The courier. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1894-1903, June 10, 1899, Page 10, Image 10
10 THE COURIER. i - HOW UNCLE HILLY BECAME AN ORACLE. Boforo a red-hot stovo in Zoko Taylor's saloon, on Christraaa ovo, eat tho "Vil lage Oracles" of Splkonvlllo with thoir sovoral pairs of feat placed as near the tire us a proper regard for shoo leather warranted. The conversation had reached that argumentative point that is induced by a liberal supply of hard cider and tho absence of womon folks, and many wore the knotty problems discussed that night before tho company took their sov oral ways home in a more or Icbb undig nified mnnner. But of this wo havo naught to do. It would bo u pity if a Spikenvil'or, and an Orpclo at that, could not got more or Icbb mo' low on tho night boforo Christ mas. Squire Eponotus QuackorbuBh having borrowed a plug of "Lono Star Chew tag," hit tho stovo with his ubur! pre cision and bringing his hand down haid on his knee, said, "I want to tell yer right now, thet Bomothin' has got ter be dono 'bout ttat oro Imp o' Satan, and I rockin' yer all I: now who I'm talkin' erbout." "There uin't no call ter calkorlato who yer mean, Squire," paid Zeke, as he camo out from bobiLd tbo bar and join ed tho others around tbo etovo. ''It's that posky boy of Uncle B'lly Doolittl's, thot's who it be, an' for downright cues-ednesf-, ho do beat anythin' in Spikon ville, though be ain't no bigger n'r a pint o' cider. All he thinttB on is gittin' inter mischief, an' he hf z mos worn tier tail off o' my dog, tyin' on his blame termater cans, and I gueBS you don't find many appleB on yer trees when thet boy's erbout, eh Squire? I've told ther folks t'hum time and ag'in, not ter let 'im come nigh ther house, but my woman's so soft-hearted she won't BBy nothin', 'cause he's a half orphin, and she bcz it don't do no harm oowajs fer our gal ter play with 'im. Yer can't expect a eight o' good, Squire, from eick stock es he comes from The Doolittles hez alius been er shiftless lot. He's queer, jiet like his ma was, and his pa ain never been no account nohow. He's a child o' Satan, 4,het'e what be be." The Squire coughed warningly and there was an embarrassed silence as Uncle Billy Doolittle, tho rather of the much discussed "Imp of Satin" shullled up to' the stove. He bad been standing in the doorway and bad heard every word. No one expected Uncle Billy to say anything, and he didn't. As for resent ing an insult, ho had never in the recol lection of any one in Spikenville been known to do euch a thing. So he just sat there, all humped up, and gazed vacantly at the Oracles, and soon feel ing that he was not wanted, got up and shuttled out as meekly as he bad entered. Christmas day there was wild excite ment in tho quiet village. Zeke'e child, and the "Imp of Sit an" had wondered off together, and tbo whole town wan roiisod to join in tho search of tho missing children. Every ahlebodied man turned out and Boon the woods and surrounding hills echoed with tho shouts of tho searchers. It was growing bitterly cold and the wind was whirling and twisting the rap idly falling snow through the almost de serted village street as Zeko Taylor, ac companied by hip dcg, Wolf, struck out for the mountains. Tbo man's haggard face told the story of his fears. Sending Wolf on ahead, ho followed, seeking anxiously for somo trace of tho children. Milo after mile bo struggled through the blinding storm, tbo wind coming in short, sharp gusts, lashing the snow into tine particles that cut his face like bo many needles. Still he pushed on, now urging on the dog, now shouting tirst one child's name and then tbo other, until biB voice became a hoarse croak gpd failed altogether, his knees tottering benoath bim with fatiguo, jot still fight ing his way through tho groat drifts that threatened to bury him. When, just as tho morning sun was riBing over tho mountains of Splkonvlllo. the dog stop pod and began to wbino nnd dig at tbo snow with hiB paws, And there, half buried in a drift, Zoko found thorn. The girl was living. Tho boy had placed his woolon mufllor ovor her head, bad taken off his ragged little jacket aud wrapped it around tho childish form, and then, placing bor undor a shelving rock nnd arranging somo underbrush bo hb to ward off tho icy wind, ho l.ad lain down besido hor nevor to wnkon. Tho man touched tho poor little frozen body very tenderly. "The Imp of Satan" had redeemed himself. Zokejnovor remembered how he got borne; but when ho staggered into tho villago with tho children in his arms, and tboy told him tbo boy was dead, something in tho man's rugged soul seemed to give way, and he wept, as only strong men weep, silently and bit terly. New Year's ovo found the saloon do ing business as UBual, but the proprie tor did not join much in tho conversa tion. There was a great chango in tho obstinate bull-headed Zeke Taylor. He hud lived a long time in that terrible n'ght on the mountain. He was more gentle and considerate of others than formerly. The Squiro was just in tbe middle of a heated political argument when the door opened and Uncle Billy Doolittle entered, shuffling slowly acrosB the room to the bar where Zeke Btood. "Zeke," said Uncle Billy quietly, and there was a look in bis eyes that no one in all Spikenville had ever seen there be fore, "I hev been thinkin' erbout what I hear'n yer say Christmas eve, an I hev sorter come ter ther conclusion," and he straightened up a little, "I hev sorter come to the conclusion, Zeke, arter er thinkin' of it over, thet what yer said that night erbout his bein'r child o' Satan kinder reflected on him ez ain' here ter derfend himself, an' bein' too little er feller to do it enny way," and his voice faltered, growing steady again as he continued, "an I come in hero to tell yer," and Uncle Billy stood up very straight now and set his eyes equarely on ZekeV, who was staaiog at him in open-mouthed astonishment, "thet un less yer takes back what yer said erbout my boy termorrer Zeke Taylor won't be er sellin' no more whiskey, ner me er drinkin' of it, 'cause we won't hev no more uee fer it where we be er goin'." And Uncle Billy drew very deliberately from the capacious pocket of his much worn coat, a brace of huge old-fashioned dueling pistols, that must have belonged to his grandfather. He handed one to the aetoniehed Zeke, keeping tbe other himself, while tbe Oracles, only relish ing a tight whon there was no chance of their being in it, made haste to get be hind anything that afforded protection. Zeke looked at Uncle Billy, who stood patiently waiting, and then at the pistol at last ho Bpoko. "Uncle Billy," he said, and he gulped hard onco or twico with something in his voico that sounded suspiciously like a sob, "you hav knowed mo ever since I were a little feller, and you know Zeke Taylor ain't never boon no hand ter chango bis views whon he once hez giv 'era, nor ho ain't no coward ter back down ot thor eight of or gun, but," and Zeke spat on tho stove, "he were no Child o' Satan'; you hoar me say it, he were a man he were, every inch of 'im, and you be thor bamo. What ere yer goin' ter take. Undo Billy?" Squire Eponotus Quackerbush, peor ing out and Boeing tho difficulty had been adjuBtod, wormed bis long body from behind an empty whisky barrel where ho had crowdod it, the rest of the party appoarod Jbravoly from sundry curious hiding places, and Uncle Billy Doolittle had bocorno an Oracle. II. King BlakeBleo, in Truth. NATIONAL EDUCATIONAL ASSO CIATION. Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railway. In tho lovely city of L03 Angeles, Cal ifornia, the above named organization will hold its fourteenth annual meeting, July 11th to 14tb, 1800. Tbo Great Rock Island Routo has is sued a handsomo book containing views and necessary information as to trains, rates and routes, and this will be Bent to you by addrosbing with postal card or letter. E. W. Tiiomi'son, A. G. P. A., Topeka, Kan, John Skuastian, G. P. A., Chicago. TO MOUNTAIN VIEW.OKL HOMA And return, one fare, plus 82.00. TicketB will be sold June G, 1809, good to return until June 27. Mountain View situated on tbe beautiful Washita River, is the now town in Washita county, just made accessible by tho new extension of tbo C. R. I. & P. Ry. Now is tho opportun ity of getting lands cheap in Oklahoma. Washita county is notod for its many streams, rainfall and wheat production. E. W. Thompson, A. G. P. & T. A., Topokn. Jno. Sebastian, G P. & T. A., Chicago. m 5 Cycle Photographs Athletic Photographs 2 Photographs of Babies Photographs of Groups J Exterior Views THE PHOTOGRAPHER 2 129 South Eleventh Street. J m DR. t,I503VA.IrTsr Ourea Constipation BilliouBncBs, nervousness and the pill habit. Action not followed by costive ness, Doubt it? Try it. Sample free. Druggists. 25c. or address ANTI-PILL CO . Lincoln. Neb- rooo-so H. W. BROWN Druggist and (J Bookseller. ? wmttns'a S Fine Stationery X and V Calling Cards J 127 S. Eleventh Street. a PHONE 68 j.-. srrxrr9 ''lililliilililliT ' ffllliliiliiiiiifiljU--i 1 1 - - - (Q) - f l) - - I I ' urn 1 e?t Neat, but not Gaudy. 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