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THE ARGUS. WEDNESDAYrDECEMBEK 2, 1908,
Minkie, a Christmas Story
(Continued from Page Seven.)
ing under the fur that the words meant a lot more than they ex
pressed. Dan naturally said he saw nothing particular in them, but.
you will find I was right. I noticed, too, that Schwartz drank two
glasses of the wine in quick succession, though he had declined a
liqueur the previous evening. I mentioned this to Dan, but he only
"You see a sparrow behind every bush. Schwartz is a rotter, but
be js behaving himself. Why, I have known Jim shift a quart of
beer after he had said ho wasn't thirsty, just because Mam told him
to get some lemonade."
Mam and Dorothy went to the drawing room, but Schwartz, who
was listening intently, heard Minkie go into the morning room,
whither I had followed her to study the mongoose at leisure. After a
minute or two ho made the excuse that he wanted to show the Guv'nor
a letter which he had left upstairs, and he came out, though I heard
Poll warbling "Kiss me and call mo your darling." v '
He closed tho door, walked across the hall to the foot of the stairs
and tiptoed back to the morning room. Minkie looked at me, and I
looked at Minkie.
"Now for it!" she whispered.
; Schwartz entered, lie had' the glint in hia eyes which I feel when
I have a young thrush within range of a spring. lie never turned his
head, but kept glaring at Minkie while he fumbled with tho lock till
the door was. shut. Then he crept rather than walked toward her.
"Now, you young devil," he hissed, "give it to me or Til strangle
That was the right opening. I began to feel nervous, and when
I say "nervous" I don't mean "frightened." Had Dan been in the
- room during the next few minutes he would have alarmed the house
by his stupid barking, because any one could see that Schwartz meant
mischief. Certainly Dan would have bitten him first, whereas I hid
under the leather chair. But the species of nervousness I experienced
was shared by Minkie. It was a kind of spiritual exaltation, a bracing
: of the muscles, a tuning of the heartstrings which carries one through
a desperate crisis.
For Schwartz was primed with wine and maddened by the knowl
. edge that ho had been tricked by a girl, a girl who was able to survey
his mean soul and appraise its mis
erable insufneiencv. He thought
to frighten her by letting the beast
in him peep forth at her. Even
if she screamed for protection ho
counted pn either securing the
ju-ju or learning it3 whereabouts
before her father could come to
her rescue. Then ho would ex
plain that he was joking, while Minkie would receive scant sympathy
when it became known that she had kept mum as to her possession of
an article which he prized so greatly. Of course he was sure she had
- the ju-ju, and Minkie did not commit the error of pretending she did
not understand him.
"Even if yen were able to strangle me I eould not give you what
I have not got," said she very quietly, standing straight, with her
hands behind her back. I noticed that the .fingers of her right hand
were lightly resting in those of her left, with thumbs crossed, and
that showed sho was not going to struggle. I was somewhat surprised,
because with those "wiry hands of hers I have seen her bend a Btout
; poker across her knee, and she could vault astride Lob's back from the
ground by taking a twist of his mane in them.
Minkie could have landed on Schwartz's shoulders and tapped the
bald Bpot on his head with one of the fire irons at one and the same
instant if she had meant to fight.
Her attitude seemed to me to be rather foolhardy. io matter
what you may say about the triumph of mind over matter, I believe in
having tho brute force side of the thesis ready for action if necessary.
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Schwartz, however, thought she was afraid, which prbves conclusively
that he was a man of limited ideas, even if he we re rich as Croesus,
lie did not believe her, though a gentleman should always pretend to
believe a lady, even though he knows she is telling a fib. ' His mouth
opened, and he held hi3 tongue between his teeth.Y lie came nearer,
carrying his hands tip like a hawk's talons. This was partly pantomime
and partly real. The pantomime was essential in Dale End. Had
Minkie been in the Kwantu bush she might have" seen more of the
reality; but, then, under the latter conditions she would have shown
Schwartz a 6avate kick which I taught her, and he must have bitten oft
the end of his tongue in learning it. One acquires a' lot of capital
dodges, I assure you, when defending the top of a wall on a dark night.
But she stood 1 there quite motionless, a slight, elegant .figure in
white surah silk, with black stockings and nice shiny shoes, .bid which
were a pair of her Grandmother Faulkner's paste buckles which Mam
had just given her a3 a Christmas present. Her flaxen hair was tied
with a ribbon of almost the same tint, and she wore a strip of the rib
bon a3 a waist belt. I wish somebody could have drawn her as she
faced Schwartz, who was well dressed, of course," buf whose leering
face was like the satyr's in our garden. And he had called her a devil !
Well, taste3 differ, as I have remarked previously. "Being only a cat,
I don't know much about these things, but my money goes on Schwartz
if there is a prize competition for a model of old Hoof, and Horns.
I have taken my time over this part of the sto'ryi to enable you to
realize the suspense, the wolfish aspect, the stealthy threatening of
Schwartz's advance toward Minkie. Obviously the mere clock ticking
was short enough.
"You lie!" he breathed again, so close that his. "wine laden breath
was offensive to her. Then he grasped her arms and began to pass his
coarse hands down her body. I am telling you the simple truth. He
actually searched her clothes, pressing them to her limbs to make sure
that his precious ju-ju was not secreted Bomewhere about her. I held
my breath, and I really had it in my mind to jump up at his staring
eyes, when I chanced to catch Minkie'g contemptuous mile. Then I
knew that she had fooled Schwartz again had, in fact, expected him
to adopt' some such futile dodge and had put the fetich in a secure
Disappointment nearly drove the man off his balance. He was so
enraged that he shook her violently.
"You must give it up," ho said hoarsely. "I am determined to
have it, now, this instant."
Minkie remained quite passive.
"If I call my father he will horsewhip you," 6he said coolly.
"Give me that ju-ju," he almost whimpered, such was his fury.
"You have satisfied yourself that I have not got it," she answered.
"Take your hands off hie or it will be bad for you. If you ever dare
to touch me again, you will never see it. If you try to behave as de
cently as you know how, I may perhaps discuss terms."
It was ludicrous to watch his change of attitude! From a bold
lion he became a cringing jackal. Ho almost wept
with relief at the mention of the word "terms."
"Anything you like," he cried eagerly. "What
do you want money, diamonds, anything? But
I must have it now !"
The man was crazy, talking that way to a girl
just turned fourteen. ..Had she been ten years
older she might have listened ; twenty, and she
might have closed the deal straight off. But Min
kie was young enough to be chivalrous, and 'she
meant to make Schwartz eat mud.
"You cannot obtain it now," she said, speaking
as calmly as she does to Mole when she wants the '
tennis net fixed. "You had better cool down rap
idly, because you will not see your ju-ju until New ;
"What !" he yelled, forgetting himself and trying to grab her again.
This time ' Minkie adopted tactics which I fully., approved of. . She
sprang back and sideways, placing my chair betweea Schwartz and her
self. Then she seized a heavy glass ink well. " .j.-'
"One inch nearer, and you receive this in the i ace," she said.
"And I never miss," she added, seeing that Schwartz halted.
Of course I had to move quickly too. As I passed Rikki's box
I saw him gazing out with such a puzzled expression. - It did not occur
to me previously that he understands Hindoostanee better than Eng
lish, which is a pity, as we never before have had any real excitement
like this at Holly Lodge. It was as good as a play' to see Schwartz
glowering at Minkie and estimating the effect of a two pound ink pot if
applied to hi3 nose with a velocity of ten miles per second. Talk about
motor traps and policemen's stop watches he made a-lightning cal
culation I can assure you, and it was dead against any forward move
ment. "Suppose we abandon hostilities and discuss matters reasonably,"
he said, with another violent effort at self control;" "To begin with, I
can compel you to hand over my property." ' ''
"It is not your property. You stole it. It belongs to the Kwantu
tribe. If I were to act with strict honesty I would hand it to Princo
John." "; " "
Schwartz fell into the net like the silliest bunny that ever ran for
a hedge. Ho assumed instantly that Minkie could be bribed.
"You are too young to judge of such mattert," he sneered.
"Moreover, I have only to appeal to your father" .
"You will find him in the dining room." ; -
Boor Schwartz I I was beginning to pity, him.' Even the mon
goose saw the joke and grinned, because we huriting 'animals know
all about bluff. We meet with lota of it down our way. Ho deter
mined that it was advisable to deal TOth Minkie herself, which was
precisely what she wanted."-; You see, these rich men think money will
buy anything. ' "' ' ."' .
"Why New Year's day?" he asked anxiously' While I noticed
chat his collar was limp with perspiration. "Why not tonight? I
have plenty of money in .notes. And if more is needed I would never
dream of stopping a check once it is written." '
"I cannot give you the ju-ju before this day, week," said Minkie.
"I have my reasons, and I decline to state them'.'7 Nor can I tell you
my terms until two or three days have passed. But T want 50. now
for expenses. If you have not that sum with you I can wait until
tomorrow or the day after." ' y .v- - -
Schwartz gazed at her with amazement He was burning to ask
her a dozen questions, but Dan. came scratching and sniffing at the j Millions
door, so they might be interrupted any moment. The man dared not
forego the opportunity of clinching the bargain, yet his greed kept
him back. . '
"Fifty pounds! Expenses!" he protested. "Why, how much do
you expect me to pay for the thing itself ?" .
-; "No matter," said Minkie. "I can easily get the - money else
where." He knew she meant the manor house, and that frightened him.
Dan kent scratchinff awav and savinff: "Let me in I What's on?
Bones and cleavers, open the door I" Schwartz produced a pocketbook c c J rm
... . ; " C3 -
blood which circulate throughout the
The Awfurtoll Collected by Consump
tion. If people could only understand that
Catarrh is an internal scrofula that
nothing' applied externally does much
good they w6ild not need to be
warned so often about this fatal dis
ease, which, when neglected, invarjably
ends up in Consumption, at the cost
of millions of lives every year. Yet
Catarr'a is easily cured if the right
and pulled out a note.
"There 1" he cried.- "Will that suffice ?" V.
; It was 50 all right, but Minkie did not trouble to examine it.
"Yes," she said. "I can change it at the bank if necessary." f
- "And you promise" , ' j!" r
"You shall have your ju-ju on New Year's day." .
"But I-insist on learning something further as to its safety. How
can you be sure Prince John"
Just then Mam heard Dan damaging our best paint. She crossed
the hall and flung the door wide.
"This wretched dog" she began, but stopped short on seeing
Schwartz and Minkie. Schwartz swallowed something and grinned
like a death's head.
"This mongoose is an extraordinary creature," he. said. 1 havo
taken quite a fancy to him."
He rejoined the Guv'nor, as he had the letter in his pocketbook
all the time. Dolly was playing and singing "Du, du liegst mir im
llerzen," so Mam thought she had a good chance of explaining mat
ters to Minkie. . "
"I hope you will be nice to Mr. Schwartz if he takes an interest in
your pets," she said. "You annoyed your father considerably during
. dinner by your unwarrantable hos- j
tility to our guest. I am more
than surprised at you."
"Please forgive me, mother,
dear. And you might tell Dad
that I have cleared away all misun
derstandings between Mr. Schwartz
"Misunderstandings, child ! How can you use such a word where
a gentleman is concerned of whom you have seen so little ?"
"Tell me, "mummy, dear. Is Mr. Schwartz going to lend Dad
some money ?" asked Minkie. i
"Who told you that ?" cried Mam.
"No one. I just imagined it, and I will tell you why. One day
last week I saw that Dad was awfully cut up about something he read
in the paper. It was about the Kwantu Mines," limited. I know, be
cause I picked up the paper in order to see what was worrying Dad."
"But you shouldn't," said Mam, though her lips quivered a little.
Now, there is not a person alive who can be more affectionate than
Minkie with those whom she loves. I like being petted myself, so J
know. She put her arms around her mother and whispered:
"I hope Dad and you won't fret. . I am sure everything will come
right in the end. Don't you think it is a sign of something out of the
j common going to happen when this black prince come3 to our house, a
man from the very place which is causing Dad so much trouble ?"
While Mam searched for her handkerchief Dan muttered to me:
"A pretty game you've been having here while I was looking after
affairs outside. What has Schwartz been up to? And what good is a
cat, anyhow ?" -That
put my back up.
"Let me tell you that if you had been in this room during the past
five minutes you would have made a beastly fool of yourself and
spoiled the finest bit of sport we've ever had," said L
He was so tickled with conceit that he sneezed.
"Go away and play, pussy," ho sniggered. "You meow while I
act. Why, I've been chasing niggers all over the place."
That startled me. Bad as he is, Dan never lies.
"Chasing niggers !" I cried. "Are there more of 'em ?"
"I counted no less than five," he growled, strutting about in great
style and rather alarming the mongoose. I' assure you his news so
upset me that I paid no attention to what Minkie and Mam were say
ing until I heard Minkie mention Jack's name.
"I wish you could persuade Dad to see Captain Stanhope," she
said. "The merest little note Avould bring him here tomorrow, and
there can be no doubt he would give Dad some useful information."
"Ah, my dear, if I had my way things would be different," sighed
Mam. Then, feeling that discussion would do no gobd? she bustled
out, bidding Minkie turn the gas low and come to the drawing room.
Dan was bursting to get Minkie outside and let her know about the
suspicious characters who were prowling round our house, but she
wouldn't listen to him. "
"Oh, be quiet," she commanded.' "I want to do a sum."
First, she took the crisp note out of her pocket and looked to see
if it was really 50.
"Let me reckon up," she said then. "I began yesterday with a
crooked sixpence. I gave the porter a shilling out of Schwartz's fiver
for telling me Jack arrived by the 4:20. So now I have 54 19s.
6L Good old ju-ju 1 Keep it going 1 I am pretty strong in arith
metic, but if you maintain that rate of increase until New Year's day
I shall lose count. Anyhow, they'll want a bigger bank at Dale End.
Now, Dan, I'm ready. - What is it?"
But before she crossed the hall she rescued the ju-ju from its hid
ing place at the back of the grandfather's clock.
the entire system. External remedies
give but temporary relief. Although
the effects are often seen in the form
of pimples, rash, eczema or dry scaly
skin, the trouble is internal, and can
never be tured by external remedies.
The oly v.ay to cure Catarrh is by
employing a medicine which is absorb
ed awl carried by the blood to all parts
of ihe system, so that the mucou:s
Membrane or internal lining of the
body is thoroughly medicated, soothed,
disinfected of germ matter and the
We have a remedy prepared from
the prescription of a physician who
for thirty years studied and made
Catarrh a specialty and whose record
of success vas a cure in every casa
where his treatment was followed ai
prescribed. That remedy is Rexall
Mucu-Tone. We are so positive that
it will cure Catarrh in all its various
forms, whether acute or chronic, that
we promise to return every penny paid
us for tire medicine in every case ...
where it fails to cure or .for any rea-
son does not satisfy the user . ..
We want you to try Rexall Mucu- ...
Tone on our recommendation and guar
antee. We are right here where you .
live, and you do not contract any ob
ligation or risk when you try Rexall
Mucu-Tone cn our guarantee. Wo
have Rexall Mucu-Tone in two sizes.
The prices are 50c and $1. Very often
the 50c size effects a cure. Of course,
in chronic cases a longer treatment is
necessary. The average in-such in-
stances is thiee $1.00 bottles. T. II.
Legend of Moses.
The story of the cause of Moses
slowness of speech is given in the Tal
mud and runs as follows: I'haraoh was
one day sitting on his throne with
Moses on his lap when the child took
off the king's crown and put it on his
own head. The "wise men' tried to
persuade the king that this was trea
son, for which the child ought to be
put to death, but Jethro replied: "It is
the act of a child who knows no bet
ter. Let two plates be set before him,
one containing gold and the other red
hot coals, and you will find he will pre
fer the latter to the former." The ex
periment being made, the child snatch
ed up one of the live coals, put It into
its mouth and burned Its tongue so "se
verely that it was ever after "heavy
and 6low of speech." New York American.
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(To To Continued.)