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Title: Harper's Round Table, March 2, 1897
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, March 2, 1897" ***

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, 1897, by HARPER & BROTHERS. All Rights Reserved.

       *       *       *       *       *



       *       *       *       *       *




General Sheridan, despite the reputation he had gained for dashing,
reckless bravery, was withal a cautious commander. He did not believe in
making long forced marches and hurling tired troops at an intrenched
enemy. The success of a charge, in his mind, was due entirely to the
freshness of the men, the fierceness of the onslaught, and the surprise
occasioned to the enemy by sudden and unexpected movement.

Early in the month of September, 1864, Sheridan's army was encamped in
the hills looking down into the little valley of the Opequan, a small,
crooked stream about four miles from the town of Winchester. On the
opposite side of the creek the Confederate army under General Early was
intrenched in a strong position. The banks of the stream were steep and
the crossings deep, requiring much care in fording.

For more than ten days the two armies fronted each other without sign of
an advance on either part. But Early was on the defensive, and Sheridan
was preparing a plan of attack that it was hoped would rout him
completely; and if everything had worked to his entire satisfaction, it
might have resulted in the capture of the whole Confederate army before
the forces had time to fall back upon Winchester. By the afternoon of
the 18th these plans had been perfected; the commanders of divisions
and the cavalry leaders had received their orders. The privates knew
from the hurrying of orderlies and the sending of despatches that they
would soon be on the move. There was little sleep that night for the
blue-clad men. Ammunition was dealt out, tents were struck, and troopers
and infantry lay down with their arms beside them. At 2 A.M. word was
passed for the regiment to fall in line, and the great advance was
begun. General Merritt's cavalry was ordered to proceed to the Opequan
and cross at the fords near the bridge of the Winchester and Potomac
Railroad. Merritt was ordered to cross at daylight, to turn to the left
and attack the Confederate flank.

General Wilson's division, followed by the infantry, was to clear the
crossings of the Opequan on the road leading from Berryville to
Winchester. South of the town was Abraham's Creek; it emptied into the
Opequan and flanked the line of the Confederate intrenchments. On the
north was a similar creek, named the Red Bud, which served the same
purpose. Along these natural fortifications, and spreading across the
rise of ground on the farther side of the Opequan, lay the whole force
of Early's army. It was Sheridan's intention to take the centre first
and overthrow it before the rest of the Confederate army, which was
somewhat scattered, could come up to its assistance.

As it is of the cavalry's work in this fight that this short paper
treats, it is best to move at once to the right of the Union line, where
the mounted forces were expected to ford the creek.

It was almost pitch dark, and a few minutes after two in the morning,
when the Second United States Cavalry, under the command of Captain
T. F. Rodenbough, moved with the reserve brigade of the First Cavalry
Division down the sloping ground toward the valley of the stream.
Early's outposts and pickets were met some time before the ford was
reached. There were a few hasty shots exchanged in the darkness, without
any damage being done, and then the mounted pickets crossed to the
safety of their own lines on the farther side.

A small force of the Union cavalry was dismounted on the road, and the
outbuildings of a farm-house were occupied by a reserve force; while the
regiment was deployed, mounted, in the fields to the right and left of
the ruins of the old railroad bridge. Nothing was standing of this
structure but the stone abutments. The bridge that crossed the creek
diagonally to the roadway had been destroyed, but the water was fordable
on either side. Now the forces waited for daylight. Long before the sun
rose, as the dim light spread and widened, the enemy's infantry pickets
could be seen hurriedly making preparations to resist any attempt at
crossing on the part of the waiting cavalry.

The bank of the creek was very steep and thickly wooded. The leaves were
yet on the trees, and the dark masses of armed men could be seen
distinctly here and there in the few clearings. The railroad entered the
hill-side through a deep cut, forming a ready-made intrenchment for the
enemy's infantry and riflemen. One of the stone abutments and the
adjoining pier were close to the entrance of the cut, and formed an
angle with a wooded bluff directly in line with it.

Despite the fact that the men had been in the saddle almost the whole
night, they were keen to move; and before sunrise General Merritt, in
command of the First Division, ordered Colonel Lowell, who led the
reserve brigade, to carry the ford and effect a lodgement on the farther
bank. At once Colonel Lowell dismounted a portion of his command, and
with a cheer the men dashed into the water, and holding their carbines
high above their heads, plashed through the stream, many standing
waist-deep and replying to the fire that was poured into them. The Fifth
United States Cavalry and a portion of the Second Massachusetts infantry
followed at once.

Rodenbough, who had been waiting with his men in one of the fields on
the hill-side, received his orders to move. With a loud shout the
regiment charged down the side of the hill to one side of the slowly
advancing men on foot, dashed pell-mell through the ford, and, in the
face of a terrible fire from the enemy's infantry, swept up the opposite
incline on a dead run, making for the railway cut, where the
Confederates were completely hidden from the Union fire.

The Second had by this time made the solid ground, and charged also,
without firing a shot until it gained the crest of the cut. The
Confederates, who had not expected such an onslaught, threw down their
arms as the mounted men poured over the sides of the embankment down
upon them. Many started to run, but were taken prisoners, and it was a
joyful sight for the commander of the cavalry to notice, as he reformed
his line, that there were but few saddles empty. But in the early
advance, before Rodenbough's cavalry had reached the crossing, the
musket fire concentrated upon the ford was simply terrific.

Colonel W. H. Harrison, late Captain of the Second Cavalry, describes an
experience through which no man would like to pass a second time.

"Lieutenant Wells, myself, and two orderlies, mounted, were
unfortunately imprisoned in the archway between the abutment and
adjacent pier on the enemy's side, the bullets, hot from the muzzles of
their guns, striking the abutment, pier, and water like leaden hail. We
were face to face with the enemy, yet powerless to harm him. Our only
salvation was to hug the abutment until that portion of the regiment
immediately on our left had gained the crest of the cut. Minutes were
long drawn out, and in a fit of impatience Lieutenant Wells rashly
attempted to take a peep beyond the corner of the abutment, thus
exposing his horse, which instantly received a serious wound in the
shoulder. The writer, with equal rashness, attempted to recross the
creek, and when in the middle of it heartily wished himself under the
protection of his good friend the abutment, the bullets being so
neighborly and so fresh from the musket as to have that peculiar sound
incident to dropping water on a very hot stove. Suddenly the cheers of
our men apprised us that the crest of the cut had been gained and a
portion of the enemy's infantry captured."

By the time the sun was up above the trees, the reserve brigade had
gained the coveted position across the Opequan, connecting with Custer's
forces on the left, which had gallantly carried the ford three-quarters
of a mile below.

And now the roll of musketry and the thunder of cannon let every one
know that the main infantry line under General Sheridan had commenced
action. It was a cheerful sound to those on the flank, who had no
inkling of how matters were going on either side of them. The advance
was made at an eager pace, and confidence and determination were evident
from the looks and actions of the officers and men. But the enemy fell
back a few miles toward Winchester, and it was not until almost noon
that any resistance was met with, except for the occasional shots of the
pickets and rear-guard.

It was about this hour that Sheridan's forces were ready to advance
along the entire line. Early had gathered all his strength and met them
with a terrific fire. The battle raged with the greatest fury. Both
sides were now fighting in open sight of each other, and the slaughter
was dreadful, especially at the centre. General Merritt, whose cavalry
had been following the Confederate General Breckenridge, charged again,
and drove their broken cavalry through the infantry line, which he
struck first in the rear, and afterwards face to face as it charged
front to meet him. General Devin charged with his brigade, and turning,
sought the shelter of the main force, bringing with him three battle
flags and more than three hundred prisoners.

A line of the enemy's infantry was perceived at the edge of the heavy
belt of timber, protected by rail barricades which they had hastily
constructed on their front. Here they had evidently determined upon
making a stand, for they waved their battle flags and showed in such
considerable numbers that the cavalry line halted before them. As a
critic of this battle has said, it seemed almost foolhardy to charge a
line of infantry so well posted and protected, but the First Brigade and
the Second United States Cavalry, at the word "Forward! Charge!" dashed
across an open field and through a tangle of underbrush, and in the
face of a fearful fire poured into them, rode straight up to the
barricade. But, alas! it was but a brilliant display of courage and
determination. None of the flaunting battle flags was captured, and the
broken remnant was obliged to retire hastily and in some disorder to
their comrades who had watched their gallant effort.

A thrilling little incident happened in this charge, although it had
lasted but a few minutes. When within a few yards of the barricades,
Captain Rodenbough, who was well in advance, had his horse shot under
him, killed almost in his tracks. His men swept by him full tilt to the
line of wooden breastworks, and as they turned to ride back over the
same ground, Orderly Sergeant Schmidt of Company K, mounted on a
powerful gray horse, noticed his commander disentangling himself from
his fallen mount. The sergeant rode up, reining in with difficulty,
helped Captain Rodenbough to clamber up behind him, and, carrying
double, the good charger crossed the open space in safety. But let an
eye-witness tell the story of the last charge of the day, when the
entire division was formed, and rode together knee to knee at the
well-intrenched barrier and the double line of the enemy, who certainly
had the advantage of position.

"It was well towards four o'clock, and though the sun was warm, the air
was cool and bracing. The ground to our front was open and level, in
some places as smooth as a well-cut lawn. Not an obstacle intervened
between us and the enemy's line, which was distinctly seen nervously
awaiting our attack. The brigade was in column of squadrons, the Second
United States Cavalry in front.

"At the sound of the bugle we took the trot, the gallop, and then the
charge. As we neared their line we were welcomed by a fearful musketry
fire, which temporarily confused the leading squadron, and caused the
entire brigade to oblique slightly to the right. Instantly officers
cried out, 'Forward! Forward!' The men raised their sabres, and
responded to the command with deafening cheers. Within a hundred yards
of the enemy's line we struck a blind ditch, but crossed it without
breaking our front. In a moment we were face to face with the enemy.
They stood as if awed by the heroism of the brigade, and in an instant
broke in complete rout, our men sabring them as they vainly sought
safety in flight. In this charge the battery and many prisoners were
captured. Our own loss was severe, and of the officers of the Second,
Captain Rodenbough lost an arm and Lieutenant Harrison wag taken

"It was the writer's misfortune to be captured, but not until six
hundred yards beyond where the enemy was first struck, and when
dismounted in front of their second line by his horse falling. Nor did
he suffer the humiliation of a surrender of his sabre, for as he fell to
the ground with stunning force its point entered the sod several inches,
wellnigh doubling the blade, which, in its recoil, tore the knot from
his wrist, flying many feet through the air.

"Instantly a crowd of cavalry and infantry officers and men surrounded
him, vindictive and threatening in their actions, but unable to repress
such expressions as these: 'Great heavens! what a fearful charge!' 'How
grandly you sailed in!' 'What brigade?' 'What regiment?' As the reply
proudly came, 'Reserve Brigade, Second United States Cavalry,' they
fairly tore his clothing off, taking his gold watch and chain,
pocket-book, cap, and even spurs, and then turned him over to four
infantrymen. What a translation--yea, transformation! The confusion,
disorder, and actual rout produced by the successive charges of
Merritt's First Cavalry Division would appear incredible did not the
writer actually witness them. To the right, a battery, with guns
disabled and caissons shattered, was trying to make to the rear, the men
and horses impeded by broken regiments of cavalry and infantry. To the
left, the dead and wounded in confused masses around their field
hospitals--many of the wounded, in great excitement, seeking shelter in
Winchester. Directly in front an ambulance, the driver nervously
clutching the reins, while six men, in great alarm, were carrying to it
the body of General Rhodes. Not being able to account for the bullets
which kept whizzing past, the writer turned and faced our own lines to
discover the cause and, if possible, to catch a last sight of the stars
and stripes.

"The sun was well down in the west, mellowing everything with that
peculiar golden hue which is the charm of our autumn days. To the left,
our cavalry were forming for another and final charge. To the right
front, our infantry, in unbroken line, in the face of the enemy's deadly
musketry, with banners unfurled, now enveloped in smoke, now bathed in
the golden glory of the setting sun, were seen slowly but steadily
pressing forward. Suddenly, above the almost deafening din and tumult of
the conflict, an exultant shout broke forth, and simultaneously our
cavalry and infantry line charged. As he stood on tiptoe to see the
lines crash together, himself and guards were suddenly caught in the
confused tide of a thoroughly beaten army--cavalry, artillery, and
infantry--broken, demoralized, and routed, hurrying through Winchester."

       *       *       *       *       *


Jack was sitting quietly by the fire the other day, doing no harm to
anybody, when a young person who thought well of himself rushed in and
attacked him with the assertion, "You can't do that!"

The boy held out a card, upon which was drawn a dot in the centre of a
circle, and repeated his challenge:

"You can't draw that figure without taking your pencil off the paper!"


Jack looked up and smiled. He bent one end of the card over, made a dot
with his pencil on the face of it just at the margin of the part folded
over, after which he moved the pencil across the overlying paper to the
point where he wished to begin his circle; then he let the line slip off
on to the face of the card, allowed the bent-over portion to fly back,
and finished the "ring around the rosy" without once taking his pencil
off the paper. This done, he handed the card to his friend, and went on
studying the fire, without a word. It is great to be great!

       *       *       *       *       *


It is reported of the late William H. Vanderbilt that his father, the
Commodore, did not give his son, when a young man, much credit for
business ability. Absolute verification of this is doubtful, but a good
story is told of an incident wherein the son proved that he too carried
in his head some of the astuteness in commercial intercourse that his
father possessed. The Commodore presented him with a farm on Staten
Island, informing him that he might live there, and to make the land
pay, as that was all he cared to contribute towards the lad's support. A
short time later the Commodore inquired of his son how he was getting

"Not very good, father," the young man replied. "What I need badly is
some means of improving the earth."

"Well, suppose you go up to my stables and get a load of refuse; but
mind, I shall only give you one load."

"All right," replied the son, and he took one load; but, to the
astonishment of the Commodore, when he went to the stables they had been
entirely cleaned.

"How many loads did that boy of mine cart away from here?" he inquired
of the stableman.

"One, sir," replied that functionary; "but he carried the stuff away in
a _barge_, sir."



Once in every four years one lady in the land is called upon to
undertake the most onerous of its social duties--those of mistress of
the White House--duties which, though attended by fewer formalities, are
scarcely less exacting than those of crowned Queen or Princess Royal in
a foreign court. Indeed, one may safely affirm that they are far more
fatiguing, since the lady of the White House must be equally courteous,
attentive, and considerate to all with whom she comes in contact, her
doorway excluding only the ragged or disorderly, Betsey Brown, from the
remotest village in Maine, enjoying the same right to call upon the
President's wife which belongs to the leading society belle of the day,
the male members of the two families having shared in electing their
President to his office of ruler of the nation. Simple, however, as the
etiquette of the White House may be, it is governed by certain rules and
customs handed down from one ruler to the next--modified or changed
according to the times, but in the main suggested by a spirit of
republican simplicity and cosmopolitan good-breeding.

[Illustration: THE WHITE HOUSE.]

The President's family occupy a suite of rooms as secluded as possible
from public view. They have their own staff of servants under a trained
steward and housekeeper; their own personal friends are received and
entertained with as much privacy as though the dwelling were not, in
part, an official residence. The "state apartments," open to the public
at fixed days and hours, include the Red Room, Blue Room, the galleries,
etc., about which is a romantic as well as historic interest; and in
turn various people are entertained therein as a matter of prescribed
formality. All Senators, Congressmen, and their wives and families,
foreign diplomats, visitors of any distinction, above and beyond all,
the "army and navy," are not only to be received, but during the short
winter season specially entertained, a series of dinners and receptions
being planned for this purpose.

[Illustration: THE NURSERY.]

And meanwhile, is there time, one asks, for much home life in the White
House? As a matter of fact, few home circles are more comfortably and
agreeably managed than that of the President's family, provided, of
course, the "all-ruling spirit"--the _mother_--has within herself that
gracious gift which makes the fireside of home a radiant centre. "Mrs.
President's" day can be very closely outlined, excepting, of course,
such incidents as may occur at any time to alter the programme or such
plans as result from her own personality, and unless she elects to add
to her domestic cares, she need have nothing whatever to do with
housekeeping matters.

Breakfast in the White House from time immemorial has been a social
family gathering, and generally takes place about nine o'clock. After
this the President's wife usually goes for a drive, during which she
attends to any personal shopping, either visiting the shops herself or
sending in her maid with orders, and it is one of the unwritten laws,
closely adhered to, that every item purchased shall be scrupulously and
promptly paid for--the system of "patronage" so extensively adopted in
many foreign countries not holding good, thank fortune, in our
republican government. Unless she especially desires to do so, the
President's wife makes no calls, one rule of the administration being
the blessed one which prohibits her returning any visits. She is
therefore free from the terrible social bore and strain--a round of
formal calls. Returning from her morning drive, she may be called upon
to receive some guest who is invited to luncheon.

The methods of approaching the mistress of the White House or its ladies
are pre-eminently simple. If the visitor has a special introduction, he
or she can send this by messenger, receiving an answer through one of
the President's secretaries. Generally a day and hour will be fixed for
the guest to call at the White House, when he or she will be received as
in any other mansion, the degree of formality being regulated by that of
the introduction. An invitation to luncheon or dinner may
follow--possibly to some afternoon drive or theatre party. On levee days
some of the ladies of the cabinet, or it may be wives of special members
of the Senate or Congress, the army or navy, etc., receive with the
President's wife, relieving her in part of the fatigue of these weekly
ceremonials. However, it is all so smoothly and agreeably managed that
in the course of many administrations the complaints of lack of
courtesy have been very few.


As I have said, the White House is replete with historic and romantic
interest. On October 13, 1792, its cornerstone was laid with Masonic
ceremonies, and seven years passed before its completion. The original
plan called for three stories, but the public raised the cry of economy,
and it was cut down to two stories and basement. The entire expense of
building the White House, including furnishings, repairs, etc., up to
the year 1814, amounted to the small sum of $334,000.

It was first occupied just ninety-six years ago by President John Adams,
and various were the struggles to keep it in even ordinary repair. Mrs.
Adams, its first mistress, was dissatisfied with the place, and her
complaints were varied and numerous. She wrote that "the rooms were
large and barren, and that it took a great deal of money to keep them in
proper order. Everything is on too grand a scale." It is amusing to know
that this lady used what is now called the great state drawing-room to
dry the family linen in, stretching the clothes-lines from one wall to


After the decisive battle fought at Bladensburg, Maryland, in the war of
1812, the British advanced upon Washington. President Madison was in the
rear of the American lines, and seeing that the city was lost, he sent
word to his wife to escape. That noble lady's first thought was to save
Stuart's celebrated oil portrait of George Washington, which hung in the
White House. Hastening to the room, she had it taken from the wall and
carried to the retreating ranks of the American army, thus saving for
the republic one of its greatest art treasures. It was during this
invasion that the White House obtained its name from the coat of white
paint applied to its surface after the burning of its main building.
Numberless suggestions have been made to enlarge the official residence,
but the public objected. Its present occupation, doubtless, will end
with the close of the century and its hundred years of life, since the
needs and demands of the President's family and the public have outgrown
its proportions and capacity. But it will forever be associated with all
that has made our nation important. Tragedy has gone hand in hand with
festivity within its walls more than once. The great men of the country
have sat in its rooms in grimmest council, when the fate of the nation
hung in the balance of a decision that sent a messenger at daybreak
flying from the White House gates. Twice its doors have opened to
receive a murdered President, and again the joy bells have rung to honor
a bride, and a child born in its "purple," yet who lived to toil for her
daily bread far from friends and home. It cannot be parted with or even
altered carelessly, yet unquestionably its fate is sealed. With the
close of the century its story of a hundred years will be told.







Filled with a determination not to become rattled by the perils
surrounding him, our young hunter at once proceeded to select a
camping-place and make his scanty preparations for passing the long
hours of darkness. With neither wood, water, nor grass to be seen in any
direction, and all places looking alike uninviting, the task was not
difficult. Dismounting, and leading his horse to a little recessed gully
at the foot of a steep bluff, which would at least afford a shelter from
the wind, Todd unsaddled, fastened the free end of the picket-rope to a
bowlder, cleared away the rocky fragments from a small space of level
sand, and unrolled his blankets.

Thus the sorry camp was made; and as the poor boy contrasted it with the
one he had occupied but the night before--a camp of cheerful fires,
merry talk, an abundance of food, and an atmosphere of perfect
security--the horrors of his present position crowded upon him like
black forms, from which he recoiled with a shiver of apprehension. He
found in one of his pockets half a hard biscuit that remained from his
lunch of that day, and this, with a sup of lukewarm water from the
scanty supply still remaining in his canteen, formed his evening meal.
Then, with the saddle for a pillow and rifle by his side, he rolled
himself in his blankets and tried to sleep.

For a long time he could not, and when he finally stepped into the land
of dreams they were of such an unhappy nature that he was thankful to
awake from them and find a faint dawn stealing over the weird landscape.
Both he and his pony were shivering with the chill of early morning when
he once more mounted and attempted to retrace his course of the previous
day. This, however, was soon given up as a fruitless task, for in that
region every prominent feature was reproduced over and over again with a
bewildering sameness. Then he sought for some one among the many
inaccessible sandstone bluffs by which he was surrounded that might be
climbed. Before he found such a one and gained its summit the sun was
high overhead, and blazing down with a pitiless heat. Still, on
attaining the desired elevation, the lad felt amply repaid, for not many
miles away he could plainly see a regular range of bluffs and the trees
that indicated a river. He could even catch glimpses here and there of
flashing waters. To be sure, these things did not lie in what he
believed to be the right direction; but recalling that lost persons
generally become turned about, he decided that this must have happened
in his case. Carefully noting the bearings of intervening objects, the
boy hastened down from his observatory, remounted, and began to urge his
unwilling steed over the new course thus laid out.

For hours he travelled, wondering at the distance with each succeeding
mile, until finally, at the crest of a long and toilsome ascent, he
gained a point from which he again commanded a broad view of the
outlying country. Casting an eager glance in the direction he supposed
the river to be, the poor lad rubbed his eyes and looked again. Then, as
he realized the bitter truth that there was no river, and that he had
been the victim of a fleeting mirage, all his strength and energy seemed
to leave him, and he sank down on a fragment of rock as weak as a babe.
For some time he sat oblivious to his surroundings. He did not note the
wonderful scenery outspread as far as the eye could reach on all sides,
and upon which every other boy in the country would have considered it a
rare privilege to gaze. He had no thought save for his crushing
disappointment and his own melancholy condition. He was weak in body
from hunger, thirst, and fatigue, and heart-sick at remembrance of the
folly and disobedience that had brought him to such a pass.

After a while a pull on the bridle-rein hanging across his arm roused
him and caused him to look up. His pony was pulling away, as though
impatient to be off.

"I want to go as much as you do, old fellow," said the boy, sadly; "but
which way shall we turn?"

Just then his eye lighted on a cluster of slender blue pinnacles rising
above a distant horizon, and appearing so different from all that
intervened as to seem like signs of friendly promise. At the same time
he saw, lying between him and them, a lovely rock-rimmed valley filled
with green grass and waving trees, and threaded by a sparkling stream of

The boy gazed eagerly at the beautiful picture; and then, as it became
blurred by dancing heat-waves, he closed his eyes wearily, muttering
that it was only an effect of imagination. In a minute he opened them
again, and saw the lovely valley as distinctly as before.

"It may be real, and we'll make a try for it, at any rate," he said,
aloud, rising from the rock on which he had been sitting, and climbing
very slowly into the saddle.

This time he was determined to gain frequent assurance that he was on
the right course. So, within half an hour after leaving the place from
which he had discovered the lovely valley, he fastened his pony by the
picket-rope to a miniature spire of sandstone, and clambered on foot to
the top of another elevated outlook. He hardly dared glance abroad, for
fear that all the things he had seen before would have vanished. No.
There at least were the slender blue peaks, looking as cool and
refreshing, but, alas! quite as distant as before. But where was the
green valley? It had disappeared, and in its place rose a range of tall
cliffs, like a great white wall, miles in length.

It was a very cruel disappointment; but either the lad's senses were
becoming numbed by his sufferings or he had expected it, for he only
sighed wearily as he turned away.

"The blue peaks are there, at any rate," he said to himself, as he
descended to the plain, "and I will make toward them. If I can reach
them, I know I shall be all right; and if I can't--well, I will die as
near to them as possible."

When he regained the place where he had left his pony he had been absent
from it nearly, if not quite, an hour. Now it seemed as though he must
have made some mistake in retracing his steps, for the animal was
nowhere to be seen. There were his tracks, though, and there was the
slender shaft of rotten sandstone to which he had been fastened, freshly
broken off, and lying there upon the ground.

"Oh, what a fool I am! What a poor blind fool!" groaned the boy, as the
full extent of this fresh disaster was made plain to him. "If I had only
let the brute have his head in the first place, he would have carried me
to the nearest water. I have often heard Mort say that a horse has a
better knowledge of such things than a man; and of course he knows, for
Mort knows everything. He knew that I was no more fit to take care of
myself than a child, and he knew I would get lost. Oh, why didn't he
send me back home, or tie me up, or do something to save me from my own
foolish self? The dear old fellow won't be bothered with me any more,
though, for we shall never meet again in this world. Poor Mort, how he
must be suffering! But I can't die here. I can't! It is too horrible! If
I could only reach those blue mountains. I wonder if there is the
slightest chance of it? I wonder how long a fellow can live and travel
without food or water?

"Water! Oh, for a long cool drink of it! How gladly would I give the
wealth of the world to lie beside one of those springs that we passed a
day or two ago, and drink and drink and drink! Or the well at
grandfather's. Or the trout brook up in the Alleghanies. Or-- But I
mustn't think of such things or I shall go crazy, and that will be the
end of everything. I will make a try, though, for those blue mountains,
for I am sure there are springs and lovely streams in their dark cool
valley. If I can only reach them! Oh, what joy! And if I don't-- Well, I
will have done my best. Which way are they? Yes, I know--they are over
there, and if I walk all night and all day to-morrow I will surely come
to them by to-morrow night. Only twenty-four hours more, and I believe I
can hold out that long."

So the poor lad started, and walked with uncertain steps through the
yielding sands in a direction that he believed would lead him to the
wished-for mountains. He could no longer see them, but he knew their
slender pinnacles were steadfastly uplifted like taper fingers beckoning
to him and promising pleasant things.

Just before sunset he came to a broad opening between the clustering
mesas, through which he caught another glimpse of them, now tinged with
a rosy flush, and seeming more beautiful than before, but in a few
minutes the light faded and they were gone. Then, trembling with
weakness, the lad sat down and watched until a star rose where he had
last seen them, when, with it as a guide, he resumed his weary way. He
often stumbled, and sometimes he fell, but still he pushed on, until at
length his glittering beacon was obscured by black clouds. Then he sank
to the ground, without heart to rise again.

For a long time he lay asleep or in a stupor, from which he might never
have awakened but for a shower of rain, that, falling on his upturned
face, roused him to consciousness. Eagerly sucking the precious fluid
from his saturated garments, and gaining fresh strength with every
life-giving drop, he waited for the dawn, and with the first hazy
glimpse of the far-away blue peaks he again staggered toward them.

The sun rose and scorched him with its pitiless heat, until he seemed to
be treading coals of fire. Mirage after mirage danced before his
bewildered vision, with pictures of all things shady and cool and
refreshing, until his eye-sight failed him, and he groped his way amid a
darkness shot by glowing sparks. The last thing of which he was
conscious was a great white wall that seemed to rise to the sky before
him, and stretch to infinity on either side. It seemed to shut him off
completely from the blue peaks he had striven so bravely to gain, and
apparently presented an effectual barrier to any further progress.

In that last moment his head was splitting, his brain was on fire, his
mouth and throat were like molten brass, his whole body was racked with
pain, and his feet were like leaden weights. Then all sense of suffering
was lost in a delicious laughter, and he seemed to be floating through
infinite space that was filled with the music of rippling waters.



For many hours Todd Chalmers slept heavily and dreamlessly, like one who
will never again awaken. He had wandered blindly with reeling steps for
some time after losing a consciousness of his surroundings, and had thus
unwittingly penetrated a deep cleft of the great white wall that was the
last thing upon which his despairing gaze had rested. At the inner end
of this recess he stumbled and fell over a fragment of rock. There he
lay through the long night in what was, to all appearance, his last

That it was not was owing wholly to his youth and the wonderful vitality
of a splendid constitution. Not more than one person in a thousand would
have lived to see another daylight under the circumstances; but our lad
was that one, and at length he began to show signs of returning life. He
moaned, shivered, and finally opened his eyes. For many minutes he lay
motionless, striving to remember what had happened and where he was.

At length he slowly and painfully sat up. His head ached as though it
would split, his eyes were blurred, his lips and tongue were swollen,
and his limbs were heavy as lead. Still, his long rest, together with
the chill of the night just passed, had restored him to life and to a
certain degree of strength.

Now, with the encouragement of even a slight amount of hope, he would be
ready to renew his struggle against the death that had so nearly
overpowered him.

Thus thinking, Todd withdrew his eyes from the picture of glistening
desolation disclosed through the narrow entrance of the cavern, and
began listlessly to examine his more immediate surroundings. Slowly his
gaze roved over the hopeless walls of rock, that rose so high as to be
lost in gloom, and it was not until he had turned so as to look squarely
behind him that he found anything to arrest his attention. Then his
curiosity was aroused by a gleam of reflected light coming from beyond
and over a rocky barrier that formed a rear wall of the cavern. This
barrier did not appear to be more than ten or twelve feet high, while
above it was an open space of a few feet more, through which streamed
the light that indicated an opening of some kind beyond.

Whatever might lie in that direction, it could not be worse than the
desert over which he had come, and it might be better. Of course that
was not at all likely, for he did not believe there was anything but
desert in that country. Still, it was worth investigating, and as Todd
did not feel strong enough to stand, he crawled painfully to the barrier
and up its easy slope.


Arrived at the top, and looking through the opening, he was greeted by a
sight so amazing that he gazed at it for nearly a minute in breathless
incredulity before he could believe in its reality. Instead of the
desert that he had expected, it seemed as though the very gates of
heaven had been suddenly opened to him.

Outspread before his astonished eyes was one of the loveliest valleys in
the world, filled with flowers, green grass, and waving trees. It was
not more than half a mile in width, and was bounded on the further side
by another lofty wall of white rock, similar to the one he had just
penetrated. The same wall extended entirely around the upper end of the
valley, which Todd could see on his left, though to the right it
stretched away beyond his range of vision, still enclosed by parallel
walls of sheer cliffs. Though most of it still lay in cool shadow,
certain portions of the verdant landscape were already sparkling in the
morning sunlight, and from all sides came the joyous song of birds. No
smoke rose from any part of the valley that he could see, neither was
there any sign of human habitation nor sound of voices. All was as fresh
and peaceful as though it were a new creation; but even if he had been
confronted by opposing ranks of enemies, Todd would not have hesitated
to scramble down the opposite slope and enter what still seemed to him
the vale of enchantment. Its abounding verdure indicated the presence of
water, for which our poor lad was longing so desperately that he would
have thrown away life itself in an effort to obtain it.

He had already regained the use of his limbs, and after a minute of
gazing, amazed and incredulous, he started in search of the life-giving
fluid, instantly forgetful of feebleness, aches, pains, and everything
else save the awful thirst by which he was choked. So concentrated were
his thoughts upon this one subject that he failed to realize that he was
following a distinctly marked pathway. Such was the fact, however, and
after a hundred yards it led him to the edge of that most beautiful
thing in all the world, especially when found in a land of deserts, a
spring of pure cool water. It bubbled up from a bed of exquisitely
colored sand, and was neatly walled about with rock.

It was fortunate that Todd plunged his whole head into the spring in his
frantic eagerness to drink of its water, for he was compelled to
withdraw it, gasping for breath before he had drunk a tenth part of what
he craved. Much as he longed to drink, and drink until he could hold no
more, he had sense enough to realize the danger of such a proceeding,
and the strength of will to restrain himself. So he only lay beside the
delicious spring, bathing his face and dabbling his hands in it, taking
moderate drinks at half-minute intervals, and feeling with each one a
new life coursing through his veins.

For an hour he remained thus in perfect contentment, devoutly thankful
for his wonderful deliverance from an awful death, and gaining strength
with every minute. Then the sensation of thirst gave way to that of
hunger. He had not thought of it before, but now he knew that he was
starving, and must eat something, even if it were only grass. So he
stood up and looked about him, recognizing for the first time that he
had followed a trail which still extended beyond the spring, beside a
stream that rippled merrily from it toward the centre of the valley.
Looking in that direction, Todd caught glimpses through the trees of a
pool or pond fed by the stream, and toward it he now made his way.

Although in the desperation of thirst he had rushed recklessly forward
in search of water, he now proceeded with all the caution that his
hunger would permit. The path that he was following and the artificial
walling of the spring indicated so plainly the presence of human beings
in the valley that he could not neglect the warning thus conveyed. "Of
course," he argued to himself, "none but Indians could live in so
isolated and out-of-the-world place as this, and while they might prove
friendly, the chances are that they might shoot in the flurry of a
sudden discovery. So I'll try and see them before giving them a chance
to see me."

Advancing thus slowly, and peering eagerly ahead, he had gone but a
short distance, when he was startled by the sight of a house, or rather
a stone hut, only a short distance in front of him, and near the pool he
had already noticed. For several minutes he stood motionless, regarding
it closely; then, as it presented no sign of being occupied, he moved
cautiously forward until he could command a view of its doorway, which
was closed by a curtain of skins. The walls of the hut were low, and a
stone chimney projected from its roof of coarse thatch.

It did not look to our lad exactly like an abode of Indians, nor yet
like that of a white man, and he wondered what race of people would
greet him when his presence should be discovered. He called twice,
"Hello the house!" but receiving no answer, stepped softly to the door
and looked in. The hut was empty, and Todd drew the curtain well back,
so as to obtain plenty of light for an examination of its interior.

A fireplace, a rude table, two equally rude stools, a bunk filled with
skins, and also a few earthenware vessels of crude design constituted
its sole furniture. The young explorer examined these things carefully,
in the hope of discovering something to eat; but, to his intense
disappointment, he did not find so much as a kernel of corn. Nor could
he learn anything concerning those to whom the hut belonged. Everything
was sufficiently primitive to be the work of Indians, and yet he had
seen equally rude furnishings in the cabins of certain white men whom he
had remembered.

That the hut had been recently occupied was shown by fresh ashes in the
fireplace, and by a jug of water that stood on the table. Who could its
owners be? What had become of them? How would they treat him when they
discovered his invasion of their premises? And where did they store all
their provisions?--were questions that the boy asked himself over and
over again. Above all, what was he to do for something to eat? For he
was now suffering almost as much from hunger as he had from thirst an
hour before. As he gazed moodily at the cold embers of the fireplace,
deliberating these questions, he was startled by the sound of feet just
outside the hut, and a voice, apparently that of a child, calling
plaintively for its mother.

"The folks have come home," he said to himself, "and in another minute
my fate will be decided." At the same time he stepped resolutely to the
doorway and looked out.




A few months ago one of the youngest of the group of eccentric writers
who call themselves "Symbolists" was paying a visit to London. The
conversation in a drawing-room happened to run on the province of the
Franche-Comté, and the guest remarked, as a curious circumstance, that
no poet had ever come from that part of France. Somebody ventured to
murmur the name of Victor Hugo. "Ah! sir," replied the young Symbolist,
with a charming air of deprecation, "but we don't consider Victor Hugo a
poet!" It is obvious that, for the present at least, this particular
expression of opinion will remain rare; it was conceived in the very
foppery of paradox, of course. But it is quite conceivable that such a
judgment might spread, might become common, might become authoritative
and universal. To our generation, at all events, Victor Hugo has
appeared to be the typical poet; he and Tennyson have been named side by
side as the very types of the imaginative creator, as purveyors of
inexhaustible poetic pleasure. That is what we have all thought; but
suppose that our grandchildren determine to think the opposite, what is
to be done? Manifestly we shall be too old to whip them and too weary to
argue with them. If they decide that Victor Hugo was not a poet, that
Dickens was not amusing, that Hawthorne wrote bad novels, we shall have
to go, indignant, to our tombs, but our indignation will not convert the
younger generation.

So far as the history of the world has yet proceeded, the standards in
literature have not been overturned in this rapid and revolutionary
manner. But nowadays, if things once begin to move, they move fast, and
we must be prepared for changes. In the parallel art of painting we have
seen the most violent and apparently the most final reversals of the
standards. It is very difficult to believe that various schools of art
which have enjoyed great popularity in the course of the present
century, and have fallen, will ever be revived. I had an uncle who
purchased the works of Mr. Frost, R.A., and a very bad bargain it has
proved to his family. Nothing is so deathly cold as the public interest
to-day in Frost; his brown satyrs and his wax-white nymphs, with
floating pink scarfs insufficiently concealing them, are not worth
sixpence now. We do not, as I have said, see these violent upheavals in
literature yet. No author who was praised and valued when Hilton or
Frost or George Jones were thought to be great masters of painting has
passed so utterly out of repute as they have. Hitherto, if a man of
letters has contrived to secure a certain amount of respect, the public
interest in him may dwindle, but it never quite disappears. Every now
and then somebody "revives" him, his poems are reprinted and praised,
his correspondence is published, he is respectfully admitted to have
been "somebody."

The first standard in literary matters is, obviously, excellence in
execution. In other words, to write singularly well, and to be
recognized as doing so, is to achieve fame, though not necessarily
popularity. But in using the word "standard" we accept the idea, not
merely of individual excellence, but of comparison with others. In
coinage, for instance, that is called the standard which unites in what
is practically found to be the most useful combination the elements of
precise weight and fineness. Again, there is a technical sense in which
a "standard" is a type of which all other measures or instruments of the
same kind must be exact copies. In yet another signification a standard
is an ensign or flag carried on high in front of a marching army for its
encouragement and stimulus. We have to consider in what degree, and how,
without forcing language, we can form a conception of a literary
standard of excellence in style which shall unite these various

The precision of the eighteenth century offers us a very clear example
of the way in which the first of these ideas can be adapted to literary
illustration. When it was determined by universal consent to bind all
poetical writing down to set laws, and what was supposed to be the
precept of Aristotle, there was at first no modern standard of style.
The great object was to emulate the Latin poets; but as these writers
had used not merely another language, but other prosodical effects, a
different order of moral ideas, and totally distinct imagery, it was
necessary to find a modern substitute for imitation. Various English
poets wrote with force, but they lacked delicacy; others had fineness,
but with an insufficiency of weight. At length Pope came, who accepted
the theories of style which were current in his day, and acted upon them
with a more perfect balance of the qualities they demanded than any one
had done before him or has done since. The best parts of Pope's
writings, therefore, created a standard, and one which was of paramount
influence for nearly a century.

Again, those who invent forms of writing which are accepted by the world
of letters as valuable additions to what we may call the tools of the
author's trade, create standards in the second sense of the word. There
does not appear to be an indefinite degree to which these forms can be
created, and when once perfected they often remain for centuries
unaltered. For instance, when an early Tuscan poet, of the age of Dante,
invented the sonnet as we now possess it, he made a thing which has been
proved to be the best possible of its sort. Ingenious people, in various
languages, for centuries past, have tried to alter the form of the
sonnet, to add to it, to retrench it; all their suggestions have proved
vain, and it remains, in the best hands, exactly what its old Italian
maker devised it in a moment of inspiration. In a lesser degree, the
forms of prose are the result of invention and adaptation, and can be
referred back, more or less indefinitely, to a standard or type. Thus
the short story has certain limitations of length and character which
distinguish it from a novel or a play or a lecture, and in discussing
the merits of an example of this species of literature, we unconsciously
hold before our minds a norm or ideal of what a short story should be.
If we speak of it as highly successful, we think of it as a close copy
in form of a typical short story which should be universally
acknowledged as the best in every technical respect.

The third definition of a standard is one which may without difficulty
be applied to literature, but which is really a little more dangerous to
deal with than the preceding. If the standard is to be an ensign or flag
carried at the head of an army, we are confronted with an idea which is
less durable than those which we have considered. For if the army
marches with drums and trumpets, and all flags flying, it may not only
march to defeat instead of victory, but it may alter its direction, and
march back with no less pomp and noise than it marched forward. In these
conditions, its ensigns, instead of representing a fixed purpose, may be
the standards of irresolution and vacillation. We can find an exact
literary parallel for this in European taste in the seventeenth century.
The cleverness and fancy of writers, in prose and verse, and almost in
every country, led them to adopt methods of writing which strained to
the utmost the powers of language. Poetry, instead of being content to
walk and run, turned somersaults on the trapeze. As long as this was
done by very graceful and nimble intellectual athletes it gave great
pleasure, and the world of letters seemed marching to victory under this
ensign of imaginative acrobatism. But it speedily proved to have been a
mistake; the graceful athletes gave place to grotesque contortionists,
and the army of writers retreated in confusion, but slowly, doggedly,
and under the same standards of taste. There was no other way back to
health but to discard the existing ideals altogether; they were too
obstinately fixed in men's minds to make it possible to modify them.

If we are to form any opinion with regard to that question of the
literary standard, which democratic habits of thought tend to make every
day a more dangerous one, it is manifest that we must regard it from
these three points of view, or from a combination of them. The taste of
the public is a floating, a vague impression of an amateur body with
regard to a matter which is more precisely and sharply defined by a
consensus of experts. But the experts themselves are not united, and the
precision of their views only tends to darken counsel and reduce opinion
to chaos. Unhappily a piece of literature cannot be assayed mechanically
like a piece of coinage. Under the strictest rules that ever were
enacted and a régime the most academic conceivable, there will never be
anything like unanimity regarding the excellence of a literary product.
All we can hope to reach is a general agreement of the best-trained
minds, recurrent for so many generations as to become practically

Even in the most ancient cases, where it would be supposed that opinion
would finally have crystallized, we observe curious oscillations. Homer,
it is true, is accepted by all critics, in all nations, as the final
standard of what is admirable in heroic narrative poetry, and has for
centuries been so accepted. But what is the standard of Greek tragedy?
The study of classic criticism will show us that the standard has been
incessantly shifting from Æschylus to Sophocles and on to Euripides and
back again to Æschylus. If we wish to point to an authoritative type, we
must consider this triad as one, since no two generations agree as to
their comparative, though all to their positive merit. In like manner,
the relative value of Virgil and Theocritus, of Horace and Catullus, is
always shifting, according as the quality of the one or of the other
happens to appeal to one or to another habit of modern thought. Yet
antiquity obviously provides us with a standard of bucolic poetry, and
another of subjective and semi-social lyric, each of them settled now
beyond any probability of decay. People will go on preferring Theocritus
to Virgil, or Virgil to Theocritus, but no rational person is likely to
question again the excellence of the species of art of which these two
are the leading exponents. So there are those who prefer Dryden to Pope,
or Coleridge to Wordsworth, and to whom neither seem to present the
complete practitioner of a system. Yet no one denies, and it grows
increasingly probable that no one will ever deny, the authority of the
Pope-Dryden or of the Wordsworth-Coleridge standard of excellence, final
and unquestionable, in a particular department. Opinion, that is to say,
wavers as to the individual long after it has irrevocably accepted the

In all consideration of the past we find ourselves securely guided by
the test of technical excellence. Nothing else has preserved the
principal writers of antiquity in esteem. Mr. Lowell called style "the
great antiseptic"; good writing, in other words, is the only chemical
product which can prevent literature from corrupting and fading away. In
the days of Shakespeare there were a dozen writers who had a just right
to consider themselves more "serious seekers after truth" than the
playwright of Stratford, for they discussed graver subjects and brought
forward a weightier array of facts. Their very names are now forgotten,
while his pages grow more brilliantly vital as the years pass on. The
fancy and tenderness of Shakespeare, the wit of Molière, the sublimity
of Milton, the wisdom of Goethe, are revealed to us and preserved for us
by their style, and without it would have sunk long ago in the ocean of
oblivion. Such phrases as "the matter is the important thing, not the
manner," "never mind how he says it, but find out what he has to
say"--which are common enough on the tongues and pens of those who have
secured no grace of delivery--are pure fallacies. Style is the
atmosphere without which what is written cannot continue to breathe; it
is the indispensable medium for rendering what a man has got to say
continuously audible to the world. These are truths which we might
suppose too obvious to need repetition, since the whole history of
literature proclaims them, yet so great is the natural love of slovenly
writing and vague thinking that this heresy about the matter being far
more important than the manner is incessantly recurring. It is needful,
once more, therefore, to say as plainly as possible that without a
distinguished and appropriate manner, that is to say, without style, no
"matter" will ever have the chance to reach posterity.

If once we resign this position as to the pre-eminent importance of
style we lose all means of measuring the standards of literature. As
long as excellence in writing is recognized as the main factor in the
formation of judgment, we are not likely to go very far wrong. We have
seen that those who permit themselves no other lamp than this may differ
as to the relative value of figures in a single group, but they unite in
their appreciation of that group itself. This is the case in the
criticism of ancient writers, and what other means have we of forming a
judgment about the moderns? As long as we are content to measure them as
we do their noble predecessors, we may make mistakes, but they will be
mistakes, not of principle, but only of detail. The moment that we allow
ourselves to believe that modern writing, the authorship of to-day, is
distinct in kind from that of the old masters, and can be measured by
different standards, we have resigned ourselves to a heresy, and are in
imminent peril of encouraging literary anarchy.

It is a mistake to be too yielding and shy in expressing a conviction
which has been gravely formed on serious grounds. Those who love the
more austere and splendid parts of literature will always find
themselves in a minority in every collection of persons. It is probable
that if the prestige of _Paradise Lost_ had to depend upon popular
suffrage, no majority of citizens in any part of the English-speaking
world would be willing honestly to admit that they admired it or could
read it with pleasure. That does not prevent it from being one of the
most glorious, most enviable and unique possessions of the race. On
questions of the literary standard it is the majority which is always
wrong. The majority likes a warm easy book, without pretension,
unambitiously written, on a level with the experience of the vast
semi-educated classes of our society. "One man, one vote," extended to
the domain of literary taste, would mean the absolute and final
extinction of all distinguished masterpieces.

But in every generation there is a remnant which occupies itself with
beauty and distinction. The individuals of this little group fight among
themselves about the details of excellence, but they guard, as in a pyx
or shrine, the primal idea of that excellence and a general sense of its
formal character. Outside this small class of experts there is a large
body of the public which recognizes its authority and is docile to its
directions. Again, outside is the vast concourse of persons competent to
read and write, but no more capable of forming an opinion than is the
dog that barks at their shadow or the discreeter cat that curls at their
fireside and says nothing. It has often occurred to me as a grave
speculation how long this vast dumb force of untrained readers will be
content to be silent. How long will they have the good nature to pretend
to respect the things which they cannot enjoy? Flattered as the average
man or woman is in these days, accustomed to hear the voice of democracy
praying for votes on every subject, how soon will the average reader
pluck up courage to say to himself, "I do not like the novels of
Thackeray nearly so much as I do those of E. P. Roe, and I do not intend
to allow anybody to persuade me that they are better?" Questioning the
standards of taste, refusing to bow to traditional canons of
criticism--this is the Red Spectre which I dread to see arise in the
midst of our millions of half-trained readers.

But the cure will probably come from the very nature of the disease. If
we put a dangerous power in the hands of the crowd by the infinite
facilities given nowadays to reading and the discussion of books, we
support the traditions of literature by giving unprecedented
opportunities to persons of native capacity to fortify themselves in the
truth. No boy, nowadays, in the whole English-speaking world, can wholly
refrain from indulgence in literary pleasures, if an appetite for such
enjoyments have been born in him. In some newspaper, in some cheap
reprint, that which is exquisite and final, that which is assimilated to
the inviolable standards of excellence, must meet his eye and be
accepted by him. The enemies of literature may become extremely
numerous; they will remain languid and blundering; its friends will be
always few, perhaps, but they will be ardent and active. That the good
tradition may be swamped for a time in some Commune of the intellect
seems to me very possible, but that it should be lost, that it should go
down altogether into the deeps of anarchical vulgarity, that, happily,
is not to be believed.

Meanwhile, every one who, however humbly, is devoted to what is nobly
and purely said in prose and verse, may do his or her part to prevent
even a temporary descent into barbarism. The only way to become
sensitive to what literary excellence is, is to study and re-study those
books which have stood the assaults of time, and are as fresh to-day as
when they were written. It is not to be expected that to any one taste
all these books, in their various classes, will appear equally
delightful. But it is from a wide acquaintance with these, and a
reverent and affectionate wish to discover their charm, that literary
appreciation grows. If once we are convinced that there is a standard,
that a well-written book is distinguishable from a dull and slovenly
one, that style is not a vain ornament, but as essential to literary
life as oxygen is to a human being, then, without affectation or
priggishness, every man may become a sober lover of the best, and may
feel that though certain specimens of literary work may go up and down
in public esteem, the central standards are firm and the laws of
intellectual beauty immutable.



  Ho, for the Laughy-Man! laughing all day,
  Laughing the sunshiny hours away,
  Laughing and kicking his little pink heels
  Just to impress us with how good he feels!
            Hey, for the Laughy-Man!
            Ho, for his smiles!
  Hail to the angels who taught him such wiles!

  Ho, for the Laughy-Man! waking to play,
  Waking to laugh at the first peep o' day,
  Waking to churn up the blanket and sheet,
  Like waves of the sea, with his fists and his feet!
            Hey, for the Laughy-Man!
            Ho, for his smiles!
  Hail to the angels who taught him such wiles!

  Ho, for the Laughy-Man! lying abed,
  Lying there wagging his cherubin head,
  Lying there, merry, a bundle of love
  Sent to our home by the seraphs above!
            Hey, for the Laughy-Man!
            Ho, for his smiles!
  Hail to the angels who taught him such wiles!

[Illustration: FOR SALE:--A WARRIOR

by Philip V. Mighels.]

There were seven kinds of Indians at the back of the largest hotel of
the Western town--dirty and dirtier, which is two; young and old, which
is four; male and female, making six; and one little clean pappoose.
This latter tiny bit of aboriginal humanity was a chubby, round-faced,
bright-eyed little tike, with the blackest of hair and the most bronze
of complexions. He was playing around alone inside a close high board
fence at the rear of the large hotel, his only shirt cut off at the
knees, displaying a fat brownish pair of dimpled legs that were warm
enough in spite of the fact of their bareness in the chilling air.

Presently around the corner came a trotting, smiling Chinaman, a vender
of vegetables. A long slender pole, carved flat and tapering toward the
ends, was balanced on his shoulder, and from either end, suspended by a
bridle composed of four strings, hung a huge bamboo basket.

As he halted within the gate of the high board fence he lightly swung
the receptacles to earth, rested his polished pole conveniently near,
lifted a mat containing the day's supplies for the cook within, and
carried it off to the kitchen.

Now it not very strangely befell that the vender of vegetables lingered
a time in the kitchen, for that exceedingly tempting and savory seat of
government was under the personal direction of another little yellow
man, who called his countryman "Wong," and gave him to drink of tea.
While the two engaged each other with inharmonious gutturals, a dusky
cranium and equally dusky countenance came poking out from another door.
Its owner was the negro porter, a grinning fellow, whose mania for jokes
of the "practical" description was developed to a degree positively
unhealthy. No sooner had he made himself certain that the yard was free
of observers, and occupied alone by the wee pappoose, than he stealthily
slipped from his place, and grabbed the scared little fellow by the tail
of his wholly inadequate shirt.


The eyes of the miniature savage were apparently frozen wide open in an
instant, while paralysis made him utterly stoic and dumb. The Chinaman's
basket had a shallow tray in the top filled with beets; then an inside
receptacle, also shallow, filled with celery. Below this last were
cabbages, down in the bottom. These extra insides the negro quickly
lifted out with his unemployed hand; then a couple of the cabbages, as
large together as the wee pappoose, came forth with a jerk. In a second
more the silent Indian baby had been dropped within the basket, the
various trays had been properly replaced, and the darky had rapidly
hopped through the open door with his cabbages, doubling himself like a
nut-cracker and stretching his face in violent but silent laughter.

Out came Wong, beaming with the radiance of tea well swallowed. He
rearranged his pole, bent his stout Mongolian back, straightened up,
lifting his baskets, balanced them neatly, and trotted away with the
frightened baby Indian, but quite oblivious that such a lively vegetable
ever was grown.

Wong went singing up the street, or rather humming away about a "feast
of lanterns," and he thought on how soon he would be enabled to purchase
a wagon.

"Good-molling," he said, as he stopped at last at the rear of one of the
most imposing houses. "Velly fine molling."

"Good-morning, Wong. It's a little bit chilly," said a gray-haired woman
wearing glasses, rubbing her hands.

"Oh yeh, him feel lill bit chilly."

"What you got this morning?" she inquired.

"Oh, for callot, for cell'ly--velly nice for cell'ly--for turnip, for
squash, any kine." Then, as she hesitated, "potatoe?--for ahple?--for
cabbagee? Oh, lots um good kine, I tink."

She took a squash. "Did you say cabbage, Wong?"

"Oh yeh." He began at once to lift the tray. Next he hoisted forth the
shallow inside basket and reached for a cabbage.


"Ki! yi!" he yelled. "Sumin--ah--got, yu nee mah! Kow long hop ti! Ha!
What you call um? Hi! for Injun debbil!" And he lapsed again into awful
Chinese exclamation points, and danced a fan-tan dango in a wonderful
state of excitement. "Hi! What you call um? Sumin-ah-got, no belong for
Wong! Huh!" Nerving himself for the fearful ordeal, he lifted the
squirming baby forth and dropped it quickly to the ground. No sooner did
the wild little thing find itself released than it scrambled to its feet
and ran at the skirts of the elderly lady--the only thing it
recognized--and clung there like a prickly burr.

"Mercy!" shrieked the lady. "Mercy! Where-- Wong, where did you get this
child--this savage child?" she demanded.

"Sumin-ah-got, no sabbee," said the terrified Wong, gathering baskets
and mats in a desperate haste. "Plitty click for whole lots um for Injun
come for nis one. Wong no takee. No see some nis one for baby befloh.
Somebody makee for tlick--you sabbee?--makee velly much tlouble. Kow
long hop ti! Yu nee mah!"

"But, Wong, you must take it back! I don't know anything about the
trick! I don't wan't the Indians coming here. Mercy!"

Wong, however, had rapidly fixed his pole in its place, and swung his
baskets clear of the ground, still jabbering wildly in his native
tongue, and trotted away with a double-quick motion.

"Wong! Wong!" called the agitated woman. "I can't throw him away! You
must take him back! Wong!" But the vender of vegetables, thoroughly
alarmed, had fled.

"Did yez call, Miss Hoobart?" said a voice from the door.

"Oh, Maggie! Oh dear! Oh! Oh! What shall we do?" cried the woman. She
was trying to shake her skirts of the brown little Indian, but he merely
clung the harder, and buried his face in the folds.

"Ach, wurra, wurra!" said Maggie. "Oi wudden't a t'o't ut. Phere did yez
git um?"

"Hush, you silly girl. It's an Indian baby, and Wong brought him--and he
ran away frightened--and somebody played it as a trick--and the wild,
infuriated Indian population may be down upon us at any moment to
recover the child!"

"Ach!" screamed the girl, jumping high in the air and glancing quickly
about. "Phy don't yez l'ave um in the sthrate, the turrible varmint?"

"What, a tiny child, Maggie? Suppose it should freeze to death? It
hasn't any clothing to speak of. Oh dear! I do wish Charles were home!"

"Phat yez goin' to do?" whispered Maggie.

"I don't know. Oh, I don't know! We've got to take him in, I suppose,
and wait for Charles." Accordingly she walked very gingerly in, while
the very diminutive savage continued to cling to the dress and hide his
face. "I don't see," she said, breathing easier when the door was
closed, "how I'm going to get him away from my skirt. Don't you think
you could take him away, Maggie?"

"Oi wudden' touch um for tin dollars!" cried the girl.

"What shall we do? He will never let go."

"Yez c'u'd l'ave um the skirt--take ut aff, an' put an anither wan, ye

"Yes, I can; that is just the thing." She slipped the outside garment in
a jiffy, and the baby sat down on the floor in the midst of the pile.

The warrior sat perfectly still, his big brown eyes and his wee red
mouth wide open, his chubby hands playing at random with the skirt.

"Oi moight go out an' infarm Misther Patrick Murphy, the gintleman
policemon, mum," ventured Maggie at length.

"Don't you dare to go and leave me an instant," said the woman. "There
is nothing in the whole wide world to do but to watch him every minute
and lock all the doors and wait for Charles. Oh dear! that I should live
to see such a terrible day!"


So the barricades were placed on the doors, and the women brought their
chairs to sit and watch their very unwelcome prisoner. As the day grew
old it occurred to the lady that perhaps the child was hungry. She
prepared a piece of bread with molasses, and handed it out with the
tongs. With this the child emulated his parents, for he painted his face
from chin to eyes. This continued till the curtain lashes of the bright
brown eyes came drooping down; his chubby little face, with molasses
adornment, sank slowly to rest on the skirt. The women continued to

As the evening came on Miss Hobart paced the room impatiently. "Charles!
Charles, my brother!" she would say, "why don't you come? You ought to
know what a terrible, terrible trial it is!"

But the sound of his knock on the door, when he came at his usual time,
nearly made the women faint. A thin little man was Mr. Hobart, but
sensible, and not to be alarmed. He declared that the morning would be
time enough in which to clear the matter up.

"Oh, but it won't," said his elderly sister. "Suppose there should be a
night attack? They are very, very frequent--it's the Indian way of

"Well," said he, "I'll go and tell the sheriff. He can hunt the parents
up and settle the whole thing in a minute."

"But," she protested, "the Indians are gone to their
tents--campoodies--out in the sage-brush long before this--that is,
providing they are not lurking around this neighborhood. And just fancy
a poor mother deprived of her child all night!"

"Well, what shall I do?"

"Suppose--suppose you take a lantern and go out to the wigwams. You are
not afraid?"

"No, of course I'm not; but what's the use?"


In the end he found himself muffled, mittened, provided with the
lantern, packing the child--all wrapped in a blanket and fastened
loosely in with a shawl-strap--out in the sage-brush, floundering
aimlessly about in search of the Indian campoodies. Mile after mile he
trudged about in the night, shifting baby and lantern from hand to hand
as his arms grew weary, and growing more and more disgusted as it dawned
on his mind that all he knew of the way to find campoodies was to wander
toward the west in the brush, he shouldered the sleeping warrior and
made some lively tracks for home.

"There," said he, as he tossed the wee pappoose, blanket and all, on the
lounge, "you can leave it to snooze where you please, for I am going
right straight to bed."

His sister sat in a chair all night, dressed, and she waked a hundred
times from a dream of hideous Indian depredations. She was wearily
sleeping when her brother ate his breakfast and went. An hour later the
head of an old and silently whistling Indian appeared at the open


"Ketchum pappoose?" said this awful warrior, and his voice was barely
audible. She whirled around, saw the face, tried to scream, and failed.

"Injun Jim h-e-a-p sick," drawled the chieftain, who had satisfied
himself that his son and heir was present, the youngster being seated on
the floor--"h-e-a-p sick, heap likum biscuit-lah-pooh."

Miss Hobart rallied. "Perhaps," she thought, "Charles has pacified the
tribe." Then she said, "Oh, Mr. Indian Jim--James, is this your
son--your little boy?"

"Yesh, h-e-a-p my boy. Injun Jim heap likum biscuit-lah-pooh, h-e-a-p

"Are you sick? Poor man! you shall have all the biscuit you want. Here,"
she said, in a timid voice, as he tucked away a package of food, "is
your son--your nice little boy--very nice little boy; and I'm very

"Yesh, h-e-a-p nice--all same Injun Jim. You like buy um? Two dollar
hap, you buy um, h-e-a-p goot!"

"Mercy! Oh, oh!" she gasped. "He would sell it! Two dollars and a
half--and after such a night! Oh no--no, Jim--James--take him to his
yearning mother, please!"

As the warrior slowly shuffled away to the gate, leading his son and
heir by the hand, the bright little face was turned toward the woman who
was standing in the door.

"It is a beautiful child," she said. "I wish I had noticed before."






I was almost stunned at the news the carpenter brought, but I knew of the
only thing to do, of course.

"Rig the pumps and get to work at them," I squeaked faintly, fearing to
try to talk loud.

"Ay, ay, sir," he answered, "but it will do no good. Lord Harry! she's
opened up like a sieve, sir!"

Soon we had the water from below pouring on to the deck and running into
the scuppers and mingling with that that came on board of us over the
rail. But the wind increased in strength until it seemed that it would
take the aged masts out of the brig, and it actually threatened to blow
the clothes from off our backs.

Chips had gone below again to sound the well, and I was holding on to a
belaying-pin, and trying not to show how weak and sick I was. I noticed
that one of the men, a narrow-headed fellow with an ugly gash of a
mouth, was not putting all of the beef he might into his stroke on the
pump handles. So I slid over to him and laid hold myself; but the man
endeavored to push me to one side.

"Hands off, Captain Jonah," he said, "it might stop working! We had
plenty of good luck until you came aboard of us. Hands off, I say!" he
cried, "or we'll feed you to the whales."

I could have struck the man for his insolence, as his words had been
heard by two of the men opposite; but I saw that the result might be bad
for me, so I replied nothing, but taking a firmer hold of the beam, I
wedged him out of his position, ready at any moment to fell him if he
attempted violence. I was the stronger, and at last I broke his hold.
Where the force I now felt command of came from I cannot tell. The man
would have slid over against the bulwarks if I had not caught him by the

"Go over on the other side and work, you shirker," I cried, and, to my
surprise, my voice roared out the words in tones like those of a bull.

I gave the man a push up the slope of the deck, and began heaving up and
down with all my might and main, but I had made a discovery.

It was only my lower tones, my demi-voix, that were gone. For three days
afterwards this phenomenon continued. If I wished to talk, I had to use
the full lung-power that I possessed, and the result was a sound that
would do credit to a boatswain's mate in a typhoon. It was as unlike my
former voice as a broadside to a pistol-shot. But I am wandering.

The effect of my treatment of the insolent sailor had been marvellous.
Not a disrespectful glance was cast at me thereafter. Soon the carpenter
came up from below.

"We may have gained some three or four inches, Captain, but no more," he
panted, laying hold alongside of me. "I think the water is getting in
forward too, sir," he added.

"Get out four of the prisoners and man the forecastle pump," I roared at

He jumped at the odd sound of my voice, but made no remarks, and
scrambled to the hatch in a jiffy.

"Four of you up out of that!" he cried through the hole, at the same
time battering away at the fastenings with a belaying-pin. The hatch was
flung open, and instead of four, all ten of the Britishers came rushing
to the deck. They probably had been dying of terror down below, and one
glance at us working away for dear life told them the condition of

Without a word they set to work, under the direction of their own
officers, to get the spare gear out of the way and start the forecastle
pump going.

The carpenter soon reported from the hold that we had gained some four
inches, and were now holding our own. This was at the end of an hour's
work by all hands.

I perceived, however, that it would be foolishness to work all the men
to death at the outset, and that the sensible way would be to divide
them into relays, even if the water gained a little on us.

So I told off my own men into two divisions, and sent half of them into
the galley to get rest and a bite to eat. But the prisoners I drove at
it, as we had fully two hours' start of them. They needed no
encouragement yet, and one of them even replied, "Ay, ay, sir," to my
orders to hit up the stroke.

There is no use of prolonging this description. All night we worked
away, and the gray dawn found us still at it.

Fisher, the wounded man, I had mounted guard over the prisoners, arming
him with a cutlass and a brass blunderbuss that I had found in the
mate's room. I hated to goad men the way I had to, but I think my own
people worked almost as hard, and needed less urging; but the Englishmen
had begun to fag.

By noon the sea had gone down, and, probably owing to the swelling of
the timbers, the leak had apparently decreased. We had gained a foot and
more on the water in the hold, and the carpenter found out that it was
as he suspected, the water had been entering through a started seam, and
he said that if we could get to anchor, he thought might be able to
locate where it was. So I ordered all but four of the prisoners below.
At first one of the mates demurred; but I would admit of no talking, and
at the sight of the pistols he obeyed me.

Now the great question was to find out where we were. By two o'clock I
made sail, and seeing that the old tub did better with the wind astern,
I ordered the helmsman to steer the same course we had been holding, and
I started to go below to rest.

I slept like a top, and it was six o'clock when Dugan ran in and
awakened me, telling me that land was in sight off the starboard bow,
distant about twelve miles.

But where were we? That was more than I could tell.

I had some idea of our position when we struck the storm, or, better,
the latter had struck us, and I presumed that we must either, from the
course we were steering, have entered the Irish Channel or gone up the
west coast of Ireland itself; but it mattered little; we had to find
some place to anchor and, if possible, to repair our damage, and
besides, I intended to land the prisoners at the first chance, as they
were a constant source of menace to us, and so many more mouths to feed.

Coming on deck, I took the glass and climbed into the foremast shrouds.

What an odd circumstance it was! Here I was a full-fledged Captain, and
had never been aloft on a vessel but once before in my life, and that
was when I had covered myself with tar and glory by climbing to the
cross-trees of one of the ships at the wharfs of Baltimore. But I went
up as far as the topsail-yard, hanging on harder than was necessary,
perhaps, and from there I took a sight at the distant land. I made it
out to be a collection of islands, with what might be the mainland
farther on to the north. After I descended to the deck I changed the
course a few points to the east, and in a little over two hours we had
brought a high, rocky shore close to on the port beam. It was an island,
as I had surmised.

The sky had now cleared to a glorious red sunset, and I could discern
the conformation of the shore. Two arms ran out to the eastward, and--a
remarkable sight!--I saw that the island was split in two by a narrow
crevice, and that on the southern point it dwindled down into a narrow
spit, at the end of which rose a sheer rock like a tremendous castle.

The carpenter had started the lead, with the result of finding no bottom
until we were well within the water embraced by the extending arms. At
last he reported suddenly fifteen fathoms; at the next heave, thirteen:
and seeing that it was shoaling so rapidly, I feared to go in nearer,
and we hove to and let go our anchor.

The water was as smooth as a carpet, and with the stopping of the strain
and working of the hull, the leak ceased pouring in, the carpenter
reporting, after a trip to the hold with the lantern, that she was only
weeping a little along her inner skin. I had kept four of the prisoners
at the pumps, however, and now I called every one, and in an hour's time
we had her nearly dry.

Ordering the Englishmen back to where they belonged, Caldwell and I took
the first anchor watch, and the rest turned in to sleep.

The huge shadow of the rocky cliff enshrouded us, and in rear of the
black silhouette of the island I could see the pale greenish-blue of the
sky in the west, with a few stars twinkling through it, and myriads of
them gleaming in the deeper blue overhead. It was so peaceful and calm,
and in such contrast to the scenes that we had been through, that were
it not for the pain I still suffered, I could have felt almost joyous.
But nature asserted herself, and lying there sprawled on the deck, I
fell asleep.

I awakened with a start, to find it was daylight. I noticed that
Caldwell must have staid awake after I did, for he had rolled up his
jacket and placed it as a pillow beneath my head. But the honest fellow
had given in at last, and there he was, snoring away on the top of the
forward hatch, with his arms and legs straggled out like a jumping-jack
on the floor of a play-room.

Now if what had happened before this calmly dawning day appears strange
or improbable to any one who may read, and if they are tired of the
relation of these facts, which, I can say without boasting, are unusual
to have happened to any one being, let them lay aside for good and all
the reading of what is to follow. For what has previously happened is
nothing to what I am going to tell, in my opinion, as I am a truthful

I awakened Caldwell gently, and told him to go down and stir out the man
who was doing the cooking for us, and have him brew some coffee and
prepare breakfast. We had some fresh vegetables still left, for the
_Duchess of Sutherland_ had not been long from port when we had taken

Then, all alone, I gazed at the island in whose little bay we were

A narrow stretch of beach ran from the foot of the cliff to the water's
edge. The top was verdure-clad, and to the north some stunted underbrush
grew along the crest. The strange crevice that I had noticed ran from
the green slope, sheer and straight, to within twenty feet of the
water's level. It looked as if it might have been made by the stroke of
a giant's sword. The high rock at the end of the tongue of land to the
southward resembled more closely than ever a moss-grown ruin; but all at
once I jumped for the glass. A thin, twirling column of smoke arose from
a little hollow a quarter of a mile up the shore, and by the aid of a
telescope I could make out two or three huts, and some gray objects on
the slope of the hill that resolved themselves into grazing sheep. I
made up my mind, before I landed the prisoners and set to work stopping
the seams, to row ashore and find out where we were. But hunger asserted
itself, and the smell of cooking coming from the galley reminded me that
with the exception of some sopped biscuit and a bit of fat meat that I
had managed to worry down the night past, nothing solid had passed my
lips since my struggle with the man in the passageway.

Running below, I asked the carpenter in to breakfast with me in the
cabin. He was my First Lieutenant, as I have said, and of course I knew,
without his saying so, that he had saved my life--with my own pistol,
too, I surmise.

"Well, Captain Hurdiss," Chips said, "a busy day's before us. I think if
we can careen the old hooker and get that opened strake so we can handle
it from the outside, we can take her across, bar another such storm as
we had last night."

"We'll make a try for it, Mr. Chips," said I, roaring out the answer
after two or three futile attempts to speak quietly.

"You won't need a trumpet this voyage," was the carpenter's rejoinder to
this, at which I laughed, for the hot coffee and food were restoring my

The men, too, were in an even frame of mind, and when I ordered out the
boat they went about it like good ones. I saw that the prisoners were
fed before I left the deck, and then going over the side, I gave the
orders, man-of-war fashion, to "Shove off!" "Let fall!" etc., and after
a pull of a few minutes the carpenter and I landed on the beach near the
hollow in which the huts were, and finding a path, we ascended to them.

As we approached the door of the largest hovel, that was built of sods
and stones, a nondescript figure, with just enough rags on to save it
from appearing savage, emerged. The man appeared a little frightened at
first, and was truly startled at the sound of my voice. His reply I
could not translate, although I had merely asked him what island this
was, and what was the name of the coast that we could discern to the

At last, by dint of signs and repeating the question, I made out
something that sounded like "Innishkea," and when I pointed to the
island to the north the same answer came. When the land to the eastward
was designated he said Muhllet a Blackshod over and over. I gave him a
bit of silver, and the meaning of that he understood quite well, for he
grinned and closed his fist tight upon it, at the same time giving a
pull to his long front lock. I never heard such outlandish lingo in my
life as the man spoke, but I remembered the sounds of some of the words,
and when I got back to the ship I went into the cabin, and the carpenter
and I got out the map that showed the coast of Ireland, for Chips
insisted that the man was talking Gaelic, and that it was either Ireland
or Scotland whose shore lay off to the eastward.

"Hurrah! hurrah!" I cried suddenly, my attention arrested by a name.
"Here we are, Mr. Chips. The island of Inniskea--and off here is the
peninsula of Mullet that encloses the waters of Blacksod Bay."

So I knew where I was at last!

But there was lots to be done. Arming the crew, we took the fastenings
off the hatch, and ordered the prisoners into the boat. We left them on
shore with a barrel of ship's bread and a half-barrel of salt meat. And
then we rowed back, and prepared to do some impromptu calking, and fit
the old hulk in a better condition for putting to sea.

The _Duchess of Sutherland_ was loaded with machinery for some sort of
crushing business, and the rest of her cargo was cheap cloths and
print-stuffs, probably for the East Indian market. According to her
papers, she was bound for Calcutta.

The seam that had done most of the leaking was hardly a foot beneath the
surface of the water as she lay on even keel, we discovered. It had
opened up badly forward, and again amidships. So we set about lightening
her first before we hove her down.

Rigging a block and tackle, we jettisoned some heavy bits of machinery,
and found that the cargo had been very badly and loosely stowed.

The brig--she had been outfitted in a hurry--carried four guns, short
carronades of heavy weight, on her deck, and we shifted these to
starboard side, and then we rigged out an anchor at the end of a spar;
and I was surprised to see what a purchase we got on her, and how well
all this answered for our ends. As soon as they could, the carpenter and
the crew set about calking her with hemp from an old cable, whistling
and humming away merrily.

They progressed finely with the job, and as there was nothing for me to
do, I went aloft. I could smell the tar that they were boiling in the
galley, and was hoping that we could finish our work in time to get
under way that evening, when all at once I felt a jar, as if the vessel
had struck something below, and it appeared to me that we heeled a
little more to port.

In fact our list was very evident now, and the masts had quite an angle
on them. I saw that the carpenter, who was standing in a boat
alongside, had stopped work, and was looking curiously up at me. The
seam at which he had been tapping was now two feet above the surface of
the water, and the ripped green copper of the brig's bottom was plain to

The carpenter laid his head against the side, and then shouted up, in a
frightened voice:

"For heaven's sake, Captain Hurdiss," he cried, "there's water entering
somehow! I can hear the sound of it from here."

He and the men in the boat hastily scrambled up the side.

Just then there came another jarring sound. It was the cargo shifting.

I was hastening to descend, when I cast a glance toward the shore, and
there I saw one of the prisoners, whom I had noticed standing on the top
of the hill, suddenly wave his arms about his head, and come tearing
down the slope toward where the others were grouped about a fire.

But this was not all. Through the cleft in the hill-side I could see the
waters on the other side of the island. And in this narrow space, framed
by the walls of the cliff, I saw a vessel just coming about into the
wind. Another instant and she was gone, hidden by the dark mass of land.
But so firmly impressed was this quick vision upon my mind that I can
see it to this day, as firmly fixed as were it a painting that I had
studied in its every detail.

As I reached the deck the brig gave another lurch, and our bulwarks were
almost in the water.

"The cargo all adrift, Captain Hurdiss," shouted the carpenter, coming
up the ladder. "And we must have a bad leak in our top sides. The old
thing is rotten to her heart," he added.

The men, without orders, were tumbling into the boats, and even with my
small experience I could see that nothing could save the _Duchess_ from
sinking where she lay. I looked toward the shore, and saw the prisoners
in a body running up the beach toward the north. Just as I caught sight
of them, they rounded a point of rock and disappeared.

But a strange shifting motion in the brig warned me to hasten. What
impelled me, I do not know, but seeing the glass wedged in the shrouds
where I had planted it, I made for it, and picking it up, jumped into
the boat.


We had rowed but a few dozen strokes when, with a lurch, and a dull
explosion as the forward deck blew out from the pressure of air, down
went the _Duchess of Sutherland_, like a little _Royal George_. But the
only living things she took with her were a few half-drowned chickens in
a coop near the galley.

Even the carpenter now showed signs of despondency, and what I told him
about the vessel that looked like a great lugger with one mast, that I
had seen on the other side of the land, did not cheer him.

"We're in for it now," he grumbled. "There's no prize-money in this
affair. She's one of their revenue-cutters, and she'll scoop us surely."

"That's what the prisoners were scampering for," spoke up Dugan, who was
pulling stroke oar. "They've gone around to fetch her."

"Well, that's all they'll find," said Chips, pointing over the stern of
the boat.

I looked back. Only a few feet of the _Duchess_'s masts were visible,
but there was a lot of debris floating on the water near them.



Next Saturday will occur the eighth annual in-door interscholastic
championship games of the Boston schools at Mechanics' Hall, held under
the auspices of the Boston Athletic Association. The events are all
scratch, and include the 40-yard dash, 300-yard run, 600-yard run,
1000-yard run, half-mile walk, running high jump, putting 16-lb. shot,
pole vault, and 45-yard hurdles (3 flights, 2 ft. 6 in. high). Besides,
there will be special team-races arranged. This meeting is open to the
members (under twenty-one years of age) of all schools in the vicinity
of Boston. Each school will be allowed to enter three men in each event,
except in the 1000-yard run, when only two are entered and but one may

Ever since 1889 the schools have competed annually, and it has been the
winter athletic event of the school world. In 1890 the Boston A.A.
offered a large silver shield to run for nine years to be contended for
by the different schools, the one winning it the greatest number of
times to become the final possessor, and this generous action has had a
stimulating effect in making every school anxious to have its name
engraved on the blank spaces made for that purpose. Consequently, as the
occasion comes around each winter, speculation is rife as to the
probable champion school.

The outcome next Saturday, while based on relative comparisons, is more
or less a matter of conjecture, as youthful athletic competition is an
uncertain quantity. Not a first-prize winner, with the exception of
E. W. Mills, of last year's meet, appears in the list again, and this
fact should be encouraging to those who would otherwise have to struggle
against established champions.

[Illustration: E. W. MILLS, CHAUNCY HALL.]

The New England Interscholastic records are about as low as it is
possible to get them, and while no record-breaking is looked for, yet in
one or two instances there may be some change of marks. In the 1000-yard
run E. W. Mills, of Chauncy Hall, who now holds the record of 2 min. 33
sec., will be able to better that time if anybody can. It is traditional
custom that the two winning schools of the year previous shall meet in a
team-race, and this year English High and Worcester Academy will clash.
The Worcester boys are bitterly aggrieved over losing the in-door
championship of '96 by one point to English High, and will make
strenuous efforts to regain some of their laurels by winning this event.

[Illustration: H. J. KANE, E.H.-S.]

To prophesy correctly the winner of the first event on the programme,
the 40-yard dash, would be impossible under existing circumstances. The
string of foremost dash-runners that the schools will furnish are very
evenly matched, and most of them are doing the distance in 4-4/5
sec.--record time--so that it will be less than a yard that separates
the leaders in the final heat. English High is sure to have more than
one of its runners in the final round, with H. J. Kane, H. C.
Kennington, and A. F. Duffy wearing the colors. Kane was third in the
100 and 220 yard runs at the out-of-door championships, and ever since
he has shown improvement. All three of these athletes are capable of
doing 4-4/5 sec. H. C. Jones, of Phillips Exeter, who won the novice
40-yard at the B.A.A. games, February 6th, is predicted to keep pace
with the swiftest, and will be a dangerous competitor.

Newton High has H. W. Owens, another dash-runner, who in several
instances has done 4-4/5 sec. His inconsistency in running is his worst
fault. The Worcester schools are likely to bring down a set of good
sprinters. The high-school has in A. M. Butler a slashing sprinter, who
won a handicap dash in his city a few weeks ago.

The Worcester Academy athletes, with the benefit of a fine out-door
track of 150 yards in length, built on scientific principles, and also a
well-known professional coach in attendance, should exhibit some
redeeming strength at the meet. George Hersey won third in the 40-yard
dash in '96, and ought to better that now. He circled the school track
in the 300-yard dash considerably under the record, and if the corners
at Mechanics' Hall do not bother him, he can justify the confidence
imposed in him by his school.

[Illustration: G. H. HUNTRESS, HOPKINSON'S.]

Captain G. H. Huntress, of Hopkinson's, will be that school's best entry
for the 40 and 300 yard runs. He has good staying powers coupled with
plenty of speed. Noble's School will contribute to the 40-yard dash
A. T. Baker, who lately won prominence by taking the 40-yard handicap
prize away from over a hundred entries at the B.A.A. games. J. W. Sever,
of Brown and Nichol's School in Cambridge, is in the front rank of
scholastic sprinters, and is running in trim form this year.

[Illustration: J. H. CONVERSE, E.H.-S.]

There have been rumors that Phillips Andover would not send a team, but
this will not prevent individuals from entering, and in that case the
appearance of J. J. Peters may be counted on. With the prestige obtained
by his appropriating the hurdles at the big B.A.A. meet, he is given
precedence over everybody in the hurdle contest. His elegant physique is
a factor that will stand by him well if he is hard pressed. J. H.
Converse, the national champion, who defeated A. H. Beers last June, is
in this fight, and his reputation hangs in the balance on the result.

Hopkinson's School has a trio of clever timber-toppers in J. Hallowell,
E. Cole, and E. Whitman. They are evenly matched, and finish on a line
in practice, but Hallowell's past experience on the track would make him
the favorite in a race. Worcester Academy will furnish a star in Hall,
whose smooth movement over the sticks is bound to make him conspicuous.

Last year's calculations in the 600-yard run were all upset by the two
probable winners failing to qualify, and by an unknown stepping into the
breach. This contingency may have a repetition, for those thought to
have the best chances are not to be depended upon. M. M. Marks, of
English High, who recently won his heat at the B.A.A. games in 1 min.
20-3/5 sec. from 30 yards, is entitled to recognition. Those who have
watched his running have great faith in his progress, and he certainly
creates a favorable impression by his length of stride, which is
wonderful, considering his slight body. Whether he can repeat is the
doubtful question, and remains to be seen. C. I. Porter, of Hopkinson's,
is going to make a strong bid for something in the 600. His practice
trials have convinced his school that he is a valuable member of the
athletic team. A. W. Lincoln, captain of Boston Latin's team, will be
the grittiest runner in the bunch. He is game through and through, and
if his speed stays with him he may catch a prize.

There is not a shadow of doubt in the minds of the prophets that E. W.
Mills will capture the 1000-yard run. He is too much of a veteran to be
jockeyed, and has speed and endurance enough to make him a winner. He
will give the record most of his attention, and place it where future
runners will never touch it. The only one now in view who is able to
keep him company is D. T. Sullivan, of Worcester High, who is the
national interscholastic mile-runner. E. W. Crawford, of Boston Latin,
may win a place, as he is practising this distance daily, and has a
beautiful stride. English High is relying upon F. A. Ferguson to keep
its name from being tarnished at this distance. Hopkinson's has a couple
of fair runners in Cunningham and Ladd, and they are expected to give a
good account of themselves.

From present indications it seems as if Worcester Academy would make the
most points in the field events, as some excellent marks have been made
in practice. C. H. R. Howe has jumped as high as 5 ft. 8 in., which
insures him a prominent place. He is credited with a height greater than
this, but not in competition. H. B. Kendall, a schoolmate, is close
behind Howe in jumping, but his specialty is pole-vaulting. From
different sources comes the report that he will approach the record. As
it is, he can go higher than 10 feet, and has done it repeatedly. J. H.
Converse, of English High, has branched out as a high jumper, and his 5
ft. 6 in. in rubber-soled shoes means more when he gets on the floor at
the interscholastic tournament. C. M. Rotch, of Hopkinson's, can reach 5
ft. 7 in., and is being carefully coached, so that this, together with
his perfect style, will have a telling effect.

The shot-putters will be a stocky set of athletes, as no giants are in
sight, and the list of foremost putters have muscle bred on the football
field. W. W. Coe, of Noble's School, has the call for first honors, and
he is deserving of whatever should befall him, as he has industriously
kept at his endeavors to increase his distance. His stout arm, with a
well-trained composition back of it, has sent the 16-lb. weight 38 ft.,
and this would win for him. Eaton of English High and Boyce of Brookline
High are about in the same class, with the advantage on the latter's
side. Worcester anticipates placing a "dark horse" in the shot.

The half-mile walk will have a scant gathering, as efficient walkers are
scarce. Mohan, an English High pedestrian, with a point at the out-door
interscholastic games last summer, is a reliable man in keeping his

The championship of the ice-polo league of the schools in and about
Boston has been won by the Arlington High-School. Space prevents any
detailed comment upon this result in the present issue, but the ice-polo
season will be reviewed in these columns at an early date.

It is announced that a track-athletic league, to be known as the
Interscholastic Track Association, has been formed among St. Paul's
School, Garden City; Lawrenceville School, of Lawrenceville; and the
Hill School, of Pottstown. No meet will be held this year, but the first
will take place in 1898 at Lawrenceville. The next in 1899 at St.
Paul's, and in 1900 at the Hill School. The events agreed upon are the
100 and 220 yard dashes, 440 and 880 yard and mile run, 120-yard hurdle,
1-mile bicycle, pole vault, throwing 12-pound hammer, and high jump. A
dual meet for this spring has been arranged between Lawrenceville and
the Hill, the events to be those adopted by the triple league.

Although it is now somewhat late in the season for ice sports, the
formation of a hockey league among the New York schools is nevertheless
to be commended. The membership consists of Berkeley, Cutler, De La
Salle, St. Austin's, and Montclair High-School. Of these schools
Montclair High has probably done the most work at the sport this year,
although Berkeley has developed a very fair team.

The banner at the Long Island A.A. in-door games, held in Brooklyn,
February 20, was taken by Berkeley, with St. Paul's second, the scores
of the competing teams, by points, being as follows: Berkeley, 25; St.
Paul, 17; Barnard, 14; Pingry, 8; Adelphi, 7; Latin, 5; Dwight, Poly.
Prep., and Collegiate, 3 each; High-School, 2; Columbia Grammar,
Trinity, and Harvard, 1 each.

The in-door pole-vaulting record was broken by Paulding of Berkeley. He
raised the figures from 9 ft. 10-1/2 in. to 10 ft. 4 in. At the
Knickerbocker A.C. games last year Paulding cleared 10 ft. This year,
therefore, he will doubtless do much better, and should again win the

The 50-yard dash, as was expected, went to Robinson of St. Paul's. He
lost his heat to Sulzer of Pingry, but took first place easily in the
finals. Kinney of St. Paul's put the 12-pound shot 43 ft. 1 in., and the
high jump was taken by Serviss, B.L.S., with 5 ft. 6-1/2 in.

The entries for the big games at the Madison Square Garden, under the
auspices of the Knickerbocker Athletic Club, close March 20. It is to be
hoped that by that time all of the schools in this part of the country
will be represented on the lists.



       *       *       *       *       *


The safe return of the _Fram_ is regarded as a knock-down blow to the
thirteen superstition. There were thirteen men in her crew, of whom the
thirteenth joined at the last moment. All returned safe and well, and
none of them was ill at any time, or a cause of anxiety. Then, too, it
was on the 13th of August that Nansen reached home, and on the same day
the _Fram_ got quit of the ice, seven months to a day after (on January
13) she had struck a southerly current. To these coincidences it is
added that three litters of thirteen pups were born in Nansen's pack of
Eskimo dogs (though a greater number than six to a litter is unusual),
and that just thirteen publishers bid for his book after his return.

[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.


The most common defect in negatives, and one which it is easy to avoid,
is the small transparent spots which appear on the negative after
developing and fixing. These spots are called pinholes, and are caused
by small specks of dust which cling to the film, and which do not wash
off when the developer is turned over the plate. When a print is made
from a negative in which there are pinholes, small black spots appear in
the finished print wherever there were pinholes in the film. These holes
can be filled up by retouching, but they may be avoided altogether, and
prevention is much better than cure. After the sensitive plate is in the
holder, dust it over carefully with a small wad of surgeon's cotton
before putting in the slide. If plates remain in the holder some time
before they are used, it is a wise plan to dust them again before they
are put into the developer. Pinholes are sometimes caused by using old
developer which has not been filtered, and the tiny specks which are in
the solution settle on the plate during development. Always filter
developer after once using, and it saves time if it is filtered at once
when through developing.

Larger spots with sharp dark edges are caused by air-bubbles forming on
the plate when the developer is poured over it. If the tray is slanted a
little when the solution is turned on the plate, air-bubbles are seldom
formed. A piece of clean surgeon's cotton passed quickly over the plate
will break the bubbles.

Where there are large irregular spots on the plate which are not fully
developed, it shows that the developer did not cover all the plate
immediately, and therefore acted longer on one part than on the other.
There is no remedy for this; but such markings can be prevented by
pouring the developer quickly over the plate and rocking the tray for a
few seconds.

If the negative, after fixing, is covered with fine markings, the print
looking as if the negative from which it was made was crackled, it shows
that the tray was not rocked sufficiently during the process of
development. The tray should be gently rocked in all directions, so that
fresh developer is constantly passing over the sensitive film. (Not long
ago one of the members of the club sent two prints to the editor, one of
which was covered with fine markings. The letter stated that the
negatives were made and developed one after the other; and while the
first was all right, the second had the crackled appearance. An
explanation of the cause was asked and received.)

If the negative after developing and fixing turns yellow it indicates
that the plate was not left long enough in the fixing-bath. As explained
in one of the papers on the chemistry of photography, when the negative
is placed in the fixing-bath a new compound is formed of the unchanged
chloride of silver and the hyposulphite of soda. They unite and form a
double salts, called silver sodium hyposulphite or thisulphate. This
double salt is soluble in a solution of hypo, and the fixing-bath must
be strong enough not only to form this double salt, but also to dissolve
it. When it is thoroughly dissolved it is quickly washed out of the
film. If the fixing-bath is too weak, or if the plate is taken from the
bath too soon, the plate will soon turn yellow, and in time the image
will be destroyed. To prevent this the plate should be left in the
fixing-bath for five minutes after the plate is cleared from the silver

When a negative after drying has a whitish appearance with a rough
surface, it is because the plate was not washed long enough after
removing from the hypo bath. Wash plates an hour in running water, or in
eight or ten changes of water, changing at intervals of five minutes.

     ARTHUR NILSEN asks if portraits can be made better with snap-shots
     than with time exposures; and if with time exposures, the length of
     the exposure. Snap-shots for portraits give too harsh contrasts.
     For a time exposure with good light simply taking off and replacing
     the cap quickly will be long enough; or if a hand-camera with drop
     shutter, open and close the shutter as rapidly as possible without
     making the exposure instantaneous. One must learn to regulate the
     exposure according to the light, and the rapidity of the lens and
     plate used. With a little careful practice one can learn to expose
     the plate correctly.

     D. SAYLOR WILSON asks how to tell when a plate is fully developed.
     Examine the plate by looking through it toward the red light. If
     the detail is well out, and the negative looks as if it would be
     dense enough for a good print, return the negative to the
     developer, and rock it till the image is fading rapidly, then
     remove and wash and fix. With some kinds of developer the image
     must be allowed to fade entirely, but with hydrochinon developer
     the plate is developed far enough when the plate looks dense when
     examined by looking through it toward the light.


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There was, a few years ago, a law in Connecticut and Massachusetts--and
I think it is still extant in Connecticut--that no man shall kiss his
wife in public. Both States have laws, as have many others, that no man
shall swear; and they both had laws, if they do not still have them,
that no one shall smoke on the street.

It has always been considered an immoral act for a Christian to swear,
but there is unquestionably a distinction to be made which is of just as
much interest to the average boy as to any full-grown man. The use of
sacred names in common every-day language--that is, the colloquial use
of terms that represent what we reverence, what are the property of each
man for himself, and his deepest thoughts--is undoubtedly a wrong. The
name of God and what it represents to you and to me in our lives belongs
to us, and does not concern any one else. No one, therefore, has any
right to vulgarize it in our presence, and if he does so, he is
infringing on sacred personal rights, and is therefore committing a
wrong. That is self-evident.

There is, however, a difference between committing this actual wrong,
between breaking the sturdy old New England Puritan law, and using
exaggerated terms which are just as much swearing as the use of sacred
names is. There are many terms which in themselves have to-day no
significance--though they may have in derivation--except as exaggerated
expression. One says, "Good gracious!" "Oh dear!" "Oh my!" a dozen times
an hour, and is never criticised for swearing. Yet these expressions in
their original forms were swearing of the most exaggerated kind, and in
principle are so to-day. They all originally had the name of the Deity
attached to them, the second one being probably a corruption of French
"Oh Dieu!"

The important point is that although they no longer infringe on sacred
things and personal rights, they are really just as much swearing to-day
as they originally were. They are signs of weakness, of a desire for
something stronger in the form of expression than the ordinary English
phrase which precedes or follows them. The speaker feels the need of
some exaggeration, and these inoffensive terms are just as unnecessary
as are the offensive ones--indeed, they are only weak subterfuges which
try to get the same effect without using the sacred terms.

That means a vicious, because growing, tendency to constant increase and
exaggeration, which is the real principle of too much drinking that
makes a drunkard, too much smoking that makes a nervous invalid, too
much idleness that makes an unsuccessful life. If you will listen to the
greatest orators or read their speeches, if you will read the works of
the greatest authors, you will find no exaggeration of language to speak
of even at most important moments, and the very temperateness of these
orations and writings has a wonderful effect. Read, if you have not done
so, the little speech of Mr. Lincoln's at Gettysburg, and see how
simple, how temperate it is, and yet it is said by all students and
judges, by any one who really studies it, to not only cover the whole
subject Mr. Lincoln had in hand, but to be one of the most stirring
speeches that have been made to the American public.

On the other hand, go some day and listen to a cheap stump-speaker, and
in the course of half an hour you will hear that this and that is the
"most magnificent," the "most frightful," the "greatest crime that cries
to Heaven," and abundant other phrases out of all proportion to the
subjects, which do not carry the weight of one of Lincoln's simple
sentences in his address. These unnecessary superlatives are, in their
way, swearing, which in principle are as bad, and as evil in their
results on the user and the listener, as is the use of sacred names.
They are the beginning of which the latter is the end. The feeling which
makes a boy or man want to use exaggerated terms is the real evil. It
grows like any other weakness, until his talk is puerile and of no
value. And if he would avoid swearing, or cure himself of it, he must
begin there, and not at the particular words he has discovered himself
to be using, and which may have called forth criticism because they were
sacred to those who heard them.

       *       *       *       *       *


A London newspaper says of the late Mr. Robert Harrison, formerly
secretary and librarian to the London Library, whose death occurred a
short time ago, that he had an extensive acquaintance with famous men of
letters. In a Presidential address at the Librarians' Conference at
Nottingham in September, 1891, he gave some interesting reminiscences of
some of the eminent frequenters of the library:

"The most conspicuously original man among them was Carlyle. He often
visited the library. His conversation was most amusing, full of
extravagant and exaggerated statements, and always ending with a loud
laugh, apparently at himself. He used the library books extensively for
his later works, and was guilty of the reprehensible practice of writing
on the margins of their books. He must admit that his remarks were never
meaningless, but chiefly consisted of corrections of dates or errors in
the text."

Of Thackeray, another eminent member of the London Library, Mr. Harrison
had also an anecdote to tell:

"When writing _The Virginians_ he came to him (the speaker) for a life
of General Wolfe. 'I don't want,' he said, 'an historical account of his
career--Lord Mahon's book gives me that--but I want something that will
tell me the color of his breeches.'"

Mr. Harrison had the pleasure also of helping Charles Reade to find
materials for his story of _The Cloister and the Hearth_. The late Lord
Lytton was a frequent visitor and inquirer, as also was the author of
_Westward, Ho!_ and George Eliot. Mr. Harrison was quite astonished at
first to see what pains and research were applied to the production of
books so easy to read as were their best novels.

Concerning Mr. Gladstone, Mr. Harrison had likewise something to say.
The G. O. M. has always taken an interest in the prosperity of the

"He (Mr. Gladstone) made use chiefly of their works of reference. The
speaker remembered with pleasure a small incident that occurred when
_Javentus Mundi_ was going to press. Mr. Gladstone called to verify a
line in Propertius, or Ausonius--he forgot which. He told his need to
one of the Eton masters, who happened to be present. The line was found,
and it differed slightly from that which Mr. Gladstone had quoted.
'But,' said the Eton master to him afterwards, 'his line was much finer
than the one which we found in print.'"

       *       *       *       *       *


There is a little suburban town out in New Jersey, and its inhabitants
are very proud of their fire department, claiming that it can meet every
possible exigency. As for the truth of this statement, it is not
advisable to meditate upon, and there is one thing positive, and that is
the inability of its members to prevent fires. Unfortunately such
occurrences were growing to be a chronic affliction, and in desperation
the leading officials of the fire department and the town officials met
to devise ways and means of stopping them.

"It's carelessness, rank carelessness!" exclaimed one portly gentleman.
"Such things should rarely happen in well-regulated communities."

Thus it went on for over an hour, growing no nearer to a solution of the
difficulty. Finally one of the fire department members arose.
"Gentlemen," he cried, "I have a resolution to propose which I think, if
adopted by the honorable members of this board, will entirely do away
with fires in our town."

"Hear! hear!" cried the members of the board. "What is it? Propose it,"

"Gentlemen, I propose that three days before each fire some one should
go to the house and ascertain if it has been caused by the inmates'
carelessness, and if so enforce a payment of money to meet the expenses
of running the engines to the scene."

[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.

I know several subscribers to the ROUND TABLE who have exchanged stamps
with other readers of this column, to the advantage of all concerned.
For the first time in two years I have received a complaint that stamps
were sent to one of the ROUND TABLE readers, without receiving any
return or even acknowledgment of the stamps. Possibly the first letter
accompanying the stamps, or the reply acknowledging the same, went
astray or was lost in the mails. The complaint is being investigated;
but I hope all subscribers to the ROUND TABLE will be prompt and
businesslike in replying to correspondents on receipt of letters.

One of the best methods of exchange is through the books of one or the
other of the local societies or national philatelic associations. These
exchanges are conducted on a cash basis. Each member pays the manager of
the exchange department for all stamps taken from the books, and the
manager in turn pays the members for their stamps sold from the books,
and returns the unsold stamps.

     L. T. BRODSTONE, Superior, Neb.--Previous to 1890 all U.S. stamps
     were made by private bank-note companies under contract with the
     government. Since then the Bureau of Printing and Engraving at
     Washington has made all the stamps. The envelopes and post-cards
     are still made by private concerns under contract with the U.S.
     government. There are several monumental collections in the U.S.
     Probably the best is owned by a gentleman in one of the New England
     States. The above-named wishes to exchange stamps.

     J. D. WATERMAN.--The difference between the Hartford and the
     Philadelphia dies of the Centennial (1876) envelope is this: the
     word "Postage" is in a label; in the Hartford die the lower line of
     the label is single, in the Philadelphia die it is double. U.S.
     stamps are printed in large sheets, and afterwards cut apart into
     sheets of 100. The guide-lines are made to call attention to the
     proper place for cutting. As nearly 10,000,000 of the 1c. and 2c.
     stamps are used every day in the year, it is not likely that these
     stamps will become rare even in a hundred years.

     H. C. BRANCH.--Just one cent.

     C. H. WILLISTON.--The 1809 half-dollar can be bought for 75c.

     S. S. LANGLEY.--The star in heraldry is five-pointed, as a rule.
     The use of the six-pointed star by the U.S. Mint was probably an
     accident in the beginning, but has now become fully established as
     the custom.

     GEORGE BRIGHT.--About 10c. each.




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Life In the Regular Army.

     Most people who see members of the National Guard in showy uniforms
     and on dress parade, and some people who see United States regular
     troops on pleasant Sunday afternoons, sitting on the banks at Fort
     Wadsworth, and enjoying the exquisite views of New York upper and
     lower bays, get the notion that a soldier's life is a jolly and a
     lazy one. I can speak from experience when I state that the life of
     an enlisted man in a heavy battery of the United States artillery
     is not always jolly, and not as lazy as it sometimes appears.

     One needs good references and a better body to get into the regular
     army. Many American young men who have the inclination to enter the
     army have not the physique, and so it happens that the American
     service has, one might almost say, every nationality in it except

     I belong to Battery D, First Artillery, which was stationed at Fort
     Wadsworth when I enlisted, but has since been transferred to
     Jackson Barracks, a few miles out of New Orleans. Although much
     under thirty, I have seen service in a foreign country's armed
     forces, and have been in many parts of the world. Like most other
     Americans who enter the army, I enlisted in small part because I
     thought I might like the service, and in great part because I could
     not, just then, find anything else to do. The physical examinations
     to get into the service are most rigid, and there is much of what
     people call "red tape," but I suppose all of the latter is

     Recruits in the United States Army are called "Rookies"--why, I
     don't know. You can readily tell a rookie from a veteran. A
     rookie's earliest interest concerns his "kit," which is his
     personal property, although issued to him by the quarter-master.
     The kit comprises a great number of articles, including
     under-clothing, shoes, collars, white cotton and fur gloves, half a
     dozen styles of caps, a dress-coat, and a brown canvas suit for
     "fatigue" duty. Each man is allowed $60 the first year, $28 the
     second, and $30 the third to spend for clothing. The government
     loans to him a bedstead, mattress, sheets, pillow, clothes box and
     bag, besides gun, canteen, knife, fork, and some other odd things.

     Barrack life is not one which every man can take a liking to at
     first. The enlisted man, in scores of cases, is a rover, to begin
     with. But a company of such men thrown together presently find
     their "bunkies." They pair off by a sort of natural selection. The
     accidents of the mess, or of walking post, or guard duty lead to a
     rough-and-ready friendship.

     A trying period for the recruit is while he is in the sergeant's
     training, getting his first lessons in drill. This he begins
     without gun--or arms, as the gun is called in the army. It is not
     till he has had these private lessons for three months that he is
     turned over for duty, walks his first post, and comes to be
     regarded by his fellows as a full-fledged soldier.

     [Illustration: THE YARD, JACKSON BARRACKS.]

     In the morning no one comes and tells a fellow that breakfast is
     ready. At Fort Wadsworth the bugle sounded at 5.30 in summer, and 6
     in winter. Ten minutes later reveille sounds, a gun is fired, the
     flag is raised on the post staff--a large flag for a pleasant day,
     and a smaller one for a stormy day--and the fort is swarming with
     men running here and there, and going down stairs three steps at a
     bound. Assembly for roll-call is only five minutes after
     reveille--not a long time to wash and dress. But a fellow in the
     service has to do as he is commanded. You have heard of the captain
     who told the recruit that there were three things to do to make a
     good soldier. The first was to obey orders; the second, to obey
     orders; and the third, to obey orders. There are mess-call for
     breakfast, sick-call for hospital, and fatigue-call for men who are
     to do extra duty, like mowing weeds, moving guns, or maybe milking
     the colonel's cow, should he keep one. Then those remaining in
     barracks spend half an hour swinging clubs, running, jumping, or
     other exercise to develop the muscles. Each post commander fixes
     the hours for drills within certain limits, but guard-mount comes
     early in the fore-noon, is usually performed in full-dress uniform,
     and executed the same in all military posts. A new guard goes on
     and relieves the old one. There is quiet in the post, save for the
     bugle that marks the hours, till half past eleven, when recall is
     sounded. At twelve dinner is ready. At one work begins again, if
     there is work to do, and lasts till half past four. Supper is at
     five, and at sunset there is dress parade. The work done is,
     cleaning up the reservation, mounting or moving guns, digging
     ditches, and doing a lot of things that don't appear in accounts of
     military manoeuvres and show parades.

     In winter school is kept, usually by one of the commissioned
     officers, when there are classes in range-finding, knotting and
     splicing ropes, gunnery, and the like.

     Sunset parade is what the soldier's lady friends always come to
     see. It is ceremonious. Let me tell you about it. All are obliged
     to answer the call for it, and fall in on their respective
     parade-grounds, neatly dressed, shoes polished, white gloves on,
     and arms bright. The first sergeant calls the roll, and brings the
     company or battery to parade rest. The adjutant, or officer of the
     day, now takes charge, and by a wave of the hand notifies the chief
     trumpeter to sound off retreat. At the last sound of the bugle the
     corporal of the guard fires the evening gun, and another member of
     the guard hauls down the flag. The first sergeants report the
     presence or absence of the men, and the corporal of the guard locks
     up the colors, to remain so till reveille next morning.

     This ends the day's routine of a regular army enlisted man in
     barracks, and he may go where he pleases until eleven, when taps is
     sounded. At taps the lights must go out. A check-roll is taken to
     see if any men are absent. This is done by a sergeant or corporal,
     who takes a list of names of the men, and, with a lantern for
     light, goes through the rooms to see if each man is in bed.

     Special permission is granted to men of good character to absent
     themselves from retreat, check-roll call, and reveille every day
     when not on special duty. At Fort Wadsworth, which, with Fort
     Hamilton, guards the entrance to New York harbor, most men have the
     afternoons off, and not a few of them put them in in sleep. There
     is a fascination about the soldier's life. And yet most men in it
     wish themselves out of it, and are always looking forward to the
     end of their enlistments, or speculating whether it will pay them
     to buy their releases. Sometimes we have entertainments in the post
     hall, and on Sundays the reservation swarms with sight-seers, who
     ask innumerable questions, some sensible, others otherwise. Do I
     like a soldier's life? Yes, though I often, as do others in the
     service, I fancy, build air-castles about what I would do if out of


       *       *       *       *       *

Questions and Answers.

James F. Rodgers: The best researches in the line you indicate have been
made by the national government, which has explored, measured, and dug
over a great part of the ruins of the homes of former cliff dwellers and
Aztec Indians. The Smithsonian Institution and the National Museum,
Washington, contain many pictures, surveys, etc., of these ruins. We
know of no society engaged in such study, or, at least, none that makes
excavations.--Ethel R. Betts: Greek is now required for entrance to
Barnard, but some changes are to be made in the requirements. See the
answer of the Registrar published in this column, No. 902.--Bessie H.
asks how she can get foreign postage-stamps. In several ways. She can
buy them from a dealer; she can trade with friends for them; she can
send the money to some post-office in the country the stamps of which
she desires; or she can write to correspondents in foreign countries
whose names she finds in the ROUND TABLE or other publication.

Marian E. P. Greene, Jamacha, Cal., writes: "A Swiss friend, much
interested in autograph-collecting, has sent me one of her 'traders'--an
autograph of Emile Zola--with the request that I exchange it for some
well-known American or English writer. I also have the autograph of
Princess Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein, generally known as Princess
Christian. This I will be glad to trade for an American autograph, or
will send it with Zola's in exchange for a very good one. I would much
like to have the ROUND TABLE dated December 25, 1895, and will send ten
cents in stamps to any Knight or Lady who can procure it for me. If a
Lady of the Round Table has passed her eighteenth birthday, can she
still write to the TABLE from time to time, and send questions to be
answered, or must she give up this privilege?" She need not give up the
privilege. The TABLE is glad to receive morsels descriptive of
interesting places, people, and things.

An Orange subscriber asks where he can see pictures of the different
ships of our navy. In HARPER'S WEEKLY, files of which you will find in
your local library. If you wish to possess them, you can procure back
numbers of the WEEKLY. Consult the file to see what numbers you desire.
In the WEEKLY you will find not only pictures of all our naval ships,
but pictures of some of the larger ones in several positions.--"A. H. S."
asks: "If a picture takes a prize in your Camera Club Competition and is
printed in your paper, are you the holder of a copyright on said
picture? And also if it may be submitted for printing in another journal
at some future time?" Each issue of most periodicals is copyrighted.
That copyright covers everything in the issue. Where a photograph has
been reproduced in a periodical, whether HARPER'S ROUND TABLE or some
other, it is best to ask the publishers' permission about using it
again. That permission can generally be obtained, or at least a plate
purchased. Of course one would hardly enter a prize-picture in another
prize competition. That might be fair, but one cannot afford to appear

Richard Stark, Jun., sends us the following:

"Where can I get setting-boards for setting butterflies and moths? Is a
microscope costing from $3 to $5 powerful enough to properly examine
plants and insects? Is there any Chapter or society of young naturalists
for exchanging specimens of natural history? If so, I would like to hear
from it." Make the setting-boards yourself. The ROUND TABLE published
directions for using them only a short time since. A low-priced
microscope will answer very well for examining plants, but a more
powerful one is needed for insects. You say "properly" examining. Much
depends on how important you regard the word "properly." As a general
rule, it is poor economy to purchase cheap scientific instruments. If
you can afford a microscope costing $8 to $20, you will find it much
more satisfactory. Might you not secure one on approval?--A New York
member asks for a proof of a prize-story which the ROUND TABLE desires
to have illustrated. We regret to say we have no such story at present,
and no plans have been made to have our prize-stories illustrated this

       *       *       *       *       *

Woman's Bicycle Distance Record.

Here is an interesting query. "A. M." asks the woman's bicycle distance
record. She says hers, ridden during one year, is 5700 miles. She asks
if she holds the record. Let us hear from members on this interesting

       *       *       *       *       *


HARPER'S ROUND TABLE has rarely published a puzzle that so exercised the
minds of its young friends and led to so much instructive research. A
curious thing about the contest was the fact that questions thought in
advance to be difficult were answered readily, while some quite easy
questions were missed by almost every solver. Such an outcome has never
before been known in all of these many contests. For example, the sign
at the boat-landing, and the three riddles 21, 22, and 23, were put into
the puzzle as "stickers." Yet more than half the solvers answered all
three of the riddles, and every one of them, save perhaps a half-dozen,
discovered the keys to the landing sign, much to the astonishment of the
puzzle's author. Of the riddles, the one that proved the most difficult
was 22. On the other hand, the "Mad Yankee" and the "Bad Lands of the
Say It," both quite easy, were missed by almost everybody. Such a fact
is no less astonishing than that all should guess the hard questions.

The question was asked by one solver, if an answer fitting the question
perfectly is thrown out or counted wrong, provided it does not chance to
have been the propounder's answer to the question. The answer is an
emphatic no. All answers that fit the questions are accepted, of course,
and in case of doubt the solver is given the benefit. In the correct
answers herewith given, those put down first are the propounder's
answers; succeeding ones, if any, those found by the solvers, and
accepted because they answer the questions. Solvers are asked to read
them, and immediately afterward the explanation which follows:

1. Ba(Lear)ic--Prospero. 2. Edu(Cato)r. 3. Mis (Solon)ghi--Socrates. 4.
Better leave bad company behind. 5. Noah Webster. 6. Elisha Kent Kane.
7. S(cave)nger. 8. Gras(shop)per--Para(a city in Brazil) site. 9.
I(magi)nation--pre(sage). 10. Cor(rug)ation--(fur)row--s(cowl). 11.
A(string)ent--(cord)ial--por(twine). 12. G(litter)ing--b(rig)ht. 13.
Es(cap)ade--dis(turban)ce--false(hood). 14. Re(quire)ment. 15. S(corn)er.
16. Se(map)hore. 17. Ser(vice)able. 18. H(alb)erd. 19. B(ranch)ie. 20.
In(scrip)tion--prescription. 21. Cheese. 22. A clay pipe. 23. Rabbit's
foot. 24. Ce(rum)en--whiskey in ear of corn. 25. Re(cup)eration. 26.
B(rake)man. 27. S(crib)e--S(cot)t--Al(cot)t--Pres(cot)t. 28.
Hot(tent)ot--A(shanti). 29. S(heath)ing. 30. S(hut)ter. 31. Quad(rill)e.
32. Ro(pew)alk. 33. Sal(a man)der. 34. Sy(nag)ogue. 35. The Land of
Steady Habits (Connecticut).

In 1 and 3 a doubt honestly arose whether hidden names or facts were
intended. Hence both were allowed. In 6, "Mad" Anthony Wayne was not the
mad Yankee, because he was born in Pennsylvania, of Irish parents. In 9,
many gave "mage" in "image" for "magi," which was, of course, not
allowed, and others gave "judge" in "judgement," meaning perhaps
"judgment," as if it were expected solvers would misspell words. In 21,
"milk" is not allowable because it is not subjected to great pressure.
In 22, "iron" would not do for several reasons--see conditions. In 23,
"horseshoe" does not fit, because not a serious loss to its owner, as is
the rabbit's foot. That which is used by masons is the hair--in plaster.
The last question, which almost everybody missed, is a simple anagram,
not nearly so difficult to rearrange as the alphabetical cipher in 4.

The highest honor and a substantial prize of $20 were won by Bryant K.
Hussey, who lives in Chicago and is 16 years of age. He gave correct
answers to all save 6 and 35. The second honors, with prize of $5 to
each, go to sisters who live in a pretty Virginia town. Their names are
Amy Ralston and Katherine B. Rogers. The other prize-winners are Francis
C. Péquignot, of Philadelphia, $4, and the following six, to each of
whom $1 is awarded: Lewis P. Churchill, of Nova Scotia; Eunice K. Jones,
of Ohio; Robert H. Mead, Raymond Tilley, and Joseph B. Eastman, of
Pennsylvania; and Pierre W. Saxton, of Otsego County, New York.

In these awards an honor list is made--an unusual concession--and
deservedly at the head of this list is placed the name of Master M. L.
Hamlin, aged nine, who lives in Yonkers, New York. The others, whose
names follow, correctly answered thirty of the thirty-five questions:
Maddie C. Marshall, South Carolina; Roy Culbertson, Kentucky; Bayard B.
Rodman, Long Island; Alice B. Tobey, Ohio; Harold F. Gaston and Bessie
Jones, Pennsylvania; Maude G. Corcoran, Maryland; Kathryn A. Fisher,
Michigan; Paul F. Case and Claude S. Smith, Monroe County, New York;
Anna W. James, New Jersey; and L. J. Martin, Kansas.



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       *       *       *       *       *


An old darky was brought before a Southern magistrate, not long ago,
accused of stealing a neighbor's chickens when the nights were dark and
no one stirred abroad. The old man put up a long but weak argument,
seizing upon every possible straw to support his defence. The evidence
was too strong, however, and matters were rapidly approaching a climax
that meant a month of idleness in the town jail. The thought of this and
the attendant ignominy stirred the old darky to a point where he did
nothing but splutter out,

"'Pon my honor, jedge, Ise--er--Ise didn't done take 'em."

At last the judge grew tired, and was about to sentence him, when a
broad smile illuminated the darky's face as he cried out,

"I's got it, jedge; Ise can prove an alibi 'bout dem chickens."

"Well, what is it?" exclaimed the judge.

"You see, jedge, no poor colored man could take dem chickens at

"How's that?--what do you mean?"

"'Cause, jedge, dey's nothin' but roosters at night, and de charge am dat
I took chickens."

The ingenuity of the defence won the day.

       *       *       *       *       *


The story is told of an English and an Irish trooper who were scouting
against the Matabele in South Africa recently. A band of savages
suddenly burst from behind some rocks and started for the men. They
jumped upon their horses and fled over the rough country, but the
Irishman kept falling to the rear of his companion.

"Confound you, Mike!" exclaimed the Englishman; "ride, ride for your
life! You'll be caught!"

"Go 'long wid you!" replied the Irish trooper, who was doing his best;
"do you think I'm throwin' the race?"

       *       *       *       *       *


It may interest some of our readers to glance through this short
characteristic sketch of James Seymour, born in London in 1702, which is
more strongly impressive than many longer memoirs. The fact that he
displayed a fondness for drawing and painting in boyhood, and
subsequently gained celebrity by his skill in designing horses, is too
well known to comment upon. Once the proud Duke of Somerset employed
Seymour to paint a room at his seat in Sussex with the portraits of his
running-horses. Having admitted the artist to his table, he one day
drank to him, saying,

"Cousin Seymour, your health."

The painter replied, "My lord, I really believe that I have the honor of
being of your Grace's family."

This hurt the pride of the Duke so much that he rose from the table and
ordered his Steward to pay Seymour and dismiss him. Finding, however,
that no one in England could complete the pictures begun, he
condescended to send for his cousin. The painter responded to the
message in these words:

"My lord, I will now prove that I am of your Grace's family, for I won't

       *       *       *       *       *


The approach of St. Patrick's day reminds one of a little incident,
laughable enough, that took place during last year's parade in New York.
The gallant sons of Ireland had turned out resplendent in their green
regalias, marching with proud step to the music of the band. Those on
horses cantered along as best as the legs of their weak-spirited nags
would permit. One jovial son had considerable trouble with his horse,
which seemed possessed with the insane idea that he was the whole
procession, much to the annoyance and at the same time amusement of the
other paraders. At last the animal, during one of its erratic movements,
caught a hoof in one of the stirrups. That settled it. With a look of
infinite disgust the rider exclaimed,

"Faith, if yez are going to git up, me boy, thin it's toime for me to
git down." And he thereupon dismounted.

       *       *       *       *       *


"My daddy's awful good to me," said Jennie, "treats me just like I was
his sister."

"Pulls your hair, does he?" asked Flossie, who has a brother.

       *       *       *       *       *


Bobbie has been learning business methods recently, which may account
for a bill which his father found recently upon the breakfast table,
reading as follows:

  NEW YORK, _January_ 15, 1897.


  For not paying him his allowance for three weeks,
    at 25 cents a week                                  .75
  Interest at 6%                                        .05

Please pay up!

       *       *       *       *       *


"I can run faster than you can, Hal," bragged Jimmie.

"That's all right," returned Harry; "but I can stand faster than you
can, and when war breaks out they'll think more of me than they will of

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