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.. I fl SIS S&" K, fl" &3S I ^r- 4* & For many months visitors to Lake Constance, on the German side, have wondered at a huge and curiously shaped building which has floated about one half mile from the shoro oil Frledrichshafen. The structure is over 500 feet long, 75 feet wldo &nd 65 'eet high. In the front the queer building comes to a sharp point like the wedge-shaped ends of the locomo tives that have 'been built recently to attain high speeds by being formed so that th£re shall be little resistance to the air. The building has been guarded night and day and none was allowed to ap proach it. Whenever the doors wero open for any length of time the en trances have been covered with heavy curtains, so that even the most curious of the inhabitants of the surrounding towns have failed utterly to find what was going on in the mysterious place. The only thing that could be guessed was that some government matter was concealed in the floating house, for what little communication there was with the mainland was by means of government vessels. A correspondent for the Sunday Press has discovered what has been under way in this building. It is the mammoth dirigible airship of Count von Zeppelin, which is being construct ed under the supervision of the Ger man government. This is the great balloon to which Major Baden'Powell, brother of Col. Baden-Powell, the Brit ish commander at Mafeking, has just drawn his government's attention as the most Important efforts of recent years. He describes it graphically as saying that it resembles the slender skeleton of a huge battleship made of aluminum, containing a large number ef balloons. Its total capacity is about ten tons. About $350,000 have been spent in the construction, the plans having been ap proved by the German government. Major Baden-Powell says it is hoped to drive the vessel at the rate of twenty two miles an hour. Rumors have been heard from time to time about this airship, but details were lacking and none of those con nected with its construction could be induced to say a word. The picture and description of the balloon which are printed here make the first au thentic and detailed news to reach the world about this the most ambitious attempt of modern times to solve the great problem of navigating the air. Count Von Zeppelin is a German sol dier, famous for his desperate ride into the heart of the enemy's country in the Franco-Prussian war. He has been working on the plans for the airship for years, and long before he began the building of his monster he had examined and acquired every patent that seemed to him at all available. •Thus, when he was ready to begin building he had at his command hun dreds of improvements and appliances without the embarrassment of having to dicker with their possessors. Em peror William has been enthusiastic over the matter, and Count von Zep polin has had ample and ready aid in the last two years during whi-.h the balloon has been under way. The idea of building the airship in a floating building was adopted for many reasons. One was that it made se crecy easy. Another, the more im portant one, Is that it will enable tie makers to launch the balloon readily and to make trial trips with It at. will. Therefore, the building was erected on ninety-five exceedingly buoyant pon toons, and bo anchored that it can gviag with Jftgwlnd, always turning «ev DETAILS OF ZEPPELIN" AIRSHIP its rear end to the breeze. It will be possible, therefore, to launch the bal loon in the direction of the wind at any given time. In addition, the building Is so arranged that the part which holds the airship can 'be hauled out like the drawer of a deck, and when It is so hauled out it floats on separate pontoons. This will give to the bal loon a free start at any time, and will make it easy to return it to the build ing. The balloon is 375 feet long, shaped like a torpedo, and its diameter is 36 feet. The skeleton is of aluminum, FLOATING BUILDING ON WHICH AIRSHIP WAS CONSTRUCTED. and its base consists of sixteen ribs of aluminum shaped as polygons, with 24 angles. They are fixed and braced in their positions with aluminum wires, which radiate from common centers like the spokes of a wheel. This skel eton is separated into seventeen sec tions which are movable independently of each other. The whole is enmeshed with ramie fiber netting, to hold it to gether, so that the airship really is 17 balloons fastened together with an out side covering. The texture with which each bal loon skeleton is surrounded to hold the gas is a new material made of cotton and rubber combined. Together the balloons have a capac ity of 10,000 cubic yards. The carrying ability is what Major Baden-Powell says it Is—ten tons. But the inven tor and builders say that this weight can be carried even should one or more of the balloons become disabled. The motive power will be furnished by benzine. This has been selected, despite Us Inflammatory qualities, be cause it was found that even the best of electric accumulators were too heavy. The engines for utilizing the s«a! StfaatBSH! sues a VON ZEPPELIN AIRSHIP UNDER CONSTRUCTION. naphtha are wonderfully light, being built of aluminum bronze, and they are designed so that practically it will be impossible for fire to reach the bal loon. In addition the airship is to be dressed with non-combustible ma terial. The engines and the passengers will be carried in two aluminum gondolas, each about thirty feet long, which will be suspended under the body of the balloon with firm aluminum girders. The two gondolas will be connected with a swinging platform of aluminum netting. The crew is to consist of live men. Count von Zeppelin, in command two engineers and two machinists. They will be enough to handle the engines aud the weights which are to deter mine the position and direction of the craft. These weights are suspended under the gondolas on a cable which permits them to be moved from one end of the balloon to the other. When they are hauled to the stern the air ship will point upward. If it is de sired to sink the craft the weights are sent to the bow. This arrangement takes much unnecessary work from the engines, and enables them to devote their entire power to the great pro pellers, of which there are four. They are made of aluminum and made like the screws of a ship, and they are at tached to the sides, not the ends, of the airship. The ends are given up to immense rudders. It is known that great sums of money have been furnished from official sources for the work, and the king of Wurtemburg as well as the emperor of Germany has visited the building often in the last year. The first trip is to be taken before the end of No vember. Alaska's Great Earthquake. The earthquake In Alaska, assuming that the stories about it are not over done, was the worst seismic disturb ance 'the Pacific coast has seen since the Chilian earthquake which wrecked the American cruiser Wateree. A curi ous feature of it was the splitting ot W the face of a glacier into immense ice bergs. 4*. The Onuor 1 Newspaper Man—I should lik* to tel egraph home that the. commanding general is an idiot! Censor—I re'gret to inform you that we'can permit the transmission of no military secrets, ur*. THE LEON REPORTER, THURSDAY. j)EOEMBBk 14? TRADING OP ISLANDS. RECKLESS DEALING IN OTHER PEOPLE'8 PROPERTY. How Germany and England Swap Vast Area* of Land Belonging to the Blacks Settling of the Samoaa DUpnt*. •.'•MP (Special Letter.) In return for the title to the Samoan islands, with the exception of Tu tulla, which goes to the United States, Germany has ceded to England the Tonga Islands, Savage Islands, and the two largest of the Solomon Islands. The Tonga Islands lie in the south Pa cific, and are close to Fiji Islands, which are already under British con trol. They comprise seven larger is lands, with many low-lying and small islets about them. The population, which is almost exclusively made up jof natives, is estimated to be 25,000. English missionaries have converted most of the inhabitants to Christianity. The islands are nominally ruled by George II., a black king, though the German government has maintained officials in the archipelago who had the real authority. Savage Island is a beautiful island, thirty miles in cir cumference, lying half way between the Tonga Islands and Samoa. It has a population of 6,000, all of them be ing converts to Christianity. Unlike most of the islands of the south Pa cific, Savage is densely wooded. The Solomon Islands, of which two of the largest are ceded to England, lie north of New Guinea and form part of the so-called Bismarck Archipelago. UCA OR WXLLIS IS. FRENCH** HORNE IS., •'ty FIJI ISLANDS ENGLISH 1STEXT YEAR'S NEWS. An Almanac Which Predicts Nothing but Dire Tiling*. The stars in their courses appear sin gularly determined to fight against the well being of our planet at the close of this wonderful century, and but for the faint belief that prophets sometimes remain to bless those whom they come to curse readers of Zadkiel's almanac for 1900 might well consider the advis ability of immediately following the desperate example of Horace Walpole's lady, who, it will be remembered, had made up her mind that when the end of the world arrived she would set out for China, says the London Globe. Jan uary opens happily, but, like a fair de ceiver, this good nature is not to last. Early in the month there are to be "startling fluctuations on change." In February things grow worse. De structive fires will be numerous, acci dents rife there will be trouble in the Bombay presidency, and in Bulgaria and Macedonia there are to be "violent outbreaks." During March insanity will be "more than usually prevalent" in America. Greece is threatened In April. Religious disputants are to be hard at it in May. June is to witness avenging anarchism in Austria, Ger many, Russia, Turkey and Greece. Spain is to have her turn in July and what is left of her, together with Italy and France, is to be shaken by earth quake In August. The sultan Is to be visited with rebellion in September and France and Italy are to feel the scourg ing power of war in October. Colonial difficulties for England and disturb ance in France, Italy, Afghanistan and Persia mark the passing of November, and December concludes with more trouble for the sultan, fire3 and public excitement In Paris and a danger of railway accidents in England. Surely after all this the twentieth century must come in like a lamb. Royal Dress Allowances* People sometimes wonder what sum is put aside for dress by the daugh ters of royal houses. An interesting fashion writer tells us that before her marriage the Duchess of Fife had a very small dress allowance—about $1,500 a year. Besides yachting and everyday dresses and all the usual cos tumes required by a girl of the upper class, royal princesses have also to wear the costly and elaborate dresses which their rank demands at the weddings of their near relations. They are, however, fortunate In having stores of beautiful laces, priceless furs and marvelous jewels, all of which can be used again and again. On the whole, it may be asserted that a frugal prin cess may spend a3 little as $5,000 a year on her dress, while her more wealthy and extravagant sister may find her dress bills amount to ten times that sum. Age has nothing to do with the matter, for the Queen of Italy spends far more than does her beauti ful young daughter-in-law, the Crown Princess of Naples. The Empress of Russia, who, more than any other Eu ropean Princess is able to indulge her wildest fancies, dresses with the great est simplicity. In the daytime she mostly wears tailor-made coats and skirts and in the evening favors .the purest white materials. "J-T crabs, upon being asked (or some frogs' legs, replied that she "would not touch one of the horrid things for a ruble." Wherever there is water in Russia the frogs abound in such quan tities that one is reminded of the no blemen of other days who used to send their slaves out to beat the marshes, so that they could sleep. Russian* never eat rabbits, as they say they nest with rats, nor will they touch snails or turtles, which are found in great quantities all over the country, Only the aristocrats eat kidneys, and then only those of the sheep or lamb. Goose flesh is little esteemed, though tho fat is used for culinary purposes. TALK iS NOT CHEAP. The Tong-Dlntance Telephone Contra dicts the Old Saying. The telephone contradicts the saying that talk is cheap, says the New York Commercial Advertiser. Political can didates often find out the dearness ot talk but the ordinary citizen is most impressed with it when he tries to 'phone over 1,000 miles of wire. The recently completed line to Kansas City, for example, costs $2 a minute, and even 2 cents a minute, the ordinary rate for short distances, is more than it costs to have a cab standing outside the door while one pays a call—in this case very appropriately called "pay ing" a call. A frugal man, if ever the force of circumstances contrives to have him pay such a call, loses much of the pleasure of the visit, es pecially those effective pauses the nov elists love to dwell on, by the thought of the cab outside with its growing un earned increment. And similarly, whether it be for the same reasons or GERMAN ^uSAMOA. OR TUTUILA.I. NAVIGATORS ISLANDS 0 SAVAGE OR NIUE I. GERMAN FRIENDLY IS. GERMAN SAMOAN AND TONGA ISLANDS. r-r' 4 ""V. No Frogs' tMga. *'xSibSl~A Great quantities of crabs and lob sters are annually canned in Russia, yet-jnp^yire In little favor, and kjJSfre regarded with horror, sold lyge quantities of because of the hypnotizing effect of the little box one speaks into, one can take no pleasure in talking socially through a telephone with a friend, even if one has not seen him for a year or two. However, in a business way, talking through a 'phone, even at $2 a minute, is far cheaper in time and money than going to the other end ot "the wire, so talk may be considered relatively cheap, after all. IN SOUTH AFRICA. It is more than doubtful if any of the soldiers in South Africa have seen as much actual war service as-Melton Prior,- who goes out as a war corre spondent. In that capacity he is a veteran of twenty-one campaigns. Dur ing the fifteen years beginning in 1872 he saw actual fighting in every year but one. In addition, it is not likely that any officer in Sir Redvers Bul ler's command has as thorough a knowledge of South Africa as this same noncombatant. Mr. Prior went all through the Boer war of 1881 and in addition has been at the front dur ing Kaffir, Zulu and Basuto wars in South Africa. He has been twice around the world, has explored Ice land, and knows all Europe as most men know the square on which they live. In addition to being an accom- MELTON PRIOR. plished writer Mr. Prior is a talented artist. He represents in South Africa the oldest illustrated paper In the world. A Famous Hindn Dead. Swaml Bhaskarananda, the famous Hindu Ascetic, of Benares, is dead. This devout Brahmin, who kept him self naked and self-immured, was vis ited by nearly all the Indian tourists during their stay at Benares, includ ing the Prince of Wales. He spent h}s life in a rigid posture, giving no heed to his jrisitors, and patiently waited for death in tin holy city, which, accord ing to Hindu belief, means life ever lasting. Although Swami was a ce lebrity little was learned by his vis itors of his actual life or of the beliefs that dictated his peculiar asceticism. A Fatal Error* Every engaged girl makes the mis take of imagining that she now has him too secure to be scared away by appearing in curl papers. The Lord Jesus Christ has been driv en from statesmanship largely and from education. He has difficulty in getting a welcome from many he Re WENNA POLWENNA. Werina Polwenna, the elder, kept a fruitshop in a Cornish fishing village —a small and crowded shop, with a meeting-house on one side of it and a great glaring gin palace on the other and Wenna did a good business with miners and fishermen, and they said her stocking was full. But no man had been bold enough to ask her to marry again, for common repute held Wenna for a witch, and no white witch at that. 'Twas said in Westoe that strange things were bought and sold in her small, breathless shop, where the air smelt always of apples, and paid for in strange ways sometimes into the wrinkled hand or dirty apron of old Wenna, sometimes into the pretty brown palm of young Wenna, her daughter. Young Wenna was very fair to see she was a brown girl with leaf-brown hair, and black eyebrows often knitted over her large light-gray eyes for young Wenna had her mother's own temper, and that Westoe people said "was the "Old One's but still young Wenna was very fair to see, and her lips were as ripe and soft' as a cherry that has seen the sun. I, coming to Westoe to paint its ruined castle, heard of young Wenna's beauty and deviltry and old Wenna's deviltry and ugliness, and went down one summer evening to the little shop to buy some fruit and to see with my own eyes. Old Wenna was nowhere to bo seen, but young Wenna was serving behind the counter, and her pretty hands were stained with the juice of the red currants she was selling. "Curran's, apples, strawb'ries?'" She held up a handful each of the first and last, and looked at me with laughter in her gray eyes. "White currants," I said. Wenna shook her head as she weighed out a pound of black cherries for a boy. Mun's a fool," said a girl standing at the counter, eating cherries, "but secce the word's spoke, Wenna, dear life, wilta let me have the powder? 'Tes none too late to try it." "Thou'rt a fool, too, Alice," said the fruit seller, busying herself In a deep drawer behind the counter that seemed to be full to overflowing with packets of seeds, small packets and large, and some almost infinitesimal. One of these very small packages she drew out and tossed across the counter to the girl Alice, receiving nothing in payment that I could see. Then, as the girl snatched it up and put it Into her bosom, Wenna laughed and asked: "Is it for Nat or Willy,for you named no names, Alice?" I'm namen' none now," the girl Alice cried angrily, throwing down a shilling, and she ran out of the shop muttering to herself as she went. Wenna Polwenna turned again to me. White curran's I haven't got, but there's red enough an' to spare. Wilta have red ones?" I nodded. "Red currants will do— and a pound of black as well." A man at the end of the little shop laughed out suddenly, Wenna'll serve you wi' those fast enough," he said. "Them's the Old One's colors, they du say. Is ta true, Wenna Polwenna?" Wenna laughed. "YOU HAVEN'T ANY MORE BERRIES?" I ASKES. Wenna, she sells nothen' that's white," piped the boy at me. "Not even white cherries—no, my dear saul, she don't." Wenna threw an overripe cherry at him, and it broke upon his cheek, leaving a purple stain there. And her eyes blaztJ as if she would have liked the fruit to be a stone. The' boy made off, laughing. "Not even white witchen'," he shout ed from the door, and scampered off, chuckling. K:. "Maybe. You should be askin' mam my that, Lell Trewavas," she said. "An' what are you wan tin' tonight?" "You know well enough," he said, coming forward from the dusk into the night, a tall and comely lad in a fish erman's Jersey, stained with hard weather and much mended. "How do I know? You don't know yourself, Lell," she retorted. There was passion in the two young faces looking at one another, and. I saw both had forgotten me, and drew back a step. "I want"—the boy's blue eyes looked deep into the girl's gray eyes, and he put his hand out and softly touched Wenna's boBom, curving exquisitely under her torn red bodice. I want tUa-^or these," and his fingers drop- ped to a bunch of dull blue berrle* were stuck In fear belt "I can't—I daren't," Wenna saiCL "You mustglveme one or the other. "LeU. they call me the Old Oft wean." "I don't care." "I do care!" Wenna's eyes flashed brilliantly into his—"an' you'll get the. berries." Both hands trembled a llttle^-th* fruit-stained hand which gave and the sunburnt and rope-blistered hand which took. & "I'll buy them, then," he said, .*TH not have them as a gift, Wenna," and he threw a string of fish on the counk^' ter. "They're fresh caught tonight' "Mammy'U cook them for supper Lell. Good-night," Wenna Baid, with drooping eyelids. "Good-night, child wean." Then she turned to me, with a some-S^* what dazed look in her beautiful eye^'t "Red curran's, yes, an' black. An'are you for gooseberries, sir, or. will you* be for some flowers? Poppies, now—• or gypsy roses?" "You haven't any more berries?" iP asked. And she changed color sud denly and dreadfully. "No! I have poppies for my fancjr*1"" lads, but dwale berries for only one— man," she said, looking at me with eyes that narrowed like a snake's about to strike. "Will you haye a poppy, sir?" I went out from the apple-tainted air and drew a deep" breath of the sweet evening. Wenna watched me from the doorway, smiling her inviting smile. I threw away the fruit had V5»: She smiled now, and I drew back,' suddenly afraid of her. "Maybe you'll go into the room be hind the shop, sir. MammyHl be glad to see you, an' she's finer things to bell than ever cross this counter." "Flesh and blood, I suppose?" Iaai^ft paying her hastily. "No, I don't want* any." a bought— I think It would have pols-'i -and the next morning I left "'A nvnlriori .. 1)' oned me Westoe. I avoided Cornish local pa pers for the next month or so, there? fore I never knew whether those dwale' berries worked out Lell Trewavas' re demption or not. Almost I hope they did. I met a Westoe man the other day, and he tells me the lib-omened little shop has been pulled down and is In process of rebuilding as a registry office. And old Wenna and young Wenna have gone beyond seas. I wonder where they are plying their un-~ canny trades now?—Nora Hopper. They Don't Like Tin Happars« Seeing a cart load of tin chlppings^ being taken into one of London's lairg-"^ est hotels, the writer inquired the rea son. ''We use it for rats," the porter replied. "The hotel rat is biggeTi bolder and wiser than any other. "He laughs at traps, fattens on poison, and the killing or chasing of dogs, cats or ferrets is his pet diversion. Even when energetic measures have rid us of the pests they are with us again in greater force within a day or two. They will tunnel through anything Filling the holes with broken glass was considered a good scheme until we found that with marvelous patience they removed the glass piece by piece. But we think we've beaten them now." With this tangled-up tin we cover all places where the beasts are likely to enter our cellars. They can't chew It, and they can't carry it away as the do broken bottles, for when Mr. Rat.' takes hold of a single strip of the tin: he finds it an inseparable part of a network weighing many pounds." Groaod-Flnor Bedrooms. From the London Chronicle: fhere is danger in the porous character ot plaster ceilings, which are often vety thin indeed. The ordinary ceiling Is "only a porous diaphragm permeable by gases with considerable freedom." Tho vitiated air of sitting rooms there fore frequently finds its way through into bedrooms. 'The British Medical Journal asks any sceptic to "compare his bodily and mental sensations'after sleeping in such a room and in one sit uated over a similar room well Ventil ated and not occupied or illuminated by gas during the evening." The^ rem edy, it say8, is tgJiave bedrooms on the ground floor, and Mving, working and cooking rooms upstairs. But how about The evening of life comes biarlil|^. Its own lamp, Si* h" m#: 3S'.