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THE STARKVILLE NEWS.
VOLUME 111. 00000000000000000000000000 1 THE DISTANT I 1 DRUM J 5 By r. H. LANCASTER 6 OOOCOOOdOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOQ (Copyright, 19M, by Daily Story Pab. Cos.) C! HARLEY BRONTON grinned: f “ ‘Nor heed the rumble of a distant drum,’ ” he quoted, derisively. Then he read the closing lines of her letter again. *T)ear little girl forgive this stupid let ter, I’m tired to-night, dog-tired.” “Slipped up on yourself that time, old fellow. No woman would w r rite like that —‘dog-tired’. ‘Dear little girl,’ And you still expect me to believe that ‘M’ stands for Mary? So? Let’s see if Lottie can’t bold up her end of the line rather better?” And smiling savagely he drew a sheet of perfumed note nearer and w rote in the large, angular characters the girls of his acquaintance affected: “My own dear Molly,” a distant ruffle cf doubt reached him. If it should be a woman? He laughed harshly. “May the gods mend my folly. I’ll swear he is a man. He gives himself away at every turn. Though why in reason he should wish to pose as woman —unless be is a scamp—and that’s w'hat he is. And dead to the drum, and the absurdity of bis occupation, the over-driven man plunged into an account of society plums that did great credit to his ow’n faith in his imagination. Long years ago when he was a college boy, Charles Bronton had had a girl cor respondent. but he realized that those letters were not what a girl would be apt to write to a feminine correspond ent, and confidant; and this was the problem he had been wrestling with ever since the taking tenderness of a Lulaby had lured him into writing a note of congratulations to its author and a native shyness of sentiment forced him to sign this note Charlotte Bronton. He had said what he felt an urgent need of saying and his tracks were covered. Yet the reply surprised him. It began: “My dear little lady.” He Charles Bron ton, the stern man of affairs had never been mistaken for a woman before. Ii •the first sting of his pique the old love o? mischief, he had believed long dead, awoke and came to his assistance. There was a tempting chance to make a fool of the other fellow —and stocks were good just then. Bronton wrote such a reply as he fancied befitting the pen of a “dear little lady,” and awaited developments. The answer that came promptly was gravely gentle with a suggestion of ten derness that stirred in him emotions he .had not felt since his mother’s fingers bad been taken from his hair forever. But he dodged the emotion and the drum and sunk the sensation in a care less “By glory, the fellow knows his ropes. A little while the correspond ence ran upon literature and the emo tions in the abstract, but Bronton re membering hard those girlish letters of long ago soon hinted coyly a desire to know what the M in Mr. Boswells name stood for. He had been told promptly that it was not a Mr. Boswell, but a Miss, and that the M stood for Mary. Hearty laughter came to him for the first time since he had joined the Money-Mads. For M. Boswell’s letters, in spite of that cleverly suggested tenderness, had been masculine almost to the point of tobacco smelling. “What the deuce is he driving at?” Bronton grumbled, sobering suddenly. Was it an effort to force his hand or a design to dupe a young girl. Bronton had a business man’s opinion of literary chaps. And as stocks took a bad turn just then his projected fun ended in a grim determination to lead on a scound rel to his undoing. He laid on the young girl thick and sweet and evidently she won upon M. Boswell. The replies he received took on a more openly, tender tone, quickened with a cheery hope that it heartened one to read. Charlotte was soon cut down to Lottie or simply “My dear” —which last sometimes caused a ruffle from the distant drum. Bronton was forced to yield a grudging admira tion to the fellow’s skill, his gradual approaches, and the tenacity with which he held each gain of ground. This let ter had begun “My dear,” and so full had it been of a strong, sweet patience that once or twice during the reading of ft the distant drum had drawn near— “suppose it should be a woman, a woman who could understand —the kind of wom an he had felt the need of when things went wrong. But at that ending. But at that ending “dog-tired” he had hard ened his heart in bitter disgust—at such bad acting. Now for a lot of girlish sym pathy and not a little girlish love and we will see what becomes of “Mary.” A reply came by return mail: “My own dear little girl,” be read. “Your sympathy was very sweet, but it made me feel like a thief in the night”—ah. STARKVILLE, MISS., FRIDAY, OCTOBER 7, 1904. ha—'Tor matters were not nearly so bad with me as I evidently led you to believe” —oh, bosh —‘T wonder if you realize what your letters have come to mean to me —like open, sunny places in the thin woods of life. Do you remember the woods where Rinaldo strove —fiend possessed? I don’t mean that my life is nearly so dif ficult, but I’m an impatient beast and when I cannot make all earth and half of Heaven gb the way I want, there is nothing left but swearing, and that avails little save a grudging sort of seif contempt”—true, true, my dear sir. Don’t I know. But you must know naught of the fair sex if you fancy that they write letters like these. But, Jove, if you only w r ere u woman.” He shook his head. “Rather, you are an uncom monly clever scoundrel.” He drove the letter deep into his pocket and went out to face what the day might bring—and the day brought Sully’s failure. A wild day on the floor with men howling like fiends around him. and in the thick of it. Bronton found himself thfnkingof the letter —the woods whore Rinaldo strove. And it angered him. Walking hone, tired, hungry, the loser by many thou sands he thought of it again and with the thought and the an ger came the con\iction that he was in lit mood to unmask villiany—to do any thing that would give head to the exas peration straining at its lash. “I’m an impatient beast myself,” he muttered, grimly. When the elevator had left him face to face with M. Boswell’s number, Bron ton broke into harsh laughter at the thought of the bßter humiliation hang ing over the head, of the unsuspecting. He knocked roughly and a clear voice cried: “Enter.” A small room made merry by firelight dancing- in bookcase doors. A desk, and at :he desk a woman with gold glasses and strong stooped shoul ders. “Are you M. Bbswell,” Bronton de manded dully, for the drum was deafen ing him, “Strong and sweet, strong and sweet.” , “Certainly!” The rising inflection suggested an enquiry as to whom ho might be. As though at roll call Bron ton’s heart answered that it was pleas ant in here after the chill and din out side, that the fair- sweet face and the strong hand standing at pause—even the deep chair by her desk seemed good to him. He remembered that she had called him dear many times and it seemed very good. This woman with the glad, gray eyes was his friend. And be promised himself that after this when things went wrong he would come here and sit in this chair and look at the fire and listen to the scratching of her pen and all would be well with him. Then the inflection in he** “certainly” made it self felt and he replied to it placidly. “I am the young girl yon have been corresponding with.” Miss Boswell removed her glasses and looked at him thoughtfully. Every manly line in his well-marked face; every tired one. She spoke kindly; “Pardon me if the saying sounds harsh, bat wiien a bearded man of 30- odd announces himself as a young girl, he lays himself open to the charge of in sanity or intoxication.” “I am neither drunk noi* crazy,” and he sighed contentedly. “Nor a young girl?” “No. Nothing but a man who,” he paused to drink in the deep peace of her presence and she completed quietly, “who has seen a wild day on the floor. May be you will not mind resting a bit while 1 finish this sketch before the color fades.” She pushed a bell. “Only ten minutes.” Her voice trailed away, her shoulders stooped again to her rapid writing. Not too absorbed to call his attention to the tray the maid placed on a corner of her desk. Coffee, oysters, hot rolls, cold ham —Bronton had eaten nothing since breakfast. “But I shouldn’t eat your salt—” She swung her pen crosswise to shove a cup toward him. “No salt in the coffee. Drink it. You need it.” And Bronton surrendered his tired soul to her soothing. It was good to be here, and nothing else mattered. Good to be here, watched over by those kind, gray eyes, ministered to by that strong right hand, soothed by this sunny silence. This was the woman he had needed all his life and he had found her. The ten minutes ran into a silent half hour, and after he had finished his sup per Bronton lay back in his chair rest ing as only a tired man or a tired horse can rest, unconscious of the occasional shrewd glances flashed upon him from behind those gold glasses. A rustle of paper, a brisk “well” broke the spell. Bronton drew a deep breath. “It is all right,” he said, contentedly. “I’m. Lo ttie.” She took off ier glasses and looked at him. “I beg your pardon?” The tone made him sit up.. He explained quickly. “Lottie, that you have been writing those strong, sweet letters to. I’m Lottie C. Bronton!” He pulled out a card. The gray eyes went through him like cold steel. “Pardon me If the sayifig sound harsh, you are also a scoundrel.” “Scoundrel? I! I—no, no. I thought you were a man.” “A year ago—” “I know. But —but —oh, Lord, I dlcm’t heed the distant drum. I went on believ ing you to be a man—” “An uncommonly scaly one?” “Oh, no. Wait. Oh, I might as well tell you the truth. I thought you were a scamp and I meant to chow you up.” “And you showed yourself up?” A flicker of fun warmed her eyes. Baonton laughed joyously and laid his hand on her shoulder. “Own up. Have you never doubted my girlhood?” “It has occurred to me occasionally that if you were a girl you were the craziest one ever created.” “Ah. had you. too. refused to heed the distant drum. Don’t you think you are about as deep in the mud as I am in the mire?” “Not at all.” “Then give me a hand to help me out. Please, Molly, I’m tired. Dog-tiied.” ‘I know you are. So am I. Let’s sit down.” Bronton sat down, retaining her hand. “This is what I call being comfortable,” he said. “This is what I call being incorrigible.’ Molly retorted, withdrawing her hand to the arm of her chair. Bronton stretched out his arm and laid one finger across the back of her hand. “Heed the drum.” he admon ished in a tone of deep satisfaction. “Heed the drum, it is beating reveille for your happiness and ihine —and it is no longer a distant drum.” GOT AHEAD OF THE BIRDS Almond Farmer Turned Pilfering Yellowliammers Into Nut Harvesters. The stranger in the hotel lobby wor? a gray frock coat, g*ay trousers a eray slouch hat and a gray mustach and chin tuft ala Buffalo B:1J, says the Cincinnati Enquirer. “i am a western almond farmer,” he said to the reporter. “1 grow' almonds, son, the same as your folks grow' pota toes and corn. “Is it a good business? Well. I wouldn't be in it if it wasn’t. It is a fine business. I never have no trouble at all. “Queer things happen sometimes? Oh, yes, sometimes, I guess. Let me see. now. - Let me see.” Puffing slowly on his cigar, the west ern almond grower tried to think of something queer to-tell the reporter. Finally he said: “The yellowhammers bothered me last harvest time. They came by thou sands to my almond orchard, and, carry ing off my nuts in their beaks, they stored them in the hollow limb of an oak “That wouldn’t do, you know. “I studied a bit, and then I cut off the hollow oak bough, and substituted for it a long wooden funnel, made to look as much like a bough as possible. Beneath this funnel I put a basket. Then, chuck lin' to myself, I returned to the office. "Well, my scheme buncoed the yel lowhammers. It buncoed them. The poor birds couldn’t tell the funnel from the bough. Every day, thinking they were laying up a fine store of nuts, they dropped almond after almond into the funnel. Every night I collected a big basketful of nuts that had been harvest ed for me by the birds.” THE LOWING OF THE COWS. When the summer’s gittin’ threadbare And the haws are blazin’ red. An’ the sweet-gums are a-flamin’ Out in crimson' overhead, Then I don’t know what has got me By the heartstrings; I just know That I’m longin’ to be gain’ Where the sleek old cattle low. An’ I long to hear the barkin’ Of the scalawags o’ dogs, An’ I want the homely music Of the gruntin’ of the hawgs Hootin’ in th’ sandy hillside Up above the river’s flow; But the thing I long the most for Is to hear the cattle low. Want to see the big old live oaks. And the pasture like a park. With the candle bugs a-flittin’ Back and forward ’gainst the crark When the autumn sun is aettin’; Want the cawin’ of the crow; But the mainest thing I long for Is to hear the cattle low. —J. M. Lewis, in Houston Post. Three Eagles Kill a Cow. Three eagles attacked and killed a cow belonging to Aaron Whitson, af Garden City, Kan. They also picked up and carried about 25 yards a dog that weighed 36 pounds. DEAR OLD FRIEND, THE CAMPAIGN LIE, IS HERE AGAIN, £By McCutcheon, In Chicago Dally Tribune.] CHOf DOWN ALL The trees IN the wwte house Wb and SHOOT ALL THE BEARS in the ' 1 AZOOLOGieAI GARDEN. M Af SHALL THE AMERICAN $Sf PEOPtE ■ fcL J ALTON B.PARKtR IS EUCTfD Hr /A START A FA f(M ‘hTH£ FRONT YARD ~ I 1 j vSff °H THE WASHINGTON MONUMENT, AND '>3\ THE CONGRESSIONAL : / \ fjrm HAVE THE I ' &'*s\rk\'l WOVED To OYSTER Ua;.-AT© ; \\hrU JC^S* DROWN T9E,^°^ T Shal- the American T£R /liM MUCH IN THIS MAN’S NAME Immigrant Boastfully Gave the Right One and Was Speedily Sent Back Home. “Is there anything in a name?” If | this question were propounded to | Mateusz Makowski he no doubt would j answer with a big “yes.” On account of too many names and ; a lack of currency Makowski has taken a hurried departure from the United States, and is now on board the steamer Chemnitz, which left Baltimore recent ly for Bremen. The man arrived at Baltimore on July 7. having a prepaid ticket to this coun try made out in the name of Joseph Bics. When examined by the United States immigrant inspectors the al leged Dies did not answer the questions propounded to him in a satisfactory manner, and for this reason was held up for further examination, and. with sev eral immigrants, confined in the deten tion house. This delay in landing seemed to alarm the immigrant, and he asked to be per mitted to write a letter. He was fur nished with the stationery, and. after finishing the epistle, he signed his name: “Lovingly yours, Mateusz Makowski.” As he put the last flour ish to his name one of the immigra tion inspectors, who was unknown to the man, complimented him on his handwriting and asked to look at the letter. Being susceptible to flattery, the writer handed the letter over and the inspector immediately asked why he should have signed himself other than Dies. In a sub-rosa tone the man took the inspector into his confidence and told him that Bies was not his name, and that he had just gotten held of the ticket and come over on it. The man. after admitting this, discovered that l\e was talking to one of the officials and at once became like a clam. He would answer no further questions. As he was a laborer, without friends in this country and having only five dollars, the special board of inquiry ordered the immigrant to be returned. He sailed the next day, a sadder, but no cToubt wiser, man. Juvenile Happiness. “Did you boys have a good time at your bonfire, Johnny?” “You bet we did! We burnt a back yard fence, half a dozen piano boxes, an’ the most of old Squilligan’s smoke house, an’ had a be-yootiful run when the police got after us.” —Chicago Trib une. Cultivate Memory. In East Indian schools mental arith metic is a vastly more serious matter than it is in the schools of this coun try. Catch questions are numerous, and pupils of ten years are taught to remember the multiplication table up to 40 times 40. He Remembered. Mrs. Jaggsby (at breakfast) —Are you aware of the'condition in which you came home this morning? Jaggsby—l didn’t come home in any condition, my dear. I came home in a cab. —Chicago Daily News. NUMBER 31 NERVOUSNESS OF WOMEN. English Writer Says They Are in Gen eral Stronger Than Ever Before. Women of the present clay are said to he more nervous than women at any previous period. This of course is largely the opinion of pessimists ex pressed in an exaggerated manner, says the London Daily Express. Undoubted ly the woman of to-day suffers from “nerves.” But this has always been a common complaint among women at ail times. The last generation was neu rotic, other generations had insistently convenient attacks of “megrims.” The pessimist never wearies of enlarg ing upon the strain and stress of mod ern life, the rush of travel, the restless ness of great social centers, the incessant poaching on the hours of the night, the eternal increase in the number of work ing women. Yet in reality if the strain on women be greater than ever, the fact that they are able 1q endure it proves an increase in nervous power rather than a decrease. The woman who works for her living to-day has far stronger nerves than her predecessors ever possessed. She stands the strain year in and year out; the women of a few generation? ago could not have stood it for a month. It is also futile to point to the rush of modern travel as a nerve-destroying force. At the present day there is less nervous waste in crossing a continent than there was a hundred years ago in a journey from London to Bath in the stuffy interior of a lumbering coach. Where among the womn of o:d whose nerves are so lauded could we find the woman who could drive a motor car without tremor through a street crowd ed with train-’? The most competent authorities declare that never in the history of the race has so excellent a type of w’oman been evolved as the av erage woman of to-day. Memorials to Americans. Many American boys and girls visit Europe nowadays, but perhaps few even of these fortunate young folk are aware that the greatest of English cit ies contains memorials to five distin guished Americans; a president, a pa troit, a poet, a preacher and a phil anthropist. These five great men arc Abraham Lincoln, James Russell Low ell, Henry Wardsworth Longfellow Matthew Simpson and George Pea body—five names written high in the Hall of Fame, names immortal in life and letters, names forever illustrious in character, and achievement. —St Nicholas. A Final Philosopher. “That feller Jones is a philosopher sure enough.” “Think so?” “I know it. Cyclone come ’long aa ! blowed his house down; thee a airth quake swrailered his lan’; an’ what dc you reckon he done then?” “Lord knows.” “Thanked the Lord that he didn’t have nuthin’ left to pay taxes on!” —At- lanta Constitution. Asa Buie. There is no short cut to happiness.-* Chicago Tribune.