The McCook tribune. (McCook, Neb.) 1886-1936, December 29, 1893, Image 3
Christmas, 1893 CHRISTMAS EVE. Phut, putter, 'tilt the putter of the ruindrop on the roof; TIs not tl»u ruindrop, ’ll* the clatter of the reindeer*#tiny hoof. The children are all fast asleep and tucked away so snug, Drenmim: of the corning morning, when one will have a mug. On© will have a candy pistol, one will hnve a slate; Everyone will have a treasure, each will be elate! Papa, mamma, dear Krtss Kringle, a long time have looked out. And knew when they the presents purchased what they were about. Christmas morning, bright and charming. comcM hut once a year; 1*1 us each one then determine to make it | bring good cheer; 11© the morning bright or cloudy, be it rain or shine. Take the blessings as we find them under our *‘fig and vine.** J*t us feel nowhere the pleasure which we find at home. Then indeed wo will he happy and never wish to roam. 1*1 contentment bo our watchword ever through this lile, Ketncmbering home and Christmas morning over in the strife. A happy childhood with memories bright and gay Oft helps the tired wayfareron his lonely way; In looking back lie views his childhood’s homo so bright That while ho dreams of home and strives for heaven he sees the beacon light. —Philadelphia Times. THE LOST GROSCHEN. It had been snowing all day, intense cold had succeeded the storm, and the stars, shining brightly in the clear sky, looked down on the good old town of Nuremberg in the year 1500. It was a beautiful winter night, and although the curfew hour had passed the lights still glistened through the small diamond shaped window panes in the houses, and the church bells rang out loud and clear. The people were coming out of their dwellings and walking slowly hut cheer fully along the streets, not seeming to mind the crisp cold nor the deep snow under their feet. The throng of people had passed on and the voices of the bells had become mere reverberations, when a little girl about 8 years old appeared in the principal street, which was now silent and deserted. She was alone and look ed so small as she walked fearlessly | along, taking short steps so as not to slip on the hard glistening snow, and singing in a soft voice, made a little tremulous by the sharp cold, an old Christmas hymn about the angels, Beth lehem and a child asleep in a manger. Suddenly she stopped, uttered a cry of dismay, and falling on her knees began searching for something in the snow. She was evidently unsuccessful, how ever. for her sighs changed to tears and her grief increased until it found vent in sobs. ‘My money,” she cried; “my poor groschen! O dear infant Jesus, bring me back my groschen!” Like an answer to her prayer there sounded not far off a strange, sweet melody, and she dried her eyes suddenly and looked about, half expecting to see an angel, for she thought the music must have come from heaven, so beauti ful it was. But she 600n perceived a figure with out wings, harp or halo, a lad about 15 years old, dressed unlike any one in Nu remberg, with dark blue breeches, a short cloak on his shoulders and a little red cap on his black hair. He carried a musical instrument and touched the strings as he glanced up at a house where a light was gleaming. It was the home of a rich merchant, and a lantern swung from above the doorway, and this light had attracted the young musician. When he had played a few chords on his lute, he sang, and the little girl, remembering the guide of young Tobias who had seemed but a simple traveler, began to think that the singer was indeed an angel. The child did not understand the singer's words, and feeling sure that he was nsing the language of heaven she threw herself at his feet, clasped her hands and raised her eyes entreatingly to his face. ‘Good angel, 1. pray thee, she cried, “help me to find my groschen! I beg thee in the name of the infant Jesus!” •What is the trouble, little one? Tell me. and if 1 can help you 1 will. There is so much sorrow in the world for every one that 1 always like to help other peo ple carry theirs.” He smiled cheerily as he spoke, and the child answered: ‘1 have lost my money—my groschen. We never have anything nice for sup per but because it is Christmastime my mother gave me the money to buy a sausage and an apple pie, but 1 have dropped my groschen in the snow. We have no more, and now we can have no Christmas supper.” •Where did you drop it?” asked her listener, and when she pointed to the 8pot he knelt down and began turning over the snow. His back was turned to ward the child, when he gave a cry of triumph and held up a coin in his fin gers. “Oh, you must be an angel!” cried the little girl joyfully And he added with a smile; “A Florentine angel then. My name is Maso Napone. Remember it and pray for me sometimes, little one. Now goodby. Go buy your supper.” •Not until I have been to the mid night mass,” replied the girl. “My mother is ill, so I must go and pray for her.” •Then 1 will go with you,” said Maso, taking her hand. ‘What is your name?” “Christine Dachs. My mother is the Widow Gudule.” “Your mother has to work?” “Yes, she does beautiful embroidery. 1 do a little of it, but I have not learned to work very well yet. Pretty soon 1 shall do it better, and then mamma can Test She is often tired and weak, and when she cannot work we have no money.” “1 am all alone in the world," said the youth when Christine stopped speaking. “1 have no parents, no money, no home. My father’s creditors took everything ex cept my lnte, so I left Florence, and now I earn a little money by singing in the streets, but I often have to sleep in the open air and without supper.” As they entered the church Maso doffed his hat reverentially, dipped his fingers into the holy water font and touched them to Christine's. Then the two chil dren knelt down in theshadow oj' a great pillar which rose to the high arched roof. At the end of the nave stood the altar, gleaming with wax lights and flooded with the rising incense; priests, acolytes, and choristers were engaged with the Christinas service, anil one could see the fluttering white surplices and the glit ter of gold and precious stones on copes and stoles. The whole congregation joined in singing the carols, and the weak, broken voices of tlie aged, the silvery ones of the children, the sweet tones of the maidens, the clear high notes of the young men and the strong, deep ones of their elders combined to produce har monies both powerful and sweet. Maso could not keep silence. Suddenly hi. voice rose above the rest, and it was so full, so cjear and so sweet that every one near turned to look at him. A tall man wrapped in a great cloak left his place, and coming nearer to the iail listened attentively, with Ids eyes fixed upon Maso's face as long as lie continued to sing. Neither of the children noticed the stranger. After they left the church Maso led Christine into a provision shop, and not allowing her to spend her only coin purchased ham, fruit and pastry for her. and then, seeing that she shivered in the cold night air, lie took off his own cloak and put it round her shoulders. “Now I will take you home,” he said. And when they reached her door she asked wistfully: “Will you not come in and have supper with us, as if you were my brother? Mamma will be so glad.” Maso followed lier m auu was wel comed by the Widow Gudule. While they sat at supper Maso told them of his childhood's home in I tali', which had been opulent, but sad, because mother less, of his father’s ruin and death and of his own wanderings. “And so, mother, lie sings—you should hear him! The angels in heaven have not sweeter voices,” exclaimed Chris tine, and the lad, taking up Ids lute, struck the chords lightly, then began to sing, while the mother and daughter lis tened with clasped hands and tearful eyes. As soon as he stopped there was a knock at the door. Christine opened it fearlessly, for there was nothing in that poor home for robbers. Outside stood the tall man who had been in church. Ho recognized the child and smiled as he said: “My dear. 1 want to speak to your brother, who has just been singing.” “He is not my brother.” said Christine, surprised. “No? Well, it does not matter. I want to see the lad who was in church with you. Tell him Master Kriegwinckel wants him a minute.” This man was one of the most cele brated musicians of that time, not only in Munich, where he lived, but through out the music loving world. Little Christine, however, knew nothing about him, and thinking that the stranger merely wished to compliment Maso upon his singing she bade him enter. He bowed politely to the widow and then addressed Maso, saying: “You have a beautiful voice, my lad— an unusually fine one. I am an old man, but I have seldom heard such a voice as yours. You understand what you sing, too, and you love music. You have all the makings of a great artist. But—you do not know how to sing!” “That is because I have never been taught,” said Maso sadly and humbly. “I observed that. It is not your fault, and it can be remedied. How old are yon?” “Fifteen on Candlemas day." “Very good. I have a proposition to make you. Have you relatives?" “None. I am all alone.” “Better still. 1 will take charge of you. I will take you back to Munich with me; I will teach j-ou music and singing, and in three or four years—you will see! Kings and prinoes will invite you to come to court and sing for them, and 1 shall have the honor of giving the world another great musician. Perhaps you have heard of me. I am Krieg winckel, leader of the choir hi Munich." “I would be only too happy, master," Maso stammered, “but I am obliged to earn my living. I have nothing” “it ou will not need money. I will treat you as my own son, and you will earn a great deal more than your living when 1 have taught you music. It is agreed, is it not? Ah, it was not for nothing that I watched you in the church, followed you out and after losing sight of you in the crowd searched for you until I heard your voice through that window. But 1 must leave Nuremberg tonight. Come.'' The boy took up his cloak and lute, saying: “Goodby, Christine, I will come back some day. Do not forget me.” The girl clung to his arm and whis pered: “1 shall never forget you. 1 thought at first that you were an angel because you sang like one and were as good as one. I will love you all my life.’ “Then ask your mother to kiss me good night. It will bring me luck," he said, and the Widow Gudnle, clasping him in her arms, prayed that heaven’s blessings might always follow him. As he turned away he handed his purse to Christine, saying: “The master says 1 shall not need tnoney, so here are my day’s earnings. I have had a very good day, and they will help you until your mother can work again." Eight years passed. The Christmas bells were ringing mer rily, and the people, coming out of their houses to attend midnight mass, greeted each other with Christmas wishes. Among the throng there was none who received more salutes and friendly smiles than an elderly woman who leaned on the arm of a beautiful young girl, tall and slender as a reed. By the light of the torch she carried, the girl's bright blue eyes, rosy cheeks and golden hair were seen, and every passer looked at her with admiration; young und old greeted her smilingly, even portly bur gomasters murmured as they met her, “God bless that sweet young creature!” while the poor people exclaimed aloud, “God bless the widow and her daughter for their goodness and charity to us!” These two were but simple working people, yet all Nuremberg honored them. Every one knew that Dame Gudule Dacha, when left a widow with her child to bring up and her husband's debts to pay, had set about bravely to perform the task. She had become the most successful embroiderer in the town, her daughter had soon grown celebrated 1 for her taste in designing new patterns, , and now the widow owed nothing and . could hardly fill all the orders she re ceived from the richest ladies in the land. As the people entered the church the organ’s peal rose to the vaulted roof, and Widow Gudule, kneeling at Christine’s side, heard her murmured prayer: “Sweet Saviour Jesus, protect him'. Bring him back to us that I may tell him I have not forgotten him!” The mothei*smiled sadly, for she had had experience of the world, and she knew that with young people remem brance often fades. Every Christmas eve Christine had said, “Suppose he should come tonight!” and when her mother tried to explain how unlikely it was that the youth who for a single hour had been their guest should ever think of them again the girl only shook her head and answered, “He will come.” Tha widow was growing uneasy, for her daughter was 16 years old. Suddenly, just as the priest turned round to administer communion to the faithful, a voice in the choir rose above the organ's strains, and Christine’s face was transfigured as she whispered, “It is he!” Oil, that beautiful voice—powerful, impassioned, yet as sweet as if it came straight from heaven! “Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth” it sang, and Christine, carried out of herself as she listened, wept softly and wondered whether it were not indeed an angel's voice. With a saddened look in her soft blue eyes, she followed her mother out of the church, casting a wistful, timid glance up the dark winding staircase which led to the choir, and the widow, who also had recognized the voice, hurried her daughter away. When they reached the street, the girl looked about her in vain, for there was no sign of the red cap and dark curls of the young lute player, no strange figure was to be seen except a tall man wrapped in a handsome cloak and wearing a gold embroidered cap which glistened in the moonlight. When the two women ar rived at their home, this person stepped quickly up, and with a bow said: “Merry Christmas to you, Dame Gu dule! Merry Christmas, Miss Christine! Will you let the Florentine singer share your supper once again?” “I knew he would come, mother!” cried Christine, and the widow, in spite of her misgivings, almost against her will, added: “He is welcome as before.” They all entered the house, and when the girl had lighted the candles on the supper table Maso Napone gazed round the room eagerly. It was unchanged, and he even recognized the old chest on which he, the poor orphan minstrel, had laid his cloak and lute on that night eight years before. When Maso took off his cloak, Christine was astonished to see that the slender stripling had become a strong, handsome man, who looked at her with smiling admiration. Her sim ple yet well fitting blue gown showed her graceful figure to advantage. While she filled his cup Maso said to her, “One might take you for an angel now.” Then he related how Master Krieg winckel had brought him up and taught him and been a father to him. The old man was dead now, and Maso once more traveled about to earn his living by singing. But he went as a great artist, not a poor vagabond. Kings and princes wrote asking him to come and sing to them, just as the master had predicted. He was rich and honored, and yet he was not happy, for he was alone. “Dame Gudule,” he added after a pause, “yon once gave me a mother’s kiss—will you now accept me as your son? Will yon let me ask Christine if she remembers her promise?” “I remember,” murmured the girl, while her mother smiled and nodded. “You promised not to forget me, and to love me all your life,” he said, taking her hand. “1 have always thought of yon, and I love you, Christine, my little Christmas rose! Sweetheart, will you be my wife?" “I knew you would come back,” was ill her answer. Then Maso put upon her finger a gold ring set with precious stones, and said gayly, as he kissed her lips: “A queen gave me this ring, and I kept it for you, my darling, that are more precious than all the queens on earth!”—J. Colomb in Short Stories. The Christmas Box. The origin of the term “Christmas box,” as applied to donations of Christ mas spending money, is uncertain, though antiquarians generally seem to think that it was derived from the cus tom of placing money for masses to be said or sung on Christmas day—there fore “Christ masses”—in a box, which from this use was called a Christ mass box, a term gradually corrupted to Christmas box and finally applied to all tioney given as a Christmas gratuity. Yuletide Song. Heigho, the Winter! The bluff old fellow. In meadow and field he roars amain. The maple that late was deck'd in yellow Has doffed its leaves in the gusty iaoe. Heigho, sweetheart! I will find thy tippet. Thy dainty hood for thy golden head. And out in the frosty air we'll trip it And over the stubble gayly tread. Heigho, the Winter! He brings the holly. The frolic of Yule's enchanted tree. And the mistletoe—now, by my folly. There will be a kiss for thee and me! Heigho, sweetheart! With a “Hey down derry” We'll sack the wood of its treasures now. But, oh, there's never a bramble berry Is half so red as thy lip, I vow! t —Richard Burton. THE SONGS OF THE WIND. How sings the wind in the splendid day When ?iie world is wild with the wealth o* May? "The w jrld is thrilling with light and love; There was never a cloud in the heavens above; Never a matelese and moaning dove. Never a grave for a rose to hide. And never a rose that died!** How plugs the wind in the hopeless night When the lone, long winters are cold and white? ^Tliere are rainbows back of the storms to be Back of the Btorms and their mystery; But oh for the Bhips that are lost at sea! And oh, for the love in the lonesome lands, Far fiom the clasp of the drowning hands!" So the •'ind singeth. Its God decrees The wind should sing such songs as these; Should laugh in the sunlight's silver waves And toss the green on the world's 6ad graves But why. In the night, should it sing to me Of tne chips, the ships that are lost at sea? —Frank L. Stanton in Atlanta Constitution. AN INVESTMENT. Up at the top of the studio building in three small, cheap rooms lived old Parkes and his daughter Rose. She was a very pretty girl, and her figure was so good that she always provoked a favorable comment from the men abont town who sometimes strayed into the precincts of that Bohemian quarter in New York, Washington square. But Rose, as she went through the park, kept her eyes modestly bent on the as phalt walk, apparently quite uncon scious of the admiration she excited. It was the opinion of those who were ac quainted with old Parkes’ works that she was by far the best thing he had ever produced. The truth is, old Parkes did not get along very well. How he got along at all was a mystery until Rose and he became acquainted with little Spacer, one of the best fellows that ever lived. Rose, who was a born financier, per haps could have explained liow they managed to exist. At a ridiculously early hour in the morning she went to market with a basket, and she had the knack of making a deliciously appetiz ing dish with very little for a founda tion. In short, Rose was a genius, and without her old Parkes would have found himself long ago in the poorhouse. Though ho was an excellent painter, who had spent years of his life in study abroad, his pictures somehow never seemed to sell well. Speaking from a mercantile point of view, his handling was too broad and free, and the people were not up to him. Then, too, his canvases were generally so large that they were not adapted to the walls of the average drawing room, and he cap ped it all by putting a price on them that frightened buyers off. As one well known critic pnt it, he would have done much better 50 years hence. Certainly he would not have done worse. The few of his fellow artists who knew him did not liko old Parkes very much, though they fully approved of Rose. His lifelong struggle with poverty had soured his disposition, and the nasty, cutting things he said were by no means relished. His overwhelming conceit rendered him a most disagreeable per son. He rated himself far above the younger and more successful men—‘ * pot boilers,” he contemptuously referred to them—and it dazed him to think that they should do so well and he so badly. Rose wras the only person he could get along with, and he had never said an un kind word to her in his life. Whenever he looked at her, he would always think of her mother, dead so many years, and then he would sigh to himself. Rose, who knew what ho was thinking of, would come to him and throw her arms around his neck, with never a word. When little Spacer fell head over heels in love with Rose, their financial condition materially improved. As 1 have already said, he was one of the best fellows that ever lived, and he was on the staff of a metropolitan newspaper and enjoyed a very good salary. He knew nothing at all about art, which was the reason why perhaps the city editor gave him so many assign ments to write of it. With a few stock words and phrases, such as “chiaroscu ro, ' ’ ‘' tine atmosphere, ” “ masterly han dling, ” etc., he wrote up the exhibi tions, on the whole, quite creditably. Little Spacer first saw Rose when he came to her father’s studio for infor mation as to where he was to spend the summer. He had been instructed to prepare an article with the title “Where Artists Will Spend the Summer.” Old Parkes gruffly told him that he wasn’t going anywhere, and he carefully noted down the fact. When he went away, he carried with him a vision of Rose's soft black eyes and Rose's creamy cheeks, and he was thinking of them still down at the office when he wrote these words, “Mr. Godfrey Parkes, the distinguished landscape painter, will remain in the city to execute a number of important commissions.” After that, upon one pretext or an other, little Spacer kept coming so of ten that he grew to be a source of pos itive dislike to old Parkes. With Rose, however, it was different. The two had become such good friends that it would have grieved her very much if he had never come again. Little Spacer had two rooms near by, in West Tenth street, and he haunted the park in the hope of seeing her. Once, when he had been detained at the office very late and he was coming home completely fagged out at dawn, he had been refreshed by the sight of Rose going to market, and he had carried her basket for her, and they had had a jolly time. As their friendship grew stronger he could Bee how miserably poor she was, and often in his lonely rooms he pon dered over some way of helping her. As Rose was such a proud little be ing, he realized that he would have to act with the utmost delicacy. Finally he decided that the best plan to follow was to buy some of her father’s pic tures, and with no ether thought than to benefit her he began to recklessly in vest in them. When Rose appeared in a charming new gown ana dainty bonnet, little 9pac*r fairly beamed with delight, and the arch hypocrite continued his invest ments even more recklessly than before. His bare white walls filled up with canvases for which he honestly did not give a snap of his fingers. Old Parkes let them all go at •‘summer prices,” in one case sacrificing his "View of the Ramapo Valley," for which ho had asked $500 at the academy, for a beg garly $50. He was really growing to look upon little Spacer with more favor. He com mended his judgment and said that he was evidently a man of taste. Twice he had permitted Rose to accompany him to the Casino roof garden, and they sat often in the park. , On an excessively warm night little Spacer had met Rose, and they had gone to the park for a breath of air. The green benches were crowded with lovers whom the heat had driven from the suffocating neighborhood south 01 Washington square, and many, with a happy disregard of both propriety and the extreme sultriness of temperature, sat with their arms around each other’s waist. Near the fountain they stopped to rest for a few minutes to listen to the plash ing of the water in the basin, since it sounded so deliciously cool, and there, in a few hurried, badly put together j words, which were quite unlike those i he nad been intending to say for the j last few months, little Spacer asked Rose to be his wife. And, without thinking of her father, so happy was she, Rose said that she would, after which they sat down on one of the benches where the shadows were black est and imitated their neighbors’ exam ple. With her pretty cheeks flushed and her black eyes sparkling, Rose put her arms around her father’s Deck that night and gave him a careful revision of all that little Spacer had told her. Old Parkes said nothing, but got up and made a circuit of the room several times —a way he had of doing when ho got ex cited. Then ho sat down at the table and buried bis face in his arms. "He’s robbed me of my pictures, and now he’s going to rob me of my daugh ter!” he said bitterly. “Oh, papa, don’t talk like that!” cried Rose, quite distressed. "Of course Chauncey couldn’t afford to give you what the pictures were really worth, but” “I should say not,” broke in old1 Parkes moodily. “ ‘The Raraapo Val- 1 ley,’ 42 by 64, $50; ‘The Highlands at 1 Navesink,’ 18 by 24, $30. I can’t go: on. It’s really too ridiculous. ” “But, papa, dear, I don’t know what i we would have done without the mon- i ey,”6aid Rose. “The old dealer on Fifth avenue wouldn’t take any more at $5 apiece, you know.” “Very well,” growled old Parkes. "Marry him, if your mind is set upon it. You’re of age and can do as you like, I suppose. If you leave me, I dare say I shall get along somehow.” “I shall never leave you.” said Rose grimly, and coming over she kissed him. “Chauncey and I have planned that we three are to live together.” Now, it chanced the very next day that old Parkes was laid up with rheu matism, and for three long months he was unable to hold a brush in his hand. Little Spacer came heroically to the rescue and bought so many pictures that he was obliged at last to close out his once comfortable account in the Greenwich Savings bank. Everything in old Parkes’ studio found its way to his walls, and finally they were so cov ered that he was obliged to stack them up one against another. Often he would stand with his hands in his pockets gazing at them ruefully. His only cheerful thought was that it was not money thrown away. It was for Rose’s sake that he had bought them, and they had brought her many a comfort that otherwise she would not have had. Rose and he were to be mar ried in the spring. While old Parkes still lay grumbling and helpless in bed the distinguished French painter, M.Villemont, came over for a brief visit. The two had worked side by side at Julien’s in Paris, andM. Villemont made it his business to hunt up his old friend. The artistic contin gent lionized the new arrival, and news papers devoted whole columns to him. In an interview, which was prepared by little Spacer, he was made to say: “I am really much surprised at the I growth of art in America. You have one painter as great as any that we have in Europe. I refer to Mr. God frey Parkes, whose works should be held in rare appreciation by collectors. Ho is one of the few great painters of the century. ” Whether M. Villemont really said all this or not makes no difference. It settled the whole business, and dealers and buyers kept pouring in at the studio from morning until night. Old Parkes threw away his oils and liniments and was back at his easel, a new man. He had enough commissions to keep him 1 busy a year. One of the leading galleries effected arrangements with little Spacer to auc tion off the pictures he had accumulat ed. The auction was held in Chicker ing hall, and the sales reached the hand some figure of $19,675. Little Spacer was dazed and could not believe his good luck until a check for that amount, minus the commissions, was handed him. In the spring Rose and he were mar ried, and soon after their handsome Queen Anne at Orange was ready for them. Of course old Parkes went to live with them. The studio annex was constructed according to his views and is the admiration of all who have seen it.—Malcolm Douglas in New York Sun. — Under Surveillance. “I see Mrs. Skinflint has had her late husband’s miniature painted and wears it under her chin.” “So? When he was alive, she always kept him under her thumb.’’—Detroit 1 Free Press. R*rs in A SILVER MINE. Their I'nefulDriiH an Scavenger* and Saga city an l>an;;<*r SlgnaU. The first rata wm* brought to tho Comstock from California in freight wagons principally, most likely in tho big “prairie schooners," stow 1 away among boxes &u<l crates of goods. Their rapid increase, after their first appear ance on the Comstock, was astonishing. From 10 to 14 young are produced at a birth, and there are several litters each year; besides, a rat is a great-grand father before be is a year old. Then, the rats that colonized the Comstock towns encountered no enemies. There were no cats in the country. The rats soon discovered the mines and found therein a congenial home, and a home free from the terrifying pres ence of members of the feline tribe. Never was a cat seen in any of the lower levels of the mines, though they some times prowl about the surface of the tunnels. In the first opening of the mines there was no place for the rats, but as soon as the timbers began to be set up and cribs of waste rock built they were able to find safe hiding places; also there was room for them everywhere be hind the lagging of tho drifts. As they increased m numbers there was on all sides an increase of space through the rapid extraction of ore by the miners. They doubtless soon discovered that, though man was their enemy on the sur face, he was their friend down in the un derground drifts and chambers. Ho shared his meal with them, and they scampered and capered about him with perfect impunity. The warmth of the lower levels appeared to be very conge nial to the rats, both old and young. Cold is a thing unknown to them. It is as though they had been given immense hothouses in which to breed. Any tem perature they desire, from (JO degrees to 130 degrees, is at their command. Rats are useful as scavengers in mines. They devour all the scraps of meat and other food thrown upon tho ground by the miners while at lunch, eating even tho hardest bones, thus preventing bad odor. As tho decay of the smallest thing is un endurable in a mine, tho miners never intentionally kill a rat. The miners have a high opinion of their sagacity. The rats generally give the miners the first notice of danger. When a big cave is about to occur, they are seen to swarm out of the drifts and scamper about the floors of a level atun woifted times. Tho sol tling of the waste rock probably pinches the animals in their dens, causing them at * nee to leave in search of less dangerous quarters. At times, when a mine lias b<*tn shut down for a few weeks, the rats become ravenously hungry. Then they do not scruple to devour the young, old and weak of their kind. During the suspen sion of work in a mine that is not con nected with other mines that are run ning, everything eatable in the under ground regions is devoured, even the candle drippings on the floors. When work is resumed, the almost famished creatures are astonishingly bold and fearless. Then they will come out of their holes and get upon the un derground engines—even when they are in rapid motion—and drink the oil outoi the oil cups, quite regardless of the pres ence of the engineers. A fire in a mine slaughters the rats by the wholesale. Few escape, as the gases penetrate every nook and cranny of the underground regions, and often so sud denly as to asphyxiate them in their homes.—Engineering Journal. Never Despair. “This battle is lost,” said Desaix to Bonaparte at Marengo, “but there is yet time to win another!” With the aid of Desaix, the couquerer of kings, never stopping to brood over liis misfortune, won that auspicious vic tory soon after blazoned on the banners of his guards. Repentance is a blessed state of mind, but in and of itself it never saved the day. Despair over de feat may be perfectly natural, but it has never won another victory. A consci entious but erring lady said the other day that she spent much time in sorrow ing over past mistakes, and thus she committed the biggest mistake of all. “Never despair!” said Sir Walter Scott, sitting down, an aged cripple, to write off a debt of stupendous size, nor resting until he had accomplished his purpose. “Never despair!” muttered that gal lant Frenchman, Bernard Palissy, as he hurled his last stick of furniture into the furnace containing the first glazed porce lain ever made in modern years. Hence never despair.—New York Ledger. Queer Salutations. The Abyssinians drop on their knees and kiss the earth when they meet. In saluting a woman the Mandiukas take her hand, put it to their nose and smell it twice. The Egyptians stretch out one hand, then lay it on their breast and bow the head. Among the less civilized tribes of the old world, say, the Kal mucks and in Polynesia, the custom of rubbing noses is pretty general. Per haps the most extraordinary form of salutation is to be found in Tibet, where the natives put out their tongues, gnash their teeth and scratch their ears.—Lan der und Volkerkunde. The Mule 3Ieant Well. An ex-street car mule in Los Angeles, from force of habit, had wandered be tween the rails. The electric car came along, and the mule imagined he was at the old business. The motorman put on a little extra speed, but the mule main tained the regulation distance between himself and the car. Faster and faster went the car, so did the mule. He had no thought of shirking, to the huge de light of the spectators and motorman.— San Francisco Report. Unusual Punishment. A judge in Ohio sentenced a man to be hanged before daybreak. This may not be cruel or unusual punishment in the case of a farmhand, but it would be rough on most other citizens, who do not like to have their sleep broker.—Buffalo Express.