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About The Red Cloud chief. (Red Cloud, Webster Co., Neb.) 1873-1923 | View Entire Issue (Dec. 14, 1911)
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ILL tho children In
1925 havo Christmas
trees? This question
Is being asked by
thousands of people
United States. Indi
cations point to tho
Btipposltlon that within tho next IB
yearn the supply of the evergreen
trees with which wo deck our living
rooms annually at tho feast or St.
Nicholas will bo so small that folk
In tho ordinary walks of life will not
bo nblo to afford n. tree.
Year after year tho forests havo
been denuded. Now England, a gener
ation ago, was thought to hnvo an
almost Inexhaustible supply. Today
her hills are baro. Nearly all hor lm
menso forests of Bpruco and fir have
been sacrificed to tho sentiment of
Tho middle states havo been ran
sacked for their treasures. Tho farm
er, although ho receives but two cents
nplcco for the trees, Ih afraid to look
tho futuro In tho face and wait until
the tree Is full grown. Neither does he
show nny discretion In cutting, but
every year he rushes to tho woods
and cuts everything that ho can lay
bis hands on in order that some one
mny have a night's pleasuro by defacing nnture's
work with cheap tinsel and candles. After that,
what would havo been Ue forest of the futuro Is
discarded forever, beyond the power of man to
restore and the work of nature for yoatB to re
place. Tho bulk of tho trees now como from Canada.
More than 300,000 nro used annually In Philadel
phia alone. New York, Chicago, Haiti more and
a hundred towns between them use three times
that number every year.
In the wild hills of the Cnnadlan provinces the
trees are still plentiful. But It Is only a ques
tion of a few years' time, with the increased de
mand for them, when their price will soar. No
attompt is made, apparently, to rejuvenate tho for
ests. In a few scattered places throughout the coun
try, it is true, one or two men havo started nurs
eries in Christmas trees. Intelligent planting and
cutting within three generations may make them
useful patches from which to glean hardy trees.
But elsewhere, in spite of tbo talk of conserva
tion which we hoar so much about nowadays, the
trees are stripped ruthlessly from tho hills and
Valleys and no attempt 1b mado by the greedy
marketer to replnco them.
This has resulted in the present dearth of the
much-desired spruce trees. Vermont already
charges an additional stumpngo of five cents, upon
trees which are shipped out of the state.
Let us consider the Christmas tree situation in
Philadelphia. Each year more than 1,000 flat
freight cars, loaded with the trees, which are
piled in double tiers, reach the city. The capacity
of the flat car averages 300 trees.
Therefore, approximately 300,000 trees are used
In Philadelphia annually. Sentimentality apart,
this 1b an enormous waste of material, when it
is recalled that tho trees serve no economic pur
poso, and the majority of them furnish fuel for
bonfires on vacant lots two weeks after the hol
iday. It Is an expensive proposition considered in any
light. First cornea the cost of sending men Into
regions where the trees grow. They are experts.
They are able to size up the marketable value of
a patch of woods after a day's tramp through
them. Then comes the cost of cutting, stump
age, hauling and shipping to destination. After
that, it is mainly a matter for the retail dealers,
who' buy trees either as they stand in the for
ests, or at the freight yards in the cities to which
they are consigned.
The small dealer must make bis profit. He
tacks on an extra price which the consumer must
pay, Then comes the expense of decorating the
greenwood with tinsel and glistening ornaments.
This costs a little fortune in Itself. Finally, it
is usual to pay the ashman to cart the tree away,
after the holidays are over.
It has been estimated that from first to last, from
the time that the seedling is plant
ed in the soft, friable soil, to the mo
ment it returns to its primal element,
the dust, as a handful of embers oa
the city lot, a Christmas tree rep
resents money valuation of $25.
This Is total expenditure of $7,
600,000 annually. Of course, this
figure Is purely imaginary. The trees
do not actually cause that amount
of money to change bands in a sim
ple buying and selling transaction.
But there Is actually that much loss
to the regions which supply trees.
If all the trees In an average load
ed flat car were to be stood upon
their butts, In the natural way in
which they would grow, they would
cover a ten-acre lot Multiply this
by 1,000 and the amount of timber
tripped annually from the hills will
become apparent at once.
Just at this time of the year the
Christmas tree industry is In Its most
flourishing condition. All of the trees
for this year's market have been
cu.t. Many of them are in transit, but
some of them are even now stand
ing in the freight yardsof the rail
roads, waiting for the retail dealers
to purchase them.
Dealers are gradually awakening
to the fact that It Is better to ship
their treeB early, sell them all at a
low price, and save the trouble and
cxpenso of remaining a long time In
the city bartering their wares.
The dealers in Christmas trees are
types. They aro all queer characters.
You cannot pick out one that has not
some peculiarity. As In all trades,
there are tricks to the business of
buying and selling Christmas trees.
You would think that the disposal
of a car load of railroad ties, with a
. layer of trees piled on top, to an un
wary customer, would bar the dtal
crs from coming again
to tho spot whore
they had practiced
Yet It nover does.
Yenr after year they
practice tho most dis
honest tricks upon
their patrons. One
man last year got a
high prlcp for SO of
the finest trees over
seen In Philadelphia.
Ho told tho buyer
that tho rest of tho
car on which the 20
were loaded was just
like them, but when
they were unloaded
and placed for sale,
they proved to bo
small and scrubby,
many of them being utterly unfit for use. Deal
ers such as these are rare, It Is true; 'the major
ity of them are honest.
To the dealers, whom tho railroads designate as
the consignees, come the little fellows, the traders.
Theso also represent almost every phase of hu
nmn character. Many save up a few hundred dol
lars and visit the ft eight yards with their teams,
buying tho trcen in less than carload lots. In this
way they can see just what they are getting.
Most of them aro shrewd fellows, and drive a
hn'rd bargain. Your upcountryman Is ofttimes as
shrewd, however, as the "piker" dealer, and many
amusing hours may be spent frequenting the
freight yards In the railroads where tho trees are
stacked or exhibited for sale.
Each year there are many new additions to
tho company of dealers. The, luro of the adven
ture, the chance to realize money upon an Invent
ment that Is practically certain to bring a 50 per
cent, return, nt tracts many to the business. Trees
can be purchased In half carload lots, or even in
hundred lots for about 60 cents apiece. If they
can be sold for a dollar, or perhaps more, the
chance to make mbney quickly Is Irresistible to
Not always does the investor succeed, His
fingers are sometimes pretty badly burned. The
market may be glutted, ho may have a rival on the
next corner, or perhaps his trees aro not sufficient
ly attractive to cause the public to patronize him.
Perhaps he has held off, waiting for better prices,
till the last moment, and finds himself with halt
a hundred spruce on his hands, which ho must
dispose of as best ho may.
Usually, however, the business is lucrative. The
wise dealer buys trees In hundred lots, poddies
them out quickly, and comes back for' more. He
does not wait for high prices, but sells his trees
for what he can get.
WHffr Mfi MIL DO rOP mo CtrNT5
As you pass ftoinc windy corner one of these
blustery nights before Christmas Eve and sco
the long rows of evergreens laid against the wall,
or Ignobly lying prono upon the ground, bethink
you of the place in which they first snw the light.
The kindly hills, snow-covered engirdling valleys
fragrant with spicy odor; picture tbem baro, lit
tered with the wosteof cuttings, and tho unsightly
stumps of. trees.
Picture the brooding of those trees as they grew.
It took them 20 years to reach an ago and
size where they might prove marketable. No
more will tho wind moun and sough through
their branches. Tho hills aro bare. The snow
will melt in tho spilug, and tho soil will not
ubBorb it Water will run into tho streams and
the streams becomo UloodB, and the floods breed
The trees, noble fellows all of them, will havo
their tops hacked off to accommodate them to
the stuffiness of our Uttlo box-like homes. As
tho heat of our rooms dries up their sap, their
lives will go out, slowly, day by day. They will
end on the bonfire. v
Yes, buy a tree. Buy one and take It home to
your children. When It Is bravely decked out In
all Its gala finery, gather your family about its
spreading branches, which aro exhaling their last
breaths for you, and tell them the story of the
life and death of the tree.
THE SPIRIT OF THE DAY.
IkaW" J mTs.
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And Ceremony doff'd his pride.
The heir, with rosea In his ahoea,
That nlsht might village partner ohooie;
The lord, underogatln. aliaro
The vulgar gamo of "poet and pair.'
All hall'd, with uncontroll'd delight
And areneral voice. th hinnv nlvht.
?That to the cottage aa the crown
Brought tidings of salvation down.
The nre, with well-dried loga supplied,
Went roaring up the chimney wide;
The huge hull tablo'a oaken face,
Bcrubb'd till It shone, the day to grace,
Bore then upon Its massive board
No mark to part tho squire and lord,
Then waa brought In the lusty brawn
By old blue-coated servlnR man;
Then the grim boar'a head grown'd on
Created with bays and rosemary.
Well can the green-garb'd ranger tell
How, when and whero tjie monster fell,
What dogs before his denth ho tore
And all tho baiting of tho boar,
The wassail round. In good brown bowla
Oarnlsh'd with ribbons, blltherly trow Is.
There tho hugo sirloin reek'd; hard by
Plum porridge stood and Christmas pie;
Nor fall'd old Scotland to produce
At such high tjde her aavory goose.
Then came the merry maskers In,
And carola roar'd with blithesome din;
If unmelodlous waa the song,
It waa a hearty note end ilrnnr
And brought blithe Christmas back again. Who lists may In their mumming sco
With all his hospitable train. Traces of ancient mystery.
Heap on more wood I the wind Is clitlL
But let It whistle aa tt will,
We'll keep our Christmas merry atllL
Each age has deem'd the newborn year
The fittest time for festal cheer;
And well our Christian alrea of old
Lovod when the year Its coue had roll'd
Have you timo for a little sermon? tt will
take but a few minutes, and today, If ever, our
thoughts should be turned toward Inward to the
heart of thlsgs. To you, whoso hands rock the
cradles of humanity and Indirectly raid the world,
let us ask a question: Are you forgetting the
real spirit of the day? Gift giving on this annl-
, versary of the Nativity is In danger
of losing Its loving purpose. It has
degenerated In many cases to a mer
cenary exchange a gift for a gift
The spirit Is frequently absent.
This should not be. Women rep
resent the greater number of gift
givers. Let us then revert to the
underlying love and reverence that
' prompted the Wise Men to lay their
offerings at the feet of the Holy
Baby, Let us give a llttlo of our
hearts with each present, and If we
cannot give a tangible expression of,
our love, lei us p.'ve a heart's wish
In your hands lies great power for
good or for evil. A woman Influences
thought and action. It Is your duty,
then, to discountenance tho heartless
offer and to smile your approval of
the spirit of the day,
Then, Indeed, Christmas will mean
all that he would approve. The
guiding star of love and good will
that shone to clearly In the blue
night long ago should never bo lost
In our minds, and tho lovoto which
It pointed should, epitomize our ef
forts to honor this great day.
Domestic and religious rite
Gave honor to the holy night;
On Christmas eve the bells were rung;
On Christmas eve the maaa was sung:
That only night In all the year
Saw the atoled priest the challo rear.
Tho damsel donn'd her klrtle sheen.
The hall waa dreas'd with holly green;
Forth to the wood did merry men go
To gather In the mistletoe.
Then open'd wide the baron's ball
To vassal, tenant, serf and all;
Powtr laid bis rod of rule aside
White ahlrta supplied tha masquerade
And amutted checks the visors made:
But, Ol what maskers, richly dlght,
Can boast of bosoms half so light I
Engtand was merry England, .when
Old Christmas brought his sports again.
Twaa Christmas broach'd the mightiest
'Twaa Christmas told the merriest tale;
A Christmas gambol oft could cheer
The poor man's heart through half tha
-Wr Waltac Scott
A SURPRISE SOX.
Something which would delight
any little' Invalid Is a "surprise box."
This may be planned to last a week
or any length of time one wishes
and should contain a package for
each day, with tbo date on which it
is to be opened written plainly on
each one. Dolls, toys, books and
saany other things dear to the child
ish heart may be put In these pack
ages and the little one will surely re
Jolce to have bis "Merry Christmas"
last so many days.
"It really Isn't nnythlue, to get ex
cited about, Aunt Nancy," Cornelia
Cornclln herself was not at alt ex
cited. Her serenity was In most
ngrcoablo contrast to Aunt Nancy's
fluttering perturbation. To bo ouro,
It wnB Aunt Nancy's silver closet to
which Cornelia hml lost tho key.
"If It falls Into tho tinmls or a dis
honest person," observed Aunt Nnn
cy, on the point of tears, "then good
by to tho silver, Including (ho loving
cup from which General Washington
Jrnuk and the tablespoon on which
your great-grandfather Dennett cut
"Dear Aunt Nancy," Cornelia roa
Mined kindly, "iiiiIohb the dishonest
person were a mind render, too, ho
couM not possibly know that this
particular key fitted your silver
jlosct." Sho was about to cuntluuo
her argument nlong this lino when
Aunt Nancy executed ouo of her
"It will bo necessary to cancel our
Invitation for Frldny," remarked
Aunt Nancy. "With tho silver locked
up nud only half n dozen spoons and
thrco forks nvallnblu It Is out of ttio
question to entertain a dinner party'
Cornclln looked at her wnlch. "1
will get n locksmith nt once," fIio
replied. "Tho key will bo ready by
tonight mid Mary can clenn the silver
In tho morning." She went to put on
her ctrcot things, wondering that
Aunt Nancy could not see how much
bettor It wnB to bo culm nnd philo
sophical In case of eome trilling an
uoyanco llko losing the key of tbo
Cornelia Is an obBcrvnnt young
woman. Weeks before, when nothing
was further from her expectation
than the necd-of such scrvlcon, she
had noticed tho sign "Locksmith" In
n window of n little hnrdwaro storo
near whero sho was waiting to take
the car. In tho direction of this
hnrdwaro store she now bent her
steps. A bell clanged loudly ns she
opened tho door, and a wizened, elder
ly person swooped out from n hack
room nnd asked what she wanted.
Cornelia explained. "I should like
to have you sec to tho matter at once.
If you please," she Bald, "for my aunt
Is In n great hurry for tho key."
"Can't do a thing before Saturday,'
snapped tho locksmith, seemingly of
fended because she hnd not wished
to purchase a rango for tho kitchen
"But you must, you know," Cor
nelln answered him kindly. "I must
have the key tonight. My aunt en
tertains at dinner tomorrow."
"I won't hnvo nobody to leave the
storo with before Saturdny," persisted
the locksmith obstinately, "jhen my
grnndson'll be out or school, and, If he
feels like It, he'll stay hero while I
get tho impression of your lock. Tbem
jobs Is more troubto than they are
"Yes, but you see I can't wnlt for
your grandson," Cornelia explained.
"You will have to go at once. I will
stay and take care of the things until
you are back."
She seated herself on a stool be
hind the counter as an evidence of
"Anybody In charge of this bore
store has got to be on to the Job." the
owner exclaimed. "Only last week a
rake was stolen out front while I was
waiting on a customer. There's an
Ice cream freezer by the steps now
that worth three-fifty. If somebody
was to come along and snatch that--"
"Nobody will snatch anything while
I'm here," said Cornelia. "The ad
dress Is on this card, and please ay
to the servant that you are tbe lock
smith Miss Hawes was to send." She
folded ber arms and gave ber atten
tion to a shelf of cooking utensils J
several feet above tbe locksmith's
bead. That Individual after several
half-hearted, attempts to distract her
attention, put on his coat and de
parted on bis errand.
Tbe echo of his footsteps bad hardly
died away when the customer appear
ed. At first view. Cornelia bad no
thought that he was a customer, for
be seemed to be strolling along In a
somewhat aimless fashion.
"Good morning," said Cornelia ris
ing.' "Can I do anything for you to
day?" Then with sudden dismay she
realized that out of tbe stock In tbe
hardware store, she knew tbe price
of but one article. It happens, how
ever, that Cornelia Is a young woman
of resources. "Perhaps I can Interest
you In Ice cream freezers," she said.
Oddly enough, this was exactly
what tbe young man was looking for.
"O. yes," he exclaimed, with seeming
relief, "I should like to look at some
thing first class."
Cornelia led the way to the door
"This Is our best freezer," 'she said.
Indicating by a gesture the article in
question. "If you'll just set It Inside,
please It's quite heavy."
"It's a trifle largo for tbo average
family. Isn't It?" asked tbe young man.
Cornelia took alarm. She would
bave bad no objection to selling a
smaller freezer had she known the
price of the others In stock.
"I shouldn't advise you to get a
smaller size," she said firmly. "It Is
much better to bave a freezer large
aougb-to meet aa emergency. Your
! wife might wlsb to entertain several
at lupcbeoB. you know And there la
nothing to prevent aaaking a small
nniouut of cream In n Inrge freezer."
Tho young man was Impressed,
"That'B a good Men." he exclaimed.
"Perhaps a still laigcr ono would be
oven better, In enso wo wanted te
give n regular party."
It was ncccssnry to head him off
URnln "No," said Cornelia with de
clslon. "If you glvo a party you will
need a caterer. A freezer larger than
this would bo In your way."
"That's right." agreed tho
er, who for tractablllty lofl
to b desired. "I'll tako It:
Cornelia had no Idea that business
success wan so simple a matter. It
occurred to her that tho ability of the
men who mndo fortunes had been
greatly overestimated. Then n sud
den startling thought broko In on her
bolf-congrntulatlon. In her efforts to
ensnaro hor customer sho had forgot
ten tho prlco tho locksmith hnd made.
"Thrfour and a hnlf." sho said un
certainly. Tho customer mndo no protest He
drew a flvo dollar bill from his pocket
and Cornelia made change from her
own llttlo purse. "Now. I'll have this
sent, plonso," he was beginning.
"Oh!" Cornolln looked nt him In
blank dismay. "I'm nfrald I can't
send It. Not before Saturday, any
wny." sho added, remembering the
grandson. "I suppose, It would bo too
heavy for you to carry, wouldn't It?"
Thoro was appeal In tho gnzo Bhs
lifted to hlH. Sho could not bear the
thought ot loBlng n sale for so trifling
n reason Luckily tho customer was
still accommodating. He proteBted
hastily that tho froor.er wan not at all
heavy, nnd looked nbout hlro with an
nlr of a man about to mnko purchases
with n vlow to Betting up houaekeeD
Ing. Cornelia fell It was time to as
sumo a distant manner and she did bo
with Immedlnto effect The cuBtomer
left tho store, currying hlB single fur
chime In his hand.
When tho locktmlth returned grum
bling, Cornelia announced her saio.
nnd he looked nt her with reluctant
admiration "Yon done him out of a
dollar," he observed. "That freezer
wasn't worth but $3.50." Ills sudden
icccsslon ot respect for Cornelia re
ceived an Immediate check from tbe
dismay with which Bhe received the
"Don't you think he will come
hack?" sho asked anxiously. "He was
such a polite young man. I can't beat
to think I've cheated blm out of a
The locksmith grudgingly assented
that tho customer's return ""was pos
sible. He added darkly. "'Twoald
havo been a different thing If yoa'd
sold It a dollar under price. We'd
never Bee hide or hair of blm again."
Tho customer did return within a
few days. Ho came in looking about
him In the same undecided manner
which had characterized him on bis
previous visit, and yet he did not look
to be a young man lacking in deter
mination. Aftor he had purchased a
screwdriver and a uond of nails, be
came to the point
"The young lady who waited on
before, your daughter, perhaps "
"She ain't no daughter of raise,"
Bald the locksmith. "Nor yet a clerk
Sho was asking about you tbla very
day," he added calmly.
The young man spun about
"What!" he shouted.
"She lives .with ber aunt at tbt
Rutherford apartments. She wanted
a key made for a lock and she stayed
In the store while I went to get tbe
Impression She' overcharged yon a
dollar for that freezer." explained the
locksmith, reluctantly, opening Me
cash drawer, "and sbe asked If yea
had been back to complain."
It seemed that tbe young man did
not care about the dollar.
"See here." tbe locksmith ' salt,
"The yonng woman cane down this
morning to bring tbe key. It stack
little, you know; I've Hied It ef and
It's ready to take back. If you'd Uke
the Job. I promised ber I'd send lay
grandson when be cane from select"
The young man thought It wonld he
a pity to trouble tbe graadsoa. He
said, with feeling, that growing beys
need all tbe playtime they could set
At tbe entrance of the Ratherferd
apartments be met Cornelia eesahsl
"Obi" cried Cornelia, dropping hei
purse In ber excitement "Have Tee
come about that dollar?"
"I've come to bring yonr key," sale
the young man. and gave It to ber.
Explanations followed, and thea
came argument Cornelia was not
sure that selling an Ico cresni freeze?
to a stranger constituted an Introduc
tion. The young man. on the other
band, was positive about It
"But your wife?" Cornelia hinted,
Tbe young man blushed. "Ton la
vented the wife and I held ny tongue
I waa afraid that If I explained that I
was a bachelor you'd wonder what I
wanted with an Ice cream freeaer."
What did you want with It?'? Cor
nelia was indiscreet enough to ash.
The young man's reply waa not ver
bal, but such as It was It was reesen
elble for a marked Increase te Ma
"Oh, well," said Cornelia, swinging
tbe key on ner loreanger, -it
come in bandy none tine."
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