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The Starkville news. (Starkville, Miss.) 1902-1960, May 01, 1903, Image 1

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THE STARKVILLE NEWS.
VOLUME 11.
I Barrister's I
| Ghost I
j|| Bj HENRY CLEVELAND WOOD. jjjj
■i
(Copyright, 1903, by Dally Story Pub. Cos.)
r\ULCIMER, are you not afraid
IJ to trust those two men in a
boat together?” asked my wife, with
a meaning laugh, as her niece waved
a farewell from the front gallery.
“Certainly not,*' answered Dulci
mer, lightly.
VVe were eating the bread of idle
ness at one of the smaller resorts on
the Florida coast. Closely attached
To our little party were two others,
Horace Munn and David Barrister,
the former a young eastern broker,
the latter a successful orange grow
er, whom Dulcimer had met the sum
mer before. In Dulcimer’s treatment
of each there seemed no partiality
shown.
I had an engagement with Munn
and Barrister for Christmas day to
take a small boat and fish, but with
the morning came a persistent head
ache, which compelled a change of
plans. I gave the two a lunch that
had been prepared, and a small flask
of orange wine, which Barrister put
in his pocket, and they pulled off
without me.
Along toward noon my wife was
reading from a popular novel. Dulci
mer was busy with her embroidery,
and I was listening and dozing al
ternately in a hammock, when hasty
footsteps suddenly claimed our at
tention, and almost before wre recog
nized the intruder a shadow fell
across the gallery. Horace Munn
stood in our midst, his garments
dripping with sea water, his face
strangely pale, his eyes filled with
somber tidings.
“The boat overturned —I swam
ashore,” he faltered, and seemed al
most exhausted.
“Good Heavens!” I cried, springing
to my feet. “Where is Barrister.”
Munn looked first at Dulcimer, then
at me. She had risen, and stood with
eyes fixed on him in a gaze of fasci
nated terror, while she shook vio
lently, as with a chill. In that mo
ment I understood it was ‘the other
one’ she loved best.
“Where is Barrister?” I repeated.
“I tried to save hiip!” Munn cried,
brokenly, “but he sank at once and
was carried out to sea. I had hard
work to save myself, the waves—”
The speaker suddenly swayed and fell
unconscious at Dulcimer’s feet.
This tragic termination of the day’s
outing was a very great shock to us
all, especially Dulcimer, and on
Christmas night, beyond the mid
hour, she came to my wife the pic
ture of affright.
She insisted that David Barrister
had appeared at her bedside, his gar
ments dripping w'ith salt water, sea
weed tangled in his hair, and a death
like pallor on his face. He carried
in his hand a small wicker flask that
had long been in the water, and held
it out to her, but when she reached
forth to take it the form vanished.
“We must get Dulcimer away from
here,” said my wife, concernedly, a
day or so later. “She needs a change
of scene.”
We went to St. Augustine. The
evening while sitting in the open
square of the hotel listening to the
music. Dulcimer, who sat next to me,
suddenly began \\o tremble, and as
I arose to throw a wrap about her
shoulders. I caught sight of Horace
Munn coming through the archway
of the entrance. Dulcimer’s back
w r as toward it, and she had not
turned around.
“Are you ill?” I asked of Dulcimer,
In alarm.
“It is nothing,” she answered, in
a low tone. “1 am better now.”
While she was speaking Horace
Munn presented himself. He had
only reached St. Augustine that even
ing. As Dulcimer turned to speak to
him, I saw that my wife was cov
ertly watching the effect of the
meeting.
“You must not be too hard on
Dulcimer,” I ventured, when in the
privacy of our room. “It will take
some little time for the shock of Bar
rister’s death to wear off.”
Dulcimer and Horace Munn did not
meet again until the following win
ter, and a second peculiar circum
stance attended this meeting.
While at the theater, some late ar
rivals came in at the beginning of
the second act, and all at once Dulci
mer began to tremble. I glanced
back of me, and, as I had suspected*
I saw Horace Munn just then appear
at the curtained entrance of the cor
ridor leading to the parquette.
Dulcimer had not looked back, and
could not possibly have seen him.
She was advised of his presence by
some strange subtle intuition that
she could not explain.
Horace Munn remained in the city
about a fortnight, and in that time
we saw' him frequently. I think my
wife began to be very hopeful, when,
after Christmas night, her plans were
shattered by Munn’s abrupt depar
ture, and Dulcimer’s tearful confes
sion that she had rejected him.
“You must not censure me!” he
cried, “for last night there came once
more to my bedside the poor drip
ping figure holding out to me your
wicker flask. Twice, on Christmas
night, has this strange apparition ap
peared; twdce has it offered me the
flask. What is the meaning of it?”
The following June we sailed for
the old w'orld for a few months’
travel. Midsummer found us sailing
the majestic fjords of picturesque
Norw'ay.
The morning after our arrival at
Trondhjem, w'hile we were breakfast
ing, suddenly in our meal an exclama
tion from my wife drew my atten
tion to Dulcimer, who was leaning
back in her chair, trembling violent
ly, her face quite pale. As I rose to
go to her assistance, two guests were
ushered into the quaint breakfast
room by the attentive host. The first
guest was a stranger whom I had
never seen, the second was Horace
Munn. By the time he had come for
ward and introduced his friend, an
other American by the name of
Tarkington, Dulcimer had quite re
covered from her faintness.
Munn and his companion were jour
neying to the North Cape, and as we
were the only Americans among the
present lot of tourists at the hotel
it naturally came about that we
formed a little party of our own.
Horace Munn evidently had not
taken a woman’s “no” to be final,
for soon he was paying marked at
tention to Dulcimer.
From Tromso we set sail for Ham*
merfest, w’hich is principally famous
for being further north than any
other city in the world. Strange to
relate, the harbor at this remote spot
never freezes over, though it lies
within the arctic circle.
This open water is due to the gulf
stream and the flotsam of southern
seas is frequently gathered here,
floating trunks of palm and orange
trees, and tropical vegetation strange
to the northern flora.
Soon I began to suspect that Hor
ace Munn had a second rival in the
field quite as formidable as Barrister
had been. This w'as Edward Tarking
ton.
On our return to Hammerfest,
Tarkington was compelled to remain
some little time on business, but
promised to join us later, so Munn
was once more left a clear field, ex
cept for certain letters that came
with commendable regularity to Dul
cimer—at least, for some w’eeks they
came, then suddenly ceased, and 1
noticed a troubled look on Dulcimer’s
face.
By Christmas we were settled in
Florence, and my wife renewed her
hopes regarding Horace Munn’s suit.
He was surely a persistent wooer.
“It all depends on the ‘Christmas
ghost,’ ” declared my wife to me, in
private. “She will reject Horace
Munn if it appears. Of course, it ex
ists only in her imagination, so let
us do all we can to keep her mind
on more pleasant subjects. If we can
manage to tide over this especial
night all will yet end well.”
On Christmas day we haunted the
HOW ANIMALS ACT AT FIRES.
Not All of Them Show Fwr, AlMiongh
the Majority* Do Not Like
Flames.
Most animals are afraid of fire and
will fly from it in terror. To others
there is a fascination about a flame
and they will walk into it even though
tortured by the heat, says the Chicago
Chronicle. Some firemen were talking
the other day about the conduct of ani
mals during a fire. A horse in a burn
ing stable, they agreed, was wild with
fear, but a dog was as cool in a fire as
at any other time. A dog, they said,
keeps his nose down to the floor, where
the air is purest, and sets himself calm
ly to finding his w'ay out. Cats in fires
howl piteously. They hide their faces
from the light and crouch in corners.
When their rescuer lifts them they
are as a rule quite docile and subdued,
never b' ting or scratching. Birds seem
STARKVILLE, MISS., FRIDAY, MAY 7, 1903.
■hops to see the holiday displays, and
at night attended the theater, as
guests of Horace Munn, then after
a quiet little supper wvent to our ho
tel.
Shortly after midnight a cry of
alarm from Dulcimer’s room brought
us there. She stood in the doorway
the embodiment of consternation,
holding some strange object which
she thrust in my hands, then droppfed
in a swoon at our feet.
On bringing her to consciousness,
little by little, we gathered the story
of her dismay. She had abruptly
awakened out of a deep sleep to find
the figure of a man standing by her
bedside. Thinking that a burglar had
gained entrance to her room, she
screamed, then she remembered that
it was Christmas night, and knew
that her ghostly visitant had once
more appeared.
At the sound of her voice the mys
terious figure leaned over the bed
and placed some object in her hands,
then seemed to disappear through
the window.
In confirmation of her story, sho
showed the ghostly gift as a tangi
ble proof. It was a small flask, wick
er-covered, its metal top cankered,
its sides green with mould and salt
encrusted, its neck covered with a
fringe of dried seaweed and small
clinging shells, as if gathered in a
long voyage over many leagues of
ocean—the flask that Dulcimer had
seen twjce before when the ghostly
visitant app{ared to her.
As I examined the article carefully,
the knowledge slowly dawned on me
that it was my very own flask, once
filled with orange wine, which I had
given to David Barrister long months
before in Florida, on the fatal morn
ing he had gone forth, never to re
turn.
When the cankered stopper was re
moved, a small roll about the thick
ness of a lead pencil fell from the
flask. It proved to be a visiting card
rolled in oiled paper, w'hile on it was
written these wx>rds, now scarcely
legible:
“The boat has been tampered with
and is sinking. Munn caused it. He
knows I cannot swim, and has left
rac to my fate. I trust this message
to the w'aves. My last thoughts, Dul
cimer, are of you.”
Mechanically, I turned the card
over. On the other side was the en
graved name —David Barrister.
Not until several months later was
the mystery of the strange recovery
of my wicker flask made clear. On
their bridal trip Edward Tarkington
told Dulcimer that he had bought it
of a fisherman who had picked it up
off the coast of Hammerfest during
the past fishing season.
Tarkington, fully alive to the mean
ing of the recovered flask, and also
suspecting treachery on Munn’s part
in his own case, set out to find us,
and only succeeded in locating our
party at Florence on Christmas
night. The room given him w'as next
to Dulcimer’s at the hotel. He had
been a somnambulist since early boy
hood, and on this Christmas night;
filled with doubts as to what course
he should pursue in regard to this
silent witness of a rival’s villainy—
a witness that had been strangely
drawn over countless miles by the
forces of mysterious phenomena, to
give testimony within the arctic cir
cle itself of a deed committed long
months before on serai-tropic seas—
Tarkington had arisen in his sleep,
made his way from one balcony to
another, and finding the wundow of
Dulcimer’s room unfastened. had
gone in and given her the flask, much
to her terror and his own consterna
tion when he awoke.
As for the Christmas ghost, it was
never seen again.
to be hypnotized by fire and keep per-
still; even the loquacious parrot
in a fire has nothing to say. Cows, like
dogs, do not show alarm. They are
easy to lead forth and often find their
way out of themselves. Rodents seem
never to have any difficulty in escaping
from fires. The men said that in all
their experience they had never come
upon the burned skeleton of a rat or a
mouse.
On a Golden Plate.
President Roosevelt recently re*
ceived an invitation on a gold plate.
It was not political, but it asked him
to attend the mining congress in Lead,
S. D., next September. The plate was
not big enough to eat a dinner from,
as it measured two and three-fourths
by five inches, but it was large enough
to show what kind of gold the Black
Hills produce.
There is more coal in Montana and
Wyoming than in Pennsylvania.
DUTIFUL JAPANESE CHILDREN.
Soys nnd Girl* Both Are Faithful
Helpers of Their Parent*
at All Times.
One of the features that most strike
the visitors to Japan, the land of the
chrysanthemum, is the dutiful conduct
of the children. Wherever one goes it
is noticed that the youth, almost with
out exception,’ are obedient and defer
ential to their elders, sweet and oblig
ing among their equals and jiatient tc
a degree that is philosophical, yet no
more genuine children are anywhere to
be found. No child is without its re
sponsibilities and in most cases these
are strapped to its back and it bears
them cheerfully. There is a beautiful
spirit of helpfulness bet ween brother*
and sisters.
“I think the children have more real
affection for each other than they do
for their parents,” said a gentleman
who had spent many years in Japan,
according to the Chicago Chronicle,
“for whom their respect is unbounded.
Although the Japanese take great
pride in their babies and their growing
eons and daughters, they strenuously
endeavor not to reveal it and if you
had naught but their word for it yon
would think they were quite harassed
and disgusted with their offspring.
“I suppose,” said a friend, before I
left for Japan, “you w r ill have to refei
to your baby as ‘my ddrty, insignificant
and troublesome little son.*”
Still, after all. no one can withstand
the blandishments of an infant, and
many a Japanese mother have I en
trapped into glowing details of the ac
complishments of her small children
The mother does not often gite them
all the attention which mothers should.
She is ever at the beck and call of the
head of the family, to the exclusion ol
all other requests. At such times ii
the babies protest they are stuffed with
sweets or turned over to the servants,
and such times are nearly all the time.
The servants are not refined, but they
are kind-hearted women and they are
closer members of the household than
our servants are or w'ould like to be.
and for that reason they mother the
children and naturally get the greater
half of their love. Much of the disci
pline of the family is turned over to
the elder brother. It is summary and
sound. Occasionally the father de
votes himself to the children on a pic
nic or a walk in the evening, telling
them stories or playing games, but
never under any circumstances will he
lay aside his pipe and his dignity tc
crawl about on his hands and knees in
the similitude of a lion. “Ototsan”is
always imperturbable.
COSTLY GYMNASIUMS.
'Wealthy Men Pay Ont Thousand* of
Dollar* for Equipment of Ex
ercising; Room*.
One of the manifestations of the de
sire of the American man and woman
to take up physical culture more than
ever before is the putting in of finely
equipped gymnasiums in the houses oi
the rich.
Scarcely a house is being built these
days for a wealthy man that does not
call for an exercise room somewhere
in the plans. And many of the old
mansions are being altered so as tc
include a gymnasium, says a New York
paper.
In numerous cases these gymna
siums cannot be bettered anywhere,
and thousands of dollars have been
spent in making them up-to-date in
every respect. It is said that several
New Yorkers have not hesitated to
pay out as much as SIO,OOO apiece in
this way.
A common feature of the gymna
siums is the facilities they' offer for
exercise to the millionaires’ wives and
daughters, who have taken up physical
culture as their latest fad. Physical
culture parties can be found in these
gymnasiums nearly every afternoon,
and the way the stately matrons and
the dainty debutantes swing dumb
bells and Indian clubs, perform on
the horizontal bars, and do other
athletic feats is not amateurish by any
manner of means.
In the equipment of the gymna
liums, the boys and girls are not for
gotten, and paraphernalia commensu
rate with their small bodies is amply
provided.
All manners of baths are usually
found in the gymnasiums. Indeed,
much attention is paid to them and
the marble used in their construction
makes them worthy rivals of the baths
of the ancient Romans.
Many men of only moderate means
are also having gymnasiums installed
in their homes. From more or -less
regular exercise in public gymnasiums
they discover the necessity of a place
Cor regular Bad exercise.
NUMBER 8.
VALUABLE BLACK FOX PELT
High Price* Arc Paid la Blaine toa
This Very Rare and Bess*
tlfal Par.
The trapper who gets one black foa
in a season can afford to loaf all the
rest of the time, for if he knows the
value of his prize and seeks the right
market he can exchange the glossy
pelt for SI,OOO or more, spot cash.
But not many trapper* have such
luck as to get a black fox, for that
valuable freak, like other good
things, is rarely found. A black fog
skin was brought to Maine recently
and is now part of the stock of a fui
dealer who buys and sells in all parts
of the world. The fox was killed in
Alaska, where a traveling furriet
bought it from the natives for SIOO,
In New York the purchaser was of*
fered SBOO for his prize, but he knew
it was worth more money, so he
brought it to an expert buyer ia
Maine, who without a word handed
over SI,OOO for the glossy bit of fur,
says the New York Tribune.
Common red foxes, such as are
plentiful as grasshoppers in many
parts of Maine, are cheap as dirt al
most, selling for 30 cents to SI.SC
each for those taken out of season
when the fur is thin and $3 to $4 each
for skins in prime condition. Cross
oreeds are from $7 to $lO each
and pale silver grays from S4O to
5125. When a trapper secures a dark
silver gray he has struck a prize, for
the values run from S2OO to S6OO each.
These silver foxes are killed for the
most part in Labrador and Cape
Breton, seldom being seen in Maine
now, although many years ago they
were frequently taken on the head
waters of the Penobscot and the St.
John.
The black fox is a freak and an
aristocrat. He belongs to no well de
ftne£ species—that is, black foxes are
not recognized in natural history as
a separate class—but is supposed to
be a member of the silver family,
whose coloring results from some
prenatal influence. The black fox is
always in great demand by the very
rich, and especially by the Russian
nobility, who send agents to the
great auction sales that occur four
times a year in London —in January.
March, June and October —to bid on
what few skins of this species may
be offered. In 100,000 pelts there are
generally not more than a dozen or
20 black foxes, and the prices are
often as high as $2,500, sometimes $3,-
300, for a particularly fine skin.
The skin that was brought to
Maine the other day will be sent to
London for the March sale, and as
it is thought to be the finest black
fox ever seen in this country its own
er expects that it will bring a high
price. The skin is four feet and six
inches long, which is remarkable for
a. fox of any variety, while across
the neck, where the fur is blackest,
the width is 13 inches, and across
the back 14 inches. From the head
riown two-thirds the length of the
body the fur is a glossy black, and
then runs off into a beautiful silvery
shade.
When the Earth Waa Pear-Shaped.
Prof. G. H. Darwin gives his sanc
tion to the calculations of Mr. J. H.
leans, of Trinity college, Cambridge,
an the changes of figure through
which our earth has passed in gradu
ally reaching its present shape. At
ane interesting stage in its develop
ment from a nebulous mass the globe
,vas probably pear-shaped, and the
transition to its present form took
place through a series of ruptures.
In spite of the consequences of these
ruptures, it is suggested that the
earth still retains traces of a pear
shaped configuration. There are in
dications that the axial point at the
large end of the pear was situated in
the neighborhood of England, and
that the stalk end was in Australia.
Along what would have been the
equator of the pear now runs a cir
cle of volcanoes and earthquake cen
ters surrounding the globe, and this
is accounted for by the consideration
that the equatorial zone of the pear
shaped figure must have been the
region of the greatest displacements
ind changes of curvature during tha
transition to a spheroidal shape.—
South’# Companion.
A Bigger One.
Counsel —Go on, sir, relate the word*
used by the defendant in the libel you
complain of.
Plaintiff —He said he defied nr.o to find
a bigger liar and thief than I was *
“And what did you reply **”
“I told him I should go to
Ucitor.”—London i

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