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Title: Harper's Round Table, December 22, 1896
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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 "Harper's Round Table, December 22, 1896" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



[Illustration: HARPER'S ROUND TABLE]

Copyright, 1896, by HARPER & BROTHERS. All Rights Reserved.

       *       *       *       *       *

PUBLISHED WEEKLY. NEW YORK, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 22, 1896. FIVE CENTS A
COPY.

VOL. XVIII.--NO. 895. TWO DOLLARS A YEAR.

       *       *       *       *       *



[Illustration]

JOHN HENRY.

BY MARY E. WILKINS.


Two days before Christmas John Henry sat on the top rail of the fence
which separated the seven-acre lot from the oat-field. There were five
rails in the fence, on account of two cows addicted to jumping being
kept in the seven-acre lot, and consequently John Henry was perched at
quite a dizzy height from the ground. His mother would have been
exceedingly nervous had she seen him there. He was her only child; his
two older brothers had died in infancy; he had himself been very
delicate, and it had been hard work to rear him. The neighbors said that
Martha Anne Lewis had brought up John Henry wrapped in cotton-wool under
a glass shade, and that she believed him to be both sugar and salt as
far as sun and rain were concerned. "Never lets him go out in the hot
sun without an umbrella," said they, "and never lets him out at all on a
rainy day--always keeps him at home, flattening his nose against the
window-pane."

Poor John Henry's mother was afraid to have him climb trees or coast
down hill, and he might never have enjoyed these boyish sports had it
not been for his father. When he was quite small, his father took him
out in the pine woods and taught him how to climb a tall tree.

"Don't you be afraid, sonny. A boy can't live in this world and not be
picked on unless he can climb."

John Henry went to the top of the tree in triumph, and when his mother
turned pale at the recital, his father only laughed.

"I'd have caught him if he'd fallen, Martha Anne," he said; "and John
Henry has got to climb a tree, unless you want to set him up for a girl
and done with it."

However, Mrs. Lewis stipulated that John Henry should not climb unless
his father was with him, and also that he should not go coasting without
him. The result was that until John Henry was twelve he had had very few
boy-mates. He went to the district school, but that was only a quarter
of a mile from his home, and he did not have to carry his dinner, and he
always came straight home, because his mother was so anxious if he was
late.

"Better humor your mother, sonny, and not stay to play with the boys,
she gets so worried," his father told him.

So John Henry always trudged faithfully home, in spite of cajoling
shouts, and sometimes taunts about being tied to mother's apron-strings.
However, the taunts were rather cautiously given; John Henry, mother's
boy though he was, had still a pretty spirit of his own, and his small
fists were harder than they looked. Once or twice there had been a
scuffle, in which he had not been worsted. His mother had chided and
wept over him on his return, and held anxious consultations with the
teachers and the other boys' mothers, but John Henry had gained his firm
footing in school, in spite of his pink face, his smooth hair, his
little ruffled shirts, and the cake and sugared doughnuts which he
brought to eat at recess. None of the other boys brought such luncheons;
indeed, the most of them were dependent upon spruce gum and the cores of
their friends' apples, and none of them wore such fine clothes.

It was quite a grief to Mrs. Lewis that she could not exercise as much
taste upon a son's personal adornment as she could have done upon a
daughter's, but she did all she was able. John Henry wore ruffled
shirts, and carried hem-stitched pocket-handkerchiefs, his mittens were
knitted in fancy stitches, and he had little slippers with roses
embroidered on the toes to wear in the house. She also feather-stitched
his blue-jean overalls.

John Henry's father, who was a farmer, insisted that his son should
learn to work on the farm, and his mother, though she would have
preferred to have had him in the house with her making quilts and
pin-cushions, had to consent. Every day John Henry was arrayed in
overalls, and did his task in field and garden; but his mother
feather-stitched the overalls with white linen thread, though all the
neighbors laughed, and John Henry was privately ashamed of them.
However, his father bade him humor poor mother, and he never objected to
the decoration. John Henry wore the overalls now, for he had been
working with his father all the morning. There was no school all the
next week, on account of Christmas holidays. It was only a half-hour
before noon--John Henry's father had sent him home, lest his mother
should think he was working too long, and the boy had sat down on the
fence to take an observation on the way. John Henry was rather given to
pauses for reflection and observation upon his little way of life.

Although it was late in December, the day was quite mild; there was a
warm haze in the horizon distances, and the wind blew in soft puffs from
the south. John Henry had taken his jacket off--it lay on the ground
beside the fence. He shrugged his blue-jean knees up to his chin,
clasped his hands around them, and stared ahead with blue reflective
eyes. He did not see a boy coming across the field; he did not even hear
him whistle, though it was a loud pipe of "Marching through Georgia." He
did not notice him until he had reached the fence and hailed with a
gruff "Hullo!" Then he looked down and saw Jim Mills.

"Hullo!" responded John Henry.

Jim Mills was carrying a sack of potatoes; he let it slip to the ground,
and leaned against the fence with a sigh.

"Heavy?" inquired John Henry.

"Try it an' see."

"Where did you bring it from?"

"Thatcher's. Thought I'd come across lots, 'cause it was shorter. Where
you been?"

"Been workin' in the wood-lot."

Jim Mills looked mournfully at the potato-sack. "I've got to be goin',"
said he. "Mother wants these for dinner."

John Henry jumped down from the fence and gave the sack a manful tug
from the ground. "I'll carry it as far as my house," said he.

"You can't."

"Can, too."

The two boys moved on across the old plough ridges of the field, John
Henry a little in the rear, swung sideways by the potato-bag like a ship
by its anchor.

"Going to the tree Tuesday night?" he panted, presently.

"Ketch me!" responded Jim Mills, surlily.

"Why ain't you going?"

"What would I be going for, I'd like to know?"

"There's going to be a Christmas tree, an' you'll have something."

"What'll I have?" demanded Jim Mills, fiercely.

He turned around in the cart path and faced John Henry. He was a thin
boy, very small for his age, with a fringe of pale hair blowing under
his old cap, over big gray eyes sunken in pathetic hollows. Many people
thought that Jim Mills looked as if he did not have enough to eat.

"What d'yer s'pose I had last year?" asked he.

John Henry shook his head.

"Well, I'll tell you. I had a candy-bag and an orange and a girl's book
from the teacher. She said she was sorry there wasn't enough boys' books
to go round. When I got home I gave the candy-bag to the baby, and the
orange to little Hattie and 'Melia, and 'Liza Ann she had the book. I
ain't going to any more Christmas trees."

"Maybe you'll get something more this year," ventured John Henry,
feebly.

"Where'll I get it? Tell me that, will you? Father an' mother can't give
me anything. There's nobody but the teacher. Reckon I'll get another
girl's book from her, an' then I'll have the candy-bag an' the orange,
same as all the others, out of the school money. What would you think,
John Henry Lewis, if that was all you was goin' to have?"

John Henry shook his head vaguely.

"Guess you wouldn't go to the Christmas tree any more than some other
folks," said Jim Mills. "There you've got your father and your mother,
and your uncle Joe and your aunt Jane, and your aunt Louisa and your
grandfather and grandmother Lewis and your grandmother Atkins, to bring
presents to the tree for you. How'd you feel if you had to go there and
hark for your name to be called, and hear it: 'John Henry Lewis'--then
you march out before 'em all and git a little candy-bag; 'John Henry
Lewis'--then you march out and get an orange; 'John Henry Lewis'--then
you march out and get a girl's book, and all of them things that
everybody else has? Guess you'd be ashamed to go to Christmas trees as
much as me. If your folks be poor and can't have things, I guess you
don't want to tell of it before everybody."

Jim Mills turned about and went on with a defiant stride; John Henry
followed, tugging the potato-sack. When the boys reached the house his
mother called out of the window to set it down directly, he would lame
his shoulders, and Jim Mills flushed all over his little pinched face.

"Told you it was too heavy for you," he muttered.

"It's as light as a feather, mother," called John Henry.

He ran around to the wood-shed and got a little wheelbarrow and loaded
the potato-sack into that.

"There! you can carry it easier this way," he said; and Jim Mills
trundled off, without any thanks save an acquiescent grunt. Jim Mills
had so few favors shown him that sometimes they seemed to awaken within
him an indignant surprise, instead of gratitude.

John Henry was so abstracted during dinner that his mother feared he was
ill, and wished him to take some tincture of rhubarb. After dinner he
went out in the barn, and curled himself up in the hay-mow to think.
During the next two days he seemed to be in a brown study. Monday, the
day before Christmas, Jim Mills brought the wheelbarrow home, and John
Henry beckoned him into the barn.

"Look here, Jim; you'd better go to that tree to-morrow night."

"What for, I'd like to know?"

"Oh, 'cause you'd better."

"Why had I better? I ain't going to tramp half a mile to that old
school-house to get a candy-bag and an orange and a girl's book."

"Say, Jim, you go."

"What for?"

"Oh, something," replied John Henry, mysteriously and evasively.

Jim Mills's gray eyes took on a sudden sharpness. "What d'yer mean?"

"Oh, nothing. I rather guess you'll get something more this time,
though."

"Say what you heard, John Henry Lewis!" Jim Mills questioned, eagerly.

"I didn't say I'd heard anything. You just better go to the Christmas
tree, though; if you don't, you'll be sorry."

"You're fooling?"

"No, I ain't fooling!"

Finally Jim Mills agreed to go to the Christmas tree; in fact, John
Henry made him promise solemnly, though he would not give his reason.
However, Jim Mills went home in a state of bewildered expectation and
elation. He was finally convinced that somebody was going to hang
something fine on the Christmas tree for him, that John Henry knew it,
and had promised not to tell. The tree was to be in the district
school-house. All Tuesday afternoon John Henry, with some other boys and
girls, worked hard decorating the school-house with evergreen. The tree
had been set up in the morning, and people had begun to bring the
presents; the teacher and some of the older girls were tying them on.
Now and then John Henry made a détour in that direction, and peeped
furtively. Before he went home he made quite sure that all the presents
which he expected were there. He counted them over as he trudged home
over the moonlit snow-crust. A deep snow had fallen on Sunday, and so
averted the danger of a green Christmas. The moon was full, and
considerably above the horizon, though it was still early. John Henry
hurried, for he had much to do.

Supper was all ready when he reached home, and he ate it so hastily that
his mother was afraid he would have indigestion. After supper he went up
to his room and put on his best clothes, which his mother had laid out
on the bed for him. Then he watched his chance--standing at the head of
the stairs, and making sure that the doors below were shut--of stealing
softly down and out of the front door.

It was about an hour before the time set for the Christmas festivities.
He sped along through the moonlight. Twice he saw some one coming far
down the road, and slunk to the cover of a bush, like a rabbit. One man
went crunching past without a pause, but the other stopped when he
neared the bush, and stared about him incredulously.

"I swan, I thought I see somebody ahead here," John Henry heard him say.
He hugged close to the shadow of the bush until the squeaking crunch of
the man's footsteps were out of hearing, then he came out and ran for
the school-house, which was not far distant.

The windows were quite dark, and the door was locked. John Henry,
however, was not dependent upon a door; he raised a window, and climbed
in easily enough. The little interior was full of the spicy fragrance of
evergreen, which had also a subtle festive suggestiveness. John Henry
stole across to the desk, took a match from his pocket, and lighted a
lamp, and then the tree blazed out. It was a fine tall tree, festooned
with garlands of pop-corn, and grafted, as it were, into splendid and
various fruit bearing. John Henry was not long in the school-house. He
had brought a lead-pencil and rubber, and had noted the exact hanging
places of his presents. It was barely ten minutes before the windows
were again dark and John Henry was hurrying home.

His mother, who was very busy putting on a new brown cashmere dress, and
his father, who was shaving, had not missed him. He stole in quietly,
and sat down by the sitting-room stove. He was elated, but he had some
misgivings. He was quite sure of his good motives, and yet there was a
little sense of guilt.

When at length he started again, with his father and mother, he was very
quiet. His mother asked him two or three times on the way if he did not
feel well, and pulled his scarf more closely around his neck.

The district school-house was packed that evening; all the scholars and
their families had come. Jim Mills was already there when John Henry
entered, and rolled his eyes about at him with a curious expression of
mingled hope and doubt.

Poor Jim Mills turned pale when the distribution of gifts began, and
listened intently, every nerve strained, for his own name. He had not
long to wait. He went down the aisle, his knees shaking, and
received--not an orange, not a candy-bag, not the girl's book, of which
he had still a bitter suspicion, but a parcel which at the first touch
he knew, with a bewilderment of rapture, to contain skates. He had
scarcely reached his seat before his name was called again, and forth he
went for the second time, and was given a jack-knife with many blades.
Then he went up to receive a top, then a boy's book, then another boy's
book, then a pair of beautiful red mittens, then a sled. Jim Mills
started up at the sound of his name and traversed the school-room until
everybody stared, and the teacher began to look puzzled and anxious. She
consulted with the committee-man who was distributing the presents, and
his wife, who had been helping her that afternoon. Then she went to John
Henry's father and mother, and one of his aunts who was there, and they
all whispered together. Finally she bent over Jim Mills and whispered to
him, and he immediately crooked his arm around his face, leaned forward
upon his desk, and began to cry. He was a nervous boy; he had not eaten
much that day, and the fall from such an unwonted height of joyful
possession was a hard one.

"You must tell me the truth, Jim Mills," the teacher whispered, sharply.

"I--didn't," responded Jim Mills, with a painful cry, as if she had
struck him.

"If you did come in here while we were gone and mark John Henry Lewis's
presents over for yourself, tell me at once, if you do not want to be
very severely punished," said the teacher, quite aloud.

Jim Mills did not repeat his denial; he only gave a great heaving sob.
The scholars stood up in their seats to see.

"What a wicked boy!" exclaimed a woman near John Henry.

"He ought to be put in jail," returned another.

"He didn't do it!" John Henry cried out, wildly.

"He must have," said the first woman.

"Yes; you're a real good boy to stand up for him, but he must have,"
agreed the second woman.

"I tell you he didn't!" almost screamed John Henry; but they paid no
more attention. He called the teacher, waving his arms frantically, but
she was still busy with Jim Mills, and did not hear or see him. He tried
to get up the aisle to her, but it was now blocked. He could not reach
his father and mother for the same reason.

Finally John Henry Lewis made a desperate plunge down the aisle, and
into the middle of the floor beside the tree. He raised his hand, and
everybody stared at him. He was very pale, and his voice almost failed
him, but he persisted in the first speech of his life.

"I did it," said he. "He mustn't be blamed. He didn't know anything
about it. I told him he'd better come to-night, 'cause he'd get
something nice, but that was all he knew about it. All he had last
Christmas was an orange and a candy-bag and a girl's book, and he wasn't
coming again. I had all the presents and he didn't have anything, and so
I swapped. He ain't the one to be blamed; I am."

John Henry, pretty little mother's boy that he was, stood before them
all, tingling with the rare shame of a generous action, meeting the
astonished faces with the courage of one who invites punishment for
guilt.

There was a pause--some one said afterwards that there were five minutes
during which you might have heard a pin drop--then a woman caught her
breath with something like a sob, and the teacher spoke.

"You may go to your seat, John Henry," said she.

       *       *       *       *       *

After the Christmas tree that night there was great speculation as to
whether Jim Mills would be allowed to keep John Henry Lewis's presents,
and as to what John Henry's folks would say to him.

It was ascertained beyond doubt that Jim Mills did keep the presents,
and it was reported that all John Henry's father said to him was that in
future he mustn't lay his plans to do anything like that without telling
his folks about it. As for John Henry's mother, she and his grandmother
Atkins bought him a little silver watch for a New-Year's present,
because they felt uneasy about letting him sacrifice quite so much. His
grandmother, who was superstitious, said that John Henry had always been
delicate, and she was afraid it was a bad sign.



[Illustration]

CHRISTMAS AT THE DOOR.

BY MARGARET E. SANGSTER.


  Here's Christmas at the door again!
    There's never a day so dear,
  Nor one we are half so glad to see,
    In the course of the whole round year.

  It isn't that Santa Claus comes back,
    And his hands with gifts are full;
  It isn't that we have holidays,
    When we need not go to school.

  But the air is thrilled with happiness,
    The crowds go up and down,
  And people laugh and shout for joy
    When Christmas comes to town.

  There's nobody left to stand outside,
    The world is bright with cheer,
  For Christmas-time is the merriest time
    In the whole of the big round year.

  We try to love our enemies now,
    And our friends we love the more,
  That strife and anger fade away
    When Christmas taps at the door.



"THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS."


[Illustration: CLEMENT C. MOORE.]

The author of the famous poem that recounts in such graphic language
"The Visit of St. Nicholas" was born in the city of New York, July 15,
1779. His boyhood was passed at the country-seat of his father, called
Chelsea, then far remote from the city, but now a very thickly settled
portion of it, and embracing a large tract in the vicinity of Ninth
Avenue and Twenty-third Street.

Dr. Moore received his early education in Latin and Greek from his
father, the venerable Bishop of New York, and in 1798 he graduated from
Columbia College. He devoted himself to the study of the Hebrew
language, and the result of his labors appeared in the form of a Hebrew
and English Lexicon, which was published in 1809, and he was thus the
pioneer in the work of Hebrew lexicography. In 1821 Dr. Moore was made
Professor of Biblical Learning in the General Theological Seminary of
the Episcopal Church. From his magnificent estate he donated to the
Episcopal Church the tract on Ninth Avenue between Twentieth and
Twenty-first streets, and the Theological Seminary there erected is a
lasting monument to his liberality and devotion to the sacred cause.

In the intervals between the time devoted to more serious studies his
principal amusement was writing short poems for the amusement of his
children, and among them was "The Visit of St. Nicholas," which was
written for them as a Christmas gift about 1840. The idea, he states,
was derived from an ancient legend, which was related to him by an old
Dutchman who lived near his father's home, and told him the story when a
boy.

In those days every young lady was supposed to have an "album," and a
relative who was visiting the family quickly transferred the verses to
hers. They were first published, much to the surprise of the author, in
a newspaper printed in Troy. They attracted immediate attention, and
were copied and recopied in newspapers and periodicals all over the
country. An illustrated edition, in book form, was published about 1850,
and since then School Readers have made them familiar to generation
after generation of children. They have been translated into foreign
languages, and a learned editor informed us of his delight and surprise
when travelling in Germany to hear them recited by a little girl in her
own native tongue.

After a long life of honor and usefulness, Dr. Moore died, at his summer
residence in New York, July 10, 1863. For him may be claimed the
peculiar distinction of being the author of the two extremes of
literature--learned works on ancient languages for profound scholars,
and Christmas verses for little children. The learned works, upon which
he spent years of constant labor, have been superseded by works of still
greater research, but the man is yet to be born who can write anything
to supersede the little poem that has made Santa Claus and his tiny
reindeer a living reality to thousands of children throughout our broad
land.

[Illustration: REDUCED FAC-SIMILE OF THE MANUSCRIPT OF DR. MOORE'S
FAMOUS POEM.]



THE WORD OF THE GUNS.

BY EARLE TRACY.

The little _Mystery_ was lying off the pier at Martinez's. Night had
covered sail-boat and row-boat alike, and while all Potosi gathered
towards the front celebrating Christmas eve with the rockets and the
fire-crackers that are not once thought of on the Fourth of July, Mr.
Martinez and Bascom were silently carrying bags of gold on board the
_Mystery_. As the sails ran up in the snapping cold, the mournful cry of
her ropes was the only sound on the Back Bay, and it smote Bascom; and
Mr. Martinez's grasp and his whispered cautions to Captain Tony, and the
solemn gold that he had carried, weighed upon his heart as they put out.

Everything had been arranged on the deck for mounting the one which was
best preserved of the six mysterious old cannon that he had found the
summer before sunk in Potomoc Bay. It had been left covered by
tarpaulins in a row-boat off Captain Tony's point, where they could get
it as they passed. They ran the schooner across from Mr. Martinez's to
the point, and neither of them spoke along the way. When they reached
the boat, Bascom sprang over into it and lifted off the tarpaulins.
There was nothing underneath.

"The cannon's gone," he whispered. "What does it mean?"

"Somebody playin' a joke to spoil our fun," said the Captain, and the
darkness hid the worried frown upon his face. "Yo' mus' go ashore an'
look for it; bud doan' be long."

"Looks like it's too funny for a joke," said Bascom, "less'n it's one of
ole Captain Aristide's. I never heard of his playin' one, only he was
along here to-day when I was a-polishin' the gun, an' he seemed mighty
inter_est_ed. It kind o' shivered me, but I went on sweet an' innocent
about our keepin' Christmas, firin' in the channel."

"Aristide?" repeated Captain Tony, and he crossed his arms on the tiller
and pulled his hat down over his eyes, and thought, while Bascom rowed
ashore. Captain Aristide Lorat was known by every one to be the
craftiest man along the coast. His neighbors had never guessed that in
his free and gallant youth he had been a pirate neither more nor less.
He was too old now to enjoy the personal risk of such enterprises, and
he gave his direct attention to a prosaic carrying trade; but his old
preferences survived in the form of a few boats which did whatever
smuggling or wrecking came in their way. They were seldom seen in
Pontomoc Bay, and had never been recognized in their true character nor
connected with Captain Lorat, and yet Captain Tony did not like to think
that old Aristide had been nosing in their affairs. For it was something
unusual that was taking the _Mystery_ out on Christmas eve.

Mr. Martinez, the owner of the great canning-factory for which Captain
Tony and Bascom sailed, was the chief of a quiet organization of Cubans
who were wealthy enough to make their patriotism of substantial
disadvantage to Spain. Just now, in one of the frequent insurrections,
there had been an unexpected call on the society for aid. A Cuban boat
was secretly coasting off Horn Island, waiting their messenger, for this
was at a time when the United States was not much inclined towards
sympathy. Martinez had two reasons for sending Captain Tony out to it.
Tony was infallibly prudent and brave, and he was trustworthy, both from
the integrity of character which made him dislike the mission, and from
an indebtedness to his employer which forbade his refusing it. Mr.
Martinez had given them the _Mystery_.

"They made a clean job," whispered Bascom, coming back. "They've taken
that and the two next best out'n the shed where I was polishin' them. It
must have been Captain Aristide. Has he any grudge agin us?"

"None dat I know of," the Captain said; "an' we can't stop an' study
'boud it now. It is of mo' impo'tance dat we do ouah wo'k dan dat we
fire guns, even to say dat it is done." Captain Tony's regret at taking
Bascom out on a holiday had suggested carrying the best cannon along and
firing it, for Bascom had been putting all his savings into ammunition
and fireworks for Christmas. Mr. Martinez approved, thinking a water
celebration would help to explain their going, and they were to fire him
a reassurance when they went through Potosi Channel on their way to the
oyster-beds when their mission had been carried out.

The actual fact of the case was that Captain Lorat needed no more than
the knowledge that a boat was going out. Other bits of knowledge gained
from other sources only required this to piece them to a whole. He
decided it would be better not to let Bascom have a gun on board, and
while the _Mystery_ was taking her cargo at Martinez's pier, he had all
of them that looked as if they might be used loaded upon a schooner that
had come into the bay since dark.

[Illustration: ONE OF THE MEN JUMPED ON BOARD AND GRAPPLED WITH THE
CAPTAIN.]

Toward three in the morning Bascom found his eyelids growing so heavy
that he could scarcely keep from drowsing against the mast in the snug
warm lee of the sail. The _Mystery_ was just about to round the Horn
when a row-boat load of men swished past her bows. Bascom drew himself
together and sprang swiftly to the rail. One of the men was already
climbing up the side, but he jumped on board and grappled with the
Captain. There was a volley of shots, and the Captain dodged into the
cabin, where the gold was stowed. The men swarmed up over the deck. For
a moment Bascom had thought they were the Cubans, but now he caught up
one of his rockets, lighted it, and held it steady while it rose. The
Cuban boat must surely be waiting round the point of the island, and it
would see the signal. A man leaped round the mast and knocked him down,
but as Bascom rolled over to the rail he saw the rocket singing up to
break in scintillating brightness through the night. He wriggled like a
cat to the stern and dropped down the hatchway. He pulled the hatches
shut, but there was a rush of feet along the deck, and the blade of the
anchor came crashing through the cabin-top. Bascom threw himself into a
bunk, and before the Captain, who was reloading in a corner, could close
his revolver and lift it, the roof was torn from over them; three men
poured in, seized the Captain and Bascom, bound them both, and carried
off the gold. The lantern hung battered, but its light was not out, and
the prisoners looked at each other in despair.

"Reckon I give it to dem better dan I got," he said, "bud I'm t'inkin'
'boud how we can catch dem again an' take ouah money back."

"I'm kind of expectin' comp'ny," said Bascom. "Them Cubans is dumber'n I
take 'em for if they don't mosey up to see what my rocket meant. I fired
one just as you dodged in the cabin."

"Dere is one question," Captain Tony said. "Get yo'se'f close an' tuhn a
little so I can take a bite at dat rope. Yo' signal may have attrac' de
government cruiser dat's lyin' off Ship Islan'."

"Oh!" said Bascom. "Well, we got a lot of time before they can steam
over." He rolled himself against the Captain, who craned his neck
forward and worked with his strong creole teeth at the knots. He was
still pulling at them when feet were heard scrambling to the deck again,
and two men looked in at the shattered hatch. They spoke to Captain Tony
in Spanish, of which Bascom only recognized the pass-word that Mr.
Martinez had given them.

"Dey come to yo' rocket," the Captain translated while the men unbound
them, "an' dey was in time to see de boat put off from de _Mystery_, so
de Cuban schooner has gone after dem, sendin' dese two men in a skiff
here."

"Which way've the scalawags gone?" inquired Bascom, jumping to his feet.

"De way dey had to," answered the Captain, hurrying to the deck. "Dey
reach deir schooner, an' as de Cubans was comin' from outside, dey had
to put in. We'll be ovah-haulin' dem; dese men say de Cuban boat is as
good at chasin' as she is at showing her heels. We goin' along too.
Reckon yo' has to tek de tiller," he added, and he stood by, with his
arm wrapped in a piece of canvas for a sling, and laid the course. Ahead
of them they could just see the Cuban boat plying back and forth with a
long tack and a short tack, and the _Mystery_ turned eastward. The Cuban
boat could not trust herself far inland where she did not know the
channels, and the smugglers would take their first opportunity to make a
sudden run east into one of the bayous; and Captain Tony determined
that the _Mystery_ should cut them off. It was a hare-and-hounds chase,
and the hours passed among the stars while the three boats doubled and
redoubled at top speed, gaining on one tack, losing on the next. Pale
clouds began to drift across the sky, and there was a taste of morning
in the wind. The Captain slapped Bascom on the back. "Yo' boy," he
chuckled, "dat Cuban boat is de stuff! She's run dem down so fine dat
dey's headin' 'cross de shoals, an' dey boun' to stay dere an' wait faw
us, by my reckonin'."

Bascom giggled, but the Captain whistled in a new tone. "W'at in de name
of reason!" he exclaimed; "dey tu'nin' back across de Cuban's course? Oh
ho!"

A cloud of smoke went up, and there was a great rumbling hoarse report
such as had not been heard in those waters since the war. "Dey firin'!"
the Captain gasped. The sound vibrated among the waves and sank away,
and the smoke cleared. The Cuban was not hurt. She turned like a girl
courtesying, and a sharper shot came caracoling on the waves, this time
from her.

"De mad folly!" shouted the Captain. "Dey wan' to raise de dead, let
alone all de cruisers on de coas'!"

Bascom danced at the tiller. He was quivering with his first thrill of
war--not only war between the Cubans and the smugglers, but soon with
the United States. Over their shoulders he could see the faint line of a
cruiser's smoke against the west. The Captain was looking very grave.
"Dis'll be de darkes' day de _Mystery_ seen yet," he said. "I 'ain't
nevah liked dis job, me, bud it look like we couldn' refuse."

"One thing for the firing," said Bascom, "it's Christmas mornin'."

"Christmas gift," said the Captain, grimly. "Reckon de smugglers is
sayin' it! Dey los' a mas' by dat las' shot."

"Christmas--" ejaculated Bascom, and stopped short as the whistle of the
wind in the rigging was drowned again by a terrific explosion that shook
the sea. As they peered out under the smoke, something dropped like a
spent ball on the deck. The Captain picked it up, and after a moment's
scrutiny passed it over to Bascom. It was an unmistakable fragment from
the muzzle of one of Bascom's guns. The peculiar alloy that was neither
brass nor bronze, and that had puzzled every one when the guns were
raised, left no opening for doubt.

"Golly," said Bascom, "rather bust than shoot agin its frien's!" He
stroked the powder-smelling piece against his cheek and almost kissed it
for delight.

The Captain noted the growing trail of smoke in the west and spoke to
the two Cubans. One of them pointed at the smugglers' schooner. She was
settling fast, and the men on board of her were raising a white flag.
The _Mystery_ and the Cuban boat answered the signal, and the three
Captains met on board the _Mystery_ to make terms.

The smuggler Captain was a tall, pleasant-faced American of Scotch
descent, with a wounded cheek and big fierce-looking mustaches. "I've
got the best of myself so bad," he declared, "that you can say what you
want, but it'll not be to your advantage to leave my schooner standing
on the edge of the bar to tell tales; so what I propose is this: I'll
give you back your scads without any more fuss if you'll tow what's left
of her into Davis Bayou out of sight and give us permission to skip."

The Cuban Captain declined to do this, and it was finally decided that
while the _Mystery_ beat back and forth in the sound, the Cuban should
tow the smugglers out of danger and then make good her own escape.

Bascom went across in the tender with the other skiffs to get his guns.
"Your boss is grit, ain't he?" said the smuggler Captain as they pulled
through the white foam on the bar. "I reckoned on an ordinary skeery
creole, but the way things has turned out, it's good I reckoned wrong."

"It would have been gooder for you if you hadn't reckoned on my guns,"
said Bascom, getting aboard the wreck, among a demoralized crew, and
laying his hand on the only piece he saw. "What's gone with the first
one? How did you know about 'em, anyhow?"

The Captain preluded his answer with a fair volley of imprecations. "And
I wish the fiends had taken 'em before they ever fouled my deck," he
finished. "I didn't count on firin' 'em; I jus' took 'em to keep you
from makin' a noise, but I brought along your ammunition for prudence
an' knowin' it would come handy some day, an' when I was close put I
jus' let 'em holler. First one broke loose an' jumped into the water,
shootin' at kingdom come, an' the nex' busted an' busted us, so I wish
you joy of firin' this third."

"Joy?" said Bascom; "well, I rather guess!" It was the one he had
planned for from the first, and which had been stolen from the row-boat.
"You wasn't allowing that guns what's seen enough of life to know what
side they're on would turn agin their frien's, was you? Just you listen
an' you'll hear this one speakin' calm and pleasant when she gets on
board the _Mystery_. And I'll give you this pointer," he added, from the
boat to which the gun had been lowered, "next time you want to borrow
something of mine, jus' remember that my things mos'ly has peculiar
workin's, an' I can manage 'em best."

Half or three-quarters of an hour later, when every trace of the wreck
was out of sight, and the sails of the Cuban boat were flitting
innocently between Horn Island and the shore on the way east, the United
States cruiser shone near at hand, trim and slender and dauntless in the
sunrise.

"Well," said Captain Tony, as they watched her despatch an officer
towards them in a boat, "it's jus' to brass it out now. We've got to do
it faw Mr. Martinez. He'll be in mighty bad troubl' if our tale don't
satisfy dat young chap comin' dere. Bud if it do, it's good enough faw
ev'ybody else--even ole Aristide, although it will disturb him mo' dan
he will say--if what we t'ink is true. Dis insurrection an'
secret-service business may be all hones' faw de peopl' dat belongs to
it, bud it cost me an' yo' an' de little _Mystery_ mo' in small feelin'
dan it pay, an' I say dis is de las' time faw enemy or frien'."

"Me too," cried Bascom, "an' the old gun thinks the same. They was dead
down on this from the start, an' I reckon that's the word what they've
waited so patient to get a chance to say."

The ship's boat drew alongside, and the officer came aboard to inquire,
with the commander's compliments, why a little battered schooner was
idling among the shoals in a norther, firing cannon.

Bascom and the Captain saluted together. "Christmas gifts," they cried.

"Usses had dese curious ole gun," the Captain explained, "w'at we raised
out of de water las' yeah, an' dis boy has been waitin' evah since faw
Christmas mornin' to fire 'em. An' I t'ought me dat it would be mo' safe
to come out heah an' try dem before firin' in Potosi Channel, as was his
wish. An' indeed it has prove dat I was right, for one of dem stepped
right off into de water dat it come from, an' de nex' it busted, as you
see," and he pointed to the cabin-top and to the bits of cannon that
Bascom had gathered for keep-sakes from the sinking boat.

"Usses has been havin' a reg'lar party," Bascom added. "You are our most
'ristocratic callers, but you isn't our first. They'll be takin' the
word of the guns clear to Mobile an' as far as you go, whichever way
that is."

"Then this is one of the forgotten guns that were raised in Pontomoc Bay
last summer?" the Lieutenant said. "I've heard of them." He examined the
piece like a toy. He was a young man with straightforward clear eyes
that commanded the same frankness they expressed, and had been very
uncomfortable to meet until this open subject was reached. The
Lieutenant saw Bascom's face light up with responsive enthusiasm, and he
ran on: "It may have belonged to one of the old discoverers. Why, I can
just see the old chaps that manned it when the ship went down, standing
on tiptoe round it, with their swords clanking and their queer old
clothes flapping in this very wind perhaps! You know I believe they
would like it if we had the old veteran fire a salute."

"Usses would like that too," the Captain said.

Bascom had no answer. He looked across to the ship where the stars and
stripes that had fought their way from so much ancient bravery were
riding high in the gold sun-light and the wind. He looked until his eyes
grew dim and the figure of the Lieutenant priming the cannon became
blurred so that all the shadowy old crew seemed to have marshalled
themselves aboard the _Mystery_ to man their gun. "Christmas gift," he
murmured, and his heart came up into his throat. Then the voice of the
gun rolled out, mellow and husky and peaceful after centuries of sleep.

The recoil went from stem to stern like a great thrill of joy. The smoke
swept away on the wind, and the Lieutenant touched Bascom on the
shoulder. There was an interval of silence, and then the man-of-war
saluted the little _Mystery_.



A LOYAL TRAITOR.

A STORY OF THE WAR OF 1812 BETWEEN AMERICA AND ENGLAND.

BY JAMES BARNES.


CHAPTER IX.

A PRIVATEERSMAN.

No one was stirring in the inn except a sleepy, draggle-headed pot-boy,
lazily sweeping out the tap-room. Although I was very hungry, I
determined on a ramble along the water-front before breakfast, and I
headed down the street.

I remembered very well where I had landed from the _Minetta_, and that
upon the occasion of her entering the harbor I had been surprised at the
number of vessels at the wharves; but now they seemed to be trebled. A
maze of masts and rigging arose above the tree-tops, but the scene
lacked the life and movement of loading and unloading.

The vessels appeared slovenly and unkempt, their yards at all angles,
and their shrouds sagging. Close to me, with a long bowsprit extending
almost into the front yard of one of the white houses that clustered at
the southern bend of the harbor, was a great three-masted ship. Her cut
was different from most of those that I had seen, but what held my eye
was this: her foremast had been spliced neatly with wrappings of great
rope, and three or four jagged breaks showed in her topsides and
bulwarks. She was lying close to a great warehouse that prevented a view
of the open bay, and I walked down the pier. The great vessel had
quarter-galleries, like a man-of-war, and above her rudder-post I read
the words, "_Northumberland_ of Liverpool"; then I remembered hearing
the night before that this vessel had come in under the lee of the
_Young Eagle_, and had been one of the richest fruits of her first
cruise.

When I reached the pier-head I walked out on the string-piece, and
climbing on the top of a pile of lumber, I looked out across the smooth
water. A quarter of a mile from shore lay the tidiest-looking craft that
I ever clapped my eyes on. She was not very small, but sat low in the
water. A backward rake to her masts gave her a jaunty appearance, and
the tall spars that lifted high above her deck looked as slender as
whipstocks. Her jib-boom was of tremendous length, but at that time I
did not know enough either to criticise or to appreciate her altogether
at a glance.

It was setting out to be a scorching day. The smell of sperm-oil and
pine timber came from beneath and about me, and so still was it that the
sound of a man rowing a dory over against the farther shore sounded
plainly. I could hear every thump in the thole-pins. The clicking of a
block and tackle broke out, and a musical high-toned bell hurriedly
struck the hour from the little brig. That she was the _Young Eagle_ I
had no doubt, and it flashed across me that maybe I had gotten myself in
somewhat of a predicament, and that maybe it would be better for me to
find Captain Temple and inform him that, while I did know something of
small arms, I was in truth nothing of a sailor.

I took the paper out of my pocket, and saw that there was no reference
made to performing the duties of seamanship, but that I had been
enlisted to instruct the crew in a branch with which I felt myself
perfectly familiar.

My old friend Plummer had promised to help me learn the ropes, and so I
determined to go ahead without any explaining.

Thinking that it would be best to report to my commander at the inn and
await his orders, I turned my footsteps back into the town. And as I
walked the path along the tree-lined street, why I should fall to
thinking of Mary Tanner I do not know. I took a squint down at myself in
my sailor finery, and rather admired the way the wide bell-shaped
trousers flapped about my ankles. The wish grew upon me that Mary could
see me as I was. Thus, with my head down, I hastened on, and did not
perceive that an open gate swung across the way until I had run afoul of
it, bows on.

As I leaned over to rub my shin I heard a laugh, and looking up, there,
not ten feet from me, was the very person who had been in my mind--Mary
Tanner herself! The power is given to women to control the expressions
of their feelings in a manner that fails men altogether. At least I
might say we are more clumsy at it. I was so astounded that I could not
speak a word, and stood there on one leg like a startled sand-piper. She
spoke first.

"Well, where did you come from?" she laughed, gathering up her apron in
one hand. It had been filled with roses she had been clipping from a
bush.

If the time had been longer since I had seen her, I think I might have
been tempted to reply from China or some distant port, as her laughter
galled me sharply. But as it was, I answered her somewhat falteringly,
to be sure,

"From up there," pointing with my fingers toward the north.

"How did you get away from Gaston?" she asked.

At the mention of the old man's name I could not help but give a glance
over my shoulder, at which Mary laughed and asked another question.

"Where did you get those outlandish clothes?"

"I'm a sailor," I replied, giving a hitch to my trousers.

"Oh no, you're not," said Mary, throwing back her head. "You're a boy."

"I wish you a good-morning, Mistress Tanner," I replied, making an
effort to pull off the tight-fitting Portugee cap, and only succeeding
in giving my hair a tweaking. "Good-morning, Mistress Tanner; time has
not improved your manners."

I walked away, angry. It is no evidence of superior wisdom on my part to
here make an observation; but six months of a town life will change a
woman and teach her more than five years spent on a hill-side farm, and
this is no falsehood. I had gone but a few rods when I heard my name
called, and, looking back, I saw Mary leaning over the fence and
beckoning to me with a rose in her fingers. Affecting a great deal of
leisure, I retraced my steps.

"Are you really going to sea?" she asked.

Now although I could see how great the change had been that had come
over her, this was spoken after the old manner; and despite the feeling
that things were not exactly as they had been, I felt more at my ease.

"I'm one of the crew of the _Young Eagle_," I replied, and I must
confess it, proudly.

"My!" was all Mary vouchsafed to this, but I noticed that her eyes
brightened and that she flushed. The rose she had been holding fell from
her hand, and I bent over and picked it up. As I offered to return it,
she looked at me slyly.

"Why don't you keep it?" she asked.

"Because you have not given it to me."

"Then I will give you another."

As I took the flower she extended, an entirely new sensation thrilled
me, and though this part of our short interview may be interesting or
not, I am glad to set it down fully.

"Oh, I've got some news to tell," said Mary, looking at me archly.

"What is it?" I inquired. "Good news?"

"Yes; I may be rich some day, John."

"Rich!" I exclaimed. "How is that, pray tell me?"

"You see, my grandfather who lives in Canada was a Tory," Mary
answered. "His name is Middleton--one of the Irish Middletons--and when
he left New London my mother would not go with him, for my father was an
American soldier. Now my grandfather wishes me to come to him."

"Oh, are you going?" I asked, with my heart beating loudly.

"Well, I won't go now," Mary replied. "You see, my father is very ill
here at my uncle's." A shade of sadness came into her voice. "He wants
me to go," she continued, "but I won't leave him for any grandfather, no
matter how rich he is."

"If you went, perhaps I would never see you again," I said faintly.

"Why," she answered, opening her eyes wide, "you could come and see me."

"When?"

"When you got command of your own ship." She smiled as she spoke.

"I'll have one some day," I spoke up bravely. "And that is what I'll
do."

But an interruption came to this little dialogue.

"Look up the street," cried Mary, suddenly pointing.

I did so, and my heart fell. Here came the frightful old Gaston,
shambling along, with his arms dangling in front of him; his clothes and
head-gear were fit to make a ghost grin. But as if he had been a
schoolmaster and I a truant schoolboy, I dodged through the gate and hid
behind the rose-bush. For years I could not think of this action without
chagrin, but now I could laugh at it.

"You had better not let him catch you," Mary observed, joining me, and
we peered about the corner of the rose-bush until after Gaston had
passed. That he was in quest of me there was no doubt, and I cannot help
thinking that my evident fear amused Mary Tanner, for she stood there
smiling at me, and pulling at a green branch over her head (oh, I can
well recall how she looked!); but the scene was interrupted by the
approach of a slight, quick-stepping man, who rattled a walking-stick
along the fence-pickets as he came nearer.

"Here's Captain Temple," I said, straightening up. "Now you'll see
whether I'm a sailor or not."

When the Captain was opposite the gate I stepped from behind the
rose-bush and saluted.

"Heigh, oh!" he exclaimed, looking longer at Mary than he did at me.
(She was a tall girl, and appeared older than her years.) "Heigh, oh,
I'm just in time to rescue you, my lad. 'Tis plain you're a prize to
beauty! Ay, and would fly her colors too," he added, pointing to the
rose, which I had thrust in my bosom. As he spoke the officer bowed
gallantly, and Mary dropped him a courtesy.

"Sorry, lad," Captain Temple went on, "but I may have use for you. Can
you read and write?"

"Ay, ay, sir; French and English, and Latin too," I answered.

"Ecod! a scholar, eh?" was the return. "Scholars make bad sailors. But
Bullard has gone to New London, and I would have somebody come to
McCulough's office and help me with the papers. So bid good-by to your
sweetheart, and come along--come along. We'll get under way to-morrow
mayhap, or the day after."

[Illustration: "GOOD-BY, MARY," I SAID, EXTENDING MY HAND, "DON'T FORGET
ME."]

"Good-by, Mary," said I, extending my hand. "Don't forget me."

"Good-by," she said simply, and thus we parted.

I was filled with the idea, as we went down the street, that I would run
across Gaston; but I determined that if this happened, I should not show
the fear of him that I had a few moments since. But we met no one except
some villagers driving their cows to pasture, and approaching the
wharves once more, we entered one of the warehouses, and found awaiting
there a crowd of seamen. They all touched their hats as Captain Temple
and I came to the doorway. A red-faced man with a great bulbous nose and
snuff-powdered coat greeted us.

"You're late, Captain," he grumbled; "and look at the gentry that have
been awaiting you. There may be some seamen amongst them, but I'll wager
we've got some hog-butchers and tailors here, at any rate."

He might properly have added pirates in his category, for some of the
men were as rough-looking cut-throats as any one might wish to see.

"Here, act as shipping-clerk, lad," said Captain Temple, shoving a great
ledger toward me. "And set things down right and ship-shape, too, in
plain English. Never mind the spelling--just so one can read it."

Luckily it happened that the page before was but half filled, and I saw
at a rapid glance the mode of procedure. I recognized also Bullard's
handwriting. And now began the examination that to me was most
interesting.

Temple looked at every man, as he presented himself, slowly from top to
toe, and I noticed that many of them gave a shake to their shoulders
when he lowered his eyes, as if a chill had passed over them. The
questions were very simple, consisting in asking the man's name, age,
previous occupation, and the vessel that he had last sailed in, and if
satisfactory, he was told to get his dunnage and present himself at the
pier some time before noon.

"We have no idlers on board this ship," said the Captain, addressing the
crowd. "If you're not doing one thing, you're doing something else. I
want both-handed men about me."

In about two hours the work was finished, and Captain Temple, looking
over the ledger, paid me a compliment upon my writing, and expressed the
opinion that evidently I was an old hand; in which I did not contradict
him. Before noon arrived, however, I was almost famished, but I had
found no time to search for anything to eat.

It had got noised about the lower part of the town that the remaining
part of the crew of the _Young Eagle_ were to debark at that hour, and
quite a crowd had gathered along the shore to see them off. I had
managed to run up to the inn and to secure my small bundle, and had
hastened back again.

Already a boat-load had gone off to the ship, and as I clambered down
the rough ladder, the crowd and those in the second boat were indulging
in much rough playfulness. It was a very mixed assembly, and there
appeared to be no deep feelings shown in any of the farewells. Just as
we shoved off, I heard my name called--that is, my first name. "John!
John!" said a voice, and looking up, I saw Mary Tanner standing at the
edge of the pier. She waved her hand to me, and then, with a quick
glance about her, kissed it.

My return to this, which I kept repeating for fully a minute, was not
conspicuous, because half of the men gathered in the stern-sheets were
doing the same thing and indulging in mock-lamentations. Three or four
silent ones, perhaps, felt more deeply than the others.

As we came alongside the brig, I noticed that her free-board was not
more than six feet amidships, but that her bulwarks were fully the
height of a man's shoulder. Her sides shone as if they had been
varnished, and the brass-work along her rails gleamed like gold. But
when I set my foot on deck, it was then that I was astonished. I have
seen many privateers and vessels of the regular navy since that day, but
never have I seen such a clean sweep of deck and such fine planking in
my life. All the loose running-gear was flemished down neatly, many of
the belaying-pins were of brass, and her broadside of six guns was very
heavy for her tonnage.

Amidships, carefully lashed and blocked, was a long twelve-pounder. The
others were eighteen-pound carronades. Two brass swivels she carried
besides these--one on her forecastle, and one forward of the wheel on
the quarter-deck. She was built upon a plan different from most of the
vessels of that time, but now become more adopted in America. Instead of
having her greatest breadth well forward, it was farther aft, and she
was cut away like a knife-blade. I have never seen her equal in going
close-hauled; or, in fact, in any point of sailing.

Now, as I stood there with my bundle in my hand, I longed for some one
to ask questions of, and then I remembered that if we sailed on the
morrow, Plummer would be left behind. Most of the men coming off shore
had carried their hammocks with them, and where I was to get mine I did
not know. But as Captain Temple had been so kind to me on shore, I
thought nothing of going to him, and considered that it would be the
best way out of the difficulty, so I stepped up to where he was standing
near the binnacle. He looked at me as if he had never seen me before; in
fact, he appeared a totally different man.

"Well!" he said, sternly. "Coming aft in this fashion! If you wish to
speak to me, wait at the mast."

"I have no hammock, sir," I began.

"Sleep on the deck, then," he returned. "Go forward."

He spoke to me much as one might address a dog, but there was nothing
for me to do but to obey like one, and I went down the hatchway to the
berth-deck. How so many men were going to sleep in that crowded space I
could not see. They were so close that as they moved about they touched
one another, and so low were the deck-beams that the tallest could not
stand erect, and even I brought up against one with a tremendous whack
that set starry skies before me. To my relief, I perceived that I was
not the only greenhorn, and that there were a few others who knew even
less than I did of what was expected of them.

A gawky country lad, who had been standing there gorming about
open-mouthed, approached me.

"Tell me, please," he said, "where are our beds. Where are we going to
sleep?"

I explained that the long bundles some of the men carried, and that they
were taking up to stow in the nettings on the deck, were hammocks, and
that he would probably have one served to him. He thanked me kindly, and
probably looked upon me as being a very knowing, able seaman.

The men were joking and cursing roughly, and before we had been on board
ten minutes a fight had started between two half-drunken sailors, which
occasioned only merriment amongst the lookers-on, until a great,
thick-set figure, that I afterwards learned was Edmundson, the third
lieutenant, ran down the companion-ladder, and sent both of the fighters
to the deck with two blows of his great fist.

"If you're after sore heads, you can get them!" he cried. "But avast
this quarrelling." No one said a word; even the fighters stopped
cursing.

I was mad for something to eat, for, as I have told, I had had nothing
since the night before; but soon the word was passed through the
forecastle that there would be no grub until the evening, at which there
were many mutterings and more strange oaths. During the afternoon the
crew was divided into watches, and the men were given their numbers and
stations, but so far as I could see no provision was made for their
comfort in any manner; no regular messes had been organized, and at six
o'clock, when we were fed, we sat about in groups on the deck, and ate
with our knives and fingers from the rough tubs; but the feed was
wholesome, and there was plenty of it. I did full justice to a very
healthy appetite.

Before dark Mr. Bullard came on board. As he walked forward I managed to
catch his eye, and saluted.

"Ah, here's our sailor fencing-master," he half laughed.

"Might I have a word with you, sir?" I inquired.

"What is it?" he said, frowning.

"There are two country lads on board that have no hammocks; they know
little of shipboard, but are willing. Can you not help them out, sir?"

I did not tell him that one of the country lads was myself. He muttered
a curse, and here I found out that asking favors of ship's officers
generally makes them cross. But he turned and spoke to an old seaman
standing near by.

"Willmot, get two hammocks and give them to this lad," he ordered.

I followed the old sailor to the forward hold, and a few minutes
afterwards presented a new hammock to the lank countryman, and kept the
other myself; following the example of the other seamen, we marked our
names on them in plain, black lettering.

The countryman, whose name was Amos Craig, and I found a hook forward
and agreed to swing together. It was near the hatchway, but we took it
because the air would be better, and it was already foul from much
breathing. I did not turn in early, being in the first watch, which we
kept as if we were at sea; but that night, as I looked out toward the
lights of the town and realized how great a change the life before was
from that I had been leading, I was half tempted to slip overboard and
make a swim for it, for I felt that all this did not mean liberty. I had
yet to learn that there is freedom in faithful and loyal service.

I had been much surprised by the difference in the manners shown by
Captain Temple ashore from those on shipboard. This change, however, is
the natural sequence of absolute authority, and the relief occasioned by
being able to throw off responsibility. In after-years I felt it much
the same with me, but in the writing of this tale, as I cannot claim
that I have the power of adding adornment, I also intend to be as free
from moralizing as I can. So, to return to what happened. As I leaned
over the rail, I made up my mind to accept anything that came, and make
the best of it, and to do my duty according to the best of my powers.

Half of the watch on deck were lying sprawled out and snoring against
the bulwarks, keeping carefully out of the moonlight, for the reason, as
I afterwards learned, that sleeping in the glare of the moon addles
men's brains; but this may be mere superstition.

Up and down the quarter-deck a restless figure paced in quick, nervous
strides. A sailor, with his heavy hair done in a long queue down his
back, and two small gold rings in his ears, approached me and nudged me
with his knee.

"Old Never-sleep is on the rampage," he said, directing his thumb over
his shoulder. "We'll catch it to-morrow, you can wager on that,
messmate. I've cruised with him, and I know his tricks!"

"Is he a good officer?"

"Ay, good for those who work for him, but he'll hound a shirker till you
can see his bones. Some men on this 'ere craft will wish themselves
overboard before this cruise is over. Jump when he speaks, that's my
advice!"

Then the man went on to ask me questions. I dodged them as best I could
by asking others, and as he liked to talk, I picked up not a little
worth remembering. I found that Captain Temple had various nicknames
that described his qualifications and characteristics to a nicety. Every
skipper, no matter what his age, is called "old" on shipboard. Temple, I
should judge, had not turned four-and-thirty, although he was slightly
grizzled and his face was weather-seamed. "Anger-eyes" they called him
on account of his keenness of vision. "Old Gimlet-ears," because it was
rumored that he could hear in the cabin what went on in the forecastle.
"Kill Devil," for the reason that he feared not to fight the powers of
hell if they were arrayed against him. But chief of all, "Old
Never-sleep," for a very evident reason. He apparently stood all watches
when there was aught to be gained by vigilance.

The quartermaster on deck stepped aft as the sailor and I were talking,
and spoke to Captain Temple.

"Make it so," were the words I caught from the Captain's lips.

Immediately the musical high-toned bell struck the hour. On the voyage
of the _Minetta_ I had learned to tell time after the manner at sea, and
I knew that the other watch was coming on. In ten minutes I was below in
my hammock.

So great a number of people composed the _Young Eagle_'s company that
the men were swinging double in the close-crowded space--that is, one
hammock was underneath the other, the upper lashed high against the
beams, and the lower sagging so that its occupant could touch the deck
with his hand.

I had never heard such a chorus of snoring and muttering in my life, and
it took me a few minutes to become accustomed to the reeking air. But at
last I dozed off into a fitful rest of ever-changing dreams, and was
awakened by the rolling of a drum and a confused sound of stirring,
cursing, and piping. Now began a day in which I had to face some trials,
I assure you, and call upon many resources that I did not know that I
possessed.

[TO BE CONTINUED.]



LAWSON'S INVESTMENT

BY MAJOR G. B. DAVIS, U.S.A.


[Illustration: LAWSON ON THE WATCH.]

To begin with, it was not an investment of gold or silver, in land or
bonds, or any of those things for which men vainly toil and strive, in
constant peril of their souls. Of all that, I know nothing. I am simply
to tell how Lawson, a volunteer soldier, defended the Cienega Ranch
during the long hours of a summer day against a band of Mescalero
Apaches, red-handed, thirsting for plunder, and bent upon his
destruction.

I have said that Lawson was a volunteer soldier. If I rightly understood
him, he was born in Ohio. At any rate, he served in the Ohio infantry,
and enlisted for the war, with a thousand others, in the early fall of
1861. By rights he ought to have been drilled and properly set up and
disciplined in some sort of camp of instruction in Kentucky or southern
Ohio, but there was not thought to be time for that, so great was the
need for men, and so he had to acquire his manual of arms and other
military fundamentals in the field from day to day as he went along. Now
this is not the best way nor the way laid down in the books, but it was
the only way for Lawson, and whatever may be said against it, it is
thorough and to the last degree effective.

In the raw early spring of 1862, Lawson's regiment, still rusty in its
ployments and facings, and having as yet no abiding knowledge of the
goose step, began its campaigning in West Tennessee. He was at Donelson
and Shiloh, and later got his first lessons in digging and the use of
the head-log at the siege of Corinth. After that was over, he marched
about, hither and yon, as his Generals wished--but somewhat aimlessly as
he thought--in northern Mississippi. This sort of thing was kept up all
through the fall and winter until the spring came, and the Army of the
Tennessee set out to do something at Vicksburg. He did his share of
digging and fighting in the hot trenches there, and then, just as the
cool fall breezes were beginning to blow, he betook himself with Sherman
to the relief of his beleaguered comrades at Chattanooga, arriving just
in time to share in Corse's gallant but unfruitful assault upon the
north end of Missionary Ridge. Always a private, he missed none of the
marching or fighting or digging of the Atlanta campaign, and closed the
year '64 with the long sweet-potato walk to Savannah and the sea. Then
he waded and toiled up through the miry Carolinas, adding not a little
to his military stature and to his stock of technical war knowledge in
the way of corduroying and trestle bridges, and at Bentonville finished,
as he had begun, a private, full of dearly bought experience, fuller
still of malaria, an expert in all the arts of defence, a resolute and
resourceful soldier, who had been tried on many an emergent occasion,
and who had stood shoulder to shoulder with the boys whenever they lined
up at the sound of the long-roll or rushed to the parapet to repel the
assaults of the enemy.

At last, when the whole thing was over, and he had been paid off and
discharged, and had spent the greater part of the little that was coming
to him in seeing the great world that lay between Pittsburg and
Columbus, Lawson fared back to the peaceful Maumee Valley, with his
chills and fever and his slender resources, only to find himself a sort
of living vacancy in the body-politic. Look where he would, there seemed
to be no place open for an old soldier like him in the changed order of
things that somehow seemed to prevail in the little community which he
called his home. He was in no sense a "hustler," he had no trade but
war, no capital save his strong arms and an honest heart, and no
powerful friends to push him in any direction, and so, after many
disappointments, it came about that he drifted down to Cincinnati, and
there enlisted in the regular army. He had served side by side with the
regulars for four long years, and they were now the only folk with whose
goings and comings he was familiar; and for the first time since his
discharge he felt at home among the lean infantrymen as he ate his bacon
and beans in the company kitchen, and took his turn at guard, as he had
been used to do, or discussed the characters of his Generals with the
old men who had served under them when they were Lieutenants in Mexico,
in the hazy days before the war, when men's minds were at peace and
soldiering a trade worth thinking of.

The days rolled into weeks and months. There was little to do, there
were many to do it, and he was content, ay, happy--happier than he had
been at any time, that he could remember, since the winter quarters at
Chattanooga, after the blockade was broken and fresh beef and soft bread
were issued every day. But this was altogether too good a thing to last,
and the end came one day when a big detachment of ex-deserters and
bounty-jumpers were assigned to the Fourteenth, and the good times were
gone forever. To Lawson it was an enigma, and he gave it up, but it came
about in this way: When the great volunteer armies were disbanded and
sent to their homes, there remained on hand a residuum of deserters and
men without souls, who had been bought with a price, but who belonged to
no regiment, and so were kept in pay when the rest were mustered out and
discharged. Of a sudden it occurred to the powers that this unpromising
material might be put to some use in filling the depleted ranks of the
regular army.

But fire and water will not mix, and if honest dough-boys be shaken
together with such sons of Belial the regimental traditions will suffer,
and discipline will surely come to naught. And so it happened that the
old Fourteeth had to undergo all the pangs of dyspepsia before it could
make way with the indigestible mass that had thus been cast upon it.
There is no telling what dire happening would have come to the regiment
had this state of things been allowed to continue indefinitely. A period
was put to it at last, however, by a telegram, which came to the
commanding officer at dead of night, transferring the Fourteenth to
Arizona. Then it was that the deserters and bounty-jumpers held council
of the situation, and being of one mind as to the unpleasing outlook,
took wing and troubled the service no more, and the old Fourteenth,
weaker in numbers but stronger in _men_ than it had been since
Fredericksburg, was landed at Yuma, where it was appointed to garrison
the abandoned posts and protect the overland mail from the depredations
of the Apaches, who had been working their will of late upon the
unprotected settlements in southeastern Arizona. Here, taking his
chances with the rest, and doing his full share of escort and fatigue,
Lawson served "honestly and faithfully," as it ran in his discharge
papers, until his term expired and he was a free man again. And then it
was that he went up to keep the mail station at the Cienega.

The Cienega, or, to give the place its fall name, the Cienega de las
Pimas, was a low-lying, swampy valley through which a small stream ran,
alternately rising and sinking after the manner of creeks and rivers in
Arizona. To the west, twenty-eight miles away, was the pueblo of Tucson,
a cathedral town, once the capital of the territory. To the east,
twenty-two miles distant, was the middle crossing of the San Pedro. To
the north there was nothing; while to the south were the Whetstone
Mountains, then old Camp Wallen, the Patagonia Mine, and Old Mexico. The
Cienega itself was flat, infested with all manner of poisonous vermin,
submerged in the rainy season, and miry and impassable, in a military
sense, at all times. It was also malarial, and to the last degree
unlovely to the eye. A few dead cottonwood-trees, upon which the owls
creaked at sunset, rose stiffly here and there out of the general dead
level of sacaton grass and chaparral, while the tarantula and centipede
and the ubiquitous rattlesnake reserved to their unhallowed uses the
moist, impenetrable depths below. The station had been located just
where it was because it broke into two fairly equal parts the long
fifty-mile drive from Tucson to the crossings of the San Pedro. Wagon
trains and occasional parties of prospectors or travellers camped at the
Cienega on their way to the White Mountains, or to the Apache Pass and
New Mexico, and from their small needs in the way of refreshment for man
and beast Lawson and his partner eked out an extremely moderate
existence. At very rare intervals a troop of regular cavalry passed that
way, and the ranchmen ministered to its needs in the way of long forage
to the extent of twenty dollars or more. These were red-letter days for
Lawson--a very gold-mine, indeed--and led him to hope that, sometime in
the uncertain future, he might be able to leave the Cienega forever, and
go back to Ohio, where green grass and tall trees grew, where churches
and kindred were, and where he might, perhaps, take a new start in life
in a land beyond the dim eastern mountains, where pistols were not, and
where civilization flourished throughout the year. This was a dream that
came to Lawson in the night when a big escort camped at the Cienega and
he could eat and sleep in peace.

No one who knows Arizona need be told that the Apaches were particularly
bad in the early seventies. No place outside the towns or beyond the
lines of the garrisoned forts was safe from their incursions.
Depredations were of daily occurrence, and were only desisted from when
there were no white men left to kill and no horses or cattle to steal
and carry away. A single traveller journeyed south of the Gila and east
of the Santa Cruz, not simply at his peril, but to certain, inevitable
death. It was the same with two, or three; if four travelled together,
one had a running chance to escape if the marauding party was less than
ten, or if the attack came within an hour of darkness. On the whole, the
best local judgment, both civil and military, was that five persons,
alert, fully armed, and, above all, judiciously scattered along the
trail, were the smallest company that could venture into the country
ranged over by the Mescalero or Chiricahui Indians with any chance of
getting out alive. The roads were dotted with the graves of those who
had paid, with their lives, the awful penalty of being too venturesome,
and the isolated ranches were heavily barred and otherwise defended
against the common enemy. The Cienega was no exception to the rule;
indeed, on account of its perilous situation, it had one or two
defensive features which less-exposed ranches lacked, and which I shall
presently describe. Partly because it was located near the junction of
several large north and south Indian trails, and partly because of the
ease with which it could be approached from the dense chaparral, it was
always surrounded by hostile Apaches, and its occupants went in and out
under their constant observation.

The ranch building proper, for there was but one, stood on the east bank
of the muddy creek, just above where the old overland stage-road had
managed to find a practicable crossing. As the trail left the ford, it
wound sharply up the slope and passed between the ranch building and a
huge outcrop of volcanic rocks which stood directly opposite the main
entrance to the inner court, or corral. This pile of rocks had been
regarded as having some defensive value when the ranch was built,
apparently with the idea that, in the event of an attack, it might serve
as a kind of outwork which could be defended for several hours before
the garrison would be compelled to fall back to the shelter of the ranch
proper. It was also so situated that, in case of siege, a small party
could sally out of the main building and find cover behind the rocks
long enough to enable its defenders to get a supply of water from the
creek.

The enclosure, which was rectangular in plan, measured about sixty feet
on each front or side. The middle of the front wall, facing the north,
was pierced by a sally-port, or entranceway, about fifteen feet in
width, which was closed by a heavy oaken gate. In conformity to the
style of domestic architecture prevailing in all Spanish-American
countries, where life and property are less safe than they are in the
lands more favored of Heaven where the Anglo-Saxon dwells, this gateway
was the only means by which an entrance could be effected, as the other
walls were without openings of any kind save those which looked upon the
inner court. The rudely constructed interior can be quickly described.
On the east side of the entrance was a large living-room some twenty
feet square; on the west were several smaller rooms for horse-gear and
the storage of grain. The other three sides were roofed, but not
otherwise enclosed, and were used as stables.

At the southeast corner, opposite the living-room, Lawson had built a
circular flanking tower, which projected a little more than three feet
beyond the outer walls, and from this corner tower, which was loopholed,
the east and south sides of the enclosure could be raked or flanked. It
was a novel construction, and Mexican cargadors, wrapped in their
serapes of manta, sat squat on their haunches and soberly regarded it
for hours, wondering at the Gringo's strange conceit in building.
Curious travellers casually observed it in passing, and thought it a
spring-house, or perhaps a place where whiskey and other precious
valuables could be safely deposited; but none, even the most
inquisitive, suspected its real purpose or gave it a moment's serious
thought. We shall presently see, however, how useful it proved to be.

The living-room was simple and plain to the last degree. In the first
place, there was a fireplace of adobe, at which all the cooking was
done; there were two rude bunks, in which Lawson and his partner slept,
and there was a rough table, made out of a discarded hardtack box, which
stood under the window overlooking the interior court. These, with a
half-dozen stout chairs with rawhide seats, completed the scanty array
of furniture. Each man wore a pistol and a thimble-belt always, and was
never far from a repeating Winchester rifle. At the head of each bed,
ready for instant use, stood a perfect arsenal of weapons of all dates
and calibres. Some were modern, and likely to be of service in an
emergency, the rest were antiquated and obsolete, mere bric-à-brac
indeed, and were kept because, as Lawson put it, "they might come in
handy sometime."

So, as the matter stood, the garrison--that is, Lawson and his partner
Green, an ex-Confederate from the Army of Northern Virginia--had thought
the thing all over, and settled in their minds that, in the event of an
attack, they would proceed in about this wise. If the attack came from
the north, which was by all odds the most exposed and dangerous quarter,
they would first hold the rock outwork to the last extremity. It was
agreed between them that their principal danger would consist in an
attempt on the part of the Indians to scale the walls, either to make a
lodgement on the roof or to set it on fire. Now if such an attempt
happened to be made on the east or south side, which was commanded by
the flanking tower, the garrison would be heard from, and serious injury
might be inflicted upon the assailants--enough, perhaps, to hold them in
check until the mail-drivers, who passed daily in either direction,
could carry the alarm to the regular cavalry posts at Tucson and the
Apache Pass. It should be said, however, that so much of the partners'
ingenious plan of defence as depended upon the arrival of a mail-rider
was, at best, a feeble reliance, as they were more likely to be killed
than not in the event of an attack; but feeble as it was, it was all
that seemed to stand between the occupants of the ranch and a lingering
death by torture, should the Apaches conclude to make a descent in force
upon the Cienega; and thus matters stood there just before sunrise on
the morning of the 21st of July, 1870.

[Illustration: AS GREEN SPED THROUGH HE FELT THE HOT BREATH OF HIS
PARTNER'S WINCHESTER.]

The attack came about in this way: At the gray of dawn, Green, who was
astir feeding the animals, as was his custom, fancied that he heard some
suspicious noises among the hogs who were hunting young rattlesnakes in
the big rock pile in front of the main door. Seizing his rifle, he
unfastened the gate and stole cautiously out across the road, and pushed
up, under cover of the bowlders, to a point of vantage from which he
could overlook the swamp lying to the northward. He had hardly reached
shelter when two sharp reports rang out in the still morning air, _not
from the swamp in front, but from the road at his right and rear_!
Green's soldierly instinct told him what this meant, and before the
reports had ceased to echo he plunged back across the road, and shot
through the big gate in safety. As Green sped through the storm of
bullets, closely followed by an athletic warrior, he felt the hot breath
of a rifle-ball from his partner's Winchester, which brought down his
pursuer stone-dead well within the entrance-gate. The long-looked-for
attack had come, and the first brief passage at arms was over. Save that
their skins were whole, the partners had but little to congratulate
themselves upon. The first step in their carefully elaborated plan of
defence had utterly miscarried. Green had been compelled by a flank
attack to abandon the outwork without even an attempt at resistance.
Lawson had tried to shut the gate, but had failed, and it was now too
late to undertake so dangerous a task under the rifles of a score or
more of Apache warriors, who, from their perches in the rocks, now fully
commanded every approach to the building from the north.

So the partners fell back towards the south wall of the enclosure, and
established themselves among the kicking-posts, in a position from which
they could still command the half-open gateway. It would now seem as if
the Indians had it in their power to carry the building by a single bold
rush through the entrance-gate; and that is precisely what would have
happened had the attacking party been composed of white men, or of Sioux
Indians or Cheyennes--or Nez Percés, for that matter--but the Apache is
a brutal coward, and doesn't do things that way. With him the taking of
human life is always a means to an end. His first object is plunder, and
he kills whatever stands between him and the object of his unholy
desire. But he does nothing blindly or without carefully calculating all
the chances, so as to eliminate or reduce to a minimum the risk of
losing his own worthless life or those of his companions in iniquity. A
marauding party will spend hours in planning the murder of a mail-rider,
and will arrange every detail with such devilish cunning as to leave
their victim absolutely no loophole of escape.

And this, strangely enough, was Lawson's present salvation. The Indians
did not know how many men there were in the ranch, or how they were
posted. Until they had gained this information, the partners could count
upon it that there would be no assault by way of the half-closed gate,
as it shut out from view more than half of the interior of the court. A
thorough knowledge of their wily enemies, however, served to determine
the next step in their scheme of defence. It is a dogma of the Apache's
crude and grewsome religious belief that some dire happening will befall
the band that leaves its dead in the hands of an enemy. Now Green's
pursuer, carried forward by the tremendous pace at which he was running,
had fallen, as we have seen, well within the gateway, and his dead body
was stretched out in full view of the partners from their station in the
corral. It was certain as anything in Apache warfare could be that the
next move of the enemy would be to recover the body of the dead Indian;
the only question was as to whether, in making the attempt, they would
charge in considerable force or intrust the difficult task to the
prowess of a single warrior.

The garrison had not long to wait. There was a hurried conference among
the rocks, a scratching of moccasined feet on the hard clay without the
gate, and then the notes of the death-song rose on the morning breeze as
a lusty warrior made a dash for the body of his comrade. As he bent to
lift his ghastly burden, he fell under the sight of Lawson's rifle and
dropped across the lifeless body of his companion. There were now two
dead Apaches in the gateway under control of the partners' rifles, and
to Lawson's mind the next move of the enemy was perfectly clear. For
their souls' peace, the bodies of the dead must be gotten back at all
hazards. The attempt was only a question of time, and of a short time at
that. The only hope in the situation for the partners was that the rush,
when it came, would be for the sole purpose of recovering the bodies,
and that the Indians would not succeed at the same time in gaining a
view of the defenceless interior. And so, as matters stood, if the
partners could in some way manage to delay the recovery of the bodies,
there would be so much time gained, and they would increase to that
extent their slender chance of relief. It must be confessed that the
outlook was far from cheerful. The cloudless sky glared over them, and
the stifling heat reflected from the white clay floor penetrated every
corner of the enclosure as the morning hours slowly burned themselves
away. An ominous silence reigned without everywhere, and neither sight
nor sound came from the enemy to relieve the consuming anxiety of the
beleaguered garrison.

Through the partly open gate nothing could be seen of what was happening
outside, for a chopping-log intervened in such a way as to shut out from
their view the narrow opening under the gate, between its lower rail and
the ground. As the sun rose higher and began to light up the dark
passageway leading out of the enclosure, it occurred to Green that by
moving down a stall or two nearer the front it would be just possible
for him to see out, _under the gate_, from beyond the end of the
chopping-log, and thus, perhaps, get some notion of the movements of the
enemy. And so, quietly communicating his intention to his comrade, he
cautiously pulled himself along by the hay-racks to gain his point of
view.

Just as he was straining his neck to get sight of the opening under the
gate, he was brought to his feet by a shot from his partner's
Winchester, only to find that his manoeuvre was too late--_the bodies
of the Indians were gone_. Lawson, who was standing erect, had seen the
bodies begin to move, and had fired somewhat at random, in the hope of
preventing their recovery. He was not successful, however, and he could
only look on as they slowly disappeared from his view. The partners
looked at each other in silence. Each changed his tobacco slightly and
tightened his thimble-belt, but otherwise made no sign. Both knew only
too well what the movement meant. It was now a matter of watching out
the day, not knowing when or in what form the direful end would come. It
seemed idle to count upon anything in the shape of relief from the
mail-drivers, who were really in greater peril than themselves, as the
Indians were watching the roads for some distance in either direction.
More than this, the buckboard from the west would not reach the Cienega
until midnight, while the driver from the San Pedro crossing, though due
just after dark, if he were so fortunate as to escape with his life,
would have a stiff hundred-mile drive to double back to the cavalry post
at Apache Pass. They knew that Colonel Stanwood, its able and resolute
commander, would start at the first note of alarm, and ride hard and
fast to their relief; but push as he might, the distance was great, and
the better part of twenty-four hours would be consumed in covering the
hot hundred-mile march across a waterless desert that lay between his
post and the beleaguered garrison at the Cienega.

The sun grew hotter, the blinding glare increased, the morning breeze
fell away, and not a sound from the enemy reached the strained ears of
Lawson and his comrade. The hours dragged heavily along until the sun
stood past noon, and still the partners kept their weary vigil, and
strained eye and ear for some sign or sound of the enemy. Their
continued silence was felt by the garrison to be due to the fact that
part of the Indians had gone some distance away to bury their dead in
the rocks, or hide them from view in the dark fastnesses of the swamp;
but when and in what manner they would renew the assault was still a
mystery past their solving.

Suddenly, an hour or more past midday, Lawson, who had crawled down
towards the living-room in quest of water, heard a faint grating sound
which seemed to come from the top of the corral wall upon which the flat
roof of the stable rested. Springing back into the corner tower, and
adjusting his eye to the loophole, the plan of the assailants could be
seen at a glance. The Indians had brought a light cottonwood log from
the ruins of a disused bridge, a mile or more up the road, and were now
attempting to scale the wall with a view to set fire to the rough thatch
which covered the stables at the northeastern corral. As Lawson reached
the loophole, an athletic Apache had succeeded in reaching the top of
the wall, while two of his fellows, standing on the ground, held the
pole steadily between them as their companion climbed. It seemed never
to have entered their heads that their movements could be observed from
the flanking tower, or that they were in danger from any other quarter
than the entrance-gate in the north wall of the enclosure. They were now
to get their first lesson in civilized warfare, and a sorrowful lesson
it was to be for the scaling party.

Taking in the situation at a glance, Lawson summoned his comrade with a
gesture, and they quickly agreed upon their plan. The loophole in the
north side of the tower, which commanded a view of the assaulting party,
was about eighteen inches high and hardly more than two inches wide at
the outside, but as it entered the wall it flared or opened to a width
of nearly a foot in order to give the defenders a greater field of fire.
To insure the greatest results, both were to fire together. Lawson, who
was the taller of the two men, was to fire from the top of the loophole
and was to bring down the Indian who had climbed the pole and had just
succeeded in starting a little blaze in the dry tulle grass at the edge
of the loosely thatched roof. Green, who was to give the signal, was to
fire below Lawson, and was to wait until his sights covered the two
Apaches who were steadying the pole. It seemed to Lawson, whose task was
easy, as if the signal would never come. First one Indian would stoop to
adjust his hold, then the other would move forward; then for an instant
both would cross each other as they strove to keep the pole from
turning. At last, after what seemed an age of waiting, the warrior at
the top, satisfied with his incendiary endeavor, signalled to his
comrades below to hold fast and make ready to descend. As the Indians at
the bottom braced themselves squarely to steady the improvised ladder,
the signal came, and two deafening reports rang out in the burning air,
filling the narrow tower with smoke so dense as for a time to conceal
the enemy from view. As the smoke slowly cleared away, the partners
anxiously looked out. _The scaling party were nowhere to be seen!_ The
climber and one of his supporters lay dead at the foot of the wall.
Above them the thatch was beginning to crackle and burn. The other had
disappeared from view, but the sounds of scurrying feet in front of the
ranch, however, made it plain to the little garrison that he had not
escaped scot-free. The partners silently shook hands, and for the first
time since the investment began, renewed their chews of tobacco and
made a general and deliberate readjustment of their clothing and
cartridge-belts.

Assault number two had been repulsed, and the Apaches had had their
first lesson in modern fortification. But they were apt pupils, and, as
will presently be seen, were to apply their dearly bought knowledge in a
manner most surprising to the closely besieged ranchmen. Now the
besetting sin of all flanking arrangements is the "dead angle," well
known to all military men, and studiously avoided by them in all
defensive constructions. That the reader may rightly know what awful
misfortune resulted to Lawson from his neglect in this particular, I
will explain as best I may the mystery of the dead angle. Now a bastion
or corner tower, or what device soever may be resorted to by those
skilled in the art of fortification to bring a cross or raking fire
along the exposed face of a fort or a field-work, _must itself be
flanked_ in some way, else its defensive value is lost, and it becomes a
source of weakness to the besieged, and gives a great and positive
advantage to the besieger. For an enemy may approach its outer or
unflanked side with impunity, and work there such havoc as he wills; and
to this space, not swept by fire from any other part of the work,
military men have given the name of dead angle.

So it chanced that when Lawson--who, as we have seen, had not been
trained in the schools--was constructing his corner tower, he had cut
loopholes close to the eastern and southern walls, through which those
fronts might be raked along their entire length, but it had not occurred
to him that, by omitting the loopholes in the outer circumference of his
tower, he left a large dead angle against which an assault could be
brought which the garrison would be utterly powerless to hinder or
obstruct.

The Indians, after their second rebuff, seemed to have again gone into
silent committee of the whole, and were now brewing another scheme of
assault which should take into account the white man's new engine of
destruction. The sun was beginning to cast slanting shadows from the
west, but the heat and glare showed no sign of relenting, and the close
corner tower glowed like a living furnace. As the Indians seemed to have
given up all thought of an assault by the entrance, gate, the partners
determined to abandon the general defence of the interior, and restrict
their endeavors to the flanking tower. And so, panting with heat and
tortured by thirst, the defenders stood at their posts, each watching
from his loophole the angle of ground outside the walls that fell within
the limits of his narrow view, and waited, stoically, for what the
afternoon was to bring in the way of unwelcome or dangerous surprise. As
we are about to see, the outcome of their waiting was not to be long
delayed.

[Illustration: ALMOST INSTANTLY LAWSON FIRED UPWARD AT RANDOM.]

The declining shadows marked about the hour of four as Lawson drew back
suddenly from his loophole and cast a searching glance upward at the
low-hanging roof. In a moment a suspicious noise which had caught his
ear was renewed. _It was the grating sound again_, as of crackling
adobe, but nearer; and there could be no mistaking its ominous meaning.
Suddenly Green touched his partner, and pointed up to the thatch, where
a few fragments of adobe, dislodged by the jar outside, were falling
over their very heads, showing that the enemy were at work in the dead
angle where there were no loopholes. The Indians had discovered the weak
point in their scheme of flank defence, and the garrison was now
absolutely at their mercy. The exact purpose of the enemy was not yet
quite plain. If it were another endeavor to burn the roof, there was
still a shadow of hope. If the Indians were going to attempt to breach
the walls, or, worse, moisten them with water from the creek and saw
them down with a horsehair lariat, then the end was indeed near.
Meantime the noise increased; there was a scraping of feet on the dry
thatch on the top of the wall, then a shot, and Green, with a bullet
through his brain, fell dead at his comrade's feet. Almost instantly
Lawson fired upward at random, and a heavy thud on the ground outside
evidenced the success of his endeavor to avenge his comrade, and the
temporary failure of the enemy's new plan of assault.

Alone with his dead, Lawson now stoically awaited the end. The Indians
were maddened at their losses; darkness was still some hours away, and
death by torture or, at the last extremity, by his own hand seemed to
the exhausted survivor a question of but a few moments' time. Having
solved the mystery of the dead angle, a dozen warriors could now climb
the tower, or if their next attempt were as original in its conception
as the last, a single Apache, from the top of the pole, could hold his
rifle over the roof and riddle the interior with perfect safety. To add
to his peril, the afternoon breeze from the north had sprung up, and the
gate was beginning to swing slowly back and forth; the least stiffening,
and the gate would be blown open and the whole interior exposed to view.

[Illustration: HE NO LONGER HOPED NOR FEARED.]

Still the silence continued, and Lawson stood by his dead partner and
mechanically turned the cylinder of his revolver as he speculated idly
whether the last cartridge, which he had reserved for himself, would
miss fire when the awful emergency came. They had missed so often--for
it was in the early days of metallic ammunition, and pistol cartridges
were notoriously unreliable. If it did fail, they would give him no
chance to try again. He no longer hoped nor feared; his past was an
eventless, uninteresting blank, which he had neither will nor power to
recall. Dazed at the happenings of the day, his busy brain ceased to
plan; he leaned on his rifle and strove to breathe in the stifling
atmosphere, and waited for what the next instant was to bring. How long
this continued he could never tell. He could only remember how his heart
started to beat as he heard, through the northern loophole, the faint
tinkling of a distant bell. Could it be so? Again he strained his ear to
listen, and again came the harsh tinkling. There could be no doubt of
it; it was relief at last, unexpected and unhoped-for, and seemed to
have come to him from the blazing skies. A train of freight-wagons,
heavily manned, which he had supposed to be still on the Yuma desert,
had left Tucson at dawn of day, and was now slowly making its way
through the swamp, intending to make camp at the Cienega ere the sun
went down. The Indians had accurately measured its strength, and
recognizing their utter inability to cope with twenty well armed
teamsters, had decamped as quietly and silently as they had come, and
the siege was over.



LUCK THAT FELL FROM THE SKIES.

BY ALBERT LEE.


It was an unusually cold Christmas eve, and the keen wind that had come
close after the heavy snow-storm was blowing little white drifts up into
every corner, and howling around the eaves of the tall houses in a way
that made people turn their collars up high about their necks and thrust
their hands deep into pockets and muffs. Nevertheless the streets were
full of shoppers, and every one seemed to be loaded with bundles and
packages that were surely full of all sorts of good things for old
people and young children for the celebration of the morrow.

Just around the corner from one of the busiest of the shopping streets
stood three boys stamping their feet over an iron grating, through which
arose the warm air from an eating-house kitchen in the cellar below,
bringing occasionally an odor which, to them at least, was savory. The
three boys were all of about the same age, and all were engaged in the
same enterprise of selling newspapers--an enterprise which had not
proved particularly remunerative on this particular day, as the
wayfarers seemed to be engrossed in matters more important to them than
the reading of news. One of the lads had red hair, and was known to his
companions as "Ratsey" Finnigan. The names of the other two were
similarly characteristic of newsboy cognomens--"Swipes" Molloy, and
"Tag" McTaggart. The boys were discussing the probability of their
getting a Christmas dinner--a prospect which was apparently not very
bright.

[Illustration: "WELL, DEN," REMARKED SWIPES, "I GUESS WE'RE ALL TREE UP
AGIN IT."]

"Well, den," remarked Swipes, as he stood alternately on one foot, and
then on the other, "I guess we're all t'ree up agin it."

"It looks dat way, sure," assented Ratsey; "except Tag goes to de
mission."

"Ah-h, de mission!" exclaimed Tag, scornfully. "Don't youse fellers know
dey won't let me into de mission no more?"

"Didn't youse go fer T'anksgivin'?" asked Ratsey.

"Sure, I did; an' didn't I get fired out?"

"What fer?" inquired the red-haired lad, eagerly.

"Scrappin'," was the laconic reply. And then, as his companions seemed
to require fuller explanation, he continued: "Dat blue-faced Mike sat
nex' to me at de table, an' he took me pie off o' me. So I handed him
one in the face, and he yelled like he was hurted, but he was not hurted
a bit, and he falls down on de table an' makes a big bluff--wid me pie
in his pockut all de time. Well, Pink-whiskers, de super, he seen me hit
Mike, and he rushes up ter me, and grabs me, and turns me out, and says
as how I'll never come inside de mission to grub again." There was a
brief silence, then Tag continued, "But I got square wid Mike de nex'
day."

"Did youse do him?" asked Ratsey.

"Did I _do_ him?" repeated Tag. "Have youse _seen_ him?" Neither of his
listeners had seen the unfortunate Mike. "Well," added Tag, "I guess his
mudder 'ain't got t'rough pickin' up de pieces yet. I 'ain't been down
to Hester Street to see, neider."

"Den, if youse is fruz outen de mission," said Swipes, "sure, we'll all
have to hustle fer a Christmas feed."

"'Less it drops from der sky," put in the hopeful Ratsey; and then all
three danced vigorously on the grating.

By the time they had reached this conclusion it had grown dark--or as
dark as it ever gets in the shopping district of the great city, where
the hundreds of electric lights blink and twinkle over the sidewalks.
There seemed now to be a lull in the rush of people that had been
surging up and down the thoroughfare all the afternoon, and when one of
the boys looked up at a big clock a block away, he saw that it was past
six o'clock.

"Let's go over to de dago's an' touch him," suggested Tag, when the hour
had been announced; "we won't sell no more papes now till de late extrys
is out."

"Dat's what," returned Swipes. "We touch de dago! If we gets grub
ter-night, we calls it a Christmas-eve dinner!"

And so the three youngsters, with their hands deep in the pockets of
their scant trousers, started off westward toward "the dago's." The
"dago" was a good-hearted Italian who ran a cheap restaurant on Tenth
Avenue, and he was always generous with what came away from the tables,
especially to the newsboys. But it was not often that Tag and Swipes and
Ratsey would call upon him, for their hunting-grounds were usually too
far away; on this occasion, however, the boys had invaded the shopping
district, hoping to dispose more rapidly of their wares.

They whistled as they trudged along the slippery sidewalks, but wasted
few words in conversation. They crossed Sixth Avenue, and by the time
they had reached Seventh Avenue they had left the Christmas shoppers
behind them. Only an occasional woman passed them, hurrying homeward;
and if she carried a bundle, it was a very small one. When they came to
Ninth Avenue they turned up one block in order to come out nearer to the
"dago's." The thoroughfare was dark and almost deserted, and the snow
deadened every sound but the roaring of the elevated cars. As the three
boys passed under the iron structure a train went tearing uptownward
with a clatter that made Ratsey exclaim:

"Golly, dat's a express, sure! I wish't I was in it; de cars is warm!"
He had hardly spoken these words, and the noise of the wheels was
already lessening in the distance, when something struck him on the head
with a soft thud, and rolled him headlong into the slush underfoot.
"Gee!" he exclaimed, as he scrambled to his feet. But before he could
say anything more Swipes and Tag had shouted, "Hi-yi!" and "Shut up!"
and had turned to gather up what looked to Ratsey like a hundred bundles
scattered about in the snow.

"Swipe 'em and run," whispered Tag; and Ratsey, with an inborn instinct
to get all he could out of this world, grabbed all he saw, and started
on a run after his two companions toward Tenth Avenue. A butcher who had
seen the bundles fall from the elevated train as it rushed by came out
of his shop and shouted at the boys, but they heeded no calls, and were
well out of sight before the man had thought of pursuit.

As soon as they had reached a dark spot in the side street, they dodged
into an area to see if they were being chased, and upon making certain
that no one was after them, they set out again and made rapidly toward
the "dago's." On the way they made up a story to tell to the Italian,
and upon entering the place, Tag accounted for the large number of
packages they had by announcing that they were delivering Christmas
purchases. He also asked the "dago" if they might lay their bundles out
on a table in his place, and go over them for easier distribution. There
were few customers on hand, and the good-natured Italian let the boys
into one of the dozen "parlors" that his restaurant consisted
of--stalls, curtained off, and lighted with an oil-lamp that hung down
from the ceiling. In some of the other stalls were Italian laborers
eating and smoking and talking loud.

The boys drew their curtain carefully, and amid much excitement placed
eleven bundles on the little table between them. These packages were
from a number of different shops, but had evidently all been done up
into one large bundle by the owner for convenience in carrying. The fall
of the greater package, however, had reduced it again to its elements.

"Now we all opens one package at a time," whispered Swipes, eagerly, at
the same time grabbing the largest of the lot. The other boys likewise
seized two promising-looking parcels, and snapped the twine. Then
followed exclamations, subdued "ohs!" and "ahs!"--and cries of delight
were restrained with the greatest difficulty. The pangs of hunger were
entirely forgotten. Tag's package proved to be a good-sized box full of
Christmas-tree decorations--candles, globes, glass balls, tinsel, stars,
cornucopias, miniature toys of various kinds, bells, and any number of
other things. These were all taken out and passed around.

Swipes had drawn three dolls, and was somewhat disgusted (although he
asked Tag what he thought they would "sell for"); but Ratsey was wild
with delight, for he had opened a box of soldiers. This, of course,
brought the others to his side at once, and the soldiers were taken out
of the box and lined up on the table, and a battle was about to be
inaugurated, when Tag suggested that all the other bundles be opened to
see if there were not more troops available for the slaughter.

Then followed the breaking of every string and the unwrapping of every
parcel on the table, but no more soldiers were forth-coming. There were
a Noah's ark, and some picture-books, a train of cars, blocks, puzzles,
a horn (which Ratsey almost blew before Tag throttled him), a box of
writing-paper, a pocket-book, and a set of garden tools. When these
treasures lay heaped upon the table, the boys very nearly had spasms,
for such a wealth of playthings they had never seen before (having
always been chased out of toy-shops by officious and unfeeling
salesmen).

"Findin's is keepin's, I suppose," remarked Swipes, presently.

So engrossed had they all been in the examination of the toys that this
feature of the situation had not entered the minds of Tag and Ratsey.

"Say, it's an awful lot to keep," began Tag, hesitatingly.

"We can give some uv it to oder kids," ventured Swipes.

"Really, dough," put in Ratsey, fondling one of the soldiers, "it ain't
really ourn."

"Well, whose is it?" inquired Swipes.

This, of course, was a staggerer, and Ratsey had no reply to make.

"Sure, it's de bloke's what dropped it offen de train," said Tag,
presently.

"An' who's he?" asked Swipes.

"Dun'no'."

"You'd 'a' found out if youse hadn't runned!" said Ratsey.

"Didn't youse run wid us?" retorted Swipes.

"Sure, I did," admitted Ratsey, "an' who wouldn't? But these ain't ourn,
and we ought ter take 'em back. Dey's fer some rich kid's Christmas
tree."

"How'll you find out what kid?" continued Swipes, who really harbored no
evil intentions, but was extremely desirous of finding it impossible to
make restitution. "Dere ain't no names on de papers."

Whereupon the three boys carefully examined every piece of
wrapping-paper, but the name of a purchaser was to be found on none.

"If dere wasn't so much," stammered Tag, "I wouldn't mind. But dem
t'ings must 'a' cost a hunnerd dollars!"

"Ah-h," sneered Swipes, "a hunnerd dollars! Youse never bought no toys;
what d'ye know about it?" A remark which precipitated a lively
discussion concerning the probable price of the toys; and when it
finally ended, each boy had his own idea as to what money had been paid
for them, and no two agreed. The investigation into the ownership was
then resumed, but no clew was found until Ratsey opened the box of
writing-paper, which had not interested the boys until then, and
discovered an address engraved upon each sheet--144 WEST 134TH STREET.
Whereupon he said:

"De people what lives in dat house would know about dese t'ings."

"A-hunnerd-and-t'irty-fourt' Street!" exclaimed Tag.

"Gee, dat must be goats livin' dere!" added Swipes.

Then there was another pause, during which Ratsey replaced the soldiers
neatly in the box with his little grimy fingers, and wrapped the parcel
again in the paper it had come in.

"What yer doin'?" asked Swipes.

"I dun'no' what youse two is agoin' to do," replied Ratsey, "but I'se
goin' to take de bundles what I found, an' lug 'em up to
A-hunnerd-and-t'irty-fourt' Street."

"Say," broke in Tag, "youse is on de square ter-night, Finnigan! But, by
ginger, Swipes, de kid's right! Dese ain't ourn. I say we takes de hull
swag up town--hey?"

"Perhaps dey'll give us a quarter apiece fer bringin' it back," cried
Swipes. "Let's wrap up de stuff;" and they all set to work tying up the
bundles they had undone. They made a sorry job of it, and the knots that
held the gifts together were bewildering. As they worked they discussed
the probable reward they would receive from the owner of the goods, and
each boy announced what he would spend his money for, if he got any.

With the good resolutions to return the lost property came back the
pangs of hunger that had originally led the trio into their adventure.
Ratsey, as the smallest of the company, was deputed to go and beg
something of the "dago," and in this mission he was successful, for he
returned presently with a plate heaped with bread, cold potatoes, and
assorted morsels of meat.

"But de dago says we must git out," announced Ratsey, with his mouth
full of victuals. "He says we's been here a hour."

Indeed time had fled in the stall that had for a few moments been
transformed into a very fairyland for those three boys; and it is
probable that the Italian had forgotten their presence, so quiet had
they been the while, or they would have been dislodged long before. It
required but a few minutes to dispose of the booty Ratsey had brought
in, and then the boys gathered up their sorry-looking packages, and,
having presented their host with a set of evening papers, departed. The
journey to 134th Street was a long one to look forward to, and as they
trudged eastward toward Ninth Avenue, they debated as to how it should
best be made. The simplest method seemed to be to steal rides on trucks
as often as possible, and this scheme they adopted. In this manner they
finally reached their destination, after an hour and a half of
zigzagging from one side of town to the other on various wagons, the
trip being enlivened by whip-slashes and hard words from more than one
driver whose hospitality they had courted. So it was well on toward half
past nine when they dropped from the step of an ice-cart and made their
way through 134th Street toward No. 144.

This proved to be a large double house with the windows all lighted up
and decorated with holly wreaths. The boys hesitated for some moments
about ascending the broad brownstone steps, but finally rallied to the
emergency, and Ratsey, for having suggested the return of the packages,
was pressed into acting as the spokesman of the party.

The bell sounded with a loud twang in the basement, and a few moments
later a maid, in spotless cap and apron, opened the heavy door. Her
surprise at seeing the three urchins shivering in the cold on the snowy
stoop was in no degree assumed, and she half closed the door again
before Ratsey had found his voice.

"Please, m'm," he began, "is dis de place where de gent lives as dropped
dese packages offen de elevated road?"

Instead of replying to the boy, the maid turned and pulled back the
heavy curtain that hung between the hall and the front room. The boys
caught a glimpse of a tall Christmas tree and heard the sound of many
voices.

"Mrs. Raymond," said the maid, excitedly, "here are some little boys
with Mr. Raymond's lost bundles!"

In a moment the hallway was full of people--or rather it seemed so to
the boys--and a young man in his shirt sleeves, with his clothes and
hair all covered with tinsel, was dragging them into the house. They
huddled in a corner, and held firmly to their burdens.

"Where did you find those things, kids?" asked the young man, smiling.

"Dey fell on us in Nint' Av'noo," replied Ratsey, very much embarrassed.
"Is dey yourn?"

"You bet they are," answered the young man, looking over the packages.
"That is, they belong to the gentleman who lives in this house, and they
are for his Christmas tree. He was standing on the crowded platform of a
train, and the wind blew the package and his hat away from him."

"We 'ain't got de hat," put in Swipes--and everybody laughed.

"Poor papa!" said one of the ladies, "he's been tramping around for the
last two hours trying to duplicate the things."

Just then there was the sound of a key in the lock of the front door,
and when it was opened, there entered a fat gentleman loaded with
packages. It is hardly necessary to state here what the fat gentleman
said when the situation was explained to him, nor to repeat the
marvellous account of the rescue of the toys as given by Ratsey. It
seems enough to relate that the three boys were taken down into the
kitchen and filled full of warm coffee and bread and butter, and
eventually placed upon an elevated train and sent down to their own
district, each with a silver half-dollar in his pocket. And furthermore,
on the following night, Christmas, the same three boys were again in the
basement of the big house--this time by invitation--and the tidy maid
was furnishing them with such a dinner as they had never even dreamed
of. And at the plate of each one was a present--out of the duplicates
Mr. Raymond had purchased--Ratsey's being a brass horn of even greater
proportions than the one he had found the previous evening. Tag and
Swipes likewise received gifts, and the talking those three lads did
that night would fill a thick book.

"Sure," said Ratsey, as they finally started down town again, "Harlem
beats a mission all holler, eh, Tag?" And the other two agreed with
him.



HARPER'S ROUND TABLE

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THE BEST OF MENAGERIES.

  My pa's the best menagerie
  That ever any one did see;
  I need no pets when he is by
  To make the days and hours fly,
  For any bird or beast or fish
  I want he'll be whene'er I wish.
  For instance, if I chance to want
  A safe and gentle elephant,
  He'll fasten on his own big nose
  One of my long black woollen hose,
  And on his hands and bended knees
  Is elephantine as you please,
  And truly seems to like the sport
  Of eating peanuts by the quart.
  Then, when I want the lion's roar,
  He'll go behind my bedroom door
  And growl until I sometimes fear
  The King of Beasts is really near;
  But when he finds my courage dim
  He peeps out, and I know it's him.
  And he can meow just like a cat--
  No Tom can beat my pa at that--
  And when he yowls and dabs and spits,
  It sends us all off into fits,
  So like it seems that every mouse
  Packs up his things and leaves the house.
  Then, when he barks, the passers-by
  Look all about with fearsome eye,
  And hurry off with scurrying feet
  To walk upon some other street,
  Because they think some dog is there
  To rush out at 'em from his lair.
  And oh, 'twould make you children laugh
  When daddy plays the big giraffe.
  He'll take his collar off, you know,
  And stretch his neck an inch or so,
  And look down on you from above,
  His eyes so soft and full of love,
  That, as you watched them, you would think
  From a giraffe he'd learned to blink.
  'Tis as a dolphin though that he
  Is strongest as it seems to me,
  And I don't know much finer fun
  Than sitting in the noonday sun
  Upon the beach and watching pop,
  As in the ocean he goes flop,
  And makes us children think that he's
  A porpoise from across the seas.
  And when he takes a tin tube out,
  And blows up water through the spout,
  The stupidest can hardly fail
  To think they see a great big whale!
  And that is why I say to you
  My pa's a perfect dandy zoo,
  The very best menagerie
  That ever you or I did see,
  And what is finest, let me say,
  _There never is a cent of pay!_

  GASTON V. DRAKE.



THE BOY WRECKERS.

BY W. O. STODDARD.


CHAPTER III.

THE WRECK ON THE BAR.

It was something tremendous for a young landsman to find himself away
out at sea in a three-cornered boat. Captain Kroom noticed Sam's look
and said:

"This 'ere isn't any mill-pond, eh? Well, my boy, all I'm afraid of is
that it'll be a dead calm before we can get there and back again. What I
hate is a calm. I got stuck in one once for more'n a month. It's next
thing to being wrecked."

"She's a hard boat to row," said Pete; and he spoke of the _Elephant_.

Sam did not say anything, but it seemed to him that the face of the
Atlantic might wear its pleasantest expression when it had no wrinkles
at all. He would even have been willing to row a little. The _Elephant_
thus far had wind enough in her sail for a boat of her size, and the
stranded ship could be seen pretty well without any glass. So the
Captain put the "binocular" back into its case and returned it to the
valise. Before he did so, however, he had looked across the sea long and
carefully, and he remarked:

"She's a-standing straight up, and the tugs are trying to pull her off.
Guess she isn't going to break up."

Sam felt better the moment he could again take an interest in the
wrecking business. After all, the ocean was reasonably good-tempered
that morning, and the terrible lines of surf were now far behind him. He
understood, too, that shallow water extended to a long distance out, and
that the _Elephant_ was in very good hands.

"He knows all about the weather," Pete told him; and the 'longshore boy
appeared to feel altogether at home.

According to him, they were now in the very best cruising-ground for
blue-fish, and even mackerel, but the Captain did not encourage trying
their luck. Nearer, nearer sped the _Elephant_, and at last Sam ventured
to remark:

"I guess it's just as you said. Is she on a rock?"

"Nary rock," growled the Captain. "But I'm worse puzzled than ever 'bout
the valise. This isn't the _Narragansett_. This is the _Goshawk_, and
she's from Liverpool. If we haven't come away out here for nothing!
Anyhow, I'll hail her."

It occurred to Sam that it was not needful to go close to the ship to
make them hear the trumpetlike voice with which the Captain demanded,
"What ship is that?"

"Keep away! No loafers wanted!" came back loudly.

"Stuck in the mud, are ye?" thundered the Captain. "Some lubbers don't
know how to handle a ship. I want to get some word of the
_Narragansett_, Captain Silas Pickering, New Haven. Can any of you
wreckers tell me--"

"Mate, hold on; it's old Captain Kroom."

"I say, Kroom," shouted another voice from the deck of the _Goshawk_,
"Pickering's on board. The insurance men are in charge of this craft.
That feller's nothing but her old mate. There's been more thieves--"

"Come aboard, Kroom," broke in the mate. "You're all right, but we've
had the worst kind of luck."

"No, you haven't," returned Kroom, as the _Elephant_ swept alongside the
_Goshawk_. "I've been worse wrecked than you are. Why, you are going to
save the hull and cargo!"

"That's so," said the mate, leaning over the rail; "but we lost all our
sticks. Everything that was on deck. Pickering? We took him on at
Liverpool. His ship had to be refixed, and the owners sold her, and he
won't go aboard a steamer if he can help it."

"I guess there's the right stuff in him, then," said Captain Kroom, with
energy; but the mate went on:

"He's awful, though. Some fellers came aboard soon after we struck, and
they stole his kit, and there's lots of things missing. He's been
sittin' 'round with a gun on his lap ever since, watching for thieves."

"Kroom," came loudly from behind the mate, "what do you want of me?"

The Captain said nothing, but he held up the valise, while Pete did the
same with the trousers of the blue suit.

"Where'd you get 'em?" gasped the mate.

"Trolled for 'em," responded Kroom; but he added a pretty full
explanation.

A very tall, gaunt old man was now leaning over the rail near the mate,
and he did not interrupt, but when the Captain finished his account he
took his hat off and held it out.

"Kroom," he said, "you can beat me spinning yarns. That stuff was on
deck, and they pitched it overboard to get it away. I bought that tackle
in London. Found the clothes below in my cabin, and rolled the tackle up
in 'em. Don't know why. It was all stolen day before yesterday. My other
luggage went in a tug this morning. Are you and the young chaps coming
aboard?"

"Want to, boys?" asked Kroom. "There isn't anything worth seeing."

"Guess not," said Pete. "I'll hand him up the valise and things."

"I'd rather go home," said Sam.

"No, you needn't hand it up," said Captain Pickering. "I'm coming ashore
with you. I won't be landed in a tug-boat if I can help it. I'd a'most
rather swim."

"Just my thinking," rolled out at the stern of the _Elephant_. "I quit
the sea on account of 'em--all sorts of steamers. I'm a sailor, I am. I
don't want anything to do with steam."

"Fact!" whispered Pete to Sam. "He hates even a railroad. Everything but
the old kind of ships."

[Illustration: THE START HOMEWARD FROM THE WRECK.]

Captain Pickering did not bring any gun with him. Nothing but a small
satchel. He came down over the side of the _Goshawk_ by a rope, and Sam
felt a little queer to perceive what an addition the tall, brawny old
seaman made to the load to be carried by the _Elephant_. Hardly had he
taken his seat in the middle of the boat before the wind was in her sail
and her head was turned landward.

"It's comin' on a calm," said Pickering, "but we may get there first."

"Not across the bay," replied Kroom; "but we may get inside the bar.
That was an old trick of the thieves with that spar for a buoy. No use
to search their boat, you know. I've known it tried in all sorts of
places."

"They reckoned on getting it again alongshore?" asked Pickering.

"Yes," replied Kroom; "but they didn't reckon on the tide through the
inlet. Our bay-men pick up stuff all the while that came in that way.
It's all right. Dry as a bone."

"Of course it is," said Pickering. "I say, boy, if that suit fits you,
keep it. You and he can have some of the tackle."

That meant Pete and Sam, and they were ready to say "Thank you, sir";
but they were a great deal more ready to keep still while the two old
sailors talked about the storm which had stranded the _Goshawk_, and
about other storms they had known. It must have been quite a hurricane;
but even before it was fully described, Captain Pickering had his valise
open, and was slowly looking over some of its contents. Log-books,
log-books, log-books. Sam knew what they were now, and he would have
given something to know what was in them.

"That's one of the _Narragansett_'s," said its owner, laying it down. "I
sailed her for six years. One trip was 'round the world. Last ship I'll
ever have. She was an old one. They're not buildin' many more of those
prime clippers we used to have. It's all steam nowadays. I can't do
anything with steam, Kroom. Can you?"

"I don't want any," replied the Captain. "It's taking the place of
horses, too, on land. That and 'lectricity and these 'ere two-wheeled
things they call cycles. I wouldn't any more ride one of 'em--"

"Did you ever ride a horse?" asked Pickering. "I did once; but I didn't
know how to steer him, and we made a losin' voyage of it."

"Well," said the Captain, "I can drive. Kind o' drive. But I'd rather
have some other feller navigate, as a rule. I'm most at home in a boat.
Watch now. We'll be in the breakers in less'n five minutes."

"Good boat," remarked Captain Pickering. "But we're too many in her."
Nevertheless, he talked right along about ships, as cool as a cucumber,
even when the _Elephant_ was making her dangerous way through the blind
channel. "Glad you know where it is," he said to Kroom. "I'd ha' swamped
her tryin' to find it. We're nigh half full o' water anyhow."

That was what had troubled Sam, for again and again the tossing waves of
the channel had washed over in, and he and Pete had been baling their
best. Not that Pete appeared to be troubled, and he had remarked to
their passenger: "Captain Kroom knows every channel around this bay.
He'll get through."

So he did, and they were now inside of the breakers, between them and
the bar. Right ahead of them, moreover, was another cat-boat, twice as
large as the _Elephant_, with four men in it.

"There they are!" exclaimed Pickering. "The very chaps that came aboard
the _Goshawk_ this morning. Reckon they'd been there before, too. Tell
you what, Kroom, they're hunting for that spar-buoy, to get the things
they hung to it."

"They won't get 'em," growled Kroom. "But every man of 'em belongs on
the other side o' the bay. They are oyster and clam dredgers. Some of
our fishermen are born wreckers, sure's you live. Anything they can take
off a stranded ship is fair game to them."

"I guess so," said Pickering. "They thought they'd made a good find this
time. That valise'd ha' been a fortune to 'em, chronometers and all.
Glad you struck it."

"Sam hooked it," said Pete, "but it was Captain Kroom pulled it in. Sam
thought he had the biggest kind of fish."

"Hullo, Captain!" came from the other boat. "Have ye had any luck?"

"Not any," responded Kroom. "But I want to get inside before it's calm."

"That there wreck out there's a Britisher," said the boatman. "They'll
get her off. We haven't struck a fish to-day. We're goin' on in."

They were only out there fishing, all innocent, therefore, but they let
the _Elephant_ keep away a little, or they kept away from her.

"Wonder what they've picked up?" muttered Pickering.

"Look back," replied Kroom. "Don't you see something?"

"I do!" whispered Sam to Pete. "It's something white--"

"Right in the wake of their boat," said Kroom. "They must ha' let go of
it just as we came out of the channel."

"That's it!" said Pickering. "That's where those life-preservers went
to. One of 'em makes a better buoy-mark than any spar would."

"Captain," put in Pete, "that one isn't hitched to anything; it's
running right along on the tide. It's loose."

"Fact!" exclaimed Kroom. "You've pretty good eyes, Pete. I saw 'em. They
didn't pull up anything, but they tried to. It only broke loose,
whatever it was."

"No, you don't!" said Pickering, sharply. "It's hitched on the bottom
again. They saw us coming, and they let go. That's all."

"Get out your lines, boys," shouted Kroom. "We'll try for blue-fish, up
and down here," and then he added, to the men in the other boat: "I
won't go home empty-handed. Why don't you fellers throw a hook?"

"No use, Captain," came back. "We may get some weakfish in the inlet,
but you'll only throw away time."

"We've got all the time there is," said Captain Kroom; but Sam and Pete
were making haste, and when the _Elephant_ tacked again their lines were
out.

"Shouldn't wonder if they were kind o' mad," remarked Pickering. "But
there was more'n one life-preserver on deck. They can hunt for the
others."

"That's what they'll do," said Kroom; "but this one's follerin' us.
Whatever is hitched to it'll anchor it in shoal water. Things have to go
over the bar and into the bay at high tide. They know that, and they
think they can wait."

The wide spread of water between the surf and the beach was now
comparatively smooth, with long low waves playing lazily across it.

There might be fish there, but most likely not, the Captain said, and it
ought not to arouse any suspicions of the wreckers that he wanted to try
it.

They sailed ahead for the inlet, but Pete may have been correct when he
told his shipmates, old and young:

"They're a-watching us. They mean to see if we're just after fish."

"There comes that thing!" exclaimed Sam; but Pickering caught his arm.

"Don't you point, boy! Don't anybody look at it! Fish away. I guess it
isn't worth much, but they needn't see us get it."

The _Elephant_ had not begun her remarkable voyage very early in the
day, and more time had passed than her boy crew were aware of. Her
commander, however, had kept track of the tides and the hours, like the
sharp old fisherman that he was.

"We went out with the tide," he said to Pickering. "It's turned to run
in now. Those chaps'll wait for that stuff at the other end of the
inlet. I don't want 'em to guess that we know a thing about it; but
it'll be good and dark before we get home."

"My folks know I went fishing," said Sam. "They won't care."

"Mine won't, if they learn that I'm with Captain Kroom," said Pete.
"They know he doesn't come home early-- Hullo! Blue-fish!"

He had struck one; he pulled it in rapidly, but, the moment it came
within reach, Captain Kroom seized it and stood straight up in the boat,
hailing the wreckers with:

"Luck! Four-pounder!"

"All right!" came faintly back over the water. "It's all you'll get."

"Guess not," grumbled Pickering. "But I wish I knew if they had anything
from the _Goshawk_ in their boat. There was another lot of chaps there,
just like 'em."

"We can't help it if they have," said Kroom. "Do you know, they're not a
bad kind of chap. Honest as the day on shore. Wouldn't cheat you in the
weight of a fish. It was just so with the Cornish wreckers that
plundered me once."

"Never was wrecked in my life," replied Pickering. "This _Goshawk_
business wasn't mine. I wasn't in charge of the ship. It doesn't count."

"Well," said Kroom, "I wasn't ever wrecked after I got to be Captain.
Most of mine came younger. I went to sea when I was a little feller.
What I hate around a wreck is sharks."

If he was just about to tell a shark story, his chance for it was
spoiled. He had a line of his own out now, and the next instant he
exclaimed:

"Pete! Pickering! Take care of the boat while I get him in. 'Tisn't any
blue-fish this time!"

The _Elephant_ yawed and leaned over dangerously before Captain
Pickering could get to the tiller, but Pete let the sail swing out like
a tiptop young boatman.

"Just in time!" he said. "Sam, the Captain's got a big one!"

It was indeed a fish, but the flurry of excitement on board the
_Elephant_ had not escaped eyes that were watching her. One eye, the
right eye of a pretty sharp pair, had been squinting through a
pocket-telescope, such as coast-wise men of that sort are very apt to
carry.

"Boys," exclaimed its owner, "old Kroom has found something. Come on!"

The next moment that cat-boat, with the four wreckers in it, was tacking
as straight a course as it could make toward the _Elephant_.

"Meet 'em, Pickering," thundered Captain Kroom. "I'm bringing him in.
They mustn't guess we are after anything but fish."

"They won't," said Pickering, "not if you can show 'em a prime
sea-bass."

"That's what it is, Sam," said Pete. "I told you this was the place to
get 'em. If he doesn't know all about fish!"

The Captain was putting out his strength as well as his knowledge just
now. A less-experienced fisherman might have lost that splendid bass,
hooking him with only blue-fish tackle. It was well, too, to have
Pickering in charge of the _Elephant_, for she ran into rougher water
while the fish-fight went on.

[TO BE CONTINUED.]



[Illustration: INTERSCHOLASTIC SPORT]


The All-Connecticut Interscholastic Football Team for 1896 is as
follows:

  J. B. PORTER, _New Britain High-School_                   end.
  P. F. MCDONOUGH, _New Britain High-School_             tackle.
  PAUL THOMPSON, _Hillhouse H.-S._                        guard.
  E. W. SMITH, _Hartford H.-S._                          centre.
  R. B. HIXON, _Hotchkiss School_                         guard.
  T. L. MONTAGUE, _Hotchkiss School_                     tackle.
  NORMAN GILLETTE, _Hartford H.-S._                         end.
  F. R. STURTEVANT, _Hart. H.-S._                  quarter-back.
  E. A. STRONG, _Hartford H.-S._                      half-back.
  H. C. LANE, _Meriden H.-S._                         half-back.
  PETER O'DONNELL, _New Brit. H.-S._                  full-back.

The substitutes are: J. R. Smith, Norwich Free Academy, end; T. F.
Flannery, New Britain H.-S., tackle; F. A. Wheeler, Bridgeport H.-S.,
guard; Ernest Towers, New Britain H.-S., centre; J. E. Meehan, New
Britain H.-S., quarter-back; Godfrey Brinley, New Britain H.-S.,
half-back; J. D. Lucas, Norwich Free Academy, full-back.

[Illustration: NORMAN GILLETTE, End.]

[Illustration: P. F. McDONOUGH, Tackle.]

[Illustration: E. W. SMITH, Centre.]

[Illustration: T. L. MONTAGUE, Tackle.]

[Illustration: J. B. PORTER, End.]

[Illustration: R. B. HIXON, Guard and Captain.]

[Illustration: PAUL THOMPSON, Guard.]

[Illustration: F. R. STURTEVANT, Quarter-back.]

[Illustration: H. C. LANE, Half-back.]

[Illustration: E. A. STRONG, Half-back.]

[Illustration: PETER O'DONNELL, Full-back.]

In selecting these players care has been taken to look over very
carefully the work of the men on the weaker teams. The requirements of
each man are "sand," experience, and physical endurance.

For centre, E. W. Smith, of Hartford, is undoubtedly the best man
playing at that position among the schools of Connecticut. He plays a
very fast game, is good at making holes, tackles well, and follows the
ball every time. R. B. Hixon, of the Hotchkiss School, is beyond doubt
the best guard of the schools. He has played every year since he has
been in school. He understands the game thoroughly, and has a
magnificent physique, which virtually makes him a "stone wall." Thompson
of Hillhouse H.-S. is better than Wheeler of Bridgeport, because he is
more strategic and quicker on his feet. He can get through the line very
nearly every time, and gets in a great many tackles. He is also very
good on the defence.

T. L. Montague, of Hotchkiss School, and P. F. McDonough, of New
Britain, are easily chosen for tackles. Both run well with the ball,
hold their man well, and are good in getting through and making tackles.
Flannery of New Britain runs well with the ball and holds his man, but
is not so good at tackling as either Montague or McDonough.

J. B. Porter, of New Britain, is beyond doubt the best among the ends.
He is an almost sure tackler, and is down the field every time on a
punt. Norman Gillette, of Hartford, has been chosen for the other end,
because he breaks up interference well and gets hold of his man nearly
every time. J. R. Smith is good, but too often lets his man go after
making a tackle.

For quarter-back it is hard to choose between F. R. Sturtevant, of
Hartford, and J. E. Meehan, of New Britain. Both play the game for all
it is worth. In passing and tackling Sturtevant surpasses Meehan, but
Meehan gets into the interference a great deal better than Sturtevant.
On the whole, however, taking in the important points of strategy and
command of men, Sturtevant may be ranked as the better player.

It is extremely difficult to pick out the half-backs. H. C. Lane, of
Meriden, is one of the finest players that ever played in the League. He
runs extremely hard and fast, and tackles superbly. The difficulty came
in choosing the other half-back. For this position E. A. Strong, of
Hartford, and Godfrey Brinley, of New Britain, are the best men. Brinley
runs very fast around the end and displays a great deal of "sand," but
he has always been assisted with first-class interference. Strong, on
the other hand, has as much, if not more, "sand" as Brinley. He runs
fast, and knows how to interfere with his hands, and if he had had such
good interference as Brinley did, I think his runs would have been as
long.

For full-back the choice lies between Peter O'Donnell, of New Britain,
and J. D. Lucas, of Norwich. Lucas does not hit the line as hard as
O'Donnell, but fully equals him in tackling and punting. O'Donnell has a
better knowledge of the game.

For captain of this team R. B. Hixon, of Hotchkiss, should have the
honor. The team he was captain of is one of the best teams playing
football among the schools this year. He has plenty of experience, and a
good control over his men.

The financial side of the Interscholastic football season in Connecticut
seems to have been very successful this year, for the statement of
receipts and expenditures as made out by the treasurer shows that there
is $400 in the treasury. This does not include the total profit from all
the games, as the managers of the Association hold back each year $100,
for incidental expenses the next season.

The profits of this year--that is, the $400--are to be divided among the
eight elevens that made up the membership of the Association, each
school to receive $50. I have gone into this detail in order that I
might introduce a rather startling quotation from the Meriden _Journal_.
It is to be hoped that this paper does not represent the Connecticut
idea of sportsmanship. At any rate, the Meriden _Journal_ avers that the
division of the spoils is not quite just. It argues that Meriden and New
Britain, having played for the championship at New Haven, deserve to
receive more money than the other teams of the League. It cannot
understand why Suffield, who was only admitted to the Association this
year, and forfeited its scheduled match against Norwich, should have the
same amount of cash as any other team.

As a remedy for this state of affairs the _Journal_ suggests that the
two elevens which came together for the final championship contest
divide fifty per cent. of the net receipts for the season, the elevens
in the semi-finals thirty per cent., and the elevens which figured in
the opening games only, twenty per cent. If this is not advocating the
playing of football for money, and is not thus a direct propaganda of
professionalism, I don't know what is. If the editor of the Meriden
_Journal_ believes that the schoolboys in his neighborhood are playing
football for the prize-money to be divided at the end of the year I am
sure he is very much mistaken in his men.

Nevertheless, any such statement as this, especially when given currency
in the city of the team that stood second in the League, is exceedingly
injurious not only to the reputation of that team and school but to the
entire Connecticut Association. Many persons who read this, and who do
not know that the _Journal_ is discussing a subject in which its
ignorance is made evident by what it says, will believe that
interscholastic sport is being carried forward on a money basis.

Everybody knows, of course, that no enterprise, not even sport in the
truest amateur spirit, can be carried on without the expenditure of some
money. The railroads will not carry amateurs free of charge, nor will
tailors furnish them with football suits for nothing. Therefore it is
necessary that the Association have some revenue. This is usually
obtained in one of two ways, either by subscriptions levied in the
various schools or by charging admission-fees at the more important
games. The latter is in many respects the better, because it distributes
the taxation over a greater number of people.

If, however, at the end of the year it is found that the revenues are
greater than the expenses, the treasurer of the Association should
profit by this knowledge to do away with certain features of taxation
the next year; for his endeavor should be to collect only just the
amount of money that is needed to defray the legitimate expenses of the
several football teams under his care.

The very fact of dividing up money at all savors of professionalism, but
when you come to dispose of it in proportion to the success of the
teams, the offence is made even worse. Any of these elevens in question
that accepts a dividend makes itself liable to charges of
professionalism, and a strict interpretation of the ethics of sport
would find it guilty. It is to be hoped that the Connecticut Association
will recognize this fact as soon as it is pointed out to them, and
reconsider the proposition of sending $50 to each team. If the money
were left in the treasury of the Association it would be a different
affair entirely from dealing it out to the treasuries of the various
schools that played in the League.

The simple fact that $100 is held by the Central Treasury for next
year's expenses shows that the $400 is considered as a surplus or
profit. Therefore any team that accepts such profit puts itself in a
dangerous position, so far as its amateur standing is concerned. As I
understand the case--and as it should be, if it is not--the treasurer of
the Association defrays the expenses of the several teams upon
requisition of the several managers. Therefore he alone should handle
the moneys of the Association, and next year, when the expenses begin
again, it is he who should provide what is necessary.

The $400 now standing to the account of the Connecticut Association
should be devoted to the maintenance of that Association, and not to the
benefit of the individuals who make up its membership. The fact that
there is so much money on hand will make it very well possible for the
games next year to be carried on without the charge of an admission-fee,
or it will enable the managers to present this year a trophy of some
kind to the winning team, or they might even go to the extravagance of
presenting the eleven champions with some small souvenir, as is
frequently done in the colleges, such as a gold football for a
watch-charm.

The misunderstanding which has occurred in the New England
Interscholastic Football League, and which was spoken of briefly in this
Department last week, may be briefly stated as follows: The constitution
of the Association as published in book form requires that fifteen days'
notice of the eligibility of any player be given in writing to the
secretary before the date of playing. At the beginning of the season the
Boston _Journal_ was voted the official organ of the Association, and on
October 30 that paper published a part of the constitution, but omitted
entirely any reference to the fifteen-day clause. The same article
contained also the names of the various players for the schools, and was
published on the first day of the games of the interscholastic series.

[Illustration: THE CAMBRIDGE MANUAL-TRAINING SCHOOL FOOTBALL TEAM.]

The Cambridge Manual-Training School acknowledges the rule in the
constitution which requires a fifteen-day notice, but pleads ignorance
for not having complied with it in the case of one of its players,
urging its belief that the fifteen-day clause had been stricken out,
since it did not appear in the constitution as published by the Boston
_Journal_, the official organ of the Association, on October 30. The
donors of the cup for which the teams contest have the power to change
the constitution as they wish. C.M.-T.S. thought that the donors had
availed themselves of this privilege when they saw the constitution
printed in the _Journal_ without the fifteen-day clause.

The player whose name was not submitted to the committee is S. S.
Merrill, who played end on the Worcester Academy team last season. This
year he has been a member of the Burdett Business College of Boston,
playing end on its football team until he changed to Cambridge
Manual-Training School. He entered Cambridge Manual-Training School
October 26, and his name was sent to the Executive Committee November 9.
On November 13 Merrill played against Hopkinson's, and the game was
protested by the latter school inside the allotted time for protests. In
the games with Boston Latin and English High, on November 17 and
November 20 respectively, Merrill also played, and while these games
were protested by the two schools their claims were on different grounds
than those of Hopkinson's. Boston Latin's protest related to Merrill not
being a member of Cambridge Manual fifteen days before playing, which
was not sustained according to statistical proof from the principal of
Cambridge Manual. English High's protest was on a question of fact, and
an article of the constitution settled that.

While the consequences have been serious to the Cambridge
Manual-Training School, it appears that the sentiment of the entire
Association was for some reason so strong against C.M.-T.S. that the
officers of the Association could not allow that school to violate even
one letter of the constitution. The committee accepts the statement that
there was no malicious intent, and says in its decision that it feels
that "Cambridge Manual has not intentionally broken the constitution,
and has acted in perfect good faith."

This is an unfortunate complication, and one greatly to be deplored.
Cambridge Manual seems to have suffered a penalty out of all proportion
to the offence committed, and while it is just that the committee of the
Interscholastic Association should enforce the constitution to the very
letter, and while it seems that in the present case they have not in any
way exceeded their duties, still I believe that, so long as Merrill was
a _bona fide_ student at the school, every sportsman will consider
C.M.-T.S. the virtual, if not actually the pennant-holding, champion of
the Senior League of the New England Interscholastic Football
Association.

In especial relation to these recent occurrences, it is good news that a
conference of interscholastic football authorities will be held in the
latter part of next month. It is proposed at that time to go over the
constitution carefully, and to add or eradicate such clauses as the
conditions in Boston may seem to require.

The protest of Trinity School against De La Salle was withdrawn at the
last meeting of the New York Interscholastic Association's executive
committee, and the championship has been awarded to De La Salle
Institute. This makes one more unpleasant incident that is put away into
the past without being dragged out to an unpleasant length; and no
matter what Trinity's position may have been in the case, her athletic
managers have done well to drop their protest.

In addition to in-door track athletics this winter the Brooklyn schools
will have a handball league, and the schedule of games has already been
laid out as follows:

  January 16--Pratt Institute _vs._ Brooklyn High, and Poly. Prep _vs._
      Brooklyn Latin.
  January 23--Pratt _vs._ Brooklyn Latin, and Adelphi _vs._ Poly. Prep.
  January 30--Brooklyn High _vs._ Brooklyn Latin, and Pratt _vs._ Adelphi.
  February 6--Brooklyn Latin _vs._ Adelphi, and Poly. Prep. _vs._ Pratt.
  February 20--Brooklyn High _vs._ Pratt.
  February 27--Poly. Prep. _vs._ Brooklyn High.

Brooklyn Latin School and Poly. Prep, will probably have the strongest
teams, from present appearances, and as the game has been played by both
these institutions for some seasons past, some exciting contests should
result.

_Unless unforeseen contingencies arise to prevent, the All-New York and
the All-Chicago Interscholastic Football Teams will be announced in the
next issue of this Department._

"FOOTBALL FACTS AND FIGURES."--BY WALTER CAMP.--POST 8VO, PAPER, 75
CENTS.

  THE GRADUATE.



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QUESTIONS FOR YOUNG MEN.

ON CHOOSING A PROFESSION.


The old story told of the great Duke of Wellington, the man who defeated
Napoleon at Waterloo, that he wanted football-players for his Generals
has been supplemented within the last few weeks by a similar statement
made by the Honorable Theodore Roosevelt, the president of the police
commissioners of the greatest city of America. Mr. Roosevelt's remark
was made at a public meeting which he was addressing on the general
subject of the modern city, with especial reference to the police, and
he said that he wanted vigorous, manly men for policemen, men who in
their younger days had made or would have made good football-players had
they been given the chance. This does not mean that everybody from a
policeman up to a General is made a competent official merely because he
has played football. It is merely a phrase, but that phrase has a
distinct meaning to every one, because it suggests what qualities are
required in any walk of life to make successful, competent workers.

The great Duke and the distinguished police commissioner meant by this
that they wanted for their lieutenants men who knew what discipline
was--men who were ready at any moment to jump into any work, and do it
with all their strength of mind or body, or both; men who were
self-reliant and could be trusted, who knew how to obey and how to
command and how to do things themselves. It is not enough to-day to say
that this or that boy is absolutely trustworthy in order to get him a
situation in a shop, a banking-house, or a law-office, in the leather or
the toy business. He _must_ be trustworthy. It is taken for granted that
he is honest. This is not undervaluing honesty in the least. Quite the
reverse, in fact, because if a boy is not absolutely reliable, nobody
wants him, no matter how clever he may be. But there are hosts of honest
boys--in fact almost all of them are straightforward. But to get a place
in any establishment much besides honesty and reliability is required,
and hence the good old Sunday-school-story type of boy who made millions
because--and only because--he was honest, is unfair to the average boy
reader, since it makes him think that success is at his hand if he is
only honest.

That is the mistake many a fine chap makes, and when after a while he
does not get ahead, in spite of his honesty, he grows melancholy and
disgusted. When you get a place as boy in a store, as clerk in a
banking-house, or assistant in a professional office, you must take
things into your own hands. Naturally you want to advance yourself, but
the quickest way of doing this is to let your own interest drop for the
time, and study out what is your employer's interest. Having found this,
try every day in the year to see how you can improve, suggest, push
forward his success. Pretty soon he begins to notice you, to think over
your suggestions. In time something comes up, and he wants a man for a
certain purpose. Ten to one he will think you are the only one for it,
because you have been keeping yourself before him so much in a way that
helps him. And not long afterwards you are the man he relies on. That is
the beginning, and like all good thorough beginnings, it is more than
half the battle.

When you sit down to choose a profession, then--unless you have a very
definite idea of what you want to do, and in that case the work is easy,
for you only have to work at it hard and long to make your living by
it--when you sit down to make a choice, and have no great preference,
say to yourself that you will take whatever job you can get, and will
not only do that which is given you to do honestly and thoroughly, but
will get up each morning thinking out some little thing that may
possibly be of advantage to your employer's purse or fame. It cannot
help making an impression, for business men are just as human as
office-boys, and if you only show them that you are trying your best to
add to their fortunes or their name, they cannot help watching you,
trusting you, advancing you. And any business that is done well and
vigorously will not only become interesting, but will give you a chance
to make a successful life, and to add to the good of your
fellow-countrymen, besides giving you a living into the bargain.
Anything well done and worked at hard and long--for twenty years,
say--is sure to be conquered, and whether it is the keeping of a
grocery-store or the running of a government, the same qualities of
honesty, originality, and thoroughness are required, and, if employed,
are successful. What you do, then, is not so important as the push and
vigor which you put into it.

       *       *       *       *       *

AMERICA STILL AHEAD.

Russia is a very large country, and with Siberia's immense area
included, the size of the United States suffers in comparison with her.
One of her newspapers has vaunted the proposed transporting of a whole
town some forty odd miles along a frozen river (a heretofore unknown
feat, as it claims), the object of the removal being to place the town
among some hills that lend themselves admirably to the purpose of
fortification, thus securing a valuable military station. It will
undoubtedly be quite a feat to accomplish such a task, and if the
Russian engineers find any hitch in their plans, they can surmount the
difficulties by reference to a similar undertaking successfully
accomplished in the State of Illinois, namely, the moving of the town of
Nauvoo over a frozen river. In the course of three winters this was
done, and seven hundred houses were transported, and a new town, now a
prosperous place, was established. The Russian newspapers can boast of
the great work of moving one of their towns; but it is a pleasure to
know that the United States long ago anticipated them in such matters.



[Illustration: THE CAMERA CLUB]

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


IMITATION CARBON PRINTS.

Those of our amateurs who have used the formulas for tinted papers will
enjoy preparing paper in imitation of carbon prints. The method is one
of the simplest forms of sensitizing paper. The formula is as follows:

No. 1.

  White gum-arabic           4 oz.
  Distilled water            6 oz.

Dissolve the gum-arabic in the water--heating the water--and if, when
dissolved, the mixture does not measure ten ounces, add enough clear
water to make that amount.

No. 2.

  Bichromate of potash        1 oz.
  Distilled water             9 oz.

For use mix equal parts of the solution, and filter; then take a tube of
moist water-color, any tint desired, and dissolve enough of it in the
solution to produce the tint desired. Pin a sheet of photographic paper
to a flat board, and apply the solution with a flat brush after the
manner described for sensitizing paper. The paper must be sensitized by
gas or lamp light.

This paper is not a printing-out paper, but is developed. Expose under
the negative, lay the print for a few seconds in lukewarm water, then
place it face up on a sheet of glass, and develop it with hot water,
using it about 110° F.; rinse, and place for ten minutes in a bath made
of

  Powdered alum            1 oz.
  Water                   20 oz.

As the progress of the printing cannot be seen, it is a good idea to
sensitize a strip of paper, and experiment with the printing till the
time for exposure can be ascertained.

     SIR KNIGHT KENNETH TANNER, 711 First Avenue, Asbury Park, N. J.,
     says that he has intensified several of his negatives with mercury,
     and that they are fading fast, and wishes to know how to preserve
     them. They may be restored by soaking in a solution made of
     Schlippe's salts, 40 gr., and water, 4 oz. Soak the negative in
     clear water till thoroughly wet, and then immerse in the restoring
     solution till the desired effect is obtained.

     LADY EUDORA LANDERS asks if the picture which she encloses in her
     letter belongs in any of the classes for which prizes are offered.
     The picture is that of a building--a log house--and therefore would
     not come in any of the classes. The picture is a good one, and well
     taken; but the camera was not exactly level, and the lines of the
     horizon slant. If the picture is squared by the horizon-line and
     trimmed, this defect will be remedied.

     SIR KNIGHT R. J. GEDDES asks if by prepared photographic paper is
     meant salted paper. The paper, if bought unsalted, must be salted
     before it is used. Sir Knight Geddes will find directions for
     making green tones in No. 862, May 5, 1896.

     SIR KNIGHT LEONARD KEBLER, 142 Harrison St., East Orange, N. J.,
     asks if his name is enrolled among the members of the Camera Club,
     and for the number of the ROUND TABLE which contains directions for
     enlarging. Sir Leonard says that in an answer to one of the queries
     asking about enlarging, the answer was that directions could be
     found in No. 801, March 5, 1895, but that he looked in this number
     and there was no article on photography. By referring to the number
     mentioned the editor finds an article on "Bromide Enlargements."
     This tells how to make an enlarged photograph from a small
     negative, which is what Sir Leonard means. Bromide paper is the
     sensitive paper used for such photographs, and they are called
     bromide enlargements. Sir Leonard is enrolled in the Camera Club.

     SIR KNIGHT HARRY CHASE sends a print, and asks if it would come
     under marines or landscapes. It would be classed with the marines.
     It is a good picture, the water looking like water and not like
     chalk or snow.

     SIR KNIGHT F. G. CLAPP asks if the rule in the photographic
     competition saying no picture shall be sent which has been
     submitted in other competitions, means the ROUND TABLE
     competitions, or all competitions. It means any competition in
     which prizes are offered for best photographs. The object of our
     prize competition is to stimulate our club to do its best work
     expressly for this competition. We wish new pictures with fresh
     subjects, not pictures that have been sent to other competitions
     and placed on exhibition.

     SIR KNIGHT GILBERT JACKSON asks if there is any way to remove an
     object from a negative which one does not want in the finished
     print. The objectionable part of the picture may be blocked out by
     painting over it, on the glass side of the negative, with Gihon's
     opaque, a non-actinic water-color paint.

     "EDITH" asks how to enlarge from a silver print. In order to
     enlarge from a silver print, it would be necessary to make a
     negative from the print, and then make a bromide enlargement from
     the negative according to direction given in No. 801, March 5,
     1895.

     SIR KNIGHT CONANT TAYLOR encloses a print and asks what is the
     matter with it. The picture was not printed deep enough, and has
     faded in the toning. It has the appearance of being overtoned, or
     toned in poor solution. In toning, when not sure that the bath is
     all right, test it according to directions given beginners for
     testing toning solutions. Take a piece of blue litmus paper and dip
     it into the toning solution. If it turns red the bath is too acid.
     Add enough of the alkali to turn the paper back to blue.
     Bicarbonate of soda is an alkali. In toning remove the prints from
     the bath before they are quite toned, as they fade in washing.



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[Illustration: STAMP COLLECTORS]

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Harper's New Catalogue

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



[Illustration]

A MYSTERY TRIP.

A PUZZLE WITH FORTY DOLLARS OFFERED IN PRIZES FOR BEST ANSWERS.


A mystery trip it was indeed, that of our Half Dozen Club. The route of
the journey was decided by a game of hare and hounds. The points of
interest to be visited were snatched by the hounds while following the
track of the hare from innumerable papers which designedly marked the
latter's course. Could any route be made more uncertain?

After the game, when the papers, previously marked with the names of
notable persons, places, and things, were put together in order, it was
found that we should have a remarkable company, and an even more
remarkable route. Let me describe both as we take the journey in fancy
together.

Our conveyance was the magic carpet(1) of Prince Houssain. Safe? Well,
it might not have been had we not carried the Dart of Abaris(2). Then
the god(3) who was thrown from Olympus for getting mixed up in a family
row acted as guide and kept us from danger by wearing Tidbottom's
spectacles(4). For a rudder he used Van Tromp's broom(5).

We arrived in no time at Kit's Coty House(6), and began at once to pick
up souvenirs. The Knight of the Rueful Countenance(7) got the bones of
his famous horse(3). The witty English clergyman(9) who, to make his nag
speedier, hung his food before the nag's nose, but just out of his
reach, got the bones of a dog that won literary fame for his master(10).

Snatching the magic tent of Prince Ahmed(11) and a supply of smoke
farthings(12), onion pennies(13), and screw dollars(14) to pay expenses,
we passed through the ivory gate(15) to the shore of the sea of
darkness(16), where we embarked in the ship Skid Bladnir(17). We visited
the islands of Laputa(18), were ship-wrecked while passing the magnetic
mountain of Prince Agib(19), and barely escaped with our lives and
curios to the shore of the Land of Cakes(20).

Here we were joined by Dr. Mirabilis(21), the mutton-eating king(22),
the hero of the red shirt(23), Abel Shufflebottom(24), and a company of
bridge bachelors(25). So many were we that the supply of
Galli-Maufry(26) ran low, and when we reached the Land of Cocaigne(27)
we were wellnigh starved.

Our party now separated, some going to the Grid-iron palace(28) and
others to King Cunobelin's Gold Mines(29). Of course we were
disappointed at not being able to visit the heart of Midlothian(30),
Montezuma's Watch(31), or the Land of the Morning Calm(32). But we got
home on Running Thursday(33), just in time for New Year next day. We had
a little money left, for we had consulted the wise men of Gotham(34).
Had we not done so, we should certainly have donned the badge of
poverty(35) forthwith, or we might have put on a badge bearing what
follows, and charge a certain sum per guess at the answer. Did you ever
hear of a person increasing his income in that way? But here is what we
might have donned, for people whom we met to answer.

"I(36) used to live, for two hundred years or so, in the tops of high
trees in the forest. Then I was smashed, oh! so fine, and went into war.
I played an important part in the Civil War. I helped to kill, and was,
by thousands and thousands of men, torn to pieces myself. I am light,
yet heavy, and everybody knows me, or of me."

Or this badge might have earned us more money:

"I(37) have two legs only, but everybody would say, judging from my
name, that I have a dozen. I am often called a crank. Know books? Yes,
but never read them. I have much to do with chairs--wearing them
out--and people often wonder how I live."

But to return to the trip long enough to say that it was a great one!

       *       *       *       *       *

In this fanciful story are mentioned some famous people, usually by
their nicknames, and some odd historic places and things. There are also
two riddles. In sending answers, do not write out the story. Number
names as numbered here, write one below another in the proper order, and
put your name and address at the top of your first sheet of answers.
Mail answers not later than January 9, 1897, to HARPER'S ROUND TABLE,
New York--no street number required--and put in the lower left-hand
corner of your envelope "Puzzle Answer." Correct answers, with names of
winners, will be published in HARPER'S ROUND TABLE as early after the
close of the contest as possible, probably within about two weeks.

The prizes, which will be awarded by the Messrs. Harper & Brothers,
Publishers, New York, are: $40, divided among the ten best solvers
according to merit. If one solver stands conspicuously ahead of the rest
he or she will be given from $10 to $25, as the comparative excellence
of the answer warrants. Persons of any age may help find the answers,
but only those who have not passed their 18th birthday, and who are
members of households in which this paper is regularly read, may send
them in. Merit signifies correctness and neatness, and has no reference
to the solution reaching the office of HARPER'S ROUND TABLE first in
point of time. Elaborate decoration of answers is not encouraged. Use
common stationery, note size, and do not roll. Write on one side of the
paper only. Everything comes to those who--try!



[Illustration: STAMPS]

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


The stamp business was unusually dull throughout the summer and fall,
and the expected revival has not yet appeared. Probably one reason is
that every one is waiting for the 1897 catalogues. The astonishing rise
in the value of unused stamps seems to have concentrated speculation in
this direction, and the needless manufacture of "new varieties" with
fancy prices has discouraged the average collector. It is high time to
come down to a philatelic basis, and let the financial side of
collecting alone for a season. The advance in prices has nearly reached
its limit in the majority of cases, and subsequent increase of value
will be slow. In many instances there will be either a retrocession,
or--the dealers will keep the stamps in their safes vainly waiting for
customers.

Some idea of the extent of the U. S. postal service is given in the
following figures from the President's message:

MAIL MATTER FOR THE YEAR ENDING

June 30, 1896.

                                          Weight.
                                          Pounds.        Revenue.
  Letters and postal cards              65,337,343     $60,624,464
  Newspapers                           348,988,648       2,996,403
  Books, seeds, etc.                    78,701,148      10,324,069
  Merchandise                           19,950,187       3,129,321
  Free matter                           94,480,189         ....
  Received for box rents, etc., over       ....          5,424,951
                                       -----------     -----------
  Total                                607,457,515     $82,499,208

The entire expenditures of the department, including pay for
transportation credited to the Pacific railroads, was $92,186,195.11,
which may be considered as the cost of receiving, carrying, and
delivering the above mail-matter.

     F. ORMISTON.--An immense quantity of Roman States remainders were
     sold to dealers, hence prices are very low. Your stamps are worth
     from 3c. to 5c. each.

     M. E. JENKINS.--U. S. cent, 1798, worth 20c.; 1802, 25c.;
     half-cent, 1809, 10c.; 1828, 20c.; 10c. shinplaster, face. "Army
     and Navy" is not a coin, but is a token, and has no money value.

     D. W. HARDIN, 1003 Court Street, Saginaw, Mich., wishes to exchange
     U. S. Revenues with beginners in the same line.

     H. L. MOSSMAN.--Canadian penny, 1854, is worth face only.

     CONSTANT READER.--1. See reply to A. W. de Roade in No. 893. 2. The
     coins have no premium. 3. Apply to any respectable dealer.

     F. T. O.--Bergedorf half-schilling is worth 50c. The 5c. Columbian
     worth 1c.

     DEL ROSE MCCANN, Ridley Park, Pa., F. MIKELSKI, Bath, Me., wish to
     exchange stamps.

     J. RICO.--Do not attempt too much. The collection of minor
     varieties requires time, money, and knowledge. You had better
     collect "straight" stamps only. By the time you have got together
     three or four thousand you will have required much knowledge, and
     then be in a position to decide what special line, _if any_, you
     purpose to take.

     A. A. LATO.--West Indian and U. S. stamps _unused_ were the
     fashionable stamps during the past year. The results of the late
     auctions indicate quite a falling off in values. Probably now would
     be a good time to collect them, if you care to specialize in them.

  PHILATUS.



[Illustration: IVORY SOAP]

  A fine complexion is too rare
    To run the risk of losing;
  But everyone who takes good care
    (All other kinds refusing)
  To get pure Ivory, grows more fair
    With every day of using.

Copyright, 1896, by The Procter & Gamble Co., Cin'ti.



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For Young Americans

       *       *       *       *       *

GEORGE WASHINGTON

By WOODROW WILSON, Ph.D., LL.D. Copiously Illustrated by HOWARD PYLE,
HARRY FENN, and Others. Crown 8vo, Cloth, Deckel Edges and Gilt Top,
$3.00.

     Professor Wilson has made at the same time a new biography of
     Washington and a new history of America in Washington's time. In
     the perspective of American history, a perspective clearer,
     perhaps, to this writer than to any other, the period treated is
     especially significant, being the culmination of the colonial era,
     and including the final overthrow of French dominion on American
     soil, the Revolutionary War, and the establishment of the Republic
     on the firm basis of constitutional law. Upon this historic
     background Professor Wilson has painted his living portrait of
     Washington, and with masterly skill and homely simplicity has shown
     the relation of the man to the stirring events of his time, and has
     made the whole epoch luminous with the spirit of its foremost man.
     To many readers the most charming feature of this work will be the
     picture presented of Washington in the quiet days of Mount Vernon
     before and after the Revolution.

       *       *       *       *       *

HARPER & BROTHERS, Publishers, New York



[Illustration]

POSTER CALENDAR. 1897

_By Edward Penfield. Price 50c._

Published by R. H. Russell & Son, New York.



[Illustration: THE ANIMALS ENJOY A NOVEL CHRISTMAS TREE BY COURTESY OF
THE SQUIRREL.]

       *       *       *       *       *

A BRAVE LITTLE GIRL.

  Just one more kiss for good-night, mamma,
    Just one more kiss for good-night;
  And then you may go to my dear papa,
    And--yes--you may put out the light;
  For I'll promise you truly I _won't_ be afraid,
    As I was last night; you'll see,
  'Cause I'm going to be papa's _brave_ little maid,
    As he told me I ought to be.

  But the shadows won't seem so dark, mamma,
    If you'll kiss me a _little_ bit more;
  And you know I can listen, and hear where you are,
    If you only _won't_--shut the door.
  For if I can hear you talking, I think
    It will make me so sleepy, maybe,
  That I'll go to sleep just as quick as a wink,
    And forget to--to cry like a baby.

  You needn't be laughing, my mamma dear,
    While you're hugging me up so tight;
  You think I am trying to keep you here,
    You, and--I guess--the _light_.
  Please kiss me good-night once more, mamma;
    I could surely my promise keep
  If you'd only stay with me just as you are,
    And kiss me till--I go to sleep.

       *       *       *       *       *

ONE GOOD REASON.

BETTIE WITLESS. "Why does that little boy always go barefooted?"

SALLIE KNOWALL. "Why, because he has more feet than shoes."

       *       *       *       *       *

Abraham Lincoln was fond of a good story, and it is a well-known fact
that he often illustrated an important point in the business at hand by
resorting to his favorite pastime. Probably one of the best he ever told
he related of himself when he was a lawyer in Illinois. One day Lincoln
and a certain judge, who was an intimate friend of his, were bantering
each other about horses, a favorite topic of theirs. Finally Lincoln
said:

"Well, look here, judge. I'll tell you what I'll do. I'll make a
horse-trade with you, only it must be upon these stipulations: Neither
party shall see the other's horse until it is produced here in the
court-yard of the hotel, and both parties must trade horses. If either
party backs out of the agreement, he does so under a forfeiture of
twenty-five dollars."

"Agreed," cried the judge, and both he and Lincoln went in quest of
their respective animals.

A crowd gathered, anticipating some fun, and when the judge returned
first, the laugh was uproarious. He led, or rather dragged, at the end
of a halter the meanest, boniest, rib-staring quadruped--blind in both
eyes--that ever pressed turf. But presently Lincoln came along carrying
over his shoulder a carpenter's horse. Then the mirth of the crowd was
furious. Lincoln solemnly set his horse down, and silently surveyed the
judge's animal with a comical look of infinite disgust.

"Well, judge," he finally said, "this is the first time I ever got the
worst of it in a horse-trade."

       *       *       *       *       *

NEW VARIETY OF COOKING.

MOTHER. "Freddie, pass the bread."

FREDDIE (_who has been studying about minerals at school_). "Do you want
aluminum bread, or the other kind?"

MOTHER. "What do you mean?"

FREDDIE. "One is very light and the other isn't."

       *       *       *       *       *

SOME NATURAL HISTORY.

TRIPSEY. "I wonder does the catamaran feed on mice?"

FRIPSEY. "Yes; and the dromedary maid gives him cheese that she makes.
The tomahawk catches young chickens for food, the wanderoo eats nothing
on a journey, the spinning-jenny lives on cotton, the monkey-wrench apes
the saw horse, and lives on wood; while the gunwale eats nothing, the
toad-eater diets on favors, and the Welsh rabbit feeds everybody but
himself. Animals are queer things, Trip."

       *       *       *       *       *

NEAR NEIGHBORS.

PROFESSOR SNIBLEY. "The _os humeris_ is the shoulder-blade, is it?"

STUDENT. "I'm not sure, sir; but it's somewhere near the funny-bone."





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