The courier. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1894-1903, June 10, 1899, Page 10, Image 10

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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
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'
"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
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
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 lain down
besido hor nevor to wnkon. Tho man
touched tho poor little frozen body very
"The Imp of Satan" had redeemed
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
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.
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
E. W. Tiiomi'son, A. G. P. A.,
Topeka, Kan,
John Skuastian, G. P. A., Chicago.
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.
5 Cycle Photographs
Athletic Photographs 2
Photographs of Babies
Photographs of Groups
J Exterior Views
129 South Eleventh Street. J
DR. t,I503VA.IrTsr
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