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A RED flag was fluttering over' the doorway of the old house, and from the inside came the sounds of a high, chanting voice and the rat-a-tat-at of a ham mer. It was a most unlikely place for a fairy story, but they grow every where. People were crowding in and out, for the hammer and the voice belong ed to an auctioneer who was selling all the things* The old house was about to be torn down, just as its old owner had been torn down by desth, and removed to make room for a new edifice with all the modern improve ments. The fat tavern keeper and the vege table woman and the alderman's wife were all there, with everybody else, even those who had not known the old man at all. There they were, lingering all his possessions, and ex amining the bottom of the china for the potters' marks. "What a curious old man he was!" said the alderman's wife to the doc tor's wife, turning her broad, silk-cov ered back ostentatiously on the wife of the pound-keeper, who had obtain ed his position through her husband, and was, therefore, an inferior. "Yes, indeed," said the tavern-keep er's wife, who allowed no one to turn the back on her, but joined in every conversation in order to prove that her husband was a power in the town; "yes, indeed, he must have been crazy t" spend all his time and money col lecting such a lot of rubbish. He was certainly.a curious creature!" The tavern-keeper's wife spoke with authority, for her husband was not a curious creature at all. He never dreamed of collecting anything except the money due him from his guests, and he ate three .extremely heavy meals every day and fell asleep after each one and snored. The sale proceeded rapidly; for although few of the good souls who were there really knew anything aboujl the things that the old man had col lected with so much love, they knew that he was considered a great author ity on art. Therefore, they had to prove that they, too, knew art. by buying something. So the tavern keeper's wife and the alderman's wife bid against each other in competition for a Chippendale table till both were red in the face with anger. Caught in a " Karntchatka " //1C T OBODY knows what a real j^kl wind is like," says Karl X Bogdanowitsch. Professor of Geology in St. Peters burg, "unless he has experienced a "Kamtchatka.' as an easterly gale is called in the country of that name. We Dorothy Ficken's Funny People . \ ■< ■/ Means well, but suffers from the be lief that all weathers were made es pecially to bother him, and spends day and night studying thermometers and barometers and statistics, in or der to tell us all about it. The man who wants to know if it is hot enough for you is the Chief Snake of the species. The Weather blitherer is extremely dangerous to strange umbrellas, catching them whenever they are left exposed. He is immune to sarcasm. The alderman's wife got it; and she thought to herself: "Well, the first thing I will do with that will be to have it stained a differ ent color and varnished and ornament ed, and have those miserable, spindly legs braced so that they will amount to something." The pound-keeper bought a set of iron fire dogs, because they were so appropriate for^his business. And the vegetable woman trotted away with a terra cotta vase for which no one bid much because it was evidently cheap, being entirely without decora tions. The auctioneer said something about its being from an Etruscan grave, but then nobody was listening to what HE said. So the vegetable woman got it for forty-eight cents, and she put it into her shop window, where it was just the thing to sup port particularly fine specimens of artichokes or eggplants. Before long everything was gone— the collection of melodeons and spinets,- and funny little pianos, and the pottery from all over the beautiful world, and every scrap and stick of furniture—everything except a green cotton umbrella with whalebone ribs. "This," said the auctioneer laugh ing, "is really the greatest curiosity of all. Imagine a genuine umbrella with whalebone ribs! Such things are not to be had nowadays. It is a first-class rarity, and a collector of antiques would pay a high price for it." But the people only laughed and shouldered each other in their hurry to get out; and the auctioneer was left with the umbrella in his hand, and nobody to purchase. At least, there was nobody but a little, bent, poorly dressed old woman, who had sat quiet and patient without making a bid for anything. If it had been worth anybody's while to notice her at all. the observer would have seen that she kept her eye fastened orj, the green cotton um brella, and that her face was full of anxiety when the auctioneer held it up at last. "Well!" said the auctioneer to her, "you are the only bidder. Come nowj tell me what you will bid for this magnificent heirloom, guaranteed a real antique with actual whalebone ribs. "I have only seventy cents," said the old woman humbly, "and I will give it all to you for the umbrella." "Only seventy cents for a fine green were caught in one in a mountain pass above the limit of vegetation. For a little more than forty-eight hours the eleven men of our party lay .under the canvas of t^e fallen tent, ' covered with .snow. We formed a compact pile of human bodies, and within a few hours there was no possibility of motion, for the masses of snow over us were so immense that they nearly crushed us. Every single one of us would have frozen to death had he been alone. As it was, we kept each other warm enough to survive, but how we managed to escape suffoca tion is more than I can tell, for after twelve hours we were all only half conscious. "The only way in which we man aged to live in the grave of snow was through the efforts of three of our native guides, who lay on the outside of the human pile. They crawled out when it was . impossible to breathe any longer, and the bur row they made in emerging brought us enough fresh air to enable us to live. The poor fellows who did this could not get back into the shelter, and had to spend twenty-four hours lying cowering alongside of our sledge dogs, who lay in a packed mass of their own under the snow near us. "When the storm finally ceased, three of my comrades were uncon scious and could be revived only with difficulty. And what a sight met us when we came out of our white tomb! "So incredible had been the force of that wind that the mountains all around us were black and smooth— entirely clear of snow, although they had been covered with it when the storm began. The wind had swept it from them like a terrible broom. All our sleds and dogs $nd tents had disappeared. High over where they were buried stretched a vast smooth Held. It was the snow that had been on the mountains. We had to dig down ten feet to reach the tents. Many of the dogs had been suffocated. f --\"our men fell on the snow with hands and feet, burrowing like mad men and shouting that our only hope was to get under way and escape from the pass before the wind began to blow again. Like defeated tropps, they gathered what sleds and equi* page they could reach, harnessed the dogs that could Me found in a hurry, and off we went over the wide deso lation. On the way we found-many parts of the pass blocked with snow. hills that were from 60 to 80 feet high, all made by the wind during that one storm.X SUNDAY MORNING, JULY 10, 1904, Jm Grien Cotton cotton umbrella belonging to a past age of whalebone ribs!" said fl*» auc tioneer, who was a merry, sbul. "Well, alas! If it must be, it must. Going— going—gcfne for seventy cents." Then the fairy tale began right away. The moment the little old wo man took the umbrella into her hands its magic power exerted itself. The tavern-keeper, or his wife, or the fat alderman, or any of the rest might have carried it forever and a day, and it would have remained only a green cotton umbrella-with whale bone ribs. But it was different with the little old woman. To all who saw her limping through the street, she was only the same poor old woman whom they had known for many years.; bin. in reality, the moment she got fhe green cotton umbrella with the whalebone ribs she had been transformed into a beautiful young girl with violet eyes and a mouth that a bird would have gone crazy over, believing it to be a glow ing cherry. And somehow the old umbrella, too, had been changed strangely, although it had not been altered in any way that you could point out. It had just the same shiny aquiline wooden nose, and the same full-bodied green cotton coat, and the same uncompromising whalebone ribs that would not under any circumstances permit such liber ties in the way of twisting and fold ing as are permitted nowadays by the young dandies of steel. Yet, somehow, it suddenly looked strangely stylish and expensive—it seemed to say that it cost money. "It was raining,." the green "um brella said to the old woman as they walked along the streets together, "it was raining on the morning when we first met, but it turned out to be a fine day. exactly like to-day." 'It is just fifty years ago to-day," said the woman. "That is a long time. Yet I can still remember how jjfc Pi<§ eon ' //IT 1! I -^ jjgg yIS CBT) ijiHa.l 111 lil I iff 111"' if- ' *^4 r.j t r\ * MB, . t:|B I ill" - t^j C£w* \. i*j*^ t^w**^ wtf jjy :1m i I Jjn^H^^^BVTf f f If-1 ■ JSri * rCc !" * " * ' «*£&' ••••"■••• I H-t-j.iiJiJii7it 'i [11 if 11 " i2£vl3 ' ■ v!4i<""?T**^. ' j^Sr "'flu ..1 'i 111 11.. U. i H 11, i ' "" ■ V^^l>^*MHk : ". ■ V**^ Umbrella frightened 1 was when lie stepped to my side and begged me to accept your shelter. 1 can almost hear the birds chirp now from;their shelters under the dripping hedges and hear the rain drops patter on you above my head." "Ah! I was young then," sighed the old umbrella, "atvd much admired. It took them longer to make me than Jt takes?-;t« rhake a whole gross of tne modern things that get consumption and heart disease .and break their ribs as soon as they venture into a real storm. Do you remember how well I used to match his yellow trous ers and his light blue frock coat with the elegant rolling velvet collar and the bell-shaped skirts?" "Yes, indeed! Wasn't he beautiful?" cried the little old woman. "Do you recall the day when we opened you, and set you on the grass to act as a tent while we had our luncheon out in the country? He wore the scarf that I had given him and it suited his curly hair and brown eyes so well!" There was powerful magic, indeed, in the umbrella. It changed even the streets through which the two went. Instead of macadamized pavements and electric lights, and tall, dignified, responsible buildings, there were country roads, brown and soft, with mighty branching trees and green The carrier pigeon flies as many miles in an hour as it does in half an hour and 10 more. How long will it take the piceon to reach its home across the val • ley, if it has to fly 30 miles? fields at their ends, and the houses were full of funny little old-fashioned eaves and gables, most unbusiness like. Arid although the little old woman finally seemed to go into a dark, ugly, rear tenement, in reality she entered a stately gateway and waiked up a broad gravel walk that went winding through, a rich velvet lawn on which a gardener was working, while the sunlight fell through noble elms that shaded the walk and made the whole silent, dreamy place fragrant. Her patched cotton dress had dis appeared with her wrinkles and her lameness. She was dressed all in white, and as she ran into the sunny library, her father looked up from his writing table and smiled at her. He said: > "All, puss, why so happy? Is Alfred coming to take you out? It must be that or something equally momentous." And he smiled again and she blush ed and hid her face on his shoulder while he stroked her hair. Even the dim attic with its crook ed floor and its cracked, distorted win dow panes was changed. Indeed, it was not an attic at all, but a most delightful room, hung with lace cur tains and fragrant with flowers that bloomed^ and hung and stood and nodded in every spot where a flower could be. "It is long since T( stood here." said lie green cotton umbrella. "It was here that he asked you something, and you gave him an answer that seemed to make you both perfectly foolish with happiness and joy. Do you remember?' "Do I remember?" said the old wo man, who was not old at all any more, except outwardly. "How could I ever forget? It was then that he asked me to marry him." "I went to many places with you after that, didn't I?" said the umbrella proudly. "I was useful and discreet. So you took me out sketching and pic nicking and boating, not to mention the many, many rainy days when I went with you like a commanding general as a protector." "Yes," said she, "and then he went to the _ wars." "Ah!" remarked the green cotton umbrella, sighing till his whalebone .ribs expanded as if they would burst, "it was at that time that I went into exile. For he left me at the house of his uncle, the art collector, who was so absent minded that I hardly ever got a chance to go abroad again; To Start a" Toadery " ONE of the most common and most widely-spread creatures of the. world is the toad in its scores of varieties; and, like the snake, it is the object of a scorn and hatred that is almost universal. Yet there is no reptile that is.more harmless, and, better than that, more valuable to the world. Boys ar.e forever starting aquariums and aviaries and other homes for ani mals and birds. Must of them require a great deal of work for their stock ing, and comparatively few do well for any length of time, bt-cause they demand a great deal of intelligent care. If they will try a "toadery" for a change, they will be delighted with the result, and it will remain in perfect condition as long as they wish, for the toads will get along with practi cally no care at all and furnish con stant amusement. All that is needed is a wooden re ceptacle like a tub, deep enough so that the inmates cannot jump nut of it. They are wonderful Jumpers, al though few persons ever ge*t the op portunity to see them, for they do their jumping at night, when they hunt mosquitoes and other insects. < This receptacle should have about six inches of clean sand packed well over the bottom. Here and there along the sides there must be little caves of rock, for the toad loves to hide away in dark places. Toads do not need water for swim ming, so no pool need be made for them, unless it is desired for orna mental reasons. It adds greatly to the appearance of a toadery, especially if a few water plants are placed in it, or if a rim be made around it of blue iris or'^ similar flowering growths that love moisture. ' If no pool is made, a saucer must be sunk into the sand and kept filled with water, for. while the toad is not a swimmer, it needs moist places. If a pool be established, the toads can be raised from the egg. if the collector will go to a pond and gather some of the thick, ropy egg masses that may be found floating near the margins of almost any small body of water in the suburbs or the open country. With reasonable care these will hatch out nicely in the tub, and some morning you will find the pool full of tadpoles. Or the tadpoles them selves may be collected and trans ported to the pool in the tub, where they will become tiny toads within a few days. There is no prettier sight than such for he was as likely as not to walk out in a rainstorm without even a hat on, unless his old housekeeper ran after him with it." "She is dead, too," said the old wo man. "They are all dead. It seems to me as if no life could remain af ter he died. When they told me that he had fallen in battle, I put on black for the first time, and since then I have had to mourn for so many—my father and all my brothers and sisters, and now his uncle. Ah, but you were fortunate to be quiet and secure in the house of the old collector: for misfortune came over us like a wind and swept away all that we had and loved. My father's gray -head had to bend to want and misery before li • was released. The beautiful house, the fields where he and I stayed, all went trom us." "But f remained," said the green cotton umbrella proudly. "Yes, you rema-iiied," said the old woman. "When I went into the old house I entered only to look once more on some of the things that he and I used to look at together; and I never hoped to see you. It was for tunate, indeed, that there were no other bids for you, for the money that I paid was all I had in the world. But it is all right now." The old woman cl.sped her hands tenderly around the bald head and the shiny aquiline nose of the um brella and closed her eyes. Immediately the magic of the um brella made her forget all the sor rowful years. They were wiped out. just as you would wipe a sum that IS all wrong off your slate. Tho fields spread around her and the neighbors stood at their gates and smiled at Alfred and her as they pass ed down the street, very close to gether, under the green cotton um brella. The trees were fresh and green and'the birds sang. And what they sang was one song, over and over again: "Love, love, love, love!" That was what they sang, and each time they sang it, it was more beau tiful, and each time it was new and wonderful, as if it had never been sung before since the world was made. "Love, love, tbve, love!" It was still sounding in the room when the neighbors opened the door to see why the old woman had not been out in so long a time. At least, it seemed as if it still sounded, for one of the women said, "Why, it was just now as if a bird flew out of the win dow!" There she sat —little and bent and old. in her patched cottoft gown with the green cotton umbrella with the whalebone ribs in her hands. "How very curious," said the neigh bors, "that she should have died with an old umbrella in her hands!" They did not know that it was magic. JULIUS MULLER. a colony of young toads, none larger than a big fly, and all watching eager ly with their bright eyes for insects. The' tiny things will leap high into the air after a passing bug. and they are so greedy that it would be quiu beyond the ability of a human bein^ to keep them supplied with food. S<> it is necessary to attract . insect.-, which is done easily by placing syrup or sugar or similar stuff here and there in the tub to draw them. The toads will do the rest. Dorothy Ficken's Funny People /i\ J)'^ The Pillspiller. Gentle but poisonous. Knows how to cure every ailment, and carries strange medicines around with him. Will prescribe for a cold or a broken neck with equal cheerfulness. Is not protected by the game laws. Usually takes tys own medicines, and dies young.