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TURNING A NEW LEAF
A NEW YEAR'S STORY
By MANDA L. CROCKER.
RS. MARCIA BERRIE had
been mistress of the Shelly
Farms for only a few short
months; but long enough,
after all, for every one in the
neighborhood to have an opin
ion of John Berrie's second
Bhe dressed finer than his first wife
did-most second wives do--she spent more
hours at the piano, and seemed several
degrees more aristocratic than the first
It was an honored custom, reaching
back to the stouter branches of the an
cestral tree, for the owner of the Farms
to give a New Year's dinner to the coun
tryside;, and each guest was invited to
come and "turn a new leaf for yearly
Of course, it was the "firsts," and not
the "seconds" or "thirds," as the ship
pers say, who enjoyed these annual feasts
and, u-ually, they began several weeks
before to plan "what to wear." This year
it seemed a nee.s ity to be a little more
particular about the cut of gowns and
width of tr:niming,, for the new Mrs.
Berrie was a lady of means in her own
right. and dressed elaborately.
"W\'e rnust make an irilpre-'ion," said
Mrs. Wilton, decisively, "and she must
feel that our presence is an honor to the
Farms. I intend to have a new silk; a
regular dinter party dress."
And so the "tirsts" planned to sur
pass all former efforts, for the sake of
profound impression; therefore, by the
middle of December a score of lovely new
gowns were the pride of as many ambi
tious feminine owners.
The mistress of Shelly Farms was af
fable and gracious to all, and the tony
"firsts" were just dying to display their
rich costumes in her honor. But for
some unaccountable reason the invitations
Could it be possible that the second wife
was one of those new women, who would,
at one fell swoop, eliminate the annual
dinner? And would John Berrie stand
In sheer desperation of suspense, Mrs.
Goldwaite was delegated to call at the
Farms, ostensibly to speak of a philan
thropic movement, but really to scent the
New Year festivities and overdue cards.
Mrs. Berrie received her visitor very
courteously and pleasantly, and supported
the philanthropic idea enthusiastically,
even graciously accepting the presidency
of thd society when they should organize.
But when the conversation drifted into
holiday news the caller could not, by any
tact, draw out the bride's plans concern
ing New Year's day. Exasperated, Mrs.
Goldwaite suddenly let go skirmishing and
asked her, point blank, "if the Farms
would give apnual dinner this year?"
"0, certainly," answered the new wife,
her face lighting up with pleasure, "hus
band and I have been planning for that
some time. The invitations are late, but
Mr. Berrie could not help me until to-day,
and, of course, I am not well enough
acquainted to get the names alone. We
shall send them this week, however, and
** How About Your Annual Dlnner? "
I shall enjoy the 'new leaf turning' with
my neighbors exceedingly."
This information was what Mrs. Gold
Waite had talked philanthropy tor two full
hours for, and she took her leave, feeling
that she was a heroine of the first water.
But Mrs. Berrie accompanied her caller
to the front gate in her eagerness to talk
more about the "movement." "It is to
elevate the toilers, 1 understand," she
said, "and to get in touch with our poorer
"Y-e-s," answered Mrs. Goldwaite, hesi
tating to break up her luxurious New
Year's dream by bumping against the in
trusive fact that washwomen and ditch
diggers occupied the same planet together
with the "tirsts."
"Yes," she repeated, "and when w.- or
ganize you will accept the presidency?"
and she got uip an interested look, almost
as good as the genuine.
"Certainly." was the reply. "I thank
you for the honor," and Mrs. John Berrie
pressed the caller's hand fervently.
The delegate was not very favorably in
fluenced wuth the young wite's enthusiasmt
ocer the question. and the pressure of her
hand chdleld, rather than thrilled, her
But one consoling thought ran through
it all: they niever would "organize." It
was only a subterfuge to nose out some
thing more substantial.
Mrs. Gouldwate tripped along to the
turning, where c-he met Mrs. H\ ilton, who
reined in her ponies to ask breathlessly:
"Dd you tind out?"
"ro bc sunre; it takes me to find out,"
and she tossed her head in triumph.
"'They will have the diiner as usual. BIut
Mrs. Bcrrri not being acquainted, could
not write the invitations alone; and Mr.
]3Ucrrie could not help her until to-day."
'0. e's!" cried Mrs. Wilton, "t:at ac
counts for it all. Well, we are ready and
w l11 be dehlghted to help turn the new
haf this year, because of the sweet
"She was wonderfully elated, though,
over tile philanthr pic work," and Mrs.
Goldwaite rolled up her eyes in mock
seriousness. Both ladies giggled and
clapped their hands, immensely amused
at the adroitness of their "feint" and its
The expectant "firsts" were all agog
for a few days, looking for invitations;
but, strange to say, not one of them re
ceived the familiar square envelope with.
the Berrie coat-of-arms in the corner,
and things were once more fast assum
ing the mysterious.
But everything was made exceedingly
plain, finally, by the buxom Mrs. Meigs,
washer-woman for a trio of the immacu
"And it's me and mine who are goin'
to have a fine dinner on New ]ear's day!"
,, Naw, Yer Away Off 1"
she boasted to Mrs. Wilton on the next
Monday morning, as she ran her broad
hand through the steaming suds.
"Some one going to send you a nice
basket?" quiered Mrs. Wilton, thinking
at once of the benevolent president to be.
"Naw! yer away off!" laughed the
woman of labor. "We've an invitation to
the New Year's dinner at Shelly Farms;
got it in a fine cover with the Berrie army
coat blazed onto the corner of it."
"Why Mrs. Malinda Meigs!" exclaimed
the astonished Mrs. Wilton, "you are not
"No, ma'am, I'm not," giving the handle
of the wringer an emphatic yank; "it's
the Bible truth. And I was so tickled at
what she writ onto the gold-aiged card,
she sent me."
"What was that?" asked Mrs. Wilton,
desperately, the awfulness of a philan
thropic "movement" gripping her heart
"Why, she writ that 'she and her hus
band would turn the new leaf themselves
this time and idvite the worthy poor to
dine with them on New Year's day.'
And now," dropping her voice to one of
pleasant interrogative, "where be you
agoin' to dine, New Year's, ma'am?"
"I hardly know yet," answered Mrs.
Wilton, truthfully; then she fled to the
closet and studied the fine, new dinner
dress, with conflicting thoughts.
For a young chit from college to come
lording it into their midst and make such
unheard of snubbing plans in her en
deavor to appear peculiar, was simply
cutrageous! The Shelly Farms' new leaf
was perfectly abominable! Something
would have to be done to offset this dis
By four o'clock that afternoon Mrs.
Wilton had made the rounds of the insult
ed elite of the countryside; and a swell
OM INGW 1 N EW
W HY did they ring the bells last night
W In steeples white and tall ?
Why was the earth with Joy bedight ?
The soft snow over all;
Was it a dream, or did I hear
A sound beneath my sill,
While winter's starlight, cold and clear,
Revealed the sleeping hill?
~AY, nay. the New Year came last night. nOR will he leave us till once more
Another year was born: I The earh is robed in snow,
His footprints in the fleecy white And on the ever-sounding shore
The watchers saw this morn:; The winds of winter blow:
The newborn guest is at the door. Then, leaning on his own good staff.
A smile upon his brow: Kindhearted, old and gray,
But he will leave us old and poor The vintage of the year he'll quaff
A fleeting year from now. And slowly pass away.
J E brings to all who wait for him 1 BLESS the bells that ring him in.
A smile, a laugh, a tear; U With many a song and shout,
So. fill the chalice to the brim Ere long. I know, amid earth's din
And drink the Glad New Year; They'll gladly ring him cut;
Let every heart be gay and light. But while he tarries as our guest
And vanish every sigh, Let there be ringing cheer:
A New Year came to us last night He'll be the friend we love the best
Adown the winter sky. The winsome, glad New Yearl
3IYE. at his beck the birds will sing. E came before the dawn of day,
.I In Springtime's scented bowers, if A cherub with a smile.
And from beneath his feet will spring Adown the filmy starlit way
God's sweetest, fairest flowers: He traveled many a mile:
He'll tarry till the Summer weaves And at each door all o'er the land
Her web of many hues. He knocked amid the din;
And Autumn 'mid her golden sheaves And blest be he whose kindly hand
Her happiness renews. Was first to Jet him in.
'OR him the songsters of the dells 2HE chalice fill and let him know
Will strike their clearest strains. That love for him is strong,
And buttercups and lily beds Amid the softly falling snow
Will deck the wolds and plains: O greet him with a song:
His skies will wear the softest blue. From pole to pole. from sea to sea,
The brook that seeks the sea In accents loud and clear.
Will have a song for me and you, Let every heart be glad and free
Beneath the stately tree. To greet the good New Year.
T. C. Harbaogh.
dinner-party had been arranged for, at
:Msrs. Goldwaite's, for three solid reasons.
First, to air their new toilettes; second,
to soothe one another in their common
grievance, and third, the Goldwaite cot
tage was so situated that they could eas
ily see the coarse tide of the "seconds"
and possibly the "thirds"-flow to the
Punctually at the appointed time the
outraged upper current gathered at the
appointed place to see the outrageous un
der current set toward the philanthropic
By three o'clock all the indigent but re
spectable people of the neighborhood had
gone by in their Sunday best.
"Onions and sauerkraut!" drawled Mr.
Wilton, as a German family passed on
"Our white necktie brigade," comment.
ed another "first,' as the pastor of a poor
church, a mile away, and the superinten
dent of its Sunday school, together with
a dozen scholars, went by in a double
sleigh. And the "firsts" rustled their
silks and smiled in aristocratic contempt.
Before the Goldwaite party broke up,
however, a messenger from the Farms
bowed himself into their midst and out
again, leaving the hostess looking sus
piciously at a message in her hand, with
"tile army coat blazed onto the corner,'
as Mrs. Meigs would have said. She
glanced timidly around the expectant
circle and finally drew forth a daintily
perfumed note and read:
"A very happy New Year to all! It
has occurred to us, dear people, that you
way not have comprehenlded our motive
in bidding our guests for the day. As
we all are interested in philanthropic
work, we will be understood when we
say, the new leaf we turned ms very time
ly and beautitul, and has madle many
hearts happy. - Husband and I turned the
leaf suggested by Luke. thie beloved physi
cian. \We knew you were all well able to
return the compl:ment, and so we bade
those who could not recompense us.
"We extend greetings aind desire that
you all rejoice with us. 'Mr. and Mrs.
John Berrie, Shelly Farms."
The "firsts" looked soberly at each
other; the spirit of the note touched the
good in them and the new dinner dresses
were, for the time, forgotten.
"Yes," they sard, "the whole neighbor
hood has enjoyed a Happy New Year to
day. Surely it is a pleasant new leaf!"
But the philanthropic society has never
been organized, although the prospective
president is ready and waitihg.
FOR FUTURE CONSUMPTION.
"Jedge, I want to swear off to-day.
What'il you charge for a pledge?"
"Can't you make it five for a dollar?"
A Genuine Picnic.
Johnny Jones-Did you have fun watch
ing the old year out and the new year in?
Willie Boerum-Did I? Say! I watched
my, sister and her beau watch the old
year out and the new year in!-Brooklyn
/ /il t II
11119 ost 3reakbow
- His Last )3rroaksowb
THE SOUTH 4a
FIFTY YEARS AGO
By WILLIAM. ROSSEI COBBE.
HE first day of January at the
j South 50 years age presented
scenes that would be strange
indeed if enacted in this gen
To the negro slaves as well
as to the many white people
it was known only as "hiring day."
At every county seat in every slave state
it was the yearly custom for people of all
degrees to gather, some as spectators,
others as actors in the events of the day.
By far the greater number collected
prompted solely by idle curiosity.
Upon every corner and at every point
available in the courthouse square sat
negro women with great baskets of "ap
ple-jacks" (a sort of fried apple pie), gin
gerbread and persimmon beer which they
cffered for sale.
During the day men engaged in tests of
agility and strength, which ended not in
Aunty Selling Apple-Jacks.
frequently in a free for all fight in which
fists only were used and after which no
arrests were made. In those New Year
days the "rumshops," as they were called,
did a land office business. Whisky was
plentiful and cheap, and the prejudice
against drunkenness was by no means so
general then as now.
The focal point of interest, however,
was the hiring out of negroes for the en
suing year. Now and then negroes were
offered for public sale, but that practice
was not so common then as in the earlier
part of the century.
Planters neither hired out their slaves,
nor did they employ those of other peo
ple. But those belonging to minor chil
oren and widows, as well as many who
were "chattel," of residents of the towns
and villages were commonly "hired out,"
especially if they had been taught trades.
or were good cooks or house servants.
Many town residents possessed slaves be
yond their home needs, and these were
"hired out" to others who might require
SThe contract lasted for the calendar
year only. It must be renewed annually,
if desired by the contracting parties.
Much mi-conception obtains as to the
disagreeableness and shame of this prac
tice. Masters had a direct pecuniary in
terest in their slaves, and it was to their
interest to see to it that there secured
humane employers. As far as it was pos
sible, each slave was permitted to choose
the person for whom he would work.
Some there were who remained with the
same employers year by year for many
Those that were good servants had no
difficulty in choosing desirable employers.
Very frequently the master left this mat
ter entirely in the hands of the slave.
After all, though, there were those who
were unknown and many more who were
practically worthless, ,and these were
"hired out" at auction to the highest bid
der. This, also, was commonly the prac
tice as to "cornfield niggers" and un
skilled laborers generally, of both sexes.
There were pathetic scenes, now and
then when negroes were sold at public auc
tion on New Year's day. Very rarely it
chanced that at such times members of
the same family were sold to masters
It should appeal to the common sense
of any man that slaves being valuable
holdings, their owners would neither treat
them cruelly nor permit them to be abused
by others. Owners of valuable horses uni
formly are kind to them, and horses are
In this Solthern New Year's day, too,
men met to settle long due debts, to pay
notes and to rent farm lands. Taken al
together, it was a busy, busy day, full
of its comedies as well as its dramas, and,
At such times the slaves of the planta
tions enjoyed their annual two weeks'
vacation and these crowded the villages
to buy all manner of gimcracks-cheap
jewelry, ribbons and laces, and, having
a sweet tooth, cheap candies as well. Any
well-ordered slave could make "overtime"
money, And it was a very sorry one, in
deed, who had not a few dollars at the
New Year, to throw away in folly upon a
wife or a sweetheart.
The "white trash" gathered then solely.
with a view to looking on and to picking
up what they could. As they were de
spised by both the well-to-do whites and
the negroes of all degrees, they usually
kept to themselves. They neither hired
nor were hired, but in some manner con
trived to secure their full share of
Like the old "general' muster" day of
the ante-bellum days, the 'afo' de wah'
New Year has passed away with all its
scenes and shiftings, yet the memory of
it remains with the older residents as re
minder that one day at least, and that the
initial one," of the Southland, was one of
potential energy and signally characteris
tic in its incidents of the age and times.
Had the Same Effect.
"I hear that Jack's fiancee has made
him give a New Year's promise to stop
"That so? Well, mine has not said a
word about giving up the weed, but our
engagement has just the same effect."
"Every time I'call all the cigars in my
vest pocket manage to get crushed, and,
of course, I don't smoke them!"-Balti
Plans for the New Year.
Now man resolves to strive anew
And in the coming year win more
Of that which msers fasten to
Than he has ever gained before.
His wife applauds him andslts d1own
Considering how she will show
A few new didoes to the town
If hubby gets his schemes to go.
TRUE TO HIS RESOLUTION.
The Little Fellow-Strike me if yer
wants ter. I've resoluted never ter lift
me hand in anger agin' anoder agin'.
Economy of Labor.
"He is one of the most resourceful lazy
men I ever knew."
"Why do you say that?"
"Because, instead of writing out his
good resolutions, he cut the page for Jn
nary 1, 1902, from his old diary and pasted
it in under 1903."-Chicago Post.
By ELISA ARMSTIONGO ENGOUGH.
d d OU were going to give your
husband a lovely surprise
for New Year's; do tell me
how it turned out!" said
the bride's friend. "Did
'ou carry out your inten
"I did, and I can safely
say that I will never give him another
surprise as long as I live. You see, he
had resolved not to lose his temper or
complain about anything about the house
for the entire year. I was so pleased that
I wanted to do something awfully nice
in return. Finally, I decided to become
a model housekeeper, and, by way of
showing the depth of my resolve, I decid
ed to cook his New Year's dinner my
"H'm, perhaps it was as well that he
did resolve to keep his temper for aa
"I've Resolved Not to Lose MD Tempe."
entire year. Fudge and angel's food are
not very filling for a hungry man."
"Fudge and angel's food-the idea! I
decided on a menu of six courses, and
spent ten days in looking up the recipes
for it and studying them. Unfortunately,
the exertion made me so tired that I be
came mentally upset and was apt to con
fuse a recipe for Italian cream with one
for creamed lobster, and they are very,
very different. However, when New
Year's day really came and Harry said
that he must spend the greater part of it
at the office going over his accounts I felt
that success was sure."
"By the way, haven't you a good cook?
And didn't you let her help and advise
"She wanted to, but I told her that she
needed a holiday and must take it while
I got the dinner. She then confessed that
she didn't want to go out because her
beau was coming to see her and would be
offended if she was out. I told her that
made no difference; that what you did
on New Year's day you did the year round
and if she did not work on that day she
would doubtless be married to a million
aire and living a life of luxurious idleness
within six months."
"Humph. Did she go then?"
"She did. Then I set to work, and,
oh, how I did work, but somehow nothing
was-well, quite like the pictures in the
household magazines. The odor of things
burning, 'too, became so strong that the
man from next door-a perfect stranger
came ovet to see if the house was on fire
and if he could be of any use."
"Well, luckily, you could air the whole
place thoroughly before Harry came
"I did. By noon I had cooked enough
to feed a regiment-dinner was to be at
three--but somehow it did Rot seem very
appetizing, so I decided to have only four
courses; that was a more economical din
ner fore a youmlg couple anyhow. When
Harry arrived, promptly at three, I was
all ready and trying to look as if I felt
cool 'and hide the two burned and one
cut finger. I had decided that three
courses were enough for anybody save a
glutton, by that time."
"Well, I am sure that everything was
"It-well, it was not quite perfect; I
had forgotten to stuff the chickens and
I had put salt in the cranberries instead
of sugar, but that was mere detail, for
the table looked lqvely with all my best
linen, embroideries, dilver, glass and
china on it. As I wanted to surprise him
thoroughly, I did not tell him that I had
cooked it myself-I meant to tell him that
at the very last."
"As a sort of postscript to the dessert.
"M'hm. Well, though he had said he
was willy hungry, he did not eat-just
played with things. He kept starting to
speak, too, and then shutting his mouth
tight without saying a word. Something
was wrong with the coffee, though I had
put in twice as much as the cook book
said. As he set down his cup, well, rather
more forcefully than was quite necessary,
he said: 'Well, dear, it is New Year's
day, and I have resolved not tb lose my
temper for an entire year, but I must
say one thing: the girl who cooked that
dminner must be dismissed before to-mor
row's sun is up. A woman who would
give a hungry man underdone ohicken,
overdone potatoes and asbestos pie. would
be capable of murdering us iit our beds!' "
"Oh, well, you need never tell him that
you cooked that dinner."
"I didn't tell him, but he undertook
to discharge the cook, and she did!"
As the Old Year Fades.
No, you needn't call me early, needn't eal
me, mother dnar,
I'll know without your waking me that 'tls
the glad New Year,
For every whistle in the town will blow
from 12 to 3,
Ard boys with dad-dinged oLerns, mother,
will toot a few for me.
Making Them Comfortable,
Corn--Oh, papa, why have you moved
the sofa out into the middle of the room!
Papa-I thought you would want it
there, since you have hung the mistletoe
on the chandelier.-Town Topics.