Newspaper Page Text
4 t®k •> OWHERE does New Year’s cere v'"' - roony mean more than in the land ' nVl] of the little people whose faces N have become familiar to ns on pa- 8 P er fans - Indeed, from a national point of view, this season is the greatest occasion of the year. Elaborate preparations are made |3|tffiiy|cs long in advance. Houses are cleaned Inside and out. Doorways are decorated with rice ropes and jESaffiflißßial fern leaves and evergreen. Every " housewife buys a pot or two of “prosperous age plant,” a miniature pine tree, some bamboo, and some plum twigs, to win for her home by ornaments like these the favor of the jealous deities that guard the future. The city streets resound with the mallet blows of the dough pounders making "mochi," the Jap anese equivalent of plum pudding. All debts are paid New clothes are bought. There are toys t c the children, and picture cards that bring good fortune aid are good to dream on when tied se cure! .v to the wooden pillow. O, happy 'Jew Year! Day will hardly dawn be fore each town and village will be stirring. There is so much to do in celebration. First there will come the ceremonial breakfast, when the health of all the family must be drunk in that rice wine called “zoni.” Then visits must be paid to all acquaintance. Father will wear no more the tra ditional costume, fantastic and peculiar. For him the frock coat now, of European manufacture. But mother, in her quaint kimono and elaborate head dress, will look just as she has looked on New Year’s day since time immemorial. The children will be decked out jn gorgeous colors; they will throng the streets, clattering along on their wooden clogs in pigeon toed but Joyful haste, and shouting “Banzai!” to friends and foreigners. In the streets clowns will per form strange antics, exclaiming loudly mean while: “Hail, hall, ye gods of heaven and earth! Sig nificant omens are in the air, and the universe is full of lucky signs.” To accompaniment of flute and drum, two legged lions will give the “lions’ dance” in masque. Strange masqueraders will dart hithei and thither through streets and temple gardens. It will be a happy time for Japanese children. For three glad days every little girl will expect to play her favorite game of shuttlecock and bat tledore. The boys will fly their brand new kites. The children will play games with brightly col ored balls, chanting countless rhymes. Grown people will play New Year's card games. The firemen will give acrobatic exhibitions on their ladders. Every nook and corner of Japan will be in gala dress and gala mood. Northern France is not far behind Japan in ap preciation of the significance of the New Year. There Christmas, so important on our calendar, is scarcely celebrated, except by attendance at mid night mass and by a festal supper. But the last night of the year, the “Vigil of St. Silvestre,” calls for observance, and the first day of the new year, “le jour de Tan,” or “le jour d’etrene,” is dedicated to the renewal of friendship and to general gift giving. So universal, in fact, has the custom become of giving presents and pretty little souvenirs that the expression “bonne etrene” means good fortune and “mal etrenne” misfortune. Candy and flow ers are acceptable gifts in France, but there is only one real rule in the matter —a New Year's gift must not be useful. In most Scotch households, as in France, New Year’s day takes the place of Christmas, an evi dence of ancient sympathy when both countries regarded England as a mutual enemy. On the last night of the year, in rural district, groups of men and boys go disguished from house to house sing lug curious songs, such as this: Rise up, good wife, and shak’ yer feathers. Dlnna think that we are beggars; We are bairnies come to play. Rise up and give us hogmanay. When they have received the cakes and coins they expect they go on to the next place, first, however, having chalked the house, in token of good luck. Next morning; all the children get up early and yiew with wide and interested eyes the LIGHT ON DOMESTIC TROUBLE Chief of Chicago Probation Force Tells of Some of the Causes of Unhappiness. In a valuable report on adult proba tion In the court of domestic rela tions, Mr. Houston, chief of the proba tion force, thrown some light on the causes of domestic trouble and un happiness. The statistics of the court Bhow that 50 per cent, of the tangles it is called on to unravel or cut are l; y&r& 'v . Li-. blue and white marks that decorate every dwell ing in the village. Scotland is, as well, the land of cakes, and at this season the bakers’ shops are filled with toothsome dainties, sugar covered and mottoed in ice. Germany observes various customs. Calls are made on January 1, and gifts are exchanged; delicious little cakes are eaten in honor of the festal day. Different neighborhoods char acteristic rites and superstitions. Thus, in the Black Forest a workman likes to work a little bit at his trade the first day of the year, to coax luck In business; most picturesque is the vender of clocks, who sets out to sell one at least of his wares. Munich drinks deep to the health of the season in good Bavarian brew. Jena, whose people recognize descent from those ancient Germans who believed in a god that brought light and warmth each year into the world to overcome the cold and dark of winter, builds in its public square at New Year’s time a great bonfire, which typifies this ever new gift of the genial old deity that loved warmth and gave light. Thither at midnight the people carry the things they wish to cast out of their lives with the old year. Fire as a New Year’s symbol is favored in Wales, as well. There fires are burned on New Year’s day to purify the house for the entrance of a new and gladsome era; and the ashes are kept sacredly from year to year, esteemed for special medicinal virtues. The ringing of bells to announce the death of the old year and the birth of the new one is common l in England and Scotland and in some parts of the United States. In many English churches impressive midnight sendees are held. In the dales of Westmoreland it Is usual to open the west door to let the old year out and to open the east door to let the new year in. In England it is still an enjoyable practice to offer a mince pie to every caller during the last week of the old year, for every pie eaten under a different roof represents a happy month during the year to come. Often as January 1 draws near one hears the expression: "Thanks, I have eaten my twelve, so please ex cuse me.” What probably is the strangest New Year’s rite is held in the Cevennes mountains, in southern France. At the last evening mass of the old year the herds and flocks of the peasantry are gathered before the portico of the little stone church high up on the mountain side and are directly due to intemperance; 25 per cent, may be traced to interference of relatives, from the mother-in-law down. The remaining 25 per cent, the report debits to laziness, natural bad temper and incompatibility. Of course, drunkenness, while a cause of domestic trouble, may itself be an effect of previous domestic trouble. There are social workers who maintain solemnly that good cooking and clean, orderly housekeep ing would prevent 75 per cent or more of the cases of drunkenness that get into the police courts The estimate may be too liberal, but cer tain it is that an attractive home and palatable, well served meals would . prevent much drunkenness. Hence it is fair to say that bad cooking and . slothfulness cause the drunkenness that leads to wrangling and arrests in a large number of cases. Many and various are the causes of domes tic trouble, but while we cannot re move them all this side of the mil lennium, the teaching of domestic science, of household economy, of THE FROSTBURG SPIRIT, FROSTBURG, MD. blessed by the priest and sprinkled with holy wa ter by the acolyte who follows him, in order that that this, the sole wealth of the countryside, may increase and prosper during the year to come. The sight of the holy hour is wonderful. As the church bell tolls above them the frightened ani mals bleat and bellow and try madly to escape. First the oxen are blessed, then the cows, next the sheep and lambs, and finally the goats and pigs. Throughout Europe many delightful customs prevail. In Scandinavia a feast is always pre pared for the little birds, which might otherwise go hungry, on account of the deep snows. In Holland, as in Scotland, the wind is noted with care, because the luck of the year will be determined by the direction whence it blows. The south wind brings heat and fertility, the west wind milk and fish, the north wind cold and storm, and east wind a fruitful season. In Italy the New Year is a day of greeting and | good will and special feasting. Sicilian peasants : take advantage of the fete to drive to town in their gay carts, so that the country roads are merry with the music of tinkling bells. And Swiss folk, practical, industrious, stop their work for the nonce and visit friends, even when they have to carry their babies down the moun , tain slopes in, cradles on their heads. Bulgaria’s heart history is of especial moment just now. On happy New Year’s day In Bulgarian villages the small boys run from house to house waving branches of the cornel tree and shouting greetings as they tap all they meet with the luck bringing branches. Bulgarian girls go through an interesting cere- ' mony in an effort to pry into the secrets of the days to come. On New Year’s eve a queen, chosen by lot, guards a kettle full of water, in which both j men and maidens have dropped finger rings or some personal trinkets. Till dawn she watches. Then to an open place In the center of the vil ’ lage she takes the precious kettle, covered with a cloth, a dancing, singing crowd following her. An oracle, who has been selected for eloquence of speech, proclaims successive fortunes. He cries: “The lucky girl whose ring shall appear shall marry the best man in the village.” The queen of the festival dips her hand Into the kettle and brings forth a ring, and its owner receives it from her secure in the belief that good luck betides her matrimonially before another New Year. GETTING BACK. “Why do you insist on trying to sell me beef steak and beans and buckwheat cakes?” de manded the barber. “I told you all I wanted was two fried eggs.” “Well, I was in your shop yesterday,” retorted the restaurant man. “All I wanted was a shave but you bulldozed me into a shampoo, a foam fizz, and a tonic rub.” A SAD AWAKENING. "Warden, where are my flowers? Give me those flowers.” “Those flowers are for an embezzler in the next cell.” “Flowers for an embezzler, with a murderer in the same jail? A life of crime is not what I was led to expect.” NOT DIFFICULT. “I wish I could do something startling," said Gladys Gloom, sick unto death with ennui. “Well, Gladys, that is easily accomplished” said her close friend, Bella Blazes. “Go back to that little old-fashioned town where you were born and smoke a cigarette on the public square.’’ | ' home-making will undoubtedly light en the burdens of courts that deal with domestic rows and desertions. Men, by the way, need as much teach ing as women, if not of the same j things. They have their part to play in making and keeping the home neat, attractive and comfortable, in bring ing a little color and warmth and beauty into it. The devil rejoices more in one hypo crite than in ninety and nine genuine, ! Simon Pure sinners. TRAPPER IS CAUGHT IN HIS OWN SNARE New Mexico Man Meets Death and Skeleton Tells Story of Hopeless Struggle. Santa Fe, N. M. —Literally caught In his own trap was the fate that befell some unknown hunter in the wilds of Socorro county, N. M.—not only caught but devoured by the very ani mals he sought to entrap. This terrible story was brought to Santa Fe by Charles McCarthy, a ranchman, who discovered the chewed at skeleton of the victim, the wrist bones still held in the vise-like grip of the trap. The condition of the ground told its own story of the last desperate, hopeless struggle of the un known trapper, fighting against a 'Vy. tQ/i/reSa s' Evidence of Fearful Struggle. death from which there was no es cape. The trapper had driven in his wagon, to which was hitched a team of little mules, many miles into what is the heart of the wildest section of the state. It was evident that he was after bear, for he had one of the largest steel traps he could secure. It is believed the unknown had fin ished baiting and setting the trap and was in the act of leaving it when, by a misstep, he stumbled into the great steel jaws. In falling the bones of both hands were caught between the great steel rims at the wrist. Once caught, there was no escape without the help of another human being. He was 50 miles from civiliza tion and in a region seldom entered by men. The trap had been made sta tionary and, pinioned as he was, It was impossible to disconnect it. On the ground about the trap were evidence of the fearful struggle of the man to escape the fate which he knew would be his. But night came and found him still held fast. With the darkness also came the wild ani mals he had sought to entrap. He I knew their haunts and had selected I his site well. Attracted by the human i bait in the trap they attacked him. He fought as best he could, but. with hands useless, there was but one out come. Bear, mountain lion, coyote, whatever it was, vanquished the trap per, perhaps began feasting on his flesh before he was altogether dead. One week after this tragedy, Mc- I Carthy happened across the scene. Nothing was left of the unknown save the skeleton, and even some of the bones had been crunched. The steel trap still retained its grip on the i mortal remains of its victim. COON PET UPSETS TRADITIONS Acknowledged Foe of All Feathered Creatures Takes Up With Guinea Chicks. Monessen, Pa. —Smoke, a pet coon belonging to Franklin Sauter of this place, has cast aside its hereditary in stinct of enmity toward birds and fowl of all kinds and adopted a brood of young guinea hens that had been hatched in the oven of Mr. Sauter’s stove. Naturalists and woodsmen in this section declare it is the only instance on record where a coon is known to have overcome his natural instincts to kill all feathered creatures. Several months ago Mr. Sauter, on a hunt, captured a baby coon that had been pulled down and injured by the dogs. Taking the animal home, it soon became domesticated and became a great pet around the house. Not having an incubator for his guinea hen's eggß, Sauter placed the eggs in a box back of his stove. He was considerably astonished to find the coon in the box with the young guineas, mothering them. Since that time the animal has re fused to leave the guinea chicks and keeps them well covered. RATS GNAW A DYING MAN Eye* Were Punctured While He Lay Unable .to Beat the Rodents Off. Williamsport, Pa. —Rats attacked Lewis Jackson, a negro, as he lay dy ing in his home here and punctured both his eyes. The old man was par tially paralyzed and helpless. While in an unconscious condition, the rats attacked him. They were still on his bed when he regained his senses, but he was unable either to beat them off or call for help. After the old man died the rodents again invaded the room and, but for the constant vigilance of a daughter and friends, they would have gnawed the corpse. As it was they managed to get at the face and bite it several times while the watchers were out of the room. Other members of the family have suffered from bites by the rats. Sev eral days before a rodent attacked a | smart child but was driven off before | It had drawn blood. SOLOMON NEEDED / IN THISJOG CASE Judge Gives It Up, Woman Faints and Passaic Divides Over Ownership. KISSES VS. SCIENCE Brlndle Bull Certainly Loves Mrs. Theodore Bergner, But Doctors Take Joseph Tomer’s Side—Court Enters Case as Nonsuit. Passaic, N. J.—lt wasn’t a baby but a dog, and the man on the bench wasn’t a Solomon but just a district court judge, with human doubts born of long experience with human testi mony. The dog was a white and brin dle bull, valued at SSOO by the rival claimants, and the Solomon baby com bination being broken the adjudication of his ownership threw the residents here into a fervor, caused a woman to faint, made the judge throw up his hands in despair and divided the town into two opposing factions. “I give it up,” said Judge W. Car rington Cabell of the district court after hearing the testimony. “It would take a Solomon to decide the case. It’s too much for me.” On the side of the plaintiff there was the testimony of two physicians, a dog fancier and a reputable citizen, Joseph Tomer of Rutherford, N. J., who said the dog Vas his. Arraigned against this testimony was the word of Theo dore Bergner, general manager of the Botany Worsted mills, Passaic, who also claim the dog, his wife, their neighbors, a servant, the family cat, a dog’s kiss and a physician. “As a mere citizen,” said Judge Cabell, “I would feel inclined to accept the testimony of the dog and give it to Mrs. Bergner. As a judge, however, I am unconvinced. I will enter the case nonsuit.” The courtroom was crowded with Passaic society, as Mrs. Bergner, who lives at 112 Lexington avenue, is one of the leaders there. “The dog is mine,” said Mrs. Berg ner. "We bought the dog last Janu ary when it was only two months old. On September 8 the dog was ill and we sent Jt to a dog hospital in Passaic. Dr. John Bakelaar said an operator was necessary. Then on September 20 Dr. Bakelaar told us the dog had escaped. We advertised for it and a JgHl I ! pup, "Oh, I Don’t Know,” Answered Mrs. Bergner. man told us he found it. We got the dog back.” “How do you know it was your dog?” asked Judge Cabell. “Oh, I know,” answered Mrs. Berg ner. “Our cat at home is afraid of all dogs and is always fighting them. Well, when Puppy came home the cat purred and actually went up and kissed Puppy. The cat knew it was Puppy.” Then as additional evidence Mrs. Bergner said: “Kiss me, Puppy.” Puppy did. Then Mrs. Bergner’s neighbors took the witness stand and said they were sure that the dog belonged to Mrs. Bergner. Mr. Tomer’s case was less affection ate and more scientific. He called to the stand Dr. Bakelaar and his as sistant, Dr. Henry Cempfner. Both were certain that the dog in court was not the dog on which they had oper ated. Also Joseph Walkland of New ark, N. J., took the stand and testi fied that he had sold the dog to Mr. Tomer. “Besides,” Mr. Walkland added, “the dog before you is two years old. Mr. Bergner’s dog was only a year old.” Undismayed, Mr. Bergner brought forth an expert, who testified that the dog in the room was not two years old. After the case was dismissed Mrs. Tomer met Mrs. Bergner outside the court room. “You stole my dog!” shouted Mrs. Tomer. Mrs. Bergner fainted. “Move Over,” Says Mank Chicago.—Wassell Morris of 2252 Clybourn avenue returned home at three a. m. the other day and found his room mate, Michael Henecerak, lying in the middle of the bed. “Move over,” he said. There was no re sponse, and when he attempted to push Hanecerak toward the wall he discovered that his room mate was dead. Tree Sent by Parcel Post. Franklin, Pa. —A tree was shipped from here to Ohio by parcel post. The branches had been bound closely to the trunk of the troe with twine, and the girth was only four inches. The tree was eight feet long and Rural Car rier Bunnell would not accept it un til he had sawed it off to keep the par cel within the limitations. LIKE RIP VAN WINKLE OF IRVING’S CREATION Merchant, Living Decade in Men tal Daze, Recovers Memory; Asks for Old-Time Friends. Tarry town, N. Y. —A real Rip Van Winkle has come to light in the Sleepy Hollow country, on which Washington Irving saddled the immortal creation of his pen. The modern instance of truth stranger than fiction is Herman Levy, who for years was a prosperous merchant and real estate man of Tar rytown. Ten years ago Levy received a scratch on the leg. The injury did not heal and a mental malady developed that left his mind a blank. He virtu ally became a hermit in his home and his actions were like those of a som nambulist. His body was active, but his mentality was asleep. On infre- Inquired for Old Friends. quent occasions, when persuaded al most by physical force to go outdoors, he would walk with fixed eyes past friends without a sign of recognition. It was thought that Levy’s ease was hopeless until, three months ago, he suddenly showed a mental quickening and expressed a desire to visit Croton Point, where his boys were in camp. The change benefited him and gradu ally his mind began to clear. When he returned home, he started to take an interest in his business, and a few days ago entered the volunteer fire company’s house, of which he had been a forgotten member. “Where’s my old friend, Judge Dan Armstrong?” he asked. “Oh, he’s dead,” was the answer. “And Sheriff Charles M. Lane?” “He’s been dead these many years, too.” “And Abe De Revere?” "He’s been in Sleepy Hollow ceme tery many a year.” “Where’s Abe Storms and Tom Walsh?” “They’re dead, too.” “Well, I guess I’ll have to go out with the headless horseman and find my old friends.” Levy’s memory of what happened up to ten years ago is fresh. What took place while he was ill he does not remember. Today he is apparently as well as ever. TOO MANY WIDOWS HERE With But 500 Population Ohio Village Has Many Unmarried Men and Women. Republic, O. —The town council, the chamber of commerce, the ministerial alliance and the Republic Woman’s club have about decided to take con certed action to remedy a condition which is causing a vast deal of dis tress here. Although this is a hustling town of 500 population and the residents are more than commonly prosperous, something is wrong. It may be that the hearts of the sturdy Republics, as they style themselves, have grown cold in the steady pursuit of the dol lars, or it may be that Dan Cupid has overlooked the pretty community, for a recent census shows there are 50 widows, each owning a comfortable home, 14 bachelors, all prosperous, 20 widowers and a great many more than the average number of maiden ladies. The town fathers are puzzled to ac count for this condition. Something must be done —hence the efforts to get the leading organizations of the town together. It is probable that a mass meeting will be held to discuss this grave question. Cousin of “Mary.” Lancaster, Mass.—Richard K. Pow ers, who claims close relationship to “Mary,” heroine of a nursery rhyme about a persistent little lamb, has just celebrated his one hundred and third anniversary here. “Mary,” whose full name was Mary Sawyer, was a cousin of Powers, he avers, and her lamb was one of twins born on the Sawyer farm in March, 1814. Says Wife Fed Him on Soap. New York. —William Mueller, seek ing a separation, told the court he had struck his wife only once and that was when he returned home and asked for something to eat. His wife picked up a cake of soap and tried to force it down his throat. The court was astonished, but refused to grant the decree. Find Ship Lost 24 Years. Punta Arenas, Patagonia.—A ship aground on the rocks, with the skele tons of her crew of 30 men nearby 1 , has been found in a cove near here. Evidence pointed to a fight with na tives who, after murdering the crew, despoiled the vessel of its cargo. The ship is believed to be the Disborough, missing 24 years. Lost His Star. Hammond, Ind. —Policeman James O’Keefe lost his star when he ordered eminently respectable citizens to do the bear dance at the point of a re volver.