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Title: Bill Nye's Chestnuts Old and New
Author: Nye, Bill
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Bill Nye's Chestnuts Old and New" ***

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BILL NYE'S CHESTNUTS OLD AND NEW

With New Illustrations From Original Sketches, Photographs, Memoranda,
and Authentic Sources, by Williams, Opper, and Hopkins.

NEW YORK

JOHN W. LOVELL COMPANY

1888


[Illustration: 0001]

[Illustration: 0006]

[Illustration: 0007]



CHESTNUTS OLD AND NEW.



CHESTNUT-BURR. I.--THE SHAKESPEARE-BACON PUZZLE WRESTLED WITH
CONSCIENTIOUSLY.

_Why Bill favors the Claims of Bill Shakespeare--His Handwriting
skillfully touched upon--Its Likeness to Horace Greeley's--Difference
between Shakespeare and Bacon--A kind Lift for the Yeomanry._

|Trusting that it will not in any way impair the sale of Mr. Donnelly's
book, I desire to offer here a few words in favor of the theory that
William Shakespeare wrote his own works and thought his own thinks. The
time has fully arrived when we humorists ought to stand by each other.

I do not undertake to stand up for the personal character of
Shakespeare, but I say that he wrote good pieces, and I don't care who
knows it. It is doubtless true that at the age of eighteen he married a
woman eight years his senior, and that children began to cluster about
their hearthstone in a way that would have made a man in a New York flat
commit suicide. Three little children within fourteen months, including
twins, came to the humble home of the great Bard, and he began to go
out and climb upon the haymow to do his writing. Sometimes he would stay
away from home for two or three weeks at a time, fearing that when he
entered the house some one would tell him that he was again a parent.

Yet William Shakespeare knew all the time that he was a great man, and
that some day he would write pieces to speak. He left Stratford at the
age of twenty-one and went to London, where he attracted very little
attention, for he belonged to the Yeomanry, being a kind of dramatic
Horace Greeley, both in the matter of clothes and penmanship. Thus it
would seem that while Sir Francis Bacon was attending a business college
and getting himself familiar with the whole-arm movement, so as to be
able to write a free, cryptogamous hand, poor W. Shakespeare was slowly
thinking the hair off his head, while ever and anon he would bring out
his writing materials and his bright ready tongue, and write a sonnet on
an empty stomach.

Prior to leaving Stratford he is said to have dabbled in the poaching
business in a humble way on the estates of Sir Thomas Lucy, since
deceased, and that he wrote the following encomium or odelet in a free,
running hand, and pinned it on the knight's gate:=

````O, deer Thomas Lucy,

````Your venison's juicy,

````Juicy is your venison;

````Hence I append my benison.=

```The rose is red; the violet's blue;

```The keeper is a chump and so are you,

```Which is why I remark and my language is plain,

```Yours truly,

````High Low Jack

`````And the Game.=

[Illustration: 0017]

Let me now once more refer to the matter of the signature. Much has
been said of Mr. Shakespeare's coarse, irregular and vulgar penmanship,
which, it is claimed, shows the ignorance of its owner, and hence his
inability to write the immortal plays. Let us compare the signature
of Shakespeare with that of Mr. Greeley, and we notice a wonderful
similarity. There is the same weird effort in both cases to
out-cryptogam Old Cryptogamous himself, and enshrine immortal thought
and heaven-born genius in a burglar-proof panoply of worm fences, and
a chirography that reminds the careful student of the general direction
taken in returning to Round Knob, N. C., by a correspondent who visited
the home of a moonshiner, with a view toward ascertaining the general
tendency of homebrewed whisky to fly to the head.

If we judge Shakespeare by his signature, not one of us will be safe.
Death will wipe out our fame with a wet sponge. John Hancock in one
hundred years from now will be regarded as the author of the Declaration
of Independence, and Compendium Gaskell as the author of the Hew York
_Tribune_.

I have every reason to believe that while William Shakespeare was
going about the streets of London, poor but brainy, erratic but smart,
baldheaded but filled with a nameless yearning to write a play with
real water and a topical song in it, Francis Bacon was practicing on his
signature, getting used to the full-arm movement, spoiling sheet
after sheet of paper, trying to make a violet swan on a red woven wire
mattress of shaded loops without taking his pen off the paper, and
running the rebus column of a business college paper.

Poets are born, not made, and many of them are born with odd and even
disagreeable characteristics. Some men are born poets, while it is true
that some acquire poetry while others have poetry thrust upon them.
Poetry is like the faculty, if I may so denominate it, of being able to
voluntarily move the ears. It is a gift. It cannot be taught to others.

So Shakespeare, with all his poor penmanship, with his proneness to
poach, with his poverty and his neglect of his wife and his children,
could write a play wherein the leading man and the man who played the
bass drum in the orchestra did not claim to have made the principal
part.

Shakespeare did not want his plays published. He wanted to keep them out
of the press in order to prevent their use at spelling schools in the
hands of unskilled artists, and so there was a long period of time
during which the papers could not get hold of them for publication.

During this time Francis Bacon was in public life. He and Shakespeare
had nothing in common. Both were great men, but Bacon's sphere was
different from Shakespeare's, While Bacon was in the Senate, living high
and courting investigation, Shakespeare had to stuff three large pillows
into his pantaloons and play Falstaff at a one-night stand.

Is it likely that Bacon, breathing the perfumed air of the capitol and
chucking the treasury girls under the chin ever and anon, hungered for
the false joys of the under-paid and underscored dramatist? Scarcely!

That is one reason win I prefer to take the side of Shakespeare rather
than the side of Bacon.

Mr. Donnelly's book shows keen research, and preserves the interest all
the way through, for the reader is impressed all along with the idea
that there is a hen on, if I may be permitted to coin a phrase; but so
far my sympathies and kind regards go with Shakespeare. He was one of
the Yeoman of Stratford, and his early record was against him; but
where do poets usually come from? Do they first breathe in the immortal
sentiments which, in after years, enable their names to defy the front
teeth of oblivion while stopping at one of our leading hotels? Did Burns
soak his system with the flavor and the fragrance of the Scotch heather
while riding on an elevated train? Did any poet ever succeed in getting
up close to Nature's great North American heart by studying her habits
at a twenty-five dollar german? I trow not. Moreover, every one who
studies the history of our great poets and orators will trow likewise.
Lord Tennyson wrote better things before he tried to divide his
attention between writing poetry and being a Lord. So I say that from
our yeomanry frequently spring the boys whose rare old rural memories
float in upon and chasten and refine their after-lives even when fame
comes, and fills them full of themselves and swells their aching heads
as they swoop gayly across the country in a special ear.

I do not go so far as some of the friends of Shakespeare, and say that
while he was a lovely character and a great actor, that Bacon was a ham.
I do not say that, for Bacon had his good points.

The thing that has done more to injure Shakespeare in the eyes of the
historian than aught else, perhaps, was his seeming neglect of his wife.
But we should consider both sides of the question before we pass
judgment. The Hathaways were queer people, and Anne was unusually so.
Her father snubbed her in his will just as her husband did, which shows
that Mrs. Shakespeare was not highly esteemed even by her parents. The
brief notice which Anne received in these two wills means a good deal,
for there is nothing quite so thoroughly unanswerable as a probate snub.

Shakespeare in his own will gave to his wife his second-best bed, and
that was all. When we remember that it was a bed that sagged in the
middle, and that it operated by means of a bed-cord which had to be
tightened and tuned up twice a week, and that the auger-holes in the
bedstead seemed ever to mutely appeal for more powder from Persia's
great powder magazine, we will be forced to admit that William did not
passionately love his wife.

I know that Shakespeare has been severely criticised by the press for
leaving his family at Stratford while he himself lived in London, only
visiting home occasionally; but I am convinced that he found they could
live cheaper in that way. Help in the house was very high at that time
in London, and the intelligence offices were doing a very large business
without giving very much intelligence. Friends of his told him that it
was not only impossible to get enough help in the homes of London,
but that there was hardly enough servants to prevent a panic in the
Employment Bureaus. Seven, offices were in fact compelled to shut down
for a half day at a time, one using the limited stock in the forenoon
and the other in the afternoon.

Shakespeare was a perfect gentleman, having been made so by the Herald's
College, which invested his father with coat armor. This coat armor
made a gentleman of the elder Shakespeare, and as William's mother was
already a gentleman under the code, William became one also both on his
father's and on his mother's side. Of course all this is mere detail and
is dull and uninteresting; but I refer to it to show that those who
have read things in Shakespeare's works that they did not like, and who,
therefore, say that he was no gentleman, do the great Bard an injustice.

I think I like Shakespeare's expurgated poems best, and I often wish
that he had confined himself entirely to that kind. If I had a son who
seemed to lean toward poesy and felt like twanging his lyre now and
then, I would advise him to write expurgated poems exclusively.

I do not say that Shakespeare was the author of his own works, and it
would not look well in me to set up my opinion in opposition to that of
scholars, experts and savants who have had more advantages than I have,
for I would never take advantage of any one; but I say that somehow the
impression has crept into the papers that he was a pretty good little
play-writer, and I am glad that Mr. Childs has had a testimonial made
and sent over to England that will show an appreciation, at least, of
his ability to keep before the people.

It will be noticed by the alert and keen-scented littérateur that I have
carefully avoided treading on the tail of Mr. Donnelly's cipher. Being
rather a poor mathematician anyway, I will not introduce the cipher at
this time, but I will say that although the whole thing happened about
three hundred years ago, and has now nearly passed out of my mind, to
the best of my recollection Shakespeare, though he was the son of a
buckwheater, and though he married his wife with a poetic license, and
though he left his family at Stratford rather than take them to live
in a London flat, wrote the most of his plays with the assistance of an
expurgator who was out of the city most all of the time.

I cannot show Shakespeare's ready wit better at this time than by
telling of his first appearance on the stage as I remember it. He came
quietly before the footlights with a roll of carpet under one arm and a
tack hammer under the other. In those days it was customtomary to nail
down stage carpets, and while doing so "Shake," as we all called him
then, knocked the nail off his left thumb, whereupon he received an
ovation from the audience. Some men would have been rattled and would
have "called up," as we say, but Shakespeare was always ready to please
his friends or respond to an encore; so putting his right thumb up
against a large painted rock in a mountain scene, he obliged by knocking
off the other thumb-nail.

Shakespeare wrote the poem called "Venus and Adonis," during the absence
of his expurgator, and sent it to the editor of the Stratford _Appeal_,
who deadheaded the paper to him for a year and told him that he wished
he would write up any other gossip that might come to his knowledge in
that part of the country, especially if it promised to be spicy.

Shakespeare was one of the few Englishmen who never visited this country
for two weeks, for the purpose of writing an eight pound book on his
impressions of America.



CHESTNUT-BURR II--HOW THE GLORIOUS FOURTH WAS CELEBRATED AT WHALEN'S
GROVE LAST YEAR.

_An Oration by a Self-Made Man which had Bones in it--Suggestions of
Deep Interest to Taxpayers--Freedom as it Suggests Itself to a Hickory
Township Man--Our Duties to a Common Country._

|There were patriotic remarks and greased-pig exercises at Whalen's
Grove last year on the Fourth, all of which, according to the Sandy Mush
_Record-Statesman_, passed off with marked success. From the opening
prayer to the base-ball contest and greased-pole doings, everything was
harmonious, and the receipts were satisfactory. Col. L. Forsyth Heeley
acted as marshal of the day, wearing a maroon sash, and mounted on his
well-known horse, Mambrino King. A serious accident in the early morning
was happily averted by Col. Heeley's coolness and self-possession.
A lady from Lower Hominy, whose name could not be ascertained, while
actively engaged in listening to the band, and holding her young child
so that it could get a good view of the sun, became entangled in her
train, which had worked around in front, and while recovering herself
Col. L. Forsyth Heeley came down the street in advance of the fire
laddies. The horse was rearing high in the air, and going sideways with
a squeaking sound, which seemed to be caused by the friction between
his second and third stomach. His mouth was wide open, and his fiery-red
gums could be seen as far as the eye could reach. Almost every one
thought there would be a holocaust; but at that trying instant, as if by
magic, Col. Heeley decided to go down the other street.

Our fire ladies made a fine appearance, in their new, hot uniforms, and
were not full during the parade, as was stated by the Hickory township
_World_.

Everybody seemed to feel an interest in patriotism, with the exception
of an old party from a distance, who opened the exercises by cutting a
large watermelon and distributing it with a lavish hand among himself.
He then went to sleep in the corner of a fence, where he would have been
greatly pestered by flies if he had found out about it in time.

After a pleasant and courteous prayer by rev. Mr. Meeks, in which he
laid before the Lord a national policy which he felt certain would make
a great hit, our Glee Club sang=

````Oh, say can you see, etc.=

Judge Larraby read the Declaration of Independence in a rich dark red
voice, and a self-made man from Hickory township delivered the following
impromptu address, the manuscript of which he kindly furnished to the
_Record-Statesman_:

"_Fellow Citizens:_ This is the anniversary of the day when freedom
towards all and malice towards none first got a foothold in this
country. And we are now to celebrate that day. I say that on that day
Tireny and uzurpation got a set-back that they will never recover from.
We then paved the way for the poor, oppressed foreigner, so that he
could come to our shores and take liberties with our form of government.
To be a foreigner here in America to-day is one of the sweetest boons.
If I could be just what I would like to be, I would be an oppressed
foreigner, landing on pur shores, free from the taxation and
responsibility of government, with no social demands made on me, with
nothing in my possession but a hearty Godspeed from both political
parties, and a strong yearning for freedom. Oh, why was I not born an
alien, that both parties wouldn't dast to reproach; an alien that can
come here and find a government already established, with no flies on
to it; a government of the people, by the people and for the people?
(Fire-crackers and applause.)

[Illustration: 0027]

"On the day that Button Gwinnett put his name to the statement that all
men was created more or less equal, the spot on which we now stand was a
howling wilderness. Where yonder lemonade-stand now stands and realizes
a clean profit of forty-seven dollars and thirty-five cents on an
investment of six dollars and fifty cents, the rank thistle nodded in
the wynd, and the wild fox dag his hole unscared. If you do not believe
this I refer you to the principal of our public school, who is to-day
assisting in the band, and who is now in the act of up-ending his alto
horn to pour out about a teacupful of liquid melody that he had left
over from the last tune.

"And why is this? Why are we to-day a free people, with a surplus in
the treasury that nobody can get at? (Loud applause and squeal from
a grass-fed horse tied to a tree who is being kicked by a red
two-year-old, owned by the Pathmaster of Road District 3.)

"Why are our resources so great that they almost equal our liabilities?
Why is everything done to make it pleasant for the rich man and every
inducement held ont for the poor man to accumulate more and more
poverty? Why is it that so much is said about the tariff by men who do
not support their families? Why is it that when we vote for a president
of the United States, we have to take our choice between a statesmanlike
candidate with great ability and proclivities for grand larceny--why
is it that we are given our choice between this kind of a man and what
Virgil refers to in his 'Childe Harold' as a chump? (Cheers and cries
of 'That's so' from a man who is riveted to the spot by means of a new
pitch-plank on which he is sitting and which will not permit him to move
out of the sun.)

"One hundred years ago the tastes of our people were simple. Now it
takes so much simplicity to keep Congress going that the people don't
get a chance at it. A century ago common, home-made rum was the only
relaxation known to a plain but abstemious people. Now it takes a man
with a mighty good memory to recall the names of some of the things he
has drunk when his wife asks him about it on the following morning. I
claim to have a good memory of names and things generally, but if you
want to get me mixed up and have fun with me, you can do it that way.

"But, fellow-citizens, how can we best preserve the blessing of freedom
and fork it over unimpaired to our children? How can we enchance the
blood-bought right, which is inherent in every human being, of the
people, for the people and by the people, where tyrant foot hath never
trod nor bigot forged a chain, for to look back from our country's
glorious natal day or forward to a glorious, a happy and a prosperous
future with regard to purity of the ballot and free speech. I say for
one we cannot do otherwise. (Prolonged applause.)

"I would rather have my right hand cleave to the roof of my mouth than
to utter a sentiment that I would regret; but I say that as a people,
as a nation or as an inalienable right which no man can gainsay or
successfully controvert, not for political purposes, and yet I am often
led to inquire whither are we drifting, not only as a people and as a
nation, but as a country and as a joint school district, No. 6, where
we now stand, and when we are paying a school teacher this summer
twenty-two dollars a month to teach the children, little prattling
children, during the hot summer weather, how many feet of intestines
there are in the human body and what is best to do for it? Last winter
we paid thirty-four dollars per month to a man who opened the school
with prayer and then made a picture of the digestive organs on the
blackboard. And still we wonder that politics is corrupt.

"I tell you that the seeds of vice and wickedness is often sowed at
school in the minds of the young by teachers who are paid a large salary
to do far different. What do you think of a man who would open a school
with prayer and then converse freely about the alimentary canal? Such
a man would lead a life of the deepest infamy if he had the least
encouragement.

"So I say, fellow-citizens, that we must guard against the influences
of the public schools as a nation, for the people, of the people, and by
the people. Education is often a blessing in disguise, but we should not
pry into things that the finite mind has no business with. How much
was Galileo ahead in the long run for going out of his sphere? He was
boycotted from morning till night and died poor. Look at Demosthenes.
Look at Diogenes. They pried into science, and both of them was poor
providers and have since died. Of course their names are frequently used
in debating schools, and some claim that this is big pay for what they
went through; but I say give me a high-stepping horse, the bright smile
of dear ones who are not related to me in any way, the approval of the
admiring throng, a large woolly dog that will do as I tell him, a modest
little home and unlimited credit at the store, and I do not care how
much B. will have to use off from the diameter of a given grindstone,
for which he paid an undivided one-fifteenth.

"I know that this is regarded as a queer doctrine by what is called our
more Advanced Thinkers but I say let every man who pants for fame select
his own style of pant and go ahead. I bid him a most hearty godspeed and
hope he will do well.

"But what makes me mad is for a man to come to me and dictate what I
shall pant for. This is called intolerance by people who can afford
to use words of that size. Intolerance is a thing that makes me tired.
Whether it's religious, political or social intolerance, I dislike it
very much. People that think I will enjoy voting for a yaller dog
that had been picked out for me, or that I will be tickled to death to
indorse the religious dogmas of an effete monicky with my eyes shot,
don't know me. I say, let every man rely solely on his own thinker, and
damned be he who first cries hold, enough! I am not a profane man, but I
quote from a poem in using the above quotation.

"But again. In closing, let me say that we owe it to our common country
to be peaceable citizens and pay our taxes without murmuring. The time
to get in our fine work is on the valuation, and it is too late to kick
after that. Let us cultivate a spirit of lofty patriotism, but believe
nothing just to oblige others. I used to be a great believer in anything
that was submitted for my approval. That was what kept me back. Now, if
a man like Jay Gould says he is not feeling so well as he did, I make
him show me his tongue.

"We are here to-day to celebrate the birthday of American freedom, as
I understand it, and I am here to say that whatever may be said
against our refinement and our pork, our style of freedom is sought for
everywhere. It is a freedom that will stand any climate and I hear it
very highly spoken of wherever I go.

"I am here to state that, as boy and man, I have been a constant user of
American freedom for over fifty years, and I can truly say that I feel
no desire to turn back; also that there will be a grand, free-for-all
scuffle for a greased pig on the vacant lot south of the church at seven
o'clock, after which fireworks will be served to those who desire to
remain."

And thus did the Fourth of July pass with all its glories in Whalen's
Grove in the year of our independence the 110th.



ENCOURAGING GREEN JOKES.

|I want to encourage green jokes, that have never trotted in harness
before, and, besides, I must insist on using my scanty fund of laugh on
jokes of the nineteenth century. I have got to draw the line somewhere.



CHESTNUT-BURR III--BILL NYE FINDS COLOROW FULL OF ODD TRAITS.

_A Copper-complexioned Gentleman of Few Words--A Generous Offer of "Two
Sleeps" that was Promptly Accepted--A Speech from Colorow that Proved
Fatal to Ills Hapless Stenographer._

|The recent ruction on the part of William H. Colorow, Duke of Rawhide
Buttes and heir presumptive to the throne of Yellow Jacket Park, brings
the Indian once more to our notice and teaches us that eternal vigilance
is the price of government land on the frontier.

Sig. Colorow is of Indian parentage and his lineage, such as it is, is
very long. His ancestors run back as far as the earliest dawn of the
Christian era. They claimed the land extending in a southerly direction
from the North Pole, and seemed to ignore the fact that it had been sold
for taxes. The Indian has always been in favor of representation without
taxation, and Colorow has believed in a community of grub, allowing the
white man to retain a controlling interest in common, wet-browed toil.
He has always been willing to divide his bread with the pale face. He
has offered, time and again, to give the white man the bread that was
sweetened with honest sweat, while he took his plain. He says that to
prefer bread that tastes of perspiration shows a depraved taste.

Colorow has for years been a terror to the people of northwestern
Colorado, eastern Utah and southern Wyoming. Every spring it used to be
his custom to stroll into North Park and prospect for prospectors. Once
he came to call on me. He had been there longer than I had and so, of
course, it was nothing more than etiquette that he should call on me.

He seemed to enjoy his call very much. I could not think of anything to
say, though generally I am of a bright and happy disposition. After I
had asked him how his mother was, I could not think of anything else to
interest him. Finally I thought of Capt. John Smith and how he amused
a hostile band by showing them his compass and new suspenders. I had
no compass, but I had a new watch which I carried in a buckskin
watch-pocket, and I thought I would show him the sweep-second and
fly-back and let him see the wheels go round.

When Colorow is captured, if the United States of America has no use for
that watch, I would be glad to have it returned to me at No. 32, Park
Row, New York.

Colorow is a man of few words. I will never forget what he said to me
when he went away. He held up two fingers and said in a voice that did
not seem to waver:

"Meboe so, two sleeps more, you get out."

I sometimes think that when a man says very little we are more apt
to take an interest in what he says. It was so in his case. I got to
thinking over his remark after he had gone and I decided to accept of
his generous offer.

He had given me two sleeps; but I do not require much sleep anyway, and
when I got to thinking about Colorow and his restless manner while he
was my ghost I could not sleep so well as I had formerly, and so I have
been doing the most of my sleeping since that in a more thickly settled
country. I remember I was so restless that last night that I walked
feverishly about. I walked feverishly about twenty-five miles, I judge,
in a northerly direction.

I left a small but growing mine there at that time in charge of the
Utes, and I hope they used it judiciously.

The Ute nation is divided into two sections--viz., the Southern Utes,
who have been pretty generally friendly, and the Northern or White
River Utes, who break out into fits of emotional insanity whenever their
ponies got their bellies full of grass.

My policy--one which, I regret to say, has never been adopted by the
government--is to hire a sufficient number of armed herders to take the
entire grand remnant sale of Indian tribes out on the plains and watch
them all summer, rounding them up and counting them every morning and
evening to see that they are all there. Through the day they might be
kept busy pulling up the "pizen-weed" which grows all over the grazing
grounds of the West, and thus they would get plenty of fresh air and at
the same time do good in a modest way. But this scheme for "Utelizing"
the Utes is a hundred years ahead of the age, and so I do not expect
that it will meet with the indorsement of a sluggish administration.

There are, however, two sides to the Indian question, viz., a right and
a wrong side. That is why the Indian question wears so well.

One of the great wrongs incident to the matter is the great delay in
officially reaching the War Department in such a way as to attract the
eye of the speaker. By the time a courier can get in to a telegraph
station and wire the governor of a state, who notifies the
Adjutant-General to write a dictated letter with his trenchent
typewriter, apprising the commander of the department, who is at Coney
Island or Carlsbad, with no typewriter nearer than fifteen miles, who
wires the governor to make active inquiries about the matter, and by the
time the governor has sent a committee, who go to within fifty miles of
the scene of hostilities, and return at the end of six weeks to report
that they do not know whether there has been an outbreak or not, and
then when a ranchman is really killed, and reputable eye-witnesses, who
were personally acquainted with deceased, and will swear that they have
no interest in the result of the outbreak, come in and make a written
and grammatical request for troops, and the War Department gets
thoroughly rested, the Indians have gone home, washed the gore off their
hands, and resumed their quiet humdrum life. Like trying to treat a man
in Liverpool for softening of the brain by applying the mind cure per
cable from New York, the remedy is too remote from the disease.

[Illustration: 0037]

Indians are quick and impulsive in the matter of homicide. They are
slow to grapple with anything of a humorous nature, and all the humorous
lecturers who have been on the Ute lecture course have lost money, but
in the holocaust line, or general arson, torture and massacre business,
they act with astonishing rapidity. As a race, they regard this entire
land as their own, just as the mosquitoes claim New Jersey, simply
because they were there first.

The Indians see that the property is improving, and so they feel more
and more wealthy and arrogant. They claim that they will never give up
their rights unless they get hard up, and even then it will not count.
They always have a mental reservation in these matters, which they
prefer to the reservation provided by the government.

Indians naturally dislike to see these lands in the possession of
wealthy men whose sons earn a precarious livelihood by playing lawn
tennis.

Colorow once made a short speech to his troops, which was taken down at
the time by a gentleman who was present and who was collecting material
for a new third reader for our common schools.

Colorow claimed that it was incorrect, and the notes were found
afterward on the stenographer's body. It is about as ticklish business
to report an Indian speech as it is to poultice a boil on the person of
the Ameer of Cabul.

In closing Colorow said: "Warriors, our sun is set. We are most of us
out on third base, and we have no influence with the umpire.

"Once I could stand on the high ground and one shout would fill the
forest with warriors. Now the wailing wind catches up my cry and bears
it away like the echo of our former greatness, and I hear a low voice
murmur, 'Rats.'

"Whisky and refinement have filled our land with sorrow. The white man
crossed the dark waters in his large canoe and filled the forest with
churches and railroad accidents.

"The Indian loves not to make money and own aldermen for which he has
no use. He loves his wives and his children and intrusts them with the
responsibility of doing all his work. The white man comes to us with
honeyed words and says if we will divide our lands with him he will give
us a present; and when we give him a county and a half he gives us a red
collar-button and a blue book, in which he has written in his strange
and silent language, 'When this you see, remember me.' Our warriors are
weak and have the hearts of women. They care not for the war-path or the
chase. Most of them want to go on the stage. Once my warriors went with
me at a moment's warning to clean out the foe. They slept in the swamps
with the rattlesnakes at night and fought like wolves in the daytime.
Now my warriors will not go on the warpath without a valise, and some of
them want to carry their dinner.

"Some day, like the fall of a mighty oak in the forest, Colorow will
fall to the earth and he will rise no more. You will be scattered to
the four winds of heaven, and you will go no more to battle. Some of you
will starve to death, while others will go to New York and wear a long
linen duster, with the price of cut-rate tickets down the back. Some
of you will die with snakes in your moccasins, and others will go to
Jerusalem to help rob the Dead wood coach.

"Warriors, I thank you for your kind attention and appreciation. The
regular outbreak will begin to-morrow evening at early candle-light.
The massacre will open with a song and dance."

Colorow dresses plainly in a coat of paint and a gun.



AWKWARDNESS OF CARRYING WHISKY ABOUT.

|Whisky is more bulky and annoying to carry about, in the coat-tail
pocket than a plug of tobacco; but there have been cases where it was
successfully done. I was shown yesterday a little corner that would hold
six or eight bushels. It was in the wash-room of a hotel, and was about
half full. So were the men who came there, for before night the entire
place was filled with empty whisky bottles of every size, shape and
smell.



THE RIGHT SORT OF BOY.

|I am always sorry to see a youth get irritated and pack up his clothes
in the heat of debate, and leave the home nest. His future is a little
doubtful, and it is hard to prognosticate whether he will fracture
limestone for the streets of a great city, or become President of the
United States; but there is a beautiful and luminous life ahead of him
in comparison with that of the boy who obstinately refuses to leave
the home nest. The boy who cannot summon the moral courage some day
to uncoil the tendrils of his heart from the clustering idols of the
household, to grapple with outrageous fortune, ought to be taken by the
ear and led away out into the great untried realm of space.



CHESTNUT-BURR IV--BILL NYE PAYS A BRIEF VISIT TO A PROFESSIONAL STAR
READER.

_How His Past Was Raked Up and His Future Predicted--Interesting
Information for One Dollar--He is Warned to Beware of Certain Bad Men--A
Delicate Point of Etiquette--Are Astrologists Deteriorating?_

|Ring the bell and the door will open," is the remark made by a small
label over a bell handle in Third avenue, near Eighteenth street, where
Mme. La Foy reads the past, present and future at so much per read.
Love, marriage, divorce, business, speculation and sickness are there
handled with the utmost impunity by "Mme. La Foy, the famous scientific
astrologist," who has monkeyed with the planets for twenty years, and if
she wanted any information has "read it in the stars." I rang the
bell the other day to see if the door would open. It did so after
considerable delay, and a pimply boy in knee pants showed me upstairs
into the waiting room. After a while I was removed to the consultation
room, where Mme. La Foy, seated behind a small oilcloth-covered table,
rakes up old personalities and pries into the future at cut rates.

Skirmishing about among the planets for twenty years involves a great
deal of fatigue and exposure, to say nothing of the night work, and so
Mme. La Foy has the air of one who has put in a very busy life. She
is as familiar with planets, though, as you or I might be with our own
family, and calls them by their first names. She would know Jupiter,
Venus, Saturn, Adonis or any of the other fixed stars the darkest night
that ever blew.

"Mme. La Foy De Graw," said I, bowing with the easy grace of a gentleman
of the old school, "would you mind peering into the future for me about
a half dollar's worth, not necessarily for publication, et cetera."

"Certainly not. What would you like to know?"

"Why, I want to know all I can for the money,"

I said, in a bantering tone. "Of course I do not wish to know what I
already know. It is what I do not know now that I desire to know. Tell
me what I do not know, Madam. I will detain you but a moment."

She gave me back my large, round half dollar and told me that she was
already weary. She asked me to excuse her. She was willing to unveil the
future to me in her poor, weak way, but she could not guarantee to let a
large flood of light into the darkened basement of a benighted mind for
half a dollar.

"You can tell me what year and on what day of what month you were born,"
said Mme. La Foy, "and I will outline your life to you. I generally
require a lock of the hair, but in your case we will dispense with it."

I told her when I was born and the circumstances, as well as I could
recall them.

"This brings you under Venus, Mercury and Mars. These three planets were
in conjunction at the time of your birth. You were born when the sign
was wrong, and you have had more or less trouble ever since.
Had you been born when the sign was in the head or the heart, instead of
the feet, you would not have spread out over the ground so much.

"Your health is very good, as is the health of those generally who are
born under the same auspices that you were. People who are born under
the reign of the crab are apt to be cancerous. You, however, have great
lung power and wonderful gastric possibilities. Yet, at times, you would
be very easily upset. A strong cyclone that would unroof a courthouse
or tip over a through train would also upset you, in spite of your broad
firm feet, if the wind got behind one of your ears.

"You will be married early and you will be very happy, though your wife
will not enjoy herself very much. Your wife will be much happier during
her second marriage.

[Illustration: 0047]

"You will prosper better in business matters without forming any
partnerships. Do not go into partnership with a small, dark man, who
has neuralgia and a fine yacht. He has abundant means, but he will go
through you like an electric shock.

"Tuesdays and Saturdays will be your most fortunate days on which to
borrow money of men with light hair. Mondays and Thursdays will be your
best days for approaching dark men.

"Look out for a low-sot man accompanied by an office cat, both of whom
are engaged in the newspaper business. He is crafty and bald-headed on
his father's side. He prints the only paper that contains the full text
of his speeches at testimonials and dinners given to other people. Do
not loan him money on any account.

"You would succeed well as a musician or an inventor, but you would not
do well as a poet. You have all the keen sensibility and strong passion
of a poet, but you haven't the hair. Do not try poesy.

"In the future I see you very prosperous You are on the lecture
platform speaking. Large crowds of people are jostling each other at the
box-office and trying to get their money back.

"Then I see you riding behind a flexible horse that must have cost a
large sum of money. You are smoking a cigar that has never been in use
before. Then Venus bisects the orbit of Mars, and I see you going home
with your head tied up in the lap-robe, you and your spirited horse in
the same ambulance."

"But do you see anything for me in the future, Mme. La Foy?" I asked,
taking my feet off the table, the better to watch her features;
"anything that would seem to indicate political preferment, a reward for
past services to my country, as it were?"

"No, not clearly. But wait a moment. Your horoscope begins to get a
little more intelligent. I see you at the door of the Senate Chamber.
You are counting over your money and looking sadly at a schedule of
prices. Then you turn sorrowfully away, and decide to buy a seat in the
House instead. Many years after I see you in the Senate. You are there
day after day attending to your duties. You are there early, before any
one else, and I see you pacing back and forth, up and down the
aisles, sweeping out the Senate Chamber and dusting off the seats and
rejuvenating the cuspidors."

"Does this horoscope which you are using this season give you any
idea as to whether money matters will be scarce with me next week or
otherwise, and if so, what I had better do about it?"

"Towards the last of the week you will experience considerable monetary
prostration; but just as you have become despondent, at the very tail
end of the week, the horizon will clear up and a slight, dark gentleman,
with wide trousers, who is a total stranger to you, will loan you
quite a sum of money, with the understanding that it is to be repaid on
Monday."

"Then you would not advise me to go to Coney Island until the week after
next?"

"Certainly not."

"Would it be etiquette in dancing a quadrille to swing a young person of
the opposite sex twice round at a select party when you are but slightly
acquainted, but feel quite confident that her partner is unarmed?"

"Yes."

"Does your horoscope tell a person what to do with raspberry jelly that
will not jell?"

"No, not at the present prices."

"So you predict an early marriage, with threatening weather and strong
prevailing easterly winds along the Gulf States?"

"Yes, sir."

"And is there no way that this early marriage may be evaded?"

"No, not unless you put it off till later in life."

"Thank you," I said, rising and looking out the window over a broad
sweep of undulating alley and wind-swept roofing; "and now, how much are
you out on this?"

"Sir!"

"What's the damage?"

"Oh, one dollar."

"But don't you advertise to read the past, present and future for fifty
cents?"

"Well, that is where a person has had other information before in his
life and has some knowledge to begin with; but where I fill up a vacant
mind entirely, and store it with facts of all kinds, and stock it up
so that it can do business for itself, I charge a dollar. I cannot
thoroughly relit and refurnish a mental tenement from the ground up for
fifty cents."

I do not think we have as good "Astrologists" now as we used to have.
Astrologists cannot crawl under the tent and pry into the future as they
could three or four thousand years ago.



INGRATITUDE OF THE HUMAN HEART.

|When I was a child I was different from other boys in many respects. I
was always looking about to see what good I could do. I am that way yet.
If my little brother wanted to go in swimming contrary to orders, I was
not strong enough to prevent him, but I would go in with him and save
him from a watery grave. I went in the water thousands of times that
way, and as a result he is alive to-day. But he is ungrateful. He hardly
ever mentions it now, but he remembers the Gordian knots that I tied in
his shirts. He speaks of them frequently.



CHESTNUT-BURR V--CONCERNING THE FRENCH MASTERPIECES AT THE ACADEMY OF
DESIGN.

_A Connoisseur with Original Ideas Who Grasps at Once the Spirit of the
Canvas and discovers Various Latent Beauties Unknown Even to the Artist
Himself--Diana Surprised, and Attired in an Atmosphere that Defies
Fashion's Edict._

|Taking _The World_ artist with me in order to know fully what I was
talking about, I visited the Academy of Design a day or two ago for the
purpose of witnessing some of the pictures from Paris which are now on
exhibition there. Many of these pictures are large and beautiful, while
others are small and ornery. At the head of the stairs is a smallish
picture, with a good, heavy frame and greenish foreground. It is not
on the catalogue, so I will try to describe it briefly. About half way
between the foreground and middle distance there is a cream-colored
perspective, while above this there is a rag-carpet sky, with lumps on
it.

"And is there no way of removing these large lumps of paint, so as to
give the picture an even appearance?" I asked Mr. McDougall.

"Oh, no; they don't want to do that," he said; "that is the _impasto_
method of putting on the colors, which brings out the salient features
of the painting."

So this imposture method, it seems, is really gaining ground, and this
picture, with the soldier-overcoat sky and green chenille grass and
gargetty distance, would no doubt be worth in Paris thirteen or fourteen
dollars.

No. 84 is a picture by Charles Durand, entitled "A Country Woman in
Champagne." I was bitterly disappointed in this picture, for though
the woman seems to be in good spirits the artist has utterly failed to
grapple fully with his subject, and without the catalogue in his hand I
would defy the most brilliant connoisseur to say definitely whether or
not she is under the influence of liquor.

We next walk around to No. 168, a picture by Camille Pissaro.

M. Pissaro has ten pictures in the Academy, but this one is the best.
It is made by the squirt system of painting, graining and kalsomining,
which is now becoming so _a la mode_ and _rouge et noir_. The artist
tells me that the colors are carefully arranged in a tin pail and
applied to the canvas by means of a squirt gun or Rembrandt stomach
pump. This gives the painting a beautiful yet dappled appearance, which
could not be obtained with a brush.

This picture is worth three dollars of any man's money for the frame is
worth two dollars, and there is at least a dollar's worth of paint on
the picture that is just as good as ever. The artist has handled the
feet in a masterly manner, bringing them out so that they hang over the
frame like a thing of life. If I could paint feet as M. Pissaro does I
would not spend my life striping buggies in a close room among coarse
men with putty on their pantaloons, but I would burst forth from my
humble surroundings, and I would attract the attention of the whole
great world of art with my massive and heroic feet. Then from this I
would gradually get so that I could make pictures that would resemble
people. There is no reason why M. Pissaro should not do well in that
way, for he has painted No. 171, "A woman at a Well," in which the most
unkempt and uncultivated peasant can at once distinguish which is the
woman and which is the well. He is also the author of "Spring," a squirt
study with a blue rash, which has broken out where the sky ought to be.

No. 136 is the "Execution of Maximilian," by Edouard Manet, a foreign
artist. The scene is laid at the base of an old Mexican slaughter-house.
In the foreground may be seen the rear of the Mexican army with its
wealth of _tournure_ and cute little gored panties. All Mexican troops
have their trousers gored at the hips. Sometimes they also have them
gored at the bull-fights which take place there. In the contiguous
distance Maximilian maybe seen, wearing the hat which has evidently
infuriated the Mexican populace. The artist says that Maximilian objects
to being shot, but I pretend not to hear him, and he repeats the remark,
so I have to say "Very good, very good," and then we pass on to No. 60,
which is entitled "Dreams," by Prévis de Chavannes.

In this picture a weary man, who has worn himself out sleeping in
haystacks and trying to solve the labor problem, so that the great curse
of industry may be wiped out and the wealthy man made to pay the taxes
while the poor man assists in sharing the burden of dividends, is lying
on the ground with a pleasant smile on his face. He is asleep, with his
mouth slightly ajar, showing how his teeth are fastened in their places.
He is smiling in his slumber, and there is hay in his whiskers. Three
decalcomanie angels are seen fastened to the sky in the form of a
tableau. One is scattering cookies in his pathway, while the second has
a laurel wreath which is offered at a great reduction, as the owner
is about to leave the city for the summer. These are the new style
of wingless angels recently introduced into art and now becoming very
popular.

M. Chavannes is also the mechanic who constructed a picture numbered 61
and called the "Poor Fisherman." The history of this little picture is
full of pathos. The scene is laid in Newark Bay, N. J. A poor fisherman
and his children go out to spend the day, taking their lunch with them.

"O papa, let us take two or three cucumbers with our lunch," says one of
the children, in glee.

"Very well, my child," exclaims the father, with ill-concealed delight,
"Go down to the market and get one for each of us."

The artist has chosen to make his study of the fisherman a short time
after lunch. The father is engaged in regretting something which it is
now too late to recall. Cholera infantum has overtaken the younger
child and the other is gathering lobelia for her father. The picture is
wonderful in its conception ana execution. One can see that he is a poor
fisherman, for he has not caught any fish, and the great agony he feels
is depicted in his face and the altitude of his hair. The picture
might have been called a battle piece or a French interior, with equal
propriety.

Manet has several bright and cheery bits of color, among them No. 147,
"Spring at Giverny," which might be called Fourth of July in a Roman
candle factory without misleading the thoughtful art-student.

No. 150, "Meadows at Giverny," by the same man, is a study in connecting
the foreground and background of an oil painting by means of purple hay
and dark-blue bunches of boneset in such a way as to deceive the eye.

I have always bitterly regretted that while I was abroad I did not go to
Giverny and see the purple hay and navy-blue tansy and water cress which
grow there in such great abundance. How often we go hurrying through
a country, seeing the old and well-worn features shown us by the
professional guides and tourists, forgetting or overlooking more
important matters, like a scene in France, No. 142, entitled "Women
Bathing." I presume I was within three-quarters of a mile of this view
and yet came home without knowing anything about it.

No. 123, "Diana Surprised," is no doubt the best picture in the whole
collection. The tall and beautiful figure of Diana in the middle
distance in the act of being surprised, is well calculated to appeal to
any one with a tender heart or a few extra clothes. Diana has just been
in swimming with her entire _corps de ballet_, and on coming out of the
water is surprised to find that someone has stolen her clothes. The
artist has very happily caught the attitude and expression at the moment
when she is about to offer a reward for them. The picture is so true to
life that I instinctively stammered "Excuse me," and got behind the
artist who was with me. The figures are life size and the attitudes are
easy and graceful in the extreme. One very beautiful young woman in the
middle foreground, about seven and one-half inches north of the frame of
the picture, with her back to the spectator, crouches at Diana's feet.
She has done her beautiful and abundant hair up in a graceful coil at
the back of her head, but has gone no further with her toilet when the
surprise takes place. The idea is lofty and the treatment beneficial. I
do not know that I am using these terms as I should, but I am doing the
best I can.

We often hear our friends regret that their portraits, dressed in
clothing that has long since become obsolete, are still in existence,
and though the features are correctly reproduced, the costume is now
so ridiculous as to impair the _de trop_ of the picture and mar its
_aplomb_.

Jules Lefebvre has overcome this great obstacle in a marvelous manner,
and gives us Diana and her entire staff surrounded by an atmosphere
that time cannot cloud with contumely or obscure with ridicule. Had the
artist seen fit to paint Diana wearing a Garibaldi waist and very full
skirt with large hoops, and her hair wrapped around two or three large
"rats," he might have been true to the customs and costumes of a certain
period in the history of art, but it would not have stood the test of
time. As it is he has wisely chosen to throw about her a certain air
of _hauteur_ which will look just as well in a hundred years as it does
now.

The picture has a massive frame and would brighten up one end of a
dining-room very much. I was deeply mortified and disappointed to learn
that it was not for sale. Actéon is the party who surprised Diana.

[Illustration: 0057]



CHESTNUT-BURR VI--BILL NYE DIAGNOSTICATES THE PLAINT OF A COUNTRY
COUSIN.

_Nice Points of Seasonable Etiquette---City Relatives Whose Friendship
Grows Warm with the Summer, but Who Regard a Chalk Meerschaum Pipe at
Christmas as an Offset for a Season's Board._

|I hold that I violate no particular amount of confidence when I lay the
following private letter before the heated public:

Shirley-on-the-Piscataquis River,

State of Maine, June 20, 1887.

_Mr. William Nye, World Office, New York._

Sir: I have been a reader of _The World_ for some time and have
frequently noticed the alacrity with which you have come forward and
explained things through its columns. You must be indeed a kind-hearted
man, or you would not try to throw light on things just to oblige other
people, when you do not, as a matter of fact, know what you are talking
about. Few men would so far forget their own comfort as to do this in
order to please others. Most men are selfish and hang back when asked a
difficult question, preferring to wait till they know how to answer it;
but you, sir, you seem to be so free always to come forward and explain
things, and yet are so buoyant and hopeful that you will escape the
authorities, that I have ventured to write you in regard to a matter
that I feel somewhat of an interest in. It is now getting along into
the shank of the summer and people from the great cities of our land are
beginning to care less and less for the allurements of sewer gas, and to
sigh for a home in the country and to hanker for the "spare room" in a
quiet neighborhood at $2 a week with board.

I have seen a great many rules of etiquette for the guidance of country
people who go to the city, but I have never run up against a large,
blue-book telling city people how to conduct themselves as to avoid
adverse criticism while in the country. Every little while some person
writes a piece regarding the queer pranks of a countryman in town and
acts it out on the stage and makes a whole pile of money on it, but we
do not seem to get the other side of this matter at all. What I desire
is that you will give us a few hints in regard to the conduct of city
people who visit in the rural districts during the heated term. I am not
a professional summer-resort tender or anything of that kind, but I am a
plain man, that works and slaves in the lumber woods all winter and then
blows it in, if you will allow the term, on some New York friends of my
wife's who come down, as they state, for the purpose of relaxation, but
really to spread themselves out over our new white coverlids with their
clothes on, and murmur in a dreamy voice: "Oh, how restful!"

They also kick because we have no elevated trains that will take them
down to the depot, whereas I am not able and cannot get enough ahead or
forehanded sufficiently to do so, as heaven is my judge.

[Illustration: 0063]

They bring with them a small son, who is a pale, emaciated little cuss,
with a quiet way of catching my three-year-old heifer by the tail and
scaring the life out of her that is far beyond his years. His mother
thinks he will not live, mayhap, to grow up, and I hope she may not be
disappointed. Still he has a good appetite, and one day last summer,
besides his meals, he ate:=

```One pocketful green apples (pippins),

```One pocketful green apples (Ben Davis),

```Three large steins rhubarb,

```One hatful green gooseberries,

```Two ginger cookies, without holes,

```Three ginger cookies, with holes,

```One adult cucumber, with salt on same,

```One glass new milk,

```Two uncooked hen eggs, on half-shell.=

I laid off all that day from haying in order to follow the little rascal
around with a lead pencil and a piece of paper and see how much he would
eat. That evening I thought what a beautiful night he had selected
for his death. The moon was slipping in and out through the frothy,
fleece-lined clouds, and I could imagine the angels just behind the
battlements putting the celestial bric-a-brac high enough up so that
Henry couldn't get hold of it when he came. I had a slow horse concealed
behind the barn, with which I intended going for the doctor. It was a
horse with which I had failed to get the doctor in time on a similar
occasion, and I felt that he could be relied on now.

Night settled down on the riproaring Piscataquis and deepened the
shadows at the base of Russell Mountain. The spruce gum tree of the
Moosehead Lake region laid aside its work for the day and the common
warty toad of the Pine Tree State began to overestimate himself and
inflate his person with the bugs of the evening, now and then lighting
up his interior with a lightning bug. It was a glorious evening that
little Henry had selected and set aside for his death. But he was really
the only one in our house who slept well that night, and seemed to wake
up thoroughly refreshed. He is still alive as I write and is coming down
here in July emptier than ever.

Oh, sir, can you help me? Will you print this poor petition of mine,
with the tear-stains on it, and your reply to it in _The World_ and
send me a copy of the paper that I can show to Henry's father, who is a
cousin of my wife's but otherwise has nothing to which he can point with
pride? Yours sincerely,

Eben L. Tewey.

P. S.--I have presumed some on your good nature, because I have been
told that you was born here. I am sorry to say that Shirley has never
overcome this entirely. It has hurt her with other towns in the State,
but you can see yourself that there was no way we could provide against
it. My wife sends love, and hopes you will print this letter without
giving my name, or if so, with a fictitious name, as they call it, and
perhaps it will fall into the hands of those people who come down here
every summer with nothing in them but sincere friendship and go home
full of victuals. I wish you would put into it some way a piece that
says I do not regard a Christmas present of a chalk meershum pipe, with
a red celluloid stem, as an offset against a summer's board of a family
that has more malaria than good manners. Slap that in, in your genial
way, so as not to give offense, and whenever you visit your old
birthplace, and want to just let go all holts and have a good time, come
right to our house. I have lathed and plastered the cook-room and fitted
it up as a kind of Inebriates' Home, and I would feel tickled to death
to have you come and see what you think of it.

E. L. T.

P. S. Again. If you print this letter, Slocum would be a good fictitious
name to sign to it, and I would want an extra copy of the paper also.

T.

_Reply_.

Sir: Will you allow me to say that I think it is such letters as the
above that create ill-feeling between the people of the country and the
people of the city, and cause the relations to be strained, especially
those relations that live in the country. Although you are not
altogether in the wrong, Eben, and although country people, who live
near to nature's heart, have certain inalienable rights which should be
respected, yet there is no work on etiquette which covers the case you
allude to.

It would be very difficult for me to write out a code of ethics for
the government of your relative while in the country, and from the
description you give of him I judge that we could not enforce it anyway
without calling out the State troops.

I take him to belong to that class of New York business men who are so
active doing nothing every day, that in order to impress people with
their importance, they are in the habit of pushing a woman or two off
the Brooklyn bridge in their wild struggle to get over into the City
Hall park and sit down. I presume that he is that kind of a man here,
and so we think you ought to get along with him through July and August
if we take him for the rest of the year.

He is the kind that would knock down an old woman in the morning, in his
efforts to get the first possible elevated train, and then do nothing
else all day but try to recover from the shock. I wouldn't be surprised
if he ultimately wrote a book on etiquette, which will inform a
countryman how to conduct himself while he is in town. Maybe he is
writing it now.

I can imagine, Eben, what sad havoc the son of such a man would create
in your quiet Piscataquis home. In my mind's eye I can see him trying to
carry out his father's lofty notions of refinement and courtesy. I
can see his bright smile as he lands at your door and begins to insert
himself into your home life, to breathe resinous air of the piney
woods, and to pour kerosene into the sugar bowl, to chase the gaudy
decalcomanie butterfly, and put angle worms in the churn.

In this man's book on etiquette he will, doubtless, say that should
you have occasion while at table to use a toothpick, you should hold
a napkin before your mouth while doing so, in order to avoid giving
offense to those who are at table. It is not necessary for you to crawl
under the table to pick your teeth, or to go out behind the barn, for
by throwing a large napkin over your head you can pick your teeth with
impunity though you should not use a fork, as it does not look well and
it might put out your eye.

Nothing is more disgusting to a refined mind than to see a man at table
holding one of his eyes on a fork and scrutinizing it with the other.

In calling on a lady who is away from home leave your card. If the visit
is intended for two or three ladies at the house, leave two or three
cards, but do not turn down the corner of the card as that custom is now
exploded except in three card monte circles and even then it is regarded
with suspicion.

All these things, however, are for the guidance of people who come to
town, and those who go into the country are left practically without any
suitable book to guide them.

I do not know of any better way for you to do, Eben, than to write a
polite note to your relatives asking them if they contemplate paying you
a visit this summer, and if so at what time, and whether they will bring
Henry or not. Use plain white unruled note paper and write only on one
side, unless you are a Mugwump in which case you might write on both
sides.

Then if they write that they do so contemplate paying you a visit
without paying anything else, I do not know of anything for you to
do but to go away somewhere for the summer, leaving your house fully
insured and in the hands of a reliable incendiary.

Write again, Eben, and feel perfectly free to come and lean on me in
all matters of etiquette. Do not come to town without hunting me up. You
will find me at the Post-Office forenoons and in the pest-house during
the afternoon. Yours, with kind regards.



MEN ARE OFTEN MISUNDERSTOOD.

|They may be rough on the exterior but they can love Oh, so earnestly,
so warmly, so truly, so deeply, so intensely, so yearningly, so fondly,
and so universally!



CHESTNUT-BURR VII--BILL NYE IN THE ROLE OF AN UTE INDIAN JENKINS.

_Personal Gossip Designed to Interest the Indian Society
People--Remarkable Toilets Seen on the Reservation--A Novel Aboriginal
Dinner Menu--Points for Society Reporters--Eager to Make Their Mark._

|The following Ute society gossip is full of interest to those who have
personal acquaintances and friends, among that set. I have only just
received them, and hasten to give them as early as possible, knowing
that the readers of _The World_ will all feel an interest in what is
going on in and about the reservation:

The season at White River will be unusually gay this winter, and soon
there will be one continuous round of hilarity, indigestion, mirth,
colic and social hatred, Red Horse, the smoke-tanned horse-fiddle
_maestro_, will play and call off again this winter for germans, grub
dances and jack-rabbit gorges as usual.

The Ouray War Club will give a series of hops in November under its own
auspices, and in December it will hold two Germans. In going through
these Germans no favors will be shown by the club.

Mr. and Mrs. Mexican-Hairless-Dog-upon-whom-there-are-no-Flies have been
spending the summer at their delightful hostile home near White River.
They have just returned for the winter, beautifully bronzed by the
elements, and report one of the most exhilarating outbreaks they ever
were to.

Lop-Ear-Son-of-the-Cyclone received a cablegram last week, on his return
from the war-path, offering him a princely salary to come to London, and
assist in robbing the Deadwood coach. He says the legitimate drama is
certainly making wonderful strides. He has heard the American Opera
Company in "Hero," and says that no one who has lived on the reservation
all his life can have any idea of the strides that are being made on the
stage. He has not decided whether to accept the offer or not, but says
that if the stage they are going to rob is the operatic stage he will
not assist at any price. He says he knows what it is to suffer for
clothes himself.

The members of the Chipeta Canoeing Club have just returned from a
summer jaunt, and are in good spirits. They report that a good time
was had and health greatly improved. The club will give a sociable and
gastric recital at its grounds next week. The proceeds will go toward
beautifying the grounds of the club and promoting a general good
feeling. Each member is permitted to bring one cash friend.

Tail-Man-Who-Toys with-the-Thunderbolts will start to-morrow for the
home of the Great White Father, at Washington. He goes to make a treaty
or two and be awed by the surplus in the treasury. He will make as many
treaties as possible, after which he will invite the Great White Father
to visit our young and growing reservation, enjoy our crude hospitality
and cultivate the Ute vote.

A select scalp-dance and rum sociable will take place at the foot of the
gulch, at the middle of the present moon, after which there will be a
presentation speech and resolutions of respect tendered to the Board of
Outbreaks and the Sub-Committee on Hostility.

The following will be the _menu_:

Reservation soup, strengthened with rain-water; condemned sardines,
codfish balls, fish plates, railroad frogs' legs, sage hen à la Colorow,
jerked jack-rabbits, roasting ears à la massacre, hot-house clams,
rattlesnakes' tongues à la fire-water, prickly pears, fruit of the loom,
dried apples and whisky. Dancing will be kept up till a late hour.

The approaching nuptials of Fly-by-Night, a partial widower of Snippeta,
daughter of Wipe-Up-the-Ground-with-His-Enemies, will be the occasion
of quite a _tout ensemble_ and blow-out. He will marry the surviving
members of the family of Warnpo-the-Wailer-that-Wakes-Up-in-the-Night.
He will on this occasion lead to the altar Mrs. Wampo-the-Wailer, etc.,
her two daughters and the hired girl. The wedding will take place at the
residence of the bride. Invitations are already out and parties who have
not yet received any, but who would like to be present and swap a tin
napkin ring for a square meal, will be invited if they will leave their
address with the groom.

Crash-of-the-Tempest, a prominent man of the tribe, laid a large tumor
on our table last week, weighing four pounds, from which he was removed
on Wednesday. So far, this is the largest tumor that has been brought in
this summer to apply on subscription. Call again, Crash.

Soiled Charley and Peek-a-Boo, delegates of the Ute notion sent to the
Great White Father at Washington, returned yesterday from Red Top, the
great tepee of the Pale Chief. They made a great many treaties and
both are utterly exhausted. Peek-a-Boo is confined to his wigwam by the
hallucination that the air is full of bright red bumble bees with blue
tails. He says that he does not mind the hostility of the white man,
but it is his hospitality that makes him tired.

[Illustration: 0071]

A full-dress reception and _consommé_ was tendered to the friends of
labor at the home of Past Worthy Chief Fly-up-the-Creek, of White
River, by his own neighbors and Uncompaghre admirers on Tuesday evening.
At an early hour guests began to arrive and crawl under the tent into
the reception-room.

A fine band, consisting of a man who had deserted from the regular
military band, played Boulanger's March on the bass drum with deep
feeling.

The widow of Wampo-the-Wailer and affianced of old Fly-by-Night, wore a
dark coiffure, held in place by the wish-bone of a sage hen, and looked
first rate.

Miss Wampo, the elder, wore a _négligé_ costume, consisting of a red
California blanket, caught back with real burdock burrs and held in
place by means of a hame strap.

The younger Miss Wampo wore a Smyrna rug, with bunch grass at the
throat.

Mrs. D. W. Peek-a-Boo wore a cavalry saddle blanket, with Turkish
overalls and bone ornaments.

Miss Peek-a-Boo wore a straw-colored _jardiniere_, cut V-shape, looped
back with a russet shawl strap and trimmed with rick-rack around the
arm-holes. Her eyes danced with merriment, and she danced with most
anybody in the wigwam.

Little Casino, the daughter of Fly-Up-the-Creek, of the Uncompaghres,
wore the gable end of an "A" tent, trimmed with red flannel rosettes. It
had veneered panels, and the new and extremely swell sleeves, blown up
above the elbow and tight the rest of the way, in which, as she said in
her naive way, they resembled her father, who was tight half of the time
and blown up the rest of the time. Little Casino was the life of the
party, and it would be hard to opine of anything more charming than
her bright and cheery way of telling a funny story, which convulsed her
audience, while she quietly completed a fractional flush and took home
the long-delayed jack pot to her needy father. She is an intellectual
exotic of which the Uncompaghres may well be proud, and is also one of
those rare productions of nature never at a loss for something to write
in an autograph album. In the album of a young warrior of the Third Ute
Infantry she has written: "In friendship's great fruitage, please regard
me as your huckleberry, Little Casino."

Our genial townsman, William H. Colorow, is home again after a prolonged
hunting and camping trip, during which he was attacked and cordially
shot at by a group of gentlemen who came to serve a writ of replevin
on him. Col. Colorow does not know exactly what the writ of replevin
is for, unless it be for the purpose of accumulating mileage for the
sheriff. Few were killed during the engagement, except a small pappoose
belonging to Mr. and Mrs. Roll-on-Silver-Moon, who returned last evening
with the remains of their child. A late copy of a New York paper alludes
to this as "a furious engagement, after which the Indians carried off
their dead according to their custom." Mr. and Mrs. Roll-on-Silver-Moon
were warned against taking the baby with them on an extended camping
trip, but they seemed to think that it would be perfectly safe, as
the child was only seven weeks old, and could not have incurred the
hostility of the War Department. This was not improbable at all,
for, according to the records, it takes from nine to eleven weeks to
officially irritate the War Department. The little one now lies at the
wigwam of its afflicted parents, on Cavyo street, and certainly does not
look as though it could have stood out so long against the sheriff and
his posse.

Mrs. Roll-on-Silver-Moon has a painful bullet wound in the shoulder, but
feels so grieved about the loss of little Cholera Infantum that she does
not make much fuss over her injury. The funeral of the little one will
take place this evening, from its late residence, and friends of the
parents are cordially invited to come and participate. Wailing will
begin promptly at sundown.

Mr. and Mrs. P. P. C. Shinny-on-Your-Own-Ground are just back from a
summer jaunt in the Little Big Horn Mountains, whither they went in
search of health. They returned laden with golden rod and a large catch
of landlocked grasshoppers. As soon as they get thoroughly rested they
will announce a select locust, grasshopper and cricket feed at their
home, during which a celebrated band from the Staten Island ferry will
oblige with a new selection, known as "The Cricket on the Hearth."

Major Santee, who is now at home repairing the roof of his gothic tepee,
which was so damaged by the recent storms that it allowed hail, rain
and horned cattle to penetrate his apartments at all times of the day
or night, says that in the late great Ute war everybody wanted to fight
except the Indians and the War Department. He believes that no Indian
outbreak can be regarded as a success without the hearty co-operation
and godspeed of the government, and a quorum of Indians who are willing
to break out into open hostility. Major Santee lost a niece during the
recent encounter. She was not hostile to any one, but was respected
by all, and will now cast a gloom. She had no hard feelings toward the
sheriff or any one of his posse, and had never met them before. She was
very plain in appearance, and this was her first engagement. The sheriff
now claims that he thought she was reaching for her gun, whereas it
appears that she was making a wild grab for her Indian trail.

Major Santee says that he hopes it will be many a long day before the
sheriff organizes another Ute outbreak and compels the Utes to come
and bring their families. He lays that human life here is now so cheap?
especially the red style of human life, that sometimes he is almost
tempted to steal two hundred thousand dollars and go to New York, where
he will be safe.



SURE CURE FOR BILIOUSNESS.

|Whenever I get bilious and need exercise, I go over to the south end of
town and vicariously hoe radishes for an hour or two till the pores
are open, and I feel that delightful languor and the chastened sense of
hunger and honesty which comes to the man who is not afraid to toil.



CHESTNUT-BURR VIII--IN AN UNGUARDED MOMENT BILL NYE IS CAPTURED BY A
POLITICAL SIREN.

_Decoyed by Honeyed Words He Essays to Purify Politics--The Inevitable
Delegation from Irving Hall--An Unreserved Statement of Campaign
Expenses--Some Items of a Momentous Canvass Disclosed._

|I have only just returned from the new-made grave of a little boomlet
of my own. Yesterday I dug a little hole in the back yard and buried
in it my little boom, where the pie-plant will cast its cooling shadows
over it and the pinch-bug can come and carol above it at eventide.

A few weeks ago a plain man came to me and asked me my name. Refreshing
my memory by looking at the mark on my linen, I told him promptly who
I was. He said he had resided in New York for a long time and felt the
hour had now arrived for politics in this city to be purified. Would I
assist him in this great work? If so, would I appoint a trysting place
where we could meet and tryst? I suggested the holy hush and quiet
of lower Broadway or the New York end of the East River bridge at 6
o'clock; but he said no, we might be discovered. So we agreed to meet
at my house. There he told me that his idea was to run me for the State
Senate this fall, not because he had any political axe to grind, but
because he wanted to see old methods wiped out and the will of the
people find true and unfettered expression.

"And, sir," I asked, "what party do you represent?"

"I represent those who wish for purity, those who sigh for the results
of unbought suffrages, these who despise old methods and yearn to hear
the unsmothered voice of the people."

"Then you are Mr. Vox Populi himself, perhaps?"

"No, my name is Kargill, and I am in dead earnest. I represent the party
of purity in New York."

"And why did you not bring the party with you? Then you and I and
my wife and this party you speak of could have had a game of whist
together," said I with an air of inimitable drollery.

But he seemed to be shocked by my trifling manner, and again asked me to
be his standard-bearer. Finally I said reluctantly that I would do so,
for I have always said that I would never shrink from my duty in case I
should become the victim of political preferment.

In Wyoming I had several times accepted the portfolio of justice of
the peace, and so I knew what it was to be called forth by the wild
and clamorous appeals of my constituents and asked to stand up for
principle, to buckle on the armor of true patriotism and with drawn
sword and overdrawn salary to battle for the right.

In running for office in Wyoming our greatest expense and annoyance
arose from the immense distances we had to travel in order to go over
one county. Many a day I have traveled during an exciting canvass from
daylight till dark without meeting a voter. But here was a Senatorial
district not larger than a joint school district, and I thought that the
expense of making a canvass would be comparatively small.

That was where I made a mistake. On the day after Mr. Lucifer Kargill
had entered my home and with honeyed words made me believe that New York
had been, figuratively speaking, sitting back on her haunches for fifty
years waiting for me to come along and be a standard-bearer, a man came
to my house who said he had heard that I was looking toward the Senate,
and that he had come to see me as the representative of Irving Hall. I
said that I did not care a continental for Irving Hall, so far as my
own campaign was concerned, as I intended to do all my speaking in the
school-houses.

He said that I did not understand him. What he wanted to know was, what
percentage of my gross earnings at Albany would go into the Irving Hall
sinking fund, provided that organization indorsed me? I said that I was
going into this campaign to purify politics, and that I would do what
was right toward Irving Hall, in order to be placed in a position where
I could get in my work as a purifier.

We then had a long talk upon what he called the needs of the hour. He
said that I would make a good candidate, as I had no past. I was unknown
and safe. Besides, he could see that I had the elements of success,
for I had never expressed any opinion about anything, and had never
antagonized any of the different wings of the party by saying anything
that people had paid any attention to. He said also that he learned I
had belonged to all the different parties, and so would be familiar with
the methods of each. He then asked me to sign a pledge and after I had
done so he shook hands with me and went away.

The next day I was waited upon by the treasurers of eleven chowder
clubs, the financial secretary of the Shanty Sharpshooters and Goat Hill
Volunteers. A man also came to obtain means for burying a dead friend.
I afterward saw him doing so to some extent. He was burying his friend
beneath the solemn shadow of a heavy mahogany-colored mustache, of which
he was the sole proprieter.

I was waited upon by delegations from Tammany, the County Democracy and
the Jeffersonian Simplicity Chub. Everybody seemed to have dropped his
own business in order to wait upon me, I became pledged to every one on
condition that I should be elected. It makes me shudder now to think
what I may have signed. I paid forty odd dollars for the privilege of
voting for a beautiful child, and thus lost all influence with every
other parent in the contest. I voted for the most popular young lady and
heard afterward that she regarded me only as a friend. I had a
biography and portrait of myself printed in an obscure paper that
claimed a large circulation, and the first time the forms went into the
press a loose screw fell out on the machinery, caught in the forehead of
my portrait and peeled back the scalp so that it dropped over the eye
like a prayer rag hanging out of the window.

I had paid a boy three dollars to scatter these papers among the
neighbors, but I met him as he came out of the office and made it five
dollars if he would put them in the bosom of the moaning tide.

I give below a rough draft of expenses, not including; some of the items
referred to above:

[Illustration: 0081]

[Illustration: 0082]

Yesterday I tried to find the red-nosed man who first asked me to go
into the standard-bearer business, in order to withdraw my name, but
I could not find him in the directory. I therefore take this means of
saying, as I said to my assignee last evening, that if a public office
be a public bust, I might just as well bust now and have it over.

To-morrow I will sell out my residence, a cane voted to me as the most
popular man in the State; also an assortment of political pulls, a
little loose in the handles, but otherwise all right. I will close out
at the same time five hundred torches, three hundred tin helmets, nine
transparencies and one double-leaded editorial, entitled "Dinna Ye Hear
the Slogan?"



VIRTUE ITS OWN REWARD.

|A noble, generous-hearted man in Cheyenne lost $250, and an honest
chambermaid found it in his room. The warm heart of the man swelled with
gratitude, and seemed to reach out after all mankind, that he might in
some way assist them with the $250 which was lost, and was found again.
So he fell on the neck of the chambermaid, and while his tears took the
starch out of her linen collar, he put his hand in his pocket and found
her a counterfeit twenty-five cent scrip. "Take this," he said, between
his sobs, "Virtue is its own reward. Do not use it unwisely, put it
into Laramie County bonds, where thieves cannot corrupt, nor moths break
through and gnaw the corners off."

A GOOD PAINTING FOR THE CAPITOL.

|I have seen a very spirited painting somewhere; I think it was at the
Louvre, or the Vatican, or Fort Collins, by either Michael Angelo, or
Raphael, or Eli Perkins, which represented Joseph presenting a portion
of his ulster overcoat to Potiphar's wife, and lighting out for the
Cairo and Palestine 11 o'clock train, with a great deal of earnestness.
This would be a good painting to hang on the walls of the Capitol.



CHESTNUT-BURR IX--BILL NYE DESCANTS UPON YOUNG IVES'S IDEAS IN FINANCE.

_Mr. Ives's Earnest Desire Not to Tell a Lie or Anything Else--Blighted
Powers of Recalling the Past Put Him Alongside the Gentle Gould
Himself--Touching Letter Received from a Patron of His Road._

|The present age may be regarded as the age of investigation. This
morbid curiosity on the part of the American people to know how large
fortunes are acquired is a healthy sign, and the desire of the press, as
well as the people, to investigate the parlor magic and funny business
by which a man can buy two millions of dollars' worth of stock in the
Aurora Borealis without paying for it, stick a quill in it and inflate
the stock to twenty millions, then borrow thirty-five millions on
the new stock by booming it, make an assignment, bust and slide a
fifty-pound ledger up his sleeve, is most gratifying.

For the benefit and entertainment of those who still believe that the
Sunday paper is not an engine of destruction, and for the consideration
of those who may have been kept away from church on this summer Sabbath
morning by sickness or insomnia, let us turn for a moment to the
thoughtful scrutiny of Mr. Henry S. Ives, the young Napoleon of Wall
street.

In the first place, Mr. Ives has done nothing new. Starting out, no
doubt, with Mr. Gould as his model, he has kept up the imitation even to
the loss of memory and blighted powers of recalling the past during an
investigation. (I use Mr. Gould's name simply as an illustration--for I
have no special antipathy toward Mr. Gould.) Personally we are friendly.
He made his money by means of his comatose memory and flabby integrity,
while I made mine by means of earnest, honest toil, and a lurid
imagination.

But in the case of Mr. Ives, the gentle, polite failure to remember,
the earnest desire not to tell a lie or anything else, the courteous and
unobtrusive effort to avoid being too positive about anything that
would assist anybody in ascertaining anything--all, all remind the close
student of Mr. Jay Gould. The conversation during the investigation for
one day ran something like this:

"Mr. Ives, did you in making your assignment turn over all the books
connected with your business?"

"Do you mean my library?"

"No; the books of account, the daybook, cash book, ledger, etc., etc."

"Oh!"

"I ask if you turned over all such books on the date of your
assignment?"

"I could hardly tell that. At least, I would only swear on information
and belief."

"Well, to the best of your knowledge and belief, did you turn over those
books at that time?"

"I think I did, but I am not positive as to the date?"

"What makes you think you did?"

"Because I did frequently turn the books over, in order to see how they
looked on the other side."

* * * * *

"Mr. Ives, we find that several of the more important books connected
with your office and the firm of Henry S. Ives & Co. are missing. Do you
know where they are?"

"No, I do not,"

"Were they in your office prior to your assignment?"

"Yes, they were there, according to the best of my knowledge and belief,
up to the time that they were not there."

"Have you any idea, Mr. Ives, where those books are now?"

"No sir; only in a general way?"

"How do you mean in a general way?"

"Well, I mean that I know only in what might be called a general way."

"Well, Mr. Ives, will you state then, in a general way, where those
books are now?"

"Yes, sir; they are elsewhere."

"What makes you say they are elsewhere, Mr. Ives?"

"Because they are not there."

*****

"Well, now, will you tell us whether you removed those books from the
office of IH. S. Ives & Co. or not?"

"Do you ask me to answer that question personally?"

"Yes."

"Do you wish a verbal answer or would you rather have it in writing?"

"Answer orally."

"Well, then, I did not, to my knowledge."

"Would you have been apt to know of it if you had taken them away
yourself?"

"Well, only in a general way."

"Would you have known about it if any one else had taken them away?"

"I think I would but I might not. There was a great deal of passing
along our street, and they may have been taken while I was looking out
of the window, waiting till the crowds rolled by."

And so Mr. Ives continued to shed information upon the inquiring mind in
a courteous and opaque manner that must have endeared him to all.

Mr. Ives has in no transaction shown himself so thoroughly shrewd as he
did when he swapped a doubtful reputation for a large sum of money. The
only wonder is that there were so many men who wanted to invest in that
kind of goods. He did a shrewd thing, but he will not be able to profit
by it.

Success, however, should only be measured by the content it brings with
it. While Henry S. Ives was lighting his mighty financial battles and
winning for himself the title of the Young Napoleon of Wall street,
dwelling in a little palace lined with ivory and gold, but cursed by the
consuming desire to be rich, and forgetful, like Mr. Gould, how full of
calm and soothing content is the following simple letter, written by
a man who undertook last year to inaugurate a Shakesperian revival in
southern Ohio:

Cincinnati, O., Aug. 3, 1886.

_Mr. Henry S. Ives, New York, N. Y._

_Dear Sir_: I have just arrived in this city after a long and
debilitating but rather enjoyable trip over your line, and I now take
pen in hand to thank you for the use of your roadbed from Indianapolis
to this place. It is a good road, and I was surprised to find it well
ballasted and furnished with cool retreats and shady culverts every few
miles wherein a man could rest.

It is a good route for the poor but pampered tragedian to take, and
water-melons grow close to the fence. I have traveled over many other
roads since the new and pernicious law, but nowhere have I found
watermelons more succulent or less coy and secretive than on your justly
celebrated line. I also notice with pleasure that green corn is still
susceptible, and wild paw paws are growing in the summer sun.

I thought I saw you go by in your special car just north of the first
trestle outside of town, but you went by so fast that I could not tell
definitely till too late. Please excuse me for not speaking to you
as you passed by. Success on the stage has not taught me to forget or
ignore my friends whenever I am thrown in contact with them.

People write me that New York State is rapidly settling up, and that
property is advancing rapidly in every direction. Is this so? Advancing
rapidly in every direction is, I suppose, one of the most difficult
feats known to calisthenics. I have tried it myself, years ago, but now
I do not practice it, having quit drinking altogether.

I hope you will let me know any time that I can be of use to you, either
in mowing weeds or gathering nuts that have ripened and fallen off your
track. I enjoy, especially in the autumn when the hectic of the dying
year has flooded the forests with its multiplied glories, and the
cricket sings his sleepy song to the tired heart, and the locust lifts
its lawn-mower voice in the boughs of the poplar, to go nutting along a
prolific railroad track.

I would be glad, also, if you have not secured anyone else, to assist
you in herding your stock on Wall street. Railroad stock frequently runs
down and gets the hollow horn for lack of care during the winter months.

Always feel free to call on me at any time that I can be of service to
you.

Yours truly,

A-----B------.

The moral to be drawn from the career of Napoleon Bonaparte Ives is that
they who make haste to be rich may not be innocent. As Gen. McClellan
once said, there can be no better incentive to integrity than the
generous approval accorded to honesty by those who are honest. All other
kinds of approval are not worth struggling for. Money will buy a certain
kind of applause, but it is the kind that turns to scorn when justice
begins to get in her fine work.

And life itself is brief. Storied urn and animated bust may succeed well
in society, but they cannot soothe the dull cold ear of death. Freckled
granite and prevaricating marble may perpetuate the fraud of a lifetime,
but they do not always indicate success.

For myself I would rather have more sincere and honest friends through
life, and afterwards content myself with a plainer tomb.

Not many miles from the costly mausoleum of a great millionaire a
sign-board by the roadside reads:=

````This way to Foley's Grove!

````Enjoy life while you live, for

````You'll be along time dead.=

While I do not fully indorse this sentiment, there is food in it for
earnest thought.



THE ANTI-CLINKER BASE-BURNER BEE.

|I have noticed bees very closely indeed, during my life. In fact I have
several times been thrown into immediate juxtaposition with them, and
have had a great many opportunities to observe their ways, and I am free
to say that I have not been so forcibly struck with the difference in
their size as the noticeable difference in their temperature. I remember
at one time sitting by a hive watching the habits of the bees, and
thinking how industrious they were, and what a wide difference there
is between the toilsome life of the little insect, and the enervating,
aimless, idle and luxurious life of the newspaper man, when an impulsive
little bee lit in my hair. He seemed to be feverish. Wherever he settled
down he seemed to leave a hot place. I learned afterward that it was a
new kind of bee called the anti-clinker base-burner bee.



CHESTNUT-BURR X--A FEW REMARKS ON OUR HOSTELRY SYSTEM AS IT NOW
PREVAILS.

_Why a man in a Soft Hat is not always Welcome--The Hotel Clerk and his
Frigidity Apparatus--The Hotel Hog and his Habits--how he may be Headed
Off--Drolleries of Shrewd Bonifaces._

|America has made many gigantic strides, aside from those made at the
battle of Bull Run, and her people spend much of their time pointing
with pride to her remarkable progress; but we are prone to dwell too
much upon our advantages as a summer resort, and our adroit methods of
declining the Presidency before we are asked, while we forget some
of our more important improvements, like the Elevated Railway and the
American Hotel.

Let us, for a moment, look at the great changes that have been wrought
in hotels during the past century. How marked has been the improvement
and how wonderful the advancement. Everything has been changed. Even the
towels have been changed.

Electric bells, consisting of a long and alert wire with an overcoat
button at one end and a reticent boy at the other, have taken the place
of the human voice and a low-browed red-elm club. Where once we were
compelled to fall down a dark, narrow staircase, now we can go down the
elevator or wander down the wrong stairway and ourselves in the laundry.

Where once we were mortified by being compelled to rise at table, reach
nine feet and stab a porous pancake with our fork, meantime wiping the
milk gravy out of a large yellow bowl with our coat-tails, now we
can hire a tall, lithe gentleman in a full-dress suit to pass us the
pancakes.

Even the bar-rooms of American hotels are changed. Once the bartender
waited till his customer ran all his remarks into one long, hoarse word,
with a hiccough on the end, and then he took him by the collar and threw
him out into the cold and chaotic night. Now the bartender gradually
rises on the price of drinks till his customer is frozen out, and while
he is gone to the reading-room to borrow some more money the chemist
moves the bar somewhere else, and when the guest returns he finds a
barber-shop where he thought he left a bar-room.

One hundred years, on their swift pinions, have borne away the big and
earnest dinner bell, and the sway-backed hair trunk that surprised a
man so when he sat down upon it to consider what clothes he would put on
first.

All these evidences of our crude, embryotic existence are gone, and in
their places we have electric bells, and Saratoga trunks wherein we may
conceal our hotel room and still have space left for our clothes.

It is very rare now that we see a United States senator snaking a
two-year old Mambrino hair trunk up three flights of stairs to his room
in order to secure the labor vote. Men, as well as hotels and hotel
soap, have changed. Where once a cake of soap would only last a few
weeks, science has come in and perfected a style of pink soap, flavored
with vanilla, that will last for years, and a new slippery-elm towel
that is absolutely impervious to moisture. Hand in hand, this soap and
towel go gaily down the corridors of time, welcoming the coming and
speeding the parting guest, jumping deftly out of the hands of the
aristocracy into the hands of a receiver, but always calm, smooth and
latherless.

Nature did not fit me to be the successful guest at a hotel. I can see
why it is so. I do not know how to impress a hotel. I think all the way
up from the depot, as I change hands with my hot-handled and heavy
bag, how I will stride up to the counter and ask for the room that is
generally given to Mr. Blaine; but when I get there I fall up against
a cold wave, step back into a large india-rubber cuspidor, and my
overtaxed valise bursts open. While the porter and I gather up my
collars and gently press them in with our feet, the clerk decides that
he hasn't got such a room as I would want.

I then go to another hotel and succeed in getting a room, which
commands a view of a large red fire-escape, a long sweep of undulating
eaves-trough and a lightning rod--usually No. 7 5/8s, near the laundry
chimney and adjoining the baggage elevator.

After I have remained at the hotel several days and paid my bill
whenever I have been asked to do so, and shown that I did not eat much
and that I was willing to carry up my own coal, the proprietor relents
and puts me in a room that is below timber line, and though it is
a better room, I feel all the time as though I had driven out the
night-watchman, for the bed is still warm, and knowing that he must
be sleeping out in the cold hall all night as he patiently watches the
hotel, I cannot sleep until three or four o'clock in the morning, and
then I have to get up while the chambermaid makes my bed for the day.

I try hard when I enter a hotel to assume an air of arrogance and
defiance, but I am all the time afraid that there is some one present
who is acquainted with me.

Another thing that works against me is my apparel. In a strange hotel a
man will do better, if he has fifty dollars only, and desires to remain
two weeks, to go and buy a fifty-dollar suit of clothes with his money,
taking his chances with the clerk, than to dress like a plain American
citizen, and expect to be loved, on the grounds that he will pay his
board.

But there is now a prospect for reform in this line, a scheme by which a
man's name and record as a guest will be his credentials. When this plan
becomes thoroughly understood and adopted, a modest man with money, who
prefers to wear a soft hat, will not have to sleep in the Union depot,
solely on the ground that the night clerk is opposed to a soft hat.

[Illustration: 0097]

This scheme, to be brief, consists of a system of regular reports
from tables and rooms, which reports are epitomized at the office and
interchangeable with other hotels, on the principle of the R. G, Dun
Commercial Agency. The guest is required to sign his order at the table
or give the number of his room, whether the hotel is run on the European
plan or not, and these orders in the aggregate, coming from head
waiters, porters, chambermaids and bell-boys, make up a man's standing
on a scale of from A to Z.

For instance, we will say a five-dollar-per-day house can afford to feed
a man for a dollar a meal. The guest orders two dollars' worth, sticks
his mustache into just enough of it to spoil it for stew or giblet
purposes, and then goes to his room. Here he puts up the fire-escape
rope for a clothes-line, does a week's washing, and hanging it out upon
the improvised clothesline, he lights a strong pipe, puts his feet on
the pillow-shams, and reads "As in a Looking Glass" while his wash is
drying. When that man goes away he leaves a record at the hotel which
confronts him at every hotel wherever he goes. As soon as he writes his
name, the clerk, who has read it wrong side up just a little before he
got it down, tells him that he is very sorry, but that the house is
full, and people are sleeping on cots in the hall, and the proprietor
himself has to sleep on the sideboard. The large white Suffolk hog, who
has been in the habit of inaugurating a rain of terror and gravy in
the dining-room and stealing the soap from the wash-room, just simply
because he could out trump the clerk on diamonds, will thus have to go
to the pound, where he belongs, and quiet, every day people, who rely on
their integrity more than they do on their squeal, will get a chance.

A great many droll characters and bright, shrewd men are met with among
hotel proprietors wherever you go. "The Fat Contributor" was lecturing
once in the State of Kentucky, and had occasion to take dinner at a
six-bit hotel. After the meal Mr. Griswold stepped up to the counter,
took out a bale of bank notes, which he had received for his lecture the
evening before, and asked what might be the damage.

"Three dollars," said the blue grass gentleman, who had buttoned his
collar with a tenpenny nail, while he looked at "Gris" with a pained
expression.

"Yes, but a man ought to be able to board here a week for three dollars.
The whole house didn't cost more than forty or forty-five dollars.
What's your idea in charging me three dollars for a wad of hominy and a
piece of parched pork?"

"Well, sir," said the urbane landlord, as he put out the fire at a.
distance of twenty feet by emptying his salivary surplus on it, "I need
the money?"

The frankness and open, candid manner of the man won Mr. Griswold, and
he asked him if he thought three dollars would be enough. The landlord
said he could get along with that. Then Griswold opened his valise and
took out a large brunette bottle of liniment marked "for external use."
He passed it over to the landlord, and told him that he would find this
stuff worked as well on the inside as it did on the outside. In a few
moments the liniment of the "Fat Contributor" and the lineaments of the
landlord had merged into each other, and a friendly feeling sprang up
between the two men which time has never effaced. I have often thought
of this, and wondered why it is that hotel men are not more open
and cordial with their guests. Many a time I have paid a large bill
grudgingly when I would have done it cheerfully if the landlord had told
me he was in need.

I had intended to speak at some length on the new rope law, by which
every man is made his own vigilance committee; but I feel that I am
already encroaching on the advertising space, and so will have to
omit it. In conclusion, I will say that the American hotels are far
preferable to those we have in Paris in many ways, and not only
outstrip those of England and the Continent, even as a _corps de ballet_
outstrips a toboggan club, but they seem to excel and everlastingly
knock the ancient hotels of Carthage, Rome and Tie Siding silly.



PITY FOR SAD-EYED HUSBANDS.

|If women would spend their evenings at home with their husbands, they
would see a marked change in the brightness of their homes. Too many
sad-eyed men are wearing away their lives at home alone. Would that I
had a pen of fire to write in letters of living light the ignominy
and contumely and--some more things like that, the names of which have
escaped my memory--that are to-day being visited upon my sex.



MARRIAGE.

|Marriage is, to a man, at once the happiest and saddest event of his
life. He quits all the companions and associations of his youth,
and becomes the chief attraction of a new home. Every former tie is
loosened, the spring of every hope and action is to be changed, and yet
he flees with joy to the untrodden paths before him. Then woe to the
woman who can blight such joyful anticipations, and wreck the bright
hopes of the trusting, faithful, fragrant, masculine blossom, and bang
his head against the sink, and throw him under the cooking range, and
kick him into a three-cornered mass, and then sit down on him.



CHESTNUT-BURR XI--WILLIAM NYE VISITS ROYALTY FROM THE HOME OF THE HAM
SANDWICH.

_Queen Kapiolani Receives the Distinguished Littérateur in State--A
Robust, Healthful Queen--Sandwich Business and Court Matters--The
Swallow-tail Coat in the Sandwich Islands._

|The sun was just slipping out the back door of the West and hunting
for the timber of New Jersey as Queen Kapiolani, at her rooms in the
Victoria Hotel, received a plain, rectangular card, printed in two kinds
of ink at the owner's steam job office, containing the following brief
but logical statement:

Wilhelm Von Nyj,

Littérateur and Danseuse.

On the back of the card the Von Nyj arms had been emblazoned with a
rubber stamp. Down-stairs, near the dais of the night clerk, stood a
gayly caparisoned yet cultivated cuss, pouring over a late volume of the
city directory. He was the author of these lines.

Scarcely an hour had elapsed when a tinted octavo page who waits on
the Queen, slid down the stair-rail and told me that her royal Highness
would receive me in state as soon as she could change her dress.

Later on I was ushered into the presence of Queen Kapiolani, who was at
the time accompanied by her suite and another gentleman whose name I did
not learn.



THAI X DID MOT DU'

She is a distinguished-looking woman of middle age, but in apparent good
health, and with a constitution which I think would easily endure the
fatigue of reigning over a much larger country than her own.

As I entered the room and made a low, groveling obeisance, an act that
is wholly foreign to my nature, the Queen made a rapid movement towards
the bell, but I held her back and assured her that I did not drink.

[Illustration: 0101]

We then chatted gayly for some time in relation to the Sandwich business
and court matters, including the Sharp trial.

For a long time the Queen seemed constrained, and evidently could not
think of anything to say; but she soon saw that I was not haughty or
reserved, and when at last she reluctantly showed me out and locked the
door, I felt amply repaid for the annoyance that one naturally feels on
visiting a perfect stranger.

From what she said regarding her dynasty I gather that it consists of a
covey of half-grown islands in the Pacific, inhabited by people who were
once benighted and carnivorous, but happy. Now they are well-informed
and bilious, while they revel in suspenders and rum, with all the
blessings of late hours, civilization and suicide.

The better classes of the Sandwich Islands have the same customs which
prevail here, and the swallow-tail coat is quite prevalent there. The
low-neck and short-sleeve costume is even carried to a greater excess,
perhaps, and all opera tickets read:

Admit the Bearer and Barer.

In answer to a question of my own, the Queen said that crops in the
Sandwich Islands were looking well, and that garden truck was far in
advance of what she saw here.

She said that they had pie-plant in her garden big enough to eat before
she came away, and new potatoes were as big as walnuts. Still, she
is enjoying herself here first-rate, and says she sees many pleasing
features about New York which will ever decorate the tablets of her
memory.

I thanked her for this neat little compliment, and told her I should
always regard her in the same manner.

I then wrote a little Impromptu stanza in her autograph album, wrung Her
Majesty's hand, and retired with another suppliant and crouching bow,
which indicated a contrite spirit, but was calculated to deceive.

I took the liberty of extending to Her Majesty the freedom of the city,
and asked her to visit our pressrooms and see us squat our burning
thoughts into a quarter of a million copies of the paper, and all for
two cents.

I also asked her to come up any time and read our Hawaii exchanges, for
I know how lonely anybody can be in a great city sometimes, and how one
yearns for a glimpse of his country paper.

The Queen is well paid while she reigns; and even while away as she is
now, with her scepter standing idly in the umbrella rack at home, and a
large pink mosquito net thrown over the throne, her pay is still going
on night and dav.

The above is substantially all that I said during the interview, though
the Queen said something as I came out of the room, escorted by the
janitor, which I did not quite catch.

I did say, however, just before leaving the room, that I regretted
sincerely the unfortunate time of the year at which Her Majesty had
decided to visit us, it being rather between hay and grass, as it
were, for as there was no r in the month it was a little too late for
missionaries and a little too early for watermelons.

It was-only an instant later that I joined the janitor at the foot of
the stairs.

This evening the Queen will visit the Casino and see Mr. Wilson try for
the three hundred and eighty-second time to restrain the flowing leg of
his green plush pantaloons.



A WORD OF EXPLANATION.

|For the benefit of my readers, many of whom are not what might be
called practical newspaper men and women, I will say that if your
time is very precious, and life is too short for you to fool away your
evenings reading local advertisements, and you are at times in grave
doubt as to what is advertisement and what is news, just cast your eye
to the bottom of the article, and if there is a foot-note which lays
"tylfritu3dp" or something of that stripe, you may safely say that
no matter how much confidence you may have had in the editor up to that
date, the article with a foot-note of that kind is published from a
purely mercenary motive, and the editor may or may not indorse the
sentiments therein enunciated.



CHESTNUT-BURR--THE HUMORIST INTERVIEWS HIS GRACE THE DUKE IN THE
IMPROVED STYLE.

_Marlborough's Seeming Lack of Appreciation of a Joke--Likewise his
Lack of Loquacity--A Cordial Invitation to the Duke to Visit the
Metropolis--Nye's Naive and Graceful Conservation on Society Gossip._

Newport, Sept. 8.

|I have just terminated a pleasant call upon the Duke of Marbro at his
lodgings. I write his name Marbro because that is the way we pronounce
it here at Newport. In the language of my ostensibly colored friend, Mr.
Rankin, the amateur pronouncer would call it Marl-bor-ough, with three
grunts, while in fact Marbro, the correct pronunciation of the name, is
executed with but one grunt.

I found the Duke seated on a low ottoman, clad in a loosely fitting
costume of pajamas. It was so loose and negligé that it was on the
tip of my tongue to ask him if his mother made it for him out of his
father's old pajamas; but I suddenly remembered that I was in Newport,
and not in Tombstone, Arizona, and I restrained myself.

The Duke is suffering from a slight cold, which he contracted for
during the early part of the week. It resulted from his ignorance of our
changeable and freckle-minded climate. On Tuesday he took a long stroll,
and while several miles from his lodgings and wearing his light summer
cane, he was overtaken by a severe and sudden change in the temperature.
The Marbros are not a strong race, and I am told that one of the Duke's
second cousins died of pneumonia from exposing himself to the severity
of a Christmas-day frolic clad in an autumn cane.

The Duke rose languidly as I entered, and, taking a reef in his pajamas
clothes, looked at me in an inquiring way which betokened that, though
of lineage high, he was not entirely at his ease in my presence.

"Duke," said I, standing my umbrella up in the corner to show my
childlike confidence in him, "how's your conduct?"

In five minutes afterwards I would have given worlds if I could have
recalled my rash words. I did not mean anything more than to utter a
piece of pleasantry, for I am passionately fond of pleasantry even in
society; but Marbro seemed to take it to heart and to feel distressed.
He made a low, guttural sound, but his reply seemed to die away in the
mansard roof of his mouth. He stammered out something which sounded
like the wail of a damned soul. At least it struck me to be like that,
although my lot has not been cast among that class of souls since I got
out of politics, and I may have forgotten their style of wail.

To hide his embarrassment, Marbro "rosined" his eye and put a large
glass paper weight in it. He then regarded me with some amazement
through this piece of brick-a-brac, while I poured out a grown person's
dose of Rectified Ruin which stood on the escritoire and drank it with a
keen relish, which showed that I trusted him implicitly. Everything I
did was done to make Marbro forget himself and feel at his ease.

I told him I had known the Marbros in Maine ever since I was a boy; that
we didn't feel above them then, and it would be a poor time to begin
now at my time of life to look down on people just because I now wrote
pieces for the paper, many of which were afterwards printed. We always
thought that the Marbros, or Marlboroughs, of Maine, got their name
from burrowing in the marl along the Piscataquis, I said.

Thus I chatted on with him for an hour or two without seeming to chirk
him up at all. "Duke," said I at last, "I know what the matter must be
with you--you are socially ostracized. I knew it as soon as I came into
the room. You cannot disguise it from me. You are suffering from social
ostracism, and it is breaking you down. The social demands made by
America upon an imported social wreck do not give said wreck time to eat
his meals and obtain a necessary amount of rest. I suppose there is
nowhere in the world a climate that is so trying on a person suffering
from social ostracism as that of my native land. In other climes they
give a social outcast rest, but here he gets absolutely no rest
whatever."

[Illustration: 0109]

I then drifted into society chat in a graceful and naïve way which,
with others, has never failed to melt the stoniest heart. I told him
that I had understood, since I came to Newport, that the demands
of society here were so unrelenting that they had kept Mr. and Mrs.
Mayonnaise dressing all the time.

A long pause ensued here, during which I could hear Marbro's reason
tottering on its throne. After waiting three-quarters of an hour, by
my watch, and failing to see that my remark had shed even a ray of
sunshine, where erstwhile all was gloom and chaos, I gave him my address
and told him that if, in the future, he ever derived any beneficial
effects from the above joke, I would be glad to have him communicate
with me. And even if I were to die before he could truly say that he had
been benefited by this joke and grapple with its keen, incisive nub, my
grandchildren would be tickled almost to death to know that he had taken
it to pieces and put it together again and found out how it was built
and laugh at its ingenious mechanism.

I conversed with the Duke some time about the way his visit to Newport
had depressed the price of real estate, and offered him the freedom of
New York, hoping that he could depress the price of real estate there so
that I could buy some.

"But," said I, assuming an air of perfect repose, as I flung myself on
a low couch in such a way as to give a faint view of my new red socks,
"you will find it different in New York. Social ostracism there will not
materially affect the price of real estate in the neighborhood of the
postoffice. In fact, Marbro," said I, regarding him earnestly for a
moment through the bottom of a cut-glass tumbler, "there is not enough
English social ostracism in New York to supply the demand. Come to
our young and thriving town, a town that is rich in resources and
liabilities; a town that threatens to rival Omaha as a railroad center;
a town where a B. and O. deal has been a common occurrence every day for
over a year; a town where you can ride on the elevated trains and get
yourself pinched in the iron gate by the guard or go down to Wall street
and get pinched by the directors; a town where a man like Henry S. Ives
can buy about seven million dollars' worth of stuff that he can't pay
for, while a poor man who goes into a general store to buy a pair of
ear muffs is followed up by a private detective for fear he may run his
finger into the molasses barrel and then lick it syruptitiously. Come
on, Duke," said I, growing more talkative as the fumes of his fifty-two
dollar liquor rose to my surprised and delighted brains; "come on to New
York and mix up with us, and get on to our ways."

"See Fulton market by midnight, bite off a piece of atmosphere from
Castle Garden, and come with me to see Guiteau's head in the museum.
Guiteau was the last of a long line of assassins. He prophesied that
everyone connected with his trial would come to a bad end. Quite a
number of those connected with this celebrated trial are already dead,
and more especially Mr. Guiteau himself, whose skeleton is in the
Smithsonian Institution, his viscera in the Potomac, and his head in a
jar of alcohol. If you will come to New York, Marbro, you will have
a good time, and the rose geraniums will come back to your pallid and
durable cheek.

"If you will give us a whirl, Duke," said I, selecting an umbrella from
the decorated crock in the hall and coming back to where he still sat,
"you will be pleased and gratified with us; and if you can spare time to
come over and see me personally I would try to be as cordial and chatty
as you have been with me. No man ever entertained me as you have, or sat
and examined me through the bottom of an old microscope for two hours,
to be forgotten again by me. Marbro, if you will come to New York, we
will go and visit anybody's tomb that you may designate."

I then let myself out of the house with an adjustable pass-key and
hastened away. Shortly after I got back to my own lodgings, sometimes
called a room, a lackey from the Duke, wearing a livery-colored lively,
handed me a note from Marbro, in which he said he hoped that in case I
used this interview for publication I would be careful to give his exact
language.

In my poor, weak way, I think I have done so.



THE CHINESE COMPOSITOR.

|The Chinese compositor cannot sit at his case as our printers do, but
must walk from one case to another constantly, as the characters needed
cover such a large number, that they cannot be put into anything
like the space used in the English newspaper office. In setting up an
ordinary piece of manuscript, the Chinese printer will waltz up and down
the room for a few moments, and then go down stairs for a line of lower
case. Then he takes the elevator and goes up into the third story
after some caps, and then goes out into the woodshed for a handful of
astonishers. The successful Chinese compositor doesn't need to be so
very intelligent, but he must be a good pedestrian.



THE TRUE AMERICAN.

|The true American would rather work himself into luxury or the lunatic
asylum than to hang like a great wart upon the face of nature.



CHESTNUT-BURR--XII "THE OLD MAN ELOQUENT."

_Sitting Bull before the Council of the Sioux Nation--An Impressive
Speech--Civilization and the Paleface Doing their Deadly Work--The
Moccasins of a Mighty Nation._

|The following speech of Sitting Bull has been specially translated and
reported by our Indian editor, who is also wholesale and retail dealer
in deceased languages, and general agent for home-made Sioux rhetoric
and smoke-tanned Indian eloquence. New laid Indian laments with bead
trimmings. Compiler of novel and desirable styles of war dances. Indian
eloquence furnished to debating clubs and publishers of school readers:

"Warriors and war-scarred veterans of the frontier; Once more the
warpath is overgrown with bunch grass, and the tomahawk slumbers in the
wigwam of the red man. Grim-visaged war has given place to the piping
times of peace. The cold and cruel winter is upon lus. It has been upon
us for some time.

"The wail of departed spirits is on the night wind, and the wail of the
man with the chilblain answers back from the warrior's wigwam.

"Children of the forest, we are few. Where once the shrill war-whoop of
the chieftain collected our tribe like the leaves of the forest, I might
now yell till the cows come home without bringing out a quorum.

"We are fading away before the march of the paleface, and sinking into
oblivion like the snowflake on the bosom of the Stinking Water.

"Warriors, I am the last of a mighty race. We were a race of chieftains.
Alas! we will soon begone. The Bull family will soon pass from the face
of the earth. Ole is gone, and John is failing, and I don't feel very
well myself. We are the victims of the paleface, and our lands are taken
away.

"A few more suns, and the civilization, and valley tan, and hand made
sour mash, and horse liniment of the paleface will have done their
deadly work.

"Our squaws and pappooses are scattered to the four winds of heaven; and
we are left desolate.

"Where is The-Daughter-of-the-Tempest? Where is
The-Wall-Eyed-Maiden-With-the-Peeled-Nose?

"Where is Victoria Regina Dei Gracia Sitting Bull? Where is Knock-Kneed
Chemiloon? Where are Sway-Back Sue and Meek-Eyed Government Socks?

"They have sunk beneath the fire-waters of the goggle-eyed Caucasian.
They have succumbed to the delirum triangles, and when I call them they
come not. They do not hear my voice. Their moans are heard upon the
still night air, and they cry for revenge. Look at the sad remnant of
the family of Sitting Bull, your chief. One sore-eyed squaw is left
alone. Her face is furrowed o'er with the famine of many winters, and
her nose is only the ruin of its former greatness. Her moccasins are
worn out, and the soldier pants she wears are too long for her. She is
drunk also. She is not as drunk as she can get, but she is hopeful and
persevering. She has also learned to lie like the white man. She is now
an easy, extemporaneous liar. When we gather around the campfire and
enact our untutored lies in the gloaming, Lucretia Borgia Skowhegan
Sitting Bull, with the inspiration of six fingers of agency coffin
varnish, proceeds to tell the prize prevarication, and then the house
adjourns, and nothing can be heard but the muffled tread of the agency
corn beef, going out to get some fresh air. Lucretia Borgia is also
becoming slovenly. It is evening, and yet she has not donned her evening
dress. Her back hair is unkempt, and her front hair is unbung. Pretty
soon I will take a tomahawk and bang it for her. She seems despondent
and hopeless. As she leans against the trunk of a mighty oak and
scratches her back, you can see that her thoughts are far away. Her
other suspender is gone, but she don't care a cold, smooth clam. She is
thinking of her childhood days by the banks of Minnehaha.

"Warriors, we stand in the moccasins of a mighty nation. We represent
the starving remnant of the once powerful Sioux. Our pirogue stands idly
on the shore. I don't know what a pirogue is, but it stands idly on the
shore.

"When the spring flowers bloom again, and the grass is green upon the
plains, we will once more go upon the warpath. We will avenge the wrongs
of our nation. I have not fully glutted my vengeance. I have seven or
eight more gluts on hand, and we will shout our war-cry once more, and
mutilate some more Anglo-Saxons. We will silence the avenging cries of
our people. We will spatter the green grass and gray greasewood with the
gore of the paleface, and feed the white-livered emigrant to the coyote.
We will spread death and desolation everywhere, and fill the air with
gum overshoes and remains. Let us yield up our lives clearly while we
mash the paleface beyond recognition, and shoot his hired man so full of
holes that he will look like a suspension bridge.

"Warriors, there is our hunting ground. The buffalo, the antelope,
the sage hen and the jackass rabbit are ours. Ours to enjoy, ours to
perpetuate, ours to transmit. The Great Spirit created these animals for
the red man, and not for the bilious tourists, between whose legs the
chestnut sunlight penetrates clear up to his collar bone."

*****

"Then we will ride down on the regular army, when he is thinking of
something else, and we will scare him into convulsions, and our medicine
men will attend to the convulsions while we sample the supplies.

"Then we will take some cold sliced Indian agent and some bay rum, and
go on a picnic.

"Warriors, farewell. Be virtuous and you will be happy; but you will be
lonesome, sometimes. Think of what I have said to you about the council
fire, and govern yourselves accordingly, We will not murmur at the
celluloid cracker and cast iron codfish ball, but in the spring we will
have veal cutlets for breakfast, and peace commissioner on toast for
dinner. The squaw of Sitting Bull shall have a new plug hat, and if the
weather is severe, she shall have two of them.

"Warriors, farewell. I am done. I have spoken. I have nothing more to
say. Sic semper domino. Plumbago erysipelas, in hock eureka, sciataca,
usufruct, lim-burger, gobraugh."



CHESTNUT-BURR XIV--THE AMENDE HONORABLE.

_Lingering Traditions--The Molder of Public Opinion--No Mirth in making
the Amende Honorable--Four Minutes to Decide._

|It is rather interesting to watch the manner which old customs have
been slightly changed and handed down from age to age. Peculiarities of
old traditions still linger among us, and are forked over to posterity
like a wappy-jawed teapot or a long-time mortgage. No one can explain
it, but the fact still remains patent that some of the oddities of our
ancestors continue to appear, from time to time, clothed in the changing
costumes of the prevailing fashion.

Along with these choice antiquities, and carrying the nut-brown flavor
of the dead and relentless years, comes the amende honorable. From the
original amende in which the offender appeared in public clothed only in
a cotton-flannel shirt, and with a rope about his neck as an evidence of
a formal recantation, down to this day when (sometimes) the pale editor,
in a stickful of type, admits that "his informant was in error," the
amende honorable has marched along with the easy tread of time. The
blue-eyed molder of public opinion, with one suspender hanging down
at his side, and writing on a sheet of news-copy paper, has a more
extensive costume, perhaps, than the old-time offender who bowed in the
dust in the midst of the great populace, and with a halter under his ear
admitted his offense, but he does not feel any more cheerful over it.

I have been called upon several times to make the amende honorable, and
I admit that it is not an occasion of mirth and merriment. People who
come into the editorial office to invest in a retraction are generally
very healthy, and have a stiff, reserved manner that no cheerfulness of
hospitality can soften.

I remember of an accident of this kind which occurred last summer in my
office, while I was writing something scathing. A large man with an air
of profound perspiration about him, and plaid flannel shirt, stepped
into the middle of the room, and breathed in the air that I was not
using. He said he would give me four minutes in which to retract, and
pulled out a watch by which to ascertain the exact time. I asked him if
he would not allow me a moment or two to go over to the telegraph office
and to wire my parents of my awful death. He said I could walk out of
that door when I walked over his dead body. Then I waited a long time,
until he told me my time was up, and asked what I was waiting for. I
told him I was waiting for him to die, so that I could walk over his
dead body. How could I walk over a corpse until life was extinct?

He stood and looked at me first in astonishment, afterward in pity.
Finally tears welled up in his eyes, and plowed their way down his brown
and grimy face. Then he said that I need not fear him. "You are safe,"
said he. "A youth who is so patient and so cheerful as you are--who
would wait for a healthy man to die so that you could meander over his
pulseless remnants, ought not to die a violent death. A soft-eyed seraph
like you, who is no more conversant with the ways of this world than
that, ought to be put in a glass vial of alcohol and preserved. I came
up here to kill you and throw you in the rainwater barrel, but now that
I know what a patient disposition you have, I shudder to think of the
crime I was about to commit."



SWEET INFLUENCES OF CHANGING SEASONS.

|It is strange that the human heart is so easily influenced by the
change of seasons; and although spring succeeds winter, and summer
follows upon the heels of spring, just as it did centuries ago, yet the
transition from one to the other is ever new and pleasing, and the bosom
is gladdened with the cheering assurance of spring, or the promise of
the coming summer time, with its wealth of golden days, its cucumbers
and vinegar, its green corn, its string beans, its base-ball, its
mammoth circus, its fragrant flowers, and its soda water flavored with
syrup from a long-necked, wicker-covered bottle, just as it was in the
days of Pharoah, and Hannibal, and Andrew Jackson.



THE MARCH OF CIVILIZATION.

|Spokane Ike," the Indian who killed a doctor last summer for failing
to cure his child, has been hanged. This shows the onward march of
civilization, and vouchsafes to us the time when a doctor's life will be
in less danger than that of his patient.



CHESTNUT-BURR. XV--A BIG CORNER ON PORK.

_Independent Order of Forty Liars--Brother Jedediah Holcomb--The
Muffled Tread of Many Feet--Leader of the Trusty Phalanx--The most noble
Prevaricator._

|At a regular round-up of the Rocky Mountain division of the Independent
Order of Forty Liars, on Saturday evening, the most noble prevaricator
having directed the breath-tester to examine all present to see that
they were in possession of the annual password, explanations and
signals, and to report to the most noble promoter of twenty-seven karat
falsehoods whether all were so qualified to remain, and the report
having been satisfactory, the most noble prevaricator announced that
after the report of the custodian of campaign lies for the past year
and the annual statements of the division bartender and most noble
beer-yanker had been handed in and passed upon, the next business to
come before the division would be the nominations and the election of
most noble prevaricator to serve during the year 1887.

"Under the rules of our order," said the M. P., "ten minutes will
be given each aspirant for the office named in which to address the
meeting. It is understood that the time shall be devoted to short
anecdotes, personal reminiscences, etc., and the brethren will be given
ample scope to enlarge upon any details which the subject may suggest.
Our usual custom is to devote at least one hour to this highly
entertaining exercise, and I call to mind now some of the most enjoyable
moments of my life spent in listening to others or in constructing for
the amusement of others a few of the most entertaining and instructive
falsehoods that the history of our most noble order has known.

"We have several prominent visiting members here from other parts of the
country, among whom I am gratified to name Brother Eli Perkins, Brother
O'Keefe, of Pike's Peak, and Brothers Morey and Barnum, from the East,
who will address the meeting, perhaps, for a few moments after other
business has been disposed of."

After singing the opening ode, accompanied by the lyre, the usual order
of business having been attended to, the addresses of aspirants for the
office of M. N. P. of the Rocky Mountain division were called for.

The last speaker was Brother Jedediah Holcomb, who thus addressed the
assemblage:

"Most noble prevaricator of the Rocky Mountain division of Forty Liars,
and brethren of the order: Many years ago, when I was a mere stripling,
as it were, and just upon the verge of manhood, so to speak, I was
sitting on the green grass south of Chicago, near where Drexel boulevard
comes into South Park, thinking of my hard luck and wishing that my
future might be more prosperous than my past.

"That locality was then a howling wilderness compared with what it is
now, and where to-day the beautiful drives and walks are so inviting
there was nothing then but prairie and swamp, with here and there a
scrub oak tree.

"Chicago was a stirring western city then, but she was young and small.
She had not then accumulated the fabulous wealth of new and peculiar
metropolitan odors which she now enjoys, and in place of the rich,
fructifying fragrance of the stock yards, there was nothing but the wild
honeysuckle and the dead horse.

"Out where some of the most beautiful residences now stand there was
nothing then but the dank thistle nodding in the wind, or the timid
picnic bumble bee, hanging on the autumn bough and yearning to be
gathered in by the small boy.

"As I sat there long ago, ana, shrouded in the September haze, was
dreaming of a fortunate future for myself, I heard the muilled tread
of innumerable feet drawing nearer and nearer. The sound was like the
footfall of a regiment of infantry approaching, and I arose to see what
it was.

"I had not long to wait, for soon there hove in sight a very singular
spectacle. First came a large Illinois hog at the head of a long column
of Illinois hogs, all marching in Indian fashion, and grunting with
that placid, gentle grunt which the hog carries with him. On closer
examination into this singular phenomenon, I saw that all the hogs,
except the leader, were blind, each animal having his predecessor's tail
in his mouth throughout the long line, consisting of 13,521 unfortunate,
sightless hogs, cheerfully following their leader toward water.

"I was never so struck with the wonderful instinct of the brute creation
in my life, and my eyes filled with tears when I saw the child-like
faith and confidence of each blind animal following with implicit trust
the more fortunate guide.

"Soon, however, a great dazzling three-cornered idea worked its way into
my intellect. Dashing away my idle tears, I drew my revolver and shot
off the leader's tail, leaving the long line of disconcerted and
aimless hogs in the middle of a broad prairie, with no guide but the
dephlogisticated tail of a hog who was then three-quarters of a mile
away.

"Then I stole up, and taking the gory tail in my hand, I led the
trusting phalanx down to the stock yards and sold the outfit at eight
cents, live weight.

[Illustration: 0123]

"This was the start of my dazzling career as a capitalist, a career to
which I now point with pride. Thus from a poor boy with one suspender
and a sore toe, I have risen to be one of our loading business men,
known and respected by all, and by industry and economy, and borrowing
my chewing tobacco, I have come to be one of our solid men."

When Brother Holcomb ceased to speak, there was a painful silence of
perhaps five moments, and then Brother Woodtick Williams moved that the
rules be suspended, and Brother Holcomb declared the unanimous choice of
the order for the most noble prevaricator, to serve _sine die_.

Passed.

Then the quartette sang the closing ode, and each member, after hanging
up his regalia in the ante room, walked thoughtfully home in the crisp
winter starlight.



CHESTNUT-BURR XVI-PATRICK OLESON.

_The Banks of the Pulgarlic River--Patrick Fireman on 259--The Goal Was
Reached--The Story only Partially True._

|Many years ago, on the banks of the Pulgarlic river, lived a poor boy
named Patrick Oleson. When Patrick was only a year old, his father and
mother got into a little difficulty, in which the mother was killed. The
father, as soon as he regained his composure, saw that he had gone too
far, and when the sheriff came and marched him off to jail, he frankly
confessed that he had been perhaps too hasty.

Still, public opinion seemed turned against him; and in the following
spring Patrick's father was unanimously chosen by a convention of six
property-holders of the county to jump from a new pine platform into the
sweet subsequently.

The affair was a success, and Patrick was left an orphan at the tender
age of one and one-half years to wrestle for himself. His first impulse
was to write humorous letters to the press, and thus become affluent;
but the papers that were solvent returned his letters, and the papers
that accepted them busted the subsequent autumn. So Patrick decided that
as soon as he could complete a college course that would fit him for the
position, he would either enter the ministry or become a railroad man.

While at college he read the story of an engineer who had saved the life
of a little child by grabbing it from the cow-catcher while the train
was going at lightning speed, and, as a result, was promoted to general
passenger agent of the road.

So Patrick decided to be a railroad man and save some children from
being squashed by the train, so that he could be promoted and get a big
salary. He therefore studied to fit himself for the position to which he
aspired, and after five years' hard study he graduated with high honors
and a torpid liver.

He then sought out a good paying road that he thought he would
eventually like to be president of, and applied for a position on it.

By waiting till the following spring he got a job braking extra,
averaging $13 per month, till one day he screwed up a brake too tight
and wore out a wheel on the caboose. After that he was called into
the office of the superintendent, as Patrick supposed, to take the
superintendent's place, perhaps; but the superintendent swore at him,
and called him Flatwheel Oleson, and told him he had better hoe corn and
smash potato-bugs for a livelihood.

Patrick felt hurt and grieved, and, more in sorrow than in anger, he got
the oriental grand bounce, and had to rustle for another job. This time
he tried to secure the position of master mechanic; but when the road
to which he applied found out that he didn't know the difference between
the cow-catcher and the automatic air brake, Patrick was appointed as
assistant polisher and wiper extraordinary at the roundhouse.

All this time he never drank a drop or uttered a profane word. No matter
how much he was imposed upon, he never got mad or quarreled with
the other men. He sometimes felt sorely tried, but he saw that other
railroad men did not swear, so he did not.

After nine years of mental strain in the round-house, he was put on the
road as a fireman on 259; he was now, after sixteen years' hard study
and perseverance, on the road to promotion.

Just as soon as he could find a child on the track, some day, and snatch
the innocent little thing from the jaws of death, he felt that he would
be solid. Sometimes he would allow his mind to dwell on this subject so
long that his fire would go out and the engineer would report him, and
the old man would lay him off to give him a chance to think it over.

Three years Patrick fired on 259, and there wasn't a child that got
within 1,300 feet of the track when his engine came by. They seemed to
know that Patrick was perishing to save a child from being flattened out
by the train.

He began to get discouraged. He said he would try it another year, and
if he failed he would have to give up railroading and go to Congress.

One day he had just fired up the 259 in good shape and looked out of the
window ahead, when he saw a little child toddling along toward them and
only a few yards away, while the engine shrieked like a demon, and the
little chubby baby came on toward the rushing monster, whose hot breath,
with short, sharp hisses, rushed through the June morning.

Patrick felt that the joy or sorrow of a whole lifetime was in store for
him. It was not only life or death to the joyous parents, but it was
the culmination of the hopes and fears, the agony, the self-denial and
disappointments of his whole life, and the opening up of a new future to
him, or it was another lost opportunity and the continuation of along,
dreary, uneventful journey to the grave.

He was out on the pilot in an instant. He did not breathe. The rushing
engine trembled beneath him, and like a flash the still laughing child
was in his strong-arms.

He had triumphed. The goal was reached. The great struggle was over, and
in a few days he would be president of the road. He got home, and a man
came toward him with a document of some kind. His breath came short and
hard. It was probably his credentials as president of the road. He took
it and read it over in a sort of dream. It was only a notice that his
board bill had been garnisheed, and the superintendent told him that
he must pay it or the company would have to squeeze along without his
services.

In the morning the papers had a short account of Patrick's bravery, but
it was spoken of simply as "an almost fatal accident," and Patrick's
name appeared as Ole Fitzpatrick. He began to feel that he wasn't
getting a fair shake. His promotion to the presidency of the road seemed
to lag. There was a hitch in the senate probably about his confirmation
or something of that kind. The acting president of the corporation
selfishly retained his position, and looked so healthy, and seemed so
pleased with himself that Patrick lost all patience.

One day a man with a wart on his nose met Patrick on the street and
asked him if he was the gallant fireman of 259 who saved a little child
a week or two ago.

Patrick said he was.

The man grasped his hand and said:

"That was my child. It was almost the only child I had. I only had nine
others, and would have been almost childless if little James Abraham
Garfield had been busted. You have done a brave, noble act, and the
Lord will reward you. I am a poor man, as you would readily guess by
my clothing and the fact that we have ten children. I cannot reward you
with wealth or position, but I don't want to seem ungrateful or close
or contiguous. Come with me my benefactor, and I will shake you for the
drinks."

Then Patrick Oleson went away where he could be alone with his surging
thoughts. He is now running a hurdy-gurdy in the San Juan country.

This story is only partially true. The main fact, however, viz.; that
a child wasn't run over by a train, is true. It is different from most
stories about saving children; but the spring style of story is a little
different from that of former seasons, anyway.

In the spring style of prevarication, the engineer will either fail to
grab the child in time and there will be nothing left on the track but a
gingham apron and a grease spot, or, if he succeeds in saving the child,
he will not get the position of sergeant-at-arms and a gold-headed cane,
as was formerly the style.



PLEASURES OF SPRING.

|Spring is the most joyful season of the year. The little brooklets
are released from their icy fetters, and go laughing and rippling along
their winding way. The birds begin to sing in the budding branches, and
the soft south wind calls forth the green grass. The husbandman then
goes forth to dig the horseradish for his frugal meal. He also jabs his
finger into the rosebud mouth of the wild-eyed calf, and proceeds to
wean him from the gentle cow. The cow-boy goes forth humming a jocund
lay. So does the hen. Boys should not go near the hen while she is
occupied with her tuneful lay. She might seize them by the off ear, and
bear them away to her den, and feed them to her young. The hen rises
early in the morning so as to catch the swift-footed angleworm as he
flits from flower to flower. The angleworm cannot bite.



AN UNCLOUDED WELCOME.

|H. P. Willis once said: "The sweetest thing in life is the unclouded
welcome of a wife." This is true, indeed, but when her welcome is
clouded with an atmosphere of angry words and coal scuttles, there is
something about it that makes a man want to go out in the woodshed and
sleep on the ice-chest.



TOO MUCH GOD AND NO FLOUR.

|Old Chief Pocotello, now at the Fort Hall agency, in answer to an
inquiry relative to the true Christian character of a former Indian
agent at that place, gave in very terse language the most accurate
description of a hypocrite that was ever given to the public. "Ugh! Too
much God and no flour."



CHESTNUT-BURR. XVII--LONGING FOR HOME.

_Tom Fagan's Wild Horse--His Peculiar Taste in Lunches--Not an Arabian
Steed, but of Wyoming Descent--He Yearns for his old Home._

|Tom Fagan, of this city, has a wild horse that don't seem to take
to the rush and hurry and turmoil of a metropolis. He has been so
accustomed to the glad, free air of the plains and mountains that the
hampered and false life of a throbbing city, with its myriad industries,
makes him nervous and unhappy. He sighs for the boundless prairie and
the pure breath of the lifegiving mountain atmosphere. So taciturn is
he in fact, and so cursed by homesickness and weariness of an artificial
and unnatural horse society here in Laramie, that he refuses to eat
anything and is gradually pining away. Sometimes he takes a light lunch
out of Mr. Fagan's arm, but for days and days he utterly loathes food.
He also loathes those who try to go into the stable and fondle him.
He isn't apparently very much on the fondle. He don't yearn for human
society, but seems to want to be by himself and think it over.

The wild horse in stories soon learns to love his master and stay by him
and carry him through flood or fire, and generally knows more than the
_Cyclopedia Brittanica_; but this horse is not the historical horse that
they put into wild Arabian falsehoods. He is just a plain, unassuming
wild horse of Wyoming descent, whose pedigree is slightly clouded, and
who is sensitive on the question of his ancestry. All he wants is just
to be let alone, and most everybody has decided that he is right. They
came to that conclusion after they had soaked their persons in arnica
and glued themselves together with poultices.

Perhaps, after a while, he will conclude to eat hay and grow up with
the country, but now he sighs for his native bunch-grass and the buffalo
wallow wherein he has heretofore made his lair. We don't wonder much,
though, that a horse who has lived in the country should be a little
rattled here when he finds the electric light, and bicycles, and lawn
mowers, and Uncle Tom's Cabin troupes, and baled hay at $20 per ton. It
makes him as wild and skittish as it does an eighteen-year-old girl the
first time she comes into town, and for the first time is met by the
blare of trumpets, and the oriental wealth of the circus with its
deformed camels and uniformed tramps driving its miles of cages with
no animals in them. The great natural world and the giddy maelstrom
of seething, perspiring humanity, peculiar to the city world, are two
separate and distinct existences.



DIGNITY.

|Dignity does not draw. It answers in place of intellectual tone for
twenty minutes, but after awhile it fails to get there. Dignity works
all right in a wooden Indian or a drum major, but the man who desires to
draw a salary through life and to be sure of a visible means of support,
will do well to make some other provision than a haughty look and the
air of patronage.



CHESTNUT-BURR XVIII--THE TRUE HISTORY OF DAMON AND PYTHIAS.

_Dionysius the Elder--Paris Green in the Pie--Damon and Pythias--Pythias
about to Be Sacrificed--The Solitary Horseman Puts in an Appearance._



CHAPTER I.

|The romantic story of Damon and Pythias, which has been celebrated
in verse and song for over two thousand years, is supposed to have
originated during the reign of Dionysius I, or Dionysius the Elder as
he was also called, who resigned about 350 years b. c. He must have been
called "The Elder," more for a joke than anything else, as he was by
inclination a Unitarian, although he was never a member of any church
whatever, and was, in fact, the wickedest man in all Syracuse.

Dionysius arose to the throne from the ranks, and used to call himself
a self made man. He was tyrannical, severe and selfish, as all self-made
men are. Selfmade men are very prone to usurp the prerogative of the
Almighty and overwork themselves. They are not satisfied with the
position of division superintendent of creation, but they want to be
most worthy high grand muck-a-muck of the entire ranch, or their lives
are gloomy fizzles.

Dionysius was indeed so odious and so overbearing toward his subjects
that he lived in constant fear of assassination at their hands. This
fear robbed him of his rest and rendered life a dreary waste to the
tyrannical king. He lived in constant dread that each previous moment
would be followed by the succeeding one. He would eat a hearty supper
and retire to rest, but the night would be cursed with horrid dreams
of the Scythians and White River Utes peeling off his epidermis
and throwing him into a boiling cauldron with red pepper and other
counter-irritants, while they danced the Highland fling around this
royal barbecue.

Even his own wife and children were forbidden to enter his presence for
fear that they would put "barn arsenic" in the blanc-mange or "Cosgrove
arsenic" in the pancakes, or Paris green in the pie.

During his reign he had constructed an immense subterranean cavernous
arrangement, called the Ear of Dionysius, because it resembled in shape
and general telephonic power, the human ear. It was the largest ear on
record. One day a workman expressed the desire to erect a similar ear of
tin or galvanized iron on old Di. himself. Some one "blowed on him," and
the next morning his head was thumping about in the waste paper basket
at the General Office. When one of the king's subjects, who thought he
was solid with the administration, would say: "Beyond the possibility
of a doubt, your Most Serene Highness is the kind and loving guardian of
his people, and the idol of his subjects," His Royal Tallness would say,
"What ye givin' us Do you wish to play the Most Sublime Overseer of the
Universe and General Ticket Agent Plenipotentiary for a Chinaman? Ha!!!
You cannot fill up the King of Syracuse with taffy." Then he would order
the chief executioner to run the man through the royal sausage grinder,
ana throw him into the Mediterranean. In this way the sausage-grinder
was kept running night and day, and the chief engineer who ran the
machine made double time every month.



CHAPTER II.

|I will now bring in Damon and Pythias.

Damon and Pythias were named after a popular secret organization because
they were so solid on each other. They thought more of one another than
anybody. They borrowed chewing tobacco, and were always sociable and
pleasant. They slept together, and unitedly "stood off" the landlady
from month to month in the most cheerful and harmonious manner. If
Pythias snored in the night like the blast of a fog horn, Damon did not
get mad and kick him in the stomach as some would. He gently but firmly
took him by the nose and lifted him up and down to the merry rythm of
"The Babies in Our Block."

They loved one another in season and out of season. Their affection was
like the soft bloom on the nose of a Wyoming legislator. It never grew
pale or wilted. It was always there. If Damon were at the bat, Pythias
was on deck. If Damon went to a church fair and invited starvation,
Pythias would go, too, and vote on the handsomest baby till the First
National Bank of Syracuse would refuse to honor his checks.

But one day Damon got too much budge and told the venerable and colossal
old royal bummer of Syracuse what he thought of him. Then Dionysius told
the chief engineer of the sausage grinder to turn on steam and prepare
for business. But Damon thought of Pythias, and how Pythias hadn't so
much to live for as he had, and he made a compromise by offering to put
Pythias in soak while the only genuine Damon went to see his girl, who
lived at Albany. Three days were given him to get around and redeem
Pythias, and if he failed his friend would go to protest.



CHAPTER III.

|We will now suppose three days to have elapsed since the preceding
chapter. A large party of enthusiastic citizens of Syracuse are gathered
around the grand stand, and Pythias is on the platform cheerfully taking
off his coat. Near by stands a man with a broad-axe. The Syracuse silver
cornet band has just played "It's funny when you feel that way," and the
chaplain has made a long prayer, Pythias sliding a trade dollar into
his hand and whispering to him to give him his money's worth. The
Declaration of Independence has been read, and the man on the left is
running his thumb playfully over the edge of his meat axe. Pythias takes
off his collar and tie, swearing softly to himself at his miserable
luck.



CHAPTER IV.

|It is now the proper time to throw in the solitary horseman. The
horizontal bars of golden light from the setting sun gleam and glitter
from the dome of the court-house and bathe the green plains of Syracuse
with mellow splendor. The billowy piles of fleecy bronze in the eastern
sky look soft and yielding, like a Sarah Bernhardt. The lowing herd
winds slowly o'er the lea, and all nature seems oppressed with the
solemn hush and stillness of the surrounding and engulfing horror.

The solitary horseman is seen coming along the Albany and Syracuse toll
road. He jabs the Mexican spurs into the foamy flank of his noble cay
use plug, and the lash of the quirt as it moves through the air is
singing a merry song. Damon has been, delayed by road agents and
wash-outs, and he is a little behind time. Besides, he fooled a little
too long and dallied in Albany with his fair gazelle. But he is making
up time now and he sails into the jail yard just in time to take his
part. He and Pythias fall into each other's arms, borrow a chew of
fine-cut from each other and weep to slow music. Dionysius comes before
the curtain, bows and says the exercises will be postponed. He orders
the band to play something soothing, gives Damon the appointment
of superintendent of public instruction, and Pythias the Syracuse
post-office, and everything is lovely. Orchestra plays something
touchful. Curtain comes down. Keno. _In hoc usufruct nux vomica est_.

A TRYING SITUATION.

|There are a great many things in life which go to atone for the
disappointments and sorrows which one meets, but when a young man's
rival takes the fair Matilda to see the base-ball game, and sits under
an umbrella beside her, and is at the height of enjoyment, and gets the
benefit of a "hot ball" in the pit of his stomach, there is a nameless
joy settles down in the heart of the lonesome young man, such as the
world can neither give nor take away.



CHESTNUT-BURR XIX--A STORY OF SPOTTED TAIL.

_Trifling Incidents Make Men Great.--Chief Big Mouth.--A Quarrel between
Big Mouth and Spotted Tail.--The Tragic End._

|The popularity of the above-named chieftain dates from a very trifling
little incident, as did that of many other men who are now great.

Spotted Tail had never won much distinction up to that time, except as
the owner of an appetite, in the presence of which his tribe stood in
dumb and terrible awe.

During the early days of what is now the great throbbing and ambitious
West, the tribe camped near Fort Sedgwick, and Big Mouth, a chief of
some importance, used to go over to the post regularly for the purpose
of filling his brindle hide full of Fort Sedgwick Bloom of Youth.

As a consequence of Big Mouth's fatal yearning for liquid damnation, he
generally got impudent, and openly announced on the parade ground that
he could lick the entire regular army. This used to offend some of the
blood-scarred heroes who had just arrived from West Point, and in the
heat of the debate they would warm the venerable warrior about two feet
below the back of his neck with the flat of their sabers.

This was a gross insult to Big Mouth, and he went back to the camp,
where he found Spotted Tail eating a mule that had died of inflammatory
rheumatism. Big Mouth tearfully told the wild epicure of the way he had
been treated, and asked for a council of war. Spot picked his teeth with
a tent pin, and then told the defeated relic of a mighty race that if he
would quit strong drink, he would be subjected to fewer insults.

Big Mouth then got irritated, and told S. Tail that his remarks showed
that he was standing in with the aggressor, and was no friend to his
people.

Spotted Tail said that Mr. B. Mouth was a liar, by yon high heaven, and
before there was time to think it over, he took a butcher knife, about
four feet long, from its scabbard and cut Mr. Big Mouth plumb in two
just between the umbilicus and the watch pocket.

As the reader who is familiar with anatomy has already surmised, Big
Mouth died from the effects of this wound, and Spotted Tail was at once
looked upon as the Moses of his tribe. He readily rose to prominence,
and by his strict attention to the duties of his office, made for
himself a name as a warrior and a pie biter, at which the world turned
pale.

This should teach us the importance of taking the tide at its flood,
which leads on to fortune, and to lay low when there is a hen on, as
Benjamin Franklin has so truly said.



CHESTNUT-BURR XX--THE ROMANCE OF HORSE-SHOEING.

_Recreation with a Bronco--Careful Preparations--The Bronco humps
Himself Like a Camel--The Bronco in a Sling--The Bronco Full of Spirit._

|Recently I have taken a little recreation when I felt despondent, by
witnessing the difficult and dangerous feat of shoeing a bronco.

Whenever I get low-spirited and feel that a critical public don't
appreciate my wonderful genius as a spring poet, I go around to Brown
& Boole's blacksmith shop on A street, and watch them shoe a vicious
bronco. I always go back to the office cheered and soothed, and better
prepared to light the battle of life.

They have a new rig now for this purpose. It consists of two broad
sinches, which together cover the thorax and abdomen of the bronco,
to the ends of which--the sinches, I mean--are attached ropes, four in
number, which each pass over a pulley above the animal, and then are
wrapped about a windlass. The bronco is led to the proper position, like
a young man who is going to have a photograph taken, the sinches slipped
under his body and attached to the ropes.

Then the man at the wheel makes two or three turns in rapid succession.

The bronco is seen to hump himself, like the boss camel of the grand
aggregation of living wonders. He grunts a good deal and switches his
tail, while the ropes continue to work in the pulleys, and the man at
the capstan spits on his hands and rolls up on the wheel. After a while
the bronco hangs from the ceiling like a discouraged dish rag, and after
trying for two or three hundred times unsuccessfully to kick a hole
in the starry firmament, he yields, and hangs at half mast while the
blacksmith shoes him.

Yesterday I felt as though I must see something cheerful, and so I went
over to watch a bronco getting his shoes on for the round-up. I was
fortunate. They led up a quiet, gentlemanly appearing plug with all the
weary, despondent air of a disappointed bronco who has had aspirations
for being a circus horse, and has "got left." When they put the sinches
around him he sighed as though his heart would break, and his great,
soulful eyes were wet with tears. One man said it was a shame to put a
gentle pony into a sling like that in order to shoe him, and the general
feeling seemed to be that a great wrong was being perpetrated.

Gradually the ropes tightened on him and his abdomen began to disappear.
He rose till he looked like a dead dog that had been fished out of the
river with a grappling iron. Then he gave a grunt that shook the walls
of the firmament, and he reached out about five yards till his hind feet
felt of a greaser's eye, and with an athletic movement he jumped through
the sling and lit on the blacksmith's forge with his head about three
feet up the chimney. He proceeded then to do some extra ground and lofty
tumbling and kicking. A large anvil was held up for him to kick till he
tired himself out, and then the blacksmith put a fire and burglar-proof
safe over his head and shod him.

The bronco is full of spirit, and, although docile under ordinary
circumstances, he will at times get enthusiastic, and do things which he
afterward, in his sober moments, bitterly regrets.

Some broncos have formed the habit of bucking. They do not all buck.
Only those that are alive do so. When they are dead they are-more
subdued and gentle.

A bronco often becomes so attached to his master that he will lay down
his life if necessary. His master's life, I mean.

When a bronco comes up to me and lays his head over my shoulder, and
asks me to scratch his chilblain for him, I always excuse myself on the
ground that I have a family dependent on mo, and furthermore, that I
am a United States Commissioner, and to a certain extent the government
hinges on me.

Think what a ghastly hole there would be in the official staff of the
republic if I were launched into eternity now, when good men are so
scarce.

Some days I worry a good deal over this question. Suppose that some In
principled political enemy who wanted to be United States Commissioner
or Notary Public in my place should assassinate me!!!

Lots of people never see this. They see how smoothly the machinery of
government moves along, and they do not dream of possible harm. They
do not know how quick she might slip a cog, or the eccentric get jammed
through the indicator, if, some evening when I am at the opera house,
or the minstrel show, the assassin should steal up on me, and shoot a
large, irregular aperture into my cerebellum.

This may not happen, of course; but I suggest it, so that the public
will, as it were, throw its protecting arms about me, and not neglect me
while I am alive.

A CHILD'S FAITH.

|During a big thunder shower a while ago little Willie, who slept up
stairs alone, got scared and called his mother, who came up and asked
him what he was frightened about. Willie frankly admitted that the
thunder was a little too much for a little boy who slept alone.

"Well, if you are afraid," said his mother, pushing back the curls from
his forehead, "you should pray for courage."

"All right, ma," said Willie, an idea coming into his head; "suppose you
stay up here and pray while I go down stairs and sleep with paw."



HOW TO PRESERVE TEETH.

|I find," said an old man to a _Boomerang_ reporter, yesterday, "that
there is absolutely no limit to the durability of the teeth, if they are
properly taken care of. I never drink hot drinks, always brush my
teeth morning and evening, avoid all acids whatever, and although I am
sixty-five years old, my teeth are as good as ever they were."

"And that is all you do to preserve your teeth, is it?"

"Yes, sir; that's all--barring, perhaps, the fact that I put them in a
glass of soft water nights."



CHESTNUT-BURR XXI--EXPERIENCE ON THE FEVERISH HORNET.

_Every Profession Has Its Style--Not much Difference in Folks--Timber
line and Katooter--Katooter Was a Very Smart Man._

|Yes, that's so," said Woodtick Williams thoughtfully, as he looked out
across the divide and beyond the foothills, toward the top of the range
where the eternal snow was glittering in the summer sun.

"You are eminently correct. The gentleman from Buckskin has stated
the exact opinion of the subscriber, sure as death and semi-annual
assessments.

"Every profession has its style of lead and its peculiar dip toward the
horizon. From the towering congressman, down to the neglected advance
agent of the everlasting gospel, every profession, I allow, has its
peculiar lingo. Every pork-and-beans pilgrim from the States that's been
in my camp for twenty-seven years has said that the miner slings more
unnecessary professional racket than anybody else; but that ain't so.
Take folks as they assay, from blossom rock to lower level, there ain't
much difference.

"Nine years ago, I and Timberline Monroe and Katooter Lemons, from
Zion, struck the Feverish Hornet up on Slippery Ellum. First we knew the
prospecting season had closed up on us and, as the lay-out for surface
had pinched out, we decided to sink on the Hornet, just for luck.

"So Timberline, Katooter and me went over to Huckleberry Oleson's
store at at the lower camp and soaked our physiognomy for chuck, and
valley-tan, and a blastin' outfit for the job.

"Down five foot she showed 150 colors to a hunk of rock no bigger'n a
plug of tobacker, with wall rocks well defined both sides and foot wall
slick as a confidence game in 'Frisco.

"The quartz, with a light coat of gouge, looked as if she'd been jammed
through the formation like a Sabbath-school scholar's elbow through a
custard pie, and it had crushed the prehistoric stuffin' and pre-adamite
sawdust out of the geological crust in good shape.

"'Katooter,' says I, 'if she shows up this way all the way down, I be
teetotally dodbuttered if I don't think we've cornered the sugar at
last. We'll run her down to ten foot and see how she looks to the naked
eye.'

"Ten foot down she'd widen to three foot between walls, with solid gray
quartz as pretty as a bank book. Then we made a mill run of five pounds
in a half-gallon mortar and cleared up a dollar's worth of dust on the
blade of a long-handled shovel.

"The prospectus of the Feverish Hornet was very cheering indeed.

"I sat down on a candle-box and sang something. I always twitter a few
notes when I feel tickled about anything.

"Katooter listened to my singing a little while, and then he went
down the gulch murmuring, something about my music and intimating that
prosperity always had its little drawbacks after all.

"He slid down to the Frescoed Hell and jammed his old freckled hide so
full of horse liniment of the vintage of '49 that he got entirely off
the lead, and drifted so far into poverty rock that he didn't know
Timberline nor me from a stomach pump.

"That's generally the way with men that turn up their noses at vocal
music.

"Well, he got no better so rapidly that next day he was occupying a
front seat at the biggest delirium triangle matinee you ever heard of,
and was the sole proprietor of the biggest aggregation of seal-brown
tarantulas and variegated caterpillars and imported centipedes that ever
exhibited in Columbia's fair domain.

"Every little while he'd nail some diabolical insect crawling up his
sleeve or gently walking through his hair, and then he'd yell like a
maniac and pray and swear like a hired man.

"The atmosphere seemed to be level-full of bumblebees as big as a
cook-stove, and every time they'd cuddle up to him of sink on him with
their sultry little gimlets, Katooter would jump up and whoop like a
Piute medicine man trying to assuage a wide waste of turbulent cucumber.

"At these times Katooter would lay aside his wardrobe, and, throwing me
into the fire-place and Timberline under the bed, he would wander forth
into the starlight, with the thermometer down to 37 degrees, and wrapped
in nothing but his surging thoughts.

"By the time Timberline and me would get up and swab the cobwebs and
cinders out of our eyes, Katooter would be half way up the gulch and
lighting out like a freckled Greek slave hunting for a clothing store.

"First along we used to run after him and try to tire him out and corral
him, but he was most too skipful, and apparently so all-fired anxious to
put all the intervening distance he could between himself and the fuzzy
tarantulas and fall style of centipede, that he made some pretty tall
time, considering the poor trail and the light mountain air.

"Then another thing; when we got to him he was so pesky mean to hang on
to.

"You've probably tried before now, when you was small, to catch the boy
who tied your shirt to the top limb of a dead tree, and you have thrown
all your energy into the effort, but you decided after awhile to wait
till he got his clothes on before you punished him.

"That's the way it was with Katooter. He was the smartest man I ever
tried to gather into the fold. We'd think we had him, and all at once
he'd glide between our legs like a yaller dog and laugh a wild kind
of laugh that would run the thermometer down 13 degrees, and away he'd
glimmer up the trail like a red-headed right of way.

"So I got mad at last, and used to chase him with a lariat and Yellow
Fever.

[Illustration: 0151]

"Yellow Fever was a sorrel mule that belonged to the firm. We called him
Yellow Fever because he was so fatal.

"Well, when Yellow Fever and me got after Katooter with the lariat, we
most always gathered him in.--[Bless my soul, how I'm stringing this
yarn out.]

"Well, to make a long story short, Katooter rallied after a while, and
during the spell his chilblains was convalescing, and some more new skin
growing on his system where he had barked it off running through the
sage-brush, and falling into old deserted prospect holes. I had an offer
of $50,000 for my third in the Feverish Hornet, and sold.

"Then I went down to Truckee and bought a little house of an old
railroad man down there, and grubstaked myself for the winter, and
allowed I'd lay off till the snow left the range in the spring.

"One night, about half after 12, I judge, I heard somebody step along to
the window of my boudoir. Hearing it at that time of night, I reckoned
that something crooked was going on, so I slid out of bed and got my
Great Blood Searcher and Liver Purifier, with the new style of center
fire and cartridge ejector, and slid up to the window, calculating to
shove a tonic into whoever it might be that was picnicking around my
claim.

"I looked out so as to get a good idea of where I wanted to sink on him,
and then I thought before I mangled him I'd ask him if he had any choice
about which part of his vitals he wanted to preserve, so I sang out to
him:

"Look out below there, pard, for I'm going to call the meeting to order
in a minute! Just throw up your hands, if you please, and make the grand
hailing sign of distress, or I'll have to mutilate you! Just show me
about where you'd have the fatal wound, and be spry about it, too,
because I've got my brief costume on, and the evening air is chill!"

"He didn't understand me, apparently, for a gurgling laugh welled up
from below, and the party sings back:

"Hullo, Fatty, is that you? Just lookin' to see if you'd fired up yet.
You know I was to come round and flag you if second seven was out Well,
I've been down to the old man's to see what's on the board. Three is two
hours late and four is on time. There's two sevens out and two sections
of nine. Skinney'll take out first seven and Shorty'll pull her with
102. It's you and me for second seven, with Limber Jim on front end
and French to hold down the caboose. First fire is wrong side up in a
washout this side of Ogallalla, and old Whatshisname that runs 258 got
his crown sheet caved in and telescoped his headlight into the middle of
the New Jerusalem. You know the little Swede that used to run extra for
Old Hotbox on the emigrant awhile? Well, he was firing on 258 and he's
under three flats and a coal-oil tank, with a brake beam across his
coupler, and his system more or less relaxed. He's gone to the sweet
subsequently, too. Rest of the boys are more or less demoralized, and
side-tracked for repairs. Now you don't want to monkey around much,
for if you don't loom up like six bits and go out on the tick, the old
man'll give you a time cheek and the oriental grand bounce. You hear the
mellow trill of my bazoo?"

"Then I slowly uncorked the Great Blood Purifier, and moving to the
footlights where the silvery moonbeams could touch up my dazzling
outlines, I said: 'Partner, I am pleased and gratified to have met you.
I don't know the first ding busted thing you have said to me, but that
is my misfortune. I am a plain miner, and my home is in the digestive
apparatus of the earth, but for professional melody of the chin, you
certainly take the cake. You also take the cake basket and what cold pie
there is in on the dump. My name is Wood-tick Williams. I discovered the
Feverish Hornet up on Slippery Elm. I am proud, you know. Keep right on
getting more and more familiar with your profession, and by and by, when
nobody can understand you, you will be promoted and respected, and
you will at last be a sleeping-car conductor, and revel in the biggest
mental calm, and wide shoreless sea of intellectual stagnation that the
world ever saw. You will----

"But he was gone.

"Then I took a pillow sham and wiped some pulverized crackers off the
soles of my feet, and went to bed, enveloped in a large gob of gloom."



THE PICNIC PLANT.

|The picnic plant will soon lift its little head to the sunshine, and
the picnic manager will go out and survey the country, to find where the
most God-forsaken places are, and then he will get up an excursion to
some of these picturesque mud-holes and sand-piles; and the man who
swore last year that he would never go to another picnic, will pack up
some mustard, and bay rum, and pickles, and glycerine, and a lap-robe,
and some camphor, and a spy-glass, and some court-plaster; and he will
heave a sigh and go out to the glens and rural retreats, and fill his
skin full of Tolu, Rock and Rye, and hatred toward all mankind and
womankind; and he will skin his hands, and try to rub the downy fluff
and bloom from a cactus by sitting down on it.



CHESTNUT-BURR XXII--ANCIENT BRIC-A-BRAC

_A Mound in Medicine Bow Range--I Started to Dig Into the Vast
Sarcophagus--A Glad Shout from, the Scene of Operations--A Large Queen
Anne Tear Jug._

|During my rambles through the Medicine Bow range of the Rocky mountains
recently, I was shown by an old frontiersman a mound which, although
worn down somewhat and torn to pieces by the buffalo, the antelope
and the coyote, still bore the appearance of having been at one time
very large and high.

This, I was told, had, no doubt, been the burial place of some ancient
tribe or race of men, the cemetery, perhaps, of a nation now unknown.

Here in the heart of a new world, where men who had known the region
for fifteen or twenty years, are now called "old timers," where "new
discoveries" had been made within my own recollection, we found the
sepulcher of a nation that was old when the Pilgrims landed on the
shores of Columbia.

I am something of an antiquarian, with all my numerous charms, and I
resolved to excavate at this spot and learn the hidden secrets of those
people who lived when our earth was young.

I started to dig into the vast sarcophagus. The ground was very hard.
The more I worked the more I felt that I was desecrating the burial
place of a mighty race of men, now powerless to defend themselves
against the vandal hands that sought to mar their eternal slumber.

I resolved to continue my researches according to the vicarious plan. I
secured the services of a hardened, soulless hireling, who did not wot
of the solemn surroundings and who could dig faster than I could. He
proceeded with the excavation business, while I sought a shady dell
where I could weep alone.

It was a solemn thought, indeed. I murmured softly to myself--=

````The knights are dust,

````Their swords are rust;

````Their souls are with

````The saints, we trust.=

Just then a wood-tick ran up one of my alabaster limbs about nine feet,
made a location and began to do some work on it under the United States
mining laws.

I removed him by force and submitted him to the dry crushing process
between a piece of micaceous slate and a fragment of deoderized,
copper-stained manganese.

But we were speaking of the Aztecs, not the wood-ticks.

Nothing on earth is old save by comparison. The air we breathe, and
which we are pleased to call fresh air, is only so comparatively. It is
the same old air. As a recent air it is not so fresh as "Silver Threads
Among the Gold."

It has been in one form and another through the ever-shifting ages all
along the steady march of tireless time, but it is the same old union of
various gaseous elements floating through space, only remodeled for the
spring trade.

All we see or hear or feel, is old. Truth itself is old. Old and falling
into disuse, too. Outside of what I am using in my business, perhaps not
over two or three bales are now on the market.

Here in the primeval solitude, undisturbed by the foot of man, I had
found the crumbling remnants of those who once walked the earth in their
might and vaunted their strength among the powers of their world.

No doubt they had experienced the first wild thrill of all-powerful
love, and thought that it was a new thing. They had known, with mingled
pain and pleasure, when they struggled feebly against the omnipotent
sway of consuming passion, that they were mashed, and they flattered
themselves that they were the first in all the illimitable range of
relentless years who had been fortunate enough to get hold of the
genuine thing. All others had been base imitations.

Here, perhaps, on this very spot, the Aztec youth with a bright-eyed
maiden on his arm had pledged lifelong fidelity to her shrine, and in
the midnight silence had stolen away from her with a pang of vigorous
regret, followed by the sobs of his soul's idol and the demoralizing,
leaden rain of buckshot, with the compliments and best wishes of the old
man.

While I was meditating upon these things, a glad shout from the scene
of operations attracted my attention. I rose and went to the scene of
excavation and found, to my unspeakable astonishment and pleasure, that
the man had unearthed a large Queen Anne tear jug, with Etruscan
work upon the exterior. It was simply one of the old-fashioned
single-barreled tear jugs, made for a one eyed man to cry into. The
vessel was about eighteen inches in height by five or six inches in
diameter.

The graceful, yet perhaps severe pottery of the Aztecs, convinces me
that they were fully abreast of the present century in their knowledge
of the arts and sciences.

Space will not admit of an extended description of this
ancient tear cooler, but I am still continuing the antiquarian
researches,--vicariously, of course--and will give this subject more
attention during the summer.



JOINT POWDER.

|It don't do to fool with joint powder. It's powerful stuff. I had a
$10,000 mine over in the Queen of Shelby district in '51 called the
Goshallhemlock claim. I was offered $10,000 for it, with $5,000 in
sagebrush placer stock besides, if she opened up as well ten foot
further down.

We put in a blast of joint powder, and when we went to make an
examination, we couldn't find the Goshallhemlock with an assessor and
a search warrant. The hole was there, but there wasn't quartz enough to
throw at a yaller dog.

My idea is to sell a mine just before you put in the joint powder, and
then if the buyer wants to blow the property into the middle of next
Christmas let him do it.



CHESTNUT-BURR XIII--THE TWO-HEADED GIRL.

_The Power of a Two-headed Girl to Cheer the Sad--She Is not Beautiful,
but her Color Is Distinct--As a Show She Draws Better than a Scientific
Lecture._

|The cultivated two-headed girl has visited the West. It is very rare
that a town the size of Laramie experiences the rare treat of witnessing
anything so enjoyable. In addition to the mental feast which such a
thing affords, one goes away feeling better--feeling that life has more
in it to live for, and is not after all such a vale of tears as he had
at times believed it.

Through the trials and disappointments of this earthly pilgrimage,
the soul is at times cast down and discouraged. Man struggles against
ill-fortune and unlooked-for woes, year after year, until he becomes
misanthropical and soured, but when a two-headed girl comes along and
he sees her it cheers him up. She speaks to his better nature in two
different languages at one and the same time, and at one price.

When I went to the show I felt gloomy and apprehensive. The eighteenth
ballot had been taken and the bulletins seemed to have a tiresome
sameness. The future of the republic was not encouraging. I felt as
though, if I could get first cost for the blasted thing, I would sell
it.

I had also been breaking in a pair of new boots that day, and spectators
had been betting wildly on the boots, while I had no backers at three
o'clock in the afternoon, and had nearly decided to withdraw on the last
ballot. I went to the entertainment feeling as though I should criticise
it severely.

The two-headed girl is not beautiful. Neither one of her, in fact, is
handsome. There is quite a similarity between the two, probably because
they have been in each other's society a great deal and have adopted the
same ways.

She is an Ethiopian by descent and natural choice being about the same
complexion as Frank Miller's oil blacking, price ten cents.

She was at one time a poor slave, but by her winning ways and genuine
integrity and genius, she has won her way to the hearts of the American
people. She has thoroughly demonstrated the fact that two heads are
better than one.

A good sized audience welcomed this popular favorites. When she came
forward to the foot-lights and made her two-ply bow she was greeted by
round after round of applause from the _elite_ of the city.

I felt pleased and gratified. The fact that a recent course of
scientific lectures here was attended by from fifteen to thirty people,
and the present brilliant success of the two-headed girl proved to me,
beyond a doubt, that we live in an age of thought and philosophical
progress.

Science may be all right in its place, but does it make the world
better? Does it make a permanent improvement on the minds and thoughts
of the listener? Do we go away from such a lecture feeling that we have
made a grand stride toward a glad emancipation from the mental thraldom
of ignorance and superstition? Do people want to be assailed, year after
year, with a nebular theory, and the Professor Huxley theory of natural
selections and things of that nature?

No! 1,000 time no!

They need to be led on quietly by an appeal to their better natures.
They need to witness a first-class bureau of monstrosities, such as men
with heads as big as a band wagon, women with two heads, Cardiff giants,
men with limbs bristling out all over them like the velvety bloom on a
prickly pear.

When I get a little leisure, and can attend to it, I am going to
organize a grand constellation of living wonders of this kind, and make
thirteen or fourteen hundred farewell tours with it, not so much to
make money, but to meet a long-felt want of the American people, for
something which will give a higher mental tone to the tastes of those
who never lag in their tireless march toward perfection.



OUR COMPLIMENTS.

|We have nothing more to say of the editor of the Sweetwater _Gazette_.
Aside from the fact that he is a squint-eyed, consumptive liar, with
a breath like a buzzard and a record like a convict, we don't know
anything against him. He means well enough, and if he can evade the
penitentiary and the vigilance committee for a few more years, there is
a chance for him to end his life in a natural way. If he don't tell the
truth a little more plentifully, however, the Green River people will
rise as one man and churn him up till there won't be anything left of
him but a pair of suspenders and a wart.



CHESTNUT-BURR XIV--A PATHETIC EPISODE IN NORTHERN WISCONSIN.

_A Trip to Northern Wisconsin--How Foreign Lumber Is manufactured--Iron
Dogs--A Sad Accident--? The Funeral Procession--A Solemn Moral._

|I have just returned from a trip up the North Wisconsin railway, where
I went to catch a string of codfish, and anything else that might be
contagious. The trip was a pleasant one, and productive of great good in
many ways. I am hardening myself to railway traveling, like Timberline
Jones' man, so that I can stand the return journey to Laramie in July.

Northern Wisconsin is the place where the "foreign lumber" comes from
which we use in Laramie in the erection of our palatial residences. I
visited the mill last week that furnished the lumber used in the Oasis
hotel at Greeley. They yank a big wet log into that mill and turn it
into cash as quick as a railroad man can draw his salary out of the pay
car. The log is held on a carriage by means of iron dogs while it is
being worked into lumber. These iron dogs are not like those we see on
the front steps of a brown-stone house occasionally. They are another
breed of dogs.

The managing editor of the mill lays out the log in his mind, and works
it into dimension stuff, shingle bolts, slabs, edgings, two by fours,
two by eights, two by sixes, etc., so as to use the goods to the best
advantage, just as a woman takes a dress pattern and cuts it so she
won't have to piece the front breadths, and will still have enough left
to make a polonaise for the last-summer gown.

I stood there for a long time watching the various saws and listening
to their monotonous growl, and wishing that I had been born a successful
timber thief instead of a poor boy without a rag to my back.

At one of these mills, not long ago, a man backed up to get away from
the carriage, and thoughtlessly backed against a large saw that was
revolving at the rate of about 200 times a minute. The saw took a large
chew of tobacco from the plug he had in his pistol pocket, and then
began on him.

But there's no use going into details. Such things are not cheerful.
They gathered him up out of the sawdust and put him in a nail keg and
carried him away, but he did not speak again. Life was quite extinct.
Whether it was the nervous shock that killed him, or the concussion of
the cold saw against his liver that killed him, no one ever knew.

[Illustration: 0163]

The mill shut down a couple of hours so that the head sawyer could file
his saw, and then work was resumed once more.

We should learn from this never to lean on the buzz saw when it moveth
itself aright.



THE SECRET OF HEALTH.

|Health journals are now asserting, that to maintain a sound
constitution you should lie only on the right side. The health journals
may mean well enough; but what are you going to do if you are editing a
Democratic paper?



CHESTNUT-BURR XXV--BILL NYE ESSAYS A NOVELETTE.

_Harry Bevans--Fanny Buttonhook--True Love Takes its Usual Course--A
Letter to Fanny--A Sweet, Short, Summer--A Happy Marriage--Little
Birdie._

|I never wrote a novel, because I always thought it required more of a
mashed raspberry imagination than I could muster, but I was the business
manager, once, for a year and a half, of a little two-bit novelette that
has never been published.

I now propose to publish it, because I cannot keep it to myself any
longer.

Allow me, therefore, to reminisce.

Harry Bevans was an old schoolmate of mine in the days of ([x-y]/2)3, and
although Bevans was not his sure-enough name, it will answer for the
purposes herein set forth. At the time of which I now speak he was more
bashful than a book agent, and was trying to promote a cream-colored
mustache and buff "Done-gals" on the side.

Suffice it to say that he was madly in love with Fanny Buttonhook, and
too bashful to say so by telephone.

Her name wasn't Buttonhook, but I will admit it for the sake of
argument. Harry lived over at Kalamazoo, we will say, and Fanny at
Oshkosh. These were not the exact names of the towns, but I desire to
bewilder the public, in order to avoid any harrassing disclosures in the
future. It is always well enough, I find, to deal gently with those who
are alive and moderately muscular.

Young Bevans was not specially afraid of old man Buttonhook, or his
wife. He didn't dread the enraged parent worth a cent. He wasn't afraid
of anybody under the cerulean dome, in fact, except Miss Buttonhook,
but when she sailed down the main street, Harry lowered his colors and
dodged into the first place he found open, whether it was a millinery
store or a livery stable.

Once, in an unguarded moment, he passed so near her that the gentle
south wind caught up the cherry ribbon that Miss Buttonhook wore at her
throat, and slapped Mr. Bevans across the cheek with it before he knew
what ailed him. There was a little vision of straw hat, brown hair,
and pink-and-white cuticle, as it were, a delicate odor of violets, the
"swish" of a summer silk, and my friend, Mr. Bevans, put his hand to his
head, like a man who has a sun-stroke, and fell into a drug store and a
state of wild mash, ruin and hopeless chaos.

His bashfulness was not seated nor chronic. It was the varioloid, and
didn't hurt him only when Miss Buttonhook was present, or in sight. He
was polite and chatty with other girls, and even dared to be blithe and
gay sometimes, too, but when Frances loomed up in the distance, he would
climb a rail fence nine feet high to evade her.

He told me once that he wished I would erect the frame-work of a
letter to Fanny, in which he desired to ask that he might open up a
correspondence with her.

He would copy and mail it, he said, and he was sure that I. being a
disinterested party, would be perfectly calm.

I wrote a letter for him of which I was moderately proud. It would melt
the point on a lightning rod, it seemed to me, for it was just as full
of gentleness and poetic soothe as it could be, and Tupper. Webster's
Dictionary and my scrap book had to give down first rate. Still it was
manly and square-toed. It was another man's confession, and I made it
bulge out with frankness and candor.

As luck would have it, I went over to Oshkosh about the time Harry's
prize epistle reached that metropolis, and having been a confidant of
Miss B.'s from early childhood. I had the pleasure of reading Bev's
letter, and advising the young lady about the correspondence.

Finally a bright thought struck her. She went over to an easy chair, and
sat down on her foot, coolly proposing that I should outline a letter
replying to Harry's, in a reserved and rather frigid manner, yet bidding
him dare to hope that if his orthography and punctuation continued
correct, he might write occasionally, though it must be considered
entirely _sub rosa_ and abnormally _entre-nous_ on account of "Pa."

By the way. "Pa" was a druggist, and one of the salts of the
earth--Epsom salts of course.

I agreed to write the letter, swore never to reveal the secret workings
of the order, the grips, explanations, passwords and signals, and then
wrote her a nice, demure, startled-fawn letter, as brief as the collar
to a party dress, and as solemn as the Declaration of Independence.

Then I said good-by, and returned to my own home, which was neither in
Kalamazoo nor Oshkosh. There I received a flat letter from William Henry
Bevans, inclosing one from Fanny, and asking for suggestions as to a
reply. Her letter was in Miss Buttonhook's best vein. I remember having
written it myself.

Well, to cut a long story short, every other week I wrote a letter for
Fanny, and on intervening weeks I wrote one for the lover at Kalamazoo.
By keeping copies of all letters written, I had a record showing where I
was, and avoided saying the same pleasant things twice.

Thus the short, sweet summer scooted past. The weeks were filled
with gladness, and their memory even now comes back to me, like a
wood-violet-scented vision. A wood-violet-scented vision comes high, but
it is necessary in this place.

Toward winter the correspondence grew a little tedious, owing to the
fact that I had a large and tropical boil on the back of my neck, which
refused to declare its intentions or come to a focus, for three weeks.
In looking over the letters of both lovers yesterday, I could tell by
the tone of each just where this boil began to grow up, as it were,
between two fond hearts.

This feeling grew till the middle of December, when there was a red-hot
quarrel. It was exciting and spirited, and after I had alternately
flattered myself first from Kalamazoo and then from Oshkosh, it was
a genuine luxury to have a row with myself through the medium of the
United States mails.

Then I made up and got reconciled. I thought it would be best to secure
harmony before the holidays, so that Harry could go over to Oshkosh and
spend Christmas. I therefore wrote a letter for Harry in which he said
he had, no doubt, been hasty, and he was sorry. It should not occur
again. The days had been like weary ages since their quarrel, he
said--vicariously, of course--and the light had been shut out of his
erstwhile joyous life. Death would be a luxury unless she forgave him,
and Hades would be one long, sweet picnic and lawn festival unless she
blessed him with her smile.

You can judge how an old newspaper reporter, with a scarlet imagination,
would naturally dash the color into another man's picture of humility
and woe.

She replied--by proxy--that he was not to blame. It was her waspish
temper and cruel thoughtlessness. She wished he would come over and take
dinner with them on Christmas day and she would tell him how sorry she
was. When the man admits that he's a brute and the woman says she's
sorry, it behooves the eagle eye of the casual spectator to look up into
the blue sky for a quarter of an hour, till the reconciliation has had
a chance and the brute has been given time to wipe a damp sob from his
coat-collar.

I was invited to the Christmas dinner. As a successful reversible
amanuensis I thought I deserved it. I was proud and happy. I had passed
through a lover's quarrel and sailed in with white-winged peace on time,
and now I reckoned that the second joint, with an irregular fragment
of cranberry jelly, and some of the dressing, and a little of the white
meat please, was nothing more than right.

Mr. Bevans forgot to be bashful twice during the day, and even smiled
once also. He began to get acquainted with Fanny after dinner, and
praised her beautiful letters. She blushed clear up under her "wave,"
and returned the compliment.

That was natural. When he praised her letters I did not wonder, and
when she praised his I admitted that she was eminently correct. I never
witnessed better taste on the part of two young and trusting hearts.

After Christmas I thought they would both feel like buying a manual and
doing their own writing, but they did not dare to do so evidently. They
seemed to be afraid the change would be detected, so I piloted them into
the middle of the succeeding fall, and then introduced the crisis into
both their lives.

It was a success.

I felt about as well as though I were to be cut down myself and married
off in the very prime of life. Fanny wore the usual clothing adopted
by young ladies who are about to be sacrificed to a great horrid man. I
cannot give the exact description of her trousseau, but she looked like
a hazel-eyed angel, with a freckle on the bridge of her nose. The
groom looked a little scared, and moved his gloved hands as though they
weighed twenty-one pounds apiece.

However, it's all over now. I was up there recently to see them. They
are quite happy. Not too happy, but just happy enough. They call their
oldest son Birdie. I wanted them to call him William, but they were
headstrong and named him Birdie. That wounded my pride, and so I called
him Earlie Birdie.



CHESTNUT-BURR XXVI--THE DAUGHTER OF BOB TAIL FLUSH.

_The Dusky Bride of Old Fly Up-the-Creek is a Lover of the
Beautiful--The Indian Maiden in-Her Wild Simplicity--How She Appears
to the Man of Sentiment--No Ruthless Hand Shall Tear the Cloak from the
True Indian Maiden._

|One of the attractions of life at the Cheyenne Indian agency, is the
reserved seat ticket to the regular slaughter-house matinee. The agency
butchers kill at the rate of ten bullocks per hour while at work, and so
great was the rush to the slaughter-pens for the internal economy of the
slaughtered animals, that Major Love found it necessary to erect a box
office and gate, where none but those holding tickets could enter and
provide themselves with these delicacies.

This is not a sensation, it is the plain truth, and we desire to call
the attention of those who love and admire the Indian at a distance of
2,000 miles, and to the æsthetic love for the beautiful which prompts
the crooked-fanged and dusky bride of old Fly-up-the-Creek
to rob the soap-grease man and the glue factory, that she may make a
Cheyenne holiday. As a matter of fact, common decency will not permit us
to enter into a discussion of this matter. Firstly, it would not be fit
for the high order of readers who peruse these pages, and secondly, the
Indian maiden at the present moment stands on a lofty crag of the
Rocky mountains, beautiful in her wild simplicity, wearing the fringed
garments of her tribe. To the sentimentalist she appears outlined
against the glorious sky of the new West, wearing a coronet of eagle's
feathers, and a health-corset trimmed with fantastic bead-work and
wonderful and impossible designs in savage art.

Shall we then rush in and with ruthless hand shatter this beautiful
picture? Shall we portray her as she appears on her return from the
great slaughter-house benefit and moral aggregation of digestive
mementos? Shall we draw a picture of her clothed in a horse-blanket,
with a necklace of the false teeth of the paleface, and her coarse,
unkempt hair hanging over her smoky features and clinging to her warty,
bony neck? No, no. Far be it from us to destroy the lovely vision of
copper-colored grace and smoke-tanned beauty, which the freckled student
of the effete East has erected in the rose-hued chambers of fancy. Let
her dwell there as the plump-limbed princess of a brave people. Let her
adorn the hat-rack of his imagination--proud, beautiful, grand, gloomy
and peculiar--while as a matter of fact, she is at that moment
leaving the vestibule of the slaughter-house, conveying in the soiled
laprobe--which is her sole adornment--the mangled lungs of a Texas
steer.

No man shall ever say that we have busted the beau-ful Cigar Sign Vision
that he has erected in his memory. Let the graceful Indian queen that
has lived on in his heart ever since he studied history and saw the
graphic picture of the landing of Columbus, in which Columbus is just
unsheathing his bread knife, and the stage Indians are fleeing to the
tall brush; let her, we say, still live on. The ruthless hand that
writes nothing but everlasting truth, and the stub pencil that yanks
the cloak of the false and artificial from cold and perhaps unpalatable
fact, will spare this little imaginary Indian maiden with a back-comb
and gold garters. Let her withstand the onward march of centuries, while
the true Indian maiden eats the fricasseed locust of the plains, and
wears the cavalry pants of progress. We may be rough and thoughtless
many times, but we cannot come forward and ruthlessly shatter the red
goddess at whose shrine the far-away student of Blackhawk, and other
fourth-reader warriors, worship.

As we said, we decline to pull the cloak from the true Indian maiden of
to-day and show her as she is. That cloak may be all she has on, and no
gentleman will be rude even to the daughter of Old Bob-Tail-Flush, the
Cheyenne brave.



LOAFING AROUND HOME.

|While other young men put on their seal-brown overalls and wrench
the laurel wreath and other vegetables from cruel fate, the youth who
dangles near the old nest, and eats the hard-earned groceries of his
father, shivers on the brink of life's great current and sheds the
scalding tear.



THE PLUMAGE OF THE OSTRICH.

|The ostrich is chiefly valuable for the plumage which he wears, and
which, when introduced into the world of commerce, makes the husband
almost wish that he were dead.



SOME EARNEST THOUGHTS.

|Young man, what are you living for? Have you an object dear to you as
life, and without the attainment of which you feel that your life will
have been a wide, shoreless waste of shadow, peopled by the specters
of dead ambitions? Is it your consuming ambition to paddle quietly but
firmly up the stream of time with manly strokes, against the current
of public opinion, or to linger along the seductive banks, going in
swimming, or, careless of the future, gathering shells and tadpoles
along the shore?

Have you a distinct idea of a certain position in life which you wish to
attain? Have you decided whether you will be a great man, and die in the
poor-house, and have a nice comfortable monument after you are dead, for
your destitute family to look at, or will you content yourself to plug
along through life as a bank president?

These, young men, are questions of moment. They are questions of two
moments. They come home to our hearts to-day with terrible earnestness.

You can take your choice in the great battle of life, whether you will
bristle up and win a deathless name, and owe almost everybody, or be
satisfied with scads and mediocrity.

Why do you linger and fritter away the heyday of life, when you might
skirmish around and win some laurels? Many of those who now stand at
the head of the nation as statesmen and logicians, were once unknown,
unhonored and unsung. Now they saw the air in the halls of Congress, and
their names are plastered on the temple of fame.

They were not born great. Some of them only weighed six pounds to start
with. But they have rustled. They have peeled their coats and made rome
howl.

You can do the same. You can win some laurels, too, if you will brace up
and secure them when they are ripe.

Daniel Webster and President Garfield and Dr. Tanner and George Eliot
were all, at one time, poor boys. They had to start at the foot of the
ladder and toil upward.

They struggled against poverty and public opinion bravely, till they
won a name in the annals of history, and secured to their loved ones
palatial homes with lightning rods and mortgages on them.

So may you, if you will make the effort. All these things are within
your reach. Live temperately on $9 per month. That's the way we got our
start. Burn the midnight oil if necessary. Get some true, noble-minded
young lady of your acquaintance to assist you. Tell her of your troubles
and she will tell you what to do. She will gladly advise you.

Then you can marry her, and she will advise you some more. After that
she will lay aside her work any time to advise you. You needn't be out
of advice at all unless you want to. She, too, will tell you when you
have made a mistake. She will come to you frankly and acknowledge that
you have make a jackass of yourself.



CHESTNUT-BURR XXVII--OUR GREAT NATIONAL MOTTO.

_Billy Root Has an Enquiring Mind--Mr. Root Delighted with His Son's
Ambition--A new Translation of Our National Motto._

|When Billy Root was a little boy he was of a philosophical and
investigating turn of mind, and wanted to know almost everything. He
also desired to know it immediately. He could not wait for time to
develop his intellect, but he crowded things and wore out the patience
of his father, a learned savant, who was president of a livery stable in
Chicago.

One day Billy ran across the grand hailing sign, which is generally
represented as a tape-worm in the beak of the American eagle, on which
is inscribed "E Pluribus Unum." Billy, of course, asked his father what
"E Pluribus Unum" meant. He wanted to gather in all the knowledge he
could, so that when he came out West he could associate with some of our
best men.

"I admire your strong appetite for knowledge, Billy," said Mr. Root;
"you have a morbid craving for cold hunks of ancient history and
cyclopedia that does my soul good; I am glad, too, that you write to
your father to get accurate data for your collection. That is right.
Your father will always lay aside his work at any time and gorge your
young mind with knowledge that will be as useful to you as a farrow cow.
'E Pluribus Unum' is an old Greek inscription that has been handed down
from generation to generation, preserved in brine, and signifies that
'the tail goes with the hide.'"



A GRAVE QUESTION.

|What becomes of our bodies?" asks a soft-eyed scientist, and we answer
in stentorian tones, that they get inside of a red flannel undershirt as
the maple turns to crimson and the sassafras to gold. Ask us something
difficult, ethereal being.



THOUGHTS.

|It seems that quince seeds are now largely used by the girls in
convincing their bangs to stay bung. That is, the quince seed is
manufactured into a mucilage that holds a little flat curl in place a
week. In consequence of this, quince seeds have increased in price and
decreased in quantity till the girls pay seven prices for them or go
without.

If they would adopt our style of bang, much trouble and expense would
be avoided. We bang our hair with a damp towel, and it don't bother
us again for two weeks. Being the proprietor, in the first place, of a
style of hair of the delicate color peculiar to a streak of moonlight,
it didn't at any time make much difference whether we did it up in tin
foil every night or not, and now that cares like a wild deluge have come
upon us thick and fast, we have enlarged our intellectual skating rink
and we find, with unalloyed pleasure, that the time we once devoted
to parting our pale, consumptive tresses can be entirely devoted to
excessive mental effort, and pleasant memories of a well spent life.



CHESTNUT-BURR XVIII--BILL NYE AT A TOURNAMENT.

_A Tournament with Gloves--Dumb-bells--Horizontal Bars--Analysis of the
Boxing-glove--A Clerical Error--My Young Brother's Beauty Preserved._

I have just returned from a little two-handed tournament with the
gloves. I have filled my nose with cotton waste so that I shall not soak
this sketch in gore as I write.

I needed a little healthful exercise and was looking for something that
would be full of vigorous enthusiasm, and at the same time promote the
healthful flow of blood to the muscles. This was rather difficult.
I tried most everything, but failed. Being a sociable being (joke)
I wanted other people to help me exercise or go along with me when
I exercised. Some men can go away to a desert isle and have fun with
dumb-bells and a horizontal bar, but to me it would seem dull and
commonplace after a while, and I would yearn for more humanity.

Two of us finally concluded to play billiards; but we were only amateurs
and the owner intimated that he would want the table for Fourth of July,
so we broke off in the middle of the first game and I paid for it.

Then a younger brother said he had a set of boxing-gloves in his room,
and although I was the taller and had longer arms, he would hold up as
long as he could, and I might hammer him until I gained strength and
finally got well.

I accepted this offer because I had often regretted that I had not made
myself familiar with this art, and also because I knew it would create
a thrill of interest and fire me with ambition, and that's what a
holloweyed invalid needs to put him on the road to recovery.

The boxing-glove is a large fat mitten, with an abnormal thumb and a
string at the wrist by which you tie it on, so that when you feed it to
your adversary he cannot swallow it and choke himself. I had never
seen any boxing-gloves before, but my brother said they were soft and
wouldn't hurt anybody. So we took off some of our raiment and put them
on. Then we shook hands. I can remember distinctly yet that we shook
hands. That was to show that we were friendly and would not slay each
other.

My brother is a great deal younger than I am and so I warned him not to
get excited and come for me with anything that would look like wild and
ungovernable fury, because I might, in the heat of debate, pile his jaw
upon his forehead and fill his ear full of sore thumb. He said that was
all right and he would try to be cool and collected.

Then we put our right toes together and I told him to be on his guard.
At that moment I dealt him a terrific blow aimed at his nose, but
through a clerical error of mine it went over his shoulder and spent
itself in the wall of the room, shattering a small holly-wood bracket,
for which I paid him $3.75 afterward. I did not wish to buy the bracket
because I had two at home, but he was arbitrary about it and I bought
it.

We then took another athletic posture, and in two seconds the air was
full of poulticed thumb and buckskin mitten. I soon detected a chance
to put one in where my brother could smell of it, but I never knew just
where it struck, for at that moment I ran up against something with
the pit of my stomach that made me throw up the sponge, along with some
other groceries, the names of which I cannot now recall.

My brother then proposed that we take off the gloves, but I thought I
had not sufficiently punished him, and that another round would complete
the conquest, which was then almost within my grasp. I took a bismuth
powder and squared myself, but in warding off a left-hander, I forgot
about my adversary's right, and ran my nose into the middle of his
boxing-glove. Fearing that I had injured him, I retreated rapidly on my
elbows and shoulder-blades to the corner of the room, thus giving him
ample time to recover. By this means my younger brother's features were
saved, and are to-day as symmetrical as my own.

I can still cough up pieces of boxing-gloves, and when I close my eyes
I can see calcium lights and blue phosphorescent gleams across the
horizon; but I am thoroughly convinced that there is no physical
exercise which yields the same amount of health and elastic vigor to
the puncher that the manly art does. To the punchee, also, it affords a
large wad of glad surprises and nose bleed, which cannot be hurtful to
those who hanker for the pleasing nervous shock, the spinal jar, and the
pyrotechnic concussion.

That is why I shall continue the exercises after I have practiced with
a mule or a cow-catcher two or three weeks, and feel a little more
confidence in myself.



CHESTNUT-BURR XXIX--A SOCIAL CURSE--THE MAN WHO INTERRUPTS.

_The Spirit of the "Red Vigilanter"--The Common Plug Who Thinks
Aloud--The Man and his Wife Who Finish Your Story--Common Decency Ought
to Rule Conversation._

|I do not, as a rule, thirst for the blood of my fellow-man. I am
willing that the law should in all ordinary cases take its course, but
when we begin to discuss the man who breaks into a conversation and
ruins it with his own irrelevant ideas, regardless of the feelings
of humanity, I am not a law and order man. The spirit of the "Red
Vigilanter" is roused in my breast and I hunger for the blood of that
man.

Interrupters are of two classes: First the common plug who thinks aloud,
and whose conversation wanders with his so-called mind. He breaks into
the saddest and sweetest of sentiment, and the choicest and most tearful
of pathos, with the remorseless ignorance that marks a stump-tail cow in
a dahlia bed. He is the bull in my china shop, the wormwood in my wine,
and the kerosene in my maple syrup. I am shy in conversation, and my
unfettered flights of poesy and sentiment are rare, but this man is
always near to mar it all with a remark, or a marginal note, or a story,
or a bit of politics, ready to bust my beautiful dream and make me wish
that his name might be carved on a marble slab in some quiet cemetery,
far away.

Dear reader, did you ever meet this man--or his wife? Did you ever
strike some beautiful thought and begin to reel if off to your friends,
only to be shut off in the middle of a sentence by this choice and
banner idiot of conversation? If so, come and sit by me, and you may
pour your woes into my ear, and I in turn will pour a few gallons into
your listening ear.

I do not care to talk more than my share of the time, but I would be
glad to arrive at a conclusion just to see how it would seem. I would be
so pleased and so joyous to follow up an anecdote till I had reached the
"nub," as it were, to chase argument home to conviction, and to clinch
assertion with authority and evidence.

The second class of interrupters is even worse. It consists of the
man--and, lam pained to state, his wife also--who see the general drift
of your remarks and finish out your story, your gem of thought or
your argument. It is very seldom that they do this as you would do it
yourself, but they are kind and thoughtful and their services are always
at hand. No matter how busy they may be, they will leave their own work
and fly to your aid. With the light of sympathy in their eyes, they rush
into the conversation, and, partaking of your own zeal, they take the
words from your mouth, and cheerfully suck the juice out of your joke,
handing back the rind and hoping for reward. That is where they get
left, so far as I am concerned. I am almost always ready to repay
rudeness with rudeness, and cold preserved gall with such acrid sarcasm
as I may be able to secure at the moment. No one will ever know how I
yearn for the blood of the interrupter. At night I camp on his trail,
and all the day I thirst for his warm life's current. In my dreams I am
cutting his scalp loose with a case-knife, while my fingers are twined
in his clustering hair. I walk over him and promenade across his abdomen
as I slumber. I hear his ribs crack, and I see his tongue hand over his
shoulder as he smiles death's mirthful smile.

I do not interrupt a man no more than I would tell him he lied. I give
him a chance to win applause or decomposed eggs from the audience,
according to what he has to say, and according to the profundity of
his profound. All I want is a similar chance and room according to my
strength. Common decency ought to govern conversation without its being
necessary to hire an umpire armed with a four-foot club, to announce who
is at the bat and who is on deck.

It is only once in a week or two that the angel troubles the waters and
stirs up the depths of my conversational powers, and then the chances
are that some leprous old nasty toad who has been hanging on the brink
of decent society for two weeks, slides in with a low kerplunk, and my
fair blossom of thought that has been trying for weeks to bloom,
withers and goes to seed, while the man with the chilled steel and
copper-riveted brow, and a wad of self-esteem on his intellectual
balcony as big as an inkstand, walks slowly away to think of some other
dazzling gem, and thus be ready to bust my beautiful phantom, and tear
out my high-priced bulbs of fancy the next time I open my mouth.



CHESTNUT-BURR XXX--A DISCOURSE ON CATS.

_Anybody Ought to Be Unhappy Enough Without a Cat-A Tramp Cat--he
Only Wanted to be Loved a Little--He Was Too Much Given to
Investigation--Mademoiselle Bridget O'Dooley--The Plaintive Voice
Ceases._

|I am not fond of cats, as a general rule. I never yearned to have one
around the house. My idea always was, that I could have trouble enough
in a legitimate way without adding a cat to my woes. With a belligerent
cook and a communistic laundress, it seems to me most anybody ought to
be unhappy enough without a cat.

I never owned one until a tramp cat came to our house one day during the
present autumn, and tearfully asked to be loved. He didn't have anything
in his make-up that was calculated to win anybody's love, but he seemed
contented with a little affection,--one ear was gone, and his tail was
bald for six inches at the end, and he was otherwise well calculated to
win confidence and sympathy. Though we could not be madly in love with
him, we decided to be friends, and give him a chance to win the general
respect.

Everything would have turned out all right if the bobtail waif had not
been a little given to investigation. He wanted to know more about the
great world in which he lived, so he began by inspecting my house. He
got into the store-room closet, and found a place where the carpenter
had not completed his job. This is a feature of the Laramie artisan's
style. He leaves little places in unobserved corners generally, so that
he can come back some day and finish it at an additional cost of fifty
dollars. This cat observed that he could enter at this point and go all
over the imposing structure between the flooring and the ceiling. He
proceeded to do so.

*****

We will now suppose that a period of two days has passed. The wide halls
and spacious _facades_ of the Nye mansion are still. The lights in the
banquet-hall are extinguished, and the ice-cream freezer is hushed to
rest in the wood-shed. A soft and tearful yowl, deepened into a regular
ring-tail-peeler, splits the solemn night in twain. Nobody seemed to
know where it came from. I rose softly and went to where the sound had
seemed to well up from. It was not there.

I stood on a piece of cracker in the dining-room a moment, waiting
for it to come again. This time it came from the boudoir of our French
artist in soup-bone symphonies and pie--Mademoiselle Bridget O'Dooley. I
went there and opened the door softly, so as to let the cat out without
disturbing the giant mind that had worn itself out during the day in the
kitchen, bestowing a dry shampoo to the china.

Then I changed my mind and came out. Several articles of _vertu_, beside
Bridget, followed me with some degree of vigor.

The next time the tramp cat yowled he seemed to be in the recesses of
the bath-room. I went down stairs and investigated. In doing so I
drove my superior toe into my foot, out of sight, with a door that I
encountered. My wife joined me in the search. She could not do much, but
she aided me a thousand times by her counsel. If it had not been for
her mature advice I might have lost much of the invigorating exercise of
that memorable night.

Toward morning we discovered that the cat was between the floor of the
children's play-room and the ceiling of the dining-room. We tried till
daylight to persuade the cat to come out and get acquainted, but he
would not.

At last we decided that the quickest way to get the poor little thing
out was to let him die in there, and then we could tear up that portion
of the house and get him out. While he lived we couldn't keep him still
long enough to tear a hole in the house and get at him.

It was a little unpleasant for a day or two waiting for death to come
to his relief, for he seemed to die hard, but at last the unearthly
midnight yowl was still. The plaintive little voice ceased to vibrate on
the still and pulseless air. Later, we found, however, that he was not
dead. In a lucid interval he had discovered the hole in the store-room
where he entered, and, as we found afterward a gallon of coal-oil
spilled in a barrel of cut-loaf sugar, we concluded that he had escaped
by that route.

That was the only time that I ever kept a cat, and I didn't do it then
because I was suffering for something to fondle. I've got a good deal
of surplus affection, I know, but I don't have to spread it out over a
stump-tail orphan cat.



CHESTNUT-BURR XXXI--THE GREAT ORATION OF SPARTACUS.

_Adapted from the Original--Triumph in Capua--The Oration
Begun--Spartacus Tells the Story of His Life--Scenes in the Arena._

|It had been a day of triumph in Capua. Lentulus returning with
victorious eagles, had aroused the populace with the sports of the
amphitheater, to an extent hitherto unknown even in that luxurious city.
A large number of people from the rural districts had been in town to
watch the conflict in the arena, and to listen with awe and veneration
to the infirm and decrepit ring jokes.

The shouts of revelry had died away. The last loiterer had retired from
the free-lunch counter, and the lights in the palace of the victor were
extinguished. The moon piercing the tissue of fleecy clouds, tipped the
dark waters of the Tiber with a wavy, tremulous light. The dark-browed
Roman soldier moved on his homeward way, the sidewalk occasionally
flying up and hitting him in the back.

No sound was heard save the low sob of some retiring wave, as it
told its story to the smooth pebbles of the beach, or the unrelenting
boot-jack struck the high board fence in the back yard, just missing the
Roman Tom cat in its mad flight, and then all was still as the breast
when the spirit has departed. Anon the Roman snore would steal in
upon the deathly silence, and then die away like the sough of a
summer breeze. In the green-room of the amphitheater a little band of
gladiators were assembled. The foam of conflict yet lingered on their
lips, the scowl of battle yet hang upon their brows, and the large knobs
on their classic profiles indicated that it had been a busy day with
them.

There was an embarassing silence of about five minutes, when Spartacus,
borrowing a chew of tobacco from Aurelius, stepped forth and thus
addressed them:

"Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: Ye call me chief, and ye do well
to call him chief who for twelve long years has met in the arena every
shape of man or beast that the broad empire of Rome could furnish, and
yet has never lowered his arm. I do not say this to brag, however, but
simply to show that I am the star thumper of the entire outfit.

"If there be one among you who can say that ever in public fight or
private brawl my actions did belie my words, let him stand forth and say
it, and I will spread him around over the arena till the coroner will
have to gather him up with blotting paper. If there be three in all
your company dare face me on the bloody sands, let them come, and I will
construct upon their physiogomy such cupolas, and royal cornices, and
Corinthian capitols, and entablatures, that their own mothers would pass
them by in the broad light of high noon, unrecognized.

"And yet I was not always thus--a hired butcher--the savage chief of
still more savage men.

"My ancestors came from old Sparta, the county seat of Marcus Aurelius
county, and settled among the vine-clad hills and cotton groves of
Syrsilla. My early life ran quiet as the clear brook by which I sported.
Aside from the gentle patter of the maternal slipper on my overalls,
everything moved along with me like the silent oleaginous flow of the
ordinary goose grease. My boyhood was one long, happy summer day. We
stole the Roman muskmelon, and put split sticks on the tail of the Roman
dog, and life was one continuous hallelujah.

"When at noon I led the sheep beneath the shade and played the Sweet
Bye-and-Bye on my shepherd's flute, there was another Spartan youth, the
son of a neighbor, to join me in the pastime. We led our flocks to
the same pasture, and together picked the large red ants out of our
indestructible sandwiches.

"One evening, after the sheep had been driven into the corral and
we were all seated beneath the persimmon tree that shaded our humble
cottage, my grand-sire, an old man, was telling of Marathon, and
Leuctra, and George Francis Train, and Dr. Mary Walker and other
great men, and how a little band of Spartans, under Sitting Bull, had
withstood the entire regular army. I did not then know what war was, but
my cheek burned, I knew not why, and I thought what a glorious thing it
would be to leave the reservation and go on the warpath. But my mother
kissed my throbbing temples and bade me go soak my head and think no
more of those old tales and savage wars. That very night the Romans
landed on our coasts. They pillaged the whole country, burned the agency
buildings, demolished the ranch, rode off the stock, tore down the
smoke-house, and rode their war horses over the cucumber vines.

"To-day I killed a man in the arena, and when I broke his helmet-clasps
and looked upon him, behold! he was my friend. The same sweet smile was
on his face that I had known when in adventurous boyhood we bathed in
the glassy lake by our Spartan home and he had tied my shirt into 1,752
dangerous and difficult knots.

"He knew me, smiled some more, said 'Ta, ta,' and ascended the golden
stair. I begged of the Prætor that I might be allowed to bear away the
body and have it packed in ice and shipped to his friends near Syrsilla,
but he couldn't see it.

"Ay, upon my bended knees, amidst the dust and blood of the arena, I
begged this poor boon, and the Prætor answered: 'Let the carrion rot.
There are no noble men but Romans and Ohio men. Let the show go on.
Bring in the bobtail lion from Abyssinia.' And the assembled maids and
matrons and the rabble shouted in derision and told me to 'brace up'
and 'have some style about my clothes' and 'to give it to us easy,' with
other Roman flings which I do not now call to mind.

"And so must you, fellow gladiators, and so must I, die like dogs.

"To-morrow we are billed to appear at the Coliseum at Rome, and reserved
seats are being sold at the corner of Third and Corse streets for our
moral and instructive performance while I am speaking to you.

"Ye stand here like giants as ye are, but to-morrow some Roman Adonis
with a sealskin cap will pat your red brawn and bet his sesterces upon
your blood.

"O Rome! Rome! Thou hast been indeed a tender nurse to me. Thou hast
given to that gentle, timid shepherd lad who never knew a harsher tone
than a flute note, muscles of iron, and a heart like the adamantine
lemon pie of the railroad lunch-room. Thou hast taught him to drive his
sword-through plated mail and links of rugged brass, and warm it in the
palpitating gizzard of his foe, and to gaze into the glaring eyeballs of
the fierce Numidian lion even as the smooth-cheeked Roman Senator looks
into the laughing eyes of the girls in the treasury department.

"And he shall pay thee back till thy rushing Tiber is red as frothing
wine; and in its deepest ooze thy lifeblood lies curdled. You doubtless
hear the gentle murmur of my bazoo.

"Hark! Hear ye yon lion roaring in his den? 'Tis three days since he
tasted flesh, but to-morrow he will have gladiator on toast, and don't
you forget it; and he will fling your vertebræ about his cage like the
star pitcher of a champion nine.

"If ye are brutes, then stand here like fat oxen waiting for the
butcher's knife. If ye are men, arise and follow me. Strike down the
warden and the turnkey, overpower the police, and cut for the tall
timber. We will break through the city gate, capture the war-horse of
the drunken Roman, flee away to the lava beds, and there do bloody work,
as did our sires at old Thermopylae, scalp the western-bound emigrant,
and make the hen-roosts around Capua look sick.

"O, comrades! warriors! gladiators!!

"If we be men, let us die like men, beneath the blue sky, and by the
still waters, and be buried according to Gunter, instead of having our
shin bones polished off by Numidian lions, amid the groans and hisses of
a snide Roman populace."



CHESTNUT-BURR--WOMAN'S SUFFRAGE IN WYOMING.

_Some Pertinent Questions Asked--Answers Attempted--Valuable
Testimonials._

|The managing editor of a Boston paper is getting material together
relative to the practical workings of Woman's suffrage, and as Wyoming
is at present working a scheme of that kind, he wants an answer to the
following questions:

1. --Has it been of real benefit to the territory?

2. --If so, what has it accomplished?

3. --how does it affect education, morals, courts, etc.?

4. --What proportion of the women vote?

_Answers_.

1. --Yes, it has indeed been of real benefit to the territory in
many ways. Until woman's suffrage came among us, life was a drag--a
monotonous sameness, and simultaneous continuousness. How it is not that
way. Woman comes forward with her ballot, and puts new life into the
flagging energies of the great political circles. She purifies the
political atmosphere, and comes to the polls with her suffrage done
up in a little wad, and rammed down into her glove, and redeems the
country.

2. --It has accomplished more than the great outside world wots of.
Philosophers and statesmen may think that they wot; but they don't. Not
a wot.

To others outside of Wyoming, woman's suffrage is a mellow dream; but
here it is a continuous, mellow, yielding reality. We know what we are
talking about. We are acquainted with a lady who came here with the
light of immortality shining in her eye, and the music of the spheres
was singing in her ears. She was apparently on her last limbs, if we
may be allowed that expression. But woman's suffrage came to her with
healing on its wings, and the rose of health again bloomed on her cheek,
and her appetite came back like the famine in Ireland. Now she wrestles
with the cast-iron majolica ware of the kitchen during the day, and
in the evening works a cross-eyed elephant on a burlap tidy, and talks
about the remonetization of the currency.

Without attempting to answer the last two questions in a short article
like this, we will simply give a few certificates and testimonials of
those who have tried it:

Prairie-Dog Ranche, Jan. 3, 1888.

"_Dear Sir_: I take great pleasure in bearing testimony to the efficacy
of woman's suffrage. It is indeed a boon to thousands. I was troubled
in the East beyond measure with an ingrowing nail on the most extensive
toe. It caused me great pain and annoyance. I was compelled to do my
work wearing an old gum overshoe of my husband's. Since using woman's
suffrage only a few months, my toe is entirely well, and I now wear my
husband's fine boots with perfect ease. As a remedy for ingrowing nails
I can safely recommend the woman's suffrage.

"Sassafras Oleson."

Miner's Delight, Jan. 23, 1888.

"_Deer Sur_: Two year ago mi waife fell down into a nold sellar and
droav her varyloid through the Sarah helium. I thot she was a Gonner.
I woz then livin' in the sou west potion of Injeanny. I moved to where
i now am leaving sevral onsettled accounts where i lived. Bat i wood do
almost anything to recover mi waifs helth. She tried Woman's Suffrins
and can now lick me with I hand tied behind hur back, everything to the
free yuse of the femail ballot. So good bi at Present Union Forever
McGilligin."

Rawhide, Feb. 2, 1888.

_Dear Sir_: I came to Wyoming one year ago today At that time I only
weighed 153 pounds and felt all the time as though I might die. I was a
walking skeleton. Coyotes followed me when I went away from the house.

"My husband told me to try Woman's Suffrage. I did so. I have now run up
to my old weight of 213 pounds, and I feel that with the proper care and
rest, and rich wholesome diet, I may be spared to my husband and family
till next spring.

"I am now joyful and happy. I go about my work all day singing Old Zip
Coon and other plaintive melodies. After using Woman's Suffrage two days
I sat up in a rocking chair and ate one and three-fourths mince pies.
Then I worried down a sugar-cured ham and have been gaining ever since.

"Ah! it is a pleasant thing to come back to life and its joys again.

"Yours truly,

"Ethel Lillian Kersikes."



PIGEON-TOED PETE.

|But stay! Let us catch a rapid outline of the solitary horseman, for he
is the affianced lover and soft-eyed gazelle of Luella Frowzletop,
the queen of the Skimmilk ranch. He is evidently a man of say twenty
summers, with a sinister expression to the large, ambitious, imported,
Italian mouth. A broad-brimmed white hat with a scarlet flannel band
protects his gothic features from the burning sun, and a pale-brown
ducking suit envelops his little form. A horsehair lariat hangs at his
saddle bow, and the faint suspicion of a downy mustache on his chiselled
upper lip is just beginning to ooze out into the air, as if ashamed of
itself. It is one of those sickly mustaches, a kind of cross between
blonde and brindle, which mean well enough, but never amount to
anything. His eyes are fierce and restless, with short, expressive,
white eyelashes, and his nose is short but wide out, gradually melting
away into his bronzed and stalwart cheeks, like a dish of ice cream
before a Sabbath school picnic. Such is the rough sketch of Pigeon-toed
Pete, the swain who had stolen away the heart of Luella Frowzletop, the
queen of the Skimmilk ranch.



CHESTNUT-BURR--CONCERNING THE SWALLOW.

_Discoveries in Ornithology--The Soft South Wind Blows--The Swallows
Draw Near--"When Sparrows Build "--What the Swallows Bring._

|Lately I have made some valuable discoveries relative to ornithology,
and I will give some of them to the public, for I love to shed
information right and left like a normal school.

When the soft south wind began to kiss our cheeks, and the horse-radish
and North Park prospector began to start, the swift-winged swallows drew
near to my picturesque home on East Fifth street, and I hoped with a
great, anxious, throbbing hope, that they would build beneath the Gothic
eaves of my $200 ranche.

I would take my guitar at the sunset hour, and sit at my door in a
camp-chair, with the fading glory of the dying day bathing me in a flood
of golden light, and touching up my chubby form, and I would warble,
"When Sparrows Build," an old solo in J, which seems to fit my voice,
and the swallows would flit around me on tireless wing, and squeak, and
sling mud over me till the cows came home.

This thing had gone on for several days, and the little mud houses
under the eaves were pretty near ready, and in the mean time the
spring bed-bug had come with his fragrant breath, and turpentine, and
quicksilver, and lime, and aquafortis, and giant-powder, and a feather,
has made my home a howling wilderness, that smelled like a city drug
store.

But it didn't kill the bugs. It pleased them. They called a meeting and
tendered me a vote of thanks for the kind attentions with which they had
been received. They ate all these diabolical drugs, not only on regular
days, but right along through Lent.

I got mad and resolved to Insure the house and burn it down. One evening
I felt sad and worn, and was trying to solace myself by trilling a
few snatches from Mendelssohn's "Wail," written in the key of G for a
baritone voice. A neighbor came along and stopped to lean over the gate,
and drink in the flood of melody which I was spilling out on the evening
air. When I got through and stopped to tune my guitar anew, and scratch
a warm place on my arm, he asked if I were not afraid that those
swallows would bring bed-bugs to the house.

I had heard that before, but I thought it was a campaign lie. I acted
on the suggestion, however, and taking a long pole from behind the door,
where I keep it for pictorial Bible men, I knocked down a 'dobe cottage
and proceeded to examine it.

It was level full of imported Merino and Cotswold and Southdown and
Early Bose and Duchess of Oldenburg and twenty-ounce Pippins and
Seek-no-further bedbugs. There were bed-bugs in modest gray ulsters and
bed-bugs in dregs of wine and old gold, bed-bugs in ashes of roses and
bed-bugs in elephants' breath, bedbugs with their night-clothes on and
in morning wrappers, bed-bugs that were just going on the night-shift,
and bed-bugs that had been at work all day and were just going to bed.

I killed all I could and then drove the rest into a pan of coal oil.
When one undertook to get out of the pan I shot him. This conflict
lasted several days. I neglected my other business and omitted morning
prayers until there was a great calm and the swift-winged swallows
homeward flew. When these feathered songsters come around my humble cot
another spring they will meet with a cold, unwelcome reception. I shall
not even ask them to take off their things.

I have formed the idea somehow from watching the eccentric, nervous
flight of the swallow, that when he makes one of those swift flank
movements with the speed of chain lightning, he must be acting from the
impulse of a large, earnest, triangular bed-bug of the boarding-house
variety. I may be wrong, but I have given this matter a good deal of
attention, and whether this theory be correct or not I do not care. It
is good enough for me.



THE HAPPY CODFISH.

|A distinguished scientist informs us that "the cod subsists largely
on the sea cherry." Those who have not had the pleasure of seeing the
codfish climb the sea cherry tree in search of food, or clubbing the
fruit from the heavily-laden branches with chunks of coral have missed
a very fine sight. The codfish, when at home rambling through the
submarine forests, does not wear his vest unbuttoned, as he does while
loafing around the grocery stores of the United States.



CHESTNUT-BURR XXXIV--A NOVEL WAY OF MARKING CLOTHES.

_An Unobtrusive Taciturn Man--The Importance of Marking Clothes--A Sad
End for the Taciturn Alan--A Crude Autopsy._

|The most quiet, unobtrusive man I ever knew," said Buck Bramel, "was
a young fellow who went into North Park in an early day from the Salmon
river. He was also reserved and taciturn among the miners, and never
made any suggestions if he could avoid it. He was also the most
thoughtful man about other people's comfort I ever knew.

"I went into the cabin one day where he was lying on the bed, and told
him I had decided to go into Laramie for a couple of weeks to do some
trading. I put my valise down on the floor and was going out, when he
asked me if my clothes were marked. I told him that I never marked my
clothes. If the washerwoman wanted to mix up my wardrobe with that of a
female seminary, I would have to stand it, I supposed.

"He thought I ought to mark my clothes before I went away, and said he
would attend to it for me. So he took down his revolver and put three
shots through the valise.

[Illustration: 0201]

"After that a coolness sprang up between us, and the warm friendship
that had existed so long was more or less busted. After that he marked
a man's clothes over in Leadville in the same way, only the man had them
on at the time. He seemed to have a mania on that subject, and as they
had no insanity experts at Leadville in those days, they thought the
most economical way to examine his brain would be to hang him, and then
send the brain to New York in a baking powder can.

"So they hung him one night to the bough of a sighing mountain pine.

"The autopsy was, of course, crude; but they sawed open his head and
scooped out the brain with a long handled spoon and sent it on to
New York. By some mistake or other it got mixed up with some sample
specimens of ore from 'The Brindle Tom Cat' discovery, and was sent to
the assayer in New York instead of the insanity smelter and refiner, as
was intended.

"The result was that the assayer wrote a very touching and grieved
letter to the boys, saying that he was an old man anyway, and he wished
they would consider his gray hairs and not try to palm off their old
groceries on him. He might have made errors in his assays, perhaps--all
men were more or less liable to mistakes--but he flattered himself that
he could still distinguish between a piece of blossom rock and a can
of decomposed lobster salad, even if it was in a baking-powder can. He
hoped they would not try to be facetious at his expense any more, but
use him as they would like to be treated themselves when they got old
and began to totter down toward the silent tomb.

"This is why we never knew to a dead moral certainty, whether he was O.
K. in the upper story, or not."



CHESTNUT-BURR XXXV--THE UNHAPPY HUMORIST.

_A Blasted Life--Regarded as a Professional--No Jog in Being "The Life
of the Party"--Parents Should Discourage the First Signs of Humor in
Their Children._

|You are an youmorist, are you not?" queried a long-billed pelican
addressing a thoughtful, mental athlete, on the Milwaukee & St. Paul
road the other day.

"Yes, sir," said the sorrowful man, brushing away a tear. "I am an
youmorist. I am not very much so, but still I can see that I am drifting
that way. And yet I was once joyous and happy as you are. Only a few
years ago, before I was exposed to this malady, I was as blithe as a
speckled yearling, and recked not of aught--nor anything else, either.
Now my whole life is blasted. I do not dare to eat pie or preserves,
and no one tells funny stories when I am near They regard me as a
professional, and when I get in sight the 'scrub nine' close up and wait
for me to entertain the crowd and waddle around the ring."

"What do you mean by that?" murmured the pur-pie-nosed interrogation
point.

"Mean? Why, I mean that whether I'm drawing a salary or not, I'm
expected to be the 'life of the party.' I don't want to be the life of
the party I want to let some one else be the life of the party. I want
to get up the reputation of being as cross as a bear with a sore head.
I want people to watch their children for fear I'll swallow them. I want
to take my low-cut-evening-dress smile and put it in the bureau drawer,
and tell the world I've got a cancer in my stomach, and the heaves and
hypochondria, and a malignant case of leprosy."

"Do you mean to say that you do not feel facetious all the time, and
that you get weary of being an youmorist?"

"Yes, hungry interlocutor. Yes, low-browed student, yes. I am not
always tickled. Did you ever have a large, angry, and abnormally
protuberent boil somewhere on your person where it seemed to be in the
way? Did you ever have such a boil as a traveling companion, and then
get introduced to people as an youmorist? You have not? Well, then, you
do not know all there is of suffering in this sorrow-streaked world.
When wealthy people die why don't they endow a cast-iron castle with a
draw-bridge to it and call it the youmorists' retreat? Why don't they do
some good with their money instead of fooling it away on those who are
comparatively happy?"

"But how did you come to git to be an youmorist?"

"Well, I don't know. I blame my parents some. They might have prevented
it if they'd taken it in time, but they didn't. They let it run on till
it got established, and now it's no use to go to the Hot Springs or to
the mountains, or have an operation performed. You let a man get the
name of being an youmorist and he doesn't dare to register at the
hotels, and he has to travel anonymously, and mark his clothes with his
wife's name, or the public will lynch him if he doesn't say something
youmorist.

"Where is your boy to-night?" continued the gloomy humorist. "Do you
know where he is? Is he at home under your watchful eye, or is he away
somewhere jailing the handles on his first little joke? Parent, beware.
Teach your boy to beware. Watch him night and day, or all at once,
when he is beyond your jurisdiction, he will grow pale. He will have a
far-away look in his eye, and the bright, rosy lad will have become the
flat-chested, joyless youmorist.

"It's hard to speak unkindly of our parents, but mingled with my own
remorse I shall always murmur to myself, and ask over and over, why did
not my parents rescue me while they could? Why did they allow my chubby
little feet to waddle down to the dangerous ground on which the sad-eyed
youmorist must forever stand?

"Partner, do not forget what I have said to-day. Whether your child be
a son or daughter, it matters not. Discourage the first sign of
approaching humor. It is easier to bust the backbone of the first little
tender jokelet that sticks its head through the virgin soil, than it is
to allow the slimy folds of your son's youmorous lecture to be wrapped
about you, and to bring your gray hairs with sorrow to the grave."



LARAMIE'S HANDKERCHIEF.

|Laramie has the champion mean man. He has a Sunday handkerchief made
to order with scarlet spots on it, which he sticks up to his nose just
before the plate starts round, and leaves the church like a house on
fire.



CHESTNUT-BURR XXXVI--THE SODA LAKES OF WYOMING.

_The Lakes near Sheep Mountain--Three Tons of Soda at the Centennial--A
Yield of 104,544 Tons of Soda per Annum--Should Provide an Income of
$1,062,864,000 per Annum._

|Some days ago, in company with several other eminent men of this place,
I paid a visit to the soda lakes of Wyoming, and will give a short,
truthful and concise description of their general appearance.

The lake or soda beds are situated about twelve miles southwest of
Laramie, in a direct line according to official survey, but the road
makes a slight variation from a direct line and therefore makes the
distance about fourteen miles.

In a kind of basin toward Sheep Mountain, the finest of a series of
hills intervening between the broad Laramie Plains and the Snowy Range,
lie these lakes, four in number, with no outlet whatever.

Just as you get plumb discouraged and have ceased to look for the lakes,
they all at once lie at your feet in all their glistening, dazzling,
snowy whiteness.

One of these lakes, to all appearances, is the source of water
supply for the balance, and from the exterior the water is constantly
crystallizing in the sun and forming a thick crust of sulphate of soda.

When we went out, it was one of those dry, clear, bracing days in the
month of July, in Wyoming, when the crisp air fans your cheek and fills
every vein, artery and capillary and pore with a glad exhilarating sense
that you are freezing to death.

Well, the day we went out to the lakes it was that way only not so much
so.

It was not, therefore, difficult to imagine the broad, white crust over
those lakes to be ice and snow. They are of the purest snowy white, and
when cut into, the crust has that deep sea blue of ice when cut in like
manner.

This crust of sulphate of soda is nearly three feet in depth and is
perfectly firm, so that the heaviest loads drive over it with safety.

The water which oozes up through the crust at intervals is quite warm,
being at the surface on a cool day about blood temperature, and of
course at a considerable depth much higher.

In 1876--the year which the gentle reader will call to mind as the
centennial--a slight fragment of this lode, weighing over three tons,
was cut in the form of a cube and sent to the Centennial, where it
attracted very much attention.

Six weeks afterward the unsightly hole in the deposit at the lake was
entirely filled up with a new formation.

This goes to show how inexhaustible is the mighty reservoir, and
the gentle reader may give it his earnest thought as a mathematical
question, what amount of this formation might be secured to the
enterprising manufacturer who might see fit to purchase and develop it.

Suppose there are sixty-four tons to every 400 superficial feet, and
suppose there are four lakes averaging forty acres, which is a low
estimate, then we have at present on hand 17,424 tons, with a capacity
to reproduce itself every two months, we will say, or at the rate of
104,544 tons per annum.

Suppose, then, we take a ten years' working test of the lakes, and we
have 1,002,864 tons of soda.

This soda is not adulterated with alum or other injurious substances,
and would therefore sell very rapidly.

It might be put in half-pound and pound cans which would sell at, we
will say, twenty-five and fifty cents per can.

Taking the very low estimate made above, as a basis we have the neat
little income of $1,062,864,000.

This is more than I am now clearing, I find, over and above expenses,
and I am thinking seriously of opening up this vast avenue to wealth
myself.

I would have done so long ere this, were it not that I am now developing
the Boomerang mine.

This mine is named after my favorite mule, and I am very anxious that it
should succeed.

I have already sunk $10 in this mine, and I cannot therefore abandon it,
as the casual observer will notice, without great loss to me.



THE COSTLY WATERMELON.

|Once a bonanza man took out his check book and asked the market man how
much he wanted for meat, and when he was told he burst into tears, and
said he would have to deny himself the pleasure of a watermelon or put
off going to Europe till next year.



CHESTNUT-BURR XXXVII--VIEWS OF CHICAGO.

_Chicago the Rival of Laramie--The Wonderful Parks--A Chicago Funeral
Procession--In Search of Watermelons--Changes Amongst Old Friends--The
Vitality Restoring Revolver._

Chicago, June 20, 1887.

|I arrived here from the North on Tuesday evening. The demonstration
was on a larger scale than I had even looked for. It was
gratifying, indeed, to one who loves the spontaneous approval of his
fellow-citizens. I do. The procession was very fine, consisting of
'busses, hacks, carriages, express wagons and the police, followed up
by promiscuous citizens. There was a little misunderstanding about who
should deliver the address of welcome. So about two hundred healthy
orators, of the Denis Kearney decoction, all started in at one and the
same time to give me the freedom of the city, at twenty-five cents
per freedom. There is a good deal of this class of freedom now on the
Chicago market.

Chicago is a thriving, enterprising town on the Lake Michigan coast. It
is the county seat of Cook county, so that all the county officers live
here.

If a young man with the recuisite degree of pluck and determination
were to start a paper here, and could get the county printing and go
without a hired girl, he could do first-rate.

Chicago is a rival of Laramie as the most desirable outfitting point
for North Park. It also does some outfitting for South Park and several
other parks.

Yesterday I went to South Park to drive along the boulevards and see the
fountains squirt. The boulevards are now in good shape. They are about
the bouliest boulevards I have seen for five years. Some days when I
feel frolicsome, it seems to me as though if I couldn't have a nice
large park of my own, with velvet lawns and cool retreats in it, where
I could be alone and roll around over the green sward, and kick up my
heels in the chastened sunlight, I would certainly bust.

South Park has an antelope, a bison, an elk and several other ferocious
animals. They seem lonely, and time hangs heavy on their hands, so to
speak.

Going out to the park we met a funeral procession headed by a remains.
When we were coming out of the driveway on our return, we met the same
procession. It had transplanted the deceased in good shape, and was
racing horses on its way home through the park. The minister belonged
to the same family with the United Grand Junction Ebeneezer Temperance
Association, and although he was ostensibly holding on to his horse
with all the reserve forces on hand, he seemed to keep the rest of the
procession at a respectful distance all the way.

It was about the most cheerful funeral I ever saw, with the officiating
minister leading down the homestretch and the hearse at a Maud S. gait
rattling along at his heels, followed by the bereaved family coming down
the quarter-stretch in '45. It reconciled me a great deal to death
to see this. If I could be positively certain that my friends and
acquaintances would take it that easy I could die happy, but I know they
won't. I have seemed to work my way into the affections of those who
come in contact with me from day to day, so that when I die I know just
how it will be. There will be one of the wildest panics ever known in
the history of civilized nations. Groceries and all kinds of provisions
will depreciate in value fifty per cent, and watermelons will be almost
a drug on the market.

Allow me to digress for a moment. Watermelons are very high at Laramie,
and there is the standing joke that for three years I haven't had
sufficient decision of character and spinal column to make up my mind
whether I would build or buy a watermelon. Here watermelons are more
plentiful. They grow low down on the branches of the melon trees, so
that on a still evening one can easily knock them off with a club.
So easy in fact is that feat that I could hardly restrain myself from
taking a little stroll one pleasant evening to pick one or two luscious
specimens from the heavy laden boughs. So strong was this feeling at
least that I could not overcome it without an unusual strain, and my
physicians tell me not to do anything that will overtax my moral nature.
They are afraid that something would break and tear the whole vast
fabric of integrity from its foundation.

So I went out with a brother of mine who could be depended upon. I took
along my old pocket-knife that I have had for fifteen years, and which
has received the silver medal, sweepstakes prize and handicap silver
service in a score of go-as-you-please melon-plugging matches for the
championship of the known world.

But we were not very fortunate. The world is growing cynical and fast
losing faith in mankind, I fear. People have quit putting their money
into savings banks and are beginning to plant their watermelons in new
and obscure places. Just as the casual observer learns the position of
an eligible melon patch the proprietor changes the combination on him.

I found multitudinous changes among old friends and associates when
I got home, and was struck with the ceaseless work of time's effacing
fingers, but nowhere did I find such cause for sorrow and regret as in
the falling off and change of base which I found in the matter of melon
cultivation.

We were exposed to the night air until past 1 o'clock, coming home
tired and disappointed with three small ones apiece, which we hid in the
hay-mow, according to a time-honored custom in the family, and retired.

The next day we both made a noble resolution to discard this unfortunate
habit which we had contracted, partly because we were old enough to know
better, and partly because we had in the hurry and precipitation of the
evening previous, stolen and carried four miles a half dozen melons of
the citron variety, that tasted like a premature pumpkin and smelled
like cod liver oil and convalescent glue.

I had also lost my revolver. When I go out nights I always go armed, and
for that reason I have gained the unenviable reputation of being a
bold, bad man. Many people think that I am thirsting for the lives of
my fellow-men and feel low-spirited and wretched unless I am shooting
large, irregular holes through the human family, but this is not true.

I never killed any one in my life, unless death was richly merited. I
have never taken a human life that society was not made better and safer
by the act.

This revolver was the same one that I used four years ago when I shot at
a burglar in Laramie. He was endeavoring, at the dead hour of midnight,
to get into the window, and I feared that his intentions were not
honorable. He knew that I was alone in the house, my wife having gone
away on a visit, and so taking advantage of her absence and my timidity,
he was endeavoring to force an entrance into the house. I don't know
what ever nerved me to such an act of lofty heroism, but I marched
softly out of the front door with noiseless tread and shot him.

Then I went back to bed and wondered what action the authorities would
take with me. Whether it would be considered justifiable homicide and
I exonorated, or whether I would be held without bail to answer at the
next term of court for murder. Then I wondered what I had better do with
the corpse. At first I thought I would run down and notify the coroner;
then I concluded to go and see the victim, and see if life were extinct.
Finally I compromised the matter by falling into a troubled sleep, from
which I awoke on the following morning. I went out to the place where
the burglar had been shot, but he was not there. With a superhuman
will-power he had dragged himself away somewhere to die. He had also
destroyed all traces of blood before getting away.

This was the last of the matter till the following September, when I
received this letter:

Omaha.

Dear Sir:--You doubtless think that I harbor ill-will and bitterness
toward you because you shot me last summer, but such is not the case. I
write to express my gratitude and everlasting friendship.

For years I had been an invalid, and last summer owing to my weak and
helpless condition and consequent loss of employment, I became deranged.
That accounts for my wild and insane idea that your residence was the
abode of wealth and affluence.

It was the delirium that precedes death. Ah, my benefactor, my noble
deliverer from death, how shall I tell you of my never-ending gratitude?

How like an angel of mercy you stood up before me that night in your
_robe de nuit_ and shot me!

How like a blessed seraph you looked at me, with your polished joints
glittering in the flash and dazzle of your peerless beauty!

I have been rapidly gaining ever since in weight and strength. I am now
married and happy, and I cheerfully point you out to my friends as the
one who, by your health-promoting markmanship and vitality-restoring
revolver, brought me back from death to hope, health and happiness.

Yours truly,

The-Man-You-Shot.

Since then I have called that revolver my Great Health Invigorator and
Blood Purifier.



CHESTNUT-BURR XXXVIII--A SCHOOL OF JOURNALISM.

_An Important Movement.--The Requirements of a True Journalist.--Hold He
Should be Educated.--The Journalist at the Age of 95._

|A number of friends having personally asked me to express an opinion
upon the matter of an established school of journalism, as spoken of by
ex-Mayor Henry C. Robinson, of Hartford, Conn., and many more through
the West, who are strangers to me personally, having written me to
give my views upon the subject. I have consented in so far that I will
undertake a simple synopsis of what the course should embrace.

I most heartily indorse the movement, if it may be called such at this
early stage. Knowing a little of the intricacies of this branch of the
profession, I am going to state fully my belief as to its importance,
and the necessity for a thorough training upon it. We meet almost
everywhere newspaper men who are totally unfitted for the high office
of public educators through the all-powerful press. The woods is full
of them. We know that not one out of a thousand of those who are to-day
classed as journalists is fit for that position.

I know that to be the case, because people tell me so. I cannot call to
mind to-day, in all my wide journalistic acquaintance, a solitary man
who has not been pronounced an ass by one or more of my fellow-men. This
is indeed a terrible state of affairs.

In many instances these harsh criticisms are made by those who do not
know, without submitting themselves to a tremendous mental strain, the
difference between a "lower case" q and the old Calvinistic doctrine of
unanimous damnation, but that makes no difference; the true journalist
should strive to please the masses. He should make his whole life a
study of human nature and an earnest effort to serve the great reading
world collectively and individually.

This requires a man, of course, with similar characteristics and the
same general information possessed by the Almighty, but who would be
willing to work at a much more moderate salary.

The reader will instantly see how difficult it is to obtain this class
of men. Outside of the mental giant who writes these lines and two or
three others, perhaps----

But never mind. I leave a grateful world to say that, while I map out a
plan for the ambitious young journalist who might be entering upon
the broad arena of newspaperdom, and preparing himself at a regularly
established school for that purpose.

Let the first two years be devoted to meditation and prayer. This will
prepare the young editor for the surprise and consequent profanity which
in a few years he may experience when he finds in his boss editorial
that God is spelled with a little g, and the peroration of the article
has been taken out and carefully locked up between a death notice and
the announcement of the birth of a cross-eyed infant.

The ensuing five years should be spent in becoming familiar with the
surprising and mirth-provoking orthography of the English language.

Then would follow three years devoted to practice with dumb bells, sand
bags and slung shots, in order to become an athlete. I have found in my
own journalistic history more cause for regret over my neglect of this
branch than any other. I am a pretty good runner, but aside from that I
regret to say that as an athlete I am not a dazzling success.

The above course of intermediate training would fit the student to enter
upon the regular curriculum.

Then set aside ten years for learning the typographical art perfectly,
so that when visitors wish to look at the composing room, and ask the
editor to explain the use of the "hell box," he will not have to blush
and tell a gauzy lie about its being a composing-stick. Let the young
journalist study the mysteries of type setting, distributing, press
work, galleys, italic, shooting-sticks, type lice and other mechanical
implements of the printer's department.

Five years should be spent in learning to properly read and correct
proof, as well as how to mark it on the margin like a Chinese map of the
Gunnison country.

At least fifteen years should then be devoted to the study of American
politics and the whole civil service. This time could be extended five
years with great profit to the careful student who wishes, of course, to
know thoroughly the names and records of all public men, together with
the relative political strength of each party.

He should then take a medical course and learn how to bind up
contusions, apply arnica, court plaster or bandages, plug up bullet
holes and prospect through the human system for buck shot. The reason of
this course, which should embrace five years of close study, is apparent
to the thinking mind.

Ten years should then be devoted to the study of law. No thorough
metropolitan editor wants to enter upon his profession without knowing
the difference between a writ of _mandamus_ and other styles of
profanity. He should thoroughly understand the entire system of American
jurisprudence.

The student will by this time begin to see what is required of him and
will enter with greater zeal upon his adopted profession.

He will now enter upon a theological course of ten years. He can then
write a telling editorial on the great question of What We Shall Do To
Be Saved without mixing up Calvin and Tom Paine with Judas Iscariot and
Ben Butler.

The closing ten years of the regular course might be profitably used
in learning a practical knowledge of cutting cord wood, baking beans,
making shirts, lecturing, turning double handsprings, preaching the
gospel, learning how to make a good adhesive paste that will not sour
in hot weather, learning the art of scissors grinding, punctuation,
capitalization, prosody, plain sewing, music, dancing, sculping,
etiquette, how to win the affections of the opposite sex, the ten
commandments, every man his own teacher on the violin, croquet, rules
of the prize ring, parlor magic, civil engineering, decorative
art, calsomining, bicycling, baseball, hydraulics, botany, poker,
calisthenics, high-low-jack, international law, faro, rhetoric,
fifteen-ball pool, drawing and painting, mule skinning, vocal music,
horsemanship, plastering, bull whacking, etc., etc., etc.

At the age of 95 the student will have lost that wild, reckless
and impulsive style so common among younger and less experienced
journalists. He will emerge from the school with a light heart and a
knowledge-box loaded up to the muzzle with the most useful information.

The heyday and spring-time of life will, of course, be past, but the
graduate will have nothing to worry him any more, except the horrible
question which is ever rising up before the journalist, as to whether
he shall put his money into government four per cents or purchase real
estate in some growing town.



MODERN FICTION IS UNRELIABLE.

|Modern fiction has reached that pass where the twentieth chapter may
wind up with a funeral of twins. Death or dyspepsia may befall the hero
at any moment, and the old-time schedule has been abandoned. It is
as delightfully surprising as prospecting for a quartz lead. You may
discover a bonanza or sit down on a tarantula at any moment. You may
tumble out of an ore bucket and reach the foot of the shaft with
your shoulder blade in your pistol pocket, or you may sit down on an
ostensibly extinct blast to think over your past life and the next
moment go crashing through the milky way without clothes enough to keep
off the night air.



CHESTNUT-BURR XXXIX--SOME FACTS OF SCIENCE.

_An Interesting Diary--Corn and Small Fruits Suffer--A Fourth of July
Dinner--A Good Ice Cream Country--The Diary Abruptly Ends._

|A reporter sent out to find the North Pole some years ago, has just
been heard from. An exploring party recently found portions of his
remains in latitude 4-11-14, longitude sou'west by sou' from the
pole, and near the remains the following fragment of a diary: July 1,
1884.--Have just been out searching for a sunstroke and signs of a thaw.
Saw nothing but ice floe and snow as far as the eye could reach. Think
we will have snow this evening unless the wind changes.

July 2.--Spent the forenoon exploring to the northwest for right of way
for a new equatorial and North Pole railroad that I think would be of
immense value to commerce. The grade is easy and the expense would be
slight. Ate my last dog to-day. Had intended him for the 4th, but got
too hungry, and ate him raw with vinegar. I wish I was at home eating
pie.

July 3.--We had quite a frost last night, and it looks this morning as
though the corn and small fruits must have suffered. It is now two weeks
since the last of the crew died and left me alone. Ate the leather ends
of my suspenders to-day for dinner. I did not need the suspenders,
anyway, for by tightening up my pants I find they will stay on all
right, and I don't look for any ladies to call, so that even if my pants
came off by some oversight or other, nobody would be shocked.

July 4.--Saved up some tar roofing and a bottle of mucilage for my
Fourth of July dinner, and gorged myself to day. The exercises were very
poorly attended and the celebration rather a failure. It is clouding up
in the west, and I'm afraid we're going to have snow. Seems to me we're
having an all-fired late spring here this year.

[Illustration: 0221]

July 5.--Didn't drink a drop yesterday. It was the quietest Fourth I
ever put in. I never felt so little remorse over the way I celebrated as
I do to-day. I didn't do a thing yesterday that I was ashamed of except
to eat the remainder of a box of shoe blacking for supper. To-day I ate
my last boot-heel, stewed. Looks as though we might have a hard winter.

July 6.--Feel a little apprehension about something to eat. My credit
is all right here, but there is no competition, and prices are therefore
very high. Ice, however, is still firm. This would be a good ice-cream
country if there were any demand, but the country is so sparsely settled
that a man feels as lonesome here as a greenbacker at a presidential
election. Ate a pound of cotton waste soaked in machine oil, to-day.
There is nothing left for to-morrow but ice-water and an old pocket-book
for dinner. Looks as though we might have snow.

July 7.--This is a good, cool place to spend the summer if provisions
were more plenty. I am wearing a seal-skin undershirt, with three woolen
overshirts and two bear-skin vests, to-day, and when the dew begins to
fall I have to put on my buffalo ulster to keep off the night air. I
wish I was home. It seems pretty lonesome here since the other boys
died. I do not know what I will get for dinner to-morrow, unless the
neighbors bring in something. A big bear is coming down the hatchway as
I write. I wish I could eat him. It would be the first square meal for
two months. It is, however, a little mixed whether I will eat him or he
eat me. It will be a cold day for me if he----

*****

Here the diary breaks off abruptly, and from the chewed-up appearance of
the book, we are led to entertain a horrible fear as to his safety.

A HAT DEPOSIT IN THE BLACK HILLS.

|An old hunter was out among the Black Hills, east of town, last summer,
hunting for cotton-tails and sage hens, and he ran across a little gulch
where the abrupt rocks closed together and formed a little atmospheric
eddy, so to speak. There in that lonely reservoir he found what he at
first considered a petrified hat store. It was a genuine deposit of
escaped straw hats and plug hats that the frolicsome zephyrs had caught
up and carried for ten miles, until this natural hat-rack had secured
them. Of course there were other articles of apparel, and some
debilitated umbrellas, but the deposit seemed to assay mostly hats.



CHESTNUT-BURR XL--SORROWS OF A ONE-LEGGED MAN.

_The Man with a Cork Leg and a Chastened Air--Remarks on Home
Government--A Happy Time in Contemplation--A Wife's Prerogatives--What
is to Become of the One-Legged Minority?_

|Yesterday morning, while the main guy of the sanctum was putting some
carbolic acid in the paste pot, and unlimbering his genius, and turning
his lyre preparatory to yanking loose a few stanzas on the midsummer
cucumber, a man with a cork leg, and the chastened air of one who
is second lieutenant in the home circle under the able and efficient
command of his wife, came softly in and sat down on a volume containing
the complete poems of Noah webster.

He waited patiently till he could catch the eye of the speaker, humming
softly to himself--=

``"Green grows the grave by the wild, dashing river

``Where sleeps the brave with his arrow and quiver."=

When the time had arrived for the lodge to open up unfinished business,
communications and new business, he ran his wooden leg through the
rounds of a chair and said:

"I desire to make a few remarks on the subject of home government, and
the rights a husband may have which his wife is bound to respect."

"Yes; but we don't enter the family circle with our all-pervading
influence. We simply attack evils of a public or general nature. You
should pour your tale of woe into the ears of an attorney. He will dish
out the required balm to you at so much per balm."

"I know, but this is not strictly a case for the courts. It's a case
which raises the question of the husband's priority, and agitates the
whole social fabric.

"Last week I celebrated my 43d birthday, or I started to celebrate
it, and circumstances over which I had no control arose and busted the
programme, as mapped out by the committee of arrangements.

"It was the intention of the party, consisting of myself and several
others of our most eminent men, to go over to Sabille canyon with
a mountain wagon and a pair of pinto plugs for a little wholesome
recreation. We had some weapons for slaying the frolicsome jack rabbit
and the timid sage hen, and had provided ourselves against every
possible rattlesnake contingency also. We had taken more precautions in
this direction, perhaps, than in any other, and were in shape to enjoy
the wild grandeur of the eternal hills without fear from the poisonous
reptile of the rugged gulches and alkali bottoms of this picturesque
western country.

"We were all loaded up in good shape for the trip and drove around to
my house to get a camp kettle and some lemons. I went into the pantry to
get a couple of pounds of sugar and a nutmeg.

"My wife met me in the pantry and roughly and brutally smelled of my
breath.

"This was not the prerogative of a true wife, but she weighs 200 and
is middling resolute, so I allowed her to do so, although every man's
breath is his own property, and if he allows his wife to take advantage
of her marital vows to smell his breath on the most unlooked-for
occasions, what is to become of our boasted freedom?

"I then went upstairs into a closet after a lap robe and a pillow to use
in case any of us got sunstruck.

"My wife came in just then, and as I started away with the pillow, she
tripped me up so I fell inside the closet, and before I could recover
from my surprise, she sat down on me in such a solemn and impressive
manner that my eyes hung out on my cheeks like the bronze door knobs on
a Pullman car.

"There I was in the impenetrable gloom of a closet, with the trusting
companion of my home life flattening out my stomach till I could feel my
watch chain against my spinal column. She then unscrewed my cork leg
in a mechanical kind of a way and locked it up in the bureau drawer,
putting the key in her pocket.

"After that she fastened the closet door on the outside, and told the
party that I would be unable, owing to the inclemency of the weather, to
take part in the exercises at Sabille canyon.

"All through that long, long, weary day, I stood around on one leg and
looked out of the window, thinking what a potent spell is exerted over
the wooden-legged man by an able-bodied wife.

"It is a question, sir, which is of vital interest to us all. Must
the one-legged minority continue thus to subserve the interests of
the two-legged majority? I ask you, as the representative of the all
civilizing, all leveling, all powerful and all jewhillikin press, how
long the cork-limbed, taxation-without-representation masses must limp
around the house and sew carpet rags, writhing in the death-like grip of
a two-legged oligarchy?"

He did not wait for an answer. He simply gathered up a few of our
freshest exchanges and stole softly down the stairs.

We decline to make any comment one way or the other, because we do not
know that the country is ripe for the discussion of this question, but
it deserves cold, calm, candid thought on the part of all thinking men,
to say the least.



THE TRUE POET LOVES SECLUSION.

|The true poet loves seclusion and soothing rest. That is the secret of
his even numbers and smooth cadences. Look at Dryden, and Walt Whitman,
and Milton, and Burns, and the Sweet Singer of Michigan. What could any
of them have done with the house full of children of the forest who were
hankering for a fresh pail of gore for lunch?

A PIE OPENER

|A handsome competence is in store for the man who will invent a neat,
durable and portable pie opener that will successfully reach the true
inwardness of the average, box-toed, Bessemer steel, gooseberry pie
which the hired girl casts in her kitchen foundry.



CHESTNUT-BURR XLI--REVELATION IN UTAH.

_A Vacancy Amongst the Twelve Apostles--The Place Filled by
Revelation--How Would this System Work in Politics--There are Drawbacks
in this System._

|An esteemed and extremely connubial contemporary, says in a recent
editorial: "The Latter Day Saints will rejoice to learn that the
vacancies which have existed in the quorums ol the twelve apostles
and the first seven presidents of seventies are now filled. During the
conference recently held, Elder Abram II. Cannon was unanimously
chosen to be one of the first seven presidents of seventies, and he was
ordained to that office on Monday, October 9. Subsequently! the Lord,
by revelation through His servant, President John Taylor, designated by
name Brothers George Teasdale and Heber J. Grant, to be ordained to the
apostleship, and Brother Seymour B. Young to fill the remaining vacancy
in the presidency of the seventies. These brethren were ordained on
Monday, October 16, the two apostles, under the hands of the first
presidency and twelve, and the other under the hands of the twelve and
the presidency of the seventies."

Now, that's a convenient system of politics and civil service. When
there is a vacancy, the president, John Taylor, goes into his closet
and has a revelation, which settles it all right. If the man appointed
vicariously by the Lord is not in every way satisfactory, he may be
discharged by the same process. Instead, therefore, of being required to
rally a large force of his friends to aid him in getting an appointment,
the aspirant arranges solely with the party who runs the revelation
business. It will be seen at a glance, therefore, that the man who can
get the job of revelating in Zion, has it pretty much his own way. We
would not care who made the laws of Utah if we could do its revelating
at so much per revelate.

Think of the power it gives a man in a community of blind believers.
Imagine, if you please, the glorious possibilities in store for the
man who can successfully reveal the word of the Lord in an easy,
extemporaneous manner on five minutes' notice.

This prerogative does not confine itself to politics alone. The
Impromptu revelator of the Jordan has revelations when he wants to evade
the payment of a bill. He gets a divine order also if he desires to
marry a beautiful maid or seal the new school ma'am to himself. He has
a leverage which he can bring to bear upon the people of his diocese at
all times, even more potent than the press, and it does not possess the
drawbacks that a newspaper does. You can run an aggressive paper if you
want to in this country, and up to the time of the funeral you have a
pretty active and enjoyable time, but after the grave has been filled up
with the clods of the valley and your widow has drawn her insurance,
you naturally ask, "What is the advantage to be gained by this fearless
style of journalism?"

Still, even the inspired racket has its drawbacks. Last year a little
incident occurred in a Mormon family down in southern Utah, which
weighed about nine pounds, and when the _ex officio_ husband, who had
been absent two years, returned, he acted kind of wild and surprised,
somehow, and as he went through the daily round of his work he could be
seen counting his fingers back and forth and looking at the almanac,
and adding up little amounts on the side of the barn with a piece of red
chalk.

Finally, one of the inspired mob of that part of the vineyard thought it
was about time to get a revelation and go down there, so he did so.
He sailed up to the _de facto_ husband and _quasi_ parent and solemnly
straight ened up some little irregularities as to dates, but the
revelation was received with disdain, and the revelator was sent home in
an old ore sack and buried in a peach basket.

Sometimes there is, even in Utah, a manifestation of such irreverence
and open hostility to the church that it makes us shudder.



THE MODEL SLEEPING-CAR.

|One of these days they will invent a sleeper with a quart of pure air
for each person, instead of only a mouthful. If there could be more
pure air, and less mahogany corners on which to bump the system, and
the porter received a regular salary instead of mobbing the train with
a whisk broom, and garroting the passengers for $1 each, life would be
more desirable.



CHESTNUT-BURR XLII--THE TONGUE-DESTROYING FRENCH LANGUAGE.

_The Rue de la Sitting Bull Difficulty in Getting the Drink, You
Want--Paris an Old Town--The Exposition Not Very Enjoyable._

|I am going to rest myself by writing a few pages in the language spoken
in the United States, for I am tired of the infernal lingo of this
God-forsaken country and feel like talking in my own mother tongue and
on some other subject than the Exposition. I have very foolishly tried
to talk a little of this tongue-destroying French, but my teeth are so
loose now that I am going to let them tighten up again before I try it
any more.

Day before yesterday it was very warm, and I asked two or three friends
to step into a big drug store on the Rue de la Sitting Bull, to get a
glass of soda. (I don't remember the names of these streets, so in some
cases I give them Wyoming names.) I think the man who kept the place
probably came from Canada. Most all the people in Paris are Canadians.
He came forward, and had a slight attack of delirium tremens, and said:

"Ze vooly voo a la boomerang?"

I patted the soda fountain and said:

"No, not so bad as that, if you please. Just squeeze a little of your
truck into a tumbler, and flavor it to suit the boys. As for myself, I
will take about two fingers of bug juice in mine to sweeten my breath."

But he didn't understand me. His parents had neglected his education, no
doubt, and got him a job in a drug store. So I said:

"Look here, you frog-hunting, red-headed Communist, I will give you
just five minutes to fix up my beverage, and if you will put a little
tangle-foot into it I will pay you; otherwise I will pick up a pound
weight and paralyze you. Now, you understand. Flavor it with _spirituous
frumenti_, old rye, benzine--bay rum--anything! _Parley voo, e pluribus
unum, sic semper go braugh!_ Do you understand _that?_"

But he didn't understand it, so I had to kill him. I am having him
stuffed. The taxidermist who is doing the job lives down on the Rue de
la Crazy Woman's Fork. I think that is the name of the Rue that he lives
on.

Paris is quite an old town. It is older and wickeder than Cheyenne, I
think, but I may be prejudiced against the place. It is very warm here
this summer, and there are a good many odors that I don't know the names
of. It is a great national congress of rare imported smells. I have
detected and catalogued 1,350 out of a possible 1,400.

I have not enjoyed the Exposition so much as I thought I was going to;
partly because it has been so infernally hot, and partly because I have
been a little homesick. I was very homesick on board ship; very homesick
indeed. About all the amusement that we had crossing the wide waste
of waters was to go and lean over the ship's railing by the hour, and
telescope the duodenum into the æsophagus. I used to stand that way
and look down into the dark green depths of old ocean, and wonder what
mysterious secrets were hidden beneath the green, cold waves and the
wide rushing waste of swirling, foamy waters. I learned to love this
weird picture at last, and used to go out on deck every morning and swap
my breakfast to this priceless panorama for the privilege of watching it
all day.

I can't say that I hanker very much for a life on the ocean wave. I am
trying to arrange it so as to go home by land. I think I can make up for
the additional expense in food. I bought more condemned sustenance, and
turned it over to the Atlantic ocean for inspection, than I have eaten
since I came here.



CARVING SCHOOLS.

|They are agitating the matter of instituting carving schools, in the
East, so that the rising generation will be able to pass down through
the corridors of time without its lap full of dressing and its bosom
laden with gravy and remorse. The students at this school will wear
barbed-wire masks while practicing. These masks will be similar to those
worn by German students, who slice each other up while obtaining an
education.

[Illustration: 0235]



CHESTNUT-BURR XLIV--ONE TOUCH OF NATURE.

_Terrible Loss of Children--Strange Sympathy of the Health Officer--The
Old Man's Defense of his Boys--He Gives Free Utterance to his Heresies._

|Up in Polk county, Wis., not long ago, a man who had lost eight
children by diphtheria, while the ninth hovered between life and death
with the same disease, went to the health officer of the town and asked
aid to prevent the spread of the terrible scourge. The health officer
was cool and collected. He did not get excited over the anguish of the
father whose last child was at the moment hovering upon the outskirts of
immortality. He calmly investigated the matter, and never for a moment
lost sight of the fact that he was a town officer and a professed
Christian.

"You ask aid, I understand," said he, "to prevent the spread of the
disease, and also that the town shall assist you in procuring new and
necessary clothing, to replace that which you have been compelled to
burn in order to stop the further inroads of diphtheria. Am I right?"

The poor man answered affirmatively.

"May I ask if your boys who died were Christian boys, and whether they
improved their gospel opportunities and attended the Sabbath school, or
whether they were profane and given over to Sabbath-breaking?"

The bereft father said that his boys had never made a profession of
Christianity; that they were hardly old enough to do so, and that they
might have missed some gospel opportunities owing to the fact that they
were poor, and hadn't clothes fit to wear to Sabbath school. Possibly,
too, they had met with wicked companions, and had been taught to swear;
he could not say but they might have sworn, although he thought they
would have turned out to be good boys had they lived.

"I am sorry that the case is so bad," said the health officer. "I am led
to believe that God has seen fit to visit you with affliction in order
to express His divine disapproval of profanity, and I cannot help you.
It ill becomes us poor, weak worms of the dust to meddle with the just
judgments of God. Whether as an individual or as a _quasi corporation_,
it is well to allow the Almighty to work out His great plan of
salvation, and to avoid all carnal interference with the works of God."

The old man went back to his desolated home and to the bedside of his
only living child. I met him yesterday and he told me all about it.

"I am not a professor of religion," said he, "but I tell you, Mr. Nye,
I can't believe that this board of health has used me right. Somehow
I ain't worried about my little fellers that is gone. They was little
fellers, anyway, and they wasn't posted on the plan of salvation, but
they was always kind and they always minded me and their mother. If God
is using diphtheria agin perfanity this season they didn't know it. They
was too young to know about it and I was too poor to take the papers, so
I didn't know it nuther, i just thought that Christ was partial to
kids like mine, just the same as He used to be 2,000 years ago when the
country was new. I admit that my little shavers never went to Sabbath
school much, and I wasn't scholar enough to throw much light onto God's
system of retribution, but I told 'em to behave themselves, and they did,
and we had a good deal of fun together--me and the boys--and they was so
bright, and square, and cute that I didn't see how they could fall under
divine wrath, and I don't believe they did.

"I could tell you lots of smart little things that they used to do, Mr.
nye, but they wa'n't mean and cussed. They was just frolicky and gay
sometimes because they felt good. I don't believe God had it in for'em
bekuz they was like other boys, do you? Fer if I thought so it would
kind o' harden me and the old lady and make us sour on all creation.

"Mind you, I don't kick because I'm left alone here in the woods, and
the sun don't seem to shine, and the birds seems a little backward about
singin' this spring, and the house is so quiet, and she is still all
the time and cries in the night when she thinks I am asleep. All that
is tough, Mr. Nye--tough as old Harry, too--but it's so, and I ain't
murmurin', but when the board of health says to me that the Ruler of
the Universe is makin' a tower of northern Wisconsin, mowin' down little
boys with sore throat because they say 'gosh,' I can't believe it.

"I know that people who ain't familiar with the facts will shake their
heads and say that I am a child of wrath, but I can't help it. All I can
do is to go up there under the trees where them little graves is, and
think how all-fired pleasant to me them little, short lives was, and how
every one of them little fellers was when he come, poor as I was, and
how I rastled with poor crops and pine stumps to buy cloze for'em, and
didn't care a cent for style as long as they was well. That's the
kind of heretic I am, and if God is like a father that settles it.
he wouldn't wipe out my family just to establish discipline, I don't
believe. The plan of creation must be on a bigger scale than that, it
seems to me, or else it's more or less a fizzle.

"That board of health is better read than I am. It takes the papers and
can add up figures, and do lots of things that I can't do; but when
them fellers tell me that they represent the town of Balsam Lake and the
Kingdom of Heaven, my morbid curiosity is aroused, and I want to see the
stiffykits of election."



HOW TO DEAL WITH THE REVOLVER DIFFICULTY.

|If revolvers could not be sold for less than $500 a piece, with a
guarantee on the part of the vendee, signed by good sureties, that he
would support the widows and orphans, you would see more longevity lying
around loose, and Western cemeteries would cease to roll up such mighty
majorities.



THE FEMALE ARTISTE.

|Along the dreary pathway of this cloud-environed life of ours there
is no joy so pure, no triumph so complete, no success so fraught with
rapture, as that of the female artiste who hangs on the flying trapeze
by her chilblain and kisses her hand to the perspiring throng.



CHESTNUT-BURR XLV--FUN OF BEING A PUBLISHER.

_Publishing Is Not All Joy and Johnny jump-ups--A Singular Letter--Plot
of a Novel--Algonquin and Sciatica._

|Being a publisher is not all sunshine, joy and johnny-jump-ups,
although the gentle and tractable reader may at times think so.

A letter was received two years ago by the publishers of this book, on
the outside of which was the request to the "P. Master of Chicago to
give to the most reliable man in Chicago and oblige."

The P. Master thereupon gave the letter to Messrs. Belford, Clarke &
Co., who have sent it to me as a literary curiosity. I want it to go
down to posterity, so I put it in this great work. I simply change the
names, and where words are too obscure, doctor them up a little:

Butler, Bates county, Mo., Jan., 1886.

I have a novle fresh and pure from the pen, wich i would like to be
examined by you. I wish to bring it before the public the ensuing
summer. I have wrote a good deal for the press, and always with great
success. I wrote once an article on the growth of pie plant wich was
copied fur and wide. You may have heard of me through my poem on "The
Cold, Damp Sea or the Murmuring Wave and its Sad Kerplunk."

I dashed it off one summer day for the Scabtown _Herald_.

In it, I enter the fair field of fancy and with exquisite word painting,
I lead the reader on and on until he forgets that breakfast is ready,
and follows the thrilling career of Algonquin and his own fair-haired
Sciatica through page after page of delirious joy and poetic rithum.

In this novle I have wove a woof of possibilities criss-crossed with
pictures of my own wild, unfettered fancy, which makes it a work at once
truthful and yet sufficiently unnatural to make it egorly sot for by the
great reading world.

The plot of the novle is this:

Algonquin is a poor artist, who paints lovely sunsets and things,
nights, and cuts cordwood during the day, struggling to win a competence
so that he can sue for the hand of Sciatica, the wealthy daughter of a
plumber.

She does not love him much, and treats him coldly; but he perseveres
till one of his exquisite pictures is egorly snapt up by a wealthy man
at $2. The man afterwards turns out to be Sciatica's pa.

He says unkind things of Algonquin, and intimates that he is a better
artist in four-foot wood than he is as a sunset man. He says that
Algonquin is more of a Michael Angelo in basswood than anywhere else,
and puts a wet blanket on Sciataca's love for Algonquin.

Then Sciataca grows colder than ever to Algonquin, and engages herself
to a wealthy journalist.

Just as the wedding is about to take place, Algonquin finds that he is
by birth an Ohio man. Sciataca repents and marries her first love.
He secures the appointment of governor of Wyoming, and they remove to
Cheyenne.

Then there are many little oursts of pictureskness and other things that
I would like to see in print.

I send also a picture of myself which I would like to have in the book.
Tell the artist to tone down the freckles so that the features may be
seen by the observer and put on a diamond pin so that it will have an
appearance of wealth, which the author of a book generally wears.

It is not wrote very good, but that won't make any difference when it is
in print.

When the reading public begins to devour it, and the scads come rolling
in, you can deduct enough for to pay your expenses of printing and
pressing, and send me the balance by postoffice money order. Please get
it on the market as soon as possible, as I need a Swiss muzzlin and some
other togs suitable to my position in liturary circles. Yours truly,

Luella Blinker.



A LESSON FROM THE MULE.

|We may often learn a valuable lesson from the stubborn mule, and guard
against the too protuberant use of our own ideas in opposition to other
powers against which it is useless to contend. It may be wrong for giant
powder to blow the top of a man's head off without cause, but repeated
contests have proved that even when giant powder is in the wrong, it is
eventually victorious.



CHESTNUT-BURR XLVI--PERFORMANCE OF THE PHOENIX.

_Mr. Blackburn, the Heavy Villian--Difficulties With the Scenery--The
Play in New York--The Military Parade._

|At the performance of "The Phoenix" here, the other night, there was a
very affecting place where the play is transferred very quickly from
a street scene to the elegant apartments of Mr. Blackburn, the heavy
villain. The street scene had to be raised out of the way, and the
effect of the transition was somewhat marred by the reluctance of the
scenery in rolling up out of the way. It got about half way up, and
stopped there in an undecided manner, which annoyed the heavy villain
a good deal. He started to make some blood-curdling remarks about Mr.
Bludsoe, and had got pretty well warmed up when the scenery came down
with a bang on the stage.

[Illustration: 0245]

The artist who pulls up the curtain and fills the hall lamps, then
pulled the scene up so as to show the villain's feet for fifteen or
twenty minutes, but he couldn't get it any farther. It seemed that the
clothes line, by which the elaborate scenery is operated, got tangled up
some way, and this caused the delay. After that another effort was made,
and this time the street scene rolled up to about the third story of
a brick hotel shown in the foreground, and stopped there, while the
clarionet and first violin continued a kind of sad tremulo. Then a dark
hand, with a wart on one finger and an oriental dollar store ring
on another, came out from behind the wings and began to wind the
clothes-line carefully around the pole at the foot of the scene. The
villain then proceeded with his soliloquy, while the street scene hung
by one corner in such a way as to make a large warehouse on the corner
of the street stand at an angle of about forty-five degrees.

Laramie will never feel perfectly happy until these little hitches are
dispensed with. Supposing that at some place in the play, where the
heroine is speaking soft and low to her lover and the proper moment has
arrived for her to pillow her sunny head upon his bosom, that street
scene should fetch loose, and come down with such momentum as to knock
the lovers over into the arms of the bass-viol player. Or suppose that
in some death-bed act this same scene, loaded with a telegraph pole at
the bottom, should settle down all at once in such a way as to leave the
death-bed out on the corner of Monroe and Clark streets, in front of a
candy store.

Modern stage mechanism has now reached such a degree of perfection that
the stage carpenter does not go up on a step ladder, in the middle of a
play, and nail the corner of a scene to a stick of 2x4 scantling, while
a duel is going on near the step ladder. In all the larger theaters and
opera houses, now, they are not doing that way.

Of course little incidents occur, however, even on the best stages, and
where the whole thing works all right. For instance, the other day, a
young actor, who was kneeling to a beautiful heiress down East, got a
little too far front, and some scenery, which was to come together
in the middle of the stage to pianissimo music, shut him outside and
divided the tableau in two, leaving the young actor apparently kneeling
at the foot of a street lamp, as though he might be hunting for a half a
dollar that he had just dropped on the sidewalk.

There was a play in New York, not long ago, in which there was a kind of
military parade introduced, and the leader of a file of soldiers had his
instructions to march three times around the stage to martial music, and
then file off at the left, the whole column, of course, following him.
After marching once around, the stage manager was surprised to see the
leader deliberately wheel, and walk off the stage, at the left, with
the whole battalion following at his heels. The manager went to him
and abused him shamefully for his haste, and told him he had a mind
to discharge him; but the talented hack driver, who thus acted as the
military leader, and who had over-played himself by marching off the
stage ahead of time, said:

"Well, confound it, you can discharge me if you want to, but what was a
man to do? Would you have me march around three times when my military
pants were coming off, and I knew it? Military pride, pomp, parade
and circumstance, are all right; but it can be overdone. A military
squadron, detachment, or whatever it is, can make more of a parade,
under certain circumstances, than is advertised. I didn't want to give
people more show than they paid for, and I ask you to put yourself in my
place. When a man is paid three dollars a week to play a Roman soldier,
would you have him play the Greek slave? No, sir; I guess I know what
I'm hired to play, and I'm going to play it. When you want me to play
Adam in the Garden of Eden, just give me my fig leaf and salary enough
to make it interesting, and I will try and properly interpret the
character for you, or refund the money at the door."



FIRMNESS.

|Firmness is a good thing in its place, but we should early learn that
to be firm, we need not stand up against a cyclone till our internal
economy is blown into the tops of the neighboring trees. Moral courage
is a good thing, but it is useless unless you have a liver to go along
with it. Sometimes a man is required to lay down his life for his
principles, but the cases where he is expected to lay down his digester
on the altar of his belief, are comparatively seldom.



PUGILIST OR STATESMAN.

|Thousands of our own boys, who to-day are spearing frogs, or bathing in
the rivers of their native land and parading on the shingly beach with
no clothes on to speak of, are left to chose between such a career of
usefulness and greatness of brow, and the humdrum life of a bilious
student and pale, sad congressman. Will you rise to the proud pinnacle
of fame as a pugilist, boys, or will you plug along as a sorrowing,
overworked statesman? Now, in the spring-time of your lives, choose
between the two, and abide the consequences.



CHESTNUT-BURR NYE AS A CRITIC AND NYE AS A POET.

_POETIC CHESTNUTS_

_The Poet of the Greeley Eye--The Dying Cowboy and the Preacher--A
Mournful Stanza--Poems by Nye--Apostrophe to an Orphan Mule--Ode to
Spring--The Picnic Snoozeds Lament--Ode to the Cucumber--Apostrophe to
Oscar Wilde--An Adjustable Campaign Song--The Beautiful Snow._

A new and dazzling literary star has risen above the horizon, and is
just about to shoot athwart the starry vault of poesy. How wisely are
all things ordered, and how promptly does the new star begin to beam,
upon the decline of the old.

Hardly had the sweet singer of Michigan commenced to wane and to
flicker, when, rising above the western hills, the glad light of the
rising star is seen, and adown the canyons and gulches of the Rocky
mountains comes the melodious cadences of the poet of the Greeley Eye.

Couched in the rough terms of the West, robed in the untutored language
of the Michael Angelo slang of the miner and the cowboy, the poet at
first twitters a little on a bough far up the canyon, gradually waking
the echoes, until the song is taken up and handed back by every rock and
crag along the rugged ramparts of the mighty mountain barrier.

Listen to the opening stanza of "The Dying Cowboy and the Preacher:"=

``So, old gospel shark, they tell me I must die;

``That the wheels of life's wagon have rolled into their last rut,

``Well, I will "pass in my checks" without a whimper or a cry,

``And die as I have lived--"a hard nut."=

This is no time-worn simile, no hackneyed illustration or bald-headed
decrepit comparison, but a new, fresh illustration that appeals to the
Western character, and lifts the very soul out of the kinks, as it were.

Wheels of life's wagon have rolled into their last rut.

Ah! how true to nature and yet how grand. How broad and sweeping. How
melodious and yet how real. None but the true poet would have thought to
compare the close of life to the sudden and unfortunate chuck of the off
hind wheel of a lumber wagon into a rut.

In fancy we can see it all. We hear the low, sad kerplunk of the wheel,
the loud burst of earnest, logical profanity, and then all is still.

Now and then the swish of a mule's tail through the air, or the sigh of
the rawhide as it shimmers and hurtles through the silent air, and then
a calm falls upon the scene. Anon, the driver bangs the mule that is
ostensibly pulling his daylights out, but who is, in fact, humping up
like an angle worm, without nulling a pound.

Then the poet comes to the close of the cowboy's career in this style:

"Do I repent?

"No--of nothing present or past;

"So skip, old preach, on gospel pap I won't be fed;

"My breath comes hard; I--am going--but--I--am game to the--last."

And reckless of the future, as the present, the cowboy was dead.

If we could write poetry like that, do you think we would plod along
the dreary pathway of the journalist? Do you suppose that if we had the
heaven-born gift of song to such a degree, that we could take hold of
the hearts of millions and warble two or three little ditties like that,
or write an elegy before breakfast, or construct an ionic, anapestic
twitter like the foregoing, that we would carry in our own coal, and
trim our own lamps, and wear a shirt two weeks at a time?

No, sir. We would hie us away to Europe or Salt Lake, and let our hair
grow long, and we would write some obituary truck that would make people
disgusted with life, and they would sigh for death that they might leave
their insurance and their obituaries to their survivors.



POEMS BY BILL NYE



APOSTROPHE TO AN ORPHAN MULE.=

```Oh! lonely, gentle, unobtrusive mule!

```Thou standest idly 'gainst the azure sky,

```And sweetly, sadly singeth like a hired man.

````Who taught thee thus to warble

```In the noontide heat and wrestle with

```Thy deep, corroding grief and joyless woe?

```Who taught thy simple heart

````Its pent-up, wildly-warring waste

```Of wanton woe to carol forth upon

`````The silent air?

````I chide thee not, because thy

```Song is fraught with grief-embittered

```Monotony and joyless minor chords

```Of wild, imported melody, for thou

```Art restless, woe begirt and

```Compassed round about with gloom,

````Thou timid, trusting, orphan mule!

`````Few joys, indeed, are thine,

```Thou thrice-bestricken, madly

```Mournful, melancholy mule.

```And he alone who strews

```Thy pathway with his cold remains

```Can give thee recompense

`````Of lemoncholy woe.

```He who hath sought to steer

```Thy limber, yielding tail

```Fernist thy crupper-band

````Hath given thee joy, and he alone.

```'Tis true, he may have shot

```Athwart the Zodiac, and, looking

```O'er the outer walls upon

`````The New Jerusalem,

```Have uttered vain regrets.

```Thou reekest not. O orphan mule,

```For it hath given thee joy, and

```Bound about thy bursting heart,

```And held thy tottering reason

`````To its throne.

```Sing on, O mule, and warble

```In the twilight gray,

```Unchidden by th heartless throng.

```Sing of thy parents on thy father's side.

```Yearn for the days now past and gone;

```For he who pens these halting,

```Limping lines to thee

```Doth bid thee yearn, and yearn, and yearn.=



ODE TO SPRING.



FANTASIA FOR THE BASS DRUM; ADAPTED FROM THE GERMAN BY WILLIAM VON NYE.=

```In the days of laughing spring time,

````Comes the mild-eyed sorrel cow,

```With bald-headed patches on her,

````Poor and lousy, I allow;

```And she waddles through your garden

````O'er the radish-beds, I trow.=

```Then the red-nosed, wild-eyed orphan,

````With his cyclopædiee,

```Hies him to the rural districts

````With more or less alacrity.

```And he showeth up its merits

````To the bright eternitee.=

```How the bumble-bee doth bumble

````Bumbling in the fragrant air,

```Bumbling with his little bumbler,

````Till he climbs the golden stair.

```Then the angels will provide him

````With another bumbilaire.=`



THE PICNIC SNOOZER'S LAMENT.=

```Gently lay aside the picnic,

````For its usefulness is o'er,

```And the winter style of misery

````Stands and knocks upon your door.=

```Lariat the lonely oyster,

````Drifting on some foreign shore;

```Zion needs him in her business--

````She can use him o'er and o'er.=

```Bring along the lonely oyster,

````With the winter style of gloom,

```And the supper for the pastor,

````With its victims for the tomb.=

```Cast the pudding for the pastor,

````With its double iron door;

```It will gather in the pastor

````For the bright and shining shore.=

```Put away the little picnic

````Till the coming of the spring;

```Useless now the swaying hammock

````And the idle picnic swing.=

```Put away the pickled spider

````And the cold pressed picnic fly,

```And the decorated trousers

````With their wealth of custard pie.=



ODE TO THE CUCUMBER.=

```O, a cucumber grew by the deep rolling sea,

```And it tumbled about in reckless glee

```Till the summer waned and the grass turned brown.

```And the farmer plucked it and took it to town.=

```Wrinkled and warty and bilious and blue,

```It lay in the market the autumn through;

```Till a woman with freckles on her cheek

```Led in her husband, so mild and meek.=

```He purchased the fruit, at her request,

```And hid it forever under his vest,

```For it doubled him up like a kangaroo,

```And now he sleeps 'neath the violets blue.=



APOSTROPHE ADDRESSED TO O. WILDE.=

````Soft eyed seraphic kuss

```With limber legs and lily on the side,

```We greet you from the raw

```And uncouth West.=

```The cowboy yearns to yank thee

```To his brawny breast and squeeze

```Thy palpitating gizzard

```Through thy vest.=

```Come to the mountain fastness,

```Oscar, with thy low neck shirt

```And high neck pants;

```Fly to the coyote's home,

```Thou son of Albion,

```James Crow bard and champion aesthete

```From o'er the summer sea.=

```Sit on the fuzzy cactus, king of poesy,

```And song,

```Ride the fierce broncho o'er the dusty plain,

```And le' the zephyr sigh among thy buttery locks.

```Welcome thou genius of dyspeptic song,

```Thou bilious lunatic from far-off lands.

```Come to the home of genius,

```By the snowy hills.

```And wrestle with the alcoholic inspiration

```Of our cordial home.

````We yearn

```To put the bloom upon thy alabaster nose,

```And plant the jim-jams

```In thy clustering hair.

```Hail, mighty snoozer from across the main!

````We greet thee

```With our free, untutored ways and wild

```Peculiar style of deadly beverage.

```Come to the broad, free West and mingle

```With our high-toned mob.=

```Come to the glorious Occident

```And dally with the pack-mule's whisk-broom tail;

```Study his odd yet soft demeanor,

```And peculiar mien.=

```Tickle his gambrel with a sunflower bud

```And scoot across the blue horizon

```To the tooness of the sweet and succulent beyond.=

````We'll gladly

```Gather up thy shattered remnants

```With a broom and ship thee to thy beauteous home.

```Forget us not,

```Thou bilious pelican from o'er the sea.=

````Thou blue-nosed clam

```With pimply, bulging brow, but

```Come and we will welcome thee

```With ancient omelet and fragrant sausage

````Of forgotten years.=



ADJUSTABLE CAMPAIGN SONG.=

```(Air--_Rally Round the Flag, Boys_.)=

```Oh, we'll gather from the hillsides,

````We'll gather from the glen,

```Shouting the battle cry of....

```And we'll round up our voters.

```Our brave and trusty men,

````Shouting the battle cry of.....=

`````Chorus.=

````Oh, our candidate forever,

`````Te doodle daddy a,

````Down with old....

````Turn a foodie diddy a,

````And we'll whoop de dooden do,

`````Fal de adden adden a,

````And don't you never forget it.=

````Ob, we'll meet the craven foe

`````On the fall election day,

````Shouting the battle cry of...

````And we'll try to let him know

````That we're going to have our way,

````Shouting the battle cry of...=

`````Chorus.=

````Oh, our candidate forever, etc.=

````Oh, we're the people's friends,

`````As all can plainly see,

````Shouting the battle cry of....

````And we'll whoop de dooden doo,

````With our big majority,

````And don't you never forget it.=

`````Chorus.=

```Oh. our candidate forever, etc.=



THE BEAUTIFUL SNOW.=

```O drifted whiteness covering

```The fair face of nature.

```Pure as the sigh of a blessed spirit

```On the eternal shores, you

```Glitter in the summer sun

```Considerable. My mortal

```Ken seems weak and

```Helpless in the midst of

```Your dazzling splendor,

```And I would hide my

```Diminished head like

```Serf unclothed in presence

```Of his mighty King.

````You lie engulphed

```Within the cold embrace

```Of rocky walls and giant

```Cliffs. You spread out

```Your white mantle and

```Enwrap the whole broad

```Universe, and a portion

```Of York State.

````You seem content

```Resting in silent whiteness

```On the frozen breast of

```The cold, dead earth. You

```Think apparently that

```You are middling white;

```But once I was in the

```Same condition. I was

```Pure as the beautiful snow,

```But I fell. It was a

```Right smart fall, too.

```It churned me up a

```Good deal and nearly

```Knocked the supreme

```Duplex from its intellectual

```Throne. It occurred in

```Washington, D. C.

````But thou

```Snow, lying so spotless

```On the frozen earth, as

```I remarked before, thou

```Hast indeed a soft,

```Soft thing. Thou comest

```Down like the silent

```Movements of a specter,

```And thy fall upon the

```Earth is like the tread

```Of those who walk the

```Shores of immortality.

```You lie around all

```Winter drawing your

```Annuities till spring,

```And then the soft

```Breath from the south with

```Touch seductive bids you

```Go, and you light out

```With more or less alacrity.=

A BUSHEL OF SMALLER CHESTNUTS.



THE TRUE TALE OF WILLIAM TELL.

|William Tell ran a hay ranche near Bergelen, about 580 years ago. Tell
had lived in the mountains all his life, and shot chamois and chipmunks
with a cross-gun, till he was a bad man to stir up.

At that time Switzerland was run principally by a lot of carpet-baggers
from Austria, and Tell got down on them about the year 1307. It seems
that Tell wanted the government contract to furnish hay, at $45 a ton,
for the Year 1306, and Gessler, who was controlling the patronage
of Switzerland, let the contract to an Austrian who had a big lot of
condemned hay, farther up the gulch.

One day Gessler put his plug hat up on a telegraph pole, and issued
order 236, regular series, to the effect that every snoozer who passed
down the toll road should bow to it.

Gessler happened to be in behind the brush when Tell Went by, and he
noticed that Bill said "Shoot the hat," and didn't salute it; so he told
his men to gather Mr. Tell in, and put him in the refrigerator.

Gessler told him that if he Would shoot a crab-apple from the head
of his only son at 200 yards, with a cross-gun, he would give him his
liberty.

Tell consented, and knocked the apple higher than Gilroy's kite. Old
Gessler, however, noticed another arrow sticking in William's girdle,
and he asked what kind of a flowery break that was.

Tell told him that if he had killed the kid instead of busting the
apple, he intended to drill a hole through the stomach of Mr. Gessler.
This made Gessler mad again, and he took Tell on a picnic up the river,
in irons.

Tell jumped off when he got a good chance, and cut across a bend in the
river, and when the picnic party came down, he shot Gessler deader than
a mackeral.

This opened the ball for freedom, and weakened the Austrian government
so much that in the following November they elected Tell to fill the
long term, and a half-breed for the short term.

After that, Tell was recognized by the ruling power, and he could get
most any contract that he wanted to. He got the service on the stage
line up into the Alps increased to a daily, and had the contracts in the
name of his son Albert.

The appropriation was increased $150,000 per year, and he had a good
thing.

Tell lived many years after this, and was loved by the Swiss people
because he had freed their land.

Whenever he felt lonesome, he would take his crossgun and go out and
kill a tyrant. He had tyrant on toast most every day till Switzerland
was free, and the peasants blessed him as their deliverer.

When Tell got to be an old man he would go out into the mountains and
apostrophize them in these memorable words:

"Ye crags and peaks, I'm with you once again. I hold to you the hands
I held to you on previous occasions, to show you they are free. The
tyrant's crust is busted, so to speak. His race is run, and he himself
hath scooted up the flume. _Sic semper McGinnis, terra Anna, nux vomica,
Schweitzer lease, Timbuctoo, erysipelas, e pluribus unum, sciataca,
multum in parvo, vox populi, vox snockomonthegob_."



WHY WE WEEP.

|In justice to ourself we desire to state that the Cheyenne _Sun_ has
villified us and placed us in a false position before the public. It has
stated that while at Rock Creek station, in the early part of the week,
we were taken for a peanutter, and otherwise ill-treated at the railroad
eating corral and omelette emporium, and that in consequence of such
treatment we shed great, scalding tears as large as watermelons. This is
not true. We did shed the tears as above set forth, but not because of
ill-treatment on the part of the eating-house proprietor.

It was the presence of death that broke our heart and opened the
fountains of our great deep, so to speak, when we poured the glucose
syrup on our pancakes, the stiff and cold remains of a large beetle and
two cunning little twin cockroaches fell out into our plate, and lay
there hushed in an eternal repose.

Death to us is all powerful. The King of Terrors is to us the mighty
sovereign before whom we must all bow, from the mighty emperor down
to the meanest slave, from the railroad superintendent, riding in his
special car, down to the humblest humorist, all alike must some day curl
up and die. This saddens us at all times, but more peculiarly so when
Death, with his relentless lawn-mower, has gathered in the young anu
innocent. This was the case where two little twin cockroaches, whose
lives had been unspotted, and whose years had been unclouded by
wrong and selfishness were called upon to meet death together. In the
stillness of the night, when others slept, these affectionate little
twins crept into the glucose syrup and died.

We hope no one will misrepresent this matter. We did weep, and we are
not ashamed to own it. We sat there and sobbed until the tablecloth was
wet for four feet, and the venerable ham was floating around in tears.
It was not for ourself, however, that we wept. No unkindness on the part
of an eating house ever provoked such a tornado of woe. We just weep
when we see death and are brought in close contact with it. And we were
not the only one that shed tears. Dickinson and Warren wept, strong
men as they were. Even the butter wept. Strong as it was it could not
control its emotions.

We don't very often answer a newspaper attack, but when we are accused
of weeping till people have to take off their boots and wring out their
socks, we want the public to know what it is for.



ETIQUETTE FOR THE YOUNG.

|Young children who have to wait till older people have eaten all there
is in the house, should not open the dining-room door during the meal
and ask the host if he is going to eat all day. It makes the company
feel ill at ease, and lays up wrath in the parents' heart.

Children should not appear displeased with the regular courses at
dinner, and then fill up on pie. Eat the less expensive food first, and
then organize a picnic in the preserves afterward.

Do not close out the last of your soup by taking the plate in your mouth
and pouring the liquid down your childish neck. You might spill it on
your bosom, and it enlarges and distorts the mouth unnecessarily.

When asked what part of the fowl you prefer, do not say you will take
the part that goes over the fence last. This remark is very humorous,
but the rising generation ought to originate some new table jokes that
will be worthy of the age in which we live.

Children should early learn the use of the fork, and how to handle it.
This knowledge can be acquired by allowing them to pry up the carpet
tacks with this instrument, and other little exercises, such as the
parent mind may suggest.

The child should be taught at once not to wave his bread around over the
table, while in conversation, or to fill his mouth full of potatoes, and
then converse in a rich tone of voice with someone out in the yard.
He might get his dinner down his trochea and cause his parents great
anxiety.

In picking up a plate or saucer filled with soup or with moist food, the
child should be taught not to parboil his thumb in the contents of the
dish, and to avoid swallowing soup bones or other indigestible debris.

Toothpicks are generally the last course, and children should not be
permitted to pick their teeth and kick the table through the other
exercises. While grace is being said at table, children should know that
it is a breach of good breeding to smouge fruit cake, just because their
parents' heads are bowed down, and their attention for the moment turned
in another direction. Children ought not to be permitted to find fault
with the dinner, or fool with the cat while they are eating. Boys
should, before going to the table, empty all the frogs and grasshoppers
out of their pockets, or those insects might crawl out during the
festivities, and jump into the gravy.

If a fly wades into your jelly up to his gambrels, do not mash him with
your spoon before all the guests, as death is at all times depressing
to those who are at dinner, and retards digestion. Take the fly out
carefully, with what naturally adheres to his person, and wipe him on
the table cloth. It will demonstrate your perfect command of yourself,
and afford much amusement for the company. Do not stand up in your chair
and try to spear a roll with your fork. It is not good manners to do so,
and you might slip and bust your crust, by so doing. Say "thank you,"
and "much obliged," and "beg pardon," wherever you can work in
these remarks, as it throws people off their guard, and gives you an
opportunity to get in your work on the pastry and other bric-a-brac near
you at the time.



SWEET SAINT VALENTINE.

|It is the evening of St. Valentine's Day, and I am thinking of the long
ago. St. Valentine's Day is nothing now but a blessed memory. Another
landmark has been left behind in our onward march toward the great
hereafter. We come upon the earth, battle a little while with its joys
and its griefs, and then we pass away to give place to other actors on
the mighty stage.

Only a few short years ago what an era St. Valentine's Day was to me.
How I still get valentines, but they are different and they effect me
differently. They are not of so high an order of merit artistically, and
the poetry is more impudent and less on the turtle-dove order.

Some may be neglected on St. Valentine's Day, but I am not. I never go
away by myself and get mad because I have been overlooked. I generally
get valentines enough to paper a large hall. I file them away carefully
and sell them back to the dealer for next year. Then the following St.
Valentine's Day I love to look at the familiar features of those I have
received in the years agone.

One of these blessed valentines I have learned to love as I do my life.
I received it first in 1870. It represents a newspaper reporter with
a nose on him like the woman's suffrage movement. It is a large,
enthusiastic nose of a bright bay color with bias folds of the same,
shirred with dregs of wine. How well I know that nose. The reporter is
represented in tight green pants and orange coat. The vest is scarlet
and the necktie is maroon, shot with old gold.

The picture represents the young journalist as a little bit disposed to
be brainy. The intellect is large and abnormally prominent. It hangs out
over the deep-set eyes like the minority juror on the average panel.

I cannot help contrasting this dazzling five-cent valentine with the
delicate little poem in pale blue and Torchon lace which I received in
the days of yore from the red-headed girl with the wart on her thumb.
Ah! how little of genuine pleasure have fame and fortune to offer us
compared with that of sitting behind the same school desk with the
Bismarck blonde of the school and with her alternately masticating the
same hunk of spruce gum.

I sometimes chew gum nowadays to see if it will bring back the old
pleasant sensations, but it don't. The teacher is not watching me now.
There is too little restraint, and the companion, too, who then assisted
in operating the gum business, and used to spit on her slate with such
elegance and abandon, and wipe it thoughtfully off with her apron, she
too is gone. One summer day when the little birds were pouring forth
their lay, and the little lambs were frisking on the green sward, and
yanking their tails athwart the ambient air, she lit out for the
great untried West with a grasshopper sufferer. The fluff and bloom
of existence for her too is gone. She bangs eternal punishment out of
thirteen consecutive children near Ogallalla, Neb., and wears out her
sweet girlish nature working up her husband's underclothes into a rag
carpet. It seems tough, but such is life.



CARRYING REVOLVERS.

|The righteous war against the carrying of pistols is still going
bravely on all over the country, and the mayors of the larger cities are
making it red hot for every one who violates the law.

This is right. No man ever carried one that he did not intend to kill
some one with it. If he does not intend to kill some one, why does he
carry a deadly weapon? The result is that very often a man who, if he
had gone unarmed as he ought to, would have been a respected citizen,
becomes a caged murderer with a weeping, widowed wife and worse than
orphaned children at home.

We used to feel at times as though here in this western country we were
having a pretty lonesome time of it, never having killed anybody, and we
began to think that in order to command respect we would have to start a
private cemetery, so one time when we had a good opportunity we drew our
pop on a man and shot at him.

He often writes to us now and tells us how healthy he is. Before we shot
at him he used to have trouble with his digestion, and every spring
he was so bilious that he didn't care whether he lived or not. How he
weighs 200 and looks forward to a long and useful life.

Still the revolver is not always a health promoter. It is more deadly
as a general rule for the owner than any one else. Half at least of the
distressing accidents that occur as a result of carrying a pistol, are
distressing mainly to the man who carries the weapon.

We sometimes think that if editors would set the example, and instead
of going around armed to the teeth, would rely on the strength of their
noble manhood and a white oak club, others would follow and discard the
pistol. For a year we have been using a club, with the best results, and
although the exercise has been pretty severe at times, the death rate
has been considerably reduced, and many of our citizens have been spared
to bless the community with their presence.

Let the press of the country take hold of this thing, and the day will
come when a man may enter the editorial office as fearlessly as now he
goes into the postoffice.

Nothing unnerves a man like going into a sanctum and finding fragments
of an old acquaintance scattered over the velvet carpet, or ruthlessly
jammed into a porcelain cuspidore.



THE AGITATED HEN.

|Dear reader, did you ever wrestle with a hen that had a wild,
uncontrollable desire to incubate? Did you ever struggle on, day after
day, trying to convince her that her mission was to furnish eggs for
your table instead of hovering all day on a door knob, trying to hatch
out a litter of front doors?

William II. Root, of this place, who has made the hen a study, both in
her home life and while lying in the embrace of death, has struck upon
an argument which the average hen will pay more attention to than any
other he has discovered in his researches.

He says the modern hen ignores almost everything when she once gets the
notion that she has received a call to incubate. You can deluge her with
the garden hose, or throw old umbrellas at her, or change her nest, but
that don't count with the firm and stubborn hen. You can take the
eggs out of the nest and put a blooded bull-dog or a nest of new-laid
bumblebees in place of them, and she will hover over them as assiduously
as she did before.

William H. Root's hen had shown some signs of this mania, so he took out
the eggs and let her try her incubate on a horse rake awhile, just so
she could kind of taper off gradual and not have her mind shattered.
Then he tried her at hatching out four-tined forks, and at last her
taste got so vitiated that she took the contract to furnish the country
with bustles by hatching out an old hoop skirt that had gone to seed.

Mr. Boot then made an experiment. We were one of a board of scientists
who assisted in the consultation. The owner of the hen got a strip of
red flannel and tied it around her tail.

The hen seemed annoyed as soon as she discovered it, No hen cares to
have a sash hung on her system that doesn't match her complexion. A
seal-brown hen with a red flannel polonaise don't seem to harmonize, and
she is aware of it just as much as anybody is.

That hen seemed to have thought of something all at once that had
escaped her mind before, and so she went away.

She stepped about nine feet at a lick on the start and gained time as
she proceeded. When she bumped her nose against the corner of the stable
she changed her mind about her direction. She altered her course a
little, but continued her rapid style of movement.

Her eyes began to look wild. She seemed to be losing her reason. She got
so pretty soon that she did'nt recognize the faces of her friends.
She passed Mr. Root without being able to distinguish him from a total
stranger.

These peculiar movements were kept up during the entire afternoon, till
the hen got so fatigued that she crawled into a length of old stovepipe,
and the committee retired to prepare a report.

[Illustration: 0271]

It is the opinion of the press that this is a triumph of genius in hen
culture. It is not severe, though linn, in its treatment and while it
of course annoys and unmans the hen temporarily, it is salutary in its
results, and at the same time it furnishes a pleasant little matinee
for the spectators. We say to those upon whose hands time hangs heavily
these long-days, that there is nothing that soothes the ruffled mind and
fills the soul with a glad thrill of pleasure like the erratic movements
of a decorated hen. It may not be a high order of enjoyment, but it
affords a great deal of laugh to the superficial foot to those who are
not very accomplished, and who laugh at things and then consider its
propriety afterward.

A FRONTIER INCIDENT.

|Calamity is the name of a man who lives in the gold camp of Cummins
City. He has another name, but nobody seems to know what it is. It has
been torn off the wrapper some way, and so the boys call him Calamity.

He is a man of singular mind and construction. The most noticeable
feature about Calamity is his superstitious dread of muscular activity.
Some people will not tackle any kind of business enterprise on Friday.
Calamity is even more the victim of this vague superstition, and has
a dread of beginning work on any day of the week, for fear that some
disaster may befall him.

Last spring he had a little domestic trouble, and his wife made
complaints that Calamity had worn out an old long-handled shovel on her,
trying to convince her about some abstruse theory of his.

The testimony seemed rather against Calamity, and the miners told him
that as soon as they got over the rush a little and had the leisure they
would have to hang him.

They hoped he would take advantage of the hurry of business and go
away, because they didn't want to hang him so early in the season. But
Calamity didn't go away. He stayed because it was easier to stay than
it was to go. He did not, of course, pine for the notoriety of being
the first man hung in the young camp, but rather than pull up stakes and
move away from a place where there were so many pleasant associations,
he concluded to stay and meet death calmly in whatever form he might
come.

One evening, after the work of the day was done and the boys had eaten
their suppers, one of them suggested that it would be a good time to
hang Calamity. So they got things in shape and went down to the Big
Laramie bridge.

Calamity was with them. They got things ready for the exercise to begin,
and then asked the victim if he had anything to say. He loosened the
rope around his neck a little with one hand, so that he could speak with
more freedom, and holding his pantaloons on with the other, said:

"Gentlemen of the convention, I call you to witness that this public
demonstration toward me is entirely unsought on my part. I have never
courted notoriety.

"Plugging along in comparative obscurity is good enough for me. This
is the first time I have ever addressed an audience. That is why I am
embarrassed and ill at ease.

"You have brought me here to hang me because I seem harsh and severe
with my wife. You have entered the hallowed presence of my home life and
assumed the prerogative of subverting my household discipline.

"It is well. I do not care to live, so long as my authority is
questioned. You have already changed my submissive wife to an arrogant
and self-reliant woman.

"Yesterday I told her to go out and grease the wagon, and she
straightened up to her full height and told me to grease it myself.

"I have always been kind and thoughtful to her. When she had to go up
in the gulch in the winter after firewood, my coat shielded her from
the storm while I sat in the cabin through the long hours. I could name
other instances of unselfishness on my part, but I will not take up your
time.

"She uses my smoking tobacco, and kicks my vertebræ into my hat on the
most unlooked-for occasions. She does not love me any more, and life to
me is only a hollow mockery.

"Death, with its wide waste of eternal calm, and its shoreless sea of
rest, is a glad relief to me. I go, but I leave in your midst a skittish
and able-bodied widow who will make Rome howl. I bequeath her to this
camp. She is yours, gentlemen. She is all I have to give, but in giving
her to you, I feel that my untimely death will always be looked upon in
this gulch as a dire calamity.

"The day will come when you will look back upon this awful night and
wish that I was alive again; but it will be too late. I will be far
away. My soul will be in the land where domestic infelicity and cold
feet can never enter.

"Bury me at the foot of Vinegar Hill, where the sage hen and the fuzzy
bumblebee may gambol o'er my lowly grave."

When Calamity had finished, an impromptu caucus was called, and when it
was adjourned, Calamity went home to his cabin to surprise his wife. She
hasn't fully recovered from the surprise as we go to press.



BANKRUPT SALE OF LITERARY GEMS.



OFFICE OF THE MORMAN BAZOO.

|Little boys who are required by their teacher to write compositions at
school can save a great deal of unnecessary worry and anxiety by calling
on the editor of this paper, and glancing over the holiday stock of
second-hand poems and essays. Debating clubs and juvenile lyceums
supplied at a large reduction. The following are a few selections, with
price:

"Old Age," a poem written in red ink, price ten cents. "The Dog," blank
verse, written on foolscap with a hard pencil, five cents. "Who will
love me all the while?" a tale, price three cents per pound. "Hold me
in your clean, white arms," song and dance, by the author of "Beautiful
Snow," price very reasonable; it must be sold. "She ain't no longer
mine, nor I ain't hern," or the sad story of two sundered hearts; spruce
gum and licorice taken in exchange for this piece. "God: His attributes
and peculiarities," will be sold at a cent and a half per pound, or
traded for a tin dipper for the office. Give us a call before purchasing
elsewhere.

The stock on hand must be disposed of, in order to give place to the
new stock of odes and sonnets on spring, and contributions on the "the
violet" and the "skipful lamb."



HINTS ON LETTER-WRITING.

|Neat and beautiful penmanship is very desirable in business
correspondence, but it is most important that you should not spell God
with a little g or codfish with a k. Ornamental penmanship is good, but
it will not take the cuss off if you don't know how to spell. Read your
letter over carefully after you have written it, if you can; if not send
it with an apology about the rush of business. In ordering goods, state
whether you will remit soon or whether the account should be placed in
the refrigerator.



SUDDEN FAME.

|A man works twenty years to become known as a scholar, a newspaper man
and a gentleman, while the illiterate murderer springs into immediate
notoriety in a day, and the widow of his victim cannot even get her life
insurance. These things are what make people misanthropic and tenacious
of their belief in a hell.



THE ENGLISH JOKE.

|The average English joke has its peculiarities. A sort of mellow
distance. A kind of chastened reluctance. A coy and timid, yet trusting,
though evanescent intangibility which softly lingers in the untroubled
air, and lulls the tired senses to dreamy rest, like the subdued murmur
of a hoarse jackass about nine miles up the gulch.

He must be a hardened wretch, indeed, who has not felt his bosom heave
and the scalding tear steal down his furrowed cheek after he has read an
English joke. There can be no hope for the man who has not been touched
by the gentle, pleading, yet all potent sadness embodied in the humorous
paragraph of the true Englishman.





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