Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The courier. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1894-1903 | View Entire Issue (May 18, 1901)
decorations in gapier fvlaclje
for dens and cozy corners. Faith-'
ful reproduction of ancient arms
and armor, Nubian heads, plaques
and other objects of an artistic na-
There's nothing- more popular at
the present time, nothing- that pro
duces a more artistic effect and
nothing-that adds so much to the'
appearance of an interior: and, besti
of all, these articles are made of a material that's
cheap enough to made these a possibility to people off
moderate means. You ought to visit the showing-in ,
the Carpet Dept. Ask or send for a catalogue con
taining- all the details.
.imparts a hard-wood
finish to any floor. Iti
is not paint or varnish,
and although applied
in the same manner, is
entirely uiirerent in
wearing qualities and
effect. It is a hard-
drying- liquid enamel,
made in various colors
(also in transparent
form for hard woods),
of a combination of im
ported hard srums and
does not contain shellac.
resin, oil, benzine or,
anv other adulteration.
In cans, prepared
ready or use byjnryjjady, in two sizes can contain
ing- enoug-h to cover 80 square feet for 60c I
Can containing- enough for 175 square feet for.. $1.00 (
Ask or Send for Descriptive Pamphlet and;
Color Card Carpet and Drapery Dept.
A WAY-SIDE INN.
For The Courier.
"Dean baa typhoid fevar. Send hia
JL mother" ticked from the Golden Gate,
T where the Bands of Gamp Merritt tossed
over groves below and pallets above.
Over alkali flats and snowy slopes, and
ever down the broadening river ways
came the call for mother, caught from
the hot lips of a fever-crazed boy. A
knock at a door under brier-rose leaves
banging limp in the afternoon son; a
yellow paper unfolded, and the call had
reached the mother.
Before the west sun had dropped that
night from the fetid sands into the bay;
before the ocean mists, dark and sinu
ous, crept over the tents, a white-faced
woman watched from a car window the
fast lengthening shadows of the bluffs
stretching over the black Missouri, and
longed to overtake the sun, shining far
ahead upon the roof that covered her
boy. The people beside her ate wafers
and bananas, or went to the dining car,
or walked unsteadily to the ice water
tank between games of cards. Present-
ly the conductor brought her a ticket
which had tluttered down the aisle. It
was hers, and after .that the oflicial kept
a wary eye upon the slight, erect figure,
until at the end of bis fifty mile run an
oblivious blue-coat with a beard replaced
As through a limbo of chaotic noneni
ties these faces went and came, with
others, before the wide eyes of the
watcher, who saw beyond them flash
after flash, swift visions of one face. A
little crib, with a pink flat thrust over,
and within, the face, like a rose-leaf.
A small white bed, all tumbled, with
the face quiet on the pillow, and long
lashes curved like the stamens from a
flower-heart. A high tallyho, the last
of the old stage-coaches, with the
same round face, now a noisy coach
horn of ringing yo hos stop, as the four
cream-colored horses get undsr way.
How the merry jodels ring and ring
back after the duBt cloud floats away!
How they mingle with the ki-yi chorus
of the terriers every morning from the
barn door! And how, all alone, the
strengthening tenor rings in the solos of
the High-School glee club!
Then once more alone, on an Easter
morning, with the lilies covering the old
armory stage, and the notes of America
dying, while the old soldiers come, one
by one, bo old and bent, and grey, to
honor the lad gone down with the Maine.
So old and grey, these boys in blue, and
eo many young lad watching and think
ing their tbocghts, while the veteran
with choking voice steads in faacy upon
the half sunken deck, and looks, looks,
into the blue Havana bay for his com
Then the petals of the Easter lilies,
stirred by a great wave of sobbing
breaths, trembled to the passion of the
"And if ever which God in Uis mercy
forbid, it ever the sword of the avenger
be raised by an outraged nation, we who
have loved our country better than life,
have Bona who love their country. We
who have faced death, have bods who
can face death."
The colder night air blew in across
low-reachee of the Bandy Platte. A
brakeman, noticing the woman's whito
lips, shut the window.
But the breath was less damp and
cold than the wind blowing in from the
sea over the tenta of the volunteers, and
the murmuring hospital tent. Before
morning another of the sons of soldiers
had faced death, the death that walks
in darkness, and another message
came over the mountain slopes. Some
where by the smooth river the message
passed by, and the mother's eyes looking
into the night saw it not. She heard
the long keen wind of the prairie, and
saw it stretch huger and darker be
neath the stars. At daybreak, as the
train stopped for a moment before a
square red box of a station, in a treeless
plain, the brakeman who had shut the
window hurrind through one car, while
the conductor entered another, calling:
"A telegram for Mrs. Uastie."
And as the mother rose, she felt her
self almost lifted forward, out of the car
to the platform, where, before she could
see the words on this second yellow pa-
per, she was left standing, with her
satchel at her feet, while the train went
on into the grajer west.
She must come home. She had
been too slow. One with swifter feet
had gone on before. Home? Why,
what was one house more than another?
Was not the grey waste holding him
there? She could not go back alone
all alone. She must go on, or go some
where to rest one instant from the
words that rang and rang in her ears,
and that she yet looked at over and over
because it came to her momentarily that
she was in a dream.
There was a station agent by. He
seemed to have spoker to her.
"When does the next train go east?"
she asked him, and ho seemed to hesi
tate before saying, "Tonight, lady, at
"Is there no other way to go back?"
The man took off his cap and looked
into it, and than out over the sea of
dead September grass. He had come
to the platform in a blue flannel shirt
and no vest, his arms free for action.
His office was to swing clear the long
leather bags of mail, and to catch the
ones sent sliding from the postal car.
He had foreseen no Buch contingency as
this, and he wished to look away from
the stony faced woman, just as he had
often gone all the way round a pasture
to avoid passing by a sick cow.
"No way unless you have wings,"
"which was a fool thing to say," he told
his wife afterward, "fur she looked back
over that track, exactly as I've seen an
antelope take a glance over the trail,
vt hen I come up with my huntin' knife."
"Ib there a hotel?"
"Yes. Let me put this mail away, an'
I'll carry your grip. It's a piece up the
The traveler waited, wondering wheth
er there were any letters inside those
yellow flaps for mothers, mothers of
soldier lads. And then her satchel was
lifted, not unkindly, and she moved on,
still in a dream, to a yellow two-story
structure, square and bare of all orna
ments save a name across the whole
middle front "Holliett House."
There would be a woman some wo.
man there. She choked down a great
sobbing cry, and the first tears dropped
oa bee white cheeks. Not to be alone
all alone in the world. To feel some
warm human touch of one who could
There was a rank odor of parboiling
salt pork in the office, over the red table
cloth in the dining room, and out of the
kitchen beyond. A sputtering as of
frying potatoes snapped louder when
the kitchen door opened, and a neat wo
man in a large red apron came through
to the door. The station agent had dis
appeared. "You want a room for a day? Well,
there is an upstairs chamber. This is
the stairway. Go right up. I'll bring
your luggage. I do my own work and
must go back to the kitcken. If you
want anything ring for it."
To her last hour that mother will Bee
the little room, with Borpentine lines
running from impossible purple baskets,
over the walls, and the serpentine lines
of the dark runged bedstead every
round Bwelled into joints like endless
smooth caterpillars. When the lines
all began to writhe around her head,
she touched the bell, at last, and rolled
herself, as the broad red apron appeared.
"I am a little faint no, it isn't break
fast I want. It is oh my boy!"
The woman in the red apron stood at
attention. Up the stairway came the
sound of sizzling pork. "I will bring
you a pitcher of water," she said, and
"I am in great distress. I am alone.
In bitter, bitter sorrow."
"If you want anything more, ring for
it," said the landlady with dignity, and
went to her skillet.
When the mother came to herself, the
sun was hot against the one south win
dow. The water in the pitcher was
like the "tea begrundged or water be
witched" of her mother's phrase in a
girlhood, ages past. But the face that
looked out of that past was full of love.
Surely the grave held all the love that
ever looked upon her. The single
touch of a hand a warm human hand,
had the graye emptied earth, then.
One moment more seemed stark mad
ness, and tbe half crazed woman drew
herself from the bed and looked over
the scorched prairies. The sun was not
yet at noon. She watched the dry glare
quiver qter the red box of the station
and glisten in beads of resin from the
narrow porch roof of a general merchan
dise store across the street. Oh, the
cool refuge of the grave, and the arms
of a buried mother.
And then the old, old cry of the hurt
soul the cry of a mother-hand long laid
to rest mingled with the agony that
only mothers know.
The day increased and brought with
its rising, pitiless winds some esnBe of
the hardening ordeal of this life of dust
and toil to the sensitive, suffering heart
of the woman in that room of torture.
When the other woman, who could only
fry and brew, came with her tea and the
thinnest slice of bacon, she said a thank
you with a steadier mouth, and tasted
the tea. And when the level light
streamed past the window, the mother
looked in her satchel for the paper on
which she had hoped to write of the
lad's recovered strength. There was a
half written page to "My Own Dean"
started before the telegram came. She
tore it ont, and wrote:
"For the sake of other mothers who
may come this way and stop by the way
side, I must say to you, there are some
things one cannot ring for. God give
you to see, and spare you the knowing."
So it was that Dean's mother came
back to us who love her, leaving her
message of sorrow in the desert, where
God knows, it may have lightened
some other stricken soul,
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