Harper's Round Table, December 8, 1896 by Various
[Illustration: HARPER'S ROUND TABLE]
Copyright, 1896, by HARPER & BROTHERS. All Rights Reserved.
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PUBLISHED WEEKLY. NEW YORK, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 8, 1896. FIVE CENTS A COPY.
VOL. XVIII.--NO. 893. TWO DOLLARS A YEAR.
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THE BOY WRECKERS.
BY W. O. STODDARD.
THE THREE-CORNERED BOAT.
"It goes through the water like a wedge," said Pete. "Old Captain Kroom had it made for himself. That's why it's so wide."
It was "so wide" only at the stern, and it narrowed to a blunt edge at the prow. All of its lines were pretty nearly straight. Its bottom was as flat as a floor. At its forward end it was decked over for about two and a half feet. It was a bit of deck that might serve for a seat, but in the middle of it was a round hole, and from this there stood up a straight stick nine feet high.
"There's a pretty long boom for that mast," said Pete. "When the sail's on it's a kind of cat-boat. Old Kroom won't row a stroke if he can help it."
"Well," said Sam, "I guess I wouldn't, either. But won't it tip over with a sail?"
"No, sirree," replied Pete, confidently. "It needn't ever tip over. Why, if you know how to sail a boat, you won't let yourself be upset."
"Boys," roared a deep husky voice behind them, "what are you doing with my boat?"
They both whirled around instantly.
"We weren't touching it, Captain Kroom," said Pete. "I met him up in the village, and he wants to go fishing. He says his name is Sam Williams. We've bought some clams and some sand-worms."
"Both of you get right in," commanded Captain Kroom. "I guess he's a city fellow. We'll show him some fishing. Pete, put in that pail of live bait. They're prime minnows. Sam, take the sail and boom and lay them forward, ready for me. Jump, now! the tide's turning. If we don't get right out across the bay we won't catch a bite."
"Sam," said Pete, as his companion seemed to hesitate, "pitch in. He knows fish."
The two boys were not so much unlike in their height and age, but there was hardly any other resemblance between them. Sam had no need to tell anybody that he did not belong on that shore. He was too nobbily dressed, his dark hair was too smooth, and his hands were too white. There was some healthy sunburn on his face, but it was nothing to the tan on Pete's. Besides, Pete was red-headed, and had a full supply of freckles. What was more, his rig, from his straw hat that turned up in front, down to his bare feet, was as unlike as could be to Sam's neatly fitting navy blue. Nevertheless, they were a bright-looking pair, and Sam stepped ahead quickly enough, after his momentary flush of rebellion at being "ordered around."
The fact was that old Captain Kroom was "bossy." It was his boat, to be sure, but he stood there and looked in all directions, as if he owned the bay, if not also the sand-bar on the further side of it, and the Atlantic Ocean beyond that.
He was a very large man, and very heavy. The three-cornered boat hardly seemed to feel the weight of Pete and Sam when they went into it with the bait and fishing-tackle and the other things. It rocked, of course, but it was steady enough, as if it were accustomed to boys, and did not mind having them on board. When, however, Captain Kroom finished his observations of the sea and the sky, and very deliberately put one foot into the boat at the stern, that end began to go down.
"Hold hard, boys," he said; "I'm a-comin'. Steady, now."
His other foot came in, and he at once sat down upon the stern seat; but at the same moment Sam, at the prow, felt as if he and the mast and sail were going up.
"Boys," said Captain Kroom, "I'm glad you're here. Keep well forrard, and it'll kind o' trim the boat. Pete, you and Sam can 'tend to the sail. Cast her loose from the wharf. Give her her head."
"Sam," said Pete, "let the sail swing right out. You and I'll have to row till we get out of the creek."
"No, you won't--not with this breeze," growled the Captain. "Give me the ropes. We'll dance right along."
"He knows how to handle a boat, Sam," said Pete. "He can get out all there is in her."
Right at the shore of the mainland there was a kind of small shut-in harbor. It had a rickety old wharf, at which the boat had been fastened. Other boats were there, hitched a little way out from the wharf. Some of them were pretty good sized sailing-boats. Straight across the harbor, the patch of open water in front of the wharf, was a wide reach of rushes, and among them wound the narrow crooked ribbon of water that Pete called "the creek." Outside were the dancing waves of the bay, and there was bright sunshine everywhere.
If it was all a kind of every-day affair to Pete, it was not so to his friend, and Sam's eyes were glistening with excitement. "Ain't I glad I met you!" seemed to almost burst from him; but Pete's reply was uttered in a very matter-of-fact tone.
"You'd better be glad that Captain Kroom came. We wanted a boat, too, but it's the best kind of luck to have a man that knows fish. I've known lots of fellows like you come out here to fish, and that didn't catch a thing."
"Up with her!" shouted the Captain, and in a moment the sail was full.
In spite of the two boys forward, the boat was inclined to lift its nose, but away it went slipping into the creek, and making swift headway along the crooks and turns among the rushes.
The steering and the management of the sail were all in the hands of the old fisherman. It almost seemed as if the wind must be, too. There was enough of that, and the boat went this way, that way, so far as Sam could see, with very little regard to the direction the breeze came from. He said so to Pete.
"Guess so," replied the 'longshore boy. "He knows his boat. So long as a wind isn't dead ahead, he doesn't care. But he hates oars. So do I."
There the oars lay, along the sides of the boat, two of them; but an oar stands for work, and Sam was quite willing to let the sail work for him. He was now sitting forward of the middle of the boat, looking ahead, but every now and then he glanced back at Mr. Kroom. He looked all the bigger and heavier for being in a boat and because he weighed it down. It occurred to Sam that it probably would not tip over so easily with so much human ballast to steady it.
"Queerest kind of beard," he said to himself. "His mustaches are awful."
Not that the beard was so very long, but it was stiff-haired and curling, and it stuck out on all sides. Below his chin it came down in a great gray bunch. That and his gray mustache and his jutting eyebrows and the deep wrinkles across his forehead gave him a fierce look. It grew worse every time he gave an order. His hands, too, were large, hairy, and looked as if they had been stained like old mahogany. It was not by any means a shallow boat, and it was not short, but it was not exactly like anything else that Sam was familiar with, and he said so to Pete.
"Of course it isn't," said Pete. "He'll go out to sea in it, where nobody else'd dare to. But he knows the sea. He's been everywhere."
"Out, boys! We're out o' the creek!" shouted Captain Kroom, as if it excited him to get clear of the rushes. "Hurrah! Troll, both of you! Get out your lines! I won't fish; I'll sail. Quick!"
Sam felt as if something in Kroom's voice took hold of him and set him going, it was so tremendously bossy.
"He's a captain," thought Sam. "He's been a ship-captain, and he's used to ordering sailors. Guess they jumped."
That was what Pete had done, for he had the basket of tackle on his side of the boat. She was dashing along now, right out into the bay, and she rode the waves capitally. The sail swung away out and the boat leaned over, but for all Sam could see, the stern with Captain Kroom in it sat almost square on the water. No boat bends in the middle, but it had that look.
"She's going!" exclaimed Pete. "Tell you what, Sam, the _Elephant_ can outsail some of the fastest boats along shore. She's a ripper!"
"Out with your lines!" growled the Captain of the _Elephant_. "You won't catch anything, but I like to see the lines out. No bluefish in the bay, unless they came in last night."
Sam evidently felt very much as Captain Kroom did about having the trolling-lines out, but Pete seemed entirely willing to let his city acquaintance have the first line that was ready. Both of them had already said enough to let Captain Kroom know that Sam's city relatives were boarding at a sea-side hotel a mile or so up the coast, and that he had visited the village that morning for the first time. There he had met Pete, and they had agreed to go fishing together.
"Humph!" said Captain Kroom. "I always had to pick my crews anyhow I could. Made sailors of 'em, though, after we got afloat."
The boys heard him, but Pete was making no haste with his line. He remarked to Sam,
"If he says there are no bluefish, then there ain't any. He knows."
"None yesterday," came hoarsely from the stern of the boat. "What do you know about fish? Did you ever catch a whale?"
"Never trolled for one," said Pete. "Guess you didn't, either."
They must have been old acquaintances, but Sam looked astonished to hear Pete answer so tremendous a man in that free way.
"Didn't I?" grumbled thunderously out of the deep chest of Captain Kroom. "Well, I did, then. Struck him, too, and made him tow my schooner further than across this bay. What do you think of that?"
"What did you do with him?" exclaimed Sam. "Did he get away?"
"No, sir, he didn't get away," replied the Captain. "But he sounded, and that's where the whale-line went."
"Sounded?" gasped Sam. "I didn't know a whale could holler."
"Holler?" put in Pete, with some contempt in his voice for the ignorance of a city fellow. "He means the whale dove to the bottom."
"Don't know about the bottom," went on the Captain. "But he pulled out a mile of line, and when he came up the harpoon was in him yet. We got him."
"Oh!" said Sam. "You trolled for him with a harpoon. Oh! Hullo! I've got a bite. Oh!"
His hook was a pretty big one, set firmly in a bone that Pete called a "squid," and this had been glimmering over the waves astern while Pete was getting his own line unsnarled.
"Hold hard!" shouted the Captain, as Sam tugged and strained.
"I can't," said Sam, as the line was jerked from his hand and began to run out swiftly over the side of the boat. "He's getting away!"
"Lost him!" almost groaned Pete. "He pulled like a shark."
"More like a stick of timber," very quietly but gruffly remarked the Captain. "I'll tack and see what it is."
He was swinging the boat around while he spoke, but the moment he had done so he reached out and grasped the line which had been so suddenly jerked away from Sam. It was running loosely now.
"Haul it in, boys," he shouted. "We'll see what's at the other end of it."
"Biggest kind of fish!" said Sam. "It hurt my hands."
"Fish?" said the Captain. "Don't you know a fish-bite from a snag? You will when you've catched more of 'em."
Nevertheless the boat could not go directly back upon its former trail, and the line the boys were pulling in grew taut again. As soon as it straightened, the Captain once more touched it, and his fingers told him something, for he remarked:
"It's kind o' loose, too. There are lots of stuff floatin' 'round this bay. It might be wreckage."
Sam was hardly enough of a seaman to get a clear idea from that, and he stood up to watch. He was a pretty good-looking young fellow, with bright dark eyes, and with, just now, a very enthusiastic, highly colored face.
"I knew we'd have some kind of luck if we sailed with Captain Kroom," said Pete.
"Here we are!" shouted the Captain, and down dropped the sail as he added: "Take the oars, Pete! Sam's catched a cod-lamper-eel."
Pete sprang to the oars with the activity of a monkey, and they were instantly in the rowlocks.
"I'll bring her around," he said; but Sam was leaning over the side of the boat to get a glimpse of his "eel."
"Humph! Canvas! Old sail! Bit of spar!" growled the Captain. "I'll cut Sam's squid loose. Sam, hand me that boat-hook."
It lay on the bottom, and hardly was it in the Captain's hand before the three-cornered _Elephant_ began to lean over with his weight.
"'Twon't do," he said. "Fetch her starn around. This 'ere's a find. Boys, there's been a wreck somewhere. It's a jib-topsail. That's a spritsail-yard."
"He knows," said Pete; but Sam was in the dark as to how one piece of half-sunken canvas could be distinguished from another.
"Steady, Pete! Pull!" commanded the Captain. "I'll get a good look at it. It's worth towin' in; but we'll make this tide carry it as far as it will. Pretty good bit of duck."
Sam saw no kind of water-fowl, but in an instant more he remembered something, and said, "Cotton duck."
"English duck," said the Captain. "Pretty near new. And there's something down there hitched to the spar. We don't need any fish to-day, boys. I'll gear this fast to the boat, and then I'll gropple 'round."
He had spare rope enough in his three-cornered boat to make a hitch with, and the _Elephant_ was quickly anchored to the all but sunken prize. While he was doing that, however, and while Pete worked the oars, Sam had not been idle. He had a very clear idea that whatever this might be, he had caught it. Of course it belonged to them all, like any other fish, but it had bitten upon his hook. Now that he had that back again, he was disposed for more catching, but not one of his motions had escaped the keen eyes of the Captain.
"That's it," he said to Sam, after making a fruitless sweep through the water with his boat-hook. "You can gropple, too, but put on a sinker, or it won't go down. Heaviest chunk of lead there is in my basket."
It was plain that he liked the quick and handy way with which Sam followed his directions, for he said:
"I've known a young lubber like you, green as grass, turn out to be a right good foremast hand. Tie it tight and swing it out. That's it. Let it go down. There! Pull!"
"I've struck something!" said Sam, breathlessly; but even as he did so he was thinking.
Wrecks? He had heard all sort of things concerning wrecks. What if a sunken ship should be away down there? The Captain said this was a topsail. He must know. Then there were lower sails. There were masts. Every ship had a hull. What about drowned people? What if he were about to pull up somebody that had been drowned?
It made a kind of cold chill run all over him, but he tugged upon his line, and something at the end of it slowly yielded and came nearer. Meantime the Captain plied his long-handled boat-hook, and now he suddenly exclaimed:
"I've hitched on a hawser! Here she comes! Look out for the boat, Pete."
"Guess I'd better," said Pete, for the _Elephant_ was tipping around in a most disorderly way, and the water was a trifle rough with waves.
"Only a rope," thought Sam, as the Captain's catch came in sight, but the old sailor's eyes twinkled, and he said to himself,
"There's something at the other end of it."
"Sam!" exclaimed Pete. "You've struck a bundle! Haul it in!"
"Can't," said Sam. "I guess it's fastened to the rope the Captain hooked."
"No, bub, it's hitched to the spar," said the Captain. "Cut it loose, and in with it."
Sam pulled out his pocket-knife, but his fingers trembled so that he hardly could open it. Then he reached over and began to cut away, but before the bit of rope that held the bundle was severed the Captain shouted:
"Wreck it is! Got another catch! It's a valise. There comes the spar, all afloat. Hullo! That's too bad. Somehow I unhitched that sail. It's gone to the bottom."
It was just so. The water-soaked canvas had been buoyed only by the wood, and as soon as that was cut away it went down out of sight.
[TO BE CONTINUED.]
[Illustration: CHILDREN OF THE CONGO.]
BY CYRUS C. ADAMS.
The schools for black boys and girls in the Congo country have a very unusual feature that perhaps is not found in any other part of the world. Some of these schools are exclusively for boys, and the others for girls, and the intention is, when they grow up, to have them marry one another, thus creating civilized families, who will help to improve the people around them. Probably the young men and women will not think this is a hardship, for it is believed they will prefer to choose their wives or husbands from among those who have had some education, like themselves; and if they do not, they will undoubtedly have the privilege of choosing where they please. Whether this plan is wise or not, it shows at least that the white race is beginning to think a good deal about the black children in Africa; in fact, these coming men and women are expected to help far more than their barbarous fathers and mothers of to-day to civilize Africa.
[Illustration: SISTER OF CHARITY AND SOME OF HER PUPILS.]
If we were to visit Belgium this summer we should find many little black girls from the Congo in the convents there learning to read and write, sew and cook, and to do many other useful things. When they go back to their homes it is expected that they will wear the garb of the Sisters of Charity, and teach their people as the devoted white Sisters have been doing since 1892; and if they do well, they will ultimately take the place of those pale-faced women from Europe, who suffer from the trying climate. Thus far one-fourth of all the girls in the chief Congo Catholic school, the brightest among them, have been sent to Belgium for years of training.
All through the French Congo we see the government officials keeping a sharp lookout for the more promising sons of native chiefs; for some day these boys will become the most influential natives in the country, and so the French are gathering many of them into schools near their homes, and are sending others to France to be educated. Of course they will not all turn out exactly as the French hope they will.
Some years ago an African chief was killed in battle with the French forces. One of his sons was sent to France. No black boy there makes better progress in his studies, but visitors shake their heads when they hear his answer to the question what he hopes to do in the world.
"I hope to live long enough," he sometimes says, "to avenge the death of my father."
He will probably change his mind, and, at any rate, France will give him no opportunity to make her any trouble.
Professor Drummond, after his visit to Africa, said he would like to get inside an African for an afternoon, and see how he looked at different things. Wouldn't we like to know just how these boys and girls feel, and what they think, when they are suddenly landed, fresh from the depths of a savage land, in the streets of Paris, Brussels, or Berlin, and see more things in a day they never heard of than we do in a year? They learn many things, as a baby does, by stern experience. When Von François brought an eight-year-old boy from inner Africa to the sea, the youngster chased along the beach in high glee, and before any one could stop him, tried to refresh himself with a big swallow of ocean water. This same boy, Pitti, thought the snow he saw falling in Berlin was a swarm of butterflies. The first horse he saw terrified him, and the Berlin newspapers told of his unbounded astonishment at the strange dishes and viands on his master's table. What a marvellous change in the condition of these children! Many of them were slaves, and some of them had been brutally treated and even wounded by cruel slave-dealers. To-day they have good homes, and the world is doing all it can to make them intelligent and honorable men and women.
There are "street arabs," or homeless boys, in the Congo villages, just as there are in New York city. They live on what they can pick up, and it sharpens their wits to have to hustle for a living. It would take a smart Yankee boy to beat some of these Congo youngsters in a trade. Even a five-year-old will sometimes amass a little capital. Somehow he will get hold of a string of beads. He may trade it for a small chicken, which thrives under his nurturing care, and in a few months he can sell the fowl for four strings of beads, quadrupling his capital. Pretty soon he is able to buy a pig, which follows him like a dog, and sleeps in his hut; and when piggy grows up his owner gets a good price for him in the market.
I think you have never heard of Mr. Stanley's purchase of eighteen little black boys for three cents apiece. He told me the story once, and as I have never seen it in any of his books, I will tell it here. On the upper Congo he met a slave gang that was likely to die of starvation, for little food was to be had. His offer to the Arabs of a cotton handkerchief for each of the little boys in the party was accepted. The handkerchiefs had cost the explorer just three cents apiece, and it is doubtful if slaves were ever purchased so cheaply before. The explorer tucked his boys away in corners of his little steam-boat, and as he went down the Congo he distributed them among the stations he had built along the river-banks, and there the boys were taught to read and work. He took one of them to England, where the lad soon learned to speak English, and Mr. Stanley was surprised to find how much the boy could tell him about the language, customs, and legends of the people he came from, far up the Aruwimi River.
Young folks in Africa act a great deal as other boys and girls would do under similar circumstances. If we were unfortunates who were surely dying of hunger in a wilderness, perhaps we should be as glad as these boys were to be sold for three cents apiece, if the change meant plenty to eat and a kind master; and, if, free children as you are, you were mistaken for slaves, I doubt if you could be more deeply grieved than some untutored black children have been by such a blunder. On the lower Niger lives Sanabu, daughter of a chief. Awhile ago, when the girl was fourteen years old, she was permitted to accompany the French explorer Mizon, because she knew several native dialects, besides a little English and French, and was useful as an interpreter. One day a Portuguese asked Mizon how much he had paid for his little slave, and offered to buy her. Angry tears came to the child's eyes; but she brushed them away, as she drew herself up with the air of a little princess, and said: "I am no slave. I'm as free as you are. No one shall ever sell me." Sanabu was taken to France, and all the French people know the story of her life, and of her wanderings for a year as the interpreter of an explorer.
Sanabu is not the only little girl who has gone with an explorer as interpreter. In 1888 Mr. Paul Crampel brought to France the little daughter of a chief. The explorer did not want the child, but he found that the old African would be seriously offended if he did not accept the unique present. "Go with the white man," said the stern old father, as he led the trembling Niarinze to Crampel. "You have no longer a father or mother. You are going to the white man's country."
Crampel's young wife welcomed the little girl in Paris, where she was to learn to read and live out her days. But another fate was in store for the bright young creature. The time came when France sent Crampel back to Africa on a very difficult mission. He needed an interpreter among the widely spread Pahuin tribe, who are believed to number a million people. Niarinze was one of these people, and it was decided that she should go back with the explorer as his interpreter. A great crowd on the wharf saw them waving their handkerchiefs as the steamer bore them away, and that was the last that their friends in France ever saw of them. A few months later they were in an unknown country north of the Congo, and there Crampel was stabbed to death by treacherous men. The brave girl, rushing to his aid, seized a gun and shot dead one of the men who were murdering her white friend. She was knocked down and disarmed, and we do not know whether she ever rose again. Some of the fugitives said she was killed on the spot; but there was a later report that she was led away a slave, far north toward the Sahara Desert.
Do not some of these incidents show good qualities in these far-away African boys and girls that should attract in their behalf the sympathy and interest of more fortunate children in other lands? What boy could do more to show love for his mother than the little ten-year-old on the upper Congo whose thrilling story was told by Captain Coquilhat?
One day a woman of the great Bangala tribe was crossing the Congo in a canoe with her little boy. Kneeling in the dugout, she leaned over the side as she bent to her paddle. Suddenly a huge crocodile came to the surface, closed his jaws upon the mother's arm, and pulled her out of the canoe. The one thought in the boy's mind, a thought that triumphed over his terror, was that he must save his mother if he could. The paddle drifted near, and he picked it up. He could see by the swell of the water ahead where the crocodile was swimming with his prey, just below the surface. He started in pursuit, wielding the paddle with all his might.
[Illustration: WITH WHAT FRANTIC ENERGY THE BOY WORKED!]
The animal easily gained on the canoe, and finally, far in advance, he pulled his victim out of the water upon the shore of an island. Then he plunged into the river again and swam away, perhaps to find his mate and share his prize with her. The boy paddled straight for the spot where his poor mother lay. As he gained the shore he knew that she was either dead or senseless. He leaned over her, and saw her terrible wounds. He was not strong enough to carry her in his arms, but he could draw her to the water's edge and pull and lift until the poor body was in the canoe. With what frantic energy he worked! And he had need; for before he could push off and point his boat homeward, he saw the crocodile up the river, and coming nearer every moment.
When the crocodile had reached the shore, the canoe was well out in the river. If the animal had not stopped to crawl out on the land and look around for his victim, the boy's devotion would probably have cost him his life. As it was, the crocodile had nearly overtaken the canoe, when the boy's cries brought the villagers to the shore, and the shouts and missiles frightened the angry pursuer away. The poor mother was dead, but her little son, who had risked his life to save her, had at least the satisfaction of knowing that her body would not be the food of crocodiles.
"Don't you fire guns in your country when a baby is born?" asked a Congo native of a missionary, who had rushed in great alarm when he heard a volley fired.
"Come back," shouted the natives to him. "It's only a baby born, and everybody is glad."
That white man was glad too it was only a baby. Many an African child, more unfortunate than most of them, has been glad to be befriended by the white men who are living in their country. Here is one among many stories illustrating this.
One day, in Central Africa, Mr. Arnot found several girls in a slave caravan, nearly dead from the hardships they had suffered. He bought them for a few yards of cloth, and took them home. One of them, little Mwepo, was very bright and happy, and was the favorite in the household.
Mr. Arnot went one day to dine with King Msidi. A little girl came into the yard where they were sitting and threw herself at the King's feet. When he bade her tell her troubles, she said she was a slave whom the King's soldiers had taken from her home. She said her mistress treated her so cruelly that she had run away to beg the King's protection. Arnot was about to leave, and the sly old King told the girl to follow him if she wanted a good home. So Arnot took her hand and led her to his cottage, where Mwepo and the little stranger flew into each other's arms, weeping as though their hearts would break. Three years before they had been playing on the banks of the Luba River when slave-stealers suddenly tore them from their homes and parents; but after many months of suffering they had been reunited in the home of a white man.
GOLD, AND ITS USES.
If the average reader or thinker will devote a few minutes to the subject of gold and its uses, and how much of it annually disappears by wear, leaving no possible trace, he will find himself involved in some extremely interesting calculations. If some genius would only invent a power strong enough to attract to it the millions of invisible particles that have, and are constantly being worn off the various articles composed of that metal, what an immense amount would be recovered!
Where do these particles go? Here, there, everywhere: in your house, on the streets, in the banks, business houses, stores, and wherever man goes. As an instance of this the following is cited: There is at present a veritable gold-mine being worked in an old watch-case factory in Brooklyn. It occurred to the new purchasers of this property that during the long years of manufacturing of gold watch-cases that took place there, a large quantity of gold particles must have been absorbed by the flooring, walls, furnace chimney, etc. So they went carefully to work and tore the old building down bit by bit, and burnt and crushed the material, afterwards assaying the ashes. So far something like $50,000 has been recovered. Say an ounce of this lost gold were recovered. If we melted it down and gilded a fine silver wire, it would extend more than thirteen hundred miles; or if nineteen ounces were recovered (which in the form of a cube would be about one inch and a quarter square), it would gild a wire long enough to compass the whole earth like a hoop.
If you pick up a gold-leaf, such as is used for gilding purposes, it becomes a curiosity in your eyes when you realize that seventy-five square inches of it weigh only one grain. Now the thousandth part of a line, or inch, is easily visible through a common pocket-glass. Hence it follows that when gold is reduced to the thinness of gold-leaf 1/50700000 of a grain of gold may be distinguished by the eye. But it is claimed that 1/1400000000 of a grain of gold may be rendered visible.
Large quantities of gold are used in gilding portions of exteriors of public and private buildings. For instance, if we take the Church of St. Isaac at St. Petersburg, we find that it required the use of two hundred and forty-seven pounds of gold to gild its five crosses. They can be seen glittering at a distance of twenty-seven miles.
A STILTED COMBAT.
BY G. B. BURGIN,
AUTHOR OF "GASCOIGNE'S GHOST," ETC.
Peele sat on the platform, surrounded by a group of youthful sympathizers. "The fact is," he said, the light of battle in his eye, "I'll either have Gough's gore, or he mine. Matters have come to a crisis."
At the other end of the school-room "Grinny" Gough made an exactly similar speech. From time to time these youthful Montagues and Capulets glanced ruefully at a blackboard containing the following pregnant information:
Composition to be written by every boy in the school, instead of customary half-holiday.
Landes.--A maritime department in the southwest of France, on the coast of the Bay of Biscay. It derives its name from the landes, or marshy heaths, which occupy a considerable portion of its surface. The capital of the department is Mont-de-Marsan, and its area 3599 square miles. The population in 1893 was 35,143.
Impositions must be handed in to Mr. Squinnige at evening preparation.
Peele glanced ruefully at the blackboard. His look of disgust gradually gave way to a broad grin of delight. Gough (he was pressing a metal inkpot against a black eye) intercepted the grin, and looked more rueful still.
"It seems to me," said Peele, again addressing his followers, "we're going to have a jolly row."
"And all because of a few potatoes," said the Tadpole.
"And a girl," added Bates.
"Girls always do let a man in for rows," observed a youthful pessimist.
Peele checked his followers with a lordly wave of his hand. "I thought I was in Ireland," he said, "I saw so many potatoes flying about, and heard Squinnige say, 'Gentlemen, gentlemen, you forget yourselves as gentlemen.'"
"He never forgets himself--especially at meals," said the Tadpole. "I don't know how the row began. When I saw the other fellows chucking taters I chucked too. I bagged Squinnige first shot; then he got under the table and yowled."
"I began it myself," Peele admitted. "When I saw Polyhymnia [Miss Wantage's real name was Polly, but Peele preferred "Polyhymnia" as being more sonorous] giving that beast Gough two potatoes instead of one, I didn't mean to say a word; but he pitched one into the fireplace, and I couldn't help shying mine at his head. He shied back, and hit Squinnige, and then you fellows all chipped in."
From which it will be gathered that the young gentlemen of Hutton Park Academy were in a state of open rebellion. There were several causes to account for this; but the chief among them was the rivalry which existed between Peele and "Grinny" Gough with regard to Polyhymnia, who was sixteen to their fourteen.
Dr. Wantage had a theory that to teach boys to be gentlemen they should be subjected at an early age to the refining influence of feminine society.
He was a widower. The only feminine society, therefore, that he could provide for the young gentlemen under his charge was that of Polyhymnia, who entered into his plans with the greatest gusto, and announced that she was perfectly willing to sacrifice herself for the good of the school. Had the Doctor been a suspicious man, he would have wondered at this alacrity, but a work on Greek particles absorbed most of his time, and he noticed nothing. Polyhymnia had only been home about a fortnight from school, and was already beginning to find time hang heavily on her hands. She hailed the Doctor's scheme with delight, and made her first public entrance at the boys' dinner, and sat at the head of the table in order to distribute the potatoes.
Peele, who was the first boy to enter the room, made her a lordly bow. "Grinny" Gough came second, put one foot into a hole in the mat, and tumbled heavily at his divinity's feet. The rest of the rank and file made an awkward entrance over "Grinny" Gough's prostrate body, whilst Peele conversed with Polyhymnia, and regarded his rival with lofty contempt.
Polyhymnia declined to carve for the forty young gentlemen, but devoted herself to the distribution of potatoes, boiled in their skins--the potatoes' skins, not the young gentlemen's. On the first day of her doing so each boy was about to devour his potato, when the Tadpole noticed that Peele gracefully removed his from his plate, wrapped it up in his handkerchief, bowed to Polyhymnia, and put it in his pocket--his breast pocket. Polyhymnia blushed; this was true worship. Her blushes were succeeded by others when the whole of Peele's faction proceeded to follow their chief's example, each boy enfolding the precious potato in a more or less dirty pocket-handkerchief. But after about three days' persistent accumulation of potatoes, Nature asserted itself, and Peele's followers felt that it was rather ridiculous to carry about a pound and a half of uneaten vegetables in their pockets. On the fourth day, Gough, with a vigorous sneer at Peele, had, as Peele explained, ostentatiously pitched his extra potato into the fireplace. The next instant he received the point of a particularly hard-skinned potato in his left eye. Two moments later the battle became general, Peele standing in front of Polyhymnia, and shielding her from flying missiles with heroic devotion. Then Squinnige, the usher, came out from under the table, and the result was the suppression of the customary half-holiday, and an absurd "imposition" to be done about the Landes.
"Never heard of the blessed places," said the Tadpole, with a rueful glance at the blackboard. "What are they, anyway?"
"Oh, it's easy enough," said Peele. "You fellows needn't trouble about it. It's where every one goes about on stilts. Now just settle down and do your 'impo,' or Squinnige'll be at us again. He's a victim to duty, is Squinnige, and I want to make things easy for him."
At this moment Gough, surrounded by his faction, approached the platform.
"Come down, and I'll lick your head off," he said to Peele.
Peele, who was an admirable boxer for his age, regarded Gough with particular contempt.
"Squinnige would be at us before I'd blackened the other eye," he said to Gough. "Name your weapons. We'll fight this thing out like gentlemen."
Gough was staggered. If he did not assert himself his ascendency was gone forever.
"I'd like to punch your head," he said; "but, as you say, when gentlemen fight about a woman they don't do it with fists. Swords and pistols are common. I'd like something worse."
Gough's followers crowded to the support of their chief with a thrill of delight.
"I call this prime," said the Guinea-Pig. "Prime!" he repeated, smacking his lips.
Peele waved his hand with lofty condescension.
"As you please," he said, glancing idly at the blackboard. Then a thought struck him which did credit to his love of the dramatic.
"What do you say to stilts?" he asked.
"Stilts!" said Gough, in amazement. "You might as well talk of 80-ton guns."
"Not at all," said Peele. "Quite customary in France. Much deadlier than pistols."
"But how d'you do it?" asked the crestfallen Gough.
Peele shrugged his shoulders.
"Oh, stand on one stilt and hit with the other," he said. "Gentlemen generally leave details to their seconds."
"That's all very well," said Gough. "I didn't come over to England with a Norman pig-driver, and ain't used to those things; but we can't make fools of ourselves in the middle of the playground. If you can hit on a way of working it without making asses of ourselves I'm game."
"All right," said Peele, loftily; "I'll work it out. The Tadpole acts for me. I suppose the Guinea-Pig will do the same for you?"
"Yes," said Gough, sulkily, creeping away to his end of the school-room.
Peele's followers gathered round him again and began to worship.
"Of course it's all guff," said the Tadpole. "Nothing but a stork could fight on one leg."
Peele again waved his hand.
"Can each of you fellows rake up a shilling?"
It being Saturday, the amount required was speedily subscribed, and handed over with unquestioning faith to Peele.
"What are you going to do with it?" asked the Tadpole.
Peele sat down and hastily drew a pair of stilts. "I'll take this to the village," he said, "and get Smith to make us forty pairs. Then I'll show you fellows how to use them. It's often struck me we could play 'footer' in this way and get a lot of fun out of it. Now, Tadpole, go and explain to the enemy."
When the plan was explained to the enemy, the enemy immediately acquiesced in it. About a week later Dr. Wantage was surprised to see his pupils mounted on stilts and tumbling about in every direction. When he came to the Tadpole, who sat on the ground, ruefully rubbing the back of his head, the Doctor sternly ordered that big-headed youth to rise.
"What's the meaning of this tomfoolery, Wilkinson?" (the Tadpole's name was Wilkinson) he demanded.
The Tadpole looked imploringly round at Peele, who at that moment appeared on stilts which covered about six feet at a stride.
"It's this way, sir," Peele explained to the Doctor, as he leaped to the ground. "Mr. Squinnige gave us an 'impo' on the Landes last Saturday, where the people do everything on stilts. We got so interested in it, we're going to play a football match on stilts when we've had a little practice."
The Doctor looked round and saw half of his pupils reclining in various involuntary attitudes on the ground, whilst ten or twelve others put their stilts against the wall and tried in vain to get on them.
"Oh, very well, Peele," he said; "don't let your zeal carry you too far. It will be awkward if half of you are laid up with broken arms and legs." And the Doctor continued his way to a neighboring wood, there to meditate on particles.
Polyhymnia could not understand this sudden craze for stilts. She pressed Peele for an explanation.
"I'm sure you're at the bottom of it," said Polyhymnia, with emphasis. "You are the worst boy I ever knew--and the handsomest," she added, weakly.
"If you look in your glass," said Peele, "I think you'll find I'm not at the bottom of it all. I wish you wouldn't speak to that beast Gough."
"Gough is full of good points," said Polyhymnia, angrily.
"So are a lot of other beasts," retorted Peele, more than ever decided that the combat should be waged to the death.
A bogus match was played under the Doctor's nose one afternoon, in which Peele's followers got decidedly the worst of it. Gough, emboldened by triumph, proposed that Peele and himself should settle their differences in Homeric combat then and there.
"I fight," retorted Peele, "when there is no chance of interruption."
This remark made the matter irrevocable, and the combat was fixed to take place on the following Saturday afternoon, when it was known that the Doctor would be away.
On the appointed afternoon all the boys in the school were drawn up into two armies mounted on stilts.
Peele and Gough stalked into the middle of the playground, attended by the Tadpole and the Guinea-Pig respectively, and ceremoniously bowed to each other, although the feat was difficult.
Now that everything had gone so far, the Tadpole began to funk it. "Hadn't you better let him off?" he said, apprehensively, to Peele.
"Say another word," threatened Peele, "and I'll begin on you."
[Illustration: THEN THE FIGHT COMMENCED.]
Then the fight commenced.
The Tadpole and the Guinea-Pig had drawn up a code regulating the manner of the combat.
The combatants were not allowed to push against each other, but might strike with one stilt, or thrust. Whenever one fell, it counted to his opponent.
The two began shuffling warily round each other, like wrestlers waiting for an opening. By a dexterous thrust of the right stilt Gough succeeded in bringing Peele to the ground, amid derisive shouts from his followers. Peele's face was badly scratched by the gravel, but he was on his stilts again in a second.
In the next round he fought more warily, and balancing himself on one foot, delivered a swashing blow at Gough's shoulder-blade. He was about to follow it up as Gough wavered, but the Guinea-Pig came behind him, and, utterly regardless of the laws of the duello, struck Peele a crushing blow on the back of the head with his stilt.
Peele fell to the ground for the second time. There was a cry of horror, as Polyhymnia, who had not accompanied her father, rushed up and supported his head on her lap; whilst Gough stood moodily looking on at his rival, and the abashed Guinea-Pig bolted, amid a shower of stilts flung at him by the enraged boys.
"You coward!" screamed Polyhymnia to Gough. "Oh, you base, cowardly wretch; you daren't fight him yourself, so you got some one else to attack him from behind. I'll never speak to you again."
Gough was too proud to exculpate himself at the expense of his injudicious follower. Peele at last opened his eyes. "It wasn't his fault," he said, magnanimous to the last; "don't let on to the Doctor," and fainted.
* * * * *
Peele remained a month in the sick-room. The first day he was able to come down into the matron's parlor he found Gough there, gloomily waiting for him.
"I've come," the latter explained, "to let you know I wasn't cad enough to plan hitting you from behind."
Peele looked at him curiously.
"I never thought you were," he said.
"The Doctor fancies it was an accident," moodily continued Gough; "and he's ordered all the stilts to be burned. Since then I've been thinking things over." He hesitated. "We could finish this affair in the holidays, on the sands at Boulogne. Perhaps pistols would be better; stilts are too uncertain," he added, darkly. "You shall have first shot to make up for this."
Polyhymnia entered the room.
"Shake hands," she commanded, "or I'll never speak to either of you again. Besides, if you don't, I'll tell the Doctor all about it."
Dogged to the last, the foes reluctantly shook hands, and Gough left the room. Polyhymnia remained, looking at Peele rather doubtfully.
She came a step or two nearer, but he did not glance at her.
"Philip!" she said. "Aren't you beginning rather early?"
Peele looked up.
Polyhymnia put out her hand, and insisted on his shaking hands with her.
"I've not given Gough a single potato since you were ill," she said; "and I never, never will, as long as I live."
Peele began to feel better.
A LOYAL TRAITOR.
A STORY OF THE WAR OF 1812 BETWEEN AMERICA AND ENGLAND.
BY JAMES BARNES.
Now behold the third attempt that I have made to condense this part of my narrative.
In desperation, for I wish to push on, I have adopted the measure of giving but an outline of my personal history covering two years.
So I jump to a day in June, after I had been living in the little house on Mountain Brook some seven months.
During this time I had been to Miller's Falls but once with my uncle, but so insolently was I stared at that I did not care to withstand again the ordeal of pointed fingers and the whispered conversations of the curious. But now on this June day, here I was standing at the edge of the pasture waiting for some one most impatiently.
From the door-step of Belair but one other dwelling was in sight; except this, nothing but ranges of hill-tops. But a mile below lived a farmer named Tanner, who managed by hard labor to gain his living from the ground. But I was not waiting for him, nor for my uncle, nor for Gaston, who, by-the-way, had been constituted, or had appointed himself, my guardian to such an extent that I might at times, with no stretching of the imagination, consider myself a prisoner. No, I was not waiting for any of them, but for some one who soon hove in sight across the slope of the opposite hill. It was a little girl of my own age, and the only living being at that time who knew anything of my thoughts or life; and they were both strange enough for a boy of fifteen to possess or to endure.
Perhaps if I should tell of our conversation on this day it might recount something that would show how things were with me. In our meeting there was nothing but the friendship of two lads, to put the case as it really appeared to be, and when she had climbed up on the top rail of the fence beside me, and hooked the hollows of her feet behind the bar to keep her balance, the way I was doing, we began, as children do, to speak without preliminaries of any kind in the way of greetings.
"Why weren't you here this morning?" she said, as if accusing me.
"He had one of his fits on and kept me at work," I replied. "First I had to practise with the small sword for two hours. If I don't look out he will run me through some day. I almost wish he would."
"I heard you shooting," said the girl.
"Yes, he wouldn't let me off until I had placed three pistol balls inside a horseshoe nailed to the side of the barn; but I'd rather do that than go through the fencing."
"Down in the village and at our house every one says you're all crack-brained up here," the girl said, making a grasp in the air at a yellow butterfly that flittered over her head. "What else did you do?"
I was ashamed to say that I had been at my dancing-lesson, so I said: "I had to translate four odes of Horace and learn all about a lot of stupid people named De Brissac. I'm glad they had their heads cut off."
"Why did that happen to them?" asked the girl. "What did they cut their heads off for?"
"Because they were nobles and offended the French Republicans by being polite and well dressed and clean, my uncle says."
"Tell me all about it."
I had had the history of the great French revolution, at least one side of it, drilled into me ever since my advent at Mountain Brook. I had learned that my uncle had escaped to America from France, where he had fought for the King, and that my mother and her twin sister had also managed to get away from the frightful prison of La Conciergerie with their lives, but that my grandfather, two uncles, and an aunt by marriage had all lost their heads by the guillotine for the sole reason that they were rich, very well dressed, and very polite indeed, so far as I could make out.
I had learned by heart the family histories of any number of the great noble families of France, and all of this I considered most dull work indeed, and wasted time. However, the story that I related to Mary Tanner, as we sat on the top rail of the fence, seemed to interest her greatly.
"You see," I was saying, after I had finished spinning the long yarn, "my name is not John Hurdiss at all; it is something else."
"What is it?" asked the girl.
"I have no idea," I replied; "but my uncle always calls me Jean, which means John, and, to be honest, I don't think he knows himself."
"I don't see why _he_ shouldn't be able to tell," replied Mary, "if he knows so much about other people."
"No more do I," I answered. "But I don't care. John Hurdiss is good enough for me."
Now, the fact of the matter was this, and I may as well state it here as afterwards: I had guessed about the truth. My uncle did not really know my name, and for this reason:
You see, as I have told, my grandfather was the Marquis de Brienne (I have forgotten to set down that Gaston always called my uncle "Monsieur le Marquis," or something that might be resolved into that). Well, the old gentleman (my ancestor) had three children--the present proprietor of the Château de Belair on Mountain Brook, and twin daughters, Hortense and Hélène, who afterwards married two of the well-dressed and well-hated ones at a time when they had more titles than gold.
Now it happened these two latter gentlemen--my father and uncle, of course--had each the same initials (it is no consequence what the names were, but each ended in "de B"). Early in the great troubles they had sought refuge in England, having better luck than their future wives, who were taken by the revolutionists. But the two ladies escaped through the aid of an adventurous sea-captain, and they joined the colony of refugees in England, where they each found a husband. But affairs did not prosper with them. In the year 1798 the Duke de B---- became entangled in a plot of some kind for the restoration, was caught in France, and lost his head like the rest of his family; and in the same year the Comte de B---- had an unfortunate duel with an English Major of infantry, and was killed. This left the two noble ladies widows, each with an infant boy of a few months old to take care of. For some reason they packed up their belongings and set out for America on a sailing-vessel, commanded, it appears, by no less a person than the sea-captain who had assisted in their first escape from France.
Sad to relate, the ship in which they sailed was wrecked, and one of the ladies was lost with her infant in the disaster. Whether it was the Duchesse de B---- or the Comtesse de B---- was not placed on record, but the commander of the ship, Captain John Hurdiss, married the survivor at some place in the West Indies, I believe.
Now there was no way of finding out which one of the ladies the gallant Captain Hurdiss had married, and I had never heard my mother's first name mentioned that I could recall. My uncle did not know it, of a certainty. This was the situation in a nutshell, and I trust that I have made it plain, for I have endeavored to do so in the very shortest manner, to the best of my ability.
Thus the loss of the letter and the burning of the strong-box were two misfortunes that had prevented me from knowing really who I was.
All this may seem complicated, but I have done my best to make it lucid; and with a heartfelt apology for this long digression, let me return to the day in June, and to the boy and girl talking together, balanced on the top rail of the pasture bars.
"Did you bring the book with you that you were speaking about?" I asked of my companion.
"No," she replied; "but I will leave it under the flat rock this evening."
"I'll get it, then," I answered. "Halloa! Look at that."
"It's a woodchuck," said the girl, jumping from her perch, and we both charged at a small brown animal that scurried into a hole beneath some loose stones. We were busily engaged in routing him out and he was whistling back defiance (we had almost got at him), when I heard my name called. I looked up and saw my uncle and old Twineface approaching along the path.
"Jean, Jean! Come here at once!" called Monsieur de Brienne, in French.
"I'm going to run," said the girl, who had often expressed her terror at Gaston's appearance.
Without another word she turned and fled, jumping over the tall ferns like a deer.
My uncle had now approached within a few feet's distance.
"Who is that with you?" he inquired, angrily.
"Mary Tanner, the daughter of the farmer below," I replied. "I have known her for some months. She is very nice--and--and pretty," I faltered.
"Bah! You shall have nothing to do with her. Never speak to her, d'ye mind me? And here's where you have been spending your time instead of being at your studies. Come back with me; I will fence with you."
It was one of my uncle's _young_ days; and here, to put down something that neither I nor any person of real learning to whom I have related the facts, could account for: at varying periods my uncle, who was past sixty, seemed to be gifted with an agility, a nervous force and strength, that I have never seen equalled in a man of his slightness. This rejuvenation, during which he often sang rondeaux and tinkled an accompaniment on an old lyre, would last for some ten hours, perhaps, and would be followed by two or three days, or sometimes a week, of collapse, during which he appeared on the verge of dissolution, and either Gaston or myself had to be with him every minute, administering from time to time a few drops from an acrid-smelling vial.
But, as I have said, this was one of his youthful days.
I had been awakened in the morning early by a strange sound, and had found him jumping the colt backwards and forwards over a hurdle on the grass-plot before the house, Gaston standing by, a grim spectator, with no interest in his dull, lack-lustre eyes. For an hour the old man had put me through a practice with a small sword (he was the best fencer I have ever seen), until I almost cried out from weariness, and we changed the exercise for pistol practice. Now we returned to Belair, and despite my complaining, I was forced to take up the foils again, and actually to defend myself, for my uncle kept me up to my work by now and then giving me a clip over the thigh or forearm. At last I grew angry, and pressed him so close that a smile of pleasure drew his lips, and he muttered "bravo" two or three time beneath his breath. Suddenly I noticed a gray shadow cross his face, and his eyelids drooped. He raised his hand, and without a word fell forward at my feet. It was one of the worst attacks that he had experienced, and for five days Gaston and I nursed him, and I found no chance to get away to the pasture bars, or to the flat rock where Mary had placed the book we had spoken of.
On the sixth day my uncle was up and as spry as ever, but now I found that I was practically under surveillance; wherever I went the frightful Gaston would go also. He was a most unpleasant person to have around, for although his senses were most acute and he possessed the cunning of a wolf, it was impossible to carry on a conversation with him. He had an impediment in his speech, a combination of a stutter and the result of having no roof to his mouth, that made his utterances sound like those of a savage or wild beast. To say "yes" or "no" was an effort for him, and he usually expressed his meaning by making signs.
One day, I remember, I had determined to test my authority over him (for in most things he obeyed me implicitly, so far as the fetching and carrying went, but upon this occasion, as I say, I determined to give him a test). I had walked as far as the edge of our clearing, and paused on the bank of the brook.
"Gaston," I said, "go back to the house. I'm going on alone." The only reply was a shake of the head. "Do you hear me? I'm going on alone." (It was my intention to make my way to the Tanner farm-house, where, by-the-way, I had never been, and ask for Mary.)
Now, seeing that Gaston did not intend to obey me, I jumped down the bank and dashed across the stream, but I had not taken a dozen strides before the old servant had me by the arm; his long fingers closed on my flesh like a steel clamp. The result was that I went back to the house. But that evening I managed to get away, and went to the flat rock, under which I found the book. I had to wait until daylight before I could examine it, although Mary, a week or so before, had told me of its contents.
It was an old volume relating the adventures of an Englishman named Robinson Crusoe (I can recall the musty smell of its pages at this very instant). Oh, the delight that I had for the next few hours, reading the greatest story, to my mind, that was ever penned! Oh, the desire for freedom and the longing to see the world which was builded up within me as I turned each page! Ah! Robinson, Robinson! despite the moral you intend to teach, you have turned many lads' minds to the sea, and given them a burning, dry thirst for adventure not to be quenched at home! I had read few stories in English up to this time, but I fairly shook, as I read this one, with the intensity of my sensations.
I am afraid that living this life gave me a tendency for dissimulation, although in my gaoler, Gaston, I had a hard one to deceive. Nevertheless I succeeded in getting away one afternoon, and made my way through the woods to Farmer Tanner's. Suffice it to say that I was chased out of the door-yard by the goodwife, with a broom in her hand, who informed me that Mary had gone away--where, she did not state. I was threatened, incidentally, with the ox-goad, if I should return; and so my errand was not altogether successful.
Now to give a big jump over time. Another year went by. Oh, the misery of it all! The long, snowed-in days of the winter when, although my uncle had money, I think, I had scarcely sufficient clothing to keep me warm, and barely enough to eat. M. de Brienne's conduct and manner by now had become so strange and his mind was so volatile that I could never say that I felt affection toward him. I had begun to hate Gaston generously.
When spring came, to amuse myself, I delved in the garden, and was rewarded by seeing all my green things prosper wondrously. An illness that had lasted over a month almost brought me to my grave in April, but I cannot complain for lack of nursing. Now, however, there had entered my mind but one idea--to escape, and that right soon. Why I had not thought of it seriously before must excite wonder. The determination to begin to prepare for an actual separation came to me in this fashion.
Owing to the strangeness of the costumes I was forced to wear, I had much hesitancy about going abroad. People would have taken me, I fear, for a mountebank. My coat, much too small, was of velvet; my breeches, of stained and heavy brocaded silk, much patched; and my hose tattered and threadbare. I was well shod, as my uncle possessed a box of shoes and boots of curious fashion and superior workmanship, that fitted me, even if those I wore were not always mates. But I determined I must have other clothing.
I knew nothing of the goings on of the outside world. Now to come to the day on which I was enlightened.
June again. I had escaped from Gaston's eye (the old man had begun to show some signs of age), and had gone down to the highway that led to Miller's Falls. Half hid in the bushes, I was seated, hoping to catch a glimpse of some human being, when I saw walking down the hill a man whose appearance made my heart give a leap--a tall, broad-shouldered figure, dressed in a sailor jacket and wide trousers. A great bundle, that he carried as if it was a bag of feathers, was on his back, and he was whistling merrily as he swung along the road. I knew him in an instant, and his name came to me. It was Silas Plummer, who had been one of the crew of the _Minetta_. I sung out to him by name. He came to a halt, but showed half fright upon my appearing through the bushes.
"What in the name of Moll Roe have we here?" he cried.
"It is I, Master Plummer," I answered, and I told him who I was. In my eagerness I must have appeared half crazed, I judge, for he looked at me askance as I grasped him by the arm.
"What are you doing, lad?" he inquired. "And how you've grown!"
In a few words, and in an incoherent fashion, I fear, I told him of my life and my virtual imprisonment. Evidently the explanation that I made set his mind at rest in regard to my sanity.
"Why don't you clear out?" he said. "There's a chance for a fine lad like yourself to the southward. The sea is not far away (how my heart leapt at the word 'sea'!), and there are great goings on there. We've taken their frigates, and given the lion's tail a twist until it is kinked like a fouled hawser."
"What do you mean?" I inquired.
"Hear the lad!" Plummer responded, setting down his bundle and going into the pocket of his jacket and drawing out a newspaper. "There's a war between America and England. I'm just in off the _Comet_ privateer. Listen to this," he said. He slapped his trousers pocket, and it chinked to the sound of gold. "And listen here," he repeated, and he tapped the other side. It jingled musically. "Ho, but we are getting even with them for all their mail-stealing!"
"A war with England!" I cried, taking the paper that had "Victory!" spread across it in large type. "Do you remember Dash, and his hand there on the deck?"
"Ay, like a glove thrown in the face of the King," said the sailor; "and the news of it is about the world."
"Plummer," I said, "sell me some clothes. I'll pay you for them--if you'll wait." I had hidden three or four of the gold pieces under the flat rock. "I will run and fetch you the money," I continued, eagerly.
"Not a penny, not a farthing," answered the man, giving my shoulder a push. "Come into the woods. I have some duds that might fit you here in my bundle."
My hands and, indeed, my knees also, were trembling so that I had to have his assistance (a strange tiring-maid) in getting into my clothes. But in ten minutes I was rigged out all-a-taun-to in the outfit of a swaggering privateers-man, even to the shirt opened at the throat and the half-fathom of neckerchief. I recollect that I was crazy to see how I looked in it.
"And here's a cap, too," he said. "It has a Portugee rake to it, but never mind; now you're ship-shape."
He stood off and looked at me, with his head sidewise, as if I was wholly some workmanship of his own hands.
[Illustration: "ANCHOR'S ATRIP!" HE CRIED; "SET SAIL AND AWAY."]
"Anchor's atrip," he cried, imitating the shrilling of a boatswain's whistle; "set sail and away."
"How--_how_ can I thank you?" I said, half faltering, and blushing, for I felt hot all over.
"By meeting me ten days from now in Stonington. There's a crack brig, the _Young Eagle_, about to sail from there; and though they'll take few greenhorns, togged out that way you can pass muster. Ship with me, mess-mate. I'll help you out!" He grasped my hand. "Ah, you've got a good grip for a rope! And look at the chest and the arm of you! Big as my own, I'll warrant."
I had never realized what a size I had become; but I had been finding out that it was only my uncle's skill that kept me from disarming him in our fencing-bouts of late, and that Gaston had not laid hands on me since some time before my illness. Now I was fully recovered and in fine fettle.
"I'll go with you," I replied, grasping Plummer's hand again, "and God bless you!"
"The _Young Eagle_, then, at Stonington, eh?" He slapped his pockets and started off. "I'm bound up-country to see my sweetheart," he shouted back from over his shoulder, and I heard him chanting the "Sailor's Return" as he disappeared about a bend in the road.
I gathered my rags and made for the brook, where I looked at myself until I became fairly ashamed, and threw a stone at my reflection in the water. Then taking off my clothes, I donned the old ones, and hiding my bundle beneath the old flat rock where I kept the _Robinson Crusoe_, an old horse-pistol, and many treasures (including a half-score of the De Brienne buttons), I went up to the house. I could see that my uncle was in a strange excitement (that he was going mad I have no doubt of now). Gaston cast a suspicious look at me, in return for which I, elated by the doings of the day, made a threatening gesture. Of a truth, I think the man had grown afraid of me, for he cringed.
At twelve o'clock that night I was awakened by some one stirring in my room. I looked up. It was my uncle. He was in his night-dress, and his gray hair straggled over his ears. Held close to his side, as if it rested in a scabbard, was a narrow court sword, whose naked blade flashed in the ray of the moonlight that came in at the curtainless window.
"No, by St. Michel, they shall not enter!" he cried, and he stopped suddenly, rigid, as if he were listening for some one coming up the stairs. Then he turned to the bed on which I lay.
"Arise, your Majesty!" he said. "They're upon us. Come, gentlemen, stand fast!"
Again he listened. "No, they're gone," he whispered, softly. "Is the Princess calling for me?" He made as if to sheathe the sword, and I saw, in doing so, the sharp blade cut into the palm of his left hand; but he paid no attention to it, and went down stairs.
To say that I had shuddered would not express it. And suddenly, as if a burst of light had come upon me, the idea that I need no longer stay flooded my brain.
"Why, he might murder me!" I thought, the conviction coming then for the first time that he had turned mad-man. I arose, and only putting on half my clothing and my shoes, I lowered myself out of the window.
It was cloudless, and the moon was at the full. My shadow chased before me as I ran down the path. Freedom! freedom! seemed to beckon me. I breathed the same sensation that I had on that clear moonlight night when the salt breeze was in my hair, and when the wide sea rose and fell and the little brig dashed through it--as if she had caught my exultation of I hers.
I leaped the brook and scattered the sleeping birds out of the bushes up the banks. "Ho for the sea! Hurrah!" I cried; and I never turned to give even a farewell look at the Château de Belair.
[TO BE CONTINUED.]
TYPICAL ENGLISH SCHOOLS.
BY JOHN CORBIN.
Rugby was founded in 1567, almost two hundred years later than Winchester. Its founder was not a great bishop and statesman, like Wykeham, and much less a King, like the founder of Eton, but plain Lawrence Sheriff, one of the gentlemen of the Princess Elizabeth (afterward Queen Bess), and a warden of the Grocers' Company. At first Rugby was a mere grammar-school; and it never ranked high as a public school until Dr. Thomas Arnold, "The Doctor" of _Tom Brown's School-Days_, became head master. To-day Rugby holds firmly to its middle-class traditions. There is not a title in the whole place. The boys are mainly the sons of midland manufacturers, and of the doctors and lawyers of the neighboring cities.
When Dr. Arnold came to Rugby in 1837 he found about as unruly and turbulent a school as there was in the kingdom. The "houses" were mere boarding-houses, and the masters, who usually eked out their incomes by means of church "livings," often resided at some vicarage or rectory in the neighborhood. Arnold, who was an old Wykehamist, required the masters to live in the houses and govern them, as the Winchester masters have always done. Next to the masters in authority he placed the sixth-form boys, giving them much the same powers as the Winchester prefects and Eton captains. When there are not enough sixth-form boys to keep order in a house, as sometimes happens, the master selects a few of the best scholars and athletes in the fifth form, and gives them the power and responsibility of sixth-form boys. Instead of gathering all the "scholars" together in one "college," as is done at Winchester and Eton, each house has a fair proportion of scholars. This plan is followed at Harrow also; and, as I mentioned in the first of these articles, the college at Winchester is likely soon to be broken up and scattered among the houses. As a result of this plan the Rugby "school-house"--of which Tom Brown was a member--is made up not of a picked set of scholars, but of the same proportion of scholars and other boys as the houses.
[Illustration: THE SCHOOL-HOUSE QUADRANGLE--SHOWING TOM BROWN'S CLOCK TOWER.]
Arnold's admirable manner of dealing with the boys is familiar to all readers of _Tom Brown_, but besides the fighting, betting, and bullying which lingered in Tom's day, Arnold encountered a great deal of open and systematic rule-breaking. The boys used to keep guns and beagles in the backs of shops, and employed much of their spare time in poaching in the neighborhood. This sort of thing Arnold easily quelled by telling the shopkeepers that he would "put their shops out of bounds"--that is, forbid the boys from entering them, even to buy things,--if they kept on helping the boys to go poaching. The horsy cliques among the boys caused Arnold more trouble. Rugby is in a first-rate hunting country, so that the temptation was very great to mount a nag and go scurrying off over fences and hedges. On one occasion, a boy who fancied himself as a steeple-chaser bragged that he could give any fellow in the school the pick of all the horses in Rugby town and beat him. A boy named Corbett accepted the challenge, selecting as a mount the best fencer he could find. The challenger picked the fastest horse in town. In the race the fast horse refused several of the fences, so that Corbett won. After the race the challenger blustered so much about the superiority of Corbett's horse as a fencer that Corbett challenged him to swap horses and try another race. This time Corbett was so careful in taking the fences that he fell behind; yet he did not miss a single obstacle. On the homestretch he gave his speedy animal the spurs, and, as he had planned, sported in ahead amid wild enthusiasm from his friends. Of all this Arnold took no notice. This so elated the boys that they got up a grand steeple-chase, for which seven horses entered. At this juncture Arnold sent for Corbett, and told him that he had winked at the first two races only because if he had taken any notice of it he should have had to expel both boys. He added that if the steeple-chase came off he would expel every boy who rode or was present at it. There was no steeple-chase. Soon after, however, a great national steeple-chase took place at Dunchurch, a neighboring town, and Arnold "put the course in bounds" for the day. The whole school went to see it, and every sensible and manly boy must have been won over to his master's side.
[Illustration: RUGBY SCHOOL-HOUSE FROM THE CLOSE.]
Fights among the boys Arnold handled with similar moderation and firmness. It had been the custom to settle quarrels by knock-out contests somewhere out of bounds, where there was little or no chance of interruption. Arnold ruled that all fights should take place within the close--that is, in the great playing-field just behind the school--every part of which his study windows overlooked. The penalty for the breach of this rule was the expulsion of all parties concerned. The fight between Tom Brown and Slogger Williams, which took place in the close behind the chapel, was no child's play; but the appearance of the Doctor at least cut it off short of manslaughter. Once fighting was put under rules, it was in the plain road toward being suppressed altogether.
To ascribe all these reforms, and the general elevation of public opinion with regard to the discipline of schoolboys, to Arnold's sole influence would perhaps not be just. His plan of governing the school, as I have said, was only a modification of that which Wykeham had framed centuries earlier for his school at Winchester. In only one particular did Arnold attempt to improve on Wykeham's plan. He tried to make the sixth form report offenders to him for punishment. In the few cases in which this was done the informers lost caste forever. The sixth form would lick offenders, as upper boys have done, I suppose, ever since Wykeham's day, but they wouldn't blab. It shows what a good plan Wykeham established, that even Arnold couldn't better it. Arnold's ideas about influencing his upper boys he seems also to have learned at Winchester. When he was himself an upper boy his master once set him to construe a hard passage in Thucydides, of whom he was so fond that later he edited his works. When his master objected to the rendering, Arnold stood up for it stoutly, even obstinately. "Very well," said the master, quietly, "we will have some one who will construe it my way." Some hours after school Arnold came to the master looking very crestfallen. "I have come to tell you, sir, that I have found out I was wrong." "Ay, Arnold," said the master, holding out his hand in forgiveness, "I knew you would come." The question of kneeling to pray in the dormitory, over which Tom Brown struggled so manfully in defence of Arthur, cropped out at other public schools at the same time and even earlier. In a word, Arnold's mastership at Rugby fell in a time when all matters of life not only in public schools, but in general society, were being elevated and purified. The prominent place which Rugby took in the general movement was due partly to the fact that it was the most turbulent of the schools, and partly to the fact that of all head masters Arnold was the most manly, devout, and beloved.
Since Arnold's time, the work he began has been carried steadily on. To-day the boys break bounds chiefly to go bicycling or to take a swim in the Avon. Bullying is almost entirely a thing of the past. Of the old fighting spirit little remains. The very site of Tom's famous encounter is now occupied by the chancel of the new chapel, and choir-boys sing whereof old Rattle, in his thunder-and-lightning waist-coat, wagered "two to one in half-crowns on the big 'un." All this, of course, is as it should be; but one of the masters admitted to me that spite and backbiting are probably commoner than they were in the days of black eyes and bloody noses. I could not help suspecting that if Tom Brown were to come back to his old haunts he would find life pretty dull, and perhaps even hanker for another encounter with the bully Flashman. It would be a capital joke, I often think, to make a born reformer live in a place that was just as he liked it.
All the dearest associations at Rugby, at any rate, have to do with the fight that was fought in Arnold's time, and the most sacred landmarks and customs are those which are mentioned in _Tom Brown_. As you are shown through the school-house your guide points out the "double study"--fully five feet by six--which is said to have been occupied by Tom and Arthur. The boys who use it now, I am certain, never doubt that an actual Tom Brown once lived in it. In the corridor, to be sure, the top of the old hall table, with T. HUGHES carved boldly upon it in capitals, is hung reverently upon the wall; but the explanation of this is precisely that which a schoolboy once gave to the question of the authorship of Homer. If _Tom Brown's School-Days_ was not about Tom Brown, it was about another boy of the same name.
In one of the dormitories you will find the oak table on top of which new boys were--and still are--made to sing. The rule is that they must stand with their legs as wide astraddle as possible, and hold a lighted candle in each hand. Your guide will show you the tin candle-guards or "parishes" in which the candles were held. On the table beside the boy is always placed a jug of drink, composed of beer, salt, mustard, soap, and other savory ingredients, a swallow of which the new boy is made to gulp down if he fails to sing a song. About the walls of the room are ranged eleven little oak cots, beside one of which Arthur most certainly knelt to pray on his first night in school. Or if you insist that Arthur never lived, why, then, you remember that every fellow has knelt down, or wished he dared to, on his first night of homesickness in a strange, rough place.
The school-house dining-room stands almost exactly as it stood in Tom Brown's days. There are tables all around the sides, and a table in the middle. The small boys sit about the side tables, and, as the years go by, move gradually around the room, until at last they are admitted to the middle table. To sit here means much more than merely being in the sixth form. At the side of the hall is the fireplace where Flashman roasted Tom for refusing to sell the lottery ticket on Harkaway; and the very benches stand beside it upon which the bully's head struck, a few days later, when Tom and East finally got the better of him. From the dining-room there are two doors leading into the quad, one through a long and difficult passage, and the other opening directly upon it. The little boys who sit at the side tables have to go out through the long passage; only the big boys at the middle table can go out directly. For a little boy to go out through the big boys' door would be unheard-of arrogance. This, Rugbeians think, is an excellent custom, both because it existed in Tom Brown's time, and because it teaches boys their places. When I told my guide that it reminded me of the farmer who had a big hole in his barn door for his cat, and a little hole for his kitten, I think he thought me irreverent.
Across the court, outside the hall, are the turret stairs leading up to the school-rooms where Arnold met his sixth form. Many a man who is now old and gray remembers these rooms as the place where he learned more about obedience and more about ruling vigorously and justly than he might ever have known except for his head master at Rugby. The walls of the rooms are covered with old table-tops, upon which are carved the names of these ancient Rugbeians. The tables now in use are untouched. If a boy carves so much as his initials, he has to have the wood planed and polished, or pay the price of a new table. Fame, you see, comes harder nowadays.
We walk out at last into the ample close. The three trees which used to stand within the football-field are all gone; and many another well-known tree was blown over in a recent wind-storm. Still, there are plenty left for shade, and though one always grudges an old and beautiful landmark, perhaps the football and cricket fields are better. To an American, the Rugby close will always be of interest as the birthplace and original home of that form of football which gave rise to our own familiar game; but if he has read _Tom Brown_ in his boyhood, he will think of it rather as the place where Tom made his entry to Rugby life in the big-side football game, and where, with Arthur on his eleven, he played his final game of cricket. About the close the pleasantest memories of the school hover; and of all public schools Rugby is the one which appeals most strongly to the democratic instincts of an American. Here boys are equal not only by custom, as at Eton, but by birth; and here many generations have learned to value themselves, in Arnold's phrase, as Christians, gentlemen, and scholars.
To speak of the other public schools--Harrow, Westminster, Shrewsbury, Marlborough, Wellington, Clifton, Repton, and the rest--would of course be interesting, but I could scarcely hope to illustrate more clearly what a public school really is. At all of them the boys live in "houses," much as men at the universities live in colleges. At all the discipline is more strict than is usual at our preparatory schools, and at all the older boys have power to flog the younger, and are responsible for their good behavior. To an American the discipline seems too strict to be compatible with real independence, and the idea of a big boy flogging a little one is brutal. Certainly it is not well for an American boy to be sent to school in England. Yet granted the strictness with which English parents bring up their children, and the careful watch which is kept on young men at the universities, the public-school system seems to me the best that could possibly be devised. Independence of character and the power of using opportunities are perhaps not to be looked for among English schoolboys; but from their stricter rules they learn obedience and self-restraint, while from the exercise of power the older boys learn to govern justly and with decision.
* * * * *
A GIRL'S BRAVE ACT.
"She will bear the marks of her fight the rest of her life." The doctor who made this observation referred to Miss Anna McDowell, a young girl of nineteen, who by her heroic act on the afternoon of November 22 has gained an enviable reputation for bravery and presence of mind. The heroine is a resident of Quakake Valley, Pennsylvania. A small trout stream runs through the valley, skirting the main road. This stream was a source of delight to little three-year-old Nettie Hinckle, who constantly played on its banks and fished in its waters. Nettie was fishing on the afternoon of the 22d when a whir of wings startled her, and looking up she saw a giant bald-head eagle flying savagely towards her. With screams of fright she started to run, but the bird fought her back with his beak and talons.
Miss McDowell, who was passing, heard the screams and hastened to the bank of the stream. Without hesitating, she seized the child and tore her away from the eagle. This apparently served to enrage the bird further, and, defeated in its attempt to carry off the child, it turned its attention to the rescuer. It circled around, tearing at her with his beak and talons in the most ferocious manner.
Nettie had fallen down on the ground, and the young girl stooped over, guarding her, at the same time vainly trying to ward off the bird's attacks. The bird grew more and more furious, and repeatedly dashed at the girl, cutting ugly gashes in her shoulders and head. Without any other means of defence, she used her arms to fight his onslaughts, but strength was fast leaving her what with loss of blood and her high nervous state of excitement.
In the struggle her hat became loose, and instantly she thought of her hat-pin. It was one of the usual long, thin, steel pins, and drawing it out she defended herself with it against the savage bird, who, regardless of the stabs she gave, flew at her with renewed fury. Her heart failed her and her strength was nearly gone. Why did not somebody come? The bird had circled off, and was coming at her with a wild swoop, his beak half open ready to tear, and his talons extended.
She grasped him around the neck as he struck at her, and holding him with all the strength she had left, she thrust the hat-pin into his head, fortunately killing him. At the same moment her senses left her, and she stumbled forward on the ground, falling on the dead bird. Little Nettie ran screaming to her house, a short distance away, and people hurried to the scene. They tenderly lifted the brave girl up and took care of her, as the bird had inflicted some bad wounds. Miss McDowell proposes to have the bird stuffed to keep in her room as a memento of the occasion, but the memory of her brave act will never be forgotten by the people of her neighborhood.
FAMOUS CAVALRY CHARGES.
AT BEVERLY FORD.
BY RICHARD BARRY.
It is a fact that has been noted by many historians, in writing of the actions in the civil war, that the sabre wounds that were reported at the hospital were few and far between. This is easily accounted for in the first two years of the war, for the reason that the Confederates, from whom the Union forces learned the severest kind of lessons, used their cavalry forces as dragoons, or mounted infantry. The celerity with which they moved bodies on horseback from one point to another caused consternation throughout the North. General McClellan, who had been, it must be confessed, not very much impressed with the need of a cavalry force, at last declared himself as almost helpless without this assistance; and from this time on this branch of the service received the attention so long denied it.
Although the Confederates could rightly point with pride to their well-organized cavalry divisions, there can be no record prouder than that of the First Cavalry Division, known as Buford's Cavalry. To quote from the writings of Brigadier-General Wesley Merritt, "Its history shows that from the time of its organization until the end of the war it captured more men, horses, guns, and munitions than would equip it twice over, and yet that during this time it never suffered a surprise, never lost a wheel captured by the enemy, and never met the enemy but to defeat it."
From the very day of the new organization that took place under General Hooker the cavalry force of the Army of the Potomac began to live and move, and the contempt that the victorious Southern horsemen held for the riders of the North slowly diminished, until in its place was the respect born of fear.
The Richmond _Examiner_, one of the strongest journals of the Confederacy, thus speaks of the new order of things that began to exist. This extract is taken from that issue which speaks of the great cavalry fight at Beverly Ford:
"If the war was a tournament, invented and supported for the pleasure and profit of a few vain and weak-headed officers, these disasters might be dismissed with compassion; but the country pays dearly for the blunders which encourage the enemy to overrun and devastate the land with a cavalry which is daily learning to despise the mounted troops of the Confederacy. It is high time that this branch of the service should be reformed.
"The surprise of this occasion was the most complete that has occurred. The Confederate cavalry was carelessly strewn over the country, with the Rappahannock only between it and an enemy who has always proven his enterprise to our cost. It is said that its camp was supposed to be secure, because the Rappahannock was not supposed to be fordable at the point where it was actually forded. What? Do Yankees, then, know more about this river than our own soldiers, who have done nothing but ride up and down its banks for the last six months?
"They knew at least the weather was dry, the water low, and that fifteen or twenty horse, confident from impunity and success, were on the other side. They could not have failed to know this much, and they were surprised, caught at breakfast, made prisoners on foot, with guns empty and horses grazing. Although the loss was insignificant, the events of that morning were among the least creditable that have occurred. Later, some of our best officers sacrificed their lives to redeem the day. A very fierce fight ensued, in which it is said, for the first time in this war, a considerable number of sabre wounds were given and received. In the end, the enemy retired or was driven--it is not yet clearly known which--across the river. Nor is it certainly known whether the fortunate result was achieved by the cavalry alone or with the assistance of Confederate infantry in the neighborhood."
From this account it may be seen that the Confederates regarded this action as a surprise. Maybe it was, but the Union forces had been preparing for it for some time. Some of the divisions had been in the saddle, moving from one point to another, for hours, in full sight of the Confederates on the further side of the Rappahannock.
At early dawn on the 9th of June, 1863, the Second Cavalry, with the Fifth leading the regular brigade, moved out. But one small brigade had passed over the river before them, led by Colonel B. F. Davis, of the Eighth New York. With the muddied water of the river up to their saddle-girths, several thousand men forded the stream without opposition, and climbed the bank to the level land beyond, where the Southern army was making ready with great haste to meet the advance of the wide blue lines.
No sooner had the first division formed than a volley broke out from the fringe of timber at the edge of the rising land, and in a charge upon the enemy that had now marched into sight, Davis had fallen, mortally wounded. This was the news that greeted the First, Second, and Fifth as they ranged up from the river and climbed this slippery bank, furrowed deep by the hoof-marks of the hundreds of horsemen that had preceded them. It was about five o'clock in the morning, and with this advance commenced the most memorable cavalry combat ever placed on record in any war. For twelve hours' time the struggle continued, and it was not until seven o'clock that the Second Cavalry left the field. Brave Captain Canfield fell dead, shot through the body. Captain Rodenbough, who had been despatched to the front, found his squadron hotly engaged. Dismounting his men and taking possession of a stone wall, he defended it against attacks of more than ten times his number, until his command was relieved by the squadron under command of Captain Loeser.
But the well-directed artillery fire and the singing bullets of the Confederate sharp-shooters from the hill were playing havoc with the waiting ranks of the men in blue, who, awaiting the general orders to advance, moved from one position to another as the Confederate artillerists got range of them. At last the long-hoped-for order came from General Buford, and the cavalry was ordered to advance and charge the batteries and riflemen in the woods. The men on foot were captured in their improvised defences, and forward rolled the Union line, a battery of artillery keeping company with them. Now for some time commenced an artillery battle, and then again the order was given to charge. The column of platoons under rapid motion were broken into fours to avoid a fence, and man after man scrambled over a sunken road, and then stopping only for half a moment, rapidly to reform, hot of foot and shouting, they rode with drawn sabres upon the hitherto invincible Southerners, who, seated on their horses, had been waiting the order to advance themselves.
It is a rule of cavalry fighting that no force of horsemen ever meet another force while standing still, for with the impetus of quick movement those in motion have force that would make up greatly for lack of numbers. Unfortunately for the Confederates their regiment that had charged the Union skirmishers, halted and broke before the main body of troopers as they came flying up the hill, and now ensued one of the strangest happenings of the war--the Southern line, stampeded and broken, was mingled with the horsemen of the North. Sabre blows and pistol-shots rang on every hand. No one halted to make prisoners, but riding on in one great fighting charge, it became an individual conflict, the victor never pausing to see how well he had done his work, but surging in the wild rush for a fresh foeman worthy of his steel.
The Captains, Lieutenants, non-commissioned officers, privates, fought boot to boot. Through the fierce heat and dust and smoke could be heard the chough of the sabre or the cracking of the revolver. Up the hill and across the plateau to the crest of the ridge they fought it out. So weakened had the men's sword-arms become from continual blows and parrying, that oftentimes two troopers of opposing sides rode on together, neither having the strength to unhorse the other.
Rodenbough, a good swordsman, who had lost his best horse early in the action, found himself opposite a tall Virginian, who also knew his sword-play, and succeeded in wounding the gallant Captain. But an instant later he was brought to the ground by a stroke of Rodenbough's sabre. Captain Loeser was severely wounded, and his two Lieutenants also.
[Illustration: SABRE BLOWS AND PISTOL SHOTS RANG ON EVERY HAND.]
Although the charge had swept everything before it, or at least along with it, it was seen, when the top of the hill was gained, that fresh bodies of troops were hurrying up from beyond in order to take advantage of the confusion of the Union line. Obeying the hurried orders of their officers and the call of the bugle, the Second whirled about and returned to the rolling ground in order to reform and be in better condition to meet the enemy. This regiment had defeated in its charge, in a hand-to-hand fight, more than double its own number; its losses had been terrible, but soon it was in condition to fight once more. But now the battle had been renewed by the enemy's firing rifle and carbine from the woods on the south. To quote from what General Wesley Merritt says of his personal adventures during the charge:
"The charge was begun with the sabre, of course; but when the enemy broke and fled, a number of us in advance drew our pistols, and enforced our demands for surrender by rapid shots with our revolvers, still riding at a charge, with sabres in hand. I had emptied my revolver, and before returning it, rode at an officer whom, in the dust and smoke, I thought to be refusing to surrender to one of my men. I brought my sabre to a point, with the remark, 'Colonel, you are _my_ prisoner!' His reply was more forcible than courteous, as, after a moment's surprise, he made a cut at my head with his sabre. I partially parried the cut, and at the same time Lieutenant Quirk called to me that we were surrounded and alone. The rebels, who were all around us, then commenced a rapid fire with their pistols, and must have been surprised to see Lieutenant Quirk and myself, in spite of their firing and orders to surrender, ride safely back to the regiment. A kindly Hibernian of the Second made good my only personal loss by giving me the hat off his own head. From a description of the officer who didn't surrender on this occasion, General Buford was of the opinion that it was Colonel (afterwards General) Wade Hampton."
He also related the following episode, which shows how close and upon what _intimate_ relations the conflict had continued:
"As Sergeant-major Delacour was assisting Lieutenant Lennox from under fire, a horseman in gray rode up and fired at the officer, who said, 'Don't shoot; I'm wounded!' With an oath the Confederate emptied another barrel of his revolver within a few feet of Lennox's head, when Delacour, pausing, drew his pistol, fired, and as the unfortunate tumbled off his horse, coolly remarked, 'And now _you_ are wounded.'"
The account of every regiment was a repetition of this, except that the Second engaged more men and suffered a heavier loss. Late in the day it was relieved by the Sixth United States Cavalry--one of the few regular bodies of mounted men in the service which was not separated into small detachments.
But it was a great day for the mounted forces of the Union army. Major-General Henry J. Hunt, Chief of Artillery of the Army of the Potomac, says, in referring to this action: "This was in the main a true cavalry battle, and enabled the Federals to dispute the superiority hitherto claimed and conceded to the Confederate cavalry. Stuart reported his losses at 485, of whom 301 were killed and wounded. Pleasanton reports an aggregate loss of 907, of whom 421 were wounded."
The Second Cavalry alone lost, out of 225 men who were engaged, 68 in killed and wounded, and 73 horses killed or disabled. "From that day," says Merritt, "the prestige of the Confederate cavalry was broken and its superiority gone forever."
In a volume called _A Rebel War-clerk's Diary_ occurs the following entry: "The surprise of Stuart on the Rappahannock has chilled every heart. Notwithstanding it does not appear that we have lost more men in the encounter, the question is on every tongue, 'Have our Generals relaxed in vigilance?' If so, sad is the prospect."
Although the fact of this combat did not check Lee's advance materially, it gave a confidence to our troops that bore fruit afterwards.
[Illustration: INTERSCHOLASTIC SPORTS]
The annual Thanksgiving-day game between Berkeley School and St. Paul's, Garden City, resulted in a victory of 24-2 for St. Paul's. The Long-Islanders fairly outclassed the Berkeley players, who have not been quite up to the standard this year. If it had not been for carelessness on the part of Pettit, Berkeley would not have scored. By lack of judgment on the part of this half-back at a critical moment, St. Paul's was forced to make a safety.
The feature of the game was Starr's kicking of goals. He had four chances, and accepted them all, two of them being at good angles. Berkeley had the kick-off, and Bien sent the ball down to St. Paul's twenty-five-yard line, whence Pettit made a run of twenty yards before he was stopped. The ball was kept going by steady advances, until it was carried across the line. S. Starr caught the ball on the next kick-off, and ran thirty-five yards, protected by good interference. When he was downed, the ball was within fifteen yards of the line, and by a couple of plunges through the centre, and Starr around the left end, St. Paul's scored again.
There was no more scoring in the first half, but these figures were duplicated in the early part of the second. It was in the latter part of the second half, too, that Berkeley scored. It was Berkeley's ball on the third down, and a pass was made to Bien for a punt. The leather sailed over into Pettit's territory, and he caught it on St. Paul's ten-yard line, but was so slow in handling it that Berkeley was down on him before he realized what had happened, and they had shoved him across the line for a safety. Apparently the St. Paul's rushers were so anxious to get through and stop the kick that they did not think of protecting their back. It is not fair to place all the responsibility for the misplay upon Pettit.
Another exciting and interesting Thanksgiving-day game was that between Brooklyn High and Poly. Prep., played at Eastern Park, the victory going to the High-School, 6-0. This match developed as good football as has been seen in Brooklyn this fall, and the teams proved to be very evenly matched. In the first half it would have been difficult to decide which was the better eleven, but in the second half the Poly. Prep. line weakened a trifle, and the High-School backs were sent through at centre and tackle for repeated gains. The High-School team was slightly the heavier, and this advantage is accountable for the work of the line-men during the latter part of the game.
The only touch-down of the day was scored almost at the close of the second half. By mass plays the ball had been brought down into Poly. Prep.'s territory, and from the five-yard line Geirasch was shoved over for a touch-down. Some exciting play followed this, Poly. Prep. having secured the ball on the High-School's twenty-five-yard line by a fumble. They took a tremendous brace, and rushed the leather fifteen yards, but the High-School players pulled themselves together at this point, got the ball on downs, and the game closed with neither goal in danger.
The championship of the Long Island League was not affected by the result of this game, inasmuch as St. Paul's had practically secured first place by defeating Brooklyn High, 8-0, on November 12. St. Paul's had no easy time of it with the Brooklyn players, and only managed to score once. This was done in the first half with good centre plays, S. Starr being shoved across the line. The other two points resulted from a safety by the High-School.
The championship of the Cook County High-School Football League has been won by Englewood H.-S., the deciding game being against Hyde Park, 38-6. Both teams played good football, and although Hyde Park was in some respects outclassed, the men nevertheless worked hard, and succeeded in not being shut out altogether.
Most of Englewood's gains were made around the ends, the Hyde Park line being stronger than had been anticipated. Teetzel, as usual, proved the star player of the day, and made one unusually good run. This was in the second half, when he was sent through Hyde Park's tackle, and after clearing his hole and dodging the half-backs, he put down the field for sixty yards, and scored. The team-work of Englewood was better than has been developed by that eleven in any previous game; and as for individual work, Henry and Ferguson deserve mention. Henry followed the interference well, and got through the Hyde Park line whenever he had the ball. Ferguson's strong point was in protecting the runner.
The best work for Hyde Park was done by Captain Linden, who got into every play, and made a gain almost every time he took the ball. He did the scoring for his side. He took the leather on Englewood's twenty-five-yard line three times in succession, making short gains at every plunge, and finally managed to get himself pushed across the line. This is only the second time that Englewood has been scored against in a League football game this year.
The Chicago High-School Football-Players seem to have little pride in making any kind of a showing against out-of-town teams, if we may judge from the performance of Englewood against Elgin, and of Hyde Park against Madison. The Englewood High-School had a game scheduled with Elgin for Thanksgiving day, but as soon as they had won the Cook County championship the eleven disbanded. Manager Knox was at his wits' end to get a team to go to Elgin, and only succeeded in enlisting the services of three of the regular players, filling the other positions as best he could.
Of course this was not a High-School eleven, and had no right to represent itself as such. The Elgin players even claim that one of the men who came along with Manager Knox's patch-work team had played this year with Lake Forest University. The Elgin eleven was the same that has represented that school all season, and which has not been defeated. The game against Englewood, or rather against the eleven that was masquerading in Englewood's colors, ended in a dispute, and was awarded to Elgin. The best element among students at Englewood believe that if the regular team had gone to represent the school the result would have been different. As it is, however, Elgin claims the championship of the Illinois High-Schools.
The Hyde Park H.-S. football-players also went out of training as soon as they had been defeated by Englewood for the Cook County championship. Consequently, when they were called upon to play against Madison High-School, it was impossible to get the regular eleven men together, and a few outsiders were taken in to make up the team. As might have been expected, the influence of these outsiders was of the worst possible kind, and they resorted to methods during the game which would not have been countenanced by the regular players.
This sort of thing brings a bad reputation to the Chicago High-School football-players. Of course this is to be regretted, but it is richly deserved, and unless some of the better element take a hand and introduce rigid reforms in matters athletic, things will go from bad to worse, and the spirit of semi-professionalism, which has proved such a dangerous thing in other quarters, will effect the ruin of sport in Chicago.
The championship of the High-School football teams of Wisconsin and Minnesota was won by the Madison High-School, which defeated the Minneapolis South Side H.-S., 21-0. Both teams played good, hard football, but Madison, although the lighter of the two elevens, had the better system, and plunged through its opponents for repeated gains. Captain Dean of Madison massed his plays on tackles, where he was very successful in gaining ground. The best work for Minneapolis was done in the second half, and their gains were chiefly obtained around the ends. The feature of the game was a goal from the field, kicked by Anderson of Madison H.-S., toward the end of the first half. Madison had forced the ball down to their opponents' 20-yard line, but Minneapolis here took a brace and managed to hold. The ball was then passed back for a kick, and Anderson succeeded in making a beautiful goal. Some of the best work for Madison was done by Wheeler and Curtis at tackle, and by Nelson, who made many fierce plunges through the Minneapolis centre. Davis at centre held well on the defence, and likewise put up a strong offensive game. The best work for Minneapolis was done by Von Schlegell. He did excellent work in the interference, and tackled hard and low; he likewise made a number of gains around the ends. Other good work for Minneapolis was done by Dumas and Shepley.
It is announced that again this year the Knickerbocker Athletic Club will hold a large in-door interscholastic track-athletic meeting. The success of last year's venture will probably help to make the coming occasion one of the biggest interscholastic affairs in any city of the country this winter, and if it is properly conducted it ought certainly to achieve this distinction. I believe it has already been decided that last year's experiment of a dirt track in the Madison Square Garden will not be tried again, and that at the coming meeting the runs will be held on a board flooring. In addition to securing entries from the schools of Boston, Philadelphia, Hartford, New Haven, and other near institutions, an attempt will be made to induce the young athletes of Baltimore, Washington, and possibly Chicago to compete. If this could be done, the meeting would be fully as representative as the National Interscholastic out-door meeting of last June.
[Illustration: EXETER FOOTBALL SQUAD.]
[Illustration: ANDOVER FOOTBALL ELEVEN.]
[Illustration: ANDOVER VS. LAWRENCEVILLE--THE BALL ON ANDOVER'S THREE-YARD LINE.]
When Exeter and Andover determined to renew their athletic relations, they drew up a set of rules to govern their meetings in the future; and as the paragraphs adopted by the two schools seem to be of considerable importance for the welfare of amateur sport, I give them below:
The undersigned, representatives of the Phillips Andover and Phillips Exeter Athletic Associations, agree on the following regulations to govern all contests between the two Associations for the period of one year--from October, 1896, to July, 1897, inclusive:
1. There shall be annual contests between the two Associations in football, base-ball, track athletics, and tennis.
2. The dates for these contests shall be arranged from year to year by the managers of the several Associations, and announced six weeks before the contest.
3. The officials for each game shall be chosen by joint agreement of the representatives of the two Associations, and shall be announced to each school at least two weeks before the date of the game.
4. No player shall take part for more than four years in these games.
5. No student shall be allowed to represent Phillips Academy in any such public contest unless he is regularly enrolled as a member on the register of the school and is taking at least twelve hours of work per week. No student shall be allowed to represent Phillips Academy in any such public contest who either before or since entering the school shall have engaged in any athletic competition for money, whether for a stake or a money prize, or a share of the entrance-fees or admission-money; or who shall have taught or engaged in any athletic exercise or sport as a means of livelihood; or who shall have received for his participation in any athletic sport or contest any pecuniary gain or reward whatever, direct or indirect, provided, however, that he may have received from the school organizations, or from any permanent amateur association of which he was at any time a member, the amount by which the expenses necessarily incurred by him in representing this organization in athletic contests exceeded his ordinary expenses.
6. The school manager of each athletic team shall submit to the manager of the opposing team, at least three weeks before the date of the contest between the two teams, a list of all players whom he may use in such contest, together with the home address of each player, and shall also upon request furnish any other information which may aid in the enforcement of the previous rules. No player not so named shall take part in the contest.
7. All protests which may be made concerning eligibility of players, and all other disputes, shall be decided, without appeal, by a referee, who shall be chosen by the joint agreement of the Athletic Committee or Representative of the two Associations.
8. All expenses incurred in the enforcement of these rules and in payment of officials shall be shared equally by the two Associations.
If Brookline High had won the game against Hopkinson on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving she would have won the championship of the Senior League in Boston, but her defeat, 16-0, will probably give the championship to Cambridge M. T. S. The Hopkinson-Brookline High game was one of the best-fought battles that have been seen in Boston this year among the schools. During the first half the play was of a high order. Both teams gained ground, and each was strong enough to secure the ball from the other on downs, and it was more because of a misplay by Brookline than by superior work of Hopkinson that the latter made a touch-down toward the close of the first half. Hallowell managed his team splendidly, but the star player of the day was undoubtedly Mann. Further details of the game and of the closing matches of the Boston Leagues must be delayed until next week.
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[Illustration: Copyright, 1896, by Harper & Brothers.]
This Department is conducted in the interest of Bicyclers, and the Editor will be pleased to answer any question on the subject. Our maps and tours contain many valuable data kindly supplied from the official maps and road-books of the League of American Wheelmen. Recognizing the value of the work being done by the L.A.W., the Editor will be pleased to furnish subscribers with membership blanks and information so far as possible.
The final stage of the run from New York to Newburg is given this week. In the previous three weeks the country between Hoboken and Newburg up the western bank of the Hudson has been published, and, of course, the wheelman, if he chooses, may run on further up the Hudson. Beyond Newburg, however, the country becomes very hilly, and some of the roads are practically unrideable in some cases because the hills are too steep to ride up, and in others because they are too steep to ride down. Some of the roads around Newburg are very bad for the same reason, especially those running southward from the city through Canterbury and Cornwall, and down below West Point. Through this part of the country in the vicinity of the river it is wiser, both for your own good and that of your wheel, to refrain from wheeling at all.
The main road to Newburg is good riding, however--that passing through Tuxedo, Highland Mills, and Woodbury Falls, on last week's map, to Mountainville. Thence turn left, and run to Salisbury Mills, keeping always to the right until you leave the latter place, and run up to Orrs Mills and Vails Gate, thence proceeding direct to Newburg. None of the roads hereabout can be called first-class, and this particular route is by no means the best. If your run is to be as far as Poughkeepsie, it is wiser to keep further westward, and run from Blooming Grove on last week's map, out through Otterkill, Maybrook, and Coldenham. Any bicyclist who wants to reach Poughkeepsie from New York is strongly advised to keep to the east bank of the Hudson all the way up. The wheeling through the country where Tuxedo is situated is good, but except for a few roads outside of this small bit of territory, the riding is pretty hilly. The road-bed, as a rule, is in fair to good condition, but the unevenness of the ground is a constant worry to a bicyclist--the kind of worry that wears him out in short order, unless he is an experienced wheelman.
The only reason for riding through this country is a historic one, for the ground is covered with objects of interest connected with the Revolutionary war, and of course West Point itself is one of the sights of the Hudson, both from the fact of its being the seat of the military academy, and because of the scenery thereabouts.
This closes the particular trip which for several weeks we have been discussing, and for the present, during the winter season, the Department will be discontinued. Questions on bicycling matters, where they can be answered, will be attended to as before, and the Department will be resumed in the early spring. All applications for explanations as to the method to be followed in becoming a member of the L.A.W. will also be answered as heretofore.
NOTE.--Map of New York city asphalted streets in No. 809. Map of route from New York to Tarrytown in No. 810. New York to Stamford, Connecticut, in No. 811. New York to Staten Island in No. 812. New Jersey from Hoboken to Pine Brook in No. 813. Brooklyn in No. 814. Brooklyn to Babylon in No. 815. Brooklyn to Northport in No. 816. Tarrytown to Poughkeepsie in No. 817. Poughkeepsie to Hudson in No. 818. Hudson to Albany in No. 819. Tottenville to Trenton in No. 820. Trenton to Philadelphia in No. 821. Philadelphia in No. 822. Philadelphia-Wissahickon Route in No. 823. Philadelphia to West Chester in No. 824. Philadelphia to Atlantic City--First Stage in No. 825; Second Stage in No. 826. Philadelphia to Vineland--First Stage in No. 827; Second Stage in No. 828. New York to Boston--Second Stage in No. 829; Third Stage in No. 830; Fourth Stage in No. 831; Fifth Stage in No. 832; Sixth Stage in No. 833. Boston to Concord in No. 834. Boston in No. 835. Boston to Gloucester in No. 836. Boston to Newburyport in No. 837. Boston to New Bedford in No. 838. Boston to South Framingham in No. 839. Boston to Nahant in No. 840. Boston to Lowell in No. 841. Boston to Nantasket Beach in No. 842. Boston Circuit Ride in No. 843. Philadelphia to Washington--First Stage in No. 844; Second Stage in No. 845; Third Stage in No. 846; Fourth Stage in No. 847; Fifth Stage in No. 848. City of Washington in No. 849. City of Albany in No. 854; Albany to Fonda in No. 855; Fonda to Utica in No. 856; Utica to Syracuse in No. 857; Syracuse to Lyons in No. 858; Lyons to Rochester in No. 859; Rochester to Batavia in No. 860; Batavia to Buffalo in No. 861; Poughkeepsie to Newtown in No. 864; Newtown to Hartford in No. 865; New Haven to Hartford in No. 866; Hartford to Springfield in No. 867; Hartford to Canaan in No. 868; Canaan to Pittsfield in No. 869; Hudson to Pittsfield in No. 870. City of Chicago in No. 874. Waukesha to Oconomowoc in No. 875; Chicago to Wheeling in No. 876; Wheeling to Lippencott's in No. 877; Lippencott's to Waukesha in No. 878; Waukesha to Milwaukee in No. 879; Chicago to Joliet in No. 881; Joliet to Ottawa in No. 882; Ottawa to La Salle in No. 883; Jersey City to Englewood in No. 890; Englewood to Nyack in No. 891; Nyack to Washingtonville in No. 892.
[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.
We have received many letters from members who are interested in the print exchange, and for the benefit of those who did not see the suggestion details will be found in the Camera Club Department for October 13. If any member who desires to exchange prints does not succeed in getting those which he wishes, if he will send word to the editor, the "want" will be printed a second time.
SIR KNIGHT ARTHUR INKERSLEY, 709 Hyde St., San Francisco, Cal., wishes to exchange prints of Alaska, Mexico, and the country round San Francisco, for England, Ireland, and Scotland prints; and of the forts, guns, navy-yards, and coast defences of the United States. Sir Arthur's prints may be had in silver, salt, or aristo-platinotype, and are 5 by 7 in size.
SIR KNIGHT FREDERICK CLAPP, 175 Boston St., South Boston, Mass., has prints of Boston and vicinity to exchange for photographs of State Houses, as he is making a collection of such photographs. Sir Frederick makes fine pictures, judging from the specimens sent to the Round Table.
SIR KNIGHT LOUIS A. DYAR, Winona, Minn., wishes to exchange prints of the bluffs of the Mississippi River, the Maine coast, and interior or animal studies, for pictures taken near Ogunquit or Strong, Me.; interesting figure or animal studies; or historical places in the United States. His pictures are 3-1/2 by 3-1/2 and 4 by 5, clear and well finished.
ERNEST T. SELIG, Lawrence, Kan., wishes to exchange photographs of the collection of animals in the Kansas State University for pictures of the government buildings at Washington, D. C. A part of the collection mentioned was in the Kansas building at the World's Fair.
SIR KNIGHT JOHN N. PROTHERO asks how to filter solutions. Take a piece of filtering-paper, which may be bought either at the druggist's or of the dealer in photographic goods, fold it through the centre (it comes cut in circles), then fold it back and forth from the centre like a fan. Crease these folds, open the paper, and put it inside a glass funnel, and turn in the liquid to be filtered. The funnel may be set in a bottle, or one can use a regular filter-holder. The creases in the paper prevent it from sticking to the glass funnel when it is wet with the solution, and the liquid runs through faster.
SIR KNIGHT F. ELTON MORSE, 11 and 13 Market St., Lynn, Mass., wishes to exchange photographic views with members of the Camera Club. Sir Knight Elton says that he has a 5-by-8 Rochester Optical Co. single-view lens which he would like to exchange for a 4-by-5 size of the same make, if any member would like to make the exchange.
SIR KNIGHT WILLIAM MERRITT, Rhinecliff, N.Y., says that he has a 4-by-5 Manhattan Camera, almost new, carrying three double plate-holders, and is suitable for instantaneous or time exposures, which he would like to sell. He also asks when the next contest is to be held. The contest is now in progress, and will close December 15.
SIR KNIGHT L. P. DODGE asks if films are made for the pocket kodak for more than twelve exposures, and if there is any contest open to Knights and Ladies who own pocket kodaks. Twelve exposures is the regulation length for the pocket kodak. A box of films containing four spools (forty-eight exposures) may be bought for $1, and as the camera may be loaded by daylight, the small rolls are more convenient. There is no contest open for pocket-kodak pictures. A pocket-kodak picture may be enlarged to a 4-by-5, and sometimes even larger, if clear and sharp.
Sir Knight S. F. Macquaide writes that he has an Eastman pocket kodak which he would like to sell, as he wishes to buy a larger camera. This camera, he says, is in first-class condition, and has been used but a short time. His address is 46 Mechlin Street, Germantown, Pa.
SIR KNIGHT VINCENT AULES, New Dorp, Staten Island, asks if plates on which pictures have been taken can be used again for making pictures. They cannot be used for making pictures unless the glass is cleaned, and then coated again with the sensitive solution, and for an amateur this involves more trouble and expense than to buy fresh plates. Old plates may be used for making transparencies, directions for which were given in No. 857, March 31, 1896.
LADY EDNA KNAPP encloses a print with a white streak across one end, and says that all her negatives have the same defect, and asks the reason. The camera leaks light and fogs the plate. There is probably a pin-hole in the bellows, or perhaps the lens is not fitted tight enough. As Lady Edna is a beginner the editor would advise taking the camera to an expert and have it examined, or to return it to the dealer and have it exchanged for a perfect one. The latter course would be the better of the two.
SIR KNIGHT JOSEPH K. FORNANCE asks why the film of negatives turns an olive color; if there is any way of burnishing prints without a burnisher; and if a picture taken with the No. 2 Bullet, pictures 3-1/2 by 3-1/2, is eligible for the contest. The olive color of the film is due to insufficient fixing, leaving in the film undissolved silver salts. Pictures may be burnished by squeegeeing them to a ferrotype-plate, directions for which were given in No. 884, October 6, answer to Sir Knight Hubbard Marsh. The smallest size picture admitted to the contest is 4 by 5.
SIR KNIGHT JOSEPH GIBSON, JUN., Ingersoll, Ont., Canada, asks how the focal length of a lens may be found; what causes a plate to turn yellow after it is developed and fixed; if warm water will loosen the film from the glass. Directions for finding the focal length of a lens will be given in an early number of the ROUND TABLE. The yellow staining of the negative is caused by its not being left long enough in the fixing-bath, and portions of the undissolved silver salts remain in the film. Warm water would soften the film, and cause it to swell and separate from the glass. Use cold running water; 70° is a safe temperature.
* * * * *
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POLITICS IN THE LAND OF SHADES.
According to the old Latin idea, people at death take up spiritual abodes across the River Styx, a fabled spot somewhere, and reached somehow. Puzzle stories are required to stick to well-settled facts in chronology and theology no more than was ancient fiction. The following "true" story pretends to stick closely to neither "ology" mentioned. Here is the telegraphic (kite line) report, just to hand:
_TO FOLK STILL ON EARTH:_
Did you know there was an election held recently in the Land of Styx? Your newspapers have been so filled of late with details of your campaign that the contests in a mystical country have been left unnoticed. It is left to me to give to you the first news of both campaign and its results.
It was a three-cornered contest, this late political fight of ours, and here are the tickets in the field:
For President of the Styx Club, the "Father of Chicago" (1).
For Vice-President of same, the great Egyptian who had his pillar ornamented with palm-trees (2).
For Trustees, the President of the United States who first suspended the writ of habeas corpus (3); the man (4) who ordered that Sunday should be made, in his empire, the Christian Sabbath; the discoverer (5) of the Ohio River; and the inventor of binary arithmetic (6).
For Chief Engineer of the Styx Fortifications, the architect (7) of the Great Fire (1666) Monument, London.
For Custodian of Estray Sprites, the founder (8) of the Order of Sisters of Charity.
For President, the author (9) of the Marseillaise Hymn.
For Vice-President, the leader (10) of that company of Icelanders who discovered Greenland.
For Trustees, the king (11) who founded the Order of the Garter; the only United States Senator (12) from California who was ever nominated for President; the discoverer (13) of Cape Horn; and the inventor (14) of the panorama.
For Chief Engineer, the inventor (15) of silver mirrors.
For Custodian, the father (16) of ancient moral philosophy.
For President, the first Roman (17) to wear a crown.
For Vice-President, the author (18) of "Hail Columbia."
For Trustees, the President (19) of the United States famous for his "Kitchen Cabinet"; the queen (20) who said, "We will not have our prerogatives brought into question"; the father (21) of tractarianism; and the discoverer (22) of aluminium.
For Chief Engineer, the architect (23) of Trinity Church, Boston.
For Custodian, the man (24) who ran second on the Presidential ticket with Horatio Seymour in 1868.
The election came off yesterday, and the ticket marked "B" was successful. To-night there is a grand river parade of rejoicing. At the head of the parade is the ship (25), building for a German firm, that has just been launched in Glasgow, and rivals the _Great Eastern_ in size. Following it are all manner of craft and all sorts of people. Of the latter are those ancients (26), described by Cæsar, who burned everything they owned preparatory to migration, not knowing where they should go to. Behind them came the first permanent base-ball club (27).
But the feature of the unique parade was a great company of people (28) who first used parasols. And they carried such queer banners!
Three of the banners bore legends. The people, who have little else to do here, busied themselves all night trying to guess the things described. Maybe you can do better than we have, for up to this hour we have guessed but one of them. Here they are:
I (29) am soft and spongy because I haven't had time to dry. Some people doubt my existence. But that doubt is easily dispelled, for everybody on earth has seen me many times. I always float and have funny marks on me. I live in the cold and travel much. Good to eat? Yes,--and no.
I (30) am thin and thick; a liquid and a solid. I am long--very long, and I am short. I have written epic poems and doggerel rhymes. I have overturned nations, and carried news of deaths and births. I am several colors, but most people prefer me black. Everybody uses me.
Millions of dollars have been spent to find me (31). So have many lives. And yet everybody knows where I am. Fame awaits any man I touch, and yet I don't exist, and wouldn't be a particle of use to anybody if I did.
Above these words were real birds, perched on cross-arms and carried high in air. One was the bird (32) that might be expected always to carry a knife--to stab the candidate, maybe--as the politicians say. Another was the bird (33) that came from the backwoods. A third (34), one that would never do for a campaign torch, and a fourth (35), one that would make a good out-fielder in a base-ball nine if it didn't talk so much.
As I write you this the cannons boom, the adherents of the great Frenchman are jubilant, and the sound of his inspiring hymn is everywhere heard.
* * * * *
In this fanciful story are mentioned some famous people, either persons or classes, some birds and some other things which you may give the names of. All are described by a sufficient clue, it may be an act, or a peculiarity of their names. In sending answers, do not write out the story. Number names as numbered here, write one below another in the proper order, and put your name and address at the top of your first sheet of answers. Mail answers not later than December 27, 1896, to HARPER'S ROUND TABLE, New York--no street number required--and put in the lower left-hand corner of your envelope "Puzzle Answer." Correct answers, with names of winners, will be published in HARPER'S ROUND TABLE as early after the close of the contest as possible, probably within about two weeks.
The prizes, which will be awarded by the Messrs. Harper & Brothers, Publishers, New York, are: $40, divided among the ten best solvers according to merit. If one solver stands conspicuously ahead of the rest he or she will be given from $10 to $25, as the comparative excellence of the answer warrants. Persons of any age may help find the answers, but only those who have not passed their 18th birthday, and who are members of households in which HARPER'S ROUND TABLE is regularly read, may send them in. Merit signifies correctness and neatness, and has no reference to the solution reaching the office of HARPER'S ROUND TABLE first in point of time. Elaborate decoration of answers is not encouraged. Use common stationery, note size, and do not roll. Write on one side of the paper only. Everything comes to those who--try!
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Much the Cleverest Yet.
The cleverest amateur journal the TABLE ever saw--and it has seen a great many--is _Ye Jester_. The last issue, a "Bicycle Number," is full of fun and pictures Here is one example:
"Say, Denny, phat do thim letters mane, 'L.A.W.', on thot bike-mon's coat?"
"'Long Av Wind,' ye ignoramus."
Here is another:
MOTHER GOOSE UP TO DATE.
"Pussy-cat, pussy-cat, where have you been?" "Out on my bicycle taking a spin." "Pussy-cat, pussy-cat, what saw you there?" "Some stones in the roadway--myself in the air!"
In pictures there is, 1. A scorcher. 2. He meets a bull. 3. "But I didn't learn to break broncos for nothing"--and the bull is throwing the scorcher over its head and over a ravine, in fine style. 4. "Sorry I can't help you, Mr. Bull, over the ravine too. Good-day."
Another very clever picture is of a bicycle-dealer who painted his sign each side of a window. The sign aims to attract customers of course. It happened that when the dealer threw back his window shutters they covered all save a few letters on each outer edge of the sign. And they read,
I AM A FAKIR.
The dealer sits in the window and wonders why no one comes.
What adds greatly to the attractiveness of _Ye Jester_ is the fact that it is not set up in type and printed, but is written on a mimeograph or some similar machine, and then printed in red and blue. The drawings are clever, and the whole publication so far above the usual grade of amateurs that all lovers of play journalism ought to see what a high standard has been attained in this year of N.A.P.A. grace. Its address is 31 New York Avenue, Brooklyn; single copies are five cents. It is published by the Avalonia Chapter, No. 792.
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.
Through some misunderstanding I published in this column the name of a gentleman in New Zealand as desiring to exchange stamps. I have just received the following letter from him:
DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND, _October_ 10, 1896.
Messrs. HARPER BROTHERS, Publishers, New York:
GENTLEMEN,--If you send me a set of Columbian issue, will forgive you for inserting the fact of my being a stamp fiend; as it is, I am simply inundated with applications for exchange of stamps. Your paper must be extensively read, as I am quite unable to answer half my correspondents--the postage alone would ruin an ordinary mortal. Please apologize for me, and state post-office cannot supply me with stamps required to answer so many anxious inquirers.
Yours truly, C. H. OSMOND.
The collection of Plate Nos. continues to grow, and true values are gradually being ascertained. Some of the Nos. which were formerly quoted at high prices have fallen seventy-five per cent. On the other hand, Nos. formerly low in price have advanced in a corresponding ratio. Three months ago I called attention in this column to the fact that 9000 full sheets having 72,000 Plate Marks of No. 89 had been printed. Several copies of this No. have turned up in small Western post-offices, and the finders obtained $50 each. The last copies to come into the market came from Shanghai, China. The U. S. post-office in that port had a large number of No. 89 sheets, but most of them were used up for postage before their value as Plate Nos. was known. The same thing happened at Shanghai with one of the early 5c. sheets. Almost all the sheets printed in Washington of this No. were sent to Shanghai, and a very few copies only were preserved.
E. R. THOMAS.--The Revenue stamps mentioned are worth from 1c. to 5c. each. The 5c. 1861 is worth 35c. The earlier issues are worth much more.
CYNTHIA A. HOGE.--Apply to any stamp-dealer for catalogue.
A. LOHRMAN.--I cannot quote values on long list of common stamps. You can buy 2000 varieties of stamps for $35 or $40, or 1000 stamps for $10. This last is just 1c. each, and would form the basis of a very good collection for a beginner.
J. J. PARKER.--The dies for the 1869 issue, as first prepared, had the numerals of value quite small. Before any of the stamps were sold, it was determined to make the numerals larger. The complete set from 1c. to 90c. is known with small numerals, and blocks of them were comparatively common twenty-five years ago. Strictly speaking, they are essays, but doubtless would go through the post-office to-day. A few weeks ago a block of four 2c. small numerals were shown at the Collectors Club. They were sold for $40, but have changed hands several times at advanced prices.
F. X. RUSH.--The best way to sell great rarities is by auction. For good scarce stamps worth from $5 to $25, the exchange sheets of one of the large city societies is a very good way of selling; but to avail yourself of that means you would have to join the society, as none but members have that privilege. For ordinary good stamps the A.P.A. exchange department is very good. That also is limited to members, but the cost of membership is only $1.80 per year. At the last reports the A.P.A. had over 1000 members.
R. STARKE.--From your description I should say you have the ordinary 1871 issue of Tasmania, as all stamps from 1871 to date have the water-mark T. A. S.
A. W. DE ROADE.--The $2, $3, $4, and $5 Columbian stamps, unused, are turning up in great quantities lately, and have been sold at ten per cent. discount. The $2 stamp is advertised for sale in single copies at $1.75. The present issue dollar values have no premium, as they can be bought at any large post-office at face.
[Illustration: IVORY SOAP]
Her graceful presence, everywhere Suggests the fragrance, faint and rare With which the sweetest flowers allure: To such a dainty gown and face The touch of soap seems out of place-- Save Ivory, which itself is pure.
Copyright, 1896, by The Procter & Gamble Co., Cin'ti.
To other skaters wear the
Barney & Berry Skates.
Highest Award World's Fair.
BARNEY & BERRY, Springfield, Mass.
LAUGHING CAMERA, 10C.
[Illustration: MY! OH MY!!]
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Dept. No. 62, 65 Cortlandt St., N.Y.
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THE BOUND VOLUME OF
HARPER'S ROUND TABLE
Volume XVII. With 1276 Pages and about 1500 Illustrations. 4to, Cloth, Ornamental, $3.50.
This unusually attractive volume contains three long serial stories for boys, by James Barnes, Kirk Munroe, and Molly Elliot Seawell, besides many shorter stories by other popular writers.
Modern Outdoor Life is very fully treated, some one hundred and fifty pages being devoted to subjects of that nature, and in addition there is an important series of articles illustrated by instantaneous photographs on the different athletic sports.
A few of the other features of this volume are the interesting papers by Mrs. Lew. Wallace on The Tower of London, and the twelve articles by Mrs. Emma J. Grey, on getting up entertainments for young people. Each article describes amusements suitable for one month in the year. Cyrus C. Adams contributes a series upon different interesting subjects connected with recent African explorations.
* * * * *
Of the previous bound volume of HARPER'S ROUND TABLE, the _N. Y. Sun_ said: "There is nothing, we imagine, that the young reader would be likely to prize more."
* * * * *
READY DECEMBER 10
A VIRGINIA CAVALIER
By MOLLY ELLIOT SEAWELL. Illustrated. Post 8vo, Cloth, Ornamental, $1.50.
Miss Seawell was born within a few miles of the birthplace of Washington, and both from her knowledge of Virginia life and from facilities which have been afforded to her alone she has been able to gather what little knowledge can be secured concerning the incidents of his boyhood. The story, however, should not be thought of as a history, for, while the incidents are founded upon fact, the book itself is historic fiction, with the Father of his Country as its hero. The book ends with the early fights with the Indians, in which Washington took part during his Western trips, and includes his appointment as Commander-in-Chief of the Virginia troops at the age of twenty-two years.
* * * * *
HARPER & BROTHERS, Publishers, New York
WHEN TACKLER TRIED TO BLOW THE BALL--PERHAPS 'TWAS BUT A WHIM-- HE DIDN'T DARE LET UP AT ALL, LEST IT SHOULD BLOW UP HIM.
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An amusing story comes from India. It concerns a distinguished officer who was constantly embracing some new hobby, much to the disgust of his brother officers, and to the annoyance of the soldiers on whom the hobbies frequently involved extra duty. His latest fad was amateur gardening. One day he was strolling past the officers' quarters, when he saw a couple of soldiers busily raking a lot of gravel-stones over a patch of earth.
"Ah, men, I'm glad to see you taking an interest in gardening. It's a very nice occupation."
One of the men, not knowing him by sight, replied: "Nice, is it? Umph! That's all you know. We wouldn't be hiding this earth with gravel if we didn't have an old fool of a General that's mad on gardening. Here we are scraping these stones about in case he should pass this way and want to grow cabbages on the bit of earth underneath."
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Here is an enjoyable little bit of history that has descended to us. It seems that some hundred and fifty years ago the natives of one of the Scilly Islands boasted a library which consisted of but one book. It was the pride and delight of the people, and went from hand to hand until its pages, from perpetual thumbing and handling, grew utterly worthless. This alarmed the proud natives, and a meeting of the dignitaries was held to decide upon the purchase of a new library, this time of more than one book. Long and loud they argued, and the matter was nearly approaching a disastrous crisis when a deputation of townspeople, desiring to have a voice in the matter, waited upon the dignitaries. Again the discussion waxed furious, and the ultimate result was the following resolution:
_Resolved._ On the next fine day, weather permitting communication with the mainland, an order be transmitted to Penzance for another copy of _History of Doctor Faustus_.
Then the meeting joyously broke up.
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The snow comes down from the sky in flakes, The rain comes down in drops, The sunshine comes in beams, and makes The earth yield bountiful crops.
* * * * *
A DAINTY SPRING FLOWER.
"The flowers that bloom in the spring," or any other season, for that matter, we find, by an English magazine, are not all suitable for boutonnières. The following is a description of the _Rafflesia arnoldi_, named by the discoverer, Dr. Arnold, found on the island of Sumatra, in 1818. The circumference, we are told, of the full expanded flower is nine feet, its nectarium calculated to hold nine pints; the pistils are as large as a cow's horns, and the entire weight of the flower is computed to be over fifteen pounds.
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"OH, DON'T GO SO FAR OUT, BOYS; I'M AFRAID THE ICE IS NOT STRONG ENOUGH TO HOLD US!"
"WELL, THE WATER IS NOT DEEP, NELL. THIS IS JUST ABOUT WHERE CARRIE FELL THROUGH LAST WINTER, AND SHE ONLY WENT IN UP TO HER CHIN,--AND YOU ARE HALF A FOOT TALLER THAN SHE!"