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Merry Christmas! The Whaler baa turned mule teer for the present. All financial stooks are away up again—especially railroad and cop per shares. As a pungent paragraplier of pith and point the author of Helio grams cannot be excelled. “Baldy,” the galleryman on the fifth tier is thoroly tamed. He does not even “whisper in liis own ear.” Zim, the local impressario, says he never has any difficulty in drawing packed houses to his per formances. “They had me up to court today for talking,” whispered a fellah. “Learn the deaf and dumb alpha bet,” was the solacing rejoinder. A prominent actor used to say: “I love my wife —far, far away.” The local electrician says he takes no stock in that kind of sentiment. Lincoln’s birthday falls on Fri day, February 12—and Washing ton’s on Monday, February 22. The Fourth of July comes on a Sunday. One of the boys says he uses cold tea for a hair tonic —and he ceitainly has a fine head of hair—silky and smooth. No joke. Davy asks: “What kin’ o’ rep tiles is them bluejays anyway?” Keep away from ’em Davy. They are like alligators. Thej f prefer dark meat. Otto’s bluejays are being trained to fight any other birds on the place. Having put a little salt on their tails Otto says they have be come very peppery. Mr. L. at the hospital is step ping high and lively these days. He will change his place of abode in about three months as his pres ent contract expires soon. The tall librarian cut the cards for a parole. May happiness at tend him on his journey thru life. Christmas joy for a fond and lov ing wife and two fine children. “Fouah below zero s’mawnin’,” said a Southerner residing here. “It makes me shiveh wheneveh I think of it. No mo’ No’th Pole expeditions foil me when I get thru with this one ” The second barber—he of the light hair, and mild blue eyes— who uses Powers’ soap—speaks French like a Parisian. He says when it snows in Norway it raises the Dickens in Sweden. A compatriot blew into the print shop the other day and said, “good morning, gentlemen.” The print ers all gasped for breath fearing the aforesaid party had gotten in to the wrong room. Uncle John, president of the Chautauqua Circle opines the Bul garians are poor warriors. He says “they are like the Dutch Boers who shoot and run and hide. And when the coast is clear they shoot and run and hide some more.” Si Haskell was observed coming down the main avenue the other day with “one of them slips” in his hand. “He must have chased a wolf up to the hospital,” ejacu lated the slim printer. “And prob ably got locoed,” retorted the fel ler who oan lift 75 pounds with bis little finger. Feeling hippicanarious? A politician is a person who promises the earth and grabs ev erything in sight for himself. Gilbert, the captain’s runner and Fidus Achates, is becoming more pulohntudinous as he grows older. This is due to his ability to hop np the stairs five steps at a time when he summons persons to court. Butch says if weight is the only requirement he might qualify for the presidency as lie weighs more than 200 pounds figuring at the rate of 20 ounces to the pound. Butoli believes in full weight at all times. A lady in passing thru the print shop when the golden-haired plumber was tinkering with the steam pipes remarked upon ob serving him: “Oh, I thought it was a ball of fire and it made me dizzy.” Fact. The printer who eats pebbles says that at the rate of progress he is r.ow making he expects to be able to digest shingle nails when he gets out. After a while no doubt he will be eating steel rails foi a midnight snack. Unole John announces the Chautauqua Circle has reached the limit of its membership and has eleven applicants on the wait ing list. As the older members drop out by reason of discharge or parole the applicants will be ad mitted to membership. „“Man’s inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn,” wrote Burns in the long, long ago. This is the season of the year when all should forgive and for get. But the modern version is, “get even with your enemies first and forgive them afterward.” A fellow with his hand done np in a bandage said: “No, that did n’t happen in my sleep fixing an automobile or an airship. One of the machines in the shop start ed to fly up and hit me on the nose and I slapped it with my fist. Result—two fingers nearly went the way of all things earthly. I’ll try to sidestep next time.” “Had a great time last night,” said one of the officers. “Attend ed a banquet—had lots of good things to eat, plenty of Rhine wine and sour wine to drink —also 25-cent cigars to smoke.” “Never mind the wines,” said one of the boys, “but a second-hand smOl of the whiffs of those 25 centers would make us forget very many things.” The sayings of King Solomon promulgated thousands of years ago are as applicable today as they were when written. Read them They will do you good. Here are a few more: “Let not mercy and truth forsake thee.” “Be not wise in thine own eyes.” “Despise not the chastening of the Lord; nei ther be weary of his correction; for whom the Lord loveth he cor rected. Happy is the man that findeth wisdom and getteth under standing for the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rabies: and all the things thou caust desire are not to be compared unto her. Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold on her; and happy is every one that retaioeth her.” Thelrmy. Receiving an offer of seven shil lings a day and being assured that I would not be sent at once to the front, I decided to enlist, the regi ment being called the Duke of Ed inburgh’s Own Volunteer Rifles. I was quartered at a place called the Castle, along with many oth ers, and was there fitted out with all I needed. We were given a short drill every day, and at times with a full kit in heavy marching order we were marched to the top of Signal Hill. About the only name I was known by while in the British army was “Yank.” We stayed in Cape Town quite a while, organizing the full amount of men for the different companies. These, when the right number of men were secured, w T ere to be sent out on the line of communication, or, in other words, to hold the places the troops in front had tak en. The city was full of prisoners, wounded men, and new arrivals from all parts of Europe. In fact, Cape Town was under martial lawv At last we were told that on the morrow we would be sent to a place called Magesfontien. This is a small place about 300 miles from Cape Town and the same dis tance from Kimberley. There was a great time at the train as we were leaving, partings from loved oaes who perhaps on this earth would never meet again in life. ’Twas sad to see the aged mother clasp her boy and with a blessing give him to her country’s cause. Or to see a bright-eyed girl bid her lover good-bye, trying to smile thru her tears. There were no lov ed ones to bid the Yank good-bye, and I have always been glad of that. I will not take up your time in telling about the trips, only to say we arrived at our destination in safety. But Ido want to say something about the Kaffir and his wonderful running ability. The Kaffirs are used to carrying messages for the army. A message is wrapped in tin foil and given to the runner who places it in his mouth and starts on ? his journey. From what I could learn the Kaf fir has orders that if captured or wounded to swallow the message, and it has been stated that mes sages have been removed from the dead bodies of these runners and given to others who carried them to their destination. These Kaf firs think nothing of running sev enty to eighty miles in a single day, and they are known to have made one hundred and ten miles in twenty-four hours. Wbileivatch ing a crew of them working one day I asked one of the foremen where they lived. His answer was, “about 18 miles from here.” He said they ran to their work in the morning and also ran home at night. We in America take a street car for a less number of blocks than that, and remember they only get a shilling a day. We finally arrived at our stop ping place, and got busy pitching tents and preparing 6upper. After things were all fixed and supper over, seutr'ea were placed at differ ent points and tbe rest of us stroll ed over to see the town. I was now in a part of Africa which is called the Little Carew, a place where the sun starts to shine at 4 a. m. and sets at about 9p. m. The air was very dry, and was considered one of the finest places for con sumptives in Africa. The days were hot and the nights cool. The dreadful Hooded Cobra is found here, along with tarantulas, lizards and other poisonous reptiles. We were camped on a level place on the veldt, and here I first beoame acquainted with the long-tailed lizard. There were thousands of these harmless, little fellows all over the camp. Most of the men knew they were harmless, bat I didn’t, which caused the others much amusement. When I was ready to retire I spread my poncho on the ground, and rolling up some other things for a pillow, I figured on a quiet night’s rest. I had hardly lain down when some thing started to crawl over my breast. Of course I felt sort of queer, not knowing but what it miglit be a snake, so hastily striking a light I was surprised to see many little lizards all over my blankets and creeping all over my fellow mates who were in the tent with me. I made up my mind right away that if Mr. Lizard slept there 1 would not and forthwith started to rout them out. Of course this aroused my sleeping mates, who did not speak as mother used to, and after heaping all the old shoes and numerous other bless ing on the Yank, one old soldier told me they were the best friends a soldier had. It was too late then to get the story out of him so I de cided to wait until morning when I was determined to learn more of my bed fellows. Hunting up the old fellow the next morning, who by the way had served in India thru the Sepoy up rising, he said these little lizards would wake a person up if a snake was anywhere near, they are dead ly enemies to the whole snake tribe. For instance, if a person were sleeping out on the veldt, and a snake should happen to come that way the little lizards would crawl over the face of the sleeping one and thus arouse him. Any way after hearing that about them I decided that they would be bet ter for a bed fellow than a Cobra. About this time a great holler was started about the cook. You know when one is in the army he forgets that it is quite a task to put up a good meal, having two rails for a stove and a large iron pot to do all the cooking in. The lieutenant of our company called for a couple of men who would voluuteer to be cooks. Some one finally said: “How about the two Yanks giving us a taste of their cooking?” To make a long 6tory short a fellow from Chicago and I took the job. The rations were given to the orderly of each tent and after fix ing the things up they were placed in the tent’s dixey as the mess pot of each tent is called. • Then they were brought to the cooks, who were told how each mess was to be cooked. We got along very well for about three months, until we started to fry steaks out of the ra tions of meat issued to the com pany. I used to cut 120 chops and steaks and the two of us oooks would fry them every morning on the lids of the dixies for the men. The men who carried the steaks up to the tents got in the habit of lifting eight or ten every once in a while, and then tell the men the cooks made a mistake in thepount. This put us in a bad plight, and as there was plenty to do without this extra work we decided to cut out the steaks, first having one of the sergeants watch that the right amount weut to the men for sever al mornings. But the steaks still kept missing so the lieutenant told us to serve the food in the regular way. About two mornings after this happened one of the fellows who had always been a bully about the camp came down and said to me: “Our tent wants steaks for breakfast.” I paid no attention above telling him he knew the or ders. He went away and I forgot all about jt until after all the dix ies were gone and I was busy mak ing some coffee. Just then some oue said: “Where are those steaks?” I never raised my head from over the fire but told him he or no one else would get any steaks without orders from the captain. Without the least notice be struck me a biow ba?k of the ear and knocked roe into the fire along with the boiling coffee. That was too much for the Yank and I started in to clean out at least a part of the British army. The re sult was this. Next morning the captain oalled the bully out of the ranks and stood him up in front of the company—making the follow* iDg remarks: “In the future any of you who wish to have steaks for breakfast, I would advise you to get an order from lieadquarteis.” I mention this merely to show you that one is always best amongst his own class of people. The most of the English soldiers had no time for us Yanks. When they would get to telling of all the battles they had won and that they had never been whipped, all I had to say was, “How about that tea party?” 1 always left immediately after. Boys will be boys and sol diers always like to make their own country appear the best. Al most every night the canteen was opened where the men oould get their beer and ale and I was always glad when morning came, for if the Boers had taken a notion to drop down on the camp but few could be depended upon for help. I don’t mean to insinuate that the British are below any other na tion in bravery for they have prov ed their valor more than once. All soldiers or most all wilt never re fuse a drink. A little incident took place at the cook tent one morn ing which I 4 thi:ik you will care to know. It was this way: The meat issued to us was supposed to be mutton, or what is called the big tail sheep. These sheep each have a tail which weighs Jfrom twenty to forty pounds. In fact I out off one of the tails and it weighed nearly forty pounds. Any one who has ever seen one of these sheep will tell you I) express the truth. Anyhow they began sending a bunch of goats mixed up with the sheep—all dressed of course — and the only way to tell them apart is by t'ue color of the flesh, that of the goat being very red and coarse. One morning one of the lieutenants came down where we were cutting up the meat and said: “I say, cook, is this a bloom ing sheep or a bloody goat ?’ I broke out laughing and told him some were sheep and some were goats. “How do you tell the blooming things apart?” said he. I explained the difference and af terwards we got mostly sheep. In my next story I shall tell you a little of the Kaffirs, as they were around the camp all the time Decisions of Two Judges. A western judge, sitting in chambers, seeing from the piles of papers in the lawyers’ hands that the first case was likely to be hot ly contested, asked: “Whatis the amount in question?” “Two dol lars,” said the plaintiff’s counsel. “I’ll pay it,” said the judge, hand ing over the money. “Call the next case.” He had not the pa tience of Sir William Grant, who, after listening for two days to the arguments of counsel as to the construction of a certain act, quiet ly observed when they had done, “That act has been repealed.”— Ex. There is a fellah here who had shved up SSOO by hard knocks. He saw a $15.00 watoli unattached— grabbed it —and got four years for his watchfulness. But he had been here before. He said when he saw that time piece lying around loose he just naturally could not resist the temptation to annex it and make it work —do time. Bat instead of th£ watch it is he. « A. F. B.