The Sioux County journal. (Harrison, Nebraska) 1888-1899, November 14, 1889, Image 4

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Weary and faint lay the old (rrandsire-.
He bud bidden adieu to earthly thing;
HUi bandit were clasped like a saint at rest,
Jn the boly cairn dettk'n angel brings.
""The way had been la-g--be tai so tired,
So glad to reach the tn4," be said;
Then closed his eyes wl'h a parting smile.
While we kept oar vigil beside bis bed.
The sands of life were ebbing fast
We felt "the last of earth" bad come.
"When, sudden, the voice of a little child
Sang sweetie and clearly, ' Home sweet
-At once the wan lips opened wide,
The dim eyes beamed on ns in prayer,
And we caught tbe pale lips' wistful words:
"There's no place like home help me reach
"Then, while he erently fell o sleet,
We took up the strain of the little child,
-And sang the old man to his heavenly rest,
Sate in the fold of the Shepherd mild.
And the smile still lived on the dear, calm face,
On which the shadow of death had come;
flut our grief was stilled, and our hearts were
For we knew he was sheltered at "Home,
sweet home."
New York Observer.
NE morning the
customers who
came to Beckett's
rail! with their
"turns " were a
little surprised to
find the mill door
closed and a writ
ten notice posted thereon, which read:
'Mill close on ercount of wife dyin'. Have
to go to hnrvin' over to Coon Bun mectin'
house. Will be back in two hours."
Sam Beckett.
Two or three customers who had
come from the extreme end of 'Pos
sum Ridge, concluded to wait for
Beckett's return rather thanto make
the trip again; and so, tying their
horses, they sat down on a log and
fell into a friendly chat.
"I'll tell you what, fellers," Rial
Harder said, after the weather and
-crops had been discussed, "the takin'
off of old Sam's woman is purtydog
goned sudden t, ain't it?"
"Yes, it air, Rial, fur a fack," Dan
Hawkins replied. "Reckon there
warn't nobody spectin' of it."
"No, and I guess Sam hadn't fig
gered on it any hisself."
"Wonder if it'll git Sam down
"Reckon not bad. You see, when
a feller's buried four wives he natu"
rally gets sort of used to it, and the
takin' off of the fifth hain't likely to
go so hard with him as it would ifshe
was the first, It's all bein' used to
"Yes. that's so, Rial, and if a feller
ever g'ts used to wives a dyin', I
guess Sam ought to be. There ain't
many men as kin boast o' buryin'
five of 'em haudrunnin'."
"No, there ain't many, Dan, that's
so. Wonder who Sam'll marry next
"Lor' I hain't no idea. Nobody
ever thought of him murryin' any of
them women he has married. ; Seems
like he has a mighty takin' way with
- the women folks, somehow, and it
does 'pear like women do most un
accountable things. Now there
wasn't anybody as ever thought of
Tilly Smith a marryin' old Sara, was
"I guess not,' v
"But she married him, though."
"Yes. that's so, she did."
"Well, and that's the way it'll be
ag'in. Old Sam's doggoned lucky
when it comes to marryin', and I
guess he ought to be, after all the
experience he s had."
"Yes; and the first thing you know
he'll have another wife. And she
won't be an old hag, either, but the
purtiest gal on 'Possum Ridge."
"Azaetly azactly. He has always
married young gals, and I 'low he'll
do it this time."
"I wouldn't be a blamed bit sur
prised, Dan, if he did spruce around
Bet Higgins. Bet's the beet-looking
woman on the ridge, and most any
body'd be glad enough to git her."
"But that wouldn't do him any
good, Rial. Reckon that preach
er has got her fast enough."
"He may have, and he mayn't
have. We kin tell better a week from
now." '
The two hours had run out and
Beckett ret u rned .
"Sorrow I had to keep you waitin'.
men," said he, as he came up; "but
it couldn't be helped. Folks will die,
and they can't be blamed for it; and
they're just as liable to goat one time
as another. Tain't in the nature of
things for people to chose their own
time for dyin'; and when they die
they have to be buried, you know."
"Shore, Sam; that's all natural
enough. Reckon you find it a power
ful hard blow, cotnin' so unexpected?"
"Yes, I do, Rial. It'sawful unhandy.
Tilly was a smart woman and I hated
to' give her up; and besides, there is
always more or less time lost in bury
in' of tbe dead one and lookin' round
for somebody to take ber place."
"Reckon you'll marry ag'in?"
"Why, yes, of course; but I haint
settled oa anybody yet. It takes
times for theaethings, you know, and
nan bos to look around a little.,'
OM Bam Beckett was well-to-do,
ad on Toeetnn Bids bewas looked
woa as Os? moos? king of tbe world. .
Ea owned good bra, beside, the
1 Dd Bred in a two-story
Ltrnt bottci htxury that was rare
at that time and which loomed ;p
immensely among its numerous log
cabin neighbors.
Some time previous to the death of
Keckett s fifth wife old Jerry liiggins
had died, and, having a daughter to
leave to the tender mercies of the
world. lequeathed her to old Sam's
fatherly care.
Hetty Higgins was just "rising
onto" 18, and was as pretty a girl
as evergraced Possum Kidge society,
and for that matter she would have
no mean ornament in more aristo
cratic circles.
For years shehad constituted Jerry
Higgins' family, and he being a
a man well-to-do financially, and
justly proud of his daughter, had
devoted considerable means to giving
her an education, and had even gone
so far against the protest of his
neighbors, of course as to send her
away to attend school in the city
Old Sam was a rudy gruff fellow,
who had seenthesunsof iiOsummers,
but who was perfectly preserved phy
sically, and in good trim for taking
a sixth wife at anv time.
The work at the mill had run be
hind a little during Tilly Beckett's
short illness, and for two or three
days after the funeral old Sam was
kept quite busy grinding the ac
cumulated "grists."
In the meantime Mosellackett, the
"preacher feller," had spent a good
deal of his spare time in the neigh
borhood of Beckett's mill. In fact,
he and Bettv spent a great many
hours in quiet strolls along the
shady lanes of l'ossum Judge or in
peaceful Coon Run River.
In one of these long walks they
happened to pass by the null. Beck
ett was at thetimeleaning through
the little window looking listlessly
down the road that ran off through
the woods, and all at once his gaze
fell upon the advancing couple.
In a moment a dark frown came
over his face and his brows con
tracted witlt vexation. He watched
them until they passed on and out
of sight, and then with a dissatisfied
shrug of the broad shoulders he
turned away muttering:
" 'Twon't do 'twon't nigh do!
That thar feller's gittin' too num
erovs in these parts, an' the first
thing 1 know that girl will be fer
marrvin, him. I promised old Jerry
I'd keer fer 'er an' I'll doit. 'Tain't
fer her good to marry sech upstarts
as him. an she shan't doit.
Since the death of Beckett's wife
Betty had gone to live at Dan Bun
ker's, and accordingly, as soon as
the grist had all been ground out,
Beckett closed the old mill, and
dressing himself in his best suit,
walked over to Bunker's house.
Pretty soon after his arrival Dan
and his wile managed to retire,
leaving Beckett alone together in the
best room.
"Ruth," Dan said, when they were
outside, "you know what Beckett's
come fer?"
"No, I don't," Ruth replied.
"Wal, I do."
"Then, what is it?"
"Whv, he's come a-sparkin' uv
Bet." "
"The land sake, Dan! do you reckon
"I know it. Ain't he got on a
b'iled shirt an' his go-to-meetin' blue
jeans coat? An' what else would ho
have them on forif he wasn't flaur
ing on axin' her to have him?"
"Dan Bunker, do vou know what I
think of old Bec kett?"
"No, 1 don't, Ruth; but, for that
matter, I 'low it's not so much what
you think of him as what Bet thinks
of him that's of interest to old Beck
ett." "Well, I think he's an old varmint,
and for that matter, I 'low that Bet
won't think much different when she
finds out his business. The- idea of
the old thing marryin' a pretty
young gal like fier an that, too,
when his other wife ain't been dead
a week!"
As soon as Dan and Mrs. Bunker
were well out of the room old Sam
turned to Beth and remarked:
"I see you a-walking about a good
bit of late with that preacher feller,
an' don't approve of it. I hope you
don't mean nothin' like business."
"I do'n know that I understand
your meaning Mr. Beckett." the
girl replied, but I must say that I am
at a loss to know what objection you
can have to Mr. Hackett."
"Wnl I've got this much objection
to him or to anybody else; I don't
want you to marry anybody but me.
I'm yourguurdeen, an' I know who'll
make you a good husband, nn' I
nin't willin' to trust you with them
thar young upstarts. I've made up
my mind to marry ycu Bet. I done
that the day Tilly wai buried, an'
I've come to ask you to jineme."
"Marry you!" the girl exclaimed
in amazed wonder. "Why, I never
thought of such a thing."
"Don't need to be thought ol. All
you want to do is to say the word,
an' I'll get Dan to go over an' fetch
'Squire Beeson, an' we'll have it over
in less 'n hour. Don't need no think
in', Bet. You know me nn' I know
you, an' you know how much money
an' land 1'vegot, an' you know what
sort of a home I kin offeryou. Ain't
that enough?"
"No, it's not enough. You ore a
fool if you think I could be induced
to marry an old man likeyou simply
because you have a little money, and
that, too, when your poor wife is
hardly cold in her grave. I won't
listen to you and either you or I will
leave the room!"
'Do you meam what you eay, Bet!"
"Yes, I meam what I say every
word of it. I'd die before rd marry
. "Wall, I ain't need to bein' treated
In that way, gal, an' yon may be
sorry for it yet."
V "Never!"
"I think yon will; an aa your law-
J ful guardeen, I now srive you notice
that you shan't never marry that up
' start of a preacher Do you bear
"Yes, I hear it."
"Then see that you heed it!"
"I won't do it. I'm going to mar
ry him, and you can't prevent it."
"Goin' to marry him?"
"Yes, going to marry him."
Old Sam took two or three turns
across tbe room, then halted in front
of the girl, hn face livid with rage
and his form shaking with anger, he
bent forward until his hot breath
scorched her cheeks, and hissed:
"You sha'n't do it. You're mine,
an' I'm goin' to have you. and before
you shall marry that fellow, I'll I'll
He never finished the sentence, but
the look in his eyes and the awtul
ness ol his manner madehis meaning
plain to the girl, and she shrank back
from hi in.
"You will not," she cried. ' You
dare not."
"Won't I? You'll Bee. And, girl,
his blood will be on your head for
you drive me to it. I've had five
wives and I've loved them all. I
loved them as well ns men usually
love their wives, but 1 never loved
anybody as I love you."
"Go! I've heard enough!" and with
that the girl swept from the room.
For a moment Beckett stood still
looking nfter her, then, whirling on
his heel, he strode out and away.
As he walked along the road lead
ing to the mill his mind dwelled on
the scene he had just quitted, and
with each succeeding minute his rage
grew fiercer and his anger higher, and
his face looked strangely white in the
soft moonlight. Once he clinched his
fists and muttered!
"It shan't lc so. I'll kill him first.
It's her money that bought the land
and her money that built the house,
and, thouarh nobody knows it, it'll
be found out if she marries him, and
then I'll be fixed in a nice pickle. No,
it mustn't and it shan't be. She
must be my wife."
lie had walked quite n distance
and come tothe point where the road
followed along the river bank. It
wns a narrow pass between the river
and the bluff, and only a footpath,
or "high cut," as the people called
it where foot passengers turned off
from the main road and saved some
distance by going through.
Beckett hnd passed several
yards along the bank when he heard
the sound of footsteps approaching
from the other way. and looking up,
what was his surprise and indigna
tion to find himself face to face with
the "preacher feller."
Both stopped short and for some
time neither spoke. Beckett's rage
was too great to permit of his utter
ing a word, while the other was too
much shocked by old Sam's looks
and actions to find any power of
"What's the matter, Mr. Beckett?"
the minister finally asked.
".Matter enough," Beckett replied.
in a trembling voice.
"I hope nothing serious has gone
wrong with you."
"You're a liar," Beckett screamed.
"You don't hope any such thing, an'
you know you don't. If you did you
wouidn t do it.
"Do what, my friend? I do not un
derstand your meaning."
-No, I reckon you don tunderstnnd
it, when you are at the bottom of it."
"Bottom ot what?"
"Bottom of this trouble. Oh,
you're a good one, and you've work
ed it mighty fine, hut you shan't nev
er marry her."
A light began to dawn on Hackett,
and he tuought he was getting an in
sight into the old man's meaning.
"Now, look here, .Mr. Beckett," he
said, very calmly, "I know you are
.Miss Higgins guardian, and 1 pro
posed to respect your right by in
forming you of our intentions."
"Hang your intentions! I say you
can't marry the gal. Youcun'thave
"What's your objections?"
"I'm goin' to marry her myself."
The reply struck Moso Hackett as
so preposterous and ridiculous that
he could not avoid laughing.
In an instant Beckett's face grew
red with anger; and taking a stop
forward, he said:
"You laugh at me, do you, you
little gutter-snipe of creation? You
think you'll git her anyhow, but I'll
see to it that you don't!"
And before the minister realized
his meaning, Beckett hnd his strong
arms about him and was doing his
utmost to throw him over into the
Beckett was a hardy man and
unusually strong, and he experienced
no difficulty in lifting his little an
tagonist up and churning him about.
But to throw him into the river
was a much more difficult task, since
the little man clung to him like a
leech and refused" to be shaken
There was a long struggle which
at last ended in both of them getting
too near the bank and slipping into
the river.
The minister.beingtbe most active,
was the first to come up, and see
ing his advantage was quick to seize
it, and in an instant he gathered
Beckett by the nupe of the neck and
proceeded to duck him two or three
times, after which he said, still re
taining his grip:
Mr. Beckett, I want'yonr consent
to tbe marriage between Miss Hig
gins and myself. Are you going to
give it?"
"Never!" Beckett mattered.
"Then under you go again!"
After two or three more duckings,
the minister asked again.
"Do you give in?"
. "Never!"
"Then Iehallhaveto repeat it."
A lew more plunge weakened tike
old man. and hepiomised tosnnetion
the marriage. .
"That's not enough." the minister
went on. "You have her money and
you must give it up. Do you prom
ise that?"
"No, I don't, and I won't. 1 11 die
"Then I shall have to put you un
der and hold you under."
'For heaven's sake, don't do that,
man! I'm drowned now."
"Then you promise?"
"Yes. l promise."
"Will you swear it?
"Yes. yes! Let nio out;
At that moment Dan Bunker and
Bettv Higgins arrived.
"Thev knew thut the minister was
coming. nd they feared that Beck
ett would meet him und use violence,
and came tohisresctie.
"Now, repeat your promise in the
presence ol these two," the minister
commanded, and Beckett reluctantly
"I'll tell you what," the minister
continued, "it will lie a good idea to
complete this business while we're at
it. So if Dan will iro an fetch 'Squire
Beeson, "we'll have the marriage it
formed and the papers Mgned over
wuile Mr. Beckett is in the right no
tion." , ,
Dan went for the Squire, who lived
less than a half a mile away, and in
a short time the niarriatre ceremony
was gone through. Beckett then
signed over the girj's projierty
and departed for home, a sadder and
a madder man.
The next day he went down and
married the Widow Mnggs, and
from that day he and his old mill
have jogged along, doing moderately
Bat Beckett never has Irked a
preacher since that night.
A Truo Wire,
It is not to sweep the house, make
the beds, darn the socks and cook
the meals chiefly that a man wants
a wile. If this is all he needs, a
servant can do it cheaper than a
wife. If this is all, when a young
man calls to see a lady, send him in"
to the pantry to taste the bread and
cake she has made; send him to
inspect the needlework and lied
making; or put a broom in her
hand and (.end him to witness its use.
Such things are important, und a
wise young man will quickly look
after them. But what the true
young man wants with a wife is her
companionship, symputlry and love.
The way of life has many dreary
places in it, and a man needs a wile
to go with hiin. A man is some
times overtaken by misfortunes; he
meets with failures and defeat; trials
and temptations beset him, and he
needs one to stand by and sympa
thize. He has some hard battles to
fight with poverty, enemies and sin,
and he needs a woman that when he
fiuts his arms around her, he .eels he
las something to fight for; she will
help him to light; she will put her lips
to his ear and whisper words of
counsel, and her hand to his heart
and impart inspiration. All through
life, through storm and through sun
shine, conflict and victory, through
adverse and through favoring winds,
man needs a woman's love. The
(.iiltenn's Curse.
The death of Policeman Kearney,
the officer w ho arrested (iuiteau just
after he had shot President Garfield,
br i n gs u p o n ee in o re G u i tea u 's c u rse. "
The superstitious find much food for
morbid imaginings in the fate which
has lielallen so many of the chief act
ors in that tragical affair. It must
have been aa impartial or too com
prehensive curse, for while George B.
Cork hill, the prosecuting attorney,
and Judge Porter, his nssitant, are
both dead, poor Charley Reed, who
defended him, alter attempting sui
cide by jumping from a ferry boat
into the North river, is in an insane
asylum in New Jersey, und Scoville,
Guitcau.s brother-in-law, w ho assist
ed in the. defense, is divorced from
his wife and is little better than a le
gal wreck. However, Judge Cox, who
presided at the trial and sentenced
the assassin, is halo ond hearty,
sound of body aud mind, r.nd is just
now wrestling with the mysteries of
the Butler-Strong case. Washing
ton Cor. Chicago Times.
The Ancient Ale Tauter.
The modern wino taster and tea
taster ore well known institutions
but iii old times there was an office
of ale taster, to the holder of which
fees were paid in kind. It is noted in
Dr. Lnngbaine's "Collections,"under
Jan. 2a, 1017, that John Shurlehad
a patent from Arthur Lake, bishop
of Bath and Wells, nnd vice chane..
lor of Oxford.for the otHce of nle tast
er to the university, and the making
and ossizing of bottles of liny. The
office of ale tasting requires that ho
goto every nle brewery the day
they brew,accordingtotheircourses
nnd taste their ale ; for which his
oncient fee is one gallon ofstrongale
and two gallons of small wort, worth
a penny. Lippincott's Mngazino.
Sully Plaited It
Very few persons are aware that
Faris has a large elm which is 130
feet tall and has a circumtWonn.
..vV ,reiH
its baseofeighteen feet. It is healthy
..u TiKurous. ii was planted by
Bullv bv order rJ M.. tv
P pd" m In front of every church
. ikuuuuvu aeraia.
I rsnnot make her smile come back
That sunshine of hrr f-e.
That oxl to mnke this worn earth "
At times, so (fay plan.
The same dparejes Unit out st ma;
TUs features arc tiiesame:
But. oh! tne smile is out of them,
And Imniit be to blame.
Sometimes I see it still: I went
With her t lis other d n jr
To meet a lonK-m'ed Iriend, and while
He stiil were on the way,
Bert-oiifldenci in uitinjs lore
Brouicbt lim-k. for me to e.
That old-time love-lmht to tier eyes
That s ill not shine for me.
They tell me moner waits forme;
Tlier snjr I might bare fame.
I like thowgewjraws quite as well
As othent like those sume.
But I rare not for what I have,
Xor lust for what 1 lock.
Onetithe as much a my heart long
To cull tlintluet lijrht bai t.
tome back! dear, banished smile, come
And inio txile drive
All thouKbts. und aims, and Jealous hopes,
That in thy stead would thrive.
Who wants tbe enrth without its sun?
And what hus h'e for me
Tlmt s worth a thought, if. P'
It leaves me robl-ed ol thee?
K.I nurd S. M;irtin, in July Siribnei'.
Occupying a seat in the reading
Tnnm nf n down town hotel one day
last week, says a writer in The Alta
California, there might have been
observed a seemingly aged gentle,
mnn whose hair wnsirravand whose
cheeks were shrivled. A pallor us of
death was on his face, and frequently
the muscles of his features would
twitch convulsively. His name wus
Hichnrd J. Allen, and ho registered
himseif as hailing from Toronto,
Five years ago Itichard Allen, or
Dick Allen, as he was familarly
known by his associates, owned, or
at least claimed and occupied, a stock
range of considerable area in south
ern Arizona, the Mexican boundary
line being distant but a few miles
He owned a large number of beef cut
tie and was considered well to do.
Among the rough population of
the border Allen was a power. He
was most generously gilted by na
ture, havinir a well knit, athletic
frame, nnd u mind well stored with
knowledge. But it was Allen's nerve
which secured for him recognition
and affluence amid the cactus flecked
plains of Arizona and New Mexico
a nerve winciikncw notlinelung, even
in the face of death. The greasers
and Indians soon learned to dread
the tall stockman, tor in more than
one encounter they liailrome olf bad
ly worsted, and more than ono tin
marked grave on the Mexican fron
tier bp.'iri silent. witiu.Ka In Al
len'rt lincrrinir ,iim fir lio novor
hesitated to kill when he thought
himselt justified. cry little is con
sidered justification among tne class
wun Tviiicii Alien was associated,
So PTpntlv wns he fenreil nnil rtt
pected by his wild companions and
neighbors that nothing bearing his
brand was ever molested, nnil 11m
most daring ofthe cowboys and out
laws eeiuomattemptefl death by a
too prolonged argument with
As an illustration ofhis iron nerve,
it may be related that atone time
in 18S-1 he was given warning to
keen nwnv from a enrtnin km n 1 1
settlement, some ten miles from his
ranch, he having incurred the dis
pleasure of a fail'' of n.itvirinim
cutthroats there. Allen smiled
grimly as he read tbe
warning, then strapjied on
his revolver and set forth for the
hostile hamlet. Ho tied his horse in
the rear ol a saloon and started to
enter, when a pistol shot was heard
and a bullet whistled over his head.
Allen turned. Not more than twenty
feet away stood i'Dan," a half breed
Indian, with a revolver in his hand.
As Allen turned three more balls
passed inclose proximity to his head.
He knew the Indian h iid nnn ulint
left. With a scornful Kmiln h imi.i
"Fire again, you , and fire lower."
The Indian ni! n nn.l tl,
stanthis spirithnd left the arid plains
ui ;vri.oiiuiorever. men Allen strode
into thesnloon.
... J " " v w i UWeVviJ
of his enemies were gathered, and de-
iimuueu 10 Know- who sent him the
warnincr. No nnn nnui ,i
- .... ... . , qmu
after roundly cursing the gang for
t lint H nnn.A.i:, 1 . I r. .
vunuiuiue, ue leic ana went
home. For two months ho battled
hard with death, for the lust bullet
fired bv the In, linn l,,..l t,i. i
. iuiiuu IU
his right breast, almost piercing the
It Was SOmn tlil-u mnni I... r..
iiivubun nicer
this occurrence that Allen met with
a mishap that hurled him from the
heiirhts of u stiinlv
an existence but little removed from
uuuih. ii was in tlm mi,..,.,,,..
1885. All dav Ion
hard at work branding a lot of year
ling steers ut a point some twenty
miles from his dugout, and at night he
was completely worn out. It was a
wearisome lrnllnn fm.n 4i. j
ing place to his cheerless habitation
BIiry ana the baked
ground gave forth an intense heat.
It was nearly 11 o'clock when the
stock man reached his destination,
and triad was h wU i,;. " '
L"!"bfort,he igt and at
j w rewre. ii WBa aboil!; to
creeointn hA ut. r. lo
wioie, ana h knew at
Once that nrnwl.. . "
a i i ; . i" were UDOUt.
Wzinghl. revolver, he started for
the stable, on hie hands nnd knees
having no garment on other than
his undershirt. The noise at tlm
stable continued, and Allen moved
rapidly toward the sound.
So intent was he on in
vestigating the noise that he failed
to notice where his path led him, and
suddenly, without warning, he felt
something beneath him give way
and he was precipitated to the bot
tom of a "played out" well, a dis
tance of some twenty-five feet. The
well had been dry lor years, and the
mouth had been closed with a few
rotten boards, which, giving way un
der Allen's great weight, bad caue,l
the catastrophe.
For a moment Allen was stunned.
Tbe skin on his body had been
abraded in a dozen places, and every
bone ached with the force of the fall.
The stockman was almost over
whelmed with rage, for in this ac
cident he saw himself rendered help
less, nnd knew the thieves, if nnv
there were, would not leave ns much
behind us u lariat, and might should
they discover his position, kill him.
With a muttered curse of dispnir he
turned to look foi his revolver, deter
mined to fight to the last, should nn
attack be made upon him. As he
turned he saw gleeming und flashing
in the musky darkness a pair of
small, beady eyes, and poor Allen's
heart almost stood still, for a warn
ing hiss and rattle told him he had
in the well ns a companion a rattle
snake. The reptile rattled angrily
nnd moved his head from side' to side
in an uncertain way, and then be
hind Allen f liere came nn nnswering
sound, and he knew he had two re
tiles to cope with instead of one.
The sniake liehind him soon crossed
the well nnd joined its mate, the two
meanwhile keeping up an incessant
rattle. Their slumbers had been,
rudely disturbed and they seemed
determined to resent it if possible.
Allen stood as if petrified. He
knew a movement on his part meant
nn attack, and this attack to him
must result in death. And such a
death! Ho imagined himself bitten
by the snakes, and his fancy depicted
a frenzied lieinir, with veins filler
with burning poison, wildly grap
pling with the scaly, venomous rep
tiles, nnd striving with the despera
tion of the awful lever to mount the
hard sides of the well and die
on the plain above beneath
God's smiling stnrs. The
sweat poured from the poor man's
body in streams. The snakes gave
forth that musky odor peculiar to
them, and this, taken with the close
ness and warmth of the air, pro
duced u sensation as of suffoca
In a moment still hissing nngrilv,
one of the snakes began to move,
and Allen saw its glistening eyes at
his feet. The clammy thinir crawled
over his bare leet and circled around
his naked legs. The creatureseemed
to like the warmth of Allen sbodv.
and stopped for a moment. Then
it slowly began to ascend his limbs
tD his body, and soon the terrible
eyes were looking into those ofAllea
and they seemed to burn through
to his brain. 1'p over his face the
creature moved its head, and then
encountered Allen's crisp and cuiley,
hair. it h nnngnry rat tie the snake
drew back his head, and Allen,
knowing it would st rike, raised his
hands as quick as lightning and
gripped the creature by tho throat.
ith the other hand he grasped the
rattles, aud then ho slowly, surely
strangled the creature to death,
though the fearful diluvium which
it emitted almost caused him to
faint. For half an hour he hehl the
snake firmly; he saw the malignant
light in its eyes grow dim and finally
disappear, and then he knew one
enemy at least was dead. Hut
he dared not drop the dead
snake, for the other had become
uneasy at the disappearance of it
mate, and seemed on the point of
starting out in search. Tho tierce,
glaring eyes moved from side to side,
the rattle was seldom still, and Allen
never for a Moment took his eye
from those hostile orbs,
For hours he stood thus, consumed
with a fsverish thirst, his nerves at a
terrible tension, and hiseves strained
and nlmost bursting. Then the sky
above him began to light up, and a
little ray of sunlight daneed on tho
western wall of his underground pris
on. In a few moments tho well was
quite light, and then Allen and
his remaining enemy saw each other
at the same instant. Tho snako
coiled nnd sprang, but Allen was too
active. He stepped toonesnio ana
let the snake go by him, nnd then,
with a small club, crushed out the
venomous life forever. 1 hen it was
that Allen's great nerve gave way.
Heyelled and shrieked and cursed and
tore m a mad delirium; and when
neighbors, attracted by his cries, res
cued him an hour later, ho was froth
ing at the month, bleeding at the
nose and the snakes were torn to
For weeks he lay in his cabin on
the outer edeo ol death, but his
sturdy constitution stood by him,
and he recovered, though he
was but a wreck of his
former sell. His neigh bors "rounded
up" what little stock ho had left
for the thieving residents of tho
frontier were quick to take advan
tage of h!s helnlesHiiess and Allen
left for New England, to recover, if
possible Ins former health. Hut tne
shock was to severe, and Allen will
never be a mnn again. At the ago
of 30 he is as infirm as a man of 70,
and his life is devoid of pleasure. He
cannot remain long in ono plnce, for
nis nerves demand a constant change
of scene, and he Is a homeless, help
lea wanderer. Boon death will come
to bis relief, and then, perhaps, Allen
will learn why this dreadful plague
was visited upon him, lloeton True
-f ,
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