The Project Gutenberg eBook of Harper's Round Table, December 15, 1896

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Title: Harper's Round Table, December 15, 1896

Author: Various

Release date: August 17, 2019 [eBook #60110]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Annie R. McGuire



[Pg 153]


Copyright, 1896, by Harper & Brothers. All Rights Reserved.

published weekly.NEW YORK, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 15, 1896.five cents a copy.
vol. xviii.—no. 894.two dollars a year.




Once upon a time there lived on a large plantation in Middle Georgia a boy who was known as Little Crotchet. It was a very queer name, to be sure, but it seemed to fit the lad to a T. When he was a wee bit of a chap he fell seriously ill, and when, many weeks afterwards, the doctors said the worst was over, it was found that he had lost the use of his legs, and that he would never be able to run about and play as other children do. When he was told about this he laughed, and said he had known all along that he would never be able to run about on his feet again; but he had plans of his own, and he told his father that he wanted a pair of crutches made.

"But you can't use them, my son," said his father.

"Anyhow, I can try," insisted the lad.

The doctors were told of his desire, and these wise men put their heads together.

"It is a crotchet," they declared, "but it will be no harm for him to try."

"It is a little crotchet," said his mother, "and he shall have the crutches."

Thus it came about that the lad got both his name and[Pg 154] his crutches, for his father insisted on calling him Little Crotchet after that, and he also insisted on sending all the way to Philadelphia for the crutches. They seemed to be a long time in coming, for in those days they had to be brought to Charleston in a sailing-vessel, and then sent by way of Augusta in a stage-coach; but when they came they were very welcome, for Little Crotchet had been inquiring for them every day in the week, and Sunday too. And yet when they came, strange to say, he seemed to have lost his interest in them. His mother brought them in joyously, but there was not even a glad smile on the lad's face. He looked at them gravely, weighed them in his hands, laid them across the foot of the bed, and then turned his head on his pillow, as if he wanted to go to sleep. His mother was surprised, and not a little hurt, as mothers will be when they do not understand their children; but she respected his wishes, darkened the room, kissed the boy, and closed the door gently.

When everything was still, Little Crotchet sat up in bed, seized his crutches, and proceeded to try them. He did this every day for a week, and at the end of that time surprised everybody in the house, and on the place as well, by marching out on his crutches, and going from room to room without so much as touching his feet to the floor. It seemed to be a most wonderful feat to perform, and so it was; but Providence, in depriving the lad of the use of his legs, had correspondingly strengthened the muscles of his chest and arms, so that within a month he could use his crutches almost as nimbly and quite as safely as other boys use their feet. He could go up stairs and down stairs and walk about the place with as much ease apparently as those not afflicted, and it was not strange that the negroes regarded the performance with wonder akin to awe, declaring among themselves that their young master was upheld and supported by "de sperits."

And indeed it was a queer sight to see the frail lad going boldly about on crutches, his feet not touching the ground. The sight seemed to make the pet name of Little Crotchet more appropriate than ever. So his name stuck to him, even after he got his gray pony, and became a familiar figure in town and in country, as he went galloping about, his crutches strapped to the saddle, and dangling as gayly as the sword of some fine general. Thus it came to pass that no one was surprised when Little Crotchet went cantering along, his gray pony snorting fiercely, and seeming never to tire. Early or late, whenever the neighbors heard the short sharp snort of the gray pony and the rattling of the crutches, they would turn to one another and say, "Little Crotchet!" and that would be explanation enough. There seemed to be some sort of understanding between him and his gray pony.

Anybody could ride the gray pony in the pasture or in the grove around the house, but when it came to going out by the big gate, that was another matter. He could neither be led nor driven beyond that boundary by any one except Little Crotchet. It was the same when it came to crossing water. The gray pony would not cross over the smallest running brook for any one but Little Crotchet; but with the lad on his back he would plunge into the deepest stream, and, if need be, swim across it. All this deepened and confirmed the idea in the minds of the negroes that Little Crotchet was upheld and protected by "de sperits." They had heard him talking to the gray pony, and they had heard the gray pony whinny in reply. They had seen the gray pony with their little master on his back go gladly out at the big gate and rush with a snort through the plantation creek—a bold and at times a dangerous stream. Seeing these things, and knowing the temper of the pony, they had no trouble in coming to the conclusion that something supernatural was behind it all.


Thus it happened that Little Crotchet and his gray pony were pretty well known through all the country-side, for it seemed that he was never tired of riding, and that the pony was never tired of going. What was the rider's errand? Nobody knew. Why should he go skimming along the red road at day dawn? And why should he come whirling back at dusk—a red cloud of dust rising beneath the gray pony's feet? Nobody could tell.

This was almost as much of a puzzle to some of the whites as it was to the negroes; but this mystery, if it could be called such, was soon eclipsed by a phenomenon that worried some of the wisest dwellers in that region. This phenomenon, apparently very simple, began to manifest itself in early fall, and continued all through that season and during the winter and on through the spring, until warm weather set in. It was in the shape of a thin column of blue smoke that could be seen on any clear morning or late afternoon rising from the centre of Spivey's Canebrake. This place was called a canebrake because a thick, almost impenetrable, growth of canes fringed the edge of a mile-wide basin lying between the bluffs of the Oconee River and the uplands beyond. Instead of being a canebrake, it was a vast swamp, the site of cool but apparently stagnant ponds and of treacherous quagmires, in which cows, and even horses, had been known to disappear and perish. The cowitch grew there, and the yellow plumes of the poison-oak vine glittered like small torches. There, too, the thunderwood tree exuded its poisonous milk, and long serpentlike vines wound themselves around and through the trees and helped to shut out the sunlight. It was a swamp, and a very dismal one. The night birds gathered there to sleep during the day, and all sorts of creatures that shunned the sunlight or hated man found a refuge there. If the negroes had made paths through its recesses to enable them to avoid the patrol, nobody knew it but themselves.

Why, then, should a thin but steady stream of blue smoke be constantly rising upwards from the centre of Spivey's Canebrake? This was a mystery to those who first discovered it, and it soon grew to be a neighborhood mystery. During the summer the smoke could not be seen, but in the fall and winter its small thin volume went curling upward continually. Little Crotchet often watched it from the brow of Turner's Hill, the highest part of the uplands. Early in the morning or late in the afternoon the vapor would rise from the Oconee; but the vapor was white and heavy, and was blown about by the wind, while the smoke in the swamp was blue and thin, and rose straight in the air above the tops of the trees in spite of the wayward winds.

Once when Little Crotchet was sitting on his pony watching the blue smoke rise from the swamp he saw two of the neighbor farmers coming along the highway. They stopped and shook hands with the lad, and then turned to watch the thin stream of blue smoke. The morning was clear and still, and the smoke rose straight in the air, until it seemed to mingle with the upper blue. The two farmers were father and son—Jonathan Gadsby and his son Ben. They were both very well acquainted with Little Crotchet—as, indeed, everybody in the county was—and he was so bright and queer that they stood somewhat in awe of him.

"I reckin if I had a pony that wasn't afeard of nothin' I'd go right straight and find out where that fire is and what it is," remarked Ben Gadsby.

This stirred his father's ire apparently. "Why, Benjamin! Why, what on the face of the earth do you mean? Ride into that swamp! Why, you must have lost what little sense you had when you was born! I remember, jest as well as if it was day before yesterday, when Uncle Jimmy Cosby's red steer got in that swamp, and we couldn't git him out. Git him out, did I say? We couldn't even git nigh him. We could hear him beller, but we never got where we could see ha'r nor hide of him. If I was thirty years younger I'd take my foot in my hand and wade in there and see where the smoke comes from."

Little Crotchet laughed. "If I had two good legs," said he, "I'd soon see what the trouble is."

This awoke Ben Gadsby's ambition. "I believe I'll go in there and see where the fire is."

"Fire!" exclaimed old Mr. Gadsby, with some irritation. "Who said anything about fire? What living and moving creature could build a fire in that thicket? I'd like mighty well to lay my eyes on him."

[Pg 155]

"Well," said Ben Gadsby, "where you see smoke there's obliged to be fire. I've heard you say that yourself."

"Me?" exclaimed Mr. Jonathan Gadsby, with a show of alarm in the midst of his indignation. "Did I say that? Well, it was when I wasn't so much as thinking that my two eyes were my own. What about foxfire? Suppose that some quagmire or other in that there swamp has gone and got up a ruction on its own hook? Smoke without fire? Why, I've seed it many a time. And maybe that smoke comes from an eruption in the ground. What then? Who's going to know where the fire is?"

Little Crotchet laughed, but Ben Gadsby put on a very bold front. "Well," said he, "I can find bee-trees, and I'll find where that fire is."

"Well, sir," remarked Mr. Jonathan Gadsby, looking at his son with an air of pride, "find out where the smoke comes from, and we'll not expect you to see the fire."

"I wish I could go with you," said Little Crotchet.

"I don't need any company," replied Ben Gadsby. "I've done made up my mind, and I'm a-going to show the folks around here that where there's so much smoke there's obliged to be some fire."

The young man, knowing that he had some warm work before him, pulled off his coat, and tied the sleeves over his shoulder, sash fashion. Then he waved his hand to his father and to Little Crotchet, and went rapidly down the hill. He had undertaken the adventure in a spirit of bravado. He knew that a number of the neighbors had tried to solve the mystery of the smoke in the swamp and had failed. He thought, too, that he would fail; and yet he was urged on by the belief that if he should happen to succeed, all the boys and all the girls in the neighborhood would regard him as a wonderful young man. He had the same ambition that animated the knights of old, but on a smaller scale.


Now it chanced that Little Crotchet himself was on his way to the smoke in the swamp. He had been watching it, and wondering whether he should go to it by the path he knew, or whether he should go by the road that Aaron, the runaway, had told him of. Ben Gadsby interfered with his plans somewhat; for, quite by accident, young Gadsby, as he went down the hill, struck into the path that Little Crotchet knew. There was a chance to gallop along the brow of the hill, turn to the left, plunge through a shallow lagoon, and strike into the path ahead of Gadsby, and this chance Little Crotchet took. He waved his hand to Mr. Jonathan Gadsby, gave the gray pony the rein, and went galloping through the underbrush, his crutches rattling, and the rings of the bridle-bit jingling. To Mr. Jonathan Gadsby it seemed that the lad was riding recklessly, and he groaned and shook his head as he turned and went on his way.

But Little Crotchet rode on. Turning sharply to the left as soon as he got out of sight, he went plunging through the lagoon, and was soon going along the blind path a quarter of a mile ahead of Ben Gadsby. This is why young Gadsby was so much disturbed that he lost his way. He was bold enough when he started out, but by the time he had descended the hill and struck into what he thought was a cattle-path his courage began to fail him. The tall canes seemed to bend above him in a threatening manner. The silence oppressed him. Everything was so still that the echo of his own movements as he brushed along the narrow path seemed to develop into ominous whispers, as if all the goblins he had ever heard of had congregated in front of him to bar his way.

The silence, with its strange echoes, was bad enough, but when he heard the snorting of Little Crotchet's gray pony as it plunged through the lagoon, the rattle of the crutches and the jingling of the bridle-bit, he fell into a panic. What great beast could it be that went helter-skelter through this dark and silent swamp, swimming through the water and tearing through the quagmires? And yet, when Ben Gadsby would have turned back, the rank undergrowth and the trailing vines had quite obscured the track. The fear that impelled him to retrace his steps was equally powerful in impelling him to go forward. And this seemed the easiest plan. He felt that it would be just as safe to go on, having once made the venture, as to turn back. He had a presentiment that he would never find his way out anyhow, and the panic he was in nerved him to the point of desperation.

So on he went, not always trying to follow the path, but plunging forward aimlessly. In half an hour he was calmer, and pretty soon he found the ground firm under his feet. His instincts as a bee-hunter came back to him. He had started in from the east side, and he paused to take his bearings. But it was hard to see the sun, and in the recesses of the swamp the mosses grew on all sides of the trees. And yet there was a difference, which Ben Gadsby did not fail to discover and take account of. They grew thicker and larger on the north side, and remembering this, he went forward with more confidence.

He found that the middle of the swamp was comparatively dry. Huge poplar-trees stood ranged about, the largest he had ever seen. In the midst of a group of trees he found one that was hollow, and in this hollow he found the smouldering embers of a fire. But for the strange silence that surrounded him he would have given a whoop of triumph; but he restrained himself. Bee-hunter that he was, he took his coat from his shoulders and tied it around a small slim sapling standing near the big poplar where he had found the fire. It was his way when he found a bee-tree. It was a sort of guide. In returning he would take the general direction, and then hunt about until he found his coat; and it was much easier to find a tree tagged with a coat than it was to find one not similarly marked.

Thus, instead of whooping triumphantly, Ben Gadsby simply tied his coat about the nearest sapling, nodding his head significantly as he did so. He had unearthed the secret and unravelled the mystery, and now he would go and call in such of the neighbors as were near at hand and show them what a simple thing the great mystery was. He knew that he had found the hiding-place of Aaron the runaway. So he fixed his "landmark," and started out of the swamp with a lighter heart than he had when he came in.

To make sure of his latitude and longitude, he turned in his tracks when he had gone a little distance and looked for the tree on which he had tied his coat. But it was not to be seen. He retraced his steps, trying to find his coat. Looking about him cautiously, he saw the garment after a while, but it was in an entirely different direction from what he supposed it would be. It was tied to a sapling, and the sapling was near a big poplar. To satisfy himself, he returned to make a closer examination. Sure enough, there was the coat, but the poplar close by was not a hollow poplar, nor was it as large as the tree in which Ben Gadsby had found the smouldering embers of a fire.

He sat on the trunk of a fallen tree and scratched his head, and discussed the matter in his mind the best he could. Finally he concluded that it would be a very easy matter, after he found his coat again, to find the hollow poplar. So he started home again. But he had not gone far when he turned around to take another view of his coat.

It had disappeared. Ben Gadsby looked carefully around, and then a feeling of terror crept over his whole body—a feeling that nearly paralyzed his limbs. He tried to overcome this feeling, and did so to a certain degree. He plucked up sufficient courage to return and try to find his coat; but the task was indeed bewildering. He thought he had never seen so many large poplars with small slim saplings standing near them, and then he began to wander around almost aimlessly.


Suddenly he heard a scream that almost paralyzed him—a scream that was followed by the sound of a struggle going on in the thick undergrowth close at hand. He could see the muddy water splash above the bushes, and he could hear fierce growlings and gruntings. Before he could make up his mind what to do, a gigantic mulatto, with torn clothes and staring eyes, rushed out of the swamp, and came rushing by, closely pursued by a big white boar, with[Pg 156] open mouth and fierce cries. The white boar was right at the mulatto's heels, and his yellow tusks gleamed viciously as he ran with open mouth. Pursuer and pursued disappeared in the bushes with a splash and a crash, and then all was as still as before. In fact, the silence seemed profounder for this uncanny and appalling disturbance. It was so unnatural that half a minute after it occurred Ben Gadsby was not certain whether it had occurred at all. He was a pretty bold youth, having been used to the woods and fields all his life, but he had now beheld a spectacle so out of the ordinary, and of so startling a character, that he made haste to get out of the swamp as fast as his legs, weakened by fear, would carry him.

More than once, as he made his way out of the swamp, he paused to listen; and it seemed that each time he paused an owl, or some other bird of noiseless wing, made a sudden swoop at his head. Beyond the exclamation he made when this occurred the silence was unbroken. This experience was unusual enough to hasten his steps, even if he had no other motive for haste.

When nearly out of the swamp, he came upon a large poplar, by the side of which a small slim sapling was growing. Tied around this sapling was his coat, which he thought he had left in the middle of the swamp. The sight almost took his breath away.

He examined the coat carefully, and found that the sleeves were tied around the tree just as he had tied them. He felt in the pockets. Everything was just as he had left it. He examined the poplar; it was hollow, and in the hollow was a pile of ashes.

"Well!" exclaimed Ben Gadsby. "I'm the biggest fool that ever walked the earth. If I 'ain't been asleep and dreamed all this, I'm crazy; and if I've been asleep, I'm a fool."

His experience had been so queer and so confusing that he promised himself he'd never tell it where any of the older people could hear it, for he knew that they would not only treat his tale with scorn and contempt, but would make him the butt of ridicule among the younger folks. "I know exactly what they'd say," he remarked to himself. "They'd declare that a skeer'd hog run across my path, and that I was skeer'der than the hog."

So Ben Gadsby took his coat from the sapling, and went trudging along his way toward the big road. When he reached that point he turned and looked toward the swamp. Much to his surprise, the stream of blue smoke was still flowing upward. He rubbed his eyes and looked again, but there was the smoke. His surprise was still greater when he saw Little Crotchet and the gray pony come ambling up the hill in the path he had just come over.

"What did you find?" asked Little Crotchet, as he reined in the gray pony.

"Nothing—nothing at all," replied Ben Gadsby, determined not to commit himself.

"Nothing?" cried Little Crotchet. "Well, you ought to have been with me! Why, I saw sights! The birds flew in my face, and when I got in the middle of the swamp a big white hog came rushing out, and if this gray pony hadn't have been the nimblest of his kind, you'd have never seen me any more."

"Is that so?" asked Ben Gadsby, in a dazed way. "Well, I declare! 'Twas all quiet with me. I just went in and come out again, and that's all there is to it."

"I wish I'd been with you," said Little Crotchet, with a curious laugh. "Good-by!"

With that he wheeled the gray pony and rode off home. Ben Gadsby watched Little Crotchet out of sight, and then, with a gesture of despair, surprise, or indignation, flung his coat on the ground, crying, "Well, by jing!"


That night there was so much laughter in the top story of the Abercrombie house that the old Colonel himself came to the foot of the stairs and called out to know what the matter was.

"It's nobody but me," replied Little Crotchet. "I was just laughing."

Colonel Abercrombie paused, as if waiting for some further explanation, but hearing none, said, "Good-night, my son, and God bless you!"

"Good-night, father dear," exclaimed the lad, flinging a kiss at the shadow his father's candle flung on the wall. Then he turned again into his own room, where Aaron the Arab (son of Ben Ali) sat leaning against the wall, as silent and as impassive as a block of tawny marble.

Little Crotchet lay back on his bed, and the two were silent for a time. Finally Aaron said:

"The white grunter carried his play too far. He nipped a piece from my leg."

"I never saw anything like it," remarked Little Crotchet. "I thought the white pig was angry. You did that to frighten Ben Gadsby."

"Yes, little master," responded Aaron, "and I'm thinking the young man will never hunt for the smoke in the swamp any more."

Little Crotchet laughed again, as he remembered how Ben Gadsby looked as Aaron and the white pig went careening across the dry place in the swamp. There was a silence again, and then Aaron said he must be going.

"And when are you going home to your master?" Little Crotchet asked.

"Never!" replied Aaron the runaway, with emphasis. "Never! He is no master of mine. He is a bad man."

Then he undressed Little Crotchet, tucked the cover about him—for the nights were growing chilly—whispered good-night, and slipped from the window, letting down the sash gently as he went out. If any one had been watching, he would have seen the tall Arab steal along the roof until he came to the limb of an oak that touched the eaves. Along this he went nimbly, glided down the trunk to the ground, and disappeared in the darkness.


When Jacky got his new club skates he tried the old Dutch roll,
And in the course of several weeks attained his humble goal.

Then practising three hours a day, when there was ice to skate,
He learned, a fortnight later on, to cut the figure eight.

By this success encouraged, he essayed a loftier flight,
And, in a month, upon the ice his name could fairly write.

When Jacky's teacher heard of this, in truth he marvelled much,
For he had found that Jacky knew but little of the Dutch.

"In half the time you took to learn the figure eight," said he,
"You might in your arithmetic have learned the Rule of Three.

"And though your name you deftly trace with educated feet,
The penmanship you do by hand, alas! is far from neat.

"But since 'tis clear that unrequired tasks you quickest learn,
My school to an athletic club I now propose to turn;

"And then, perhaps, when tired of the stunts I'll make you do,
You'll turn for recreation to the books you now eschew."

H. G. Paine.

[Pg 157]




A little gathering of men met under a buttonwood-tree in 1792, opposite what is now No. 60 Wall Street, and formed an association for the purpose of exchange and more ready current transaction of business. From this crude organization has grown the present New York Stock Exchange with its immense capital. Installed in a dignified edifice between Broad and New streets, with an entrance on Wall Street, its eleven hundred members transact business daily between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. No transactions are allowed before or after these hours, a heavy fine being the penalty for each offence, and such contracts not being recognized by the governing committee of the Exchange.

A membership in the Stock Exchange is worth a small fortune, for the seats have sold as high as $32,500, though at present they do not bring over $18,000. The brokers are both rich and poor, but adding the value of the memberships to an estimated average capital of $100,000 for each member, $150,000,000 is a conservative figure of the capital invested.

To the casual visitor who finds himself leaning over the handsome balcony rail looking down upon the immense floor of the Board-Room the howling gesticulating crowd of brokers appears like a mob of lunatics, and the occasional half-clipped calls that rise to his ears justify the comparison. Sign-posts are placed about the floor, bearing the names of the different stocks dealt in, and around these posts the brokers gather to buy and sell. When a particular stock is what is termed active, the brokers dealing in it surge madly around the post assigned to it, and amid deafening yells make their contracts. An ideal broker is one whose face never betrays any emotion, but remains perfectly passive, whether his stock transactions net him an enormous gain or lose him a fortune.

Many brokers act as agents for firms, but most firms have their own representative always on the floor. At times, though, to prevent the discovery of a big deal or an attempt to corner the market in some particular stock, it is necessary to call in the service of more brokers. A percentage is paid for such service, the minimum being $2 for every hundred shares that are valued at $100 each.

The members know each other, and frequently in the crowd a broker will stand with his slips in one hand, his eyes glued upon his memoranda, and with his other hand emphasizing his calls with lunging jerks, as he sends forth such yells as "One hundred at 84." Again and again he repeats his yell, and then changes it to 83¾ for a hundred. "Take 'em," comes the cry, to which he answers, "Sold"; and then jots down the transaction, never once looking to see who the buyer was, but relying upon the voice, which he knows. These transactions are invariably fulfilled to the letter, and there is no record during the existence of the Exchange of such a contract being disacknowledged. If this broker wants the transaction sent to his firm, he jots it down on a slip, and before he can turn around, one of the fifty-odd gray-uniformed messengers on the floor takes it, and runs off to the side of the room to that broker's telephone, and hands the memorandum to the operator, who telephones his firm.

Should a firm want to talk with their representative over the telephone, it is necessary to call him off the floor. As none but members are allowed on the floor, and no voice is strong enough to be heard calling above the fearful screech of bids and offers, a number system was devised for this purpose. Each broker has a number, and a rack on one of the walls has a corresponding number. A call is sent to the boy who works the annunciator to put up, say, 48. He pulls a knob, and instantly that number is exposed on the rack. Every now and then each broker glances at his rack, and when he sees his number he goes out either to the telephone or to the messenger or person who may want to see him. This silent call is discontinued after it has served its purpose.

[Pg 158]

There are a large number of telephones required, and a number of alleyways are partitioned off at the sides of the floor, in which line after line of telephones are placed, each one with its operator, who never leaves it. Then there is the telegraph service. Every transaction of any importance is sent over the wires. It has hardly taken place before the anxious watcher at some ticker reads its record on the tape, whether it be one hundred yards from the floor of the Exchange or a thousand miles away. If he is holding any particular stock that has advanced, and wishing to take advantage of the fact, he decides to sell, he telegraphs his New York brokers to sell for him. They telephone their representative on the floor of the Exchange, and in a very short time these shares are being offered, and the owner, probably miles away, watching the tape of his ticker, notes with a smile of satisfaction the records unfolding before him: 100 shares at 87-3/8, 300 shares 87¼, 200 shares at 87, and so on. These shares may have been purchased by him around 79 or 80, or possibly much less, and the transaction nets him a neat profit. It is often the reverse, though, and almost fortunes are made and lost daily by such speculations.

The stock-brokers do not like long words, as is evidenced in the terms they have regulated into a dialect of their own. To the uninitiated it is very confusing to hear such remarks as "long of stocks," "holding for a raise," "ballooning a stock," "saddling the market," "gunning a stock," etc., etc. Many of these terms are pithy, and very much to the point.

The stock-broker is generally a generous, genial, happy sort of person, well dressed, and, for a life of mental strain, with a reverse of fortune liable to strike him at any time, he keeps in wonderfully good spirits.

The Exchange is most interesting during a panic, when prices are dropping all around, and when stocks that are as solid as foundation-stones begin to drop below par. It is then that the broker grows frenzied—sometimes with fear, sometimes with rage. Fiercely he elbows, jostles, or fights his way through the mad crowd. Shout after shout ascends to the ceiling as the prices fall, and out on the street the quiet retired business man who has come down to watch his shares, only to see them rapidly falling, bites his finger-nails nervously in the anxious crowd that has gathered, listening to the roar. Messengers dart here and there, and mad haste prevails. Suddenly a silence comes over the Exchange, and the crowd on the floor have packed closely around the chairman's platform. He gravely and sadly announces the failure of some well-known firm. This will probably drag down into the vortex two or three smaller houses; and when the full import is realized by the members a deafening yell is heard, and again they dash into the fray to make, save, or lose a fortune.

Strongly contrasted to this are the jollity and merrymaking on the floor of the Exchange before the holidays. High carnival then reigns supreme, and fun and mirth grow furious. Clothes are torn, hats smashed, all in good humor. Gray-haired brokers waltz with each other, play leap-frog, sing, and carry on as wildly as the younger ones. Sometimes, but not often, the chairman imposes a fine on the members for their fun, but it is cheerfully paid. After such toil day in and day out through the long months a little exuberance of spirit is excusable.





The Elephant rocked and pitched a great deal while Captain Kroom was fishing up that valise with his long boat-hook.

Pete was all the while hard at work with the oars, and he was conducting himself like a prime seaman. That is, he obeyed with scrupulous exactness all the orders he received from the veteran commander of his ship. For him, indeed, Pete evidently had a tremendous amount of respect. Much of it belonged to his belief that the old sailor knew all there was to know about whatever might be on the sea or in it.

"Sam," he said, "let that bundle alone a minute, and see if you can h'ist the sail."

"He can't h'ist a sail," growled the Captain. "He's a landlubber."

Sam's pride was up in an instant, and he caught hold of the ropes. He did know a little about them already, and he had the good luck to pull correctly. Up went the sail, just as the valise came over the side. The bundle already lay on the bottom, and it had taken all the strength Sam had to get it there.

It was not so large a bundle, to be sure, but lifting it in had been somewhat like carrying two pails of water, for it was what the Captain called "waterlogged."

Not so with the valise. It was larger than the bundle, and it must have been very heavy; but it did not seem to weigh much in the strong hands of old Kroom.

"Here we go!" he shouted. "I'll just tack around till I get a hitch on that spar. It's just what I want for a new mast to the Tiger!"

"That's his sail-boat," said Pete to Sam. "She isn't so fast as some, but she can go right out to sea. She's decked over."

"She's as safe as a pilot-boat," added the Captain. "But the feller left his key in the lock. I won't open it now. This here stuff wasn't any part of a raft. It was just a tangle. Those knots wasn't ever tied by a sailor." He seemed to read knots and ropes and sails and spars as if they carried tokens as clear to him as print. "Sam," he said, "haul that rope a little. Now I can bring her about. We'll have that spar."

So he did, in a few minutes; but the Elephant was not likely to sail any too fast with that thing towing astern. Pete had been eying the bundle curiously, and the moment he was permitted to pull in his oars he exclaimed:

"Now let's have it open. I say, Captain, it's covered with tarpaulin!"

"That didn't keep it from soaking," replied Kroom. "Cut it. Bless my soul! What on earth is that?"

The two boys had worked together in untying and opening the bundle, and now all its contents suddenly sprawled around the bottom of the boat.

"Best lot of fishing-tackle ever I saw," said Pete. "And if it isn't a full suit of blue!"

"Hope it'll fit you," said the Captain.

"Looks as if it might. Sam's got one on him. But I don't need any more tackle than I've got at home, unless it is some hooks and sinkers."

"Pete," said Sam, "spread 'em out to dry. Then you can see if they fit."

The fact was that Pete was the only member of the Elephant's crew of three who stood in need of new clothing. The suit he had on consisted mainly of a pair of baggy trousers and a tow shirt. It did not keep him from being a pretty good looking fellow, however, and his own feelings about it did not hurt him.

"Guess they won't make a dude of me," he remarked, as he spread the soaked blue suit out forward, where the wind and sun could get at it. "It's a kind of sailor rig, anyhow."

"It'll shrink to your size," said the Captain. "'Twasn't made for a big fellow."

The Elephant was now before the wind, and was tugging spitefully against the rope which bound her to the spar behind[Pg 159] her. Now that the bundle had given up all that was in it, the next point of interest was the valise.

Once more the Captain remarked, "His key is in it."

Then he hesitated, and stared down at the key as if reading something.

"Rusty," he said. "But it doesn't take long for iron to rust in salt water. You can't judge by that."

"Captain Kroom," exclaimed Sam, "there used to be a name on this end of it, but it's kind of washed out."

"No," replied Kroom; "it's just so on this other end. It wasn't washed out; it was rubbed out. This 'ere thing's been stole."

He said it almost solemnly, and the boys felt a kind of thrill. There had been excitement enough in the idea of a wreck, and now the Captain had put in thieves also.

"Pirates?" suggested Pete. "Could they have plundered the ship?"

"No, sir!" roared the Captain. "All the pirates are dead long ago. This means wrecks and wreckers over on the south beach somewhere. Come on, boys. I'll cast off the spar. We're going across the bay. I'm no thief. I'm going to see if I can't find an owner for this valise. Ready!"

The spar was left to drift ashore as best it might, only that the Captain said he would go after it some time.

The Elephant was once more free, but her nose was pointed now toward the long low bar of sand, the narrow, tree-less island, which separated the bay from the ocean.

"He's going to run for the inlet," said Pete to Sam. "There's good fishing there, whether he finds any wreck or not."

"We're going too fast to troll," said the Captain. "No use. Besides, we want to get there as soon as we can. If there's anything I hate, it's a wrecker. I didn't think so once, but the first time I was wrecked myself I guess I learned something."

Sam had been staring curiously at the valise, and wishing that the Captain would think it right to open it, but now he turned to look at the old sailor himself. It was a good deal to be out in a boat with a man who had been wrecked. He did not really mean to say anything, but a question came up to his lips, and asked, almost without his help, "Were you wrecked 'mong savages?"

"Yes, sir, I was," growled the Captain, angrily. "We went ashore on the coast of Cornwall, in England, and the folks there believe everything that's stranded belongs to them. They didn't leave us a thing."

"They didn't hurt you, did they?" said Sam.

"I don't know but what they would, some of them, if it hadn't been for the coast police that came," said Kroom. "They kep' the crowd off, so we saved what we had on; and then they marched us away and put every man of us in jail, where the civilized Englishmen could feed us."

"That was awful!" said Pete; but he had already turned over the wet clothing once, and it was drying fast. He pulled out the wrinkles too.

"'Tisn't rotted," remarked the Captain, "or you'd ha' pulled it to pieces. I ain't worried about your having of 'em. Nor the tackle. All I want to get at is if there's been a wreck. Yes, sir, when I was wrecked in China, we saved all our chists—but then a Chinee can't wear anything we can. Perhaps they didn't want 'em. They treated us first rate."

He had been fumbling with the rusty key with one hand while he steered with the other, and now the boys heard a click.

"There!" muttered the Captain. "The lock wasn't sp'iled. I'll unstrap it."

Sam and Pete leaned forward to watch, but the soaked straps did not pull out easily, and they had to wait.

"How they do stick!" said Pete. "Captain, I can do it. It takes both hands."

The Elephant careened just then in a way to compel its sailing-master to use both of his own hands in bringing it before the wind again.

"Pitch in, Pete," he said. "Just as like as not it'll tell where it came from."

Sam let his friend work at the wet straps, while he continued to study the name at his end of the valise.

"'Tisn't a long one," he remarked; but at that moment Captain Kroom almost let go of the tiller-ropes, for the valise sprang open.

"Packed and jammed!" exclaimed Pete. "Hullo! What's this?"

"Hand me that log!" shouted the Captain, and Sam looked around the boat for loose timber. Not any kind of log was to be seen; the floating spar was long since out of sight; but Pete at once picked up and handed to Kroom a broad, thin, paper-covered blank book which lay in the middle of the valise.

"Bless my soul!" said Captain Kroom. "This 'ere's the log of the good ship Narragansett, of New Haven, and her captain's name is Pickering. The last entry in it is only a week old. Yes, sir, boys! He made it after the gale struck 'em! Before she was wrecked. This 'ere's awful! She must ha' gone all to pieces! Now for the inlet! Hurrah!"

His voice sounded excited, but he sat as steady as a post, and seemed to be giving all his attention to the management of the Elephant.

"Sam," he said, "you and Pete read some more of that log. Don't you fetch a thing in the valise. There are his barkers and his chronometer and lots o' papers. But that there alligator-skin valise was water-tight. It came across the bar at the inlet with the tide. There's current enough there then to whisk in a cannon."

Sam was a landsman, but he listened eagerly to all the Captain had to say about the ways of the coast and about the coming and going of ships. None of it seemed to be at all new to Pete; but then he had been born and brought up within sight of salt water, and he had heard Kroom talk many a time before.

The Elephant put her nose through or over the waves as if she were in a hurry, and all the while her crew were getting more accustomed to the presence of the valise. Sam studied its contents, all he could see of them, and he was learning something.

"That's the chronometer," he thought. "It's a big watch in a mahogany box. That's a splendid compass. Those pistols are what the Captain calls 'barkers.'"

"You see," remarked Kroom, as if answering him, "as soon as the commander of a ship knows he's going to be wrecked, it's his duty to save those things. He must save his log and his papers, if he can't save anything else. Captain Pickering got 'em together, and then somebody beat him out of them. Now it's my duty to get 'em to the owner of the ship. No trouble about that, but we must learn all we can first. Sam, if you've read anything, read it out. It's the worst kind of writing."

That was what Sam had found, and he had had some doubt as to how much it was right for him to read. Now, however, he was getting more courageous. It seemed so much more honest than merely fishing up things and keeping them. He read, therefore, a line or so at a time, picking it out; but it required an interpreter, for all the sentences were short and jerky.

"Stop there!" said Captain Kroom. "I'll fix it up. Never mind his latitudes and longitudes. She was a three-master, and she was in the China trade, and she was getting near home when the hurricane struck her. We had the heel of that gale all along shore last week. Blew down trees and upset things. I'll bet you the Narragansett went to pieces. Hurrah! There's the inlet. Hand me that log. I'll just shut it up. Now, boys, I'll show you what a boat of this kind can do."

"Don't you be afraid, Sam," said Pete, encouragingly. "It'll be awful rough outside the bar, but he knows. We're going right through."


Sam did not exactly feel afraid, but he was disposed to keep a tight hold upon the gunwale of the Elephant. There was really a great deal of her, he was beginning to see, and pretty soon she was gliding along over the smooth water of the inlet. It was a channel, not straight by any means, that was nowhere over a hundred yards wide. On either side were only long ranges of low sand hills and marshes. The bay was behind them, and right ahead, Sam could not guess how far away, he could hear a booming sound, that[Pg 160] came, he knew, from the great Atlantic billows which came rolling in to thunder and die along the shore.

"Bully breeze!" shouted Pete. "Out we go! Hurrah! Look at the surf!"

Sam was staring very earnestly indeed at the long lines of foaming water that were springing into the air, curling over and tossing to and fro in shattered masses of froth and blue. He knew that there was danger in them, and he felt queer concerning what might be coming next.

The Captain, however, was sitting as steadily as usual. Sam had seen him take something out of the valise before closing it, but he had not dared to ask any questions. He was almost afraid of Captain Kroom, and even now, as he looked at him, he was thinking:

"I wish I knew how many times he's been wrecked, and where. He must have seen the most awful kind of things."

It had been a black leather case, and now the Captain opened it, taking out a thing that Sam recognized at once.

"It's what they call an opera-glass," he said to himself, but he was wrong.

It was a binocular marine telescope of the finest kind, very much like the glasses which generals use on a battlefield to study the battle with. The Captain was now searching the lines of breakers and the open sea outside of them, and he suddenly lowered his glass to roar:

"Thereaway, boys! Just a few points southerly. Stuck on the outer bar. Hull half out of water. Not a stick standing. Two tug-boats there already, and a steamer. We've got her! Hurrah!"

He kindly held out the glass to Pete, and steadied the boat while the 'longshore boy took a long squint in the direction indicated.

"I've found her!" exclaimed Pete. "But maybe 'tisn't the Narragansett."

"You bet it is," said the Captain. "There didn't two ships o' that kind come ashore at the same time. There aren't many of 'em left nowadays, anyhow—more's the pity! The steamers have run 'em out. But I'll tell you what, boys, there's more real sailin' to be had in an old-fashioned clipper-ship than there is in all the steamers afloat. If there's anything I hate, it's a steamer."

Pete passed the glass along to Sam, but it was almost a full minute before he could find anything but waves to look at. "There she is," he said at last. "I see her, if that's her. Kind of speck." He was getting used to the glass now, and pretty quickly he was as excited as either Pete or the Captain, but he asked, anxiously, "How are we to get there?"

The line of breakers seemed to be in the way, and they looked impassable. Such a boat as the Elephant, or almost any other, would be a mere cork in the grasp of those tremendous rollers.

"They would jump us twenty feet into the air," thought Sam. "It's awful! I don't care whether he gets his old valise or not."

Pete, on the other hand, seemed to be thinking mainly of his share in the management of the Elephant, but as she swung away upon another tack, he remarked to Sam: "See that surf? Well, right in there, if they can get near enough to throw a line, the sporting fishermen strike the biggest bass you ever saw. Takes half an hour to pull one in sometimes."

That was a kind of fun of which Sam knew nothing, but he replied: "We'll come again and try it on. But where are we going now?"

"You'll see in a minute," said Pete.

It was many minutes, instead of only one, before Sam had any clear idea of what Captain Kroom was up to. The Elephant appeared to be running along the seaward line of the sand-bar, between that and the breakers. Then to the left Sam saw a break in the surf—a streak of pretty smooth water with foaming "boilers" on both sides of it. Into that streak the old sailor steered the three-cornered boat.

Oh, how she did dance, and how Sam did hold on! But he did not utter a sound, and the next thing he knew the mere cockle-shell under him was sailing along well enough, safely enough, over the long regular swells, not at all boisterous or dangerous, of the great ocean that was three thousand miles wide.

"I didn't believe he could do it," thought Sam. "We may get to the Narragansett, but how on earth are we to get back again?"

[to be continued.]

[Pg 161]






When I arrived at the flat rock I hurried into the suit of sailor toggery, damp from the wet of the dew; and making a pile, and a very small one, of my treasures, I ripped out the back of my embroidered waistcoat and tied them up in it.

Striking out for the highway, I soon gained it and started on a dog-trot, headed south. My lungs and legs must have been in good condition, for I kept it up steadily for an hour or so. (It may seem imagination, but I believe people can run faster and longer at night; maybe the distance seems shorter because we observe less clearly.)

Soon I began to recognize the well-known signs of approaching dawn. I had heard a fox bark up in the hills some time since, and now, as if in challenge, the crowing of cocks sounded and drowsy songsters fluttered twittering in the branches of the trees along the road. Before the sun had risen, round and red, the robins were piping and the thrushes tinkling their throat-bells on every hand.

I was in a new country, a much richer one than that of a few miles farther north; the farms were nearer together, and prosperity was plain on the face of the earth. The damp morning mists that hung over the brown new-ploughed ground smelled of growing things, and the buds on the trees, as they opened to the warmth of morning, scattered their scents lavishly.

I had signalled out at the bottom of a hill a house at which I intended stopping and getting a meal if I could; but as I went by a pasture I saw a man driving some cows through an opening in the fence. He saw me also, and hurrying about his work, he came walking toward me. I now perceived that my costume was a pass-word to people's hearts.

"Good-mornin', lad," hailed the farmer, who was a man past middle age. "Goin' off to sea again, be ye?"

"Yes," I replied, stepping to the fence. "Am I on the right road for Stonington?"

"Air ye in the navy?" he asked, without replying to my question.

"No; but I'm to ship aboard the Young Eagle below."

"Oh, privateersman, eh? More money in it, I reckon. But there's no lack of glory in the sarvice. I have a son aboard the Constitution. He was in her when she fit the Guerrière. When I think of it, I allus feel like cheerin'."

And then and there the farmer took off his hat and gave three lusty cheers—in which, despite myself, and not knowing anything about the subject, I joined.

"My name is Prouty," the old farmer went on. "And my son's name is Melvin Prouty. Ye'll hear tell on him afore long. He's got promoted already. He's a quartermaster."

[Pg 162]

"Good!" I exclaimed, for notwithstanding my sailor's rig, I was supposing a quartermaster must be next to a commodore at least.

"Well, I won't keep ye. Good-luck and good-by," he said, extending his rough hand across the fence.

I shook it warmly, and picking up my small bundle, trotted down the hill. I covered some two miles more before I stopped at a farm-house for breakfast. Here I was received with as much honor as if my short stopping was to cast a blessing. I found that I had to adopt some subterfuge; and when asked what vessel I had served in, I replied, and with truth, "the Minetta, from Baltimore," and that I was bound to join the Young Eagle. Her fame evidently had spread broadcast, and I cannot forget the envious looks that were cast at me by a couple of youngsters, who requested to know if I had any pictures on my arms. As I had none, and had seen them on my voyage, and often before that, pricked into the skins of the sailors on the wharves, I determined to remedy this defect as soon as possible.

The goodwife of the house where I got my first meal insisted upon my carrying away enough to stock me for a voyage of two or three days; but it was mostly pie, for which I care little.

The main road was so well travelled that there was no mistaking it now. My legs, as well as my heart, seemed gifted with a desire to get ahead, and every one I met had for me a kindly wave of the hand, and would have questioned me breathless had I not made haste and hurried on.

By four o'clock that afternoon I had mounted to the top of the hill, and there I caught a glimpse of the ocean, and stretching to the westward, the blue sound. Oh, how the picture comes to me! The wide sparkling sea; here and there a white sail dotted on it, and the breeze, that was from the south, bringing the smell of it to my nostrils and setting my heart beating and thumping in my throat. Overhead a great hawk spun about in widening circles. I knew how he felt, for was not I free, and the world before me at my feet?

Out of pure joy and the loftiness of my spirits, I threw the Portugee cap into the air and caught it as it fell. And nothing would do but I must start at a headlong pace down the hill, jumping the water-bars and kicking my heels behind me as if I were a colt escaped from a pasture. By the time that I had entered the houses that clustered about the outskirts of the town it grew dusky, and I began to feel a trifle tired, for I had covered the distance of some thirty miles that day.

As the dwellings became thicker and I could see the clustering lights of the business portion of the town (it was past twilight), I felt a little trepidation. People had not paid so much attention to me as they had farther up the country, and I had run across one or two sailor-men, dressed much as I was (save the cap), who had hailed me good-naturedly. But I longed for a bed and a warm cup of coffee, and seeing a citizen leaning over a fence, smoking meditatively, I inquired my way to the best inn.

"I should 'a' reckoned that you'd 'a' known them all by this time, lad," he said; "but the best hotel is the United States, down near the wharves. Keep straight ahead."

Now the groups of sailor-men had increased; to all appearances they had gained possession of the freedom of the town of Stonington. They seemed to have captured the prettiest girls, or bargained to drink the place dry, for from a grog-shop a number of them reeled out, arm in arm, singing a song to a tune that I learned to know and sing well afterwards myself—"Hull's Victory"—and the sound of fiddles and dancing were to all sides.

It was only a few steps now to the United States Hotel, and I turned from the street and entered. A number of loungers were on the broad veranda. A group of men—one in a cocked hat and blue coat with brass buttons—were sitting about a table on which there was much to drink, and they were not slighting it.

But here no one gave me more than a glance, and I entered the coffee-room, where I found a corner and placed my little bundle at my feet. A hubbub of conversation and much strong tobacco filled the place, and the waiters were so busy that I did not know enough to insist upon gaining their attention, and no one sought me out. I had sat there but a few minutes when I became engrossed, listening open-mouthed to a group of seamen talking within a short distance of me. One of them was telling of the action between the Hornet and the Peacock, and he interspersed his talk by constantly calling to those about him to drink the health of "Lawrence, the bravest officer that ever trod a deck."

I here learned that a man may be a hero by mere reflected glory, for each one who drank with him nodded to the speaker as if Lawrence were his name. Suddenly I perceived that a man in a long apron was standing at my elbow.

"What is the order, messmate?" he asked familiarly.

I replied by asking for some coffee, and stating that I would like to get a room for the night. This evidently caused him some surprise.

"Rooms come high," he replied, looking at me, "but I can get you the coffee, right enough."

I had seen one of the sailors, in paying his reckoning, wave back the change due him into the waiter's palm, so when the man returned, I offered him one of the gold pieces in my pocket. He looked at it curiously, bit it, and took it over to a table and showed it to some of the sailors. The man to whom he handed it rang it on the bottom of the upturned plate.

"Good gold," he said, "and French. I've seen 'em often."

Whether he told the value of it or not I do not know, but soon the waiter returned with a half-handful of silver coin. I waved it back at him, and the man's eyes grew large. He returned to the sailors and spoke to them.

"Just back from a cruise, I dare say," said one, looking over his shoulder at me, but not addressing me.

"He doesn't look it," replied another. "But one can't tell nowadays. There was a girlish-looking lad—" Here the man began a yarn in a low voice, and I buried my face in my coffee-cup, and almost scalded my throat, for it was steaming hot.

At this moment the waiter returned.

"I've got a room for you, messmate," he said, "and the best one in the house. If you've got your box ashore, I'll take it up myself."

"No, thanks," I replied. "I have nothing with me," hiding at the same time my little bundle with my feet.

I noticed that the man was looking very carefully at my hands. Although they were not soft exactly, as they had been hardened by the chopping of wood and the handling of hoe and spade, the life of the sailor-man stamps the hands so distinctly to the eye of a close observer that there is no chance for wrong in judging.

"Will you follow me? I'll show you up to the room," said the waiter-man.

I picked up my bundle and squeezed it under my arm, and followed him out of the room, creating no little comment, I dare say, for not a few craned their necks to get a look at me. In the hallway my guide stopped and spoke to a large florid person in a stained satin waistcoat.

"Here is the lad who wishes a room, Mr. Purdy," he said.

The big man looked at me from head to foot.

"It will cost two dollars, and we will give you your breakfast. Is it a lark of yours, lad? Eh? I know of a sailor with money giving a dollar bill to a cow to chew on for a cud. But it's your game to play the gentleman, eh?"

"I trust I am as much a gentleman as any one under your roof," I returned, hotly.

"Heighty-tighty! what have we here?" the landlord said. "I forget. The price is three dollars, and it's the last room in the house. I had partly engaged it to a gentleman in a cocked hat, but he has failed to appear. Pay in advance, please, or you don't ship for the night."

I gave him one of the gold pieces. He slipped it into his pocket without comment, and told the servant to show me up stairs. The room was quite large and comfortable, the soft bed with the white sheets looked inviting, and I[Pg 163] was so stiff and tired from my walking that I tumbled out of my clothes and drew the covers over me.

I thought that I should go to sleep at once, but as is often the case, thoughts prevent the proper closing of the eyelids, as if they were the doors of the mind. What was I to do on the morrow? It was full eight days ahead of the time that I had promised to meet Plummer, and I had but four gold pieces. A thrill of fright took hold of me when I thought that perhaps my uncle might follow me and fetch me back with him. The noise of shouting and loud talking below in the tap-room, and the singing and chattering on the streets, continued for a long time; and I tossed uneasily.

To the best of my recollection I had not lost myself in sleep at all when I heard some stumbling and laughing out in the hall; then the door to my room was pushed open, and a hand shielding a candle, the light of which dazzled my eyes so that at first I could not see clearly, extended through the doorway. A man entered, talking loudly to some one who was following him.

"Come in, come in, Bullard; and don't drop that bottle for the life of you."

A thick growling voice answered. "I've had all the bottle I want, Captain Temple," were the words I caught, and the second man came in. He also carried a candle.

"What is it you wish to discuss with me, sir, that we couldn't say before McCulough?" he went on.

"It's just this," replied the one addressed as Captain Temple (I recognized him as the officer who had sat on the piazza): "McCulough thinks to tie us down in some way, because he happens to own a few planks of the ship. Now I—"

The speaker had placed the light on the mantel-piece, and the other man did the same with his candle, snuffing it a little with his fingers as he did so; but what had broken off Captain Temple's speech was the sight he had caught of me sitting bolt-upright in the bed and blinking, I dare say, like a startled owl.

"In the name of Davy Jones, what is this?" he said. "What are you doing in my room?"

"It's a drunken sailor-man," said the larger one, holding one of the candles over his head. "Kick him out where he belongs. They're getting too high and mighty, anyhow."

The Captain, seeing my bundle lying on the floor, sent it flying through the open doorway down the hall, and the other man, with a stroke of his foot, swept up the rest of my belongings.

"Get out of this, you swab!" said the Captain, "or I'll keelhaul you well. No chin music, now! Come, get out!"

I was mighty angry by this time.

"I'm no swab or no drunken sailor, I'll have you understand," I replied; "and this is my room, and I paid for it."

The Captain muttered a curse and the other man commenced to grin.

"I'll spit you like a goose!" the former roared. "How dare you talk to me like that!"

He drew his sword and made one or two passes at me. Of course I do not suppose it was his real intention to inflict an injury, but the point came dangerously close to my throat. I had drawn the covers to my chin.

"Don't kill him, Captain; don't kill him," snickered the big one.

At this, moved by some impulse, I jumped to the floor. There was a narrow poker leaning against the empty fireplace. Shaking with fear, I picked it up and fell into the position of defence. The big man's laughter changed to an impatient tone.

"Rout him out, the impudent rascal," he said, "and I'll boot him down the stairway!"

The Captain could not reach me across the bed, so he came about the foot-board. He made a quick pass at me as if he would give me a good slap with the back of his sword. I parried it, and aiming a quick stroke at his head, I sent his cocked hat flying across the room. His return to this showed that he intended me some harm, for he lunged straight at my breast. Again I parried, and a second time the Captain lunged. He had gotten the point of his sword a little too far down this time, and I got over it a bit with the poker. I remembered the disarming-stroke that my uncle had shown me so often. With a quick turn of the wrist I caught his blade aright and absolutely hurled it from his hand. It clattered across the floor, and lunging forward, I caught him just below the shoulder with the point of the poker. Had it been a cutlass or a small sword, it would have surely run him through! As it was it staggered him, and he sat down backwards in the empty fireplace.

The big man was roaring down the hallway for help, and I could hear a charge being made up the stairs. The Captain looked up at me, however, curiously.

"Where on the big green earth did you learn that?" he said.

I was so full of emotion and fear of the consequence of my action that I could not speak, and stood there panting. A dozen faces had appeared at the doorway. The Captain extended his hand.

"Give us a lift, lad," he said. "I'm badly grounded."

I pulled him out of the fireplace, and a strange picture we must have presented, I in my shirt, and he slapping me good-naturedly between the shoulders so hard that it set me coughing.

"No harm done, friends," he said, addressing the crowd, that had now half filled the room. "Some pleasantry between me and this young gentleman. Bullard, you old squillgee, gather the lad's trousseau from the hall, and fetch it in here."

Affirming that it was just a joke, he and the Captain cleared the room and gathered up my things. The short man was looking at me curiously.

"Gadzooks!" he said, "but that was a master-stroke! Who are you and where do you come from?"

I was drawing on part of my clothing, and a fit of embarrassment had hold of me. Now why I spoke as I did I cannot account for.

"My name is Debrin," I replied, taking the name that my uncle was known by at Miller's Falls. "I've come to ship on board the Young Eagle. Cy Plummer spoke to me about her."

The Captain threw back his head and laughed.

"You'll ship all right, lad. I'm Temple, of the Young Eagle. What's your first name?"

"John," I answered.

"Go below, Bullard, and make out articles for this lad to sign—John Debrin, instructor in small arms. Never knew of one in a privateer before, but I'll create one."

Then and there he made me show him what I knew about handling a weapon. In fact he treated me as if I were altogether his equal, and I soon lost any feeling of discomforture. As this is the only time that I ever saw Captain Temple in such a mood, I have dwelt on it. But to shorten this part of my chronicle: I signed the articles that Bullard brought up with him, and insisted upon giving up my room, which the Captain apparently took with reluctance, and I slept on the floor in a corner of the hallway.

From my clothes Temple must have judged me a seaman, for he asked no questions on that head, and apparently was satisfied with the explanation that I came from Chesapeake Bay, had sailed in the brig Minetta, and had been taught swordsmanship by an old Frenchman.

I awakened in the morning with the puzzled consternation of one unused to find himself in new surroundings, and with the feeling that last night's goings-on had been a dream. A glance at the paper in my pocket, however, proved that it was not.

A strange day was before me. I seemed destined in life to be a mystery to the people whom I met, and circumstances kept up this position for some time to come, as will be proven. The landlord and the serving-men at the hotel treated me with such deference that had I been more of a sailor-man and less of an innocent, my head might have been turned, and I dare say I should have swaggered dreadfully—to be honest, I may have done so as it was.

[to be continued.]

[Pg 164]



Of the Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory.

Kite-flying has been a pastime and a pleasure for many generations of boys and, indeed, of men. In China and Malay it is one of the chief sports for men. In China kites are made in strange and fantastic shapes, and are flown in great numbers on fête-days and holidays. It seems strange that some of the forms of Chinese and Malay kites were not long ago imported and used by our boys.


But kites are useful for science as well as for sport; and this scientific men are now finding out. Inventors and engineers have discovered that kites present interesting problems for experiment and study. Men who watch the air and the sky find that kites are useful in getting records of what is going on far above the earth's surface. Nearly a hundred and fifty years ago, in 1749, the idea of using kites for a scientific study of the air occurred to two young men in Scotland. They were Alexander Wilson and Thomas Melvill. They made half a dozen large paper kites as strong and as light as the materials would permit. They began by raising the smallest kite, which, being exactly balanced, soon mounted steadily to its utmost limit, carrying up a line, very slender, but of sufficient strength to command it. In the mean time the second kite was made ready. Two assistants supported it in a sloping direction between them, with its face to the wind, while a third person, holding part of the line in his hand, stood at a good distance directly in front. Then the extremity of the line belonging to the kite already in the air was hooked to a loop at the back of the second kite, which, being now let go, mounted superbly. In a little time it took up as much line as could be supported with advantage, thereby allowing its companion to soar at an elevation proportionately higher. All the kites were sent up, one by one, in this manner, the upper kite reaching an amazing height, according to the writer who described the experiment. It disappeared at times among the white summer clouds. The pressure of the breeze upon so many surfaces attached to the same line was found too great for a single person to withstand, and it became necessary to keep the mastery over the kites by additional help. In order to learn about the warmth and the coolness of the air aloft, these young investigators fastened thermometers to the kites. The thermometers had bushy tails of paper, and were let fall from some of the higher kites by gradual singeing of a match-line. However, these young men probably did not learn much in this way, because a thermometer sinking slowly or rapidly to the ground would change its temperature. The kites were found to be capable of useful scientific work, but self-recording instruments to be sent up with the kites were not then invented.

Two years later than the experiment described above, as every boy knows, or ought to know, Benjamin Franklin, by sending up a kite during a thunder-storm, and collecting a charge of electricity, proved that electricity is the same as lightning.


For another hundred years kites were used only as toys. Then came the present age of wonderful inventions, beginning about fifty years ago. For the first time instruments were invented which could be lifted into the air, and could make on a sheet of paper a record of all the changes through which they passed while aloft. In 1883 Mr. E. Douglas Archibald, in England, used kites for sending up instruments to measure how much stronger the wind was aloft than near the ground. In 1890 Mr. McAdie used kites as did Benjamin Franklin, in order to study the electricity in the air. By sending kites tied to a string around which was wound fine copper wire, he found that sparks would fly from the wire to his finger, even when the sky was clear. When a thunder-storm came in sight the sparks became so strong that it was thought best to bring the kites down, on account of the danger. Within the last ten years M. Richard of Paris, and Mr. Fergusson of Blue Hill Observatory, have made instruments so simple and so light that at Blue Hill Observatory we now have instruments weighing less than three pounds, which record on a single sheet of paper how cool or warm the air is, how damp it is, how dense it is, and how fast it moves. One of these instruments, lifted by several kites all tied to the same line is easily sent up a mile or more above the top of the hill from which the kites are flown. On August 1, 1896, an instrument weighing three pounds was sent 6700 feet above the top of Blue Hill, near Boston. It was then 7333 feet above the level of the sea, or more than a thousand feet higher than the fop of Mount Washington, the highest mountain in New England. The highest kite was then higher than the instrument by more than a hundred feet.

Mr. W. A. Eddy, of Bayonne, New Jersey, has used the kites successfully at Blue Hill and at Boston for taking photographs of the surrounding country from a height of[Pg 165] several hundred feet in the air. The camera is fastened to the kite-string, and the exposure of the plate is made by pulling a second string which hangs from the camera to the ground. One of the photographs, taken several hundred feet above Blue Hill, is shown here. The picture gives the Blue Hill Observatory and the country for several miles around.

Mr. J. Woodbridge Davis proposed to use kites for sending life-lines to vessels wrecked near the coast, and devised kites for this purpose which could be steered to any point nearly in a line with the wind.


The largest kite ever built was lately made by Mr. Lamson at Portland, Maine. This kite was built on the plan of Hargrave's kite, shown in one of our pictures, except that the cells were curved, and various other improvements made in construction. This kite was 32 feet long, and had 900 square feet of surface. It weighed about 150 pounds, and lifted a dummy-man weighing 150 pounds several hundred feet into the air. Then the cord broke, and kite and dummy floated off into an adjacent swamp.

To see the air lift such weights astonishes most people, because in the quiet of our rooms we move through the air without an effort, and it even fails to support the lightest and downiest feather. But give the air enough motion and it will lift anything made by man. In the terrific wind of a tornado houses are lifted and burst like egg-shells. Even locomotives are not too heavy for such winds to lift. A locomotive is said to have been lifted in a tornado at St. Louis and carried fifteen feet. At Blue Hill we find that the kites in a wind that blows 10 miles an hour lift about two ounces for each square foot of surface; in a 25-mile wind they lifted about a pound for each square foot; and in a 40-mile wind, nearly three pounds for each square foot.

FIG. 1.

The recent interest in kites has brought about a great improvement in their forms. The Malays discovered that a diamond-shaped kite constructed with two sticks could be made steady in the wind, and could fly without a tail if the cross-sticks were bent backward and tied with a cord so as to hold them in the shape of a bow. A writer in the American Boys' Handy-Book calls a kite of this form a Dutch kite, indicating that it has been flown for a long time in Holland. Mr. W. A. Eddy, of New Jersey, is one of the first persons who have attempted to improve the kite for scientific use. He did this by making a kite with the bowed cross-sticks longer and nearer the top than they are in the Malay or the Dutch kite. Mr. Eddy's kite is illustrated in Fig. 1.

FIGS. 2, 3, 4.

To make a kite of this kind five feet tall the sticks should be about ½ by 3/8 inch cross-section if only two sticks are to be used; but if they are to be strengthened by cross-sticks, as is done at Blue Hill, they should be about ¾-inch wide and ¼-inch thick. These sticks can easily be sawed out of a board of the proper thickness. A B and C D should each be 60 inches in length. C E should be 18 per cent. of C D; that is, in a five-foot kite A B should cross C D 10.8 inches below the top of C D. O is the centre of gravity, or the point where the kite balances when supported on the finger. It is placed about 35 per cent. of the distance from C to D. In the simplest form of construction A B is bent backward like a cross-bow (see Fig. 2), and tied so that the deepest part of the bow is about one-tenth of the length of A B. The lower part of the kite should be strung first, and the eye should not be trusted to make A D and B D equal. The distance should be carefully measured, because the success of the kite depends on the exactness of these proportions. In bending A B great care is required to make the bend on one side of the point of junction at E exactly symmetrical with the other bend. The slight bagging inward of the covering of the triangle A E D should be equal to the bagging of B E D. If the kite flies sidewise, owing to inequality in the two sides, it can be partly remedied by tying half-ounce or quarter-ounce weights at A or B. If A should swing too far to the left, tie the weight at B. If B should swing too far to the right, tie the weight at A. The hanger should be tied in front of the kite at E and D, and when pulled sidewise should extend nearly to B, and have a loop or ring tied in it an inch or two inches below B for the kite line. To make Eddy's kite strong and trustworthy, a more complex method of building it, adopted by Mr. Fergusson at Blue Hill, is as follows:

FIG. 5.

A drawing of the actual size of the kite is made on a floor or a table, and four screws are driven into the positions occupied by the corners, leaving the heads projecting about a quarter-inch. The cloth covering is then stretched over the floor or table, and tacked down several inches outside of the edge of the kite, as outlined by the screws. A piece of cord for the edge is then passed around the outside of the screws, drawn tight, and tied at the top by a square bow-knot. A knot is also made just below each of the corners at the sides so that when the cover is transferred from the floor to the sticks the knot will prevent the ends of the cross-sticks from slipping downward, because that is the cause of most of the trouble due to bad balancing. The cover is then pasted to the cord, a lap of about one inch being sufficient, and the cord is left bare at each corner where it passes over the screws. It is well first to wet with water the part of the cloth which is to be pasted, and the paste should be rubbed into every part of the cloth, and a smooth seam should be made. The cover should not be removed from the screws until perfectly dry. While it is drying, the kite-frame can be made. The upright stick is made of two flat sticks fastened at right angles to each other, so as to form a T; that is, they have that appearance when looked at endwise. (See bottom of Fig. 4.) The two sticks are glued to each other, and then firmly lashed. For the cross-stick A B two sticks set at an angle to each other are used[Pg 166] instead of a single bowed stick. The method of making the angle joint is shown in Figs. 3 and 4. In a piece of square brass tubing, B, is cut a slot, into which fits the upright stick, C D. The tubing is then bent around the upright stick, C D, to the angle desired; a piece of wood, E, is fitted to the angle, and the whole is firmly lashed together. The ends A and B of the two arms of the cross-stick are driven into the ends of the tubing and strengthened by a brace, F. The frame is then ready for the cover, and the proportions are the same as those of the kite with two sticks. The ends of the sticks are notched to receive the loops of cord left at the corners of the cover, and the cover is slipped over the frame with the knots at A and B beneath the ends of the stick. The cord in the cover should then be lashed to the sticks, except at C (Fig. 1), and coated with glue, in order to prevent the cover from drawing away from the corners. The cord at C is left free to permit adjusting the tension of cover and string by retying when necessary. These kites will fly without a tail, but they are much steadier and better if flown with a tail, like the one invented by Mr. Archibald. This tail does not act by its weight, since it should weigh only one or two ounces, but by the pressure of the wind on it. It is made of two or three cloth cones joined to each other and to the end of the kite at D (Fig. 1) by a fine cord. The front of each cone is made of a wire ring, stiff enough to hold its shape, and two cross-braces of wire, or two cross-strings, as shown in Fig. 5. The tail string is tied to the braces in the centre of the ring, and passes down through the end of the cone, and several feet beyond it, where a second cone may be attached. To make the kite lift well, and to fly it in wet weather, it is best to cover the cloth and sticks with varnish which is mixed with rubber to make it elastic, as suggested by Dr. Stanton. The following proportions are used at Blue Hill: Pure rubber, shredded, 2 ounces; bisulphide of carbon, 2 to 4 pounds. When the rubber is dissolved, this solution is mixed with spar-varnish in the proportion of 2 pounds of the solution to 1 pound of varnish, and thinned with turpentine. Apply a small quantity at a time, evenly distributed, and give two or three coats.

A new form of kite was invented a few years ago by Mr. Hargrave, an Australian inventor, who is devising a flying-machine. A picture of a Hargrave kite floating in the air, taken from a photograph made by Mr. Alexander McAdie, is shown in the illustration. In this kite the wind acts on a number of thin strips rather than on a single broad surface, and at the same time it gets steadiness of flight by putting the planes in pairs in two directions, and adding side planes. The general principles to be remembered are to have the width of the kite five-sixths of its length, the width of the cells a little less than a third of the length of the kite, and the depth of the cells the same as their width. The description of Hargrave's improved kite appeared in 1895. Since then numerous forms having something of his principle have been invented. The most interesting are Lamson's multiplane and schooner kites, Potter's diamond kite, and Hammon's hemispherical kite, all shown in the illustrations. No tails are used with any of these kites.

Mr. Hargrave's kite is complex, and not easy to build. Simpler forms of the frame have been used at Blue Hill, but probably the simplest and best frame is that devised by Mr. S. C. Keith, Jun., and described here for the benefit of those boys who may wish to try one.

The cells have the same shape and appearance as Hargrave's kite, shown in the picture, but the frame is different.

Fig. 6 is a plan of the kite; Fig. 7 is a side view; and Fig. 8 an end view. In Figs. 6 and 7 the stick M N is 66 inches long, and has a cross-section of ½ by 3/8 of an inch. At C D and A B are cross-sticks, two at each place. An end view, at A B, is shown in Fig. 8. The cross-sticks A F and B E are 33 inches long, and 3/8 inch square, or even smaller. Small screw-eyes like those used in hanging pictures are screwed into the ends of each stick. Pass a strong wire or cord—steel piano-wire is best—through the screw-eyes at A B E and F (Fig. 8), and fasten it firmly at the corners by a cord, or otherwise, making A E and B F 14 inches, and A B and E F about 30 inches. Next pass a wire from M through the screw-eyes at C and A to N (Fig. 6), and then on through F and G (Fig. 7) to M again, and fasten it. Pass a similar wire on the opposite side of the kite from M through D B N, etc., to M, and fasten it. These wires, and also the wire around A B E and F (Fig. 8), should be light. It is best to have turn-buckles at some point in each wire, so that it can be tightened after it is in place. Since the sticks at A E F B and C D G are liable to slip along the wire, it is necessary to hold them by stays tied to M and N. The cells are made of cloth (nainsook being the best). After the cloth is folded over at the edges, and hemmed or pasted, it is in two strips, each 14 inches wide and 90 inches long, so that the strips will pass entirely around the kite-frame and form two cells, D P and R B (Fig. 7). The distances from the line B F to N, and from the line D G to M, is 9 inches, and the distance P to R is 20 inches. The cloth, after being fastened around the kites, should be tight and smooth. This can be obtained best by putting lacing-strings in the edges, and making the cloth 3 or 4 inches shorter than the measure given above—say 86 inches. The cloth should then be fastened to the corners of the sticks, and also to the wire which passes around the kite at C D and A B. Next, the edges of the two cells should be laced together all around by cords running across from one to the other, as shown by the dotted lines in Fig. 6. To fly the kite, tie a strong cord at M, and also at the other end, where M N joins the cross-sticks which run from B and F. (See the broken line in Fig. 7) Tie a ring or a loop-knot at O at the rear edge of the cell D P (Fig. 7). Or the hanger may be tied at M, and brought down under the cell D P. In that case the ring O should come farther forward. It also insures steadiness to run two strings from O, one to F, and the other to E. The kite-string is tied in O.

The best material for the construction of a kite is straight-grained spruce. The best covering is bond paper, nainsook, or silk.

[Pg 167]



"Shall we visit the Pingra Pol to-day?" said my Parsi friend, who was hospitably showing me the sights of Bombay.

"Oh, certainly!" I replied, with alacrity, though I had very vague notions as to what a Pingra Pol might be, and cherished a hazy idea that he was some sort of dignitary of the Hindoo Church, an archbishop or the like.

"You know what the Pingra Pol is?" queried my friend, as we seated ourselves on the cushions of his neat little gharry behind a team of spotless white bullocks not much larger than calves. Our driver, clad in flowing white garments and an enormous white turban, was seated in front of us astride the tongue, and seemed to guide his animals by patting them on the flanks. The willing little beasts started off on a brisk trot in the direction of the native city, and my friend repeated his question.

"So you do not know what the Pingra Pol is?" he said, smiling.

"I have not the slightest idea," I replied.

"It is our hospital for worn-out and disabled animals, and it is one of the oldest and most extensive charities in the world. In your country, if an animal breaks its leg or otherwise injures itself, you kill it to 'put it out of its misery'; we hold that life is sweet to even the humblest of God's creatures, and that we have no right to take away that which we cannot give again. So, instead of killing our disabled animals, we care for them until they die a natural death. This is a part of the religion of all Hindoos, but some sects are much more strict in their observance than others. The Jains, for example, will turn out of their way on the street to avoid stepping on a bug or a worm, and after going to the temple they wear a cloth across their mouths until sunset, that they may not breathe in any living creature."

While he was talking we had been trotting rapidly through the narrow streets of the native city, past gorgeous Buddhist temples, the gay residences of the wealthy Hindoos, and the tiny shops and squalid huts of the poorer people. At last we came to a high wall of dried clay which surrounded an enclosure of about ten acres. On one side was a great gateway, devoid of ornamentation, but forming a resting-place for scores of monkeys. Little monkeys and big monkeys; busy, nervous mother monkeys, at their wits' ends to keep their lively youngsters out of trouble; and gray, dignified grandfather monkeys, who looked down upon us as if they were proprietors and managers of the whole busy scene. Myriads of little green parrots screeched and swung in the trees which overhung the wall, and blue pigeons plumed themselves in the sunshine. Through the gateway came the lowing of cattle, the yelping of dogs, the quacking of ducks, and a strange medley of noises that sounded like a barn-yard gone mad.

We alighted, and passing through the gateway, where we were provided with a guide and a quantity of "gram"—a peculiar native grain which tastes something like pea-nuts—we proceeded to make the rounds of this strange hospital. A dozen or more camels with broken legs, ragged and disreputable looking, glowered at us with evil eyes.

The natives say that a camel's greatest delight consists in biting a man; they can kick, too, in a way that would make an American army mule blush with envy; but they enjoy biting better; they can then witness the pain of their victim, while if they only kick him they have to go over to an adjoining county to view the remains, and a camel hates to exert himself. From all I have been told, I judge that a camel is a very even-tempered animal—always ugly.


From the camels we pass on to the horses, about three hundred of them, housed in comfortable box-stalls around the walls. Dainty Arab ponies, sleek and well kept, but with a leg dangling limp and useless. They crowd about you for caresses, for the Arab pony is a pet by long generations of breeding, and he craves attention like a house cat, rubbing against you, and pleading with his soft brown eyes for a lump of sugar or a bit of salt. Great rawboned "Walers," as the horses which are imported from Australia for the use of the English army are called, stand side by side with the shaggy rough little hill ponies, which are apt to be vicious, and make but a poor showing in comparison with the lovable, graceful Arabs. Some dozens of gray donkeys, looking as forlorn and dejected as only donkeys can look, yet fat, sleek, and lazy, complete the equine section.

All this time we have been threading our way among broken-legged and broken-winged ducks, cats of all sizes, ages, and colors, and in all stages of decrepitude, solemn storks standing on one leg, gulls fighting over some scrap of food that has been thrown to them, tiny striped squirrels scampering up and down the trees, pigeons without number, and monkeys everywhere. It seemed to me that there were enough monkeys to stock all the menageries in the world.

The monkeys, the gulls, the parrots, the storks, and the squirrels are not legitimate occupants of the Pingra Pol, but they have discovered a place where they are kindly treated and well fed, and where that despised and detested creature, man, has to turn out for them instead of making them fly or scamper out of his way, and they are not slow to realize its advantages. One has to witness it to appreciate the malicious joy a bedraggled stork can find in standing directly in the middle of the path and refusing to budge while the unfortunate human carefully skirts round his storkship in the mud. Then the bird raises his head, ruffles, out his neck feathers, and winks a wicked wink of triumph, and you feel that they make entirely too much of animals in India.

But we have not nearly finished the Pingra Pol yet. From the horse enclosure we pass into a much larger court, devoted to animals of the cow kind. Here are upwards of fifteen hundred water-buffaloes, trotting-bullocks, sacred Brahmin cows, oxen, some deer and antelope, and innumerable goats. With the exception of the water-buffaloes, the motley collection is hardly worth looking at; they are fat, lazy, and appear to be perfectly contented. The water-buffaloes, which I recently saw described at a travelling circus as "the ferocious Bovapulous from the jungles of India," is a most grotesque beast—a smooth skin of faded black with hardly a hair on it, stretched over so clumsy a carcass that it looks as if it were badly stuffed, a great head bearing a pair of the most ferociously villanous horns, and lit up by as mild a pair of light blue eyes as ever beamed from the countenance of a Quaker. The combination of the piratical horns and the peaceful eyes gives the beast a strange, contradictory appearance. It is a harmless creature, and when not wallowing in the mud, it trudges patiently after its owner from house to house, and furnishes the best milk procurable in India, unless you happen to have the rare good fortune to secure the produce of an imported English cow. These poor beasts are almost all broken-legged, and while it is satisfactory to see that they apparently suffer no pain, they are too contented to rouse much sympathy.

With the dogs, however, it is different. There are three or four hundred of them confined in great cages in a large court-yard, and they are the only occupants of the Pingra Pol who do not seem satisfied to remain there. They are all yearning for human companionship, and the barks and yelps which greet the visitor as he passes their cages are most pitiful. "Take me away with you; I will be a good dog for you; take me with you," is the burden of the canine chorus, and the expression of dull despair that succeeds the hope that lights each doggy face is enough to melt the heart of the most rabid dog-hater. There are a few good dogs here—setters, Great Danes, and mastiffs, and other imported animals which have been injured and sent here by their owners—but the most of them are what are known in India as "dogs of sorts," meaning all sorts, or, as a friend of mine said, "the most thoroughbred mongrels he ever saw." But some of these mongrel curs make the most faithful and affectionate canine companions, and it is surprising the accession of dignity and self-importance that[Pg 168] will come to the humblest "yaller purp" of the streets when he is adopted by a good master. The English residents use the native mongrels to hunt jackals, as they use fox-hounds for foxes in England, and the pluck and endurance of the unpromising-looking beasts surprise a good many Englishmen who have been used to hunting behind the carefully bred fox-hounds of the mother-country.

But a globe-trotter can't be encumbered with pets, and we pick our way out of the Pingra Pol, carefully avoiding the ducks, pigeons, and other small fry which squat unconcernedly in our path, and dodging as best we can the sticks and straws which the ever-active monkeys try to drop on our heads.

"Well, what do you think of one of the oldest charities in the world?" inquired my Parsi friend, as we passed through the gateway and seated ourselves in the bullock gharry.

"It is very interesting, but it must cost a deal of money to keep all those animals after they have ceased to be of any use," I answered.

"Yes; but we cannot kill them, and if one recovers so that it can be worked, or if there is healthy increase, they are given to deserving persons who will treat them kindly. The Pingra Pol is supported by voluntary contributions from the Jains, Parsis, and other Hindoo sects; there are others in Ahmedabad, Jeypoor, and other large cities. In Ahmedabad, which is the headquarters of the Jain sect, they have a building for fleas. When a pious Jain catches a flea among his scanty garments, he does not do as you cruel Occidentals do, ruthlessly crush the poor insect. Oh no! He carefully carries it to the Pingra Pol, and deposits it in the flea-house, where every day a brawny coolie is paid to spend a few hours and give the inmates a square meal," and my friend laughed as if he were not in thorough sympathy with the extreme customs of the Jains.

I found subsequently that this same regard for animal life extends all over India. The monkey, the gray crow, and the green parrot ravage the gardens and fields undisturbed save by ineffectual scarecrows. Occasionally a house-servant would catch a crow and wire a soda cork on his bill, but I fancy that the crows regarded it as a mark of distinction; the wild peacocks committed such depredations in the vicinity of Jeypoor that the people were obliged to employ double sets of watchers to drive the birds out of their gardens. And in Agra the monkeys became such a nuisance that the native merchants joined together, chartered a train of flat cars, which they plentifully covered with gram, and when the train was well loaded with monkeys busily engaged in eating, they ran it up country into the jungle about two hundred miles. I am assured, however, on the authority of a Judge of the Supreme Court of India, that the monkeys, like the cat, came back, and that each brought with him seven new chums who had been lured from their native jungle by tales of city life as told by the involuntary wanderers. I will not vouch for the accuracy of the figures of my friend the Judge, but I did not miss any monkeys in Agra or any other part of India. But while the monkeys and birds are a nuisance, it is far pleasanter to see them taken care of than killed in wanton cruelty, for "sport."

[Pg 169]


After a season that has been unusual in more respects than one, the New York Interscholastic football games have come to an end, and De La Salle stands as the champion of the League. The final game was played on the Berkeley Oval, a week ago Saturday, between De La Salle and Trinity, the former winning by a score of 2-0.


De La Salle has the ball on Trinity's 10-yard line.

The grounds were in miserable condition, and the last part of the game was played in total darkness. The only scoring that was done occurred in the first half. De La Salle made a succession of gains through Trinity's left tackle, and got the ball to within a couple of yards of the line, when it went to her opponents on downs. Page was then tried for a centre play in an attempt to get the leather out of danger, but De La Salle proved equal to the emergency, and forced her opponents over the line for a safety.

The play in the second half was hard and fast. The ball was kept moving up and down the field with rapidity. But it soon became almost impossible for the men to do any kind of systematic work, owing to darkness, and the game degenerated into a series of blind scrimmages, from which no one profited, until time was called.

The football season in Wisconsin has come to an end, and the Madison High-School can claim the honor of having defeated every high-school team it has met this year. Madison defeated Minneapolis, 21-0, and on Thanksgiving day routed an eleven who appeared to represent the Hyde Park High-School of Chicago, 22-0. The Hyde Park team was likewise defeated on the following day by a combination team from the Milwaukee East and South Side High-Schools, 12-0. In this last game Milwaukee made long gains through centre and tackles, but was unable to make any headway around the ends. The score would doubtless have been greater except for the fact that fifteen-minute halves were played. The best work for Milwaukee was done by Tuttrup, full-back, and Collins, centre.

[Pg 170]

Now that the Cook County High-School Association's football season is closed, the Chicago athletes will turn their attention to in-door baseball. Representatives from the Englewood, Austin, Lakeview, Evanston, English, North Division, and Hyde Park High-Schools met recently, and made preliminary arrangements for an in-door baseball championship series. Austin won the pennant last year, and hopes to be successful again this season. Its most formidable opponents will probably be Lakeview and North Division. Englewood has never before been represented in the in-door baseball contests, and Hyde Park has not even yet set about organizing a team. Nevertheless, the interest in the game will doubtless insure a successful season.


The Clinton High-School football team is undoubtedly the strongest scholastic eleven in Iowa. Its record this season is one that it may well feel proud of; and although nine games were scheduled early in the season, and only two were played, it was not the fault of Clinton that this was the case. In the first game Clinton defeated the Savannah, Illinois, H.-S., 56-0; the second game was against Cornell College, of Mount Vernon, Iowa, and resulted in a tie, neither side scoring.

When the high-school teams of Moline, Davenport, Dubuque, Sterling, Dickson, and Rock Island learned of the prowess of the Clintonians, they backed out of their scheduled games, and Clinton was left without any opponents. The Cornell team ranks third among the colleges of Iowa, and averages 170 pounds.

The average weight of the Clinton H.-S. eleven is 157, with 160 pounds average for the backs. Keister, left half-back, is probably the best player on the eleven; he is a sure tackler and a strong ground-gainer. Holmes, at right guard, weighs 181 pounds, and knows his position thoroughly. He tackles well, and has great skill in breaking through the opposing line. He proved himself capable, also, running with the ball, and made frequent gains around the ends in practice. Verrien, at full-back, is a new man, but he punts well, and should develop into a good line-bucker. It is to be hoped that next year Clinton will be more successful in securing opponents who care to play football for the sake of the game rather than for the satisfaction of victory.

Although athletics have not yet reached that stage of development in Cleveland to which they have attained in many other cities of equal size, yet there is a lively interest in schoolboys' sport there, and for the past two years a football league has been in operation. In 1895 it was composed of the Central High-School, the University School, the West High-School, the South High-School, and the Freshman teams of the Western Reserve University and of the Case School of Applied Science.

This year, however, some wise sportsman must have informed the schoolboys of the absurdity and inadvisability of having such a mongrel combination of schools and colleges, for during the football season the association consisted only of the Central High and University Schools. The former has the advantage in numbers, there being about eight hundred scholars enrolled; but the University School, with about two hundred boys, has the advantage of being a private school with greater resources at its command.

The championship game of football was played this year on a very muddy field, but both teams had had good coaching and put up good sport. A feature of the game was a goal from the field by Ammon of the University School, the first performance of the kind ever witnessed in the City of Cleveland. The final score was 12-9 in favor of the Central High-School, but it is said that this score does not show how close the game actually was, the University School having missed winning by the failure of a foot for a second goal from the field. Most of C.H.-S.'s gains were made through right tackle, and the High-School players resorted almost entirely to a rushing game. The University School players, on the other hand, kicked a great deal, and as Ammon is probably one of the cleverest punters and drop-kickers of any of the schools of the West, this style of play proved most effective for that side.

The senior interscholastic football season in Boston was brought to a close last week in a manner that was somewhat unlooked for. The unexpected was due to the action of the Executive Committee of the Association at its last meeting. At the opening of the football season, early in the fall, it was announced that all the teams must strictly obey not only the letter, but the spirit of the Constitution, and they were warned that they must take the consequences if the rules were not thoroughly lived up to.

As a result, however, of the game played on November 14, between Hopkinsons and Cambridge Manual-Training School, a protest was entered against C.M.-T.S., and charges were made that their team had violated one of the Articles of the Constitution. When the protest came up for decision before the committee, to which all such matters are referred, the committee decided that while the intention of C.M.-T.S. was not of a malicious nature, the situation, nevertheless, was too grave to admit of any alternative but that of depriving Cambridge of the game and of awarding it to Hopkinsons.

This decision would give the championship, then, to Hopkinsons. But the captain of the Hopkinson football team refused to accept an honor gained on a technicality of the Constitution, and declined to take advantage of the committee's decision. The committee, therefore, voted that no championship should be awarded for the season of 1896.

In the past few years the rules of the Constitution have not always been rigidly enforced or stringently lived[Pg 171] up to, and the sudden change of affairs has rather surprised the League members who supposed the lines would not be drawn so closely. At the present time, when some of the teams seem to be not satisfied to settle disputes on the gridiron, but seek rather to fall back on the Executive Committee, it has become necessary to strictly enforce the most insignificant clause of the Constitution.

The Cambridge Manual episode has attracted considerable attention in the Boston Interscholastic League, and while the result is a most severe lesson to that school, and possibly out of proportion to the offence alleged to have been committed, the result will be that in future years there will be less unnecessary action for the Executive Board, and the schools will learn to adhere to the clauses as set down in their Constitution.

In spite of Cambridge Manual's misfortune at the close of the season, her record of play has been rather exceptional during the playing weeks. One noticeable feature has been that C.M.-T.S. has scored the first goal from the field since 1891, when Moore, C.M.-T.S., kicked one, as he did also the previous year. Considerable attention has been given by the Cambridge team this fall to the development of a kicking game, and good results have followed. It is asserted that they have never had a kick blocked, and there seems to be little doubt that Sawin, the captain of the eleven, is the best kicker in the League.

Another feature of Manual-Training's game has been their system of interference, which proved particularly effective, and the backs have been drilled to hurdle the pile after the interference had been broken, and thus frequently to gain an extra couple of yards. The C.M.-T.S. manner of defence was likewise a strong one, and although outweighed man for man by a number of the teams against which they played, the Cambridge eleven proved themselves capable of forcing their opponents to kick or to surrender the ball time and time again.


Cambridge H. and L.20..4..136..60
Boston Latin12..17..1401551
Roxbury Latin10..11665642
English High2..2..207823
Stone, Nichols, and Hales4..51465213
Cambridge H. and L.1136..1051630
English High3..7..463221
Boston Latin7..4..582022
Roxbury Latin4......246822
Cambridge H. and L.10..8..913551
English High10..7..882641
Roxbury Latin5..51528014
Boston Latin..........1220(1)4
English High2..12..604822
Boston Latin4..2..325822
Cambridge H. and L...........13504
English High5..4..46522(1)1
Cambridge H. and L.1..1..10341(1)2
Boston Latin2..1..165604
English High11..3..7856(3)4(2)0
Boston Latin3..3..306823
Newton High10..3..728823
Cambridge H. and L.5..1..34781(2)2
English High11..2..682632
Cambridge H. and L.2..1..169823
Boston Latin3..1..223223
Newton High1..2..145813
English High4..12..561450
Boston Latin2..211410(3)32
Cambridge H. and L.1..11840(4)13
Brookline High3..4..2216(5)13
Brookline High5..1..3430(1)31
English High4..2..2212(2)21
Boston Latin6..1..406414
Cambridge H. and L...........12805

Note: (1) One tied. (2) Two tied. (3) Forfeited. (4) One tied and protested. (5) Protested.

An interesting table of records is printed with this issue of the Department because it must prove valuable as statistics for reference; a few points of further statistical information may likewise prove of value: since the Interscholastic League was first started, in 1888, the greatest number of points piled up by any single team is 140. This total score was made by the Boston Latin School in 1888. In the same year Cambridge High and Latin made a total of 136 points, and was not scored against in any of the championship games.

The record also shows that only six safeties have been made in the League games since they were first started—two in 1888, one in 1890, two in 1895, and one this fall. Only seven goals from the field have been kicked during these nine years; this includes those mentioned above.

The standing of the teams in the Senior League and those in both divisions of the Junior League follow:


Brookline High3113430
Cambridge Manual320912
English High2123212
Boston Latin1404064
Cambridge High and Latin0500128


Division A.

Hyde Park High3015222
Roxbury Latin2114430
Dedham High020422
Dorchester High020430

Division B.

Somerville High400906
Medford High3106028
Newton High1203046
Chelsea High020246
Nobles and Greenoughs030056


Somerville High12Hyde Park High6


Hopkinson's34Cambridge High and Latin0
(1)Hopkinson's0Cambridge Manual15
Hopkinson's14Boston Latin6
Hopkinson's0English High0
Hopkinson's16Brookline High0
Brookline High6Cambridge Manual2
Brookline High12Cambridge High and Latin0
Brookline High10Boston Latin6
Brookline High6English High6
Cambridge Manual6English High0
Cambridge Manual34Boston Latin0
Cambridge Manual34Cambridge High and Latin0
English High20Cambridge High and Latin0
English High6Boston Latin0
Boston Latin28Cambridge High and Latin0

Note: (1) Game given to Hopkinson's by action of the Executive Committee.

Unless something unforeseen occurs to prevent, the All-Connecticut Interscholastic Football Team, and in all probability the All-New-York Interscholastic Football Team, will be announced in the next number of the Round Table.

"FOOTBALL FACTS AND FIGURES."—By Walter Camp.—Post 8vo, Paper, 75 Cents.

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[Pg 172]


An amusing and eccentric character hangs around a celebrated inn up in the White Mountains which is frequented by authors, artists, and professional men. He is a shrewd fellow, and earns many a dollar by his wit. One of the new arrivals, noticing him one day, inquired who he was, and upon being informed of his wit, opened a conversation which went somewhat as follows:

"Find much to do here in summer?"

"Yaas," replied the wit. "I'm writin' er book."

"Are you, indeed? What's it about?"

The wit shifted over to his other foot, and looking mysteriously at the veranda full of people, said, "It's about the faults of celebrated men."

"Ah! And I dare say you have us all in it. Now, for instance, myself?"

"Yaas, you're there." And here he opened a greasy little leather blank book, and thumbed over the pages until he came to the entry he wanted, and then read: "'Mr. B——, the celebrated author. Fault committed yesterday, the 3d. Gave ten dollars to a messenger going to town, and instructed said messenger to buy sundry things for him.'"

"Humph! Why do you call that a fault?"

"Waal, it's this way. I reckon that messenger will steal your money and won't return."

"But suppose he does?"

"Then I'll have to scratch your name out and put his in its place; but I feel in my bones that yer the man that'll be at fault."



One of the professors of Harvard University once said, in a lecture, that many young men made a great mistake in going to college; that a university was for students, and for students only; and that if a boy were not of a studious turn of mind it was more than likely that he would waste his time for four years that could be put to better advantage in some mercantile business.

The time for such ideas has gone into history with other ideas of a similar nature, such as the buying and selling of slaves, and the pride noblemen used to feel in not being able to read or write. A college education is quite different from acquiring knowledge at a college. For instance, you may be attending a preparatory school at this moment, and are considering what courses of study you will pursue in order to obtain a "college education." What do you find at Harvard? There are some two hundred different courses to choose from, and by choosing sixteen or seventeen, and taking four or four and a half a year, at the end of four years you will, if the examinations are passed satisfactorily, obtain a degree of A. B., which in the common phrase signifies that you have obtained an education. And yet you have studied only sixteen or seventeen out of the two hundred preliminary courses that lead up to a real education. In fact, when these four years are done you have only just begun! And therefore the actual study covered amounts to little.

What has been accomplished, however, is the study and practice of how to learn, and how to go to work to get an education. You have learned how to start on any subject, whether it be the selling and buying of leather and tin goods, or the teaching of boys' schools, or the science of biology. Little information has been acquired, but you have at least learned how to attack any subject.

Furthermore, you have come from your home, wherever that may be, have met other fellows, have joined them in studies, in sports, in clubs, and in societies; and under the guidance of a carefully selected body of instructors and authorities you have learned how to take care of yourself in emergencies of all kinds, how to read, how and what to study, how to treat men and women—even how to fight when that becomes necessary; and whether you decide to take up further study or mercantile business, the result is the same. You know men, and the ways of dealing with them; you know books, and the ways of dealing with them. And incidentally you have acquired a great respect for both these valuable companions.

Let no young boy say to himself that, being dull in school, he will waste time in college. Time is never wasted that is spent in manly existence, in seeing and working with other men on a high plane, in reading any good books upon good themes or good ideas. If you have little money for any such purpose, remember that any sincere man can either win scholarships or work his way through college by doing janitor-work or a thousand other things. Remember, too, that not only have some of the greatest men America has ever known worked their way through college, but that money does not count for so much at the university as it does anywhere else in life. Many a poor fellow has led his class, and not in studies alone, but in sports and in societies and in respect. But—and this is a big "but"—he must be a man, a gentleman, and a hard worker.

If you are going into mercantile business, if you are going into professional work, or if you are going to do anything that comes first to hand, you will be the better for the three or four years, and no one who can study nights, while he works days, can be prevented from passing the entrance examinations in time. The only person who can really prevent him is himself, for if he has not the force of character to stick to it till the end, he can never do much of anything, to say nothing of entering or working his way through college.

[Pg 173]


Any questions in regard to photograph matters will be willingly answered by the Editor of this column, and we should be glad to hear from any of our club who can make helpful suggestions.


An ornamental lantern fitted with transparencies is a pretty and inexpensive Christmas gift, and may be quickly and easily made by any member of our club who owns a scroll-saw. For the sides of the lantern make a pretty open-work design, and in the centre of each panel cut a square large enough to admit a glass the size of a lantern slide (3½ by 4). Select negatives which have plenty of detail and are of good printing quality. Make four transparencies, using either the sensitive plates which come for that purpose, or making tinted transparencies according to directions given in Nos. 857 and 863. The tinted transparencies are more ornamental, but the black and white are pretty. These transparencies are fitted in the panels, and the lantern is then put together.

If one does not know how to make transparencies, almost the same effect may be produced by applying a print to plain glass, using the cover glasses made for lantern slides, and then removing the paper, leaving the film only on the glass. Directions for this process may be found in No. 878. If one has used landscape negatives, a piece of pale blue paper placed over the sky part, and a piece of green back of the landscape, will have the effect of a colored transparency when the tiny lantern inside is lighted. A small alcohol-lamp serves for the lighting, and will burn for several hours. If one has a sunset view showing fine clouds, place a faint rose-color or violet-tinted paper back of the sky, and when the lantern is lighted the colors are like those of a real sunset, the shadows and high lights in the clouds, making the different tones and shades of color. Of course if viewed in a strong light this way of coloring would be too crude, but in the faint light of the lamp it is not noticed.

In selecting pictures for the lantern, choose those which will be familiar to the one for whom the gift is designed, as half the value of a photograph is in its being a picture of some well-known place or object.

Blue transparencies show off well in a lantern of this description. Directions for making them were given some time ago, but we print another formula for the benefit of those who have not a copy of the number containing the first, and who might wish to make a lantern with blue transparencies.

No. 1.

Red prussiate of potassium¼ oz.
Water4 oz.

No. 2.

Hyposulphite of soda¼ oz.
Water4 oz.

Take old or fogged plates, and soak them in a solution made up of equal parts of No. 1 and No. 2 until the gelatine is perfectly clear. Wash thoroughly, and while wet place the plate, gelatine side up, in a clean tray, and flow over it a solution made of

Citrate of iron and ammonia½ oz.
Water2 oz.

Allow it to remain in this solution one minute, drain, and stand away to dry in a dark room. Print in the sun till shadows are slightly bronzed, about as they appear in a blue print. Remove from the frame, place in a developing-tray, and flow with a solution made of

Red prussiate of potassium1 oz.
Water4 oz.

When the development has been carried far enough, remove from the tray, and wash in running water till the high lights are clear. Dry and use in any way in which transparencies are used.

Sir Knight J. Paul Jones, 214 N. Third St., Harrisburg, Pa., says that he has a 4-by-5 Daylight kodak, with plate attachment, which he will sell at a bargain, if any of the members of the club wish to purchase a camera of this kind.

Sir Knight Warren H. Munk, 14 Waldron Street, West Lafayette, Ind., wishes to obtain a prize picture from one of the members of the club who has won a prize in any of the Camera Club contests. He says he will be glad to pay for it if he can have it. Will one of our members who has won a prize write to Sir Warren? Sir Warren may see half-tone reproductions (much reduced in size) of the pictures that won prizes last year, in No. 848, January 28, 1896.

George Coleman, Dayton, O., asks how he may become a member of the Camera Club; what makes the films of negatives crack off round the edges, making it necessary to trim the picture considerably, thus reducing it very much in size. Any Knight or Lady of the Round Table may become a member of the Camera Club by sending name and address to the editor of this Department, and it will be published in the Round Table, and duly enrolled in the Camera Club book. To become a Knight or Lady of the Round Table send name and address to the Round Table, and patent will be sent to you. In order to enter contests one must belong to the Order of the Round Table. The softening of the film is because the water in which the negative is washed is of too high a temperature. Neither the water nor the solution should rise above 85° or fall below 60° F.; 70° is a safe temperature. If the solutions or fixing-bath is too warm, set the dishes in a pan of ice-water for a few moments to lower the temperature.

The Camera Club Competitions will close February 15, 1897, as announced in the October 27, 1896, issue. The statement in the December 8 issue that they closed on December 15, 1896, was an error.


Postage Stamps, &c.


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AGENTS make big money by selling from our fine approval sheets at 40% com. Good Premiums.

Merrimac Stamp Co., Newburyport, Mass.

FREE with every 10c. packet of stamps, a beautiful calendar. Wamsutta Stamp Co., N. Attleboro, Mass.



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And other styles to suit all hands.




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The latest invention in Cameras. You look through the lens and your stout friends will look like living skeletons, your thin friends like Dime Museum fat men, horses like giraffes and in fact everything appears as though you were living in another world. Each camera contains two strong lenses in neatly finished leatherette case. The latest mirth-maker on the market; creates bushels of sport. Catalogue of 1,000 novelties and sample camera 10c., 3 for 25c., 12 for 90c. mailed postpaid. Agents wanted.


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FOR 1897. 50 Sample Styles




thoroughly revised, classified, and indexed, will be sent by mail to any address on receipt of ten cents.

[Pg 174]

For Young Naturalists.

H. Notman, 182 Amity Street, Brooklyn, N. Y., wants to join a corresponding Chapter, or some society of young naturalists. He also wants the pupa of the cicada and the shell it leaves on the trunk of trees. He has beetles, and wants correspondents among members of the Order interested in natural history.

A Modern Curfew.

The saying about history repeating itself has an example in the modern curfew, which is in legal effect in about two hundred cities in this country. Many years ago, in English towns, a bell was rung every night at a certain hour, and after that hour people found on the streets were liable to be caught, tried, and punished. This old law applied to grown folks, but the modern curfew law applies to children only, and is designed to keep boys off the streets. It is said to be in successful effect in Omaha, Nebraska; St. Joseph and Kansas City, Missouri. Besides these large cities, eight or ten smaller cities in New Jersey, Ohio, and Michigan contemplate enacting the law, and there is to be a movement made this winter to get it passed in New York city. Will members living in any city in which it is in effect tell the Table about it? Tell us just what the ordinance says, and how it works in practice.

To Amateur Journalists.

William F. Tillson, 149 North Street, Springfield, Massachusetts, is interested in music and dramatics, and wants correspondents. He wants to receive amateur papers from publishers as samples. So does Ethel S. Deane, Dean, Ohio.

Will do for Next Summer.

Please give me plan and measurements of a single tennis-court, and tell me how it may be made a double court.

Will Kelsey.

Choose the place for your net so as to give an equal space behind each base-line. Measure 36 feet, and put in a peg at either end, with the tape-line fastened to it. Take 39 feet on one measure, and 53 feet ¾ inch on the other. Where they cross is one corner. Mark off 21 feet from the net from one end of the service-line. Transpose the measures and do the same thing, and you have half the court. Carry the measures to the other side of the court, and repeat the operation. The central-line runs from the middle of each service-line. The inner side-lines run from base-line to base-line 4 feet 6 inches inside of the side-lines. If you are marking out a double court only, do not carry the inner side-lines beyond the service-lines. Make a mark inside the middle of the base-line to show where the server may stand. The diagonal of a single court is about 47 feet 5 inches. If possible, have the court run north and south.

The New Mint Building.

The old United States Mint, for so many years in the crowded and expensive neighborhood on Chestnut Street in this city, is to be torn down and removed to Spring Garden and Sixteenth streets, about one mile north of its present location. Strong efforts were made to get the Mint removed to Washington when it was found necessary to build a new one. Even Chicago and New York tried to get it away from here. But five years ago a whole square was purchased for its site, and Philadelphia breathed easier.

The new Mint will have a main entrance on Spring Garden Street. It will be in the form of a hollow square, giving a court-yard open to the sky. It is to have a terrace balustrade constructed of granite. Above it the material will be marble. The style is severely plain classic, and the design as shown on paper is far from pleasing. In the plan is provided a spacious room for the coin museum, which many readers have doubtless seen in the old building. It is by far the finest collection of old coins in the world, outside of the British Museum. Work upon the new Mint building is expected to begin next spring.

Fred B. Biddle.

Answer to Convent Puzzle.

By looking at these four diagrams you will see the trick of the puzzle. Fig. 1 shows the nuns on good behavior; Fig. 2, when four sisters have escaped; Fig. 3, when they have returned with four friends; Fig. 4, when four more outsiders have been admitted—presumably by a rope-ladder.

Fig. 1.
Fig. 2.
Fig. 3.
Fig. 4.

Queer Weather Signs.

Not long since a number of natural signs were given by which a change in the weather could be easily told. Here are a few more:

When a strong hoar-frost is seen in winter, it will rain in two, or, at most, three, days.

It commonly rains on a day when the sun appears red or pale; or the next day when it sets in a cloud.

When the moon is pale, rain; when red, wind; when of a pure and silver color, fair weather; according to the old verse, silver color, fair weather; according to the old verse,

Pallida pluit, rubicunda flat, alba serenat.

When the sun appears double or treble through clouds, a storm of long duration may be expected.

When a halo is seen around the moon, rain; around the sun during bright weather, rain; around the sun during a rain, fine weather.

Jean Bonpére.

Questions and Answers.

Helen L. Codey: The United States takes a census each decade—1880, 1890, 1900, etc. The first national census was made in 1790. No, it was not that this government neglected it up till that date. It was not then the custom of countries to take careful censuses. Some States take censuses on the abstract decades, as 1885, 1895, 1905, etc. The figures about shipping, the crops, railway earnings, etc., to which you refer, are collected, for the most part, by a bureau of statistics, at Washington, and published free for general use.

Fred B. Davies asks what is meant by an advertisement, which he encloses to us, asking for bids in connection with the making of pennies, and he inquires if the United States does not coin its own money. Yes, our government coins its own money, and prints its own paper bills. But it gets blanks for pennies and nickels made by private parties. The advertisement enclosed specifies that "one-cent blanks must be properly annealed, cleaned and milled, and ready for the press, composed of 95 per cent. of copper and 5 per cent. of zinc and tin, in equal proportions." These blanks are made by private concerns, and then the pennies are coined at the mint. The blanks cost the government 21.95 cents per pound, and there are approximately 146 pieces to the pound, avoirdupois. Last year the mint at Philadelphia coined 46,168,422 pennies.—Foster W. Stearns, 269 Park Street, Newton, Mass., wants to hear of some amateur journals whose editors desire contributions.—May Inman Maguire, Hendersonville, N. C., expects soon to move to Washington, D. C., and desires to hear from some Chapter or young ladies' literary club in that city to which she may belong.—George E. Purdy, Box 1228, New York city, will write a description of the New York Stock or Produce Exchange to any member anywhere willing, in turn, to write and send him a description of an interesting spot, feature, industry, etc., in any other city.

"Page": You should apply at once to the member of Assembly from your district if you would become a page in the Assembly-Chamber at Albany this winter. But, to be frank with you, it must be said that, as a rule, boys whose parents reside in Albany are almost always appointed. Boys are required to be bright, well behaved, and strong enough to endure several hours of hard work per day, with sometimes a night session thrown in. The pay is $2 per day.

Frederic B. Schurman: Charity organization societies are not found in cities as small as the one in which you live (Erie), for the reason that the necessity for them does not exist. They are a banding together of public and private charities for better administration and for the study and cure of pauperism. It is an English idea. Organized charity was undertaken in London in 1869, and in this country in 1877. The first American society was organized in Buffalo, N. Y., and the organizer of it was an Episcopal clergyman named Rev. Humphrey Gurteen. The second American society was organized in Philadelphia in 1878, and that of New York city four years later. There are now seventy-eight such societies.

[Pg 175]


This Department is conducted in the interest of stamp and coin collectors, and the Editor will be pleased to answer any question on these subjects so far as possible. Correspondents should address Editor Stamp Department.

The publishers of a paper in Boston, having occasion to send out many thousands of their annual announcements, by a special arrangement with the postmaster used 1c. stamps which had been cancelled in a press by the entire sheet as follows:

I understand that an employé of the P. O. inspects the affixing of stamps thus cancelled.

This is a variety well worth collecting, but possibly the same plan may become popular at other large post-offices, and it would be a little difficult to determine the genuineness of many varieties.

Mr. John N. Luff read a paper on the early issues of Switzerland, at the Collectors' Club, and illustrated the same by stereopticon views of the stamps, counterfeits, cancellations, etc. Most of the unused stamps from which the photographic slides were made came from Mr. H. J. Duveen's wonderful collection of these rare stamps. This was one of the best papers ever read before a philatelic audience, and the first stereopticon stamp lecture given in America.

People wonder at the high prices asked for old postage-stamps. The same people probably wonder at the still higher prices asked for old books, old armor, old pictures, etc. But the curious thing is that a man who gives $5000 for a unique stamp is not thought to be quite as sane as the man who gives $100,000 for an old master, or $50,000 for a rare orchid. Still philately flourishes, and the press is educating the public.

I very much regret to announce the death, on Thanksgiving day, of the Daily Stamp Item, at the age of one year. Begun as a joke, edited by "the office cat," it has appeared day by day for a full year, always bringing a little philatelic titbit, and sometimes containing as much news as the average weekly or monthly stamp paper. The publishers purpose to issue a special souvenir number during the holidays, containing a review of the year's work, and also a complete list of the subscribers, to each of whom a copy will be sent.

F. W. Lerk.—The little true value of "Seebecks" was shown at a late auction, where sets of these stamps were sold for $3, the catalogue value of which was $28. If you are looking at collection as a speculation, my advice is to buy high-priced stamps only, the higher the better, as a rule; but if you are collecting for fun, go in for everything in the countries you select, and you will have much satisfaction, and not suffer any money loss should you wish to sell your collection, provided you study your stamps carefully, get and keep them in fine condition, and make up all the chief varieties in shades, etc.



There is a "comfortable feeling" that comes after a bath with Ivory Soap.

Th: Procter & Gamble Co., Cin'ti.


We wish to introduce our Teas. Sell 30 lbs. and we will give you a Fairy Tricycle; sell 25 lbs. for a Solid Silver Watch and Chain; 50 lbs. for a Gold Watch and Chain; 75 lbs. for a Bicycle; 10 lbs. for a Gold Ring. Write for catalog and order sheet Dept. I


Springfield, Mass.


Roentgen and Edison out-done. The great up to date Sensation! Penetrates any object inserted between its lenses, no matter how thick or dense. You can see through a solid piece of iron or a part of your body, as through a crystal; of all optical marvels ever discovered this is the most wonderful. Two sets of compound lenses in handsome telescope case 3½ in. long. Sells for 25c. Sample complete and mailed postpaid with catalogue of 1000 Bargains for 15c. 2 for 25c. $1.25 Doz. AGENTS WANTED. DON'T WAIT—DO IT NOW.

Robt. H. Ingersoll & Bro., Dept. No. 62, 65 Cortlandt St., N. Y.

Holiday Presents for Young People

"Harper's Round Table" for 1896

Volume XVII. With 1276 Pages, and about 1200 Illustrations. 4to, Cloth, Ornamental, $3.50.

This unusually attractive volume contains three long serial stories for boys; by James Barnes, Kirk Munroe, and Molly Elliot Seawell. There are also many shorter stories by other popular writers.

Modern Outdoor Life is very fully treated, some one hundred and fifty pages being devoted to subjects of that nature, and in addition there is an important series of articles illustrated by instantaneous photographs of the different athletic sports.

A few of the other features are the interesting papers by Mrs. Lew. Wallace on The Tower of London, and the twelve articles by Mrs. Emma J. Grey, on getting up entertainments for young people. Each article describes amusements suitable for one month in the year. Cyrus C. Adams contributes a series upon different interesting subjects connected with recent African explorations.

Of the previous bound volume of Harper's Round Table, the N. Y. Sun said: "There is nothing, we imagine, that the young reader would be likely to prize more."

A Virginia Cavalier

A Story of the Boyhood of George Washington. By Molly Elliot Seawell. Illustrated. Post 8vo, Cloth, Ornamental, $1.50.

Rick Dale

A Story of the Northwest Coast. By Kirk Munroe. Illustrated by W. A. Rogers. Post 8vo, Cloth, Ornamental, $1.25.

Naval Actions of the War of 1812

By James Barnes. With 21 Full-page Illustrations by Carlton T. Chapman, printed in color, and 12 Reproductions of Medals. 8vo, Cloth, Ornamental, Deckel Edges and Gilt Top, $4.50.

The Ship's Company

And Other Sea People. By J. D. Jerrold Kelley, Lieutenant-Commander, U.S.N. Copiously Illustrated. 8vo, Cloth, Ornamental, $2.50.

The Dwarfs' Tailor

And Other Fairy Tales. Collected by Zoe Dana Underhill. With 12 Illustrations. Post 8vo, Cloth, Ornamental, $1.75.

For King or Country

A Story of the American Revolution. By James Barnes. Illustrated. Post 8vo, Cloth, Ornamental, $1.50.

Tommy Toddles

By Albert Lee. Illustrated by Peter S. Newell. Square 16mo, Cloth, Ornamental, $1.25.

Shakespeare the Boy

With Sketches of the Home and School Life, the Games and Sports, the Manners, Customs, and Folk-lore of the Time. By William J. Rolfe, Litt.D., Editor of "Rolfe's English Classics," etc. Illustrated. Post 8vo, Cloth, $1.25.

HARPER & BROTHERS, Publishers, New York

[Pg 176]



One often envies greatness, overlooking the hardships and struggles passed through before the place of honor has been attained. When we read of the lives of distinguished men in any department, we find them almost always where they are through hard work. We hear constantly of the great amount of labor they could perform. Demosthenes, Julius Cæsar, Henry IV. of France, Sir Isaac Newton, Washington, Napoleon, and many others, different as they were in their intellectual and moral qualities, were all renowned as hard workers. We read how many days they could support the fatigues of a march; how early they rose; how many hours they spent in the field, the cabinet, in the court—in short, how hard they worked.

Cedric. "Are you going to hang up your stocking Christmas eve, Tommy?"

Tommy. "No; I've got enough feet. I'm going to hang up my pocket."

He was a bright, dapper young lawyer, full of spirits, and possibly a little too smart. For some time the judge of the district court had been waiting an opportunity to suppress a trifle of this smartness, as it became a bore when constantly opposed to his Honor's long experience. The young lawyer jumped up to defend a case of stealing in which the accused had retained him. Unfortunately he had failed to thoroughly acquaint himself with the facts of the case, other than that his client had been arrested for stealing.

"Your Honor," he cried, "I ask you does the prisoner look like a man that would steal? Does he look like a man that would suffer his honesty to be demeaned by appropriating another man's gold? No! a thousand times No! He is a patriotic citizen of the country, one of the proud upholders of our grand republic, and I say it is an outrage for the plaintiff to accuse such a gentleman of theft. Think of his friends that will weep over his disgrace undeservedly thrust upon him. Think of the blight upon this man's existence. I say the accused is too manly, too generous, too noble a specimen of hum—"

Smash! went the judge's gavel as he roared out, "Quit that! Young man, this is a case of hog-stealing!"

He was a New-Yorker, and proud of his city, and although his Chicago friend pointed out sight after sight, boasted of the city's fine boulevards, and drove the New-Yorker over them, he failed to excite in his guest more than a slight curiosity. Then he brought up the subject of tall buildings.

"Chicago beats the world," he said. "Our tall buildings top anything ever erected."

"Well, well," said the New-Yorker, "that's queer. Ever heard of that building in New York that the clouds bump against? Never heard of it, eh? I'll tell you something about it. When they put the last story on it a workman fell off the top. Some time later I was passing along the street below when a newsboy yelled: 'Extry. Full account of the accident.' I bought a paper, and it described how the man toppled off and all that. But what do you think? while I was reading it something dropped with a crash. What was it? Why, the workman, of course! He'd just reached the ground."

In a letter that recently reached this country, written by one of Queen Victoria's soldiers, who was with his regiment marching against the Dervishes in the Egyptian campaign, is a little amusing story of a certain soldier who disliked the intense heat of the country, and sought in every kind of way to obtain some excuse for quitting the service. It seems he complained to the doctor of his eyes, claiming that he was so nearsighted that he could not with safety fire off his gun for fear of hitting a comrade instead of an enemy.

"Dear me," said the doctor, "that is a serious matter. Now tell me what you mean by nearsighted."

"Well, sir," said the soldier, and he looked around thoughtfully as if in search of some idea, "it is an example you want? Ah, I have one. Can you see that pin lying in a corner over there?"

"Why, yes! And I should say it required excellent eye-sight to see it, too," replied the doctor.

"Well, that's my trouble, sir; I can't see it."

The poor man is still wondering why he is not sent back to the home station.


Upon creating noise I'm bent—
I never go to bed.
Although I'm dumb, I'm eloquent
When hit upon the head.
I'm listened to with ecstasy
Where'er I go or come;
I madly roll and roll in glee—
I'm Tommy's scarlet drum.


[1] Begun in Harper's Round Table No. 888.