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The Intermountain Catholic. (Salt Lake City [Utah] ;) 1899-1920, September 01, 1900, Image 1

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Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn93062856/1900-09-01/ed-1/seq-1/

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+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + A L 1 J J J 1 I +
i I
E A Bridger in the Catholic World for
The inexperienced traveler in the
Northwest finds a constant source of
amazement in the rude chapels which
he encounters in all Darts of this vast
b area and the bronzed and hardened
prospector and the veteran trapper ac
customed as they are to the sight can
i never fail to be impressed by these
silt > nt monuments to the < votion and
sacrifice of those noble men who left
behind them the hopes and ambitions
of early life to bring to the Indians of
that region the light of the Gospel to
the advancement of which they hud
consecrated their lives
In Montana and Idaho the traveler
finds these white crosses and tiny spires
in the most unexpected places and
the surprise is invariably a pleasant
one No valley was too secluded and
no mountain range too inaccessible for
the zealous ardor of these black gowned
messengers of peace and no tribe was
too fierce for their earnest endeavor
And thus it is that the white traveler
from the gold hunter of the early
days to the pleasure seeker of the
present finds in lonely vale and upon
towering aeak the white cross which
tells of saintly devotion to the Gos
pel of Peace
t Tthe crucifix penetrated where the
sword WM powerless in those days of
old and in the reclaiming of
the wildernesses of the Northwest
the priest haH played as import
ant a part as the soldier With
out their peaceful agency the white
mans process would have been re
tarded for years and the settlement
of the fertile fields and the develop
ment of the mines of wealth would I
have been seriously checked
The priests was a peaceful mission I
No trumpet of fame has ever heralded
the noble deeds of sacrifice and devo
tion wrought by these holy men Their
names are comparatively unknown
and their sole earthly reward is found
in the veneration and respect enter
tained for them by the sons of the
forest and plain whom they came to
reclaim for the kingdom of their
Long before the great northwest had
ceased to form a portion of the great
American Desert of the atlas these
blackrobed priests had begun their
work of Christianity and civilization
The earliest of the goldseekers found
the Catholic missions an established
feature of this unknown country and I
the outposts of the fur companies were
scarcely in advance of the westward
march of these heralds of the Gospel
They were more than priests They
were physicians teachers and counsel
lors Many a miner and trapper owes
his life to the ministrations of these
men and to the Indian they are still
in memory the embodiment of the
i peace and good will which they taught
At the name of Father Ravalli the
I sternest Indian will display emotion
and even old Chariot the stubborn
chief of the Bitter Root Valley In
dians mentions his name with rever
nee It was of these men that Long
fellow wrote
liOn the western slope of the moun
Dwells in his little village the Black
Thief of the mission I
Much he teaches the people I
And tells them of Mary and Jesus
1I 1
I It was nearly seventy years ago that
the Indians of the tribes now repre
sented upon the Flathead Indian reser
I vation first learned of the Christian
religion The bearers of the tidings
Were men of their own raceIroquois
rttaches of one of the fur companies
who had been taught the new religion
in the missions of the Mississippi val I
ley The story told by these mes
o ng ers awakened a desire among the I f
Sehsh Flatheads to know more of the
v onderful religion and to have among I
them some of the white teachers of I
vhom they had beentold
Around the council fire the matter I
nat discussed again and again until
in lR31 it was decided to send repre
2000 miles dis
ss ntativ > s to St Louis
Jant and known to the Indians
through the fur traders to secure for I
who should tell
1 > iem a Black Gown
them the story of the new religion No
tiling over came back of this party
uhfrh probably was exterminated by
some of the hostile tribes through
Undaunted I
hofie territory it had to pass
daunted by this occurrence a second j
< legation nap sent frrth and this time I
he Indians secured a promise that a I
Y > rif > st would b nt to them I
Patiently they waited until 1873 when
they sent a third embassy to the settle
massacred by
meats This party was ma
the Fioux and still no priest came
But the desire for knowledge of then
that the
rnw religion was so strong
Indians were not deterred by the fail
uie of these two successive expeditions
and in 1830 two young Iroquois braves
of foes and
set out to run the gauntlet
1o brave the hardships of the long
journey Their attempt was doubly
successful They made the journey
mfply and brought back with them
Father de Smet of the Society of
1PSUIit11f uioneer of Christianity in
the northwest One of these young
Indians whom the fathers christened
pptrr 5ei I forward in haste to prepare
his neotde for the coming of the Back
Hob while the other Ignatius re
mained to accompany the missionary
0 n hit long journey to an unknown
land and an unknown people It was
April 1S40 when Father De Smet and
companion joined a west
Ins dusky <
bound caravan for the trio to the
Rocky Mountains The priest was
stricken with fever on the plains but
recovered and in June at Green River
in Wyoming met a delegation sent by
the trlb to welcome him
One month later Tuly 14 < he met in
the valley of the Bitter Root sixteen
hundred Indian < = Selih Flat heads
and Pend dOreilles and immediately
It is
began his labors as a
related that the chiefs of the assembled
tribes offered him the temporal sov
ereignty of their people but he I
taught them that his mission was
The legends
Df a different nature
of the church have it that on the
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evening of that day two thousand 1
Indians recided a prayer and chanted
a hymn Before the month had end
ed Father De Smet had bantized six
hundred India is and the new religion
was well established in the wilderness
The brave old man remain for several
months studying the people and the
country and then decided to return to I
St Louis for aid The way was long 1
and the journey periloustribes of hos I I
tile Indians occupying much of the in
termediate countrv but the black
gown of his society was a sure do I
fence and after many privations he
reached his friends and in the spring I
of the following year returned to his
Indian charges with two priests and
three lay brothers of his order
These lay brothers were mechanics I
and under their direction the first
mission church in what is now Montana
tana was erected The location chosen
was on the Bitter Root river near the
present site of Stevensville the exact I
spot being where the wagon bridge of j
that town now snans the clear blue J j
stream which waters this remarkable
valley On Rosary Sunday 1S41 a cross
was raised and tearful faces were j I
turned toward Heaven while the pio
neer of Christianity prayed ior the suc
cess of this new mission But the tears
were tears of Joy and hopefulness and
the fathers carried on their work un
ceasingly Not only did they labor for
the spiritual welfare of the red men
but they also sought to improve their I
physical condition The Indians were
instructed in agricultural pursuits
which they eagerly followed and their
condition was materially improved
A chanel and a residence were com
pleted that year and surrounded with
a palisade for defence for there were
hostile tribes across the mountain
This was the first mission in the
Northwest and here was planted the
germ which was likened to a mustard I
seed Faithfully and devotedly did the
heroic priests labor in their new field I
and the Eternal Father whom they
served indeed blessed their efforts In i
the rude log church which was erected I
in the shadow of the cross which was
planted on that Rosary Sunday the
faithful teachers led their savage I
charges in the of Christian
way truth I
Their daily life was one of constant
service and untiring devotion to duty I
They never faltered in the good work j
which they bad undertaken and they I
ministered faithfully to the moral and
physical needs of the Indians priests
teachers and physicians as the case I
might be
lt is a source of regret that the log
building which served them as a church
in these early days was afterward pUllI jed j
ed down when the permanent mission j
was located a little farther up the I j
river I
After spending a busy year at the I
J mission organizing the work and
studying the needs of the new field
Father De Smet returned to St Louis
and from there went to Europe where
he obtained new assistants to accom
pany him to his field of labor in the
distant wilderness
In the latetr part of 1843 they sailed
from Antwerp for the Pacific Coast the
party including several priests and lay
brothers and six sisters of the Congre I
gation of Our Lady After an unevent
ful although tedious journey they
reached Fort Vancouver in August
1844 The fathers and lay brothers
then made the perilous overland jour
ney to the Bitter Root valley in safety
and with additional help Father De
Smet took up again the work which I
he had inaugurated three years before
Among the fathers who came with
Father De Smet from Europe at this j
time was Father RavaJli the grandest
figure in all the history of the North I
west A man of wonderful ability and j
amazing capacity for work he entered
into the duties of the mission with a j
zeal which could have been inspired by I
no ordinary motive His career has no
parallel in the annals of civilization
He was a man among millions
With this strong support Father De
Smet was able to accomplish much in
the way of civilizing the Indians The
work progressed rapidly and for
six years was uninterrupted
the advent of the fur trad I
ers caused trouble among the
Indians and the unbounded fth
which they had had in the fathers was
disturbed The position of the mis
sionaries became dangerous and in
1S50 the mission was regretfully aban
doned For sixteen years it was un
One can imagine the grief of the
fathers as they saw the results of their
long years of denial and labor swept
away and that by the faithlessness of
the ° whtes It as a sad blow and
the missionarIes felt it keenly They
had possessed the unbounded confi
dence of the red men until men of
their own race set the example of per
fidy and fraud which the Indians fol
lowed it must be confessed more
readily than they had learned the les
I son or the priests The discontent of
the indians was aggravated by the
invasion of their hunting grounds and
grazing lands by the < trappers and
traders and they rebelled
The fathers driven out the Indians
soon relapsed into the old conditions
I and habits of their savagery and it
was not until 1SGG > hat the mission was
I reoccupied In that year Father Ra
valli returned to St Marys dear old
St Marys he always railed itand
he never left it again There his re
mains lie in the little graveyard near
the church amid scenes which he loved
RO dearly
When he returned he found it neces
sary to buIld a new church and a
location was chosen about a mile from
the original site where the present
buildings were erected The work
the mission was carried on successfully
until the Bitter Root Flathead Indians
were removed to the Jocko agency
Since that time the church is but
rarely opened for service It is only
when occasionally a priest visKs the
mission that the doors are opened and
the walls once more echo the chants
and responses of the impressive Cath
olic service Everything is preserved
however as it was left when the mis
sion was regretfully abandoned by the
priests and by the Indians The latter
now return frequently in family or
tribal groups to visit the scenes so
dear to them and when they speak of
the place H is always sorrowfully for
they were deeply attached to It and
suffer all the pangsof homesickness for
their fathers home and the home of
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their own younger days
The buildings are all well preserved
and arc scrupulously cared for by John
Rainsville the custodian who is al
ways willing to guide visitors through
the old structures and who is eloquent
in his quaint and earnest description
of the work and achievements of the
old father Under his escort it has
been the good fortune of the writer to
vis i > these old buildings hallowed by
sscred associations on several occa
sions and each time the impression
H ace has been deeper and more sig I
nificant i i
The church proper is l > xSl feet built
of hewn logs and chinked with mor
tar The fiont of the building is clap
boarded and painted The log wills
are neatly whitewashed In the middle
of the front tDer five feet square and
twentyfive feet high surmounted by
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an octagonal belfry in which swings a
small bell
The interior is still furnishedthe z1 l
tar with its images and candelabra
the nave with chairs many of them
made by the fathers and lay brothers
by hand labor the little gallery with
wooden benches Everything is as
clean as if service was to be held there
immediately Half way down the nave
is a diminutive confessional formed
I bv a small latticed screen built out
from the wall As the visitor gazes at
this he can fanny the vendible father
listening with averted head to the self
accusations of his dusky charges and
dismissing them in peace In fact
everything about the mission is tender
ly suggestive of some phase of the life
of this remarkable man
J Adjoining the church at the rear and
communicating with it by a small door
opening at one side of the altar is a
I low onestory log building of one
room which was evidently used by
Father Ravalli as a study Here is his
heavy oldfashioned mahogany secre
tary still containing many of his pa
pers and upon the walls are religious
pictures as he hung them years
ago Here the zealous priest per
formed much of his work planning for
the improvement of his charges and
for the advancement of his church It
Is a room which has played a vitally
important part in the history of Mon
Back of this second building and
attached to it is a still olwer one
which while apparently built at an
earlier time yet forms Ja portion of
the united structure In this room
Father Ravalli dIed Here is his med
icine chest from which he adminis
tered to the physical ailments of all
who suffered Here too is the bed
upon which Father Ravalli spent the
last few yqars of hid life hopelessly
crippled vot always cheerful and
from uhichhis soul took flight to the
eternal reward so richly won
One cannot hem but pause here and
gaze reverently about him It is a hal
lowed snot It preaches a silent ser
mon of devption and selfdenial that
even the mqst heedless must consider
Opening from the rear of this room
are the kitchen dIning room and store
room used by Father Ravalli apd his
associate the venerable Father DAte
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I Extending north at a right angle
i from the rear corner of this building is
a line of sheds and poultry houses and
at right angles tQ these again are the
stables and wagon sheds all built by
those dauntless missionaries and all
still in good repair The workmanship
of all is excellent Surmounting tne
pyramidal roof tlr the dove cote is a
weathercock fashlored it Is i said by
Father Ravalli from an old tin can and
still showinsr traces of the bright col
ors with which it was originally deck
ed It shows how the great mind found
I recreation and enjovmen in little
things It has been begged by scores
of people l but the place will not be
despoiled by relic hunters while vigi
lant John RainsyiIe in charge
Across the front of the mission
builling is arow of stately cottonwood
trees planty more than thirty years
ago by the priests forming a delightful
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I j foreground to the picture presented by
the historic group of buildings 1
I Such is St Marys Mission today A
monument to bravery as great as was
I ever recorded in historys pages to de I
votion as unceasing as was ever sung
by minstrel or by bard of a zeal Unsurpassed
i I surpassed in the annals of the church
j of = irenius which shines more bril
i liantly as passing years enable a fuller
I comprehension of its grandeur It tells
the story of the sublime devotion of a
I j rraster mind to a beloved cause
I Greater love hath non an than this
that he lay down his life for his
I friend
Justice Frederick Smyth of New York
Is dead at Atlantic City N J of pneu
monia Justice Smyth went there July
2 for his health Several days ago he
contracted pneumonia The patients
constitution was so weakened that
medical aid was of no avail
Justice Frederick Smyth was known
from one end of the country to thefoth
er especially as Recorder Smyth for as
recorder he presided over some of the
most remarkable criminal cases that
were ever tried in any American court
His rulings were rarely reversed By
birth and long allegiance he was an
Episcopalian Two years ago hov
ever during an illness he was con
verted to the Catholic Church
Justice Smyth was born near Gal
way Ireland in 1822 His father left I
no Inheritance Young Smyth came to
the United States and was la clerk in
John McKeons law office when Mc
Keon became a marine court j justice
He was admitted to the bar in 1855
He was a delegate to the Tilden na
tional convention and was a Tijden
elector He was appointed recorder in
1879 to fill out John K Hacketts un
expired term and was elected to suc
ceed himself for fourteen yearn the
fall of that year As a practicing1aV <
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yer while he was McKeons assistant
I he was engaged in many celebrated
cases He prepared the evidence en
i which the British minister Sir John
Crampton and two British consuls
were ordered our of the country for
violating the neutrality laws As re
corder he was feared by ail criminals
I He had no sympathy for the habitual
I I offender he was rarely lenient to such
I and it is said that he pronounced more
I death sentences than any other man
i who was recorder for the same length
of time Among the celebrated trials
over which he presided were those of
Carlyle Harris Dr R W Buchanan
I Danny Driscoll Frenchy an1 Biff
Elison John W Goff defeaterl Smyth
for recorder in the election whi h put
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> 0
in the Strong administration She 1 tlv
afterward Smyth was appointed lo the
supreme court bench
Justice Smyth was a member of the
Episcopal Church but in ISCi re be
came a Catholic His wire had died i
but a short time before and he was I
seriously ill at his sesilance 16 West
Fortyeighth street n Saturday Feb
19 the justice sent a mesengir in a
carriage to the parish hoii e of J Ga
briels Church in West Thiriy3eenth
street The messenger bore a note to
Mgr Farley pastor of St Gabriels and
auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of
New York who had been a friend of
Justice Smyth for years The note re
quested Bishop Farley to call at his
earliest convenience Bishop Farley
responded at once and when he was
shown to the sick mans room Justice
Smyth informed him that he wished to
be received into the Catholic Church
without loss of time The request sur
prised the bishop somewhat as the ap
plicant is usually required to prepare I I
himself by a course of instruction cov
ering several months Upon question
ing Justice Smyth howevr the I bishop
found him well prepared and after the
justice had made a profession cf faith
Bishop Fancy bantized him anl an
ointed him with holy oil He ilo ad
ministered the last rites of Ihe Church
to the justice as it was thought that
lie could not recover Justice rimyths
daughter joined the Catholic Church
twoyears before his conversion
a a IS
v Itf is announced that a plenary Synod
of the Irish Council will be held this
year at Maynoath College Fifty
years have now lapsed since the first
plenary Synod was held at Thurles and
twemtyfive years since the second
waV delebrated at Maynooth The
Synod will consist of the members of
t e Irish Hierarchy and the mitred
abbot of Mount Melleray
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Revo Those 110 1alones
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T rae s in Ireland t
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Editorial Correspondence
Killarney Ireland Aug 11 1900
Since my last letter descriptive of m >
travels in Ireland I have managed tc
ee a largeportion of the Emerald Isle
t Some of my journeyings have been b >
I rail some 200 miles by coach and
i nearly 100 miles on horseback
Before leaving Dublin I paid a visit
to All Hallows College beautifully sit
uated in Drumcondra one of the
charming suburbs of the city All Hal
lows as is well known is the Irish
Missionary College which has supplied
so many able priests to foreign
sions The readers of The Intermoun
I tain Catholic will understand the char
I acter of All Hallows when they recall
that Bishop Scanlan of Salt Lake is
one of its graduates
A beautiful chapel has recently been
erected on the grounds which with
numerous other improvements make
All Hallows College an ideal semin
From Dublin I started out toward the
west of Ireland
The first point of interest was May
nooth famous for its college which
supplies the Church of Ireland with
its priesthood The College of May
nooth was founded in 1705 Previous to
this students intended for the Catholic
priesthood were obliged to seek their
education abroad In consideration of
the difficulties attending such a I course
the Irish Parliament appropriated a
sum of money for the establishment ot
a clerical college to which the royal
assent was given The imperial Par
liament granted an annual sum for the
support of the college which was in
adequate to Its needs
In 1SJ5 Peel in spite of strong oppo
sition carried a measure appropriating
30000 for building purposes and an
annual grant of 26000
Under the Irish Church tcdf 1S69
the college received the sum of 363000
in lieu of the annual grant Since this
date the college has been under the
special protection of the Irish hier
archy When the supply of priests of
Maynooth exceeds the needs of the
Irish mission they are allowed to seek
places elsewhere Hence a number of
prists some of them very able men
are to be found in various dioceses in
the United States
At the close of my visit to Maynooth
I went on to Mullingar in the County
West Meath which had especial in
terest for me for it was here that my
father was born Mullingar is noted
as one of the most extensive military
depots in Ireland Although it is one
of the oldest of Irish towns its ap
pearance would indicate that it was of
modern origin
Mullingar is the center of a large
trade in agricultural produce and live
stock The land about it is productive
and a general air of prosperity sur
rounds the place I was quite satisfied
however after visiting the city that
my father had left it to take up his
abode in the United States
From Mullingar it is a pleasant jour
ney to Athlonethat most famous of
Irish towns which has played a most
important part in the history of Erin
Athlone is beautifully situated on the
Shannon and like Mullingar is one off
the principal military stations Al
though the land in this part of Ireland
is unusually fertile the prospects for
the present year are anything but
I bright
The crops have suffered materially
owing to the recent rains and the dam
age done by the incessant downpour
has been further increased by the
heavy gales The potato crop has suf
ftred largely and the corn where un
cut has in many places been beaten
down and where cut it has deterior
ated a good deal In value With the
allaround rise in the prices of food
stuffs and the partial loss of the har
vest due to the causes mentioned the
prospect for the winter is not a cheer
ful one to contemplate
Athlone is not obliged to depend en
titrely upon agricultural products for
it possesses woolen and other indus
On the last bank of the Shannon are
to be seen some of the remains of the
old Franciscan Abbey which was built
in 1241 It seems that centuries ago
the Franciscan Monks were numerous
all over Ireland for in various parts
ruins of their old monasteries are to
be found
At Kilconnell about fifteen miles
west of Athlone is to be found one of
the most interesting of the ruined ab
beys in Ireland
The abbey at Kilconnell also be
longed to the Franciscan Friars and
ws founded for them by William
OKelley as far back as the year 1400
although it is not improbable that it
WAS built on the site of a much earlier
church erected by St Connall
With the exception of Muckross Ab
bey the Abbey at Kilconnefi interested
me more perhaps than any of the ruins
I have seen Speaking of it a writer
As picturesque a ruin as can be
where there are neither hills rocks
lake nor river and but a few distant
trees perhaps its ivymantled i tower
and roofless gables were JbeJLter in keep
ing with the waste antl desolation that
at M oJ
presided r over the rflaee destitute as it
i i is of any modern improvement and
decoration whatever
t Indeed I found the whole effect of
the place one of entrancing interest
After seeing It I could well understand
how Ferguson referred to it as More
like a cloister in Sicily or Spain than
anything in these Islands
In one corner of this Abbey there is
a tablet erected to the memory of the
father of the rector of the Denver Ca
thedral Rev M F Callanan I had
the pleasure of spending a day at Kil
connell as the guest of Father Calla
nans mother who made my stay ex
tremely J pleasant
Close by Kilconnell is a spot of his
toric interest which marks the battle
of Aughrim
But I must hurry along as space will
not permit me to make reference to all
the places of interest which beset the
traveler on all sides in Ireland
From the west of Ireland I returned
to Dublin and started for Cork via
Kildare Thurles and Mallow and ob
serving the interesting towns en route
Perhaps the point of greatest Interest
on the route is to be found In the neigh
borhood of Thurles where Most Rev
Archbishop Crooke resides 1 am sorry
to say that this intellectual giant of
Irish hierarchy is to use an expression
of the late Cardinal Manning slowing
in to the terminus His state of
health is so precarious that his death
may be looked for at any time His
loss will indeed be an irreparable one
to the Irish people
Father ORyan of Denver was I be
I5ee born in this part of Tipperary
and he will I am sure learn with re
gret that the great Metropolitan of
Cashel is in such poor health
I OC the interesting places in the neigh
borhood of Thurles such as Cashel in
tensely attractive to the visitor need
not speak af length for they are well
known the world over
There are three objects of attraction
in Cashel First the Ecclesiastical
I Buildings on the Rock second Hon
Abbey below it and third the Domin
ican Abbey in the town I might also
add that Father Matthew the Apostle
of Temperance was born near Cashel
Within a few miles of the town of
Knocklong further on towards Cork I
came to Hospital which is associated
with the early history of the Knights
of St John I am sure that many Den
ver Catholics especially those who are
members of the Modern Knights of St
John would have enjoyed a visit to
this place with me
Hospital was founded in 1215 by
Geoffrey De Manscis which Queen
Elizabeth afterwards gave to one of
her favorites Sir Valentine Brown
who erected what was known as Ken
mere Castle The hospital from whence
the town derived its name has passed
away but there remains in the church
I a figure of a knight in a niche of the
One can understand after a trip
through Tipperary how in the matter
of buildings it is said to be a land of
But the length of this article admon
ishes me that I must confine myself to
briefer reference and hence I hurry
along to Cork
The spreading Lee that like an Island
Enclosfth Corke with his divided
Cork is in every way splendid city
and is stamped with an air ot progress
which is pleasing to observe
Like many other parts of Ireland it
possesses a magnificent cathedral in
addition to which there Is also the
worldfamed St Fin Barres once the
possession of the Church but which
was robbed and plundered by modern
I In one paragraph Macauler thus
briefly summarizes the history of Cork
In 1689 the city extended over about
which it
of the space
onetenth part
now covers and was Intersected by
muddy streams which have long
concealed by arches and buildings A
desolate marsh in which the sports
man who pursued the waterfowl sank
deep in water and mire at every step
covered tne area now occupied by
stately buildings of great commercial
one visits Cork with
To be sure no
out going out to Blarney so I took
a jaunting car and drove on a beauti
ful morning to
The groves of Blarney
They look so charming I
Down by the purlings
Of sweet silent brooks
I went through the athletic or rather
acrobatic performance of kissing the
Blarney stone which if any one thinks
is an easy task will find out the con
vengeance once he attempts
trary with a
Mr James T Finlan of Butte Mont
can bear testimony to the truth of this
latter assertion
For the benefit of Mr Finlens
Mends in Montana I must tell a story
out of school On this first attempt
to kiss the Blarney stone he was un
accompanied by a body guard and be
ing deficient in acrobatic qualities his
courage failed him and he returned
i to Cork without accomplishing his pur
l pose Nothing daunted he returned to
Blarney the following day having en

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