding masquerader, as he saw the fascinating girl with the wa ter-jug pushing through the dazed dancers toward them. Grasping a fel low in a bulky Chanticleer suit, Poe swung him around, pointed to the spent girl in the corner, cried, “Here’s a pheasant hen for you!” and whirled away in time to catch the approaching peasant-girl about the waist and join in the mad revelry. The girl repulsed him violently, with almost masculine strength, but Poe, with an outward show' of affec tion, crushed her tight to his bosom, using all his strength, and holding her so close she could scarcely breathe. A sudden series of thumps from the master’s staff announced abruptly that this would be the last dance. It was the signal for a depraved, utterly demoralized jumble of extravagant motions, lewd cries, ear-splitting curses, staggering blows, and a few pistol-shots. It was the moment of utter demoralization; the dance had gone to pieces, it was a mad bottle smashing, hellish riot. Poe took advantage of the confusion to strengthen his hold on the strug gling girl by slipping his sinewy arm around her neck with all appearance of sentiment, but effectively choking her; with his other hand he caught the water-bottle from her frantic grasp, tucked it under his arm, and w r as about to tighten his hold on the girl’s neck when she suddenly man aged to twist out of his desperate clutch, stagger back, scream, "Cabron! Cabron!” in a very mannish voice, and let drive a smashing blow straight into Poe’s face. Poe raised the heavy red water-bot tle, and smashed it full into the mask ed face. The blow carried the girl’s mask with it, and revealed the cut and bleeding face of a man, wearing a woman’s wig. Following up his stroke, Poe hit the fellow fairly in the face, and as he keeled over caught him on one arm and with the other picked up a hideous skull, which the water-bottle had contained. Holding the unconscious form of the man who had so effectively masked as a woman, Poe held high the grinning skull, and cried: “Cortes! Cortes! The skull of the Great Conqueror! Found at last!” Those who heard sent up a wild drunken laugh. “See!” cried Poe, dexterously re moving a striking greenish gem from a purse he found concealed about jthe neck of the man he had struck dow r n. He placed the stone between the gleaming teeth in the death’s head. “See! See! It is the genuine chal chihuitl that w r as buried with him to serve as a heart for him In heaven; for he had no heart on earth.” Another yell of ribald laughter greeted this sally. The girl in the circus skirts, at sight of the gem, staggered from the seat in which Poe had dropped her, and tried to get at him, screaming that It w r as hers; but others pushed back the drunken jade, and Poe, the dance having come to its climax, slipped through the crow’d, supporting the unconscious masker on his arm, and dropped limply with his burden into a closed cab just as the blare of the last garish note of the dance died out. The green stone of Cortes was safely stowed in his pocket. He drove at once to the Iturbide Hotel, where his suit-case had been sent, and engaged a room for himself and his friend —a pal of his dressed as a woman, he explained to the clerk, who thought It a good joke that the man in the woman’s wig had got dead drunk and was just coming to with the rays of dawn. Christopher Poe, having fortified himself with the short nap on his ride to Mexico City, sat up and waited while the masker regained conscious ness. slipped off into slumber, and partly repaired the liquor stupor he had been in. Then Poe awakened him gently, told him how he came to be there, and asked abruptly: “How much did you think the Na tional Museum here would give you for the skull and the gold and silver plates engraved with proofs showing that in the casket from which they w r ere torn reposed the real remains of Cortes?” ** The fellow looked up stupidly, and answered in American: “I guess you’ve got the whole dope, if you even know what I stole it for.” “I certainly have. Walt a moment. I’ll sketch it to you. Some native told you that it was surmised around Catorce that Cortes w j as buried some where there. You went up and inves tigated. pretended to be a miner. You got on the trail of the fact that it wras in the old safe at Senor Terranova’s office. You bribed a peon to help you, with a glass Ting or something easily swallowed by the gullible fellow.” “How’d you guess that?” “That’s what you gave the mule boy for taking you down to the rail road station in a hurry, after you’d pulled off the trick and hidden the skull in that false-bottomed water bottle which looked as though it couldn’t possibly take in anything larger than a hickory nut through that small- opening at the top.” “You’ve got me!” cried the prisoner, dropping back limp on the bed. and bolding .his bead between his hands. “But how’d I work the combination on that safe which held old Cortes? I’ve got you there!” “Oh, no,” answered Poe with a re served smile. “That is Just as evident to me as the fact that you couldn't re* sist coming down'-flip the carnival, JJ* and in &e ex which here in Mexico you probabty un derestimated, basing your hopes en tirely on selling the skull of Cortes to the government for severai-thou r sand pesos.” • - r . - \ r* ‘‘Your logic isn’t hall bad, M answer' ed the reckless, fellow, suddenly leap ing to his feet and jerking out a thin stiletto, his belt buckle serving as^a weapbn girdle that supp£&| Poe, and unarmed, fellbw clofl^ j bis coat lapel, ‘l-j With 4 glint In his slit like eyeip. the' thkjl'enarled, his teeth baring partly between his thin, worn* anlsh lips. ; , ‘T entertained you this mornlngby dancing like a girl and letting you knock me out; now suppose you amusa me by stepping into that snug little clothes-closet behind you and pretend ing you’re a mummy, while I- walk downstairs and out of the front door?” Christopher Poe did not turn to look behind at the closet door; his upper lip jerked in a sneering smile. “Don’t be foolish!” he said calmly. “You aren’t going to get away.” “What do you mean?” screamed the other. “Another bluff? You can’t fool me! Same line of talk you gave me about knowing how I worked that safe.” “Oh, that’s too small a matter to mention. I was going to give you a chance to reform, but I guess you aren’t a decent enough sort to waste one’s time on.” The stocky little man twisted his womanish wmist, thrust forward his full chest, and leaped on Poe, the stiletto aimed for his breast. Poe stood steady in the path of the stroke, -rbiut-.as, the blade descended, quick as a flash he Jerked the slender embroidery needle from his coat lapel, and thrust it deep into the cheek of his adversaty/ ' A scream of pain, and the stiletto"dropped from a paralyzed hand. “Cabron! You dirty gringo!” cried the/tJift^t.S’- Po© pimply tripped bim backward onto the bed from which he had leap ed with the drawn dagger;'!!© held the crimson-tipped, needle 'before the sllt- of the criminal, his hand trembling slightly with anger. “There, you fool!” he exclaimed with unusual warmth. "You w r ould have it. It’s your own needle.-.! found > it where you dropped it yjpn pull ed It out of the upper skin of your ton gue back there at Senor Terghnova’s safe. 11id£e: you don’t 'thia’k such a fossil that I don’t know that a pro fessional safe-opener paltep * a|ds his sense of touch by thrusting the finest Japanese embroidery needip procure? able through the upper skln>of his ; ‘ tongue so that when the other end of the needle is applied to the dial on th© safe and the knob slowly turned the sensitive tongue nerves register more accurately than the finger-tips each tumbler as it drops. It’s the best possible method, but when a man Is using it it would be quite worth his while to pick up his needle Instead of throwing it on th© floor where fiome one might step on it with bare feet. It w r as most unhousewifely of you, and you such a capable female imperson ator’” Time Wasted in Washing Dishes. Perhaps it is not out of place here to call atetntion to the huge amount of time which the ordinary process of washing and wiping involves, remarks the Edison Monthly. There is prob ably no household of six or more in which at least three hours a day are not spent in this tedious and uninvit ing operation. And three hours is a quarter of an average woman’s work ing day. Counting dishwashing and drying as unskilled labor, worth not more than 12 cents an hour, inside of a year the washing machine would more than pay for itself. It certainly is a safe prophecy to venture that wHjblp the next decade dishwashing by-hand will be classed as a happily lo3 >;>■ - ■ • Need No Help From Man. No flower of the field or forest can survive long unless It learns to adjust itself to its environment. It is only the jjultivated plant that cannot do this. Years of reliance upon man to fight its battles for it have taken from the cultivated plant all ability to fight its own battle of existence. Who ever heard of lettuce being able to flourish outside of the garden? Or the bean! Or the beet? Or the cab bage? Their resourcefulness have been bred out of them, and they must have their homes prepared for them. Not so with weed and wild flower. With no hand to help them, they fight their battle for the survival of the fittest with their own generalship and their own forces. Had Done Her Part. The express was approaching a rail way bridge that spanned a deep river, and a stout old lady in one of the compartments showed signs of nerv ousness. As the train went roaring across the structure she did not speak a word, bnt seemed to be holding her breath. “There,” said a gentleman in a neighboring seat, “we are over it safely." The old lady heaved an ex plosive sigh. “Well,” she said, “If we had gone to the bottom I should have died with a clear conscience, for it wouldn’t have been my weight that did it. I bore up so that I really made the train lighter than it would have been without me!” Russ Villages Ruled by Fair Sex. * In Russia a commnnity of seven vil lages with long names is entirely ruled by women. Each village pos sesses a mayoress, and the offices of magistrate and policeman and post master —in fact ©very administrative post, are also filled by the gentler sex. Some fifty years ago a bad epidemic occurred, and the men made such a muddle of affairs, and behaved so bad ly that th© women took over the gov ernment to save themselves from starvation. So successful were they that they have continued to direct af fairs ever since. LIVC STOCK ECONOMICAL FEED FOR EWES Circular Issued by Missouri Expert meirt Station Gives tained With Rye and Grain. The feeding of ewes suckling lapabs Is g:'factor which materially affects the profit derived from the phiduc tion.of spring jambs. A circular Just issued by the agricultural experiment station at the of Missouri reports the work done with ewes suckling lambs, fed on rye and blue jgpess pastures. Ewes were placed in four" kite. In one lot ewes received grain on rye pasture. Those in an other lot received only rye pasture, jn a third lot the ewes were fed grain on blue grass pasture, while those in lot four received only blue grass pas ture. . , The grain for both ewes and lambs consisted of equal parts of crushed corn, oats, bran and rape. The re sults show that the feeding of grain to ewes on rye and blue grass pasture was not profitable, if the ewes were to be kept. If the ewes were to be marketed with the lambs, the feeding of grain -would have been profitable, because the ewes which did not re ceive grain became very thin and were not in condition to sell on the market, while those receiving grain maintained about the same condition of flesh throughout the experiment There was little difference in th© efficiency of rye and blue grass pas tures for ewes suckling lambs. In cases where grain was fed, the ewes on blue grass had decidedly the ad vantage, while in the other two lots In which no grain was fed. the rye had the advantage. The difference In each case was small, jtye will come a little earlier in the. Spring than blue grass, but will not afford as good a pasture in June as blue grass, because the rye heads and the sheep do hot like coarse, woody stems. BEST FEEDER CATTLE TYPES Steer® Intended for Profitable GSine In Feed Lot Must Possess Good Beef Characteristics. seieef abaters that will make goodjfgaihs and return substantial promts shorild be well known by the ma||%lto plans to market his crops as feedjtMs winter. ... ■ Stbbfs, if they are to make profitable gainaftljj the feed lot, must have beef characteristics, a wide, strong back -afllf a large heart girth. ‘ iThey must have a strong frame and plenty of room for the vita! organs, i| Prize Cattle. for an animal with a weak constitu tion cannot hold up through the feed ing season. A wide head and muzzle, which usually indicate good feeding qualities Short legs, heavy hindquarters and arched ribs are essential In the feed ing animal. The skin should be reasonably thick soft and covered by a heavy coat ot hair. The animal should have a straight back and low-set appearance, due to the depth of body and short legs. V SAFE AND SURE FOR HORSES Barbadoes Aloes, Four to Seven Drams, Makes Good Purgative— Castor Oil Is Uncertain. in preparing a purge dose for a horse the medicine that Is safest and surest is aloes; and only Barbadoes aloes should be used, not the Cape aloes. A dose will generally vary from four to seven drams. Linseed oil is a safe purgative, but it is uncer tain. The dose varies from a pound to a pound and a half. Castor oil Is both uncertain and un safe. as a horse remedy, though It Is fine for man. Croton In the form of a meal, made Into a ball with linseed meal, is a good purge. Doses vary from a scruple to half a dram. I^^STOgC: Fatten the unprofitable ewes quick ly and make corned mutton. It Is a fin© change for the summer bill of fare. • • • Arrange th© sheep pastures so the flock can b© changed from on© to the other —in this way keeping the bit© right • • • The last 200 pounds we can put on a young draft horse is the most profit able 200 pounds of meat we can pro duce on the farm. • • • No animal on the farm will respond to good treatment better than the colt. Breeding alone will not keep him from being a scrub. • • • If you are breeding for sale, see to It that you have horses that are in favor by the men of your locality. Breed up, never down. • • • The pleasure and the satisfaction of breeding and handling good horses remains long after the cost of thv foundation stock la forgotten.