The courier. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1894-1903, April 20, 1901, Page 3, Image 3

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

KATH.lKINK m. melick.
(For TUc Courier.)
When March winds curdle the kindly
air, tbe Major limps painfully home,
and buries himself in his green "smok
er," with red satin facings to match the
prevailing tints in the library. He
stretches his tingling foot all the length
of the Davenport, and immerses him
self in a Poultry Journal, which con
tains his advertisement of Belgian
Hares. That Bame festive breeze which
is threading his joints, toeeeB a tuft of
grey fur round and round tbe driveway,
reminding him fitfully of his Sunday
Btew. When the pain loosens a little,
he dozes, and all tbe .china shepherd
esses on the high white mantel, tremble
at his breath.
It is then that you will Bee a very
different Major, it you come to help
him pass his prison hours.
'Sober, perfectly sober, thank you,"
drope from his great grey mustache, in
the corners of which lurk no smell of
peppermint, or cubeb berries, or any
other strange odors redolent of a village
possessed of six drug stores, and an
Adams Express Company office.
"No, I have never 6aw King Edward
the seventh, Defender of tbe Faitb. I
have saw tbe Prince o' Wales, and the
Queen, at Shrewsbury. I saw them as
every body did, when they drove out to
be seen. I wasn't in with the nobility."
"Yes, that's true, I might 'ave been.
I might 'ave been independently rich,
I lay 'ere and think of it, sometimes,
when things go wrong at the store, and
I wonder what'd 'appen, in case th's
'ere should go eky-larkiu' to my 'art.
"But, " tbe Major emits a long
breath, and his American h's, "I
wouldn't have been the heir o' Rizholm
Maner, an' done as the heirs does in the
old country, not for no heritage.
They aint men not halt a man most
o! them, that is to say. Now tbere
was the Seacrests, Essex county, nice
pleasant ladies to ride to the hounds;
Lady Mary always got the brush; never
knew her to fail, an' ber brothers was
han'some an' not always knowin' it.
But you take the m&jority cf 'em,
whether it's the care they got, bein' re-
loneible for so much proppety, or
whether it's the care that's been taken
not to let tbe blood get mixed, they
ain't half so intelligent as their hounds
is, an' that's a fact. Can't even take a
walk without havin' a servant along,
to tell 'em where to walk.
"I was presented to one of om oncet.
Right in tbe middle of a gams of crick
et, it was, an' I was at the bat. Them
was the times when the Bridgewater
Nine played ball, an' I always could
take a leg ball. I'd made a record
smash, an'a tlunkey come up, an' told
me His Highness, Earl o' Dent would
speak to me. I went over, an' His
Highness said he was happy to meet
me. I told him he had all the happi
ness, for the game was waitin' an' you
should 'ave seen that flunkey's eyes
stick out. The Earl had intended to
do me a favor by askin' me to stop play
'n' cricket to look at 'im, but I'd rather
look at a ball any time.
"When the game was over, the Lord
o' WeBthaven's butler came up, an' give
me the keys o' tbe house. After tbat,
I could go where I pleased, an' hao
what I wanted, an' once, I wanted too
"It was the day tbe young Lord o'
Westhaven come of age. When an' heir
is born, in the old country, tbere is
twenty-one barrels of beer put down,
an' every year it is opened, and enough
poured in to keep the barrels full.
Well, when tbe lord comes of age, the
twenty-one barrels is rolled out on the
green, an' is on tap all day. You never
saw anything like it, here. It is simply
munificent. But tbere was three of we
fellowp, wasn't satisfied. We went to
the butler, an' told him we wanted some
of the oldest whiskey, just pur6 rye,
kept longer than any of us was years
old. He tried to argue us out of It.
Why, I simply can't give it to you, lads.'
says he, 'It will simply llatten you out.'
But we shoved him the keys, and we
kept at him, till a last be brought us a
pitcher. Tbe other fellows took two or
three swallows first, an' I saw it was a
flattener, an' no dispute. But I fetched
ber off, pn things began to see-saw.
'Boys,' siys I, 'we've got to get out of
here.' But we got no further than the
Hrst shrubbery by the walk. There we
laid behind some box, all the rest o' that
day. But tbere was so many more, no
one paid no attention.
"Why, I've seen the vicar bo thick
tongued he couldn't manage th se'vice,
an' had to be helped down from the
stand, an' back to the manBe. The peo
ple would go home, an' never think any
thing particular of it.
"Maybe you never knew I was a choir
boy, them days. I was. White surplice
an' all. I can lay back and hear the
responses, yet, by times. Queer, isn't
it? But when a man loses the soprano
out o' his voice he don't necessarily for
get how the music sounded.
"You have never saw a church like
that one in this country. Facia' the
east, they're all built that way, with
slabs and inscriptions all in tbe aialee,
shape of a cross, you know, with seats
in the transep's for strangers, an all
the congregation in tbe uave, nobility
in front, an' so on, 'cord in to rank. All
of 'em walkin' in over tomb stones, an'
sittin' there readin' epitaphs older'n
Chrietophor Columbus, makes it kind o'
different, you know.
"All the same, I've never baen sorry
I left 'em. I landed in Casa county.
Ohio, just thirty-nine years ago. next
August, with nothin' but the suit o'
clothes I had on, an' minus nine dollars.
Just nine dollars less'n nothin'. I
worked eighteen months for a man in
Ohio, at five dollars a month, an' I
might 'ave bean a lord wi h a llunkey to
protect me, every time I took a Wu k
But I aint sorry. I'm sorry I wasn't a
better manager. I've thrown away two
fortunes. But I got 'em first, without
sayin' thauk you to any lordship, which
is more entertainin' than sittin' there,
like that old uncle of mine, trjin' to
figure up how to spend the interest on
bis money.
"Yes, I'm better. Glad you came.
Come again. I'd rather see jou now
than bavn you wait for my funeral.
You might, accidentally be disappointed."
It's been the derndest slowest afternoon
I've seen for more'n a month. It aint be
cause I've worked so awful hard. I aint plowed
What any other fellowM done, I s'pose ,
The team's all right; the ground's a-work-
in' fine,
The field's a-needin' plowin', too. You'd
I'd keep 'em goin' lively, but, by jing ,
I jest can't do it. When I turn around
Down at the other end, there, next the
Or stop a bit to clean the shovels off ,
Jest like as not 111 fool around and take
Three times as long's I really ought to do .
A fellow shouldn't act jest this a way
An' waste the whole endurin' afternoon ,
An' keep a lookin' all the time to where ,
Down to the house acrost the pasture lot ,
She's visitin' our folks .
Schuyler W. Miller, in
"A Gallery of Farmer Girls."
"I hear that you are to be married
soon," said Mre. Lakesbore to Mrs.
"At Easter,' was the reply. "I always
get married at Easter."
Such is the force of habit In Chicago.
Town Topics.
For The Courier
On the day when, as tradition has it,
it is especially appropriate to plant pota
toes, Aunt Sjlvia looked out on a scene
of blustering gales and swirls of rain
chasing flurries of bqo down from a
very dreary 6ky.
"Mercy me!" she exclaimed, with a
note of complaint in her voice. "A per
eon'd think it'd stop. I'm tired of all
this winter in a bunch just when it's
time to plant things. It'll wet up the
ground, though, and maybe it'll be
spring after Etcr.'
Uncle was constitutionally opposed to
several common vices; be never express
ed surprise at tbe weather, and only
once in bis lite bad he ever complained
about it and tbat is another chapter.
I always looked up to him as a superior
being, when, during tbe terrific summer
days, he would come in and lie down ou
tbe floor with a book under bis head
and a fan in his hand, merely admitting
in response to our feminine chorus of
wails, that it was pr-slty hot. He never
relieved bis feelings or excited them
by declaring the weather "beastly,"
"awful," or "horrid." So on this very
disagreeable morning, he pattered out
and brought in the paper soaking from
its morning bath, and, after glancing at
the headline?, dried it on the oven door
as calmly as if that were his usual cus
tom. "It looks as though we couldn't do
any planting for a week," complained
Aunt Sylvia, as tbey sat at the small
table with its clean, red table-cloth and
plain dish 69. "I had onions up last year
at this time. Here it's Good Friday
and not a sprig up in that garden."
"Where's that Easter bunnet of yours
coming in, I guess that's what's worry
ing you, aint it?' said Uncle.
"An Easter bunnet! As if I'd ever
hid one for ten years! Why, I've been
wearing tbat same identical bunnet,
flowers and trimmings and strings for
five summers, over since Emmy's wed
ding, not a scrap of new trimming on it,
and you I was going to say you know
it, but like's not you never thought
about it, Jt don't look so well on me
now, my hair's all white. But you
needn't crack your Easter bunnet joke
on me. Fact is you've bad you a nice
five dollar hat since I have."
"Ob, you need't ruffle up your feath
ers so. That's just what I was thinking
It just struck me that jou need an
Easter bunnet. ought to have one, must
and shall have one. That's what I was
"But I'm not going trotting down
town in all this mnd for any fine tixinge.
Like's not it'll rain and I'd get it spoilt.
You remember tbat pretty blue and
white hat you got me the year we was
married? Didn't I look Jike a sousled
hen tbat night?'
"Why, as I recollect it, Ma, I thought
you looked real pretty," said Uncle.
"Shoo!'' said Aunt Sylvia, and drove
him from tbe kitchen to the sitting
room and his paper. Then she bustled
around at her work. Tbe smile and
faint tinge of a blush on her soft cheek
seemed to show that the garden plot
lying in wait for its work was not so
much a burden on her mind now.
After he bad sufficiently digested his
breakfast and the morning paper, Uncle
came out and began to look around in
tbe closets and kitchen stairways.
"What is it?" Aunt Sylvia said, as
she lifted her bands from the pan of
dough she was working.
"Wbere's the umbrella?-'
"The umbrella! Why. you're not go
ing to town?"
She knew if be said so, though, tbat
was just what be would do. So she
washed ber hands hastily and hunted
up tbe big, rusty, black umbrella, and
hlsartict, laid away for three weeks
under the delusion that spring had
come. Shft helped him on with his
coat and made bim wear the mutller
she got him for Christmas. She even
suggested ear muffs and mittens.
Whereat Uncle gave one of his tine, ex
pressive grants. "Not today, I guess."
After he was gone she talked to her
self, a bad, but companionable habit.
"I wonder if he did mean anything
about that bunnet. It would be kind
o'nice to have one, and it wouldn't cost
much. I could use some of that black
silk and maybe the jet on it. Tbat old
one does look kind o' dingy. Funny Pa
ever said anything about it I'd wear
it Eacter.'too, if I had it, for Mrs. Mc
Enery says she's going to woir hers,
So she went on, with her tiresome
round of daily duties, this time lighten
ed by the little excitement. A new
bonnet for Easter would be quite u sen
sational event in the life of this quiet
old lady.
She told Uncle how she bad planned
about it, and showed him the silk pieces
aid the jet, but be seemed to tako no
interest whatever, and she felt a little
hurt. So it came as a surprise after all
when Uncle came borne Saturday morn
ing at ten o'clock she ran to tbe door
wondering what could hpve happened to
bring bim home at that time of day
carrying a green band box.
"I thought you might as well have a
spick acd'span new one. Ma. The wo
man was for decorating it up with some
yaller flowers, sunflowers or something
like them. I guess she took me for a
farmer. It at I told ber them wasn't my
style, I wanted something pretty."
And it was a tasty black bonnet with
a bunch of violets on it. She tried it on
after she had smoothed her hair.
"Why, that's just the thing," said
Uncle. "You look as pretty as a peach
in it."
Aunt Sylvia thought it looked very
well, too, and she tried it on before the
glass several times tbat afternoon. She
put it away in the green box after sup
per, with pleasant anticipatians such as
even an old lady may rightfully cherish.
But, though the sua shone bright in
the morning and the sir was alive with
bird songs, tbe green box was not open
ed and Aunt Sylvia went alone to
church for Uncle was not a church
goer with a face that bore a look of
heart pain and sorrow under the old
rusty bonnet.
"Bring me a tiny mouse's skin,"
The boisterous tanner cried ;
" It must be as a rose leaf thin
And scarce three fingers wide."
He seized the fragile tiny bit
Within his brawny hand
And cast it in the seething pit :
And so the skin was tanned.
Then came a cobbler to his side
Witn tools the cobblers use,
And deft they wrought that mouse's hide
Into a pair of shoes.
"Tell me," I asked, "O cobbler, tell,
c or whom these morceaux be? "
"A lover bade me build them well
For his true love," quoth he.
" Where dwells this maid with fairy feet "
In wonderment I cried ;
The old man shifted in his seat
Chicago," he replied.
Eugene Field.
Robins call robins in tops of trees :
Doves follow doves, with scarlet feet ;
Frolicking babies, sweeter than these ,
Crowd green corners where highways meet.
But April sobs when these are so glad ,
April weeps while these are so gay,
Weeps like x tired child, who had
Playing with flowers, lost its way.
-H. H.
i A ' I
i tl
'u j
' n
Si'! I