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THE STARKVILLE NEWS.
VOLUME 11. IA Predicament I ♦ Rev. Henry M. Wharton f (Copyright. 1903. by Dally Story Pub. Op.. TWAS sitting in our private car at the Terminal station, St. Louis, Mo. It must have been half past eleven at night, and such a night. All day a howling rainstorm had been beating down upon the city and the night closed in with gloom and mud, with pouring rain and driving wind. My partner had not come in, nor had the porter; both were late and I was beginning to be anxious about them. Scores of trains and shifting engines pass in and out of the greal station —and often persons have been killed in getting across the network of tracks. As I sat reading, I felt a slight -quiver of the car. My office door which opens on the hall running from end to end of the car and near which I was sitting had been left opened. 1 listened eagerly. It could not be either of our party for tbev came always with a well-known heavy step. As I listened I heard distinctly a gentle knock at the front door. In stantly I went to the door and there before me plainly visible through the glass stood a young lady. She looked at me with a pleading, anxious ex pression, and at the same time mo tioned with her hand as if there was someone behind her. 1 opened the ■door and she stepped inside. Her waterproof was dripping with ram, though she carried uu umbrella. ♦‘Please lock the door ” she said. I obeyed, and stood waiting for an explanation with increasing uneasi ness and anxiety. “You do not know me.” She spoke hurriedly and excitedly. “\ou do not knpv me, but I know you. 1 Iwe in Alton; have been here spending the day. I was starting home and waiting for the train. A man has been following me all the evening; I went out to supper with a friend, he followed me there, he followed me to the train, when I went in the car he went in and took a seat near roe. I came out, he followed me, he is here now lurking between these cars. Oh, sir, can you protect me?” I assured her that 1 would do the best in my power to protect her and would she please take a seat. My partner would be in in a few minutes and we would make her comfortable for the night. “Oh, no, no, no!” she cried, “I can not stay here. The train to Alton is gone. I have an uncle living near Forest Park. 1 must go there. Is it asking too much?” “That I go with you?” I interrupt ed. “Certainly not; take a seat, 1 will get my mackintosh and umbrella and be with you at once.” When we stepped off the platform a man like a dark shadow disap peared around the end of a Pullman car. I had no weapon, not even a pocketknife. But the young woman was so pleasant and her manners were so easy and ladylike 1 had no thought but to protect her and take ber in safety to her uncle’s home. We boarded an Eighteenth street car, changed to a suburban and trav eled for nearly an hour. We talked together upon general subjects, noticed the people come and go and nothing unusual occurred un til she looked back in the car, then suddenly in a hoarse whisper said: “He is there, he is in this car on that back seat. Oh, I am afraid he will wait for you and kill you. What shall we do?” I confess I was considerably dis turbed. Why should he still pursue her when he knew I was with her? We were running through a dark narrow street known as the “Right of W T ay” when she touched the elec tric button and stopped the car. “We get off here,” she said as she yose. The man was gone, but I caught a glimpse of his retreating form going across an open lot along a path yvhicb we followed also. “There he goes!” she said, and shivered as she took my arm. The situation was growing more and more mysterious. We were in titter darkness. The rain was rattling npon my umbrella and the wind blowing a gale. We passed into an alley, dark, narrow and repulsive. [But for her appearance and conduct I should have gravely suspected foul play. STARKVILLE, MISS., FRIDAY, APRIL 10, 1903. We came out of the alley, however, in a few minutes into a well-lighted street. she said with a good long breath, “we are nearly there. That is the house, and 1 am so glad. Now you must come right in and sit a few minutes. 1 will introduce you to my uncle and tell him how good you have been. He is very nice. Come in.” Feeling m no mood to go back into the fearful night and probably an encounter with a madman, I ac cepted her invitation. She led me into a brilliantly illuminated parlor, where a grand piano stood open, and handsome furniture and bric-a-brac with well-appointed portraits and other paintings made up a very in viting place. “Take a seat and ex cuse me,” she said. “I must get off these wet clothes, and introduce my uncle.” She returned in much less time than I expected, and with her came a fine looking gentleman, all smiles and politeness. But my blood fairly froze when I saw a striking resem blance to the man who was in the car. “Let me thank you, sir,” he began, “for the rescue of my niece from the unhappy thralldom in which she was so unfortunately placed. And now. ray dear sir, it is past midnight and you must not think of returning to your home.” “Car, uncle,” she inter posed. “Yes your car, thank you, your car to-night.” I insisted that I must, and thanked him for his thoughtfulness and gen erous kindness; but my friend would expect me and would doubtless arouse the police if I did not return. “Oh, don’t go,” she begged, “I am afraid that cruel man will kill you. you must not. We can call you at any hour. If you will stay we will make you very comfortable 1 assure you.” “And besides,” added the uncle, “I must say you will run great risk. The man who followed my niece and you is evidently insane. He has conceived the idea, no doubt, that he is in love wi*h her, and now looks upon you as his rival; 1 fear for your life if you leave this house to-night.” This last remark had great weight with me. I was not armed, and even if 1 was, I could not bear the thought that the blood of a fellow being should stain my hands. Nor did 1 fancy the idea that he might slay me the moment I stepped into the dark ness of that wretched night. I there fore, with undisguised reluctance, yielded to their persistent entreaty. She ran away up the stairs. Her soft voice was heard in a minute or two calling us to come and we walked side by side half the way up and stopped. “Where are you, dear?” he asked. “Come on; 1 am in the room but there is no light. Have you a match ? 1 had a little silver match box which 1 placed in his hand. He light ed the gas in the hall, and we passed on quietly to the door of a small room, which w f as feebly lighted by a very small jet in the corner near a miserable apology for a mantelpiece. “The room is rather small,” he said in a low voice, “but the house is full of company and every one but this is occupied. The gas gives a poor light somehow, the plumbers never come when you want them. But you will rest. Good night, good night,” they said and shut the door with a bang. The light was so dim I could hard- CROCODILE’S DENTIST. Specie* of Plover That Remove* Par- Mites from the Reptile’* Mouth Unmolested. “I wish we had a crocodile plover here. It would amuse the children,’ 1 said John Lover, a keeper at the Zoo. according to the Philadelphia Record “ What kind of a bird is a crocodile plover?” someone asked. “It’s the crocodile’s dentist,” Lover replied. “It keeps the crocodile’s mouth in good condition.” “The crocodile,” he went on, “is much annoyed by a parasitic insect that enters his mouth and breeds there, in crannies that he can’t get at. The plover feeds on this insect, and will go into a crocodile’s mouth fearlessly after it. The crocodile seems to recognize instinctively that the bird is his friend. He lets it ivop in and out of his mouth without mo lestation. The children would be much amused to see such a sight. We ought to get a crocodile plover by all means.” “Crocodile plover. Humph!’ re marked a bystander in a pointed manner. ~~ ly see anything in the room. There was not a chair nor table; not a piece of furniture except the bed. My feeling was anything but pleas ant. The conviction deepened that I was in a trap, and in the hands of murderers and thieves. This opinion was confirmed when I examined the door and found it was fastened by ft spring lock on the outside. There was no knob nor key-hole. The plain strong door perfectly fast was there before me. 1 was a prisoner. I lifted the covering of the bed which hung down to the floor and to my inexpressible horror saw the feet of a man. Cold chills ran up and down my back; the sweat broke out over me and my hair seemed to be rising upon my head. Ihere was nothing whatever with which to de fend myself and no possible way of escape. Summoning all the courage within me, 1 said in a hoarse unnatural voice which seemed to me as if it was some one else speaking, the very sound of which frightened me more and more. “Come out of there!” There was not a sound or a motion. This em bolden me a little. “Come out, I say; I see you! Come out! or 1 will pull you out!” Still not a sound. I caught him by the ankles and dragged him froili un der the bed. He was lying face downward. I threw him over upon his back, and saw by the dim light the most ghastly and horrible spec tacle my eyes ever beheld. The eyes and mouth were wide open, and the throat cut from ear to ear, the whole face and bosom a fearful mass of blood. “Good God! What sirfeuld I do?” I saw in that bloody, hideous corpse inv own sure doom. I realized that my time was short, but determined to sell my life as dearly as 1 could. Rolling the wretched looking thing back under the bed I commenced to try the little posts and found they could be taken apart. One of these I secured and took it to the light to examine. It was about * tree feet long, two and a half inches in diam eter and of oak wood, which made it an effective club. I turned off the light entirely and found that by the street lamps I could barely outline any object which might be in the room. I knew full well that when the madman had given me time to fall asleep he would return to do his deadly work. Taking my stand beside the door, in a position which gave me com mand of the situation, 1 held my club conveniently, and waited for the first click or movement of the lock. Two hours must have passed when I heard, or felt rather, a soft step in the hall near the door. Then the slow insertion of a kej- into the spring lock, and the latch went b-ck. Softly the door opened. Slow ly I lifted my club above my head. Sud denly a head was thrust in; the back towards me; a glittering blade was in lis hand. He looked first at the bed, where he expected to find me. It was his last look. Quick as a flash and ter rible as a thunderbolt my club descend ed. The man fell limp and lifeless,at my feet, his head crushed into jelly. One sigh, a shudder, and he was gone. Then an awful chilly, deathlike still ness filled the air. A horror I cannot express swept through my soul. Just then I heard ray friend’s key in the lock at the front door of our car, and woke from my dream. Women Worker* la Franc©* Official reports of the French gov ernment on sociological matters are always very late, but whether they have any bearing on the question of France’s dwindling population or not these reports, as they relate to the industrial work of women from 18G6 to 1896, are still interesting. In 1866 there were 4,642,000 women workers in the republic, and in 1896, 6,382,000. In commerce 296,000 women were em ployed in 1896, as against 158,000 in 1866, or one woman to two men. The increasing number of women em ployed in the post, banking, carrier trade and transport business is still more striking, being from 15,000 in 1866 to 164,000 in 1896, whilst in sev eral independent callings the num* bers have increased nearly fourfold. It appears, too, that the trades and industries from which women are ex cluded are declining. —Detroit Free Press. Twau Ever Thus. Dix —Is your income sufficient to sup ply all your needs? Hix—Yes; but it isn’t sufficient to supply half of my wants. —Philadel- phia Bulletin, - lesson in American History in Puzzle THE ENGINE HOUSE AT HARPER'S FERRY—JOHN BROWN’S FORT, Find John Brown. John Brown first achieved public notice in the civil war in Kansas, where the free and slave factions were fighting- for the mastery. It was there, probably, that he conceived the idea of establishing a station, capable of defense by a small body of men, where runaway slaves might find refuge in their flight into Canada. That was undoubtedly Brown’s intention when he seized Harper’s Ferry. This occurred during the night of October 16, 1559. Brown took possession of the arsenal practically without opposition. On the following day Col. Robert E. Lee arrived from Washington with a company of marines to capture Brown, who, with his six remaining men, barricaded themselves in the engine-house. Two of Brown’s sons were killed and he was captured, tried as a felon and executed at Charlston, Va., December 2, 1859. SCHOOL AND CHURCH. It is claimed that Belfast, Ireland, is the leading place among the cities of the world for Christian Endeavor progress, it now having twice as many societies in proportion, to its popula tion as London, which now has the largest, union in the world. Hitherto' it has been considered a moral weakness to slumber in church. Now Dr, Dabbs, the editor of Vectis, comes to the rescue of the church sleepers with scientific facts. “\ou call it irreverence to sleep in church! Nonsense! It is only carbonic diox ide.” The really irreverent person is he who permits the church to be full of this foul air. The report of the treasurer of Har vard university presented to the board of oi'erseers shows that the university as a whole has completed the past year with an excess of receipts over expendi tures of $43,602,56. The gross receipts for the year were $4,788,956.47. and the gross expenditures $3,793,953.23, leav ing a net increase of funds and bal ances of $955,003.24. Along the line of the new departure in college courses Williams college will permit a student who is able to anticipate two college courses, by tak ing 19 hours’ work for two years and 18 hours for the third year, to com plete the required work in three 3'ears, but if the general character of the work is not good the faculty may re fuse to permit a student to do this. Charles J. Capen, senior master of the Boston Latin school, has been a teacher in that institution for 50 years. Lately his friends presented the school with a handsome portrait in oil of the/ veteran instructor. While Mr. Capen’s record is remarkable, that of Miss Harriet Caryl, of the same city, is more so. Miss Caryl entered the high school as a pupil in 1852, the year the institu tion was founded, and three years later became a teacher. She has remained in that position continuously ever since. The Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Immanuel church, the oldest Swedish Lutheran church in Chicago, celebrat ed its golden jubilee recently, many eminent ministers of that denomina tion taking part in the service. The congregation numbers over 2,000 and the Sunday school has 1,500 pupils. In the 50 years of its existence the church has had only two pastors. An album engraved in" gold and silver lettering and containing a history of the church will be sent to King Oscar of Sweden who caused collections to be made in the churches of that country to aid in rebuilding the first edifice destroyed in the Chicago fire. New Coin* Cast Last Year. During the calendar year of 1902 the coinage of the mints of the country ag gregated $79,485,815 NUMBER 5. HUMOROUS. “You are my ideal; won’t you be my wife?” “I prefer to remain your ideal.”—Town and Country. “And you permitted that strange young man to kiss you?” “No, mam ma. He didn’t give me time.” — Cleveland Plain Dealer. Elementary Qualification. —Simpson —“Do you know, anything about art?” Jackson. —“I know enough about art not to try to talk about it.” —Detroit Free Press. “But, papa, things have changed since you were young.” “Yes, they have. Folks used to wait 50 years for a golden wedding, and now they demand it at the start.” —London Tit-Bits. Then There Was a Coolness. —Mr. Justwed —“What are these apple dumplings stuffed with?” Mrs. Just wed —“Apples. You didn't think they were stuffed with lead, did you?’* Mr. Justwed —“No, iron.” —Detroit Free Press. Kitty—“ What did you say when Harry told you that he loved you with an undying love?” Constance — “Oh, I didn’t mind it. Harry, you know, used to do the press work for a traveling theatrical company.”— Boston Transcript. Mark —“Please send Miss Teens some flowers that will not fade quickly. She says my flowers re mind her of me, so send her some thing appropriate.” Florist —“Yes, •sir. Boy, take this century plant to Miss Teens.”—Chelsea Gazette. “Say!” the man who had never be fore attended a concert remarked as the cornet soloist began his number, “who’s the feller wavin’ the little stick?” “’Sh!” replied his neighbor, “that’s the conductor of music.** “Oh! and is the feller with the born the motorman?”—Philadelphia Press. Too Particular, , Diner —What has become of that man who waited upon me the last time I was here? Proprietor —Had to discharge him; he was too particular. “Too particular? Isn’t that a queer thing to bounce a man for?” “Not so queer. A customer asked for -a dozen in the shell, and he wasi so careful as to ask: ‘Oysters or eggs?’ He meant well, but no cus tomer will stand for such a question as that.”—Boston Transcript. Nothing of the Sort. “I begin to suspect,” said Mm Old caMle, “that your husband is a good deal of an altruist.” “Oh, no,” her hostess replied. “Josia ain’t one of them at all. He thinks things just happen according to the way they are at the time.”—* Chicago Record-Herald*